Report: DC relaunching with more media-centric line

201601221515.jpg

Everyone has been wondering what DC would do to shore up its line, and now Bleeding Cool has a rumor that is sure to heat up the hot stove league: a June relaunch with a focus on more media-centric titles:

And the new line even more dominated with Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman and Harley Quinn/Suicide Squad-related titles.

Anything tying in with a film and/or TV show like Flash, Green Arrow will be okay, anything that’s not is less so. I haven’t heard about Green Lantern…


NOW, you can say this is just a rumor, and I’m hearing a lot of disbelief among my own contacts, but Rich usually has at least a thread of truth in these big-picture reports, and, to be honest, this fits in with the increasing importance of DC properties to the WB’s TV and movie efforts, and the general trend to top-down management of these properties. Remember my “coloring book” theory from 2013?

My metaphor for corporate comics throughout the year goes back to my days working at Disney in the ’90s. I remember some of my friends working on a lot of branded books for Aladdin or Pocahontas or Mickey or whatever like kids picture books and audio books and coloring books… the gigs usually paid very well, but it wasn’t like they went in to the editors’ office and said “I have an idea for a Mickey Mouse Audio Book that’s going to change Mickey’s world forever.” They just got a call from an editor and went in and pitched “Mickey Mouse is trying to mow the lawn” and a book got written. There was no ego involved. It’s pretty clear that corporate comics are going in that direction. You get the call to write Firestorm or Firestar and the cheat sheet with the event of the quarter and that’s it.


Now if this IS true and there is a relaunch, what could drive it? Simply a new #1 Superman is only going to go so far. In the above link from 2013 writer Paul Jenkins pointed out that creators are most important when things are going badly, and that is undoubtedly true for DC now. But who they gonna call? The big writers of the Crisis era–Millar, Bendis, Johns, Morrison–are all busy elsewhere. DC already tried indie/bookstore darlings –Gene Yang, Becky Cloonan. Kevin Smith is a Variety show host now, and celebrity comics fan writers only go so far.

So you have only a few options:

1) Hire BKV. Unlikely.
2) Hire Ta-nehisi Coates.
3) Have Scott Snyder oversee his writing students as “The Snyder-verse”
4) Put the emphasis on artists again — which would require a totally realignment of editorial thinking.

This is all still developing, but a few Twitter pundits have already declared the worst case scenario:

More…to…come….

Comments

  1. DudePerfunct says

    I do think Hickman would be a steal. He just rebuilt Marvel-U over the course of (FF start….. 6 years?)

    But the bigger issues has been pointed out – DC has just announced an exciting new jumping off point.

    That ain’t good.

  2. says

    I talked to Oliver Sava from AV Club about who else DC (or even Marvel) could hire on my podcast a while back, but I like the idea of them going REALLY outside the box on hires. Back up a mack truck to Raina Telgemeier’s house and get her to write a real teen/young person oriented Teen Titans book. Oliver had an even better idea: Shonda Rhimes writing something. Granted, there’s no reason for either of those people to do it, but could you imagine Shonda Rhimes tackling an Amanda Waller-led Suicide Squad book? Could be pretty rad, and would certainly garner mainstream attention.

    I’d say it’s about as viable as BKV or Ta-Nehisi Coates, but mostly in the sense that it’s SUPER unlikely.

  3. Erik Scott says

    If you look at Dan DiDio’s Facebook page, I think he just confirmed this.

  4. Tim says

    I thought of Hickman as well. I thought of some other things too but I’m exactly 2 books deep into DC’s superhero line these days and those are unofficial miniseries at this point…DC can only pretty much improve for me.

    That assumes DC warrants doing anything other than observing at this point.

    “So you have only a few options:

    1) Hire BKV. Unlikely.
    2) Hire Ta-nehisi Coates.
    3) Have Scott Snyder oversee his writing students as “The Snyder-verse”
    4) Put the emphasis on artists again — which would require a totally realignment of editorial thinking.”

    1) I’d check that out
    2) Too soon to predict my interest until I read BP#1.
    3) This feels kinda low rent for $4 comics but writing sweatshops must be an irresistible idea.
    4) I’d be interested in new editorial voices having more influence at DC.

  5. dregj says

    so this is three relaunches in 5-6 years?
    new 52
    dc you
    and now this one
    the final insult

  6. says

    Here in the UK, Titan Comics reprint a number of DC comics for newsstand distribution but only focus on the characters kids and retailers will know from the movies, games, and TV. So we have Batman, Flash, Green Arrow, Batman/Superman (a solo Superman comic failed) Justice League, Supergirl and, from next next month, Wonder Woman and Gotham Central titles. Perhaps DC are looking to return to the American newsstands by adopting the same plan?

    That said, Warners will probably still want DC to publish about 50 comics, and I doubt we’ll see 8 titles for each main character, so I’m sure some of the B-listers will still get a shot. We’ll soon know.

  7. rob e says

    That said, Warners will probably still want DC to publish about 50 comics, and I doubt we’ll see 8 titles for each main character, so I’m sure some of the B-listers will still get a shot. We’ll soon know.
    ————————————————————————————————

    Lew, I sure hope you’re right. I’ve usually found that I enjoy DC (and Marvel) books starring second an third-stringer characters more than I do the A-listers.. I’d love to see their “Legends of Tomorrow” anthology title work. But herein lies the problem, one I’ve always had with DC: the absolute refusial by them to promote ANYTHING other than their A=list character-starring titles–books, by the way, that really don’t need the extra publicity to be successful. Look, I know Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, and the JLA (and related characters)are the alpha characters, no problem there. BUT—-Hey, DC, there’s room at the table for more! Promote the living hell out of your second and third-tier books, see what they can do once they’re under the same spotlight as the A-listers.

  8. Rich H says

    Each day DC and Marvel make comics, they show how irrelevant they are in the 2010s. They have no idea how to find new readers and get real sales and this isn’t going to do that.

    But milk existing readers? What a cop out.

    All their DC You “catering to reader diversity” spiel was all BS, right? But copy Marvel’s sales failure with their relaunch, cool.

    I’m tired of DC now, and I’m new to DC thru the New 52.

    Creator comics all the way.

  9. Steve says

    What would be sad is if all the books turned out like the recent run of the Flash. That screams “media-tie-in” more than any other book I can think of and it’s pretty awful because of that..

  10. Skottie says

    “so this is three relaunches in 5-6 years?
    new 52
    dc you
    and now this one”

    How is DC You a relaunch? They launched a bunch of new titles, as they’ve been doing regularly, and kept a lot of the same going. The continuity is exactly the same.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *