By now everyone knows about all the talent shifting among the DC New 52 titles that aren’t Bat- or Super-related. Sterling Gates is off of Hawk and Dove. Legion Lost lost Fabian Nicieza. Paul Cornell is off Stormwatch. Mahmud Asrar is taking over Supergirl. Gail Simone left Firestorm (as did the book’s artist) to go take over writing Birds of Prey. George Perez is already done with Superman. And Dan Jurgens and Norm Rapmund were replaced by JT Krul who was then replaced by Ann Nocenti and Harvey Tolibao on Green Arrow! And several other books are experiencing creator shifts: Men of War, Mister Terrific (which really oughtta be cancelled), Green Lantern Corps, Blackhawks, Suicide Squad, Grifter, Savage Hawkman, Voodoo…It goes on and on. In fact, it looks like “name branders” have abandoned ship. If the new 52 was about attracting new readers, what’s the plan for keeping them?
You probably also know that sales are starting to slow and return to their pre-new 52 levels.
Well, Comics Beat recently analyzed the sales figs for the new 52 titles from September (when the #1s shipped) to now (when they’re up to #3 or 4), and the results suggest that rearranging talent might not be worth the effort.
There are few surprises. The major favorites all basically held their positions: Justice League held at #1, Batman at #2, Action at #3 and Green Lantern at #4, with Detective, Superman, Batman and Robin, Batman: The Dark Knight, and Flash all starting and staying in the top 10. Wonder Woman premiered in September at #10, and in November was down to #12, but that’s not a huge drop.
The books that show major changes were Firestorm (down 8 points to #38); Hawk and Dove (which actually climbed three notches but still isn’t lighting any fires); Animal Man, which climbed from #35 to #25; and Demon Knights which climbed from the bottom (43) to the middle (34).
You can see all the stats here.
The real question is: It is worth changing up creators on books that aren’t showing any forward momentum? If a #1 couldn’t part people from their money, what can a shake-up do? I mean, if you’re bringing in a Grant Morrison or a Frank Miller, I get it. But many DC books are actually losing name brand creators, not adding them.
Maybe they should relaunch the relaunched? Like every couple years, start all over again. Just like movies seem to do three films with one vision, then a complete reboot. (I’m kidding, of course…)