Just When I Think I’m Out

March 14th, 2010 by | Tags:

They pull me back in.

And for serious, I wanted to be out.  I wanted to do a series of optimistic posts looking at promising upcoming comics.  I wanted to make it so the titles of the posts ended up being the lyrics to ‘Tomorrow’ from the musical Annie.  Because, that’s why.  Then I see Ian Sattler responding to people being upset with Cry for Justice like this:

“I’m happy it upset people because it means that the story had some weight and emotion.”

Mister Sattler is a very nice and gracious man, whose job it is to sell this series, so I understand him trying to put a good face on it but – come on.  We’re not teenagers anymore.  Not every kind of attention is good attention.  People aren’t responding the series because it has emotional weight.  People responded to All-Star Superman or New Frontier because they had emotional weight.

People are upset because it’s an 1) unpleasant, hacky gimmick, in a 2) clunky, unecessary story, establishing an 3) already-established character trait while 4) taking away the originality of at least three different characters.

The reason it got such a big response is because people could point to one book and talk about how it distilled the worst of the status quo in comics right now.

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8 comments to “Just When I Think I’m Out”

  1. Ian Sattler, in the words of Riley Freeman, “I’m comin for that ass…until you pay what you owe!”

  2. @Niles Day: I kind of feel for him, though. It’s his job to sell the series, and the writer of the book is right there next to him. He couldn’t really say, “Yeah, that sucked.”

    Still, a “people didn’t react the way we had hoped,” might have been better.

  3. If I had a nickel I heard that from editorial.

  4. “We’re not teenagers anymore. Not every kind of attention is good attention.”

    I’d like to think that they might be aiming for teenagers with Cry for Justice (and, possibly, my least favorite Lightning Saga) precisely because it aims for that very teenage knee-jerk reaction. Now I’m not saying that G.A.’s reaction or the audience response isn’t justified, but it does strike me as something I would’ve enjoyed as an angry, sensitive teenager in the early 90s. In fact, I’m pretty sure this exact feeling is what made me purchase Nicenza’s X-Force/Cable and possibly most, if not all of, Executioner’s Song, not because of the violence, but because of the severity of the bloodshed on the heroes hands.

    I do like how you weighed in on the value of one character being overly defined based on the maiming and the death of two other characters, but i always feel a bit put-off whenever I hear the “story-engine” defense. This was also used in Sue Dibny’s defense where people cited what could be done with her rather than what was actually done with her. Lian was just one of those characters that had limited range. She couldn’t age or fall in love or do any of the things that, say, a much older tweener could do. I wish they just aged her at a rapid pace and made her the arrow clan’s Damien. And while many people are citing that Roy’s defining trait was his daughter, I feel it is good to get rid of the daughter because Roy has so many other ways to be defined that should be taken advantage of.

    But I do agree that the whole “hand-wringing angst” is going to be a bit too much in the coming months. I hate these DC road maps that they have for these characters that spin them without the benefit of one creative team. I think I would’ve liked this more as part of an ongoing story in a team book rather than two different books and the JLA book. This actually makes more sense in Robinson’s CfJ team book because it actually defines the “justice” angle of this league if the goal was to differentiate Robinson’s JLA from Duffie’s JLA. But since it is two different series, I think I’ll leave it for younger and angstier versions of myself to enjoy.

  5. I like to imagine Sattler and Robinson reading the last sentence of your post, and agreeing that Robinson immediately draft an apology to the universe while Sattler slaps an “Elseworlds/Imaginary Story!” bug onto the eventual TPB cover.

  6. @l.k.: “I’d like to think that they might be aiming for teenagers with Cry for Justice (and, possibly, my least favorite Lightning Saga)”
    I figured the Lightning Saga was aimed a little at a more older audience, since it’s main selling point was bringing back a team that’s incarnation was famous in the 80s.

  7. Speaking of “worst of the status quo,” here’s some overwrought captions laid on top of the Teen Titans stomping a dude out.

    Roy taught us that sometimes it’s okay to curbstomp a guy.

  8. @david brothers: None of this is happening, David. None of it.