DC Comics has made a change to its plans for publishing a new family of Milestone comic books to appease beleaguered direct market retailers who have felt ignored by the publisher since it shattered the Diamond monopoly last year. Now, instead of titles releasing first digitally and then as physical comics, now the titles will be released simultaneously on digital outlets and in comic book stores. It's DC's way of saying, "I'm so sorry, baby. I'll never hurt your feelings again. I promise."
A press release on DCComics.com elaborates:
From fans to retailers and press, the excitement surrounding the return of Milestone to DC is at a fever pitch, and DC is releasing more news about the return of the imprint and its groundbreaking characters Static, Icon and Rocket, and Hardware.
While the Milestone Returns #0: Infinite Edition is available now digitally and in comic book stores on May 25, the three series spinning out from it will now release simultaneously on participating digital platforms and in comic book stores. This new release schedule will now enable both digital and print comic readers to experience these great new stories and storytellers at the same time.
Phew! We were worried for a minute there that a comic book publisher might stop propping up a doomed direct market system like the titular Bernie in the Weekend at Bernie's film series. In an additional offering to direct market fat cats, DC also promised a "robust" variant cover program for the books:
Each series will be supported by a robust variant-cover plan; the launch of Static Season One will include a retailer-exclusive variant cover program, plus a "team" variant by artist Olivier Coipel. The full variant cover program details will be revealed in future issues of DC CONNECT, beginning with issue #12, available online on or before April 23, 2021.
Exciting! DC is really making some sweet love to the direct market again! "Sluurrrrp," said a DC Comics representative when asked for comment, wiping retailer goodwill off their chin with a handkerchief. Here are the titles and new release dates for digital and physical copies:
Static: Season One, written by Vita Ayala, with layouts by CHRISCROSS, finishes by Nikolas Draper-Ivey with covers by Khary Randolph launches in print and digital on June 15
Icon and Rocket: Season One, co-written by Reggie Hudlin and Leon Chills, with art by Doug Braithwaite and covers by Taurin Clarke launches in print and digital on July 27
Hardware: Season One, written by Brandon Thomas, with art by Denys Cowan and Bill Sienkiewicz with covers by Mateus Mahanini, launches in print and digital on August 10