AngusH wrote:Looking at it from a business standpoint, the whole New 52/Marvel NOW was/is about bringing in new readers. As I think the sales clearly show, that's not happening - in fact, maybe the opposite, as they've annoyed/pushed away long-time readers at a quicker rate than they've brought in new ones.
That's the stated intent, and maybe that's what DC and Marvel thought they were doing (bringing in new readers). But as you say, it didn't work, because they didn't execute it properly. They don't seem to understand that you can't just renumber your comics and then say it's a good jumping on point and have that stick, when it's not actually a good jumping on point. By issue 5 or 6 the New 52 had already become such a confused mess that any truly new reader would have probably given up in frustration. Hell, wasn't new, just returning from a multi-year hiatus, and the difference between Batman and GL, with their "existing" continuity, JL and Action with their "brand new heroes" continuity, and Superman and Wonder Woman with their "five years in but no pre-New 52 backstory" continuity so confused the hell out of me that I almost gave right back up again. The only way I was able to figure out WTF was going on was by having a friend of mine who had never left comics explain to me that Batman and GL had effectively not been rebooted while everything else had, and that JL and Action were taking place 5 years ago, etc. It was not immediately apparent from the narratives as presented at the time. And again, this is a comic vet who yes took time off, but who between 1976 and 1999 had 23 years of comic-book reading experience under his belt. I can't imagine what a true newbie would have thought of it all.
Plus as you say... there is still the (generally) $4 per issue expense... and there is the constant renumbering/relaunching, and there is the incessant crossing over into other titles -- all of these things are barriers to entry, in addition to the convoluted/incomprehensible continuity that reboots or relaunches are supposed to fix, but never do (instead they make it worse -- "which version of Superman is this now?").
They can't renumber the comics, call it a "reboot" (or "relaunch") and keep doing the same old shit that only appeals to a teeny-tiny itty-bitty population of people, and expect to broaden their fan base. It'd be like McDonalds and Burger King giving up everything but fish sandwiches and then relaunching the McFish and BKFish under new names and new ad campaigns every 18 months. Sure the tiny number of people who prefer the fish to burgers would love it but the vast majority of their patrons would just give up or switch to Wendy's or something.