Well, it was inevitable that there would be cancellations among the crop of new 52 from DC. Nothing yet officially, but based on the Diamond sales numbers, there are some fairly safe bets on books that will see the ax long before they hit issue 12, some much earlier. This is of course ignoring the possibility that DC will, or has already planned, to keep them all going for 2 complete arcs (12 issues-ish) before making the ax fall. That way they can claim it was planned, or that the dead books reached their conclusion naturally. This is a possibility to be sure.
Don’t misunderstand me though. I take no joy in these predictions. I WANT the new 52 to succeed. Really. DC has done right by the fans for a while now in the single most important way, good books. Marvel has been missing the point now for a while, every good thing they do, overshadowed by a bad book or odd choice in book cancellations. DC has had its share of problems, like the female creators flap as the New 52 started up. But to be blunt, the sales and the quality of so many of the books is what is talking the loudest right now.
Most of what is fueling these predictions is coming from the Diamond sales figures and advance estimates for this month and the last 2. Also, I have read many of the new DC books, but not all. Some of the remaining ones, I did catch the previews for though.
Sad to say, but I think that any of the DC books that sell lower than even the worst selling of the Vertigo books will be gone soon.
Static Shock is selling pretty poorly even given the niche market for this book. The character is most remembered from the cartoon and really has never had a strong comic book following. Even so, it should still be selling better that the paltry 5200 books.
OMAC is the next likely candidate for the dollar book bin. This reboot looked kind of clumsy from the start and I think it really is only there for the function it may serve in the overall arc they are trying to create in the 52.
And then there is Hawk and Dove. This book was so profoundly stupid that I am convinced that people only bought it to see how bad it was really going to be. There are a few fans of the duo out there, but that will not keep this one alive much longer.
It is at this point working our way up from the bottom of the numbers, that we reach the lowest selling book on the current charts from Vertigo, Scalped. This book deserves more sales than it gets but the people who read it do so loyally.
Blackhawks and House of Mystery are next. I really wanted to like both of these but just could not make it work for me. Sales support that these are not reaching the audience at large either.
Voodoo and Mister Terrific come next. Was anyone really crying out for either of these? And a lot of fans are smarting a bit from the garbage status of Karen Starr in the latter.
Based purely on sales, Captain Atom would probably get axed too, but I think this is a book that will be allowed to limp along as long as possible. Personally I really liked where this one is going. The reason it is likely to last despite poor sales is that this is a character that has real marquee potential in the eyes of a lot of people. A well written book with this guy will hang around as DC, I think, really feels that the Captain should be in the big boys sandbox. Not up at JLA levels, but he really has promise.
I, Vampire is just a boring book and I think it will be gone soon, or at least folded in with another book as a co feature. That might actually be a good way to handle it, but to be honest, I don’t really think this book is worth the effort.
These are the books that are closest to the edge from a pure numbers standpoint. There may be editorial preference that keeps some of them alive longer than they might otherwise last. DC are clearly playing favorites with some of the characters and books, but why not? May as well throw the dice on a bet you like if you are going to throw them at all. It should be pointed out that none of these books is over 10k in sales. That seems to be the mark that is a magic number these days. There are still a huge pile of the New 52 that falls below that number, but at this point you are getting into higher profile books like the Legion of Superheroes by Paul Levitz and Birds of Prey, the latter being the first book above the 10k mark on the current charts.
With all the talk about everything getting second prints and att the titles over 100k, it is easy to forget that we will soon see casualties, probably just after the start of the new year. Some deserved, some not, but I think any objective fan should be comfortable calling the New 52 a success on almost every level. There are always going to be books that don’t last and that is fine. I just hope they keep trying to give it their best shot. Unlike Marvel these days, I think DC can really be the one to watch for great stories and fun new ideas.
UPDATE: How did my predictions hold up, you ask? Well, this post months later has the update on what was eventually cancelled.