So last week, I spoke at length about how to solve the continuity issue with DC Comics. Now to be fair, none of the suggestions I’ve made need to be followed to fix DC. DC could fix themselves just by hiring more women, people of color, LGBT, and or any number of alternative voices to add to their roster of writers, artists, and editors. And don’t give me any b.s. about how there are no women, people of color, or LGBT people working in comics. The internet makes you a liar, my friend. Speaking of the internet, DC could expand into webcomics if they wanted to, or experiment with super market magazines similar to the fanzines produced for pre-teen girls. The point is, there are lots of ways to fix DC.
The thing that I like about my solution is that it treats every story written by DC as a valid and real story that “really happened.” Of course, some of those stories should really have never happened (I’m looking at you, Knightfall!), but for good or for ill, none of them are invalidated by editorial fiat. It also enables writers to tell the kinds of stories they want to tell, if you care about happy writers. It also gives the editorial staff the ability to track what sells the best and to focus on those books. Most importantly, it opens up a space to innovate. To start clean and take a character in a new direction, with new ideas, and energy, while still allowing DC to have their fall back money makers. It creates a safe space to build something new. And if the stories suck, end the new books and just keep cranking out the money makers. But if they don’t suck, you’ve just created a brand new mythos to excite and entice new readers to your library of titles.
And that’s really what should be happening with any relaunch of a title or “re-imagining” of a character. So much of the New 52 has been rehashes of tired old cliches, told slightly differently to try and spice things up. The results have been disappointing (populist Superman, which lasted for 5 minutes), controversial (Wonder Woman’s amazons all being slavers and rapists), or a rehash of the same old thing (Batman getting ANOTHER origin story). The New 52 wastes so much potential that it’s nearly painful to watch, and everyone just keeps counting down the minutes until DC pulls the plug on the whole thing. Which they may never do. They’re certainly far enough along at this point that resetting the whole thing, yet again, is only going to make the fans who are just now getting used to the New 52 mad as the old fans were when they first announced it.
Final thoughts on this subject. When there is a website devoted to how many days it’s been since you’ve done something stupid, you need a major course correction. Never mind the dozens of writers and artists out there who would love a crack at your premiere characters. Never mind the possibilities for story-telling wasted to go after the quick and easy buck. And never mind the tone deafness and bad behavior they exhibit every time they do something wrong. The quickest, easiest way to fix DC is to simply stop buying their books. Wait for them to catch back up to the rest of modern society and start producing stories about super heroes that are actually fun to read again. Until then, we’ve at least got Bruce Timm’s work to tide us over. Yes, I know. That’s not in comic form either. It’s very sad when your best work with your characters in the past 20 years was done outside of the medium they originated in.