DC Universe: Brighter Days Comments - Mania.com



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peak37pt 6/2/2010 8:37:49 AM

 Though all the posters on here have great insights to the current stance DC is taking, I personally have never been more excited to read comics than i am now. After the incoherent disaster of a narrative that was Morrison's Crisis, I stopped caring about all the story lines.

BUT, Blackest Night changed things for me. In giving a clear bad guy (can't get clearer than zombies), it united the heroes, brought back the idea of fighting for a cause and made the way for a more Heroic Age where old heroes are reborn and the adventures of these heroes overcome the themes of death and destrustion that had been plaguing both DC and Marvel.

Also individual titles have benefited from this. The current Flash is outstanding, Green Lantern is strong as ever, and the entire Batman Family Line is so interesting that I believe it's the best in years. Even The Return of Bruce Wayne is, so far, an incredibly fun, heroic adventure.

Haven't been this excited, or proud, to be a comic book fan in a long time.  

jedibanner 6/2/2010 8:52:36 AM

Good points Chad, good points.

Maybe I'm biased because frnakly, I'm no fan of DC. I've always found their characters boring (I only find Batman interesting and Shazam but, DC kind of neglected these 2 character latelly so) and I felt no attachment towards the DC universe.

Regardless if it's the marketing department or the powers that be (the suits), sure it makes senses Marvel promotes better their environment but, from the characters that are within the Marvel Universe Vs the DC universe? In my view, they don't compare.

Now, obviously, I could right paragraph after paragraph as to why I think Marvel is better in many forms compared to DC but, it's not healthy so I won't. Just like I think continuity is important and all ''great'' ideas should be done in a mini series and what stays in continuity, stays with the regular comic.

Your point of the Sentry Vs Bart Allen, obviously it's true that the Sentry was shuved up our throat wether we liked him or not and, in majority, that character did not fall into the right hands and was mishandled from the get go. Even the great Bendis did what he could with it and, it didn't work that much. 

Now, overall, I find DC with a few great characters but the fault of the DC universe in my vew is that it still stays with the mentality of ''characters with amazing ability in one universe'' Vs. Marvel's ''unique universe with characters with amazing power''. Now, this falls into the Marvel is better then DC so, i guess I forgot I wasn't going to but, it falls into the point you made Chad where you mentionned the ''reality aspect of the universes'' I mentionned earlier. from my years of reading both companies, I find the best way to show what I mean is by reading the JLA Vs Avengers story by Busiek and Perez. By then you can truly see how both universe are so different and one tries to be good in a good world where the other one is with people trying to be good in a real world. 

It's weird too because for years I suspected that DC was always limited by the suits yet now that Disney owns Marvels, I predicted that by the next 5 years, we won't see or hear any gay characters, less violence and more happy happy joy joy comics....exactly like DC is.

Rheul_home 6/2/2010 9:06:49 AM

I've always been a Marvel guy. Years ago I read Batman, Aquaman and a few other DC titles but all things said the DCU never seemed accessible to me.
I would say I seriously started reading comics a few years before Secret Wars. I'd always had a lot of comics growing up but that’s when I really started to pay attention. Secret Wars was an easy jumping on point for new Marvel fans. It was a self contained story that featured all the MU mainstays. It was easy to follow and helped introduce the character and how they interacted with each other. When it was over you knew what happened and how the characters changed and reacted to those changes. There were just enough repercussions to easily transition the reader into some of the regular monthly titles. This created many lifelong fans and may collectors my age I suspect are like me. Sporadic runs of this book and that book before Secret Wars and near complete runs to this very day of many of the titles since then.
Over at DC, around this time, (or shortly after) you had Crisis on Infinite Earths. I tried to read it when I was a kid and I was totally confused. It was full of characters I'd never heard of and the characters I did know were from some parallel universe. I didn’t care about any of them. I understand DC was trying to do something much more ambitious than Secret Wars but all they managed to do was make something that had been completely mismanaged for 50 years even more difficult to follow. DC would repeat this process again to some degree years later with Zero Hour and now again with 52. As much as I was tempted to read Sinestro Corps and Darkest Night I just could not bring myself to do it. All of the retcons and reboots have really put a bad taste in my mouth. I will occasionally read a stand alone or out of continuity book like All Star Superman or an Elseworlds story but other than that I just find DC to be far to inaccessible. I don’t pretend to completely understand the DCU but I do know I can’t trust them not to erase what I’ve read in another attempt to straighten out their continuity.
I don’t know what DC can do to fix things or if they should even try. One thing is for sure, DC has fantastic characters that really shine when handled properly like in the previously mentioned All Star Superman by Grant Morrison. Maybe rather than trying again and again to fix the past they should work on a more cohesive future?
 

GLCorpsMember 6/2/2010 9:29:39 AM

Well, I guess I get to be the lone DC supporter here.  I would like to approach this from a different angle.  If we're talking about forward progress of a COMPANY as the article states, rather than forward progress of subject matter which is what the article claims then we should look at it from a business perspective.  Marvel outsells DC on a regular basis.  Until recently Marvel could always be expected to hold the top slots on Diamond's sales charts.  This is largly due to volume which Marvel also wins.  They just put out more books than DC and that's just fact but it's also due to the legions of Zombie's that will usually put X-Men at the top of the charts whether the book is currently kicking ass or sucking it.  But for almost the last year DC books have consistantly been at the top of the sales charts.  Something that has benn unheard of in the past.  True, it's been event books but in the past, even DC even books could barely crack the top 5 much less remain at the top for almost an entire year.  In addition, Green Lantern, a book nearly on the verge of cancellation until Rebirth, and Green Lantern Corps are both regularly top 10 or even top 5 books in terms of sales. 

On that note, money talks in comics like it does in any business.  I would argue that Impulse was given plenty of opportunity to flourish in the DCU.  He's been around for quite a few years.  He couldn't support his own book.  Hal Jordan as the Spectre (someone pointed out) was an awful read and was cancelled despite the writing of capable writer J. M. DeMatteis.  Well and the obvious fact that Hal fans were just always going to be pissed until Hal came back.  Kyle Rayner is almost a non-issue in this debate since he's still around and is an integral part of current GL stories.  The new Blue Beetle written by Keith Giffen (another excellent writer) was LOVED by fans and was an excellent book but not enough people were interested in the Blue Beetle to keep it going.  If fans are liking a character and it's selling, trust me, DC or Marvel will put their good writers and artists on them but if no one is reading them, they aren't going to stick around in any prominant way.  Batwoman is a great new character and will be around for a good long while.  There are many more but I'm gonna wrap up.

What I'm getting at is Marvel will probably always outsell DC if by nothing else, sheer volume and a fanatical fan base.  In terms of moving the company and brand name forward, if you look at what people have been talking about in comics for the last year or two, I think DC definitely has their act together, they are gaining ground, taking risks and a lot of them are paying off in ways they didn't even expect.  Their characters are getting 2nd lives (3rd and 4th in some cases) which are SELLING, their events create buttloads of buzz and most importantly, have been bringing in NEW readers!!

DC is doing just fine.

 

animefanjared 6/2/2010 9:34:36 AM

What I find so interesting about the DC characters is that they have had a lot of success (more than the Marvel ones, I would argue) in television adaptations, particularly animated ones.  Why is it that we can get some 10 plus years of GREAT stories featuring the DC characters through the Batman, Superman, and Justice League toons (not to mention the direct to video movies), but the people in charge of the comics have such trouble figuring out how to make the characters work?

Also, even though I generally find the Marvel stuff more entertaining, I don't know where all this "Marvel is heroes in the real world" business is coming from.  In a lot of ways I feel the Marvel universe if more fantastical and further removed from the real world than the DCU.  But Marvel seems to have a better grasp on how their universe operates, and the consistancy in that makes it feel more real.

ChadDerdowski 6/2/2010 9:40:52 AM

jedibanner - I've been reconsidering your comment about "reality" and Busiek & Perez's JLA/Avengers crossover actually came to mind.  There's a scene (and I might be mixing this up, so feel free to correct me) in which the Marvel heroes are shocked by how the citizens of the DCU revere the heroes, where in the Marvel U there's always a touch of fear or contempt.  

The more I think about it, I have to admit you're right.  I have a hard time saying that a fictional universe featuring flying men and talking raccoons is more realistic than the one featuring flying women and giant monster pigs with magic rings... but it's true that Marvel handles fantastic things from a "street level perspective" far better than DC has ever been able to do. 

It's also true that Sentry was shoved down our throats and even Bendis couldn't make it work - I was just trying to say that I appreciate that Marvel tried, and a lot harder than Marvel did with Bart.  Maybe it's not the best example though.

peak37pt - I do enjoy DC, but I guess that got lost in my complaints.  I think I mentioned it in earlier posts, but I've been a big Green Lantern fan for a while now and I am enjoying Flash very much as well as Batman and Robin, Secret Six and a whole bunch of other titles.  I agree with you that this is a great time to be a comic fan and that DC has been a big part of that.  But overall, I'm a bit dismayed by their (lack of) direction lately.

And I appreciate all the great commentary and debate that has sprung out of this article!  Keep 'em coming!

ChadDerdowski 6/2/2010 9:47:40 AM

GLCorpsMember - looks like we were posting at about the same time.  Unfortunately, I'm off to work in just a couple minutes so I'll have to be brief here. 

I think you're absolutely right about Marvel Zombies equalling more sales.  It sort of relates back to my comments about Marvel having such an amazing marketing and promotion department.  Marvel fans tend to be a lot more rabid than DC fans.

You bring up great points about Giffen on Blue Beetle.  Is it simply that fans aren't interested in the character?  Regarding Kyle and Hal - Kyle might still be around, but he's not Green Lantern anymore; he's one of many.  And while it's true that a lot of fans demanded Hal's return, I wonder if he would've returned without Geoff Johns pulling the strings?

Okay, sorry - gotta go.  More on this later!

GLCorpsMember 6/2/2010 9:49:35 AM

@ animefanjared:  That is an excellent point and very well put!  DC from time to time, gets bogged down with continuity and when they try and clean things up, they pidgeon hole themselves.  That being said...

@ Rheul_: If you were trying to decide whether or not to read The Sinestro Corps war, I would invite you to do so.  It's not a book that has any of the concerns you mentioned.  It's not a book about retconing things.  Whether you know all the characters or not won't really matter.  You'll understand them as you go.  It's just a good story, accessible, self contained and fun.   You won't need a whole back story even if they make reference to past events.  It's just an epic fight.  GL's vs. Sinestro Corps.  It's a great read.  To that end, I understand what you're saying about finding a jumping in place to the DCU.  But I don't think that's necessarily unique to DC.  As a primarily DC reader and non-Marvel hater, I've been interested in Marvel comics, but crossing over can seem daunting.  I have no idea where I'd even start if I wanted to get into Marvel.  I think it works both ways.

Rheul_home 6/2/2010 9:52:02 AM

The only thing that makes Marvel seem more "real" (which I do not agree with) is the heroes operate in real cities rather than thinly guised fictional cities. STAR Labs, Project Pegasus... Avengers, JLA... SHIELD, Checkmate... Its all the same. Marvel just manages it better.

GLCorpsMember 6/2/2010 10:05:46 AM

First of all I'm REALLY impressed that these comments have been this civil!  These Marvel vs. DC discussions can get ugly and I feel that the rivalry is an imagined, fan created rivalry.  With comic books in their current form teetering on the brink of extiction, we should be encouraging readership of any kind and supporting the medium as a whole!  I'm constantly pushing comic books on the non-initiated and never bad-mouthing Marvel.

@ Chad I would argue that yes, Hal would have come back.  Remember, Geoff Johns, while a good writer, was not pulling any strings in 2004.  He did Infinite Crisis which had so-so reception but he was certainly not the puppet master of DC.  Rebirth made him that.  And yeah, I guess I would argue that there just isn't a wide enough demand for a Blue Beetle title.  Those reading it liked it but it just couldn't generate enough nen interest.  I  might add that this may continue to be a problem for both companies as the price of a comic continues to rise.  People are less likely to try new things when they already have a $50/week habit or more and companies want 3.99 -4.99 per issue.

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