Robot 6

Quote of the Day | Tom Brevoort on character ‘oversaturation’

Art by Paolo Rivera

Art by Paolo Rivera

“If you’d asked me several years ago, I likely would have spoken about some tipping point where you have too much and everything crashed. Part of that is that I grew up in a world where there was one X-MEN book, one AVENGERS book and, well, three SPIDER-MAN books (counting MARVEL TEAM-UP.) But today, I think that, while there is a tipping point potentially somewhere out there on the horizon, it’s nowhere near as close as we sometimes like to think (or fear.) What matters is the quality of the work. How many BATMAN books are there at this point, every month? How many WOLVERINE books? And still, those characters are more likely to sell better than, I don’t know, THE FLASH or STORM. The audience likes what it likes, and so long as what you produce is good, they will always be content to have more. It’s when the quality goes down that you have a problem — but you have that problem with there being only one book as well.”

Tom Brevoort, Marvel’s senior vice president of publishing, responding to a question on his Formspring about how to address character “oversaturation,” if it’s even an issue that exists



It does exist in some form. Just because your top characters are your top sellers doesn’t mean that the stories themselves don’t suffer from oversaturation nor does it mean there is no effect on sales. I’d be more interested, though, in seeing if this overcrowding affects lower-selling books. If people are buying 14 Avengers or Batman books that doesn’t leave a lot of room for trying new stuff.

Frankly, quality going down isn’t as big a problem as he thinks it is.

I like comics. I like to read comics. But just because I like a character or a team, does not mean that I want to BUY or read between five to a dozen comic books all priced either $2.99 or $3.99 or more. Don’t respond with, “You can read as many or as few as you like”, when publishers set an event that ties all these books together for one story. I enjoy done-in-ones more than stories stretched to fill a trade paperback. I’d rather read ONE good Batman and ONE good Flash book than see nine Batman books and one Flash book.

Here’s where I’ll make an exception. A good Detective Comics book; a good Batman book; a good Batman ’66 book; and, a good animated Batman book. Four books for one character, yes. But very different, and not connected to one another.

Wolverine does not need to be in every Marvel book. Unless he anchors a new Marvel Team-up or Marvel Two-In-One.

“Wolverine does not need to be in every Marvel book.”

Yes, that is why I will not buy every marvel comic that takes place in present day Marvel earth 616, that the character appears in. I like the character but not to the point that I want to buy EVERY marvel comic set in Marvel earth 616, that he appears in. I also do not buy marvel comics that have the characters Tony Stark, Steve Rogers, Carol Danvers, Clint Barton, Jessica Drew and Natalia Romanova in them (on the plus side I save myself a loooooot of money).

I am grateful for ORIGIN II since that takes place a 100 years ago, so I can read and enjoy something about the character that I am not enjoying in the stories set in the present. Thankfully it’s 5 issues.

Uh….exactly WHAT audience craves “Wolverine/Spider-Man/Batman” 24/7 and gives no consideration to the other characters?

Give me statistics, or give me death. (And I don’t mean Neil Gaiman’s take or Thanos’s lady love….)

Cole Moore Odell

February 2, 2014 at 9:41 pm

This reminds me of my idea for a new X-book: Wolverine and the Uncanny X-Wolverines. Wolverine teams up with Wolverine, Wolverine and Wolverine on an epic quest to find a missing Wolverine. There’s a love triangle between Wolverine, Wolverine and Wolverine. Meanwhile, Wolverine and Wolverine are at each others throats over the right way to run the team. Ultimately, the mysterious enemy pulling the strings behind the scenes is revealed to be Wolverine.

To give the first issue a sales boost, it would guest-star Wolverine.


February 3, 2014 at 7:12 am

The only way that could be better is if they cancelled it after 8 issues and brought it back as Uncanny Superior Wolverine vs. Spider-man NOW #1.075.

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