Sibley Put: Change Is In the Air; Stupid, Stupid Change

June 3, 2011

‘Sibley Put’ is where Josh Sibley, real American hero, boldly and unabashedly dissects the hot-button issues of modern video gaming and its surrounding culture. Everything he says is to be taken as personally as possible, so get those brows ready for some serious-ass furrowing. You babies.

I don’t really want to talk a lot about this, because there’s very little to go on, but DC Comics just announced that they’re going to relaunch pretty much everything at number one in September, de-age all their heroes, and have Jim Lee redesign about fifty dudes. They’re also announcing that they’re delivering digital versions of their comics the same day as the actual print versions. My first thought was “Great! Just in time for no one to read them!”

That’s not true though, I’m just being snarky. The truth of the matter is that this is an awful, boring, and most of all utterly un-needed summer revamp. The main problem with this is that the DC universe, for probably the first time in its 76 year history, doesn’t need a drastic overhaul to not be utterly stupid and untenable. DC comics have only just gotten to be readable in the last decade. Johns has done painstaking work over the last ten years to make just about every corner of the DCU not stupid, and he’s largely succeeded. He even fixed Hawkman for Christ’s sake.

To throw that all away because of the old “we want younger heroes for a younger generation” thing, to me, is much like going, “I would like to trade you this car I assembled from scratch that travels through time for a 2012 Civic.” Johns himself is smack in the middle of his epic Green Lantern saga. Like, right in the middle of it. This makes me think that there’s something more going on behind the scenes, something that some suit at Warner came down from on high to mandate. Rumor has it that it’s due to the lawsuits that Warner is (supposedly) losing over rights to Superman, and this is their hail mary to make him different enough to make the lawsuits moot (but I must stress, that’s just a rumor I’ve heard).

Stan Lee proved with the death of Bucky and the creation of the almost sidekick-less Marvel universe that younger readers don’t give a shit about the relative age of their heroes. To do this to DC is especially retarded, because half their fucking universe is already minors. They’ve got an entirely separate Justice League for the little versions of the big DC heroes, and that’s just one of their many teams comprised of people born after cassettes died. The only reason people would read Robin over Batman is if Robin was a well written book and Batman was a piece of shit (which is a distinct possibility).

Both the DC and the Marvel universes are, at their core, stories about incredible, special people. People who are the pinnacle of human (or whatever) achievement. Reed Richards can stretch, sure, but at his core he’s the smartest mind that humanity has ever produced. He creates miracles daily. Bruce Wayne has trained and molded himself into a genius on multiple levels and is driven like no other person on the planet. Hal Jordan was chosen out of everyone on earth because of his willpower and bravery in the face of danger.

If you de-age these people to 20 or whatever, then you’ve basically given me a planet full of gods that are bad at their jobs. Or, if they are good at their jobs, then you’ve obliterated what little suspension of disbelief I have left to give. at twenty, the only thing I had a firm grasp on and years of experience doing is jerking off, and I don’t care how gifted you are, that’s almost universal. 21 year-olds are naive and stupid. If you’re telling me this is an entire universe of ones that aren’t, well you’ve just asked me to believe that you’re writing tales of the Doogieverse, where everyone’s a child prodigy but in a fun, hip way. That’s utterly, utterly childish.

Tony Stark’s entire character revolves around him growing out of being a young but gifted douchebag (Yes I realize he’s Marvel, but I’m illustrating a point here). Hal’s character works because he’s had a full life of youthful grab-ass and has the universe opened up to him. Ollie’s hardly even a character if you take away his cynical, aged worldview. Take the years of experience out of Clark, and he’s a doe-eyed, naive idiot. Stories of young heroes finding their legs can be fun, but again, if you like those takes, there’s literally a kid version of each of these people to give you just that. The only way that I would ever be on board for this is if because the main heroes are so young, all these stupid kid heroes like Impulse and Superboy are erased from existence.

Aside from all of that, I’ve seen stunts like this at least five times before and they never stick. The only “world changing events” that have ever stuck and mattered were Crisis on Infinite Earths because it was the first one and Civil War because it dealt with a ground level event and an ideological split. It was story driven, not gimmick driven.

Also, Jim Lee is the only artist from the 90’s that I’ll give a pass to, but please– have literally anyone else but him re-design the DC universe. As good as he is, he still cut his teeth on 90’s design. His revamps for DC Universe didn’t exactly blow my balls back.

There’s the digital comics thing, too, but that’s almost a no-brainer. I’m sure there’s some nerds out there who are like THIS IS THE DEATH OF PRINT COMICS but those people are invalid as far as I’m concerned. If game magazines are still around, print comics will be fine.

My prediction is that by mid-winter, at the latest, this will all be reversed and a bad memory.

For further reading, check out Comics Alliance’s comprehensive breakdown of the situation and predictions of how this might impact the rest of the mainstream comics industry: [link]

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2 comments on “Sibley Put: Change Is In the Air; Stupid, Stupid Change

  1. It’s rare that I “fully” agree with you on any subject, but with the new DC reboot, I completely agree with you. DC is going to mess everything up if they go through with this new “younger” reboot approach.

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  2. I didnt know dc was planning on a universe wise reboot until I read this article. I hope it goes well for them, but I think the youth movement will be a flop.

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