Free-Falling Flash Sales

It’s depressing, but sales on The Flash have continued to drop through June. Personally, I’d been hoping to see an uptick in the Tom Peyer/Freddie Williams II “Fast Money” arc, which has been quite good (IMO)…but with figures in for the fourth issue of their run, the numbers just keep dropping. The Beat’s sales charts for June:

02/2008: Flash #237     —  37,719 (-  9.0%)
03/2008: Flash #238 — 35,606 (- 5.6%)
04/2008: Flash #239 — 33,741 (- 5.2%)
05/2008: Flash #240 — 31,944 (- 5.3%)
06/2008: Flash #241 — 30,810 (- 3.6%)

They go on to add:

In what seems like a last-ditch effort to salvage the property, DC are apparently looking to exchange the title character again, which would be the third time since June 2006. Given that it won’t happen until January 2009, however, the next six months worth of The Flash sales are bound to be ugly.

Given that there’s a trend among comics fans to only care about books that “matter” — just look at how stand-alone books like The Brave and the Bold, JLA: Classified and JSA Classified, etc. tend to do vs. Final Infinite Countdown Crisis tie-ins — I can imagine plenty of potential readers will be sitting out the next five months, waiting until Flash: Rebirth not because they’re waiting specifically for Barry, but because they feel the current book is just filler.

It makes me wonder why DC is even bothering with another 4-issue arc, particularly one with a new creative team, when they’ve effectively undercut interest in it by announcing Rebirth before it starts.

6 thoughts on “Free-Falling Flash Sales

  1. Craig MD

    I think the filler arc by Alan Burnett is meant to be just that. DC wants to have Flash comics still coming out before Flash: Rebirth because he’s a DC mainstay. Even when Wally’s series “ended” during Infinite Crisis, it didn’t take long for TF: TFMA to launch.

    Of course, this will be the second time in two years that DC have had a fill-in writer do a “good-bye” story for Wally West (the first one being “Finish Line” which capped off Wally’s series before Bart’s began).

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  2. Kelson Post author

    There was a 5-month gap between Wally’s and Bart’s series. I think Wally’s ended in January 2006 — whichever month Infinite Crisis #4 came out — and I know Bart’s launched in June.

    (I wonder when, if ever, the comics industry will start putting the actual release dates on the cover instead of 2-3 months ahead.)

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  3. Will

    That’s a shame, but not surprising. If the Flash doesn’t have good writers behind it, like any book, it’s sales will suffer.

    I long for the Johns Kolins days. Those guys knew what they were doing.

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  4. Wally East

    I’m not surprised. Disappointed, but not surprised. 237 was the standalone with Superman and that was a bit of a letdown. It just seems like there was more potential there with the Kents and the Wests have child-care issues, could’ve been a really humorous tour through the DCU looking for a baby sitter.

    238 was Spin Zone Part I. I disliked the issue for a number of reasons. Spin Zone has gotten better since then — what can’t Gorilla Grodd make better? But, I still don’t care for the art style. Anyway, I can understand jumping off at that point. Unfamiliar villain. Jay acting like an ass. What was to like?

    And a declared holding pattern should be great for monthly sales.

    .-= Wally East’s latest blog post: Chocolate Ice Cream =-.

    Reply
  5. Kelson Post author

    The thing is, I think it does have a good writer now. It’s just that enough people disliked where it was going over the past year that no one’s going to come in, whether the current book is good or not. And I realize now: that’s exactly what relaunches and events are for: getting people who aren’t already reading the book to pick it up. If no one looks at it, it doesn’t matter how good the creative team is.

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