Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Two things:

In the latest installment of Tucker Stone's must-read regular "Comics of the Weak" review feature, in which the writer takes a crowbar made of words to the deserving knees of superhero comics, he makes an interesting connection between Marvel's relaunch of their Daredevil comic, and DC's plan to relaunch all of their comics soon.

Marvel's plan with the Daredevil comic was to hire a really good writer (Mark Waid), a pair of really great artists (Paolo Rivera and Marcos Martin). That writer decided on a new direction that acknowledges, and is even to a certain extent a reaction to, the last 20 years or so of Daredevil-branded comics, but is otherwise not wholly indebted or beholden to the radical 1980s deconstructionist take on the character, which was popular enough at the time that it simply became the way everyone did the character. The artists, in addition to being able to draw extremely well, were both imaginative and inventive, using their layouts and their illustrations to communicate fantastic super-powers and more mundane, real-world settings in exciting ways.

In short, to relaunch the book, Marvel hired the best creators, who in turn did some of their best work, doing something new and fresh, if classic-feeling in tone. They didn't blow anything up or tear anything down. No babies were thrown out with any bath water. No one had to wear this:Imagine how much less scary DC's September relaunch/reboot plan would be if they simply did the digital initiative, renumbered everything and took Marvel's approach to relaunching Daredevil to each of their books.

How excited would you be to walk into a comic shop in September if that was the plan?

Of course, that would depend on their being 52 more Mark Waids, 52 more Paolo Riveras and 52 more Marcos Martins out there, and I don't think there are. Or, if there are, they're not working in superhero comics at the moment.

And, on the subject of talented folks working within and without superhero comics, and on the subject of Daredevil and on the subject of Things I Spent Some Time Thinking About Because of Tucker Stone, I suggest you read Matt Seneca's post about the late Gene Colan's relationship with Marvel Comics.

It's sobering—hell, it's depressing—but we've all gotta take our medicine if we're gonna get better. So, like I said, read it.

It's a bad, bad world we live in, and sometimes I can't help but feel ashamed of it.


BK said...

preach it!

Ryan said...

Another crucial difference: with the Daredevil relaunch, Marvel went in a brighter direction than what had gone before. DC, on the other hand, seems to have decided to make its entire line even darker than it was before. (Not saying every title has to be "light and brighty," but one would hope there would be at least some room for that approach in 52 titles...and yes, I realize that the books have yet to be released, but the solicits, interviews and SDCC panels on the subject all indicate an even darker direction than the past 7 years.)

David Charles Bitterbaum said...

I'd like to imagine a world with 52 Mark Waids writing comics, or 52 Grant Morrisons. 52 Warren Ellis (Ellises?) would probably be kind of scary though, and result in them one-upping their twisted writings to a point where just reading a comic with the name Ellis attached to it causes one to commit violent sexual crimes.

Jeff said...

If I could be assured that all of the new DC titles would be as positive and imaginative as Daredevil by Mark Waid, I would be on board for the whole line instead of just four or five titles.

Tony said...

There must be 10s of thousands of people who want to write comic books. It's kind of criminal there aren't 52 Mark Waids out there.