BREAKING: DC Comics To End WildStorm and Zuda

When it was announced today that DC Comics were remaining in New York City we knew that something else had to be coming. Too many people that iFanboy knows personally at DC Comics seemed to be very quiet and very on edge.

Well, that something else has been announced. On the DC Blog DC co-publishers Dan Didio and Jim Lee (who started WildStorm) have announced the end of WildStorm as a separate imprint and have confirmed what has been rumored for a while, that Zuda, the original content digital publishing initiative is ending as well.

The statement from DC Comics:

    The changes happening behind the scenes this week are part of a greater campaign to reshape DC Comics and build a company for the future. Our responsibility as Co-Publishers is to find a balance between short term opportunities and long term vision; between our strengths in traditional print formats and the infinite potential beyond print; between our characters’ rich legacies in the past and the bright promise for the future they hold.

    As we’ve said before, there’s much to celebrate about DC. The foundation for long-term success is already here.

    The DC Universe features the modern adventures of the World’s Greatest Superheroes, as envisioned by an exciting mix of new and fan favorite comic book creators. Vertigo is committed to publishing cutting edge, creator owned comic books and graphic novels by a wide array of creative voices.

    One of our first decisions of the Co-Publishers was to up the publication of MAD Magazine from a quarterly periodical to a bimonthly one. In the wake of that decision, the magazine has seen increased sell-through growth. And we’re thrilled that MAD’s brand of madcap humor now stretches across media, with a highly-rated television show on Cartoon Network. The Usual Gangs of Idiots are an important part of this company and pop culture.

    As we move forward, we also have to acknowledge the need for change.

    After taking the comics scene by storm nearly 20 years ago, the WildStorm Universe titles will end this December. In this soft marketplace, these characters need a break to regroup and redefine what made them once unique and cutting edge. While these will be the final issues published under the WildStorm imprint, it will not be the last we will see of many of these heroes. We, along with Geoff Johns, have a lot of exciting plans for these amazing characters, so stay tuned. Going forward, WildStorm’s licensed titles and kids comics will now be published under the DC banner.

    After this week, we will cease to publish new material under the ZUDA banner. The material that was to have been published as part of ZUDA this year will now be published under the DC banner. The official closing of ZUDA ends one chapter of DC’s digital history, but we will continue to find new ways to innovate with digital, incorporating much of the experience and knowledge that ZUDA brought into DC.

    We’ll be further expanding our digital initiative and making a lot more news in this space. As part of that transformation, the WildStorm editorial team will undergo a restructuring and be folded into the overall DC Comics Digital team, based in Burbank, which will be led by Jim Lee and John Rood. With nearly two million free downloads and hundreds of thousands of paid downloads, our digital foray is already reaching a new audience worldwide. We could not be more excited by the successful launch of our Digital Publishing products in June, which exceeded all sales forecasts and will be building on our early success with new applications for DC material on all major formats and hardware, partnering with Warner Bros Digital Distribution. It has extremely been rewarding to hear anecdotal stories of lapsed readers returning to the art form and of brick and mortar stores gaining new customers who sampled digital comics.

    We remain, as ever, dedicated to working with the greatest creators this industry has to offer, while inspiring generations of creators and readers to embrace this medium that we all love.

    Jim Lee and Dan DiDio
    DC Comics Co-Publishers

Comments

  1. " the end of Wildstorm as a separate imprint"

    What exactly does that mean?  All Wildstorm books are cancelled?  This is the end of Wildstorm or does it mean it’s becoming something else? 

  2. As long as Vertigo is safe I’m happy – now that Ex Machina is done, Wildstorm being gone – meh….

  3. First they came for Wildstorm, and I said nothing, because I wasn’t reading any Wildstorm books.

    Between this news and Jimski’s column yesterday I am very very worried about where this is all going.

     

    "Don’t forget your booties cause it’s cold out there today. It’s cold out there everyday."

  4. But is Vertigo safe? How long has that label been around for the doors to be closed just like that?

  5. Bingo.

  6. According to other sites Wildstorm will be rolled into DC. Probably with occasional minis. Neither of these were surprises and had been rumored or known for a while. Sad for the creators, though.

  7. But Wildstorm wasn’t even selling in the same league as many of the Vertigo books was it (especially in trades)?  The most recent monthly sales data certainly makes it look like Wildstorm was doing extremely poorly.  Wildstorm seems to have had this coming for quite some time.  I would be shocked if Vertigo suffered the same fate.

  8. I suspect we will see things come down to three imprints (two and a half, really)…

    DC Universe (superheroes)

    DC (non-superheroes, digital comics, whatever doesn’t fit elsewhere)

    Vertigo (mature audiences, fantasy, crime, etc.)

     

    My big question is where will the creator-owned books end up? Wildstorm and Zuda were the only DC imprint that I know of that did anything creator owned. Will those things end up in the plain "DC" imprint, or with Vertigo?

  9. @Josh  I used to read them too, great stuff, but I’m on a budget now so the pull list has been trimmed over the last year

  10. Licensed properties (the video game stuff, the Dreamworks stuff) will be put out under DC, but the Wildstorm Universe (Wildcats, Authority, etc.) is ending.

  11. Is Astro City finishing up? Any other good books we may lose?

  12. I’m not really surprised at this announcement. I don’t think Vertigo has anything to worry about, though.

    I heard months ago that Zuda was ending, so that’s old news to me.

    Wildstorm doesn’t really serve a purpose anymore, and hasn’t for quite a while. The universe hasn’t had much of a "universe" feel to it in many years. Throughout the ’00s different things like the ABC line and various big-name titles kept the imprint going, even when the imprint itself didn’t really mean much, if that makes sense. But Ex Machina was really the last reason to keep the Wildstorm name out there. Everything can just transfer to DC now, no problem. And by "everything" I mean Astro City, because that’s pretty much all there is left. Or, who knows, maybe Busiek will take it to Vertigo…or to Image. But I doubt it.

    I don’t think the "soft economy" really has much to do with this. Jim Lee hasn’t been interested in building the line in a long long time.

    Vertigo is totally distinct, serves a dramatically different purpose than DC proper does, and has a ton of catalogue titles that continue to be very popular. Wildstorm only really had a handful of series that were popular in trade.

  13. I always thought it made more sense to publish the licensed books under the DC banner. Like everyone else, I’m extremely interested to see how the WildStorm titles will get folded into DC. Only time will tell how it all plays out.

  14. Wildstorm gave us Sleeper and many other great titles.  For that it will always have a place in my heart.  Sad news.

  15. Sad to see this. There once was a time I loves a lot of what they did but after the no -event of the Grant Morrison penned three issues (1 for Wildcats, 2 for Authority) the universe quietly died for me. I can still look back and see all of Joe Casey’s Wildcats, the early Authority, and Sleeper and see a universe ripe with opportunity, but those days are long since past, and the time has come to close it down I suppose.

  16. Fascinating!

  17. I certainly hope the Zuda Comics find a home digitally. There are so many good books I am only now discovering on Comixology, and I’d hate to see them dissapear. But the game is all about sales right now, and the comics business is experiencing a recession as we all are.

  18. Astro City? Would that be considered licensed since it’s creator owned? Can’t see them stopping publishing this one with a movie in the works.

  19. Crap. I’ve really been enjoying the Wildstorm Universe family of titles since World’s End.  I just hope we get to see the storylines wrap up and are not left hanging for years like with Morrison’s run.  Awww, Wetworks just started too…nuts…

  20. I would imagine that DC will integrate the Wildstorm Universe as one of the 52 universes. There’s no way they are going to permanently shelve lucrative properties like the Authority. It seems too early to call this good news or bad news.

  21. Oh no we lost so many great titles like……and…..and also….

    If this was Vertigo then it would be news. 

  22. So I should stop waiting for the 3rd issue of Grant Morrison’s Authority? I was really curious to see where he was going with that…

  23. Astro City has survived swapping companies before, right? It should be safe.

    Other than that, as long as they keep producing the Ex Machina and Sleeper collections, no big effect on me, I don’t think.

  24. Other interesting news is DC has really been pushing the Vertigo books digitally – DMZ, Fables, Sandman, and Y have had many issues released and they have also been pretty consistent over the last few months getting more out there.  Hopefully Scalped, American Vampire, Sweet Tooth and Transmetro are not far behind

  25. Time to stock up on those Wildstorm trades

  26. Hopefully DC will also release the Wildstorm books digitally so some of the past stories don’t fade away into oblivion.. Sleeper was one of my all time favorite series…

  27. Maybe Image Comics can buy back Wildstorm. Hmm…

  28. As long as nothing happens to vertigo I’m good. I also didnt know that they moved MAD up to a bimonthly, time to re-subscribe!

  29. This has me concerned quite a bit.

  30. So it go’s

  31. This has me concerned about Astro City, I only just recently found out about it, I can’t lose it this quickly. I hope DC picks it up, or maybe it can move to Vertigo or some independent publisher or something.

  32. I know I might be the only one who gave a crap about it, but I wonder what’s going to happen to Wes Craig’s creator owned stuff he’s been working on at Wildstorm.  Nothing came out yet and it was expected to be announced at NYCC

  33. Oh come on guys. You know DC is going to reprint all of these trades of GOOD Wildstorm stuff (old Authority, Wildcats, ExMachina, Top 10, Astro City, etc), put their logo on the trades if they aren’t already on there, and make a profit out of that.

    They aren’t going to wipe out anything that they think will make money trade wise. 

  34. As someone who has followed most of the series since their inception, like Wildcats and Authority, ill be very sad to see them go, as I’ve grown quite attached to these characters. Wildcats is especially a title I’ll be missing, as I have loved it through its ups and downs. However, I’m going to be optomistic and keep DC to their word in that this won’t be the last we’ll be seeing of these guys. I just hope it’s sooner than later.

  35. I’m sure DC will find a way to bring some Wildstorm properties into vertigo or something down the road. If you’ve noticed DC has been trimming the fat with their imprints first with their CMX manga stuff and now this. They seem like they want to have 2 main universes, with other stuff like the Mighty coming out as little tangent things. 

    @roi—please don’t go there with trying to re purpose "First They Came…" on something as trivial as this…you’ll just offend a lot of people. 

  36. While it pains me to read that Wildstorm is ending, it does seem encouraging that they are taking a look at what made these characters great and developing plans to reinvigorate them going forward.  I have occasionally tried to read what they’ve been putting out in WildC.A.T.s, Gen 13, and the Authority and it just seemed… like a mess.

    Moore’s WildCATs, Ellis’ Authority and Stormwatch, the work that Brubaker, Giffen and others just built such a rich cast of characters, and it was all being wasted.

    I hope they stay self contained, or are very carefully handled within the DC universe (like Jack Knight).

    I had never even heard of Zuda before. 

  37. Long time hardcore WildStorm fanboy here. Proud owner of one copy of every WSU book ever published up to 2010 and looking to fill those out via discount bins (but the licensed crap…nah, got little to none. 

    This hurts me. Not unexpected, but it still stings.

    Oh, Fairchild, oh Lord Emp, where oh where will you go? Oksana and Lynch and good ol’ Eddie "Grunge" Chang, whither goes thee?

    I weep for the loss. Off to drown myself in strong ale and Wetworks floppies. 

  38. Stinks for Wildstorm U fans but the move makes sense to me.  Other than the superheroes it had become mostly a video game licensed comic line.  They can just publish that stuff through DC which is a more recognizable name to the masses anyway.  Original and self contained stuff like Ex Machina could just as easily find a home at Vertigo.  Seems to me DC should and probably will just make the Wildstorm superhero U one of its alternate universes.

  39. i can’t say i’m very upset about Zuda. It just wasn’t my thing.

    But here’s the thing with WildStorm. It hasn’t been as good as it was for a long time. The company seemed lack the brilliant ideas and concepts they used to have. If at some point in the future an increased focus is placed back on getting WildStorm back to it’s former greatest than i can’t see what’s wrong that.  i realise this could be empty business BS but whatever, you can’t always think the worst 

     

     

  40. @IanX

    Uhm, Vertigo does mostly creator owned titles. Fables, Y the last man, Preacher, Scalped, Northlanders, Demo…

     

    Its a long list.

  41. @muddi900- I can’t speak to Wildstorm or Zuda, but it is my understanding that publicaiton under Vertigo means "creator-owned" with a bunch of strings attached.  I don’t know the specifics of course but it is a very different animal then if you were to publish at Image for example.

  42. I forgot Wildstorm existed, to be perfectly honest. I don’t think I have ever once bought a Wildstorm book. I guess it is bad news for anybody who’s a hardcore fan of the titles, but I think anything with a strong enough following will still be published eventually, just under the normal DC banner. 

  43. I can’t imagine Astro City ending. It’ll go Vertigo or to another publisher. Maybe Astro City will get wrapped up in the 52. That’s the one title I’m not concerned about. I’d like to see Wildcats cleaned up a bit and maybe integrated into the multiverse or even DCU proper.

  44. Isn’t Astro City creator owned? If so then can’t Busiek take it anywhere he wants, should he decide to? As another poster noted, nothing in Wildstorm really caught my attention once Ex Machina ended. And Wildstorm editorial began to lose me once they cancelled Casey’s Wildcats mid-run so Lee could re-start the title. A re-start that lasted exactly one issue…. Who knows what could have happened if Casey was left alone to complete his story?

  45. That’s a bummer.  I hope this means DC will reprint a lot of the OOP trades WildStorm has.  They’ve been terrible about keeping their stuff in circulation.  I can’t even find the original Authority trades anymore.  Though this news may have been why…

  46. @Kirkerson – I think that’s happened back in 52 already. I’ll bet that the heroes will just get rolled into DCU proper, so Apollo’ll join JLA, Grifter joins Outsiders, Doctor joins Shadowpact and Midnighter can head Suicide Squad or checkmate. Or probably none of the above. Maybe we’ll see a team-up between the Authority and the Elite. That could be really shit cool.

  47. Was wondering where some of the Wildstorm characters were gonna go too, a lot of which I don’t really see fitting into the DCU, but would love to see a sort of a cross-dimensional crossover event from DC, pitting the likes of Batman vs Midnighter or Grifter, and Superman vs Apollo, Hawkgirl vs Swift, Wonder Woman vs Zealot.  I think Mister Majestic has already crossed over to the DCU on occasion, he’s sorta a Superman clone in the Wildstorm U, or was he definitely?

    Was the Wildstorm U considered one of the different Earths of the DCU Multiverse?  Captain Atom and, like I mentioned, Mister Majestic have crossed over, so that’s how the Wildstorm U fit in my mind anyways. 

  48. Breaking: Superboy Prime to destroy Earth-Wildstorm and Earth Zuda from the Multiverse.

  49. Wildstorm has been a shell of itself lately so I’m not surprised.  Plus, bringing those licensed comics under DC just gives both title and publisher more name recognition.  Will we see the Wildstorm titles again?  Probably not for a while but I wouldn’t say never.  With DC’s multi-verse back in action these can easily be published under the DC banner as they’re in a DC Universe multi-verse.

  50. I think the writing has been on the wall with this ever since the end of 52 revealed that the WSU was just one of the varient DCU’s.  Like Fawcett and Carleton before them the DCU has just absorbed another independent comic boon universe into itself.  I just hope some remnant of it is kept alive unlike the poor Malibu Ultraverse, devoured by Marvel and forgotten.

  51. So what happens to the ongoing series that have yet to be collected into trades?