The bestselling monthly comics sell only in the tens of thousands, even though Batman, the X-Men and Iron Man power billion-dollar franchises for Hollywood studios and toymakers.
“We’re trying to move not just the company but even our industry to new areas and new audiences and, hopefully, for a more healthy business — this seemed like the right time and the right moment,” DiDio said. “This is a refocusing of the energies of the company into a way that really pushes the medium toward the widest and best audience possible. This isn’t about turning around a single character or telling a new story. This is about repositioning the company for the future. What we’re trying to accomplish is to widen the breadth of our stories and the appeal of characters and go after different distribution systems.”
The movies and the toys are the driving economic force.
Star wars is about the most successful monetarily and makes three times more with toys than with movies. Artistically the stories became problematic from an adult perspective (starting from Return of the Jedi). However, what Lucas has done for financial success should be examined for Superhero comics like Superman.
Lucas strategy is to release movies and animated TV shows and live actions shows that will engage each new generation. He also introduces many new characters, vehicles, monsters, gadgets and versions to drive toy sales.
Batman is able to span adult movies and have a lot of vehicles and gadgets while engaging the kids.
Superman needs to be connected more with a more toy friendly version of the Legion of Superheroes. The Legion cannot be mainly generic teens but have to have different looks that are interesting for toys for kids.
I have two young kids. Jedis, robots, fighter planes, guns capture the imagination of kids today. Iron Man, Batman, Spiderman, Wolverine, Captain America, Thor, Hulk tend to be the heroes that kids like to imagine themselves as.
Superman can sell capes and shirts with the S.
There is anime-influenced version of Iron Man (Iron Man armored adventures) where they make the character a young teenager and re-imagine the armor and gadgets. More toys, books and it help to connect the kids to the character beyond the movies.
I think attempts to “tone-down” and make superheroes like Superman and Wonder Woman more “realistic” are wrong-headed. The characters are fundamentally unrealistic.
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
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