When it was announced at the Diamond retailer summit in Baltimore this October, DC Comics' plan to ship the sixth issue of their best-selling event comic "Blackest Night" the week before Christmas to be held for release by retailers until Wednesday December 30th drew one question: would the book leak?
The answer came this morning. Yes, people have been posting images from the embargoed comic online, even sooner than expected. Early this morning, pages and spoilers from "Blackest Night" #6 appeared across the web including on the CBR Forums, writer Geoff Johns own message boards at ComicBloc.com and the official DC Comics message boards. The images have since been taken down at the request of DC, and when reached for comment by CBR, Johns simply said, "I'm glad people are excited about the book."
CBR has also learned that the issue has been hurriedly scanned and distributed via Bit Torrent sites within 24 hours of shipping. The scanned issue was made available this morning through the various BitTorrent trackers as part of the weekly "New Comics" packages. The scan itself was of lower quality than is typical of the pirated books, indicating that it was scanned, compiled and distributed in a bigger rush than usual.
Retailers who were shipped copies of the issue received boxes with large green stickers on them that said they are not to be sold until December 30th. Where the leaked issue came from is unknown, but it was made clear to all retailers and Diamond employees that it was not to be released before that date.
Ultimately, the early spoilers may not serve to hurt the sales momentum of what has been a very successful launch for the publisher, however the fact that someone has been letting the issues slip draws into question whether or not DC and Diamond will ever attempt timed releases like this in the direct market. DC Sales VP Bob Wayne told the retailers in Baltimore that future opportunities like this would die if anyone breaks the set street date for the highly-anticipated book.
Stay tuned to CBR as more news becomes available on "Blackest Night" and the response to the leaked issue.
CBR Senior Editor Stephen Gerding contributed to this story.