While working on my analysis of DC Comics March 2021 solicitation there were several big picture things that stuck out with their publishing calendar. I’ll have a full breakdown of all of the titles DC Comics will publish in March soon. But before that I wanted to talk about of what was the bigger picture that stuck out from this set of solicitations.
Overlooking at what DC Comics is going to be publishing in March it looks as though the company has slimmed down their publishing line. When counting up all the new comics they will be publishing, not counting trades or hardcover collections, the total turns out to be 36. Of those 36 new comics only 20 of them will fall under the “Infinite Frontier” banner. Meanwhile the remaining 16 comics are separate standalone maxi-series or mini-series like Batman/Catwoman and The Green Lantern Season Two that exist in their own spaces.
While in no way an original idea the slimming down of how many comics that DC Comics was publishing was something I brought up when I laid out my DC Comics Fantasy Creative Team Draft. Going with 36 comics has likely been in the works since the corporate restructuring DC Comics went through when AT&T did their big round of layoffs across all their entertainment divisions. Though the Batman Family dominance of DC Comics publishing line is still apparent with the individual BatFam titles making up close to 40% of the publishing line, which becomes just under 50% if you count the team titles they appear in.
That said, I do commend DC having the awareness that they need to make their publishing line something that needs to be easy to get into. Having a smaller number of titles will make it easier to position themselves as friendly to fans. Especially with switching all titles, including Batman and Superman books, back to only be monthly things are much more manageable. This scheduling helps further cement all the titles we are getting in March under the “Infinite Frontier” banner as the foundation for the new DC Universe.
What will be interesting to see as we get further into 2021 is if the number of comics DC publishes grows. Because as previously mentioned, 16 of the titles are either maxi-series or mini-series. When those end it could open a spot for other new ongoings to take their spot. Which we already know is something that is happening as after Grant Morrison and Liam Sharp’s The Green Lantern Season Two ends in March we will have a new Green Lantern series written by Geoffrey Thorne, likely launching in April.
Though that raises questions for the future titles like Legion Of Super-Heroes and Young Justice. Instead of relaunching as new ongoings those comics could possibly be reworked as back-up stories in other titles. We see that is something DC Comics is open to as we already know that Robin, Justice League Dark, Jimmy Olsen, and Midnighter will have back-up stories in Batman, Justice League, and Superman titles. This could potentially be an avenue for previously low-selling titles to get more eyes on their characters and build added value to these comics. Adding value will be key as DC Comics is quietly increasing pricing to $4.99 for these comics with back-up stories.
An important factor in making “Infinite Frontier” a success is how everyone working at DC Comics, from the creative staff to editors, learn from the past. Because we’ve been through this type of change twice already in the last decade with the New 52 and DC Rebirth. Both those directions started with the best intentions but mistakes with how continuity was handled caused a lot of problems for both directions. Understanding where New 52 and DC Rebirth faltered will be extremely beneficial for everyone working on “Infinite Frontier.”.
We won’t know if “Infinite Frontier” will be a success until it begins in March. This new direction has all the potential to be a success. There are so many talented creators working on all these comic books that creates a sense of excitement for the future of the DC Universe. I’ll definitely be there to check out a lot of these titles that DC Comics will be publishing in March.
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