Saturday, September 17, 2011

The New DC

Admittedly, I've been a bit down on the comics lately. A thing or two happened in my personal life that made me toss my beloved funny books to the back burner for a couple of months there.

But as they always seem to do, comics won me over again recently. Specifically, I'm talking about DC's new line of number one issues.

Say what you will about Flashpoint--the event that preceded the new line--and all of its (mostly superfluous) tie-ins, the New 52 has debuted incredibly strong in its first couple of weeks.

Justice League hit massively, selling over 180,000 copies and going into three printings; Action received almost unanimous critical and fan praise as one of the year's best comics; Animal Man has become a must-read DC Universe title; and Barbara Gordon is out of the wheelchair and back into her role as Batgirl.

It's been a whirlwind of new books--13 number one issues have shipped each of the past two weeks--and there have been a handful of titles that fell flat. But so far DC's win-to-loss ratio has been impressive, and I hope their streak of quality books continues.

All in all, it's a pretty cool time to be a comics fan--old or new. Lots of stores have reported new customers seeking out the new books, and many have said that old (probably jaded) former customers have returned, looking for a New 52 fix.

Of course, as it always happens in this industry, the speculators hit the shops hard, and copies of first printings were up on eBay for many multiples of their cover price--on the day they came out.

Seems like we'll never truly be rid of that particular type of creature.

Still, retailers I've spoken to are happy with the way the books are selling, but they're having a bit of a hard time figuring out how to order going forward.

Will the second and third issues of even the highest-selling debuts fall off, as they usually do? Or will more people come looking for them, knowing that they'll probably sell out of the first printings on release day?

A good problem to have, but still a bit of a thinker, that.

Going forward, I plan to continue buying every one of the New 52 number ones, and scale back to the books I like best. For once, I hope I have less money in my pocket and more comics on my floor come week five. Or 10. Or 52.

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