Date: 2012-05-26 03:11 pm (UTC)
mrstatham: (Default)
From: [personal profile] mrstatham
Which begs the question of why they've desperately clung to some old stories at all.

*stares at TKJ*

I mean, seriously. The consensus is that the story does nothing but bad things to it's characters. It's writer dislikes it and has a rather foul anecdote about poor Barbara. It's utterly needless and it doesn't fit into continuity at all, especially with the famous ending.

Personally, I think the problem is the fans, to some degree. Fans harp on about continuity like it's absolutely vital, and mock every little flub regardless of whether it's just one line in one panel, or a character having a slightly different costume because there's a different artist drawing it. To me, that's part of the reason DC staff have to keep scrabbling to explain that story X still counts - like the Crisises (bad plural). They should have declared it an entirely fresh start, handed the books over, and not bogged themselves down with older stories; It's not like it invalidates the older stories - they're still enjoyable, DC could still print them. But instead, we're stuck with a Batgirl bogged down by being shot, and a Batman where his past is a complete clusterfuck because of the time scale.

It's ridiculous.

Date: 2012-05-26 03:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Honestly, I think continuity does matter in a story like this, but not in a detailed manner.

Honestly, comic book readers are jaded. We've read a million 'This changes everything!' stories that we just can't swallow any more. We're done.

The Court of Owls feels like a pointless flash in a pan because that's basically what it is. We have all of one story introducing this massive secret society that's all powerful (yet never done anything, ever). No effort was made to sell the story, to add any emphasize, nothin'.

If they want a super sized story, they gotta put some effort into it before we suspend disbelief. When they don't, people can't help but ask logical questions.

Date: 2012-05-26 03:43 pm (UTC)
icon_uk: (Default)
From: [personal profile] icon_uk
Agreed, this should have had a lead in to it, even something as innocuous as Bruce wondering about the origins of the children's rhyme about the Owls which apparently is known in Gotham (but I'm not sure we've actually heard).

Date: 2012-05-27 09:14 am (UTC)
lascoden: Anarky (Default)
From: [personal profile] lascoden
They've said it a couple times, in Batman #2 and the latest Red Hood. It goes:
"Beware the court of owls, that watches all the time, ruling Gotham from a shadow perch, behind granite and lime. They watch you at your hearth, they watch you in your bed, speak not a whispered word of them or they'll send the talon for your head."

Date: 2012-05-27 11:08 am (UTC)
icon_uk: (Default)
From: [personal profile] icon_uk

Date: 2012-05-26 04:02 pm (UTC)
mrstatham: (Default)
From: [personal profile] mrstatham
No, I do agree that the Court could have done with way more build up than it has gotten. To be honest, I would've preferred Snyder say, establish the status quo of the Joker in the DCnU through a long-format story with lots of bits and pieces that establish the reach of the Court as the story proceeds.

But as others have pointed out, continuity is just another problem here. We ask how the Court fits in with RIP and Doctor Hurt. We ask how it fits in with NML. DC really should have just simplified things down, because as it is, it's just really, really bizarre. I'm enjoying the Court's story more than some, but even I admit that their presence is just.. Underexplained, especially when it's Gotham and there is basically a whole pantheon of freaks and mobsters who arguably should have earned the Court's wrath.

So again, continuity should've been wiped. If they had wanted to include all four male Robins - put out a miniseries explaining the new status quo and history of Batman. The problem here is that we have no clue how everything fits together. And we like puzzles, so naturally, we're trying to solve how things fit. And it just doesn't work. An entirely fresh approach wouldn't have that problem.

Date: 2012-05-27 07:22 pm (UTC)
icon_uk: (Default)
From: [personal profile] icon_uk
They sort of tried that in Zero Hour, which gave us a month of infodump in the #0 issues, and in doing so, perhaps set TOO much in stone too quickly. Leaving things vague allows more long term story possibilities.

Date: 2012-05-27 07:42 pm (UTC)
mrstatham: (Default)
From: [personal profile] mrstatham
Yes, but now leaving things vague has just created a big set of problems, because fans KNOW something existed before the current set of stories, and the creators are having to scrabble to explain exactly what has gone on when they're really interested in dealing with their new stories.

I think that, well, they'd almost have been best off starting every book from the first months of a hero's career, almost. If we'd had, say, Batman stumbling upon the Court of Owls in his first months as a detective in Gotham, I'd feel like the story was much more impressive, and the Court could almost take the place of say, the Falcone crime family. That way, it's less ridiculous that this ancient group of criminals goes undiscovered in a Gotham that Batman should know every inch of, by now.

Date: 2012-05-27 07:43 pm (UTC)
mrstatham: (Default)
From: [personal profile] mrstatham
Also, based on what we've heard about the possibility of Zero issues coming in September, DC might not have learnt their lesson there.

Date: 2012-05-27 12:32 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] jlbarnett
just once I'd like to see a writer declare "This story changes nothing, but you'll love it anyway."

Date: 2012-05-26 03:23 pm (UTC)
aeka: Art by Adam Hughes (Huntress [Helena Wayne]:)
From: [personal profile] aeka
Agreed. Truthfully I would've preferred if they had just retconned The Killing Joke out of continuity entirely. I really don't see the need to retell Barbara's PTSD story when that was already done when she became Oracle in the post-Crisis continuity, and it was done BRILLIANTLY. The thing I loved about Oracle is that she learned to live past the tragedy itself and realised she had other strengths she could utilise. Yes, she was confined to a wheelchair, her handicap was a part of her, but it didn't define her. Same with the Batgirl identity. It was a part of her, but she wasn't defined by the Batgirl costume and name.

Truthfully, I think it would've been far more productive to just start from scratch with Barbara if they were going to deage her and make her mobile again. 9 issues in, and I'm not seeing how Barbara could've still functioned as the Oracle we knew, and even if she was, she was not the same awesome character she was prior. :/

Date: 2012-05-26 04:06 pm (UTC)
mrstatham: (Default)
From: [personal profile] mrstatham
Mm. Again, I'm not Simone's biggest fan, as I'm sure a few are aware, but I liked her earlier DC stuff. BOP and bits of Secret Six were fantastic, but she can't measure up to the struggle of Barbara working through her injury and yet living with it as Oracle, because they've basically had a 'cake and eat it' approach to Batgirl. Not only is she healed, she's already out in costume. She's giving up bits of the recovery process, but it's one of those things where people would want the answers immediately. And it just doesn't work. I know Gail's trying to make it really deep, but her approach - to have villains who blandly represent facets of Barbara's characters in ways, is just mediocre, and the rubbish approach to the PTSD Barbara is suffering just doesn't work for me. It would've been so much better for her to have a fresh start. As it is, it just makes Gail look like an idiot because DC want a cash cow story in continuity and seem to have forced her to work with it.

Date: 2012-05-26 04:22 pm (UTC)
aeka: Art by Adam Hughes (Huntress [Helena Wayne]:)
From: [personal profile] aeka
I think if Gail Simone had free reign on the Batgirl book, it would've probably turned out a lot better than it currently is right now. The fact that she wrote a good three-dimensional Barbara as Oracle in Birds of Prey tells me she could've equally written a good Barbara as Batgirl that was well-rounded.

I personally think part of the problem with the Batgirl book is that Gail is trying to cram too much in just 22 pages in an attempt to make Barbara more psychologically complex, in addition to meeting editorial demands that it's not really flowing well. The Barbara's mum sub-story in last month's issue particularly comes to mind. I felt that story would've worked better in an annual or should've been a separate story arc in order to fully feel the story. Four pages of Barbara Sr explaining things to her daughter just didn't do it for me. I couldn't sympathise with either character even though that's what I was meant to feel. :/

Date: 2012-05-26 05:02 pm (UTC)
mrstatham: (Default)
From: [personal profile] mrstatham
I absolutely agree on all counts, there. Again, I like early Simone, but I don't think the reboot has brought out the best in her. As you say, it's trying to do too much with too little space - it also feels, to me, like she's piling on the issues with Barbara to make her seem.. I don't know, more triumphant? So not only was she nearly disabled permanently, but her mother left and her brother was a complete psycho even when she was younger. And her dad's the chief of police. I mean, right there, that's about three more major points to her character than some series would dream of dealing with.

As you say, it's cramming stuff in. The stuff with Barbara's mom was particularly disastrous, to me - comparable to the bit in Steph's series where we found out that her father was the mastermind behind some of the plots - and it wrapped in about five pages. But Miller at least had the excuse there that DC were forcing him to cut the series short. Simone doesn't.

Date: 2012-05-26 08:45 pm (UTC)
jaybee3: Nguyen Lil Cass (Default)
From: [personal profile] jaybee3
I think its the fanboys WITHIN DC who need TKJ to stay canon even while they throw away everything else (No Man's Land is a much more important story to the Bat-saga and yet most of it seems to be gone). Hasn't Gail Simone said she was editorially mandated to keep TKJ in Barbara's backstory (and I think its killing the book the way the story keeps going back to it).

Most DC readers (like me!) would have totally accepted a complete reboot, starting from scratch, its DC itself (Didio/Lee/Johns) who have insisted that some stuff still happened and other stuff didn't and only they know for sure which is which.

Date: 2012-05-26 09:12 pm (UTC)
mrstatham: (Default)
From: [personal profile] mrstatham
To be fair, DC might have mandated that TKJ be kept in Barbara's history, but the sloppy execution of it's incorporation and the hamfisted PTSD (I understand that it is experienced in different ways, but it does just feel tacky in Batgirl) is all down to Simone, just like the rather rubbish plot with her mother is down to Simone. I doubt Editorial are leaning on her that heavily in this case, nor would they make her execute the story the way she has. It's just bad writing.

And I still think that fans outside of DC are continuity-hogs in their own way, I really do, given the number of complaints about the validity of stories in the post-reboot era. Also, Didio/Johns/Lee/etc have only answered questions about existing stories when pressed by fans.


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