Ryan Stearns of the blog League of Melbotis has launched a new blog called Comic Fodder, and he kicks it off with analysis of a topic which seems to be on everyone’s mind right now: DC’s One Year Later: Did it work?:

For followers of DCU’s core and ancillary titles, the initial decision to move a year into the future seemed to make sense. Rather than reboot DC’s admittedly murky continuity, Superboy punches and all, the year long jump left enough of a gap that readers could buy any new ideas that were thrown at them. Even longtime readers, skeptical of events and reboots could see the value in getting the DCU’s ducks in a row and re-establishing greater continuity. After all, the path to any new concepts would be an interesting story in itself, and the narrative trick of the flashback sequence would provide a direct path toward an explanation at some point.

A spike in sales nearly across the board indicated that DC had done something right. Add in first-issues of new limited and ongoing series, and DC was making 2006 a banner year. It’s worth checking out sales figures and commentary over at The Beat. The spike appeared to be exactly that, and many of DC’s new launches came to a grinding hault, sales-wise, just a few issues in, while blue chip series rapidly lost the momentum they had gained during Infinite Crisis tie-ins.

Indeed, Marc-Oliver Frisch’s closing comments in his November DC Sales report seem to be what had kicked off this web-wide assessment. We’ll have our own thought on this soon enough. Patience, little bear.

[Thanks to JD for the link.]


  1. It’s interesting to point out that the “One Year Later” concept is a weaker version of what Keith Giffen had done a decade ago with the Legion of Super Heroes, to much criticism. For me, it worked wonderfully – still to this day, it was the best concept of adult heroes in an ongoing series.
    To be honest, I haven’t seen any major difference in the core books, except for radical new characters (Blue Beetle) or the disappearance of some others. The bloated chronology is still buggy (in fact, worsened back in late 90’s with Zero Hour – the worst crossover event ever), and some of the old crappy tricks of yesteryears (variant covers) are plaguing the market.
    Luckily, in spite of all that, some of the books are going pretty well – but none yet has struck a chord, or made such a major impact as of Miller’s Batman, or Pérez’s WW, or Giffen’s JLI or LSH. No book has shown up as a major breakthrough – even though my favorite so far is Shadowpact.

  2. I think what DC has failed to fully grasp throughout these last two years is that fans will support crossovers and tie-ins as long as they are well-crafted and/or have considerable significance. INFINITE CRISIS and “One Year Later” were touted as being important events and so their high sales reflected that. What followed OYL, however, were mediocre stories of little to no impact, or poorly-executed launches and relaunches.

    I mean, just look at the relaunches of THE FLASH: THE FASTEST MAN ALIVE and JUSTICE SOCIETY OF AMERICA. Which one did you enjoy more? And which one will have stronger sales in the long-term as a result? Or compare FIRESTORM: THE NUCLEAR MAN to DETECTIVE COMICS. Which one is the better title and which one benefitted more from “One Year Later”?

  3. Personally, I hope there are no big crossovers/B-character cullings/mega-events for a while. Not every series has to be “Secret Wars”, dammit! Sure, there’s a spike in interest and books sell and such, but dammit it’s just no fun.

    Funnily, it reminds me of “Thor”. “Thor” used to be criticised because every year or so, the gods of Asgard would run around yelling “It’s Ragnarok! It’s Ragnarok! The end times are here!!” and then Thor would save their hash. And everyone’d sigh and relax until next year when it’d happen all over again. Well, “Thor” is gone now and my flu-addled mind is just going to let you all figure out the metaphor yourselves.