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Five Things I Think I Know: The "It can't be you! You're dead!" Edition

ElijahSnowFan returns from a hiatus to bring another edition of Five Things I Think I Know!


The Long and Winding Preamble

Darth Vader: He is here.
Governor Tarkin: Obi-Wan Kenobi? What makes you think so?
Darth Vader: A tremor in the Force. The last time I felt it was in the presence of my old master.
Governor Tarkin: Surely he must be dead by now.
Darth Vader: Don't underestimate the Force.
Governor Tarkin: The Jedi are extinct, their fire has gone out of the universe. You, my friend, are all that's left of their religion.
Governor Tarkin [answering a comm signal]: Yes?
Voice over comm: We have an emergency alert in detention block AA-23.
Governor Tarkin: The Princess? Put all sections on alert.
Darth Vader: Obi-wan IS here. The Force is with him.

So, let's get down to it: We know where Obi-Wan Kenobi was. But where the hell has "5 Things" been?

Fine, then. Time for a little Villain Exposition, where I fill in all of the plot gaps for Faithful Readers, helping them to get caught up with the story.

"Five Things"...well, I totally enjoy writing it. I hope my love of the comics industry comes through when readers take a look, and, most importantly, I intend to write this for the Outhouse for a long time to come.

But...and there's always a "but"...sometimes, it's a little more complex than that. I like to take a little time to research these things, give the subject matter a little thought. "5 Things" believes in continuity but absolutely does not get down with continuity errors, people.

As I was researching a column about a month ago, I had to dig through some longboxes...and I ran into some disturbing material: DC's "One Year Later" initiative.

And I remembered a post from Warren Ellis' blog, at WarrenEllis.com, back when news of the DC reboot was coming hot-and-heavy. If you want to look it up, it's from June 29, titled "DC and Digital Comics Strategies."

Ellis closed that post with this passage: "Also, Dan and Jim? I love you guys, and I'm greatly enjoying watching you start some shit. But you can't keep talking about how the old comics were boring when you in fact were the old management too. Someone's eventually going to call you on it, and you're not going to have a good answer. That said: keep starting fires. It's good."

With that in my head...I began to think. I began to ponder. I began to grow concerned. As I read more and more interviews and previews that just seemed...questionable...to me, I began to come to grips with one sentence: "But you can't keep talking about how the old comics were boring when you in fact were the old management too."

And I realized something fundamental: I'm not coming along for the ride on this reboot. Not at first.

OK, Faithful Readers. Back away from the keyboard. I didn't type, "DC is raping my childhood, and I'm never going to read another of their books again."

I said, "I'm not coming along for the ride on this reboot. Not at first."

"5 Things" is not ashamed to admit that, for the vast majority of three-plus decades, I have chased this industry and its books with determination and loyalty. I've stuck with more bad runs than I'd care to admit, tried more companies that have started and failed than most. I am proud to say that I have original copies of "The Dark Knight Returns" and am slightly horrified to say that I have original copies of "The Dark Knight Strikes Again."

DC has always been my favorite comics company -- well, let me clarify that. DC has always had my favorite characters.

There's a difference there, Faithful Reader.

Because when I actually began to think about what DC has been over the past eight years or so...I had to ask myself this question: Would it be the worst thing in the world, since DC is hoping to lure new and lapsed readers back into the fold, to wait six to eight months or so, to see how they do? To see if these books work?

To see if Jim Lee can put out a monthly book on time -- since I have way-too-many runs of Jim Lee material that just kinda...stopped? To see if some of these writers whose backgrounds are...interesting...can actually deliver?

Since DC isn't counting on someone in my demographic to make this reboot work...what's the harm if I actually waited to see what was in these books?

I don't mean to be harsh -- seriously, I don't. But after looking through that longbox of DC's "One Year Later" material, where I have issues of Simonson/Chaykin's "Hawkgirl" and the quarterly issues of Allan Heinberg's Wonder Woman, as well as the entire run of "Sword of Aquaman," among other things that didn't exactly, um, work -- well, hasn't "5 Things" earned the right to read a few reviews, pick up a trade or two of critically acclaimed material, and see if Dan DiDio and Jim Lee can pull this off?

Again: This isn't me being harsh. This is me being in management in the real world and asking this question: "If DC's changing a great deal about some characters as well as a large portion of the creators, and that doesn't work...then why are the guys who have overseen the collapse of Wildstorm and the weakening of DC's main line getting a free pass?"

Or, as Warren Ellis said so well: "But you can't keep talking about how the old comics were boring when you in fact were the old management too. Someone's eventually going to call you on it, and you're not going to have a good answer."

I'm not asking for DiDio and Lee to answer to me -- because they don't. I'm just a guy who reads comic books. They're trying to sell them to more than one person.

What I'm doing, instead of buying 20 or so new books immediately, without any real clue what they're about or what has been changed, is waiting to see if DC truly does know what it's doing. I'll read the reviews, read the forums, read the articles that come out, and make up my mind about purchasing after some of the initial arcs are done.

Again: I'm an older reader. I've been through the wars, and DC has been honest about this reboot: It's for younger readers, first.

Soooo...I'm going to let it play out that way, and see how it shakes out a few months from now. Sound fair? I think so...in the meantime, I'll be back next week with another edition of "5 Things" -- no need to wonder if I'm pulling a "Heinberg on Wonder Woman," Faithful Reader!

Written or Contributed by: ElijahSnowFan
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About the Author - Christian Hoffer


Christian Hoffer is the exasperated Abbott to the Outhouse's Costello. When he's not yelling at the Newsroom for upsetting readers or complaining to his wife about why the Internet is stupid, he sits in his dingy business office trying to find new ways to make the site earn money. Hoffer is also the only person in history stupid enough to moderate two comic book forums at once.

 


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