Wednesday, September 26, 2007

I'm Annoyed

Actually, I'm pissed, but that looked too weird in the title spot. And the cause of it all is Judd "What the hell does he think he's doing?" Winick.

For the record, I still don't have a problem with the Wedding Special. And like Sally, I can rationalize and/or forgive a lot. My suspension of disbelief is great. I'm a reader who happily falls into a story and the writer has to push me out. No need to coax me in. I'm there, baby. Which is why things I've been reading about JW are all the more troubling. I am starting to feel betrayed.

According to Sally, in an interview I think I won't be reading in deference to my blood pressure (which is normal and I'd like to keep it there), Winick actually planned to kill Dinah, before settling on Ollie. Up to this point, I was readily accepting that, as you regular readers will recall, Dinah couldn't take Ollie down any other way. A plot device to spur on the new series, to be sure, but okay, I was willing to play along. No more.

Because I'm getting the feeling Winick has told us two important things about himself. He's a jerk, and he thinks we're idiots.


Okay, I lied. I went and read the interview. And you know what? My blood pressure is still normal. I just can't figure out what or whose side I am on this. The only thing I know for sure is that Winick's writing can't support his ideas. His execution, pardon any pun there, falls short of the goal line. It stinks, to be blunt.

Here's what he said:
"Yeah. We all came to the same conclusion around the same time, that it was going to be her, but it just became such a more interesting dynamic when it was Ollie who got it in the end. Ollie killing Black Canary and then hunting for the truth – there was something about it that didn’t feel right to me, and when Dan and Mike and I were talking, we came to the conclusion that we wanted Black Canary to carry the story forward from there. Dinah losing Ollie felt like a different kind of terrible than Ollie losing Dinah.

And I kind of wanted to start the book from Black Canary’s perspective, and this was the best way to do it. It wasn’t a small decision – it was just “are we going to get their by land or by sea?” Different things, but we decided to go by sea, instead of by land."
On the face of it, it's pro-Dinah. It makes it sound as if he wanted to use her, the female character, to move things forward, rather than the guy. That should be a good thing. But his execution, the way Ollie dies, hinders rather than helps the cause. Losing Ollie was one thing; killing him and doing it the way she did, is quite another. If she'd struck a blow to the side of his head and he died, that would've been more fitting. But there wouldn't have been blood that way.

So, I'm going to get and read GA/BC. I'll go along with this for now. And I'll be wishing a better writer was at the helm, because a better writer could've done something great with this story idea. Someone like Gail Simone, perhaps, if such a plot appealed to her. Or Will Pfeifer, if he wrote it in the style of his Catwoman stories and not his Amazons Attack story.

I don't have time to try this myself right now, but it could be an interesting meme. Given the background, what they (writer and editor and head honchos) hoped to accomplish, how would you have handled it?

Or better, how would you have started the new series? What kind of bang would you have used, instead of killing one half of the couple in question? It's something I'm going to be thinking about as I read the opening arc.

But I'm still peeved. Because I feel like I'm being played. And that's something I don't take kindly to. But you know, as bad as Winick might be as a writer, for me, he has never written anything as insipid as Jodi Picoult's arc on Wonder Woman.


  1. Here's my opinion on the wedding in a nutshell:

  2. Anonymous9:14 AM EDT

    If I might ask one question?

    If you don't like Winick that much, if you don't like the direction this new book is going in and if the nicest thing you have to say about Judd is that at least he isn't Jodi Jodi Picoult...

    ... why are you even considering buying the book in the first place?

  3. It's infuriating, isn't it? I was willing to give Winick the benefit of the doubt, but not any more. And...and he's just so darned CHEERFUL about it!


  4. Matt, Judd Winick isn't my favorite writer and yes, I'm not happy with him right now or his writing, but I don't think his interview statements are as bad as other people believe.

    I'll be reading the series, at least the first arc, because I'm curious and because I realize I've read just the first chapter. I always give a story a fair shake. And sometimes, I read it all, even if it's not as good as it could be or I would want because I want to see how it ends. Like The Trials of Shazam. ;)

    Not every writer is great and fortunately, I can afford to indulge my curiosity. I read a lot of average writers. Judd Winick is mired in that middle range. I just thought he was better than that and now I realize he isn't.

    I think Picoult is an excellent writer, btw. She just sucked as a comic book writer.

  5. Sally, writers get gleeful about their stories. That didn't bother me. I was gleeful, relieved, thrilled when a friend I write a shared universe with said it was all right to kill one of her characters, a boring female love interest for one of my guys.

    And having read the interview for myself now, I'm not as upset. I might not be happy, but that's partly because I don't agree with all his choices, but mostly because I thought he had some good ideas that he executed poorly.

    If Dinah was the one to be killed, while she was going to continue, one must assume, as chair of the JLA, then her death wouldn't have been long-lived, I'd think. So I'm thinking the same for Ollie.

    And personally, I think Winick got it backwards. Ollie would be more angst-filled if Dinah died or he'd killed her than the other way around. He's the one who did all he could to prove he was worthy of her. She might've lost him once, and left him another couple of times, but she knows she can live without him because of that.

  6. Anonymous10:33 AM EDT

    Fair enough.

    Personally, I've seen enough to make the judgement call that Winick is incapable of writing Green Arrow, Black Canary or indeed any other superhero in a capacity that can be considered competent much less good.

    He turned Oliver Queen into a stereotypical limo liberal who tries to save the world by throwing money at problems and shouting slogans.

    He's turned Dinah Lance into a helpless bimbo who can't put together a decent outfit much less lead the World's Finest superhero team.

    And the only way DC is finally going to realize that this kind of thing is completely unacceptable is for us to stop buying Judd Winick's books. Plain and simple.

  7. Well, after Denny O'Neill stopped writing Ollie, Ollie became a stereotype for many years until Mike Grell started writing him. And yet, I bought all those JLA issues faithfully because even tho Ollie had become an ass and Hawkman was as bad, I still enjoyed the comic.

    As for boycotting Winick's books, I dunno. It might send the message that Dinah can't help support a book that doesn't have Oracle in it. I boycotted DC for 10 years (except for Titans which I boycotted just for 4 years) and they kept publishing anyway. I guess I was in the minority. Of one. ;)

  8. Anonymous2:48 PM EDT

    As for boycotting Winick's books, I dunno. It might send the message that Dinah can't help support a book that doesn't have Oracle in it.

    Or it might send the message that Dinah's fans are not going to tolerate a half-assed portayal of her character.

    Personally, I think there's something wrong with the mindset that Dinah can't be the focus of her own book or that she always has to be supporting someone else's title. And that's all she'd be in a Winick-written GA/BC book. Support. Eye-candy. The Girl Hostage.

    Hell, even his grand idea for this opening arc isn't based around how cool it would be to see her coping with Ollie's death - it's about how Ollie's death is somehow more interesting than Dinah's life.

    Time will tell, I guess. But right now, it looks like DC lost most of whatever potential audience they might have gotten to cross over from Birds of Prey.

  9. If I don't like the new GA/BC book after the first arc, I'll stop buying it. But Winick's actual comments in the interview didn't sound as bad to me as people made out. So, I'm giving him the first arc to show me one way or the other.

    He's not my fav comics writer. Then again, neither are most of them.

  10. Anonymous12:27 AM EDT

    So we have a heroine who is forced to kill by circumstances and poor writing when we know that it could have easily been played non-lethally?

    Note to Judd: when you steal ideas from other comics it's usually best to pick ones that aren't major plot points in recent company-wide events. It's also a good idea to rip off good ideas, not bad ones that everyone hated the first time around.