I have applied and failed to get a job that I’m not only completely qualified for, but is the one of the ONLY jobs that my very specific skill set prepares me for, and I have no idea what I’m doing with my life. So obviously I’m perfect for a high pressure job where my only qualification is having a lot of opinions about Batman.
Back in 2011, when we first heard the news about DC doing a universe wide reboot, many of my fellow fans were shocked, but also many had ideas, and a few people in the blogosphere chimed in with what they wold consider their ideal 52 comics. Well, I’m nothing if not two years behind current fashion, but I’ve finally come up with what I would put forward as my ideal 52 lineup.
But first, the set up for this line:
1. Variety, in terms of characters and in terms of genres. There is room for grimdark! There is also room for bright cheerful saving the world with a smile! At least 10 of my 52 books are flagged as suitable for Young Readers – some aimed at children, some at teenagers (which means it still has sex and drama and heavy themes, but less of the violence for the sake of violence.) The silver age favorites get to stay, but their predecessors aren’t shunted to the side.
2. Creativity. It’s such a cheap shot to point at the way DC are treating their creators right now, but look at the way DC are treating their creators right now. (Actually today the most recent stupid thing isn’t treating a creator like shit, but just you wait.) But wouldn’t it be nice if we could go for a month without a writer or an artist being levered out of their job in a way that causes the kind of blow out we’ve been seeing? Anyway, the writing goes to the team on each individual book. Creative teams get to be creative. Obviously when I start outlining the book line up you’ll say “but you’ve written these already” to which I say SHUSH THIS IS A FANTASY LINEUP GAWSH.
3. Continuity is both important and not unimportant. Crossovers happen. Most of the books take place in a universe where events impact each other. The Wonder Woman in her own title is the same character as the Wonder Woman in her team books. But people reading either book can follow the plots without having to constantly buy both. Small continuity differences between books are acknowledged, even encouraged.
Okay, let me lay it down about continuity: there is both one universe and 52. Reality is not discrete, it is not objective. It is continuous between the perceptions and the interpretations of the people who experience it. Things don’t happen because of genre conventions, genre conventions dictate how we perceive things. Actual events create different stories according to the teller. The DC Universe already acknowledges that, see the B:TAS episode POV. There’s a different universe for each book, a different universe for each writer, hell, there’s a different universe for each reader, and that’s okay.
Having said that, creators are encouraged to read each other’s work and try and keep them coherent. No robot Alfreds!
I’ve divided the line into eleven sections: Super, Bat, Wonder, Lantern, Justice, Other Solos, Magic, No tights no capes, the grey area, Out Of Time and Team Ups/Showcases, and I’ll start tomorrow with my very uninformed opinion of the Supers.
(P.S. No, I still haven’t read many Superman books. Yes, I still have opinions. Sssssssssshhhhh my blog.)