Originally Posted by Kurosawa
DC long ago decided they would be further challenged over Superman's rights and decided to make the rights-and-costs controlled Batman their centerpiece character. In fact, DC argued during the court case that Superman has lost popularity and therefore value, and that they should have to pay less as a result. Of course Superman lost value-DC tanked him on purpose by making him a Marvel-lite character and Batman's *****.
Yeah, this new revamp will the 5th new origin for Superman since 2000. There is no stability in creative teams or direction. Superman is in Wonder Woman territory at this point-he only has a comic because of his name. As soon as they got some momentum going, they wreck it. And how Elliot S! Maggin or Mark Waid is not the Superman editor is beyond me.
IMO you are spot on as to why DC shifted the flaghip status to Batman over the past 15 or so years.
The fact DC owned Batman completely and the franchise wasn't near to going public meant they could make the biggest profit off this franchise - because they don't have to share half of it with a co-owner.
Even before the lawsuit, DC knew that Superman would be going public in a few years. Right about now actually - though the bill Congress passed extended that in the meantime 25 years out.
As a business decision it makes some sense. You leverage your most profitable properties.
But it's meant Superman has languised and his sales have dropped and the failure to promote him as they did Batman has made him fade as an iconic character. We saw that in the disappointing opening weekend for SR.
Recently the books have been atrocious. Superman was AWOL from one of his books for a year as Luthor took it over. The stories are uninteresting and the art not as good as you see in GL or Flash.
Of couse Maggin or Waid aren't editors cause DC won't spend the big bucks on Superman as it does on Batman and GL.
JMHO but I see DC's focus now as creating a new character using the elements it retains from Superman. Tweaking that character until it passes court muster as non-derivative and voila!
Not only will they escape the legal wrath of Toberoff and the heirs, they will own the character full on and the clock will start fresh on when it goes pubic. In other words they can use the character exclusively for 75 years while the heirs and Toberoff will see their rights disappear in 2030.