Super Genius Comics Announces Edits to Future WWE Superstars Reprints
Papercutz has an imprint for “top quality graphic entertainment for teens and adults” called Super Genius Comics that so far has only released wrestling comics. WWE Superstars puts wrestling names into comic-book situations.
The one issue I tried, I found too much aimed at existing wrestling fans for it to be an enjoyable read, so I can’t speak much to the content. However, at the end of last year, the company put out an odd press release that was rather coy about pending changes. I quote:
In the just-released WWE Superstars: Haze of Glory trade paperback, co-created by Mick Foley and Shane Riches, and illustrated by Puste, a major character bids the WWE Universe a fond farewell, as he moves on to write comics for a major publisher. While this particular superstar appeared in the first eight issues of the WWE Superstars comicbook series in a major role, he unfortunately will not be appearing again in the ongoing WWE Superstars series. In fact, once the first eight issues and first two trade paperbacks go out of print, they will never again go back into print with that superstar in it — the stories will be rewritten and redrawn to feature other WWE Superstars still with the WWE. Whether or not that makes the first printings of these comics collectors’ items is something the fans will decide.
Or whether or not demand is such that there’s even a need for second printings is something the company likely won’t reveal.
These planned changes are taking a brand tie-in a bit too far, in my opinion. Sure, the WWE requires agreements to use the names and appearances of their characters, but changing printed work as though any one wrestler was interchangeable with another? You can’t rewrite history that way. Plus, this makes things complicated for regular customers, who may not even realize that there are unlabeled content variants.
I’m guessing — just because he’s the only one I know writing comics — that the departing wrestler is Mick Foley. But why not even be clear about that? If you don’t want to talk about what’s going on, why put out an oblique press release?
Update: It was pointed out to me that a better guess is CM Punk, whose poor treatment from the WWE has caused him to leave the business. I agree, that’s more likely. This is the problem with indirect references — people get the wrong impression based on a lack of knowledge.
As I say at these times, whenever the question regarding the comic business is “why”, the answer is usually “money”. Perhaps Papercutz wants fans to know to seek out the comics now, while they can still get the original version, and bump sales. Nothing wrong with that, and they’re probably making the best of a bad situation driven by the licensor. Does illustrate a hazard in dealing with brand content, though.