DC has the worst idea EVER


tglancy
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Just when I am starting to turn the corner on DC, this crap comes out. DD needs to be shot. From Newsarama:

Everyone’s talking about politics these days, and in September, that will come to include the heroes and characters of the DC Universe.

The place for the discussion: DCU Decisions, a four-part miniseries shipping every other week in September and October, written by Bill Willingham and Judd Winick, with art and covers by Stephane Roux. The heroes…they’re drawn into the political arena both by circumstance and by the actions of one of their own. A look at the art to the right makes that latter part pretty clear.

We spoke with DCU Executive Editor Dan DiDio about the story, the idea behind it, and why in the world anyone would willingly bring politics into a place that’s politics-free these days.

Newsarama: Dan – first off. Why? What’s at the root of Decisions in terms of getting the project started in the first place?

Dan DiDio: We’re entering a very interesting election year this year, and what I think is important about it is that it’s that there’s this excitement – a sense of “building”…there’s change in the air in regards to the whole political process that’s at play in the United States. What we want to do is tap into that emotion, and tell a story that plays in the DC Universe with our characters, while using the political backdrop we’re seeing now to help to define our characters better.

NRAMA: So how far will the characters go? We’ve got the piece of promo art here, with Green Arrow and he’s not keeping anything vague…

DD: Right. For the first time, we’ll be having our characters make true political stands in regards to their leanings, as well as what motivates them to be heroes, and what they believe is necessary for their world and their country to move in the direction they believe to be the right one.

That’s the larger story.

NRAMA: What’s the inciting incident here?

DD: An assassin in the midst of the heroes that’s basically trying to disrupt and destroy the entire political process. In the opening sequence of the story, there is an assassination attempt on one of the candidates, which brings several of the heroes into the fold once they realize the scope of the conspiracy and more importantly, the impact that it would have on the government and the country.

As the heroes are motivated and start to react to the assassination attempts, they start to express their own political beliefs, and start to discuss amongst themselves the importance of the process, and their role in the process. Several of the beats we’ll be showing here will play out into the DCU following the miniseries as well.

NRAMA: The last time that the DCU touched upon politics in a big way was Lex Luthor’s run at the White House in the Superman titles, which he won. Given the character, that was pretty fictitious take on the process, with official parties not being named. This sounds like it’s closer to reality.

DD: Yes and no. This is not about the actual candidates. Barack Obama, Hilary Clinton and John McCain do not appear in this comic [laughs]. These are candidates that represent particular political beliefs, and it’s more about why the heroes are motivated or respond to particular candidates themselves, or the platforms of particular candidates.

And also, this isn’t about a hero trying to become an elected official – this is about heroes choosing or naming a political affiliation in regards to their own beliefs, which include, of course, being a hero.

NRAMA: So, as in our world, the platforms of the candidates end up touching everyone’s lives in one way or another, that’s not different in a world with superheroes – most likely the platforms mention or include superheroes.

DD: Right. And just like in our world, there are moderate beliefs, there are conservative beliefs, there are liberal beliefs. There are Republicans and Democrats. The process and what the various political beliefs and parties stand for remain the same. We’ll be exploring those beliefs as they exist within the DC Universe.

NRAMA: Who are going to be the mouthpiece characters, for lack of a better term?

DD: Naturally, because of the way we’ve played Green Arrow over the years, and because of the One Year Later story where he became mayor, he’s front and center in the first issue, but beyond that, the story will literally run the gamut of the heroes in the DCU, and we’ll be exploring the story from a number of different heroes’ points of view as one roving reporter tries to pin down each of the heroes individual beliefs.

NRAMA: Of all the different directions you could go into and the things you can do with the characters, why in the world go here, into politics with a realistic edge? Of anything, save religion, politics have proven to be one of the most divisive forces of the past decade. As we’ve seen, even party members from the same party will turn on each other in a heartbeat. Why mix the ugliness of our world into something that is, as many people want to see it, escapist entertainment?

DD: Because of the process and the discussion that’s taking place in the world right now, and more importantly, it may be divisive, but it’s also defining. This is just another step for us to define who our characters are. This is something that we’ve been doing ever since Identity Crisis. With that, we examined people’s personal beliefs on what it took to be a hero and how much they were willing to sacrifice for it. In regards to the heroes of the DC Universe, I’ve always said that our heroes are proactive. They go out and they try to do good. Where the differences come from with the heroes is based in what is their idea of the greater good? Again, in examining what people’s political beliefs are, you also start to understand what they believe the greater good to be, and it helps define our characters further. Therefore I think it’s a good thing for us to bring this examination to our stories and to our characters so we can further hone and differentiate who our characters are and who our different heroes are.

NRAMA: So in setting things up, who sat down with the list of characters and put people on different sides of the aisle, as well as sticking right in the middle?

DD: We started with four people in the room – myself, Ian Sattler, Judd and Bill. The interesting thing about the two writers that we brought in is that each one of them have a political point of view that’s diametrically opposed to the other. What that allows us to do is, we believe, explore both sides of the story without selling one side short, or only giving one lip service while we fully explore the other. It allows us to explore all sides of the political process and the political motivations as the story develops. It’s not about a right or wrong, it’s about the whole process itself and more importantly, what motivates people to participate.

NRAMA: Speaking of participation – it seems that if superheroes existed, they’d fall somewhere along the celebrity/public servant continuum, that is, people who are actively sought out for endorsements. Green Arrow is clearly endorsing someone…but will anyone else?

DD: That’s actually is responsible for starting a lot of the story when Green Arrow actually endorses a candidate, and you see the actual effect of that endorsement as it plays out through the polls and the political process. That motivates and galvanized some of the other heroes to step up.

NRAMA: “Step up” meaning discussing it with other heroes, or “step up” and endorse their own candidates?

DD: Both.

NRAMA: End of the day, what do you want people to take away from this?

DD: I want people to take away an understanding of the depth of commitment of our heroes, not just that they’re vigilantes, but that they believe in the system that they participate in. I want people to take away that fact that our heroes are motivated by different reasons and have different views, but yet all of them are able to work together doing what’s right for the people they protect, for the country, and for the world. And I want people to take away the idea that all of our heroes aren’t of a single mind or of one motivation. Each one is driven and driven in different ways to do different things in order to achieve the greater good.

And of course, I really want people to take away a really fun, exciting story that plays against the backdrop of America today.

NRAMA: And if this one does well - DCU: Faith?

DD: [laughs] We never really did go there yet, but we do have a holy war going on in Rann/Thanagar: Holy War so we are touching on some of the larger themes that are common to all religions…

NRAMA: Any last teases?

DD: One last one – on the whiteboards that we’ve shown – we had up on there, “Superman: Red or Blue?” That’s about this series.

I am going to put this plainly. I DO NOT CARE WHAT POLITICAL BELIEFS MY SUPER HEROES HAVE! I READ COMICS TO GET AWAY FROM THIS TYPE OF BULLSHIT!

ARRRGGGGGGHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!

Superman isn't about a political party, he's fucking Superman for christs sake.

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You know what I just noticed? Not only is that guy wearing Joker's smile, the American flag is wrong. The stars don't sit like that on the current US flag. What's drawn there is the 48-star flag. I guess the DCU doesn't recognize Alaska and Hawaii.

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It's being written by Willingham and Winick, not Rucka.

Have you seen the promo piece by Roux, Des? It's ass! Look at the politician's smile! Joker got to him!

Posterfinal.jpg

Guy's got a goofy smile. Other than that it looks pretty great to me.

So when Final Crisis is going on...Green Arrow will be doing PR pictures?

Somebody has to! :D

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Do I think it's a good idea? No, but at the same time I don't get the hate. Green Arrow has been political for decades, and the beliefs of a few other characters are known. So unless this turns into a "I can't believe you're a Liberal, now we can't be friends" type of thing, whatever. I'm just gonna ignore it. To me, this is like the drug issues they gave away in the 1980s: it's topical, but totally pointless.

Frankly, they're not going to have Superman, Batman or Wonder Woman openly support an in-universe candidate. They'll use characters like Red Arrow and Black Lightning, characters who won't make huge waves in the mainstream.

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Green Arrow has been political for decades, and the beliefs of a few other characters are known.

He's been the mayor for god's sake! He's supposed to back candidates!

I really don't see the hate either. there's hundreds of non-political comics out there. Read those. You can pretty much guess what most of the heroes would vote like anyway.

I, for one, am interested. Like I said, as far as the writing team they could add Dan Slott for all I care for the writers but the art is a buy alone.

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Awesome. I spend the last 4 months with my platoon and WFT BN getting ready for another deployment overseas, and after 4 months of not being able to watch tv, read a paper or comic, I come back to this news. Fuck that. I echo Glancy's statement that you read comics to get away from this shit.

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I just don't understand the hate. It must have somethign to do with DC's involvement but if you look at it, comics have been like this for the better part of a decade. Hell, it was groundbreaking when Watchmen did it but all of a sudden there's complaint about it.

Maybe it's a backlash but I just see it as the byproduct of an era of heightened political consciousness among the comic reading and creating population. I, for one, enjoy it.

Don't bitch about politics in DC when no one bitches about Captain America: Chosen and Ultimates dropping into real world political warzones.

Green Arrow is saying "vote for this guy" he's not shooting arrows at Afghani soldiers. If you're going to complain, complain about Marvel's real world policy and Batman fighting al Qaeda. Not this.

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My main complaint is from the part where DD says that this ties into his Superman: Red or Blue? comment. I don't like it too much when Marvel does it either, but it makes a little more sense in Marvel because it's heroes are based in NYC, LA, and other real places. Not Metropolis, Gotham City, or Star City. With Green Arrow it was always a character trait. I don't mind if it's a character or two, but they are saying this defines a lot of the main heroes in the universe, and that chaps my ass.

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I love politics. I've volunteered for candidates and issue-advocacy groups. I even ran for office myself (and lost badly). But will it mix with comics? I don't think so - honestly, it if it is going to be anything it is going to be boring.

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