I’m looking at the December sales estimates and scratching my head over Convergence and Secret Wars.
Convergence is supposed to be spinning out of Futures End/Worlds End (and Worlds End is practically an extension of Earth 2).
Let’s have a look at what those were selling in December.
Futures End: 33,025 – 32,233
Earth 2: 30,273
Worlds End: 25,357 – 24,493
World’s End is returnable, so _in theory_ we should bump those numbers up 10%, so maybe it’s more like 27K – 26K for that title.
Still, do these sales look like something you want to devote the entirety of your publishing line to for two months? While it hasn’t been particularly played up, it looks like the more popular Superman arc of “Doomed” is also setting up elements of Convergence, but that’s been a few months.
It might be time to disavow all connection to those weeklies, if Convergence is to thrive.
Then, across town (for the moment, anyway) at Marvel, there’s the upcoming Secret Wars. We’ll ignore for the moment that they’re following Convergence with what most people feel sounds like the same basic plot. Secret Wars is being presented as Jonathan Hickman’s swan song on the Avengers line of titles. Here’s the problem with that. Did you try to read Infinity, the last Avengers Event, without having gone back and read ALL of Hickman’s Avengers and New Avengers? I did. And I had to go back to the library and catch up on both before I knew what was going on. The double-edged sword that is Hickman’s Avengers is the man is creating a ton of new characters and scenarios that you will not have seen before if you’re not reading those two books. Nobody comes close to Hickman for unleashing new concepts at Marvel. As far as Infinity goes, Avengers and New Avengers were the same comic, just “A” plot vs “B” plot and Infinity is where the two plots converged. Now, I’ve not cracked either title since Infinity, but it sure sounds like Secret Wars is going to be the two plots converging, especially the New Avengers plot about dimensional incursions and impending doom, so you have to wonder how easy it will be for a new reader to just jump into this without having read 3 years of Hickman’s Avengers and knowing what a Black Swan and so forth.
What were those titles selling in December?
New Avengers: 39,855
Those numbers aren’t exactly setting the world on fire, are they?
In the case of DC, there may be an element of putting the cart before the horse. It sounds like Convergence was put on the calendar before Futures End numbers were in and certainly before the Futures End numbers had settled down or Worlds End had started.
In the case of Marvel, they just don’t have that many ongoing books selling over 50K. Take a look at how the last three issues of Avengers and X-Men Axis sold: 70,194 – 69,449. (For context, Justice League was at 72,081.) Avengers and X-Men Axis wasn’t an event, so much as an arc of Uncanny Avengers gussied up to look like an Event. Those are really good numbers for Uncanny Avengers. But a Marvel event outsold by Justice League? Let’s just say between sales and catching up on Avengers continuity, it’s probably a very good thing they’re going to be issuing some sort of primer for Free Comic Book Day.
Perhaps DC and Marvel should be a little less obsessed with spinning events out of their respective universes and a little more focused on stories people want to read? This Event formula seems to be wearing thin.
Todd Allen wears a lot of hats. At various times he’s been (alphabetically), a bouncer, college professor, humor columnist, Internet producer and an NBA/WNBA Beat Writer, among other things. He’s the author of Economics of Digital Comics. You should probably read it.