Sunday, February 05, 2012

The Return of Super Sunday!

We're now in month six of DC's new comic 'reboot'. The best ones are selling well - consistently out-performing Marvel Comics' range of heroes, which is an important thing to some people - but the rest aren't so spectacular. DC announced midway through last month that they're cancelling the six lowest-selling comics (Hawk & Dove, OMAC, Mister Terrific, Static Shock, Blackhawks and Men Of War) and replacing them with six all-new series.

Actually, the sales of #4 available on the internet say that Hawk & Dove is selling very slightly more (97 copies) than Captain Atom, but presumably DC had access to worldwide figures, returns data, maybe even the sales for #5 before they made their decision, so the Captain gets reprieved. But he still has to be on thin ice, which if you come to think of it probably wouldn't bother him too much, since he's got super-powers.

Whether anyone will read the replacement six is another question, since presumably there won't be so much publicity this time round. But there are Batman connections in most of the new ones, so they'll be okay. I worry about "Dial H", a reimagining of the old comic "Dial H For Hero" about a boy with a magic telephone, but in a dark and gritty 21st-century way. It might actually be good, but on the other hand it will probably be awful.

There are several really quite good comics among the 52, but nothing really great. There's nothing that people will look back on in twenty years and say 'that was a great moment in comics'. In fact, there's really nothing that people will look back on in twenty years at all, which is a bit sad. Comics really needs a Watchmen moment. And speaking of which...

To add to the excitement, DC have announced that they're giving up on the idea that Watchmen is sacrosanct and making more Watchmen comics would stop people buying the original - now there's a movie out, we're going to have a huge pile of prequel comics by the likes of J. Michael Straczynski, the man who wrote a Spider-Man story saying that the radioactive spider that bit him was actually on its way to bite him and give him powers anyway, and getting zapped by radiation was just a coincidence. And another one saying that his old girlfriend Gwen Stacy had sex with his arch-enemy Norman Osborn and gave birth to twins, all during the period while they were both regulars in the comic. I can't wait to see what he does with Watchmen!

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