Appropriate changes for an appropriate view

October 29, 2013

By Avi Green

I wish I’d brought this up earlier, but people who build fansites are as busy with other jobs and such as everyone else. And ultimately, our real lives are what have to take some priority.

When I first built this site, I initially thought to feature material relating not just to the old, but also to the cast members appearing in the new Outsiders series that debuted in 2003. Yes, the one that spun out of Titans/Young Justice: Graduation Day, one of the flat-out worst miniseries DC ever published since Dan DiDio got his foot in the door, thanks to a conglomerate that doesn’t value good storytelling or respect for the characters in their stables.

The series written by Judd Winick built itself on some of the most illegitimate, degrading premises ever seen in modern comics: the deaths of Donna Troy and Lilith Clay (Omen), and not even at the hands of a real threat. Rather, it was at the hands of a Superman robo-clone. Since then, Brad Meltzer’s repugnant Identity Crisis took this very unchallenging idea and ran it deeper into the ground, in the most offensive ways possible.

That aside, the newer Outsiders series had some material in it that was pretty distasteful, like wretched sex jokes, vulgar violence, and even limp moments where Jade thought “I should be leader!” that made her sound like an idiot while Nightwing acted all but incompentantly.

One of the cast members introduced then was Thunder/Anissa Pierce, supposedly the daughter of Black Lightning. But over the years, when I pondered how Jeff Pierce’s creator Tony Isabella highly disapproved of how this was done, which did contradict the original premise for Black Lightning, I decided finally that it was better not to include newer characters like that, and finally, I made the decision: I would expunge all cast members data from the series debuting in 2003 from this site, and while I am a big fan of Jade, I cannot and will not present information here in ways that pertains to the Winick-penned series. I began to slowly phase out that material in early 2012, removing pictures from the special section for them coming from the Winick series for starters, and even a few cast members like Indigo, who turned out to be crooks anyway (it sure didn’t seem like he knew what to do with them regardless). And the duplicate of Metamorpho called “Shift”? He was absorbed back into Rex Mason’s body…after killing more than 40 people during a battle with the warden of the Iron Heights prison in Keystone City. I think it’s pretty apparent that a grave disservice was done to Rex by having him reclaim an entity that was potentially guilty of killing innocent people. At worst, it’s stupefying.

Since the “New 52” reboot of the DCU, a lot of the original cast for the Outsiders has been rendered unrecognizable. Looker, for example, was turned into more of a vampire, and Katana has been changed to a shadow of her former self. It’s very sad.

And with those kind of setups, it’s no wonder I couldn’t appreciate even a better writer like Chuck Dixon taking over the writing for another volume later on, though I will say I was very disgusted when Dan DiDio just up and ostracized him out of the blue, apparently because Dixon represents all that DiDio depises. The writer who succeeded him, Peter Tomasi, wasn’t any good at all.

In the end, what matters is that I decided I wasn’t going to build this site for the purpose of representing DC the way DiDio wants it to be. And that’s why, as of now, I since discarded all the pages I’d written up relating to the cast members of the newer takes, and just devoted it to the older ones.

And I think that’s good, because the original series of the Outsiders had something that many modern comic book writers have thrown away: fun, optimism and escapism. Why must I sully this site with newer nonsense that doesn’t do the older series any justice?

Speaking of which, a lot of the older series is still mostly unavailable in paperback collections, unlike the newer one, which is – or was – in the past decade, though it’s probably since gone out of print. That’s just as well, because Winick’s rendition was nothing to write home about, and definitely not something to waste money on. But it’s very sad that to date, the only real archive collection for the original Outsiders is a Showcase edition in black and white, when it decidedly works better in color.

Still, I hold hope that one day, the true Outsiders will receive the justice they deserve by getting all stories published in trade paperbacks, and to be sure, that’s one of the reasons for this site’s being.

And so, as made clear before, this site from hereon is dedicated only to the original Outsiders and the characterizations that made them what they are. Any material here that could pertain to Winick and Tomasi’s newer renditions will be brought up only as part of an editorial I could write. In fact, any material here that relates to characters like Jade, Nightwing, Starfire and Arsenal will only be brought up the same way as the original Outsiders would, unless it’s to make a point about how awful the Winick/Tomasi mess truly is. There has to come a time when you draw the line, and that’s what I did in early 2012. And I’m glad. I can’t support the DiDio regime’s visions.

So let’s just enjoy the true Outsiders for what they were in their time, and not newer material from a time when editors destroyed the DCU with Identity Crisis. Sites like mine should be devoted to promoting real enjoyment, not some politically correct fiasco like what we see today.

Copyright 2013 Avi Green. All rights reserved.

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