Sage's Stray Thoughts 11: The New Superhero
This article probably isn't about what you think it is, but you should click on it and read about it anyway.
To get the obvious out the way, I think it's great that DC and Marvel both are making an effort to make more comics with female creators and with female leads. It's been a long time coming and I sincerely hope they keep heading in that direction, even if I don't always enjoy what the end product is. As I said though, this Stray Thoughts isn't really about that.
Lately, I've been hoping that DC has (or will) pick up on the new way of doing superhero comics that Marvel's slowly adopted. The first time I recall reading something about this was nearly a decade ago, in a CBR column that may (or may not) still exist. Essentially: You have a certain set of superhero comics that, either because of sales or tradition, will always be published: the Avengers, the Justice League, the X-Men, Spider-Man, DC's Trinity and (maybe) Marvel's Big Three. Outside of those, every other title is on a cancellation clock from the moment they launch.
Knowing that, the best way to approach each character is to allow creators who have a specific direction they want to take the character in. It's not Iron Man, it's Matt Fraction and Salvador Larocca's Iron Man. It's not Young Avengers, it's Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie's Young Avengers. It drops the "house style" and stops forcing writers to continue the left over plot threads of the last guy who wrote the title, allowing new creators to do their own thing, making the characters as much their own as they can. Then, when they're done, the book is "canceled" until the editors have someone with another vision on the same level as the last creator's. Kind of like how Iron Fist vanished until Kaare Andrews started work on Iron Fist: The Living Weapon.
It's a policy that Marvel's been (intentionally or not) slowly adopting and making more prevalent over the past decade, as the benefits are two fold. First, it allows aging superhero icons to keep up with the increasing popularity of independent comics. Second, it throws away the stupidly high numbers that intimidate new fans. If I'm an LCS owner and someone's reading new comics, I can point them to a specific run rather than just picking out some random, unconnected mini-series or graphic novel. No one notices volume numbers anyway, so what's the difference if you're on volume 4 or 40?
I can't help hoping this happens because as Convergence draws near, I find myself growing really tired of the "New 52". I realize now that the reboot took more than it gave. The continuity isn't streamlined, it's just muddled--a nebulous five year history that not even the creators can explain. The missing depth in the characters that comes from them having known one another for years. The destroyed generational aspect that set DC apart from Marvel.
That, and the books aren't even that good. Most are either average or worse, but if I'm being completely honest? It's gotten to the point that even decent titles like Jeff Parker's Aquaman and Greg Pak's Action Comics don't appeal to me because they're so simplified--not in continuity, but in terms of the relationships between characters.
A complete reboot isn't happening, and everyone accept that now. It's way too soon, for one. But more importantly, Geoff Johns' Darkseid War looms on the horizon in Justice League. It could be done with a reset, but it seems unlikely. But with a ton of ongoings coming to an end, I'm hoping whatever "mini-reboot" emerges from Convergence is properly inspired, otherwise I'll probably give up DC outside of whatever Geoff Johns is writing, and Batgirl. And as a DC fanboy since pre-school, that's going to be a sad day.
I ruined my last late morning of the semester by getting up at 8:00AM to watch Nintendo's January Direct. A lot of news surfaced, not the least of which is the "new" 3DS, which is both lazy and needlessly fanbase-splitting, but Nintendo's got goodwill on a level above everyone else. There are more people mad that the new model only comes as an XL than that for the forseeable future there could be any number of titles that will force you to buy a new portable console altogether. Gamers are a strange breed. Other things worth note:
- With the announcement of yet another Fire Emblem title for the 3DS, I suppose I'm compelled to buy one now. But what's most curious here is that as far as I know, there's still no sign of Shin Megami Tensei x Fire Emblem. At this rate I have a vague suspicion that there'll be a stealth announcement and a release near the end of the year out of nowhere.
- Xenoblade Chronicles X has a new trailer (as you can see), and it looks fantastic. I'm slowly accepting that, even though I've enjoyed other titles, this is really the only reason I bought a Wii U. It's also got a (Japanese) release date of April 29th, so I'm predicting a mid-summer English version. I've got a feeling localization efforts have already begun, and they're going to need a major release this summer. Unless they pull a massive swerve and go with the still unseen Star Fox, bet on this.
Random Sidenote: It was extremely ballsy of Netherealms to release a new trailer of Mortal Kombat X at the same time as the Nintendo Direct. I confess I have no idea what they were going for there, as I'm pretty sure the overlap between the two fanbases are extremely tiny, but at least it spiced up January, the deadest of all months for video game releases and announcements.
Aaand, that's close enough to 1000. See you guys next time.