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Smallville to continue as a weekly digital-first comic

Here’s good news for fans of the television show Smallville who were left without their fix in May when the series went off the air for good: DC announced today that Smallville is coming back as a comic, which will be released first in digital and then in print form. The series will be written by Bryan Q. Miller, who was a scriptwriter for the show, and will pick up where the television story left off. Pere Perez, who worked with Miller on Batgirl: The Flood, will handle the art, and the digital cover above is by Cat Staggs.

DC has an interesting strategy for this comic: It will launch as a digital comic on April 13, with a new digital chapter coming out each week. (No word on pricing or length.) About a month later, it will come out as a print comic, collecting the chapters and adding an episode guide; the first print comic is due out on May 16, and Gary Frank (Superman Secret Origin) will be doing the covers for the print issues.

The weekly chapters are an interesting twist. Not only do they mimic the timing of the original show, they make the comic more of an immediate experience, something people come back to frequently and discuss in real time, as opposed to a monthly event. IDW is doing something similar with its Transformers series Autocracy, publishing an eight-page digital chapter every two weeks, priced at 99 cents. And of course there’s Shonen Jump Alpha, the digital reincarnation of Viz’s Shonen Jump, which publishes a chapter a week of six different manga within two weeks of their Japanese release, with a teen-friendly price of 99 cents per issue (less if you get the yearly subscription).

I spoke to Viz senior vice president Alvin Lu about the weekly chapters at NYCC last year, and he made an interesting point: “Manga is a live medium in Japan,” he told me. “It comes out in popular form every week and is enjoyed at the same time by millions of readers. Creators feed off that energy, and that is the secret of manga’s success.”

Aside from that energy, the weekly chapters are generally priced lower than a comic, and it’s a basic psychological fact that most people will be more comfortable spending 99 cents four weeks in a row than spending $3.99 all at once, no matter how much they get for the money.



Huh, okay. I have no interest in SMALLVILLE, or this by extension, but I’m glad to know what Bryan Q. Miller has been doing since Batgirl. I’ll keep an eye out for his next book.

Glad Miller is getting work, and odds are also exposure. I wonder, though, who was asking for this? Then again, the lowest rated hour of Smallville probably still dwarfs the largest readership for any DC comic of late.

I really hope they give BQM something else to write as well because the Smallville universe is boring.

Well unlike these Negative Nancies above, I’m happy to see more Smallville and look forward for the weekly fix.

and Simon is absolutely correct. Smallville’s all time lowest rated episode still had 10x (probably more) the audience of DC’s best selling single comic of the last 10 years, so suck it, nerds.

That’s great news, both for Smallville fans and also for Bryan Q. Miller and Pere Perez (who did great stuff on Batgirl). Love the digital-to-print strategy too. Feelsl like an everyone wins scenario.

Anyone else notice the belt design or the absence of the red underpants?

Looks like Smallville’s Clark has ditched the Superman Returns costume and stolen the New 52 version instead.

Awesome! Can’t wait!

It’s idiotic that they won’t use the traditional version of the Superman outfit. This *HAS* to change. Go classic or get out!

Ok I got to ask whats really the purpose of this book Smallville was just about the journey of Clark Kent becoming Superman that’s been told. Outside him meeting Batman and Wonder Woman an epilog miniseries could work but I dont know what they can put in a monthlie.

“Ok I got to ask whats really the purpose of this book”

I don’t think the purpose is to tell an untold, but vital, story. The purpose is to continue drawing revenue from a property with 2-3 million devoted followers who watched the show weekly. It works for the various Joss Whedon TV properties (Buffy, Angel, Firefly) that continue their adventures in comics and sell rather well.

That being said, I have confidence that Miller can deliver good stories to the SMALLVILLE audience. The guy is a very good writer.

I think the costume is likely to mimic the new movie version rather than the new 52 one.

I wish they give Miller a regular DC series in the relaunch. I have no interest in a digital Smallville comic even if it’s written by Miller.

Ya the Superman costume should be the regular one not the new one.

Why are they changing the costume? They should use the standard version. nobody else is right now.

Seems like a *LOT* of people are ticked about the missing red undies. Count me in, they should be there.

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