Tuesday, May 26, 2015

I've got some DC You for YOU, DC.

So, we are entering the brave new world of the "DC You"
According to DC's press release:
In "DC You," a new advertising campaign promoting diversity, DC Entertainment aims for its 24 new titles and 25 ongoing series to have "something for everyone."
The "DC You" initiative, which kicks off on June 3, will highlight four main themes: characters, talent, stories and fans. While celebrating iconic characters like Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman, the initiative will also feature creators like Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo, Geoff Johns and Annie Wu. Likewise, new storytelling directions will be spotlighted through taglines and, like the name suggests, thank fans new and old. 
"With the New DC Universe, there’s a story for every kind of DC Comics fan. There’s a story for YOU,” explained Amit Desai, DC Entertainment's senior vice president of marketing and global franchise management. "The DC Comics slate rolling out this summer truly offers a comic book for everyone and our new advertising campaign -- DC YOU -- celebrates this bold, new direction."

Well, that certainly sounds nice.  But I've got some news for you, DC....

You had a book for me. It was called Aquaman.  In it, your overall creative architect and master of returning characters to their essentials had, nearly overnight, restored Aquaman's glory, embraced his so-called failings, and showed that he was (as the kids call it) an awesome bad-ass, and always was.  His position of respect was restored, his consort reintroduced as a fully realized, independent, and powerful partner, and a mythos was built around him using new, old, and revivified concepts that never overshadowed him and placed him firmly at its center. Furthermore, that new mythos itself became the center of universe-wide arcs, such as the war against Atlantis in Justice League.  Aquaman's ties to both the land and the sea were reaffirmed through his stories and supporting cast, and he was the poster boy for successful revamp in the New52.

A happy couple? Can't have THAT in the DCU, now, can we?

You've replaced that with an Aquaman redressed in a complicated non-iconic outfit designed to echo a movie that won't be out for another 2 years.  An Aquaman, who, just as you had built up to a score of pregnant possibilities (such as the discovery of the Seven Seas), is now thrown out of Atlantis and being hunted by his own lover.  

You and me both, Arthur.

You had a book for me. And you ruined it. Oh, and not just this one.  I could tell this same story (with different details) for other books that you had for me, and ones that had me hooked on DC: Batwoman, the Flash. even Green Lantern.  And you've ruined them all (and more, including Batman/Detective).

You don't have any problem making books for me (or others). Your problem is that you can't stop ruining them.  And why? Because you are addicted to "bold, new directions".

I am reminded of "Terminal Man" (either the movie or the novel).  Doctors try to cure a man who's a victim of seizures of violence behavior by implanting a device that stimulates pleasure centers in his brain to forestall the seizures.  Eventually, his brain figures out that it can cause itself pleasure by triggering the seizures, which start to come more and more frequently until it finally switches to a state of constant mindless seizures of violent upheaval compound by a positive feedback loop.

"Do you smell...almonds?"

That would be you, DC  You are addicted to 'bold, new directions" and you are causing them more and more frequently because of the pleasure they give you (such as press attention). This isn't a complaint about the direction you decided to go in (except for Aquaman).  Let's stipulate that EVERYTHING you are about to do is WONDERFUL; you still have a problem, because you can't go for six months to a year without a bold new direction, and new creative team, or a new status quo for your characters.   You find rebooting so liberating that you are now close to entering a state of continually reboot. That leaves readers with very little reason to read anything more than a month or two, because we know it's only going to be wiped out by the next creative team a few months later.  

We don't need a bold new direction from you, DC.  We need you to stop changing direction every few months.