Monday, January 23, 2012

DC New Universe: Is something not right in the DCNU?

I had decided today after that devastating loss to the Patriots to write a blog about the Ravens my favorite Football team, but I am still in a stunned silence and have a lot to say and I only have a short window due to the truly horrendous day I am having today. But I digress. I decided to follow up on a blog I had been working on since September. My thoughts on the new DC comics universe. However due to some financial issues the week I started working on that blog, I had to give up buying comics until our finances got into a better spot. Its a slow trek but we are getting there. By September 2012 we should be a little better off. But though I do not read comics anymore I am still interested in what is going on in the comic world. So I have been following it on line. What I have seen makes me start to think maybe I should not collect comics anymore. Especially DC comics.

As of this spring 6 books will be cancelled, 6 more will take it's place and within a span of 5 months there have been almost 9 creative team changes. That is absolutly insane. THe new DCU was supposed to be a place of consistency and a new life for comic books. Though the numbers seem to be better, it has failed to attract as many new readers as they were hoping. Their numbers are starting to settle down again. And two of the new comics are going to be about Earth 2 a scenario that was cleared out in the 80s with Crisis when DC decided to have 1 world and not multiple. But now the people who grew up with the alternate worlds are bringing them back. And I hate that idea as well.  But I can't do anything.

The books appear to be knockoffs of Marvel and Image in the 90s even going so far as to hire the same writers and artists from that dark era. A great example is Rob Liefeld. One of the worst artists of all time and an even slower writer. He got a gig drawing Hawk and Dove in the new DCU. But since that got cancelled which I can only attribute to the fact that NO ONE LIKES HIS ART. He gets not 1 new gig, not 2, but 3 new gigs. Writer artist of Deathstroke the Terminator, writer of Hawkman, and co writer of Grifter. How the hell does that happen???

The creative team mess started very early when John Rozum co-writer of Static Shock (another book cancelled) left the book due to creative differences after about 2 or 3 issues. Rozum is an excellent writer and appeared to bring some really interesting ideas, but DC had artist Scott McDaniel as co-writer and they liked his cliched ideas better.  Then George Perez said he would leave the Art and co-writing of Superman after 5 issues. He went on to get the art job on one of the new books, but still after 5 issues?? Then JT Krul said he was leaving Green Arrow, Dan Jurgens left the art as well and they hired Ann Nocenti who actually is an excellent writer and female to add some more female creators to the books which is still a sticking point with some people that they do not have more female or minority talents working on any of the books. Gail Simone said she was leaving Firestorm, Ron Marz leaving Voodoo, Paul Cornell leaving Stormwatch, Fabian Nicieza leaving Legion Lost, and Kyle Higgins off of Deathstroke. Why? Who knows? Creative differences, creative boredom, no freedom to write. New projects, who knows, but that is still a massive amount of turnover in the new universe which is still in its infancy.

The books that got cancelled: Hawk and Dove (Rob Liefeld, not well known characters), Static Shock (minority lead), Mr. Terrific (minority lead), Blackhawks (not superheroic), Men of War (ditto), OMAC (too weird, too Kirbyesqe). So two minority lead books, two books that dared to try something different in the DC Comics world, one hack artist, and one bizarre character no one has heard of, or liked the Kirbyesqe tribute.

I understand all new companies have growing pains, but this just goes to show you that something isn't right in the world of comics and who knows if they can get it back.

1 comment:

  1. Finally was able to comment! This seemed to have been disabled last week. I'm most bummed about Zatanna being cancelled. Strong woman, interesting stories so DEATH TO YOU! I agree with you; growing pains are one thing but to struggle so desperately to find a niche? rebrand? for a company that has been around for what, 60 years if not more? This smacks of desperation and grasping at straws. Perhaps the DCU expanded too much in the past decade plus and this is the natural retraction but wow. I'm only tangentially affected but I do mourn with you for the loss of envelope pushing, tough stories and characters for the safety of rehashing stories gone by.