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DC’s ‘After Watchmen, What’s Next?’ promotion



This is timely, as just the other day several folks were discussing this in the comments thread of one of Kevin’s recent posts — what comics do you give to a friend who just read Watchmen and wants to know what else is out there? DC’s offering some suggestions by reprinting and rush soliciting a bunch of $1 comics, including Saga of the Swamp Thing #21, Preacher #1, Identity Crisis #1, Planetary #1 and Transmetropolitan #1.

So what do you think … are these good chasers after a shot of Watchmen?

You can read more information from DC on the promotion after the jump.


The excitement surrounding the upcoming WATCHMEN feature film has brought new readers to the graphic novel format. Now that they’ve read WATCHMEN, where do they go next? Help point them in the right direction with DC Comics’ “AFTER WATCHMEN, WHAT’S NEXT?” program.

DC Comics has developed a marketing campaign that spotlights several award-winning, best-selling titles from our various imprints. Each book reflects an aspect of WATCHMEN’s broad appeal — including other works by Alan Moore, science fiction tales, post-modern super hero action and sophisticated titles for mature readers — and is a great entry point for both new fans just discovering graphic novels and established readers looking to try something new.

The program is supported by an extensive marketing campaign including five promotionally-priced reprint Specials which are rush solicited below.

The marketing campaign includes:

Five “AFTER WATCHMEN, WHAT’S NEXT?” Specials featuring a cover price of just $1.00:


Please see below for more information on these Specials.

• 32-page booklet to be given away at conventions, comics shops and book stores
• House ads in the DC Universe, Vertigo and WildStorm titles
• Editorial page promotions in Vertigo: On the Ledge, DC Nation and WildStorm Stormfront columns
• Trade ads

• E-mail Blasts
• National Consumer Online Banner Advertising Campaign
• Retailer Tools on DC Comics retailer page on
• Checklist, Header Card, Shelf Talker and Bag Slick
• Bag Stuffer for DC Retailer page for Direct Market retailers

Social Networking:

• Ad pages in Convention Program Guides
• 32-page Booklet distribution at DC booth
• Bookmark distribution at DC booth

• Website at
• Showcase titles on the homepages of DC, WildStorm and Vertigo throughout February, March and April to capture new WATCHMEN readers
• Articles on DC, Vertigo and WildStorm homepages

• Co-op Movie Slide
• Co-op Ad Slick



Identity crisis sticks out like a sore thumb…. or a bullet wound.

Still, can you pick a BETTER super-hero title to transition from Watchmen to the mainstream DCU?

I would, however choose the original Authority #1 over Identity Crisis.

What’s the rationale behind including Identity Crisis? “If you enjoyed the rape scene in Watchmen… “

Blue Beetle. I think the trades make for pretty accessible reading. Since it’s cancelled, it’ll probably total 5 TPBs.

But I think part of what makes Watchmen such a successful graphic novel is the fact that it was just one big book. You could buy it, read it, and didn’t have to hunt down anything else. That it also has such a simple and recognizable cover/logo is also an important factor, I think.

Still, can you pick a BETTER super-hero title to transition from Watchmen to the mainstream DCU?

I could think of a thousand before I would come to Identity Crisis. It’s a perfect example of a terrible comic trying to ape Watchmen and entirely missing the point.

• SAGA OF THE SWAMP THING #21 SPECIAL EDITION: Swamp Thing has been done as a film and DC/WB runs the risk of repeating Man-Thing’s straight-to-TV bomb if they try for anything other than the eco-horror the character was meant to be.
• TRANSMETROPOLITAN #1 SPECIAL EDITION: The world isn’t ready for Spider Jerusalem. I should say, Spider Jerusalem isn’t ready for our political world. Holograms on eleciton night, for Christ’s sake! Spider would throw his own poop at the TV for that one!
• PLANETARY #1 SPECIAL EDITION: Honestly, the best bet. A team of mysterious, eclectic super-powered beings researching the paranomal, which actually also serves for an allegory for pulp and fantasy in pop culture. Sounds great for a winter blockbuster release.
• PREACHER #1 SPECIAL: No way can they tell the whole Preacher story, with the complexity of character, in a single film, or I dare say even a trilogy. Would the story make sense as a whole without Jesse’s, Tulip’s, and Cassidy’s origins? Not to mention the Grail’s? An HBO series is still the way to go with this.
• IDENTITY CRISIS #1 SPECIAL: Bill D. said it best. “”f you enjoyed the rape scene in Watchmen…” Hilarious, yet tragically true.

I PRAY that “the end of superheroes as we know it” (to quote the latest promos) doesn’t translate into a mainstream deconstruction of the superhero as real humans with real faults blah blah blah. We got enough of that with Maguire’s Emo-Spidey, honestly. I hope the parallel world aspect of Watchmen keeps its themes just that — ALONGSIDE our view of superheroes in pop culture, not on top of and in place of it.

Still, can you pick a BETTER super-hero title to transition from Watchmen to the mainstream DCU?

Does New Frontier count? That’s a property dying to be given the watchmen/dark knight roll out.

Lulz at the internet fans and their obsession with rape. This is a great promotion, and I’m very happy that Identity Crisis is included. It’s one of my favorite books DC’s put out, and I think it’s a good book to give to someone who might like Watchmen.

“If you enjoyed the rape scene in Watchmen… “

Jesus, listen to yourself, people. What a bunch of assholes.

The first issue of Identity Crisis is incredible. Take a character people don’t know [or don’t care about], make you relate to him for the whole issue and then break him.

I don’t know how someone could not hunt down the rest of that series.

Meltzer’s style is grating and his million narrations may be useless to us, but they give new readers insights into these people’s thoughts.

Rags Morales’ art is awesome too.

Top Ten, Fables, the new Captain America run, Birds of Prey, the 1st G.J. JSA run, Global Frequency, or the new American Flagg trade, so far, that’s what I show people when they come back to my shop.
Been working pretty good.

Why not Jonah Hex?
They tell solid (for want of a better phrase, mature stories) that aren’t tied into a myriad of inane “crisis-laden” crossovers.

All you need is a short synopsis of the character and his background and anyone who enjoyed a stand-on-it’s story like Watchmen could enjoy Jonah Hex.

And the winner is… Planetary.

With its pulp gestalt and literary qualities (plus Casaday’s great art), it’s the natural “next” step.

Of course, no idea what’s in the special, but assuming someone with at least half a brain put it together, it should be fine.

(Identity Crisis doesn’t belong in this grouping at all, imho. In fact, it would reinforce negative perceptions of comics.)

No Y: The Last Man? FAIL. (Okay, Saga, Preacher, and Planetary are all pretty good choices.)

From the superhero genre
I would recommend

Easy answers:

EX MACHINA (if you aren’t reading this… YOU OUGHT TO)

And you know, I WOULD include Identity Crisis simply because from an outsider’s point of view, it presents a lot of things they never would have thought existed in comics. The story and eventual tragedy of Elongated Man was just heart wrenching. The morality issues they face. The rape scene, while shocking and gratuitous, would show The over the hill super villain with father issues… there’s so much there that put super hero comics in a far different light than expected.

Now for lighter fare, I would actually give them the JUSTICE LEAGUE INTERNATIONAL trades. (espcially the first one) Which is still a good read, doesn’t require too much continuity knowledge and after reading the aforementioned books, would be a MUCH WELCOME break)

And JLA: A New Hope to get them into mainstream superheroes again. (I actually got a friend into comics again through this.)

Maaaaaybe GREEN LANTERN EMERALD DAWN (seriously, responds better to external audience. And a good way to get them into the GL mythos without continuity strings)

Going beyond superheroes:

The first BOOKS OF MAGIC. (nothing wrong with the others, but just to get them familiarized with magic in comics… besides…they’ve probably AT LEAST heard of Harry Potter…)

Fables would be cool.

Jonah Hex and Y:The Last Man isn’t really technically super hero genre, but if they just want comics, those would be great reads. (Hex, while in continuity, comes off more as an action comic)

DO NOT Give them any of the CRISIS books. They won’t be ready. Hehehe. And I am a major FLASH promoted but none of them are good jumping on points for those not versed in comic book lore. Well Showcase 4 was but just for that era and since then, everything else.

Pretty solid list. Self-contained is really the key here. Books can be part of a series, but shouldn’t be never-ending sagas. Watchmen is a complete work in a way that is decidedly different from many/most comics we’ve seen adapted to film. Introducing people to books that have a beginning and an end make a lot of sense, and if that carries through multiple volumes, the LCS has a chance to build a repeat customer.

My only gripe is that this is rush solicited for a week after Watchmen comes out. Ideally, this would have been in place for opening weekend. Also, if retailers had known which books were to be spotlighted with more advance notice, they could have made sure to have more copies of the first trade collections of those series. This will be a wasted opportunity if people can’t get their hands on that first trade once they’ve sampled and enjoyed one of these $1 issues.

Transmet may do very well from this promotion in that the first tpb retails for $7.99. Someone who likes the sampler can get their next fix cheaply.

Gritty, alternate reality set in NYC? DMZ.

I can kind of see the idea behind Identity Crisis. I picked it up w/ almost no outside knowledge. The scene with Deathstroke peeved me though. I did enjoy the mystery to the whole story, though.

Y: The Last Man really should be on there. I’ve let my friends who’ve read Watchmen borrow my trades, and they’ve all loved it.

I think for many people, superheroes are kind of a turnoff. I know Watchmen technically is a superhero story, but it’s done in a way that may make all other superhero stories seem infantile to a new reader.

They should really be pushing Sleeper, I’ve found it’s closest to the feel of Watchmen and they have those two big trades of the series coming out soon.

[…] the initial announcement last month mentioned just six DC titles — Identity Crisis #1, Planetary #1, Preacher #1, Saga of the […]

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