Just read this, an article explaining why most of the times an enormous movie success doesn't translate in a sensible increase in comic book sales. A few points are made, and some of them seem to hit the nail right on the head when talking about how difficult it is for new readers to understand about the various universes inside a publishing house, or when movies are too far from any version of the comic book.
Post by Crimson Cowl on May 14, 2012 4:41:26 GMT -5
Frankly the comics companies should've been cleaning up over the last decade and they've only themselves to blame.
Convoluted and nonsensical continuity resulting in the comic having little relationship to its classic incarnation (or in some cases a bizarre reboot wiping out even the most basic character development). This is what kills interest in comics.
Most of the characters are clapped out due to sensationalistic writing with out any view to the long term sustainability of any semblance of realism (particularly in the 90's and 2000's).
Just look at the X Men, the comic that was the first to be over exploited. I haven't read any X Comics later than around '93/'94. I know about a few developments since then. I'm sure there have been some decent runs in there but you only need to look at a few characters to see what has gone wrong. Jean Grey has died twice, her powers keep changing, had a clone made of her which has also died and come back to life several times and their various offspring keep popping in and out of time, existence, various dimensions etc. Her boyfriend/husband ended up knocking pelvises with the White Queen of all people.
Betsy Braddock, became psychic, got blinded, got bionic eyes, got purple hair, got turned Japanese (huh?), got turned into a ninja, then it turned out her real bodystill existed but was inhabited by the Japanese woman, but that was then destroyed, but I gather it came back later on....
How could anyone take those characters seriously.
Yet if I turned the clock back to 1980 Jean Grey would've already had 17 years worth of continuity and she'd simply be a mutant girl who went to a special school, formed a close bond with another mutant there, whose full potential was released by a near death experience yet that immense power overwhelmed her and she felt compelled to take her own life to protect others. That's a great story, and within the realms of suspension of disbelief. Even bringing her back the first time was just about stomachable but they really needed to keep it on an even keel -and boy did they ever ignore that.
If you took a similar approach to the Scarlet Witch you'd find much the same thing. These characters' 'real' continuity have been over for a long time -it's just flogging a dead horse. This need not have happened but its long done now. Characters lives mean nothing because their deaths mean nothing. Their personal relationships mean nothing because the next writer will now come along and shred all that went before and so rather than romance all we get is bed hopping.
There was a time when comics were becoming more plausible not less, but that boat has well and truly sailed. The continuities of Marvel characters are as absurd as DC's ever were. DC at least had the excuse that their ridiculousness was largely a result of the naivete of the medium in the forties and fifties. Marvel changed all that but ultimately, and sadly all too predictably, poor leadership has led them down the same road.
It's also worth bearing in mind that comic sales are so low these days that they're not aimed at a broader market but at a fairly closed off sect, and of course the cost puts off many who might otherwise have a casual interest.