Friday, June 3, 2011

Post-Pointal Depression: They're still Didio Comics

There's no home for you here J'Onn, go away. Don't take no Martians 'round here!

See, this is why I like to let things play out and discuss from hindsight, because the second paragraph of yesterday's post went right down the toilet just hours after I posted it. I guess the Martian Manhunter may end up on the JLA 14, but I count 8 members of JLI, and he ain't one of them. Dan Jurgens carries over from Booster Gold and Aaron Lopresti from Generation Lost. Jurgens' previous JLI run with most of these characters was contemptuous, so I'm going to give this a pass, but I will say I'm glad the Vixen got a totally random spot. Also, it's good to see Guy back where he belongs, and Jaime Reyes allowed to exit the shadow the terribly redesigned Booster Gold casts. Let the kid be his own Blue Beetle.

The ten titles announced by DC on Thursday really frame the relaunch, because the new order is the old order with a paint job. A hot writer leaves a book, so hand the reigns over to the book's artist, with zero-to-dubious past experience in that discipline? That's what happened with Francis Manapul on the Flash, joined by colorist Brian Buccellato. Tony Daniel caught a similar deal a couple of years back, but now he's writing (and probably pitch-hitting on art) The Savage Hawkman for Philip Tan. I won't slight Cyberfrog's Ethan Van Sciver if he's aided by Gail Simone, but that new Firestorm Red/Firestorm Yellow/Firestorm Voltron looks seriously funky.

We're also continuing to see writers known only for writing Didio Comics (or worse, Aspen,) like JT Krul (still on Green Arrow) and Eric Wallace. I don't hate Wallace of much as most people for his molten va-jay-jays or splitting of the Atom, because I thought he handled a badly dealt hand with a modicum of grace. Also, I pegged Mr. Terrific as a token character a decade back, and have had to eat those words, so I think I'll give Mr. Terrific (with the fantastic Roger Robinson) a shot. I just hope he gets his jacket back. Krul taking over Captain Atom makes me less optimistic, as it looks like another round of Dr. Manhattan vs. Monarch, and I've grown to really dislike Freddie Williams II. Didio himself will be doing OMAC with Keith Giffen, which kind of kills my interest.

There are a few name writers so far, with Paul Jenkins being quite appropriate on DC Universe Presents: Deadman (plus Bernard Chang on familiar territory,) but then there's the fistful of ugh that is Brian Azzarello on Wonder Woman, especially painful because Cliff Chang on art should be lovely. The one home run remains Johns and Reis on Aquaman, with a freakin' awesome cover that highlights what a scary, dangerous place the ocean is.

Meanwhile, I'm increasingly concerned about the Martian Manhunter. I thought we could rely on the Brightest Day status quo holding up for a while, but if they're going to revise Green Arrow and Firestorm after just one year, the dread of a Jim Lee Martian Manhunter really sinks in. What if they go Ultimate DC JLA, even though Robert Downey Jr. warned "You never go full Wizard?"

A lot of this just feels like the rearranging of deck chairs. It's the same people who couldn't sell us one DC title doing a different one. I'm waiting for some left field creative choices to blow me away, like Chris Ware on 'Mazing Man, Joe Hill on Swamp Thing, or Adam Warren on Power Girl. Something really cool to make me think this is in any real way different from the whimper of One Year Later. I continue to feel like DC Comics is being run by Sidney Mellon and Dan Pussey, which is not a place I want to be.


LissBirds said...

"Meanwhile, I'm increasingly concerned about the Martian Manhunter."

Me. Too.

Where is he?

And what's with that Booster Gold redesign? One of the sleekest costumes in the DCU.

Sorry, I just can't accept a mock-JLI (if that is what they're going for.) Either go full out with the original cast, or just leave them be as the JLA. And no shoe-horning Jaime Reyes in as Booster's new best friend/protegé. Let Jaime go...wherever.

Post-Pointal Depression should be an actual disorder as classified by the DSM-IV. I don't even want to look at a comic these days.

And no help from Dark Horse, either, because they insist on putting Magnus in shorts. C'mon, people, throw me a bone here. I need something. Short-skirted Magnus was all I had left.

Diabolu Frank said...

Well, it's too late for Dark Horse to defrock Magnus, since the Gold Key line has been canceled.

Gah Liss, don't go dropping DSM-IV on me. Mental Health may have been my second strongest class after Gerontology, but I'm not ready to think about school at all yet.

I don't really see the "mock." Jurgens wrote Guy, Booster, Fire and Ice (badly) in the '90s, and of course Batman and Rocket Red go back to their first year. August General in Iron makes perfect sense to me as a representative of China, and as a mixer if Guy is truly reformed. Vixen is kind of shoehorned, but she's technically African (originating from one of three fictitious countries, depending on whom you ask.) Only Donna Troy is a real oddball, but they damned well better fix her origin this time, and make her a Themysciran representative.

Booster Gold looks like his Smallville self. That's like basing your character's look on a '70s Halloween poncho costume.

Shlomo Ben Hungstien said...

life is confusing enough as it is with out getting into all this speculative chatter about the new direction DC will be going in. so i agree with just having hindsight kinda way of looking at it all. by the way Frank i'm kinda bummned i haven't heard from you on the Suicide Squad blog with your input considering my recent posting for JJ.

mathematicscore said...

I second the Ugh on Booster's costume.

Fingers crossed for MM solo.

Boosterrific said...

I hate the new Booster costume so much, I yanked my blog post for Friday to replace it with an extended rant, something I typically make a serious effort not to do.

I really don't want to be negative about DC's choices in this marketing event (I do think day-and-date digital comics are a good thing), but DC editorial's track record is terrible, and these Jim Lee designs are even worse.

After seeing the redesigned Superman and Booster, I was terrified of what might happen to J'onn. I'm stunned that he isn't in one of the JLA books, and right now, I think that might be in the character's best interest. To remain in the shadows right now until this whole brewing fiasco blows over may be a good thing for any character's integrity in the long run.

Diabolu Frank said...

I always enjoy a good rant, so I'll have to head right over to Boosteriffic!

Ryan said...

They have said there will be fourteen members of the Justice League, so J'onn may well be on the team without being part of the core cast.

And with fifty two #1s coming out, I have to imagine one of them is a Martian Manhunter book. Now, will it be a one-shot or an ongoing? Not sure about that, because I do not believe for a second that 52 #1s means 52 ongoing books.

Diabolu Frank said...

Ryan, being anything less than #7 in a JLA line-up is like hanging out with an ex who just wants to be friends. J'Onn doesn't need scraps like that. Get that man a solo series!

I don't know about specials as ballast, but I'm sure you're right about mini-series, even if they're the "retroactive" kind.

will_in_chicago said...

I am having little faith in DC right now.

If J'Onn is not going to be in the top 7 of the GLA, give him his own team of heroes who deserve better. Maybe throw in Captain Atom, Captain Marvel and a bunch of interesting characters who will handle a lot of things that the Justice League doesn't address. If there is room for the JLA and the JSA, maybe there is room for a new JLI or Justice League: Solar System -- if you want to throw J'emm on the team.

Great coverage here, Frank. Cyborg leaves me cold as a core member of the league as he has done little with the JLA. Not a bad guy, but J'Onn is the heart of the JLA. I am not sure if the writers understand this or understand heart.

Diabolu Frank said...

Well, the new Captain Atom doesn't look like a team player, and I'm certain Captain Marvel will end up in a solo book of his own. There's a good chance J'Onn could end up on a new team, and DC needs such a beast, but I'm not sure that would be the best thing for the character. This will be discussed...

will_in_chicago said...

Maybe J'Onn needs to be established more as a character (including a strong supporting cast) and then a team can come about more organically. I would rather have a well developed J'Onn followed by a team where he matters. Honestly, if I got the same shabby treatment that J'Onn did, I would walk. (Okay, not an option.)