Wednesday, September 11, 2013

On Dropping Some Titles, or Why DC Can go F&%^ Itself with "Villains Month"

I had a moment of clarity at some point during the last few weeks and found myself dropping a number of titles over the last few days:  "Batman and Robin," "Justice League," "Justice League of America," "New Avengers," "Nova," "Red Hood and the Outlaws," and "Venom."

I had been considering dropping "Nova" and "Venom" for a while and finally just reached the point where I felt like I legitimately didn't want to read another issue.  The authors were telling solid stories, but I just didn't really care about the characters enough to keep reading.  I also tried hanging in there as long as I could with "New Avengers," but Hickman finally just lost me.  In all three cases, I feel like it was a pretty informed decision, made after giving each series a few issues to convince me to stay.

DC, on the other hand, really forced my hand.

I'll be honest that my patience with DC has been limited after the disastrous #0 issues of the Bat-family titles, with the histories of the various Robins getting horribly butchered.  But, the upcoming "Villains Month" is such an obvious money grab that I found myself disgusted.

I've been disappointed with most of the DC titles on this list for a long time, but asking me to buy four extra issues each of "Batman and Robin," "Justice League," and "Justice League of America" goes beyond the pale, even for a comic publisher.  After all, looking at the titles participating in the event that I still plan on collecting  ("Batman," "Batman/Superman," "Detective Comics," and "Earth 2"), I have to buy 11 extra issues, if I want to stay current.  (I've actually decided to take a pass on the "Detective Comics" ones since they're not written by Layman.)

But, it goes beyond even that.  I'm clearly also supposed to be buying the "Forever Ever" mini-series and probably the three related mini-series.  It also seems, based on what I've read about "Forever Evil" on the Internet, that my failure to buy the mini-series at least means that the issues I do buy of the titles I'm getting will make little sense to me.  It takes some real chutzpah to ask me to cough up $40+ for issues of titles that I normally collect but now won't understand.

I, of course, get why DC is doing what it's doing.  Another version of me would've studiously collected as many of the issues as I could.  But, it runs the risk of doing (and, frankly, will likely do) what "Fear Itself" did to me, where my need to collect as many issues as I could left me reading a lot of terrible comics.  You could tell Marvel phoned in a lot of the tie-in issues as it hustled to make as much money off the idea as possible.  Given what I know about DC, I'm going to doubt that the authors of the various .1 issues had enough time (or experience with the characters) to craft a good story.  With "Fear Itself," I felt horribly and terribly disappointed.  It was like having a mugger decide not only to take your wallet but your watch at the last minute.  I can't imagine "Forever Evil" won't leave me feeling the same way, if not worse.

But, Marvel had at least been telling good stories at that point and continued to do so after it.  DC is an entirely different story.  My stable of DC titles has been getting progressively smaller since the "New 52!" began.  I'm down to six and, after what I hear happens to Dick in "Forever Evil," I wonder if that number if going to drop to five soon.  Of the six, "Batgirl," "Detective Comics," and "Earth 2" are the only ones that I'm really excited to get.  ("Batman/Superman" has been great, but it's too new to know how long it's going to last.)

How did a company that gave us Scott Snyder's amazing work in "Detective Comics" or Grant Morrison's trippy tales in "Batman" fall so far so quickly?  Remember the amazing "House of Hush" story in "Batman:  Streets of Gotham?"  How did we end up here?  It's pretty clear that the answer is editorial interference and I have to wonder, with Robinson leaving "Earth 2" and Simone's seemingly tenuous grasp on "Batgirl," if I'll be getting any DC titles a year from now.  [Sigh.]


  1. ...Is weird with the Forever evil tie ins, since they aren't all the same, some ones are kind of zero issues about the villain it features and other ones follow the events in the forever evil issues.. so I'm reading the Forever evil event and i'm enjoying it but I don't care about the .1,2,3, etc issues expt I see a writer AND character I care...

    In other subjets Men have you reed Young Avengers #9? I would like to see your thoughts in that one... But I have to tell you that it may be a little heavy with things coming from Journey Into Mistery...(mmm Not heavy but there is one particular character apearing from Loki times in JIM)

  2. I haven't yet, Alien, though I'm nervous, with all this stuff with Billy and Teddy! I've got to check to see if Gillen's run on JIM is in trade form yet. It's probably a good investment at this point.

    I was tempted by "Forever Evil," but the shades of "Fear Itself" were just too strong. Plus, I'm already half-heartedly collecting "Infinity," despite my general dislike of Hickman. I figure one meh cross-over event is enough.

    Also, I don't know if I responded to a comment you made a few weeks ago here, but I'm very excited about the upcoming Spider-Man 2099 appearance in "Superior!" I'm over half-way done with my project of recapping all his previous appearances, so I'm glad I'll get the hit. Now, if only they'd bring him back full-time...