Robot 6

May brings the end for five DC series

Doom Patrol #22

The solicitations for DC’s May titles hit earlier today, bringing official word that five DC series have been canceled. Doom Patrol, JSA All-Stars, Freedom Fighters and R.E.B.E.L.S. join The Outsiders on the chopping block. They follow Azrael, Batman: Streets Of Gotham and Batman Confidential, which met their ends in March.

Looking at the most recent month-to-month sales figures for DC that Mark-Oliver Frisch analyzes on The Beat, it’s not surprising to see any of these titles ending. Probably the biggest surprise, if you were looking just at the numbers, is JSA All-Stars, which looks to be selling better than other monthly series not getting the axe, like Booster Gold and Power Girl. I bet many of the characters in it will find their way back to the flagship JSA title.

Freedom Fighters co-writer Jimmy Palmiotti commented on the cancellation of the book on Twitter, noting, “If a book doesn’t break even or make a profit, it gets cancelled and opens up the door for another title,” he said. “Wait for the big picture. things get cancelled and others get green lit. the nature of publishing.”

Doom Patrol, Freedom Fighters, Outsiders and L.E.G.I.O.N./R.E.B.E.L.S. have all ended before — despite their name, Doom Patrol has been resurrected four times since the original series ended — and no doubt they’ll all be back again somewhere down the road.

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32 Comments

Shame about Doom Patrol and R.E.B.E.L.S. They’d actually go quite well together if this were 1970-something, and anthologies were still vogue.

Considering I read all those books this definitely sucks.

Ack! I love DP and Freedom Fighters! i read AllStars because I’m obsessed w/JSA. Guess my budget just cleared some space. Still though, would rather have the books.

Sad to hear that Freedom Fighters couldn’t even break even.

Unfortunately, that was a title I was waiting on the trade for. Who knows if that will even come out now.

Batman Confidential… The book they cancelled the long-running Legends of the Dark Knight for, dies after a relatively brief — and incredibly disappointing — run. Of course, LotDK was mostly a shadow of its former self by the time it ended its run too. But still. Why did they cancel that book for another one that was never all that good, a couple of decent story arcs aside?

As someone who considers Bruce Wayne to be the one and only Batman (I’m fine with Batman Beyond and I enjoyed that TV show), and someone who’s not interested in Grant Morrison’s take on Batman, it’s really sad that a series based on tales from Batman’s past just wasn’t a terribly compelling read. Of course, I feel that way about pretty much everything DC’s doing these days. I’m giving the new The Dark Knight title a chance, so we’ll see how that book turns out.

this run of freedom fighters was pretty much just another 8 issue miniseries, so it’s not a big disappointment.

I’m surprised zatanna and thunder agents are still running, though i’m sure there’s some mysterious magic behind that.

Shaun, Confidential lost its way quite a while back. It stopped being about tales from Batman’s past and turned into essentially LOTDK. The fact that Guggenheim’s story was asked to be written pretty much when the series first started is why the book is sorta ending as it began.

But you can look at most of the stuff in the middle and go “What does this have to do with Batman’s past?”

Ugh. They cancel good books sadly and even cancel the better JSA book. The regular book is horrible right now. Glad to see fake azriael gone and Dan Dido’s mess that was the Outsiders gone too.

FUCK. FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK.

Doom Patrol and R.E.B.E.L.S. are two out of the five books I buy from DC each month, and are my favorite books from DC.

Pretty bummed out about “Freedom Fighters” (waiting for the trade) and “R.E.B.E.L.S.” being cancelled – have not read the new “Doom Patrol” yet, so I guess there is still time to be bummed out about that one too.

How did I miss “Streets of Gotham” getting cancelled? Am I the only one that liked that series?

What about “Sluggo Adventures”? Please tell me its not cancelled!!!

Damn shame about REBELS, one of my favorite books.

Shame about these books getting canned.

Sigh. Lots of really good books just not making it for DC. REBELS was really good and DOOM PATROL was good fun. Shame to see them go the way of other past favorites like Manhunter, Blue Beetle, Checkmate, Shadowpact, Atom (Ryan Choi), even as far back as H-E-R-O (relaunched Dial H) And Suicide Squad mini didn’t even make the numbers needed to merit a regular series.

I’m just glad Booster Gold and Secret Six made the cut.

As long as they keep publishing Jonah Hex I’ll have at least one DC book to pick up every month.

I get that it’s a business but I can’t help but think that if there weren’t 35 “Bat” books every month, a lot of people might have had a few extra dollars around to try one or more of these quality comics. To a lesser extent, does anybody need multiple “just okay” Teen Titan or Justice League/Society or Green Lantern books? How about they just publish ONE REALLY GOOD example of each of those a month? Right now I’m not reading ANY of those books (not that I dislike the characters. It’s just that – like Cosmo Kramer observed – sometimes enough is enough) so there’s a huge chunk of DC’s output that I have no interest in. I’m reading (at least for a couple more months) Doom Patrol, an occasional Jonah Hex, and that’s about it. DC has a huge history of great characters but, at least in the context of ongoing series, most of them are going to waste at this point. If I’m a business owner (and I play one in real life), ideally I want a wide range of customers interested in a WIDE range of my products/services/ideas/etc., not all of my customers interested in only a small selection. The wider my base, the more I’m able to build on top of it and remain stable (think pyramid.) The smaller my base of interest, the more instability in whatever I put on top of it (think inverted pyramid.) Anyway, just my $.02…

…not to mention 3 Legion books. I really, really like the Legion but no way do I need 3 average Legion books a month. One really good one – absolutely. Otherwise, don’t waste my time.

I get the feeling all these books are getting axed so that people will be more “inclined” to pick up all the Flashpoint minis coming out.
Can’t be giving readers a choice now can we. Nope. Its Geoff Johns’ opus or nothing.

A lesson for Fanboys

February 14, 2011 at 11:26 pm

the point people are missing is that these books were selling low numbers long before any flashpoint minis were announced or placed on the schedule…

Sales drives books and if retailers and readers don’t buy the books then they wont be on the schedule much longer no matter how many Bat titles there are or Flashpoint titles….

If readers don’t pick up those Flashpoint of Bat titles they wont make them….

This is a busainess and somewhere along the line business decisions get made no matter what the collective fandom would like to think.

This isn’t the fault of DC– this is a reaction to readership and retailer habits.. plain and simple.

I read 4 of the 5 books being cancelled. I wouldn’t read R.E.B.E.L.S. because I hated what they did with Starro. But quite frankly I’m not surprised by the cancellations. Didio made a mess of The Outsiders, Giffen’s writing has pretty much been a death knell for any comic he wants to do, JSA All-Stars was a bit silly but I’m surprised Freedom Fighters didn’t get a bit more rope.

At least give DC credit for staying with these titles as long as they did. Azrael has been a good book since I started reading from issue 1, especially when Hine came on bored. It is too bad a good book like this has to get cancelled.

Sure Batman has totally too many books at the moment. But which Green Lantern book would you call just “okay”? Of the 20 DC books I get each month, all of the GL books rank high, they are only topped by Secret Six and Batman Inc. at the moment.
Too bad about REBELS, I had considered adding it to my pull list this week ’cause of the new characters coming in. And a FF trade would have been nice too.
Anyhow change is supposed to be good. DC has 5 slots to fill, opportunities maybe for a new Suicide Squad, Swamp Thing, Deadman, Phantom Stranger and Black Orchid book maybe?

I’m really disappointed that REBELS is getting cancelled. Admittedly, I switched to waiting for the trade awhile back as I imagine it’ll read better that way. I hope we’ll see those characters back somehow.

REBELS—Starro again and again–lost me. Didn’t get to Freedom Fighters. Surprised Zatanna is still going, for a book clamoured for for so long it hasn’t lived up to the hype. THUNDER AGENTS is a terrific book–just picked them all up two days ago and can’t believe I didn’t jump on board sooner. Outsiders–thank god–Didio should stick to his day job–whatever that is. Giffen–he should be cancelled and not the books he works on. Never understood what the big deal with Giffen is. My opinion of course.

Maybe the DOOM PATROL will be back with Morrison and Case. ;-)

I am surprised no one has mentioned the new price point? I wonder if some of these books were at $3.99 if they wouldn’t have been axed? Or if other better selling books had been at $3.99, if it could have saved some of these?

I think this will come as a shock to many people because its so many titles at once. But Marvel cancelled so many ongoing titles last year, all at different times of the year. The eight we’ve lost here between March and May are probably equal to the amount that Marvel shed in the last 12 months or so (give or take).

And 22 issues for a Doom Patrol comic strikes me as not too shabby, it could have been a lot less. S.W.O.R.D. only got five issues.

If one of your faves got cancelled, just hope the creators from that book get an even more exciting project next time. Was Bedard still on R.E.B.E.L.S.? I think he’d be a really good fit for a Plastic Man ongoing, hopefully that’ll be one of the new titles DC will have room for now.

I notice alot of people here mention waiting for the trade. That’s where DC and especially Marvel don’t get it, if some writers draw their stories out and each individual issue can’t stand alone then trade waiting is the best option. If your comics are $3.99 a piece and a trade collecting a certain number of issues is cheaper, then trade waiting is the best option. I can honestly say that I’ve dropped a good portion of $3.99 issues from ALL publishersin the last few months and it’s been kinder to my wallet. It’s also allowed me to take a chance on some $2.99 comics that I wouldn’t have given a second look to.

Instead of “to” I should have written “at”. Sorry.

All of which adds weight to me why DC should start with a limited series (nice tight story arc, easily collectable incl into bound version) and see how that plays before going for another limited series or leaping to an ongoing run. I see no reason why this can’t work with major event tie-ins – just have a limted run related to that…

/rant

The only two I was buying are Doom Patrol & JSA All-Stars.

DP was good but suffers from Giffen’s “I’m paid by the word” style. He does great plotting and has talent for dialogue but, man, until he ever learns that “less is more”, his books will always be cancelled. Just saying. I stress my first comment that this was a good book and worth a look.

JSA All-Stars: I buy it because I’m a JSA fan but I can never remember what happens from one issue to the next. Twice, I’ve missed issues and haven’t noticed until months later. It’s been hovering on my cutting block for awhile and as a rabid JSA fan, that’s something. Completely boring book.

REBELS I’ve been curious about and heard good things.

Outsiders has looked like embarrassing trash since DiDio took over.

FF I didn’t like the minis so I haven’t even looked at this.

All valid points from everyone.
I was very sad and surprised when my comic book store told me about those cancellations. I read and really enjoy R.E.B.E.L.S. and Doom Patrol. That both those series have managed to stay for so many issues was a great and welcomed surprise as well. I was always expecting them to be axed every month…
I really liked the Freedom Fighters minis but thought that the ongoing was doomed from the start. There are just some series that should only be minis with a few months in-between each because they will be a good read and people won’t have time to get bored with the characters or the storylines. Minis give the writers an opportunity to really tighten up their writing and deliver a stronger story in my opinion, and the FF minis were testament to that.
The first issues of Azrael were a bit disappointing but I stood with it and was rewarded with better stories and artwork afterwards. I’m just very sad it’s gonna take me picking up some Batman titles to see where his stories go now…
Didn’t care for JSA All-Stars as the artwork just reminded me of DC and Marvel’s crazyness a few years back when they were just dishing out massive quantities of related titles of their best-selling flagships (all the JLA related titles of the 90’s or MArvel’s Spider-Man or X-Men’s anthologies, all of which had bad stories and weird understanding of human physiology, making for very disappointing read, bleeding eyes and empty wallets). So I’m not sad to see it go.
I only get Batman trades anyway and then not all of them as THERE ARE JUST TOO DAMN MANY BATMAN TITLES!!!
So DC, listen to what most people have said above: less of the same and more of exciting, fresh and relevant concepts. The $2.99 cover price is a step in the right direction but do we really need that many Batman Inc. titles?

Wow, how can people complain that a book is being cancelled AND say in the same breath that they are waiting for the trade? It’s the monthly issues, not the trades, that keep a title going. Grow up and buy a title monthly if you want it TP continue! Otherwise, DON’T FUCKING WHINE when it’s gone!!!!

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