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Saturday, January 29, 2022 

Sales receipts of December indicate readers reject DC's woke transformation of Superman

Bounding Into Comics found data for sales giving important signs that the DC audience is fed up with the famous creations being exploited by ideologues to force tasteless and crude agendas down everyone's throats:
The latest data set featuring comic book sales from December appear to show that readers are rejecting DC Comics’ woke changes to Superman.

If you haven’t been paying attention to all the woke changes DC Comics has made to Superman there have been a ton.

First, they replaced Clark Kent with his son Jonathan Kent as Superman and then made him attracted to dudes. [...]

Quickly following that at DC FanDome, DC Comics Publisher Jim Lee announced that Superman’s iconic motto “Truth, Justice, and The American Way” would be changed to “Truth, Justice, and a Better Tomorrow.”

Lee explained the change was to “better reflect the global storylines that we are telling across DC and to honor the character’s incredible legacy of over 80 years of building a better world.”
Lee-the-leftist has part of the problem for a long time. In all the years he rose from artist to executive, he's done quite a bit, along with the recently fired Dan DiDio, to dumb-down everything DC's heroes and their co-stars were all about, and they practically followed up their predecessors of the 90s normalizing jarring violence in their storytelling. It's clear regardless of his ranking Lee doesn't belong in this job anymore, if he cares about nothing but soulless storytelling.
Then DC Comics writer Tom Taylor revealed that the new gay Superman is also a climate activist.

Taylor shared the cover for Superman: Son of Kal-El #7 that shows Kent holding up a sign that reads, “School Strike For Climate.”

In an interview with IGN, Taylor elaborated, “The question for Jon (and for our creative team) is, what should a new Superman fight for today? Can a seventeen-year-old Superman battle giant robots while ignoring the climate crisis? Of course not.”

He then detailed that he’s not just a climate activist, but he is also an activist for illegal immigrants as well, “Can someone with super sight and super hearing ignore injustices beyond his borders? Can he ignore the plight of asylum seekers?”
Can the writers ignore violent crime carried by any of these interlopers into the USA in real life? What's ironic about Taylor's blather is that it's highly unlikely he'll ever write the son of Kal-El confronting the issue of migrant children kept in cages by the Biden staff. Which makes Taylor a serious hypocrite.
Previous estimates for the book’s sales showed it was in the gutter with Comichron claiming the first book of Superman: Son of Kal-El only sold 68,800 issues back in July when it first debuted. That was good for the 17th best selling comic of the month.

The most recent data compiled by Comichron reveals that the book’s third issue only sold 34,000 copies in September. That was good for the 77th best selling comic of the month.

[...] ICv2’s most recent data set for December, reveals it was a one-time gimmick as the book did not show up in the top 50 chart when looking at total units. Superman: Son of Kal-El 2021 Annual #1 did place 45th on ICv2’s Top 50 Comic Books by Dollars chart for the month.
Yup, that's pretty low as anything else is well before the turn of the century. So while DC boasted they had "unprecedented orders" made for the 5th issue, it's clear nobody cares about these stunts anymore.

While we're on the subject, this reminded me of a most devastating discovery I made on the Superman Homepage reviews, of the 5th issue of Son of Kal-El, where the reviewer gushed over it sight unseen, and the following is head-shaking:
The twist that Jay will never need Jon to rescue him because he is beyond physical harm is a great one and also helps remove the trope of so many other superheroes. Their interaction is touching and Jay proves to be far more analytical with issues than Jon. I really like that they are brains and brawn separately but together a dynamic team.

Oh yeah, Jon and Jay kiss.
Who would've thought a site dedicated to the first famous superhero could've sunk this low over many years, and their reviewers could embrace such a Mary Sue direction, where a character is devoid of flaws and/or vulnerability to physical harm? This is seriously atrocious, as is their take on one of the variant covers, a gimmick that's become a sad staple in over 15 years:
Like the other variant, Jon and Jay as a superhero couple is romantic and uplifting, over the past 80 years we've seen Clark in many a romance driven cover with his various girlfriends so it was only a matter of time before his son found love. I like that these type of stories are finally being told in a Superman book. It's a emotional cover but again given the story inside I would have preferred it.
And with this, the reviewer fails to explain why it should be with the same sex, rather than a girl. I guess they also believe the whole notion of a lady in distress from violent criminals is also throughly outmoded, to the point they'd rather this badly developed "successor" to the Man of Steel should only be paired with a seemingly indestructible man. After reading this, I was so colossally disappointed with the Superman Homepage site for succumbing to woke PC, I had to remove them from the external links menu here. This is just not a healthy direction they're taking, and if that's what they think, I can't believe they're really Super-fans.

And in more on the subject of Superman, Newsarama's also been fluff-coating how the death of the Man of Steel in 1992-93 changed comics and marketing "forever", which tragically makes sense in a manner of speaking, when you consider the alarmingly repetitive depths comicdom sunk to over the past decades:
But the concept of superheroes dying and returning from the dead truly took hold in 1992's landmark story 'The Death of Superman' (still some of the highest-selling comic books and then subsequent collections of all time), which took not just the comic industry but mainstream media by storm, leading to fans lining up around the block across the country to purchase copies of what was, at the time, one of the most famous stories ever told in comics.

This flipped the comic industry on its head, and along with Todd McFarlane's 1990 relaunch of Spider-Man and then the subsequent 1991 X-Men relaunch by Chris Claremont and Jim Lee, 1992's 'Death of Superman' sent the comic book market into a speculation boom with sales numbers that were (and still are) nearly unheard of - all on the back of the death of one of the most popular characters in fiction.
And that's not a bad thing? Well, not in the minds of these pseudo-journalists, that's for sure. If anybody bought into the issues more for monetary value than story merit, something's wrong. As is the following:
At the time of the story, Superman had four separate ongoing titles - Action Comics, Superman, Superman: The Man of Steel, and The Adventures of Superman (a model that would later be copied by Marvel for Spider-Man, eventually leading to the idea of weekly series at both publishers, such as in the current 'Spider-Man Beyond' era). 'The Death of Superman' stretched through all four of these, as well as Justice League of America (where Superman was a central character) and Green Lantern (one of the first subsequent titles to chase the 'Death of Superman' hype for itself).
And we all know what an excruciating artistic atrocity Emerald Twilight was, though even before that, lest we forget, the disgraced Gerard Jones already took GL to a much lower level within the first 18 issues of the 3rd volume, with his dreadful leftist political allusions and contrived story elements, like the Guardian Appa Ali Apsa telekinetically hauling dozens of whole cityscapes to planet Oa, so they could serve Jones' leftist notions of metaphors for race relations and such. (And, lest we forget, Appa was turned into a sacrificial lamb in the process, which was quite repellent.)
Fans flocked to retailers, lining up and waiting to hoard multiple copies of the death of Superman which, it was widely believed, would undoubtedly skyrocket in value. Few fans made their fortunes reselling those millions of copies, but retailers - who collectively moved the mind-boggling number of over six million copies of Superman #75, including variant editions - managed to make a mint for themselves and for DC, putting the burgeoning speculation boom into overdrive and sending fans flocking to buy any and all comic books they perceived could appreciate in value.
So, do any of those speculators feel foolish in the years since? Anybody who thinks the death of a character makes a story like this so absolutely valuable it has to be treasured for speculation or monetary value is out of their minds. And look how it all served as fodder for a video game:
But true to the story's nature, the third chapter in the saga, 'Reign of the Supermen,' kicked things up a notch by replacing Kal-El with not one but four heroes - Superboy, Cyborg Superman, Steel, and the Eradicator - each occupying one of the four Superman ongoing titles, while each also claiming to be the rightful heir to Superman's legacy.

If you were a Superman fan at the time, you undoubtedly had a favorite from among the four, all of whom have stuck around in one form or another since their introductions, with Superboy and Steel embarking on superhero careers that forged their own legacies, Eradicator and Cyborg Superman have remained recurring villains, owing to their secret malicious nature which was hidden when 'Reign of the Supermen' first started.

The idea was so popular that it even spun off into a video game titled The Death and Return of Superman, in which players took control of Kal-El until his death, and then played through the rest of the game as the four Supermen - until Superman's inevitable return, just as in comics.

Nowadays, it's perfectly common for multiple heroes to use the same codename - there are two Supermans, two Batmans, two Captain Americas, two Spider-Mans, who knows how many Green Lanterns, and that's just the tip of the iceberg. But in 1993, the idea of having four different versions of Superman all running around, even competing for the right to be Superman, was a fresh twist on the concept of legacy heroes.
It's also commonplace for divisive politics to be forced into the proceedings, as in the case of Son of Kal-El, but Newsarama's not interested in commenting on any of that.
Superman's full return arrived in Adventures of Superman #505, but by the time it was on shelves, the sales bubble of 'The Death of Superman' had somewhat peaked with Adventures of Superman #500, the issue in which Superman was initially planned to return before that aspect of the story was delayed.

Still, the impact on the industry as a whole - in terms of both the expectations of fans when a superhero dies or is retired and on the way comic books are marketed to mainstream audiences that drive larger sales numbers - had already taken place by the time the Superman bubble burst and the story went back to business as usual.

DC immediately chased the spike caused by a 'death and return' type plot by killing off or retiring and replacing Green Lantern, Batman, Wonder Woman, Flash, Green Arrow, and others all in rapid succession, with varying levels of sales and story success, and Marvel followed suit in its own ways.

And in the years since its publication, the 'Death of Superman' has become one of the Man of Steel's most enduring stories, having been adapted as the aforementioned video game, a pair of animated films, multiple prose novels, several spiritual comic book sequels, and of course serving as a main plot point in the story of the films Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Justice League.
Well that's the problem: a story in which a character dies - resurrection notwithstanding - is seen as one of the most magnificent ideas ever told, bar none. And nobody ever questions whether that kind of approach has become a poor substitute for more challenging storylines, science-fiction or otherwise, where the heroes could battle issues like terrorism, savagery, evil world conquestors and even mad scientists and monsters. In recent times, even battles between heroes have taken up far more notice than the battle versus evil, and that too is troubling, because Batman vs. Superman is a product of such thinking. And the mainstream press never questions whether this has ruined fantasy storytelling for the sake of political correctness, and an overall disrespect for what the superhero creations were originally intended for.

So of course, is it any wonder sales have sunk so low? Nope, but the MSM won't dwell on that. All they care about is publicity stunts, and forcing wokeness on the franchises at the expense of what made them enjoyable in the years before, sadly enough.

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About me

  • 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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