The biggest ramification of the AvX event was the change to Marvel's “status quo”. This is pretty typical of any major summer crossover or event and there are a number of fans groaning about how Marvel seemingly regurgitates this rhetoric every year. However, one of the biggest changes came from creative team shake-ups and newly re-numbered series. This meant that long-standing runs like Ed Brubaker on Captain America, Brian Michael Bendis on Avengers and Jonathan Hickman on Fantastic Four would end and new writers would be welcome to bring their own ideas to Marvel’s characters.
I believe this is smart marketing on Marvel’s part. The re-launching of these titles serves its purpose. First and foremost, it welcomes new readers to begin picking up a new series without having to worry about everything that came before it. Also, by re-numbering the series, the title becomes accessible to everyone. Old readers are also encouraged to pick up the series so they don’t miss a beat with their favorite characters.
This does change how the data is understood. The newly launched titles are easy to analyze, but they didn’t have readers coming in from a previous volume. There were a number of people who were reading Ed Brubaker’s Captain America and a number of those readers were going to transition over to Rick Remender’s Captain America, but not all of them were willing to jump over. I thought it was important to track the number of readers who were sticking with the book as well as those who were planning to end their readership when a writer’s tenure ended.
So with that said, here are the numbers:
Captain America (by Rick Remender & John Romita Jr.): Okay, I personally was super-hyped for this launch of Captain America. After reading Jack Kirby’s phenomenal run from the 70s, I was excited to see what Remender was going to do with Cap. I obviously wasn’t the only one. This series had 14 pick-ups (tying it with 4 other books for 6th place). Surprisingly enough, there were 10 people reading the previous series, making it the most popular of this group going in. Out of those 10, only one person dropped the book, meaning 9 people continued to read the series. It faired a moderate number of drops with just two people choosing not to continue reading the 10-issue opening arc. I would also say that OH reaction has been straddling the fence. Many people have complained about the book. Still, with twelve people still reading this title, I’d say it’s a pretty popular pick.
Deadpool (by Brian Posehn, Gerry Duggan & Tony Moore): There were only just two people reading Deadpool going into Marvel NOW! Surprisingly, a new creative team meant a spike in sales for Deadpool with 10 new readers joining those two (for a total of 12 pick-ups). Since the series launch, three people have dropped out of buying the book. Jude’s reason for dropping the book: “I suffered through Way's 90% awful run, and I held out hope this would redeem Deadpool. It was more of the same.” That left me wondering if the new creative team really did manage to revive the book. The numbers would seem to say they did but not everyone was buying it. With a quarter of the new readers dropping out, Deadpool could still be considered a success. However, GOSD stated: “The only one I would drop is Deadpool. The character doesn't need a book.” I wonder how many will take up the “GOSD was right!” banner in the coming months.
Fantastic Four (by Matt Fraction & Mark Bagley): With the end of Jonathan Hickman’s run (that I’m waiting to read once I finish these damn articles!), the Fantastic Four/FF franchise was open for a new writer to come in. Enter Matt Fraction, who along with Mark Bagley and Mike Allred took the reins of the Fantastic Franchise. There were 7 people who were reading Hickman’s Fantastic Four going in to NOW and only two dropped out before the event. With a total of 14 pick-ups (nearly 50% and tied for 6th), the new F4 series received 9 new readers! That’s pretty damn good if you ask me. Only three people have dropped the series, so I would say this series was successful enough on the Outhouse.
FF (by Matt Fraction & Mike Allred): Much like it has been during Hickman’s tenure, FF is the counterpart to Fantastic Four. The NOW launch sees a new team join the existing core of kids, with Ant-Man and a bunch of women taking care of the children. Typical sexism! Just leave the kids in the care of women. Anyhow, the forum reacted to FF in the same way they did with F4. The numbers were pretty much identical with only one small difference. There was one more person who dropped out of FF before the launch, putting that number up to three. Due to this one person dropping out pre-launch, that means FF had 10 new readers compared to the 9 that F4 had. Not a HUGE change, really. The same number of people dropped FF although I can’t say if it was the same three guys. Of course, it was three GUYS, proving that this industry is ridiculously sexist! Ugh!
Iron Man (by Kieron Gillen & Greg Land): If there’s one thing that I always find weird about the Outhouse, it’s that people seem to buy things they love to hate. When the NOW re-launch teams were announced, a number of people were uninterested in Greg Land on Iron Man. Yet, 8 people went out of their way to read this book. There were initially 4 people reading the previous Iron Man series but 3 of them decided they didn’t like Gillen and/or Land and dropped out pre-NOW. That means one person continued with the title while 7 jumped on with the NOW launch. One person has dropped the book since the launch as well. I don’t know if it’s the same person but 7 people reading the book must mean someone is doing something right (or wrong). I’m going to peg Iron Man as a moderate success and keep watching to see if people still buy this title.
X-Men Legacy (by Simon Spurrier & Tang En Huat): I didn’t know this was a thing. Nonetheless, the concept, which sounds kind of cool, focuses on Legion, the son of Charles Xavier who I believed was dead but is apparently alive and doing his best to honor his father’s legacy. Like I said it’s a cool concept. The kicker is that there were only 4 OHers picking this up at the launch and one has already jumped off. With all four of those people being readers pre-NOW and 25% of the OH readership gone after the launch, I’m wondering how many are going to stick with it. Still, it would be cool to see some stories about Legion getting out and dating. After all, he’s got great personalities. (Sorry).
Avengers (by Jonathan Hickman & Jerome Opena): Marvel’s flagship title has seen a great amount of success with the NOW re-launch event. Moving Jonathan Hickman from the F4/FF franchise onto their top franchise has proven to be a successful move for Marvel. Of the 20 people who picked up the title, 13 of them new readers and 7 were continuing readers. No one dropped the book before the re-launch. I’d say this was a smashing success for Marvel, earning 3rd on the top ten list. Already 8 issues into what appears to be a very thorough story, Avengers might be one of the best Marvel books to keep an eye on. Surprisingly enough, two people have already dropped the title, leading me to believe that the long, drawn-out story by Hickman may see more people jump off soon.
New Avengers (by Jonathan Hickman & Steve Epting): New Avengers is the Yin to the Avengers Yang has also seen a great success under the Marvel NOW re-launch. What Hickman has described as the “death” book (with Avengers being the “life” book) has produced some big numbers for OH readership. New Avengers tied with Uncanny Avengers for 1st place with 21 people picking up the book at launch. Like Avengers, New Avengers had 7 readers continuing with the event, so having 14 new readers made the book wildly popular. With only one person dropping the book, this book wields a high number of readers. I’d even go so far as to say that this is the most popular book from Marvel NOW!
Uncanny X-Force (by Sam Humphries & Ron Garney): Rick Remender’s run on Uncanny X-Force was definitely one worthy of praise, so with a new creative team and new characters on the book, it was pretty obvious that many readers might not want to continue with this series. As mentioned in the overview, 4 out of the 8 people reading Uncanny X-Force decided to drop out with the end of Remender’s run. With a total of 7 pick-ups, 3 new readers decided to pick this up with the re-launch. Only one person has dropped out since, making this new Uncanny X-Force (the other “X-Force” book) a pretty mild success. The question to ask is whether it will last more than a year.
Secret Avengers (by Nick Spencer & Luke Ross): Secret Avengers was another Rick Remender title that readers were ready to jump off. 3 out of the 4 people reading Secret Avengers dropped the book at the end of Rick Remender’s short run. Obviously, they weren’t interested in Nick Spencer’s take on S.H.I.E.L.D. and his covert team of Avengers. Still, Secret Avengers managed to gain 5 new readers with a total of 6 pick-ups. Since the launch, 2 people have decided they aren’t interested in the shenanigans of “Nig” Fury and his secret buddies and have dropped the book. With little to no discussion happening on the forum, it looks like this is another book that no one really cares for.
Uncanny X-Men (by Brian Michael Bendis & Chris Bachalo): Much like All-New X-Men, this book deals with the fallout from AvX. With ties to All-New X-Men, this series focuses on Cyclops his cronies from the Phoenix Five. Many of the participants felt that this would be a good book to pick up as it got 13 pick-ups and cracked the top ten. Of those 13, 6 were readers from the previous Uncanny X-Men title with only one person choosing to drop the title with the re-launch. The current title has only lost one reader, making it a successful re-launch. I’m in the camp that everyone who bought this book only bought it because they are in the “Cyclops was right” camp. Since AvX proved that Cyclops is complete and utter scum, I have to question the morality of 13 of our regular posters.
Wolverine (by Paul Cornell & Alan Davis): Some people might think having more than one Wolverine title is too much. Seeing as how this is the flagship Wolverine title, I don’t think it is unnecessary (bias alert). Popular writer Paul Cornell and industry legend Alan Davis teaming up to tell a new Wolverine story managed to generate a fair amount of buzz on the forum. Of the two people reading the pre-NOW Wolverine series, one dropped out. With a total of five (planned) pick-ups, four new, I’d say that the series was a projected moderate success. I say “planned” and “projected” because the series had not come out by the time I began my survey and only came out last week. So holla if you’re picking up Wolverine. I might get it after Frank Cho’s stint on Savage Wolverine. Let me know how it is.
X-Men (by Brian Wood & Oliver Coipel): The series hasn’t come out yet and numbers are purely based on people planning to buy the book. With the delays on the book pushing it back a month, I’m sure the numbers have probably changed. Nonetheless, the series has about 9 people interested in it and planning to buy it when it hits shelves (if it ever does). With 4 of those 9 being readers from the previous series, it doesn’t surprise me that there are all kinds of people who are interested in the XX-Men. Whether the series will be a triumph for feminism in comics remains to be seen, but we will let Anita Sarkeesian decide that if and when the comic hits shelves.
That’s all for the Marvel NOW! series that re-launched with new numbering. From looking at the data, I’d say this category was also a success with 7 of the 13 series hitting double-digits in pick-ups. Although to evaluate how many new readers each series got yields different results, with only 3 of the 13 titles in the doubles. However, in terms of numbers, most titles managed a significant increase in forum readership, with 8 out of 13 increasing their numbers by (roughly) 50-65%.
Tomorrow I’ll look at Marvel NOW! titles that launched with new titles but picked up from old series as well as the two limited series coming under the NOW banner.
Here is the collected data for this category:
|Title||Pickups||Continues||Prior Drops||Crnt Drops||Readers T.D.||New Readers||Jump-off %||New Rdrs %|