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  1. #106
    Mighty Member Katana500's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Badou View Post
    =

    Here are the sales comparisons. From their first issue to last and where they were when Steph's run ended:

    Cass - 2000 to 2006 & 2008
    Batgirl Vol.1 #1 - 64,296
    Batgirl Vol.1 #24 - 43,782
    Batgirl Vol.1 #73 - 26,536 (last issue)

    Batgirl Vol.2 #1 - 34,404
    Batgirl Vol.2 #6 - 20,747 (last issue)

    Steph - 2009 to 2011
    Batgirl Vol.3 #1 - 51,670
    Batgirl Vol.3 #24 - 22,695 (last issue)

    Babs - 2011 to now
    Batgirl Vol.4 - #1 - 81,489 (#1 New 52 books has a ton of reorders I think too so this is probably wrong)
    Batgirl Vol.4 - #24 - 36,666
    Batgirl Vol.4 - #52 - 26,492 (last issue)

    Batgirl Vol.5 - #1 - 96,177
    Batgirl Vol.5 - #24 - 26,457
    Batgirl Vol.5 - #41 - 23, 889 (16,969 + 6,920 the nearly 7K was from the card stock variant)
    Does Batgirl not tend to sell very well online. Guess we probably won't ever know exact online sales but i think they are pretty good

    I dont know why DC cant have its cake and eat it too. Im almost positive Barbara could continue to sustain a solo alongside a seperate team Batgirl book. Just make one the first week of the month and one the last week of the month. Heck if DC is still worried about sales why not call the book "Batman and team Batgirl" and copy what the outsiders do!

  2. #107
    Invincible Member Digifiend's Avatar
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    Those numbers look fine to me. Except for Cassandra's second volume - why did that start so low?
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  3. #108
    I am a diamond, Ms. Pryde millernumber1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Badou View Post
    It isn't really something you can prove. It is kind of an opinion and how I think DC views the property. Batgirl and her book aren't really on the same level as those other characters, even in other media. They are continually featured in long ongoing titles and multiple team books. They have TV shows, animated shows, and movies about them. It's only been more recently that Batgirl has been more featured in other media as a main part rather than a supporting one. Plus the Batgirl solo book has never been a chart topper. It's always been a mid to low-mid selling book. I just don't know if it is strong enough to spread the identity out over several characters instead of just focusing on one.

    You are comparing sales from a book that started over a decade ago to current sales. That is difficult to do. Also I think your 16K number is off as you aren't adding in the card stock variant possibly. Still, it is tough to compare sales over such a long time. It is 20 years if you go all the way back to the start of Cass' run. The market and climate is so different even compared to the start of Steph's run to where Babs' run is at now.

    Here are the sales comparisons. From their first issue to last and where they were when Steph's run ended:

    Cass - 2000 to 2006 & 2008
    Batgirl Vol.1 #1 - 64,296
    Batgirl Vol.1 #24 - 43,782
    Batgirl Vol.1 #73 - 26,536 (last issue)

    Batgirl Vol.2 #1 - 34,404
    Batgirl Vol.2 #6 - 20,747 (last issue)

    Steph - 2009 to 2011
    Batgirl Vol.3 #1 - 51,670
    Batgirl Vol.3 #24 - 22,695 (last issue)

    Babs - 2011 to now
    Batgirl Vol.4 - #1 - 81,489 (#1 New 52 books has a ton of reorders I think too so this is probably wrong)
    Batgirl Vol.4 - #24 - 36,666
    Batgirl Vol.4 - #52 - 26,492 (last issue)

    Batgirl Vol.5 - #1 - 96,177
    Batgirl Vol.5 - #24 - 26,457
    Batgirl Vol.5 - #41 - 23, 889 (16,969 + 6,920 the nearly 7K was from the card stock variant)
    You make a very true point about sales "eras" being different and hard to compare, and I didn't realize the cardstocks were selling that well in November. Though I think it's very strange that just prior to going back up to 23k in november, it was selling in the 18-19k range the months before. And that the acetate cover didn't do better for Batgirl.

    I would also agree that Batgirl isn't currently the kind of title that can sustain two books in the market that DC has created. I think, though, that DC could give Batgirl a strong creative team and direction, and market them seriously instead of "for a small subset of audiences."

    Quote Originally Posted by EmmaWoods007 View Post
    Speaking only for myself, I'd be all for a Team Batgirl book.

    *nod*
    Yup. Pretty much.

    Quote Originally Posted by Katana500 View Post
    Does Batgirl not tend to sell very well online. Guess we probably won't ever know exact online sales but i think they are pretty good

    I dont know why DC cant have its cake and eat it too. Im almost positive Barbara could continue to sustain a solo alongside a seperate team Batgirl book. Just make one the first week of the month and one the last week of the month. Heck if DC is still worried about sales why not call the book "Batman and team Batgirl" and copy what the outsiders do!
    I hate to say it, but I actually agree that Batgirl can't sustain two titles, at least if DC refuses to give her a really unusual marketing push. The reason I say this is because Batgirl and the Birds of Prey tanked pretty hard.

    As a proposal that will be likely as divisive, if DC wanted to give Babs two books, I'd advocate for a Batgirl/Nightwing title, and a League of Batgirls title.

    Quote Originally Posted by Digifiend View Post
    Those numbers look fine to me. Except for Cassandra's second volume - why did that start so low?
    Because it was a mini by the same writer who wrote her evil arc. Minis plus writer fans don't trust generally lead to lower sales.
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  4. #109
    Moderator Frontier's Avatar
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    I don't think the market can support multiple Batgirl books, and I'm not sure I can see Steph and Cass holding anything past a mini at this point, but a book featuring all of them would probably be more reasonable in today's climate, assuming the stories and creative team were good.
    Quote Originally Posted by Badou View Post
    Batgirl isn't the kind of brand where it can sustain multiple people wearing it. It devalues it and spreads it too thin across a few characters. It isn't like Green Lantern, Flash, or Spider-man. It isn't on that level.
    Even those titles can hardly pull it off effectively.

  5. #110
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    One has to ask: Why DC give the many Robins a title to have, but not Batgirl. Wouldn’t that be playing favorites and a tad sexist in a way ?

    All I would think that DC should at least give fans a mini series where Babs relearn of Steph and Cass time as Batgirl and to give the three of them a chance to fully reconcile with the overall Batman family. They owe the fans at least that.

  6. #111
    I am a diamond, Ms. Pryde millernumber1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frontier View Post
    I don't think the market can support multiple Batgirl books, and I'm not sure I can see Steph and Cass holding anything past a mini at this point, but a book featuring all of them would probably be more reasonable in today's climate, assuming the stories and creative team were good.

    Even those titles can hardly pull it off effectively.
    The market can't do it RIGHT NOW. But if you built up to it, it could. One of the things I'm most annoyed with Rebirth's Tec run is they claimed they were trying to build momentum for ALL the characters, but they didn't do so effectively at all, and so Steph got left in the cold really hard. I still love that run, and I think if you read it carefully, it's good for Steph - but too many did not read carefully or sympathetically.

    And as you say - all these titles seem to be coasting on loyalty, rather than building goodwill to sustain more solos.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cmbmool View Post
    One has to ask: Why DC give the many Robins a title to have, but not Batgirl. Wouldn’t that be playing favorites and a tad sexist in a way ?

    All I would think that DC should at least give fans a mini series where Babs relearn of Steph and Cass time as Batgirl and to give the three of them a chance to fully reconcile with the overall Batman family. They owe the fans at least that.
    I think it's really hard to figure out. I don't know if Didio and editorial's neglect/mishandling/dislike/hatred of Steph and Cass is motivated by sexism, but it's certainly not motivated by care or desire to see them thrive.
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  7. #112
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    Quote Originally Posted by millernumber1 View Post
    The market can't do it RIGHT NOW. But if you built up to it, it could. One of the things I'm most annoyed with Rebirth's Tec run is they claimed they were trying to build momentum for ALL the characters, but they didn't do so effectively at all, and so Steph got left in the cold really hard. I still love that run, and I think if you read it carefully, it's good for Steph - but too many did not read carefully or sympathetically.

    And as you say - all these titles seem to be coasting on loyalty, rather than building goodwill to sustain more solos.



    I think it's really hard to figure out. I don't know if Didio and editorial's neglect/mishandling/dislike/hatred of Steph and Cass is motivated by sexism, but it's certainly not motivated by care or desire to see them thrive.
    This is Dan Didio we’re talking about the same guy who refuses to answer the question about the original Wally West and gives us an African American replacement for the character.

  8. #113
    Moderator Frontier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by millernumber1 View Post
    The market can't do it RIGHT NOW. But if you built up to it, it could. One of the things I'm most annoyed with Rebirth's Tec run is they claimed they were trying to build momentum for ALL the characters, but they didn't do so effectively at all, and so Steph got left in the cold really hard. I still love that run, and I think if you read it carefully, it's good for Steph - but too many did not read carefully or sympathetically.

    And as you say - all these titles seem to be coasting on loyalty, rather than building goodwill to sustain more solos.
    I agree. Especially with the bolded, save for maybe Batwoman.

  9. #114
    I am a diamond, Ms. Pryde millernumber1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frontier View Post
    I agree. Especially with the bolded, save for maybe Batwoman.
    I didn't want to get into any specifics outside of Steph, because this is the Steph thread. There's LOTS of things I would say went wrong at the editorial level with the characters in Tec outside of that book. But as I said, I think as a whole, the run really works, even for Steph, who I think got the most frustrating fandom result (lots of her fans were frustrated, several people came away from that as their first time meeting Steph not liking her). And I wish it had been more followed up, so that King and others didn't lean so hard on the "Steph rejects the Batfamily" note that Tynion already resolved at the end of his run.
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  10. #115
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    Quote Originally Posted by millernumber1 View Post
    You make a very true point about sales "eras" being different and hard to compare, and I didn't realize the cardstocks were selling that well in November. Though I think it's very strange that just prior to going back up to 23k in november, it was selling in the 18-19k range the months before. And that the acetate cover didn't do better for Batgirl.
    comichron.com has a great feature for tracking sales where you can click a heading to see a fusion of sales numbers, combining the counts of the regular covers and card stock covers. Or you can still sort them separately to see the breakdown. (In a few cases with a few titles, the card stocks sell better, but this has been very, very rare.)

    Because the card stocks are more expensive, the regular sales counting tracks them separately, so you have to fuse the numbers to see the full sales of a title. (When the variant is the same price, they are counted with the main cover.)

    I didn't think the Batgirl #41 acetate cover was good at all, certainly not compared to many other acetates that month, many of which were truly extraordinary. (In many cases I couldn't understand why anyone would prefer the variant!)

    #41 had nothing but Oracle on the front layer, and then a pretty scratchy-looking Batgirl in a hospital bed on the inner layer. I was surprised, as it wasn't the level of quality I expect from Dustin Nguyen.

    Now for many more opinions:

    The covers have really suffered since Joshua Middleton moved on. I can't say I've been impressed by a single one of them!

    I suppose the Dodsons have their fans, but they all look the same to me. They are expertly drawn and very sterile. Every character has the same face, making their work instantly recognizable from the faces alone. They re-use certain poses constantly.

    And then you have the redesigned costume. Even its creator, Sean Murphy, gave Barbara a much better costume in his Batman: Curse of the White Knight.

    Interiors have also suffered with the last 2 teams.

    Paul Pelletier drew Barbara with an inconsistent face, but looking around 40 years old and dressed in dowdy clothes. (An overreaction, I suppose, to everything about Burnside.)

    Carmine Di Giandomenico's work looks very close to incomplete thumbnail sketches, scratched out very loosely.

    I thought the last good writing was Hope Larson's. Mairghead Scott's best work was the first of her stories to appear - Barbara visiting a funeral in Batgirl #25. Then she wrote another of the 10,000 stories of Batgirl fighting a somehow-manifesting AI. (How many times do we have to revisit that story in Batgirl?) And got saddled finishing an awful story started in Nightwing. And now - it's impossible to make any sense of Cecil Catellucci's book. Freed from the imposition of finishing up the editorially-imposed Year of the Villain Oracle story, it isn't getting better, and makes me want to throw tomatoes at it. And this on-off romance with Jason Bard? Does anyone like this storyline?

    So I'd argue DC currently isn't able to even manage a single good Batgirl title. If they cared, they'd use better writers and artists. Compare the art to any current Batman title - not even remotely comparable. Batgirl is drawn better in almost every cameo she appears in.

    Sorry, I guess disappointment with a Barbara Gordon book doesn't qualify as Steph appreciation, except that it makes me appreciate the writing and art of Steph's Batgirl series all the more.

  11. #116
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cmbmool View Post
    One has to ask: Why DC give the many Robins a title to have, but not Batgirl. Wouldn’t that be playing favorites and a tad sexist in a way ?
    The only Robin with a solo book at the moment is Dick, that rest has technically team books (with Jason being kind of in a grey area since he has still his name on the cover).

    I think I the end it comes down to popularity, but not only of the characters but also of the mantles and teams.

    (Teen) Titans and Young Justice are popular teams, and and in their most iconic line ups a Robin in the lead but not a Batgirl. And the Batgirls have in general not a big history with team books.

    And we have seen in the past (especially with Marvel) mantles matter when it comes to sales, a Batgiel book will very likely sell better than a Spoiler or Orphan book, even if the main character is the same.

  12. #117
    Invincible Member Digifiend's Avatar
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    I do think they should consider doing what Marvel did with Captain America, and use real name: codename as a naming format for some comics. Flash is an obvious one (though it was pretty clever calling Wally's current book Flash Forward), and Batgirl is another. If Steph's on a team (i.e. Young Justice) or appearing in a bat book (Detective Comics, like in Rebirth, or Robin, like in the 90s), then her being Spoiler is fine. But you're right that she'd probably need to be a Batgirl to sell a solo - the same goes for Cassandra. That's the main problem with the Spoiler brand - no obvious connection to Batman.
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  13. #118
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    Quote Originally Posted by Digifiend View Post
    I do think they should consider doing what Marvel did with Captain America, and use real name: codename as a naming format for some comics.
    Captain America is a pretty good example for the Problem with the mantles.
    As long as Sam Wilson went by Captain America his book sold (even the numbers were not that great), even when Steve Rodgers returned.
    Once he want back to Falcon sales took a nose dive and the book got cancelled.

  14. #119
    I am a diamond, Ms. Pryde millernumber1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ohfellow View Post
    comichron.com has a great feature for tracking sales where you can click a heading to see a fusion of sales numbers, combining the counts of the regular covers and card stock covers. Or you can still sort them separately to see the breakdown. (In a few cases with a few titles, the card stocks sell better, but this has been very, very rare.)

    Because the card stocks are more expensive, the regular sales counting tracks them separately, so you have to fuse the numbers to see the full sales of a title. (When the variant is the same price, they are counted with the main cover.)

    I didn't think the Batgirl #41 acetate cover was good at all, certainly not compared to many other acetates that month, many of which were truly extraordinary. (In many cases I couldn't understand why anyone would prefer the variant!)

    #41 had nothing but Oracle on the front layer, and then a pretty scratchy-looking Batgirl in a hospital bed on the inner layer. I was surprised, as it wasn't the level of quality I expect from Dustin Nguyen.

    The covers have really suffered since Joshua Middleton moved on. I can't say I've been impressed by a single one of them!

    And then you have the redesigned costume. Even its creator, Sean Murphy, gave Barbara a much better costume in his Batman: Curse of the White Knight.

    Interiors have also suffered with the last 2 teams.

    Paul Pelletier drew Barbara with an inconsistent face, but looking around 40 years old and dressed in dowdy clothes. (An overreaction, I suppose, to everything about Burnside.)

    Carmine Di Giandomenico's work looks very close to incomplete thumbnail sketches, scratched out very loosely.

    I thought the last good writing was Hope Larson's. Mairghead Scott's best work was the first of her stories to appear - Barbara visiting a funeral in Batgirl #25. Then she wrote another of the 10,000 stories of Batgirl fighting a somehow-manifesting AI. (How many times do we have to revisit that story in Batgirl?) And got saddled finishing an awful story started in Nightwing. And now - it's impossible to make any sense of Cecil Catellucci's book. Freed from the imposition of finishing up the editorially-imposed Year of the Villain Oracle story, it isn't getting better, and makes me want to throw tomatoes at it. And this on-off romance with Jason Bard? Does anyone like this storyline?

    So I'd argue DC currently isn't able to even manage a single good Batgirl title. If they cared, they'd use better writers and artists. Compare the art to any current Batman title - not even remotely comparable. Batgirl is drawn better in almost every cameo she appears in.

    Sorry, I guess disappointment with a Barbara Gordon book doesn't qualify as Steph appreciation, except that it makes me appreciate the writing and art of Steph's Batgirl series all the more.
    I have used the cardstocks as indicators in sales tracking on my own in the past - for example, in discovering just how many people buy the variants for Catwoman and Supergirl. (I'm also really irritated with the cardstocks, because I think they're a wedge that DC is using to raise the prices across the board to 5 dollars a comic. But that's even less connected to Steph. )

    I adore Nguyen because of his work with Steph on Batgirl, but I agree that the Oracle acetate wasn't very good. Middleton and Artgerm seem to be real draws to titles - I still like that Steph fans can look back at his career and say we knew his work back then for our girl!

    I actually really like the redesigned Murphy Babs suit - though the backpack is probably my least favorite part of it. But I'm a sucker for Year One references, which is my absolutely favorite Babs Batgirl story. Pelletier is a solid artist, but he never gets me super excited - but at least it's not Koblish, Derenick, or Eaton. I actually really like Carmine - going back to his work with Rucka on Punisher - he's got a really great energy, even with weak writing (as his work on Robinson's Tec arc showed). Yes, he can look very sketchy, but I don't think he's bad at all - though I can see why he might turn some off (I also like JRJR, which I think has a similar situation in reception). And that brings up another of your points - Carmine was on Detective Comics - so they actually did give Batgirl an artist who was on one of the big Batman titles. I actually would disagree that Larson was very good - she started with a few decent stories, but she quickly devolved into extremely weak and cliched writing, especially with the constant new love interests.

    So basically, I agree with your assessment of the way DC's handled Batgirl - though I'd go all the way back to the n52, even if my own reaction to various parts of it is different in the details. Yes, Simone's run sold well, but quite honestly, I don't think almost anything of it is remembered very fondly, except maybe the first arc because it is a very easy jumping on point. I still maintain that if people actually gave Steph's Batgirl run a chance, they would be really impressed by the quality. But I guess only time will tell, sadly. And so far, editorial and readers are in a self-reinforcing spiral of neglect.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aahz View Post
    The only Robin with a solo book at the moment is Dick, that rest has technically team books (with Jason being kind of in a grey area since he has still his name on the cover).

    I think I the end it comes down to popularity, but not only of the characters but also of the mantles and teams.

    (Teen) Titans and Young Justice are popular teams, and and in their most iconic line ups a Robin in the lead but not a Batgirl. And the Batgirls have in general not a big history with team books.

    And we have seen in the past (especially with Marvel) mantles matter when it comes to sales, a Batgiel book will very likely sell better than a Spoiler or Orphan book, even if the main character is the same.
    I think the market is a really complicated thing to predict, and I don't quite know the customer or editorial decisions behind the Batgirl and Nightwing titles (the most consistent Batfamily solo books). All I know is that I would love a good League of Batgirls book, and I don't see why that couldn't be status quo in the Batgirl title for 2 years or more.

    Quote Originally Posted by Digifiend View Post
    I do think they should consider doing what Marvel did with Captain America, and use real name: codename as a naming format for some comics. Flash is an obvious one (though it was pretty clever calling Wally's current book Flash Forward), and Batgirl is another. If Steph's on a team (i.e. Young Justice) or appearing in a bat book (Detective Comics, like in Rebirth, or Robin, like in the 90s), then her being Spoiler is fine. But you're right that she'd probably need to be a Batgirl to sell a solo - the same goes for Cassandra. That's the main problem with the Spoiler brand - no obvious connection to Batman.
    Batgirl or Robin. And as I've said many times - the key to Steph getting regular appearances is a writer at DC championing her. Right now, the only writer willing to champion her is Tynion, and he's too busy.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aahz View Post
    Captain America is a pretty good example for the Problem with the mantles.
    As long as Sam Wilson went by Captain America his book sold (even the numbers were not that great), even when Steve Rodgers returned.
    Once he want back to Falcon sales took a nose dive and the book got cancelled.
    I think that's more or less true, which is why, when people tell me "Steph has Spoiler, that's her own identity, why do you keep wanting her to be Robin or Batgirl," I say, "and look where Spoiler has gotten her in the past 2 years: with barely one appearance per year." She has part of her history back, yes, but she needs it to be fully acknowledged and a writer build her up so she's regularly appearing again. If that happens as Spoiler, I'd be thrilled, but I've watched the evidence, and I'm not convinced.
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    Stephanie has a very brief spot in today's graphic novel Once Upon a Crime. She appears as Batgirl driving the Batmobile, along with Cassandra as Black Bat. It's a very brief shot, but still I like it. BTW Dustin Nguyen's art is as gorgeous as ever!

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