Dear Executives at DC Comics,
The second anniversary of your New 52 lineup has recently passed, and Therefore I Geek’s articles on the DC universe and the big merge of all your storylines got me thinking. I thought of all the comics I have read over the years and all the stories that are told, and I find that these books are good enough on their own. Just because it’s nice from time to time when Batman teams up with Superman or Green Arrow, doesn’t mean the DC universe needs to recognize that particular storyline as part of the timeline. Unless all the comics stem from the same original concept, I’m not a fan of merging comic universes anyway.
Take Batman for instance. Awesome! Yes, indeed, you’ve struck gold when it comes to the storylines, lore, and one hell of a line-up of villains. Now, insert Superman so that he comes to fight Bane. What? No. That’s ridiculous. How about Wonder Woman to help take out the Joker? No way. Does Bruce Wayne even believe in Greek mythology enough to warrant help from the daughter of a goddess? It just doesn’t make any sense. You know what, DC? It doesn’t have to! Superman is perfectly capable of being understood and enjoyed without The Flash coming in to…do what? Save the day? Please spare me.
A brand like DC should not feel obligated to merge all the characters it has ever released into a universe that somehow must make sense just in case they want to do a crossover or a team-up. Just make the story, make it good, and don’t worry so much about it.
You need a structure to follow? Have a core book for a character. Whatever happens in that book is part of the lore of that character. Any other books are fair game for writers and artists to explore different ideas and flesh out any funky powers, gadgets, and team-ups. There is even a name for this phenomenon. It is called a mini-series. Injustice was a great creation to serve this purpose. Turning it into a video game that puts all the DC characters together for fights we would never normally see was even better!
Every time I see Wonder Woman’s Amazonian warriors crack a spear over Doomsday’s chest in the game, am I to believe that the beast that killed the unkillable Superman is supposed to be hurt by a wooden stick? Not in the slightest, but it works because it’s scratching an itch that makes us ask What If…? Which, coincidentally, was a great comic put out by Marvel built on just this concept. We are exposed to these “what if” scenarios all the time in movies. How many times have films rebooted a comic character? How many actors have played Batman? I rest my case.
I understand that you are trying to compete with Marvel for sales and crossovers and team-ups help sell books. Marvel has done a wonderful job of making all of its heroes and villains mutants of some sort, who aren’t uber powerful on their own. Their most popular books are based on teams, not individuals. This allows for an easier suspension of belief when it comes to characters sharing story arcs.
I guess all I’m saying is: quit trying so hard to make pieces fit where they don’t. If there are characters that just don’t have a world in common, there should be no obligation to make that happen. Cut it out, DC. We love you and the characters you’ve come up with over the years. I don’t need to see supernatural characters fighting with more human ones. Oh, and I don’t need to see a Superman/Batman film to this effect either. I’d much rather have a fourth Dark Knight movie with Heath Ledger as the Joker. Now THAT would be an impressive alternate universe.