Okay, it wasn't my intention to have a post about every single DC announcement of new titles regarding their new, line-wide reboot, because a) I don't feel all that comfortable playing the role they'd like me to play in hyping it and therefore selling their comics and b) if I did, I wouldn't have much to write about for my next installment of "DC Previews Reviewed."
But I can't help it when they post such shocking information as this, the new creative teams for the new Batman and Detective Comics, which are ending volumes that began in 1940 and 1937, respectively. Who are these creators who will be making the audacious, historic move of beginning new volumes of two of the oldest and most widely-read comic books of all time?
On Batman, the acclaimed TEC and American Vampire writer Scott Snyder, who is losing his collaborator TEC collaborator Jock for...Greg Capullo, best known for a long run on his Todd MacFarlane's Spawn book, when MacFarlane stepped away from rgularly producing comic book artwork to focus on managing his empire. I'm not sure if you've seen Capullo's artwork, but, well, he's not the most distinct artist (Just looking at the cover DC provided, I wasn't sure if it was maybe David Finch or Tony Daniel) and he's certainly not an artist whose work a publisher could hold up proudly and say, "Yes, this guy is the guy we've decided is right to essentially, symbolically do-over the last seventy-some years of Batman comics! He's going to be the best Batman artist ever, we're sure!"
As for TEC, it's going to current Batman writer/artist Tony Daniel and/or whichever fill-in artists he needs. I'm not a fan of Daniel's work at all, and would go so far as to say he helped ruin large chunks of Grant Morrison's run, but, again, he's neither the writer nor artist best-suited for symbolically doing-over seventy-some years of Batman comics.
Of greater note is the bit about "Bruce Wayne once again becomes the only character taking on the Batman name." What does that mean for Morrison's Batman Inc, and the multi-year story arc he's been writing, probably the most ambitious Batman story ever told? (And, worth noting, one of DC's bestsellers, and, with Green Lantern, it's only reliable hit?) A reboot is certainly a way out of going back to the status quo after Morrison's run—one of the most exciting things about it was how difficult Morrison was making it for the publisher to walk the franchise back to what it was before Morrison started writing it—but it's a little early to undo Morrison's cycle of stories now, isn't it? I mean, it's not even over yet.
Is Morrison happy or unhappy about this? If DC loses Morrison, then this whole thing isn't worthwhile, since he's their other Geoff Johns at the moment, their left fist in their fight against Marvel for direct market supremacy and film and merchandising IP-generation.
And what does the potential loss of Batman Inc do for DC's stated goal of making their post-September universe more diverse and relevant to the 21st century? Morrison, after all, has, in a few short years, created more international superheroes than anyone in DC history ever, and during his Batman run and Batman Inc he gave prominent roles to old joke characters like the Native American Batman and South American Batman, as well as creating Asian Batmen and an African Batman.
Finally, here's another example of the exciting, new DC Universe being full of comics by the exact same people who were making the old DC comics. These two titles, for example, seem primed to alienate most current Batman and Detective fans—especially renumbering TEC, Jesus—while not appealing to anyone new.
Are the people who currently aren't reading Detective Comics and Batman really going to start reading them now that the guy who was writing and drawing one is now writing and drawing the other, and the guy who was writing one is now writing the other, only with a worse artist, simply because they have "#1" on the cover?
SO, TO REVIEW:
Thisis now thisand thisis now this
From a personal, Me-As-Consumer-Focus-Group standpoint, how does this effect my shopping habits? I wasn't reading Tony Daniel's Batman, unless you count the single issues my local library had, that I kept picking up to see if he was getting better—he was, but not "I would pay money to look at this" better. I will continue to not read his Batman book, and don't know why anyone who wasn't would start now that it's under a different title. I haven't been reading Snyder's Batman work on Detective or Gates of Gotham, although I am eagerly awaiting the trades of both, and planned on buying them when they become available. I have no interest in reading a Snyder comic drawn by Capullo though, so the one or two trades that Snyder's TEC run generates and the Gates trade will probably be the only trades of his Bat-work DC sells me in the near future.
So I'll continue to not read either book monthly, and I guess I'll "drop" the trade purchases I might have otherwise made of Snyder's work post-September 2011. If that makes sense.