According to the sketchbook material in Justice League #1, the costumes could have been even more unnecessarily complicated.

§ September 2nd, 2011 § Filed under justice league, retailing, this week's comics § 18 Comments

So yes, we sold out of the first issue of Justice League, the vanguard title for DC’s rebootalaunch, and orders have already been placed for the second printing. Had a few new faces come into the shop looking for it, had plenty of our regulars pick it up, and have been receiving calls from out-of-towners trying to track it down as their local suppliers ran dry. That kind of momentum isn’t going to keep up, of course, as media coverage dwindles and first-issue fatigue starts to set in as wave after wave of debuts hit the racks…but at least it shows some interest is there, and that DC’s new publishing initiative isn’t falling flat on its face saleswise from the get-go.

An interesting thing I’ve noted is the number of people asking when those next #1s were due to come out, and how surprised they were when I told them DC would be releasing several #1s every week for the next month. So apparently DC was successful in getting the word out there that there was a new Justice League #1, that there would be more #1s to follow, but not when they were coming? Or perhaps I just had a string of folks who happened to miss that bit of info. Or even more likely, people were still in denial that they have 51 more first issues headed their way. “Tell me it’s not true…it can’t be true!”

About the Justice League itself…well, yeah, as our intro to this new DC Universe continuity, it’s a little underwhelming. Superheroes meet, they fight, we get teased with the supervillain threat, oh hey there’s Superman, and suddenly “to be continued.” All very by-the-numbers, with nothing to intrigue or inspire the imagination. I mean, it looks okay, with Jim Lee turning in a respectable art job on this issue, even if Superman’s new costume continues to appear unnecessarily rejiggered. And I’m calling “no way” on Batman being able to yank Green Lantern’s ring off his hand without GL noticing. I mean, come on.

DC’s other release this week was Flashpoint #5, the conclusion of the whole crossover event hoohar that introduced this new DC Universe. I hadn’t read any of the previous issues of the mini, and the only tie-in minis I read were the Frankenstein series (which seemed to have very little to do with it) and Project Superman (the reasons for which I explained previously). However, having read plenty of superhero comics in my life, I don’t feel like I missed anything by not reading the first four issues of the series. I can pretty safely extrapolate how they got to this point, I think. But anyway, the only reason I did pick up Flashpoint #5 was for the Swamp Thing cameos. …Yeah, I know.

I was discussing DC’s new publishing strategy yesterday with a longtime customer of mine, and he was wondering when DC would switch everything back to the way things were, including continuity, issue numbering, etc. My response was that if things went badly enough that this new strategy clearly wasn’t working, this wouldn’t be the kind of problem that would be solved by reverting to the old issue numbers and the old DCU. As I said on this site before, this whole thing smacks of a “nothing left to lose” decision, that is was either this or “might as well shutter the publishing arm and give our characters to the movie and TV studios so they can make real money with them.” No idea if that’s actually the case, though this article [EDIT: link dead] makes it seem like it is.

At the very least, DC’s efforts are generating some activity and discussion among our customers, and that certainly doesn’t hurt. Whether it helps in the long run…well, let’s hope so.

Revised March 2021

18 Responses to “According to the sketchbook material in Justice League #1, the costumes could have been even more unnecessarily complicated.”

  • Rich says:

    “An interesting thing I’ve noted is the number of people asking when those next #1s were due to come out, and how surprised they were when I told them DC would be releasing several #1s every week for the next month.”

    I saw this happen yesterday. Woman came in the store and presented a list of five #1 issues she wanted to the clerk. He looked it over, indicated that only one was out and the others would be released gradually throughout September. She was not happy, but did buy the Justice League issue.

  • Nate says:

    I really hope this neologism takes off.

  • Frowny says:

    Geoff Johns writing anything to do with the Fourth World doesn’t inspire me with much confidence.

  • adam barnett says:

    I can remember when a first issue was a big deal. Nowadays… meh.

    This current version of the JLA is too much of the same. I don’t mind having the A-listers on it, but the JLA has always been about promoting the less popular characters as well. I’ll wait for the TPB.

  • philip says:

    Any word on how many digital copies of Justice League #1 have been downloaded (legally)? It will be interesting to see what happens with the digital half of this “rebootalaunch”.

  • BobH says:

    “And I’m calling “no way” on Batman being able to yank Green Lantern’s ring off his hand without GL noticing. I mean, come on.”

    Plus, isn’t that stealing a riff from ALL-STAR BATMAN? You’d think Jim Lee would remember that considering I think he only drew one or two comics between that and JL #1.

  • Doc Arkham says:

    I’m curious as to how much you upped your orders for the reloot?

  • Boosterrific says:

    Mike, besides the question of how having the hottest artist of 20 years ago draw a book where essentially nothing happens is supposed to get the kiddies excited, I’ve got a bigger question. It seems to me that DC has been telling us that part of the reason for this whole rebootalaunch is because retailers aren’t doing their job finding new customers (probably true: I don’t live in a major city, but all the comic stores I know of are really gaming stores with some reading material for between matches), and it seems I hear retailers saying it’s because DC’s business model and storytelling are alienating their readers (of which I am certainly one: now I have to wait six issues to finish a story the bronze age Batman would have tackled in one?). Do you have any insight into the validity of this back and forth argument? You run a store: will you be closing the doors if this whatever-DC-is-calling-it doesn’t take off because your comic sales have flatlined?

  • Dj Sloofus says:

    Mike, you are the man. Keep that freak flag flying!

  • Stewman says:

    Thanks for ruining the villain before I’ve read it…

  • Mike,

    As recently related on Jim Shooter’s blog (although, I DO recall reading about such rumors waaaay back when they were happening) Warner Bros. has tried on a few occasions to get MARVEL (of all people) to handle the publishing of the DC characters, since DC is frequently a loss for the Warner Bros megacomplex.

    Well, those occasions were in the 1970’s and 1980’s, and now, with the movie/tv/vid-game/toy money being where it REALLY is, I can almost believe DC cutting back to a bare-bones publishing framework and letting the I.P. people just do what they do to sell licenses and whatnot.

    But, that all said, as a defunct, former, partial-DC reader, I AM a bit excited by the new JLDark and a few other new series. SO… they DID get ME to peek over to their side of the fence.


  • Mikester says:

    Doc Arkham – We ordered about five times what we normally order on Justice League of America.

    Boosterific – I think maybe I’ll address your questions in a future post. Watch this space!

    Dj Sloofus – Um…thanks! I shall continue to fly my freak flag in such a way as to maintain my The Man-ness.

    Stewman – Urk. Sorry about that. Have edited the post to remove the spoiler.

  • pedro de pacas says:

    @Stewman – You should have known better than to read a review of an issue you haven’t read yet!

  • Happenstance says:

    Want to see Superman’s costume “unnecessarily rejiggered?” Check out the new photos from “The Man of Steel,” which I shall henceforth refer to a “Superdick, er, ee,” or “Joel Schumacher Envy.”

  • Chris G says:

    It’s almost like the trunks on the suit were there for a reason or something!

  • Dallas Senosco says:

    I’ll try to glom on to Boosterific and ask in a theoretical way the following–>

    Does it make any lick of retail sense to be out of a fairly big comic after 1 day?
    Is/was there a program through Diamond/DC that could get you more comics as quick as Fri/Sat or Monday 9/5?
    I assume that you won’t get the reorder till the week of September 12, so how many sales are lost?
    Have you done anything to change the orders for the rest of September now that this happened?
    Does the system of ordering/printing comics just not compute? (I know there is/was a liberal return policy)
    Is it too much to ask DC to have a pile of extra copies of JLA ready to be shipped out. Or does a reprint business model and the new, variant covers make more sense for all parties involved, including the general public getting their greasy hands on this over-priced, under-written 4-color superhero funny book.

  • Dan Latta says:

    Wow… so you’re saying they still make comic books?

  • David G says:

    I had assumed there were lots of #1s coming out in this batch too. I was disappointed that it was only JLA. Then again, I looked at the titles, and thought “Meh”. Seriously Hawk and Dove again? How many times has that title bombed?