New Year, Same Ole Song

A Lois-less week in the comics.  Yes, I know she’s not the ‘main’ character in the mythology but apparently Clark Kent isn’t either.   No Lois Lane or Clark Kent in Superman 15, Superman Family Adventures 8 or Smallville Season 11 #28, Effigy.  What a let down after Geoff Johns put Lois in the first two issues of his Throne of Atlantis crossover.

DC Comics seems to be pulling another WONK or Grounded during this fauxmance phase.  Superman is alienated so his human aspect is to be ignored.  Has Clark even done a blog/newspaper story since Superman #1?

In the narrative boxes of Superman #14, we found out Lois has won a Pulitzer – how & why?  That five year gap is very convenient for tossing bricks into, but DC is not building anything with them.  And in so doing, we have no foundation for new readers or loyal readers to know who these new 52 characters are.   Villains we have by the boatload, but knowing the main characters . . . not so much.

Pardon me, but I’m a bit of a wing nut regarding this next topic:  Where in the hell are the results of the 2nd Nielsen survey done six months ago?  The reason I keep harping on this is because I want to know if the results were different than what DC Comics publishing perceived as their target audience (males 14 to 34 years old)?  Why is that important?  Because if DC misunderstood their audience and they write stories through a male gaze for a male focus group then sales are going to fall.  In other words if there are more females (> perceived 7% or 1st electronic survey 20%) reading their comics, they are not going to appreciate what is being done to female characters or to their favorite male characters if DC is making them a douche.

Case in point:  Wonder Woman in the bullship.   Diana is kickass Wonder Woman in her own book even though she is confronted by male subplots at every turn.  BUT in Justice League and Superman, because of the fauxmance, she doesn’t know herself and she follows Superman’s lead.  This alliance is doing nothing for her character development.   In Justice League & Aquaman #15s she defers to Superman in defying Batman or the rest of the League.  Since she’s confessed to not knowing her own mind, this is a problem.  Wonder Woman is better than that.   She doesn’t deserve her only line in Superman #15 to be asking Superman if he called them (her) while the guys strategize about the situation.  Really?  That’s what you’ve reduced her to – arm candy for Superman?  She wants to call him beloved . . . two kisses and a pair of glasses and she’s totally enamored?  How far did he put his tongue down her throat?  Is this DC editorial’s way of blaming Diana for the bullship like they blame Clark’s despondency in Superman #1 on Lois?  See what a male gaze does to female characters?

Superman and Lois Lane’s legendary love story has been put on hold since the reboot because of the planned fauxmance.  So Lois has not been investigating on her own.  She had one appearance in Superboy #1 but that was dropped.  She made another appearance in Batgirl, but not sure what that was about.  And now Clark is accusing her of selling out her integrity for cover ‘puff pieces’ as an television producer.   This is in Lobdell’s Superman.  In Justice League, Lois appears to be reporting with Jimmy Olsen in the present timeline.  So which is it?  If fans have to have the bullship in both books shouldn’t Lois’ position at the Daily Planet be clear?  Is she back to reporting or is she a sell out producer in the new media division?   And how in the hell did she get off that roof in the rain?  She can save herself and probably had to with the power twins completely deaf to what Vulko was telling them.  At least readers can count on Geoff Johns’ Lois – always to be Lois.

Scott Lobdell gave interviews this week about his H’El on Earth crossover with the other Super books (except Action) .  He said that Lois is her own person.  Lois is Lois, but none of the writers have shown us Lois hard-news investigating.  In recent Superman issues, we’ve seen she is moving in with her ‘place holder for Clark’ boyfriend.  So it’s about her boyfriend and not Lois being an independent, intrepid reporter.  That’s not being her own person.  Next time we’ll see Lois, apparently, is when she has a housewarming party – at her apartment.  Clark will be there, but the visit will get interrupted – remember he can’t spend 5 minutes with Lois without the obligatory interruptus.  He can pump iron in the middle of the Earth for 5 days and not do any reporting – but once he gets into a panel with Lois, it’s am-scray.  So predictable and boring.   It’s the ‘Anyone But Lois’ show again.  Where is the legendary love story?   It has served the mythology well for 75 years.  And if DC has a larger female audience than previously perceived, could mean a rise in sales if they wrote it — but, but . . . they’ve had this love triangle crap in their heads for 2 years . . . it’s going to be a lonnnnnngggg collllldddddd winter.  And may not get better in the Spring when the 75th anniversary of Superman happens.  Or the Summer when Man of Steel debuts.  Sounds a little hopeless, huh.  *sigh*  I have no faith in the current administration of DC Comics where Superman is concerned.

Andy Diggle expressed a desire to write Lois Lane, but if editorial says no, then his hands are tied.  Lobdell appears to be placing Cat Grant into the fray of Clark’s ‘women’.  Scott Snyder’s yet-unnamed-title . . . I’m not sure about this one.  He said Lois would be in the feature, but that was after a fan (Chris) asked him why he didn’t mention her.  He’s mentioned Lana quite a bit – so expect Clark to have yet another female distraction.

So far Johns and Lobdell have written Lois as Lois.  She’s about the only character fans can grab onto during this bullship mess.  Because of this very bad editorial idea, icons are going to get damaged.  Johns knows this.  And maybe that’s the reason Lobdell said Superman is going to be too busy (1.5 hour battle & multiple crossovers) to have his alliance with Wonder Woman in the Superman book.  In fact, the narrative box Lobdell put in Superman 15 regarding the fauxmance seemed to up the stakes from Justice League, but Scott did say in the interview that it is the same relationship as JL.  Better to let Johns handle it.  Having multiple writers would be a catastrophe – this is intricate storytelling – like trying to disarm a bomb.  Since the Trinity War was born in books with Justice League in the title, let Johns handle it.  It’s all about damage control.  We’re talking multi-million dollar, multimedia properties.  Ones that a corporation depends on to be successful in future ventures.  Damage those and heads will roll.

Action Comics – Grant Morrison still has two issues left at this writing.  In #16 next week, Superman battles the corporate Superman, Superdoom (Action #9).  Let’s hope Clark kicks his ass for twisting a successful, viable mythology into a alienated, angsty, no heart or soul villain.  I’m kind of liking these ‘behind the scenes’ storylines.  Lord Vyndktvx – who is that in real life?   I am hoping Mxy comes back to set it all straight.  He is my favorite villain.  Not Lex Luthor or Zod . .  . gimme Mxy.  Why, you may ask?  Because like Superman, Mxy is a powerful being (probably the most powerful in the universe) and yet his thing is messing with Superman – and Superman gives as good as he gets.  It’s fun.  Something sorely lacking in the new 52.  After issue #17 (Morrison’s last) maybe we’ll be able to see what the past 18 issues have been about.  No real character foundation – and there’s still the five year gap that has miscellaneous bricks in it.  When DC wants to do the legendary love (Clark and Lois), then we might get a glimpse of what’s in there.   Big maybe with the current administration.

I am still in the foxhole waiting for it all to blow over .  Like it says in the song . . . Somebody saaavvvveeee meeee.   I’m a Superman fan with a pocketful of money that DC Comics doesn’t want.  Oh, I forgot . . . I’m female.

Oh yea, my other favorite topic:

When in the hell is the Trinity War so this bullshit can end???

Join us this Sunday on G2Factor as we discuss Superman Family Adventures #8, Smallville Season 11 #28 Effigy and Superman #15.

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January 4, 2013. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Announcements, Baudy's Reviews, BaudyBlahBlahBlah, Superman.

6 Comments

  1. Slade replied:

    LOL You really want to know the results of that Nielsen survey, don’t you? 🙂 I’m gonna go out on a limb and say that those results probably weren’t very impressive.

    I’m primarily a DC guy, so I find it very distressing yet humorous to see the company repeatedly shoot themselves in the foot. And while they continue to alienate their core fan-base, Marvel is strengthening their catalog and doing it without the colossal blunders that have been made with the New 52 (apparently Marvel dominated the charts again last month). Hell, I’ve even jumped back on the Marvel bandwagon myself. (although I’m still a little butthurt about what happened in Amazing Spiderman #700)

    • baudyhallee replied:

      Hi Slade!

      Yes, I do want to know the results of the 2nd survey. The first was a sham statistically. Only 6 comic stores took surveys (167) and then the download surveys had an equally abysmal number (about 500). Considering the number 1 books had 190,000 orders, this is no way a decent sample size to make any analysis or assumptions. Both of these had 93% male and 7% female readers. These were the groups DC Comics used to justify their storyline decisions as this is how they perceived their audience. The third group was an online survey — this had about 5,000 completed. Not the best sample size (2.68%) but certainly the biggest they had. This showed a skew of 77% male to 23% female. John Rood in his commentary never mentioned these percentages. But made this very odd comment: “So was there a glut of activity specific to wanting to register certain feedback? I can’t say whether females found their voice in that survey or whether they had specific female related issues to report on, but this is something that stood out.” Rather than accept the percentages as they were, Rood decided to offer the opinion that females were trying to make a statement on the online survey. This from a company that had just generated same day digital for readers which they have to do ONLINE.

      This is why I am suspicious of not seeing the results of the second survey since it was an online one and perhaps there was a repeat of the male to female percentages. Or worse for DC, more females than there were before. If the DC editors made decisions to focus on a male 14 to 34 year old group and found their audience was a greater percentage of females — that would mean they would have to answer to Diane Nelson, who wanted statistics to back up their decisions. It was obvious DC had no numbers prior to the new 52 decisions. They only had their perceptions — and what if the second survey proved their perceptions (or ‘knowings’) were unequivocally wrong? According to the mpaa stats from the last 3 years, 51% of the movie going and movie ticket buying audience are female. DC seems to be still working from the late 80s stats. This will not serve them well for a business model.

      DC Comics seems hell bent on satisfying their egos and not opening up its fanbase to women and children or males over 34 years old. That’s the other thing we could have possibly seen on the second survey. Since DC didn’t get the ‘new readers’ it pitched the reboot towards — who are the loyal readers? What are their demographics? Should DC widen their market and bring back something like the Supermania of the 1940s? I doubt that they’d go for it. Didio is all about Batman and Lee wants Wildstorm shoved into everything. And what they’ve done to iconic female characters and creators is a travesty. The boys club needs to grow up and become business people. Using sales tricks is not going to keep DC Comics afloat. Always trying to ‘catch up’ with Marvel will continue their status as a follower not as a leader. DC Comics needs to take the comics industry to new heights with some innovation and a clear vision and business plan.

      Marvel introducing an issue #1 of Marvel Now every month is brilliant and it will kill DC Comics in sales. That’s why DC needs someone with a vision for the business and possibly the entire DC Universe cast of characters. Favoritism and chronyism is rampant within DC, blatantly so as it is reflected in the storylines and editorial mandates. Not good for business.

      I plan on buying my first Marvel series in February. I’ve always followed a character (Superman), but now I’m going to follow a writer. I’ve always loved the way Jeph Loeb wrote Superman and his cast of characters. So I will be buying Nova. I’m just that petty. DC has pushed me away as a female and as a Superman fan. I doubt that Marvel is any better — never been fond of some of the decisions made regarding Spiderman in the past and currently, apparently. Sheesh! But I want to make a statement with my money. Since Diana, who doesn’t know her own mind, will be going to Eros to see how she feels about Superman in February, I will be plunking down the bucks for Nova. Probably more cost effective and certainly not a strain on my blood pressure. 😉

      Doc Ock as Spiderman — what were they smoking? And he’s going for Mary Jane’s knickers? If he’s not Peter and she thinks he is . . . that’s non-consensual. Sick! Marvel needs to survey their audience too.

      I find the current administration very cynical in their view and this is disparaging to Superman. They don’t understand him because he tries to do the right thing even when that’s not clear cut. He has faith and believes in hope. He inspires us to aspire to be our own Superman. I don’t think the current crew at DC understands that. I’m hoping they’ll prove me wrong in that perception.

      Thanks for commenting!

  2. Slade replied:

    This is why many people feel like Karen Berger should have been named Publisher instead of Didio and Lee when DC became DC Entertainment. She’s one of the greatest visionaries to ever work in the comic book industry, and if she did get that position I’m certain that we wouldn’t be seeing these unprecedented levels of editorial incompetence, mismanagement and character desecration that we’re seeing under the Didiot and Lee.

    I’ll admit, at heart I’m a Wonder Woman/Batman shipper, but I firmly believe that the members of the Trinity should be nothing more than best friends. I will say that when Joe Kelly experimented with a WW/BM romance during his tenure on JLA, it was done very well because he wrote both characters as playing off of each other rather than tearing one down to build the other one up like Johns is doing. Oh, and the WW/BM romance in the JL cartoon was hilarious. Seeing “Mr. Dark and Brooding” get hot and bothered is priceless, and its testament to how much of a remarkable woman Diana is because very few women can do that to him. Plus, you haven’t lived until you’ve heard Batman sing “Am I Blue.” 🙂

    So you’ve never read any Marvel titles? I’ve always been a huge X-Men fan, so that’s what the majority of my Marvel reading has consisted of. I’m enjoying Thor: God of Thunder and I’ll give the first issue of Superior Spiderman a shot. I doubt that we’ll be seeing Ock/Spidey boning Mary Jane. That would garner too much negative publicity. I expect Pete to be back within the next six months.

    • baudyhallee replied:

      Actually my son was a HUGE X-men fan from his youth into his adulthood. I left him his ‘territory’. LOL And is every ‘event’ measured in six month increments? So I guess that means that the Supes/WW pairing will end after 19 — which should be the Trinity War in May? (Kiss was #12 + 0 issue + 6 months) Sounds about right. It’s the enduring and suffering through that time that is wearing me down as a Superman fan.

      I actually thought the Batman/Wonder Woman pairing worked especially when Steve Trevor was no longer in the universe. Her playing field was gods and goddesses. She seemed to have a great heart. He was human with fundage to make ‘equalizing’ gadgets and a fantastic analytical mind. Both brought out character growth in the other. (Superman and Wonder Woman are too much alike for it to work. So one suffers a downgrade in characterization.)

      Now my ultimate mate for Batman is Selina. Their brokenness completes the other and at the same time they are a reflection of each other. Batman skirts the edge of the law, but remains on the ‘right’ side. Selina skirts the edge and sometimes tramples over it. Most of the time she manages to escape to the ‘right’ side. She is pure instinct and intuition and he’s the World’s Greatest Detective. There is something about the other they can’t resist. (Much to Batman’s dismay. Selina probably doesn’t think about it much, although it might irritate her that this is the way it is.)

      Karen Berger would have been an excellent choice as Publisher. But I doubt the politics in the office were conducive to allowing that to happen. Lee had his own company — which the smartest thing he did was sell it to DC and Didio had established Batman as THE face of DC (while stomping over the backs of other icons) so he had to be reckoned with. Smart move probably would have been to bring in an outsider (like they did with Janette Kahn, who I adore).

      Losing Karen should be a wake up call to Diane Nelson. But maybe she doesn’t like playing den mother. What DC needs is someone who will BUILD THE BUSINESS — not fight over the same ‘territory’ that’s infertile to grow anything. They need to toss aside the box and look at the landscape — there’s a big horizon out there. Money to be made. The current mindset that no one but male 14 to 34 year olds will buy comic books is killing the industry — and simply is a HUGE FALSEHOOD. Someone needs to make the entertainment-hungry-population-of-all-ages see comics as their next addiction. DC has the characters/icons to do that, unless they damage them before someone can save their asses. Karen Berger could have very well been that person. BUT . . .

      Now DC Publishers are over all the books, including the creator ones. Closing Hellblazer for a Constantine book is more of a statement about a grab of control/power rather than incorporating Vertigo. Does anyone believe that these books will continue to grow or even exist under Didio and Lee? Somebody needs to wake up and start acting like a boss in the executive corporate offices of DC Entertainment. Everyone is thinking it, but who is saying it?

      The sad part truly is . . . beloved legends/myths/icons are being destroyed by these ‘caretakers’.

  3. Slade replied:

    Even if their target audience is males between 18 to 34 years of age, what they don’t seem to realize is that many of us who fall into that category are just as off-put by the crap that they’re pulling as the female readers are. I think I speak for a great many male comic book readers when I say that I love an intelligent, emotionally mature and self-assured woman, like, for example……BRIAN AZZARELLO’S WONDER WOMAN.

    With each passing day, I become more and more perplexed by what I’m seeing at DC. Bob Harras is EIC and just recently got promoted to SVP. Seriously??? This is the same guy who bankrupted Marvel in the 90s! Jim Lee — while a very talented artist — has proven to be anything but a progressive-minded individual in his 20+ years in the industry, and I see no reason for him to be in such a high ranking position. Dan Didio…yeash. He’s responsible for “Countdown to Final Crisis.” Need I say more about him?

    • baudyhallee replied:

      I can’t argue with anything you’ve said. I know that there are males in the target audience who shake their heads in disgust at what is going on within DC Comics. My son gave me the low down on Harras and Lee’s past. Didio . . . yea, he thought Countdown was what 52 should have been. Really?

      It’s a sad, sad time for comics. We need a hero, but DC is too busy making him an emotionally immature, angsty, alienated mess.

      Really encouraged today with what David Goyer said about Superman in MOS. “He’s an unabashed hero!” Just what our world and times need!

      Thanks for commenting.

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