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Why Dc Is Canceling Batman

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Reading: Why Dc Is Canceling Batman

Batman has been a quintessential DC character with numerous iconic characters to his name. Apart from Detective Comics and his titular comic series, Batman has also found his way in ensemble-driven comics centering upon the “Bat Family” and the Justice League. 

RELATED: The 9 Best Relationships in Batman Comics, Ranked

Much to the dismay of fans of the Dark Knight, some Batman comics have had a short-lived fate. The cancellations mostly occurred due to low sales or marketing changes on DC’s part. Even if these stories are left incomplete, they still make for essential collector’s items for Batman aficionados.

Batman Family (1975-1978)

why dc is canceling batman

As the title suggests, Batman Family dealt with the superhero's allies and family members, many of whom were masked vigilantes themselves. In this way, the comic served as an interesting anthology with stories of Robin, Batwoman, Ace the Bat-Hound, and other important Bat Family members.

By the end of 1978, the "DC Implosion" happened. This phase is known so as the publication house started canceling several projects including Detective Comics. Even though Detective Comics had introduced Batman, its sales were sluggish by the late 1970s. It was then that DC decided to incorporate the relatively successful Batman family under the label of Detective Comics. So, while Batman Family ended with the 20th issue, its stories continued to be published from Detective Comics #481 onwards.

Batman: The Widening Gyre (2009-2010)

why dc is canceling batman

Written by Kevin Smith and illustrated by Walt Flanagan, Batman: The Widening Gyre carried a lot of potential. The major theme of the storyline was trust. As an ex-flame walks back into his life and as he encounters a new vigilante, Batman questions his trust in both cases. Based on his tumultuous past, it is hard for him to put his faith in anyone.

But Batman's moral dilemmas came to an end with the sixth issue itself as Smith and Flanagan got involved with their reality show Comic Book Men. What was intended as a break from the 12-issue miniseries turned into a long detour and The Widening Gyre ended on a cliffhanger. Smith is no stranger to self-imposed cancellations as he also authored the 2000s Daredevil comic issue The Target, which ended after just one issue.

Batman Beyond Vol.6 (2016-2020)

why dc is canceling batman

Popularized by the animated show of the same name, Batman Beyond was published in six major volumes. The final and most recent edition continued telling the story of Bruce Wayne's successor Terry McGinnis and his neo-futuristic adventures.

RELATED: 5 Best Episodes Of Batman Beyond (& 5 Of The Worst), Ranked According To IMDb

With Dan Jurgen serving as a writer on the series, Batman Beyond Vol. 6 drew its final curtain in 2020 with Batman being wrongly accused of crimes that he didn't commit. Wonder Woman also appeared in the final storyline to apprehend McGinnis and find out the truth. Even though the 50-issue long series carried more promise, Games Radar reported that the cancellation might have stemmed out of "DC's plan to cut 20% to 25% of its line."

All-Star Batman & Robin, The Boy Wonder (2005-2008)

why dc is canceling batman

The Dark Knight Returns continues to be one of the most influential of Frank Miller's graphic novels. There was much hype when Miller united with artist Jim Lee for a story set within the same universe. With the first issue dropping in 2005, All-Star Batman & Robin was supposed to recount Dick Grayson's initiation in the Bat-Family as Robin.

But an irregular release schedule eventually lead to the series getting canceled in 2008. The ten-issue run was also panned by critics and audiences, citing it as one of Miller's weaker works. Additionally, Jim Lee took full responsibility for the delays in release because of his work on the DC Universe Online game.

Batman And The Outsiders (2018-2020)

why dc is canceling batman

Since the Batman comic issues of the 1980s, the Outsiders has appeared as a team of misfits. Heroes like Black Lightning and Katana accompany Batman in fighting crime, assembling as heroes who do not fit the conventions of the Justice League. A rebooted volume of Batman and the Outsiders under the Rebirth imprint commenced in 2018 and drew much acclaim for its fresh approach to the superhero team-up tropes along with Dexter Soy's art.

However, after 17 issues, the series came to an abrupt end in 2020. Canceled along with several other series like Batgirl and Batman Beyond, DC did not state any particular reason behind the move.

Anarky (1999)

why dc is canceling batman

Batman: Anarky drew immense acclaim for its politically-charged undertones as Batman faced off against Anarky, a philosophical villain who plans to reshape society. However, Anarky's second solo run in the comic series of the same name was met with disastrous results.

RELATED: 10 Most Iconic Joker Panels In Batman Comics

An unwanted connection as Joker's son proved to be a distasteful move with even Anarky creator Alan Grant nodding in agreement. The controversial choice marked the end of the series after just eight issues.

The Joker (1975-1976)

why dc is canceling batman

The Joker starred in his own comic book series in the 1970s which was a major feat for any of Batman's comic book villains. The comic however ran only for nine issues, ending with a cliffhanger that was finally resolved with the unpublished tenth issue released in 2019.

Because of the comic book guidelines of the time, The Joker toned down the violence and insanity of its titular character. Yet this new avatar of Joker could have been reinterpreted in different ways if the series continued. After all, even Batman wasn't as brooding and grim in his older issues. Hence, the more sanitized Joker should have been given another chance.

Batman/Superman Vol. 2 (2019-2021)

why dc is canceling batman

Batman and Superman have teamed up on various occasions. So, it only makes sense for the duo to have its own exclusive series. With Superman/Batman enjoying a noteworthy 87-issue run, a similar comic called Batman/Superman was published as a part of the New 52. The comic's second volume seemed to take on a post-52 timeline but its tenure was cut short in 2021.

RELATED: 10 Best Friendships In Batman Comic Books

Even though prominent cartoonist Gene Luen Yang's run as an illustrator was drawing positive reactions, DC decided to call off the series with just 22 issues. It's a shame that the series got canceled so early as Yang's unique style added a more playful charm to the timeless DC duo.

All Star Batman (2016-2017)

why dc is canceling batman

Scott Snyder’s run on Detective Comics had drawn much critical acclaim. Hence, it wasn’t surprising to find All Star Batman receive similar reviews, coupled with the art of comic maestros John Romita Jr. and Jock and Rafael Albuquerque.

The comic officially ended with All Star Batman #14 in 2017. As Snyder told CBR, DC asked him to continue his storylines in a different prestige format instead of the usual monthly format of the series. This revamped the series with an irregular publishing schedule.

NEXT: The 10 Weirdest Batman Comic Book Arcs

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