Over the decades, the character may change — The Punisher, Spider-Man, Wolverine, Deadpool — but the question remains the same: Does a hero risk overexposure (and long-term damage) by appearing in too many titles?
Marvel Vice President-Executive Editor Tom Brevoort tackled that question this week after a reader asked for his “honest opinion” on the subject, and its possible relationship to the “waning sales” of Wolverine’s titles.
“… This is one of those circumstances where art and commerce aren’t always served to an equivalent degree,” Brevoort wrote on his Marvel.com blog. “But my ‘honest’ opinion is that the only thing that really hurts characters over the long haul is bad stories. You point to waning sales on Wolverine, and yet all I see is a character who’s still one of the driving forces of the marketplace. The reason Wolverine appears in so many titles is that people want to read about him. More people than want to read about Cyclops, or Iron Fist, or Millie the Model. The Direct Market is an extremely democratic entity — if readers don’t purchase a book, retailers won’t order it and companies will stop making it. And the reverse is true as well — if something sells and continues to sell well, we’ll inevitably make more of it.”
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