It’s not like you were actually expecting clean, clear, unbiased reporting from me anyway. The news to lead with here is that there are going to be a total of four Lantern based titles out of the 52 coming out the other end of Flashpoint. One- the flagship- will be starring Hal Jordan, another will be Kyle Rayner’s book, while the last of the green persuasion will focus on John Stewart and Guy Gardner. The fourth one is apparently about everyone’s favourite homicidal house cat and his merry band of napalm vomiters. Personally, I’ve never found the story of a bunch of self appointed galactic policemen even remotely compelling and I have no idea why Hal Jordan is still even around, because on the whole John Stewart is actually the Lantern with the biggest name recognition thanks to Justice League Unlimited. Hal Jordan is Bella Swan, John Stewart isn’t. It’s about that simple.
Moving on, I’ve got to say that so far I’m very very concerned about the future of the Bat titles. It’s no secret that part of the Flashpoint fall out is that the core heroes in the DCU are going to be de-aged, which has set a lot of Bat fans on edge because of the possible consequences a younger Bruce could have on the existence of Damian, Cassandra, and Stephanie. Right now I’m going to say that it’s incredibly doubtful that the two Batman status quo will continue through Flashpoint.
As you can see, the Batman costume is identical in both JLA and JLI. The costume looks somewhat closer to Dick Grayson’s Batman costume than Bruce’s Batman Inc. one, but the smart money is on both being Bruce. Which naturally leads to questions about Dick Grayson’s fate and the speculation that he will be returning to the Nightwing mantle and Barbara Gordon to Batgirl. It’s still too early to say anything definitive about any of that, but none of this is reassuring.
I loved 100 Bullets, but this has to be a really bad joke. Wonder Woman, the character most desperately in need of a reboot and coherent reconciliation of her origin, is handed off to a male writer who writes “gritty” and “realistic” stories. Oh look, she’s being angry and shouty again swinging a bloody sword. Just let go, DC. Give up. Put Diana in mothballs and just use her classic image to sell merchandise. You will never, ever publish anything meaningful using her. Cliff Chiang is a very talented artist, and I mean him no disrespect. The last chance DC had to make good on Wonder Woman was to follow through on the rumored Grant Morrison run. Yes, I do very much like him, but the underlying point here is that I can’t think of a single contemporary writer other than him who has had both the clarity and daring to publicly acknowledge that Diana is a very damaged character with a problematic origin and history that need serious exploration. At least I can say that the final nail in this particular coffin was a very pretty one.
There is some diversity in here, but at the cost of what? There’s absolutely nothing fresh, exciting, unique, or created more recently than thirty or more years ago except for August General in Iron, who is appearing on what can only be described as a throw back title. I don’t want Mr. Terrific or Firestorm titles at the expense of Xombie, Blue Beetle, or Static. Static and the Jaime Reyes iteration of Blue Beetle are both proven, viable properties that have been successful in media outside comics. That isn’t true of Mr. Terrific or Firestorm. Dwayne McDuffie went on record shortly before his death saying that he was confused about why DC went to such lengths to acquire the entire Milestone line when they were only seriously interested in Static, but looking at the DCU we’ll be greeting in the fall and you’ve really got to wonder why DC even bothered with the Milestone acquisition in the first place. Static had a brief run on the Teen Titans, got a one shot special, and a monthly series that will never see the light of day. That’s just baffling. DC has everything it needs to be a progressive, youth oriented company but all it seems interested in doing is servicing nostalgia for the 70s, 80s, and to a minor extent, the 90s.