Nothing ruins comics more than spoilers. Well, I guess that’s sort of obvious by the mere definition of the word “spoiler,” but I think you know what I mean. Spoilers can ruin a great comic story before it has a chance to be told. Take Civil War #1, for example. It was a good story, even though it was mostly set-up. But due to the Marvel Hype Machine, the first seven pages were released months in advance. Leading up to Civil War, we knew Captain America and Iron Man would be on opposing sides. And it was pretty clear that Cap was going to be anti-registration. That’s about all the first issue set up. Imagine how much better Civil War #1 would have been if we hadn’t known all that months before the book came out.
Teasers, on the other hand, are awesome. Teasers are almost the opposite of spoilers, even though the line between teasers and spoilers is so thin you could slice cheese with it. While spoilers make an upcoming story boring and uninteresting, teasers make it even more exciting. They whet your appetite. They make you want it that much more, which makes getting the chance to read that comic or see that episode of Lost that much sweeter.
There’s been many great teasers in recent years. I remember when I saw the Lord of the Rings teaser trailer, which was simply the Fellowship walking over a mountaintop, and decided at that moment that I must see that movie (even though I had never had any desire to read the books). The teaser for Revenge of the Sith was so amazing it somehow managed to overcome my disgust of the previous two Star Wars movies. “What is the Matrix?” may be be one of the greatest teasers ever.
Over the last few weeks, there have been two great teasers in the world of comics, and both just happened to come from DC comics. The first is the page-by-page teaser for Infinite Crisis #7 by Dan Didio that appeared in all the DC books shipping the last week of April. It seemed to reveal so much of the story, but actually managed to not give anything away. The second is the final splash page from Infinite Crisis #7 that set up what we have to look forward to in 52 and One Year Later. Who’s that new Batgirl? Why does the Marvel Family look so different? What’s up with the OMAC? Why is Black Adam flying alongside the heroes? Why is Vixen shown so prominently? If Bart Allen quit as Flash, then who’s that Flash?
Marvel take note: you can tease a story without giving away everything. Please, I’m begging you…try it sometime.