A DCnU view – Deciphering DC

16 Jul

by Aalok Joshi

Hey, Welcome back to another edition of deciphering DC. Today, I try to make sense of the reboot and actually tell you why the DC reboot is good for you. Yes, you heard that right. And I also stress on the parts that might go awry, or just be bad.

The Why:
Sure I understand, that the DC Universe needs to keep on rebuilding themselves, but let’s be honest, that’s not enough. No. The top writers went to the other stable down the road (Greg Rucka, Mark Waid, Ed Brubaker), the top titles are being cancelled. At this juncture, DC needs a miracle to regain their earlier status. Superman has gone straight downhill after the iconic Johns/Frank run. Batman is floundering only because Morrison keeps it exciting. The JSA is cancelled.
Voila! Enter DCnU! A daring new experiment!
C’mon who are we kidding? They’ve done reboots before, so has Marvel, even though they stress the ‘One Universe’ thing. Remember ‘Heroes Reborn’? The entire ‘Ultimate’ line? Now they’re rebooting a reboot.
So what’s the corner stone of this reboot?
Superman! With the rights that may be going away shortly (It’s complicated. The Siegels may gain rights to the things featured in Action Comics 1, but not the rest. For example, Siegel may get to keep ‘Clark Kent’ & ‘Superman’ but not ‘Kal-El’ as it never appeared in 1. They can keep ‘The Daily Star’ but not ‘The Daily Planet’) they need to reinvent Superman the best they can. And what better way to start than Action Comics 1?

My Top 5 picks: (For Pics refer here)

Grant Morrison & Rags Morales! ‘Nuff Said!
Well, no actually. I have heard concerns about what’s happening to Supes’ married life, what’s happening to his costume…..and I believe it’s going to be a temporary change, just like it was for all the Marvel titles – just as in HEROES REBORN, or in the v2 when they changed the numbering as they hit 500. If it works, it’s going to be kept, if it doesn’t it will go. Personally, I feel that Spider-Man has been better for the change.

JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK – by Peter Milligan & Mikel Janin
RED LANTERNS – by Peter Milligan & Ed Benes
Do you know of Peter Milligan?

Chances are you don’t. This guy came to DC at the end of the so called ‘Brit Invasion’ (Alan Moore, Jamie Delano, Grant Morrison were earlier) and changed the way the company looked at titles for mature readers. First, he took on Batman & Detective Comics for a run of stellar tales, famous of which were Identity Crisis (adapted to Batman: The Animated Series as Perchance to Dream), Dark Knight Dark City for introducing the demon Barbathos, and The Idiot Root for a decidedly quirky take on the meaning of madness.
Speaking of madness, Milligan, with co creator Chris Bachalo created Shade The Changing Man, which was critically acclaimed, applauded and lauded for it’s unconventional storylines. In stark contrast to Ditko’s original Shade (not to be confused with the Starman character, also receiving his limited series soon by James Robinson) Milligan’s Shade features Rac Shade, an alien from the Planet Meta who is working to combat the growing Zone of Madness perpetuated by an entity called the American Scream. But Shade materializes in the body of a serial killer, Troy Grenzer just as he is electrocuted on the chair, and escapes with a girl called Kathy, whose parents were killed by Troy and they embark on a road trip across America, trying to combat the American Scream. Whew! Weird doesn’t begin to describe the series, and this was just the first issue

Milligan then went on to write a few limited series for Vertigo like Enigma (IMHO his best work ever), Girl, The Extremist, Minx, Egypt, Human Target & the one shots Face & The Eaters. For Marvel, he worked on a lengthy run on X-Men and then took over X-Force by killing the whole team, and creating a new one called X-Statix, featuring a team of celebrity superheroes, more concerned with appearing on the news than saving the world.

Recently, Peter Milligan has started a run on Hellblazer, which is currently blasting new territory, for which he has brought back Shade. Currently, he is writing a Flashpoint tie in called Secret Seven, with George Perez. Anything that brings back Milligan on more titles gets my vote.

JUSTICE LEAGUE INTERNATIONAL – by Dan Jurgens & Aaron Lopresti
Dan did a stellar run on Superman, followed by Justice League, Thor & Booster Gold. I’m eagerly anticipating any further work.

BATGIRL – by Gail Simone & Ardian Syaf
This is what many fans are against – bringing back Barbara Gordon as Batgirl. People were in protest of The Killing Joke long ago, but that changed when John Ostrander actually made Oracle more interesting than Batgirl had ever been. I’m all for giving Simone a chance – she loves the character, and has been top notch so far on Birds of Prey, Secret Six & Villains United.

The Watching & waiting part:

With these titles, DC is currently treading new ground, with all different genres, with decent writers (Justin Gray, Jimmy Palmiotti, Ivan Brandon)

The ‘Reboot? Really?’ part:

The creative teams are the same, except that Scott Snyder is taking on Batman in another title. I was reading them before, I’ll read them now.

The ‘Nooooo! Not them!’ part:
Anything by Rob Liefeld
Anything by Tonay Daniel
Anything from Wildstorm (seriously, why can’t they make older material available? I see a reference & scratch my head….huh?)


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