Staying Patriotic: Why I Stand With the DC Nation

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Posted September 11, 2013 by Henry Varona in Comic Books

Hello there, my name is Henry, and I am a member of the DC Nation. In these tough times, it is important that we stand together and stay strong. It may seem as though everything is coming to a crash, and that our people will be abandoned in the face of adversity, but I will stand with the characters that have been there for me my entire life.

Things have been rough lately. The departure of many popular creative teams is jarring to many. Trust me, I am suffering with you. Flash and Batwoman have been two of my favorite books these last two years. I have followed the adventures of Kate Kane since her debut in 52, always checking out her monthly series and enjoying the fantastical elements she brings to Gotham City. The Flash is my favorite character in comics, and the team of Manapul and Buccellato has made me like Barry Allen, something I didn’t think would happen after the poor portrayal in the Geoff Johns series. Speaking of Geoff Johns, I can hear the comic world crying as he leaves Aquaman behind, the character that he has championed for years in order to elevate to a top-tier status.

Despite this, I have faith in DC Comics. They have shown the potential for greatness. Unlike Marvel, who has pumped out endless events for the last decade, DC has prioritized character. Yes, I know some may think I’m crazy right now, but when I look at the titles DC has put out over the last few years, I see an emphasis on character. Spectacle is thrown in to spice things up and bring in sales, but character comes first. Second stringers have had great solo books for years. Need proof? We have a Batwoman book. BATWOMAN. She does not matter in the slightest to the greater DC Universe, and yet she has had a beautiful book for the better part of the last four years. Never mind the fact that she is a female solo lead (Something Marvel publishes few of), but she is also a lesbian woman who is treated with care and respect. Like I said, character comes first.

batwoman14It’s very popular to hate DC Comics right now. I understand that, I really do. People see creators leaving in a huff and they get frustrated at DC for letting this happen. I can’t bring myself to hate DC despite this though. In fact, this makes my love for the company grow, because I know that they are struggling. They are weak, they are suffering. A company needs fans to stand by and support them when the chips are down. That doesn’t mean that we have to sing their praises when they screw people over. It means that we support those that are worth our adoration. The writers and artists who make us come back to these books month after month.

Months ago, DC Comics fired Gail Simone from Batgirl. In a feat of selflessness, the internet banded together in support for Simone, who was heartbroken to leave the character. Seeing the wave of support for Gail Simone on the title (And the nearly unanimous decision that everybody would drop the book when she left) DC Comics hired Simone back for the book, instead electing to give her a two-issue leave on the title. This is the way things should work. If people are upset, instead of hating DC Comics in it’s entirety, people should defend the creators and decide with their wallet. Maybe it’s my blind optimism, but I could imagine DC Comics putting J. H. Williams and W. Haden Blackman back on Batwoman if they realized just how incredible the support for that team was. There really are very few hurdles that cannot be overcome by the legion of fans that DC Comics has, so if people can take their frustration and harness it for good, the company could take a change for the better.

That being said, time has shown that the opposite is true as well. As much as love for a creator can keep a title afloat at DC Comics, disdain for a creator can also take them down. When the members of the DC Nation were subjected to the work of Rob Liefeld on not one, but three comics, we took notice. We stopped buying the books, editorial stepped in, and Liefeld left. Now obviously, he left of his own free will, but editorial stepped in because they saw that his plans were not working. He was not generating sales. If you don’t like something, or you don’t like a book, DON’T BUY IT. It’s the rule that comics have always followed, and it’s a rule that consistently thins out the heard and eliminates the lesser books.

jla52variantYou might be wondering how I can stand by DC. What did they ever do to earn my love and devotion, my unending support in the face of doom? It’s simple, they have proven themselves worthy time and time again. DC Comics has the characters that I love. Wally West is my favorite superhero. The Teen Titans were those that I identified with in high school. I spent my childhood watching the Riddler confuse Batman and Robin with his tricks and puzzles. DC Comics has always had the greatest superheroes to me, and they have told such epic stories that I could never turn them away. They have made me laugh, cry, scream, and cheer where nobody else has. Hell, even the New 52 got me excited like few things had before.  I bought every single title DC put out at the start, and I followed so many of them for so long. Frankenstein had me in awe of how wacky a book could be. Earth Two had me leaping out of my seat as Jay Garrick ran for the first time. And Batwoman made me believe that a relationship could have meaning, depth, and conflict, while still having love.

It is important for us all to stand by DC Comics to remind ourselves why we followed these characters in the first place. If we abandon ship, things will only get worse, and DC will continue to take drastic measures to try and get back readers. If we as members of the DC Nation can stay strong and show the people in charge that we will support the great stories such as Wonder Woman or Batman and Robin, and won’t put up with sub-par books, we can turn the tide and make things great again. The magic of DC is in the growth of their characters, and right now they have so much for us to look forward to. These characters are fresh once more, and we get to see them become heroes worth looking up to, to guide us and entertain us in good days and bad.

I do not support everything DC Comics is currently doing. I think that there are plenty of flaws in their company, from editorial to the distribution of trade paperbacks and hardcovers. However, I am not one to abandon the ship when the tide turns tough. I will stand by the company that has proven to me time and time again that there are magnificent stories to be told. Everybody may be going on about Marvel NOW!, but DC is forever.


About the Author

Henry Varona

Lover of comics, Legos, and movies, Henry Varona is supremely awesome in every way. He spends his days designing his own comics, and his nights dreaming about Chris Hemsworth and Captain Cold.