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Nerdrageous! June 14, 2011

Posted by Skippy in Comics, Observations.
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The images surrounding DC Comics reboot/revamp of their comics lines have all been released. Children, the nerd rage over the past couple of days has not been pretty. But then again, neither have the revised versions of Superman:

Fig. 1: Who is this? Hipster Superman? (h/t to Rima)

Fig. 2? Is this Superman? Why does he have kneepads and crazy boots?

Children, I have no idea what DC Comics is doing. Sadly, I don’t think they have any idea either. They’re claiming that these redesigns and revamps isn’t a rebooting of the DC Universe. However, as the rumors are flying fast and furious, it is, for all intents and purposes, a reboot. Concerning Superman, here are two more troubling rumors:

1. Superman might be shacking up with Wonder Woman.

I cannot begin to count the FAIL in this. Now, I’ll be a good fanboy and eat my words with broccoli should they find a way to do this and not make this suck harder than when Marvel magically erased Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson’s marriage, but as of now, if that rumor is true…wow. The next worst thing is to let David E. Kelley start writing Superman.

2. There will be no Kents. Superman will be a government agent (of sorts).

Frankly, that’s like changing the Jesus myth so that he’s no longer born of a virgin, but is instead an agent of Pontius Pilate. No Kents? Now, I know that DC has been in a battle with the heirs of Superman creators Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster and that in 2013, some of the rights to Superman will revert to them. I know that DC is trying to find ways to hold on to as much of Superman as they can—this really saddens me. For all of Superman’s history—73 years and counting—Superman has been a stranger from a distant world, raised from childhood by a kindly couple and instilled with the values that would eventually make him the world’s greatest superhero. And for most of those 73 years, that kindly couple was Jonathan and Martha Kent. These people are at the core of who Superman is—I think John Byrne (whack job though he is) got it right in 1986 when he was tasked with revamping Superman. He emphasized the “man” over the “Super” and used the Kents as that touchstone of humanity. Losing that, you have an alien who may look like us, but isn’t at all connected to us. And why would that person even care about saving humanity?

Up until now, I’d been pretty optimistic about this relaunch. Frankly, there needed to be some good old-fashioned housecleaning. Superman’s origins had gotten too muddied, thanks to idiots like Dan Didio, Jeph Loeb and Joe Casey who had such a hard-on for the Silver Age, they kept allowing dumb shit that was best left in the 50s and 60s back into the comics. The revolving door of writers in the early 2000s left the Superman comics an incoherent mess. Even when there was a story arc in which Superman seemed to be getting some solid storytelling, the writers would be lured away from DC and we’d be back to square one. I won’t even touch the inconsistent artwork. You’d think that Superman was some third-tier superhero that people worked on just to get some experience, not DC’s flagship character.

Ah, well. Life is change, so I and all the other Superman fanboys and girls will get over it and move on with our lives. That’s the thing about myths; they change—sometimes drastically—but, if they’re rooted deeply enough, they endure.

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