The New DC, Round 3: And Now You Have My Attention

Posted: June 7, 2011 in Threat Quality
Tags: , , , , , ,

After the first lump of underwhelming announcements – “More Green Lantern books by the same Green Lantern writers” – followed by a second lump of Bat-family announcements – “Here’s a metric ton of Batman comics, we hear the kids like that guy” – I was beginning to wonder when the “exciting” part of DC’s “exciting new relaunch” was going to kick in.

And I’m a fairly cynical comics reader, but when you tell me there’s going to be a Justice League comic headlined by John Constantine, Zatanna* and Deadman…okay. Okay. I’m listening. 

Today’s wave of announcements seems to be the not-quite-Vertigo corner, and seeing DC trotting out Swamp Thing, The Demon, the Morrison-style Frankenstein, Animal Man, and…wow, Resurrection Man? This is, at the very least, more interesting to me than A DOZEN Batman books.

The separation between DC and Vertigo has in recent years seemed a bit pointless, since the “mature readers” label really seemed to only mean “these are the DC books where there is swearing and brief nudity, and they can’t talk to Batman.” If Vertigo remains the place for creator-owned books and Hellblazer, while DC gets some of their toys to play with again, that seems a fair compromise.

A lot of people are whining, “But isn’t Justice League Dark just Shadowpact with a new name?” Yes. Very astute. Because as DC probably noticed when Marvel started naming everything “Avengers,” giving a popular brand name to a comic that might otherwise struggle is pretty much marketing 101. Do you want to have Shadowpact for one year or Justice League Dark for three years? Quit your bitching, it’s just a name.

Also popping out is the integration of Wildstorm properties into the DC line as basically “new” characters  – though I am assuming Voodoo won’t be a stripper this time around. It’ll be interesting to see how Wildstorm will fit with DC. The absorption of the Charleston line worked just fine, while Red Circle, Milestone and Fawcett remain awkward fits that DC can’t seem to get a handle on.

(Fingers crossed that this doesn’t lead to another Authority relaunch, since you just can’t HAVE the Authority in the same universe as the Justice League without making one look toothless and the other look insane.)

This was a nice day for releases. No “Come on, you guys said you’d buy a book with Mr. Terrific!” duds, no “Where’s Batman Inc. and WHY IS BARBARA BATGIRL AGAIN?” confusion. Just “Here’s the scary cult books the teenagers will like.”

And honestly – RESURRECTION MAN? Did not see that coming.

We’ll see if they can keep the momentum going, or if tomorrow is the “Oh yeah, and Teen Titans” round of non-surprises.

*Looks like Zatanna’s wearing pants, meaning that “DC heroines will wear more sensible clothing” thing is in effect. Just so we’re clear here: Fishnets – impractical; Leather bustier – practical.

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