I'm stuck in an awkward position, and not because I slept on the couch again. I review comics every Friday, but this isn't the only place that my reviews appear. They also appear over at the Comic Kings site. Comic Kings has been very good to me over the years, and I'm more than happy to put my reviews up on their site. Its minimal trouble, and decent exposure for my blog. I also put the occasional comic related piece or comic movie review up.
On here, I've been pretty clear about what I think about the impending DC reboot. However, I've been keeping my feeling on this mum on the Comic Kings site, because while I'm not going to be buying DC comics once this thing goes into full swing, I don't want the shops business to be hurt. They've been very cool about my feelings about this. They didn't say anything when I started scratching stuff off my pull list. Right now as far as my DC reading I'm down to ACTION COMICS, DETECTIVE COMICS, BATMAN INCORPORATED, and BATGIRL. But I have been adding other titles to my list like MORNING GLORIES, THE WALKING DEAD, and USAGI YOBIMBO. While I don't see myself quickly making up the gap in my reading, I'm sure it'll pick up a bit.
Let's talk about the point of this reboot: getting new readers. The Missus asked a brilliant question when we talked about this, "With them trying to get new readers, are they trying to get rid of the old ones?" I've seen the renumbering stunt quite a few times before. Its something I never really approved of. The thought is that people feel more comfortable jumping onboard a title with its first issue. I never thought I'd see the day that they do this to ACTION COMICS or DETECTIVE COMICS. That's not even my main gripe. They say that they want to move the DCU into the 21st century. I know that there's a problem with some things time-wise. There's characters from World War II still active who have to be pushing ninty and that's being generous. But I'm looking at who they have on board for this. A lot of these guys have had their heyday nearly twenty years ago.
Rob Leifeld is drawing a book? And the defenders of it are the people who read HAWK AND DOVE way back in the 80s? How's that going for new readers? Jim lee is designing outfits which look like the stuff he was designing back in the 90s. I've gotten a look at the covers for these impending first issues, and a lot of them really do look like early image books. This isn't a good thing.
And what on Earth are we doing having artists double as writers again? Tony Daniel, Ethan Van Sciver, and J.H. Williams III are all writing books. I'm going to say this as nicely as possibly: just because you can draw a comic does not mean you can write one. No one is asking Grant Morrison to go draw a comic, now are they. We saw a lot of this in early 90s Marvel and Image, and we got a lot of really stupid comics from that little experiment. Speaking of Image, a lot of Jim Lee's Image creations will be melded into the DCU proper. There's also going to be a "darker" side to the DCU. I bet it'll be dark and epic! Epic and Dark! And George Perez is writing SUPERMAN. You're not going to hear me say a single bad word about George Perez, but this is a guy who can draw any character doing anything and make it look like spot on. Why is one of the best artists ever in comics writing a book and not drawing one?
Where's Bryan Q. Miller in all this. I'm not seeing his name anywhere. They show Mark Waid the door. Greg Rucka gets out. Nick Spencer gets off the reservation. Now I'm not seeing anything by one of the most enjoyable writers currently in DC. But Judd Winick is still around. Yay.
Speaking of writers, there's a bit of confusion going on. Some people are saying that everything that's gone on in the DCU has still happened. Others are saying that this is taking the characters back to earlier points in their lives, hence Barbara Gordon walking again. (Sidenote: way to show diversity. Have your premier disabled character magically out of her wheelchair.) But Geoff Johns said that all the stuff he's done with "Blackest Night" and his other crap have happened. And somehow all of the Robins are around in some way. But Lois and Clark aren't married anymore. There's no consistency here, unless its "Geoff Johns is awesome and we won't write off anything he did".
So, obviously I don't what DC is up to one bit. But a part of me is stupid and thinks that this'll all just be temporary, and in six months they'll come back to their senses and put everything back as they found it. This is the same part that previously said stupid things like "There's no way they'd be dumb enough to bring back Barry Allen." I still can't bring myself to wish ill on the company because if this goes horribly, and it will, then likely they'll make an even worse decision to try to "fix" things. I love the DCU. I love the characters. Its the editorial shenanigans that should be helping books get out and not making dictates as to what they want to see. They say they want to move forwards, but all I'm seeing is a lot of looking backwards.
Will this help bring in new readers? No. I'm honestly expecting the numbers to go down. All of this won't bring in anyone who doesn't currently read comics. If you want to see new readers you have to get comics in view of people who don't normally read them. Can't really get them on newsstands anymore. Even 7-11 is doing away with selling anything more than newspapers are far as reading material. Really it comes down to the current readers. They have to be willing to say to a friend "hey, I think you might dig this" and put an issue in their hand. I did that the other day with one of my students. They forgot the book they were reading at home. I had an issue of TEEN TITANS in the car and she wanted something to read while her father's class was in session. She loved it. I've created more new readers than this stunt DC is pulling will.
So, if you're excited about what you are seeing from DC's plans, then by all means go buy the books. Hope you enjoy them. I'm going to be off reading something else.
Any time is a good time for some Warren Zevon.
That's it for me today. See y'all Wednesday.