DC's Latest Effort to Keep Comics Interest Alive Is Upcycled Digital Titles

By Charles Pulliam-Moore on at

Last week, DC Comics made waves when it announced its plans to begin shipping a limited number of new titles to select brick-and-mortar comic book shops. This was meant to be independent and ahead of Diamond Comics Distributors, which stopped distributing comics earlier this year due to the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic. Now it’s got something else up its sleeve.

According to DC’s Jim Lee, the publisher’s vision for its future is going to be somewhat different and bigger than it initially let on. This week in a press release, Lee (now the sole publisher) announced that massive changes will be coming to DC’s Digital First program, where titles like Batman: The Adventures Continue debut. While digital issues of comics meant to have physical counterparts in stores on Wednesdays will continue to be released weekly on Tuesdays, the publisher’s “new” digital-first titles will begin dropping seven days a week in what Lee described as an effort to sustain DC’s overall brand in readers’ minds by making comics more readily accessible.

“Comic book fans want more access to content than ever before,” Lee said. “This strategy is intended to get daily content to fans immediately, and also to ensure that when comic shops open back up for business, they will have new content and product that their customers will want. In the meantime, we will have properly stoked and protected the demand for comics, keeping fans interested in our characters and stories.” The first wave of daily Digital First comics is set to include:

  • Superman: The Man of Tomorrow by Robert Venditti, Paul Pelletier, Drew Hennessy, and Adriano Lucas
  • Batman: Gotham Nights featuring a story by Sal Giunta, Brad Meltzer, Jim Lee, Scott Williams, and Alex Sinclair with a second story by Larry Hama, Mirko Colak, and John Kalisz
  • Wonder Woman: Agent of Peace by Amanda Conner, Jimmy Palmiotti, Inaki Miranda, and Hi-Fi
  • Aquaman: Deep Dives by Steve Orlando, Daniel Sampere, Juan Albarran, and Adriano Lucas
  • Flash: Fastest Man Alive by Gail Simone, Clayton Henry, and Marcelo Maiolo
  • DC Super Hero Girls: Infinite Frenemies by Amanda Deibert and Erich Owen
  • Swamp Thing: New Roots by Mark Russell, Marco Santucci, and John Kalisz.

Previously, these titles were published in DC’s Giants anthologies which were only sold in physical supermarkets as part of a previous push to get more of its books into shops that don’t strictly specialise in comics. In addition to these titles listed, DC will begin dropping comics it’s deemed as “essential reads” for free (a slew of #1 issues) on a number of different digital comic platforms on 8 June.

When DC first made public its plans to find alternative distribution methods, Diamond put out a carefully worded response stating that it still intended to work with DC in the future once people are more freely able to shop in physical stores, and DC’s Digital First program doesn’t necessarily mean that’s not the case. But at the same time, DC finding new ways to get its product into stores without Diamond’s assistance, in addition to doubling down on digital releases, suggests that in the future, things may change.

Featured image: DC Comics