The 5 reasons the Reboot Sucks already!

June 1, 2011 12:47 pm 15 comments

Rob Richardson vs DAMM round one

*Rob “I’m in the Corps” Richardson a total Johns groupie seems to be excited about the defiling of his favorite characters so I will fire the first volley in good natured always respectful debate between friends. No opinion is more valid than the other just different, so Gren Lantern boy take this!

1The complete Toddler Justice League with horrid Bat and Cyborg costumes included.

I can hear the screaming from comic shops and creators from here, “Give it a Chance, Its Geoff Johns after all and he’s awesome. Just like you bloggers to make up your mind before you even read it.” Hey I have spent more money on comics than food in my 37 years of reading comics so ummm pound sand. I am qualified to judge NOW.

Now, let’s talk about how we know this sucks BEFORE we read this tripe.

1. Action, Batman, Detective and Wonder Woman the longest running comics full of nostalgia and history – basically their definitions – are starting over at # 1.

Nothing but ego and gimmick can explain this lack of respect for the creators who came before. The real reason – Creators get to ”INVENT” icons according to their “visions” instead of what the character demands. In the above release it states new origins “rooted in the originals” if they had any clue what “rooted” and “original” meant we wouldn’t be here in the first place. Does anyone remember Zero Hour? They tried renumbering then too. Know what happened a few years later they just picked up the old numbers where they would have been. This left huge gaps in numbering. Like it needed to be any more confusing.

2. Geoff Johns can’t write them all.

Frankly, Geoff Johns is overexposed and believes his own press about being the “be all end all” of comic writers. I have seen this before from one of my favorite editors Bob Harras before with Scott Lobdell.  Lobdell was writing everything X-men and at some point was wearing thin. I still resent the Onslaught storyline getting in the way of the Trial of Gambit, which Lobdell couldn’t finish. This overexposure got Harras replaced and Lobdell drummed out of comics. At least for a while. Guess who is rumored to get a writing gig on a major character after the reboot? Lobdell. What is the definition of insanity? If you look, that’s exactly when Marvel imploded. Guess what they did? They created the Ultimate line to get new readers. Yep, then they fixed the regular Marvel U the hard way. Now Ultimate Universe sucks (see a trend?) and The regular Marvel U has had groundbreaking storytelling (Civil War/Initiative) where they stayed true to the characters and still told a Quake of a tale. Guess how they fixed the regular U? Good storytelling from new talent. Bendis. Millar. Fraction. Van Scriver. Even  Kevin Smith to Daredevil which was unheard of.

3. In the release it says “over 50 new costumes!!”

On classic DC icons too you can bet and would you look at Toddler Justice League above and see Wonder Woman (ugh). If I have to explain why THIS is a bad idea (new costume= new origin and no story) then you are a newbie. New costume is comic speak for gimmick with no substance. In fact it did not even work for the black Spider-Man costume twice. Is anyone but me paying attention?

4. Hundreds of characters including Blue Devil and GCSirens won’t continue and in Devils case never existed, despite my physical proof.

5. The creators and their “vision over character” approach ARE the problem but it’s not all their fault. DC drives the bus and forces wacky lame ideas out of brilliant creators to fit their editorial profiteering. But there is a deeper problem. Retreads. I am sorry but can’t Grant Morrison take a vacation? Johns too. Recharge. Simmer a story and as the rock stars you are, come back when you got something. R.I.P. was desperate and weak, Final Crisis a real disaster and Johns has reboots, movies and every single title in the DCU waiting to be penned by him. They are burning out. Creativity is not an assembly line it’s inspired. Here is my point.  LET SOME NEW TALENT INTO YOUR POOL! It’s how you got Johns in the first place. Then let them do what Johns did but you have to set them free. I admit what makes Johns awesome IS his love of character cores but he has become the very authority figure he bucked on entrance. Murmur. Great idea. New characters!  I wrote last time about creators being pushed away by chokeholds. DC if you really want to take a risk, take it on a non-established writer/artist team that has never had a shot but is obvious talent. Open your submissions and hire someone qualified to read them not send them back unread marked “unsolicited’.

I was really enjoying Flashpoint as an Elseworlds tale but will stop and buy Ed Brubaker’s Criminal with that money and my Wonder Woman money goes to Avengers Academy. I think you can see that if DC wants to spit in my face after shoving manure in it and crying because I don’t like it then I will get the entire Bloody Pulp library instead of Batman Inc.(ugh) which I was still buying, cause they were gonna fix it. “Trust Us”


My blog: – Original fiction from Rob Richardson and DAMM

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  • I’m not sure I can agree with all of the above: you really can’t judge a book till you’ve read it and I think that this may… just may… be a step in the right direction. The real news here isn’t so much the reboot, but the distribution angle. Now, I can’t quite work out if this is smart or suicidal: there’s a propensity for piracy on the internet as it is, and this might just be playing into the hands of the the pirates – after all, making more books available as digital format means there are more books available for piracy. Let’s hope they’re pretty secure.

    To the matter at hand – DC are talking about character relationships and dynamics. With a fully mature suite of characters this makes the “learning curve” harder to write. At what…thirty four or thirty five, Superman isn’t prone to making mistakes for instance. Batman knows all there is to know, Wonder Woman is fully engaged with her “new” society, Hal Jordan is no longer a… err… green intergalactic cop, Flash is aware of his limitations… and they all have their relationships defined.

    On the one hand, I’m not keen on teen angst and turning the DCU into Twilight in Spandex (which is a good name for band, btw) but it might give the writers a chance to take things in a new direction. What if…WHAT IF they follow up on the hinted Wonder Woman/Batman crush they had in the JLA animated series. What if Lois Lane isn’t Superman’s squeeze at all, but he’s all keen on Wonder Woman. Now – give that Supes and Bats don’t agree with each other’s methods in the first place, you throw a bit of a triangle in there and you might have comic gold. I know this was done in the AU as well with Bruce and Lois, but really – that might work as idea.

    It might not if they spend their whole time navel gazing about it, of course, but shifting the tried and tested relationships may be breath of fresh air. What if the JLA don’t really get on that well and are bound only by their common moral compass. They know that there are big threats they can’t fight alone and have to team up, but that doesn’t mean they have to like it. What if Power Girl had a credible origin story (and I even have one).

    Which leads on to what I think is the key point in your article – and that is about new talent. There has to be a way of getting new blood into the system: comics, like book publishing and the movie industry is a really, really closed shop – I believe comics even more so than the latter two. And that may well be the crux of the matter. There are a millions of comic fans out there, millions of ideas for new directions, better storylines and all that stuff. I think that the majors have to look to find ways of that pool, but of course the issue is, out of those millions, how many are any good? How many have the stuff to write new material week-in-week-out?

    That’s the problem, and I don’t really have an answer for it. But, if DC can find it – it’ll be the saving of these properties, I think.



  • THAT is the kind of logic slingin’ we need more of Russ and thanks for taking the time to comment. Ihave stated my case. But anyone reading comics as soon as he hears new costume knows he is getting screwed

  • For the record – I think that the Superman outfit is sacrosanct. I can go with the Hellenic Armour look for Wonder Woman as new take, I can go for the pared down armour of BaleBatman look. But, as much as I loved the ‘Returns movie, the purple cape and tiny-S-Shield narked me.

    This high-collar-no-red-undies thing just doesn’t fly, for me at any rate. I HAVE seen it. And I DON’T like it. But…that’s not enough reason for me to hate on the whole thing just yet.

  • Bryon Clough

    I was initially upset when I heard about the reboot. DC has the longest running comics out there. We were only 8 years away from Action Comics #1000. That would have been cool. But thinking about it from a practical standpoint, may cause some problems too, trying to fit four digits into the same amount of space.

    I like the history and nostalgia of the characters at DC. Everybody knows Superman and Batman, even those who think comics are just for kids know tham and most of their backstory. I hope they don’t turn Supes into some angst ridden teenager, that’s not who he is.

    New costumes? We all know that’s a gimmick. But think about it for a minute. Wonder Woman fighting supervillains in a bathing suit is just impractical. Call me crazy, but I kind of like her new costume. Supes is in the back of the picture, but his costume looks essentially the same, except for the collar, which is would get extremely uncomfortable. And everybody knows that you don’t mess with Superman’s costume, it is iconic.

    I have been reading DC comics for about ten years now, and I still get confused with some of the backstory. It seems like every ten years or so, they have to have an event to “clean up” continuity. Don’t they have editors to make sure that continuity does not get messed up in the first place? And speaking of editors: as a side note, did anyone READ Batman R.I.P. before it was published? I have read it, like three times, and still have no idea what happens. I think one of the big problems is the editorial staff not performing their jobs as overseers of the writers. Geoff Johns did great on Green Lantern, so they stopped giving him critiques or something, and we ended up with Brightest Day. The end was good, but what was all of that in the middle? I don’t think you have to get all new talent, but I think you need to reign in the current talent a little bit. (I got tired of “the goddamn Batman, just because Frank Millar COULD say it)

    I love DC, tha characters, the events, the universe. I will keep buying books, but please, remember me, the guy who has been supporting you for over a decade.

  • Rob Richardson

    I’m psyched – really psyched!

    And Lantern boy fires his ring back!

    I can’t argue as well as you DAMM but i’ll try.

    1. All I can do is compare to another of my favourite franchises, Doctor Who. The program ran its course from 1963 -1989 (with an ill fated attempt at a movie in 1996). The format had become stagnated and convoluted; characters, story arcs and such had become so intertwined nobody know what to write and the show had lost its original fun attitude.

    So it was cancelled.

    God forbid that happen where sales at DC get so low I never get to read any more stories about my heroes apart from those I invent – but that’s an extreme. I digress.

    Come 2005 the BBC has a revelation, lets reboot Doctor Who! The show has never been stronger. Some of the origins have changed – the Doctors roots have descended into the ether so its not really worth probing anymore – and some have stayed the same. New characters and villains have been introduced and these originally written stories are sometimes some of the best!

    So reboots can work.

    2. This I agree with you on. He has become a sort of ‘hive mind’ in the background of it all. This, however, happens across the industry. A talented individual gets a good piece published and continues on a good run and then becomes revered as a kind of comics deity – I myself am guilty of this kind of worship.

    However, prepare for the inevitable fall from grace.

    All it takes will be for one bad run, a few bad sales or lack of fan interest and writers get cast aside. I have never read anything by Jeph Loeb since ‘One More Day’. Spider-man was once a character I completely identified with and had followed religiously – cross titles – for a number of years. However, re-writing his story with ‘One More Day/Brand New Day’, I considered a massive insult.

    I myself have only just started going back to Marvel with the new Venom storyline.

    So I also understand the trepidation people feel when hearing about the DC reboot.

    3. Costumes are not an issue for me to get annoyed with. They’ll reset the look, or the characters will ‘rediscover’ their original look if the new costumes don’t work for them. Costumes change and shift all the time.

    And our Elseworlds tales (of which we’re both particular fans) have an array of costumes!

    Supermans costume is ever changing. It never stays the same year on year, event on event, storyline on storyline.

    And i’ll be honest, Batmans DC Online armour looks fantastic so I hope they bring that look in.

    4. Ok, characters have gone. Its completely understandable for people to be upset; a lot of time, money and love has been invested in some fantastic storylines.

    But this is the price we pay for a reboot. Who’s to say that a new character is created who you’ll love even more? It’s only the same as picking up a random comic book from a shelf you’ve never read before?

    Also, I reckon they’ll be back.

    Killing off Spider-man in the Ultimate universe, or so it was billed?

    Not at all!

    The character remains – Peter Parker has died, which is a major thing – but Spider-man is still web-slinging around New York.

    In my opinion Bruce Wayne should never have come back. Dick Grayson was beginning to excel as Batman – the dynamic between him and Damian was fantastic – and Battle for the Cowl was so well written it couldn’t have been a better set up.

    I think it’s too easy for our heroes to come back. Bruce Wayne was a man – an incredible man – but a man nonetheless. His successor was worthy and the time to move on was handled well. It was then destroyed by The Return of Bruce Wayne.

    5. Cannot agree more. New talent is needed – surely this would be an ideal time to inject new blood into the industry? New stories, new characters, NEW WRITERS AND NEW ARTISTS!

    However the industry, especially the Big 2, should make it easier for new creative talent to submit their work. It’s incredibly difficult and complicated and unfortunately is riddled with cliques.

    Hope that doesn’t make you too irate friend.

    And as for Batman Inc… Urgh indeed!

  • D L Robertson

    A problem also is DC wants to be relevant to the point that they want to be in the “REAL” world. Just how much of this do you want in your comics. Supes protesting in Iran was over the top, and heavy handed political staements have no place in comics (at least mine).

    • Rob Richardson

      Yeah, I agree DL. I think everything has its place. It was very respectful how Marvel handled the devastation of the World Trade Centre but DC trying to have a hand in politics at such a sensitive time in so many countries is in very bad taste.

  • Tom Baker is the only Dr Who. I find I can’t get into it since it was rebooted.I KNOW I am in the minority so I won’t beleaguer the point. I assure you if it was Green Lantern they were throwing away, you wouldn’t find some other character you like better. Also the Ultimate Universe doesn’t count because it is not real Marvel continuity and anything goes over there and it may suck but it technically is not tampering. Costumes do change and shift all the time as a gimmick to hide lack of substance to tweak a character beyond belief or simply pretend to be freshened up a bit. I still HATE that Kyle Rayner costume. He doesnt match the rest of the Corps. What police force would let 1 dude dress out of Uniform?

    • Rob Richardson

      And what gets better DAMM is that I love Kyles costume (the Corps uniforms are constructed to fit their species, check out some of the plant-based and crystal life forms, their outfits are bizarre!)! I don’t ONLY like Green Lantern! I have other characters I love too. We really are polar opposites on this one. Its certainly going to make for some good debating over the next few months!

  • I HAD to post this comment I found on Facebook. Best breakdown of the costumes yet.

    Abhijeet Shukla said

    Well guys let’s look at All new DC courtesy of joe q. I mean geoff fuckin johns
    A justice league without martian manhunter.
    A super-horny-emo-boy-man with equally horny wonder-biker-girl-woman or whatever.
    A bat-daddy without robin(not so sure).
    A flash with rugby helmet.
    Green lantern without green lantern ring(or with a crotch-gun),lmao.
    Terminator I mean cyborg.
    Aquaman as usual useless guy.
    I bet you all this ultimate marvel rip-off will fall flat on its ass faster than a speeding bullet.
    And if you thought that OMD was a mess, you ain’t seen nothing yet. DC and geoff fucking johns better watch out cause THE SHIT HAS OFFICIALY HIT THE FAN.

  • D L Robertson

    Say what you really think, don’t hold back! LOL

  • D L Robertson

    You know Rob, Kyle’s uniform was the only thing I liked about that story arc. When Hal became a killer and power monger (no matter the reason) it broke my heart. I didn’t pick up another issue of GL for a couple of years.

    • Rob Richardson

      It was a very big chance they took turning Hal bad but I think it paid off in the end. I think we’ve all seen our favourites fall from grace from time to time. What I liked about it was it proved that Hal was a slave to his emotions all the time and that, like Batman, its the tools that give him his powers, but its the man inside that makes him who he is.

      The Parallax part was a bit contrived but it did help explain the extreme of Hal’s behaviour – I guess it was too much of a risk saying that he had just gone mental! I suppose that makes him less redeemable. If only in life we could bring our inner demons a face and battle it out – wow, thats me being philosophical!

      I think what turned people away from Kyle was that he didn’t earn his power ring like the others, he was just given it in an alley. His tragedy took place within the first four issues though – finding your girlfriend stuffed in a fridge is pretty shocking! What I like about Kyle is his optimism and how he always looks for the good. However he’s more than proved he’s worthy since. He’s the perfect foil for Guy and together they’re the perfect odd couple.

  • I always liked Kyle because I was so sick of what they were doing to Hal. Just hated the costume. Even Mongo had a matching green and white costume, not black and green and double breasted flap thing on his chest. But when they brought Hal back it was what 3 years later and the best way they could do that was Parrallax? really the yellow fear alien crawled into his ring the ONE time he ever got afraid? sigh even typing it it feels like Countdown and FC. Anti- life equation brainwashes kids? thats it? it zombies you? Anyway I am going to go write my own character bios and the next Chapter of Question the Punchline. Capes are bumming me out today. Usually they give me such joy

  • D L Robertson

    Do like I do DAMM, go see a baseball game, you have the Rockies go to a game. When I lived in the Springs about 10 years ago I used to go to a lot of games either up in Denver or stay in the Springs, good stuff.

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