Wednesday, June 15, 2011

First Thoughts on the DC Relaunch: Part Four

Okay, this is gonna be the last one of these, just because I need to back to drawing Jet-Pack Jenny

Catwoman #1 - Hey remember those Catwoman comics that were delightfully dark capturing the character's nocturnal nature and how well she blended in with the night skyline? Yeah, I hated that, too... (smell the sarcasm there?)  The solicitation looks to keep the general sense of the character, but I would expect nothing less of Judd Winick except to not go anywhere different or challenging with the character, and what I loved about the last Catwoman series, besides the Adam Hughes covers, was that the character was put into situations that challenged her and helped to evolve her character. I've not seen Judd Winick do that for any character since Kyle Rayner, and even then, the challenges were trite, and in the infamous "girlfriend in the refrigerator" scene, downright offensive. Seriously, if there's anything by Judd Winick that's genuinely good and original, please let me know, I'd love to have my opinion of him change. This series doesn't look to be it though.

Justice League Dark #1 - Shade the Changing Man, Madame Xanadu, Deadman, Zatanna and John Constantine versus the Enchantress. It's written by Peter Milligan, but what's the reason all these characters, with only one of them ever associated with the Justice League , are calling themselves the Justice League? Zatanna's iconic look is the victim of DC's "women must wear pants unless they're jailbait because pedophiles still buy comics" editorial policy? Every time Zatanna's costume has been changed in the past 20 years, it's always come back to the tuxedo and fishnets. DC keeps dragging characters like John Constantine, Swamp Thing, Shade the Changing Man, and Madame Xanadu back into the arena where they have to interact with super-heroes. It makes me think that the new corporate policy is that Mature readers titles and creator-owned titles just don't make enough money, especially when it comes to making films and merchandising.

Stormwatch#1 - This book along with Grifter #1 and Voodoo #1 have me curious as to the role of the former Wildstorm characters and the entire alternate Earth they were given just a few years ago. The solicitation for Stormwatch ties that series into events occurring in Superman #1. My instinct tells me that those events either merge the two Earths or transport a bunch of the Wildstorm characters to the DC Earth. Ultimately, do I care? No. The redsigns of Midnighter and Apollo, take their iconic nature from them, make them look like disposable new characters that will be forgotten in ten years except for footnotes on Wikipedia. Voodoo and Grifter could be good if the creative teams could have the courage to divorce them from the rest of the DC Universe long enough to stand on their own. There's the challenge these characters have always had though, is that they are constantly stuck with writers that have to remind readers that they exist in a world of super-heroes, and in doing so, lessen their importance to their own stories. With Stormwatch, its importance was that they (and their counterpart, the Authority) dealt with problems too big for anyone else to deal with. Now they exist in a world where Superman, and Justice League exist, not to mention all those Green Lanterns, including three somehow stationed on Earth.

Hawk & Dove #1 - Seriously? Does Rob Liefeld have pictures of Bob Harras in congress with farm animals? Seriously, that's the only reason I can come up with for him still getting work, despite not improving a single bit over twenty years. I think this title is the problematic one of Bob Harras taking DC in this new direction. The tastes and tones in these new solicitations is firmly rooted in the 1990s, and Harras is just coming across as one of those guys that can't get over how big comic books were back then, and think that it was because the comics were so great back then. Well, they weren't. There were good books then but most of them were crap. It's just like that now, and it has always been like that. There are creators in this relaunch that really want to make good comics, but there's some there that just don't want to lose their jobs, and some like Rob Liefeld that while they want to make good comics, just don't know how.

5 comments:

  1. Are you sure this is not a reprint of his 1988 series? For somebody who has been drawing comics for over 20 years, you would think that Liefeld would have improved at all. I mean, if one is drawing comics for a living, gesh, take a drawing class or something. Who is buying this crap?

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  2. There's something about that Hawk and Dove cover that I find extremely familiar... I feel like I've seen those exact same poses poses before, but I cannot think where I might have seen it.

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  3. The poses are very similar to his 1988 Hawk and Dove #1 but without all that messy background getting in Rob's way. The dove in the background reminds me of the firsy cover they had in Showcase (I think it was Showcase).

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