The Great 2011 DC Relaunch - 52 New #1's in September

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The Great 2011 DC Relaunch - 52 New #1's in September

Postby Crawler » Mon Jun 13, 2011 7:57 pm

I would list the new #1's and the creators and such here, but with 52 of them, I would destroy the thread right off. Instead, here's a link to the unofficial solicits at Newsarama (and the official solicits should be out today).

http://www.newsarama.com/comics/dc-comi ... 10613.html

I am cautiously excited about this. The DCU's history is a mess, the characters are pretty inaccessible to a new reader without a massive amount of research, as time has gone on, the power levels have gotten ridiculous, and, most importantly perhaps, the characters have so much baggage attached that the storytellers' creativity is pretty restricted.

I'm hoping to get good, inventive, accessible stories out of this relaunch / reboot...finally fully allowing me to get back into comics...and I'm pretty darned excited about that.

My reservations come in the number of 90s creators involved in the relaunch and that that COULD mean this is an attempt to move back to the "glory days" of the very early 90s. We killed the 90s once. I don't want to do it again.

However, looking at a lot of the books, I'm definitely going to give an enormous number of titles a shot. Here's what I'm gonna check out and why:

Grant Morrison's Action Comics
This seems to be a telling of the relaunched Superman's earliest days and it appears that DC has decided that Supes was the first superhero period. I'm a fan of Morrison and his comments about the book make me optimistic that my first Superman book in nearly a decade will be a good one.

Gail Simone's Batgirl
Gail Simone. Batgirl. Barbara Gordon back under the cowl. Yes, I would like to read that.

JH Williams III's Batwoman
JHW3's art is some of the most gorgeous in comics today. That is enough to give the book a shot.

Judd Winick's Catwoman
JUDD! SELINA! YES. Plus the solicit text makes it sound like it will be unique and fun.

Green Lantern: The New Guardians
Kyle's over here now, leading a team of one lantern from each corps. I'm giving it a shot on concept (there hasn't been a mixed lantern team, except in Blackest Night) and because I want to watch Arkillo do mean things.

Peter Milligan's Red Lanterns
Milligan's psychosis + Atrocitus might be a match made in comic book heaven. However, I kinda wonder if this wouldn't be more suited to the "Edge" imprint.

Johns and Lee on Justice League
This is apparently the lynchpin of the relaunch, so I'll be picking it up for at least an arc to see how things fit together. I don't know that I'll be keeping it, but then I don't know that I'll be keeping any of these. I'm a reader, not a collector.

Brian Azzarello's Wonder Woman
I've always *wanted* to like Wonder Woman, and she's had some pretty choice moments, but I just couldn't get into her book before. With Azzarello writing and Chiang drawing? Giving it an honest shot.

Paul Cornell's Stormwatch
Apollo. Midnighter. Jack. Martian Manhunter. It should be a really fun dynamic.

Frankenstein, Agent of SHADE
After reading the Flashpoint Frankenstein, I'm going to give this one a shot. Frankenstein as an action hero is an intriguing concept and DC has plenty of cool supernatural characters to round out the book.

And, of course,
Francis Manapul's The Flash
Manapul's art was GREAT during the last series and it's the freaking Flash. This is the one I might keep out of loyalty, even if the story is sub-par...but I totally have high hopes that that will not be the case.
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The Great 2011 DC Relaunch - 52 New #1's in September

Postby Bamfette » Mon Jun 13, 2011 8:52 pm

Yeah, I share your reservations about them wanting to relive the glory days of the 90's vibe I'm getting from this. But this is a case where we vote with out wallets. Show them that we want to read the innovative, modern stuff, not stuff mired in the past.

I am looking forward to:

Action Comics It's Grant Morrison, who has done great things with Superman in the past, and from the sounds of it, this is the kind of Superman I like to see. Not absurdly powerful, dealing with local problems, a personal life. It's just sounding great. And the art looks great.

Stormwatch - I am insanely excited about this, and a bit nervous at the same time. Apollo (see avatar) Midnighter and Jack were my 3 favorite characters in The Authority, actually, some of my favorite characters hands down. So the fact that they are appearing here, all together, has me very happy. Cornell also is a very talented writer, and says his run will be closest in tone to Warren Ellis's run on The Authority, which is also good, as that was my favorite. On the other hand, the costumes they stuck Apollo and Midnighter in are horrible (haven't seen Jack yet), though they can change down the line, writing is the important bit. And I am a bit worried that we'll be seeing some serious badass decay. The Authority were VERY violent, especially Midnighter. Stormwatch was less violent (and Apollo and Midnighter were members, briefly, before The Authority) but still much more extreme than anything in the DCU. And I know that DC will not allow that level of violence to appear on panel. but... though I know we wont see Midnighter rip anyone's spine out (seriously, he did that) this time around, as long as he enjoys a good fight way more than anyone really ought to, and fights with style, I think the essence of their characters can be preserved. Just with a lot less gore. But it will be a tricky thing to pull off. And all 3 of them did have aspects that will carry over just fine. But those costumes, seriously, they have to go.

Batgirl - Gail Simone has rarely let me down in the past, and she seems very excited about this.

Batwoman - I have been meaning to check this out for the longest time, I keep hearing how good it is, and the art is gorgeous, and never got around to it. Seems like as good an opportunity as any.

Swamp Thing - ...It's Swamp Thing. :p totally giving this a try.

Frankenstein: Agent of Shade - Looks like ti could be a lot of fun.

Jutice League - Mostly because, as C pointed out, seems to be the lynchpin of the relaunch, so I will be checking it out for that reason, mainly. I am not sure how long I will stick with it. But the creative team is good, so hey.

Justice League Dark - The team members intrigue me, should be an interesting dynamic.

All Star Western - Jonah Hex in an old-west version of Gotham? fuck yeah.

*edit - holy shit, how did i forget to mention Catwoman?! for pretty much the same reasons as above.

[Edited on 13/6/11 by Bamfette]
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The Great 2011 DC Relaunch - 52 New #1's in September

Postby Ult_Sm86 » Mon Jul 18, 2011 6:12 am

I'll be honest.... I want to like These solicits, I really do... but I just can't dig 'em.

I'm still not sure how I feel about all of these changes.

But at least they're not as abrupt and butterfly-effect as I had originally thought they were. At first it seemed like Flash didn't tie down a boat or something in Flashpoint and suddenly everyone's different when he sets everything "back". Seems now like it's a general progression thing, but I still think it's a cheap trick used to pull in new readers.

However, these new readers are far more valuable to the comic industry than I am. I'll never budge and I know most of my compatriots won't either. Digital Comics aren't for us, but if they can even get 3% of iPad users to even LOOK at Digital Comics? They might quadruple the industry. That's fine. I get why they're doing it.


I'll just have to bow out of DCnU until I'm okay with it again! ;)
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The Great 2011 DC Relaunch - 52 New #1's in September

Postby Ferguson » Mon Jul 18, 2011 12:54 pm

I'm looking forward to the relaunches more often than not, a few quibbles here and there when it feels like they've put things in that really just don't quite belong or feel a bit like tokenism.

The only thing that is making me absolutely cringe is the Batgirl relaunch. The idea of randomly rejuvenated Barbara Gordon just doesn't sit well at all. I know they want the most recognizably character and all but to take one of the few developed characters with a disability and no powers to cheat around the problem. It just seems like such a step backwards for the company and a foolish move all together as I can't imagine too many people were complaining about Barbara as Oracle.

Other than that I generally like the book/writer mash up and am definitely looking forward to a few of the titles and will be thankful that Roy Harper isn't chucking dead cats around.
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The Great 2011 DC Relaunch - 52 New #1's in September

Postby Ult_Sm86 » Tue Jul 19, 2011 9:52 pm

I agree the whole Barbara needs to be Batgirl again excuse is a total fiasco. They could have easily pushed Stephens harder, incorporated her into the various animated shows, if that was really a crucial problem. bologna.
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The Great 2011 DC Relaunch - 52 New #1's in September

Postby Bamfette » Sun Aug 28, 2011 9:36 pm

Except there are no CURRENT shows or movies that feature Batgirl at all, so how could they have pushed the character? People know Babs as Batgirl from shows that ended YEARS ago, the 60's TV show and Batman: TAS, and there isn't really much DC can do about such a deeply ingrained perception among the general public without a whole lot more leadin time than they've had. Gail has won me over on the whole Batgirl thing. she loves the character, is enthusiastic about the project, and I think will do right by her.

Anyway. As you can see form my sig, as new information has emerged, I've changed a few titles. You can also see I am giving a lot more of my business to DC than Marvel, especially if you count the Vertigo books. :p Demon Knights is now quite high on my anticipated list, Justice League and Catwoman have moved down to 'will give them a shot'. Not in my sig, but I am going to give a shot and see how I like them: Men of War, I, Vampire, Supergirl, Grifter, Voodoo, Resurrection Man

Unless Stormwatch, Action Comics, Batman, Swamp Thing, Animal Man, Batgirl, Batwoman, Frankenstein: Agent of S.H.A.D.E, Demon Knights, All-Star Western and Justice League Dark fail SPECTACULARLY to live up to expectations, I'm thinking they're sticking around a good while, at least until they get a new creative team. I am really loving that the line is much more diverse now. You'll note not a whole lot of typical superheroes in my picks... And Gail has hinted that there is a new series coming down the line that I think I will probably like which most likely isn't supers either. (it's either a police procedural, political drama, hard sci-fi, or space opera or something for kids. I know, very different, but she asked what genres people wanted, those were the ones thrown out before she said we'd be happy soon. I'm laying money on Gotham Central being brought back, or a Question series. So that will likely be going on my list.)

The one I am most excited about though? Stormwatch just keeps sounding better and better, I can not WAIT for this book. They fight THE MOON, come on people. and they've got that whole "I'm not a fuckig superhero!" attitude going on. It is love. Even if it didn't have the old Authority characters, I'd still be greatly anticipating this.

http://i.newsarama.com/images/stormwatch_1_page_12x_02.jpg
http://i.newsarama.com/images/stormwatch_1_page_13x_02.jpg
http://dcu.blog.dccomics.com/files/2011/07/STORMWATCH_12_nuioius6dfa8.jpg
http://dcu.blog.dccomics.com/files/2011/07/STORMWATCH_7_shafkj67askldhf.jpg
http://a.yfrog.com/img616/2629/pblzy.jpg
http://a.yfrog.com/img640/8431/qgzznf.jpg
http://robot6.comicbookresources.com/wp ... 25x943.jpg

[Edited on 28/8/11 by Bamfette]
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The Great 2011 DC Relaunch - 52 New #1's in September

Postby NachtcGleiskette » Tue Aug 30, 2011 5:15 pm

So, I gotta be honest here. I'm not sure these relaunches are going to do for DC what they expect. I understand starting from square 1 and opening it up to make it more new reader friendly, but here's the rub: Everyone on Earth knows who Superman is and has expectations as to what to expect from a Superman story. Now, every character doesn't hold the same weight, but for the big three - Batman, Wonder Woman and Superman - I wonder why they didn't at least try to either present them as they're widely known, or keep a book that keeps the status quo in tact. I feel that by moving away from the expectations of the world at large will alienate more than it will bring in. Someone who's never read a Superman book will walk into a comic shop and not recognize the guy on the cover. Ok, yeah, he's clearly Superman, but I believe in staying true to a brand, especially one as huge as Superman.

But at the same time, I'll wait and see. I could be wrong. I am, however, so over these enormous marketing stunts and crossovers.
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The Great 2011 DC Relaunch - 52 New #1's in September

Postby Bamfette » Tue Aug 30, 2011 6:56 pm

Actually, Batman DOES keep all it's past continuity. It and the Green Lantern were DC's best selling properties, so they got to keep nearly all their continuity, with a few relatively minor tweaks, and a timeline compression. Batman Inc will be continuing right where it last left off etc. Even Barbara, she was still Oracle, was still shot, everything. It's just that something happens recently that allows her to regain the use of her legs. Other books confirmed to be keeping past continuity are Swamp Thing and Legion of Superheroes/Legion Lost. the Superman books sales were tanking hard, that's why it got a huge overhaul. Most other books are getting a soft reboot.

Also, word just came in like, this morning that Justice League #1, which had over 200,000 orders in the direct marker, just sold out and is going back for a re-printing. In the end it may sell over 300k. 6 other books have gone over 100k, (including both Superman books which were previously hovering around 30-40k) and there may be more as those are just orders from the first half of the month. Considering in the past several months that there have been months where NO book, Marvel or DC, broke 100k despite being the height of the summer event season, this is very, very good. Is it enough to save the industry? I dunno, but it's looking fairly certain that at the very least sales will be better for DC. Also, keep in mind this is the Diamond sales only, digital sales will play a larger part than previously. How much larger, I am not sure, but... in any case, digital numbers are not part of the 200k+ number.


[Edited on 30/8/11 by Bamfette]
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The Great 2011 DC Relaunch - 52 New #1's in September

Postby Crawler » Tue Aug 30, 2011 7:50 pm

Yeah...what Bamfette said. Basically, the better the sales were before the reboot, the more of the continuity they're keeping. If the book was tanking, it got a heftier overhaul.

I've also changed my pull list since that original list, due to more information coming out over the intervening time.

I'm now most interested in: Stormwatch, Action Comics, Frankenstein, All-Star Western, and Batgirl. I'm also going to give Catwoman, Demon Knights, and Blue Beetle a try, just because they're different from the usual fare.

Of course, the big one for me is still Stormwatch. I love me some Midnighter and Engineer and Cornell has really made me excited about the book as he's talked about what he thinks and revealed how well he understands the characters and what makes them tick. I've even warmed to Apollo's new costume, except for the booties. :D
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The Great 2011 DC Relaunch - 52 New #1's in September

Postby NachtcGleiskette » Tue Aug 30, 2011 7:59 pm

I knew Batman and GL were basically staying the same, but I wasn't SURE about Batman. Thanks for clarifying :)

I'm just coming from a place of branding. The can relaunch Supes as many times as they want, but I think it won't attract anyone if he is essentially no longer the Superman people know. But then, maybe I'm judging too quick. We'll see what happens.

However, the jeans are horrid. Jeans?!

I am excited for a Catwoman relaunch. She's one of my favs :)
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The Great 2011 DC Relaunch - 52 New #1's in September

Postby Ult_Sm86 » Tue Aug 30, 2011 8:00 pm

Okay so can someone make sense of the rumors:


Kal-El comes to earth, becomes Clark, but I'm hearing the Kents die nice and early on so we the readers get a less Clark more Kal version of Superman. As Grant has said "More Alien".


Bruce Wayne's parents are deadbeats and die, but he's glad for it.

Tim Drake never became Robin.

Stephanie never became Batgirl. She also never came back from the dead, or just died however that story works out.

There's others but these are the ones that I'm hearing that are freaking me out the most.


Also, I understand I'm not the demographic DC is trying to get interested in the stories now, and I'm less offended and more .... disappointed. I really liked Batman & Robin as it was and I just dont' see any positive avenues for Bruce & Damian, though obviously I'll give it a shot.
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The Great 2011 DC Relaunch - 52 New #1's in September

Postby Crawler » Tue Aug 30, 2011 8:25 pm

Bruce and Damian are the duo in the new Batman & Robin. I would suspect that the majority of the continuity there is staying.

As far as I know, all four Robins still exist, still are active, and were still Robin at some point. Dan DiDio has explained the Robin role as "sort of an internship."

Stephanie never became Batgirl...that's probably true. However, that doesn't mean she doesn't exist and won't be around in some fashion or another. Comics always have room for characters, really.

I don't know where you're getting the Kents and Waynes stuff. I've heard nothing of the sort. Now, there is going to be much less tolerance and a lot more paranoia regarding aliens in the DCU now and Supergirl is based entirely on the concept of a very alien powerhouse, but I haven't heard anything about Superman being more overtly alien. It seems core to his character that he feels much more like a farmboy from Kansas than a god amongst men.

If Bruce is happy that his parents are dead...no Batman. Simple as that. If that's just a rumor, it's silly.
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The Great 2011 DC Relaunch - 52 New #1's in September

Postby Ult_Sm86 » Tue Aug 30, 2011 8:40 pm

But see, that's what I said. I insisted that you cant' have a Batman who's glad his parents are dead.

But I've also seen crazier stuff in comics. When rumors start flying, and there's no real tangible information to work with, it's hard to see past what's fact and what's not. And the way that the rumor of the Waynes was delivered to me was very credible. But credible and the internet are about as awesome together as wine coolers and jumping jacks.

And Grant did say that Superman is going to be more alien. That much I read fosho in something either on CBR with him or on the DC editors page in the back of an issue of something. (Probably Arkham City being it's the only DC book I've bought in months besides the last 2 B&R's).
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The Great 2011 DC Relaunch - 52 New #1's in September

Postby Bamfette » Tue Aug 30, 2011 8:48 pm

the jeans are TEMPORARY. The first arc or so takes place several years in the past, before Clark adopts the mantle of Superman, it is the story of how he comes to adopt the title, etc. by the end, the jeans will be gone and he will be in the costume from the Justice League. You don't honestly expect the costume to just be there the second he decides to fight crime, do you?

Steph was still Batgirl, as far as I know. The editors have said she will still be around, just as Spoiler rather than Batgirl.

I dunno where the hell you got Bruce is glad his parents are dead from. I highly doubt that's the case. Everything I've heard indicates it's the same Bruce as always. I am not getting my info from rumors. I follow Scott Snyder's twitter feed, everything he has said points to Bruce, including his feelings about his parents, remaining EXACTLY the same. Dan Didio and Tony Daniels have also said basically this at conventions.

As for Clark being more alien... I think you're mixing up him and Supergirl a bit, and the fact that he is alien will have more impact on his life in that there seems to me more anti-alien sentiment in the new DCU, and I think his Kryptonian heritage will play a somewhat larger role in his life. But that doesn't mean his PERSONALITY will be more alien, (pages released of him and Lois show the classic Clark Kent who definitely has very human emotions) just that other people will treat him differently (at least early on) because of his status as an alien. Basically, aliens are the DCU's mutants now.

Image

You can't tell me he doesn't have human emotions, looking at that cover. But at the same time, it's obvious him being alien is more important.

[Edited on 30/8/11 by Bamfette]
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The Great 2011 DC Relaunch - 52 New #1's in September

Postby Crawler » Wed Aug 31, 2011 4:28 am

ComicsAlliance has a great preview of half of the new 52 books up, complete with pictures and short reviews!

http://www.comicsalliance.com/2011/08/3 ... z1WZkNdFIZ
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The Great 2011 DC Relaunch - 52 New #1's in September

Postby Bamfette » Wed Aug 31, 2011 5:54 am

Justice League 1. Replace Superman with Green Lantern and it's basically this! http://youtu.be/PeT1t0lQn5Q

ok not quite. But there is a line in there that i am pretty sure is an intentional nod to that video. :) It was... ok. I wasn't expecting much more from it than that, though. I think they should have built up the threat more, make the whole 'we need to build a team' thing seem more important than the almost accidental thing we got.

oh yeah. this video is also full of awesome: http://youtu.be/jH3W1gQYiD4

[Edited on 31/8/11 by Bamfette]
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The Great 2011 DC Relaunch - 52 New #1's in September

Postby Wahnsinn » Wed Aug 31, 2011 9:29 am

Bamfette wrote:Also, word just came in like, this morning that Justice League #1, which had over 200,000 orders in the direct marker, just sold out and is going back for a re-printing. In the end it may sell over 300k. 6 other books have gone over 100k, (including both Superman books which were previously hovering around 30-40k) and there may be more as those are just orders from the first half of the month. Considering in the past several months that there have been months where NO book, Marvel or DC, broke 100k despite being the height of the summer event season, this is very, very good. Is it enough to save the industry? I dunno, but it's looking fairly certain that at the very least sales will be better for DC. Also, keep in mind this is the Diamond sales only, digital sales will play a larger part than previously. How much larger, I am not sure, but... in any case, digital numbers are not part of the 200k+ number.

Fantastic number, isn't it? Of course, that's only orders. It remains to be seen how many of those make it into customer hands. We also must remember that some people are going to buy more than one copy of certain things, leading to an artificial inflation of the figures. There's likely to be a pretty nasty drop-off in the beginning. Hopefully, sales will level out higher than pre-reboot numbers. That would indicate that maybe, just maybe, the reboot managed to bring in some new people who'll hang around and expand their reader profiles to include other publishers. That'd be a win for the whole industry.
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The Great 2011 DC Relaunch - 52 New #1's in September

Postby Crawler » Wed Aug 31, 2011 6:48 pm

And more reviews! This time from CBR!

http://www.newsarama.com/comics/dc-new- ... 10831.html

Wahnsinn wrote:Fantastic number, isn't it? Of course, that's only orders. It remains to be seen how many of those make it into customer hands. We also must remember that some people are going to buy more than one copy of certain things, leading to an artificial inflation of the figures. There's likely to be a pretty nasty drop-off in the beginning. Hopefully, sales will level out higher than pre-reboot numbers. That would indicate that maybe, just maybe, the reboot managed to bring in some new people who'll hang around and expand their reader profiles to include other publishers. That'd be a win for the whole industry.


Well, the one thing this does mean for sure is that the retailers have confidence in the (sales of) the relaunch. For all the shouts of DOOOOOOOM!, it appears that more retailers think that, at least in the first month, these books will sell like gangbusters.

Yeah, there's definitely going to be a drop off when all the issue #2's come out in October. Right now, retailers are guessing on how many of each book to order. October will likewise be guesses, so perhaps they will still be on the rather high side. But the orders for the #3's will be based on actual sales of the #1's. So the most interesting numbers, at least to me, will be the orders for #3's.

And, of course, I hope the day and date digital will surprise even the most hopeful people. Bamfette and I have been reading What do you REALLY know about comics?, a blog wherein the author interviews random non-comic-people about what they know about comics, what kind of stories they like to watch/read, and then gives them suggestions on comics to check out. Almost every single one that has an iPad or other tablet preferred that to single issues or even trades. Just from messing around with a friend's iPad, I know that if I owned one, I would never buy a paper single issue again but would probably buy more comics over all. Not having to wait weeks or months or years after paper release for an issue to hit my tablet would be HUGE. Hopefully, it plays out that way for others, as well.
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The Great 2011 DC Relaunch - 52 New #1's in September

Postby Bamfette » Wed Aug 31, 2011 6:57 pm

Some brief (spoiler free) reviews of 7 of the new books:

http://www.newsarama.com/comics/dc-new- ... 10831.html
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The Great 2011 DC Relaunch - 52 New #1's in September

Postby Bamfette » Fri Sep 02, 2011 6:31 am

So, the first printing of Justice League 1 had pre-orders somewhere above 200,000, and that sold out, so they went back to the printer and got another batch... apparently the SECOND printing has ALSO sold out at Diamond (it will be in shops on the 14th). Granted, pre-orders don't necessarily equal sales... But based on things I've seen on the web and on Twitter, most stores are selling a whole lot of issue 1, many have sold out.

Newsarama collected some retailer comments here:
http://www.newsarama.com/comics/retaile ... 10831.html

One customer remarked:

My LCS had a few new people in there. Not that many newbies, but the guys told me that they sold out on JL #1. They only ordered 30 extra non pull copies thinking it was gonna flop as all the customers were bashing the reboot but he told me EVERYONE (the regulars) wanted one. The Marvel guys, the im gonna cry because Superman wears his underwear under his pants now guys, the indy guys. EVERYONE! He said the ones that did not go into pulls went quick. They also told me that alot of the afore mentioned people added that and a few others to the pull. They seemed pretty exited about it because alot of the DC guys said they were leaving...but all that happened is some of them couldn't get their JL 1 today. But as has been stated we will see what the future holds after issue 2


So, goes to show you can't take all the doom crying too seriously.

A lot of people have also been saying that a lot of people going to get the issues are asking after more of the New 52 titles, and that they tend to be asking after more of the fringey books when they do, the ones in the Dark and the Edge lines. While it does show a bit of a misstep by DC (it probably wold have benefited them to release at the very least, say Action Comics at the same time. or better advertise that the books were being released over the course of the month, not all on the same day) this is encouraging, it means the new fans aren't just after the whole Jim Lee/Geoff Johns pairing, or a highly hyped #1, they have specific stories they've seen that have interested them enough to come to the shop and ask about it. Stories that don't involve the DCU's biggest characters, no less. hopefully they come back to the shop to get the issue they want!

Oh sure, there are people trying their damndest to put a negative spin on this, the ones who WANT it to fail, but it's looking like DC has a genuine success on their hands so far. Maybe not a hugely explosive success, but a success nonetheless, especially when you consider this is just comic shop we're talking about, digital will have more of an impact than it did previously, we just don't know how much more, and likely never will since Comixology does not release sales figures. Sales in future months will tell for sure, but I am fairly certain a 50% or more drop is unlikely, and that Justice League will remain well above 100k for quite a while through Diamond alone, not even counting digital.

Now we have to see how well the other books do! All we know is that 6 of them had over 100k, but I think there will be a lot more fluctuation in those books as they find their level. Gail Simone said on Twitter that many of those books have sold out as well, and will also be seeing second printings, but we won't be able to gauge sell-through on them until the 7th for the first batch and the 28th for the last...

[Edited on 2/9/11 by Bamfette]
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The Great 2011 DC Relaunch - 52 New #1's in September

Postby Wahnsinn » Fri Sep 02, 2011 12:52 pm

Are you two seeing me as a doom-crier? 'Cause that's certainly not what I'm trying to be. It's all exciting as a comics fan, but I'm also a realist. What you see from me is caution. This could turn out to be anything from a massive success for the whole industry to a complete disaster. DC is hanging everything on it, and that's dangerous.

There's no doubt the first issues will have great sales, and it does seem to be bringing some new people to the medium. New and returning lapsed readers are exactly what the industry needs. The hard part is keeping those people reading, and at today's prices, people might be less forgiving if they feel a story got off to a mediocre start. It's essential that those first issues suck readers in and make them want more.

From the Newsarama piece: "As for Wednesday proper, our first sale was to a customer we hadn't seen before who wanted three copies of Justice League."
That's the MO of a speculator. How many of those will this event draw? Hopefully, not too many. It's not easy to tell the difference between an exuberant potential return customer and a person who's only after that #1 'cause they think it'll be worth thousands in a couple decades. Taking a loss on over-ordering is something most shops can only afford so many times, and with the launch of 52 #1 issues in a month? I really hope everybody's taking notes to get a good feeling for what kind of supply they'll need to meet customer demand without going too far over.

I want this to work. It'll be good for everybody if it does. I'm just not going to do the Happy Dance prematurely. The real test begins at the second arc of each book, when those running a 1st-arc trial will drop off if they're dissatisfied. If sales hold at a higher level then, I'll be all about the dancing. ;)
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The Great 2011 DC Relaunch - 52 New #1's in September

Postby Bamfette » Fri Sep 02, 2011 4:46 pm

No, not you. just in general, there are some of them running around, actively hoping for the relaunch to fail. This isn't the only forum I'm active at. I am way more active at CBR recently than I am here, for instance.

But to address some of your points.... You can't be sure of that guy's motives. He could have been buying extra copies for his kids, for all you know. (the issue is pretty all-ages friendly) And even if he was a speculator, I am absolutely not expecting the sales to stay at 200k+ that number WILL fall, I know that. Some of the decrease will be due to (misguided, the issues will be worthless, too many of them out there) speculators. But as I stated in the digital distribution thread, there are fewer speculators today as there wee in the 90's, and not EVERY person buying the first issue was a speculator. I very much doubt the next issue will be anywhere close to dipping below 100k. Considering Justice League was previously selling 40k, even if it did, it's still an improvement. not as much as I'm sure DC was hoping for, but still.

Also, DC didn't have a lot of options open to it. It kinda had to go big or just accept inevitable doom. It might have hastened their death, but sometimes it may be better to go out in a blaze of glory than with a whimper. No one, DC, Marvel, or anyone else, was going to save the industry by playing safe.

BTW. for over 40 of the new 52, the first 3 issues come with complete returnability for retailers, so there actually is not much risk at all from over-ordering. The ones that aren't fully returnable are books that were pretty much guaranteed to be good sellers, including Justice League. If retailers over-order on those titles, it will be DC eating the losses, not the shops. In order to qualify for returnability the shop has to order 125% of it's May DC order. (not that much, really, when you consider that the first month is pretty much a given increase, and hey, returnable!) The titles that are returnable are the following:

All Star Western
Grifter
Animal Man
Hawk and Dove
Aquaman
I, Vampire
Batgirl
Justice League Dark
Batman and Robin
Justice League International
Batman: The Dark Knight
Legion Lost
Batwing
Legion of Super Heroes
Birds of Prey
Men of War
Blackhawks
Mister Terrific
Blue Beetle
Nightwing
Captain Atom
OMAC
Catwoman
Red Hood and the Outlaws
DC Universe Presents
Red Lanterns
Deathstroke
Resurrection Man
Demon Knights
The Savage Hawkman
Detective Comics
Static Shock
Frankenstein, Agent of S.H.A.D.E.
Suicide Squad
The Fury of Firestorm
Superboy
Green Arrow
Supergirl
Green Lantern Corps
Superman
Voodoo

Basically, titles they thought could use a boost, with a few odd exceptions. I note now that I look at it that Stormwatch isn't on there, nor is Swamp Thing which is a bit odd since the characters are relatively obscure compared to DC's mainstays... but Paul Cornell seems thrilled with Stormwatch's sales so hey, it did well anyway. So yeah, titles on that list may be artificially inflated on the sales charts due to their returnable status, but it is a very generous move on the part of DC which takes most of the burden of risk off the retailers shoulders. (I suspect they'll be getting some Suicide Squad covers in the mail, personally)

Titles not on that list, namely Justice League, Batman, Action Comics, Green Lantern, Green Lantern: New Guardians, Batwoman, Teen Titans, Swamp Thing, Wonder Woman, The Flash and Stormwatch will have figures that are not artificially inflated and are the books to watch for genuine sales numbers. Some of those, The Flash, Green Lantern, Batman and Action, have already been confirmed to have cracked 100k pre-orders. (by how much, I dunno, could be 101k which would be meh, or it could be 190k which would be great) though yeah, Diamond pre-orders and actual sell-through are different things. But I am sure all the news sites will be covering that aspect with interest. And we already have evidence that the 200k+ on Justice League actually did sell since they are having a re-print. they don't do that unless there is retailer interest.

*eta - a little more looking, and some of the non-returnable ones do have variant covers to help encourage additional sales, (Justice League, Action, Batman, Green Lantern, The Flash - the guaranteed successes, essentially) or larger discounts than normal for the retailer. (Batwoman, GL: New Guardians, Swamp Thing, Teen Titans, Wonder Woman and Stormwatch. Essentially books DC is pushing as potential breakout hits)

eta 2 - the following books were just announced to have sold out and are going back for additional printing:

Justice League #1 - Third Printing
Action Comics #1 - Second Printing
Batgirl #1 - Second Printing

http://dcu.blog.dccomics.com/2011/09/02 ... gue-again/

[Edited on 2/9/11 by Bamfette]
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The Great 2011 DC Relaunch - 52 New #1's in September

Postby Crawler » Fri Sep 02, 2011 6:51 pm

The relaunch is a big, risky endeavor. It's right to be cautious and to question it. Doom crying is another thing altogether. Doom crying is "I don't like it, so it will fail."

However, from my perspective, something like this relaunch had to happen. The comics industry is slowly dying and has been for years. It's not enough to depend on the fans you've always had when, very slowly, those fans are no longer buying your product. I mean, even if every last loyal comic book fan always bought the same number of books as they've always bought...people die. People lose their jobs. Things happen. If you're not bringing in new customers, you're going to find yourself subject to attrition.

Now, it IS risky to do this. There's a small but present chance that it will alienate the dependable readership and not gain enough new readers to replace them. That's always possible. However, continuing as always would simply not work. Someone had to take the big risky chance at some point or the inevitable decline would continue. After all, doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results is the definition of insanity. Insanity is not a good business plan.

Granted, some of this is par for the course in the comics industry, so they're not going completely balls to the wall, full risk. But they are making very important changes in order to reach for those new readers. Obviously, they're wiping a lot of the history attached to the universe and the characters. From an inside perspective, from the perspective of someone that has been there for all of that continuity, this could be seen as crazy or even disrespectful. But from someone outside of comics who wants to get into comics? Having to read years and years worth of comics, just to figure out what's going on this month is probably enough for you to put the comic back down and say "Oh well. I'll wait for the next movie, I guess." Having the stories be accessible to new readers, casual readers (and remember...we were all casual readers at some point) is very very important to gaining new readers.

The other move that is extremely controversial within a very small but loud and vocal set of the current readership is DC's decision to use this opportunity to implement their day-and-date digital plan. This makes it so that the digital versions of their comics hit comiXology the same day as the print books hit the shelves. This is important to a healthy business plan because it puts the product into as many hands as possible, by making the comics as available as they can. Some people don't have local comic stores. Some people have to wait a few months for the paper comics to arrive. Some people just can't be bothered with going down to the local store. Some people have really crappy local stores. This solves that dilemma for those people. Beyond that, this is sort of a "put the gum and candy by the registers" move. It allows for more impulse buyers. Right now, you have to go to a very specific, specialized place to get your comics...and often, that's they only thing you can get while you're there. Now someone can think "I wonder what's happening in The Flash this month," and be reading the comic 45 seconds later.

Now, if you regard this as just another stunt that will be undone within a year...yeah. This would be a bad move. But it's not a stunt. DiDio and Johns have made it extremely clear that this will not be undone, that there is no "back door" to returning to the old universe, and that Flashpoint was their very last crossover event for a very long time.

So, in summary, this makes the comics accessible and available, and gives us all a break from "event fatigue," while simultaneously showing everyone that they're willing to change. It solves what I see as the four biggest problems with the comics industry, IMO. It eliminates the need for every comic reader to be a comic obsessive.

[Edited on 9-2-2011 by Crawler]
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The Great 2011 DC Relaunch - 52 New #1's in September

Postby Bamfette » Fri Sep 02, 2011 8:17 pm

Just in - Hawk and Dove has sold out (... seriously? *sigh*)

and, in bigger news, the DC comics app on the iPad just cracked the top 20 highest grossing apps. :)

[quote][Comixology CEO] also said the DC launch was a huge success for comiXology: “Huge print run, great excitement, and pushing both the Comics app and the DC app into the top 20 grossing iPad Apps — not just Book Apps, but ALL apps. That indicates the beginning of something great for expanding the comic market.
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The Great 2011 DC Relaunch - 52 New #1's in September

Postby Wahnsinn » Fri Sep 02, 2011 9:40 pm

I agree that something had to be done. Was this the best move? I'm not sure, but it won't much matter if it's successful. The key to long-term success will be good stories. No doubt, that's what they'll aim to tell, but it'll be up to each reader to determine if that's what they've bought.

Do I know that particular guy's a speculator? No, but that is the typical behavior of one. An event like this is the kind of thing that draws them out. Revamping an iconic character like Superman with a new #1 is a Big Deal. Today's average speculator probably wasn't around for the '90s bust and doesn't realize that having piles of near-mint condition copies floating around makes those issues all but worthless. Heck, X-Men #1 is still sitting in dollar bins 20 years after its release. Those who don't know would probably think it's worth a couple hundred bucks by now.

The hubby brought up an observation: It's rarely ever the first 3 issues that are hard to find in back-issue bins. Those are the ones that really get over-ordered. By the time a shop is ordering #4 or so, they have an idea of what they can actually sell. What we're seeing now is what shops think they can potentially sell at a maximum. It's driven as much, if not more, by hopeful guessing as it is by anything concrete. That some of it will be returnable is good, but I suspect the issues most likely to be vastly over-ordered are those that can't be returned.

I hope they stick to the event break. They've been running nonstop events and event aftermath for 2 or 3 years straight now. Enough already. I'd like to see Marvel take a break, too. The numbers for Schism can't be what they expected, much less wanted.

It's good to hear the digital stuff is off to a good start. While I'm still partial to the floppies, anything that helps the industry keep going is worth doing in my book. :nodyes
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