Robot 6

Quote of the day | Thor: The Mighty Avenger and the Thunder God glut

“About cancellation of Thor: The Mighty Avenger: Want to see a big part of the problem? Just look at next week’s schedule…TMA out same week as Astonishing Thor #1 and Thunderstrike #1. Add to ongoing Thor, Thor: For Asgard, Thor: First Thunder, Ultimate Thor, recent Loki, Sif, Warriors Four and Warriors Three minis/one-shots. Count in Avengers, Avengers Prime, New UltimatesMighty Avenger was clearly the best of the bunch, but how was it meant to stand out amongst the glut?”

retailer Tom Adams of Brooklyn’s Bergen Street Comics, with one possible explanation for the cancellation of Roger Langridge and Chris Samnee’s much-lauded, low-selling Thor: The Mighty Avenger, starring the much-published, soon-to-be-a-movie-star Asgardian Avenger. He forgot Marvel Adventures Super Heroes, Chaos War, Chaos War: Thor, Thor: Wolves at the Gate, Thor: Heaven and Earth, and Hulk.

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doesn’t deny the fact the book was on a steadly decline in sales after the first issue, that was before the influx of Thor titles.

While it may have been on a decline, it wasn’t before the influx of Thir titles. There have been a rash of Thor-related minis and specials the whole year through.

Marvel has a tendency (since their epic failure to launch any corresponding comic material with the release of the first X-Men movie) to push as much material featuring their upcoming silver screen “stars” onto the comics shelves as possible. The end result is Marvel competes with itself and titles suffer in sales.

TMA was a special book that brought Thor into my kids’ vernacular.

Thir, Thor, Thur, it’s all the same to a two-finger typist, right?

But Heidi MacDonald told me it was MY fault Marvel has a glut the shelves/cull the weak policy?

Wondering if the glut of these minis (Iron Man, Cap, Thor), in addition to being visability pushes for the character’s upcoming movies, isn’t a direct result of the number of exclusive contracts that get offered out? Jason Aaron’s recent article on this site seems to indicate that an exclusive contract guarantees the wirter/artist a specicifed number of assignments for the duration of the contract. Those obviously can’t all be ongoings, thus the sheer number of these bunched-up and (IMHO) ill-concieved minis/one-shots that muddy the shelves. So something that has a unique voice to it (Thor:TMA) gets lost in the shuffle.

I would look exactly at First Thunder…why was there a second book about early Thor comes to Earth?

If the comic was so great, people would have bought it over any of the other ones listed and those other comics would have declined in sales. I don’t buy the “glut” argument. Why not also mention all the trades of series that came out, as well as Secret Avengers, since Valkyrie is “related” to Thor, plus Dani Moonstar used to be a valkyrie so include New Mutants, plus X-Factor has Hela appearing in it, so include that comic. Dang it all, Marvel.

Retailers always like to blame the comic companies for any failings within the industry. They never accept responsibility for their faults. I would love to have read TMA, but every store in my area sold out of #1 the day it shipped because none of the retailers ordered enough. Anytime a comic has to go to a second print, you know the stores under ordered it. Be nice to find a reatiler that could keep the new comics all in stock past the end of the day on Wednesday. Also, if you sold out of the first issue and have to reorder it, you may want to up those orders for #2 & #3. You’ve probably failed to order enough to meet demand on those also. Marvel could solve all of these under ordering problems if they’d just go day and date digital an all of their comics. It wouldn’t hurt the DM, they don’t order enough to fill demand anyway.

…..Sif was a one-shot. It really shouldn’t be on that list.

Having said that, though, yeah, there HAVE been a ton of Thor titles lately. It was great when Thor was back and had a single ongoing, but this is kind of ridiculous. I hadn’t even been aware of Thor: The Mighty Avenger up until recently – I didn’t pay attention because I thought it was one of the other million minis tied to a major book that Marvel was putting out or something.

It’s b/c it was a “kids” book – but not really. That is, it isn’t obviously aimed at kids, like Superhero Squad or (less so) the Marvel Adventure and Spidey Adventures (or whatever it’s called), so the kids weren’t picking it up (or their folks for them, like I get the Boom! Pixar and Tiny TItans for mine), but it was set up that way, so the typical buyers stayed away since it wasn’t in continuity and felt “light” compared to the other stuff.

Shame though — on the other hand, it means Langridge and Samnee can go on to other things that will be cool b/c of them.

“i don’t buy the glut argument”

That just means you’re not paying attention to the solicits and the new release wall. Marvel routinely has two (or more) times as many titles coming out in a given month as DC or anyone else. This is not a controversial argument; this is their publishing strategy.

“Be nice to find a reatiler that could keep the new comics all in stock past the end of the day on Wednesday.”

All you’re doing here is showing you have no idea how the ordering process works, how much time delay there is, and what a gamble it can be. By the time #1 actually hits the stands, stores have typically already set their orders for #2 and #3 – without knowing how #1 is going to sell. And since the trend for ALL new titles is that sales DROP after #1… why would they order MORE before the first sale is made?

While there are a lot of Thor titles, I don’t know if they can really be the main blame. Like said above, it started before a lot of the titles, and it is an out of continuity all-ages book, so it’s not like it’s sales gold.

Plus the problem with that argument is it works on the logic that the titles were taking sales away from it, which isn’t always the case. I buy Thor because of Fraction, Ultimate Thor because of Hickman, Warriors Three because of an interest in the characters and I’ll be buying the Paul Jenkins mini because it sounds interesting. If none of them existed I still wouldn’t have thought of buying Thor TMA, I would simply be buying less books.

(I have read an issue of TTMA since and liked it, but that’s irellevent :) )

It’s a fine line, at some point glut becomes giving people a lot of choice.

I tihnk one thing they do need to work out is how to title or market the books to give people a better idea of what the book is. Thor: The Mighty Avenger doesn’t mean anything beyond “It has Thor”, if they could somehow tell people what it is better it might bring in more people. Not a clue how it’d be possible though.

You stole my Thor Corps image!

Being a Marvel Thor fan since his original appearance in the JIM of August 1962, I will basically read any Thor comic that comes out.

That said these sales figures are hardly surprising – there is no doubt that in the lead up to the 2011 Thor movie Marvel have overdone it with the Thor titles.

Still if you would like to try something a little different why not check out my Thor fan fiction? Just scroll down below my author profile and you will see over 40 fan fiction stories here:

http://www.fanfiction.net/u/1276881/David_Scholes

Thor The Mighty Avenger should have been the ONLY Thor comic book on the market this year. Nothing against Hickman, Fraction, et. al, but this title is the ONLY possible Thor book that could have connected to the general audience that is interested in “Thor” based on his growing profile in other media. It’s simple but sharp storytelling would have been easy to digest for the casual reader and would have been the PERFECT official tie-in to the movie.

When will these guys learn–you put too many options out there, you lose your buyer. You flood the market, you drown yourself. It just boggles the mind–there are so many individual comic books with the same handful of characters. It’s not even bad business, it’s stupid. It’s completely and totally stupid and the companies (This applies to DC as much as Marvel) should be totally embarrassed that they have been chasing this self-destructive business model for decades now.

There should be one comic book series for each character. No more. NEVER any more. It should be considered foolish to the point of ridicule and shameless public mockery that any character appears in two or…EIGHT (?!) series at the same time. These satallite titles do earn some money–but look at the longview those satallites always fail eventually. Competing with yourself is bad business.

Yes, the market is flooded. Thor is not the only one. Look, if Marvel and DC want to recapture the imaginations of their core market, make each book something special. I’m not an economist or anything, but I have worked retail and I’ve worked food service. If the customer chooses from plain muffins or blueberry, you have a chance to sell product. If you have six types of muffins and the customer spends enough time wondering which muffin she wants until it hits her that she probably doesn’t *need* one that badly. LOST SALE.

“If the comic was so great, people would have bought it over any of the other ones listed and those other comics would have declined in sales.”

True, it’s a generally accepted fact that titles with mass appeal, great art and great writing always sell like crazy while continuity-driven comics with editor-mandated storylines and twelve different inkers don’t sell at all.

I could buy this argument coming from some stores, but I thought Bergen was good at stocking and promoting the good stuff.

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