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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

An Open Letter to DC Comics

To Whom It May Concern;

I have been a comic book reader for a very good portion of my 35 years and, since some bad editorial decisions at your Marvelous Competition, I have purchased DC comics nearly exclusively.  Now, however, I am finding myself in much the same position regarding your company's products.  I stopped reading my favorite character's books (Superman) when you decided that the Krypton of John Byrne wasn't really the Krypton of the comics.  I have since learned that Lex Luthor grew up in Smalleville, changing the continuity to match the TV Show (which I have nicknamed "Justice League Babies" due to the propensity of heroes that Superman inspired showing up before he did).  Now you have brought back Barry Allen from the dead, which does make some sense given the Blackest Night storyline, which basically said that "the nature of death is back to normal, no more coming back from the dead."

Of course, that was before you decided that Bruce Wayne had to come back from the dead.  You know, one of my favorite things to tell people about why I read DC Comics was that you weren't shy about taking your universe and doing a complete reboot when the whole things didn't work.  (That would be Crisis on Infinite Earths for the uninitiated.)  Now, we we had the bold step of the second side kick taking over for the dead hero, with Dick Grayson becoming Batman, you chose to bring back Bruce Wayne and pull a Tony Stark.
 
I do appreciate the fact that you will be dropping pricing of your books by 25%, as it will help the struggling comic reader in these economic times, but you have to be willing to maintain some kind of story integrity.  Now I'm willing to overlook some things, but I do have some things that I think you should adopt to help you with readers such as myself.

1. Death is Death.  No coming back from the great beyond, no dreamed it happened, no cop-outs.  If you're going to kill a character, make it so that those around them have to deal with it in a realistic way.  This means filling the hero's role, grieving over their death and <gasp> moving on.  While we're on the subject, the same goes for maiming.  One of the greatest characters you have, Oracle, came about because Batgirl was paralyzed and overcame that.  Hel, she was recently voted the 2010 Most Kick Ass DC Woman.  Let's not be too hasty in giving characters a miraculous recovery, OK?

2. History should be adhered to.  The above mentioned Man Of Steel miniseries comes to mind.  There are some of us that can remember these stories, you know.

3. Character should age, especially to the point where they have to retire.  Obviously, this isn't going to keep up with the real world, but one year every three would work out.  That means 10 years every 30, so Dick Grayson would be in his 50's around 2070.  Still plenty of time to get some adventures in.

4. Children of Heroes.  Along with number 3 above, the heroes should get married, have children, pass the torch, etc.  This has been started, with Damien Wayne, but these kids need to grow up.  Dick Grayson (yes, I'm using him as an example a lot) was allowed to grow up, become Nightwing and then take over as Batman.  The. Friggin'. Batman.  Now, would that be possible if he was never allowed to grow up and Bruce Wayne were not allowed to die?

5. Let's treat the women a bit better.  Don't get me wrong, I love me some superheronies in skimpy outfits, but come on.  The new costume for Star Sapphire?  Seriously? When's the last time you put a male hero in something even remotely like this?

Now, obviously I'm writing on a blog with 6 followers, but I'd still love to see even one of these ideas taken into consideration.  Thank you for your time.

3 comments:

  1. So they still make comic books?

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  2. Actually, Lex Luthor did grow up in Smallville, and his hatred for Superman started when Superboy caused him to go bald. The Silver Age... you gotta love it!

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  3. Lack of (true) continuity is what keeps me away from comics in general. When I do it's stuff like Mouse Guard, or the collected graphic novel of a dead series. I prefer a complete though to watching someone second-guess themselves.

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