By Silkcuts 124 Comments
Unless you only read core DCU books, there is chances DC comics canceled a series you were following. From Great Ten only lasting 9 issues to Vertigo's cleaning out house, as well as Wildstorm and Vuda dying, DC is streamlining their product it seems. Caring more about the "Sales" and less about the "Story". Many fans who love Geoff Johns, Jim Lee and Dan Didio(t) [That will be the last time I don't bracket his name by the way.] are supporting the actions of this new regime. Sure all three have proven they can make money in their own ways: Geoff John is the storyteller, Jim Lee is the living art God and Didiot gave the world the show Reboot, so he knows how to sell crack to kids. That is a formula that works, but are formulas good?
By having a formula for business you are only caring about the money. Here is a simple example of what I mean:
Batman + Superman + Wonder Woman = 3X the fan base. Lets call it "The Trinity".
Wildstorm's sales are low and that is a fact.
"The Trinity" + Wildstorm = Even more mixed fanbase.... right?
On paper that makes sense, but in reality it never works. Characters not born in the DCU always struggle to fit in the DCU and that is a fact the business men are missing. Shazam and ( Ted Kord) Blue Beetle are great examples, because sure they have their fans, but Superman will always be DC's baby and Shazam is the bastard child, same with Ted Kord. He was (RIP) a rich man superhero, he can't be more popular then Batman, DCU will never allow it. Characters who are just tossed into the mix, owned by DC or its other imprints, will not mix properly.
Vertigo, which maybe the longest lasting imprint, it stated off without even knowing its own name, within the pages of Alan Moore's Swamp Thing and then Grant Morrison with his Animal Man and Doom Patrol. With the movement and change of mentality Karen Berger was allowed to create Vertigo. Vertigo was an imprinted I fell in love with because it cared about the "Story". The stories were allowed Finite ends. The characters were allowed to grow without worries of "reboots" (pardon the Didiot pun) and re-continuity. Vertigo was allowed to do that as long as the "Sales" were good. Vertigo's problem was that it did not grow with the time fast enough. Its fan base was always older readers. Older readers stopped buying monthlies and moved to trade buying. It took a while for Vertigo to catch on to that and to this date its longest running series Hellblazer is not properly collected. But back to the topic of sales, the monthlies decreased and the products suffered for it. Swamp Thing Vol. 4 cut short, Swamp Thing Vol. 5 robbed after inception and then aborted. Award winning and acclaimed Unknown Soldier was not even safe because it didn't sell more then something like Booster Gold. I am not picking on Booster this time, I like the dude a lot. I picked it because he is a great example of the greed DC has right now. Before Blackest Night Booster's sales were not great and once Blackest Night did its cross-over the sales picked out drastically. Guys like Geoff Johns and Didiot have now seen the power of the cross-over at its "best" or "worst" I'll let you word it accordingly. Because the Cross-over potential is there, DC is moving away from why I pick them over Marvel. Marvel is all about the Cross-overs, any Marvel fan please tell he this is not true, because I will respond to "remove your rose colored glasses for that company". Was their not a quest on comicvine about X-Overs?
DC has now moved into caring about the sales over the story. So things that are not making money are getting cut and products that management thinks can make more money else were are being taken back and absorbed. "Who cares is Swamp Thing has changed in Vertigo", right? New fans didn't read his Mark Millar run, so who cares if they reboot his history so he can "date" Poison Ivy and become the plant power house. Okay that last line was meant as sarcastic, and if you were a Swamp Thing fan you would feel my pain about Alec, Abby and Tefe taken away so they can randomly appear in the DCU as younger versions of themselves. Who cares about guys like me who wasted their money on great stories that are now not their history. A character like Swamp Thing doesn't benefit the DCU, he has grown and changed and given something most North American comic characters are never allow to have and that is a real life. He was allowed to age, marry, divorce, have a kid. But for some unknown reason to me, most people in North American don't want their characters to have a life. They want to complain about things like Brand New Day and OMIT yet they keep supporting the books. I guess what I am saying is, that some characters should be allowed just to take our money like Spider-man is for and some characters should be allowed to be used for a grander story, such as The Wildstorm, Vertigo, Minx and Vuda imprints all were suppose to be for.
Another character I forgot to mention was Madame Xanadu, a character taken back because of the Didiot Mandate. There was no need to cancel here series because it was doing fine Vertigo-wise at least. Its sales were in the middle of the back monthly and the trades I heard were doing fine. Madame Xanadu was a causality of greed. DC wanted her back under the DC banner, even if she was still interacting with DC characters she was not making money directly for the parent. Madame Xandau was out selling Brian Woods books monthly, so it for sure was about having her under the DC banner. Why is it so important for Didiot to have everyone back under the same banner? It is him being territorial. He is a kid in daycare and he wants all the toys to play with. A lot of his direction for DC is not helping the overall product, just himself. The Endless in the DCU is another topic, because sure they don't have much going on Vertigo-wise right now, but they are characters that just shouldn't show up in the DCU, just because. Destiny and Death did come from the DCU, and Daniel has his connection to the DCU as well, but the Endless has to be written well to not ruin their characters.
Here is a quote to show DC is about the money, so you guys who think I am just a Vertigo Nut will hopefully see what I am saying. [Link it : HERE]
....Time passed, DC reshuffled the top of their management, we changed editors and I sort of watched everything nervously, but kept writing according to what I'd sent Scott. Finally, after sending in the script to WildCATS 28, I couldn't hold off any longer, and sent a note to Editor Jim Chadwick, asking if Wildstorm intended to keep the creative team in place past issue 30, as I hadn't heard anything one way or the other. I hoped my "long term plan," plus what I hoped was my obvious enthusiasm for the book, and the largely positive response we (and the Authority and Gen13 and DV8) had received here on the boards and elsewhere might play some factor in keeping the ball rolling. But there were bigger forces at work. Jim wrote me back, explaining that CATS was gone, as was Authority, and so on, and the decision had actually been made some amount of time before. Nothing to do with our work, he assured me, but sales had been declining for some time, the new top brass at DC wanted to reconsider the line, etc., etc. Business decision, not creative (and I believe that). And #30 would be our last issue...- Adam Beechen
There has to be more then a guy like me and the Wildstorm fans being turned away from DC Comics right now. DC as a company is not treating all of their fans with the greatest care right now. At the rate DC is going, it would not surprise me if I find love away from DC and read more of the Indy books. Just because the Big Two own the comic market doesn't mean all the good reads are there. Outside of DC and Marvel there have been some reads I would say are better then most of those twos output. Books like Chew, Walking Dead and even Original Graphic Novels from guys like Robert Crumb. Comics are more then just Superheroes. Good Comics are about the stories and I think DC has lost its way.