Anybody involved in comics has spent the last couple of weeks buzzing about DC’s big reboot news. The funny book giant has decided to take most if not all of their issues and restart them at number one. It’s a move that has some cheering and some sneering, some thinking it’s DC facing the future and others saying they’re betraying those who’ve spent so long collecting comics. Some of the negativity is justified; take a look at the new Superman costumes if you don’t believe me, while some is just sour grapes. I’ll admit I’m not a huge fan of what I’ve seen of DC’s new direction but at the same time the idea of it remains kind of interesting. I sat down and thought about what I would like to see happen if I was running things. Here’s what I came up with.
If the Crises are infinite, what's one more to end them?
10. End Of The Multiverse
If DC Comics really wanted to do the fans a favor with the reboot they’d kill the Multiverse. Seriously, it’s time to call it a day with the multiple versions of the DC Universe. At one point the multiverse was a great idea, something chock full of possibilities and it gave comic fans a definitive event series with Crisis On Infinite Earths. Since then it’s become a crutch, an easy way for DC to dig their way out of a hole or to drum up some long winded event series. If anything can prove how far the Multiverse has fallen it’s the sloppy and anticlimactic Final Crisis story. Part of that lies squarely at the feet of writer Grant Morrison but the worn road of the Multiverse can’t be ignored. If DC wants to do something solid for the fans with the reboot then end the Multiverse for good and make sure the writers can’t ever use it as an easy escape again.
The cover to Action Comics #2. It had bi-planes and mid-air gunplay!
09. Action Comics Not Just Featuring Superman
As we can all tell from the ridiculous artwork released for Superman’s “new look”, it’s clear Action Comics is in real trouble. How about, instead of having to watch "work boots and jeans" Superman fight, I dunno, a Lex Luthor with dreads and bedazzled disco shirt, why not return Action Comics to the multiple story format it used to be. Even the first issue, the one that introduced Superman to the world, was an anthology book. Granted, the 1988 attempt to return Action Comics to its multi-story glory failed, but this is a great time to jump start it. Action Comics could feature stories from Superman (with his normal costume) plus any of the other heroes of the DC Universe. It would also be a tremendous place to debut story ideas for the Vertigo line. The last attempt at anthology style Action Comics was executed in a really hokey manner. If done right, with a blend of horror, heroes, crime fiction and sci-fi, Action Comics could be a weekly or monthly treat for all comic fans.
That's right, bike shorts. You stand in the back of the image.
08. Reboot Wonder Woman In The 40s
In the modern DC Universe, it feels as though there’s no real place for Wonder Woman. Her stories tend to get sidelined by the more testosterone driven heroes and if not then somebody decides to step in and “re-imagine” the iconic hero (BURN JMS, BURN). I also grow tired of watching Wonder Woman be part of a bigger group where she’s just not used to her potential. My answer to this is to put Wonder Woman in a time where she’s one of the few, if not the only hero. Bring her back to the 40s and let her battle Nazis and crazed super villains out to control the world. I don’t mean return her to the lameness and weird S&M vibe of the original run, but more to a world where Wonder Woman is top dog. The only change I’d make would be to have Steve Trevor and Wonder Woman be at odds. Steve disliking superhero types or something of that nature would be cool but not having Wonder Woman try to convince him she’s good but rather take offense to his opinions. The other necessity is to bring Gail Simone in to write for as long as she’s willing. She has a better grip on the character than just about anyone in the last ten years.
Look at them, so young and full of promise, monochromatic skin tone and external genitalia.
07. A Young JSA
With the announcement that DC has unwisely decided to shitcan the JSA altogether, this may seem like a pipe dream but I have hope. If DC can stop giving old heroes stupid new costumes (Red Robin with wings? Superboy ala Twilight?) long enough to maybe make a good decision, this might help the re-sell the JSA. The main problem is that the JSA is an army without a war. Between the JLA, Teen Titans, Titans, Green Lantern Corps and so on, the JSA is about as useful as a hubcap on a tractor. To that end, DC has gone way off the reservation with their storylines. The original Flash is the mayor? Green Lantern uses his power to keep a city afloat? It’s gotten to be a little silly. If DC was to hire on somebody like Matt Wagner or Mark Miller, writers who do wonderful work with old school styles, to create stories of the JSA in their heyday, it could be incredible. It would be a chance to look at the depth of the history of the JSA, even going back to how they formed. We don’t have enough comics out there right now that are just adventures and great stories. Having this one would be a real plus.
No, wait! Don't stick a fork in it yet! It's not done!
06. One Word: Aquaman
Since Aquaman was so featured in the Flashpoint series and Tony Bedard gave him a badass attitude, I think it’s time for a full on Aquaman series. To hell with the old, screw the JLA membership or the rush to save the surface world, let’s give Aquaman his own series with his own problems. For too long the king of the sea has had to sit idly by and watch as his stories were driven into the ground. For instance, the awful turn of the last Aquaman series where Arthur was turned into the squid-faced character and the “new” Aquaman was brought in. What a horrific final story arc that was. Let Aquaman rule his undersea kingdom; let him fight threats in the ocean. Water covers 70% of the planet, I’m guessing writers could come up with cool stories. I would even go so far as to bring the aspect from Kingdom Come where heroes ask Aquaman for his help but he refuses, saying it’s already cost him too much. With a small change in attitude, a bit of a new look and writers who can really generate great stories, Aquaman could become a new staple of the DC Universe.
Oh, Jason, what have they done to your creamy, supple legs?
05. Jason Todd & The Robins
This is a big bone with me because I hate Jason Todd. I have always hated him, always thought that not only was he a bad Robin but a total failure in continuity that Batman would allow this punk to be on the team. When the 800-number was posted to vote for his fate during Death In The Family, I probably spent twenty bucks trying to drive a nail in his coffin. Bringing Jason Todd back from the dead was a sad and desperate move by DC and, for my money, it has never worked out. This is a perfect time to bury this bitch for good and leave him dead, wipe the blight off the face of the DC anthology. As for Damien, Batman’s son, I think it’s time for him to either vanish or become a villain. If this is a reboot, then let Damien return older and bitter because Batman didn’t choose him to be Robin. He sets out to destroy not only Batman but also the final (please) Robin Tim Drake. Drake has been a consistently strong character and a great Robin. He stands up to Batman, he’s smart, resourceful and he can be strong on his own as Robin in the Teen Titans. As for Dick Grayson, the Nightwing character has always been strong, so allowing him to return to that life is a good idea.
Look, you should get Skittles.
04. The Rainbow Lantern
With all the various Lanterns out there, where’s the gay lantern? I don’t mean that as a slight, I mean it for real. If Riverdale can write a gay character into their lore, then why not Green Lantern? It would be a simple set up. A Lantern dies and the ring finds a suitable replacement that can overcome great fear. Who can overcome fear better than somebody who comes out in a society that calls them evil and refuses them marriage to their loved ones? Imagine the stories that could come out as the new Lantern deals with cosmic homophobia or at the very least Guy Gardner’s dumb jokes. There is also an Earth element as the new Lantern tries to continue living a normal life with his new responsibilities. I would also think that in the face of homophobia it would be hard for the new Lantern not to do something to strike back. I don’t actually think he should be a “Rainbow Lantern” but I thought it drove the point home.
Seriously, Cyborg, you must weigh 50 tons in that thing. How are you keeping up with the Flash?
03. A New JLA And Something For The Flash To Do
The JLA is kind of boring, has been for a long time. At times the stories are decent but for the most part it’s lacking something. The first issue of this big new reboot features, well, it pretty much features the same characters in the same types of stories. I also want to be the first to point out that adding Cyborg to the mix doesn’t really ratchet up the excitement. So why not turn the whole JLA on its head? First up, lets release Wonder Woman, Superman and Batman, give the whole old team a break. Next up, give Flash the reins, let Barry Allen run the JLA so he’ll finally have something to do. Allen’s return after twenty years has been one of the most anticlimactic things I’ve ever born witness to. He may be the focus of Flashpoint, but realistically the fastest man in the world has been strolling through his return. Putting him in charge of the JLA would re-focus the character. Add to that putting some fresh blood on the team, we’re looking at a whole new dawn for the JLA. Cyborg can remain but only if he’s joined by cool new folks. Phantom Stranger, Nightwing, Green Arrow, maybe even Swamp Thing. If you add some of this new blood you can open the team up to fighting everything from Sci-Fi to horror.
Find those demonstrators, Superman. Fix the world. Please. You're awesome. We suck.
02. Return Superman To Social Crusader
Ignoring the horrible photos of Superman’s new look, a reboot of the character could be kind of kick-ass. When Superman started in the 30s, he was a social crusader, he fought against anyone and anything that oppressed the workingman. In the current economic climate, coupled with status of the world at large, a social-crusading Superman might be just what the doctor ordered. Think of Superman flying around slapping corrupt politicians who screw the working class. Taking out the mob when the try to extort money from good families, etc. Superman has operated like the Big Blue Boy Scout long enough, and the times they are a-changin. I’m not even saying just have him rebooted as a new Superman, but allow the change to happen over time. We’ve already seen bits of it with the man of steel renouncing his American Citizenship and standing with the people of a foreign nation during their protest. It wouldn’t be too far of a jump to see him finally become outraged by the mistreatment and spend some time investigating and taking on those who seek to hurt the people he has sworn to protect. It could make Superman very interesting, as long as DC doesn’t change his outfit as they plan to. Ugh.
Barbara Gordon: Reinventing Herself, Then Reinventing Awesome
01. Keep My Oracle
Perhaps the biggest controversy with the DC Reboot has been the decision to bring Barbara Gordon back as Batgirl. I have to side with the people here, this is a stupid idea. Forget that the new Batgirl Stephanie Brown has finally found her rhythm in the character or that the return of Cassandra would be the better play if it had to be done, Oracle is too good of a character to get rid of. This plan also eliminates Alan Moore’s The Killing Joke, which is the essential Joker story. The other problem is, why do it? Oracle is a fascinating character, a character that has taken years to build up. Barbara Gordon does more good as Oracle than she ever did as Batgirl. She also helped bridge the transition into the digital age for all of DC’s heroes. What really stinks here is how Oracle has become the first handicapped member of the DC Universe that is a threat, who has overcome her issue and gotten right in the grill of the worst elements of DC. She’s a hero to two groups that have very little voice in the world of pop culture, women and the handicapped. Barbara is nobody’s damsel in distress and she’s not a victim in any way. When the reboot lands, it should be with Oracle, not some cheap attempt at publicity in the form of Barbara Gordon as Batgirl.
So there you have it, the ten things I’d like to see happen with this big DC Reboot. To be honest I’d rather see the whole thing not happen, or for it to be an attempt to launch a DC Ultimates type situation. At this point nothing is certain, so I guess we’ll have to wait and see.