The Only Possible Way That DC Starting Over Could be Somewhat Awesome
DC Comics is relaunching their universe. Again.
In September, all DC Universe titles will start over at #1 with new creative teams, new continuity, and new costumes. Well, slightly updated costumes by the man responsible for this travesty:
Sorry, Jim, but you kinda lost your costume design credit when you churned out this mess. I mean, seriously, the fuck is going on with Cyborg? The hell is all that mess hanging off of him? He looks like his mechanic riced him out all wrong. And is Hal’s ring on his cock now? Is he making up for some deficiencies with his gatling penis? Not a fan. Although, you got rid of Superman’s red Underoos so I’ll give you points for that. Those always looked stupid to me.
Anyway, we don’t have much in the way of details other than creative teams and that big splash image of the new JLA. The other news is that they will be releasing digital versions of comics the same day which sounds kind of awesome until you learn that they’re going to cost as much as their dead tree counterparts. $4.00 for a digital comic that I can only read in an properly compatible app? Fuck you very much. I don’t want my comics on an app controlled by a company that might go out of business. The only way digital comics make sense to me is if I fucking own the file and can read it wherever the fuck I want on whatever reader I want. Just like my paper comics.
My Super Art Fight cohort Marty is pretty upset about this announcement. To him, it sounds like DC is just giving up, that this is all a publicity stunt, and that ultimately, it’s not going to stick. He’s right. It definitely smells of all those things. And to make matters worse, alienating your existing fan base to court a market that really isn’t interested in comics, especially floppies that cost $4, is a sure fire way to shoot yourself in the foot. This move makes no sense. Sure, there may be a small sales bump, but it’s going to fizzle out quickly.
However, there is one possible way that this won’t suck.
Tell A Complete Story Every Issue
If scrubbing continuity a little bit lets writers break away from the past and tell new stories that don’t depend on an encyclopedic knowledge of the entire DC Universe, this could be a welcome change. But to truly win back readers to comics, you gotta make those $4 really count. No one wants to spend that kind of money on a fraction of a story. They want the whole thing. That’s why the trade market is doing so well, that’s why the manga market is still chugging along, that’s why comics are getting into libraries.
Readers want complete stories. It is quite possible to tell a complete story within 22 pages. Hell, Stan the Man Lee used to tell at least two complete stories in 24 pages! It can be done and it can be done well. $4 for a complete story. That’s all I ask. It can even be part of a larger arc. But it’s gotta have a beginning, middle, and end.
Otherwise, why bother rebooting your universe. Clearly what you’re doing now isn’t working. Just splashing on a new coat of paint isn’t going to fool anyone.