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DC Comics’ practice of ditching numerous titles seemingly every other month has become a joke among comic book readers. Now, I’m happy to report another punch line as four more titles are axed by DC this month. Unsurprising considering these are the four series that were shown as the lowest-selling books in Diamond’s April 2013 sales estimates.
The first book cancelled in this quartet is Legion of Super-Heroes. Throughout its two year long run this series has had trouble staying afloat. The series looks at the future heroes of the DC Universe in the 30th century. The superhero team consisted of Brainiac 5, Phantom Girl, Cosmic Boy, Lightening Lad, Bouncing Boy and others who fought to keep the world safe. I’m surprised the numbers were so low considering the Legion of Super-Heroes has had a television show in the past and there was an episode about the Legion in the Justice League Unlimited cartoon, “Far From Home,” which featured Brainiac 5 and Supergirl. This series was the second series in the DC Comics line-up that featured young heroes. The cancellations of the series means there is only one DC Comics series left featuring all young heroes: Teen Titans. Maybe they should try adding another teenage superhero team to their roster?
Legion of Super-Heroes will end with issue #23 and will be on sale August 21st. The writer is Paul Levitz with art provided by Kevin Maguire. Apparently, the issue is going to change the future of the DC Universe – while its own ends in cancellation.
The next series to be put under the ax is one of DC Comics few fantasy titles: Demon Knights. The series featured Jason Blood and his more ferocious half, the demon Etrigan, and also showed the DC Universe being built during medieval times. There were several drops in the sales of Demon Knights these last few months which lead to its cancellation. The final issue will also be #23. It will be written by Robert Venditti, who is going to be the new ongoing writer for Green Lantern soon, with art by Chad Hardin and Wayne Faucher. It’s set to be released on August 14th. The issue is about the knights, who are trying to protect the Holy Grail and reveals the fate of Black Diamond.
Next up is a book written by noted fantasy writer China Mieville: Dial H. The book was edited by Vertigo editor Karen Berger who recently quit her role as Executive Editor and Senior Vice President of Vertigo back in March and she likewise stopped editing the series after issue ten of Dial H, which was released in the same month. The book never sold very well, but has an interesting premise. The H-Dial is an artifact that can allow the person who uses it to become a superhero for a short period of time. Each time the dial is used it will transform the person into a new superhero with different powers. It sounds similar to the omnitrix from Ben 10. This actually sounds like an entertaining idea for a comic book series. But even an idea that sounds entertaining and a reworked origin for Batman in their thirteenth issue couldn’t save this series.
Dial H didn’t last as long as Demon Knights or Legion of Super-Heroes and will be finished with issue 15, which is extra-sized and supposedly gives readers all the answers they wanted along with more questions – sounds like it’s going to end with a cliffhanger that can never be hung. Plus, the entire universe is apparently at risk. The writer for the issue is still China Mieville with help art-wise from Alberto Ponticelli and Dan Green. It will be released on August 7th.
The final and shortest series to be washed away from the New 52 is a title that didn’t even last a year: Threshold. It was started back in January. Like Static Shock and Blackhawks before it, Threshold only lasted eight issues. It is a science-fiction series and was a spin-off from Green Lantern: New Guardians Annual #1. It starred Captain Carrot and the Zoo Crew, Blue Beetle and had back-up stories featuring the orange lantern Larfleeze until he got his own series to play in after issue 5. Then it featured Star Hawkins in back-up stories.
Threshold #8 will be released on August 14th and will be written by Keith Giffen with artwork by Tom Ranye and Phil Windlade. There will also be a back-up story with artwork from Timothy Green II and Joseph Silver. The heroes’ journey finally ends with death and a new villain appears. It’s unfortunate for writer Keith Giffen the series had to end. He was planning on using it to bring back several other space characters including the Omega Men (whose series featured the first appearance of Lobo), Space Ranger, Lady Styx, and Space Cabbie.
These cancellations were not surprising. None of these titles were doing well and DC has cut titles that have done better. This time around I had no attachment to any of these series save for my experience with Demon Knights #1, which caused me to unsubscribe from Demon Knights when it presented a bizarre love triangle that I had no interest in seeing. Even the fact that I saw a lot of Legion‘s television counterpart I didn’t add the series to my pull-list. But my geeky heart goes out to anyone who lost a series they loved in this pack.
To see more titles that were axed by DC Comics, check out DC Comics April 2013 Cancellations and DC Comics May 2013 Cancellations. More are bound to be next. What do you think they could be? The only titles that I think are safe are any featuring Superman or Batman… though Superman/Batman didn’t have a very good initial reception…