Monday, June 06, 2011

Disappointment

I'm not sure that this is what I wanted from the DC relaunch.

I say relaunch because it's pretty clear now that this is not a complete and total reboot. A reboot I could have handled; like the Silver Age, the DCU would begin anew in a different way.

But that's not what's happening. This is no clean slate. This is nothing different from any other Crisis. A few things are going to get changed and some things will be back to the status quo. For me it was all or nothing; I don't want another half-assed reboot.

Last week I said I'd be okay with Barbara Gordon becoming Batgirl again. When I said that I meant it in a very specific way. I meant that if they turned back the clock and de-aged everybody then I'd be okay with it.

But I was wrong. Earlier today I read Jill Pantozzi's Op-Ed on Newsarama. I'm a fan of Ms. Pantozzi's articles. We seem to have similar tastes in comics, and I often find myself nodding along with the things she writes. Reading Ms. Pantozzi's most recent Op-Ed gave me perspective on Barbara Gordon that I'd never considered before.

I don't need more people like me in comics. I'm a boring middle-class white guy. There are dozens -- hundreds -- of characters like me in the DCU. Which is why I was so enthused about the idea of adding characters that could serve to make the DCU look more like the real world -- by adding people who aren't like me. More female characters, gay and lesbian characters, characters of different ethnic backgrounds and religions. I wanted to see characters like that in my comics.

And as Ms. Pantozzi put so eloquently in her article, Barbara Gordon as Oracle served as an heroic example of a group of people who seem to be sadly overlooked. I can't really speak to it myself, and can't do what she said justice. So I recommend you go read her editorial.

I doubt you'll ever see this, Ms. Pantozzi. But if you do I want you to know how much of an effect your Op-Ed had on me. It was like a punch in the gut -- a wake up call that I think a lot of people need. You said that Barbara needs to stay as Oracle so that the DCU can be a diverse place. She needs to stay there for everyone. And you're right.

This is not the "bold new direction" I was hoping for.

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3 Comments:

At 12:55 AM, Blogger The Nerdy Bird said...

Thank you very much. :)

 
At 1:41 PM, Blogger Diamondrock said...

Thank you for writing that op-ed (and for taking the time to read a post on my little blog).

I've been a big fan of Gail Simone and her work at DC for quite a long time. She's done some great stuff with Barbara Gordon, the Birds of Prey, and the Secret Six. But I'm not going to be able to bring myself to buy her new Batgirl series.

I just hope some of the people at DC read your op-ed... And that it has the same effect on them that it did on me.

 
At 3:32 PM, Blogger Eric G said...

There's a brewing group that agrees with how you feel about Batgirl. Come do something about it with us.

Barbara's Not Broken
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Barbaras-Not-Broken/216306118404228?sk=info

Give Batgirl the Chair
http://www.bleedingcool.com/2011/07/17/give-batgirl-the-chair-by-eric-glover/

 

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