Why I’m Loving DC Comics Right Now
Anyone who knows me knows that I love comics. I’ve been reading comics since I was a teenager and I’m in my thirties now. It’s a part of who I am, and the companies are something that I absolutely love. Sometimes, I think that the comics find a way to get lost in all the talk about movies and TV shows, so I’d like to share with you why I love comics – specifically DC Comics – right now. It’s all about what the company is currently doing right.
Justice League Titles Matter – This is most important, which is why it’s first – Justice League titles are huge right now and they are driving the DC Universe. Thankfully, we owe all of this to one man and his name is Scott Snyder. Transitioning his Batman run to a full-blown Justice League epic in Metal, then moving to No Justice and into New Justice, he’s been a man with a plan and has executed it near flawlessly. His team book has been a can’t miss title and it’s currently steering the direction of the DC Universe. A creator with this kind of pedigree should continue to tell these kinds of stories for as long as they want to and as a fan, I hope he does. And the spin-off titles have been excellent. I am in love with Justice League Odyssey because it focuses on a small team and Darkseid. All these titles mean something in the overall universe.
Big Character Plans – DC has some of the most iconic characters in all fictional literature. Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, and Flash have been around for decades and are among the most easily recognizable characters. To emphasize this, big characters get big stories. Tom King’s Batman run may be one of the most important to the character when it’s all said and done. It’s already shifted several major relationship dynamics and is building toward a huge showdown with Bane. Brian Michael Bendis’ Superman is currently in the thrall of Leviathan, a story that could be much larger than it’s letting on. Wonder Woman recently recruited G. Willow Wilson, who has really thrown Diana into dealing with the Greek Gods. Finally, Josh Williamson’s Flash has tackled a ton of material, from the other Forces to a Year One story, to Flash War. Even if the plans don’t stick the landing completely, the creators have been going big as often as possible.
Bold, Line Encompassing Stories – Stories are the reason that we love these characters, not just their skill sets. This year alone, DC has had several bold stories that have run over an entire character line and dealt with several big stories. Heroes In Crisis took a step back to highlight mental health which is a very real world issue and makes some of the heroes with god level powers and personalities more relatable. Year of the Villain is shaping up to be incredible and will be among the most impactful recent stories when all is said and done. Even the character specific stories like City of Bane and the previously mentioned Leviathan have either been built for a long time or will affect the world for a long time. These stories show us what the heroes that we root for can endure and get back up from. Finally, Last Knight on Earth reuniting a dynamic storytelling team doing their final take on Batman. I’m looking forward to sharing this one with my friends.
Mature Themes in Black Label – Black Label has been an excellent addition to the DC family of books. It allows the creators to fully flex their wings and tell their stories in the way that they want to. They use all kinds of mature themes, which includes mature language (bad words) and racy art (remember that Batman dick thing?). Black Label hosted Batman: Damned and currently is responsible for Last Knight On Earth and Superman: Year One. This is absolutely the right place to tell the story for Last Knight On Earth. I’m admittedly not reading Superman: Year One, because the premise didn’t interest me, but the things I read about it tells me that it should not be a normal book. Keeping in mind that the line will expand by incorporating The Question as well as The Joker, the future is bright for the Black Label.
Crazy Interior and Cover Art – One of the biggest reasons that we enjoy comics is the art. Whenever we talk about a comic book story on the TwistCast, I make sure that we include a little discussion about the art. DC books have some of the most unique possible art in some of the books. Of course, the big titles (Batman/Superman/Wonder Woman/Justice League) always look crisp and show up strong week after week. What manages to be impressive is the chances taken with other books like Green Lantern or one of my current favorites Martian Manhunter. Martian Manhunter looks a little cartoony at times, but visually explores J’onn’s powers and history in such a dynamic way that it really enhances the story. Additionally, the cover art across all of the comics has been great. This really shines when we look at the variant covers. For example, the variants for DCeased have been zombies of big DC characters and incredibly detailed. The variants for Doomsday Clock (when the title sees fit to release) are beautiful. As a matter of fact, when I get the opportunity, I buy the variant covers because they are so alluring.
I love DC Comics and I feel lucky that my partners at The Twisted Cape do as well. So, as a recommendation from me, do yourself a favor and read Scott Snyder’s Justice League. After that, pick a character and read some of the work being produced right now. There will absolutely be something that intrigues you and may even cause you to branch out into other titles. Keep reading The Twisted Cape for more superhero content.