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Thursday, August 16, 2018 

CBR fawns over what they consider 19 "best" written DC characters

Here goes CBR with another one of their dismal ranking lists, containing fluff-coated takes on several DC characters/superheroes, starting with the black version of Wally West as Kid Flash:
The New 52 saw the departure of one Wally West and the arrival of another. However readers feel about that decision, the new Wally has certainly proven that he’s more than Kid Flash 2.0. Wallace is remarkable for a variety of reasons — DC Rebirth retconned the identity of Wally’s father to Daniel West, or the Reverse-Flash. It takes more than a year of Rebirth for him to internally overcome the shadow of his father’s villainy.

With the return of the original Wally, Wallace needed a new role in the DC Universe, and he found one when he joined the Teen Titans. Since then, the new Kid Flash has grown into a capable hero and a successful character despite the return of his predecessor.
Oh for heaven's sake. If they'd created this character for his own role and agency, this might've made sense, but this is more or less the same mistakes Marvel made touting their own changes to a character's racial/gender components, so their assertions fall flat. Besides, it doesn't take much to guess that, while they do acknowledge in this article that the New 52 was unpopular with fandom, they never seriously panned it themselves or insisted that it be reversed, and this is certainly a telling clue to that effect. Shoehorning KF2.0 into the TT is also like Marvel shoehorning some of their own SJW-pandering characters into the pages of a new take on Champions and other team books. In addition, you could argue that if black Wally remains in the role of a superhero, it only makes his presence in the DCU superfluous, and that's the problem with how many of these diverse characters in costumes are being handled now - the publishers think they have to keep them around at all costs, no matter how lacking in ideas they've become for what else to do with them. Maybe if they'd made him a member of the Legion of Super-Heroes in the future, he'd be effective, but the way he was inserted to the DCU certainly doesn't work.

Still, that's probably nothing compared to their loathsome take on Geoff Johns' own SJW-pandering:
There have been many Green Lanterns over the years, so it’s hard for new characters to stand out when they put on the Power Ring. Consider some of the successful characters that have served with the Green Lantern Corps, like Hal Jordan and John Stewart. However, two of the DCU’s newest Lanterns, Jessica Cruz and Simon Baz, have been shining examples of noteworthy new Lanterns.

Cruz battles anxiety and constantly fights it in her job as a space cop. Baz, on the other hand, is wrongfully arrested and a victim of racial profiling. Every day, he has to defy racism and negative stereotypes. Both characters clearly overcome great fear, and so much more, which is why they’re two of DC’s best new characters.
Most intriguing is the lack of mention of Baz's "defining" trait: he's a Muslim adherent, and his whole introduction and creation 6 years ago was political in the extreme; by far the most politicized of Johns' awful, overrated scripting. Christopher Priest made it worse with the propaganda he injected into the Justice League title he was writing till recent. DC's insistence on keeping this badly developed character around at all costs is another reason why they're failing long term.

And since we were talking about Johns, another concoction of his, Marionette and Mime, are also featured on the list:
Marionette and Mime have not been in the DC Universe very long, but they’ve already made an impact. These two characters have become, arguably, the leading characters of Doomsday Clock — other than a Rorschach-focused fourth issue, the pair has appeared in every installment of the series.

The two criminals are representative of the blurred lines of good and evil in Geoff Johns’ future DCU. They’re clearly villainous and dangerous, but their love for each other is the strongest connection that DC has introduced in quite some time. Mime is particularly intriguing, as his silent-yet-powerful presence reminds the reader of Black Bolt (without the crown, of course.)
Even in the present-day DCU, the lines between good and evil can be pretty blurred, recalling Sinestro becoming a GL again in Johns' hack writing after all the terrible deeds Sinestro had committed over the years.

There's even a derivative take on villainous speedsters who's turned up:
DC Rebirth has introduced a few new speedsters, and Godspeed is the most intriguing of them all. The man under the mask, August Heart, works with Barry Allen at the Central City Police Department. When August loses his brother, the perpetrator goes free because the evidence is destroyed in the accident that gave Barry his superspeed powers.

Heart takes matters into his own hands and gets struck by Speed-Force infused lightning for his efforts. At first, Heart uses his powers to help the Flash. However, Heart’s hunger for revenge drives him over the edge, as he becomes Godspeed, a villain that feeds on the superspeed of others.
You know what this sounds like? A cross between the Reverse-Flash and Savitar, the villain who appeared in the mid-90s when Wally West was the Flash. And they even had the gall to link his creation with elements of how Barry became a super-speeder during the Silver Age. I'm not impressed.

Let's also note the part about a new lady speedster introduced:
In DC Rebirth, female speedsters are few and far between, which makes Meenha Dhawan even more remarkable. Dhawan, a scientist at S.T.A.R. Labs, gets struck by lightning in the same Speed Force storm that gave August Heart his powers. Meena adopts the alias of Fast Track and helps Barry train the many new speedsters running around after the storm. Fast Track and the Flash battle the Black Hole and the two heroes briefly dated.

Dhawan disappears and eventually returned as an agent of the sinister Black Hole group. Meena proves that she still has a good heart, though, when she helps Barry prevent Grodd from destroying Central City.
It doesn't matter. It sounds like they lacked faith in this creation, or else they would've kept her on the good side. And if there's a lack of lady speedsters now? That's because they basically wrote Jesse Quick out of the proceedings when they didn't have to. They all but threw away a gal with far better potential.

In the comments, one person says:
Most of those "new" characters are derivative of old characters. DC and Marvel are currently suffering from a lack of originality.
Yup. Another says:
So, supporting characters from their TV series and lame derivatives of existing properties. Not exactly a creative golden age at DC Comics.
From what I know about the new character called Damage/Ethan Avery (apparently not the same as the son of Golden Age Atom Al Pratt introduced in the mid-90s, Grant Emerson), he's little more than a mimicking of the Hulk, so what's the big deal about this "new age of heroes"? Not much, really. This is just another example of CBR's cascade downhill in the past several years, and even before that, they were already pretty obedient to the establishment.

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