Axel-In-Charge: Extending "Secret Wars," Excitement for a "Totally Awesome Hulk"
As week three of DC’s big relaunch begins, here are some more highlights of news, announcements and coverage of the New 52 thus far:
• So how is the relaunch doing overall? DC Comics put out a release this morning noting several fun facts about sales and the relaunch thus far, while Kiel Phegley at Comic Book Resources spoke with DC’s John Rood and Bob Wayne for context.
Also of note is Diamond Comic Distributor’s list of the top 100 comics in August. As DC noted in their release, Justice League #1 was not only the top seller in the direct market for the month, but is the top-selling book of the year so far. That’s not surprising. DC also noted it’s the highest first printing they’ve had since the 2006 Justice League relaunch. John Jackson Miller, meanwhile, looks at the top books of this century this far, pointing out that the new Justice League will likely land in the top 30 of that list.
We already knew that Justice League‘s print run was over 200,000, but today DC announced that Action Comics‘ second printing will push it over 200,000 copies as well. And speaking of second printings, DC confirmed that all of last week’s titles AND this week’s titles — yes, the ones that aren’t in stores until Wednesday — have sold out at the distributor level, and they’ll be going back to press on them all.
I’d be surprised if that trend doesn’t continue for the rest of the month. But what about the second issues? Wayne spoke to it in the CBR interview: “I think the main thing is that when we get to setting the print runs for the issues #2 and 3, we’ll have to look really hard at what the totals are for print runs on the #1s not just in terms of the initial orders or the FOC adjusted orders or the reorders or the reprints but also the level of demand that we let build as far as back orders and see exactly where it’s going to right size itself. Right now, it looks like the #2s were being much more aggressively ordered at retail than normally an issue #2 would be, and in order to keep the retailers comfortable with going heavy on the book, we’re extending the sales incentives we already have in place through issues #4 on sale in December.”
• So people are buying the first issues, but what do they think of them? I dug this article on CBR by Josie Campbell, where she had non-comics fans read the books and comment on them. It was interesting that the only books that made the “second issue cut” for her readers were Detective, Action, Justice League International and Green Arrow — and not the ones that seem to be the most popular with current fans, like Swamp Thing and Animal Man (Action cuts across both audiences, of course).
Speaking of which, Multiversity Comics is attempting to aggregate, Rotten Tomatoes style, the reviews of the New 52 on their site, based on reviews from CBR, Newsarama, ComicsAlliance and a bunch of other sites. But not from Robot 6, so I’m not sure how much stock I’d put in them, he said jokingly. Swamp Thing, Animal Man, Action Comics and Batgirl top the charts, while Hawk and Dove is at the bottom.
• Over at ComicsAlliance, David Uzumeri looks at the continuity changes in the first week of DC’s “New 52″ relaunch. Uzumeri notes many historical details that seem to have been lost in the relaunch, like Static’s status as a Teen Titan, Barbara Gordon’s money and Green Arrow’s, well, everything, as well as some that were retained, like Static being a former resident of Dakota, Dove and Deadman’s relationship, and the histories of Animal Man and Swamp Thing.
• And finally, Darrell Etherington at GigaOm, who wrote about how comic publishers should jump on the subscription model for digital comics back in May, revisits digital comics now that DC is offering same-day digital. He notes that publishers seem to be “getting it” in terms of digital comics, and again calls out the opportunity to offer subscriptions: “DC is already talking about introducing value-add elements to digital comics, sort of like DVD special features, but if Netflix has taught us anything, it’s that the only special feature most media consumers care about is reasonable subscription-pricing that delivers just the good stuff. An all you can eat publisher-wide subscription for digital comics would be amazing, but I’d settle for per-issue monthly or yearly pricing. Let’s hope comics don’t take as long to warm up to that idea as they did to same-day digital.”