Saturday, March 24, 2007

Great Ten to Headline Series?

I've just read that the Great Ten, the DCU's resident team of supers from the PRC, are to receive their own series or miniseries later this year.

I'm kinda curious how this is going to pan out. I know the Ten are part of DC's sometimes-lauded-sometimes-criticized push for diversity in their comics from last year, but so far they've only appeared in, oh, about seven comics. The only member we've gotten to know personally is the Accomplished Perfect Physician, and I rather like him. That said, there are quite a few legitimate concerns about the Ten that need to be addressed. I'm of the mind that even the most horrendous characters can be rehabilitated -- look at the Yellow Claw in Agents of Atlas -- but it's gonna take a whole lot of work to make Mother of Champions anything more than an insulting, offensive, disgusting stereotype.

I do take some issue with the notion that since the Ten are employees of a totalitarian government their book won't be worth reading. We already know that the Physician (a former outlaw now trying to change the system from within) and Thundermind (ethnically Tibetan; we still don't know why he's on the team) are at odds with the nationalist members, the August General in Iron (who's apparently "just following orders") and Socialist Red Guardsman (the resident "my country right or wrong" jingo). The writer of the series could easily use the book to criticize the Chinese government.

I also see this as a great opportunity to explore the DCU Earth beyond America. We now know that the People's Republic has its own super-human community independent of America's; what about the rest of Asia? Taiwan? Hong Kong? Korea? Does China have supers besides the Ten?

By the way, who's the tenth member of the Great Ten? At first I thought it was this "Shaolin Robot," but apparently that's just an automaton controlled by the August General. They introduced Yeti in a later issue of 52, but said he was a "reserve member." Also, is there a connection between Chung Tzu/Egg Fu (ugh I hate typing that) and the Ten? We know that they're both around after 52.

And who's writing? We know they're Grant Morrison's brainchild, but Greg Rucka, DC's resident writer of political thrillers, seems to have handled them for the most part so far. I'd much rather see Rucka handle them, injecting some of his trademark intrigue into the title, given how volatile east Asia's political climate can be. I can see the National People's Congress sending the August General and the Guardsman out to clash with Rising Sun (Japan's Captain America as far as I'm concerned) so no one will notice the Immortal Man in Darkness performing some cool covert action in his swanky alien plane, for instance. On the other hand, this would be a good opportunity to give an Asian American writer some high-profile attention.

So, yeah. I'm cautiously guarded, but I really want to see how this turns out. Bring it on, DC.


DJ Black Adam said...

Great Ten for a series is a bad idea in my humble opinion. Though I like Thundermind.

Filby said...

Like I said, I think it all comes down to who's writing and how they approach it. It could go south very, very easily.