Some points I think need to be made that aren’t generally being made.
Same-day digital. It’s almost become a cliche for some nerds to say “oh you’re all talking about a reboot but same-day digital is what really matters here.” Yes and no. I’ve seen at least one news source say that the price point on these same-day digital comic books will be equal to cover, which would make it precisely not be a big deal, because if that’s the case then DC (and Marvel, which often does the same thing) are making the same goddamn mistake the record companies made ten years ago and booksellers are only correcting now with ebooks: they’re pricing digital content too high. Marvel’s sale price on Comixology (99 cents) is too high, for crissake.1
At an equal-to-physical-comic price point, digital is a bad deal: you get the convenience of having a digital copy, sure, but the tradeoff is that you can’t resell your digital copy should you so choose.2 It’s not a serious attempt at a true digital marketplace unless same-day digital carries with it the discount that e-media should have by default.3
The reboot itself isn’t that much of a reboot. For all the caterwauling and waily-waily about the reboot, everything we’ve heard from DC makes this sound much more like a Zero Hour-style sort of semi-reboot where a few various timeline thingies are tweaked – you know, the way Batman continuity shifts every so often from “Batman found Joe Chill and brought him to justice” to “Batman never found who killed his parents” to “Joe Chill got killed by other criminals” and so on and so forth – than a Crisis on Infinite Earths-style hard reboot. I mean, any reboot that doesn’t get rid of the terrible new Wonder Woman status quo they’re currently trying to pretend isn’t godawful bad4 can hardly be described as a serious reboot.
I mean, granted, trying to push Cyborg to the A-level is… interesting, and I’m sure it’ll work out just as well as trying to push Vixen to the A-level did, but at least DC is trying to push diversity in its titles so long as none of the white people from the Sixties lose their prominent places, am I right? Yeah!
Fifty titles? Fifty new #1s? DC doesn’t even publish fifty superhero comics right now – not even if you count the videogame tie-ins. What the hell sort of comics are they going to publish to get to fifty new #1s? I mean, granted, this is their ideal opportunity to finally publish an ongoing Rex the Wonder Dog series, but I’m not willing to believe that DC wants a license to print money.
Geoff Johns talking about exploring relationships between characters in the reboot. Oh, god, if there’s someone you don’t want doing that, it’s Geoff Johns. Geoff Johns is a reasonably good plotter, clever at incorporating little tidbits of comics trivia into a story, and serviceable with dialogue. He does Big Fun Comics, at times very well. However, he is lousy at personal moments. Have you read Flash recently? Go find the “intervention issue.” It is painfully bad. Geoff Johns promising me “exploring relationships” is like Woody Allen promising me gun-fu fighting in his movies.
- Recently, to promote Thor‘s debut, Marvel announced it was selling all the issues of Balder the Brave for 99 cents. This is a twenty-five-year-old comic: any additional monetizing you get from it is basically gravy, so why not sell it for a quarter and aim for “more sales of cheaper comic” than “fewer sales of more expensive comic” and try to hook new people? I mean, we joke about how Marvel and DC don’t really want new readers, but – seriously, now. [↩]
- And all the touchy-feely stuff about how people love the feel of a comic in their hands and all that other crap. [↩]
- Incidentally, DC can continue to try to convince me all they want that me paying $1.99 for a golden age Batman comic is a good deal since the original would cost me $40,000, and good luck with that, DC. No, really. Maybe I’ll suddenly become really, really stupid. [↩]
- Even for Wonder Woman. [↩]