The purpose of this editorial is not to pass judgement on the DCnU. I haven’t read enough of the new books to do that yet. I’ve only read Justice League and Superman so far and stopped reading them at issue three of each. I’ll get the hardcover editions when they come out. Through the collected editions is how I read my comics these days. I have neither the time nor the energy to go to the comics store every Wednesday and get the books I may be interested in that week. So, I get the hardcovers and the trades as they come out and read them that way. Because of this, two things are apparent:
1) I can’t really decide if I like the DCnU until at least May
2) Amazon.com loves me.
So what, if anything , is the point of this article? Well, as a longtime comics fan and mainly a fan of DC Comics, I find myself once again faced with an updating of my favorite characters and their universe. I went through it with Crisis on Infinite Earths. I went through it with Legends. I went through it with Zero Hour. I went through it with Infinite Crisis. I went through it…I went through it…I went through it. One would think, by now, I would be inured to the changes, but they get so frustrating after a while.
Some changes and updates have been enjoyable for me. Some far less so. John Byrne‘s revamp of Superman was well received and deservedly so. J. Michael Straczynski‘s revamp of Wonder Woman was a disaster from the word go.
A lot of times it comes down to the respect the creators show to the characters and what has come before. Believe me, I am not a strict continuity freak by any means. I just want a good story that stays true to the characters and what they stand for. You don’t turn Green Lantern into a mass murderer because it seems like a good idea at the time. (Oh…wait. Maybe you do.)
I understand the need for change from time to time. The companies need to update their characters to fit the new world they are inhabiting, but the core of the character should always stay true to who the character is. Change for the sake of change is not good storytelling. It’s a cop-out. Would anyone really want to read about Superman if he had Wolverine’s attitude and belief system? For that matter, would anyone follow Wolverine if he acted like Unca’ Scrooge?
So, let’s talk about the new costumes for a moment, shall we? I’m not sure why a super-powered and invulnerable man from Krypton would need to wear battle armor. To some it may look cooler but, to me, it really makes no sense.
I can hold a computer in the palm of my hand and yet Cyborg and Iron Man get put in bulkier and bulkier armor all the time. Shouldn’t the tech level be there to allow smaller and more lightweight designs? Iron Man should look no bulkier than in his seventies outfit and Cyborg should look more like he did when introduced in New Teen Titans. Overall, most costume overhauls leave me cold from any company and I am definitely not a big fan of DC’s new uniforms.
Some of the characterizations I’ve seen seem out of left field to me. Starfire is the main one that springs to mind. I think DC needs to come out with a guide as to what has still happened, what the new timeline is and what relationships are still intact. No one can be expected to pick up all of the new 52 to figure it out. If Starfire and Nightwing still had their romance, it sure has put in a new light with Starfire handing it out to anyone who wants it. There’s a lot of history here and it would be nice what did and didn’t happen. For me, with some stories happening and some not, it’s a tad confusing.
I’ll still reserve my judgement until I read more and explore more of the DCnU but, for this longtime DC Comics fan, it’s not looking good. I suppose it shouldn’t be too surprising from the proceeding that sometimes I’d rather read about comics than the comics themselves.