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!



Doomed

Final Solicit:

DOOMED #6
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:


Eric's Take

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.


Jim's Take

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



Final Solicit:

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



Final Solicit:

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)


Lobo



FInal Solicit:

LOBO #13
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



Final Solicit: 

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



Final Solicit:

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

Final Solicit:

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.










Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

14 comments:

  1. Initial thought when first read the post...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. that All-Star Section 8 and Starfire were toast! So pissed about Doomed, especially after seeing the last solicit for the issue.

      Delete
    2. I really like Doomed, though Lobdell didn't do it any favors by taking to long to give us details on Reiser and "Doomed"

      Delete
    3. Hopefully the writers at DC have learned from this. They really do not understand what the readers want, they just keep doing whatever they want.

      Delete
  2. I really think you can place the blame for every one of these books failing at DC's complete lack of marketing. They threw these books out in June yapping about "Are YOU Ready?" but then offered nothing in the way of what we would be getting ready for. A lot more could have been done for Doomed and the digital books' marketing is a complete joke. I won't say that all of these books were destined to be best-sellers--I keep hoping for something from Gotham By Midnight that is never quite there--but I don't think any of them got a proper chance to be seen.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Agreed, They need to fire the lot and get some fresh thinking up there in DC Land. At minimum, people want to know what is coming out and when and DC can't get that right all the time.

      Personally, trying to deal with the DC PR dept is a nightmare and while I know that our stupid site isn't the be-all-end-all of fandom, a little goes a long way. Dan Didio agreed to do an interview with us before Convergence and the PR lady shot it down because we asked him about chicken wings...I love chicken wings!!! Why does DC hate chicken wings?!?!

      I may be one of the biggest supporters of the Digital First line and their release schedule is a freakin' sneak attack! I've said it before...they announce a new book as "coming soon", go dark for 4 months and then release it to nobody. Look at how many reviewers are doing Sensation Comics, Arkham Knight and Wonder Woman '77...let alone Mortal Kombat and Fables Wolf Among Us and even Injustice.

      Delete
  3. sadly, sensation comics is probably the best version of wonder woman out right now. (well, that and wonder woman '77.) how do you have secondary books better than the main title? i had such high hopes for dc comics when they rebooted things, but they really just don't know what they're doing anymore. i liked justice league united, but the stories could have been better. in fact, i didn't even know it was a bunch of heroes fixing anomalies until it was mentioned here. such good, useful heroes with great potential. the biggest tragedies from that book are stargirl and equinox. (shout out tragedy from that book: supergirl. i don't even like her and feel she got bad writing in the book.)

    sadly, i feel my dc days are coming to an end. part of the problem is the reboot maintenance. you can't keep putting the same heroes with the same names out there with radically different histories (wonder woman) or looks (lobo). either find a core to each of them and stick with it, or retire them and create new heroes with new names and new histories. if you are trying to get modern audiences on board, you can still use the common core with slight iterations so that veteran readers still stick with it. (don't even get me started on what they did to starfire.) retell the same histories, modernize them, and modify the timeline/manner in which certain things happened to certain heroes. the stories will be familiar but fresh, and we can see different sides of character personalities come to the fore.

    sorry for the rant. just getting fed up.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree with everything you said...especially about Sensation Comics. I felt the same when Adventures of Superman got canceled-it was my favorite Superman book out at the time. Like you said, that's great, but how can that be?!? I actually think the same way about Batman: Arkham Knight right now.

      JLU has been better with this new story because it at least felt important...but sadly I guess it wasn't. Stargirl and Equinox were totally wasted.

      I feel your pain. Eric and myself came up with our crazy "mission statement" to review every book each week, but with the recent changes and what is on the horizon, it's been getting less and less fun.

      I love the rants...keep them coming!

      Delete
  4. sadly, sensation comics is probably the best version of wonder woman out right now. (well, that and wonder woman '77.) how do you have secondary books better than the main title? i had such high hopes for dc comics when they rebooted things, but they really just don't know what they're doing anymore. i liked justice league united, but the stories could have been better. in fact, i didn't even know it was a bunch of heroes fixing anomalies until it was mentioned here. such good, useful heroes with great potential. the biggest tragedies from that book are stargirl and equinox. (shout out tragedy from that book: supergirl. i don't even like her and feel she got bad writing in the book.)

    sadly, i feel my dc days are coming to an end. part of the problem is the reboot maintenance. you can't keep putting the same heroes with the same names out there with radically different histories (wonder woman) or looks (lobo). either find a core to each of them and stick with it, or retire them and create new heroes with new names and new histories. if you are trying to get modern audiences on board, you can still use the common core with slight iterations so that veteran readers still stick with it. (don't even get me started on what they did to starfire.) retell the same histories, modernize them, and modify the timeline/manner in which certain things happened to certain heroes. the stories will be familiar but fresh, and we can see different sides of character personalities come to the fore.

    sorry for the rant. just getting fed up.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Replies
    1. same...Lobo finally gets really good and then cancelled.

      Delete
    2. Wasn't there something about DC having to change offices and that it resulted in a financial deficit? I thought I heard something about it.

      Delete
  6. I'll miss Batman '66, but not the rest. I dropped many of them a while ago. Sorry for the ones who enjoyed them tho.

    I've been getting less and less DC books this year, as many of my favorites are either terribly written (Teen Titans, Flash, WW and the Superman line) or just have become unrecognizable (Batman, Tim Drake and Superman).

    Too many old comics that I can go back and read or read for the first time to waste money and time on comics that I'm just not enjoying. And with DC TV doing so well, the comics just aren't as important as they used to be


    (Which is how I feel about Marvel these days too. I get that fixed from the movies and ignore the constant barrage or retreads and relaunches.)

    ReplyDelete
  7. DC is reaching a sad state. The quality and talent isn't there to pull in new readers, and they burned their bridges with the old fans.

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...