What a year huh? When I look back at 2020 I know a lot happened but February and March feels like years ago. I will write a few end of the year things this month so keep an eye out for that. But if you’re a DC fan then the end of the year pretty much came early for you. And if you’re a DC fan you probably have that angst as you wait in anticipation for the solicitations in January. Will this be the end of the coveted monthly floppies? Do we need to start figuring out what an online store is or a comixology? I don’t know. What I do know is that the month of November toughened us up. Because DC gave us definite endings to some strong titles. And there were quite a few of them.
Warning there be spoilers.
John Constantine: Hellblazer
This one I didn’t see coming. Because how could possibly this end? Wait, endings happen that’s a given. But after only 12 issues? This book was magnificent and significant. If you managed to get through that Hellblazer Rebirth (remember that) you probably shouted out in glee as this was a return to form. Constantine at his finest. Knee deep in the shit and the weird. And definitely not giving a damn. Just plowing through life and weird situations, seeing how pissed he could get in the meantime.
But really. Was this book doing that poorly? Were the sales really that bad that we couldn’t get another 12 out of this? I mean I was reading it? Weren’t you?
There are different versions you can get from Constantine. I personally prefer the one Simon Spurrier decided to give us. But you also have the more comic booky persona. The one who flashes his super powers often and seems just a bit too clean. Sure he does give us some deviance, but it’s just the right amount. The stuff you could get away with at school plays or watching your corporate end of the year video. And maybe that’s the Constantine people want. I blame the CW.
So fare thee well John Constantine. Yes you got another book during this run, but I’m going to miss Spurrier. A lot. Because if there’s one thing I learned from this experience is never ever slap a mermaid.
I just get the feeling that Robert Vendetti creates some really awesome stuff, and once you’re in the middle of it, the ride just suddenly stops. It was the same with Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps and here we go again. Vendetti is one of my favorite writers. He’s an absolute master at dialogue because he gives his characters such a natural feel. He drops you in on the conversation and you think to yourself, “yeah, that’s what he/she would say.”
I was never a big Hawkman fan in the sense that I never read one single issue. So when Vendetti jumped on I jumped with him. And you know what happened? Before he typed or physically wrote those first words for issue number 1, he said to himself, “Chris, I’m going to write this one for you.”
Because how else could you explain Vendetti perfectly intertwining Carter Hall’s origin and visiting all his past selves while giving us the JSA and everyone, including a newbie like me, would just get it?
But with all silliness aside, this was such a fantastic series. Even after Bryan Hitch left the art gig after tending to his brittle hand from drawing all those birds, the series just kept going strong. Vendetti managed to get us through all those silly little DC events that kept popping up. He stayed on target and brought us a compelling love story on an epic scale. I will miss you Hawkman.
I’ll be honest. I put Aquaman on my pull-list so I could prepare myself for the movie. I know, I’m a bit ashamed to admit that. I was subjected to DC’s brilliant marketing strategy of putting a big ALL NEW on the cover, even though it was number 43.
But you know what? Screw that! I’m not ashamed. I’m glad I did it because Kelly Sue DeConnick gave us 22 great issues. And Robson Rocha and Daniel Henriques showed us that sea gods are about as adorable as an Aquababy.
And we got Jackson Hyde kicking his father’s ass with his big bad robot grandpa.
What more could you have possibly wanted?
A lot more actually. This was a weird cancellation because someone announced it was cancelled, but then DC just kept soliciting it. I hope DeConnick returns to Aquaman soon because there just seems to be a lot more story to tell. But lest we forget that hope is a mischievous and nasty friend in this world of comic books. Instead, we’re usually subjected to a sea of tears.
Justice League Odyssey
Yes this one ended last month, but again, a difficult one to swallow. Dan Abnett gave us one wild ride and an important part of me knows this was superior to everything Snyder threw at us. Not to say that what Snyder did was bad. Because it was good. It’s just that Abnett is better at giving us stakes of epic proportions but keeping it small and intimate at the same time. And Snyder can’t compete with that. It’s Abnett’s 2000AD blood. This is his house and you can’t knock him off it. Unless you cancel his series.
Damn I’m sad to see this go.
As mentioned above, DC fans are probably waiting for January solicitations with bated breath. How many more endings will we see? Probably a lot.
We already know that Bendis’ run is ending on Superman. And after the cancellation of Young Justice, the Legion of Super-Heroes is the only book he has. Does this mean no more second series of Naomi? If it is that would indeed be a shame.
I think you’re going to see a lot more endings to current series. As I predicted in one post, I think DC will keep its major titles running in physical form and the rest will go to digital only, or collected editions. Action Comics, Detective Comics, Wonder Woman and Flash will stay in print form and the others will go to digital first. Expect the Black Label series to continue in physical form. And it makes sense because if you look at the price of these things, these companies priced out the kids a long time ago.
So give us what we want or don’t. Either way this was one hell of a year. 2021 will be a defining moment for comic books. They will survive but in what form? Only time will tell but one thing’s for sure, I will be along for the ride.