Queasda may marginally have sales on his side but any advantage he has is nearly gone. ASM at thrice monthly now sells nearly at what all 3 titles sold prior to OMD/BND. For all the hoopla about this being such a great new era of Spidey its proven to be a creative failure and is on the verge of being a financial one.
The econony is not a factor. Other peer books(aka flagship/top tier titles) have not fallen off at any where near the percentages of ASM.
Other entertainment factors are also a non-variable. The same options have existed for the past 5 years that exist now. Fact is the product is not appealing.
When one dives into the numbers to see how ASM is buyoed its by variants. Marvel has been offering more variants on ASM than any other title. Order 50 copies get a special cover and retailers do it(albeit less and less) in order to please their "variant cover" customers. The do it with gimmicks and guest stars. Wolverine, Punisher, Daredevil, Venom, Eddie Brock in a new symbiote as Anti-Venom and the mother of all whored out guest appearances....Barack Obama in #583. ASM 583 will inflate the overall ASM sales for the month and or year. There are 8 pages on Ebay or people preselling that thing for $50.
As for the 90's--it wasn't the stories that were bad it was the gimmicks. Sure you could cherry pick the bad ones to highlight but we could do the same for the good. The industry was killed in the mid-late 90's cause they bought into the gimmick trend and catered to it thus leading to the collapse when speculators left.
I'll take Clone Saga and Maximum Carnage over the last year of BND Spidey any day. Give me the Infinity Gauntlet trio over Civil War.
The Dark Avengers may be the most intriging thing to come yet from the fiasco lorded over by Joey Q...we shall see.