That said, I have not been the only person that has expressed concern with the direction of said fare over the last year or so.
One of the biggest criticisms has been in regards to Countdown and how it became the "spine" of the DCU and the rest of its titles. Further, many of DC's key relaunches and mini-series have had to be awkwardly tied to the 52-issue Countdown; so not only did you need to buy Countdown in order for everything to make sense, but there was not a storyline that was not impacted by Countdown (unless Grant Morrison said so).
But, the news from the latest DC/retailer confab has had the optimistic, "Brand New Day" feel of official comic convention announcements.
* DC Universe #0, positioned as a "reintroduction" to the DC universe that, while hinting at events to take place in Final Crisis, can be enjoyed as a separate entity away from F.C. and Countdown. The Grant Morrison/Geoff Johns-penned book will sell for 50 cents, be released in May, and feature a number of high-profile artists.
We don’t want to have that “locked in stone” continuity line that a lot of people seemed to react negatively to during Countdown. This is a chance to open up each concept and allow them to breathe in their own right, so that a fan of what Kurt and Mark are going to bring can really enjoy the story that’s featuring Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman.
* Finally (or at least as of this writing), there are the miniseries Rann/Thanagar: Holy War and Reign in Hell. Once again, as has seemingly become the theme of DC's presentation to the RRP, "no dependence on Countdown/F.C." As DiDio once again remarks:
Again, we’re trying to provide as many options to our fans who want to see as many things going on as possible, without feeling like they have to buy everything across the line. We’re basically taking everything that we’ve got and turning the heat up a notch or two. The other storylines and miniseries and weekly may not be connected to Final Crisis, but they will feel as important as Final Crisis.
So it would seem that DC is attempting to learn the lessons hard-won from Countdown. Of course, the proof is in the pudding; all else is talk.
If indeed DC wishes to have its "Brand New Day," there will be a few things for them to consider within the mix:
* Put an end to the writer "musical chairs" fiasco. Stability on a title is important. Even if the title is kind of half-assed, readers appreciate stability in creative line-ups.
* Learn to do a better job retaining talent. This includes giving writers more creative freedom, keeping the aforementioned stability going in lineups, and improve communication between editorial and talent.
* While giving the creators creative freedom is important, it is also key that they be edited. Storytelling should flow, dialog shouldn't ramble. No matter what the name, there are certain standards in good editing that should be followed -- this helps the creators and the company. If there is something sloppy or unclear, take the extra time to fix it.
* Continue searching out new talent. Case in point: Mark Bagley. Now, this was a good find! It brings a level of excitement to Trinity. But, there still needs to be a pool of new names in the mix. There are so many talented people out there either working or looking for work that it is inexcusable to have mediocrity.
As for myself, I am willing to give DC's Brand New Day a shot. This entails, somewhat, trying to ignore some of what is already out there, as I feel some of it is "lame duck" and just filler until the summer. Honestly, I'm sure DC has a list of the books that they would prefer people continue buying and the ones they hope you forget.
But whatever the case, we will all know starting in May.
Show us the money, DC.