Happy October! With Halloween approaching (my favorite holiday), I find it exciting to talk villains. If you’re a DC Comic fan, you might have noticed something different in the month of September. It was Villain’s Month. With the conclusion of the Trinity War, instigated by the Secret Society and the Crime Syndicate from Earth-3, all the villains of the universe were called to a meeting at the Justice League’s former headquarters, the crash landed watch tower. The Crime Syndicate’s entry into the world with doppelgangers of our familiar Justice League heroes launches Forever Evil, a new limited run book (whose second issue just came out this week). And as a tie-in to Forever Evil, many regular titles were hijacked by different villains. Wonder Woman was actually Cheetah (#23.1) or First Born (#23.2). Batman was Joker (#23.1). And many more iconic villains had a starring role with either backstory and/or their views on the Crime Syndicates group gathering and orders. And to make these hijacked titles even more special, they were released with both your standard 2D covers and also with 3D lenticular covers.
Villains Month and Forever Evil are large-scale world tie-in events that promote several things at once. First, the release of villain specific titles prompts casual readers to buy additional titles that they may not normally buy. Second, the special 3D covers prompt digital readers to pick up a hardcopy either in addition to the digital or instead of the digital. Third, all the focus on villains is a wonderful promotional tool leading up to the release of the Necessary Evil: Super-Villains of DC Comics documentary being released on the 25th of this month. (And the release of a trade paperback tie-in to that documentary that collects some of the more notable and iconic past stories related to various villains including Origins from the Countdown series and even Hush: The Joke from Jeph Loeb, Jim Lee, and Scott Williams.)
For me, I purchased the Necessary Evil tie-in trade paperback because I’m really looking forward to seeing the actual documentary. Although, I think the film would have had more of an impact had it been released during Villains Month or at the conclusion of it, and not at the end of October. Also, I’m primarily a digital reader. However, I do buy hard copies when something of particular interest is released (I bought the first issue of Superman Unchained in hard copy to get the 4-page fold out). So I went and picked up several of the 3D covers, including those of titles I don’t always read but had a villain I’m a particular fan of.
Clearly the marketing ploy of DC worked on me (and more than just me as the news just came out that DC topped the September sales charts with more than 4.3 million books sold). I spent more than I normally would in order to ‘participate’ more in the Forever Evil world event. So here’s a question for you: are you more likely to buy more titles when a large-scale world event captures your interest? Are you willing to buy additional things, like back catalog titles or films, that go along with the event? Or are you just frustrated that all the stories you follow end or take a back-seat to the bigger and better? And what are your thoughts about Earth-3 and the Crime Syndicate? Personally, I think it’s rather clever that Earth-3 ties in with some of the story lines from the 52 New-verse (i.e. Earth-3 Batman is actually Owl Man which harkens to the Court of Owls; Wonder Woman is actually Superwoman which plays into the Superman/Wonder Woman relationship, etc.).
Well, that’s all for now folks. Come back and see me again next month when I talk about Sandman! Recall that The Sandman: Overture will be released on October 30th. Are you as excited about it as I am?