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Subj: Re: Which super villains do you think are broken and how would you fix them?
Posted: Fri Dec 31, 2010 at 02:02:09 pm EST (Viewed 206 times)
Reply Subj: Re: Which super villains do you think are broken and how would you fix them?
Posted: Fri Dec 31, 2010 at 10:15:22 am EST (Viewed 226 times)

    How many team books, like the one you have suggested, over the past ten years have failed within 12-15 issues? Slingers, Marvel Knights (twice), Heroes for Hire (the third time may be a charm, but so far it hasn't gone well), Avengers Academy will go down soon, numerous X-teams, that crappy Nextwave title, Howling Commandos, Skrull Kill Krew, and more. Not saying that they were bad ideas (except Nextwave), but they didn't sell. Now answer the same question for a split book offered by Marvel. The answer is two: Strange Tales, which came at a time when Marvel was going through major bankruptcy proceedings and pared its number of titles to 30, and Amazing Fantasy, which actually surprised Marvel because it was only supposed to be a limited, but sold so well during and after the Arana arc that they kept it going (at least until it got a little weird around #15). Two attempts...that's it. I don't believe that you can say it won't work if it hasn't really been tried. The other attempts, the anthology-style ones, simply had too many characters (4 and sometimes 6 per issue) and did not work because the stories were too short and did not really have any hooks.

How many solo books have failed? I would have to think that team books will sell better than solo books, regardless of format. Avengers sells better than Captain America/Thor/Iron Man, New Avenger sells better than Spider-Man, the X-Men sell better than Wolverine, and so on for the most part. You are also going with a unnecessary view of success and failure. Did anyone really expect Nextwave like last 60 plus issues? It got 12 issues, collections for future sales, the characters transferred over to other titles, and the series was critically acclaimed. It certainly met my expectations.

Marvel's experimented with the split format book alot more than two attemps. It was a regular feature in the 60s only because Marvel was limited in the number of titles they could publish. So we got titles like Tales of Supense and Tales to Astonish. I'm not sure why the decision was made in the 70s to put out titles like Amazing Adventures and Strange Tales as split format books. But without a direct market, they couldn't do things like a miniseries with the Black Widow. There was also the Double Shot miniseries from a few years ago which told two stories per issue. In recent years Marvel has been pretty aggressive with the anthology titles, and have been experimenting alot with them.

What's the logic behind thinking a split format would work? What would be the expected sales? H+M and Black Widow each sell 14K, add them together and you get 28K. There is probably some overlap in the readers there, so assuming 25% read both titles that's only 21K. And I'm sure many readers who want to read about Hawkeye don't care about the Black Widow (and vice versa), so they drop the title.

Nova and GotG both sold around 20K. Yet the Thanos Imperative sold about 30K. How much would a split book featuring Nova and GotG sell? There's the upcoming split book featuring the Annihlators and Rocket Racoon + Groot, what will that sell?

    Why not try something different, something that has not been done well in Marvel for the past twenty years? It seems to be working okay for DC with some of their mainstream titles. Pair up two heroes who struggle to keep a title on their own, but are similar.

What recent DC examples are you thinking of? When Booster Gold got the 10 page Blue Beetle back ups, BG saw no increase in sales.

    The limited series really are the cause of that....First off, who has the money to buy the three monthly Wolverine titles, four Wolverine one-shot/limited series, and then something else. And if you ask most comic fans, both hardcore and occasional, it is one of their biggest complaints...that they cannot afford what they want to get.

I would agree that Marvel needs to restrict the number of titles per character in some cases, and limit the number of offered titles each month. They need to experiment more with publishing formats. Make Wolverine and Deadpool 18 issues a year if you want to make more money off those titles. There's a term in video gaming called "shovel ware", were publishes just dump out crappy games to try and get sales. This is the problem that Marvel is facing right now.

    The sales for limited series are so skewed and it is more of a sham than anything else. It seems that when you look at the numeric sales published by Diamond on a limited series, the first issue sells solid, then you see a 50% drop in the second issue, and a 33% drop in the third issue.

In the case of limited series, Marvel needs to change the publishing format schedule, and look to make these titles weekly or biweekly. A 6 issue story with Wolverine and Spider-Man over 12 months is going to sell much less than a 6 issue story told in 6 or 12 weeks. This would also greatly impact the drops her issue since fans will be less likely to drop a miniseries in a much shorter time. Another problem that would be helped with this are instances like Marvel is having with the Thor titles out now. Instead of having a 6 Thor titles out at the same time, release each story as soon as the previous one is finished.

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