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When The Huntress Becomes The Hunted

First, an illustrating analogy:  years ago, my dad was bitching about The Sopranos on HBO and other dramas that the cable channel was making.  "I like comedies!  If HBO wants my money, they should be making more comedies!"

Well, dad, they make more money making dramas for people that want to see them than they do comedies for people that want to see them.  Otherwise, we Mr. Show fans would still be seeing Bob and David.  There's more of them than there are of us, and HBO does have bills to pay.

I'm starting to get real sick of everything about the DCnU.  I'm not just talking about the new directions of the characters, but the fan reactions to it.

In the DCnU proper, Superman and Batman can't share a series and interact because it will bring up too many questions about the conflicting continuities of the characters.  So they created an Earth 2 and a World's Finest series that will pair Power Girl (who's actually dressed decent for a change) and Huntress.  DC has just released a preview of the first issue of World's Finest.  It already has fans up in arms.

It took me a while to piece the whole thing together.  I wasn't a Birds Of Prey fan, so I wasn't really aware of what all was going on with Huntress.  However, I am aware of the devotion to the characters.  Whatever might be said about Gail Simone, she wrote a series about strong, empowered women and made their sexy looks a secondary consideration, and that's to be applauded.  Her Huntress, Helena Bertinelli, continued a trend started by Greg Rucka, a mafia princess who was tough as nails in general and still trying to reconcile everything.  It was in an early issue of Birds Of Prey that Huntress, just before the big fight with the bad guy, kneels down and prays to God before the fight, thanking him for giving her life meaning.  Expressions of faith in comics are rare, even among characters who purport to be openly religious.  Not only that, but think about this -- Huntress was using a "last rites" situation to thank God for giving her the purpose of protecting others.  It wasn't, "Gee, maybe I shouldn't have beat up all those people, please don't hold it against me if I die."  It was making peace, doing what she believed she was meant to do, and that's that.  You just don't see stuff like that very often, even in set-ups where you should see it nearly every issue.

The preview shows a page where you see the ID of Helena Bertinelli as the holder lights it on fire.  The discussion implies that the real Helena died somehow and this person assumed her identity, and now that the identity has lived out its usefulness, it's time to move on.  You can read the preview here.

So the fans are pissed.  This is a beloved character!  We saw her change and mature!  And you're just dismissing her and her history instead of using a character that clearly works!  (Now you know how us Wally West fans feel.)  And there's all this outrage and venom being spewed around.

I'm going to tell all you people something that I've figured out early on in the DCnU:

...these stories are not being written for us.  We are not the target audience.

Notice that, in a lot of interviews with DCnU writers, people are saying, "Yeah, I didn't want to write out/kill off this character, but I was made to."  That's editorial decision.  And editorial is chasing other readers.  Readers that aren't as picky or have the long memories we have.  And that's up to them.  We can talk all we want about taking our business elsewhere.  That's what they want.  If we go, they don't have to deal with the headaches of listening to us bitch about what they are doing with characters we may like but they still own.  Not to put too fine a point on it, but WE WON'T BE MISSED.

Now, there are still plenty of good books out there, still plenty of great stuff.  But DC editorial is not interested in what we have to say, and in fact considers us a detriment.  They don't want us.  I'm not saying the solution is to just walk away.  If a current series is doing something right (the Court Of Owls), keep reading it.

Just keep in mind ALL publishers look at demographics.  ALL publishers look at what it takes to keep things continuing.  And if they don't see things working, they will make changes.  And there's not a goddamn thing you can do about it.

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