Yay, comics again. At the moment I am reading the German run of Flashpoint. THE DC event that will truly change everything. I‘ve already heard about this relaunch/reboot last year, when it happened in the US. And I followed the news via DC’s Facebook page ever since, not too careful cause I didn‘t want to spoil myself. Everything I got: DC ended all their ongoing comic books and completly started over with 52 new #1s. Even Earth’s most tradtional comic books „Action Comics“ and „Detective Comics“ started with new #1s. Actually this is really risky but I didn‘t think about it that much in the beginning.
One news I did notice was the introduction of a new character: The Horsewoman. HORSEWOMAN! I mean, what comes to your mind, when you read „HORSEWOMAN“? „She is strong, she is fast, she eats 400 pounds of hay every day!“ Many DC Facebook fans (including me) were like „Haha, you can‘t be serious!“. I commented something like „You still think the relauch was a good idea?“ and I got 5 likes or so with that. The first thing I had to think of was MARVEL’s Squirrel Girl, who actually is a woman in a furry squirrel suit! I guess she has a kid with Luke Cage… I‘m not sure, I saw her once in a Spider-Man comic, sitting in the Avengers Mansion, feeding the baby and phoning with Spidey.
In the end „Horse Woman“ turned out to be a medieval archer or something. (see here: www.dccomics.com/blog/2011/07/28/introducing-the-horsewoman/) But after Spider-Man, Wolverine, Batman, Hawkman (and others) who are named after animals and all have huge characteristics of animals (either by the looks of the costumes or the powers or whatever) you expect a character half woman – half horse. And I prefer the centaur look and not this sick furry-hentai version (omg). But why then name it „Horse Woman“? What was wrong with „Medieval Archer Woman“? Or… „Arrow Girl“… or „Aim Bitch“? Anyways…
I‘m still waiting for the German start of the relaunch which will happen in June. Flashpoint is over in May. But I took the chance to take a look at the US-editions of some New 52 releases. I checked „Action Comics“, „Batman“, „Detective Comics“, „Batwing“, „Teen-Titans“, „Superboy“, „Wonder Woman“, „Firestorm“, „Flash“, „Red Lanterns“, „Blue Beetle“ and „Legion of Super Heroes“. And I didn‘t like most of them. But mainly because I‘ve never liked most of the heroes themselves.
Additionally in Germany, comic book releases work differently. In America you have 22 to 40 paged floppies released monthly that are $2.99 to $3.99 depending on the number of pages. German floppies are different: first of all both MARVEL AND DC comics are released by the same German publisher. And German floppies always collect several issues of a series and do not only contain one chapter. Those floppies are from 3.95 Euro to 5.95 Euro, also depending on the number of pages. So whatever I‘ve said about German comic book prices, at least the floppies seem to be a bit cheaper here than in the US!!!
So the New 52 also will be released differently: Many heroes do not come alone, for example Action Comics shares a monthly book with Supergirl, the JLA shares a book with the Teen-Titans and The Dark Knight has a tête-à-tête with Nightwing. The German issues will have 52 to 60 pages and will be 4.95 Euro which is a fair price! Most of the other series are released in TPB form with up to 130 pages for maximum 16.95 Euro. And here is what I don‘t get about German comic book prices: Batgirl and Aquaman both contain 132 pages and are 14.95 Euro, Catwoman and JLA Dark also contain 132 pages each and are 16.95 Euro… just because of a „Premium look“ or so. WHY??? I wanna read the comic, I don‘t need no premium-collectors-good-looking-sparkling-glow-in-the-dark-shit (everytime I start to connect words it comes out like this!!!). The result is that I won‘t read Catwoman! PERIOD! After I checked the US-editions I decided to buy the German issues of Superman (which contain Action Comics and Supergirl) and JLA (which contain JLA and Teen Titans).
Now to the relaunch in general. Of course this is a brave thing to actually relaunch everything and even reboot many franchises. I still don‘t know what happens in the end of Flashpoint. As far as I‘ve heard in Podcasts and read on the internet some series aren‘t even affected at all and go on at the point we‘ve left them after „Brightes Day“ or „Blackest Night“ or „Twilightedest Afternoon“ I only have one question: WHY? I mean modernizing everything is a good thing. Superman looked almost the same since he came up in the 1930ies and wasn‘t changed a lot. That’s a good thing. And I really like the redesign of most of the characters.
But there is something that really fucks me up: Barbara Gordon is Batgirl again. In one of the most amazing comic books I have ever read, Alan Moore’s „The Killing Joke“, Barbara Gordon was shot down by the Joker and suffered paraplegia, forcing her to sit in a wheel chair. She later became Oracle and some sort of the computer operator of the „Birds of Prey“ (you know those hot chick superheroes ). And now she is able to be a Batgirl again? There is a comic book journalist who also sits in a whell chair who claims Barbara Gordon to be a figurehead for disabled women. Well… maybe. Perhaps it is just… you know I don‘t wanna insult disabled people or other minorities. But sometimes they just try to find strong figureheads even if they don‘t need them. My problem with Barbara Gordon walking again is a different one: HOW? I mean, my first thought when I head about that was, they are making all the great comic stories I‘ve read in the last years completly meaningless! Like they have never ever happened! I mean, editors, writers and so on have stated that all the important events of the last decades have happened and still have their meaning. „The Killing Joke“ was one of the most distracting and influencial stories. And by letting Barbara Gordon walk again, you take away this meaning from it. But I‘ve already seen the cover artwork of #8 of Batgirl showing her followed by a demon or devil or so. So maybe everything was make-believe and she still sits in the wheel chair… but I don‘t care. For me it is like they just completly started over and didn‘t mind the stuff that already was there. I don‘t like that. And basically they are doing that regularly with every big event: killing unpopular characters, merging Earths, changing costumes of heroes. And! So! On!
But even before the start in Germany I‘ve heard that a lot of new series were canceled already with the new #8. I mean, DC actually put up 52 (!!!) new comic books and still had their imprints releasing stuff. Even old franchise like „Batman, Inc.“ will later be continued. It’s clear that certain franchises had no chance. No matter if it was due bad quality or just dislike of the characters. I mean, there are DC heroes I already didn‘t like before the relaunch like Mr Terrific, which is one of the canceled comics. Gosh, stupid… And there are even heroes or characters I am missing: what about Lobo??? But in fact you can‘t buy all the comics anyway. Just by buying all new #1s you would have spend way over $ 150 (that is the main reason why I‘m happy that „Countdown to Final Crisis“ was released in TPB form here in Germany ).
Well, we have to wait what comes out at the end. I guess writers at DC have an overall concept with this thing. And as far as I heard everything that happens in the new continuity will later also affect the old continuity. So maybe it is less worse than we all think. But DC should also think of their legacy.
Follow the little new 52S!!!