DC Comics is adding two features that aim to enhance the digital comic book experience. The features fall under the DC² brand and initially come in two varieties. The first feature is similar to what Marvel uses in its “Infinite” line, while the second adds a Choose Your Own Adventure element. TechCrunch has a bunch of details from DC Comics co-publisher Jim Lee. Here’s the skinny on the interactive features:
There’s DC², which adds dynamic layers to a panel. Readers can swipe through multiple elements (like word balloons) and images within a single panel, giving the writer and artist an opportunity to pack more story and content into a given space and, in Lee’s words, “explore and bend the rules of traditional storytelling.”
And here’s the deal on the Choose Your Own Adventure-style elements:
Then there’s DC² Multiverse, which allows readers to shape the story of the comic. It’s more about exploring the characters and subplots that you’re interested in. For example, Lee said that at one point in the Batman: Arkham Origins comic, Batman and Catwoman are standing back-to-back in a fight, and the reader can choose which character that they want to follow for the next section of the story. At another point, you can choose which weapons you want the heroes to equip themselves with.
I’m curious to check out these new features, but I’m not sure how much I’ll enjoy them. What I love most about digital comics is that I can download them straight away instead of going to a store and I can store thousands of books on my tablets. Marvel Infinite comics were amusing to me — more of a cute diversion than something I’d actively seek out. DC² sounds like an enhanced version of Marvel Infinite, but also something that could be entertaining in the hands of creative writers and artists.
DC² Multiverse sounds like it could be fun too, but the first thing that popped into my head was writers thinking, “Man, what a pain in the ass this is.” Comic book writers are used to writing linear stories. While I’m sure some scribes will enjoy the possibilities that interactivity offers, I’m also sure that some of them will struggle to use the gimmick in an entertaining way.
There’s some neat potential with these interactive features and I’m willing to give them a shot. However, I’m guessing that they won’t be for me — at least initially. As writers and artists wrap their heads around the gimmicks and use them in creative ways, perhaps they’ll hook me in the future.
What do you think of DC Comics’ DC² features? Are you interested in checking them out? Or are they too gimmicky for your tastes?