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Thursday, March 19, 2015 

Never trust Geoff Johns with character drama

The Washington Post spoke with Johns about his return to writing Superman:
TWO CONSIDERATIONS lured Geoff Johns back to writing Superman: John Romita Jr., and loneliness.

And on both counts, DC Comics’s chief creative officer was primed to bring artistic connection to the Man of Steel.

On the matter of that isolation, Johns realized that since Superman’s “New 52″ relaunch, the DCU hadn’t offered many people in whom Clark Kent could confide. No marriage to Lois Lane. No visit to the Kent farm in Kansas (the New 52′s Ma and Pa Kent have died). The Last Son of Krypton was in a very different place. So Johns set out to give Superman someone he could relate to — maybe even a pal.

“When I was just thinking about the character and thinking about the story possibilities, every time my brain started to picture him talking to somebody with a problem he was having…or dealing with Clark and Superman, it always was just with another superhero,” Johns told the Post’s Comic Riffs. “I quickly realized [Superman] didn’t really have anyone normal in his life that he could talk to again, because no one knew his secret.” [...]

Issue No. 39 of Superman hits stands both brick and pixel today, marking the end of Johns’s brief but memorable stint with Romita. Their eight-issue run gave Superman a new superpower, as well as a relatable being of immense power (Ulysses) who went from much-needed confidante to regrettable adversary. And Clark Kent finally gained a friend when the “S” comes off the chest — by (spoiler if you’re not caught up) revealing his secret identity to longtime amigo Jimmy Olsen.
And this is supposed to do what, divert our attention from the editorial mandates dictating that Superman cannot be paired with Lois, and probably can't even have other steady girlfriends either, not even Lana Lang? The article just barely hints at the mandates, but never follows through and asks why they have to limit creativity so badly.

And why should we believe Johns is really offering up plausible drama, after he failed to do anything worthwhile with Wally West and Linda Park's relationship? After he failed to craft any convincing interaction with other cast members in the Flash? (Any serious interaction with Linda's parents was thrown away.) And after he hammered readers over the head with shock value violence? It's far too late, and Johns is no more honest than many of the current contributors at DC.
“I wanted to create somebody [Superman] could communicate with and relate to, and Ulysses was born out of that,” Johns said. “Ultimately knowing where that story was going to go, and the complications in that story, I wanted Superman to experience a friendship and a complication in that friendship. And the whole point of it was to lead him to connect to somebody in his life that he would have to make a leap of faith for, and trust in. And that was Jimmy Olsen.”
And why should he be the most trustworthy, but not Lois or Lana? And, how does a character like Ulysses, whose background smells like a lenient take on Bolshevism, make for somebody relatable? Besides, as noted before, the New52 only made everything less convincing in terms of character interaction, and the editorial mandates only vaguely hinted at here make it impossible to do anything plausibly. The brand new power given to Superman is no substitute for character development either. They don't even mention how Johns is more or less part of the decisions that led to all the loneliness, so I don't see what their point is.

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Did you see that Chris Sims of Comics Alliance was accused of cyberbullying?

http://www.avclub.com/article/superman-39-preaches-hope-and-compassion-after-rou-216825

Also here:

http://www.bleedingcool.com/2015/03/17/valerie-dorazio-on-chris-sims/

Yes, I'm preparing a topic about the case now.

Dorazio claims she suffered PTSD? From social media comments??

Ye gad ...

...
"Dorazio claims she suffered PTSD? From social media comments??

Ye gad ..."

I know, right? It's ridiculous. Methinks someone is unable to take criticism. It's an insult to those who actually DO have PTSD.

Here's another online individual with the same idea of removing people who have been drinking since they were fetuses from controlling comics, though not from the same perspective or creative train of thought:http://devilkais.deviantart.com/gallery/?catpath=/

Johns' failings:
Too much influence on DC, he's a sucker for remakes and revamps, has a boner for Superboy Prime....a really annoying version of Superman, too much creative control over DC, he turned the Godlike Guardians into boring senile little old smurfs, you get too much Johns' retcons, a sicken sense of humor you see in a horror gore movie, he likes telling stories with big splash pages like Bendis but he does writer better than him, he's a big fan of the silver age drama which was a really boring period in comics, he's always pushing retroactive continuity or continuity that generally one that renders entire volumes, years or even decades worth of prior comic book stories invalid, he too much say over DC's major arcs, helped make the GL movie, a turkey, one of WB's most expensive flops in movie history.

He replaced Wally West and Kyle Raynor, interesting characters that modern comic fans know and love, with Barry Allen and Hal Jordan, two nigh personality-less cardboard cut outs that most comic fans don't care about because most of us got into comics in the last thirty years and besides, the silver age was campy as hell.

In replacing modern characters with silver age ones, Johns ends up replacing a lot of non white characters with white conservative characters from the 60s.

Johns is very heavy handed with his stories. He loves the Rogues for example, and wanted to tell a story with Captain Boomerang in it. Problem? Captain Boomerang had been crippled in a storyline about ten years earlier. So Johns told a story where Captain Boomerang was drugged by Joker venom, which healed him. Then, Boomerang died in Identity Crisis, so Johns took Boomerang's son and made him the new Captain Boomerang. Then, the Outsiders writer decided that Captain Boomerang should be a hero and made it so. So Geoff Johns wrote a big crossover event called Blackest Night where he had the younger Captain Boomerang murder women and children as a big eff you to the Outsiders writer before killing him off and resurrecting the original Captain Boomerang. Yes, an entire crossover event so that Johns could get a guy that throws boomerangs to fight the Flash. Subtly is not his strong suit. (See also: Hawk and Dove)

Johns thinks every character needs to have daddy issues. The following characters have either seen their parents die or killed family members in Johns stories: Barry Allen, Captain Cold, Weather Wizard, Mirror Master, Captain Boomerang, Zoom and Pied Piper. That's just in Flash! He killed off Green Lantern's father about thirty times in flashback in GL, Stargirl's dad in JSA and Superman's dad in Action Comics.

Johns storylines are very predictable. You know how generally, a story starts in the middle, then things start to get bad, then the hero comes up with a plan or does something useful and then oh no the big bad guy has something up his sleeve and at the end, the hero triumphs? For Johns, he has these moments but they always happen in the exact same order at the exact same time during the story. For instance, near the end of Blackest Night, Johns gave a bunch of random characters GL rings so that at the end of the issue, you could be like "YEAH!" But what did that really do from an in universe perspective? Freaking nothing. Having six more lanterns to battle the black lanterns with maybe saved a dozen nameless bystanders. It was pointlessly there to change the mood of the storyline. Most Geoff Johns big event plot points are there just to change the mood of the storyline and don't serve any other purpose and often don't make any sense in context. (None of Brightest Day's plot points make any sense.)

Johns' Teen Titans followed Peter David's awesome Young Justice run, which used the same characters. Johns wrote Robin as emo, Superboy as a moron, Wonder Girl as incompetent and Impulse as dead serious, which totally undermined years of great characterization in favor of mediocre stories.

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