Oh, for fuck's sake, DC. - The 32nd Flavor
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Oh, for fuck's sake, DC. - The 32nd Flavor
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milkshake_b
milkshake_b
Milkshake Butterfly
Sun, Jun. 12th, 2011 01:09 pm
Oh, for fuck's sake, DC.

So, for the three of you who haven't heard it, DC is doing a reboot again. It's going to be so much bigger and better than the old reboots, and is totally going to save the company, you'll see! It really will work this time!

But anyway, they've been dribbling out their new title information a little bit at a time, and here's one of the most recent nuggets of joy:
"Stormwatch is a dangerous super human strike force whose existence is kept secret from the world. Jack Hawksmoor and the rest of the crew look to recruit two of the deadliest super humans on the planet: Midnighter and Apollo. And if they say no? Perhaps the Martian Manhunter can change their minds. Featuring a surprising new roster, STORMWATCH #1 will be written by the critically-acclaimed Paul Cornell (Superman: The Black Ring, “Dr. Who”) and illustrated by Miguel Sepulveda."

And here's the cover, which appears to be Martian Manhunter, redesigned Apollo*, and redesigned chinspike!Midnighter, despite the fact even the writer keeps saying that's Jack Hawksmoor in the middle. I'm starting to wonder if it's some sort of fucked-up clue, and not a mistake. (More realistically, it was probably Jack in the sketch and an executive decision turned it--hideously--into Apollo sometime after that. Still, it does not bode well.)
Stormwatch Reboot Solicit Cover. Three figures stand around a glowing holographic sphere that may be meant to represent the earth: J'onn J'onzz, looking normal; Apollo, looking like a bad 80s plastic action figure with no hair, a slit nose, and a short-sleeve uniform redesign; and the Midnighter, in a blue, black, and silver uniform redesign featuring lots of metal plates in 'modern' scale patterns and a number of random spikes. There's one on his chin, like a zit.


I have no words for the stupidity of all this. I do have words for the complete lack of mention of any of the ladies thus far. They are not polite ones.

Now, I grant you, if you only know the Authority via fannish osmosis, you may think Apollo and Midnighter compose the whole of the team, but actually it's home to several of my favorite female superheroes, including the Angie, the Engineer, who told her guidance counselor she wanted to be a superhero when she grew up and then made it happen; Jenny Sparks, the smoking, drinking, swearing spirit of the 20th century, who may have been depressed because it was the 80s or may have caused the 80s because she was depressed; and her successor, Jenny Quantum, who has two daddies and cannot be told certain bedtime stories because of her tendency to make them come true. Hell, Jenny Sparks was the one who founded the Authority and recruited Apollo and the Midnighter in the first place, and in the sensible, in-universe reboot which is the one I choose to pay attention to, JennyQ runs the joint after she aged herself up so she could see over the counters to hit people.

So you might think somewhere in the discussion of the new title the question might have at least arisen about "So where's Jenny, who originally done this deal you're now giving to J'onn J'onzz, and who was actually one of the members of the Authority who was in Stormwatch, unlike certain other headlining individuals you have named?" but no. Apollo and Midnighter are in it and still gay, and that's all anybody really cares about, right? (Distressingly, going by quite a large section of fannish reaction, it's true. I can't wait to see what happens when they try to kiss, given Apollo's complete lack of mouth in the design concept. Perhaps that's what the chinspike is for?)

And this is just an Authority fan talking. I don't know what the Stormwatch fans are thinking. I wonder: are there still people looking forward to this reboot? Because every time I run across one, within a day or two DC manages to release some new info that pisses them off, too. I'm starting to wonder if they've actually got someone who really truly believes there is no such thing as bad press.


* For a bonus, check out the next design down. Who looks as Deathstroke and goes "Hmm, needs more spikes"?

Tags: , ,

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wal_lace
wal_lace
A life of dubious virtue.
Sun, Jun. 12th, 2011 05:25 pm (UTC)

My reaction to Deathstroke is always "Needs less Deathstroke", but that's just me.

Beyond that, this is generally a great big what the hell, although Paul Cornell can usually be relied upon to be entertaining. I haven't actually read The Authority in years (has it even been published in the last couple of years? Or is this a resurrection of sorts?), but I recall Jenny Quantum and her two daddies being the best chronologically convoluted family unit in comics. Swift and the Engineer were also awesome.


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azarias
azarias
Two boats and a helicopter.
Sun, Jun. 12th, 2011 06:26 pm (UTC)

has it even been published in the last couple of years?

The entire Wildstorm imprint spent the last few years self-destructing in slow motion. Authority did a soft reboot with Ed Brubaker's Revolution run, which was excellent but didn't stick. The entire Wildstorm universe then did a hard reboot with the Captain Atom crossover, which sucked and was stupid and lead to Grant Morrison miscarrying both Authority and WildCATS and damning THAT reboot to miserable failure. Then they did an even harder universe reboot with the Number of the Beast/World's End story that involved superpowers-go-boom, and fucked if I know how that turned out because by that point I'd given up spending money on these things and I've only pirated the first two issues so far.


ReplyThread Parent
wal_lace
wal_lace
A life of dubious virtue.
Sun, Jun. 12th, 2011 06:41 pm (UTC)

... Well, I suppose it can't get much worse.

Thanks, I guess.


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azarias
azarias
Two boats and a helicopter.
Sun, Jun. 12th, 2011 06:46 pm (UTC)

TBF, somewhere in there was my favorite issue of any comic book ever, but it involved samurai in color-coordinated speedos and I'm not quite socially acceptable in what I find amusing.


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milkshake_b
milkshake_b
Milkshake Butterfly
Sun, Jun. 12th, 2011 08:16 pm (UTC)

The soft reboot was actually really quite good! I wish they had just left it at that. The Captain Atom thing stands as a sort of worrying preview of what's likely to come (DC morality and Wildstorm practicality don't mix well; the line "If you can't kill Nazis, who can you kill?" may have been involved). And the less said about Grant "Uncle Apollo's been shot down over Afghanistan!" Morrison, the better: I snicker now whenever people talk about what a brilliant writer he is and how they're sure this new title of his will rock. Yeah, don't put money on that.


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azarias
azarias
Two boats and a helicopter.
Sun, Jun. 12th, 2011 05:32 pm (UTC)

I'm willing to put actual Internet dollars down on Apollo only being included so that DC can claim progressive cred for having another gay couple, and we'll see him exiled off to wifey land faster than you can say "Chuck Austen."


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misachan
misachan
a riot of confused people
Sun, Jun. 12th, 2011 05:42 pm (UTC)

Oh man, I am all kinds of unhappy about the implication that J'onn would use his powers to...erm, persuade them. No. No no no. And then no again.


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azarias
azarias
Two boats and a helicopter.
Sun, Jun. 12th, 2011 05:47 pm (UTC)

Jack asks him to. J'onn, being a civilized person, opts to grab a pizza and a case of beer and actually try to have a conversation with them rather than a sales pitch.


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misachan
misachan
a riot of confused people
Sun, Jun. 12th, 2011 05:51 pm (UTC)

And the oreos! Very important to the recruiting process!


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milkshake_b
milkshake_b
Milkshake Butterfly
Sun, Jun. 12th, 2011 07:42 pm (UTC)

I'm worried about that, because as counter to J'onn's traditional characterization as it runs, it does seem to slot right in to the stupid edginess that so many people associate with the Authority. (Thanks, Mark Millar.)


ReplyThread Parent
lonelywalker
lonelywalker
lonelywalker
Sun, Jun. 12th, 2011 05:45 pm (UTC)

Apollo and the Midnighter not being de-gayed is the only good thing about this. Seriously... chin spike? o_O


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wal_lace
wal_lace
A life of dubious virtue.
Sun, Jun. 12th, 2011 05:50 pm (UTC)

He's overcompensating because Apollo threatened to dump him if he grew a brotee.


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milkshake_b
milkshake_b
Milkshake Butterfly
Sun, Jun. 12th, 2011 07:14 pm (UTC)

The very odd thing here is--art depending, of course--I don't think Midnighter would look all that bad with a brotee out of costume. In costume is another thing.


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milkshake_b
milkshake_b
Milkshake Butterfly
Sun, Jun. 12th, 2011 07:18 pm (UTC)

I'm impressed by how both the redesigns are hideous, but hideous in different ways. Midnighter's design reeks of "what 40+ executives think 'the kids' like these days" and Apollo's is... is... seriously, he looks like a plastic refugee out of the 80s. And while I can sort of see the point of redesigning Midnighter, given his, um, BDSM-ly approach, I always thought Apollo's costume had the advantage of being simple enough to achieve a certain timelessness. He's one of those people where the spandex is a warning because it lets you see all those muscles on muscles and muscles.


ReplyThread Parent
viciouswishes
viciouswishes
V. Wishes
Sun, Jun. 12th, 2011 11:10 pm (UTC)

WTF? I love the Authority (and have read all their comics, even the really bad ones).

Where are the fucking awesome ladies? You know what I loved about the Authority? That there was only one cisgendered, able-bodied white straight dude on the team at the most at any time.

Also, in the very last Authority issue, Swift became the new Doctor, so she could just be like "fuck this" and fix it back to the old universe.


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azarias
azarias
Two boats and a helicopter.
Mon, Jun. 13th, 2011 06:53 am (UTC)

She did? Damn, I think I'm going to have to actually go buy that arc to read that.


ReplyThread Parent
viciouswishes
viciouswishes
V. Wishes
Mon, Jul. 4th, 2011 07:26 pm (UTC)

Yes, she did. It's a very hit-or-miss arc.


ReplyThread Parent
milkshake_b
milkshake_b
Milkshake Butterfly
Tue, Jun. 14th, 2011 12:22 am (UTC)

WTF? I love the Authority (and have read all their comics, even the really bad ones).

Better than me by far, then. I've been really hit-or-miss: gave up on volume one when Millar, may he have all the things he thinks are hilarious done unto him, apparently decided he didn't actually want to write the team he was given, came back for random arcs of volume two, loved Revolution, and after that was mostly just confused. It's one of those titles that when good is very very good, and when bad should be taken out and shot.


That there was only one cisgendered, able-bodied white straight dude on the team at the most at any time.

And even then, they always had issues, and not just "My Manpain, let me show you it" issues, either. And speaking of those, I wonder how the hell they're going to work Jack's backstory? Midnighter and Apollo's fits in easy (as does Angie's, which is why I keep wondering WHERE THE FUCK IS SHE), but Jack's is a little more esoteric. And if we get either of the Jennys, I imagine the Spirit of Whenever aspect will be totally gone, and god knows what they'll do to their power set. Shen I foresee problems with because of an exec going "We've already got a Hawkwoman," and while you could sort of shove the Doctor into the trenchcoat brigade (with hilarious results), somehow I don't see it happening.

All in all, combining them into mainstream just seems like a very bad idea indeed.


ReplyThread Parent
viciouswishes
viciouswishes
V. Wishes
Mon, Jul. 4th, 2011 07:26 pm (UTC)

apparently decided he didn't actually want to write the team he was given

You picked up on that too? Ugh, I hated that so much. I wanted more Authority stories, not some fake team.

I wonder how the hell they're going to work Jack's backstory?

There has to be some heroes in the DCU that were kidnapped by aliens... Though you'd think the superheroes would stop them...

Yeah, I really don't know how they're going to work in any of the characters who are the spirits of anything: there's the Jennys, the Doctors, Gia, etc. As you go out into the Wildstorm universe, they are very numerous for their other purposes.

Shen I foresee problems with because of an exec going "We've already got a Hawkwoman,"

And she has the added problem of being a woman, and since we can't even have more than one Batgirl...


ReplyThread Parent
lilacsigil
lilacsigil
lilacsigil
Mon, Jun. 13th, 2011 01:01 am (UTC)

If it wasn't Paul Cornell writing, I would be running away from this at high speed. But Cornell *does* include women in his teams, writes them well and doesn't tokenise. So I agree that what we are seeing is a shitty editorial decision, but I will buy the first three issues or so to see what Cornell does with it.


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milkshake_b
milkshake_b
Milkshake Butterfly
Tue, Jun. 14th, 2011 12:25 am (UTC)

I would ask "Is it also an editorial decision for him not to even mention any of the ladies?" but this is DC and I suppose they could be that stupid. I am waiting for more information before I make a definitive decision, but I've noticed more than one writer who had done good stuff before the Authority going to a very bad place when they got their hands on it (*coughGrantMorrisoncoughcough*), so my pessimism, it is great.


ReplyThread Parent
lilacsigil
lilacsigil
lilacsigil
Tue, Jun. 14th, 2011 06:25 am (UTC)

I would ask "Is it also an editorial decision for him not to even mention any of the ladies?" but this is DC and I suppose they could be that stupid

Yes, apparently so! Cornell says on his website that he's not allowed to mention anyone who will be in the series who is not on the cover.


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