Thursday, June 2, 2011

I can't promise I won't just keep talking about the DC Comics Reboot

A few things I want to ponder out loud about the DCU reboot.

1.  So, things are looking bad for the Superman lawsuit, and one can imagine DC is working to shore up their version of Superman for when the Siegels run off with Action Comics #1.  Its possible the Siegels could include items such as Superman's red trunks and boots as part of what they own, and that explains Superman's visual overhaul.  They will not own Lex, the Daily Planet, Jimmy Olsen or pretty much anything but a Superman who jumps over buildings and who came from outerspace and who gets emasculated by Lois Lane when he's Clark Kent.  I think.  And I suspect DC is getting ready for a "this is their Superman, and this is our Superman" scenario, knowing that new readers will likely go with slick new Superman, not one that will be more or less a sort of curiosity of a vintage era of comic-making.

Its going to be very complicated, but I wonder what the WB lawyers are telling DC to do with their version of Superman so they can project to January 1, 2013 if negotiations fail.

And, yes, I totally believe the Siegels are getting bad advice from their attorney.  But I'll probably give their Superman a shot, too.

2.  I... don't get at all what I've been reading that suggests that DC is trying to retain some of the past couple years worth of comics' continuity.  None of this sounds right given a renumbering and reinvention of the DCU.

3.  I can't imagine DC is really relaunching and planning to keep 52 ongoing titles from this model.  Surely there's some collapse into fewer ongoing titles planned.  I'm pondering the "oh, we're doing a Steel #1, but no way are we releasing a Steel #2" event from earlier this year.  Although...  the Steel, Wondergirl and other one-shots may have been a test balloon to see what DC could and could not support for new, ongoing series with existing characters.

4.  It is so sad that I have this hopeful part of me that thinks somehow Enemy Ace could get a spot in the new DCU books that even the rest of my brain pities and knows will be disappointed.

No doubt the way to appeal to today's children is with dogfights and the nihilistic ramblings  of a German WWI fighter ace who kills several times per issue with detached, fatalistic remorse

5.  When its not overgrown 13 year-olds running the company:  Bleeding Cool is claiming we're seeing the end of the "impractical wardrobe on women" era for DC.  I'll miss Power Girl's suit, but, yeah...  its gotten out of hand the past 15 years.


Gerry said...

I have to say, I find it funny that everyone is in such an uproar over the whole thing. As a business, DC has to do something to try to help the industry. This is an attempt to get new readers. We've seen reboots, renumbering and the whole thing before. Granted, this seems like a bigger scale than we've seen, but it's not new. Whether it will work or not, from a business stand point, only DC's accountants will know. All we can judge as readers is whether or not we like the stories they tell us, and they haven't done that yet. A good writer and artist can make any concept work. Will it be for everyone? Of course not. It never was for everyone to begin with, though. But if the medium is to survive it has to be for more people than it is now. And that means change.

The League said...

I'm shocked at how positive I feel about this change. I do not feel I "own" Superman, as much as I love the character, nor do I feel senses of betrayal. Its more like being told "the family is moving to Canada!". It'll be different, but not all that different and in a few months, you find new friends and adjust.

I don't think it hurts that in the first volley of #1 issue announcements, I know I will pick up more than half of the titles to check them out.

Its sad how excited I am about a new Firestorm ongoing.

Fantomenos said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Fantomenos said...

My LCBS was all abuzz about it Wednesday.

Fellow I talked to put the over/under at 9 months.

I totally get the baby and the bathwater thing. I can't imagine Warner's looking at Batman movie numbers and Batman comic book numbers and not thinking something needs to change in a big way.

The League said...

Well, the interesting thing is that DC can always just launch a "DC Originals", "DC Classic" or "Earth 0" line if they did want to appeal to older, longtime readers, straight to the Direct Market. Sort of a reverse Ultimates line. With 52 worlds, they can do whatever they like, really.

I haven't been to my LCBS as I had to make the movie after work, but we'll see what folks are saying today.

Still feeling oddly positive, which I didn't expect. The only time I get down on it is considering the change to Superman's duds.

Simon MacDonald said...

So out of the announced titles what will you be picking up?

Justice League
Justice League International
DC Universe Presents

Wonder Woman
Green Arrow
Mr. Terrific
Captain Atom


Out of the 11 titles announced I'm only putting a Pass label on Flash. While I like Francis Manapul's art I'm not really struck on his writing debut, nor a Barry Allen Flash.

The League said...

Great question. Right now I'm considering buying every single new #1. I am not kidding. I want to see what happens that badly.

Justice League - buy. Hoping I'll like enough to go monthly. So close to the classic line-up, I'm happy. But want J'onn.

Firestorm - BUY (until its awful). Simone on Firestorm sounds promising and I actually like the weird dynamic of Firestorm.

Hawkman - wait for feedback and then maybe TPB. I actually liked Hawkman after Johns' reboot, but understand if they wanted to start over.

Justice League International - this could go poorly, so I'll wait for the TPB (but buy issue 1)

DC Universe Presents - so torn. I'm not particularly tied to Deadman, so, like Superman/ Batman, this may be a decision based upon who the star and creative teams are.

Wonder Woman - Sigh. I really don't like Azzarello. This is hugely disappointing for my personal tastes. I was hoping this is where Morrison would wind up. Oh, well.

Aquaman - Trade wait. Its not like I've got a huge Aquaman collection I can't wait to keep building.

Green Arrow - I don't care for Krul, and I lost interest in GA way, way back around 2006 during OYL. Maybe they'll surprise me.

Mr. Terrific - I 90%-expect it will be a limited series/ not make it. I was such a fan of Terrific in JSA and Checkmate, it would be nice to see Terrific be okay, and so I will pick up issues 1-3 to see what they do.

Captain Atom - This could be terrible, right? But I like the idea in the pitch, going full Dr. Manhattan with him.

Flash - Trade wait or digital. After having had read the first 3 Showcase Presents Flash books, I'm actually a fan of Barry Allen but hope they found a place for Wally in all this.

Simon MacDonald said...

Oh I have no intention of going monthly with these books. I will try a bunch of the first issues then go back to trade waiting or waiting 4 weeks for the digital discount.

TomO. said...

I agree completely on your positive feelings toward this, as I'm in the same position. Even more so since they've announced the pricing structure and the books are still three bucks at standard price. I can't begin to tell you how happy that makes me feel.

I also can't see DC backing out of this in the short-term. It's too big a leap to turn around in nine months and say "just kidding, married Superman has been here the whole time behind this curtain". The whole mindset I get from NewDC is that they're owning this 100%.

With the pricepoints being what they are, I'm also in for trying everything they put out in the month of September.

Justice League, Aquaman, Flash, Firestorm, Wonder Woman, DCU Presents, and Mr. Terrific are instant buys with no second thoughts. I like the out of the box thinking of Azzarello on WW. I haven't always liked everything he's done (especially with two high heel boots squarely in the super-hero world), but I'm game.

JLI, Green Arrow, and Captain Atom I'll buy at least the first issue and go from there. Maybe I'll switch to digital on these at the reduced price if they're just so-so. Krul really hasn't impressed me since his original Titans Blackest Day mini, but Jurgens is hard to leave on the shelf.

They also just announced the Green Lantern relaunches, and it looks relatively status quo as far as creators go. That suits me just fine, as I've been a happy GL reader who is really enjoying the post BN lantern status quo.

And finally, and pardon me for being so verbose, but I find myself giddily anticipating the Superman relaunch. A year ago, and I'd be up-in-arms about getting rid of the Clark and Lois marriage. But after seriously taking a look as to the status quo of the Super-books over the last three or four years, and they've been average at best. I do hope Paul Cornell finds a place in Metropolis, and the mere rumor of Grant Morrison being involved is almost too much to fathom.

Speaking of Cornell, give him another monthly or two DC! He did wonders with Action and Knight & Squire, let's see him spread out a little bit into the DCU with another regular gig.

Fantomenos said...

Please don't take this as disrespect or snark or anything, because I totally don't mean it that way, but...

unsure about DeadMan but definite on Firestorm?

Man, we are different types of comic book readers! And that's totally cool! I'm just about a 180 on those two.

I'm with you, though, buy all the #1s not I cause I think they'll be worth something, but I may get hooked on something I wouldn't ordinarily buy, and I want to reward DC for making a big out of the box move.

And if anything can get me excited about a Firestorm series, it's Simone.

I'd like to see Mr. Terrific go the distance as well, but I share your skepticism of what the market will bear.

The League said...

You know, I never read the old Deadman stuff from Neal Adams. I like all the mythology around DeadMan, but I've only ever seen him as a particularly strong supporting character.

The difference may be that DeadMan is mostly forced to talk to himself vs. the opposite dynamic of Firestorm, where there's an inherent two-way conversation going.

Now, I wasn't a huge fan before I followed the first Jason Rusch series, and I haven't had a chance to read a straight up Deadman series, so we'll see how this first issue goes.

Because DC characters that last tend to have pretty interesting or strong origins (like the original batch of Marvel characters), its all about how well the creative teams can play off the motivations of the DC slate of characters. And I think DC seems to be working hard to get a slate of good creative teams on these books.

I am definitely picking up 3 of the four GL books (but am not sure I want to read a Red Lantern book that is not 20 pages of Dex-Starr tearing it up).