Saturday, April 11, 2009

Bits of Legionnaire Business

It's been pretty quiet on the Legion front, just a couple of solo characters lately, waiting for the next issues of L3W and Adventure. In the meantime, some Bits:

  • Via The BEAT, here are DC sales in February:
    08/2008: Legion of 3 Worlds #1 of 5 — 68,306 [73,914]
    09/2008: –
    10/2008: Legion of 3 Worlds #2 of 5 — 64,412 (-5.7%)
    11/2008: –
    12/2008: –
    01/2008: –
    02/2008: Legion of 3 Worlds #3 of 5 — 61,358 (-4.7%)
    6 months: -10.2%

    In terms of the schedule, the last remaining Final Crisis spin-off has gone far off the rails, but the sales remain solid.

    02/2009: Adventure Comics #0 — 32,851

    My first instinct here is to wonder if it isn’t kind of depressing for a major company like DC Comics to produce a $ 1 comic and only sell 30K and change of it. But I don’t, because I’ve read the advertising copy, and I’ve read the comic.

    Adventure Comics #0 has two stories. The first is a “Legion of Super-Heroes” reprint from the 1950s, an “adventure comic,” very much of its time, and as corny and naive as those things are prone to.

    The second is a new six-pager that’s brutal and excessively violent, and it doesn’t make a lick of sense to anyone who hasn’t been reading a lot of DC’s comics anyway.

    This, you have to understand, is not an accident: DC Comics is simply not interested in selling its comics to people who don’t already read them.

    I’m not making this up. DC Comics Executive Editor Dan DiDio says so, all the time and on the record. Asked in a recent Newsarama piece why his DC Universe imprint doesn’t publish more low-priced entry-level comics, DiDio says:

    “When we’re working with pre-existing characters and properties as we do in the DC Universe, people are mostly predisposed and understand who our characters are, so the idea of a wider sampling at a lower price isn’t nearly as necessary as it is with Vertigo.”

    The logical conclusion, evidently, is to sometimes publish low-priced comics, but make absolutely sure that they are impenetrable to the general public, lest anyone not among the predisposed might be accidentally seduced into buying a Superman comic.

    75 - R.E.B.E.L.S.
    02/2009: R.E.B.E.L.S. #1 — 23,739

    Tony Bedard and Andy Clarke’s Legion of Super-Heroes spin-off launches with rather dispiriting numbers; and because the first issue was promoted through a 1-for-10 variant-cover scheme, the second-issue drop in March is bound to be steep.

    Given that a relaunch of the mother title on the back of the fairly successful Final Crisis: Legion of 3 Worlds miniseries is supposedly in the pipeline, the decision to launch R.E.B.E.L.S. at this stage is another odd one on DC’s part.

    The book could certainly have used the extra sales a more cohesive publishing strategy might have brought.

  • Scott Koblish has a couple of panels from "Legion of 3 Worlds" #4, featuring XS and Kid Flash (Bart Allen) vs Superboy Prime shooting eye-blasts. (Go visit his site, he just finished uploading an entire 24-page story called "The Eight Immortals".)
    I'm very excited about the last two issues of FC:Lo3W, the fourth issue should come out soon! Honest!

    The Italian site Legione dei Super-Eroi has a better, bigger view of the panels.

  • "Paul and John Review" is sadly defunct (though the archives are still there, with all of the "Super-Human Detritus of the 30th Century" postings. The good news is that John is over at "Living Between Wednesdays". He's still the resident Legion fan there, as you can see in his posts discussing which of the original Justice Society of America (1940's version) might have gotten into the Legion. You might be surprised. (Part 1, Part 2)

  • Rokk's Comic Book Revolution reviews Superman #686, starring Mon-El.
    I would only recommend Superman #686 to loyal fans of Mon-El and the Guardian. For everyone else, I would recommend skipping this issue. It is not worth your hard earned money. And nothing happens in this issue that will prevent you from enjoying the upcoming direction for this title.

  • The "Things I've Learned from Wikipedia" blog reviews Matter-Eater Lad's entry, with predictable results.

  • Don't forget about White Party 2009 in Palm Springs this weekend, in particular this party on Saturday night (the 11th).
    WHITE PARTY 20 – LEGION OF SUPERHEROES Grab your cape and spring into action, beginning at 9pm and continuing until 5am. The time has come to join forces for the most incredible gathering the world has ever seen. Inside the Palm Springs Convention Center, heroes from all over the universe will converge for the biggest and most anticipated event of the weekend! Headlining DJs Tony Moran (NYC), Manny Lehman (LA) and Ana Paula (Brazil) deliver the surge of musical excitement as men of steel, boys of wonder and all sorts of amazing avengers invade the dance floor. Earth shaking sound, spectacular visuals and mind altering effects will startle your senses. Special guest performers invade the stage to unleash spectacular live entertainment all night long. As the fury unfolds in the main room, DJ Chi Chi LaRue and her sexy gang of exclusive Rascal stars will stir up trouble in the adjacent Legion Lounge.

  • Polling closes this Sunday night for the TV IV Readers Choice awards. The Legion animated series is up for Best Animated Drama Series IVy Award for 2008.

  • The Superman Fan Podcast discusses the Time Trapper's Pocket Universe storyline and how it was portrayed in the Superman titles at the time.

  • The Geeky Librarian, after reading and liking "Legion of 3 Worlds", picked up Volume 2 of the Legion Showcase reprint. Looks like we've got another convert!


Greybird said...

“When we’re working with pre-existing characters and properties as we do in the DC Universe, people are mostly predisposed and understand who our characters are, so the idea of a wider sampling at a lower price isn’t nearly as necessary as it is with Vertigo.”

DiDio is a DiDisgrace. I've rarely seen a corporate type making such a straight-ahead argument for creative and marketing stagnation. Binder, Weisinger, and Schwartz would have strung him up, at least with ropes of verbiage.

With this kind of attitude — one of actively disdaining getting new, young customers — DC is very soon going to get its wish, and not have any new customers. By its 75th anniversary, except for a licensing division making Supes bric-a-brac, it'll be as dead as CrossGen.

Eh. We'll all be reading anime on our Kindles by then, anyway.

Christian Zamora said...

More of a question than anything else-- Do you know when Legion of 3 Worlds #4 is going to be published? I'm kind of aching here.

DrWorm said...

Geoff Johns has a video interview up on iFanboy.
It it mostly about Flash, but he says that L3W #4 is finished and just needs be printed. He also expects #5 to be out in June. (go to 35:45 in the video)

Christian Zamora said...

Thanks for the info, DrWorm. I'm really dying to get those books!