Let’s Not.

January 13th, 2009 by | Tags: , , , , ,

Here’s a question*. Do you think that people who are interested in reading Vixen: Return of the Lion, with words by G Willow Wilson and pictures by CAFU, care about this?

The correct answer is no.

Vixen is a series that is a repositioning of a recently reintroduced Justice League character who hasn’t appeared regularly for years. Batman appears on a few pages out of the issue as a guest star on a rescue mission. There’s no mention of his troubles in RIP– he’s just Guest Star Batman. Guest Star Superman, Guest Star Red Arrow (ugh), Guest Star Black Canary, and Guest Star Black Lightning round out the cast.

No one cares about Batman RIP because it doesn’t matter in the context of Vixen. How about we kill this continuity spider-web stuff and just stick to the shared universe approach? “Hey, it’s Batman! I like Batman, and even though he is currently Jean Paul Valley in his ongoing comic, I’m not enough of an anal-retentive OCD nerd to care!”

I’m not saying that you should never acknowledge things… but use some discretion. It’s worthless here.
On the flip side, this is kind of hilarious. One of my favorite things about Marvel is that they don’t throw anything at the wall to see what sticks– they throw everything.

For those of you who don’t know, Midnight Sons was Marvel’s ’90s supernatural line. Morbius, Blade, Hannibal King, Frank Drake, Ghost Rider, Johnny Blaze, Vengeance, and Marvel’s other supernatural characters were in a supergroup, or loose affiliation to this supergroup, called the Midnight Sons. They fought vampires, satanist mummy people, demons, Mephisto, and whatever other vaguely supernatural enemies decided to come calling. They were about as edgy as you’d expect, too. The satanist mummy chick had her pentagram on her right breast, for example.

Anyway, it’s the kind of idea that you’d never expect to make a comeback, but so far we’ve said that for Luke Cage, Iron Fist, Bucky, Hellcat, Captain Marvel, Moon Knight, and so on- you get the picture. Marvel has a habit of revitalizing their b, c, d, and z-list in a way that’s either genuinely entertaining or entertaining on a curiosity level, at least temporarily.

I can’t promise it’ll be good, but it’s almost sure to be more interesting than the latest Superman origin re-telling.

*This question takes place after Secret Six Discussion, but before Weapons of Mass Destruction.

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9 comments to “Let’s Not.”

  1. The Midnight Sons book was one of the sweetest fucking things imaginable to ten year old me. Any book with a vampire, multiple vampire hunters, and not one but TWO guys with the capacity to turn into flaming skull bikers was like manna from heaven.

  2. Marvel pays Ellis to pretty much revamp characters. nextwave was pretty much a rescue line to forgotten heroes. Who, apart from Machine Man, have gone nowhere.

    Actually where is Tabitha these days ?

  3. Tabitha showed up in X-Men: Manifest Destiny. I didn’t read it, but I know she introduced Beast to Facebook.

    This post makes me think of how great Mark Millar handled the Daredevil situation in Civil War. Rather than have someone say “Hey, it’s Danny Rand!” or “Isn’t Matt Murdock in prison?” he just ignored it while giving a slight nod. While it never outright talked about how it was Danny Rand, they still had that one panel that shows Daredevil staring at a penny. That way, in ten years from now, everyone can read it and not be hit off-guard. You know, like when they flip through Morrison’s JLA run and see Superman.

  4. @Gavok: You know, like when they flip through Morrison’s JLA run and see Superman.

    It’s funny, because I was glancing through “Rock of Ages” again today and thinking just that. Electric-blue Superman, Wonder Woman is dead, Green Arrow and Green Lantern are Gen Xers, Aquaman is a beardy-head with a hook hand, Aztek’s there with relatively little explanation. Unfortunate that such a fun story should be so new-reader unfriendly.

    Still, I appreciate that Grant Morrison seemed to embrace the changes and tried to come up with cool ways to use Superman’s new powers and the like. A lot of writers would have just thrown up their hands in surrender and asked if they could bring back Hal Jordan already.

  5. I agree about not giving a damn about the RIP reference.

    I disagree that it was even worth a nod.

  6. @Justin: DC wasn’t too worried about the trade paperback market back when JLA started. Then again, since Morrison’s JLA was all about showcasing all of DC’s big names in a group title, I suspect that Morrison was editorially mandated to keep the changes to characters in the book.

    You can see that in the arc that introduced Zauriel. Superman was supposed to push the moon back into orbit and then wrestle Asmodel to a standstill, then they told Morrison his powers had changed. Whilst he was able to come up with another way to do the moon-pushing with his wacky EM powers, we still have the incongrous sight of the not-superstrong Superman wrestling a superstrong angel.

    To be fair this happens in every flagship book. Check out the Ultron Unlimited story in Busiek’s Avengers with Cap rocking the energy shield he was using at the time.

  7. Morrison did the best he could do with DC’s continuity at the time. As for Batman, yeah, the warning was totally unnecessary. But you know who’d care? Most comic book fans who whine about such stuff, the vocal minority. I liken the note to the “Caution: Contents are Hot.” warning in coffee shops: glaringly obvious, but keeps whiners at bay. 😛

  8. I would think that any comic book fan anal-retentive enough to give a damn about Batman’s current status would have come to the realization that they have to jockey stories around in time to make them fit continuity (if that even works).

    Speaking of contorted continuity, the stuff that they do at http://www.marvunapp.com/ is impressive. It actually got the guy the continuity editor job at Marvel. Maximum contortion: http://www.marvunapp.com/Appendix/kangaroh.htm

  9. @Ben: that site made me wake up 12 minutes later with someone’s wallet in my mouth.