You may have read Erika’s review of Batman Incorporated #2, which is a stellar issue. Everything she said about it is true. Talia most certainly is a great character and Grant Morrison writes her well. But the issue stood out for me because it is full of DC continuity past. Somehow (we all know how), the rules of the relaunch don’t apply to Morrison.
And you know what?
Thank goodness for that.
While the relaunch boosted sales in the short term, and perhaps set up for DC’s attempt at a decent film franchise … almost one year later, I am not impressed with the DCnU. In fact, I am so not impressed that I am on the verge of barely having any DC books left on my pull list. Before, they made up the bulk of it.
Looking back, I was optimistic for B-list characters to get some love – Mr. Terrific, Voodoo, and Justice League Dark. All of which fell from my pull list within a few issues. I liked Blackhawks, but that got canned. I had slobbered all over every solicit for Batwoman, and was ecstatic that Wonder Woman would be drawn by Cliff Chiang. Now, both of those books, while beautiful and featuring characters I adore, are on the verge of being dropped.
Sure, there are some good books, some great books, even. I love Birds of Prey, and I am infinitely grateful to Duane and Jesus for Starling. Lemire’s Frankenstein was a fun ride, and apparently he has breathed new life in to Justice League Dark. Animal Man, Batman & Robin, The Flash and Snyder’s Bat are all a testament to the talent on those books. But the majority of the superhero books just aren’t packing much of a punch. I feel like something is missing, something like 75 years of history.
It was a universe where The Question and Lady Shiva pause to fight during a zombie apocalypse. The Teen Titans book had hit its stride again after a long decline. Zee missed her dad and Green Arrow was a douche. Big Barda made her way back from the dead, a Banshee and a homicidal sharpshooter could fall in love, and Red Robin had come into his own. Batman was just as psychotic as the Joker. Continuity in the DC Universe was a mess. A beautiful mess that rewarded you when you remembered the panel that was a reference of a reference, and you knew which issue the original reference was from!
I don’t care that it was insular. Getting to know the characters and their history was the fun part. Now, there is no history.
This is not my campaign against the relaunch. What is done is done. The wheels will most definitely keep turning on that machine, but I miss sitting in the Mobius chair. I miss Ragdoll’s bizarre one-liners. I miss Canary’s fishnets. I miss getting pissed off about one, little retcon. I miss reading old trades that lead up to a current book. Damn it. I miss Oracle.
I miss the quixotic, convoluted vastness that was the DC Universe.
I guess I’ll check back in 20 years.