Is Deadpool the New Wolverine or a Money Grab?

I’ve just started to get into Deadpool after a lot of recommendations from various people I know. This was not easy because in the past I have felt burnt by Daniel Way on multiple titles. However, I’m glad I gave him another chance because I think Way finally found his legs on a book where his writing style fits.

As we start off the new series the book is tied into the Civil War event and has now proceeded into the Dark Reign event with only an issue where he was doing his own thing. This has left me wondering when we will see some individual stories as we have had been hinted at rather than a book that is just there to be locked into events that I’m not reading or not interested in.

With that being said, I’ve noticed over the last couple of months that we’ve had a lot of new Deadpool books flooding the comic shops. As of April 2009 we have seen Deadpool Games of Death (One Shot), Deadpool: Suicide Kings #1 (Mini Series) coming out when they were only up to issue #8 of the ongoing title. Also a new ongoing series, Deadpool: Merc with a Mouth, has been solicited as of the June Previews as the original Deadpool ongoing title is only reaching issues 13 and 14.

Since there hasn’t been a Deadpool title since 2002 when the last series finished at issue 69, it really is absurd that Marvel can think at this point in the characters life they can support 3 titles. It makes me wonder how many of the fans of the character are investing on all of these books.

My opinion is Marvel is just trying to milk it in the short term. We have seen this before and the norm for it is that we will see the books drop off and be cancelled. What I feel should have happened is Marvel should let a book establish itself before getting spin off books put into production.

Here are the recorded Diamond statistics up to and including the April 2009.

Deadpool Suicide Kings #1 @ $3.99 (2009/04/08): 38,414 / $153,271.86
Deadpool Games of Death @ $3.99 (2009/03/18): 34,843 / $139,023.57
Deadpool #1 @ $3.99 (2008/09/10): 75,038 / $299,401.62
Deadpool #2 @ $2.99 (2008/09/24): 65,383 / $195,495.17
Deadpool #3 @ $2.99 (2008/10/08): 61,823 / $184,850.77
Deadpool #4 @ $2.99 (2008/11/19): 49,568 / $148,208.32
Deadpool #5 @ $2.99 (2008/12/17): 46,848 / $140,075.52
Deadpool #6 @ $2.99 (2009/01/14): 46,537 / $139,145.63
Deadpool #7 @ $2.99 (2009/02/04): 44,080 / $131,799.20
Deadpool #8 @ $2.99 (2009/03/04): 47,962 / $143,406.38

As we can see from the above statistics there have been a drop every month apart from issue #8 which had an increase of roughly 4,000 units. This is linked to the start of the Magnum Opus crossover with Thunderbolts which I can see being the people who are currently reading Thunderbolts just getting the 1st and with issue #9 3rd part of the storyline. I would say we will see a large drop with issue #10 when the crossover is finished.

As the sales figures show, Deadpool has dropped almost 30,000 issues over the first 8 issues. To me this shows that it is just starting to find an audience as it is levelling out around the 40,000 mark. Which until we get a true level of what the book is selling it shouldn’t be considered for anything else. There isn’t a demand for it yet.

So what is Marvel thinking? The main Deadpool title has being wrapped up in the last 2 events which would artificially inflate the sales figures. Also Marvel have a side mini series which we don’t know if it will be linked into the Deadpool Continuity. Also now there is the new spin off ongoing title which again we don’t know if it going to be kept within Deadpool’s timeline.

Now to me I would have got at least 12 issues out before doing the mini series so you can have something to offer as an extra to the fan base which would have settled at that point. Also at that point Marvel could see the demand for the title and the response to how people are reacting to it. Then depending on that response, you could have looked at putting on a second series around the 24th issue or do what they have done with Spider-man and had 2 teams working on the main title and bringing it out twice a month.

There are feverish fans out for any title. I think trying to bleed the public too quickly will make people not want to bother with any of the titles because they either can’t decide what to start with or can’t afford to get all of the titles to make sure they don’t miss anything.

This is where the comparison with Wolverine comes in. Everyone has made the jokes about it wouldn’t be a Marvel book unless Wolverine was in it. It did seem if they wanted to bring another character into a book it was always Wolverine. Also Wolverine has been a member of almost every team going in the Marvel Universe.

Marvel had an issue with people not wanting to read some comic books because Wolverine was in it. It Seemed there was a burn out effect going on where people were not wanting to try to keep up with each of his appearances. Marvel even stated about 2 years ago that Wolverine was going to disappear from all other books apart from the X books he was a team member of and his own titles. Which in hindsight must have lasted for all of 6 months as he slowly was pulled into other titles again.

Even though I do like Deadpool I really don’t think that he is popular enough to hold 2 ongoing titles and a mini series so soon after the latest relaunch of the title.

Now, if the idea is that they are bringing all these titles out now because Deadpool is in the Wolverine movie isn’t really a valid reason from my point of view. Shouldn’t there be a Blob title to put out there for everyone as well as collecting the Sabretooth Mini Series from the 90’s as well? As a character Deadpool was in the movie for all of 15 minutes and didn’t play that big a part.

That being said if I’m wrong then I’ll bite the bullet and say I was wrong. I think we’re going to end up seeing the 2 ongoing titles drop to one and possibly finish around issue 24-30 at this point.

Thanks must go out to John Mayo from the Comic Book Page Podcast and Website who helped by providing me the Sales Data. Also Thanks should go to Derek Coward from the Comic Book Noise Podcast for Proofreading.

7 Responses to “Is Deadpool the New Wolverine or a Money Grab?”

  1. kat says:

    Ya know, I was just at my LCS and suddenly all these Deadpool titles that you brought up started jumping at me. I never noticed them before, but now that you’ve brought it up, I was amazed at how many times that nampe popped up on the cover of something.

    -kat

  2. grantbond says:

    cool. i need to check it out!

  3. Wood says:

    I think you’re absolutely right. There aren’t many people out there who love Deadpool as much as I do, as you know. I’ve read him from his first appearance on, stuck with him through the Agent X confusion, read Cable & Deadpool religiously. I’m a fan.

    And I, like you, am pleasantly surprised so far by the new Daniel Way penned series.

    But, like you, I am equally mystified at the sudden overexposure. I’m not buying both ongoings. I’m going to try the 2nd ongoing for an issue or two and then decide which one I want to keep reading. The other one is kaput for me, and if I’M not willing to support two ongoings, I can’t imagine many people are.

    Nice work Damien, I enjoyed your missive.

  4. Lord Shaper says:

    Thank you all for your comments on this! It’s my first attempt at something a little more meaningful in a while for me and it’s great seeing all of your comments!

    Now I just need to live up to what I’ve set as the Bar and write some more heh!

  5. David says:

    Part of me thinks the reason why Marvel wants to publish separate Deadpool titles is so the collections will be available when the Wolverine movie hits DVD shelves. Maybe it’s ‘cooler’ to have a complete Deadpool story than it is to have volume 1, volume 2, volume 3, etc.

    Great post, Damian. Keep ’em coming!

  6. Jason Wright says:

    I think Deadpool is one of those characters that Marvel is trying to figure out what to do with. They cancelled his ongoing to drop him in a buddie-picture book with Cable (which was an awesome title). Now they’ve split Cable & Deadpool back out into separate titles.

    I do think that the overexposure is due to fan-reaction to his appearance in Wolverine: Origins, and because Marvel believes he’s a character that can sustain at least one book.

    What I find odd is that they’ll give you two ongoing Deadpool series, plus one-shots and mini-series but they consolidated all of the Spider-Man titles into thrice-monthly Uncanny. Wouldn’t the same logic apply to Deadpool? If it’s doing well, just put it out more often.

  7. jamesdell says:

    People/hypocrists (including myself) are asking this question now. It will be big folks. Even me, who hates Marvel more than anyone (and is getting there with DC) thinks so. Oh and Ryan Reynolds does suck but the teenbopper girls love his manliness and can only help the box office numbers with the testosterone filled males showing up. Same people that thought Transformers 2 was Shakespeare.