Monday, March 13, 2023

Nice while it lasted

 Well, it was nice while it was lasted.

My optimism that DC finally seemed to have the kind of basic understanding of its own characters, their universe, and what to do with them that, oh, any average reader does.  

My hope that DC finally understood that, in the long run -- even in the short run -- preserving the integrity of characters and their world are more important than indulging its writers and their ticks.  

But no.

I kind of blinked over it when I heard that Wally West was dead-again in "Flash" because it seemed like the story-contained dead-again, that could be safely ignored, much like I ignore everything with the Park-Wests.  But the news that 

"DC's new 'Dawn of DC' initiative to revamp the publisher's core superhero line is well underway, and the next wave of new titles will include a brand new Wonder Woman #1 from writer Tom King "

cannot be ignored or discounted.

Great idea, DC. Tom King. On Woman Wonder.

You can't even PRETEND that he's not going to ruin her. Because....

"After a mysterious Amazonian is accused of mass murder, the U.S. Congress passes The Amazon Safety Act, barring all Amazons from American soil," reads DC's official description of the new Wonder Woman #1. "To carry out its new law, the government sets up the Amazon Extradition Entity (AXE) task force to remove those who don’t comply by any means necessary," it continues. "In her search for the truth behind the killing, Wonder Woman now finds herself an outlaw in the world she once swore to protect."

Is there any single person who is familiar with Wonder Woman who doesn't realize this is a bad idea? That it's just Tom King writing under Alienated Hero Under Duress story, with whatever IP they'll let him handle?  Will Marvel not hire Tom King?  Will no one rid me of this meddlesome priest?

Look, it's not that Wonder Woman hasn't survived becoming pantsuit Wonder Woman and opening a dress shop and dragging around an Inscrutable Blind Stereotype or becoming a Goddess for the Umpteenth time.   It's not that "Something Interesting Couldn't Be Done With That!", which someone is going to comment.

It's DC clearly still doesn't really get it.  

Someday she will have her revenge. 


CobraMisfit said...

Egads, why?


King breaks all of your toys and does so with glee, hiding behind a mask of telling "new" and "soul-searching" stories.

They're not new, nor soul searching. He's reskinning Marvel's Civil War, which was moderately interesting nearly two decades ago when it came out. Something that found renewed vigor within the MCU, but has also already been put to bed.

Simply put, DC, through King, continues to fail at understanding their own characters.

Wally West is not, nor would he ever be, a mass murderer.

More to the point, of ALL the characters in DC, Wonder Woman could never be confused with a mass murderer. The comic world lost their minds when she snapped Max Lord's neck because THAT was inconceivable. This, despite it being very much in her character. She's a warrior and will do what she must to protect innocents. She is NOT a sociopath.

DC can't honestly think that this storyline will be well-written or popular, can they?

The only plausible argument is that King has blackmail on all the DC staff.

Nothing else makes sense....

Scipio said...

I can only that he's Stan Lee's son and that, as part of some pact to keep the peace between DC and Marvel, he was sent to be raised and employed by DC, where he is at all times ruining some icon's life by showing that Heroes Must Suffer and Be Hated and Persecuted, as in the MCU.

I'd guess this is also why Dan Slott works for Marvel.

Anonymous said...

I suppose DC always needs to feel they have a Golden Boy* whose story sensibilities are never to be doubted, based on a few rousing successes. Tom King's "Grayson" and "Omega Men" would count, and then he told other stories that were well-received. Thus, DC concludes, Tom King can do no wrong.

- HJF1

*: Not Sandy the Golden Boy.

Scipio said...

They fired him early on Batman, showing that they know better now. And yet.

Anonymous said...

Not that I think this is a good idea – I've never to my knowledge read anything Tom King has done, and it seems like a terrible ideas. But really, when has DC ever had any idea what to do with Wonder Woman? She's handled wrong more often that right.

That said, I'm betting they also don't have plans for the World-Famous Elongated Man. And if you can't fit Ralph Dibney and his lovely wife Sue into the universe, you don't get DC.

-- Jack of Spades

Dave said...

I wouldn't worry too much.

He'll kill her by the fourth issue.

Anonymous said...

I’m not a stickler for continuity. I usually like seeing writers and artists be allowed to cut loose. This sounds so bad, though, that I want it out of the DCU proper so other books can ignore it. I have no problem with keeping King on mini- and maxi-series removed from continuity if the readers, editors, and creative teams choose. Make all his work part of the Black Label line!

- Mike Loughlin

Anonymous said...

Continuity is a tricky beast. I used to love it; these days I'm more into treating them like Arthurian legends, where the stories don't need to line up in any sort of coherent whole.

That's just me though. Some people really like the world-building and the interconnections, and I totally get that. But that hurts more than it helps IMHO.

You know who had the right idea? Bob Haney. He didn't let "the rules" prevent him from telling a story. I remember he did a "Brave and Bold" in my youth where Batman (Earth-One) teamed up with Wildcat (Earth-Two). As a kid, I was appalled that there was no explanation for how Wildcat would be apparently living on Earth-One. But in my dotage I'm like, "Batman and Wildcat? Sounds fun, let's do it."

- HJF1

Scipio said...

"But really, when has DC ever had any idea what to do with Wonder Woman?"

Scipio said...

One of things that makes all such issues 1000x worse nowadays is ... decompression.
Back in the day, if someone wrote a stupid story where something stupid happened--
strike that, that's pretty much every story. If someone wrote a story stupidly out of CHARACTER or jarringly INCONSISTENT for some reason, we had a simple recourse:
we ignored it.

Nowadays, however, when "a story" isn't an issue but "an arc" lasting a year or two, that's really not plausible any more.

cybrid said...

"I've never to my knowledge read anything Tom King"

I don't think I have, either, but pretty much all I hear about him are bad things. It occasionally occurs to me to do research on exactly which horrible things he's done to the DC Universe but I just keep...not caring enough. ;-)

CalvinPitt said...

Look, I have enough trouble avoiding the books Marvel lets Jason Aaron and Benjamin Percy write, I don't need you throwing Tom King at me like a wet, feral cat.

I thought DC figured out it was better to just let Tom King do his thing in these weird little mini-series off by themselves (Danger Street, the Human Target, etc.), but apparently not.

Anonymous said...

I guess I am wondering, who was the editor on Wonder Woman like six months ago, and who is the editor today? Has that changed? I forget to focus on editors, but they really can make or break a title, if they have a bad vision for it.

- HJF1

Dave said...

I've compared King to Aaron Sorkin -- and I don't mean that as a compliment to either writer.

Like Sorkin, King writes gibberish that has the appearance of being coherent and literate while being neither. They both come up with the same plots and references over and over and the critics fawn all over them in the apparent belief that something this incoherent must have hidden profundities.

I'll give King credit for one thing: he's peerless at crapping all over legacy characters when he's not outright killing them.

Scipio said...

"Benjamin Percy write"
Now THERE's a phrase to give children nightmares.

Scipio said...

"the critics fawn all over them in the apparent belief that something this incoherent must have hidden profundities. "
I'm sorry, Dave, did you mistype "Grant Morrison"?
I kid. Even I, whose criticisms of Grant Morrison have been neither soft nor few over the decades recognize that, whatever his flaws, Morrison actually LIKES his characters (if anything, too much) and seeks to do them no harm. If he does, it's only in the manner of an exuberant child accidentally killing a bunny by hugging it to death or feeding it too much Oolong.

Dave said...

I've liked a lot of Morrison's work, but that last Green Lantern series was drivel. It felt like something Hal would have written after being hit on the head yet again.

cybrid said...

Obviously the simplest reaction to such a situation would be for Wonder Woman to just move to another country and protect the world from THERE, because that's the thing about the world: No matter where you go, there it is. That wouldn't be anywhere nearly as angsty, though.

Anonymous said...

I find it amusing that you think that DC finally learned its lesson after over 20 years worth of failure. Surely the continuous blunders would've convinced you otherwise?

Anonymous said...

...if you honestly think that what Morrison does is the definition of "like" or "love", I hate to see what your idea of "dislike" or "loath" must be like.

Scipio said...

"DC finally learned its lesson after over 20 years worth of failure"

I believe in the eventual triumph of the process of evolution.

For those things that survive it.

Scipio said...

[i]Morrison does is the definition of "like" or "love", [/i]

People can express their like/love in ways that are unhealthy.

You may count Morrison among them, perhaps. If not, there are plenty of others among fandom.

Anonymous said...

"If not, there are plenty of others among fandom."

Like just about everyone working for DC and Marvel at the moment?

Scipio said...

"Wonder Woman now finds herself an outlaw in the world she once swore to protect."

I'm revisiting this post of barely a month ago to note that in the meantime, Wonder Woman has become a goddess (again). Is she going to be a goddess on the lam?

Of course not. They are just going to undo that immediately. Q.E.D.