August 7, 2012

Judging the New 52 #11: Grifter

With the vast back catalogue of characters and teams available to DC Comics, it always beggared belief that they'd devote one of their 52 relaunch titles to Grifter. I don't think the character had ever had a solo comic before, and had instead been just one of several leads characters in Jim Lee's WildCATS. With the New 52 the character was completely rebooted and re-envisioned, and is now an ex-Special Forces soldier fighting an alien invasion.

I haven't read much of Grifter beyond flicking through the odd issue in the comic shop, so I'm not really qualified to properly review it. What I can say is that what I've seen has absolutely not piqued my interest in the slightest.

After lacklustre sales the reins were handed over to writer Rob Liefeld, whose work interests me even less than Grifter does, so I haven't followed it at all in the last few months.

I think the sales pretty much confirm my opinions: there really isn't an audience interested in reading about this character. Issue #1 sold more than 42,000 copies. By Issue #4, 44% of those readers had wandered off. By Issue #6 the readership was down to just over 16,000 copies. By Rob Liefeld's third issue (#11), Grifter was selling just 13,382 copies.

This is a dead comic walking. There are rumours Jim Lee may be relaunching WildCATS in January, and I wouldn't be surprised to see Grifter folded into that title and this solo effort quietly retired. No big tragedy - I'm not certain many DC readers will even notice the title ending.

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