DC launches new weekly series on Free Comic Book DayWritten by Jim Beard | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Comic book fans have paused in collective wonder over DC Comics’ recent launch of a new weekly series and announcements of two more on the way. The venerable comic book house has taken a clear back seat to rival Marvel Comics during the past several years, but an infusion of weekly publishing projects brings some excitement to readers who may have fallen away from the company after the 2011 revamping of its entire line.
Batman Eternal purports to celebrate the Dark Knight’s 75th anniversary with a published weekly title that began earlier this month and whose story encompasses the entire universe of Batman characters. In its first few installments, stalwart Commissioner Jim Gordon’s been accused of the deaths of several Gothamites after derailing a subway train during a perp takedown. Batman’s on the case, though, and heroes like Batwoman, Red Robin, Batgirl and others will join in the investigation soon.
On May 3, which happens to be Free Comic Book Day, the weekly called The New 52: Futures End begins. Its narrative jumps readers five years into a possible future of the DC Universe and the aftermath of a war with an alternate Earth. The central character is Batman Beyond, the hero of the animated TV series of the same name. The crux of the title rests upon skewed versions of classic DC characters, and the company claims the story will “forever alter the direction of the New 52.”
Then, in October, DC launches Earth 2: World’s End, which also concerns an alternate Earth, this one a nod to the publisher’s properties from the 1940s. Few details have been released on the series, but teaser artwork for it indicates more apocalyptic goings-on.
Weekly comic book series are not easy to produce. In an age when monthly titles — the industry standard for decades — are late to the shelves on a regular basis, a weekly series seems a foolhardy gamble. Comic companies must maintain a strict schedule on weeklies and by utilizing numerous writers and artists they create backup protocols should any part of the machine fail.
DC had a major hit with its 2006 weekly opus, 52, but has never truly matched it since. Maybe 2014 will put it back on the hit parade — and on schedule.