[Reader question:] Unless you guys are going to announce something amazing within the next few moths, DC epicly won this year. Though, I always buy anything involving Spider-Man, so you will get more business there.
[Tom Brevoort:] Yes, they’ve epicly won their way down to being 25% of the market. if they keep winning at this rate, they’ll be out of business before long. They’re the Charlie Sheens of comics, winning their way to extinction.
—Marvel Senior Vice President of Publishing Tom Brevoort on the Distinguished Competition, via his Formspring account. So that would make Marvel…Ashton Kutcher?
Okay, so that was a pretty solid smack from Brevoort Marvel’s crosstown (or round-the-block, as the case may be) rivals. But in other Formspring responses he’s a bit less catty and more comprehensive in his diagnosis of DC’s perceived problems. In one response, he advises DC to “stop trying to become what they think Marvel is” and play to their company’s and characters’ unique strengths, because “their interpretation of how our universe operates and how we plan out storylines and deal with our creative talent is so off-the-mark it’s laughable sometimes….[they should stop] trying to be a bad Marvel clone–because they’re not even getting bad Marvel right.”
In another response, he discusses DC’s recent $2.99 pricing initiative: “they got virtually no uptick on their sales, but cut a quarter of their profit margin away.” Brevoort argues that the audience for (his example) Booster Gold will buy Booster Gold comics regardless of cost, but cutting that cost won’t make a new audience for Booster Gold materialize either out of the non-comics-reading populace or from fans of other properties.
But to hear Brevoort tell it, he’s still pulling for the other publisher. “I want them to thrive and prosper,” he tells one questioner, positing a world where Marvel routinely beats a “a vibrant, healthy, competitive DC” as his ideal. This, he says, is why he thought “their reboot was a necessary step and a smart move overall”…but he adds the caveat that “I don’t think they’ve gone about putting it together in the smartest way possible.” Clearly, some of his initial support for/defense of/optimism about the DC relaunch has dimmed. Hence, perhaps, the talk of tiger blood…