DC Comics’ new launch

DC Comics’ new launch

DC’s revamp strategy was much needed, but will it work?

Looking back on the past three years I’ve picked up Grant Morrison’s run on Batman, Hellblazer odd issues 100 Bullets and odds and ends of Vertigo titles.

Their Superman/Batman title has always been good fun, but the Green Lantern/Flash/Brightest Day stuff left me cold.

Put succinctly, the reason I don’t pick-up more DC books then I do their competitors is because on the whole their competitors put out more interesting books.

By interesting I don’t just mean better written, I mean whole genres and new concepts are available from other publishers.

What made DC a success in the early 1980s (remember the new DC there’s no stopping us now?) was developing works outside the superhero genre while keeping their superhero works sophisticated and thrilling.

The remit of DC’s re-launch seems to be superhero books. Yes, they’ve classed books as “Edge” and “Dark” but they’re essentially superheroes.

This leads me to believe that the thrust of the re-launch is about making their stable of characters more marketable for movie franchises—something which Marvel has been acing them at since the first X-Men movie came out. DC have had Batman movies and the Smallville TV series, but that’s been it.

Marvel’s stable of characters make an easier transition to movies because they are two-dimensional. Superman fights crime and does good. So does Batman but he’s a bit moody. Spiderman fights crime but moreover juggles the foibles of living the life of a teenager—something that everyone can relate to.

I expect Jim Lee on pencils and Adam Hughes on covers will be (relatively) fleeting affairs, so the long-term goal for DC is to ensure their superhero brands remain relevant and contemporary. This isn’t about more fight scenes and less talking heads, but asking: is this comic book interesting?

Readers may care about a re-designed Superman so long as Jim Lee draws him, but after that, then what?

I think DC should have used this opportunity to branch out into other genres AND supported it with an aggressive marketing campaign.
That to me would be a more telling sign about just how “new” its re-launch ethic is.

posted by admin at 8:07 pm  

No Comments »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a comment