SU #73 - Spark of Life, Pt. 3: Talkback & Discussion

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Re: SU #73 - Spark of Life, Pt. 3: Talkback & Discussion

Postby TurboTailz » Sat Mar 14, 2015 11:56 am

NxtWaltDisney wrote:oh yeah, I forgot about Nagus...but Breezie seemed nuetral to me so I didn't bother to put her on the list. I'm just saying Phage would've been better as her own villain when she was introduced instead of working for Eggman until she possibly may or may not betray him.


I think you just don't want her on the list. She's evil dude, but she knows how to play both sides :P. Those are the dangerous ones.
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Re: SU #73 - Spark of Life, Pt. 3: Talkback & Discussion

Postby Eskana » Tue Mar 17, 2015 4:26 pm

I thought this issue was okay... kind of a mixed bag. It has some really nice accents, but I feel like it could be split even more- an issue for what's going on inside the computer, another for what's going on outside. I know that's not going to happen, but I guess I feel like there's more that could be said here.
I like that the story is taking a break from the "get an emerald before the world falls apart" episodic stuff we've been having- which, by the way, I know is necessary, but I feel like this is the first real character-centered arc we've had so far since the reboot. I like that we're focusing on Sally and Nicole, since the reboot has reset so much about both of them. New backstories!

(Sidenote: how do you guys feel about NICOLE's new origin? I always felt like the "built in an alternate future and sent to the past" was kind of a dead-end, and a cop-out... wouldn't something happen along the line and invalidate her existence?)

Anyway, here are some notes on the issue:

- Although it was kinda predictable, I like the idea that Nicole was based on her creator's daughter. That was a nice touch, I thought. I actually liked the conversation Ellidy and Sally were having about how far Nicole's understanding of the real world goes. I believe it's been discussed before, but this is the reboot, and she's got a new backstory now. It's too bad that the debate was cut short, but hopefully they'll come up again in the next one.

- As far as Phage's identity, I think that could go two ways. The obvious is that Phage is Nikki, but with some changes. She could be fully herself, and resentful that Nicole gets to "live" while she doesn't. She could be resentful just against living things, since she have have been "trapped" as she sees it, in a computer. Or it could just be a program based on here, but completely not human (as it were.) I don't know how many of you saw the film "Transcendence" (with Johnny Depp, Paul Bettany, etc. came out last year I think) but maybe Ellidy fed enough info into the computer for the information to grow on its own, develop a sort of complex, and yet it can't become "human."
But then again, she seemed so fascinated with Nicole's desire to become part of the physical world, and it seemed like maybe she wasn't Nikki. I feel like if Phage were more of an independent AI, it would give Nicole (in the future) an opportunity to work out her own identity. It'd be easy to say "Well, Nikki's evil, and I'm not! That's what makes me unique!" But what if Nikki wasn't evil? This would give Nicole an opportunity to work out her own identity, independent of what Nikki was or would have become, if she had lived.
Either way, I'm interested to see where this leads!

- My only other issue is Nicole's "peril"- I just don't feel it. I get that Phage is powerful- at least, in the digital world- but I feel like Nicole should be able to do something against her. Also, didn't Phage essentially say that nothing in the digital world disappears forever? In that case, I'm a lot less worried about Nicole...

Anyway, I thought it was a pretty good issue. I'm glad they brought back the "Stars" story, which I thought really cemented Nicole's desire to live as well as Sally's friendship. I hope to see some more development in both of these as we go on.
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Re: SU #73 - Spark of Life, Pt. 3: Talkback & Discussion

Postby RWB » Wed Mar 18, 2015 8:49 am

This story arc actually reminds me of PKNA's Uno(One) and Due(Two), and how Uno became Odin Eidolon.

Odin Eidolon is the 23rd century droid incarnation of Uno. In 2186, Uno's old creator, Everett Ducklair, returns to the Ducklair Tower to solve the problems experienced by Uno in making his own artificial body. Uno, in fact, is becoming very tired of his unsuccessful attempts to transfer his complex software into a robotic body. That body has the necessary hardware to contain his whole enormous software plus the possibility of expansion, but even with Everett's help, he can't transfer. A dramatic and emotional fight with his twin Due occurs, which happens both in the present and in the future. His evil twin gives up his plan to destroy Uno when Due realizes it would spell his own destruction in the future, and an erasing software manages to cancel Due. But before this happens, Uno saves the remaining parts of his twin and tries for one last time to transfer. This time the operation is successful, because now Uno understands how to be complete: Every human being is made up of equally good and evil parts, and so is Uno after he has combined himself with Due into a complete whole.


Uno:
Image

Due:
Image

Odin Eidolon:
Image
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Re: SU #73 - Spark of Life, Pt. 3: Talkback & Discussion

Postby Sunwalker » Wed Mar 18, 2015 11:12 am

At Sonic Stadium we are discussing whether the comic having a story arc centered in a non-SEGA character has contributed for the sales decline or not, and then I gathered some data about the sales since the reboot. I found them to be interesting, so I would like to post the data here too, since it has to do with the Spark of Life discussion.

Here is the graph showing the evolution direct market sales figures since the reboot:
 
Image
 
Notice that I marked when the comics had their price increased. We can see that both STH and SU follow the same tendency. Since all STH issues are centered on SEGA characters, but both comics have the same trends, this suggests that the non-SEGA centered arc of SU was not a factor contributing to the sales decline. It is also possible to see that a small decrease started since the price was increased from $2.99 to $3.99.
 
Here are the raw direct sales figures, ranked from the best-selling to the worst-selling:
 
Image
 
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Notice that I gave the same color to the issues within the same arc.
 
For those who want to play around with the numbers, here is the spreadsheet I made: http://1drv.ms/1bfkCON. Notice that it has two tabs, one for the sorted data and another for the unsorted.
 
The source of the data was http://www.comichron.com.
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Re: SU #73 - Spark of Life, Pt. 3: Talkback & Discussion

Postby Meliden » Wed Mar 18, 2015 11:56 am

I would disagree that there being a non-sega character at the helm was a non-contributing factor.

Yes, there's been a steady decrease for a while, but the rate of decline is important. Within Universe arcs, PPP was an anomaly considering it was right off the heels of Worlds Collide and hence why it saw a decline of 800 over the arc. The rest have a steady decrease, with no more than about 400 issues of decline across the arc (or in GCC's case, ended higher than it started, likely bolstered by Chip). Spark of Life isn't done and has seen a decline of 700 already, and when you extrapolate that to a total number estimate that's a significant difference.

While the main comic is a different format, it still can sort of be broken up based on significant factors. The reboot and the Worlds Collide momentum is what powered Countdown to Chaos, the promise of Werehog bolstered the Chase part 2 and Waves of Change part 4, and the presence of Werehog bolstered Control. The hype wears off a bit for Ambushed by the end, and there's no meaty hook for Champions so that declines a bit as well, although we'd need next issue's numbers to see if the omission of the Werehog made it fall as much.
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Re: SU #73 - Spark of Life, Pt. 3: Talkback & Discussion

Postby SonicBlueRanger » Wed Mar 18, 2015 12:06 pm

Honestly considering the amount of people who straight up dropped the book because "Ugh Reboot" These numbers still seem pretty good.

I mean sales arte dropping with this arc but that's probably because "(hearty laughter) Is starz Dat Mary Su Sally Will Not Read!" Sadly it is that Simple sometimes people don't want to see the non-Sega characters have focus.
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Re: SU #73 - Spark of Life, Pt. 3: Talkback & Discussion

Postby Sunwalker » Wed Mar 18, 2015 1:11 pm

Since both curves have roughly the same shape, I am assuming that they are being affected by the same factors, while STH didn't have an arc focused on Archie's exclusive characters.

Of course this is not hard evidence for the absence of causation of a non-SEGA arc on sales, but it might be an indicative.
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Re: SU #73 - Spark of Life, Pt. 3: Talkback & Discussion

Postby akessel92 » Wed Mar 18, 2015 1:25 pm

Price increase could also be a factor too. Cause some people live where the nearest comic stores are within a twentyto thirty miles away from where you live. That and buying them online too.
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Re: SU #73 - Spark of Life, Pt. 3: Talkback & Discussion

Postby Meliden » Wed Mar 18, 2015 1:40 pm

I don't think the price increase is a factor in the case of Spark of Life because otherwise we would have seen it have the same big impact on Total Eclipse (unless people were willing to stay around for Shadow and Knuckles and then only decided the price wasn't worth it when the focus changed to Nicole...which would still make the non-SEGA focus a factor). And digital copies have been around since at least way before the reboot, so that should have about zero bearing on this.

Let's be clear, I know there's a natural pattern of decreasing numbers over the issues. I just theorise based off the numbers that the non-SEGA focus is a factor affecting it and making it steeper than what we've seen before. When the data for Champions part 3 comes out next month, that will probably be a key number to compare trends to.
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Re: SU #73 - Spark of Life, Pt. 3: Talkback & Discussion

Postby Mavrickindigo » Wed Mar 18, 2015 2:02 pm

Holy crap, no wonder they are doing a big SEGA/CAPCOM crossover!
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Re: SU #73 - Spark of Life, Pt. 3: Talkback & Discussion

Postby Kellox » Wed Mar 18, 2015 2:12 pm

I have only heard great things from the people who read Sparkle of Life.
I think the decline of the sales were mostly based on the increase of the price and the '' oh no reboot''!''
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Re: SU #73 - Spark of Life, Pt. 3: Talkback & Discussion

Postby Penguin God » Wed Mar 18, 2015 2:52 pm

Considering the direct market sales make up so little of the comic's sales, it might be better to show subscribers and digital sales and non-direct market sales in the package. Sales slowly dropping back to regular amounts is pretty typical after an event.
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Re: SU #73 - Spark of Life, Pt. 3: Talkback & Discussion

Postby Matt7325 » Wed Mar 18, 2015 11:17 pm

Is there any proper evidence that people dropped the comic after the reboot? I know there was a lot of grousing online about it, but even if 100 people online complained about it and actually followed through on the threat to stop reading, that's a drop in a bucket for the total sales.
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Re: SU #73 - Spark of Life, Pt. 3: Talkback & Discussion

Postby Sunwalker » Thu Mar 19, 2015 5:37 am

Matt7325 wrote:Is there any proper evidence that people dropped the comic after the reboot? I know there was a lot of grousing online about it, but even if 100 people online complained about it and actually followed through on the threat to stop reading, that's a drop in a bucket for the total sales.

The reboot was right after Worlds Collide, and the decline after the reboot seems to be like the natural decline after a big event.

From what I can read online, there were some people who left after the reboot, at least for a while. It does not looks like a generalized behavior for me, it looks like something that just happened here and there. But this is only circunstancial evidence, it is hard to tell for sure without having a look in the bigger picture and more data.

I think that if the reboot were the cause of the decline, the sales would drop big time right after STH #252, but they went up after a while and stayed roughly constant for some time. Also the decline would had been more steep if a lot of people had left after the reboot.
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Re: SU #73 - Spark of Life, Pt. 3: Talkback & Discussion

Postby Mr.Unsmiley » Thu Mar 19, 2015 8:26 am

since it's natural for people to leave after a big event, then comparing current sales to right after Worlds Collide seems less relevant than comparing them to pre-reboot sales.
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