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I just finished Gotham Central #39, and I was appalled to discover that issue 40 will be the last of the series. Apparently the G.C.P.D. won't survive the "skipped" year coming in Infinite Crisis. The cancellation of this book has me really depressed.

You see, last month my comic shop of the past decade plus closed its doors. While debating if I my desire was strong enough to keep feeding my very expensive habit, the only DC book that had any emotional impact upon me was Gotham Central. The ending of issue #38 was shocking and saddening to me. One month later, to find that the only book that I was really enjoying within DC's "continuity" is to be discontinued is very discouraging.

I'll be the first to recognize that the comic industry has to change in order to reach a new generation of customers. I had hoped that they would be able to do so without alienating their longstanding readers. But as DC changes Superman into Hamlet and Batman into Dr. Frankenstein, I find my interest waning.

In the early 90's, in reaction to the trends of the day and gimmicks of their competitors, DC replaced Batman with a much darker version. Denny O'Neil has said that the Azrael Batman was an interpretation of the darker, more violent characters that were so prevalent at the time, an interpretation that was predestined for destruction in favor of the more life-affirming Batman that DC presented. Now, DC gives us All-Star Batman, a despicable, murderous, egomaniacal creature that throws their work and characterization of just 10 years ago out the window. And their excuse? Allowing Frank Miller to redefine Batman worked so well 20 years ago, let's get him to do it again! With curse words! I'm beginning to think that Frank Miller sincerely hates Batman.

I think I'll blame my comic book malaise on the "new look" DC bullet. I loved the previous, longstanding bullet. It has been modified over the years, but it was always the same basic thing: the letters "D" & "C" inside of a circle with text or stars. The same elements are all there, but it's not the same feeling anymore. And now that that bullet is associated with DC's new Batman (shitty) and Superman (going to be shitty) movies, the whole thing is a disenfranchising nightmare to me.

Sure, I'll probably keep buying Detective and Batman out of habit (the inertia of 30 consecutive years collecting a title is hard to overcome), but I'm just not sure I really care anymore for the new DC Universe. I guess that's the thing about bullets: you never see them coming.

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To be continued...


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