Batman to Die says DC Comics
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
BATMAN TO BE KILLED OFF AFTER 70 YEARS
Telegraph news article - - the kind of publicity DC Comics wants.
Others speculate that Wayne may either retire from his duties or be killed by a mystery villain known as the Black Glove.
It boosted sales for Superman in 1992
Why do they want to "off" Bruce Wayne? What'd that guy ever do to DC Comics except make them roll in the earnings of multiple Christopher Nolan billion-dollar grossing Batman movies, with attendent licensing revenue, also in the billions.
And yet, here we are, like a moth drawn to a flame, Batman must die.
[Cover of Batman 681 Below: Hey, is Batman staring long and hard at that $3.99 price tag?This issue has a 32 page story versus the usual 22, which goes for $2.99)
Popular Heroes getting killed
There's a long history of killing off popular characters. Arthur Conan Doyle tried to eliminate Sherlock Holmes in "The Adventure of the Final Problem" back in 1893, and 20,000 subscribers promptly cancelled their subscriptions to The Strand magazine (where Doyle's Holmes stories appeared) in protest. (However, in 1901, Holmes was back with "The Hound of the Baskervilles" and The Strand jumped its circulation by 30,000 immediately.)
A difference here is that A. Conan Doyle didn't fool anyone from the start, the inventor of Holmes truly wanted his most popular creation out of the way so he could concentrate on more important things, like his historical novels (and investigations into whether pixies might really exist) But still he was forced back to the pipe and hunting cap by popular pressure.
DC Comics, on the other hand, runs a regular shell game trying to sucker it's readership, which is quite hard considering a majority of comic fans know these gambits are sales events and not true character events.
Many a person was burned on the Superman #75 "death" trip, and came out wiser and older on the other side (and poorer. With an initial print run of 1.6 million just for the direct market, the laws of supply and demand have a tough boomerang effect on the investor types who buy into the ponzi-scheme that underlies these marketing ideas. Because of demand, that issue went into 4 printings, and at the front end, people could get $90 a copy of the first printing. That's not the case now: on eBay you can buy a first printing for the cover price, or less. I saw one for 30 cents and no bids in December 2008)
Does this mean that these kind of 'event' comics are signs the superhero medium (at least in the hands of the two big, jaded staffs of DC and Marvel) is being reduced to cannibalizing itself?
UPDATE: DEC 16, 2008: Well, it worked: Batman #681 sold 103,151 copies.That's not the millions of copies the demise of Superman sold, but it's still a lot of copies (and at $3.99 each, those numbers do pile up. Not the same as the $1.25 for Supers #75 selling 2 or 3 million, though.)
The Death of Superman from January 1993 [cover date - but as you know comics typically ship 3 months earlier than the cover date, hence #75 appeared in 1992]:
Superman 75 from DC Comics
The Death of Superman