Saturday, 3 January 2015

An Open Letter to DC

Some great stuff here, but improvements are needed.
Dear DC,

I don’t hate you guys; in fact, I really don’t hate you guys. In fact, you’re my favourite publisher. The New 52 has been great for me in ways that Marvel NOW! hasn’t. It’s been, in my opinion, a pretty fun ride from Green Lantern, Superman Action Comics, Batman, Aquaman, The Flash, Talon, Nightwing and even Justice League have very much entertained me.

I’ve also loved, I repeat, LOVED Arrow. It’s been a great series with a thoroughly entertaining take on the characters. I even loved Man of Steel. I realise that will lose me my seat at the cool kids’ table, but I did.

There are, however, certain things I really REALLY want you to do with 2015. Below is my… well… wish list for this year. I hope that most of these things will happen, if not all.

I'm not satisfied by Greyson
in the place of this.
Bring back Nightwing

Look, I know there are artistic reasons for it, but cancelling Higgins’ Nightwing felt like the ultimate betrayal to someone who got into DC precisely because of this title. And yes, I’m sure Greyson is great, but be honest- it’s not like having a Nightwing book. I’m sure he will return, but make it soon!

There are more than one way of doing this; I wrote an article a while back on how Nightwing could still be Nightwing post-Forever Evil. Any one of those ideas could be fine, or you could come out and do something totally unexpected (I’m hoping Convergence will allow for Nightwing to return), but please, I need a Nightwing series!

Diversify Superman

This would be MUCH better
that Supergirl's current design
This year saw you do some truly amazing things with Batman, Batgirl, Gotham by Midnight and Gotham Academy saw the Bat-books become something amazing- there was some stylistic diversity that reinvigorated the title. Batgirl’s look was fresh and contemporary without making her look like what some perverts hope girls will cosplay as; and Gotham Academy, by all reports, is more-or-less superhero-free.

There’s no other way of saying this; apply this thinking to the Superman family of books. There’s no reason not to revamp Supergirl’s costume, or to bring back Superboy with a bold new direction. You can even bring other Super-characters into the mix. I would pay to read a Krypto book, or even a Mon-El ongoing.

Put Good Writers on Diverse Titles

This guy deserves better.
When you started the New 52, you had good intentions, books like Blue Beetle, Static Shock and Mr Terrific were all books that you made a show of caring about to make you look like you gave a damn about diversity of characters in comics. Unfortunately, they didn’t last long. Not because these aren’t characters that couldn’t hold audience interest, but because (in Mr. Terrific and Static’s case) they didn’t have that great creative team.

So here’s what I propose; get the most well-loved creators on these books. I defy anyone to tell me that a Grant Morrison-written Mr. Terrific wouldn’t sell. As for Static? What about Tomasi? He’s proven himself with Batman and Robin, give him a shot. As for Blue Beetle, just bring it back!

Give Teen Titans a rest

How many more strikes do
these guys need against them?
So, we can cancel the okay titles, like Batwing but titles that have been terrible, like Teen Titans need to be kept alive? Two series since the New 52 began and they haven’t gotten better. It’s time to put the franchise away for a while. If you really have to have teenage super heroes, considering putting them all together in a Young Justice title.

I’m talking all the teen characters together- the Titans, the Ravagers, Legion Lost, all of them. This would allow you to maintain copyright and might placate the fans reeling over the cancellation of the Young Justice cartoon. Just…

Sadly, this isn't the worst of it.
Stop Sexualising Characters

There’s a reason I’m not buying Greyson, as much as I love the character: I cannot feel comfortable reading a comic near my wife and kids that features a one-page spread of a woman in orgasm. I wish I could say that that was the worst of sexualised characters from you guys, but it isn’t. Catwoman, Starfire, and a swathe of other female characters are dressed I-wish-it-was-only-half-naked with impossible poses bent (no pun intended) on emphasising lady parts. You’ve shown us that Batgirl can be just as, or even more successful when sexed-down, time to apply that logic to other female characters.

And I wish I could say it was just the women, but the men get similar treat (although, yes, not as much). There is NO reason for a lingering shot on Henry Cavil’s abs and Steven Amell can do every one of those cool exercises with his shirt on. See, sexulisation isn’t bad because you shouldn’t do it to women. It’s not bad because you shouldn’t do it to men. Sexualisation is bad because people deserve to be admired for their character, not how they look naked.

So that’s it. I’m still along for the ride, DC, and I’m looking forward to a good one, but if these issues aren’t addressed, I’m may find myself disillusioned.

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