Friday, July 22, 2011

DC In Focus - Comic Con

DC In Focus - Comic Con

By now you've become well aware that DC Comics is about toe shake up their line up with a not-so-reboot reboot. I'm guessing that Time Warner decided that it was high time to put a fire under their feet to make them crank out piles of money with their big franchise characters. What's that mean? Well, it means that DC needs to change things up.

And change things up they did. Take a look at the Justice League line up

For reference, that is: Deadman, Atom, Element Woman (introduced in Flashpoint), and Firestorm on the left. Green Arrow, Hawkman, and most likely Zealot and Mera on the right.

If the amount of lines on the costumes threw you, you're not alone. They all look like robots. Well, all except Cyborg who ends up looking like a 90's robot. And while this is odd for a guy to say, I really wish they would have had Wonder Woman's top actually cover her chest.

Who's suppose to be drawn into this brave new world of DC? Well, the DC road show apparently went to Dallas, and bleedingcool posted this hilarious quote from the show:
The target audience are men age 18 to 34 though they do realize that they have readers in other demographics.
So... these new readers they want to appeal to... yeah, they're exactly the same as the old readers they've always appealed to. And yet the feel the need to take established characters and just fuck with them.

Want to hear more stupidity in all this?
Many of the new 52 books will have six issue story arcs, and Dan DiDio states that if sales are bad on a title, they won’t wait very long to cancel it. He wants strong sales across the line.

He also wants comics to ship on time and even mentioned that he is very willing to replace a writer or an artist if they fall behind.
So... his plan for all these new books is to have the same six issue trade-friendly arc format that has been killing comics for years now. But hey, if sales drop they will cancel the book quickly. Didn't they promise that there would be no more 6 issues story arcs numerous amounts of times already?

And if you're wondering why I'm opposed to writing for a trade, well it's not a hatred towards trades specifically, but it's that "Writing for the trade" more often than not means stretching maybe 3 issues of content into 6 issues of comics for the sole purpose of keeping it contained in one book. It's more filler than substance.

In many cases, it makes the first 2 parts mostly setup with little to no real action. Dividing the narrative curve into 6 equal parts pretty much always means only parts 3-5 will be worthy anything and you've wasted 2 months worth of books on nothing losing a lot of interest.

Then you have the situation where if people fall behind, then they'll just get tossed off mid-arc. Individually these decisions are dumb. But combined they are a Voltron of idiocy. Every day this disaster keeps getting upgraded to the next category that it's not even funny.

DiDio's basically not going to let any title get any readers. I can't help but think that stories that are good, or I'm interested in are going to prematurely get dropped because people are just overwhelmed with the number of new stuff that buying even 20 new on-goings is going to cost a shitload of money.

I mean, no one is going to pick up 52 titles and most people are going to stick with the old reliable in Superman, Batman, Adventure, Detective and what have you. How is this being fair in anyway to the newer, stranger titles that no one has even heard of before?

There isn't a single thing about this DCU reboot that looks interesting, everything from the costumes to the concepts as I know about them looks like absolute garbage. Why can't they just do what Marvel has done for me in the last 10 years and just make better comic books instead of resorting to gimmicks?

What it sounds like is DiDio and Johns are all heavy-handed Julie Schwartz-style editors who dictate all plot lines to a bunch of scab writers. Who then in turn pump out the scripts, as opposed to the more laissez-faire style that Marvel seems to crank out.

To be honest, if that's what they did to drive all the writing talent away from DC, I say good riddance. Either DC editorial sees themselves as so brilliant that they don't need writers to come up with ideas, and just can transcribe theirs, or if they realize that they have a terrible repuation in the industry and are doing what they can with what little talent remains.

After everything is said and done, that's one of the biggest problems about this. That these titles were all devised by the editorial brain trust that brought you Countdown and then they asked their writers to pitch them. This isn't authors having a great idea for a new Blackhawks or OMAC book, this is an editorial mandate that these books need to exist for some reason and let's pick the best pitch that their bullpen could throw together on a short notice to make these book existing be worth reading.

Yeah, the law of large numbers suggest that there will be a few gems to come out of this experiment, but it's a pretty awful way to get good work out of talented people. Especially when you have them crank out amazing books like 52, but then claim that Countdown was going to be "52 done right!"

A great game would be to guess which titles get canceled and which ones have creators thrown off the project. I'm looking at you David Finch. It looks like you'll get tossed off before issue three hits due to your inability to get anything done in a reasonable amount of time.

It's not going to surprise me when it turns out that this whole thing was just a "wait, no, don't fire me yet, I've got this grand idea to turn everything around!" desperation play by DiDio. The line about being quick to cancel a title just reeks of desperation to get readers to buy them or else...

Because really, who would read any of this and still feel excitement for the relaunch knowing that half of the new series you plan on picking up will be canned after issue #6, if not before that.

This sort of shotgun approach of shooting a pile of shit to the wall and seeing which nuggets stick will lead to nothing but the smell of shit and smeared crap against the wall.

"Holy shit, here, publish these books, I don't even fucking care who's working on it? The intern? Rob Liefeld? Who cares, just get it the fuck out there!". It's like they're trying to play the lottery by just throwing random shit together and praying to god that one of those turds will turn into gold to attract the white whale that is the "new readers".

Even worse, these creative teams weren't even given that much thought. It seems like some of the creative teams weren't decided until practically the last minute which, given everything else about this, isn't too surprising. But did we seriously almost get Chuck Austen writing a book? Cause I can't think of anyone else "C.O. Austen" could be referring to.

Really, Bob Harras? Really? You're giving books to critical failures? What the hell are you thinking?

I don't really know what more to say at this point. I really find it hard to believe that the new stories in the relaunch are going to be so much better and more exciting than what we're getting now when everything behind the scenes sounds like a clusterfuck. But hey, there's always new levels on how bad they can fuck over Superman.....

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