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Monday, May 15, 2017 

Geoff Johns gives strong hints of his leftism

DC's planning another "event" of some sort in the next few months called "Doomsday Clock", which needlessly drags the Watchmen cast into the DCU proper, and Blastr interviewed the pretentious Geoff Johns, who sadly isn't leaving the DC properties alone yet, if at all, about their intentions. In the process, they may have given some more signs of his leftism. First, here's a description given for the miniseries planned:
Based on our exclusive reveal of the teaser image for Doomsday Clock below, the story behind Watchmen's entrance into the DC Universe aims to be, well, super. It is an understatement to say that seeing the Superman shield in the top slot of the clock from Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons' seminal work raises questions. Intrigue is further piqued by the title itself, its "D.C." initials, presented in that yellow, bold Watchmen typeface -- and the word 'doomsday', the same name of the villain who famously killed Superman 25 years ago.
Something's certainly wrong if they're alluding to an incredibly overrated event from 1992 that ruined the speculator market after tons of mindless collectors-for-profiteering bought copies of the story simply because of all the headlines it made, on the assumption it'd become monumentally valuable someday. Today, it's clear those issues never will attain the colossal retail value they were hoping for, and it wasn't very good from an artistic viewpoint either.
Based on what Johns told me, there is a lot (I mean, a lot) that will unfold in this title about forces from Watchmen who have been meddling with our DCU heroes' timelines and history. And as the timer begins ticking down for Doomsday Clock this November, here are 12 things about the comic book you can set your watch to.

1.This is not a Watchmen sequel

"It is something else. It is Watchmen colliding with the DC Universe. It is the most personal and most epic, utterly mind-bending project I have ever worked on in my career. With Rebirth, I opened the door to Manhattan. Part of that was I loved the real-world influence Watchmen has. I put Manhattan out there, and always thought there was a Manhattan/Superman story to be told, but then ... it grew. And grew. It took my heart and soul over. Still, at the core of it, there’s a being who has lost his humanity, and distanced himself from it, and an alien who embodies humanity more than most humans. I love the idea that Watchmen influenced DC, but what would that look like in reverse? And it goes well beyond that."
Johns already went well beyond that during the past decade when he was the Flash and Green Lantern writer, what with all the bloodletting and sensationalized mayhem he crammed into their pages. Who really lost humanity and distanced himself from it?

Now, here's the part where politics seep in, even as they try to avoid direct references:
5. This is a timely story (And a story for our times?)

"It is about much more than the American president or the reactions to him. That is low hanging fruit to me. It goes bigger, deeper. It is about the world, and the attitude of people. I feel like there are extremes now everywhere, extremes on all sides. There is no more olive branch. It doesn’t exist. I feel like people, more and more, are separated. They are choosing sides, instead of figuring out how to make life better together. There is a real sense of anger, and frustration, and there is not a lot of compassion, or willingness to understand in the world. Telling a story of two extremes, and exploring what our collective zeitgeist states through these characters is what we are doing. We think it’s important … The truth is, if the world and the country didn’t go a certain way, I don’t know that we would be telling this story. For us, the story would not exist if the last year didn’t unfold the way it did, and the rise of extremism wasn't so palpable."
Now what does that suggest? Quite possibly that the story's a subtle attack on Donald Trump, metaphorically or otherwise. What else could one expect from a reprehensible writer who forced apologia for Islam down the audience's throats 5 years ago? His answers to the interviewer are very telling in their subtlety. If he still believes Islam is merely a "victim" and sees nothing wrong with the themes in the koran, there's no reason to assume the story they have planned now is any different in its politics, or that it's not an allegorical attack on Trump. Or that he doesn't think right-wingers are the sole cause of evil.
8. If Rebirth brought hope back to the DCU, will the grime of Watchmen infect it?

"That’s exactly the point of the story. Will it? Can it?

I believe in the power of these icons. I believe in the power of hope, and optimism. I don’t think it’s fake. People tend to say if it’s grim, and gritty, it’s real, and grounded. I refuse that … And I don’t care if it stirs up drama. But I want it to be drama in the right way. I think Gary and I have earned the right to do a story we believe in. With Rebirth, I think we proved we care, and take this seriously. We love Watchmen. We love the DC Universe."
Oh please. His propaganda in Green Lantern particularly contradicts the notion he believes in hope and optimism, at least in the ways a conservative would want to. More likely Johns believes in "hope & change" like what Obama supposedly did when he was president, and don't be shocked if Johns voted for him and the Democratic candidates for Congress at the time.

It's also hilarious how he argues he doesn't think grim & gritty is real, because if his past body of work says anything, he certainly did believe it was a positive example. With such a nasty, sensationalized approach, how could he possibly believe in optimism when he was doing everything possible to sully it?

One of the commenters seems to spot the phoniness of Johns' visions, and said:
And that is why Marvel sells more books than DC.
DC doesn't trust it's own characters.
There are so many wonderful heroes and villains in the DC pantheon that never get the chance to shine.

Instead of just writing great Batman stories, you could take any of the "street-level" characters and give them better origins.
The Green Lantern books are popular, so use one or two other "space" characters at a time in the stories, give them well thought out origins, don't just throw them in there.
I've notice that ever since the 90's and forward, DC just throws in characters into stories, instead of giving them well thought out origin tales first.
That even goes for team books
.
Imagine a well written team book that not only shows the readers how the team is built, but even gives us the reason (from the start) why the team exists.
This has been done only a handful of times since 1987. Legion Of Super-Heroes, Justice League, Outlaws (current).
Most team books just throws together a few characters and suddenly they fight crime. And a lot of potential team ideas shown in various books, are just ignored and thrown away without even trying to give them a chance.
For instance I would love to see a new version of The Leymen, or L.E.G.I.O.N. or a team of street level characters made out of re-introduced (with new well thought out origins) "golden-age" characters.
Trust your characters!
You have a lot of potential "Supermen" "Batmen" "Wonder Women".
How about creating a hero book about a "street level with one or more talents" character who is a mystery to both the readers and the inhabitants of the DCU?
If I find that idea to be worth reading, I'm sure there are tons of readers who would love to see such a book out there.
It won't be worth reading so long as Dan DiDio's still around. But he's right in the sense that Ray Palmer, the Silver Age Atom, Ronnie Raymond/Firestorm, 2nd Blue Beetle Ted Kord, Elongated Man, Metamorpho and several other 3rd tiers have never been given a real chance to shine, partly because of the nasty steps taken to replace them in the mid-2000s for the sake of early "diversity" examples (or, in Elongated Man's case, they wouldn't even actually use him at all).

While Johns may have made a cunning effort to avoid direct referencing to politics and last year's election, he's still told quite a bit about what his positions are like, and why nobody should think they haven't tried to make this a stealth political allegory. It should also serve as a vital lesson why even metaphors can be some of the most awful forms of storytelling around, just as much as those that use real life figures and events within their pages. And why use the Watchmen as some kind of fictional scapegoat for all the harm they caused for more than 2 decades instead of admit up front they made mistakes?

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