Thursday, January 15, 2009
DC I Love You, But You're Bringing Me Down
Dan DiDio, you've been made a fool.
SPOILER ALERT for Final Crisis #6 after the jump...
DC Comics, you blew it! You took your best shot at a mainstream press event since Jason fucking Todd, and you blew it!
Sure you do, cause it was big news! The Death of Captain America! A sad commentary on the Post-9/11 world! Collectors item!
Well, this Wednesday, DC went ahead and killed Batman. That's right, they offed Bruce Wayne, good old crazybrain, everyone's favorite agreived sociopathic hero.
This should, by all rights, be big news. Batman is a huge character. Roughly 17 times as popular as Captain America. And now he's dead. People should be weeping. Remember when Superman died? People were horrified. And at this point, what with the Dark Knight, Batman is a BIGGER, more recognizable character than Superman. He is, perhaps, the MOST FAMOUS comic book character in the world.
How did DC manage to kill the most famous superhero in the world without anyone noticing?
Let me count the ways:
Marvel completely pwned DC this Wednesday, and they didn't even have to try. They simply put out a comic in which Spider-Man meets Obama. It's practically a goof, based on the fact that Obama has said on several occasions he collected Spider-Man comics when he was a kid.
And what happened? Lines out the door! 1st and 2nd printing sold out in hours! ebay auctions for hundreds of dollars! I want to give Joe Quesada a gold medal to wear that says "I KNOW WHAT PEOPLE WANT". America is at a major turning point, and people want to see their cool new future prez fist-bump with Spidey! It's called monitoring the national mood, DC, look into it.
2) Batman CAN'T BE DEAD!
Batman isn't dead - we all know Nolan's third movie is coming out in a few years! Plus I could have sworn I just saw him on Brave and the Bold a few days ago. If you told someone on the street that Batman died on Wednesday, they'd react like you told them Santa Claus died on Wednesday. Batman is too big a character to die - what he does in DC is just a blip on the radar of the American public.
Killing Batman in the comics is admitting that no one at DC could figure out how to make people pick up a Batman comic, DESPITE the fact The Dark Knight was seen by every person in American three times. People who saw the Dark Knight don't want to read about Jason Todd and Tim Drake ("Who??") battling for the cowl. They want to read about Christian Bale's facinating new "dark" take on Batman! Talk about EPIC FAIL.
3) DEATH FATIGUE
DC has killed roughly every single one of their characters in the last few years, including:
The Elastic Man
The Wonder Twins
All The New Gods
That's like half of the Justice League right there.
4) RESURRECTION FATIGUE
DC has brought back roughly every single one of their dead characters in the last few years, including:
The result of all this? NO ONE CARES.
5) Batman's death didn't even happen in his own book.
One might hope that the death of Batman would be the result of a long series of events that reflect the life and themes of the caped crusader. That there might be some sort of, I don't know, EMOTION associated with this character's death.
Nope! Batman dies shooting an evil god alien with a space-gun, thus burning his body to a cinder and sending his alternate self to another multiverse, where he will live out his days in suffering. OMGWTFLOL. So is he even dead? How can we have an emotional reaction to something so convoluted? I would hate to write his eulogy.
I would like to close this rant by saying, I love Grant Morrisson. I don't blame any of this on him. I blame the editors at the top who thought it would be a good idea to have Bruce Wayne die at the end of a immensely complicated "Crisis Event" that was clearly a financial and critical failure from the first few months of it's release. Could they not have just bailed out, and thrown a new ending on? Saved the Batman death for later, when maybe it could evoke some sort of emotion in it's readers other than, "That's it?"
The Death of Batman could have been a heartbreaking story. Batman is a deeply sad character who in many ways, I think, has always longed for death. For retirement. For escape. I'm sure his fans can imagine millions of ways that the Dark Knight could have gone out that would have made them cry their eyes out. But that opportunity is gone now, and can never be regained. Even after Bats gets resurrected, there's no death like the first death. They blew it.
Oh well, there's always fanfic.
PS, the title of this post is taken from a lovely LCD Soundsystem Song. Here is a video of Kermit singing it: