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What's Going on with the Batgirls in the DCU?

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achilles

Rain Partier

Postby achilles » Thu May 17, 2018 10:30 am

chap22 wrote:
Oh come on now...even the most diehard anti-Johns/Didio/etc hack, if they exhibit any honesty at all, has to admit his GL was a triumphant success (NOTE: that doesn't necessarily mean it was all that GOOD, if that's the route you want to take...just that it was wildly successful, both for Johns and for the property). GL went from basically an afterthought to a true franchise, one that carried at one time like 5 different ongoing titles. Whether you like the giant yellow space bug or the Rainbow Corps or any other ideas Johns had/stole/whatever, there's no denying it worked for DC as a publisher.


I know he's been successful, that's why they made him king of DC. Doesn't make his stuff good. Especially what he did to GL.
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achilles

Rain Partier

Postby achilles » Thu May 17, 2018 10:33 am

Spacedog wrote:I like some bits and pieces of Sinestro Corps War. Probably because Johns have a hard-on for his villains.

But what bugs me the most about Johns' Green Lantern run is the fact that, despite writing it for almost a decade, there's absolutely no plausible character development in regards to Hal Jordan. Zero. Nothing. Niente. He starts his journey as a moron and finishes it as an imbecile.


Focusing on a villain ONCE is understandable, and might even be decent, but he does it ALL the time, and DC has followed. He has like two tricks that he uses, and that's it. He does the same things over and over again.
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achilles

Rain Partier

Postby achilles » Thu May 17, 2018 10:44 am

chap22 wrote:
:lol:

That's the thing I get from Johns...he's a pretty damn good ideas guy (even if most of those ideas are basically expanded versions of stuff he pretended to be doing while playing with his action figures as a kid...I mean, this IS superhero comics so IMO that's not really a bad way to look at it so long as you can craft it into an actual story), he's just a thoroughly mediocre writer of those ideas.

Look at it like this...he gets lauded for JSA, but largely the best stuff was co-written with other folks. He gets credit for a solid Hawkman reinvention, but Gray & Palmiotti wrote an IMO vastly superior run directly after he left. He gets all the credit for the GL renaissance, but Tomasi's concurrent GLC book was consistently better written with much better characterization, even while juggling like 6-7 co-leads as opposed to just one guy. What I still think is the best JLA arc he ever wrote ("Crisis of Conscience"), was co-written with Allan Heinberg. Etc etc.

When he has real writers to collaborate with he gives you better books. When he's left to himself, other writers using his ideas run circles around him.


He worked best for me at the start of his DC career, when he was doing his own creation, the Stargirl solo title. For me, that was his peak. And I do give him credit for including Power Girl in JSA after getting nagged by PG fans, (yeah, including me), on the old DCU Message boards JSA forum. His initial reply was reluctance to do so, as he claimed not to understand the character or her appeal, but he did go on to include her, thus ending about a decade's worth of irregular guest appearances plus S7 as her only outlet after the end of JLE. The problem there was in the fact that he truly did not get the character, and as he also claimed, didn't seem to like her either, and wrote her despite that.

What he should have done was consult other writers who had done her well, and perhaps asked us, the fan resource he had at his fingertips, (again to his credit at that time he was one of a number of pros who braved the often unfriendly wilds of the DCU Message boards), to ask US what we liked about the character, (apart from the obvious), and what we considered her key core character traits, as he basically wrote her the opposite of what she should have been.

Never try to write a sympathetic character you have no sympathy for, a rule he broke. He needed to get WHY to like her.
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chap22

Rain Partier

Postby chap22 » Thu May 17, 2018 10:51 am

I totes agree that Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E. is the best thing Johns has ever written by himself. It was small, it was personal, it was heartfelt...that kind of stuff brings out better work. Everything else has clearly been him trying to go bigger and bigger with toys from the toybox, and that's just harder to imbue with that same feeling if you're a less skilled writer.
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Spacedog

Expert Post Whore

Postby Spacedog » Thu May 17, 2018 12:13 pm

chap22 wrote:
:lol:

That's the thing I get from Johns...he's a pretty damn good ideas guy (even if most of those ideas are basically expanded versions of stuff he pretended to be doing while playing with his action figures as a kid...I mean, this IS superhero comics so IMO that's not really a bad way to look at it so long as you can craft it into an actual story), he's just a thoroughly mediocre writer of those ideas.

Look at it like this...he gets lauded for JSA, but largely the best stuff was co-written with other folks. He gets credit for a solid Hawkman reinvention, but Gray & Palmiotti wrote an IMO vastly superior run directly after he left. He gets all the credit for the GL renaissance, but Tomasi's concurrent GLC book was consistently better written with much better characterization, even while juggling like 6-7 co-leads as opposed to just one guy. What I still think is the best JLA arc he ever wrote ("Crisis of Conscience"), was co-written with Allan Heinberg. Etc etc.

When he has real writers to collaborate with he gives you better books. When he's left to himself, other writers using his ideas run circles around him.

That's a fair assessment of the ups and downs of Johns' creative life.

I think Johns never had a chance to truly develop and flourish as a writer/storyteller, thanks in no small part to his premature(IMO) promotion to the 'Chief Creative Officer' position, and other executive functions. The corporate side of DC certainly played a part in his creative deterioration - not only because he was "bitting off more than he could chew", but also because he started to execute his plans and visions without the intervention of a guiding hand with the power to put his equivocate notions in check.

If Johns had stayed as just a writer for some more years, honing and improving his writing skills, he probably would be a lot better today (from a creative standpoint).
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Zechs

Outhouse Editor

Postby Zechs » Sat May 19, 2018 5:46 pm

chap22 wrote:
:lol:

That's the thing I get from Johns...he's a pretty damn good ideas guy (even if most of those ideas are basically expanded versions of stuff he pretended to be doing while playing with his action figures as a kid...I mean, this IS superhero comics so IMO that's not really a bad way to look at it so long as you can craft it into an actual story), he's just a thoroughly mediocre writer of those ideas.

Look at it like this...he gets lauded for JSA, but largely the best stuff was co-written with other folks. He gets credit for a solid Hawkman reinvention, but Gray & Palmiotti wrote an IMO vastly superior run directly after he left. He gets all the credit for the GL renaissance, but Tomasi's concurrent GLC book was consistently better written with much better characterization, even while juggling like 6-7 co-leads as opposed to just one guy. What I still think is the best JLA arc he ever wrote ("Crisis of Conscience"), was co-written with Allan Heinberg. Etc etc.

When he has real writers to collaborate with he gives you better books. When he's left to himself, other writers using his ideas run circles around him.


So you're saying Johns is ME? Wait you know too much chappy.
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Spacedog

Expert Post Whore

Postby Spacedog » Sat May 19, 2018 8:35 pm

Zechs wrote:
So you're saying Johns is ME? Wait you know too much chappy.

You are Geoff Johns? I sincerely hope NOT. Otherwise you deserve a succession of swift kicks in the nuts.
Image
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Zechs

Outhouse Editor

Postby Zechs » Wed May 23, 2018 11:26 pm

I deserve many things, but that isn't one of them.

So apparently, the new Batgirl writer who starts in August also kind of likes Cassandra more than Barbara. Then Barbara's chip that allows her to walk is getting shorted out in August. Add with today's issue events. You don't suppose a soft reboot is coming? Um... nah!!!
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achilles

Rain Partier

Postby achilles » Thu May 24, 2018 8:44 am

Zechs wrote:I deserve many things, but that isn't one of them.

So apparently, the new Batgirl writer who starts in August also kind of likes Cassandra more than Barbara. Then Barbara's chip that allows her to walk is getting shorted out in August. Add with today's issue events. You don't suppose a soft reboot is coming? Um... nah!!!


Well, I'm happy for all Cassandra fans then. Now....to get them to put the classic PG back in some books...

Honestly though, I think most of their problems with PG could be solved if they'd just change her origin slightly, make her from the main DCU Earth's Krypton, and make her a different relative of Superman's. I think DC and WB regards her as excess baggage because she's almost the same person as SG, just from another universe. They just give SG all the bits that PG might otherwise. If she were say Superman's previously undisclosed older sister who somehow survives in stasis or the Phantom Zone or whatever, she'd be another member of the Superman family like SG or his son, and get published as much as they are.

Cass is IMO a good model of the sort of character that DC ought to invest more attention; popular with a core fan group, an interesting twist on an existing character, and full of untold story possibilities----pretty much like PG, save that Cass has at least had some good stories, to date PG hasn't.

While I like Babs, I think maybe it's time for her to go back to being Oracle, whether or not they let her walk, and leave the Batgirling to Cass. IMO that's where both characters were best used.
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Spacedog

Expert Post Whore

Postby Spacedog » Thu May 24, 2018 9:02 am

They had a lot of trouble to establish the New 52. Now they are having a lot of trouble to 'unmake' the mess they created with the New 52. They are unquestionably idiots. Or "DiDiots".
Image
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SporkBot

Swedish Pinata of Death

Postby SporkBot » Thu May 24, 2018 10:07 am

achilles wrote:Cass is IMO a good model of the sort of character that DC ought to invest more attention; popular with a core fan group, an interesting twist on an existing character, and full of untold story possibilities...


Especially if you exclude her reinvention garbage. There's a much better way to tell the story of Cassie encountering the family of her one/first victim, than the idiocy in Eternal.

While I like Babs, I think maybe it's time for her to go back to being Oracle, whether or not they let her walk, and leave the Batgirling to Cass. IMO that's where both characters were best used.


I could live with Babs remaining as Batgirl...but again, we'd need to basically exclude the New52, the Eternal reinventions, etc.. Cassie is Black Bat (or a similar name), keep Steph as Spoiler, but keep her Batgirl costume, and the role of Oracle can go to Wendy Harris, who I think was being groomed for the role as Proxy during Steph's tenure. But this is the smarter move, and one with actual precedence/development behind it, so I wouldn't expect it to appeal to anyone at DC.

Spacedog wrote:They had a lot of trouble to establish the New 52. Now they are having a lot of trouble to 'unmake' the mess they created with the New 52. They are unquestionably idiots. Or "DiDiots".
Image


If they were capable in leadership, they'd have avoided this mess years ago. I think it's entirely possible that, with some books/characters since Rebirth, the good faith they're getting back from some readers is based on how low they set the bar, kept it low for years, and after raising it just a bit, people are reacting to it with greater fervor than it deserves. People seemed happy just to get Cassie and Steph back, if in weaker, deflated iterations, despite how poorly constructed the Eternal books were. And now that, apparently, Jason Todd doesn't kill people anymore(?), people don't seem to care how antithetical it ALWAYS was for Batman to let him operate on his behalf with his use of guns and lethal force.

If between now and this new writer takes over Batgirl, Cassie and Steph lose their craptacular new origins, Harper's presence in the Bat-Family is lanced like the tumor it is (ESPECIALLY from Cassie), and the whole Mother/Orphan b.s. is retconned away...then I'll give it a shot. But I'm not lowering my standards and raising my hopes just to validate their mistakes, no matter how few they insist on keeping. As it is, I have no reason to trust them, regardless of the little hints and teases Tynion plays with.
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achilles

Rain Partier

Postby achilles » Thu May 24, 2018 10:17 am

Far as the nu52 goes, I'd rather they just did a hard reboot, and admit they screwed the pooch with it. It was a stupid, suck idea from the start, and yet they doubled down on it by trying to have their stupid cake and eat it too. You can't keep a failure while trying to appease those who hated it IMO.
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SporkBot

Swedish Pinata of Death

Postby SporkBot » Thu May 24, 2018 1:03 pm

achilles wrote:Far as the nu52 goes, I'd rather they just did a hard reboot, and admit they screwed the pooch with it. It was a stupid, suck idea from the start, and yet they doubled down on it by trying to have their stupid cake and eat it too. You can't keep a failure while trying to appease those who hated it IMO.


That'd be less a reboot, and more a restore to a previous save. But hey, I'd be all for it. Cass with a history not completely tainted by stupidity and failed attempts at depth, Stephanie actually being built by her experiences instead of off-panel crap, Jason Todd rightfully on the outs with Batman, Billy Batson not being an ass-hat, Mr. Freeze with his GOOD origin, no Mother, a good version of David Cain (relatively speaking)...that'd get me back to buying pretty quickly. And while I don't care that much, I think I'd prefer Kate Kane NOT being related to Bruce. Just seemed unnecessary and I'm not sure what it really adds ("oh, she's the last piece of Martha Wayne that's left"...right).

Though I think it'd be fine if they kept, for example, Duke. I haven't read much about him, but I think he's fine enough, and conceptually speaking, a daytime agent of Batman is fairly unique.
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achilles

Rain Partier

Postby achilles » Thu May 24, 2018 1:14 pm

SporkBot wrote:
That'd be less a reboot, and more a restore to a previous save. But hey, I'd be all for it. Cass with a history not completely tainted by stupidity and failed attempts at depth, Stephanie actually being built by her experiences instead of off-panel crap, Jason Todd rightfully on the outs with Batman, Billy Batson not being an ass-hat, Mr. Freeze with his GOOD origin, no Mother, a good version of David Cain (relatively speaking)...that'd get me back to buying pretty quickly. And while I don't care that much, I think I'd prefer Kate Kane NOT being related to Bruce. Just seemed unnecessary and I'm not sure what it really adds ("oh, she's the last piece of Martha Wayne that's left"...right).

Though I think it'd be fine if they kept, for example, Duke. I haven't read much about him, but I think he's fine enough, and conceptually speaking, a daytime agent of Batman is fairly unique.


Way I see it is the Rebirth stuff has done well by SOME characters, mostly the ones DC likes a lot, and badly by most of the rest. It would be relatively easy IMO to simply move those characters who have done well in Rebirth in that direction slowly, as they simply reset or in some cases reboot others, resulting in an overall reset with some tweaks.
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Rebirth NoctourneM

Rain Partier

Postby Rebirth NoctourneM » Thu May 24, 2018 2:24 pm

achilles wrote:
Way I see it is the Rebirth stuff has done well by SOME characters, mostly the ones DC likes a lot, and badly by most of the rest. It would be relatively easy IMO to simply move those characters who have done well in Rebirth in that direction slowly, as they simply reset or in some cases reboot others, resulting in an overall reset with some tweaks.


Actually it's been pretty much all of them, although a couple of them didn't need to be fixed.

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