Robot 6

DC axes Deathstroke, Savage Hawkman and four other titles

April's Deathstroke #19

DC Comics this afternoon announced the May cancellations of six more series, a mix of first-, second- and third-wave New 52 titles: Deathstroke, The Fury of Firestorm: The Nuclear Man, The Ravagers, The Savage Hawkman, Sword of Sorcery and Team 7.

They follow DC Universe Presents, I, Vampire, Saucer Country and Superman Family Adventures, which end with with their April issues.

“There’s a variety of reasons for when we unfortunately have to cancel a book,” DC Editor-in-Chief Bob Harras told Comic Book Resources. “The main focus on this, and this is the big picture, is we try to take a look at it as, these characters will not go away. Even though, yes, Savage Hawkman is being canceled, you’ll be seeing a lot of him in Justice League of America. We have also plans for Deathstroke going forward. So even though, as I said, the monthly title is going away, the characters are still going to be very important to the ongoing storyline of the New 52.”

The end of the six titles likely comes as little surprise to those who follow either industry rumors or monthly sales figures: According to December sales estimates, all of the series were well below the traditional “line of death” (20,000 copies), with The Ravagers the highest with 16,177. copies, and The Fury of Firestorm the lowest at just 11,997. Fledgling books Sword of Sorcery and Team 7 debuted during September’s Zero Month with an estimated 26,959 copies and 31,053, respectively, but by Decembers those figures had been lopped in half.

For Deathstroke and The Savage Hawkman, the writing seemed on the wall when Rob Liefeld abruptly walked off the books in August; the latter’s imminent cancellation was reportedly even discussed late last month during a DC panel at Amazing Arizona Comic Con. ROBOT 6′s J. Caleb Mozzocco detailed what went wrong with The Savage Hawkman on Monday, noting that by its end, the book will have gone through four writing teams and two major art teams in less than two years. That sort of creator volatility has become a hallmark of many of the New 52′s second- and third-tier series.

Asked in CBR’s monthly “B&B” interview whether he thought multiple creator shifts hurt sales, Harras said, “I think it’s more of a natural process. It’s churn. If something is working really well, you say it’s coming together. If there’s other things that aren’t quite clicking the way anyone wants — writer, artist, editor, anyone — then change happens. I don’t think there’s anything especially revolutionary or radical; in comics, some books lose readership over time.”

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Comments

37 Comments

Nnnnooooo!!!!! Sword of Sorcery is one of my favorite books every month! I’ll miss it when it’s gone. Hopefully we can find some other way to get Amethyst her own book.

We need new management at DC. STAT!!!

The problem is that DC is trying too much with too little…I get that they’re trying to find things that work and that there is fans for each of those properties but I’d be willing to bet there are many more fans like me who barring an A+ creative team, or a critically renown work, don’t even consider looking at, let alone buying, those books…

As shown by the amount of creators who have been put on and taken off of books, I think it’s better for DC to take a few months to focus on the quality of their stuff…
there are a few top tier books that are really rocking it, but for the most part the majority of stuff since the new 52 had kicked off has been unimpressive and flat…

Sword of Sorcery was the ONE BOOK I still enjoy on my pull list. Way to go D.C. You have no faith in your titles.

drop floppies altogether and concentrate on long form comics.

Yeah… Sword of Sorcery was one of the better ones. I’m gonna miss that one, too. At least it had one team throughout it’s short, short life…

The NEW 52 is dying a slow and painful death. They should drop the whole New 52 concept because they can’t sustain 52 ongoing titles as evidenced by these multiple cancelations which is becoming embarrassing quite frankly.

Some one at DC owes me a written apology for Fury of Firestorm alone…..terrible launch…no excuse for it.

DC…what a joke. I’ve never boycotted a comics publisher before, but it’s the only rational response to the ongoing Determined Clusterf*** they insist on maintaining.

Why is everyone acting so mad about this? None of these books had high sales. What did you expect?

I am surprised “Fury of Firestorm” lasted as long as it did.

Am I the Only one bummed bout Deathstroke, im on issue 10 and fell it was just starting to pick up

Sword and Sorcery would have had more chance of finding an audience were it a $2.99 book. I wish DC would just standardise – you might even say ‘hold’ – the line at $2.99.

Firestorm has been much improved of late, under Dan Jurgens – a straightforward, fun superhero book.

No major loss.

I’m mad because it’s showcasing an ongoing pattern of bewildering editorial decisions that is killing these titles. This whole mess is to be laid at the feet of editorial, not the characters, fans, or creators. It’s the mismanagement of the entire enterprise that’s driving fans and creators away in droves. And Harras and Didio and Chase just don’t seem to care.

Harras is write, that you do have to shake things up when things aren’t working. The problem is that the people who approved the pitches to books like Hawkman, Voodoo, Grifter, Mr terrific, Static Shock, Firestorm and Deathstroke need to have their heads examined. There was no strong core idea to drive the book unlike most (not all) marvel books these days like hulk and Daredevil.

Part of the problem—the problem actually is: 1) stop changing teams on books—pick a great team (new, fresh or old and certifiably awesome) and let them do their thing. 2) Don’t announce books on the cusp in December and wonder why their numbers plunge in the next two months (you make that happen with you announcements).

Why I’m not surprised?

And another column with Bob Harras and Bobbie Chase to explain the fiasco…..

Im probably the only one who will say this but I’m going to miss firestorm

I’m going to miss Firesotrm as well, but the real surprise for me is that it wasn’t cancelled after issue #0.

it’s becoming a failure cycle: some of those launched in september, and it took 6 months to announce its cancellation. so next May when they launch their.. wthat 5th wave??? guess who’s gonna run to the stores to buy the new books?? No one! cause they know they’ll only waste their money buying another series which will be cancelled in 6 months…
i’m so sorry for DC’s failure, but the strategy could be actually IMPROVING your books, not just dropping them when their sales are low. tell me, which artist will be anxious to work in a company that will fire them with such ease? that demonstrates lack of trust in your creative teams.
also.. stop launching LOUSY books! Seriously Vibe? how much will it take before it gets cancelled?

Damn… I was just getting into “Team 7″ too… and I concur with a lot of the commentors, Firestorm under Jurgens was beginning to pick up steam and fun!….

I looked forward to Sword of Socery each month since the 0# release. Why even solicite the title as an ongoing if you were just going to cancel it anyway. Just call it a mini or do an extended story arc in JLD. DC hurts themselves in the public eye by doing this type of thing. Public Relation goes far and when you alienate fans by just yanking a title after it only just begun is crazy. In my opinion, this book worked as did a few of the Bat-title (because they didn’t actually change continuity), Aquaman, & Wonder Woman. So, I consider 52 a fail especially when Marvel NOW rebooted Marvel’s line without erasing the past and the majority of their books are clicking on all cylinders (Superior SpOCK–which I hate as a character, Avengers, New Avengers, All New X-men, FF, Fantastic Four, Young Avengers, X-Force, Indestructible Hulk, Iron Man & Uncanny Avengers and soon to be hits Uncanny X-men, X-Men, Guardians of the Galaxy)

My question is when will DC come to the conclusion of this tragedy which is 52? What ever happend to the Pandora storyline? Has that been abandon like so many of the ‘New’52 titles?

So, what are the titles replacing these? Or have they finally given up on the whole 52 monthly books concept? Because I’ve got some exciting ideas for the Red Bee if they’re desperate.

Personally I’m just happy we will get as many issues of Sword of Sorcery as we did. It’s not a shock that the book wasn’t a huge seller but I gave DC props for giving it a try. I was also bummed when OMAC got cancelled but, let’s be honest 7 or 8 issues is a lot more than none, which is what we’d get if DC didn’t keep trying off center stuff.

Massive creatve team shifts, cancelling titles still beloved by fans, yesterday’s news about WB throwing out the JLA movie script, and then today new Amethyst, Green Lantern and Young Justice episodes???

DC, what are you doing? None of this makes any sense!

Wasn’t Sword of Sorcery supposed to be a platform title where they could swap fantasy story characters in and out after a while? (e.g., sort of like how Marvel is doing Journey Into Mystery now.)

Why would they cancel the title if they never even got to another character?

I am a fan of Firestorm, but this was pretty much a mess from launch. The first year ended up being pointless and starting with the zero issue, they went back to a more traditional approach to the character and had pretty much erased anything from the first twelve issues. I don’t like being a hater, but the New 52 has done nothing but let me down.

i think it’s funny people are bitching about Vibe when it even hasn’t come out yet. everyone thought Aquaman wouldn’t make it, so you never know.

So far since the 52 launch I’ve bought and lost Men of War, OMAC, G.I. Combat, and Justice League International.
The only ones I’ve bought from #1 and are still going are Batman, World’s Finest, and Earth 2.
I don’t mind terribly, I just view them all as mini-series and eventually DC will break and try something else.

Can we quit calling them pamphlets and floppies? They’re comic books.

Most of this good news

I am really sorry to see the Ravagers go. I would have liked to see them develop the characters and story line more. They would have made an excellent team for tracking down and rescuing other young “metas”. I really hope they salvage Beast Boy and maybe Ridge into the Titans or other books. They really did not give it much of a chance to develop. Good going DC.

I am not surprised by any of this. Although I loved Sword and Sorcery I always hated the back ups. They never seemed to mesh with the tone of the Amethyst story which made the book feel disjointed. I personally think it is time for Bob Harris to go. I was floored when I heard he was handed the EIC position and he has made bad decision after bad decision and now it is time for him to go. I am begging DC to have an emergency writers meeting to formulate a story to end the New 52.

No your not baconator no your not

I’m so piss at this first DC takes away my “Blackhawks” now in one fell swoop I’m losing 2 more comics I’ve followed since they first came out Deathstroke and Team 7. It feels like they are just rushing the end of Team 7 so the can cancel it when it has so much potential to be a great comic and help clear up the blurry past of the New 52. Deathstroke is awesome the best in the New 52 that I’ve read so far; I’ve waited patiently for nearly 6 months for the Jericho storyline and now the whole family is back together for one helluva fight and now their just gonna cancel it. Sure Deathstroke went into a bit of a slumb when Rob Liefeld’s Lobo storyline started because it wasn’t that good in fact I’d say it was incredible stupid they changed Deathstroke’s look, his persona and his style, but he made it thru only to come back stronger and get cancelled what the hell man, what the actually hell? Gee, DC what next Talon just met Batman so is that a sign that he’s got to the end of this storyline before he’s cancelled too. I can only imagine how much longer Threshold has. DC you need to get your shit together and fast you’ve far too many bad decisions of late.

Want to know why Comics are failing? Piracy. People download them and watch them with .CBR. People don’t care about collecting them anymore – they just want the stories. No Comic company can survive like this. Sure there are still plenty of people buying books – but one must wonder how Deathstroke would have done if people had actually paid for it. There are hordes of people online doing it. I am a collector. My collection is 30 years old, I pay for what I read.. other people don’t care.

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