After reading David’s blog post over at 4th Letter, I’ve realized something. I just can’t hang with shared universes any longer. The inconsistency bothers me. I don’t pick up Marvel and DC books to follow artists or writers; I do it because I’m fond of a certain character. If the character’s look and personality varies wildly from appearance to appearance—what’s the point? There’s no real character there to follow, is there? And when your favorite character is a second stringer, you can pretty much expect drastic changes to fit the story at hand. No one is interested in building a consistent brand with the B-list sidekick. I can’t blame them. Who is going to buy a Power Girl or Daughters of the Dragon t-shirt? Well, me. But will anyone else?
On the flipside, I don’t want to read an Empowered story written by anyone else but Adam Warren. And if there’s a new Dawn miniseries, I’d better find art by Linsner inside when I pry open those pages. Hmm, I guess I do follow creators. I’ve picked up Warren and Linsner’s Marvel and DC stuff too. Lord knows I’d never have any Iron Man or Black Cat of my shelf if not for those two.
Maybe that’s my real modus operandi—fall in love with a creator in the indies and follow that creator anywhere? Well, unless there’s a character I really hate. I love Canepa, but I wouldn’t buy an Emma Frost series even if Canepa’s name was on it. And Chiang on Batgirl wouldn’t get me to reach for my wallet. Unless it starred Cass, of course. I guess I’m just trying to figure out my buying habits. Aside from ordering Empowered and picking up Hellboy trades at conventions, I haven’t really been interested in buying anything. Even worse, I haven’t read one issue of the Shadowland crossover. I was really excited about that crossover too!
I guess I’m trying to figure out why I’ve lost interest in Marvel and DC. I’m not really trying to fix the problem, since it is saving me a lot of money, but I am interested in the reason. It certainly isn’t a decline in quality. I have friends enjoying the hell out of these books. It’s not the price. One, I happily spent $3.99 on an Empowered one-shot, and two, I could easily rifle through my friends’ stacks for free. Not enough diversity? Eh, maybe at DC, but that’s just the nature of their universe. Also, they seem to be trying to fix that.
I don’t know what’s wrong, but there are more posts about General Hospital here than there are about comic books. And while General Hospital is hilariously (and unintentionally) entertaining, that’s kind of sad.