At this year’s New York Comic Con, word came that Keith Giffen would be helming a new Doom Patrol series, with art by Matthew Clark. While that was good enough news for Doom Patrol fans, what made it even more interesting is that the new series will have a co-feature, that is, each issue will have a second story in it, in this instance, Metal Men, which Giffen will co-write with his former Justice League partner J.M. DeMatteis, with art by Kevin Maguire.
The news of a book with “co-features” piqued the curiosity of more than a few DC fans who wondered if there would be more coming. The answer, as DC Universe Executive Editor Dan DiDio exclusively revealed to Newsarama is: yes.
In June, both Teen Titans and Booster Gold (prior to the launch of Doom Patrol, which debuts later in the summer) will gain their own co-features: Ravager and Blue Beetle, respectively. The co-features will be presented in pages added in addition to the regular series’ stories.
“We have a number of characters and series ideas that we firmly believe in and that a lot of creators are passionate about, but unfortunately, when it comes to the actual production of an actual series or a miniseries, they always run into some challenge when it comes to sales,” DiDio explained when asked about the co-feature initiative. “That’s not to say that the projects aren’t good or that the characters aren’t viable, but for whatever reason it is, they always have less sales potential than our other books. But I believe these characters need a place to be seen and for their stories to be told.”
According to DiDio, the Blue Beetle and Ravage stories will pick up on threads from the recently canceled Blue Beetle series, as well as Ravager’s storyline in Terror Titans, and will continue to move the characters in their own directions.
“We’ve listened to things that people are saying, and there are a lot of well-loved characters out there that for whatever reason can’t support a series at this time,” DiDio said. “This approach, we feel, gives them a chance to shine and attract new readers and fans as well, and more importantly, add value to our books as well.”
The move is, as DiDio pointed out, a return of sorts for DC, as he pointed back to his own days of a fan when Firestorm appeared as a second feature in the ongoing Flash series. Those stories, DiDio said, are still fondly remembered by fans today, and also still have ramifications decades down the road.
“Something like this – like more than one feature in a book, is what makes comics comics, to me,” DiDio said. “My hope is that, with the pages we have allocated for the stories, that we’re able to really capture a level of excitement and get people hooked on these characters. And there’s a good chance that, if these things catch on with readers, they can spin out and be in their own series again – and that speaks to the quality of the co-features: with every second feature, whether it’s a character or a team or a story – it’s something that we feel would have been worthy for a miniseries or an ongoing series. These aren’t any lesser stories or characters.”
Of course, in today’s market, the good news always comes with at least a little bad, and DiDio confirmed that both Teen Titans and Booster Gold - and other series with co-features will increase in price to $3.99.
“We’re holding the $2.99 line as hard as we can, and we will never move a book over to $3.99 unless we feel that there is value added to justify that price change,” DiDio said.
More books will have co-features added to them in the coming months. Stay tuned to Newsarama for more news on what characters and teams will show up where, and the creative teams that will be handling them.