Speaking of DC’s reboot

I haven’t had a chance to read all the DC post-reboot books, so I can’t make an overall assessment. Certainly some are supposed to be excellent (Animal Man) and some sound quite intriguing (Demon Knights). The three I’ve managed to find so far … not so much.
Batgirl is definitely the best of the bunch, light, lively, and fun. But whoever at DC decided that putting Barbara Gordon back in tights after years as super-hacker Oracle would be an improvement was nuts. It’s entertaining but no different from any other non-super powered crimefighter.
It also shows the curious hamfisted way DC is rebooting itself. The only information we get about Barbara’s past is that she used to be Batgirl, got crippled by the Joker and now walks again thanks to “a miracle.” If writer Gail Simone wanted to fill in backstory for new readers, that doesn’t tell them much (nothing about how she put on the suit in the first place) and as an old hand, I’m baffled: What was the miracle? Did she ever have an Oracle identity (I’m guessing not——as one reviewer pointed out, she’d be making a very successful living in IT but she appears to be in the same financial boat as most 20-somethings)? And why exactly is The Killing Joke so important that it has to be retained in continuity (don’t get me wrong, I like the story, but not more than many stories that got wiped from reality).
Justice League International is just generic: The UN decides it needs a team of super-heroes, and that they shouldn’t have secret identities so people know who’s protecting them (I doubt it’s coincidence that most of the lineup resembles Keith Giffen’s nitwit post-Crisis version of the JLA [ugh, how I hated that thing!]). This would have been a real grabber 30 years ago, but since the Crisis, we’ve had Justice League Europe, Justice League International, Extreme Justice and even the core JLA has assembled and disassembled a couple of times. There’s nothing about this book (including the assertion the backers have a hidden agenda) that couldn’t have been done without a reboot (contrary to some optimistic predictions rebooting would spur a wave of innovative series).
Green Arrow reads as if they’re desperately hoping to reel in the Smallville audience by presenting GA as a millionaire philanthropist backed up by a female computer whiz. The result, unfortunately, is to make him look like a Batman knockoff. Which of course, is what he was for years (Speedy for Robin, Arrowcar for Batmobile, Arrowplane for Batplane etc.) but even given the fondness at DC for wiping out any changes of the past 30 years, I can’t imagine anyone’s nostalgic for that days. The bearded, snarky radical leftist was a lot more fun and distinctive (I think Ollie busting firms illegally foreclosing on people’s homes would be a natural current events hook)——even without the Batman resemblance, this version of Ollie is pretty generic.
I’ll mention more if I find them.

2 Comments

Filed under Comics

2 responses to “Speaking of DC’s reboot

  1. Pingback: You’re a wonder, Wonder Woman | Fraser Sherman's Blog

  2. Pingback: I was going to blog about how few comics I read … | Fraser Sherman's Blog

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