Posts Tagged ‘dc’

I don’t like to be negative about another writer. After all, they poured their heart, soul, and a lot of time into their work. So, I’ll talk about some good work first.

“Fantastic Four 1 2 3 4” stands out in my mind as among the best stories the team has been in. Dr. Doom systematically takes them down one at a time. Finally, he comes for Reed at the end of the third issue. And the cliffhanger has Doom asking what Reed’s been doing wasting away in his little laboratory while the people he loves are being attacked. Reed says, “Well, Victor, I’ve been thinking…”

Chills. Such a great cliffhanger.

It was written by Grant Morrison. So I had high hopes for “Final Crisis.”

I get it. It was a farce, in every definition. It was taking crossover event comics to an extreme to see just how much you can push it before fans say “No.”

He supposedly said in an interview: “And it’s taking a lot of trends that I see in comics and pushing them to the max to see, ‘do we really want it to be like this’?” Well, I guess we learned the answer is “no.”

I’m not a fan of Orion, but to kill him off so unceremoniously was just disrespectful to the character and to the hundreds of creators who have worked on him over the decades. And then to do the same to Martian Manhunter. At this point, I logged out. Mentally. Just didn’t care what happened the rest of the story. When he was brought back in “Blackest Night,” I shrugged, because in my mind he shouldn’t have been dead to begin with.

It was as if some bully came over your house, broke your toys, and left you to clean up the mess.

It bothers me when a creator does what they want without the understanding that these are real characters who have existed for decades before you and would have existed for decades after you if you hadn’t screwed them up.

I know the purpose of the story was to unite certain elements and prepare the DCU for events. But it was very blatant. Forced.

My friend said “He brought back the Flash.”

Yeah. He also brought back Captain Carrot and the Zoo Crew.

I get that it’s supposed to be meta. You can do meta and still have a good story. Like Astro City.

I had intended to buy Batman 700 when it came out, but knowing he wrote it, I won’t. I know I won’t like it. A lot of the aftermath stories by other writers have been pointless as well.

When Alan Moore wanted to alter or destroy a bunch of old characters, DC wouldn’t let him. Instead, he just made up new versions and created “Watchmen.” If you know the old characters, you know who Rorschach and everyone else is supposed to be.

Someone should have stopped Morrison from doing this. “Final Crisis” should have been an Elseworlds.

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“No. Freaking. Way.”

That was a quote from the “Billy Batson and the Power of Shazam” story in DC Kids Mega Sampler 2010. While not a curse word, I doubt you’ll find a parent that would be happy to have a child reading or saying that word.

DC fucked up.

There were several stories in the book, and each one had some non-kiddie issues in it.

The Batman-Martian Manhunter story was OK, if for an older crowd. But as a sampler, I guess anything goes.

I thought the Tiny Titans were cute, but there wasn’t anything there, really. Stretched really thin with a few jokes only adults would get.

A tangram puzzle with an obscure character like Angle Man.

I don’t know. Maybe I’m just overly sensitive to it because I constantly keep an eye out for kids’ comics. My own daughter just turned three, and asks me to read comic books to her. I just sum up the story while we go through the pictures, but still.

At least there were non-DC ads in it.

And I don’t think I even saw a Marvel kids’ book.

Paging through Marvel’s monster 104-page Amazing Spider-Man #600, there were only 3 ads. The inside covers and the back cover. And they were all for Marvel licensed products. Jackets, toothpaste holders, and statues.

Maybe this was done on purpose. It’s a big, special issue. And a lot of ads would have been needed to reduce that $4.99 cover price. (I was expecting to pay that much anyway. It’s worth it for a milestone issue.)

But where have the advertisers gone? I’ve been reading the original Transformers series from Marvel. In the late 1980s, movie companies advertised for films like “The Last Starfighter” and “The Heavenly Kid.” There were pages broken up, where advertisers bought half page and quarter page ads. Even eighth page! A lot of this space was taken up by people trying to sell comics out of their store or collection. Asking readers to send 50 cents for a catalog.

It could be that comics’ readership is harder to define these days. When you think of the average comic book reader, it’s an adult male. These are not people to whom you would market Reese’s Pieces or Bonkers candy. I think adult readers’ tastes are too different to sum up in any area.

Also, I think the speculation craze in the 1990s hurt this as well. A comic might have sold 200,000 issues, but half of those were bagged and boarded and never read. And maybe advertisers found that out.

A few years back, I looked up DC’s ad rates. They had them broken up by age bracket: All ages, tween, teen and adult. So if Sony was marketing a kid’s video game, they would put it in the all ages books like Batman Adventures.

A little bit of a spiral has taken place. Readership has gotten older. Publishers cater to the larger crowd. Advertisers drop off. Prices go up.

An article in Entertainment Weekly questioned if there will ever be another show as good/popular as “Lost.” The short answer is probably not.

What they excluded in the long answer is a term coined in comic book coverage called “event fatigue.” Basically, there are so many huge stories, one right after another, that readers grow weary. In comic books, it’s like: “End of the Avengers Civil War Skrull Invasion” and it never ends. Readers just don’t have the emotional capacity to care anymore. Like crossovers, and the return of a beloved dead character, the industry took something good and overdid it.

So, no one has the capacity to get into another hour-long show full of mysteries that may or may not ever be solved. TV stations routinely try to duplicate a formula. “If it worked once, it will work a million times,” they think. But none of them have heard of event fatigue.

In my own comics, I’m prone to wanting to do big events, because that’s what I’m reading. But when I step away from it for a minute, I realize that the stories I really remember, that really feel good, are short and sweet. One-shots, even. Nothing even has to “happen.” You could miss this issue and still understand the continuity. All you’d miss is a really good issue.