More First Appearance Blunders

No time or interest in doing any reviews this week (suffice it to say that Batgirl #0, American Vampire: Lord of Nightmares #4, and Punk Rock Jesus #3 are all solid winners), but I do think it’s probably important to, once again, point out that DC is listing their first appearances wrong again.

Of course, Barbara Gordon made her first appearance as Batgirl in Detective Comics #359, way back in January of 1967.

None of these zero issues have mentioned who actually created these characters, but I’d like to mention that Batgirl was created by Gardner Fox and Carmine Infantino. That’s an awfully nice pedigree — two of DC’s most important creators got together to create this character, and it seems a bit like a slap in the face for the company to pretend that Batgirl wasn’t created until 2011. I do think that DC should show a bit more respect for their past than they do.

And on a related note, DC is now retconning their histories from the very beginning of the Reboot! They’ve now edited the trade paperback of the new “Teen Titans” to say that Tim Drake was never one of the Robins, and that there have never been any previous incarnations of the Titans — again, despite the first issue of the comic saying the exact opposite.

As we talked about previously, it’s just really weird how focused Diane Nelson, Dan DiDio, Geoff Johns, Jim Lee, and Bob Harras are on declaring that past continuity is no longer in effect. It’s irritating when it comes to rewriting characters’ personalities (Starfire), appearances (Amanda Waller), or relationships (Clark Kent and Lois Lane) or just erasing some characters completely from the company’s history (Wally West, Cassandra Cain, Stephanie Brown, Donna Troy, and who knows how many others). But when they start doing that for things that really just don’t matter, like whether or not a kid calling himself Red Robin was ever one of Batman’s Robins (instead of his “Boy Wonder,” whatever that creepy little turn of phrase is supposed to mean), that it just gets… well, weird.

I don’t know if it’s some “It’s my sandbox now” fan fiction thing, if it’s a badly thought-out marketing ploy, or if it’s just the company’s new enthusiasm for trolling their own readers (and creators, I guess). Maybe they’re delusional enough to think that they’re the only people in the history of comics who really know what’s best.

Maybe they’re just idiots. Depressing to think that so many idiots could take over all the top rungs of the company’s ladder, but it’s not like it’s never happened in the past.

The thing is, it’s making me less and less angry every time they pull something like this. They’re rewriting things almost at random now, seemingly desperate to manufacture some fan outrage and/or mainstream media coverage, and it’s looking more to me that they’ve completely lost control of things. They’re fairly lucky that the real bigwigs at Warner Brothers don’t care much what happens in the not-exactly-profitable comics division… but at some point, they’re probably going to do something that the bigwigs will care about, and then there’s going to be some serious trouble.

And hey, DC freelancers, writers, and artists — I do hope you’re taking notes. The tell-all memoir about this amazingly messed-up period of the company’s history is probably going to be a best-seller…

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