I was talking on Thursday about how it used to be common for me to keep buying books for a long time after I'd stop enjoying them. Some of that I'm sure was inertia - I'd been buying the book for awhile, and it was just routine by then - but most of it was that treacherous foe, hope. You know, thinking "It's gonna get better any minute now." So I keep buying it, and it keeps not getting better, and eventually I catch on that things aren't going to improve.
Here's my question for you. Has staying with a book you were disappointed/dissatisfied with ever paid off? Has one ever actually gotten better for you?
I've been trying to think of one myself, but it's tricky. These days most titles don't last long enough for it to be an issue. They either get canceled before quality hits a lull, or before they've been in a rut long enough I can think about dropping it. For a lot of the rest, I ended up dropping them, so if they turned around, it didn't happen fast enough.
I considered Nova, because there was a stretch when he returned to Earth for Secret Invasion that persisted for several months that I wasn't a huge fan of. I'm pretty sure there are multiple issues I reviewed where I mentioned how badly I wanted him to get back into space. Eventually DnA did send Nova back into space, and the book picked up for its last year. That being said, the book wasn't ever in any danger of being dropped, because it wasn't bad, just not as good as it had been.
The best example I could come up with was Ultimate Spider-Man. There was a period, '04 and '05, something like 20-30 issues, where the book went through this dark patch I didn't love. Ultimate Carnage, Gwen dying, Peter breaking up with MJ, the Hobgoblin arc, the Warriors arc. Those last two weren't bad, but they were too padded out, even by Bendis' standards. Warriors was an 8-part story that could have been 5, easy, and Hobgoblin could have 4, probably even 3, and I think that killed the impact of what could otherwise have been a pretty affecting story. The one slightly more upbeat story in there was that Freaky Friday deal with Spidey and Wolverine, which wasn't a bad idea for a 2-parter, but doing it immediately after Gwen died was poor timing.
There was definitely some dissatisfaction there, but the Silver Sable story was a little better, I really liked the Deadpool story (even if I hated Ultimate Deadpool, which looking back, maybe that was the point), There was a Morbius story that was, not bad, and hey it was only 2 parts, so it wasn't stretched out! Clone Saga was, well, that was overlong and kind of a mess, but it had some good parts to it, and I liked the Ultimate Knights arc that was Bagley's send off. It's not my favorite stretch on the book (I think that might be the 20 issues between Ultimate Venom and Ultimate Carnage), but it was a significant upswing, so I'm glad I stuck around for that. If X-Factor is any indication, once I drop a book, it's even harder to start buying it again than it was to stop.
That's my story, but what about you?