Testing the waters with Limited series?
What if D.C used limited series to test the market for a character?
It would work as releasing a limited series centering around a character. If the mini-series succeeds, they could see if they could give him or her their own comic. They've done it before.
For example, Sword of the Atom. 4-issue series. A while later, Ray Palmer gets his own comic back? Coincidence? Probably not.
Everyone's missed Ryan Choi. What if they did the same, and put Gail Simone back on it? It could have as many issues as she needed to prove to DC that The Atom deserves his own book.
Another could be Cassandra Cain. I don't mean her own series, as it wouldn't exactly work for such relatively minor characters, but they could see how well it would do if they gave Black Bat and Stephanie Brown a 12-issue series to introduce them.
They do that sometimes - see the recent "Ray" and the upcoming "Phantom Lady" mini-series.
However, that can also backfire, as people often do not buy minis featuring characters they are not familiar with.
Other methods that can be more effective are backups in regular books and guest-starring roles in regular books. That way, people will buy the book for the main feature/character but they are exposed to the new character and can theoretically give DC feedback on whether they liked the character or not.
I think that is what the current DC Comics Presents (or whatever the exact title is) is being used for.
But I definately agree that there are characters / concepts that would lead themselves to being tested as a limited series.
I think it would be a particularly good way to test the waters for new super teams that are comprised of current characters or a mix of old and new characters.
Way back in the 70s, DC used to put out 2 issues of a new title, stop and wait for sales results to come in before continuing with the 3rd issue and on. The original WARLORD is an example of that. Look at the long stretch between issues 2 and 3.
Recently, Azrael and Batman Beyond got their ongoing that way.
Lord of the Air
But- limited series don't sell well in this market. Attaching the "limited series" moniker to something is saying that it's not important and won't sell well. I think some of what DC is launching now is an ongoing that is not planned to go too long- something like OMAC might as well be a limited series, because it would not be expected to sell well- but if it did, then the option is there to continue it.
Originally Posted by Spycrab Killer
The big differences are event minis. I'm thinking of books like Villains United and Day of Vengeance, which spun off Secret Six and Shadowpact. Those minis sold well because of the event push and had quality creative teams on them, resulting in successful ongoings. On the other hand, I doubt we'll see a Ray ongoing anytime soon, because it just lacked the marketing push. We'll see about Huntress spawning World's Finest, it's two popular characters tied into Earth 2 which push it over the hump.
I think whoever mentioned DC Presents is right- those are minis without the miniseries label, so it may sell a little better than a typical mini but serve the function of a mini regardless.