Comic book fans have enthusiastically embraced the superhero relaunch in staggering numbers. Since the debut of the initial book, “DC Universe: Rebirth Special” by Geoff Johns, combined sales have pushed 12 million physical periodicals through comic book retailers worldwide in record time. A total of 11 issues exceeded 200,000 units shipped, an additional 60-plus issues shipped more than 100,000 copies each and 21 issues have gone back to print multiple times.
Last June, DC launched Rebirth, one of the most ambitious publishing initiatives in the company’s 80-plus-year history. This new lineup of stories includes a combination of DC favorites, as well as new titles, and restarted most titles at issue #1. Top comic talent was recruited for the publisher’s iconic line of books, such as “Superman,” “Batman” and “Wonder Woman,” which became available twice monthly. In addition, DC’s two flagship legacy titles resumed their original issue numbering, also shipping twice monthly: “Detective Comics” picked up with issue #934, while “Action Comics” continued with issue #957.
“This is the biggest story in comics publishing right now—fan and retailer demand for these books is at an all-time high,” said John Cunningham, DC’s Senior Vice President of Sales and Trade Marketing. “This summer we’ve sold more issues over 100,000 units than we did in all of 2015.”
The flagship book, Geoff Johns’ “DC Universe: Rebirth Special,” recently went back to press a fifth time and has sold nearly 350,000 copies. Best-selling writer Johns, who is also the company’s President and Chief Creative Officer, oversaw the creative direction of the entire Rebirth line of books. Working in tandem with DC Publishers Dan DiDio and Jim Lee, this line-wide launch focused on themes of hope and optimism and returned the DC Universe to a more closely knit superhero continuity.
“The overall response—from retailers, the creative community and, most importantly, the fans—has been nothing short of incredible,” said Diane Nelson, President of DC Entertainment and Warner Bros. Consumer Products. “We listened to what the retail and fan communities thought was missing from our books and took the necessary steps to produce stories that have re-energized comics. I’m so immensely proud of my amazing team of executives, including Dan, Jim and Geoff, for once again setting the bar for excellence in comics.”
“Hope, optimism and legacy are integral to the epic, universe-spanning stories that define what a ‘DC’ superhero is to me. As is building on the foundation of all the amazing writers and artists, as well as, characters that have been part of DC’s history and celebrating it,” said Geoff Johns, President and Chief Creative Officer, DC Entertainment. “I’m incredibly proud of the creative teams across the line and beyond grateful that readers and retailers have given Rebirth a shot. And, stay tuned for more stories and secrets about the mysterious machinations at play behind Rebirth to come!”
Rebirth titles are enjoying a 29 percent higher lift than the company’s previous relaunch in 2011, “DC Comics – The New 52,” with the top 10 titles being a combination of core classics, new titles and some surprises—including the top-selling book “Harley Quinn #1,” with more than 400,000 copies shipped.
“This was a huge publishing initiative that we completely believed in, but it can be a little daunting keeping the world’s greatest superhero stories fresh while at the same time classic and familiar for the fans,” said DC Entertainment Publisher Dan DiDio. “The combination of a return to classic superhero storytelling with new storylines, new creative teams and a new lower price helped add readers to the marketplace, and we’re dedicated to continuing to bring them the quality of stories that will keep them coming back for more.”
DC Entertainment Publisher and “Suicide Squad” artist Jim Lee said, “Our amazing writers and artists—such as Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti on ‘Harley Quinn,’ and Greg Rucka, Nicola Scott and Liam Sharp on ‘Wonder Woman’—are hitting home runs with their books, and that’s bringing fans into comic book stores in droves. In addition, we are thrilled to see what Scott Snyder and John Romita Jr. are doing on ‘All-Star Batman,’ which is getting outstanding reviews from the press and fans across the board.”
Fans who missed out on these titles in periodical form will have an opportunity to catch up on story arcs such as “I Am Gotham” (“Batman”), “The Lies” (“Wonder Woman”), “Son of Superman” (“Superman”), “Lightning Strikes Twice” (“The Flash”) and “The Extinction Machine” (“Justice League”) when they’re released as collected editions, available through comic book retailers, bookstores and digital platforms beginning in January.
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About DC Entertainment:
DC Entertainment, home to the iconic brands DC (Superman, Batman, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, The Flash), Vertigo (Sandman, Fables) and MAD, is the creative division charged with strategically integrating its content across Warner Bros. Entertainment and Time Warner. DC Entertainment works in concert with many key Warner Bros. divisions to unleash its stories and characters across all media, including but not limited to film, television, consumer products, home entertainment and interactive games. Publishing thousands of comic books, graphic novels and magazines each year, DC Entertainment is one of the largest English-language publishers of comics in the world.