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1. Watch The Batman: Arkham Knight Alternate Opening (Spoilers)

So last night, as I continued my quest to find every riddler trophy in Batman: Arkham Knight, I started to get a bit bored. I figured I’d jump into “New Game+” mode which unlocks upon finishing the main story. “New Game+” lets you relive the entire Arkham Knight story without the pesky having to collect everything over again. Anyone who hasn’t played it; Arkham Knight’s story is one worth combing through multiple times.

The game’s opening cinematic sees the body of the Joker being cremated right before our eyes. In fact the game doesn’t start until you hold down any button long enough for the flames to char the corpse. Yes it’s sadistic, but this time around I held down the buttons long enough to singe the body but never quite have it go up in flames. Even as “under my skin” finished its classic catchy tune, I still only managed to extra crispy the Joker’s body.

Once I decided to get on with the show, I noticed a distinct lack of Jim Gordon’s opening “this is how the batman died” speech. Instead, the game delivered another “oh sh**” moment when the Joker’s body appeared to laugh back to life and Mark Hamill’s voice delivered a new opening statement to the story.

Check it out below if you don’t plan on going through the game again:

For those of us who have gone through Batman: Arkham Knight, what have been your favorite parts of the game?

0 Comments on Watch The Batman: Arkham Knight Alternate Opening (Spoilers) as of 7/2/2015 1:08:00 AM
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2. The story of DC’s library moving coast to coast

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With DC Entertainment not ensconced safely in the petri dish of the Burbank studio world, THR’s Borys Kit delivers the Story of the Move with two videos of the DC library then and now. Trigger warning: images of Steve Korte holding a whip.

The move west didn’t merely uproot the staff; it also meant a cross-country trip for DC’s celebrated library on Broadway, which was stored in a vault and included nearly every comic the company has published as well as a collection of licensed merchandise and oddities. (Collectively, DC’s copies of the first appearances of Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman are worth more than $2 million.)

Special movers, working with Warner Bros. Archives, packed nearly 100,000 comics and 8,000 hardcover books into 600 boxes, and a security team escorted them to a giant truck in mid-March. DC executives tracked the vehicle via GPS, and another security team oversaw the collection’s unloading. “It was like medevacking the heart from New York to Burbank,” says Nelson.


The front office certainly looks nice. I still feel a stab when I go up to the Carnegie Hall area, but sometimes puling stakes and moving is what it takes:

Overall, the move went as smoothly as possible, with no major damage to the collection reported. Nelson, whose office door boasts a transparent Wonder Woman image, says the new environment has affected employees and their work: “There’s a happiness that comes with being so close to the studio — seeing people they haven’t seen on a regular basis — and being in a creative space that feels like a comic company.”

4 Comments on The story of DC’s library moving coast to coast, last added: 7/1/2015
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3. How Lying Made BATMAN: ARKHAM KNIGHT the Best Comic Game Ever (Spoilers!)

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Rocksteady’s Arkham Knight, the finale to their Batman trilogy is here and with it all the comic easter egg goodness. Warning before we get into the why and what not about the game’s relevance let me disclaimer you: this will be filled with spoilers. So if you care about that kind of thing and haven’t played the game or watched the cinematics on YouTube, turn away.

Just an update before we get started. Last week, Comics Beat put up a story about the press release sent out in regards to WB pulling the PC version of Batman: Arkham Knight from store shelves and Steam. It was written in a way that made it seem as though Rocksteady was only at fault for the game’s catastrophic PC launch. The PC edition was ported and optimized for computer hardware by a different developer known as Iron Works. Rocksteady has since stated they’ll come in and devote resources to fixing the game with Iron Works, in fact yesterday they released a patch to remedy some of the issues. Yes, we’re in the age of pre orders putting out inferior and often times buggy product, but Rocksteady have had a great track record of working games and the controversy shouldn’t reflect solely on them.

 

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If you’re going to San Diego Comic Con in a few days and want a limited edition Arkham Knight print, E3 shirt, and Batman: The Animated Series figure just follow us on instagram @ComicsBeat and I’ll post details later on.

 

Ok let’s get into the game spoilers in 3… 2… 1…

Batmobile

First, we have to acknowledge the elephant in the bathtub. Just about every review and comment from gamers who’ve  played Arkham Knight loathe driving the Batmobile in the game. These opinions aren’t entirely unfounded. Driving around in Batman’s car and having it handle like a lawnmower with an attached jet engine can be frustrating for two reasons. First of all; the car is just plain overused. More than 3/4 of the objectives in the game can’t be completed without the Batmobile. In fact the moment where the car is crushed by the giant drilling machine gave me a sigh of relief, only to be snatched out from under me by the addition of a back up car. Secondly, using the car wouldn’t be so bad if there was more of a learning curve to driving. Particularly in the Riddler track challenges that Batman has to complete in order to release Catwoman from the bomb collar. You’ll go from an easy straight forward track to executing barrel rolls in a sewer as you have to focus on steering and triggering puzzle elements in the level. Then there’s the tank mode, at the push of a button the car goes battle stations and takes on enemy vehicles . These sequences slow down the pace of the game but never enough to take you out of the story. Learning to transition between the sets of controls effectively takes time and patience. Both of which I have in spades… now excuse me while I put this quart of frozen ice cream in the microwave.

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This all begs the question; would we have been better off not having the car in the game? No. Having the game on newer consoles like PS4 and Xbox One meant it was going to be bigger and better looking. It needed something new, something more forthright than switching between Robin or Nightwing during certain melee sequences. Driving the Batmobile was a logical progressive addition to the series. Could it have been better executed and more balanced with the story? Yes, but I’ll take Batmobile over no Batmobile any day.

The Stories that made up Arkham Knight

After E3, we talked a bit about how “one-way” the streets that connect comics and video games can feel. Comics are more often tasked with bringing video games to books than gaming taking on the tales we love. Sure there’ve been a few games that have tried translating the language of comics in games. Most of the stories lucky enough to make the jump become cannon fodder for the activity/reward relationship games are built on. With Arkham Knight, Rocksteady, managed to translate pieces from a library of Batman stories containing 75 Years worth of history to build something that harmonizes with sitting down to play a video game .

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Anyone that’s played previous Arkham games knows, like television, there’s always two plots to a story. While the surface of Arkham Knight is about stopping the Scarecrow from unleashing his fear cloud over Gotham; Batman was grappling with his Joker infection from the events of Arkham City. A disease that threatens to wipe away Bruce Wayne and replace him entirely with the consciousness of his worst enemy. It’s a story we’ve seen before in the Batman Beyond animated universe story, Return of the Joker. There it was Tim Drake of the future who felt the Joker take over his mind from beyond the grave.

Then there’s the Joker running down the events of his days of yore with the dark knight. If you played the game, those chilling moments in the Batman’s mind where Joker makes him relive the horror of paralyzing Barbra Gordon from Alan Moore’s The Killing Joke. Rocksteady captured that iconic moment in history nearly panel-for-panel. Knowing what would happen when Joker stepped through that doorway made it that much more intense for us and kudos on not diluting the madness of that moment for the sake of a friendlier rating. When the game first received it’s “mature” M from the ESRB, it wasn’t hard to guess we’d see some of the Batman’s most graphic moments played out in front of our eyes.

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The sequence where Batman and Robin (Tim Drake) have to recover escaped Jokerized patentients in the movie studio cuts to a piece of comic’s history. It nods to the, A Death in the Family, story where Joker blows up second Robin, Jason Todd. Not only did it tell parts of those events, but it somehow made them more brutal. In Rocksteady’s version there would be no desert and no bomb. Instead they got around the revolving door of comic death by not actually killing Jason Todd. Joker would hold Robin in secret, warping his mind and turning him against the Batman.

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Red Hood Story Pack

Joker’s torture created the Red Hood comic fans are familiar with today. Most of the events the actual Arkham Knight character puts Batman through during the game are calculated insider tactics only someone close to the Bat would know. Breaching Wayne security, informing Crane about Oracle, even calling the Batman “Bruce”; it all pointed to Jason Todd being the Arkham Knight. During the game’s penultimate moments, the Arkham Knight lifts his veil and reveals himself to Batman. So much of that moment and Jason’s motivations borrow from Judd Winnick’s Under the Red Hood.

There’s the lies Rocksteady told

An editorial I came across last night, over on IGN, read like an angry complaint letter to the game. I see how anyone invested in the Batman mythology could feel lied to. One should understand the ballsy chance Rocksteady took. In today’s age of “scoops” where secrets and mysteries just don’t exist; the developer risked agitating the audience and consciously chose to add mystique where there couldn’t have been any. It worked. We all guessed Jason would be under the Arkham Knight’s mask, but we took Rocksteady at their word when they said it would be an original character. Is being honest and upfront a requirement for making great games? Who knows. Though it’s hard to be angry at Rocksteady because the lies they have been telling since Batman: Arkham City have value. Remember when Mark Hamill came out and said voicing the Joker in Arkham City would be the last time he’d ever do it. Had the studio come out a year ago and said Jason Todd is the Arkham Knight, then it would have been easy to deduce the return of the Joker. After all he’s as intertwined with him as he is with Batman.

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Sure by the middle of the game it’s bombastically obvious, Jason Todd is the Arkham Knight.  That wasn’t the surprise this game banked on. Had I known about the Joker in the game before it’s release then I would have lost that moment where I’m about to put the controller down for the night and then like a bolt of lightning to the system, I see the face of the Clown Prince of Crime alive and well (sort of). The shrill echo of Mark Hamil’s laughter comes through my speakers and no I’m definitely not turning in yet.

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The argument about this not being an original story is also flat. When you look at all three Arkham games as a whole, it’s probably the most original Batman story in recent years; next to Scott Snyder turning Gordon into the new dark knight. Sure, Arkham Knight borrows a lot of notes from several DC Comics stories, but that’s the way it should be. DC could sell tons of books to gamers who’ve never read comics by marketing the list of “stories that inspired the game”. Lies equated to an end result that has potential to boost two industries. That’s a fair trade for any negative PR they’ll get.

This Arkham universe remained true and defied the convention of comic’s revolving door of death where no one ever really dies. Joker was dead and using him in Batman’s head was a brilliant way of still being able to keep him in the series without betraying the events of before. If Rocksteady isn’t lying and THIS is the end of their Batman run then they went out on a better note than what Christopher Nolan did.

In the end, they lied. So what? The Golden State Warriors lied and now they’re NBA champions. Tom Brady did the things with deflated sports balls and he’s married to a supermodel. A story about a fictional comic book character is allowed to be marketed any way it sees fit to make money in a gray world.

Batman: Arkham Knight is a gorgeous end to the character. One where he loses in the end, not a loss he’ll live with either. It’s an ending we could never get in comics or film. The existence of the Arkham universe is finite and it gave Rocksteady a freedom no one else has had with the character. Sure they took some liberties with our attentions over the last two years but in the end we got the Batman game we deserve.

2 Comments on How Lying Made BATMAN: ARKHAM KNIGHT the Best Comic Game Ever (Spoilers!), last added: 6/30/2015
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4. A Month Of Venturing Into The DC You: Week Four

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Here we go, it’s the final week! Let’s cut straight to the chase and talk DC’s Week 4 of their “DC You” initiative.

After last week, I’m feeling pretty good, and ready to read! What do they have in store for me?

Side-note: my LCS didn’t get Teen Titans this week, so it is omitted from this list. I didn’t want to buy it anyway, to be honest.

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Aquaman #41: My second shot with a Cullen Bunn book after Lobo landed with a thud. The last time I tried this Aquaman title was when Jeff Parker was on board, and I had trouble getting into even then, and I often enjoy Parker’s writing. Conceptually, Bunn is doing something interesting: the usage of a flashback-dual narrative structure isn’t new but it remains somewhat enticing, though the idea of it probably grabbed me more than the story itself. I don’t think Bunn is a particularly gifted dialogue writer, and I still generally find Aquaman mostly a bore, but if it keeps up this format, I’ll be down for another issue maybe….maybe. I’m at least curious to see if both threads pick up steam, provided that they continue to exist and it wasn’t just a first issue thing (I’ve read no interviews to know either way). There’s a bit of this new Aquaman tonally that also somewhat reminds of Kurt Busiek‘s far too short-lived Conan inspired run. I like that, on the other hand Trevor McCarthy‘s art was rather messy, and somewhat unclear, reminding me a bit of his rushed Batwoman arc where he took over for Amy Reeder.

Verdict: On the fence

Batgirl

Batgirl #41: I legitimately think Batgirl gets better every single issue, which for a mainstream superhero comic, is a pretty rare feat. This installment was another winner and provided one of the best looks at the new Batman status quo, while still relaying a “big” story through the lens of what Cameron Stewart, Brenden Fletcher, and Babs Tarr have laid down from the beginning of their run. Also of note, this is the first issue that Stewart did not provide layouts for Tarr, so what we get here, and in subsequent issues to come, is all Tarr. There’s one moment of male gaze that’s probably going to catch some ire, and it’s a weird miscalculation. But outside of that one panel, I’m a big big big fan.

Verdict: Already on my pull and staying there 

Deathstroke

Deathstroke #7: Yikes, what a disaster this book is. Sub-Image 90’s garbage. To add insult to injury, Hephaestus is completely out of character from how he was presented in the Brian Azzarello/Cliff Chiang Wonder Woman run, one of the best New 52 launch titles. This book is representative of the kind of stuff that people accused the New 52 of being: obsessed with EXTREME storytelling. Tony Daniel is a gifted artist, and at times (“Batman R.I.P.”) produces really nice looking work, but as a writer…well, at least he’s relegated to a book I don’t care about at all, and have no reason to at this point.

Verdict: Stopping here

Flash 41

The Flash #41: Good lord, the exposition! It had been a minute since I’d read a Robert VendittiVan Jensen co-written comic, but wow, was this an awkward read! I’m not sure if previous issues of their run tried as hard to tie into The Flash television series, but they’re really bending over backwards here to shoe-horn in not only the “father wrongly imprisoned” subplot, but also a Joe West stand-in. Brett Booth, who I am decidedly not a fan of, doesn’t help much, but the painfully overwritten narration and dialogue isn’t his fault. Perhaps for those who have been reading this run regularly, this issue pays off better, but I found myself rolling my eyes more often than not.

Verdict: Stopping here

Gotham by Midnight

Gotham By Midnight #6: A decent read, and I think Juan Ferreya makes for a slightly clearer if somewhat duller artist for this “supernatural side of Gotham” series than Ben Templesmith. Ray Fawkes, whose creator-owned work I generally enjoy, really hasn’t quite grabbed me during his DC tenure and this issue doesn’t do much to change that. This is basically a book I like more in theory than in actual execution, having tried a couple of different issues at this point. I want to like a Jim Corrigan/Spectre series so badly, but I’m just not sure this is ever going to be a book that scratches that itch for me. I sure liked the ghostly imagery though!

Verdict: Stopping here

Grayson 9

Grayson #9: Remember how much I liked Batgirl this week? I think I liked Grayson even more. I know I go on and on about it, but the Tom King scripted issues of this series are absolutely some of the best adventure comics DC has released in years. From the hilarious opening bit that takes a different angle on the first issue’s train sequence, to the introduction of a new cabal of spies that has pretty big ramifications to DC’s larger espionage picture, to more tongue in cheek moments between Dick and Agent 1, this is basically the DC comic that I never knew I needed in my life. Now that I have it, I never want to let it go. I’m also glad to see Mikel Janin on a book better suited to his talents, as King gives him some wonderfully cinematic moments here. That two-page spread of the necklace heist was my favorite action beat of the week.

Verdict: Already on my pull-list and staying there

GL Lost army

Green Lantern: Lost Army #1: Now here was a surprise! I really don’t care about Green Lantern much at all, and I generally checked out of the character about a year into Geoff Johns‘ New 52 run. I’ve dabbled here and there since, but I’ve never felt much of an urge to return. Even this month’s opening chapter to the “Renegade” storyline only somewhat intrigued me enough to probably pick up next month’s offering. Here, Cullen Bunn does the flashback thing again, but it works a good deal better this time, playing with the story tropes of LOST (which in turn was riffing on Watchmen). These “stranded in an unknown galaxy” stories can either go really well (Legion Lost) or really badly (Star Trek: Voyager), but Bunn has produced a solid enough cast to start out with, that I think this is a title with stronger promise than anything else he’s working on right now. It’s nice to be excited about a Green Lantern book again, and if they can capture the wonder and unknowns of space exploration, this’ll be one to keep an eye on. I already somewhat think that’s the case already.

Verdict: Going onto the pull-list

JL 3001

Justice League 3001 #1: Totally impenetrable, good Howard Porter art though. I really don’t have much to add here, as I find this book about as shrug-worthy as I did when I picked up the first three issues of Justice League 3000. I just don’t think it’s a strong enough title for me to tough out its learning curve, and this new Justice League simply doesn’t engage me at all.

Verdict: Stopping here

Superman 41

Superman #41: Good, though maybe a little stiff, as I’m finding many of the recent better DC runs’ first issues have been. I’m fascinated by how this story gets to where Superman is in Action Comics, and I think Gene Luen Yang is going somewhere cool with the character. I especially like just how human Clark is when faced with a threat that his powers can’t do anything about. You can’t solve everything with your fists, and that sort of existential crisis is just the kind of tale that can get me re-engaged with Superman again. For the first time in a long time, DC has two worthwhile Superman titles, I’m very glad to see it.

Verdict: Going to the pull-list

We Are Robin

We Are…Robin #1: Badly conceived teenage dialogue masks what could have been a pretty enjoyable read. I like the fact that Duke Thomas is the star of the book, but I found everything that came out of the character’s mouth to be cringe-worthy. I bet if you took the dialogue balloons away, you’d have a pretty enjoyable tale of teenage rebellion in the face of a city-wide catastrophe. It’s amazing how badly one aspect of a story can drag the whole thing down, but there it is. How funny is it that 58 year old Paul Levitz can better capture that youthful voice than not-even-40 Lee Bermejo was able to?

Verdict: Stopping here

So that’s it! I’m done! What did I think of the DC You launch month on the whole? The Batman line is stronger than ever, with a number of great titles under its belt, Superman is off to a cracking start, both Justice League books are pretty enjoyable and DC’s has a number of titles on the fringe that are must-reads. I’d say on the whole, DC’s commitment to creator vision this time around has led them to a much more successful launch than the New 52. Will sales show it? Who knows, but I sure had a great time reading these books (for the most part) and I’m so glad that I’m finally re-energized about DC Comics again.

The Essential New Titles: Black Canary, Constantine: The HellblazerDoctor Fate, Green Lantern: Lost Army, JLA, Midnighter, The Omega Men, Prez, and Starfire.

And, of course if you’re not already reading Batgirl, Grayson, or Gotham Academy, you’re really missing out.

Thanks for sticking with me on this journey!

6 Comments on A Month Of Venturing Into The DC You: Week Four, last added: 6/29/2015
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5. DC announces Comic-Con schedule and variants including Black Canary, Batman, Superman and more

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DC Entertainment announced the outlines of what they’ll be presenting at Comic-Con, with 19 panels covering all the lines from MAD to Morrison. And they’ll have a variety of variant covers available on different days, so you’ll have to stay alert to collect ’em all.

• From iconic characters to emerging heroes, the expansive DC Universe allows for a wide range of tonalities and a rich universe of stories, enabling readers of all ages and interests to find their favorite series. Meet the top talent behind some of the most celebrated series including SUPERMAN’s new, award-winning writer Gene Luen Yang, BATGIRL artist Babs Tarr and writers Cameron Stewart and Brenden Fletcher, and BIZARRO writer Heath Corson, among others. Plus, get an advanced look at the highly-anticipated series CYBORG with writer David Walker ahead of its debut in July. Get ready for the New DC Universe with these panels: “Mysteries in Space” on Thursday, “Superman,” “Justice for All,” and “The Bad Guys” all on Friday, and on Saturday “The Lighter Side,” “Batman” featuring all-star creative team Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo, and “The Upstarts” featuring the most cutting-edge writers and artists in the industry.
 
• Following the release of bestselling and Eisner-nominated mini-series THE MULTIVERSITY, writer Grant Morrison will explain how he redefined the DC Universe, giving fans a look back (and forward) to where the far-reaching effects of The Multiversity will be felt most. Don’t miss “DC Entertainment – Grant Morrison: The Multiversity.” DC Entertainment – Grant Morrison: The Multiversity and Beyond – Saturday
 
• Join superstar JUSTICE LEAGUE writer Geoff Johns for an all-access and in-depth discussion. From Earth One to Darkseid War to all things in between, be here for this exclusive panel that will give you insight into one of the genre’s most influential contributors.  DC Entertainment – One-on-One with Geoff Johns – Friday
 
• Dive into DC Entertainment – Page to Screen, a can’t miss panel celebrating DCE’s film, TV, game, and animation slates. Join talent behind the inner-workings, including moderator and TV GUIDE reporter Damian Holbrook, DCE Chief Creative Office Geoff Johns, Marc Guggenheim (Arrow, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow), Andrew Kreisberg (Arrow, The Flash) Heath Corson (Justice League: Throne Of Atlantis), and more! DC Entertainment – Page to Screen  – Friday
 
• Find out where some of your favorite Vertigo titles are heading, and also be the first to hear about the new series on deck for the fall fromcomics’ most innovative imprint. Vertigo: What’s the Story – Thursday
 
• See what “The Usual Gang Of Idiots” at MAD Magazine are up to at the side-splitting, must-attend annual panel helmed by SVP and Executive Editor John Ficarra and a hilarious cast of characters. Mad about MAD – Thursday
 
• Check out the latest action figures, statues, props and more from the creative minds of DC Collectibles and get an exclusive sneak peek at upcoming releases. DC Collectibles –Thursday
 
Make sure to stop by DCE’s 4,500 square foot booth (#1915) – the hub for DCE talent signings, hands-on video gameplay, and artist demos, where attendees will have a chance to mingle with some of the best writers and artists in the business. Fans will also get a chance to take photos with their favorite characters with the DCE green screen.
 
Also checkout highly collectible, exclusive variant comic books available for SDCC attendees only through the Graphitti Designs booth #2314.  Certain variants will only be available on specific days while others will be available throughout the convention. Variants include BLACK CANARY #1 (available Thursday, 7/9), BATMAN BEYOND #1 (available Friday, 7/10),  MIDNIGHTER #1 (available Saturday, 7/11), BIZARRO #1 (available Sunday, 7/12), and variants available on all days include ROBIN: SON OF BATMAN #1, HARLEY QUINN #17, SUPERMAN #41, BATMAN #41, and JUSTICE LEAGUE #41.  A special, rare, oversized gate-fold cover variant of JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #1 will only be available Saturday, 7/11.















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6. Batman: Arkham Knight PC Sales Suspended in Wake of Botched Launch

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Following a huge wave of complaints about Rocksteady’s Batman: Arkham Knight‘s PC Port performance, publisher Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment has suspended sales of the title.  These complaints included tales of sluggish performance and a total inability to get the game to work.  Warner Bros. issued a statement on its community message boards last night:

Dear Batman: Arkham Knight PC owners,

We want to apologize to those of you who are experiencing performance issues with Batman: Arkham Knight on PC. We take these issues very seriously and have therefore decided to suspend future game sales of the PC version while we work to address these issues to satisfy our quality standards.  We greatly value our customers and know that while there are a significant amount of players who are enjoying the game on PC, we want to do whatever we can to make the experience better for PC players overall.

Thank you to those players who have already given valuable feedback. We are continuously monitoring all threads posted in the Official Batman: Arkham Knight Community and Steam forums, as well as any issues logged with our Customer Support (support.wbgames.com). If you purchased your copy of the game and are not satisfied with your experience, then we ask for your patience while these issues are resolved. If desired, you can request a refund at help.steampowered.com (Steam refund policies can be found here: http://store.steampowered.com/steam_refunds) or the retail location where you purchased the game.

The Batman: Arkham fans have continually supported the franchise to its current height of success, and we want to thank you for your patience as we work to deliver an updated version of Batman: Arkham Knight on PC so you can all enjoy the final chapter of the Batman: Arkham series as it was meant to be played.

This debacle conjures an extreme case of deja vu, as developer Rocksteady’s last Batman game, Arkham City, had similar performance issues when it was released on the PC even though it was released a month later than the console versions of the title.  The game was purportedly delayed to perfect the title’s highly touted DirectX 11 features, which included more realistic physics and a greater level of game world detail.  Despite this extra month, those who pre-ordered and patiently awaited the game’s release found that DirectX 11 features caused the game to run sluggishly on even the most advanced contemporary machines.  It took months for a patch to be released, and even now, almost four years later, some users have issues enabling the advanced graphics features.

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Every time a AAA title is released on the PC, message boards and subreddits flutter with cautionary comments that warn users to avoid pre-ordering.  In the digital era, major game publishers like Ubisoft, EA, and Warner Bros. release titles before they’re fully functional and bug-free, relying on zero day patches and periodical hotfixes to produce an acceptable product after the consumer’s money has landed in their coffers.  This isn’t a new problem.  People should be well aware of what they’re getting themselves into when they pre-order digital games nowadays and by continuing to pre-order, they’re perpetuating an unacceptable and unsustainable business model.

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7. DC Comics Available for the First Time on Public Library App Hoopla

redson

In their struggle to stay relevant in the technology-obsessed 21st century, many public libraries have turned towards e-book services to keep membership levels high.  Historically, comic book publishers have been slow to embrace digital reading, with Dark Horse Comics only having joined Comixology this week.  However, today DC Comics began its partnership with public library e-book app Hoopla to bring select titles to subscribers around the United States.

Right now, 18 titles are available via the service, comprised of a number of collected trades including Batman: The Long HalloweenWatchmenSuperman: Red SonFinal Crisis, and The Killing Joke.  In order to access these titles, you will need a local library membership at a branch that supports Hoopla.  According to Engadget, Hoopla will add additional DC titles to its library each week, and there will be over 200 DC titles available for borrowing by the end of the summer.  Hoopla’s digital service uses an “action view” feature akin to Comixology’s guided reading mode.

It’s great to see major comic book publishers like DC providing free access to titles and supporting local libraries.  Comics are an expensive hobby, and the cost can be a major turnoff for new readers.  Granting the public access to classic titles like Watchmen will hopefully expand paid comics readership in the long term.  For now though, I need to get a new library card.

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8. See the BATMAN: ARKHAM KNIGHT Launch Trailer

It’s almost here. In just a few short hours gamers will be back in Gotham City. Today, Rocksteady have released the final trailer for Batman: Arkham Knight. One that shows off most of the characters we’ll see and some of the combo takedowns Batman & friends we’ll be able to pull off in the game.

Batman: Arkham Knight is getting some stellar early reviews. Will you be one of the thousands to crowd retailers at midnight tonight?

Ours just arrived, but I will not be able to get to it until later this week. To make it up; I’ll do a special giveaway for anyone going to SDCC, details this weekend. Stay Tuned

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9. Interview: Bryan Hill in Conversation with Former Batman Editor Joseph Illidge

By Bryan Hill

I met Joseph Illidge in 2002, before I wrote my first comic book. That year was a lot of me listening to his experience as a writer, filmmaker and comic book editor — and a few arguments about which Frank Miller work was the best, who would you rather have a pint with, Moore or Morrison, and the unbearable importance of Batman.

In 2015, I’m now writing several comics, as is Joseph, and diversity is one of the preeminent issues in the business of entertainment. Joseph, through his weekly column “The Mission” for CBR, stands defiant at the forefront of some difficult, but much needed conversations. Our back and forth tweeting around these issues seemed to urge us to do a formal interview. This is what happened.

Neither one of us held much back.


Bryan Hill: Origin stories matter so what’s yours? What drew you to storytelling? Was it an acute experience or a slow developing process? When were you certain you were going to dedicate your life to it? 

Joseph Illidge: I’ve always been an avid reader, and my mother encouraged it. Between taking me to buy comic books every Friday evening when I was in the second and third grade, to buying me an Encyclopedia Britannica set when I was in the fourth grade, she made sure my young brain was not starving for content.

I was also a nerd way before it was socially acceptable by the mainstream, so fiction, at times, was a more constant companion than peers, especially peers who were cooler than me.

Seeing as how I was more attracted to team books like Uncanny X-Men and Legion of Super-Heroes from the beginning, I think the idea of teamwork and family were themes that attracted me to comic books and stories in general. The idea that great things could be accomplished by enough good people with the same ultimate goal.

The day I started working for Milestone Media, the first Black-owned mainstream comic book company to have a publishing deal with an industry giant like DC Comics, was the day I knew I wanted to tell stories for the rest of my life.

Hill: Someone once told me “Don’t be a black intellectual because they kill those first.” You’re a black man and an intellectual. You survived where many haven’t. How? 

Illidge: In addition to having a great support structure of mentors and friends to enrich my life, I realized the importance of diplomacy and communication with precision. You can throw your opinion around like gasoline and light a match, in which case you’re going for a scorched earth effect, or you can wield your thoughts like a crossbow with a set of arrows. Know your message, aim with focus, pull back the arrow, then let it go. Hopefully, your ideas will connect with the audience.

I want to provoke conversations and debates, but in a fair way that maintains mutual respect between parties. I’ve criticized Marvel Comics in various ways, but I’ve known Axel Alonso, Marvel Comics’ Editor-in-chief, for almost twenty years, and he and I are still as cool as ever.

illidgeillidge

My reputation throughout the industry is solid because people know my intentions are genuine, my message is authentic, and my efforts toward a better comic book industry and medium speak to my love for the artform of comic books and art, in general.

So because people know where I’m coming from, I think that transparency has helped me meet and become friends with like-minded people.

When we support each other in common goals, “killing” the intellectual, Black, female, or otherwise, becomes a harder proposition for the opposition, because that intellectual is not alone.

Hill: You work across disciplines. How has working in different disciplines affected your understanding of them and art in general? 

Illidge: Having a background in art from my college years at New York City’s School of Visual Arts helped make me a better editor, because I speak to illustrators in their language and vocabulary of terms.

Being an editor has helped make me a better writer, because the idea that the story is always the first and last thing, the most important thing, gives me a safe distance from my ego. I can be in love with every draft of every script I write, but understanding the editor is my ally and being prepared to jettison ideas helps me get to the better draft in a way that spares me a certain amount of agita.

My writing helps me understand the virtues of various different story forms, so when I write a comic book or graphic novel, I don’t have to strive to imitate cinema because I’m working to exploit the unique aspects of the graphic novel format for telling a story.

Hill: Before I met you, I didn’t know there were editors of color in mainstream comics, or at least that editors of color were working on “white” comics like BATMAN. I was encouraged when I met you. It showed me that we didn’t have to play negro league baseball. We could just play baseball. What’s more important, a person of color initiative like MILESTONE, or people of color getting to play in traditionally “white” sandboxes? 

Illidge: The ownership of intellectual properties and creation of companies by people of color is the more important of the two.

Granted, playing in a well-known mainstream sandbox like Marvel Comics or DC Entertainment helps give creators of color notoriety, good pay rates, and an audience, all of which can and should inform and fortify that creator’s individual, self-owned or co-owned, projects.

However, the future will require more creators of color getting together with businesspersons to create formidable companies. It’s the most direct way to become part of the architecture of innovation, product creation, and the potential rewards for profit and empowerment.

Getting to draw or write Superman is not the summit, it’s the illusion of the summit when someone is in a mental desert starving for a form of nourishment the gatekeepers told them was needed to live and thrive.

Intellectual properties owned by corporations should not be the salvation for a creator of color looking to make a long-lasting impact.

Hill: I have to ask this, and it’s gonna piss some people off. Cassandra Cain was more interesting than Barbara Gordon. Damion Scott’s work was amazing. Cassandra Cain makes much more sense as Batgirl than Barbara Gordon. Did DC just “villain” her and then bury her because she’s brown?

illidgeBatgirlIllidge: I can tell you that for myself and the other members of the Batman editorial group at the time, getting upper management to go for an Asian Batgirl was a struggle.

My guess is that while Cassandra Cain as Batgirl was making a certain amount of money, she was “tolerated”, but once that changed, they didn’t know what to do with her.

Kill off the Asian girl? That wouldn’t look good.

Making her a villain was the next best option.

Unfortunately, Cassandra Cain was a victim of the mentality that fans don’t want change, and that intellectual properties cannot withstand change.

It’s a shame, because when you look at how DC Entertainment has embraced racebending, and Marvel Comics has really pushed a non-White Ms. Marvel, Cassandra Cain as Batgirl was certainly ahead of the curve by almost fifteen years, and DC Entertainment could have owned that prescience.

At this point, “Batman” writer Scott Snyder has made it clear that major developments are in the works for Cassandra, and writer Gail Simone helped keep the character somewhat visible, but really it feels like a corporate backpedal to me, now.

That said, I look forward to seeing what they do with the great character creators Kelley Puckett and Damion Scott brought to life.

Hill: What was the best experience you had being an editor, and why was it so rewarding? 

Illidge: While working as a Batman editor for DC Comics, I received a call out of the blue from Dick Giordano. He called to compliment me on Birds of Prey #16, which had Barbara Gordon, The Oracle, face The Joker for the first time in a “Silence of the Lambs” type story by writer Chuck Dixon, illustrator Butch Guice, colorist Gloria Vasquez, and letterer Albert Deguzman. It’s still one of my favorite comics from my editorial career, and Dick was gentlemanly enough to call and tell me he considered it a great comic book.

The man, God rest his soul, was a great guy and is a legend in the business, so that’s about as good as it gets.

Hill: What was your worst experience as an editor (without naming names) and why does it have that distinction? 

Illidge: Fortunately, I’ve had very few bad experience in my editorial career thus far.

The worst experience would probably be my last day at Milestone. It was bittersweet, because I wrapped up my last book, but I said goodbye to the first company that gave me a chance, to the men that gave me an opportunity.

I lost faith, and honestly, there was a part of me that felt guilty for working at DC Comics afterwards, due to the complicated relationship between them and Milestone in those days.

The good things I did for creators and comics at DC Comics got me past that guilt, and the returns (plural) of Milestone through the years helped teach me to never lose faith in the power of positive action and impact.

Hill: What is something that creators don’t know about editors that they should? 

Illidge: Editors are subject to the trickle-down of corporate manure, and they take more bullets for creators than the public will ever know.

Hill: You explore the role of both race and racism in popular culture. When did you decide you were going to do that exploration and has your perspective changed along that journey? 

Illidge: When Jonah Weiland, the Executive Producer of Comic Book Resources, offered me the opportunity to write and manage “The Color Barrier,” my first series of columns for the site, I knew I had an opportunity and responsibility to explore both, without flinching.

My perspective has changed in the sense that I’m more aware of the progress of parallel struggles for diversity in comics, by women, LGBT persons, disabled persons, and so even though the comic book industry has miles to walk, still, to address diversity in a universal manner, I’m more hopeful every day. Setbacks and slights against people in the aforementioned groups do not affect the inertia of my hope in the slightest.

illidgeBirdsofPrey

Hill: Why do you think comic book companies are very willing to create and promote characters that suffer prejudice because of their diversity, but they seem to not want diverse creators to tell stories about those characters? Is it just fear and if so, of what? 

Illidge: Creating diverse characters is easy, especially when the industry assigns most of their creation to the mostly non-POC writers pool of their companies.

Promoting them is easy because the apparatus for such is already in place, and it makes the publishers look impressively progressive.

It’s apparently more difficult because of a lack of desire to expand beyond the paths of least resistance, expand beyond the more publicized writers. That takes effort, it takes work, and people can always use looming deadlines and heavy workloads as excuses to not investigate outside of familiar territory when it comes to discovering writers of color.

Also, I suspect the publishers are afraid of being seen as caving in to public outcry, because, really, what profitable organization wants to give people the impression that their unfavorable criticisms carry weight?

Additionally, when it comes to Black writers, the general assumption that agenda comes with skill. A Black writer, given an opportunity to write The Punisher won’t automatically turn it into a polemic on violence against young Black people in America.

Interesting that a Black writer has never been given the opportunity to write a monthly X-Men series, considering how the premise of that franchise dovetails with racism.

Hill: I feel the existence of a double-standard in comics, but I can’t define it as more than that. Do you feel that way and if so, what do you think is the nature of that double standard? 

Illidge: Black people are respected as consumers, but not as writers, in general, by the major publishers. Full stop.

Hill: What do you believe is the most underserved market in the world of popular culture, comics and beyond? 

Illidge: Disabled persons.

Hill: In your CBR column, THE MISSION, you often reach the conclusion that attention to diversity is transient, a strategic reaction to social pressure, but rarely does it persist beyond a news cycle. How can that change? 

Illidge: Two ways, at the least.

People from the groups not benefitting from equality can band together in unified efforts. Join up and create companies that create formidable product. Carve out new territories and command some market share. When success is achieved without the aid of popular companies, their attention turns to you. They seek you out.

That’s when the real discussion and negotiations can begin.

In addition, we cannot let up on the gatekeepers. Remain vigilant, give credit where it’s due, and honest examination always. Consistent, intelligent discourse combined with action can chip away at walls of corporate indifference.

When cereal companies make commercials targeted at interracial couples, when DC Comics announced two female-centric lines inside of two months…these things confirm an understanding of our financial power, and our capacity to spend our money on their competitors.

Hill: I know a bit about one of your current projects, a graphic novel about the Harlem Renaissance, but I don’t know much more than that. What is it and what should readers expect?   

Illidge: The graphic novel is called The Ren, a 200-plus page story about a romance between Black teenage artists, one from Georgia and the other from Harlem, during the Harlem Renaissance years. In the midst of a crime war, the couple try to make their way, while doing a little growing up at the same time.  The story was created by myself and co-writer Shawn Martinbrough, the artist on Image Comics’ “Thief of Thieves” series, along with illustrator Grey Williamson.  I consider it a love letter to creative artists of all ages everywhere, who struggle within a world getting more complicated day by day.

The Ren will be published by First Second Books, the house behind critically-acclaimed graphic novels such as This One Summer and American-Born Chinese.

illidgeren

Hill: Many writers I know have rituals for working, music they choose, a place they like to work? What is your creation ritual? 

Illidge: Put on some comfortable clothes, eat some food, do something active for ten minutes, sit at the chair, choose a Pandora station, and hit the keyboard. Rinse, repeat.

Keep two Google windows open for research and fact-checking.

Stop when my thoughts take on the consistency of molasses.

Hill: Did you have mentors, and if so, can you name some of them and what you learned (and likely continue to learn) from them? 

Illidge: My mentors of past and present are Derek T. Dingle, Dwayne McDuffie, Michael Davis, and Denys Cowan, four of the five founders of Milestone Media, Inc.  Dennis O’Neil, former Batman Group Editor, co-creator of Ra’s Al Ghul, and critically-acclaimed writer of many a Batman story, Richard Dragon, Kung-Fu Fighter, The Question, and many other books by DC Comics.  Steven Barnes, novelist, martial artist, and lifestyle guru/advisor.  I have a new mentor, helping me with my global goals.

In general, what I learn from them is professionalism, patience, control of the message, and balance.

illidgemilestone

Hill: Do you think that the business synergy between comics and film, while certainly lucrative for both spheres, has negatively affected the quality of comic books? It’s not a loaded question. I honestly am not sure most of the time and I’m curious about what you think. 

Illidge: I think the quality of comic books overall has never been better, and there are certainly more opportunities for comic book creators to receive well-deserved visibility and profit due to the synergy between comic books and Hollywood.

Unfortunately, the synergy has led to greater corporate oversight, which has stifled creativity in various instances. It’s no coincidence that more high-profile creators have more creator-owned projects in monthly publication than ever. That’s the result of ennui and the exhaustion of navigating around story for reasons connected with profit.

Hill: Many people reading this are creators looking to become professional with their work. I’m sure you have a multitude of perspectives to share, but if you don’t mind boiling it down into three things all creators should keep in mind during the transition into professional work, what would those three things be? 

Illidge: Find allies and advisors who will tell you the truth, in order for you to become better at your craft.

Aspire to create work as good as the works you admire, on schedule.

Develop a mental callouses, because criticism is inevitable and you will have to make many changes on the way to good work.

Hill: Miles or Peter? And why? 

Illidge: Peter.

He lost his uncle to a criminal, his first love to a villain, his first wife to a deal with The Devil, faces pain and suffering with humor and hope, and never, ever gives up.


Bryan Hill is a comic author and screenwriter. Currently he is writing POSTAL for Top Cow/Image. He lives and works in Los Angeles. 

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10. Rebel Rebel: Babs Tarr Shows off Livewire Re-Design for Batgirl

Bruce Timm's Original Design

Bruce Timm’s Original Design

Livewire, the ass-kicking electro-magnetic supervillain is coming to the DC You next month in Cameron Stewart and Babs Tarr’s Batgirl #42.  The character, who was created by Bruce Timm for Superman: The Animated Series, has received the Tarr hip-to-streets redesign treatment.  She tweeted out a set of costume sketches earlier today.

batgirllivewire002

I’m pretty partial to the bottom center design, as I love me some Heathers-style shoulder pads, but I also love the asymmetry of the top center design as well.  Note the lightning bolts on her boots in all the designs, which range in conspicuousness from almost non-existent to beating you over the head with their symbolism.  She has an interesting Cinderella thing going on on the bottom right as well.



It looks like we’ll be getting the bottom left design.  Here’s the cover to issue 42:

batgirllivewire001

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11. A Month Of Venturing Into The DC You: Week 3

JLA #1

It’s that time again, as I delve into Week 3 of DC’s set of relaunched titles that have been dubbed as “The DC You”. This week marks a few changes worth noting up front, I had limited time in my pre-HeroesCon planning (which I’ll be attending for The Beat all weekend), so I’m only covering the new #1’s. My apologies to fans of the current Wonder Woman team, Secret Six, etc…but I’m throwing this together as quickly as I can before I hit the road. If anyone has thoughts to add about the books I didn’t get to this week or any of the below, hit me with them in the comments section, I’d love to hear what you think!

Again, my disclaimer, none of the below discombobulated and poorly thought-through ramblings should be considered actual reviews of any kind. And here we go…

Black Canary #1

Black Canary #1: This was probably the book that I was most anticipating, outside of Gene Luen Yang‘s Superman. I love Brenden Fletcher‘s work on everything he’s touched so far, and Annie Wu is artistic dynamite. I left this first issue mostly satisfied, Wu’s trademark dynamics are definitely in place and you can sense what Fletcher aiming for in a sort of Bryan Lee O’Malley-esque way. Much like the first relaunched issue of Batgirl that Fletcher, Cameron Stewart and Babs Tarr took over, there’s some clumsiness in establishing the new status quo and nailing the right voice for its central character. But also like Batgirl, I expect this to become a really fun ride from the second issue on. It’s good, I just expect it to get a lot better now that the preamble is out of the way.

Verdict: Going onto the pull-list

Doctor Fate #1

Doctor Fate #1: If you had told me that DC stalwart Paul Levitz would be the ideal candidate to write the story of a young Egyptian med student’s traversing of the Campbell mono-myth, well…I wouldn’t have believed you, especially given how my poor Legion of Superheroes ended up into the trash-bin in the New 52. But hey, guess what? Doctor Fate might be the best his writing has been in years. Sure, there’s a little strain as you can see Levitz attempting to hit some of that more youthful cadence, but his scripting goes down far better than Scott Lobdell‘s last week. But it’s Sonny Liew‘s art that makes this introductory chapter pop off the page. The same gorgeously rendered figures that populated The Shadow Hero are on display here, and the elements of Egyptian myth are wonderfully rendered in Liew’s hands. If Levitz lets his artist run wild, we’re in for a real treat.

Verdict: Going onto the pull-list

Doomed #1

Doomed #1: Speaking of Mr. Lobdell, I had a morbid curiosity about Doomed. Just before the announcement of DC’s new line of titles, there were reports that the publisher’s leadership was angling for “blue sky pitches” from its various creators. This left me wondering what a writer whose work I generally dislike would produce if he was making his ideal DC Universe book. This first issue of Doomed is basically angling for a Spider-Man riff. It’s better than Red Hood/Arsenal in that this issue is not achingly horrible, but it’s still not particularly good. The attempts at humor are groan-worthy at best (and really wrong-headed at their lowest points), and no character talks like an actual human. But, I will give Lobdell and DC their due for introducing another person of color as a lead. In a month that saw veteran workhorses like Levitz and Dan Jurgens try to stretch their storytelling legs a tad, this is probably the closest we’ll get with Lobdell.

Verdict: Stopping here

Harley Quinn and Power Girl #1

Harley Quinn and Power Girl #1: While I felt just tad out of the loop having not read the Harley Quinn arc where these two popular characters initially teamed up, the narrative boxes at the beginning of the issue did a nice job catching me up (and frankly, put to mind how silly it is that DC doesn’t do recap pages). This was a good deal of fun, with a bit of a 70’s cosmic comics meets Space Quest. It’s basically Harley and Kara jumping from fantastic situation to fantastic situation in deep space. It’s light, pretty funny, and Stephane Roux puts in some gorgeous facial work, though Paul Mounts’ colors are what really pulled it all together for me. If you’re a Harley Quinn reader or dug the previous Power Girl series, you pretty much know what’s on tap here from Jimmy Palmiotti, Amanda Conner and Justin Gray. I’d say that’s a good thing.

Verdict: In for the next issue

JLA #1

Justice League of America #1: So, Bryan Hitch is a really good comic book writer. I had no idea. After this first issue, I’m very much on-board with his iteration of the Justice League. This is a straight-forward, yet supremely action packed Justice League tale, and it figures that the best showcase for Hitch’s talents would be something he scripted himself. He’s not the most subtle writer, but this first issue works as a terrific introduction to the seven founding members of the New 52 JLA and firmly establishes their personalities in a way that the Geoff Johns/Jim Lee relaunch fumbled with. You can sense that there’s also a grander plan at work here, with character based sub-plots being seeded that have the potential to lead in some very interesting directions. Maybe what I appreciated best, beyond the near-panoramic art work, was Hitch’s understanding of stakes. This is a JLA that struggles against even the Parasite, so what in the world are they going to do against an even bigger threat? There’s finally a sense of danger in a Justice League comic, which is something I haven’t felt in a long time. My hats off to you Mr. Hitch, this is easily the big surprise of the new relaunch.

Verdict: Going onto the pull-list

Martian ManhunterMartian Manhunter #1: Solo J’onn J’onzz books have had a pretty tough go at it, with John Ostrander having the only somewhat extended run with the character on his own. Post New 52 hasn’t been any kinder to our favorite Martian. Enter Rob Williams, the 2000 AD stalwart, along with Eddy Barrows. How do they fare? I’d say solidly. They’re taking J’onn in a very horror influenced direction that somewhat reminds me of Swamp Thing, and it’s actually the only new DC title thus far that’s really tackled that genre. On the other hand, I need another White Martian story like I need a hole in my head, and it seems like this tale is headed to that well again. But, plotting exhaustion aside, I really enjoyed Williams’ voice for J’onn and the idea of “the life he’s built up around himself as fiction” is a pretty compelling one. I won’t commit fully yet, but I can probably swing another month of this.

Verdict: On the fence

prez1-cov

Prez #1: After finishing this comic, I immediately put it down and described it in painstaking detail to my significant other in excited tones. Mark Russell and Ben Caldwell‘s revival of one of the oddest titles in DC history is an entertaining political satire, that while taking shots at some fairly easy targets (the two party system, trending culture, apathetic voters) does so in a way that had me chuckling and made it feel just a smidge more daring than your typical Big Two comic. This is especially all the more apparent when you compare Prez‘s approach to real world issues vs. that of the far more milquetoast attempts at social/political relevance that the publisher has instituted in the past. Additionally, Caldwell’s panels are packed with little details that shouldn’t be glossed over either – anyone familiar with the artist’s Wednesday Comics entry should know what to expect. I hate that Prez is a limited series, but at least the set end-point will allow this team to make their mark and hopefully breathe this kind of life into another moribund DC property. Plus, this will probably be among the lower selling relaunch titles from this month, unless word of mouth is particularly strong. Here’s hoping!

Verdict: Going onto the pull-list

Robin son of batman

Robin: Son of Batman #1: Patrick Gleason was always the draw of the most recent run of Batman & Robin for me. That he was taking over the adventures of Damian Wayne as writer/artist had me quite curious what his scripting chops would be like. As a fan of cartoonists going it alone, I admire DC continuing to trust in all the tools of their illustrators, even if it’s produced only mixed results thus far. For Gleason’s part, I thought this was fun issue that veered into “a boy and his monster” territory between Damian and his pet Man-Bat, Goliath. Gleason picks up right where he and Peter Tomasi left off, and that could be a bit tough for new readers, as references are made to Damian’s resurrection, his relationship to the Al Ghul family, and a character that appeared in the first six issues of Batman & Robin. But, if you can hang with slightly heavy backstory, it’s an enjoyable read and now that Gleason is basically unfettered here, his layouts are lusher than ever. I liked it enough to come back next month to see where it goes next.

Verdict: In for the next issue

This week’s must-reads: Black Canary, Doctor Fate, Justice League of America, and Prez

Next week: I finally get my Yang Superman, Batgirl and Grayson are back (!!!!), Cullen Bunn takes over Aquaman, and WE! ARE! ROBIN! *BUM bum bum bum-bum-bum*

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12. Prez #1 Review: Corn Dogs, Taco Drones and Seething Satire

prez1-covWriter:

Mark Russell

Artist:

Ben Caldwell

Inker:

Mark Morales

Colorist:

Jeremy Lawson

Letterer:

Travis Lanham

Meet Beth Ross, the first teenaged President of the United States. In a nation where corporations can run for office, the poor are used as human billboards, and tacos are delivered by drone, our only hope is this nineteen-year-old Twitter sensation. But the real question isn’t whether she’s ready for politics – it’s whether politics is ready for her. Don’t miss the start of this new, 12-issue miniseries!

After the surprise announcement of Prez as part of the New DC You(niverse,) fans had no idea what to expect. The concept even contained a new female lead who seemingly has little to do with Prez Rickard, the original character that first wore the (Prez) mantle (if there was/is a Prez mantle to be worn.) DC chose prose author Mark Russell mostly known for his own satirical views on religion with the book God is Disappointed in You to write the tale. In the new Prez mini-series, Russell is joined by artist Ben Caldwell — a cartoonist containing the alternative sensibilities that really makes the book stand against the current house style at DC.

The concept of the story is a really odd mix of a traditional narrative and wish fulfillment. Thankfully, Russell seems to be aware of exactly how silly this concept about a young girl winning the presidency actually is (especially in a big superhero shared universe.) He depicts the various politicians as individuals who are desperate and looking to quickly fill the hole at the very top of the White House with someone that has a limited number of scantily clad selfies floating around the internet. The series takes place in the future, and shows the degeneration of our culture due to advancements of technology in really striking ways. While we as a society seem to lack a certain amount of empathy as it is, this is the next generation who were plugged into Iphones before they were out of diapers. The world of Prez looks different from our own, but shows a natural and dangerous version of the future.

Ben Caldwell’s art perfectly suits the story at hand. The rounded edges in his linework humanize Beth and illustrate something morose bleak future of Prez #1, turning it into a place that readers should be at least slightly afraid of. Caldwell’s art will miss a detail in a certain panel on a facial expression and at times, his own sparse linework will actually add to the unique style being evoked directly to the page. No matter how serious a panel in Prez, there’s always something unique and interesting about it — whether it be a strange pattern on a curtain in the background, someone feminine equipped with a thin mustache, or little jokes littered within the holograms on the side of panels. This comic serves as a warning to jaded millennials everywhere but does so with style and grace via the deft eye of Caldwell, Mark Morales, and Jeremy Lawson.

So…this book has a pretty bleak outlook on the entirety of society. Instead of littering Beth Ross herself with flaws, Russell turns his eye towards the degeneration of society and points to some pretty striking truths. Can politics and the internet coexist in a peaceful matrimony? Prez doesn’t think so, and presents many reasons why these two things cancel out each other. When Justin Bieber and Obama are guests on the same Youtube show, this comic turns into a biting satire of the internet age. This is all connected to the first title starring Rickard, as the original 70’s title was also a seething take on the corrupt world of politics. Thankfully this incarnation has something different to say while still honoring the spirit of the original series.

Speaking of the original series, fans will be delighted to see the surprise reveal at the end of this issue harkening back to the already established canon of Prez. Unfortunately, this issue is so concerned with tying all the mythology back into the plot that the character of Beth Ross is not fleshed out very well, barely able to interact with the story. This issue is mostly texture, filling in the ultra-detailed world of the future and setting the landscape for those that are invested in the story. For new fans, I would really recommend picking up the first four issues on sale and diving into those before going ahead and starting this story so the last page reveal won’t be lost on you and the texture and tone of the world will be more familiar to you. If not, a quick google search will suffice. Caldwell and Russell may not introduce Beth Ross to her fullest extent as a character, but they have created a really interesting world showing us how staring at our screens has alienated us from the political realm.

0 Comments on Prez #1 Review: Corn Dogs, Taco Drones and Seething Satire as of 6/18/2015 9:12:00 PM
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13. Batman Day returns in September

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[Image stolen from The Outhousers]

Two years ago DC celebrated “Man of Steel Day” — great promotion that worked for stores and libraries.

Last year, it was Batman Day, with a stamp and other celebrations during SDCC.

So if you were thinking this year it would be a NEW hero, rounding out the trinity….

SURPRISE! It’s Batman day again! But it’s a great promotion and adds another holiday to the Comics Calendar. Celebrate by brooding and going to a charity ball.

DC Entertainment is bringing back the fan-favorite event celebrating The Dark Knight. “Batman Day” is back by popular demand and will take place on Saturday, September 26, 2015, kicking off what has become an annual event honoring one of the most popular and iconic Super Heroes and celebrating all things Batman from comics to video games and more. Fans everywhere are invited to partake in festivities with thousands of comic book shops, bookstores, schools, libraries and other retail partners participating in the bat-centric event.
 
Those who visit select comic stores, libraries and bookstores on “Batman Day” will also have the opportunity for meet-and-greets with premier DC Entertainment talent including legendary artist and DCE Co-Publisher Jim Lee, Grant Morrison, Scott Snyder, David Finch, Brian Azzarello, Cameron Stewart, Pat Gleason, Dustin Nguyen, Tim Seeley, Tom King, Dan Jurgens, Jeff Parker, Matthew Manning, and Daniel Wallace with many more to be announced.
 
In addition to DC Entertainment, “Batman Day” partners include Warner Bros. Consumer Products with licensees Capstone, Penguin Random House, Scholastic, and DK Publishing, as well as Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and Warner Bros. Television, with additional partners to be announced. Partners will provide unique retail and digital promotional tie-ins across multiple media to celebrate the Caped Crusader.
 
The official “Batman Day” event kit will include activity sheets, trivia, and games and will be available for download on http://www.dccomics.com/batmandaykit.






 

2 Comments on Batman Day returns in September, last added: 6/17/2015
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14. HIstory: DiDio always had it in for Robin and the Superman/Lois marriage

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Every once and a while you come across some old files you don't remember. Here's an oldie but goodie (2004) from the…

Posted by Dan DiDio on Monday, June 15, 2015

DC Entertainment co-publisher Dan DiDio is packing up his house and as he did with his office he’s sharing some of the historical items he’s finding along the way, from ties to an overdue library book. Of more interest to comics reader is this pitch from 11 years ago showing how far back many of the elements of the various DC Crises go. As you can see “Flashpoint,” trouble for Dick Grayson, and the dissolution of the Lois and Clark marriage go way back to the beginning—and bubbled in the colelctive subconscious of the DCU for some time.

I’m not an expert in the Crisis Era, but Dick Grayson was narrowly saved from death a few times, both on the page and behind the scenes. It’s educational to see how idea are born, gestate and eventually come out in an altered form. As I’ve said, when someone writes the history of the Aughts in Comics, it’s going to be quite an interesting book. SEAN HOWE, WHERE ARE YOU?
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15. A Month Of Venturing Into The DC You: Week Two

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It’s that time again! Just like last week, I picked up every issue DC Comics put out of their current “DC You” initiative, and I’m here to present my scattered and unorganized thoughts in a few sentences. Again, none of these should be construed as reviews really, it’s just a quick glimpse at one fan’s thoughts on the newly evolving line of comics from his long-time favorite publisher.

Also, just a point of clarification, I bought all of these with my own money. Not one comp copy was involved in the writing of this piece, if that sort of thing means anything to you.

batman 41

Batman #41: I’m not fully sold on the Jim Gordon as Batman take yet, but this new arc continues the rather fun zaniness that’s been part and parcel of the Scott SnyderGreg Capullo run since “Zero Year”, and Capullo continues to be one of the best artists at the Big Two. His work pops in a way that so few superhero illustrators can manage, and he just keeps getting better. I also can’t say enough about FCO Plascencia‘s colors. The new status quo is intriguing enough, and I look forward to seeing how it spills over into books like Batgirl, Grayson and Detective Comics (see below).

Verdict: Already on my pull and staying there

batman superman 21

Batman/Superman #21: I love Greg Pak‘s work on Action Comics, so it vexes me a bit when I can’t seem to reconcile the great work he does there and the fairly pedestrian stuff he cranks out for this title. The new shift for Superman, which inevitably is the character this title has focused on in greater detail, hasn’t really done much to refresh a series that can’t escape a feeling of staleness and bland superheroics. Being envisioned by the house-stylings of Ardian Syaf doesn’t help either.

Verdict: Stopping here

catwoman 41

Catwoman #41: I missed the boat on early issues of the critically acclaimed, but fairly under-read (and promoted), Genevieve Valentine Catwoman run. I think I may have assumed too much to think that I could just jump on-board here. It’s really well written, you can tell Valentine has a pretty elegant control of prose, but I’ll be damned if I knew what the heck was actually going on. I found it difficult to keep up with who each character was, and what purpose they served in Selina’s world, though in ensemble-based crime fiction, I sometimes bump into that barrier. I’m maybe intrigued enough to try again, with the hope that familiarity will breed some affection, but I can’t say I’d recommend it for the first timer.

Verdict: On the fence

constantine the hellblazer

Constantine: The Hellblazer #1: Riley Rossmo can do no wrong, and the Dante‘s Inferno-inspired spread found within is the kind of panel layout that will always grab my attention. This is a really fun reintroduction to the John Constantine that we used to see back in the Vertigo days, rather than the New 52 superhero that had populated books like Justice League Dark and the previous Constantine title. I like this more arrogant and amorous John, and the fact that DC is putting out a book that pushes their general boundaries of content within the main line is nice to see. It’s a bit over-written, with its themes hammering you over the head (especially in a secondary character’s denouement), but I’m mostly sold provided that one big flaw is rectified in subsequent months

Verdict: Going onto the pull-list

Detective Comics 41

Detective Comics #41: I really like Francis Manapul and Brian Buccelatto as an art team, frankly as far as “cape comics” go, there are few better. As writers though, I’ve had more trouble with their output. Their angle on the Jim Gordon as Batman take is solid enough: a book about Harvey Bullock and Renee Montoya will always grab my attention in some form or fashion. But I’m not sure I found enough here to really hook me between a few iffy narrative conceits and some dialogue that didn’t quite land with me. Additionally, while I think Fernando Blanco does a decent enough Michael Lark, I’d be more excited about this title if Manapul was penciling it himself still.

Verdict: Stopping here

earth 2 society

Earth 2: Society #1: I had hopes that perhaps with a fresh start, Daniel Wilson might be able to employ something worthwhile into the literal new world that the Earth 2 characters are now inhabiting. How wrong I was, as this was basically unreadable. I liked the Johnny Sorrow appearance at least, but it was basically negated by Terry Sloane sprouting mechanical wings.

Verdict: Stopping here

Gotham Academy 7

Gotham Academy #7: I can’t even begin to pretend like I’m not in the tank for this book. I love it, and even when it has fill-in artists like Mingjue Helen Chen, the title is able to uphold its cinematic qualities. Chen’s work here reminds me a good deal of Irish animator Tomm Moore, and her gorgeous cartooning provides a perfect spotlight for secondary character “Maps” and the meet cute that occurs between her and Damian Wayne. There are a couple of spatial hitches where I was bit disoriented as to what was happening in a panel or two, but otherwise, this is a pretty great all-ages adventure.

Verdict: Already on my pull and staying there

harley quinn 17

Harley Quinn #17: Maybe it’s The Naked Gun fan in me, but I always laugh at a good beaver joke, and this one had me guffawing a bit. I hadn’t read an issue of Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti‘s take on Harley since its debut issue and this month’s offering had me wondering why I hadn’t. It was humorous, zinged with energy, and Chad Hardin‘s art looked way more suited to the material than I remember it. I thought the Gang of Harleys was a pretty fun idea too.

Verdict: In for the next issue

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Red Hood/Arsenal #1: The idea of a “buddy comedy” comic book isn’t a bad one, it works well for titles like Archer & Armstrong, and in theory Jason and Roy should be diametrically opposed enough that it should make for some solid hinjix. Unfortunately, with Scott Lobdell at the helm, you may as well dash those hopes. It’s funny, looking at Denis Medri‘s art, I could see a fairly effective intro tale being weaved here if someone else wrote the dialogue. But Lobdell’s attempts to give an edge to every character voice makes them all sound like the same person. It’s better than Earth 2: Society, because I could at least tell what’s going on, but it reads like a comic that Poochie from The Simpsons would write.

Verdict: Stopping here

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All-Star Section Eight #1: Yeah, this was pretty awesome. I never read Hitman, I should probably get on that (it’s 99 cents a pop on Comixology right now after all), but I thought what Garth Ennis and John McCrea were up to here was hilarious. It’s a bit “inside baseball” in the way a good Ambush Bug comic might be, particularly in its shoutouts to the 90’s “Bloodline” event and the various iconic Batman poses being used to pretty great effect, but it’s all presented in a way that shouldn’t detract from a new-comers enjoyment much. I mean, who doesn’t find a Batman that’s too cheap to pay a $3 ATM fee endearing? Yeah, Hitman, I need to read it.

Verdict: Going onto the pull-list

starfire

Starfire #1: I think I may have liked this better than even Harley Quinn this week, perhaps because I was entering at ground zero, but I have some affection for well done “fish out of water” stories and this is a particularly good one. There’s a great deal of damage control that needed to be done with Kori in the New 52, and I’m confident Conner and Palmiotti are well on their way to rectifying those issues. It’s Starfire getting into hijinx in a trailer part in Key West. This is my kind of jam, and I’m really appreciating the story-telling corner that this team is building for themselves.

Verdict: Going onto the pull-list

suicide squad 7

New Suicide Squad #9 – It’s hard to separate the real world inspiration for this story from the potential of the narrative. On paper, the idea of a group of supervillains going undercover into a bigger hive of evil-doers to take them down is attention grabbing enough (and as a big fan of COPRA, I’m primed to love a Suicide Squad story), but the parallels between this League of Assassins splinter group and the real-world ISIS rubs me the wrong way, and fairly bland sub-Rags Morales like linework pretty much put my interest in this book out of its misery.

Verdict: Stopping here

This week’s must-reads: Batman, Constantine: The Hellblazer, Gotham Academy, All-Star Section EightStarfire

Next week: Sonny Liew draws Doctor Fate, Martian Manhunter gets a solo series, the Batgirl spin-off Black Canary takes flight, and I try to reconcile mentally why I’m buying anything from the current Wonder Woman run.

 

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16. DC’s Convergence-related material to be collected in nine volumes

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DC’s Convergence event is over, the world is safe, DC is on the West Coast, and collected editions are coming in October. The entire run of the mini series and the two month events will be collected in nine hardcovers. Looking forward to seeing the cover treatment!

As with the various minis, the stories will by collected by the various eras of editorial continuity-tinkering that they represent: Infinite Earths, Zero Hour, Crisis and Flashpoint.

CONVERGENCE HC
Written by JEFF KING, SCOTT LOBDELL and DAN JURGENS Art by ETHAN VAN SCIVER, CARLO PAGULAYAN, STEPHEN SEGOVIA, ANDY KUBERT, AARON LOPRESTI and others Cover by ETHAN VAN SCIVER On sale OCTOBER 7 ? 320 pg, FC, $29.99 US Where do worlds go when they die? The earthquakes felt round the Multiverse, Superman?s lost days after ?Doomed,? the world?s end?all these points will converge as the history of the DC Universe is spun from the perspective of a mad god and his arrogant child. The biggest story in DC history ties into literally every DC story ever told?and it all begins here. Kingdom Come, Red Son, Wild West Justice League, Captain Carrot and the Zoo Crew?all the worlds of the DC Universe can still be found on Telos. This new mega-event from the issues #0-8 of the CONVERGENCE weekly series brings together heroes and villains from DC Comics? history.

CONVERGENCE: ZERO HOUR BOOK ONE TP
Written by JUSTIN GRAY, CHRISTY MARX, RON MARZ, FRANK TIERI and FABIAN NICIEZA Art by RON RANDALL, RAGS MORALES, CLAUDE ST-AUBIN, MIKE MANLEY, TOM MANDRAKE and KARL MOLINE Cover by BABS TARR On sale OCTOBER 7 ? 240 pg, FC, $19.99 US This CONVERGENCE collection stars Green Arrow, Superboy, Catwoman the Suicide Squad and many more, as they fight in a gladiator-style competition to see which worlds will live…and which will perish! This book also addresses dangling plot threads from the 1990s that involve Green Arrow, Connor Hawke and Justice League International. Collects CONVERGENCE: JUSTICE LEAGUE INTERNATIONAL #1-2, CONVERGENCE: CATWOMAN #1-2, CONVERGENCE: SUPERBOY #1-2, CONVERGENCE: GREEN ARROW #1-2 and CONVERGENCE: SUICIDE SQUAD #1-2.

CONVERGENCE: ZERO HOUR BOOK TWO TP
Written by LOUISE SIMONSON, LARRY HAMA, KEITH GIFFEN and TONY BEDARD Art by JUNE BRIGMAN, PHILIP TAN, TIMOTHY GREEN II, CLIFF RICHARDS, RON WAGNER and others Cover by STEVE LIEBER On sale OCTOBER 7 ? 240 pg, FC, $19.99 US This CONVERGENCE collection stars Batman, Aquaman, Green Lantern and many more, and includes the miniseries SUPERMAN: MAN OF STEEL #1-2, BATMAN: SHADOW OF THE BAT #1-2, SUPERGIRL: MATRIX #1-2, AQUAMAN #1-2 and GREEN LANTERN/PARALLAX #1-2.

CONVERGENCE: CRISIS BOOK ONE TP
Written by MARC ANDREYKO, MARV WOLFMAN, DAVID GALLAHER, JEFF PARKER and STUART MOORE Art by CARLOS D?ANDA, ROBERTO VIACAVA, STEVE ELLIS, TIM TRUMAN, GUS STORMS and others Cover by ANDY KUBERT This CONVERGENCE collection stars the Outsiders, the Legion of Super-Heroes, Hawkman and many more, as they fight in a gladiator-style competition to see which worlds will live…and which will perish! This book spells out the final fates of some of DC?s most popular heroes. Collects CONVERGENCE: BATMAN AND THE OUTSIDERS #1-2, CONVERGENCE: ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN #1-2, CONVERGENCE: GREEN LANTERN CORPS #1-2, CONVERGENCE: SUPERBOY AND THE LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES #1-2 and CONVERGENCE: HAWKMAN #1-2.

CONVERGENCE: CRISIS BOOK TWO TP
Written by DAN ABNETT, LARRY HAMA, FABIAN NICIEZA, LEN WEIN and MARV WOLFMAN Art by JOSHUA MIDDLETON, CHRISCROSS, KELLEY JONES, NICOLA SCOTT and others Cover by NICOLA SCOTT On sale OCTOBER 14 ? 240 pg, FC, $19.99 US This CONVERGENCE collection stars The Flash, Wonder Woman, the JLA and many more, and includes the miniseries THE FLASH #1-2, WONDER WOMAN #1-2, JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #1-2, SWAMP THING #1-2 and THE NEW TEEN TITANS #1-2.

CONVERGENCE: FLASHPOINT BOOK ONE TP
Written by GREG RUCKA, DAN JURGENS, ALISA KWITNEY, GAIL SIMONE and FRANK TIERI Art by CULLY HAMNER, LEE WEEKS, RICK LEONARDI, JAN DUURSEMA, VICENTE CIFUENTES and others Cover by LEE WEEKS On sale OCTOBER 21 ? 240 pg, FC, $19.99 US This CONVERGENCE collection stars Batgirl, Nightwing, The Question and many more, as they fight in a gladiator-style competition to see which worlds will live…and which will perish! This book also addresses dangling plot threads from FLASHPOINT and more. Collects CONVERGENCE: SUPERMAN #1-2, CONVERGENCE: THE QUESTION #1-2, CONVERGENCE: BATGIRL #1-2, CONVERGENCE: NIGHTWING/ORACLE #1-2 and CONVERGENCE: JUSTICE LEAGUE #1-2.

CONVERGENCE: FLASHPOINT BOOK TWO TP
Written by TOM PEYER, TONY BEDARD, FABIAN NICIEZA, RON MARZ and STEVE PUGH Art by STEVE YEOWELL, DENYS COWAN, KLAUS JANSON, PHIL WINSLADE and others Cover by BRETT BOOTH and NORM RAPMUND On sale OCTOBER 21 ? 240 pg, FC, $19.99 US This CONVERGENCE collection stars Harley Quinn, The Atom, the Titans and many more in the miniseries THE ATOM #1-2, SPEED FORCE #1-2, TITANS #1-2, BATMAN AND ROBIN #1-2 and HARLEY QUINN #1-2.

CONVERGENCE: INFINITE EARTHS BOOK ONE TP Written by DAN ABNETT, JERRY ORDWAY, LEN WEIN, PAUL LEVITZ and JUSTIN GRAY Art by TOM DERENICK, TREVOR SCOTT, BEN CALDWELL, DENYS COWAN, BILL SIENKIEWICZ, JIM FERN, SHANNON WHEELER, CLAUDE ST-AUBIN and others Cover by DAN PANOSIAN On sale OCTOBER 28 ? 240 pg, FC, $19.99 US This CONVERGENCE collection stars the Justice Society of America, Infinity Inc., Batman and many more, as they fight in a gladiator-style competition to see which worlds will live…and which will perish! Collects CONVERGENCE: JUSTICE SOCIETY OF AMERICA #1-2, CONVERGENCE: INFINITY INC. #1-2, CONVERGENCE: DETECTIVE COMICS #1-2, CONVERGENCE: WORLD?S FINEST COMICS #1-2 and CONVERGENCE: ACTION COMICS #1-2.

CONVERGENCE: INFINITE EARTHS BOOK TWO TP Written by JEFF PARKER, BRIAN BUCCELLATO, SCOTT LOBDELL, DAN JURGENS and SIMON OLIVER Art by PHIL WINSLADE, EVAN ?DOC? SHANER, YISHAN, JOHN McCREA and others Cover by EVAN ?DOC? SHANER On sale OCTOBER 28 ? 240 pg, FC, $19.99 US This CONVERGENCE collection includes the miniseries SHAZAM! #1-2, BLUE BEETLE #1-2, CRIME SYNDICATE #1-2, CONVERGENCE: BOOSTER GOLD #1-2 and PLASTIC MAN AND THE FREEDOM FIGHTERS #1-2

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17. The Circus of Crime Visits the Stately Beat Manor Staff Picks for 6/10/15

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All week long The Beat has been covering all facets of the comic book industry and attempting to secure our own doors away from the various comics characters who attempt to breach the domain in which we all live under one roof: The Stately Beat Manor. Together, members of the Manor bolted down each window, locked every door, and secured ourselves from being distracted by members of the Circus of Crime — who had been causing damage across the City — or so we heard from our own outside sources. Due to characters from the Marvel Universe continually breaching the manor, we took all necessary precautions. Unfortunately, we locked ourselves in with the Circus, whose individual members took our Beat contributors one-by-one. Their various tricks distracted us long enough from to steal our entire supply of gold. The Gold-less contributors of the Beat Manor continued to deliver carefully curated staff picks of the best comics of the week. The following is a public service announcement to comics lovers around the world wondering what books to purchase this very week!


Alex’s Picks:

Weirdworld #1

Writer: Jason Aaron Artist: Mike Del Mundo

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Welcome to the wildest, most dangerous new corner of the Marvel Universe. Welcome to Weirdworld.

• A world of swords and sorcery and strange, perverted science. A world where one barbarian walks alone, on a dark and savage quest though all things weird and fantastic from throughout Marvel history.

• His name is Arkon. A lost man in a lost world. Follow him if you dare.

We’ve been waiting to dive into the fabulous land of Weirdworld #1 for quite sometime here at The Beat. the story hailing from Marvel written by Jason Aaron with art from Mike Del Mundo has been one of our most anticipated tie-ins from the entire Secret Wars event. With Secret Wars providing an excuse from Marvel creators to take chances that are event more off the wall than usual comes the titular story, centered around a Conan analogue known as Arkon, a lost man in a lost world. Join the saga of Arkon as we continue to explore parts of the Marvel Universe that remained hidden until the 70’s!

Starfire #1

Writer: Amanda Conner Artist: Emanuela Lupacchino

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From the writers of the outrageous smash hit HARLEY QUINN comes former Outlaw Starfire in her all-new ongoing series! She’s an alien warrior princess trying to find peace on Earth, and she’ll fight anyone and anything to get it!

The debut of the New 52 saw a lot of controversy from the character of Starfire, as the female hero initially solicited sexual acts from the male heroes in Red Hood and the Outlaws #1. Thankfully, Amanda Conner seems to have something different to say about the heroine in the upcoming Starfire solo title with pencils by Emanuela Lupacchino. While it is too soon to discover if Conner can do justice to the good will behind her name and the character, it seems that the lead is simply trying to find peace on Earth even with her more violent tendencies entrenched within the alien.


Dave’s Pick:

Savage Dragon #204

Story/Art: Erik Larsen

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Malcolm Dragon vs. Angel Dragon? It comes to this-as Malcolm and Angel have it out in what may be our strangest issue yet.

On top of all that, it’s got a Captain Ultimate back up strip. If you aren’t reading the book published by Monkeybrain Comics, it’s one of the best all ages comics on the digital market.


Kyle’s Picks:

Gotham Academy #7

Writers: Becky Cloonan, Brenden Fletcher  Art: Karl Kerschl

 

Gotham Academy 7

Special guest student Damian Wayne drops by the academy – and he is not pleased to meet his new classmates!

Of all of DC’s “new look” titles that came about towards the end of the New 52 era, Gotham Academy was definitely the most stylized. With gorgeous art from Karl Kerschl, and scripting from Brendan Fletcher and Becky Cloonan that evokes a nearly Miyazaki like tone, it’s the title that sets itself apart from the rest of the pack with charm and storybook style grace. Issue 7 sees Damian Wayne join the pack of students at this Bruce Wayne funded school, and given that he might be DC’s best new character of the past ten years, that makes Gotham Academy all the more of a must read. Jump on-board now!

Nameless #4

Writer: Grant Morrison  Artist: Chris Burnham

Nameless 4

The world descends into chaos and the astronauts stranded in the Tunnels of Xibalba must endure unspeakable tortures when their captors finally reveal themselves.

As all human hopes, fears, doubts, and dreams are subjected to the cruel and merciless scrutiny of an inhuman, sadistic intelligence, is reality collapsing? Or sanity?

With The Multiversity, Annihilator, and Nameless; Grant Morrison has entered into a new career high-point in terms of output. Nameless can be as difficult to parse as his writing ever is, but it’s Morrison writing cosmic horror utilizing the philosophical underpinnings of Thomas Ligotti. If you can’t be convinced based on that alone, than perhaps the stunning work of Chris Burnham and Nathan Fairbairn will pull you in instead? Given that Burnham has probably been Morrison’s best collaborator in recent years not named Frank Quitely, and Morrison is a writer who I think often thrives best under particular artists’ representation of his work, Nameless should be at the top of your radar.


Matt’s Pick:

Weirdworld #1 (AGAIN!)

Writer: Jason Aaron Artist: Mike Del Mundo

4606209-weirdw2015001_dc11-0

Welcome to the wildest, most dangerous new corner of the Marvel Universe. Welcome to Weirdworld.

• A world of swords and sorcery and strange, perverted science. A world where one barbarian walks alone, on a dark and savage quest though all things weird and fantastic from throughout Marvel history.

• His name is Arkon. A lost man in a lost world. Follow him if you dare.

Weirdworld: It’s the comic so awesome we picked it twice!

( I sweat Marvel isn’t paying us to endorse this comic!)

I know almost nothing about Weirdworld, but a comic penned by Jason Aaron is a pretty safe bet. Jonathan Hickman called him the most consistently good comic book writer of the past few years on an episode of Word Balloon, and I find it hard to disagree. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen Mike Del Mundo art on anything but covers, but the interior pages on his portfolio are top-notch. Looking forward to this.


Zach’s Pick:

Ghost Racers #1

Writer: Felipe Smith Artist: Juan Gedeon

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Robbie Reyes, Johnny Blaze, Danny Ketch, Alejandra Blaze and many, many more step into the arena for all-out, high-speed warfare. The stakes have never been higher as the most vicious Spirits of Vengeance ever do battle for they’re very souls! Buckle up for a wild ride this June for GHOST RACERS #1!

Even after Tradd Moore left Ghost Rider, I’ve loved what Smith has been able to do with the series…but this. THIS is what Ghost Rider can be about and his zaniest. The 5 flaming riders across history meeting in the “Killiseum” (can’t make this up) for a glorious death race. May they ride eternal, shiny and chrome.

1 Comments on The Circus of Crime Visits the Stately Beat Manor Staff Picks for 6/10/15, last added: 6/10/2015
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18. DC’s Special Edition NYC Panel Roundup, Sponsored by Twix

This past weekend, DC took over a panel room at Special Edition NYC to discuss their DC YOU relaunch titles.  Panelists included Gotham Academy writer Becky Cloonan, Midnighter writer Steve Orlando, Action Comics writer Greg Pak, Black Canary artist Annie Wu, Black Canary writer Brendan Fletcher, and Constantine: the Hellblazer co-writer Ming Doyle.  While no new titles were announced, the panelists were in great spirits as they discussed their respective series, offering insight into the future of their books.

First up was Midnighter‘s Steve Orlando, who reassured fans that he was not here to ruin the lives of countless presently despondent Authority fans by separating Midnighter from his long-time lover, Apollo.  At the beginning of The Authority, Midnighter and Apollo have been a couple for five years.  Orlando said he wanted to dial the clock back and explore how Midnighter and Apollo got together in the first place.   In addition, he offered the most quotable quip of the day when he revealed the covers of issues 2 and 3, summarizing the second issue as follows:

“If corporations are people, then they’re people we can punch.”

sedc001

 

Next, we had Gotham Academy‘s Becky Cloonan.  The first trade of her, Brendan Fletcher’s, and Karl Kerchl’s series releases on june 23rd, which happens to also be Cloonan’s birthday.  She told the audience that Gotham Academy‘s next issue, which comes out this week, would explore the mayhem that ensues when Batman’s son Damian starts going to school with Maps & co.  She and Brendan also teased an upcoming plot point for the series.  Dr Kurt Langstrom, more commonly known as Man-Bat, is going to be a chemistry professor at Gotham Academy!

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“Maps! What would I get if I added powdered root of asphodel to an infusion of wormwood?”

Greg Pak discussed his new Action Comics arc, which began this past week.  In this story, Pak deals with the consequences of Superman’s secret identity as Clark Kent being revealed in Gene Luen Yang’s Superman series, which begins at the end of June.  Clark Kent’s costume has gotten a bit of a redesign centered around a neat S t-shirt that incorporates black into the traditional yellow, red, and blue.

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He also showed off some fantastically designed covers for issue 42 and 43:

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Finally, although Constantine: the Hellblazer co-writer James Tynion IV was not in attendance at the panel, co-writer Ming Doyle was there to take the reigns and quell any doubts about the return of the hellbound detective.  Doyle said that she and Tynion had given Constantine a “hot, young de-aging,” trading in the deteriorating body of the old Constantine for a new model that reflects the series’ new lease on life.  She made a point of saying that their Constantine is indeed bisexual, distancing them from the controversy surrounding the NBC TV iteration of the Hellblazer. Finally, Doyle took a moment to highlight Riley Rossmo’s art on the series, which breaks “DC house style” in interesting and exciting ways.

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One of the biggest complaints about Special Edition NYC this year was the distinct lack of panel rooms.  Panels were hosted in one of two large booths, and the only thing that separated them was a thin curtain.  Audio from both rooms overlapped with one another, leading one guest to comment that it was “like being in two panels for the price of one.”  More accurately, it was like being in no panels although you were in one.  It did lead to a great moment in the middle of the DC panel, though:

 


Nick Lachey probably never expected this kind of fame.

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19. WTGB: Ellie in Borderlands? Mad Max, Batman Beyond, and Who Wants to be a Cat?

A few days off, one day on, then we go back on the road for another show. Hope your Memorial Day was well spent. I’m Back from Punk Rock Bowling and now we get set for our next destination, Phoenix, for one of the best comic shows around.  Let’s talk about the recent news in gaming and give away some more Secret Wars books. On the rundown today; Ashley Johnson reunites with Troy Baker, Resident Evil gets yet another remake, Arkham adds some new duds, Mad Max, and have you ever wanted to be a cat? Let’s Go!

 

Ashley Johnson grew up for a bit in front of our eyes on the tail end of the ABC sit com Growing Pains. (RIP Boner!) Little did we know back then Chrissy Seaver would grow up to be a pop culture darling when she loaned her voice to the iconic Ellie in Naughty Dog’s masterpiece The Last of Us. Recently, Telltale Games announced the actress would reunite with her TLOU co-star Troy Baker for the latest episode of the Tales From the Borderlands series. She is reportedly voicing a “core” character and from all of the indication of the developers on twitter; she’s stolen the show. Not much else is known at this time but episode three of this series is expected in Fall 2015.

You can catch up on the Tales From the Borderlands games so far digitally through PlayStation Network, Xbox Live, and Steam. Find more about the game on Telltale’s website.

Our Thought:

If there’s one thing Telltale is the best at, it’s telling a story. If there’s two things they’re the best at, it’s working with the most talented voice actors in the industry. With Telltale’s biggest endeavor still a head of them, it’s almost a sure bet we’ll hear Ashley, Troy, Dave Fennoy, Melissa Hutchison, and most of the previous talent the studio has worked with again soon. Maybe it’s their Marvel project, maybe it’s their “supershow”, but expect news on this soon.

 


Capcom dropped news over the holiday weekend of a remaster to the Gamecube classic Resident Evil Zero. Earlier today at an event in Japan, Capcom confirmed Resident Evil 0a remastered version of the popular prequel to the original title in the Resident Evilseries, is currently in development. The game is planned for release on PlayStation 4 computer entertainment system, PlayStation 3 computer entertainment system, Xbox One, the all-in-one games and entertainment system from Microsoft, Xbox 360 games and entertainment system from Microsoft and PC in early 2016.

Here’s a video message from Director Koji Oda and Producer Tsukasa Takenaka about the project:

(If you don’t enable your subtitles, then it’s probably just a message about Japanese pot to you)

Our Thought:

Remaster! Remaster! Remasters!

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Enough with the remasters already. At the very least, Capcom, for the most part, have done them based on older games in their library versus other publishers who’ve brought back PS3 games probably still stuck in our disc drives. It’s the same angst I have towards local LA radio station Alt 98.7 about calling Weezer’s “Island in the Sun” a throwback song. Apparently human history didn’t exist before 1999 when Skynet took over. All mostly kidding aside, Resident Evil Zero was one of those things I bought a Gamecube for but never finished. There’s hope this will one will A) be a noticeable visual upgrade and B) be priced at a point that makes it appealing to pick up an old game with a new paint job. We won’t have to wait long to see something about this as it’s sure to be one of Capcom’s offerings on the E3 floor.


We’re less than a month away from FINALLY getting to play Batman: Arkham Knight. Rocksteady, the studio behind the game, are determined to keep dropping surprises along the way. A few days ago a new live action trailer for the game was released. It’s common to have such videos produced to hype a game. However what’s not typical is having one of the most influential voices in the music industry be a part of it. Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor is credited as a music consultant for the video below:

 

As if that wasn’t enough, a new set of Bat-suits were announced as pre-order bonuses for he game. The Batman’s future theme skins include a hefty version of Batman Beyond and a nod to Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns with the –built like a tank– old Batman.  These come in addition other previous announced skins and appear to be part of most retailers offerings along with the Harley Quinn pack.

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Batman: Arkham Knight releases on June 23, 2015 for PS4, Xbox One and PC. Pre orders are available through the game’s website.

Our Thought:

Come on. Is there anyone out there not getting or excited for this game?


Shockingly the internet managed to, for the most part, agree on its love of the new Mad Max: Fury Road film. In a move that shocked no one, the Mad Max game long in development is back on everyone’s radar.

Avalanche Studios, the developer behind the action packed Just Cause games are behind this open world Mad Max game. You can see by the trailer much of the over-the-top blockbuster badassness is here. In the non-concrete timeline of Mad Max the game takes place before Fury Road. We only have to wait a few short months when the game is released in September for the PS4, Xbox One, and Steam. Find out more about Mad Max at the game’s website.

Our Thought:

With the heat from the astonishing response to Fury Road, it only makes sense WB would want to capitalize with both green lighting a film sequel and the release of the video game. Where most games based on movies fail is in not giving developers a proper cycle to make the game. It doesn’t have to mirror the film at all, but something that lives in that universe should speak to it as a whole. Most games never achieve this because they’re rushed to coincide with their counterpart movie. Avalanche have been at work on Mad Max for more than two years with next-gen hardware. They’ve got a great chance at being more a Riddick than a Bad Boys: Miami Takedown (I could barely type that without vomiting)


Finally to wrap things up something came into my inbox that just had to be shared with the world. It doesn’t have to do with games based on comics or vice versa, but it’s importance is no less diminished. Some time ago a game let you step into the hooves of being a goat. Chewing up everything insight, head butting objects out of spite, it was all there. Now cat lovers can rejoice!

Catlateral Damage is a first-person destructive cat simulator where you play as a cat on a rampage, knocking as much stuff onto the ground as possible. That’s the F**king description!

The game is available on PC download platforms. You can find out more about Catlateral Damage on the game’s website.

Our Thought:

Haven’t you ever wanted to wreck everything and blame it on the dog? As a society what’s left to conquer?

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Now let’s giveaway a bunch of Secret Wars books (digitally)

I won’t tell you what’s what because I’m an awful human being; but here’s a few of codes for last week’s Secret Wars offerings including Battleworld, Secret Secret Wars, Loki, Planet Hulk, and more… (First Come First Served) Marvel.com/redeem

FMC6RDN62A6P

FMC19QSFR5LU

FMCTHKXQBTPL

FMCSI3LPWUSA

FMC53APWGV7W

FMCG8V9PYIHN

FMDQL3E9RUJX

 

 

 

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20. Convergence #8 Marks Another Reboot for the DC Universe

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So…while you were away DC Comics just rebooted their Universe. I know, I know, DC does this all the time. The last specific instance being in 2011, when this whole New 52 business first started. However, yesterday’s Convergence #8 revealed the publisher’s ulterior motives for the event.

Spoilers for Convergence #8.

Minor Information Update: 8:30

This might sound completely ridiculous, but it turns out that DC was actually trying to utilize their huge crossover to simply do some maintenance on their current Multiverse policy. So…the Multiverse is now back with new versions of old characters along with the full Multiverse concept, the difference is that all of these worlds have evolved for the aforementioned new characters. The Multiversity Guidebook #1 seems to be more important than ever, as the company is now trying to bring that series into effect with the various worlds introduced inside of it.

Of course, the publisher loves telling event series that are born out of huge sweeping changes to their line. One of the most notable and influential stories being the seminal Crisis on Infinite Earths by George Perez and Marv Wolfman. Since then, the DC has attempted to pay homage to that story time and time again. However, Flashpoint, and the New 52 did mark a time of exploration with them — albeit a tumultuous time in comics that ended up splitting comics fandom in two towards their opinions of DC. In fact, Convergence #8 featured a pair of splash pages highlighting some of the different Earths that were saved by Brainiac in the big event.

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The planets with updated characters from the Multiverse include the Pre-Crisis Universe, the New 52 Universe, a gender swapped Universe, a Bizarro Universe, Earth 2, an Ultra Comics Universe, Captain Carrot’s Universe, a place for the Charlton characters, a world for Kamandi to roam free as the last boy on Earth, and more.

Yet with Divergence now being imminent as the next upcoming DC reboot, the company is really attempting to give comics fandom exactly what they want. The House of Batman and Superman are experimenting with new looks for each character and shedding some light on their older and newer established properties. DC is always stronger when they take advantage of their already established canon. DC is over 75 years young, which is exactly why spinning concepts like Prez with new cultural context is likely going to payoff for the comics creators.

With a Multiverse filled with characters both old and new, comics fans should honestly be excited about what is coming next — even if the event that got us here (Convergence) seemed to be too wrapped up in editorial policy to contain a story that stood it’s own ground as a great comic book.

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21. DC to Begin Placing Ads on Story Pages

The other day, a rumor started going around that DC Comics would be splitting certain comic book story pages in half, placing half-page ads on the same pages as art.  Well, it turns out that that rumor is true.

This evening, Chris Burnham (Batman IncorporatedNameless) tweeted these photos:

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When Bleeding Cool first broke the story, Rich Johnston indicated that artists had been told to draft their stories with these ads in mind, so they shouldn’t dramatically change the flow of the story.  However, they do change the overall presentation of the book and limit the sorts of panel layouts that can exist on pages designed to be displayed with ads.   Chris isn’t a fan of the ads themselves, either.

I’m not against these ads, but I do worry about the artistic integrity of the comic books they appear in.  Books that don’t use traditional panel layouts like Sandman: Overture couldn’t have these ads incorporated into them, and I hope that if DC continues this integrative practice, that they don’t encroach upon the artistic freedom of their creative teams.

 

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UPDATE: An earlier version of the article indicated that Chris was upset with the job DC did integrating the art with the advertising.  This is incorrect.  He was displeased with the production of the ad itself.

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22. DC’s in-story ads only to destroy comics for a month…so far


The instant internet revulsion at DC’s new half-page ad placements united the people as few things can—perhaps only revulsion for Game of Thrones and love for #NationalBiscuitDay. We can now see that this throwback to an older, more popular time for comics, when sales in the six figures were average, may not jibe with today’s love for a smooth, unfettered artistic comics reading experience.

Fortunately, I’m told that thus far, the ghastly Twix ad is the only one booked for this “half page” placement. However that’s not to say that some enterprising salesperson at DC couldn’t sell it again—unless the internet revulsion sends up a big red flag that this is perhaps not that great an idea.

As many have pointed out on Twitter and beyond, in-page ads are nothing new in comics. Tom Spurgeon found a tiny thumbnail of a comics page from the 70s, and I seem to recall that TEXT ADS were common at the bottom of 70s Marvel comics. The nü West Coast DC with its battalions of branding experts may have decided that ad revenue is a good thing and maybe the product is strong enough to withstand a disruptive—and from the twitter photos, horrible looking—ad like this. I suspect that internet outrage will dissipate fairly quickly however.

If you don’t like this, vote with your wallet people!

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23. DC Comics Month-to Month Sales: April 2015 – This comics company took off two months to move across the country, and you won’t believe what happened next!

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by David Carter

Greetings, sales charts fans! It’s time once again to look at DC’s sales figures.

Last month (March 2015) was the worst month for DC sales since the start of the New 52, but this month was quite a turnaround!

Convergence has turned out to be a sales success for DC: Each issue of the core weekly Convergence title sold over 110K (though note that each issue was returnable…) The first issue of each Convergence tie-in title sold between 30K & (nearly) 70K, with most in the 30K to 40K range. While 30K – 40K might not seem like a lot, compare that to the fact that in March there were twenty-four regular DCU titles that sold below 30K. So essentially the Convergence event resulted in DC lopping off the lower end of their DCU sales and replacing them with moderately-selling comics, which rises the average sales considerably. Not bad for a stunt that was allegedly conceived simply as a way to give DC’s regular editorial team a two-month break to move across the country to their new West Coast headquarters!

(Note also that every Convergence issue had a freely-orderable variant cover, and the main Convergence title had incentive covers as well.)

The other factor contributing to DC’s good April is the fact that their top three titles—Batman, Justice League, & Harley Quinn—shipped late issues originally meant for March (Batman & JL missed March, while Harley Quinn was playing catch-up for missing February).

All of this led to DC having a very strong month in what was one of the best months for the North American Diamond-served market since the Diamond Era began. Average sales for the DCU were up a whopping 75% from March, leading DC’s overall sales to grow nearly 64% over March. It was the 5th best average sales since the New 52 began, trailing just the first two months of the New 52 and the two 3D cover months.

There were a couple of downsides to April’s sales: The handful of Annuals that shipped in April did relatively poorly, with most selling below most of the Convergence tie-ins. And with sales doing so well in the market overall, the sales point floor in the Top 300 was relatively high (6,352), resulting in many of DC’s lower-selling titles not making the cut-off.

Despite all these silver linings, don’t look for DC to repeat this level of sales in May. All of those Convergence tie-ins were #1 issue, and we can be fairly confident that all the #2 issues in May will slide, with the only real question being how much.

Then in June DC follows Convergence with their Divergence publishing initiative, which sees 20+ new titles in the biggest new title launch since the New 52. How retailers will approach ordering those is anyone’s guess.

A note about how the Convergence titles are categorized below: I decided to categorize each series as separate. While it would have been perfectly reasonable to track those titles which had analogues with DC’s ongoing titles (e.g. Convergence Action Comics with Action Comics, Convergence Harley Quinn with Harley Quinn, etc.) I decided not to do so. The upside of this approach is that this month’s column was a lot simpler to assemble, and you’re getting it a good deal sooner than you would have otherwise.

Warning: The commentary below may contain reasoned analysis, speculation (unfounded and otherwise), opinion, and/or snark. Those looking for a more straightforward analysis are directed to John Jackson Miller’s excellent Comichron analysis, posted earlier this month over at Comichron!

Please consider the fine print at the end of the column. Thanks to Milton Griepp and ICv2.com for the permission to use their figures. An overview of ICv2.com’s estimates can be found here.

(Note that the percentage comparisons are now done with total orders including reorder activity, as opposed to initial orders as was the practice of this column under the previous administration.)

2, 3, 6, 7, 9 - CONVERGENCE ($4.99/$3.99)
04/2015: Convergence #0 -- 157,358 
04/2015: Convergence #1 -- 146,022 (-  7.2%)
04/2015: Convergence #2 -- 122,936 (- 15.8%)
04/2015: Convergence #3 -- 120,327 (-  2.1%)
04/2015: Convergence #4 -- 116,744 (-  3.0%)

All five issues were listed as returnable on the Diamond chart, so their figures are adjusted up 10% from the reported numbers (see the disclaimers at the end of this column for why we make this adjustment).

DC took six of the top ten slots in April, mostly due to the first five issues of the Convergence event’s backbone series. Somewhat surprising (to me at least) as the majority of the story was a continuation of the poorly selling Earth 2 World’s End weekly. But it appears that as a whole retailers ordered large (likely helped somewhat by the returnability.)

4 - BATMAN ($4.99)
04/2005: Batman #639    --  62,344 
04/2010: Batman #698    --  60,934
04/2011: Batman #709    --  56,578
04/2012: Batman #8      -- 130,602 [136,218] 
04/2013: Batman #19     -- 132,147 (-  4.2%)
 -------------------------------
04/2014: Batman #30     -- 108,998 (-  6.8%)
05/2014: Batman #31     -- 107,499 (+  0.2%) [109,170]
06/2014: Batman #32     -- 130,077 (+ 19.2%) 
07/2014: Batman #33     -- 117,996 (-  9.3%) 
08/2014: Batman #34     -- 112,186 (-  4.9%) 
09/2014: Futures End #1 -- 142,980 (+ 27.4%) 
10/2014: Batman #35     -- 118,860 (- 16.9%) 
11/2014: Batman #36     -- 115,183 (-  3.1%) 
12/2014: Batman #37     -- 113,255 (-  1.7%) 
01/2015: Batman #38     -- 110,232 (-  2.7%) 
02/2015: Batman #39     -- 118,106 (+  7.1%) 
03/2015: -- 
04/2015: Batman #40     -- 131,128 (+ 11.0%) 
 -----------------
6 months: + 10.3%
1 year  : + 20.3%
2 years : -  0.8%
5 years : +115.2%
10 years: +110.3%

The over-sized (and over-priced) final issue of the “Endgame” story sees a healthy sales boost. Pushed back from March, so there’s a movie poster variant (The Mask). It will be interesting to see what happens when the book returns in June with the controversial New Batman.

14 - JUSTICE LEAGUE ($3.99)
04/2005: JLA #113            --  64,002
04/2010: JL of America #44   --  62,342
04/2011: JL of America #56   --  47,179
04/2012: Justice League #8   -- 133,240
04/2013: Justice League #19  -- 100,943
 ---------------------------------------
04/2014: Justice League #29  --  78,912 (-  2.5%)
05/2014: Justice League #30  --  77,456 (-  1.8%)
06/2014: Justice League #31  --  75,803 (-  2.1%)
07/2014: Justice League #32  --  88,179 (+ 16.3%)
08/2014: --
09/2014: Justice League #33  --  79,447 (-  9.9%)
09/2014: Futures End #1      -- 104,246 (+ 31.2%)
10/2014: Justice League #34  --  75,400 (- 27.7%)
10/2014: Justice League #35  --  75,264 (-  0.2%)
11/2014: Justice League #36  --  74,796 (-  0.6%)
12/2014: Justice League #37  --  72,081 (-  3.6%)
01/2015: Justice League #38  --  68,989 (-  4.3%)
02/2015: Justice League #39  --  72,904 (+  5.7%)
03/2015: -- 
04/2015: Justice League #40  --  78,388 (+  7.5%)
 -----------------
6 months: +  4.1%
1 year  : -  0.7%
2 years : - 22.3%
5 years : + 25.7%
10 years: + 22.5%

Also delayed from March, this “Darkseid War” prologue also features a movie poster variant (Magic Mike), with the gain likely due in part to both of those factors.

15 - HARLEY QUINN ($2.99)
04/2014: Harley Quinn #5  --  63,155 (+  0.1%)
05/2014: Harley Quinn #6  --  62,467 (-  1.1%)
06/2014: Harley Quinn #7  --  93,266 (+ 49.3%)
07/2014: Harley Quinn #8  --  76,827 (- 17.6%)
08/2014: Harley Quinn #9  --  71,522 (-  6.9%)
08/2014: Harley Quinn #10 --  58,500 (- 18.2%)
09/2014: Futures End #1   -- 119,180 (+103.7%)
10/2014: Harley Quinn #11 --  68,557 (- 42.5%)
11/2014: Harley Quinn #12 --  71,245 (+  3.9%)
12/2014: Harley Quinn #13 --  68,102 (-  4.4%)
01/2015: Harley Quinn #14 --  64,735 (-  4.9%)
02/2015: --
03/2015: Harley Quinn #15 --  66,904 (+  3.4%)
04/2015: Harley Quinn #16 --  72,055 (+  7.7%)
 -----------------
6 months: +  5.1%
1 year  : + 14.1%

Originally scheduled for March, so this is the issue with the Movie Poster variant (Jailhouse Rock).

17 - CONVERGENCE HARLEY QUINN ($3.99)
04/2015: Convergence #1 -- 69,838

The top-selling Convergence tie-in comes in with numbers close to the regular title. We’ll see this in many cases where there was a more-or-less direct correlation that retailers (as a whole) ordered the Convergence book at about the same level as they would the regular book.

22 - CONVERGENCE JUSTICE LEAGUE ($3.99)
04/2015: Convergence #1 -- 62,916

The second-best-selling Convergence tie-in. While about 15K below those of the regular Justice League title (putting lie to the statement I just made in the previous entry…)

25 - CONVERGENCE BATMAN: SHADOW OF THE BAT ($3.99)
04/2015: Convergence #1 -- 58,693
26 - CONVERGENCE BATMAN & ROBIN ($3.99)
04/2015: Convergence #1 -- 56,720
27 - CONVERGENCE DETECTIVE COMICS ($3.99)
04/2015: Convergence #1 -- 58,693

The three Batman Convergence tie-ins clump together near the top of the Convergence list, which should surprise no one.

31 - THE MULTIVERSITY ($5.99)
08/2014: The Multiversity #1 -- 90,551 
09/2014: SoS-H: CotC-W    #1 -- 65,022 (- 28.2%)
10/2014: The Just         #1 -- 53,301 (- 18.0%)
11/2014: Pax Americana    #1 -- 51,490 (-  3.4%)
12/2014: Thunderworld     #1 -- 47,714 (-  7.3%)
01/2015: Guidebook        #1 -- 38,672 (- 19.0%)
02/2015: Mastermen        #1 -- 50,091 (+ 29.5%)
03/2015: Ultra Comics     #1 -- 48,938 (-  2.3%)
04/2015: The Multiversity #2 -- 54,275 (+  8.4%)
 -----------------
6 months: +  1.8%

Sales rise for the over-sized and extra-priced final issue.

33 - SUPERMAN ($3.99)
04/2005: Superman #214  -- 112,593 [116,198]
04/2010: Superman #699  --  33,183
04/2011: Superman #710  --  39,644
04/2012: Superman #8    --  64,486
04/2013: Superman #19   --  48,598 
 ---------------------------------
04/2014: Superman #30   --  37,316 (+ 11.0%)
05/2014: Superman #31   --  40,534 (+  8.6%)
06/2014: Superman #32   --  89,140 (+155.4%) [103,508]
07/2014: Superman #33   --  62,998 (- 39.1%)
08/2014: Superman #34   --  56,568 (- 10.2%)
09/2014: Futures End #1 --  77,949 (+ 37.8%)
10/2014: Superman #35   --  53,692 (- 31.1%)
11/2014: Superman #36   --  52,272 (-  2.6%)
12/2014: Superman #37   --  50,383 (-  3.6%)
01/2015: --
02/2015: Superman #38   --  48,987 (-  2.8%)
03/2015: Superman #39   --  50,260 (+  2.6%)
04/2015: Superman #40   --  52,666 (+  4.8%)
 -----------------
6 months: -  1.9%
1 year  : + 41.1%
2 years : +  8.4%
5 years : + 58.7%
10 years: - 54.7%

Playing catch-up, so this is the issue with the Movie Poster variant (Superfly).

34 - CONVERGENCE SUPERMAN ($3.99)
04/2015: Convergence #1 -- 51,823

Orders for the Convergence tie-in come right about the same level as for the main title (see, I’m not completely out of it!)

36 - CONVERGENCE NIGHTWING/ORACLE ($3.99)
04/2015: Convergence #1 -- 50,621

Orders for Grayson in March were 40,859.

39 - BATMAN ETERNAL ($3.99)
04/2014: Batman Eternal #1  -- 105,754           [110,916]
04/2014: Batman Eternal #2  --  84,566 (- 20.2%) [ 88,468]
04/2014: Batman Eternal #3  --  79,703 (-  4.8%) [ 84,183]
04/2014: Batman Eternal #4  --  78,009 (-  1.7%) [ 82,743]
05/2014: Batman Eternal #5  --  73,475 (- 11.2%)
05/2014: Batman Eternal #6  --  70,983 (-  3.4%)
05/2014: Batman Eternal #7  --  68,251 (-  3.8%)
05/2014: Batman Eternal #8  --  68,523 (+  0.4%)
06/2014: Batman Eternal #9  --  68,295 (-  0.3%)
06/2014: Batman Eternal #10 --  67,203 (-  1.6%)
06/2014: Batman Eternal #11 --  65,770 (-  2.1%)
06/2014: Batman Eternal #12 --  65,374 (-  0.6%)
07/2014: Batman Eternal #13 --  63,828 (-  2.4%)
07/2014: Batman Eternal #14 --  63,138 (-  1.1%)
07/2014: Batman Eternal #15 --  62,137 (-  1.6%)
07/2014: Batman Eternal #16 --  61,149 (-  1.6%)
07/2014: Batman Eternal #17 --  60,013 (-  1.9%)
08/2014: Batman Eternal #18 --  58,998 (-  1.7%)
08/2014: Batman Eternal #19 --  58,368 (-  1.1%)
08/2014: Batman Eternal #20 --  57,906 (-  0.8%)
08/2014: Batman Eternal #21 --  57,525 (-  0.7%)
09/2014: Batman Eternal #22 --  56,793 (-  1.3%)
09/2014: Batman Eternal #23 --  56,152 (-  1.1%)
09/2014: Batman Eternal #24 --  56,002 (-  0.3%)
09/2014: Batman Eternal #25 --  55,662 (-  0.6%)
10/2014: Batman Eternal #26 --  54,199 (-  2.6%)
10/2014: Batman Eternal #27 --  53,511 (-  1.3%)
10/2014: Batman Eternal #28 --  52,918 (-  1.1%)
10/2014: Batman Eternal #29 --  52,284 (-  1.2%)
10/2014: Batman Eternal #30 --  52,438 (+  0.3%)
11/2014: Batman Eternal #31 --  51,133 (-  2.5%)
11/2014: Batman Eternal #32 --  50,709 (-  0.8%)
11/2014: Batman Eternal #33 --  50,230 (-  0.9%)
11/2014: Batman Eternal #34 --  49,748 (-  1.0%)
12/2014: Batman Eternal #35 --  48,999 (-  1.5%)
12/2014: Batman Eternal #36 --  48,683 (-  0.6%)
12/2014: Batman Eternal #37 --  48,083 (-  1.2%)
12/2014: Batman Eternal #38 --  48,035 (-  0.1%)
12/2014: Batman Eternal #39 --  47,782 (-  0.5%)
01/2015: Batman Eternal #40 --  46,832 (-  2.0%)
01/2015: Batman Eternal #41 --  46,648 (-  0.4%)
01/2015: Batman Eternal #42 --  46,516 (-  0.3%)
01/2015: Batman Eternal #43 --  45,912 (-  1.3%)
02/2015: Batman Eternal #44 --  45,391 (-  1.1%)
02/2015: Batman Eternal #45 --  45,199 (-  0.4%)
02/2015: Batman Eternal #46 --  44,763 (-  1.0%)
02/2015: Batman Eternal #47 --  44,699 (-  0.1%)
03/2015: Batman Eternal #48 --  44,505 (-  0.4%)
03/2015: Batman Eternal #49 --  44,277 (-  0.5%)
03/2015: Batman Eternal #50 --  43,982 (-  0.7%)
03/2015: Batman Eternal #51 --  44,065 (+  0.2%)
04/2015: Batman Eternal #52 --  47,359 (+  7.5%)
 -----------------
6 months: - 10.8%
1 year  : - 48.3%

A bit of a rise for the over-sized and extra-priced final issue of the weekly. While sales dropped from the first month (average) to the last by about 50%, that’s actually on the good side of the equation as most of DC’s launches from around a year ago did much worse, and this sort of drop over the course of fifty or so issues would be the envy of just about any title. So look for there to be a second year of a Batman Weekly in the near future.

41 - CONVERGENCE BATGIRL ($3.99)
04/2015: Convergence #1 -- 46,891
42 - CONVERGENCE GREEN LANTERN/PARALLAX ($3.99)
04/2015: Convergence #1 -- 46,539
43 - CONVERGENCE JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA ($3.99)
04/2015: Convergence #1 -- 46,111
44 - CONVERGENCE FLASH ($3.99)
04/2015: Convergence #1 -- 45,414
45 - CONVERGENCE ACTION COMICS ($3.99)
04/2015: Convergence #1 -- 45,189

A bunch of Convergence tie-ins featuring recognizable and long-running titles and characters all clump together on the chart in the mid 40K range.

46 - WONDER WOMAN ($2.99)
04/2005: Wonder Woman #215 -- 28,977 [30,436]
04/2010: Wonder Woman #43  -- 25,443
04/2011: Wonder Woman #610 -- 31,002
04/2012: Wonder Woman #8   -- 50,450
04/2013: Wonder Woman #19  -- 46,492 
 -------------------------------------
04/2014: Wonder Woman #30  -- 31,094 (+  0.3%)
05/2014: Wonder Woman #31  -- 30,655 (-  1.4%)
06/2014: Wonder Woman #32  -- 48,235 (+ 57.3%)
07/2014: Wonder Woman #33  -- 37,431 (- 22.4%)
08/2014: -- 
09/2014: Futures End #1    -- 69,497 (+ 85.7%)
10/2014: Wonder Woman #34  -- 35,774 (- 48.5%)
10/2014: Wonder Woman #35  -- 35,968 (+  0.5%)
11/2014: Wonder Woman #36  -- 58,965 (+ 63.9%)
12/2014: Wonder Woman #37  -- 43,066 (- 27.0%)
01/2015: Wonder Woman #38  -- 39,669 (-  7.9%)
02/2015: Wonder Woman #39  -- 42,634 (+  7.5%)
03/2015: -- 
04/2015: Wonder Woman #40  -- 45,172 (+  6.0%)
 -----------------
6 months: + 25.9%
1 year  : + 45.3%
2 years : -  2.8%
5 years : + 77.5%
10 years: + 48.4%

Delayed from March, so this is the issue with the Movie Poster variant (300). The Annual, completing the first Finch-ified story arc, was originally scheduled for April but has been pushed back to June.

47 - CONVERGENCE WONDER WOMAN ($3.99)
04/2015: Convergence #1 -- 44,959

And despite being cover-priced at $1 more, the Convergence tie-in clocks in at just about the same sales level as the regular title.

48 - CONVERGENCE BATMAN AND THE OUTSIDERS ($3.99)
04/2015: Convergence #1 -- 44,078

On the one hand this comes in respectably in the middle of the Convergence pack. But on the other hand, it’s got flipping Batman in the title, and the other Batman tie-ins came in at around 10K more. So even years after cancellation The Outsiders get no respect.

51 - CONVERGENCE NEW TEEN TITANS ($3.99)
04/2015: Convergence #1 -- 43,547
52 - CONVERGENCE SUICIDE SQUAD ($3.99)
04/2015: Convergence #1 -- 43,518
53 - CONVERGENCE SPEED FORCE ($3.99)
04/2015: Convergence #1 -- 42,977
57 - CONVERGENCE TITANS ($3.99)
04/2015: Convergence #1 -- 40,518
58 - CONVERGENCE ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN ($3.99)
04/2015: Convergence #1 -- 40,337

Another clump of Convergence tie-ins.

59 - SUPERMAN/WONDER WOMAN ($3.99)
04/2014: Superman/Wonder Woman #7  -- 45,157 (+  4.3%)
05/2014: Superman/Wonder Woman #8  -- 47,803 (+  5.9%)
06/2014: Superman/Wonder Woman #9  -- 62,659 (+ 31.1%)
07/2014: Superman/Wonder Woman #10 -- 50,254 (- 19.8%)
08/2014: Superman/Wonder Woman #11 -- 50,550 (+  0.6%)
09/2014: Futures End #1            -- 77,169 (+ 52.7%)
10/2014: Superman/Wonder Woman #12 -- 47,885 (- 37.9%)
11/2014: Superman/Wonder Woman #13 -- 44,013 (-  8.1%)
12/2014: Superman/Wonder Woman #14 -- 41,231 (-  6.3%)
01/2015: Superman/Wonder Woman #15 -- 36,877 (- 10.6%)
02/2015: Superman/Wonder Woman #16 -- 38,550 (+  4.5%)
03/2015: -- 
04/2015: Superman/Wonder Woman #17 -- 39,868 (+  3.4%)
 -----------------
6 months: - 16.7%
1 year  : - 11.7%

Delayed from March, with a Movie Poster variant (Gone with the Wind).

60 - BATMAN AND ROBIN ANNUAL
01/2013: Batman and Robin Ann #1 -- 52,244
01/2014: Batman and Robin Ann #2 -- 40,805 (-21.9%)
04/2015: Batman and Robin Ann #3 -- 39,676 (- 2.8%)

Comes in at only about 1K less than the 2014 edition.

61 - CONVERGENCE SHAZAM ($3.99)
04/2015: Convergence #1 -- 39,587

This was the Convergence tie-in that I was most looking forward to, and it delivered! I’m a bit sad that this didn’t pull in better numbers; how could anyone see that Jeff Parker & Doc Shaner were doing classic Earth-S Captain Marvel & Co. and not prod their retailer to get them a copy?

64 - CONVERGENCE JUSTICE SOCIETY OF AMERICA ($3.99)
04/2015: Convergence #1 -- 38,911
66 - CONVERGENCE JUSTICE LEAGUE INTERNATIONAL ($3.99)
04/2015: Convergence #1 -- 38,579
68 - CONVERGENCE AQUAMAN ($3.99)
04/2015: Convergence #1 -- 37,749
69 - CONVERGENCE GREEN LANTERN CORPS ($3.99)
04/2015: Convergence #1 -- 37,437
70 - CONVERGENCE GREEN ARROW ($3.99)
04/2015: Convergence #1 -- 37,303
71 - CONVERGENCE CATWOMAN ($3.99)
04/2015: Convergence #1 -- 37,215
72 - CONVERGENCE SUPERMAN: THE MAN OF STEEL ($3.99)
04/2015: Convergence #1 -- 37,093
76 - CONVERGENCE SUPERGIRL: MATRIX ($3.99)
04/2015: Convergence #1 -- 34,634
77 - CONVERGENCE THE QUESTION ($3.99)
04/2015: Convergence #1 -- 34,446
81 - CONVERGENCE BOOSTER GOLD ($3.99)
04/2015: Convergence #1 -- 34,191
82 - CONVERGENCE CRIME SYNDICATE ($3.99)
04/2015: Convergence #1 -- 33,891
83 - CONVERGENCE SUPERBOY ($3.99)
04/2015: Convergence #1 -- 33,739
84 - CONVERGENCE SUPERBOY & THE LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES ($3.99)
04/2015: Convergence #1 -- 33,605
85 - CONVERGENCE SWAMP THING ($3.99)
04/2015: Convergence #1 -- 33,424
86 - CONVERGENCE THE ATOM ($3.99)
04/2015: Convergence #1 -- 33,154
87 - CONVERGENCE HAWKMAN ($3.99)
04/2015: Convergence #1 -- 32,985
88 - CONVERGENCE WORLD'S FINEST COMICS ($3.99)
04/2015: Convergence #1 -- 32,635
91 - CONVERGENCE BLUE BEETLE ($3.99)
04/2015: Convergence #1 -- 32,172

Another clump of Convergence tie-ins in the 30K – 40K range. This appears to have been the default level for the tie-ins that the retailers didn’t know what to do with.

95 - THE NEW 52 – FUTURES END ($3.99)
05/2014: Futures End #0  -- ?????? 
05/2014: Futures End #1  -- 77,867 
05/2014: Futures End #2  -- 62,862 (- 19.3%) 
05/2014: Futures End #3  -- 59,148 (-  5.9%)
05/2014: Futures End #4  -- 58,496 (-  1.1%)
06/2014: Futures End #5  -- 53,645 (-  8.3%)
06/2014: Futures End #6  -- 51,543 (-  3.9%)
06/2014: Futures End #7  -- 50,266 (-  2.5%)
06/2014: Futures End #8  -- 49,138 (-  2.2%)
07/2014: Futures End #9  -- 52,083 (+  6.0%)
07/2014: Futures End #10 -- 46,001 (- 11.7%)
07/2014: Futures End #11 -- 45,222 (-  1.7%)
07/2014: Futures End #12 -- 43,228 (-  4.4%)
07/2014: Futures End #13 -- 42,803 (-  1.0%)
08/2014: Futures End #14 -- 41,185 (-  3.8%)
08/2014: Futures End #15 -- 40,541 (-  1.6%)
08/2014: Futures End #16 -- 40,077 (-  1.1%)
08/2014: Futures End #17 -- 39,750 (-  0.8%)
09/2014: Futures End #18 -- 38,778 (-  2.4%)
09/2014: Futures End #19 -- 38,377 (-  1.0%)
09/2014: Futures End #20 -- 37,990 (-  1.0%)
09/2014: Futures End #21 -- 37,861 (-  0.3%)
10/2014: Futures End #22 -- 36,468 (-  3.7%)
10/2014: Futures End #23 -- 36,120 (-  1.0%)
10/2014: Futures End #24 -- 35,937 (-  0.5%)
10/2014: Futures End #25 -- 35,585 (-  1.0%)
10/2014: Futures End #26 -- 35,452 (-  0.4%)
11/2014: Futures End #27 -- 34,692 (-  2.1%)
11/2014: Futures End #28 -- 34,601 (-  0.3%)
11/2014: Futures End #29 -- 34,202 (-  1.2%)
11/2014: Futures End #30 -- 33,942 (-  0.8%)
12/2014: Futures End #31 -- 33,025 (-  2.7%)
12/2014: Futures End #32 -- 32,878 (-  0.4%)
12/2014: Futures End #33 -- 32,409 (-  1.4%)
12/2014: Futures End #34 -- 32,414 (+  0.0%)
12/2014: Futures End #35 -- 32,233 (-  0.6%)
01/2015: Futures End #36 -- 31,338 (-  2.8%)
01/2015: Futures End #37 -- 31,202 (-  0.4%)
01/2015: Futures End #38 -- 30,992 (-  0.7%)
01/2015: Futures End #39 -- 30,510 (-  1.6%)
02/2015: Futures End #40 -- 30,157 (-  1.2%)
02/2015: Futures End #41 -- 29,994 (-  0.5%)
02/2015: Futures End #42 -- 29,641 (-  1.2%)
02/2015: Futures End #43 -- 29,647 (+  0.0%)
03/2015: Futures End #44 -- 29,971 (+  1.1%)
03/2015: Futures End #45 -- 29,610 (-  1.2%)
03/2015: Futures End #46 -- 29,543 (-  0.2%)
03/2015: Futures End #47 -- 29,386 (-  0.5%)
04/2015: Futures End #48 -- 31,976 (+  8.8%)
 -----------------
6 months: - 11.0%

The over-sized and extra-priced final issue of the weekly jumps back above the 30K mark.

99 - BATMAN/SUPERMAN ANNUAL ($4.99)
03/2014: Batman/Superman Ann #1 -- 52,937 
04/2015: Batman/Superman Ann #2 -- 31,451 (- 40.6%)

Thirteen months later and a Bats/Supes annual doesn’t have the same pull that it used to.

101 - CONVERGENCE PLASTIC MAN AND THE FREEDOM FIGHTERS ($3.99)
04/2015: Convergence #1 -- 30,460
102 - CONVERGENCE INFINITY INC. ($3.99)
04/2015: Convergence #1 -- 30,114

The final two Convergence tie-ins both clock in above the 30K mark.

Consider that in March, there were a whopping twenty-four issues of regular DCU series that clocked in under 30K. (The lowest was Klarion at just 5K.) No matter how you slice it, this little fill-in event has ended up being a solid success.

119, 129 - BATMAN: ARKHAM KNIGHT (Digital-First) ($3.99)
03/2015: Batman Arkham Knight #1  -- 73,266 
04/2015: Batman Arkham Knight #2  -- 25,479 (- 65.2%)
04/2015: Batman Arkham Knight #3  -- 23,370 (-  8.3%)

Without the benefit of the subscription box boost, Arkham Knight drops down to a more reasonable level. It still have quite good sales for a Digital-First series, and is the top non-DCU title for April.

120 - EARTH 2 - WORLD'S END ($2.99)
10/2014: E2 World's End #1  -- 48,249
10/2014: E2 World's End #2  -- 40,190 (- 16.7%)
10/2014: E2 World's End #3  -- 38,496 (-  4.2%)
10/2014: E2 World's End #4  -- 37,874 (-  1.6%)
11/2014: E2 World's End #5  -- 36,395 (-  3.9%)
11/2014: E2 World's End #6  -- 31,248 (- 14.1%)
11/2014: E2 World's End #7  -- 30,378 (-  2.8%)
11/2014: E2 World's End #8  -- 29,636 (-  2.4%)
12/2014: E2 World's End #9  -- 28,204 (-  4.8%)
12/2014: E2 World's End #10 -- 27,893 (-  1.1%)
12/2014: E2 World's End #11 -- 27,297 (-  2.1%)
12/2014: E2 World's End #12 -- 27,256 (-  0.1%)
12/2014: E2 World's End #13 -- 26,942 (-  1.2%)
01/2015: E2 World's End #14 -- 25,600 (-  5.0%)
01/2015: E2 World's End #15 -- 25,562 (-  0.1%)
01/2015: E2 World's End #16 -- 25,331 (-  0.9%)
01/2015: E2 World's End #17 -- 24,955 (-  1.5%)
02/2015: E2 World's End #18 -- 24,435 (-  2.1%)
02/2015: E2 World's End #19 -- 24,376 (-  0.2%)
02/2015: E2 World's End #20 -- 24,182 (-  0.8%)
02/2015: E2 World's End #21 -- 24,033 (-  0.6%)
03/2015: E2 World's End #22 -- 23,814 (-  0.9%)
03/2015: E2 World's End #23 -- 23,765 (-  0.2%)
03/2015: E2 World's End #24 -- 23,652 (-  0.5%)
03/2015: E2 World's End #25 -- 23,529 (-  0.5%)
04/2015: E2 World's End #26 -- 25,472 (+  8.3%)
 ----------------
6 months: - 38.2%

The final issue of the series that most directly led into Convergence is outsold by every Convergence tie-in.

123, 125 - ENDGAME one-shots ($2.99)
03/2015: Detective Comics #1 -- 39,506 
03/2015: Batgirl          #1 -- 32,393 
04/2015: Arkham Manor     #1 -- 25,190 
04/2015: Gotham Academy   #1 -- 24,876

These two “Endgame” tie-in one-shots were originally solicited for March, but got pushed back into April. They’re significantly lower than last month’s, but that may just be because the Arkham Manor and Gotham Academy core titles sell significantly lower than ‘Tec and Batgirl.

131 - TEEN TITANS ANNUAL ($4.99)
04/2012: Teen Titans Annual #1 -- 44,415 
10/2013: Teen Titans Annual #2 -- 26,957 (- 39.3%)
05/2014: Teen Titans Annual #3 -- 23,140 (- 14.2%)
04/2015: Teen Titans Annual #1 -- 22,939 (-  0.9%)

Sales for the first annual of the new series are nearly identical to those of the third annual of the previous series. But since sales for the new series are currently tracking about 13K than where the old series was, this seems like a bit of a let down.

155 - SINESTRO ANNUAL ($4.99)
04/2012: Sinestro Annual #1 -- 19,331

Sales are pretty much what one might expect from a Sinestro Annual. It’s also the only DC title in a nearly sixty position stretch on the monthly unit sales rankings.

190 - INJUSTICE ANNUAL ($4.99)
11/2013: Injustice Year 1 Annual #1 -- 21,764 
10/2014: Injustice Year 2 Annual #1 -- 17,086 (- 21.5%) 
04/2015: Injustice Year 3 Annual #1 -- 14,905 (- 12.8%)

Sales come in just a few hundred units lower than the last print issue of Year 3. (The Injustice Annual is not a digital first title.)

193 - MORTAL KOMBAT X (Digital-First) ($3.99)
01/2015: Mortal Kombat X #1  -- 21,062 
02/2015: Mortal Kombat X #2  -- 13,277 (- 37.0%) 
02/2015: Mortal Kombat X #3  -- 12,581 (-  5.2%)
03/2015: Mortal Kombat X #4  -- 14,038 (+ 11.6%)
04/2015: Mortal Kombat X #5  -- 14,741 (+  5.0%)

Not as big as last month’s rise, but still a gain of about 700 copies.

195 - BATMAN '66 (Digital-First) ($2.99)
04/2014: Batman '66 #10 -- 17,917 (- 4.7%)
05/2014: Batman '66 #11 -- 18,642 (+ 4.0%)
06/2014: Batman '66 #12 -- 17,286 (- 7.3%)
07/2014: Batman '66 #13 -- 17,264 (- 0.1%)
08/2014: Batman '66 #14 -- 21,456 (+24.3%)
09/2014: Batman '66 #15 -- 16,842 (-21.5%)
10/2014: Batman '66 #16 -- 15,923 (- 5.5%)
11/2014: Batman '66 #17 -- 15,585 (- 2.1%)
12/2014: Batman '66 #18 -- 15,409 (- 1.1%)
01/2015: --
02/2015: Batman '66 #19 -- 14,770 (- 4.1%)
02/2015: Batman '66 #20 -- 14,525 (- 1.7%)
03/2015: Batman '66 #21 -- 14,238 (- 2.0%)
04/2015: Batman '66 #22 -- 14,135 (- 0.7%)
 -----------------
6 months: - 11.2%
1 year  : - 21.1%

202 - BATWOMAN ANNUAL ($4.99)
04/2014: Batwoman Annual #1 -- 17,312 
04/2015: Batwoman Annual #2 -- 12,960 (- 25.1%) 
-----------------
1 year  : - 25.1%

The lowest-selling DCU title of April, wrapping up the final storyline.

207 - AMERICAN VAMPIRE: SECOND CYCLE (Vertigo) ($2.99)
04/2010: American Vampire #2     --  26,770
04/2011: American Vampire #14    --  16,168
04/2012: American Vampire #26    --  14,493
04/2013: --
 -------------------------------------------
04/2014: American Vampire 2Cy #2 --  17,068 (- 18.2%)
05/2014: American Vampire 2Cy #3 --  15,642 (-  8.4%)
06/2014: --
07/2014: American Vampire 2Cy #4 --  15,400 (-  1.5%)
08/2014: --
09/2014: --
10/2014: American Vampire 2Cy #5 --  14,621 (-  7.4%)
11/2014: --
12/2014: --
01/2015: --
02/2015: American Vampire 2Cy #6 --  13,234 (-  7.2%)
03/2015: --
04/2015: American Vampire 2Cy #7 --  12,273 (-  7.3%)
 -----------------
6 months: - 16.1%
1 year  : - 28.1%
2 years :    n.a.
5 years : - 54.2%

Drops another 7%; I don’t think the irregular schedule is doing AV any favors. Still, it’s the highest-selling Vertigo title for April.

216 - HE-MAN: ETERNITY WAR ($2.99)
04/2013: He-Man & MotU #1   -- 25,254 
 -------------------------------------
04/2014: He-Man & MotU #12  -- 12,718 (-  2.8%)
05/2014: He-Man & MotU #13  -- 12,430 (-  2.3%)
06/2014: He-Man & MotU #14  -- 12,144 (-  2.3%)
07/2014: He-Man & MotU #15  -- 11,905 (-  2.0%)
08/2014: He-Man & MotU #16  -- 11,721 (-  1.5%)
09/2014: He-Man & MotU #17  -- 11,756 (+  0.3%)
10/2014: He-Man & MotU #18  -- 11,501 (-  2.2%)
11/2014: He-Man & MotU #19  -- 11,022 (-  4.2%)
12/2014: He-Man Eternity #1 -- 18,884 (+ 71.3%)
01/2015: He-Man Eternity #2 -- 12,104 (- 35.9%)
02/2015: He-Man Eternity #3 -- 11,700 (-  3.3%)
03/2015: He-Man Eternity #4 -- 11,746 (+  0.4%)
04/2015: He-Man Eternity #5 -- 11,625 (-  1.0%)
 ----------------
6 months: +  1.1%
1 year  : -  8.6%
2 years : - 54.0%

Pretty steady over the past few months.

221 - ASTRO CITY (Vertigo) ($3.99)
04/2005: --
04/2010: --
04/2011: --
04/2012: --
 ------------------------------------
04/2014: Astro City #11    -- 13,909 (- 1.3%)
05/2014: Astro City #12    -- 13,795 (- 0.8%)
06/2014: Astro City #13    -- 13,419 (- 2.7%)
07/2014: --
08/2014: Astro City #14    -- 13,069 (- 2.6%)
09/2014: Astro City #15    -- 12,660 (- 3.1%)
10/2014: Astro City #16    -- 12,480 (- 1.4%)
11/2014: Astro City #17    -- 12,055 (- 3.4%)
12/2014: Astro City #18    -- 11,985 (- 0.6%)
01/2015: Astro City #19    -- 11,734 (- 2.1%)
02/2015: Astro City #20    -- 11,603 (- 1.1%)
03/2015: Astro City #21    -- 11,492 (- 1.0%)
04/2015: Astro City #22    -- 11,359 (- 1.2%)
 -----------------
6 months: -  9.0%
1 year  : - 18.3%
5 years :    n.a.
10 years:    n.a.

Continues to lose about 1% per month. Not exact super sales, but it’s doing a far sight better than most of the other Vertigo books.

226 - SENSATION COMICS FEAT WONDER WOMAN (Digital-First) ($3.99)
08/2014: Sensation Comics #1 -- 29,640
09/2014: Sensation Comics #2 -- 22,085 (- 25.5%)
10/2014: Sensation Comics #3 -- 17,996 (- 18.5%)
11/2014: Sensation Comics #4 -- 16,573 (-  7.9%)
12/2014: Sensation Comics #5 -- 14,323 (- 13.6%)
01/2015: Sensation Comics #6 -- 12,927 (-  9.7%)
02/2015: Sensation Comics #7 -- 12,115 (-  6.3%)
03/2015: Sensation Comics #8 -- 11,399 (-  5.9%)
04/2015: Sensation Comics #9 -- 11,007 (-  3.4%)
 ----------------
6 months: - 38.8%

Clinging to the upper side of the 11K line.

232 - THE FLASH: SEASON ZERO (Digital-First) ($2.99)
10/2014: Flash Season 0 #1 -- 23,501 
11/2014: Flash Season 0 #2 -- 14,287 (- 39.2%) 
12/2014: Flash Season 0 #3 -- 12,247 (- 14.3%) 
01/2015: Flash Season 0 #4 -- 10,806 (- 11.8%) 
02/2015: Flash Season 0 #5 -- 10,450 (-  3.3%) 
03/2015: Flash Season 0 #6 -- 10,188 (-  2.5%) 
04/2015: Flash Season 0 #7 -- 10,152 (-  0.4%) 
 ----------------
6 months: - 56.8%

Just thirty-six fewer copies than last month, so I thing it’s safe to say that the Flash TV tie-in has found its natural level.

246 - SUICIDERS (Vertigo) ($3.99)
02/2015: Suiciders #1  -- 18,275 
03/2015: Suiciders #2  -- 10,585 (- 42.1%) 
04/2015: Suiciders #3  --  9,891 (- 6.6%)

Returnable, so adjusted up 10% from the reported numbers (see the disclaimers at the end of this column for why we make this adjustment).

Drops below 10K on its third issue.

249 - FABLES: THE WOLF AMONG US (Vertigo) (Digital-First) ($3.99)
01/2015: Fables: TWAU #1  -- 13,620 
02/2015: Fables: TWAU #2  -- 10,224 (- 24.9%) 
03/2015: Fables: TWAU #3  --  9,352 (-  8.5%) 
04/2015: Fables: TWAU #4  --  8,793 (-  6.0%)
253 - ARROW: SEASON 2.5 (Digital-First) ($2.99)
04/2013: Arrow #6            -- 10,462 
 --------------------------------------
10/2014: Arrow Season 2.5 #1 -- 17,364 (+113.1%) 
11/2014: Arrow Season 2.5 #2 -- 11,121 (- 36.0%) 
12/2014: Arrow Season 2.5 #3 --  9,862 (- 11.3%) 
01/2015: Arrow Season 2.5 #4 --  9,302 (-  5.7%) 
02/2015: Arrow Season 2.5 #5 --  9,060 (-  2.6%) 
03/2015: Arrow Season 2.5 #6 --  9,055 (-  0.1%) 
04/2015: Arrow Season 2.5 #7 --  8,671 (-  4.2%) 
 ----------------
6 months: - 50.1%
2 years : - 17.1%
261 - TEEN TITANS GO! (Digital-First) ($2.99)
04/2005: Teen Titans Go! #18 -- 14,152
 --------------------------------------
04/2014: Teen Titans Go! #3  --  8,185 (- 9.4%)
05/2014: --
06/2014: Teen Titans Go! #4  --  8,667 (+ 5.9%)
07/2014: --
08/2014: Teen Titans Go! #5  --  8,688 (+ 0.2%)
09/2014: --
10/2014: Teen Titans Go! #6  --  8,677 (- 0.1%)
11/2014: --
12/2014: Teen Titans Go! #7  --  8,254 (- 4.9%)
01/2015: --
02/2015: Teen Titans Go! #8  --  7,917 (- 4.1%)
03/2015: --
04/2015: Teen Titans Go! #9  --  8,395 (+ 6.0%)
 -----------------
6 months: -  3.2%
1 year  : +  2.6%
10 years: - 40.7%

Three more digital-first titles. TTG! rebounds back to its apparent level after February’s dip.

294 - WOLF MOON (Vertigo) ($2.99)
12/2014: Wolf Moon #1 of 6 -- 15,865 
01/2015: Wolf Moon #2 of 6 --  8,747 (- 44.9%) 
02/2015: Wolf Moon #3 of 6 --  7,789 (- 11.0%) 
03/2015: Wolf Moon #4 of 6 --  7,124 (-  8.5%) 
04/2015: Wolf Moon #5 of 6 --  6,722 (-  5.6%)

Dropping, but at least it’s still on the top 330 chart, unlike many of its Vertigo brethren.

+300 - STRANGE SPORTS STORIES (Vertigo) ($4.99)
03/2015: Strange Sports #1 of 4 -- 9,003 
04/2015: Strange Sports #2 of 4 -- ????? (< 6,352)
+300 - VERTIGO QUARTERLY SFX (Vertigo) ($7.99)
04/2014: Cyan #1    -- 9,456 
05/2014: --
06/2014: --
07/2014: Magenta #1 -- 7,360 (- 22.2%) 
08/2014: --
09/2014: --
10/2014: Yellow #1  -- 6,384 (- 13.3%) 
11/2014: --
12/2014: --
01/2015: Black #1   -- 5,516 (- 13.6%) 
03/2015: --
03/2015: --
04/2015: POP! #1    -- ????? (< 6,352) 
 ----------------
6 months:  ????%
1 year  :  ????%
+300 - INFINITE CRISIS: FIGHT FOR THE MULTIVERSE (Digital-First) ($3.99)
07/2014: Infinite Crisis FftM #1  -- 26,096
08/2014: Infinite Crisis FftM #2  -- 15,340 (- 41.2%)
09/2014: Infinite Crisis FftM #3  -- 13,884 (-  9.5%)
10/2014: Infinite Crisis FftM #4  -- 11,348 (- 18.3%)
11/2014: Infinite Crisis FftM #5  --  8,920 (- 21.4%)
12/2014: Infinite Crisis FftM #6  --  7,809 (- 12.5%)
01/2015: Infinite Crisis FftM #7  --  7,231 (-  7.4%)
02/2015: Infinite Crisis FftM #8  --  6,498 (- 10.1%)
03/2015: Infinite Crisis FftM #9  --  6,236 (-  4.0%)
04/2015: Infinite Crisis FftM #10 --  ????? (< 6,352)
 ----------------
6 months:  ????%
+300 - COFFIN HILL (Vertigo) ($2.99)
04/2014: Coffin Hill #7  --  9,547 (- 4.4%)
05/2014: --
06/2014: Coffin Hill #8  --  8,764 (- 8.2%)
07/2014: Coffin Hill #9  --  8,396 (- 4.2%)
08/2014: Coffin Hill #10 --  7,710 (- 8.1%)
09/2014: Coffin Hill #11 --  7,422 (- 3.7%)
10/2014: Coffin Hill #12 --  7,136 (- 3.9%)
11/2014: Coffin Hill #13 --  6,752 (- 5.4%)
12/2014: Coffin Hill #14 --  6,410 (- 5.1%)
01/2015: --
02/2015: Coffin Hill #15 --  5,933 (- 7.4%)
03/2015: Coffin Hill #16 --  5,785 (- 2.5%)
04/2015: Coffin Hill #17 --  ????? (< 6,352)
 -----------------
6 months:   ????%
1 year  :   ????%
+300 - EFFIGY (Vertigo) ($2.99)
01/2015: Effigy #1  -- 11,656 
02/2015: Effigy #2  --  6,408 (- 45.0%) 
03/2015: Effigy #3  --  ????? (< 4,917) 
04/2015: Effigy #4  --  ????? (< 6,352)
+300 - THE KITCHEN (Vertigo) ($2.99)
11/2014: The Kitchen #1 of 8 -- 14,066 
12/2014: The Kitchen #2 of 8 --  7,403 (- 47.4%) 
01/2015: The Kitchen #3 of 8 --  6,328 (- 14.5%) 
02/2015: The Kitchen #4 of 8 --  5,153 (- 18.6%) 
03/2015: The Kitchen #5 of 8 --  ????? (< 4,917) 
04/2015: The Kitchen #6 of 8 --  ????? (< 6,352)
+300 - THE NAMES (Vertigo) ($2.99)
09/2014: The Names #1 of 8 -- 17,266 
10/2014: The Names #2 of 9 --  9,056 (- 47.6%) 
11/2014: The Names #3 of 9 --  6,926 (- 23.5%) 
12/2014: The Names #4 of 9 --  5,918 (- 14.6%) 
01/2015: The Names #5 of 9 --  5,312 (- 10.2%) 
02/2015: The Names #6 of 9 --  4,965 (-  6.5%) 
03/2015: The Names #7 of 9 --  ????? (< 4,917) 
04/2015: The Names #8 of 9 --  ????? (< 6,352)
+300 - HINTERKIND (Vertigo) ($2.99)
04/2014: --
05/2014: Hinterkind #7  --  7,487 (- 9.9%)
06/2014: Hinterkind #8  --  7,212 (- 3.7%)
07/2014: Hinterkind #9  --  6,686 (- 7.3%)
08/2014: Hinterkind #10 --  6,283 (- 6.0%)
09/2014: Hinterkind #11 --  ????? (< 6,262)
10/2014: Hinterkind #12 --  ????? (< 6,298)
11/2014: --
12/2014: Hinterkind #13 --  5,080 
01/2015: Hinterkind #14 --  4,810 (- 5.3%) 
02/2015: Hinterkind #15 --  ????? (< 4,804)
03/2015: Hinterkind #16 --  ????? (< 4,917)
04/2015: Hinterkind #17 --  ????? (< 6,352)
 -----------------
6 months:   ????%
1 year  :    n.a.
+300 - SCOOBY-DOO, WHERE ARE YOU? (All-Ages) ($2.99)
04/2005: Scooby-Doo #95                -- 4,800
04/2010: Scooby-Doo #155               -- 3,836
04/2011: Scooby-Doo Where Are You? #8  -- 4,599
04/2012: Scooby-Doo Where Are You? #20 -- 4,752
04/2013: Scooby-Doo Where Are You? #32 -- 4,688 
 -----------------------------------------------
04/2014: Scooby-Doo Where Are You? #44 -- 4,650 (+0.6%)
05/2014: Scooby-Doo Where Are You? #45 -- 4,840 (+4.1%)
06/2014: Scooby-Doo Where Are You? #46 -- ????? (< 4,560)
07/2014: Scooby-Doo Where Are You? #47 -- ????? (< 6,594)
08/2014: Scooby-Doo Where Are You? #48 -- ????? (< 5,357)
09/2014: Scooby-Doo Where Are You? #49 -- ????? (< 6,262)
10/2014: Scooby-Doo Where Are You? #50 -- ????? (< 6,298)
11/2014: Scooby-Doo Where Are You? #51 -- ????? (< 5,214)
12/2014: Scooby-Doo Where Are You? #52 -- ????? (< 5,053)
01/2015: Scooby-Doo Where Are You? #53 -- 4,703 
02/2015: Scooby-Doo Where Are You? #54 -- ????? (< 4,804) 
03/2015: Scooby-Doo Where Are You? #55 -- ????? (< 4,917) 
04/2015: Scooby-Doo Where Are You? #56 -- ????? (< 6,352) 
 -----------------
6 months:    ???%
1 year  :    ???%
2 years :    ???%
5 years :    ???%
10 years:    ???%
+300 - LOONEY TUNES (All-Ages) ($2.99)
04/2005: Looney Tunes #125 -- 2,974
04/2010: Looney Tunes #185 -- ?????
04/2011: Looney Tunes #197 -- ?????
04/2012: Looney Tunes #206 -- ?????
04/2013: Looney Tunes #212 -- ?????
 ----------------------------------------
04/2014: Looney Tunes #218 -- ????? (< 2,823)
05/2014: -- 
06/2014: Looney Tunes #219 -- ????? (< 4,560)
07/2014: -- 
08/2014: Looney Tunes #220 -- ????? (< 5,357)
09/2014: -- 
10/2014: Looney Tunes #221 -- ????? (< 6,298)
11/2014: -- 
12/2014: Looney Tunes #222 -- ????? (< 5,053)
01/2015: --
02/2015: Looney Tunes #223 -- ????? (< 4,804)
03/2015: --
04/2015: Looney Tunes #224 -- ????? (< 6,352)
 -----------------
6 months:   ????%
1 year  :   ????%
2 years :   ????%
5 years :   ????%
10 years:   ????%

Ten DC titles don’t make the Top 300 this month, including seven Vertigo titles—more than half of Vertigo’s April output. The cutoff this month was 6,352, the highest its been since July 2014. Which is good news for the comics market as a whole, but not as much for the titles at DC’s tail end.

Average Periodical Sales (not counting reprints, reorders shipping after the initial month of release, and magazines)

DC COMICS
04/2005: 30,053
04/2010: 23,740
04/2011: 25,651
04/2012: 31,319
04/2013: 29,914 
 ---------------
04/2014: 29,202 (+  9.1%)**
05/2014: 31,764 (+  8.8%)
06/2014: 32,834 (+  3.4%)**
07/2014: 32,760 (+  0.2%)**
08/2014: 28,951 (- 11.6%)**
09/2014: 46,869 (+ 61.9%)**
10/2014: 31,598 (- 32.6%)**
11/2014: 28,654 (-  9.3%)**
12/2014: 29,047 (+  1.4%)**
01/2015: 24,289 (- 16.4%)
02/2015: 24,537 (+  1.0%)**
03/2015: 23,466 (-  4.4%)**
04/2015: 38,390 (+ 63.6%)**
 -----------------
6 months: + 21.5%
1 year  : + 31.5%
2 years : + 28.3%
5 years : + 61.7%
10 years: + 27.7%

DC UNIVERSE
04/2005: 39,140
04/2010: 32,859
04/2011: 29,126
04/2012: 35,264
04/2013: 31,426 
 ---------------
04/2014: 36,447 (+ 13.9%) 
05/2014: 39,555 (+  8.5%) 
06/2014: 42,733 (+  8.0%) 
07/2014: 40,945 (-  4.2%) 
08/2014: 36,645 (- 10.5%) 
09/2014: 63,401 (+ 73.0%)** 
10/2014: 39,978 (- 36.9%)
11/2014: 36,710 (-  8.2%)
12/2014: 34,882 (-  5.0%)
01/2015: 30,680 (- 12.0%)
02/2015: 32,403 (+  5.6%)
03/2015: 28,559 (- 11.9%)
04/2015: 50,135 (+ 75.5%)
 -----------------
6 months: + 25.4%
1 year  : + 37.6%
2 years : + 59.5%
5 years : + 52.6%
10 years: + 28.1%

VERTIGO
04/2005: 13,050
04/2010: 10,815
04/2011: 10,014
04/2012: 11,595
04/2013: 11,467 
 ---------------
04/2014: 11,214 (- 41.5%) 
05/2014: 11,778 (+  5.0%) 
06/2014: 11,372 (-  3.4%) 
07/2014: 15,803 (+ 39.0%)** 
08/2014:  9,082 (- 42.5%)
09/2014: 10,022 (+ 10.4%)**
10/2014:  9,066 (-  9.5%)**
11/2014:  8,511 (-  6.1%)**
12/2014: 13,195 (+ 55.0%)**
01/2015:  8,361 (- 36.6%)
02/2015:  8,612 (+  3.0%)**
03/2015:  7,055 (- 15.6%)**
04/2015:  7,257 (+  2.9%)**
 -----------------
6 months: - 20.0%
1 year  : - 35.3%
2 years : - 36.7%
5 years : - 32.9%
10 years: - 44.4%

6 month comparisons
===================

+ 25.9% – Wonder Woman
+ 10.3% – Batman
+ 5.1% – Harley Quinn
+ 4.1% – Justice League
+ 1.8& – The Multiversity
+ 1.1% – He-Man Eternity War (He-Man and the MotU)
– 1.9% – Superman
– 9.0% – Astro City
– 10.8% – Batman Eternal
– 11.0% – New 52 Futures End
– 11.2% – Batman ’66
– 16.1% – American Vampire
– 16.7% – Superman/Wonder Woman
– 25.1% – Batwoman Annual
– 38.2% – Earth 2 World’s End
– 38.8% – Sensation Comics feat. Wonder Woman
– 50.1% – Arrow Season 2.5
– 56.8% – Flash Season Zero
















1 year comparisons
===================

+ 45.3% – Wonder Woman
+ 41.1% – Superman
+ 20.3% – Batman
+ 14.1% – Harley Quinn
– 0.7% – Justice League
– 8.6% – He-Man Eternity War (He-Man and the MotU)
– 11.7% – Superman/Wonder Woman
– 18.3% – Astro City
– 21.1% – Batman ’66
– 28.1% – American Vampire
– 48.3% – Batman Eternal









2 year comparisons
===================

+ 8.4% – Superman
– 0.8% – Batman
– 2.8% – Wonder Woman
– 17.1% – Arrow
– 22.3% – Justice League
– 54.0% – He-Man Eternity War (He-Man and the MotU)




5 year comparisons
===================

+115.2% – Batman
+ 77.5% – Wonder Woman
+ 58.7% – Superman
+ 25.7% – Justice League (Justice League of America)
– 54.2% – American Vampire



10 year comparisons
===================

+110.3% – Batman
+ 48.4% – Wonder Woman
+ 22.5% – Justice League (JLA)
– 54.7% – Superman


Sales Indices
=============

DCU: Average: 50,135. Median: 40,337.

3.1 – Convergence 0
2.9 – Convergence 1
2.6 – Batman
2.5 – Convergence 2
2.4 – Convergence 3
2.3 – Convergence 4
1.6 – Justice League
1.4 – Harley Quinn
1.4 – Convergence Harley Quinn
1.3 – Convergence Justice League
1.2 – Convergence Batman Shadow of the Bat
1.1 – Convergence Batman and Robin
1.1 – The Multiversity
1.1 – Superman
1.0 – Convergence Superman
1.0 – Convergence Nightwing/Oracle
0.9 – Batman Eternal
0.9 – Convergence Batgirl
0.9 – Convergence Green Lantern/Parallax
0.9 – Convergence Justice League of America
0.9 – Convergence Flash
0.9 – Convergence Action Comics
0.9 – Wonder Woman
0.9 – Convergence Wonder Woman
0.9 – Convergence Batman and the Outsiders
0.9 – Convergence New Teen Titans
0.9 – Convergence Suicide Squad
0.9 – Convergence Speed Force
0.8 – Convergence Titans
0.8 – Convergence Adventures of Superman
0.8 – Superman/Wonder Woman
0.8 – Batman and Robin Annual
0.8 – Convergence Shazam
0.8 – Convergence Justice Society of America
0.8 – Convergence Justice League International
0.8 – Convergence Aquaman
0.7 – Convergence Green Lantern Corps
0.7 – Convergence Green Arrow
0.7 – Convergence Catwoman
0.7 – Convergence Superman: The Man of Steel
0.7 – Convergence Supergirl: Matrix
0.7 – Convergence The Question
0.7 – Convergence Booster Gold
0.7 – Convergence Crime Syndicate
0.7 – Convergence Superboy
0.7 – Convergence Superboy and The Legion of Super-Heroes
0.7 – Convergence Swamp Thing
0.7 – Convergence The Atom
0.7 – Convergence Hawkman
0.6 – Convergence World’s Finest Comics
0.6 – The New 52 – Futures End
0.6 – Batman/Superman Annual
0.6 – Convergence Plastic Man and The Freedom Fighters
0.6 – Convergence Infinity Inc.
0.5 – Earth 2 World’s End
0.5 – Arkham Manor Endgame
0.5 – Gotham Academy Endgame
0.5 – Teen Titans Annual
0.4 – Sinestro Annual
0.3 – Batwoman Annual


























































Vertigo: Average: 7,257*. Median: 6,352*

1.7 – American Vampire
1.6 – Astro City
1.4 – Suiciders
1.2 – Fables: The Wolf Among Us
0.9 – Wolf Moon
0.9 – Strange SPorts Stories *
0.9 – Vertigo Quarterly SFX *
0.8 – Coffin Hill *
0.7 – Effigy *
0.7 – The Kitchen *
0.7 – The Names *
0.7 – Hinterkind *










Digital First & Other: Average: 12,016*. Median: 11,007*

2.1 – Batman Arkham Knight 2
1.9 – Batman Arkham Knight 3
1.2 – Injustice Annual
1.2 – Mortal Kombat X
1.2 – Batman ’66
1.0 – He-Man Eternity War
0.9 – Sensation Comics feat. Wonder Woman
0.8 – Flash Season Zero
0.7 – Arrow Season 2.5
0.7 – Teen Titans Go!
0.5 – Infinite Crisis: Fight for the Multiverse *
0.4 – Scooby-Doo Where Are You? *
0.2 – Looney Tunes











The Fine Print (Disclaimers, et cetera)

The numbers above are estimates for comic-book sales in the North American direct market, as calculated by ICv2.com according to the chart and index information provided by Diamond Comic Distributors.

ICv2.com’s estimates are somewhat lower than the actual numbers, but they are consistent from month to month, so the trends they show are fairly accurate. Since it’s a “month-to-month” column, the comments, unless otherwise noted, are on the most recent month.

Bear in mind that the figures measure sales of physical comics to retailers, not customers. Also, these numbers do not include sales to bookstores, newsstands, other mass-market retail chains or the United Kingdom. Re-orders are included, so long as they either reached stores in a book’s initial calendar month of release or were strong enough to make the chart again in a subsequent month. Keep in mind that sales for some titles may include incentives to acquire variants and not every unit sold is necessarily even intended to be sold to a customer.

If additional copies of an issue did appear on the chart after a book’s initial calendar month of release, you can see the total number of copies sold in brackets behind those issues (e.g. “[36,599]”). Should more than one issue have shipped in a month which is relevant for one of the long-term comparisons, the average between them will be used.

Titles which are returnable have their numbers artificially adjusted down by Diamond. To make up for that this column increases the reported numbers for those titles by 10%. Which is likely also wrong, but it’s a different and likely less wrong kind of wrong, and experience has shown that this leads to sales figures which are more consistent.

Titles released under the All-Ages line and magazines, such as Mad, mostly sell through channels other than the direct market, so direct-market sales don’t tell us much about their performance. For most Vertigo titles, collection sales tend to be a significant factor, so the numbers for those books should be taken with a grain of salt as well. To learn (a little) more about Vertigo’s collection sales, go right here.

Please keep in mind that raw sales numbers do not tell us about how profitable a book is for a publisher or for the creators.

Above all, do not allow sales numbers to dictate your purchasing and enjoyment of a particular comic. If you enjoy reading a comic series then go right on buying and reading that comic, no matter what the sales figures say.

** Two asterisks after a given month in the average charts mean that one or more periodical release did not make the Top 300/400 chart in that month. In those cases, it’s assumed that said releases sold as many units as the No. 300/400 comic on the chart for that month for the purposes of the chart, although its actual sales are likely to be less than that.

Opinions expressed in this column are mine alone, and do not necessarily reflect those of my employer, Heidi MacDonald or anyone at The Comics Beat, the American Association of Candy Technologists, or my former neighbor’s dog Miles.

The author of this column does weekly snapshots of Amazon comic sales charts at http://yetanothercomicsblog.blogspot.com/ and tweets about comics and related subjects on Twitter at @davereadscomics (PM me there is you need to contact me).

As always, we welcome your comments and corrections below. Please try to keep things civilized.

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24. Batman: Arkham Knight gets a Harley Quinn Trailer

It’s June! Summer! Batman!

The game gamers and comic fans alike have been waiting for releases on June 23rd. Rocksteady, the studio behind Batman: Arkham Knight aren’t going to make waiting easy. Today they’ve released a special trailer showcasing the pre-order Harley Quinn content.

Harley gets her own unique skill set complete with her own version of the game’s “detective vision” and takedowns. In addition, her content will also have story missions that add a sliver to the game’s narrative. The current DC Comics digital weekly prequel series Batman: Arkham Knight has seen the character scar Lucius Fox and align herself with the Penguin to invade Wayne Enterprises, if her in-game story missions have anything to do with this remain to be seen.

The Harley Quinn DLC pack is available free for anyone who pre-orders Batman: Arkham Knight from any retailer. Various other bonuses are available depending on which retailer you choose to order from, such as Gamestop offering the exclusive Red Hood pack.

With all the early bonus content and the optional $40 season pass add-ons, Arkham Knight is looking to pour a gallon of comic goodness into the shot glass of our attention spans. So set aside some time away from loved ones to play it.

Batman: Arkham Knight launches worldwide on June 23, 2015 for the Xbox One, PS4, and PC.

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25. WB Film exec: “The filmmakers … are making great movies about superheroes; they aren’t making superhero movies.”

201506031500.jpg
[image via Heroic HOllywood]

Warner Bros film head Greg Silverman was interviewed for The Hollywood Reporter about the ongoing Harry Potter and Lego franchises and, oh yes, the DC movies. As as usual the “how are you different from Marvel?” question comes up. And it’s all about master filmmakers, perhaps a meow about Marvel’s more generic—and massively successful—take?

We have a great strategy for the DC films, which is to take these beloved characters and put them in the hands of master filmmakers and make sure they all coordinate with each other. You’ll see the difference when you see Batman v. Superman, Suicide Squad, Justice League and all the things that we are working on.

There were some complaints that the Batman v. Superman trailer was too dark. Is this a trademark of a DC superhero film in the post-Dark Knight era?

There is intensity and a seriousness of purpose to some of these characters. The filmmakers who are tackling these properties are making great movies about superheroes; they aren’t making superhero movies. And when you are trying to make a good movie, you tackle interesting philosophies and character development. There’s also humor, which is an important part.


Oh good there is a chance to laugh amid the rain and thunder. To be fair Suicide Squad does look quite different and should generate grim ironic laughter at times. Silverman also discusses Wonder Woman and is asked why so many different screenwriters were tasked with doing different takes:

You’ve ruffled some feathers hiring competing writers to work on some projects at the same time, such as with Wonder Woman. What’s the strategy?

Every project is different. On some projects, we have multiple writers working together. In some cases, we put writers together who have never been a team together. And sometimes, there is only one writer whose voice is right. In the case of Wonder Woman, the right approach was to have writers pitching different scenes within the framework we created.

Without knowing what the others were up to?

Correct. They came to me and said they wanted to try this approach. I don’t know how much collaboration and noncollaboration was going on. Treating writers well is a massive priority at this studio. I’d be very shocked if writers weren’t treated with respect and grace.


Translation: throw it against the wall and see what sticks.

I should also note that Umberto Gonzalez’s Heroic Hollywood website is up and running and he’s dropping all kinds of info on DC and Marvel stuff, mostly some spoiler details like what KIND of weapon Batman is using against Superman. Hint: very sneaky Batman.

6 Comments on WB Film exec: “The filmmakers … are making great movies about superheroes; they aren’t making superhero movies.”, last added: 6/5/2015
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