Starting September 2013, DC has big plans for all of its “New 52” titles involving virtually every major villain they have. DC is dubbing this September “Villains Month” and involves every book being “hijacked” by a villain. For example The Joker will be the main feature of the newest issues of BATMAN and so on. While each villain’s story will be self-contained for the most part, there will be some ties to the series and universe as a whole. There are a few things to note with this event however and things may get a bit complicated for those not visiting their local comic shop each week.
Firstly, each new DC comic issue in September will be numbered what is called a “point one” issue. An example being that instead of getting GREEN LANTERN #23, we will be getting GREEN LANTERN #23.1 which will also double as RELIC #1 since that will be the villain “hijacking” that book for the month. If this at all sounds confusing to you that’s because it is. A good way to look at it all is that this event will be a good “jumping-on” point for new readers while still delivering a forward moving momentum to longtime readers. Sure some of the main story arcs are taking a small break, but DC says that all of this is happening for good reason and will culminate in a huge New 52-wide event. This will mark the first time since the New 52 launch that there will be a line-wide crossover. The last big event like this was 2011’s “FLASHPOINT” and lead straight into DC’s new era/relaunch.
All of this leads into the main crossover arc that will be titled FOREVER EVIL. It’s a 7-part mini-series written by Geoff Johns (ACTION COMICS) with art by David Finch (ULTIMATUM). Here is a bit of what DC Co-Publisher Dan Didio had to say about the project via a scoop over at Buzzfeed.
“When we launched the New 52 in September of 2011, we decided to do something different and daring each September to draw attention to our line and really focus on what our goals are for the year. What we did back in 2011 was relaunch our entire line,” DiDio explained to Buzzfeed. “In 2012, we went back and looked at all our heroes with Zero Month and told some early stories and origins. This September we wanted to try something a little different and really explore our villain base, and show the challenges our heroes face with every story and every issue, because of the strength of the characters taking over their books in that month.”
Sure I enjoy a big event each year to look forward too but has DC gone a bit off the rails this time? I mean this whole event seems to be way more confusing than it has to be. I’m afraid it will repel new readers and potentially offend current readers who have remained loyal during the New 52 initiative. To add some fuel to the fire, each “hijacked” issue will feature a flashy 3D cover that will take over the entire page. Sure the monkey and fish brain inside me loves shiny new things, but I’m not sure its going to get me to purchase any of these new villain-themed adventures, especially since each of DC’s current books will be involved. That’s a lot of flash! Reminds me of the good old days back in the 90’s when a stunt like this worked because I was a eager child just waiting to buy the newest and coolest-looking book in the store. DEATH OF SUPERMAN and THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 30th Anniversary spring to mind. Popular comic book writer and artist Jim Lee (BATMAN: HUSH) seems a lot more excited than I am:
“It’s called a 3D motion cover and it’s essentially artwork that’s been separated onto different layers, so when you hold the cover, which is a premium stock cover, and you slightly rotate the comic book left or right or up and down, the images move a bit,” Jim Lee explained. “They’re amazing covers. It’s an effect that you haven’t seen before, and like Dan said, it’s an entire cover. Any time in the past that they’ve done specialty covers, you would only get like a small trading card size image on the cover that was a hologram or lenticular bit of technology. This is the whole cover and it is amazing. The colors and the depth of field allows you to actually see the logo of the new book. Let’s say the Joker is taking over, it’ll be the Batman title in the background, and you’ll see the Joker title splattered on top of the Batman logo itself. It really sells the concept in a very visual way.”
Readers can expect “Villains Month” to kick off this September with the “hijacking” of all the New 52 titles along with the beginning of the FOREVER EVIL mini-series. There will also be 3 five-part tie in miniseries books (no more!) with the “Forever Evil” label on them called ROGUES, ARKHAM WAR, and A.R.G.U.S. as if the rest of what I just said wasn’t enough. You can expect those books in October 2013 after the initial onslaught.
In the end, I think this is all a bit too much. Like I said, I can enjoy these big events, but this one is a stretch. It’s taking over way too many books (all of them!), interrupting a lot of the momentum a lot of these books had, and is really kind of confusing due to it’s “hijacking” and “point-one” issues. Aside from that, all the flashy covers seem like bait for new uninitiated readers, nothing more nothing less. That’s all fine and dandy but if DC was smart they would keep these events more contained and more easily accessible for readers. The Marvel summer mini-series AVENGERS VS X-MEN comes to mind as something that worked very well. There was a nice main arc with branches that readers could go to if they wanted more. It was simple, easy to follow, and a total blast. I may be wrong about this new DC event, but as it stands, it’s just a bit too overwhelming for this nerd.
DC’s villains take over starting in September 2013.
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