dragonbat2006: Canon Error (Default)
Frankly, I wish that DC would copy Marvel more on what's really working: not 'reboots', just updated origins that fit the times. For example, during Batman:Knightfall, Scarecrow sent a booby-trapped VHS cassette to the police. If this were a Marvel property, should a writer need to refer back to that storyline today, the cassette would be retconned to a DVD or blu-ray, or even a download link (complete with a virus or some malware that their MacAfee/Avast couldn't detect...). But there's no need to say 'that story didn't happen. Here's the Nu52 rebooted Scarecrow who NEVER used VHS.'

I don't like Marvel's renumbering, but I can live with it. Especially with a few other key elements that Marvel's currently providing.

Accessible issues. Mark Waid is great at this. I saw this on his Twitter feed yesterday, in fact. In response to a query from a fan:

@MarkWaid I do have a question regarding DD#1. Do I have to have read the previous run to "get it"? I have it in the read pile.

he said:

Never. Never, ever, ever, unless I fail to do my job. Every issue HAS to stand on its own as well as be part of a series.

Not every arc. Every. Issue.

You know something? For whatever reason, I've never been a big Spidey reader. Weird, because I was a huge fan of Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends as a kid. I didn't (and don't) dislike the character. I just never really felt I wanted to read more. Well, thanks to Marvel Unlimited, I decided that I wanted to read the Civil War event. When I finished the core books, I started looking at tie-ins, including the Spidey books. And... even though I think the last Spider-Man title I read was either the annual where he and MJ tie the knot or Web of Spider-Man #1, I had absolutely no problem picking up the story. I didn't need to know about the first 45 years. I just dove in and started reading. In other words, while Waid is a great example of what I'm talking about, it's not just Waid. It's Straczyinski (sp?), it's Bendis, it's Soule, it's Brubaker... it's Marvel.

With DC? Half the time, I need to read back issues to follow the plot month to month. Because not only are the stories less accessible... they're less memorable.

Give me serious storylines, but make them easy to follow. Remember to put a little bit of lightness, not necessarily comedy relief (though that's okay too) in to balance the grim-and-gritty. And there's nothing wrong with grim-and-gritty. Daredevil was noir for decades, but every so often, he got to make (or hear!) a joke. (Full disclosure: I started reading DD in the middle of Volume 3. My introduction, unless we count my reading a reprint of his origin years ago, was to Waid's version. I have since gone back and read all the back issues I could get off Comixology and Marvel Unlimited and while I have enjoyed reading the Bendis-Brubaker-Diggle years, I freely acknowledge that I probably enjoyed them as much as I did because I'd already read current DD and knew that as dark and grim as Volume 2 got, there was going to be a brighter day coming.)

Where DC is going wrong is in trying to imitate Marvel's sizzle... but missing the point that the reason for that sizzle is that Marvel remembered to put steak on the grill! And until DC figures that out... their sizzle? Is going to be a lot closer to a hiss.
dragonbat2006: Canon Error (Default)
Even an intriguing Batman development isn't hooking me the way Marvel is. I picked up She-Hulk #1 on a lark and... it is so... FUN! DC just isn't anymore. There are some decent stories. There are some intriguing developments. But even the best stuff they're putting out doesn't have me on the edge of my seat, counting down the days to the next issue.

I'm on tenterhooks for Daredevil. I tweeted Chris Samnee because the unlettered preview art for #36 actually tugged at my heart-strings (2nd page. Matt and Foggy in the hospital. Owwwww!) in a good good way. Got a reply back, too, but that's beside the point.

She-Hulk seems to be more of the fun. It's hit the perfect equilibrium between comedy, drama and action, between external and internal conflict. The characters are relatable in a way that DC's aren't. Probably because DC's answer to 'make them relatable' is 'erase most of past canon and start fresh with a blank slate' while Marvel's is 'let's have jumping-on point issues... even if we annoy folks by renumbering, where we update the origins for the 2010s. Matt Murdock now had a computer in college, etc. Explain who these guys are briefly and then get on with the stories.'

When I think back... it seems like Marvel's take is how it should be. I started reading DC in 1988. I bought back issues because I wanted more to read about my favorite characters, but I never felt like I couldn't enjoy Batman or X-Men if I didn't have every single back issue ever. I joined in media res and learned as I went along.

Incidentally, that approach taught me that when I was writing a story, I didn't need to detail up-front every single thing about my characters' appearances, back stories, etc. It was fine to start in the middle and fill in the blanks as necessary.

This hurts. It hurts because the only times I've picked up the odd Marvel issue until about a year and a half ago was when an issue was written by one of a handful of writers I'd told my LCS "Put aside anything these people write and add it to my pull-list. Even if it's just a collection of Hostess Fruit Pie ads." (Very short list. Chris Gage, Gail Simone, Tamora Pierce, and Russell Lissau. The first two because I love most of their work. Tamora Pierce because I'm a fan of her novels and so was onboard for her White Tiger mini. It... wasn't as good as her novels, but it was still decent. Russell Lissau is on my list because he's an all-around nice guy who comes onto message boards and he wrote a Batman story years ago that showed me that his vision of Batman was almost a perfect match for mine. I've liked a lot of his other stuff, too.) I picked up Daredevil on a lark during a slow week when it was "I have maybe 2 or 3 things coming in for my pull-list. The blurb says this is a good jump-on point and I've heard good things about Mark Waid. Yeah, he wrote some JLA stories I've got in trade and I liked those. Let's take a chance."

And now, I'm still not reading much Marvel. I'm nervous about picking up team books with multiple titles, so I'm mostly staying clear of the X-books and A-books. For now. But I'm loving what I am reading and pre-Reboot, I wouldn't have considered picking up a regular non-DC title (barring those 4 writers).

Why isn't DC fun anymore?


dragonbat2006: Canon Error (Default)

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