In 1988, when fans turned against the second character to wear the costume of Batman’s sidekick, Robin, a character named Jason Todd, D.C. Comics set up a telephone poll system to decide whether Todd should live.
Fans voted for that Robin to die, and so the Joker killed him off in Batman #428.
In those halcyon days, there were other analog ways for fans to interact with the comic books they loved, most notably the letter columns printed in the backs of the books. Today, comic publishers have dropped such forums into the oubliette.
Now a new crypto-powered entertainment company aims to bring interactivity back to comics.
Called InterPop, members of its creative team promised there will be similarly crucial decisions for fans to make in its storylines as its lines of comics roll out this year.
InterPop will start off by introducing a bunch of characters in its Emergents universe, starting with a book called The Nine, issue #0 of which will come out July 17.
“Characters are going to die over the course of this run of comics. And it will be fan decisions that will dictate who those characters are and what shoes they will be wearing,” Brian David-Marshall, InterPop’s president, said in an interview.
Rachel Gluckstern, the editor of the comics, is a veteran of the big comics publishing houses. She sees fan voting as a slightly more humane way to get feedback “that doesn’t go by sales information,” she said. It’s an internet-era approach that evokes those old days of comic book letter columns. “This is a way for us to really understand what fans are thinking,” she said.
The characters arose from a digital trading card game (TCG) that’s been in the works to run on the Tezos blockchain for some time. Emergents, once housed in Coase, a company founded by Tezos co-founder Kathleen Breitman, transferred the Emergents game’s intellectual property assets to InterPop, a subsidiary of Tezos TQ.<...