Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Tumbling Dice

Guided by Mike's Master DC List, my own spreadsheet sk1lz, and a somewhat shaky methodology, I've come up with a possible DC publishing lineup. These titles (or their heirs) were each published in at least two of the years 1957, 1967, 1977, 1987, 1997, and 2007, and beyond that I just arranged them into a schedule.

It's 16 ongoing titles a week, 64 a month. That's pretty close to the current DCU output (i.e., excluding the imprints and collections), so there's room for miniseries, specials, etc.

Week One
Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight
Challengers of the Unknown
The Creeper
Falling In Love
The Flash
Fox and the Crow
House of Mystery
Justice League of America
Our Army at War
Plastic Man
Strange Adventures
World's Finest Comics

Week Two
Adventure Comics
Birds of Prey
Blue Beetle
G.I. Combat
Girls' Love Stories
Green Arrow
Heart Throbs
House of Secrets
Jonah Hex
Looney Tunes
Metal Men
Our Fighting Forces
Teen Titans

Week Three
The Atom
The Brave and the Bold
Green Lantern
Justice Society Of America
New Gods
Secret Hearts
Sgt. Rock
The Spectre
Star Spangled War Stories
Superman Family
Tales of the Unexpected
Young Love

Week Four
Action Comics
Batman and the Outsiders
Booster Gold
Detective Comics
Doom Patrol
Girls' Romances
Legion of Super-Heroes
Mystery In Space
Sugar and Spike
Unknown Soldier
Weird War Tales
Wonder Woman

Every week has a mix of styles and genres, including two Batman books, a Superman book, a couple of team books, and a few anthologies. Romances, kids' titles, horror, and war comics are also represented every week. (I grouped the six romance titles around Weeks 2 and 3 so there would be more incentive for those readers to come into the shop throughout the month.) By happy accident, there's also one female-superhero title each week (Supergirl, BoP, Catwoman, and Wonder Woman). Basically, whatever your tastes, there's something for you each week.

I don't know how well it would work today, considering the proclivities of the direct market. Obviously it favors the long-standing non-superhero books. DC has eight titles it will probably publish to the end of its days (Action, Detective, Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Flash, Green Lantern, and Justice League), and I was originally trying to figure out what the slightly less "untouchable" titles (e.g., Titans, Legion) might be.

It's not perfect by any means -- it's pretty much what the spreadsheet spit out -- and if I were doing my own "fantasy list" it'd probably be different. Still, what do you think? Does this approach a model DC lineup?


Anonymous said...

Like it Tom.
Having a consistent and well designed monthly release schedule is one of the things which would help attract new readers as well as being a service to current readers. Great idea.
Greg Gray

Perplexio said...

Improving the writing, returning to more traditional story-arcs (as opposed to these all-inclusive cross-over titles (Infinite Crisis, 52, Countdown) would be a good start.

I also think DC should test the waters with 6-12 part mini or maxi series of some of their less popular heroes. For example I don't think Boomerang could support an ongoing series, I find him to be a remarkable character that has a lot more potential than what DC is currently utilizing him at so I think a 6-12 part Boomerang series would do well, especially if it were well written. Boomerang has ties to both the Batman titles (his father killing and being killed by Jack Drake, and being in the Outsiders with Nightwing/Dick Grayson), and the Flash (his father being one of Barry's rogues and his half-brother being the late Bart Allen)-- not to mention fans of The Outsiders that might be disgruntled about the changes to that title would likely pick up a Boomerang mini or maxi series.

I also think Jason Todd and Donna Troy would both be appealing characters for a mini or maxi-series after Countdown wraps up. I may be in the minority but I was quite disappointed that Donna's stint as Wonder Woman was so short lived. I was contemplating adding Wonder Woman to the titles I read when I saw they'd made her Wonder Woman.

And this may be a longshot but given their rather "gray" motivations I think a Jason Todd/Zoom partnership would be interesting. I found it interesting that Zoom was willing to help Iris try to stop Bart from setting in motion the chain of events that led to his death. Not to mention he was conspicuously absent when the other rogues all showed up to take out Bart. It would seem that their motivations are pure enough but their methods tend to go a little too far. And being a former FBI guy I think Jason Todd and Zoom would make for a rather surreal DC version of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson... the question is, which would be Holmes and which would be Watson with those two?

Perplexio said...

PS: Zoom being the former FBI guy, not Jason Todd (I just realized that part of my comment didn't read right)