Friday, September 07, 2007

"Bye, Bye Ryan Choi"

UPDATED: According to Gail Simone, the Atom is not really getting killed off in the next issue of "Countdown." The phrase "Bye bye Ryan Choi" just refers to some arcane bit of "Countdown" lore.

Ryan Choi is alive and well.

I still think within a few years they'll all be returned back to the status quo. Sorry. I'm cynical.


Yeah, like we didn't see THAT coming since issue #1...

This is the likely fate for most ethnic reboots:
Cassandra Cain Batgirl
Blue Beetle

In the end, it is struggle for the publisher between wanting to put something new out there & contribute to diversity, and the need/desire to fall back on time-tested icons.

Why not create more new characters instead? I think the comic companies sort if shy away from this because of all these creator's rights issues nowadays.

But whenever I see a reboot like the Ryan Choi Atom I count the months until the status quo is reverted.

However, if they really are killing him off next issue of "Countdown," I'm sure that will be a modest sales spike.

I think the plan is to save "Countdown" by killing a bunch of characters. Which is a shrewd and relatively inexpensive solution.


  1. I think he's just leaving the book Countdown, which they showed in this week's All New Atom. The book is far from cancelled.

  2. I really like Choi-the-Atom a bunch, along with Jamie-the-Blue-Beetle, & I hope they stick around, even if it is in a John Stewart & Guy Gardner capacity. I really think they enhance the mythology, & are some of the most pure fun comics coming out.

  3. Yeah, it isn't that he's dying, it's that he's no longer a member of the Challengers from the Beyond.

  4. Oh, I shouldn't forget to mention that Cass got the short end of the stick, & for no good reason.

  5. Just to repeat what's said here in the comments section. Ryan's still alive and well, Valerie. Dan's really committed to the character and book, thank goodness!

    No big deal, and still loving the blog and your writing!


  6. Thanks, Gail!

    I'll amend that on my entry.

  7. Now that we know Ryan Choi is safe, I'll cross my fingers that he goes away again.

    See, I've always been a major proponent of minorities becoming legacies. I'd still really love to see someone like John Stewart become the new Dr. Fate (Left field? Read Gerry Jones' "Mosaic" series.) I'm still ticked Kyle Rayner wasn't Javier Ramirez, while Tim Drake should have been Komadori Jun (especially as drawn by Tom Lyle.) If he'd shave that stupid goatee, I'd be cool with the Crispus Allen Spectre. Everyone loves Mr. Terrific.

    Thing is though, whenever a minority becomes a legacy, great pains are made to keep them as dull as possible. Maybe Dan Jolley was shooting for Peter Parker with Jason Rusch, but he instead managed to come up with a kid as thick as Ronnie Raymond with half the charm or intestinal fortitude. He's a weenie. Ryan Choi's a fan of Ray Palmer? That's swell. So am I. See, Ray's a brilliant scientist who's also a former barbarian warrior. It takes decades to get to be as cool as Ray Palmer. Ryan's "nice," as in the guy chicks don't want to ruin the "friendship" with. I haven't been bowled over by Jamie Reyes, but Ted Kord wasn't very interesting outside of playing straight man to Booster Gold, and the kid's got some spunk.

    The ladies fare better. The mostly mute Cassandra Cain wasn't an easy sell, but she's still impressive and loaded with potential. I'll probably never prefer Renee Montoya to Vic Sage, but he was mostly just a cult favorite, and maybe she can work a Skully arc and meet Mulder partway over time.

    Point being, if you're going to bench a white guy for someone of a different complexion, at least try to make the newbies as interesting as the veterans. I'm not saying everyone's got to be a Rob Liefeld character with a mysterious past and Jason Bourne skills, but remember that nine out of ten fans will take an amusing stereotype like Luke Cage over a soggy Oreo like Orpheus.

  8. david,

    Well, ANA isn't cancelled, but I wouldn't say it's "far from cancelled." It's sales are really, really, really bad, and it will be interesting to see if they get worse once the tie-in ends.

    I kinda like Ryan Choi, but I don't think legacy characters like that NEVER work. Or at least they fail way, way, way more often than they succeed. In terms of characters who supported a solo title, what are the success stories? The Ray? Starman? Wally West as Flash? Do Connor and Kyle count, since they were eventually replaced by the people they were meant to permanently replace?

  9. We should all be grateful Ryan will no longer be stuck in Countdown.

  10. I like the Choi Atom BOOK, but Choi as a character hasn't really developed any hooks yet I don't think. The Jamie Reyes Blue Beetle is stellar. And I will carry bile for DC in my guts for years to come for what they've done to Cassandra Cain.

  11. I kinda like Ryan Choi, but I don't think legacy characters like that NEVER work. Or at least they fail way, way, way more often than they succeed. In terms of characters who supported a solo title, what are the success stories?

    Well, there are Barry Allen, Hal Jordan and Ray Palmer for starters.

    Nearly all the DC Silver Age characters were legacies from the Golden Age. However, it indicates what is wrong ANA, since those were 'hard' re-boots. The characters were re-thought from the ground up.

    Even the Wally West "Flash" started as very different from Barry Allen. He was interested in money and women. He was a bit shallow and self-involved.