Thursday, February 13, 2014

No more New 52

I've read posts on this subject for years since this New 52 DC Universe got launched back in September, 2011; so this isn't anything you haven't read before, nor more heart-felt, not even original.  I've seen a lot of people speak up on this subject.  Some fans (because deep down we all are -or used to be- just fans) were furious, some were deeply sad, some were frustrated and there were still the hopeful ones who gave up and still wanted things to change for the better, sometime down the line.

Their message never got through and I highly doubt mine will, either.

So, here's this rant, sent into the digital universe more as a cathartic cry, not really asking for anything to happen, just to speak up my mind.

I've been a DC Comics fan for my entire life (see?, I told you I wasn't going to be of the original kind); I went through a lot of changes and rolled with the punches, some were good, some not so much and then, there was the New 52.  I set the New 52 apart because it was a different kind of creature.  It undid everything that was done before.  But unlike the famous Crisis on Infinite Earths, the outcome was rushed and the essence of the characters got dropped along with their history.  Superman was no longer the hero everyone looked up, no, now he was this troubled alien who felt out of place among humans, which is beyond odd since he was always supposed to be the most human of them all--  Then, Wonder Woman stopped being an all female character and became the daughter of Zeus; and the essence of her character got thrown out of the window.  And these are just two examples of what the New 52 meant to the rich universe that was the DC Universe.  From a group of Teen Titans that were never side-kicks, to a Flash family that never existed, the richest side of their characters got undone, up to a point that they were no longer recognizable.

I work in the advertising field, I know the meaning of keeping a brand fresh.  A brand shouldn't age or it would grow obsolete, I completely get that.  But then, dropping an entire fan base while searching a new one doesn't look like good business to me.  What about keeping them both?  Sounds a bit absurd, uh?  Well, with the richness of the DC Universe that could have been done, but they chose a different venue.  Starting fresh could have meant a lot of things and not just dropping everything they were.  Moving forward, for instance, could have been a great choice.  They could have redesigned the characters to look like 2011 characters, instead of going retro with their 90's designs.  They could have moved forward with guidelines like:  "Don't revisit past storylines, move always forward", that would have made sense.  Comics in general and DC and Marvel in particular, were a bit incestuous with theirs pasts and never stopped revisiting.  Anyway, moving forward could have been the move to pull; and it's not as if the big shots couldn't have considered it, they must have, they just didn't think it would be wild enough to make the headlines.  And they did hit the headlines!  But then again, at this point, the negativity surrounding them is huge as well.  A big chunk of their fan base left, their numbers aren't that big anymore, or even bigger than they were before that infamous and extremely rushed "Flashpoint".

And they keep pulling their New 52 tricks again.  Wally West will be coming back as someone you never knew.  I heard that line before.  Sorry, but no.  I got burnt once, twice, a trillion times and I'm finally done.

It took me a while, a few years actually, but I finally gave up.  Not with a "bang", but with a "whimper", like most of us left.  Unnoticed and uncared for.  We're not the demographics they're looking for, so, we're worthless.

Somewhere in the DC offices, someone must have thought at one point, "shouldn't we throw them (old fans) a bone?"  Maybe the response wasn't a resonant "no", but it did feel that way.  In the end, we weren't that important to them.  And well, a brand that doesn't care about its audience, will eventually get the short end of the stick.