It looks like Jeff Lemire’s “Animal Man” is just the first title scheduled for conclusion in March. Via his personal blog, writer Gregg Hurwitz has announced that “Batman: The Dark Knight” will also wrap with issue #29.
“Batman is forever, but sadly not all of his titles are. ‘Batman: The Dark Knight’ will be ending with Issue 29,” Hurwitz said in his blog post. “When I first signed on to do a single arc with David Finch, I never imagined I’d stay this long. Because of my work in novels and screenplays, I’m rarely sure what sorts of deadlines I’ll be juggling at any time, so I usually commit to a single six-issue story at a time and write way out ahead of schedule. DC has been great and gracious about accommodating this, and because of their flexibility, I wound up writing on the title for two (really damn fun) years.”
Hurwitz came on to the title with “Batman: The Dark Knight” #10 in June 2012 after his work on the critically praised miniseries “Penguin: Pain and Prejudice.” During his run on “Batman: The Dark Knight,” Hurwitz worked with artists David Finch (who launched the series as both writer and artist), Ethan Van Sciver, Alex Maleev and “Penguin: Pain and Prejudice” collaborator Szymon Kudranski.
Given the recent strong sales of “Batman: The Dark Knight,” the cancellation of the title is somewhat of a puzzle. In August, “Batman: The Dark Knight” #23 sold an estimated 45,584 copies. It was also one of the select titles to get Villains Month branding in September, and stayed strong in October, selling an estimated 43,384 copies. That said, it is the lowest-selling of four DC Comics books to heavily focus on the Dark Knight — “Batman,” “Batman and…” and “Detective Comics” all consistently outsell “The Dark Knight.” It’s entirely possible that DC is bringing the book to a close to make room for the “Batman Eternal” weekly series, though it’s still puzzling as to why the publisher would choose to conclude an ongoing series that consistently lands in the top 40 bestselling comics every month.
“Batman: The Dark Knight” is the latest New 52 launch title to come to an end alongside “Animal Man.” With two original New 52 launch books already set to conclude in March, it’s possible that there are more ongoings in the queue for cancellation. More will likely come to light when DC’s March 2014 Solicitations are released.