- DC putting the Milestone-verse into basic DC continuity not as an alternate universe but instead deciding to have Dakota be Yet Another Fictional City, like Metropolis and Gotham. This does not work. It doesn’t work on any conceivable level; Icon would not show up in the standard DC universe. The Blood Syndicate would be villains – the reason the Blood Syndicate worked as a team and a comic is that they were a loosely thought-out rebellion (by the characters, not the creators) against an uncaring or actively hostile status quo. That’s what made the book so damn good. But that doesn’t work in the DC Universe, where Superman is your friendly buddy and superheroes generally like people and with the exception of Hub City and sometimes Gotham, people are confident about their leaders and heroes and justified in feeling that way. (And yes, I know that they revealed that this was all because somebody did some magic and made this retroactively the case. This does not make it less retarded or cripple the Milestone characters any less.)
And the cruelest joke of all is that they made Dwayne McDuffie write the story where this happened. In those issues of Justice League, you can feel McDuffie saying, “oh, fuck it” on every single page – even moreso than for the other issues he had to write. “Hey, Dwayne – want to shit all over the ideas you put your blood, sweat and tears into? We’ll pay you standard freelancer rate.” Watching the JLA fight the Shadow Cabinet is like watching Hulk Hogan wrestle Fox Mulder – what is the fucking point of that story except to justify an insane editorial mandate?
(Don’t even get me started on propping up the decaying corpse that is the Teen Titans by having Static join. David Brothers over at 4th Letter has written about DC’s willingness to abuse and ignore the only new successful property they’ve gotten their hands on in decades before, so I won’t belabour the point.)
- Taking Superman out of the Superman books and replacing him with Mon-El and Nightwing and Flamebird is strangely reminiscent of what happened when Coke decided that people needed to drink New Coke instead of Coke. And I like Mon-El. But the interminable buildup to whatever the fuck is going to happen with New Krypton (and you just know it’s not going to be satisfying) and the endless Sam Lane conspiracy storyline aren’t the reason Superman books are dropping readers like flies. They’re dropping the book because Superman isn’t in the goddamn book.
- Speaking of Superman books, incidentally – man, has James Robinson eroded all the goodwill he had from Starman yet? Is there any goodwill left? Because right now when I see James Robinson’s name on a book, my instinct is to avoid it. That’s how bad his last year has been: the distinctive speech patterns that worked so well in Starman are completely out of place in everything he’s writing right now. I remember a few weeks ago there was this JSA special where he contributed a story, and Cyclone – a teenaged girl who is supposed to speak six billion words a minute – started expounding upon the nature of heroism in stentorian tones and I don’t remember anything more because then I had to start pounding my head on the wall until it stopped and I didn’t hear it in my head any more.
- Captain America: Reborn is a boring-ass event book. It’s a one-issue story – 64 pages, tops – stretched out to six interminable issues. It’s not a particularly great story. (Time bullets. Uh huh.) It’s also poorly timed: if Captain America comes back, I want to see him beat up Norman Osborn and return the Marvel Universe to vaguely normal, not sit around for months while the “Siege” storyline takes place and wonder if he should still be Captain America or if maybe Bucky should be Captain America. Incredibly unsatisfying on any number of levels.
- I would say something about Ultimatum, but apparently Marvel has decided that the best way to handle it is to more or less pretend that it never happened, and I am fine with that. There was never a limited series called “Ultimatum.” Isn’t life so much better now?
- And I loved ninety-nine percent of Asterios Polyp, but the ending drives me nuts. Don’t give me “oh but it was foreshadowed.” It’s a dumb capper to an otherwise brilliant work. TAKE THAT YOU INDIE COMIC YOU.