Thursday, May 17, 2012

¿What If? - The Trinity War

¿What If? 

Hello friends and fans! Welcome to a totally new addition to our blog here at the Ancillary Characters. If you're been following the podcast, then you'll be well aware of the new segment that we're incorporating in a monthly basis, which we've aptly named "What If." Much in the vein of those crazy old Marvel comics from back in the day, we take on random concepts that are either highly likely or almost impossible and give our thoughts on them. In our first installment on Episode 13, we discussed some alternate scenarios regarding the New 52. Seth revealed his elaborate corporate strategy around an Marvel Ultimate style universe for DC, whereas I revealed the mind-blowing Hipster Superman to the world of comic book fandom. As you can see, there are no restrictions on the unbridled creativity that we're tapping into.

With the first edition of "¿What If?" behind us, it's time to unveil the next step of the initiative in full on written form. To be honest, I've been looking for a new avenue for writing on the blog for some time, and when I had the idea for the What If segment, it seemed the perfect fit for both the show and the site. And so, with no more introduction, my first entry will be wild speculation and imagination surrounding...

Nice cover for a FCBD issue, huh.
DC's Trinity War - The New 52 Opt-Out

Alright, I know what many of you are already thinking: this guy's nuts. But don't jump to any conclusions, hear me out and maybe you'll see my train of thought. Two weeks ago, DC released their New 52 Special for new comic book day. However, while this issue was titled after the DC relaunch, it comes almost a year after its release last August/September, and the issue itself had very little in regards to the New 52 as a whole. The first part of the book was about Pandora, the mysterious character that Barry Allen encountered at the end of Flashpoint, who also appeared in the background of each New 52 launch issue. However, fans and readers quickly moved on from these pages to the tease concerning 2013's promised mega event, called the Trinity War. Now, we've all been speculating as to what this war may be, and the general consensus is that it will be some sort of "civil war" among the Big Three (Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman, of course). While we may no very little about the actual events of the event-to-come, Johns and Lee gave us a six-page view (with a four-page layout) that has intrigued fans to say the least.

The fans have spoken!
And yet, for this column, it isn't necessarily the story or events of the Trinity War that I am thinking about, but instead the larger implications of what this title could bring about in the world of comics. The Big Two are all about world-changing events these days (just check out the buzz around AvX), and I have a feeling that DC have been building up to this one since day one of the relaunch. For my inspiration, I would like for you all to think back to the late nineteen eighties. In 1988-89, DC did something totally different in the world of comics.: they let the fans decide. It was widely known that fans were dissatisfied with the second incarnation of Robin, and in the miniseries "Death in the Family," DC used a 900 telephone number to allow fans and readers to vote on whether or not Jason Todd would live or die. It could be said that nothing as risky or fan-oriented has taken place in the comics industry since, even if views surrounding the entire thing are mixed as best.

For those of you who know how to put two and two together, let me begin by stating that I am in NO WAY comparing the New 52 relaunch to Jason Todd in terms of its acceptance or support. Seth and I have made it clear over the last year that we have been supporters of much of what has come out from DC in the relaunch, even if we may have had a few complaints here and there. However, the thought of bringing the fans into the mix is not new ground for DC, as they put the fate of one of the key characters of the DCU in the hands of the readers. My wild theory concerning the Trinity War is along these same lines: What if DC used this war to put the fate of the New 52 into the hands of the readers?

Honestly, I'm aware that the odds of something like this ever happening are astronomical. But before you call me coo-coo, take a look at the mega fold out from the FCBD issue:

One thing's for sure: that is one awesome looking scene.

If you give that a good look-see, you will find some interesting things... For one, there are some characters we're very familiar with, and then some that we may have never seen (like Vibe over there in the corner hanging out. However, there are also some interesting additions to the fold in this all out battle scene. For example, the female version of Metamorpho from Flashpoint (named "Element Woman") is in the mix. Now, while many of the characters on this foldout have seen some significant changes in their outfits and story lines, this addition is a direct tie to a different world entirely, the world of Flashpoint. When Barry Allen went back to save his mother, the world that resulted was a place that no one wanted to live in. Of course, if you've read Flashpoint, then you know that Barry manages to essentially "fix" the timeline, under instruction from the mysterious hooded woman, who we now know to be called Pandora.

I don't remember Metamorpho being so... woman.
While the New 52 has certainly brought on an increase in sales and all-around interest for all things (well, most things) DC, there has been a quantity of resilience. In particular, some fans have been less than pleased with the fact that many of their favorite and beloved stories have, in a way, been retconned out of DC continuity. The Crises, Blackest Night, all of the depth of history and long-building connection between these characters and this world is being rewritten. DC essentially hit the reset button, and some fans are just not so happy about that.

What if the fans could say "no more"? What if the readers had the power to change everything back, or even just some things back? What if they could choose which events to retain in DC continuity and which  to let go? DC used the telephone in the late 1980's, but we're now living in the digital age. Digital comics, everyone (and their mother) has a cellphone, and there are very few places in the world where there is no high speed internet connection. What if the Trinity War opens the gateway into other "worlds," as DC has recently begun with the new series Earth 2, and one of those worlds is Flashpoint? In my thinking, if the DCnU can somehow interact with the Flashpoint universe, who's to say that the pre-relaunch universe isn't accessible as well? What would happen if the New 52 Justice League ran into the pre-relaunch JLA? While some of these characters are very similar to their prior incarnations, some are very different indeed.

Some of you may think I'm off my rocker, but what's the fun of a "What If" if it's not a little crazy? Do I think DC is going to open the Trinity War and start letting the fans vote on the outcome? No, I don't. They would likely believe it interferes with writer creativity and all that jazz. Plus, it would basically be them admitting that they didn't do everything right with the relaunch. I'm personally okay with most of what has come and gone with the DCnU, but in a world full of fans that have voices of their own, especially with the interconnectivity of Twitter and the like, who's to say something like this won't happen eventually? I mean, in a world where I can review the most recent issue of Swamp Thing and then have Snyder himself retweet the link, who can say what is and isn't possible? I think this Trinity War is going to open the door to other "worlds" and "Earths," but I don't think DC will give the power to the people. But hey, the question is, WHAT IF THEY DID?...

Feel free to post and rant, or even shoot us a thought about this mess on the Twitter or the Facebook. As I'm sure you know, we're to be found @Ancillarytweets and I'm @jollygreen05.

1 comment:

  1. This is only semi-relevant, but Hipster Superman: