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Tuesday, June 7, 2011

DC Comics Reboots....AGAIN

Starting in August DC Comics will be starting over its universe with 52 new #1 issues.

For the Umpmillionth time.

I’ve been through this crap with DC comics in 1986 and 1994. I stopped reading comics in 1995, but from what I’ve read the DC universe has been rebooted in 2004, 2006 and now again in 2011. DC has gone from a multiverse to a single universe back to a multiverse again. Does any of that make any sense?

It doesn’t to me and I’ve been a comic fan since I was four years old.

Five reboots in 25 years and people say DC comics are harder to get into than they were in the 1970’s. Want to know why it’s hard to get excited about DC comics? Every time readers get excited about something some hotshot writer or artist changes it. CONSTANTLY. No one stays in the same costume, or the same secret identity at DC. Hell, no one stays DEAD at DC these days. (Except for Ted Kord, cause someone at DC hates him right now) And because nothing ever stays consistent at DC comics, that’s why no one CARES about DC comic books again.

And want to know why no one cares about DC comics anymore? Along with the confusing continuity and a kajillion universes are the STUPIDEST STORIES IN THE HISTORY OF COMICS. For the past year Superman has been walking cross country to FIND HIMSELF. Recently he renounced his American Citizenship after going to Iran to help out with an anti-government protest. What kind of hippie bullshit is this? This is Superman, the man of steel, truth, justice and the AMERICAN Way. More powerful than a locomotive and faster than a speeding bullet.

Someone at DC needs to understand people don’t plunk down cash to read Superman comics with him doing punk shit like traveling across the country to find himself and fighting for Iran. That’s like watching WWE RAW to see John Cena debate politics with Rey Mysterio.

And just like people pay money to watch John Cena and Rey Mysterio kick ass in the ring, those same people pay money to read about Superman kick some supervillian’s ass in Metropolis.

If superhero comics are gonna survive they need to get back to the basics. Heroes stopping bank robbers, supervillians, and robots. People in tights kicking ass and taking names. Superheroes are an escape, a break from our lives. If I want deep and introspective I’ll go read a novel.

Which is what the current crop of over 35 comic book readers need to do instead of ruining the medium for the next generation.

Want to know what’s ironic about this fifth reboot? DC says it’s trying to reach younger readers. Younger readers who haven’t cracked open a comic in eighteen years due to high prices and the problems I listed above.

Seriously, I doubt those same kids will be coming back to comics if DC is going to continue to offer them stories about Superman going to find himself for three bucks a pop. Unless Superman finds himself kicking some ass and tearing up shit, no kids are going to care.

Seriously, what younger readers are going to buy 32-page comic books that cost a whopping $2.99 a copy at retail? Comics that aren’t available at Wal-marts, Targets, supermarkets, and places CHILDREN GO? That retailers refuse to stock because they can’t RETURN THEM?

But those distribution issues don’t matter to the eggheads at DC Comics. According to DC, there will be E-comics for the kiddies to put on their ipods, cell phones and ipads.

At the low price of $2.99 a copy.

Wow, that’s a real value to a kid with a $10-$15 allowance.

A kid can get 3 songs on itunes for that. They can get 3 episodes of a TV show, or credits for an online game for that much. Hell, you can get a full 400 page novel like The Temptation of John Haynes for $1.99 on Smashwords, or a YA eBook on Amazon for about the same. And those books and songs are DRM free, which means you can swap them from device to device to trade and share with your friends.

Oh and did I mention there are numerous better Webcomics like Something*Positive, Penny & Aggie, Girls With Slingshots, Shortpacked! Ctrl+Alt +Del Treading Ground and Questionable Content available for FREE all over the net?

Why should a kid spend $2.99 for a crappy DC comic when they have a bunch of better, cheaper entertainment options in front of them? Options that cost less than the price of 52 comic books?

Doing the math: 52 comics x $2.99 = $155.48.

$155.48? What 10-12 year-old kids have $155.48 available to spend on comic books?

A kid could buy three WWE pay-per-views for that much money and have some cash left over for some WWE action figures. At least John Cena will still be the champ when it’s all over.

And what the editors at DC comics don’t understand is that it’s socially it’s much more acceptable to kids to say they’ve seen the latest WWE pay-per-view than say you’ve read the latest Superman or Batman comic book. Comic books are at the bottom the social food chain. Always have been and always will be.

Besides, a child can keep up with what’s going on in the WWE after a month or two. I can’t say the same thing for DC comics. I needed a Tylenol after reading about some superheroes on Wikipedia and I haven’t read a comic in seventeen years. Yeah, it’s that aggravating.

Seriously DC Comics don’t need another reboot. What they need is a strong editor to supervise their titles. Someone who will set a direction for the company’s numerous superhero titles with a focus on action and adventure equal to that of a summer movie. Someone who will make these artists and writers check their egos at the door and put the characters first. Someone who won’t care if you’re Jeph Loeb, Jim Lee, Geoff Johns, Brian Michael Bendis, Ethan Van Scivier or Grant Morrison; the mission of the character and premise of the comic comes first. Someone with the balls to tell these hotshot creators that to their faces, and will let the door hit them in the ass if they don’t get it. A leader who will keep things consistent so events in each title flow into each other. Someone like the late Mark Gruenwald. The late Dick Giordano The late Julius Schwartz and Jim Shooter. A no-nonsense BOSS who will put their foot down and get these creative types to understand that they aren’t bigger than the characters they work on. That their work has to fit within a commercial standard that appeals to readers of all ages. Books that were easy to read, easy to follow, and most of all fun to read.

If they had a strong editor at the helm, then DC comics wouldn’t need to reboot every eight seconds, introducing the eighth or ninth version of whatever Superman, Batman or Wonder Woman.

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