CCW 3.54: LAST RANTS! DC’s ‘Dark Avengers’ and the Death of the Atom

Posted: May 31, 2010 in CCW Rant Review, CCW Review, CCW TV, DC Comics, Opinion, Reviews
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Comments
  1. Benicio127 says:

    I love you guys for talking about this stuff.

    Here’s some of the spoiler stuff here… (hope this is OK to post?) http://scans-daily.dreamwidth.org/1930098.html?#cutid1

    At a point in time when the comics industry should be diversifying its characters, it would appear that characters with backgrounds other than Caucasian seem to be getting killed off or reduced to a lower status. I don’t know if there’s enough evidence to say that this is complete whitewashing, but it has been an interesting few coincidences.

    The Bat-family’s sole non-white soldier (Cassandra Cain) is MIA and has been for 10 months now. Where is Cass Cain, DC?

      • Benicio127 says:

        I did! Yes, it was very interesting and thought-provoking. Thanks for the link, though.

      • cballsack says:

        Great article.

      • Morlock50 says:

        This article brings up an interesting point about the inevitable consequences of bringing back a silver age JLA status quo; an all white cast of characters. I don’t think the powers that be at DC are doing this deliberately; in fact, I don’t think they think about these things at all, which is just as problematic.

    • Deemar says:

      DC is culling all non-whites

      BEWARE!!!

      How long before Steel gets the axe?

      • Benicio127 says:

        …I hope he doesn’t! He totally makes it into my fangirl hot men of the DCU calendar… D:

        • Deemar says:

          See you just sealed his fate

          ๐Ÿ˜‰

          • Benicio127 says:

            :<

            Nuuuuuu! Dick Grayson and Jason Todd are on the list too… and Dick was almost killed by Dan Didio… and Dick has the Roma background… and Jason, well, he's been dicked around enough… D:

            Where is a blue lantern ring when you need one?

            • Deemar says:

              Nah Dick Grayson is safe, he’s too tied to Bruce Wayne.

              • generaldark says:

                i dont know, if you pay attention to morrisons run on b-man, dicks faith does not look to good…

            • kurumais says:

              jason should have stayed dead

              • Benicio127 says:

                I think he’s great. He’s one of my faves. I loved Under the Hood. I love his snark and his badassery. (Yes, that’s a word) And all of his emotional issues.

                The scene where Jason cries in the final confrontation with Bruce in Under the Hood gets me every time. So sad. D:

                • I am usually all for “the dead should stay dead” but I have to agree with you on Jason Todd. Him showing up in Batman: Hush was the ONLY good thing that happened in that story. And then we get screwed by Jeff Loeb and were told it was Clayface.

                  I liked Under the Hood quite a bit. Jason is a constant reminder to Wayne of what Bruce’s biggest failure was as Batman and I think that makes for very compelling interactions between the two. Morrison’s use of Jason in Batman and Robin was also kinda cool.

                  I don’t get the Jason Todd hate but then again it was the fans that killed him in the first place.

                  J.

                  • Benicio127 says:

                    OH we are so in agreement.

                    And there was no emotional resonance with Tommy Elliot in Hush at all. Tommy died and I didn’t care. The issues with Jason had the most resonance in the whole storyline because there was a long history there.

                    Under the Hood was great. Everyone I recommend it to tells me they loved it. And I don’t always get the sense that he’s really all that hated.
                    Here’s a poll at CBR that shows the opposite, in fact.
                    http://forums.comicbookresources.com/showthread.php?t=315409

                    Even alive there’s a tragedy there, because Bruce so desperately wants his son back, but the alter egos will never let that happen.

                    I liked Morrison’s use of Jason, too. I mean I hated the redhair stupid retcon, but I got the symbolism behind it. It’s just that pre- and post-crisis Jasons are two totally different characters.
                    And as much as I love Damian, I loved it when Jason told him to listen and smashed his face in the floor. That was a moment of pure awesomeness.

                    Yeah. The vote was pretty won by an incredibly slim margin, it was a difference of 72 votes, so it wasn’t like he was universally hated at all. Plus Jim Starlin didn’t like the idea of a child sidekick so he more or less set out to make him more of a jerk. He actually wanted to give Jason AIDS to get rid of Robin. Here: http://www.adelaidecomicsandbooks.com/starlin.html

                  • SMARTASS8 says:

                    Dick Grayson was the first Robin I met, but the Post-Crisis Jason Todd was first re-introduced when I started getting Batman comics on a regular basis. I was always a fan of his, liked him replacing Dick, and was real excited that he was broughtback. Tim Drake, on the other hand, is too perfect to make me believe he’s a real kid. Having said that, I hate that the editors have let every writer write Todd with a different personality. He’s been a serial killer, an anti-hero, and a plain old good guy(in the awful Countdown funnily enough). Either get his personality straight or keep him dead.

                    • Benicio127 says:

                      Yeah, he has been written inconsistently at points. I thought Johns, Nicieza and Morrison did a good job with him, after Winick. Judd Winick is the character’s re-creator so knows him best and I’m excited to see more of Jason’s story in Red Hood: Lost Days.

                      I can’t really count what Tony Daniel did in Battle for the Cowl or what Bruce Jones did in that really crappy Nightwing arc. Battle for the Cowl could have been good — Jason breaking down over the loss of the only real father he’d ever had; feeling like someone had to step up to be Batman and he would have considered it his responsibility. But then Tony Daniel wrote it and made the character who vowed to kill anyone who sold drugs to children shoot a child (Damian). Because that was Tony Daniel’s super awesome way of showing there was no more grey to his character, that he’d gone ~really crazy!~ and was now ~irredeemable!~ That’s point to his amazing storytelling prowess. Well, that and Catgirl. Her costume just makes me want to jazzercise!

    • kurumais says:

      casandra cain was just way too uber she started out shiva level what can a writer do with that?

    • Benicio127 says:

      Well, DC answered my Cass question at HeroesCon here http://www.newsarama.com/comics/HeroesCon-DC-Nation-Panel-100606.html

      They said they’re “holding off on using Cass right now” but are using Misfit, a white girl, mind you. Here’s more: “Sattler insisted that they didn’t want to rush her into the story and just want to time it right.”

      And then there was this comment from Ian Sattler:

      “A serious topic came up about how characters who are minorities who happened to be legacy characters like Ryan Choi are killed off so their caucasian counterparts can return and how they feel like they are being cheated or sidelined out of their roles. Sattler took a more serious tone. “It’s so hard for me to be on the other side because it’s not our intention. There is a reason behind it all. We don’t see it that way and strive very hard to have a diverse DCU. I mean, we have green, pink, and blue characters. We have the Great Ten out there and I have counter statistics, but I won’t get into that. It’s not how we perceived it. We get the same thing about how we treat our female characters.”

      Superheroes are, in part, supposed to be role models. I can say I look up to Lois Lane and always have. She’s an ambitious driven workaholic woman, like me. But I’m sorry, when there are blue, pink and green skinned people in reality to be able to look up to those blue, pink and green skinned superheroes in comics, someone give me a call: there’s obviously a bigger story going on.
      The fact that he said “We get the same thing about how we treat our female characters” means maybe DC should do something about it.

  2. Venom829 says:

    The tide is slowly SLWOLY changing…

  3. this is interesting is marvel getting better in the way that cap iron man and thor are leading the avengers (although i don’t like the way that happened just to put out promo for the movie in 2012) but d.c. is really messing up some good stories like blackest night and brightest day just so more people will buy their books

    • SMARTASS8 says:

      I like Bucky, but as long as he’s Cap, “Cap, Iron Man, and Thor” will never truly be leading the Avengers. Replace Stark with Rhodey(I actually like him better anyway) and Thor with Hercules, but the only Cap on the Avengers, imo, should be Steve Rogers.

  4. rush says:

    Publishers blame the consumer for not like a character change thus regressing back to the previous character, but if the writers did a better job with the new character the consumer is more likely to go with it.

  5. edward2962 says:

    It would be interesting to see the sales figures of some of these comics that traffic in this sort of sensationalism.The companies wouldn’t keep putting this stuff out if they thought it would lose them money.And obviously it generates alot of talk. I like think that if shock moments are all you have,ppl eventually get tried of it.

  6. phil says:

    Ironically with ressurection fever goin on,, what are the odds that this Atom won’t be coming back? Place your bets!

  7. Mike F says:

    Great video as always guys

  8. Mike F says:

    I remember once reading a Silver Surfer comic by Stan Lee written in the 60’s. There was a scene when he had fallen to earth and an African man came and helped the surfer. He kept going on about how “human’s all treat the surfer like an alien and wanna hurt him” and the African man said how he knows the feeling of being treated unfairly.

    This was in the 60’s too. That took courage to write I bet for Stan. And the issue was great as well. I guess the times have changed…

  9. NoEmoDaredevil says:

    Brightest Day is REALLY getting on my nerves. Every issue just serves as a setup to the next, which in turn leads to NO payoff. It’s been two months but there still doesn’t seem to be a point to the story…other than Aquaman and Deadman having probs. Green Lantern has turned to absolute shit and I’m considering dropping it myself. Johns needs to get that book back on track and make it about HAL JORDAN.

    Shadowland is almost here!!!

  10. cballsack says:

    One of the worst comics you’ve ever read, Jose? That totally makes me WANT to read it.

    It’s really disconcerting that DC is killing off their non-white characters. I’m sure Editorial has seen these articles floating about on the web. You’d think they’d be more responsive to it. I mean look at the NFL: teams are required to interview at least one minority person for a head coaching spot. Even though I think that’s forcing the issue a bit, at least it shows some sensitivity to the issue. Where is this same sensitivity at DC?

  11. Morlock50 says:

    Great points in your video, guys. I really love the DC universe, but stuff like this and Cry for Justice and Brightest Day (that scene with the woman who kills her whole family and peels her skin off is one of the most ridiculous things I’ve ever seen in a comic) is making me wonder whether it’s worth it to spend more money on new comics. I mean, for the same amount of money of a current issue of Titans, I could buy a back issue of the Wolfman/Perez stories from the eighties, and have a better quality comic for my collection.

    • comicbookdude says:

      Yeah that scene in BD#2 where the lady kills her family was the last straw for me. I’m done with all this depressing crap in comics. To me a title should reflect the story. The title Brightest Day does not reflect the story. I’m not buying Brightest Day anymore. I don’t want to have to wait a long time for a payoff. Johns and Tomasi are testing me as a fan. I expect so much better from them.

      • Morlock50 says:

        Totally agree with you here. One of the elements in a comic book that I look for when I decide to purchase it is potential rereadability (is this something that I’m going to want to read more than once). Now, who’s going to want to pull Brightest Day #2 out of their longbox 6 months later and say “I’d really like to see that moment when the chick pulls the skin off her face again. And then I want to relive that awesome comic moment when the Atom gets run through with a sword”!

        Maybe it’s my differing tastes, but that’s so not what I look for in a superhero comic book for entertainment. I want to see superheroes doing cool and fantastic stuff. You know what my single favorite comic moment is? Action Comics #588 where Superman puts his hands in the floor of Hawkman’s spaceship and flies it from the inside. Now that was “kewl”! Not all this gore and shit.

        One more thing; if that skin-ripping scene occurred in a horror comic or something like Hack/Slash, I would not have nearly the problem with it that I do. It’s not gore or death that bothers me, it’s having these things occur in a comic which stars characters like Aquaman and other superheroes that disgusts me. If Geoff Johns wants to write horror, then go write a story in Creepy or Hellblazer. Leave the Superfriends alone for fucks sake.

        • SMARTASS8 says:

          I agree. Seeing Sue Dibney raped and later set on fire happen in the DCU felt like reading an issue of Archie Comics where Betty Cooper deals with child abuse. Just becasue things like this happen in real life doesn’t mean I want to read about it in an superhero comic(which used to be a form of escapism). I know this goes against everything Marvel Zomibes and even a lot of modern day DC fans would want, but I’ll take cheesy & fun stories over those that feature flailings, rape, beheadings, and scenes that even Eli Roth would keep out of one of his movies.

  12. tomstewdevine says:

    HAHAHA! Jose I really like at 3:36 when you try to give these creators some credit.

  13. Deemar says:

    Another insightful episode fellas.

    DC is going down a dark path and it aint pretty, if this is what they think they have to do to compete with Marvel my pull list is gonna shrink at a rapid pace.

  14. Stamps says:

    The price tag was the reason that I didn’t buy this thing, and now that I’ve heard the review I’m glad I didn’t.

  15. phil says:

    This may be a little off topic, but with all the undeadings that Dc has been doing does anyone believe either Johns or Didio left themselves an escape hatch with Firestorm’s ( Jason’s ) “deceased” girlfriend? Correct me if I’m wrong, but if I remember correctly, the girlfriend had powers seperate from her ties with Firestorm.

    If I recall correctly she make real or tangible anyway, whatever her mind could conceive. Whose to say 5 yrs from now if things are not going as DC would like them to, that they don’t pull a little bait and switch and say that this Whatever “this” is…is what we were going for all the time?

    Just trying to make heads and tails of everything guys and gals. ๐Ÿ™‚

  16. kurumais says:

    i didnt read this book but i have a few question

    who in the DCU could have enough animosity towards ryan choi to hire all those people to kill him?
    i read his book when it first came out it was ok but didnt last long does he really have an enemy or enemies that hate him that much?
    why does dc need a book like this when they already have secret six?
    i was shocked to hear osiris and tatoo man’s names on the team thats on dc editorial not knowing their characters

    thank you J for pointing out what a mess the titans franchise is all writers ever do on that book is have one titan try to kill the other titans. thats some family huh? i think the last time the titans werent a bad soap opera was in the 80s under wolfman and perez

    i read somewhere arsenal is going to joining this team as a long time roy harper fan “really DC?” why why why?

    • If you are a Roy Harper fan I suggest you stay away from Rise of Arsenal #3 which came out last week. People have been telling me about this comic on the blog all week and I just read a synopses of it. It’s not pretty. In fact it is so awful it may lead to another rant.

      To be clear I have NOT read the actual comic yet (I will next time I go to work) but the I got the gist in the synopses I read. What the fuck is DC doing?

      J.

      • kurumais says:

        i read the first 2 truly horrible issues of that series, which i bought at the same time, that was enough to put me off of it

        i been reading green arrow off and on for a loooong time and i figured this would be a good jumping on point to get back into him
        i picked up an issue by jt krull it wasnt bad but i felt this exactly where the character was right before dc killed him off and gave the book to connor
        i %^$#ing read this already DC please give me something new

      • MaximusRift says:

        Yes, rant away. Please, rant away.

      • Iqy says:

        I think that was James robinsons fault for the state of Roy harper

      • Morlock50 says:

        This makes Villians for Hire look like a fucking masterpiece, from what I’ve heard so far.

  17. generaldark says:

    i have to say i think some people look to much into the racism things but there are some well good arguments. i want to quit brightest day because it really is disapointing….god..i need help deciding stuff :/

    • SMARTASS8 says:

      I agree.

      I might understand someone saying DC is acting racist for not using the Milestone characters they paid for just because they’re black(except for Static since he proved himself as a relatively popular character) but I think that list that was compiled(the one Jose addressed in the video) was somewhat forced. Not only were all the characters listed not dead nor currently treated as obscure characters, but you could easily compile a list 100 times as long featuring white characters. Considering DC has been publishing stories for 75 years, you have enough comics to go through to back up any argument. I’m sure I could make a case that DC is pro-rape and pro-animal abuse as well.

      I didn’t like the Titan special and I didn’t like that Ryan Choi was killed, but I still feel he was killed because Ray Palmer, the most popular Atom out of the 4, is back. Since Choi’s book didn’t sell well(I liked it) and he didn’t have a truly distinct personality, DC probably felt he wasn’t worth keeping around as another legacy character.

      • rush says:

        I agree the Silver Age characters have an established commercial viability. I don’t think any publisher or creators have racist agenda. However simply saying that the publisher had to replace a new character with the old one because of economic reasons lets them off the hook too easily. It makes it seem as though the publishers have zero control over the success of a new character. I am of the opinion that not enough care and effort is made to ensure success of new character sometimes. Why would a second or third tier creator be used instead of a top tier creator to firmly establish a new character? By using TOP talent to give a new characters some legs there is a better chance of commercial success.

        • SMARTASS8 says:

          She may not be Geoff Johns or Grant Morrison, but I feel Gail Simone, the writer who helped develop the Ryan Choi book, is far from a second or third tier creator. The book just never took off because not only was Ryan Choi basically just an Asian Ray Palmer, but he was a recast hero who has never been extremely popular. I think DC wanted to establish the “evil” Titans as truly bad guys. It was either kill off an unknown, kill off a popular character(which would have been really stupid considering it occured in an untested newly rebooted comic), or Ryan Choi, who was somewhat in between. Personally, I would have rather seen Jason Rusch or Jaime Reyes killed off if they were going to clean house of its heroes with multiple versions.

          • rush says:

            Swamp Thing was a character few gave a crap about but Moore came along and wrote him in such a way that people sat up and took notice. This is what I’m taking about. New characters new writers with the skill set to make a new character compelling.
            Though I like Gail’s work she is on the cusp of being top tier ahe isn’t there yet.

            • SMARTASS8 says:

              That was Moore’s first popular thing done in America. Unless you lived in the UK, Gail Simone is a bigger name than Alan Moore was when he started Swamp Thing.

  18. Locusmortis says:

    I think I might have mentioned it in a previous Rants column but I have a sinking feeling that DC are going to blow all the goodwill that Blackest Night built up by pursuing this seemingly even darker direction in Brightest Day.

    I’m just reading Brightest Day 1 and 2 right now and they’re pretty bad. Not only is the child molesting pirate bit in bad taste but then theres one of the stupidest panels I’ve seen in ages on page 21 of Brightest Day #1. The first panel with the zombie shark flying through the air at the pirate is actually pretty cool but the second panel with the pirate in its mouth just looks jaw-droppingly stupid.

    Then on page 22/23 some guy goes mad with a knife in a fish shop. random deaths.

    In Brightest Day #2 Jason tells Ronnie Raymond “Shut up white boy!”. nice. Then on page 15 we get that scene where a housewife stabs her husband with a knife and kills her children with “rock band” instruments which I’m sure got a “coooooooooooool” from the 15 year old gamers but which I thought was utterly loathsome.

    Someone earlier said these issues are all “set up, set up, set up” or something to that effect and I completely agree, this book is all tease and no payoff. Theres 2 or 3 page slices of each character or pairing and its fucking frustrating.

    Thus, I have cancelled my order for Brightest Day as of issue #5 (I’ve pre-ordered up till then), I only made the order deadline by about an hour.

    Its the only way to tell them to stop making shit books, don’t buy them!

    • “Its the only way to tell them to stop making shit books, donโ€™t buy them!”

      You are a damn mind reader Locus. That is the exact topic of the Last Rants segment we taped yesterday.

      Also, the disappointment that is Brightest Day is starting to show in the sales at our store. Luckily the first 6 issues are returnable. That’s the best thing about Brightest Day so far.

      J.

    • hhbx says:

      I can see what you’re saying here, and I’m really hoping this isn’t going to be one of those those where a finger gets pointed at a person for not thinking a book is total shit and yelling, “FANBOY!!!!”, but let me just interject quick.

      –Then on page 22/23 some guy goes mad with a knife in a fish shop. random deaths.–

      I understand where you’re coming since killing a few people seems to be a standard for introducing a villain (used to be random people, now it’s named characters), but don’t you think it changes the scene a bit when, “some guy,” turns out to be Black Manta? Hell, if you want to stretch it you could even say it’s a rough call back to his original ugly origin.

      –Someone earlier said these issues are all โ€œset up, set up, set upโ€ or something to that effect and I completely agree, this book is all tease and no payoff.–

      At the same time, the simple question would be; why are you expecting a payoff at this stage of the game in what’s to be a 27 issue (included #0) maxi-series? That would sort of be like reading a 32 page one shot and getting the pay off for the book by page 7.

  19. kurumais says:

    i dont think this is so much about getting rid of minority characters as bringing back silver age
    ever since identity crisis i felt everything dc was doing was to bring the dcu back to a silver age status quo. of course you can point out the silver age was white but i dont think dan didio and geoff johns are so much anti minority as ridiculously pro silver age!

    and the wierd thing is when was the last time ray palmer was popular by the time i started buying my own comics in the late 70s he was pretty much in limbo. he wasnt in the jla anymore gil kane’s barbarian ray palmer of lil mars mini was fun but didnt take off. they tried bringing him back a couple of times but no one seemed to care. where is this ray palmer fan base dc thinks they are going to tap? did ray palmer ever sell that many comics?

    • rush says:

      Here is a thought, there is room for 3 Flashes in the DCU but not 2 Atoms? Why the hell not?

      • Locusmortis says:

        If they wanted the Silver Age so bad they should have made the All-Star books into a full line and made it very Silver Age centric just as All Star Superman was.

        • SMARTASS8 says:

          I don’t think it’s Silver Age so much as DC is bringing back the most popular and/or well known versions of their characters(except for Blue Beetle). It just happens to be that the Silver Age is probably the most iconic era for DC & Marvel characters even though the only people that were reading the books back then are either close to retirement(although, in this economy, that’s probably no even true) or no longer reading comics. Reading a lot of today’s superhero books makes me think less of the Silver Age and more of the crappy 90’s. Most of the Silver Age status quos were in place then as well.

          • Locusmortis says:

            If you actually read Silver Age comics though, Marvels under Stan and Jack (and Steve and Gene and Don et al) were excellent whereas DC’s were mostly shit. I’m sorry to say it but the only pre-1969 DC comics that aren’t twee and dull are the Doom Patrol and some of Nick Cardy’s Teen Titans books.

            • SMARTASS8 says:

              I wasn’t talking quality when I said Silver Age, I was talking status quo(which is what people are usually referring to when they say DC is bringing back the Silver Age). Personally, I don’t think either of the big 2 put out stuff in the Silver Age that stands the test of time. DC introduced a lot of great mythology to their characters that is still used today(especially Superman) but they almost all shared similar personalities. Marvel gave us distinct personalities with alter egos that had as many problems as their costumed counterparts but I find Stan Lee’s writing pretty hard to get through.

              I think the over the top violence and crappy writing that DC and Marvel give us wth so many of their comics these days(also all of the variant covers) are problems that the 90’s had. I could barely pick up a DC comic in th e90’s they were so bad and Marvel lost a lot of my money as well.

      • kurumais says:

        no clue but is wally really still around or is he pretty much in limbo? is he regular part of a book?

        ive read both atoms i see no really advantage with ray palmer

        with hal over kyle i can kind of see even though i prefer kyle
        with barry over wally dan didio called barry the ultimate flash so it doesnt matter what anyone thinks
        i like ollie even though i prefer connor i didnt mind ollie’s return

        ryan had his shot to get an audience with his book gail simone wrote it it was decent i dropped it because i just wasnt into him that much so ryan goes back to limbo like ray
        whats the big deal of leaving him there?
        does deathstrock and company killing a c lister like ryan make them look badass? not to me

        • Rob F says:

          But to the average comic book reader a villain is only a badass if they kill people. I blame movies in that regard. I read an article with the new Titans writer where he basically said he liked the Atom as a character but needed to set up the team with a dramatic death. I see Deathstroke creating the same sort of problem Bullseye is for Marvel: they are assassins so in order to be good at the thing that defines them they have to put characters down.

          What it really makes me wonder is how much control writers have over characters. Let’s say you were given this new Titans book, do you think you get to decide who’s on the team and who can get killed? I think they used Atom because legacy characters are a huge problem for DC. They really need to stop with the practice if they are going to bring all the original characters back anyways.

  20. MaximusRift says:

    I’ve been watching this trend grow ever since Wolverine stated getting really popular with the writers. I think we are seeing a shift where companies care more about the supposed F’-ing cool moment than telling non-dark stories. I’m a Marvel reader and I’ve been wishing that they’d stop worshiping the dark character and storyline and be a little more like DC. Now it looks like DC is trying to be more like Marvel.

    Also, the whole Brightest Day maguffin is really depressing. I really liked Jones’ work too. Think Matt Fraction and Gail Simone will go the same route or is this just a bad streak he’s gotten into?

    • I really believe that Fraction and Simone are above this “tragedy porn” shit. Whether they prove me right or not is another story entirely. We will have to wait and see.

      J.

      • kurumais says:

        i think a lot of crappy comics can be blamed on a lot of crappy x men and titan comics through the late 80s early 90s for some reason the fans couldnt get enough of that crap angsty drek
        “SOMEONE WILL DIE!!!”

      • SMARTASS8 says:

        I’m sure Gail is since she became famous with her anti-“women in refrigerators” stance.

  21. TheMSpot says:

    I don’t see why publisher’s just don’t leave a character or title on the shelf until another creator comes along and wants to use them. Instead they just seem to prolong these unnecessarily tragic story lines to the point where any future creator doesn’t want to use them because they are so fucked up beyond repair that their better off starting from scratch or rebooting them.

  22. TheMSpot says:

    I have a question, is USAgent alive or dead?

    • Alive..to my knowledge. He was in the Thunderbolts Siege tie-in’s and help win the day.

      J.

      • TheMSpot says:

        Thats good to know because I feel like if Steve Rogers goes back to being Captain America that Bucky will become the new USAgent, but that will probably not happen on the count that they want to keep Bucky as Cap in my opinion because DC won’t keep Dick Grayson as Batman.

  23. rush says:

    There have been times when a writer has come along and turned a B or C-list character and made them really cool. Why is this not happening more often? If a B or C-list character can be made over into something worth reading than why can’t a new character be handled in the same manner so as to ensure some measure of commercial success?
    The other question I always seem to have is how much is it the writers fault for a bad story choice and how much is it editorial gumming up the works?

    • In regards to your first question: It’s happening in Secret Avengers, Thunderbolts and Atlas currently.

      As far as your second question it all really depends BUT I think it ultimately falls into the hands of editorial. Editorial can mandate that a shitty story be told (One More Day) or they can let writers get away with telling shitty stories (Dark Avengers, New Avengers).

      J.

  24. rush says:

    Here is a site I use to checkout monthly comics,GN and trades sales figures. Some of you might already use this site.

    http://www.comicschronicles.com/

  25. Adam727 says:

    In Brightest Day #1, this local fishermen goes mental and kills all the people in the shop.

    In Brightest Day #2, It was really disturbing to see this mother going completely mental, as she goes in the next room to kill her husband and two young kids. Beating them to death with a guitar – Reminds when I saw Red Skull throw a baby out of a window. Again, I think these guys need to stop with the shock.

    So, the whole Brightest Day is really depressing. I really have changed my opinion about it, since I heard what johns had to say about it. I thought it was suppose to bring back what comics use to be. I doubt the Heroic Age will be any different. I guess will just have to wait and see.

    • rush says:

      Who knows what’s going happen. But Brightest day just seems an ironic title. All this pointless violence I think cheapens the characters and takes away the true impact of violence in dramatic storytelling.

    • That was the Black Manta. Aquaman’s arch-enemy. When he heard Aquaman was back, he snapped and went kill-crazy. Why? Well, he’s a psychotic maniac. Sometimes villians just do evil things. Go figure…

      • SMARTASS8 says:

        This guy killed a baby all the way back in the late 70’s. I don’t like the graphic violence shown in modern DC comics, but mking Black Manta extreme is hardly as drastic as what they did too Dr. Light(rapist) or The Toyman(child molester).

  26. phil says:

    Atom dead. Nightcrawler dead. And the cycle continues. Much of the talk at various sites has been about ethnicity and understandably so, but what about faith? With the death of Kurt, Marvel has killed off its most prominent christian character.

    I’m not religious but I thought it was cool to have someone that had the courage of their convictions as opposed to dome genric “Great Rao” or “Merciful Minerva” or “by Odin’s Beard” etc. etc. What hero / heroine takes up that mantle?

    • Rob F says:

      Well I feel like Nightcrawler’s religion was used against him…during that whole Church of Humanity episode. I liked Nate Grey when he had a quasi religious bent as a shaman but I have no idea.

    • Edward2962 says:

      I almost said Matt Murdock,but he’s a really bad catholic role-model.Think about it.He runs around beating up ppl in the middle of the night.He’s out fornicating.And he dresses like THE DEVIL! Other christians are out feeding the poor,he’s giving in to all his worst impulses.That’s the real reason he’s depressed all the time,he knows he’s a sinner but he won’t stop sinning!

      • Eh, but I see Matt Murdock as a fucked up guy who’s just trying to do the right thing. Not a bad guy.

      • SmokeyClocks says:

        Looking at dare devil in a completely black and white moral spectrum is counter productive.

      • phil says:

        If I’m reading your comments accurately, Ed….you’re of the belief that MM is of the catholic faith. I can’t say conclusively that you’re wrong, but as I remember it, going as far back as the Miller run, it wasn’t established that MM was by faith a Catholic. If anything he was merely a lost soul who used the Catholic church from time to time because that’s all he knew.

        Of course I could be wrong.

      • SMARTASS8 says:

        What kils me about Matt Murdock is how his mother, who abandoned him, is a nun. One well placed call could ruin her “calling”.

        If I was as easily offended as a lot of the groups out there are, I definitely would have cried foul during Chuck Austen’s “origin” of Nightcrawler arc where not only was Nightwing out of nowhere now the son of a devil/demon, but he was falsely made a priest due to some type of manipulation done by the Catholic Church(I think that’s what happened). Total shit story that could also be considered a flippant F U to Catholics. They might as well of made Nightcrawler a kiddie toucher.

    • Rob F says:

      I found a website that has religions listed for a lot of the big names…don’t know how accurate it is tho…

      http://www.adherents.com/lit/comics/comic_book_religion.html

  27. Rob F says:

    I nominate Deathstroke as the Bullseye-like character who needs to get his comeuppance, I mean, how many characters does this guy have to kill?

  28. Adam727 says:

    Does anyone have a link to where Johns talks about Brightest Day ? I know Jose mentioned it during last rants. I really thought comics were going to be lighthearted again.

    • I want to say tat I read it on CBR but it was a while ago and I don’t remember where that quote was. I’ll see if I can find it.

      J.

    • Morlock50 says:

      You would think that with a title like Brightest Day, comics would lighten up a little. But then Johns wouldn’t be able to shoehorn second rate EC gore porn into his silver age superhero stories. And we can’t miss out on that, can we?

      • Gotta get immature kids/young men into comics somehow, right?

        J.

        • Luiz de Mello says:

          For that I think that all people should do is start having more sex instead of violence in comics. More controversial, or so it seems to be, and certainly more attention grabbing. Gonna get lots of young men and some unspoken ‘pure and innocent little girls’ to read the books.

      • SMARTASS8 says:

        If Geoff John’s stories are full of gore and are often featuring and/or starring characters that were either created by him(Modern Age), or were introduced in the Golden Age or Bronze Age, why does he keep getting accused of ushering in the Silver Age? This isn’t in defense of Geoff Johns(I like him more than most of you do here, but Flash Rebirth and the ups & downs of Blackest Night prove to me he’s not a perfect writer), but more trying to understand what I feel is an inaccurate lable.

        • Hal Jordan and Barry Allen are still Silver Age creations right? Those are the two characters he has the biggest hard on for. Or are you just talking about Brightest Day only (which both of those characters are also involved in)?

          J.

          • SMARTASS8 says:

            They are Silver Age but he also wrote Wally West(Silver Age character but Bronze Age as The Flash), Superman(Golden Age), JSA(Golden Age with a lot of Modern Age characters he created), and Hawkman(Golden Age). I could understand the Silver Age label is Johns didn’t have the gore and told happier stories, but I feel Dan Slott, another writer I happen to like, is a lot more “Silver Age” than Johns. By that rationale, JMS must be bringing back the Golden Age since he wrote The Twelve and is now writing Superman & Wonder Woman. Again, I’m not arguing in favor of John’s quality, I just find calling him Mr. Silver Age is something a lot of “Zombies” say as a way of writing him off. I just don’t find it accurate.

            • Do you think it’s fair to say that he has more of an affinity for the Silver Age stories or versions of those characters? I really think he is trying so hard tell those stories with a (unfortunate?) modern day spin.

              J.

              • SMARTASS8 says:

                You could say that, but the versions that Johns seems to like are the ones that a lot of people my age are used to as well. They were like that when I started reading comics in the 80’s(at least for the first half of it before Crisis changed Superman’s origin and gave us a different Flash & Hawkman). That was the Bronze Age not the Silver Age. Also, with Hawkman’s latest origin fix and Johns’ obvious love for the JSA, I feel he is just as strongly linked to the Golden Age as well. Stars & S.T.R.I.P.E., Johns’ first comic, as well as his first creation for DC, was based on a lot of DC Golden Age continuity(JSA, Seven Soldiers Of Victory).

            • AvS says:

              Sure Superman’s golden age but Johns did bring back the silver age version for the most part. Some major elements i.e. the version of Brainiac, bottled Kandor, the Legion’s connection to Superboy, to name a few, originated in the silver age.

              I think, at least as far as his most recent Superman run and the ‘Secret Origin’ mini goes it’s safe to say he’s got a soft spot for the silver age Superman. Not saying that’s bad, I like a lot of those silver age elements. Throw in Jordan and Allen and I can see where people might think of him as ‘Mr. Silver Age’ lately.

              • Being a huge Superman fan, I dislike Secret Origin highly. That said, his Superman & The Legion story was kick ass.

                • AvS says:

                  Just curious Heck, when did you start reading Superman? I started really reading Superman books with Byrne but going back I still liked a lot of that out there silver age stuff.

                  • AvS says:

                    And just so it’s clear I’m not trying to start a Superman pissing contest, I’m just trying to get a sense where you’re coming from.

                  • SMARTASS8 says:

                    You’re like me in that respect. I read the occasional issue my parents picked up for me at the grocery store, but I didn’t start reading Superman on a regular basis until Byrne. While I still like the art, I much prefer the weirdness, the fun, and most of the mythology that we still associate with Superman today, that the Silver Age gave us.

                    • If Superman really had super piss during the Silver Age Geoff Johns would be writing about that now in Brightest Day.

                      J.

                    • I like Superman being more grounded in current sensibilities. Byrne’s Superman did just that. It updated Big Blue yet kept him Superman. His Clark Kent is fantastic.

                      It was like getting Christopher Reeve’s Superman and George Reeves’ Clark Kent. Perfect. I never could get into a lot of the Silver Age stuff. I enjoyed some of Superman’s Golden Age expolits, but the Death and Return made a huge impact on me. It defined what I thought a superhero was.

                    • AvS says:

                      I think depowering the character way back was a good idea; otherwise it can get pretty ridiculous. But I think it’s a bad idea to throw all the silver age story elements out with the super-bathwater. Is super-bathwater on that list? I guess you could take issue with just rehashing of old story points but I don’t see how Johns has not grounded him in current sensibilities like you say.

                    • A comic vine link? Dear lord.

                      J.

                    • I don’t see Secret Origins doing anything but distancing Superman from ‘modern sensiblities’. Lois and Superman meet the same way they did in the 70s with a helicopter crash (not a space plane). Superman has a Howdy Dowdy/ Leave it to Beaver up bringing with no real drama.

                      Metallo is a power ranger, Parasite gets powers from some donut. It’s all camp for the sake of camp. Why is Lex in Smallville? Why isn’t Superman more global? A true reboot of Superman would be making him a more global hero, especially with the way our world is now. He needs to be a symbol of hope for the common man again.

                    • AvS says:

                      There’s been some internal drama in ‘Secret Origin’ with Clark not feeling like he fits in and trying to control his powers. But I assume you’re missing the drama with Lana? Am I wrong? Cause there was never any drama with Ma and Pa that I can remember in any variation in the past.

                      I agree that the Metallo design is terrible. I like him better as an android. I can’t argue with the donut and the helicopter, I didn’t not like them but they aren’t major plot points for me. I’m reaching but aren’t helicopter’s more common in a big city? I think having Lex grow up in Smallville along side Clark gives a good juxtaposition of the villain and hero which shows even at a young age. It’s not exactly necessary but I like it. But on the global question, in Origin, he’s just starting out. How global do you expect him to get?

                      On the other hand I think Johns set up a pretty global and relevant and modern storyline with New Krypton. Fear of the alien is pretty relevant today. And I don’t mean the Kryptonian type. You might say how’s he globally relevant if he’s leaving the globe? You have the character go off planet to become more globally relevant on return. Understanding that I’m just talking about the set-up not the subsequent success or failure of the follow through; I haven’t read last stand of new krypton, war of the Supermen, etc.

                      But hey, a lot of these points are really just a matter of taste. What the hell do I know? It’s late, I’m drinking and I posted a nickelback video earlier.

                    • I see you’re points, I just don’t see much drama to any of it. Clark has always had a hard time of fitting in. That’s nothing new, and the stuff with Lana is pretty bland as well. Nothing enticing. No real drama.

                      I thought War of the Supermen #4 was one of the worst comics I’ve ever read, but that’s Robinson so it’s understandable that it’s bad. New Krypton started strong, but with John’s departure (more of an abandonment) and Rucka leaving DC, it tanked. Big time. The end result was just a mess and Superman had no time to shine.

                      I liked Lex and Clark together in Smallville back in the first few seasons of the tv show “Smallville”. I thought that was great stuff, but not everything on screen works in the comics just like everything in the comics doesn’t work on the screen. This Lex wasn’t handled as well, and it’s too coveinant for Lex and Clark to grow up down the street. Plus the dialouge in Secret Origin (of high school Lex) was pretty horrible imo. He became the mad scientist high schooler. Even Birthright handled it better.

                      By global I mean wider range. Superman needs to mean something to the world, and I don’t think any of the currents teams have defined that. Superman shouldn’t be fighting power rangers, high school mad scientists, and villains that get their powers from donuts. That stuff doesn’t cut it in 2010.

                      Maybe this is just me. You clearly have a point as well though and it is all just a matter of taste.

                    • AvS says:

                      Yeah, I never watched ‘Smallville’ (maybe one or two episodes) and I agree that Lex and Clark growing up in the same town can be a little too convenient. If I was writing the story I wouldn’t have choosen to include that part. I thought it worked though. But the dialog in Origin that you mention didn’t stick out as particularly bad for me. Maybe I’ll give it another pass to see what you mean.

                      “Superman needs to mean something to the world, and I donโ€™t think any of the currents teams have defined that.”

                      I agree with this 100%. I’m holding out for JMS to do exactly that.

                    • I have high, high hopes for JMS. I hope he doesn’t let us down.

                    • I recomend the first three seasons of Smallville. It depicts a Clark Kent that could easily become the Man of Steel. The rest was downhill. Though, I’ve always enjoyed the show for what it is.

                      Lex’s development in season three was incredible, and Rosenbaum’s portrayl is my favorite ever of old baldy.

  29. Adam727 says:

    I’m not a lover of violence. I like action. And to me there’s a difference between action and violence. And I don’t think violence is necessary. I think to a great extent it’s a substitute for coming up with another clever device to do something. But I know violence seems to be the prevailing mood today, but it’s not something that I particularly enjoy.

  30. Insideman says:

    Loved the LAST RANTS guys (as usual). Everything was perfectly spot on.

    You two make perfect foils for each other and it’s great to see BOTH of you start to wind up– and then release– a heavy amount of BILE and SWEAT over some new comic atrocity.

    Given the huge amount of work that is expected from both writers and artists in this field… It really doesn’t take too long for professionals to turn from GENIUS to HACK. It actually used to take a LOT LONGER for pros to burn out– primarily because there weren’t that many titles being produced every month. Pros like Wolfman and Wein all got to “Hackdom” sooner or later… It just took 10 years for their “Mummies in Space” to surface.

    Now the average pro can reach this career abyss in a couple of years or less. I mean, seriously Elliott… How many Avengers books could you write for Marvel EVERY MONTH before your muse would unceremoniously abandon your ass too? (That’s not meant as a caustic– or challenging type– of question… It is a serious question, though.)

    I really don’t have any animosity against any of the pros that keep on writing and drawing past their prime (or past their ABILITY TO CARE)… Because we see this in every aspect of life: Politicians, Scholars, Sports Figures, Authors, Painters– even TRUCK DRIVERS– etc., etc… We almost all refuse to quit even when we know our work is shit (or in the case of Truck Drivers– our eyesight and/or reflexes are so bad/slow that we endanger people every day we jump back into a truck and decide to ply our trade).

    But unlike the Soccer Mom who becomes the unexpected victim of said trucker– flattened one day by an over-the-hill gas-bag– The cool thing about being a comic consumer is… We have the right to exercise our distaste for hack comic book work by simply REFUSING to purchase it anymore.

    Jose said the next Last Rants (just recorded yesterday I think) has something to do with this topic– so I won’t go here much more.

    But I will go here:

    I have been standing in more than one SUPER POPULAR ARTIST’S STUDIO where they have regaled me on how their latest piece of HACK work has just BANKED them THOUSANDS and THOUSANDS… and they are VERY PROUD of the fact that they spent little or no time creating their latest “masterpiece”! They LAUGH at the gullibility of comic book consumers.

    Their HUBRIS would make every one of you want to vomit.

    But they keep producing it until we STOP BUYING THEIR SHIT… So ultimately this cycle is ENTIRELY up to the consumer. When we finally pull the plug on these hacks and their sales plummet– said creators either stop getting comic book work altogether or rediscover their passion and start producing work from their “A Portfolio” again.

    What I am getting at Jose and Elliott– even though it was EXTREMELY generous of both of you to keep saying that you were sure the “creators” involved in this TITANS debacle were surely attempting to do their best… YOU BOTH KNOW– for the most part– THAT STATEMENT ISN’T TRUE… (And I know you both ALREADY know this… because this feeling is something you both reluctantly agreed to at the very end of the vid.)

    Not liking a particular artist’s work is, of course, completely different than being turned off by an artist’s rushed “get me another paycheck” hack work… But in the end, if this TITANS one-shot is as AWFUL as you guys say it is (and I have no reason to disagree since I am in almost 100% agreement with all of your other critiques over the last several months) I think it is safe to say that almost EVERY FRIGGIN’ PERSON involved in this travesty was IN IT FOR THE CHECK.

    I can’t tell you the number of letterers I know who VISIBLY WINCE at some the dialogue they have to transpose to do their jobs.

    “At least,” one letterer told me, “we can letter on the computer now… So we don’t have to spend DAYS and DAYS wallowing in horrible writing.”

  31. kurumais says:

    on the minority character front marvel is introducing a new power man during shadowland
    dont know too much about his character design is pretty good but the blurb said he has ties to luke cage iron fist and bullseye way too many ties and connection for a brand new character
    but we will see

  32. rush says:

    Nice podcast interview with Kelly Sue DeConnick on wordballoon.com

  33. can i just say i’m a younger reader only 14 i never knew that much about the atom other than he seemed like a dc copy of hank pym i remember seeing him in an episode of justice league unlimited and i read the nail recently and he seems ike a better character than i made him out to be (thanks jose and elliot for recommending the nail and red son to me as a good tp) but he seems to be just another character they turn into a more interesting person only to kill off the second atom beacause maybe he wasn’t as good as the first one. also i thought deathstroke was a better character than that i loved him in infinite crises although he was only in a few pages the way he killed phantom lady then got his ass handed to him and being puinshed for what he did by batman,robin and nightwing. p.s. classic jose and elliot will never work at dc or marvel beacause of these vids

  34. david says:

    i think the new setting is having an impact on the show…

    u can change your relationship… but keep the show the same.

    also.. no need for music.

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