After the news, reported earlier this year here at Ready Steady Cut, that AT&T bought Warner, meaning they also bought DC comics, we knew that changes may arrive at the publishing arm of the company.
Cosmic Book News reports that a new line of comics from DC will be featuring some of the company’s most well-known characters, but with a new twist, in an oversized Black Label style format, and with a $7.99 price tag.
The titles featuring a new Batman, with Luke Fox under the cowl, a new Superman, really Jonathon Kent, a new Flash, Captain Boomerang’s son, and a Teen Lantern Green Lantern spin-off, will have extra content and a hugely inflated price.
With comics already more a luxury than a casual purchase, you have to ask why such a marketing decision would be made in the first place?
Sales of comics are down, and the current price of $3.99 for single issues, $4.99 for card stock covers and often $9.99 for 80-page specials seem to be the only thing keeping the numbers afloat.
The waters may have already been tested by DC with products such as Batman Damned and Superman Year One, but these are 3-issue mini-series’ that fans may pick up on the assumption that these are quality products that do not replace the ongoing titles. Will fans pay 8 bucks for new ongoing titles? That remains to be seen, but the emphasis here may be on producing a regular high-priced series that will help balance the books at DC and let the executives at AT&T see that the publishing arm of their newly acquired company can make decent money.
The other elephant in the room may be the decline in the number of comic book shops. A lot of comic book stores closing down is a terrible loss for the industry, but finely produced oversized books, with solid spines, more like a graphic novel, may be easier to sell in other outlets such as book stores or Walmart style supermarkets.
Whatever the rumors are just now, it would seem that DC is definitely looking into new ways to sell their product, and that may be an indication that the old way is falling short.