Friday, May 18, 2012

Inspired by The Ray

My last post I mentioned reading The Ray #4. It got me thinking about a lot of comic book stuff. Bear in mind this isn't a review, it's more of an editorial. As I type I've got a basic idea of what I want to say but I'm not really sure where this is going to go. So I'm just going to roll with it and I hope you will too.

Apparently, the new Ray is a Korean-American named Lucien Gates? Okay. I liked Ray Terrill but I can get behind DC adding a little diversity to the line-up, especially after Ryan Choi got the axe so that Ray Palmer could be the Atom again. I read an interview once where someone explained the need to attach minority characters to "Classic" titles. Like so.



I apologize for not being able to find the interview but the explanation given was that new characters simply don't last in the mainstream market. There are a few success stories but most of the time any title that doesn't star a character made in the 1950's has a very difficult time finding an audience. And y'know something about comic book characters made in the 1950's? Most of them are white guys.

White People: Saving the world since forever!

So the best way for a minority character of any kind to make it long term is if they are attached to one of the legacy titles.

Anyway, as I was looking around the internet for more info on the new Ray, I learned that DC also killed off Helena Bertinelli recently so the role of Huntress could be taken over by Helena Wayne. I can't help but scratch my head at DC's decision to off a character who has been around for more than 20 years and developed a strong fan base of her own just so they can replace her with a character that hasn't been seen since the Silver Age.
Now, I was never into the Huntress character and honestly, I'm not convinced she's really gone because-

a) If a character dies off-panel in a comic book there is a pretty good chance another writer will come along later and say it was "faked."
b) She was replaced by an alternate universe version of herself. In comic books that's doesn't necessarily count as being dead. I guess it's more like getting "rebooted."

But still, the decision seems weird. I'm a little worried the Ray #5 will come out and we're going to find Ray Terrill dead in a ditch somewhere. This got me thinking about what other characters have disappeared since the New 52.

Kyle Rayner, one of my personal favorites, is still ring-slinging in the New Guardians but Wally West is MIA. I loved both Connor Hawke(Green Arrow II) and Mia Dearden(Speedy II) but they don't appear to exist anymore. Neither do the two Batgirls, Stephanie Brown and Cassandra Cain.
During high school when I first started buying comics myself, I got really into the Teen Titans. It was during the period right after Infinite Crisis when Ravager and Kid Devil were both on the team. Then the book got really bad...and stayed that way until the New 52 happened. Now I guess Kid Devil is dead.

I want you to know that the last thing I want to do is complain about the New 52. DC wanted to reinvigorate itself and you know what? It worked. There are a ton of great books out there right now! New readers are apparently finding their way into the comic book stores and DC is selling more copies than it has in years.
This isn't meant to be a rant where I come in rant and say,"Geoff Johns is trying to kill my childhood!!"
This is just what I was thinking about today.      

No comments:

Post a Comment