Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E.

You know, I haven’t written about comic books on this blog for more than 2 years now. Why, absolutely nobody might ask? There are several reasons, but I’ll point the finger at DCs’s New 52 reboot. I generally read comics to get superhero stories. I know that is not all that comics have to offer, even excluding the vast expanse of manga there is quite the variety of genres to choose from. But superheroes one can largely only get from comics. When it comes to superheroes, I am a DC guy. It’s not that I don’t like Marvel, but I tend to prefer DC’s stable of characters. I’ll take the Justice League over the Avengers every day of the week and Superman over any of Marvel’s characters. DC’s superheroes tend to be more idealized, Marvel’s more nuanced. Since I tend to like the more mythological aspects of superheroes, the idealized version is just more my style.

Unfortunately, there was the whole NEW 52 reboot for DC. If anyone read my take on that almost three years ago they would remember that I bought into that ill-fated venture. There were warts apparent even from the beginning, but there was still potential for the reboot. When DC did it back in the 80’s with Crisis on Infinite Earths, it led to some of the company’s best output. The same thing when Marvel did a similar thing with Spider-Man, though the story that got them there was an all-time awful one. So I tried out all of the new series (I got a good deal on a bundle of the #1s), finding the good, at least initially, to outweigh the bad. It soon became clear, though, that whoever was supposed to steering the ship was asleep at the wheel. Numerous boneheaded editorial and creative decisions soon made DC the target of widespread internet derision. Nearly all of it was deserved. Creators walked or were forced off books with startling regularity, and subpar writers and artists got more, and high profile, work. The whole thing kind of made reading comics a whole lot less pleasurable. So I stopped. There were still quite a few books I was enjoying, like Wonder Woman and Green Arrow, but it didn’t feel worth it to me. So about eight months ago I stopped entirely. Continue reading