As I mentioned many times before, the last year has been a sabbatical of sorts from the comic industry. I haven’t bought any books except for a handful from smaller publishers for at least a couple years now. The only complete series I’ve bought was The Star Wars. I’ve been getting my superhero fix from my own books, Top Cow books (which are more science than superhero) and from the vast amount of movies and television shows based off comics. Whenever I see offers for free books I download them and keep them in my Kindle or as a PDF. I’ve actually become quite a big fan of digital books and comics even though I used to scoff and spit at those who would suggest such a thing. The smell of books, it seems, was not as important to me as I thought it was.
So after selling a comic script, I was overjoyed and rather eager to get back into comics. Every single person I know likes a superhero or two and all the guys I work with are watching Arrow, so I was rather excited about Free Comic Book Day. I figured if nothing else I’d get a bunch of SHIELD and ARROW comics for free for the guys at work to read. See, the guys I am talking about range in age from 17 to 37 and they all have different family backgrounds; Polish, Irish, Indian, etc. Even the cashiers, the women I work with, have similar tastes; all of them have watched one show or another, either Game of Thrones or The Walking Dead. They’ve all watched the Batman or Avengers movies so if they aren’t watching Arrow now, it wouldn’t be hard to convince them Stephen Amell is worth watching.
Imagine my surprise then, when I discovered there WERE no comics for these shows! Now I am giving Marvel a pass here, because they did release a Rocket Raccoon and a Guardians of the Galaxy comic, which shows they at least have a plan for their big summer release and their comics.
DC, however, gave us this horrible book called Futures End.
Listen, I am not getting prudish in my old age. Unlike a lot of writers, I am still in the heart of the public, working with teenagers, college students and young people. I meet families with children from all walks of life. I talk to teachers, politicians, artists and home-makers every single day. Customers like me, primarily because I listen to them and look them in the eye when I talk to them. I KNOW people. So let me be very clear to DC Comics here:
Nobody wants to read Future’s End. I don’t know why you’ve become obsessed lately with mangling and disfiguring your superheroes, but it isn’t working for you guys. NOBODY wants to see a Superman torso on spider-legs hunting down heroes. No one wants to read comics anymore with amputated limbs and bloody, ravaged, heroes. This isn’t 1999 anymore and that stuff isn’t cool anymore and worse, its been done to death.
Now, I will be honest with you guys, I like Dan Didio. He’s a good guy. I sent him a message after I got accepted by Top Cow to see if I could get some work from DC. Personally I want to write Deathstroke because I think DC’s villains deserve the same respect and treatment Marvel has given their villains over the years. Deathstroke is very hot right now, he is in every successful non-comicbook media DC has out there right now.
So I am completely flabbergasted at the fact that DC didn’t even TRY this year with Free Comic Book Day. They used it as an opportunity to promote their big crossover, a crossover we’re not interested in, rather than giving people what they are into.
You know what would have been cooler? Mother’s Day cards from Slade Wilson. If you watch Arrow, you already know how funny that would have been.
There are a million things they could have done to get more people reading comics: A reprint of Superman VS Mohammed Ali, a reprint of Green Arrow #1 with the ARROW logo, perhaps. Anything would have been better than that bloody disaster.
I can forgive the fact you guys released a terrible Deathstroke series and then cancelled it. I can forgive the fact that Batman and Green Arrow, your two biggest properties right now, aren’t co-starring in a Brave and the Bold book. The fact that you guys missed a perfect opportunity to bring my friends and co-workers into our audience, that you missed a chance to show the world what comics are meant to be and instead gave them some bloody limbs and shredded superheroes, well that I can’t forgive. This was a huge, huge, blunder on their part.
Stop creating comics for the five guys you speak to every day, Dan and start making comics for the rest of the world. You could be living in a Golden Age of comics right now if you guys would only stop listening to each other and start listening to the rest of the world. We’re the audience you need to survive now. We love your characters, treat them with a little respect.