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Posted by Brazen_Intellect (1144 posts) - - Show Bio

Link

While the initial launch of the New 52 pushed DC into the forefront of comics news and gave them some stellar sales, the trend shows that the sales are dropping back to earth month after month and it is reasonable to assume they may may reach pre-reboot levels at some point. If that comes to be, what would and should DC do then?

#1 Posted by lightsout (1833 posts) - - Show Bio

As someone with no business acumen, I say they write an event that un-does Flashpoint and everything returns to how it was before....:D

#2 Posted by The Stegman (25548 posts) - - Show Bio

Batman

#3 Posted by The_Tree (7881 posts) - - Show Bio

Crisis: The Newer 52. Or they make an event called Reverse Flashpoint.

But really, I think they'll end up having a Crisis-style event in which they combine the best parts of continuity from the DCnU and the DCU.

#4 Posted by DH69 (4258 posts) - - Show Bio

Get disney to adopt them...

#5 Posted by fACEmelter88 (613 posts) - - Show Bio

@DH69 said:

Get disney to adopt them...

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAAAAAHAHAHAAAAAAAH....so damn funny!

#6 Posted by Mighty Thorion (797 posts) - - Show Bio

I would have thought that a probable "drop off" in sales should have been factored in to any projected figures DC had internally given themselves. After the initial hype and excitement over 1st issues, there is bound to be a tailing off in many cases. Whether that tailing off can be arrested is another question. It appears that at the bottom end of the sales lists DC is thrashing around - cancelling a number of low selling titles and replacing them with books they hope will sell better. But who apart from the major DC characters is guaranteed to sell?

There is a balancing act when it comes to popular characters. Batman, Superman and Justice League can only appear in so many monthly titles before overkill kicks in and especially in cross over events, people can't always afford to keep up.

I don't think there is any plan to "reverse" the New 52 and I think to do so would alienate both old and new readers who would probably feel disillusioned and in some way cheated should DC come up with some kind of "Bobby Ewing in the shower" moment. (Sorry - you have to be a certain age to remember that!)

Another path DC could follow is more digital comics. Is that the future? As someone who prefers to hold the real thing in my hand I don't know - I'm just thinking aloud as to what some of the answers could be to the question we began with.

#7 Posted by Sharkbite (293 posts) - - Show Bio

What they should realistically do? Cancel the majority of titles devoted to peripheral characters and focus mostly on the Batman stuff, as Batman, Detective Comics, Batman & Robin, Batman Inc, etc, all continue to do well in sales. Take good writers off of floundering titles like Superman that, while an allegedly popular character consistantly does not even score in the top 20 books sold, and put those writers onto Gotham related books to try and turn Nightwing, Robin, Red Hood, Catwoman, etc, into big name draws that can eventually support their own films and television stuff. Eventually the brand DC will actually stand for Detective Comics, Batman will be 50% of what they publish, and the whole brand will be making money.

What will they probably do? Have another stupid Crisis event and reboot everything for the band-aid solution of selling extra books by slapping a #1 on it. Then watch as all those same struggling titles die off over the next three years, before doing it all over again to ensure that their fans are always alienated and annoyed with lack of continuity.

#8 Posted by Mighty Thorion (797 posts) - - Show Bio

Maybe they could produce some "straight to trade" material - that is, stuff that has not previously appeared in comics. This might mean producing less monthly titles, but having good professionals working on tpb's and seeing what kind of revenue they raise.

This might be totally impractical and I have no idea how much money is made from TPB's as opposed to 5 or 6 continuous issue of a particular title. Just thought I'd throw it out there.

#9 Posted by Brazen_Intellect (1144 posts) - - Show Bio

@Mighty Thorion said:

I would have thought that a probable "drop off" in sales should have been factored in to any projected figures DC had internally given themselves. After the initial hype and excitement over 1st issues, there is bound to be a tailing off in many cases. Whether that tailing off can be arrested is another question. It appears that at the bottom end of the sales lists DC is thrashing around - cancelling a number of low selling titles and replacing them with books they hope will sell better. But who apart from the major DC characters is guaranteed to sell?

There is a balancing act when it comes to popular characters. Batman, Superman and Justice League can only appear in so many monthly titles before overkill kicks in and especially in cross over events, people can't always afford to keep up.

I don't think there is any plan to "reverse" the New 52 and I think to do so would alienate both old and new readers who would probably feel disillusioned and in some way cheated should DC come up with some kind of "Bobby Ewing in the shower" moment. (Sorry - you have to be a certain age to remember that!)

Another path DC could follow is more digital comics. Is that the future? As someone who prefers to hold the real thing in my hand I don't know - I'm just thinking aloud as to what some of the answers could be to the question we began with.

I agree there is no way that DC ever expected the sales numbers to stay at the New 52 heights for the long term, but I am also quite sure they hoped that the long term numbers were going ot make the effort worthwhile, that remains to be seen.

As for reversing the New 52, pretty unlikely, the longer the New 52 goes the harder such a transition back would be to pull off. This was probably only an option on the table if the New 52 had come out and was a complete failure, in case of emergency, break glass kind of thing.

Digital only and Web only comics may be a possibility for the lower selling titles, fans of niche characters and titles are more likely to accept this to keep the titles running and may be a better long term solution than the current cancel and replace cycle.

@Sharkbite said:

What they should realistically do? Cancel the majority of titles devoted to peripheral characters and focus mostly on the Batman stuff, as Batman, Detective Comics, Batman & Robin, Batman Inc, etc, all continue to do well in sales. Take good writers off of floundering titles like Superman that, while an allegedly popular character consistantly does not even score in the top 20 books sold, and put those writers onto Gotham related books to try and turn Nightwing, Robin, Red Hood, Catwoman, etc, into big name draws that can eventually support their own films and television stuff. Eventually the brand DC will actually stand for Detective Comics, Batman will be 50% of what they publish, and the whole brand will be making money.

What will they probably do? Have another stupid Crisis event and reboot everything for the band-aid solution of selling extra books by slapping a #1 on it. Then watch as all those same struggling titles die off over the next three years, before doing it all over again to ensure that their fans are always alienated and annoyed with lack of continuity.

I disagree 100%, not only are there characters and titles outside of Batman that are selling well, but they need to develop these properties to turn into cartoons and movies if they are ever going to catch up to marvel's massive success in this department.

Aquaman was considered a complete joke not too long ago and is now among the more popular titles in the DCU so its hard to write off so many so easily.

#10 Posted by FadeToBlackBolt (23334 posts) - - Show Bio

@lightsout said:

As someone with no business acumen, I say they write an event that un-does Flashpoint and everything returns to how it was before....:D

You. I like you. You are wise.

#11 Edited by Chronus (1115 posts) - - Show Bio

They should do a proper reboot that's actually good, or great.

#12 Edited by joshmightbe (25054 posts) - - Show Bio

What happened is the fly by night fans that the entire industry is currently catering to stopped buying comics and won't start again until the next big movie comes out.

#13 Posted by Crash_Recovery (850 posts) - - Show Bio

@The Stegman: I think that you're right. Expansion of existing franchises that are successful for the time being.

I don't see a return to pre-New 52 no matter what.

#14 Posted by mk111 (3141 posts) - - Show Bio

I blame DC's less popular series.

#15 Posted by Sharkbite (293 posts) - - Show Bio

@Brazen_Intellect

January 2012 Sales numbers (just DC)

#2. Batman 16
#3. Justice League 16
#8. Detective Comics 16
#12. Batman & Robin 16
#16. Green Lantern 16
#17. Batgirl 16
#20. Nightwing 16
#21. Teen Titans 16
#22. Aquaman 16
#24. Red Hood & the Outlaws
#26. Action Comics 16
#27. Batman: The Dark Knight 16
#29. Batman & Robin Annual
#32. Earth 2 8
#33. Superman 16
#36. Batman Incorporated 7
#39. Green Lantern Corps 16
#42. Flash 16
#43. Minutemen 6
#46. Green Lantern New Guardians 16
#47. Ozymandius 5
#48. Dollar Bill 1
#49. Green Lantern Corps Annual

There is the books that placed in the top 50 for sales. This is the hard data, the facts, not some sort of subjective wishful thinking.

Fact #1: Of DC's top 10 selling books (ignoring all competition from other brands), 6 are books which follow Batman or members of the Batman family. Additionally, Teen Titans stars Red Robin and Justice League co-stars Batman, meaning that only 2 books (Green Lantern and Aquaman) make it into the top 10 without the presense of the Bat-family.

Fact #2: Raw sales of books. Total the sales of 521,451 books were sold under the DC: Batman heading for DC's titles appearing in the top 25 (Batman, Batman & Robin, Detective Comics, Nightwing, Batgirl, and Red Hood). Total sales of books sold under all other headings appearing in the top 25 total 316,068 books (Green Lantern, Aquaman, Justice League, and Teen Titans). Batman titles are out-selling non-Batman titles at rates beginning to approach 2 to 1. Facts are facts: Batman makes DC more money than everyone else combined.

Fact #3: Just the actual "Batman" title, not counting any of his other appearances, sold more books than Action Comics and Superman combined.

The argument to "give other characters a chance" is a noble claim of optimism. There have been some really good non-Batman books. Some of my favorite DC books (like Secret Six) are not Batman books. I do not at any point say that cutting back on non-Batman and putting more emphasis on Batman will be what I would like personally. But the facts stare us right in the face, and DC is a business which creates a product only because it is profittable. The more money DC makes, the more stuff they can do, the more books they can run, the more films they can make, etc. And that money, according to the numbers month after month, comes from emphasizing Batman and his supporting cast.

There is still a place for characters like Superman in the DC Universe; the Justice League book, for example, sells quite well. Superman has been able to be successfully implemented as a part of an ensemble cast title (with Batman), and the past year's sales all support the same sales information that Superman as a member of the Justice League sells 2-3 times as well as Superman as a solo title.

In contrast, the Gotham characters outsell him in almost every way. So why is it that Superman has two solo titles per month, both of which are regarded as generally a commercial failure, while Tim Drake on the other hand is only permitted to appear in the Teen Titans ensemble cast book. Robin/Red Robin did well prior to the New52 refusing to relaunch it; all the sales data says that it makes perfect sense: cancel one of the Superman titles (Superman consistantly sells worse than Action Comics, so I'd recommend actually cancelling Superman) and re-launch Red Robin.

That same premise could hold true with a lot of DC's failing books. When a "popular" character is not selling well, perhaps they would be better served as a part of a team book, and that solo spot could be given to someone else. As much as I hate Damien Wayne, I'm certain a Robin solo title would sell well (if Red Hood can be in DC's top 10, then apparently being hated doesn't stop the book from selling).

Following the numbers, the money, DC could overtake Marvel for sales once again if they followed what was popular instead of trying to stick with what used to work 50 years ago. There is nothing wrong with shifting towards team books, or pushing guys like Nightwing into the A-lister status while Green Arrow takes a back seat for a while.

#16 Posted by colonyofcells (2038 posts) - - Show Bio

Maybe dc should cut back on the number of monthly titles. For less popular characters, just do novels every now and then.

#17 Posted by Batnandez (511 posts) - - Show Bio

Does anyone have any pre 52 sales numbers?

#18 Posted by guttridgeb (4832 posts) - - Show Bio

@Sharkbite: Cancelling Superman makes no sense. Just because it sells worse than Batman doesn't make it a failure whereas there are plenty of titles where I wasn't aware they existed prior to going on the New 52 wiki page. If DC is going to cancel a title in order to introduce a Red Robin one in its place, it should be one of the ones that sell the worst.

#19 Posted by Onemoreposter (4091 posts) - - Show Bio

@The Stegman said:

Batman

Your logical is infallible.

#20 Posted by Cap10nate (2673 posts) - - Show Bio

Keep launching new titles to replace failing ones. It creates an instant sales boost for the first couple issue. If it sticks, then they have a new well selling series. If it doesn't, they can cancel it and launch a new book for another couple months of high sales figures.

#21 Posted by ArticulateT (189 posts) - - Show Bio

No need for a reboot. Since it's the 'New 52' they just say one of the new 52 Earths is one that was unaffected by the flashpoint, thus negating the terrifying impact of such an event, but reeling back in some sales from pre-flashpoint fans.

It'd kinda be like New Coke and Coke Classic. They'll make billions!

#22 Posted by Mighty Thorion (797 posts) - - Show Bio

How does cancelling one of the Superman titles make any sense? Action sold 58,000 copies and Superman 50,000 copies in January. If DC were to launch a Red Hood solo series, then to accommodate such a title then surely they should cancel a poor seller like Batwing (13,000 copies)?

A poor selling book will no doubt be making way for the Scott Snyder / Jim Lee Superman book we heard about recently - and I wonder if there is something to be said for keeping top talent on major characters for as long as possible?

Apart from Batwing, which seems to have a stay of execution because it has the word "Bat" in the title, the next title that is looking vulnerable is Legion of Super Heroes (16,000 copies).

#23 Posted by Mighty Thorion (797 posts) - - Show Bio

@The Stegman said:

Batman

...and Superman apparently. A new title exploring how they first met in the New 52 Universe is on the way

#24 Posted by Brazen_Intellect (1144 posts) - - Show Bio

@Sharkbite said:

@Brazen_Intellect

January 2012 Sales numbers (just DC)

#2. Batman 16
#3. Justice League 16
#8. Detective Comics 16
#12. Batman & Robin 16
#16. Green Lantern 16
#17. Batgirl 16
#20. Nightwing 16
#21. Teen Titans 16
#22. Aquaman 16
#24. Red Hood & the Outlaws
#26. Action Comics 16
#27. Batman: The Dark Knight 16
#29. Batman & Robin Annual
#32. Earth 2 8
#33. Superman 16
#36. Batman Incorporated 7
#39. Green Lantern Corps 16
#42. Flash 16
#43. Minutemen 6
#46. Green Lantern New Guardians 16
#47. Ozymandius 5
#48. Dollar Bill 1
#49. Green Lantern Corps Annual

There is the books that placed in the top 50 for sales. This is the hard data, the facts, not some sort of subjective wishful thinking.

Fact #1: Of DC's top 10 selling books (ignoring all competition from other brands), 6 are books which follow Batman or members of the Batman family. Additionally, Teen Titans stars Red Robin and Justice League co-stars Batman, meaning that only 2 books (Green Lantern and Aquaman) make it into the top 10 without the presense of the Bat-family.

Fact #2: Raw sales of books. Total the sales of 521,451 books were sold under the DC: Batman heading for DC's titles appearing in the top 25 (Batman, Batman & Robin, Detective Comics, Nightwing, Batgirl, and Red Hood). Total sales of books sold under all other headings appearing in the top 25 total 316,068 books (Green Lantern, Aquaman, Justice League, and Teen Titans). Batman titles are out-selling non-Batman titles at rates beginning to approach 2 to 1. Facts are facts: Batman makes DC more money than everyone else combined.

Fact #3: Just the actual "Batman" title, not counting any of his other appearances, sold more books than Action Comics and Superman combined.

The argument to "give other characters a chance" is a noble claim of optimism. There have been some really good non-Batman books. Some of my favorite DC books (like Secret Six) are not Batman books. I do not at any point say that cutting back on non-Batman and putting more emphasis on Batman will be what I would like personally. But the facts stare us right in the face, and DC is a business which creates a product only because it is profittable. The more money DC makes, the more stuff they can do, the more books they can run, the more films they can make, etc. And that money, according to the numbers month after month, comes from emphasizing Batman and his supporting cast.

There is still a place for characters like Superman in the DC Universe; the Justice League book, for example, sells quite well. Superman has been able to be successfully implemented as a part of an ensemble cast title (with Batman), and the past year's sales all support the same sales information that Superman as a member of the Justice League sells 2-3 times as well as Superman as a solo title.

In contrast, the Gotham characters outsell him in almost every way. So why is it that Superman has two solo titles per month, both of which are regarded as generally a commercial failure, while Tim Drake on the other hand is only permitted to appear in the Teen Titans ensemble cast book. Robin/Red Robin did well prior to the New52 refusing to relaunch it; all the sales data says that it makes perfect sense: cancel one of the Superman titles (Superman consistantly sells worse than Action Comics, so I'd recommend actually cancelling Superman) and re-launch Red Robin.

That same premise could hold true with a lot of DC's failing books. When a "popular" character is not selling well, perhaps they would be better served as a part of a team book, and that solo spot could be given to someone else. As much as I hate Damien Wayne, I'm certain a Robin solo title would sell well (if Red Hood can be in DC's top 10, then apparently being hated doesn't stop the book from selling).

Following the numbers, the money, DC could overtake Marvel for sales once again if they followed what was popular instead of trying to stick with what used to work 50 years ago. There is nothing wrong with shifting towards team books, or pushing guys like Nightwing into the A-lister status while Green Arrow takes a back seat for a while.

I am not disagreeing with any of the sales numbers you have posted, nor would I ever try to convince DC not to push as many Batman titles as they could, but their is a limit to how many titles you can push about the Bat-Family. You cannot just make 52 Bat-books and expect them all to sell well because the first dozen do, there are not enough secondary characters anyone cares about and Bruce can only front so many alone. DC cannot live and die on Batman alone with the sales numbers we are talking about. Is he their golden boy, absolutely, and they are pimping him almost as much as possible already.

My saying they need to develop titles and characters outside of Batman and Superman is not "subjective wishful thinking" , its a necessity. There is a saturation point where you can only go to the same well for so long and then you have to look elsewhere for sales. DC has the Big 2's core fans locked up already buying multiple titles, if they are going to make any big gains it is going to be outside of those two at this point.

#25 Posted by WaveMotionCannon (5617 posts) - - Show Bio
@The Stegman
Batman
All Batman all the time lol
#26 Posted by colonyofcells (2038 posts) - - Show Bio

Maybe just let didiot write all 52 titles to resolve the complaints of the many writers ?

#27 Posted by Demonturtle (455 posts) - - Show Bio

@Sharkbite: nice work!!

#28 Edited by kingsloth (249 posts) - - Show Bio

@Sharkbite said:

@Brazen_Intellect

January 2012 Sales numbers (just DC)

#2. Batman 16
#3. Justice League 16
#8. Detective Comics 16
#12. Batman & Robin 16
#16. Green Lantern 16
#17. Batgirl 16
#20. Nightwing 16
#21. Teen Titans 16
#22. Aquaman 16
#24. Red Hood & the Outlaws
#26. Action Comics 16
#27. Batman: The Dark Knight 16
#29. Batman & Robin Annual
#32. Earth 2 8
#33. Superman 16
#36. Batman Incorporated 7
#39. Green Lantern Corps 16
#42. Flash 16
#43. Minutemen 6
#46. Green Lantern New Guardians 16
#47. Ozymandius 5
#48. Dollar Bill 1
#49. Green Lantern Corps Annual

There is the books that placed in the top 50 for sales. This is the hard data, the facts, not some sort of subjective wishful thinking.

Fact #1: Of DC's top 10 selling books (ignoring all competition from other brands), 6 are books which follow Batman or members of the Batman family. Additionally, Teen Titans stars Red Robin and Justice League co-stars Batman, meaning that only 2 books (Green Lantern and Aquaman) make it into the top 10 without the presense of the Bat-family.

Fact #2: Raw sales of books. Total the sales of 521,451 books were sold under the DC: Batman heading for DC's titles appearing in the top 25 (Batman, Batman & Robin, Detective Comics, Nightwing, Batgirl, and Red Hood). Total sales of books sold under all other headings appearing in the top 25 total 316,068 books (Green Lantern, Aquaman, Justice League, and Teen Titans). Batman titles are out-selling non-Batman titles at rates beginning to approach 2 to 1. Facts are facts: Batman makes DC more money than everyone else combined.

Fact #3: Just the actual "Batman" title, not counting any of his other appearances, sold more books than Action Comics and Superman combined.

The argument to "give other characters a chance" is a noble claim of optimism. There have been some really good non-Batman books. Some of my favorite DC books (like Secret Six) are not Batman books. I do not at any point say that cutting back on non-Batman and putting more emphasis on Batman will be what I would like personally. But the facts stare us right in the face, and DC is a business which creates a product only because it is profittable. The more money DC makes, the more stuff they can do, the more books they can run, the more films they can make, etc. And that money, according to the numbers month after month, comes from emphasizing Batman and his supporting cast.

There is still a place for characters like Superman in the DC Universe; the Justice League book, for example, sells quite well. Superman has been able to be successfully implemented as a part of an ensemble cast title (with Batman), and the past year's sales all support the same sales information that Superman as a member of the Justice League sells 2-3 times as well as Superman as a solo title.

In contrast, the Gotham characters outsell him in almost every way. So why is it that Superman has two solo titles per month, both of which are regarded as generally a commercial failure, while Tim Drake on the other hand is only permitted to appear in the Teen Titans ensemble cast book. Robin/Red Robin did well prior to the New52 refusing to relaunch it; all the sales data says that it makes perfect sense: cancel one of the Superman titles (Superman consistantly sells worse than Action Comics, so I'd recommend actually cancelling Superman) and re-launch Red Robin.

That same premise could hold true with a lot of DC's failing books. When a "popular" character is not selling well, perhaps they would be better served as a part of a team book, and that solo spot could be given to someone else. As much as I hate Damien Wayne, I'm certain a Robin solo title would sell well (if Red Hood can be in DC's top 10, then apparently being hated doesn't stop the book from selling).

Following the numbers, the money, DC could overtake Marvel for sales once again if they followed what was popular instead of trying to stick with what used to work 50 years ago. There is nothing wrong with shifting towards team books, or pushing guys like Nightwing into the A-lister status while Green Arrow takes a back seat for a while.

While I am not arguing any of your facts all the books you listed make money when they fall out of the top 100 they are losing money and DC is subsidizing the books, as such to cancel any of these books would be bad for business. There is a reson DC cancels books in the 100s its because they hemorrage money. DC should just write the best stories it can and fans will follow, as a comic fan thats all I want from DC or any other publisher. While I love batman he is not the answer good thought out stories is the answer.

#29 Posted by dtschemmel (503 posts) - - Show Bio

I kind of hate that some of the underrated comics wont get very many sales. Phantom Stranger need a bigger fanbase. And tons of stuff.

#30 Posted by kingsloth (249 posts) - - Show Bio

@dtschemmel said:

I kind of hate that some of the underrated comics wont get very many sales. Phantom Stranger need a bigger fanbase. And tons of stuff.

Everyone who reads DC knows people will pick up PS whenever they start the pandora crossover they have been building up since the launch of the New 52.

#31 Posted by Sharkbite (293 posts) - - Show Bio

@Mighty Thorion

It's not about "Cancelling" Superman, it's about Consolidating. He performs mediocre. It's not terrible, it's just not anywhere near what the money-makers are earning.

My theory is that rather than produce two rather mediocre selling Superman titles, they could end one and focus their efforts on the other to produce one really good Superman title. I believe that Quality over Quantity will sell more books, bring in more readers, and promote the character better for the future. Readers who don't currently pull the series (whether new to comics or just not presently fans) do not say "Gee, I would really like to read about Superman, but there just aren't enough Superman books being published." There are plenty whom say "Wow. Everybody is talking about how awesome this book is. I think I'd better check it out."

I understand that there are lower selling books, and honestly I'd probably put the axe to a fair number of them as well. But I think it's important to draw some distinction between unpopular Characters and unpopular Books. Batwing? He does not need a solo title. It underperforms constantly. Is there a place for the character? Perhaps. We could try folding him into Batman Incorporated. Ravagers is another book that is currenly in line to get cancelled because the book has been terrible. However, that is almost entirely blamed on the horrible Culling story that Ravagers has never been able to shake. If the team gets gutted, and Calder salvages just Beast Boy and Terra (with Fairchild escaping on her own), then Calder salvages together a few other freaks and outcasts, we can have a new run of Doom Patrol. A bigger name, using more established characters (currently without a place in the New 52), and with new stories that don't have to have every issue focusing on that horrible Culling Hive crew trying to catch the Ravagers and bring them back. Move forward, instead of continually repeating what is consistantly unpopular.

Deathstroke is another prime example, being as it is also on the chopping block. The series has done poorly. It's Crisis counterpart from pre-New52 was Titans, which also sold incredibly poorly. After 5-6 years of having Slade Wilson flop a title month after month, it is safe to say that now is not the time for him to be carrying his own book. Leave him as a villain, have him appear as a villain in Teen Titans (which also gets them out of some of the Tron junk that has been ruining their book and puts them back to basics) and go to the formula that worked. Pull Ravager out of the Ravagers title when it's cancelled and put her right beside her dad to fight against the Titans, or have her pull a Terra and go mole within their group.

Then, take the empty spot that is left from cancelling the Deathstroke book, the resources in time and money and staffing that would have otherwise been devoted to a failing title, and do a differant book. Hey, you've got a writer who really wants to tell the story of a Mercenary with super strength/toughness/reflexes/regeneration; why not launch a new run of Lobo then in it's place? Add in just a bit of comedy to fit the Lobo feel and snatch up all the people who are currently getting burnt out on Deadpool overload.

I personally believe there are dozens of characters that cannot sell a solo book, but could be an excellant part of a team. And there are other characters, like Tim Drake, who have proven that they can sell a solo book quite well, but for some reason they don't have one. DC needs to look at the numbers and reallocate resources to what works. It's sounds callous to say Follow The Money, but the money comes from the fans. I just want to see them writing the stories that we enjoy reading, instead of focusing so many resources to stuff that we, the readers, prove with our wallets month after month that we really don't care about.

#32 Posted by colonyofcells (2038 posts) - - Show Bio

dc seems serious about trying new titles and new genres so with more cancellations, dc will just dish out more titles like the upcoming green team, movement and time warp. Plus some new titles that will probably sell better like batman/superman.

#33 Posted by Mighty Thorion (797 posts) - - Show Bio

@kingsloth said:

@Sharkbite said:

@Brazen_Intellect

January 2012 Sales numbers (just DC)

#2. Batman 16
#3. Justice League 16
#8. Detective Comics 16
#12. Batman & Robin 16
#16. Green Lantern 16
#17. Batgirl 16
#20. Nightwing 16
#21. Teen Titans 16
#22. Aquaman 16
#24. Red Hood & the Outlaws
#26. Action Comics 16
#27. Batman: The Dark Knight 16
#29. Batman & Robin Annual
#32. Earth 2 8
#33. Superman 16
#36. Batman Incorporated 7
#39. Green Lantern Corps 16
#42. Flash 16
#43. Minutemen 6
#46. Green Lantern New Guardians 16
#47. Ozymandius 5
#48. Dollar Bill 1
#49. Green Lantern Corps Annual

There is the books that placed in the top 50 for sales. This is the hard data, the facts, not some sort of subjective wishful thinking.

Fact #1: Of DC's top 10 selling books (ignoring all competition from other brands), 6 are books which follow Batman or members of the Batman family. Additionally, Teen Titans stars Red Robin and Justice League co-stars Batman, meaning that only 2 books (Green Lantern and Aquaman) make it into the top 10 without the presense of the Bat-family.

Fact #2: Raw sales of books. Total the sales of 521,451 books were sold under the DC: Batman heading for DC's titles appearing in the top 25 (Batman, Batman & Robin, Detective Comics, Nightwing, Batgirl, and Red Hood). Total sales of books sold under all other headings appearing in the top 25 total 316,068 books (Green Lantern, Aquaman, Justice League, and Teen Titans). Batman titles are out-selling non-Batman titles at rates beginning to approach 2 to 1. Facts are facts: Batman makes DC more money than everyone else combined.

Fact #3: Just the actual "Batman" title, not counting any of his other appearances, sold more books than Action Comics and Superman combined.

The argument to "give other characters a chance" is a noble claim of optimism. There have been some really good non-Batman books. Some of my favorite DC books (like Secret Six) are not Batman books. I do not at any point say that cutting back on non-Batman and putting more emphasis on Batman will be what I would like personally. But the facts stare us right in the face, and DC is a business which creates a product only because it is profittable. The more money DC makes, the more stuff they can do, the more books they can run, the more films they can make, etc. And that money, according to the numbers month after month, comes from emphasizing Batman and his supporting cast.

There is still a place for characters like Superman in the DC Universe; the Justice League book, for example, sells quite well. Superman has been able to be successfully implemented as a part of an ensemble cast title (with Batman), and the past year's sales all support the same sales information that Superman as a member of the Justice League sells 2-3 times as well as Superman as a solo title.

In contrast, the Gotham characters outsell him in almost every way. So why is it that Superman has two solo titles per month, both of which are regarded as generally a commercial failure, while Tim Drake on the other hand is only permitted to appear in the Teen Titans ensemble cast book. Robin/Red Robin did well prior to the New52 refusing to relaunch it; all the sales data says that it makes perfect sense: cancel one of the Superman titles (Superman consistantly sells worse than Action Comics, so I'd recommend actually cancelling Superman) and re-launch Red Robin.

That same premise could hold true with a lot of DC's failing books. When a "popular" character is not selling well, perhaps they would be better served as a part of a team book, and that solo spot could be given to someone else. As much as I hate Damien Wayne, I'm certain a Robin solo title would sell well (if Red Hood can be in DC's top 10, then apparently being hated doesn't stop the book from selling).

Following the numbers, the money, DC could overtake Marvel for sales once again if they followed what was popular instead of trying to stick with what used to work 50 years ago. There is nothing wrong with shifting towards team books, or pushing guys like Nightwing into the A-lister status while Green Arrow takes a back seat for a while.

While I am not arguing any of your facts all the books you listed make money when they fall out of the top 100 they are losing money and DC is subsidizing the books, as such to cancel any of these books would be bad for business. There is a reson DC cancels books in the 100s its because they hemorrage money. DC should just write the best stories it can and fans will follow, as a comic fan thats all I want from DC or any other publisher. While I love batman he is not the answer good thought out stories is the answer.

I thought it was when a book sold fewer than 20 thousand copies that it was being subsidised, not whether it was in the top 100 or not

#34 Posted by Lone_Wolf_and_Cub (5240 posts) - - Show Bio

Honestly Batman really is the only thing that keeps DC afloat.

#35 Posted by Sharkbite (293 posts) - - Show Bio

@Mighty Thorion

You are mostly correct in that. The DC policy seems to be that there is an unofficial cutoff line where, if the book sells a certain number of units, it is financially viable, and if it cosistantly performs under that threshhold, then it does so at a loss and needs to be cancelled.

I humbly suggest an alternate business strategy that I believe has the potential to be more successful, more profitable for the company and create a more enjoyable product for the customers.

By way of example, I can buy an entire cow for meat at cost. If I then grind the entire thing into hamburger, I will make a profit in selling the meat. However, if I first butcher the most desireable cuts, taking out the steaks, and then grind the remainder into hamburger, I will make an even larger profit. Grinding the steaks up into the hamburger doesn't make the cow unprofittable, but it's still bad business. The same can be true with comics; a book can make a profit and still be a loss to the company if it does not make as much of a profit as what could otherwise be done with those resources.

Writers can only write so many books per month. Artists can only draw so much. They essentially serve as a bottleneck that throttles how many comic books the company can produce. Scott Lobdell, for example, was writing for three books: Red Hood, Teen Titans, and Superman. They sell in basically that order. Lobdell recently left Red Hood in order to put more of his attention on the inferior performing Superman book, while James Tynion IV was brought on for Red Hood (a writer who has almost no experience, and currently is helming the commercial flop of Talon).

This is what I'm talking about, taking books that are doing well and giving them to 'lesser' writers to either be treated as some sort of proving ground, or because these books are somehow considered expendable should the writer fail. In contrast, a failing title is given to an otherwise successful writer in the hopes that he will revitalize it. I applaud their optimism, but their best hope with a move like this is to try and gain as many readers for Superman as what they lose for Hood.

Just look at it objectively. Lobdell was writing both. Hood performed better than Superman. This means the Lobdell writes Hood better than he writes Superman. Taking him off of what he's doing best, and putting him onto what he's doing poorly at, will not make Superman into a top end title. But handing Red Hood off to a new writer certainly does have the potential to hurt that book.

DC as a company seems to have a hard time seeing the forest through the trees. When they see a title like Superman floundering, they throw resources at it to try and fix it, ignoring the fact that there are a number of other titles doing much better. If Red Hood is really going to outsell Superman, then why not use that? With today's market largely having villain titles fail (take Deathstroke for example) if Red Hood can be a commercial success, then he could be parlayed into DC's answer for Deadpool: a hyperviolent, questionable character that is more villain than hero but the readers like him anyway.

Would you rip the engine out of your brand new car that is running well in order to try and part it out to fix an old clunker in the back yard that has been run down for years? Probably not. And yet, that is exactly what DC does when they gut the creative team from their successful titles in order to put the guys on a book that is currently a commercial failure.

It's not just Superman (he just so happens to be my favorite example because everyone understands what a valuable property he is). There are lots of underperforming books that they invest too much into. And there are lots of commercially successful books that DC seems determined to ignore and underpromote. With his current sales, Nightwing could be an A-lister title, supporting an animated series or feature film, but instead DC seems to shrug out the complaints of "We don't know what to do with him". I say, stick with what works, and otherwise trim back the fat.

#36 Posted by FadeToBlackBolt (23334 posts) - - Show Bio

@dtschemmel said:

I kind of hate that some of the underrated comics wont get very many sales. Phantom Stranger need a bigger fanbase. And tons of stuff.

Phantom Stranger was completely ruined for the New 52, so his old fanbase won't read the new comics anyway.

And let's hope DC's plan is to revert to the Good DCU.

Or commit Seppuku. Both work.

#37 Posted by kingsloth (249 posts) - - Show Bio

@FadeToBlackBolt said:

@dtschemmel said:

I kind of hate that some of the underrated comics wont get very many sales. Phantom Stranger need a bigger fanbase. And tons of stuff.

Phantom Stranger was completely ruined for the New 52, so his old fanbase won't read the new comics anyway.

And let's hope DC's plan is to revert to the Good DCU.

Or commit Seppuku. Both work.

I don't think phantom stranger was ruined, now we actually have a solid understanding of who he was(i.e. judas iscariot), not 4 possibilities with none actually confirmed.

#38 Posted by FadeToBlackBolt (23334 posts) - - Show Bio

@kingsloth said:

@FadeToBlackBolt said:

@dtschemmel said:

I kind of hate that some of the underrated comics wont get very many sales. Phantom Stranger need a bigger fanbase. And tons of stuff.

Phantom Stranger was completely ruined for the New 52, so his old fanbase won't read the new comics anyway.

And let's hope DC's plan is to revert to the Good DCU.

Or commit Seppuku. Both work.

I don't think phantom stranger was ruined, now we actually have a solid understanding of who he was(i.e. judas iscariot), not 4 possibilities with none actually confirmed.

... That was kind of the whole point of his character. You weren't supposed to know.

He's not The Phantom Guy Who We Know Everything About.

Phantom Stranger. He's supposed to be enigmatic. The ultimate penance for an unknown crime was his shtick. Now he's just another douche with powers.

#39 Posted by SupremeHyperion (1542 posts) - - Show Bio

obviously just reboot to a newer 52 where batman has superman's powers

#40 Posted by UltraBiel (328 posts) - - Show Bio

Just turn all the tittles in "Batman and the other hero..." People will buy even if it's bad!

#41 Posted by Lvenger (21066 posts) - - Show Bio

I really don't see how rebooting back to Pre Flashpoint would solve anything. Granted it is the most well known, consistent and comprehensive universe that I love far more than the New 52 but sales were already sliding Pre Flashpoint hence the New 52. And where do you go from the Pre Flashpoint stories when that universe is at an end? Plus it'd just cheapen the integrity of us DC fans if we supported something that was similar to the New 52 in the first place. We just need to let the New 52 run its course before coming to any major conclusions.

#42 Posted by The_jackolantern (445 posts) - - Show Bio

They are gonna do trinity wars and the sales well go up even tho everyone well say they hate it.even tho they loved it

#43 Edited by kingsloth (249 posts) - - Show Bio

@FadeToBlackBolt said:

@kingsloth said:

@FadeToBlackBolt said:

@dtschemmel said:

I kind of hate that some of the underrated comics wont get very many sales. Phantom Stranger need a bigger fanbase. And tons of stuff.

Phantom Stranger was completely ruined for the New 52, so his old fanbase won't read the new comics anyway.

And let's hope DC's plan is to revert to the Good DCU.

Or commit Seppuku. Both work.

I don't think phantom stranger was ruined, now we actually have a solid understanding of who he was(i.e. judas iscariot), not 4 possibilities with none actually confirmed.

... That was kind of the whole point of his character. You weren't supposed to know.

He's not The Phantom Guy Who We Know Everything About.

Phantom Stranger. He's supposed to be enigmatic. The ultimate penance for an unknown crime was his shtick. Now he's just another douche with powers.

So you know his crime, he is a more relatable character now, he has a family, he's more humanized. Stop whining its not a bad book, there is still stuff you don't know about him.

#44 Posted by FadeToBlackBolt (23334 posts) - - Show Bio

@kingsloth said:

@FadeToBlackBolt said:

@kingsloth said:

@FadeToBlackBolt said:

@dtschemmel said:

I kind of hate that some of the underrated comics wont get very many sales. Phantom Stranger need a bigger fanbase. And tons of stuff.

Phantom Stranger was completely ruined for the New 52, so his old fanbase won't read the new comics anyway.

And let's hope DC's plan is to revert to the Good DCU.

Or commit Seppuku. Both work.

I don't think phantom stranger was ruined, now we actually have a solid understanding of who he was(i.e. judas iscariot), not 4 possibilities with none actually confirmed.

... That was kind of the whole point of his character. You weren't supposed to know.

He's not The Phantom Guy Who We Know Everything About.

Phantom Stranger. He's supposed to be enigmatic. The ultimate penance for an unknown crime was his shtick. Now he's just another douche with powers.

So you know his crime, he is a more relatable character now, he has a family, he's more humanized. Stop whining its not a bad book, there is still stuff you don't know about him.

He's not meant to be relatable or humanised. Not every character has to be bloody Spider-Man.

#45 Posted by DEGRAAF (7909 posts) - - Show Bio

@Sharkbite: I would love to disagree with you but like you said these are facts. I do feel like they are poorly planning other books. I don't think its coincidence that the two best selling families are Batman and GL. They both have large vivid landscapes and backgrounds. I think Superman's family will eventually move up there but since they totally rebooted all of them it's going to take a lot longer and have a lot of resistance. I think that was one of their biggest mistakes and since the relaunch Action Comics had stalled out, Supergirl has pretty one dimensional and unbelievably dumb and ignorant. Superman has had good times and bad but hasn't had a real direction (just like Pre-New 52). I feel like the only one that can be called decent through out it's entire New 52 run so far would be Superboy. They keep him interesting and evolving while the other two feel stuck and frozen.

Metropolis will always be Superman's home but I feel that if they don't venture out with him he will always be stuck. It's like trying to keep a great white in a fish bowl. He needs more room to move around and grow. The best thing they could have done was separate Clark and Lois now they just need to leave her behind. Lex should be more like Dr Doom running Wakanda. He is a genius and ruthless. He should get to run his own country with rare minerals that the whole world needs/wants.Giving Lex and Black Adam their own respective Countries widens Superman's playing field a little. Also give him another Fortress of Solitude on the moon. He needs to be in space. Kryptonians seem to be known around the universe and stuck up and or mean while humans seem to be thought of as stupid and destructive. By putting him in front of other species and worlds he shows the best of both worlds as well as can get him in to different scenarios and a new cast of characters.

I think others could do well as solos if given the right opportunity, backing and support from the writer. Death stroke has had it's ups and downs but all in all IMO was a decent book. I did expect it to continue on as it has which is why i think it should be more like a DC Presents type book for villains. It could easily become the place to get more in depth backgrounds on villains as well as a precursor for up coming events. I htink if give the right writer Martian Man hunter, each Earth GL and some others, as well as more characters from Vertigo and Wildstorm would be brought in. It seemed like they took a half step in the direction of merging all the universe but after getting results not up to par they just dropped it. While i have not read any Vertigo or Wildstorm comics i know they have good characters. Rebuild the Authority. Put characters from Each universe on it. IT could use someone like Deathstroke or Red Hood on it. Also i think Team 7 has a place in the DC Universe just not necessarily in the past.

#46 Posted by Xanni15 (6758 posts) - - Show Bio

Purchase Valiant Comics.

#47 Edited by kingsloth (249 posts) - - Show Bio

@Xanni15 said:

Purchase Valiant Comics.

I dont think this would really work look at how much they have incorporated milestone comics. What I really think they should do is follow the manga model, cut down on the number of issues running and release the comics weekly. People are impatient I hate waiting 4 months for a story to conclude.

#48 Posted by Xanni15 (6758 posts) - - Show Bio

@kingsloth: Probably not, and it would stall Valiant, but DDC needs new blood.

#49 Posted by staphin (206 posts) - - Show Bio

make the joker a nice sane good guy

#50 Edited by Sharkbite (293 posts) - - Show Bio

@Degraaf

Spot on, mate. For the time being, I would recommend using Action Comics as a sort of Superman Family book, that could trade through their own individual and group doings, and really play up the family dynamics. A title basically devoted to the surviving Kryptonians, both good and bad, would give a chance for more interplay, and if Justice League has proven anything, it's that Superman sells incredibly well when he is part of a ensemble cast, but struggles when he's on his own.

Personally, I've long believed that Superman was better suited to fill a role like Silver Surfer or the Guardians of the Galaxy or Green Lantern, just travelling throughout the universe to battle against evil, rather than staying cloistered up in Metropolis where he can stop fires and save cats from trees. He's simply too powerful for Earth. By making him a character on a more cosmic scale, he can more easily face cosmic level enemies. They could even play more into the Yellow Sun charging his powers by having enemies that specifically target Red Sun areas or areas far from Yellow Suns so that Superman's opposition comes with a limit on his power level. Cosmic level Superman title could be really good.

I could not agree more with Lex Luthor needing to step up. He is the classic Superman villain, moreso than Zod or Metallo or Brainiac or Doomsday; when people think Superman, they think Lex Luthor. If you're going to have the most powerful hero in existance, then his villain counterpart cannot be portrayed as weak and stupid. Lex doesn't have to be able to out-punch Superman, but he does need to start to be able to out-SMART him. Lex Luthor plans need to end with Lex getting off scott free; with the general public loving Lex to the point where Superman cannot move against him directly without risking innocent lives. DC needs to grow up from the Golden Age when Lex was a mad scientist who got thrown in prison after every scheme, and start letting the villain use his brain and always be two steps ahead of Superman. As for Lex leading a nation, it doesn't even have to be some foreign country like Dr Doom having Latvaria; before the New52 reboot, Lex had once been elected President of the United States. With new52 continuity, it should be nothing at all for Luthor to be elected Governor or Senator and present himself as an altruistic champion of the people, and any move Superman makes against him is an attack on America. Lex Luthor hiding behind the American flag and shouting "Alien!" every time Superman tries to oppose him is enough that the world would see more prejudice against Superman than what Marvel does to mutants.

There are tons of creative ways that could be tried with the current books. It'd just be nice if DC would look at the numbers, and then change what isn't working and leave alone the things that are.