Convergence Wish List

Yesterday, while I was discussing Week 4 of Convergence, I mentioned how I would like to see the adult (or not so adult) Scribbly in normal continuity. He's a fun character, and could act as an outside observer/commentator in the style of Marvels or Astro City, working as a cartoonist for some lowly independent newspaper. But who else? If we take Telos at his word, the winning city from Convergence will be allowed to "exist", which at first sounded like its properties would be returned to Earth-0, though it's looking more and more like that continuity will become one of the Multiverse's Earths (one of the mystery worlds Morrison left on the map?). Whatever. We all know the event can't end with a single winning city, too many heroes will try to subvert the rules and defeat Telos instead of one another. Which creates an opportunity for characters from ANY continuity to pop up in the Continuity-formerly-known-as-the-New-52, be it as a retcon or an implant.

What we're likely to get
We already have access to DC's June solicitations and can get an idea of the immediate effects of Convergence on the core universe. Two properties have been tied into DC's long-term strategy and it could be said Convergence continued their story, as a bridge between Futures' End/World's End and the new status quo: Batman Beyond and Earth 2.
Solicitation for the former expressly mentions Terry "Batman Beyond" McGuinnis' exploration of his new reality, the DCU's "true future", which according to the cover, includes the Atomic Knights, OMAC and Kamandi. Not sure how the Beyond heroes fit that history, but that seems to be the gist of it. As for the New52 version of Earth 2, its heroes lost their world to the forces of Apokolips, and ended up orphaned on Telos, acting as the main protagonists of the core Convergence mini-series. Looks like they could be "winning", with the new Earth 2 acting as a hodgepodge of various realities. The solicitation for Earth 2: Society also mentions a "new world" to explore. The cover only shows New52 Earth 2 characters (the new Batman likely their Dick Grayson), but it's conceivable this will be like Green Lantern Mosaic, except with populations from various cities seen in Convergence, trying to build a new world. The cover to #2 shows a strange looking city in a desert environment, so I guess it won't be an amalgamated Earth where, say, the JSA fights crime in New York, the Marvel Family in Fawcett, the Charlton heroes in Hub City, the Tangents in Central, etc. One wonders how much space to grow will non-New52 characters be given.

We can, I think, take for granted that no series continuing its pre-Convergence numbering will have been affected, and while characters like Prez and Dr. Fate ARE from other universes, these are clearly new versions of them, and so must be called the New52 versions. It's possible Black Canary gets retconned to an earlier version, just going by her look. Similarly, Starfire will no longer be an "Outlaw" and gets her own series, with a less revealing costume. Is this likewise a reversion/retcon? Bizarro gets a series, but is it the Bizarro that was trapped on Telos? Bat-Mite looks like he's going through the DCU to "fix" it, but I very much doubt DC is going to make real changes to its continuity in an overtly comedic series (though I'd love it if they hade that level of audacity). If that's Power Girl in Earth 2, who's the Power Girl in the Harley Quinn/PG book? And what of Garth Ennis' Section 8 mini-series? Hitman isn't in New52 continuity, is he?

My choices from the menu
It's clear not every character featured in Convergence can actually be considered for a return to the core universe. The announcements made by DC preclude any convergent changes to Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman, for example. I'll keep that wishlist for the end. So what can we actually consider to be ON the menu?
The WWII heroes. I think DC's 5-year-time line has been a bust. It didn't make sense from the start, distracting from good stories rather than serving as a story engine. Retcon that turd, and restore DC's Golden Age to its proper glory. There were heroes, "mystery men", and then they passed into legend. When the Justice League shows up in the 2010s, the All-Star Squadron has been all but forgotten. The kids these days see the new heroes as the only ones; it's been 70 years since any of the old guys were active. Let them have a certain legacy, where writers want them, and maybe even set a book in that era, at some point, so we can rediscover DC's long history. Roy Thomas' ASS was a big part of what made me fall in love with the DCU, and I think readers today would be just as interested in anything that deepens the fictional world they're following.

The Pre-Crisis Hawkman and Hawkwoman. I've never hidden my feelings about this. The best Earth-1 version of Hawkman and Hawkwoman is the one where they're a sexy space couple. I realize they weren't necessarily in the best spot just before the Crisis, but the Shadow War storyline they returned to in Convergence proved to me that version still had something, especially with more modern art. Tim Truman basically gave us something halfway between the Kubert Silver Age stuff and his own Hawkworld, and I loved it. It's time to do away with the Hawk avatar bull and reset the characters to their baseline.

Another couple I'd dearly want back: Ralph and Sue Dibny. Oh, and the Legion. But I'd say this at the end of any event. I'm biased.

Way off the map
And what about the stuff I KNOW I can't have?
If it were up to me, I'd go back and undo a lot of what the New52 did and bring back much stronger versions from the past. Superman and Lois, once again married. The clone Superboy from back when he was cool, fade and earring and all. The Suicide Squad as it was, not at its post-punk worst. The Marvel Family as they appear here and in Multiversity. I'd take the Batgirl series currently running and give the character blond hair - why is Barbara going to college when Steph was already doing that when they nipped her run in the bud? - and return Oracle to her all-important spot in the DCU, a DCU where The Killing Joke never happened, but she still broke her back. And then I'd weep anyway because I hadn't done enough, like find a spot for Wally West who, I admit, was a little broken after Infinite Crisis and all that. Oh screw it, he's back, and it's all about Speed Force, all the speedsters are.

And because I'm a little crazy, I'd bring the Tangent Flash into the DCU. I love that character, and I don't care if the name is taken. Make her a Teen Titan, and make the Teen Titans more in the spirit of Becky's book. And her mom Celeste better have crossed over as well, and be acting as a kind of den mother to the Titans.

And one final wish: The Wildstorm universe loses badly, and none of the characters are ever seen in the DCU again. Boom. I went negative there for a second, and I'm not even sorry.

But let's say I give YOU the keys, where do you drive your Convergence truck?


Anonymous said...

I pretty much like everything you've described.

On the Oracle front, BTW, I think we've disagreed in the past what "should" be done, but time has caused us both to shift our outlooks to pretty much the same spot in the middle. I hated "The Killing Joke" and wished that none of it ever happened, while you were willing to accept "The Killing Joke" because of how good Oracle was. These days, I've come to conclude that Barbara was never better than when she was Oracle, and the wheelchair is central to the concept of Oracle; so Barbara "should" return to the wheelchair, just through a less rapey, lurid way than Moore and Wein originally gave us. And that sounds like roughly the place you're in too.*

In the pre-nu52 world, it was touched upon that the main DC earth was an amalgam of other existing earths, and I liked that model. You want Wildcat and Catwoman working together? Not a problem, continuity allows for it. You also want a world that is very much like Earth 2 of old? We've got one of those too; you'll probably need the help of a Flash to get there (not a problem, we've got dozens of them).

Speaking of Earth 2, I hate everything the nu52 has done with it. 100% of the charm of Earth 2 (old style) was that those were the original heroes, and they may be up in years but they are like the titans of old, mighty in their age. These are the guys who punched Nazis in the face; you can't just replace them with "modern" versions and hope to recapture the charm. Then to have Darkseid destroy that world ... no, just no.

Also, nu52, Darkseid is WAY too involved in the regular universe. The Kirbyverse doesn't play well with the regular DC universe, and World's End proved to us why: you can't have Apokolips that involved without forcing some resolution or other. Either the world eventually falls or Apokolips eventually falls.

Was it you who speculated, many years ago, that Johnny Thunder's thunderbolt might have made the JSA immortal via an accidental wish? I still like that explanation, and would suggest that it could be used equally well if we wanted to explain how WWII-era heroes are still alive. ("Wow, I can't believe it's the JSA's 20th anniversary. Say, you guys ever wonder what the 21st century is like?")

Overall, I'm forced to conclude that most of the nu52 was a dud, and we ought to restore things to how they were before. Some judicious Superboy punching to knock things in/out of continuity as required (such as a fix for "The Killing Joke"*), keep the improvements to Aquaman and Wonder Woman (I like her as a child of Zeus, it explains much), and then we're good.

*: Fixes to "The Killing Joke" that would make everything better, more or less:

1) The Joker never undressed Barbara -- that was the point where things really got skeevy, and started objectifying Barbara as a sexy sexy shooting victim. Keep your "ick" to yourself please, Alan Moore.

2) Let Barbara get a couple punches in before getting shot.

3) Suppose the Joker had left Barbara for dead, without understanding who he was messing with, and Barbara managed to drag herself to the phone and contact Batman? That way she not only stopped the Joker, she ultimately saved her dad.

Siskoid said...

And as a corollary to (3), she would have stopped the Joker and saved her dad REMOTELY, prefiguring the Oracle persona.

Anyway, they're playing Batgirl as college girl Stephanie right now anyway, in all but name and hair color.

Completely agree with your Earth2 thoughts. I mean, it was an interesting inversion to have them be the newest heroes instead of the oldest, but that didn't take us very far until Robinson left and the next team was told to blow everything up. Dull. They'll still be around, building a new society on Telos, looks like. Whatever.

Don't think I originated the Thunderbolt idea, but it may have been born (or at least repeated) in the comments of this very blog, somewhere. Stand up if that was your genius idea, whoever you are.

The thing with a lot of the New52 stuff that actually works is that the standard DCU could have gone there directly, without a Flushpoint. Aquaman had already been restored in the ultimately pointless Brightest Day event, and the story seems to continue on from there in the New52, minus the new Aqualad, and is the poorer for it. I don't think we COULDN'T have had the Azzarello Wonder Woman in the old DCU (though I won't touch the Finchs' version with a 100 foot lasso). Batman and Green Lantern weren't really rebooted, etc.

Just "renumbering porn" in a lot of cases.

Andrew Gilbertson said...

Yeah, basically what you proposed, Siskoid. I might actually start caring about DC comics again if they did all that- but the Super-marriage is a deal-breaker, and since, as you point out, that's HIGHLY unlikely...

SallyP said...

Siskoid, can we put you in charge of DC?

Siskoid said...

Click the Siskoid as Editor tag to make sure you know what you'd be getting yourself into, but if called, I will answer.

Just what that answer would be, I don't know.

CONVERGENCE II: Stuff happens while DC moves (again) to Atlantic Canada.

Anonymous said...

"Aquaman had already been restored in the ultimately pointless Brightest Day event"

In my estimation, Aquaman is where DC Comics went wrong in the first place, with the murder of Arthur Jr back in the 1970s. I say that put a permanent crack in Aquaman -- say whatever you like, but Black Manta murdered Aquaman's son, on-panel, and then walked away -- and that's also the point at which DC seems to have decided that, the more damage you do to your heroes, the better. (That's it, DC, I don't want you hanging around with that Marvel kid any longer, he's a bad influence on you.)

"Brightest Day" could have fixed Arthur Jr, but didn't. But the nu52 did, by none of that ever happening.

Siskoid said...

Didn't it?

The New52 is so damn dark and gritty, I was sure it did.

Anonymous said...

Maybe it was Devon Sanders of that came up with that Thunderbolt idea. By the way, his blog has nominally restarted, though there's not much content there (yet).

Anonymous said...

"Roy Thomas' ASS was a big part of what made me fall in love with the DCU"

Maybe you should rephrase that... ;)

Siskoid said...

Or maybe I knew full well what I was saying ;-).


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