So, last week I posted my problems with Future’s End and what DC is doing in New 52. I also posted that I would do some research and then ‘fix’ the problem DC is having. In summation, the problem I want to fix is their need for these gore filled, ghastly images of heroes getting hacked to pieces and disintegrated in order to sell books.
So, the plot itself is good and interesting:
The future of New 52 is at risk when Brother Eye, the rogue satellite built by Batman, returns to take over and control the New 52 universe. Now capable of assimilating and controlling all superheroes, Batman decides on a desperate gambit – to travel to the past and prevent Brother Eye from being built(1) in the first place. Unfortunately, Brother Eye finds out about the plan and decides to stop Bruce. Now Terry McGuinnes, Batman Beyond, is sent in his place to the past to prevent the terrible future from occurring.
That’s an exciting premise and one I would read – I’m a big Batman Beyond fan. The images (see my previous post about it) in the comic, however, are a big turn off. I don’t need to see Captain Cold getting his arms chopped off or John Stewart’s head getting put on a cybernetic giraffe neck to be engaged by that story. It’s not necessary. It’s very Game of Thrones, but not everything has to be Game of Thrones and, to be honest, they already have the elements within DC to solve this problem.
Take a look at these:
These are OMAC’s. OMAC’s are what Brother Eye is using to defeat the superheroes, and they ALREADY do what DC wants – they take over a host, cover them in control mechanisms, and fight super heroes. Yes, it’s creepy to see Cyborg’d Wonder Woman and Superman, but you don’t have to make it as Gorey. It would be just as bad to see this:
OMAC’s are already known to be bad – that Superman has been turned in to one emphasizes the desperation of the situation. Heck, the Brother Eye headband that he and all of the other heroes (well, except for Hawkman – he doesn’t get the benefit of a head) that denotes their transformation is enough. We know it’s bad, but we don’t need the gore and glut that are present in the images.
Yeah, his costumes destroyed and he’s bleeding, but he’s not mutilated. We don’t have the grotesqueness that is Flash or John Stewart present. Superman is dead and he’s broken. We know it from the comic and from the reactions of Lois Lane. We know it’s bad because of what we just saw him fighting. We know he’s gone because he can barely speak and he is losing consciousness. We don’t need to see his head on a pike to know he’s dead – he’s dead because he collapses in the next panel and Lois Lane cries.
Somewhere along the way, dying has become a fascination for our pulp depictions. Realistic has become synonymous with gore, blood, and broken bones. George R.R. Martin uses it to make his deaths more impactful and senseless. For him it works and I can’t deny that it sells – ask HBO and his publisher.
But we don’t need that. The Harry Potter novels had many deaths and movies – and they meant something. I get that the message here from Batman in the #0 is that these deaths don’t mean anything – they’re just going to be reset – but you’re throwing away a bunch of heroes and their lives pointlessly and grossly. If they’re going to die anyway, why make it frightening to the reader? It doesn’t make you look more mature than Marvel and it certainly isn’t going to outsell them with a bloodbath. It just looks stupid and scares away new possible readers.
Sorry DC – smarter choices, please.