Years ago I collected comics. That lasted well into my early 30s, and even into my 40s I’ve kept an interest. I don’t collect like I used to, however.
When I first began collecting comics, it was with the one dollar I had to go down to the local confectionery or convenience store and pick up one or two and come back with change. I managed to convince my parents that I could buy one and not return with change. That comic was World’s Finest from DC Comics. At the time, World’s Finest was packed with stories, beginning with the feature story of Superman and Batman. There were others that included Hawkman and Hawkwoman, Green Arrow and Black Canary, The Creeper, Black Lightning, Red Tornado and Shazam. And for a while, World’s Finest had a wrap around cover that had all of the main characters from the other stories as part of the cover story with Superman and Batman.
World’s Finest eventually lead me to Superman Family and Batman Family, which had an equally large number of stories, and for a time I picked up Detective Comics just for the back up story which happened to have been Green Arrow for the longest time. The only single series I collected was the Flash (around the time Barry Allen was accused of killing Professor Zoom and had to go to trail for murder), Justice League of America (because of a huge number of characters), Captain America, and Captain Canuck when it came out. Both Caps were the only books outside of the DC Universe that I read.
I was there when Crisis on Infinite Earths took place. Because of that, I began collecting the Mike Grell Green Arrow run (which later Chuck Dixon wrote), and the Tim Truman Hawkworld mini series (which later became a regular series written by John Ostrander).
I also had a complete run of Firestorm, ending with it’s 100th issue.
I was there when Armagedon 2001 took place. I was there for the Death of Superman and began reading about John Henry Irons who became Steel. I collected Steel faithfully.
I was there when Zero Hour hit.
I was there when Katar Hol was killed.
I was there for the Birds of Prey, and had many email conversations with Chuck Dixon and his wish to bring Shayera Thal into the Birds. Sadly, it never happened.
I was there when Oliver Queen gave his life to save millions, and his son Connor Hawke took up the mantle of Green Arrow.
I was there when the JSA came back, and Carter Hall was resurrected.
I was there when Kevin Smith brought back Ollie.
I was there when Mia Deardon became Speedy. When Ollie, Dinah, Connor, Roy, Liam and Mia became a family.
And then I drifted.
I missed some impressive creative origins, like Greg Rukka on Batwoman. I missed Renee Montoya becoming the Question. And I missed the event which ended the DC Universe and rebooted it with the Nu 52.
Since then, I’ve been wavering on my interest with DC. Hawkman was terrible. Green Arrow wasn’t very interesting. Firestorm had a good start. Huntress was a good mini (with the exception of the off camera killing of Helena Bertinelli). The only series that I had any interest in were Batwoman, Batgirl and All-Star Western. Eventually, The Movement caught my eye.
But now, two of the creators who slaved over the Batwoman series, J. H. Williams III and W. Haden Blackman, are walking away from the book thanks to disagreements with editorial. It was suggested that Batwoman, an openly lesbian woman, who had proposed to her girlfriend, Maggie Sawyer, was going to get married. But I guess you can’t have that in the New DC. Unless it happens to be a heterosexual relationship.
And this is where Marvel has been gaining a lot of ground. Marvel is the company that’s had the first openly gay wedding in it’s books. DC is still years behind, and it looks to be that way with the current editorial staff. Note, I didn’t say the writers, because those like Gail Simone and others who have worked with DC in the past have strived to bring about a face of equality and tolerance within the pages of each book each month.
But DC Comics seems to be walking away from that in favour of creating something that’s cookie cutter and safe. No risks, because risks means you could lose.
That’s why DC Comics has now lost any interest for me at all.