Sunday, March 16, 2014

Finally, A Worthwhile DC Title

Here's some background for people who don't know me personally.  I'm a pretty hardcore Marvel comics fan.  I don't do DC.  I use too, before the New 52 was a thing.  I was a pretty regular reader of Gotham City Sirens.  I loved that cast.  Catwoman, Harley, and Ivy.  All of them awesome, well developed female characters with flaws and interests.
And then the New 52 happened.  It completely reset that world I liked so much.  It infuriated me with new, more skimpy costumes for women.  Catwoman's actions didn't make any sense anymore, she just became this thrill seeking character with ridiculous scenes of Catwoman and Batman having rooftop liaisons and pouring diamonds over her breasts.  It just completely lost me.  I didn't want to read that even a little bit.  The friendships that won me over to GCS were gone overnight.
Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not saying the characters I liked were saintly in the first place.  Harley allows herself to be continuously abused.  Ivy drugs people with her plants.  Catwoman steals from rich people.  All three of them are criminally insane.  But they're awesome female villains, or they were before the New 52.
 I swore off DC.  After Harleygate,  I was so deeply disillusioned with DC comics as a company, I was pretty sure they were never getting my money again.
 Enter Injustice: Gods Among Us.  It's just a video game novelization, right?  I mean, it's not even canon.  It's a little pocket universe created for the purpose of making an interesting video game.  Maybe that's what DC needs to do.  Their characters and plots are so warped and twisted from the way they started, maybe they should just go ahead and throw any notion of canon out the window and just write a series of what if books.  Who would think that's a viable strategy to revitalize a project like this?
The thing Injustice Gods Among Us is most similar to so far, I think, is the Marvel Civil War arc.  Some people hate Civil War, but I love it.  It's high drama.  It tests relationships.  It forces characters to confront some of their issues.  It's fast paced and unafraid of applying preasure to the main characters by killing off major characters and fan favorites.  This series really condenses a lot of action and drama to each issue.
I love the way this series treats characters like Aquaman as and the Flash as the major players they were designed to be instead of demoting them to the back seat their characters frequently take.
I found myself riveted by interactions between characters who have never come across each other before.  Oddly enough, I came out of volume 1 shipping the Green Arrow with Harley Quinn.  OTP.
DC is still doing an awful job at the character design level when it comes to female costumes.  In this particular book, however, the actions of all my favorite characters are in line with who those characters are.
One of my favorite scenes, one that I think was very daring, was an accusation by Superman that Batman loved the Joker, that he kept him alive because he enjoyed their games.  The writing in that scene was so spot on, so true to the anger those characters felt towards one another.
I ate it up, and now I want to read some more.