Sign in to follow this  
The Master

Surprising longevity

Recommended Posts

It just dawned on me that Ms. Marvel #50 is only a few months away, and that really surprises me. That's not to say I dislike the character. Quite the contrary, really; I love what Kurt Busiek did with her during his Avengers run, and the same goes for Bendis when he used her in New and Mighty Avengers. But if you would have asked me how long her current solo series would last back when the first issue shipped, I would have said, "Two years. Tops." But here we are pushing a fourth year.

The same goes for Incredible Hercules. Herc became the star of The Incredible Hulk with issue #112, the series changed its name at #113, and we're now on #137. That's 26 issues and going. He's a character that has never carried his own monthly title, yet it's been plugging along for two years.

Avengers: The Initiative, a Civil War spin-off, has nearly 30 issues in the can. Granted, it's an Avengers title and that's currently Marvel's flagship team franchise, but its biggest stars are Taskmaster, Justice, Tigra, and Penance. Those aren't names that sell books.

All that said, what are some other books that are currently be published that have surprising longevity?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The book might be a joke, but the Hulk is a household name. Plus, it sells well because of the way Loeb writes. I mean, besides the standard Red Hulk cast, here are the guest stars so far (if a name is in bold, it means the character was on the cover):

Hulk #1: Iron Man

Hulk #2: Iron Man

Hulk #3: Iron Man and She-Hulk

Hulk #4: Iron Man and Thor

Hulk #5: Iron Man, Thor, She-Hulk, Fantastic Four, Ares, and Namor

Hulk #6: Iron Man, Thor, She-Hulk, Fantastic Four, Ares, and Namor

Hulk #7: She-Hulk, Moon Knight, Ms. Marvel, Sentry, Iron Man, and Thor

Hulk #8: Moon Knight, Ms. Marvel, Sentry, Invisible Woman, She-Hulk, Storm, Black Widow, and Spider-Woman

Hulk #9: Moon Knight, Ms. Marvel, Sentry, Invisible Woman, She-Hulk, Storm, Black Widow, and Spider-Woman

Hulk #10: Namor, Silver Surfer, Doctor Strange, and Galactus

Hulk #11: Namor, Silver Surfer, Doctor Strange, Galactus, and Dormammu

Hulk #12: Namor, Silver Surfer, Doctor Strange, Galactus, and Dormammu

Hulk #13: Norman Osborn and Ms. Marvel (Dark Avengers version)

Hulk #14: Wolverine, The Punisher, Elektra, Deadpool, X-23, Archangel

Hulk #15: Wolverine, The Punisher, Elektra, Deadpool, X-23, Archangel

Hulk #16: Wolverine, The Punisher, Red She-Hulk, Deadpool, Archangel

There has not been a single issue without a major guest star, with most issues having three or more.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Jesus, Loeb is just... a whore.

I mean, I know I defended the same tactics during Hush but at least those were Bat-Characters (and Superman.) This is just Loeb tossing a dart at the whole Marvel U.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's a good question. It sells about 20,000 issues each month, so it does better than some Marvel and DC titles, believe it or not. And early next year the 200th issue will ship.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The thing that irks me is that he was designed at the start to have a finite arc, and they got to a point where they went "fuck it" and kept going. It should have ended numerous times over by now.

The best things to ever come from Spawn were the TV series and the Iced Earth concept album, both of which were over by 2000.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Um...Archie's Sonic the Hedgehog. Seriously, the thing has been running for over 16 years now. The things started becuse Sonic was a hot video game character and the franchise has been in anywhere from a steady decline to a free-fall for 14 of the 16 years the book has been published.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Regarding Sonic, though it only sells about 8500 copies a month to the direct market (RE: comic shops), Archie-published books have a strong foothold in grocery stores. So kids are buying it, but... why?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I used to read Sonic. It was never really all that bad. It took a slightly goofy concept and created something epic out of it. It is what the saturday morning Sonic series was based off of.

That said, I know that it's high on quality but I'm surprised that Jonah Hex has lasted as long as it had. It's a western title with a character that most people's exposure to is an episode of BTAS. The same goes for X-Factor. It has been, for the most part, a well-written series but it's also dense for people not following it and it's the lest connected of all the satellite X titles.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I used to read Sonic. It was never really all that bad. It took a slightly goofy concept and created something epic out of it. It is what the saturday morning Sonic series was based off of.

That said, I know that it's high on quality but I'm surprised that Jonah Hex has lasted as long as it had. It's a western title with a character that most people's exposure to is an episode of BTAS. The same goes for X-Factor. It has been, for the most part, a well-written series but it's also dense for people not following it and it's the lest connected of all the satellite X titles.

Jonah Hex has had a loyal following since the 1970's. His first series ran about a 100 issues. pretty remarkable for a western comic back in those days. Some great stuff mostly written by Michael Fleisher. Fleisher was also writing my favorite version of The Spectre, drawn by Jim Aparo back then.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The book might be a joke, but the Hulk is a household name. Plus, it sells well because of the way Loeb writes. I mean, besides the standard Red Hulk cast, here are the guest stars so far (if a name is in bold, it means the character was on the cover):

Hulk #1: Iron Man

Hulk #2: Iron Man

Hulk #3: Iron Man and She-Hulk

Hulk #4: Iron Man and Thor

Hulk #5: Iron Man, Thor, She-Hulk, Fantastic Four, Ares, and Namor

Hulk #6: Iron Man, Thor, She-Hulk, Fantastic Four, Ares, and Namor

Hulk #7: She-Hulk, Moon Knight, Ms. Marvel, Sentry, Iron Man, and Thor

Hulk #8: Moon Knight, Ms. Marvel, Sentry, Invisible Woman, She-Hulk, Storm, Black Widow, and Spider-Woman

Hulk #9: Moon Knight, Ms. Marvel, Sentry, Invisible Woman, She-Hulk, Storm, Black Widow, and Spider-Woman

Hulk #10: Namor, Silver Surfer, Doctor Strange, and Galactus

Hulk #11: Namor, Silver Surfer, Doctor Strange, Galactus, and Dormammu

Hulk #12: Namor, Silver Surfer, Doctor Strange, Galactus, and Dormammu

Hulk #13: Norman Osborn and Ms. Marvel (Dark Avengers version)

Hulk #14: Wolverine, The Punisher, Elektra, Deadpool, X-23, Archangel

Hulk #15: Wolverine, The Punisher, Elektra, Deadpool, X-23, Archangel

Hulk #16: Wolverine, The Punisher, Red She-Hulk, Deadpool, Archangel

There has not been a single issue without a major guest star, with most issues having three or more.

The latest ones are just FULL of guest stars. You listed five, I think, for the past couple of issues? It's actually a lot more than that. All of X-Factor, plus a "team" that Red Hulk put together, plus Domino, who started the whole arc to begin with.

And the whole thing FUCKING SUCKS.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Right, but I only listed the biggest names of the bunch. For instance, I skipped Tigra and Thundra a few times, and the villains from #10-12.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Regarding Sonic, though it only sells about 8500 copies a month to the direct market (RE: comic shops), Archie-published books have a strong foothold in grocery stores. So kids are buying it, but... why?

Because it's awesome (when you're eleven years old).

I remember going to the grocery store and buying Sonic all the time when I was a kid.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

But do kids today know of or even care about Sonic? I mean, sure, he's had a few video games as of late, but are they top-sellers that kids are playing?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

But do kids today know of or even care about Sonic? I mean, sure, he's had a few video games as of late, but are they top-sellers that kids are playing?

My nephew is five and he knows who Sonic is.

The games are geared towards him now, they are more kid friendly now, and the cartoon still airs over here.

He also, knows the sonic underground theme, and sung it since he was three when he would play sonic, he made that song awesome.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How about Savage Dragon? Who would have thought that it would be the only Image book still running almost 20 years later? Well, the only one still running not abandoned early on by its creator (cough*McFarlane*cough)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm shocked that "Invincible" is still around and still great. That was a book that I would have thought had a limited story arc, but it's just been fantastically built.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm shocked that "Invincible" is still around and still great. That was a book that I would have thought had a limited story arc, but it's just been fantastically built.

Its one of those things that felt like it was a twist on Superman and a lot of other comics but the plots moved forward so consistently that its never felt like the static property that most big superhero properties are. I guess thats the advantage of having a single writer right through the run. Bendis's Ultimate Spider-man was the same, it never felt like it was at a point where another writer could comfortably take over.

I'm a little surprised that Booster Gold has lasted this long. If you'd told me two years ago that Thunderbolts would still be around I'd have laughed but it got a big boost from Norman Osbourne taking over the team. Granted that lot basically just because Dark Avengers but Tbolts is still worth reading if only for Ant-man and the crossovers with other characters. Couldn't give a crap about most of the team though.

I'm also a little surprised that Marvel's cosmic line is doing so well. Annihilation, The War of Kings and all that have really kept the momentum going in that area.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Superman

Batman

Wonder Woman

Justice League of America

Fantastic Four

Spider-Man

Iron Man

Avengers

Daredevil

Legion of Superheroes

Aside from a few brief interruptions, these characters have been continuously published since their inception. Some of them have runs of over 800 issues. Most comics are lucky to reach 100 issue, and it's virtually unheard of for a tv drama to last 40 years or more (ok, ok, Doctor Who and Soap operas, but I can't think of anything else). That's pretty exceptional.

Yet for some strange reason this sort of longevity is viewed as the norm, not the exception. Meanwhile characters like Aquaman and Dr. Strange who've been able to support runs of 70 to 90 issues at a time are viewed as failures. That's never made sense to me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You have a very good point, but you can't compare the lifespan of a TV series to that of a comic book.

First, they're on different schedules. Though Buffy the Vampire Slayer was on the air for seven years, 144 episodes were produced. It would take a monthly comic book series 12 years to generate that many issues. Because TV shows are released weekly (with a summer break), they run their course a lot sooner than monthly comic books.

Second, a lot of TV shows might last longer if it weren't for aging. Soap operas have it right: when an actor ages, replace them with a new actor or character. Comic books don't have to worry about this, obviously.

Third, something comic book characters have that a lot of TV characters don't is iconic status. Few TV shows and their characters reach that level, but a lot of comic characters had said status long before television was widely available. Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Captain America, Namor, and the JSA were icons as early as 1940. No comic book company is going to set those characters aside, especially when most of the ones I named are their bread and butter.

Fourth, TV shows have millions of dollars thrown at them, but comics don't. So it's easier to support a low-selling book. Also, TV ratings don't compare to comic book sales. If a show is pulling in less than six million viewers, it's on the chopping block. A comic book, however, is a success if it maintains sales around the 30,000 mark. For example, the September issue of Wonder Woman, issue #36, sold under 29,000 copies. That's less than X-Factor, Titans, New Mutants, Thunderbolts, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and even Kick Ass. If this were television, that book would be dead. But because she's an icon and because it doesn't bleed DC dry to keep the book afloat, it keeps on chugging along.

Also, I don't see anyone calling books that last "70 to 90 issues" failures. In this very thread I called Ms. Marvel a surprising success because it's about to hit its 50th issue. Any book that lasts more than three or four years in my mind is a success.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.