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AICN COMICS Q&@: Matt Adler and Johnny Destructo interrogate Geoff Johns about JUSTICE LEAGUE, AQUAMAN, and DC’s New 52!!!

Published at: Sept. 19, 2011, 11:20 a.m. CST

@@@ What the &#$% is AICN COMICS Q&@? @@@

Q’s by Matt Adler & Johnny Destructo!

@’s by DC’s Geoff Johns!!!

Hey folks, Matt Adler and Johnny Destructo here. On August 30th, we had the privilege of attending the launch party for DC's New 52, the linewide revamp of the original superhero universe. Attending were many of DC's top names, including co-publishers Dan Didio and Jim Lee, Editor-in-Chief Bob Harras, Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns, WONDER WOMAN artist Cliff Chiang, BATMAN writer Scott Snyder, and BATWOMAN artist Amy Reeder. It was a chance to mix and mingle with the comics elite, and discuss their work on the New 52.

Cliff Chiang admitted it was a significant change of pace to return to monthly comics after having spent a great deal of time working on the Greendale graphic novel, but assured us that DC had fully taken his speed into account in planning the schedule for Wonder Woman, and had plans for a compatible artist to assist whenever Cliff needs a breather. He had nothing but praise for writer Brian Azzarello's work on the book, which he compared to his run on HELLBLAZER. Dan Didio was his usual ebullient self, and was excited to show us his and Keith Giffen's work on the new OMAC series, which pays homage to the original Jack Kirby comics while retaining a connection to the revamp of the concept as shown in 2005's INFINITE CRISIS. We also got sit-down time with the creators of the flagship book of the relaunch, JUSTICE LEAGUE - writer Geoff Johns and artist Jim Lee. What follows is JD's painstaking transcription of our interviews with each of them. First up is our talk with Geoff, and in the next installment you'll get to hear what Jim had to say. Enjoy!

JOHNNY DESTRUCTO (JD): Awright, simple question. If no one has checked out the new 52 yet, why should they? If they're on the fence. SELL US!


GEOFF JOHNS (GJ): Well I think if you like super-heroes at all, or comic books at all, there's something for everybody. We talk about this alot, like...I don't watch every show on ABC or FOX, but no one does, but there are shows I love. DC publishes those kinds of comic books that will find any kind of reader, whether it be JUSTICE LEAGUE or I VAMPIRE or ANIMAL MAN, there's something for everybody. I don't know if you guys have read anything yet...have they given you guys books or...?

JD: Not yet, no…

*The waiter brings more delicious drinks, interrupting the flow*

GJ: Thanks. But I think there's something for everybody. There's a lot of great creators and a lot of great characters so I would just say that there's going to be a book out there that's right for you. That's the thing about comic books: there's an editor, a writer and an artist, and that's it, and there's very few mediums out there that have that few people driving the creative. So it's the purest form of creative that I can think of. I've worked in film and TV and animation and video games and this is still the most pure form of creative expression that I've ever seen.

JD: Is this your favorite medium to work in?

GJ: YES.

JD: (Laughs) Right on! That was a quick response! I notice with a lot of your writing, you pull from Silver Age stuff very heavily, and you like to incorporate all that legacy, at the basest level, who's idea WAS all this? It doesn't feel like a Geoff Johns Idea to reboot everything and start afresh, is this something that…

GJ: It's kind of a collective idea. I don't necessarily pull...I grew up in the late 80's and 90's, so I don't really pull from the Silver Age. Like I grew up with John Stewart as Green Lantern. It's not like I grew up with Hal Jordan and wanted Hal Jordan back, but when Green Lantern came up, I knew that, in order to make Green Lantern a big universe, they needed the pillar back. Like Hal Jordan is THAT pillar. His origin is great, the concept of the character is great: this daredevil that leaps in and pisses everybody off! And John Stewart and Guy Gardner I brought back, because I knew that he has a great personality and a great color to the core. Rayner was a great character, and I really wanted to get back to expanding it to everybody again. And in order for me to really make that work, I need Hal Jordan. And I've written Superboy, 90's character, right? Teen Titans was kinda fueled by 80's and 90's.

But with this idea, it's not about trying to preserve any kind of age: 70's, 80's, 90's or 2000's, it's about creating a brand NEW age. And my initial reaction was "UH oh", right? I've really spent a lot of my stories building off of the foundation of the DC Universe. I like that foundation, I love those characters, whether they be Cyborg or Superboy, or the JSA or whoever, and I started to realize, as I talked to all of these creators, the freedom of reintroducing these, or re-imagining these characters was something, as a creator that I could really get excited about. To write a book, like Justice League or Aquaman or Green Lantern and be able to tell my own story and not worry about the constraints of past stories is new to me. It's really new. And SCARY!

JD: I was gonna say, isn't that intimidating?

GJ: It IS intimidating. But at the same time, with Justice League I was like you know what I'm gonna do....The most successful run, and my favorite run of JUSTICE LEAGUE is Grant Morrison's JLA, by far. And it was all about big ideas and making them these bigger than life characters, but then after that it was Keith Giffen's JUSTICE LEAGUE, which I grew up on in the late 80's and 90's. Awesome, awesome book. Loved the book. And I wanted to take the humor and personality of what they did and the epic scope of what Grant did and find my own voice in the team. So I wanted to make sure it was all about character first and personalities, because there's nothing more fun than watching Batman and Green Lantern trying to do something together...and it's never easy right? EVER. And I wanted to make sure it carried through not just 5 years ago, but today. I wanted to make the most interesting thing about this book be when you knew that Flash and Wonder Woman had to go do something. Right away, you knew that was going to be interesting to watch. So I wanted to make it all about the character interactions and relationships. At the same time, I wanted to make sure that the plots, the stories and the adventures they were facing were massive, so I'm trying to take a completely different tone to all my books and add more humor than usual. There's a lot of humor in JUSTICE LEAGUE, and AQUAMAN and GREEN LANTERN. So I wanted to change how I wrote, so for me, this is a big, big challenge. A massive challenge and a big departure from what I usually do.

JD: With Justice League, what kind of arcs, just as far as amount of issues, is there something you're going for? A template as to the length of each arc?

GJ: How long the arc is, the arc is, right? 5 or 6, or 1. Or 2?

JD: Whatever the characters tell you?

GJ: Yeah, whatever the characters say. Like when I sat down, all I did for the first month was think about character, how would Aquaman react to Green Lantern, what are their roles on the team, what did they bring to the team? To make sure that, if I ever split the team up...if Wonder Woman and Green Lantern went somewhere, or if Wonder Woman and Superman went somewhere, it was completely different. How they got the job done, IF they got the job done, what their reactions would be..so the characters lead the arc. The trades will collect whatever they will collect. I don't know.

JD: You had mentioned AQUAMAN earlier. Ahhh..(laughs) I've never been the biggest fan of Aquaman...(Geoff notes JD's I-Ching tattoo)

GJ: Is that Snake-Eyes?

JD: Yeah it's the Arashikage Clan.

GJ: LOVE IT!

JD: With Aquaman, what makes you want to write him? Do you think that Aquaman has something to prove? That you can do it right?

GJ: Not that I can do it right...I love that everyone thinks that Aquaman sucks. I love it!

JD: He DOES, kind of!

GJ: I looove that people think that!

JD: Ok, why doesn't he?

GJ: You have to read the book.

JD: ARRRRGH! (Laughs)

GJ: The book is all about how the world DOES think he sucks.

MATT ADLER (MA): My favorite run is Peter David's run on the character. Is that something that you enjoyed as well?

GJ: It was the run that I grew up with, in the 90's, so...I read that until he was off the book and then I was gone. I didn't have much interest in following AQUAMAN after Peter David left. I think he created a wonderful, complex tapestry for Atlantis and Aquaman. I'm going a very different way because I'm re-inventing the character in a different way and I don't want to just do what HE did. I already read it, it was already great. So I'm doing something very different. MA: Have you read the ATLANTIS CHRONICLES?

GJ: Yeah.

MA: Do you think we'll ever get a collection of that?

GJ: Maybe.

MA: Man, I love that series.

GJ: Yeah, great book. Peter David's the only one that's gotten Aquaman right, beyond his creator. I don't think anyone's been close to getting Aquaman into a book that's sustainable or very interesting, except for Peter David. I say that because I'm going to go a very different way than Peter David. One of the things I wanted to do with Aquaman was recognize flaws that people perceive in him. That's part of the book. He's the king of the sea and he's a joke on land, right? And he chooses to be on land. He say's "I'd rather live here where I feel like I belong." But then people say "you DON'T belong". How's that feel? There's actually a big scene in AQUAMAN #1 where we really address all the things that people say about him, and it's an on-going issue. He shows up and people are like "OH! Oh. It's Aquaman." Right? And you root for him! You like Aquaman right? (to JD)

JD: Nnnnnnnope!

GJ: Then this book's for you. Because Aquaman know's NO ONE thinks he's cool.

JD: So is this your way of going a little bit meta with it? In the back of your mind at all? That you want to prove to people why they should appreciate him more?

GJ: Not Meta, but what would it really be like to be Aquaman in this world? That's what I want to do. He's the ultimate underdog.

MA: Maybe not EXACTLY like Booster Gold but it's an advantage to be underestimated?

GJ: Well, it's a little bit of that, but it's more about...I can go out there and argue: Aquaman's a bad-ass. Some people will agree with me, and some people won't. Right? And the idea is to say, let's take both of them, and Aquaman IS a bad-ass, but nobody thinks he is.

JD: I look forward to being proven wrong.

GJ: And also, my big story-line for my first year of AQUAMAN is him on a quest to find out who sank Atlantis. Because it wasn't an accident.

JD: Nice.

MA: I have a question about the overall relaunch. In terms of the way that the continuity is being changed, I'm sure you've heard some people say "If the continuity is being changed then the old stories that came before, quote-unquote don't matter". You heard that?

GJ: By the way, I've written hundreds of stories that people say don't matter any more!

MA: Do you worry that people might say about the upcoming current stories "Why do they matter because they could just be wiped away again in another couple of years"?

GJ: Did you like STAR TREK? The new STAR TREK by J.J. Abrams?

JD/MA: Yeah.

GJ: Does that make you NOT like the old STAR TREK?

JD: Huh. Excellent point.

GJ: Does that make you worry that J.J. Abrams STAR TREK won't matter in 5 years?

JD: Well, let me ask you this. As far as the continuity, I'll be honest: I'm dumbfounded. I don't understand. You're keeping some stuff, you're rebooting other stuff. Why not just do a "hard reboot"?

GJ: Because some things do work. You don't want to throw the baby out with the bath water. Batman works. Green Lantern works. Other characters work. Some things haven't caught on, and it's really up to the creator's passion and vision to reintroduce these characters.

MA: We mentioned SUPERMAN SECRET ORIGIN earlier and I really personally loved that. Is that still in continuity?

GJ: No. And you know what? It's still a great story, I'm still really proud of that story. Gary Frank drew the hell out of that story and for anyone who wants to pick that up, that version of his origin? Like that scene when he says to Pa Kent "I want to be your son" and Pa Kent hugs him and says "You ARE my son"...that still gets me every time. And that story still exists. It doesn't mean we can't tell new stories about how Superman came to be. Trust me.

JSA, right? I worked on that book for 10 years. I was very, very proud of that run, all the characters that we created and introduced, characters like Mr. Terrific who have their own book now...characters like Stargirl who's very important to me personally. My first character I ever invented, right? And I knew it was going to be "wiped away"...but I know that the potential that we have for this [reboot] is worth that. I still have those trades, those stories still can be read. There's a funny thing with comic fans (I KNOW, I 'm the same way!) "Does it matter? Do I have to read this?" I want you to WANT to read this. The best thing about this is that we're getting back to comic BOOKS. You look at the New 52 and there's no one book that says "event book". "This book MATTERS". All the books matter. They're all stories, they're all based on character. We're trying to get back to Character and Story, instead of Events that just are there just because you feel like you have to buy them because they "count". We want you to enjoy what you buy. We're not asking you to buy all 52 every month. You're going to buy what you LIKE out of those 52. The choice is yours.

JD: I have a personal question! Where's Wally West?!

GJ: Dude, I wrote him for 6 YEARS. I grew up on Wally West, I love that character. The omnibus I did just came out. I'm really proud of that work too. And at the same time, it was time to make a change and see...

JD: "We fear change".

GJ: I know, change IS scary...and see what could be done with Barry Allen.

MA: I do find it ironic though..unfortunately we see a lot of fans out there going "Geoff Johns and so-and-so are wiping out continuity and they don't care about anyone else's continuity but theirs." 90% of the continuity being wiped out is the stuff that YOU worked on.

GJ: That's the thing. I love Wally West, I grew up with him. You're right. Literally almost everything I've ever written, besides Green Lantern, has been wiped out by this. So that should tell you something, if I'm willing to go along with it. I believe that the potential for stories is there, and my books are still there. The HAWKMAN trades or JSA, or Superboy. I'm proud of those. And it's funny when people say "you just love the Silver Age characters". I grew up with John Stewart and Wally West. I have no affinity towards any age, I just love DC.

MA: I've never seen you as a Silver Age guy, I've seen you as a guy who likes to reconcile stuff.

JD: Good point!

MA: Who sees this vast tapestry of the DC U and says "It can all work together".

GJ: Exactly, and that's why this new thing is challenging to me. Because we're wiping it out, we're saying it open range, and I like it because it's a challenge. 'Cause I've done it for a lot of years, and now it's time to focus, really, on character. Cause it's all about character.

If you read Aquaman #1... (to JD) I will SEND you a copy to read! If you read that and go "You know what, I still don't like him"? That's totally cool, but I didn't do my job. But if you read it and go "I actually see why people can like him" I've done my job, and I've worked really hard to try and do that. I'm not gonna say I have, cause you haven't read it yet. (Laughs)

But the point I'm making is that this is difficult for everybody. It really is. It's a challenge for everybody. I don't take this lightly.

JD: Is it scary?

GJ: Yeah, sure it's scary!

MA: Has it been, for you, behind the scenes, as radical a shake-up as it's seemed to us from the outside?

GJ: Yeah, it has been. It's been really ...when it was first approached, a relaunch I was like "whoahh....WHY?" Because I'm a believer, I've made continuity work for me, right? But maybe that's not for everybody. Maybe it's not great for new readers. Maybe they need a jumping on point, which is why I crafted Justice League the way I did. Those first 5 issues are designed to get people to read it, understand who the characters are, have fun, laugh a little bit, be afraid a little bit and then say "You know what, I want to read a little bit more about The Flash." Or Batman, or Green Lantern or Wonder Woman or whoever. That's my goal in this book.

JD: Well thank you so much for your time, we're getting ushered out! Haha.

GJ: And by the way guys, as fans, like you guys know...this is a big deal, right, and it's scary and it's..I've said this before, it's uncharted waters. We're all in on this. And I've had to change my writing style for this. Which is a challenge. And I've got to rely on simple, great characters and great story-telling. This is about the characters that are in the book and moving ahead, instead of retelling the story where the Justice League got turned into trees.

JD: (Laughs)

GJ: That's not happening. I'm telling a brand new story that's never been told before, and so we are in uncharted waters, and it's really exciting and scary, but at least it's new. I'm doing my best as a writer to make sure that anyone who picks up Justice League will completely understand it, completely know the characters and get sucked into the story.

JD: Well that's all you can ask for.

GJ: Yeah, that's I all I can ask.

JD: Well thank you again!

Be here next time for the second part of the Interview, featuring superstar talent Jim Lee!


JD can be found hosting the PopTards Podcast, drawing a weekly webcomic, discussing movies, comics and other flimflam over at www.poptardsgo.com, graphically designing/illustrating for a living, and Booking his Face off over here. Follow his twitter @poptardsgo. His talkback name is PopTard_JD.

Matt Adler is a writer/journalist, currently writing for AICN among other outlets. He’s been reading comics for 20 years, writing about them for 7, and spends way, way, too much time thinking about them, which means he really has no choice but to figure out how to make a living out of them. He welcomes all feedback.


Editing, compiling, imaging, coding, logos & cat-wrangling by Ambush Bug
Proofs, co-edits & common sense provided by Sleazy G
And check out AICN COMICS’ New Facebook Page!!!

 

Readers Talkback

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  • Sept. 19, 2011, 11:28 a.m. CST

    First

    by Dave

    Well so far I luv the stories still cant wait to see who the woman in the background of all the books are im assuming its a crisis type thing

  • Sept. 19, 2011, 11:30 a.m. CST

    Also

    by Dave

    Im only 30 so I prefer the Kyle Rayner and Wally West characters also I dont feel a connection to old man Barry or even older tryin to be young Hal i just dont

  • Sept. 19, 2011, 11:34 a.m. CST

    Yeah, most of the relaunched books have been pretty great

    by Poptard_JD

    And I'm with you, I'm 33 and grew up with Kyle and Wally, but I'm still enjoying Hal and kind of enjoying Barry...but he's been a little boring since his return. Hopefully with the relaunch they'll make him more interesting and less...square.

  • Sept. 19, 2011, 11:44 a.m. CST

    No thanks

    by dukeroberts

    I stopped reading comics several years ago, but these new things will not get me to return. Flushing 70+ year runs of books down the toilet is ridiculous, no matter what the strategy or reason behind it.

  • Sept. 19, 2011, 12:18 p.m. CST

    To each our own, DukeRoberts

    by Poptard_JD

    But this is basically the same thing as the Crisis On Infinite Earths from 1985. So technically they're only flushing 25+ years of books down the toilets, since Crisis already flushed IT's previous books. It's cyclical, and will probably happen again in another 25 years or less.

  • Sept. 19, 2011, 12:42 p.m. CST

    DOOMSDAY, history of Robin the Boy Wonder, and Continuity

    by SaluteYourShorts

    So did Superman never get killed by Doomsday? Does this mean Doomsday won't be introduced into this new universe? And does this mean eventually they will retell the Doomsday saga? AND I know Batman has gone through all 3 Robins already, onto now #4: Damian (I don't count the chick who was Robin for a hot minute). So that means Batman was around for at least ten, fifteen, maybe even twenty years to have gone through all of the Robins (ugh that sounds dirty). Because his continuity stays the same? But Superman has only been around for 5 years, so his past storylines are ALL rebooted? But none of Batman's are? That's the deal? Okay... I mean, I'm all for this. Just want to get some things straight. (Also, they should've just rebooted Green Lantern. I think they expected the movie to draw ppl into the comics and they wouldn't need to, but that didn't happen.)

  • Sept. 19, 2011, 1:13 p.m. CST

    new 52

    by John Hammel

    Having read a number of the new 52 the only real complaint I have is that all of them are to be continued, right out of the gate. No single, one issue stories. You could certainly make the case that DC is trolling for your $$$, trying to keep you coming back for more. How big are these story arcs? How many issues do you have to buy to get a complete story?

  • Sept. 19, 2011, 1:15 p.m. CST

    Geoff Johns interview - AQUAMAN

    by Joe Slab

    Dudes, this was an awesome interview and I am even more stoked for AQUAMAN #1 than before. Like Geoff, I love fans who say they don't "get" Aquaman but continue to buy dozens of Batman and Wolverine books each month... Don't you want to read about a truly original character who kicks ass & overcomes challenges in a really unique way rather than more of the same constantly? Geoff said recently via Twitter "Aquaman is awesome. Deal with it!" Nice.

  • Sept. 19, 2011, 1:24 p.m. CST

    Wally

    by NightArrows

    QUOTE: 'I know, change IS scary...and see what could be done with Barry Allen. ' We had decades of Barry, he went out a hero and that's the way it should have stayed. Wally was infinitely more interesting than Barry. The Wally West Flash run was one of the greatest hero runs ever. And that I've finally come back to comics only to see Wally flushed, well it sucks ass. I've stated my opinion on the new 52. I won't be supporting it, but I will reiterate how sad I am that they've done away with Wally in favour of Barry Vanilla. His take on Aquaman does sound interesting, but it doesn't sound any different from the Aquaman reboot in the late nineties when he lost his hand and was a surly fucker.

  • Sept. 19, 2011, 1:26 p.m. CST

    And for the record

    by NightArrows

    I like Aquaman as a character. I love the water, and am always pretty fascinated with water-based heroes.

  • The thing is that the math doesn't add up. He is 10 years older than me, and I grew up reading comics from the late 80s and 90s. The whole thing where Superman's continuity has been wiped (except for stories like Death of Superman, or whatever story any given writer feels is part of the continuity at any given time) but Batman and Green Lantern are pretty much intact, creating a whole lot of paradoxes, is asinine.

  • Sept. 19, 2011, 1:48 p.m. CST

    Johns: "Aquaman is Awesome. Deal with it."

    by jericho1368

    How old is Geoff John, 12? 'Deal with it.' No Geoff. You deal with it.

  • Sept. 19, 2011, 2:02 p.m. CST

    Johns = Comics' Michael Bay.. THE WORST

    by wilsonfisk89

    his plot beats and developments are nothing more than a character, or army of characters, sneaking up from behing yelling some cliche. Every single issue. He's a fucking hack.

  • Sept. 19, 2011, 2:22 p.m. CST

    Thanks, jslab425

    by Poptard_JD

    It was a killer time and fun as hell..but the transcribing was AWFUL! So I'm glad you enjoyed the interview...be on the lookout for the interview with Jim Lee that I'm transcribing now! We talked to him right after talking to Geoff. -Johnny Destructo

  • Sept. 19, 2011, 2:58 p.m. CST

    This just chaps my ass...

    by Fremen

    Crisis on Infinite Earths was bad enough, but to fuck with iconic superhero's story-lines that have been decades in the making, and which just flouts their creator's imaginative work, it just goes too far. I won't be buying any more of it. ----- On the lighter side, imagine you're Cyborg trying to sit on a hard surface like a wooden bench, or a plastic seat at McDonalds. You'd slide right off with his armored suit on.

  • Sept. 19, 2011, 4:20 p.m. CST

    If anyone is Comics' Michael Bay its Mark Millar

    by sunwukong86

    everything big, violent, macho, etc.

  • Sept. 19, 2011, 4:30 p.m. CST

    Second that. Millar is Bay.

    by Laserhead

    Johns is more like JJ Abrams. I hate Millar and sometimes enjoy Johns. Which is the reverse of how I feel about their film analogues.

  • Sept. 19, 2011, 4:53 p.m. CST

    Go try some

    by Robert Theaker

    Go try some of the new 52, I bet you'll like a few. So far I'm pulling 12 out of the 27 released so far.

  • Sept. 19, 2011, 4:54 p.m. CST

    Reply to Johnny D.

    by Joe Slab

    You are welcome. This was perhaps the most substantial interview on the New 52 that I have read in an ocean of interviews. Johns is typically a bit aloof towards press but your team really got him to open up and be real. Nice work! I write for the AquamanShrine.com and we've been promoting and quoting this piece on our Twitter feed all day. Can't wait to read Jim Lee's as well. Joe

  • Sept. 19, 2011, 5:07 p.m. CST

    Batman Continuity

    by Laserhead

    My understanding was that Batman had been operating in secret as an urban legend before the rest of the superheroes started appearing five years ago, and he's about 32 and has been doing this for ten years. The first four were solo. Robin is a one-year internship program. So he had a year with Dick Grayson, less than a year with Jason Todd, solo again, then a year with Tim Drake. The adventures of the last five years happened, albeit in less than a year of 'DC time.'

  • Sept. 19, 2011, 6:41 p.m. CST

    Jslab425

    by Poptard_JD

    WOW, thanks brother...I really appreciate that! I'm not sure it was our casual charm that opened him up or the free drinks the waitresses kept bringing, but I'll take it ;) Thanks for all the promo!

  • Sept. 19, 2011, 6:47 p.m. CST

    North Shore, bra!!!

    by IronEagle74

    Surf boarders must die

  • Sept. 19, 2011, 7:08 p.m. CST

    Fuck DC for changing Amanda "The Wall" Waller into "The Rail"...

    by Thanos0145

    WTF is up with that. There was nothing wrong with the character that needed to be changed. Crippled , married, and fat characters need not apply in the DCnU. DC should've done a full REBOOT but they were too chicken shit to do it. They're going to have the same continuity problems that the first Crisis failed to fix. I'm a huge Batman fan but how is Superman the first superhero when the Caped Crusader is on his fifth Robin? I'll come back to DC when Wally West and Booster Gold fix this fucked up DCnU timestream. FUCK Barry Allen!!!

  • Sept. 19, 2011, 8:33 p.m. CST

    Say what you want about Johns, he writes better than Bendis

    by sunwukong86

    I cant read Bendis's dialogue, It gives me a head ache trying to.

  • Sept. 20, 2011, 1:52 a.m. CST

    I'll differ in that I've found most of the new 52 just

    by Dennis_Moore

    awful.

  • Sept. 20, 2011, 1:52 a.m. CST

    Of those released, that is.

    by Dennis_Moore

  • Sept. 20, 2011, 1:53 a.m. CST

    There were a handful of great current series

    by Dennis_Moore

    from the past few years that shouldn't have been ended

  • I expect this kind of shit from a hack like Judd Winick, I never would have expected it from Geoff Johns, and I as a hardcore DC fan all my life am fucking appalled by it. s a comic fan I can put up with a lot, and have over the years, but this just outright disgusts me. This isn't just a bad run or a lame crossover event, it's George Lucas-ing the DC Universe. Erasing history and replacing it with something that's only seen as better by certain people because it's new and shiny. There is a reason that these characters have existed for decades, it's because they do work, the DC Universe does work, it just needs the right writers and artists working on the right characters, steering things in the right direction. But this scorched earth policy of wiping away everything just so you can justify widespread lazy changes and have a justifiable excuse to then do whatever you want is nothing but an insult, and in all my years as a DC comics fan I've never been as angry about anything as I am about this. The thing that always made DC stand out, that was at the very foundation of the DC Universe, was legacy and history, and now both of those universe defining characteristics are being pissed away. This isn't retconning or updating a character to better fit their times here, things that do need to be done as time goes on, no, this is fundamentally destroying an entire comics universe that had a rich and imaginative and powerful storied history that has lasted for over three quarters of a century. What we will have left won't be the DC Universe any longer, it'll just be a bunch of characters with familiar names, some of them familiar, others changed almost beyond recognition, but none of them with that grounded sense of time and place, that sense of history any longer. Sure there will still be some good stories told, and there will be some bad stories told, but that isn't the point. The point is do even the best of these new stories justify the act of destroying and erasing more than three quarters of a century worth of quality stories from the past? Johns may be perfectly okay with erasing the importance of most of what he has written in the past for DC (something which I have lost a tremedous amount of respect for him for), but how many other writers and creatives feel the same way? Particularly those not currently getting a DC cheque. Honestly this seems more like the current DC creatives trying to make their own mark in comicbook history, to the degree where a select few will feel some sense of ownership over the entire new DC Universe, rather than merely contributing to established legacies, and borrowing these characters for a short time, before handing them over to the next creative team that comes along down the line. They seem to me to be doing all of this for their own selfish reasons, not because it needed doing, not because the characters or the universe or the fans desperately needed or wanted it. Oh, and Johns whole Star Trek analogy is massively flawed as well, because this isn't like his example at all, because when JJ Trek took over the old continuity tv Tek had been stagnant for years. It was basically dead in the water, and thus eventually after many years replaced by something else. What this is actually like is going from being half way through a season of, say, Star Trek The Next Generation, and then suddenly cancelling that show in order to replace it with JJ Trek, deciding overnight that Next Gen and original Star Trek no longer have any place, and now mean nothing, but hey, we'll keep some of the names. As big a DC comic geek that I am, I've never been one to get outraged. Through all the ups, downs, good ideas, bad ideas, changes, change backs, events, and reshufflings, I always took the long term view. Sometimes things worked, sometimes they didn't, there would always be good runs and bad, good ideas and awful ones, so you just enjoy the ups, and endure the downs. But this, this is the first time I've ever truly been outraged. Change for Changes sake. Change for creatives ego padding and hubris. Change to make writing established characters easier, not better. Fuck everybody involved in this whole DCU Scorched Earth policy.

  • Sept. 20, 2011, 8:09 a.m. CST

    Re:Johns being a better writer than Bendis

    by annapaquinspussyjuice

    At least Bendis dialogue rings true in that it's "gritty" and "adult" most of the time which is more than can be said for what comes out of the mouths of Johns' characters.

  • Sept. 20, 2011, 10:02 a.m. CST

    Bendis dialogue doesn't ring true at all

    by Laserhead

    Unless you live in a world where people imitate the nonsensical jabber of Gilmore Girls as everyday conversation.

  • Sept. 20, 2011, 10:54 a.m. CST

    @laserhead exactly my point

    by sunwukong86

    I've never once read a Bendis comic and believed people talk like that.

  • Sept. 20, 2011, 2:59 p.m. CST

    It was a lazy, Warner Brothers driven reboot

    by MCVamp

    Designed to make the characters more palatable and "hip" for TV usage. Bringing Hal back was a mistake. Bringing Barry back was a mistake. While it's not realistic to expect Bruce Wayne, now DC's biggest draw, not to continue as Batman, moving Dick into the cape was the first interesting thing to be done with the character since Kingdom Come, and that was a lonnnng time ago...Grayson as Batman was intriguing, it was growth, it was a logical progression. Comics, as always, say "Fuck logic." And yes, superpowers and tights should be part and parcel with that but there's a difference between suspension of disbelief and corporate-mandated creative laziness. I actually feel bad for Morrison and Johns and all the best writers at DC. Despite massive roadblocks provided by the terrible execution of Final Crisis they had started putting together something great. And then the suits blew it up so that they could take Superman's pants off in the next movie.

  • Sept. 20, 2011, 10:52 p.m. CST

    Johns doesn't know how to write 'real' people.

    by annapaquinspussyjuice

    Fact.

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