comic books

Is the ‘DC You’ a failure? (Discussion)

is dc you a failure? discussion

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.

dc you midnighter

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.

all new all different marvel

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:

july 2015 comic book sales

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?

is the dc you a failure discussion

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!


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21 replies »

  1. I’m reading my August stack now, and we are just getting to the third issue of most of these DC You titles. A lot of these have been pretty slow burns that started in the middle of stuff that was happening. This had made the books really uneven, confusing, and I hovered on the edge of dropping half my stack last month. But this month seemed to be”explanations month” and that’s edged some of the lesser books back into my stack for another month of pre-orders at least.

    What I can say definitively is that some of these books are amazing– Dr. Fate, We Are Robin, and Midnighter are some of the best comics I’ve ever read. Add those to the consistently good Batman, Secret Six, Suicide Squad and it seems like DC is in a good spot creatively at least. . . but I don’t really watch sales figures.

    I do wonder if adding JLA with the exact same set of characters as is in Justice League, then sending both books into two different high concept arcs might be hurting the sales potential there since they are just so similar? I mean, maybe more of the exact same Justice League isn’t really better?


    • Yeah because the timelines are all weird now there’s a lot of back and forth which is hard to get used to. As for the JLA comic I was also really confused as to why they have two books for the same teams, but JLA is actually really interesting, but it would have been good to give the spotlight to some different characters


      • Oh, I agree. I’m much more interested it the storyline in Hitch’s JLA than I am with Justice League’s Darkseid War– Darkseid War feels the exact same as Trinity War, and the first story line, and its making the flag ship JLA book very one note.


  2. So far I haven’t read any of the DC You because New 52 was mostly hit or miss yet also left a bad taste in my mouth. There are some titles I liked from New 52 yet also ones that I’m wondering how they lasted as long as they did, like Resurrection Man was awesome yet only 12 issues and a zero issue, yet Red Hood and the Outlaws lasted FORTY? Even though that ended it’s still being continued as Red Hood/Arsenal, which is also done by the jerkoff who did RHATO, Scott Lobdell. If anything, DC oughta fire him and cancel Red Hood/Arsenal, because it sucks and NO ONE likes it.


    • Yeah Lobdell’s writing can be pretty ridiculous sometimes, e.g. how he made Clark a bit of a whiny bitch when he was writing Superman. I don’t mind the Red Hood/Arsenal comic, it’s fun, but I just wish we saw more of what made Red Hood, Red Hood in the comic.


      • Only way to do that is just cancel Red Hood/Arsenal and just launch it simply as Red Hood. No sidekicks other than Scarlet from Grant Morrison’s Batman and Robin, no bat gadgets and more conventional weaponry, basically just make Jason Todd DC’s Punisher


      • It’s not just that he’s a bad writer lately, though he did do good stuff back in the 90s with X-Men stuff, but also that he sexually harassed a woman, and into a WORKING MICROPHONE, at a panel, that got me to hate him. Add to it the fact that he wrote the New 52 Teen Titans and made Starfire a sex object, not to mention the controversies DC has faced regarding lack of female creators and portrayals of female characters, and it makes sense in a sick way how he keeps getting work from them


      • Oh wow I didn’t know about that! I think DC have made some major improvements with their female characters recently, and I’m glad they removed Starfire from Lobdell.


  3. DC You has a ton of great stories. I am loving Cyborg, Black Canary, Dr. Fate, Constantine, and Midnighter. I’m even getting a kick out of Bizarro. I love that they are going for stories instead of sticking with continuity. Snyder and Capullo are doing something great with Batman and so is Johns and Fabok. The only thing DC continues to miss on is Superman. I love Action Comics and Batman/Superman, but that’s because Greg Pak is writing both of those titles. I have tried my hardest to give Romita a chance, but his style is not conducive to Superman. I believe they need a new artist on Superman asap. DC also needs to rectify the creative team for Wonder Woman. The Finchs are not doing the new god of war any justice. These are two thirds of the trinity in DC, and they aren’t being given a fair shot. Once they get Superman and Wonder Woman straightened out, I think everything else will fall into place.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The first thing they need to do with wonder woman is remove the god of war title. It’s stupid and links her to
    violence, not a good role model for girls.


    • Hmm I don’t mind her having that title. She’s always been associated with war and violence because of her warrior background. It adds an interesting layer to her character as she has this war/peace dichotomy. Ultimately it just depends on what a writer does with her god of war status.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. DC You is failing because DC has been in a slump since the reboot. The only books that can legitimately say were top sellers are Batman and Justice League the only books to be consistent top 5 top 10 sellers, now everything is falling faster and faster. DC used to be about fun and imaginative reads about these awesome mythological beings Flash was fun and fancy free, GL was the logical cop, Superman the Boy Scout, Batman the dark avenger, now everyone is dark and gritty and hyper realistic. It’s hard to tell anyone apart now because everyone is the same. That’s why Flash and GL titles took a dump and why the Superman titles never found their niche. DC wants to keep flogging a dead horse them that’s fine but these new titles are less than impressive, including Batman Beyond a title that should have been a great way to into duce the fans of the Animated universe into comics. Instead they screwed that up by darkening the character and even changing him altogether. Way to go DC.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t know the DC You has really diversified the titles, that once were all the same when the New 52 started. Personally I’m enjoying the direction they’re taking, but to each their own


  6. DC is already cancelling some of the “DC You” titles already, so like the old saying “the more things change, the more they stay the same”. Plus they reiterated what some of their series were supposed to be, like Doomed and Green Lantern: The Lost Army, that they were meant to be miniseries, despite soliciting them as ongoings.


    • Well at least they came out to say they were still going to give them 12 issues. I think they need to give these books some breathing room before being so quick to cancel them, it takes time to build an audience


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