Hi guys, I don’t know about you, but we had a crappy summer over here in Canada. It rained, rained, and when it finally stopped raining, it rained some more. I read in the paper not long ago how August was an historical record breaking month when it came to how much it rained over here.
So maybe the lack of sunshine is making me grumpier than usual. If so, I apologize. So finally, the DCnU is here, starting with Justice League #1.
(Editor's Note: Do you really want to see that cover again?)
So what did you think of that historical first issue?? (I will not even mention the new costumes, that will require a whole blog post on its own just for that.) But pretty much EVERYONE seems to agree; in pretty much every review you will read the following:
Editor’s Note 2: I disagree with this assessment, but Pierre seems to winding up for a tirade, so I’ll indulge him this time. I think by Everyone, he means all of Toronto or something. ;)
What drives me nut is how people who loved the comic try to convince others that those are a good thing. That it is how that comic was supposed to be. That it was supposed to be “average”. That it was supposed to be “slow” or “underwhelming”.
As an example, and she is far from alone in this, Heidi MacDonald from The Beat for whom I have nothing but the greatest respect mentioned in her review:
“So what to make of all this? More than ever I feel the conflict of knowing that this is not aimed at me. This is a somewhat uninspired introductory comic for readers 13-up.”
With all due respect, it is comments like this in reviews that are trying to defend the first issue of what is DC’s historical re-launch that drives me up the wall.
Why in the Pits of Hades would new “readers 13-up” even care about an “uninspired” comic? Who in their right mind would try to attract new readers with an “uninspired” comic? Wouldn’t you want to put out a GREAT comic for your first issue in your historic re-launch? Wouldn’t you want to put out a GREAT comic? The BEST comic you can possibly make, to attract new readers?
So far those defending the comic look like cheerleaders with a lot of enthusiasm, but no real arguments to support their defense or point of view. Now don’t get me wrong, it is not a bad comic, but it is not a good one either. It feels like a very formulaic paint by numbers type of comic.
Issue #1: Batman and GL meet. Big Superman surprise reveal at the end. (Although if we trust the cover, we already know that he will be in the League, so I fail to see the surprise here. Although WW, Aquaman and Flash fail to even make an appearance in this first issue, so maybe it is a surprise that we finally see another JL member in this first issue).
Issue #2: Superman joins them. Probably big Wonder Woman reveal at the end??
Issue #3: Wonder Woman joins them. Reveal new member at the end.
Issue #4 & 5: New character join in each issue until the BIG seven are together, then by the end of issue #5 big Darkseid reveal.
Issue #6: BIG showdown between the NEW Justice League and the forces of Apokolyps and its ruler and master, Darkseid. Of course the League will be victorious and Darkseid will flee back to Apokolips screaming, “We will meet again, Super-Friends!!” (oops, sorry, I got carried away) ;).
At least, I hope that it will only be 6 issues. If they drag this over 8 or 9 issues, I will pray the gods to be merciful and spare us such suffering. To get back to this first issue, I felt like I was reading an issue of the Brave and the Bold. Which is not a bad thing in itself, but this is NOT the B&B, this is the JUSTICE LEAGUE!! Is it so much to ask for a Justice League comic in what is called the Justice League??
Or even worse, when Batman and Green Lantern were acting like 12 year old children and Batman stole Green Lantern’s ring, I felt like I was reading issue #9 of All Star Batman and Robin once more.
I had to double check the cover to make sure that I had not purchased the next issue of ASB&R by mistake.I usually love Johns’ work, but here I can’t decide if he is trying to write like Brian Bendis, or if he is trying to emulate the beginning of the Ultimates by having a veeeerrrrrrrry slow build up introducing one new character every issue until the team faces off the EVIL Darkseid (guess I will root for Darkseid this time) ;). Heck the Ultimates was a hit at the time, so why not try to reproduce that? Right?
Either way, Damn that comic was decompressed. And that is NOT a good thing in my book. I guess I was used to see the opposite from Johns and was doubly surprised AND disappointed to see that he would kick off the DCnU and the new JL with such a slow start.
Didn’t they announce that that damnable “writing for the trade” crap was over?? That they no longer would be writing for the trade? I don’t think such an approach plays to Johns’ strength. It seems to showcase his weaknesses as a writer instead. But once again, maybe that is just me.
If you like Jim Lee’s work, you will like this issue. Although I could nitpick the art here and there, I won’t. No point really. Although I could not help but think that the artwork was, off somehow. Especially compared to Lee’s previous work on ASB&R or Batman: Hush, but I can’t put my finger on it right now.
Was Lee rushed?? Is it Williams that had to work with a broken hand somehow?? Is it the colorist that had to do the work while he was sick?? No idea, but something feels off somehow. But odds are that it is just me.
Still, despite what the naysayers might have to say, this looks like a hit, as far as sales are concerned. From what we understand so far, it seems that DC sold about 250 000 copies. And DC announced a second and third printing. Heck I had to go to 5 stores in my area until I found a store that had 3 copies of the comic left. So it seems that stores will not be left with stacks of unsold copies. Did stores underestimate the demand?? Did they order too few copies?? Maybe.
Although did those comics end up being bought by the new readers that DC are hoping for?? Or are we seeing a return of the speculators? Remember when Jim Lee sold 8 million copies of X-men #1??? How many of those sales were to new readers?? And how many people bought 10 or 20 copies to sell at a profit later on?? Is this what is going on here too?? Let’s hope NOT.
Seeing the combo pack on EBAY for $29.99 or the standard edition for $9.99, I can’t help but wonder how many copies were bought with the intent to make a quick buck. I guess we will have to wait and see the sales of Justice League issue #2 to try to get a clearer picture of how many new readers are actually willing to come back for more.
And it has been announced as the bestselling digital comic of August. So what does that even mean?? 1000 copies sold?? 10,000?? 50,000?? Without any sales number to back it up, this announcement is pretty pointless.
Don’t get me wrong, Jim and I started our little venture on the frontline of making digital comics because we knew that there were people out there who wanted to get some new content online. Who wanted to read digital comics. And any announcement that would prove us right is always appreciated.
But without any numbers to back it up, this doesn’t mean anything. If it was such a hit and they had sold 5,000,000 copies, I have no doubt that they would have mentioned that number in their announcement. But as it is, we can only try to guess what that actually means. For all we know, they sold 2000 copies.
Editors Note 3: A number that would put it in the same 1% ballpark as their other digital sales.
Guess we will have to wait and see. So in short, the DCnU was kick-started with an average comic that sold a truckload of copies. Will I get back for issue #2?? The short answer is, No. This series will be added to the list of “let’s wait for the trade”. Once the first arc is completed and we can finally have a complete story, maybe, maybe I will give the TPB a try - or maybe not. We shall see.
What would I have done differently??? Well this blog is getting kind of long, so I will keep this for next time, but I have two questions for you before I wrap this up:
What did YOU think of the start of the DCnU and Justice League #1??
Will you come back for issue #2??
Until next time.