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Comics 411: Will DC’s Wonder Comics Line Sink or Swim?

January 9, 2019 | Posted by Steve Gustafson
Young Justice Wonder Comics

I’m Steve Gustafson and thanks for stopping by. Don’t forget to check out 411mania’s Comic Book Review Roundtable, every Thursday! Read up on the best reviews and let us know what you’re reading as well. Click to read the latest Comic Book Review Roundtable! Heroes in Crisis #4, Extermination #5, and more!

Now, on with the show!

Last week we asked Marvel vs. DC – Which is Better?. Here’s what some of you had to say:

Marty Confetti: “I’ve always preferred DC. I think their heroes are more idealistic compared to Marvel heroes who tend to have more flaws and are more relatable. This isn’t a bad thing for either though. It’s just different. I also just enjoy DC stories more.”

Rocky4228: “If you include Vertigo for DC it’s no contest.”

BillyBlaze: “Doomsday Clock is pretty amazing… DC had a few good years with Rebirth”

Defective: “DC had the better year in comic books. It’s not even close at that. civil war 2 and secret empire were absolute dog shit of events. Plus infinity wars was just…there and sucked shit as well.

The structure to this column is terrible.”

Robert Stewart: “I’m in the “Why not both?” camp. Grew up as a strictly Marvel kid; didn’t read DC until college, but in college, I went ALL IN on DC and basically only bought one Marvel book because their quality had sharply diminished. As far as comics and characters go, I still give DC a slight edge.

Unless we are talking about modern cinema, in which case it’s not even close; the DCEU is a dumpster fire that needs to be scrapped, allowed to rest for a few years, and rebooted. They just can’t get anything right.”

poopsadaisy: “I’ve been a Marvel guy since I was a little kid in the 1980s. I’m honestly not sure why. I just generally like Marvel characters better. However, I tend to read stories years after they have been published. I haven’t purchased a new book in many years, so I can’t speak to anything either company did this year.”

Ricky Soelistyo: “DC for stories, Marvel for character design, everything else is well balanced between em…”

Aejhaa: “I prefer DC most of the times the rebirth series had been amazing especially for characters like Green Arrow, Mister Miracle and teams like the Titans and Terrifics. However, now the quality has just been dropping, King’s batman has become stale, Bendis is flopping with Action comics for me, Green arrow is ending (hopefully a re-launch), Flash is boring (and Wally’s dead). The titans don’t have clear direction. The good is there but their losing steam form the hot rebirth

But lately Marvel has been picking up slack especially Spider-man re-launch and some of their comics has been going great.

This year though goes to DC for me but with the current trend, next year is anyone’s game.”

D2Kvirus: “Judging by my comic collection…Image.”

El Atomico: “It’s been a long time since I’ve bought a comic, but I’d have to give the edge to Marvel; I found a lot of DC’s characters corny and dated, Marvel’s more edgy and relatable. Having said that, I remember liking them both, and hated it when my close-minded “Make Mine Marvel…only!” friends wouldn’t give them a chance. Batman was awesome once they washed the taste of Adam West’s depiction out of our mouths by making the character dark and brooding, and I loved Wally West as the Flash.”

Moody: “I’ve always been a bigger fan of Marvel, that’s just what I grew up on. I think they both have positives and negatives. Marvel with the constant major game changing events are exhausting, mainly because they don’t mean anything anymore. The Batman series for DC has been killing it for years now. But indy comics are so good right now! If you’re tired of Marvel and DC you really need to check out some indy books.”

Too many great comments to list! To read all the comments or to read last week’s column, CLICK HERE! As always, thanks for the input!

This week we discuss…

Will DC’s Wonder Comics Line Sink or Swim?

As the comic book industry searches for new ways to draw in new viewers and cater to a changing demographic, the big publishers are dusting off some old ideas to spark attention.

Late last year DC revealed a line-up of upcoming titles and creative teams for the first wave of Wonder Comics, the new teen-focused, in-continuity imprint that would be overseen by writer Brian Michael Bendis.

According to the official press release from DC, Bendis is set to partner with artist Patrick Gleason on a Young Justice comic, which will bring back together Impulse (Bart Allen), Superboy (Conner Kent) and Robin (Tim Drake). Bendis also said he’d be introducing Teen Lantern as a part of the new Young Justice team’s lineup.

Young Justice #1 hits shelves tomorrow and early looks at the book show a product that is geared toward the later grade school and middle school age audience.

Following Young Justice, Wonder Comics will consist of Naomi, Wonder Twins, and Dial H For Hero. Bendis will co-write Naomi with David Walker (Cyborg), and Jamal Campbell (Justice League of America: Vixen) will draw the book. Mark Russell (The Flintstones) will write with artist Stephen Byrne providing the art on the new Wonder Twins comic, while writer Sam Humphries (Harley Quinn) and artist Joe Quinones (Black Canary/Zatanna) will work on Dial H For Hero.

First, props to DC for focusing on grabbing younger viewers. Even when they don’t work, you usually get something useful or entertaining out of it.

Look at Marvel’s Star Comics from the 80s. Star Comics line was made for younger readers and included comics based on cartoons and toys like The Get-Along Gang and Care Bears with original properties like Planet Terry, Wally The Wizard, and Peter Porker, The Spectacular Spider-Ham. Spider-Ham is currently enjoying some major success in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.

The big question is how are they marketing these books to actually get them into the hands of the young reader? I’ve seen little to no advertising for these books, outside a poster at the local comic book shop. I would expect that they’d take to social media and advertise to get them to give these books a chance.

Kids have plenty to choose from when it comes to entertainment. From TV and movies on their phone or laptop to video games and taking pics on Snapchat, the comic book medium exists in its own little bubble.

The books might be great but no one will no if they don’t read them.

Do you think Wonder Comics will succeed in finding a new audience?

That’s all the time I have. Check out our Comic Book Reviews tomorrow and see you next week!