Review of January 2013

Best books of the month

There were 7 books that I gave a 5/5 in January; Justice League, Aquaman, Batman, Batwoman, Animal Man, Swamp Thing, and Frankenstein. Of the four books ending in January I was only reading Frankenstein, but at least Frank could end on a great note along with his new home in JLD. While I wonder if the destruction from the tidal waves will be acknowledged outside of Justice League, I really love the Throne of Atlantis crossover so far. The epic scale and more time with Cyborg getting the spotlight has been an improvement for Justice League, and I like that the story has brought the Justice League title into Aquaman’s story instead of the opposite.

Disappointing books of the month

Unfortunately not all my books this month lived up to my expectations. Two books were given 1/5 and another two got 2/5. Since the departure of Kenneth Rocafort, Red Hood has had a serious problem with the art with Wonder Girl looking particularly bad. Superboy has been the weak link of H’el on Earth. The story in I, Vampire wasn't very strong, but the multiple artists with contrasting styles was unacceptable. Even though I've really liked Rose in the past I was apathetic about the story of The Ravagers. As long as a there aren't four different artists on I, Vampire in February I’ll pick it up, but I’m skipping the other books.

Sales Thoughts

January’s new book, Threshold, had sales below 30k which aren’t promising for its future health. It improved about 20k over December’s last issue of GI Combat, but I predict it will only reach 7-9 issues with the third issue crossing over the danger zone of 20k. New members of the danger zone are Green Arrow and Phantom Stranger. Hopefully with Lemire taking control Green Arrow will reverse its decline. Phantom Stranger seems bound to last until the end of the upcoming Trinity War but no longer. Eight books will be ending in April and May. Deathstroke has become a fun read with the new writer but it still dropped in sales. DCU Presents was an expected cancel. It’s too bad an anthology couldn't survive, but at least the gave it a good shot. I, Vampire was a great book, but when Andrea Sorrentino left the book it didn’t have much longer. The ending of Sword of Sorcery is unfortunate because I really think it would have done better as a $3 book without the backup feature since neither was a good complement for the tone of Amethyst. It is just as interesting to look at what survived the most recent cuts. The unique flavor of Dial H and All Star Western will probably keep them around a bit longer, but the sales for Dial H are dropping faster. I wonder if the backup feature in All Star Western will help keep it around longer than if it was just a $3 book. The oddest survivor is Batwing. He is getting a new writing team in May so they must have had a great pitch for DC to keep him around with higher selling books getting cut. It’s a pleasant surprise that Demon Knights is sticking around because I've enjoyed what I've read so far from Venditti and Bernard Chang keeps knocking it out of the park with each issue. An interesting thing to note is the sales drop for books after their tie-in with Death of the Family ends. Suicide Squad and Catwoman lost a bit less than 50% of their sales so the other Bat family title should brace themselves for a big drop.

Tracking New52 title's relative sale rankings.

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