DC’s Convergence event and the subsequent slew of new series was an attempt by DC to combat many of the innovations at Marvel, including the Star Wars monolith, and bring readers back to DC after many became disaffected with the New 52. The Convergence event, along with its 40 two-issue miniseries, was, though somewhat commercially successful, incredibly disappointing and shallow in comparison to Marvel’s Secret Wars. Now that we have seen the new titles with interesting fair like Martian Manhunter, Prez, and Section 8, we are seeing numbers far below what DC had hoped for.
Many of these books are looking at less popular characters, unique horror and comedy storylines, and attempts at going after often ignored demographics, like teen girls. What you end up with is a new series of books that are b-list in terms of sales, at best. The numbers are even below that. Many of these books did not even hit above the 30s for their first issue. This would not be bad for an Image or IDW first issue, but this is DC. Now we are seeing the numbers failing to rise exactly, and wondering how many of these new series, though fun and fresh, will last.
Over the 2014/2015 period DC is $2 million below anticipated sales, which is major for comics. This is especially difficult as they move their studios from New York to Burbank, which was cost intensive and a major move for the company. The rumors are becoming rampant about series being canceled, but it has also been reported at The Beat and Bleeding Cool that senior editors have been giving the call to drop the Bagirl line. More important they have been asked to stop “Batgirling,” which means taking a wildly different and fresh take on the old character, similar to what happened with Batgirl. This means to say that books like Grayson, Gotham Academy, Gotham by Midnight, and many others simply aren’t doing the number that they expected, and now neither is Black Canary and Starfire.
This is actually a series of bad news for comic readers since, though hit and miss, DC’s decisions have led to a much more interesting and different DCU. The DCYOU line has been about fragmenting the universe, focusing on story over continuity, and creating something for everyone. This has led to more creator control and storylines that feel less like retread than many of the New 52 titles, and it is even extending to main titles like we are seeing with the ‘Truth’ storyling across Superman titles and the Jim Gordon takeover of Batman.
If you like the new DCYOU, then start picking up issues and letting them know. Otherwise we may just see another Justice League title. Or 20.