In the comics world, I am pretty much a hard-core DC Comics fan. Give me the DC Trinity of Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman any day over a Marvel Comics character. I’m typically that hard-core.
Now, it’s not that I don’t like Marvel Comics and their characters. I do, especially with what they have done with the characters in the Movies and TV/Streaming shows. I just don’t enjoy the comic books themselves so much, and the ones I do end up getting into, Marvel has some “spidey-sense” that tingles and they end up canceling the book.
But lately, DC is starting to push me to a point that I really don’t like. A reality where the writers and artists that I value to produce stories I like are seemingly being pushed out of the picture (pun intended) to save a buck because the bean counters at DC’s parent company, that being AT&T, want to tighten the purse-strings.
Writers like Tom King and Brian Bendis are being limited to just a book right now. Scott Snyder, Peter Tomasi, James Tynion, and Geoff Johns don’t have any mainstream books through April.
Artists are finding out, much like Francis Manapul did, that they don’t have any work coming out anytime soon and they are being told to look for other work if they want. Greg Capullo, Jason Fabok, and other artists that released VERY popular books in the past few years are no longer listed as working on a DC Book.
Even worse is that it has been reported that many of the writers and artists have found out about they have no work when new creative teams were announced for books they were working on.
That’s awful. And it brings me to the headline wording: I have a bad feeling about this. (Yeah I know that’s a Star Wars thing and belongs to Marvel). I worry that the creators I have closely followed for the past 15 years will move on to other publishers, other projects, other media, or other jobs. Then, the stories they tell that I love will no longer happen.
Not that I won’t give the new creative teams a chance. Some of my favorite writers and artists are moving to new books and teaming with new partners that may be well worth the change. But DC, right now, is kind of walking on thin ice with my money and my interest and I find myself looking for where my favorites are going to land.
The winners in all of this are the so-called “independent” publishers like BOOM! and Image. They look to be gaining a lot of good creators that can make the kind of books they want without the pressure that comes from a large corporation. But that brings its own risks as even publishers like Dark Horse won’t keep a book going if it isn’t being purchased.
In the end, I still love the DC Universe. I stuck by it when the weird mullet hit Superman in the ’90s, stopped collecting for 10 years while my kids all got out of daycare, and forced myself to hold on through the “New-52” until we got a “rebirth” and a feeling of the magic of the ’80s. I’ll still be trying out new books from DC, but I’m going to be pickier this time around and probably spending my hard-earned cash with other publishers.
I might even “make mine Marvel” every once in a while.