Every time I see trailers for the next batch of movies arriving in theaters, I inevitably find myself thinking, "Does anyone want to put out an originEvery time I see trailers for the next batch of movies arriving in theaters, I inevitably find myself thinking, "Does anyone want to put out an original idea anymore? Are we really so desperate to earn an easy buck that we can't try something new?" I say this fully realizing that I love stories that make use of old and existing characters in new ways. I just get so tired of hearing the same story told by another storyteller. It gets boring.
When it comes to comics, there seems to be a desire to retell the origins of characters before getting into the plot--even with characters where we have seen the origins told countless times... especially with those characters.
So, when it comes to Batman: Earth One, I'm a bit torn. It isn't new ground. It's the most worn path in most of comics (maybe second to Superman or Spider-Man's origin stories). I'm tired of it. I know where it's going, how it's going to end, and what the costume is going to look like. I know the characters. I'm not surprised by how they act or react, because their future has already been foretold.
Yet, Johns has created a significantly more interesting Alfred--one hardened by war and stronger in many ways than Bruce Wayne. He's introduced a jaded Gordon that seems more believable than ever before. And he's made a Batman that's more man and less superhero. The characters are more interesting than the original ingredients (whether it's because they are more complex, or because I've lost my taste for the tired old recipe, I don't know). Overall, however, it's just a bit more spice to something I'm a little sick of eating.
If these stories continue, they could provide a more mature storyline for those disappointed by the sadly immature "New 52". If this is the birthing pain of something great, that's fantastic. Otherwise, it seems like a bit of a waste....more
The New 52 has been really hit or miss from my perspective. Mostly, they've been a miss from my perspective. For that reason, it was possibly a mistakThe New 52 has been really hit or miss from my perspective. Mostly, they've been a miss from my perspective. For that reason, it was possibly a mistake for me to go into Justice League Dark with a hopeful attitude. But, the story gathered some of my favorite magic users from the regular DCU (Zatanna, Enchantress) and dragged in a few faves from the Vertigo line (Constantine, Madame Xanadu, and Shade).
Here's the thing. I was concerned to hear the DC owned titles were coming into the main DCU. They weren't great fits as DCU characters, just prior to the Adults line shifting into the Vertigo line. That being said, the first collection of Animal Man was quite good, so... Okay, no more excuses. I made a terrible mistake. I shouldn't have read it. It's just making me sick to see interesting and unique characters I love made into terrible two dimensional "magic" superheroes.
Ultimately, I think Flashpoint was harmful to each of the characters that are in this comic (except, perhaps, Mindwarp, who wouldn't exist without it). Bringing the Vertigo line back into DCU proper, and cancelling Hellblazer in favor for a younger, hipper Constantine, are mistakes. Further, the way each character was changed for the New 52 was also a mistake:
Zatanna once had some of the strongest magical abilities in the DCU, but here Constantine seems more powerful than her. Further, like most of the New 52 women, she's been placed in an outfit that sexualizes her unnecessarily (as if her original costume didn't do that enough).
Constantine has become what I can only explain as the Keanu Reeves version--young and more of a magic user than the Vertigo Hellblazer ever was. His character doesn't play well with others, but Books of Magic and Trenchcoat Brigade demonstrated it could be done. Of course, I like the bitter 60-something with a painful childhood and tortured adulthood. This 20-something vague-magic user is just a jerk.
Xanadu has gone from the interesting horror comic host, well expanded and developed into a centuries-old Arthurian sorceress (in her Eisner Award winning Vertigo series), into I don't know what. An intoxicated fortune teller without the ability to pick convince anyone to join a "team" with pretty flimsy reasoning for drawing them together.
Deadman. Oh, Deadman. I've seen Boston Brand done well, and used in such a way that his abilities and presentation are both interesting and able to carry a story on their own. I've seen others that present him as a superhero with the ability to jump in bodies, while forgetting the fact that dude's dead. Guess where this story landed.
Shade. Here's where I was most surprised. I anticipated being upset by the representation of Constantine, but Shade... I was emotionally effected by how poorly this character was portrayed. Maybe this is what Shade was like pre-Milligan, but I truly miss the Changing Man that once was.
Honestly, I miss the Vertigo that once was....more