Friday, April 06, 2012

The New DCU Seven Plus Months Later

I know, I know I have cried and complained about the new DCU enough on my Monday columns, what the hell “do we” need with yet another complaining column. Well I need it as a form of cathartic writing therapy. See I have often found that when I get upset or something is bothering me writing it out helps me get over what ever it is that is bothering me and the new DCU is just killing me.

A little history, Marvel made me fall in love with comics and DC ended becoming my true love as I got older. Now I feel like I have no loves left in my life as Marvel can still be attractive after a few drinks, but I’m not getting back into bed with them. The new DCU is like I’m sleeping in the same bed with them, but there is no true feeling of love anymore. It is like the body snatchers came and took my love away.

Gwen, said reading the DCU is like one long extended Elseworlds story, with no ending in sight. I think the whole thing is a bitter pill because they dropped us into the middle of so many stories and told us that they changed some stuff but not other stuff, some history happened and some history did not, but they are not telling us what did or did not happen.

So that means I read the Flash but have no clue about Barry’s past, how he started out and what is currently going on in his life. At least Barry has a personal life. The last issue we got Captain Cold who has been fighting Flash for a long time and now he has new powers. Cold’s sister is in a hospital bed and dying because the electricity was knocked out, ostensibly due to the Flash. So I see Lisa Snart and think Golden Glider, but I have no clue if that is true or false. I see Captain Cold and I think of Flash’s entire Rogues Gallery, except I have no idea of the members of that group. I see Barry run into Iris West and think love interest and Wally’s Aunt, who was from the future (don’t ask) but none of that is true either or is it. That whole guessing game mentality is repeated over and over and over now in the DCU.

Let’s move onto Superman, At this point we have the regular origin, but have no clue what his relationships are with people, why he has convoluted armor that he wears and whether or not he has any sort of Rogues gallery. I don’t even have a handle on Clark Kent, who barely has a life in the first six issues of the talky Superman comic. Superman was always the costume and Clark was the real persona for years, now I have no clue. I have no idea what is what and who is who and worse I don’t care about them. Lois is not interested in Superman apparently and Clark is interested in Lois, but Lois is only friends with Clark. What does it matter, as we never get a private life for Clark anymore anyway.

The biggest disappointment is Batman and his crew. This is not the Nightwing character that took over for Batman, this is not the Barbara Gordon that I knew, Tim Drake is hardly mentioned and Damian is still pretty true but has regressed against how he had moved forward with Dick. The bat books were fixed when they did not need to be fixed. DC also made them all younger but is trying to cram all their history into the characters. Again, we don’t know what we thing we know.  It is that game of I got you with DC in every single book. They play with what we used to know and then tweak it and we are suppose to think “Wow that is neat”. And I’m thinking what a lazy ass way to write a book. At least Scott Snyder is plowing ahead and the Court of Owls looks pretty cool.

The familiar is not familiar. Marvel launched the Ultimate Universe but started at the beginning. Bendis happily updated all the Spider-Man stuff for a younger version and made a ten year living copying other people’s stories. At least it was a “new” version of the character and now it is a new guy altogether. The regular Spider-Man did the sell his soul to the devil and it destroyed the underpinnings of the character for me. So there are ways to redo stuff and ways to redo stuff. New DCU is a swinging strike.

I get that we are just suppose to want good stories, but for me good stories build on what has gone before, but we no longer know what has gone before and we are always lead to believe it could be what we think, but then again maybe it isn’t.

I’m feeling my love of the DCU slipping away and it is becoming easier to let go. I have plenty of independent books to get and can still have fun reading some of the DC stuff and Marvel, just no real love for the material anymore. It is like a marriage that has evaporated. All the time and effort that you invested in your relationship was ultimately for naught because of the end of the day you both moved on.

Yes, I being overly dramatic, but for a rant I’m allowed hyperbole. The net of it is the new DCU has not captivated me and made me feel young again; it has made me feel like what I know I don’t know and caused me to doubt my affection for the books. DC and Marvel are now the same to me; I will look to them for some good amusement and light entertainment but expect nothing else anymore. I still want to see growth and real change, but have to finally admit, it is never going to happen.

So while I will still read the new capes stuff, the thrill is gone, the foundation has evaporated, and I have pulled the curtain back and seeing Dan Didio as the Wizard of Oz has destroyed the magic.

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