Saturday, September 13, 2008

Why DC Should Revive Adventure Comics

Adventure Comics was a comic book published from 1935 to 1983 by DC Comics. Initially called New Comics, then New Adventure Comics, it was (and still is) the fifth longest-running title in the DC stable.

Primarily an anthology, it consisted of a revolving stable of characters, and was the source of many "firsts" in the DC universe. Superboy met the Legion of Superheroes in its pages; the first Sandman was officially introduced in issue 40; and was the first comic headlined by Supergirl.

Historically, it is an important comic, and DC should make every attempt to revive it.

DC Comics' Struggling Iconography

For those of you who remember my three-part "DC Comics Returns... or Relapses" rant from the Summer of 2006 (see the links below), you'll know that I consider DC to have 10 iconic characters. As a refresher, they are: Aquaman, Atom, Batman, Flash, Green Arrow, Green Lantern, Hawkman, Starman, Superman, and Wonder Woman.

Of these, only half (Batman, Flash, Green Lantern, Superman, and Wonder Woman) have little or no trouble headlining their own titles. The other half have only enjoyed limited success with their own books, with Atom and Hawkman in particular seeming to have the most difficulty.

As a result, these characters are often underutilized, usually taking on a role as a supporting character in a team book (such as the Justice League of America titles), or popping up in various guest spots. As icons, I take issue with this. As icons, these characters deserve their own pages.

There are several ways to solve this, the most obvious of which is to grant these characters the A-list writer and illustrators they deserve, but as the talent pool isn't as large as comic fans would like, it is unlikely that DC would sacrifice Batman or Superman for the likes of Green Arrow or Aquaman. They could, however, simply release a ton of miniseries focused on those characters, but such miniseries tend to be treated as bastard stepchildren by publishers.

Blast from the Past

So, why not resume publication of Adventure Comics?

This would allow DC to continue one of its vaunted titles, and give these struggling icons regular pages in which to show off their solo adventures and foster their currently subdued appeal. It would be low risk for DC, as it would be a title not as restricted by continuity as most of their titles are, and it would provide another "focal point" for their oft-convoluted crossovers.

In addition, reader feedback would give the editors at DC a valuable resource in determining which of these struggling characters are "ready" for yet another attempt at their own books. Not to mention that it would likely attract those aforementioned A-list writers and artists, because it would give them an opportunity to write and draw several different characters in several different storylines at the same time. What writer or artist wouldn't want that freedom?

Come on, DC. It's high time you brought some of your best characters, and some of your own history, back into the spotlight.

Let's do it.


Anonymous said...

You. Are such. A NERD.


But... I don't even read comics, and you convinced me. So, Kudos! Two!

Posted by Jessica Lynn on September 13, 2008 - Saturday - 8:16 AM

Anonymous said...

I still think DC needs to bite the bullet (pun intended) and reboot, from scratch, everything. Just have a mini or something relating a new "JSA" history, then start from a present "day one" with, say, Superman appearing for the first time and go forward, leaving all the past in the past.

Won't happen. But it should.

Posted by Joe on September 14, 2008 - Sunday - 8:09 PM

Anonymous said...

I'd go even further and just ditch the JSA and the "Golden Age" history. Start from scratch-scratch.

Posted by JeffScape on September 15, 2008 - Monday - 1:22 AM

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