MICHAEL DAVIS: Why I Like The New 52
Because I’m trying to kiss the ass of DC Comics.
Well that’s not really true. If you know anything about my history you will know the last thing I’d ever do is kiss ass.
It’s simply not in my DNA not now, not ever. I’ve been in many a situation where a well place smack on someone’s ass would have been very beneficial to me but I just couldn’t do it.
I’ve tried to kiss some ass. I really have. I wanted to kiss some ass. I was even looking forward (she was fine) to kissing some ass at one point but I just… could… not…do it.
What always stops me is my inability to show respect to those who do not deserve it.
Respect is a very big thing with me. I’d rather have someone’s respect than just about anything else. To get my respect is not hard on a personal level all I really need on that level is for you to treat me with respect and you have mine.
On a professional level getting my respect is not easy. I’m not the guy to tip toe around people’s absence of professionalism. If you have ever read any of my articles on Michael Davis World (plug!) then you may have noticed a recurring theme in my rants: customer service or the lack there of.
I don’t care if you are an artist, IBM or Larry the Hot Dog Vender, if I’m going to write you a check for your services your professionalism had better be your A game. Anything less than an A game I’ll never work with you or use your services again. You can forget any respect I may have had for you because that my friend, like the old south, is gone with the wind.
Chief among all the reasons I have for liking The New 52 from DC is the massive amount of respect I have because DC went there.
DC comics went where no other comic book company in the world went before: they started over. If the books sucked which they still would have had my respect. There are some in The New 52 that have left me wondering why they went into the direction they went but for the most part I like or love what they have done.
Liking or even loving what DC Comics did with the re-boot creatively is not the main reason I like The New 52. It’s really about respect and balls.
I respect the balls the editors at DC showed in going there.
Every die-hard comic book fan has thought how cool it would be to completely overhaul a comic book universe. The fan forums are filled with what’s wrong with DC, what the problem is with Marvel, or what was Dark Horse thinking? I don’t think there is any comic book universe that is so darn cool that everyone agrees they are doing everything right. I’ll let you in on a little secret; I’m a closet Archie fan. Actually, I’m a huge fan of Little Archie. I’m not sure they even do Little Archie stories anymore but when I was a kid I loved me some Little Archie.
That’s the only comic book universe I had no problem with. The Little Archie universe was perfect to me. Because I was such a fan of Little Archie I tried the regular Archie books.
After reading the regular Archie books for a while I decided if I ran the Archie universe the first thing I would do was have Archie tap Veronica and Betty’s ass.
Hell, I’d have Archie tap them both at the same time. You think that’s bad? Then you don’t want to know the plans I had for Mr. Fantastic.
That’s why it’s good not to have fan’s revamp comic book universes.
Like any young fan, I often wondered why comic book companies don’t do the obvious. Why can’t Uncle Ben come back? Why did Gwen Stacy have to stay dead? Why doesn’t Superman tap the ass of all those people whose initials are LL?
Lois Lane, Lana Lang, Lucy Lane, Lori Lemaris? If I were in charge of the Superman Universe Clark would have had some serious LL booty. I mean the LL list is endless!
Lara Lor, Linda Lang, Lighting Lad, Lex Luthor…eh…wait a sec…maybe tapping all the LL’s is not a great idea after all. Another reason it seems that fans should not be in charge of universes.
So, as fans we don’t have the power to make massive changes in our comic book universes but why don’t the comic companies make massive cool ass changes a lot more?
Yes. Every so often some new event happens that sorta, kinda, changes stuff but not really. Not like you are I would have changed it.
Massive, cool, earth shattering new shit that will be the envy of all of comicdom!
DC went there.
However, as easy as it may seem to fans to simply hit the reset button it’s not easy at all. You may think as I did when I was just a fan that imagination is all you really need to run a comic book universe and you would be as wrong as I was.
If you are Larry Comics and you started your comic book company a couple of years ago you can reboot all you want and the only people you have to please is your new fan base.
DC Comics has been around since 1935. That’s a lot of history to muck with.
The people at DC Comics just couldn’t sit in a room and decide to do this. That’s not how it works in the real world. The people who came up with the reboot idea had to sell that idea to the parent company and that parent company is Time Warner. Time Warner is one of the biggest entertainment companies in the world.
I’m not sure what kind of relationship DC has with Time Warner. Time Warner could be completely hands off. I doubt it, but that could be the case. DC may have complete control over the comics and Time Warner may not give a sheet.
I’d think something this big would have had to be run up the flagpole at corporate on some level. Again, I’m not aware of DC’s relationship with Time Warner so I can only speculate from my own corporate experience.
I’ve been President or President and CEO at a few entertainment companies and any major decision over a certain dollar amount I made had to be at presented to the powers that be on some level.
When I ran Motown Animation & Filmworks I was hired to create, develop and sell film and television properties. When I decided to do a comic book line, Motown Machineworks, I had to create a business plan, present it to my boss and hope to God it did not crash and burn.
That’s what a lot of fans don’t understand about comics. It’s a fantastic medium and great entertainment, but it’s a business.
Whoever came up with the reboot and then sold the idea to corporate had good creative intentions to be sure but something that big has a lot more to worry about than creative ideas.
Regardless if the ideas were great or if Time Warner is hands off or not, if the reboot would have been a dismal failure heads may have rolled.
This is the real world folks, with great power comes great responsibility is truer in the real world than in comics. Peter Parker fails to stop a guy who then busts a cap in his Uncle is tragic but at any point Marvel could change that.
Real people put their careers in play on some level. I don’t know to what extent those people were at risk if at all but something as big as a reboot it stands to reason that someone’s ass would be on the line if it went south.
It’s easy to talk a big game when it’s not your ass on the line. It’s not so easy when that great power comes with a great responsibility that could result in you having a real bad ending to your story.
That takes balls and that gets my respect.
WEDNESDAY: Mike Gold
Sometimes I wonder if some folks have read the same comic books I read. Sometimes I think they should move to the Midwest because, clearly, there are toxic mind-altering chemicals in the air of Los Angeles and New York City.
I should open a clinic.
Now, now, Tony…you my friend are one of the few people I agree with 99% of the time. This may be that 1%.
I’ve slammed DC on many occasions for many reasons but the massive amount of sheer guts it took to pull off the new 52 is worthy of my respect. I’m not crazy about all the books but I’m loving quite a few.
We agree to disagree.
To your last point, I have residences in LA and NY so you may be on to something there…
So… Michael… are YOU going to be the one to tell Tony about your writing and drawing The New 52 revival of Black Lightning?
As long as we’re disagreeing…
Where you see courage, I see desperation and a failure of creativity. I posted favorable reviews of several of the “new 52” titles, but most were mediocre and some were unbelievably vile.
I can start your therapy sessions as soon as you get to Ohio.
Nah-Desperate people tend to go with quick and easy solutions, something that can be undone as quick as it was done. You cannot just undo the new 52.
The millions of dollars they must have spent putting the line and marketing together is not just something you can explain away if it goes south. That takes guts regardless if it’s DC or new Coke. A lot of people lost their jobs over new Coke and the new 52 went down that road.
Also, I never used the word ‘courage.’
To me guts and courage are two different things. Courage is the strength to defend your position, guts (in this instance) is the strength to walk a path no one has walked before with real consequences for failure.
The new 52 took guts. My defending a company that has a less than nice history with me took courage at least I think it did.
Tony-nothing but love for you dude but I think you are missing my point on this one. The books I do like but what I really respect is DC having the guts to do it in the first place.
And new Coke sucked.
Well MOTU, I agree with you. Of course, that and $5 will get you a Frapacino at Starbucks.
Not in NYC. What you call Starbucks Frapacinos we’ve been calling Molotov Cocktails. Well, just this week.
We’ll continue to disagree on this, I fear. When you’re ready for rehab, I’ll be happy to give you the family discount. But I can’t help you with the “kissing DC ass” stuff. I have a pretty good idea where that ass has been and it’s nasty.
Meanwhile, for a really great super-hero comic book, I recommend Mark Waid’s Daredevil.
Mark Waid could write his name on a subway wall and I’d read it over and over. So I’ll give his DD a read with pleasure.
Rehab is for sissies-go cold turkey or go home.
Mr. Davis, you spend eight paragraphs talking about yourself before you get to the topic of your article, the New 52. Then you make some pretty large assumptions, like the one about the DC editorial staff coming up with a bold unprecedented idea and then selling it to stern, hostile corporate overlords. Which overlooks that this was not a new idea… They did the same thing in the mid-80s and slightly smaller scale variations on it several times since, to proven if ephemeral boosts in sales. Personally I think it more likely that the idea originated with Time Warner, or at least a mandate to do some manner of radical change, than that the salesmanship went the other way. Do you really think Dan Didio craved the extra editorial work and public relations the move would entail? The man was under the gun due to poor sales and was forced into it.
I was quite clear when I said I have no idea what the relationship was between DC and TW. I talked about myself to make the point that I KNOW as an entertainment executive something this BIG is most likely something that has to be run up the flag pole at corporate at some level.
Rather or not DC or Dan HAD to do something because of poor sales and he was under the gun I don’t know and neither do you.
But-let’s assume Dan and DC had to do something because of sales like you say. They did something that has not been done before and that gets my respect.
BTW-in everything I write I try to bring a personal view to it so I mention things that happen to me. You seem to think I was bragging which is how I took your ‘talking about myself’ comment. I never brag-it’s not bragging if you can do it.
Lastly-it never occurred to me that the idea may have originated at Time Warner-I must admit that got me thinking.
MOTU, I don’t think he knows about your death ray, go easy on him. Although, it’s been awhile since you used it in public…
Fans like Ralph Young make good points regardless if I don’t agree with them completely. He did raise a great point-what if Time Warner brought the reboot concept to DC.
That’s a mind F**k if ever there was one! I mean can you imagine those meetings? I’d love to read book about just how the reboot originated hell, I’d love to WRITE a book about that.
‘Fraid I’m with Tony Isabella on this one, Mike.
Y’know I live in the NYC area–to paraphrase, “I can see New York City from my windows!”, so maybe my brain IS fried…
Nothing but love for you also. Yes-I like the books but man, the balls it must have taken to go there still boggles my mind.
Regarding Kissing ass, it’s not all it’s cut out to be. Mitt has been doing it for 12 years and paid millions to do so and he won by 8 votes.
More important, Mitt didn’t expand his base. 3/4 of the Iowa Republicans who bothered to participate in the caucuses didn’t want him. That’s been steady for months.
The GOP HATES Mitt. Not quite as much as I hate Herman Cain but it’s getting there.
Wait a sec…it’s there.
P.S.: I’ve never kissed ass either. And look where it got me! LOL!
DC Comics has been around since 1935. That’s a lot of history to muck with.
DC may have been around that long but their history certainly hasn’t. As Mr. Young mentioned, DC rebooted the whole shebang in the mid 80s with the end of the Crisis on Infinite Earths. I’ve been reading comics a long time, (since the early 1960s) and the 80s reboot doesn’t seem that long ago to me. I liked that one.
As I said in response to your column on December 20, John Byrne’s Superman reboot still felt like Superman. This one doesn’t. I don’t have any emotional investment in a brand new character who just has similarities to Superman, (similar costume, secret identity and acquaintances with the same names.) Maybe it just needs time. I know they’re trying to invoke the 1930s Superman and I wouldn’t have had any emotional investment in that character either.
Also I waited a long time for Superman to marry Lois and now it just never happened. I stopped reading Spider-Man completely after his marriage was magically, (Satanically?) dissolved. Maybe writing about married superheroes is just too difficult for most comic writers. Mindy Newel’s column, “The Enemy Within” indicates that it isn’t for her.
Writing superheroes and writing superheroes the way you think they should be written are two different things. When you’re mucking about in a universe with thousands of characters and dozens of gatekeepers who work for bosses who keep on changing their minds, it just might not be worth the effort.
I liked the Crisis also except I saw it as more of a major streamline effort rather than a re-boot. DC’s attempt to combine their many ‘Earths’ and characters into one universe.
I also never quite forgave my dear friend Marv Wolfman for killing Barry Allen and I never liked Wally West as the Flash.
I heard through the grapevine that TW mandated that something be done to the DC universe. When the lady who was in charge of mining the Harry Potter franchise found Dc did not publish all of their book with the intent on making them movies then that’s when it was decided to change dramatically or have almost the whole line canceled. Don’t kill the messenger please.
Regardless, I agree with Michael that it took some serious stones to go through with this.
Thanks-great minds think alike!