DC Comics November Releases Include Several Final Issues

 

DC Comics released their solicitations today for the month of November and they signal the end of a number of titles for the comics publisher. For those not familiar, solicitations are released by comic publishers every month with information about upcoming issues. A typical solicitation will list the creative team along with a brief description of the story. Armed with these solicitation comic retailers can place their orders, which in turn informs the publishers regarding number of copies to print as well as other logistical decisions. The unique publishing retail as well as creative model of the comic book industry feeds into the long lead time for each comic.

In today’s solicitations, there are five titles with the FINAL ISSUE designation including Hawkman, John Constantine: Hellblazer, Suicide Squad, Teen Titans and Young Justice. Although Aquaman does not contain the FINAL ISSUE designation and only states that the issue is “Guest-starring the Justice League in a finale that will amaze you!”, writer Kelly Sue DeConnick confirmed the end of that title on Twitter mentioning that there was no one to pass the torch to. She did also say that she is leaving the book on her own terms and even a little later than she expected, so it isn’t a case where the cancellation came down from on high and impacted her work.

Similarly, the Suicide Squad creative team, Tom Taylor and Bruno Redondo stressed to fans on Social Media that their title wasn’t canceled. They simply had reached the end of the story they wanted to tell.

Flash and Wonder Woman both have arcs coming to an end in November and while we expect a new creative team on the former, the latter has just been re-energized by Mariko Tamaki and Mikel Janin and a bump in sales is expected in the coming months. What will actually happen with The Flash title is still an unknown. Also ending are the limited series Metal Men and Batman’s Grave.

While it isn’t unusual for a comic publisher to end titles and wrap up many story lines simultaneously, these changes have fans worried coming so close to the news this past Monday of DC editorial being significantly affected by the overall layoffs at Warner Brothers. Speculation is rampant and it seems many fans may be buying into the rumors that WB no longer wants to be in the comic publishing business. It’s probably not a coincidence that a few hours after the solicits dropped, The Hollywood Reporter released an interview with DC Executive, CCO & Publisher Jim Lee, wherein Lee tries to put to rest many of the rumors that have been rampant on social media this past week.

Listen to an EPIC sized analysis of the DC layoffs and what it might mean for the future of DC

While I think a lot of what Lee has to say holds promise, for someone who has been following the comics industry for over 40 years, it is what he doesn’t say that has me most worried. This many series ending in and of itself may not be a reason to worry, as it does happen from time to time, usually when the publisher is about to launch a new initiative or take the whole line in another direction. Also of note is that the Dark Nights: Death Metal event will also be wrapping up at years end, with only the final issue of the main series to be released on January. So while it may not be time to panic yet, comic fans are certainly nervous.

The long lead time of the solicitations as needed for the creative process of producing comics, means that the decision to end these titles was made long before the announced lay-offs on Monday. However, what we don’t know and likely never will, is how long in advance Warner Bros. Global Brands and Experiences President Pam Lifford knew about these lay-offs. From everything we have been told, the buck stops with her when it comes to the decision made for DC comics. In looking at the titles that are coming to a close, sales numbers seems to be consistently around the 23,000 mark. There are several titles, including The Flash, that are just above that in sales and it may be telling over the next few months of more titles come to a close.

 

Be sure to read our point by point analysis of Jim Lee’s statement to The Hollywood Reporter, as well as our other content pertaining to the recent upheavals at DC Comics.

Jim Lee & The Hollywood Reporter – What He Said and What He Didn’t Say

What do you think the recent changes at DC? Be sure and let us know in the comments below or reach out to us on social media.

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Jace Milam

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