Wednesday, August 29, 2007

DC Showcase Presents: What's Going On?

A little stir has started over DC's cancellation of pre-orders on several eagerly anticipated Showcase Presents editions, as reported here. I was planning on getting all five of the titles: Captain Carrot, Suicide Squad, The Great Disaster, Secret Society of Super-Villains, and Jonah Hex Vol. 2. I was especially looking forward to the SSOV volume, which was to reprint the issues of that series previously published only in the notoriously rare Cancelled Comics Cavalcade. DC states in their press release that these will be resolicited in the future, and I sincerely hope that this is the case--that the postponement is simply due to production delays or some other manageable problem.

However, the pessimist in me fears that this is another sign of bad times at DC. As commenters on the Newsarama forum and elsewhere have mentioned, all of these books contain work published after the "1976-wall," where DC significantly raised its royalty rates. DC still seems to be planning to publish the Batman and the Outsiders volume, which also falls after that date, so it may only be a coincidence. There may also be other reasons that the BATO book is going forward, but I have to think that the royalty cost is a factor here in the cancellation or postponement of the other books. I was surprised when these books were solicited in the first place: I had heard that the 1976 cut-off was the reason for the first Jonah Hex volume containing the odd Outlaw reprints, as well as the reason why there were no plans for a Warlord Showcase. If these books don't come back on the schedule, that may mean DC is going to steer clear of reprinting post-1976 comics in the cheap Showcase volumes, which would be sad. The only exceptions might be Batman- or Superman-related reprints.

I may be over-reacting here. Or I may just be nervous because DC might be cancelling reprints of material from the "DC Implosion" era of the mid-70s, and the irony is just too much for me.

I want to add how much I love these Showcase Presents volumes. Last Christmas, the Other Dr. K put stacks of these under the tree, and I was as happy as a little kid. (And I may get halfway through all those books by the time next Christmas comes around.)

Also, this little tidbit from the press release seems to have escaped others' notice:


TALES OF THE SINESTRO CORPS PRESENTS: THE ANTI-MONITOR #1 (AUG070223) will arrive in store with the title TALES OF THE SINESTRO CORPS PRESENTS: SUPERMAN PRIME #1. This issue now will run 48 pages and feature a cover price of $3.99 U.S.

The most important item here: DC seems to have settled on the name "Superman Prime" for the character formerly known as "Superboy Prime." Though it's unfortunate that a name change had to occur at all, the new name is infinitely better than the annoying "Prime" or all the other awkward ways DC was trying to get around the legal restrictions of using the name "Superboy." I wonder, though, why they merged two separate Tales of the Sinestro Corps books into one. It seems like a good idea, regardless.


Jim Shelley said...

Dr. K said:

I may be over-reacting here. Or I may just be nervous because DC might be cancelling reprints of material from the "DC Implosion" era of the mid-70s, and the irony is just too much for me.

Talked with Phil about this article the other day and we both agree with you - there is something going on at DC that will bear watching.

movie said...

DC Comics was instead experiencing ongoing poor sales in winter 1977. This has been attributed in part to blizzards in 1977 and 1978.[citation needed] In response, company executives ordered that titles with marginal sales and several new series still in development be canceled. During these meetings, it was decided that DC Comics' long-running flagship title Detective Comics was to be canceled with #480, until the decision was overturned and Detective was instead merged with the better-selling Batman Family.