DC Comics is reportedly going to raise the price of Batman and other comics in its lineup to the price of $6 per issue. New solicits for the upcoming DC Infinite Frontier books are apparently showing a price increase for the Batman books and a few key other titles, such as the new Joker series from James Tynion IV and Guillem March.
According to Bleeding Cool, previously DC Comics had seemingly settled on a number of pricing points. $3.99 as a 32-page comic book which actually has 20 comic book story pages in it. $4.99 gets a 40-page comic but that will bring you around 30 story pages. And a card-stock cover adds another dollar onto the top of that.
With Infinite Frontier, DC Comics launched and reformatted a number of their comics with increased page counts. Batman #106 and Joker #1 had comics with 22-page lead stories and an 8-page back-up strip, 30 story pages and a $4.99 price point.
However, it appears that prices are going up without a corresponding increase in page count. Solicitations for Batman #109 for June, and for
The Joker #3 and #4, are now $5.99 for the same 40-page comic. No decrease in price for the non-card-stock covers.
Also joining the $5.99-for-40-pages price point in May is Superman Red & Blue with #3 (previously 48 pages for $5.99), and in June, Wonder Woman: Black White And Gold #1.
The question being raised is whether that is a unique price-point for that event series, or is it a signal of DC Comics once again moving the goalposts in terms of pricing their books?
The same ongoing debate about the future of comics and publishing makes these kinds of price shifts unsurprising. DC Comics has been under particular scrutiny since AT&T merged with WarnerMedia, and big executive changes were made in the DC leadership. The recent
"Future State" event and "Infinite Frontier'' reboot have kept DC in the spotlight as 2021 unfolds, but with WarnerMedia pushing hard into the digital frontier with HBO Max as the big mainstream DC brand platform, comics seems like a shrinking focus, as anything but an IP generator.
As that paradigm continues to shift, dedicated comics collectors should probably get ready to pay more for the hobby, while DC in particular shifts to more "prestige" releases that blend the lines between graphic novels and traditional comics.