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mygif

…but if it’s got a “Blackest Night” banner on it, you’ve got to buy it, right? (Note: You do not actually have to buy it.)

Thanks for clarifying.

I have to say I was a little taken aback by “Emperor Joker” being the focal crossover/event. I had a similar thought a few years back that involved showing the “lagged effects” of bigger crossovers in the DCU, but the aftermaths of events like Crisis, Zero Hour, and Infinite Disappointment as well as the prospect of similar continuity-altering future events make it too hard to pull off. IMHO, at least.

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mygif

If you won’t do it, I will.

I’m waving my arms and calling DiDio an idiot.

The dude did more to ruin everything I loved about DC back in the Eighties and Nineties than anybody else except Geoff Johns. I hope this blows up in his face.

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mygif

At a guess, it’s because the Superman/Batman title is sticking with Clark Kent and Bruce Wayne, which doesn’t fit with the current state of affairs, but Didio has a serious *thing* about continuity, so he’s wedging stories in wherever he thinks they’ll fit. Instead of the much saner option of having a title featuring DC’s flagship characters in a title that isn’t impacted by whatever nonsense is going on everywhere else.

No idea why those stories specifically though.

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mygif

http://www.comichron.com/ has sales figures ranked by month.

Superman/Batman was a Big Fucking Deal when it started I guess, getting over (sometimes very much well over) 100K in sales when it first came out; dropped lately to 40K average. It’s sad that any title selling over 150,000 issues is a top seller these days, but such is the industry.

So I can see why they might want to shake it up and they don’t have a lot of secondary cast left to murder these days, so I guess reaching into the barrel of continuity it is.

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mygif

What I don’t get with the Emporer Joker story is that we SAW Supes and Bats teaming up in the second half of it. Heck, that was the focal point of the second half.

In fact, we saw them join up several times AFTER that with Clark worried about telling Bruce that he took his memories away of what the Joker did to him (and Bruce “punched” him with bat-missles in an awesome moment).

So what is there to expand on it? Plus, we’ve had a maxi-series similar to this concept, already, called World’s Finest. It had self-contained issues where they got together after the Death in the Family (which the super-imposed Superman’s killing of the Kryptonian criminals at the same time) and even Reign of the Supermen and KnightQuest. This has been done before. And better.

So yeah, I won’t be buying it. I bought the first storyarc out of curiosity and it was so terrible that I have no interest in the title, anymore.

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mygif

Maybe these books are being published to shore up the trade paperback sales of the original crossovers? It’s seems backward, but I can’t think of a better reason.

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mygif

I enjoyed Emperor Joker, and I tolerated OWAW, but WTF?

And, unlike all the other “Tales of…” series, this will be tied to very specific events rather than just being untold stories that happened N years ago. Weird.

I hope they try to mimic the art style of the era, though.

Now, if only they will revisit the unfortunate Superman and Big Barda porno movie issue from John Byrne’s run — surely that is as significant as Emperor Joker in defining the characters, and perhaps Matches Malone was a camera man.

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mygif

I’m not a fan of continuity in comics. Marvel and DC rarely change anything about any of their flagship characters. Even Spider-Man was rewound back to 35 years ago. If Spider-Man is always going to be Spider-Man and Superman is always going to be Superman, why don’t they just do an infinite number of one-shots and leave them all as standalone stories?

Then if someone wants to write Peter Parker as a clone and have Ben Reilly come be the “real” Spider-Man for a while, that can be its own story, and when it’s done, someone else can write another Peter Parker Spider-Man story. You wanna write Spider-Man as not being married? Fine, do a story about that. Then let the next guy do a married Peter Parker story. If they were all standalone stories, you wouldn’t have to worry about how one of these stories tied into another, and you’d eliminate all the ridiculosity involved with making them all fit.

If there were any permanence AT ALL to changes made to characters in comics, I would be all about continuity. But there’s not, so you might as well ignore it entirely.

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mygif

Rob S.: Interesting idea, and one I hadn’t thought of.

Lindsey: Thanks for the link, although seeing actual sales figures are stone-cold sobering. Actually, Superman/Batman seems to be doing pretty *okay* if not exceptional, which makes this an even weirder decision, I think.

Also: Dark Wolverine is outselling Weapon X and Origins?? Just to be clear, am I mistaken in understanding that books featuring Marvel’s most popular character (or second most if Spider-Man is the first) are selling less than a book about a guy *pretending* to be that character? MADNESS.

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mygif

I found it curious that the two projects mentioned were both Jeph Loeb ones.

And I read the mandate as being less “how do these old stories involve Superman and Batman” and more “how exactly do these stories fit into the current state of continuity”. (Which in turn could mean that they turn on the proliferation of Generals Zod and Supergirls…)

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mygif

OWAW and Emperor Joker were great, fun actioney storytelling that DC hasn’t done ever since it decided it would rather choke to death on its own self-importance. I don’t know why in the hell you’d want to wind them into present continuity either as a fan of the former or the present-day status quo.

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mygif

Yeah, I guess the book could shift focus to DickBat and Mon-El, right? That might’ve been something: Dick has a pretty high opinion of, if not outright idolizes, Superman; and figure he would probably be Batmanian in his dickery to Mon-El. Mon-El would be frustrated because he feels he can’t measure up to Superman, yet wonder why he cares what a kid in his dead dad’s clothes thinks. (Answer: Because he’s Batman.)

That makes more sense than going back to the greatest hits, unless they’re doing it to flog sales of the trades; and I don’t know how that would work either.

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Jason McCulley said on September 18th, 2009 at 5:10 pm

I miss Deep Blue Something.

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mygif

“So I can see why they might want to shake it up and they don’t have a lot of secondary cast left to murder these days, so I guess reaching into the barrel of continuity it is.”

The lunatics running the asylum should have realized a long time ago that it’s easier to have long-term plans for your comic book line when you aren’t slaughtering B-list characters wholesale just because Grant Morrison came up with a slightly better costume design for somebody, or because Dan DiDio didn’t like some character nobody was using very often anyway.

But that crap isn’t going to stop as long as DiDio and Geoff Johns hang on to the crazy belief that “dramatic” deaths are like printing money.

If DC wants to still have fans in twenty years, they’re probably going to have to celebrate the anniversary of Zero Hour by saying that practically everything since the first issue of 52 doesn’t count because it happened in some crazy Heroes Reborn-type fake universe that Superboy Prime and Alexander Luthor accidentally created during Infinite Crisis.

When they finally break down and do “Hour Zero” or whatever they call it, I might start buying DC comics again.

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mygif

Yes, my guess is that it hinges on the new, post-Infinite Crisis continuity, since Superman’s origin and background have been altered so much. I’m okay with it. :)

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mygif
Craig Oxbrow said on September 18th, 2009 at 10:51 pm

Is your theory that it’s a demon?

A dancing demon… no, something isn’t right there…

Sorry, have never heard of either of those stories and I find this move rather puzzling also.

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mygif

What I want to know is, now that DiDio’s gone for “we’re going to have this series explore past continuity,” how long is it going to be before he swings back around to “continuity sucks and is a restrictive straitjacket on glorious creativity, so we’re just going to ignore it.” I’m starting the clock now.

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mygif

That’s not going to be able to happen as long as Geoff Johns keeps getting away with things like an overly complicated (and completely unnecessary)explanation for why Barry Allen wore bow ties.

DC is totally schizo right now. They keep bouncing back and forth from “old continuity only counts if Johns or Morrison liked the story” to “Everything counts. Even if we said it didn’t.” Basically, whichever one will get people to buy more Green Lantern comics that month.

DiDio can’t take that position with a straight face until he starts doing something about Johns and his Roy Thomas wannabe tendencies.

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mygif

hmmm…yeah this move makes no sense to me at all.

Although, I for one am going to go and google “Superman and Big Barda porno” immediately.

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mygif

Hmmp. Lure back Jeph Loeb?

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mygif

Good God, I hope not. Why Loeb has continued to get work for the last… uh, at least 7 years (possibly longer, but that’s how long ago “Hush” was, and he was already well into his crap phase then), I have no idea.

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mygif

If it *is* all about bringing those stories in-line with the new Superman continuity and all that … holy crap, I can’t imagine anything less worthwhile. Because those wouldn’t even be *stories*, those would just be continuity patches, and really, DiDio could save us all the trouble and just clarify, “The Matrix Supergirl (is/isn’t) in continuity anymore,” or whatever in one of his Newsarama interviews and be done with it. That doesn’t actually require *narrative* to get the point across. They used to take care of that sort of stuff in letters pages; that’s what they were *for*, to some extent.

And frankly, unlike a lot of problems in this world, the existence of multiple and contradictory General Zods really *does* go away when you stop thinking about it.

On the matter of Jeph Loeb: I liked his older stuff at the time, but he’s one of those artists (I mean the word in the general sense) whose recent work makes me re-examine his past work in a harsher light. Like, I re-read an old comic that I used to like, but I can’t see anything but harbingers of the stuff that would drive me crazy later.

Craig Oxbrow: I’m just saying, it could be bunnies. I HAVE SEVERAL GOOD REASONS FOR THINKING SO.

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mygif

I suspect it’s that DC have noticed that Marvel keeps releasing “House of M” tie-in titles and those are doing reasonably well. (Assuming they are, of course.) So in a move reminiscent of Hollywood movie executives, they’ve said, “Hey, what can we do that’s like this other thing that’s a marginal success?”

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mygif

Kind of belatedly on sales figures:

40K is not where you want a title billed as flagship to be. It’s only marginally above Wonder Woman, who is made part of the “Big Three” only because DC really wants to shake that image of being all old white males, an image that bringing back and fellating Hal Jordan and Barry Allen doesn’t help any.

40K is where they start looking for new creative teams for X-Men, for instance, a title that routinely sells in the top 20, if not top 10, despite Marvel treating it like their unwanted stepchild. I admit X-Men as a franchise has issues a mile high, but their popularity didn’t arise from nothing. When Claremont’s ‘ignore continuity let me do my own thing’ X-men outsells the regular title, it is definitely time for examination.

I mention these things because these sales figures matter a lot in decisions that are made about major characters and their direction. It makes me very, very happy that Batwoman has managed to almost double the sales of Detective from before the Neil Gaiman two-parter, for various personal reasons.

It also makes doing something to change Superman/Batman seem almost rational, in a world where all stories must somehow revolve around these two characters.

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mygif

I totally agree that 40K is not where you want a flagship to be, but then that’s a symptom of sales being low across the board. I mean, in July’s figures, sales drop below 100K at #7, and the top six are boosted by events and milestones (GL/Blackest Night, Amazing #600, etc.) as it is.

And if we’re calling Superman/Batman a flagship book, then the question is how many flagship books can you claim to have, especially when they involve the same characters? S/B seems like it *should* be in the top 20, but then so should Superman and Action, and Batman and Detective, and Justice League, and they all *theoretically* feature Batman and Superman, so which one should be the “main” book to the detriment of the others?

For this reason, I’d much rather that flagship books were not planned as such, and just happened organically instead. Like you mentioned Batwoman in Detective, which isn’t a top book based on editorial and marketing saying “This *should* be in the top 25,” but on the strength of its creative team. Also, although I don’t like Geoff Johns, I can’t deny the man has fans, and that the market has subsequently demanded Green Lantern be a top book even though GL isn’t in DC’s Big Three or anything (and before anyone says anything about “letting the market decide,” let me just say that comic books and health care are VERY DIFFERENT…)

In any event, using Superman/Batman to play catch-up with 10-year-old events doesn’t seem like a way to boost the book’s profile to me. I almost wonder if this isn’t a placeholder to keep the title giong during this “world without a Batman/Superman phase” and that DC might be planning something big for the book when Clark Kent and Bruce Wayne return.

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mygif

[…] last time I was, as the grandfathers say, rappin’ at you kids, I was surprised that DC has decided to turn Superman/Batman into a look back at specific past […]

mygif

(and before anyone says anything about “letting the market decide,” let me just say that comic books and health care are VERY DIFFERENT…)

Justin Zyduck, you are an all right dude.

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Anthony Damiani said on September 25th, 2009 at 8:08 am

Well, they seem determined to make the DCU seem ever more lopsided. You’ve got the big two, and then everybody else.

Compare with Marvel, where in a given crossover a pivotal save-the-world role could go to Thor, Mr. Fantastic, Iron Man, Spider-Man, or half a dozen other guys (with a mirror in the X-half of their universe)– and odds are that they’re all going to play some kind of interesting part. In Final Crisis, predictably, Batman beats the bad guy and Superman Saves Us All.

So now, let’s put even more emphasis on them and how much more special they are than the rest of the poor schlubs running around the DCU in tights!

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