Hank McCoy (Before the Fur)

I’m a little iffy on the whole renumbering thing.

I mean- I get the appeal. You can sort of ‘get in on the ground floor’. And have every issue of your favorite comic. AGAIN. It’s just that it’s been happening so much recently! I feel like every couple years something gets relaunched. Something gets re-done. There’s a new origin story.

DC has, of course, transformed this marketing ploy into an art form. The in-universe continuity transitions, often framed as an apocalyptic, book-of-revelations type cosmic event--or crisis--has become a sought after crossover formula of epic proportions.

Now, I do think DC has a knack for…how do I say this…having stories with a beginning, middle, and end? And I like that.

It’s sort of like if you decide to go out and buy such and such Justice League collected story, it tends to have most of the elements that you need to follow it contained in the story itself. Marvel, on the other hand- well, if you didn’t read issues 24, 179, and 241-315, then it’s going to be hard to follow exactly what’s going on (please, read my X-Cutioner's Song post).

STILL, I have to give Marvel some credit. I do kind of love the idea that save for a couple of exceptions, Marvel sort of puts their money where their mouth is and is like “Everything that we’ve ever written? Has HAPPENED.”

No matter how ludicrous it may seem now, yes Reed Richards turned a bunch of Skrulls into cows, once. Spider-man became Captain Universe briefly and was practically all powerful. The Punisher died and was turned into a Frankenstein like monster called Frankencastle (this is RECENT, actually. That comic had a second renaissance for a little while and then…this).

I mean, it’s CRAZY. But I give them some credit for sticking with everything. No matter what. It’s kind of like you never apologize for what you love. DC? See, it’s like the Wonder Woman movie.

Half of what’s hard about the Wonder Woman movie is. Even after all this time, and for being such a well known character, people still know nothing about her. There’s been too many versions of Wonder Woman for any one to stick in the public’s head! People know her powers, the lasso, the invisible jet, but her origin story? Her secret identity?

Linda Carter’s television show frames her as very closely aligned with the American military, but the original and modern incarnation is like a ‘stranger in a strange land’ kind of thing; an amazon princess with little understanding of the world outside of Paradise Island.

And of course there’s that ONE Wonder Woman, without the powers? In the 70’s? She had no powers and a ponytail? I can’t even remember her name or what continuity she fit into…but yeah, that was a thing.

I can’t deny that we’ve gotten better and better at telling Batman and Superman’s origin stories. It’s like every version of the story gets cooler. Gets better written. Gets more mature and thematically dynamic. But how many other DC characters are trapped in obscurity because of this kind of thing?

Hal Jordan has finally emerged as ‘the’ Green Lantern that DC puts on the front page. Not that they want to be rid of Guy Gardner, John Stewart or Kyle Rainer by any means- they just want one to be recognizable, I think.

As for the Flash is it Barry or Wally that the people want? Beats me. The Justice League animated series had a version of Wally that appeared to have Barry’s job and a personality completely separate than EITHER of them. So…yeah.

Green Arrow and Black Canary have come out strong these last couple years, I think. Suddenly people love these two and love their relationship. Whether or not Dinah really has blonde hair or wears a wig, however, is anybody’s guess depending on the continuity you are reading that day.

Three words: TOO MANY BATGIRLS. Two more: PICK ONE.

I think the modern day Superboy got caught up in some legal dispute or something? So that’s why ‘Connor’ Kent got killed off at one point? Dunno…

Don’t get me started on too many others. The rest of the DC crew are cool and interesting, but have back stories that are unfathomable. Booster Gold, Blue Beetle (either Ted or his successor), Power Girl, the Question (yup, two of those as well)…it’s a mess!

I guess here’s the thing. DC might need to ‘stick’ a little more and ‘move’ a little less if they really want to compete with more than just Batman and Superman. I know I’m neurotic, but I’m just not going to be satisfied until of their characters get ‘equal billing’. X-Men, Spider-man, the Avengers and Hulk all rake in a hefty sum on their own- nothing dominates.

I love Batman…but I want the rest of the DC cast to get their chance to shine, that's all.