Unless you’re not a comic book fan or you’ve been living under a rock without wireless internet access, you’ve likely heard about the DC Comics relaunch. DC will be rebooting their entire super hero universe and launching/relaunching 52 comic book series (you can see the full list here). Taking a cue from Charles Darwin, DC is clearly utilizing a “survival of the fittest” method to decide which series will live and which will suffer a quick death. Titles featuring Superman and Batman are obviously destined to survive the initial bloodbath of cancellations, titles like BLACKHAWKS and ANIMAL MAN might not be as lucky. These are my picks for the first ten DCnU titles to be canceled:
10. Resurrection Man: Resurrection Man squeaks in at number 10 because the book features a virtually unknown character (a commonality between most of the comics on this list). What spares Resurrection Man from a higher spot in the DCnU Dead Pool is the writing team of Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning (who created the title character back in 1997). Abnett and Lanning have a bit of a following from their work on the cosmic titles over at Marvel. Whether that audience will follow them over to Resurrection Man is anyone’s guess.
9. Deathstroke: DC is launching it’s own mercenary book, but the likelihood Deathstroke will come close to the popularity of Marvel’s myriad of Deadpool titles is highly unlikely. Having a villain as the title character does give Deathstroke a very small chance at standing out in the DCnU crowd.
8. Blackhawks: Military books are a tough sell even with a top notch creator on board. Writer Mike Costa is a virtual unknown. Blackhawks’ place on the list would be higher, but I’m betting DC will hold the non-super hero titles in the relaunch to a slightly different standard.
7. Hawk and Dove: Is anyone out there clamoring for a new Hawk and Dove series? No? I didn’t think so. With Rob Liefeld on art, the series may just die from an inability to keep on a monthly schedule.
6. Men of War: See all of my reasons for Blackhawks and add a generic title and a generic cover for the first issue.
5. DC Universe Presents: This sort of spotlight series never lasts. Some Deadman fanatics may stick through the first 5-issue arc, but when the second arc starts with a new character, readership will drop. Heck, even Deadman fans might not pick up this book given he’s featured in Justice League Dark as well.
4. Blue Beetle: DC has tried to shove this new Blue Beetle down readers throats multiple times and each time DC has failed. There’s no reason to believe a new Blue Beetle series will survive this time around… unless in this universe Jaime Reyes dies and Ted Kord takes up the mantle of Blue Beetle.
3. Voodoo: Directly from the solicitation info: “Who is Voodoo? Is she hero, villain – or both?” Does anyone care? There are a few Wildstorm characters who could carry their own book, Voodoo is not one of them.
2. Mister Terrific: I was a huge fan of Greg Rucka’s series Checkmate, in which Mister Terrific was a major player, but that book was constantly on life support from a sales standpoint. If the inclusion of Mister Terrific couldn’t bring readers to a team book with a top tier writer, what makes DC think he can survive in a solo title?
1. Captain Atom: I’ve not read a single comic book written by J.T. Krul, but even the most ardent DC supporters seem to hate him with every fiber of their being. A loathed creator writing a character few readers care about would appear to be the perfect storm of likely cancellation and puts Captain Atom at the top of the DCnU Dead Pool.
The scariest part of making this list, for the DC fan in me anyway, is how difficult it was to narrow it down to ten books. I could have easily expanded this to a top 15 or top 20 list. There are so many titles that seem destined to get the axe. Demon Knights, Frankenstein and Animal Man escaped the top ten because I’m excited by their creative teams and hope the likely good reviews will keep them alive a bit longer than other titles. Batwing didn’t make the list only because it has the word ‘bat’ in the title. And OMAC wasn’t included because Dan Didio’s writing it and I have doubts the co-publisher would cancel his own book so quickly.
Feel free to share your picks for the DCnU Dead Pool in the comments section below.