I’m not including certain things that could admittedly be corrected simply by adding the characters back in, like the fact that Stephanie Brown and Wally West are missing, among others.
Sure there are some very good books published by DC right now, but those are good thanks to the writers they put on them!
I’d like to say it wasn’t worth it, but in reality, they are selling a lot more since they did it. But here’s what bothers me.The sales are a result of two factors.
The first factor, and the biggest, is the hype of the reboot itself. No matter how they had handled it, those sales were guaranteed already.
The second? DC doesn’t seem to realize that their strong sales are not thanks to some stupid decisions but rather despite them. The new DCU is selling well because of its hype and thanks to some titles where they put the right writers and artists to do the job, like Batman, Animal Man, Aquaman and a few others. Those factors are what make fans put up with titles where they did the opposite (Liefeld & Lobdell come to mind) and stupid editorial decisions.
The part of sales that aren’t hype are those that come from good storytelling or fans sticking to a character they love no matter what. Every time DC does things like denying Stephanie Brown to fans, telling us Tim Drake was never Robin, telling us all the awesome Teen Titans stories from the past never happened… Every time, they make the real fans of the DCU disgusted and tired of that crap. Honestly, I think the best aspects of the previous DCU were built from changes and character development. Wally West replacing Barry Allen worked and didn’t need to be changed. Barbara Gordon will forever be a lot more interesting a character as Oracle than as Batgirl. And so on. For all of its claims to being the ‘new’ DCU, it sure feels like the DCU of the 70’s!
Once the hype has died down, only the real fans of the DCU that care about it will remain. Except they are pushing those fans away. The ones that are aboard DC for its current hype are easily swayed. Marvel NOW is coming and many will go to the next new shiny thing.
I myself have decided not to buy issues #0 of ‘Batgirl’, ‘Teen Titans’ and ‘Red Hood & the Outlaws’. (Let me elaborate on why those are particularly relevant to me and this article) They’re all series I gave a chance to when they first started and then dropped, but I was initially going to get issues #0 of them anyway. Because I’m a Batman fan. Because no matter what, I wanted to know the characters’ ‘new’ origins. But you know what? I’ve decided to stop doing that. It’s that kind of fan behavior that makes companies treat their fans the way they do. Do I approve of Barbara Gordon never having been Oracle? No. DC, I won’t give you money to tell me she never was Oracle. Do I like what Lobdell is doing with past Robins Tim and Jason, or how he changes the Batman continuity needlessly in the worst way possible? No. DC, I won’t give you my money for Scott Lobdell stories.
I no longer care if it’s a story that completely changes the status quo or whatever. I will skip issues of a cross-over if they have to go into titles that insult me as a fan. I will boycott stuff I don’t like even if it means no longer being the Batman connaisseur I have always been up until this point. “No, I’ve never read Lobdell’s story of how Tim Drake became Red Robin in the new DCU. Yeah, I guess I’m not a real Batman fan now since I don’t know all the details!”
This basically means that DC is behaving in such a way that I’m becoming less of a fan in certain ways, despite that I’ve been following Batman comics since I was 8 years old! And I was the guy who took pride in knowing the most useless details of Batman’s history! “Batman’s utility belt had capsules and not pouches during the oval emblem/blue-and-gray outfit era!”
I’m not naive, of course the New 52 was good for DC as a business up until now. But, despite the incredible sales… I seriously think that if they continue to do things like that to us, in the long-term they are causing more harm than good for their characters. In the long-term, which is what really matters, they might lose more people than they gained.
Or maybe I’m being petty about the loss of a fictional universe I loved so much and I’m just convincing myself that DC will be punished for their lack of respect towards their own fans and characters. I can’t really tell anymore. I just know I wish the reboot had never happened. I hate it. I hate that Batman, who at first seemed mostly unaffected by the reboot, is now having his history mauled by poor writers and stupid editorial decisions.
What to say of Scott Lobdell on Bat-Family titles? First, he messed up big time with Jason Todd’s characterization. Judd Winnick had established the interesting notion that Jason didn’t blame Bruce for his death, he only blamed him of not having cared enough to kill the Joker afterwards. That made a lot of sense and did not make Jason come across as petty, if written well. After all, how could he blame Bruce if Jason himself was the one who had run off on his own, disobeying Bruce’s instructions? Well never mind that, in the New 52, Scott Lobdell ignored that important aspect that made Jason interesting and relatable and showed us a flashback scene with Jason blaming Bruce for ‘letting’ him die!
He also gave us a bland and unrecognizable Tim Drake in the pages of ‘Teen Titans’. I picked up the title at first if only to follow Tim, my favorite Robin, but it quickly became clear this was Tim Drake in name only so I dropped ‘Teen Titans’. And now Scott Lobdell has announced that in ‘Teen Titans #0’, he’ll explain how Tim was, in fact, never Robin. (Despite that New 52 titles have already established he used to be one, so DC once again proves they have no idea what’s going on with their continuity. Didn’t take them long to mess it up!)
It seems to me that so far, every continuity change brought to the Bat-Family that I despised other than Barbara Gordon never having been Oracle (which I think we can blame on Dan Didio, who’s always championed the notion of putting heroes from the 70’s and earlier back in the outfits they used to wear) has been done under the pen of Scott Lobdell.
It’s stuff like this that makes me no longer care about what was once a rich history and continuity I loved being knowledgeable in.
I’m sick and tired of seeing people ship Nightwing/Dick Grayson with other Robins. Not only because since they’re all heterosexual it would make as much sense as if I shipped Midnighter with the Huntress (“Oh they’re both really violent, they’d be perfect together! I’ll just ignore the fact that Midnighter is gay!”)…
I mean, I can at least understand the need for people to ignore simple characterization facts in order to get their jollies on. I don’t agree with it, but I can understand it. But I’m particularly annoyed by it because of two other facts. All the other Robins are:
2) His BROTHERS! (Via adoption perhaps, but still!!!)
That sort of shipping is, honestly, really creepy. Sorry if I offend anyone, but to take something like brotherly affection and twist it to suit your fetish… I think it’s wrong.
Take this scene for example:
Here we see an older brother, friend and mentor, comforting his younger brother who’s been through a lot in the past year and has lost friends and family. A younger brother who almost made a bad call but ended up deciding to do the right thing, and the oldest giving him his support and trust.
But in the eyes of a shipper, it becomes a moronic “OMFG see, that’s why they should have buttsex!!!”
Seriously ‘Robin Shippers’… No.
EDIT: Wasn’t long for someone to miss the point! The person who reblogged it conveniently left out the part where I say that while I don’t agree with ignoring who the characters really are to suit your fetish, it’s not my real problem with the shippers. My problem is the fact that the other Robins are underage and his brothers. This just reminds me again why Tumblr should really fix the way people can reblog things, as I previously wrote about.
I am always willing to discuss my points of view with others who disagree, but if you change or edit my initial article, removing essential parts of it to make it easier for you, I’ll simply believe that you couldn’t counter the arguments you left out, or were too angry or impulsive to read all of it.