Mighty Mouse Return Signifies A Possible Problem For Dynamite

Dynamite has certainly made the effort lately in new projects, endeavoring to breathe new life into established characters.Their recent press release announcing a new Mighty Mouse series shows something that could be a problem for this company fighting valiantly for a larger share of the comics market left by Marvel and DC.

They came in fifth in February and seventh in January, but that difference is about half of a percent of the share of the market. They are in the position where a small change can make a world of difference. Therefore, every month sees a battle to sell a few more copies. Indeed, the walk of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

Before I go any further, here is the full press release from Dynamite.


Creative Team Welcomes Legendary Cover Artists Alex Ross and Neal Adams

Terrytoons’ animated superhero Mighty Mouse has delighted fans the world over since his first appearance in 1942. Now, Dynamite Entertainment announces his triumphant return to comic books for the first time in nearly 30 years, with a series written by Sholly Fisch, illustrated by Igor Lima, and featuring variant cover artwork for the first issue by industry legends Alex Ross and Neal Adams.

Imagine that the world’s greatest hero has been exiled to another dimension — an alien world, where not even the laws of physics work the way they should. The only person who even believes the hero exists is a young kid whom no one will listen to. And yet, the hero — who just happens to be a cartoon mouse — remains the shining light that this drab, cynical world needs to restore its color and life. Here comes Mighty Mouse to save the day in his most unexpected adventure yet… right here, in the real world!

This summer, Dynamite will celebrate the character’s 75th anniversary with a brand new comic book series for a whole new generation of fans. Mighty Mouse was first conceived in 1942 as a parody of another cape and cowl hero introduced a few years earlier, and went on to star in countless animated films for the better part of the next 20 years, finding a new life on Saturday mornings in the 1960’s.

“One of my favorite things about writing comics is getting the chance to play with characters I’ve loved all my life,” says writer Solly Fisch. “And what’s not to love about Mighty Mouse? Not only is he funny, but of all the super heroes you can name, there aren’t many who dedicate themselves quite so literally to fighting for the (ahem) little guy. When I was a kid, my sister and I used to get up early to watch Mighty Mouse cartoons on TV and, in those prehistoric pre-DVR, pre-streaming days, we’d tide ourselves over between shows by listening to our Mighty Mouse record (yes, on vinyl. I said it was prehistoric.) Decades later, I fell in love with the character all over again, thanks to Ralph Bakshi’s brilliantly insane Mighty Mouse TV series. Now, I get to contribute yet another unique spin on Mighty Mouse, as we bring him rocketing out of Mouseville and into the real world… and couldn’t we all really use someone to come save the day? It’s all pretty cool, and I’m having enormous fun with the series. Hopefully, everyone else will, too! Oh, and did I mention that I can still sing the entire Mighty Mouse theme song by heart? Don’t get me started!”

“Mighty Mouse is one of the greatest standout creations in the history of animation,” says Dynamite CEO and Publisher, Nick Barrucci. “Mighty Mouse was a huge part of my childhood, and has been an influence for many characters since, most famously Osamu Tezuka’ Astro Boy. It’s hard to believe a character so ready-made for comics has been gone from the medium for almost 30 years. I’m thrilled that Dynamite will introduce this American icon to a whole new generation of fans!”

Under license by CBS Consumer Products, Mighty Mouse #1 will be solicited in Diamond Comic Distributors’ April 2017 Previews catalog, the premier source of merchandise for the comic book specialty market, and slated for release in June. Comic book fans are encouraged to reserve copies with their local comic book retailers. Mighty Mouse will also be available for individual customer purchase through digital platforms courtesy of Comixology, Dynamite Digital, iVerse, and Dark Horse Digital.

Like many publishers, Dynamite produces a lot of variant covers, especially for first issues. I’ve not been reticent about my displeasure with these as gimmicks to sell more books. I’ve also been very open with my displeasure with variants that are simply “virgin” or “black and white” covers that are simply redesigns that offer little in new content aside from something else to buy, usually at an inflated price to account for scarcity.

Dynamite seems to be pursuing variant covers as a matter of policy. Whether or not it’s being done to artificially inflate sales numbers is unclear. They are attempting to simultaneously make their books as readable as possible. I’m concerned if the former part of this strategy proves to take focus away from the latter. I’m also concerned about the fate of shops that over order in order to get particular variant covers. Only time will tell if variant covers will cause another crisis moment for the comics industry and/or Dynamite Entertainment.