Sunday, January 10, 2016

The 2016 Comic Industry: House of Sequels, Image, and Aftershock Comics

In 2015 DC Comics gave us two months of Convergence titles, which led to unrecognizable DC heroes including Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, and Aquaman. The main Batman title is the only one that feels organic where the events of Endgame led to James Gordon becoming the new Batman. The rest of the titles seem pushed as their status quo returns with the fiftieth issues which is released the same time as the Batman V Superman film.

Over at Marvel Comics we got an unrecognizable universe in 2015 with Secret Wars where past events were relived to fill a sense of nostalgia. Now in 2016 Marvel is lining up the branding between comics and films as well. Marvel has three events which includes celebrating the 75th Anniversary of Captain America with Avengers: Standoff, the 10th anniversary of the original Civil War with a sequel Civil War II to coincide with the upcoming Captain America: Civil War film, and finally X-Men: Apocalypse Wars event coincides with Fox Studios X-Men: Apocalypse. Overall these events have little impact with long-term publishing plans except to take advantage of the marketing provided by the film studios.

The big two are under pressure each quarter to raise their revenue as DC Comics is owned by Warner Bros. and Marvel is owned by Disney. Warner Bros. and Disney are both listed on the stock exchange and the priorities of the shareholders comes first compared to the quality and creativity of the stories. It seems that way when both DC Comics and Marvel have consistently relaunched first issues of titles instead of building a legacy going forward.

The best ways to read and collect comics is to go for independent titles which have less predictable stories and more enjoyment in reading and collecting. Aftershock Comics is our publisher to watch out for this year. Some of these titles include Insexts, American Monster, and Second Sight. Another publisher is Image Comics which currently publishes The Walking Dead, Stray Bullets, and The Goddamned. Both of these publishers promote the voices of the writers and the creativity of the artists behind the books.