Thursday, October 4, 2012

13 Months Later--Where's The Fun?

Unfair comparison time:

 I'm looking at this cover yesterday...

...and it makes me think:

"Where the hell are the fun stories in DC's nu52?"

Yeah, that seems like it came out of nowhere. But the question has been percolating in the back of my mind for awhile, and this cover--on an issue about a flag football game between the Avengers Academy and the Jean Grey School--kind of crystallized the issue in my head.

Because if there is one thing that's been distinctly missing from the nu52, it's fun.

Hey, I don't expect every title to be "fun." Grim and gritty and serious have their place. And trust me, I'm acutely aware that "BWA HA HA" can very easily be overdone.

But there has been no balance at DC since Flushpoint--it's been all grim and gritty, all the time. Even the books that I think are pretty good seem focused on being as gloomy as possible.

I don't read all the nu52 titles--some I've never read--so it's quite possibly I've missed something. And, yeah, we've had some smiling and camaraderie, more so in some books than others.

But where's the silly, fun romps? Where are the "day in the life" stories? Where are the loopy Jimmy Olsen's wacky week stories, even as a back-up? Where are the "Swamp Thing's pal Chester gets into nutty trouble because of Swampy's tubers"? I know we can't do JLA/JSA crossovers...but could the Justice League stop being broody and self-important long enough to have a picnic? Teen Titans, how about taking a month off from life-threatening menaces to have a softball game? Hey, Firestorm, you're made of two teenagers--maybe take a break and tell a tale of kids doing fun things with super-powers? Birds Of Prey, maybe add someone like Lady Blackhawk, just so we can have an occasional bit of off-kilter hijinks? Hey Grant Morrison and whomever is writing Superman this week--Kal-El used to have a sense of humor. Would it hurt to have him at least crack a smile, even for one issue? One panel? Could we ever dare hope for a Flash/Superman race?

And the back half on this weeks AvX Vs was a bunch of short strips poking fun at the whole AvX thing. Can you picture any such sense of fun, of any such ability to laugh at themselves, happening at the ridiculously self-serious nuDC? Odds of seeing an Ambush Bug series mocking DC? Zero.

Sometimes, it seems as if the current head honchos are working so hard to distance themselves from the "old" DC, that they've forgotten that comic books are supposed to be fun...


Communications Féécum said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Siskoid said...

That's pretty much my complaint about the Nu52 too.

Batman Inc. has had some fun value (Bat-Cow and all that), and the Maguire-drawn portions of World's Finest. Dial H has some ridiculousness, but it's also quite gritty so I won't give it as an example. There's the sense that Green Arrow is trying to be fun, but it's failing. Wonder Woman #0's faux-Silver Age narration, but the series itself is pretty harsh.

OMAC had its tongue in its cheek, but that didn't make it past issue 8, and the Robotman feature in My Greatest Adventure was a lot of fun, as was the Ray mini.

But we're still pretty far from picnics and baseball games. So it's just the non-52 Superman Family Adventures then.

notintheface said...

I agree with you 99%. It's not 100% only because this week's Dial H had an anthropomorphic rooster with the body of a hula hoop.

But even Dial H seems to temper its fun. We get fun-as-hell heroes like Bumper Karla, but then the 0 issue introduces the premise that everytime a hero gets dialed up, it steals power from the REAL hero, sometimes in mid-fight/rescue, which sometimes causes people to die. Which is kind of a downer.

Anonymous said...

Enjoy the fun while you can. In a few months Marvel will start slaughtering all of those teenage characters in their grim Hunger Games ripofff.

SallyP said...

Fun? You want whimsy and lightheartedness in Comics? Are you some kind of weirdo? Only KIDS like that sort of thing! Or old people. Not the 18-30 male demographic that Comics are made for! And definitely nothing that has romance or a happy ending! That will get the women all stirred up!

Grim, and gritty and depressing and full of angst! That's the ticket!