DC Comics “Villains” Month, or “How much more money can we squeeze out of these people?”

1370241151000-Forever-Evil-1-1306030236_3_4_r537_c0-0-534-712Complaining about DC Comics is close to becoming a full time job.

Seems that just about every week, DC does something else that makes me want to smash my head on my computer desk.  There’s even a web page devoted to alerting you when DC does/says something stupid.  I’m not kidding.  It’s http://hasdcdonesomethingstupidtoday.com/

And it’s really worth checking out because I’m not the only one who thinks that DC comics is run by some very unfunny version of “The Three Stooges”.  (The current howler is how photoshop has been used for some upcoming covers and it’s really quite stupendously stupid when you see them all together.)

Anyway, fresh off the “ex-Catwoman” bonanza, DC has announced that September, 2013, will be “Villains” month.  Every DC comic will be taken over by a villain specific to that title for that month with the oh-so-unique ‘renumbering’ of the comic to tell you that “you’re not just reading a usual issue of this comic, boy-o!”

And, oddly enough, a USA TODAY article on the event gives even more information than the standard press release on DC’s site!  Because, you know, why would you tell your fans more than you tell the average reporter.  You can read the DC press release here and the USA TODAY article here.  If you want to.  I’m surprised that I actually did but I do it to save you the pain, dear reader!

And what is the big surprise that’s got the DC PR people dancing and singing in the streets?  Is it an amazing story-line?  Is it great artwork?  Is it a return to heroic values?  Nope, it’s 3-D covers.

4577_4_05Yep, 3-D covers.  If you’ve lived through comic books in the 80s, you probably hoped you’d seen the last of the gimmick covers.  After all, how can one top DC’s own gimmick of putting a plastic shard of crystal on the cover of every issue of ECLIPSO?  Or Malibu’s own gimmick of a bullet-hole through the entire issue of PROTECTORS #5?

But, when you stop and think about it, isn’t killing characters off just as much a ‘gimmick’ as fancy covers?

Anyway, this ‘Villains Month’ will give rise to a seven issue series called Forever Evil meant, I guess, to showcase the bad guys.  (I assume it’s a monthly because I can’t find anything to state what publishing schedule it’ll follow.) It will be written by Geoff Johns with art by David Finch and that’s about all I can tell you because there’s very little in any of these notices to tell you just what the hell it’s all about, Alfie!  Here’s the quote from USA TODAY:

Forever Evil is a chance for David and I to work on all the greatest villains in comic books. It’s literally everybody. I don’t even know if there’s anybody not in it,” Johns says. “We’re really exploring what darkness means and the different kinds of darkness that are within these villains.”

That’s about as vague as a senator’s testimony before a congressional inquiry.

Then, there will be three new mini-series debuting in October that will each last for 5 issues.  So, if we take a conservative amount of 40 regular titles that will have this tie-in for September, 7 issues for Forever Evil and 15 issues for the three mini-series, that gives us 62 issues for this storyline.

A storyline which, right now, we know nothing about other than “bad guys win”.  Which sounds strangely similar to Marvel’s currently ongoing AGE OF ULTRON.  But, you know, these comics ain’t cheap!  Looks like the September comics will all be $4 each while I’ll be nice and say that the other 12 comics will be $3 apiece.  That’s a conservative estimate of about $200 to follow the storyline.

$200 and I’m being charitable because they may have more issues or tie-ins that I’m not aware of yet.

I could buy four DC ARCHIVE EDITIONS for that or even more when my LCS has a “buy one, get one” free sale.  I leave it for you to guess which one I think is the better value.

BTW, see that graphic at the top of this rant which was released officially by DC as a tie-in to Forever Evil?  See what character is near the front of that line?  Because DC’s just slapping you in the face with the whole “Catwoman Dies” from last week because… well, because they can.

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About Sam Gafford
My name is Sam Gafford and I've been doing critical work on William Hope Hodgson for many years. I wrote the article "Writing Backwards: The Novels of William Hope Hodgson" in which I presented evidence that WHH wrote his novels in the reverse order in which they were published. I've recently written an article on Hodgson's confrontation with Houdini and am currently working on a book length study of WHH.

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