dont be mean
be median or mode
damn math fandom bloggers
shut up we have a good range of jokes
this is our domain
guys we’re forgetting the point of this post and going off on a tangent
how did a three-word post cos this many puns
So I was curious how much of the various Bats’ patrol time should be broken up into actual “patrol-and-respond” stuff vs. specific investigations (hitting up a corner where a dealer has been known to go, hitting up a specific meeting, trailing a target, etc.). I had a hunch that it would be a vastly more effective use of their time to work on specific investigations than to just patrol aimlessly, so I started crunching some numbers.
TL;DR: It is in no way, shape or form a better use of the Bats’ time to wander the streets aimlessly than to conduct specific investigations. This is because, if they patrolled a random area, they would encounter an average of at most .10 crimes per night.
Since Gotham City is often compared to NYC, I decided to start with the NYC crime rate, using 2010 numbers, as they’re pretty recent. I am not factoring in any type of supervillain activity in this, since those tend to be special occurrences vs. a usual night’s patrol. I first divided these yearly statistics by 365 to get a general estimation of how many crimes of these categories occur (and are recorded) in NYC per day.
But that’s not quite right, is it? Gotham City is Crime Central in the DCU, so it should rightfully be significantly higher than NYC. I figured that something like 1.5 times the crime rate should work pretty well, so I went ahead and worked with that.
Things after that got a bit more complicated. How to factor in the fact that the Bats patrol only at night? I finally decided that, between the lot of them, the Bats are probably active for a total of 8 hours a night, that being 1/3 of the day, so I divided the new numbers by 3. That’s a bit more than even Batman himself probably does, but we’re going to go with it, for reasons you’re about to see.
Now here’s where it gets interesting. See, the Bats together can’t patrol the whole city, let alone any single vigilante. So I estimated Gotham to be the same square mileage as NYC and figured out the crimes per night per square mile. This isn’t quite accurate, since some areas would have *much* higher crime rates than others, but it’ll do for a baseline number.
I then had to figure out the active patrolling area of any given Bat. I figure that, with their various forms of Batransportation and their ridiculous access to technical stuff, they probably want to have about a maximum ten minute response time to a crime they hear about that occurs on the very opposite end of their active territory for the night. Now, the Bats generally laugh at the speed limit, so we’ll say that they can, if they gun it, go a full 100mph as the crow flies to get to where they need to be. This gives them an active diameter of a whole 1.67 miles, which translates to a circular area of 2.19 square miles for a 6720 square mile city.
So, using the averages, how much crime will they encounter in this entire area at maximum, not accounting for the fact that they would have to hear about the crime and get there in time to respond properly?
0.10 crimes per night.
But this number isn’t quite fair. Of course the Bats are going to spend more time patrolling the higher-crime areas. So what happens if they patrol a really, really nasty area, with a crime rate that’s fully 100 times the average?
Well, there’ll be about 10 crimes in their area during the night. 6 of them, incidentally, will be property crimes. Only 2 will be violent.
So basically, if the Bats stop to respond to your general random crimes, it’s going to be while they’re going back and forth between actual productive investigations.
Compiled by: http://saphire-dance.tumblr.com/
Special thanks to:
AvatarMaxine for pointing us to the sales data over at http://www.comichron.com/monthlycomicssales.html
Gorblax for his ludicrous amounts of data entry
DaggerPen for her editing and help compiling Cass’s Batman indices.
Our full data analysis can be seen here:https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AnV-sN5RRp21dEVibVFFQS0tWEgzcDBRY2d4RHNOUlE#gid=9
When defending the return of Barbara Gordon to the Batgirl title and the benching of her successors Cassandra Cain and Stephanie Brown, Babs’s “iconic” nature is usually cited. And admittedly, when it comes to other media adaptations, Barbara seems to have a clear advantage, something seemingly reflected in the sales of her run compared to that of Cass and Steph:
But with the boost in sales the New 52 brought, comparing their runs is difficult. Babs obviously sells more copies, certainly, but only in an era marked by dramatically increased sales for DC in general. Indeed, comparing the stable and related Batman title shows the problem of a raw numbers comparison rather readily:
But then we stumbled upon a solution, the same one Diamond uses to compare comics: Batman.The Sales Index of selected monthly Best Seller Charts is presented as a comparative tool for retailers and publishers. It presents Diamond’s monthly sales for individual titles in relation to Diamond’s total sales for the issue of DC Comics’ monthly Batman comic book. (Batman is used as the control title – with a value of 100 – because sales of Batman usually remain relatively stable.) This allows for easy comparison to other titles and helps retailers gauge their orders for all other titles. This formula is only a guide, other factors may impact a titles’ ability to sell in certain locations and clientele.
The index number, a percentage of how the comic sells in relation to Batman, makes it easy to compare titles sold in different timeframes and economic situations. It’s not perfect; while Batman is chosen for its relative stability, major events in the title can cause dramatic changes in the index of other titles during the month. Hush alone virtually halved the Batman index of most other titles during its run. However, despite these fluctuations, comparisons to Batman are extremely useful in determining the success of a book.
So, how do the Batgirls stack up when you look at Batman indices alone?
But don’t start crowing with victory just yet, Cass and Steph fans. Babs’s Batgirl run is occurring during a period of vastly increased sales for Batman, something which did not occur during the entirety of the other Batgirls’ runs.
So what does this mean, then? It means that there is no one true Batgirl.
Really. There is absolutely no hard and fast indication that Babs, Steph or Cass would have triumphed in terms of sales if given the same circumstances in the New 52. We cannot say with absolute certainty that Cass or Steph would have beaten Babs. But we certainly can’t say that Babs would automatically sell over Cass or Steph, either.
But what about the other debate that’s been going on, that of Barbara as Batgirl vs. as Oracle? Well, that’s not quite so cut and dried, either. In terms of Batman index, Oracle takes the lead by a healthy margin, with the Oracle mini heartily outdoing the Batgirl: Year One mini, and all Birds of Prey books outdoing Barbara as Batgirl.
In terms of raw numbers, though, the trends are slightly less clear. Barbara as Batgirl in the New 52 once again dominates, yet Oracle’s mini outsells Batgirl: Year One, and both miniseries outdo the original Birds of Prey, yet not the Gail-written Birds of Prey Volume Two.
So while Oracle seems perhaps to have a slight edge, it still can’t be pinpointed for certain.
One thing that is clear, however, is that the changes to Birds of Prey in the New 52 were not for the best. Consider the Batman Sales Indices of the three Birds of Prey series so far:
But what about in terms of raw sales? Well…
Certainly, the New 52’s BOP series outsold the original BOP run in terms of average issues, but only barely, and BOP V2 actually outsold it, making it the only pre-Flashpoint title in this analysis to outsell its New 52 counterpart. Suffice to say, things aren’t looking too good for the Birds of Prey.
Why could this be? Well, there are a variety of possibilities, potentially but not necessarily including subpar writing (this is not necessarily a condemnation of the writer’s abilities; we haven’t read this book. It’s just a possibility), the differing cast, and, especially, the loss of its three original and core members: Helena Bertinelli, Dinah Lance, and Barbara Gordon as Oracle. The lack of Gail Simone is another definite possibility: Gail tends to sell very, very well, something seen across these titles:
All this, of course, begs the question: with no clear evidence that Barbara as Batgirl would have outsold either her successors Cass or Steph or her other well-known identity of Oracle, but with clear evidence that Birds of Prey has suffered from the changes made to it, was it truly the right decision to return Barbara to Batgirl? And was it truly the right decision to eject Gail Simone from the DCnU?
We’ll leave you all to ponder that one.
Oh, and if any of you wanted to see more charts:
This is absolutely fascinating.
I am interested to see how Gail Simone’s leave impacts the title as it seems many readers were reading exclusively because she was on it.
Yeah, we’re definitely going to be keeping a close eye on those sales. I have a feeling that Babs’s book is about to take a nosedive…