Dark Trinity: Old DC v. New 52 & Rebirth

I apologize for missing yesterday morning. Friday becomes the one difficult day with my radio show in the morning, especially if I do my other podcast on Thursday night. Either way, inexcusable.

I was going to write about James Franco as Multiple Man from the X-Men for a solo movie, Jake Gyllenhaal as the potential Ben Affleck replacement for Batman and a Martian Manhunter movie.

Quickly on those: like Gyllenhaal for the role A LOT, hate the idea of both solo movies and don’t mind Franco as a hero as long as he’s not serious.

But it’s the weekend, so no shot in hell I’m missing out on comic book time.

Just started reading Hellblazer rebirth and Nightwing New 52. Let me just say, John Constantine is the frigin MAN. I’m sure many of you already know this, but it still needs to be said. Also, as great as he is, I can understand why he’s had trouble resonating with everyone in the past in TV and on the big screen, especially since he’s not like other DC characters. Doesn’t help when Keanu Reeves is cast in the role either. Reintroducing him on either of those mediums now will work well though. Since everyone’s always looking for new superhero stuff they’ll take the time to digest the character and realize he’s well worth everyone’s time.

But after watching the first two episodes of Robert Kirkman’s Secret History of Comics, I’m reminded of DC fans being annoyed with aspects of the New 52 and Rebirth — at least early Rebirth. (For those of you that don’t what the hell I’m talking about, the New 52 was essentially DC hitting the reset button on the universe. Not starting from scratch, but more so refocusing the direction. Same with Rebirth.

I’d definitely say Rebirth’s ben better so far. Not that I’ve read a ton of New 52 — Red Hood, Deathstroke and starting Nightwing — but in talking to others and what I’ve seen with multiple Rebirth books, DC has really hit its stride.

I think some longtime fans have problems with DC not being this “happy-go-lucky, guaranteed everything ends up OK” stories. Let me put this into perspective for those bitter fans.

I’m not someone who’s read comic books all my life. I’ve enjoyed the characters through TV and video games, but could never get into the books. Since I read the New 52 Red Hood and the Outlaws, I can’t put them down. These DC books are exactly what fans new to the characters need.

There used to be this perception that most DC characters were unstoppable. Therefore they could not die. Which meant they’d never lose a battle. Sure that worked well for Batman because he was actually a regular person, so the was some thrill in seeing a man who could outsmart everyone. But Superman? Wonder Woman? Green Lantern? How do you stop characters like that?

Which is exactly why Arrow became so popular so fast. Just a guy, like Batman, and he could die at any time.

But now, every Robin besides Dick Grayson has died at some point. Everyone that’s been a Robin has had relationship issues with Batman. Green Arrow’s former sidekick, Arsenal, has battled alcohol problems. Deathstroke is dealing with family issues. We all know the Flash will *&%^ up the entire timeline for his mommy issues.

And I’m not convinced at any given time these characters won’t legitimately have their life on the line. Sure they can always come back to life, but I don’t care. Dying already messes you up enough.

Essentially, these books are character driven, which leaves room for error with the storylines. Not that the storylines have sucked, but your investment in the character will help you battle through any sort of rough patch. Not that there’s been any. But for those of you who’ve stuck it out with The Walking Dead, show not book, know exactly what I’m talking about. And those of you who know someone that’s stuck it out with the show should get what I”m driving home, too.

These characters become a part of your life, of who you are. They hang out with you whenever you want and, unlike people in real life, stay true to who they are. But these characters are also real. They have issue and concerns they battle.

That’s why the MCU’s so good and the X-Men have been popular for so long. Now DC’s comic book writers have found that same groove. Thankfully, they’ve showed no signs of changing just to placate to the old fans who’re miss the old DC books.

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