After an absence of nearly a month, some costumed superheroes are planning to return to the pages of comic books and to the stores that can still sell them.
DC, the publishing home of Superman, Batman and the Justice League, said that it would resume selling some new comics to retail stores on April 28, and has set publishing schedules for the weeks of May 5 and May 12. Only five DC comics were initially announced for publication on April 28, a considerable reduction from the period before the coronavirus pandemic effectively shuttered the industry, when publishers like DC and Marvel were releasing dozens of new titles to stores each week.
Those new DC titles include The Dreaming No. 20, which concludes a long-running story set in the Sandman universe; and a reprint of Batman No. 89, which introduces the villain Punchline. DC also plans to release new installments of The Flash, Hawkman, Justice League and Harley Quinn in May.
Jim Lee, the publisher and chief creative officer of DC, said in a podcast interview with the filmmaker Kevin Smith that this first batch of new comics represented a “subsection” of its titles that were supposed to be released on April 1. That’s when the industry’s main distribution company, Diamond Comic Distributors, said that it would stop shipping new comics to stores.
“It’s like the marketplace is on a diet,” Lee said in the podcast interview. “They haven’t eaten for like a month. You can’t just give them real food and a ton of it at once. You’ve got to slowly release it back into the pipeline.”
Lee added that other major DC publications planned for the spring would probably “be pushed back until we have more stores up online.”
He said, that until then, “the stores that are open and have figured out ways to be in business, we want to help them out. We want to give them product to sell. We want to give them the lifeblood that keeps their businesses afloat.”
Diamond said in a statement reported by Newsarama that it is “targeting mid- to late May” to resume its distribution of new comics. DC will use two other companies, Lunar Distribution and UCS Comic Distributors, during this time.