Now, I’ve been reading the collected 52 trades as the response was positive, but I was weary after Identity crisis, Infinite Crisis, and a multitude “no resolution” miniseries. But now I realize that 52 was a fluke. We’re back to the murder and rape fest that’s typified mainstream comics of late.
Valerie D’Orazio's insightful post at Occasional Superheroine lays it bare in a 12-point argument that’s very illuminating. Dan Didio is in trouble. He knows it. We know it. Dogs know it.
After reading the Newsarama interview with Dan Didio, I have come to the conclusion that the situation at DC has become so dire that to continue to publically mock "Countdown" would be in bad taste.
Honestly, I do not see the current regime at the company lasting any more than 6-12 months tops. "Final Countdown" will indeed mark the end of an era, an era that started strongly -- if not controversially -- with "Identity Crisis," reached its peak with "52," and crashed and burned with "Countdown."
Some of her arguments really stand out for me such as: #3 Didio has helped launch a renaissance in feminist comic book activism. # 4. DC is just doing “the Crisis” over and over again (boring), #8 DC is pissing off the Big Dogs at Time/Warner with their “DC Hates Women” storylines. #10 Sales are tanking, and #12 investment in the short-term as opposed to the long-term (which has been one of my biggest gripes).
The “DC Hates Women” has gotten so bad it’s making its way into mainstream press. See here for the Mother Jones article that Valerie mentions. Also in a following post, she notes how the new Batwoman, a character I was really enjoying from 52, disappears from the DC universe. I guess the neo-con fundies can’t allow a gay character that’s related to one of the big three (Batman, Wonder Woman, Superman) and so DC caved. This tells me that that all the work that went into 52 was quickly undone by Countdown and other DC titles.
Oh and for the fanboys out there who defend the “DC Hates Women” storytelling lets use a little analogy. It would be like Uhura on Star Trek, who didn’t get a lot of screen time but was present and accounted for, suddenly getting raped and murdered to get a rise out Captain Kirk. Sure women in comics haven’t always been well presented but what’s happening now is altogether different. The difference in this case being sexism from the greater society reflected in comic stories vs. the misogyny of a few creators and editors that pull the strings. Do you get it now? The old stories were sexist. The new stories “hate women.” These are two separate issues, with the later being the most insidious.
So I guess I’ll buy the last two trades of 52 and wonder at what could have been.