Dear DC Comics,
I would like to congratulate you on your recent announcement of “Rebirth”. Once again you have taken the geek websites by storm and set your fans, both current and lost, atwitter or better yet to Twitter with their thoughts and feelings. While I am one of your lost readers, I am not writing to you as a hopeful fan but more a concerned wife.
You see I have a geek husband. This is a man who has branded his body with hero logos of both legendary champions such as Green Lantern and forgotten brave men such as Blue Beetle (Ted Kord). Like so many other fans out there he has hung on to every glimmer of hope that you will hear his quiet pleas and bless his favorite characters with a series. He buys trade after trade. He tracks down and chases paper which contains pieces of his childhood – stories that made him fall in love with comics. He preaches the word of DC Comics to his children, friends and family – trying to convince them that what was once great can be great again. That love and dedication to the history of comics is something that can comfort you when you’re a child and the bullies are at your door. This is the man I married. In fact our wedding ceremony and our wedding vows contained both lines from some of our favorite comics. While our relationship started with the question “Are you a DC or Marvel fan?” It has moved on to conventions, cos-play and even our son being named after a DC character.
All this said, over the 10 plus years I have been with this man, I have watched him be crushed time and time again by your empty promises that the heroes he has loved over the years will come back to their glory. I have seen the same excitement of past announcements go from purchasing about everything you print monthly to barely picking up a DC comic. He has been driven to the small screen in hopes that B and C list heroes that the mainstream public won’t know will appear as a little gift for the long time comic fans. Rather than taking to the newsstand for new stories or the faded Xerox copies of your once great Titans, he dives into his long boxes until you set the fans ablaze with a new proclamation.
With the release of New 52, I stopped reading my favorite titles. I watched titles I had read for years fall from my pull one by one. Characters lost their moral compasses, their compassion and took to becoming late night Skinamax driven story-lines. My husband read on. He was your herald on his geek podcast, while others mocked him (hell I mocked him). With giving your creators the freedom to do what they wanted with characters which had 75 years of history with no repercussions you lost one of the most important things – the legacy. Heroes who had been around for years, mentored the next generations of supers and who had laid down lives for the Earths you erased with a single email were wiped out forever. Would it be okay to wipe out the heroes of WWII, “The Greatest Generation” so that the heroes of today could be said to be the first, to be the first to lead the fight against evil, to be said to be the first to lay down their lives, to be the first to be defeated or tempted? Then why should the heroes that graced your pages and were the foundation of the great DC Empire be just blown away like dust? Isn’t it said that “with great power comes great responsibility”? Wasn’t your responsibility to honor those, not erasing them. Still my husband read on, hanging on the fringes of the DCU, hoping that you would remember your roots.
In late 2014, just in time for the holidays you announced Convergence. The announcement was full of pretty tinsel, ribbons and bows. Even a little Blue and Gold (if you know what I mean). It was like being promised a puppy for Christmas and waking up to a stuffed animal under the tree. Yes, you did just that – you didn’t deliver once again. While you returned the multiverse to your fans you left it there to rot like the Hall of Doom in the swamp – empty. You left it there for your fans, a shell of the old DC Universe. The characters that graced your series remained unconnected to the humanity they were trying to save. Is it possible that you feel the new generation of comic readers is just as disconnected with humanity as well?
My heart grows darker with each new press release. I understand bottom lines, financial reports and analysis, though that is at the heart of each decision even if you believe it’s a creative one – you need to see the bigger picture. It’s the longtime fans that will introduce the next generations to comics. While television series will end and the geek bubble will burst at some point the father that hands his daughter a comic for the first time or the mother that insists to a teacher that reading a graphic novel is just as good as writing a chapter books are those who will keep DC Heroes alive for another 75 years.
This evening I watched my husband, your constant reader, read each small tease, bounce in his chair as he watched Geoff Johns’ press release video on the edge of his seat and proclaim that you had even heard my quiet pleas to give my personal favorite characters their own series. I can only hope that he is not being lead to the prom only to have a bucket of blood dumped over his head once again. He along with thousands of other fans won’t stand for another empty promise. They won’t take a tumble in the backseat by the dashboard light without some honest commitment from you for much longer. There are other comic companies who are ready to stand up and put a ring on it if you can’t.
Still he stands outside your offices with his boom box held high over his head. He is serenading you, as a hopeless fan who loves his legendary characters, who loves what so many other fans love – their heroes. Give them back their heroes in all their glory and you will find they will give you your glory back as well.
Love (I hope to again),
A Concerned Wife