In the January solicits, DC has announced the final issues of Blue Beetle, Legion Lost, Grifter and Frankenstein. On at least one occasion, there was a question about a fourth wave of New 52 titles and that question was ducked. Presumably to avoid talking about the cancellations at the conventions and provoking any fans of the titles. However, these are exactly the title Rob Liefeld called out:
Legion Lost, Blue Beetle, Grifter, Frankenstein.
— robertliefeld (@robertliefeld) September 18, 2012
And one suspects he’d know what was going on with Grifter.
Blue Beetle is a title DC’s given a lot of rope to. They definitely see potential in the character and he’s moving over to the new Threshold tilte.
What’s coming in for backfill in February? The Geoff Johns/David Finch Justice League of America. There’s a Scott Synder/Jim Lee Superman title coming up, but it isn’t clear that’s for February. So we’re looking at 2-3 unknown titles that will be announced in the next couple weeks, most likely. If I were a betting man, I’d place a bet on another Batman Family title like Robin or Red Robin.
It’s clear that DC is regularly pruning the bottom of their line and when a book dips into the 18K-12K range, that’s where DC seems to be pulling the trigger (with the exception of Justice League International, which appears to have been removed to launch Justice League of America.).
With that in mind, let’s take a look at the bottom of DC’s “New 52” sales estimates from September via The Comics Chronicles:
- Captain Atom 13,934 – Cancelled
- G.I. Combat 14,072 – Cancelled
- Voodoo 14,223 – Cancelled
- Grifter 15,751 – Cancelled
- Resurrection Man 16,672 – Cancelled
- Blue Beetle 16,888 – Cancelled
- Fury of Firestorm 17,279 – Still Going
- DC Universe Presents 17,528 – Still Going
- I, Vampire 17,920 – Still Going
- Frankenstein 18,122 – Cancelled
- Savage Hawkman 18,750 – Still Going
- Legion Lost 18,786 – Cancelled
- Demon Knights 20,474 – Still Going
- Deathstroke 20,796 – Still Going
It should be noted that DC had some success with the #0 issues in September and the retail orders were up across the board. It’s a little early to know if these levels are a one-month only bump or if any of that bump is going to stick around. That said, of the bottom 15 titles shipped in September, 8 of them are cancelled. DC seems to have limited tolerance for sales under 18K. It’s not an absolute number, but that’s where the trend is. They’re also periodically pruning the low sellers and replacing them with new titles, which is a healthy thing to do from a sales perspective.
Fury of Firestorm, DC Universe Presents, I, Vampire, Savage Hawkman, Demon Knights and Deathstroke are the next 6 lowest sellers. G.I. Combat tanked very quickly and wasn’t part of a wave. That title aside, if DC is indeed following a pattern, it will probably be another 4-5 months before another cancellation wave. All best are off if we start seeing more titles dipping down around the 12K estimate spot, though.
Todd Allen wears a lot of hats. At various times he’s been (alphabetically), a bouncer, college professor, humor columnist, Internet producer and an NBA/WNBA Beat Writer, among other things. He’s the author of Economics of Digital Comics. You should probably read it.