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It was announced today over at Buzzfeed that DC Comics April month will now be “WTF Certified.” Besides including a fold-out cover, which will contain a spoiler for the issue on the other side, all of DC’s New 52 will ship with the label on the front cover. The reason for the gimmick is that DC is hoping to “leave readers in a state of shock” and no doubt stir up some controversy. This will be especially interesting as DC is slowly gearing towards its upcoming “Trinity War” event, which will debut this summer.

Along with the statement of “leaving the readers in a state of shock,” DC released seven statements that tease some of the “WTF” worthy things that will happen in April:

  • Booster Gold reappears while an entire team disappears
 One team is trapped in a bottle while another is changed completely
 Some heroes change their colors and other change allegiances
 Pandora battles to the death
 A close encounter of The Dark Knight kind
 There’s a new, old Creeper and some old New Gods.
 One hero quits, and another hero dies

And that’s only seven of the fifty-two titles. It’ll be interesting to see what surprises await the other 45 titles.

DC’s Editor-in-Chief Bob Harras had this to say about “WTF Certified,” as well as the seven bullet points already announced:

“The theme of game-changing, upping the stakes for our heroes. This was a way to accentuate that threat or shocking moments in our heroes’ lives. What we’re doing with the covers is thematically linked to that. They will be page-fold covers; the covers will tell you a story. There will be an image that will crack the page fold, and as you open up the cover, you’ll say, ‘Oh, wow!'”

Also announced today, in accordance with “WTF Certified,” was the reveal of Detective Comics #19, which also happens to be Detective Comics #900 had DC stayed with the old numbering. Because of the momentous occasion, Detective Comics #19 (900) will be an oversized issue and feature an army of Man-Bats and a thing known as “The 900.” What it is and where the army of Man-Bats came from is for the reader to discover this April.

Harras had this to say about it:

“The concept of the number 900 is important to the story. It’s something that I think will take people a little bit by surprise of what it is, but it is the theme of the issue. It’s what Batman has to face. It’s definitely part of the story in a big way.”


What are your thoughts on “WTF Certified?” What about Detective Comics #19 (900)? How about guesses as to what the bullet points mean? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

6 Responses

  1. Bob Reyer

    “Here comes another Cranky Old Uncle Bob Moment”, I can hear you thinking!

    I’m not discussing the story elements here, and not to come off as too much of a prude (and those who know me, know that I’m not!), but is DC serious with this branding of their April books with this juvenile “WTF” inanity! As if from some early-60s Superman “Red Kryptonite” story, did every editor and marketing person at DC just regress to 12 years old, or transmogrify into Beavis and/or Butt-head? (“Heh,heh..they’ll all be saying ‘What the f**k’ when they read the cover…heh,heh”) I’m sure they believed this “WTF” nonsense to be the height of cleverness, but all it does is reveal a contempt for the intelligence of their intended audience.

    I was going through Previews at my LCS when I came upon this, and started a discussion with the owner, and a carpenter doing work on the front window chimed in “Yeah, that sends a great message, doesn’t it?”; not much more to say after that, is there?

    ps) Hey DC, if you want to brand something “WTF”, how about that Catwoman #0 cover…just saying? rrr

    • Travis McCollum

      You’re totally right Bob. I usually don’t have an issue with the term “WTF” (Ask any friend of mine and they’ll tell you I curse like a sailor), but it’s really sending the wrong message to the younger people who read comics. How many parents you think come April will have to deal with their 8-10 year old kid asking what that term means? I realize DC is more of a T-T+ brand nowadays, but there are still a ton of young people who read or are getting into comics nowadays. I could understand “OMG” (still stupid but…) or something to that effect, but what happened to the old days when you had “SHOCKING” or “THE BIGGEST TWIST IN DC HISTORY” written on the front? Even the latest issue of FF utilized that well with the “The FF are Dead!” written on the front.

      I’m all for changing up the status quo and making something that will shock the audience, but do we really need a gimmick like this to sell it? I mean we’re already getting the fold-out covers, why add this?

      And yeah…that cover. We don’t talk about that cover.

  2. Walt

    The “WTF” wording doesn’t bother me (I’ve been listening to a podcast called the same for 3+ years now and it has plenty respect in the comedy world even with that name). The marketing ploys don’t offend me (I started reading comics during “Secret Wars”). As long as the storylines are worth it… I think WTF is part of the general vocabulary now to the point where you may feel that it insults your intelligence, but I’m OK with it. Could there be a more elegant way to go about this promotion? Sure. Does it seem silly that Batman will have ‘WTF’ emblazoned on the cover? Yup. At least we won’t have to deal with 52 alternate covers during the month of April from DC (or will we?)

    • Travis McCollum

      No, those covers are the norm as far as I know. Not really surprised though seeing as how we’ve had two gimmick covers already since the New 52 started(the #0 covers, Joker masks). I’m not too keen on them personally, although that’s just from a storage stand-point, but the idea is sound. Folding out the cover to see a spoiler for what’s inside is interesting at the very least.

  3. thisjohnd

    First and foremost, it’s been already said but it’s worth repeating: “WTF certified” is a juvenile title for this new marketing ploy. What’s worse is that ugly logo that’s going to be on every book in the month of April.

    But to keep this on the positive, I think the idea is solid. There are a lot of DC books that could use a swift kick in the pants and while implementing a “shocking moment” might not be the savior some books desperately need, it’s a good way to get people talking about books they might normally pass over.

    My biggest concern with this WTF ploy is that it won’t be organic, much like how the 0 issues halted the momentum of several titles during that month. Hopefully DC gave its writers the heads-up on this campaign with enough time to write their upcoming story arcs incorporating whatever will happen during the month of April.

    • Travis McCollum

      Like I said before, I’m all for shaking up the status quo and doing something different. I agree, the idea is solid. My issue lies with the aforementioned WTF logo.

      I didn’t think about it from a writing standpoint though. If you were told suddenly that there needs to be a shocking moment in your April issue and you’d already thought out the plot up to that point, it DOES feel forced and inorganic. We’ll have to wait and see if the writers can pull it off. I have faith in most of them though.

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