Thursday, June 9, 2016

The End of Uncanny, Revisited

In light of this week's release of Action Comics #957, I decided to dredge up my thoughts on the (grumble grumble FIRST) renumbering of Uncanny X-Men done back in 2011, post-Schism story line.  Nothing Earth-shattering here, mostly just me kvetching and acting like an old man... but, the point still remains that legacy numbering is important to a great deal of comics fans... and I'm glad that DC Comics is starting to notice that.  This was originally written/posted somewhere in the Fall of 2011... and is sadly and disturbingly wildly out of date.  Never at the time of writing would I imagine in just a few short years we'd be on volume-freaking-four of Uncanny X-Men.

In recognition of this week’s FINAL ISSUE of Uncanny X-Men (#544) I wanted to take a little while to reflect on the passing of the series I’d collected since the late 80’s. When this was announced several months back, we were assured that this wouldn’t be a stunt, or sales trick. There would be a legitimate reason for the re-launch. In a post-Schism Marvel Universe, I’m left wondering exactly how *this* is worth re-numbering a nearly 50 year old title. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed Schism. Thought it was a decent enough story... I just don’t think it required restarting the book.

I understand that re-numbering is all the rage right now in light of DC’s New 52… however, Uncanny X-Men (vol.2) #1 will be a direct continuation from Uncanny X-Men (vol.1) #544. No real justifiable reason for a restart. The status quo of the X-Men has changed several times throughout the past five decades, never necessitating a new #1. That said, I’d like to go through the (Uncanny) X-Men run, and point to some other instances wherein I feel a re-numbering would have fit better than Regenesis.

(Uncanny) X-Men #94 (1975) – All-New, All-Different. If we’re discussing places in X-Men history where a re-start would comfortably fit… this is it! Following the introduction of the “All-New” X-Men in Giant-Size #1, their adventures would continue in the main title, which for several years prior had only served as a reprint mag for the original X-Men’s 1960’s stories.

Uncanny X-Men #229 (1988) – Following the Fall of the Mutants cross-over, the X-Men were believed to be dead. In “reality” they had left to rebuild in Australia, leaving the world at large to continue believing their demise. This starts the X-Men “Outback era” which would continue for the next couple of years.

Uncanny X-Men #281 (1991) – In a time when the New Mutants became X-Force, X-Factor shuffled rosters and X-Men (vol.2) was launched, Uncanny still managed to maintain its numbering. Famous for the first real non-Claremont Uncanny issues for quite some time, these stories felt… different than anything that had come before (not necessarily for the better, but still… different).

Uncanny X-Men #322 (1995) – The Age of Apocalypse had just ended, and the already hiatus-ed X-Men titles, including Uncanny were brought back under their original numbering. A relaunch upon the title's return would have fit.

Uncanny X-Men #337 (1996) – In the wake of Marvel’s onslaught (no pun intended) of #1 issues, with Heroes Reborn and influx of new titles (Thunderbolts, Alpha Flight (v.2), Deadpool, etc.) the X-Men titles all kept chugging along at their legacy numbering.

Uncanny X-Men #381 (2000) – The “X-Men Revolution” featured the return of Chris Claremont to the X-Men after nearly a ten-year absence. In addition, this was just around the time the first X-Men movie landed in theaters (in fact issue #384 just three months later featured the new movie logo taking the place of the traditional one for several months). A movie these days often mandates a new volume of a title, to allure and ensnare the non-existent “New Reader”.

There are a few more instances I could argue, however, these are the one's that stand out most to me.

In closing, while I don’t like random re-numberings of comic books especially when we readers are told that there are REAL storyline justifications for it… with the way sales are going right now, I can see why it is done, and done so often. I’m not sure if this is a long-term measure, or if in six-month’s time, Uncanny will be re-re-numbered to #550. Or if in two years, Uncanny will be re-re-numbered in conjunction with the 50th Anniversary of the X-Men, or if we will have to wait until Uncanny would have reached #600 for a return to traditional numbering… if at all.

The importance of numbering to me is probably quite silly I must admit. As long as the story is good, that’s all that matters, right?
I enjoy collecting high-numbered titles, makes a collector feel as though they're piecing together a puzzle. One of the things that kept me away from DC Comics in the early 1990’s was the fact that titles like Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Flash and Green Arrow were still only in the double-digits. Characters created several decades prior, to me, should have high numbered, long running volumes. I was wary I’d get invested in any given DC title, only to have it re-started (which, has happened time and time again since.) 

As a collector, I enjoy filling in gaps of my collection. Picking up various old issues of Uncanny X-Men makes me feel as though I’m actually accomplishing something. I know, silly. Right now, picking up early issues of, say, the Avengers aren’t nearly as satisfying as it could be, it feels as though I’m collecting for a dead series.

Cliff Notes version of this entry – Wahhh, wahhh, don’t renumber my comics!

Friday, February 10, 2012

[Comics] Some DC New 52 Thoughts, Six Months Later...

Regardless of the fact that DC Comics is still touting “The New 52!” on the covers of their books, the “New” 52 is now six months old.  In those six months, I had gone from being a fairly completest DC Comics customer, to buying FIVE books with any regularity.  DC Comics is writing for a different audience and good on them, they seem to have found one.  In the past several months, DC has dominated the sales charts in units sold (though, now falling below Marvel in dollar share thanks in no short measure to Marvel’s inflated pricing structure).  My decade and change investment in the publications and characters of DC Comics is over.

Admittedly, I would be tempted to drop the remaining five DC books I have managed to hold on to… my completest nature, however, will not completely allow me a clean break.  The five books I continue to collect are:

Action Comics
Justice League
Justice League International
Teen Titans

            Batman is my pick for strongest title.  It’s no surprise, considering that the Batman titles (along with the Green Lantern books, apparently) kept most of their backstory.  If the “New 52” had not come to pass, this Batman could have easily existed pre-Flashpoint (with a markedly younger version of Commissioner Gordon, admittedly).  Keeping in mind, we are still in the midst of the opening story-arc, whether or not existing Batman characters will be “re-introduced” or “re-origined” in the coming months remains to be seen.

                Action Comics is the title I was most excited for during the lead up to re-launch, and thus far it has struck me as rather underwhelming.  Not bad, by any stretch of the imagination… just not what I expected.  I’m too big a fan of Grant Morrison to outright drop this title, and I would imagine that if anything noteworthy to the DC (n)Universe were to go down, it would happen in either this title or…

                Justice League.  The flagship book for the new DC, has delivered on what it’s promised.  What it’s promised, however, is not really to my liking.  Though, I understand the addition of Cyborg as a founder of the team, for diversity’s sake… I’m still not a fan of it.  I’ve always enjoyed Cyborg as a Titan, who “graduated” into the ranks of the Justice League.  Then again, I’m a bit of a sucker for the “Legacy” methodology to the old DC Universe.  In the last volume of Justice League (of America), the team was comprised primarily of legacy heroes… graduated Teen Titans.  This displayed that there is a hierarchy to DC’s super-hero teams… that a Teen Titan or an Outsider could one day become a member of the vaunted Justice League.  Hell, I’m also a pretty big Martian Manhunter (who Cyborg replaced) fan, so that may be clouding my judgment a bit as well.  Back to the new volume, it feels as though the new backstory is being shoe-horned rather painfully into place.  A handful of issues in and Batman ALREADY shared his secret identity with Green Lantern?  In the book, they’d just barely met… I know, I know, this is not necessarily the Batman I grew up reading, so I cannot use his “existing” pattern of behavior to diagnose his current personality.  It still rubs me the wrong way, however.  This title will likely remain on my pull-list, as I have a nearly complete run of Justice League starting from a couple of years before the original Crisis.

                Justice League International is a bit of a strange one.  Being “launched” out of 2010-2011’s Justice League: Generation Lost maxi-series, this title features most of the characters normally associated with the Giffen/DeMatteis Justice League.  However, with this being the re-launched universe, the characters now share no backstory.  The whole purpose, at least to me, for launching this type of title is to play off the character’s existing histories.  Why would anyone care about the dynamic between Booster Gold, Batman and Guy Gardner without being able to reflect on past experience with the characters?  I know it’s unfair of me to say that these characters are being written “out of character” considering we are playing tabula rasa with the whole affair, however, I am having a difficult time reconciling myself to the fact that these are for all intents and purposes NEW characters.

                Teen Titans rounds out my list of keepers… a rather dreadful book, in my opinion.  The only reason I keep this one on my pull-list is, like Justice League, I have a nearly complete run of the Titans dating back to the 1980 Wolfman/Perez “New Teen Titans” run.  That, in addition to the hopes that the title will improve will keep me coming back for at least the foreseeable future.  Again, I need to be careful not to harp on “mischaracterization” of some of my old favorites…

                So, has the DC re-launch been a success?  Undoubtedly.  DC should be applauded for their risky undertaking of turning their existing universe on its ear, and coming out on top (as of this writing).  I do hope that this does not become the precedent for boosting sales throughout the industry. 

Unfortunately, I can see Marvel doing something like this come the Avengers vs. X-Men summer cross-over.  With all the talks of late of the Phoenix returning to earth to make things die, and be reborn… I fear Marvel may be going the re-launch route this coming fall.  If this were to occur, I fear it may be my time to tap out.  If/when this occurs; if DC is anything to go by, it will be a great boon to sales, and fiscally speaking… I cannot think of a reason NOT to do it.  I am rapidly shifting gears here, going into a subject which may be better off a new post… so I will save it, for if and when we get any further details.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

[Comics] DC Reboot Thoughts

Figured I may as well join the rest of the comics blogosphere and share my thoughts on the DC Comics Reboot post-Flashpoint. Funny, I’m actually quite enjoying Flashpoint, however, I’m not altogether certain that I will be able to fully appreciate what follows.

Back in the mid-late 1990’s, I found myself in a strange place in my comics fandom… I was a new reader. To DC Comics, that is. Of course, I was fully aware of Superman and Batman their origins and what they were all about, I just had no desire to follow their monthly adventures. Coming into my late teens, and finding myself with the first “disposable” income I’d ever possessed. Being a foolish teenager, instead of putting said income aside for the future or for my higher education, I blew it on comics. DC Comics. I’d already been buying the nearly the entire Marvel line I was interested in. Grant Morrison’s JLA, No-Man’s-Land Batman, Mark Waid’s Flash were just some of the new titles I’d used in effort of dipping my toe into the DC pool.

In the years to follow, I’d bounce back and forth between being a Marvel guy and a DC guy. Up until recently, I’ve been pretty heavily biased towards DC. What with the lower prices and less snarky editorial teams, DC just seemed like a nicer universe to play in and follow.

Now… Flashpoint and the Great DC Reboot. I can’t claim to have been a comics fan during the Crisis on Infinite Earths, so it’d be silly for me to compare this to that. I wonder if in the near future if we’ll be referring to the time we’re in now as pre-Flashpoint, or if this will serve as a simple blip of a gimmick that had already been overturned.

I don’t really have any problem with DC deciding it’s in their best interests to inject a bit of youth into their established franchises. I did, at the onset, think it was rather foolish to reboot titles such as Action Comics and Detective Comics back to Issue #1. I’ve come around to it (at least the logic of it) when DC announced same-day digital availability on all titles. It only makes sense to re-start the titles at #1 with that in mind. Granted, to use such logic is to buy in to the theory that it’s the scary numbers on the established titles that are keeping new readers away. Either way, it is what it is… time to buckle down and enjoy (or not) the ride. On to the… ahem, 52 Number One’s DC will be launching come September.

Action Comics #1 (by Grant Morrison and Rags Morales)
This list is obviously alphabetical, though, I really couldn’t pick a better title to start the list with. Grant Morrison on Superman may just make this entire experiment worthwhile. Out of the entire line, THIS is the title I’m looking most forward to. The apparent affinity for the silver age that Morrison has keeps me a bit more at ease on the entire affair. Definite buy from me.

Animal Man #1 (by Jeff Lemire, Travel Foreman and Dan Green)
Enjoyed some of the old pre-Vertigo Animal Man series (the Morrison and Milligan runs especially). Not really sure I’d like to read more solo-Animal Man. It’s likely I’ll pick up Issue #1 to try it out.

All-Star Western #1 (by Justin Gray, Jimmy Palmiotti and Moritat)
Creative team notwithstanding, I’ve heard great things about Gray/Palmiotti’s Jonah Hex series, this is likely a pass from me. Not terribly interested in a Western Comic.

Aquaman #1 (by Geoff Johns and Ivan Reis)
Aquaman looks to be finally coming into his own as a bona fide A-Lister with Johns and Reis at the helm. I’ve not enjoyed Aquaman since the Peter David run of almost 20 years ago. I’ll more than likely try this one out.

Batgirl #1 (starring Barbara Gordon; by Gail Simone, Ardian Syaf and Vicente Cifuentes)
Not interested in seeing Barbara Gordon as Batgirl. Pass.

Batman #1 (by Scott Snyder & Greg Capulllo)
Really digging Snyder’s current run on Detective Comics, will probably grab this.

Batman & Robin #1 (by Peter Tomasi and Patrick Gleason)
Tomasi and Gleason had a brief run on B&R earlier this year that was really quite good. Not sure if I’ll continue being a Bat-Completist after the relaunch… this one seems like a good jumping off point for me.

Batman: The Dark Knight #1 (David Finch and Jay Fobok)
If we see this one in the year 2011, I’d be shocked. Pass.

Batwing #1 (by Judd Winick and Ben Oliver)
Batwing is one of the new Batmen from Batman Incorporated… so, does that mean Batman Inc. is still around in the new DC Universe? Utterly confusing that they’d pick Batwing of all people for an ongoing title. I don’t see this one hitting the double digits. An experimental title to show that DC have black heroes, perhaps… it’s taking place in Africa too, so maybe Winick can pummel us with more HIV/AIDs lectures. Pass.

Batwoman #1 (by J.H. Williams III, Haden Blackman and Amy Reede)
Wasn’t interested in this one pre-reboot, definitely not interested in it now.

Birds of Prey #1 (by Duane Swierczynski and Jesus Saiz)
Not feeling a non-Simone, non-Dixon BoP. Of course it’s unfair to judge a title under such circumstances… and to be completely honest, a Simone or Dixon BoP would barely interest me at this point.

Blackhawks #1 (by Mike Costa and Ken Lashley)
This may be a fun title to try out. I know next to nothing about the title, only having read the Howard Chaykin series of prestige format stories. Will probably give this one a try.

Blue Beetle #1 (by Tony Bedard, Ig Guara and Ruy Jose)
I really rather enjoyed the previous Jaime Reyes Blue Beetle volume post Infinite Crisis. Will likely give this one a whirl.

Captain Atom #1 (by J.T. Krul & Freddie Williams II)
Just last year I came into an almost complete run of the Captain Atom series from the 1980’s. Really enjoyed what I read of it. Didn’t so much enjoy the WildStorm mini-series or Bob Harras’s abortive Breach. I feel Captain Atom is a better team-member than a solo-hero. I’ve liked him as chairman of the JLE and as part of the Generation Lost JLI. Will probably grab at least the first issue though I’m not expecting much.

Catwoman #1 (by Judd Winick and Guillem March)
Nah. Nothing against the creators, but the only solo Catwoman I’ve ever liked was the Ed Brubaker one.

Deathstroke #1 (by Kyle Higgins, Joe Bennett and Art Thibert)
Always thought Deathstroke was a bit overrated as a character. Surprisingly, I liked the first issue of his Flashpoint mini. Dependent on how the mini works out, I may try this one out.

DC Universe Presents #1 (Anthology - first arc Deadman by Paul Jenkins & Bernard Chang)
I have a really hard time paying even $2.99 for an anthology title. I’ve never bought an anthology title and felt that I’d gotten my money’s worth. Depending on reviews, I may pick this one up in trade.

Demon Knights #1 (by Paul Cornell, Diogenes Neves and Oclair Albert)
Etrigan the Demon, you say? Sorry, I was napping just then. Etrigan, for me, is just THAT character. The one where whenever he’s on panel I’m suddenly more interested in just about anything… laundry, weeding, checking the smoke detectors… you get the point. Paul Cornell is a fantastic writer, and hopefully he can do something with the character that could draw me in. The fact that this title is apparently taking place in medieval Europe doesn’t really help matters. I have a feeling this will be a title with a cult-like following… all of whom will be terribly disappointed when it gets cancelled within its first year.

Detective Comics #1 (by Tony Daniel)
So, Snyder goes from 'Tec to Batman, and Daniel goes from Batman to Tec. I guess that makes it feel, err, kind of new. I’ll probably grab the first issue, though Daniel’s current run on Batman really isn’t holding my attention.

Flash #1 (by Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato)
Bit of a Flash completest, I may be… this one may depend on which Flash it showcases. Barry Allen was never MY Flash. I grew up knowing only Wally and hearing of the legend of Barry. I liked that. If it’s a Barry book, I’ll try it. If it’s a Wally book, I’m all over it. I won’t even hazard that it may be a Bart or Jay title.

Frankenstein, Agent of SHADE #1 (by Jeff Lemire and Alberto Ponticelli)
The current Frankenstein Flashpoint mini hasn’t captured my imagination, and his Seven Soldiers mini didn’t either. Not really looking forward to this one.

The Fury of Firestorm #1 (by Gail Simone and co-writer Ethan Van Sciver; art by Yildiray Cinar)
I’ll try this one. I tried getting into the early 80’s Firestorm recently. The stories were always solid and decent; however, on the whole it felt terribly dated. Glad to have the opportunity to read a contemporary Firestorm (having missed out on the Jolley run post Infinite Crisis).

Green Arrow #1 (by J.T. Krul and Dan Jurgens)
I can’t really mince words here. I really like the Green Arrow. Years ago I’d devoured the Grell run, and have been looking for a Green Arrow title that could recapture the magic, as it were. J.T. Krul’s already had over a dozen issues to do so… and hasn’t. Granted, he’s been stuck towing the Brightest Day line… but, still. I’ll grab the first issue.

Green Lantern #1 (by Geoff Johns, Doug Mahnke and Christian Alamy)
Green Lantern Corps #1 (by Peter J. Tomas, Fernando Pasarin and Scott Hanna)
Green Lantern: The New Guardians #1 (by Tony Bedard, Tyler Kirkham and Batt)
Remember when I mentioned using the reboot as a jumping off point for some of the ancillary Bat-titles? Green Lantern has been on my chopping block for a few months now… I’d only stuck with to see it through to the War of the Green Lanterns. Post-Flashpoint, I’m cutting Lantern titles cold turkey.

Grifter #1 (by Nathan Edmondson, CAFU and BIT)
Eh? Grifter was always a character I wanted to dig. He’s got a great look… sadly, I’ve never found him anything resembling interesting. Doubt I’ll pick this one up.

Hawk & Dove #1 (by Sterling Gates and Rob Liefeld)
Pass… and No, not because of Liefeld. Liefeld art isn’t something that’s bothered me in years… it’s obviously fashionable to bash his work… he’s a man who clearly loves comics, and was able to carve out his own piece of the industry, good on him. His work hearkens back to a very interesting period in comics history, I think it’s neat that he’ll be part of this. That said, I truly have no interest in the characters.

I, Vampire #1 (by Josh Fialkov and Andrea Sorrentino)
Wait, what? I think this may be a DC attempt at testing the axiom “If you build it, they will come.” catering to the bookstore crowd. Not for me, though… no thanks.

Justice League #1 (by Geoff Johns and Jim Lee)
This appears to be the lynchpin of the entire DC Universe post-Flashpoint. Yeah, I’ll be getting it.

Justice League Dark #1 (by Peter Milligan and Mikel Janin)
Perhaps the silliest title on this list. Really like the characters (and creators) involved in this, however, I just can’t shake the feeling that John Constantine does NOT belong on any Justice League team. Just feels wrong.

Justice League International #1 (by Dan Jurgens and Aaron Lopresti)
I never thought I’d EVER say “I wish Judd Winick were writing this” but, here we are. Love the JLI, so I’ll be picking this one up.

Legion Lost #1 (by Fabian Nicieza and Pete Woods)
Legion of Super-Heroes #1 (by Paul Levitz and Francis Portela)
I’ve never been able to get into the Legion. I’m sure I’ll be passing on both of these.

Mister Terrific #1 (by Eric Wallace and Roger Robinson)
Look DC has Black Superheroes! Mister Terrific is an odd pick for an ongoing title… especially as he’s most associated with the Justice Society… and the Justice Society is nowhere to be found post-reboot. Pretty sure I wouldn’t buy a solo Reed Richards ongoing… so, I’m really sure I wouldn’t buy a Mr. Terrific one.

Nightwing #1 (by Kyle Higgins and Eddy Barrow)
Maybe. I’ve invested a lot of time, interest (and money) in the current Batman direction… The current teams on the Bat-titles were able to convince me to accept Dick as Batman. I’m not totally happy with demoting him back to Nightwing. May try the first issue, doubtful for the long haul.

Omac #1 (by Dan DiDio, Keith Giffen and Scott Koblish)
Nope. Love Giffen… but, nope.

Red Hood and the Outlaws #1 (by Scott Lobdell and Kenneth Rocafort)
This is an odd one… Why isn’t Winick writing this one, now? Not that I would have been interested in the book either way. Pass.

Red Lantern Corps #1 (by Peter Milligan, Ed Benes and Rob Hunter)
I’d like to give this one a shot, due to it having Milligan writing it… however, I fear that since I’m not planning on picking up any of the other Lantern titles, I’d only be getting part of a story… that, and I’d hate to be pulled back into the Lantern-verse, just as I’m ready to leave it totally.

Resurrection Man #1 (by Dan Abnett, Andy Lanning and Fernando Dagnino)
I remember liking what little I read of DnA’s Resurrection Man from over a decade ago… the first issue had like a holographic pog on it, I believe. Still, as it didn’t exactly set the world on fire then, this is a strange title to pick for a launch. Haven’t decided on this one yet.

Savage Hawkman #1 (by Tony Daniel & Philip Tan)
I thought James Robinson was supposed to be writing this one? Oh well, the only Hawkman I’ve ever been able to get into was the Geoff Johns version from JSA and the solo-title from that era… hearing the rumblings of Hawkman being given yet another new origin has me spooked… Pass.

Sgt. Rock and the Men of War #1 (by Ivan Brandon and Tom Derenick)
I can’t even think of an interesting way to say I’m not interested in this one. Pass.

Static Shock #1 (John Rozum, Scott McDaniel and Jonathan Glapion)
See, DC has black superher—oh, Static? I may actually be interested in Static. Great creative team at that. Yeah, I’ll grab this one.

Stormwatch #1 (by Paul Cornell and Miguel Sepulveda)
Never read any Stormwatch… wonder why they’d launch this, and not something like, say, WildCATs… I’ll have to do some Stormwatch reseach and see if this sounds like something for me.

Suicide Squad #1 (by Adam Glass and Marco Rudy)
It’s suddenly apparent why we have no Secret Six on this list. I’ve recently gone on a crusade to collect the entire Ostrander run on Suicide Squad, and am nearing completion. The Squad is a fun concept, and I look forward to checking it out. The cover, however, is… well, not so good.

Superboy #1 (by Scott Lodbell, R.B. Silva and Rob Lean)
Depending on how Superboy is in Teen Titans, I may check this one out from time to time. Probably not though.

Supergirl #1 (by Michael Green and Mike Johnson)
Nope. Sorry, nothing more to say on this one.

Superman #1 (WRITTEN BY George Perez; art by Jesus Marino)
Nah, I think Action will be my Superman title.

Swamp Thing #1 (by Scott Snyder and Yannick Paquette)
I’ll reserve judgment on this one, until seeing how the Brightest Day Aftermath series pans out. Swamp Thing without Moore has never even registered on my interest meter, though.

Teen Titans #1 (by Scott Lobdell, Brett Booth and Norm Rapmund)
Scott Lobdell wrote a whole load of X-Men comics during my more formative years. Seeing him on a Teen Titans book shouldn’t excite me as much as it is. Will be grabbing this one.

Voodoo #1 (by Ron Marz and Sami Basri)
Voodoo? The WildCATs member Voodoo? This was green-lit, why? Will any of us be surprised when this one goes down?

Wonder Woman #1 (by Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chiang)
Never read Wonder Woman… the creative team here feels an odd choice. Though, I actually now find myself interested in checking this one out.

Well, there we go. Fifty Two Number 1’s for DC this September. I’m sure the sales will be incredible that month… October through the end of 2011, however, will give us the real story.

For the moment, I’m reading all the Flashpoint tie-ins, and will be opining on those shortly (this week’s comics has the last of the flashpoint #1’s). I’ll do a full run down on them either later this week, or early next… I’ll pass on which ones I’ll continue reading, and which ones I’m not going to grab the last two issues of.

I know this was a long one, thanks for reading!

Friday, March 12, 2010

[Comics] The "Jim Cornette Analysis" on the Four Groups of Comics' Target Audience

About a hundred years ago, I'd mentioned on this site that I was planning on shamelessly ripping off an article I read about an interview with pro-wrestling's James E. Cornette, where he opined about the "Four Groups of Wrestling's Target Audience".  Original article, here.

I hadn't done so yet, as I really hadn't been motivated to talk much about comics at all.  I feel I've become far too "familiar" with the industry... and as the saying goes, familiarity breeds contempt.

I was flipping thru a few copies of the more recent Marvel Previews while waiting for the shower to heat up, and suddenly became painfully aware of something.  Though I've been supporting Marvel Comics for the past twenty-odd years, I am not their target audience.  Seeing blurbs of "From the writer of Entourage", "From the writer of Heroes"... tells me that Marvel (and mainstream comics at large) are becoming more about the singer and less about the song.

What follows is word-for-word what Jim Cornette had said in regards to the Four Groups of Wrestling's Target Audience... with all the mentions of WRESTLING removed and changed to fit the comics industry.  There's a bit of salty language... which I'll cut out.  I guess I'll never get a job at DC with that kind of attitude, eh?

The First Group: "There are this many people who buy anything in a comic shop. They're going to come and buy anything comics related no matter what. They're hardcore. They are on the internet. They want to come because either they can't get enough comics or they want to b**** and complain about something and say how they could do it better."

The Second Group: "This crowd likes good comics. Not old comics, not new comics, just good comics. There's two kinds of comics: good comics and bad comics. I don't care who presents it or what it is, that's this crowd, that's the second crowd. They want to read good comics and if you present a good product for an extended period of time to where it gets the point across, they will come to see you.

The Third Group: This crowd comes to see the star, comes to the see the big event. "The Writer of Entourage", Kevin Smith, Civil War, Ultimate Final Crisis part 7. Either somebody really gets hot like Claremont/Byrne's X-Men two decades ago or Image Comics in the 90's or whatever. Or the Summer Crossover is hot. That's the crowd where no matter what you do they aren't going to come all the time, and they're not going to read every month, but they know it is around. That's the third group, the people who will come for the big stories or the big stars.

Everybody else in the world is in the fourth group. They don't give two flying f****. You could put a reincarnated William Shakespeare behind a book, they don't give a s*** because it's comics and they don't want to read it. They want to read magazines, Harry Potter and I don't give a f*** what else. You ain't going to get them.

So you've always got these people [group one] right. And I'm not saying you should s*** on them because they are your ticket purchasing patrons, but you have always got these people. If you've got a good product, you've got group number two so concentrate on that. There's really no way that you control group number three because how do you just say 'Ok, this guy is going to be the next Wolverine. Or the next Sin City or Sandman'. You can't do that, they've got to come along. That's when you get the really big sales, record months, whatever.

And the fourth group, who gives a flying f*** what you people want to see, if you people are going to read g-d Harry Potter, f*** you! Because we're doing comics. And the people who try to say 'Well, we're going to give people who don't like comics something to read'. They've got something to read, it's in all the other f****** books while your books don't sell you dumb son of a b****! So why do you do s*** that's not related in any way to comics in the comics industry. They don't stop Saturday Night Live to have Curt Gowdy give the g-d Olympic freestyle skating report. The people watching Saturday Night Live don't give two flying f***s about the god damn Olympic freestyle skating. So WHY DO IT is all I am saying?

You've got group one. If you're good you get group two. When you're lucky you get group three, and the rest of them it don't make a f*** because they're not coming anyway."