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Saturday, June 19, 2010 

Fully agreed: Johns must be stopped

Comics Nexus has another article I can agree with for plenty of reasons, on why Geoff Johns is bad for the DCU, though there's a few things that fall short of the mark too:
Sadly, I think for the first time in my decades of collecting DC Comics, I’m beginning to get disillusioned with how things are being run. And I’m pretty sure it’s all Geoff Johns fault.
But let's be clear: it's not just Johns' fault. It's Dan DiDio's too, and there are several other writers, including Adam Beechen, who are at fault too. Even James Robinson has added himself to the list.

The following falls short:
Geoff Johns is one of the few hands guiding the DCU the past few years and in all fairness he’s been doing a pretty solid job of it. He started by bringing The Flash back to prominence. Then he went on to make the Justice Society not only viable but a darn near vital property in the DCU. Then he lofted Green Lantern and Teen Titans into the sales stratosphere. He even tried to get people interested in Hawkman and Superman. The guy knows how to create buzz and get his books attention.
Does he? I wouldn't go that far, and his work on the Flash stinks, particularly his second story there a decade ago, Blood Will Run. Ugh!

The following is a bit better though:
But lately he’s been busy retelling origins and retconning characters that it’s clear he’s working on a “master plan” of sorts. With his various “Secret Origin” stories and with The Flash Rebirth, Geoff Johns is packaging the mythos of these various heroes in nice easy to swallow capsules.
Not so easy to swallow, I'm afraid. And what master plan does he have other than the next crossover?

It turns out that under Johns:
Hector Hammond also happens to be a rejected suitor of Carol Ferris (sound familiar?)
Yes, and very, very tired.
Now it’s my understanding that when John Byrne was writing the much maligned Spider-Man: Chapter One, he tried to link events together because he felt it was absurd to have massive amounts of radioactive material floating around NYC. And in that regard I can completely understand the simplifying of origin stories.

But when Geoff Johns does it, it feels like he’s packaging the story so it’s easily translated to another medium. In a comic book, when you’re retelling an origin, you aren’t really pressed for space. In a comic book there’s no reason for all of these characters in Green Lantern to have their origins tied together. But if you were working on a feature film and you want to establish characters for sequels, well then you’d certainly want to tie as many origins in to the origin of the main character. This also makes sense if you’re working on a possible cartoon.

There was a point when I was a huge fan of Geoff Johns. But now his motives are suspect. I don’t believe he’s writing from his heart or for the fans. To me it feels like he’s writing for Hollywood and instead of them adapting comics, the comics are changing for them.
That just about sums it up. A note on Byrne's Spider-Man: Chapter One: though he wasn't trying to rework everything for the sake of movies, his job there was still pretty dreadful, taking decently written premises and making them into something far too problematic. I guess Johns has gotten to the point where he too is repeating a very sloppy mistake, all likely for the sake of the movie biz.

And the worst part is that it suggests editorial mandates could actually end up influencing any movies they make out of their comics stable, and undermine the scriptwriting badly. The same may soon be happening for Marvel, now that Quesada's been appointed to the same title as Johns has.

Johns must be stopped, and Quesada too.

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Dan DiDio must be fired and Paul Levitz and Jeanette Khan must issue an formal apology to the audience for hiring the scumbag.

Umm... wasn't Hammond ALWAYS a former suitor of Carol's? At least, that's how I remembered it.

Unlike the author of this article, I've disliked the writing of Geoff Johns since pretty much the beginning. I was coerced by friends into partially reading Green Lantern Rebirth. I say partially because I bought the first three issues of the series at the time #4 was about to be released. Once the luster of Ethan Van Sciver's pretty artwork faded and I had time to digest the story, I found much to dislike.

I tired again much later with The Flash: Rogues Revenge. Once again, a friend told me of how good it was, so I bought issues 1 and 2. This time, the artist was sloppier than Van Sciver, so I had even less to enjoy. I loathed the series and refused to buy #3. I was about to give up on DC for good when someone turned me on to Secret Six. I loved it. It was all the things I loved about John Ostrander's Suicide Squad but with more consistant artwork. Now, with the New 52, that title is gone.

Unfortunately, as long as sales hold strong, Geoff Johns will have a job at DC. Now that he's their creative guru, he'll probably hang around long past his welcome and more talented writers will probably lose their jobs because Johns refuses to leave. Life is going to get a little less bright for fans and readers of DC comics in the coming years, I'm afriad.

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