Thursday, August 25, 2016

Talking Head Week #3: Have a Nice Trip See You After the Fall!

When last we left her, Hawgirl was, as the Hawks are wont to do, flying headlong to meet an onrushing doom.  This time, it's at the hands--well, the feet, actually-- of a goon from CAW (the Criminal Alliance of the World).


Shoe-shopping with CAW:
"Well, yes, the red is stylish, and the death-needle fusillade is a great feature, but are they comfortable?"


Of course you can't avoid them, woman. Because, as always, you are literally flying headlong into death. Stupid Hawks.

What ingenious method does our extraterrestrial lawwoman use to save herself from this deadly (really?) attack?  

She trips.


The Hawks are about many things: sci-fi, archaeology, kink.  But they are not about dignity.


Actually, in all fairness, she doesn't trip. She IS tripped.  By none other than Punjab the Tailer, who, having her best interests at heart, trips her as a way of changing her pitch down, just beneath the flying feet-needles of doom.

Convenient. A bit embarrassing, though.  Still, even ignominiously splayed face down on the floor....she's still Hawkgirl.   


And, thus, she still kicks ass.



Gotta love the Hawks.  Sure, you can come at them with weapons that would make the Romulan Star Empire envious.  But, once those have failed, they will not hesitate for one second to crack your braincase open on the closest rock.



"Well, if not your skin, at least your shin.  Still."


So, Sargon-lite explains everything about himself and why he tailing the Hawks. Without mentioning his name.  Because that would take up precious exposition space.

Um,yeah... that's not creepy AT ALL.


Not to be outdone by the Nine Unknowns' invention of the Bronze Talking Head that contains all information, the Hawks remind us that they already have a sci-fi device that ALSO contains all information: the Absorbascon.


The Absorbascon? What kind of stupid name is that?


So the Nine Unknowns (we don't ever meet them by the week, they are the MacGuffin Clan) have been pumping out scientific marvels for over 2000 years, including ones that (somehow) told them who and what the Hawks were.

These are same people, I remind you, who simply forgot where their hidden treasure-trove is once they put the info into the Bronze Talking Head.  And they lost the Head.  And never built another one, or the Solar Lamp that powers it.  I guess some people just like to publish papers.



At first I thought it was a rubied turban. Now, given the brain damage all that exposition must be doing to his head, I suspect its actually a bandage and scab.
Remember: there is very little the Absorbascon cannot tell you, when used properly.


Tomorrow: see the Absorbascon IN ACTION!


Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Talking Head Week #2: Mid-Day Melee at Midway Museum!

Now, thanks to enough acres of exposition to earn us three credits at community college, we know a great deal about the backstory of this Talking Head.  

Of course, we still have no idea how it works, what information it has and how it got in there, how it talks, or, well, anything useful.  But this is a Hawkman story.  So, for example, if you're told two identical ancient Egyptian statues of black pharaoh hounds have the power of and the hold the secret to teleportation, then, by the Veil of Valmorra, you darned well better just believe it.

But, meanwhile, as the last several thousand years of history were rolling by, a patient man in questionable headgear lurks in the shadows at the Midway Museum...


See, Shiera? This is the kind of stuff that happens when you share that much time and personal info on Tinder.  


While "That Bearded Guy the Hawks Don't Remember from that Wild Night in Punjab" lurks in hope of running into the Hawks, CAW goons also show up at the museum, emerging from their inconspicuous getaway limo, armed with futuristic weaponry and the fashion sense of an '80s aerobics instructor...

For a Hawkman story, that actually kind of makes sense. I mean, you know...terrorist-sense. 


I suppose it's easier for CAW goons to rob a museum in the broad daylight, for some reason.  I can imagine the meeting...

"The Division Head has delegated us the task of a creating a distraction for the Hawks with a decoy robbery at the Midway Museum!  We'll break in and steal something under cover of night." 

"We can't! That requires a lock-pick and a flashlight and black ski-masks!  All we have are incapacitator rayguns and our Captain Scarlet cosplay outfits."  

"Then noon it is!"


"Fortunately we caught them unawares in the midst of the Museum staff's annual frug contest!" 


Recognizing the CAW agents (because, who wouldn't in those outfits?) Punjab the Trailer sets off the security alarm in hopes of stopping them.

The 'tinkle!' really makes this panel, doesn't it?


The Hawks are peeved that (yet again) an emergency in their own museum has interrupted their mask-and-gear-time sexy-play.

 "Sigh! Why does the alarm always ring when you're in the sex club?"


The CAW goons seem quite pleased when the Winged Wonders show up right away.  Apparently the Hawks reputation as "instant action" precedes them.  Ahem.

"Ha! Let's see how they handle my Tri-Tronged Spinach Vermicelli Tornado Gun!"


This is CAW's M.O., by the way.  They use an endless array of hapax-phenomenal high-tech gadgets.  They use them to steal ancient treasures.  Ancient treasures that they can use or sell to make...more gadgets.  It makes sense to them, at least.  I think they all grew up in Central City or something.

Fortunately for Hawkman, the weapon's Anti-Matter Whirly Currents (pat. pend.) move at about the speed of a zamboni.

"Whirly Currents" would be a great quartet name, don't you think?


That's Hawkman's M.O. btw.  If you're any fan of Silver Age Hawkman you'll know that, despite being an extraterrestrial lawman from a highly scientific world of omnipotent gadgetry, he always fights high-tech attacks with ancient earth weaponry and low-tech combat.  There is some sort of in-house excuse for this (like, the Hawks use primitive earth weapons to fight crime in order to avoid any of their otherwordly god-tech falling into the wrong hands), but we all know it was just a way of reconciling the Golden Age Hawkman's ancient Egyptian origins with the Silver Age love of sci-fi.  

As a result, Hawkman shatters the Whirly Current Pistol with a stone hatchet and the CAW agent with a right hook.

Dang, I hate to admit it, but...yeah. Hawkman's really hot. And not in a nice way.


Meanwhile, as Hawkman is doing his rough trade act like he's in a Dark Alley Media porno, Hawkgirl is attacked by the Pink Bubble Gun. And, yes, I spelled that correctly.

Little-known Hawk Fact: Dr. Seuss used to work in CAW's R&D department.  


You know what makes it easy to fight the Hawks? The fact that they are always flying toward you at full speed in a closed environment.  Heck, even Green Arrow and that kid he hangs out with could defeat them by just holding up boxing glove arrows, without even firing them or anything.

Anyway, in true Hawk-style, Shiera just grabs an ancient and probably priceless shield and shoves it into Mr. Bubble's face at, oh, I'm guessing about 60 mph.  I'd hate to see how the Hawks would treat valuable antiques if they weren't MUSEUM CURATORS.

The Top Ten Places Safer for Your Priceless Artifact than the Midway Museum:
  1. The Firepits of Apokolips
  2. Barry Allen's lab during a storm
  3. In a Robin costume
  4. The Human Bomb's backpack
  5. The Globe atop the Daily Planet
  6. Hal Jordan's bed
  7. An Alan Moore story
  8. The Arkham Asylum Rec Room
  9. Solomon Grundy's toy box
  10. In a Haley's Circus trapeze act

  
So that's it for the CAW agent, right? Not so fast...!

From the Dick Dastardly footwear collection


What a heel! How will our pinioned pretty prevent those piercing projectiles from perforating her plumed personage?!

Find out tomorrow, same Hawk-time, same Hawk-channel.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Talking Head Week #1: Adventures in Exposition



"Mr. Trump does not wish to see the bust until AFTER the hair has been affixed, thank you."


It begins with everyone's favorite swingers, The Halls, returning from another one of their wild, ribald escapades.


Oh, those queens and their 'hollow worlds'.  The less said about that 'adventure', the better, Shiera.


Actually that's a lie.  It begins, like most Hawkman stories, with exposition. Lots of lots of it.  Like, World Fair's levels.

Find the Head. Find the Lamp. Save the Cheerleader.
It's always SOMETHING, isn't it?


Note that the opener mentions one my personal faves from the later Silver Age: the Criminal Alliance of the World, a.k.a. "CAW".  Unlike many such groups, "CAW" does have a perfectly reasonable acronym. It's nice and businesslike, and doesn't stink of strain (like, say, the Organization for General Revenge and Enslavement or the Hierarchy for International Vengeance and Extermination, both of which miss badly the personal nature of revenge/vengeance and the ungeneralizability of the concept of enslavement/extermination).  

But despite C.A.W. being a reasonable acronym, let it not be overlooked that having the Hawks fight an organization named "CAW" is hilariously onomatopoetic.  It's like having Batman fight S.K.R. E.E.. or Flash fight Z.I.P. or Hal Jordan fight K.L.O.N.K.


C.A.W. goons had matching jumpsuits, a love of visual symmetry, 
and enjoyed breaking the fourth wall. 


The story also features a bronze ancient mechanical oracle in the shape of a man's head and a light bulb from the Freeman Dyson Collection.  It's like what you'd get if Apple put Salvador Dali in charge of product development.


 Because nothing says "scientific research" like Olde Tyme Phonts.


Since name-checking noted killjoy Asoka the Sorrowless wasn't nearly historicalicky enough for a Hawkman story, the endless exposition also brings in noted geek and armillary aficianado, Pope Silvester, Junior (because a Bronze Talking Head is really the kind of thing he'd go for).


Oh, and a naked guy in an alley who probably partied with the Hawks the night before.


What on earth could all this have to do our favorite Flying Furries?  We'll find out tomorrow.

Or more likely, we WON"T, since, after all, this is Hawkman story...

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Friday, August 19, 2016

The Only Pic You Need Today



Sexist alert:  (super-)women are the shining light of hope for what superheroes SHOULD be in popular media.  Powerful but sympathetic moral exemplars.

Lynda Carter nailed this perfectly, utterly, and forever as Wonder Woman in her 1970s show.  Wonder Woman was no-nonsense, but never mean.  She was always ready to help reform and not merely punish.  Wonder Woman didn't get angry at you for being a bad guy; she was disappointed in you.  Just as your mother would be.

Melissa Benoitte has brought a similar quality to Supergirl and it's been a welcome lamplight in the otherwise dark and gritty landscape of live-action superheroism in the modern era.

Is that sexism, because we want 'girls' to be sugar & spice?  Is it just realism, because women tend to embrace situational ethics while men hew toward rule-based utilitarianism?  Is is just men taking men-heroes too seriously, just as they do themselves?  When did being an actual good guy start to seem too weak for people?





Thursday, August 18, 2016

I can't complain

I haven't written here lately because frankly...

there's nothing to complain about.  In fact here's a partial of a list of all things that I can't complain about, just off the topic of my head.


Wonder Woman is being written by a writer who really gets her, who understands how to balance the many elements of her character; well done those are sources for dynamic tension and development, and poorly done they can make her an inconsistent tonal mess.  The recent retelling of her origin story retains ALL the elements of her classic origin (down to there being three contests at the end of the 'Wonder Woman' competition, how they are eliminated, and even their HAIR color) and yet is still modern in tone.  The parallel backstories of Diana and Steve finally make their relationship seem sensible, and when the two finally meet...well, let's just say, if you can get Steve Trevor to make me cry, then Wonder Woman is in good hands.


I can recognize Batman again because he is finally a superior and wise person, not a deranged damaged loner.  His sensitivity in handling the difficult issues in the "Gotham/Gotham Girl" storyline has been exemplary and it was expertly capped by his willingness to sacrifice himself to save the city (which is how the story began) and to do the sensible thing and call in the Justice League when things got too much for him to handle.  Similarly, he did the right thing in partnering with Batwoman to help train his proteges. He was awesome enough to have the military create an entire program to copy him, human enough to be capture by them, awesome enough to escape, and human enough to be rescued by his teammates.  DC seems to have figured out Batman again.  Oh, and Alfred dressed in a batman costume driving the batmobile. You have me again, DC.


Flash's storyline is MOVING. Sudden lighting storm, bunch of people getting speed powers, including some  bad guys who get killed by a BADDER guy, and Barry gets a new super-partner and  finds a new love interest to whom he reveals his secret identity.  Not only does Barry, serving as mentor to a bunch of new speedsters, seem like Barry again, he's now in the Fastest Comic Alive, which is how it should be.


Speaking of fast, Supergirl's writers cleared the decks in almost record time.  By the end of Issue #1, they've already hooked her up for sensible reasons with the DEO, put her in National City, placed her with the Danvers as adoptive parents, given her a civilian high schooler identity, hinted at future work at CatCo, and given her own deeply disturbing "Two-Face'' character in her own father as the Cyborg Superman.  Oh, and they shot her into the sun and a Kryptonian werewolf escaped from the Phantom Zone. Which is exactly the kind of Silver Age crazy that is actually needed to make a Superman-related comic work.  Also of note is how she successfully used sympathy and support as part of her arsenal of superpowers. THIS is the Supergirl we have been waiting for and whom our daughters deserve.


Superman's titles are also full of Superman being supernoble.  I just wish the two concurrent stories (Doomsday threatens to kill Jon and The Eradicator threatens to kill Jon) weren't nearly identical.  But it's full of some great Silver Age crazy, including a powerless Clark Kent showing up out of thin air, Kryptonian ghosts, and the throwaway reveal that there is A BATCAVE ON THE MOON. Because of course there is.


Aquaman is the most awesome of them all, what with being cut-clean and reasonable and so CLEAR in his priorities and goals in the midst of international crisis and still hilariously bad-ass. Finally we have heroes who seem like the ADULTS in the room, rather than the adolescents.  Plus his relationship with Mera is very real; they love each other but they do NOT always agree. Plus, just...Mera.



Add to that, the building story of a modern "O.G.R.E."-like world organization of pirates which includes an updated version of Black Jack the Pirate in its ranks.  This Aquaman alone is enough to justify the DCU's existence.

Oh, and thanks to Grant Morrison, the CW will have a gay superhero (The Ray) headlining a show.  Thank you, Grant Morrison; I'm appreciate what you have done.  


And you know when I'm saying stuff like THAT, that the DCU is going well.


P.S. And Hal got a haircut.

Thursday, June 09, 2016

I WILL HAVE THE TRUTH

One of the aspects of ancient mythology that I enjoyed studying the most was mythic syncretism. It's the process which variant versions of a myth meet, interact, and eventually synthesize into one broader but unified myth.  

Mythic syncretism is an exciting literary process and one that stretches beyond the tastes of individual authors and audiences; it's key to making sure that stories are not ephemera but contribute to the evolution of myths that can last across time.  Much of what we take as original, essential characteristics of our comic book characters is in fact the result of the syncretism process.  One of my earliest posts was about how the Mad Hatter as we know him today is the result of such syncretism.  Syncretism is why I don't freak out as much as other fans do when the television or cinema version of some hero's story "isn't right" and doesn't agree with canon. Well, of course, it doesn't.  If it did, there would be little reason to make it.  Maybe it will contribute some new wrinkle or viewpoint to the myth. Maybe what it does will be too out-of-line, and be rejected; but even that contributes to the reaffirmation of the existing myth.  

It's a fascinating process, as if entire civilizations were individual authors trying to establish a continuity that encompasses different and sometimes contradictory stories about particular characters or events. It often reveals what the purpose of the myth itself is, which elements are most essential to it, and sometimes makes the story a more universal one, accessible to a broader audience.

Very much as DC is trying to do right now. The writers (and the characters they are writing) are trying to reconcile divergent sets of stories (the New52 DCU and the Post-Crisis DCU...maybe the Pre-Crisis one as well).  And nowhere in the DCU is that process being embraced for what it is more fully than in--appropriately enough--the mythology-based Wonder Woman Rebirth #1.  

Wonder Woman quite literally address her realization that she has more than one backstory: "why does my story keep changing?"  Vowing to get to the bottom of it, she repudiates her recent characterization as a God of War.  She crushes the Helm of Ares (which should not be doable even for her) and points out the first casualty in war is....the truth.  This, along with her vow to uncover who has deceived her and why, is a unequivocal reaffirmation that 'truth' rather than 'war' is the core concept of the character.  

I have to note that 'truth' being one of Wonder Woman's  core concepts is NOT original to the character.  If you read her Golden Age adventures, you'll see that the core concepts are ones of aggression/submission and love/hate.  What we now call 'the lasso of truth' was in fact a lasso of CONTROL  Because 'submission to a loving authority' was the concept that Wonder Woman's creator, William M. Marston, thought of as being at her core.  History had a different idea, as it turned out, and through various other post-Marston versions of her, Wonder Woman became about truth; it was a result of syncretism.  

In the Superman books, Rebirth is an issue of responsibility.  Details of recent history be damned; this looks like a job for Superman and he's going to do it, and chance the consequences, because Superman is a man of action.

In the Batman books, Rebirth is a mystery.  Batman and his fellow detective the Flash intend to find out which thief stole history from the DC and right that injustice.

In the Wonder Woman books, Rebirth is matter of myth, of figuring out which version of her story is true, because myths matter.  In the fashion of Greek myths, Wonder Woman speaks about concepts in a personified way, e.g., "the lie is afraid of me" and "hostility, the child of fear".  She vow to "find the source of the deception".  My hope is we are seeing the reintroduction of the perfect foe for Wonder Woman; not Ares God of War (because Wonder Woman has always been quite willing to do battle for what is right), but rather Deception God of Lies.

In any case, I am for now, definitely along for the ride.  Because this is a Wonder Woman that works for me.

  



Wednesday, June 08, 2016

But the water is REALLY well drawn...

There are a great many words in Aquaman Rebirth #1.

I'm not sure they are all necessary. I'm not sure ANY of them are necessary.  

The dialog? Yes, dialog is necessary. But the bulk of the words in Aquaman #1 is crammed into a seemingly endless stream of voiceover boxes that the writer is trying almost desperately to use to convey all possible information and viewpoints about Aquaman (presumably for new readers).

There are a few problems with this approach.

  • It's very distracting from the action (which is kind of cool, with Aquaman kicking the patooties of some Atlantean terrorists and then spending some downtime with Mera).
  • The narrator (we discover at the end) is actually an unreliable (or at least biased) one.  This undermines the validity of everything being said.
  • In fact some of what's being said doesn't seem quite right.  Particularly with regard to Mera.
  • It skews the show/tell ratio and is mostly redundant.  I think I could 'read' this entire comic without looking at any of the voiceover boxes, and still 'get it'.


I applaud the reintroduction of Atlantis's 'lower castes' as (sometimes terrorists) foes of the rapprochement with the surface world.  It's a realistic problem and one that only Aquaman can deal with.

I decry the characterization of Mera as unfamiliar with surface culture and unwilling in her role as ambassador to it.  This precisely NOT what was show in the previous two issues.  She lives in New England; she should already know what 'chowder' is.

But Aquaman himself is in good character and I am looking forward to seeing where this renewed series goes.


Tuesday, June 07, 2016

90,000 copies

What madness is this?!?!

Green Arrow sold 90,000 copies?!

GREEN ARROW?!!!!!!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?

What dark and sinister magicks are responsible for this horrible and surely unnatural occurrence?  Does Green Arrow have some 5th dimensional imp-fan I don't know about who could be behind it?

Xeen Arrow is pretty much my only suspect. I think he gets some kind of commission.


Look, I know I'm not Green Arrow's biggest fan.  In fact, I may be Green Arrow's biggest anti-fan (although there is certainly a lot of competition for that honor).  But even I want Green Arrow to succeed.

Within reason.

90,000 copies is not within reason, however.  That's a level of communal insanity generally not found outside horror/scifi movies.  As in, copies of Green Arrow are how the pod-people replicate or something.

Why is this happening?  It's certainly not the writing. I've read Green Arrow #1, and, well, it's still Benjamin Percy writing it and most of what that implies.  The supernatural angle seems to have been tamped down pretty strongly by editorial. Ollie, for example, doesn't turn into a werewolf even once.  But there is a band of improbably drawn underdwellers snatching up the homeless through improbably large sewer openings to sell them to the highest bidder.  I hope they spend some of that money on tanning salons and gym memberships.

The tonal shift of the comic into SuperLiberal Social Justice Crusade is brutal and heavy-handed.  With way too many words in boxes.  Ollie's behavior is foolish and naive, Dinah's behavior is caustic and critical, the budding of their relationship seems inappropriate and overly fast, and there's an adorable moppet that brings them together likes it's a date night romcom.

And, whether Geoff John's thinks it's traditional or not: the goatee (still) looks stupid and makes it completely unbelievable that Ollie could possibly maintain a secret identity.

The writing is bad. The art is bad.  The plot is hackneyed. 
So why have 90,000 copies been sold?

Because myth.

Many years ago, I gave myself a reading project.  I was raised to be a big fan of horror movies and the like (my mother's thesis on the symbolism of the rolling eye in Final Destination 5 is impressive).  So I decided that it was important that I be personally familiar with the original literature on which the movie monsters of the 20th century were based (Dracula, Frankenstein, Invisible Man, Phantom of the Opera, et al.).  So I read ALL of the original stuff. Only to discover....

it was all terrible.

Just stick with the Creature Commandos, readers!


So, while I didn't enjoy it much, I did reach a conclusion. It's myth of these characters that is appealing rather than any particular story of theirs, including their initial one.  The strength of their underlying concepts is so great it can withstand (repeated) poor execution.  

So, too, Green Arrow.  A rich guy who suddenly realizes he's kind of a spoiled jerk and decides to help out the less fortunate as a vigilante while still managing to be a cocky wiseguy?  That's the Robin Hood (or Zorro) story right there and it's a strong myth in Western culture.  People have a need for it and it's why Arrow does so well on television.

People are responding generally to Rebirth, DC's return to the roots and core concepts of its iconic characters.  It's natural that the response is going to the strongest for characters that were most off-track and that definitely includes Green Arrow.

Still....

90,000?!?!


Wednesday, May 25, 2016

52 Suggestions/Notes for DC on What Rebirth Needs to Do

1.      Metamorpho has already been fixed and if you don’t already know that, you haven’t been reading “Legends”.
2.      The Metal Men have already been fixed and if you don’t already know that, you haven’t been reading “Legends”.
3.      Firestorm has already been fixed and if you don’t already know that, you haven’t been reading “Legends”.
4.      Fix the Phantom Stranger.  Lordy, did Didio screw HIM up.  It’s the **** Phantom Stranger.  How do you screw up the Phantom Stranger?!?! All he needs is: no origin, no clear agenda, no name or personal details, no defined or consistent powers, no long-term allies, no relatives, no supporting cast, no particular enemies, no home city or base of operations, no--- for pete’s sake, all he needs is a consistent outfit and speech pattern.  He’s a literary cactus, STOP OVERWATERING HIM.
5.      Ditto the Question, who is a snoopy guy/gal in a mask, not an otherworld being.  Did somebody lose Denny O’Neil’s number, or what?
6.      I’m very happy that DCU characters will be smiling again!
7.      I am, however, utterly terrified that Gary Frank will be drawing them doing it.
8.      The Martian Manhunter. If Dr. Manhattan wants a fixer-upper project on Mars, we’ve got a beauty for him.  Either make him part of someone else’s dynasty (like on the Supergirl teevee who) or actually give him one of his own (with a city and a supporting cast and all that).
9.      Vibe.  If you are going to return characters to the recognizable forms…. Either let Vibe be a breakdancer OR let him be Cisco Ramon from STAR Labs.  Or BOTH, because the two are not incommensurable.  But don’t try to make him into something ELSE that just smells like Blue Beetle Del Norte.
10.   Actually Vibe has been mostly good in the New52.  But trying to make characters like Vibe stand on their own just dooms them to failure.  Let these free-floating literary particles bond with a more stable molecule.  The CW’s Flarrowverse is smart about that.  Make Vibe part of some icon’s extended dynasty (three guesses whose) and do the same with most characters.
11.   So, too, with  many VILLAINS.  This is an idea rarely explored (except in the animated film Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths, where every villain was in a mafia of the members of the Crime Syndicate).  Don’t condemn characters like Killer Moth or the Human Flying Fish or the Human Squirrel or Mr. Moth of the Octopus to being pathetic comic relief.  Fix them by making them lieutenants in the forces of a more established villain. Or just have them fight Green Arrow.
12.   And so… give Green Arrow’s a real rogues gallery of his own.  Even if they are goofy losers, it’s still an essential element of making a character iconic.  Frankly, if you can’t find a way to make ridiculous characters like Leapo the Clown (a.k.a. Bulls-Eye) or The Octopus work, then maybe you shouldn’t be writing comic books in the first place.
13.   If want to fix Green Arrow, stop trying to make him darker than Batman. Make him BRIGHTER.  If Green Arrow starts fighting Killer Moth and the World Public Enemy gals and the Bug-Eye Bandit, I PROMISE you I will read it. 
14.   Let Lady Cop find the Killer in Boots. It will let lots of us sleep better at night.
15.   FIX LOBO. How? By omitting him from existence entirely. I can’t tell you how many disturbed psyches I am detecting on line by reading the comments on coverage of Rebirth #1 and finding people whose priority is restoring this horrible character to the status quo of his floruit.  Yeah; no.  Lobo (even when treated as comedy relief) is a prime symptom of the PROBLEM; he is not part of the solution.
16.   Have a moratorium on face removals and decapitations.  As much as I enjoy those, they do tend to set a certain tone.  

17.   Booster Gold. Not as an idiot, or even as a junior time lord.  Superman deserves some allies to help him look after Metropolis and Booster is a perfect candidate.
18.   Krypto. Period.
19.   Watch “Batman, Brave & the Bold”. That show knew how to do it right.
20.   Embrace the narration/caption box.  These aren’t movies, they are comic books, it’s okay.
21.   Let the Wildstorm characters alone. Or give them their own earth.  Because they do not fit the tone we’re aiming for.
22.   Don’t waste the Marvel Fam--I mean, the Shazams. 
23.   Fer pity’s sake, let Batwoman get married. IF she wants.
24.   Bring back the Hawks. Every other medium has no trouble making them work, why should their native one?
25.   Amerindians are people, too.  DC’s got a stable of such characters (e.g., Owlwoman, Black Condor, Saganowahna, Sky Alcasey) just waiting for a new context.
26.   No more full-page spreads.  Comics got by for many decades without them.  If I wanted pinups I’d be at conventions buying them.  I just feel like you are cheating me.
27.   Enough with decompression in general.  When I watch superhero teevee, I usually feel like they are trying to cram as much as possible into an episode. When I read comic books, I usually feel like they are trying to drag a story out into as many issues as possible.
28.   Spend some time getting the lay of the DCU’s administrative land in order.  SHADE, ARGUS, the DEO, SPRYAL, et al.; way too many government/spy organizations that have no clear lines of authority or purpose
29.   Amanda Waller is a fat lady.  And that’s okay. Please let her be.
30.   Which reminds me: GIVE ME ETTA CANDY. I mean REAL Etta Candy.
31.   Bring back the Penguin.  And as something more than a Peter Lorre-esque weasel who gets roughly up monthly for information.  I want a Penguin that might have a super-robot to battle Superman with, or who might just fight Firestorm to a standstill.  He should at least be more than enough to give Batman a run for his money.
32.   Classic Catwoman is not a hero or even a vigilante.  She’s a self-interested crook, who avoids murder.  If Batman’s needs a love interest there are PLENTY of people he can go out with other than her.  In general, stop making popular villains into heroes as a way of getting more traction of out them; this is not Marvel.
33.   Kids in comics – people like Robin and Billy Batson and Speedy – they used to be BETTER people.  Not petulant brats.  That’s WHY they were heroes and other kids weren’t. Please remember that.  Except for classic Aqualad, who, of course, was a cowardly purple-eyed big-headed freak.
34.   If you haven’t already, set down some editorial rules. It’s really not that hard.  Exceptions can be made if truly needed, but guidelines should still be in place.  If Abner Sundell can do it, so can you.
35.   As Abner Sundell would advise, please remember that the private citizen is the REAL person.  Their costumed self is their secret identity, not vice versa.  Forgetting that is part of what led us in the deconnecting , dehumanized DCU we are fixing.
36.   The first things superheroes do when they meet is TALK. Period.  THEN they join forces, if possible.  Cops don’t fight fireman and EMTs in the streets, so I expect at least that much from my SUPER-heroes.  In fact, occasionally they should bring each other ice creams cones, just because that’s a nice thing to do and makes people happy.
37.   The Red Bee.  That’s a bellwether.  Because of the DCU doesn’t have the ability to incorporate the Red Bee somehow, then something is wrong.
38.   Invest some more time in fleshing out the fictionopolises where these heroes live.  It’s a lot easier to see a hero risking his life for his/her city if we care about it too, and have some idea why they do.
39.   More generally: I need to know where characters live.  It doesn’t HAVE to be in a fictionopolis or even in a city at all.  I see Jaime Reyes talking to Ted Kord.  Do they live in the same place? Did Jaime have to travel to meet him?  Where does the Martian Manhunter live? I mean, Apex City, obviously, but SHOW/TELL that.  The only character I don’t want to know where he lives is the Phantom Stranger because MYSTERY. 
40.   You know what villains used to do? Steal stuff.  I miss villains who steal stuff rather than just mass murderers, world-conquerors, and vengeance seeks.  Let’s bring back the crooks.
41.   Try a moratorium on new characters. Of ANY kind (hero, villain, or supporting cast) for a year or two or ten.  Really, there’s only about 10,000,000 of them lying around unused in the DCU already. TRY to make do with those for a while and you’d be amazed at your own creativity.  In fact, in a further post I may just try to LIST them as a way to drive myself crazy.
42.   Let Deadman rest in peace.
43.   The hell with Etrigan. I mean that it in a loving and supportive way.
44.   Apply the previous two items to Rob Liefeld.  Except for the loving and supportive part.
45.   No one hesitated back in the day to bring Superman’s cast (Lois, Jimmy, Perry) from one medium to the other.  That’s how they became iconic characters in their own right. Stop being afraid to do that with OTHER heroes, like Teevee Supergirl, whose cast should be imported in comics.
46.   Find a way to make Miss Martian happen.
47.   And give J’onn J’onnz a proper civilian identity. “Proper”=”not a cat”.
48.   Does Cyborg HAVE to be a rock’em’sock’em robot with a sonic cannon?  Can’t we just have him be the “Oracle”?  Because everyone thinks ‘we need an Oracle” and nobody knows what to do with Cyborg. Have him work with…
49.   Mr. Terrific. And Steel.  Black people don’t always have to be the tokens in someone ELSE”s story, you know.
50.   Abandon the use of forced mechanisms for metahumor (e.g. Ambush Bug, Bat-Mite, Bizarro) and embrace character-driven humor (“Oh, Clark!”).
51.   Give Kirby’s creations a rest.
52.   Please write comics that I’m not embarrassed to give to a child as a gift.