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AICN COMICS ROUNDTABLE: The @$$Holes continue their dissection of DC’s September Relaunch—Day Two!


Part Two!
Hey folks, Ambush Bug here. Welcome to part two of our DC RELAUNCH ROUNDTABLE! Yesterday, you were privy to a lengthy discussion held in the @$$Hole Clubhouse between all of the League of @$$Holes over the weekend after DC’s big announcement that they will relaunch their entire line in September with new number one issues; 52 to be exact. We’ve given a chance for the dust to settle and tried to set out to discuss our feelings about the relaunch and all that went with it. Before we dive into part two of the discussion, let’s list the facts first and the teams attached to each of the 52 books.

Fact: DC will be releaunching 52 series in September all with new number one issues.
Fact: DC will be going Day & Date Digital, meaning comics will be available to be downloaded the same day they are available in stores.
Fact: This is not a reboot. Though many refer to it as such in the discussion below, Johns and Lee have said that some details (aka stuff Johns, Morrison and some of the other successful runs) will remain, while others (aka shit that wasn’t selling) will be retooled in these new books.
Fact: Elements of the WildStorm Universe will be integrated into the new DC Universe.
The creative teams: The following are the 52 titles of interest and the creative teams behind them.

Geoff Johns (writer), Jim Lee & Scott Williams (art)
Grant Morrison (writer), Rags Morales & Rick Bryant (art)
George Perez (writer/breakdowns), Jesus Merino (art)
Scott Lobdell (wrtier), R.B. Silva & Rob Lean (art)
Michael Green & Mike Johnson (writers), Mahmud Asrar (art)
Tony S. Daniel (writer), Tony S. Daniel & Ryan Winn (art)
Scott Snyder (writer), Greg Capullo & Jonathan Glapion (art)
David Finch (writer), David Finch & Richard Friend (art)
Peter J. Tomasi (writer), Patrick Gleason & Mick Gray (art)
Judd Winick (writer), Ben Oliver (art)
Gail Simone (writer), Adrian Syaf & Vincente Cifuentes (art)
J.H. Williams III & W. Haden Blackman (writers), J.H. Williams III (art)
Kyle Higgins (writer), Eddy Barrows & J.P. Mayer (art)
Judd Winick (writer), Guillem March (art)
Duane Swierczynski (writer), Jesus Saiz (art)
Scott Lobdell (writer), Kenneth Rocafort (art)
Geoff Johns (writer), Doug Mahnke & Christian Alamy (art)
Peter J. Tomasi (writer), Fernando Pasarin & Scott Hanna (art)
Tony Bedard (writer), Tyler Kirkham & Batt (art)
Peter Milligan (writer), Ed Benes & Rob Hunter (art)
Geoff Johns (writer), Ivan Reis & Joe Prado (art)
Brian Azzarello (writer), Cliff Chiang (art)
Francis Manapul & Brian Buccelato (writers), Francis Manapul (art)
J.T. Krul (writer), Dan Jurgens & Norm Rapmund (art)
Tony S. Daniel (writer), Phillip Tan (art)
Ethan Van Scivier & Gail Simone (writers), Yildiray Cinar (art)
Dan Jurgens (writer), Aaron Lopresti & Matt Ryan (art)
J.T. Krul (writer), Freddie Williams II (art)
Eric Wallace (writer), Roger Robinson (art)
Paul Jenkins (writer), Bernard Chang (art)
Peter Milligan (writer), Mikel Janin (art)
Scott Snyder (writer), Yanick Paquette (art)
Jeff Lemire (writer), Travel Foreman & Dan Green (art)
Jeff Lemire (writer), Alberto Ponticelli (art)
Joshua Hale Fialkov (writer), Andrea Sorrentino (art)RESURRECTION MAN #1
Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning (writers), Fernando Dagnino (art)
Paul Cornell (writer), Diogenes Neves & Oclair Albert (art)
Paul Cornell (writer), Miguel Sepulveda (art)
Ron Marz (writer), Sami Basri (art)
Nathan Edmondson (writer), CAFU (art)
Kyle Higgins (writer), Joe Bennet & Art Thibert (art)
Adam Glass (writer), Marco Rudy (art)
O.M.A.C. #1
Dan Didio & Keith Giffen (writer), Keith Giffen & Scott Koblish (art)
Mike Costa (wrtier), Ken Lashley (art)
Ivan Brandon (writer), Tom Derenick (art)
Justin Gray & Jimmy Palmiotti (writers), Moritat (art)
Scott Lobdell (writer), Brett Booth & Norn Rapmund (art)
Scott McDaniel & John Rozum (writers), Scott McDaniel & Jonathan Glapion (art)
Sterling Gates (writer), Rob Liefeld (art)
Tony Bedard (writer), Ig Guara & Ruy Jose (art)
Paul Levitz (writer), Francis Portela (art)
Fabian Nicieza (writer), Pete Woods (art)

Now, let’s get part two if this Roundtable rolling…

BUG: What about DC’s rumored no thighs policy where every female must wear pants?

JD: I think that change is long overdue. The ridiculous cheese-cakey costumes some of the women wear do NOT help our image as an industry or us as readers. I've worked in a comic shop for over a decade and women STILL come in and scoff at what they see. Some women outright refuse to walk into the store. This usually angers me and feels mildly insulting to me when it happens, but then I stop and look around at the shelves and see things like BOMB QUEEN or WITCHBLADE or the Zenescope covers. POWER GIRL, LADY DEATH, so on and so forth. It's commonplace to us and we don't really even notice it anymore as readers, but to a woman outside looking in, it must feel like walking into a softcore porn shop.

BUG: Excellent point, JD. I agree--if the redesigns are good, that is. That said, taking the fishnets off of Zatanna is like taking the stars off of the American flag!

SUPERHERO: I submit that it's not the costumes that are offensive to women but that it's the way that the women are drawn that's offensive. Girls and women have no problem with Betty and Veronica because, even though they wear swimsuits and tank tops, they are drawn respectfully. Hell, women had no problem with Wonder Woman's outfit in the sixties and seventies because she wasn't drawn like a playmate. Hell, women didn't even have a problem with Lynda Carter as Wonder Woman. When my wife saw the Jim Lee Wonder Woman outfit her first sentences were, "They covered her up! Why did they cover her up?" Let's face it, pants or undies, they are still going to be drawing Wonder Woman in the sexiest way possible. Those pants are going to be TIGHT. And her boobs will still be BIG. DC wants to keep her in male power fantasy mode. Let the female characters be drawn and written by WOMEN. That's your solution to the problem. And then back them up with a big publicity push. Done and done.

HUMPHREY: To be fair, as fans we don't do much better treating these characters as characters. We bitch when they grow up, we bitch when they don't. We bitch when they act "out of character" or when they are too generically in character. We bitch when a story moment from fifteen years ago isn't acknowledged even if we didn't really like that story to begin with. If we actually wanted these characters to grow, Peter Parker would be retired right now and we'd be reading about his son who carried on the mantle nearing middle age. Comic fans are the most fickle bunch of consumers on the planet, and while half the time I don't really think those in control of the properties understand anything other than "just put it out there, they'll eat this shit up" I don't think I'd want to deal with trying to figure out what we want collectively either.

IMP: Let's talk about those costume redesigns for a minute--why, after all the very public negativity surrounding Jim Lee's very '90s flavored Wonder Woman design, does DC turn around and let him loose on the rest of their characters? They need to accept the fact that, as good an artist Lee is, he sucks balls when it comes to costume design. Just look at his portfolio from the X-Men on to Kyle Rayner's dog-collared look to Wonder Woman's bustier and tiny jacket to DC's promo image with the stupid high v-neck collars, unnecessary piping on the spandex, and the overall clunkiness of Lee's Cyborg design. There are so many artists out there who have such talent and ability when it comes to character design, but DC decided to go once again for the "superstar" name recognition rather than a halfway decent end result.

IRISH RICAN (IR): The whole thing reeks of the 90s. Next we'll bring back the 90s mullet, Rob Liefeld, and have Onslaught as the bad guy. At least with Jim's HEROES REBORN we knew everything would go back to normal eventually. I totally agree on this collars thing. It's as if Lee was watching a show from 6 years ago and was like "I'm bringing it back! Green Lantern style!"

BUG: That’s not Superman, that’s Kanye West! Pop dat collar, brah!!!

SQUASHUA: The v-neck collars? That is some shit that has to go. Jim Lee, you must have access to tons of WB resources like designers. Did you reference any? I can understand the collars from a practical sense, but they just look terrible. Yes, Karate Kid has no excuse because that's considered fashionable in the year 3011, but this is 2011, man.

KC: Well, just to play devil's advocate any kind of shake up could produce some good comics but sometimes the reasoning can put people off before they even open a comic. I'm definitely interested in a few of the creative teams like Ethan Van Sciver and Gail Simone writing THE FURY OF FIRESTORM or Azzarello on WONDER WOMAN (no Risso, though, which is a bummer).

IR: This whole thing stinks to high heaven and I'm pretty PO'd about it. I'm not even sure why I'm so pissed but I guess most of that is because there is no need for it. When there's absolutely no need it probably comes down to some sort of money grab. DC obviously is out to pander to a crowd they think they don't have and throw the people who support their comics into a tizzy. Did Marvel do it right with the Ultimate universe? Well - we did get awesome stories with original characters in new settings. Those comics get new #1's while Marvel, recovering from their own "we'll launch new #1's!', got back to the old numbering system. Great stories, great characters, and somehow the regular Marvel Universe still survived as well. This whole situation reeks and I feel like it is the sort of crap move that will have DC apologizing two years from now. Somehow, when I was growing up, I was able to pick up an issue 300 of AMAZING SPIDER-MAN and not feel like I was truly missing out because I didn't read the 300 issues prior to that. I was able to read a Todd McFarlane Spidey Vs. Venom and get excited about it because it had a young, hip artist and a great storyline.

BUG: What about the Superman verdict? Anyone know the specifics of that?

PROF: It’s the Summary Judgment ruling from 2009 and people like me immediately saw a connection between the Siegels winning part of Superman back and the DC decisions since then, especially this reboot and costume change.

DOUCHE: Jim Shooter had some interesting words concerning the law suit.

Super Lad After I turned in the first draft of my looong outline for my Legion of Super-Heroes mega-arc a few years back, I was called to a meeting with the editor and Dan DiDio. They asked for a rewrite—not because they didn’t like the story, but because they wanted me to add a part that would introduce a new Super character, a Superboy of sorts.

And here’s one reason why: the Siegel and Shuster estates were suing over the original Superboy, and were likely to prevail. A new Super young man, cleanly owned by DC, was needed. The clone-cousin and Prime hadn’t really worked out.

Also, a Super in the LSH would certainly drive sales.

So, I started working on it. If you read the extra looooong revised series outline, you saw how the character would be introduced.

But, I thought this might be of interest. It’s a document I wrote early on in the process:

Here are some thoughts regarding Super Lad:

First of all, remember that I'm wicked old....

To me, Superman should be the greatest of all heroes, and by extension all "Super" characters should be cut from the same cloth.

Back in antediluvian days, I thought a lot about what kind of person Superman and all Super characters must be. Having that kind of power and not abusing it, ever, in any way, takes a special kind of being. I wouldn't have been up to the task when I was a teenager--which is when I was doing the thinking. Would you?

Since the days when Stan made "heroes with flaws" the rage, I've seen Superman and other Super characters be portrayed as wrong-headed, stupid, selfish, nasty, vengeful, unnecessarily violent, inept, ineffective, foolish, weak, pathetic and in many ways, failures and losers.

My main problem with that is not some moralistic crap, not some cranky, old-guy problem with the disrespectful whippersnappers who threw down an icon, an ideal, and pissed all over it. Nope. My problem is that, as a writer with a brain, analyzing that garbage, I conclude that it just doesn't work character-wise. If a Super were anything but a noble being with an iron will and tremendous self control, impervious to the failings bad writers nonetheless foisted upon him or her, the Super would have been a villain. Period. And all the rest of the heroes, all the world for that matter, would have had nothing on their minds, and nothing else worthy of devoting their efforts to than destroying the Super. Period.

What DC allows numbskull lightweights to do to THE hero icon, Superman and other Supers is somebody else's call. However, if we are permitted--in fact, we were asked--to add a Super, Super Lad, to the pantheon--then I propose that we make him the noble-spirited young man he ought to be.

I see him as a genuine good guy. Someone who does the right thing, who has tremendous willpower and courage, who is smart and reasonable. Smart about using his powers, as he learns how. The nicest, best guy you ever met. NOBLE, in the best senses of the word. Not that he can't make mistakes, not that he doesn't have humanity--but he's the best of humankind, one of the few survivors of his particular kind, determined, therefore, to give a good account of himself.

Elliot S! Maggin once wrote an imaginary story in which Kal-el did not become Superman. Since that didn't occur, he was chosen as the Green Lantern of his sector because he among all beings there had the greatest courage, greatest will and noblest spirit. Right on. That was ES!M's finest hour.

Stan taught me this: magnify your heroes. He meant it in the archaic sense--to glorify, to increase, to make great. Super Lad should become THE Super. The standard by which all others are judged.

As for what he should look like....

The key costume elements to me are these:

- The "S." Prominent. And on his chest, though not necessarily dead center.

- The CAPE. There must be a cape.

- Full coverage. Only head and hands exposed. This isn't a summer suit...

- A belt. With a buckle. (!)

- Timelessness. This costume must be iconic. NOTHING trendy.

- Colors. Red and blue with a little yellow. Primaries. Only.

The key physical features to me are these:

- A strong, young man's physique. NOT overbuilt, NOT Hercules. Strong-looking but slim. Like Ditko's early Spider-man. An ATTAINABLE build. He's Kryptonian. He doesn't have to be absurdly muscle-bound.

- Handsome. A really, really good looking guy. No lantern jaw, no jock sensibility. Just an amazingly good looking guy.

- Haircut: timeless. A haircut that wouldn't look out of place in almost any era. I wouldn't mind something pretty close to Superman's. Nothing dated or trendy. No mullet, no crew cut, no high-and-tight, no long hair, no Pet Detective, no spike-y do, no dreads, no curls, no mop. Timeless.

- Smart and serious-looking. With all due respect, Kitson's Supergirl looked like a ditzy blonde. Super Lad must look like a serious young man.

That's it for now.

Part of the conceit was creating a character that could work outside the LSH context, and whose origin could be stated almost as succinctly as Superman’s. Forget the complexities of my storyline. It’s simple—“…brought from a distant world in the distant past to save our planet….” Adding a time travel element to the space travel bit used for Superman…a little Buck Rogers twist. It would have worked, I think.

When things started to get contentious with DC, they took the introduction of Super Lad away from me. I think it was because they were sufficiently annoyed by my complaints that they didn’t want me being the one to get the benefit of the licensing participations and character creation incentives.

So much for the retirement plan.

SUPERHERO: Wow, I actually like that...the costume design too...

PROF: Well, that settles that.

BUG: I find this fascinating. This is like Marvel losing the rights to Spidey. They no longer can use their core character so they decide to redo the entire line.

MATT ADLER: Marvel may be in a little less danger since the Kirby case is murkier.... there was no work for hire contract, but he did create those characters while freelancing for Martin Goodman. Siegel and Shuster clearly created Superman before coming to what would become DC (they even shopped it around to other outlets). But eventually copyright law will lead to all of these characters becoming public domain anyway.

BUG: I'm curious to hear what you guys think will happen to the comic shops as a result of all of this, and how soon do you think Marvel will respond in kind?

SUPERHERO: I don't know. I'm a bit optimistic about certain comic shops surviving. But they can't just call themselves "comic shops" anymore. And they can't just cater to the Big Two anymore to survive. With the almost certain collapse of Borders and Barnes & Noble (whose misfortunes, in my opinion, are more about being mismanaged than being a part of a dying industry) I think a comic shop can survive but only if they become an actual special service book store. There are a lot of mom and pop record shops in my area that do sell new stuff as well as old/used stuff and they seem to be hanging on if not doing well. When Tower Records went under everyone was talking about the death of the record store but I think what happened was that it opened room for small shops to possibly thrive again. Maybe what's happening here is the death of giant monster chains taking over the landscape. Maybe the new business model for shops will be to not get too big and stay small. Just own your small businesses and be happy with that and cater to your customers in the neighborhood and grow a bit online.

SQUASHUA: Death or more diversity; space will be used for non-comic items such as toys and games to draw in alternative customers.

OD: Comic shops will bend over and take it up the ass as they always do. There's no organization and 80% of them are owned by non-comic fans and run by the walking dead. I truly consider my shop an exception for my area, but even with their efficiencies they will still feel a burn. I've heard some talk about bolting Comixology to their website, but why would I use that if I could just order direct from an app? No one can answer that question. There's two ways to entice: either exclusive content or a price drop. Can comic shops offer either via an exclusive web service? Only time will tell. Marvel should start doing the same day digital next month. It ain't that hard, guys, and pricing the digital the same price as their tangible doppelgangers, what do you have to lose? It's called another revenue stream.

KC: I don't think there will be any immediate effect at the comic stores. The same people who were going to shops to buy comics the Wednesday before the digital push will be the same people in shops the week after. I do think it will effect comic shops in the long run because they are giving people an alternative to buying floppys (as you call them) but i think we are a long way away from seeing a full scale switch to digital. It definitely isn't helping printed versions stay relevant but it seems like a logical thing to happen given the times we live in. Just think, though--when there are no more current printed comics, our collections will be worth sooooo much...

VROOM: I don't know that this is an option for every comic shop out there, but it is an example of thinking outside the box. Here in Portland, there's a regular fine arts event called First Thursday . One of the newest comics shops in town, Floating World Comics , has jumped into this event feet first by hosting comics related art shows, starting the first Thursday of each month. One of the cooler showings involved presenting various artist's portraits of Kitty Pryde. I actually have two prints from that showing I still need to get framed. Another event featured original art from MADAME XANADU, along with the presence of the legendary Matt Wagner and the lovely Joëlle Jones. And at each event, there's a table of comics relevant to the show, and a salesperson behind the cash register. It's ideas like that, stuff that brings together the comics and non-comics crowd in the same venue, that will keep the shops alive. I don't know that an art show is viable for everyone, but if they try partnering up with the local second-run cinema for screenings of “Scott Pilgrim” or “Iron Man”, or get in touch with the local library about setting up a comics reading group sponsored by the get the idea. There are ways to keep comic shops relevant. It's just going to take some experimentation and a shitload of risk. Based on how Floating World is doing right now, I'd say it's worth the risk.

IMP: I think that hosting events like the ones you mentioned is a good idea, but I'm not sure how viable that option is to the smaller comic shops that have somehow managed to survive around the country. The trend I've noticed in the stores in my area--including the place where I buy most of my comics, Modern Myths in Northampton, MA-- is to split their focus between the role-playing game crowd and the comic market. Diversification seems to be the option if the market for the actual, physical comic book product dwindles even further than it already has. However, events like art shows and creator appearances are great if they can be made to happen. With comic conventions transforming into bloated, Hollywood-fueled behemoths of hype and product placement, wouldn't it be great if the local comic shops could tap into that one-on-one interaction with comics professionals that used to make the conventions special?

HUMPHREY: Marvel is not going to respond to anything. They've got movie money flowing in and no one has bothered to do that "vote with your wallet" idea for all those $3.99 books they bitch about, as is apparent with FEAR ITSELF selling well over 100K. I imagine overall, though, retailers will want DC to "win" in that they want more readership coming in and they want to make their money with units rather than hoping guys like us keep sucking up dollar increases. No one wants to own a business and watch its customer base dwindle to nothing because guys at the top did nothing to help keep a customer base coming back. I'm sure every retailer hopes DC knows what the hell it is doing and that between price point and accessibility they can sell current customers on a few new books and get the occasional teetering potential customer to finally buy a book or two. The sheer size of this new lineup will probably scare off some on both sides, though, and Marvel will continue to sit with their market share until they see a shift in how everyone is pumping money into their LCS.

BUG: Let’s get back to the relaunches themselves. Which of the 52 title interests you the most?

SUPERHERO: SUPERMAN and ACTION COMICS...but that's 'cause those are the only two superhero books that my shop currently pulls for me. Not interested in anything else.

ROCK-ME: JUSTICE LEAGUE INTERNATIONAL, because Jurgens wields a great Booster Gold. BIRDS OF PREY simply because it’s them. HAWK & DOVE because… well, c’mon, you can’t tell me you’re not interested. Even if you think it might be great, or just a great train wreck, it will NOT be dull. JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK sounds like a quirky bag of crazy. And BATGIRL, because it’s Babs.

PROF: The Morrison relaunch of ACTION is the only one any real substantive interest, but it's strictly intellectual curiosity. In terms of just being a fan, the AQUAMAN, OMAC, ALL-STAR WESTERN & FRANKENSTEIN books are the ones I really want to sample. But I would've sampled those without a "reboot" because of love of the characters and/or creative talent.

MATT: I'm probably most excited about George Perez's SUPERMAN, just because of his storytelling skills. And if he can only do breakdowns, you could do a lot worse than having someone like Jesus Merino doing finishes. JLI is a close second, because I love the characters, and Jurgens is another storytelling pro. Most of the Morrison and Johns stuff will at least be worth a look. And I confess to a curiosity about Tony Bedard's NEW GUARDIANS; I've been a fan of his since NEGATION.

IR: RESURRECTION MAN is a big standout for me. Loved the character in the nineties and I do hope Abnett and Lanning continue to kick ass on the title. While I didn't love where A&L took the character in the later issues the first 12 were pure brilliance. Want a great CW show? I've always said the title is tailor made for TV. I'm very excited to see Mitch Shelley back in action.

OD: Not being a betting man, I let history and reputation guide my soothsaying. Morrison kicked major ass on ALL STAR SUPERMAN; even if ACTION is not its traditional, it will definitely be something new and different. I have a big time man-crush on Scott Snyder, so I'm definitely grooving on BATMAN. JLI is probably my last one to watch simply because I am a fully indoctrinated member of the BWAHAHA brigade.

KC: The titles that interest me the most are ACTION COMICS because I think it will be at least interesting if not hard to follow...but definitely worth a gander. JUSTICE LEAGUE because as I’ve mentioned before I’ll buy anything Jim Lee draws. BATMAN, SUPERMAN, SWAMP THING (Paquette is gonna rule on this book), THE FURY OF FIRESTORM (loved him as a kid), DETECTIVE...I'll just say I'm curious about a lot of these titles but whether I'll consistently buy them is another thing. Plus I also wonder if these are the creative teams for the foreseeable future or just to kick things off. Basically I'm interested in a lot...but I'll be buying a lot less.

VROOM: I'm not planning on getting any of these, but the one book that's tempting me is I, VAMPIRE, and that's only because I like Joshua Hale Fialkov as a writer. As a Gail Simone fan, I'll probably end up flipping through the eventual TPB for BATGIRL. The same for ACTION COMICS. Can't say that I care about any other books.

JD: I'm most intrigued by JUSTICE LEAGUE, since this title is going to set the mood of the reset. If they fail with the very first issue, things are screeeewwwed. Beyond that, I'm curious about the new TEEN TITANS and I'm really curious to see how many issues past issue 2 of HAWK & DOVE that Rob Liefeld will actually do. It's so amazing to me that he's involved in this. I feel like we're being punked.

HUMPHREY: Talent speaks so I am all aboard the SWAMP THING, ANIMAL MAN, and honestly STORMWATCH trains. I want to see what those creators can whip up with those titles and characters.

BUG: I’ll read Scott Snyder’s grocery list and be intrigued, so BATMAN and SWAMP THING are top of the list. Can’t wait for I, VAMPIRE because Fialkov is one of the best writers not enough people are reading. I’m intrigued by HAWKMAN (Tony Daniel is surprisingly good on BATMAN) and Mike Costa will bring the same military awesomeness he brings to GI JOE COBRA to BLACKHAWKS. RESURRECTION MAN? I can’t frikkin’ wait! Loved the old series and will probably love the new one. And I’m with you guys on the HAWK & DOVE. It’s like watching a nun fall down a flight of stairs. You know it’s wrong and you should step in to stop it, but you just can’t look away. ANIMAL MAN looks good and I’ll follow Shade the Changing Man in JLA AFTER DARK. FRANKENSTEIN, DEMON KNIGHTS, SGT ROCK, and ALL STAR WESTERN should be fun, but I don’t know if they’ll last long. I’m rooting for AQUAMAN, but Johns needs a better take on Arthur because this Namor-lite crap isn’t cutting it.

SQUASHUA: What title interests me the most? I would say OMAC because Giffen is working on it and I read anything he writes, but I have zero interest in OMAC and Kirby homages are always hit-or-miss with me, usually miss. I don't want to say ACTION COMICS with Morrison because everyone else is going to pick that and I am not sure how he'll top ALL STAR SUPERMAN except by taking Superman back to his Golden Age roots. I almost would pick JLI, but I have a love/hate relationship with Jurgens' storytelling; it can get quite dry (see his original BOOSTER GOLD series). I'll go with RESURRECTION MAN because I loved the orginal series and DnA are back writing where they started; here's hoping it comes with one of those holograms on the cover again.

IMP: My love for DC has dwindled over the past couple of years, so I can't really say that I'm champing at the bit for any of these new or rebooted titles. That being said, I'm curious to see what Tony Daniel has in store for HAWKMAN, a character who really needs someone with great ideas at the helm so that the character doesn't deteriorate into just another guy who can fly. DC UNIVERSE PRESENTS might be up my alley, since I tend to gravitate towards one-shots and comic book anthologies. DEMON KNIGHTS sounds like it might be kinda neat. And I have to admit I'm looking forward to HAWK AND DOVE, but in a slowing-down-to-stare-at-the-car-crash sort of way.

PROF: Least interested in anything that has anything to do with the WildStorm characters, who should not be a part of the DCU in any way.

IR: There are so many "least favorite titles" for me but BLACKHAWKS is one I have less than zero interest in.

MATT: Least interested in... boy, there's a lot to choose from, isn't there? Lots of mediocre creators, artists pretending to be writers, and concepts without any compelling hook. Let's just keep it simple and say anything with Scott Lobdell or Rob Liefeld is not making my list.

OD: Toe tag HAWK & DOVE already, unless it's the lady team we got a whisper of back in BLACKEST NIGHT. The male Hawk hasn't been interesting since he became Monarch.

KC: The titles I'm least interested in are AQUAMAN and any of those WildStorm/DC mash-ups but I'll probably check 'em out anyway because I have the privilege of being in a comic store 5 days a week.

IMP: I'm not seeing much to grab me just based on the sparse information we've been given so far; maybe that'll change once the books hit the stands and I can see more of what they have to offer. In fact, it's probably better to NOT get invested in too many of these titles, 'cause I'd be willing to bet that most of the non-Batman, non-Superman, non-Green Lantern and non-Justice League comics will end up biting the big one before a year has gone by.

SQUASHUA: What title interests me the least? Just like everyone else, HAWK & DOVE. It baffles me; I simply have zero idea who the audience for that book is intended to be. And VOODOO because I know nothing about the character and with Ron Marx writing and the design on the cover, I think they're just playing to the WITCHBLADE crowd.

JD: LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES, as always. I could just never get into those characters or that universe; even when Geoff Johns tackled them, I didn't get further than one issue into it before giving up.

BUG: I have to agree. LEGION holds little interest for me. Neither do the TITANS or DEATHSTROKE or STATIC SHOCK series. BATWING seems unnecessary. Why no SHAZAM? And the WildStorm stuff seems redundant to me. VOODOO, but no ZATANNA or XOMBI? Please…

HUMPHREY: A lot of these other books are either working on a revamped version of something they were already writing, or I just have no bloody clue who they are or that DC had to reach so hard to find people to fill these slots. That latter aspect of this translates into the titles I just have no interest in; sorry Eric Wallace, I just don't know who you are nor do I think I'd get a MR. TERRIFIC book either way. Stuff like that book I think will be gone pretty quickly methinks. At least it will probably bother to show up though, which I have no faith in the Finch BATMAN title and HAWK & DOVE bothering to do.

BUG: With 52 books coming out and this many creators (especially artists tossed into both writing and art duties), history has told us that there may be massive delays. On top of that, with DC’s strict code for cancelling titles that are not high sellers, some of these books are bound to be cancelled early on. Which do you think will most likely be gone in 6 to 12 issues?

ROCK-ME: Pretty much everything that has to do with war or WildStorm, tied with a few others that will go nowhere. I predict short runs for OMAC, DEMON KNIGHTS, BATWING, HAWKMAN, GREEN ARROW and CAPTAIN ATOM – the first three because as high concepts, they’re middle rung, and the last three because, from what I’ve read, there’s nothing going on the these NEW iterations that wasn’t a lot like their OLD iterations…that got cancelled. Also, as much as I like Johns and all he’s done for the DCU, I don’t see Aquaman making it past two years, unless they bring some balls-to-the-seawalls action and mind-blowing concepts. Less if Johns passes writing duties off to anyone within 12 months.

PROF: I expect a good half of these to be gone in less than a year. I also expect sales to spike and then fall hard.

IR: Cancelled: I'm a fanboy who actually still loves Liefeld’s art...but can he carry a monthly book still? I see HAWK & DOVE being an early cancel. Hopefully more will follow and we can end this HEROES REBORN universe. I guess I'm just wishfully thinking...

IMP: Hell, given Rob Liefeld's track record for punctuality, HAWK & DOVE will most likely end up being an unintentional one-shot.

MATT: For the deadpool... I usually don't like doing these unless some title particularly offends me, and none of these have had the chance to do that yet, but what the heck. Among the first titles to be cancelled will be VOODOO, RESURRECTION MAN, I VAMPIRE, DEMON KNIGHT, FRANKENSTEIN, BLACKHAWKS, MISTER TERRIFIC, ALL-STAR WESTERN, CAPTAIN ATOM, SGT ROCK, and DC UNIVERSE PRESENTS. Probably roughly in that order, with the first seven not even lasting 12 issues.

BUG: Yeah, I think at least a quarter of these books will be gone in less than a year. The war and western books will stick around because there’s nothing out there like it. The other stuff like VOODOO will probably be incorporated into STORMWATCH or GRIFTER or JLA DARK n’ LOVELY. STATIC will most assuredly be glommed into TITANS. LEGION will probably die again and have another incarnation immediately after. If Finch gets two issues out in a row in a year, I’ll be surprised and same goes for Liefeld. Though I hate to say it, my favorites will probably be gone unless a miracle happens because folks will stick to what they know with all of these titles slapping them in the face. That means stuff I want to see like I, VAMPIRE, FRANKENSTEIN, BLACKHAWKS, DEMON KNIGHTS and the like will most likely not stand a chance, I fear, without major support from reviewers, even though they will be far superior to RED HOOD, which will be successful just because it’s a Batman tie in. I love obscure titles like RESURRECTION MAN, but the last run was cancelled for a reason. Despite excellent writing, folks didn’t read it. I did, but no one else seemed to. Maybe that’ll change this time around.

SQUASHUA: All of you RESURRECTION MAN haters really need to go check out the original, and include the Hitman crossover appearance (where Tommy just keeps killing Mitch over and over again till he comes back to life with a useful power; "What can you do this time?" "Create psychedelic butterfl" "BLAM!"). They used him surprisingly well in DC One Million.

HUMPHREY: Yeah, that run is definitely on my list to hunt down in dollar bins, for that issue in particular, the only one I've read. I'll be getting this new #1 for that reason as well (and because Abnett and Lanning are killing it all over these days).

OD: Magic titles will die a slow painful death unless they get into some real synergy with the rest of the universe and true rules of magic are established. No cop outs or last minute "uh-oh Superman's down. Time for magic!"

KC: The titles I think will be cancelled first will be hmmm....and these are just guesses, RED HOOD & THE OUTLAWS, MISTER TERRIFIC, STATIC SHOCK & HAWK & DOVE. I agree with PROF that DC will see an initial spike in sales, then once the hype and all that have died down sales will taper off, I'd say about 3 issues in (but sales will go up overall simply because they have more titles available).

VROOM: I doubt that even half of these will last a year, but barring a miracle the first to go will probably be MISTER TERRIFIC, HAWK & DOVE, BATWING, and RED HOOD, not neccesarily in that order.

SQUASHUA: Which titles will be cancelled in 6 to 12 issues? O.M.A.C. will at least make it to 12 because Didio is pulling the strings there. I think there are two too many GREEN LANTERN-related books (RED LANTERNS included). I'm sure the new characters like BATWING will disappear, as will many standalone trials like CAPTAIN ATOM. Those are just my examples--there are too many to list, to be truthful.

JD: Which titles will be cancelled in 6 to 12 issues? HAWK & DOVE. ALL-STAR WESTERN. VOODOO. OMAC.

BUG: We've talked enough, don’t’cha think? Let's have some final thoughts on the new DCU.

IMP: I'm willing to keep an open mind, but the fact that so many of us are buzzing about the possibility that the Siegel & Shuster legal decisions are a critical factor in this "reboot/revamp" makes me think that this is corporate driven venture rather than a creative one. That, to me, spells trouble. I'm hoping that those writers and artists involved are able to create good comics under this new direction, but at the same time I think that DC made a critical mistake by razing the majority of its continuity in this desperate bid for new readers while assuming that longtime fans will keep on complacently forking their money over. Wait and see, I guess.

PROF: With every new announcement, it's becoming clear that they are basically keeping everything essentially the same but with a spit-shine and new duds. Well, except for Superman. They're just rearranging the ingredients a bit in the DCU but the only real change of any substance appears to be the Superman franchise. I had hopes for something substantively widespread, but alas there does appear to be a strong sense of creative energy from the artists and writers. Maybe that will translate into something cool. Beyond just looks like more illusion of change than actual change.

KC: I think it’s a really bold move for DC to do something on this scale and I have to applaud them for that and i'm definitely interested in some of the creative teams and titles. As far as it getting new readers I doubt it because people's opinion on DC is that it is too complicated and even though there are 52 #1's coming out, I can't see that making things easier to understand. I feel like in less than two years the new DC will start to resemble the old DC...

OD: It is what it is and will either be bold or a monstro-suck. It's different, though, and I personally love something new and different.

HUMPHREY: I don't bloody know. How's that for finality? Now that more information on these titles is coming out, I'm where I was when we started this long journey; I get the idea, I still support the measure though maybe not the scope and a lot of it is going to fall to execution and, quite frankly, talent which they may not have enough to pull this off. You put Jeff Lemire on an ANIMAL MAN book and Scott Snyder on SWAMP THING, you've won me over a little bit. You tell me some of the most nefarious blowers of deadlines are still going to be on key books, you've lost me a little bit. And when you tell me the mother of all loners in John Constantine is going to be on a freaking JUSTICE LEAGUE of some sort, my fanboy hackles are going to rise a bit. So what I think is that this... this is going to be fun to watch either succeed or crash and burn.

VROOM: For the past couple of years, since roughly SECRET INVASION at Marvel and FINAL CRISIS at DC, my interest in superhero books has been waning. This new DCU is my jumping off point. I can't say what I'll be reading a few years down the line, but for now, I'm done.

SQUASHUA: A brave and bold move by DC to be sure, but I'm going to sit back and see which series get acclaim and consider picking up the trades.

JD: I'm excited for change! I just hope this will be a good change. Though If Superboy's new "wifebeater with S-symbol taped on and 1980's gloves" look is any indication..I have a feeling this will all be re-retconned again in a year. Fingers crossed, though!

BUG: I think this is going to be my jumping off point for buying DC in floppy form. It’ll save space for me and make it seem like I’m spending less at the store. I’ll pick and choose which books to download, but this whole thing has allowed me to bring to a close long runs of series I’ve read for years. Maybe it’s not a reboot, but to me, it seems like a natural conclusion to a lot of DC stories and gives me an opportunity to walk away feeling I’ve come to the end of an era. The next era of DC may be cool. No idea. I like some of the teams, but there are too many books out there from other companies for me to dedicate my dollars to 52 new issues.

IR: Conclusion for moi? This whole thing reeks like a chick on the other side of the bar. She could be good from far but probably far from good. I expect many of these new titles to be cancelled in 15 issues.

MATT: The creative teams for this relaunch are really a mixed bag, and it does not inspire me with a lot of confidence that those at the helm of DC have a solid idea of how to produce a compelling line of comics. But I'm very curious to see what effect the day and date digital plan has on the industry, and I'm also curious as to how long DC will stick with some of these moves (particularly the ones that have raised debate, like the restrictions on superheroine costumes and holding creative teams to strict deadlines). The behind the scenes stuff should certainly continue to be interesting, whether or not the comics themselves are.

Well, there you have it. If you made it through the whole thing without stopping for a sandwich or taking a leak, you deserve a pat on the back. If you missed out on the first half of the Roundtable, you can find it here. Now, how about we continue to conversation into the Talkbacks…

Editing, compiling, imaging, coding, logos & cat-wrangling by Ambush Bug
Proofs, co-edits & common sense provided by Sleazy G
Readers Talkback
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  • June 21, 2011, 9:42 a.m. CST

    Siegel & Schuster

    by deelzbub

    since they are retaining the rights, is there any indication that their heirs will be publishing any Superman stories in any format? I will be curious to see if they do anything with this or just sit on it.

  • June 21, 2011, 9:52 a.m. CST

    A Batman with pink armor?

    by rev_skarekroe

    Yeah, that's gonna take off.

  • June 21, 2011, 9:59 a.m. CST

    Great article

    by fpuk99

  • June 21, 2011, 10:04 a.m. CST

    Anytime DC does the following:

    by Margot Tenenbaum

    1) changes the costumes of its core group of heroes (JLA, Teen Titans, JSA, Legion) etc. ...and/or... 2) focuses on nobody heroes like Booster Gold, Guy Gardner, Blue Beetle, Deadman, Metamorpho, Hawk & Dove, Justice League International etc. ...I go on comics sabbatical. Unfortunately, there's not a functional independent comics scene anymore so I can't find solace with Dan Clowes, Peter Bagge, Julie Doucet, Steve Bissette's Tyrant etc. Luckily (if DC lasts that long) the next phase of comicstalgia is late '90s DC - Chase, Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E., Morrison's neoclassical JLA etc. That was the last time DC was any good. Basically between Kingdom Come and Identity Crisis.

  • June 21, 2011, 10:05 a.m. CST

    To continue deelzbub's train of thought

    by art123guy

    Could the Siegel & Schuster heirs give Superman to Marvel?

  • June 21, 2011, 10:07 a.m. CST

    Jim Lee...

    by Righteous Brother

    Is soooooo 90's. Liking that Swamp Thing artwork, althogh I'll probably just re-read Alan Moore's original run.

  • June 21, 2011, 10:12 a.m. CST

    This seems like a really bad idea...

    by GeneralKael

    I dunno - what about all the continuity fixes like the Crisis comics and all of that stuff? This seems like a) a gimmick and b) a blunt way to somehow keep the Wildstorm stuff alive. Also, going digital? Maybe they think this is the wave of the future but if everyone starts to get it this way this will be the death of comic book stores and comics in general. Sure, it will save space but you won't really be enjoying a comic book anymore... maybe I'm old but I like going to a comic book store, browsing through comics, and the feel, smell and look of comics I can hold in my hand. Liefeld? He gave Captain America tits.

  • June 21, 2011, 10:12 a.m. CST

    I always figured it would be like the dog chasing a bus

    by deelzbub

    what would he/they do with it if they ever caught it?

  • June 21, 2011, 10:14 a.m. CST


    by BlueLando

    Instead, there's a thriving webcomic market. Sadly, people ignore this. If they supported those of us who wrote webcomics (many of which are sequential and have their own continuity), then they'd send a message to the comic-book world.

  • June 21, 2011, 10:19 a.m. CST

    Won't last a year...

    by MoneyGrabSequel

    just another publicity stunt. In the end some new characters will stick around but the old characters will return to their classic origins, stories and looks.

  • June 21, 2011, 10:20 a.m. CST

    deelzbub, all they'd need to do

    by art123guy

    is put out a one-shot telling of the origin and they'd rake in the cash. If they wanted to do a series, I'd think the Siegel & Schuster heirs would have a lot of say, so putting Superman in a Punisher Max type universe (separate from the rest of the Marvel universe) could work.

  • June 21, 2011, 10:24 a.m. CST

    I wonder if they would allow DC to do it

    by deelzbub

    or "lease" the character to them. Or maybe there's so much bad blood that they would go to Marvel or even independently publish.

  • June 21, 2011, 10:27 a.m. CST


    by GeneralKael

    First thing they would do is have Superman fight Galactus, because, you know, it's obvious... The Red Skull or Loki might be fun(especially Loki since Superman has trouble with magical beings, if they kept or were able to keep that idea). Superman vs. the Hulk - has that been done already? I forget. It could be done but it would be pretty weird. But it could also be very cool.

  • June 21, 2011, 10:37 a.m. CST

    deelzbub: If DC is revamping everything because of this…

    by art123guy

    printing any 'Classic' Superman would be counter-productive to the reboot. It seems DC would rather start over than pay the heirs for continued use of Superman as we know him. I'd take that as a 'fuck you' if I were the heirs.

  • I suspect they'll find that it's not quite the license to print money that they think it is, especially without the Warner Brothers machine running everything. But we'll see.

  • June 21, 2011, 10:40 a.m. CST

    kaelomont -WRONG

    by art123guy

    The first issue would have a guest appearance by Spider-Man. EVERY Marvel comic has to, it's the law.

  • June 21, 2011, 10:47 a.m. CST

    Superman rights

    by Doctor Manhattan

    The families only have rights to certain aspects of Superman. For instance, they only have the rights to the early Superman power set (leaping instead of flying), Jor El and Lara, and the basic baby sent in ta rocket from Krypton bit. They don't have kryptonite, Lex Luthor, a lot of Superman's powers, his rogues gallery, etc. I don't see in any way a situation where DC stops publishing the character. All it means is the families get more of the profits. But the idea the Seigel's are going to self-publish and make a mint doing it with a character that is fairly outdated anyway is ludicrous.

  • June 21, 2011, 10:49 a.m. CST

    Let's clarify on the Siegels...

    by Prof

    They're not "asking" for anything other than what they already have -- it just doesn't take effect until 2013. They own 50% of anything "new" that DC publishes that directly incorporates or derives from the basic elements set forth in the original Superman comic strips that made up the first few issues of ACTION COMICS back in 1938. DC still owns the trademark on what is traditionally construed as the Superman costume design of blue with red and the modern incarnations of the "S" symbol. They can step in and prevent the Siegels from licensing the character to Marvel for a comic book if there is any reasonable chance that it could cause confusion in the marketplace. Any venture the Siegels embark on would be limited by trademark infringement in that way if WB/DC can demonstrate that allowing it would likely confuse the average customer that it was a DC publication. And any venture would also require a 50% accounting to DC plus a possible trademark license. DC can continue to reprint any of their Superman stuff published before the Siegels regained their half. DC can continue to exploit any licensing contracts in effect before the Siegels regained their half (such as the film and tv licenses).

  • June 21, 2011, 10:53 a.m. CST

    doctor manhattan

    by art123guy

    Interesting. I haven't followed the case but it sounded like this Round Table was suggesting the change is mainly because of the lawsuit. It makes the reboot seem even more odd now.

  • June 21, 2011, 10:57 a.m. CST

    Is Adam Hughes an option for a re-boot artist?

    by Snookeroo

    Having been out of comics for a while, one of the series of back issues I've been buying are the Wonder Woman comics with Adam Hughes covers. I am really wowed with his artwork, (though the stories and interior artwork is pretty MOR). Is Hughes still a viable option for DC, or was there some kind of falling out? I'd buy anything he was involved in (if he was involved in the DC re-boot). I'm aware he recently said no more commissions - but what about regular work for one of the Big Two?

  • June 21, 2011, 11:02 a.m. CST

    Well, here's what Im buying...

    by Homer Sexual

    I agree that if you throw everything at the wall, some of it will stick. But I am generally not excited. However, I can overcome my initial resistance if the books are good. The ONLY book I know I will buy on an ongoing basis is Batwoman, because it's still Williams and it was the bomb in its limited run. I will sample Red Hood, because I loved the Red Hood minis and animated movie, and am a fan of the character. I will sample Batgirl because I love the character. But both have to win me over right away. Will also check out Flash, depending on who is wearing the suit. I assume it won't be Barry Allen. If it is, I will not be sampling that. I will sample Suicide Squad,JLI and JLDark, because I like quirky team books. I will sample Birds of Prey due to leftover fondness for the title. That's about it. IDK if I can buy Hawk and Dove, even for train wreck purposes, though I do love train wrecks.

  • June 21, 2011, 11:28 a.m. CST

    DC IS bringing back Rob Leifeld!

    by Laserhead

    It's totally 90s Marvel. Let's repeat the same business practices that caused the industry to crash sixteen years ago!

  • June 21, 2011, 11:33 a.m. CST

    Sorry, DC...

    by HalJordan2814

    but I'll take the $40.00 a month I was plunking down for your titles and spend it elsewhere. Can't be bothered with this reboot, revamp, relaunch, reimagined bullshit anymore. I'll download your comics illegally beginning 9/1, (just like lots of other betrayed fans will) as payback for your continued forays into bullshit. As always, Marvel leads the way, so maybe I'll give them a little more of my hard-earned money. Pricks...

  • June 21, 2011, 11:33 a.m. CST

    @art123guy It actually justifies the reboot

    by Prof

    Starting in a couple of years, DC has to have established a "Superman" that is more original than derivative of the version co-owned by the Siegels so that they can avoid having to shell out 50% on all knew publishing and licensing based on their "Superman" copyright. They are trying to establish a wholly owned copyright on a "Superman" while retaining trademark ownership on the classic "Superman." It's a strategy. And it gave the comics line, now more accountable than ever to WB Corporate, an excuse to clean house a little bit and do a bold pitch to boost sales and justify their continued existence to corporate.

  • June 21, 2011, 11:38 a.m. CST

    To me, this extreme desperation smacks of a death knell

    by Laserhead

    A death knell of sorts, a last rally before falling to the mat. The TERRIBLE costumes seem like the perfect concrete signifiers for all the mistaken values and aesthetics which have lead DC here. Marvel will keep raking in the bucks while harvesting the best of the best in terms of new talent, and DC will be trying to copy a Marvel business plan from the 1990s-- a business plan which is mostly remembered for its total failure and the way it helped collapse the industry. I'll buy whatever Grant Morrison writes. In collected form. But other than that, I've already stopped buying DC comics.

  • June 21, 2011, 11:40 a.m. CST

    knew = new

    by Prof


  • June 21, 2011, 11:43 a.m. CST

    The cost of this debacle...

    by Prof

    In September 1982, I bought all but 2 DC titles (Wonder Woman & Sgt. Rock, if you're curious) and paid around $20 for the whole lot. In September 2011, if I bought the whole DC line, I would spend $160. That's ridiculous to point of absurdity.

  • June 21, 2011, 11:47 a.m. CST


    by BruceVain

    Prof, here's what I still don't get: To which elements of the 1938 Supes do the creators retain partial rights -- and are all of those elements supposedly missing from the revamp?

  • June 21, 2011, 11:52 a.m. CST


    by art123guy

    You posted 'Let's clarify on the Siegels' while I was typing my question on why reboot. The 50% thing makes sense. Thanks for clearing it up.

  • June 21, 2011, 11:53 a.m. CST


    by CreepyThinMan

  • June 21, 2011, 11:56 a.m. CST

    Yeah, what is with that Harley Quinn design?

    by Chewtoy

    All of these character have to be more modestly dressed, but Harley (who was literally covered from head to toe with only her (painted) face showing) is redesigned to wearing hot pants and a barely-there, nearly-undone, strapless bustier that doesn't even reach her navel? I've not read the DC universe version of the character... is she really slutty there? Between that redesign and Arleen Sorkin not being back as the voice of Harley in Arkham City, it's just sad times all around for the character.

  • June 21, 2011, 11:56 a.m. CST

    The elements at issue...

    by Prof

    ...are not defined. The judge has made it repeatedly clear that it is not a black and white delineation. It is a shared ownership of the whole. The Siegels tried with their second suit regarding Superboy to line-item it, but the court combined that suit with the Superman suit and has designated only in the most general terms the broad strokes of the "classic" Superman that was established in those earliest strips. The reason is that Siegel and shuster created those years before selling to DC, so that's why they had to sign the transfer of copyright agreement in the first place. The law gave their heirs a window of time to file for a termination of that transfer, and they did so. Both sides seem to want a clear delineation of what elements each owns, but the Judge has not indulged that so far except in the most general of words without absolute specificity. I think final judgment will be forced to detail it, but until then, DC is stepping out to be proactive with new elements that will distinguish the current Superman from what we consider the classic Superman. If a last-minute settlement happens, I would expect DC to rush back to classic faster than the Flash.

  • June 21, 2011, 12:03 p.m. CST

    I'm with Bug and Vroom--

    by Laserhead

    This is a really good time for me to step away from the booth, and close the door on something. Kind of like I felt in the mid-90s.

  • June 21, 2011, 12:05 p.m. CST

    Rebooting makes sense

    by art123guy

    if you want to clean house and start fresh. But 52 new titles in 1 month just seems implausible in this day and age. Starting the core titles one month, then adding one every month seems more sensible. Yes, Marvel will continue to rake in the cash and get the best talent, but another price hike will kill them as well. I saw the $7.99 cover price for the Giant Size Avengers Academy and laughed. If Marvel were keeping an eye on any talk backs about the DC reboot, they'd see how pissed people are and how many plan to spend their money elsewhere. They should take the initiative and drop prices on all their books at the same time as the reboot hits.

  • He and Lee still draw in the same shitty style they did in the 90's--no heart or soul with a billion lines trying to cover up their ineptitude. 52 turds is all this crap will be.

  • June 21, 2011, 12:09 p.m. CST


    by ewokstew

    I think Adam Hughes sequential storytelling days are pretty much over unless he gets the bug. He's getting paid too much and having way too much fun doing covers. I think Gen13: Ordinary Heroes was the last comic story he did if I'm not mistaken and that was a looong time ago. If he did something after that I'm not aware of it.

  • June 21, 2011, 12:13 p.m. CST

    Tony Daniel is surprisingly good on BATMAN

    by Waylaid-by-jackassery

    And with that comment, the Bug loses all credibility...

  • June 21, 2011, 12:13 p.m. CST

    Prof/In other words...

    by BruceVain

    ... nobody knows if any of the stuff in the reboot could be ruled to fall under the creators' partial control, but DC is doing it anyway? Either in the hopes that they'll luck out when the judgment is rendered, or just to show the Siegels that they'll keep changing whatever they have to? Sounds kinda stupid. And doesn't it all become moot in 2013 anyway?

  • June 21, 2011, 12:20 p.m. CST

    I don't know if I would say it's all moot...

    by Prof

    ...and even though there are no sharp distinctions that separate what makes Superman "classic" and what makes him "new", it doesn't mean they don't have any idea. The ownership of the original version is an "undivided whole" co-owned by DC and the Siegels in copyright terms. However, the rulings in the Marv Wolfman suit against Marvel for ownership of Nova and Neil Gaiman against Todd McFarlane for ownership of Angela and Midieval Spawn have established a type of balancing test that can allow 2 separate copyrights for 2 very similar and/or derivative characters. It's clear, to me at least, that DC is running with that in this case so that if and when the Siegels pursue an action against them for a claim to be paid their 50% on new works, DC will respond that they don't owe them a dime because it is a different version of the character. And they will rely on those fairly current rulings. And the battle will be on. :) WB has really deep pockets and can keep this going for as long as they need to.

  • June 21, 2011, 12:35 p.m. CST


    by BruceVain

    Really appreciate the insight. Now, at the risk of sounding hysterical, doesn't it say something less than flattering about the current DC writers and artists who are going along with this, when they know it's intended as a strike against creators' rights? I mean, I love Grant Morrison's writing, but I can't imagine Alan Moore being party to such a move.

  • June 21, 2011, 12:41 p.m. CST

    My post-relaunch pull list at this point...

    by xsikal

    JLA JLI Legion: Lost Batgirl Voodoo Wonder Woman Teen Titans Catwoman Birds of Prey

  • June 21, 2011, 12:41 p.m. CST

    My post-relaunch pull list at this point...

    by xsikal

    JLA JLI Legion: Lost Batgirl Voodoo Wonder Woman Teen Titans Catwoman Birds of Prey

  • ...but in terms of them "sticking it to the creator", I just don't really see it. I see it as a business move to avoid losing potential profits. :/ I may be naive, but I don't think it's "personal" to them. And I am also sure that the financial deal offered to Grant Morrison to work this out for them is more than satisfying enough to let Grant sleep soundly at night. I worship at the altar of Alan Moore's writing -- every jot and tittle. But we all know he's also quite insane. :)

  • June 21, 2011, 12:47 p.m. CST


    by GeneralKael

    I think Lee is a good artist, although he does get carried away at times. Liefeld is just awful and I will never understand how he makes a living in a visual medium. The only thing worse than his artwork is his writing. I think the only reason Liefeld's books sell at all is that it gives false hope to fanboys that if Liefeld can make a living at it, so can they. Also as previously mentioned, people who want to watch a trainwreck.

  • June 21, 2011, 1:07 p.m. CST

    I walked away from comics in the '90s.

    by Rex Carsalot

    Seems like a good time to do it again. And no, Harley was not a slut - she was a fucking psychologist who went crazy for the Joker.

  • June 21, 2011, 1:09 p.m. CST

    I'm looking forward to HAWK & DOVE

    by RinRockRock

    Not that I read it but Liefeld just drew Deadpool Corps for a year and was on time every month. These A$$holes, really don't know shit. They talk shit because it's what expected of them and the only thing they are "good" at. Hawk and Dove was an awesome book back in late 80s/early 90s and Sterling Gates did an amazing job on Supergirl recently. I have high hopes for it.

  • June 21, 2011, 1:17 p.m. CST


    by Tommy Rye

  • June 21, 2011, 1:46 p.m. CST

    Prof/New titles info

    by Doctor Manhattan

    I think you are being overly pessimistic here and unless you have sources the rest of us don't, are speculating highly as to the Superman lawsuit's involvement with the revamp. I don't think things are going to change that much, and certainly don't think they would have done all this just to avoid paying more in fees. As far as I have read, they are not changing ANY of the aspects of the character that the Seigel's now own rights to. As for the new titles, this came out today courtesy of Rich Johnston: "Many of the new 52 books will have six issue story arcs, and Dan DiDio states that if sales are bad on a title, they won’t wait very long to cancel it. He wants strong sales across the line." Considering they already have creators like Jimenez, Robinson, Connor, etc., still working on new books, I think they are expecting failures to be weeded out with new books to put into place.

  • June 21, 2011, 1:46 p.m. CST

    Prof/New titles info

    by Doctor Manhattan

    I think you are being overly pessimistic here and unless you have sources the rest of us don't, are speculating highly as to the Superman lawsuit's involvement with the revamp. I don't think things are going to change that much, and certainly don't think they would have done all this just to avoid paying more in fees. As far as I have read, they are not changing ANY of the aspects of the character that the Seigel's now own rights to. As for the new titles, this came out today courtesy of Rich Johnston: "Many of the new 52 books will have six issue story arcs, and Dan DiDio states that if sales are bad on a title, they won’t wait very long to cancel it. He wants strong sales across the line." Considering they already have creators like Jimenez, Robinson, Connor, etc., still working on new books, I think they are expecting failures to be weeded out with new books to put into place.

  • June 21, 2011, 1:47 p.m. CST

    no one really knows what to expect...

    by Doctor Manhattan

    until the books actually come out.

  • June 21, 2011, 1:48 p.m. CST


    by Snookeroo

    Thanks for the update. I'd buy a comic just for the cover if Hughes drew it - he's quite the best comic book artist I've ever seen.

  • June 21, 2011, 2:04 p.m. CST

    Doctor Manhatten

    by Prof

    I'm sure you are completely right and that the death of Superboy, the crazification of Superboy Prime (replete with an inexplicable switch from never being referred to as "Superboy" but only as "Superman" and Superman Prime), the removal of the name "Superboy" from the Legion of Super-Heroes cartoon and only calling him "Young Superman", and Jim Shooter's directive to create a "Super Lad", and then that directive being called off, and then suddenly Superboy is resurrected and the name Superboy suddenly gets used again with no limitations...and all that had nothing at all to do with the second Superboy lawsuit or the fact that all these things line up timewise with that suit and when DC won a ruling that made them confident they weren't going to lose the "Superboy" character. Never would a subsidiary company EVER use a Corporate mandate as a reason behind-the-scenes for making changes but can't talk about it publicly because it's the kind of blabbing that gets people fired. You are right. What could I be thinking? That kind of stuff never happens.

  • June 21, 2011, 2:04 p.m. CST

    My post re-launch pull list so far

    by Laserhead

    Thunderbolts Uncanny X-Force Venom FF Deadpool MAX and a smattering of select independents. Maybe I'll start buying some shirts every week or something.

  • June 21, 2011, 2:06 p.m. CST

    someone at AICN give Prof a job

    by L. Ron Bumquist

    if you haven't already

  • June 21, 2011, 2:11 p.m. CST

    Um. Anyone know what's happening with Hellblazer?

    by L. Ron Bumquist

  • June 21, 2011, 2:13 p.m. CST


    by D Jones

    Well from what I have gleaned the heirs were going to make a deal with Warner's ,but a lawyer talked them out of it because he wanted a piece of the pie as well. He is using a reworking of the copyright law that allows heirs to live of their forefathers creation in very basic terms. I hope they lose because Warners made a deal to pay Siegel and Shuster back in the day that they did not have to make by the way. If the lawyer and heirs win they only get Action #1. This was all started by a blood sucking vampire lawyer.

  • June 21, 2011, 2:21 p.m. CST


    by Doctor Manhattan

    You are right about a lot of the Superboy stuff, but thing is, they are still publishing Superman and no chnages have yet to be made. And there is still no proof that Superman going forward is going to be radically different from Superman now. Could it happen? Sure it could. But you are posting like you already know the answer, and that kind of speculation is a dangerous thing. Like I said, until the books come out, and unless you have seen scripts and art for the relaunch, you are as in the dark as the rest of us. Hellblazer and the other Vertigo titles are unaffected from this reboot.

  • June 21, 2011, 2:50 p.m. CST

    Dr. Manhatten, how is it "dangerous"?

    by Prof

    Observation and opinion is now "dangerous"?

  • June 21, 2011, 3:10 p.m. CST


    by Doctor Manhattan

    I just meant dangerous in the sense you can be very wrong. You know the old axiom, when you assume...

  • I don't see why people are complaining about the amount of number 1s. It is still far smaller than marvels total number. If they get solid writing that many books can be successful, marvel has proven it.

  • June 21, 2011, 3:29 p.m. CST

    I assume nothing.

    by Prof

    I know the facts of the court case. I understand the timeline and the ramifications. I know copyright law and trademark law. I understand the legal profession. From years of observation and experience, I understand how the corporate system works...and DC particularly in terms of their reactive methods. There's a vast amount of resource material out there from unofficial and official sources over the year that gives pretty good insight into the innerworkings of the DC system. Doesn't take very much to extrapolate out the underlying rationale behind all of this happening when it is happening. And that's what I get my AICN salary of $0 opine. :) I'm not a prophet tho. They surprise me occasionally. But less and less as time goes by.

  • June 21, 2011, 3:41 p.m. CST


    by art123guy

    While this is true, it's not 150 new reboots at once. The mainstay characters will sell, but the others will get lost right out of the gate. If they filtered them in a few at a time, I think they'd be more successful.

  • June 21, 2011, 3:41 p.m. CST


    by art123guy

    While this is true, it's not 150 new reboots at once. The mainstay characters will sell, but the others will get lost right out of the gate. If they filtered them in a few at a time, I think they'd be more successful.

  • June 21, 2011, 3:50 p.m. CST


    by Snookeroo

    Based on what you're saying, would it be possible then for the Siegel and Shuster heirs to license Marvel to publish a new Superman series based on the character in a 1930's setting, "S"-in-a-triangle logo, lace-up circus performer-type boots, and limited super powers as he had in Action number one? Or would that still be too close to the modern character to cause confusion in the marketplace and be a copyright infringement?

  • June 21, 2011, 3:55 p.m. CST

    Hot girls

    by Raff

    c'MON. U guys are complete idiots. Ur gonna lose so much money. Ur supposed to be trying to sell to teenage boys, not nuns. Are you guys that retarded that u cant see that the only way in hell any teens are gonna buy comics is if they see hot chicks. Ur all autistic RETARDS!

  • June 21, 2011, 3:56 p.m. CST

    Bingo, Snookeru.

    by Prof

    Theoretically, they would be able to do that, but DC would be due their portion of the proceeds as partial copyright owner (because at this point they retain the Shuster half). However, one aspect of Trademark law is that you much aggressively defend your trademark or you lose it and the test is whether it would cause confusion in the marketplace. So, they could theoretically do it, but it's almost assured that WB/DC would file an immediate cease and desist action against them citing Trademark infringement. And the ourobouros snake keeps eating its own tail. :/

  • June 21, 2011, 3:59 p.m. CST

    And just to muddy the Superman copyright even more...

    by Prof

    ...there's those Fleischer cartoons of Superman that, because of flaws in securing copyright under the old 1910 Copyright Act, lapsed into the public domain a long time ago. So, we actually do have a PD version of Superman out there right now. :) But try making a new Superman comic or cartoon based off those and watch how fast the WB/DC trademark hammer comes down on you! :D

  • June 21, 2011, 4:03 p.m. CST

    Screw the Superman copyright

    by Raff

    Who gives a shit about the superman copyright. The more important issue is the lack of skin. 14 year old boys wanna see sexy chicks, they dont give a shit about who the fuck owns the superman copyright.

  • June 21, 2011, 4:04 p.m. CST

    Way to rock the Talkback, Rob!!! :D

    by Prof

  • June 21, 2011, 4:07 p.m. CST

    Who the Fuck is Rob Granito?

    by Raff

  • June 21, 2011, 4:12 p.m. CST


    by Prof


  • June 21, 2011, 4:28 p.m. CST


    by Doctor Manhattan

    Your comments/insight have me more interested in Superman than I have been in years. The property is so dated and with the exception of Morrison's All-Star book, I haven't read a great Supes story in ages. Maybe this is exactly what the property needs to reinvigorate itself. Because what they have been doing for the past 20 years has really sucked overall.

  • June 21, 2011, 4:33 p.m. CST

    I'm interested too.

    by Prof

    All-Star Superman encapsulated everything I love about Superman into one beautiful work of art. Regardless of the reason for it, I am eagerly waiting to find out what Morrison does with it. But I don't really give a shit about the rest of the line. Very little interests me there beyond maybe Omac and Frankenstein. The rest is pretty much same ol' same ol' with a little spitshine.

  • June 21, 2011, 5:29 p.m. CST

    All the copyright stuff is interesting

    by deelzbub

    and Marvel is just as guilty of shenanagains too. Look @ the Mysterymen comic they just put out. Bob Burden had a movie made from that comic title, for Chrissakes.

  • June 22, 2011, 12:23 a.m. CST

    I call bullshit on the showing leg thing. Go look

    by Dennis_Moore

    at what female Summer Olympic athletes wear and get back to me. Also, bullshit on women and girls not visiting LCS's. The one and only comic shop back home is owned and operated by women, and we are having a "geek girl" comics con upcoming here in Seattle.

  • June 22, 2011, 8:15 a.m. CST

    Seriously, Tony Daniel's run on "Batman" is AWFUL

    by MrEkoLetMeLive

    What the hell is Bug smoking? Can't wait for Snyder's run to start, his take on Dick as Batman in "Tec" has been outstanding. Speaking of webcomics, check out MINE:

  • June 22, 2011, 9:01 a.m. CST

    Van Sciver writing? Give me a break.

    by A_Die_Hard_Fan

    Oh yeah, that's a way to fucking keep me from buying a book. The guy is a trainwreck waiting to happen. If his politics don't get you upchuck, his ability to never do a book on time will get you to drop it. Why this putz still has a job in comics is beyond me. I feel sorry for Simone & Cinar for being associated with the right-wing asshat.

  • June 22, 2011, 12:01 p.m. CST

    @snookeroo re:Adam Hughes

    by Thanos0145

    Check out Cover Run: The DC Comics Art of Adam Hughes book that was released last year. It has all his DC work including his Wonder Woman and Catwoman covers which I highly recommend. Adam is currently doing covers for the Zatanna series (did a variant cover for Action Comics #900) and will be the cover artist for the Batgirl series for the bullshit reboot by DC. You can also checkout the website and type Adam's name in the search column to see all of the commissions done by him posted by fans.

  • June 23, 2011, 2:39 a.m. CST

    Correction: Old Bear and Friends

    by Dennis_Moore

  • June 23, 2011, 2:40 a.m. CST

    Oops, wrong thread

    by Dennis_Moore

  • June 24, 2011, 4:44 p.m. CST

    Dear @$$holes

    by The Heathen

    Out of all of the coverage of this DC debacle (I'm pretty sure that my opinion of this is that it is indeed a debacle, otherwise I wouldn't have used the word debacle) I would like to commend you all on your work done in this two-part roundtable. It's been the best coverage on the entire internets (yes, ALL of them). I'm about a year or more behind in my comic book reading as a whole. I finished Blackest Night and got lost with all the tie-ins. I also never really recovered from whatever Final Crisis was. This relaunch doesn't even make sense in the legal, uh, sense with the Superman case. What I'm most concerned with is the role Geoff Johns has taken in this. He started out at DC with Stargirl and JSA, two titles which aren't in the scheduled 52 relaunch. That's strange. It's also strange that there are 52 titles, not just because it's an absurd amount of books and cost, but because 52 is kind of an important number in the DC universe the past few years. They've literally rammed it at consumers week after week. I think (sort of hope) that Johns and company have a bigger event planned for all of this nonsense a couple years down the road. If not, they've not explained this well and have made so many obviously boneheaded decisions they need to when a Razzie for comics or something. I know Finch and Liefeld (Haha) are slow, but Jim Lee isn't exactly Mark Bagley or whomever. They'll be lucky to get three issues out of him on time. The COGS had a bet with him on who would finish their issue next: us with our next review issue or him with the Wildcats relaunch… We won… and we waited like 3 months or something before we put out another review issue. In short, we owned Jim Lee's @$$!!! But seriously, the whole reasoning is just off. Even if there is some magical event (there's been waaaaay too many of these as of late, which again plays into the early 90's period that nearly killed the industry, but whatever DC) I still think the way they may or may not be going about getting there is being handled so incredibly poorly. Getting back to cost, a $3 price tag for printed books and digital books (should be $2 for print and $1 for digital) Both DC and Marvel make so much revenue off of those crappy sleeping bag, toothpaste, punching bags, movie ads, etc. that support their OWN company brand. Both of the big two aren't losing money on $3 issues or even $2 issues. And if you cut out printing costs? Haha, fuck you too DC and Marvel! That's hilarious! I know a little bit about how printing costs work due to my profession and when you have a 36 page book, let's say Green Lantern #66 (including front and back cover) there are 11 ads, 12 if you include the GL movie banner on front cover. 5 of those ads are related to DC products. And at least 2 of the others about comic book shops or events. DC isn't losing money on that stuff. Neither is Marvel. They're MAKING MORE money from those ads and to be charging more is, in my opinion, the definition of corporate greed. Anyways, miss commenting here sometimes. The Cogs are always just a hidden moon away. Call on us if you ever need anything!

  • June 25, 2011, 11:08 p.m. CST

    Thanks Heathen - and the secret of the 52 issues

    by Squashua

    I don't get around enough here either; been too busy to review. Meanwhile, the 52 issues secret will be that each issue takes place in a different universe - none of them crossover or have any relation to each other than tertiary, if at all.

  • June 25, 2011, 11:09 p.m. CST

    In prior post, by "issue" i meant "series".

    by Squashua

    Each book will be it's own universe.

  • June 26, 2011, 12:28 p.m. CST


    by The Heathen

    That's a very valid theory and it makes sense in terms of what we've seen from covers and descriptions, especially with Superman. I'm thinking that the Green Lantern books will stay in the same universe, but they very well may not. Even if that happens, it's only a matter of two years most likely before those universes meld into one again, right? Which is what most DC events have been about for the last 25 years in most ways. Maybe this should have been called FINAL CRISIS instead of whatever FINAL CRISIS was? This whole thing seems like it's the final straw on a lot of people's backs. New readers aren't coming in like they used to. The committed readers of years are tired. I only lasted six years after I took ten off from comics. And now it's even worse than it was before. As a fan I feel as if I need to personally get a job and dedicate my life to being in charge of decisions like this. Maybe they'll surprise us? There's always the possibility. Maybe this will lead to a DC that will focus on storytelling and not an event or multiple characters with varying degrees of bad costumes (seriously should have gotten Alex Ross on that - he's older, but loves the history, and is really great at costume design). And maybe Wolverine and the X-Men will be a good series and idea for Marvel too! As bad as the execution of One More Day was, the outcome I think has been kind of a delight. Maybe that will happen with DC, but based on the talent, the confusion, and the ineptness in overall tone I doubt it.

  • Only read what you love.

  • June 29, 2011, 4:17 p.m. CST


    by Squashua

    The view of Didio in his response to you reflects my own; I only follow creators and am no longer blind like the many lemmings who buy books solely for characters as I used to in my youth.