The Walmart Report: Is the DC Giants Line Done?

Most comic book shops are reopening or attempting to reopen, and we are the cusp of an actual (mostly) typical comic book month in June.  There will be reduced releases from all publishers, as the printing of new comics gets back to normal, and Diamond ratchets back up distribution.  DC, by circumventing Diamond for several weeks, has put themselves ahead of the game as they have been printing and releasing comics for weeks and Diamond, and many comic book stores, are playing catch up. So then why did the notice come out on Friday that DC was canceling physical copies of many comics coming to Local Comic Book Shops, including four of their Giant Line, all four of which are already on sale in Walmarts throughout the United States?

The Walmart Report: DC Giants for May

Four new DC Giant books arrived in Walmarts about two or three weeks ago, depending on your Walmart and their desire to put out the new books. They received Batman Giant (Volume 2) #5,  The Flash Giant (Volume 2) #5, Swamp Thing Giant (Volume 2) #5, and the weird monthly one-shot Teen Titans Go! DC Superhero Girls Giant #1.

BATMAN GIANT VOLUME 2 #5
Reprint cover by Chris Burnham
This issue includes two new stories:

  • "Unplanned Obsolescence", a 16-page story written by Mark Russell with art by Ryan Benjamin, featuring Batman and Killer Moth.
  • "Joker's Wild, A.K.A. 'Whatcha Got In The Trunk?' ", an eight-page story written by Mark Russell with art by Christopher Moneyham, looking at the origin of the Joker, and was he or wasn't he a failed comic before…

Plus, these reprint tales:

  • "The Court Of Owls Part 5: Face The Court", from BATMAN #5
  • "Elergy Part 4: Rubato!", from DETECTIVE COMICS #857
  • "Rise of Raptor Part 1", from NIGHTWING #7

SRP: $4.99

Batman Giant Volume 2 #5 Cover
Mass Market cover for Batman Giant Volume 2 #5.

THE FLASH GIANT VOLUME 2 #5
Reprint cover by Francis Manapul
This issue includes two new stories:

  • "Around The Day In Eighty Worlds", a 16-page story written by Gail Simone with art by Clayton Henry, featuring the time traveling conclusion of the Flash versus Reverse Flash, with Jonah Hex?
  • "Rain On Your Own Parade", an eight-page story written by Dave Wielgosz with art by David Lafuente, as the Flash deals with a super villain and a parade on Flash Day, of all days.

Plus, these reprint tales:

  • "Gorilla Warfare Part 5: The Way Home", from THE FLASH #17
  • "Burn Your Bridges", from GREEN ARROW #4
  • "Secrets Part 1", from BLUE BEETLE #5

SRP: $4.99

The Flash Volume 2 #5 Cover
Mass Market cover for The Flash Giant Volume 2 #5 well the only cover now.

SWAMP THING GIANT VOLUME 2 #5
Reprint cover by Kelly Jones
This issue includes two new stories:

  • "Flower King", a 16-page story written by Mark Russell with art by Marco Santucci, as Swamp Thing deals with a murderous cult in his own back yard.
  • "The Ghost Light", an eight-page story written by Phil Hester with art by Tom Mandrake, sees Swamp Thing investigate a mystery with ties to his own past as Alec Holland.

Plus, these reprint tales:

  • "Emerald Apocalypse", from SWAMP THING #5
  • "The Poison Truth Part 5", from THE HELLBLAZER #5
  • "Double Or Nothing", from ZATANNA #5

SRP: $4.99

Swamp Thing Volume 2 #5 Cover
Mass Market cover for Swamp Thing Giant Volume 2 #5.

TEEN TITANS GO ! / DC SUPERHERO GIRLS GIANT #1
Reprint cover by Dan Hipp
This issue includes two new DC Superhero Girls stories:

  • "Birdbrained", a 16-page story written by Amanda Deibert with art by Erich Owen, as Supergirl hopes to enjoy her "me-time" rocking out at The Lazarus Pit concert, her friends just keep interrupting…
  • "Honey, I Shrunk My Friends", an 8-page story written by Derek Fridolfs with art by Agnes Garbowska, which sees Bumblebee shrink … her team, but not herself.

Plus, these reprint tales:

  • "Teen Titans Go … Fish", from TEEN TITANS GO! #4 / TEEN TITANS GO! #7 Digital
  • "Robin The First", from TEEN TITANS GO! #4 / TEEN TITANS GO! #8 Digital
  • "Prank'd", from TEEN TITANS GO! #5 / TEEN TITANS GO! #9 Digital
  • "Don't Look", from TEEN TITANS GO! #5 / TEEN TITANS GO! #10 Digital
  • "But Games Can Never Hurt Me", from TEEN TITANS GO! #6 / TEEN TITANS GO! #11 Digital
  • "Sleep Over", from TEEN TITANS GO! #6 / TEEN TITANS GO! #12 Digital

SRP: $4.99

Teen Titans Go! / Superhero Girls #1 Mass Market Cover
Mass Market cover for Teen Titans Go! / DC Superhero Girls Giant #1.

Now three of the books advertised the Wonder Woman Tempest Tossed graphic novel, set to come out this month according to the ad, and the Teen Titans Go! / DC Superhero Girls Giant advertised Anti-Hero graphic novel … which the ad says came out in April?

Back Cover WW
Mass Market back cover for Batman, Swamp Thing, & The Flash Giant Volume 2 #5.
Teen Titans Go! / DC Superhero Girls Giant #1 Mass Market Back Cover
Mass Market back cover for Teen Titans Go! / DC Superhero Girls Giant #1.

Does This Line Have a Future?

Now since August 2018, the DC Giant line has been shipping into Walmarts every month.  The number of books may change, the titles may change, the dates they arrive on each month may change, but the books have been consistent for almost two years.  For a little over a year, the books were Walmart exclusives, now with most of the content having been reprinted in comic form and hardcovers for Local Comic Book Shops to sell.  The line was relaunched almost a year ago, shipping to Walmarts first with reprint covers and then with brand new covers to LCBS.

However, as time as gone on the gap of a few weeks to a month between Walmart getting the books to LCBS, getting the books has become a more substantial and more significant amount of time. The shut down of Diamond and DC for a time during the pandemic made that gap bigger as Walmart, an essential storefront, stayed open and kept receiving the books. With this last batch, Walmart has obtained every issue that DC had solicited in their recent catalog back in March (except the Wonder Woman '84 Giant #1, which has been postponed with the movie date moved).

Looking ahead to the new online-only DC Connect, we see the next Giant issues solicited are nothing.  There are no more DC Giants solicited after this last batch, and that means what?

There are several factors to consider looking at the future of the line.

Walmart and DC must have a contract of some sort, and DC (who hates to break contracts) did not violate the contract during the pandemic making sure Walmart got new comics, even when no other comic book store in the world was.  They've provided Walmart with books they have also canceled for a physical release, meaning if you want these books, you'll have to get them from Walmart or pay eBay prices (including Titans Giant Volume 2 #2 which came out last month though Batman Giant Volume 2 #5 has not been canceled by DC for physical release to LCBS.)

So then one has to wonder what does the Walmart / DC contract looks like?  How long does it last? If it's a year-long contract well, then it still has two months to go, so what books are going to come out next from DC at Walmart?

It's all speculation, and no new solicits in DC Contact #1 for any Giant books does not give the line much hope except to returning to being a Walmart exclusive line, if only for two more months.  Now not precisely a Walmart exclusive line, as DC will likely be publishing the content online for consumption, but if you want physical copies, Walmart will be it until a trade is expected released. After all, DC does not release solicit information for their online content; they don't have to.  Solicit information only comes out if DC is selling a physical copy to a distributor, like Diamond, to then be sold by an LCBS.  Injustice, Batman The Adventures Continue, etc., all those books don't get solicits until they are being put into actual comics or graphic novels to be sold at book stores or LCBS.

So anybody else got any guesses to what DC has planned for the Giant Line?

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...