Pointless Nonsense

Posted in comics by Bill on June 7, 2011

I spend way too much time thinking about Batman, and DC announced the basics of the changes they’ll be making in September, so after the jump, to minimize the annoyance to the 99% of people who don’t care as much about this stuff, are my thoughts on this whole mess:

  • Damian & Bruce – On the one hand, I’m glad they’re keeping Damian, the sensational character find of 2009, but he works better with someone besides Bruce as his mentor. He left his mother and everything he knows to be with his father, and completely reveres him. But he basically has respect for no one else, so humbling Damian by making him work under someone else is a smart move by Bruce. It also lets Damian be a brat, where he is most entertaining. When Bruce tells Damian what to do, it’s “yes sir.” When Dick tells him what to do, it’s “fuck you, I’ll do it my way.”
  • Keeping Batman, Inc. – Mostly fine by me, because that particular idea has not yet been exhausted of its interesting possibilities. However…
  • Dick as Nightwing – kinda sucks if there are other Batmen. The same complaint as in the 90s with Knightfall, if there’s anyone else Bruce should trust to be Batman, it’s Dick Grayson. But I don’t mind Dick as Nightwing in general, I don’t particularly care for the costume with the red logo and red eyes.
  • Barbara Gordon as Batgirl – Were it anyone but Gail Simone (Birds of Prey, Secret Six) writing, I’d probably think they were just going to screw this up horribly. But she’s a good writer. Sure, I’d prefer Babs as Oracle. I like the overcoming adversity aspect of her contribution from a wheelchair, a superhero universe kinda needs someone like that to basically provide exposition, and I thought the Birds of Prey was a cool concept. But Batgirl is a recognizable property and the public (because of Yvonne Craig and cartoons) generally knows Batgirl as Barbara Gordon, so if there’s ever a Batgirl movie, it’ll be Babs. And these days, there is a definite emphasis in having the comics and the movies generally similar. So I get it.
  • Stephanie Brown out as Batgirl – Spoiler’s kind of a dumb character, but Brian Q. Miller’s work on Batgirl was actually quite good. I got used to the idea of Batgirl as being both competent and in over her head. It just worked, having her rely on help from Oracle, Robin, Supergirl, etc, but still show flashes of her potential and why she’d be accepted in the Bat-family.
  • Catwoman – At first, I was jazzed about the return of a Catwoman solo series, but then I started to get kinda worried, because I have a very specific version of Catwoman in my mind, and any time they mess with it (like in the upcoming video game), I get annoyed. And reading the solicit, and the phrases “addicted to Batman” and “very bad at being good” have me convinced this will suck.
  • Birds of Prey – It looks like the team is Black Canary (with a kinda ugly re-design, though she clearly needed one), Katana, Thorn, and Poison Ivy. Which is a pretty unimpressive lineup.
  • Red Hood and the OutlawsUnder the Red Hood was pretty well-received, so I guess they want to keep that character around, even though it sucks. Combining him with Arsenal (who once beat on a homeless guy with a dead cat) and the orange girl from Teen Titans is enough for me to not even bother checking it out.
  • Tim Drake MIA – Finding a title for Jason Todd, who sucks, and not Tim, who doesn’t suck, is pretty crappy. But they’ll come up with something to do with him. If only because it will be a fanboy-pleasing plot twist at some point if a shadowy character is revealed to be Tim Drake.
  • Other MIAs – Besides Tim and Steph, we haven’t heard anything about Cassandra Cain, Huntress, the other Birds of Prey, or Renee Montoya (I’m assuming Vic will be Q again).
  • The One Lingering Question – Will this reboot/reluanch thing make more sense if I were to read Flashpoint? I hope not, because it looks awful.

And then a quick rundown of the creative teams:

  • Detective Comics – Tony Daniel – he’s a pretty good artist but a terrible writer. This should be a train wreck.
  • Batman – Scott Snyder & Greg Capullo – Snyder’s Detective run has been great, so I’m glad he’s still on board (the title switch is confusing, though).
  • Batman & Robin – Peter Tomasi & Patrick Gleeson – They’ve been ok on Batman & Robin after picking up from Morrison.
  • Batwoman – J.H. Williams III, Haden Blackman & Amy Reeder – this is unchanged from what was going to happen with Batwoman a long while back, but it got delayed to be post-relaunch. Still cautiously optimistic.
  • Batgirl – Gail Simone, Ardian Syaf & Vicente Cifuentes – Simone is great, I don’t know the other two.
  • Birds of Prey – Duane Swierczynski & Jesus Saiz – Swierczynski had the unfortunate luck of following Brubaker/Fraction on Iron Fist, and he wasn’t bad, but in comparison looked lousy. And now he has to try to live up to Simone on BoP, so… good luck.
  • Catwoman – Judd Winick & Guillem March – I’ve heard Winnick’s name a lot, but I’m honestly not sure if I’ve ever read anything he’s done. I like March’s art a lot, so there’s that.
  • Nightwing – Kyle Higgins & Eddy Barrows – I don’t know who these people are.

Sadly, the most impressive creative teams are on Wonder Woman and Firestorm, and I highly doubt I can muster enough interest in the characters to read those titles.

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