Interpreting this week's news and comics for signs that the world is ending.
A weekly feature, Outhouse Correspondent F.F Ambarger combs through this week's news and comics to point out signs that the world will be ending this year.
DC Has a New Logo!
DC announced this week that it would be replacing its current "DC Spin" logo with a new one that features a "D"-shaped piece of foil being pulled back to reveal a colored C. DC stated that the "C"'s coloring would vary depending on the book it featured on and attached several variants of the logo, which showed the logo in Green Lantern, Watchmen, and smoky mysterious themes. In addition, DC announced that the logo would also be interactive digitally, finally allowing fans to unwrap a logo when they spend $3.99 on a rented digital copy of a comic. DC previously replaced their logo in 2005, an act that angered many fans that preferred the iconic "DC Bullet" theme. Unsurprisingly, fans are still resistant to change and are have largely panned the new logo.
To be honest, I don't see what the huge fuss is. Is the logo ugly? Yes. Are the variant versions a sure sign that DC's about to collapse? Well, since this is a column about the death of the industry, I would have to answer in the affirmative. However, all that being said, early mock-ups of how the logo looks on a comic indicates that it be far less intrusive than the current logo scheme (which also includes a "The New 52!" on the top of every issue and one to two text captions placed on every cover). Cluttered covers seem to be a problem at DC and any attempt to help reduce the amount of text and captions that draw viewers away from the cover art is a good thing.
Censorship in Media!
While various Internet companies protested SOPA this week, one prominent comic news site found itself in the center of some controversy due to its editing of controversial statements. Newsarama omitted a portion of a roundtable discussion with the writers of Image's Extreme relaunch which included Brandon Graham criticizing Judd Winick, the writer of the controversial Catwoman series. In his blog, Graham claimed that his snarky response was in reply to interviewer Zack Smith's comment criticizing Rob Liefeld's distinctive art style in a question. Graham went on to note that Newsarama decided to leave Smith's comment in without adding in Smith's response. Newsarama eventually pulled the article after Rob Liefeld went after both Smith and Newsarama editor-in-chief Lucas Siegel on Twitter for leaving in the offending statements.
A part of me feels bad for Rob Liefeld, despite the fact that I really can't stand his artwork. The man certainly helped to define an era of comics and is still able to attract fans and interest to his books. Also, in my one interaction with Liefeld, he certainly seemed nice and was far more personable and outgoing than several other "big name" artists attending the same show. It also seems a bit unfair that Newsarama felt it was a good idea to be critical of Liefeld to his employees and put them in a bit of a spot and then decided to omit their reactions when they turned it around onto another publisher. Mind you, the whole thing comes as no surprise as Newsarama is no longer the same site that it was under Matt Brady and has floundered under corporate management. I guess if you're looking for rehashed slide shows, inane lists and whitewashed interviews, that's the site to visit.
A (Former) Avenger Dies!
Moon Knight, the other other Avenger book that Brian Bendis is writing ended with a bit of a shock today as Count Nefaria allegedly killed supporting cast member Echo by shooting her through the chest with one of his optic rays. Moon Knight and Echo had slowly been undermining the villain's Los Angeles based criminal network and had already defeated the villain once via a power dampener. After Nefaria went after the heroes again, Moon Knight and Echo gained the upper hand through the use of several gadgets provided by Moon Knight's assistant Buck. However, before Moon Knight could finish Nefaria, Nefaria managed to shoot one final beam through Echo, leading the title character to attack the title character in a fit of rage.
Echo was a Bendis creation and first appeared during Bendis' iconic run on Daredevil. A deaf, Native American superhero with photographic reflexes, Echo has been a staple supporting character in many of Bendis' books. However, Moon Knight marks the first time the character has really shined since she her first appearance in Daredevil. This is not the first minority Avenger that Bendis has killed off in one of his series; he also disintegrated Dr. Voodoo in late 2010 in New Avengers shortly after elevating the character to Sorcerer Supreme.
More Apocalyptic Futures!
Prophet #21 showcased another futuristic world in which mankind is almost entirely absent. Prophet focuses on John Prophet, a human agent awakened from a cryogenic sleep to activate a satellite in space that will in turn reawaken the human species. Having read none of the previous Prophet series (which were part of Rob Liefeld's EXTREME Line), I can say that this series was a very pleasant surprise.
Brandon Graham and Simon Roy's Prophet is a bizarre and fantastic world that's reminds me a lot of Planet of the Apes. Prophet's world is a dangerous one and it's interesting to see how the human has been pre-equipped to survive in such an exotic and unfamiliar landscape. What really hooked me is Graham's explanation of a pod city and it's smell-based caste culture. It showed that Graham's really put a lot of thought into the world and I can't wait to see what else he has in store. If you like futuristic explorers travelling across alien landscapes or simply a well-written comic, check out Prophet.
Gods Battle for Earth!
While DC released a few great books this week (including a disorientingly brilliant issue of Batman), my favorite had to be this week's issue of Wonder Woman, which showcased new versions of Poseidon and Hades. Poseidon is portrayed as a giant sea monster while Hades is depicted as a candle-headed warlord. Both gods are in pursuit of claiming the skies as their new domain but are stopped when Wonder Woman reveals that Hera has already claimed the sky as her own, much to the villainous goddess's surprise.
Wonder Woman remains a treat to read each month and writer Brian Azzarello has really used the reboot to breathe new life into Wonder Woman and her Greek-themed supporting cast. While the Greek gods have always been portrayed rather blandly in past comics, Azzarello has reinvented them into bizarre creatures that neither act nor look human. Instead of being superpowered humans, these gods are otherworldly creatures beyond human comprehension. It's a great concept set back only by the temporary absence of Cliff Chiang. While Troy Akins did an admirable job filling in, I can't wait to see Chiang's depiction of these gods.
Written or Contributed by: F.F. Ambarger, Outhouse Correspondent