June 10, 2011

Thoughts on the New DCU – Part 4: The Dark Side

Category: Opinion — By , , and @ 5:00 pm

Continuing our series reacting to the news of DC’s September relaunch. Previously we’ve looked at the Justice League, and Green Lantern and Batman books. Now we look at DC’s attempt to reclaim its characters from Vertigo.

Justice League Dark · Demon Knights · Swamp Thing · Animal Man by Jeff Lemire · Frankenstein, Agent of SHADE · Voodoo · I, Vampire · Resurrection Man

Kelson: This is the section that appeals to me the most. It’s clearly DC’s attempt to re-integrate the characters who had previously crossed over to Vertigo, and it’s also the first section where they’ve taken big risks.

Greg: The fact that these books are being trotted out with the new DC is a great sign that the rich stable of characters and talent are being utilized in this new push.

Devin: This is a corner of the DC Universe that I’ve never much cared for, no matter how many times I’ve tried to give it a chance. Magic, horror and supernatural stuff as a whole just doesn’t appeal to me as much as traditional super heroics.

Justice League Dark

Kelson: The idea of a team including John Constantine, Madame Xanadu, and Shade the Changing Man (and apparently Zatanna) sounds like a lot of fun, and I have confidence in Peter Milligan…though I hope “Justice League Dark” is a working title. I know they want to go with the name recognition, but it just sounds awful.

Greg: Milligan is quite good and this sounds like an interesting title. I think spreading the “Justice League” brand around is a good idea, and a way to catch that envisioned new audience browsing.

Lia: I don’t know about this one. The lineup is cool, but how is this going to be any different from, say, the Shadowpact series? The title makes it seem somewhat superhero-y so I’m not sure it’s a good fit, and I personally have mixed feelings on Peter Milligan’s work.

Swamp Thing

Lia: Is he going to go around killing people like in Brightest Day, or is he going to be more like the classic Alan Moore Swamp Thing? I prefer trippy and funky over murderous.

Animal Man

Lia: I don’t really have a lot to say about this one, except that I preferred Grant Morrison’s less-adult series over the Vertigo series, and would be more likely to read this one if there’s a minimum of horror in it. I’m a total wuss when it comes to horror, and scary stuff or abuse involving animals makes me even more uncomfortable.

Frankenstein, Agent of SHADE

Kelson: This version of Frankenstein was one of the more interesting characters to come out of Grant Morrison’s Seven Soldiers (though I think the updated Klarion was the most interesting), and I enjoyed the first issue of the Flashpoint tie-in by the same writer as the new book.

Lia: No interest, sorry. I’m puzzled by the very existence of Frankenstein in the DCU.

Demon Knights

Lia: The medieval aspect of this book is unique and could be a lot of fun, but I’d want to know more about the general concept before forming an opinion.

Kelson: I want to want to check this one out (if that makes sense), but I don’t think I know enough yet to figure out whether it appeals to me.

I, Vampire

Lia: I liked him in the Doctor 13 series, but vampires in general are not my thing.

Kelson: No particular interest I, Vampire, but it’ll be amusing to see it on the shelf next to iZombie.


Kelson: I thought Voodoo was a new character until someone pointed out she comes from WildCATS. Which is interesting, as this was our first confirmation that DC has finally started folding the WildStorm Universe super-heroes into the DC Universe the way they did the Quality, Fawcett and Charlton characters in the 1980s…and more recently the Red Circle and Milestone characters.

With Voodoo, Stormwatch and Grifter launching, I have to wonder which other WildStorm characters will return, and how well they’ll fit.

Lia: Oh dear, the Wildstorm universe joining the DCU. Perhaps it’s unfair on my part, but I’m opposed to this because I liked very little of Wildstorm and don’t think its series are a good fit in the DCU. And please don’t make Voodoo a stripper again; no disrespect intended towards sex workers, but I’m tired of seeing female characters in the same stereotypical professions.

Resurrection Man

Kelson: Resurrection Man is one of those series where I always meant to track down the back issues. Now’s my chance to start fresh.

Lia: The concept is interesting to me, but I’ve never read anything with this character.

Part 1: Justice League
Part 2: Green Lanterns
Part 3: Batman
Next up: The Next Generation of Justice