DC/DC

DC has a few small comics coming out this week, no big deal. Just, you know, a couple of home-brewed, indie titles you might not care about…they’re so small and insignificant, they’ll prolly only sell a couple of copies. S’no biggie…just, uhm-

BEFORE WATCHMEN: MINUTEMEN #1 AND EARTH-2 #2 FEATURING GAY PEOPLE! CALL THE MEDIA! PUT DOWN THAT SANDWICH! YOWZA, GO GET EVERYBODY!

FAIR IS FAIR

Unkiedev is by no means anti-gimmick. If DC put out a comic book with 3D glasses so Batman’s pointy ears were coming right at’cha, or a scratch and sniff cover of Superman’s armpit, I would be the first in line to buy. I do have a problem, however, with lying.

For DC to pretend that Watchmen sequels, prequels, and any other “uels,” is anything more than an excuse to let today’s top talents play in Alan Moore’s sandbox while we the audience get to look on for a nominal fee, they are blowing smoke up our collective kilts.

Listen DC, just don’t tell me this is because you feel there’s an insatiable desire for the compelling stories that may arise. A gimmick is a gimmick. Be honest.

Unkiedev is, as well, not opposed to capitalism. If it was good enough for Ben “Master Turkey Baster” Franklin, it’s good enough for yours truly. I WANT the comic book industry to make money, to thrive and survive. I want great comic book shops like Forbidden Planet to keep the lights on and the registers ringing. I want super-talented writers and artists to earn their living in the industry I love.

I just wish we didn’t need to stoop so low as new Watchmen comics in order to put a dent into the collective attention of mainstream audiences. Breakaway titles, such as Walking Dead, 30 Days of Night, Scott Pilgrim, and Kick-Ass have proven that comics still play just as well to the masses when given the proper room to shine!

AND FOR THE RECORD, Unkiedev is not opposed to being a hypocrite. I will eat an entire bag of Frito corn chips and tell you, all the while, that I hate them. I can’t stand smoking…except for cigars, and pipes, and the occasional “jazz cigarette.”

With one hand I will be waving a finger at myself, accusing “shame” with every waggle as my other hand passes the cash to the cashier in order to get my copy of Before Watchmen The Minutemen #1.

I can hate the sin, and like the sinner, and I’m pretty sure I’m going to like these sinful comics despite myself.

QUEER AS SUPERFOLKS

Similarly, if DC’s publicity department hasn’t ruined the surprise for you, an old DC stalwart is coming out of the titanium closet in Earth-2 #2. I WON’T BE TELLING YOU WHO, but here’s a hint: it’s not LOBO. The New York Times and several other media outlets have beaten me to that punch, but I will be asking a few questions.

Why couldn’t this have happened sooner? Why couldn’t it happen to a current character, not an Earth-2 reboot character? Why did DC feel the need to tell every paper in town about their “little secret?” Is this about storytelling or marketing?

Comics is a business, I can accept that. Marvel made a big public splash getting ink off of the gay marriage between the Alpha-Flight member Northstar and his boyfriend, and Archie comics did the same with their token GLBT character Kevin Keller.

When Marvel announced a few years back that old-timey western comics hero the Rawhide Kid was gay it seemed less like a marketing ploy and more like an interesting story. NOTE TO ANYONE WHO READ THOSE ISSUES: too bad it wasn’t a good story.

And that’s the point. I will support my favorite comics companies, their books, and the stores that sell them…I just wish the industry was getting ink in the press over great stories and not gimmicks, reruns, and controversies.

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More musings from Unkiedev, Earth’s own sidekick, can be read at unkiedev.blogspot.com

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2 comments

  1. Michael

    I just felt like opining a little on the recent developments on Northstar and the Green Lantern of Earth2.

    Simply and quickly put: While Northstar marrying his current partner seems like just a natural progression of his character, making Alan Scott gay hits me as a way to get Earth2 and the NuDCU as well some more buzz, since I really don’t hear a whole lot about DC’s current output aside from the BatBooks being really good. True, Marvel did this sort of thing first with Colossus in their Ultimate Universe, but that had no real fanfare. With all the fanfare here it hits me as stunt writing (or whatever you’d call it).

    And Archie Comics telling DC it had the first gay character with Kevin Kelly are barking up the wrong tree since 1. Northstar beat them by about 20 years (and I remember an interview with John Byrne where he said he’d created the character as being gay from day one) and 2. Obsidian beat them by I don’t know how many years (since I’m not sure when he came out). And that’s not even counting gay woman characters (Batwoman and Maggie Sawyer for example).

    However, IIRC, Kevin Kelly is the first gay character to get married to his partner. So on that I think they DO have rights to say “we did it first”. Though they’re yelling at or about the wrong company.

  2. Unkiedev

    Northstar all the way. The guy was gay in the 80s, it wasn’t that big of a deal and was usually handled with unique understanding.

    BOTH companies are trying to make a buck off of moral equality. It seems crass and vulgar, though I agree with you Michael, Marvel does come out better than DC.

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