Sunday, December 2, 2007

After reading Fifty-Two

I still haven't picked up a cigarette since a year ago last April 13th, thank you for asking.

The following are my thoughts after reading DC's maxi-series of 'Fifty-Two' weekly comics about a handful of relatively unknown characters in the DC universe. Yes there will be spoilage here, but if you haven't read it by now you probably aren't gonna, and I knew how it was gonna end and it didn't ruin the fun for me, reading it.

Yes, I know I'm a little late to this particular party, but I just got done reading DC's Fifty -Two weekly series of comics, and am attempting to once again revisit the fantasy world of my youth. After spending a year with a curiously chosen cast of characters, I find myself wondering why I'm still fascinated by this fantasy world of my youth, cuz you can't proveribally go home again. I mean this ain't my childhood fantasy. Someone's bulldozed the old neighborhood and put up strip malls. The following are a cast of characters who took center stage during these fifty-two comic books, trying to show the world where the present crop of writers and artists have taken the DC Universe. Most of these characters are obscure and therefore expendable, which is perhaps what makes them interesting. They could die. They could be irrevocably changed. They could have something about their pasts that hasn't been explored before that might actually make them interesting. I thought I'd make a few mental notes about each of them to see if I thought there were any more possible stories that could be told with these characters now that Fifty-Two is over.

Black Adam: For the uninitiated, this is an evil anti Captain Marvel who fits today's definition of the anti-hero. He means well but his methods are very "eye for an eye" which means essentially he's a good badguy. I was done with him before they started, but they made him interesting for awhile, then ripped the rug out from under him. I'm done with him again. Story potential? Zero. I really like the idea though of him living out the rest of his immortality trying to guess the secret word that would once again turn him into Black Adam. That's funny.

Booster Gold: For the uninitiated, this guy started in the 25th century as a washed up football star who got caught gambling on his own games. He decided to steal a time machine, go back in time, and try to be famous in his past cuz he couldn't cut it in his present. Only, he neglected to actually pay attention in history class. You can guess where that's going can't you? You're right, that's where he went. And I was done with him before they started too, but the writers of 52 actually made Booster interesting for awhile. He's a hero now and no one will ever know. If DC's writers can keep that up, I might continue to find him interesting.

Animal Man: A second string hero who was with the Challengers of the Unknown for awhile. Never heard of them? That's cuz they lived up to their namesake. He had his own comic, which was either an opportunistic sillyfest or a grandiose environmentalist pamphlet, depending on the writer. Personally, I really like the guy, but DC can't seem to find anyone who can consistently make him worth reading about. I think they should team him up with Ambush Bug, make his family less serious, and just have fun being silly with him. Maybe pit him up against Bat-mite and Myxlpltk. As he is tho, I'm done with him.

Starfire: Frankly I'm still in shock this Ex-Teen Titan is no longer dating Dick Grayson. I thought those two kids were gonna make it, even though this alien lab experiment gone awry has been married off twice out of duty, you'd think Grayson would look past all that and see Koriand'r for her 'assets.' *ahem* I really like her, but DC doesn't know what to do with her. I'm an old Teen Titans fan from the Wolfman/Perez era. I guess that makes me a Nightwing/Starfire shipper. Seems like that ship has sailed tho, and without the titans, I'm done with her.

Ralph Dibny: aka The Elongated Man. Essentially a second-string character who DC invented for when legal matters would preclude them from using Plastic Man. Despite his less than sparkly history, and the fact they used his wife as a plot device in the now infamous "Identity Crisis" I've always liked this character and his wife, and I think even though they're both dead now, there's a lot of meat left on this bird. I like the idea of a Vertigo-like title that deals with DC's after-life. Have the Dibnys be a ghost detective Thin-Man couple. Have Deadman be their whacky neighbor. It'd be a bit like Beetlejuice meets Macmillan & Wife. I'd buy it.

Renee Montoya: She started in the Batman animated series as a throwaway supporting character but turned out to be too intriguing to ignore. If I had to pick one favorite character in this series, it'd be Ms. Montoya. I particularly appreciated how she kicked the habit of smoking cigarettes. The second someone she looked up to admitted he was dying of cancer because he used to smoke, she dropped the cigs cold turkey. I could totally relate. Although, where she ended up was a bit of a yawn climax, watching how she got there was quite a ride. Now she's managed to become DC's latest "Question." Does her story have a future? Would I read a title focusing on her? I'd buy that. Heck, if she weren't gay, I'd hit that.

Batwoman: Only if she's hitting that. This twosome of The Question and Batwoman would definitely bring me back to the comic book store like a drug crazed lunatic. However, would it be Big Batwoman and the lil question, or The Question and her Significant Other? I mean... who's on top? Who wears the pants in this pair? Even if somehow they can prove that this Kane woman has the right to wear the bat insignia, I'd rather they allow the character to find her own shadow rather than hide inside someone else's. What these two really need to do is put in an application with The Oracle.

John Henry Irons & Daughter: Not one of the stronger links in the 52 storyline. They'll have to dig a bit deeper than they have been tho to make it more interesting. Also, I understand that a major reason why John is a superhero and not dead, is cuz Superman once saved him, but still I think he should drop the use of Superman's insignia, and find his own calling card. Also? "Rain of the Supermen" has got to be the worst pun ever in the history of anything. What a groaner. Lex Luthor is now so far beyond redemption to me, I wish I could personally feed him to Black Adam.

Adam Strange: I am so uninterested in this guy I'm not even gonna try to describe who he is in case you don't know. Didn't he fade into obscurity once? Isn't it time he do that again?

Who'd I miss?

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