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6. Villains Month Annoys Retailers But Continues DC's September Success
DC Comics had a very successful September 2011, with the debut of The New 52 and the relaunch of their entire DC Universe line of titles with new #1s. The publisher followed up its September success a year later with "Zero Month," rolling back each series to #0 and providing a look at the early days of each title character.
For its second follow-up in September 2013, DC announced "Villains Month," where regularly scheduled books would be put on hold and replaced with 52 one-shots starring the company's biggest bad guys. Additionally, each issue shipped with a 3D motion cover, a flashy promotional move hearkening back to the '90s, when such practices were more common.
Early gifs showing off the covers stirred fan interest, but it was subsequently announced that the covers would be allocated, due to not being able to meet the demand at the printer. Predictably -- and understandably -- this upset retailers, a number of whom were already less than excited about the concept.
Yet "Villains Month" ended up a huge sales success for DC, who once again dominate the month of September, and retailers polled by CBR nearly unanimously reported an uptick in sales from average months. Though, not everyone was entirely pleased: "They didn't even have faith in their own event or promotion," said Jason Leivian, owner of Floating World Comics in Portland, Oregon. "They ordered conservatively, ask retailers to take a risk on a bunch of random titles with different creative teams, then didn't have enough to meet demand. Then they get to benefit from the perceived scarcity, creating a rush for these 'limited' covers. Basically being rewarded for making a mistake."