By Will Rosenthal ’16 / Emertainment Monthly Contributing Writer
At the start of the New Year, DC began their push of the DC You branding to introduce new miniseries to their readership. 2016 marks the beginning of Swamp Thing, Poison Ivy, and an original origin story-centered on Wonder Woman, to name a few new series. This change in direction reflects DC’s mission to usher in a new line of stories that they say honor their legacy of storytelling and appease the fans. With DC You well under way since its launch in late May, DC appears to be doubling down on its efforts with its most recent offerings.
However, DC’s statement might not sit well with long time readers. The publisher has been riding peaks and valleys in quality since its New 52 relaunch in 2012 and its One Year Later phase of 2006. Regardless, any DC reader enters a rebranding with some level of skepticism. Although the publisher claims that these are creative ventures made for the readers’ interest, DC’s previous titles with similar formats came out underwhelming.
In September, DC cleared its slate for further titles in DC You, much of which had already been emptied due to other minis such as Harley Quinn/Power Girl, Bizzarro, and All-Star Section Eight. In addition, further cancellations of Doomed, Justice League United, Green Lantern: Lost Army, Gotham by Midnight, and Lobo made room in DC’s roster. Many of these series ended around issue #12 or even #6 in the case of Green Lantern: Lost Army.
It is this recent host of canceled works that make DC’s newfound focus on miniseries more tactical than their previous approaches. With their new wave of series being marketed as minis between 6 and 9 issues, DC seems to be learning from their failures at the beginning of DC You. Since many of their new on-goings were either ended or canceled within the latter half of a year, DC appears to be pushing story concepts that solely fit into that time frame. Instead of planning an on-going that then needs a hasty conclusion slapped on to a dozen issues, DC You plans on drawing readers into well-crafted and refined stories.
DC You also promises less focus on character-centered titles, but more focus on creative teams. Of the previously mentioned new series stated, Swamp Thing is helmed by its co-creator Len Wein, Poison Ivy has writer Amy Chu and artist Clay Mann, and Wonder Woman! The Legend of Wonder Woman is written and illustrated by Ranae De Liz with Inker/colorist Ray Dillon.
All of these creative decisions feel less like a retraction of DC’s original mission, but rather a reaction to consumer demands. Although this is speculation, due to many of DC’s series losing interest at miniseries length, DC seems to see that the solution is to produce a product of shorter format. Not only are these comics shorter, but also they are made distinctly refined through well placed talent and creative individuals. DC is taking a fresh and underutilized creative direction in order to hone in on the positive aspects of its comics-defining legacy.