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DC's New 52 Sales Charts: Death Watch Category


The Death Watch Category includes titles selling under 19,999 units a month.  The bad news is that there are 13 New 52 titles in this category.  That number is just one shy of the amount of New 52 titles in the Low Performers category and the second most titles of any of the categories.  The fact that the two largest categories of New 52 titles are the Low Performers and Death Watch Categories is not a positive sign for DC's New 52.  So, which New 52 titles are in danger of getting cancelled?  Read on and find out. 


Batwing is the weakest of all the Batman franchise related titles.  This title debuted at an unimpressive number and rapidly fell from there.  Batwing shed 19,750 readers between issue #1 and issue #5.  The title bottomed out in the 18,000 unit range before receiving the customary Court of Owls tie-in issue sales bump.  Unfortunately, Batwing was unable to retain any of those new readers as this title sunk right back down to the 18,000 unit range just three months later.  

Normally, I would say that Batwing is destined to get cancelled in the second year of the New 52.  Nobody was demanding this title prior to the relaunch and very few readers seem interested in buying Batwing.  However, DC has stated on the record that one of the purposes of the New 52 is to establish more minority characters.  DC has already cancelled Static Shock and Mr. Terrific.  I am not too sure they will want to give Batwing the axe as well.  Especially after just one year.  Add into the mix the fact that this is a Batman family title and I have a feeling that DC will be willing to hold their nose and look the other way when it comes to Batwing's pathetic sales numbers.  This title just might live through the entire second year of the New 52.


Blue Beetle is one of those characters that DC is seemingly far more in love with than DC's customers as DC has continually shoved this character down readers' throats despite the fact that Jamie Reyes' comics have never sold well at all.  DC tried once again with Jaime with the New 52 relaunch.  And guess what? The results were the same.  There simply is not the fan base in existence to support a comic starring Reyes.  DC may love him and badly want him to succeed, but that does not mean that they can will that into existence.  

Blue Beetle started out with an unimpressive debut sales number.  This title quickly hemorrhaged readers as it lost 20,736 readers between issue #1 and issue #4.  This title then bottomed out with issue #8 selling only 13,662 units.  Blue Beetle did get a 3,000 reader sales bump with issue #9.  However, it quickly dropped back into the 14,000 unit range with issue #10 and has hit its lowest sales number with issue #12 of a pathetic 13,325 units.  

Again, DC clearly loves this character.  And Jaime brings added diversity to the table as well since he is one of the extremely rare Hispanic super heroes in the DCnU.  So, that would lead me to believe that Blue Beetle might survive longer than if this was another white super hero title.  Still, these sales numbers are absolutely horrendous and I just cannot see DC continuing to take this type of loss for too long.  I think that Blue Beetle will eventually be cancelled in the second year of the New 52.


DC Universe Presents started with an unimpressive debut number and rapidly shed 19,233 readers between issue #1 and issue #4.  This title bottomed out and has seemingly stabilized in the 13,000-15,000 unit range over the past five months.  A comic that rotates characters is a neat idea.  A comic that rotates them only once or twice a year? Not such a neat idea.  DC has to either make this a title of one-shots or two-part stories starring lots of different characters in order to showcase various lower tier characters or they need to cancel it.  I am not to confident that this title is going to make it through the second year of the New 52.


Deathstroke is a title that DC surely thought they could use to steal away some Marvel readers.  This is the type of dark and violent title that embodies the New 52.  Unfortunately, DC's desires and reality have not intersected with Deathstroke.  This title posted an unimpressive debut number and quikly lost 18,595 between issue #1 and issue #4.  Deathstroke bottomed out in the 16,000 range with issue #8.  This title received a small 4,000 reader sales bump with issue #9 when the new creative team came aboard.  However, Deathstroke could not retain any of those readers as it dropped right back into the 16,000 unit range with issue #12.

Despite consistently poor sales numbers, I still have a feeling that Deathstroke will be given another chance.  I do think that DC believes that Deathstroke can become their answer to some of Marvel's anti-heroes.  I will admit that I love Deathstoke's character and think that this title has tons of potential and that it could be a solid seller with the proper creative team in place.  My gut tells me that DC plays with the creative team on this title and that Deathstroke does not get cancelled in the second year of the New 52.


Demon Knights started off with a poor debut sales numbers, but did actually get a sales bump with the second issue.  Unfortunately, this title plummeted from that point and lost almost 20,000 readers between issue #2 and issue #7.  Demon Knights has continued to decline in readership and with issue #12 it hit its lowest sales numbers of only 17,256 units.  This is a title that I simply do not see being able to grow a strong and steady readership.  I think given the fact the limited appeal of this title that DC will give Demon Knights the axe at some point in the second year of the New 52.


Ah, Firestorm.  Much like Blue Beetle, Firestorm is a character that DC desperately wants to see succeed in the New 52.  Unfortunately, much like Blue Beetle, the reality is that this character has very little reader support.  Even the move of bringing back the real Firestorm in Ronnie Raymond was unable to make this title sell any better than it did when Jason Rusch saw his Firestorm title cancelled in 2007.  

Firestorm started out with an average debut sales number and then the bottom absolutely fell out on this title as it bleed out a whopping 27,187 readers between issue #1 and issue #5.  This title has bottomed out in the 14,000 unit range where it has held steady for the past two months.  Again, Firestorm brings some diversity to the table, so I do understand by DC would be hesitant to cancel this title.  However, the sales numbers are so awful that I have a feeling that Firestorm will get the axe at some point in the second year of the New 52.


Frankenstein Agent of Shade is a niche title and got niche title sales from practically the start.  The debut number for this title was poor and the title shed readers fast before falling under 20,000 units with issue #6.  The title held steady in the 18,000-16,000 range before falling to its lowest sales number ever with issue #12 selling just 14,679.  I fully expect Frankenstein to get cancelled during the second year of the New 52.  This character is not an important part of the DCnU and I cannot see any real reason why DC would keep this title alive despite the horrible sales numbers.


Grifter.  Keeping alive the trend of Wildstorm titles selling like total crap.  This title had a poor debut sales numbers and fell below the 20,000 unit mark with issue #5.  This title held steady in the 16,00-14,000 unit range for five months before sinking to its lowest sales numbers ever of a mere 12,400 units with issue #12.  Jim Lee might have have thought combining his beloved Wildstorm characters into the New 52 was a great idea.  However, readers clearly think otherwise.  These sales numbers are wretched.  The only way that Grifter does not get cancelled in the second year of the New 52 is if Jim Lee decides to protect his baby at all costs.  I am not too sure that is going to happen since we have already seen Voodoo get cancelled.  So, I'm calling it now.  Grifter gets axed during the second year of the New 52.


I, Vampire is another niche title getting horrid sales numbers.  This title started off weak and fell under the 20,000 unit mark with issue #4.  This title has held very steady in the 14,000-17,000 range from issue #5 to issue #12.  However, issue #12 got the lowest sales numbers to date of a mere 14,788 units.  I see no reason why DC would feel compelled to keep this niche title alive in the face of poor sales numbers.  I, Vampire is sure to be cancelled in the second year of the New 52.


Legion Lost has been less than stellar right from the start.  This title fell below the 20,000 unit mark by issue #5.  Legion Lost has held steady in the 16,000,-17,000 unit range.  Despite the fact that I am a longtime die-hard Legion fan, I have to admit that the Legion cannot support two titles.  At least not at this point.  Both Legion titles are getting garbage sales.  So, it makes sense for one of them to get cancelled.  And DC is going to cancel the spin-off Legion title before it cancels the main Legion title.  So, I fully expect Legion Lost to get the axe at some point in the second year of the New 52.  


Legion of Super Heroes has definitely seen better days.  It pains me to see my beloved Legion getting such crappy sales numbers.  This title was selling much better before the New 52 than it has after the relaunch.  This is just another DC title whose sales numbers were actually hurt by the New 52.  The Legion dropped below the 20,000 mark with issue #7 and has remained very steady in the 18,000-19,000 range for the past six issues.  Now, back when Paul Levitz was running DC I knew that the Legion would always be protected from cancellation no matter how poor the sales numbers got.  Now that Didio and Lee are in charge?  Who knows.  But, I would expect that DC would be hesitant to cancel the oldest and longest running teen super hero team in comic book history.  I think that Legion Lost will get the axe and DC may then look to deliver a creative team switch on the Legion.  No matter, I feel confident that the Legion of Super Heroes survives the second year of the New 52.


Savage Hawkman started out with a solid debut number but rapidly shed 50% of its readers by issue #4.  This title slowed down its decline once it hit the 15,000-16,000 range with issue #8.   However, it has gotten its lowest sales numbers to date with issue #12 only selling 14,745 units.  Again, DC has to be worried how the New 52 has utterly failed to establish anyone outside of Batman and Superman as a big player in the DCnU.  Hawkman has a long history and a both a JSA and JLA pedigree.  That may be enough to save him from cancellation in the second year of the New 52.


Yes, another Wildstorm title that is selling poorly.  Stormwatch came out with an unimpressive debut number, but did see a sales increase with the second issue.  However, it has been all downhill from that point as Stormwatch fell under the 20,000 unit mark by issue #11.  This title hit its lowest sales number of 18,531 units with issue #12.  Voodoo has already gotten cancelled. Grifter is selling even worse that Stormwatch and is sure to get cancelled soon.  So, does Jim Lee kill off all of his babies in such a close time period? I say no.  Even though Stormwatch should be cancelled due to poor sales, I think Lee might keep this title alive for just a little bit longer in hopes of increasing sales during the second year of the New 52.


There you go.  That completes the bottom feeders of the New 52.