The Walmart Report: DC Released New Comics This Week Plus Jim Lee Art

Most comic book shops are closed right now for customers to come in and buy new comics every week.  Major publishers are closed and not sending out new physical comics to buy anyway.  Diamond Distribution is also closed and not distributing comics from the publishers to the Local Comic Book shops. This is the status right now as many people are sheltering at home worldwide during the pandemic, but repeating the breakdown of the circle of distribution of new comics is essential when we see that Walmarts throughout the United States received new comics for sale this week. Good or bad, but existing outside of the Diamond distribution circle, Walmart and DC have put out new physical books this week, a reminder of the changes that DC is trying to make in that circle.

The Walmart Report: DC Giants for April

The four new books that arrived in Walmarts this week have had their solicits sent out to comic book shops, over a month after Previews ran brief details on the books, leaving retailers in the dark on more information until a week or two before the Final Order Cutoff for adjusting orders.  Arriving on Thursday and Friday of this last week, Walmarts throughout the United States received Aquaman Giant #4, Superman Giant (Volume 2) #3, Titans Giant (Volume 2) #2, and the much anticipated Our Fighting Forces Giant #1.

AQUAMAN GIANT #3
Reprint cover by Ivan Reis
This issue includes two new stories:

  • "Stinging Tide: Part 1", a 16-page story written by Steve Orlando with art by V Ken Marion
  • "Whale Watch", an eight-page story written by Cecil Castellucci with art by Pop Mahn

Plus, these reprint tales:

  • "Throne Of Atlantis Chapter Three", from AQUAMAN #16
  • "Xebel Heart", from MERA QUEEN OF ATLANTIS #4
  • "Blood of the Manta: Chapter 2", from TEEN TITANS #10

In Walmarts: April 17th, 2020 (three and half weeks early before comic shops on May 13th, maybe?)

SRP: $4.99 

Walmart Aquaman Giant #4 Mass Market Cover.
Aquaman Giant #4 Mass Market Cover.

SUPERMAN GIANT VOLUME 2 #3
Reprint cover by Jim Lee
This issue includes one new story:

  • "Dangerous Games", a 24-page story by Robert Venditti and Paul Pelletier.

Plus, these reprint tales:

  • "Mad World", from SUPERGIRL #56
  • "Brainiac Part 3", from ACTION COMICS #868
  • "The Boy Who Stole Superman's Cape", from ACTION COMICS #0

In Walmarts: April 17th, 2020 (two and half weeks early before comic shops on May 6th, maybe?)

SRP: $4.99

Walmart Superman Giant Volume 2 #3 Mass Market Cover.
Superman Giant Volume 2 #3 Mass Market Cover.

TITANS GIANT VOLUME 2 #2
Reprint Cover by Amanda Conner

This issue includes two new stories:

  • "Bride Of Blood", a 16-page story written by Phil Hester with art by Scott Koblish
  • "Cool And Hipaa", an eight-page story written by Andrew Aydin with art by Juan Gedeon

Plus, these reprint tales:

  • "Titans East! Titans West! And Never (?) The Teens Shall Never Meet", from TEEN TITANS #51
  • "Hot Tropic", from STARFIRE #2
  • "Action Detectives Part 2", from ADVENTURES OF THE SUPER SONS #2

In Walmarts: April 17th, 2020 (a whole month before comic shops on May 20th, again maybe?)

SRP: $4.99

Walmart Titans Giant Volume 2 #2 Mass Market Cover.
Titans Giant Volume 2 #2 Mass Market Cover.

OUR FIGHTING FORCES GIANT #1

Reprint cover by Joe Kubert

This issue includes three new stories:

  • "House Call", a 16-page story written by Priest with art by Christopher Mooneyham
  • "Code of Honor", an 8-page story written by Larry Hama with art by Mirko Colak
  • "Medal Of Honor", an 8-page story written by Brad Meltzer with art by Jim Lee

Plus, these reprint tales:

  • "Frozen", from MEN OF WAR #4
  • "Knife Fight", from MEN OF WAR #5
  • "A Last, Full Measure", from MEN OF WAR #6
  • "Remembering The Leopard", from MEN OF WAR #7
  • "Survival Mode", from MEN OF WAR #7

In Walmarts: April 17th, 2020 (about a week and a half before comic shops were supposed to get it on April 29th, but at this time, it is not on the list of comics shipping through DC's new distribution deal.)

SRP: $4.99

Walmart Our Fighting Forces Giant #1 Mass Market Cover.
Our Fighting Forces Giant #1 Mass Market Cover.

The four books make up all the Giant Line content that was planned to hit Local Comic Book Shops in late April and throughout May.  In particular, though, the Our Fighting Forces Giant #1 features the long-teased and hugely hyped Brad Meltzer / Jim Lee story that was recently revealed to be a Batman story.  The story "Medal Of Honor" is based on the true story "of US Army Specialist Salvatore A. Giunta, who was awarded the Medal of Honor for his service in Afghanistan-the first living soldier to receive that honor during the Global War on Terrorism." " The story was also produced in association with the National Medal of Honor Museum. Sal Giunta even receives a writing credit, and all of the dialogue was taken by Brad Meltzer and adapted from President Barack Obama's speech when Sal Giunta was honored in 2010. The all-new artwork, though by Jim Lee, is what will draw most fans to it. Also Brad Meltzer has quite a few fans too, so demand will be high for the one-shot just based on that 8-page story alone.

Our Fighting Forces Giant #1 Preview Page 34.
Our Fighting Forces Giant #1 Preview Page 34.

Though the ad on the back cover is for a collection no comic book store has in stock right now for sale. However, Amazon and Barnes & Noble and other non-Local Comic Book Shops have it in stock for sale, even Walmart.

Walmart DC Giant Line Back Cover Ad for April.
DC Giant Line Back Cover Ad for April.

A Preview & Reminder That DC Already Goes Around Diamond

All four of the books put out this week do match up with their solicitation details in the Diamond Previews online, but most did wonder with Diamond closed and the DC printers closed, before DC found new printers, would these books still come out at Walmarts? Well the new deal DC has put together with UCS Comic Distributors and Lunar Distribution, the aliases for Midtown Comics and DCBS, shows that these titles direct market versions likely could be distributed on or close to their original solicit dates.

Walmart (or a related company) however, has a different deal with DC, where the comics are distributed to Walmarts outside of the usual Diamond distribution method. So either the comics put out this week were printed before DC's original printers closed down (the most likely scenario) or the new printers that DC has secured printed out the books quickly.  Also, with new printers secured, the Giant line will likely continue and be printed on time to keep the contract with Walmart secure and running smoothly, though we will have to wait until next month to see if this continues for sure.

The books scheduled for Walmart next month include:

  • Swamp Thing Giant Volume 2 #5
  • Flash Giant Volume 2 #5

And the Wonder Woman 1984 One-Shot, but with the movie on hold, very doubtful that is still coming out. So with Batman Giant Volume 2 #5 having not been solicited and Wonder Woman Giant Volume 2 #5 replaced on the solicits by the Wonder Woman 1984 Special chances are Walmart may only get two new comics next month if anything. This release, though, does show us, along with the new "distribution deal," that DC is determined to make sure their new content is getting out there. Whether consumers can get it, or if it hurts or helps the Local Comic Book Shops, doesn't seem to be DC's number one concern.

About Ian Melton

Japanese Teacher, Comic Book, Manga, & Anime collector, LCBS worker, father of 2, fan of far too many things for far too long...