DC Cancel Six Titles, Fire More Writers

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What a day. It’s been revealed that May will see six more DC titles cancelled, being Deathstroke, Hawkman, Team 7, Firestorm, Ravagers, and Sword of Sorcery. Some of the books have been going since the very start of The New 52 initiative…. some of them lasted for a much shorter period of time.

hawk DC Cancel Six Titles, Fire More Writers

Team 7, Ravagers and Sword of Sorcery have all been cancelled with issue #7. Deathstroke, Hawkman and Firestorm have all been going since the start, albeit with a number of different creative teams. This follows on from several books being cancelled in April, two of which were part of the ‘New 52′. Presumably DC plan to replace them with more books, but it’s starting to look like an uphill struggle to keep so many books going, really.

Again, this news comes from the new column hosted on CBR, which is becoming a must-read piece simply because each new instalment seems to bring new cancellations and firings.

Elsewhere! DC also announced another abrupt switch in writers today, revealing to MTV Geek that Justice League of America’s Vibe will have a new writer for issue 4. Andrew Kreisberg leaves with issue 3, and Sterling Gates comes in for issue 4. This comes only two weeks after Kreisberg gave interviews about his long-term plans for the series.about his long-term plans for the series.

 

vibe DC Cancel Six Titles, Fire More Writers

 

Hopefully Mr Gates will be able to stay on the book for a little while longer. Geoff Johns retains his credit as co-writer for the series, which spins out of his Justice League of America series with David Finch.

Hopefully by the time I finish writing this nothing else bad will have happened!

Comments

  1. Just how many more rebooted properties do DC have to see fail before they cry uncle and bring back the proper DCU?

  2. I don’t think that they’ll bring the old DCU back, but I agree with Steve that clearly 52 dcu titles a month is too many. I think all the books suck except for Snyder Batman/Batman Inc, but clearly there are fans out there for stuff like Superman/JLA/GL. Not the case for Firstorm/Hawkman/Grifter/etc.

  3. Nicholas Winter says:

    If the winter of this article had bothered to read the CBR article, he would have noticed that no artists were fired which means they lost their jobs as they were moved to other titles. And can one fire work for hire employees anyways as they work on a contract basis?

  4. I didn’t say anything about artists being fired. I said writers were fired.

    And yes, you fire work for hire employees.

  5. I’m still hoping for the announcement of the relaunch of “Mazing Man.

  6. Yeah, you can fire them. Look at Waid/Ringo off FF a few years back. Everyone involved agreed they were fired and then reversed the decision.

  7. Jeebus. Does anyone there have a clue about how to run a company? It’s like watching the Titanic go down.

  8. I agree, I think DC would never bring back the old DCU. But I do miss the old DCU titles and having them return is the only way I’d go back to buying more than 1 or 2 DC titles. I think this periodic launching and cancelling of titles just reinforces that this New 52 is not working out. Whether it’s because there’s too many titles, or the wrong creative teams are on the wrong books, or editorial is being too hands on, it’s just not as successful as it could have been. This New 52 has allowed me to explore other publishers and I am finding some really great stuff out there. So there is a silver lining for me.

  9. It is a bit of fun to watch DC dig through old Who’s Who trying to find enough characters to maintain the “52”. I think it’s Air-Wave’s turn next. (Or does Red Tornado get a solo series?)

  10. Silly But True says:

    Bob Harras: “The main focus on this, and this is the big picture, is we try to take a look at it as, these characters will not go away.”

    Ahhh, the goal of New 52 makes much more sense now. There is one surefire way that DC’s trademarked characters will “go away.” Abandonment. “New 52: Where All Our Ducks Are Placed In Rows.”

    I would not be surprised if ‘Mazing Man does make an appearance somewhere.

    Silly But True

  11. I remember coming on here when the original 52 was announced,then read the DC 52 Omnibus, and said it was boring for the most part. I then predicted the the new DC 52 universe would eventually be a bust. I then remember fanboys defending how great the new DC was,and how wrong I was to knock its mediocrity. I will say it again, The new DC 52 was a hail mary, a last ditch effort to keep most of the line up going,and eventually DC Comics will just publish only Batman,Superman and Green Lantern related titles because just about everything how they publish can`t sell! Nobody cares about the fifth reboot of Blue Beetle, Firestorm,Hawk and Dove and other characters. Nobody cared the first time about these lame characters!
    respectfully
    “The Amazing Stam’
    Make Mine Marvel!

  12. I don’t know that the cancellations on the low-end of the line say anything about the New 52 in general — all of the books they’ve cancelled have been things that weren’t really selling before the New 52. I agree that it seems like they should trim the line down, but maybe the boosts from the constant first issues this treadmill generates is enough to keep it above water. It’d be interesting to look at the sales numbers and see if the benefits of launching a new #1 are diminishing over time, though.

  13. The reality of most of the high sales were do to number ones for Batman,Superman,Green Lantern and Justice League titles, plus all those variants that made the LCS order thousands of extra copies to get.
    The new DC 52 will have even lower sales over the next few years as they can`t pull off a whole new reboot again so soon, but the biggest failure was it failed to bring in new readers,as all it did was bring out the speculators who wanted a new number one gimmick variant to flip on Ebay.
    respectfully “The Amazing Stam”
    Make Mine Marvel!

  14. Not a gobsmacking surprise: I wasn’t reading any of these besides “Sword of Sorcery,” which I will miss, but not terribly. I do appreciate that DC is experimenting, but as it’s been said, they’re stretched pretty thin with 52 books, even if a third of said books are devoted to the Super/Bat/Lantern families (& a third of THOSE are readable, speaking charitably). Can you say “glut”? Somehow Marvel was the Johnny-come-lately who made a line-wide rejiggering work better. I don’t envy Jim Lee when he’s called before the Time-Warner death panel asking where their promised riches are.

  15. Kentucky Fried Horse says:

    I agree with the first poster, Ron. When will they give this up as a long-term failure?

    Also Stam, there aren’t bad characters, there’re bad writers. Firestorm and many of the other characters that have been screwed up in the New 52 have a lot of long term fans.

  16. Mark B says:

    If the books aren’t selling it’s best to kill’em and move on to the next property. Why keep drag the dead horse around the track. Good show DC.

  17. Mesektet says:

    If you approve a pitch for a book, you should give the writer more than three fucking issues before you take him off. It’s a really shitty thing to do and it makes you look like an idiot. If you can’t hire writers that you are happy with then you shouldn’t be in the business of hiring writers.

    Didio has to go

  18. W.R.Printz says:

    Jim Shooter was fired for the New Universe failing (and for being tall) after 9 years of success. When will the Editor’s heads roll?

    I can hardly wait for the updated version of the Vince Coletta letter….

  19. Al™ says:

    1.What if they just print Silver and Bronze age reprints to fill in the missing titles in the line. Eventually they could
    2. Call it the Old 52, then
    3. Reboot to the previous numbering system and
    4. Get back to making interesting comics that stay around for more than a year and a half

  20. *yaaawn*

    Who didn’t see this coming? Well… besides DC, anyway.

    The New 52 – with the exception of Batman/Batman Inc – has been the literary equivalent of stale Meow Mix. If it were up to me, I’d cancel everything (except for the above-mentioned Bat-titles… and maybe Wonder Woman, too) and go back to the old DCU.

  21. Skyhawk says:

    Bring back Hardware and Icon.

  22. Ricardo Amaral says:

    There is also one guy missing in this article: Giffen is off as a co-writer on Legion after 1 1/2 issues too. Which is insane and very dumb.

  23. v wiley says:

    Our DC sales are with the exception of a few titles back to pre 52 levels. The sad thing is that too many of the titles suck, and DC refuses to utilize writers for imaginative purposes. Let the writers write, and success will come to the better books. For some reason, editorial just can’t provide a direction that makes comics interesting to actually read.

  24. Kriesberg gave his long term plans for Vibe….. Seriously his long term plans for Vibe? No really his LONG term plans for Vibe. What universe does DC live in? Vibe? That’s like having long term plans for a gallon of milk. Now I am really not surprised by the problems.

  25. fire the editors, and the quality would improve instantly.

  26. Experimenting with minor characters is great in principle, but it doesn’t do any good if you can’t find people to read them. Despite all the faults of the early 1990s, you had DC reaching out to college students who weren’t into superheroes (Vertigo) and to racial minorities (Milestone) as new regular readers. Today it’s all just one insular one-note 13-titles-per-week superhero universe. If I was inclined to read Amethyst the knowledge that it was going to have a similar tone of the rest of the DC line, and eventually tie in with some other series or an “event”, would put a wet blanket on my interest.

    Rebooting the DCU wasn’t the problem, except in the sense that they’d trimmed their readership to mostly people who had an emotional investment in the previous one, rather than a general interest in superheroes and storytelling. “New” doesn’t sell well when your remaining audience wants “old”.

  27. I still find it bizarre that I, Vampire was cancelled despite tremendous trade sales that saw it selling outside of the usual fan circles – despite that really misleading cover which in no way reflected the actual book. Harras says they supported it as much as they could… most non-superhero readers still had no idea it existed!

    Same with Sword of Sorcery, which apparently DC liked so much that Marx got the Birds of Prey job. And now it’s cancelled. And again, most of my non-superhero friends had no idea it existed even though it would have been right up their street.

    When all the PR is spent on Batman and events, and everything is forced into crossing over (even I, Vampire – ick, ick, ick), is it any wonder that the other books aren’t being read?

    This, along with the appointment of Orson Scott Card, has led to me scoring upcoming DC books off my pull list. I’ll finish I, Vampire, Sword of Sorcery and Batman Inc, but Constantine and Katana… why bother? They’ll get cancelled or crossed over. I’m better picking up more books from Image or elsewhere.

  28. I don’t think companies make so much off trades as they do from singles. I think the great trade sales are probably what helped I Vampire last as long as it did – same thing happened with Runaways.

  29. Why doesn’t DC publish a handful of well-drawn, well-written books that feature status quo versions of the characters? Just three or four – not a big line-wide relaunch or anything – and try to tell good stories without worrying about tying them together. Get good superhero artists to draw them – not the usual “animated style” kiddie artists (whose work I love but doesn’t seem to drive sales).

    Just to see how they sell, compared to the New DCU and the interconnected universe. I think they’re marketing to a hardcore base of super hero comic fans and I don’t think that market is expanding.

  30. I always thought the profit margin on singles was near negligible outside of the super high sellers (or if you own all the rights to something like, say, Saga) but that trades was where the profit was. Certainly they have a far longer shelf span, and a debut in the NYT bestseller list is – in book trade terms at least – a call to push that book further and higher than before. I’m amazed at how well that book sold given the cover chosen (and given how many better choices there were in the other single covers alone).

    Don’t single prices pretty much just cover cost? It’s no coincidence that both DC and Marvel are owned by larger corporations who use the iconic characters to get at where the real money is – movies and franchises.

  31. And trades are the main way of expanding your audience as they are also sold in book stores and on Amazon, where all the other people live.

    The lack of communication between DC/Marvel and the book trade never ceases to amaze me. It’s no wonder some of the bestsellers on my company’s shelves (minus The Walking Dead) are graphic novels from the book publishers, or the golden oldies from Vertigo.

  32. jonboy says:

    A trade selling 2500 copies is huge.
    A series selling 2500 copies is crap.

    Trades are for the long run, and if the series is losing money due to very low sales, it won’t last long enough for the trades to become long term sellers.

  33. I always assumed the trades thing was why DC didn’t publish origin graphic novels for Superman, Green Lantern, Batman etc which explained how the backstory of the New 52 sat. Because if you’re rebooting your universe but you’re then moving five years forward so all the classic stories sort of still fit in – that’s still continuity lockout for new fans!

  34. I want to see the previous DC Universe restored.
    First, I feel the idea that all of the super-heroes having emerged in only the last five years is absolutely ridicuous.
    Second, I very much enjoyed the idea of there being previous “heroic” ages prior to the modern age. There was so a rich tapestry of history and stories to tell.
    Third, I am uncomfortable with major characters like Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman. Who are they? What is their story? What happened and what didn’t happen? It’s like getting a visitor from a parallel universe and you kind of can’t wait for them to go home.

  35. alistair says:

    I bet Jim Lee’s wishing he’d soldiered on with an independent Wildstorm about now.

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