With all the attention that has been focused on the release of Earth 2, I worry that its companion title World’s Finest has been lost in the noise.
If you are old enough to remember the original World’s Finest, it was traditionally the team up title of Batman and Superman, always in some outlandish story and the first appearance of many of the DCU’s greatest villain (and hundreds more no-name villains we never saw again. (Remember Swordfish and Barracuda? Well, you must be the only one!)
Although the Huntress mini-series passed me by, despite the great revelation that Helena is from Earth 2, World’s Finest is fun, and harks back to the golden age of team up titles. Nice clean art, good humour, and a gentle overarching mystery disguised behind the shorter stories.
Whatever happened to the good old team up titles? Even the excellent relaunch of the Brave and the Bold a few years back barely even lasted two years. Has our appetite for such titles vanished? I doubt it, we still flock to mini-series that are team ups. In the hands of Paul Levitz, World’s Finest seems to be a flagship of what DC stated they wished to achieve with the whole (latest) reboot, and is a salve to those lamenting the demise of the previous (three or five) universes.
We now interrupt your scheduled rant for a special announcement: -
Ak akak akakak ak akak!
Shipping today we see the return of one of comics’ (and trading cards) greatest legacies, derived from a surprisingly small amount of source material. IDW has taken hold of the torch once held by Topps, to release a new Mars Attacks series. I you ever read the series from Topps, you will remember it was a combination of great humour and good plotting, and I hope that today’s offering holds true to that spirit. Considering their other licensed properties, I have faith.
If you are seeking a fun read, I highly recommend seeking out old issues of Mars Attacks the Image Universe, and its companion series Mars Attacks The Savage Dragon. Some of these issues are like the droppings of a rocking horse (I’m still trying to complete the set), but contrasting the ludicrousness of the franchise with the allegedly (at the time) grittier nature of the Image characters leads to a lot of comedy moments.
We now return to your regularly scheduled rant.
Looking at what has happened to the DCU, it seems that reboots are all the rage, the disposable Hollywood mentality now pervading mother corporate art forms, at the expense of the fan.
Case in point: the cartoon Avengers, Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. It now transpires that this excellent cartoon, both character and story-driven, paying homage to some of the greatest Marvel stories, is to be cancelled, to be replaced by new cartoon starring the cast of the recent movie. A cartoon to be released at the back end of next year.
A bit late to capitalise on the movie, don’t you think? Why do Earth’s Mightiest Heroes in the first place? Why not use the movie cast from word go? I would far rather that than get invested in a quality series that is then tossed aside for the latest media sensation.
Now, American Executives, I would like a word with you. Do you really think that if a cartoon of this quality goes on for too long it will confuse us poor fans? That maybe we are hard of thinking? If a certain level of complexity is reached, our brains will explode?
Let me explain a few things. Movie fans are not comics’ fans, or cartoon fans. There is no doubt crossover, but they are not the same groups. Do you really think that the many movie fans will take the time to watch the cartoon? I imagine the vast majority of them won’t.
Secondly, a good cartoon can last forever, something the American producers fail to recognise, but anime producers have mastered. Look at Bleach. The English-dubbed version has reached episode 257, while the original Japanese is somewhere in the mid three hundreds.
Just imagine what fun Earth’s Mightiest Heroes would be if it was allowed to reach those sorts of episode numbers? How many spin-offs and character launches into mass media that would allow? How it would keep its fans throughout the years?
What a waste. One of Marvel’s great strengths is how it refuses simply to reboot its original timeline. It is a shame that ethos does not permeate all the way though the many arms of Marvel Entertainment.