I don't think anybody here is trying to take anything away from what Geoff Johns has done for the Green Lantern franchise. Whether you like what he has done or not, the man took a franchise that was going nowhere and turned it into the most important franchise at DC, second only to Batman.
I beg to differ. Frankly, he won't prove to me that he's done that until some time after he's left the title. I'm still convinced that people weren't buying Green Lantern so much as they were buying Geoff Johns Monthly #1, in which ANY character could have been the star and it being Hal Jordan/Sinestro/Baz is pretty much coincidental. Many people -- including many people HERE, i remind you, as you guys have said time and again -- buy these books for the WRITER, not the character. So it's no surprise that people are going to buy in droves whatever book a "hot writer" is writing.
Moreover, Geoff is not just a "hot writer", he is the Chief Creative Officer of the company. Thus, any book Geoff is writing becomes An Important Book to Buy in Order to Keep Up with the DCnU. And many fans want to do just that, so of course a lot of readers are going to flock to whatever book the man primarily in control of the DCU is writing. This is especially true when the major crossovers of the past few years have sprouted directly from his books: Blackest Night, Flashpoint, the upcoming Trinity War. Gotta have been reading Geoff's GL to understand why these dead characters with black Lantern rings are tormenting all your non-Lantern heroes this month! Shame on you if you haven't been!
As I said, I've been waiting for YEARS for Geoff to get off the GL book so the subsequent numbers can dutifully demonstrate what I'm saying, so I can't wait for those results. It's not just GL, either; I say the same thing about people's incredulity about Aquaman (That's "Geoff Johns Monthly #3" to YOU!) selling. I'm absolutely sure if DC claimed that Geoff was leaving that book, too, but he continued to ghostwrite it under somebody else's name, those sales would also plummet.
Bottom line: People are buying these books for the tagline "Written by Geoff Johns!!
", and it doesn't matter who the story is about... and, even more to the point, it doesn't even matter how badly Geoff writes the book!
*points to his Justice League run, which so many people complain about but STILL grab every month*
I literally underscore this point: Even QUALITY doesn't count at all!
Geoff Johns is an important writer and CCO, so it doesn't matter what utter crap he's giving you, "Don't Ask, Just BUY!!"
I don't think the problem is something as simple as the fact that the character is Muslim. Certainly that may have been a part of it but the way that Simon Baz was introduced to new and old readers alike didn't help. As I pointed out earlier the character is Muslim, an unemployed engineer, a street racer, a car thief, a suspected terrorist, and now a Green Lantern. That's a lot of stuff to dump onto a brand new character at one time, especially at the beginning of a storyline that for all intents and purposes should include the characters that you are dropping in favor of this new character. That's not exactly new reader friendly. It's like Johns watched one of the Fast and Furious movies while also watching a Homeland marathon prior to getting the go ahead to create a 5th Green Lantern of Earth.
See, here's a good example. You and others point out how poorly handled Baz is... but you're still getting that Geoff-written GL book!
Like I said, it's going to be VERY interesting to see the scales fall off many a GL buyer's eyes once Geoff Johns's name is no longer plastered on the cover...