Cleaning the Chopping Block: DC’s Next Victim

Hello everyone! Last week saw DC’s August solicits out, and as always I discussed the most important information from them. I then followed up a day later by outlining my requests and wishlists for the replacement series’ that are sure to be in the works.

Rather than go through it line by line and discuss what’s safe and what isn’t, I’ll instead outline the series’ that may not be safe. Thus I don’t spend time talking about Justice League or Batman which are clearly not going away anytime soon.

As I outlined last week, the solicits for Katana #7 and Vibe #7 are worth noting as they are the seventh issues of those series’. Both have been performing admirably, but DC has shown that that doesn’t always matter. Thus the next wave of cuts could see these titles fade from existence. DC has been keen to give a series 8 issues, but many haven’t reached much more than that. Both Vibe and Katana could be cut should DC think they aren’t up to snuff.

Come August, DC will have only 2 of their “Second Wave” titles still being published. Earth 2 and Worlds Finest. With a limited creative staff to replace James Robinson, even a high profile and highly popular series like Earth 2 could be ending. More importantly, Worlds Finest could be very near the end, as costume, creator, and concept ideas have repeatedly been changed. While just a year ago it was voted as being one of the most loved parts of the New 52, DC very well may have missed the memo.

While I am happy to see Miguel Sepulveda finding work, DC’s Third Wave was rather poor. Team 7 was cancelled after 9 issues as was the wonderful Sword of Sorcery struck down much too early. While Phantom Stranger has become a critical success and highly integrated into the DC Universe. Talon has not had that pleasure. It has instead been caught in creative and creator switch ups. With an often confusing plot, the departure of the “Snyder” name on it (regardless if Snyder hasn’t ever really been involved in it or not) could spell a quick doom for one of the weakest selling Bat-titles.

Batwing also stands out as the weakest member of the Bat-Line. While apart of the attempt to reboot and re-brand three of DC’s lowest selling titles to reach new audiences, Batwing has missed a step and instead alienated many fans who had been following it from the start of the New 52. Additionally it’s status as the weakest link of the strongest of DC’s product line makes it’s lack of success much more noticeable and open for much higher levels of scrutiny.

Speaking of that three book re-brand, Stormwatch also fell victim to a poorly thought out marketing attempt. Not only is the story confusing and disorienting, but it vexes even the most stalwart of fans of the book (such as my myself). Not only has Stormwatch failed to reach a new market, but it has also failed to hold on to existing readers. Maybe DC will explain the switch both in continuity and out, but with Demon Knights biting it. Stormwatch is only a matter of time.

Suicide Squad is the final member of the re-branded triumvirate. And while its re-branding has me and many others I know begging for more, it is highly possible that we’ll only be given scraps. A low selling title like Suicide Squad could completely be missed, thus the word of mouth from curious fans such as myself is all that DC has to really push the title. So while a refreshing example that a re-brand can do absolute wonders, Suicide Squad could enjoy this success for a very limited time.

While it has long since been a critical hit for DC, the nature of the series’ title has made fame and fortune elude it. All-Star Western is easily one of the best things within the New 52, but even its critical success may not be enough to save it. DC has proven time and time again that nothing is safe. So while it may be beloved by all its readers, if it doesn’t draw more it is likely to find itself on the Chopping Block.

Titles have come and go in the New 52, but the lifespan for the second, third, and subsequent launches is much lower. Most of DC’s casualties have come from new titles. Only a dozen or so of the original 52 have been cut. While 7/13 replacement titles have already bit the dust. So while still just fledglings, both Green Team and The Movement don’t have particularly great odds stacked against them.

What does this mean? I’ll break it down into list form from most likely to least likely.

1. Stormwatch is the most likely to bite the dust. Wildstorm hasn’t fared well in the New 52 and the most recent re-brand has made it nearly unrecognizable.
2. Batwing is next likely. Given the re brand  it is clear DC doesn’t have faith in it. If so, it will be the first Bat- Line title to get cancelled.
3. Worlds Finest is definitely close to the block. Given the amount of casualties that DC’s replacement titles have gathered, this presents itself as one of the weakest in DC’s stabilizing roster. Sales are good now, but with companion title Earth 2 on shaky ground. The future for Worlds Finest is grim at the moment.
4. Suicide Squad has increased its quality exponentially with the re-brand  but without proper word of mouth and advertisement  its new found success could easily go unrewarded and unrecognized.
5. Katana has received mix reviews in it’s short existence, but given DC’s high turn over for new titles. Katana may find itself close to the block.
6. Even if it comes to much acclaim, The Green Team very well may be doomed before it started. DC clearly cares about sales above everything else, and a low profile launch with unique concept could be hit or miss, with many preparing for a miss.
7. Talon could quickly take a turn for the worst, and should Batwing get cancelled then the feeling of immortality most of the Bat books have will instantly fade. With Batwing gone, Talon will pick up the title of most under acclaimed Bat book on the market.
8. All-Star Western has dazzled its readers for almost two years now with interesting and well done stories. But even DC won’t keep one of their most acclaimed titles if the readership is deemed inconsequential.
9. Vibe has come to much acclaim, adoration, and importance within it’s short life. While these factors could invalidate its selection on the list, I find it hard to believe a title starring Vibe can last in the long run.
10. The Movement may be just as new as the Green Team, but with a proven concept and highly sought after creators, The Movement is a much less likely choice for the Chopping Block.
11. Finally Earth 2 brings up the rear. While it’s days may be numbered, it is truly too early to tell if the departure of James Robinson can be a recoverable set back.

This is what I foresee being next on DC’s Chopping Block. Think I’m right?

Until the next time,

Rn

 

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7 thoughts on “Cleaning the Chopping Block: DC’s Next Victim

  1. Stormwatch and Batwing will definitely bite the dust, and soon. Except for The Movement and Green Team, all of the other books you mentioned are safe I believe. I don’t know what the numbers are on TM and GT, but the other books are high enough that they shouldn’t get the axe. Earth 2 has had great numbers, but with Robinson’s departure (which I’m actually thrilled by) all DC needs to do is get some creators together to keep it going for a few months while they find someone permanent to take it over. Johns would be a natural choice to take it considering the success he’s had on the property in the past, but I’d be interested to see what someone else could do with the project too.

    • JLI had really high numbers, and I, Vampire and Dial H were highly acclaimed. Numbers factor, but numbers combined with universal importance seems to be just as important to DC. You really don’t see Suicide Squad or Worlds Finest on the Chopping Block?

      • There’s definitely something of an x-factor besides the numbers. Universal importance is probably taken into consideration, but even books like Team 7 weren’t immune which I’d say is something that DC wanted to have importance. I, Vampire and Dial H were highly acclaimed but didn’t/don’t sell high numbers, so I’m not surprised they were canned (MOST unfortunately). JLI is a strange one though since it did sell very well. The only thing I can think of is that DC didn’t like where the story was going (rightfully so), plus the fact that Johns had plans with JLA.

        As for SS and WF are safe for now I think, tho I’m sure DC will cut those in a second as soon as the numbers start to dip below what I’m just guessing is 16K. I’ve been trying to figure out what their threshold is, but it’s been difficult.

      • I have been trying to pinpoint it too, but that gets harder and harder to do. The real question is these new series’. How long will their lives be? Katana, Vibe, Constantine? The only real constant is JLA.

  2. I wish I knew. I hope that Vibe lasts long enough to tell the story that Johns is planning. With Vibe’s new “universe” powers, he’s become infinitely more interesting. Katana can go, she’s proven to be great on teams, but I just don’t think she has enough steam to sustain her own series for long. As for Constantine? Hellblazer fans need to stop whining and accept the fact that he’s a DC character first and foremost, as has always been the case. It’s selling well for the time being and I can only hope that the downward sales trend changes real soon.

    • I agree. I enjoyed Katana at the start, but I have no idea where it is going now. I love Constantine and wish people would give it a shot, and not just shut it down. I am loving the hell out of Vibe. It just gets better and better! The Movement #1 was phenomenal and hope the sales prove it. And Green Team hasn’t hit yet, but I look forward to checking it out.

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