View Poll Results: Reboot or Old Universe

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  • Reboot

    75 15.50%
  • Old Universe

    221 45.66%
  • Both

    23 4.75%
  • Either

    6 1.24%
  • There are some aspects of old universe that should be add to New 52

    73 15.08%
  • Doesn't matter as long as the stories good

    86 17.77%
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  1. #3631
    Senior Member chastmastr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PennyDreadful View Post
    There seems to be a discussion over dark vs. un-dark storytelling in comics. I think there's room for both, but I also think that darkness, cynicism, and a sense of meanness have permeated comics to some degree, and it's very, very apparent at DC, before and after the reboot.
    I would, alas, agree. I would also say that there's a difference between dark/grim/heavy stories and cynicism, which is why I love (for instance) Neil Gaiman, Alan Moore, and Grant Morrison, but dislike some other writers who seem to have a genuinely nihilistic approach to their fiction. (Whether those other writers are nihilists in real life or not, I don't know.) One of the things which struck me in (and helped me appreciate) Sandman, for instance, was that even when really, really horrible things happened, I didn't get the sense that Gaiman was saying "And, therefore, life is utterly meaningless"--if anything, I thought he was able to explore concepts like the banality of evil, the possibility of redemption or at least some basic humanity (er, as it were) in some otherwise evil/messed-up people, and so on. DeMatteis does the same thing--I thought his Spectre series was fantastic, as he was certainly dealing with some very dark things at times, but with a strong sense of ultimate goodness in the end.

    I don't think we're getting this stuff in the current DCU, alas...

  2. #3632
    Senior Member PennyDreadful's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chastmastr View Post
    I would, alas, agree. I would also say that there's a difference between dark/grim/heavy stories and cynicism, which is why I love (for instance) Neil Gaiman, Alan Moore, and Grant Morrison, but dislike some other writers who seem to have a genuinely nihilistic approach to their fiction.
    This! As a Sandman fangirl, I remember several Sandman stories that had dark moments, and even the occasional bit of gore (Game of You, anyone?). But the series had bittersweet, poignant stories and even funny, adorable ones. (Those cute widdle Endless!) I agree that darkness for the sake of darkness isn't just a turnoff, it's dull. Seriously, is there a point to Garth Ennis' Crossed series? Other than "Let's see how many ways we can make readers lose their lunch"?

    One of the things which struck me in (and helped me appreciate) Sandman, for instance, was that even when really, really horrible things happened, I didn't get the sense that Gaiman was saying "And, therefore, life is utterly meaningless"--if anything, I thought he was able to explore concepts like the banality of evil, the possibility of redemption or at least some basic humanity (er, as it were) in some otherwise evil/messed-up people, and so on.
    I also think Gaiman explores the ways people limit themselves. One thing I find intriguing is how he takes themes like death, redemption, and religious faith, and turns them on their heads. In the end, I find Sandman to be a life-affirming series, even if Death is one of the main characters.

    Kind of interesting how DC's revisiting one of its cornerstones from the 1980s/1990s yet again. First Before Watchmen, now Before Sandman.

  3. #3633
    Marquis de carabas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neutrino View Post
    Gerry Conway wrote the death of Gwen Stacy.
    Oh fine...

    You can't personalise what happens to characters. When Gerry Conway killed Gwen Stacy, was he just writing an excellent Spider-Man story, or was he in fact with obvious malice telling Stan Lee and Steve Ditko just what he thought about them and their creations?
    'The marquis. Well, you know, to be honest, he seems a little bit dodgy to me.'
    'Mm,' she agreed. 'He's a little bit dodgy in the same way that rats are a little bit covered in fur."

  4. #3634
    Senior Member chastmastr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PennyDreadful View Post
    First Before Watchmen, now Before Sandman.
    Though in this case, the creator is the one doing it, rather than requesting it not be done, so I will definitely be getting Before Sandman.

  5. #3635
    They LAUGHED at my theory SteveGus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carabas View Post
    You can't personalise what happens to characters. When Gerry Conway killed Gwen Stacy, was he just writing an excellent Spider-Man story, or was he in fact with obvious malice telling Stan Lee and Steve Ditko just what he thought about them and their creations?
    Hard to tell. I at least don't think the answer is quite as obvious as you assume.

    What I will say is that it was a bad move, even by Marvel standards. Even I was young when it happened, and not reading comics actively. But my impression is that it stuck in the craw of most contemporary Marvel readers. It's also my general understanding that there was some kind of mandate to get rid of her: mostly because Roy Thomas didn't want to face the prospect of a happily married Spider-Man, and that's where it seemed to be heading. So, as has become typical, the female character gets killed to provide some melodrama for the male.

    Sexist? I think so; sexist even by 1973 standards. The movies also seem to confirm an abiding sense that her absence remains wrong. Malice? Not very far from it, I don't think. She died of a failure of creativity more than anything else.
    Superhero comic books only become art to the extent that their banal, unrealistic fantasy and garish styles go too far and become interesting. Attempts to ground them in reality can only ruin them.

  6. #3636
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    Quote Originally Posted by chastmastr View Post
    Though in this case, the creator is the one doing it, rather than requesting it not be done, so I will definitely be getting Before Sandman.
    That is the big difference, isn't it? It's Gaiman telling a story he wants to tell. Before Watchmen just struck me as a cynical marketing exercise and a big 'screw you' to Alan Moore from DC.

    Quote Originally Posted by SteveGus View Post
    Hard to tell. I at least don't think the answer is quite as obvious as you assume.

    What I will say is that it was a bad move, even by Marvel standards. Even I was young when it happened, and not reading comics actively. But my impression is that it stuck in the craw of most contemporary Marvel readers. It's also my general understanding that there was some kind of mandate to get rid of her: mostly because Roy Thomas didn't want to face the prospect of a happily married Spider-Man, and that's where it seemed to be heading. So, as has become typical, the female character gets killed to provide some melodrama for the male.

    Sexist? I think so; sexist even by 1973 standards. The movies also seem to confirm an abiding sense that her absence remains wrong. Malice? Not very far from it, I don't think. She died of a failure of creativity more than anything else.
    Actually, I think her death was the only thing that made her remotely interesting. Like Barry Allen at DC, Gwen's death gave her a significance she never had when she was actually around. She died because she was a boring, one dimensional character and Conway realized Mary Jane had more potential, as far as I can see. A decision which time has proved correct.

  7. #3637
    They LAUGHED at my theory SteveGus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tony ingram View Post
    That is the big difference, isn't it? It's Gaiman telling a story he wants to tell. Before Watchmen just struck me as a cynical marketing exercise and a big 'screw you' to Alan Moore from DC.
    I am absolutely confident in my opinion that Before Watchmen: Comedian #1 is the worst single issue that DC has ever published. I can't imagine the editor that approved it. Worse than Wonder Woman #7, even.

    Actually, I think her death was the only thing that made her remotely interesting. Like Barry Allen at DC, Gwen's death gave her a significance she never had when she was actually around. She died because she was a boring, one dimensional character and Conway realized Mary Jane had more potential, as far as I can see. A decision which time has proved correct.
    I generally find dead characters aren't more interesting than live ones. If she was a "boring, one dimensional character", then, indeed, she died of a failure of creativity on her handlers' part.
    Superhero comic books only become art to the extent that their banal, unrealistic fantasy and garish styles go too far and become interesting. Attempts to ground them in reality can only ruin them.

  8. #3638
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    Quote Originally Posted by PennyDreadful View Post
    First Before Watchmen, now Before Sandman.
    They are making money from what they know will sell. And those two can't be compared. Gaiman wanted to do Sandman Zero for a long time. He's only doing it now because only now is DC willing to pay what he wants.

  9. #3639
    Senior Member PennyDreadful's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neutrino View Post
    Gerry Conway wrote the death of Gwen Stacy. Anyway... move along...

    To update, DCnU is still pretty bad. I did get the Lil' Gotham special and enjoyed it, though. I think SteveGus would like that one too... it's innocent, but not childish.
    It looks like DC is about to do the same thing that Marvel is doing: namely, focus on a handful of characters and build most of their books around those characters. Interesting that DC did almost nothing with the Milestone characters, and the one character they did use was in a book that bombed. Static deserved better.
    Last edited by PennyDreadful; 11-05-2012 at 07:19 AM.

  10. #3640
    Senior Member PennyDreadful's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dripper View Post
    They are making money from what they know will sell. And those two can't be compared. Gaiman wanted to do Sandman Zero for a long time. He's only doing it now because only now is DC willing to pay what he wants.
    I just find it interesting that DC's going back to the 1980s for their ideas. Amethyst, Sandman, Watchmen, Dial H, et al. I'm sure it's part of their "bring back lapsed readers and prop up the company a bit" approach, though. And yes, Gaiman definitely wanted to do the Sandman Zero book.

    (Cynical, moi?)

  11. #3641
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    Quote Originally Posted by PennyDreadful View Post
    I just find it interesting that DC's going back to the 1980s for their ideas. Amethyst, Sandman, Watchmen, Dial H, et al. I'm sure it's part of their "bring back lapsed readers and prop up the company a bit" approach, though.
    More of a "let's update our library to modern times" than just trying to get back those old guys. If they wanted to bring readers back, they would probably try stuff from the 90s than from the 80s (I mean characters and not creators).

    Quote Originally Posted by PennyDreadful View Post
    And yes, Gaiman definitely wanted to do the Sandman Zero book.

    (Cynical, moi?)
    Are you being ironic? I'm not sure. Gaiman DID want to do a Sandman Zero book.
    Last edited by Kyle Anderson; 11-05-2012 at 07:42 AM.

  12. #3642
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    he's doing it with jh williams iii

    I AM HAPPY

    YOU SHOULD BE TOO :)

  13. #3643
    Senior Member PennyDreadful's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dripper View Post
    More of a "let's update our library to modern times" than just trying to get back those old guys. If they wanted to bring readers back, they would probably try stuff from the 90s than from the 80s (I mean characters and not creators).
    Well, they're also going back to the 1990s by brining in Wildstorm, and Liefeld was also an appeal to 1990s nostalgia. There is a definite 1990s sensibility here. Given that, it's odd that they barely touched the Milestone characters.

    In terms of art, they've updated. Elsewhere...um...not so much.

    Are you being ironic? I'm not sure. Gaiman DID want to do a Sandman Zero book.
    Well, yeah, I am cynical. I know Gaiman wanted to do the book, but I'm sure someone at DC said, "ZOMG! We're hoping to win back those lapsed fans. How about letting Neil do that Sandman Zero book he's always wanted?

    On an unrelated note, it's interesting to see all these musical chairs in terms of creative teams at DC, too.

  14. #3644
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    Quote Originally Posted by PennyDreadful View Post
    Well, they're also going back to the 1990s by brining in Wildstorm
    That's mostly because Lee is in charge now.

    Quote Originally Posted by PennyDreadful View Post
    Given that, it's odd that they barely touched the Milestone characters.
    Milestone is about the money they would have to give to the owners. Pretty simple reason actually.
    Maybe they are trying to convince them to sell. Altough not using the characters would probably be a bad way of doing that.


    Quote Originally Posted by PennyDreadful View Post
    Well, yeah, I am cynical. I know Gaiman wanted to do the book, but I'm sure someone at DC said, "ZOMG! We're hoping to win back those lapsed fans. How about letting Neil do that Sandman Zero book he's always wanted?
    Again, not really with Sandman Zero. It's simply sure money. They know they will make a profit from this, both monthly and in trade, as they have been making money from Sandman for 25 years. I would agree some stuff is made to bring back readers, but this out of continuity mini-series is doesn't look like one of those.

  15. #3645
    Senior Member PennyDreadful's Avatar
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    I tend to think that MOST of DC's decisions are made to bring back readers, not attract new ones--they know what demographic they want. If a few new readers come aboard, that's a side benefit. And yes, I think that's part of the reason they're letting Gaiman do that book.

    I still suspect that the minute Didio leaves or loses grip on power, the reboot will become diluted OR it'll be abandoned in favor of yet another status quo change. I give the current status quo at DC 3-5 years, tops.

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