jueves, 20 de diciembre de 2012

The Top Ten Worst Retcons of The New 52

Last year i made a list of the best and worst DC comics of 2011 and i was thinking of repeating that, but the thing is I already did another list of the best and worst of the first year of the relaunch, and i really feel like there is nothing essential that i can add to either of those lists.
So I decided on a new one that might be more interesting
The Top Ten best and worst Retcons of the Relaunch.

I have to admit that I have disliked certain aspects of the relaunch but one of the worst of all is the retcons, some had been good and some had been bad and on some cases it doesnt matter if the book is good or bad in turn

So I Have read mostly all of DC comics since the relaunch came on and a ton of other comics before that, and here i present a list of changes that I really hated in this new Universe


10- Jason Todd Trained by Monks.


I really love Jason Todd, I think he is a character with a ton of potential, he is the robin that went bad, that's a classic trope but is very well carried out on Judd Winick's Under the Hood, both on comic form and on the animated movie its just a great story for the character. But if there is a major flaw for this character is that DC Editorial has NO IDEA, what to do with him.
Look for example Ed Brubaker's Winter Soldier saga, which shows a lot of parallels to Jason's story, the reason why Brubaker had a huge success with this story is cause he knew where he was going, he planned the beginning, the middle and the end and he follows them, while with Jason its obvious that Winick had a plan and the editorial had another one, and another one, and another one
and this is the perfect example of a bad retcon, just a change that is made cause you have no idea where to go or how.
less than a year before the relaunch DC launched a miniseries name Red Hood: The Lost Years, written by Judd Winick no less
which detailed the entire travel of Jason to train and become Red Hood.
because of this comic and the animated film that came before it one would expect that the new 52 will have the same origin with a few revises
instead what we have is that after being revived Talia Al Ghul send him to a temple to train and become a super ninja
why? what is the point of making this connection?

It just makes no sense to take this path cause after all Jason has always been a character that is kind of a street level vigilante, being part of a secret cult that protect the world makes no sense and detracts from his entire backstory

The reasoning of Jason to Train is because when he revives he realizes that Bruce way is wrong, he trains not to fight evil but to destroy evil and finally take revenge against Bruce for letting the Joker live after his death.
If this is made to serve a point is to make Jason from an antihero to a hero again, but it doesnt work
DC cannot even decide themselves on his hair color much less if he should be a villain or a hero or an antihero and this is the example of a good idea that turns to nothing for way too many rewrites and to much indisposition,.

9- The Amazons are a Race of Rapists and Murderers.


I have to say that I love Brian Azzarello's Wonder Woman, its full with a very unlikely energy and just brilliant ideas all over it, but this is not one of those
basically the origin of the amazons is that they are no longer immortal(at least im assuming this) so they go outside of Themisira every 3 decades or so to have a big orgy and breed the next generation of Amazons, the boys are sold into slavery
Now the idea of the entire run of Azzarello is to play with Wonder Woman as it was a Greek Myth, and there are certain myths that can back this up, but there are many different other myths on amazons that divert from this.

But my biggest problem with this is, what is the point of this?

this just basically vilify the entire race of the Amazons, which maybe would be an interesting aspect to explore, If the Amazons actually do anything in the book, but they arent, they all were turn into snakes in an earlier chp, so this entire theme of just tainting the race doesnt seem to have end, or at least want that can come soon, it is very possible that it will be explored down the line but it still doesnt feel right
The original story of the amazons in WW is basically establish as a means of female empowerment, this is basically going 180 on that basic idea, making them monsters and savages in all the sense of the word but what is really weak of this retcon is that It has a massive plothole on it and that is that Wonder Woman had no idea of this evil backstory, how is that even possible, one would assume that if she is an amazon then all amazons should know about their own culture, that is part of her own education and one would expect that her being the princess of the Amazons then she would be the first in line for the next orgyrapeparty and would be prepared for that.
so on one side, is a pretty gruesome idea, and the fact that it was a secret makes no sense at all

8- NO JL:GL.


Justice League: Generation Lost is one of the finest superhero books i have read, its just a great with great characters and a great villain, Maxwell Lord returns to life and erases his presence from the entire world and only a selected group of heroes can stop him, it cannot have more basic of a premise but its execution is just masterful, so the story end in an pic cliffhanger like this one
there is no one who wouldnt get hype, that unless that entire storyline lead to absolutely nowhere
which is what happen.
Justice League International is by far the most disappointing title of the new 52, it just destroys all that character development achieve on every single one of their characters like Booster Gold, over the course 5-6 years Booster Gold build himself up into a great and awesome hero and that is gone, and developments of the maxiseries like Ice, Fire and Rocket are just left behind and unceremoniously removed from the book, all the relationships between them just gone.
It is just a real shame, so much potential, so many possibilities and all gone

7- Green Arrow's Guilt Trip.


Green Arrow is just like JLI one of those properties that got the treatment of a 100% reboot, the result left a lot to be desire and personally i now detest the character, he seems to have lost every single thing that made him interesting in the first place, but for me the worst part is his new Origin.

Everyone who knows GA knows his origin, he is a jerk, he ends up in an island and he becomes less of a jerk and decide to be a hero.

It is very simple but Issue 0 decided to give an extra weight to that origin.

so he has a party in the most inconvenient place possible and then the place is attacked by cyborg pirates, so he decides to play hero and gets everyone killed.
I dont really think i need to point anything here, it is very easy to understand.

6- Lobo, a generic alien invader.


Deathstroke by Rob Liefeld is an abomination on the new 52, Hawkman or Grifter had cons and pros on their own but Deathstroke is without a doubt the worst that DC can offer and no other character suffer worst than Lobo.
The story itself is just very confusing cause it seem to be made by a bunch of entangling ideas that doesnt really connect on anyways
for example, Lobo is being captured for years and then released, and his first act is to go after the guy who locked in, but he doesnt do that, he instead plan to blow up a bomb that will destroy the entire planet, this 2 arent the same plot, is not like he is taking revenge by killing humanity, he planned on killing 1 guy and then he said forget that lets destroy earth for Lols.

what is even more confusing is that he is suppose to be The Last Czarnian, and he is refer as the last Czarnian in the comic
but he is not the last one cause he has a girlfriend who is also Czarnian.

the story is stupid and the character just generic and uninteresting, quite a change for the guy who once fought on par with Atrocious and Solaris only to be defeated by a bomb from deathstroke

5- Helena Bertinelli is Dead

No need for details, this one is a real tragedy, I think that World's Finest is a pretty bad comic but I believe that the idea of Helena Wayne can have a certain potential for some very interesting stories, but Bertinelli was that version of the character that everybody knew, loved and respected, Helena Berinelli is the Iconic Huntress, by saying that she is effectively gone you are just saying that this new persona of Helena Wayne has nothing to do with her, so you are losing every single fan of Bertinelli with this move.
The Problem is very simple, why cant we have both?

4- Batman recruits Jason after catching him stealing drugs.


Redhood and the Outlaws #0 presents a tons of retcons that imply that the Joker was behind every single aspect of Jason's life, which makes absolutely no sense, but they can perfectely be explained by an Unreliable narrator, since it shows Joker confesing all of this, it felt like a deadpool comic where he just breaks the 4th wall to tell a joke, so it cannot be taken seriously.
but this retcon is different
In my Mind there are only 3 really important stories in Jason's continuity, How he died, How he returned and How he became Robin, and that last one is not something easy to forget or dismiss.
It follows a very funny comic book like logic in which a young kid sees the Batmovile and decide to steal from it and because of a certain circumstances, it work
Winick did a marvelous job with that same funny idea in Batman 645
This is a good retcon, an easy explanation to how an event happen
compare it to the original
and lets see Nightwing Year One
its a little different but Stealing the Batmovile's is still part of the origin
and now the new origin
Well, It just there
I mean in the original car sequence, it makes a mark, not only in the readers but on Batman, here he is just a random thief and he Leslie just tells him, yeah thats robin material
I dont get it

It is not that this particular origin is bad, but is uneventful and unmemorable compared with the iconic car theft, It needed to be equal or better and it failed

3- Danny saves Barbara's Life and other retcons on TKJ.


I Love The Killing Joke, its one of the best written batman books, and one of the things that really calls my attention of it is that is compltely solid, there are no holes, it just a terrible event happen, we get a story about that, and there is no questions about it.

In TKJ, Joker shots Barbara and when he leaves a friend of Barb name Collen Reese finds her and calls the police, its just that simple there is no hole, there is nothing to add or substract from it.
So I really do not get the point of retcon it like this which does nothing but poking holes on TKJ to make a progression in the story.

it tries to be emotional but it is not, we get a throwaway character who means nothing to us to die and get a redemption by death but such redemption accomplishes nothing.
But the worst part is that it just soils the entire idea of Barbara's shooting, she didnt survived, she was saved and by this guy, really? and Why? just because he felt like going against the Joker and call the police for no reason, it makes no sense.

the issue also establishes that Jim Gordon was never in the room when she was shot which that sole fact is just unforgivable, it focuses the entire point of The Killing Joke into Barb getting injured and thats just misses the point of the rest story, it literally transforms her injury into a very stupid punchline, she was a victim before, but now she is defined Just as a victim, and nothing else
It is just completely unnecessary, it adds nothing to the story and just makes another story looks worse and made less sense.
That is the definition of a bad retcon.

2- Catwoman's Origin.


Catwoman is a character that has had a ton of different origins for years, personally my favorite was Dark Victory origin which makes her into the secret daughter of Carline Falcone, she has a tone and a personality that defines her origin not the other way around.

and then we have Catwoman Issue 0 by Ann Nocenti which pretty much mixes up a ton of origins of Catwoman culminating in the Batman Returns Origin.
It really feels like Nocenti had absolutely no sense of originality, that she just couldnt come up with her own idea for Catwoman and had to copy a movie that is not even that good.
It just blows my mind that editor read this and just said "yeah its ok"
I dont get it, Why would you do that?

This origin worked ok in the twisted world of Tim Burton where the penguin has trained penguins with rockets on their backs but in the new 52 you would expect a serious story

The origin is not only stupid, it makes the character look bad, it is the origin of a weak minded woman who is a lousy thief and then her motivations change because she thrown off a building and she is licked by cats, It just fails on every possible level.

1- Tim Drake, Never a Robin, Never Tim Drake.


There is a problem with DC editors.
I wouldnt mind if they just get bad ideas a roll with them until they cant roll anymore, but thats not what happen, they get an idea and implement it and then they say "you know what, i have another idea" which contradicts the first one, I have seen people blame Scott Lodbell, but Scott Snyder made the exact same "mistake" of calling Tim Drake a former Robin.

The thing goes like this, because of that dumbass idea of the 5 year compression which is suffocating the entire continuity of the new 52 we had to have a very short and compressed period of time in which Tim Drake was Robin and then became Red Robin in no more than 2 years, but instead of that some high editor of DC snore this LOT of cocaine and then thought "Hey, what if Tim Drake was just Red Robin all along" and the other guys were like "yeah whatev" but someone either forgot to tell the writers or desicion was made later so we had panels which name Tim as robin and they all were, "nah we fix it later"

ok im joking, but this is a serious problem the starts at the very top of DC and sends a sh*tstorm raining down all the other books and you can see it many other examples but the basic problem of this retcon goes with this:


let me explain
Tim Drake has been Robin for almost 20 years, he is the robin of an entire generation, hell maybe 2, he has been portray in multiple media including the recent Young Justice Cartoon and he is basically the most important figure of the so called 3rd generation heroes, he is the new leader of the Teen Titans and you can bet that when DC relaunched the title they avoided giving him his own title cause they want TT to be that Tim Drake book.
so now this retcon is coming on and saying that he wasnt Robin, now i will ask Why?, but i do know the reason
The reason is very simple, Damian Wayne is Robin now and Tim is Red Robin, by making Tim retroactively into always Red Robin it tries to boost the presence of the brand of Red Robin as a character
the problem with this is that it doesnt mean anything, with this i mean that being red robin from the beginning accomplishes nothing cause he is still a robin, he is still for all practical purposes the same thing, the same costume, the same interaction with batman, the only difference is the name
so if this change will make such meaningless and almost inconsequential effect
Red Robin is not just another costume, is the evolution and pinnacle of 20 years of stories, what the Nightwing means for Dick Grayson, is what Red Robin means for Tim Drake, is that next step for him where he says "I am no longer robin, i am my own man" by removing that transition you are basically removing all the character development and at the same time pissing off the fans of the character, cause he was Robin for years, for many he is still The Robin, by taking that away from him you making him something less, or at least giving us the perception that he is less.

The issue itself of Teen Titans #0 is actually not bad, it is by no means equal to "A lonely place to die" but is enjoyable and shows a lot of good ideas that makes the new story of Tim Drake work, but retconning his name and his identity just serve absolutely no purpose to anyone, otherwise why are Jason Todd and Dick Grayson robins but not him, you gain nothing with this and in theory you lost nothing either but changes parameters to result in an effect that no one desires.

End of Blog Post

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