All I want for 2019…

We’re in the final days of 2018 and it’s been a pretty entertaining year for comics, but I’m not a great one for retrospectives… I want to know What’s Next? Well, I don’t know, so let’s dream instead. Here are five things I’d like to see in 2018… and a wee PS.

The Return of the Legion of Super-Heroes

In 1958, in Adventure Comics #247, Saturn Girl, Cosmic Boy and Lightning Boy hazed Superboy as they invited him to join their ‘Super-Hero Club’ in a one-off gimmick tale. Readers wanted to see more and via cameos across the Superman family of comics, the other members of the Legion of Super-Heroes were introduced. The team’s own strip debuted in Adventure Comics #300 and the Legion’s mythos grew ever grander as generations of fans devoured the 30th century-set tales like Matter-Eater Lad eating a roasted babootch. The Legion survived death, destruction and reboots until 2013, when DC Comics cancelled the team’s latest series. The constant rewrites of their history made the characters poison to all but the most devoted readers, and even our patience was tested by a final storyline that presented the Legion as losers… it was far from the glorious send-off they deserved. Unbelievably, it’s been five years since the Legion members featured in their own strip. I suspect the appearance of Saturn Girl in Geoff Johns’ Doomsday Clock series was meant to presage the team’s big comeback in 2018, their 60th year, but the book fell so far behind in scheduling that that ship has well and truly sailed. Will 2019 see the return of my favourite super-team? DC is missing one of its biggest, most distinctive flavours, a series guaranteed to shift a certain number of copies? Instead of launching new books that are simply variations on earlier hits, why not return a true original to the stands?

The End of DC Rebirth

Talking of Doomsday Clock, the authorised Watchmen sequel was launched out of Geoff Johns’ incredibly popular DC Rebirth Special. Wally West came back, and as well as the return of the Legion we were teased that the Justice Society of America were coming back from their latest trip to limbo, and the impression gained was that the New 52 was going away. That was more than two years ago and other than the odd related book such as the Batman/Flash Button crossover, we’ve seen nothing in terms of wrap-up. Does anyone know if DC plans to end the DC New 52/DC Rebirth mash-up we currently have, and give us a firmly stated, fixed universe we can relax into?

A Marvel Rebirth

And talking of comic book universes that can’t decide what they want to be, I would love 2019 to see Marvel Comics cohere into something I can care about once more. A couple of years ago the Secret Wars event ended with the perfect narrative hat on which to hang a reinvigorated continuity, but Marvel ignored what they’d set up. Since then we’ve had the Fresh Start initiative, which didn’t exactly catch fire, and something else I’ve forgotten, and no doubt Marvel have already announced Big Plans for 2019. I want a back-to-basics approach, in which character, story ideas and new series spring from enthusiastic creators and Marvel’s massive continuity rather than what’s trending on Tumblr or big on the Silver Screen.

Dark Nights: Metal

Announced as a summer event, Scott Snyder’s Justice League story promised to be a short sharp shock of superhero fun. As it turned out, it was dragged out over almost a year, and proved awfully confusing, with far too many ideas trampling on one another. There were side books featuring alternate Batmen, spin-offs such as Hawkman Lost and the New Age of Heroes titles like Sideways and Damage, and eventually a bunch of Justice League books too. I like Justice League Dark an awful lot, and the regular Justice League has plenty of fun moments among the sprawling over-arching plot, but ye gods, the sheer amount of Metal sprinkled on DC’s line is annoying. We have a Hawkman book hobbled by Nth Metal shenanigans, the Flash awash with various Forces, the massively annoying Batman Who Laughs refusing to go away… I’m ready for the Dark Metal to go into the light.

The Redemption of Jor-El

Along with the positives of DC Rebirth was one huge negative – the revelation that mass murderer Mr Oz, an offscreen menace since the shortlived Superman run by Geoff Johns – was Jor-El, whisked away at the moment of Krypton’s death by Dr Manhattan or some such nonsense. Having one of Superman birth parents around is a big enough kick in the fundamentals without making them evil/mad/suddenly OK again. And anyone who’s followed comics for more than five minutes will have twigged that Jor-El aa Mr Oz was never Geoff Johns’ plan… almost certainly he was Ozymandius from Watchmen. An upcoming storyline in Brian Bendis’s Superman title has Jor-El and Jon Kent encounter Ultraman on Earth 3, the world where the good guys are twisted into villains… it’s the perfect opportunity to reveal that Mr Oz isn’t Superman’s dad, but is in fact that Kal-El’s psycho-poppa.

Surprises

Just that… I know what I’d like to see but I’d love to be utterly knocked out by something I didn’t see coming.

What would you like to see in comics in 2019?

19 thoughts on “All I want for 2019…

  1. Good list.

    I’ll concur, the Legion needs to come back. I’m as big a stickler for Legion lore as anyone. But why not reboot fresh?

    Yes, anything to get Jor-El redeemed. How about make this not be *the* Jor-El? I’d love that. Earth 3, or any earth! Just not this one.

    I’d love an old school DC team-up book but it’s unlikely given the current market.

    Most of all I’d like a stand alone, no retcon, no downer company crossover next summer. How about Mordru attacks and we all gotta team up to beat him? No timeline changes. No hero murders. Just Adventure!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Oh, a new version of the LSH would be essential… just close enough to the classics to keep me happy! That plc was for illustrative purposes only.

    And yes to a team-up book and a jolly crossover!

    Like

  3. You have a very simple and reasonable list of wants for 2019. Buuuuuuuttttttt…..allow me a brief moment to be Mr. Pessimistic and say I sincerely doubt you’ll get what you so sorely want, and if you do you may be forced to careful what you wished for i.e. the monkey paw effect….

    6). I do believe we’ll eventually see the LoSH in 2019. We just have to. But, I have serious doubts they’ll be anything like what they should be if current Geoff Johns’ work is any indication. The LoSH AND JSA should are long overdue to come back. I think they will in the coming weeks, but I don’t have much faith in how well they’d be treated, especially in lieu of they just killed off Wally West. We’ll see.

    5). Should Rebirth end? I don’t know if it should, and don’t see it ending anytime soon. At least we’re still not in the NU52 era.

    4). I wholeheartedly agree w/ you about the current state of Marvel. Unfortunately they’re stuck in an endless cycle of derivatives, rehashing previously successful storylines and events, and constant attempts make the MU sync up with the movies’ continuity. Expect more of the same based on the way things have been going.

    3). The effects of Dark Metal will likely fade, but not in 2019.

    2). Jor-El’s heel turn really was a surprising and sickening turn. It was unwarranted and unwanted and yet DC still continues to shit on Krypton for reasons I’ll never know. Hopefully one day soon the whole thing will be reversed and Jor-El’s reputation will be restored.

    1). Well you’ll most likely get your surprises, but not sure if you’ll like them, ha ha.

    I truly hate to sound so pessimistic and downtrodden, but based of the current crop of crap that pervades the comic racks, and the tone deaf heads of the big two, why would I expect things to change unless new management that comes into power shows they care about the characters enough not to wreck them and kill them off for the sake of a quick buck.

    That being said, anything can happen, as this year’s proven. Here’s to bigger and better things in 2019 nonetheless.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t want Rebirth to end in the sense of the return of old history and optimism, I just want the mystery hanging over it to go away, so I relax into the stories without fretting that the rug is going to be pulled away at any minute.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Well obviously I’m with you on the Legion. I’d rather not see the series get rebooted for the unpteenth time, but honestly, just give me interesting stories and characters that I can root for and I’ll buy the book!

    As for what else would be on my wish list? Sub-plots and supporting characters would be cool. It feels like forever since those two story elements have been really used well.

    Finally, I’d love for the move away from six issue story arcs to continue. Give me some one-and-dones. Some two or three part stories. Mix it up. Save the multi-part stories for when they’re truly called for.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. If I saw the return of the REAL Wonder Woman (dare I hope the same for her sister?), I might start seriously reading comics again. (I’d also like to see my non-fiction tribute to Wondie published and a huge success, but that has nothing to do with what DC will put out.)

    Liked by 1 person

  6. The real JSA please & their young legacy heroes in training.
    A proper Creeper, Ragman, Phantom Stranger, & Deadman.
    Give new character an opportunity to breath & grow. There really needs to be some sort of back-up features & anthologies that give support to lets lesser known & less developed characters become established. I don’t know why they don’t try a large magazine format with stories, articles & interviews – cross media content plus comics. Imagine if a splashy magazine built around Aquaman movie had come out, but also included comics – mix media & content to build brand, audience.

    Liked by 2 people

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