Beauology 101: Marvel And DC Comics–Traditionally Change

The Ever Changing Beau Smith

The Ever Changing Beau Smith

by Beau Smith

Lingering or resurrection?

Dan DiDio

Dan DiDio

You may have heard that Dan DiDio, now former Co-Publisher for DC Comics, has stepped down. As of right now, Jim Lee is sole publisher as well as Chief Creative Officer at DC Comics. There’s been a lot of press on how this is going to change the comic books, the characters, and the look of DC Comics. Most of these questions are coming from the readership and bloggers. They are the ones that read comics, especially the printed ones.

From what I have read and what I have been asked verbally/face to face, is “What do you think is gonna happen?”

My answer: “Not much.”

For now.

In the 1960s when the biggest formation of readers/collectors/fans began to swell, if Stan Lee at Marvel Comics, or Julie Schwartz at DC Comics would’ve suddenly stepped down, you as a reader would’ve seen a change in stories and characters a little quicker. Especially if it would’ve been Stan Lee leaving, say, in 1965. You would’ve seen a big change. There really wasn’t anyone that Marvel could use to plug and keep playing.

DC Comics would’ve kept on doing what they had been doing and there would’ve been very little ripple in their pond at that time. There might have been if a very young Paul Levitz or Jim Shooter had been old enough to take the steering wheel with a driver’s license, but they weren’t yet….

What if this actually happened?

What if this actually happened?

On a sidebar fantasy, can you imagine if Stan Lee would’ve left Marvel in 1965 and signed on with DC Comics? There could’ve been some really big changes. Perhaps the creation of Earth MCDC.

The difference between 1965 and 2020 is that now both Marvel and DC Comics are owned by HUGE corporations that do have experience in entertainment, merchandising, and technology. The comic book world is not the small pond that it used to be in past decades. The current world of Marvel and DC Comics isn’t near the same it was 20 years ago. The publishing part, the editorial part is what has changed for the readers. It’s no longer the small town or the small town feel that it was in the ’60s through the ’90s. Those days for Marvel and DC are gone forever…..forever is a lot longer than for good. Note that.

The Tom DeFalco Era.

The Tom DeFalco Era.

Are you as readers going to see that much change from the Dan DiDio era? No, you are not. You HAVE been feeling changes from the Paul Levitz era. That was the last of the family era as the same with the Jim Shooter/Tom DeFalco eras. As you also may know from your own family, they can be dysfunctional at times, or all the time….but it’s still family and will act and breathe as one. That’s the part that is gone.

This is truly the corporate time. The price is being paid for comic books and comic book characters becoming mainstream-global. Perhaps at some point—Universal.

You should’ve seen this coming when you found yourself enjoying the film and TV versions of the character more than they ones that were in print. Those are the ones that feel lost. Technology has finally caught up with what we thought was our own little pop culture world secret called comic books, and it’s taking them farther….onward…..upward.

Now, before you call me a comic book heretic, please know that I think we as comic book creators and readers still have better original ideas than the corporate and film world. I truly do. The balance of this tightwire act is to see if the corporate owners can mesh with the creative owners to make a better world than the two going their own separate ways.

For decades we wanted to leave our small pond and take our ideas to the larger ocean. That wish has come true, and it is needed. We just have to make sure we don’t get swallowed up in that great sea. As for the ocean, it has to make sure it doesn’t drown the ideas. It needs to spread it over the world, not sink it.

Dan DiDio will do fine. He’s a smart guy and has a firm handshake. He will continue to do what he has always done—Love comic books. You as readers, keep your eyes on comics books, the characters and prepare yourself for never going back in time. Move forward and, as always, steer your boat with your wallet. That is what corporate will always understand and answer to. Without money, they have nothing. Like it or not, Marvel and DC Comics are corporate. If they go, your characters go.

As creators, keep inventing. Keep coming up with new ideas and characters. Don’t become stagnate. Don’t sit still long enough to gather rust. Keep moving, keep adapting.

Traditionally change! You can have both.

Your Super-Adaptoid,

Beau Smith

Beau Smith-The Super Adaptoid!

Beau Smith-The Super Adaptoid!

The Flying Fist Ranch

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