One of the most disturbing things I think I've viewed in all my years of comic booking has been the stubborn tendencies of the comic book reader, i.e. how they (meaning "we", I've been guilty of this too in the past) can continue to buy something they hate for whatever reason you care to insert. Sometimes it's "blind loyalty" in that particular title or character or even company or what have you, or maybe it's simply hope in that whatever it is they're bitterly sinking three or four of their hard earned dollars into a month will rebound out of it's funk or lull, or that a new creative team will come in and breath new life into the book. Call it whatever you want though, but at the risk of sounding brusque, I can't help but call it masochistic.
Nothing pains me more than being in a comic shop and hearing someone comment as towards the awfulness of something in their stack with a little off-the-cuff "Yeah, this is going to suck" as they anticipate more of the same. I really just cannot comprehend the kind of self-abuse that it takes to do this to one's self when it comes to their entertainment; to continually sink money into something that is doing anything but entertaining unless it's just that bad of a trainwreck you can at least get that little twinge of perverse joy from it's general crudiness. Comic book fans have to be the abused wives of the entertainment world; blacken their eye and kick them down a flight of stairs and thirty days later they'll pony up three dollars for you to do it again.
Sad thing is, I've been there. I get the idea behind these habits, I've kicked them once before and don't ever plan on looking back, that's why it's so hard to watch people struggle with their inability to shrug off these shackles of mediocrity and tell the people that produce these for our enjoyment that they're not accomplishing their jobs very well. I understand that you love Batman, so much so that it seems like even a shitty Batman story is better than none at all, but that's just such a horrible thing to do to oneself and, honestly, it's just going to hurt your comics as well as it's just showing the publishers that they can shovel you any piece of shit they choose and you'll burn it down like coal to fuel their journey to neutering the marketplace of any form of creativity.
There's no reason for this to happen though, and not only does it cost you money, and reward the publishers for uninspired work, but it denies other, more worthy and well crafted products of the support and capital they need to thrive. For almost a handful of months now I've watched people pick up TRINITY weekly at the shop and curse it's averageness or, even worse if you ask me, revel in averageness with an "it's not bad" as they read and dismiss it immediately before moving on. Don't get me started on the idea of buying a book just because it "doesn't suck" either, but just think about the implications of those actions for a second. TRINITY is a weekly book at the standard pricing of $3 an issue. So, that's four issues a month, fifty-two issues a year obviously, at a cost of around, say, $160 with tax, all for "not bad". Four issues of "not bad" a month that could be going to the purchase a trade a month from Amazon or InStock as someone tries out a new series like a SCALPED or DMZ or what have you. Or $3 a week that could to go picking up the first issue of Joe Kelly's FOUR EYES from Image, or hopping on the new story arc for NOVA or getting on GREEN LANTERN in time for the Blackest Night story. It just boggles my mind.
One of the main reasons the comic book industry will never go anywhere is that the fans it has already accumulated are push overs. They don't expect more from their comics. They're willing to basically take what they're given and bitch about it when they do. They get slapped around and come crawling back for more because the bad attention is better than none at all. Not even trying to play the "Indie card" with why readers continue to piss away money on bad books they're familiar with as opposed to great books they may not have heard of before, this goes on just with just the big publishers themselves. I'm not trying to say you should go out and pony up with Image and Dark Horse and Oni just because the Flash sucks right now, but hey, maybe that three dollars a month you're burning on shitty FLASH books just filling the time until Rebirth hits could be used to, I dunno, try the aforementioned NOVA or something of its ilk. Or maybe you could try out the SCALPED's and FEAR AGENT's and WASTELAND's of the industry, but there's just no excuse to continue such backwards behavior. If you really love something, let it go, because god forbid maybe enough of our fellow readers will do the same in enough numbers to let the great publishing gods know we're not having their shit anymore. We're tired of their yearly events that don't live up to the hype and promises, we're sick of them just throwing out another Batman title with little or no creativity behind it, just an assumption that because of the name on the book it'll garner enough readership to pad their bottom line, and we're sick of them fucking with books and characters in hopes of driving up cheap sales with gimmicks and the illusion of change.
Everyone should expect more out of their comics, and they should expect more out of themselves and their range of tastes and reading habits as well. Lowered expectations or just a "go with the flow" attitude are not going to accomplish anything but stagnancy in the industry and more "abusive" behavior from the publisher to the reader as they just assume their audience will just take it and accept it as the way it should be. Maybe if us readers actually put some weight into our buying habits, we can really start to capture the eye of larger public when we show them what our little monthly pamphlets are really capable of. That'll be a Brand New Day indeed...