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At Least Winick's finally off the title? 
18th-Nov-2008 08:04 pm
I think that while expecting the LJ outage of today, I'd planned to write a post in GDocs to post after the servers returned to us. I'm sure I'm not the only person doing the same thing. Except that I almost lose the will to blog when stripped of my reading list of blogs. So I had this document up for a while before pushing myself to write in it.

But, because I need to have something to keep my bum in my seat, I am making myself blog. And in case all you thought you were getting was going to be knitting and holiday snaps, I'm going to blog about comics.

Remember when the news broke that Chuck Dixon was leaving DC comics in what, from the outside, looked like a mutual explosion of creative strop, though we never quite worked out what it was over? And then DC cancelled three titles that Dixon created and developed? I've been wondering whether his leaving might have something to do with the cancellation of Robin, Nightwing and Birds of Prey, but with last week's  comics, I began to wonder how far in advance writers find out what's happening in certain titles, if at all. I heard once it was a while after the comics were published, but maybe someone who had the right connections might get some word in advance. I don't much know how the creative process works, and to an extent, I'm fine with that - comics are like laws and sausages, if you like them, it might not be a good idea to know how they're made. What follows, therefore, is nothing but speculation, which does made me feel unbelievably dirty, but I am using it to disguise my own distaste about recent DC developments.

What I'm saying is I would not be in the least surprised if Dixon received advance warning of the latest development in Green Arrow/Black Canary and decided to have nothing more to do with DC at all. Dixon, of course, didn't create Connor, but he's one of those characters (like nearly every DC character I like) Dixon had a large hand in developing during the nineties. And he's shown, I think, a tendency to like to keep characters constant; he restored Dinah to full sonic-crying Black Canary status after Grell left her depowered and depressed. His first act on coming back to Robin was to bring Steph back to life. He's been known to take umbrage at people trying to imply Connor was gay, for crying out loud.

[Aside - Not that I personally mind Connor being gay. I liked Connor's general 'I'm just not into romance' attitude that was concordant with his beliefs so well, but I was a little enamoured of the idea of Oliver Queen being the only member of the Arrow family from whom the NHS blood transfusion service would take donations.]

So in a hypothetical situation in which Dixon found out that yes, he was allowed to bring Stephanie Brown back to life, but Connor Hawke was going to be stripped of both his character-defining faith and the only ability he inherited from his father, then transformed  into Just Another Meta to take the edge off even his martial arts skills - well, I know I'd be upset if someone did that to a character I'd had a significant hand in developing.

Enough baseless speculation, though. I feel dirty.

Since arriving at Chez Bing, I have finally read her complete run of Y: The Last Man. She warned me at the beginning: "It's very very good," says she. "Until the part where it gets weird. You'll know the part."

And boy, did I ever.

I say this every time I discover a new one, but I really am a sucker for a well created world. A concept, a situation, a world larger than that microcosm occupied by the main characters, as rich and full as that world in which we currently live. Brian K Vaughan delivers that in his post-apocalyptic all female world, and delivers it hard. The problem is with a what-if, wild and fun concept in today's culture of scientific competence and understanding, that any attempt to try and explain what happened to deliver the kicker concept is going to, as it did here, make people - and by people I mean me and Bing - pull faces, cry out in annoyance and sulk at the Bad Science.

I will say, though, that Vaughan saved his ass later by enforcing the imperfect narrator idea- just 'cause some person said this caused the event, doesn't mean they're right. I still wouldn't mind if he hadn't run that little plot point at all.

At the same time as having a great world, the main characters were also engaging and interesting and utterly adorable. And I do indeed have a very effective fictional Gaydar. The overarching storyline itself was exciting and important and ultimately heartbreaking and had me running emotional gauntlets right until the end: it was character driven rather than true plot-driven, and thus followed a nice logical order, which kept me reading. I don't know whether I'm glad ofr rueful that I read it all in one sitting instead of in monthly instalments, but I do know that even now, I'm sad it's over.

And I wish I had more monthly comics I was as invested in as I have been in that for the last week. Stupid DC.

Anyway, now that's done, Joe has lent me Gotham Central, because he knows how much I adore minor stories in a large world, and understands my affinity for little-h heroes in a big-H Hero universe. Oh, Renee Montoya, you're no mob informant in my personal universe.
18th-Nov-2008 08:25 pm (UTC)
I feel like I should have more to contribute to this post with, but I only really got involved with comic books back in...uh...July this year, I think. My only constructive comment is that I like Chuck Dixon for what he did with the Riddler's origin. A lot of people don't like the more 'pathetic' take on the character, but in a city like Gotham where things are pretty much still run by muscle and not brains (and in a society like American society where the stereotypes of brute force triumphing over geeky brains has been predominant since the days of Washington Irving), I thought it fitted nicely. Especially with the attention-seeking side of it. Hmm.
18th-Nov-2008 08:31 pm (UTC)
I only got into DC comics last year, you're not alone!

I like Chuck for what he did with Birds of Prey and Robin, mostly, but I dotwitch everytime I see him getting a little too heavy handed with his politics (his politics aren't mine, and his opinions on homosexuality and abortion do sometimes reach into his work and jar me out of enjoying it. Not always, but sometimes). If you're currently enjoying Green Arrow vol. 3, I recommend you read Dixon's work on Green Arrow vol. 2 and Birds of Prey.

I dislike Winick for everything he's done on the Green Arrow line with the exception of letting Mia become the new Speedy.
18th-Nov-2008 08:40 pm (UTC)

I don't really know a lot about any of the writers, to be honest. It's the same with actors. If I get to dislike an actor, I can't watch anything they're in. So if I dislike an author, I will automatically hate all of their work, so I tend not to research it too closely.

Was it Winnick in charge when dear old Riddles appeared in the GA: City Walls trade? I liked him in that, but I think a lot of people on scans_daily were peeved at the characterisation that was presented...

(btw, any comic trade recommendations for me? :D)
18th-Nov-2008 08:49 pm (UTC)
it was, yeah. I'm afraid I don't know Eddie that well so I can't say how IC he was. Winick has been very good on his own work, but less good writing pre-existing characters. He's just completely wiped everything I love about Connor and has been hitting Mia and Ollie with the issue stick for years.


Comic trade recommendations:
Green Arrow: The Archer's Quest
Green Arrow/Black Canary: For Better or Worse.
Birds of Prey: uh, basically all of them.
Batman: No Man's Land
Bruce Wayne: Fugitive and Bruce Wayne: Murderer
And of course any and all Year Ones, particularly Batgirl, JLA and Green Arrow.
18th-Nov-2008 08:57 pm (UTC)
I think it's a problem that to most people, Eddie is a bit more...gentleman-like, I suppose? He doesn't use violence if it's not necessary, and in several instances has actually denounced its use. Yet in some stories, like Dark Knight Dark City and GA: City Walls, he's used violence excessively without seemingly needing to. But I like that there's a more dangerous, psychotic edge to his character. I dunno. I could talk about this all day XD

And yeah, I was pissed when I read the Connor thing on s_d. :| I'm relatively new to Green Arrow, but I adore Connor. (And Connor/Mia, tbh.) Depowering him just seems...well, like an asshatty thing to do.

Ty for the list! *bookmarks it* :DD!
18th-Nov-2008 08:41 pm (UTC)
I kind of wish I'd been able to read all of Y at once, though I ended up taking it a lot slower than monthly installments because of a.) lack of proximity to comics stores and b.) stinginess. But I feel that by waiting so long before reading the end, I missed out on a lot of the emotional rush you get reading something straight through. Which is not to say that the end wasn't still intense, but . . . less so, and I think I might have liked it the last part more if I hadn't forgotten that some of the plot points were important. >.>
18th-Nov-2008 09:22 pm (UTC)

Oh Connor.

18th-Nov-2008 09:29 pm (UTC)
Next issue: Dinah wakes up the morning after her wedding.

"Ouch. Ollie, you won't believe the cracked out dream I just had."
19th-Nov-2008 04:11 am (UTC)
I hadn't realized you hadn't gotten to Gotham Central yet. I feel like a bad friend for not recommending it. Because it is awesome.

And if you like it, I'd be glad to hook you up with the 52 arc that is the sort of aftermath...

19th-Nov-2008 04:51 pm (UTC)
My conclusion regarding Y was that really, it couldn't possibly live up to what its narrative was proposing, and there was basically no way for it to resolve without some kind of explanation, so I just kind of lost interest. :/

Judging from reactions I have read, this was a good decision.
19th-Nov-2008 04:56 pm (UTC)
The title itself recognised the lameness of that later on, and a character did say "yeah, but you don't know explanation X is the right one!"

I'm going with that.
23rd-Nov-2008 07:32 am (UTC)
I have a little bit of a theory that they're trying to turn Connor into Batman with all of this, and knowing that they took away the arrows solidifies that. I doubt it will happen, but it'd be interesting if he was the next to take the cowl. And rather ironic, too.
23rd-Nov-2008 04:40 pm (UTC)
I really don't like the idea of a metahuman as Batman. I know it's happened before, but I don't like it.
23rd-Nov-2008 08:59 am (UTC)
Well, glad you read Y. Bad science aside which made the brain hurt...I enjoyed it, mostly. Sadly, the ending seemed for me, rather meh. I only sniffled at Amperstand's bit, because I loved the monkey and the rest kinda made me go "Ok, so when do I get off?".

And Gotham Central is excellent if for nothing else then to see the insanity behind and underneath the Gotham PD. Plus I am sucker for Gotham stories that aren't Batman solely.

And there goes Connor Hawke, because we need to have all the Silver Age namesakes to return. I await for Barry/Hal/Ollie to have their adventures again, because dying is for losers. *sigh*
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