From the moment the DC relaunch was announced a question loomed: “How long until the first cancelations?” Especially since the branding on the relaunch is “The New 52”.
We now have our answer and it shows how DC plans to move forward.
April will see the last issue of six of the relaunch titles: Blackhawks, Hawk and Dove, O.M.A.C, Mr. Terrific, Static Shock, and Men of War.
In May DC will launch 6 new titles: Batman Incorporated, Dial H, Earth 2, World’s Finest, The Ravagers, and G.I Combat.
So it is clear that with the “New 52” branding DC intends to keep the main universe titles at that number, only introducing new books as replacements for canceled books. Much like a TV network schedule really.
So how do I feel about it?
Honestly I like this strategy.
Aside from maintaining the branding, I like that they are keeping their product line lean. Not glutting the market keeps costs under control and makes choices easier for the consumer.
Just looking at sales figures can tell the story. Last month’s estimated sales showed Marvel just beating DC in overall sales, but DC had seven of the Top ten titles. While that looks good for marvel at first, keep in mind that they are publishing more than twice the number titles DC is, so they have a higher overhead. DC’s more targeted approach means a better net gain.
But what about the specific books involved?
Of the six titles going away, I read exactly zero. Of the six titles coming in May, I intend to add two to my pull list and give two others a try out.
Blackhawks, O.M.A.C., and Men of War were so low on my radar I actually forgot they were being published until this announcement. Mr. Terrific and Static Shock I was aware of, I just wasn’t into either character so I gave them a pass. I was an old fan of Hawk and Dove, but Rob Leifeld’s involvement in the book kept me away. So basically none of these really surprise me.
Of the new books Batman Incorporated is the big one for me. I was enjoying this title prior to its cancelation to make room for the relaunch. My hope is that they pick up the story were they left off or at least bridge to what went before.
Earth 2 is the other sure thing. I love the JSA and if you will forgive me, I think going back to the Earth 2 concept is the best of both worlds.
World’s Finest will get a shot as it ties into Earth 2. I’m happy to see Power Girl back as well as the Huntress. My hope for this title is that it will feature the original Huntress (the alternate earth daughter of Batman and Catwoman). If this is the case we will have a third keeper.
Dial H is an update of an old series about a mysterious dial that can temporarily turn normal people into superheroes. It is a concept that can work if the right writer is on it. I will give it a look at least to see what they do with it.
The Ravagers is a spinoff from Teen Titians and Superboy, two books I am not collecting so pass.
G.I. Combat is attempting to keep a military book on the schedule. This one is at least revisiting the weird war stories: Haunted Tank, the War time forgot, and the Unknown Soldier. I really have no more interested in the than I was for Men of War. Pass
What I am really interested in seeing is what else DC has up its sleeve. Are we going to get a new title every time there is a cancelation? If so what does DC have lined up?
When the first anniversary of the New 52 comes in September what will the DCU look like?