Following up on my last post, it is apparent to me that unless Marvel and DC allow change we could see the death of comics or at least their continued slow decline is sales. While sales have increased slightly in recent years the overall trend is down.
As proof that change is the one great element missing in comics look at several events in comic history that prove the finite is better for sales then the infinite. A tenet of some philosophies is that we love something more because it doesn't last forever.
Marvel became the number one company because they allowed characters to age and change in the first ten plus years of Marvel's existence.
Seminal comic stories that resonate with fans are Kingdom Come, Dark Knight Returns, Watchmen all have elements where change is occurring or has occurred and we are seeing its repercussions.
The book that generated one of the longest lines for comic books and brought back tons of lapsed fans and non-fans to the stores was the Death of Superman. If that had been allowed to stand and a story followed with a new Superman we could have keep more of those readers. How well would the Death of Spider-Man or Batman sell?
If true change is allowed and the books are cleaned up a little to make them a little more all age friendly (not dumbed down) comics could be exciting again, the 24 news hungry for stories would cover these events and bring back lapsed fans and maybe generate new ones.
If a series has a beginning, middle and an end (like Gaiman's Sandman) we can tell better stories. This is not one solution fits all, but it is an approach that should be considered to give super-hero comics some life.