DC’s controversial Walmart program is not fading away…it’s expanding! Starting next month, THE FLASH and SWAMP THING will join the first four titles, with their own 100 page giants. All the new issues shoul dbe on shelves by February 17.
In addition, two of the four launch titles will be retitled and given new #1s. Teen Titans will become TITANS, and Justice League will become…WONDER WOMAN! Oh yeah! Superman and Batman continue as before.
All of the titles include a new 12 page lead stories and serialized reprints of classic DCU stories. Although the program was heavily criticized by comics market retailers when it was announced last June, it seems to have become only part of the background chatter of discontent and not the death knell to the DM that some predicted. And it also seems to be a success, as its expansion would indicate.
Indeed, “DC has been incredibly successful in attracting new readers through its relationship with Walmart,” said Nancy Spears, VP, Mass Book, Digital Sales and Trade Marketing. “These two titles are the perfect extensions to the Walmart line, given the popularity of The Flash tv show and the sales success seen from last October’s SWAMP THING HALLOWEEN HORROR Special.”
As for content, SWAMP THING 100 Page Giant debuts with “Desert of Ash,” by Tim Seeley (NIGHTWING, GREEN LANTERNS), and Mike Perkins (GREEN LANTERNS, THE CURSE OF BRIMSTONE ANNUAL) and finds Swampy and Briar facing off against pyromaniac Char Man. Issues #2 and 3 Seeley continues as writer, while Joëlle Jones joins him for “Bog of Blood,” which introduces a terrifying swamp stalker.
Back-up stories include sturdy New 52 era material: Jeff Lemire, Travel Foreman and Dan Green’s “The Hunt,” from ANIMAL MAN; “Raise Dem Bones,” from the New 52 SWAMP THING by Scott Snyder and Yanick Paquette; and “Death in a Small Town,” featuring Detective Chimp and Shadowpact.
I said Detective Chimp! Seems perfect for the mass market, really.
The new material for THE FLASH 100-Page Giant #1is a 12 part saga by Gail Simone (BIRDS OF PREY, SECRET SIX, PLASTIC MAN) and artist Clayton Henry (BLACK LIGHTNING: COLD DEAD HANDS). In “Glass Houses,” Barry Allen takes on Mirror Master. Classic material includes the New 52 Flash by Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato; Adam Strange from way back in 2004 by Andy Diggle and Pasqual Ferry; and the New 52 “rebirth” of Shazam, from Geoff Johns and Gary Frank.
The renamed Wonder Woman and Titans books will continue their new material by Amanda Conner/Jimmy Palmiotti/Tom Derenick/Chad Hardin and Dan Jurgen/Scot Eaton/Wayne Faucher respectively.
As you might expect from the name, these 100 page giants are 100 pages long, and sell for $4.99 each, and can be found at more than 3000 Walmarts nationwide.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.