Amidst all the creator walkoffs, hiring of bigotry icons to write Superman comics, banning of beloved characters, blacklisting of parody sites that will obviously only make fun of them even more in response, and all the other general tomfoolery that has comprised the DC Comics regime of Dan Didio, one thing has always remained a steadfast constant: the company's bizarre arithromaniac obsession with the number 52. Ever since DC first published the weekly comic, 52, the number has found its way into every aspect of the company's publishing and promotional strategy. Super-mega-crossover events were created in order to condense the DC Multiverse into 52 alternate realities. The line-wide reboot created 52 new ongoing series, and is called the New 52. The company has insisted on continuing to publish 52 books for two years now, regardless of how many they need to cancel and relaunch due to poor sales and unsustainability. They recently released a comic with 52 variant covers. They even publish a regular column on their website called 5.2 Reasons which features "top 5.2" lists that are clearly lists of seven items with the last two numbered 5.1 and 5.2, just to indulge the weird fascination with the number (we swear we're not making this up).
All of this came to a shocking and mindblowing halt yesterday when DC Comics broke with both traditions as well as the terrible symptoms of obsessive compulsive disorder when they published a list of the top six must-read Superman stories in an attempt to boost sales in anticipation of the upcoming movie, Man of Steel. That's top *six* stores. Not seven disguised as 5.2. Not five with two bonus stories.
"This is wrong! All wrong!" shouted a deranged Dan Didio when we approached him for comment. "No no no no no! Never six! Always fifty-two! Five plus two is fifty-two! Fifty-twoooaahahahahaha!!!"
We tried to calm him down, but he was too far gone.
"Who did this?!" cried the despondent Didio, grabbing us by our collar and spitting while he talked. "Who did this to me?! I'm ruined! Ruined!"
Though Didio may have been overreacting, he did raise a good point. DC's salacious love affair with the number 52 is legendary. Who could have been responsible for such a colossal oversight?
"They told me to pick best Superman stories," said 19 year old intern Vlad Kozinkerov. "So that is what I do."
This was not the first time Kozinkerov has crossed paths with DC's glorious leader. Just weeks ago, Kozinkerov earned Didio's ire when he defeated him in the annual DC Comics March Madness bracket pool. So what would possess Kozinkerov to put himself in Didio's crosshairs again?
"In Mother Russia, the cold embrace of winter leaves little time for the triviality of decimals" Kozinkerov told us. "Five, six, five point two... What does it matter? What concern is it to a man in the face of bleak, snowy oblivion?"
For his six choices, Kozinkerov picked All Star Superman, Superman for Tomorrow, Grant Morrison's Action Comics Vol. 1, Last Son of Krypton, and Earth One Vols. 1 and 2. "Red Son would have been too obvious," he explained.
"Besides," added a wistful Kozinkerov. "All Star Superman was better. Had Krypto, the Superdog. I had a dog once, back in Russia, named Aleksander. Was eaten by a bear."
"I loved that bear," he finished.
As of press time, Kozinkerov was still employed by DC Comics, and Dan Didio had been escorted from the DC offices in a straightjacket and taken to Bellevue Psychiatric Hospital for observation after attempting to convince DC Editor in Chief Bob Harras to fire the entire creative staff and hire new writers and artists for every book in DC's line.
"Scott Lobdell can only write ten or twelve books, at most," confessed a remorseful Harras.
However, we were able to get a comment from Didio's secretary and alleged source of corporate leaks to the comics media, Rich Johnston in a wig and a dress. "Pip pip!" she told us in her signature falsetto. "Oi been tellin'... Oi mean, that nasty bugger Rich Johnston over at Bleeding Cool, who by no means is the same person as me mind you, 'as been tellin' everyone there'd be shake-ups at DC Comics, he has. Been sayin' it for months. He's right clairvoyant, he is!"
"And handsome, he is. Right handsome."
As much as we loathe to admit it, Rich Johnston in a wig and a dress is absolutely right. Not only is Johnston dashingly good-looking, but Bleeding Cool first reported on the DC shakeups when Johnston discovered that DC had changed its voicemail system back in December, and soon after it was discovered that nearby restaurant McGee's changed their lunch menu, sending the publisher spiraling into even greater turmoil. But those shake-ups seem minor when compared to yesterday's events, and if there's one thing we know about DC Comics, things always get worse before they get... well, even more worse.
Stay tuned to the Outhouse as we will provide up to date coverage on what is being widely referred to in the comics media as Numbergate. We'll keep you posted.