Cancelled Books going to Digital?

So I’m a big fan of The Terrifics series and was pretty bummed when it was announced that the series was anything, but there was a big of twist.

The final issues of the Terrifics will be going straight to digital. They’re doing the same thing with the final issue of Supergirl. How do you all feel about this?

I personally feel like DC is (rather cleverly) using the current climate to start this trend of sending series that aren’t doing well straight to digital. On one hand, I totally understand the business behind such a decision and I’m grateful I’ll get to read the story. On the other hand, boy does it suck knowing there’s a final issues of a series I like that I’ll never be able to physically own.


Ahh, owning stuff is overrated. Digital archives forever


I’ve experienced this a few years ago when the final issue of Doc Savage came out digitally. It wasn’t my favorite of the First Wave line but I was collecting them to have them bound into custom hardcovers. To this day I wonder how that’s gonna work without that final issue, but I was still glad to get the ending of the story in digital format.


Since I don’t see much value in owning a print version of most modern comics (with rare exceptions such as Action Comics #1000, which is both a milestone and a standalone issue), I see no downside to this new model. Regardless, I’m glad we’re getting the rest of The Terrifics.


I definitely understand the want to own physical. When I first started collecting and trying my best to research all the great stories out there, I would go on Craigslist and then fill tubs of comics. I probably have around a 1000 physical copies at this point. And while I liked being able to read them and hold them, now that I have read a lot they just take up far too much space. It frustrates me to have all these comics laying around, taking up space I could use, not being read. I’m currently looking to donate a lot of them to a place that I think could use them, but that’s besides the point.

Anyways, this nuisance of owning physical copies has made me a huge supporter of digital comics. Besides just saving me space; it saves me money, allows me to read on the go far more easily, and is probably going to be what saves the comic industry.

So, how does it save me money? Well, obviously great services like DC Universe and Marvel Unlimited allows me to to have thousands of great stories available for the price of a couple physical comics a month. I’ve been reading WAY more with these services and finally got the chance to read the great arcs like Kingdom Come I’ve been dying to get my hands on. And when it comes to buying new, single issue comics, it’s also cheaper to purchase one digitally than physically now.

How does it make it easier to read? Well I feel like this one is pretty obvious. Now I’m able to carry entire arcs in my pocket on the go with me. I used to literally put like 5-6 comics in my backpack at the beginning of the day so I could read. Now I just open an app and read all the stories I want.

Finally, how does it save the comic industry? I think most comic fans are pretty aware of the financial pressure that even the big comic guys are facing; and this pandemic certainly isn’t doing them any favors. Printing and shipping comics can be expensive nowadays because how high quality all of the aspects of a comic are. Now, I don’t think physical prints will go away completely. You’ll always be able to pick up the big characters physically (ie. Batman, Superman, Spider-Man, etc.), but for the smaller characters with smaller audiences (like the Terrifics) they might just need to make that sacrifice to digital for the sake of the overall company.

Obviously holding a physical comic is an experience that’s pretty much impossible to replace digitally. But at the end of the day, the pros GREATLY outweigh the cons here. That’s just my opinion though! :smile:




The issues that have been effecting all print media are coming to the comics industry. Comics were not going to be immune. Printing and distribution ain’t cheap, not to mention how many of a title do you print. You print 25k copies of a book that only sells 20k, those costs just get eaten and really cut into profit margins.

This means potentially 2 things. First the cost of many comics could go down. Making the entry point easier. Second, thru are more easily accessible to a broader audience and one that is more used to getting their entertainment, including print, digitally, on the go, from wherever. So this move might just reinvigorate comics industry.

While some of the magic of holding a comic in your hands will be lost, the potential to tell new stories is elevated.


I’m good with digital. Supergirl is the only real must have paper comic for me, and with that ending I can skip going to the comic store and get everything digital.

When it comes to the last two issues of Supergirl, I think DC had a pretty good idea that the Infected arc had utterly killed the book. I have never seen numbers this bad at comicbookroundup before:

All reviewers but one has dropped the book. Fans are gutting it. I saw this coming the second that they solicited Supergirl as one of the infected. I can’t believe that DC didn’t.

1 Like

That’s completely sound logic for a singular person with a personal interest, but me and my friends share a lot irl. Telling your friends to sign up for services they aren’t interested is overrated as well. Loaning someone a book they might like is forever, too. Just another perspective.

There may be some value in sharing haha. How do you share comics with people that don’t use the digital reading platforms you do?

It can be pretty cheap to rent or buy singular issues of comics digitally.

1 Like

Had a long talk with a friend about this and how weird it was that she was the only character that had their own book to be infected (besides Shazam which is being written by Geoff Jones in god knows what universe).

1 Like

I don’t. I have a handful of print trades that I share on occasion.


I am pretty annoyed about not being able to own the final issues of Supergirl and RWBY, I prefer owning physically copies even if they will never have any value, but like you I am understating of the situation, and just happy that I will get to read the endings anyway.

The Swamp thing giant kind of sucks, but doesn’t bother me has much, since it would have come with a bunch of reprints I can read on here already anyway, and the new stuff that will be digital is pretty short.

What sucks is i only get physically issues of my favorite heroes and get digital of stuff i want to read but Aren’t my favorites, only my favorites are the ones that are going to digital only and the ones that I would just by digitally anyway are the only ones being released physically.

I probably won’t be buying hardly anything now and just reading the stuff they put on here.


Not sure if this shouldn’t be it’s own topic, but . . .

As the comics markets Change over time, so do buying patterns. Comics started on newsstands where overstock was pulled and pulped and that created a valuable commodity that was discovered in the late 80s-early 90s. When comics went from newsstands to direct markets, a faux collector mentality developed, which nearly killed comics in the 90s, Then, when trades became more commonplace in comic shops and mainstream book stores, those fans who really liked reading comics but were no longer collecting, adopted a “waiting for the trade” mentality, which hurt monthly sales. Then, with the advent of ComiXology unlimited, DCU and Marvel Unlimited, now fans can just wait a few months and read the issues on line, which is great for fans, but not so great for publishers. But, there are some fans that don’t do that because they like the tactile experience of having a physical book in their hands, which generated just enough sales to allow books like Supergirl and the Terrifics to tread water. With digital only titles coming, I’m troubled That there will be a “waiting for the stream” mentality created. If this happens, then this will eat further into a books profitability and make companies less likely to take a chance on these lower tier books. Further, there will be no timely barometer on which to judge a digital only books popularity.

Sorry I rambled, it’s what I do.

I’d argue that digital and streaming is better for the business of comics. It’s much easier and cheaper to produce digital comics. On top of that, the cheaper prices of digital comics will make it so that people are more likely to experiment and try out smaller comics because it’s not as much of an investment/financial risk. as far as streaming, comic publishers will be able to charge a base amount monthly for all subscribers. You are guaranteeing yourself a budget for a ton of comics. You’re able to take the money you make monthly from those who subscribe for only Batman or whatever and put it towards smaller comics. Its how Netflix’s business model works. Even if someone only subscribes for the Office, they can take the money they make off them every month and put it towards all their smaller original series. It’s a much more secure revenue source since you can assume that the people subscribing are gonna stick around for multiple months and have a more secure and consistent revenue stream compared to physical comics.

1 Like

To me the collectible mentality has to move away from comics. Other commercial art forms do not have as big as a collectible mindset other than a smaller portion of the audience. Most people listen to music and watch TV and movies but don’t have a burning desire to own media as a collectible. They buy their favorites, but there is little serial media that goes back 80 years.

I’ve moved on from single issues to both digital and trades. I subscribe to DCU and Marvel Unlimited and buy issues and trades on ComiXology. I also buy what I consider classics or evergreen stories and runs in trade paperback or preferably hard cover. I also focus more on creators than characters and I view my trades as art books.

The piece that is missing from comics is the casual reader. Other commercial art forms have larger general audiences and a smaller collector audiences. You might collect all the Star Wars movies, but a much larger group will just watch them at the theater, on TV, or on demand. Because of the direct market and the higher cost of single issues the casual reader has disappeared or is more interested in the characters via movies, TV, and video games. I don’t think the casual readers are coming back. Just ask newspapers, magazines, and physical books how their audiences have shrunk. That’s my two cents and I don’t know how you can attract new readers.


I truly appreciate the comments about how streaming and downloading comics is a better route for the industry. I work in digital media so trust me, I understand the positives, but my topic was simply referring to the trend of cancelled books going to digital and if this was something you were a fan of. If you already read primarily through digital means then the topic is not really directed at you, I probably should have stated that in the initial post so I apologize for the confusion.

I am a fan of the physical books, and the The Terrifics got me back into the comic book shop after a long hiatus. I like supporting our local comic book shops. But since they’re moving The Terrifics digitally, I will have less of a reason to go. At least I can make a couple of more trips for Strange Adventures. Thanks for starting the topic.