Thursday, September 10, 2009

DC Is Dead...Long Live DC.

Since 2005, DC Comics has been trying to rebrand itself and become a leader in comic book properties. For years, DC has lost out to Marvel in both comic books and movies--although television is one thing DC tends to get right--and Warner Bros. is apparently sick of it.

It has been announced that the woman, Diane Nelson, who oversees the highly popular (and profitable) "Harry Potter" franchise is becoming President and Publisher of DC Comics and that DC Comics is now going to be called DC Entertainment Inc. (although I think they should've called it DC Media). So what all does this mean and where does DC go from here?

Paul Levitz, the now-former president and publisher will be retained as an executive consultant and Dan Didio will stay on as Vice President and Executive Editor. DC has constantly been criticized for being too slow to get new movies and other properties out unlike Marvel. DC tends to pick and choose which characters to use in their properties over-saturating the population with Batman and Superman stuff while generally ignoring properties like Green Lantern, Flash and Captain Marvel. Yes, people want to see the more popular characters but there are a lot of unused characters out there that could definitely hold a movie or television show (Resurrection Man).

I'm hoping what this means is that Warner Bros. will now use DC to it's full advantage and not treat it like the bastard child it's been in the past. Warner Bros. has a full slew of properties they could use for televisions and movies if they'd been willing to spend the money. Currently DC/Warner Bros. has Jonah Hex and Green Lantern green-lit and scheduled to come out. Next will be another Batman movie, Superman movie and possibly a Wonder Woman movie. DC needs to quit pickin' and pawin' at their franchises and begin writing these movies so in a five years or so there can be a massive JLA movie. They also need to start using some other characters to begin selling as pilots for TV networks.

Television is a place DC has done a better job than Marvel. From the very beginning you had The Adventures of Superman, then Wonder Woman, Shazam!, Isis, The Flash, Lois and Clark, Birds of Prey, Smallville and now two incarnations of The Human Target. Not to mention all of the animated series DC has had over the years. DC needs to use that medium to bring different characters into the foreground and introduce them to a new generation, unlike in the comics where you now have to know decades of history to know where they come from and why they haven't been seen since 1997.

One thing I notice in the comments about this story is what will really happen to the comic book production side of DC, will it remain independent or will Warner Bros. begin sticking their fingers into the pie? I honestly hope they begin going through the comics and forcing them to make major changes. Who honestly thinks having 5,000 different Earths is a good thing? "Crisis on Infinite Earths" changed everything to make it simpler. And it was simple: Everything before 1985, except for the Justice Society of America, never happened. I'm going through the comics now and wondering why are there four different Batmans? That is just stupid and it turns me off from reading. At least with Marvel, the 1960s Spider-Man is the same Spider-Man. DC, unfortunately, needs to have another "Crisis" to fix everything that they have broken--which may be what they are leading to--and I would actually read that and maybe get back into reading DC comics.

Another aspect is that Warner Bros. got tired of the PR that Disney/Marvel had been receiving as of late and basically did this to get their name out there. Back in 2005, when DC changed it's logo, it was to brand all of the DC properties under the same logo which is essentially the same thing as renaming DC Comics to DC Entertainment (note that Marvel is called Marvel Entertainment). DC has the potential to make Warner Bros. a lot of money and Warner Bros. has finally realized that. People should look at this like Warner Bros. is finally starting to give a damn about DC and that is never a bad thing.