FotoCub wrote:This is a very thoughtful article and a lot more reasoned than some debate I've seen on this topic. I do have to take point on your analysis of the sales however. Stephanie Brown's Batgirl book ended its run with a little over 22K issues at #24, not #12, which is where each of the other books mentioned are now. There's no guarantee these books are going to make it to 24, and I would argue - short of a miracle - they won't. We've already seen an art change on Batwing and a writer change on Stormwatch in an attempt to generate more positive sales. DC too showed a great deal of commitment to Stephanie's book by putting one of their superstar artists on the title, Dustin Nguyen, and sales still slumped. The sad thing is (and this is not unique to the New 52) if a book is short on sales, it won't get another shot right away, particularly for a more obscure character.
Tell that to Nu Beetle. His last book dragged itself over broken glass all the way down to 10,000 in sales. DC deliberately kept it going despite declining sales, all the way down there. And, despite that poor showing and subsequent cancellation, they still relaunched his book in the DCnU.
Of course, Stephanie Brown is not the company darling that DC is desperate to put over like Jaime Reyes is, so she didn't get the chance to drop all the way down to the basement like that, much less get another ongoing series regardless.
Stephanie may have a vocal fan base, but DC has no way of knowing how many people will buy her book EXCEPT from that last sales number. And they can't LAUNCH a book at 22K. Batwing, Stormwatch, all of these launched way higher than where they fell now. Double or more in some cases.
Stephanie didn't have the benefit of being launched during "The New 52!", in which every single title -- including the venerable Action Comics and Detective Comics -- was rebooted back to issue 1, with a massive, media-spanning advertising campaign backing it up. As those books you mentioned show, anything will sell well at first, given that enormous a push.
And given your argument here, they knew how many people would buy a Jaime Reyes series from the last sales number of his first series: 10,000. Notice how that didn't stop them from trying again, anyway...
AND how is DC (strictly from a sales standpoint) to know how many of those 22K readers were buying "Batgirl" or "Stephanie Brown AS Batgirl"? What if a quarter of them were simply Bat fans and wouldn't buy a SPOILER series? Now you're down to a 17K launch. Can you see how this could be a problem?My hope is that Stephanie does come back, either in a supporting role or even in a title of her own, but when she does, her fans MUST be ready to support the book in HUGE numbers. If it doesn't launch at over 50K right away, it's not going to last long, statistically speaking.
Again, Steph won't have the once-in-a-lifetime chance to launch as part of a company-wide reboot back to issue 1, with a massive, media-spanning advertising campaign backing her up. The comparison is hardly fair or balanced.
Also, let's see how long Jaime Reyes's second series lasts, statistically speaking...
And if she's had TWO tries at the rodeo and not sold well, EEK. There will be plenty of reason to call her "toxic" then.
So, when does the aforementioned editorial favorite, Nu Beetle, get his "toxic" label, then?? This is his second "rodeo", and he's been roped and branded even more quickly than last time. I'm absolutely sure he'll NEVER get that label.
There is a blatant bias at DC, make no mistake about it.