One of my favorite words in the English language is “bittersweet”. The expressions is wonderfully textured, promising sadness and happiness within the same experience. I often find this experience in music and film.
The final scene in Casablanca when Bogart sends Bergman off with her husband even though they both wish to stay with each other is bittersweet. The parting hurts but doing what they both know to be right is the sweetness that leavens the pain.
Sinatra at 50 in his seminal Reprise Album “September Of My Years” waxes bittersweet in such songs as “The Way You Look Tonight”
Some day, when I'm awfully low,
When the world is cold,
I will feel a glow just thinking of you...
And the way you look tonight
Final episodes of well loved TV shows can be bittersweet. One of the most memorable images I can remember on television is the final shot of the last episode of M*A*S*H* “Goodbye, Farewell and Amen”
It is never an easy thing to say “goodbye” to things that are dear to you.
Friends, lovers….chocolate chip ice cream.
Saying “goodbye” can be very…
Just so we’re clear here…I HATE SAYING GOODBYE!
So how does this all tie out to comic books?
Glad you Poozers asked!
For a DC comics fan like MOI (or even just me) this last week has been especially bittersweet. A bunch of final issues have come down the pipe to make room for the new 52 coming the first week in September. Supergirl, Powergirl, Superboy, Justice League Of America, Batman and on and are all singing their swan songs.
Considering that there are very FEW things I dislike more than saying “goodbye” , I had a very bittersweet week.
I am going to miss Stephanie Brown. She came a long way as Batgirl but she never lost her Buffyesque take on life.
Connor Kent finally finds comfort in his own skin…but that “skin” is going to go through some pretty radical changes…so will Kara’s.
Clark and Bruce are going to have to rediscover a friendship that made them “World’s Finest”…if they rediscover it at all.
Saying goodbye to Oracle is going to be especially hard because she may just be the most remarkable hero in all of the DC Universe.
But here’s the thing…
In my experience, “goodbyes” are almost always balanced by some pretty wonderful “hellos”. For every actor who leaves the stage, another enters.
So it will be with…DC!
Oracle with go or change but Barbara Gordon will be reclaiming the title “Batgirl”
Kara Zor-El is still going to be Supergirl, though word has it that, most of the time, she will be a bit…cranky.
We are going to rediscover the wonder of watching a young man from another planet become the greatest hero of all time.
There is going to be a new, and from the looks of it, dynamic Justice League Of America.
Oh and Batman will be…Batman.
Some things never change!
I suspect that Johns and company at DC will stay very close to the core elements of all these beloved characters. Myths change with the time but the essential story is eternal.
I will miss my old friends, some of whom have been around since the last real DC reboot in the mid 80’s. Others we have picked up along the way.
It has been a wonderful journey.
And I have heard many fans who feel a bit betrayed by all of this. As if DC is just casting aside their characters AND their established fan base in an effort to engage a new generation of readers.
Yeah…it took me a couple of years to warm up to Captain Picard and “The Next Generation” but once I did, THEY became old friends too.
And here’s another thing…
Old friends, like favorite books never really leave us.
We can always visit with them again.
Farewell old friends….Welcome new friends. I am betting the new journey will be every bit as much fun as the last one!