DC Goes Day-and-Date Digital Release Post-Flashpoint, Restarts Entire Line At #1 With 52 Titles
In a major consolidation and streamlining, DC Comics is changing the way they do business and rebooting the entire line of DC Universe titles:
On Wednesday, August 31st, DC Comics will launch a historic renumbering of the entire DC Universe line of comic books with 52 first issues, including the release of JUSTICE LEAGUE by NEW YORK TIMES bestselling writer and DC Entertainment Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns and bestselling artist and DC Comics Co-Publisher Jim Lee. The publication of JUSTICE LEAGUE issue 1 will launch day-and-date digital publishing for all these ongoing titles, making DC Comics the first of the two major American publishers to release all of its superhero comic book titles digitally the same day as in print.
DC Comics will only publish two comic books on August 31st: the final issue of this summer’s comic book mini-series FLASHPOINT and the first issue of JUSTICE LEAGUE by Johns and Lee, two of the most distinguished and popular contemporary comic book creators, who will be collaborating for the first time. Together they will offer a contemporary take on the origin of the comic book industry’s premier superhero team.
A separate letter went out to retailers, hinting at “a more modern, diverse DC Universe, with some character variations in appearance, origin and age. All stories will be grounded in each character’s legend – but will relate to real world situations, interactions, tragedy and triumph.”
There’s a lot of head-shaking going on at this move– Tom Spurgeon displays this POV quite well– but to me, this screams hard core brand consolidation, combined with simplification to make it easy for the new comic reader– who is absolutely expected to be a digital reader. It wouldn’t surprise me if DC started doing special digital subscriptions. For example: all 52 series digitally for $50 a month.
The real concern, however, has to be on the retailer side, who will suddenly find competition on all of their titles on books that have been ordered months in advance and may be non-returnable. Hopefully, DC will keep books returnable for the first few months while the impact on stores is figured out.
If nothing else, it could explain why DC wasn’t at BookExpo this year, as they were waiting to relaunch big.
- It’s official: DC takes the ultimate step and relaunches 50 titles, including digital release (comicsbeat.com)
- The New DCU: Bob Wayne tells retailers about day-and-date (comicsbeat.com)
- DC Comics Announces Historic Renumbering of All Superhero Titles and Landmark Day-and-Date Digital Distribution (graphicpolicy.com)
- BookExpo America: Where is DC Comics? (comicmix.com)