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Sunday, June 05, 2011 

The Cleveland Plain-Dealer's foolish fawning

The Cleveland Plain-Dealer's written about DC's reboot plans, and pretty fawningly at that, saying the following:
The biggest news about the relaunch is that the long-suffering "Justice League of America" title will be written by possibly the world's greatest writer and artist team: Geoff Johns and Jim Lee. And this will be a Justice League with its mainstay members: Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Aquaman -- not B-listers.
There are 3 things that can be said in response to this:
  • Geoff Johns is most definitely NOT the world's greatest writer. Not if he's going to gush overboard with jarring violence and exaggerated nostalgia references that don't make a good substitute for real storytelling.
  • Jim Lee may be a good artist, but as he became more of a knee-jerk executive, he undermined what appreciation could be had for him pretty badly.
  • As for having a Justice League with major players, that's fine, but it doesn't mean "B-listers" can't make for worthy recruits simultaneously. Besides, that wasn't the real problem last year - it was how it all grew artificially out of an unendurable miniseries, Cry for Justice, that broke up the main team in favor of the substitutes.
They also ask:
Will the September reboot reset the clock so that Superman, Batman and the rest are starting over now, in 2011? If so, will all the stories from the past seven decades be declared irrelevant? Will Superman and Lois still be married, or will the marriage "never have happened" as in the case of Spider-Man and Mary Jane? Brrrrrr.

Are the changes in Superman's origins, look and costume designed to strengthen Time/Warner/DC's case in the decades-old legal battle with the heirs of creators Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster by making the original character's origin and look a moot point?

Lots of questions, no answers. Guess we'll all find out together.
Not all of us. With such shameless writers and editors holding these heroes in their grasp, I'd rather not. What I can say is that even if they don't do away with Clark and Lois' marriage, I don't expect them to write it convincingly or appealingly either. And it's unlikely the changes they've made to Superman's costume will help them through the legal battle either. It certainly won't help them regain their lost audience.

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