Musings (and Ramblings) from a Comic Book Fan

The dust has settled on Batman vs Superman.

I am not here to say how bad or good the movie was. The general public has already spoken and the movie was not liked.

I want to talk a moment about the DC comic company on the whole.

There was a time when New Teen Titans and Legion of Superheroes was on par with X-Men. Green Lantern had some of the most memorable stories I have ever read.Justice League was pretty good back then too.

I have been a comic book fan/collector since the late 70s and I am convinced DC is  going to remain subpar unless they do a self inventory and go back to what made them good in the first place.

They have been second best to Marvel and to me they always will be. And if they are not careful, Valiant could push them for the number two spot.

Now it sounds like I am being hard on a multi-million dollar company but let’s take a moment and look at their spotty track record with a few quick points.

  1. DC cannot decide on the direction of their comics.  After Crisis on Infinite Earths, DC editors told the readers that everything they read prior to 1986 did not happen.  Characters like the Multiverse, Krypto,Superboy and Supergirl never existed and there was only one Earth. Huh? We were told this change was necessary because the stories were too confusing to readers. Uhh ok.  DC decided to bring everything back slowly over the years, invalidating what they had done before and erasing what Crisis was supposed to fix.
  2. DC has a continuity problem. How many times has DC hit the reset button since 1986? 4 times I believe. The origins of Hawkman are a jumbled mess Which version of Superman should I embrace? How about Flash or Green Lantern. Oh, and they are doing it again this May. Their whole line of books will be starting over from number 1 yet again.
  3. DC has iconic characters and fails to portray them properly. People fall over themselves over Frank Miller’s Dark Knight Returns series. I argue that story stripped what made Batman great and turned him into this evil, unfeeling Machiavellian genius. He has yet to be freed from that label.  You want great Batman? Check out Marshall Rogers or Neal Adams Batman from 70s and get back to me. Good (Wally West) Flash stories can be found by Mark Waid in the late 80s. Ron Marz knew what he was doing on Green Lantern in the 90s. Superman? John Byrne went out of his way to show weak Superman was and writers since then have been reluctant to make him all powerful and the inspiration to all other heroes like before. And can we stop this whole Batman beating him up thing? Every writer wants to do a Miller replay. I don’t get the Superman hate. Alex Ross or Alan Moore please take over!
  4. DC is not good at making films compared to Marvel. Explain to me how unknowns like Antman and Guardians of the Galaxy can be well received and DC cannot get Green Lantern right? Outside of hardcore comic fans, I doubt many people knew about Iron Man before 2008. I suspect the directors of DC movies are not true fans of the characters and that could be why they miss what makes them great. It is the only thing I can think of with after Batman vs Superman was such a swing and miss.

There is hope.

  1. The Flash tv show is a fun romp. Arrow is everything Batman should and could be. Legends of Tomorrow has promise. Supergirl…….well, never mind.
  2. The Suicide Squad movie could change the whole movie narrative. The execs are supposedly doing reshoots after the reviews from B v S. The trailers look good too. Maybe the negative press spur the DC execs the listen to the public and make the movies fun.
  3. Marvel is not perfect. Daredevil was forgettable. Spiderman 3 was a mess. The Amazing Spiderman 1 & 2 missed the mark completely. The Fantastic Four was horrific. The Marvel line of comics have gotten stale with the saturation of Avengers and X-Men books. And there was/is too much Wolverine.

The bottom line is I enjoy both companies and have no skin in the game as to who I want to be better. If both put out good products than it is a win for us all.

Ok, rant over. Thanks for listening.

Until next time.