Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it. Twice Marvel has tried to get rid of Mary Jane to tell single Spidey stories and twice they've failed. The previous failed attempts were the Clone Saga and the '98 reboot. With Brand New Day, this could be Marvel's third time getting an F in history.
The sales estimate numbers for June's issues of Amazing Spider-Man:
AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #561 - 72,372
AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #562 - 71,409
AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #563 - 70,792
If you've been keeping up on past sales estimates for ASM, then you know that outside of a few spikes here and there, ASM has been dropping since BND began. Spidey editor Tom Brevoort made some comments about this in his blog.
"It seems like, more and more often now that the internet has diminished the dividing line between the average fan and the behind-the-curtain business aspects of the world of comics, every reader is incredibly interested in the sales numbers. Not a day seems to go by without me receiving an e-mail of some sort from a fan, bolstering his points using the rough sales data he's collected online.
Now, first off, that sales information is rarely if ever 100% accurate, and it only accounts for the direct market and not any other revenue stream that might exist. But in a much larger global sense, I don't know how much the average fan shoudl really be worried about the overall numbers (outside of on those occasions when the sales on a beloved title slip to the point of cancellation.) But the sales numbers aren't really anything that affects the lives of the readers directly, and those of us whose lives they do affect directly have a much better idea of the overall picture, of Marvel's corporate goals and initiatives, and financial reasons for doing something we might be doing. In other words, throwing sales information (incomplete sales information at that) at us isn't likely to sway anybody on a particular course of action."
(Linky to Tommy's blog)
But wasn't BND designed to sell better? Isn't this comic supposed to be in Joe Q's own words "selling like gangbusters"? Now I didn't expect Mr. Brevoort or anyone at Marvel to come out and say they were worried about declining sales. If they are worried they sure wouldn't show it because it isn't a good idea to let anyone see you sweat. So while I do think Tom makes some interesting points, let's call it what it is, spin.
taechunsa from the Crawl Space message boards has made a chart that I find found pretty enlightening.
"I have compiled and graphed the average sales per issue of Spider-Man title released each month for four periods: 29 months following the '98 Reboot, first 29 months of JMS run, 29 months prior to The Other (for a trendline of non-event sales), and months since BND.
To me the trend is pretty obvious, and one that I would be concerned about if I were Quesada. Given that the EIC in charge at the time most resembling BND's trend was canned at the end of the data.
See for yourself and conclude what you will.
Personally, I cannot see this as a good thing considering the sales are still falling while at this point JMS was rising, and that in general they are not selling much more than pre-Other was for several months (the drop at the end of pre-Other run points to a needed change, but obviously not this change)."
Personally, if I were Marvel, I would not be shrugging the dwindling numbers off. BND is in many ways frighteningly similar to the '98 reboot and we all know how that turned out. We could see a good spike in sales when John Romita Jr. comes back for New Ways to Die in August. However, JR Jr. worked on ASM in the '98 reboot era and even his art couldn't stop the book from sucking. Just something to think about.