With Flashpoint and Fear Itself continuing through the summer, I thought it might be interesting to list some of the comic crossovers/events that just did not work for me (also due to reaction from a Marvel Facebook posting). I applied my standard film list requirements to this list as well (had to have read the crossover in whole or as a part).
It’s Wednesday, and, as everyone knows, it’s comic day. Here are the books that really stand out
As many comic book fans know, DC is planning a major change in September, relaunching 52 titles with issue 1. In addition to this “restart,” DC plans on implementing a same day digital distribution system, meaning that when the comic titles are released in comic shops, so are the digital versions online. Needless to say, a lot has been said about this daring idea, both good and bad. The whole idea would be the revolution that DC needs to revitalize sales, or it could blow up in their faces badly.
As much as has been said, there have not been many who even suggested what they would do in this situation. So, it I were in charge of the DC restart, this is what I would do.
First things first, I would not renumber Action Comics or Detective Comics. Both titles have been around since the early days of comics, and their numbers reflect it. And considering how much was made about Action hitting 900, it seems wrong to celebrate that major milestone, then restart the title back at 1. The same goes for Detective, which, as of this posting, is currently at 879. It seems wrong to deprive both of the next major milestones.
That said, I would actually tweak the concept of each of these books. Instead of being strictly Superman or Batman titles, I would make Action and Detective anthology books. Granted, I would leave Superman and Batman the headliners of each title, but there would also be two or three “undercard” stories. These stories would be a combination of shorter series and one shots featuring members of the headliners’ “families.” I would also plan on doing the same for Green Lantern Corps, with its undercard featuring other members of the Corps.
I would also plan on limiting the “family” books, specifically Batman. Currently, there are solicitations for 11 Batman related books. Add them to the 4 Superman family books, and the 4 Green Lantern books, it represents a sizeable chunk of titles tied into these properties (roughly 36.5%). This does not even include appearances in Justice League titles, either. I would cut down on these titles (especially the Batman titles), rolling the characters into the anthology titles mentioned above.
I would also look to explore other “times” within the new DC Universe. DC has a gigantic wealth of characters to draw from, from many different times. All-Star Western explores the Old West, while Legion of Superheroes Explores another. There are still so many more eras (World War 2, World War 1, Revolutionary War, Medieval Times) that can be explored, either through one shots, quarterlies, or even ongoing series.
Naturally, any publishing company will be looking at the sales figures of the books they released. DC Comics, however, has a new curve ball to consider with the same day digital releases. It would be necessary to look at sales figures not just in issues of a title sold, but in the medium they have been sold in. It is possible that there is one book that will do poorly on the shelves of the comic stores, but sells like mad online. New policies of dealing with sales would have to be adopted, like considering a half-cancellation, where the newstand title is concluded, but the online version continues.
Lastly, I would look into the technology that would create a digital reader for comics, basically following the Kindle/Amazon and Nook/Barnes & Noble concept. the device should be color should be affordable, and available through comic shops. Much like how the Nook offers in-store deals and options, similar deals can be set up with comic retailers that would help push businesses into the comic shops that now represent the backbone of sales. Such a device, I admit, would be highly ambitious, but the payoff could be great for everyone involved.
None of these ideas even touch on what I would do to the characters to revitalize them in light of the restart. Maybe that will be the subject of another post.
It is a comic geek’s fantasy. A new editor in chief for DC Comics is needed. Searching far and wide, they come to one conclusion: I should be the EIC. I am given carte blanche to do what I want. Initially, I keep it down to five initial actions.
1) A two-year moratorium on mega-crossovers. A crossover should be a special event. Something to draw in readers and make them want more. Mega-crossovers aren’t special when they happen every year. Initially, I would propose that we hold off on a major crossover for at least two years, which would lead into my next action.
2) Begin planning a mega-crossover for after the moratorium period. With careful planning from start to finish, we would be able to ensure that this crossover would be as spectacular as such an event should be. In addition to that planning, there is also the time to build to event, planning clues in a number of books.
3) Expansion into new media – DC has a decent presence on TV and in the movies. If I were made EIC, I would explore expanding DC into new media directions. Chief among them would be the creation of a web based comic (similar to what Marvel has done with Spider-Woman), DC wikis, using the old Who’s Who format to collect information on characters, teams, events on-line and in CD format, and dramatic podcasts (similar to the audio adaptation of the Doomsday storyline as Superman Lives).
4) The creation of two anthology series – DC has begun to bring back the anthology series, but the concept can be expanded. The two new series would have multiple stories with rotating characters (one headliner, and an “undercard of stories). One of these series would revive the old World’s Finest series, the other could possibly be a continuation of DC’s Wednesday Comics weekly, if it is deemed to be a success.
5) Creator push – Bring in big name talent to pull in new readers is just a given. But, DC can work on developing new talent. DC ran a title in the 80s called New Talent Showcase, an anthology series featuring stories that fell outside the usual DC universe, and worked to bring new writers and artists to comic audiences. A title like this, either traditional or digital, could expand DC’s talent base and introduce new titles that can be licensed for other media.