By Zur_En_Arrh Comments
Has everyone read the Should There Be More Cohesion in the New DC Universe? article by Tony Gurrero yet? If not its right here http://www.comicvine.com/news/off-my-mind-should-there-be-more-cohesion-in-the-new-dc-universe/144077/, read it then come back.^^
Okay read it? Good. When i first read it I thought something was missing...then I read it again and felt almost insulted, then I read it again and decided someone wasn't seeing the forest for the trees. This mythical cohesion talked about through most of the article DOESN'T EXIST and if it did...everyone would be btiching about it. Let me extrapolate...
The problem (for me) with this article's argument is it assumes cohesion was ever a large part of the DC universe. Even before the new 52 we had characters jumping the shark left and right, acting one way in their comic much different in another, different writers, artists, and story-lines made for a mix mash of motivations, inner voices, and morals.
This isn't a problem with DC comics, its a "problem" that plague ALL comic book universes large enough to have multiple people writing on the same character simultaneously. This isn't new; or did anyone else think Battle for the Cowl felt sounded, and looked NOTHING like Batman R.I.P even though it was the next chronological event. Flash's history and motivations were in constant flux, and the Darkest Night event (while still one of my favorites) changed many characters motivating factors and inner voices. (Though I might argue it changed many for the better)
Comic books exist in constant flux, they are pieces of over-arching stories, told and retold through the minds of literally hundreds of individuals and as such will never be 100% cohesive. But let's hold up one cotton-picking second and ask ourselves something. Right now, look in the mirror and ask yourself this 52 dollar question...Would we really want a totally cohesive comic book universe?
Think about it. No loose ends, one continuous story-line, no resets, false deaths, or sudden change in mood.
Ignoring the positively ridiculous amount of organization, continuity adjustment, and general chaos such a status quo would require; it would suck! Furthermore, and far more importantly, it would be boring. I DON'T want every character stuck in the same story, I don't want them to all have to interact with each other all the time, and every confrontation they have send tremors through every other book I read. Maybe batman spends his weekends helping out the Justice League International, maybe he did that one summer last year, it doesn't need to take away from my enjoyment of his struggle with the court of Owls in Gotham, or his strained relationship with his son, or even his on again off again relationship with catwoman. Its COMICS! I can enjoy them all at once, is one storyline more important then another in my mind? Sure is! Does that mean i can't enjoy each for their own merits? Of course not!
Answer me this? When did comic books become about how many issues do I need to collect (and by extension how many more books I was never interested in am I going to be forced to read) to get one gosh-darn story finished? When did it become essential to throw the ENTIRE set of a single company's comic line out of whack for the sake of one year long story destined to endanger everything, but largely have no result other than frustrate the fans of the individual books? (Marvel, I am looking at you very hard right now)
Put it another way, do I want to read about a world-spanning tragedy every couple of months, or do I want to get back to reading about my favorite character's exploits? Is every year in comics supposed to be a bombastic family reunion or can we spend some time (please!) with our favorite characters walking outside, saving the world, getting on with their lives and for gods sake save something other than the eternal cosmos for a change?
Don't get me wrong, a Crisis is pretty cool...if it comes in a decade or so. Every year? Really?
Are we not done with the annual events yet? Can we not finally settle down and have some adventures focused on the characters I actually picked the book up to read? Do I really want Superman popping up and ruining all of the weaker heroes stories with his immense collection of superpowers? (for all intents and purposes between him and The Flash there should never be another reason for someone to put on a cape!)
The new 52 has given me 52 separate stories that in many places interlock or reference other comics, but remain on the whole their own enjoyable story line(s) honestly, this is what I've been waiting for, a chance to settle down and let each comic book character stand on their own and voices their own strengths, rather than wait to see them all fight head to head to head to head against ANOTHER galaxy-threatening crisis.
Not every comic book needs to be an epic Lord Of The Rings saga; I want personable stories of good vs evil, (Batman or batman and Robin, Cpatian Atom) magical tales of far flung worlds or powerful organizations (Green Lantern, Stormwatch) horrific tales of things that go bump in the night, (Swamp Thing, Animal Man, I vampire) fun team books, with superhero crews doing their thang (Justice league International, Teen Titans) stories of strong, and yes, sexy women. (Wonder Woman, Voodoo, Batwoman)
While I am it, I want to thrill at seeing old characters in a new light (Aquaman, Batgirl, Grifter Catwoman,) cheer for heroic underdogs I never read before (Resurrection man, Red Hood and the Outlaws) and maybe curl up with a mini-crisis featuring some of my favorite heroes. (Justice League)
Getting the picture? The new 52 has done something a solid cohesive world could never do, give me stories of humor, heroism, horror, and honor through many different spectrum, moods, and voices. Do I want every comic to look and feel like Swamp thing and animal man? absolutely not, but at the point where i'm just reading 52 superman stories with different names is the point I stop reading.
Cohesion comes in many forms, it is the variety that makes comic books so constantly fresh and readable, let's not try to pen them to one event, style, or tone, let's experience them all at once!