Over the course of decades, the comic book industry has invested countless variant covers, super-mega-crossover events, number one issue relaunches, legacy number returns, shocking character deaths, shocking character resurrections, and appearances on ABC’s The View, all in an attempt to locate that elusive quarry, the new comic book reader. But in a shocking development, DC Comics has apparently stumbled on one of these mythical beings completely by accident. The new comic book reader in question: Warner Bros Pictures president Toby Emmerich.
In an interview with Variety this week, Emmerich revealed that he never read comics before getting a job at the head of one of the world’s biggest superhero movie franchises.
“I don’t speak comic,” Emmerich said of his new job, but according to variety, he’s spent the time since taking over in December to the release of Wonder Woman earlier this month immersing himself in DC Comics in order to arm himself with the knowledge to compete with Marvel.
And according to DC Entertainment President and Chief Creative Office Geoff “Jeff” Johns, it’s working for him.
“He understands that when we’re talking about the characters, we’re not just talking about what their powers are,” Johns said. “We’re talking about who they are as people.”
But the relationship isn’t one-sided. While Emmerich helps guide DC’s shared superhero universe, the DCEU, Johns and other executives at DC can study Emmerich to learn what makes a new comic book reader tick. For more on that, we spoke to world-renowned Comicologist at the prestigious Trump University, Bleeding Cool news analyst, and totally real person, Professor Thaddeus T. Puffinbottoms.
“This is probably the most important discovery in comics since scientists figured out that the testicles of the endangered Sri Lankan elephant could be ground up to produce the raw materials needed to make 3D lenticular variant covers,” Professor Puffinbottoms explained. “A real, live new comic book reader. Can you believe that? Any comic book publisher worth its salt would kill an intern for the chance to study a new comic book reader, but this one walked right into DC’s parent company and became president. It’s absolutely Marvelous… er, I mean… DC-licious.”
According to Puffinbottoms, the discovery of an actual new comic book reader could solve all of the industry’s woes, provided DC can figure out what makes him tick.
“What does he like about the comics he’s been reading?” Puffinbottoms asked. “What doesn’t he like? What about feeding and mating habits? Can we make more of him?”
It’s an interesting problem. Not even Warner Bros has a high enough turnover rate to replenish comics’ dwindling readership solely with high ranking executives. But if DC can apply what it learns to find potential new readers outside of its own corporate structure, it could change the comics industry forever.
Well, until it gets undone in the next reboot.
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