Like a lot of long-time comic readers, I tend to wax and wane on whether I’m a DC guy or a Marvel guy. As a kid in the 80’s, Spider-Man, X-Men and Captain America held my attention. But in the 90’s, during my formative comic buying years, it’s clear I was more in the DC camp – looking through my collection I see some long, uninterrupted runs on JLA, Flash, Impulse, Robin, Nightwing, (though not a lot of Batman runs, oddly enough) – and James Robinson’s Starman had a huge impact on me.
It was only in the 2000s that my buying habits returned to Marvel as they started employing all the writers I like and essentially let them do what they wanted (Bendis’s Daredevil, Morrison’s X-Men, Ennis on Punisher, Ellis and then Fraction on Iron Man, Brubaker’s Captain America, etc ).
And DC at this point had become so mired in death and grimness that around this time last year, I was actually (cautiously) looking forward to the upcoming reboot/New 52 rebranding, in hopes that maybe I could get back onboard with a few titles here and there.
Of course, I hadn’t counted on the fact that the DC editorial staff had no fucking clue what they were doing, resulting in rebranded properties that were even less appealing to me than before.
And with little rhyme or reason. Part of the reboot was to state that the DC universe was only 5 years old, not the 10-15 sliding timeline. Which actually ended up wreaking havoc on the previous continuity, as writers and editors had to attempt to explain which previous books “counted” now – and just how Batman had gone through five Robins and three Batgirls (one of whom was previously a Robin!) in five years.
The answer: arbitrary subtractions and reassignments.
Which is why in the current DC universe, Green Arrow’s old sidekick Speedy/Arsenal/Red Arrow is only about five years younger than him – and his biological son Connor has winked out of existence entirely; the Flash for a generation of readers, Wally West (who was in the costume for over 20 years) was also erased in favor of the previous generation’s Barry Allen; and now the latest news, that Tim Drake was never an “official” Robin, having gone by the moniker “Red Robin” this whole time. (more…)