Home News Breaking News DC Slaughters Over 10 Titles

DC Slaughters Over 10 Titles

35

Text By: Alexander Jones – Image By: Jeff Stahler

All hell broke loose today as DC Comics quickly tried to sweep a host of cancellations under the rug. The upcoming Convergence event taking place in April and May seems to be pulling some big change in the house of Batman and Superman. The news came from CBR, who announced the solicitations for March 2015. However, it’s hard not to miss some of these books, especially when realizing that some of the titles have been with the publisher since the launch of the New 52 in 2011, including Swamp Thing, Batwoman, Green Lantern: New Guardians and Red Lanterns. It also seems likely that Batman Eternal was planned to end at #52 this week, seeing as how that is now the magic number for DC Comics.

Here are the titles on the chopping block:

  • Aquaman and the Others #11
  • Arkham Manor #6
  • Batman Eternal #52
  • Batwoman #40
  • Green Lantern: New Guardians #40
  • Infinity Man and the Forever People #9
  • Injustice: Gods Among Us – Year Three #12
  • Klarion #6
  • Red Lanterns #40
  • Secret Origins #11
  • Star-Spangled War Stories Featuring G.I. Zombie #8
  • Swamp Thing #40
  • Trinity of Sin #6
  • World’s Finest #32

Some of these books are downright shocking when considering how new these launches are, ongoings like Trinity of Sin, Star-Spangled War Stories Featuring G.I. Zombie, Klarion and Arkam Manner barely got a chance to launch before being outright cancelled. Perhaps DC has something else in store?

Rumors have been flying around the internet, hinting at a possible relaunch for the company in June. With so much of their superhero line in limbo, this now seems like it is a must for DC.

 

35 COMMENTS

  1. I hope we aren’t many tmeanto care. I now have no DC comics on my pull list, and I don’t plan to change it. I struggle a little when I see Grant Morrison, but otherwise it had been simple.

  2. Wow, Oliver, you must be so proud of yourself for all the things you’re not buying. Thanks for informing the world.

  3. Slaughtered? Wow! A little over dramatic are we? Let’s see. Swamp Thing & Arkham Manor are both written by people who announced they were Marvel exclusive. Swamp Thing will get relaunched after Convergence and Arkham Manor was too new to bother with a new team and direction. Batman Eternal has been talked about as getting a volume 2 by Snyder. Canceling 3/5 of the Green Lantern line tells me they are going for a reshuffling of the franchise. Something dramatic that leads to no Corps or New Guardian team. It would be like Marvel canceling all the extra X-books. You know they’ll be back. And some had poor sales. Trinity of Sin, Klarion. Infinity Man & Star Spangled only existed to preserve the trademarks on the titles. I’m betting we’ll see Injustice Year Four. Worlds Finest (an Earth 2 book) ends with the end of Worlds End. Not a shocker.
    So the surprise is Aquaman & the Others? Did anyone really think we needed 2 Aquaman books? Batwoman has been struggling since the original team left. Surprised it lasted this long.

  4. “Trinity of Sin, Klarion. Infinity Man & Star Spangled only existed to preserve the trademarks on the titles.”

    Oh yes, it’s been so long since DC published another book with “Trinity of Sin” in the title.

    And all the companies are surely vying to get their hands on “Star Spangled War Stories.”

    Your theory is 120% sound.

  5. A move like this really doesn’t surprise me. Marvel, thanks to their shrewd decisions, has practically become a household name. DC, while they have been killing it in television and otherwise, needs to do something in order to be considered ‘competition’ for Marvel. While killing off this many titles seems a bit drastic, DC has always had a long row to hoe.

  6. Periods are hard Skottie. I said Klarion & Trinity of Sin were cancelled for low sales. The next sentence said Star Spangled War Stories Featuring GI Zombie and Infinity Man & the Forever People were to protect trademarks on those 4 titles.
    It’s not a case of others vying for them, but why let it happen? Publishers do it all the time. It’s why there was a Deadly Hands of Kung Fu mini from Marvel.

  7. Sorry to see Batwoman go, despite not being all that great the past few issues.
    I also was reading GI Zombie, which was a really fun title. Too bad almost no one else was reading it!

    Something big is coming after Convergence, what with 25 shipped titles ending in March (Future’s End, World’s End and Batman Eternal all ship once a week).

  8. Klarion, Trinity of Sin, and especially Infinity Man opened to abysmally low numbers. If you don’t believe me, look at the numbers yourself:
    https://www.comicsbeat.com/dc-comics-month-to-month-sales-october-2014-the-sweet-smell-of-success/
    Does anybody believe that a two month break during Convergence will be anything but a sales drag on those titles? DC came to logical conclusions on those books, I think.

    World’s Finest, Swamp Thing, Injustice, Aquaman & The Others, and Batwoman all were selling below the levels of Klarion and Trinity of Sin. Star Spangled War Stories is selling less than Infinity Man. Again, would a two month break be anything but bad news for these titles? These cancellations shouldn’t surprise anybody.

    In fact, it is surprising that additional titles with sales in that neighborhood weren’t also cancelled. But for all we know they might have been “stealth cancelled” and the words “final issue” simply weren’t placed in the solicitation info.

    As for the rest of the announced cancellations:
    I agree that it wouldn’t be surprising to see a relaunch of the GL family of titles after Convergence. Not necessarily new #1 issues for the parent GL title, but certainly a fresh start for the ancillary books. We’ll know soon enough if that supposition is correct.
    Gerry Duggan, the writer for Arkham Manor, is now exclusive to Marvel. So DC may have decided to punt on that title.
    Batman Eternal wasn’t meant to go forever. #52 is apparently the natural conclusion for volume 1 of the title. We always knew that the current weekly series had some sort of finite ending in mind.
    Secret Origins was selling only a little bit more than Trinity of Sin. So sales numbers may be a sufficient explanation there.

  9. Trinity of Sin is not an example, but I agree that DC sometimes publishes things that are surely not based on fan demand, but rather to satisfy some sort of requirement. Why not just “G.I. Zombie”? Why do “Men of War” after “G.I. Combat” did so badly (or the other way around, whatever it was)? Why “All-Star Western” instead of “Jonah Hex”. Why publish “Steel” and “Shazam!” one-shots a few years ago? I don’t know specifically what it is, but I feel confident there is some sort of trademarky thing going on. I feel confident we’ll see a new Warlord series some time soon – because we haven’t had one in a while…

    As for stuff like Arkham Manor and Gotham Academy, I think they may be back later on, but in the short term they were just fillers. They needed some books that they could run for six months until the big changes next year.

    I believe the article suggests “we all thought they were ongoings” – I think DC is changing how these things are set up. They may know how long they intend to run something, but they aren’t labeling them “mini-series” any more because that makes a lot of people not purchase them.

    I’m anticipating a GL weekly out of this.

  10. If I’m counting right, this leaves 32 ongoing DCU titles. To get back to 52, DC would need to launch 20 new monthlies.

    Now I know the 52 titles number has not been respected for some time now, but 32 is way below any count since the New 52 launch. So I’m guessing come June, at least 10 new ongoings, with maybe a weekly. Wonder if they’ll be ready to launch Batman Eternal volume 2 in June, but my guess is they will keep it for later, since they don’t need the hype of a “mini-relaunch” for that title to be successful.

  11. I think this news is pretty exciting. House cleaning is always a good thing. I hope DC runs with the opportunity and offers at least a few new books with fresh voices and styles. And if that doesn’t happen, please offer Darwyn Cooke a large pile of money to write and draw a Superman, Batman or Wonder Woman book!

    And comicsatemybrain —- you take the prize for best line of these posts:
    Batman Eternal wasn’t meant to go forever.

  12. I wouldn’t count Injustice. It’s both a digital first title (so it may survive even if the print version does not), it’s already been “re-volumed”, for lack of a better term, before, and DC announced that Brian Buccalatto is going to be taking the book over in some fashion.

  13. I doubt there will be any kind of massive reboot next year since the New 52 is still so recent, but if the article meant “relaunch” as in starting titles over at #1 like Marvel has been doing for the past few years then I could see that.

    Wish DC had kept their JSA history and legacy characters around (like in JLA Year One) after the New 52 reboot rather than shuffling them all off to Earth 2 though.

  14. 16 of the New 52 titles remain.
    Next on the chopping block? Green Arrow (which also has a TV tie-in title), and Justice League Dark. Maybe Red Hood as well.

    My theory?
    The New 52 was DC’s last chance for a singular shared universe.
    If it doesn’t work (and it seems to have not), then DC goes to Plan B, which they had announced a year previous to Flashpoint: The 52.

    This is currently in play, with Multiversity, and then with Convergence.

    DC goes back to placing a “world number” on the cover (as seen with the “Captain Carrot” Countdown tie-in). Each title then has its own universe to play in. This means that readers can follow a specific universe instead of having to deal with a shared universe. This allows DC to innovate, replicating the success of Elseworlds (which feature prominently in the 52), and feeding the WBE appetite for new properties (both in home video animation and theatrical releases).

    It also makes the long tail of back issues easier to search and purchase. The universe is self-contained in one title, or DC easily makes a parenthetical notation to the title, such as “Superman (Earth-14)”

    DC could even replicate “Exiles”, featuring a title which jumps around the various universes, exploring side stories, and letting creators experiment even more so than usual. (Tales of the DC Multverse?) Maybe we get a new character on par with Mogo or Rot Lop Fan…

    The “New 52”? That gets compressed down to “Justice League”. Batman, Superman, and teammates. Basically, where it is now. Superman could get spun off into a separate universe (while the character remains in the New 52 JL). The Greek Wonder Woman arc never really interacted with the greater New 52, and could be reclassified (especially if the upcoming movie revamps the origin).

  15. Ever since Convergence/move to Burbank was announced the interwebs have been bracing for a culling. This should come as no surprise. I would be happy if DC emerged from Convergence with titles that were part of a shared Earth (Justice League, Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, etc.) and others that took place on an alternate Earth or in the future (ie LoSH).

    Batman Eternal is supposed to return. The sales numbers have been fairly solid and well above a lot of the other New 52 offers. With Batwoman ending you could shift that character into the Batman Eternal title. If DC wants Batwoman to continue in the supernatural realm, the character could join the Justice League Dark.

  16. @Torsten:

    “If it doesn’t work (and it seems to have not)”

    I’d be interested to hear your definition of success here.

  17. @Torsten – Interesting concept, but it seems like a really complicated solution from the reader’s perspective unless it’s somewhat contained. If they had just moved the central DCU timeline to another Earth in Flashpoint, leaving everything else intact, they could have effectively done this and kept it limited in scope. I just can’t see them having an audience for a whole multi-series line of “Adventures of Earth-10.”

    But then again, I never thought I’d see a grim Superman movie, so I guess anything is possible at DCE…

  18. “All hell broke loose today as DC Comics quickly tried to sweep a host of cancellations under the rug. ”

    Really? Did hell really break loose? Or did they just release their solicits with these cancelled titles which everyone knows will just be replaced with 10 new ones after Convergeance. How did they try to sweep it under the rug. Did you expect Jim Lee and Geoff Johns to send out a video telling everyone about cancellations?

    The Beat used to be better.

  19. @ Torsten – as always, I enjoy reading your thoughtful responses, but I don’t see how DC would really benefit from doing what you describe. Would doing multiverse tales sell better than what they’re doing now? And even if you used the multiverse stuff just to do more versions of Superman/Batman, why bother when you can just do more in-continuity Batman books?

  20. How exactly did DC try to “sweep this under the rug”? They announced the cancellations in the solicits that they themselves provided everyone.

    Overdramatic much? I agree that it’s disappointing to see Klarion go so soon, but while I’ve enjoyed some of these titles (particularly Swamp Thing and Batwoman), the writing has been on the wall for many months now, and for an assortment of reasons too: everything from creators leaving… to low sales… to both.

    I agree that DC hasn’t handled some of these titles superlatively in terms of editorial management, but when you have nearly 50-issue runs of titles like Swamp Thing and Batwoman, it’s hard to count that as “failures”.

    Unless you’re the sort of person who wants everything your way all the time or else you pout.

  21. Allow me to add a calm voice of reason to the wave of panic:

    Does anyone read DC’s sales charts printed on this site each month?

    Yes, I read 7 of the cancelled monthlies, and all three weeklies. But, here’s the thing:

    Star Spangled War Stories: Sales wise, in deep trouble since issue one. Sad, since this was my current favorite DC title.

    Klarion, Trinity Of Sin, Forever People: Sales not much better than SSWS.

    Arkham Manor: Never was meant to be a long term concept.

    Batwoman and Swamp Thing: The two lowest selling of the “Original new 52”.

    World’s Finest: Guess even Superman and Batman have their points of oversaturation.

    The GL titles and Aquaman and the Others: See World’s Finest.

    Secret Origins: A monthly $5 book. Once the heavy hitters were featured, book simply lost its luster for a lot of people.

    Lets just hope that once this two month “event” reaches it’s conclusion, and its time to replace the dearly (or not so dearly) departed, DC will come up with some great replacement titles. Brave and the Bold and Kamandi, anyone?

  22. G.I. Zombie is a brand new character.

    Putting it under Star Spangeled War Stories banner was something I would have never done. I fought to have it only go under its own title and lost that fight.
    That said, launching a totally new title and character is super hard in all areas of comics.
    No matter… Justin, Scott and I are gonna kill ourselves to the very last page to make this the best book we can because even at low numbers, everyone that reads it deserves only the best from us.

  23. The madness behind my method:
    I’ve been on the DC comp list since Blackest Night. I’ve read (almost) everything DC has printed since then.
    How many of the New 52 headliners have appeared since their titles were cancelled? Blackhawks? Blue Beetle? Voodoo? Grifter? Justice League International? Static Shock? Captain Atom? Hawk and Dove?
    Batman is running well, Superman is doing okay. (I like the recent relaunch, but will wait a year before judging.)
    The weeklies… I’m not getting any sense of excitement over Futures End, and it’s halfway done.
    Is there any buzz over Earth 2? Lois Lane Red Tornado? Super Man of Color?
    And then there are the sales figures… back to where they were before Flashpoint?

    As for why not do it in the current books? Because:
    1) It requires care and scheduling. Batman’s not broken. But imagine a chibi Batman appearing now, while Snyder is writing the title. It won’t work. Want to write a red-shorts Superman story? Nope. Can’t.
    2) It tests the waters. Partly with new creators, who do a 10-page test story in a digital-first edition, like Sensation Comics. Partly with new ideas, like Mogo. As seen with The 52 schematic, the majority of universes are from past stories, whether it’s Gotham By Gaslight or Earth-S.

    Harley Quinn is an example of what I’m suggesting. Yes, it’s Earth-0. But it’s also self-contained within the DC Universe, and it’s being run by the creators who have the freedom to create. Do you need to read any other title to know what’s going on? Not really. (Of course, given the madcap action, you’ll probably still be a bit confused after you finish reading it!)
    Doom Patrol is another example… Morrison takes a mediocre title, writes his vision far from the maddening crowds, gains acclaim and sales, and leaves. 25 years later, it’s still in print.

    That model is proven:
    get a stable creative team
    let them write great stories (free from editorial mandates and meddling)
    build sales and buzz
    reprint the trades forever
    It worked on Doom Patrol, on Swamp Thing, on Morrison’s Justice League.
    Almost every Absolute and Deluxe edition follows this model.

    I’m not suggesting a line of titles for each universe. I’m suggesting ONE title for each universe. (And not every universe needs a title.) Maybe it gets popular and other people want to play in it, so another series gets launched each year. (Like with Earth-2.)

    Readers follow series. Readers followed the Elseworlds miniseries. (*cough*cough*allstarsuperman*cough*cough*) They even follow the original graphic novels, like Superman Earth One. Build buzz, and they’ll buy the trades, and tell their friends. And then there’s the “what if” speculation. If Superman is [blank] in this universe, then what about Batman/Wonder Woman/Color Kid? (See: Adventures in the DC Universe)

    You do it for the experimentation. Run a title. Print a trade. If it works, you continue. If it doesn’t, try something else. Twenty years later, someone decides to rewrite the character. (It’s in DC’s DNA, ever since Showcase #4, and “imaginary stories”.) DC’s doing that with the digital-first titles, which I read before the New 52 titles. (Recommended: the Justice Lords storyline in “Batman Beyond”.)

    You do it for the long tail, the backlist. The soap opera trades of the New 52 don’t sell much past six months (unless it’s well-written, like Batman). DC’s backlist success is in the done-in-one trades. Red Son. Killing Joke. Arkham Asylum. Secret Identities. DC hasn’t produced much backlist since the New 52, which leaves a big hole in the future P+L. (Part of this is the nature of the business… people can take their visions to other publishers for better terms.)

    That’s DC’s strength over Marvel. Sure, Marvel has their numbered universes, but it’s all tied to the 616. They don’t do many done-in-one stories of Steampunk Iron Man or the Alchemical Four. Their backlist of great titles is lacking, and frequently out of print. Marvel’s universe is tightly constructed, and they don’t do many miniseries. Ironically, it was DC which was once considered stodgy and conservative. Now, DC can be the innovators.

    But we’ll see. I wonder what next September’s gimmick will be?

  24. “And then there are the sales figures… back to where they were before Flashpoint?”

    For DC overall? No, still very much above pre-Flashpoint:

    DC Sales – Top 300 (Jan-Nov) 2014 – 24,403,637 estimated units.
    DC Sales – Top 300 (Jan-Nov) 2013 – 25,986,866 estimated units.

    And here are the figures for 1997-2012:
    2013 – 28,184,085 estimated units
    2012 – 29,602,125 estimated units
    2011 – 26,522,201 estimated units
    2010 – 23,528,000 estimated units
    2009 – 24,126,336 estimated units
    2008 – 25,760,378 estimated units
    2007 – 29,597,217 estimated units
    2006 – 30,243,575 estimated units

  25. Which is actually making the assumption that sales HAVE to stay above pre-Flashpoint for some specific amount of time in order for it to be worth it. What if…all they needed was a couple of good years to justify it?

  26. I was really enjoying a book that I never thought I would : GI Zombie in Star Spangled War Stories. I’m not a war book fan, nor a zombie fan, but I’m so glad I gave that title a chance. Clever writing & dialogue with fantastic covers and interiors by two industry greats. I’ll miss that one a lot! Oh, and I don’t think I ever heard the term “nerd spite” before. Thanks for introducing me to that earlier in this thread.

  27. What were the pre-Flashpoint per title averages??? All comic book companies are producing more content than they did just 3 years ago, so I’m wondering if it’s a general increase or simply more content.

  28. Skottie, there really are people who have stopped buying DCU monthlies, out of lapsed interest. I don’t normally making a point of telling people about it, but since you’re doubting it: it’s real.

    It’s also one answer to the question posed above, of why DC would want to go back to featuring a multiverse: it would entice/allow many lapsed readers to return. The last DC series I did read was Earth 2, in part because it encouraged new interpretations of characters, and it seemed insulated from the “main” DCU: I could read it without worrying that next month it would be roped into some crossover “event”. I gave up on it when that happened anyway. The DCU line has effectively become one huge soap opera, published in over 600 issues per year, all part of the same universe-spanning story, all with about the same tone of storytelling. There’s little room for casual readers, and little creative room for writers. Instead of selling 52(ish) monthlies to the same 10,000 readers, they could sell 100,000 readers 5 books – different books – and have a more diversified audience with greater growth potential.

    Just a thought.

Comments are closed.

Exit mobile version