The Times They Are a Changin’ LinkBlogging: Green Lantern, DC Relaunch Reaction, Uncanny X-Men

The Green Lantern movie opens this weekend, as I’m sure EVERYONE has been made aware, and early reviews are NOT promising. This might be a case of critics not getting what audiences want to see, though, as with other “review-proof” summer blockbusters like Transformers. (I fear for how Warner will decide to treat DC if this tanks, though, since they value their comic company mostly as a source for film premises.) I’m not planning to see it, since the main source of appeal for me would be Ryan Reynolds interacting with other characters, and that seems to have been downplayed in favor of computer-generated effects that resemble a monochrome video game. I wanted to see the movie suggested by this first trailer

not the dour, effects-laden second one. Are you going?

Speaking of negative reactions, Comic Book Resources ran a poll asking site readers how they felt about the 52 DC relaunch titles, and the results are in, with really depressing numbers. The only titles that didn’t have the majority saying they were “not at all” interested in purchasing them were the really big names: Justice League, Batman, Green Lantern, Aquaman, Action Comics, and (yay) Batwoman. (I attribute that last to the long-running promotion for it; it’s been promised for a good while now.) And that’s it. The Superman title didn’t rank, nor did Wonder Woman.

Of least interest, with about 2/3rds of respondents rejecting them, are the most experimental titles: Dan DiDio’s OMAC; I, Vampire; Liefeld on Hawk and Dove; and the WildStorm babe Voodoo. The war comics Blackhawks and Sgt. Rock and the Men of War aren’t far behind. Of course, this is INCREDIBLY unscientific, using a biased audience (fans dedicated enough to visit a comic-centric site), and without actually seeing any of the comics. Also, when you ask people “do you plan to buy”, some of them lie, or later change their mind. But it can’t be reassuring, unless you were looking for proof that comic readers don’t like change.

Meanwhile, it took Marvel all of a week to announce the relaunch of Uncanny X-Men #1 — after making a big deal out of that long-running title ending. It’s part of X-Men: ReGenesis, the fall event that follows the Schism summer event. The series plans to better integrate the X-Men into the wider Marvel universe. UXM #1 will launch in November with the same creative team, Kieron Gillen, Greg Land, and Carlos Pacheco. So, business as usual, then.

In addition, a new title, Wolverine and the X-Men #1, will feature a competing team, and both are promised to be important to NEXT summer’s big event. “X-Men: ReGenesis will affect our entire line leading up to a major conflict coming up in 2012!”, said Marvel Editor in Chief Axel Alonso. Sigh.

16 Responses to “The Times They Are a Changin’ LinkBlogging: Green Lantern, DC Relaunch Reaction, Uncanny X-Men”

  1. Eric Rupe Says:

    I didn’t find it surprising that people were more intersted in Batmwoman than not since Williams is a big selling point though I wonder how the book will fair when he’s not drawing and when he eventually leaves. I was actually surprised that Wonder Woman had a strong negative reaction given the creative team but maybe readers just really don’t like the character.

  2. Vanessa Says:

    I wasn’t interested in seeing Green Lantern until I saw the new trailer in 3D this weekend before Thor (shut up-the only time I could catch was the 3D showing.) It looked amazing in 3D.

  3. James Schee Says:

    I’m going tomorrow to see it with some non-comic reading friends, it’ll be my first 3D movie ever. I do wish it was a little less.. ambitious I guess to be nice for a first movie. I think it’d work better just showing Hal, and then at the end reveal he’s a part of the Corp. May have too much at one time and overwhelm the new person.

    I am always leary of web polls, because fans have a tendency of trying to fix them in ways that serve an agenda. They usually aren’t always honest either, promising to buy things they don’t or not buy things that do.

    When it comes down to it, I have a hard time thinking anyone still going to the shop every week after all this time really stopping. Because if it comes down to comics they may not like or no comics, I have a hard time thinking the option will be no comics.

    Here’s the bad for DC with all the hype for something so far off, my enthusiasm is lessoning as time goes on. I bought an issue of Millie the Model today at a thrift shop, $2 but it looks fun

    Yet it got me thinking, w’re talking about DC’s lack of female creators diversity, but where’s the bemoaning for lack of diversity of material?

    Where is a book with romantic comedy (with a modern take of course) in it? Maybe bring back a modern Date With Debbie? (hey how long has I, Vampire been on the shelf?)

    Where’s an adventure story with no costumes? (an Indiana Jonesish archaeology team book of Carter Hall & Shiera Sanders, Dan Garrett & student Ted Kord would be fun!)

    Or a Lois Lane, Ace Reporter series? Or well just anything but people in costumes hitting each other?

  4. Johanna Says:

    I want to read all of your suggestions, but the fact is, those stories are done better in comics by other people. All DC has left is superheroes. That’s what they’re known for and that’s what the bosses want them to do.

  5. Kris Larsen Says:

    I would be all for a Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen team-up! Jimmy Olsen mooning over a barely-seen Batgirl, getting into all kinds of crazy adventures trying to meet her. Something that’s not dark and heavy would be a nice change!

  6. James Schee Says:

    So basically what you’re saying is that DC doesn’t do those kind of books, because DC doesn’t do those kind of books?:)

    lol I get you Johanna, its just been kind of rattling in my head today. DC talks about getting the new reader, but only seem to want them to really only read what they already produce.

    They have to know that not all of the 52 new releases are going to make it, I guess I just wish they were stretching themselves a little farther than they currently are in terms of what they are trying.

    Because while its good to see a little more diversity in terms of what kind of superhero books there will be. There are people who may go see a superhero movie, but not be that interested in reading superhero comics.

  7. James Schee Says:

    And OMG, what’s a HUGELY popular show right now? Bachelor/Bacherlotte.

    And I just had a thousand ideas swim my head of a dating competition comic called “Date with Debbie”… oh wel put it on my dream pile of “If I ran DC…” wish list. lol

  8. Johanna Says:

    Yeah, ok, it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy, but it’s more that DC has retrenched and cut back to focus only on core business. And you’re correct, DC is not really reaching out to young or female readers — it’s their same male target audience.

  9. Dave Carter Says:

    “‘X-Men: ReGenesis will affect our entire line leading up to a major conflict coming up in 2012!’, said Marvel Editor in Chief Axel Alonso. Sigh.”

    So basically they’re saying to read it because it’s ‘important’ and it ‘matters’, not because it’s a good comic or anything. Sigh indeed.

  10. Grant Says:

    CBR is definitely in the “I hate anything and everything having to to do with the reboot” camp. I’ve seen other sites that are far more open minded about the change. TheBeat, BleedingCool, and a few others.

    But I don’t buy any of this “I’ll never read DC again!” stuff for a minute. Not to say that people aren’t genuinly angry about losing their favorite characters or seeing them changed. But even on the angriest sites I’ve seen comments go from “I hate DC and will never buy anything they make again” to “well, Wonder Woman might be okay” and “well, maybe I’ll check out a few” and “well, if my friends say it’s really good I’ll check it out” and so on and so on. The level of anger from fans losing their favorite characters can’t be sustained indefinitely. All those Oracle fans are going to miss reading about Barbara Gordon and Batgirl and will quietly succumb.

    And I think that anger is already having a backlash effect. When so many people yell “I hate this!” that just creates more interest. All those angry fans are actually creating a buzz and thus, more of an audience and doing DC’s work for them.

    I’m going to wait on seeing Green Lantern. Some fanboy pals of mine saw it tonight and I’m waiting on word from them if it’s any good or not.

    I’m actually excited about Xmen. I’ve been enjoying their books lately which seems to have the majority of good art and writing. So I’m all in for Schism. If that goes well, then we’ll see about Regenesis.

  11. D. Peace Says:

    Existing comic book fans don’t like change. This isn’t really news, though.

    I keep saying it but it’s worth repeating: DC and Marvel are both losing by pandering to existing comic book fans because we’re NEVER happy. We’re aging, we’re a shrinking demographic and we aren’t excited for new product or ideas. This whole seachange isn’t about new creative teams or new number 1’s or new focus… it’s about a massive shift in the way comics are distributed and the new creative teams and number 1’s are just going along with that. In short: DC doesn’t really feel like it needs you as much as it needs new readership. The writing is on the wall. This is a tremendous gambit and it could well fail but they have to risk it or else watch their entire company stagnate and eventually die. The CBR poll, which illustrates the needs and wants of the current fanbase means sweet fuck-all in the long-term. I hope, for its own sake and for the future of the medium, DC doesn’t even look at these internet histrionics and just plows ahead, marketing their new DC Universe to the same kids who bought J. Michael Straczyinski’s Superman: Earth One hardcover and prefer to get periodical material via digital means.

  12. Grant Says:

    The fact is, pandering works. I think Marvel earns a lot of goodwill with longtime fans by continuing to put out trades of anything and everything. In a world with absolutely no influx of new readers, Marvel could do well by just reprinting their catalog of previous comics as trades and never doing monthlies again. I might not give a crap about a Acts of Vengeance omnibus but there are plenty of people who thought that “event” was the greatest thing since sliced cheese. In the meantime, DC has said they’re cutting way back on the amount of trades they do on their back catalog of stories.

    And now Marvel is doing this.. this… …which sure isn’t going to hurt them. In fact, in spite of being just common sense, that is brilliant. Just one more place that they can saturate with their product. Add all that to their Avengers movie gambit and I don’t see them losing at all. In spite of DCs reboot media blitz and the bump they’re sure to get in sales and in spite of the shakiness of digital, I see Marvels slice of the monthly sales pie chart just getting bigger and bigger and DC’s continuing to shrink. At least until the new era of “digital” kicks in and proves to add up to more than 1% of sales for either company.

  13. D. Peace Says:

    “I see Marvels slice of the monthly sales pie chart just getting bigger and bigger and DC’s continuing to shrink.”

    What sales pie chart? Diamond? That’s such a useless victory in the grand scheme of things. I mean, they’re taking up a greater percentage of WHAT sales? The entire pie is shrinking exponentially.

    “At least until the new era of ‘digital’ kicks in and proves to add up to more than 1% of sales for either company.”

    Which will happen. It’ll have to because where else will new sales come from?

  14. Anthony Says:

    As James above notes, DC might just be myopically focused on superheroes-only, but they’re sitting on a huge pile of old titles in various genres they used to print that, with the right titles/take, could easily be revived… maybe as part of the Johnny DC line of books (or some new non-DCU-set line, a la Vertigo, etc.). A new updated “Young Romance”? “Funny Stuff”? “Binky”? “Dodo and the Frog”? Or “Captain Carrot”? Yes, I know, DC wants everyone to buy the latest Batman epic/similar material’s available from independent companies, but just a thought. (Of course if we had saner copyright lengths/laws, some of this unused old stuff would be in public domain by now…)

    (“Date With Debbi” was an Archie-like humor title they put out in the late 60s/early 70s.)

  15. James Schee Says:

    Yeah Date with Debbi came to mind, because back when DC was on AOL and doing chats, editor Kevin Dooley asked some of the regulars for mailing addresses. He sent us what was supposed to be Vext #1 preview copies, but being god of mishaps they were b&w preview copy of a Date With Debbit. Which was a lot of fun!! (actually more fun than Vext itself turned out to be)

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