Last summer, DC Comics announced two new digital lines, DC2 and DC2 Multiverse. They launched the DC2 line of digital-first comics almost immediately with the first issue of Batman ’66, but we haven’t heard much about the DC2 Multiverse comics until now.
This week, DC announced they are teaming up with the motion-comics platform Madefire to create new digital-first comics and remaster their top-selling Injustice comic as a motion comic. And it turns out that Madefire will be behind the DC2 Multiverse comics, which will allow readers to make choices that affect the course of the story. It’s like a really dark choose-your-own-adventure comic.
The first of these comics is Batman: Arkham Origins, which ties into the game of the same name. Interestingly, it’s available both on the Madefire platform and as a stand-alone app, but it does not appear to be available on comiXology or in the DC digital storefront (which is powered by comiXology).
Like all Madefire comics, Batman: Arkham Origins uses very limited animation, such as flat figures sliding across the panel, speech balloons that pop up, or slight rotation of the scene to give a 3D effect, along with sound effects (mostly doomy music and gunfire). The story is a dark Batman tale, and partway through, the reader is given the opportunity to choose which of three men the villain Sionis will use to carry out his dastardly plan. Each choice leads to a different storyline. It feels very natural, unlike some multiple-choice stories, which can seem forced. The story will consist of eight episodes, which can be purchased separately or as a bundle.
Annoyingly, neither the app nor the press release tells you how much the comic is going to cost up front; the only place I could find a price was at the end of the free preview. The first chapter is 99 cents and a “series pass” for all eight chapters is $14.99. It would be really helpful to know what the other chapters will cost, so the user could know whether that series pass is a good deal or not—presumably they are more than 99 cents, or the pass would be a terrible deal. But that information is nowhere to be found—not in the app, not in the press releases, which does the reader a serious disservice.
Hopefully this will be straightened out, because the multiple paths do make for some interesting storytelling.
A former book editor and newspaper reporter, Brigid Alverson started MangaBlog to keep track of her daughters¹ reading habits and now covers comics and graphic novels for Comic Book Resources , School Library Journal, Publishers Weekly Comics World, Robot 6, and MTV Geek. She also edits the Good Comics for Kids blog at School Library Journal. Brigid was a judge for the 2012 Eisner Awards. Send her an email to firstname.lastname@example.org