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Friday, January 21, 2011

D(is)C(onnected)

Ok, so they have announced that Bane and Catwoman are going to be in the next Batman movie. Now, I thought I was familiar with Bane, but I have to admit, I got most of my information from the animated series... which lies! Bane is actually extremely intelligent and is an anti-hero of sorts, only a villain in the beginning due to the effects of the drug called Venom that course through his veins. And after a while, he breaks the habit and helps clean up the streets of Gotham from a Venom-like drug.

All this research got me into some of the more recent goings-on in the DC Universe. As some of you may know, they have been revamping the DC Universe. They somewhat recently decided that there just weren't enough color rings, so they added a crap ton more. In general I think they did an alright job on them, though there are a few points about them I would dispute (each color ring corresponds to an emotion, and they have different effects on each other. The notable exceptions are Black and White - death and life). During this revamp, they used these "black rings" to bring back many old and obscure characters. And after reading through their descriptions, I realized 3 things about the writers of the DC Universe.

1) They have way too many characters and can't seem to let them GO.
2) The lesser-known (and some well-known) villains can get incredibly one-dimensional.
3) They are either extremely good at planning things ahead of time, or they are extremely good at making shit up on the spot.

In other words, the writers are doing an OK job. Not an excellent job, just OK. Then again, I'm not trying to keep an old, HUGE franchise alive while making tons of money. I understand that they need to connect with new audiences. But they seem to be doing it around a few basic concepts.
First, make the villains stronger and bigger and more powerful. The recent addition of Nekron as the most powerful being, trumping all the other "most powerful beings" is a bit... unimaginative. I like to call it the DragonBall Z effect. You can always SAY they're getting more powerful, but it means little and isn't really interesting.
Second, make the heroes stronger and bigger and more powerful, even if it means redefining old ones from the ground up. Nothing irks me MORE in a comic than when they find an old, forgotten character and make him suddenly IMPORTANT, as if, all along, he wasn't just a hero, but also the ESSENCE OF JUSTICE ITSELF. Now, I know they're also trying to keep interest in the older characters, but really? Just let them fade away!
Third, "killing" off major characters. Let's see, which characters have been "killed?" Superman - the anchor of DC comics... Batman - the other anchor of DC comics... Hal Jordan - one of the most popular characters... I could go on, but need I? Of course they will never truly kill off Batman (Bruce Wayne), Superman, or any of the other important characters. They are the bread and butter of DC. Perhaps they should stop with the one-trick pony.

It seems to me that the best use of old characters is in non-recurring, stand alone adventures/stories. What do I mean? Look at Sandman. He brought back tons of obscure and popular characters as they fit into his story, but did not make them overpowered or send them on rampages or even redefine them. And at the end of issue 75, Sandman ended, and the story was complete.

In fact, these stand alone comics which have little bearing on the on-going story of DC are much better. They allow for more imagination, better writing, and less of the preteen mentality. You cannot tell me that Sandman was written for a 10-year-old audience, but that doesn't mean 10-year-olders didn't read it.

Now, perhaps they feel that they must always make things more powerful. A sort of escalation in the comic world. I do not agree that this is the best choice for them, but do not think for a moment that I could not follow in their power-mongering footsteps. They can be power-hungry and STILL have good writing. I have had an idea for a... character (not necessarily a villain...) that could put their power mongering to shame, and he wouldn't even be God. When you get to these nigh-omnipotent ranges, you need to bring forth other limitations and motives in order to keep things... interesting, not just even more powerful forces and characters to deal with them. For instance, I could create a character that is literally immune to every power and effect in the DC Universe. Suddenly, he is uninteresting. No one would be able to "defeat" him if they wanted to. So... what would his origin be? If he is immune to the powers in the universe, in my mind that means he is either not from the universe or is the "embodiment" of it. They've done too much of this crap, so let's delve a little deeper. The character would actually be the essence of reality, and, as all things in this universe seem to have some form of an avatar, so would reality itself. That makes some sense, at least as much sense as any other origin story (and at least he wasn't Joe Everybody gone insane... why does insanity bring forth superhuman abilities?). As he is the essence of another multiverse's reality, everywhere he goes leaves a tear in their reality. Things would spill forth from this tear, and these things would be what the characters of DC would have to deal with. As we are talking a different reality, we're also talking things that are completely unique, with unique challenges and not just massive power. Eventually, someone (*cough*batman*cough*) would figure out what is going on. What would have brought this being to the DC multiverse? What would his goal be? Since you can't use powers or force to stop it, perhaps there is another way, a more subtle way. Would you want to stop it? Who would want to help it? What ARE its weaknesses? In my mind, this has immense potential for a host of new heroes, villains, conflicts, etc. And since it is one of the incredibly few absolutes in DC, to deal with it would require superior and less power hungry writing. You know, DC, you don't have to cater to the 12-year-old all the time. Why not give a treat for your fans who have grown up already?

Another thought was a character who simply is the writer. But he isn't the best writer. So he is trying to cover up his own plot holes. Granted, this would bring a little bit of comedy to the scene, but if done correctly, could be incredibly fun.

Now perhaps I am wrong. I am not intimately familiar with DC. Maybe they have already dealt with a being like this. Or perhaps the writing is improving. Or perhaps they really have killed off a main character who they have not and will not EVER bring back. Perhaps it is not really a soap opera with superpowers. If so, I apologize. I will be the first to admit I was wrong and this entire argument is fallacious. But if I am wrong, it would be a pleasant surprise.

So, world, what is your take? Do you think DC is getting too power-hungry? Catering to the wrong audience? IS the writing repetitive and poor? Have they dug themselves into a ditch and are frantically trying to get out of it? Do you also agree that they should just go ahead and make "Plot-Hole Man" who magically fixes all the errors, ambiguities, paradoxes, and redefinitions?

1 comment:

  1. My UNIQUELY styled Wallpapers. During some ten years, I have developed an extremely complex and unimitable technique that should carry some interest of anyone pursuing a serious artistic ambition and expertise. And it's quantity as well: by now close to 3 000 wallpapers, all created by me. Why not tune in on my rapidly growing art blog? Its Copyright Anyone, as it SHOULD be for this genre!

    Weathertime Wallpaper Windows

    I run Deviant Art in parallell:

    Kraxpelax on Deviant Art

    ------

    And I write poetry in several languages:

    SLEEPLESS IN SEATTLE

    There's much in the world that you can't explain.
    It's revealed for you to remember
    by the whispering voice of a distant train
    or a midnight rain in november.

    Horizon within! You can always find
    the keys to Enigma. Let's mention
    one basic Truth: of spirited Mind
    Is Nature naught but extension.

    Internal expanses! In dreams, ridden
    by fear and longing you roam
    that deep Southeast in your soul hidden
    ...on your random journey back home.

    Single Swingle

    ---

    Casualidad sopla la sangre
    de alguno señor desconocido
    durante los pocos restantes
    momentos del resplandor de faroles

    que se vislumbran tras el follaje
    flameando de las obsesiónes
    igual efimero como gotas
    del cinzano de la soledad –

    En aquel tiempo me levanta
    dentro uno incidente avejentado
    que en seguida palidece
    al camouflaje de abstraccion;

    chica, nadie conoce que tus grisos
    ojos significan aún; con todo
    el sueño que hube evacuado
    tu escudriñas nuevamente.

    My Spanish poetry!

    ---

    LE FRUIT DU CIEL

    Un orage nocturne illmuna maintenant l'Amazonie, franchis les Andes, envoya des jeux de cartes gigantesques et frappantes en bas à la Pampa –

    Puis: petit déjeuner à melon; café fumant !

    À la bague du cigare tu lis, étonné: GÉOGRAPHIE.

    Poétudes

    ---

    Das Leben dergleichen Halbfaßung
    der Welt wahr immer nicht wahr,
    nicht wahr? Die fristlos Entlaßung
    am Ende wird kaum wunderbar.

    So laßen uns Menschlingen viele
    besonders besonnene zum
    Zeitweilegem Zeiten als Ziele
    des Lebens halbfaßen darum.

    Fremde Gedichte


    ---

    Time travel is by up to date confused "expertise" considered logically impossible albeit physically allowed for by Einstein's equations, as Gödel pointed out. Strange fallacy! The Guy travelling "backwards" in his time machine immediately goes into "hypertime", so to speak, and what was "time" is simply one more spatial dimension. No logical problem whatever; I utterly fail to see, even, how this awful misconception could persist for about a century. OK, on return he happened to crash into my poor would be dad, so what? This calamity occurring somewhere in Universe imperceivable to me, the Flatlander. Etc. Do you follow? You should.

    My philosophy:

    GAMMABLIXT

    ===

    And: reciprocity. You do me a favor promoting your blog on mine!

    - Peter Ingestad, Sweden

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