by Mike Slade, Founder of Uncanny Nerd
This Wednesday, July 4th, was supposed to be a huge day in comics. It’s the day that Batman #50, the wedding of Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle, (Batman and Catwoman), is scheduled to hit shelves. And being Batman’s wedding, it has been promoted as the biggest comic event in ages.
But, story spoilers were revealed the Sunday before new comic day, leaving not only fans, but comic shops everywhere out of luck and looking for answers.
Everything from here on out will be heavily spoiler filled—so proceed with caution.
***SPOILERS FOLLOW***SPOILERS FOLLOW***SPOILERS FOLLOW***
For a simple run down of the happenings and his reaction, Uncanny Nerd founder Mike Slade has posted a video that not only speaks to the fans, but also focuses heavily on why retailers have a right to be upset and wondering why DC would screw them over so bad.
For those who haven’t watched the video above, or would like a recap… here goes:
DC Comics and retailers far and wide have spent months, MONTHS building up Batman #50.
My social media news feed has been absolutely saturated with variant covers and special editions. Retailers have spent thousands commissioning and printing exclusive variants, DC sent out wedding invitations (left), and placed articles/advertisements far and wide. There was a prelude to the wedding mini-series, and DC Comics even went and put out a Spotify playlist entitled, “Official Batman Wedding Reception Playlist.”
How bad was it? Here’s a snapshot of a FaceBook post from my personal feed:
To put it simply… it was an all out blitz from the DC Sales team.
You guys remember the Death of Superman back in Superman #75 1993? Well for those of you who don’t, it was huge. It was on the news… like.. on the actual television news the day the comic came out. DC promoted it like crazy, they had promotional armbands, just a total media deluge. I’m not saying Batman #50 was at that level, but, really, I have a hard time equating it to any other comic event in recent memory. This is Batman and Catwoman getting married. This is huge. HUGE.
Comic shops across the country are (were?) planning large events for the release as well! Falling on July 4th, a bunch were even doing midnight openings for the special event. Some hired bands, cosplayers, food catering, and some are hosting little mini-wedding celebrations. All because comic fans were ready to absolutely eat up and buy the crap out of this issue. It’s BATMAN AND CATWOMAN getting married!
That is, until this passed Sunday happened.
An article in the wedding section of the New York Times on Sunday, July 1 broke the news that Bruce and Selina would not in fact be getting married. DC pulled the ole’ bait and switch on us yet again and the thing that was supposed to happen, didn’t actually happen. Apparently it’s still a good story and writer Tom King is extremely proud of it despite the backlash, as he tweeted here:
Im pissed about things and excited about other things. I have no idea how to comment on anything without spoiling everything.
Batman 50 is still out Wednesday. I’m incredibly proud of the issue; I hope you pick it up. You have questions; the answers are there.
— Tom King (@TomKingTK) July 1, 2018
But regardless of Mr. King being excited and proud for this issue, this was a really crappy move by DC for a number of reasons.
First, naturally, to the fans who have been looking forward to this. No one likes these switcheroos when they happen. Especially for big events like this.
More importantly though, local comic shops across the entire country are currently in a really bad place because of this.
These shops invested hundreds if not thousands of dollars on The Wedding of Batman and now there will be no wedding.
You see DC Comics are the ones who let the news leak, they admitted as such. So now all across the world people know that this isn’t an actual wedding issue, it’s just a regular book. Now, because of the leak, people aren’t going to these special events, and they aren’t buying the special editions of Batman #50. There’s no point to anymore.
But DC never told the small comic shops it was all a lie.
DC allowed the comic shops to put in these huge orders for a book that, now, will not sell as a once in a decade event. The parties and the launch events are all now meaningless. The special variant issues will all now, GUARANTEED, not sell near as much as the local comic shops projected. But DC has made their money. The shops all already purchased their inventory and got the special issues. DC Comics doesn’t need to worry about the money a local shop put into an event, because they were paid a month ago.
Joker, is now running Gotham apparently, because when you look at this from start to finish, this is super villain level crap.
These small retail shops are going to be in serious trouble from this.
So. Folks. This is your call to arms:
Go to that local shop and show them support!
It is not their fault that DC did what they did, but chances are those comic shops are gonna be hurting after this week.
Head to the store. Buy a book. Buy 3 books.
Buy one of those copies of Batman #50 because it’s still actually a really good read.
Trust me here folks—your local comic shop is going to need you this week. Show them some love.