Impulse Collection Canceled

Impulse #1

ComicList reports that the trade paperback Impulse: Runs in the Family has been canceled. I guess that explains why it hasn’t shown up on any of the solicitations. [Correction: It was solicited in October.]

This isn’t the first collection DC has canceled before release. Usually it means they looked at the pre-orders and just didn’t see the demand.

On the plus side, the issues that would have been collected are all available digitally now. Of course, that brings up an interesting question: What role did digital sales play in this decision? Did DC see poor digital sales and low print pre-orders and decide to cancel it? Or did they see better digital sales than print pre-orders and decide to focus on the more effective market?

Comics used to be disposable entertainment, but since the early 1990s, readers tend to keep their collections for years. With that sort of audience, what’s the market for reprints of 20-year-old comics that have been kept bagged and boarded so that the people who have the most nostalgia for them also still have a copy in good condition?

(Thanks to Collected Editions for the tip.)


21 thoughts on “Impulse Collection Canceled

  1. Kyer

    Oh this….burns in the backside. I was waiting to get that trade.
    Also, this means that its more unlikely they’ll ever make a Wally trade with M-L or Waid’s first run. Honestly, I’d take one Messner-Loeb Omnibus over the whole lot of Geoff Johns or Morrison JLA ones any day and I bought those.

    Not interested in digital though. Not for the books I already know I’ll love. With Carl on that: digital is for throw aways…and I’m currently not in the market for throwaways.

  2. Kyer

    what’s the market for reprints of 20-year-old comics that have been kept bagged and boarded so that the people who have the most nostalgia for them also still have a copy in good condition?
    Those of us who became Flash and Impulse fans AFTER the books were out?
    (The more minutes tick by, the more I’m getting ticked. Next thing I’ll probably hear that all books are now going to be digital so that they can better ‘protect’ their property from overzealous fans who might want to share a book with a non-believer in the hopes of making a convert.

    1. Kelson Post author

      “Those of us who became Flash and Impulse fans AFTER the books were out?”

      I imagine their reasoning is something like, “But Impulse hasn’t been around for 10 years, how could he *possibly* have new fans?”

      I really get the sense that DC and Marvel are fighting over who gets the biggest slice of the pie sitting in front of them, instead of putting in the effort to bake more pies. One of these days there aren’t going to be enough readers to support a monthly comic book industry.

      1. Kyer

        You know what makes the Impulse thing really, really stupid on the part of DC?
        They just introduced him on Young Justice DCAU.
        Why aren’t they advertising comic books (yes even comixology) on one of the TV commercial slots during their hour block on CN?

        Oh wait…they are cancelling the show too. -_-;; I can only assume it is not DC52 enough for them.

        1. Nick!

          Also, they likely are not even legally able to. In the 80s, when many cartoons were basically toy commercials, some broadcasting law was created that prohibited to promote tie-in products during a commercial break of the respective show. As far as I know, that is still in effect and would likely cover comics as well.

          1. Chris G

            Marvel’s doing that with the Marvel Universe block, though. Talking about Ultimate Spider-Man comics during the Ultimate Spider-Man cartoon.

  3. Esteban Pedreros

    What I don’t understand is how they could have had low pre-orders of a book they never solicited.
    I think that they might be trying to avoid publishing books that might have low returns… or limiting the amount of collected editions where they could lose money.

    A while ago DC published the Joker ongoing series from the 70’s through comixology, but the book is missing one issue and 2 or 3 of them are available only in Black and White. They’ve also packaged some old series in various formats (Secret Society of Super-Villains, for instance). I think that these are projects that were stopped halfway through the restoration process, limiting the amount of money that the new administration was willing to invest/lose with them… I think that they probably decided that anything that wasn’t going to attract a certain minimum of buyers with a very low margin or error, is probably never going to be reprinted.

    Now this is a Mark Waid book. Ever since he left DC the company practically hasn’t reprinted anything that he wrote, is like they are trying to negate his existence or somethig like that. It wouldn’t be too weird that it was axed because of that.

  4. David Tilley

    Could this in any way of been because of what Mark Waid recently said about DC in an interview? I mean it is no secret that DC (didio) has blacklisted Waid,.While I am on the subject could the blacklisting have anything to do with the lack of Waid Flash trades? (WAID FLASH OMNIBUS) Do we know for sure Dan Didio is not that petty?? Waid probally has the best run and most critically acclaimed flash run ever and yet we have JOHNS omnibusses but not waid . Makes one wonder???

    1. Duder

      Looking at the fact that DC solicited this Impulse trade for release, the answer is no – Waid’s feud with DC hasn’t stopped them from soliciting collections of his work.

      Waid’s Flash series was a successful series – but it was also 15-20 years ago. Is that a gauranteed moneymaker in the same way as an omnibus collection of Geoff Johns?

      Johns is their top-selling writer. Whereas Waid was a relatively big name at DC 15 years ago. I’m guessing his comic runs from the 90s are about as marketable as the rest of DC’s 90s output. Think Chuck Dixon, Peter David, etc.

      Don’t get me wrong – I’m buying a Waid Flash collection whenever DC publishes one. But whole runs from the 70s,80s and 90s are not exactly slam dunks.

      1. David Tilley

        See I am just crazy enough to believe that dc had planned to cancelled the trade when they solicited it, as a way to spite Waid fans. COme on DC (Didio) would not be that petty, i mean that would be like firing someone through e-mails or preview solists?

        1. Kyer

          Guys…this is nuts.
          Big Brother mucking up the desires of fans in the name of protecting the fans…I can believe. People having personal vendettas I can believe. However (and as much I’m steamed at Didio or whomever it is who is truly at fault for the lack of Wally and Max) everyone in a position of business has someone above them that they have to answer to…except the CEO.
          Sad fact kind of being ignored on this: the economy isn’t great. They probably decided the cost of printing was greater than than any potential profit and thus not worth the risk. I hate it just like I hate my own cut hours at work. At least there does exist the option of digital even if I consider that a last gasp one.
          If there was a conspiracy against Wally fans on this I’ll eat my orange socks. (points to those who get the reference.)

          1. David TIlley

            it was probally lack of sales, but given the way Didio seems to get joy aggrivating Wally Fans , and the way he ackts toward fans of Wally (and Steph) i would not be surprised if this was just another slam against Wally and Waid fans. I just do not trust Didio and dc

  5. Dee

    I know this was posted a long time ago, but I just found it when I was trying to find if DC was going to make any more trade paperbacks of Impulse (1995).
    Goods news on this front is that “Impulse: Runs in the Family” got replaced with “Flash/Impulse: Runs in the Family”, which collects Impulse #1-12 and The Flash #108-111. So the whole arc is together, which is nice. And it is still in print, as of time of this comment.

    Sadly, it looks like DC isn’t planning on printing the rest of the Impulse run 😦
    It’s really disappointing. I just started reading it this year and love it so much. I was hoping to get a hand on a physical copy of the whole series, but I guess I’ll just have to settle on the having the first few issues.

    Keeping my fingers crossed that DC will change their minds in the future!


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