DC touts diversity, quirkinessWritten by Jim Beard | | firstname.lastname@example.org
The time is swiftly approaching when comic shop owners must decide what to buy — and how many — from among DC Comics’ line-wide September relaunch. You can help your favorite shop by letting them know which titles you’d like to sample, for most factor in their customers’ feedback when making those oh-so-important monthly inventory purchases. Some of DC’s new books are no-brainers, standard superhero fare that pleases across the reader spectrum, while others are, let’s say, more eclectic. Here are a few examples of some of the DC square pegs that may fail to find their place on the board.
Batwing — Basically, a black Batman in Africa. Culled from a one-page appearance in a 1970s issue, this hero’s going to have to fight an uphill battle to win his spurs. Minority headliner characters rarely find their niche in today’s market, and the exotic locale of the Dark Continent might look good on paper but might not speak to Westerners. It’s superhero hijinks with a good chance of pretension.
Frankenstein, Agent of S.H.A.D.E. — A monstrous protagonist, who works for a strange government agency, investigates and battles weird forces. Sounds like Hellboy, doesn’t it? Pretty sure it does to DC, too, but that’s not stopping the publisher from attempting to carve out its own version of the famous monster investigator. There are several horror books on DC’s new schedule, but this one seems to be treading more familiar ground.
Demon Knights — A medieval romp with eldritch energies to spare. DC has had a tiny stable of medieval-era characters that stretches back to the 1950s — when better to throw them against the wall to see if they’ll stick? Without a doubt, this book has to be one of the true long-shots of the relaunch, but fortunately it has British writer Paul Cornell holding the reins and guiding its magicked suits of armor across the thorny fields.
Blackhawks — An international team of soldiers use cutting-edge weapons to wage war against terrorists — in other words, DC’s version of G.I. Joe. The original Blackhawks were creatures of the 1940s and ’50s, but this new group will probably be even more diverse in terms of race, gender and creed, along with what sounds like “home-grown” terrorist opponents. That’s so much “safer” than the pesky problem of foreign extremists, of course.
All-Star Western — Horror, War, Knights and now … a Western. Yep, DC’s pulled out all stops to insure its new line has a bit of everything that once made up the comics industry’s bread-and-butter. This one’s got Jonah Hex in the saddle and a Gotham City milieu; hey, maybe that could actually work …