I’ve written before about the mess that is today’s DC Comics. Since relaunching all their comics three years ago this September under the “New 52” heading, they’ve been the subject of constant news stories about over-the-top exploitative art, blatantly gimmicky events even for the comics industry, and creators chafing and leaving under unreasonable editorial demands. Marvel is even taking potshots in the theaters by announcing that Captain America 3 will open the same weekend as the upcoming Superman/Batman movie. So what’s the latest bad news? And is it a sign that DC editorial just isn’t even trying anymore? This time it’s the news that September solicits for DC’s comics – the list publishers put out to give comic shops information about what’s available to order – are all about an event called “Future’s End.” What’s been revealed about “Future’s End?” Well, apparently the most important thing about it is there will be lenticular covers and new #1 issues. There are some words about a story that flashes forward five years into the future, but that doesn’t seem to matter that much because no creative teams are listed for any of the books. That’s right: They want you to know that there will be new #1s with lenticular gimmick covers, but they don’t think it really matters who’s writing or drawing them. What matters is COLLECTABLE! Everything listed in the solicits is just one grimdark doomy gloomy event future after another: Martian Manhunter is going to take over the world! Aquaman’s wife has gone crazy and he has to bring her down! Batwoman is also fighting a supervillain ex! Actually, all the women except for Power Girl seem to have gone off the deep end! The Teen Titans are dead! Green Arrow is dead! Superman is missing and may be evil or dead, who even knows? There sure are a lot of dead heroes in five years! It smacks of an editorial department that’s intent on keeping the ship on course right until it slams into an iceberg. It’s so bland and by-the-numbers grimdark it could have been concocted by any 16-year-old who’s been reading comics and listening to Linkin Park too much. And the lack of any creative credits in the solicitations is making a lot of people wonder if the creative teams are going to be pure work-for-hire, fed the plot by editorial and told to write on spec. Considering how little regard they’ve had for creators in the face of their dubious vision for the company, I wouldn’t put it past DC editorial. Has DC just given up at this point? Have they decided their target audience wants grimdark color-by-numbers stories with teenage girls with breast implants on the covers (And there’s a whole separate story!) and they don’t really care to appeal to anyone else? It really seems that way. And with that mentality, it’s amazing they haven’t all been fired yet.

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