Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Thinking out loud about a few things around DC Entertainment


So, for the first time since probably 2003, I didn't look at the solicitations for DC Comics' coming books the day they were released.  I just forgot to do so.  But that's sort of where I'm at with DC these days.

It's time, once again, for my:  "Something is Up at DC" Amazing Criswell Psychic Predictions.


DC is part of WB, which also owns The Cartoon Network.  About a year and a half ago, we first heard of the coming "DC Nation" block of cartoons, which never turned into a full block.  It was an hour with some small cartoons tucked in, lasting about 80 seconds or so apiece.  They were pretty great.

Season 2 of Cartoon Network started about three weeks ago, and then last Saturday - it just wasn't on.  They showed a different program in that time slot.  The same day we got an announcement that (a) they were pushing the show back to January and (b) DC Animation was releasing a few films, not the least of which was DC's Flashpoint story which led into the New 52.

I'm wondering - and this is just me talking out loud - if DC has decided that they don't want to do the New 52 in their new animated shows, but that was a last minute decision.  DC had already released one Justice League movie based in the world of Young Justice, and I assume that Flashpoint would be the same sort of thing - spinning the New 52 Universe into the Young Justice world - or eliminating it so they could do a New 52 Justice League cartoon.

Maybe that isn't happening.  Or maybe its a far greater problem to introduce the New 52 to a casual audience than devoted comic shop geeks and its causing all sorts of issues.

Or maybe they're finding that DC comics characters can't draw in an audience for a television program.  Honestly, both the Green Lantern cartoon and Young Justice are really, really dark shows.  Avengers may be dopey and badly voice-acted, but the characters don't all seem perpetually miserable, and that's the Marvel cartoon, about heroes with real-life problems.  Go figure.

But DC and CN pulled the plug on Batman: Brave and the Bold, which was a terrific program, so what do I know?

Or, DC is holding off until the new Batman and other cartoons are in the can and they can have a true programming block of 2 hours or so.  Which would be keen.

The bottom line is - WB's investment in DC as a multimedia IP farm just went kaput very publicly on DVR's all across the country.

Meanwhile over in comics - The Supersuit

I have to think someone noticed Superman's new costume is more trouble than its worth.

In the January solicits, Superboy seems to have inherited the current costume, and Superman is back to jeans and t-shirt.

My guess is he winds up with something more movie-centric without the collar, or we get something much closer to the original suit.

I don't think anyone liked that supersuit.  And it would have been nice to see two artists draw it the same way.  Ie:  Do not let Jim Lee design your supersuits anymore.

Meanwhile, Steel's new look is spoiled on the cover for Animal Man.  I like John Henry Irons, but have no fixed idea regarding his look except:  it's gray or shiny metal.  So, this is fine.

At the end of the day, no matter how many jokes you make about the red trunks, etc...  Superman is an icon first and a character second.  It's a bit like trying to hip up the Coca-Cola label or a Campbell's Soup can.  It's a nice design exercise, but on the shelf, its not what people are looking for.

The Wonder Woman pants/ no pants debate was surely of some use to DC.  At least they understood that when she's in pants, nobody has any idea what they're looking at and they're trying to mess with 70 years of brand recognition.  Its just a bad idea (surely as bad as the current DC logo, by the way).

We'll see what happens, but I suspect we'll get something much more familiar in our supersuit before all is said and done, whether it's the George Reeves look or the Henry Cavill speed suit.  I will not miss the Lee design.


Jake Shore said...

I wasn't sure at first, but the new suit just isn't working for me. It might be an easy fix if they just get rid of the collar.

What do you think of the upcoming Scott Snyder/Jim Lee Superman title? I don't anything about Snyder, but he's got to be better than Azzarello, no?

The League said...

I'll give the Snyder a try. I mean, he's as good as what DC is offering up right now, and I think he might be able to do something interesting.

I won't be shocked to see the collar disappear by next summer, but we'll see.