Here we have it. Another wave of DC solicitations. You know what that means, right? Another wave of New 52 cancellations.
Blue Beetle, Frankenstein: Agent of S.H.A.D.E., Grifter and Legion Lost are all slated to have their final issues in January. I believe this will bring the total of original New 52 titles now gone to 14 books. But I also doubt these or really any of the cancellations come as a surprise to anyone. All come from the lower end of the sales spectrum.
The only surprising thing here is that these are the only cancellations, as they are hardly alone down there on the sales chart.
Presumably, DC is hoping for a bit of a sales boost for Savage Hawkman coming from the launch of Justice League of America. There’s really no other reason to continue the long-suffering series. Despite never being a financial success, the critical success of I, Vampire must help keep it afloat. Hopefully, DC have something in mind to give it a boost too. I have no explanation for the continuation of Fury of Firestorm: the Nuclear Men. DC must have a lot of faith in making Firestorm solely a white guy to increase its popularity. As for DC Universe Presents, it’s possible that is being cancelled too. It’s hard to say, but the Black Lightning/Blue Devil story arc is being wrapped up in January.
It’s a shame about Jaime Reyes losing his second solo series. Personally, I always thought it was a mistake for the New 52 to restart the character from scratch. It doesn’t matter how well you write it. You’re still forcing fans to read an origin story they basically just read a few years ago. Fans weren’t asking for a slight reinvention of a wheel.
It should also be noted that the cancellation of Blue Beetle is another blow to the New 52’s attempts at diversity.
I suspect Frankenstein: Agent of S.H.A.D.E. simply found itself overshadowed by the great successes of Animal Man and Swamp Thing. DC was on the receiving end of a lot of praise for its Dark title launches. But what was mostly on people’s lips were Animal Man and Swamp Thing. Then Justice League Dark. Then I, Vampire. And then... Frankenstein: Agent of S.H.A.D.E.
Legion Lost was never really embraced due to starting out almost unreadable unless you were already a Legion reader. Grifter was just another case of a book that started out good but fell apart fast thanks to DC editorial.
Now, the real question is will DC keep to his 52 quota and replace the lost titles. We know Justice League of America is coming. We know Scott Snyder is coming along with a new Superman title. It will take more than that to keep DC’s output at 52 ongoing books, especially if DC Universe Presents doesn’t come back with a new story in February.
I'm sure DC could squeeze out some more Batman books to fill the gap.