Yesterday, DC Comics announced that moving forward, all of their mainline DC Universe comics, both in physical and digital, would be priced at $3.99. While a large number of their single issues saw their prices raised last year, their bi-weekly titles such as Batman, Wonder Woman, and Detective Comics remained at the lower $2.99 price point. That is no longer the case.
Per Newsarama, this price increase will affect Batman, Suicide Squad, Wonder Woman Detective Comics, Green Lanterns, The Flash, Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps, Harley Quinn, and Injustice. It follows reports last week that DC would stop providing complimentary digital codes in their $3.99 physical comics.
Unaffected by this price increase are the “New Age of Heroes” comics, including Curse of Brimstone, Damage, Immortal Men, New Challengers, Sideways, Silencer, The Terrifics, and The Unexpected. They remain at $2.99 for the foreseeable future.
This move comes courtesy of the big usual suspect: reader attrition. Per Todd Allen’s sales analysis earlier this month, the vast majority of DC’s titles (with the exceptions of Action Comics #1000 and the biggest Batman titles) are selling under 50,000, with many even falling under 30,000. Thus, it’s apparent that there’s a need to tighten the budget belt at the DC offices.
That said, one can’t help but wonder whether increasing the cost on bi-weekly books will hurt more than it helps. Batman saw a bump in April as its story cruises towards the much-anticipated Batman/Catwoman wedding. There have also been a number of creative refreshes on many DC books recently as new teams take the reins, with more rumored to come. And Justice League also just started its big relaunch with this week’s No Justice #1. Will an increase from $6 to $8 a month cause some more casual Batman readers to drop the title? Will fans be more wary of trying the new directions for books they’ve fallen off on given the higher cost of admission?
These are questions DC surely has already predicted answers to internally, but it will be interested to see how the effects of this change play out in the real world marketplace.