DC Layoffs

“Bloodbath,” that is the word I’ve seen used most often to describe the massive wave of layoffs at DC comics and DC universe. The estimates range from six hundred at the lowest, and the highest being upwards of one thousand. Most of those who lost their jobs were editors, leaving many wondering what exactly these layoffs mean for DC comics.

It is incredibly tragic that these editors lost their jobs at all, let alone in our current economic climate. However tragic, something along these lines has seemed inevitable since the AT&T merger with Warner Brothers. AT&T has in no way prioritized DC’s comics division, and DC universe, the other department hit hard by layoffs, has been being downsized for the past few months in order to incentivise subscriptions to HBO Max, which AT&T seems to have much more faith in.

Some are worried that this spells doom for DC comics, I however am not really concerned for DC in the long run. No matter how tragic these layoffs are, the only changes comic readers are going to see are less editorial mandated story edits, and maybe more typos. DC universe on the other hand, likely is on the chopping block. If you are currently subscribed to DC universe, I suggest you do as I am, and enjoy it while it lasts.

With DC’s “Fandome” event in just over a week, any questions about DC’s future will soon be answered. Although I do believe DC will continue it’s move towards television and film as it’s primary sources of income, I would not say the comics industry is in as apocalyptic of a state as many seem to believe.

Gotham 2.0

It was announced recently that a show based in the universe of the upcoming Matt Reeves’ helmed Batman film will be coming to HBO max. This news excited me at first, as I have believed for a while now that the best possible adaptation of Batman would be an episodic detective show. Much to my disappointment, I later learned that this new show is to focus on Jim Gordon and the GCPD.

I don’t think that focusing on the GCPD is a bad idea, quite the opposite. My problem is the fact that we saw this same thing not long ago in the form of “Gotham.” I quite enjoyed Gotham, especially the first few seasons, although I understand why a lot of Batman fans did not like it. No matter the quality of Gotham, I think that making a similar show this soon is a bit ridiculous. The final episode of Gotham aired on April 25, 2019. That was just over a year ago, and they are already planning a similar show.

I think it is about time that we get a proper live action Batman television series. Batman has not been the focus of a non animated series since the 60’s series starring Adam West. Birds of Prey, Gotham, Pennyworth, and Batwoman all focus on some member of Batman’s supporting cast. They gave Superman a romantic comedy in the 90s in they form of “Lois and Clark”, They gave Superboy a show in the 90s. Hell, they gave a minor character from Neil Gaiman’s “Sandman” a show in the form of Lucifer. I don’t think a Batman show about Batman is too much to ask of Warner Brothers.

I complain about this news, yet anyone who knows me, knows that I will watch it anyway, as I have an obsession with consuming all things Batman. I’m unhappy about who the show is focusing on, but I will still tune in every week, same Bat Time, same Bat Channel.

The Dark Knight Returns, maybe

Earlier this week, a rumor started circulating within all the major comic news outlets claiming that Michael Keaton has signed a multi-picture deal to reprise this roll of Batman, specifically the same Batman that appeared in 1989’s “Batman” and 1992’s “Batman Returns,” ignoring the 2 films made by the late director Joel Schumacher.

These rumors should be taken with a massive grain of salt, but just for fun, I’m going to go through the most common rumors. It originally broke that Michael Keaton was returning as Batman in the upcoming Flash solo movie staring Ezra Miller. This film is to be loosely based on “Flashpoint”, a story in which Barry Allen alters the DC timeline by saving his mother from dying, which causes the entire damn universe to fall apart. One of the larger changes made in the flashpoint timeline is that Thomas and Martha Wayne survive, and Bruce dies. The rumor states that alongside this, The Flash will also create a timeline in which Michael Keaton’s Batman has been protecting Gotham for the past thirty years.

The rumor also states that after the solo Flash movie, Michael Keaton would become the main line DCEU Batman, replacing Ben Affleck, and running alongside the upcoming Robert Pattinson lead trilogy. This is the part I believe the least, but I digress. The claim is that Michael Keaton has signed a similar deal to the deal Samuel L. Jackson’s MCU deal. He would appear in a limited capacity in several upcoming films.

All of this is meant to build to a Batman Beyond adaptation. I would love to see this, but I think an adaptation of the classic Frank Miller story “The Dark Knight Returns” would be much better. The main reason being, I don’t really think Michael Keaton is old enough for Batman Beyond. In Batman Beyond, Bruce Wayne can hardly even walk, while Michael Keaton still occasionally does action movies. In the future, a Batman Beyond adaptation would be amazing, but for now, in the shape Michael Keaton is in, I think trying to get a Dark Knight Returns film would be much better. It has been about the correct amount of time in between movies for the Dark Knight Returns, it just makes the most sense to me and I don’t understand why no one else is talking about this.

I highly doubt any of this is true, and I will until an official announcement is made. If one is, it will likely be made at the DC Fandome event in August. I would be very shocked, and very excited, if this turns out to be true. But for now, I’ll just treat it as any other rumor, probably a lie to get my hopes up because the internet is evil.

Why Batman should not kill

I’ve often complained to my friends and family about making Batman a killer in Zack Snyder’s “Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice.” I’ve realized however, that I often fail to properly articulate exactly why this angers me as much as it does.

In making Batman a murderer, you’ve taken away a lot of what seperates Batman from any other costumed vigilante. Batman’s moral code is what makes him interesting, it’s what makes him special. Once you’ve taken that away, you lose the character.

I’ve seen the argument made that “this version does kill and you should just get over it.” I think that is an incredibly weak argument, because it misses the entire point of the anger towards this version of Batman. I don’t think of this character as “just another version of Batman,” because I don’t see what makes him Batman. Sure, his parents were murdered in an alley, and sure, he dresses like a bat and hangs out is a cave, but he doesn’t act like Batman. The actions of the character define the character, not the events that happen to the character. Although Nolan’s Batman didn’t draw directly from comic stories very often, it will forever be a more accurate representation of Batman then Snyder’s version, no matter how many shots he pulls from “The Dark Knight Returns.”

I can’t say that I’m excited for the Snyder cut of “Justice League,” because I know how Snyder views these characters. When I watch Batman, I want to watch Batman, not some guy in a bat costume.

Post Malone’s weird history with Rock

My first exposure to “emo” rapper Post Malone was in ninth grade gym class. Specifically, kids would play the song “Rockstar.” I remember at the time turning to a friend of mine and asking him how the hell this could somehow be considered rock music. I silently hypothesized that this “Post Malone” person had likely never held a real instrument in his life.

Fast forward about a year and I stumble across the YouTube channel for the California based guitar store “Norman’s Rare Guitars.” While browsing this channel, I found a video featuring Post Malone. Curious, I watched the video only to find not only was Post Malone a guitar player, he was amazing. By this point I was fascinated, trying to find as many videos of him playing as possible. I found mostly just acoustic covers at the time but that would soon change.

The next thing I found from him with direct ties to rock music came in 2019 with “Take what you want” featuring Ozzy Osbourne. The obvious connection being Ozzy, but the song also has what is as far as I am aware, an uncredited guitar solo. Although I don’t know who recorded the solo, its presence says alot.

The most recent and in my opinion most blatant example was this year’s “Post Malone x Nirvana Tribute livestream.” As the name implies, it was a live set consisting primarily of non-singles, songs like drain you, lounge act, and school. I gained more respect for him due to the omission of Smells like Teen Spirit, so lesser known songs could be spotlighted. I will admit however that my first reaction was the fear that younger children may assume Post Malone wrote those songs.

Overall, I have to say its a little sad that Post Malone doesn’t explore rock more, as it at least seems like he enjoys it. I wonder how much hesitation comes from the lack of mainstream popularity rock has in the current music industry, and how much simply comes from a lack of interest. No matter what, I will likely continue to follow his career with some interest.