Meltzer doesn't like J'onn J'onzz. One more reason I don't look forward to his JLA
With the announcement of Meltzer's JLA #0 on the July schedule, the Identity Crisis debates are bound to start up again. The new book's promo copy says that "Meltzer broke the JLA down in the top-selling, critically acclaimed Identity Crisis - and now he puts all the pieces back together again!" So I don't expect any--or at least not much--fin-headed satellite super-rape at 23,000 miles above sea level this go-around. But this is still Meltzer, who has shown himself to be a godawful superhero writer whose instincts with these characters, supposedly born of sincere love of the JLA of his 1970's childhood, have been wrong at almost every turn. And whose comics--Identity Crisis and a boring, underdeveloped arc of Green Arrow--fail to rise above the overheated melodrama and contrivances of the worst fan fiction.Exactly. Even if there's no overwrought, excessive elements like rape tossed into the pit, that doesn't mean that the coast is clear. I wouldn't be surprised if he seizes upon every or any opportunity possible to slip in an irritating political bias, allegory, or allusion.
And while his success with Green Arrow is probably a matter of opinion, here's what I think might make the best theory on how he was able to reach the position he did: Dan DiDio found the perfect Trojan Horse. Meltzer probably knew that to fool everyone, he'd need to be clever, and, voila, he won over those with a favorable opinion on his Archer's Quest arc, enabling him to then stab the readers in the back by foisting Identity Crisis upon us.
For me, the worst thing about Meltzer is the pretension to seriousness, to real-world dilemmas and ethical concerns. The DC hype for Identity Crisis was all about its unflinching exploration of the "real" consequences of superheroism--how putting on the cape would put your loved ones at serious risk of violence. But again, it was all a con. The only DC characters at any risk are those without valuable Warner Brothers licensing opportunities. Sue Dibny can die, not because of anything her husband the Elongated Man may or may not do, but simply because Sue Dibny will never be a cartoon star, and will never be used to sell peanut butter or bike horns. Lois Lane isn't going anywhere, even if Superman told every villain in the world he loved her and handed out directions to her apartment. Therefore all the talk of "realism", of clear-eyed looks at superheroes like they're cops or firefighters, is really just a baldfaced lie--a lie Meltzer and Didio eagerly told in order to sell comics to a segment of aging fans who like the idea of their superheroes "growing up" but who apparently don't understand the extratextual reasons why they never really can.But I can. And it's that, thanks to the fact that quite a few aging fans, who seem to confuse reading material with chocalate ice cream, comics end up becoming horrific as Identity Crisis, because the aging fans are terrified(!) of the thought that, if they don't keep on buying day after week after month, their favorite comics will be canceled, never to be seen again. With people like those among the readership, I'm almost ashamed to be one of my own species. Hell, in past months, I decided that I did not need the latter half of Geoff Johns' Flash run, and sold/traded off the issues I had to make room for any better stuff I could find (as of now, I've got only two issues left from the latter end of his run, post Flash #191).
And Odell is right, Lois Lane and others of her ranking will never be terminated, because their legendary status grants them diplomatic immunity. Personally, I would think that to allow for old-timers like Jay Garrick and Alan Scott, the first Flash and Green Lantern, respectively, to pass on, albeit quietly and not in a company-wide crossover, would be a good idea, and allow for some development. But to date, it seems unlikely, despite the fact that they haven't exactly been big characters in ages.
As for Meltzer, Title Undetermined found that in a recent issue of Wizard, awful magazine they are, he told them the following about Martian Manhunter:
"Believe it or not, [J'onn] has not always been my guy. I don't see him as the center point of the League."And in saying that, he puts his credibility as a comics fan further in doubt. In fact, about a year ago, a comics reviewer for another site told me that the reason why Meltzer was allowed to kill off Captain Boomerang was because Geoff Johns gave him permission, as he disliked the character.
That seems to be a notable problem with some writers today, including Brian Michael Bendis (who said that he didn't like Hawkeye and Scarlet Witch) when he wrote Avengers: Disassembled: They're selfishly claiming the right to killing off characters based only on their personal opinion of a character, which totally violates Mark Gruenwald's famous argument, "Every character is someone else's favorite. You shouldn't just kill them off, or worse, ruin their appearances in retrospect." And much as I dislike Gambit, I'll have to admit that they shouldn't have done that to him either (his letting Mr. Sinister know the location of the Morlocks), even if by now, it's been dropped.