by Jamison Ashley
After an origin founded in the death of the New 52 Superman, followed by the death of Krypto, and even the death of that universe’s Lois Lane, Superwoman, the DC comic featuring Lana Lang as the titular heroine, is being cancelled in January 2018. We presume this is because of low sales, since it’s been selling well under 20,000 units since issue number 8 only moved 18,857 top retailers back in March of this year. However, it’s not the lowest selling ongoing series of the DC Comics Rebirth titles, and it hasn’t ever been.
Looking at the lowest-selling ongoing series Rebirth titles on Comichron.com, we see that each of the following were at 20,000 estimated units or less sold in October 2017.
Batwoman #8 sold 20,364 units
Batgirl & the Birds of Prey #15 sold 17,949 units
Hellblazer #15 sold 15,035 units
Superwoman #15 sold 13,089 units
New Super-Man #16 sold 11,543 units
Blue Beetle #14 sold 10,379 units
Cyborg #17 sold 9,945 units
We’re not going to focus on the Young Animal imprint (which is doing abysmal numbers) or the Hanna-Barbera and cartoon properties titles. If we look at these titles that are consistently selling more poorly than Superwoman, we have to ask ‘what is keeping DC from cancelling those also?’ It can’t be because they are more popular, because they aren’t. As for profitability, do those creative teams just cost less?
John Babos over at InsidePulse.com has some thoughts:
What do the three lowest selling books have in common… they are led by diverse heroes: a Chinese citizen, a Hispanic-American and an African-American. I’m not suggesting that is why they aren’t selling well. The quality is there with each book. I have read all of them for various arcs since the beginning of Rebirth. Are these 3 the next to be cancelled?
Also, as much as there has been speculation on DC cancelling its Teen Titans and Titans series, they both sold decent units in September; Teen Titans #12 sold 57,359 units and Titans #15 sold 35,858 units with TT tying units sold with Marvel’s Astonishing X-Men #3 and Titans outselling hot Marvel Star Wars: Doctor Aphra #12 in that month.
And despite Cyborg‘s prominence in the Justice League and the upcoming film, the title still struggles to find a consistent audience. Maybe DC is hoping that the series will see a sales jump after the Justice League movie is released next week.
What’s next on the DC Rebirth chopping block? Are the three lowest titles safe because they are “diverse” characters? What does that say, if anything, about DC’s relationship with female characters? Sound off in the comments!