And all those other fantastic characters we aren’t seeing over at DC right now of course, the more I actually DON’T want them to appear in the New 52. Cause I can almost guarantee that they’ll be handed off to a creative team who either doesn’t know or care enough about who they are and they’ll be completely ruined, just like so many other things. Do we honestly want to see these characters go the way of Catwoman, Starfire, Tim Drake, or Superman and Lois Lane? What if their backstories get a Wonder Woman level of overhaul. I’m sorry, but I’m starting to realize the harsh truth of this whole DCnU thing, and while I will still support Stephanie Brown and Wally West and everyone else with all my heart, I’m feeling more and more that I just plain don’t want to see what this new universe has to offer them. Because chances are it won’t be good.
“Hey DC wanna have an awesome Young Justice line-up featuring fun characters and arcs and really kick-ass storytelling? All combined with authors who really understand the upcoming generation?”
“No, we’d rather have a bland, unimaginative line-up characters with edgy storylines and characters. And screw that ‘upcoming generation’ in fact let’s just screw them over by either messing with their characters or just completely emitting them. Yes, who needs this upcoming generation when you could relish in the past, while also destroying it.”
“But… That makes no sense.”
“Sh, sh, sh. We know what we’re doing, fandom.”
And that’s why the Young Justice line is failing.
Sometimes I wish I never got into the comics. It was going so great. Why did I have to get pulled in a year after they launched the god-awful Reboot. Now all I am doing is reading pre-boot material comparing to what is being printed now and going “Why did they try to fix something that was never broken in the first place?”
I know what you mean, I actually got started because of the reboot and now my whole fandom is basically a paradox because now I’m like “Why did you have to reboot, DC?”, but then I’d be like, “Why can’t you give me a place to jump in, DC?” and so on and so forth. Maybe if they’d just handled all this with a little bit of care and didn’t screw up the characters I was already familiar with and liked
captain marvel, blue beetle, static and so many more.
Man. I was so fucking excited to see what DC was going to be doing. All their books were building up to so much, so many cool stories that will now never be told because for whatever fucking reason, they decided to reboot everything right when it was getting good. I came in about 2 years before the reboot, which ended up being terrible because I fell in love with DC comics head over heels, only to have it all ripped away.
The results of the Nielsen Survey that DC did post reboot are in and the results are depressing. In an article on ICv2, DC’s Executive Vice President of Sales, Marketing and Business Development John Rood outlined the results.
- Remember the idea of bringing in new readers? The survey found that new readers comprised just 5% of the survey.
- Female readers, which comprised about 8% of the readership in the last benchmark’s available from two decades ago, consisted of 7% of the survey. AHEM. Double AHEM.
- The number of readers 13-18, generally considered the age where you need to get new consumers, was 2%
This was the biggest marketing push in the history of DC Comics. They rebooted books, redesigned costumes, bought advertising, gave co-op funds, and blanked the media with news of Lois and Clark’s divorce and Barbara Gordon’s return to the tights. And for what? The Source summed it up nicely:
The launch of DC COMICS-THE NEW 52 galvanized the traditional fan base for superhero comic books: male readers, who were already—or have at one time been—comic book fans.
To quote the Talking Heads, “Same as it ever was.”
Not even a little bit surprised.
Basically my feelings about the DC reboot so far. While the DC execs sat in a room for weeks at a time just deciding whether or not Wonder Woman should have pants, the boys at Locke and Key have been churning out fantastic, original art and stories that make me swoon.
Loving this comic. I’ve been curious about that series for a while now but never picked it up. Guess I should give it a try.
Though I have to say, the people who actually think they’ll just be able to jump into DC comics all easy like with the new #1’s probably have another thing coming to them. Renumbering or not, these books are still going to be loaded with extra info and continuity bonuses that anyone outside the fandom isn’t going to get. Really, the best way to do it is just pick up a trade paperback you think looks cool, and read it with internet handy so you can Wikipedia anything you don’t understand (at least that’s how I did it when I heard about Green Lantern Rebirth).
DC Comics’ Video Trailer for the New 52 Debuts
Last night the ad/trailer/DC’s tribute to MTV’s Rock Block circa 1998 debuted. Okay, that last point was mostly because of the music, which is droning, in my opinion. Above is the short version. There is a much longer version here.
It seems as if this is an attempt to get at the gaming crowd. I am excited that Wonder Woman is so prominent and I liked her smashing the arrow. (But I am a little surprised with the prominence of Hawkman). But that music …
What do you think?
I don’t think this is supposed to be geared towards the “gaming crowd” specifically. I think it’s just another attempt to look “badass.” The music, the quick cuts, it’s all the same stuff you see in a trailer for a Vin Diesel movie. To me, it’s just more proof that they’re really only trying to sell to the 18-30 year old males and that they (or the folks in the marketing department at least) do not really care about anyone else.
I guarantee that they used that music because of the massive success the Iron Man films had with the target demographic. But really, come on DC. You have access to this:
This was just posted to the DC website:
Over the past week we’ve heard from fans about a need for more women writers, artists and characters. We want you to know, first and foremost, that we hear you and take your concerns very seriously.
We’ve been very fortunate in recent years to have…
This is crazy. I just finished a massive interview about this. I’m tentative but I’m happy. It’s a step in the right direction!
We’ll see how they do. I’m still massively skeptical of anything that comes out of DiDildo’s mouth now, but here’s hoping! It does actually sound like they’ve finally realized what they’ve done though, so I guess we’ll see!
And it says this about her death and time as Robin:
During a Q&A at a convention in March 2007, DC executive editor Dan DiDio responded to questions about the absence of a Stephanie tribute from the Batcave, saying that the official position of DC Comics is that, “She was never really a Robin,” despite on-panel claims to the contrary.
And now, in the new continuity, she never was. Thanks DiDildo.
He seriously hates Steph, doesn’t he?
This is an audio clip of Dan Didio at SDCC. Someone in the audience asked him why the percentage of women on DC’s creative team dropped from 12% to 1%. His response is “What do these numbers mean to you?” and “Who should we be hiring?” I know most of you have read a transcript of the discussion, but you should probably listen to this. I know I imagined a more sarcastic/inquisitive tone on “Who should we be hiring?” so hearing how aggressive he sounds is just. Wow. I would’ve been incredibly uncomfortable had I witnessed this first hand.
I’m pretty sure credit for the audio clip goes to DCWKA, but I could be wrong.
Holy fucking shit. I was not expecting that.
This, to me, makes it very clear that Didio did not actually want an answer. He is aggressive, and is clearly attempting to intimidate the fan who asked the question. There’s barely room to respond, and his repetition in increasingly agitated tones of “Who should we hire? Tell me right now!” sounds like it would belong better in an interrogation room than a Q&A! From his tone, he is very much on the defensive. It sounds, to me, like he legitimately thinks that there are no women good enough for him to have hired.
I think that pisses me off more than anything else. That he is so secure in his asinine hiring decisions during this process that he thinks he is beyond reproach and becomes noticeably agitated when questioned.
Didio, you are not beyond reproach. In fact, considering your position and the industry you work in, you are subject to the scrutiny of the fans. That’s how it works. And we will call you on your bullshit. You are answerable for your decisions, and if you cannot rationally explain them without becoming angry and aggressively defensive about them, maybe you should take a second look at them.
I remember listening to this and really not expecting it, either. All I could do was cringe and say; “Oh honey, no.”
Why even go to a public place like SDCC and then ask for fan questions if you had some serious ego-bruising topics you wanted to avoid at all costs? That clip was so self-inflated I can’t even
It’s really heartening to see fanboys so interested/invested in equality in comics though! Not just represented in the comics, but also the workplace. I think that is the coolest.
Sometimes I wonder why I’m such a fan of a medium that consistently ignores, belittles and is openly hostile towards me.
That was kinda scary agitated. It sounds stupid, but I wasn’t expecting that much hostility. Thank you crowd for immediately jumping in.
WOW. What an ASSHOLE. Yeah, I knew he responded with “Who should we be hiring?” but I didn’t he was actually being TOUGH about it. Jeez. Dan DiDildo, you have just solidified the fact that DC Comics will not be seeing a CENT of my money come September.Played 13700 times.
800 signatures strong so far! But our goal is 5000 so we’ve got a ways to go yet!
This coming September DC Comics will cut their number of women on creative teams from 16 to 2. Dan DiDio doesn’t know who he should have hired, so sign this and help him out!
Sign and reblog guys! Together we have a huge influence!
GOD DAMN IT. I JUST WANT GOOD COMICS!
You know what these upcoming titles sound like? NOT GOOD COMICS. There is not one story I have yet come across that sounds interesting.
Agreed. There’s only a few I’m honestly interested in checking out, and those really only include the characters who’s lives and continuities weren’t changed all that much (i.e. Batman, Green Lantern). I know I’m of the opinion that “you can make a good story out of anything,” but these books… just don’t sound like good stories. They’re not just rebooting the universe/characters, they’re not understanding them at all. And it really sucks because I’ve read nothing BUT good stories from DC since I started collecting 2 years ago, which makes the reboot seem even more meaningless. -____- I have SOOOO fucking much to say on this topic, but really, I just want good comics, too. :|
We are on the far side of the San Diego ComiCon. This is a con where DC’s creators have had their most direct exposure to their current fanbase’s reactions to the New 52. In particular, they’ve heard loud and clear that the ongoing lack of gender parity both in the comics and behind the scenes creating them is, simply put, no longer acceptable.
Inevitably, this has led to backlash. The surest sign that a message is beginning to be heard is the annoyed and dismissive response by those not affected. I’ve heard the woman cosplaying as Batgirl being described as a bully. There was applause for Dan DiDio’s response (“well, who should we have hired”) to the question. The inevitable (overwhelmingly male) fatigue with the issue has begun to emerge.
Well, speaking as a male myself… get used to that fatigue, because the complaints are only going to get louder and more common.
There are two reasons for this. The first is simple: the complaints have merit. Women comprise just over fifty percent of the population. Inevitably, any popular media that refuses to acknowledge that is going to be accused of sexism, because it is in fact sexist.
Seriously. Having a brand new Justice League and having less than 50% women on it? Is a sexist decision. There is no way to justify it as anything else. Having a Teen Titans so out of whack demographically? Same deal. And no, the existence of the Birds of Prey doesn’t make up for it, any more than the existence of the Negro Baseball Leagues made up for the lack of black players in Major League Baseball pre-Jackie Robinson. Seperate is not and never will be equal.
But second, and significantly more importantly? The complaints will continue because the female readership is where all the growth is.
Seriously. The Manga explosion of the 90’s and early 2000’s created generations of female fans of sequential art. Adventure cartoons have huge female fanbases. (There is a reason the new Avatar is a girl.) And those women like superheroes. Young Justice has a big female fanbase. No shock — how many women were raised on The Powerpuff Girls and Kim Possible? And the whole My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic phenomenon comes from a cartoon being written for girls by creators who actually understand their audience produces not a “good girls’ cartoon” but a good cartoon, period. No wonder guys like it too.
Sooner or later, someone senior to the entire DC Entertainment hierarchy at Time Warner is going to notice all these consumers with all their money and all their complaints, and change will be imposed from above with all the force and subtlety of a meteor. Why? Because executives like money and there’s piles of it to be made, and shareholders don’t like loud, legitimate claims of sexism. The current creative team at DC can take great, legitimate strides towards fixing it before that happens, but they actually have to take them.
And that’s a big reason for the backlash now. Folks who like comics the way they are resent the implication they need to change. They certainly resent the accusation of sexism because they don’t see themselves as sexist and don’t like being told something they love is sexist. It feels like a personal attack. “If you like current superhero comics and current superhero comics are sexist, you must be a sexist yourself!” And they deny it vociferously.
And those denials? End up being sexist whether intentional or not. The woman who wore the costume of her hero stood up at every panel and spoke truth to power. That takes guts. The idea that woman was a bully is ridiculous. Women demanding that comics recogize who they are and treat their depictions and their talents accordingly aren’t bullying anyone. They’re refusing to be bullied. Trashing someone for speaking out against rampent sexism isn’t cutting through to the truth — it’s supporting that sexism and decrying people for not accepting it.
There’s nothing heroic about that, and DC has to get out of the business of championing it. Those who defend it or attack the fight against it have forgotten what being a hero is all about.
this is a good post and you should feel good
Awesome post. Preach it, my friend. DC comics has got to stop this sexist insanity. “Who should we have hired?” Gee, I don’t know Mr. DiDio, maybe THE OTHER 11% YOU FIRED? Egh.
Let’s make something as succinct as humanly possible, shall we?
Dan DiDio and Jim Lee had an interview where they discussed why they were doing so many changes. There’s a lot of reasons why they’re doing it, and a lot of reasons why they’re keeping other things the same, and there’s a lot to be debated in it. But most people are focusing on the section dealing with Batgirl vs. Oracle.
Here’s something DiDio said:
I think we have a really strong line that features a wider range of diversity throughout it. And in this particular case, we were looking specifically back at the Barbara Gordon character. And when you talk about Batgirl, whether it’s with a casual fan or even to somebody who just knew the Batman character, Barbara Gordon is always the one people default to as “who Batgirl is.”
Perhaps, and perhaps not. Certainly, Stephanie Brown — who was Batgirl for the shortest amount of time — was building very quickly into ‘Batgirl.’ But I think this reasoning — brand identification, mostly — isn’t good enough. After all, when they returned Barry Allen to the DC Universe and made him ‘the’ Flash again, DiDio said something very similar — only more personal. He said that Barry Allen was always the Flash to him.
That’s an important distinction — because for the vast majority of the potential comics market (including the entire 18-35 market they say they’re trying to attract), Wally West was the one people defaulted to as the Flash. Wally West was the Flash in Justice League, which lots more people saw, especially in those current key demos. Wally West had been the Flash for twenty-three years. Twenty-three years. Barry Allen had been the Flash for twenty-nine years when he was killed in Crisis on Infinite Earths — just six years longer — and for the vast, vast majority of current comics readers in 2008, existed as a character who was interesting because of how he died, and his ability to not have been tarnished by the newer directions of comics as a result.
By the same token, Barbara Gordon was put in that wheelchair in 1988. She had debuted in comic books in 1967, so she had a twenty one year run as Batgirl. She debuted as Oracle in 1989, so at this point she’s had a twenty-two year run as Oracle. That’s an important point — she’s been Oracle (and disabled) longer than she was Batgirl.
So the brand argument, to me, is somewhat specious. That brings us to their earlier statement — the one on diversity and how they’re chock full of it.
Well, they’re not. They’re just not. The ‘new’ DC Universe has put more white men in the forefront, not less.
And Barbara Gordon has gone from an extremely powerful role — and role model — to a weak one.
Oh, I have confidence in Gail Simone to write a strong Batgirl. I really do. But Barbara Gordon is Batgirl again. Some other character is Batwoman, defined as being entirely independent from Batman. Barbara Gordon is back to the role of being passive and scared (look at that cover I’ve reprinted above) as Batgirl, where she was strong, confident, independent and distinctive as Oracle.
And the message all this sends is terrible. It takes a powerful disabled character and makes her a less powerful fully abled character.
The message of Oracle was simple. A wheelchair doesn’t make you passive or weak. A wheelchair doesn’t keep you from being a hero.
The message of Barbara returning to Batgirl? Is that being in a wheelchair is a problem that should be fixed, and isn’t it lucky that Barbara Gordon lives in a magical universe where these things can happen? Yay! Now she’s not broken any more! She can get on with her real super hero career.
Yeah, screw that. Barbara Gordon was powerful and dangerous, able to fight physically and completely dominate mentally. She was the lynchpin of the DC Universe, master of information, and arguably the strongest pure leader in the DC Universe.
Now she’s Batgirl. You know. On a level with Robin the Boy Wonder.
Of course, Dick Grayson, Jason Todd and Tim Drake all got to ‘graduate’ from being Robin, and become confident, adult heroes. Barbara Gordon just got to revert to Batgirl, costing her status as an icon and a role model in the process.
That’s why people are angry, Charlie Brown.