Sales Postmortem on DC’s Cancelled Titles

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SWSOR Cv0 ds 195x300 Sales Postmortem on DCs Cancelled TitlesJanuary sales stats will be out soon, but let’s take a look at where books in DC’s latest (and relatively large – 11.5% of the core line) round of cancellations were selling in December:

  • Ravagers # 7 – 16,177
  • Team 7 #3 – 15,381
  • Sword of Sorcery #3 – 13,752
  • Savage Hawkman #15 – 13,564
  • Deathstroke #15 – 13,528
  • Fury of Firestorm the Nuclear Men #15 – 11,997

(Sales estimates from The Comics Chronicles.)

There were three titles selling lower than Ravagers in December and _not_ cancelled

  • Stormwatch #15 – 15,437
  • Demon Knights #15 – 15,152
  • Batwing #15 – 14,674

Please note that all three of those titles have gotten new writers recently.  Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray were just announced as the new Batwing writers.  Jim Starlin was previously announced on Stormwatch.  Robert Vendetti’s first issue of Demon Knights hit the shelves in January.  New writers means DC is at least giving a little more rope to the those three titles, but it’s a question of how much more rope.  Look at what’s being cancelled and you can see they’re not in good shape.

Also worth noting, the only other “New 52″ titles under 18K and not cancelled are Legion of Superheroes estimated at 16,912 and Dial H estimated at 16,217.  DC is cleaning out the basement, so keep an eye on titles slipping under 18K.  It’s not a death sentence, but it certainly is the danger zone.

Comments

  1. v wiley says:

    Please. These numbers BLOW for a publisher of DC’s size. Changing writers midstream is not the answer, as it’s gotta be pretty damn tough to follow editorial edicts AND turn sales around. They’ve just got to face facts and conclude their approach to comics just isn’t working. Continuing to follow bad titles with throwing the mess in the lap of the new writer is NOT the way to turn things around.

  2. Didn’t everyone make a big deal about that Amethyst book? It’s canceled now? Too funny. Ah just give her a GL ring.

  3. FIRESTORM is one of the few DC books I’ve started buying in recent months. Jurgens is doing really fantastic stuff! Hope he is writing and drawing something new for them!This was actually becoming one of my favorite books after last issue!

  4. My impression is that whatever audience might have bought these books in earlier years are no longer paying attention, and DC doesn’t know how to get them to.

  5. The problem we have here is that DC is trying, trying, trying to recycle second or third tier characters that have just never been able to hold an audience after their first series runs way back when, and even then they were iffy which is why the first series ended. (A notable exception is perhaps Suicide Squad). It’s like they tried time and again with Doom Patrol and it just didn’t happen. The really scary part of this is that with all the upheaval the New 52 program brought, the DC Universe is such a mess that it will take a major revamp yet once more to get things on track and actually bring some cohesion to the line. I hope they are able to pull it together before even more titles fall off the charts….

  6. Ravagers just got a new creative team, too (with, I think, ONE issue out, so it’s not like there’s been time to just influence on sales). So I wouldn’t count on much rope for these others.

  7. Batwing’s numbers will triple in 6 months. O.K. maybe double? lol

    Either way, we are doing some wild fun stuff with the book that will get peoples attention and make the fans really happy.

  8. The problem is that DC has too many titles. 52 is an awfully lot to have in a month and with the price of the books fans have to pick and choose. I also think DC has a quick hook on the creative teams and there isn’t any fluidity to the book and the book can not find its footing or an audience and that is turning off fans also. I’ve read the big two for years but with what is happening now have been finding independents to be more enjoyable and better at telling a story.

  9. Looking forward to Jimmy’ s ideas on Batwing. I’m in!

  10. Silly but True says:

    Joe: I think you’re being a bit too harsh or unfair. Second or third tier, perhaps. But it’s not like Firestorm or Doom Patrol haven’t had legs in the past. Each has decades of history since creation and over 10 years of publishing under their belts. Firestorm ran consecutively for a hundred issues, the Kupperberg/Morrison Doom Patrol nearly as long.

    Your comments can apply equally to recent things at Marvel– same can perhaps be said of Guardians of the Galaxy.

    The difference between a success and failure is the execution, not the fact that a given property is a third-string also-ran.

    Doom Patrol wasn’t predestined to meet an eponymous fate. A new Firestorm series could have gone nuclear. Its just the way DCs has done things with the universe, line, creators, and content that have gotten them to this point.

  11. Sword of Sorcery was DOA because A) it was $3.99, B) it was called Sword of Sorcery and not Amethyst. It also had pointless backup stories just so they could charge $3.99. Plus, I think someone in DC decided to try out Sword of Sorcery as a “Game of Thrones” style book. Which might be good in theory, but it was so boring. I mean, we’re on issue #4 and NOTHING has really happened. So I’ll miss it, but it wasn’t given the chance it should have been.

  12. MBunge says:

    “Batwing’s numbers will triple in 6 months. O.K. maybe double?”

    You’ll still be getting my money, Jimmy. I hope you play up more the whole “failed state = real world Gotham” concept that I’ve always felt was the best thing about the book.

    Mike

  13. You know some of DC second rate characters like Aquaman,Spectre,Question,Firestorm,Doom Patrol and Hellblazer had some good interesting long runs in the 1990s. but they unfortunately they got cancelled and rebooted again. I use to love the Peter David Aquaman run, and the John Ostrander Spectre runs. DC in it`s infinite wisdom kept cancelling and rebooting some of these second rate characters that I don`t care about them anymore.
    Hawkman is the poster boy for this. How many Hawkman reboots are there, and can anybody explain what is confusing history is?
    respectfully
    “The Amazing Stam”
    Make Mine Marvel!

  14. I want to second Nathan Aaron’s opinion on Sword of Sorcery regarding the title. Calling it Amethyst would have gotten it significantly more sales, IMHO.

    I suspect DC used the title just to maintain copyright/trademark rights. I can’t wait for them to revive Weird Mystery, Sensation Comics, and Stalker.

  15. I guess there wasn’t enough rape in Sword of Sorcery to keep it going. One of the worst books I’ve read from DC in a long time. Terrible. No surprise it got cancelled.

    Also Firestorm showed us it’s time for Dan Jurgens to hang it up. Another terrible book.

  16. Louis Lane says:

    >DC is trying, trying, trying to recycle second or third tier characters

    Green Lantern was a second tier character that DC turned into a major title. With the right writer and artist books like Firestorm or Hawkman could achieve similar success. (I read the first issues of both titles, however, and cannot fathom how DC could green light them as written.)

    LL

Trackbacks

  1. […] Publishing | Todd Allen takes a look at the sales figures for the newly canceled DC Comics series, and three that weren’t axed, and concludes that titles that sell fewer than 18,000 copies per month are in the “danger zone.” [The Beat] […]

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