Monday, June 27, 2011

Why, DC. WHY?

The biggest question raised in my mind by DC's upcoming line-wide relaunch is: 
Okay, you're probably thinking to yourself about now that I'm taking this too personally being frickin' paranoid.  To that I counter that if DC doesn't hate me, why, then, do they not want me to read their comics?  The entire relaunch, and the list of titles that will be part of  it, seems calculated to keep me away from the comics shop.  
Consider that among the titles not returning in September are the only two comics that I'm currently buying on a monthly basis, Xombi and Secret Six.  The latter I discovered only a couple of months ago, with the Doom Patrol crossover, but it became one of my favorite comics almost from the first page I read and I will miss it.  Still, I did only start reading it with #30, so I've got the first two and a half years of the series to catch up on either through back issues or trade paperback collections.
The end of Xombi after only six issues serves to give credence to J. Caleb Mozzocco's speculation over at his blog Every Day Is Like Wednesday that the whole relaunch idea couldn't have been in the works for all that long despite the claims of DC's Unholy Trinity (Didio, Lee and Johns) that they've been planning this for a couple of years now.  "After all," Caleb asks, referring to the recently concluded retelling of the history of the DCU in DC Universe: Legacies, "why bother making and publishing this comic if you knew you were going to change the history it covered anyway in about a year?"  Similarly, why would they launch any new title in the spring of this year knowing that no matter well it sold or what the critical reception was that they were going to cancel it a mere six months later?  Neither move seems to make much sense unless Dan Didio just woke up one day last month and said, "Hey, this brilliant idea just came to me in a dream. I gotta tell Jim and Geoff.  They'll love it." (Actually, now that I think about it a little, it's far more likely that the whole fiasco was the idea of Fanboy-In-Chief Johns.)
I think this is meant to be Captain Atom
With one exception, which I'll get to later, the list of 52 titles that DC will be publishing doesn't really hold any attraction for me.  True, there will be titles featuring my two favorite super-hero characters, Green Arrow and Captain Atom.  Regular, or even casual, for that matter, readers of this blog are no doubt aware of my love of the Emerald Archer, to whom I have devoted two whole months worth of posts over the life of the site.  I became a fan of Captain Atom back in the 80's due to his eponymous series by Cary Bates and Pat Broderick and his leading role in Justice League Europe.  Unfortunately, and further proof, to my mind, at least, that the company hates me, DC has handed these characters to perhaps the worst writer they have ever employed, J.T. Krul.  Krul's already been making a mess of Green Arrow's legacy for over a year now, and I can't even begin to imagine the horrible train wreck that his Captain Atom series will no doubt turn out to be.  I'd venture to guess that Captain Atom's book will be among the first of the new 52 titles to go on the chopping block.
The one title that I just might consider picking up is Action Comics, which will be written by Grant Morrison.  Morrison is my favorite writer in comics, and anyone who's checked out All-Star Superman knows that he can tell a hell of  a story about the Man of Tomorrow.  On the negative side of the equation is the announcement that Action will be one of only four of the 52 relaunched titles that will be priced at $3.99 rather than $2.99.  Whatever happened to "holding the line," guys?  Still, this probably means that it will have a few more pages than the other books, and it's not like I'm going to buying anything else, after all, unless its more comics from smaller publishers.  

1 comment:

  1. Not only does this stink (heavilly) of desperation on DC's part, but this also seems to be hard on the creative people hired to entertain us with their writing and drawing skills. Any long-term plans made by the writers in DC's current employ are all automatically scrubbed. Piss on the people making the comics and this reader gets pissed off.

    I've read the list of proposed titles. It reads like the charter for an "old boys club" where only those in tight with Didio and Company are offered a job. I realize that, realistically, this is sometimes how the world works, but that doesn't make it fair. I hope the whole shebang blows up in their faces.

    Does DC expect buyers to scoop up all 52 titles just because they sport a number 1 on their jackets? This ain't the 90's, people. The speculation boom wasn't so long ago that readers have forgotten what a complete disaster that turned out to be. I see quarter boxes in shops glutted with copies of X-Men #1, X-Force #1, and Youngblood #1. Remember when people were buying those by the score expecting them to be hot sellers in some indefinate future? Fool us once, shame on you. Think you can fool us twice?