Saturday, October 29, 2011

Top 5 Characters Missing in The New 52

I've been enthusiastically buying and analyzing DC Comics' New 52 series, as someone that had never before purchased individual issues but has been a major fan of the DC Animated Universe since my childhood. As such, I have a pretty strong knowledge of DC's heroes and villains, and was looking forward to seeing both new and familiar characters in the New 52.

I love the relaunch's versions of Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, and Vandal Savage (to name a few), and consider myself a brand-new fan of Kate Kane, Buddy Baker, and David Zavimbe. I'm a little less excited about the new portrayals of Selina Kyle, Tim Drake, and others, but that's okay, I guess. I'll take the bad with the good. One thing that's concerned me, however, is the total absences of a few of my favorite characters, both major and minor. So of course I had to make a list of them.

First, some parameters. This will of course only be DC Comics characters. They will also not be characters included solely in the DC Animated Universe, but characters that have been in comics for many years now. And lastly, this list will certainly include some high-profile characters and some relatively obscure ones. It is my opinion and nothing else, after all.

 5. Donna Troy

Donna will almost certainly show up in either Wonder Woman or Justice League, and it can't be too soon. Her various origin stories have her as either a clone of Diana Prince, an alternate-universe version of Diana Prince, or an orphan girl rescued by Diana Prince and given Amazon powers later. In all of her versions, Donna is a superheroine with powers similar or identical to those of Wonder Woman, but with a naughtier, bad-ass streak as a result of her darker past, with her character forged somewhere other than Paradise Island.

Donna has never been in any DC animated series, but she's basically a second Wonder Woman and I'm a fan. If they can include her in one of those two books I mentioned earlier, I would welcome it. Even better if the new Donna Troy doesn't engage in a relationship with the legendarily creepy / borderline predatory Terry Long. Cassie Sandsmark is in Teen Titans as Wonder Girl, so there goes that inroads to the DCnU for Donna. DC could always use another Amazon in play, right?

 4. Black Adam

See how I put down this guy instead of Captain Marvel? Well, that's mostly because I think Black Adam's intelligent, manipulative, Superman-strong villain persona is the most interesting part of the Captain Marvel mythology, but it also helps that I know Captain Marvel is getting a redesign - he's going to be featured in backup stories of Justice League in 2012, and will almost certainly be one of the first characters to join after the original seven are established.

But right, back to Black Adam. Black Adam really made a name for himself as an independent in the DC series called 52 (no relation to New 52); he used his and Captain Marvel's powers to turn his former-slave wife into a superheroine, and tried to make good for himself with the support of his new family until his wife and son are killed. Black Adam is just a cool dude in general, and deserves a New 52 spotlight. Hopefully we'll get one in Captain Marvel's revamp.

 3. Dr. Fate

DC Comics has its fair share of mystic heroes to go along with their traditional superheroes and science heroes, and Dr. Fate is their mystical top dog. As a Lord of Order, Dr. Fate defends his entire dimension from magic- and horror-themed threats using all manner of magic derived from the entity contained in his mask as well as a number of other arcane objects and chants. He's (understandably) often compared to Marvel's Dr. Strange, although Dr. Fate debuted over twenty years earlier.

DC Comics hasn't ignored its mystic superheroes in the New 52, far from it. Zatanna and John Constantine major characters in Justice League Dark, and writer Paul Cornell knocked one out of the park with the awesome fantasy adventures of Etrigan, Madame Xanadu, and others in Demon Knights. But where's Dr. Fate? DC's biggest, most-powerful mystic superhero doesn't even get a mention? It could be that he's somewhere in Justice League Dark and it escaped my notice, but I still call bullshit. It's rumored that DC will introduce a new Justice Society comic book in 2012, and Fate could easily be included in that as it's his primary team affiliation, but come on. Surely he's more deserving of his own title than, say, Mister Terrific or Hawk & Dove.

 2. Lobo

Not including a Lobo title is a missed opportunity by DC Comics. Here we have one of the most ridiculous, over-the-top anti-heroes in the history of comics, and he's nowhere to be found. He started out as an "extreme" anti-hero send-up of Wolverine and The Punisher (with a weakness for dolphin) and ended up as a cult-favorite superhero of the 90s, often compared to Marvel's Deadpool. My guess is that we'll see him in either Action Comics, Superman, or Justice League in the next few years, but that is simply not soon enough. There have been Lobo comics in the past, and in the New 52 we could see him saving worlds in one page and blowing them up in the next with a healthy dose of pure hedonism with a side of not-giving-a-fuck.

Here, I'll write a single-issue storyline for you myself, DC. The Last Son of Czarnia rips up his favorite jacket while doing something METAL and HETEROSEXUAL like ALIEN SEX OR SOME SHIT. So he goes down to Earth to buy a new JACKET but finds out that BRUCE WAYNE BOUGHT THE LAST ONE THAT FUCKER. So Lobo starts tearing up GOTHAM and beats up everyone from BATMAN to JOKER in the process, until Batman realizes Lobo's reason for being there. Batman arranges for Bruce Wayne to APOLOGIZE and gives Lobo the new jacket. Lobo picks up what he came for, bangs Selina Kyle or Starfire or one of the other DCnU skanks, and then bikes off to the moon or something. Boom. That will sell 100,000 copies.

 1. Wally West

Flash is not my favorite superhero. Barry Allen is kinda boring, Bart Allen is annoying, and Flash has one of the worst rogues galleries of any superhero anywhere, although Captain Cold is apparently much more respectable now than he has been in years. But I love Wally West. He was the conscience and maybe even the heart of the team in JLA and the Justice League animated series, and was described by one of the New Gods as one who must "play the fool, to hide a warrior's pain." Wally West is DC's version of Peter Parker, a hero who wisecracks and might even not be taken quite as seriously as his contemporary superheroes due to his attitude, but has grown into his powers and is counted as one of the greatest among his peers.

The lack of Wally West in the New 52 is very, very disappointing to me. For some reason Barry Allen is The Flash and Bart Allen is Kid Flash (my guess is Teen Titans is set several years after The Flash), but there is no Wally West to be seen anywhere, although he almost certainly exists as his aunt Iris West is around. So what's going on? Is he going to become Impulse and join Flash? Is he never going to steal Barry's notes and recreate the accident? Does he even exist at all? Come on, DC. There have got to be thousands of fans worried about Wally. Throw us a bone, won't you?


That's all I got. Back to VIDEOGAMES.

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