DC, do better

I’ll admit, this was probably the most frustrating Graphic Opinions I’ve ever written. I didn’t have a topic for Will at our weekly editorial board meeting on Thursday, but that wasn’t a real problem because he knows I’m “good for it,” especially after two articles in a row where I went rogue and wrote about topics completely different than what I’d pitched. 

As the weekend came to a close, though, I worried that Will’s trust may have been misguided. I still didn’t know what to write about. So, I turned to catching up on the new season of Titans. With only three more episodes left, it doesn’t make sense to give the show a proper review though, as so much could happen in that time.

I then turned to try and catch up on the comics that I’d been neglecting, trying to start the “Heroes in Crisis” storyline that had been taking over DC over the past year. It had been written off as terrible by the online community, but I thought maybe I should give it a chance. After seeing in one issue that they’d killed off two of my favorite characters — Roy Harper and Wally West, who have long histories and are incredibly important in universe — I stopped reading. 

So I tried to pick up where I left off in The Flash. No dice. I was extremely uninterested. I read the new issue of Young Justice that came out in early October — more annoyance at the rehashing of a storyline that has been reused, in some approximation, with these characters for the fourth time now.

So my complaint is this: in a medium that thrives on imagination and artistry, that allows anything to happen and to be plausible because that’s the nature of the stories — why are they so boring? 

I love superheroes. I love the complex relationships that come with decades of history. I love the moral questions and dilemmas that comics tackle. I love the concept that the only thing you really need to be a hero is the desire to help just one person. 

I hate that DC is still not addressing any of this. 

They continue to ignore or rewrite these histories and bonds, claiming to make the characters more accessible or modern, when in reality, it’s just alienating fans like myself who find their favorites killed off — or worse, out of character. They use complex storylines claiming to tackle real issues when they do little more than scratch the surface, and even then it’s hard to tell in all the chaos. They constantly ignore this simple concept of heroism in the name of making things dark and gritty. 

All I’m asking for is Batman solving a mystery, one that doesn’t involve the fate of the world. The Titans and Teen Titans being allowed to make mistakes and learn and be the friends that made me fall in love with comics in the first place. Let Barry Allen be happy and hopeful and his comics silly and fun. 

I don’t think this is a tall order to ask, and I don’t think that individual writers and artists are responsible for it. I think that DC as a whole is missing the mark and not listening to their fanbase, or only listening to the vocal minority of their fans. If any DC executives are reading this right now, I hope you listen when I say, “Let comics be fun again,” because right now, I’m so frustrated that I can’t even read them. 

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