Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Silver Lining: An Open Thank You Letter To Dan Abnett

Dear Dan Abnett,

I have to be honest and admit, I was genuinely surprised by the conclusion of Earth-2: Society this week. I similarly admit, it's been a very frustrating comic for me to follow, and even more frustrating for me to review. But I do think you managed to salvage this version of Earth-2 in a way that no one expected, especially given the troubling circumstances with which you inherited the title. I think you've successfully brought this series to a satisfactory conclusion and left the world and characters in a better place for a more successful relaunch if DC so chooses.

I admittedly have some mixed feelings about the change you made to Helena Wayne, but I will save that discussion for my review of this month's issue later this week. I do, however, want to thank you for ending a very real problem with the way this character's family legacy has been handled in the last five years by reinstating her as her father's rightful successor, effectively ending a legacy of sexism.

I also want to thank you for listening to fan concerns and addressing those concerns in this month's issue. The story we got today is what many of us more or less wanted to get out of Earth-2 from the start. I admit, we probably didn't make that easy for you since our collective complaints often centred on wanting to see a proper return of the Classic Earth-2 along with the Classic Justice Society. There's also the fact that we, the fans, have also been pretty divided on the way the Batman and Superman legacies were handled in the current incarnation.

Classic Justice Society fans like me wanted Huntress and Power Girl to occupy those narratives from the start, and Val-Zod fans were also equally frustrated by the lack of an actual direction for the character--even feared his marginalisation and potential erasure in favour of the more established Power Girl. (On the whole, I don't feel the Batman and Superman legacies on Earth-2 were done correctly to start with, leading to the problems described above).

I'm sorry that so much of your work on this book was wholesale course-correction on what has been--as my friend Roland described--a series of badly executed reboots and unrealised potential. I wish your run would've comprised more of the kind of heartfelt storytelling we got with your Convergence: Justice Society comic two years ago, complete with that sense of fun and wonder many of us associate with Earth-2 and the Justice Society. I wish that my reviews for your run on Earth-2: Society could've been more like my reviews for your Convergence: Justice Society. I wish I could've focused more on the story you were telling, and I wish I didn't have to constantly address the troubling sexism that was the Earth-2 Batman legacy for so long.

I don't know what to expect with Justice Society Rebirth or the future of Earth-2, but I do know that not knowing anything about who's going to show up and who's going to be left out moving forward makes me nervous to say the least. Nonetheless, I do hope you'll get to be a part of the Justice Society's revival somehow, especially since you never had a real chance with Earth-2: Society.

As a fan of the pre-Crisis Earth-2 and the Classic Justice Society, I know that--without question--I would like to see the more classic versions of Helena Wayne, Kara Zor-L, and Lyta Trevor reinstated with the Rebirth Justice Society on Prime Earth, with their classic origins and superhero identities intact. These are not only the versions of the characters I'm more fond of, but I also feel that they are still the best representations of those characters to date. If DC decides to relaunch another Earth-2 series with the characters you worked with, I will at least still be interested in seeing the next chapter of their journeys, but they'll also always feel kind of distant to me by not being part of the mainstream DC Universe.

Hopefully, as we move forward with Rebirth, DC will give both Classic JSA and New 52 Earth-2 fans the versions of the characters we want to invest in. I think keeping the classic characters separate from their New 52 counterparts is a good compromise and I don't doubt Geoff Johns will find a way to bring all of these characters back stronger and better than ever. But if DC does decide to retire Earth-2 after today, I hope that they'll at least bring the classic versions of all of these characters back to Prime Earth for Rebirth. I also hope they create Prime Earth versions of characters who don't already have pre-Flashpoint counterparts like Val-Zod, Queen Marella, and Khalid Ben-Hassin so that their fans can still invest in them.

Looking to the future, I look forward to seeing whatever new Rebirth projects you'll be involved in, and I especially hope we learn more details about Justice Society Rebirth sooner rather than later. I know I'll definitely need Huntress and Power Girl back with their classic JSA family, or I'll run out of things to talk about in the upcoming years!

I hope all is well with you, and that you have a wonderful rest of your week!

Cheers!

Diane Darcy

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for keeping the torch going for our love of the Earth 2 JSA and of our dearest Huntress. You are our voice for Helena, as this letter and your numerous posts can attest. Thank you for your insights, it is a highlight for me to read your thoughts on our Helena and Earth 2 when you post. Your attention to detail and conviction is applauded!
    Please continue to do what you do. I am sure there are days where you may want to just throw your hands up thanks to DC's conniving and wheeling and dealing, but you are doing good things for us fans. I for one am grateful. Your love for Helena Wayne and the heroes of the true Earth 2 is something I share too.
    Thank you again for all you do for us fans!

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