Financial Woes Spook DC Straight?


The last thing any company wants to hear after experimenting with a new product, service, or method of delivery, is that they lost too much money trying to make it work. For DC Comics, this meant the entire revamping of the comic universe — a humanized Superman, a “Gordonized” Batman, hipster techie Batgirl, and many other titles that were instant classic hits (Harley Quinn by Palmiotti and Conner, for instance), or instant failures (Klarion by Ann Nocenti with art by Trevor McCarthy only made it to six issues before cancellation…remember THAT train wreck?).

Unfortunately, it looks like playing around with everyone’s favorite characters has not boded well for the media giant. On the morning of August 25, 2015, Bleeding Cool reported that they suffered a loss of $2 million, which, according to Bleeding Cool’s undisclosed sources, is due to what the DC execs refer to as “Batgirling” the company’s most popular titles (note that this doesn’t mean that they think Batgirl is a bad book, it is just a term they coined to describe how far away from the status quo the titles have gotten.

With DC Entertainment’s MASSIVE film schedule starting next year with the highly-anticipated (even if you don’t support Batfleck, we know you’ll see it) Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, this huge loss of revenue may (notice I said MAY. This isn’t a guarantee, just speculation) spook the company into snapping back to what was considered the norm for their characters. No more experimentation, no more taking the characters into uncharted territory, just back to what we knew and loved before writers began to play with them — all-powerful Superman (who could beat Goku any day of the week, even IF he had blue hair…just saying), Bruce Wayne putting back on the cape and cowl, and everything going back to the way it was pre-“New 52.”

I’m not suggesting that this is something that is going to happen, or that it’s something that we WANT to happen — I mean, sure, maybe SOME people out there will breathe a sigh of relief if the DC comics lineup goes back to the “meat and potatoes” of storytelling — but the way I see it, DC Entertainment stands to make several billion dollars from their film lineup if everything goes to plan, so in the long run, what’s $2 million to them?

I don’t think the company will snap back to “what works.” Experimentation exists for the sole purpose of testing the waters. Instead of going back to the status quo, keep what works, get rid of what doesn’t, and fill those empty spaces with new projects. I bet a lot of people would absolutely LOVE to see Static Shock make his triumphant return…just saying, DC.

What do YOU think? Should DC go back to the way it was before the “New 52?” Or should they stay the course and keep trying out new things?

Roy Ranous

I've been writing on many different websites, blogs, and news outlets since 2004. I am well-versed in all things Batman, and love reading new comics every week. I am also an audio producer, podcaster, and aspiring voiceover artist. When I'm not writing/editing, I enjoy playing old video games, watching Transformers with my kids, and reading "Star Trek" novels.
  • Trey McKnight

    What I think they should do is start over totally. They should establish a universe where old JSA heroes have been around and new heroes show up for a new age. These can be the flagship heroes that everyone loves. But keep the JSA going for awhile longer and when it makes sense let the JLA be formed and take over for the JSA. In other words let time progress for every hero . Let them age, gain sidekicks, lose friends and family, die. And keep this going for 15 years. It will be refreshing and interesting and because of the reboot they won’t have reinvent the wheel. This way, Batman won’t have 4 Robins in 5 years. There won’t be 6 human Green Lanterns or a bunch of Kryptonians flying around. Also, add some diversity to the new heroes from the start. No one cares about Hal Jordan. Make the JLA Green Lantern John Stewart like most readers are used to since they grew up with the cartoon .
    Also, reduce the cost of the comics and target a younger audience. The cost and ultra-violence might be ok for older readers but I’ve greatly reduced my purchases because of those two reasons. Plus, I don’t want to read about mecha-batman or a depowered superman. The Superman I want to see would be the one who uses his powers to not only defeat the bad guy but save everyone who might be around the battle. I want to see a return to Superman’s values of Truth Justice and the American Way. Its tiresome to see Superman becoming the villain. The new 52 period of comics had I think 6 story arcs where Superman (or an alt universe version) was the bad guy. Or the story arcs are about other aliens even more powerful than Superman coming to Earth for him to fight. If the writers can’t write about Superman get other writers.
    And last of all, stop copying Marvel! I buy DC comics because they aren’t Marvel. I hate story arcs that take 18 comics to tell. Tell good stories, make the characters develop and change over time like they do in the very successful TV shows and DC will have a new golden age.

    • MMfan

      I agree completely. I think that DC has made things too simple where they matter and too complex in all the wrong areas. I understand the the whole multiverse aspect of comic books is all-consuming, but it doesn’t need to be. I know that it can give diversity and variety, but too much of that takes away from the core values of the original superheroes. I have greatly reduced my comic book purchases because as a busy student, I have an enormous difficulty keeping track of all of the different comics. I think it would be better if DC finds themselves again, focuses on the Earth 1 versions of the heroes, and those heroes can then have experiences with other universes if need be.
      By focusing on a single Earth with the original heroes, DC allows for better character development. When it works on multiple series with heroes from multiple universes all at once, characters tend to be underdeveloped. By bringing themselves back to their roots, DC would get to show people heroes that care about saving the people over defeating a villain.
      I know most people consider the cartoon for what it is, but growing up with it, I consider it a lot more. I felt that the cartoon developed the characters overtime, and kept a good recurring cast without getting too complicated. The Luthor-Superman rivalry was great because superman was not all-powerful, nor was he a bad guy. Sometimes he just got outsmarted. The most powerful superman dynamic writers can make is a relationship between superman and the people, because of the fragile trust that occurs. Batman is way too violent now and his intelligence is not used as much as his intimidation and technology. A stoic, intelligent batman is superior to a violent, intimidating one. Wonder woman used to be portrayed as not only a strong female, but a politician and a diplomat, someone who can act as a liaison between worlds. I always thought that the story of the rough and gritty John Stewart was always better than Hal Jordan who bores me quite frankly. I believe the conviction John had more than Hal. In my opinion DC hasn’t messed up the flash yet. Hawkgirl is not in the New 52 justice league. I really enjoy some of the things that DC has done with Cyborg and while I loved hawkgirl’s spirit and origins, I love Cyborg’s intelligence and abilities more. The thing that makes me really angry is the exclusion of martian manhunter and the inclusion of Shazam. Shazam to me is a shell of a character. The only word I can use to describe him is naive. He is a ten year old boy in an adult’s body that has the powers of Gods. I frankly do not understand his purpose. In my opinion, the best thing about the cartoon was that it showcased Martian Manhunter’s potential. His character development was top-notch, with an origin stories of an alien who was the lone survivor of a mass genocide by another race as an adult. Unlike superman who was sent o Earth as a baby, John Jonzz lived through the horrors of genocide. He is the ultimate glass cannon, having every power imaginable but a more common weakness. John often doesn’t even want to use his powers but rather favors intelligence and diplomacy as primary choices. I feel like the current comics don’t provided any of these characters with their best traits and took away what made them jump of the page/screen. Anyways, there is my rant.

      • Trey McKnight

        yeah, and Shazam is supposed to have the Wisdom of Solomon and I haven’t seen it in a long a time. Also, Billy hasn’t shown me that he deserved the mantle of Captain Marvel. I also agree that Martian Manhunter should be one of the flagship characters and thus be JLA.

    • mbradleyc

      I want to go with you. But the problem is that the JSA is WW2 and that was so long ago. You can’t keep rehashing a time period that is ancient as though it matters. We’re living in ISIS’ world now. I don’t mean the Atlantean lady either.

      It’s still possible to bring the archetypes into the modern world without corrupting them. It takes talent and skill though.

      We need Led Zeppelin.

      • Trey McKnight

        I think JSA doesn’t have to be WW2 anymore. The New 52 JSA worked out fine.

  • Anthony Pilone

    DC should BACK how how things were. I knew this reboot was going to be shitty and become a financial problem and I am so sick of their dark and grittiness.
    I want them to make enjoyable stories again and fire Dan Didio and his crew and get new people in who is smarter and more talented and has respect for the traditional dcu and respect for the characters and get rid of this new 52 once and for all and it’s supporting readers because a lot of them are a bunch of disrespectful a-holes and they don’t need those type of readers.

    I want the real dcu back and it’s continuity on it’s regular basis.
    Only with better quality and more fun and enjoyable stories again!!!

  • Saulo Stz

    I never thought that changes with Superman and Batman were final. Changes to them have occurred before and went back to what it was before. I like what happened after the new 52, and if pre-new 52 did so missed, Convergence would have been a success.

    • Jim Dawley

      Most who dislike New 52, didn’t want to give money to DC even if they brought back our DC characters during convergence. “Hurt them where it hurts at the bank” mentality, because they knew it was a short visit with beloved characters only to have their imitations from the New52 as the status quo remaining.

  • Mac Spilsbury

    Flash of two worlds!

  • mbradleyc

    I’m just glad I got out when I did.

    I’m also glad that I’m here for the rise of the DC videoverse takeover.

  • Saulo Stz

    The problem is after the new 52, DC stopped to divulge their comics, stopped to divulge concept art of characters, removed the column that had the CBR, and concentrated their news in DC’s own site which is horrible to surf. All this makes it difficult to attract the interest of the public.

  • Don Doran

    I was fine with the new 52 reboot. Just go back to that, don’t call it that, and give Supes his powers back, GL his ring back, etc. The new 52 wasn’t that much different than the “normal” universe. Where they messed up was trying to keep history from the previous universe while getting rid of other parts of it. It should’ve been the fresh start they wanted it to be. No 5 year gap between JL #6 and the rest of the universe. And leave it like they said at the end of convergence, both continuities still exist but we’re sticking with “this” one. I’d choose new 52 just to give more story telling room. And if writers wanted to do arcs in the previous continuity, great, just have the heroes in the correct attire.