Tuesday, June 14, 2011

DC Revamp - Weekly Crisis Round Table Discussion

DC has finalized their plans for their line wide revamp.  When the news first hit, reactions ranged from ecstatic jubilation to dismay and end of the world lamentations.   Those reactions were largely based on the very vague details of a 'revamp' and people not knowing the full extent of DC's plans.  Was it a Crisis on Infinite Earths reboot?  Was it a One More Day magic-ing away of everything we knew and loved (or hated)?  Or was it even just small changes barely noticeable for anyone but minor characters?

We still don't know everything that is going to happen with this revamp, but DC has announced the titles and creators and we've got a much better understanding than we did at the start.  With that in mind, we here at the Weekly Crisis have sat down for a bit of a round table discussion on everything related to this revamp, from the redesigns to what we're interested in to digital comics and more.  Hit the jump as we break down the revamp and feel free to join in on the discussion.

The Revamp

With what we now know about the intended DC revamp, what are you reactions to the news and how do they differ from your initial reactions back when it was announced with few details?

Justice League #1
Kirk Warren: Started out pretty soured on the whole idea of a reboot/revamp.  As more details came out, my mood wasn't really improving.  Felt like DC was just spitting in fans faces and washing hands of everything for a quick revamp cash grab with so many things staying the same.  The first time I really felt some excitement over the revamp was with the third or fourth day's creators and titles announcement with things like Frankenstein, Swamp Thing, Demon Knight and so on announced with some actual fresh blood and great talent like Jeff Lemire, Scott Snyder and more.

Not much since then has really grabbed me or stood out to warrant this line wide revamp.  I'm going to be buying more DC that month, no doubt, so DC will get an initial boost to business, but I don't see a lot of these books having legs with the same talent that "failed" and forced the revamp in the first place still working on the vast majority of books.  So, to answer the question, my reaction, outside a brief moment of actual 'this might justify a complete revamp' set of books announced, has been relatively the same throughout - curious, but can't really see anything to justify a line wide revamp yet.

Ryan Lindsay: I tried to limit my reaction when it first hit because it's far too easy to be a reactionary without any news. It amused me that upon first announcement some people were online instantly decrying DC and swearing to 'streak the quad' and then as titles and creative teams starting dropping those same people were tallying up what they would buy. That's exactly why publishers so often ignore the fans, we aren't consistent. But that's more my reaction to the reaction, so here's my reaction to the news.

I don't currently read much DC. In fact, from the DCU, I pull down Scott Snyder's Detective Comics and that is all. I have never been a DC guy so looking at the DCU lately has felt impenetrable. People have said it isn't, and offered launching pads for me, but I've never taken them. But now I'm staring down the possibility of buying seven titles. That's a win for DC but it must be said I'm doing this purely for the creative teams. For me, it wasn't necessary to reboot to get me to pick up Snyder on Batman, I was never going to care what the numbering was. If they started a new Swamp Thing or Grifter series I would have been on it anyway. The relaunch may not have been integral to me but I think it has gotten a lot of people to stop and reconsider breaking into the DCU. And that's a good thing for the business of comics overall.

Matt Duarte: To be honest, I was more excited at the beginning of the news cycle, when it seemed that the whole thing was a really big ground zero revamp. As more information started coming out, it became apparent that this is a partial reboot, only changing whatever parts the editors needed to be changed. As we have seen in the past (with Infinite Crisis and to a lesser extent One More Day), this sort of partial approach creates more problem than it solves. I'm still excited about some series, but I would have been excited regardless of the revamp or not.

Wonder Woman #1
Ken Boehm: My first reaction to the DC relaunch was "what does this mean for the super-marriage?" After all the announcements, that still weighs on my mind, but I keep thinking "this is becoming way too similar to the 90's." Flash Fact: I quit reading comics when Onslaught and Heroes Reborn happened, and only came back around the time of Morrison's New X-Men, so I felt a bit weird seeing the Jim Lee redesigns of much younger heroes, artists being writers, and polybag first issues again. Like Ryan S., I consider myself more DC than Marvel, and while current DC was nowhere near their apex of 2001-2004 in terms of fun new material, it felt much less manufactured and commercial than what Marvel became since Civil War. This isn't to say DC really, really dropped the ball with books, particularly in the last year, but it wasn't at the point where a straight up relaunch/reboot/whatever was necessary.

Ryan Schrodt: When it was first announced, I was very skeptical and, honestly, a little angry. I'm much more of a DC guy than a Marvel maniac, so the thought of potentially "losing" some of my favorite characters and stories was really unsettling.  However, between the announcements of the new books and the creator interviews that have followed, a lot of that anxiety has died down.  I'm much more excited about the future of DC.  I understand a lot of readers fears, but I have faith in the new vision and those old stories that I've always loved aren't going anywhere.

Is this revamp DC throwing in the towel on their current line, so to speak, and admitting they can't compete with Marvel's offerings with what they are putting out or just a cyclical event for DC and an attempt at modernization or something else entirely?  If so, elaborate.

Aquaman #1
Ryan L.: Will they return to regular numbering as anniversary issues pop up? No doubt. Does it matter if they do? No. I think everyone needs to get over what number of a title they own. Just enjoy the stories. I think this whole relaunch from DC is a reaction to the fact sales are sagging. Sure, a #1 issue sells well, it's a spike, then things return to normal. DC are doing this #1 thing a little differently and hopefully they'll get a different result from it. It's like the saying goes, you keep doing the same things and you'll keep getting the same things. DC want something different so they are going for it in a different way.

What will now be interesting is how they capitalise on it. They won the comic internet for a week but that's a fickle crowd. If we can't support this industry we love enough to preorder our books months in advance then who knows what change will come from all the chatter online during the week. The relaunch getting me from one title to seven is a start but to truly be successful it needs to both lure back lapsed readers while creating new readers. DC need to get the news out there, they need to get some of the first issues available cheaply (both online and in new venues), and they need to make this a global campaign instead of preaching the the choir. Their recent venture of slapping a Green Lantern movie banner on every title shows how not to do it. I'm pretty sure anyone pulling down a DC title knows that flick is coming, even the Vertigo readers. All those banners did was superfluously make covers looks ugly. That is money better spent on reaching a new market with their new comics.

Matt: It definitely seems like an act of desperation, but that's not exactly a bad thing. Wonderful comic book series have come out of such acts, like Marvel in the 60's coming up with Fantastic Four to compete with JLA, putting Alan Moore on Swamp Thing because sales were abysmal, and so on. Whether success comes out of it or not is another thing entirely. From what information we, as consumers, can clearly see that Marvel is beating DC month in and out, no matter what they do. A drastic change might be just what they need, but aside from the first three months or so, I don't really see this revamp changing things a whole lot.

Ken: DC accepted they were beat, but they did so by refusing to acknowledge what the company was doing right and simply listening to people bringing up Crisis on Infinite Earths as though it still mattered to current DC work. The Bat-books, with the exception of Finch's Dark Knight and Daniel's Batman work, were at a level of fun that probably hasn't been seen since No Man's Land. Green Lantern's rise in popularity pretty much allowed Hal to replace Wonder Woman as part of the DC Trinity. DC should have just done what Marvel under Bill Jemas did: throw things against the wall and see what sticks. This relaunch seems more like throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Day and date digital alone would have been enough to really wake people up to the new DC regime.

Flash #1
Ryan S.: In a lot of ways, I think that DC is definitely admitting that they were beat.  The fact is, despite having the more recognizable character by name, DC simply could not compete with Marvel in their current state.  This is an attempt at resuscitating their line.  It is most definitely a PR stunt, but that doesn't mean it can't also be an exciting creative endeavor.  The fact that the comic news cycle, message boards, and Twitter have been non-stop DC chatter for two weeks so that the gamble is already paying off  in the short-term.  As long as DC can keep up this level of excitement for the next three months, they could topple Marvel on the sales charts come September.

Kirk: I'm with Ken on this one.  They threw in the towel on the current line.  However, DC seemingly admits what they were doing wasn't working, decides to shake things up with a line wide revamp, yet keeps almost all the same creators on board to spearhead the revamp and only really revamps sidekicks (into 90's pastiches no less). It's like they don't realize that the problem was never the characters - it was the creators.  Look what Johns did with Green Lantern.  Good stories sell comics.  They made a few good moves, but keeping 90% of their creative teams in tact is a mistake moving forward.  They got a shot of steroids to pump up the line with the news and all the new #1s, but the underlying problem hasn't gone away. 

DC's been notorious for line wide changes, from straight up reboots to constant tweaking and continuity altering events.  This blog was named after all the various 'Crisis' events the company had and how it felt like every other week was a new crisis event.  Is this just another Crisis or something that will stick and a permanent change for DC moving forward?

Action Comics #1
Kirk: As Ryan L. said above, I'm thinking we'll see renumbering (don't kid yourself, Action Comics #1000 WILL happen), but I believe DC's committed to this revamp, so I'm saying no on the 'just another Crisis' bit.  These changes will stick for a few years at the bare minimum and things like Barbara back as Batgirl are permanent changes.

Matt: I seriously doubt that this is a very permanent change, particularly with how nostalgia-driven a lot of DC stories are. It won't be long before things revert back to the old ways. Just the confusion that a partial relaunch causes (Which stories happened? Did this character meet this other character already?, etc.) means that readers will want to know how the new revamp ties with the old stories, and therefore creators, sooner or later, will have to address it. All it takes is one story with Donna Troy, Hawkman, or the Flash, and the door becomes wide open to all of the things that came before.

Ken: This will stick as long as Jim Lee and Dan Didio stay co-publishers, or until sales go below current levels. If DC can't even win September and October (even November) in both dollar and market share with this relaunch, something went very, very wrong.

Ryan S.: Nothing is permanent in comics, so I think we can expect some of the changes to be reversed and some old continuity to seep back in over the course of the next few years.  Of course, the big unanswered question in all of this is just how much of a reboot this really is.  Obviously we know some characters are completely revamped (like Superboy) while others appear to be keeping the status quo (Green Lantern), but for all we know the majority of the changes could be minor.

Was the revamp necessary?  Was DC so removed from current fans and their properties so dated that they had to revamp the entire line?  Couldn't they have just did a Rebirth or Year One for sagging properties or had those options run dry?

Batman & Robin #1
Kirk: Based on what I've seen, they haven't shown anything to justify a line wide revamp.  Was it necessary, though?  In general, I believe so.  Wonder Woman and Superman were a mess and more or less moving on momentum for a long time now.  Constant changes to origins and attempts to make each relevant have failed.  No amount of Rebirths or Year One's could change the fact that there was just no buzz or relevancy to the vast majority of their line, even among the diehard DC or comic fans.  I think a series of reboots/revamps would have been a better solution though.  Superman relaunch in September with a huge focus on that, Batman in October, etc.  Each would get news cycles and fan interests and promotion. 

Matt: Even though it is a line-wide revamp, it's very superficial on some aspects. The Green Lantern titles were working just fine, and you can see that they haven't changed much in those areas, for example.I think they are removed from some properties, or don't understand why fans like them, since some of the choices in the revamp are big head scratchers. Teen Titans, for one. I haven't seen a single positive remark about that, which makes me wonder what DC was thinking when they came up with that particular idea. Or, even more perplexing, if this is what it to the final draft, what other ideas were thrown around.

Ken: No, an entire revamp was not necessary, if only because it draws away from the key heroes that really need the spotlight for a month or two. With Grant Morrison's Action Comics, this will be the fifth retweek of the Superman origin since Crisis on Infinite Earths (Byrne's Man of Steel, Loeb's soft Krypton reboot from the 2k era, Waid's Birthright, Johns' recent Secret Origins). The worst thing is that, technology references aside, Byrne's reboot still held up rather well to this day, just like Batman: Year One. Why mess with things that do not need fixing? I can never understand that idea both in the comics world, let alone the world in general. And while DC was continually in second place with monthly comics, they repeatedly won in the trade paperback and graphic novel department.

Ryan S.: I don't think it was necessary at all. Comics sales are lagging across the board but DC is far from folding and the status could probably continue indefinitely.  Sales would go up and sales would go down.  DC would remain in second place.  Life would remain the same.  I definitely think some books could have benefited from a reboot a long time ago, but I don't think the entire line needed to be relaunched.

Many characters look the same, so we may have to wait until previews or the actual comics ship to find out more, but with what we know, has the revamp made any drastic changes that stand out in your mind to warrant the line wide revamp?

Batgirl #1
Kirk: Aside from butchering most of the sidekicks in Teen Titans and Barbara back in action as Batgirl, nothing stands out to me to warrant a revamp or the mass cancellations and relaunches.  Everything I've seen and know so far seems like something that could have been handled in a story.  Hell, most could be explained away with an X-Men: Prime (first issue post-Age of Apocalypse) or House of M-like return to reality with the world and the handful of changes they've made.

Matt: As stated, we may need to find out until we actually read the comics in question, but from the initial looks of it, very little warranted a line-wide revamp. The biggie seems to be Superman, but we will have to see how that shakes out in the end.

Ken: No character was beyond the point of redemption to warrant a revamp. Captain Atom's hijinks as Monarch were wiped away quietly and effectively in his back-up strips a few years ago, Babs as Batgirl was simply something to not go back to when two very able characters in Stephanie and Cassandra were there, and any other character deaths could have been fixed with the plot resurrection of the month. The super-marriage is one of those things Alex Ross or Mark Waid might want changed because they can never get tired of a worn-out love triangle, but it has been such a great strength both for Clark and Lois' characters that those who don't read comics know they are married.

Ryan S.: Barbara Gordon returning as Batgirl is the biggest game changer for me.  I think that DC could have found easy ways to get Babs out of the chair, but her importance to the DC Universe is great enough that it would've affected a lot more than just Birds of Prey and the Bat-books.  While I don't think it would have required a line-wide revamp, it does seem a lot easier to go this route.

52 titles.  DC had roughly 38 titles that "mattered" before the revamp (ie. not miniseries/oneshots/out of continuity/etc, but actual ongoings).  That's 14 new ongoing titles in a declining market.  Hell, at any time, that is a lot of titles to be adding to your line.  Any dangers in this?  DC typically keeps titles afloat longer than Marvel, but with how low comic sales have been lately, will DC be more proactive in trimming the fat?

Swamp Thing #1
Ryan L.: But we don't know that all of these will be ongoing. We just know they're a #1. Some of these could be minis, or even maxis, and I think a few will be. Which ones, I don't want to speculate, but I doubt all of these are projected to last into 2020.

I always find it amusing when someone complains that they can't buy all 52 titles. You don't necessarily have to. You just pick the ones you want. That's like saying whenever a new comic publisher pops up you have to buy all their stuff because you buy comics. You can buy DC and not buy them all, you can buy Batman and not buy them all, you have the option. If there is any person out there ligitimately interested in every single issue solicited then I guess you're getting more of what you want, power to you. But if you don't want to shell out for 52 issues in a month then start being selective.

Matt: Ryan makes a good point in that at no moment (as far as I can tell) did DC say that they were all ongoing series. In any case, bloating the market in such a way, where there will 52 new number ones all fighting for attention, will not end well for all series. I think that along with all the other moves, DC will probably start taking a more hard line approach with sagging titles, and I can see several of them that probably won't make it past a year, or might end up downgraded as mini series.

Ken: There are already a few titles that shouldn't have even been part of this relaunch simply because they run together too much. Try a Grifter book first, if you want to see if Wildstorm still matters to readers, but don't try and launch a Voodoo series at the same time. Just shelve Dave Finch's 4th Batman book until he puts away multiple issues instead of throwing his work out there to cannibalize sales from the other Bruce Wayne series.

Demon Knights #1
Ryan S.: Ryan nailed it by pointing out that we don't know if all of these are going to be ongoings and you don't have to buy every single book.  Even if they are, I imagine a lot of them won't last much more than a year or two.  Unless DC has a huge influx of new readers, they won't be able to sustain a line that large.  Still, you have to give them credit by using the additional books to diversify the types of stories they are telling.  For years DC has been fairly standard superheroes fighting fairly standards villains.  Now we are getting more horror titles, more military stories, some espionage, etc.  They are pushing the boundaries of what a superhero story is and that alone is exciting.

Kirk: I don't know if these will be all ongoings or not, but the solicits and general feeling of the announcements seemed to indicate to me they were meant to be ongoings.  However, I don't see all of these titles lasting beyond a year.  I hope I'm wrong, but either Marvel loses significant market share, which even if happens will likely go to Batman or Superman or other big name titles and not the titles we'd consider in danger of cancellation anyways, or the comic market magically starts expanding to hold all these new books afloat or DC's cancelling books in 6+ months time or retroactively making them miniseries. 

More importantly, are many of these revamp titles going to get lost in the shuffle and completely overloooked?  Are we going to be singing the praises of a whole lot more criminally undersold Secret Sixes in the near future?

Resurrection Man #1
Kirk: I'm projecting a lot of Secret Sixes in the future.  I do expect a lot of big name DC titles making waves though, like Action Comics and Justice League, but Swamp Thing?  Frankenstein?  Resurrection Man?  Etc?  I expect those to be criminally undersold unless the comic gods are watching.

Ryan L.: I am super interested to see how sales on these things go. If you look at the internet chatter then you think you would be able to pick which titles will get the most sales. That would be, the Snyder books, possibly the Lemire books, Nightwing, Batgirl. These are the ones people cried to the heavens about, but I don't actually think they'll top the charts. I think it's a given Green Lantern, JLA, and Action Comics will sell through the roof. I doubt then that the other titles I've mentioned will follow those. Titles that "matter" by less hyped creative teams will still outchart the heavily lauded ones because those titles will matter. More people will pick up a random Bat-book, or GL book, or other book that appears high profile but got no buzz than will pick up Lemire's Frankenstein. Why is that?

Matt: Revamp or no revamp, this will continue to happen. Until a major paradigm shift happens within comic book readership, this is the way things (unfortunately) go. For every person buying and praising a small and overlooked book, there will be 10 that buy one of the "important" titles, out of brand loyalty, or relevance, or habit, etc.

Ken: The magic line looks as though it will be the first to fall in this glut, which is a shame because many of the titles have the kind of creative teams that really show a sense of experimenting that should be done on bigger name titles.

Ryan S.: There are lot of books that are going to fly under the radar and I think the majority of them will be the "Dark" line of supernatural books.  Titles like Frankenstein: Agent of SHADE, Justice League Dark, I Vampire, etc. are so far away from DC's mainstream that they won't pick up the same buzz that the Batman or Green Lantern titles will.  Of course, when you look at names like Jeff Lemire attached to these books, they also have the potential to be critical darlings.

The Titles

With 52 titles announced and all getting new number ones in the same month, there's something for everyone.  What titles caught your eye and why?

Sgt. Rock & The Men of War #1
Kirk: I've already gone over mine in the various revamp articles over the past week or so, so I'll let everyone else tackle this one.

Ryan L.: The biggest title for me is undoubtedly Swamp Thing by Scott Snyder, Yanick Paquette, and Francesco Francavilla. It's my favourite DC creator paired with two of my favourite current artists on a character I'm legitimately excited to see back. This book has win all over it and I hope it sees the sales it will no doubt deserve. I'll obviously take Snyder on Batman, though wished he stayed on Detective Comics for whatever non-reason that is.

I'm interested to try Lemire's Frankenstein and Animal Man but admit to being worried that I haven't read anything of the characters before and so feel I might not be ready to dip in just yet. Which is something I want DC or Lemire to clear up for me because this whole thing is meant to be reader friendly - so can I jump in blind or not?

One title that will go overlooked and it's going to kill me is Grifter by Nathan Edmondson. He's currently writing Who Is Jake Ellis? over at Image, and killing it, and I want this book to be good. I think it will be but I think no one will know it. Here's hoping people prove me wrong. I'm also going to try Birds of Prey, despite never having read an issue, purely because Duane Swierczynski is getting the writing job. You know I'm all over that.

The last title I'll buy is Action Comics. I dug Grant Morrison's All Star Superman, despite not being a Supes fan, so I want to know if he can do it again for me. This is the title he's been waiting years to write so I'll dip in and see how it goes.

Matt: I'm with Ryan on this one. The really big one is Swamp Thing by Snyder, Paquette, and Francavilla. That's a ridiculously good creative team, and I expect lot of good things to come out of that run. The bar is set pretty high for Swamp Thing, so I am interested to see what heights this team can achieve. The Paul Cornell-written books, Stormwatch and Demon Knights, seem really interesting as well, and outside the norm of what DC normally publishes. I have never read or heard of Resurrection Man before, but the creative team of DnA is enough to get me interested. Finally, Blue Beetle is a personal favorite of mine, and I am really excited to see that he is getting another shot at the title. Even though Tony Bedard is a perfectly fine writer (and I enjoyed REBELS), I kind of wish it was someone else writing it.

Batman #1
Ken: Batman is Scott Snyder, and all that mattered to me was that he continued to write a Batman book. Frankenstein is another book I look forward to, because it seems like one of those books where it can get away with some real changes because it is a bunch of C-listers. Finally, Tomasi is still writing Guy Gardner in GLC, so the best Green Lantern still has some spotlight in this new world. Other than those three, Green Lantern, Batman & Robin, and Justice League, if only to see if it can deliver on being the big flagship DC book.

Ryan S.: I'm with Matt on the Paul Cornell books.  I don't have a ton of interest in the characters, but everything Paul Cornell touches is gold.  I'm most excited for Nightwing, Deathstroke, and Blue Beetle though.  Dick Grayson is my number one favorite character in the DC Universe and I am so glad to see him back in his best persona.  Deathstroke has always fascinated me and is the one "villain" that can hold down a solo-title.  I was so heart-broken when Blue Beetle was canceled and I really hope that this new title can capture the magic that made the book so great just a few years ago. Then there is Batgirl.  I love Barbara Gordon and I'm firmly in the Oracle-first crowd, but if there is anyone that can make her work as Batgirl again, it is Gail Simone.  I wouldn't accept that book written by anyone else.

Let's take a quick look at some of the lines.  We'll start with Green Lantern.  It's barely changed with few creative teams moving around and a new Red Lantern ongoing launching.  Yay or Nay?  

Green Lantern #1
Kirk: Yay.  Don't fix what ain't broken.  Would have liked to see some better artists on GLC and New Guardians considering their high profile in terms of sales, but can't complain either.  Red Lantern book should be great, too. 

Ryan L.: I would have liked to see one new reader friendly GL title in the mix. Maybe a retro-title, or like a Thor: The Mighty Avenger style take on it, but there's no way I'll jump into this because it doesn't look friendly for me, as a non-GL person, at all. In saying that, every GL fan seems to be happy so I say keep them happy. Better to keep 100,000 fans than lose them and win me over, ha.

Matt: Four titles might be a bit too much, considering it is a franchise known  for it's crossovers between each others (like Sinestro Corps War, Blackest Night, and War of the Green Lanterns). I was perfectly happy with only two titles, to be honest, and four seems like overkill (even if there's plenty of material to go around). I'll still check out the Johns/Manhke title, and the Tomasi written one, as those were the ones I was enjoying before the revamp, but at the first sign of a crossover that requires me to pick up the other two, I'm dropping out.

Ryan S.: I say "yay" for the most part.  Green Lantern is the new flagship franchise for DC and so it makes sense that they wouldn't mess with it too much.  That being said, I think 4 books is one too many and I suspect that at least one of them will be cancelled fairly quickly.  You can have too much of a good thing and at least one of the books is going to be lost in the shuffle.  My money is on the Red Lanterns being the first to go.

Ken: Like Ryan S., Red Lanterns seems excessive with the Crayola Cavalry getting their own book and will probably be the first to go. But Guy gets a book to be great in, that's all that matters. Maybe Tomasi can finally do something with John to not make him as boring as Hal has been in the past.

Batman franchise. Barbara is walking again and now Batgirl, Dick is demoted to Nightwing, Tim has been sent off to 90s Hell in Teen Titans 'revamp', Steph and Cassandra are MIA.  Discuss. 

Detective Comics #1
Kirk: Grant Morrison had been working some New X-Men magic on the Batman titles over the past few years.  Dick had grown up and graduated to full Batman status, Damian grew from the petulant child to one of the best new characters at DC, Tim was striking out and making his own identity in Red Robin and so on.  The line was quite strong as well with a lot of good talent and stories from all the books.

Yet it was Chris Claremont'd/instantly retconned away just like New X-Men back when Morrison left that book.  I know Morrison is still "involved" with the Bat titles in some way and planning to finish his Leviathan story at some point, but it feels like they just took one or two minor things from his run and are now just washing their hands of some of the freshest and most unique ideas to happen to the franchise.

As for Batgirl, inevitable.  Can't even work up the energy to be outraged at that happening.  Actually only surprised it didn't happen sooner.  Dick back as Nightwing is a slap in the fact to the character.  Just let DiDio kill him off like he's always wanted to and be done with it if this is the big plan for him moving forward.

Ryan L.: Batman was in a good place, I thought. It was Morrison convoluted but it was smart. To take all that progression and then put Dick back in the Nightwing suit is something I'm curious to see how they justify on a character level. Why would he want to step down? Or at least, why go back to that hideous costume. It just looks so 90s, I am not a fan. But I know many Dick fans are avid about him being Nightwing so power to them.

Putting Barbara out of the chair just feels like a silly decision. Again, I watch internet chatter closely and when the announcements started coming the vocal majority wanted to see Barbara restored to walking, but then the actual news came that they were doing just that and all I could see was people complaining about how it was a bad decision. I'll state it again for the people in the cheap seats, this is why publishers don't listen to us - we don't seem to know what we want. It's like people asked for it because it was something fun to ask for that they never thought would happen so it was safe to go on about. Those people who like to pick problems but never offer a solution. They just got their solution and I don't think it's pretty.

Matt: Stupid. Stupid. Stupid. Why go through all the trouble of creating and expanding the world of Batman, only to try to put everything back to how it was before (with some minor changes)? Pretty much everyone seemed to agree that the Batman franchise was at it's more vibrant and exciting with the developments of Batman, Inc. in this last year, and presented plenty of story opportunities for many, many years to come. And don't even get me started on Barbara Gordon going back to being Batgirl. Even with the involvement of Gail Simone, it's not enough to get me pass the nostalgia-driven desire to go back to how things were. Even if, let's say, they somehow fixed Barbara's legs (something entirely plausible in the DCU), why would she go back to fighting street thugs as Batgirl when there's plenty of people capable of doing that, but only one person that can act as Oracle?

Nightwing #1
Ryan S.: It looks like I'm in the minority here.  I think this is one of the best decisions that DC has made.  I've pulled no punches on my opinions of Grant Morrison's "vision" of Batman and I'm glad to see that it is taking a back-seat.  Batman Incorporated takes the specialness of Batman away from the character.  Let's get back to telling great stories about the Caped Crusader, not mediocre stories about one man's love of even moreso medicore stories of yesteryear. 

As for Nightwing being "demoted," I strongly disagree.  Dick Grayson shouldn't have ever been Batman in the first place and the fact that almost no writer in DC's stable was able to tell a unique story with Dick as Batman is a prime example of why Dick needs to return to his old persona.  Every single story that was told while Dick was Batman was written as though Bruce were still under the cowl.  There was nothing unique or special about Dick being Batman.  The move failed and so I applaud them making the decision to put Dick back where he belongs.

I'm less excited about the weird Tim/Teen Titans move, but we know so little about it that I'm reserving all judgement until I've read the first few issues.  I'm just glad that Tim is remaining in the spotlight when he could have easily been erased from existence with this relaunch.

And then there is Batgirl.  Do I think this is the best move? Absolutely not.  Barbara Gordon was more interesting and inspiring as Oracle than she ever was as Batgirl.  I never wanted to see her walking again because of how powerful the character of Oracle was, but I have full faith in Gail Simone.  She has shown more affection for the character than any writer of the last two decades and is easily the best writer that DC has.  I'm not happy about the decision, but I'm more than pleased with the execution so far.

Ken: Snyder is on Batman, no problem there. Tony Daniel still writing a book seems like a joke, as does Dave Finch still writing a book with a relative unknown artist having to step in for him for the coming months. Nightwing can hopefully capture the Dixon and Tomasi magic that made the character so much fun, but I'm not willing to pick it up right away. I do have faith though because it's being written by Kyle Higgins, who was doing good work on the Gates of Gotham mini.

Superman titles.  Go.

Superman: The Man of Tomorrow #1
Kirk: Action Comics is the best title on the stands.  Yes, I know there hasn't been a single issue out yet.  It is/was/will be the best title on the stands.  No question.  Morrison writing Superman is all they had to say to make it the best book.  Not even hyperbole.  Not feeling the Perez title.  He just doesn't sync up in terms of writing style with Morrison and gives the book a very dated feel before it's even released.  He was involved in the last reboot like 20 years ago.  I don't think anyone that was from back then should be updating anything for today.  Supergirl looks like it will be interesting, too.  Haven't been this willing to pick up that book ever.  Just like the new, non-skank look and seeing how she fits into the line.  The less said about Superboy, the better though.

Matt: As opposed to Kirk (and seemingly, the rest of the Internet), I don't really care for Grant Morrison writing Superman. And I say that even though I enjoyed All-Star Superman quite a lot. I might eventually check it out in trades, but for the time being, I don't see myself getting involved in these titles anytime soon.

Ryan S.: I don't like Superman much, so I am totally fine with DC allowing Grant Morrison to make the Man of Steel his new pet project.  Let him ruin that sandbox for a while.  Now, putting Mahmud Asrar on Supergirl? That is a stroke of true brilliance.  Supergirl was the only super-book that I was reading before the relaunch and it looks like it will remain that way come September.

Ken: I'm with Matt, Morrison on Action Comics doesn't wow me. I enjoy most of Morrison's work and I can see he thinks as highly of Superman as I do, but the solicit for Action Comics seems so much like retreading old plot points. No one trusts Superman, seen it before, Clark trying to find his way in the world, Mark Waid absolutely wrote his Magnum Opus with Birthright on that subject, there's really nothing we really need to see change. Just like the four panel opening to All-Star Superman, the less the better. Superman by Perez doesn't wow me, but I do like how the solicit actually goes out of the way to say "yes, things have changed, I'm not going to pretend you're dumb." At least be upfront with the readers.

But again, I'm concerned for the super-marriage. It's just such a great dynamic, and I'd absolutely hate to have Lois go back to being googly eyed for Superman instead of Clark, all for the sake of Superman being able to bang Wonder Woman or Ice or Fire or whatever the superheroine of the week is.

As far as Superboy and Supergirl go, it feels like they took two strongly developing characters and reverted them to being brats, if only by the solicits. But where does Steel fit into all this, a really great character? Or Krypto? Or even Bibbo? Will Cat Grant lose the plastic surgery, will Perry White still have Keith as his adopted so, and will Pa Kent come back to life? Compared to the other big names, this is one section that has questions DC should try to address instead of being coy.

Those are the big franchises for DC, but let's take a quick look at the rest.  Like with our Fireside Chats, it's time for a quick lightning round where we do our literary Rorschach test.  You guys know the drill.  I'll list a word or phrase, you say first thing that comes to mind for each.

Justice League

Kirk: Relevant again.
Ryan L: Can it beat Avengers?
Matt: About time they got some big guns on it.
Ryan S.: Jim Lee 4-life!
Ken: Which character will Johns have Batman punch to show he's the goddamn Batman?


Kirk: Better villain than hero based on Blackest Night and Flashpoint...
Ryan L:  I want to like him, I really do.
Matt: Gore. Gore everywhere.
Ryan S.: I wish it were about Aquaman from Batman: Brave and the Bold.
Ken: No interest at all.


Kirk: Manapul has me worried as writer...
Ryan L:  ...
Matt: Wally West?
Ryan S.: Can Francis Manapul write as well as he draws?
Ken: Over/under on Flash Facts in the first issue: 5

Wonder Woman

Kirk: Really excited to see what Azarello and Chiang do with this.
Ryan L:  People are keen, I am happy for people.
Matt: What happened to the previous relaunch?
Ryan S.: Azarello and Chiang. That says it all!
Ken: Can't be worse than Heinberg's relaunch.

Green Arrow

Kirk: Sigh.
Ryan L:  KRUL!
Matt: Not for me.
Ryan S.: Love Krul's work. Sold.
Ken: Same old, same old.

Martian Manhunter

Kirk: Killed off panel in Final Crisis and forgotten in relaunch. Or worse, on Stormwatch instead of JLA.
Ryan L:  They just keep trying.
Matt:  I feel sorry for the poor guy.
Ryan S.: He is best on a team, but Stormwatch? Really?
Ken: Someone got the short straw that was also lit on fire.

The Creators

Let's discuss the creators now.  Much has been made about this revamp and, in general, excitement for DC on the whole seems higher than ever.  However, the announced creative teams, aside from a slight shuffling of the deck, seems largely the same as pre-revamp DC.  Have the creative teams chosen affected your interest in the revamp at all? 

Batwoman #1
Kirk: I pick my titles based almost entirely on the creative team.  I wasn't reading a great deal of DC's line due to the pre-revamp creative teams.  Putting them on the vast majority of these titles means I have no interest in those new titles, revamp or no revamp. 

Ryan L.: I am only choosing titles based on creative teams. I only ever really do. I think it was a shame the same people got the same sort of gigs, if you keep on doing the same thing you'll keep on getting the same thing. It would have been nice to see some more outside influence but it sounds like DC did canvas widely and get people to pitch. What exactly happened to the likes of Brian Wood or Brian Clevinger we may not know for a while but Kelly Sue DeConnick was open in saying she turned down one gig and pitched for another and didn't get it. Thems the breaks so it makes me wonder how many other creators pitched but just didn't pass muster? DC might have wanted new talent but that talent wasn't good enough on their swing at bat. Sometimes it happens.

I really want to try and enjoy an Aquaman title one day but today doesn't look like that day for me. Geoff Johns has never interested me as a writer.

Matt: I am really disappointed that no fresh talent was brought in during such a big upheaval. Sure, there are some very nice creative teams that really interest me (and that interested me before), but I really don't understand why more talent wasn't brought in. I was expecting a big ticket "get" from DC, but it's really all the same creators from before, with some minor exceptions. Rearranging the furniture in a room can make it look really different and give it a new shine, but sooner or later you are going to have to buy some new items. And for god's sake, don't buy second hand material.

Ken: Dan Jurgens and Aaron Lopresti on Justice League International intrigues me because I enjoyed his short run from the early 90's, but at the same time it feels like the group will go through the same "forming the band" trials and tribulations that I just have no interest in reading about. I just don't want the book to be an attempt to mimic the "Bwa-ha-ha" days.

Ryan S.: There really wasn't enough shock factor anywhere to largely change my opinions on any of the books.  The creative team annoucements were really lost in the shuffle of the changes to the characters.

Are you happy with the creative teams chosen?  Who are your favourites?  Any titles you are buying simply due to a creative team attached?

Supergirl #1
Kirk: As I said in my revamp posts last week, seeing Scott Snyder get a larger writing presence was a smart move on DC's part and one I'm taking notice of.  Jeff Lemire was a major addition to their stable as well and good to see him writing multiple books now.  I'm also quite interested in seeing how Kyle Higgins (Snyder's co-writer on Gates of Gotham) handles solo work.  The Wonder Woman team of Azarello and Chiang was an inspired choice that has me sitting up and taking notice of that title as well.

Matt: All the titles I plan on purchasing are based on the creative team behind them. If there is a character, team or concept I like with a bad creative team, I skip it (or at the very least, wait to hear what other people have to say about it). As I mentioned in the other question, the best team for me is the Swamp Thing trio of Snyder, Paquette and Francavilla.

Ken: Tomasi and Gleason getting another go at Batman & Robin is greatly appreciated, hopefully they can stay there for more than three issues.

Ryan S.: I have no interest in Swamp Thing, but Snyder, Paquette, and Francavilla are very persuasive.  You can't go wrong with talent like that.  I'm also glad to see Moritat on All-Star Western with Palmiotti and Gray.  I was really afraid that DC wouldn't be using him again after The Spirit, but putting him on that book was pure genius.  The one book that really sold me on the creative team alone was Red Hood and the Outlaws.  I've been a huge fan of Scott Lobdell since I was a kid reading the X-titles and Ken Rocafort is one of the most underrated artists in the industry today.  I wouldn't give that book much of a thought normally, but with that creative team, it instantly jumped to my pull list.

Were there any surprises in the creative teams or projects those creators were assigned to in your eyes?

Suicide Squad #1
Matt: The fact that Gail Simone was not tapped to write the revamp of Suicide Squad is absolutely surprising. I really thought that she would get the assignment with how much work and love she had put in writing Secret Six. And we know that DC at no point offered it to her, which is even more surprising. Another thing I don't understand is how the creative team of Justice League: Generation Lost did not carry over to the revamped Justice League International. DC works in mysterious ways.

Ken: Tony Daniel still writing a book surprised me. I can see him being a stopgap in the line just until a better candidate is found, but this means DC thought he was doing just fine, which I don't agree with, and would rather he stick back to drawing. Dan Didio allowing himself to write another book was a shock, only because I thought some humility might have come along with Outsiders being cancelled due to low sales. Simone not being on a Secret Six replacement was also a sad shock, as well as Jeff Lemire not keeping the Superboy book, when he has been nominated for an Eisner award for the very book.

Ryan S.: I'm with Matt on Suicide Squad.  Gail Simone and Jim Calafiore moving from Secret Six to Suicide Squad seems like a no-brainer.  It makes no sense that DC wouldn't have offered them the book.  I'm also going to throw out Brian Azarello and Cliff Chiang on Wonder Woman.  Never in my wildest dreams would I put those two creators together on that book.  That being said, after the initial shock factor, it has a mad genius quality to it.

Kirk: Like the others, I figured with how critically acclaimed Secret Six was that Gail Simone would be tapped for the Suicide Squad title.  Like Ryan, Azarello and Chiang are shocking choices for Wonder Woman.  I never would have imagined them on that book.  Just didn't seem like a book they'd be attached to, but now I want to read more than anything. 

DC has a lot of artists announced as writers for their revamp.  Many have writers new and old aiding in the scripting for these artists, but the fact remains that many unproven artists are now pulling a 90s Image movement and moving towards writing.  Yay or Nay?

The Fury of Firestorm #1
Ryan L.: I am completely happy to give an artist a go at scripting, so long as he pitched like everyone else and showed he had the chops for story break down, and probably some scripts as well. DC surely doesn't make these decisions blindly so I'll have faith the artists writing are as good as some of the other writers. Maybe not as good as Morrison or Snyder but I'm sure they'll hold their own.

It did make me laugh, however, when I saw someone say there have never been any good artists write a comic. How dumb do you honestly have to be to make that comment?

Matt: Lots of good has come out of artists also pulling writing duties. As Ryan said, as long as they followed the same process as everyone else, I trust the editors (shocking, I know) to make informed and intelligent decisions. I'm taking a wait and see approach, but some of these do feel like DC just gave the double duties just to keep the artists on exclusive (David Finch, I'm looking in your direction!).

Ken: The amount of artists turning writers, on big name books no less, is one of those things that makes me shake my head. What happened to working your way up the ladder? Dan Jurgens worked his way up from Booster Gold to the Superman books, that is the model for artists to follow if they want to spread their writing wings. Scott Kolins has followed this path, Finch, Van Sciver, Manapul, and Daniel should be no different. At the very least every artist getting free reign on a big name book should be given a Fabian Nicieza or Paul Cornell to help them.

Ryan S.: When it works, it works.  When it doesn't, you get two issues of Dark Knight in six months.  I think the smarter move is to have them start by co-writing with established writers.  Ethan Van Sciver writing with Gail Simone on Firestorm and JH Williams writing with Haden Blackman on Batwoman are smart choices.  Putting Francis Manapul on Flash as both the writer and the artist makes me nervous.

Kirk: Anyone can write.  Not everyone can write well.  With that in mind, I'm all for letting artists write, but their first  assignments shouldn't be high profile titles or to spearhead a massive revamp of DC's line.  A lot have co-writers with them and I imagine DC is taking this revamp seriously, so I hope these artists pitched for the work and beat out everyone else with excellent ideas and writing merit and this isn't something to keep them happy and/or exclusive.  In general though, I'm not keen on the thought of untested artists cum writers taking over many titles I was previously interested in.

One thing that caught my eye was the complete lack of female creators.  I believe there are two females out of the 100+ male creators working on the 52 new titles.  Does this affect your opinion of the revamp or is it just a systemic problem with all of mainstream comics and lack of female presence?  

The Savage Hawkman
Ryan L.: What is the exact ratio of female/male creators in all of comics? Then what would that ratio be for cape comics? I would imagine the ratio is less once you get to capes and I think that could also largely be the choice of the female creators. There are many not lured in by the mirage of pecs and spandex and I think that's fine. Some females write kick ass cape comics so we shouldn't generalise. I'll refer to the Kelly Sue DeConnick example from before, perhaps more females pitched but didn't make it. If they weren't the best pitch then I don't want them there just to even up numbers. We want the best stories possible, that's the end line.

Matt: Diversity in the creative teams (and editorial offices) is an important and worthy goal. Not just male and female, but different ethnicity and nationalities as well. It gives readers more variety and various perspectives. The fact that DC went out of their way to say that they were going to improve the diversity of their characters, but somehow missed the fact that the overwhelming majority of their creators are old white dudes is both hilarious and sad.

Ken: A good book's a good book, I don't really care what the creator's gender is. It's only a problem when the publisher makes a big deal about their diversity (or lack of) and their end product doesn't reflect that.

Ryan S.: I'd love to see DC have more diversity in its writers, but I'm not surprised that Gail Simone is the only female writer post-relaunch.  She is DC's only female writer right now.  That being said, I don't really think about the gender of who is writing or drawing my books, I only care about quality.  If the writer is brilliant and female, that is no different than a writer being brilliant and male. 

That being said, the lack of female creators goes hand-in-hand with a lack of female readers.  Comics are a male dominated industry from top-to-bottom.  The more you have of one, the more you will have of the other.  This isn't a new problem in comics and so I'm not surprised we are seeing more of the same here.

Kirk: I don't see a problem with this due to the lack of female creators in general and the fact several prominent ones have already spoken out about how they were approached by DC to pitch for the revamp (Marjorie Lu for instance), but were already committed to other work.  

Digital Comics

While many are caught up in the revamp and discussions on creative teams, the other major announcement from DC to go along with those was their being the first company to offer day one digital comics for their entire line.  Initial reactions to this news?

Green Arrow #1
Kirk: I don't buy ebooks. Not going to buy digital comics.  I prefer the paper versions of both formats.  Maybe start buying them in the next few years when tablet prices and (hopefully) digital comic prices drop.  I was shocked at the announcement though.  Figured Marvel would be the first to do this considering how much DC lagged in everything online related, from news to digital comics, for the longest time. 

Ryan L.: It's a start. But it's not a solution. At least they'll get some great data from a year's worth of sales on this. If the price point is cheaper than paper, substantially, then they're smart. If it's the same then it's incredibly dumb and shortsighted.

Matt: It will be interesting to see how it plays out, but it's not going to be a major change I think. I have a feeling that casual readers don't really care when the stories come out, as long as they do in a predictable and orderly fashion. It would help if there was a way of checking (or in the comic itself) to see when the next issue comes out. Expecting people to remember to come back exactly one month after they read a comic is asking too much if they are not already invested in it.

Ken: Good, but I would like this to be done in such a way where I could buy from DC directly instead of going through Comixology or other comic apps/websites.

Ryan S.: DC's move to day-and-date is a potential game changer, but it won't make much of a difference until other companies follow suit.  If Marvel responds by going day-and-date, digital comics will start to matter more than they do now.  If Marvel doesn't, I don't think we are going to see much change because of DC's announcement.

Are you currently buying digital comics?  Does the news make you want to start buying digital comics or are you going to stick with physical copies?

Justice League International #1
Kirk: Not buying digital comics and unless they put up 'trades' for the revamp series for significantly reduced prices in digital format, I doubt I'll dabble in it either.  Will be sticking to physical copies.

Ryan L.: I haven't transitioned much across to digital comics purely for the price. I don't mind reading them, even just on my phone, but the price to basically just borrow the books isn't worth it.

Matt: I've only bought a handful of them. For the most part, I don't plan on switching to digital comics until I can actually own what I am buying (like it is with mp3s). Even then, I would only buy a small portion of titles, as I like having physical copies of my books.

Ken: This can be a great way to get people to read books that are otherwise stuck in between that publishing limbo of newly released and waiting for the trade, as well as those nice $0.99 specials we see pop up from time to time. It wouldn't affect current titles I'll pick up, but allow me to catch up to ultimately put a new book in the physical pick up list.

Ryan S.: I don't read digital comics regularly and I don't plan on making the switch any time soon.  Then again, I don't even buy mp3s.  Give me my floppy comics and my music on CD (or vinyl).  Being able to buy comics digitally the same day for the same price isn't going to change that.

Price is a major factor in the equation.  We're looking at possibly the same price for digital copies of comics as the physical bag and board version.  Will you pay $2.99 for a digital copy?

Captain Atom #1
Kirk: Will never pay $2.99 for a digital copy.  Can barely justify $2.99 for a physical copy. 

Ryan L.: No. Would I pay $2, possibly, I'd try an extra three titles, max. Would I pay $1 a title, hell yeah, I'd try another dozen titles that way.

Matt: Absolutely ridiculous. I wouldn't pay the same price on a digital comic than on the physical format. They need to lower the price if they want to catch the attention of casual readers. The price drop after a month is good, but that would probably alienate readers even more once they figure out the pattern.

Ken: $2.99, no. $1.99 per issue a month later, that's pretty tempting.

Ryan S.: Price isn't really a major factor for me.  Digital comics could be $0.99 and I still wouldn't change my reading habits just to save money.  It might bring in more casual fans, but I'll stick with my floppies.

Do you think Marvel will follow suit with day one digital releases?

DC Universe Presents #1
Kirk: Select titles will go day one digital releases once they gauge how retailers react to the DC digital push.  Maybe a year or two before the entire line is day one digital.

Ryan L.: Not straight away. They've had the Ultimate line digitally releasing on the same day for months now. I think they'd get good enough dtata from that. I think they'll wait and watch DC closely. I know I would.

Matt: Unless it becomes a complete hit, I don't really see Marvel following suit so quickly. They already release some material same day as print, so I am sure they already have a very good idea on how it works out.

Ken: They will follow suit and Marvel will say they did it first, but only let their exclusive creators' books be day and date digital.

Ryan S.: I think it will depend on retailer and reader reactions.  If DC's books start selling like gangbusters, Marvel will follow suit.  Then again, if retailers--the real bread and butter of the comic book industry--respond negatively, Marvel is going to be more cautious about it.  Either way, it will take some time before they make a decision either way.  Marvel didn't get to be #1 by being reactionary.

Related Posts


Klep said...

I can't bring myself to be terribly excited about this relaunch/revamp/reboot. While DC claims that they're trying to modernize things and make everything fresh and new, the select way in which they're doing it and the insistence on characters returning to classic roles reveals that their actual goal (whether they realize it or not) is just to make DC comics what they were when these creators were growing up.

Frankly, while there were certainly some great stories told back in those days, I'm not interested in retreading that ground. I want to see characters grow and change and evolve into new roles, not be kept stunted to satisfy the editors' midlife crises. We're seeing this kind of attitude taking hold at both major publishing houses and someone really needs to put a stop to it.

Aaron K said...

Thanks for the thorough (and long) discussion, gentlemen. I'm curious what folks think on the very few titles that DIDN'T make the cut. Would a SECRET SIX or POWER GIRL or JUSTICE SOCIETY book really sell worse than I, VAMPIRE? Why would DC permit themselves to not pursue books that had secured a fan following?

nf said...

Uh, the team from Generation Lost is not on JLI because Judd Winick said he didn't want to write JLI. He also turned down the new Red Hood series.

For those complaining about titles like JSA and Power Girl not making the cut compared to other new titles, it isn't as though these are all the titles DC ever plans on releasing again and with books like Voodoo, Swamp Thing, I, Vampire, and others DC has diversified its lineup.

Was this needed? As much as I dislike saying it because I liked a lot of DC books before this, of course it was needed. Did you see the pathetic sales for May? Compare Fear Itself and Flashpoint to any event of the last ten years and it starts to look pretty sad. Sales are down, down, down, and both companies need to do things to perk up interest. Having months in which NO title sells more than 100K is not a good place for this industry to be in.

BJay said...

Half of these titles will be cancelled before years end. I'm trying to reserve judgement until I actually read some of them. I am holding on to the hope that for Batgirl, the writers will keep Oracles personality and mix it in with Barbara's "new" personality.
Dick Grayson, when written well, was a good Batman. I do like him better as Nightwing but I hope the writers keep some the growth he made while in the cowl.
I happen to like Aquaman. (I'm so old school) Aquaman has been written poorly for years now. I happen to like what is going on with him in Flashpoint. I think it shows how bad@$$ his character can be and all the power at his disposal. That is how he should be written all the time.
I'm tired of all of the changes to Wonder Woman. Just tiiiiied.
Nice job guys, I really enjoy reading your thoughts. Oh and I do get digital comics now and then since my kids like to tear my collectables but there's nothing like having that magazine in my hand.

dwh said...

As several of you guys mentioned, Marvel has already been doing day & date with selective titles. They've had Ultimate Spider-Man on there for about 4 or 5 months starting with the Death of Spider-Man story. They had Ultimate Thor by Hickman day & date and an Iron Man Annual. The rest of the Ultimate Line when it gets relaunched (again...) will go day & date in September.

Bendis made a comment on the Wordballoon podcast correlating the digital sales numbers to being a really good store.

Part of the problem with the digital sales is the price. Marvel offers their day & dates for 3.99 usually. I'm surprised they get any sales at that rate. I didn't start reading many digital comics until the Marvel App came out (I'm far more Marvel than DC). The only real way I BUY digital comics, other than the free ones they put out weekly (which is usually a random Thor or Hulk or something in the middle of a story line and makes little sense to me not knowing the logic if any behind that) is on Marvel Monday sales via Comixology. They'll drop a comic series to 99 cents and offer six issues at a time. For example, this past Monday was all of Messiah War (Messiah CompleX was last week, I think?). So for potentially like 15 dollars you can get all 15 issues (or however many there were). Thats a hell of a deal and sort of my digital equivalent of trade waiting at the moment.

All that said, I've got about 6-10 DC comics I'm actually excited about picking up with the relaunch and only digital. I don't have time to go to the store etc etc and its sort of gratifying to just BUY IT and have it immediately available. That being said, I'm not buying day & date only because of the price. I'm going to wait a month when they drop to 1.99 and I can pick them up in bulk.

Not to put any pressure on you guys, but I'm planning on leaning HEAVILY on sites like this to tell me which ones are worth my money and which ones I can just skip.

The Dangster said...

Perhaps you guys should discuss JT Krul more in depth, perhaps a whole page on him. He's a very polarizing writer who is being groomed by Geoff Johns on projects.

It baffles me the same person who wrote Arsenal also wrote Teen Titans and Deadman and the Flying Grayson (a pretty good tie-in...if ur missing King Shark and Ragdoll).

Ivan said...

I think the line-wide reboot isn't necessary per se, as far as content is concerned, but from the moment they decided to go day-and-date digital then it became necessary. If you want to attract new readers, especially
among people who don't usually read comics (or who don't usually read DC, such as marvelites), then you need #1's and a clean(ish) slate.

Also, I got a funny little anecdote: my brother is not a big comics person. He only REALLY likes Spider-Man, and stopped reading him anyway. I was showing him the DC relauch covers and when we got to Superman #1 he asks me "Why is Superman destroying everything?". I'm like "lolwut?", but then I realize he's right: the globe seems completely battered, way more than it would be if he had just picked it from the air after a fall. It looks like
he's been throwing the thing around. There's a big fire coming from the direction Superman is looking, and he's got his red glowing heat-vision eyes. It looks like HE'S the one who's burning everything. I had no choice but to agree with him.

@ Ken - "I just don't want the book to be an attempt to mimic the "Bwa-ha-ha" days."

According to Dan Jurgens,
it won't be. I guess it was a CBR interview, sorry I got no link.

Anonymous said...

I hate to be biased, because I am a big GL fan... actually I only buy Marvel except for GL books... but everyone seems to accept that recently GL has been a huge player for DC but he still doesn't get the kind of treatment he deserves. What I mean to say is I agree maybe 4 books is a bit much, but nobody complains one bit when batman is in what, like 8 books?!?

Justice League America, Justice League International, Batman, Batman: Dark Knight, Batman & robin, Detective comics... plus Batman Beyond is still going, and they may chose to continue Batman Inc after a trial suspension period... add in other batman-family characters like Red Hood getting a book, Birds of Prey getting a book, Nightwing, Batgirl, Bat Woman, Batwing, Red Robin in the Teen Titans, catwoman... Even the All-Star Western book with Jonah hex has a sign post saying "welcome to gotham" in the background! if I find out batman makes any quest appearances in any other books, or is in the "justice league dark" I may just break out in tears!

Even Wolverine can take some notes on how to be in more books!

Let's take a moment to reflect: we are all so worried that fun new things like Swamp Thing and Blue Beetle are going to tank in the first 6 months, but we are perpetuating that which we complain about! STOP BUYING SO MANY BATMAN AND WOLVERINE BOOKS PEOPLE! GIVE THE BLACK WIDOWS AND FIRESTORMS A CHANCE!

Carl Walker said...

LOL at there being a guy who hates Morrison and loves Krul. Definitely consistent at least.

Jon Q. Citizen said...

I think that artists turned writers is the NEW direction for DC! By the way, I think Tony Daniel is turning into a good writer....every story I've read is getting better and better.

What worries me; and hopefully it's just too soon still, is that other than the initial announcement DC is NOT advertising the re-vamp. They need to be advertising this all over the place if it's truly to be effective and bring in new readers.

One of you guys said that everyone knows Lois & Clark are married....I haven't talked with a non-comic book reader yet that knew that. I've spoken with roughly a dozen non-cbr's in the last couple of years about Supes, and all of them look at me like I'm stupid when I say that they're married in the books....

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