Tuesday, July 29, 2008


Well, a lot of news has come out of San Diego this week. For me, the biggest news (at least in the DC Universe) is the folding in to the DCU of the Milestone and Archie superheroes.

On the one hand, I think this to be a very good thing. More superheroes usually equals better. But part of me finds itself mysteriously skeptical. Which is strange, considering that previous fold-ins have been more or less successful. Though the degree of success does vary...

The Charlton characters have probably been the biggest success in that sense. It took a while, but Blue Beetle, the Question, and Captain Atom have been fully integrated into the DC Universe. And they, along with their compatriots, have had huge roles in a lot of DC's recent events. Blue Beetle kicked off Infinite Crisis, the Question played a huge role in 52, and Captain Atom went crazy and tried to kill the multiverse in Countdown(though we won't talk about that).

Now, whatever you may think of these storylines (they killed two of the characters and made the third crazy) you can't deny that the Charlton characters have vital, important roles in the DC Universe. The question is, can the Archie and Milestone characters make the same jump? Can they become players in the DCU?

I think they can, if handled well. DC has, in recent years, been very good about making use of everything in their toolbox. Hell, Geoff Johns alone'll probably add half these new characters to the JSA...



At 2:24 PM, Blogger The Blot said...

While it is sad what they've recently done to the Charlton heroes, I really loved the way they were brought into the DCU proper and how DC used them in the ‘90s and ‘00s. I have a feeling the Milestone characters will be integrated without a hitch, but I worry about the way DC plans on back the Archie superheroes.

Doing it through issues of The Brave and the Bold sounds like kind of a cop out and I don’t have high hopes for it. Can’t we just make the Impact universe Earth 44?

At 2:38 PM, Blogger Diamondrock said...

I think you're right that it'll be much easier to integrate the Milestone characters into the DCU. They mostly have a basis in the modern day (more or less).

As far as I can tel, most of the Archie characters have their genesis in the Golden Age. Something that is trickier to just plop into the universe. The only way they'll be able to pull it off is through freezing or time travel or a magic forget spell or something.

And that's all been done.

At 12:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Look, I'd love to see stories featuring the Archie Heroes (for a moment I thought you meant Pureheart the Powerful and Cptain Hero). Flygirl looks great, and for some reason I have an intense, homoerotic memory of the Jaguar.

And I enjoyed Milestone quite a lot, and would love to see all the characters return.

But in the DCU? On New Earth? That place is already suffering from such massive superhero overcrowding that it begins to look like issues of Normalman. Superheroes date superheroes, marry superheroes, are the children and grandchildren of superheroes, mistake superheroes for other superheroes, and can't swing a cat without hitting a superhero. Nobody has room to breathes, and they particularly don't have room to develop. Every issue is massive overload guest-star city. And there's no coherence to the shared universe at all.

I'm particularly disappointed, from a storyline point of view, to imagine the whole Milestone universe shoved into a corner of the DCU. One of the points of Milestone was to create an entire fictional setting that had its own tone, its own history, its own iconic (you'll excuse the expression) characters. The character Icon is, basically, Superman seen through the unique Milestone lens. He and Superman do not belong in the same universe. (Any more than Superman and Captain Marvel ever had.)

Put them in a parallel universe? Sure. Have them, very rarely, cross the dimensional barriers and interact? Oh, if you MUST. But shmush them all into the same universe, along with the Fawcett characters, the Charleton characters, Earth-1 and Earth-2? That's just more of a mess than we already have.

I grew up on The Lord of the Rings and Star Trek. I loved them both. But I never wanted to read a story by JRRT in which Kirk, Spock, and McCoy beam down to help Sam's daughter fight the son of Sauron. That's not Middle-Earth; that's fanfic.

Nothing the matter with fanfic, of course, but there should be something more essential on which it is based. All comics today are becoming nostalgia-driven, post-modern fanfic. Really, it's all too easy - just keep throwing characters at the wall and see what sticks. Result: big messy wall. And nobody's minding the store.

Mixed metaphor, I know. But mixin's all the rage these days.


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