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The Truth About DC’s Walmart Exclusives

February 27, 2019 | Posted by Steve Gustafson
DC Walmart Justice League

I’m Steve Gustafson and thanks for stopping by. Don’t forget to check out 411mania’s Comic Book Review Roundtable, every Thursday! Read up on the best reviews and let us know what you’re reading as well. Click to read the latest Comic Book Review Roundtable! Amazing Spider-Man #15, Wonder Twins #1, and more!

Now, on with the show!

Last week we discussed Worst Comic Book Sidekicks. Here’s what some of you had to say:

Master Contrail Program: “Was there ever a Thundercats comic? If so, I’m nominating Snarf.”

D-Unit: “Rick Jones. Hated him, even as a kid, and then the made him Bucky, who is the 2nd worse sidekick”

D2Kvirus: “Chie Maruyama in Uzumaki, who was literally dropped into the story so that Kirie had somebody to exposit to for the chapters where Shuichi wasn’t featured – so, naturally, as soon as Shuichi returned she was written out in a matter of pages”

Michael L: “Not in comic books, but the Saturday Morning Superfriends show had some pretty aweful sidekicks. I’m not sure which was worse: Wendy & Marvin or the Wonder Twins.”

El Atomico: “Once we got out of the 40’s and 50’s, pretty much every sidekick was lame, IMO, though I do have a soft spot for the Jason Todd Robin. He killed a guy once, y’know! :D”

Solomon Grundy: “Well 2 that jump to mind are Zook, though he may be more of a pet than sidekick and this may be sacrilege, but Jimmy Olsen was not only really annoying but also completely useless.”

James M. Fabiano: “Glad you cut right to the chase of the HERBIE/Human Torch thing instead of (even jokingly) saying the old urban legend that parents were afraid of their kids setting themselves on fire.

Who’s worse for Plastic Man…Woozy Winks or his cartoon counterpart, Hula Hula?

Speaking of cartoons…the animated version of Bat-Mite from the 1977 New Adventures of Batman. Imagine the worst qualities of Orko turned up to 12, minus anything likable or redeeming.

Wasn’t there a storyline where Snapper Carr gets his fingers broken/hands cut off (!) ?”

To read last week’s column go HERE! As always, thanks for the input!

This week we discuss…

The Truth About DC’s Walmart Exclusives!

I’m not going to name names after school but some certain sites that have earned a negative following reported about the death of DC’s Walmart exclusives and the death of the comic book industry in general.

These unnamed sites featured a lengthy quote from a former DC comics artist who said he predicted this would happen and the end was nigh.

Enter DC’s Co-Publisher Dan DiDio who made the announcement that its line of 100-page Giant anthologies are, in fact, alive an well, but would no longer be Walmart-exclusives and would soon trickle their way into comic book stores.

DiDio took to his Facebook page to say the line was “Successful and continuing.”

“For those fans of the DC Giants at Walmart, have to clear up some misinformation making the rounds. Just want to let you know these books are doing well, so well that we are looking to expand the number of original pages in each book and include distribution to the direct market,” DiDio said. “Look for these and new titles later this year. The promise is to keep it one of the best values and reading experiences in the market.”

“My goal in doing the Superman Walmart book is to put new customers into comic shops. You like this Superman, go check out this Batman,” writer Tom King wrote. “Why exclusive then? That was the price we had to pay to get this opportunity. I don’t like it, but I think it’s worth it.”

It looks like it’s paying off. Last month a Target-exclusive one-shot Primal Age 100-Page Giant was released.

From what I’ve been hearing, and experiencing myself, is the biggest problem is finding the books. While they were supposed to be positioned in the same aisle as collectibles and card games, I’ve read that people have found them in the book aisle, toy aisle, and in the magazine section.

Some, like me, have gone to their local stores (or two) and haven’t seen them at all. When the staff was asked, they shrugged. Once I did find a Walmart that had a few, I was impressed with the content you got for the price.

I still believe DC, and Marvel. need to put more effort in special releases for digital devices. Which brings me to remarks made by writer/artist/awesome guy Erik Larsen on his Facebook page:

I fully admit to not accommodating digital readers in the least. I’m creating books for print and if they look crappy on your tablet–that’s on you.

When you decide to watch Titanic on your iPhone you’re going to have to expect that it won’t be the spectacle that it was intended to be. James Cameron shouldn’t be shortchanging the rest of us in order to accommodate your poor viewing decisions.

Excellent points and I agree that the art that’s designed for the printed page should be enjoyed that way. But this should open the doors for creative teams to design for digital devices. Digital exclusives could open new opportunities for young, fresh talent that Marvel and DC could capitalize on.

Bring it back around, thankfully DiDio cleared up what was quickly becoming a false story on a number of fronts and I’m glad the books will continue and be available outside of Walmart. What did you think of DC’s Walmart books? Any problems finding them?

That’s all the time I have. Check out our Comic Book Reviews tomorrow and see you next week!