From a marketing perspective I understand DC’s slow release of information about the September re-launch. It keeps them in the news for longer, keeps fans talking and means that nothing gets glossed over or missed. From the perspective of a fan, I’m not so keen. For every answer that’s provided, two more questions seem to pop up. I know final answers won’t come until we have the books in our hands in September, but this has been one of the most frustrating weeks of my life, comics wise.
There’s still so much we don’t know. We have announcements about some characters and some books but not others. I do get that, and I understand that patience is a virtue, but I’ve never been particularly good at being virtuous. I’m having a hard time not reacting based on simply the information they’ve given us, and really, what else am I supposed to do? Should I sit back and wait and rein in all my feelings, concerns and questions? I really can’t.
So, let’s see what I’m thinking. We’ll start with the good.
Batwoman #1. Batwoman is finally getting her monthly book and I couldn’t be more excited. Of course, once the relaunch of the DCU was announced, this was something almost all felt was an inevitable announcement. They’ve announced it, and that thrills me.
Catwoman #1. Yes, please. I hated GCS and I want to see Catwoman shine in a book of her one. I’m crossing my fingers on this one.
….that was a very short list.
Now we’ll deal with my confusion, concern and ambivalence.
Batwing #1. This is something that has a lot of potential. A PoC wearing the Bat-mantle, yay! But does he really need to be in Africa? I’d love to see a PoC Batman in America, wjhere the majority of the DCU takes place. Still, I suppose it’s something? My other worry is that he’s being written by written by Winnick? That scares me.
Where are the rest of the Batgirls? We were told today the future of Dick/Nightwing, Jason Todd/Red Hood and Damian Wayne/Robin. We were told about Batmen and Birds of Prey. They mentioned Catwoman is coming back with her own book, and about Barbara Gordon (more on that in a second). But where are Cass and Steph? Yes, it could be that the announcements are still to come, but on a day with so many Robins getting press, those of us who are fans of the girls of the batclan have been left largely disappointed.
As to Batgirl… What the heck? I don’t even know how I can fully describe how upset I am over this. I know that Gail Simone has said there is more she can’t tell, but… All I can think is what we’re losing with this. In fact, I’m going to recommend you read Jill thenerdybird’s article on this one. She says it more eloquently and with more relevance than I could ever hope to bring to the table.
Then we move onto Birds of Prey. Where do I start? With Black Canary’s awful new uniform? How about with the inclusion of Poison Ivy on this team? Robo-Katana I’m okay with and is the fourth Rose Tattoo? Huntress is totally absent, as is Lady Blackhawk. Yes, I understand relaunch idea means changing things around on us, but to me those are two integral parts of the team. But then, so is Oracle. This is, however, a book I’ll be giving a chance. I will admit that much.
But where is Huntress? Renee Montoya? Are they going to use this relaunch to do things like revive the new gods, or other characters that met their end previously?
When it comes to the Lantern books, the only thing I’m excited about is Dex-Starr’s possible book. When it comes to the JLA/JLI and all the other books announced, only Brian Azzarello’s Wonder Woman intrigues me.
I’m completely of two minds about this entire relaunch. Losing the history (as convoluted as it can be) of the DCU is becoming harder and harder. We’re gaining new characters out of this relaunch, and some of them do interest me, but the high price we are paying with the seeming loss of existing characters we know and love is a difficult thing. Yes, I understand some characters will fade away or be lost, but why does it seem the women and minorities bear the brunt of it?
I want to like this relaunch. I honestly want to embrace it and want to believe that it is a good thing for the DCU. If it heralded in a new age of diversity and strong new characters and stories for the DCU I would be ecstatic. But it’s seeming that with few exceptions, the stories that are being chosen are the same ones we’ve seen so many times before. The variety to the characters, the choices and team-ups aren’t that surprising or unusual.
It’s becoming apparent with the references to things like Arsenal being ‘Green Arrows rejected side-kick’ that we’re only losing some of the history of the DCU. What’s being kept and what’s not won’t be fully visible until September, maybe months after. That’s frustrating as well.
Surprise me DC. Make the next couple days of announcements better than the last few. Answer some of the many questions fans are asking, and alleviate concerns. Because otherwise, come sepetember, I may just be walking away. And that would be a sad thing.