DC Comics H8TES You, the Customer!

I’m a big fan of comic books and have been reading them since I was a teenager, back when Duran Duran were burning up the charts. Wait a minute, they’re back in the charts now, aren’t they!? Proving, yet again, that history repeats itself. But I digress.

I bought and read comics, off and on, for over 35 years. My main focus was Marvel and especially DC Comics. I started out reading The Amazing Spider-Man and my favourite character, Batman. For any comics history buffs out there, I started buying Batman just before Frank Miller and David Mazzucchelli’s brilliant “Year One” came out, so that’s issues 404 to #407. After checking on the net, I see they were published between February and May 1987. Yikes! 34 years ago!

Give us ALL your money!

After a couple of years, I stopped buying Spider-Man but continued reading the two main Dark Knight titles: Batman and Detective Comics. I added Legends of the Dark Knight to my monthly haul when that title was launched in November 1989. Yep, I was a big Bat-Fan.

I continued reading DC Comics titles including such classics as Hellblazer, Sandman, Animal Man and Shade the Changing Man. I saw the birth of Vertigo and watched Neil Gaiman’s star rise and rise. But this is turning into a mix of a comics-history lesson and a walk down memory lane, so I will stop waffling and get to the point of this ranty post.

I love comics! And I’ve always enjoyed reading them. So, what proof do I have that DC Comics hates its customers? OK, here we go.

In October 2018, DC Comics released a new Lucifer comic written by Dan Watters with art by the Fiumara brothers, Max and Sebastian. I read the first couple of issues and really enjoyed them, so I started buying it monthly. It reminded me of the older, classic Vertigo titles that I used to read, with good, thought-provoking writing and high-quality art. I got pulled into the story and it quickly became my favourite monthly comic. You know there is a “BUT” coming here, right?..

BUT, bad news hit when DC Comics announced they would be cancelling the title after issue #18, with the story unfinished. OH NO!! Yet another quality title is getting the chop. So, Lucifer’s final published monthly issue was issue #18, which I bought back in March 2020, before the Lockdown started and the world ground to a halt. What are ya gonna do? Comics publishers are quick to cancel titles if they aren’t selling enough copies. Lucifer was selling between 17,000 to 20,000 copies a month. Not a BIG title, but steady. I’m not totally naïve, though. I know it’s all about “the money,” after all.

Then, out of the blue, some seemingly good news: DC Comics promises to release a Graphic Novel Collection of the final six unpublished issues, #19 to #24. OK, great! It’s a shame I can’t buy the issues individually, but at least I will be able to read the conclusion to Dan Watters’ run on the title. I’ll have to wait for it, but “Lucifer, Volume 4: The Devil at Heart” will conclude the story.

Lucifer, Volume 4

I ordered Lucifer Volume 4 and waited for it to be released. And waited… Eventually it came out in February 2021, ELEVEN months after the last published issue. That’s a long wait but I’m sure it’ll be worth it. So I start reading the book, and it’s great! The writing and art are still top quality. BUT something’s not quite right…

I’m reading the first chapter of the book but I feel like I’ve missed something. Have we jumped ahead in time, or something? I check the copyright page of the book and discover that this collection STARTS at issue #20! Hang on a minute, the last issue I bought was issue #18. What happened to issue #19? I thought I must have missed it somehow, so I check online. Nope, the last issue available to buy is issue #18. So where’s #19?

Are you ready for this? It turns out Customer-Loving DC Comics decided to put the missing issue #19 in the previous Graphic Novel Collection: Lucifer, Volume 3. You can’t buy it individually. So if you want to read that single missing issue, you have to spend 20 bucks on a graphic novel which contains FIVE issues you already bought. Insert applicable swear word here!

So what did I do? What would you do? Ahoy there, Cap’n, it’s fair weather for sailing the high seas! It’s the first time I’ve sailed in these waters, but DC Comics sent me here. Screw You DC Comics! You don’t want my custom, well that’s fine with me. I’ll spend my money somewhere else. Phew! Rant over! Yeah, I know. A “grown man” moaning about comic books, quelle surprise!

Thanks for reading and apologies for a rather rare rant from me.

-Wakizashi, *happy that Spidey No Way Home is finally out in Japan*

This is a Video I made telling the story.

15 thoughts on “DC Comics H8TES You, the Customer!

  1. All’s fair in comics and making money, apparently- but that is pretty unscrupulous of DC.

    My own comics reading was in the early 1970s when Marvel launched a publishing offshoot here in the UK, reprinting all the 1960s greats in weekly b&w comics. It was heaven: Steve Ditko, Jack Kirby, John Buscema… now THOSE are the comics greats; Spidey, Fantastic Four, Thor, The Avengers… these days I’ve been buying Omnibus collections of those comics I read as kid (Spidey, Fantastic Four, Conan, Silver Surfer…). Some of us never grow up, lol.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha! Thanks, ghost! I refuse to grow up. Just ask my wife!

      My brother used to buy those Marvel UK reprints. I think he’s also now buying the Omnibus collections, too. I picked up the first two Master of King Fu collections in the omnibus format and they are great. Pulpy, martial arts, spy adventures with a bit of “Eastern philosophy”, kind of. Loved them as a kid reading my brother’s issues. I also just bought the first Marvel Two-In-One omnibus featuring the Thing. Remember when comics were fun?!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This is typical nowadays, I’m afraid. Many titles are axed, some others given to not too good authors who will keep it afloat in time but nothing more. I don’t buy comics at all, unless it’s a special omnibus/hardcover edition of a comic I read and loved – I use libraries instead. I’m pretty sure that at least for Marvel you can access the comics online – there’s a small fee but you have access to all the titles, classics too.

    Ah, I just watched Spider-Man! What did you think, Wakizashi?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, it is unfortunately. I’ve seen many a good series be cancelled due to “low sales.” What really annoyed me was how DC treated all the people who were buying the comic monthly. Making them buy Volume 3, which contains five issues they already own, just to read issue #19. Why didn’t they release it as a single issue? I know, money, money, money.

      The Goodreads reviewer “Shadowdenzien” started his review of Volume 4 like this: “4.5 stars (Content); 3 Stars (Overall, due to SUPER-SHADY PUBLISHER BULLSHIT.)”

      I went to see No Way Home last night and I absolutely LOVED it! I made a short, passionate, strong-language Reaction video to it and dropped it on YouTube. 😂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. The problem for the publishers is that kids don’t read comics anymore — they don’t need to, what with photorealistic shared cinematic universes — so the comics themselves are just loss leaders, read by an aging (and diminishing) fan base. So, yeah — they’ve got to squeeze every dollar out of their readership they can.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes. They read Manga instead! Seriously, have you seen any of the sales numbers regarding the most popular manga titles in Western countries? It’s a shame, because I like both formats and grew up enjoying the American comic book.

      “An aging and diminishing fan base.” OMG, you’re describing me! 😂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow, that sucks. If I’m trying to be generous to them I’d say someone really dropped the ball on that one. But I suppose if I’m being more realistic someone did a great job attempting to squeeze more profit out of their customers. They’ll never change unless it backfires enough to hurt them. And unfortunately the way things appear to be headed by the time they realize what’s happened it’ll be too late. I do enjoy reading comics but all I’ve purchased in years has been omnibus-type collections. A recent one I got lucky with was 100 Bullets. I’d been collecting the original trade paperbacks, but I guess they’re maybe more difficult to find now, so when I wanted to purchase the rest of the series I found they’d published them in 2 other compedium style formats that put more pages in each volume. Thankfully, I was able to purchase the final larger volumes with no overlap to what I already had in my smaller volumes. I got very lucky, or perhaps they hadn’t started those tactics yet.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: 2022 – A Blogging Year in Review | In the Teahouse, a Wakizashi

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