Tag Archives: Relaunch

Flash goes twice-monthly after DC Universe: Rebirth

DC Universe: Rebirth is revealed. After the New 52 line reaches issue #52 in May, an 80-page special “DC Universe: Rebirth” sets the stage for a rolling update of the new DC line:

  • 32 ongoing series total, 17 of them twice-monthly, ALL of them $2.99.
  • Not every series will start the same month. They’ll roll out a few at a time starting in June and running through fall.
  • Everything is renumbering at #1…except for Action Comics and Detective Comics, which will pick up their original numbering.
  • 23 books will kick off with a “Rebirth” special before the new ongoing begins.

Flash: Rebirth and Flash #1 both hit in June. Both? Yep, Flash is one of the 17 comics that will ship twice a month.

As for the shape of the DC Universe going forward, Dan Didio says it’s “designed to bring back the best of DC’s past, embrace the stories we currently love and move the entire epic universe into the future. We are returning to the essence of the DCU.”

CBR has an interview with Geoff Johns in which he says it’s less like “Crisis” or “Flashpoint,” and more like “Green Lantern: Rebirth” and “Flash: Rebirth.”

“DC Universe: Rebirth” is about bringing back what makes the DC Universe the DC Universe. There are certain things, like legacy, that are missing. There are other things that I don’t want to totally spoil. But there are a lot of things in there that I think are unique to the DC Universe, and really need to be pushed back to the forefront.

DC continues to insist that they’re not going for a total reboot. It sounds more like they’re re-incorporating parts of the DCU that the New 52 abandoned. A merging of the pre-Flashpoint and New 52 universes, perhaps? (The new line does include Gotham Academy and Red Hood & the Outlaws.)

CBR has the full list of titles in the new lineup.

I’m really not sure what to think at this point. Knowing the titles is one thing. What I really want to know is the tones they’re going for, what elements are staying, going, or returning, who’s working on these books, etc. Also the page count: If they’re cutting pages again, going twice-monthly isn’t quite as appealing.

I do think that launching with a one-shot instead of dragging out the transformation over six months to a year is a good move. I frankly don’t have the patience to drag myself through six issues of rearranging furniture again. Conversely, I also think it’s a good idea to stagger the roll-out so that people aren’t overwhelmed by 52 choices in one month.

What do you think, based on what we know so far? Good move? Bad? Reply hazy, try again?

Flash Holding Steady as the #8 Comic, Three Months Running

Diamond has released its sales rankings for February, and The Flash #6 comes in at #8 for units sold.*

This marks the third month in a row that the Flash has been ranked #8, and the sixth in a row that it’s been in the top 10. In fact, every issue of the series since the relaunch has been in the top 10. It’s been a long time since the Flash was ranked that highly. Even the high-profile relaunch of Flash: Rebirth dipped below #10 in the middle of its run, and the Geoff Johns/Francis Manapul series spent most of its time in the 11-20 bracket.

Of course the streak will probably break next month when Marvel launches Avengers vs. X-Men, but during the time between giant events, with the series competing mainly against other regular series, it looks solid.

If DC is nervous about this book, the rankings suggest they shouldn’t be.

*Usual note: These are US print sales only.

News Flash! Jay Garrick’s Earth-2 Redesign Revealed!

Newsarama has revealed the new Jay Garrick design with the Earth 2 #2 cover in this interview with James Robinson.

As the book unfolds, Jay Garrick is very much our point of entry to the world. He’s the “everyman” character that we all like, that we all want to be, want to hang out with. That’s kind of the role he was in the original Earth-2, and I think it suits him well. He’s the likable guy, the one you care about.

The description of Jay himself sounds okay, but I think the costume is a horrible move. Over on Twitter, Greg paraphrased Barry Allen in The Dark Knight Strikes Again: “folks don’t know the difference between ‘old’ and ‘classic’.” The rest of the interview doesn’t do anything to help the concerns I raised yesterday about this this book and alternate reality being his only home in the New 52.

So what do you think? Is this a great redesign? A terrible one? Good for some Flash, but bad for Jay Garrick?

Quick Thoughts: The New 52, Wave 2

DC has announced the second wave of the New 52, with more details at USA Today. They’ll be adding six new series in May, and dropping six after #8 to keep the total at 52. Update: CBR interviews Bob Harras about the focus of the new books.

First off, I don’t think keeping it at 52 is a great idea, because the first time they change their line-up to feature 51 books, or 52, or anything else, people will read way too much into it.

Anyway, the canceled books:

  • Men of War and Blackhawks. War books are a tough sell these days. No surprise.
  • Mister Terrific. A gamble from the beginning, and the only praise I’ve heard about it is from the skeptic community for portraying an atheist in a positive light.
  • Static Shock. After all the effort DC went to to get Static (the only Milestone character they seemed interested in), what went wrong?
  • Hawk & Dove. The series’ biggest selling point was Rob Liefeld. Make of that what you will.
  • O.M.A.C. This always seemed to me as a — I don’t want to call it a vanity project — but basically, a chance for Dan Didio to have fun writing something. My guess is they didn’t really expect it to sell, but positioned it as an ongoing just in case people liked it.

And the new books, after the cut. Continue reading

Flash Relaunch Sales Analysis

Flash #1 Sells Estimated 129K in US, Over 150K Worldwide

ICv2’s September sales estimates are out, and The Flash #1 is ranked #4 on the charts with 129,260 units sold. Those are US-only numbers, based on sales through Diamond, and DC states that the book has sold over 150,000 copies worldwide. Let’s stick with the ICv2 numbers for now, though, because they’re the ones I’ve been tracking over the last few years, which means we can compare trends over time.

The new Flash #1 does in fact beat the previous record-holder, Flash: The Fastest Man Alive #1 (2006, starring Bart Allen), which sold an estimated 126,741 copies after reorders.

Issue Rank Month Units Sold
Flash:TFMA #1 7 June 2006 126,741
All-Flash #1 22 July 2007 78,955
Flash v.2 #231 26 August 2007 72,898
Flash: Rebirth #1 2 April 2009 102,429
Flash v.3 #1 2 April 2010 100,903
Flashpoint #1 2 May 2011 95,845
Flash v.4 #1 4 September 2011 129,260

I’m only listing the launches here, since none of the series lasted long enough to find its level and start building back up. Flash: TFMA (Bart) dropped to around 46K before experiencing a Countdown-powered uptick. The relaunched Flash vol.2 (Wally) dropped into the 20s, about half the numbers it was pulling in before Infinite Crisis, when it peaked at 50K for the final issue of Geoff Johns’ first run. Flash: vol.3 (Barry) seemed to level out around 54K over its last few issues.

It’s obvious that a lot of the success of this issue is due to the massive relaunch. But at the same time, while DC’s 52 #1s sold phenomenally well overall, they didn’t all sell over 100,000 copies. This has driven home the fact that the Flash really is one of DC’s top-tier characters. Even if half the general public thinks his name is Gordon, they at least know he’s the guy in red who runs fast. He really is cancellation-proof.

The real question now, of course, is how many of those readers who picked it up to try it out will stick around. Based on the last six years, I think if the book is still selling well over 55K a year from now, DC can count this Flash relaunch a success. If not, well…fifth time’s the charm, right?

A few key articles covering past sales (with lots of numbers):

New 52: Flash Debuts at the #4 Comic for September

Diamond has released its September sales charts, and The Flash #1 takes the #4 spot on the chart. DC dominated the charts with 9 of the top 10 comics, and Flash was beat only by Batman #1, Action Comics #1, and Green Lantern #1.

From what DC has said before, we know that The Flash sold somewhere between 126K and 200K copies (more links in that article to older sales figures). And if three of DC’s books sold over 200K, and Flash is #4, it’s probably at the high end of that range.

Detailed sales estimates will no doubt be available soon at Comic Chronicles & ICv2.

Update: I had an interesting thought. Is this the first time sales have gone up with the next issue after Geoff Johns has left a series? Obviously the circumstances are unusual, but still…