DC announced recently that September will be Villains Month. I’m delighted that Cyborg Superman is returning to the DCU, and I like that his cover is a nod to the green circuitry cover of Superman #82. I’m thrilled at the idea of Joker’s Daughter, Bizarro, and Reverse Flash making comebacks as well. I’m just not crazy about the idea that they’re doing it in the DCnU, a place where Lilith is an insane clown-faced girl with gouged-out eyes.
Bringing back fan favourites only to present radically-different versions of said favorites seems antithetical to the idea of relying on nostalgia to create hype, and comes off as yet another bait-and-switch guaranteed to send more of DC’s long-time readers scurrying to their competitors.
What else will Villains Month entail? Four different versions of each title that comes out that month (for example, instead of issue #7 of Justice League of America we’ll see the release of issues #7.1, #7.2, #7.3, and #7.4), each focusing on a specific villain. And they’ll all have 3D covers, because apparently nobody learned from the mistakes made in the 1990s.
Let’s not overlook the creepily blatant corporate synergy used to deploy this news, either: “exclusive” announcements via popular comic book sites USA Today, Huffington Post, and Maxim (alongside genuine comic book sites like Newsarama and Comic Book Resources).
I know people have been saying this since the New 52 began, but: how about a moratorium on the stunts and maybe just focus on making good comics, DC? Your Vertigo imprint just published Astro City #1, a continuation of one of the greatest comic series of all time. Maybe pin a copy of that to the wall above your desks.