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Mod of Steel

Location: The Bottle City of Kandor
Member Since: Sun Oct 10, 1999
Posts: 4,557
In Reply To

Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 1,247
Subj: Re: "Once bitten, twice shy".
Posted: Wed Jul 20, 2011 at 01:59:33 am EDT (Viewed 115 times)
Reply Subj: Re: "Once bitten, twice shy".
Posted: Tue Jul 19, 2011 at 11:14:27 pm EDT (Viewed 141 times)

Previous Post

That saying, as well as, "Fool me once; shame on you. Fool me twice; shame on me" and "Those who do not learn from the past are condemned to repeat it" is really influencing on why I'm not going to buy any of DC's output.

Because, really, what's to gain from it? What do I gain from it? Enjoyment? Yes, potentially, I can enjoy it. But I'm looking for payoff. I've spent a good portion of my life pumping probably more than 3k worth of money on comics and I've done so gladly with the belief that while, in essence, corporate comics will go on forever... they'll treat the fans with respect.

A laughable notion? Bear with me.

People can criticize a lot of creators and even the companies, but in certain eras, BOTH Marvel and DC ensured that if you read for any period of time, you got payoff for what was told. And if something ended, they tried to make the ending matter, or at the very least, the stories matter.

I have problems with Tom DeFalco's writing sometimes, but dammit, Thunderstrike Vol.1 had one of the best endings to a comic series. As it brought the character of Eric Masterson full circle, hitting notes about him and Thor that Tom had established back when he wrote The Mighty Thor.

And on the DC side, although they've screwed the pooch more times than I care to count (even in what they've doing now), I still credit them for "Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow", which was one way Pre-Crisis Superman's story came to a close.

But DC isn't doing that for Superman or any of their characters in the "Flashpoint" reboot/revamp. And they haven't done in the past decade and a half.

Because, really, why did "Man of Steel" have to be retconned in the first place? Was "Birthright" all that better? Howabout "Secret Origin", which replaced "Birthright" and replacing "Man of Steel"?

In my own opinion, MOS didn't have to be retconned and the two origins 'replacing' it were inferior stories (and I have my reasons for that belief). It was replaced because the guys writing those stories (and Editorial) wanted something more like the Pre-Crisis Superman backstory back in continuity.

Which is fine; that's their prerogative. But what sucks then and still sucks now is that all that time, emotional and financial investment in a version of Superman I loved dearly, was wiped away, nary a 'conclusion' of it to be found. If I could be thrown a bone ANYWHERE in this scenario, I'd been fine with it.

But I was told, "Nope, sorry, that version doesn't exist and we're not going to even TOUCH it. But hey, we've got this new version, with a new origin updated for the 21st Century right here! And we're going to explore this to the fullest! Just keep on reading!"

But they don't. They barely explore it and before I know it (5 years Birthright continuity lasted, IIRC), the snake-oil man strikes again...

"Whooo, hey there, pardner, where ya going? Aw shucks, we're done sorry that you didn't enjoy that. But you know what? We've got and even bigger and better origin for Superman coming up, written by one of DC's finest! And we promise, pinky-promise even, that this one will last! Yup, so long as you stay and read, we'll explore this origin to the fullest and show you why you should stick with Superman".

But what happens? Hardly five years pass by and they're doing it again!

They're not even giving people who liked Birthright or Secret Origin closure... they're just clapping their hands and hooting/hollering to get you to keep buying their books when you've been given no payoff.

And that brings me to my biggest complaint and worry in all this.

If we judge even by recent history, none of what DC is putting forward will matter five years down the line because they'll just selectively retcon it. Again. As I continually point out, this is exactly what happened with their last two attempts to 'fix' Superman.

But let's look at the larger tapestry, shall we?

What was the failure of "Crisis on Infinite Earths"? IMO, it was the fact they didn't just start from scratch line-wide. They let certain editors and certain writers keep whole chunks of continuity in (Legion, JLA, Flash) that didn't work with what was being set-up in Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman's books. This created fan confusion (what was in/what was out?), creator confusion (I've read far too many interviews where writers/artists thought something was allowed to be referenced only to learn later that it wasn't) and comics spent more trying to plug holes in the wall rather than actually tell entertaining stories.

This has been extremely well-documented in fan-zines, magazines (my introduction to the behind the curtain dealings was in Wizard), internet articles and even history books! But this problem was repeated again in Zero Hour (specifically Hawkman and the Legion) and then, as you know, it happened in Superman with both Birthright and Secret Origin and the Legion with Waid's Legion re-re-boot and then the 'classic' Legion reboot.

I keep waiting for someone, ANYONE, in the upper echelon to realize that they keep repeating the same mistakes over and over again. I know too many people in my real life who cite these incidents (as well as some poor storytelling over on the Marvel side) that has prompted them to stop reading comics.

And it's why I'm not going to be reading DC Comics. Because it's the same mistake all over again. Except this time, they've put icing on the cake, by ending and then re-starting the two longest-going comics of America.

There's nothing for me to gain in it, because it's just the same 'ole sleight of hand. I may get momentary satisfaction from it, but nothing long-term... as I haven't gotten any long-term satisfaction from constantly picking up their comics since 2002 or so, when a lot of this crap started. They've showcased they care very little about ending any story or even about telling good ones.

"Fool me once; shame on you". I took the bait with Birthright and learned my lesson during Secret Origin. I'm not repeating the same mistake again. "Those who forget the past are condemned to repeat it". DC has shown their amazing ability to ignore the past, so I'm not going to be throwing my money down a black hole.

At this point in my life, I've got a lot better things to spend my money on. And that includes comics being written by people who care about telling interesting and entertain stories (Red 5 Comics fit this bill for me).

When DC decides to do a line-wide clean slate, with creators who have in no way, shape or form been involved with the characters, I'll give them a chance.

But not at this time.

I am not in disagreement with any of your reasoning, regarding the neverending reboots, and certainly cannot disagree with you, nor will I try to convince you otherwise. \:\-\)

It's the main reason why ACTION COMICS, SUPERMAN and, at maybe, the four GREEN LANTERN titles* are all DC Universe books I will be buying... and the rest of my comics budget will go to back issues**: I want to invest in the worlds and lives.

Even putting aside the constant rebooting and bait-and-switches, the current comics publishing model (from DC and Marvel, anyway) doesn't allow for that. It's not just a Superman thing, it's an industry thing.

But, that said, I am trying to remain optimistic that the titles will be, at the very least, enjoyable on their own merits. I've been buying the Superman titles non-stop since 1992 (and have built a solid back-issue run to 1985). That's not easy to walk away from. So, while I do remain optimistic, I am standing firm in my resolve. I will read ACTION COMICS and SUPERMAN. Period. I will not buy crossovers. I will not buy parts of a storyline that jump through a dozen different books. If DC is unable to tell self-contained stories within those titles, then I will reevaluate. But, until then, I will at least give them a shot.

*I have been reading the Green Lantern titles since GREEN LANTERN: REBIRTH. My enjoyment had gone down post-"Blackest Night" to the point where I was ready to drop them post-"War of the Green Lanterns." But, I have really been enjoying that storyline, so much that it has nearly renewed my faith in the titles. So, I might stick with them. I would say I"m on the fence, but leaning hard to the yes side. But, that's a topic for another board.

**Have I told you my latest back issue obsession? I will FB you on that sometime.

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