Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Should I Charge A Consulting Fee?

Remembering the news that both Catwoman & The Atom are canceled, my mind goes back to this post dated 3/13:

"If I had to make some decisions on it, I'd do the following:

Infinity Inc
All the Classifieds
Birds of Prey (sorry)
Green Arrow/Black Canary
The Flash (sorry)"

Looking at the numbers for March, I still stand by this assessment, though with two caveats:

1. Some people report actually liking Supergirl. But will there be brand confusion with their new children's comic starring a radically different version of the character?

2. I really like Tom Peyer & Freddie Williams III's Flash. I mean, I really feel strongly about it. The fact that the second part of the current arc reads like there was supposed to be a whole issue there that was edited out makes me nervous, however. It has that "hurry and wrap this up" feeling to it. I hear a lot of rumors about Barry Allan & Impulse. I have to wonder if they are just going to try to fix things one more time with this title.

Also --

I expect some cancellations following the aftermath of Final Crisis. These might not be due to low sales in some instances, but after any event of that magnitude there is going to be some reshuffling.

DC's numbers for March seem like a lame duck in the shadow of Final Crisis. I would imagine the landscape of the DCU would be changed quite a bit within the next three months. Ditto for Marvel after Secret Invasion, though they are generally performing across the board better than DC.

I'd be very curious as to the numbers for Titans #1. I don't think that particular book is going into a direction I would dig personally. But I am really curious if it gets its fans anyhow.

Just remember -- "Buffy" is at the head of the Top 100 chart, and "Witchblade" is towards the end. What type of book should DC model a title like Titans after? What works?

Buffy The Vampire Slayer is the top-selling female superhero. Study this.


  1. I'm not convinced we even need a Titans book at this point. It's starting to come off like a St. Elmo's Fire sequel.

  2. Atom (I like this)
    Checkmate (very interesting addition to the U.)
    Birds of Prey (neccisary)
    Supergirl (at least interesting)
    Green Arrow/Black Canary (great)

  3. Here's my question though : what is the direction of the new Titans book?

    I've read it 4 times.
    I can barely tell what's happening in it, let alone what direction it's supposed to go in.

  4. I concur with your thoughts on Peyer's "The Flash". The first issue was okay, but I thought he really came on strong in this month's issue. I'm on board to see if Peyer can pick up the pieces from Waid's failed return to the title.

    Winick seems to be retreading old ground with the Trigon story in "Titans". Only time will tell on that one.

    Seeing how DC editorial, hacked-n-slashed Kelley Puckett's initial Supergirl arc, I'm surprised that he has been able to turn that book around. The last couple of issues have been taking the character in an interesting direction.

  5. Thoughts on Buffy:

    1. Entered the game with a sizable, loyal fanbase.
    2. Dark Horse affiliation means it's free of the kind of editorial mandates/turnover a book would normally at Marvel/DC. (Of course, Joss got to skirt X-continuity on Astonishing, too, but that's another discussion.)
    2b. The only other show in the Whedonverse is based over at another publisher, so BTVS free of having to interact with even that book.
    3. Early writers: Whedon, Vaughan, Goddard
    4. Solid book in its' own right.

    Those factors had to have helped, right?

  6. There was a brief moment when Supergirl looked like they were about to get it right. However, it came and went right quick. How anyone can like the book in it's current state is beyond me. Well, that and many other "popular" books.

  7. I have to say that the first 2 years of Supergirl were a cringe-worthy, incomprehensible mess.

    But I think the title has improved since Puckett and Johnson took over. Now we see a Kara struggling to find her place in the DC Universe but at least acting heroic.

    Yes she has no supporting cast. Yes the title still seems to believe guest stars mean everything.

    And no ... no way this title is holding a birthday candle to Peter David's wonderful and complicated run on S-Girl.

    But I *am* enjoying the title now, something I was not saying 8-9 months ago.

  8. "Those factors had to have helped, right?"


    But the Teen Titans has a cachet and recognizability in its own right. I think the title (and its spinoffs) *should* be DC's equivalent of the X-Men in terms of popularity and audience. If it is not, if the brand has been mismanaged, then it must be asked what went wrong.

    "Titans," in my view, would have been far better served with the "Buffy" approach in terms of art and characterization. Both books are about twentysomethings. Both have (in theory) strong and popular female characters.

    But I think what was went for in "Titans" was a T&A type ultra-light approach. I think they looked at "JLA," with its Ed Benes and Benes-like art, and said: "that's selling well and that has plenty of cheesecake." Only problem with that reasoning is, JLA is written by Dwayne McDuffie. His scripting is the backbone of that book. The scripting on "Titans," however, isn't strong enough to drag in discerning readers like myself and make me look past the art.

  9. Val,

    Here's another factor: the fact that the new Buffy book is being written and treated as Season 8 of the series gives it extra momentum -- it gives the book meaning.

    I don't think this latest Titans reunion has that meaning (Trigon? Again?). As I've mentioned before, the folks that make up the team seem to be fenced in: they're too old to be Teen Titans but most of them aren't seen as "ready" for the JLA or JSA.

  10. But the titans are not as famous as the X-men outside the comic book circle, the Titans only had one animated series, the X-men got 3 movies and 3 animated series
    (the 90`s X-men, X-men Evolution and Wolwerine and friends.

  11. Checkmate? Awww. :(

  12. It seems to me that the problem with any Titans re-launch is the past. Whenever they go back to this group, they feel the need to go back to the '80's, for obvious reasons. But that where they trip up IMO. You're never going to recapture that, ever if you put Wolfman and Perez back on the book. The book has fallen quite far since the New Titans/X-Men crossover. And that hill is a huge one to get over. Have to start from a fresh perspective, I would think.

  13. I have to say, the last couple issues is the only time since the new Supergirl series started where I didn't want to throw it down and scream, "Why do I keep READING this crap?!?"

  14. Teen Titans should be more like Buffy? So they should shoehorn in some lesbian scenes as quickly as possible, then?
    Let's face it, that one bit of supposed 'controversy' is as high-profile as the Buffy book's gotten outside diehard fans of the show, and no matter how well-written such scenes are, they'll always be viewed by many as more than a little cheap - "why didn't it happen in the TV show?" is a question I'm curious to hear answered honestly and without flim-flam.

    I'm also curious who gets blamed if/when a book gets canned - if the direction prior to cancellation is mandated external to the book's staff, does that mean the external agent is blamed for its failure, or are the creative staff held accountable for not being good enough with the pure gold they were given?