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Posts Tagged ‘dc reboot

DC Tries Again with Batman Digital, free of New 52 Continuity with LOST’s Damon Lindelof

new-batman-comic-dc-tries-againIt looks more and more like The New 52 fell short in its efforts to win back alienated fans.  Failing to purging its universe Damian Wayne, “Batman Incorporated” and other residue from Grant Morrison and Paul Dini’s catastrophic mismanagement  did not send the right message.  Perhaps this announcement of yet another “New” Batman series that will be free of New 52 Continuity is an attempt to try again, but it is hard to imagine it being received with anything but a “Too Little Too Late” after all the sturm und drang of The New 52.

If it is a fix, the comic shops that have been all but decimated by DC’s Campaign of Suck will not see a bit of benefit, for Batman is not only 52-free, Dini-free, Morrison-free and Damien-Free, he’s paper-free, part of a new series of digital offerings

BATMAN digital, launching in June, will take place outside of DC Comics – The New 52 continuity and feature a series of stand-alone stories by various creators that chronicle different cases handled by The Dark Knight.  Confirmed creative teams include Damon Lindelof (Lost, Prometheus) and Jeff Lemire;    More »

Other confirmed creative teams include:

  • Jonathan Larsen & JG Jones
  • Tom Taylor & Nicola Scott
  • Ales Kot & Ryan Sook
  • B. Clay Moore & Ben Templesmith (who drew the cover attached to this article)
  • Steve Niles & Trevor Hairsine
  • Joe Harris & Jason Masters
  • TJ Fixman & Christopher Mitten
  • Jeff Parker & Gabriel Hardman
  • Joshua Hale Fialkov & Phil Hester
  • David Tischman & Chris Sprouse

Maybe it’s a good strategy.  A disenfranchised reader can buy Batman Digital without having to pass all the other still-polluted Batman comics that drove them away from the store in the first place, but it’s a long shot that they will care to reward all DC’s unrepentant behavior with even that small a purchase, and either way, the failing comic shops can expect not one shred of benefit if the lost readers are won back.

Batman: Earth One

2012 will bring the highly anticipated release of BATMAN: EARTH ONE, an original graphic novel retelling the Batman legend in a contemporary setting.The collaboration between New York Times bestselling author Geoff Johns and critically acclaimed artist Gary Frank, BATMAN: EARTH ONE also marks the first original graphic novel for Johns – who is best known for his work on fan favorite ongoing series for DC Comics.

Together, they will present a new vision of Batman – a flawed and fallible hero who isn’t yet the master of Gotham City’s shadows.

“Gary and I are tackling BATMAN from the beginning, before he knows what he’s doing and with a very different ultimate goal in mind,” said Johns. “He’s never left Gotham. And our Gotham and the people in it are very gray. Our heroes unlikely. Our villains hidden. Our story is only beginning with volume one.”

“It’s essentially the first piece of the jigsaw,” said Frank. “He’s not the Batman people know, but he might be one day. He’s certainly not yet a superhero. The fun is to watch him piece the persona together drawing on his experiences and the influences of those around him and, at this stage, the idea of becoming a ‘superhero’ hasn’t even entered his head.”

via DC Universe: The Source » Blog Archive » DC COMICS IN 2012 – BATMAN: EARTH ONE.

DC Comics announces New 52 Hardcover

Everything depends on DC Comics winning back lost fans with their reboot/relaunch “The New 52” in time for an upsurge in popularity created by The Dark Knight Rises.  The failure to erase offenses like Damien Wayne (cited by failed comic shop owners as one of the 3 episodes that cost them the most customers), plus former Batman  editor Paul Dini’s “fingerprints” all over the disappointments with Arkham City do not bode well for the success of the operation thus far.  But DC soldiers on, with announcements like this:

dc-comics-the-new-52-everything-depends-on-winning-back-fans-lost-by-mishandling-iconic-charactersOver the course of the next year, DC Comics will release at least 52 collected editions of their New 52 titles. In addition to their previously-announced oversized hardcover collecting all 52 first issues (available in December), DC announced today via its blog The Source that there will be 51 more collected editions between May and November of 2012, accounting for all but one of their launch titles. Mini- and maxi-series such as Penguin: Pain and Prejudice, The Shade and Huntress were not accounted for which is unsurprising since they’re technically not part of the 52, but the absence of the much-touted and well-liked Wonder Woman series by Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chiang is more surprising….Go to ComicBook.com for the rest of the article.

via DC Comics Announces ‘DC New 52′ Hardcover Collections « Old Game Reviewer.

It is the old problem: something new for committed collectors to buy, but nothing to entice the lost readers if they are not already pleased.

Breakouts:

The long-term mishandling of Batman and his related characters, Catwoman in particular, has been instrumental in the mass-defection of long-term comics fans and subsequent failure of comic shops during the economic downturn.  There is little question that the comics giant understands it must be poised to take advantage of interest The Dark Knight Rises will bring to these characters if it is to survive.  It’s failure to take advantage of the unprecedented popularity generated by The Dark Knight and its viral in 2008 is widely speculated to have brought about the restructuring which placed the comics division under Warner Bros. control rather than the Time Warner publishing arm.  A second failure could well mean a permanent shutdown of print comics, rather than allow the rogue division to go on damaging valuable corporate properties.  More »

It is a misconception that they wiped out 75 years of comic book history, the rich heritage of Superman and Batman, etc. They wiped all that out in 1985. What they wiped out 2 weeks ago is all the garbage that’s happened since. And it has been garbage. Stunts, poor storytelling, disrespect for the characters, the fans and the medium have driven away loyal readers. It came to a head in 2008. The tiny comic book division had gone largely unnoticed by parent company Time Warner because its earnings were insignificant. The damage it could do creating bad will around billion dollar properties like Batman were not. It was in 2008 when Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight and its viral by 42 Entertainment brought the Caped Crusader’s mainstream popularity to heights not seen since Batmania of the 1960s, Time Warner became aware of just how badly DC Comics Batman editor Paul Dini and head writer Grant Morrison had been insulting, angering and offending fans of The Batman and related characters like Catwoman.

More promising is the rumor that Norm Breyfogle is being courted to return to a Batman book.  Recognized as one of the only great old school Batman artists still living, Breyfogle’s inclusion in the pre-relaunch Retro-Active series was an irresistible lure to those lost Batman fans.

But can they hope for a repeat if he is drawing a Batman tainted by the last years of fan-abuse and disappointment?

See related:
Norm Breyfogle back at DC Comics
DC Comics relaunch… enough to repair the damage?

Arkham City DOA (Oh yeah, Nightwing now)

Major games are often compared to Hollywood movies now, and savvy game-watchers took one look at the pre-release hype for Arkham City, the pressure to pre-order and the saturation bombing of ads on ESPN and Spike that opening weekend and said “This is a turkey.” It was the behavior of a studio that knows negative word of mouth will kill the thing as soon as real people not swayed by fanboy hype see what all the fuss is about.

Arkahm City should be thanking those complaining about the Catwoman Bait and Switch, they're the only ones talking.Rocksteady should be thanking the people complaining about the sexism and the Catwoman bait-and-switch, because they’re practically the only ones talking.  There are a few reviews on various blogs.  Shockingly few.   On par with reviews of an Indy comic book.

“That’s what the hardcore fans do when they’ve bought into  hype and been disappointed,” said one insider at metacritic.  “They don’t admit it. They don’t write bad reviews. They just go quiet.”

Serious gamers have called the movie-making elements dated: the camera work, lighting and action are at least a generation behind other top-tier offerings like Uncharted 3 and Deus Ex: Human Revolution.

“They seem to be relying entirely on it being Batman to make up the difference,” said a GameStop clerk.

And Batman fans were, on the whole, disgusted with everything from character re-designs to characterization on everyone from Alfred to Oswald Cobblepot.  Paul Dini’s story is rooted in a ludicrously dark “Gotham is Hell” environ that played in comics in his glory days back in the 1990s, but has long since worn out its welcome.  Dini himself became a red flag to comic readers in recent years when his stewardship of the Batman titles drove away even hardcore fans.  Many point to his mishandling of Batman and related characters at the very time when The Dark Knight and its rival boosted popularity to unprecedented heights as pivotal in the corporate restructuring which recently manifested in the DC Reboot and “The New 52.”

What politicos call “The Base” is always there to provide numbers and positive quotes, but the swift disappearance of the Arkham City TV ad says it all.  Unlike Dini’s old masters at DC Comics, corporations will not throw good money after bad to let this guy save face.

Rocksteady doesn’t have that luxury of cutting bait.  Having built their name on Arkham Asylum, they’re still begging us to keep our eye on the ball on their left hand.  They’ve released a new Nightwing DLC, which spurred a lot of “Arkham fanboys like dick” jokes on the forums, but did nothing to spur new interest in the game.  Even positive reviews from that base who are so determined to be pleased have called it “a ripoff.”

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The Curse of Batgirl (Happy Birthday, Barbara Gordon)

According to Superhero Stuff, today is Barbara Gordon’s official birthday!

While the rest of the blogosphere wishes her a happy birthday, we thought we would explore “The Curse of Batgirl” just to put a different spin on things.
Batman on Television: The Curse of Batgirl begins with Yvonne Craig sinking the unsinkable 1966 Television series
Commissioner Gordon’s daughter Barbara came onto the scene as Batgirl, and became known to millions in the third and final season of the TV show in the person of Yvonne Craig.  Some say this began the curse by which the appearance of Batgirl signals a Batman franchise has exhausted its formula and its demise is soon to follow.  While the 60s series did fail shortly after Batgirl’s arrival, the fault almost certainly lies in the show’s popularity.  All the stars of the day wanted to appear as a “Special Guest Villain” limiting the fan favorites: Burgess Meredith’s Penguin, Caesar Romero’s Joker, and Julie Newmar’s Catwoman.

Her addition to Batman the Animated Series also marked a definite shift in the show’s look and tone, and not a change for the better.  While later seasons and the barely-watchable Batman Beyond found its audience among the younger set, the triumph of the original Dini-Timm series was a memory.  Barbara herself was described as “A power puff girl” and in the spirit of the old Filmation cartoon and the 60s TV show, she would be the one to spring any trap or jump to the wrong conclusion solving any problem in the course of an investigation.

Breakout

She occasionally hinted at a romantic interest in Bruce, which was downright creepy considering the extreme youth of her portrayal and the presence of Dick Grayson in the series.  Bruce naturally never encouraged it, which made her later allusions to an imagined chemistry in Batman Beyond seem deluded and bitter.  It is a pathetic end for such a character, but Beyond consistently portrayed that core lack of respect for the first generation characters, part of its great flaw and the reason it is dismissed by fans who aren’t stuck in that adolescent piss-on-the-old-stuff mentality.

The less said of Barbara Wilson, Alfred’s niece and the Batgirl of Joel Schumacher’s Batman and Robin, the better.  All sentient beings know it was Joel Schumacher who was the true death of the franchise.  Alicia Silverstone’s Batgirl was merely one of the symptoms, not the cause.  Yet the inclusion of Batgirl certainly holds as a sign that things are not well.

Barbara Gordin is Oracle, working with Batman and Catwoman's daughter Helena in the Birds of PreyBut Batgirl is only half of the Barbara Gordon story.  As comic fans knew, and a television audience discovered in 2002’s Birds of Prey, Barbara Gordon’s Batgirl is shot by the Joker and confined to a wheelchair.  She continues her crimefighting as the super-hacker called Oracle.  In comics she was part of a team called the Birds of Prey with two other crimefighters: The Huntress and Black Canary.  This team was brought to television in 2002, replacing the comics version of Huntress with her original incarnation: Helena Kyle/Wayne the daughter of Batman and Catwoman.

Breakout:

The show quickly bombed but the fault lies in poor scripts, a depressing tone, and a decided bait and switch in the promotional materials.  The WB ads focused on Batman and Catwoman’s romance, and those attracted by that ad would be disappointed to learn Catwoman was dead, Batman would never appear and that he would be dismissed in the general “down with men” tone of the show.

So once again, while Barbara is present, this time played by the lovely Dina Meyer, we can hardly lay the failure at her door.

The Birds of Prey in comics has been a long-running hit, the only success DC has found in a female-centric comic.  That is certainly the work of writer Gail Simone.   Simone continues to write Barbara Gordon in “The New 52”  the relaunched DC Comics universe where all recent history has been erased and all stories and characters “rebooted.”   The shooting, the wheelchair and “Oracle” are gone, but Barbara Gordon remains, Batgirl once again.

Happy Birthday Barbara!

*While the Barbara Gordon Batgirl appeared in other animated incarnations like the 1966 Filmation cartoons and 2004’s “The Batman,” their success was never on par with the other shows and movies discussed, so the question of a ‘curse’ was never raised.

Top posts of the week: Warrior boosts Tom Hardy and Bane back into TDKR searches

Remember #thefirerises? Remember that picture of Tom Hardy as Bane? Hardy was the face of  back of head of The Dark Knight Rises pre-production excitement.   Until Catwoman.  After the pictures of Anne Hathaway began to appear, Mr. Hardy couldn’t break into the top 10 leading a trio of camo-painted tumblers into a football stadium.  But now, at last, with the release of Warrior, the net has started to notice him again, and the Bat-searches have remembered this isn’t just “The Catwoman movie.”

  1. The Dark Knight Rises Set Photos: Bane
  2. Anne Hathaway, Selina Kyle/Catwoman in The Dark Knight Rises: so very good at being bad (via Sexy Girls Dressed)
  3. Batman and Catwoman Cosplay: The Best of Dragon Con
  4. The cure for TDKR Location Photo Fatigue: Batman!
  5. Location Photos from The Dark Knight Rises: Hathaway/Selina turning heads
  6. DC Reboot Catwoman #1 – Wrong costume is a warning sign to fans but characterization sounds like an improvement
  7. The Dark Knight Rises Location Photos: Batman/Batsuit #TDKR
  8. Bane Mask, Other Batman Items coming up for sale in Movie Memorabilia Auction
  9. Bruce Wayne’s latest hot ride: The Lamborghini Aventador
  10. Arkham City Robin Costumes of the Day | TDW Geeks

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DC’s NEW 52 Sales Figures Some Historical Perspective from Newsarama

DC Comics Everything Depends on winning back the readers they have lostDC Comics future depends on winning back readers they have lost and fans they have alienated in years of mishandling the marquee characters like Batman and Catwoman in time to capitalize on mainstream interest generated by The Dark Knight Rises and related offerings.  The sales figures from the first weeks are largely curiosity buys and collectors buys, and reveal little about how serious the new Warner Bros.-driven DC Entertainment is about righting past wrongs of the old DC Comics.  But Newsarama provides an interesting analysis of the first wave of sales numbers from the limited perspective of those who never left the comics bubble.

To give some perspective to DC’s sales achievement of print comics so far during the months of August and September, Newsarama gathered some historical sales figures for comparison.

– DC has reported that two New 52 titles sold more than 200,000 copies on their first printing: Justice League #1 and Action Comics #1.

– The last time one comic sold more than 200,000 copies was the Amazing Spider-Man issue with U.S. President Obama on the cover in January 2009.

– The last time DC hit the 200,000 was the Brad Meltzer/Ed Benes issue of Justice League of America #1 in August 2006, with 212,178 copies that month.

– According to Bob Wayne, DC’s senior vice president of sales, the total number of the Meltzer JLA issues sold is DC’s prior 21st Century “high water mark” for Justice League. It was achieved with multiple printings. According to Diamond’s publicly released sales figures, the total sales over several month was 238,353.

– “The historical sales number for that 2006 issue of JLA accumulated over three months,” Wayne told Newsarama. “I expect we’ll exceed it within three weeks.”

– DC reported that eight additional titles have surpassed sales of 100,000 copies. It’s been rare for the last few years that any comic sells more than 100,000 copies during a sales month. To give context to the achievement, the last time a DC comic sold more than 100,000 copies was in June 2010 with Batman #700, which sold 104,755 copies.

– To give further perspective to the number, DC’s top-selling comic this year, Flashpoint #1, did not top 100,000 sold in a month, instead topping out in May at 86,981. DC’s second level comic during the event, Green Lantern, which is also its recent top-selling regular title, has been selling in the 70,000-75,000 range for the last year.

– Nine comics with sales above 100,000 copies from one publisher in a month is also rare. According to Newsarama’s research the last time there were nine comic titles selling more than 100,000 copies from one publisher was in May 2007, when Marvel had 11. According to Comichron, 2007 was the high-water mark in yearly sales since 1997, with over 85 million units sold.

via Newsarama.com

See related:
Alan Grant and Norm Breyfogle Retro-active: a vintage interview with the star Batman creative team DC Comics has brought back for Batman Retroactive
DC Comics relaunch… enough to repair the damage?
Retroactive: Can DC Comics Win Back Lost Readers?
DC Retroactive: Batman – The ’80s