Tuesday, November 12, 2013

On "Villains Month"

Going into "Villains Month," I had pretty low expectations.  They were raised after reading "Forever Evil" #1, because I figured that, in addition to being the obvious money grab that they are, we at least now had a reason for it, exploring what the various super-villains of the DCnU would do with the superheroes gone.

However, of the several issues I read, only the Riddler, Penguin, and Bane stories actually did that (to varying degrees of effect).  The others -- Joker, Desaad, Solomon Grundy, and Doomsday -- issues decided instead to focus on those characters' origins.  I was theoretically OK with that, so long as they didn't wreck the same sort of havok to the villains' origins as the #0 issues did the Bat-family's.

In the end, DC didn't really deliver on the promise of either premise.  The Penguin issue was the best of the "absence" issues, if you will, in that it felt like a normal issue of "Detective Comics" (despite appearing in "Batman").  The Bane issue most directly addressed the absence of the heroes, with Bane deciding to take on Gotham, but Tomasi diverted attention that he should've paid on that story to Bane's origin, in the end leaving the reader unsatisfied with both stories.  The Joker origin story was the best of the "origin" issue, but, in the end, I probably was more interested in seeing what Joker was doing in the absence of the superheroes, particularly since, as the other villains discussed in "Forever Evil" #1, he'd probably be displeased at being convoked by the Crime Syndicate.

Moreover, beyond the gimmick covers, which I didn't buy, every issue suffered from some form of pet peeve #2, showing the villains defeating characters who they never actually combat during the issue.

So, yeah, in the end?  Money grab, plain and simple.

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