HERE'S WHAT DC COMICS SHOULD DO WITH THEIR REBIRTH
Posted on January 24, 2016
This post is different from my normal posts that deal with my writing. I am a longtime comic reader and wanted to weigh in on the news that DC Comics is starting their book over again with new number ones. I normally hate this idea, but their titles have really gone off the rails and are selling poorly. Creatively, there are few current books that I enjoy collecting. I only follow 8 of their current books and I used to buy close to 25 of their titles.
I know the editors at DC already have their books in production, but I wanted to throw out my take on what titles I'd like to see.
Let's really see new creative teams. Along with securing the best of the new talent out there get some big names from the past like Michael Golden, Ryan Sook, Chris Sprouse, Jose Garcia Lopez, and Adam Hughes to do interiors. Lock in talented writers like Kurt Busiek, Gene Yang, J. Torres, and Mark Waid along with hot talents like Tom King and Charles Soule. Make it clear this is a back-to-basics approach with characters guest-starring regularly in each other's books, but no wide-line crossover for the first three years. Instead of publishing individual annuals, unleash a 200-page DC annual every summer with stories of characters that don't have their own title.
DC has an incredible library of properties. Limit one character to no more than three titles. In addition to these characters, there should be brand new titles. I would love to see a new title for every four existing titles so that the rebirth features at least 8-10 wholly new properties.
Here's my list along with a quick mission statement for each title:
1. Young Heroes in Love- make it heartwarming, disturbing, hip, and the prestige title of the line (this is your book to grab new, young readers)
2. The Creeper – make this the bizarre crime comic with supernatural overtones
3. Doom Patrol- make this the crazy corner of the DCU
4. Legion- make it the Legion in the future and play up the Sci-fi
5. Infinity Inc.- make it about young heroes who inherit their powers
6. Justice League- make it about the big guns and big threats and little a squabbles between the large cast of at least ten members
7. Green Lantern- make it about patrolling the cosmos
8. Green Arrow- make it street-level crime with some international capers
9. Wonder Woman- make it monumental and touching and how the myths interact with the normal modern world― maybe she's the one who helps the other mythological beings acclimate to the real world they find themselves in
10. Flash- make it about the speed force
11. Batman- make it about the Dark Knight
12. Superman- make it about Supes being the majestic figurehead―have the world see him as royalty and deal with how he struggles to be an everyman
13. Teen Titans- make it like Wolfman and Perez's run
14. Kamandi- make it the company's youthful dystopian future, be ambitious with this one
15. Adam Strange- make it about the Zeta-Beam constantly dropping him into other dimensions and alternate Earths and he rights wrongs while there
16. Swamp Thing- make it a horror comic again
17. Arion-make it a horror magical series
18. Aquaman- make it about a fish guy who is dry more than he is wet
19. Suicide Squad- make it cutthroat and snarky
20. All-Star Squadron- make it classic and old school
21. Blue Beetle- make it about a very young Ted Kord who's an inventor who had his memory wiped and has to figure out his gadgets
22. Booster Gold- make it about a future know-it-all who finds out he doesn't know it all
23. Blue Devil- make it about an internet daredevil sensation who messes with the wrong occult nasties
24. Jimmy Olsen- make it a title that is crazy and weird, while down to earth―investigative journalism for a website that focuses on the off-kilter
25. Martian Manhunter- make it paranoid and about Jonn trying to thwart an elaborate Martian invasion that has been decades in the making
26. Supergirl- make it breezy and have her take on other visitors to our planet
27. Harley Quinn- make it cheesy and madcap (Honestly, I don't get why she's so popular.)
28. Brave and the Bold- make it a team-up book that is double-sized with Bats and a guest in the lead story and then two other heroes in a back-up that is a three or four part adventure
29. Detective Comics- make it about Bats and all his colorful helpers as they solve crimes
30. Action Comics- make it about Supes cutting loose against super-strong baddies
31. Ambush Bug- make it absurd
32. Checkmate- make it about superhuman espionage and have it be globetrotting
33. The Question- make it conflicted and ambiguous
34. The Vigilante- make it about a young, hip team of heroes who take on the mantle of the Vigilante
Add eight new titles and you have a solid launch of 42 core titles.
The readers need to see the company is committed to this relaunch. I could tell with the New52 that it wasn't very well-planned and just didn't radiate that it would stick. Marvel's recent relaunch has me reading quite a few of their books, but I think they missed a great opportunity to put out some completely new characters and properties. That's what could make DC's rebirth different. They could point out how they're working to broaden their universe with new concepts.