DC The New 52 Failures
DC generated a ton of publicity and a lot of interest when they restarted their entire comic line with DC The New 52. The plan to go big has been successful in many ways, including on the sales chart. Yet there is one big way in which they are falling down, and it may end up harming both segments of the market they want: the diehard fans, and the new reader.
Bottom line up front: DC has drastically changed certain characters that need no changing, committed errors in trying to weave new crossovers, and dramatically failed in their first big crossover story, in a way that actually hurts store owners.
Let me state some evidence for the jury, if you will.
Immediate crossovers with backwards dates
The very first month of the debut of the new line, Stormwatch #1 came out. On the first page, the plot involves a horn that has been blown. The editorial comment at the bottom tells us that we won’t get to see the horn being blown until the END OF THE MONTH?!? So let me get this straight: your old universe was too complicated, so you wanted to start over and make it easy for the readers. So a new reader comes aboard, and if he can make sense out of the first page, the realization is that you are most definitely not being presented with a complete story. You are being dumped into the middle of who-knows-what, and you have to go get a completely different title that won’t be out for some time if you want to get a complete picture? This sounds 100% against the very mandate that caused them to start over in the first place.
So let’s follow the thread and see where it takes us. In Superman #1, one of the flagship titles, the story is interrupted in the middle with an alien blowing a horn. The scene has no apparent effect upon the rest of the story, but there is an editorial comment to go check out Stormwatch #1. So after that editorial tease, all that a new reader gets is literally a scene of someone blowing a horn… and that’s it. No other tie-in. For the modern audience with the shorter attention span, who out there thinks this new reader will hang around for six months to see how it all really ties in together?
Here was the thinking of the big corporation that is now DC: DC had absorbed the Wildstorm universe, a creation of Jim Lee, who is now high in the ranks of power in the halls of DC. Maybe this was part of a deal dating back to the purchase of the company, maybe it’s all a salve for Jim Lee, who knows, but the plan is to incorporate all of the Wildstorm characters into the DC The New 52 universe, much as DC has done with characters of other companies through the years, to (overall) small success. They are still, to this day, struggling to find a way for Captain Marvel to shine!
The plan was this: the Wildstorm characters will have a hard time gaining an audience, so we will cross them over with one of our most popular heroes, and try to tie them into this “DC The New 52” universe fabric, so it feels like they “matter.” To put it short: DC went with a cheap celebrity guest-star approach to make you tune in, and the way they did it was chronologically out of order, and senseless in its execution. Diehard fans irritated, new readers confused or impatient.
Tune in next week for part II of DC The New 52: More stories out of order and spelling errors
tpull is Travis Pullen. He started reading comics at 5 years old, and he can’t seem to stop.