The ‘DC You’ is the title of DC comics’ rebranding that occurred after the Convergence event a few months ago, and the question that has been brought up is, is the DC You a failure?
Reboots are not something that is an unfamiliar concept within comic books, they happen all the time. And they are necessary. It would be like running a TV show for 50 years and never changing the characters, expecting people to stay interested and expecting new viewers to understand what the heck is going on. So the New 52, in my opinion, was something that DC needed to do. However they struggled with their storytelling, that’s for sure.
This is where the DC You comes in. The DC You is not a reboot, but more so a re-branding. And a pretty damn good one at that. The stories at DC have never been better since the 2011 reboot, because they finally are focusing on what’s important, good story-telling, duh.
With the DC You came great new books such as Midnighter, Cyborg, Black Canary, Prez etc. There was finally a sense of creatively different stories that were putting story and character first. So that means that we don’t exactly know where the Justice League stories take place compared to the current Batman story, but it means that we get two great stories that don’t have to be tied down to what each other are doing (you can’t have freaking Bat-God with Jim Gordon!).
Personally, I’ve never been reading as many DC titles as I have than now, and that’s because of the creative freedom DC You has allowed. This re-branding didn’t feel like a gimmick. It wasn’t just giving their universe a different name and slapping on #1 issues just for the sake of it. The DC You genuinely felt like a push for greater quality, and I believe that’s something they have achieved. So it terms of quality, no I don’t think the DC You is a failure.
However in terms of financial return? That’s a different story. The DC You came in a difficult time in terms of competition. Marvel have been pushing out Star Wars and Secret Wars with the “All-new, all-different Marvel”. Marvel has for a long time been the one to beat, however the last few months have given them an enormous boost in market share.
Lets look at July’s top 10 comic book sales from Comichron:
So as you can see Marvel is clearly dominating the top 10, however that is mainly because of Star Wars and having 4 #1 issues. The only DC You title is Batman, with Justice League just losing out the no.10 spot. Most of the newly introduced DC You titles are selling under 30,000 units, which is not great.
It was hard to expect the DC You to be a success straight away, but it’s a shame to see great quality stories not getting acknowledged.
And because of such figures rumours started floating around last week that DC were freaking out and considered ditching DC You and going back to basics. Reading that really made be upset, because finally DC are having the balls to step outside their comfort zone and get experimental with their titles, and allow their creative teams to take risks in an effort for the best story we can get. And because of a couple of bad months they’re just going to let that all go?
Thankfully co-publishers Dan Didio and Jim Lee came out saying that basically that wasn’t the case. And that although the DC You wasn’t the smash hit they had hoped it to be, they fully intend to stick with it, saying that DC Entertainment President Diane Nelson urged them to take more risks. However they will be looking at what’s performing badly and why, and make changes (i.e. cancellations) accordingly.
It’s a shame that when a comic company has a re-branding, that isn’t just a lazy gimmick that serves no real purpose other than to increase sales, doesn’t translate into sales. Hopefully DC sticks with their guns, and readers catch on.
So if you haven’t checked out the new DC You books, I would definitely recommend picking them up. And let’s show comic companies that it is worth it to not just resort to gimmicks to sell comics, but to actually give us some great content!
Categories: comic books