DC Comics made a rather big announcement in the world of digital comics yesterday afternoon – DC2 and DC2 Multiverse. While the names may be somewhat confusing, for fans of comics, it means more than one way to read your favorite titles.
DC2 titles are designed to “a new level of dimension to digital storytelling.” While the company press release didn’t go into detail about what that means, images from the upcoming Batman 1966 suggest drop-shadows… or maybe just a more fluid style of viewing the comic panel, not unlike what Mark Waid has been doing with Thrillbent, and Marvel has been doing with their REvolution titles.
The other announcement concerning DC2 Multiverse is a bit more interesting in that readers will get to choose their own timeline and character line for the story, creating what sounds like a Read Your Own Adventure style comic book experience.
DC2 Multiverse technology allows readers to determine a specific story outcome by selecting individual characters, storylines and plot developments while reading the comic, meaning one chapter of a digital comic has dozens of possible story outcomes.
The first digital title getting the DC2 Multiverse treatment will be Batman: Arkham Origins, that not only features “dynamic artwork,” but action sounds, and a music soundtrack.
Here’s a quote!
“Digital comics have proven to be a driving force in attracting new readers, in fact, since the onset of Same-Day-Digital our print and digital sales have both risen by double and triple digits, respectively,” stated Jim Lee. “With Digital-First titles we’ve created a successful formula of pairing comics with other media forms like TV shows and video games. Today’s announcements demonstrate how we can tie innovations that organically fit and enhance comics – for example with BATMAN: ARKHAM ORIGINS you can choose the destiny of your character by playing the game and reading the comic.”
While the prospect of a more involved and rich reading experience has me intrigued, the gimmicky aspect of the direction has me scratching my head to an extent. We’ve already seen well motion comics have done, and if the experience is being “forced” upon readers without them having the ability to turn off certain features, I can see this being a bust in the long run. For example, I listen to a number of other things while reading comics, and having a forced soundtrack playing while I read seems more like noise than pleasure.
Before I condemn or praise this initiative fully, I’m going to at least give it a chance; I’ll weigh the pros and cons, and the decide whether this is the new age of comics, or something created out of the desire to build a strong digital comics library. I’m sure you have a few thoughts on the subject, and I and the rest of the Major Spoilerites will be interested in reading your reaction.