Monday, September 14, 2015
Weird Thoughts: DC Comics Cancels Five Monthly Books and Two Digital Titles in December
Hey guys, Jim here and I really don't want to be. While listeners of our podcast (the latest HERE) probably think that I am a Negative Nelly, I actually hate when I hear bad news...like seven DC books being canceled. I'm sure that most fans already know, but when DC released it's solicits today, Doomed, The Omega Men, Gotham by Midnight, Lobo, Justice League United, Batman '66 and Sensation Comics had the infamous "Final Issue" slapped on them. I figured I'd write this article as a kind of news story, but more a collection of thoughts I have about each title. Here's a spoiler...this news really sucks!
Written by SCOTT LOBDELL
Art and cover by JAVIER FERNANDEZ
On sale NOVEMBER 18 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T
Doomed and Alpha Centurion are locked in mortal combat, and this most dangerous game just might end in a fatality as a new combatant enters the fray! Plus, the moment you’ve been waiting for as Superman turns his attention to Doomed!
August Sales: 12,387
If you are paying attention here, you'll notice that this is indeed the solicit for November. Poor Doomed didn't even make it to December and it's a real shame. Granted, I thought this book was in trouble (no, I'm not going to say "doomed") from the minute it was announced back in February. It's a pseudo spin off of a so-so Superman Event featuring a brand new character. That is not a recipe for success by any stretch. However, when Eric and myself did write ups for all the eight page June sneak peeks, we said this:
This is probably the book that I knew the least about and had the least amount of conclusions about what it could be, but after reading this sneak peek, I'm sold on the fact that this has the potential to be a lot of fun and really reminds me of the 90's Green Goblin comic, where our usual bad guy was turned hero when a teenager took up the mantle of the Goblin........ Man, that's a lot of Marvel talk for this site.......... and even though that series only lasted thirteen issues, I loved the hell out of it and have high hopes for this.
I think Eric nailed it by comparing this book to a Marvel book, but to me it's straight-up Spiderman. Aunt Belle and a love interest named Jayne? Really? That being said, I kind of enjoyed this preview. Doomed was the book I thought I'd hate and I didn't...though I'm still not totally sold on it yet. I'll remain cautiously optimistic on this one. Just asking...does everyone get the idea that Roman is the Alpha Centurion?
So, we were pretty positive (and I nailed it with Roman...World's Greatest Detective here) and since then, I have become a fan of this book. Unfortunately, that eight page preview probably gave us the most information about Reiser's condition we will ever get from this book. While I love the side characters that Scott Lobdell introduced, we just didn't get enough about Reiser and Doomed to get people on the trolley. It also bothered me that I never really knew what to call Reiser's Doomed Monster self. I just called it "Doomed", but nobody knew what I was talking about. Looking at the sales numbers, I can see why. (Jim down one review book)
The Omega Men
THE OMEGA MEN #7
Written by TOM KING
Art by BARNABY BAGENDA
Cover by TREVOR HUTCHISON
On sale DECEMBER 2 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T+ • FINAL ISSUE
The Omega Men’s mysterious plan for Kyle Rayner comes to fruition as the former Green Lantern is forced to make the biggest decision of his life—one that could cost millions of lives. Secrets are finally revealed in an epic climax that will change the balance of power in the DC Universe.
August Sales: 13,246
This one hits the hardest of all of these. I am a huge fan of this book and while I saw the writing on the wall months ago, I was holding out hope that DC would keep this one going because the fate of Kyle Rayner was important to the DC Universe as a whole. I guess I was wrong. Maybe I'll still win my bet with Eric and Kyle will reveal he's still the White Lantern and save the day (or at least himself), but it just won't be the same in a rushed or forced final issue. I know it won't mean much to him, but I hope Tom King knows that for a few months, he was writing one of my favorite books on the comic book shelf. (Jim down two review books)
Gotham by Midnight
GOTHAM BY MIDNIGHT #12
Written by RAY FAWKES
Art by JULIO FERREIRA
Cover by BILL SIENKIEWICZ
On sale DECEMBER 23 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T+ • FINAL ISSUE
The final battle for the soul of Gotham City begins, and The Spectre might be facing more than just the ancient spirit called Ikkondrid. What will Corrigan and the Midnight Shift do if they discover that The Spectre is on the wrong side of this fight after all?
August Sales: 14,747
This is probably the book I have the least to say about except that it was one of two that I knew was going to get canceled. The dark side of DC has it's fans, but they just didn't buy this book. I can't blame them too much, the story just never got going and while the art was great (especially since Juan Ferreyra took over), it obviously wasn't enough. What could have saved it? Who knows...maybe some guest star, each more surprising than the last or maybe if Ray Fawkes fully cut loose with the Spectre. I really don't know. (Eric down one review book)
Written by CULLEN BUNN and FRANK BARBIERI
Art by ROBSON ROCHA
Cover by LEONARDO MANCO
On sale DECEMBER 2 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T+ • FINAL ISSUE
Exposed to a new, toxic alien drug, Lobo deals with its effects on his mind—while facing renegade Green Lantern Hal Jordan at the same time!
August Sales: 11,568
This is the other book I knew was going to be canceled and it's a shame, if you ask me. I know that fans never warmed up to the new Lobo (or fauxbo), but after a rough start, Cullen Bunn has really turned this book around. In fact, I just know that some of those old Lobo fans (I've been told they exist somewhere out in the wild) would read the last couple of issues, they just might change their tune. Actually, they wouldn't. That's the problem in a nutshell...when people got a look at the new Lobo, their minds were made up one way or another and in the end, more people stayed away than came to the party. (Jim down three review books)
Justice League United
JUSTICE LEAGUE UNITED #16
Written by JEFF PARKER
Art and cover by TRAVEL FOREMAN
On sale DECEMBER 9 • 32 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T • FINAL ISSUE
Artist Travel Foreman returns for this “trippy” trip to the House of Secrets to reveal at last how Adam Strange came to be trapped in the Zeta Beam! And just what will that mean for the mysterious, reality-warping Breakers that have brought so many disparate heroes and villains to the team?
August Sales: 24,360
Okay, I don't get this one at all. The book is selling better than a bunch of titles that survived the chopping block and I thought it meant more to the DC Universe. While I really think that this book should have been renumbered starting in June (get those #1 issue sales to kickstart things), the idea of a crazy bunch of heroes and villains joining together to fix anomalies that happened post Convergence had me sold. Also, I really thought this was the book that was the key to a DC Meat and Potatoes soft reboot. You know, a "Fix the anomalies, save the Universe" kind of thing. Maybe that's still the plan, but in some other sort of way. At least we get a pretty cool team as the last bit before this "trippy" finale. (Jim down four review books)
BATMAN ‘66 #30
Written by LEE ALLRED
Art and cover by MICHAEL ALLRED
On sale DECEMBER 16 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED E • DIGITAL FIRST • FINAL ISSUE
BATMAN ‘66 comes to a close as we unleash cover artist Michael Allred on the entire issue! Mobs of villains arrive in Gotham City for what appears to be a full-blown Criminal Convention. But one bad guy is not happy with how he’s being treated, and decides to tip off Batman and Robin. Will even this valuable bit of information be enough to help the Dynamic Duo overcome the overwhelming odds?
August Sales: 14,562
This is one that makes me sad, but isn't really a shock. While it's still selling well, there is just so many stories you can tell in the '66 Universe without it getting a little stale. The real shame to me is that Jeff Parker isn't finishing the regular series up. He is doing the Man from U.N.C.L.E. crossover that starts is December, but it feels wrong that the main writer isn't finishing the regular series. I wonder what will eventually replace it in the Digital First roster...maybe Batman '89? (Eric down two review books)
Sensation Comics Featuring Wonder Woman
SENSATION COMICS FEATURING WONDER WOMAN #17
Written by TRINA ROBBINS
Art by CHRIS GUGLIOTTI
Cover by ANNA DITTMAN
On sale DECEMBER 2 • 40 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T • DIGITAL FIRST • FINAL ISSUE
Diana’s compassion is tested when Dr. Barbara Minerva appears, begging for assistance as she seeks out the last remaining source of urzkatarga, the plant that supplies the serum that transforms her into the Cheetah. And if she can’t use it to replenish her supply, she’ll die. But when the Amazon princess/super-hero and the scientist/super-villain make their way to the “Island of Lost Souls,” they find more is at stake than expected!
August Sales: 10,175
I had such high hopes for this book and while I reviewed twenty four digital chapters, I fell off it a bit lately. There are a bunch of reasons (including the usual laziness), but the main one was the lack of a consistent release schedule. It's a problem I have with the Digital First books in general, but was really bad with this one. It just disappeared off the lineup at times only to reappear out of nowhere later. After a bit, I just gave up. I also wish that DC got Gail Simone back to finish up the series that she kicked off way back in August, 2014. (Jim down 5 review books...well, maybe 4.5)
Well, that's it. We are down seven books and while I am looking forward to having a tiny bit of free time because of it, it still makes me sad. I wish that every book could last forever, but we all know that's not happening. So, take your drink and as 2Pac said, Pour out a little liquor for your homies.