Of Course,

Batman to Die says DC Comics

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Also read: Deaths of the Superheroes

Batman to Die
Telegraph news article - - the kind of publicity DC Comics wants.

start quoteOthers speculate that Wayne may either retire from his duties or be killed by a mystery villain known as the Black Glove.end quote

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.

Batman #681

Batman 681 Dies

Batman #681, Dec 2008, Cover by Alex Ross

Why 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

Superman #75 - The Death of Superman
The Death of Superman

Operation Kill Batman

Grant Morrison Batman Kill

Also read: Deaths of the Superheroes



Original Run

Batman Number 1, Spring 1940, Cover art by Bob Kane and Jerry Robinson

Batman #45, Feb-March 1948, Win Mortimer Batman and Robin Christmas cover

Batman #139, April 1961, Original intro of Batgirl

Batman #141, Aug 1961, Batwoman cover by Sheldon Moldoff

Batman #181, June 1966, Cover by Carmine Infantino

Batman #183, Aug 1966, Carmine Infantino cover

Batman #210, March 1969, Neal Adams Catwoman cover

Batman #256, May-June 1974, Catwoman rescues circus tiger

Batman #256, May-June 1974, Irv Novick Catwoman & her whip

Batman #256, May-June 1974, Irv Novick Catwoman

Batman #256, May 1974, Reprint of 1950 1,001 Trophies of Batman

Batman #269, Nov 1975, Cover art by Ernie Chua

Batman #253, Nov 1975, Mike Kaluta Shadow / Batman cover

Batman #291, Sep 1977, cover by Jim Aparo

Batman #408, June 1987, Jason Todd stripping the Batmobile

Batman #536, Nov 1996, Kelley Jones Cover

Batman #536, Nov 1996, Kelley Jones Splash Page

Batman #536, Nov 1996, Kelley Jones Page

Batman #666, Nov 2007, Damain Wayne Cover, Andy Kubert art

Batman #681, Dec 2008, Bruce Wayne with Flash-like speed

Batman #700, Aug 2010, Andy Kubert Two Face page

Batman #707, April 2011, 2-page Tony Daniel Spread

Batman #713 - page from last issue of the original run

Batman 80 Page Giant 2010 - Dustin Nguyen Cover

New 52 Run

Batman #0, Nov 2012, Capullo Cover

Batman #0, Nov 2012, Capullo Page A

Batman #0, Nov 2012, Capullo Page B

Batman #0, Nov 2012, Capullo Page C

Batman #2, Dec 2011, Capullo Cover

Batman #3, Jan 2012, Capullo Cover

Batman #6, April 2012, Capullo Page

Batman #8, June 2012, Jason Fabok - Variant cover

Batman #11, Sept 2012, Capullo Cover

Batman #11, Sept 2012, Capullo Page

Batman #12, Oct 2012, Becky Cloonan Art

Batman #12, Oct 2012, Becky Cloonan Art

Batman #13 "Joker" die-cut cover - Greg Capullo

Batman #14, Jan 2013, Capullo Cover

Batman #14, Jan 2013, Harley & Batman - Greg Capullo

Batman #14, Jan 2013, Joker on bridge "Hello Darling" - Greg Capullo

Batman #15, Feb 2013, Capullo Joker & Batman Page

Batman #18, May 2013, Andy Kubert 2-page spread with Harper Row

Batman #18, May 2013, Blackgate Penitentiary by Andy Kubert

Batman #24, Dec 2013, Capullo does Bob Kane Batman

Batman #26, Feb 2014, Capullo death fingers cover

Batman #29, May 2014, Capullo bones cover

Batman #29, May 2014, Capullo Dr. Death page

Batman #31, July 2014, Brooding over Gotham, cover by Capullo

Batman #31, July 2014, the Bat-Cycle in action

Batman #31, July 2014, Fighting Lions - Capullo art

Batman #34, Oct 2014, Matteo Scalera art

Batman #35, Dec 2014, Capullo art - End Game

Batman #38, March 2015, Greg Capullo, Sam Kieth backup