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Sunday, December 17, 2006 

DC's sales really are sliding into freefall

PW's The Beat took another look at DC's sales results a few weeks ago, and it looks like a lot of the high hopes they may have had sure aren't as high as they might've hoped. I'll take a look at a few of the things they have to say in turn. Of all the books they've put out, it seems that 52 is doing the best of all. I'm really not happy about that, not just because the stories and plots, even at a glance, don't look like anything great. And, as the Beat contributor says here:
Reportedly, a weekly follow-up series is already in the pipeline, so it seems that DC are viewing the book’s frequency as a major factor in its success.
In all due fairness to the consumer, I gotta say, nice going there, letting them fleece you of your money over what already looks like a big nothing. As I may have argued earlier, from the looks of things, they sure do seem to be dragging everything out more than need be.

On the Flash, sales are not good:
Flash keeps shedding units at an alarming rate, and online reactions to the book seem mixed at best. The current writers will be replaced in February’s issue #9, so DC probably concur. At this stage, though, it’s quite possible that the sales boost from June’s relaunch will have largely disappeared by then.
Unsurprisingly, if that's what happens. Whatever the case, the reason I'm not waiting up for the new writer is simply because - it is Wally West I want to read about as the Flash, and while I do like Bart Allen, I feel they have rendered him as unrecognizable as many of the other DCU cast members these days, and frankly, he should really be retaining his position as what he first began: Impulse.

Now, an interesting note about...variant covers! Supergirl and the Legion of Superheroes appears to be one of the titles using them:
The sudden increase is due to a variant cover edition, one copy of which could be ordered by retailers for, you guessed it, every ten copies of the standard comic. It’s a nice increase, certainly, but it’s unlikely to have any beneficial effects on the performance of subsequent issues.
Well, here's something where I sure find fault. Variant covers are no substitute for good storytelling, and if people are really buying multiple copies of the book just so that they can get two or more variants, then that shows that the effort to move away from the collector's market never came to be. In other words, they're not trying to offer good storytelling, but rather, just trying to make extra bucks off of variant covers. The new volume of Justice League of America is also using them, and that too is pretty tacky.

On the Outsiders, there too is sales decline:
The book’s sales decline accelerates. Over the last several months, something seems to be going horribly wrong with Outsiders. The book used to be one of DC’s most consistent performers since its launch in 2003, but now it has shedded almost 10,000 units in a period of six months.
Well it wasn't really much of anything to begin with, and if they're going to just toss out some of the cast members who could've used some development (Jade, Starfire), then I guess that could explain why it's going down now. And Judd Winick is no genuine writer, as some people have hopefully begun to realize by now.

Robin and Green Arrow's numbers have also declined. Perhaps they could've allowed William Messner-Loebs to be writer on the latter, and come to think of it, the former, instead of limiting him to a one-shot issue? Man, that was a real cheat they pulled last year, when as it turned out, Loebs only wrote one issue of GA.

I'll just note one more item, that being the Uncle Sam and the Freedom Fighters mini:
Sales are bottoming out, slowly but surely.
There's a good reason why, if you ask me. If the miniseries is going to be more about political biases than anything else, then noone with common sense need apply.

And so with that, it looks like DC's One Year Later stunt isn't proving as successful as they may have hoped. IMO, if they're going to show the kind of contempt for the readers they've been for the past two years now, they're practically asking for failure. That said, it's still a shame that people are wasting their money on 52, which, IMO, does not sound as appealing as they must want people to think. I would strongly urge anyone still buying it to drop it as soon as they can.

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  • I'm Avi Green
  • From Jerusalem, Israel
  • I was born in Pennsylvania in 1974, and moved to Israel in 1983. I also enjoyed reading a lot of comics when I was young, the first being Fantastic Four. I maintain a strong belief in the public's right to knowledge and accuracy in facts. I like to think of myself as a conservative-style version of Clark Kent. I don't expect to be perfect at the job, but I do my best.
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