Wednesday, June 01, 2011

52 Reasons for a Universal Reboot

Well, now.

I have a new Heroclix map or two to share with you, and I have to finish up Supergirl versus the Gang, and I need to get current with the Shield's adventures---

but given DC's announcement this week of a universal reboot in September, those will all have to wait a bit. Apparently a REAL universal reboot, not just a 'housecleaning'.

For good or for ill, this is astonishing. As discussed in my previous post, nothing of this sort has really been done before (despite what anyone tells you). This is, potentially, the biggest deal in all of of DC's history, other than the Golden Age itself.

Whatever else, it is an enormous opportunity. In fact, I can think of, oh, let's say, 52 things, large and small, that this is the opportunity to fix:

  1. A Penguin who's not a punching bag.
  2. We can all be mind-wiped of Identity Crisis. Tegrof!
  3. Lex Luthor will no longer have been president.
  4. Removing NYC from the DCU. Because really... it's just in the way.
  5. The 'generation creep' that's caused a temporal pile-up of aging teen sidekicks bumping up against un-aging icons can go away.
  6. Pa Kent. Because, well, he's a better character alive than dead, basically.
  7. The Death of Aqua-baby -- the crack in the ice that led to our recent decades of darkness, death, and damage -- can be avoided.
  8. Jean Loring. Period.
  9. Detaching the JSA from WWII, which is the current ruination of a sliding timeline. They didn't actually fight in WWII, you know, despite what many of you think. They fought saboteurs and profiteers on the homefront; sometimes I wonder whether any of you have actually read a Golden Age JSA story!
  10. Martian Manhunter as a actual detective in Apex City. Oh, yes; embrace it now.
  11. Marv Wolfman's Teen Titans -- the crack in the ice that led to our recent decade of faux-Marvel whining, talky-talking, and adolescent drama. Avoiding that alone is worth a universal reboot.
  12. You want ADULT drama, instead? Golden Age Starman, folks. Golden Age Starman.
  13. Clayface as the mad movie actor he originally was, not a Marvel-style monster-villain with sci-fi powers.
  14. No more earth-based GLs other than Hal Jordan.
  15. Replace Washington DC with Federal City again, and make it Wonder Woman's fictionopolis. That will go a long way to putting her back on track.
  16. Making the Chief a good guy again.
  17. No more "Deathstroke the Terminator". Really, just do not go there at all.
  18. A JLA origin that doesn't involved the Appellaxians. Because, classic though it is, that story is really really stupid.
  19. An actual purpose for Wonder Woman.
  20. A version of Gotham City that doesn't make you wonder, "Why the heck does anyone live there?"
  21. Jimmy Olsen as a well-intentioned but hapless young nerd with heroic pretensions that geeky younger readers can identify with. I mean, one without spider-powers.
  22. Green Arrow back to his Golden Age glory. Glory being a relevant term, of course.
  23. Barbara Gordon = Batgirl.
  24. The return of Sensation Comics.
  25. Maybe an actual gay superhero; I mean, one with name that people might actually recognize, not junk-drawer
  26. The Catwoman as an actual villain, not a 'cat-burglar with a heart of gold'. A villain in a dress, goshdarnit.
  27. Etta Candy, baby. Real Etta Candy, fat 'n' sassy.
  28. Villains like Killer Moth can be reintroduced without the baggage of years of continuity treating them as laughingstocks. Okay, really, there are no villains quite like Killer Moth; but you know what I mean.
  29. Kal'durh as the original Aqualad, without the embarrassment of the Silver Age big-headed, purple-eyed freak who preceded him.
  30. The Riddler as a gore-free-Jigsaw-style, Xanatos-gambitin', big-time player, rather than a joke.
  31. A whole revamp of J'onn J'onnz's powers to make him easier to use. Just give him a few powers unique in the JLA like shape-change, phasing, telekinesis, and the ability to create ice cream cones with his mind.
  32. A series for the Phantom Stranger. And perhaps another for just his hat.
  33. A renaissance of the some of the "lesser" fictionpolises, like Opal City, Calvin City, Midway City, etc.
  34. Non-addict Speedy.
  35. Lois and Clark not married. NOT because I don't like them married. But because there was no build up to it. There was no real development of a relationship between the two that made you believe Clark and Lois fell in love and would marry, just a rush to match the plot of the silly Lois & Clark television show.
  36. A re-telling of the Case of the Penny Plunderer, with Joe Coyne as an obviously deranged lunatic. "PENNIES WILL BE MY CRIME SYMBOL!"
  37. No Doomsday!
  38. The chance to give Green Arrow and Martian Manhunter actual rogues' galleries of their own that don't embarrass them. As long as there is still the Human Flame.
  39. Potentially, a clear break to begin a new Comic Book Era. The Gilded Age...? The Platinum Age?
  40. No more attempts to make the Fourth World live on when its creator, who should have been the only person to handle the characters, does not.
  41. "Montevideo of Uruguay: LIVE!"
  42. A Golden Age style, sane Joker. Pure malevolent wickedness that scares the crap out of you and swims really really well. Not an irrational gibbering mountebank. Yeah, you go ahead and fight me on this one.
  43. Aquaman as a/the leader of the JLA. It would help define who he is, a lot, and it's really not a role one of the Big Three should ever have.
  44. The opportunity to apply the Dynastic Centerpiece model with a little forethought and diversity, rather than having a supporting cast of archetypes simply crop up like inevitable mytho-structural dandelions.
  45. Returning Plastic Man to his original role as a straight man around whom wackiness occurs, rather than his current one as a consistently unfunny comedian.
  46. The opportunity to focus on creating new stand-alone stories rather than merely extending continuity.
  47. Vibe. Alive, breakdancing, and living large. Shut up, you know you want it, too.
As for the last five, well...
this is the audience participation part.

What do you perceive as the top five opportunities in this Platinum age reboot that I've not listed?