The Final Rant: Relapse

It's only because of Ivan Reis' artwork that I stick around...
It’s only because of Ivan Reis’ artwork that I stick around…

I know. I said I wouldn’t do this again and I’m not… Not really…

Ok, maybe a little bit…

I’m being especially hard on DC with this post (like it matters to them). Before getting into the business, I was a DC kid growing up. Batman was my guy and DC was the home of Batman. The company was my gateway drug and I am extremely disappointed at how poorly they’ve “cut the product.” It definitely doesn’t pack the same punch anymore. It’s weak.

Ever since the success of The Avengers, the powers-that-be at the Rabbit (Warner Brothers), have totally lost their shit. Every business decision (because, let’s face it, they’re dead creatively) has been “How can we be Marvel?” And, they’ve messing up ever since.

The Letters Column... Still a brilliant marketing tool...
The Letters Column… Still a brilliant marketing tool…

One of the most brilliant marketing tools ever utilized by Stan Lee was the letters column. By personalizing it in the beginnings of the Marvel Comics brand, he brought the fan base together with interaction.

The thing about that interaction was the creation of a false sense of familiarity by the fans as if their opinions mattered in how the characters were going to be portrayed. This false sense of inclusion has mutated into the delusion that “The Corporate Two” actually care about the hard-core fan’s opinion of how they’re going to make their movies…

But, they don’t care. Hard core fan dollars are a drop in the bucket compared to the casual fans. The books aren’t driving the market anymore. The movies are. The toys are. The television shows are. That’s where the big money is. Besides, no matter how loud the hard core fans bitch, moan and cry wolf, they are gonna be there opening night, first in line, ready to drop them dollars…

Your pushers have you very well trained.

Word up, it's Guardians of the Gal... My bad, Justice League United...
Word up, it’s Guardians of the Gal… My bad, Justice League United…

Ironically though, if you think about a business and the “1000 True Fan” concept of business, DC Comics as the comic book publishing / intellectual property development division of Warner Brothers have been messing up royally by completely ignoring / understanding / accepting the properties they have. They are trying to be Marvel… And they are failing miserably. The “New 52” universe is a shambling mess of storytelling sacrificed for the “Event” mentality…

Seriously. A reality-threatening crisis every six months that has to, in some way, involve every book on your roster by mining concepts that happened a mere four years ago (i.e. Future’s End, a not-so-subtly a cheap imitation of Infinite Crisis) or haphazardly shoehorning classic concepts into the latest hollow “game-changing” event (i.e. the Anti-Monitor at the end of Forever Evil).

Even the animated films, where DC killed, have gone down in terms of entertainment value because of the sloppy marketing / “creative” mandates of the New 52. The only place where DC has been DC (and has worked financially and creatively) is Arrow and, hopefully from the looks of it, the upcoming Flash and Constantine series.

What’s going to happen is that the casual fan, the movie-going fan, will go on to the next shiny thing that catches their eye. But, by alienating the “1000 True Fans,” and the Mouse and the Rabbit are going to look at “The Corporate Two (really I’m talking about DC because their recent strategy has been deplorable) as liabilities rather than assets.

Yeah... Boo...
Yeah… Boo…

Last bit of rant before I go: while we’re on the subject, how messed up is it that the co-publishers of DC include a person of Korean descent and Arab descent while Marvel editor-in chief is Latino, yet we have continued half-assed attempts at diversity shoved down our throats? Let’s take my mathematical equation concerning the “new” Wally West as an example:

Costume – Color Theory / Meaningful Backstory X Half-ass Cultural Pandering = Yuck.

In terms of “diversity,” Marvel is light years ahead of DC… Which, isn’t saying much. Currently, it publishes multiple books featuring characters of color or women as the lead (Mighty Avengers, the upcoming Storm, Ghost Rider, Ms. Marvel, Captain Marvel, Ultimate Spider Man, She Hulk, Black Widow, Elektra) and is the proud employer of the (at this writing) one Black writer working for “The Corporate Two” since 2009 in the camp.

DC just cancelled Batwing (thank G_d), the last book in their roster featuring a hero of color as the lead.

C’mon, y’all. Quit being geeked for small pickins’… We don’t have to eat chitlins anymore…

But, don’t get it twisted… I know nobody’s listening, and I’ve got to get back to work.

http://www.griotenterprises.com

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7 thoughts on “The Final Rant: Relapse”

  1. Just out of curiousity, do you not consider John Stewart the lead of GL Corps? I know it’s an ensemble book, but he does seem to be the real focus character…

  2. I agree. That’s why I avoided the Doomsday storyline. Trying to avoid “event” books is the thing for me right now, including “Forever Evil,” “Future’s End,” and “Original Sin.” I’m afraid the Justice League United is trying to be DC’s version of Guardians of the Galaxy. I’m actually reading Swamp Thing, which has been really good. The Red Lanterns/Supergirl crossover has been decent. Aquaman has been good and I’m reading it right now. Besides those, DC hasn’t really been up to snuff at all. Batman ’66 is actually pretty tight. This coming from a DC adherent since 1986. Marvel on the other hand has done a great job with great story telling. If they’re not careful, though, they’re going to alienate those hard-core fans you speak of. The New 52 is horrible by the way.

    1. There are 5 books in the New 52 that I look forward to every month

      All-Star Western
      Green Lantern Corps
      Flash
      Swamp Thing
      Wonder Woman

      1. Yeah… I’m leaving Wonder Woman after this storyline ends as well as Batman after Year Zero. Justice League and Earth 2 will probably follow soon after that. There is simply no more joy to be had reading DC Comics for me anymore.

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