I read DC comics for years.
And when I say that, I mean, I ONLY read DC comics.
I read one marvel comic and that was Spider-Man.
I lived in the world of DC comics for years. Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Hitman, I read them all and working in a comic book store helped me read, literally, ALL of them.
I scoffed at Marvel comics. I didn’t know the history of the characters, except for Spider-Man, so I just didn’t bother learning them. I mean, why? DC comics were the best. The best stories, the best characters, the works.
Don’t believe me? I was reading them in the height of their greatness. Dark Knight Returns, Killing Joke and more.
And then there was Justice League International.
I still own this poster like a family reunion photo
A friend of mine walked me into a comic book store one day and introduced me to the JLI, though then, they were just known as Justice League.
On the cover, was Shazam and J’ohnn J’onzz holding back a Green Lantern. Well, how ridiculous, I thought. These are two of the strongest people in the DC universe. Surely this is a joke.
It was and it was a darn good one. JLI showed me a different world. A world where superheroes had normal lives. They had bills to pay. Dating problems. Rent to find.
Oh sure, Peter Parker had the same problems, but these people belonged to the Justice League. Are you telling me the JL doesn’t pay well? I hadn’t even thought of that. I just assumed Clark Kent was one of the highest paid reporters ever, Bruce Wayne had everything paid for and perhaps Diana Prince was living off a government check.
These weren’t A listers. They were the B squad. The guys who helped the city out but it just took a little longer and created a little more damage than usual. This was a college dorm room of heroes.
And I loved ever minute of it.
I had never seen anything like this. The art was not only easy on the eyes but so comical and real. This was a sitcom come to life. Booster Gold and Blue Beetle, bantering together like old chums. Guy Gardner hitting on Ice all the while Fire trying to get her modelling career going. These heroes had other lives besides fighting evil and not the simple drama of counting how many times Mary Jane left Peter or who was going to kidnap Lois Lane again, but real life problems. Like where to go for a first date with a super hero and what if, just what if, you were actually scared of the big bad guy coming your way. They were as real to me as anyone I’d met. The whole family was there. The dad, Batman, always stern. Your brothers, Booster and Beetle, the older uncle J’ohnn, the mom Black Canary, always giving the womens perspective.
Sure they had their fights, but even then, they were fun.
Then there was Maxwell Lord. The guy who brought it all together. The billionaire who could give Bruce a run for his money. No matter what kind of hi-jinks happened, Max was there to iron it out. Even when the League was in tatters, Max brought it all back.
In a flashback, we learned that Max wasn’t always the best guy in the world. He was a man lured by evil for money and fame, but he was trying to get over it. Trying to help and be a better man.
I loved Justice League International with all my heart.
Then came Infinite Crisis.
DC. Selling your soul for only $1
DC, for some reason thought, “You know all that fun we’ve been having? Well that’s going to change.”
It was the shot heard round the world of comics.
Maxwell Lord, the head of the JLI for years and the guy who you came to like, turned bad guy on a dime. Apparently he had been gathering information on all superheroes . His whole life in the JLI was a lie.
Ted Kord, Blue Beetle, who he known for years, discovered a plot by Max and was going to turn him in.
And this happened.
All those years of fun and discovery were over. That bullet not only killed Ted Kord, but killed all the fun DC had created, never to get it back again.
After that shot, Max released the OMACS. Killer cyborgs who ended up having Rocket Red, the family man of the JLI, sacrifice himself to save his friends. Fire almost dies in battle and Booster, having seen enough, decides to go back into the future, never to return.
Max also brainwashes Superman to kill Batman, until Wonder Woman, having no choice, snaps Lord’s neck and kills him.
Good times, am I right?
My family was destroyed. Ripped apart. Killed. The books I had, one of the best lines DC had created, was gone. In one fell swoop, they ruined a character for no good reason, destroyed a family and killed a fan favorite.
Now I’ve read many books where the villain fools everyone and destroys the good guys, yet here, it was different. It was a turn that made about as much sense as Han Solo shooting Luke and Leia for the reward money.
It wasn’t the New 52 that ruined DC. It was one bullet.
It was a cheap shock value story that not only devastated the DC universe, but a long time reader as well.
DC tried to bring them back in Generation Lost, which had it’s moments, especially a great storyline by the amazing Amanda Conner on Power Girl, but all in all, it was about as fun as watching After M.A.S.H.
DC tried again later with Justice League International in the New52, only to kill another Rocket Red and leaving Fire, Ice and Vixen, comatose from a bomb blast.
The line was cancelled and with good reason.
Recently, Booster and Beetle were revived again and while the characters were there, without the rest of the family, it seemed like a sad bar where the only thing your friends could do was talk about the old times.
Now before you say, “Well, you just want read about fun, so your story sucks“, well first, I’m not too surprised that my fellow nerds would take the chance to be negative about someone not liking certain comics, but also, I’d say you’re right. I have certain likes.
While I DO enjoy an occasional serious storyline, much like the 3 part Despero in JLI and certain Dark Knight stories, what I enjoy more is the fun of having superpowers.
I mean, you get to fly! You can turn invisible! You can change your size to an ant! Why are you so serious?
So now, thanks to DC, I’m a Marvel reader.
Deadpool, Hawkeye, Thor and Ant Man. These guys know how to have fun and though they’re not the family I grew up with, they’re my new family.
While I won’t say DC has a habit of killing off characters I come to love…..
Well, never mind.
So the next time you see me being negative about a certain DC comic, understand, I’m not someone who has always yelled MAKE MINE MARVEL! It’s just I’ve been on both sides of the argument.
I just decided to have more fun over at Marvel.