To a lot of companies, nostalgia is a resource; it’s to be mined, molded, packaged, and used to make money. In some cases, the companies that control the things we love have folks in place that operate out of a sense of nostalgia and then we, as consumers, partake as well. I think most of us enjoy when that happens. Other times, companies decide to forego nostalgia. Collectors tend to not appreciate that quite as much.
Normally, I’m for the “New”. I love old stuff (this site is full of it), but I love new ideas, reimaginings; seeing what someone else can do with a new take on an old thing. I will never say a certain movie shouldn’t be remade or an old story shouldn’t be revisited. If they ever try to remake Back to the Future. I’ll watch it. If it’s good, I’ll add it into my BTTF-love. If it’s bad, I’ll go back and watch the old ones. I’ll still have the DVDs or holo-whatevers. And they’ll still be fantastic, and, in some ways, lionized a little more by a bad remake. I guess I’m saying that I’m a nostalgic beast by nature, but that I’m not always beholden to it.
I have tried to be that way in regards to DC Comics and the New 52. It doesn’t show in my articles because I have and continue to utterly fail at it. The desire is there – I latch on to the solicits like they’re shiny objects, but I keep picking the DC books here or there only to find out that I’m just not into them. There are things I like. Scott Snyder on Batman is great. His Batman still acts like Batman to me. I don’t think New Guardians is a great comic from month-to-month, but he’s definitely regular, old Kyle Rayner and I heart that so I keep buying. Azzarello & Chiang on Wonder Woman is well-written and well-drawn, so that book has had me the whole time. For the most part, that’s all DC I buy. I think it’s a quality thing, but that’s a different story for a different day.
The other reason I think I can’t get into it is that I don’t feel like the vast library of my characters, safe in their back issues, is enough. My back issue library just doesn’t feel like a classic movie or old TV shows on DVD that I can revisit. The DCU was never static like that. The DCU was organic, growing – even when something silly came along and collapsed or rebooted things, that was part of its organic history. It was one story. In a sense, the New52 is still part of it – a universe reimagined by Pandora’s interference, but that just further tricks me to believe something that I don’t think will happen anytime soon: I’m waiting for my characters to come back. I’m waiting for Superman to act like Superman. For Wally to show up. For things to be put “right”. It’s silly. Particularly to the other part of my brain, the aforementioned one that is okay when things change. It just popped up there, I’m waiting for Wally, not Barry. It’s the same part that of me that loves Kyle more than Hal. Green Arrow is one of my favorite characters. It doesn’t get much better than Bronze Age Oliver Queen, but Connor Hawke is way cool if you ask me.
That part of me – the part that gets so tired of things being chained to “how it was” should rejoice in the New 52. It doesn’t. The closest it has ever come to that was the announcement of Earth-2. This fantastic teaser image rolled out of DC at the time. It featured DC’s trinity fighting a horde of Parademons. Superman looked young, almost like Connor Kent. Batman was fighting with Nightwing’s escrima sticks, Wonder Woman was more silver than gold and her hair had the hint of Donna Troy’s starfield. I was stoked. But it was just wishful thinking, the book was the same old crew (at least at first).
It made me realize the key difference between what I liked and what I thought I should like: legacy. For the period of time I was reading comics, DC changed many details now and again, some I would I get hung up on and others I didn’t. But what didn’t change was Legacy. The Flash franchise is the best example. There was Jay, there was Barry, Wally, and so on. That’s no more. It was essentially deemed that Wally was too complicated; he was removed. The rest of the legacy universe soon followed. I point all this out because it’s integral to why I bought this Wonder Woman, and presumably will buy the Batman & Superman that go with her. If we’re strict with ourselves, I’m buying a trio of (mostly) dead heroes from an alternate universe. But really, I’m out to buy what I thought they were when I first saw them: Connor Kent, Dick Grayson, & Donna Troy as the Trinity. Continue to Page 2…