By RazzaTazz 21 Comments
I welcomed the news last week about the upcoming shakeup at DC. I am not necessarily very keen on the idea of throwing out years of comic book canon but whenever a group of people get together and try to accomplish something significant I can never fault them for it. Of course this move is partially being motivated by DC to break the lock that Marvel has at the top fo the comic book pile, and so may be motivated more from a business standpoint than from a creative one. Nonethless the creative teams will not have business strictly in mind and instead will be focused on providing as good a product as possible.
A closer look though reminds me of the period in the 1970s when DC attempted the same thing by giving more variety and longer books while also increasing its prices in order to get a larger share of the market. This self-labeled DC Explosion soon took on the moniker DC Implosion after most of the new series planned were either quickly canceled like Firestorm or Steel, while others such as Vixen never got released (though it would later in the canceled comic cavalcade). This same strategy was later repeated as a sort of follow-on to company wide crossovers to limited degrees of success - Legends produced Justice League International, but Millenium produced the New Guardians and Manhunter (Manhunter being the longer run at 24 issues).
A quick look at some of the new titles coming out from DC sort of shows a similar lack of plannning. Certainly some titles in DC will always have a following. Pretty much every original member of the Justice League (except Martian Manhunter) has proven capable of holding a monthly title, but with little demand and seemingly without a strong concept behind them, I am not sure if Captain Atom, Red Lantern, Mister Terrific or Justice League International will last long in their new series.
The idea of bombarding the fans with a huge amount of new titles has been tried before and failed, so I think it is interesting to think it might succeed here. It will of course give some fans something to get excited about in the short term as heroes long since resigned to team book status get another chance but based on the past this stands a long shot at working. Likely DC will be back to its core books not long afterwards, and hopefully the period gets remembered for innovation and creativity, not a stagnant recycling attempt at old series.