Monday, November 28, 2005

Looking To The Stars: The Future of DC

Just when I try and get out, they pull me back in.

No, I'm not still going on about my job with the comic store. I'm talking about DC Comics. My abandonment of most of Marvel Comics is well known by this point. And with all the upcoming news about bold new directions and characters dying and bland non-specific hype coming out of DC recently, I wasn't seeing myself buying much more from DC either.

And then came the good news. A whole spattering of good news, in fact. Good news that has assured me that I won't be completely turning into an indy comics guy anytime soon.

1. Kurt Busiek and Geoff Johns writing Superman.

I've never been a big Superman fan. As a kid, I always preferred the more cerebral heroes who didn't punch their way through everything. And back then, Superman didn't do much but punch his way through every little thing. More recently, but rarely, many writers have been able to balance the simplicity of Truth, Justice and the American way with more complex storylines that tested Superman's spirit as well as his muscles. And with two of the writers who are the absolute best at maintaining the mix of Silver Age sensibility with modern storytelling at the helm, it looks like Superman will be a very good book to recommend to new readers when the new Superman movie hits the big screen this summer.

2. James Robinson on Batman.

My favorite Batman story of all time is a little story called Blades. Barely a story about Batman at all, the focus is upon a new Gotham vigilante dubbed The Cavalier who winds up teaching an inexperienced Bruce Wayne something about good intentions and heroism. It was the first thing I ever read by a writer who would quickly become one of my favorites and the indirect source of my nickname.

So it is with a good deal of joy that I can note that Starman author James Robinson, after an extended stay in Hollywood, is apparently returning back to DC to write not one, but two titles; Batman and Detective Comics. Batman has suffered from some truly horrible writing in the last two years and I haven't bought a Batman book since the time when Jean Paul Valley was still up and kicking because of it. So yeah... I'll be giving both these titles a shot.

3. Ron Marz on Ion.

Longtime readers will know that it was Green Lantern, and Kyle Rayner in specific, that got me into reading comics as an adult. Now as much as I am loving Geoff Johns bringing the GLC back, and what he is doing with all the characters... I've been kind of sad seeing Kyle shoved to a supporting role, even if he does hold a post as teacher in The New Corps. And a lot of people, who STILL can't get over the fact that Kyle still draws breath even though they have Hal back in a position as a respected hero AND a Green Lantern, are still insisting that Kyle will die during Infinite Crisis.

So here, in order, is my news for anyone who is a fan of Kyle Rayner.

GOOD: Kyle will be surviving Crisis.

BETTER: Kyle will be getting his own solo title under the nom de plume Ion.

BEST: Ron Marz is coming back to write it.

In short: Eat it, H.E.A.T.!

4. Supergirl and the Legion of Superheroes.

On that note, not only is the new, non-confusing REAL Supergirl going to survive Infinite Crisis...

Not only will her book be continuing...

But she will be getting a second title, apparently paired with The Legion.

Hmmm... come to think of it, isn't Superboy Prime still alive and kicking and just begging to go to a place where heroism as an ideal is very much needed?

I'm not suggesting anything here... save that this may be a very good time to be an old-school Silver Age comics fan.

5. Keith Giffen on Blue Beetle.

Rumored for a while, but now confirmed. Glad to see there's still some room at DC for a little levity. I'd hate to have the only thing I see from Giffen be the amusing, but impossible for me to get at my store Defenders.

So yes. I'll be around a while longer. Much to the chagrin of El Editor Grande Daron, who will be quite disappointed to know that despite his predictions of doom last week, I did not get a single bit of hate mail in the past week over my statement that Gail Simone has the best grasp of the Ollie Queen/Dinah Lance relationship of any writer at DC and that anyone who dares disagree with me is arguing against solid fact, not opinion.

Hey that wasn't Daron, that was ME, your most vertical editor, Kevin S Mahoney! I write in a thick blue font, very unlike Daron's!

But more on that, and how Gail has indirectly made my life as a Green Arrow enthusiast much more difficult, next time...

Tune in next week. Same Matt time. Same Matt website.

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