Why this relaunch could have been done without

We should all know by now that the DC Relaunch is about to take place. In most regards at least, I think this relaunch could and should have been done without. Some of the things could even I will address things in no real order, and maybe add in a few other complaints.

The big thing of DC
One of my favorite thing with DC is that the characters grow. It started with Dick Grayson and ended up incorporating all of DC. No longer did they stay the same age, but they got older, they got more experienced, in general time actually passed. In time too, we saw heroes go and new people take their place like Wally as Flash and Dick as Batman. This relaunch in some sense deletes part of one of my favorite things about DC.

Aging their big Heroes
Superman I view like a Saiyan. Hope that doesn’t upset people, but I say this in the thought that as Superman ages, I just don’t really see him slowing down due to his powers. In fact there have been a few times a future Superman has come around and he didn’t seem any slower or weaker than his younger self. So he could have gone on aging and just been fine. Diana is an Amazon and as long as you don’t take her leaving the island as losing that ability to live forever, well she could easily have kept going too with no work. Bruce though is a normal human, but having stories touching on him dealing with getting older and slowing down could have been great things to touch on. Just look at how iconic The Dark Knight Returns is dealing with a Batman in his 50s. Not to mention if they really wanted to keep Bruce going on forever, they could have made stories to somehow de-age him. I think an easy one to do would have him get injured and fall or otherwise be put into a Lazarus pit. Hal and Barry both had been dead for a while, and to be honest I don’t know if they came back at the age they died or not but I would assume so, giving them some extra years. Either way, Hal’s ring could essentially keep him living forever (if a ring can age Arisia’s body, I would expect it can reverse someone’s age or keep them from aging). Barry would be a bit trickier, but with this being the world of comics, again I’m sure something could have been figured out to make him younger if they really deemed it worthy.

Justice League
Part of the relaunch will be getting (mostly) the original Justice League back as the League, just replacing Martian Manhunter for some reason with Cyborg. So the soul of the Teen Titans now will be the soul of the Justice League in place of J’onn? Anyways, once more if they wanted to bring back the old team they could easily have done it. Dick stepping down as Batman would easily have brought Bruce back in there. The rest could slowly be brought in again with other current members leaving for various reasons, or a large story could have come about to pull all of them back in at once.

Batman: Most Batman things considered
I’m fine if they want to put Bruce back as the only Batman, especially as I personally haven’t been much a fan of Batman Inc. They didn’t need a relaunch though to have Dick step down and have Bruce take on the mantle alone again. Dick and Damian have been getting great sales though around 59k (and I want to point out Dick’s run as Batman is 55k), and I just don’t think the new Bruce and Damian team up will hit those numbers after the first few issues. A moody ten year old with a moody Bruce I just don’t see working. Their personalities will clash too much and some reason I could see Damian growing up to be another Jason Todd without having Dick’s easy going and positive attitude to support him. Maybe though with Dick staying in Gotham they’ll interact enough to keep the kid from going over the edge. De-aging Bruce while keeping 4 Robins now (I guess Steph doesn’t count to Didio) as well really crunches things in regards to just how he still managed to have 4 Robins when it has been stated most of all their current history will remain untouched. That matter, just how old now would Bruce be when Damian was born – 18?

Batgirl: Stephanie and Barbara
Reports I’ve seen have put Stephanie’s Batgirl around rank 20 (selling a bit over 24,000 per issue). Superman comics (ranking around 10th in sales) sitting at the high 30k range makes me believe Stephanie is doing a good job. Now as much as I have loved Steph’s Batgirl, I think the bigger issue is really Barbara leaving the Oracle role. Barbara Gordon has made number 17 of IGN’s top 100 Comic Book Heroes that came out about 3 months ago – a list I want to point out isn’t just for DC characters but all comic book heroes. She’s one of the strongest female characters out there, and a great role model even for the disabled. From what I’ve gathered, she was also considered to be given her legs back and the role of Batgirl before Stephanie got it. The idea being turned down because her role as Oracle was deemed too strong and important, and so Stephanie was given the role. Didio simply liked Babs as Batgirl and may just be using his weight to get her back in that role, not caring how strong her place as Oracle is or how loved Steph has been. Oh, and if anyone was wondering, Babs was only beat by two female characters: Jean Grey (13) and Wonder Woman (5). Pretty strong numbers for a woman stuck in a wheel chair.

Flash: mostly where is Wally?
So it looks Barry will be the only Flash, and Kid Flash I’ve heard will be Bart. Barry’s marriage is being erased though, so will Bart still be his grandson and will they just imply Barry later marries Iris, or will they try not to even mention that? I’m not sure, but the biggest thing is I’ve yet to hear or see any word on where Wally West will be. He was used in the DC Animated Universe in Superman and the Justice League cartoons as the Flash. He is currently being used in Young Justice cartoon as Kid Flash. So outside of the comics, he should be rather known so why erase him? In that IGN list, Barry was listed at 49 and Wally at 8. Not to mention he discovered the Speed Force and fans were outraged when news hit that Barry was coming back to life. Oh, and we shouldn’t forget his role as a founder of the Teen Titans along with Dick, but that is assuming that the Teen Titans history isn’t being completely erased, which could be possible considering the current team seems to be having their history wiped out.

Teen Titans

Quote:
Tim Drake is forced to step out from behind his keyboard when an international organization seeks to capture or kill super-powered teenagers. As Red Robin, he must team up with the mysterious and belligerent powerhouse thief known as Wonder Girl and a hyperactive speedster calling himself Kid Flash in TEEN TITANS #1, by Scott Lobdell and artists Brett Booth and Norm Rapmund.

Going by the description, the current Teen Titans life together is being completely erased. This is why I partly wonder if ALL of the Teen Titans history is being erased with the added fact that most of the founders have gotten no mention of still being around and Cyborg (though not a founder) being part of the League. I already touched up on Bart, Wonder Girl is getting changed completely it sounds like, and Superboy seems to be getting rebooted completely as well. So Dick’s best friend Wally is erased and Tim apparently never had spent a day before with his best friends Bart and Conner in this new universe. That just doesn’t bode well to me. Erasing all this history including good chunks of Blackest Night and all of Infinite Crisis. But then, part of this relaunch I guess is to erase some parts of the DC History, yet also introduce some new characters.

Didio?
This relaunch just doesn’t make sense to me. They want to erase large story arcs and apparently erase a lot of loved characters, while bringing in brand new ones? Cutting off the longest continuously running comics in history too just to plaster on new number ones trying to draw in brand new readers also doesn’t make sense while they are still keeping a lot of the former’s history. Trying to make things simple to follow for new readers by starting over their beloved characters yet keeping a lot of past history will still just confuse them. Not to mention with current comic fans not knowing what is being kept and what is going out the window, everyone is confused.

I want to think at least a lot of this is coming from Dan Didio. A man who goes from 20 years in Soap Operas to quickly jumping the ranks of DC out of the blue makes little sense to me. I know though he’s the reason we are losing Oracle. Due to his Soap Opera background I’m guessing he’s at least one of the main people behind destroying every DC marriage out there including Barry’s and even worse Clark Kent’s marriage to Louis, something that even my mom knew about despite only having watched the Christopher Reeve movies.

Basically I feel this is bad news and after the first few issues, won’t boost their sales beyond what it is now. Granted, I could easily be wrong and will at least give a few issues a shot myself, but still think most of this should not have been brought about.

read/RANT!

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2 Responses to Why this relaunch could have been done without

  1. Michael says:

    I see DC’s primary motivations for the relaunch as …

    A) Rebooting Superman to disentangle him from legal disputes over rights. Pretty simple.

    B) Get a sales kick, hoping that will be enduring (which I don’t think it will be – I will be buying a lot of books to begin with, but I’ll pare that down quickly to the titles that I actually enjoy), and driving digital sales at the same time (which I don’t think will happen because they’ve screwed up the price point – I’d pay money to read more comics digitally, which would help me decide which hard copy comics to buy, so I’d think a subscription model that allows you to read a comic online or download it for a fixed period of time would reap higher sales and actually drive hard copy sales).

    C) Ego. It feels like Didio, and to a lesser extent Lee and Johns, are trying to create something splashy to build their own personal legacies in the comics industry. I could be wrong, but that’s how it feels to me. I find it strange that the relaunch is purported to be about modernising and comptemporising these characters for new audiences, but the costume designs reek of the 90s (at least to me … I remember a Wizard Magazine feature with Lee redesigning DC’s iconic characters and the new designs look very familiar). As for the Didio comment – OMAC. That is all.

    I don’t think DC could afford to continue doing business as usual, but the relaunch feels a bit like trying to perform brain surgery with an axe.

    • xxadverbxx says:

      A) Possibly, and might also explain why Action Comics seems to be running a Clark Kent who is wearing basically jeans, t-shirt, and a cape compared to the actual costume. I’m just wondering if Action Comics will start out as an origin story then continue from that point, or start as an origin and jump to the present once they get that out of the way.

      B) According to my July 2011 Previews, Justice League #1 will be offered in a special “combo pack edition, polybagged with a redemption code for a digital download of the issue.” That will be just a dollar extra, though I don’t know if it was a preorder only, or if you can pick that up from the comic shop too. Either way, it appears to be the only combo pack in the bunch. I do wonder how they will secure the digital copies to keep them from being leaked all over the net for free.

      C) Just a thing I got from word of mouth, but I heard Warner Brothers wasn’t very happy with sales giving the ultimatum to do something to bring up the sales or they would fire some big shots at DC. That would most likely include Didio, though I doubt Johns at least would go with them. Either way, reason to try pulling something extremely huge like this event.

      As a side note, I actually like some of the new costumes! Red Robin in particular as I really disliked the current outfit.

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