Jake’s Take On….DC Comics’ Villains Month Wrap-Up

The villains took over the DC Universe to commemerate the second anniversary of "The New 52." (Cover by David Finch & Richard Friend; Property of DC Comics)

The villains took over the DC Universe to commemorate the second anniversary of “The New 52.” (Cover by David Finch & Richard Friend; Property of DC Comics)

By: Jacob Elyachar

Today marked the final day of DC Comics’ Villains Month.

In honor of DC Comics’ second anniversary marking the debut of The New 52, the comic book company dedicated a solid month to some of its nastiest characters.

In this article…I will give an in-depth analysis of what worked and did not work for this ambitious project!

What worked: Choosing (some) of the characters

When it came to selecting which characters would receive the star treatment, I think DC did a great job of selecting the Rogues.   While it was obvious that Joker, Luthor, Cheetah, Sinestro and Darkseid would receive top billing, it was interesting to see that Black Manta, Killer Frost, the Court of Owls and the female counterparts of Shadow Thief and the Ventriloquist had their own books.

The new Ventriloquist should have made an appearance in "Batgirl 23.1" instead of "Batman: The Dark Knight." (Cover property of DC Comics)

The new Ventriloquist should have made an appearance in “Batgirl 23.1” instead of “Batman: The Dark Knight.” (Cover property of DC Comics)

What did not work: Sharing the love

While it had 52 of some of the vile villains in comics, there were several titles that hogged this special month!  Now I understand and respect DC Comics’ decision to give Action, Batman, Detective and Superman…four super villains each!  But it did not make sense to give books like The Dark Knight four additional titles.  Those characters could have been used in Batgirl (The Ventriloquist), Birds of Prey (Mr. Freeze), Catwoman (Joker’s Daughter) or Suicide Squad (Harley Quinn).

What worked: Diversifying the talent

For the event, DC looked to their superstar creators like Geoff Johns and Scott Snyder, the company successfully utilized other respected writers such as Sterling Gates, Gail Simone, Peter J. Tomasi and Sholly Fisch to craft some intriguing scripts.  They also brought superb artists such as Graham Nolan, Claude St. Aubin and Brett Booth to bring the fan-favorite characters to life.  Also other creators such as Andy Kubert stepped up to the plate to showcase their additional talents.

What did not work: Under utilizing the Crime Syndicate

The Crime Syndicate of Earth-Three are the villains that are crucial to DC’s first New 52 crossover: Forever Evil.  While the Crime Syndicate are featured in selected stories like Justice League of America’s 7.2 and Aquaman’s 23.1, the vile octet should have made some appearances in all of the books…just to tie them all together.


Black Manta Forever Evil

For once, readers were able to understand why villains like Black Manta hate their arch-nemeses. (Cover property of DC Comics)

What did work: the Stories

Perhaps the most successful accomplishment that came out of the special month was the stories.  From Joker becoming a “loving” parent to Jackanapes to learning what were the real motives for Black Manta, Killer Frost, Relic and the Secret Society and the scars that both Riddler and Shadow Thief carried, readers enjoyed studying each of the villains that DC Comics put front-and-center.

Final thoughts: Overall, I thought that DC Comics’ Villains Month was a success as it made readers care for their favorite antagonists and it was a perfect marketing tie-in campaign to Forever Evil.   Hopefully, we get to learn more about our favorite villains as Forever Evil unfolds.  B+

For more information on “Forever Evil” and DC Comics, visit the company’s website: http://www.dccomics.com/

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Copyright 2015 Jacob Elyachar