The Flash Returns… in the Pages of NY Daily News?
New York City’s Daily News played spoiler to comics fans today, announcing the return of a familiar face behind a red-and-gold mask in this week’s DC Universe #0. Which of the scarlet speedsters is returning, you ask? Well, we’re posting that bit of info after the jump, lest we find ourselves forcibly evicted from ComicMix HQ by torch-wielding, spoiler-phobic crowds of angry fanboys and fangirls.
However, there’s something else about the Daily News article that has us smiling. In addition to seeking comment about the latest superhero resurrection from noted writers Grant Morrison and Geoff Johns, noted comics historian and regular ComicMix contributor Alan Kistler was also tapped for some perspective on the character’s grand return to the DCU.
Now, for the big reveal… and some big questions:
Yes, it’s the return of Barry Allen, people. But don’t worry, my sources say he’s probably a Skrull.
And while the return of Barry Allen to the DCU is certainly interesting, the means by which the word is getting out about this "big reveal" raises some questions. Should fans be angry about the likelihood that a decision was made to make major plot points public before the issue hits shelves? While the Daily News article doesn’t infer that the story was formally arranged with DC, the variety of quotes from notable DC authors along with the high-profile nature of the project and a reference to the specific panel in which the reveal occurs make it reasonable to assume that this was an organized promotional effort rather than an unintentional "leak" of information.
So, where should the righteous indignation of the fans be directed? Or better yet, should they be applauding DC?
Two years ago, fans were sharpening their pitchforks and preparing to march on Marvel HQ when The New York Post devoted a full-page spread to revealing the end of Civil War #2, the unmasking of Spider-Man, before readers were able to pick up the issue. The infamous Spider-Man "spoiler" was organized well in advance by the folks at Marvel, yet despite fan assertion that this was the single most destructive thing to happen to comics this decade, Civil War went on to break sales records and bring countless new readers to the medium. Heck, it even earned them some time on The Colbert Report.
So, the question I’m wondering now is this: Should the "spoiler" in today’s Daily News be considered another successful step toward bringing new readers to comics and increasing mainstream interest in the medium, or the latest snub to fans who prefer not to know the end of a story before they cross the threshold of their local comic shop?
What do you think?