Saturday, September 22, 2007

The Wedding Special

No, I have not read it.

It was written by Judd Winick.

It doesn't matter that Amanda Conner drew it.

It was written by Judd Winick.

While I've no doubt that my reaction to Judd Winick being handed one of the best, strongest, and most popular female characters in the DC Universe would be massively entertaining I refuse to subject myself to it. I am not reading the scans. I am not buying the book.

This is a writer I still argue mishandled Jade, and she is my least favorite female character in the DC catalog. I've never seen a satisfying portrayal of an existing female character from this writer (there is always something in there that sends a piss-poor message about women's place in society, even when he tries to write "Strong"). I've rarely seen a satisfying portrayal of an existing male character from this writer (they have a tendency to shed their own personalities and become the stock Winick hero). He's even disappointed me utterly when it comes to his own creations.

I will credit him as the reason I learned to see through "strong" female characters, because his Jade was such a transparent attempt at a superficially progressive woman who still conforms to the traditional roles of a female character that I (previously ignorant) developed a eye for the trick. It doesn't matter that she fights and you say she uses her powers as well as Kyle, and it doesn't matter that he's intimidated by her. If you don't show her winning or show her matching him or show any reason he wouldn't want to piss her off other than the chance she'd leave his bed you might as well be writing the Lensmen. At least the sexism's upfront there.

Hell, this writer's the fucking reason this marriage idea made Dinah seem like such a putz. He's the one who wrote the sleaziest Ollie. He's the one who took Ollie into the unforgivable territory.

I'm just glad he's far far away from my favorite books.

(Oh, in case anyone is wondering who asked and brought on this rant, it was Chris.)


  1. Hell, this writer's the fucking reason this marriage idea made Dinah seem like such a putz. He's the one who wrote the sleaziest Ollie. He's the one who took Ollie into the unforgivable territory.

    The sad thing being that all of that could, like Joe Kelly's work on JLA and JLA:Elite (aka The one where Ollie sleeps with another man's wife and he gets pissed - even though, in an earlier story also by Joe Kelly, the man offered the same use of his wife to Superman and Batman), could have largely been retconned out of existence by now if Winick weren't so hellbent on using his first Green Arrow story as the basis for "love conqures all" in the new series.

    The irony there being that Winick's first Green Arrow story is the one that showcases everything that is wrong with his writing Green Arrow.

    * Cartoonishly bad, Captain Planet-style "evil" corporate people.

    * Big dumb demons/monsters to fight, because writing stories about a guy in a costume fighting guys in suits is dumb and would never work at all...

    * Ollie as the biggest, cheatinist man on the face of the planet when 95% of his characterization until his death had him portayed as the over-possessive/over-protective type. Also, until that point, it had never been stated in any series anywhere that Ollie and Dinah were an item again and indeed in the last story before that time featuring the two together, it seemed like Ollie was jumping the gun on how fast to take the relationship and that Dinah was mostly interested in casual dating.

    * Ollie as a stereotypical limo liberal who thinks you can solve every problem by throwing money at it instead of getting your hands dirty and working to solve problems. Apart from the ham-fisted AIDS issue, Ollie hasn't done ANYTHING to tackle society's ills apart from make speeches as mayor and promise to use gay marriage to balance the city budget.

    * He did absolutely no research before declaring that Black Lightning and Green Arrow are old friends (I think they had one story together, and conservative Black Lightning lamblasted liberal Green Arrow's well-meant attempt to bring him into the JLA because Ollie felt the team needed more racial balance) or that Jefferson had a niece (Jeff being an only child was made a very big deal in the Isabella series). He also reportedly blew off Isabella's offers to discuss the character of Jefferson Pierce and how he should be portayed, both before and after the "Straight Shooter" storyline came out.

    See, unlike you, he IS writing my favorite books. Or what would be my favorite books if someone else were writing them.

    Thankfully, the rate things are going at DC, I figure he'll have a year to shape up or they'll bring in a new team and reboot it again or they'll bring in Gail Simone to fix everything on Issue #13 . :)

  2. Well...he didn't do TOO bad for most of the story. The fact that Amanda Conner did a marvelous job with the artwork really helped the story along. So, I was enjoying myself right up to the last page, where it all went to hell.

    Pity, really.

  3. Nowadays, if Winick's writing a book, the cover might as well say "DON'T BUY ME". This book was no exception. But I did skim it.

    Read my Stars and Garters blog for a unique, entertaining, and admittedly self-centered view of the wedding special. It even includes a link to one of your old columns.

  4. Oh yeah, the Lensmen.
    No women can become lensmen (with ONE exception to prove politicalcorrectness, hurray!), but when our heroes meet a society ruled by women, they proudly point out that, unlike that, their own galactic society is based on equality of the genders.

    Even as a 12 year-old I could see how idiotic that was.

  5. The art was JUST BEAUTIFUL. Zatanna telling a stripper to take it off (backwards), was hilarious.

    But PLEASE... Diana being a prude when it comes to Teen Drinking? AT A PARTY?

    I married into a Greek family. I believe that not for a minute.

    And can we please explain to Winick and everyone else who hasn't gotten the message that, while I can heartily enjoy domestic violence as a source of BLACK humor, (Sue me, I'm the world's most twisted bitch.) It IS NOT NOW, AND IT NEVER WILL BE, A SOURCE OF CUTE, FUNNY HUMOR.

    Where's my Canary? Hell, where's my Ollie?


    Sigh... You didn't really miss anything. Don't ever read that crap. I need brain bleach now.

  6. As I've mentioned elsewhere, it's sad, because I think Winick was a good writer at one point. I just think that being forced to be one of DC's Three Guys That Write Everything, combined with poor editing, has turned him into a hack. He relies on the same tricks, over and over and over again, because he doesn't have the time or energy to think of anything better, and because his editors either don't care or are actively forcing bad plot points onto him and telling him, "Write this in."

    When you think of Judd Winick...just raise a glass to him, and remember 'Barry Ween' and 'Pedro and Me', back when he was a promising indie talent. Better men than he have taken the same road.

  7. I can think of one Jade story I liked- and that was the one where she went after the molester Santa.

    However, Judd Winick even made Kyle unreadable for me in the end.

  8. I need to figure out a way to write a horrible Judd Winick parody villian.

    Problem is, I can't think of a good way to parody Judd Winick.

    What really offends me is how he claims to be so "progressive", when he obviously isn't.

  9. I wninced when I saw "Winnick" listed on the cover. Still I was in for a penny, in for a pound. It actually was pretty fair considering I dropped Green Lantern when Winnick wrote it into blahness. I have a felling Jan Jones was watching over his shoulder as he wrote. The ending is something I am mixed about. Yeah great hook to try and increase follow up in the new named series, but kind of ruined the good feelings the Wedding story was written to instill. Still pondering what to say in a complete look at all four connective books.

  10. Respectfully asked, when you talk about Winick taking Ollie into unforgivable territory, is that his sleeping with Joanna while dating Dinah? Because I agree, that was pretty sleazy, and Winick will have to do a lot (when I read the trade) to convince me that Dinah would say "yes" to Ollie's marriage proposal--but given all of that, I didn't necessarily find it out of character for Ollie, after Marianne and others. I don't disagree with your disgust necessarily, I'd just like to understand it better.

    Completely coincidentally, I was just asking about reactions to Judd Winick over at Collected Editions, after the vehement reaction on the Newsarama boards to the possibility that Judd might be writing Titans East. Stop by and weigh in, if you like.

  11. It's beyond this. I feel like Judd Winick killed one of my favorite books. After Kevin Smith brought Ollie back to life, Green Arrow finally achieved an unprecidented top 10 place in DC's monthly lineup in terms of raw sales. Following Smith's successor, Brad Meltzer's short but brilliant run, Judd Winick comes in and sales start dropping dramatically. Unfortunately, Winick is more concerned with communicating his political views than with telling a good story. Who cares if Ollie's dealing with life issues as long as gay marriage is promoted? What's happening with the various characters that populate Green Arrow's world doesn't matter as long as Conner is finally outed as a gay superhero. The powers that be wouldn't let him make Conner gay? He settled for giving Mia Dearden AIDS, so is to follow-up on his previous work. There's SO MUCH more to life than the gay issue. Now that Winick's finally off the book, I hope we'll finally get some new issues worth reading. What's next for Winick is anybody's guess. I wouldn't be surprised if he went over to Marvel and tried to give Spider-Man a boyfriend...