As retailers keep slashing their orders on Before Watchmen and the replacement “New 52” titles, DC’s overall figures decline again in July. That, in itself, is not surprising, however, and the company is still doing quite well. I see no reason to disagree with anything prominent retailer Brian Hibbs said in his recent look at “New 52” numbers. With regard to DC’s overall performance, Hibbs makes some of the same points that I’ve been making here in the months since the relaunch, and as far as his own store is concerned, his observations seem to match the market climate. “The reboot was a remarkable success,” Hibbs says, and: “There hardly could have been a better result.” I agree, all things (such as the stifled potential of the comic-book format and the stifling way the major publishers are set up now, structurally) considered.
But it’s also worth remembering that what we talk about now when we talk about comic-book sales that are “doing quite well” and a relaunch that’s “a remarkable success,” and note that “there hardly could have been a better result,” are the kinds of sales figures we used to see more regularly five years ago, when the DC Universe imprint was publishing fewer comic books than it is now. (From 2007 through 2009, the average number of published DC Universe titles was 52. From 2010 through August 2011, it went up to 57. Since the relaunch in September 2011, it’s been an average 63 DC Universe titles per month. “Keeping it at 52“? Not very much, Dan DiDio.)