Destroying your brand DC Comics and Catwoman Part II
Last time on “Destroying your brand” Talia al Ghul was a lame Daughter of Fu Manchu cliché who would have gone the way of other one-shot original characters if the writer had not become editor of the Batman titles. Denny O’neil fought a one man war against Catwoman’s popularity from Batman Returns, Batman the Animated Series, and her solo comic.
Fatal Flaw Writer of 1970s comic books does not have the maturity or understanding to manage a franchise of the size and scope of Batman. Handling of Talia indicates a personal pettiness which is simply incomprehensible managing properties of this size.
Betting the farm of Frank Miller Late 1980s: Dystopia is in vogue. Alan Moore: The WatchmenFrank Miller: The Dark Knight Returns
The Watchmen Recently purchased characters of no importance to fans When it stale-dated, no harm done. Exception: Film – story that deconstructs and deglamorizes superheroes filmed in a style of visual glamour shows underlying lack of understanding. Making the film at all shows lack of understanding of the transitory nature of its appeal. Typical Comic Reader cannot distinguish between hype of the moment and true lasting quality. They CANNOT be used as guide posts.
Batman Year One More sophisticated management would have recognized transitory appeal of Miller’s vision Piss Christ, 1987 Andres Serrano DC Comics relaunched their flagship titles and remade flagship characters to Miller’s model
Step 1: Break it “Don’t Fix it if it ain’t Broken” so Step 1 is to break it. Typical strategy of comic books to help readers accept change is to make the original very bad so they accept any innovation. Dates from an era where their advertising consisted of joy buzzers and invisibility glasses. Dates from an era where reader is imagined to be a gullible 7 year old.
That was then, this is now Volume II author Ed Brubaker’s work is consistently derivative of existing models, from the movie Laura to past comic book arcs like the death of Jason Todd at DC mirrored when he went to Marvel. Presumably thought he would be hailed as the new Frank Miller in returning Catwoman to her “roots” of the Year One origin. Chicken and Egg: Responding to fan’s inability to grasp transitory appeal of Miller and also perpetuating it.
New look As if setting themselves up to fail, they gave the new Catwoman a new costume, so all the new material was instantly recognizable. Fan revulsion to “The Goggle Whore” is intense to this day. Rocksteady Games getting flack for using it in the sequel to their popular Arkham Asylum. Cat-woman costume based on Aviator outfit worn by Snoopy the Dog in popular Peanuts Cartoon.
The Reaction Sales plummet Writer Combative PR Push Fan Pushback