Monthly Archives: May 2011
Remember in my last post when I said don’t panic? Today the official word got dropped via USA Today that we have 50 Titles being rebooted in September with the first one being released August 31st with Flashpoint #5.
First off everyone grab your towels. For this is definitely going to be interesting to see how this one goes. I’m curious about it in the fact that your first title is the long hinted about Geoff Johns and Jim Lee JLA with a big seven line up. By the way for anyone who’s reading this and not sure what I mean by big seven JLA it’s Aquaman, Superman, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, Batman, Flash,I really can’t help but be excited about that. Now we have to see how the rest of the books are going to play out from here. For Jim Lee has redesigned 50 heroes for this relaunch. For good or for bad I say it’ll definitely be attention grabbing. I wish I had more information to use outside of just knowing about the new JLA title. This could actually be a good thing. I just get this picture of a thousand fans just wanting to hurt me for saying this could be a good thing. Honestly the fact that this is a simultaneous comic store and digital release is one interesting little quirk that might not be such a bad thing if it gets the comics into as many peoples hands as possible. For this sort of reboot if it’s going the way it’s going could turn out to be daring and cool. Jim Lee has hit or miss records with costume designs but I’m keeping an open mind right now on that front.
I’m in the excited yet cautiously optimistic stage with this one. I’ll be doing larger posts on this subject as I get more information. Just remember keep the towels handy in case of panic.
Oh goodness me as the title says I was going through my search tags and there it was on there the DC reboots. You know I have actually been thinking about the possibilities of what’s being hinted in the aftermath of Flashpoint. Which says a lot about this story for instead of really appreciating what it could or could not be we’re living in fear of what could happen. In my own store I had people fearing the death of the industry because of the reboots. Okay here’s the deal until we hear what’s happening and what’s going to happen I say don’t panic and every one needs a towel. I think that’s the curse of our industry at times is the fact that we absolutely fear the aspect of stuff that’s coming out down the road rather than just seeing what happens. If it’s crap then it’s crap and at least you got to see it. On the other hand judging it months in advance is much easier and a simpler thing to do.
Yes I can already see the cranky coming out of that comment but the thing was back when Crisis on Infinite Earths was coming out the initial plan was for a line wide reboot. It just fell through because DC Comics at the time got cold feet. If it happens it really could actually turn out to be an interesting thing. In my own case I think if any reboot is going to happen it’ll be a Zero Hour sort of idea of you get your #1 intro issue and then back to normal numbering next issue. I could see some of the smaller numbered books rebooted but really it’s at this point of just wait and see. In my years as a comic fan I’ve seen a lot of strange things come about good and bad in the land of comics.
They say June 11th is when the official announcement is going to come as to how this will all play out. We also have until September before we see the full effects and right now there’s a giant shiny non disclosure agreement for everyone involved. Meaning until we hear the official word just wait and see what happens. Could it be bad? Yes. Could it be good? Yes. Could it be completely freaking awesome? Yes. It could be one of many things. Until we read we’ll never know. Read the news and keep your mind open. For in the comic world we really could use more open minds.
This is something that popped in my head as I was watching the new Jesse Stone movie tonight. The one before it was a slog like nothing I’d ever seen before. Something along those lines of I was falling asleep and I can only tell you just enough to remember the last movie was poorly paced. This movie however was a whole different story in which you actually got a bit more invested into the story itself and the pacing was so much stronger. You could appreciate further as to what the movie had to say and in turn you wanted to keep watching. Initially I was just going to watch a piece of it at a time but as I got to watching I found myself watching the whole movie in one go. Interestingly enough it does get me to thinking about other things that have pacing issues in itself.
Right now I’ve been working through the Thor collection of the series For Asgard and I find the art from Simone Bianchi beautiful but the writing on it is a slog like nothing I’ve ever seen. Every time I go to read it I can only read it in small chunks because it feels like a bit of a chore to read. I’m almost done with it so I will finish it but it’s not something along that line of I must finish this right now. Storytelling in general has been on my mind a good bit considering everything I’ve been seeing around me. I’ll give you another example of storytelling that didn’t work for me. Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides was a movie that my expectations were low for to say the least. Honestly I am still glad I did keep them low considering the fact that the general flow of that movie was off by a long shot. The first half of it felt muddled. It felt as though like okay here’s our slapstick and fun and oh isn’t that wonderful. It just didn’t have that sort of uumph to make me get invested into the story. Now the second half I’m not going to lie I liked it mostly for Blackbeard because Ian McShane rocked that role and that’s when the movie actually started to work for me.
This post is probably going to feel a bit random since it literally is me talking about storytelling of different things that have been on my mind. For in every medium you have to think that there is storytelling. Going back into TV for a moment I’ll let you in on a little secret about me in the fact that I do watch a decent bit of it and try and keep up with a few different shows. I’ve watched it all from crime dramas to science fiction. I always tell people I’m a bit of a jack of all trades when it comes to my entertainment. Comic Books, TV, Video Games, Books, and Graphic Novels have always been an equal part of my life. Video Games for example I just recently bought the entire Sam and Max series since it was one of my favorite Adventure games when I was a kid and I’ve been wanting to get into the newer series of it. Probably my favorite time of Video Gaming was the adventure game age. I think it’s why a good story in a game will compel me as much as one action packed adventure. Of course my curse with say RPG’s is I’m a leveling up junkie so I can never complete them because I get so into doing everything else. True story on that last one.
I’m going to close this post out for now since these thoughts are a bit on the all over the place side but it’s literally a compilation of different things that have been on my mind with storytelling. Take care guys and as always you can find me on my twitter feed @iamcomicaddict and my reviews are on mycomicnetwork.com.
Note from your humble GeekWhoLanded/Wesley: Okay you all this is something my friend Michael wrote stating his current views on the comic industry. I’m going to post this with full disclosure that anything said in this post does not reflect my own personal views. Make note though don’t be surprised if some of them do. I’ve been poking at him to write something for awhile and he finally got this up. If you want to leave him feedback follow him @SolonDragoon. From here on it’s all him. Take it away Michael!
The comic book industry is dying. And it’s all your fault. Yes, you. Personally. Unless what I’m about to say doesn’t apply to you. In which case, just ignore that. But do me a favor first, and make sure it actually doesn’t apply to you and you aren’t just being sublimely ignorant of your role in the destruction of comic books as a medium. The source of the medium’s coming destruction? We just can’t have nice things. Or, at this point, things period. Because all we seem to do is bitch about them.
Remember back in the 80’s? Back when there was no internet. There were no blogs. No twitter, no face book, no social networking of any kind. When, if you wanted to know what was going to happen in a particular comic book, you had to go buy it and read it to find out? Long time ago, galaxy far far away my friends. Everything is now about what’s going to happen. Not what’s going on in the books right then. Action Comics 901 is coming out you say? Who the hell cares! Old news! Have you heard about what they might be doing to celebrate 925?
Please take a moment to note, I do not blame the sources of this information; nether the creators who talk to bloggers nor the bloggers themselves. The creators want to talk about what they’re doing. Hell, if I were writing Superman, I’d want to scream it from the rooftops. Lord knows most of them aren’t doing it for the rich financial rewards. And the bloggers, with several notable exceptions of course, tend to just report. No, I blame the fans.
It has already been reported, and I use that term insanely loosely, that Flashpoint is officially the worst thing that DC has ever done, that everything about it is wrong, and that the mysterious ending to issue #5 will spell out the end of comic books as we know it. There is only one problem with this. Issue one came out two weeks ago. As I write this, it’s May 22. Flashpoint #5? That ships to stores for sale on August 31st. Glad we aren’t jumping the gun or anything, huh.
Now, I’ll admit a personal bias here. I LIKED Flashpoint #1. Best issue ever written? Hell no. But it was fun, it had some interesting twists, and it accomplished what it needed to accomplish. To intrigue me enough to pick up Flashpoint #2. Probably even check out several of the minis and one shots going along with it. Will I get every single one? Do I look like I’m made out of gold?
I’m certainly not trying to indicate that Flashpoint, either the series or the event, is not open to criticism. The sheer number of tie ins, minis, and one-shots is stupid-crazy. Especially if DC plans on continuing all of it’s normal series right along side them. That’s a LOT of books DC will be putting out for three months. That’s certainly a valid concern. It also certainly had an inauspicious lead in, what with the Flash series leading up to it coming out chronically late and feeling incredibly rushed towards the end. Also still unclear as to what the lead in to Flashpoint had to do with, you know, Flashpoint, but I’m willing to accept that might be more cleared up as the series progresses. Flashpoint is supposed to be something of a mystery story after all. I’ll even accept broad criticisms of bringing back to life and using Barry Allen. I was certainly quite happy with Wally West as the Flash. Barry’s return just felt, well, kind of arbitrary.
On the other hand, it seems amazing just how many fans seem to have a vested interest in Flashpoint being one giant pile of whale dung before the first issue even came out. And just how much they seem to enjoy using every single thing DC says to prove their point in their own minds. Let’s all take a step back people, alright? Take a deep breath. In. Out. In. Out. Good. Now, let’s look at this slightly less rabid.
Flashpoint is a seven issue event series. It involves the current Flash, Barry Allen, waking up in an Earth that was not the one he went to sleep in. There’s no Superman, Wonder Woman is a conquering despot, as is Aquaman, Batman is…different, let’s say. History has changed. It’s designed as a mystery. What happened to change so much history in such ways as to make the world Barry suddenly finds himself in? Mysteries, excepting Columbo, of course, are designed around the idea of not really knowing what the hell is going on. On finding out just who did what with what to whom and why.
To a certain extent, that’s what some of the minis and one shots are about. Others are going to be about fleshing out more fully this changed world our protagonist finds himself in. There are a lot of these, of course. I’ll admit, probably too many. Seriously, DC, that’s a lot of books. On the other hand, I doubt you’ll have to buy all of them to know what’s going on. Take Infinite Crisis, Final Crisis and Blackest Night; all of these had several crossovers and minis attached to them. And you were perfectly fine just buying the main series. You knew who the good guys were, who the bad guys were, what was going on, and how it got resolved. I highly doubt that DC is going to change that with Flashpoint. The minis are there for flavor. They’re taking a magnifying glass to specific sections of the world to highlight better what’s changed.
And now, I’ll address the true elephant in the room. What’s going to happen after issue #5? Something is, probably something big. DC is double shipping like crazy in July and August, a lot of storylines are finishing up just in time, and the only thing DC is shipping on August 31st is Flashpoint #5. So, something’s happening.
Is it a total reboot of the entire DC universe? Probably not. Do Crisis on Infinite Earths and Zero Hour ring a bell? Hell, Infinite Crisis. DC’s had plenty of chances in the past to say, “Alright, starting from scratch.” They haven’t done it yet, and it would be hard to persuade me that they’re doing it now. Some continuity reshuffling? Almost certainly. DC does this. It’s kind of their thing. “We’ve got an event coming up. Who do we most need to hand-wave out of a corner?” It’s a thing they do, for good or for ill. I could even see DC relaunching a bunch of titles at #1 with all new creative teams. The end of a major event centered around reality rewriting is a pretty good time to do that. One Year Later and the various issue #0s anyone?
DC’s certainly not saying. I follow a number of DC creators on twitter and most of them have been downright giddy over things they’ve said they can’t talk about yet. No one’s talking, and if certain rumors are to be believed, there are legally binding non-disclosure agreements involved to keep it that way. Plus, you know what? Sometimes creators like surprising you. So. What’s going to happen to DC after August 31st? I’ll tell you in September. Because that’s probably as soon as anyone’s going to know for sure.
So, breath. Relax. The world is not ending. It’s an event. It might suck. It might be awesome. It might fall somewhere in the middle. It might have lasting ramifications to DC lore and it’s stable of characters for years to come. None of us might remember it in five years time. We just don’t know. Because it hasn’t happened yet. So, my plan for Flashpoint? I plan on looking forward to reading the first batch of minis as they come out, picking up some, passing on others. Some I’ll pass because I don’t like them. Some I’ll pass because there are just too many of them to get them all. Some I’ll buy because they’re highlighting important characters or events to the main series and helping flesh that out. Some I’ll get not because they’re important to the event, but because they just really spark my interest. Seriously, Canterbury Cricket? Wow.
And I plan on buying the main series. And I plan on reading it, and if the first and only issue that has come out as of the writing of this article is any indication, I’ll be enjoying it. And I’m not going to worry about what happens after August 31st. It might be awesome. It might be stupid. Hell, this is comics. Stupid-awesome is always a possibility. But what I don’t plan on doing is working myself into a rabid, frothing lather over vague rumors and internet gossip of something that may or may not happen three months from now. Reading comics, at least reading the serials from the big two, are not about the destination.
Superman will always fly around in a red cape saving the day. Batman will always be Bruce Wayne, and he will always protect Gotham from whatever evil is occurring. The status quo is god. Very very rarely does the status quo change irrevocably. Yes, there are times that it has. And, especially for DC, most of those haven’t stuck. Comics are not about where the story is going. It’s about how we’re getting there. And, as of right now, unless you work for DC and have been in those planning meetings? You don’t know where this is going anymore than I do. And I, for one, plan to sit back, read some comics. And enjoy the trip.