The latest idiocy? Check out the brilliant plan of DC, faced with plummeting sales and dismal results compared to Marvel, doubling-down for something like the 30th time on making their superheroes "dark" and "edgy", up to and including giving new costumes to their main trio (Superman, Wonder Woman, and Batman).
Now, Wonder Woman's is not godawful, just vaguely dumb. Her wrist-cuffs and lariat is replaced by a pair of extra-violent spikes to stab people with. Because obviously, the most important thing about Wonder Woman is her being all stabby.
Batman's, however, is full-bore idiotic. He now has a mecha-suit and a gun, and barely even resembles batman:
Because if there's one thing everyone wants to see from Batman is him relying on something other than his wit and natural physical skills. Oh, and seeing him use guns, because Batman despising the weapon that killed his parents is totally not a significant feature of his character.
But by far, the image that makes the atrocious fucknut stupidity of DC's staff crystal-clear is Superman:
Yes, the Icon of Truth and Justice, the optimistic figure that is supposed to more than anything inspire us with hope for higher ideals, is now dressed in jeans and punk-boots, his hands soaked in the blood of someone he presumably just beat to a bloody pulp, and his "S" is now on a black background because black is so much "edgier".
Now, I know that these costumes won't last, they're due to some contrived special event, blah blah blah, but regardless, the underlying problem that DC's editorial staff has, and the reason why they keep sucking so very very badly, is inherently tied to the type of mental calculations that keep leading them back to bullshit like these costumes!
DC has had a fucking mental problem for the last decade-and-a-half or so where they think "grim and dark" somehow "mature", and not actually adolescent and stupid. The only people on earth who think grim and dark is 'mature' are 15 year olds.
And DC is precisely the company that should NOT be doing 'grim and dark' (with its main heroes, anyways). It shouldn't even be doing "REAL". "Realism" was always Marvel's thing, DC's thing was always MYTH.
The DC heroes are ARCHETYPES. They are meant to be mythic in scope in a way Peter Parker or Ben Grimm or even Thor could never be (the only Marvel hero that really approaches the level of Archetypal-Myth in that DC-style is Captain America, because he's a golden-age legacy). The stories you should be telling with DC's heroes should be ultimately optimistic stories about the power of people to do great things if they are determined.
But no, these stupid motherfuckers want everything to be "dark". They fucking made the Justice Society into a nightmare-world where the heroes always lose, for fuck's sake... the JSA!!!
How, how can these fuckheads not understand the reason why they suck so badly? How many more times are they going to double-down on "Darker"!?
I read that, at least as of a couple of years ago, it was official DC policy that no superhero was allowed to be happy. Also, no stable relationships for superheroes without stress. When you mistake that for some kind of sophistication, you really have to wonder if the people calling the shots at DC are not emotionally-stunted 13 year olds or something.
I've been saying for a few years now that they need to all be fired, yes. No one over there but Grant Morrison seems to have the slightest clue what DC superheroes are meant to be about.
Recently, when I made some comments about the problem with DC's mentality over on G+, someone commented on how they'd pay good money to see me take over DC and personally throw each of these morons who run it today to the curb. Of course that'd be great, but the shitstorm that would be caused were I made director of DC would be unlike anything the internet has ever seen yet. The pseudo-activist-gamer crowd would go insane. Even so, and for the sake of speculating on what DC could be again (as indeed it once was), let's play a little thought exercise of "What Would the Pundit Do if he Took Over DC Comics"?
First order of business:
1 Make Superman stories optimistic. Make MOST of the DC comics optimistic. The idiots who have thought DC should mean 'dark' and 'grim' have it exactly backward. Marvel is where you go for human stories on the ground floor, DC is where you go for the big ideas, for inspiration and Archetypes. But especially Superman. One of the reasons why DC doesn't do this now, other than sheer stupidity, is probably on account of the fact that it's a lot harder to write good stories that are also optimistic, and most of DC's writers these days just aren't very good. But this has to be done, or else DC's superheroes just don't work.
2: Make the JLA not be constantly squabbling with each other, because the "gang of misfits that argue" thing is for Marvel; the JLA should, 90% of the time, consist of iconic heroes that work together, that are (dare I say it?) Super-friends. The conflicts should come from outside dangers or sometimes from differences of opinion but not because every single one of them is an asshole.
3: Stop making every single DC hero an asshole, for that matter. Or a gang of Emos. DC heroes don't all need to be full of angst. In fact, I don't think almost any of them should be permanently full of angst and only a handful should have a even an irregular amount of angst. Even Batman shouldn't be full of angst; he should be full of determination.
4: Create a JSA that is a kick-ass golden-age adventure alternate-world group somewhat reminiscent of the first Captain America movie. Have lots of history, have a really good writer who makes interesting stories that verge sometimes into pulp, sometimes into occult horror, sometimes into straight-up war stories.
5: Wonder Woman and Hawkman would both be all about mythology. Hawkman's would be tied into the Egyptian pantheon (like WW's is to the Greek) and would be a modern-pulp kind of feel to it; there should be a huge story-arc (preferably done by Morrison) that would culminate with him being the avatar of the reborn Horus, god of the New Aeon, Lord of Force and Fire. It would be all occulty and John Constatine could be involved somehow.
6: Yes, heroes could have stable relationships, some could even have marriages.
7: The one and only thing anyone would be allowed to try to rip off from Marvel would be for the Teen Titans; whoever was sent to write for them would have to first sit down and read all of Ms. Marvel and Young Avengers, and every single comic where Young Loki showed up. Whoever wrote Teen Titans should ideally be young-ish, and capable of writing credible teenage characters, especially teenage female characters. Everyone who was involved in any way with the New-52 Teen Titans up to now would be dragged out into the street and shot.
8: All of the above would apply to Supergirl too.
9: I'd try to get talent from the DC animated universe people, who actually seem to know what they're doing. It's ironic that in all the areas where people are doing stuff with DC characters, the comic people are the ones who seem to LEAST understand how to do it right (the movies thus far being a close second, though).
10: Obviously, I wouldn't be allowed to give Watchmen back to Alan Moore, though I wish I could; but I would make it clear that for however long I was in charge, there would be NO attempts at Watchmen-related comics. I would also try my damnedest to make sure anyone who worked on any of the "before watchmen" comics never get work in the industry again.
11. I would write the Legion of Superheroes myself. Because fuck you. And it would be awesome.
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