You’d think after spending four years taking pot shots at Marvel & DC (the “Big Two”), I would be out of ammo at this point… Or that one of us would be dead by now. Well, since neither of those things are going to happen anytime soon– it’s probably best that I just keep going. I mean, if they’re not going to stop pouring crap into the market– why should I stop commenting on it?
I really do look forward to the day these two corporations (owned by even more massive media conglomerates) aren’t squeezing every nickel and dime they can out of their readership… Continuously promising large-scale events with “big changes in store”– then almost immediately following up with another series to clean up said changes…
Hey wait! Does any of this sound familiar, like a non-stop broken record that repeats itself yearly (or bi-yearly)? Cause that’s probably the perfect encapsulation of what it feels like when I read superhero comics from DC and Marvel… Like I am reading a broken series of comics that repeat themselves over and over.
I hope to see the day comic books from the Big Two aren’t stuck in never-ending second acts. When you invest your time and money in entertainment products– be they TV Series, Films, Video Games or Comics– there should be some sort of permanent pay off at the end. The comic book reader, at the very least, deserves some sort of resolution that leads to some type of satisfaction… Especially when they’re paying a $3.99 premium per issue.
On a related note, I also look forward to the Big Guys not hanging all of their stories on some big mystery or reveal that oftentimes doesn’t pay off to the magnitude hoped for. Mostly, you used to read this type of tale from the likes of Brian Michael Bendis. Now you’re getting the same shit from Geoff Johns (after DC’s New 52 opened a kind of Pandora’s Box)… And unfortunately now from such previously praised writers as relative newcomer Scott Snyder– with his overly long Bat Family potboiler Court of Owls. For the future of superhero comics, I do look forward to these, and many other repetitive practices, coming to an end. But as Dr. Manhattan lamented at the end of Watchmen, “Nothing ends… Nothing ever ends.”
DC recently announced they will be launching a series of one-in-done comic one-shots that will feature New 52 versions of old DC characters that appeared under the National Comics logo. My immediate reaction was, “This is what they should have done with the new DC Universe Presents in the first place!” There was no reason to kick that series off with a five issue Deadman origin story– that SHOULD have lasted one– two issues– at the most.
I’m not the only who shares this sentiment nor am I the only one who thinks when National Comics starts DC Universe Presents will be next New 52 comic to get the axe. Is it coincidence that the last issue of DC Universe Presents current story arc ships the same month National Comics #1 debuts? I think not.
Anyway, I’m finally getting my series of one-shots, so I should be happy, right? But here’s the thing: National Comics is a series featuring characters I don’t care about and it’s $3.99. That’s two strikes against it already… And with the exception of the first issue’s creative team, I don’t care for the writers and artists that have been announced (so far) for the other issues. So, I think I’ll pass on this title until a character and creative team arrives that’s worth my attention.
DC’s efforts on the digital front (at least for me) are far more interesting than what’s going on in their New 52. I find their digital-first titles more appealing because, as a consumer, it’s very little risk investment-wise when each issue is only priced at a dollar– as opposed to their $3.99 print counterparts.
What satisfaction I didn’t receive from National Comics, I got from the announcement of the new digital-first Batman series. This is a character I care about, coupled with creators that peak my interest. I never followed the Smallville TV show much, but I know the creative team on the Smallville Seaon 11 digital comic is rock solid– so I may give it a try. Same goes for the Ami-Comi Girls. I don’t collect the statues but the writing and art teams for the comics are great. I also started downloading Batman Beyond because the print version is $3.99– and even though I’m sure that Justice League Beyond and Superman Beyond expand the DC Beyond Universe in some way… All I really want to do is read Batman Beyond.
I should also talk about Marvel’s digital efforts. Marvel’s AR App is pretty much useless. I guess that’s why they give it out for free. As for their Infinite Comics (which are part of the free app), the camera tricks are cool and the pacing is good… And instead of seeing pages, you see individual panels… Which keeps you from skipping ahead like you might if you read it in typical print comic book format. What do I truly like about Infinite Comics? So far, they’re also only a dollar. What do I not like about Infinite Comics? They are, unsurprisingly, a tie-in to another shitty Marvel “event”.
Those are my thoughts… What say you, IMJ Nation? What do you think the future holds for superhero comics or the comics market in general?
(On a completely unrelated note: Did you see The Cabin in the Woods? If so, what did you think? I wasn’t sure if I wanted to write a review. I think I’ll leave it to one of my esteemed IMJ colleagues to offer up a more in-depth analysis of the film’s awesomeness.)