Last fall, DC Comics, apparently convinced they should make the iconic superhero Superman go woke, replaced Clark Kent with his son Jonathan Kent, then had Jonathan Kent fall in love with a man. DC gushed, “Just like his father before him, Jon Kent has fallen for a reporter. After initially striking up a friendship with reporter Jay Nakamura, he and Jon become romantically involved in the pages of SUPERMAN: SON OF KAL-EL #5 from writer Tom Taylor (DARK KNIGHTS OF STEEL) and artist John Timms (HARLEY QUINN).”
DC issued a press release in which they breathlessly stated, “Following the news of the upcoming reveal of Jon Kent coming out as bisexual in issue #5 of SUPERMAN: SON OF KAL-EL, global fan excitement has led to more orders for the upcoming issue than the series’ debut issue!”
But as Bounding Into Comics reports, the woke changes aren’t selling well in general. Bounding Into Comics notes that sales tracking website ICv2, which states that their data set is “unit and dollar sales rankings based on sales tracked at point-of-sale by the ComicHub system at stores selling American comics around the world,” reported that although Superman: Son of Kal-El #5 was the 6th most sold comic book for the month of November, it trailed Batman and Dark Knights of Steel. ICv2’s data set for December found Superman: Son of Kal-El was nowhere on the top 50 chart when looking at total units.
“Superman: Son of Kal-El 2021 Annual #1 did place 45th on ICv2’s Top 50 Comic Books by Dollars chart for the month,” Bounding Into Comics reported. “That’s right, the flagship Superman book at DC Comics is not on a Top 50 Comic Books by Units chart only 5 issues in.”
Superman: Son of Kal-El sold 68,800 issues back in July; Comichron reported that the book’s third issue only sold 34,000 copies in September.
Bounding Into Comics pointed out that 68,800 issues being sold paled in comparison to previous Superman #1 issues; the 2018 reboot featured Superman #1 selling 133,700 copies; the June 2016 DC Rebirth reboot featured Superman Rebirth #1 selling 118,434 copies and Superman #1 selling 105,380 copies; the 2011 debut of The New 52 found Superman #1 selling 118,376 copies.
DC Comics writer Tom Taylor, commenting on Superman: Son of Kal-El #7, which features Superman as a climate change activist, told IGN, “The question for Jon (and for our creative team) is, what should a new Superman fight for today? Can a seventeen-year-old Superman battle giant robots while ignoring the climate crisis? Of course not. … Can someone with super sight and super hearing ignore injustices beyond his borders? Can he ignore the plight of asylum seekers?”
YouTuber Comics by Perch stated, “There’s been a lot of speculation about the health of DC, nothing quite says you are screwed like this. … In terms of health of the company, sit with this for a second. 50 DC titles. The top 50 DC titles, 48 of them are Batman books. It is the Batman company. Just forget the rest. … No part of that is good news for DC or even close to it. That’s where we are at.”
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