Good morning to all from my sick bed. Let’s start with a quick link, shall we? Marc-Oliver Frisch looks at December’s sales figures for DC, noting – amongst other things – the 15% sales drop for the recent Batman fill-in:
The harsh December drop-off is a reaction to the book’s filler storyline by writer John Ostrander and artist Tom Mandrake, which was originally solicited to start in issue #660 — before DC changed their minds and moved it up by one month, presumably to accomodate the regular creative team.
In the short term, the decision to run fill-in stories no doubt has its charms; as a separate limited series or as a part of Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight, the Ostrander/Mandrake arc would likely have sold below 30K per issue. From that perspective, these numbers are clearly fantastic.
On the other hand, there are the long-term numbers of Batman to worry about. In that regard, I’m rather skeptical whether DC is doing itself any great services by interrupting their high-profile team’s run in this fashion. Plainly, it’s rather unlikely for the numbers to just pop back all the way to their former strength once the regular creators return. (Writer Grant Morrison is back with issue #663, artist Andy Kubert rejoins him with the subsequent issue.)