Trade Perspectives: DC Comics Co-Features and Trade Paperbacks

Friday, March 13, 2009

I found quite a bit interesting in DC Comics's announcement (via Newsarama) that they'd be running Ravager and Blue Beetle co-features in Teen Titans and Booster Gold respectively, along with the previously announced Metal Men in Doom Patrol.

This is, in my opinion, a brilliant idea. Take a well-selling (or even mid-selling) title, get a good creative team, and put another fan favorite character at the end of the book. Blue Beetle and Ravager are great examples. So would be a Manhunter co-feature at the end of Detective or Wonder Woman. Or a Shadowpact co-feature. Or Checkmate. Or Chase. Or Damage. Or Aztek. Or H-E-R-O. (I could do this all day.)

There's so many beloved characters out there that can't support a regular title; this is a perfect solution that doesn't clutter up the Diamond list with more mini-series. As creators get wind of this, I hope this draws significant talent to characters they've always wanted to work with; the risk here is minimal, because if a co-feature doesn't work, DC can simply drop it from the book or replace it with a different feature.

Some of the commenters over at Newsarama have expressed dismay that DC will raise the prices accordingly of the comics with co-features; not to be flip, but as a wait-for-trader, that doesn't necessarily bother me. What I expect instead is that DC is going to collect these co-features into trade paperbacks separate from the main series, and as such there's the potential for new collections of series already cancelled; fantastic news especially if DC keeps the same trade dresses.

In short, there might one day be a sixth Blue Beetle collection to stand next to the existing five. Great, great, great.

I turn the microphone over to you now, dear readers. What other characters would you like to see featured in co-features, and what series would you want that character co-featured with?
Get the Collected Editions scoop before anyone else -- on Facebook!

10 comments:

  1. I'd love to see Detective Comics start to feature a rotating series of back-up, crime type stores. They could use Manhunter, The Question, MCU Detectives and other Bat-Family folks. I know they used to do this in the mid-ninties (the Darwyn Cooke Catwoman strpis, and the Josie Mac back ups) and it would be nice to see it come back.

    ReplyDelete
  2. A Question backup would be great for Detective Comics.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Ah, but which Question?

    Gotham Central backups to Detective would make my year.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Liberty Bell and Hourman back up to JSA. Something about the idea of married superheroes just seems like a fun idea to explore. Plus Liberty Bell has a lot of history to play with.

    Non-Barry speedsters backing Flash. A great way to keep everybody happy. Have Jay, Wally, and Bart together in the co-feature. No need to riot in the street.

    Alan Scott backing GL. Maybe a little too obvious or unnecessary, even, since we see a lot of him in JSA.

    Steel with Superman. It seems as if there's a chance this won't be necessary if Steel plays a role in one of the Superman books.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I can't remember his name but in the one year later batman launch they had Batman hire a private eye to be his daytime eyes and ears. This didn't seem to lead anywhere but I would love to see him in his own stories at the back of batman comics, possibly tying into the batman story. Although are they allowed to tie in to the other characters story?

    ReplyDelete
  6. @Anonymous:
    in the past, when they've had a backup feature, it's almost always wound up crossing over with the main feature at the end of a story arc - the Manhunter and Nemesis backups in Detective both did this.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I'd also like to see a Ralph & Sue Dibney: Ghost Detectives! back up. Granted, I'd read a full book about them, but I don't think they would do a whole book about them. Would work as a good back-up in whatever magic based book DC has out there (Spectre, Dr. Fate?).

    ReplyDelete
  8. I'd like to see a Captain Cold or Pied Piper backup fco-feature in The Flash.

    Or... even a Kid Flash co-feature.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Anon, you're thinking of Jason Bard, once engaged to Barbara Gordon.

    Great suggestions all!

    ReplyDelete
  10. I'm a traditionalist: I want to see Firestorm as the back-up in Flash. Just like last time.

    (And even though there's no more DCCP, I want 'Whatever Happened to' back. Maybe in BatB or Superman Batman?)

    ReplyDelete