DC Comics Cancels Hellblazer in March 2013

DC Comics unveils latest addition to
The New 52 – CONSTANTINE

Constantine

DC has cancelled Hellblazer with its 300th issue in February 2013. Hellblazer, which is currently the longest running title that hasn’t had its numbering changed, will be replaced by a new title – Constantine.

Again, it seems that DC, like Marvel, is employing a tactic that, in effect, just lowers the number on a title to make it more appealing to new readers. Usually, this has a short term effect on increasing sales; in the long run though, sales tend to slip back to the usual number or trend lower. This is especially true with Marvel Comics’ constant relaunching of titles.

We’ll see what this does to the sales of Constantine. I’m willing to bet that the first 3 issues will sell very well, but then you’ll see a quick downturn. Based on the estimated sales from The Comics Chronicles, Hellblazer has enjoyed very consistent sales in the 9,100 – 9,900 range for several years. The relaunch of the New 52 at DC in September 2011 had very little, if any, effect on the sales of the title.

Now that the title is changing, we’ll see if any of the steady customers DC has on Hellblazer will decide to jump ship. DC is counting on new readers with this strategy, but on a title with such consistent readership, it can sometimes backfire if done purely for a short term sales increase.

That being said, I’m looking forward to the creative team of Robert Venditti and Renato Guedes on Constantine when it launches in March 2013.

What are your opinions or expectations on this move? Let us know in the comments section below!

Press release

John Constantine has been a constant presence in the pages of DC Comics, having first appeared in SWAMP THING in the 1980s and up through his current adventures in the pages of JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK, ANIMAL MAN and SWORD OF SORCERY.

Now, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS announced this morning that the chain-smoking British occult detective will headline his own ongoing comic book series as part of DC Comics-The New 52.

Launching in March 2013, CONSTANTINE will be written by upcoming DEMON KNIGHTS writer and New York Times bestselling author of The Homeland Directive and the sci-fi graphic novel series The Surrogates, Robert Venditti, with incredible art by Renato Guedes (SUPERMAN).

"Few characters in comics are as complex and entertaining as John Constantine, and I’m finding him to be every bit as enjoyable to write as he is to read," says Venditti. "It’s my goal to have the new CONSTANTINE series be equal parts familiarity and surprise.  This will be the Constantine we all know and love, but facing new and unexpected challenges from both inside and out."

HELLBLAZER, Vertigo’s longest-running series which currently headlines John Constantine, will end with issue #300 in February. John Constantine has escaped, cheated, narrowly avoided and even reversed death on multiple occasions. Now, in the conclusion of “Death and Cigarettes,” longtime writer Peter Milligan and artists Giuseppe Camuncoli and Stefano Landini will test whether he’s got one more second chance in him, giving him the bloody best sendoff he deserves.

Constantine #1 concept art

– The Comic Book Critic

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