Friday, September 4, 2009

What if I was Editor in Chief of DC Comics?

I spend some time on the message boards. I find them an interesting group of people, who, amazingly for the internet, get along pretty well.

Today I noticed an interesting discussion;

Basically, you need to select no more than 20 ongoing comics for DC. That's it. (Events, minis, and non-DCU stuff like Vertigo notwithstanding)

What would you choose?
I thought about that for a minute. There are easy ways to answer that, fanboy favorites, all Batman titles, etc...

But what would I REALLY do?

1. Batman
2. Detective Comics
3. Superman
4. Action Comics
5. Flash
6. Green Lantern
7. House of Mystery
8. Wonder Woman
9. Brave and the Bold
10. JLA
11. Teen Titans
12. Doom Patrol/Metal Men (11 page stories each)
13. Adam Strange
14. Birds of Prey (Oracle/Black Canary/Huntress/Manhunter/The Question)
15. Doc Savage/The Shadow (11 page stories each)
16. The Spectre/Zatanna (11 page stories each)
17. Aquaman/The Atom (11 page stories each)
18. Green Arrow/Hawkman (11 page stories each)
19. The Power of Shazam!/Plastic Man (11 page stories each)
20. Jonah Hex

Now, I don't pretend that I've got this all figured out, or that this would even work. It could add up to complete disaster, honestly. I, personally, would just be curious to see how my "plan" here might, or might not, work.

Now, what was the thought process here?

Starting from the top:

Batman and Superman are your cash cows, so the impulse is to do a bunch of series featuring them and/or tying into their series (Robin, Supergirl, Nightwing, Superboy, Gotham City Sirens, Streets of Gotham, World of New Krypton, World of Metropolis, I could go on.) I wonder if this doesn't dilute the brand?

What if we held these characters to their two traditional titles, Batman and Detective Comics for Batman, Superman and Action Comics for Superman? what if we increased the size Detective and Action, so as to make them able to present the entire "families" of these heroes? Rotating back-up slots for Robin, Supergirl, et al? Perhaps the fans of these characters would stick for the long haul?

Perhaps we also try to broaden the idea of what a DC Comic is? Try other genres, or at least styles? Adam Strange (Sci-fi), Jonah Hex (Western), and House of Mystery and The Spectre/Zatanna title(Horror/Magic) allow us to try some different genres within established DC Universe characters. The Doc Savage/The Shadow shared title can allow a bit more pulp adventure /noir style. Lastly, the Shazam/Plastic Mantitle can allow a more tongue-in-cheek, Golden Age superhero style to play out.

I think the dual headliners series is an idea that needs to come back. DC has lots of recognizable 2nd and 3rd-teir heroes that could be a draw if paired with a appropriate co-headliner. Plus, it would keep these characters in the spotlight on a regular monthly basis, and hopefully allow them to gain fans and popularity. Meanwhile, we allow those 2nd teir character that have proven followings (Flash, Green Lantern) to carry books.

I was very concerned, after my first run at this, that I had little to no female-dominated books. Wonder Woman has always been problematic, she's never had huge sales in the modern era, and never been able to cary a second title. However, we have to publish Wonder Woman. We also need other female-led series, so we bring a few more female crimefighters into Birds of Prey, and run with it.

Anyway...I'm sure that's totally disjointed and rambling, but...It's a blog.

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