Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Superman Family Adventures Canceled

The DC Comics solicits for April 2013 came out this week and I will review all the super-issues at some point soon. But one thing simply needed to be talked. One thing needed its own post.

Art and cover by ART BALTAZAR
On sale APRIL 24 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED E • FINAL ISSUE
• Because you demanded it! The return of the lunch lady! Er, we mean, the return of DARKSEID!
• Has he returned for good—or evil? Is he going to make us pancakes?
• When the Super Family leaps into action, will they be trapped in Apokolips?!

That's right. Superman Family Adventures has been canceled.

There was a lot of other nonsense as well.

Several creative teams were pulled off books before their first issues coming out. Apparently they got the creators got the news via Previews solicits. That is horrible. This after the PR disaster of emailing Gail Simone about her firing only to rehire her. 
Now these creative upheavals seem stupid. Someone thought the pitches by Jim Zubkavich and robert Venditti were worth doing. PR was released! And yet, that opinion changed? Remember Brian Wood being announced on Supergirl and then that disappearing. Whoever is at the top doesn't seem to have a clue. And with all this nonsense, who would ever ever want to work for this company right now? If I was a creator I would stay away ... and I love DC's universe.

Enmeshed in all this creator disasters was the cancellation of Superman Family Adventures. And I guess my big question for DC is why? Whether comics wants to realize it or not, there needs to be new readers. This book was beloved by its audience and was often called 'the best Superman book' on the market. It sold just shy of 7500 issues last month, 900 more than media-darling, multi-covered (and just as fun) My Little Pony.

I am sure that the All Ages books sales are of minimal importance in DC's big picture. But my kids loved Superman Family. It made them learn about these characters. It made them want to read more Superman books. They looked forward to it monthly. With the cancellation of Young Justice and Superman Family Adventures, the only DC Universe kids book being produced is the Animated GL book. There is no path to this universe for them to be on anymore.

What makes it sting even more is that this was, in many ways, the best Superman book because it actually seemed to understand what Superman is all about.

In SFA, Superman is a hero. The public is inspired by him. He is a mentor to his family. He strives to do what's right. He gets weak in the knees around Lois.

In the mainstream books, Superman is aloof, a loner, someone who doesn't want to mentor. Someone who spies on Lois. In Earth One, he gives rifles to revolutionaries. He feels alone. Frankly, Superman doesn't feel like Superman in those books.

The bottom line is this. It is hard, when you see all this stuff, to be a fan of DC Comics the company. And the quality of the books isn't great enough to look past it to love DC Comics the universe.

And now, for super-hero fare for my children who love comics and the medium, I have to cross the aisle to Marvels All-Ages books.

Makes me wonder what I am doing here.


collectededitions said...

Well said. Makes me wonder what the future for kids' comics at DC actually is.

Gene said...

Its official now, DC can't have nice things.

What puzzles me though is DC pulling the plug on SFA right before the Man of Steel movie hits theaters.

Anj said...

Hmmm ...

Maybe another All Ages Superman book will be released with the movie?

Still, even if true, there should be room for this book and niche it filled.

Martin Gray said...

Amen to everything you say, Anj, this is really sad news.

Anonymous said...

It appears the firings by PR solicits maybe a nasty rumor started BEFORE the DC solicits came out.

Jay said...

Is there proof these upcoming writers were let go via the solicits? Because if so that is certainly a staggeringly unprofessional way to do business, but at the same time this is the internet, accusations like this don't usually go through extensive fact-checking before coming out. No matter what the situation is though I feel bad these guys missed their chance this time. Hopefully better luck for them ahead.

I never read Superman Family Adventures, I'm quite enjoying the main line Superman, to be quite honest. I'm just not feeling the massive difference in him since the reboot that others are. He's a little more rough around the edges sure, but I haven't found it to be staggeringly so. But that's me.

Anonymous said...

You just can't trust DC Comics, not with the Supergirl character as far as I can see...that is my main takeaway from this news item.
DC Editorial seems to think they can derive some unimaginable revenue stream from Kara Zor El by jobbing her out in cross over events, driving her solo book into silver age Incredible Hulk territory and thumbing their collective noses as the "Supergirl fan base".
It is a great short term strategy but I pity the poor writer/editor combo that has rebuild out of the inevitable rubble & fallout.


Anj said...

I do think that the Supergirl title (up to H'El) has been a good title for her character. Different and sadder than the past incarnations to be sure ... but with a good core.

But everything else has been more concerning. And H'El really casts her in a bad light.

So I really need to see what happens to Kara in a couple of months.

Anonymous said...

This article answers the question of if DC used the April 2013 solicits to let creators know their off of their series.

Anonymous said...

Actually, the Newsarama article doesn't deal with the cancellation of Superman Family Adventures at all.

Anonymous said...

The article simply deals with writers being fired and finding it out through the DC April 2013 solicits.

Anonymous said...

Oh, Rao, NO! This can't be! SFA is cancelled?! Their all ages books are dropping like flies!

Here's to hoping that they'll rethink this over & put the team back on-or on at least another all-ages book!

Jay said...

Just wanted to add an addendum to my post yesterday that, while I didn't read SFA, as its just not my cup of tea personally, I do think the all-ages books are an asset, ESPECIALLY for the really young. So I'm not really on board with its cancellation either despite not being a reader.

Kent G. Hare said...

You might also check out the New Crusaders from Archie/Red Circle for the Supergirls, Anj.