Monday, June 03, 2013

The Top Ten Reasons DC Sucks – Part 2 of 4 The Week of May 29 in Review

This has nothing to do with the week in review; this is just me in yet another of endless rants complaining about DC. It just kills me to see the characters I had grown to love are being wasted. I'm starting with the biggest problem. 

1)      Dan Didio – for all the tries at innovation and efforts to shake up the status quo he has ultimately just thrown out the baby with the bath water. His constant changing his mind causes havoc throughout the line. His idea to kill Nightwing, re-writing some of the 52 series and other things speaks to an inability to truly plan. Until he goes DC is going to have problems.

2)      The success of the re-launch of the New DCU. The initial success was a great marketing trick which allowed both Didio and Harras to actually have their positions in the company made more secure. Heck just re-launching everything would have been fine, but by letting go of the legacy without a plan has been a convoluted mess.  That is now coming home as DC sales tank.

3)      Editorial mandates and poor communication. The type of turnover we see does not happen in this industry unless there are major problems. Rumors are that DC is not paying when they ask for a re-writes even when the story was initially approved. Less well known talent may accept this to build name recognition, but many will not stand for it and have left. We will never know the full story, but the evidence speaks for itself.

4)      Implementation of a house art style. Jim Lee may be driving this, but all the books have too much of the same feel to them. The Michael Lark’s of the world and others styles seem to be lacking. Not that all the art is the exact same, but there seems to be less variety.

5)      A house writing style seems to be dominating in how many of the comics are written. Almost every DC comic starts with an action scene, bounces back to how it started and then wraps up or moves the plot forward. I get you want to start things with a bang a lot of time, but it does not need to be every issues and often a linear story telling approach can work just as well. Rely less on stunts and more on telling a good story.

6)      They are totally marketing driven. It is about events, mini-events and gimmicks. Again any book needs to be about the character and the creative team. Strong books with the right creators is a better long term strategy then zero issues, villain months or other such crap.

7)      Superman. How do you f*ck up with not having this character having the best creative teams. When the movie hits Snyder will be writing one book, but Lobdell is on the other. The lack of planning in the new 52 around Superman has been tragic. The character is undefined at this point and I have avoided his books for the better part of a year.
8)      Vertigo has been raped. The contract change, the pushing of Karen Berger out the door has reduced Vertigo to DC’s version of the ICON imprint. Some writers they like can have a book, but outside of Fables, Snyder and Lemire the line no longer exist.

9)      Everybody has to be in the DC tent. Madame Xanadu, Constantine and Swamp Thing all have to be in the new DCU. I guess the biggest problem I have with this is that Constantine has been turned into a shadow of himself. The thrill is gone and so am I.

10)  Everybody is way too young. Batman is my favorite example as they are trying to make Bruce Wayne seem to be in his twenties, but his history is already way too elaborate. If they wanted to start over they should have started over. But then no 17 bat related titles.

Lately I always need to bitch about DC. Part 3 and 4 are comic book related, promise. 

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