May 23, 2010

These Are The Greatest Wally West Stories Ever Told

Category: Fun — By

Comics Should Be Good has posted the results of their reader poll for the Greatest Wally West stories ever told. It’s technically a top ten list, but they included eleven stories because the #10 winner was essentially a prologue for one of the other winners.

It’s interesting to break down the results by writer:

  • 7 by Mark Waid (including the top three)
  • 2 by Geoff Johns
  • 2 by William Messner-Loebs

In a way it’s surprising that Geoff Johns, DC’s current superstar writer, isn’t more heavily represented, but it also makes sense. Mark Waid’s run on The Flash was very much about Wally West and his journey through young adulthood (Messner-Loebs’ run even more so!), while Geoff Johns’ run tilted a bit more toward the Rogues.

Head over to Comics Should Be Good for the full list!

March 5, 2009

Speed Reading: Old Favorites and the Unknown

Catching up on some linkblogging from the past two weeks.

Crimson Lightning posts the results of the leading lady poll, and starts the next one: what’s your favorite arc from Wally West’s run as the Flash?

At Fraggmented, John Seavey describes a personal favorite: Flash vol.2 #50, the conclusion of William Messner-Loebs’ arc with Vandal Savage.

Comic Coverage looks into the Flash’s worst retcon, the Silver Age “real origin of the Flash” that introduced the much-reviled Mopee — including contemporary fan response from the letters column! For a character whom readers and writers alike wanted to forget, he’s certainly getting a lot of attention lately.

The latest Random Dive into the Deep End of the Long Box features Flash vol.2 #220, the opening chapter of “Rogue War.”

Robot 6′s Grumpy Old Fan ponders the emphasis on “important” events instead of just telling stories.

More Flash in last week’s 20 Questions with Dan Didio. Nothing really new, though, just the same old statements.

Newsarama interviews Mark Waid on his upcoming miniseries, The Unknown.

Jesse Blaze Snider (Dead Romeo) tells Fangoria that he’d love to write the Flash (among other super-heroes).

July 10, 2008

Flash Sales: 2001-2008

Category: Flash History — By

This week’s Permanent Damage at CBR brings up the issue of maximizing profits, and just what that means in today’s comic-book marketplace. At one point, Stephen Grant mentions:

As far as I know, Geoff Johns wasn’t thrown off The Flash. He left the book. There was no indication that Wally West… pardon me… had legs left, and it’s not like sales had been going up and up and up under Geoff either. Just not that many people are interested in The Flash.

While the first part is true, the second part is incorrect. Sales had been going up under Geoff Johns. When he came on board In the middle of his run, the series was selling in the 20,000-30,000 range. After a few years, around #200, it started climbing steadily until it actually broke 50,000 with his final issue, #225. [Edit: I've found some earlier sales figures that cover the Waid-to-Johns transition, and got some surprises.]

I’ve compiled the following sales chart from posts at The Beat over the last few years:

Some Highlights:

#200 is the conclusion of Blitz, and being a milestone issue, it’s not surprising to see a spike. Cameo guest spots by Hal Jordan and Barry Allen probably helped as well.

#209 guest-stars the Justice League and features a race with Superman.

#214-216 is the Identity Crisis tie-in, “The Secret of Barry Allen.” #217 is also billed as a tie-in, and features the funeral for Captain Boomerang.

#225 is the conclusion of “Rogue War” and Geoff Johns’ final issue on the series. Notice the brief dip for the following issue, which is a fill-in, then a hasty drop over the final 4-issue arc of the series.

Both relaunches show huge spikes followed by dramatic dives as people tried them out, then decided no, this wasn’t what they wanted to read. And the second spike was only half the height of the first. Interestingly, current numbers are actually higher that they were early in Geoff Johns’ run (though the precipitous slope suggests they won’t be for long, unless people have responded favorably to the middle issues of Tom Peyer’s arc).

I’ve been of the opinion that another relaunch would further damage the book — but it might be necessary just to get people to look at it. Sales charts for a healthy book do show attrition, with occasional jumps like those shown on the left side of this graph, but DC may want that quick injection of readers. The trick, of course, is going to be figuring out what will resonate with readers and get them to stay after they pick it up, instead of dropping it again once curiosity is satisfied.

The actual data, compiled from The Beat’s sales charts, follows after the cut. Read the rest of this entry »