Monday, April 18, 2011

Forever Changed?

Okay, let's try and get back in the saddle. It's been a while since I engaged in regular posting. This is a combination of my recent trip to Princeton, the approaching end of the semester, and the sudden onset of a really nasty cold.

I'd like to say that all of that is in the past, but it's really not. The end of the semester (and term paper due dates) gets closer with every day and I'm still doped up on cold medicine. That said...

Flashpoint isn't really going to change anything. They say that it will. They've pulled out the same old tired trope: "It will change everything you think you know about the DCU... Forever!"

Now here's the thing: it may in fact change the DCU. In fact, I'm pretty sure that it will. And it might even last for a little while. But if there's anything that recent years have taught us it's that nothing stays changed forever.

Remember when they depowered Superman or did away with Kryptonite? How'd that work out? How about the irrevocable death of Barry Allen? Some of these things may have taken effect for a long time. After all, it took them decades before they brought back Barry Allen. But they did.

Here's why: super-hero comics have a very limited fan base. You know it and I know it. We're a small (and diminishing) audience. Super-hero comic companies have reached the point where they're no longer trying to find a new audience (outside of the occasional film-going crossover). Instead they're just largely fighting over the percentage of the existing audience.

This existing audience is by and large not young. In fact, it's mostly the same age as the people who are writing these comics. It is an industry driven by nostalgia more than anything else. Risk-taking is not encouraged.

But risk-taking does happen, and Flashpoint is in example. If only because it is risk-taking in a completely safe way. When it's an "alternate universe" or "time paradox" the writers are free to do whatever they want. Because at the end of the day it's very easy pull a string and unravel everything back to the way it started.

I'm not entirely sure what Flashpoint is going to be about. I'm actually kind of excited about reading it. But I don't hold out a whole lot of hope that things will be "changed forever."

But then, I'm as super-hero fan. I'm not sure I'd want that even if it did happen...



At 2:59 PM, Blogger SallyP said...

Good point. And I am as guilty of wallowing in super-heroic nostalgia as any fanboy, because all I REALLY want is to have all my dead darlings back from the JLI hell into which they have been unceremoniously condemned!

But I guess I'll read some of Flashpoint, and enjoy it for what it can be. I actually did like Age of Apocalypse way back when.

And I think I have caught your cold.



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