So, there’s this part of me that keeps wanting to get back into comics. I pretty much came to a stop a few months after DC’s reboot.
I couldn’t do it. Suddenly every character was gritty and sexy. It was like Image in the 90’s where heroes were just killing people and everyone was fucking.
I mean, I can deal with killing, and I can deal with sex. But, it just seems to out of place from a lot of characters here. And not a lot of thought was put into the psychological consequences either. For example, DC spent years getting kids into Starfire via the Teen Titans cartoon, then, the reboot happened, and suddenly she’s somehow LESS clothed and having sex with everyone. That should be wonderful on all the kids she was a role model for.
But anyways, to fill the void of new comics, I’ve been rereading my old collection over and over and over again. And I gave one a reread that I haven’t in a while. Marvel’s House of M. The one that collects House of M #1 – #8.
House of M took place a while before the reboot frenzy happened in comics and, as much as I’m not a Marvel person, it was a pretty fun story.
Essentially, (SPOILERS) after finding out that the powers of the Scarlet Witch are just not a good thing and are making her nuts, they decides she has to be put down. Especially after she kills a butt-ton of Avengers.
Quicksilver intervenes and tells her that with a boost from the kidnapped Xavier, they can give everyone what the want. Reboot the entire universe. And it happens.
A new universe is born where everyone gets what they want. Spiderman is a celebrity, with a son and married to Gwen Stacy, while Uncle Ben is still alive. Cyclops and White Queen are married and have an apartment. Wolverine is director of SHIELD. Not what I would have imagined but that’s alright, that part’s short lived because…
…Wolverine remembers the old universe because of course he does. And with the help of a weird little girl, he goes around waking some of the people up and building a team to stop the Scarlet Witch and bring back the correct universe.
Anywho, I’m going somewhere with this. There’s a part in (I believe) issue 7 where the group is gathering to snatch and grab Scarlet Witch and make her put things back as they were. And someone steps to the front and says something that, after the reboots, seems much more profound than it was at the time. A character that, with the exception of right in this scene, I could never care less about. Cyclops.
People are starting to wonder if they should just leave things as they are since everyone got what they wanted. They’re wondering if there’s even a chance of fixing things. And Cyclops begins a little speech.
He tells them that he’s been the leader of the X-Men since his teenage years, and all this time, one of the things he’s always been proud of was his ability to hold himself back. And that, regardless of how long he’s always believed in self-control and restraint, he has to throw it away just this once. Everyone needs to fight without restraint because this is too important.
Then he says, if the new universe is allowed to exist, if everything just started fresh, every battle, every fight, every struggle that they had ever went through would suddenly be rendered meaningless and everyone that had died, died for nothing.
I can’t believe I’m saying this, but Cyclops summed up exactly why I can’t get back into comics.
I spent forever watching Green Arrow and Black Canary with their on again, off again relationship. Spent well over a decade of watching Blue Beetle and Booster Gold become the kind of friends everyone wants to have. I saw Black Adam take on almost the entire DC Universe and almost succeed. I saw the events of Blackest Night as it destroyed my heart strings. Wept over the loss of Sue Dibny. Rooted for Grayson in the Quest for the Cowl. I watched with glee as Lex Luthor had a sit down chat with Neil Gaiman’s Death. And, even on the bad notes, I suffered through watching Bruce Wayne die while shooting a god, with a gun, in space.
But with that reboot, my entire life of reading comics since the 80’s (with a ton of 60’s and 70’s comics from people thrown in for good measure) was just thrown out the window.
And I gave it a shot at first. It was like a friend made a life choice I was not happy with. I reluctantly sat by it, still supporting, and eventually I got hurt.
All the new books started, characters, once again, got their reboots. I sat back and I watched as two characters who had just become damn near perfect (Superboy and Supergirl) were suddenly changed into an imperfect clone and an alien brat. I watched the new universe flesh itself out to see where it was going.
And guess what. It was all rehashes. Instead of people making new stories, coming up with bold new ideas to justify the reboots, it was just lazy writers tripping over themselves to be the first to grab characters that haven’t been rebooted yet and shoehorn them into THEIR universe so that they could be the ones to “invent” them.
And to make matters worse, all the things that the DC Universe added in the last few years that made itself beautifully unique were all scrapped. For example, Oracle, one of my favorite characters of all time, an inspiration to a huge collection of handicapped readers as she is both in a wheelchair AND one of the most capable women in fiction, was…healed. Somehow here spine was healed in a flashback and she was Batgirl. No more of the amazing Stephanie Brown. No more Misfit or Wendy or any of the other cool characters she was normally with. Nope. She was Batgirl again…for no reason. All those amazing Blue Lanterns that were introduced to add some spice to the Green Lantern universe were…murdered. Oh, and remember how awesome it was when Batman found out that he had a biological child in Damian Wayne (a character so awesome I named my firstborn son after him)? Remember how if made the Batman comics interesting again and made them feel completely new? Well…they murdered him off to see how Batman deals with the loss of family. You know…the thing he already dealt with, becoming Batman. Who knows, maybe he’ll end up being Double Batman. Why the fuck not.
Long story short, I really wish people more people would have read that House of M issue. I wish all those lazy writers, just looking to copypasta their jobs for the next few years would have read Cyclops’s speech and stopped being so blind. Because (and you’re going to hate me for typing this) as they say, “in the land of the blind, the one eyed man is king.”