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,