O Jericho, Where Art Thou? Oh brother...

Back in the days leading up to INFINITE CRISIS, continuity was (supposed to be) at an all-time high in the DC Universe. Pretty much all the storylines in all the books were reflected back on each other. It was so bad, that if (ha, when) a book shipped late, you had to backtrack your thinking to keep it all in order. Everything was tied together. Dan Didio said in an interview (and I'm totally "quoting" this from memories that are a few years old) that it was important for the continuity to be tight, so that the importance of INFINITE CRISIS could be felt, that it was affecting the entire DCU, and some other crap like that. But that after IC, the reigns would be loosened a little.

Well, the reins were loosened a lot. So much that it was impossible to follow any one character, as they'd be appearing all over the place with no discernible connections from appearance to the next.
  • Supergirl was in the present and the future.
  • Power Girl was running around with the JSA while apparently adventuring in Kandor with Supergirl.
  • Giganta was simultaneously romancing Ryan Choi in THE ALL-NEW ATOM and pounding the crap out of Donna Troy in WONDER WOMAN.
It was just this side of ridiculous. But at least you could "justify" it as different writers and editors just playing around without checking up on one another. But...

Waaay back in THE NEW TITANS #83 (February 1992), Deathstroke ran a sword through his son, Jericho, to save Jericho's soul from the Trigon-tainted Souls of Azarath who were possessing him.

Between 2003 and 2007, in TEEN TITANS, it was revealed that Jericho had been inhabiting Deathstroke's body since his "death." He was then trapped onto a computer disk (what?), and eventually grown a new body and made whole and good. He took possession of Match (the evil clone of Superboy) and stayed in him to keep him under control at S.T.A.R. Labs until they could figure out how to deal with him.
But...what if you have the same writer and the same editors working on two different books, using the same character, but in no way connected to one another? How do you justify that...?
Two weeks ago:
writer: Judd Winick
editors: Rex Ogle, Elisabeth V. Gehrlein and Dan DiDio
release date: October 15, 2008
artists: Julian Lopez, Prentis Rollins & Bit

The Titans return to Titans Tower, after rescuing Raven from the influence of Trigon (again), to find Match waiting for them. But his speech patterns are different. He cries out: "It's me! It's Joey! I'm Joseph Slade! I'm Jericho! Please, I need your help! I can't get out!"

So now we know that Jericho has been keeping Match under control since...
Oh. Wait...
writers: Judd Winick and Bill Willingham
editors: Rex Ogle, Elisabeth V. Gehrlein and Dan DiDio
release date: October 15, 2008
artists: Rick Leonardi and Dan Green

Our heroes can't figure out why presidential candidates are trying to kill themselves, other than they are being controlled by somebody. Of course, the first person they suspect isn't even a super-villain, it's (as far as anyone knows) another hero! And they're right!

Jericho has been possessing the candidates and planting bombs so they'll be blown up!!

Except that he's still keeping Match under control at S.T.A.R. Labs. Isn't he...?

WTF? I'm so confused.

And why is Jericho suddenly a bad guy? Even in the solicitations for TITANS #9 it says: "With Jericho around, no one is safe. He can hide in plain sight, and he's far more powerful than he's ever been before." Yeah, he was bad when he was possessed by the evil Souls of Azarath. And still tainted from spending so much time living in Deathstroke's head (apparently he's so messed up that he can't even remember his name!). But Geoff Johns fixed all that before Joey took over Match. What up?

I know that Judd and Dan loved the Wolfman/Perez NEW TEEN TITANS. That's why they brought the line-up back together. But do they have to love it so much that they keep retelling the old stories? Raven under Trigon's influence, check. Jericho as a bad guy, check. I suppose the next storyline will be Cyborg getting a new flesh-and-bones body that rejects him... Or Donna Troy searching out her past...

C'mon guys, fresh, please. Fresh!

If anyone but Winick and DiDio were working on this book, I'd think the "Joseph Slade" slip was a clue. That maybe we're dealing with an alternate-earth Jericho. But neither of them are that clever, so it was just a stupid mistake that no one caught.

On the other hand, Julian Lopez's art has been a breath of fresh air!! I really wish he was sticking with the book.

Okay, the end.

Oh wait...

P.S. This is why I almost never write lengthy posts. They ramble and make almost no sense. And I don't have an ending to wrap it up pretty. Oh well, I guess you'll get over it. LOL


  1. I read both those books too - and for some reason I didn't even make the connection that it was supposed to be the SAME character. I thought "Jericho" in DECISIONS was a new villain that invented for that (pretty miserable) miniseries. Things are pretty bad overall in the DCU these days. Other than JSA, I'm not really enjoying much of what I buy and read. Pretty sad since I'm been a DC fan since the early 1970s. I'm hoping thing get better when the disappointing FINAL CRISIS is over.

  2. The DCU is getting pretty graphically violent lately. And seems mostly to be gratuitous just for shock value. "Look! This ain't no kiddie $h!t!"
    But JSA has been dragging on this Kingdom Come thing a little too long. And now the Earth-2 thing is playing simultaneously, wish they'd finish one first.
    I'm digging Wonder Woman and Legion of 3 Worlds. Billy Batson and the Magic of Shazam is a great read, also. Compared to the other recent Johnny DC fare, it's practically DCU dark. And it has continuity. Not aimed at the 3-4 year-olds that Tiny Titans and DC Super Friends target.
    The Superman Family is better than it's been in practically forever.
    Even Green Lantern, which falls into the violence for the sake of grossness category, has been a good read.
    And Titans #6 didn't suck.

  3. Great post...I didn't think it rambled.

    I have been thinking the same thing about Jerico as well...and how I wish they be constant with their characters.

    Oh one last thing...the art work in Titans has definitely been a fresh of breath of air...considering who was drawing it when it started...the writing has improved as well.

  4. Thanks!

    Julian Lopez is so far removed from Ian Churchill and Joe Benitez that I think they hired him by mistake!!
    I don't hate Howard Porter, but I'm not a big fan either. I wish Lopez would be sticking around. He makes everyone look so good. Even Gar, with his pointy ears and Zac Efron 'do.

    The writing has been much better, I agree. It was painful in the early issues having them talk like drunk party fratboys. Painful.

  5. From Dan the Man:

    "You’ll start to see us explore that – what it means to be a Titan, and more importantly, the sacrifices that you make and the stands that you have to make in order to support your friends and your extended family. That is, in fact, what the Jericho story is about – there will be a twist at the end of Decisions #4 that explain the motivations of Jericho and the problems with Jericho. That storyline spins back into Titans, and becomes an important storyline for Titans, Teen Titans and Vigilante in the first half of next year."

  6. Bitch.
    Yeah, I read that.
    It's not my fault that the TITANS story should have wrapped up to get Joey where he needed to be before starting DECISIONS. I didn't set the publishing schedule.
    I still think it's stupid to make Jericho evil just because they can't come up with good stories to tell.
    And it still doesn't explain the "Joseph Slade" bit... I thought Dan and Judd were HUGE Titans fans. Not so much, maybe?