Saturday, May 20, 2006

What concept has failed the most?

When you look through the past of superhero comic books, and all the concepts that are used, which failed concept do you think has been attempted the most?

It doesn't mean that the concept is BAD, just that it does not succeed commercially.

To wit, it sppears as though books starring villains are tough sells, yet we stil continue to see them every once in awhile.

So which concept has failed the most?

And remember, we're being FREE of snark here, so make sure to steer clear of the snark in your reply.

3 Comments:

Blogger RAB said...

In the superhero realm, the concept of "superhero team with a shared origin" has only had one lasting success with the Fantastic Four. I don't mean a group of people with something in common, like the X-Men (all born as mutants independently of one another) or the GL Corps (each selected individually by an ancient race as a cosmic police force) but rather a group sharing a single collective origin event. Like all of them born in test tubes as part of a secret genetics project, or all of them receiving mystical amulets from an old wizard which give them unique powers. The kind of thing that makes it easy on the writer, who only has to tell one origin story for the lot, but never quite clicks with the readers as well as it did that one time a brainy egghead took his army buddy, his girl, and her kid brother on a space trip.

More broadly...in the Fifties and Sixties, we had tons of SF anthology comics with titles like Strange Adventures and Mystery In Space. They died slowly after the superhero revival, and since then the concept of publishing an ongoing SF anthology without recurring lead characters has been tried many times and never succeeded commercially. I really miss those!

5/20/2006 4:12 PM  
Anonymous JR said...

A few come to mind, though other than the aforementioned books staring villains the cases I can think of were once popular yet haven't been able to recapture that popularity. Save for maybe a brief moment or two that is.

Jungle heroes (ala Tarzan) had a run of popularity in the forties but have had difficulty in the decades following (save for Cavewoman maybe).

The "kid who becomes adult hero", ala Captain Marvel, is another concept that was once hugely popular but hasn't been able to regain it. You could argue that He-Man made the concept popular again, but he wasn't drawn as a kid in the first (more sucessful) series.

5/20/2006 10:06 PM  
Blogger David C said...

Heck, the *superhero* anthology has been a near-constant failure.

I always liked them, though - the "Dollar Comics" size Adventure Comics was an early favorite of mine.

5/22/2006 2:23 PM  

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