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Friday, May 11, 2012 

For this year's FCBD, neither Marvel nor DC are trying to find new audience anymore

Free Comic Book Day is coming again, and this time the big two have signaled further retreat into insularity. The first example is Marvel's offering - a reprint of Brian Bendis' notorious humiliation of Spider-Woman, only here they've edited the artwork so it looks like Jessica Drew's still got her costume on. Presumably, they're embarrassed by the potential that children will pick up this monstrosity of a story all for free. But that only beggars the question: why did they ever allow this whole scene with Jessica to be drawn up in the first place and why is this, of all the things they could ever reprint, the one they selected to be turned into a FCBD special? If they really are worried about public reputation, they wouldn't keep allowing this kind of stuff to make it past the editorial board.

The second example is DC's "The New 52", and this one's not even seeking a new audience:
Typically, Free Comic Book Day releases are designed to be straight-forward reads appealing to as wide of an audience as possible. DC took a different tactic with their The New 52 FCBD issue from writer Geoff Johns and artists Jim Lee, Gene Ha, Ivan Reis and Kenneth Rocafort; promoting their relaunched line with a comic aimed squarely at hardcore fans.
I fail to see how that helps their fortunes long term if not many new people come aboard to buy their books. Of course, with Johns as the writer, that's just why new readers would be strongly advised to stay far away from it.

At one time, they might've actually tried drawing in new people with comics that were geared for youngsters (like the TV cartoon-based comics they've both published), but now, if these 2 examples are any proof, they're not even trying anymore, and either they're relying on reprinted material, or, they're resorting to something stuck fast on a shrinking fanbase, it'll only register a blip on the radar.

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