The Editor’s Notes is an opinion column allowing our writers to express their honest feelings about comic books, the comic book industry, and all that it inspires. The views expressed within belong solely to their author.
With all the negativity swirling around DC Comics upcoming “Villains Month,” it’s hard to decipher the strength in the publisher’s marketing plan. A brief scan of the opinions uncover a range of flat out anger and accusations of avarice, to lukewarm excitement about the creative teams assigned to the bevy 3D hologram issues.
What strikes me as most poignant is the lack of strong, positive response to a unique, (albeit gimmick) concept that would provide long-time and new comic book readers alike with something different from DC.
Now, I do remember the 1990s and the influx of special issues (Marvel’s Fatal Attractions and Phalanx Covenant instantly spring to mind) that was a direct result of the heavy competition between Marvel and DC Comics. As a result, this era of comic book publishing is widely regarded as one of its low-points.
As comic book readers, we are amidst another era of high competition, though this time we are graced with fantastic titles. Image Comics is producing titles that warrant high critical acclaim (Saga, East of West, Dream Merchant, etc.); Marvel’s current initiative is garnering some highly enjoyable creations, while DC seems to be struggling in leveling the playing field.
DC Comics is finding themselves in a bad situation where if they don’t come up with something more eye-catching than the seemingly endless cycles of cancellations and replacement titles, they risk the loss of many of their readers.
Using Villains Month to rationalize a dollar price increase for their title, DC officials announced they will be losing money due to the printing process of all these extra titles. Though one can ignore the irony if they desire, this price increase is eternally frustrating when fans are already scraping together enough loose change to buy the books they’re already reading. Whether or not they’ll find another dollar to buy any of these Villain-themed issues is debatable.
However, pricing aside, I think readers are forgetting that the true reasons we consume comics at the rate at which we do is that we love the characters we love their stories and we love the art-style in which they’re drawn.
Villains Month places the comic book reader on the verge of seeing some amazing, new creative teams create new focus on characters that are, in many instances, classic and fresh.
Amongst the creative teams announced are Charles Soule, Matt Kindt, Greg Pak, and James Tynion IV who will get to flex their storytelling prowess with characters like Lex Luthor, Solomon Grundy, Darkseid, and Ra’s Al Ghul.
Al this while artists like Raymond Bermudez, Aaron Lopresti, Paulo Siqueria and Jorge Lucas will get to present new interpretations of these classic characters.
These bright, new talents will be given a chance to show that they deserve to be at the top of DC’s creative bullpen. This new, fresh talent and endless possibilities for new interpretations is what could change the face of our favorite DC titles for the better. This is what makes me feel strongly optimistic for the post-Villains Month DC universe, regardless of how much these issues cost.
We will all be happier comic book consumers when we realize that it is not the cover, price, or numbering that makes an issue shine, but the content within the comic book. When this event is over, those who can see past these derivative problems will most likely have a bigger pull list than before, and once again prove that DC Comics will always be a behemoth in comic publishing.