DC2 means “choices” for you

Comics Alliance reports that DC Comics is dipping its toes in the digital world with the illusion of choice.

DC Comics announced two brand new digital comics formats Tuesday evening, one that might look somewhat familiar to readers of Marvel’s Infinite Comics, the other which puts a new spin on the classic “choose your own adventure” book.

DC2, which will feature actions such as word balloons and sound effects popping up when readers swipe their screens, will debut in writer Jeff Parker and artist Jonathan Case’s Batman ’66 series later this summer. DC2 Multiverse, which enables readers to choose different paths through a comic story, will first appear in a Batman: Arkham Origins video game tie-in comic.

DC Co-Publisher Jim Lee told Variety that the DC2 Multiverse format is meant to mirror what video gaming is about: choices.

The pop-up word balloon and sound effect format has been tried in webcomics before, though I’m hard-pressed to remember exactly who did it. (My personal opinion: it’s way too gimmicky and distracting to be any sort of legitimate artistic choice. Sure, you can make an argument that the entire piece of art is worth enjoying … but that’s what blog posts are for.)

As for the “Choose Your Own Adventure” thing… I’m pretty sure a webcomic creator has tried that before. Andrew Hussie tried to put an early MS Paint Adventures called Bard Quest… probably because all the work in doing a branching narrative doesn’t beat a solidly told story.

Besides, choice in this thing is always meaningless. I know that Comics Alliance brought up video games, but how many endings do you get in those things, anyway? And there’s always one “true” ending, which gets followed through when the sequel comes out.

Even so, “Choose Your Own Adventure” books were still kinda fun, even if they were disposable and a little unmemorable. (The only one I remember was the one where I was on trial in England. Lying meant you get get to stay. Telling the truth meant getting deported to Australia. Oh, “Choose Your Own Adventures” and your cynical view of the justice system!)


About El Santo

Somehow ended up reading and reviewing almost 300 different webcomics. Life is funny, huh? Despite owning two masks, is not actually a luchador.

Posted on June 5, 2013, in comics, digital comics, The Webcomic Overlook. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. webcomicsunited

    Regarding the dynamic balloons and sounds, I believe I’ve seen it before in Power Play(which, unlike most other comics in Comixology, offers only the “panel-by-panel” view) and, from a McCloudian approach to comics, it’s an obvious step for the medium. One could argue it takes away the control of the time flux by the reader, but it has its use.

    CYOAs… I think it’d work as one-note comics. If you need a real true ending, it misses the point. Me, I think it’s a gimmick that doesn’t do anything for me. =/

  2. Reepicheep-chan

    I find it interesting how focused people get on the number of different ‘endings’ when it comes to player choice in video games. If they way you get to the ending is completely different it is a different story, yeah? Even if the ending is the same (or similar)?

  3. Two words: Visual novels. The Japanese have been selling them by the bucketload for years. Clannad, Cross Game, etc.
    You can even get a free one here –
    Fred Gallagher is well on his way making one for Megatokyo. I’m starting on one for Love is in the Blood.
    It’s absolutely nothing new but they are very hard to get right.

    • A well-made visual novel is a joy to read. Katawa Shoujo was a lot of fun, but my favorite VN will probably always be the mystery series Higurashi: When They Cry (despite the amusing amateur art).

      The combination of grim plot and endearing characters in Higurashi was a major inspiration for my own comic. Higurashi doesn’t have choices, though… The best VN I’ve read with multiple choices/paths was Ever 17, which really takes advantage of the Choose-Your-Own-Adventure format to do some crazy stuff.

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