dc_comics_logo_2013It has been 17 months since DC blew up their entire line of comics, shuffled all their creators around to different books, and blew up their entire history of continuity. You know, for everyone except Grant Morrison, who has been allowed to continue his Batman saga that started several years ago in Batman Incorporated like it’s still 2009… or sometimes, considering all the Silver Age characters Morrison’s shoveled into that storyline, like it’s still 1959.

And the New 52 reboot was an unqualified success. It put DC over Marvel, in both sales numbers and dollar earnings, for the first time. It refreshed the classic characters of the DC Universe for a new generation. Truly, those 52 books signalled the start of a thousand-year uncontested reign. Nothing could stop them. They would march to victory on a road of bones. They would drive their enemies before them, see them broken, and hear the lamentations of…

What’s that? DC’s cancelling six more books?


dc_comics_logo_2013What the fuck is going on over at DC Editorial?

Back in November, when Vertigo announced they were cancelling Hellblazer, they tried to lessen the blow by hyping up the new DC Universe-based book Constantine, with Robert Venditti as the announced writer. Just a few weeks later, when they announced that Duane Swierczynski would no longer be writing Birds of Prey, they made a big deal of the fact that they had brought in Skullkickers writer Jim Zub to take over, trotting the poor bastard out to do interviews where he espoused how excited he was to have the opportunity, and talked about all the ideas he couldn’t wait to bring to the book.

That, however, was then. Today, DC released their April solicitations, and yeah: neither of those guys are going to be writing those books.

Somewhere along the line, someone between DC Editor In Chief Bob Harras and the individual titles’ editors decided to replace those writers with pretty much no notice (at least to the reading public) until the solicitations dropped today, with those solicitations indicating that Constantine will be written by Jeff Lemire and Ray Fawkes (who was originally to replace Gail Simone after she was fired from Batgirl… you know, before she was rehired), and Birds of Prey to be taken over by Amethyst writer Christy Marx. Apparently. At least for now. At this point, my co-editor Amanda is frantically hitting F5 on her email, checking to see if perhaps she is the next writer of Birds of Prey.

Between these moves and the aborted firing of Gail Simone, I can’t personally remember a case where, at the editorial level, a bunch of last-minute creator changes were made on books where the replaced creators were reasonably well-publicized, and all before their first issues even came out. Sure, you see it with artists sometimes, but normally only after deadlines start to become an issue (hi, Mark Silvestri!). So what the hell is going on at 1700 Broadway, guys? Did Robert Venditti nail the wrong guy’s wife? Did Jim Zub leave an Upper Decker in the Editorial Department men’s room? Or the ladies’ room? Or maybe Geoff Johns’s Aquaman cap?

Well, Harras and DC Editorial Director Bobbie Chase did an interview with Comic Book Resources to try to explain some of the reasoning behind the sudden moves. So… what the hell, guys?

Prior to picking up Sword of Sorcery #0, I knew nothing about Amethyst, Princess of Gemworld, because when it debuted in 1983, I was a 12-year-old human being with a limited, allowance-based income, and a penis. With comics 60 cents a piece and three bucks to spend on them, I wasn’t gonna drop coin on a books meant to empower the very people giving me boners just by being around and then laughing when I got one. Besides, despite being a geek since it was a word used to describe a filthy hobo who bites the heads off chickens in a freakshow, I have never been a swords and sorcery kind of fan. I grew up on comic books, The Six Million Dollar Man and Star Wars; I had no need or time for some blonde with a sword and magical powers. Not when I had access to Luke Skywalker. Wait, something there’s not quite right…

Anyway, what I’m getting at here is that, for me, Amethyst is a completely new character. And while I recognize that I, a 40-something guy, am not necessarily the target audience for Amethyst, I thought it was okay. It accomplished a lot in 20 pages, introducing the protagonist and doing a decent job humanizing the character and telling us her background, and explaining how what appears to be a reasonably typical teenaged girl might survive in a hostile environment like Gemworld… even including the gang bang scene. Maybe I should’ve been reading this book when I was twelve… but we’ll get to that in a minute.

We’re coming up on a year since DC Comics rebooted their universe with the New 52, and by the time that year ticks over, we’ll already be down to 42… which, knowing comics, will still not be the Ultimate Answer.

On top of the cancellations of original New 52 titles Men of War, Mister Terrific, O.M.A.C., Static Shock, Blackhawks, and Pile of Steaming Shit (Whoops! I meant Hawk And Dove! Damn those typos!) back in January, DC recently announced that they were cancelling Justice League International, rebooted from the 80s classic Giffen / Dematteis / Maguire title by creative team Dan Jurgens and Aaron Lopresti, at the one year mark. At that time, DC kicked off six new books to keep the number of monthlies at 52, merely for the purposes of marketing and not because Dan DiDio can only remember two double-digit numbers at once and can’t (or won’t) forget “69”, as has been rumored by sources I just made up.

Well, it is now June, and DC has just announced that they will be launching four new monthly comics come July, which means that barring additional cancellations, DC would be carrying 55 books, a number which Dan can’t remember, nor drive, nor use to easily keep track of the age of consent (We kid, Dan! Bring back your Sunday “We Love Comics!” panel at SDCC this year!).

However, let’s start with the new books launching in September: