Eh, the Batman line seems fine. The two big worries look to me like Superman and Titans -- but I suspect Superman will bounce back in 2010 once he gets back to the books. JLA also looks troublesome, but I think come January, that'll start to turn up, too.
The analyst that posts these (Marc-Oliver Frisch) is notorious for being down on DC ... in a sense, what he's saying is that DC is neglecting the titles unrelated to BN, but where its are putting its marketing effort is selling very well. Once Blackest Night is done, that marketing effort won't disappear -- they'll be pushing something else.
That said, I think it's pretty obvious that replacing Superman in his books didn't work that Hercules magic that Marvel got -- though Superman and Action are almost certainly selling more than a Mon-El or Nightwing & Flamebird title would.
I think its sad that readers aren't buying into the big changes in the Superman books. I can't speak to the quality of the stories, as I'm not reading them, but it's a brave new storyline and looks like something fresh, at least. So what if these stories and Superman WoNK (what a great acronym!), don't give us the traditional Superman as the champion of Metroplis and his battles with Lex Luthor?
IS the latest direction of the Superman books any good? Who is enjoying them? Do tell.
Everything will be returned back to basics sooner or later and in the meantime, we've got something different. I'm looking forward to reading these in collected editions.
I guess the problem is that there is a very small market of people who buy superhero comics, and when something fan-pleasing like Blackest Night comes along, they cut down on buying other books to accommodate it and its tie-ins.
Once Blackest Night is done, that marketing effort won't disappear -- they'll be pushing something else.
The problem is that the marketing is all within this niche. Looking at those sales figures now and again, I get the impression that there is only about 100,000 regular superhero monthly comic buyers in the world! All his talk about the variant covers pushing up sales indicates that there is a lot of buying of mutliple copies by the same people.
DC do seem to be making a hash of their JSA, JLA books these days. The writer probably has a point about DC trying to expand lines that are on the way down in the first place.
I've realised that each of these 'mega-stories' with all the tie-ins are their own thing. Its hard for a company to learn from eg Civil War in order to do 'Secret Invasion'. Each series have their own rules, and possible pitfalls. Although they are hard to buy into (financially for some of us), they are the way that the Big Two see their marketing for the next few years. I suppose we have to learn to appreciate them for what they are, not for what they are not.
Good point about Superman deserving the name 'super' for more than just his powers. The first time the Smallville Clark Kent looked remotely like Superman as I know him was when he completely lost his powers and still went in to do the right thing.
My reactions are somewhat similar to Charlie's. I really like the stuff that's actually on New Krypton and/or involving the Kryptonian characters directly. I was kind of dubious about this whole storyline as it was first introduced, but it's really good stuff that has actually benefitted from such a long buildup.
The Earth-based stuff, though, has ranged for me from just OK to kinda awful. Mainly the General Lane stuff, which is mostly another recycling of long-overused Eeeevil American Military Man tropes, and usually showing little to no knowledge of how the American military actually works (e.g., Lane has apparently absolute and unfettered power, military officers who follow crazy orders without question, etc.)
I suppose long-established properties, like Superman or the Flash, might be valuable for their potential audience or their persistent audience. A number of DC's properties can secure a large audience, especially at a relaunch. But most don't have enough of a persistent audience to keep their sales from ever declining to cancellation. Batman and Superman command sufficiently-sized persistent audiences to avoid this fate. DC appears to find it easier to lift the Bat-titles into the top sales tier than the Super-titles.
That’s an average second-issue drop for a miniseries. Given the name recognition of the creative team, the numbers have to be rather sobering for DC. The message is clear: Another origin story on top of the confusing pile of existing ones is the last thing the character needs right now.
I was really enjoying the "World Without a Superman" story and wrote about it in one of my "Fluit Notes" columns a couple of months ago. I thought that the individual titles had a very strong structure: Superman WoNK (and I agree, that's a great acronym) concentrating on Superman among his own title, Action concentrating on the Kryptonians on Earth (particularly Nightwing and Flamebird) and Superman concentrating on those who were watching Metropolis (Mon-El, Guardian and Steel).
However, my enthusiasm has waned over the past couple of months so that I'm not enjoying it as much as I once was.
One problem is one that several others have already mentioned in this thread: General Lane is not a compelling villain in the least. He's a pretty typical military complex xenophobe, which we've seen done before and done better. My decreased enjoyment of this storyline has coincided with his increased presence in the titles.
Another problem that was mentioned in the comments to the original message on "The Beat" is that the titles haven't been self-contained. So it's not as if you have to buy 12 issues to get one story (which is already a huge commitment). You practically have to commit to 48. That's been too much for me. I can understand why Supergirl started losing readers once it started crossing over with Action. I was reading the same story from the other side and nearly dropped Action because of it.
A third problem that hasn't been mentioned yet is that the titles haven't been able to keep up consistent art teams. They started with some very talented people (like Renato Guedes) but have transitioned through fill-in artists to new regular artists who aren't as well-known or as good (at least not yet). That adds to the disrupted flow/feeling on the titles.
At the same time, it's not all bad. I've still been having a blast reading Superman WoNK. We've seen the Kryptonians interact with the Green Lanterns, the Thanagarians and most recently the Saturnians (including J'Emm). That's been a lot of fun.