New York Times spoils Batman’s wedding issue, and comic shop owners are pissed! (spoilers)
DC Comics may have just outdone Marvel in how not to market their comic books.
On Sunday, the New York Times ran an article covering Batman 50, otherwise known as “the wedding issue.” Batman 50 is the culmination of months of hype and build-up to the wedding of Batman & Catwoman, and is scheduled to arrive in comic stores on Wednesday.
The problem? The New York Times story, including the headline itself, contains massive, key spoilers of the issue. One might think that DC Comics wouldn’t be happy about this, but DC promoted and linked to the New York Times article on their own social media pages.
But you know who is pissed? Comic shop owners and fans. Without furthering the damage by spreading the spoiled details even further, it’s very clear that Batman fans are not happy with what information has been leaked, prompting some fans to cancel their preorders of the book and threaten to drop Batman and other DC Comics from their regular pull lists.
Comic shop owners, on the other hand, are in a far worse state. Despite the wave of cancellations, it’s too late for them to cancel their orders with distributors. All those issues of Batman 50 are already paid for, and being a landmark issue, many shops ordered in big numbers. Some retailers have taken their complaints online and demanded that DC allow returns on the comic, which is a $5 book. Pretty costly to have stacks of them collecting dust on a shelf.
It’s impossible to know exactly what the financial fallout will be for comic book shops who ordered Batman 50 in big numbers, but this is a baffling marketing move by DC Comics. The comics market has taken a sharp downturn over the last several years, with 50 U.S. comic book shops closing in 2017. If you’re concerned about your own local store, you may want to check in with them and consider buying the book anyway if they’re really in deep.
Very recently, DC allowed for returns on Man of Steel #1 in an effort to encourage larger orders. Let’s hope that they offer struggling comic shops a similar deal with Batman 50, because if not, what the holy fuck, DC?