Thursday, November 12, 2015


DC You Thoughts

I find it weird that I actually decided to fire up "Seven Hells!" again when as of the last Wednesday of November, I'll be reading ZERO DC Comics with my beloved PREZ coming to an end with issue six.

There was time when I'd have believed I'd be looking at an Avengers comic with a black Captain America and a female Thor kissing on the cover before I'd believe I'd be reading no DC Comics.

At my peak DC reading, I was doing about 25-30 comics a month.

Now? Zero.

That day is here because well... frankly, DC has given me nearly five years to think about it. Since the New 52 reboot, I've found exactly one comic I'd want to subscribe to on a monthly basis and today, I finally admitted it to myself...

Somewhere along the line, I knew DC didn't want me as a customer anymore. 

I left comics retail nearly two years ago but old habits die hard and I still look at sales charts and... Oh, boy, wow.

One DC Comic in the Top 20. One. It's Batman, of course, while most of their books are selling below 20,000 copies. 

The true DC fans have been shaken out and the diehards stuck around for a universe that trained you to think there's only Batman, maybe The Justice League and then, everyone else.

I won't go into great detail about interconnectivity as I've done it before elsewhere but I will say that it was a selling point for me and my dollars. Now, my dollars go to trades like the recent Birds of Prey, Volume One where I can revisit those themes.

The weird thing is that they're publishing some of the best books they've done in years.

I'm excited to read Tom King's Omega Men and Steve Orlando's Midnighter in trade. DC has a crop of new and exciting writers doing incredible things but unfortunately, I think the audience who would've shown up for them was abandoned by DC nearly five years ago.

Don't get me started on this new rocker Black Canary thing....


DC's biggest crime is having no idea how to write Superman. He may never be DC's biggest seller -- that's probably always going to be Batman -- but he ought to be not just the most visible character, but the one who ties things together. He ought to set the tone and the theme of optimism that should be at the heart of the DC Universe. And it wouldn't break my heart if they started up "DC Comics Presents" again, with Superman teaming up with a different character every month.

Now that crime aside, I do like a lot of the choices DC has made and risks they've taken. Hal Jordan has never been written better than he is now, nor has Kyle, and the current showings for Dick Grayson and Selina Kyle are also really really strong. There are a lot of comics I couldn't imagine NOT buying on a monthly basis. But I think what you're saying, if I follow you properly, is that all the characters are off-model and the DC Universe as such is in an unrecognizable state ... and yeah, I can appreciate that. I miss the legacy characters; I miss the possibility of Jay, Barry, and Wally all fighting together, or going to a baseball game together (because with Barry tagging along it's either that or a bow tie convention). Slavish fixation on the status quo is a bad thing, but we ought to at least be able to see glimmers of it once in a while.

You mentioned a black Captain America; I have to say, I'm disappointed with Marvel over that, because that feels much more like pandering to movie fans than actually trying to make a positive statement. Marvel already has two perfect fits for a black Captain America -- Patriot and Battlestar -- so why give the job to the Falcon? Because he was in the movies, not because it makes any sort of internal sense.

There is also the side issue that Steve Rogers is eventually going to come back into the role, and that's going to be a negative message. What I wish Marvel had done was come up with Team Rebirth (for lack of a better name), where Steve Rogers is preparing the next generation of Captains America. You've already got Patriot and Miss America Chavez as thematic fits with some experience; flesh out the team as you see fit. Maybe put Battlestar as the mission commander because he knows the job and he's got the skills.
I'd love to see DCP return again. They did in the New 52's infancy but they launched it as an anthology in a universe that hadn't been established in any way, shape or form.

The DCU as I knew it has become a place that only lives in back issues and trade paperbacks and I'll be ok with that.
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