DRACOMICS: DC Solicitations = DC Cancellations = DC Fan Frustrations, But Realization Might Offer an Explanation

Dracomics!-1

Well, here we go again. Another month’s solicitations from DC Comics brings word of more cancellations. Counted among them are two more of the first wave of the New 52, launched back in September, 2011. Those titles would be Legion of Super-Heroes and Demon Knights. Also getting the axe are the Sci-Fi anthology book Threshold – after only eight issues (which seems to be the cutoff for early ‘failures’ now) and Dial H with an over-sized fifteenth issue. As always, low sales numbers are the blame. Personally, I can’t see eight issues being enough of a fair chance, especially when you’re talking about a title that is supposed to have a rotation of characters/arcs that needs time to catch the eye of readers.

—Sidebar—   With the cancellation of LSH, this leaves Teen Titans as the ONLY book in the so-called Young Justice ‘family’.

As I read the rants/complaints/boycott threats posted in the Face Book – linked DC Press comment sections, I’m slowly beginning to realize something that I wonder if any of these fans have thought about/realized: DC is NOT being ‘run’ by the same guys who ran it say, five or ten years ago. DC Comics is but a PART of the BUSINESS entity known as ‘DC Entertainment’, now – itself  a part of the vast conglomerate known as Warner Brothers. Now I know, you can fairly say that Warner has owned DC for years. But things are different now, it would seem. The difference now is that instead of DC Comics being allowed to run itself (by the publishers/editors), the ‘suits’ of WB/DCE are calling the shots. The bottom line IS the bottom line here.

Gone are the days when a letter writing campaign can revive a dead comic or resuscitate a book scheduled for cancellation. True, a massive Twitter rant by fans of Gail Simone were undoubtedly what caused DC’s Batman ‘family’ editor to reverse his decision to remove her as writer of Batgirl, but that’s a different situation and can actually be argued that ‘they’ could see what a negative financial impact such a change could make, as opposed to the reason that she’s a critically acclaimed writer.

Critical acclaim means CRAP these days, sadly.

It’s all about the money, more than ever.

Critical acclaim WAS enough to save flagging books, maybe by changing their format or even the imprint from DCU to Vertigo or even Wildstorm, but that was then and this is now.

I can’t believe I’m saying this, especially as I’ve called for his head so many times myself, but I almost feel sorry for Dan Didio now. As co-publisher of DC, he takes ALL the pent-up flack at the conventions, on ALL fronts for EVERY reason – be it book cancellations or the much vocalized creator/character gender imbalance. I wonder, now, if the reason he kind of hedges around some issues, or gives double talk explanations is because he can’t (or won’t) say the real reason – “I have no control over this anymore. The suits in accounting tell us what to keep and what to kill, and who to hire. Creativity, diversity and critical acclaim don’t balance the books. As long as it’s something we can mass market, slap it on a lunchbox, make an action figure or turn it into a movie, we go with it.” Because it sounds like an enormous cop-out and buck-passing, nobody would believe it, so why say it, even if it IS the truth. So while I can fault him for being narcissistic enough to think of himself as an amazing writer who can take on the creations of others only to mutilate them, I can’t really fault him for all of the editorial decisions he’s more than likely been forced to make.

It applies to the animation department of DC Entertainment. It’s what the producers of Young Justice and Green Lantern: TAS found out – ratings & critical acclaim don’t matter either. It’s all about “Can we market you?”

“How’s the GL action figure line going? No sales?”

“CANCEL THE SHOW!”

It’s the same reason why Marvel has started making their comic characters look/dress like the MOVIE versions – because their parent company – Disney – told them to.

Sigh. Oh for the days of yore when the fans mattered.

When Jay Garrick was a wise veteran, looked upon for his fatherly demeanor, as he helped educate the new generations of heroes as opposed to a partying frat boy who suddenly had Hal Jordan’s origin (seriously, THINK about it. Replace Hermes with Abin Sur, and…).

When Wally West and Donna Troy existed.

When Superman had red trunks.

Those were the days, my friend. I thought they’d never end.

Sigh.

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One comment

  1. You make an excellent point. This is what comes from corporate control. Now more than ever, the dice is stacked against something that takes a while to build up and find its audience. And that’s darn sad.

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