Robot 6

DC Editorial Hunger Games: May the odds be ever in your favor

I guess not everybody wants a piece of the Action

I guess not everybody wants a piece of the Action

“I want to remind readers of this column that all the Marvel NOW! launches are going strong — none have been canceled or RE-relaunched in a whole new direction after 3 or 4 issues — which is a testament to the talent and coordinated effort of our writers, artists and editors,” Marvel’s Axel Alonso said in last week’s Axel-in-Charge column. Yeah, it’s another trademark swipe by Marvel at its competition, but he isn’t wrong. Putting aside the snarkiness, there’s something to be said for a.) making a plan and sticking with it, b.) having faith in the choices you made, and c.) not undermining your creators and your fans with sudden shifts in creative teams.

I of course have no insight into how things are really being run at DC. But from an outsider’s perspective, it feels like its editorial strategy is inspired by the likes of The Hunger Games and Battle Royale. Every man for himself, blink once and they’re gone, blink twice and their replacement is gone. On the day DC announced the new new writers for the Green Lantern books, I remember seeing a tweet that said something like, “Oh, I figured they wouldn’t announce the new writers until [next weekend's] WonderCon.” My first thought? Just wait — maybe they will.

And I say that with no disrespect to the new creators. I think Robert Venditti is killing it on Demon Knights, and I loved Pinocchio Vampire Slayer, Strongman, 27, Luther Strode. Putting Venditti, Van Jensen, Justin Jordan and Charles Soule on the GL titles is brilliant. They all bring a certain outsider’s sensibility and freshness that’ll be different from what came before, as we move from books written by DC veterans (guided by the chief creative officer) to a bunch of guys who are, for the most part, new to the company. They’re talented guys who know their way around a comic page. Of course, you could say the same thing about Joshua Hale Fialkov, whom two of those guys are replacing. But hey, at least those books haven’t actually been solicited yet, and those of us who pre-order our comics haven’t spent money on an issue that might not be written by the person we thought was writing it.

That isn’t the case with Action Comics, another title that’s been written by a DC’ veteran who’s being replaced by someone to get excited about — but only for an issue. I pre-ordered Andy Diggle’s Action Comics run because I’m a fan of his, and now I’ve got, what, one issue written by him coming my way, with the rest penned by someone else? So that’s one as advertised, then a second that’s just “plotted” by the guy I thought was writing it. I know it’s unintentional, but it feels like a bait and switch. And no, I wouldn’t have bought Diggle’s first issue if I knew he wasn’t writing the whole arc.

These are the latest two creative-team shuffles, but they bring to mind other dramatic creator shifts at DC. Remember when Jim Zubkavich was writing Birds of Prey, for, what, five weeks? Yeah, here’s the announcement interview, here’s the B&B column where we learn Christy Marx will be writing the title instead. It was in that same column the post-Vertigo Constantine title (Heckblazer?) was getting a pair of new writers before it even hit stands. One of those two Constantine writers, Ray Fawkes, was also briefly the writer of Batgirl, in between Gail Simone’s firing and rehiring. So I find it hard to get excited about the new teams, not because of a lack of talent, but because I have some trepidation over how long they might last.

Seriously, Hunger Games. Have you seen this movie (or read the novel)? It’s set in a dystopian future in which the country is divided into 12 districts, and each district has to send two kids to the Hunger Games, where they’re forced to kill each other until there’s only one person left standing. Kind of like that Avengers Arena comic everyone’s so upset about. Even if you haven’t seen Hunger Games, no doubt you know the core concept. But before the story even gets to the brutal kids-killing-kids part, there’s a large chunk of the movie that’s dedicated to the pre-game pageantry, where they parade around the contestants to hype the games, make people love them and give them someone to root for.

Comics have their version of that pre-game pageantry. Let’s use the Green Lantern announcements as an example — the first ones, where they announced Fialkov & Co. were coming on board. DC announces Fialkov is writing Green Lantern Corps and Red Lanterns, so of course he hits the interview circuit. It starts with DC giving the “exclusive” announcement to MTV Geek*, followed by interviews at Comic Book Resources, MTV Geek again, Comic Vine and many other sites. The creators go to conventions and sit on panels where they talks about the books. PR and marketing folks at DC try to figure out the best way to get as much publicity as they can, because that’s their job. Just like it was Lenny Kravitz’s job** to light Jennifer Lawrence and the guy from The Kids Are All Right on fire when they were parading in front of the capital city crowds.

(*I should add that the exclusive announcement is sometimes preempted by a post on Bleeding Cool revealing some or all of the details before the “official” announcement.
**Was it Lenny Kravitz who did that? I might not be remembering it correctly. I’ve only seen it once, and it was many months ago).

Anyway, here’s the big announcement on DC’s The Source blog. Here’s the one announcing Diggle will be writing Action Comics. Now here’s their week-in-review post for last week. There’s something missing, isn’t there? Did I skip over the post announcing both these changes? How was the news that Diggle is off of Action communicated? Tweets … from Diggle. So you get all this pomp and circumstance when they’re coming onto the title, but when something happens that leads to their departure, you end up with incomplete bursts of information combined with radio silence from DC.

Now, a lot of folks will respond to that by saying, “That’s between the creator and DC. It’s none of your business.” Yeah, that’s all well and good, but when there are multiple interviews about why you’re so excited to be writing Green Lantern, and you get me and everyone else excited about why you’re writing Green Lantern, then geez, I don’t know, maybe I deserve to know why you’re no longer excited about writing Green Lantern. If the publisher is taking the creators out and parading them around to all the comics sites and using them to market the comic, then I think when things go south, it certainly deserves more than silence from the publisher. Like I said, I pre-order my comics, and I do that based on what little information I have — the solicit text, the creators involved and what they’ve said about the comic in various places. There’s an unofficial agreement being formed here — you put together a team I’m excited by, and I’ll plop my money down in advance for your comic. If you break your end of the agreement, I think I deserve to know why, at least in the broadest of strokes.

OK, so that’s getting a little more diatribe-y than I was planning, so let’s move on to the third and best part of the movie — the Hunger Games themselves. Those 24 kids are thrown into the battle arena, with a huge stash of weapons and other equipment right there for the taking. There are probably some analogies you could make between the creators and the characters — Rob Liefeld would be the brash, go-my-own-way-and-screw-this Thresh, while Gail Simone is probably akin to Peeta, the one you thought was going down but with a little fan support, managed to make a comeback — but I think the real lesson here is just the chaos of it all. Creators are fired from comics before their first issue debuts; creators are fired and then almost instantly rehired; creators quit for “professional reasons” or because they don’t agree with the editorial decisions being made; creators take to Twitter to air their grievances and frustrations; editors tell creators to take their project elsewhere. Who will be around next month? Who will be the next one to get fed up and quit? Who will be fired? It makes for dramatic news cycles and blog posts, but is it any way to run a company? Is it any way to treat your creators and your fans?

The next DC creative summit

The next DC creative summit

Look, I think there are a lot of things DC is doing right with their line right now. Batman, Animal Man, Wonder Woman, Swamp Thing … these are books that have benefited from strong, consistent creative teams. That approach seems to be working for Marvel NOW, and it even seems to be working for at least half of DC’s current line-up. So why can’t it work for the other half?

I want to read Action Comics and to keep reading Green Lantern Corps. and these other comics you’ve been selling me on, DC, so please — make a plan and stick to it.

Image up top courtesy of J. Caleb Mozzocco
Image below from Avengers Arena

News From Our Partners

Comments

41 Comments

http://comicsand.blogspot.com/2013/03/dc-goodbye-and-good-night-writer-merry.html

A friend and I have a harsher view, in that this last bit of shuffling has pushed us off DC except for a few exceptions.

As I mentioned before somewhere, DC Comics is the Red Sox of the Comics Industry

Great article, man. Really.
It bothers me so much that DC is doing things currently this way. I mean, sure, we don’t know what goes on behind the scenes, but they should change something and get their act together, because it not only damages their books but also their image.
A little over a year ago, I only collected DC and a few indy titles. Not one thing from Marvel.
Now, I have a lot more preorders for Marvel titles than DC.
I was only collecting DC because I am a huge fan of their characters. I love Batman more than anything else, followed by Superman, Constantine and then a lot of other DC heroes. I LOVE those characters. At Marvel, I merely like Daredevil, Cyclops, Captain America, Thor and a few others. So, of course I was buying more DC, but as much as it pains me to admit it… no matter how great a few titles from DC currently are (Batman, Wonder Woman, Batwoman, Animal Man, Swamp Thing, Batman and Robin, Batman Inc), Marvel has so many more equally great series going right now, that are bursting with creativity, that DC is going under, even in the eyes of myself, a HUGE DC fanboy. It doesn’t even matter that I normaly like Superman muuuuuuch more than everything at Marvel, when I suddenly am happier to read the new Thor book, that kicks the ass of every Supes book DC has right now.
The key to all this is to trust tthe talent you hired. Marvel seems to give Waid, Remender, Fraction, Bendis, Aaron and the other the keys to their books and they let them run with it. Thats how it should be.

Please DC, get your act together! The Diggle Action Comics announcement gave me hope for the title, same as Fialkov on Corps, but now its all gone again.

Things at DC won’t change until editorial is replaced, in full.

Yeah, this is EXACTLY why I left DC as a reader. I literally picked up all of the new 52 for six months. Then when everything started going wonky, I dropped the titles. I still pick up Wonder Woman and Flash, but that is because I have collected them since the 1980′s. Where there is no vision, companies and comics suffer (Proverbs 29:18).

Yea. Because quitting DC “except for a few titles” really shows them!

Ask retailers what they think of Marvel’s practices: $3.99 books. Double shipping. Lateness. Brand overexposure. Another AvX titling on the horizon. Is it any wonder DC often wins the Diamond awards? And don’t let Marvel fool ya. They are playing the artist shuffle game – they just call it “planning”.

Drew Melbourne

March 25, 2013 at 1:04 pm

While I am not thrilled with DC at the moment (and am down to only picking up a few of their titles from a couple dozen early on in the New 52), I will point out for sake of fairness:

We’re 18 months into the New 52. That’s over 900 individual issues. By comparison, Marvel Now is NOT a line wide initiative and has been running for less than 6 months. (So maybe 200 comics?) At the corresponding point in the New 52, things were still going pretty smoothly.

So, you know… Give it a few months, Marvel. You may not be so cocky in July.

funny that you mention Swamp Thing as having a strong consistent creative team, seeing as how Snyder is leaving soon, and I don’t think I’ve seen one interview with Soule about his upcoming run.

wouldn’t be surprised if suddenly Soule isn’t writing Swampy anymore so he can focus on Red Lanterns.

How old is Marvel’s NOW, and how is it not doing exactly what DC just did? Both companies are wrong with their ridiculous gimmicks. We want good stories. Marvel is more hit than miss on that but they’re just as bad, flooding the market with endless titles. I was trying out AVX and honestly, it was horridly written. Yet Hickman’s FF is brilliant. It comes of having one uber mind trying to control a whole universe. You get one creators watered down idea filtered through lesser writers. If you automatically think of Geoff Johns you’re missing my point. Marvel and Bendis are the same way.

I’m mostly tired with the direction of their whole universes, and as many people predicted DC is exactly where it was a few years ago, scrambling to catch up with Marvel.

Good stories, good creators. DC has great creators it doesn’t nurture new talent, it doesn’t seek out new writers. Image does all the footwork now and both Marvel and DC scoop them up. What’s saddest however is that they all end up doing their own shtick stuck to a hero book and essentially watering down their visions constrained and in some cases shackled as they are by the rules of super hero comics.

I applaud DC’s efforts to do genre books but honestly, they didn’t try hard enough, tying everything back again to superheroes. Are super heroes really the only inhabitants of the DC Universe? If they are, for shame DC.

Jake Earlewine

March 25, 2013 at 1:29 pm

At this point, criticizing DC is like kicking a drunk who is passed out unconscious in a pool of his own urine.

I’m a longtime DC fan, but I’ve got to say that so far Marvel NOW! has gotten it right.
No reboot, just soft relaunches. Just put some good creative teams on your marquee books and encourage them to do something different. New fans will buy the books. And old fans will buy. Everyone’s happy.
My initial enthusiasm for the New 52 has pretty much bottomed-out.
The DC Universe feels unfamiliar, but not in an exciting way. It feels more like “change for change’s sake.”
Why they couldn’t have done a DC Now! is beyond me, with some of the same creative teams (Geoff Johns/Jim Lee on Justice League, Morrison on Action, etc.) launching new jumping on issues but still keeping that old continuity for the long time fans.
And the sudden shifts in creative teams really make me overly cautious about investing any time/money in DC’s titles.
I don’t feel as deserving of explanations over why creative teams are announced and then suddenly leave.
What I do feel I deserve is an explanation about why this is such a problem at DC and what they are doing to stop it.
I don’t know about most fans, but I’m at the point where I want to know ahead of time what I’m spending my comics cash on so I can better manage the collection. I like to know I’m buying so many regular books a month. I like to know that if there is an exciting new title coming out, then perhaps I need to give my current purchases a second look to decide if there’s anything I can drop. Unreliable creative teams throws that process into chaos.
For the first time in decades I’m subscribing to some titles – all Marvel – because I know, for example, that John Hickman has a road map for Avengers and Marvel intends to let him play it out. I’m comfortable that the same holds true for Matt Fraction on the FF books and Rick Remender on Uncanny Avengers.
DC, what is wrong with you? Why don’t I have that same faith in you anymore?

Alonso is totally right, and that’s one deserved dig. Marvel was extremely up front about its rotating artist plan, and everything has been announced and HYPED even. Each new artist coming onto a book has gotten a trumpet and a red carpet, and a quick promise of a return for the departing artist or an indication why they’re headed elsewhere. DC doesn’t even both indicating its correct creative teams on covers sometimes.

And while I don’t want to undermine the artistic contribution, the writer is the person driving the direction of the book. And there’s the difference — Marvel hires Remender to do Remender’s Captain America, Hickman to do a Hickman Avengers book, Aaron to do an Aaron Thor. DC hires “Indie” talent to do the plots charted and dictated by Johns, Lee, DiDio, and the editorial staff. Marx replacing Jim Zub and Lemire/Fawkes replacing Vendetti at the eleventh hour both go to show that the only thing changing is the name of the person writing the dialogue to fill in the plot beats already laid down. There’s no way DC editorial could target Van Jensen and Charles Soule and have them create thoughtful directions for Green Lantern in one day — they were called in to script against editorial plans. It’s a strong enforcement to support independent comics if you actually want a Soule, Van Jensen, Zub, Fialkov book, etc.

It’s funny, my DC pull list is down to the same titles another poster mentioned: Batman, Wonder Woman, Batwoman, Animal Man, Swamp Thing, Batman and Robin, Batman Inc. (and, for me, Dial H and the print editions of the digital-first Batman and Superman out-of-continuity stories). All of those titles have had consistent teams with short fill-in artists or well-documented artistic changes. My only worry now is that Azzarello and Chiang/Akins’ Wonder Woman is the Foxface in this analogy, staying off to itself and going unharmed until the eleventh hour. It’s a shame when enjoying a DC title is completely tied to fearing the blade about to drop.

Stephen Conway

March 25, 2013 at 1:54 pm

Had there been any creative switches in the first 6 months of the New 52 beyond Ron Marz being moved off Vodoo?

I don’t think we can make many comparisons between the relaunch and the rebranding until more time has passed. Seeing as Marvel still have more titles on the way, I think we probably need to take several steps back before pronouncing Marvel Now a bigger success than DC’s New 52.

Marvel have seen a spike in sales and are outselling DC at the moment but we have yet to see how much sales will drop off over time. New 52 sales were strong to begin with, but most titles have experienced experienced a downturn over the last 18 months. It will be interesting to see what trend Marvel experience.

Someone should forward this article to Bob Harras.

Another major creative change in the first 6 months of the New 52 was John Rozum leaving Static Shock. And JT Krul left Green Arrow, too, but I’m not sure of the timing of that — it seemed pretty early, though.

I’m a longtime DC fan who is really glad to see Marvel do as well as it seems to be doing with Marvel Now (though I agree it’s too soon to judge completely). Partially because it means I’ve got some good trade paperbacks in my future. But also because it really sends a signal that DC needs to up its game if it wants to compete. I worry that its knee-jerk response will be gimmicky flameouts. but hopefully in time it will resort to stable creative teams, given the freedom necessary to tell memorable stories. I see that in some places of the DCU — Flash, Wonder Woman, Dial H — but not in others. (Of course, that was true before the New 52 as well… DC editorial has made a mess of the Titans for the last decade.)

1. I’m really glad to see “Heckblazer” catching on.
2. I agree wholeheartedly with this entire essay. DC had a lot of good will built up with the New 52 relaunch and they’ve squandered it on the vast majority of their line by jerking people around with creative teams. As was alluded to, DC’s best-selling books up to this point are all creatively consistent. That’s not a coincidence.

What I find most mind boggling about how DC keeps jerking around their creative is, well, how do they have the time? They are publishing more content each month than ever before in the history of the company. Wouldn’t it be much easier to pump out that content if you just hired creators you can trust and let them run rather than second guessing them, jerking them around, and forcing them to do last minute rewrites or track down fill-in artists at the drop of a hat? Aren’t these overly interfering editors just making their own jobs harder? It makes no sense.

I’m down to zero DC comics, after having upwards of 20 on my pull list last year. They’ve all been replaced with Valiant and Top Cow. ‘Nuff said.

How many of the first wave “New 52″ titles have retained their original creative teams?

I’m still reading All-Star Western, Batman, Batwoman, Demon Knights, and the Flash. I notice only one of those books has had a change in writer, and aside from fill-in artists, none has had a significant artistic change.

Andrew Allenpeat

March 25, 2013 at 4:07 pm

“How many of the first wave “New 52″ titles have retained their original creative teams?”

Last I checked, Legion of Superheroes still had the same writer. Basically one book out of 52.

Image, Valiant and Marvel are looking better all the time.

Yeah, Marvel can certainly brag about the fact that John Cassaday is doing UNCANNY AVENGERS – oh, yeah, he isn’t anymore. Funny that was the one book that I was really excited about in the MARVEL NOW situation.

It’s all relative. DC is taking an iron hand on trying to bring their line together, the one criticism fans have had about the company for years. In doing so, that ends up pissing off creators. What a shock. Is it a good move? My comics shop certainly thinks so, because DC is still selling like crazy for them.

There are plenty of great creators still doing amazing work issue after issue at DC currently, Frankly, I expected Diggle’s ACTION to be average at best, and hey, I’m grateful that Rob Liefeld was ticked off enough to leave the company. That was three titles that I didn’t buy anyway.

Right now the only ongoing DC title I am reading is Wonder Woman. I was also reading Blackhawks, Frankenstein, and Justice League International, but those all got canceled. So now I’m down to one book a month. And I’ll probably only staw with WW so long as Azzarello & Chiang are on it.

Personal opinion? The pendulum shifted. Between Avengers: Disassembled and Civil War, Marvel turned me off from nearly everyone of their comics and it wasn’t until Marvel NOW that I fully forgave them and now I see myself reading a majority of their line. On the flipside, from Countdown (to Infinite Crisis) to Blackest Night, DC had my attention pretty hardcore, and it wasn’t until post-Brightest Day that they started losing my interest.

Still, even now I’m reading (and loving) JL, JLA, Earth 2, Detective, and one or two other comics so they aren’t doing so bad. Plus they haven’t screwed up their universe (IMO) so its just a matter of firing whoever keeps making such stupid, editorial decisions that force writers off books, and hiring a bunch of people who make me as excited for DC as I am for Marvel NOW.

Paul Sunderland

March 25, 2013 at 7:37 pm

I’m sorry, but how is the New 52 comparable to Marvel Now? One was a company wide reboot of all titles and a complete reworking of continuity. The other is yet another marketing gimmick, with Marvel simply trolling out new number 1s for a bunch of books they already had and some other books tied to books they already had. And, as other people have mentioned, let’s not forget the time differential on these ‘relaunches’.

While I am not in the slightest bit happy with some of the things DC have pulled in order to bring this whole thing together (don’t get me started on the firing and re-hiring of Gail Simone), to have Marvel crowing about their half-assed ‘relaunch’ is really pathetic. Their books are boring, they’ve needed a real re-boot for about 15 years now, their comics seem to be serving little purpose other than to market their films (which are generally doing a better job of telling superhero stories than their books are) – which is why just about everybody in the MU is now a member of the Avengers, and this fascination with Bendis as a (grossly over-rated, in my opinion) writer just shows that Marvel is NOT doing anything new.

Oh, and where do you think Harras learned the heavy-handed editorial approach that seems to be going on at DC right now? That’s right, it was MARVEL wasn’t it?

Some people have very short memories…

Another article to people use as an excuse to expose their hatred for DC Comics. Nothing new here on Robot 6.

I can tell you this, there are currently more Marvel titles where I say, “Hey, great, a new issue of…” than there are DCs, and since I’ve been primarily a DC reader for nearly 40 years that’s a pretty big thing for me.
I’m thisclose to dropping “Superman” after the terrible job they did making “H’el on Earth” understandable for anyone who doesn’t read “Superboy” or “Supergirl” as well and I’m waiting to see which former Marvel writer from the ’90s will end up on “Action” after Tony Daniel finishes what was supposed to be Andy Diggle’s arc. And, frankly, I’m about evented-out on the Green Lantern books as well. I’m hearing that “Justice League of America” is going to tie in closely with “Vibe,” which I have no interest in, so “JLA” is already on the edge with only two issues out.
Meanwhile, I get to the end of one of Bendis’ two “X-Men” books and I want to read the next one RIGHT F’ING NOW.

I was one of the biggest DC fans ever. In fact, even working in a comic book shop, the only marvel comic I read was Amazing Spider-Man. That all changed after the re-launch. (We’re calling it that now, right?)
JL International wasn’t fun. Superman seemed like a jerk and the very first thing we see Batman do in Flashpoint #5 is cry.
Now, when the comics come into the store, I try to go through them to see if I’m missing anything and after a while I started reading Avengers by Hickman and Hawkeye by Fraction.
I was loving them and I couldn’t figure out why.
I was still reading Batgirl and loving Morrison’s Batman Inc. when it finally occurred to me.
Heart.
Marvel had it and DC didn’t.
It just seems to me DC is all flash and no substance. Even after reading every single Death Of The Family I walked away with a big “That’s it?!” You kept Joker away for a year and if I had just skipped reading Batman titles for 2 months, I wouldn’t have missed a thing. The big reset button was pushed and nothing mattered.
And don’t get me started on Justice League which is written like it should have action figures taped to the covers.
I don’t know what the DC Execs are doing, but around our shop, they’re thought of as the Fox Execs that cancelled Firefly. Customers are saying “Why should I give a new title a chance when it could be cancelled?”. (Hence bigger trade novel sales in the DC area).
Now we could go on and on about horrible PR and lies. “We’re making a a DC character gay!” (Oh, it’s a character hardly anyone outside comic shops know or care about) and then killing Robin (again!). And with the rumor they were going to kill off John Stewart, it’s Hunger Games for real in the DC Universe. No one is safe.
For that, I say “screw you, DC”. I’ll stick to good writing instead of your die-cut/Joker/WTF double folded covers any day.

Also, I’d like to add: Deadlines are what’s making DC’s creative line-up so amorphous and the quality of their books so terrible? Then how come Marvel seems to be making all of theirs without any real effort, and are even double-shipping?

I’m a 65% DC fan over Marvel on a good day (for Marvel), but let’s stop with the excuses. DC’s pissed off all the best talent (PAD, Rucka, Waid) or Marvel has them locked into exclusives or better paying jobs without the fear of a ridiculous amount of influence. As a result we get DC’s rather tiny stable of writers attempting to write a bunch of books at once. If DC wants to improve they’re going to have to make some changes, and if that means a missed deadline now and again so that they have the same level of quality that Marvel does right now, I could care less.

@ Paul Sunderland: You’re kidding right? DC wiped out their massive history to replace it with a smaller one, but they can’t even be bothered to tell us what’s in it. They used to do that, back when we had Secret Files & Origins, but now they seem too afraid. While we’re at it, the best new thing they’ve done is put Diana and Clark together, and they won’t even focus on THAT.

No, Hickman’s Avengers/New Avengers, Gillen’s Iron Man (which I love even if no one else does) and Young Avengers, Fraction’s FF/Hawkeye/Fantastic Four, Dan Slott’s Superior Spider-Man, and even Bendis’ Uncanny X-Men/All-New X-Men are some of my favorite books on the stands month in and month out.

I’ve got to agree with a lot of the posts I’m reading on here. A year ago everything I bought was DC and MAYBE a Punisher book from Marvel. Now I’m down to Batman and Aquaman from DC, everything Valiant puts out, and I’ve even been checking out some Marvel and Dark Horse titles. The reboot from DC has been terrible. Some things changed, other things did not. A longtime reader can’t keep it straight much less a new reader. An earlier comment post referred to Marvel’s $3.99 books whereas DC advertised “holding the line at $2.99″ and then raised the prices on certain titles that were selling well (Batman and Justice League). Has anyone seen the cover price for an annual issue from DC? $4.99. That’s right, nearly $5 for a single issue. Let’s not forget DC’s constant crossovers trying boost sales of titles that aren’t doing well. I’m sad because I’ve read DC almost exclusively for 20 yrs and now I find that I’m just not that interested in the comics that they are putting out.

I tried the new 52 but it feels soul less, even their FEW good titles are suffering from this lack of matter. Now it came to a point where i just cant care anymore, its over. Im done with DC after more than 20 years. Its so sad.

On the other hand i just subscribed to 4 new Marvel titles.

Reading the other comments here and wow, almost everyone is feeling the same.

DC is the same mess Marvel was back when Harras was Marvel’s EIC. Coincidence? I think not.

I’d add one thing to the list: Retailers who hyped the new creatives teams to their customers.

Now we look like jackasses.

…kind of like I do with that typo, only worse.

I totally agree with this article but you could have gone one step funnier if you had Photoshopped Dan DiDio with Stanley Tucci’s giant blue bouffant. Or possibly Jim Lee with Wes Bentley’s fancy Sharpie’d beard. Food for thought.

..SWAMP THING; ANIMAL MAN; BATWOMAN; WONDERWOMAN feel like lucky strikes, because they’re done by authors

>> FIRESTORM; DEATHSTROKE; MEN OF WAR; FRANKENSTEIN; MISTER TERRIFIC; HAWK AND DOVE are books that couldn’t had fail ..Executives have simply no vision for their books

It really feels like the folks making the decisions don’t “get” the character’s they’re in control of. My biggest gripe with the New52 is a totally shallow and meaningless one that caused me to drop the title immediately. Nightwing’s costume. I can rationalise out the decision and I think I can see what reasons they used to justify it, but for me the “reasons to keep him blue” were much stronger than the “reasons to go red”. This is one of the smallest little details, of course, but surely with Batwoman dressed in red, two former Robins having “Red” in their name and the (at the time) current Robin wearing red as well, Nightwing’s blue motif was a huge part of his character. He’s not angry and brooding, a spirit of vengeance ready to tear evil doers apart. Red has no place in his look. The blue was important. But the folks who made that one little decision threw all of that aside and felt red was “more badass”. If you don’t even understand Nightwing how can you make decisions on all the characters in your company’s titles?
Bad choices have been made across the board. Little things like costume changes are the easiest to pick, of course (Power Girl’s outfit? Mr Terrific in white? Hal Jordan’s shoulderpads? Alan Scott not wearing a cape? Whatever the hell Superboy is wearing? etc) but if THESE things can’t be done right, surely then we’re in trouble. And we’ve been shown that we are. DC doesn’t “get” their line-up. Or maybe Warner Bros doesn’t get it, because they’ve shown they can’t make great movies (the Nolan Batman films excepted, of course) and they can’t do good games (DCU Online wasn’t quite what we’d all hoped) and even the ONE THING they always got right – Animated TV Series/movies – hasn’t been done well lately. Its a pretty big problem and they need to realise it before they can get to fixing it.

I am interested in the “Bob Harras” theory mentioned above, though.

this is the second article I’ve seen on this topic. First one I read is here: http://www.woohwaah.com/2013/03/25/thats-a-sentence-i-never-heard-before-fire-bob-harras/

I couldn’t agree more with the points made in both. I don’t read anymore DC books because of the editorial chaos. I miss the fun books they had pre reboot. Gail’s Wonder Woman and BOP, JP and AC on Powergirl, Roberson’s Superman, and Art and Franco’s Tiny Titans. The only book that has been fun has been Superman Family.

only wonder woman has impressed me in the 52. this is a company/reboot that actually had rob leifeld on 3 of its titles. think about that for a second. most of the books ive tried i have dropped for just being ok. over all dc is at a C- to D ., but dan didio is going to be able to 4th quarter jumps in profits thanks to gimmick issues every september and he will keep his job.

The New 52 pulled me back into comics after about five years away — a chance to jump in! A chance to start fresh! Awesome! I had seven titles I grabbed immediately (hey, we can’t all afford the entire line!)… and now I’m down to Wonder Woman, Sword of Sorcery (about to be cancelled) and Dial H. I have to agree: Editorial is making this feel like 90′s Marvel, and not in a good way.

On the plus side, I’m branching out to independents and a few Marvel books to fill the gap, and I’m finding good writing that I’m excited to read.

Oh, and just to throw in something superficial: That’s not a Superman costume, it’s an Ultraman costume with some red pinstriping and an S on the chest.

Leave a Comment

 



Browse the Robot 6 Archives