Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Conventional Depression

I should point out that I wasn't at any of these panels, so I'm not sure whether the atmosphere was really as depressing as Newsarama reporter Albert Ching makes it sound. But, hell, it sounds really depressing.

[DC Comics editor Dan] DiDio asked the audience about writer Jim Shooter's current Legion of Super-Heroes - who was reading it and if they liked it. A fan that indicated he wasn't satisfied said that he liked what Mark Waid and Barry Kitson were doing, and was disappointed so far about the Shooter run. Another fan said it was "really flat."

DiDio polled the audience again - this time about what their favorite incarnation of the Legion of Super-Heroes was: the Levitz/Giffen Legion, the Abnett/Lanning/Coipel Legion or the Waid/Kiston [sic] Legion. It was a fairly even split between the three.

This led to DiDio asking fans about their favorite Aquaman - the original, the Peter David harpoon-hand Aquaman, and the current Arthur Curry Aquaman. None of the three received too warm of a reception.

DiDio then asked fans if DC could publish a comic called "Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes," who would buy it. "You got the name back?" an audience member quipped. "I said if we could do it," DiDio responded. "I don't want any more rumors starting." The response to the question from the audience was lukewarm, with only a few hands being raised before DiDio moved on.

To be fair, DC seem to be making some steps in the right direction lately. Still, I agree with Paul O'Brien: May's big Final Crisis title really, above everything else, needs to put all the ongoing threads that have been driving the DC Universe since 2005's Infinite Crisis to rest and give DC's writers a chance to start over and do their own thing.


Jake said...

I'm honestly intrigued by your comment. If FC doesn't sell like gangbusters (which it probably will), what will happen to DC, in your opinion? Will it fold? Or will it go back to being second fiddle to Marvel, which it's been for a number of years now?

B/c from your comments from the Beat ("The general consensus right now seems to be that much is hinging on the upcoming Final Crisis blockbuster series for DC’s periodical business. Based on the publisher’s recent performance, it’s hard to disagree."), it seems like you're saying DC might fold.

Reboot said...

Well, you have to remember DC is a division of Warner Bros (which is in turn a division of Time Warner). They're unlikely to "fold" unless something drastic happens to the parent company - and I doubt they're losing money on many of their titles anyway, which would be a key point even if they weren't part of a much larger group.

What's more likely is a mass clear-out of the "suits" and certain of the creative personnel if they continue to fall further behind Marvel - i.e. DiDio's job is probably on the line.

Marc-Oliver Frisch said...

"If FC doesn't sell like gangbusters (which it probably will), what will happen to DC, in your opinion? Will it fold?"

Well, things aren't quite THAT dire - I'm sure that their line is still handsomely profitable, and that their existence isn't at stake by any stretch. And sales are still much better than before Dan Didio showed up, for that matter, so I doubt he's got much to worry about, either.

That said, DC's periodical sales have been trending downwards since 2006. I think FINAL CRISIS may be their last chance to change that, for the foreseeable future. If the book doesn't accomplish a clear change in direction for their line, both creatively and commercially, I expect DC to continue losing ground to Marvel, as far as the periodical market is concerned.

jake said...

Ah, ok. Thanks for answering. I think the thing is that when you phrased it the way you did, I took it as something dire would happen if the trend continued. My error.

I think I'd find it interesting if they fired DiDio, since, as you say, they do still seem to be making a profit.

Is that something Levitz would do? Is he someone that would take action when needed, or is he someone that's a bit more loyal?

I ask only b/c I don't know. I started reading comics during the DiDio era.