I don’t have thousands of dollars to make it rain in my comic book store. But I wanted to give DC’s main trio a shot a few years ago. That is of course batman, Wonder Woman, and the man of tomorrow himself Superman.
For years I protested. “Marvel had better characters then DC. All DC had was batman villains even they were meh. Superman was an overpowered boy scout. Batman was a grown man who needs to buck up. Wonder Woman was garbage. Lasso of truth? Who invented that, the guy who made the polygraph test?” What… A… Joke.
Well DC, I have read a good portion of your fine comics and I must say. I was wrong, and I would tip my hat if I wore one. I can honestly say that Wonder Woman and Superman have become a go to for me. I know, I know. “You said they were boooorrring! You said they were laaammme!” I made superficial judgement’s sue me.
The first was Alan Moore’s Batman: the killing joke. I was really taken back by it. I knew I was in for a treat because obviously if Alan Moore is writing it ought to be great. Not everything he’s done is great, but the world he was writing was straight up his dark and gloomy alley. A serial killer clown and a guy with childhood trauma who dresses as a bat in a Gothic city. I’m pretty sure he can cook up something great. Which he did, it’s a classic.
Next I picked up Grant Morrison’s All Star Superman. I hate to put these two geniuses into parallel paragraphs because they strongly dislike each other but this is the second of the trio I tried. Let me contradict myself, I loved him as a child. I got a VHS tape of a 1960’s cartoon. It was in Spanish but I liked the old animation. Plus it’s classic Superman formula was easy to follow.
Lois being the fire cracker that doesn’t listen to men telling her it’s not safe. Of course she get’s kidnapped immediately by a mad scientist who invented a big laser putting metropolis in it’s target. Then Superman bursts through the wall to save the day. Destroy’s the laser. Lois falls off the building. In perfect timing he swoops in to save her. The End.
That was a sixties cartoon where he couldn’t fly yet. He’s evolved considerably over the years. Especially with Grant Morrison behind the wheel.
I met a friend who’s a true comic book head. Despite the popular movies it’s harder to come by then you think. He implored me to give Superman a shot. Three in particular. All Star Superman, kingdom come, and Superman: Birthright. Birthright was the first he let me borrow.
This was written by Mark Waid. This was everything I wanted out of a Superman comic. It was like finding out your best friend had powers and you got to tag along for the adventure. It was a great introduction to the character.
After I returned that book, he gave me an issue of All Star Superman. It left off on the exact moment Clark tells Lois his secret identity. I gave that one back. I told him I was convinced and bought all three comics from Amazon. (Support your local comic store. I just didn’t have one near me.) Plus my friend wasn’t sure if he even had them all. I checked my bank account. The funds were there, so I clicked my proceed to purchase button.
“Maaaan, Grant Morrison is a genius!” Was my final thought after turning the last page of All Star Superman. The man of steal dealing with the stages of grief because he’s going to die. We all know he’s God tier power. When you flip to the page that reveals he’s not dead but some kind of son God. phew… take my breath away.
On to Wonder Woman. For years I thought of her as the slutty Captain America if I’m being completely honest. I gave her the least credit of the three. The Movie was coming out, like everyone I thought it looked badass. Not to be one of the those guys that says the source material is always better… but the source material is always better. So I bought Wonder Woman: The New 52 Vol 1. I was enthralled. A: I love Greek mythology B: I have a soft spot for a female character that can swing a sword into a monsters guts then in the following scene empathize with a scared newly pregnant girl. Giving you a character that’s grounded enough in reality to pull you in. After every chapter peels back layers to not only her development but the other protagonist and antagonists.
I purchased the whole run of Azzarello’s take on Wonder Woman and revisit the story once in a blue moon. After a while I got a desire to check out more. I wanted to see her classic run. I was told that George Perez was definitive for understanding what the character was about. Once again I was not disappointed.
There was definitely more talk of peace then blood shed in comparison to The New 52 version. That’s okay though. What did throw me off was the raping of the Amazons. In the cartoons that I’ve seen the worst that happens to them is they’re turned to stone or murdered in war. But you never really get to know them, so it’s more of a plot device. Because of the comics code back in the day when ever I read an older Comic I suspect it to be filled with cliches and puns. Genocidal rape would be a little difficult to turn into a catchy zinger. “Ka-Pow! Your human dignity has been replaced with shame. Take that Amazon’s!”
None the less being born in Arizona in the poorer neighborhoods you’ll meet a few rape victims. So the subject matter to me is essential. If a young boy picked up the comic he would learn boundaries. I’m for it. The stories run slower but one thing I like is there’s more to read. Even though the art work is gorgeous it still takes the time to add more reading material. I do wish comic books weren’t so blood thirsty today. For attention span reasons. I don’t believe in if a child see’s it, then he’ll repeat it. I just like to read. The description of what happens between the panels. What characters are thinking. It definitely delivers as well as The New Teens Titans Go from George Perez. I don’t think we’ll ever get that again.
I haven’t gotten very far in Rebirth comics but what I have read is splendid. Superman is a family man. No longer dark and edgy. Wonder Woman is a perfect combination of empathetic and hardened warrior depending on the circumstances at hand. Batman is… Batman. I still don’t care for Batman on his own. Gotham and the bat family is poppin’ though! Batgirl, Batwoman, Harley Quinn, his son Robin, Joker, Catwoman, Nightwing! Batman has got an amazing world with great characters, and when he’s around other superheroes to bounce his whit and grumpiness off of, he shines. On his own? Him and his dead parents hang up bores me.
Do yourself a favor if your a Marvel fanboy like I use to be a few years ago. Dive right in to the pool of DC. Don’t worry about dipping your toes in there’s a plethora of comic books that will keep you captivated and feel good after reading them.