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Dance of the Puppets

Like a bat on a hot tin roof since August 2005

Monday, July 10, 2006

Listen to the wind

Sometime last year one of the writers at DC (can anyone remind me who it was, and point me at the original quote?) suggested that they were going to use the big gear shift of Infinite Crisis to lighten up their comics a bit and move away from the grim & gritty approach that passes for "realistic" in the comics world.

This was later refuted, but somehow the idea took root in the Great Fan Unconsciousness and is still being sited as official DC policy even now. I don't think I've seen any comments from anyone who thought it was a bad idea. In fact the only negative response has been from people who thought this was happening and are now unhappy when they see no sign of it.

This isn't a pressure group demanding a change they would like to see, it's just everybody seeing an idea that seems so obvious and right that they just assumed it was happening. And now they are sad and disappointed.

We don't want a return to silver age silliness (well, we do, but that craving is satisfied by Showcase Presents), what we want is a definition of realism that encompasses the lighter side of real life as well as the darker.

And meanwhile DC is acting like the shopkeeper whose response to a request for an item they don't stock is to say "You must be the fifth person today I've told that we don't get any call for that." DC, you need to shut up for a moment and listen to the wind. It's blowing in a different direction.


Blogger Emperor Nerd said...

It was Mark Waid that first said (I'm paraphrasing since I don't have it in front of me) "It's going to be lightening things up a bit. Batman will be pulled back from the brink of madness, and Superman will be more decisive." This was changed a bit when Grant Morrison said "We're going to turn up the contrast on the DCU; the lights will be brighter and the darks will be deeper." I'll let you know if I find the direct qoutes.

8:35 pm  
Anonymous Herald said...

Actually, I found the Mark Waid interview a little over a week ago:


The quote in question is right at the end:

AK: Right. Well, my question was, with writers like you and those I’ve mentioned and your emphasis on fun and wonder, is there any fear that we’re going back to the grim and gritty 80's with stories like IDENTITY CRISIS, WAR GAMES where Leslie Thompkins is a killer, and where half of INFINITE CRISIS looks like it’s about Batman being betrayed? What do you think of that?

MW: The good new is, and I garauntee you this, when we’re on the other side of the CRISIS, those days are GONE. Just gone. We’re sick to death of heroes who are not heroes, we’re sick to death of darkness. Not that there’s no room, not that Batman should act like Adam West, but that won’t be the overall feeling. After all this stuff, after everything shakes down, we’re done with heroes being dicks. No more "we screwed each other and now we must pay the consequences." No, we’re super-heroes and that’s what we do. Batman’s broken. Through no ONE person’s fault, but he’s a dick now. And we’ve been told we can fix that.

Frankly, I think DC made Waid backpedal when sales told them that some readers LIKE pointless death and gore.

"We're sick to death of darkness", huh?? What a JOKE...

11:45 pm  
Anonymous Starman Matt Morrison said...

Somehow, I disagree with the idea that people were only reading Infinite Crisis for the deaths...

11:56 pm  
Anonymous Ununnilium said...

Frankly, I think it has gotten brighter since IC. It was actually quite a bit brighter for a while there before, mind you, before the rolling dark cloud that Identity Crisis brought, which climaxed with Infinite Crisis #7. Now, it seems to be back to that level.

7:13 am  
Anonymous JLG said...

I don't know, Titans has Tim pretty miserable with his Kon cloning obsession, Wonder Girl isn't in the best shape either after the crushing disappointment of the cult, Beast Boy has been put through hell with IC and 52's events and is hanging with the Doom Patrol (with a mutated Bumblebee and Herald/Vox) and seperated from his (ex?)girlfriend Raven, who knows what's up with Raven, Kid Devil's pretty downtrodden with Blue Devil and Rose, Red Star had his wife and son brutually murdered... maybe it's because I don't have a wider scope, but it's still pretty dark over with the Titans.

8:24 am  
Anonymous Ununnilium said...

Well, yeah, but the current Titans comic is trying to evoke the classic Bronze Age New Teen Titans stories, which were generally quite dark.

(Mutter grumble got rid of Young Justice for this...)

6:32 pm  

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