Wednesday, February 06, 2008

DC Comics: A Game Of Musical Chairs

I'm thinking about it...

Take The Flash, for instance...

He's Bart Allen! Here is a bold new direction for him!
Oh no, we suddenly killed him off!
Now we're going back to the Mark Waid era and Wally West!
We're so excited, Mark has all these great things planned and we are going to do a massive PR push!
Oh, wait, Mark is leaving!
Guess what??? Tom Peyer is suddenly our new writer!
(gee, is everything Mark did going to be undone...)

Hey guess what, we've just been strongarmed to make Supergirl less cheesecake!
And we are going to have a whole new creative team and direction!
(a couple of issues later)
Hey guess what, we're having a whole new creative team! And going in a whole bold new direction!
(wait nobody cares anymore???)

Hey guess what, Tony Bedard is our hot new writer now!
He's going to be writing Batman and The Outsiders!
Oh wait, we suddenly changed our mind! Sorry!
Chuck Dixon will be the new writer on Batman and The Outsiders!
See, at DC, we keep you guessing!

Guess what, kids? Sean McKeever is our new writer on Birds of Prey!
Oh wait, he's not doing the book anymore -- Tony Bedard is!
You remember Tony, don't you?
He's the writer who was going to do Batman and the Outsiders!
I know what you're thinking: "is he going to stay on this book or are you going to pull the carpet out from under me again??"
That's life, kid: it's uncertain!!!! Man up!

Hey guess what: we are going to have a new artist on Teen Titans every other issue!
And two billion inkers!
We call it: Our Artist Showcase!

You know, pretty soon I think you're going to see a game of "editor musical chairs."


  1. There's no point in letting writers or artists put their feet under the table and set up a status quo for any given book, because once Final Crisis happens, everything you know will never be the same agaizzZZZZZZZ...

    Sorry. Bored myself to sleep for a moment trying to think like DC - I even had a dream it was the 1980s and my crackpot event ideas were somehow fresh and original...

    There's a major hole in the musical chairs problem - all the books mentioned kinda suck and no-one's buying them. With the books dying on their asses, new writers and artists probably seem like a good idea, but I do wish the book editors would pick a direction and stick to it.

  2. That's kind of picking and choosing. Flash, BatOutsiders and Supergirl are all editorially mandated relaunch/revamps and I agree they've been rather aimless.

    Birds of Prey and Teen Titans are, I think, both a result of Countdown and the amount of time a weekly book takes up, or at least I assume that is why McKeever is behind (which is what he claims is responsible for his brief run on BoP, and delays on Titans).

    Outside of that list of books, most of DC's books have settled down from INFINITE CRISIS ONE YEAR GREATER mode and had pretty consistent creative teams and directions for the past couple of years.

  3. And the case has been made against writing multiple issue stories designed for TPBs.

  4. I've been reading a ton of manga recently, and it's really becoming clear why manga is the comic of choice for kids. Kids, who haven't been conditioned to never ending soap operas with constantly changing creative teams, are being exposed to cheaper books with better art and better storytelling in manga with the added benefit of the manga properties staying under one creative person or team. There is no musical chairs in manga. The day, say, Tite Kubo stops doing Bleach, that's it. There won't be anymore Bleach and it will never be done under different artists or writers.

    Speaking of the Flash thing, I still don't understand how DC got a pass on that. They killed Bart Allen after, from everything I've heard, 13 horrifically bad issues and then made a *huge* deal about Mark Waid coming back with Wally West in tow. Waid comes in, does 4 issues, and the book then goes to one of the worst authors in the history of the written word, Tom Peyer. I still don't understand how people are brushing off that bait and switch. Have standards sunk so low for mainstream books that even a few issues by someone like Waid is enough to forgive all other sins?

  5. I'd say it's more a result of creative teams thinking they can pull something off but either get into arguments with the editors or just get in over their heads. I think they're balancing out well for the most part.

  6. I have to agree. Bart Allen as the new Flash seemed like a great direction to go much for that.

    The writing for most female characters is disappointing but I was really enjoying Supergirl.

    I know Grant Morrison is the Omnissiah but I'm doubtful he can fix everything with Final Crisis.

  7. i did a double take when i saw this post, since that's my box o' superhero cookies! :)

  8. Who wants to bet that Barry Allen is comin' back?

  9. There's no point in letting writers or artists put their feet under the table and set up a status quo for any given book, because once Final Crisis happens, everything you know will never be the same agaizzZZZZZZZ...

    -- Exactly. That's the most frustrating damn thing of all. A lot of these books are essentially "lame duck" until Final Crisis happens

  10. I think if you go back and look at the PR/interviews RE; Flash, it was always implied that Waid's return was temporary. Tis a shame about poor wee Bart though: why did they ever think making him twentysomething was a good idea?

    RE Peyer: I have not read his work (yet), but Morrison and Waid have always spoken highly of him and HOURMAN. Also, Peyer was part of the "Fix Superman" pitch a few years back, in the company of GM, Waid and Millar, IIRC. Hardly down market company. Tagging him as the worst writer, etc, etc, seems a tad harsh...

  11. I'm pretty sure the original indication was that Waid's run was indefinite. When initial reports came out that Waid was doing a few issues and running, I think that was denied (even if only softly). If one wanted to get all conspiratorial, you could think that maybe Rogers was brought into script from Waid's plots to extend the run with Waid in the credits by an issue or two.

    The musical chairs thing is more than a little frustrating. I really enjoyed the fill-in team that was on Supergirl before the latest team and dropped when I saw I was expected to welcome in another change. I pre-ordered Batman & The Outsiders when it was Bedard with a character line-up I had interest in and have to eat issues with Dixon and a quick cast change.

    It definitely leaves a bitter taste in one's mouth.