Now, I’m a fan of comics. Big time. I’ve enjoyed the classics. Big X-man fan. Love Batman. I enjoy most of the characters in the pages that have endored for the last 30 years. But some of them, I just cannot stomach to pick up an issue. And, usually, for one reason:
If there’s an alien in a DC Comic, I will generally hate it.
The only comic I’ve been able to consistantly get into was Batman. I followed Detective Comics, and branched to other related titles, from right after Bane broke the Bat all the way up until an earthquake and plague ravaged Gotham. Even X-Men was loosing me at this point due to some rough writing. (Maggot? Really?). Sometime around here, I was reading “The Death of Clark Kent”. It sounded intriguing, and I enjoyed it to a point. So I was on board with Superman again….until Supes went on trial. By aliens.
The worse offenders are when we have larger, DC universe-spanning series. Final Crisis just seemed bloated and hard to follow (at least without any backstory). Batman’s true death ended up being about a panel and a half, and not the true event that it should have originally been with Batman R.I.P.
But before this, there was JLA: Rock of Ages. This was a trade that I had been loaned from a good friend. I was happy with the accompanying Tower of Babel and Red Son trades he’d passed me, so I was looking forward to some badass Darkseid action. What I was greeted with was a clusterfuck of epic proportions. We jumped back and forth along time, out to the nether reaches of space and supposed gods. To some other time somewhere for some rock where we just make something not really sort of happen and everything’s ok. At least, I think that’s what happened.
It’s like DC can only operate in small bites. The animated series have been fantastic (Batman, Superman, Justice League, and even Batman Beyond, espectially for their continuity of voices and history). The recent line of DC Universe animated DVDs have kicked Marvel’s initial efforts out of the running for a short time.
But even the continuity fails in the DC Universe. While Marvel has long maintained it’s sliding timeline, and something I read from 1975 still at least “happened” to the Spider-Man in 2009. Jean Grey was still the Pheonix and died about 30 years ago. You can even step aside and accept the “Ultimate” universe for something fresher if you don’t want to be a scholar of X-Men history. But DC is the victim of it’s own legacy, as we have Superman going back over 70 years, and timeline resets, resurrections, and poorly managed “alternative universes” to keep things fresh. Characters have survived to many eras and incarnations. Do you even know how many Flash’s there have been?
Why did this come up? Well, I’ve written this while watching the Green Lantern: First Flight movie. While I like this take on GL, I couldn’t help to be lost on the poor man’s Mos Eisle scene near the beginning. It just resurfaced all of these worse experiences. Otherwise, while not as awesome as the other movies, still worth it.
You could say that’s why I only dabble in DC. I hit the Kingdom Comes and Superman/Batmans of the lineup. Otherwise, I’ll stick the the usually more intellegent, and more down to earth.
What do you think? Are you an all out DC fan boy? Are you an alien lover? Someone want to defend either?