THIS WEEK: With a small week of books, we instead take a look at the year that was, and the changes that impacted DC in 2020.
Note: the review below contains spoilers. If you want a quick, spoiler-free buy/pass recommendation on the comics in question, check out the bottom of the article for our final verdicts.
2020: The End of an Era
This year was a rough one for nearly everyone in the world, and the comics industry did not escape unscathed. No comic company is coming out of 2020 quite as changed as DC though. It all started in February when the Dan DiDio era of the company came to a swift and sudden end.
From there, the world fell apart, doing damage to the entire industry in the wake of the most devastating pandemic in a century. Diamond Comics Distributors, who have had a virtual stranglehold on comic distribution for decades now was forced to shut down for several months, making the industry as a whole scramble in response. DC wound up leaving Diamond for Lunar Distribution and UCS Comics Distributors in order to get their books back on shelves as quickly as possible.
In July, DC put out the final issue of the series that is my pick for the best series of the year in Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen #12, which I spoke more about in detail when it came out. Little did we know then, that this would also foreshadow the end of the Bendis era on the Superbooks.
August proved to be the biggest signifier of change for DC Comics in a year filled with them. In August, several members of the DC Comics staff were laid off, including longtime Editor-in-Chief Bob Harras. More layoffs would follow in November, thoroughly cutting down the active staff at DC Comics. We remain heartbroken for everyone effected by these layoffs and hope they all find a perfect landing spot.
In September, DC hired Daniel Cherry to be the new General Manager, and Cherry spoke on wanting to take advantage of DC’s diverse lineup of heroes. For all the fears that came with the layoffs about the company as a whole, Cherry’s hiring should be a good sign, as it’s indication that AT&T is still investing in the division.
Finally, in November, DC formally promoted longtime editor Marie Javins to the role of editor-in-chief, again in a sign that they’re still invested in maintaining the comics line. This marks a remarkably diverse leadership team in charge of DC Comics as we head into 2021. One hopes that that is a sign of what is to come for the company as we come out of the most terrible year most of us have ever experienced.
With the end of the DC Rebirth era in 2020, we look forward to Future State in the first two months of 2021, and the fresh voices on DC titles that soft relaunch after.
- Endless Winter ended, I guess? It was definitely a fill-in arc that existed only to buy time for Future State.
- Batman Annual #5 actually made me care about Clown Hunter? God, how can Tynion take two characters I absolutely hated in the main book and flesh them out so well in one-shots that I actually care about them now? What magic is that?
- Neither of the Dark Nights one-shots did much for me, but I’m also kind of burned out on the event as a whole.
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