Unintended consequence of DC’s Villains month

For those of you living under a rock, but still have very specific Internet access, DC spent the entire month of September releasing one-shots that featured villains.  Some of these books tied into current story arcs, some teased future ones, some explained further things that happened in the past.  The important thing to note was that they essentially replaced all of the ongoing titles for a month.  So, your main titles were numbered 23.1, 23.2, etc., while books like Nightwing and Batgirl were not released at all.

At first, I didn’t really think much about it.  I looked through the September solicits, found the characters and writers I was interested in, and just bought those titles.  I read those books, and for the most part, I enjoyed them.  But then, October started, and the ongoing titles continued, and I’m finding it a little difficult to get back into them.  Most notably the two mentioned above, plus Detective Comics and Batman.  Issue #23 of those issues, which came out in August, ended on pretty big cliffhangers.  Not going to spoil anything, but take my word for it.  The books were reaching climaxes.

So here we are, 2 months after issue #23 came out, continuing the stories.  And sadly, to me anyways, they didn’t have the impact that I would have expected them to.  Sure, some of that lies on me as the reader.  I could have gone back and reread the previous issue to remind myself of where we were.  But honestly, this will be the first week in a couple months in which I don’t have any of the previous week’s comics left to read on Wednesday.  That’s not really going to happen.

Which brings us to the scheduling itself.  Two months is a long time to have in between issues in a story.  Unless the title is Image United (zing!).  Yes, books have existed on a 5 or 6 week schedule before.  One title that comes to mind is Geoff Johns/Alex Ross Justice Society of America run several years ago.  But that was aided in there there wasn’t a lot of JSA material coming out.  You didn’t have a family of titles that came out the rest of the month.  You didn’t have 16 one-shots featuring JSA villains come out in between parts of the story.  All you had was JSA, and then the next issue of JSA.  So, it wasn’t that difficult to keep track of what was going on with them over an extended period of time.

So, in the future, as much fun as these issues and the 3-D covers were, it’d be great if they didn’t do this again.  Of course, I know they’re going to.  It’s an increase in what they did last year.  Last September, there were the #0 issues, that were supposed to hint at origin stories of the heroes.  Those were only slightly removed from the story lines, being that each writer could fit those in somewhere, mostly.  With this trajectory, next September, we’re likely to get 52 books that don’t have a thing to do with what is currently going on.  Or maybe Elseworlds stuff.  Oh, maybe it’ll be a tie-in for Multiversity.  They may be ready to go by next year.

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