So after one day, it’s probably too soon to tell how Justice League of America #1 is selling, though unsurprisingly it’s the California and the American flag covers that are the most in demand at our shop. Mostly I seem to be getting the incredulous “wait, they really did 53 covers on this thing?” response from customers, and who can blame them, really?
I did sell one of those complete factory packs of all 53 variants to a customer, and the retail price on those packs is like a $60 savings over buying each cover individually. In fact, when I was figuring out our wholesale costs on these things, it turns out the per-unit cost difference between buying Justice League of America #1s individually and getting them as part of that complete pack is…52 cents. DC’s really carrying that “New 52” thing to the extreme.
Okay, it’s just a coincidence, based on our particular discount levels, but that was a good way to encourage retailers to carry all the covers by offering them at such a significant discount in that complete package. In fact, it was such a discount that I triple-checked the numbers to make sure I wasn’t making some kind of terrible mistake. (Yeah, yeah, “aside from ordering Justice League of America #1,” I know, wiseguys.)
Well, we’ll see if I have any specific requests or any odd trends of demand in the sale of this comic over the next week or so. Will everyone want that New Jersey variant? Will no one please buy the lonely, lonely Rhode Island variant? …I guess I’ll find out soon enough.
One of the things I’ve been sort of half-following over the years is what kind of language is becoming more acceptable in your more-or-less general audiences comic book. Having a character exclaim “Jesus Christ!” in your Green Lantern comic, as Kyle Rayner does in Green Lantern: New Guardians #17 (explicitly as an expression of shock, and not as someone using that as a proper name specifically to refer to Jesus as He pops up during a battle with, I don’t know, Goldface, though that would be pretty shocking in its own right) is probably not the sort of thing that would have flown under the purview of even the mostly-toothless Comics Code Authority as of a few years back. This isn’t the first example of this sort of religiously-themed exclamation I’ve noticed of late, and I don’t mention it out of some sense of prudery, but rather out of interest in what language is permissible and what companies believe their perceived audiences to be.
I think the first place I noticed language a little stronger beyond the usual “hells” and “damns” in your typical superhero book was during the Giffen/DeMatteis era Justice League, in which Guy Gardner says that he’s “pissed off.” (Clark Kent also dropped a “pissed off” in Action #838 back in 2006, which I’ve noted briefly on the site in the past, and I still don’t buy it as something he’d say.)
And of course, there’s this.
(Before you bring it up…I don’t consider the thing in All-Star Batman — you know what I’m talking about — to be part of the trend, as All-Star Batman was more of a special project than an example of a typical monthly superhero comic. God knows it wasn’t monthly.)
Speaking of hells and damns:
Well, this comic straight up gives you “fucking” on page one, a word you likely won’t be seeing in the ongoing DC Universe “New 52” Constantine series that will be attempting to fill that Hellblazer-shaped hole on the stands.
It’s been a good run, Hellblazer, and I’m sorry to see you go. I bought your first issue off the rack back in the late ’80s, and I stayed with you all the way to the end. I’m still not sure how I feel about the wrap-up to your Vertigo run…I may need to go back and reread your last year or so and see how it all holds together…but I think it holds true to the character we’ve all known and followed for all these years.
Okay, enough talking directly to the comic book. It’s somewhat satisfying to have a complete set of Hellblazer, terrifying as it is to realize I read each issue, month by month, for its entire run. And I really don’t mind the existence of the DC Universe Constantine series…I’ve been enjoying the character’s involvement in the surprisingly entertaining Justice League Dark, and the announcement of Jeff Lemire joining Constantine as writer has only increased my interest. And after 300 issues of the Vertigo run and all that entails, I don’t mind a different direction for a while. It seems unlikely we’ll get 300 issues of Constantine, but I suspect I’ll enjoy it while it exists.
Also this week, we had Classic Popeye #7:
I’m sorry for all the swearing in this post, Popeye. I know you swore in your comics, too, but at least you had the class to use &@$*%! unlike poor ol’ classless me.