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Showing posts 0-5 of 22 matching: cancellation

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Grumble Grumble

DC Comics released solicitations for November 2017 earlier this week. If you don't already have it in digital or floppy form, you'll soon have a third chance to see Booster's final, one-panel cameo appearance in Smallville continuity courtesy of the aptly-titled Smallville Season Eleven Volume 9: Continuity. That looks like about our only chance to see our hero in November. My question is "Why?"

Let's look at the bigger picture. Based on available numbers assembled by ComcisBeat.com and ComicChron.com, DC Universe titles have seen hard copy periodical sales fall by more than 21% over the past decade (and more than 42% since Rebirth's initial bump). Trade collections prop those numbers up slightly (adding 2% in either case), but not nearly enough to cover the full difference. Do digital sales make up that shortfall, or it simply a case that fewer people care to read DCnU titles these days? I certainly don't, and the primary reason is the continued absence of one particular character. (Hint, hint.)

DC doesn't exactly look to be taking that bad news lying down. Looking at solicitations, you'll see several new DCnU comics coming in November featuring lesser-known heroes. Black Lightning shines again in Black Lightning: Cold Dead Hands. The Demon is back in The Demon:Hell on Earth. Zatanna reappears in Mystik U. Even Batman's latest (and most lazily-named) protege, The Signal, is getting some love with Batman and the Signal.

While it is a good idea to inject new characters into the publishing line up, all of those are mini-series. You'd almost think DC was afraid of commitment. (Why wouldn't they be? Even death is impermanent in the DCU.) However, the company seems equally unwilling to drop the hammer on underperforming ongoing titles to make room for new ones.

In June (the most recent month for which numbers are available) the company had 3 ongoing titles that undersold the lowest selling issue of Booster Gold volume 2 (Booster Gold #43 in 2011). New Superman and Blue Beetle had June issues very near DC's pre-Flashpoint cancellation threshold. The worst performing of the three, Cyborg, is doing worse than its pre-Rebirth numbers, and it was trending below the old threshold then! Judging by November solicitations, all of these will continue into November with no cancellation, taking up valuable opportunities for titles with a chance to spark interest in new readers.

I don't mean to suggest that returning Booster Gold to action would reverse any of those negative sales trends for the company, but I do suggest it couldn't hurt. At worst, Booster Gold can outsell Cyborg! I can name at least one reader who would be picking up more DCnU books if Booster Gold was around.

Comments (0) | Add a Comment | Tags: bleedingcool.com cancellation comichron.com comicsbeat.com sales solicitations

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Spring Break

DC Comics finally released April solicitations with the much ballyhooed price increases on Monday. Most monthly titles are going up from $2.99 to $3.99. (Did they have to jump a whole dollar? Golly, am I glad I'm not buying many comics anymore.)

As in too many past months, there's no sign that Booster Gold will be anywhere, not even in any of the company's trade paperbacks. Therefore, we're still waiting for Booster Gold to make his first appearance in the Reborn DCU.

On the bright side, at least Booster Gold fans don't have to worry about what that price hike might do to our comic buying budgets. So there's that.

Comments (0) | Add a Comment | Tags: cancellation pricing solicitations

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

What We Learned From Blue Beetle Issue 4

The fourth issue of the fourth DC Comics volume of Blue Beetle was released one week ago today. Since this issue finally got an origin story for the "Rebirth" versions of all three Blue Beetles, let's run a quick recap.

In 1966, Ted Kord inherited the mantle of the Blue Beetle from his predecessor, Dan Garret. Although Garret did not give Kord the magical scarab that gave Blue Beetle his powers, Kord made do with advanced technology making up for the lost abilities.

In 1986, it was revealed that Kord had found the scarab, but it never worked for him. The new hero Booster Gold would soon become Ted Kord's partner in crimefighting and his best friend.

In 2006, Jaime Reyes found the scarab after Ted Kord's death. He soon learns that the scarab wasn't actually magical but was instead a malfunctioning alien device. Booster Gold locates Reyes and introduces him to the super hero community.

In 2012, in the wake of the universe-changing Flashpoint, Dan Garret and Ted Kord are erased from history. Jaime Reyes becomes the first (and only) Blue Beetle when he comes into contact with an alien scarab following a heist by the Brotherhood of Evil. There is no connection between Booster Gold and Blue Beetle in the New 52 Universe.

In 2016, after yet another universe rebooting Rebirth, Jamie Reyes comes into contact with an alien scarab that was floating down a river. He is mentored by Ted Kord, a retired super hero who once called himself the Blue Beetle after a chance encounter with his neighbor, the previous possessor of Reyes' scarab. There appears to still be no connection between Booster Gold and Blue Beetle in the Rebirth Universe.

But note: for the first time, Booster Gold predates Blue Beetle. Kord name drops "Booster Gold" as a bad example for a name when trying to think up his own moniker on page 17 of Blue Beetle Volume 4 #4.

© DC Comics

In the Rebirth Universe, Ted Kord has had time to develop his technology, become the Blue Beetle, and retire from heroics to mentor his successor. If Booster Gold has been around that whole time, what has he been doing? (It's been 519 days since we've last seen Booster Gold make any significant appearance within the DC Universe.) And why do they have to keep changing Jamie Reyes' origin story?

Despite my desire to see Blue Beetle and Booster Gold eventually reconciled, Blue Beetle volume 4 is not a series I can endorse. Keith Giffen's scripts are disjointed and meandering. Rather than resolve the confusion, Scott Kolins only muddies the water further with a loose art style that lacks any subtlety and makes comprehension a chore instead of a joy. (After four issues and a one-shot, I still don't know if the characters have freckles or bad acne. Perhaps the dots are fleas given how they relocate from panel to panel.)

For my money, Blue Beetle has been the biggest disappointment of Rebirth so far. So until Booster Gold is reintroduced to Ted Kord, I won't be paying much attention to the ever-changing origins of the Blue Beetles from now on.

Comments (3) | Add a Comment | Tags: blue beetle cancellation keith giffen scott kolins

Friday, September 23, 2016

Looking Forward to 2017

DC Comics Solicitations for December were released earlier this week. In the Boosterrific Forum, there has been some discussion about whether a Booster Gold guest appearance was teased for Blue Beetle #4.

The origin of Blue Beetle begins! Jaime relates the story of how he came to acquire the scarab on his back that grants him his powers and more is revealed about its magical foundation. Meanwhile, Ted Kord is tied up with a new arrival in El Paso—and wait till you see who it is! On sale DECEMBER 28

That's not a lot to go on, but it's the only title shipping in December that looks like Booster Gold even might be a fit. And if Booster doesn't show up in December, we're looking at over 500 days between appearances. Yee-ouch.

Comments (0) | Add a Comment | Tags: cancellation solicitations

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

406 Days and Counting

Today is Wednesday, and just like every other Wednesday for the past 58 weeks, there will be no new Booster Gold comic books at your Local Comic Shop.

Over the weekend, Russell Burlingame explored the questions of why this has happened and how it can be fixed in an article for ComicBook.com.

Burlingame isn't alone in wondering whatever happened to Booster Gold. Last week, Kieran Shiach of ComicsAlliance listed Booster Gold as the number one DC property in need of a new comic. I agree!

Here's hoping we'll see our hero again before DC Comics has it's next reboot. (Although, at the rate they're going, even that will be sooner rather than later.) Booster Gold is too good a hero to leave on the sidelines for long.

Comments (2) | Add a Comment | Tags: cancellation comicbook.com comicsalliance.com kieran shiach russ burlingame


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