Editors Note: All editorials are solely the opinion of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of DC Comics News or its staff.
In case you didn’t know, it’s almost 2014. The New 52 is far from new now. In fact, it’s been going on long enough for me to finally say a long overdue goodbye to Superman’s trunks. They’re just gone now and I need to accept it.
DC had a lot of mini public relations disasters in 2013. I ranted, sometimes at great length, about most of them. And I’ll be honest; it’s a lot of fun to write criticism. Without DC’s steady stream of stupid crap, I’d probably make this a monthly column instead of a weekly one. I still wish for that world. I really do. A world where DC makes decisions in the interest of great storytelling instead of in interest of the almighty dollar. A world in which every superhero movie doesn’t need to be so damn grim. A world where female characters aren’t constantly objectified. A world where I wouldn’t feel the need to write this column.
On New Year’s Eve, most of us make these stupid little declarations about how we’re going to be better people, or maybe we’ll exercise or diet or be more outgoing. Here’s what I hope the higher-ups at DC realize: comic books really are a dying medium. These are probably the twilight years. Superhero movies are already over-saturating the theaters, and, as with all genres, audiences will eventually tire of them. So, if this is the end, how do you want to go out? I’m hoping for a creative renaissance of sorts. Tell the best stories in the best ways. Tell the stories that change things. Tell the tales of the final battles, the love stories that never got to be, the adventures that got cut short, all the things dreamed of but never undertaken. Tell the stories you’ll regret not telling when there’s no one left to listen. Be passionate. Scream the truth until you lose your voice. Because you’re going to lose it anyway.
I realize that was a bit dramatic. And it’s probably too much to hope for. So I’ll dial it back and make it simple.
I want DC to rediscover its sense of fun. That’s certainly starting, especially with books like Harley Quinn’s new ongoing. But I want it back on a larger scale. I want Booster Gold back. I don’t mean New 52 Booster, I mean the real damn Booster Gold. The one who was fun and endearingly self-involved and missed the crap out of his best friend. I want Nightwing and Red Robin to make jokes again. I want Stephanie Brown back.
I know, I know, Stephanie is set to make her return in the new Batman weekly series coming out in early 2014. But I want her to be more than just a name. I miss the character that had no idea how to be a hero and was way too awkward in and out of her costume.
I want Plastic Man and the Doom Patrol. I want Catman back. I want Darkseid to say more than two words. I want Tim Drake to not end up being Terry McGinnis. I want the writers and artists to get more creative freedom while DC editorial takes a step back. I want Lois Lane to actually have a purpose again.
I want Rocksteady to announce the next Arkham game and not be afraid to break the mold a little. It’s okay for a Batman game to take place over the course of a few days or weeks or months instead of just being crammed into one night. There can be multiple playable characters in the story mode. And the Joker doesn’t need to be the main villain. Hell, I don’t know a single person who wouldn’t enjoy an Arkham Beyond game that takes place in the Batman Beyond universe.
Batman vs. Superman has already fulfilled my 2014 wish for it this month by announcing that the script would get a rewrite by someone who can actually write well, so my great hope for the film is that it isn’t afraid of embracing that it’s a comic book movie. I really do believe that the real secret to success for Marvel’s movie franchises are that they embrace their own inherent ridiculousness.
And, lastly, I have a wish for the fanboys out there. Don’t be afraid to create. It’s easy to tear things down and mock the work of others. I do it all the time. But if you really think you could do better, then actually try to do better. We all have something we’re good at. I write screenplays. So this year I’ve been working on a spec script for Arrow and what essentially boils down to a fan-fiction pilot for a Justice League International sitcom. The Arrow spec features Carter Hall making a lot of bird puns while Ollie quips about boxing glove arrows. The JLI pilot embraces the insanity of the “we stole J’onn’s cookies” era and runs with it. Those things probably aren’t going anywhere. I might post them up on Reddit when I’m done.
The point I’m trying to make is that 2014 can be a year of real change if we want it to be. What’s your wish for 2014?