I remember when Geoff Johns wrote “Blitz” and “Ignition”

I remember when Geoff Johns wrote “Blitz” and “Ignition” in order to make the points that (a) heroes don’t need tragedy to make them great and (b) grim & gritty and decompression have their place, but aren’t the best fit for a character like the Flash.

Then a few years later he gave us Flash: Rebirth, Flashpoint, and the New 52.

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Problems with SOPA

“if you’re not breaking the law, you have nothing to fear from SOPA.”

Really?

Feds Falsely Censor Popular Blog For Over A Year, Deny All Due Process, Hide All Details…

And this is under the current law, without the additional tools SOPA provides.

Also, check out CloudFlare’s article about how they already have to deal with people sending bogus DMCA complaints in order to get the data needed to launch DDoS attacks. With SOPA, why bother to launch the DDoS, when you can get the law to do your dirty work for you?

Even the pro-copyright-enforcement Heritage Foundation warns about unintended consequences of the law. It doesn’t matter if the law is only intended to go after rogue sites if it’s written in a way that applies to legit sites as well, and it doesn’t matter who’s targeted if the solutions imposed result in major collateral damage.

Consider also that the “techno-elite” you’re referring to are the people and companies who built and run the Internet, and includes companies like Facebook, Google, Yahoo, Mozilla, PayPal and Wikipedia. Not just their users, but the companies. It seems they might know something about how it works, and how this law would affect it.

“I just don’t see opposing intellectual property protection as doing the right thing.”

Again, you’re falling into that second trap, where “something must be done” implies “this thing must be done.” There are other ways to protect IP than by passing SOPA or Protect IP in its current form.

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Most of the complaints I saw were from people who were fully aware of Starfire’s history

Maybe we were reading different discussions, but most of the complaints I saw were from people who were fully aware of Starfire’s history, but did not like the switch from “defined character who is also hot and has sex” to “flying sexbot who might get some characterization sometime in the future, but has mainly been introduced as being hot and having sex.” That includes the original article that touched this all off.

And yes, everyone knows it’s a relaunch/reboot. That explains the presence of changes. It does not justify bad ones.

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Final Crisis,for all the flack it gets for being impenetrable, is really self-contained.

Final Crisis,for all the flack it gets for being impenetrable, is really self-contained. Basically, get the trade or hardcover of Final Crisis, and you’re set. Revelations is a related story that takes place during FC, while Legion of Three Worlds and Rogues’ Revenge are mostly-unrelated stories that take place during FC.

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I wouldn’t even say that was the point of Flashpoint.

I wouldn’t even say that was the point of Flashpoint. The point seems to have been to tell an alternate universe story centered on the Flash.

It’s pretty clear from interviews that Flashpoint was planned before they decided to do a reboot – it was a big Flash story that became a big DCU event that would have led to the universe returning more-or-less to normal (no doubt with a few changes and some of the new Flashpoint characters retconned into history), but then DC decided to use it as the springboard for the reboot.

As near as I can tell, the only way that Flashpoint #5 transitions into the new 52 is that double-page spread. The final scene would have worked just fine in the old DCU if Kubert had drawn them in the old costumes.

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I’m completely uninterested in the mainstream part of the relaunch

I’m completely uninterested in the mainstream part of the relaunch, but then DC’s been slowly killing off my interest for the last several years, so it’s more of a final nail than anything else. I checked out Justice League #1, which basically confirmed my opinion. I’m going to give Flash another shot because (a) I hate letting go and (b) that art is just amazing.

On the plus side, some of the offbeat books look really interesting, and I plan on checking out Demon Knights, Frankenstein, Resurrection Man, and Justice League Dark.

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I think part of it is that DC periodically buys other comic companies

I think part of it is that DC periodically buys other comic companies or their characters and wants to integrate them into their main line. Fawcett, Charlton, WildStorm, Milestone, etc.

Another part is that most of DC’s big characters go back, in some form, to the late 1930s or early 1940s. Marvel as we know it today essentially started in the Silver Age with Fantastic Four, Spider-Man, Hulk, etc. The biggest Golden-Age character for Marvel is Captain America, who was frozen in ice until the Silver Age. So effectively, Marvel has fewer years of stories to keep in continuity.

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I wouldn’t say I’m considering getting a tablet for the DC relaunch

I wouldn’t say I’m considering getting a tablet for the DC relaunch, but I have added it to my list of other reasons I’m considering a tablet.

As much as I like print comics, I have to admit that I don’t re-read most of them, and I have a lot of long boxes. The idea of buying digital monthlies and then printed collections of the books I want to reread has a strong appeal.

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I never bagged and boarded them to preserve resale value.

Yes. I never bagged and boarded them to preserve resale value. I bag and board them to keep them from getting creased, bent or torn for the next time I read them. The comics that are in good condition stay in good condition, but it’s almost more important for the old ones that are falling apart – it keeps them from getting worse when I look through the boxes and pull things out.

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I think it depends on what you consider to be a multiverse.

I think it depends on what you consider to be a multiverse. Does it only refer to a rigid structure like the modern 52-universe DC multiverse, or does it include more fluid concepts like Hypertime or Michael Moorcock’s body of work?

I think as fans we tend to overanalyze and categorize things, and the industry is essentially run by fans these days. So there are people out there for whom it matters that Young Justice takes place on “Earth-16” and not simply in the Young Justice continuity. And fans overwhelmingly rejected Hypertime, which was designed not to impose a structure on the DC Multiverse but to describe how it actually works.

I do think there’s value in, as you say, being able to open the door between worlds. One of the oldest tropes of the super-hero story is the crossover. Whether it’s Superman and Batman teaming up, or two versions of the Flash, or Batman and Captain America, it’s a trope with tons of story potential.

If you have a chance, I’d recommend the trade paperback “Planetary: Crossing Worlds” by Warren Ellis. It includes a Batman story in which the team ends up jumping through the multiverse, meeting different variations on Batman (including both the Adam West and Frank Miller versions).

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Least Favorite Retcon

Barry Allen being the source of the Speed Force.

It just feels like a cheap gimmick to make him more important than all the other Flashes, not just for now (like Wally discovering new ways to use the Speed Force or Bart absorbing it), but forever. No one can ever be better than him, no one can ever surpass him, no one can really succeed him without being second-rate, because hey, being a Flash is all about Barry Allen!

It’s like two kids trying to one-up each other in a bidding war, and one pulls out, “well, I bid infinity!” When it’s a kid, you laugh at that sort of thing. When it’s the Chief Creative Officer of the company, it’s canon.

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Crazy ideas aren’t the problem.

Crazy ideas aren’t the problem. Comics have always been about crazy ideas. It all comes down to the execution.

“Get this: a farm boy discovers that his long-lost dad was a space wizard, and he goes to rescue this princess from a space station run by this evil space wizard…and they BLOW UP A PLANET!” When you put it that way, Star Wars doesn’t sound so great, does it?

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I’ve always considered myself a DC fan.

I’ve always considered myself a DC fan. I think it’s mainly that it’s where I got started, so I got invested in the DC Universe. That’s what’s familiar, while Marvel always seemed like I’d need to do a ton of research just to get started. (Not necessarily true, of course, that’s just how it seemed.) Most of the Marvel books I’ve read were either stand-alone or set off in their own corner of the universe (Alias, True Believers, Astonishing X-Men when Joss Whedon was writing it, etc.)

In short: the complexity of the universe I knew kept me in, and the complexity of the universe I didn’t know kept me out.

These days I still consider myself a DC fan, and I follow all the DC-related news & commentary, but I don’t actually read many of their books anymore. It’s down to one: The Flash. The rest of the line just doesn’t appeal to me anymore. But neither does Marvel’s. Actually, about half of my pull list is from BOOM! right now, with the rest of it scattered around DC/Vertigo, Dark Horse, Aspen, Image, etc.

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Pleasantly surprised by a fun adventure story with great art.

I’m enjoying it [The Flash] a lot. I really wasn’t expecting to – I’m a Wally West fan myself, so Barry Allen’s return felt forced and unnecessary. Yes, the series was broken post-Infinite Crisis, but in the words of another Geoff Johns story, just because something’s broken doesn’t mean you throw it away.

Worse, Flash: Rebirth really annoyed me on a lot of levels. I was at the point where I figured if the new series was going to be like Rebirth, I wasn’t interested in reading it. Fortunately I gave it a chance, and was pleasantly surprised by a fun adventure story with great art.

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After they defeated the Adversary, I completely lost interest in Fables.

After they defeated the Adversary, I completely lost interest in Fables. I tried to keep going. I think I read another four issues or so, about to the point where someone released the Sealed Evil In A Can, and kept buying them for a few months after that. Once I realized I wasn’t reading it anymore, I dropped it entirely.

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Continuity

I had a longer comment, but I think it all boils down to this:

  1. Long-term fans like to be reminded of the stories that got us hooked (our own personal “golden age.”)
  2. A lot of the writers, artists, and editors making comics started out as fans, especially since the 1980s.
  3. The industry does not want to lose readers. (Maybe they don’t know how to replace them with new readers, or don’t want to chance it, or maybe they’ve just prioritized keeping the current readership over bringing in new people.)

That said, some stories are a lot more accessible than others – even with the same character and the same writer. Geoff Johns’ Flash: Rebirth miniseries was steeped in 60 years of Flash mythology. His first story arc on the new ongoing pared it down and made a point of establishing everything you needed to know for that story as if it were just being introduced for the first time.

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