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Comics Portal: DC Comics and Change

comics, Batgirl, Gail Simone, Scott Snyder, Jeff Lemire, DC Comics, Marvel Comics, Curt Swan, Superman

As a “seasoned” reader of comics, I’m pretty used to change. Characters get new costumes or die, writers and artists come and go, titles are renumbered, etc., etc., etc. I’m actually surprised when things that are good actually stay that way!

That said, I’ve always been a big DC Comics fan. I like their heroes and villains, I prefer their perspective on comics, and I applaud creators who take chances. (I think the “New 52” is a prime example of taking a risk and having it work out, especially financially.)

This doesn’t mean they’re perfect or always right, though.

One of the biggest criticisms of DC in the last couple of decades has been that they can’t (or don’t) keep the great creators on their books long enough. Often a team will be going for a year, then a new group of folks will come in, which happens again a year later, and again and again until the comic has lost all of its energy and disappears from comics shops. Sadly, this is a valid criticism from my perspective.

Marvel, on the other hand, seems to be able to keep their successful teams together for decades at a time. (To be fair, DC used to be very good at this in times past. For example, how long did Curt Swan draw Superman? A very long time!)

I recently heard some good news, and that focuses on J.M. DeMatteis joining Phantom Stranger as a co-writer. As much as I like Dan DiDio, Mr. DeMatteis is one of the greats when it comes to writing “extranormal” characters, as I like to call them. This will make my buying Stranger a lot happier! Good call!

comics, Batgirl, Gail Simone, Scott Snyder, Jeff Lemire, DC Comics, Marvel Comics, Curt Swan, SupermanSadly, the other end of the spectrum is exemplified by Gail Simone and Batgirl, as was recently reported and discussed by Samantha Cross here on WordoftheNerdOnline.com.

I have to say that I have appreciated Barbara Gordon as Batgirl since the very first time she donned the black, yellow and blue back in the 1960s. She even used a red purse at that time, in that unenlightened era. (Yes, I’m that old!) I was thrilled when I heard she’d be back in her tights again!

And I was very happy to hear that Gail Simone would be writing her comic. I’ve long been a fan of Ms. Simone’s writing. Besides the fact that she can spin a yarn with the best of them, she’s a woman, and I often say that we don’t have enough female comics characters OR creators in the industry.

And things have been going very well in the title since it started over a year ago, in my opinion.

I was very sorry to hear the news that she’s no longer going to be writing Batgirl.

All this leads to two questions: Will I stop buying Batgirl? Will I stop purchasing Ms. Simone’s work in the future?

The answer to both is, succinctly, no. I’m a fan of each, and I will thus continue to buy Batgirl and will be happy to support Ms. Simone in her future endeavors, wherever they take place.

Sometimes comics are like television in that what happens behind the camera influences what we see on the small screen. I have no idea why Batgirl is being handed to another writer, and I’ll likely never know exactly why.

But I’m too big of a fan of both ladies to give up on either of them.

However, if I have one suggestion to make to DC, it would be, when you find a team that creates a great comic, PLEASE do whatever it takes to keep them on it! I mean, Superman has been on a merry-go-round for his entire time since the “New 52” started.

And whatever Scott Snyder and Jeff Lemire want, for pity’s sake, just give it to them, okay?

About the author

Wayne Hall

4 Comments

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  • I agree completely.

    While I find what they did to Gail to be really rude; the fact she’s open to more DC projects and is admonishing “fans” for sending death threats shows she’s a class act.

    There are a lot of great things about the New 52; problem is it get drowns out by all the bashing.

    • The New 52 has been a big success, but not with everyone. I understand when people who have invested (and expected a big return from) comics for the last 20 years. I’m a reader by nature, so all I care about is a good story, and I think the New 52 has delivered in that department. 🙂

  • I am a fan of DeMatteis as well, or at least what he did with Giffen when they wrote the JLI stories in the 80s and 90s. They were a great team. And they were on that series for about five or six years, an almost unheard of amount of time for comic teams these days.

    You’re right, writers aren’t allowed often to stay on books for long enough amounts of time, which saddens me. Why aren’t as many folks allowed enough time to really carve out a tone and identity for their books? Why are they yanked off so frequently, even they’re doing a good job?

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