There is a saying that “if you don’t know where you’re going any road will take you there.” In that sense, there are no missed directions. Any way one looks there are opportunities for new adventures, dangers, successes and failures.
Things are especially like this in the world of comics. If there’s no experimentation, no boldness there can be no chance at greatness in storytelling.
And with that, also, comes the occasional foible.
I’ve always been a DC man. I probably always will be. I think it’s something that fans lock into fairly early on. In baseball you’re either a National Leaguer or an American Leaguer. Why should comics be any different? Fans of DC and Marvel exist in largely different universes with the occasional crossover aficionado who likes aspects of the two. Both, in fact, celebrate the worlds of wonder readers get to experience through the creations of innovative writers and artists.
Fittingly, this blog has been about the DC Universe—a universe for which I have a great deal of passion. This segment’s title, Missed Directions (also shared by another blog that looks at the Marvel side of things) has aimed exploring what is working and not working within, in this case, the DCU. Oftentimes, when cranking out comics each month it seems like creators take some missteps that can take years to right. But, sometimes they shine. And it’s those moments that readers (and critics) wait for.
I’ve begun to wonder whether or not Missed Directions is itself a Missed Direction. Whether or not spending so much time poring over the missteps, we might not miss the times these books shine.
Most of the time, it’s certainly seemed appropriate. I’ve endeavored to point out when things go wrong as a missed direction and, also, that stopping things when they’re going right would also be a Missed Direction. Now, I think it may be time to take blogging about DCU in an even newer, critical direction. Not so much about what works and what doesn’t—though that’s certainly a part of it—but about the essence of the DCU, its characters, titles, storyarcs and comics in general.
It’s also always important to remember the difference between criticism and cynicism. Like many of you, from time to time I’ve been tempted to abandon titles—most recently Batman—having been greatly dissatisfied with the direction of the multi-titled series—despite the great efforts that go into it. I’ve thought it over back and forth. And, of course, comics titles have an ebb and flow to them with, for instance, the recent quasi-redeeming Batman #700. Ultimately I’ve come to the conclusion that in abandoning a title I might miss something—like that next brilliant high point.
Plus, I’ve fallen in love with Batgirl again. In comics, everything is cyclical.
Until next time, loyal readers, remember there are, ultimately, no Missed Directions only different places along the path. See you there.
// Notes from the Road
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