With DC's current business model of "drop the lowest selling 4-6 comics in DC every 6 months or so, and replace them with brand-new/obscure titles and see how they fair..." I can't help but wonder, would some of these books have a better chance for survival on DC's sister-ship Vertigo?
Vertigo currently puts out around 6 comics a month, while DC handles around 18 per week. That's 12 times the output of Vertigo!
Vertigo is well known for publishing DC's more obscure side, and also bringing it success. Swamp Thing is always the first that springs to mind, followed by Hellblazer, Fables and, more recently, Animal Man and 100 Bullets.
I've always thought Dial-H would fit neatly in amongst those, not to mention Insurgent, Human Bomb, Team 7, hell, even Deathstroke! Those latter 2, which are being cancelled for being in the "relegation zone" of DC's charts (selling between 13k and 16k in Dec 2012), would actually be in Vertigo's upper half for sales, and since they're technically the same company, doesn't that mean their sales weren't all that bad?
It seems to me like DC are wasting an opportunity with Vertigo; they could give smaller/weaker books a chance to nurture there, give the work to a cheaper writing pool, who'd surely welcome the titles. A lot would also gain from having the "indie" label of Vertigo above their titles. People reading titles like Deathstroke are already fans of an underdog, and it'd only add to his credibility, much like it did with Swamp Thing and Hellblazer, by placing him under an underdog publisher.
When I see announcements for the likes of Vibe, The Green Team and The Movement, I can't help but think "cancelled in 8 issues time, just like the others, who's going to buy an 8 issue ongoing..." and before you know it every jaded, comic reader, like myself, is picking up issue 1 of it (just to be sure) and then slowly dropping it over the months, to save the inevitable disappointment of DC doing it for us.
If I saw the same book under Vertigo however? Granted, it wont carry the same hype, Vibe alone is sailing on the coat tails of so many other DC books and creative teams with the subtitle of "coming soon...the character from that team you kind of liked...that are a bit like that other team...and written by that guy you like...well not WRITTEN by him...but he assisted...probably read it a couple of times before it went to print...might have changed a line or 2...comes VIBE!!!"
But maybe the book could do without all that, it might sucker us in for a couple of issues "the DC way" but shortly after, it fades back into the background. Selling comics based on hype is a very short game, and although it works initially, it damages that titles reputation...and even sometimes it's creators...and soon enough, you're looking for another low-level character to strap to a big title in the hope of selling lots of issue #1's again. With Vertigo, a writer would have more creative freedom, wouldn't be tied to the new 52 continuity, wouldn't have the constant fear of DC's relegation zone and would have the indie label, showing that although it's something a little different, care's been made to make it special...and it's not being diluted by everyone else's input. This means potentially deeper story's, written by somebody who cares about the book and, you guessed it, longer, more spread out, ongoing runs. Maybe not 16000 sales a month for 8 months like DC can rustle up, but 10000 sales a month over 36 months and more sounds a lot better to me.
Once a title has enough wind behind it; sure, throw it in with the DC heavyweights and see what happens, but brand new books like this are otherwise destined to fail.