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Goodbye to Wildstorm Comics

DC has officially announced that it will shutter the Wildstorm Universe in December and just absorb all the ancillary comics (the licensed stuff mostly) into the DC Comics line. Editors in Chief Jim Lee and Dan Didio say that the characters from the Wildstrom Universe might pop up in the future (heck, likely WILL pop up in the future), but for now, the inter-connected line of comics is done.

That is some rough news.

Not shocking news entirely, but still pretty rough, especially since Wildstorm’s founder is one of DC’s Editors in Chief!

NOTE: DC’s site is probably being overtaxed right now with people clicking on the link, so give it some time.

44 Comments

Picking a nit here: I think you mean “shutter,” not “shudder.”

Unless Paul levitz was telling them some really scary stories.

It’s a fine nit. Thanks!

Now I want the whole item to be written in Crypt Keeper-style puns.

I really really really hope this isn’t coming for Vertigo as well…

I doubt it. I don’t think the two are all that connected.

I was already worried when they announced DC was getting characters back from Vertigo earlier this year. I too hope this isn’t a bad sign for the future.

As long as we still get Astro City and an occasional Welcome to Tranquility, this news doesn’t bother me much.

Perhaps the bigger news today (in terms of “affecting the most people”) is DC moving so many jobs to California. Anyone have a rough estimate of how many New Yorkers are losing jobs in the move of DC Entertainment to California? DC Publishing is still in NY, so I wonder how many ancillary jobs remain with the publishing division?

This is too bad. The Authority, Wild CATs, and Gen 13 all ruled the comics industry at different points over the last few decades. The Authority, Planetary, and Casey’s Wildcats were all high-water makrs for super hero comics. Yes it’s been about a decade since they had a smash hit, but I think Brian Wood has proven with DV8 that these characters can shine again. Put Brian Wood on Gen 13, Jason Aaron on Wild CATS, and Jonathon Hickman on the Authority, and these books could be the tops again.

How does this affect Busiek’s ASTRO CITY?

Busiek did not seem to know about the news on Twitter, so I’m thinking Astro City will be folded into the DC Banner – perhaps Vertigo? I’d have to think they would have told him if Astro City were affected, right?

Forget Astro City; how does this affect LoEG:Century and the other followups?

(I somehow don’t think ‘not being under a DC logo’ is nearly as important to Busiek as it is to Moore…)

LoEG will continue to be published by Top Shelf, I should think.

Vertigo was mentioned along with DC and Mad, while they are also shutting down Zuda as an imprint; I should think that implies they are keeping Vertigo running for the foreseeable future.

Golden Age Bizzarro

September 21, 2010 at 12:16 pm

LoEG: Century is actually published by Top Shelf.

LoEG:Century isn’t done by Wildstorm anyway….

This news actually may help visibility and sales for some of those titles that pretty much get released and then forgotten about. as Wildstorm titles…

I could see DC doing a sub imprint within the DC umbrella for Licensed titles as well as Johnny DC-Kids books [DC Signature?]

A Wildcats title or even a midnighter title might get better ordering and follow through sales as a DC title rather than a Wildstorm book…

sad but retailers tend to overlook ordering the Wildstorm title NO MATTER WHO is one them. As a DC title the retailers are able to continue ordering the easy way. —

DC won’t close Vertigo any time soon, There are a few strong titles that keep sales up enough for it to remain the “experimental/Adult” comics area. I’m a bit disappointed at the Zuda news more than Wildstorm. I’m really enjoying the revival they are having digitally, so I hope some series like “AZURE” don’t disappear. It certainly sucks for the people in NY that lost their jobs. They have my sympathy.

DC should have done this a long time ago, given how clear it is that they have absolutely no idea what to do with the Wildstorm line.

How much did Jim Lee get for selling Wildstorm to DC?

Wow … Wildstorm, R.I.P.

The imprint produced the best superhero comics on the market around the turn of millennium. Their talent was plundered by the Big Two both on the executive side and the creative side extremely quickly. I mean, what was “Nu-Marvel” other than Bendis and a bunch of folks they hired from Wildstorm.

“This is too bad. The Authority, Wild CATs, and Gen 13 all ruled the comics industry at different points over the last few decades. The Authority, Planetary, and Casey’s Wildcats were all high-water marks for super hero comics. Yes it’s been about a decade since they had a smash hit, but I think Brian Wood has proven with DV8 that these characters can shine again. Put Brian Wood on Gen 13, Jason Aaron on Wild CATS, and Jonathon Hickman on the Authority, and these books could be the tops again.”

Quoted for truth. I agree 100% and I’m particularly sad about this as Wood and Isaac’s DV8: Gods and Monsters has easily been one of my favorite comics this past year. This sucks.

That said, Michael P. has a point in that they obviously don’t know what to do with some of this stuff. They could be truly innovative (as they were with DV8 and Wood) but they seem to not want to do that…and so another thing full of potential goes down.

I was thinking this didn’t effect me since Ex Machina is done, but I forgot Astro City was a Wildstorm title. I would assume it won’t really change anything with that title, though. It is too bad about people having to relocate to the West Coast or lose their jobs.

@eric and Kelly Thompson: It seems to me that Wildstorm’s weakness has never been the quality of the product, but rather the quantity they sold – wouldn’t it be better for the properties to stick those people on the books in about a year or so with a DC logo, giving them a chance to sell? Hopefully working similar to the way the Thor hiatus a few years back did.

Mostly unrelated to the previous paragraph: what really sucks is that some people at Wildstorm will be losing their jobs; I hope they land on their feet and find other jobs soon.

I’m more bummed about Zuda.

As a Californian, it’s rare and shocking to see jobs coming *into* our state, so there’s that.

Honestly, they should have put the kibosh on Wildstorm a year ago. It was Comic Shop Poison, apparently, and sales were in the toilet.

Now, anything they would’ve published under Wildstorm will have sales in the toilet with a different logo in the corner.

GOD DAMN IT! I’m not angry at anyone in particular about the demise of the imprint, since sales and interest were low for so long. But the Wildstorm Universe gave us so many of the best superhero comics ever, and it created a truly modern post-human world that was so fertile for new ground. Stormwatch, The Authority, Alan Moore’s Wildstorm work, Sleeper, Gail Simone’s Gen13, and so many others came from this universe. And so many great writers and artists made their name with Wildstorm, using the imprint’s freedom to do truly original things.

Goodbye, Wildstorm. And bless Jim Lee, Travis Charest, Alan Moore, Warren Ellis, Ed Brubaker, Adam Warren, Sean Phillips, Bryan Hitch, Tom Raney, John Cassaday, Gail Simone, Garth Ennis, Glenn Fabry, Chris Sprouse, and many others who prospered under the imprint and gave us great comics. :(

Wow, sad to see it go but not necessarily surprised either. Been too long since Wildstorm produced much of note, though they have a great back catalog. The only current stuff I was interested in from them were the new Tom Strong minis. Not sure where they stand now….

Extremely disappoint news, but not at all surprising, given the sales…

It is a sad end to an imprint with so much potential. Seriously, we’re talking about the imprint that gave us Ellis’ Stormwatch, Authority and Planetary; Millar’s Authority, Casey’s Wildcats 3.0; Brubaker’s Sleeper; Moore’s Top 10 and Tom Strong… all in all, some of the best superhero fiction of the last 20 years.

Couldn’t DC stomach the fact that there could be a brand new approach to superheroes? I mean, I had never seen the Justice League or the Avengers intervene in world affairs the way the Authority or Wildcats did. Superman would never kill presidents or gods or submerge entire countries, unlike the Authority; and neither could Batman “represent” WayneCorp’s interests the way Grifter did with Halo.

The fact that these “heroes” were relatively new, unlike household names like Supes or Bats, gave the creators something of a “carte blanche” to use them as they saw fit. To me, that was the real appeal of Wildstorm – superheroes in a credible world, making tough, but credible decisions.

I only hope DC can use these characters in the way they were meant to be used (just use Ellis’ and Millar’s Authority and Casey’s Wildcats v3.0 for reference), instead of resorting to the same old cliches… if it means putting the books on hiatus and relaunching them under the Vertigo label, so be it.

Above all, I feel sorry for all the Wildstorm staff, all the luck in the world to them.

Honestly, it always seemed to me that the number one reason for DC/Warner buying Wildstorm was so that they could get Jim Lee to draw their books. Seriously. For the past ten years, Lee has been drawing Batman and Superman and a whole boatload of covers for the “mainstream” DC books.

Meanwhile, it seemed to me that DC left the Wildstorm titles to flounder. I mean, I was never a big Wildstorm fan, always though Widcats and Gen 13 had too much of that “kewl,” T&A 1990s elements to them. But I did like Warren Ellis’ Stormwatch and Authority stories a lot. It seemed that DC didn’t know what the heck to do with Authority after Ellis finished its run. It was like a political hot potato at DC, considering it was about a group of violent ultra-radical left-wing militants, while meanwhile in the real world Bush was President, and September 11th happened, causing a lot of the country to swing to the right for a while.

All that said, I really enjoyed Stormwatch PHD by written Christos Gage and the reboot of DV8 by Brian Wood & Rebecca Isaacs. Those were both great titles. I’m just sorry that Wildstorm didn’t publish more books like those.

funkygreenjerusalem

September 21, 2010 at 5:53 pm

I think Rich Johnston had it right on Bleeding Cool – Wildstorm got killed awhile ago by Paul Levitiz.

He chased off Moore, cut The Authority off at the knees, then chased off Ennis, then made Morrison leave it alone – and apparently ignored that the imprint was able to make a licensed comic the highest seller of the year.

If any one of these had gone the other way, there’s a good chance the line would still be alive today.

They should’ve plug when Morrison bailed. That’s when the wind got knocked out of the sails and the sales.

As much as I dug what came after his aborted tenure as the Wildstorm architect (Beatty and Huddleston’s Gen13 was a particular favorite), there’s no reversing the course after the God of All Comics abandons ship, man. It’s been diminishing returns ever since, and it’s a damn shame the imprint’s going out on such a lackluster whimper.

This only makes it more galling that Joe Casey wasn’t allowed to tell the story he had planned for Wildcats 3.0 because of the effects it would have had on the future of the Wildstorm universe.

anyone else kinda glad that DC made something that is clearly a positive business move?

Stuff like Mysterious the Unfathomable could have easily been done at Vertigo and the Wildstorm characters wernt exactly big sellers or in the middle of a critically praised run.

I mean, its sad people lost their jobs, but when DC shows signs that they have an idea what they’re doing it seems like a positive to me

Hey don’t worry dudes, I found some upcoming solicitations and I think it’s safe to say DC has some *big* plans in store to revamp the WSU.

WildCATS: In Reddest Afternoon
Written by JT Krul
Story by Geoff Johns
Art by Ed Benes

Kaizen Gomorrah is back… as a Red Lantern?! Now allied with Dex-Starr, Kaizen poses an unimaginable threat to the Wildstorm universe. Can newly christened Star Sapphires Apollo and Midnighter hope to defeat him? Maybe they can… with a little help from stranger in a strange land Bart Allen! It’s the Wildstorm universe as you’ve never seen it before!

Stormwatch: The Rise of Deathblow
Written by Dan DiDio
Story by James Robinson
Art by Phillip Tan

Deathblow has had it rough recently. After having his leg ripped by TAO off and relapsing into alcoholism, he spends his time in an alcoholic fugue shooting up liquor stores and hugging dead dogs. Can Winter, Fuji and the rest of Stormwatch sober Deathblow up in time for him to help them defeat the deadly team-up of Henry Bendix and Gorilla Grodd?

You’re a bad, bad man, Dave. I for one think Superboy-Prime taking over the Authority is great news.

Personally, I am looking forward to Li’l Apollo and the Kid-nighter joining the TEEN TITANS for three issues prior to being killed by Black Lantern Jenny Sparks.

Oh, yeah, I do not think it helped matters at all that DC basically threw The Authority under the bus by having Superman make total fools of The Elite, a one-dimensional straw-man stand-in for the team, in the notorious (well, I consider it to be notorious) Action Comics #775.

Oh, yeah, I do not think it helped matters at all that DC basically threw The Authority under the bus by having Superman make total fools of The Elite, a one-dimensional straw-man stand-in for the team, in the notorious (well, I consider it to be notorious) Action Comics #775.

I think only old-school comic fans with a real hard-on or Superman remotely considered that a good “response” to the Authority concept, a very vocal minority. I think most actual comics fans rolled their eyes at the corniness of it all. One thing about the comic-related internet is that is speaks for a very vocal minority. How many people actually were reading Superman comics at that time?

anyone else kinda glad that DC made something that is clearly a positive business move?

Cancelling Wildstorm would count as a good business move if it wasn’t for the fact that they bought the company recently and proceeded to make it even worse than it was when they got it, making it reach the point where it needed cancellation in the first place.

That’s like praising NBC for it’s good business sense because they cancelled like 80% of the recent new programming that was losing money, rather than point out that they had to suck to even reach that point in the first place.

@ T:

I think only old-school comic fans with a real hard-on or Superman remotely considered that a good “response” to the Authority concept, a very vocal minority. I think most actual comics fans rolled their eyes at the corniness of it all. One thing about the comic-related internet is that is speaks for a very vocal minority. How many people actually were reading Superman comics at that time?

Action Comics #775 apparently sold just over 37 thousand units, which put it in 47th place on the monthly sales chart. It had a great title, which is probably why it is so well remembered despite its low sales profile. It is also symbolic of the reaction of DC Comics to the “Wildstorm wave”.

Let me take a step back.

As nearly as I can tell, mainstream comics have had five waves of innovation. The first was the Golden Age led by Superman. The second was the pre-Marvel Silver Age starting in the ’50s. The third was the Marvel Silver Age that gave rise the “Big Two” dynamic. The fourth was the rise of the indies in the ’80s and the British Invasion that led to the creation of Vertigo. The fifth was the formation of Image leading to the creation of Wildstorm.

DC may have bought the company, but Marvel really absorbed both the Wildstrom talent and their innovations to a much greater degree. THE ULTIMATES was a Wildstorm book in Marvel clothing in the same way NEW TEEN TITANS was a Marvel book in DC clothing.

“I think only old-school comic fans with a real hard-on or Superman…”

TYPO WIN!!!

re WILDSTORM – Yeah, this one leaves a bad taste, but I think it’s a very good business move for DC, only it really does go to show that DC of the past ten or more years HAD NO IDEA how to run a business, buying people willy-nilly. It kinda really makes it look like they bought WILDSTORM for the colouring tech AND Alan Moore!

“It kinda really makes it look like they bought WILDSTORM for the colouring tech AND Alan Moore!”

ought to read as

“It kinda really makes it look like they ONLY bought WILDSTORM for the colouring tech AND Alan Moore!”

[…] graphic novel was probably delayed after Jim Lee announced on September 2010 the DC Comics Wildstorm would be shutdown by December, moving all the Blizzard […]

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