I may have to stop using this date-in-the-title format – it’s too easy to tell how infrequently I’m posting these days. I’ll be back to full strength soon, just waiting for the yellow rays to kick in.
I don’t feel like discussing 52 yet. I will say that I think it’s a fairly good concept and I like DC’s plan not to release any trades until after the thing has run its course. Smart. I would definitely wait for trade on something that could likely put one out every six weeks or so.
I’m not sure I agree with Douglas Wolk’s analysis that the 52 heroes are analoging for the Big Three – idealizing/idolizing, maybe - but I do think there’s a bit of a WATCHMEN homage going on. Either way, his post was a great read and I hope he can keep the fires burning for the full run of the series – or at least until just after I get bored with it.
And I’m somewhat curious to see how the Question in Gotham is rectified against what’s been going on with Two-Face in the pages of Batman. Didn’t Batman leave Harvey in charge? It's a big city I suppose.
Do you think they’ll really bring back Sue Dibny? (I can’t even find where I saw the hint of this…) If so it will confirm my suspicion that the real purpose of INFINITE CRISIS was not to reset the tone of the DCU but simply as a Get Out Of Continuity Free card.
Guess I did want to discuss 52 – a little.
So it looks like Bart Allen is not to be the new Flash and clearly Jay Garrick is not going to set his helmet aside and don the red and gold, so who is the new guy going to be? I find it interesting the creative team for the revamped book was part of the production team for the TV series but that gives little hint to any character direction. Now if I had to guess, based on the ads alone, I’d say the new Flash was going to be black – it could simply be the lighting in this pic, but it certainly could go either way.
This would disappoint me. As I’ve said before, awarding super speed to a black character is one of the biggest current cliché’s in comics. I’d love to see more black characters but let’s be a little more imaginative about it.
Having said that, how about some idle speculation: if I were in charge of DC I think I’d have Black Lightning “discover” that his lightning/electrical powers had imbued him with super speed as well. I’ve always liked the BL character and DC has worked him into the IC story prominently – albeit briefly - enough that I think the timing would work.
If I’m completely truthful, part of my fondness for the character is that Jefferson Pierce was supposed to have been an Olympic gold-medal winning decathlete, which was my event in college. I think all decathlete’s make great superheroes.
UPDATE: If you're coming here from Newsarama, you know by now that the new Flash is very likely not black, based on the covers of the upcoming issues. I'd say those are decidedly more reliable than what I've provided here. (Which is "unretouched" as they say.) But hey, what's more fun than a little idle specualtion?
The current run settles it, Superman is more interesting when he’s less powerful. But you knew that.
I have to imagine he’s easier to write as well. There’s a big difference between writing about a god-like hero which forces a writer to spend all their time coming up with villains and plot devices that might possibly be worthy, as opposed to coming up with ways for your protagonist to find victory over your plot devices and villains.
Let’s hope Johns and Busiek don’t feel the urge to boost Superman to full, universe-crushing power too quickly (if at all).
The last two issues of JONAH HEX have been the best so far. I’m not a big Palmiotti and Gray fan, but they seem to be making strides away from the Western-by-the-numbers storytelling of the first few issues.
I've given up on Hawkgirl already. Just didn't resonate for me. I'm giving Aquaman a couple more issues.
Finally got a copy of the Marvel offering from Free Comic Book Day. Gaaack. Talk about mailing it in. They should have just pasted together odd pages from a random selection of books and left it at that. Hey, wait a minute…
For DC FCBD is about the kids, and the first issue of JUSTICE LEAGUE UNLIMITED is certainly a solid effort in that direction. My oldest was disappointed that it was the first story from his digest edition, but just as the adult fare wasn’t truly aimed at someone like me, this book isn’t really for kids who already are reading or have access to comics.
After five years FCBD has become something different for every retailer. Anecdotally, it seems like savvy, newer(ish) retailers are leveraging it into a larger promotional effort that builds goodwill, the customer base and generates a decent sales bump on the day itself. For the more established it’s a busy event than may or may not do a lot for long-term or even day-of sales, but still generates a fair amount of buzz and once again, goodwill. My own LCS falls into this category. Others question its worth altogether – I’ve seen it characterized as a “pain in the ass” and as an event that creates neither same day sales nor return customers of any kind. That's unfortunate.
Outsiders perspective: as a recognizable grass roots campaign I give it a B+. If a retailer is of a PR mind he can probably garner some free media coverage out of it (and believe me, this type of coverage goes farther with the general public than your garden variety business profile piece) but the event itself has settled in to a bit of a comfort zone where the big gun publishers participate in the most painless way they can and the smaller ones target the existing base. From a retailer perspective it’s natural to start wondering if the payoff is truly worth the effort, but I think this is one of those vague marketing things that sees its return not so much in same day sales or near-term customer loyalty but in broader good will and industry awareness.
As a retailer (and I was one for nearly 15 years of what seems like another life now) when you invest in a marketing/advertising campaign you really want to see results NOW. Particularly small to medium sized retailers. Branding, good will, industry awareness - those niceties are for the big boys to spend their sheckles on. And an event like this, which, for some at least, has meant lots of traffic but not lots of dollars, is one that feels great the first time you do it, on the fifth pass through it becomes a chore. I sympathize with that, but suspect this event does actually raise awareness and help even those retailers who participate in a limited fashion to some degree.
To those who have lost faith in FCBD I’d say, stay the course, make the most of it, and remember that if it truly doesn’t work well for you it’s only one day a year. For the rest, thanks for your involvement and here’s hoping FCBD is a permanent fixture.