Man, you know... For someone like me who likes to write long-winded commentary on comics, DC has been a Godsend this week. They've given so much, but let's just focus on the big topic we've all heard about: Batwoman can't get married. So for those who aren't aware, basically last week, the award winning writers on Batwoman, JH Williams III and WH Blackman left the book in frustration, due to last minute editorial changes that was thrown on them at the last minute. And they weren't the only creators to issue this complaint. Creators as respectable as George Perez, all the way to questionable creators like Rob Liefeld were basically saying the same thing. (We didn't pay attention to Rob, because... Well, he's Rob. This is something as fans that we really should learn to get over someday.) So basically, after spending almost near to five years building up to it, the creators were going to have Kate Kane (Batwoman) marry Det. Maggie Sawyer, after having proposed... Twice. It was all cool and everything, but DC editorial decided to renege on this. For a few days, there was accusations of homophobia and worse. Then recently, Dan Didio came out talking about it, claiming that "Heroes shouldn't get married", and also pointed out that Aquaman and Mera wasn't married either. (srsly?) Basically, if you're a hero, you shouldn't be married period, and you also shouldn't be happy. And then he dared us to name another publishing company that does otherwise. (Here's a link to it, before someone asks for a link to verify it: www.bleedingcool.com/2013/09/0…
Now of course, the easy thing is to point out that Marvel's got a gay married couple in the form of Northstar and his husband. Also Marvel's got another married couple that's been married, and happily for coming up to 50 YEARS(!)
in the form of the Fantastic Four's Reed and Susan Richards. And quite frankly, before the oh-so-brilliant reboot, Animal Man and his wife were a happily married couple, Superman and Lois were married for 15 years with the only complications was from creators who didn't like those two being married. In fact, now that I think about it... I have never heard any real, sales shattering complaints about any character being married, EXCEPT from the editors and creators. Well, in real life, we have heroes like police men, fire fighters, soldiers and even black ops specialists who are not only married but have *gasp!*... Children! Oh, how can they ever be heroes now?!
Look, we all know what's really going on. They're still going off that old school mentality I mentioned a few weeks ago, in the 'Ignorance of Change' post. And on top of that, back in the 1990s, DC comics was actually a pretty fun comic book company to read and Marvel was all grimdark toasty, interfering with creative control at every turn. Eventually Marvel lost so much, they declared bankruptcy. (And Joe Quesada, who was in the right place at the right time, got named the Editor in Chief of Marvel. This along with the Spider-Man movie helped turn Marvel around.) But what happened to that former EiC at Marvel, Bob Harras? He's currently working at DC now, as EiC. Which explains a lot.
At Marvel during the 90s, everyone was miserable and unhappy all the time. Creators were constantly leaving Marvel to work independent or at DC, because of editorial interference. (Peter David left both X-Factor and Incredible Hulk for those reasons.) The X-Books couldn't keep a writer on them for longer than six months, they started doing crazy sales stunts like exclusive distribution rights. (And that's not even getting into the gimmick covers.) Their rival company was coming out with successful movie after movie after movie, where the best they could manage was bombs like Howard the Duck or obscure things like Blade. The two happily married hero couples, the Parker and the Richards were movee out of the way. Peter and Mary Jane were shoved off to the side, for swingin' bachelor Ben Reilly, and Reed had mysteriously disappeared, so Sue can run around in an embarrassing and revealing costume. In fact, a lot of female characters ended up wearing overly skimpy costumes. After the Infinity Gauntlet, the cosmic books just kept repeating the same plotlines over and over again. Tony Stark was "boring" so they had him replaced by a younger counter part. And then there's the Punisher. Oh man, if you read the Punisher in the 90s, you know exactly the stupid shit they put that poor pissed off veteran through.
Doesn't that all sound very familiar?
Here's what it comes down to. If sales are any indication, eventually DC is going to start losing a lot of money, and they'll be forced to make higher level changes. When that happens, we can see things get back to normal there. But for now, we just wait patiently and keep giving Marvel and the independents our money. (Especially the independents, as I have a comic coming out next year!) In time, they'll get their heads out of their butts and either "infinitely crisis" this nonsense away, or just make things more fun again. It'll eventually happen... We just gotta put up with stupid crap in the meanwhile.
Oh yeah, since I was asked by several people about the Harley Quinn submission, I'll make the official statement here. I'm not trying out for it. Why? My art is not what they're looking for. No, this is not some self-pity thing, but more along the lines that I know what they're looking for and my art is not it. Not to mention I got some page commissions I'm behind on and I need to get done with first. But most importantly... She's not my Harley. My Harley runs around laughing and giggling like a madwoman wearing a red and black Harlequin costume, hitting people with giant mallets and shooting bats with boxing glove guns. She has a fun and playful relationship with both Joker and Poison Ivy (and occasionally Catwoman), she's not really evil as she's just misguided. It's really hard not to smile when you see classic Harley Quinn. She's happy, crazy, cute and even sexy. But above all else, she's fun.
I know I'm old and out of date, I get that and I accept that. I'm not a bitter old man, pissed off that things are changing and I can't keep up. It's just that the current Harley Quinn just isn't what I'm interested in. And it's got nothing to do with the whole "naked in the bathtub" thing, because y'all know I don't have a problem with fanservice... I just want the fanservice to make sense. And the whole attempted suicide thing all sounds like they're trying to make her DC's answer to Deadpool more than anything, and I just don't think that's what you should do with Miss Quinzel.
(But seriously though, if it was DC like four years ago? You bet your ass I'd do it.)
So there's that. And I'll probably be doing a $20 commission sale coming up in about a week or so, so heads up on that too.