No direction under DiDio
Four years ago when DC Comics announced their ‘New 52 lineup’, the company seemed to be on the precipice of a new age. Once again the company was making a bold step in revamping their lineup of iconic characters and updating them for a new age of comic fans. Old continuities would be abandoned. Titles would be reworked to be more inclusive for new readers. Decade old ideologies would be abandoned in favor of bold creative choices.I find that last part in the paragraph fishy. That's like a subtle hint they've abandoned heroism for hand-wringing, and indeed, they did long ago. I don't see how that's bold, let alone creative.
The New 52 was a decisive event for comic fans. Lifelong readers were irritated by the changes. Casual fans seemed intrigued by the new direction. The launch was successful with DC grabbing more market share than they had in years. However, the New 52 quickly lost it’s luster. Within two years any gains had been erased. Within three years DC was already scrambling to rethink their strategy. Now the New 52 has been dissected, the body parts harvested and reassembled for their newest DC YOU initiative.Were casual fans interested? I don't think so, and if any were, it was ridiculous to give people who already betrayed their trust another chance.
There are so many problems at DC. Even the most casual observer can see the exposed wounds and poorly stitched seams. There have been reports of financial problems and reorganization has streamlined the employees down to the lowest level in decades.And it's a punishment they've long been asking for. No matter how much they try, they cannot deceive fans for long.
DC Comics is in trouble. It doesn’t take a genius to see that.
To me, the problem seems so obvious: There’s no direction at DC, which right now seems to stand for ‘Directionless Comics’. There has been much talk of the DC You strategy, which one again features radical departures in previous continuities and rolling out wild new takes on classic characters. EIC Dan Didio has a plan: throw everything at the wall and see what sticks. However, that it not a creative strategy, it’s a numbers game. It’s the move of an organization without a clearly defined path.What DiDio's resorting to has been a common practice for years now. See what sticks, and in fact, they've been hell bent for years on keeping select status quos vehemently in place no matter how tasteless they are, and regardless of how alienating they can be. It began with Hal Jordan during Emerald Twilight and continued with Identity Crisis and Infinite Crisis. They kept exchanging one bad move with another, and so long as they do that, they shouldn't be surprised if it only turns a wider audience away.
And alas, the writer slips:
I won’t lie: the lack of a cohesive direction has resulted in some entertaining titles. Earth 2, Action Comics, Batman, Doctor Fate, Midnighter, and Grayson have all been solid, entertaining titles that are diverse in story and style. Much like the New 52, DC You has produced some interesting titles at launch that are both unique and engaging. Unfortunately, it won’t last.It didn't even begin. Earth 2 an engaging title? What a joke. A title that only existed for tampering with Alan Scott and wiping out alternate world doppelgangers of Superman, Wonder Woman and Batman in the premiere issue is not something I'd consider solid. And I'm tired of all that dithering about "diversity". James Robinson was a decidedly overrated writer, and I won't be surprised if I'm not the only one today who's come to think so. The other titles mentioned have fared no better, and to say so will only give the staff the impression they can still get away with every act of disrespect they've performed to date.
Sooner or later, they're going to meet serious failure. But for now, I'm quite disappointed Flickering Myth can't go far enough and recognize how the PC steps they've hinted at are only ruining a once fine franchise.