DC fights back with…more rings!


People have been wondering when DC would make some kind of move aimed at Marvel’s assault on their Lantern Ring promotion…and now they have. But instead of lashing out, they’ve done it in a, dare we say, grown up way — offering two new rings for an even LOWER order threshold on books that are already going to sell: they’re offering retailers Flash Rings with 10 copies of THE FLASH #1 and Green Lantern rings with 10 copies of GREEN LANTERN #53. Read between the lines of the following:

We swung by our very own Dan DiDio’s office to get his thoughts on the incentive, and he was happy to share.

“These rings are not only very cool, but they’re a big thank-you to our fans, who’ve helped make BLACKEST NIGHT a huge success. We’re hoping we can all keep the momentum going once the BLACKEST NIGHT ends and the BRIGHTEST DAY begins.”

Thanks, Dan! But there’s more. We gave Geoff Johns a quick call to get his thoughts. Geoff?

“One of the many great Flash Facts about DC Comics is that they actually do support the retailers with promotions like this that not only make our whole business a bit more fun, but also bring the promotion to every single reader. Of course, the proof is in the content and I couldn’t be prouder of the work Francis Manapul and I are doing on THE FLASH and Doug Mahnke and I are creating on GREEN LANTERN. Thanks to everyone, retailers and readers, for an amazing 2009 and here’s to an even better 2010!”

Comments

  1. Shaun M. says:

    Rings are nice, but I’d like to see some other accessories as well. How about an Amazon tiara with every X copies of Wonder Woman? Or a jaunty Robin Hood cap with every Y copies of Green Arrow?

  2. The Freaky Tiki says:

    DC = Distinguished & Classy

    the Tiki

  3. Really? says:

    Uh, yeah, timing aside, I seriously doubt that DC’s extension of its ring incentive program was in response to Marvel’s anything. Seems more like the next phase of a carefully crafted retailer and consumer loyalty program.

  4. How soon before we see little plastic action figures, like the stuff you find in gumball machines? Or maybe do like the Europeans do with their magazines… each issue comes with a part of a larger model. (Oh, to see the American version of Mickey Maus Magazine!) Buy all the issues and build an action figure! Or lenticular trading cards. Or vinyl stickers. Or…

  5. Ray Benton says:

    So they fight fire with…jewelry.

  6. Jim Caldwell says:

    If they’re wise, they’ll extend the ring line when the new Paul Levitz-penned Legion of Super-Heroes book launches. It would certainly goose the numbers for the premier issue.

  7. Ken B. says:

    They did have this planned, and will probably do the same when they relaunch the Legion book, but the actual wording in those statements could have been a lot more snarkier to poke at Marvel, but they chose not to. So that’s pretty good of DC.

  8. Army of Dorkness says:

    Someone should try a promotion that neither company has thought of yet: For every $3.99 comic purchased, the customer gets 3 dollars and 99 cents worth of quality comic book-y entertainment. Now that’s a promotion I could support.

    If I were a marketing person at Image Comics, that’s exactly the type of press release I’d put out.

  9. Surprise says:

    Ken B. you give DC way too much credit. They are not that clever and for once being s-l- o- w to respond or think on their feet paid off.

  10. Brett says:

    I have been one of the most critical of DC during Didio’s tenure but you have to give props where props are due and I take my hat off to DC on this one.

    At least DC is doing a promotion that benefits retailers AND readers with a cool, collectible premium to accompany their comic purchase experience.

    All Marvel gives to readers is a Cup of Joe’s ‘Up Yours, True Believers!’, that and new meaning for ‘The House of Ideas’.

    Sadly, they’re all bad.

  11. “Someone should try a promotion that neither company has thought of yet: For every $3.99 comic purchased, the customer gets 3 dollars and 99 cents worth of quality comic book-y entertainment. Now that’s a promotion I could support.”

    Same here. Instead of cheap toys without Cracker Jack and yet more variant covers, it would be far better for BOTH these companies to invest in some QUALITY writing and artwork, for a change.

    Aww, who am I kidding? That’ll NEVER HAPPEN in my lifetime, at the rate they’re falling down the rabbit hole.

  12. “Instead of cheap toys without Cracker Jack and yet more variant covers, it would be far better for BOTH these companies to invest in some QUALITY writing and artwork, for a change.”

    I agree wholeheartedly.

    Thing is, that probably won’t happen while Didio and Quesada are leading the pack. My point is, if you’re not going to get a good comic for your money, at least with DC, you’re getting SOMETHING for your $3.99.

    Marvel gives readers nothing but the comic and Joe Quesada’s middle finger for $3.99.

    Do you see the irony?

    Joe Quesada gives readers the middle finger but DC gave the readers a Green Lantern ring to put on it.

    For no matter how many stripped DC covers Marvel collects, it won’t change the fact that Green Lantern — the HAL JORDAN GREEN LANTERN that everyone whined was old, stale and outdated — beat the shit out of both X-Men and Spider-Man on the charts.

    Yes True Believers, you can thank Joe Quesada for turning Marvel into the House of Bad Ideas, because making Marvel look terrible only makes everyone else look good by comparison.

  13. PS. Seriously, who would have ever thought that the boring, stale and outdated Green Lantern would top Spider-Man?

    The devil may not given Peter Parker a good deal but the cards have been great for Hal Jordan.

  14. Between Vertigo titles like Fables and Scalped and mainstream superhero fare like All Star Superman and Blackest Night, I’d say DC is producing quality comic books.

  15. Faust says:

    Great to see. Hopefully this time, with having to get less comics to get the rings, my store will actually participate!!

    Don’t care about the rainbow or Flash ring, but I want me a Green Lantern ring! haha…. And a Legion ring too!! :)

  16. Faust says:

    “Someone should try a promotion that neither company has thought of yet: For every $3.99 comic purchased, the customer gets 3 dollars and 99 cents worth of quality comic book-y entertainment. Now that’s a promotion I could support.”

    I’m sorry, but this comment is ridiculous. I love all the series I get (otherwise I wouldn’t get them), and you should too. Not every comic is for everyone. So if you don’t like a certain title, stop reading it.

    DC have included extra ‘co-features’ which I am loving (it will be sad to see BB leave Booster Gold! :( And the Vertigo trade program is real value for money.

  17. Idris says:

    At the present time, and as most writers & artisits commented, as a reader I must add DC is the place to be right now. Opposite to tearing covers of new comics, more rings are coming your way. Also, the quality of DC titles improved alot in 2009, and the projects announced for 2010 are just amazing. I dont know how can Marvel tops the projects of Morisson, Johns, Azzarillo, Levitz, Robinson…etc???

  18. Army of Dorkness says:

    “I’m sorry, but this comment is ridiculous. ”

    Not as ridiculous as that stupid ring promotion or ripping the covers off of comics to get a pointless variant cover.

    All this bullshit screams “we want more sales but we’ll be damned if we’re gonna let the contents of our comics do that for us!”

    “DC gave the readers a Green Lantern ring to put on [their middle finger (or Joe Quesada's?)].”

    DC didn’t give anyone anything. Retailers paid $8 per bag for those things. I have a middle finger for each company, and I don’t need a ring or variant cover for either of them…I give them freely.

  19. Din DaDio says:

    I, too, would be satisfied with quality writing. Reigning in that $3.99 price tag would also be nice.

  20. Torsten Adair says:

    If there were an Eisner for marketing…
    1) DC’s Free Comic Book Day offering is issue #0 of Blackest Night, allowing new readers to jump on board an ongoing storyline. Part of the golden sponsor titles, this issue is shipped to all participating FCBD stores. Later, it becomes a hot back-issue item, almost unheard of among promotional comics.
    2) DC expands the concept among other non-Green Lantern titles. Some are stand-alone mini-series, some are within ongoing series. All refer to previous history, involving dead characters and heroes who have been resurrected. (Yes, DC can be faulted for not having the stories occur in all titles (New Krypton has corpses, no?) but some would find fault with that as well.)
    3) DC used the “gimmick” to resurrect eight previously cancelled titles to tell interesting done-in-one stories.
    4) DC shipped BN#6 a week early, trusting retailers to hold the issue so that they would have a hot title to sell during the no-ship week caused by Christmas and New Years.
    5) They offered a voluntary incentive program to retailers which fans seemed to enjoy. Apparently it was successful enough to repeat, as seen above.
    6) DC Direct is offering numerous merchandise at a variety of price points. BN t-shirts debuted at NYCC, and sold out at the Graphitti booth. There is a prop set of all eight rings, as well as a cheaper set of LIGHT-UP rings offered in the month’s Previews.
    —–
    I’m enjoying the story so far (even though there’s a deus ex machina in the last issue with the “deputy rings”… and where’s Aquaman and Martian Manhunter?). The ancillary titles do a decent job of explaining the dead and the backstory (although Superboy is too meta for me… is there a flowchart somewhere?) There have been so “oh day-am” moments (Vril Dox) and DC seems to have covered all the angles. (Unlike Marvel which sidestepped the religious aspects to Secret Invasion, and the diplomatic questions regarding Civil War (Atilan as sanctuary?))

    But we’ll see how the GNs sell… that’s the true test.

  21. There’s something that’s bothering me…

    I think we are being lied to, as misdirection.

    There have already been green rings issued previously; why have another one? With Brightest Day coming, and rumors of a white ring in the storyline, I have a feeling that instead of a green ring being issued, we will instead be treated to a white ring with the GL issue. It will come as a surprise, and help push GL and Brightest Day into the number one spots.

    I’m probably wrong, but if not, I predicted it first!

  22. Lou, I was thinking the exact same thing and you beat me to it. They’ve already got the logo for Brightest Day.

  23. Dorkness…

    “DC didn’t give anyone anything. Retailers paid $8 per bag for those things. I have a middle finger for each company, and I don’t need a ring or variant cover for either of them…I give them freely.”

    It’s a METAPHOR.

    X-Men and Spider-Man were the 2 hottest comic titles for over two decades before Joe Q got his grubby hands on them. Doing what he did to Marvel’s once greatest titles was essentially giving people the middle finger because Joe Q does what Joe Q wants no matter how silly, stupid or ridiculous the story is.

    On the other hand, DC took its once most controversial character and elevated it to the level of popularity previously held by X-Men and Spider-Man so essentially Joe Q gave readers the middle finger with those books and DC gave readers a good Green Lantern book — kind of like a ring to put on the middle finger Joe Q displays to readers.

  24. Having grown up on the old Filmation Flash cartoons, that Flash ring just gives me da goosebumps. Way more than the GL ring for some reason.

  25. Touch of Grey says:

    Heh, this is how I know I’m a hopeless geek: I already own two Flash rings (one that was a SDCC promo item, and one that came with a Flash figure set, both courtesy of eBay) and two Green Lantern rings (Sinestro Corps War promo and Blackest Night promo respectively), and yet I’m still dying to get these rings. I mean, I was going to be picking up the issues anyway, so it’s not really that big a deal to me.

    And to touch on something that’s been circulating around this page, I really do hope they make a flight ring for when Legion relaunches. When I was a kid (keep in mind, I was a kid during the era of the Reboot), my comic store had this display case with the standard statues and busts, and one Legion flight ring for almost $50. I’d always wanted to buy it, but I never had the money just lying around. One Wednesday, I went in to pick up my comics, and it wasn’t there. I’ve never been able to find another one, not even on the internet or eBay, and I still really want one.

    So let’s let this ring promotion continue. I’ll support it so long as I’ve got the money to do so.

  26. Bigfriendlymike says:

    @Touch of Grey :
    There was a series of DC Direct Legion action figures that had a plastic Legion flight ring in the package. Not every series had rings, the ony one I remember was Lightning Lad. You might find one cheap on Ebay.

    I love little promos like this that don’t cost me anything, or free with some type of purchase. I remember back when the ‘Lobo Paramilitary Christmas Special’ came out and my comic shop gave me Lobo (punch out ) Christmas ornaments.

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