No Hawkman or Hawkgirl stuff seems to be coming out this week, folks! We're in the final straightaway before the debut of Savage Hawkman at the end of next month, and I find myself in a weird position with DC Comics. I just got my box from DCBS (if you want to mail order your comics, these guys are a great choice for both price and service), and the only DC Comics books in there were the DC Retroactives of Flash and Wonder Woman for The 70s, Action Comics, and Tiny Titans. And of those four books, two of them are one-shots and one of them is a book I am getting for one story arc (Reign of the Doomsdays). So while the comics world is gearing up for the "DCnU" (ugh), it seems that my vestment in DC Comics is at a very low point.
This evident lack of interest carries forth when I examine the list of DC titles I am picking up in September.
(For the purposes of this discussion I am going to not talk about Tiny Titans; that title is not being relaunched and is entirely disconnected from the rest of the lineup.)
The Savage Hawkman
Hawk and Dove
Men of War
...and that's it.
Only 5 titles total of the new ones interest me enough to actually buy them, and 40% of them are non-superhero titles which, let's face it, are going to be treading some rough terrain to be on the schedule this time next year. (It seems to this blogger that DC is trying to cash in on some of the success which IDW is having with their GI Joe titles; I applaud this approach and hope that they can get some crossover readers.) And of the three superhero books, one of them is for a character who has been primarily defined by how unrelatable he is, one of them is still spinning his proverbial wheels dating back to before Infinite Crisis, and the last set is a concept which has never sustained an ongoing series for any real length of time. So while I am excited for these titles, its very clear that my main feeling for the balance (a better term would be "large majority") of the new titles and creative teams is ambivalence.
So while I appreciate that DC is going in a fairly drastic direction and restarting the universe (sort of), it seems that I am even more out of touch with what they are peddling than ever before. This is a feeling I have had with Marvel dating back to Avengers: Disassembled, it now it seems that I can mark this point for DC's passage into that territory.
If this new initiative is to be successful, then DC needs to reach out to the market which is energized and excited by these new titles and teams. They need to tap into existing readers and get them to try something new. They need to find those always elusive "new readers" and lure them in with digital downloads and Jim Lee costume designs. And of course, they need to deliver to those readers, old and new, strong and compelling stories which have been the cornerstone of DC Comics for as long as I have been reading them.
They should not, and frankly, cannot worry about guys like me. Myself and readers like me are not going to make or break this effort. We've crossed the proverbial Rubicon, and our prime days of comic book fandom are on the decline. Doesn't mean I don't love comics or that I won't be buying them. But I -- and those like me -- can't be the target if you really want to develop and grow the market and make money.
Ultimately, if DC gives me stories with the characters I like which are exciting and fun, then I will be happy. But they really need to go capture others besides the dyed-in-the-wool set, and I for one hope they suceed with flying colors.
Oh, and that Hawkgirl shows up at some point. That would rock.
Power of the Atom Podcast #613
11 months ago