|Art by Andy Kubert & Tim Townsend|
One of the things that has had been a major driving force in my life is my love of comic books. As it says on my Twitter page,
"My world view is shaped by comic books, Doctor Who and, sometimes, facts."
Sadly, there have too many times when during a discussion of almost anything---politics, religion, health, sports, dining, business, etc.---that I invoke this phrase: "That reminds me of a comic book." Once while talking about the subject of post-partum depression in response to a particularly sad item in the news, I said this thing and my wife was incredulous. Then I directed her to this issue of The Flash.
Over the years, most of my comics reading has been with DC Comics. Lots of characters in their line up having given me hours of reading pleasure, from big guns like Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman to characters a little further down the pantheon like Black Canary and Firestorm to some really weird stuff like Ambush Bug and 'Mazing Man.
The purpose of this post and its subsequent follow ups is to reflect on the joys of this nearly life long relationship with a comic book company. And yes, the frustrations too. And sadly, those frustrations have been building of late and that leads to the other purpose of this blog, my way of saying goodbye to that life long relationship. And no, this is not a rant against DC Comics or even co-publisher Dan Didio (although I will have a few things to say about that....that....Arrrggh!) but also a look at how I have changed.
Like all stories that involve DC Comics, we have to start with Marvel.
Do you realize that this summer will mark the 5th anniversary of when Disney bought Marvel Comics?
Wow! It doesn't really seem like that long ago, does it. At the time it was quite the seismic shift in the pop culture landscape as one of the largest multi-media conglomerates gobbled up arguably the most successful comic book company in America.
For the most part, Marvel seems to function as Marvel always has but signs of corporate synergy are popping up more and more. For example. Disney's recent acquisition of LucasFilm and the Star Wars movies will result in the license for Star Wars comic books moving next year from Dark Horse to Marvel since Marvel is essentially Disney's in-house comic book publisher.
Meanwhile, how has this impacted Marvel's cross town rivals, DC Comics? Well, for one thing, starting next year, DC won't be cross town anymore. DC Comics heads west to set up shop shoulder to shoulder with Warner Bros. and its divisions in television, movies, animation and more.