What’s DC up to? We hear that asked a lot lately, mostly centered around the fact that some of the comics are, well… going a bit shall we say, slutty. Or put another way, don’t expect Starfire to be anything like the beloved Teen Titans cartoon anymore. This has been covered quite a bit and goes as far as some people wondering about strange sexist issues in Superboy.
And thus, I hear people ask “Just what Is DC up to?” This is usually followed by them giving me a very pointed answer because they’re quite sure they know what’s up.
On the other hand, I don’t think anything is up – I think EVERYTHING is up. As I’ve been doing a lot of news analysis lately, let me dive into my theory of What DC Is Up to. After all, as a comics pro or future pro, it could affect you, or at least traumatize you.
Here’s what I think they’re doing – they’re trying everything they can as a whole, to do as much as they can with their properties. Much as I theorized some of “52” would involve a kind of Darwinistic survival-of-the-fittest, I think DC is trying it all – possibly to see what works.
It’s kind of like watching the Play Station 3’s development, only with more spandex.
- They’ve got yet another Batman show as part of their DC Nation block – with Katana kind of subbing for Robin, and a strange Art Deco-retro vibe that gives me flashbacks to “Big O.”
- Among the DC Nation offerings, Mistress of Ponies Lauren Faust is going to do a Supergirl/Batgirl/Wonder Girl series of one-shots. Note this block also includes work from Aardman.
- A live Batman show in the UK.
- The usual video games, including a sequel to Arkham Asylum, Arkham City.
- here are the usual spate of movies in the works.
- Then there are the comics which, yes, has some with controversial sexual elements. I’m still annoyed personally with what happened to Amanda Waller.
See a consistent strategy? I don’t – and I think that’s the point.
As I’ve noted comic properties are big – but comics are just a small part of them, and in many cases just a starting point. So my take on this is that DC is trying everything and anything to see what they can do, from fanservice to acrobatic shows, from games to live movies. You try what works, and see what happens.
Don’t look for a consistent strategy, I don’t think that’s the point right now. I think the point is Trying A Lot Of Stuff.
So if you’re a comics pro or future pro?
- Be aware that if you want to work for DC, there’s… a kind of transitionary phase here.
- Be aware that what doesn’t work for them might work for other companies – and expose useful opportunities.
- Be aware of what also does not work for them may mean they did the research for you.
- As some of their efforts will succeed and fail, assessments of the company’s progress and ideas will probably be highly inconsistent.
Sit back and grab the popcorn. It’s going to be an interesting ride of CGI series, skimpy outfits, video games, and live acrobatic shows.