I enjoy Omega Men and Justice League United, but I can see why DC has made the decision to end those titles.
“Duh,” you say, “they weren’t selling.”
Well, yes and no. Justice League United was selling better than a handful of other DC books that have yet to get the axe, so it wasn’t just sales that did these comics in.
When DC launched their DCYou campaign, they drew a line down the middle of their line-up of books. On one side were the surviving New 52 comics, books featuring superheroes in a shared universe, more or less beholden to continuity. On the other were comics meant to attract a new audience that feature diverse genres, styles, and characters. They were, in many way, anti-New 52 comics.
In between these two groups lay books like Omega Men, Justice League United, Doomed, Gotham by Midnight, and Lobo, now all canceled.
On one hand you have Bleeding Cool reporting that DC are going to reverse course from the DCYou movement and on the other hand you have Dan Didio and Jim Lee saying they’re committed to giving the DCYou titles time to attract and build new audiences. I think both of these things are true, which is why these five books got cut.
Doomed and Omega Men didn’t exist pre-DCYou, although the elements of Doom were there. Neither book reinforces the brand, which is the New 52 line, but neither creates a new audience, either, at least not obviously. Doomed doesn’t break new ground and Omega Men is a sci-fi book, which isn’t the easiest sell to non-comics fans.
Justice League United is a great book, but it’s far from a straightforward Justice League title, so it’s not serving the brand, and thus had to come to an end. The same goes for Gotham by Midnight. And Lobo? I’m not sure how the New 52 Lobo got a solo book in the first place, but I can’t imagine anyone looking at the New 52 side of things saw it as doing any favors to the line.
That’s the key part to remember as far as the rumor about DC reversing course is concerned — because the changes brought about by DCYou weren’t relegated to the non-New 52 line. Superman lost his powers, Batman is now a robot bunny rabbit, Wonder Woman has a new costume, and Hal Jordan is a fugitive. Reversing course is about protecting the brand, and that brand is exemplified by the New 52 books. A creepy, supernatural Batman book with unique art hurts the brand. A Justice League book featuring b-listers hurts the brand.
I would expect the next round of changes from DC to be announcements that Bruce Wayne is returning to the cowl, Superman and Wonder Woman are returning to their classic costumes (or New 52 classic), and Hal Jordan will once again be a Green Lantern.
But I don’t see these cancellations as a sign that DC is giving up on its outreach program. If anything, they appear to be streamlining their operations to help keep those efforts alive.
Update: Not long after I wrote this, I learned that Batman ’66, Sensation Comics, and Green Lantern: The Lost Army have been canceled, although DC is claiming that The Lost Army and Doomed were intended to be 6 issues mini-series, even though they never told anyone that to begin with.
But, again, note that these aren’t books that were a part of the DCYou half of DC’s line-up. These are all books that featured big brand characters, but which diluted that brand in various ways.