It's Geoff Johns Day on CNN

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In honor of the debut of FLASHPOINT, CNN had a story on Geoff Johns which made it all the way to the front page. The story speaks with various sources who discuss the fact that Johns is The Man of Comics 2011:

Taking decades of mythology in new directions might seem like a daunting task. But Bob Bretall, Mayo’s co-host on the Comic Book Page podcast, said it’s a balancing act that Johns performs well.

“He can retool a character or his/her history to make it more relevant to current readers without throwing away or disrespecting the work of previous creators.”

If you’re not familiar with Allen’s back story, Johns said, you don’t need to worry about playing catch-up before diving into the new series.

“You get all you need to know about The Flash in ‘Flashpoint 1,’ and then you’re exploring a whole new universe together. So you’re seeing it through Flash’s eyes for the very first time.”


Having finished reading the issue in question, we’d say that’s sort of accurate; the more you know about DC history the more you’ll enjoy it, but if you only know the movies you’ll still get the gist of it. Or as we just IM’d a pal, every generation deserves the Age of Apocalypse that it gets.

Comments

  1. I haven’t bought a (floppy) in about five years. Like a lot of people, my interest in mainstream comics has shifted a bit from weekly trips to the comicshop and I’ve been happy to catch up on major story arcs in paperback form. They make for a better, easier read.

    But i had some time in a comcshop today and, having read THE BEAT’s earlier article on this series, figured I’d grab one for the big reveal.

    People talking, even people at CNN, are right. It’s the “DC Age of Apocalypse” retailers and fans can easily identify with. Really top-notch, and John’s hit all the right notes on how to make it enjoyable for long-time fans and accessible for new readers.

    But what is it about superheroes that makes us always want to re-invent the past, particularly the Silver Age past, of comics people know through history rather than the personal experience of having read them as a child? It’s like the success of HAPPY DAYS; popular stories that look nostalgic, but drawn from moment in time that the real fan-base never experienced. In other forms of literature, like Hallmark greeting cards, this would be referred to as “sentimentalist” and not innovative.

    Don’t get me wrong, it’s quality work and a really good read with balanced and steady hands on the art and story. But does re-inventing a past you never had equate with carving out a future for an artform? If so, what does that say about the artform?

  2. WOW, slow news day

  3. Nick Jones says:

    “Johns is The Man of Comics 2011″

    I find that statement horrendously depressing. Johns is just a fanboy obsessed with rewriting the DC universe to fit his childhood/teenage vision of the way things ought to be.

  4. Michael P says:

    One cog in the Time/Warner machine greasing another. I am Jack’s complete lack of surprise.

  5. @Michael P

    Hasn’t CNN done stories on plenty of Marvel stuff, too? The death of Johnny Storm comes to mind.

  6. It’s still more corporate synergy, and excusing it with false equivalence with Marvel doesn’t make it any less greasy on the palm.

  7. “I find that statement horrendously depressing. Johns is just a fanboy obsessed with rewriting the DC universe to fit his childhood/teenage vision of the way things ought to be.”

    Funny I feel the same about this statement, Johns isn’t just the man in 2011 he’s been the man for the past 5 years. Flashpoint was a great read and already a step above the very lackluster Fear Itself. Anyways it’s nice to see Johns getting some props outside of comics since we all know he’s not going to get any from the insiders.

  8. Nick Jones says:

    “Johns isn’t just the man in 2011 he’s been the man for the past 5 years.”

    Yeah, it WAS just a bit over five years ago that Geoff Johns started having supervillains punch women’s heads off, using second-or-third string heroes as cannon fodder in his big events, and trying to reassemble the cast of The Super Powers Team: Galactic Guardians as the DC universe’s central figures. Strangely, that’s also around when I mostly stopped reading DC’s books. Go figure. :D

  9. Torsten Adair says:

    “But what is it about superheroes that makes us always want to re-invent the past, particularly the Silver Age past, of comics people know through history rather than the personal experience of having read them as a child?”

    The challenge of writing superhero comics is presenting the illusion of change without changing the characters. It’s a soap opera, except the characters do not age.

    There is a bit of the Disney Cycle, a new audience every seven years, but those new readers can get bored if it’s the Same Old Same Old (AKA S.S.D.D.). So you have events, where lots of stuff happens, but doesn’t. (Have any superheroes referenced Millennium or Genesis lately, or even No Man’s Land?) It’s easiest if it’s an alternate universe, because the heroes are similar but different, and what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. Unless it’s successful, then they fold it into the main universe.

    Unfortunately, after the dust has settled on the event and tie-ins, there’s usually only one big change. (Spectre has a new host, Hypertime is created, there’s a new character)

    Ah… Macbeth’s Curse… (Macbeth V.v) Would the last reader be sure to blow out the candle before leaving?

  10. “Yeah, it WAS just a bit over five years ago that Geoff Johns started having supervillains punch women’s heads off, using second-or-third string heroes as cannon fodder in his big events, and trying to reassemble the cast of The Super Powers Team: Galactic Guardians as the DC universe’s central figures. Strangely, that’s also around when I mostly stopped reading DC’s books. Go figure. :D”

    That’s also when he took GL a midtier hero to the biggest book in comics today along with a movie. It’s when he took DC on his back and made them start to challenger marvel at the top of the charts for the first time in decades. That’s when he’s put out more quaility work than anyother writer on the market. But hey i’m sure none of that matters because he replaced Wally with Barry and Kyle with Hal smfh.

  11. Nick Jones says:

    “That’s also when he took GL a midtier hero to the biggest book in comics today along with a movie.”

    DC Comics put Green Lantern and Batman front and center of everything it has done for several years, and lo and behold they’re the titles that are top sellers. It’s not a matter of the supposed writing quality of one guy, it’s a matter of promotion.

    “It’s when he took DC on his back and made them start to challenger marvel at the top of the charts for the first time in decades.”

    Only in the sense that both companies have been steadily losing sales at the top of the chart and DC has just been losing them more slowly as of late (but “sucking less than the competition” really isn’t a great victory). Also, I suspect that fans of the various other writers who work for DC (especially the ones who like that Grant Morrison fella’) would object to your painting of Johns as the sole sales savior of DC Comics.

    “That’s when he’s put out more quaility work than anyother writer on the market.”

    Okay, now this is just getting silly. Are you his agent or wife or something? I’d sit the work of Jeff Parker, Alan Moore, Brian K. Vaughan, Robert Kirkman, Brian Wood, Terry Moore, Jeff Smith, Mike Carey, and a slew of others far above Geoff Johns in terms of quality; however, even if you don’t agree that they’re better, at the absolute least you have to admit that they’re at the same level.

    “But hey i’m sure none of that matters because he replaced Wally with Barry and Kyle with Hal smfh.”

    Add to that Firestorm, Aquaman, Captain Boomerang, Hawk, Reverse Flash, and TWO older versions of the Legion of Superheroes all replacing their successors, plus the huge number of characters he killed off purely for shock value, plus the slew of old characters he brought back from the dead just because he’s fixated on them, plus the numerous heroes he spontaneously rewrote as either mopey or evil because he couldn’t think of anything else to do with them.

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