Robot 6

DC’s mainstream push for New 52: Diversity, digital and detectives

Batwing #1

DC Comics continues its promotional assault in the press to push “The New 52″ to a mainstream audience, with the theme this week, apparently, being diversity. At least four stories this week — three of which were posted Wednesday — tackled the subject and put the spotlight on Static Shock, Batwing and more. Here are some of the highlights:

• The Huffington Post previewed the first issue of Judd Winick and Ben Oliver’s Batwing yesterday, the same day it arrived in shops. Winick spoke to Bryan Young about the origins of Africa’s Batman: “… if you consider that we’re coming from a starting place that this is a Batman who lost his parents to AIDS and was a boy soldier. That’s square one for us. In the first couple of pages Batwing is talking about the fact that one of the things Batman has to do is instill fear. And Batwing points out that he’s not really sure that a man dressed up as a bat is really going to scare the average criminal in Africa. Batman just tells him that ‘you’re just going to have to sell it.’ And that’s the point, it’s a different world.” An unabridged version of the interview can be found at Big Shiny Robot.

• The New York Daily News, meanwhile, spoke with writer John Rozum about Static Shock #1 and Static’s move from fictional Dakota to Harlem: “Static’s adventures take him all over New York City and elsewhere. [But] Virgil and his family live in Harlem, his school’s in Harlem and, as he makes friends, they’ll all be in Harlem as well, so this will really be his neighborhood and the background of his life,” Rozum told the paper.

• Eric Wallace, the writer of Mr. Terrific, discussed diversity in comics with The St. Petersburg Times: “I have an 8-year-old son, and I notice with him and his little friends they all respond like crazy to Spider-Man. My theory is that all of his skin is covered, so when you’re a little boy looking at superheroes, it doesn’t matter who you are, he could be you. When you’ve got this guy swathed in red and blue who an 8-year-old can then see pulling back his mask to be something other than the majority (ethnicity), there’s something beautiful about that,” Wallace said.

• The new Ultimate Spider-Man also comes up in an article on CNN’s Geek Out!, which includes perspectives from Winick, Brian Michael Bendis and CBR’s Jonah Weiland, among others.

• Turning now from diversity to distribution (although they do have a preview of Mr. Terrific #1 with the article, so there you go) CNET spoke with Jim Lee and Hank Kanalz at the San Diego Comic-Con this past summer about their digital plans.

• Writers Ivan Brandon and Mike Costa talked to The Associated Press about reintroducing some of DC’s war-comics characters in Men of War and Blackhawks.

• And finally, Alex Zalben at MTV Geek caught up with Tony Daniel about putting the “detective” in Detective Comics: “My technique is to have plenty of red herrings and layers to look under, or unravel, or peel back to expose the full story. Where all the clues are there in the first scene, and little by little you can see the story unfold – or not – until the very end. What I like to do is have the reader discover clues and evidence as Batman does. Maybe they can piece it together for themselves, or maybe not.”

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Comments

5 Comments

Batman is at his best when he’s a detective, not a superhero.

Batman works in any situation.

Batman, though I like him, is too overexposed.

So… I read the 3 page preview there…. 3 whole pages set in THE CONGO and not a single tree in sight. Man, those paper companies really have gone overboard! The Congo is treeless!

Backgrounds:They’re a bitch, but like feet they need to be drawn occasionally.

Bringing up the diversity angle is an excellent move on DC’s part. There are plenty of people, POC and otherwise, who would like to see more minority characters in their entertainment. Black superheroes haven’t exactly made it to the big screen en masse – the highest-profile one I can think of is the Catwoman movie, which I hesitate to include for all sorts of reasons – so letting the public know that Yes!, black superheroes exist, and Yes!, these comics got ‘em is a great way to generate buzz. Probably even better than the meaningless-to-most-newbies “here’s how this relates to previous approaches to continuity” angle.

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