First off, let me begin this article by apologizing, faithful readers, for not having an article for you in some time. Part of it was my personal/school schedule, which included a lot of filming and midterms and life in general. (A weak excuse, I know, since we are all educated fools here.) Another reason was that, frankly, I did not have the drive to mention something. Besides my general cantankerousness and daily qualms pertaining to this four-color medium I love so much, nothing really grinded my gears in particular.
And then the rings began to fall.
Like most comic events, I went into Blackest Night with cautious anticipation, aware of the fact that there will be parts of the story I enjoy, some not so much, and as long as the art was decent I will have had a decent time; I’m not one to rage about who died how and why they did what as long as it’s done well and not an obvious hamfist.
Now, while DC has had its fair share of crises, most people think of Marvel when it comes to be across-the-universe event books, particularly due in part to Civil War and Secret Invasion. That is not to say that the DC events were not as status quo-changing or attention grabbing, but even Final Crisis, while arguably better than Secret Invasion, did not have as much commercial success as Marvel’s big bald bard and his oddly-chinned changelings. Then, a bright light of hope beckoned amongst the doubt and darkness, and lo it was green.
Geoff John’s Green Lantern series, as many of you are well aware by now, has become DC’s blockbuster series, with Peter Tomasi’s Green Lantern Corps only fortifying the emerald dominion over recent commercial and popular consensuses. Now, in the middle of Blackest Night, things are even more explosive for GL and DC.
Somewhere between all this, an impish thought sprung into DC executives: “We have all these different colored/emotive rings, right? Let’s give the people what they want!” And so they did, to a point.
The Black Lantern ring was available with the purchase of Blackest Night #1, and everything seemed fine. Then, DC declared that you can get the other rings sometime during the rest of Blackest Night, as certain rings will be shipped with certain issues of certain titles that tie into Blackest Night. Seems fair, right?
What DC didn’t plan for – or, even worse, did – was that the dealers would have their own regulations and systems on how the rings and issues were distributed. While some stores give away one ring per issue up front, others have made it so you have to wait to see if you get a lantern ring after everyone who has signed up to get all the issues/rings got what they payed for up front – 8 issues/rings that cost about $2.99 or $3.99 each. Even though all this may temporarily boost sales of under-appreciated titles like R.E.B.E.L.S. and Outsiders, that kind of math, my friends, is a deal breaker.
I hate to see comic-book vendors and retailers be some of the greediest hoarders around, but sometimes they deserve it. Although, this wasn’t just their faults: while DC did give a 1:1 ratio of issues and rings, that ratio was actually 50:50. That means, while some stores will be out because they could only push fifty issues/rings, others would be stuck with 45 or so issues/rings because they only needed a few extra to meet demand.
Anyone smell oranges?
While this is a great idea, as you could tell by my own Indigo and Blue rings, I’m still disappointed in how publishers and retailers alike still tease and trick their fans into situations that could’ve otherwise left everyone walking out of their LCS happy. No wonder there’s such a demand for the Red Lantern rings.