That darn Barry Alllen! He comes back and leaves a mess all over the place!

 

DC relaunches all titles post-Flashpoint

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Some are completists.

Stories with endings are something I am profoundly in favour of.

 

However, does this mean the end of junkie dead-cat-swinging Arsenal?  Hopefully he will go out swinging something really great. 

 

Like a dead giraffe, or heh!  this is comics!  A dead Sumo-wrestler?

Would Roy like to swing with a star?

Get a brand new Red Arrowcar?

And hang out at the Ace O'Clubs Bar...

Or would he rather grow an arm?

[/Bing Crosby]

 

 

The slow leaks of information has accomplished at least one positive thing...more people are talking about DC Comics than have in years.  By letting the news out slowly, anticpation is built, which may lead to a lot of new people sampling their books, either in paper or digital.  I think, so far, their marketing plan is working very well, despite the opinion of some cranky fanboys (present company excluded).

 

 

Don Collett said:

Would Roy like to swing with a star?

Get a brand new Red Arrowcar?

And hang out at the Ace O'Clubs Bar...

Or would he rather grow an arm?

[/Bing Crosby]


...If there is to be " an entirely new universe " , eeh , perhaps it could be good , even making a walking , super-heroing Barbara Gordon , even ( gaak ) a single Lois-Clark - but I , personally , would like , then , New Earth to continue to exist as a previous Earth ( even if , in the first yearish or so of Newest Earth , it wasn't referred to too much for a while ) .

  Perhaps that sums my feelings up .

  People reflexively dis the pre-COIE setup in the DCU - why was it so bad ?????????

  Now , I'll grant that perhaps DC fell back too much on it in the early 80s , at least by the standards of the time...

  FTM , Marvel always says " We're not going to have alternate Earths like Earth-1/Earth-2...What ??? Like they DON'T have Days Of Future Past , Marvel Apes , the ULTIMATE universe , etc ?...

I'm on the record, as one of the guys reading comics before CoIE, that I don't there wasn't anything wrong with the pre-Crisis DC multiverse. I've said before and I'll say again that I believe that when the pros were saying before "Crisis" that the multiverse was too complicated for fans to keep track of, what they were really saying was that THEY were tired of keeping track of it. AFAIK, the fans -- and as I say, I was one of them -- enjoyed the multiverse hugely. From my perspective, CoIE was a solution looking for a problem, and its ultimate result was to greatly REDUCE story possibilities ... which I don't think anyone in their right mind thinks is a good idea.

 

And they lost 50 years of relatively easy-to-understand continuity that everyone -- including NON-comics fans -- was familiar with. Green Lantern? Brown-haired guy, pilot of some kind. Flash? Blonde guy, policeman or something. Teen Titans? Robin, and sidekicks of some other heroes. And so forth. Even after Green Lantern and Flash had been other guys for years, the general public still thought they were Hal Jordan and Barry Allen (even if they couldn't remember their names).That's how important the original DCU was -- even after all these years, it's still the baseline.

 

That being said, if the current DCU goes away this time, I won't really cry if there isn't an "Earth-2010" somewhere in the multiverse, because I'm not really attached to it. At least not as much as I was attached to the pre-Crisis DCU, which had not only been the only DCU my whole life -- which many fans can say about any given era -- it was the only DCU there had ever been. Now when you say "DC Universe" the obvious rejoinder is "which one"? If you want to talk about something that's hard for fans to keep track of, then talk about endless revamps and reboots.

Just thought everyone should take a look at this press release in the Comics News section, where DC list some of the new titles.

Flash? Wonder Woman? Aquaman? Hawkman? Not too surprising.

Firestorm? Captain Atom? Mister Terrific? Very surprising!

I've thought for several years that Mr. Terrific could hold his own book.

I think such a decision also bodes well that we won't neccessarily get ten Bat-titles.

Well, we probably will get that many, but at least they aren't just "re-upping" every title they have. They're thinking a bit outside the box.

Another side announcement, if you didn't notice is that the Wildstorm Universe will be officially integrated into the DCU.

With that in mind, if you could be the one to decide on the 52 new books, what would you pick? What current titles would you drop?

If you want to talk about something that's hard for fans to keep track of, then talk about endless revamps and reboots.

It's interesting that, back in the day that Cap remembers for having one unified universe, the rule of thumb was that comics readership turned over every three to five years. In that way, continuity from longer ago than that wasn't all that necessary. But in 1966, at the real peak of the Silver Age, 20 years earlier meant that WW II had just ended and the Golden Age was ending. That was a LONG time ago, and few comics readers knew about them first-hand.

Nowadays, we discuss DC screwing up its universes and not restarting all its comics the way it is now during an event that happened 25 years ago as if it was recent. Fans have really long memories today, because they've been around a long time.

I think DC and Marvel continue to try to find ways to reinvent themselves because they keep seeing their readership dwindle away as it gets tired of the characters and the commitment required, and they don't know how to attract anyone new. All the Point-One and big event scenarios don't do the job. So they keep rebooting and revamping, as if new costumes are going to make someone new pick up a comic they feel shut out from.

Unfortunately, I think most of these things give people a chance to say it's time to go, and they don't really attract anyone new, because they don't address the problem: the need to create stories that don't require huge commitments and that have an actual ending where something is resolved and is understandable.

Instead, they make them ever more dense and convoluted to try to wring more money out of the remaining fans before those fans realize how much they're spending to never see the story end and they get out. I see a number of fans on this board saying this looks like their jumping-off point. I've been there, too.

Apps and digital comics are a great way to try to expand the market, because they're aimed at the young who are looking for new ideas and do everything digitally. But if they have to read 12 comics this month to understand what's going on, and the story doesn't create a satisfying ending but simply leads into the next event, it won't matter.

I don't really mind 10 Superman or Batman comics; what I want is each to tell an individual story that gets its points resolved in a few issues at best. If fans have to read them all to follow a story, I can't imagine that doing it digitally will make a difference.

The titles and creative teams can be interesting, but unless those stories make it easier to read a story and feel like it was worth the money on its own, then they're just spreading the pie out and endangering comics shops.

Clear, concise, self-contained storytelling may not be what all fans want. Certainly, the buying patterns indicate it may not be. But it's apparent the publishers think they need to do something to hang onto their dwindling audience, and IMO they haven't tried accessible storytelling in many years. So it might be worth a shot now that they have this new "jumping on" point.

I'll be interested in how they approach the storyllines and how soon they have the next big event that has dominated comics for some years. 

-- MSA

It definitely solves the problem of discovering I need to read Potato Man #76 on sale this week (or at least it was supposed to be) to make sense of the latest issue of Super Spuds, meaning I have to go back to the store or remember to buy it next time. I can just download it into my reader. But it doesn't eliminate the problem of stories becoming a bigger investment than expected when I picked up my regular SS issue this month.

I think that unplanned (and required) investment is what wears out readers, along with the suspicion that all these must-have added comics aren't really going to add much to the story. DC and Marvel don't have our confidence that our investment will pay off in the end, whenever it comes.

I've also been reading that all the hyperlinks and such in Web stories is making for disjointed reading, in that people go off to read ancillary material that leads elsewhere, etc., and they go off on tangents and never return to the original story. People don't read for long on any one Web page any more.

I don't know that it would impact comics as much, and I do see the benefits of having links to comics rather than simply footnotes. But it may not solve the problem of feeling overwhelmed.

Having long subplots in the background isn't the problem so much as having them come up after they started somewhere else, or moving them somewhere else so I don't get to see them resolved. 

I think there's room for both kinds of approaches, and some comics, like the big super-team books or Legion, may be the best places for bringing all those histories together and then having specific stories move back to the hero's own title. The biggest concern is that I can't read the Superman story in Action Comics and have it make sense because I've missed three-fourths of the story that month in other titles.

-- MSA

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