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Wednesday, April 18, 2007 

DC: the chickens come home to roost

There were some others who quoted this most recent look at DC sales on The Beat, and I guess I will too, even if it's later than most others:
DC Comics are increasingly struggling to keep up with Marvel in terms of market share and chart domination. The good news is that DC’s average sales recovered somewhat in February, thanks to a strong debut of new team-up title The Brave and the Bold, and to a bunch of high-selling titles returning to the shelves after being absent for various reasons in January. However, for the first time in two years, the publisher failed to break the 100K barrier with any of its releases — in fact, Justice League of America and the elusive All Star Batman are now the only DC titles which haven’t dropped below that marker, and DC doesn’t seem to have any obvious new 100K+ sellers lined up for the next several months. Additionally, the problem of late-shipping titles persists. Justice League of America #6, Teen Titans #44 and Superman Confidential #4 are the most prominent books that didn’t reach stores despite being marked for a February release.

DC’s Vertigo and WildStorm sub-labels also continue to look less than healthy, in terms of monthly sales. Due to the failure of Vertigo’s Fables to ship in February, the imprint’s average numbers dropped to their lowest point yet since Diamond started to release information on actual sales in March 2003. WildStorm, in the meantime, appears to be all over the place. The recent revamp of their WildStorm Universe line begins to look more and more half-hearted, suffering from mediocre sales, two missing flagship titles and high-profile creators jumping ship after their initial arcs, while the whole lot of their new ongoing horror film adaptations has just been canceled. In other words, everything’s looking a little bit bleak for DC at the moment.
And could continue that way if they don't knock off the incredibly politically correct for PC's sake direction they've been taking lately. The lateness that's also hit their publishing schedule is probably also the result of relying too much on "hot" writers, just like what happened with Marvel a few years ago.

On the one hand, it's sad, but on the other hand, if they're going to keep on leaving any of the damage inflicted via Identity/Infinite Crisis lying around unrepaired, then I really can't feel sorry for DC's editors for the embarrassment that's now befallen them. The key to sympathy, and a renewed wish to buy anything involving my favorite characters and teams from them is to make repairs for such characters as Sue Dibny, Jean Loring, and their respective paramours Ralph Dibny and Ray Palmer. Others include for Barry Allen and the JLA's reputations, and also bringing back Wally West and Linda Park West, and even bringing back Stephanie Brown. And...refraining from overly political biases would also do quite well too.

They fulfill those requests, among a few others, which I should think they're more than capable of doing, and then maybe we can talk something over. Otherwise, I really can't feel sorry for DC's current dilemma.

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