Ever since the initial announcement of the DC comics revamp, fans have sighted their reluctance and concern not only for their favorite characters, but for the future of one of comics' two largest publishing companies. The doubts on the minds of many fans came on the heels of announced changes that signaled the cancellation of many DC ongoing books (Power Girl), and claims that the publisher planned to put some old characters into shoes their old shoes (Barbara Gordon in 'Batgirl' and Dick Grayson in 'Nightwing').
However, the publisher had to do something considering comics sales have been on a steady decline, and dropped 7% this year, according to a report by the Los Angeles Times. DC decided to take a chance. Change everything and make their universe accessible again -- no longer would the reader need years of story-line knowledge to understand concepts in their books, now new readers would have the chance to pick up a book and know exactly what is going on, according to DC's Co-Publisher Jim Lee.== TEASER ==
“Publishing is the engine that creates and incubates ideas for the other divisions of Warner Bros.,” said DC co-publisher Jim Lee. “We need to streamline our comics so new fans can come in and know exactly what’s going on.”
The decision was met with the reluctance of many fans who favored continuity; and many fans feared for the future of some of their favorite comic book characters. If you are one of the many people still doubting that DC Comics is making a big mistake by revamping their entire universe and starting all over again with 52 new number one issues this September, then you probably haven't heard the big news about the number of pre-orders for DC's all new Justice League #1, out August 31st. According to the Los Angeles Times, pre-orders for the first issue of the book presently over 200,000 copies -- this single issue out next Wednesday will be the highest grossing comic book of the year.
In the short run, it seems everyone in the comic-book industry will benefit. DC’s flagship title, “Justice League No. 1,” has pre-orders for more than 200,000 print copies, which would make it the bestselling title of 2011. Six other new DC No. 1’s already have more than 100,000 pre-orders.
The last time a comic hit over 200,000 in pre-order sales was Marvel with the release of their Amazing Spider-Man Obama variant cover, which sold over 350,000 copies, according to Robot 6. Most months DC is lucky if their big issues reach 100,000 -- so 200,000 is enormous for them. Then again, the publisher certainly advertised the book (and the revamp) enough, utilizing online comic news sites as well as mainstream media like the USA Today and the Associated Press as platforms to reach both old and new audiences alike. But Justice League #1 written by DC's Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns and drawn by Co-Publisher Jim Lee isn't the only issue "setting records." According to another report the first issues of Green Lantern, Flash, Superman, Action Comics, Detective Comics and Batman all have pre-orders "higher than 100,000 copies, making them among this year's bestselling comics." This means that without a doubt, September will be the first month in many where DC will beat Marvel, topping the comic sales charts. This is good for DC, but the question remains, will the company manage to keep these sales up?
There's little doubt that the interest in the revamp is certainly there, even if the books' sales do eventually drop below 200K; which is relatively likely looking at sales overall as well as the July books, for example. However, part of the "sales" problem might be because there simply aren't enough platforms to purchase books, making the fact that these comics will have same day digital release, a really big deal. The news about the pre-sales is good enough (for now) for both fans and DC employees alike to start getting excited -- one can only hope that the stories will live up to the excitement of the relaunch to keep readers (both old and new) coming back for more.
What do you think of the relaunch this fall? Did you pre-order Justice League #1? Are you looking forward to the books? If so, which ones are you most excited about?
Source: Los Angeles Times