I’ve long expected this since about four or five months into the New 52.
Bleeding Cool is reporting that DC Comics is down over 2 million dollars for their financial year beginninng in 2015.
Reasons cited include the cost from moving the offices from New York to Burbank were higher than expected as well as the poor performance from the less than stellar Convergence event series and tie-ins, in addition to the post-Convergence relaunch doing all that not great.
DC also offered their comics to be returnable, which has only added to the problem, as obviously the issues are not selling and retailers are returning them, which is a loss for DC.
According to the report, “a lot” is riding on Frank Miller’s Dark Knight III: The Master Race upcoming graphic novel.
It’s also said that DC senior executives have ordered the DC editors to go back to the “meat and potatoes.”
Bruce Wayne will be returning as Batman (it’s noted that was always the plan), but it’s also said Superman may be returning to normal (whatever that is) as look for Superman to “ditch the shirt and jeans a lot quicker than planned and to get back into the suit pronto.” It’s further said, regarding Superman, that DC has to downplay the recent identity revelations themes and not write the stories specifically about the change in identity status as they are now.
It’s argued that every book isn’t going to be a “surprise hit” the way Batgirl or Harley Quinn have turned out, or even Marvel’s Hawkeye. Trying to get every DC book that way isn’t working out, so it seems it’s back to basics.
Regarding my statements above about the New 52, the first few issues of just about all the series were actually quite good; however, it seemed (at least from my reading) as if the writers were given less freedom, with the stories subsequently suffering (blame who you wish).
My two cents (which admittedly might be all its worth), would be to follow what Marvel is pretty much doing: Whenever an issue starts falling below a certain number (popular titles around 50k; less popular around 30K), they relaunch – and they relaunch with multiple covers. As much as I hate the gimmicks and such, the variant coves for Marvel work and comic readers are eating them up. If I was DC, I probably would have ten or so variant covers for Snyder’s Batman and the same for Johns’ Justice League. Whenever a title drops around 20-30k, I would relaunch with another #1 (i.e vol. 2) with multiple covers and go that route.
I would also stick Johns on every DC event, and tie them into the popular characters’ comics (Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Flash). I would also relaunch Superman with only one title and stick Chris Roberson on it. I would nix all the Green Lantern rainbow brite stuff and go with only two books, Green Lantern and Green Lantern Corps (both series were awesome prior to New 52), with Abnett and Brad Walker on one title, and Marz and Lanning on another (Giffen would be in the cosmic mix somewhere, and Starlin).
Lastly, I would nix the notion of the DC movies influencing the DC comics as the comics are the inspiration for the movies and not the other way around (ditto at Marvel).