I'm a big comic geek, but i think there are some interesting business lessons that can be learnt from the way the comics industry has evolved.
Some superheroes are iconic, Superman, Batman,Spiderman, Wolverine. These guys are the big hitters in the comic world, but there are also about a hundred "B team" superhero comics out there. "Animal Man, Green Arrow, X-force" All are popular in their own right, but don't hold a candle to the popularity of say the Hulk.
Marvel/DC know this and so they will produce material starring their biggest names in a variety of styles and with different writers. There are 5 or 6 different Batman books you can get. Each is tailored to a different audience and each comic will have a different version of the character, so in one Batman might be darker, and in another he might be closer to the camp 60's show.
The lesson here is that the comic makers know what their most popular 'products' are and try and diversify them as much as possible to reach the largest audience.
Batman's original villains included Monk, a half vampire/half werewolf. Today he's much more likely to be battling an insane serial killer. Comics are constantly evolving and changing with the times, not just updating their characters and stories but actively hitting the reboot button every ten years when continuity has become too complicated. In 2000 Marvel launched it's "Ultimate" line which had whole new origins and stories for their classic characters with a more realistic tone. This is what a lot of the blockbuster films are based on.
When yo can see your sales getting static then you may be in need of a radical overhaul.
Squeeze The Assets:
Back in the 70s Stan Lee's foray into films was a flop, but now it looks like one of the safest bets Disney has ever made. Each and every one of the superhero line up will be squeezed to get the most out of them.
It's no coincidence that in-between Iron Man 1 and 2 a CGI series appeared with the teenage adventures of Tony Stark. The idea was to introduce those kids too young for the film to the character so that when they were old enough they would be interested in Iron Man.
Marvel and DC treat all of their characters like they were their own brand, their own company and are keen to see a return on their investment. Comic sales have actually been in steady decline, but they know much like the Spiderman Series they can get a new actor, take a new approach, make some new films, and hey presto they've made some more money.
Superheroes are a franchise. What can you do to give value to your business, give value to your brand to put it in a position that someone else could take it on and make money?