DC's daily 'Digital First' program has recently added stories that are actually being published first digitally, although DC readers and retailers might not have noticed.
No, we're not talking about Harley Quinn: Black + White + Red announced a couple of weeks back (opens in new tab), or DCeased: Hope at World's End announced a few weeks before that.(opens in new tab)
New to the publisher's daily program in the last few weeks are stories that did not originally appear in their DC Giant print titles and that are being digitally published for the first time anywhere.
DC readers may recall in April during Diamond Comic Distributors' suspension of operations, the publisher - somewhat contradicting the 'Digital First' brand - announced the "robust" daily expansion of the digital publishing program. Stories that were originally published in their print-exclusive DC Giants anthology titles made up the bulk of the daily offerings for the first two months of the expanded program, released under the banners Superman: The Man of Tomorrow, Batman: Gotham Nights, and more.
Those Giants print volumes were originally exclusive to Walmart, before that program was eventually expanded to the Direct Market.(opens in new tab)
However, in recent weeks, original, brand new stories that have never been published anywhere have begun to appear under the same banners, although DC has not announced this specifically to readers or highlighted the change in their weekly email to the press about the digital schedule.
Monday's Superman: The Man of Tomorrow #11 story 'Fight of a Lifetime' by Robert Venditti, Gleb Melkinov, Jordie Bellaire, and Clayton Cowles appears to be original; as did last week's Batman: Gotham Nights #12 story 'Five Little Robins' by Tim Seeley, V. Ken Marion, Sandu FLorea, Andrew Dalhouse, and Troy Peteri.
And there appears to have been other original stories also released in the previous few weeks.(opens in new tab)
The DC Giants program was finite so the publisher was inevitably going to run out of stories that first appeared in their pages. The new stories seem to suggest DC is prepared to continue the daily digital program uninterrupted with wholly new material that is not already and will not be made available in print, at least for the immediate future.
Newsarama anticipated that DC's original Digital First expansion plans foreshadowed bigger changes to their publishing strategy (opens in new tab) down the road.
DC has not responded to Newsarama's inquiries about the new stories and the program.