Saturday, June 8, 2013

No Supergirl In September

I have been waiting for all the DC September solicits to come out to do my usual review of upcoming books. As a result, I haven't touched much upon the upcoming 'Forever Evil' theme running through the books that month. The overall solicit post will be up soon.

But let's talk about 'Forever Evil' and the month of comics. 'Evil' was first announced in USA Today here:    The concept is a decent one if not played out a little. All the books that month will spotlight a villain and, in a move similar to the nonsense of 1990's comic boom, will sport 3-dimensional covers, most likely lenticular covers of a sort. What's next? Hologram covers?

My opinion of David Finch's art has declined since the days of New Avengers but I thought this image was interesting if only to see the villains being showcased. And, when I saw this I immediately wondered which, if any of these villains, would grace the Supergirl book.

Now it seems that there won't be a Supergirl book at all that month, a move that seems to be in line with DC's recent moves of flooding the market with 'hot characters' and not cultivating the middle tier of their line. Over on  Bleeding Cool the list of DC books solicited so far is up. 16 Batman books. 8 Superman books. 10 Justice League books (JL, JLD, and JLA). It also continues the 'event' nature of Septembers. The New 52 premiered in September. Then we had 'zero' issues. Now we have villain issues and 3D covers. It feels a little bit gimmicky.

But the glut of some characters books means that others are going to be missing. There apparently won't be a Supergirl or Superboy book that month.

I suppose the writing was on the wall when Michael Alan Nelson was interviewed over on Zap2It here:

If Nelson is being interviewed and there isn't a Supergirl solicit attached, things don't look good.

Yes, those Action Comics solicits look great. Sholly Fisch being back on board makes me happy. And a Charles Soule Superman book! Fantastic.

But wouldn't this gimmick month be another opportunity to shine some light on other DC books in their line. Look, Supergirl is a middle-ground selling book. She has a new writer who has promised (like others before him) to add to Supergirl's rogues gallery. She will have just fought Cyborg Superman in her book. Silver Banshee is in the wings. Both of those villains are established enough to be recognizable in a month like this. Heck, maybe it would a great time to introduce a new villain in a splashy way! Wouldn't it be nice if DC decided that her book was worth a fancy cover and some publicity?

Instead, her books and others aren't present. Is it yet another 'jumping off' point for the casual Supergirl fan? What about books like Katana? Vibe? Constantine? Don't they need something like this?

It seems I say it about every 3 months or so. DC seems interested in short money, the quick fix, without looking ahead to the health of their whole universe. What do fans of the titles being left off the solicits think about the health of those series? Do Red Lanterns fans think that DC cares about their book?

Remember this month several years ago when every DC title was included in the Faces of Evil theme. It showcased Superwoman to people who might not know she was worming her way into Supergirl's life.

Anyways, it looks like there won't be Supergirl in September. And that irks for a number of reasons.


Unknown said...

Disappointing. But they could have used this as an opportunity to remind everybody of H'El; and return Supergirl back to the 70's when all she worried about was various 'boy-friends' etc.

Anonymous said...

She worried a lot more about mere boy friends in the 1970's depending on who was writing the feature of course. And even then, her sales were likely spectacular compared to the numbers garnered today...I know that is an entirely specious comparison but it's worth keeping in the back of our minds all the same.
News like this just confirms something no one seems ready yet to confront, that for all the digital hoopla all the new initiatives, neither one of the "Big Two" can "grow the audience" worth a damn. Hence every three to six months Marvel/DC resort to some short term cheap heat stunt to keep a tattered machine up and running. I don't think this can be sustained over the long term, neither do I have an answer to the problem. I'm not sure there is an answer.


GettinJiggly said...

Well that's takes the wind out of my sails. It's sad that DC has to pimp out their hero's like Batman and Superman to sell books. Instead they should work on getting writers who can write the characters, and a single artist/colorist/inker who can do an entire issue without help. I mean if Marvel can release multiple issues of the same book every month with a good story and great art what's up with DC.

Anj said...

Thanks for the comments.

As you all say, this seems short-sighted.

I am not surprised by this any more.

Anj said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
valerie21601 said...

Did I miss a issue somewhere? When did Supergirl fight Cyborg Superman? Isn't that issue coming out in a couple of months?

Kara fought Sanctuary last issue but I don't recall CS.

Edward said...

I forget where I heard this, actual article or forum speculation, but at the end of certain books like Action Comics #23.1 Cyborg Superman #1 there will be a to be continued in Supergirl tag.
A book like Batman: The Dark Knight #23.1 The Ventriloquist #1 would have a to be continued in Batgirl. There are other books like this too, certain villains and creative teams that you can tell are continuations or expansions of certain titles.
If it goes like that I can see the reasoning, use the bigger name books to draw some attention to the lower selling ones.

GettinJiggly said...

Edward that makes some sense but because it's a EVENT month it would be just as easy to have them published inside their respective comics. I mean if somebody doesn't want to read a villain one-shot story inside of say Supergirl or Batgirl, I doubt calling it a Batman and Superman book will help. The issue will be about the villain not the book itself. Guess we have to wait and see.

Anj said...

Bad grammar on my part Val. I mean when this month comes around she will have just fought the Cyborg Superman. So why not continue his story there. I mean, his issue is even being written by Nelson.

Anj said...

I agree William. I think it would be better to plug the actual books.

I wonder if this means another culling of titles is going to happen soon.

tony said...

It bothers me that superboy and supergirl are not involved,not even in the solicits blurb.
I would have liked to see a H.I.V.E. issue or a Jon kent(maybe call him Scion) issue of Superboy.

Anonymous said...

So, can we look forward to an October Supergirl, or is there more we should worry about?

Anonymous said...

I've said pretty much the same before but one reason for the general apathy towards comics (in *my* opinion!) is that they are more and more marketed towards hardcore fans who are happy to buy every additional spin-off title "needed" to complete a storyline.

When I was a kid, I used to enjoy buying Superman or Batman because it didn't really matter if you'd missed an issue or two, each story was generally self-contained, made sense and whilst there was a bit of continuity between issues, it wasn't majorly important. Nowadays, everything is EVENT(!!!) this and MEGA EVENT(!!!!!!!!!) that and quite frankly, I don't think your "average" reader can be bothered. All it does is make comics as a whole a more niche market for nerds, geeks, dweebs etc and this is exactly what "they" shouldn't be doing in terms of marketing them.

You ought to be able to pick up a title and just stick with it without needing to buy other titles unless you wanted to. But you can't. My biggest irritation is something like this: you buy issue #12 and there's "Story Part One" in it. You buy issue #13 and there's "Story Part Three" in it. Where the heck is part two? Oh yeah, in some other title you don't want to buy. Outcome: you start to lose interest in the title you were buying or pirate the missing issue online or just end up giving up on buying the title you were buying in the first place. Sorry, but it's true.

If you can't interest "casual" readers then no amount of mucking about with resetting the universe, killing off/adding characters is going to matter. Some of the best independent titles do well precisely because they're self-contained and don't try and use gimmicks to get you to buy other stuff you didn't want to.

Anj said...

Thanks for the further posts.

Tony, I agree with you wholeheartedly. Both titles have new writers and new directions. Why not bolster that?

And Anon, I miss the one-and-done days as well. I don't mind longer arcs in titles but the crossovers into books I don't get irks me. I bought one of the X-books during Avengers v Xmen and was essentially lost for most of it to the point of dropping the book.

I doubt Supergirl is being cancelled. But being shelved for a month seems wrong.

Martin Gray said...

It really is a bugger. I thought Supergirl was going to have a H'el focus (which I would have skipped, mind).