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  1. #1
    Incredible Member Krypto's Fleas's Avatar
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    Default Does DC Comics audience test anything?

    With Heroes in Crisis, and the latest issue revealing one beloved character's murderous side, and the subsequent reader reaction, I have to wonder if DC Comics ever tests storylines with focus groups made up of readers. With this latest Tom King blunder, I have to really wonder why they don't.

    Honestly, this Heroes in Crisis story is seriously stupid. What a mess.

  2. #2
    Ultimate Member Lee Stone's Avatar
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    Didio is the focus group.
    "There's magic in the sound of analog audio." - CNET.

  3. #3
    Moderator Frontier's Avatar
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    The only kind of "focus group" I can think of would be the summit meetings happen with all the writers where they work out all the stories.

  4. #4
    Incredible Member kingaliencracker's Avatar
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    I challenge fans who are really unhappy with HiC #8 to make an actual statement to DC with how they feel, if they truly feel that way.

    The only way DC will understand anything is if you hurt their bottom line. That means don't buy their product. Even if it's just one specific month let's say everyone here agrees not to purchase ANY DC Comics, statues, action figures, or other collectibles, that will send a message. All this talk and anger is exactly what DC was hoping for, so if you really want them to hear you then make a statement that matters.

    I say all this knowing full well no one will do it. But it would be an amazing feat if it could be pulled off.

  5. #5
    Ultimate Member Lee Stone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kingaliencracker View Post
    I challenge fans who are really unhappy with HiC #8 to make an actual statement to DC with how they feel, if they truly feel that way.

    The only way DC will understand anything is if you hurt their bottom line. That means don't buy their product. Even if it's just one specific month let's say everyone here agrees not to purchase ANY DC Comics, statues, action figures, or other collectibles, that will send a message. All this talk and anger is exactly what DC was hoping for, so if you really want them to hear you then make a statement that matters.

    I say all this knowing full well no one will do it. But it would be an amazing feat if it could be pulled off.
    It won't mean squat.
    Readers are not their bread and butter. The retailers are.
    And retailers have a severe case of 'Fear of Missing Out' and won't skip ordering for a month for any reason.
    Especially when there's the threat that readers will go elsewhere or DC will push more to digital where the distribution path is free of a middle-man that could choose to not order all the books one day.
    "There's magic in the sound of analog audio." - CNET.

  6. #6
    Wally 'Ginger' West fan
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    Quote Originally Posted by kingaliencracker View Post
    I challenge fans who are really unhappy with HiC #8 to make an actual statement to DC with how they feel, if they truly feel that way.

    The only way DC will understand anything is if you hurt their bottom line. That means don't buy their product. Even if it's just one specific month let's say everyone here agrees not to purchase ANY DC Comics, statues, action figures, or other collectibles, that will send a message. All this talk and anger is exactly what DC was hoping for, so if you really want them to hear you then make a statement that matters.

    I say all this knowing full well no one will do it. But it would be an amazing feat if it could be pulled off.
    As stated elsewhere I've already dumped my orders/pre-orders for several hardback DC books I wanted should HIC turn out to be at least decent if not good. Yeah, so much for that. Not buying anything DC anymore --except for those things that featured ginger Wally when he was written a a good, heroic character. By that I mean pre-2006. I don't care if its a Justice League pen on deep clearance -- saving my money for other things. Can only hope other Wally fans will do the same.
    Parental care is way exhausting. Gained insight into what my parents went through when I was a baby. Not fun, but what ya gonna do? (Read comics, obviously.)

  7. #7
    Mighty Member Vordan's Avatar
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    While I think HiC is dreadful “focus testing” ideas with fans is an awful idea. There have been plenty of stuff that the hardcore hate yet have been extremely successful. Take Marvel Civil War for example, or look at how people here are constantly complaining about Scott Snyder, yet his Batman and JL runs have been fairly successful. People here constantly complained about Dark Knights Metal but that was the most successful DC event since Infinite Crisis I think. Johns Shazam is another example of that. People here were hating on Ton King’s Mister Miracle but that was a big success for the character.

    This time HiC failed for a variety of reasons, but there have been plenty of other controversial ideas that succeeded.

  8. #8
    Astonishing Member Restingvoice's Avatar
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    They judge whether a series should be canceled or not by the number of sale/preorder made to North American comic book shops. So I don't think they do.

    What I got from DC is this
    They see a writer make a best seller, they allow that writer pretty much free reign.
    They see a character sell well, they double down on that and feature that character everywhere.
    They see an artist sell well and have a name, they give them a chance to write and illustrate.
    When sales are down, they cancel that particular series or create something that generates interest, usually controversial.
    When market share is down, they reboot.
    The direction of the whole universe can sometimes be determined by the vision of one or two people, such as Lee and Didio for New 52 and Johns for Rebirth.
    Every time the writer prove they sell high, they're given better gig. Snyder started in Batman and now in Justice League, after adding and altering some DC lore.

    When the New 52 started, Snyder said the higher up, Didio maybe, told them to write what they think best for the characters.

    So from what I can tell, the direction of the universe is determined by whoever's in charge at the time, the details they leave to each writer, and if a writer with a good portfolio can give them something they think can give them a lot of money, they let them. The better (higher seller) writers are allowed to do some big lore building, while the others follow.

    Everything is internal, not based on what fans think... and I don't think something with such a large and diverse fanbase as DC should base their direction on fans opinion. There are too many fans, too many characters, and too many interpretations of what a character should be.

    That said, basing the direction of a universe or even a family of characters based on just one or two person's opinion is also too risky. If we're lucky we get someone who gets and respects the characters or the lore, but if not we can get a disaster.

    These are iconic characters owned by the company, not the writers, so they should have a set of rules or lore that everyone should follow. That rules may exist, except that the all-star writers seem to be given free rein to change them, or at least, they feel safe to change them because one of the world and company rule seems to be that they can always change it back if it's not well received. So there's no incentive to be careful beyond the loss of sales.
    Last edited by Restingvoice; 04-24-2019 at 08:40 PM.

  9. #9
    ♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦ Godlike13's Avatar
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    What makes you think they didn't know this was the reaction they get?

  10. #10
    All-New Member LemonTea's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Godlike13 View Post
    What makes you think they didn't know this was the reaction they get?
    Yeah, I really get a feeling that they did this deliberately.

  11. #11
    Mighty Member Killerbee911's Avatar
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    So here is the thing


    Heroes In Crisis 1 $3.99 09/26/18 DC 140,699
    Heroes In Crisis 2 $3.99 10/31/18 DC 88,547
    Heroes In Crisis 3 $3.99 11/28/18 DC 83,794
    Heroes In Crisis 4 $3.99 01/02/19 DC 82,151
    Heroes In Crisis 5 $3.99 01/30/19 DC 79,087
    Heroes In Crisis 6 $3.99 02/27/19 DC 79,006

    So here is this is a top ten book, And I am not wasting my tracking the second and third printing numbers for this thread but they have enough to show back in chart for example the February numbers of other issues

    Heroes In Crisis 5 $3.99 01/30/19 DC 1,763
    Heroes In Crisis 4 $3.99 01/02/19 DC 1,388
    Heroes In Crisis 1 $3.99 09/26/18 DC 824

    So yeah this book is doing very well.

    Long term pissing off your customers isn't a sound strategy but short term controversy is fine. If they turn around and give people a good Wally West book people won't care about what happened before. The follow up is probably the most important thing.

    Focus testing? What is after reaction reports telling DC?
    Last edited by Killerbee911; 04-25-2019 at 01:19 AM.

  12. #12
    Unapologetic Feminist Shadowcat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lee Stone View Post
    Didio is the focus group.
    I legit giggled

  13. #13
    Ultimate Member Digifiend's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lee Stone View Post
    It won't mean squat.
    Readers are not their bread and butter. The retailers are.
    And retailers have a severe case of 'Fear of Missing Out' and won't skip ordering for a month for any reason.
    Especially when there's the threat that readers will go elsewhere or DC will push more to digital where the distribution path is free of a middle-man that could choose to not order all the books one day.
    Yeah. Boycotting would hurt the retailer, not DC.

  14. #14
    Fantastic Member Blue22's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LemonTea View Post
    Yeah, I really get a feeling that they did this deliberately.
    I mean...they kinda admitted to that already. Didio's a troll who does what he does specifically to get a rise out of people. We're all, more or less, playing right into his hands right now XD

  15. #15
    Moderator Frontier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Killerbee911 View Post
    Long term pissing off your customers isn't a sound strategy but short term controversy is fine. If they turn around and give people a good Wally West book people won't care about what happened before. The follow up is probably the most important thing.
    Considering this book seems to be DC's idea of a "good Wally West book" I can't imagine the follow-up will be much better.

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