Legion of Super-Heroes_23

Legion of Super-Heroes #23; cover by Kevin Maguire

As they often do these days, DC Comics has revealed the cancellation of a bunch of titles not through any kind of announcement but through the release of advanced solicitations.

Today, the August solicits came out and they revealed the cancellation of the following titles, whose final issues will drop that month:

  • Legion of Super-Heroes
  • Threshold
  • Demon Knights
  • Dial H

Sad news to be certain but not at all surprising when you take into consideration what the sales estimates are for these titles:

(January sales estimates; not exact figures.)

  • Legion of Super-Heroes – 16,014
  • Dial H – 13,354
  • Demon Knights – 12,940
  • Threshold – 12,810

Those kind of numbers tend to get you canceled eventually.

The news sucks for multiple reasons. It sucks that just about every book that DC tried to publish that was outside of the traditional superhero vein was met with abject indifference from the buying public. It sucks that in a time of rising sales those sales seem to be concentrated in just a few titles (maybe they should have called it Legion of Batman-Heroes?) And it sucks that, as Mark Waid pointed out on Twitter, this may be the first time that, other than planned breaks, DC won’t be publishing a Legion of Super-Heroes book since 1973.

To quote the magnificently coiffed Josh Flanagan, “Sometimes the thing you really like can’t, for whatever reason, sustain a large enough audience to go on indefinitely.” That seems to be true more and more these days.



  1. I don’t know about the other titles, but Demon Knights was great. Sad to see it end.

    • Yes, it was. Both writers did a great job. I was expecting this day would come, but hoped it wouldn’t. At least we got a bunch of cool comics.

    • Agreed. I had no idea its numbers were so small. I’m very sad that it’s going now.

    • I’ll miss Demon Knights – it started as one of my favourites of the New 52. Paul Cornell clearly had a grand vision for this book in tandem with Stormwatch and it’s a damn shame we’ll never know how that could’ve panned out. Venditti has done a fine job on his run too, but I can’t help but feel that this book – already something of a tough sell as it’s not out-and-out super heroics – has been doomed for some time.

    • I agree. I liked Dial H too. Threshold has no plot that I’m aware of.

  2. I’m sad to see Threshold and Demon Knights go because I was really hoping to see sci-fi and fantasy succeed at the Big 2. I’m sad to see Dial H cancelled because it was an “Old Vertigo” style book in the DCU and China Mievelle was building a relationship with DC Comics that could’ve been very beneficial to the company. I’m sad to see Legion get cancelled because its a franchise with a long, important history that is of the few ones they have ripe for a Green Lantern-level rebirth and re-popularization.

    But my disappointment is not a good enough reason to keep books around if they’re not making money.

    • not making “enough” money, substantial difference…

    • Johhny hit it right on the head. When the corporate overlords come to take all your profits and weigh your soul they get made if they can’t immediately make that payment on their Lamborghinis.

    • Johhny hit it right on the head. When the corporate overlords come to take all your profits and weigh your soul they get mad if they can’t immediately make that payment on their Lamborghinis.

  3. I wonder, roughly, what the minimum order number is for an image book to get cancelled?

    • I think Image books are all based on what the creator(s), is willing to make/lose doing a book. It’s not set up like the big two, where creators get page rates, and sales need to justify cost. I’m pretty sure at Image creators get whatever amount the book sells(e.g. Fatale sells 3,000 copies at $3.50, Brubaker and Phillips get $10,500 minus the printing costs)

    • I should add, this is my assumption, I don’t actually know the ins and outs of how Image works.

    • @TurdSandwich: You’re basically right, except for the numbers. The price on the cover isn’t what the company makes on the sale, otherwise the comic book store wouldn’t make a profit and neither would Diamond. Diamond buys the books from the publishers (based on stores orders) at a deep discount off the cover price. The stores buy the books from Diamond at a discount off the cover price, and then sell them to you at cover price.

    • @turdsandwich That’s not an accurate number as far as income. Creators do not get $3 a book. It’s roughly 70 cents a book after it’s all said and done. You’re right about how low the minimum goes, Image still has to be able to cover their costs but a creator can continue the book, in general, even if they’re making very little.

    • Wow, why has no one cut out the middle man and told Diamond to shove it? Oh, I guess they did…it’s called Comixology. Or does Diamond get a cut of digital as well?

    • @bub64882: This has been tried. It was a fiasco, and one of the final nails in the coffin of 90’s comics. And pre-bankruptcy Marvel. Until Marvel and DC have a reason not to maintain their exclusive contracts with Diamond, it will always be the 9,000 ton ape sitting on the top of comics publishing and sales.

    • @bub64882: Comixology is a middleman just like Diamond– they too take their cut (and so does Apple if you use their app, and it’s substantial).

      Most publishers don’t have the resources to also act as distributors. As BC1 said, Marvel tried to do it themselves in the 1990s and it was such a disaster that it almost brought down the whole industry.

    • @Conor I wonder if having Disney backing Marvel changes this. I doubt we’ll ever see it, but hypothetically, could Disney keep Marvel afloat should they ever decide to venture in direct distribution again? Or does that come out of Marvel Publishing’s pocket so Disney money wouldn’t make a difference? (Disclaimer: I have no background in business or economics. I have very little clue how this stuff works).

    • From Wikipedia: “[Diamond’s] pricing is another point of contention – charging 60-70% off the cover price for their ‘service’ makes it nigh on impossible for many smaller publishers to make their money back on a given production, leaving 30-40% of the cover price to pay for printing and all stages of production.”

    • @Scarlet-Batman: I don’t think those figure can be accurate. Considering that you only pay 65% of cover price through DCBS, that would mean all (or all but 5%) of the money spent on each comic would go to Diamond, leaving 0-5% for the publisher and LCS to split. I’ve also heard anecdotaly that comic shops generally get about half of the comic’s cover price.

      In terms of iTunes, I’ve heard that Apple gets a 30% cut. I’ve never heard what Comixology’s cut is.

      So for that $3 comic, let’s say $1.50 goes to the shop, about $.70 goes to the creator (for creator owned comics, according to @kurtisjwiebe). That would leave $.80 for Diamond and Image to split. I’m curious what that split would look like. Anyone know?

    • Thanks for clarifying things Conor and Kurtis, that makes a lot more sense.

    • @MisterKyleW: There would have to be a massive profit incentive for Marvel to leave Diamond and go to their own distribution system. And I don’t think Uncle Walt would be happy with Marvel attempting to do something that has a track record of going badly and losing a lot of money. Not to mention, any profit to be gained would not be realized for a number of years, as the expense of either purchasing another distributor or of starting up its own distribution division would be very high.

      I was wondering if Disney might use its own distribution system to get Marvel’s books out. But then I thought, they’re almost four years into the merger. If they haven’t switched by now, either a) Diamond has a large financial penalty for withdrawal built into the contract; or b) Disney does not want to distribute comic books and is happy to let Diamond do it for whatever fee they charge. I think Marvel and Disney could overcome “a” in time, so it must be “b.” Whatever cost Diamond incurs must be more useful than the savings Disney could get by doing distribution in-house.

    • @Master Destructo: Who’s to say the DCBS has the same deals as other companies or the same mark up. Most LCSs cannot afford to sell in bulk the way a big online discount store can. DCBS may make a pittance on each comic sold but makes up for it with massive numbers.

    • @Scarlet-Batman: I think maybe we are saying the same thing, unless I am misunderstanding. Are you saying that DCBS does not pay 60-70% of the cover price to get their comics from Diamond, because that’s what my point is as well.

      I noticed the line you quoted from Wikipedia ends with “citation needed” and I would heartily agree! Also as I mentioned, I’ve heard from a couple sources (citation needed!) that LCSs average about 50% profit from the cover price. Maybe someone who works or has recently worked at a shop can confirm or disconfirm. A small shop that I used to frequent when I lived in IL (last year) had a 15% discount just for having a pull list. Assuming they are getting the bad rate of 70% for being small and having small orders, that would mean they were only getting $0.45 for every $3 comic they sold to me. I find it hard to imagine a small shop could stay in business with profit margins like that. But I’m the first to admit that I could be wrong.

      I’m not saying that the 60-70% range is absolutely wrong, because what do I know? I’m just saying that other things I’ve heard and read seem to call the accuracy of that range into question, and I’m trying to decrease my ignorance with some additional info from you or anyone else that might know about this subject.

    • Master Destructo: I think we are on the same wave length here. The 60-70% seems ridiculously high to me. My Comic Shop offers a 20% discount if you have a 10 comic pull list. There’s no way Marvel and DC (with all costs incurred at every stage of production) and my local shop are splitting 10-20% of the cover price. There’s no way either could survive on that pittance (at least not with how many comics are sold each month).

      Take last month for example, after Diamond’s 60% cut and the Comic Shop’s discount of 20%, would leave the entire industry’s 300 best comics generating just $4,856,000. Now split that two ways between the shops and the Industry, that means the industry only made $2,428,000. Now factor in share of overall dollars and the Big two raked in $1,072,205 (Marvel) and $723,787 (DC). I seriously doubt that pittance of money could possibly be enough to sustain both the artists and writers, let alone the editors, printers, management, office workers, advertising department and everything else you need to sustain a viable company. Assuming April is like any other month, then Marvel makes just 12,866,460, while DC makes $8,685,442 a year on the top 300 comic books.

      We know for a fact that Marvel made 111.7 million dollars in domestic revenue in 2008 from its publishing department. Comics have only become more popular since 2008.

      Even if you factor in TPB sales, it still can’t get Marvel’s total dollars any where near 111.7 million.

      Last year the “OVERALL North American Dollar Sales for Diamond’s Comics, Trade Paperbacks, and Magazines for 2012 [was] around $475 million”. Marvel’s share of total dollars was 34.06%. That means Marvel’s share of the pie was $161,785,000. Assuming the same cuts from above, then Marvel made just $16,178,500.

      Let’s assume that Marvel directly earns 50% of its market share, then it earned $80,892,500. That’s still a far cry from $111 million.

      Thus we can only assume that “publishing” must include something other than domestically sold comics that are distributed by Diamond…

      Found the info I was looking for! Diamond made up 69% of Marvel’s “publishing” category.

      So in 2008 revenue from products sold through Diamond accounted for $77,073,000 (69% of 111 million).

      In 2008, Diamond made $436.6 million on the Comics, Trade Paperbacks and Magazines. Marvel made up 40% of that pie, giving it $209,611,660.

      That means Marvel takes in 37% of the sales.

      We know comic stores can sustainable discount individual comics by at least 15-20%. Add that to Marvel’s cut and you have just 43-48% of the cover price being split between comic stores and Diamond.

      [All information gathered from MARVEL ENTERTAINMENT INC 2008 Annual Report, ComicChron and my local comic book store’s discount price]

    • @Scarlet-Batman: Thanks for the great info. That’s some really impressive research skill!

      It’s been a fantasy of mine, though very likely just a fantasy, to one day own a LCS, so I’m always curious about the details of how the industry operates on the large and small scale.

      Thanks again.

    • So last month, Marvel made $4,138,745 on all their comics in the top 300 comic books. Marvel had 74 comics in the top 300, so they made an average of $55,929 on each comic. Their best selling comic was Thanos Rising, which made the company $169,786. Their worst selling comic was Castle A Calm Before Storm #4, which made the company just $6,487.

      Now I’m really curious to know what Comixology’s cut is. Are they better or worse than Diamond? Also, I’d love to see estimated sales figures from there as well.

      @Master Destructo: It was a joy to do the research. Once you start, it’s hard to stop 🙂

  4. I’ll miss Dial H a lot. But it was a fun ride while it lasted.

    Demon Knights surprised me and I actually enjoyed it a fair amount as well. Not usually my genre.

    As for Legion? Well, it was…..just not good for too long. I was about to drop it but then the creative team changed and the Fatal Five always sucks me in. Now, I’ll just see it through to the end.

    I give DC respect for trying some really different titles. And REALLY trying – there have been some great talent on some of these book (like Dial H). People just aren’t buying. And the more narrow the offerings become.

    Thank goodness for some of the great indie works out there. But it’s sad we don’t get to see the plethora of great DC characters that populate such a vast comics universe.

  5. The first 3 issues or so of Dial H were great. It was good when it was a book about a regular Joe getting insane powers, but the whole conspiracy, secret society stuff just made the book too convoluted for its own good.

    Still it was a book with perhaps the most unique voice in DC, for that alone I’m sad that I (and others like me) dropped off the book and doomed it to cancellation.

    • Issue 1 was my favorite, but I agree with what you said. Hopefully Mieville sticks around at DC for another series.

    • I’ve read through #9 of Dial H and my favorite issue so far was six — stuck at home as Big Arrow Chief was brilliant . . .

    • @Cosmo, yea that was a good issue. My problem with this series was that there weren’t enough issues like that, a simple easy to follow story. Most of it was “what is this device, how does it work, old phone lingo”; too many questions. And when you pile questions on top of questions then I start to lose interest. The book’s not bad, but it got hard for me to follow on several instances (last issue was a perfect example of that in the second half).

  6. You won’t be complaining when Blue Lanterns,Indigo Tribe,Star Sapphires and a myriad of new Superman titles are solicited next month

  7. What the heck is Threshold?

  8. Dial H is great and got better every issue. So sad to see it go. I really hope the concept of the H-Dial sticks around in the DCU

  9. Can anyone explain why these numbers are so poor? I know in comparison to the Batmans and Supermans who sell 50-90,000 it is quite the difference but when you look at some of the Image titles for example who sell in around that number, they don’t tend to get cancelled.

    For example Manhattan Projects sold 13,00 copies last month but these titles will not get cancelled (well I hope not!). Why the gulf in treatment from companies??

    • DC Comics and Image Comics are different companies with completely different business models.

      DC pays a page rate to the writer, penciller, inker, colorist, and letterer. (Not to mention editors, assistant editors, and production people who need to get paid.) With Image Comics, the comic book creators do the work on spec and only make money from the sales of the comics, taking the proceeds for themselves to divide up after Image gets their publishing fee.

      An Image book can be profitable to all involved at drastically lower numbers than a Marvel or DC book.

    • Marvel and DC tend to look to cancel close to 15000 range, with probably a bit more mercy from DC, Gambit and Morbius are looking to be cancelled from trade solicitations in case anyone cares. Image tends to be more in danger around 5000, from what I’ve seen.

    • I see. Cheers for the info! Hopefully my Image titles will remain safe for a long time.

    • Look at it this way, in a way, Image is a middle man too, they get the content from creators to publishing. Where as With Marvel and DC, they are the source as well as the publisher.

  10. Dial H & Demon Knights were great. Sad to see them go. A lot of these Dc Dark titles don’t last long at all.

    • Not many of these New52 DC titles are lasting long period outside of the big names. Demon Knights was good and hope to see Etrigan in other books. Don’t jinx the dark title that actually has the word dark in it 😉 Dial H being an older Vertigo styled book where it would & should work better just like the rest of these “dark” titles. I really think they should take em all out out the main DCU and push Vertigo but allow the characters to cross over like Neil Gaimans Sandman did back in a story involving JSA’s Sandman,or having John Constantine, Dr Fate, The Demon, Deadman and The Spectre all in Swamp Thing but that might’ve been when Swamp Thing was still a DC series before they rebranded Alan Moores run as Vertigo when they took the character over there for a long time, either way you see my point that these characters seem to belong & work better over there and allowing them to be used in both universes opens more doors.

      House of Mystery, Adventure Comics….The Injustice League….some old Dial H stuff. Just Wiki Dial H and look at the list of character names that were created throughout that series, it’s impressive, really cool and enough reason for that book to live to be published another day.

  11. I’m losing threshold and demon knights, both of which I have been expecting to get cancelled every month. I’m hoping DC has learned that these 3.99 anthology backup story books don’t work. I think both this and amethyst would have stood at better chance at 2.99.

    I’m wondering if Vibe and Katana are going to make it past issue 8. Which seems to be the earliest they cancel a series.

    At current count after august they have 45 books, 7 short of 52. From what I have heard we can expect maybe Justice Legion, Kevin McGuire mentioned his new project he is super excited about got approved and he can’t talk about it, if it was him and Venditti on a Legion book I think i’d give it a try.
    Also Gail Simone let slip awhile ago on twitter that she was writing Plasitc Man and then was like I meant Bat Girl…sure you did. DC has also hinted at the possibility of more Earth 2 books.

    • Id rather have Mieville on Plastic Man, Simone doesn’t get me excited at all.

    • There’s actually 6 books missing. (10 slots are empty but 4 are already taken by Superman Unchained, Larfleeze, Batman/Superman and the soon-to-be-cancelled-for-sure “Trinity of Sin: Pandora”). Just for precision.

    • Price is a factor — I was curious to give Threshold and Amethyst a try, but 3.99 made it too difficult. Oh well, at least you got extra content for your extra dollar . . .

    • Don’t forget about the rumor of DC coming out with 4 weekly titles in October, which means DC would need to cull 16 titles to make way for so many weekly comics.

    • Scarlet, where did you hear such news?? I’m not sure they’re great, weekly comics look like such a money grab… Marvel do bimonthly and I’m not a fan of the quality being displayed (euphemism), so weekly seems… “bold”!

    • It was a rumor from a couple of months ago. It was all the rage. DC would cull their lowest tier titles and a few mid-tier books in order to get to that magic 16 number. Then DC would come out with a Weekly Superman Family, Batman Family, Justice League Family and Green Lantern Family book.

      It helps explain why DC is dropping so many titles right now. But they’re still a long way away from 16. Perhaps they won’t go for four weekly titles and instead opt for 2? If you cancel 1 Bat book (like, say, Batman Incorporated or Batman and…) and turn Action Comics into a weekly title, then you’d have your magic number of 8. Personally, I think that is probably the soundest approach, lead off with your two most popular franchises and see how well the buying public responds to the weekly format.

    • My count was done off of the august solicitations. So it counts all those books with the books going out and it didn’t count batman inc since that is ending as well. I may have miscounted.

      The weekly books if that is the case do not sound like they have a place in the new 52. They aren’t going to cancel 16 new 52 books to put out weekly family books with no place in that universe. Not that the books aren’t coming out but if they do it won’t be new 52.

      and yea amethyst and threshold were good books that didn’t need the backup and could have benefited from a low price point for people to check them out, going to miss both of them.

    • When I said family, I didn’t mean kid oriented. I meant group of books. It’s how DC organizes their titles (Justice League, Superman, Batman, Green Lantern, Young Justice, the Edge and the Dark). 🙂

    • If you are talking family like that…. aren’t they there now. There is 4 actual ongoing Batman books, more than 4 Green Lantern books more than 4 superman family books, there is 4 actual superman books if you count superman batman, maybe we need one more JL book if are counting books with JL in the title.

    • I would rather have 3.99 books with backups than 3.99 books with no back-ups, which is what Superman Unchained, Batman/Superman, JL of America and JL Dark seem like they are all going to be.

    • @BCDX97: which I find to be very distressing if that is the case. One of the strongest things DC has over Marvel is their greater fairness in pricing. I may have to drop JLA even though I was just getting into it . . .

    • @Arathi411 : my bad, I checked my count and I completely didn’t notice Batman, Inc was cancelled! So your count was the right one: there is 7 books missing, and 7 empty slots.

      I am half-happy, half-sad that Batman, Inc is cancelled. Happy because who else, if not Morrison, could handle the concept right? Without Grant Morrison the book is sure to become stale and boring. But it’s such a cool concept, one I accepted from the beginning and went ahead with, that it makes me sad DC doesn’t even try to make it last.

      But maybe Morrison’s story comes with the end of Batman, Inc. itself, hence the cancellation. Wait and see.

    • I wonder if Superman: Unchained even counts as a new 52 book as they have already said it’s going to be a limited series? I heard it’s only going 10 issues or something.

    • @Arathi411 A good weekly book is a far different beast than a different book each week for a month. Depending on how DC decides to go about it, the weekly comic could be amazing or terrible.

      @daningotham I don’t think Superman Unchained will be a limited series but I bet Snyder has finite arcs planned (and we all know Lee doesn’t stick around that long).

  12. When DC re-launched Legion with the New 52, I gave the books an honest shot (there were two books, right?). I loved LSH back in the 70s and part of the 80s. I even read most of the old 60s LSH stories, including the Jim Shooter classics.

    I was hoping the New 52 would be a great time to get back to the book. It wasn’t. I knew most of the characters from back in the day, but the continuity baggage had my head spinning. It was as if the authors were saying “new readers, stay away”. Disappointing.

  13. Man, I love Dial H. Sad to see it go.

  14. Dial H was great, I really hope the final issue will be some sort of ‘end’.

    Guess that’ll be one less DC book i’m buying..

  15. I,Vampire was the one that I hated to see go. It really does suck that non-main stream books get canned. But we all kneel to the almighty Dollar. Hoping one day they relaunch Vertigo and we can get some of these titles back.

    • I agree, I loved I, Vampire. I wonder if that title would have done better if it was a Vertigo title. But I suppose they didn’t want competition for Snyder’s American Vampire title. And then Andrew couldn’t have teamed up with Batman which was WAY cool. 😉

  16. The difference in small press and the “big two.” I would punch a baby in the face to sell that many copies.

  17. Unless I miss my guess, 3 of those 4 were new series (I know Dial H is based on an older series but still). I think “I,Vampire” was too. I wonder if that plays into the low sales for these series and their cancellation? I’m sad to see “Dial H” get the axe but the plot has been slowly advancing and it hasn’t been unexpected for fans that it was coming eventually. But that gives money for a new title to pull so hopefully DC is gonna start new ones that aren’t more Bat,Supes, or GL related.

  18. Fun with numbers!

    45 titles total. Here they are broken down by group:

    12 Batman titles
    10 Justice League titles
    6 Superman titles
    6 Dark titles
    5 Green Lantern titles
    5 Edge titles
    1 Young Justice title

    31 original titles remain, 2 from wave two, 2 from wave three, 4 from wave four, and 6 from wave five.

    • Unless i’m mistaken, only what, 4-5 of the bat family titles actually have Batman in them, in the same way only two of the Justice League group have the league in them.

      Just a point of order:)

    • Yeah, 4 of those are actual Batman books, and 8 of them are Bat-family books.

    • What do you all think: Should they cancel the Young Justice line, and move Teen Titans over to Justice League, or add some new YJ titles?

    • I think you also need to count how many of the remaining titles have had major new directions and how many e.g. Green Arrow (3), Superman (3) … any others?

    • This the problem with DC. Instead of making 2 or 3 good Batman books you get 12 watered down ones. And of course Batman being the Michael Jackson of the DC universe.

      In regards to LOSH. I have heard about this book since the 80’s. It’s been relaunched with fanfare countless times and always seems to be on the verge of cancellation. Just let it lie dormant for awhile.

    • There are 13 Bat Family titles, unless you are already taking off Batman Incorporated which is done in August. The top 5 have Batman in them full time, the rest have him show up occasionally, like in the Night of the Owls and Death of the Family crossovers.

      1. Batman
      2. Detective Comics
      3. Batman: The Dark Knight
      4. Batman and Robin
      5. Batman Incorporated
      6. Catwoman
      7. Batwoman
      8. Nightwing
      9. Birds of Prey
      10. Talon
      11. Batgirl
      12. Red Hood and the Outlaws
      13. Batwing

    • @Conan: If you just like Batman then ‘Batman’, ‘Detective Comics’ and ‘Batman: The Dark Knight’ are all excellent in my opinion. 3 very good Batman books.

  19. Sad to see interesting genre books end. I got DK for the first eight issues, Dial H for the first five and am getting Threshold.

    Full credit to DC for trying different things though.

  20. I wish I could say I’m surprised about Legion of Super-Heroes. I LOVE LOSH. It’s one of the top 3 properties I will read without fail, but this new version just didn’t work.

    I’m sure they’ll reboot it again somehow soon. The Legion tends to be a bit of a phoenix.

  21. No real surprise here. Since the start of the new 52, DC has progressively been going downhill. They cannot do non super hero books as well as their competition and that is the reason they fail. Writers are doing their best work elsewhere.

    • What non-Superhero books is Marvel doing?
      And the other companies? Walking Dead came in at #8, Saga at #27, Star Wars at #40, and East of West (?) at #46. That’s four books total for non-Superheroes in the top 50 (none by Marvel) vs 46 Superhero titles. But for each of those titles the same companies have out a better selling Superhero book. (WD got beat out by Jupiter’s Legacy).
      Fact is across the boards nobody is selling non-Superhero stuff all that well. Walking Dead may not have even been in the top ten if it weren’t for their AMC TV series.

    • @CharlieRock You are completely right about everything. I have no idea what that dude is talking about. What competition’s non super hero books are there? Are the X-Men not consider super heroes or something?

      I think DC really needs to get it’s editorial problems sorted out – but I don’t know which writers are doing their best work elsewhere, either. Are they half-assing it at DC? And who?

  22. Dial H is my retailer’s favorite title. He’ll be pissed.

    Me, I have been enjoying LSH lately, but I felt the book could have been handled better for most of its run.

    I don’t read the other titles.

  23. Some of these 2nd tier titles seem interesting, but I usually go with a creator owed book over any niche titles from the big 2, mostly because i know they’re not on the chopping block from day 1. We all joke when these books are announced that they won’t make it past issue 5 or whatever, but i’m sure that same sentiment is why so many of us never take a flier on this stuff.

    I think the market has kind of told the big 2 publishers what we want from them. I don’t know why they expect surprises from their 2nd tier books at this point.

    • Not sure what you are going for here, but it sounds like we wouldn’t have gotten Hawkeye and maybe even Daredevil.

      Big two you risk cancellation, can treat it like a mini series.

      Creator owned you get uncertain finish and release schedule. Is what it is.

    • that’s a great point about Hawkeye and Daredevil, but what are the common threads with those? Creators were given the license to do their thing and create a unique look and feel for the books. That’s why they were successful. If they just put out generic superhero books i don’t think we’d be looking at them the same. I don’t think DC would allow a creator to have that much creative freedom at this point.

    • That is a good point also, need a mix of the two. DC has failed at this hard, it feels like it might be getting better.

      Charles Soule and Ales Kot pulled off pretty interesting issues and both books had art that fit the books, Katana also is off the path a bit but don’t think that will catch fire. The recent revamp of GA. Hellblazer was probably a step in the wrong direction though.

      Charles Soule Swamp Thing is good enough i’m actually interested in thunderbolts and red lanterns.

  24. Do you think DC will add new titles in September? Isn’t September supposed to be “Villains Month”? It would be weird if the first issue of Shazam! was called Black Adam, right? Just guessing on Shazam!, of course.

    • There’s gonna be 56 Villain centric issues in September. There’s already been a solicitation for the collected edition for the book market. According to Katana #4, Creeper will be getting a one-shot.

    • The Creeper is one of those obscure characters that’s a treat to see. I hope his one-shot is good with a lead into seeing him somewhere I’d like to, like JLDARK.

  25. Sad to see Legion go the way of the dodo but the reboot was unkind to the franchise. I think one of the biggest problems is that the Legion has traditionally relied on the Super family to help boost sales, be it Superman, boy or girl. Another issue is that, from an iconic standpoint, none of the heroes are that memorable. Braniac 5, Saturn Girl, Cosmic Boy and Lightning Lad are probably the most famous and even they are fairly obscure. It’s sad that more people are aware of the Legion’s existence through Booster Gold’s ring than the Legion itself. One of the charms of the team is that most characters are adjective-boy/girl, which to the modern ear feels a bit trite, old hat and childish.

    There’s just so much working against the Legion right now that it’s no wonder their title is getting canceled.

    Perhaps DC could make a children’s title starring these characters. It might sell better than a title directed towards adults.

  26. I can only speak to Legion, but I think perhaps they missed an opportunity with the initial launch. Rather than slowly bring the team together to be open to more readers, you were dropped smack dab in the middle of the series. I had been reading prior to the relaunch and it was still confusing as a reader. You miss that initial chance and it’s hard to get people to pick the title back up as the cast only grows larger.

    • I have read Legion stories once or twice (mainly the Superman/Legion story which started Johns’ Action run), and have to admit that I get pretty confused pretty quickly. They need a writer who can just come in and sweep away the clutter and present the reader with immediately distinct characters . . .

  27. This is a sad day for me Demon Knights has been one of my favorite books in the New DC. Maybe this is my fault for falling in love with books that can’t last while I wait to read Batman, Justice League and action in trades. Not that I have any concept on how there business model works, but they may want to consider just doing more Mini’s on books that are questionable whether they will last in the long run. It’ll give them advantage of not having to cancel so many books with the plus side of allowing them to come to a book end closure.

    If I judge my monthly books that will be cancelled Next base on my enjoyment the list will look like this:
    Swamp Thing
    Animal Man
    Phantom Stranger
    Earth 2
    World’s Finest
    Justice League Dark

  28. I’ve been choosing to wait for the trades with a lot of the New 52 titles, such as Demon Knights. In the past, this wasn’t a big deal, as trades came out fairly quickly. Now that DC has this protracted released schedule for trades (the second trade for Demon Knights isn’t even out yet), I feel like I’m part of the reason that titles such as these are cancelled. If I want to see titles like Demon Knights (or OMAC or Sword and Sorcery) stay on the stands, do I just have to buy monthlies? Is that my only option?

    • I believe that if you feel strongly about a title with low readership, the best way to show the publisher is buying the title every month in issues. At the end of the day, I think that gives the clearest message.

    • Me too, collecting Demon Knight in trade. DC should not hesitate to publish the trades when ready and then add those numbers to the monthly take before cancelling. Instead, they seem to have needless, enormous delays before printing the trade…WHY?

  29. I’ve been reading Demon Knights since issue one, and ever since that first issue, it’s consistently been one of my favorite titles every month. I was very skeptical when Cornell left, but gave Venditti a try and his run has been great so far. While not shocked, I’ll be sad to see the title leave. Dial H I’ve come to more recently, but have really been enjoying. Again, I’m not surprised that it was being canceled (I did my part buying it every month), but still it’s sad. I give DC credit for trying to make these two titles work, even giving Demon Knights another push after Cornell left when they could have simply lowered the axe then. Hopefully we’ll see some non-traditional superhero titles offered as their replacements.

  30. I’ve loved Legion of Superheroes for decades but didn’t make it past issue one of this volume. I’m not sad that it got cancelled, I’m sad that this will probably be the last time DC gives Legion a chance.

    • Until Jonathan Hickman (after finishing his Marvel exclusive and spending some time doing solely creator-owned work) reboots the book and gives it a glorious resurrection. Look for it in 2018!

    • Yep. And after DC management changes over. I don’t think he would work there right now, though I could be making that up. I thought I heard something to that effect on a Warocket Ajax podcast.

  31. Josh really is magnificently coiffed.

  32. I also enjoyed Dial H. Hope it gets an “end.”

  33. The only time I thought Legion was readable was Waid’s run

  34. If Senior Management at DC ever leaves, Hickman could lobby for the Legion Of Super-Heroes book he’s always wanted to do, and we would bask in what I’m sure would be an amazing tale.

    Legion is the only one of these I’m sure will be back in one form or another.

  35. It really is sad (and also kind of amazing) that this will be the first time since ’73 that LSH won’t be on the shelves. I’ve never been a fan, but that’s depressing.

    I dropped Demon Knights a few months back to make some room on my pull list. I was enjoying it, but it didn’t make the cut. Guess that makes me part of the problem.

  36. So long Demon Knights. It might be for the best, as that’s a series that could get long in the tooth easily. We’ve gotten two great story arcs out of it, so I’ll be happy for that. And for saving $3 a month.

  37. I love Dial H.

  38. Damn! Threshold, Dial H, and Demon Knights. Three books ripped outta my pull list…….

  39. Just started collecting and re-reading the phenomenal Legion relaunch that Abnett and Lanning wrote in the early 2000’s. For a Masters class in making a ludicrously complex franchise accessible, exciting and resonant, look no further.

    The kids’ll be back. You can’t stop the future.

    Long Live the Legion.

  40. Shame to hear Dial H is gonna go away but is really that surprising? I mean it turned out to be a great read but it was never going to generate enough sales to keep it going. I’m just shocked we got as much that we did and hopefully we’ll get some good ending out of this. It seems like Mieville has been leading us to an eventual ending lately so I think it’ll be a satisfying conclusion.

  41. Aw man, I was really enjoying Threshold

  42. I usually watch my language on the internet but I gotta say fuck DC for canceling Dial H. I understand why its happening still fuck ’em.

    • I liked the idea of a DC anthology style series like DHP. Wish they kept it going and think Dial H would be a good constant there.

  43. I recently dropped Birds of Prey, Batgirl, and Red Hood. And now these 3 books that are still on my pull list get cancelled. So that’s a lot less DC books for me.

    And if we start getting $4 20 page books like we seem to with Superman Unchained, Batman/Superman, and the Trinity War JL of A and JL Dark, there will be even less DC books I’m reading. So they are really trending in the wrong direction for me.

  44. So if anyone asks why the Big Two don’t do anything interesting, here’s your answer. At least Giffen will have his Larfleez book, that would be nice.

  45. I love Demon Knights and will hate to see it go

  46. I feel bad for Legion fans. To think Ron and other X-Men fans were pissed simply with Uncanny being renumbered. This is a million times worse. I know Legion isn’t as popular as the X-Men, but it has some hardcore fans. Super bummer that it’s not going to be around for the first time since 1973. DC really messed up, IMO. With the relaunch, they needed to simplify it, not make it more convoluted. Outside of Bat titles, DC is such a mess right now. It’s sad.

  47. What I expect to see now:

    1. Plastic Man
    2. Shazam
    3. Legion reboot of some sort
    4. Earth 2 book of some sort, maybe the new batman
    5. Trinity of sin:Question
    6.Doom Patrol

    • There could be some potential in this list. I’d love to be optimistic about a new Doom Patrol series, really I would . . .

    • I would actually enjoy a “Martian Manhunter” book instead of one about the Question…

    • Doom Patrol could be a great return in the right hands. This Trinity of Sin had me interested cause I dig the supernatural characters but rather see it be a maxi series like The Shade (which was really good). The Question, Phantom Stranger, The Spectre and whoever else including the Pandora character this is centering on could in my opinion & for my taste make better maxi-series than ongoings. Love em in cameos or not over used in JSA/Earh-2 titles and JLDark which despite its vanilla name, is a good series. Dr Fate works better in arcs & just being around his team, same goes for Deadman and think it would for all these cats. That’s my anecdote but do love seeing em take chances with characters cause you never know when that magic touch team is gonna kill it for awhile.

  48. really liked Demon Knights and a big fan of Jason Blood/Etrigan-maybe they will add on a team like JLD

  49. Dial H #0 was my favorite single issue from last year. Demon Knights and Dial H were both high on my DC favorite books list. I just hate that it feels that DC is trying to force me to read Batman, Superman or Green Lantern. (two of those I started reading at the reboot and then dropped).

  50. Room for New52x2? DC One Million should be cool. I’d like to see em push an Adam Strange and Booster Gold series. Vertigo needs to come back and be pushed right cause I think it’s the right marketing climate for they’re overall appeal & tone and think many of these darker/supernatural titles would do well under that imprint.

  51. Walk inside any comic book shop where a hundred comics hit the shelves each month and it IS normal that a lot of them don’t get high sales rates. The average comic book buyer spends what? 50$ each month on comics? So that’s around 20 titles a month?

    What does he think when he gets in the store with this restricted budget for his hobby? He gets the triple A titles like Batman, Justice League, Superior Spider-Man, etc.

    Maybe, just maybe he’ll grab a few indie comics or underdogs like the titles that just got cancelled…

    It’s the sad truth, the comic book medium is oversaturated in my opinion. We should have less titles on the shelves but of a higher quality and less wildcards and “edgy” titles that don’t sell.

    I mean, when DC gives the greenlight to a new title like “Threshold” do they really expect it to sell like Batman does? I doubt it, then why even bother producing it if it’s to cancel it six issues later?

    • I don’t think it’s oversaturation as much as a case of rigid brand identity. Fair or not, DC and Marvel publish super-hero comics. If I want a straight science-fiction, western, or crime book, I’m looking at Image, Dark Horse, Oni or whatever.

      From what little we know about sales and market share, DC is having a hard enough time getting it’s top super-hero properties to sell. It’s nice that they’ve been pushing the superhero concept into other genre territory, but I think these cancellations start to indicate that maybe they’re out of their element.

      An analogy: A few years back Lincoln released a luxury pickup truck. It sold for crap — for many reasons, but probably in large part because consumers in the market for a pick-up don’t think Lincoln. Or conversely, people that buy Lincoln don’t want pickup trucks.

    • I’ve gotta disagree, stuff like “Saga”, “Nowhere Men”, “Mind MGMT”, etc, sells because it’s different. People want to read those. Do they match Batman in sales? Hell no, but people go out of their way to buy stuff that isn’t capes and masks.

      Which leads to DC now, they tried to be different. They even tried to be diverse (when was the last time Mr.Terrific got a series before New 52?). They had a war series, fantasy series, they tried to give people options. DC put out those books to reach people who weren’t buying Batman or Superman, and now it’s been weeding down to what sells.

      Now i fully agree there’s just too much on the shelfs, both for my budget and for profit. But that’s capitalism, several companies producing product, fighting for your dollars. But competition is supposed to foster innovation, which means these companies have to adapt to earn you dollars. There’s a ton of stuff at play, but personally I spend roughly $25 each month and usually buy between 8-9 series. I try to spread that out between what I think is “good” and what’s interesting. There’s a comfort in buying Marvel or DC, you know what you’re getting and there’s a certain level of quality control with it (This is spider-man, every month he will tell jokes and fight crime and go thru some melodrama). However that gets boring, and I want to read stuff that’s not about capes or powers. The quality varies but I have to expect and respect that series is new and itself and isn’t gonna offer the same old same old.

    • I agree with you both, but it’s a specialization, Image is for Indies, DC/Marvel for Superheroes, IDW for franchises and that is okay.

      But the average comic book buyer, what does he buy? We all have different tastes and preferences, some are DC fanboys(girls), some are Marvel fanboys(girls), some want Crime stories, some want Sci-Fi, etc. Same with literature, same with movies, we all have our particular preference and for that, there’s a place we can go to get our fix and it’s the specialty of each company. In occurance, DC who makes damn good superheroes stories, are attempting to acquire some parts of the market by broadening their field of genres because that’s what marketing is, trying to squeeze as much money out of the pocket of customers as is possible by appealing to their needs but here, they fail miserably because they can’t quite match the competition and the “specialists” who do it better than themselves.

      I might be wrong, but this is how I interpret it.

      As an example, I own my own publishing house up here in Montréal called La Maison des viscères (The House of Guts), we publish extreme horror books in french because we’re the only publishing house that does so in Québec. We made horror our specialty and we are recognized as such by our peers. If I were to publish some chick-litt tomorrow, I’d be out of business, unless I add my own horror flavor to it (and NO, I would not publish something like Twilight, screw you for ever thinking that even though I’d be a gazillionaire!), we can venture into other genres but always with horror elements to it.

      Though our business model works here, because we’re the only ones doing it in Québec, if, let’s say, I would publish horror books in english, I’d be in an oversaturated and highly competitive business because there’s a hell of a lot more english language horror publishers in the world than in Québec…

      I think the same thing applies to DC/Marvel, so they should stop trying to appeal to different masses and stick to their specialty, superhero stories, leave the rest to other publishers.

    • These are true in some ways but do you guys really think DC doesn’t know these books don’t have a great chance? They are trying new things. They could do what marvel does and double ship batman and other popular books, this further restricts what people are able to take chances with on the stands on a limited budget. Not even saying that book is bad it probably isn’t but it can restrict choices.

      If you see a book you are interested in treat it like a mini and give it a try. Will Vibe get cancelled? Probably, is it worth reading yes. Even if it gets cancelled it is adding depth to the character and universe.

    • I think DC is really pushing this house style and that just doesn’t work with niche characters. So many of their titles look and feel the same. Let creators really do their thing with these characters and you could have some surprise hits like Hawkeye at Marvel.

    • True that.

    • DC tried to be diverse, but Mr. Terrific didn’t fail because the lead was black. It failed because it was terrible. There’s a lot you can do if you give all the writers the same leeway handed out to Morrison, Snyder and Johns.

  52. Sad news. I read the Dial H trade a few weeks ago and really liked it. I guess they’ll still bother putting out Vol. 2 to close out the series? It’d have to collect 9 issues, though, one of which will be double-sized…

  53. I think Demon Knights was my favorite DC book. And I loved Dial H so much. Two unique and consistently fun books gone away. I was interested in at least one book everytime a new wave came out but these books they are announcing…… Im not interested in any of them. I wish DC could get their act together. The world doesn’t need another Batman book.

    • I’ve seen this a lot what new Batman do people keep referring to? The Bat family has a lot of books yes but almost all of them were there at launch. Batman Inc is the only new one and this is getting cancelled because the story is over. Superman/Batman is under the super man family and also it is Jae Lee art which I will take where I can get or could just call a replacement for Batman Inc. I do have to question the number of Supermans when they have Scott Lobdell writing 2 of them…. probably blame a movie coming out.

      What would you like them to do, the art hasn’t been bad on these books. Demon Knights had Paul Cornell and an artist that is now drawing a GL book Bernard Chang. Then they turn to Robert Venditti who is up and coming, helming the whole GL line, clearly they are trying to get these books love but people aren’t buying. You should be happy they went as long as they did, or happened at all.

      I have the entire run of Demon Knights and will buy the last 3, I have all Frankenstein, Amethyst, Threshold, Vibe, Katana, I’vampire, Resurrection Man, I was sad to see many of these go but don’t regret buying them, I enjoyed the ride.

    • It’s not DC’s fault people aren’t buying stuff that doesn’t star Green Lantern, Batman or Superman. DC has done quite a bit to push these lower tier books but people absolutely refuse to buy them. Most people I’ve seen posting online say they love Demon Knights and yet only 13,000 copies of the title are sold each month.

      DC isn’t letting people trade wait poor performing titles any more. If you like something, you have to buy the floppies.

  54. Demon Knights is a great book. Part of my is sad that LSH is cancelled but it could stand reading it anymore.

  55. Only the New 52 model could possibly take a unique and brilliant series written by a multiple Hugo award winning author and have it be ignored by their audience and eventually cancelled. Dial H and Mieville truly deserved better than that.
    It sucks that it was buried in a continuity like what the 52 has set up because it was honestly one of the best comics being released today. It would have thrived at a place like Image. Maybe if it was called Dial Batman it would have sold.
    Any book that was trying to do something different has fallen by the wayside and been cancelled and it’s really disappointing to see. Besides All-Star Western the New 52 is producing mostly boring, uninspired, recycled hash. Dial H is cancelled but at least Vibe and Katana have their own series…
    Also to see a set of character like the Legion not done justice really sucks.

    • I would tell you not to dis Vibe, as it’s very good. Almost like what Bendis promised with Miles, but then I think why bother, that series is doomed too.

  56. So I checked the numbers on the pre-Flashpoint Legion series, also by Levitz

    It was selling more. The first new 52 issue sold twice that, but with in six month, it was down to old sales, almost exactly

  57. If you’re a consumer, why bother trying something new? There’s so much “new”/recycled content released every month that consumers are forced to be cautious about any new title they might try, especially armed with the knowledge that it probably won’t be around for more than ten issues. By the time buyers figure out whether or not a title is worth their money, DC has already cancelled it..