Another Wrong Solution

It looks like DC’s making this thing a habit now. Even though they certainly have the best of intentions, they just don’t seem to be coming up with the right solutions to their problems.

ww3World War III was kind of a letdown. But maybe I didn’t go into it expecting it to be what it was actually meant to be. I thought WWIII was going to be a huge battle pitting Black Adam against every superhero on Earth. Of course, maybe that’s because that’s how DC promoted it. I knew the event was going to be used a huge turning point for many characters that explained their changes One Year Later. I didn’t know that the story was going to be those changes taking place, though.

Here’s the problem with that idea: I don’t read every DC title. And I don’t really care about the ones that I don’t read. So I don’t care about how Firestorm changed from Infinite Crisis to One Year Later, and I don’t care about Aquaman pre-Sword of Atlantis. There’s a reason I didn’t buy Aquaman pre-OYL and there’s a reason I still don’t read Firestorm. If I wanted to read about Firestorm, I would read Firestorm. If I wanted to read pre-squidface Aquaman, I would have read pre-squidface Aquaman.

The same must be true for almost every DC. I can’t imagine that there’s anyone that cares deeply about Aquaman, Batgirl, Checkmate, Firestorm, Jason Todd, Manhunter, Martian Manhunter, Supergirl and the Teen Titans. Sure, there are many people that care about some of them, but very few want to know what’s happening with all of them. Lumping all of these moments into a story that was promoted as being about Black Adam, which spun out of a series starring none of those characters mentioned, just seemed unnecessary.

Dan Didio said that 52 was originally conceived as a way to explain all of the changes that happened OYL, using Booster Gold et al. as our guides through the DC Universe, but right away the story took on a life of its own and the series changed. That’s fine. In fact, I’m sure the story was much better because of that change. But these OYL changes did need to be addressed at some point, right? World War 3 was just not a good spot to do it.

You know what would be a good place to do that? The Annuals.

Nightwing Annual 2Nightwing Annual #2 also came out this week and told a fantastic story explaining why Nightwing and Oracle weren’t engaged OYL after ending on the proposal cliffhanger in the last pre-OYL issue of Nightwing. Outsiders is also using its Annual to tell the final part of a flashback story explaining why the Outsiders faked their own deaths during the lost year. And that makes perfect sense, because then Outsiders fans get answers to the questions they have and Nightwing fans get answers to the questions they have. If you don’t have those questions, you don’t have to buy the issue. And if you don’t read that series, you probably don’t have any questions.

So instead of spending $2.50 to find out that Firestorm merged with Firehawk, I can spend zero dollars and continue to be oblivious and not care. And instead of getting only a snippet of Manhunter’s lost year, I can read a full story that would probably be better than the story in World War III anyway. Perhaps it doesn’t mean more sales in the here and now, but that would certainly lead to more satisfied readers which would help things in the long run, right?