Thursday, August 08, 2013

"Dear DC Comics....."


Alright, here's a rant that's been a long time in coming, and I figured, fuck it! why not just do it today. No time like the present right?

Good. Here it goes.

"Dear DC Comics......."

Look, we gotta' talk. I'd love to be able to say it's me and not you, but we both know that's a lie.
Sure I'm to blame for somethings, but really this isn't working it like it used to.
And I know it's all your fault either; you certainly couldn't help or stop what Dan Didio and his masters of evil do to you and me both, but  that doesn't totally let you off the hook either.

DC Comics, you're like that hot ex-girlfriend, or hot chick, that you know's bad for you. Sure she looks nice, even hot as hell, but one wrong look or cross word, and I instantly remember why we either broke up or never got together seriously  in the first place.

But I can't help myself.

When I go to my local comic store, I can't help but head to your section first, completely bypassing Marvel. I'm sure you like hearing that, and I like heading to your section if no new or decently-priced loose figures attract my eye first.

It's just that Dan and his cronies have really messed things up between us. I and many of my fellow blogger friends also feel the same way about you. We love your characters and their rich personalities and abilities, or at least we did. Frankly ever since the infamous NU52 reboot two years ago, nothing's been the same. The superheroes, our superheroes, that we fell in love with aren't the same anymore.
Sure they have new, flashy costumes that seem like a new fresh coat of paint on them. But it's just not the same. Oh sure they still look they them for the most part, but there's something missing. Personality, the differences that made them stand out, not only amongst themselves, but other characters from other comic companies as well. Your long, and sometimes complicated past wasn't as a major a turn-off as many would have us belief. Quite the opposite really; it helped make you stand out and made us feel like we were right to invest so much time and money into you. Now with that damn reboot still ringing wildly and madly in my ears and brain, I have a harder time not feeling a sadness that only comes with the long of those lost, nostalgic times of yesteryear. Back when it was okay to cheer and root for you. When it was okay to buy your products, even if other people picked on or taunted me because of it. You were always cool to me, and thus you and your roster of recognizable superheroes gained and kept my loyalty.
I only wish you were able to show me the same loyalty in return.

We have a love/hate relationship, you and I.
I love your characters still, buying your action figures when they're available and worth the money, and hell, I've broken down and bought some those shiny, new NU52 comics, just to say I gave it a try.

But I still hate it, and I still hate what you've become. Much like I'm sure you love the money I spend on you, but hate when I criticize you or suggest you do things a different way.

Hopefully one day, things will get better, and maybe we'll even find some middle ground. I know I still try anyways, but lately it doesn't like you're giving me the same consideration.

I still love you, and the characters you own and clutch to your breast like a hoarder.
Hell, I might even try couple more sips of that kool-aid to maybe understand your new ways better, but I'm not sure it'll change my mind or how I feel about or dysfunctional relationship.

Again, maybe one day things'll get better, and we'll both feel a lot better about each other, and see each more often than we do. I don't know.

All I know is that I, and countless others like me, miss the Pre-Nu52 continuity. We hate seeing what's been done to those we grew to love, seeing as how they're hardly recognizable to us anymore.
Things just seemed better, and maybe it's because I don't see change or modernization like you do and the people that run you do, but it's just not the same anymore.

I'll still hold out hope that one day, things will move a little closer back to the way it was, or at least the parts that matter. Hopefully this will happen before I get too old to care, or just not care period.

Until them, I still buy up your figures if they're worthy, and still head towards your isle like some love-sick puppy.

Don't break my heart like all the others have, it's the only heart I have.

Dale Bagwell/Mr.Morbid


karl said...

I can relate.
I buy nearly 70 comics per month, and with action-figures and whatnot it comes to nearly £300 per month [my local comics supplier practically loves me, Im their best customer] I spend and recently that has dropped to almost half. Not because there are fewer comics around but because a] they are craply written and b] most of my favourites are being cancelled!
My second-fave comic, Legion of Super-Heroes has been cancelled - we know it will be back, but along with my beloved Fantastic Four it was the first one I read when I pick up my [gigantic] comics box each month. Now...I take my time getting to opening it.
There is little fun anymore, all nu-52 DC offers is politically correct shit and turgid, barely there half the time storylines which either ramble or don't make any sense plot-wise.
Plus thye mess with the characters so much, no resemblance to the ones I grew up with.
I still love comics - for me theyr the medium that sustains me like no other, but maybe its just age but it dosent have the same...oh you know, thrill it used to have.
DC more than nay other has presided over far too many reboots for the books to have any credibility anymore, why invest in a book if it gets rebooted every few years? Thank fuck at least Marvel haven't gone in for it, tho FF fan extraordinaire and pal of mine Chris Tolworthy says that since 1991 Marvel has had an unofficial 're-set button' that effectively sent all the books back twenty years [Spidey and MJs marriage retconned, Alicia Masters revealed as a Skrull, and so on] its treating the customers with contempt, really. Marvel have always had a far more commercial pre-requisite to their readers than DC despite their far more friendlier nature, yet theres little or no change between them, save a sophistry in plot fertilization that results in what feels like a hundred X-Men comics a month, a hundred Avengers etc, and DC under the Strontium Dog-like control of Dildo has filtered a one-size-fits-all-moronic approach to its fans - the nu52 was foisted upon us like an STD we didn't want and told it was the next best thing, instead what we get is a highly distilled timeline that simply and purely dosent match up [for example, the WW book is set in the past but the JL book in which she appears is set ten years in the past -what the F.U.C.K???] and the nobody-asked-us enforced costume changes which still get heated debate [no coincidence that CBR put on their forums that bad language will not be tolerated, one month after the nu52 launched, DC dose not want debate, just masterbate]. Therss a couldn't care less mileau going on in comics at the moment and until we get a new revamp - because unfortunately what this leaves us with is the only consolation that once a reboot happens that's the only way we get a new iteration of whats gone on before - we are stuck with it.
I got my comics box yesterday and so far have only read about a third of them, that's how ennui-driven Ive become.
Nothing worth reading, it seems. Might as well go on the net and catch some porn.

Dale Bagwell said...

@Karl: Oh dear sweet Karl, we sir, and in the same exact boat. Nonsensical comic stories that aren't just the staples of Scott Lobdell and Grant Morrison(yes morrison. I'm counting his whole entire Action Comics run as nonsensical, his batman stuff is another topic altogether even though it was really good and was heavily-interfered with with the whole reboot)

The same with the costumes. They didn't need the update. Sure maybe the underroos on the outside looks silly in these modern times, but they're comic characters, not real people! Who gives a shit!

Now there are some standouts like All-Star Western, Batman Inc for awhile, Dial H for hero Swamp Thing now with a new writer, etc, but those by and large either aren't in the mainstream or haven't been fucked with yet. Or were cancelled, as is the case for Dial for H.

I agree, we didn't want, ask, or need the reboot. We just had one in the form of Infinite Crisis only 6 years back. Fuck Dan, give us time to breath first!
It really makes you wonder just how long ll that was in the planning, as all those other big events were pumped out non-stop up until then.
The only real mess maybe, were what JMS/DC did to his Superman and WW runs. Paul Cornell was kicking ass on Action, and yet where was his reward for the sales boost that only Johns and maybe Busiek before him managed to do?

Cookie-Cutter indeed. Shit like this is why there must exist alternatives to these assholes raping and abusing old dead men's toys. Alternatives like Boom Studio, Dark Horse, Dynamite, Image and others need to continue to exist bc of that corporate single-mindedness.

And now, the toy lines I collect on both sides, Marvel and DC, are quickly falling by the wayside, again slowly poisoning my love for the characters. And you obviously know how near and dear action figures are to me.

Overall, well said chap. I agree with everything, and I do mean everything you said. Now why can't we be hired to fix this shit? We need to!

Randomnerd said...

I agree wholeheartedly with everything you wrote. It is hard to keep yourself from going back. I still do. I still keep hope in my heart that my favorite characters will someday be back at that apex of greatness that I remember. My brother is always reminding me that in a history that has so many years of writers and storylines, at least fifty percent of it is going to be crap. I understand that. It just seems like we're getting a whole lot of that crap all at once.
Unfortunately, they won't change. I'm not even sure they would change if an overwhelming amount of us stopped buying the books. They're too used to taking a loss at that end of the market as it is. We can just hope that the next person in charge had to live through this time and was tortured by it as much as we were.

Dale Bagwell said...

@Random: Good point. It's going to be very hard to see what sticks from this current era, other than the obvious changes.

That's why I like and respect Grant Morrison. He still loves his beloved Pre-Crisis continuity, and throughout his Batman run, tied(very successfully I think) the old history with the current, making it all fit together in a neat little, if not sometimes confusing package.

He was one of the very few to do that successfully and be allowed to get way with it. Not anymore.

The King of Thessaly said...

It's honestly sad to say that the best new comics are old comics that are new to me...
I really miss my old, hot girlfriend......

Dan W said...

"Don't break my heart like all the others have, it's the only heart I have." awww (buys Dale a consoling beer and slides it down the bar while waiting for complimentary nachos). Ain't you a one with words? ;)

Seriously though mr awesome job! I collected over 18 DC titles prior to the reboot, increased that on the buzz it could be better and seeing some deserving characters get a shot, and today I'm down to three.

A revamp to shred continuity is fruitless because in 12 months all those books have 'intimidating to new reader' continuity again. You're defeated before you begin.

DC has been stuck on removing the trinity, having them war and removing them again since Infinite Crisis, Identity Crisis, and 52, like it's the only trick they have. Now with Justice War or whatever they've swapped building strong pocket universes in the old DCU - like Green Lantern, JSA, Batman and Flash, and turned it into an insipid mess, where no sub-universes are growing (except molly coddled Batman and stunning All-Star Western) and the entire universe is filled instead with titles treading water and little overall direction in them, let alone across the line.

I defended DC for years, now I feel like putting a Dr Fate helmet on and sitting in the corner till they say they're sorry. While I shouldn't have to turn away from my favourite heroes, I'm happier there reading Image Comics right now anyway.

PS next rant use Dan's surname. It almost gave me a complex ;)

Dale Bagwell said...

@King: Same here buddy, same here. And that's really true, even of some of the shitty ones from back in the 60's-90's Still far superior in writing(probably not art) the majority of what's out there from the big two, especially DC. And that's not to say both companies don't put out god stuff, they just don't get the benefit of marketing and ads like the shitty ones do.

I miss my old slightly hot if you squint hard enough girlfriend too, ha ha:)

Thanks for stopping by Lil Elvis. The Smoking room's to your left;)

@Dan: Thx Dan. What can I say, I'm a poet locked inside the mind and body of a smart ass;)

I hear ya. Plus all those fucking issue 1's the flood the market with. Did they learn nothing from the industry crash of the mid-late 90's?

What surname, Dildo? Done, and done then mate;)

Always a pleasure gov'nor:)

Tiger OA1 said...

@the Girl: After that heart melting plea for your love please go back to Dale. Fix the things that are wrong. He needs you and we do too.

@Karl: Man you killed it, no one could have said it better.

As OA1: Comics has been a friend and muse to my creative inner man. And has always brought out my best. Lately it's hard to hold back the verbal disgust and disdain for one the best friends I ever had. I use to love her.

Dale Bagwell said...

@Tiger: I feel like I should start a support group ovah here;) ha ha.
Thx man, respect as always;)

Randomnerd said...

"A poet locked in the body of a smart ass" I like that. I like the smart ass too.
It's also nice to know we're not all swimming alone out here. We have each other. :) I think we already are a support group. Just without the doughnuts and lukewarm coffee.

Dale Bagwell said...

Coffee? I'll be Farvah from Super Troopers: "Who wants cream?" ha ha.

Dan W said...

This group has fringe benifits? Schawing! And you thought you were the only guy who could reference Wayne's World today ;-)

The King of Thessaly said...

I don't know, Dale... I actually prefer classic comic-book art to all the digital what-the-fuckery in modern comics. Pencils and inks, son! Not tablets and MSPaint.
DAMN IT! -Those kids are in my yard again! -Hang on...

Dale Bagwell said...

@Dan: Ha ha nice. Fringe benefits? I'd say group therapy and enabling off the top of my head. Oh and we can drink at these meetings too, so there's that:)

@King: I hear ya buddy, but thus is the price of progress in technology.
You should through any issues of Dan Didio's work at them! That'll scare them off. FUCKING KIDS!!!

karl said...

My some ideas for making DC good again [well, some of them]

make Batman a gothic, silent vigilante, like the very early Bob Kane moody tales.

no Batman crossovers for at least two years, keep him in his own books [that goes for Supes, too]

put Grant Morrison back writing the Swamp Thing permanently

give us a new underground secret society Challengers of the Unknown

boost Animal Man to become a major player in the DCU

bring back the Doom Patrol [last version went quite well, that'll do]

stop writing Firestorm as if hes got ATHD, and actually needing to have ATHD to have to read it

stop the atrocious editing and scene-jumping on Birds of Prey

stop writing Green Lantern as so fucking gay

stop writing Batgirl as a teenager but an experienced hero

give Superman his underpants back

give Supergirl a decent costume not one of Lady GaGa's knock-offs

more one-off Villain Month issues

actually do something unusual and wildly different with the Wonder Woman comic - have her IN the fucking thing!

give the LSH a stable continuity and NO MORE REBOOTS!!!

make Hawkman a serious motherfucker who takes no prisoners [and again clear up continuity]

BRING BACK O.M.A.C!! one of the only few great things about the nu-52 and they cancelled it, madness

reunite Booster Gold and Blue Beetle as the comedy double-act we know and love

sort out this Dick Grayson/Tim Drake/Damian shit nonsense over how many Robin's Batman's had as a partner if hes only been going ten years.

kill off that shrew Lois Lane and make it permanent, if only to make fans shit themselves for real for once

The King of Thessaly said...

@Dale -I'd rather just throw Dan DiDio at them!

@Karl -GIVE SUPERMAN HIS UNDERWEAR BACK!!! It's such a simple thing but it takes SO MUCH away from his look. *SIGH*

Dale Bagwell said...

@Karl: You sir are so on point it makes my eyes bleed;)

So so true.Preach it brother Karl! Preach on!!!!

@King: Right? me too, but doesn't shit splatter when you toss/throw it? ha ha.

Same deal, bring back the roo's. On batman too, although, he's pulled the lack of it off better than then the NU Superman's look.

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