Thursday, September 15, 2011

My DC 52-Title Relaunch - pt. 2

What you're seeing is what my DC Comics universe would look like for at least the first six months. Length, pricing, and creators will all be subject to change over time, looking for just the right combination, but creators will be guaranteed six months to work on building an audience. Read this post about how I would manage transitioning comic books to cheaper formats or online if they fail to build an audience. If a title failed to sell at least 60,000 copies once in a year, the title will be downgraded to a lower tier. If the lower grade format sold 120,000 copies for one issue, it would be upgraded the following year.

On this page, we move from a re-imagining of the Golden Age to a re-imagining of the Silver Age. When a title features characters that were still being published before in the time that these stories are now set, the authors will have the leeway to use as much or as little of the earlier stories as desired. Note the legacy characters! No more would DC pretend that the Bruce Wayne of 2011 is the same Bruce Wayne as was published in 1939.

#10 Star Spangled Comics. A 36-page book of three 12-page adventure story serials, all set in 1947. The first features the Newsboy Legion – Tommy, Big Words, Gabby, and Scrapper, who are now all 13-year old boys supervising a boys town run by the Guardian, and frequently accompany the costumed adventurer as he travels the world. The second features Robotman, Dr. Robert Crane’s brain in a robot body, and his robot dog Robbie. He has finally told his old girlfriend Joan Carter what really happened to him and waits for her reaction while fighting crime and trying to lead a good “human” life. The third features Star Spangled Kid, Sylvester Pemberton, who is still a 14-year old rich kid fighting crime beside his chaffeur and mechanic, Stripsey, and riding around in the Star Rocket Racer (this title would be $3.25).
#11 Police Comics. A 36-page book of three 12-page adventure story serials, all set in 1950. The first features Plastic Man, ex-criminal and now-impossibly pliable FBI agent “Eel” O’Brian, and his comic sidekick “Woozy” Winks, as they encounter counterfeiters, android-creating mad scientists, and time-displaced cavemen. The second features the Spirit, Denny Colt, who has for almost 10 years battled crime while pretending to be dead. Weary and feeling his many injuries catching up to him, Denny wonders if he will live to see crime eradicated and if he can ever choose a woman to love with all his heart. The third features Manhunter, Dan Richards, now a police chief in a town in the Midwest, and his amazing dog sidekick Thor as they skirt the law to solve problems in their county (this title would be $3.25).
#12 Sensation Comics. This is a 30-page book with three adventure serials, all set in 1948. The first features Wonder Woman, the 12-page adventures of Princess Diana as she tries to spread the word of love, bondage, and submission to the world as an ambassador of Paradise Island. She is engaged to Colonel Steve Trevor and her original Holliday Girls have all graduated college and gone on to fill important jobs (judges, state representatives) from which they can help Diana deal with criminals and weird happenings. The second features Sargon the Sorceror, the 9-page adventures of a turbaned wizard as he tours the U.S., fighting crime and injustice wherever he goes. The third features Wildcat, the 9-page adventures of Ted Grant, one of the world’s greatest fighters, and his sidekick “Stretch” Skinner, as they continue their long campaign of punching their way through crime (this title would be $3).
#13 Batman. A 36-page book with two 18-page Batman stories, both set in 1947. Batman is still fighting bad guys in Gotham City like the Penguin and the Joker when not fighting Martians, but Robin has grown into long pants and is 15 years old. Batman and Catwoman are in a serious relationship (this title is $3.25).
#14 All-Star Comics. A 42-page book with the ongoing adventures of the Justice Society of America, set in 1951. Of the seven members -- Hawkman, Flash, Green Lantern, Atom, Dr. Mid-Nite, Wonder Woman, and Black Canary – at least six of them will get up to five pages of solo spotlight per issue, with the rest devoted to working together against a common foe (this title is $3.25).
#15 Marvel Family. A 42-page book adventure-family story serial, set in 1954. Usually, the first 11 pages will feature Captain Marvel (Billy, age 22), Captain Marvel Jr. (Freddy, age 24), and Mary Marvel (Mary, age 23), while the remaining pages will be split 11, 10, and 10 pages respectively per hero. Stories might guest-star the Lieutenant Marvels, Uncle Marvel, or Hoppy the Marvel Bunny. By this time, the Marvels are all able to lift 110 tons each and have truly unearthly power.
#16 Superman. A 36-page book adventure story serial, set in 1949. Set five years after his Action Comics stories, these are the adventures of a Superman in his 30s, able to lift 65 tons now, is married to Lois, and they have an infant son, Clark Jr. Each issue is divided into two 18-page stories, wherein Superman deals with the likes of the Prankster, Luthor, and Mr. Mxyztplk ($3.25 book).
#17 Blackhawk. A 30-page book with two 15-page Blackhawk stories, both set in 1945. As WWII winds down but new threats arise around the globe, this multi-ethnic band of freedom fighters will use only their wits and the technology at hand to stop any menace, whether it’s the Japanese Air Force or the Cult of the Wailing Tiger ($3 book).
#18 All-Star Western. A 30-page book with two 15-page western serials, both set in 1895. The first features “Johnny Thunder”, or John Taine, a schoolteacher who leads a double life as a rugged cowboy. The second features The Trigger Twins, Walt and Wayne, wherein Walt is the famous gunslinger but Wayne is secretly the better gunslinger and helps out his brother without anyone else knowing ($3 book).
Silver Age Titles
#19 Mystery in Space. A 30-page book with two 15-page science fiction, unconnected stories, set some time in Earth’s future or on alien planets now. A chance to attract some big name sci fi authors and another “bridge” book ($3 book).
#20 Strange Adventures. A 30-page book with two 15-page science fiction, unconnected stories, with the focus of this sister title being set on Earth now or in the near-future ($3 book).
#21 House of Mystery. A 30-page book with two 15-page fantasy or PG-13 horror, unconnected stories, hopefully attracting some big name fantasy authors ($3 book).
#22 Wonder Woman. A 30-page book with two 15-page stories featuring Wonder Woman, both set in 1963. Diana is still young-looking, but travels the world learning martial arts from various masters to enhance her failing natural abilities. Her two daughters, Donna and Diana, are 7 and 3 (known as Wonder Girl and Wonder Tot respectively). Gen. Trevor is approaching 50, but is gifted with longevity from his stays at Paradise Island and seems 40. Separately or as a family, they have adventures battling weird menaces like the Human Iceberg, Wonder Woman mysteriously growing in size, or robot doubles ($3 book).
#23 Flash. A 36-page book with two 14-page stories and one 8-page back-up feature, all set in 1963. The new Flash is Barry Allen, police scientist. While Jay Garrick is still around and spry at 48 (and still able to run just under MACH 1), Barry can run at MACH 5. Aided by his sidekick Kid Flash (12-year old Wally West) and his friend, Elongated Man (Ralph Digby, often accompanied by his girlfriend Sue), the Flash II will battle a rogues gallery with the likes of Captain Cold, Mirror Master, and Vandal Savage in the first serial. The second serial will focus on the supporting cast with or without the Flash II, with the third serial highlighting the rogues themselves ($3.25 book).
#24 World’s Finest. A 36-page book with one 22-page adventure serial and one 14-page adventure serial, both set in 1964. The first features Superboy (Clark Kent Jr., now age 16 and able to lift 11 tons) and the second Batman (Dick Grayson, now age 31) and their adventures being turned into ghosts, tackling Clayface, and battling the Composite Superman. The back-up features Green Arrow, a still clean-shaven Oliver Queen (age 37), and his sidekick Speedy (Roy Harper, age 20), who have been quietly battling crime for the past 12 years with bows and arrows. This feature tracks their efforts at combating street crime while staying off the radar and appearing to be urban legends ($3.25 book).

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