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VS.! - DCnU

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Rain Partier

Postby LOLtron » Mon Jul 02, 2012 7:00 am

VS.! - DCnUThe long-awaited DCnU edition of VS.! is finally here! Join Herald and Amoebas as they discuss DC's new universe!

Hello dear readers, and welcome to VS.! I'm your mostly reliable host, Jude Terror!

This one took a little while to get completed due to scheduling conflicts, but I think it was well worth the wait. We're discussing the DCnU, ten issues into the big reboot, and for this special, extra-long episode I've invited two of the loudest voices I've ever heard on the subject, Herald and Amoebas.

Herald has been a vocal critic of DC Comics under the watch of glorious leader Dan Didio, to the point where Dan actually created a character named after him in one of the Blackest Night tie-in books, and, I think, killed him off (I certainly wasn't reading that shit). The character's name was Harold Winer, which is pretty funny, you have to admit. In any case, Herald has been talking trash about "Dan and the Gang" for years now, so he makes for one half of the perfect team for this week's VS.!. When not complaining about DC, Herald watches quesitonable anime and frequents that hive of scum and villainy, TVTropes.com. Herald engages in an activity called "troping," which is not, as it sounds, a bizarre sex act, but is actually the process of referencing or linking to entries on the TVTropes website in the course of regular conversation. Being the gracious host that I am, I have linked all of Herald's tropes in this article.

Amoebas, on the other hand, is possibly the only person I know who still likes DC Comics. Ok, I'm just kidding there, I even read some myself (more since the reboot in fact), but I did feel that a critic like Herald needed a strong supporter of DC to balance out the scales, and Amoebas is the man for the job. In the "yes these people exist in real life" department, I've actually hung out with Amoebas in person twice, once when he was a guest at my wedding. Amoebas also runs the Outhouse Awards, and is extremely knowledgable about comics history due to living through most of it (that's an "old" joke).

So the rules of the game are simple. I will make a statement about the topic at hand, and our guests will tell us whether they believe the statement is true or false, and why. Usually, our first guest answers first for the first three, and then we switch order for the last three, but this time, we've got a total of EIGHT statements, so we will work in sets of four instead! That's right, we went all out for this episode of VS.! At the end, we will tally up the number of times our guests agreed with each other, and you will have your final score.

Now, without any further ado...

1. The DC Reboot has created comics that are new reader friendly while appealing to longtime readers.

Herald: Not really.

DC's own research poll has shown that the DCnU attracted far more lapsed comic readers than actual new-to-comics readers. If new readers felt that welcomed by the comics, I suspect there would be more of them in the first place. Let's face it, most non-comic fans just aren't all that interested in buying increasingly-expensive 32-page pamphlets, featuring often-decompressed stories in which people with outrageous abilities appear in funny costumes and hit each other.

Even more to the point, if DC was so worried about being new reader friendly, they would have jettisoned Batman and Green Lantern's continuity along with everyone else's. I pity the new reader who picked up that post-Flashpoint issue of Batman, Inc., thinking that everything's been restarted, yet being blatantly thrown into the middle of a continuing storyline. And new readers being expected to handle the cast-of-thousands Rainbow Lantern Corpswithout several flowcharts and a few graduate courses?? Hoo boy.

Frankly, the reboot too often comes off less as a gateway for new readers, and more as a rationale for DC creators to do whatever they want with the characters and their histories.

As for longtime readers, they have clearly been split on the matter. For every one you can find that is enjoying the new continuity and picking up more DC books than ever, you can find at least one that has decreased their haul of DC books compared to pre-Flashpoint, if not quit buying the company's current material altogether. Needless to say, I'm in the latter group.

One of the prevailing issues for those longtime readers like me is that losing the established history and characterization of the characters fundamentally changes the characters. It's as if I took your best friend, Joe Goodguy, and replaced him with a different guy who claims to be good ol' Joe. Your response to the new guy is less likely to greet him in the usual best-friend way, and more likely to ask, "Who the (expletive) are YOU, and what have you done with the REAL Joe?!"

And that notion of the DCnU characters being a bunch of cheap imposters isn't assuaged by, say... having all of the Justice League act like jerks, while sporting over-designed new costumes with high collars and bulky armor, which might have been acceptable 20 years ago, but look pretty sad today.

Verdict: False

Amoebas: Herald had one thing right, the cost of these books is the biggest road block to bringing in brand new readers. At $3 or $4 a pop, it just ain't gonna happen.

Herald, however, fails to give new readers credit. Unless your first comic was Fantastic Four #1 way back in 1961, then we all jumped into the Marvel Universe somewhere along the ways. We figured out what we needed to and went forward with it.

The same applies to DC, but, because of their history of reboots, you needn't go that far back (although if you do, there is a ton of rich comics history to be found).

Do the characters essentially become different characters in a reboot? In many ways, yes they do. When my Legion of Super-Heroes was rebooted back in 1994 (and again in 2004), there was no doubt they were different characters despite the same name, costumes, and powers. Nonetheless, when Crisis on Infinite Earths rebooted everything in 1986, was the 'new' Superman different from the Pre-Crisis version? Yes he was, but make no mistake, he was still Superman. And I see this in the DC New 52. Superman is Superman, Flash is Flash and Blue Beetle is Blue Beetle. Their characters are essentially the same, only some details are askew.

This last year we have had numerous characters rebooted, but none of them have been rebooted beyond the point of being recognized. For the most part, DC did a good job with this. But that's not a blanket statement as they failed for some characters in my opinion. Hawkman was always gruff but now he's just joyless. Starfire is flaky and a slut now when she wasn't before. I actually like this change however, because I'm a bit tired of every alien thinking and acting like any other Earther. It makes sense that they'd be a bit off. But I can understand how some Starfire fans wouldn't agree with me on this. Barbara Gordon may not be Oracle anymore, but I love her back as Batgirl (I have no problem that she 'got better').
The other major change to a character that I can think is on Aquaman. But because of the work Geoff Johns has done, the change was done to us, the readers, not the character. He's anything but the one note fish joke he was pre-Flashpoint.

As a reader and a fan, you either adapt to a rebooted universe or you move on. Whining about it for month after month gains you naught.

Jim Shooter used to have a mandate way back when that every book needed to written as if it was somebody's first comic. The DC New 52 did that by establishing who the characters were and a direction for them to go in. You may not have known all the details (like Voodoo for example), but you had enough to start with.

Given an option when asking a new reader to go back and read 10 issues to get everything you need to know about Suicide Squad or go back and read 62,124 issues of X-Men to get their full story, I'd wager most would take the easier path.

Verdict: True

Consensus: No

2. DC achieved the goal of creating a simplified, understandable continuity for their Universe.

Herald: Not by a long shot.

This could have been achieved if DC had wiped the slate completely clean. But the fact is, they didn't do that.

Again, Green Lantern and Batman largely retained their pre-Flashpoint continuity. Also, DC has insisted on cherry-picking previous stories that they personally like to stay in-continuity, such as Identity Crisis. From the moment DC revealed that plan to this day, the question on fans' minds has been "HOW?!"

Those stories are steeped in continuity. GL-based stories like Blackest Night and Brightest Day hinge on non-GL characters like Firestorm being pre-established and available, even though post-Flashpoint continuity clearly demonstrates that they weren't at the time. Identity Crisis needs to have a previous Justice League featuring characters like Zatanna, Elongated Man, and the Atom -- thus involving Sue Dibny and Jean Loring as related characters -- in order to make any sense whatsoever.

And how does Batman manage to cycle through 4 Robins in the 5-year time frame of the DCnU? (Just remember, that's 4 Robins if you don't count Stephanie Brown, one of the Bat-characters that current DC Editorial seems to want to "conveniently forget" altogether...) One year or so of training and team-ups each hardly leaves time for any of these former/current Robins to be as experienced as their current adventures suggest. Also, how storylines like the year-long No Man's Land are supposed to slot into the short amount of time allotted, I'd sure like to know.

On top of that, it's been clearly demonstrated that even creators and DC Editorial aren't on the same page about this continuity... and they're the ones expected to develop it! The first issue of Scott Lobdell's Red Hood and the Outlaws had Roy Harper quiz Starfire on various fellow Titans, despite the fact that Editorial says the current Teen Titans are the first iteration of that team ever.

Recently, the venerable George Pérez revealed that his run of Superman was plagued by, among other things, the fact that he didn't know what Superman-related characters still exist. This confusion was due to Grant Morrison's Action Comics being set 5 years earlier, and Morrison wasn't giving everyone information about Superman's formative experiences and acquaintances. Clearly, those not in the Morrison loop included those members of DC Editorial whom Pérez asked for information. Moreover, Editorial itself, according to Pérez, consisted of "[a] lot of people making decisions, going against each other, contradicting, again in mid story," to the point where he asked them not to have him make any corrections, which they would probably just change again, anyway.

So we see that DC themselves can't keep this so-called "new" continuity straight, because editors and staff are having a tug-of-war amongst themselves over the stories. (This sounds like a lack of good leadership, but that's a topic for another debate...) If the people at the company have no idea what's going on, how are fans -- especially those purported new fans, who aren't used to the unique problems of comic book world building -- supposed to make heads or tails of this mess? Only ten months in, and they've already created Continuity Snarls! Wasn't part of the point of this DCnU to avoid this trap?!

At this point, we wish we had a "simplified, understandable continuity." What we actually have is a pathetic mishmash of badly-developed new continuity and screwed-up old continuity.

Verdict: False

Amoebas: I'm guessing you weren't there for the Post-Crisis universe. If you think things are bad now you should have seen what was going on back then with people like the venerable George Perez messing up Wonder Woman's history, thereby completely befuddling JLA history. Have you ever heard of Hawkman and the 20 year continuity snafu that happened because people weren't communicating? How about how John Bryne's offered to keep Superboy in Superman's past but this was rejected and directly lead into a nightmare for Legion fans even longer.

I'm not going to defend DC for the speed with which they relaunched everything. Mistakes have been made. But that happens in the business.

To start everything from true scratch? There's no way they could have made a logical setting for stories by rebooting everything at once. 52, 500 or even a simple 5 brand new costumed characters just show up in a world that never had costumed characters before all within a single month in their universe? I can't imagine how this could work and still be interesting. In this decompressed comics world we live in, it would be half a year before most of the characters got into costume. Sales would plummet in that time. That this universe is established as being 5 years later allows for everything have settled and the spandex brigade to all have occurred in a more natural timeline.

Yes, there is five years of continuity in this new universe. But unlike my VS colleague, I understand that it doesn't mean it's the exact same continuity as the old. Maybe Blackest Night happened, maybe it didn't; but I can accept that if it did, it happened differently. And it takes only the slightest use of imagination to understand that the 'carry-over' continuity happened inside those five years.

Herald seems quite puzzled about "HOW" Morrison & Johns (and their related title authors) got to keep their continuity. It's a rather simple answer actually, it's because Batman & Green Lantern were DC's best sellers and their creators (arguably DC's top two writers) didn't want to lose everything they had done. As long as they squeezed everything into 5 years, it'll work. No head scratching needed for that one.
And if you think editorial mishaps are exclusive to the DC 52, have I got a bridge for you. Old DCU and Marvel have huge histories of internal bickering and contradictions that end up on the printed page. I know disparaging DC editorial is your shtick, Herald, but first you complain that there have been too many Robins in a five year period, then you bitch that they left one out?

It's a new universe with a new history. Stuff happened in those five years. Some of it will be new and some familiar. Some we'll find out about soon (in the Zero Issues) and some we'll be left in the dark about for a long long time (if we ever know). And that's the crux, because some thing's we don't need to know. Were Hitman to pop up somewhere, is it so important that he absolutely had to get his powers from Bloodlines or is as simple to just say he got his powers from some alien?

On that note, because this universe is not so finely detailed as the last, it is a simplified and accessible universe. That some don't enjoy it was not the topic.

Verdict: True

Consensus: No

3. DC should put the genie back in the bottle and return to their old Universe.

Herald: As opposed to the new Universe we're currently receiving? Absolutely.

I've seen little value, if any, in the stories that require a continuity reboot in order to exist. The decent stories that they're currently telling, in books such as Swamp Thing and Animal Man, could have just as easily been told in pre-Flashpoint continuity. The new universe wasn't needed a year ago, and it's still not needed now.

People opposed to the old continuity's return always argue, "Oh, but the pre-Flashpoint universe was crappy, what with stories like Superman walking around the country." That's true. But what they always forget is that the creators and the Editorial that brought us the poorly-handled previous universe are the same creators and the same Editorial that are concocting this current universe. And garbage from the same source is still garbage, no matter how new and shiny they've made it look.

Even DC's own actions demonstrate that the old Universe's continuity was hardly as intolerable as some fans claim. Yet again, I point out that DC themselves are clearly adamant on retaining the aforementioned Batman and Green Lantern continuity, Identity Crisis, and several other pre-DCnU stories.

So, riddle me this: If pre-Flashpoint continuity was such a horrific Sodom and Gomorrah, why do the very people who trashed most of it insist on looking back there?

There was nothing inherently wrong with the old universe that it needed to be thrown out. It was the creators and Editorial behind the old universe that made it unbearable; if anything, they are the ones that should be thrown out. Ironically, the overall poor quality of their current DCU, and the ever-emerging horror stories from behind-the-scenes related by Pérez and others, has only served to underscore this conclusion.

The DCnU is a mostly "New" universe. But the problem is that nothing has "Improved."

Verdict: True

Amoebas: Herald, don't look now but your antipathy is showing.

For the record, yes, I like DC more than Marvel. Yes I have lambasted Marvel's editorial in my past for the things I don't like happening there. The difference tween me and my esteemed peer from across the divide is that I can admit that Marvel's staff are incredible. Avengers became a franchise rivaling X-Men (and surpassing it some say). Daredevil IS the best book on the shelves right now. Their sales are fantastic. I may not like the direction most Marvel books have taken and are in, but I have to acknowledge the good work they've done for themselves (and sometimes for me like the aforementioned DD, DnA's Cosmic, Avengers Academy, etc).

Likewise with DC. From the Legion, Secret Six, JSA and Gotham City Sirens to the recent Swamp Thing, I, Vampire and Aquaman - all highly enjoyable and top of the stacks. But I can also admit to mistakes they've made as well -from You'll Believe a Man Can Walk, Final Crisis and Cry For Justice to the recent hiring of 90's once-stars and the cancelling of OMAC (really people, you missed the boat on a truly fun comic).

And just for grins and giggles, Identity Crisis fits in both for me. The series was practically perfect. I simply loved it. The only complaint (and it's a big one) is that damn flamethrower.

As to stuffing this genie back into a bottle...


With over a million more books sold each month why would you go back?

Okay, there may not be many 'new' readers, but there sure are plenty of lapsed readers back, and other current readers who've expanding their ordering lists. Why would you potentially lose them to appease the people who no longer buy the books anymore anyway?

Why go through the corporate & public embarrassment of admitting' failure' when that simply isn't the case? (echoes of Heroes Reborn anyone?)

Why stifle creators with changing gears again?

Herald claims "that nothing has improved". This may be true for him, but it's not true for everyone (and it's so not true when it comes to sales).

Verdict: False

Consensus: No

Bonus Statement 1: The DC Reboot has not boded well for Vertigo.

Herald: *chuckles at the meme*

I agree with this. DC proper is now actively using characters like Animal Man and Swamp Thing, characters who were partitioned off to Vertigo almost 2 decades ago. So it does look like Vertigo's value as a home for those books is at an end. That's one less avenue of money-making for the imprint, and an important one, at that. If the few creator-owned stars in the line-up like Fables were to end in the near-future... well, things could get ugly for the big V indeed.

I do find it interesting that Hellblazer is still a Vertigo book, especially given John Constantine's involvement in Justice League Dark and the pre-Flashpoint miniseries trumpeting his return to the DCU. But it looks like Constantine remaining at the imprint is just a unique instance of "for old times' sake," since none of the others are coming back anytime soon.

Verdict: True

Amoebas: Swamp Thing was last a Vertigo title in 2004. Animal Man was last published there in 1995. I think it's safe to say they haven't been a revenue maker for Vertigo for quite a while so their impact simply doesn't exist.

What does exist though are the tough times any non-spandex book has in a comic marketplace. Comparing May 2011 & 2012, sales are down for every Vertigo title published then and now but include all titles from the imprint and they are selling more books than a year ago.

Vertigo has always had it top tier title. First it was Sandman, then Peacher, Y the Last Man onto to today's Fables. With other books like: New Deadwardians, American Vampire and Unwritten, they look pretty good as an imprint.

I can't find or even make up any evidence that the DC New 52 has poorly affected Vertigo. It's a cute meme, but it's more the economy and resistance of the typical comic reader to try something different that bodes not well for Vertigo.

Verdict: False

Consensus: No


4. The DC Reboot has been a success from a sales and marketing perspective.

Overall, the numbers speak for themselves. When we look at estimated number of copies sold between May 2011 and May 2012 (the New DC 52's ninth month)...

Action was 44,635 and is now at 88,796
Justice League goes from 46,729 to 131,332
Wonder Woman goes from 31,002 to 48,750
Batman goes from 55,086 to 134,605
Supergirl goes from 21,411 to 35,129
Jonah Hex goes from 10,288 to 21,125
Even a book as awful as Teen Titans, at 24,738 a year ago, more than doubles to 50,261 today.

Of the 21 DCU titles that existed then and now, in May 2011 DC sold 872,456 units. Those same titles in May 2012 sold 1,400,112

In May 2011, DC/Vertigo/et al saw 68 titles with 1,525,074 copies sold.
In May 2012, DC/Vertigo/et al saw 74 titles with 2,716,573 copies sold.

And none of these DCU New 52 numbers take into account second/third/etc printings or digital sales.

DC has contended closer against Marvel throughout all of this and have come up #1 themselves a few times over. Last February, DC owned the entire Top Ten sellers. Heck, JL #1 was the overall #1 selling book for all of 2011.

The DC New 52 is a huge sales success.

As for the marketing, oft times it was hard to miss the actual DC advertising (as opposed to outside coverage in newspapers ranging from USA Today to fan sites across the internets.) DC ran commercials during the Daily Show and other shows, kept a presence on Google Search, and their Facebook and Twitter sites had constant coverage.

Has the marketing netted any new customers? The lcs's I've spoken to have seen some mild increases that have leveled out a bit. So then, who's buying over a million more DC books this year over last? Marketing simply has to have had a hand in this – making it too a huge success.

Verdict: True

So they sold everything recognizable about the DCnU for a temporary sales spike. The numbers do indeed speak for themselves; they say they're sinking again. So what does DC do when that "new car smell" completely wears off?? Reboot again, and hope the numbers will jump to the same level again??

Therein lies the problem: The only takeaway from this temporary increase in sales is that cheap gimmicks like hyped-up reboots will move a lot of books for a while. That's great for short-term thinking, but long-term, it can't be sustained. The sales come closer to falling back to the pre-Flashpoint levels every month. And a reboot can't be done again anytime soon and be nearly as effective. It's the Law of Diminishing Returns at work.

DC can't even use the quality of most of the books to stem the faltering tide. The fact that Amoebas himself disparages many of these books ("Even a book as awful as Teen Titans...") demonstrates that DC is not -- get ready for this next word -- EARNING sales through increased quality. Putting style over substance by exploiting gimmicks instead of improving the books is a losing prospect in the long-term.

The same goes for the highlights noted by Amoebas:

DC "[came] up #1 themselves few times over..." but Marvel has retained the lead -- without a reboot, I might add.

"Last February DC owned the entire Top Ten sellers..." and yet, that proved unsustainable.

"JL #1 was the overall #1 selling book for all of 2011." Well, too bad for DC that we're in 2012, then.

All of those things proved fleeting.

There's a passage from a certain Book that says, "For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul?" The foolishness of the trade will become obvious when, once the glory inevitably fades, his soul is still lost! DC seems intent on finding this out the hard way, I see.

As for marketing, again, they may have enticed lapsed readers to come back, but where are the new readers that DC was really aiming for?? Garnering a substantial Periphery Demographic, but failing to get the demographic you actually wanted, is not really a marketing success. (Even though My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic has been successful, go ask Hasbro if they wish all those adult "Bronies" would spontaneously turn into pony-purchasing 8-year-old girls...)

"...Who's buying over a million more DC books this year over last?" Amoebas asks. He concludes that it must be marketing; I'd say that it's partly the ton of people on eBay trying to flip these books for a quick profit. Even I considered doing that more than once, and everyone knows I despise the DCnU.

Also, let's not forget, sales to the STORES doesn't necessarily translate to sales to actual READERS. The stores have to guess how much to order months in advance, and it's easy to over-anticipate the desire for these books, and thus, over-order. My LCS still has plenty of copies of many of these DCnU books, and I'll bet the DC section of most other LCS's haven't been stripped clean every single week since last September, either.

High temporary sales don't mean the marketing was a success, not when there are any number of other reasons that have nothing to do with how many times a DC commercial ran on The Daily Show.

Verdict: False

Consensus: No

5. The DC Reboot has been a success from a quality and storytelling perspective.

Amoebas: This statement couldn't be any more subjective can it? Since there's no way for a universal absolute....

Some books that were awful before are now top of the stack material: Batman, Action, Wonder Woman, Nightwing, etc.

Other have retained a consistent level of quality: Green Lantern, GLC, Jonah Hex/All-Star Western, LSH, etc.

Others were surprise hits: OMAC, Swamp Thing, Legion Lost, I... Vampire, Demon Knights, etc.

Some have fallen from what they were: Flash, Hawkman, Firestorm, etc.

And of course, others were always just bad ideas: Deathstroke, Blackhawks, Liefeld, etc.

Some are a success. Some aren't. I can neither agree nor disagree with the provided statement.

Verdict: Neither

Herald: I agree with Amoebas in one respect: Ultimately, quality is subjective. That said, when you have noted '90s burnouts (Rob Liefeld, Scott Lobdell) and creators who have a spotty record with even the happy fans (Judd Winick, James Robinson) writing your books, I don't think consistently high quality is what you're going for.

And personally, I've seen better from the creators who aren't infamous for unleashing anatomically-incorrect art or Cry for Justice on innocent comic readers. George Perez has recently addressed the reason behind his creative woes on Superman. Even Gail Simone has been a letdown on Batgirl and Firestorm. DC Editorial, and most likely the Warner Bros. suits behind them, are hindering the creative process of even those who usually do a good job.

So I'll go with a no here.

Verdict: False

Consensus: No

6. The DC Reboot has created storytelling opportunities that were impossible before.

Amoebas: Long answer...

I believe there's a difference between the terms 'relaunch' and 'reboot'. Green Lantern, Batman, Jonah Hex, the Legion and Wonder Woman 'relaunched' as there is (so far) a thin line separating them from the old DCU. On the other side are books that clearly 'rebooted' ,where things literally started from scratch (JL, Firestorm, Titans, Superboy, Supergirl, OMAC, etc).

In broad terms, there is nothing happening in the 'relaunched' books that couldn't have happened in the DCU...

Could Sinestro become a Green Lantern again? The Court of Owls secretly existing for a century without Bats ever knowing? The Rot get into a brawl with the Green and the Red? Aquaman be one of the best books on the shelves? Wonder Woman's origin changed so that she was never made of clay? Daemonites pop up everywhere? Someone called Pandora about to open a box of trouble for our heroes? Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes and yes.

Even with much of the 'reboots', things could still have happened...

Could a bunch of super-villains shrink themselves into a bullet that is then shot into Superman's head? Could there be an Earth 2 where the Trinity is killed and Alan Scott is gay? Could Flash discover new ways to use his speed? Could J'Onn J'Onzz have secretly been working with Stormwatch for decades? Yes, yes, yes and yes.

The only times we find that storytelling is truly unique to the New 52 Universe is in the proper 'reboots' (and even then it sometimes comes down to the details)...
Could a single Barry Allen text a never married Iris West about meeting for coffee? No, that tech didn't exist in the 60's. Could there be a dozen Firestorms? No, because Firestorm is one of only four elementals. Could a 20-something Green Arrow run a mega-billion dollar company? No, because he lost his fortune and he's pushing 50. Could Cyborg have been a founding member of the JL? No, because he wasn't.

So, in large terms, the only storytelling that would be unique to this universe are in the details of reboots. Clark Kent & Barry Allen can have a dating story where they couldn't before. Superboy can meet everyone again for the first time. Amanda Waller now has to worry about figure where she didn't give a damn about it before. Deathstroke can be the "scariest bad-ass on the planet" (even if it's not true).

Short answer...

With very minor exceptions, most everything in the new DC 52 could have been done directly or done by minimal-retcon in the old DCU.

Verdict: False

Herald: Here, I largely agree with Amoebas. There has been very little that couldn't have been duplicated somehow in the pre-Flashpoint DCU. After all, this is the genre that invented "Everything you know about (Character X) is WRONG!"

There was nothing to stop, say, the Firestorm writers from revealing that there are a number of Firestorms all over the world. Indeed, the original revelation in the '80s Firestorm book that he is actually an elemental was a major change for the series, and it didn't require a reboot.

Verdict: False

Consensus: Yes

Bonus Statement 2: Nearly a year after the Reboot, it is time for fans who dislike it to stop complaining and move on.

Amoebas: I've been here. Back in 2004, I was quite vocal back in that fading memory that was Newsarama about the raping of my childhood that Bendis/Brevoort and Joey the Q did to Avengers and the new Marvel direction of writers being more important than the characters.

I held my torch and pitchfork high – and what did it get me? Nothing.

Making new threads or just derailing existing ones to preach the anti-BMB word was pointless and I quickly saw that I was no longer engaging in actual discussion on the matter and I was just throwing out babble for my own gratification. It may have taken a couple months, but I finally decided to just wait it out for the day he would eventually leave the book (and celebrate then) (and yes – it's coming soon!).

That there were posters that reacted the same when the New 52 started is understandable. But to still be fighting a losing battle after almost 11 months? Yeah – there comes a time when you just have to move on. That is unless you enjoy being miserable.

Verdict: True

Herald: I have also been here. I also held my torch and pitchfork high -- and what did it get ME? Noticed by Dan DiDio himself! I don't see any of the DCnU's happy fans getting put in a DiDio comic as a villain, a hero, or anything else, without being close pals with someone in the industry or winning some sort of contest.

Thus, the irony of this situation: contented people -- those who like the status quo -- tend not to stand out on the radars of those in charge. But start saying that you don't like what's happening too loudly and too long for their liking, and look out! As you can see, I'm living proof! I'd say that, if you got "nothing," maybe you just didn't shout loudly enough, long enough!

More to the point, everyone is entitled to express their opinion. The key word here is "everyone." The happy fans make new threads and preach the pro-DCnU word all the time. They get to express their happy opinion all the time. Therefore, the unhappy fans get to express theirs also. Opinions are a two-way street, no matter how much some people insist on erecting a "One Way" sign.

What such people constantly fail to understand is that freedom of expression is not just for the contented. Indeed, throughout history, outbursts of expression often come from the discontented. Ask the people who have protested in several Middle Eastern countries these past few years. Notice that they kept protesting until things did change to what they wanted. It's the squeaky wheel that gets the grease. And silence implies consent to what's happening.

Never let anyone guilt you or trick you into giving up your right to speak, just because they don't like hearing what you have to say. Those are the true intentions behind phrases like "unless you enjoy being miserable." People who would say such a thing would do well to learn the phrase "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it." Now, those are words to live by.

Each of us has the same right to speak as anyone else. So, by all means, speak up!

Verdict: False

Consensus: No

Final Score: 1 out of 8

Well, there you have it. In the most shocking VS.! ever, these guys actually agreed on something! It was a long and really fun debate, and this host thinks that both of our guests made some great arguments. What do YOU think, readers? Join is in the forums or in the comments below and let your voice be heard.

Written or Contributed by: Jude Terror

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Not a Kardashian

Postby achilles » Mon Jul 02, 2012 9:28 am

I agree with Herald on everything.
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REAL OFFICIAL President of the Outhouse

Postby Frag » Mon Jul 02, 2012 9:36 am

Amoebas schooled Herald. Herald didn't even answer some of the questions. He went off on ridiculous tangents.

The funny thing is, I agree with Herald's points on some of the answers, just not the reasoning.

Well done, Amoebas.
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Not a Kardashian

Postby achilles » Mon Jul 02, 2012 11:09 am

The President wrote:Amoebas schooled Herald. Herald didn't even answer some of the questions. He went off on ridiculous tangents.

The funny thing is, I agree with Herald's points on some of the answers, just not the reasoning.

Well done, Amoebas.

Must have been reading a different post than I did. And I'm sure there's a trope for that... :wink:
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Staff Writer

Postby IvCNuB4 » Mon Jul 02, 2012 12:07 pm

Herald: I have also been here. I also held my torch and pitchfork high -- and what did it get ME? Noticed by Dan DiDio himself! I don't see any of the DCnU's happy fans getting put in a DiDio comic as a villain, a hero, or anything else, without being close pals with someone in the industry or winning some sort of contest.

I applaud Herald for his openness and good nature at being portrayed as a potentially stereotypical flaming super-villain :lol:
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S.F. Jude Terror


Postby S.F. Jude Terror » Mon Jul 02, 2012 5:39 pm

I think these guys both did a good job with this. It was fun to read while editing.
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Staff Writer

Postby xaraan » Mon Jul 02, 2012 6:10 pm

This was like watching Bill Maher and Rush Limbaugh go at it. Two opposing sides taking extreme views where the truth sometimes lands in the middle or sometimes one way or the other enough to give their opinions hope.

That being said I'd probably lean more toward some of Heralds less inflammatory responses when viewing the long term success of this reboot.

PS And I did not know Herald was in a comic. :lol:
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Son of Stein

Postby Amoebas » Mon Jul 02, 2012 6:16 pm

xaraan wrote:This was like watching Bill Maher and Rush Limbaugh go at it. Two opposing sides taking extreme views where the truth sometimes lands in the middle or sometimes one way or the other enough to give their opinions hope.

That being said I'd probably lean more toward some of Heralds less inflammatory responses when viewing the long term success of this reboot.

PS And I did not know Herald was in a comic. :lol:

I was too (but it was because they liked me :-D )

That's me they're talking about in the bottom left.

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Motherfucker from Hell

Postby Regulator » Mon Jul 02, 2012 6:47 pm

Herald holding up that Harold Winer appearance as a badge of honor is pretty silly. It may have lacked some class on the part of DC, but it didn't change anything either. It just got him known as the most annoyingly anal comic geek of all time.
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Beast In Show

Swedish Pinata of Death

Postby Beast In Show » Mon Jul 02, 2012 7:40 pm

Great read indeed, especially Herald's cameo! That was priceless and really indicative of DC's insecurity. Herald wins, hands down. I can't wrap my head around the DC mindset at all, or it's new fanbase. After reading this debate, I'd chalk up DC's "success" to marketing a trendy product that appeals to a hipster fan base who would rather be a part of a social niche than enjoying comics for what they are.

It reminds me of the fans in the 90's who collected and never read any of their multiple foil embossed issues. :smt011
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Staff Writer

Postby IvCNuB4 » Mon Jul 02, 2012 8:12 pm

Oh please. Didio's response was fucking brilliant and done in a way that Herald has no option but to play along with :lol:
Tell me that if someone spent years relentlessly attacking you, insulting your intelligence and job ethics, and demanding your head on a stick that you wouldn't do something in response.
Hell, look at the Maury Povich-quality poster-vs-poster bitch-fests that add hours of entertainment to this site on a regular basis :lol:
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REAL OFFICIAL President of the Outhouse

Postby Frag » Mon Jul 02, 2012 8:18 pm

Let's not rewrite history. Herald doesn't play along with it. He is butthurt by it. I think he called it "classless."
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fieldy snuts

Rain Partier

Postby fieldy snuts » Mon Jul 02, 2012 9:24 pm

Wait.....the Harold Winer character was later killed off after his debut? Issue? :lol:

edit: nvm he actually made a fair few more appearances than I expected:
http://dc.wikia.com/wiki/Category:Harol ... ppearances

#'s 29, 33, 38-40 collecting the Herald Saga.
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Postby holtom2000 » Mon Jul 02, 2012 9:30 pm

achilles wrote:I agree with Herald on everything.

In herald we trust
Who did dr light rape anyway?
Stoopid reboot
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fieldy snuts

Rain Partier

Postby fieldy snuts » Mon Jul 02, 2012 9:36 pm

holtom2000 wrote:In herald we trust
Who did dr light rape anyway?
Stoopid reboot

Sue Dibney
He referred to draining the female Doctor Light as "rape"
In the Spectre Final Crisis story he was ready to rape a gang of teen girls dressed up like the Teen Titans

I think after Identity Crisis he became the western equivalent of Rapeman.

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