Friday, January 22, 2016

Oh, holy @#$%. DC Comics looks to be rebooting. Again. Again. Again. Again.

Look, I don't really read any DC Comics any more.  Which, yeah...   I know, right?

And I have gotten quite tired of saying that watching DC Comics as a publisher/ company/ whatever is waaaaay more interesting than their output.

But what I do know is that for the past year or so, DC's sales have been sliding like mad, and my guess is that even the current milking of Dark Knight Returns with the inconceivably named third volume The Master Race, isn't working out quite as planned.

"I just keep failing upward!"

Anyway, rumors were a-hopping today at Bleeding Cool that a line-wide reboot was in the works.  Heidi opined on this over at Comics Beat.

Then, Didio and Lee both tweeted a kind of stupid looking image of a blue curtain with the word "Rebirth" projected onto the curtain.

After the abysmal Convergence event this summer, DC tried to appeal to the kids with the pander-y "DC You" effort.  A comic for every kind of reader!  As long as you're an 18-25 year old who likes Harley Quinn.  The marketing effort was going full blast until pre-orders came in, and the plug was yanked overnight.  The pre-Convergence sales slide reportedly has accelerated quite a bit.

I would argue, looking at DC's line as of right now, the folks working at DC no longer understand the appeal of DC, and the burnt bridges with folks like Grant Morrison and Mark Waid the past few years are telling.  New 52 alienated much of the pre New 52 audience.  I cannot imagine what audience they think is going to show up in the shops if "Rebirth" does mean "we're starting all over again.  Again."  On the plus side, the New 52 audience only spent 5 years investing in DC, not a couple of decades.

I am beyond speculating what any of this means, nor do I believe DC will right the ship under the same leadership pulling the same stunts.  I chalk it up to naivete on the part of Diane Nelson and other DC Entertainment execs not really understanding the comics industry enough to get what may be happening in their own offices or out there in the wild (nor caring.  I mean, over the course of a year, the new publication comics at DC earn DC Entertainment something like what a new Batman movie will bring them in the first hour of the first day).  And DC's catalog of trades and licensed material doesn't need new comics to succeed.

Here's to whatever the hell "Rebirth" means.  Shine on, you crazy diamonds.


Stuart said...

Batgirl notwithstanding, whatever it is would almost have to be an improvement at this point.

The League said...

That's kind of the problem they've got. I think everyone's got one title they like. Certainly seems to be that way in the comments on those stories. But the rest of the DC line-up isn't to their taste.

And, yeah, I'm guessing they feel "it can't get worse, and at least we'll goose the numbers for a couple of quarters". I haven't seen one positive Superman comment in over a year, anywhere but the Superman Homepage, and even there, it's far from a majority opinion.

But I also think they made the mistake with Crisis and Flashpoint to not reboot the whole thing from scratch, wanting to maintain the Scott Snyder momentum with the batbooks and GL (ironic that Snyder then wanted to do a Year One, anyway).

And if they are rebooting - this time they aren't doing so in the space of 3-4 months. If it's summer, seems like they have at least half a year, and maybe they started the minute DC You tanked last summer.

What's amazing is: no one is losing their jobs. Even where I work, this would at least get you put in the mail room where you could do a minimum of damage.

Simon MacDonald said...

At this point the only thing that would bring me back to DC at this point would be sweeping the New 52 under the rug and returning to the previous universe. Sadly, I don't think that'll happen. It sounds like they are going to double down on their big properties and we'll lose even more diversity in the comics universe.

The League said...

My last three or four guesses on their big changes were totally wrong. I was positive they'd use Convergence to bring back a small line of DCU Classic books before all the folks who knew how those worked went away from the industry (we're 5 years in. The clock is ticking.). But, yeah, I mean, Diane Nelson clearly doesn't understand either the comics her publishing division puts out, nor the issues there. And, likely, doesn't care. She's got to see Superman v. Batman make a billion dollars or the whole house of cards falls apart and WB has a very, very bad year.

I won't be at all surprised to see a consolidation after DC played "let's throw shit at the wall and see what sticks" the past five years to amazingly bad effect. As the pros are saying - when things get bad, they have to turn to the writers, and that may mean the top-down DC may remember what got them through the 90's and 00's.