Something about Batman, the Avengers, and Rainbows

I sit down to read Avengers Forever aloud to my dog Bailey (who I’ve decided has been devoting far too much of her time to Law & Order marathons in recent weeks and might benefit from an exposure to high literature). I fully intend on reviewing the collection for this week’s column, but halfway through the second issue, a third of the way through the seven thousandth narration box, we both seem to realize that that review won’t quite be happening. The high society accent I’ve affected for Wasp has wavered and it’s clear that I’m hopelessly distracted. I pose a question to Bailey.

“Can we ever go home again? Not you or me, but Captain America or Hawkeye or Dick Grayson?”

She blinks.

“No, I know they’re not all from the same universe,” I continue. “But they’ve all…see this book was written something like ten years ago and I have to imagine it was a juxtaposition even back then. All these narration boxes and Rick Jones thinking out loud in his word balloons. It reads like books we’ve read from the 70s and 80s. Doesn’t this feel like, I dunno, Infinity Gauntlet or that Walt Simonson Thor book we were looking at the other day? But with Pacheco’s art and the coloring it looks so modern. That makes Busiek’s script feel even older. I’m having trouble reconciling these two styles. Part of me wants to process this alongside those older books and the rest of me wants to hold it up to last week’s stack.”

Bailey clamps her jaws around the neck of Rodney her plush lion as if to agree completely.

“I seem to remember an old episode of Word Balloon with Busiek suggesting that he’d be interested in writing the Avengers again or possibly Green Lantern. Just hypothetically.”

A tail wag of recognition.

“Right, and can you imagine going from Dark Reign and New Avengers to something like Avengers Forever? Not that I dislike this book, but it’s so pure and nostalgic that I can’t imagine a return to it as part of mainstream continuity. Not with what Bendis has been doing. There’s been this loss of innocence and compelling as that is, perhaps there’s a point of no return there. Would we be able to accept an Avengers book with Iron Man and Thor and the original Captain America, teeth all gleaming white? People seem to want that, like our friends over at 11 O’Clock Comics. I can hardly blame them because there’s something so iconic and wonderful about that original lineup. But is there any organic way of returning to that status quo? I’m sure a lot of purists look at Wolverine on the Avengers and dismiss this whole thing as a dalliance. A tangent. But that book and that team and that tone have been the driving force of the Marvel universe for years now and I can’t imagine a resurgence of tradition,” I say.

Bailey has left the room by now to steal a sock from the hamper, but I continue unabated.

“As for Dick Grayson, can he ever go back to being Nightwing after taking up Bruce’s mantle in such a prominent storyline? Was it Marv Wolfman who said that Dick would remain a character forever in conflict, poised to claim his destiny as Batman in a universe where–due to the nature of comics as a continuing, never-ending, serial narrative–that could never come to be? That’s what Neil Gaiman’s Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader is all about, right? It’s a meditation on the fact that while Batman will never receive a canonical ending, his mortality demands that some day he will die and that ultimately that means he has any number of possible endings. They’re all these intangible resolutions off in the distance and we’ll never get to them because comics don’t stop. They’re pots of gold at the end of some rainbow and chase it as fast and as far as we might, we’ll never see that end.  But here we are with Dick as Batman and with Tony and Steve at odds and worlds so far gone that a return to normalcy, to default, could only feel disingenuous.  How could we ever see the Wizard as a swollen green head again after looking past the curtain at the doddering old hack?”

My other dog Abby enters the room, takes one look at my wild gesticulations and leaves.

“Is this a conclusion that comes to all comic book readers who stick around long enough? I’ve only been reading regularly for a handful of years and though I’ve read and enjoyed older books, I’ve compartmentalized them in some other space. There will be a changing of the guard eventually, and knowing the way of things, stories started with say, Avengers: Disassembled or Battle for the Cowl will reach their inevitable conclusions or be interrupted. Either way, the story will have to rewind a little to a simpler time and a simpler tone and we’ll call that a return to form. But how do you forget what you’ve already seen? How do you keep from becoming the bitter old fan who rallies against a change which isn’t? How do you stop from being that guy you hate?

“I guess,” I mutter to myself, “You stop worrying about the gold and enjoy the rainbow for what it is.”


I sit and wonder about the persistence of Skittles, how they’re still being produced. They’re really pretty awful. At
some point I fall asleep. 


Paul Montgomery rails against continuity conundrums in the safety of his own home and generally tries not to bother anyone else with it because, genuinely, none of it matters. Find him on Twitter or contact him at paul@ifanboy.com.

Comments

  1. ok that image is now my background, well done

  2. the thought of you reading to your dog is brilliant.  Love that picture!

  3. he looks kind of barky and potentially mean to strangers.  Is that the case?

  4. Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    She’s a very friendly dog. Coos like a pigeon.

  5. Great insight.

    I’ve been coming at some similar thoughts from another angle. I am not reading about Marvel’s "Siege" in advance (this is the first time in the modern era I have avoided hype and teasers for a project like this) but I keep seeing images of the "original" Avengers and then seeing people getting excited about the prospect of the band getting back together.

    "Why?" I keep thinking to myself. "What about that is exciting? ‘Yay, the lineup from before I was born!’ I remember that lineup, from all those years when I wasn’t buying the Avengers or interested in them at all."

    When they were Disassembled, I was mildly scandalized by the new team that emerged, but I loved the direction it took the story in, which is to say "forward." As tempting and easy as it is for comics to stay mired in the past, sometimes it is the past for a reason.

  6. Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    @Jimski – Exactly. It just occurred to me that however long Bendis’ tenure on the Avengers is, it will eventually come to an end and the team will continue in some form. But how do you follow that up? Do you have someone like Remender or Diggle or Fraction take it up and continue down the path of ragtag grittiness? Or do you have someone with more of a traditional sensibility like a JMS or a Busiek take it up? I just can’t imagine the latter being at all natural.

    Does that mean that Bendis has "broken" the Avengers? I don’t mean that in a good or bad way, just a point of fact. Is it a model that can be returned to what it was without that feeling false? 

  7. I really like the rainbow metaphor.  Well said.  Also, Skittles ARE awful.  Why do people insist on believing otherwise?

    @Jimski  I *am* looking forward to Siege because I want to see those characters come together and address some of the things that have been building up over all this time.  I want to see Bendis pay off some of the threads that he’s laid out over the time he’s been working on the book.  That’s the reason, not because I want to pretend nothing ever changed.  

  8. Great article

  9. Skittles are marvelous, Paul and Caroline are more wrong than Wrongy McWrongerson.

  10. Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    This is going to be the most hypocritical comments section of all time. I’m going to continue postulating about the potential of any future Avengers runs while defending the chart which clearly stipulates that I should just sit and enjoy the scenery for what it is.  

  11. I enjoy soliloquies delivered to an audience that couldn’t care less, be they babies or dogs. Makes for good times.

    As to the article itself, I don’t think we’re really going to see much advancement when it comes to these entrenched characters. When change does occur, such as when Wally West takes over as the Flash or Kyle Rayner becomes the last Green Lantern ever, even if that change stays around for decades, there’s always the possibility that the next generation will revert everything back to how it was. I love Geoff Johns as much as the next guy, but this return to the way things used to be can be a little frusterating at times. It’s all about a return to "normalcy."

    But, as you said Paul, I do enjoy the ride. And I am still buyin the stuff. I just wish we didn’t need to constantly go back to the same starting line all of the time.

  12. This was wonderful, Paul 🙂

  13. Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    @JeffR – Haha, you got it. This was an intentional sequel to that article. One of my favorite Jimski columns. 

  14. Fun article.  Where do adaptation, reintroduction and reinveniton fit in?

  15. Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    We’re gonna need a bigger chart!

  16. Fantastic Article. 
  17. They are all imaginary stories, and they are far more strong then any of us. Whenever I hear the lamentation that we will never see "Old" Batman or Spiderman won’t have children, I think it just a testament to the power of the character. If somehow all the writers and editors got together and decided to let everyone age, it would only last until a new generation of writers came along. They would all look at each other and say "Why the hell is Superman old?", and they would undo it. Superman will probably be around way longer than any of us, and he will be the same age, and he will still be fighting Lex Luthor, and that is actually kind of cool.

    The dressing around it can change alot. I hear of the "return" to the Silver Age in Superman, but I don’t see any Lion-headed Superman, or entire issues teaching Lois to mind her own business. This Superman is not the omniscent uncle who is always right, he learns, he hurts, he makes mistakes. So in that sense Byrne’s changes to Superman have stuck around and have been added to the whole tapestry. Sometimes that sort of appreciation for the change only comes with a combination of interest and time…and the ability to see context.

     Now I have no idea what I am talking about.

    Also, there are a ton of books that can give you what DC and Marvel can’t. You want a superhero timeline that has actually advanced? Read Savage Dragon!

     

  18. All you damn creative people make me sick.  Now back to Stata and spreadsheets and writing incredibly dry, inexpressive academic journal articles.  I know what happens at the end: a references section and roughly 7 tables.

    Also, dogs find Mr. Busiek preachy.  All of them.  They told me.

  19. @ThomasKaters – I think your post might contain more character development than the last 100 issues of Superman.

  20. @Paul – Glad to hear it was okay I drew the connection between this article and Jimski’s. I really wasn’t sure if it was intentional or not. 🙂

    @ThomasKaters – You know, I’ve been thinking for a while about how much of Bryne’s version of Superman is still flying around the DCU. You make a good point. Thanks. Looking at the big picture is my favorite way of examining these characters and how they’re currently expressed currently.

  21. @ThomasKaters: You are speaking a lot of truth.  To be fair, Morrison and Johns have been trying to get the Silver Age Superman back into comics. But it’s not translating so well because of the damn ‘New Krypton’ storylines that are happening.

  22. Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    @TNC – I don’t think you quite got what Tom was saying. 

  23. if we could get back to the skittles thing, REALLY? have you had the wild berry kind? They come in the purple package. They’re awesome, they go really great with Sprite.  

  24. @TNC It depends on what you think Silver Age means. To me it is a specific style of storytelling and the portrayal of the character, and not just their power stats. Some will get hung up on how strong Superman is in a story, when it has always been the same. He is exactly strong enough to solve the problem. Back in the day that was moving planets, now it might just be picking up a train.

    To reintroduce Kandor is not the same as bringing back the Silver Age. All Star Superman was probably the closest but it still had a much more modern treatment of the character.

  25. Paul hits it on the nose again. People always want a return to form but don’t realize that’s the exact same thing they rally against all the time. I can’t count how many times I see comments like "We’ve seeen this before." and "He’s just aping the silver age (or a certain writer)" but then you turn around and see comments like "These aren’t the REAL Avengers" or something of that ilk. The back and forth is interesting and I can’t think of anyone who falls completely on one side of the issue. We all wanna go home, but we all wanna go forth at the same time. It’s hard to not have what you’re used to, but I do my best to look forward to new ideas, because in the end those are way more interesting to me. I’m also reading Avengers forever right now. It’s great and all, but it’s not as entertaining as New Avengers (especially the early arcs) were to me. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

  26. Golden-Doodles are the best dogs.

    I’m not sure that bringing innocence back into comics today would satisfy readers as the audience has grown up and matured.  It’s almost like we are a captive audience.    Finite and limited.  We keep getting older (obviously) so the content must reflect this change.  I don’t forsee comics returning to a Silver Age or any age of innocence, we’d reject the programming.

  27. Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    While World of New Krypton borrows elements from Silver Age story, it does so with a modern sensibility. Johns and company are only mining for things that could work in today’s comics. So it’s not really a return to the Silver Age, but some kind of synthesis of older ideas that have the potential to shine as new ones. 

  28. Sticking my head out from vacation to say… 

    Paul alluded to this in is article, but I think he’s hitting the point that all new(ish) comic book readers hit eventually when they realize that they DC and Marvel stories are not permanent, they never have been and never will be. Can Tony and Steve become friends again and lead the Avengers? Sure. Can Dick go back to being Nightwing? Absolutely.

    I wrote an article about this a few years ago: "It’s happened before. It’ll happen again."

    The only truism in Marvel and DC Comics is that they are cyclical and that everything comes back around eventually. 

    As Thomas Katers said above, if you want superheroes that truly change and grow on a permanent basis, you better start looking to Image and other companies like that who produce independent superhero books, because you’re not going to get any permanent anything out of Marvel and DC. 

  29. Almost no one could follow Bendis on Avengers at this point as far as quality.

    Only Joss Whedon could do it better, but then it would never come out.

    Brubaker, Fraction, Diggle, Slott, Kelly, Gage, Loeb, and others would all be let downs.

    Only Waid, Millar, or Ellis could follow him at this point, or Vaughan if he returns.  Or an outstanding newcomer with a great synopsis.  Other than that, no one can match it.

  30. I wonder why people get so nostalgic about all this Silver Age lineups and elements. Is it because none of us were alive at that time, so we weren’t able to experience the thrill of Thor, Iron Man and Captain America join forces for the first time? It sure has an odd mysticism about it.

  31. Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    @comicBOOKchris – Never thought of it that way. Could very well be a part of it. 

  32. Great article.  By cosmic kismet I was reading Avengers Forever yesterday and thinking the exact same thing.  Why does a comic so beautifully drawn and based on such a great concept read so out-of-date?  And this is true for 90 percent of the comics created only ten years ago, which seems like a large percentage compared with other mediums such as prose, film, or even TV.  Is there something inherent in how comics are created that curses them with such a quick expiration date? 

  33. Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    @Bedhead – Thing is, I really enjoy older comics. Just seeing the juxtaposition of an older style of script and a modern visual style completely threw me through a loop. 

  34. I think all that happened was that in the late ’90s and early ’00s the art sort of jumped ahead of the writing a little, and it took a few years for the writers to adapt or for new writers to come in who were a little more hip to the way the art had evolved. So you have a few odd books like Avengers Forever that have that odd juxtaposition, and a few books that were ignored or even hated because they had jumped ahead too early (like the Tom Strong stuff that was just reprinted, or Morrison’s X-Men).

  35. @Kick-Ass. I’m a huge Whedon fan, but I never want to see him handle the Avengers. I’m just not sure if his voice or style would really work for them. Maybe that’s just me.

  36. I’m a big fan of Nostalgia. I’m part of a very weird generation of children raised on early Nick-At-Night and cheap reruns of 60s TV shows and 80s Cartoons. My first exposure to Superman was George Reeves in stunning Black and White at 8 pm on a weekday night in 89. My first exposure to Batman was the garish, pop art Batman rerunning on WPIX 11 in NY from 89 through the early 90s. I was talking about Mary Tyler Moore and Bewitched when other kids were talking about Saved by the Bell. So when I read comics, I tend to compared Superman and Batman to my memories of them as characters. I hate, hate, hate Superman. I really do. However, Earth-2 Superman? I love him. He’s everything George Reeves was and it fits so well. This is why I took to All-Star Superman. I also can’t stand the modern dark, brooding Batman who solves crimes before they happen, can stand toe to toe with superbeings and (for the 90s) had a "meta-human" intellect. I like a simpler Batman, more smart guy with skills then "SUPERHERO." It’s what I know.

    My favorite TV show of all time is from 1967. My second favorite show started in 1963. I took to Alan Scott and Jay Garrick immediately when I came back to comics. Something feels so "right" about them. They’re iconic people. There’s no grey area with Jay or Alan like there can be with Kyle or Hal. Hell, my favorite Superhero was dead for a majority of my comics reading time. (Fun story, I found out Hal went crazy from the back of an action figure box at my friend’s house. I was crushed! I had stopped reading DC books right before Emerald Twilight.)

    I don’t know… I have this weird ability to compartmentalize my feelings about things. I can look at a show from the 60s in a different analytical light than a modern one, but still feel equally as satisfied with both. I watch my mother watch reruns of shows from the 60s (which she watched first run) and I see her wince over a clunky line, or point out the strings and how bad the effects are. It doesn’t bother me. Perhaps I’m always living in Paul’s "Moment" as it were. I don’t know. But I’d really love to see more forward momentum in comics, honestly, instead of going back and picking things up again.

  37. Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    @Prax – I’d consider myself deeply nostalgic as well. I think the real enemy in here is continuity. In a way it demands forward momentum. Which can be thrilling. But that can also keep us from enjoying those older, more whimsical styles of storytelling, which appear only as tangents that don’t count.  

  38. Also written very very old and out of date: JLA by Grant Morrison.

    Terribly out of date, HEAVY on exposition, crammed panels and word balloon, a complete mess!!!  Reading "Rock Of Ages" now, it’s a horrible mess.

  39. I had no problem with Morrison’s JLA actually

  40. @Kickass Keep an eye out in the Morrison JLA stuff for early, non-traced Greg Land art. He did fill ins for Howard Porter.

    @Paul Yeah, I can see that. However, I’m a big continuity nerd. I’m in that odd hypocritical stance you are, more or less. 😉

  41. Wow, that was one brilliant analysis of WHTTCC!

  42. Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    Just for yucks, here’s my full review of Detective Comics #853 and WHTTCC in general.

  43. Pretty damn good article.

    Two points:

    1) Avengers Forever was pretty damn wordy even for ’90s standards. It was wordier than Claremont at his most wordy and denser in its own way than something like Sandman. It was compressed. And I think that was part of Busiek’s point: even as comics were getting decompressed, he was taking the readers on a ride back through Avengers history, showing us the new alongside the old, and since his artist was a new artist his writing–to balance the scales–was basically as wordy as ’60s Marvel stories. Except ’60s Marvel stories were only like 16 pages long, so an average Avengers Forever issue had a ton more words, really. (Note: no one confuse what I’m saying about ’60s-era wordiness with ’60s-era storytelling. Busiek didn’t write like Stan Lee or pace his stories like early Marvel comics.)

    2) As far as the whole revelatory freakout of "Gah! Characters should be ending but they’re NEVER ending and change should be happening and it IS happening but it’s NEVER REALLY going to happen and yet things are so much different from what they WERE but it’s always somehow like ‘THE SAME’ but it ISN’T and how do we ever get BACK to that innocent status quo?!" . . . These are all questions that comics from the ’50s, ’60s and even ’70s dealt with on a regular basis without making a big deal about them. Batman’s died many times and has been shown to have many endings…that’s nothing new on Gaiman’s part. The end-stories of most characters have all been shown. Oh, but they were IMAGINARY STORIES. 

    The whole postmodern comics reader freak-out of "Gah! What’s gonna HAPPEN to these characters?! What SHOULD happen?!?!" is only a recent phenomena . . . because adults are reading comics now. Whereas, in past decades, kids would grow out of them after reading them for 5-6 years or so. So the kids back then would never really get to the point of saying "Hey, I’m BORED with routine Superman stories! Shouldn’t this character CHANGE?!" . . . let alone get to the point of thinking, "Hey, I see how Marvel and DC strung me along and kept me reading longer than I should have. They kept me as a reader because STUFF HAPPENED. But, uh, now I’m getting wise to their ‘change’ game and I wonder, y’know, why these characters aren’t ENDING or how they should END, y’know?"

    The real end of every character, as we perceive them, does not come from some sort of company mandate. The real end of every character, for each of us, comes with whatever issue of that character’s title we decide is our last.

  44. The Pendulm moves foward only to fall back.

    I love when characters are exposed to dramtic changes precisley because I have no conception of the tradtional or correct way to tell a certian character’s story

     Since Paul used the example of Dick Grayson, I will add that I happened to love the Fugitive storyline under Devin Grayson. Dick is sexually assualted and goes to work for the mob, formulates a plan for redemption and is interuppted by Infinite Crisis. I found it to be an excellent character study of a certain author’s understanding of Dick Grayson.

     

  45. @ThomasKaters: Well that’s what I was getting at. Morrison’s All Star Superman really was the closest to bring back the Silver Age into the Superman comics. I’m fine with how strong Superman is, I just think seeing a more campy or funny Superman comic would be a great thing. He’s getting too serious of a character and for the majority of his existence it never was a serious comic. Once COIE finished then the comic was getting more intense and the camp value was gone.

    For once I would like to see a story where Superman turns into an animal or kryptonite screws up his body. Not, "Boo Hoo my home planet is back but I’m not accepted there".

  46. Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    @TNC -That’s really not an accurate description of World of New Krypton. 

  47. Oh Paul, more importantly than all of this stuff.  Your dog is super cute.

  48. Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    Damn right. 

  49. @TNC – "…majority of his existence it never was a serious comic." Wha? It’s definitely been serious since COIE, which is over 20 years ago. And have you ever read any of the Golden Age Superman stuff? He was cleaning up corruption, fighting slumlords, etc. Pretty serious. I’m not sure we can honestly say that the majority of his existence was campy. But Tom can correct me on that if I’m wrong. 😉

    I think the aim of both Morrison and Johns is to bring back elements of Silver Age stories, while making them palatable for a modern audience. You’re not going to get the "teaching Lois to mind her own business" stories that Tom was talking about. What Morrison has tried to bring back were some of the big crazy "ideas" that were fostered in the Silver Age of DC. Johns really focuses on taking all the ideas of all different eras and lensing them through a modern focal point.World of New Krypton is a part of that.

  50. This is why I pick up the Marvel DVDs with 500+ comics, so I can read them all and say "ah THAT’S how that happened." 

    Can the avengers ever go back to being lighter fair? I think so. We are currently in a world were Spider-man is much lighter and funnier and most people love it, granted that took a deal with the Marvel devil and to say that concept was controversial would be like saying WW2 was a bit of a skirmish. I wouldn’t mind seeing the Avengers going back to a giant team fun romp book, but I’m loving what Bendis is doing, and when the time comes for it to become a romp, I"m sure he can do that too. And if not him, hopefully someone just as skilled will fun it up. 

  51. @daccampo: I said since COIE it’s been a serious comic; just that from most of the stuff I read before COIE it was all camp. Or maybe it just feels like camp today but back then it was serious.

    I know Bottle of Kandor has been a factor for most of Superman’s life. I just didn’t think turning that into a planet again was a smart idea. Johns/Frank were doing something pretty wonderful with that comic until that storyline peered it’s ugly face towards the end of the Brainiac arc. There’s a ton of people that would disagree with me and that’s okay. But I haven’t been a fan of this story since its been introduced.

  52. Avengers Forever was one of my favorite books when it was coming out and I actually kept it in a special box I have designated as "Great Stories." I reread it recently and had similar thoughts, though without the eloquence above. It really felt like I was sloughing through words at some points. I still consider the art fantastic, maybe my favorite of all of Pacheco’s work. Beautiful art.

  53. This is why I could never truly embrace Gilligan’s Island.

  54. Paul, re: Avengers… "Do you have someone like Remender or Diggle or Fraction take it up and continue down the path of ragtag grittiness? Or do you have someone with more of a traditional sensibility like a JMS or a Busiek take it up? I just can’t imagine the latter being at all natural."

    Actually, a trial run of this has already happened. Bendis handed Mighty Avengers over to Dan Slott for a much more traditional take, and I am still seeing a chiropractor to help me deal with the whiplash that resulted.

  55. So does that mean there’s gonna be a future me complaining about the state of the current comics? I’ll be complaining about the fact that Tim Drake’s the new Catwoman, and criticizing the fact that Superboy-Prime got so angry he just reality punched Marvel out of existence, or being angry at the fact that the future Ifanboy staff are now huge fans of Secret Six and have started a religion based on its teachings?

     Will I be calling for a return to "the good old days" of when Batman was Dick Grayson, and when Geoff Johns was writing every other book?

     The future sucks. 

  56. @Jimski: I like Slott’s Mighty Avengers.  The beautiful thing about all the Avenger books is that each is different.  Some titles are plot heavy and deeply rooted in the current status quo. Other titles are more comedic and campy.  There is a little something for everyone in all the Avenger titles.

    I don’t see the Avengers of old coming back full circle quite yet, nor do I want that to happen.  I’m with ohcaroline and would like to see some issues resolved. Especially I can’t wait to see Thor address Cap and Ironman over the Civil War. 

    Batman is a different story.  I’m sure within a year that Bruce will back as Batman.  That really doesn’t bother me. What does bother me is what to do with Dick, Tim and Damien.  Will they just revert back to what they were before or change to something altogether different?

  57. I know DC is going to bring Bruce back, my hope is that they hold off for a good long while.  Or that when he comes back Bruce is fundamentally changed.  I think the coolest thing they could do is have Bruce come back and Dick still run around as Batman.

    I don’t mind that the history’s are fluid.  I love good stories.  If it’s something I’m interested in, that’s my canon.  I don’t know if that makes sense, but it helps me enjoy any story no matter how contradictory if its well told or drawn (preferably both). 

  58. I was really happy with Slott’s first few issues on ‘Mighty Avengers’ and excited about the idea of having a book that was so different in tone.  It’s been a bit, err, *uneven* since then, though, and it’s partly been handed off to a co-writer.  So  I don’t think it’s impossible to sustain different tones in different books at the same time, but in this instance it hasn’t really worked out.

  59. Yay for diagrams!

  60. After reading this article and skimming the comments, I think this truth is why my interest in comics wanes.  As a reader I love romanticism (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Romantic_movement).  My favorite books growing up were All Quiet on the Western Front and The Natural (by Bernard Mallamud).  Its not that comics that don’t have this feel are bad or have nothing to offer or don’t speak to us and our desire for truth, beauty, trust, love, belonging, celebration and commitment.  I’m saying that they don’t resonate with me.

    I do agree that the creator owned is fulfilling because of this.  I love, absolutely love Y the Last Man and even though at times a voice inside me wishes for more or something different, I would never push a button to permit it because the comic is sheer beauty in itself and what it speaks in each of its readers.