Saturday, September 3, 2011

2011 Lumberjack Films "The DC Relaunch" Video

I find this video quite amusing, but one line gives me pause. "Martian Manhunter is a member of Stormwatch!" Not "Martian Manhunter no longer co-founded the Justice League" or "Cyborg has replaced Martian Manhunter." I like that, and not just because it isn't as unwieldy as my suggestions. It says that Martian Manhunter is now a Wildstorm character, or rather, he is the solitary and sturdiest bridge between the DC nÜniverse and its WS stepchildren. Grifter isn't on the Outsiders, Voodoo isn't a Bird of Prey, and Mister Majestik isn't a Leaguer. There are no WildC.A.T.s or Authority. There are only three WS-related books and one of their teams among the New 52.

Amidst this segregation, the one character to extend the hand of integration is J'Onn J'Onzz... Former leader of the multiracial Detroit-based "New Justice League of America." Former leader of the International Justice League, which included members of numerous cultures and one of confirmed homosexuality. Former leader of the Justice League Task Force, which included one reformed archenemy and one unconfirmed (in text) homosexual. Excepting the Task Force, all of these teams had a solid gender balance and tolerance of vast differences.

As much as I loved J'Onn J'Onzz as "the heart and soul of the Justice League," a return to the "Magnificent Seven" is regressive. Three heavily marketed white men form the nucleus of the revised Justice League, whose greatest innovation so far appears to be treating super-heroes like Marvel's mutant teams, from which the artist was spawned. Batman gets to meet Superman for the first time, again. The League gets to form with almost all of the same members again. As with Legends, the genesis of the team is Darkseid, again.

"Martian Manhunter is a member of Stormwatch!" Good. I've never read such a thing. Who will he be helping the team fight? An original villain? I hope it'll be a good one, but I don't know, because I can't connect the dots six months in advance like I can with a Darkseid story. How about the Wildstorm characters? I know Apollo, Midnighter, and the Engineer, but I never became all that well acquainted with growing young Jenny Quantum, and there are entirely new members besides. I look forward to finding out how they turn out. I can't see boring Cyborg surprising me after nearly thirty years of exposure, and it would likely be out of character if he did, but I don't know anything about these new guys.

"Martian Manhunter is a member of Stormwatch!" Let that be a battle cry. One familiar friend reacquainting me with some folks who interested me in passing, and their completely unfamiliar associates. I don't see a New 52 amongst the worn out old premises and tired hacks past their prime. What I do see is a new Stormwatch #1, with promising creators that I have not had the pleasure of reading much from to date. This looks like at least one new thing to me, and more importantly has the potential to be a good thing amidst a lot of tripe. Sign me up.

"Please please please, no more melodies
They lack impact, they're petty
They've been made up already
Please please please, no more maladies
I'm so tired of crying
You'd think I was a siren
But me and everybody's on the sad same team and
You can hear our sad brain screaming

Give us something familiar
Something similar
To what we know already
That will keep us steady
Steady, steady, steady, steady
Steady going nowhere"
-Fiona Apple, "Please Please Please"

P.S. "Martian Manhunter is a member of Stormwatch!" is the penultimate bullet point, followed by "...And Superman has kneepads!" Write your own joke there...


mathematicscore said...

Fiona Apple reference: I knew there was a reason we got a long so well. :)

I am getting rather excited for Stormwatch. I really enjoyed the Authority at their best, and it looks like this is going to be the epic scale threat that these sorts of teams to best with.

Along with Action and maybe Batman and Robin, Stormwatch is one of my few "sure bets" in the new 52.

aota said...

I think I'll grab a few extra issues of Stormwatch just in case it takes off big time.

Anj said...

Waiting for the thumbs up from this blog before trying Stormwatch.

Hoping it is good!

LissBirds said...

I'm just happy that "Martian Manhunter" even got mentioned in a flim like this.

Low expectations and all that.