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Friday, March 13, 2015

DC Comics: Can we talk about this?

The upcoming post isn't related to writing. I'm coming back from my long break for a tangential rant.

So, DC Comics -- can we talk about this:

Do you not see the problem here? Okay, let me make it a little clearer for you:

We need to talk about this. About the Mandarin collars. Because it really needs to stop.

Here's what I imagine happened. You all were sitting in good old DC HQ in Metropolis, listening to Kevin Conroy make ocean noises, possibly eating some very special brownies*, and suddenly Grant Morrison locks eyes with the two-headed Bruce Timm/Paul Dini hybrid and they all whisper in one voice, "Mandarin collars." 

And, like God made light, the age of superheroes in Mandarin collars was ushered in. It became gospel, a doctrine all would follow in the New 52 redesign. Because they're just so chic**, so powerful***, so heroic****.

Now, whenever a redesign passes across an editor's desk, there is only one question: can we make that collar a little more Mandarin?

I mean look at them. Really LOOK AT THEM. Let me lay out the most egregious offenders here. Let's start with:

Green Arrow

I'm not even going to get into any other elements of these redesigns that have my feathers a little ruffled. Nobody cares that I like my Green Arrow older, with a curly goatee. Just based on the collar, this is ridiculous. Because, why? The man is in a sleeveless hoodie. Why is he wearing an apparently sleeveless, Mandarin'collared black shirt under it? Why do we need this collar at all? Are the designers afraid of neck skin? Clavicles? What is happening here?


Martian Manhunter

I know, the big collar on his old cape was just so dated, amirite? But am I the only one who already finds these Mandarin collars to be completely dated? Because they are so overdone, I'm already sick of looking at them. And this one? Why? They gave him his signature bare chest, which I dig, but then they threw some weird shoulder thing on him just so they would have something to attach a Mandarin collar to. They are dictating designs just so a Mandarin collar can happen! 

Arguably, it may just be part of the cape. He does have a cape, after all. That must be the reason! Which brings us to:


What in the actual WHAT? At this point, I'm convinced that this entire redesign was a prank, just waiting to see if anyone was going to call them on it. Or perhaps there was a committee whose sole purpose was to mess with me. She's not even wearing a cape -- I mean, let's be honest. She's not really wearing anything except some thigh high boots and weird nipple clamps I can't even begin to comprehend the physics of. Except, there's that shoulder thing again, present solely as the vehicle to the Mandarin collar. 

Clearly, this is getting out of hand. No, this is beyond getting out of hand -- it is completely out already. I couldn't find a good shot of it, but I'm pretty sure even Wonder Girl's choker has been designed with a Mandarin collar quality in mind.

So, DC. I am begging you. Stop. Please, just stop. This isn't even bearable anymore. I'm so bored with all of these superheroes necks that I could cry. And I shouldn't have any emotions about superheroes necks. This is what you've done to me.

Please, find a little ingenuity. A crew neck. A v-neck. A boat neck. Just leave out the little divet even and give me a turtleneck. But enough with the collar. I just can't.

*I mean, there has to be some explanation for how the inspiration struck, and pot brownies seem as likely a motive as any.
**But are they?
***But really, are they?
****No, like, actually, ARE THEY?


  1. Replies
    1. You're right, a lot of these are out of date. Just something I've noticed as I've picked up back issues and that the new Wonder Woman design prompted.