At a time when readers should merely be speculating on the outcome of Batman #50, they’re instead discussing the controversy that is DC allowing the New York Times to blow the lid off the anniversary issue’s outcome. In other words, it’s now widely known that Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle won’t be getting married after all.
Not only has this situation led to much backlash from the fanbase – though a percentage did see this coming and remain unfazed – but retailers are already reporting a number of cancellations from customers for the book in question. Normally, people will turn out whenever a death or resurrection is spoiled, but learning in advance that a wedding will not be taking place doesn’t sound all that enticing to many.
Strangely enough, the justification behind letting the cat(woman) out of the bag comes not via a press release, but a post made by John Cunningham, Senior Vice President of Sales for DC Entertainment, on a Facebook page devoted to comic shop retailers:
1. DC Sales strongly advocated getting the news out ahead of the OSD, so that the Moment of Realization did not occur hours before events began. We even did our level best to try and spoil it here on this page over and over again (and failed). The NY Times article was posted here at 630 a.m. PST not out of “Pride” — please — but to get you the information as soon as we could.
2. In the abstract, we believed the news would break on Monday morning, given the arrival time of physical copies in store and the reality that a copy or a scan would end up being passed to uncontrolled comic book outlets (much like Marvel’s wedding issue last week and every other major comic book event in the lat decade).
3. As mentioned here before, any discussion about financial remedies for problematic DC product must occur after the product is on sale.
4. While The Times piece is more fulsome that [sic] some might like, it does not spoil the shock ending of the book for fans. We’re working on getting this posted here for you.
5. I stand by my belief that BATMAN #50 is one of the best single issue periodicals of the last decade, that it is a special moment in comic book history, and that if it’s not the book we (think) we want, it’s the book we need.
Though some of Cunningham’s logic is sound, just assuming that spoilers were going to get out wasn’t a good reason for pulling the trigger. In this digital age, any form of media is subject to being spoiled ahead of release – it’s just something everyone hopes to avoid. And though some outlets could’ve picked up the story, there’s no guarantee it’d have happened.
But if the guy’s correct on one thing, it’s that Batman #50 is a tremendous read, so we still encourage you to pick up a copy once it arrives in comic shops this Wednesday, July 4. And afterward, be sure to come back and check out our review.