DC Comics Month-to-Month Sales: February 2013

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201303221456 DC Comics Month to Month Sales: February 2013
by Marc-Oliver Frisch

As DC keeps clowning around and pushing hard to single-handedly choke the concept of irony to death by summer, the company’s average and total sales figures for new comic books performed solidly in the month of February.

After hiring Bob Harras, hiring Rob Liefeld, hiring every writer and artist who worked at Marvel in 1999, releasing a Green Lantern title especially for kids, releasing more Watchmen comics several of which written by J. Michael Straczynski, making a habit of hiring, promoting, then firing creative personnel on all kinds of titles every month, releasing Before Watchmen: Dollar Bill, hiring a raging homophobe to write Superman and announcing “WTF month,” in February 2013 DC released Justice League of America #1, a new high-profile Geoff Johns vehicle promoted with not one, not three, not 12, but 54 different cover choices, thus making it something like the lynchpin of gimmick-driven market gaming. I mean, the plastic-ring thing from a couple of years back was a fair stab, but this one is bolder.

(The company has since started to celebrate “WTF month” by chasing off various creators about to take over various flagship titles and planning to kill one of its few major minority characters. On the plus side, I suppose at least DC isn’t making a big deal out of shoehorning a property that was popular in Spawn 20 years ago into the tail end of a Bendis crossover.)

Retailers gobbled up those Justice League variants, evidently, giving DC’s average sales figures a solid, if not spectacular boost. Due to the smaller number of new DC titles published in February (70, versus 79 in January), however, the company’s total unit sales still dropped from 2.5 to 2.4 million, and its overall dollar sales from 8.6 to 8.4 million.

Meanwhile, the audience seems to be awfully tired of crossovers. No matter if it’s “Rotworld,” “Throne of Atlantis,” “H’el on Earth” or “Wrath of the First Lantern,” it’s abundantly clear in February that DC badly miscalculated the audience’s patience with such shenanigans. The positive effects on the participating titles are nil, at this stage, and in some cases, the crossovers even seem to be actively hurting sales. The one that’s still working, despite being in its waning stages, is “Death of the Family,” but that’s due to Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo having a spectacularly popular Batman run. The other crossovers lack this sort of centerpiece, and, not surprisingly, it’s showing in the sales figures.

With the media attention and very real sales increases the “New 52″ relaunch brought, DC had the opportunity to make people care. Instead, what readers got were erratic storytelling, creative-team changes — many of them mid-storyline — and crossovers. This didn’t work when Marvel tried it during Bob Harras’ tenure, so it’s puzzling why they thought it might be a good idea this time. The message this sends is that nobody cares about anything, as long as books are coming out and people are dumb enough to buy them. It’s a depressing and demeaning way of running a creative enterprise, for the audience as well as for the creators.

See below for the details and, as usual, please consider the small print at the end of the column. Thanks to Milton Griepp and ICv2.com for the permission to use their figures. An overview of ICv2.com‘s estimates can be found here.

—–

288 - INSURGENT
01/2013: Insurgent #1 of 6 --  7,143
02/2013: Insurgent #2 of 6 --  4,662 (-34.7%)

DC just pulled the emergency plug on this six-issue miniseries after the release of issue #3.

It’s not the first time this has happened, but it’s been a couple of years since they last did it. Sales are terrible enough, of course, but what made DC believe throwing a no-name book out there to fend for itself was going to work? And do they realize what damage cancelling a series midway does to the audience’s confidence in future projects?

It’s always odd when Marvel or DC do this. If they can’t or won’t afford to complete a miniseries, if only as an investment in customer and talent relations, talk of a healthy market rings hollow.

—–

283 - SCOOBY DOO: WHERE ARE YOU? (Johnny DC)
02/2008: Scooby Doo #129 -- 4,161
02/2009: Scooby Doo #141 -- 3,861
02/2010: Scooby Doo #153 -- 3,780
02/2011: SD:WAY? #6      -- 4,456
---------------------------------
02/2012: SD:WAY? #18     -- 4,655 (+ 2.7%)
03/2012: SD:WAY? #19     -- 4,677 (+ 0.5%)
04/2012: SD:WAY? #20     -- 4,752 (+ 1.6%)
05/2012: SD:WAY? #21     -- 5,269 (+10.9%)
06/2012: SD:WAY? #22     -- 4,968 (- 5.7%)
07/2012: SD:WAY? #23     -- 4,934 (- 0.7%)
08/2012: SD:WAY? #24     -- ?
09/2012: SD:WAY? #25     -- 4,979
10/2012: SD:WAY? #26     -- ?
11/2012: SD:WAY? #27     -- 5,032
12/2012: SD:WAY? #28     -- 4,879 (- 3.0%)
01/2013: SD:WAY? #29     -- 4,729 (- 3.1%)
02/2013: SD:WAY? #30     -- 4,752 (+ 0.5%)
----------------
6 months:   n.a.
1 year  : + 2.1%
2 years : + 6.6%
5 years : +14.2%

—–

269 - GREEN LANTERN: THE ANIMATED SERIES (Johnny DC)
04/2012: GL: TAS #1  -- 12,791
05/2012: GL: TAS #2  --  9,615 (-24.8%)
06/2012: GL: TAS #3  --  8,716 (- 9.4%)
07/2012: GL: TAS #4  --  7,790 (-10.6%)
08/2012: GL: TAS #5  --  6,968 (-10.6%)
09/2012: GL: TAS #6  --  6,619 (- 5.0%)
10/2012: GL: TAS #7  --  6,516 (- 1.6%)
11/2012: GL: TAS #8  --  5,961 (- 8.5%)
12/2012: GL: TAS #9  --  5,464 (- 8.3%)
01/2013: GL: TAS #10 --  5,263 (- 3.7%)
02/2013: GL: TAS #11 --  5,211 (- 1.0%)
----------------
6 months: -25.2%

Scooby-Doo, as always, keeps hovering just below 5,000 units, while Green Lantern: The Animated Series appears to be settling down in the same area. Bear in mind that direct-market sales are only part of the equation for these titles, next to subscriptions, mass-market chains, bookstores and libraries. That’s presumably why these titles are still ongoing, while Superman Family Adventures and Young Justice (see below) were both axed.

—–

243 - SAUCER COUNTRY (Vertigo)
03/2012: Saucer Country #1  -- 15,684
04/2012: Saucer Country #2  -- 11,263 (-28.2%)
05/2012: Saucer Country #3  -- 10,656 (- 5.4%)
06/2012: Saucer Country #4  --  9,959 (- 6.5%)
07/2012: Saucer Country #5  --  9,470 (- 4.9%)
08/2012: Saucer Country #6  --  8,700 (- 8.1%)
09/2012: Saucer Country #7  --  8,152 (- 6.3%)
10/2012: Saucer Country #8  --  7,557 (- 7.3%)
11/2012: Saucer Country #9  --  7,102 (- 6.0%)
12/2012: Saucer Country #10 --  6,608 (- 7.0%)
01/2013: Saucer Country #11 --  6,256 (- 5.3%)
02/2013: Saucer Country #12 --  6,067 (- 3.0%)
----------------
6 months: -30.3%

Cancelled with issue #14.

—–

224 - HUMAN BOMB
12/2012: Human Bomb #1 of 4 -- 11,212
01/2013: Human Bomb #2 of 4 --  8,152 (-27.3%)
02/2013: Human Bomb #3 of 4 --  6,931 (-15.0%)

While the creators certainly have a reputation here, in principle, the problem is the same as with Insurgence: a snowball’s chance in hell to stand out in a market that’s already overcrowded.

With 16 ongoing DC Universe titles already selling below the 20,000-unit mark and “New 52″ titles launched as recently as September 2012 dropping like flies, I’m not sure what a miniseries starring a random D-list character released without promotion is supposed to accomplish, other than to tank horribly and immediately.

—–

217 - YOUNG JUSTICE (Johnny DC)
02/2011: Young Justice #1  -- 10,777
------------------------------------
02/2012: Young Justice #13 --  7,237 (- 0.7%)
03/2012: Young Justice #14 --  7,241 (+ 0.1%)
04/2012: Young Justice #15 --  7,273 (+ 0.4%)
05/2012: Young Justice #16 --  7,466 (+ 2.7%)
06/2012: Young Justice #17 --  7,459 (- 0.1%)
07/2012: Young Justice #18 --  7,458 (- 0.0%)
08/2012: Young Justice #19 --  7,375 (- 1.1%)
09/2012: Young Justice #20 --  7,515 (+ 1.9%)
10/2012: Young Justice #21 --  7,558 (+ 0.6%)
11/2012: Young Justice #22 --  7,344 (- 2.8%)
12/2012: Young Justice #23 --  7,200 (- 2.0%)
01/2013: Young Justice #24 --  7,155 (- 0.6%)
02/2013: Young Justice #25 --  7,136 (- 0.3%)
----------------
6 months: - 3.2%
1 year  : - 1.4%
2 years : -33.8%

Cancelled with issue #25. Direct-market sales weren’t that bad, actually, but there you go.

—–

213 - JOE KUBERT PRESENTS
10/2012: Joe Kubert Presents #1 of 6 -- 14,842
11/2012: Joe Kubert Presents #2 of 6 -- 10,542 (-29.0%)
12/2012: Joe Kubert Presents #3 of 6 --  8,897 (-15.6%)
01/2013: Joe Kubert Presents #4 of 6 --  7,876 (-11.5%)
02/2013: Joe Kubert Presents #5 of 6 --  7,288 (- 7.5%)

As a vehicle for new work by industry legend Joe Kubert, this book has a better reason to exist than most, but, once again, as one of 70 DC titles shoved out there to swim or drown on their own terms, these sales are what you get.

—–

203 - THE UNWRITTEN (Vertigo)
02/2010: The Unwritten #10 -- 13,644
02/2011: The Unwritten #22 -- 11,371
------------------------------------
02/2012: The Unwritten #34 --  9,789 (+ 3.2%)
02/2012: The Unwritten #.5 --  9,595 (- 2.0%)
03/2012: The Unwritten #35 --  9,675 (+ 0.8%)
03/2012: The Unwritten #.5 --  9,529 (- 1.5%)
04/2012: The Unwritten #36 --  9,678 (+ 1.6%)
05/2012: The Unwritten #37 --  9,549 (- 1.3%)
06/2012: The Unwritten #38 --  9,494 (- 0.6%)
07/2012: The Unwritten #39 --  9,478 (- 0.2%)
08/2012: The Unwritten #40 --  9,127 (- 3.7%)
09/2012: The Unwritten #41 --  8,943 (- 2.0%)
10/2012: The Unwritten #42 --  8,881 (- 0.7%)
11/2012: The Unwritten #43 --  8,791 (- 1.0%)
12/2012: The Unwritten #44 --  8,532 (- 3.0%)
01/2013: The Unwritten #45 --  8,465 (- 0.8%)
02/2013: The Unwritten #46 --  8,352 (- 1.3%)
----------------
6 months: - 8.5%
1 year  : -13.8%
2 years : -26.6%

The Unwritten keeps slowly drifting down the charts. With Hellblazer and Saucer Country gone, it’s the lowest-selling remaining Vertigo title by 7,000 units. The upcoming arc tying in with Fables may be a final attempt to improve the book’s fortunes.

—–

178 - THE FURY OF FIRESTORM: THE NUCLEAR MEN
02/2012: Firestorm #6  -- 19,162 (-10.2%)
03/2012: Firestorm #7  -- 17,786 (- 7.2%)
04/2012: Firestorm #8  -- 17,076 (- 4.0%)
05/2012: Firestorm #9  -- 17,240 (+ 1.0%)
06/2012: Firestorm #10 -- 15,789 (- 8.4%)
07/2012: Firestorm #11 -- 14,931 (- 5.4%)
08/2012: Firestorm #12 -- 14,137 (- 5.3%)
09/2012: Firestorm #0  -- 17,279 (+22.2%)
10/2012: Firestorm #13 -- 13,460 (-22.1%)
11/2012: Firestorm #14 -- 12,862 (- 4.4%)
12/2012: Firestorm #15 -- 11,997 (- 6.7%)
01/2013: Firestorm #16 -- 11,361 (- 5.3%)
02/2013: Firestorm #17 -- 11,100 (- 2.3%)
----------------
6 months: -21.5%
1 year  : -42.1%

Cancelled with issue #20.

—–

173 - ARROW
11/2012: Arrow #1  -- 25,442
12/2012: Arrow #2  -- 15,780 (-38.0%)
01/2013: Arrow #3  -- 13,090 (-17.1%)
01/2013: Arrow #4  -- 11,581 (-11.5%)

To be frank, I don’t quite expect Arrow will make it past issue #10, at this rate, despite being a digital-first title.

—–

172 - I, VAMPIRE
02/2012: I, Vampire #6  -- 18,153 (- 3.5%)
03/2012: I, Vampire #7  -- 18,440 (+ 1.6%)
04/2012: I, Vampire #8  -- 18,717 (+ 1.5%)
05/2012: I, Vampire #9  -- 17,175 (- 8.2%)
06/2012: I, Vampire #10 -- 16,517 (- 3.8%)
07/2012: I, Vampire #11 -- 15,734 (- 4.7%)
08/2012: I, Vampire #12 -- 14,788 (- 6.0%)
09/2012: I, Vampire #0  -- 17,920 (+21.2%)
10/2012: I, Vampire #13 -- 14,260 (-20.4%)
11/2012: I, Vampire #14 -- 13,666 (- 4.2%)
12/2012: I, Vampire #15 -- 12,846 (- 6.0%)
01/2013: I, Vampire #16 -- 12,310 (- 4.2%)
02/2013: I, Vampire #17 -- 11,833 (- 3.9%)
----------------
6 months: -20.0%
1 year  : -34.8%

Cancelled with issue #19.

—–

171 - DC UNIVERSE PRESENTS
02/2012: DCU Presents #6  -- 20,188 (- 8.4%)
03/2012: DCU Presents #7  -- 17,830 (-11.7%)
04/2012: DCU Presents #8  -- 16,566 (- 7.1%)
05/2012: DCU Presents #9  -- 15,776 (- 4.8%)
06/2012: DCU Presents #10 -- 14,310 (- 9.3%)
07/2012: DCU Presents #11 -- 13,619 (- 4.8%)
08/2012: DCU Presents #12 -- 15,138 (+11.2%)
09/2012: DCU Presents #0  -- 17,528 (+15.8%)
10/2012: DCU Presents #13 -- 14,405 (-17.8%)
11/2012: DCU Presents #14 -- 13,537 (- 6.0%)
12/2012: DCU Presents #15 -- 12,561 (- 7.2%)
01/2013: DCU Presents #16 -- 12,001 (- 4.5%)
02/2013: DCU Presents #17 -- 11,985 (- 0.1%)
----------------
6 months: -20.8%
1 year  : -40.6%

Cancelled with issue #19.

—–

169 - SWORD OF SORCERY
09/2012: Sword of Sorcery #0  -- 29,954
10/2012: Sword of Sorcery #1  -- 23,947 (-20.1%)
11/2012: Sword of Sorcery #2  -- 18,080 (-24.5%)
12/2012: Sword of Sorcery #3  -- 15,280 (-15.5%)
01/2013: Sword of Sorcery #4  -- 13,995 (- 8.4%)
02/2013: Sword of Sorcery #5  -- 12,334 (-11.9%)

Cancelled with issue #8.

—–

168 - AME-COMI GIRLS
10/2012: ACG #1: Wonder Woman      -- 24,966
11/2012: ACG #2: Batgirl           -- 16,083 (-35.6%)
12/2012: ACG #3: Duela Dent        -- 13,185 (-18.0%)
01/2013: ACG #4: Power Girl        -- 12,488 (- 5.3%)
02/2013: ACG #5 of 5: Supergirl    -- 12,343 (- 1.2%)

Another digital-first book, and, after it was first solicited as an ongoing series and then turned into a five-issue mini, to be relaunched once more as an ongoing title in March. Sales have been levelling out here, at least, so maybe it’s worth a shot.

—–

167 - THE SAVAGE HAWKMAN
02/2012: Savage Hawkman #6  -- 21,316 (-11.1%)
03/2012: Savage Hawkman #7  -- 19,433 (- 8.8%)
04/2012: Savage Hawkman #8  -- 18,300 (- 5.8%)
05/2012: Savage Hawkman #9  -- 17,626 (- 3.7%)
06/2012: Savage Hawkman #10 -- 16,417 (- 6.9%)
07/2012: Savage Hawkman #11 -- 15,460 (- 5.8%)
08/2012: Savage Hawkman #12 -- 14,745 (- 4.6%)
09/2012: Savage Hawkman #0  -- 18,750 (+27.2%)
10/2012: Savage Hawkman #13 -- 14,763 (-21.3%)
11/2012: Savage Hawkman #14 -- 14,726 (- 0.3%)
12/2012: Savage Hawkman #15 -- 13,564 (- 7.9%)
01/2013: Savage Hawkman #16 -- 12,852 (- 5.3%)
02/2013: Savage Hawkman #17 -- 12,376 (- 3.7%)
----------------
6 months: -16.1%
1 year  : -46.9%

Cancelled with issue #20.

—–

165 - HELLBLAZER (Vertigo)
02/2008: Hellblazer #241 -- 11,998
02/2009: Hellblazer #252 -- 11,174
02/2010: Hellblazer #264 -- 10,025
02/2011: Hellblazer #276 --  9,466
----------------------------------
02/2012: Hellblazer #288 --  9,553 (+ 2.0%)
03/2012: Hellblazer #289 --  9,363 (- 2.0%)
04/2012: Hellblazer #290 --  9,472 (+ 1.2%)
05/2012: Hellblazer #291 --  9,426 (- 0.5%)
06/2012: Hellblazer #292 --  9,533 (+ 1.1%)
07/2012: Hellblazer #293 --  9,247 (- 3.0%)
08/2012: Hellblazer #294 --  9,396 (+ 1.6%)
09/2012: Hellblazer #295 --  9,143 (- 2.7%)
10/2012: Hellblazer #296 --  9,255 (+ 1.2%)
11/2012: Hellblazer #297 --  9,146 (- 1.2%)
12/2012: Hellblazer #298 --  9,132 (- 0.2%)
01/2013: Hellblazer #299 --  9,329 (+ 2.2%)
02/2013: Hellblazer #300 -- 12,522 (+34.2%)
----------------
6 months: +33.3%
1 year  : +31.1%
2 years : +32.3%
5 years : + 4.4%

Thus ends DC’s longest-running ongoing title. Hellblazer is about to move over to the DC Universe imprint and relaunch as Constantine, a “New 52″ book.

Sales on the title haven’t been spectacular by any stretch, but they’ve been unusually stable. Losing fewer than 3,000 units over five years is no small feat, these days, even if the needle continues to point down ever so slightly. (The five years before that weren’t as kind, mind you. In March 2003, when the set of statistics we’re currently using begins, Hellblazer #182 sold an estimated 17,257 units.)

Looking at recent “New 52″ launches, there’s reason to be skeptical whether a relaunch that’s essentially going to make the book more generic and taking away one of its trademark qualities — being written almost exclusively by British writers of a certain renown — is a particularly prudent move. Of course there’s bound to be a significant sales increase for March’s issue #1. But will the new Constantine title be able to achieve a comparable degree of stability before dropping back to Hellblazer sales levels? The odds aren’t great.

—–

162 - BATWING
02/2012: Batwing #6  -- 21,643 (-10.0%)
03/2012: Batwing #7  -- 21,058 (- 2.7%)
04/2012: Batwing #8  -- 20,373 (- 3.3%)
05/2012: Batwing #9  -- 35,731 (+75.4%)
06/2012: Batwing #10 -- 20,724 (-42.0%)
07/2012: Batwing #11 -- 20,047 (- 3.3%)
08/2012: Batwing #12 -- 18,279 (- 8.8%)
09/2012: Batwing #0  -- 22,135 (+21.1%)
10/2012: Batwing #13 -- 17,166 (-22.5%)
11/2012: Batwing #14 -- 15,967 (- 7.0%)
12/2012: Batwing #15 -- 14,674 (- 8.1%)
01/2013: Batwing #16 -- 13,427 (- 8.5%)
02/2013: Batwing #17 -- 12,595 (- 6.2%)
----------------
6 months: -31.1%
1 year  : -41.8%

Not cancelled yet, amazingly. There’s a new creative team with new plans coming on with issue #20, instead. Not that this will stop DC management to change its mind on everything yesterday.

—–

161 - DEATHSTROKE
02/2012: Deathstroke #6  -- 21,306 (-10.8%)
03/2012: Deathstroke #7  -- 19,744 (- 7.3%)
04/2012: Deathstroke #8  -- 18,834 (- 4.6%)
05/2012: Deathstroke #9  -- 20,878 (+10.9%)
06/2012: Deathstroke #10 -- 19,722 (- 5.5%)
07/2012: Deathstroke #11 -- 17,107 (-13.3%)
08/2012: Deathstroke #12 -- 16,772 (- 2.0%)
09/2012: Deathstroke #0  -- 20,796 (+24.0%)
10/2012: Deathstroke #13 -- 15,078 (-27.5%)
11/2012: Deathstroke #14 -- 14,452 (- 4.2%)
12/2012: Deathstroke #15 -- 13,528 (- 6.4%)
01/2013: Deathstroke #16 -- 12,758 (- 5.7%)
02/2013: Deathstroke #17 -- 12,626 (- 1.0%)
----------------
6 months: -24.7%
1 year  : -40.7%

Cancelled with issue #20.

—–

158 - JSA LIBERTY FILES: THE WHISTLING SKULL
12/2012: Whistling Skull #1 of 6 -- 21,370
01/2013: Whistling Skull #2 of 6 -- 16,593 (-22.4%)
02/2013: Whistling Skull #3 of 6 -- 12,851 (-22.6%)

There’s no readily evident reason for the catastrophic third-issue drop. The debut issue was promoted with a 1:10 variant-cover edition, but there’s no such factor involved between issues #2 and #3.

On the other hand, this is rather closer to what I’d have expected this miniseries to sell in the first place, so maybe there was some retailer incentive for issues #1 and #2 that I’m not aware of — or maybe retailers just heavily miscalculated on those first two issues.

—–

155 - TEAM 7
09/2012: Team 7 #0  -- 34,503
10/2012: Team 7 #1  -- 27,661 (-19.8%)
11/2012: Team 7 #2  -- 19,510 (-29.5%)
12/2012: Team 7 #3  -- 17,090 (-12.4%)
01/2013: Team 7 #4  -- 14,919 (-12.7%)
02/2013: Team 7 #5  -- 13,005 (-12.8%)

Cancelled with issue #8.

—–

151 - DIAL H
05/2012: Dial H #1  -- 45,308
06/2012: Dial H #2  -- 30,618 (-32.4%)
07/2012: Dial H #3  -- 26,109 (-14.7%)
08/2012: Dial H #4  -- 22,733 (-12.9%)
09/2012: Dial H #0  -- 24,070 (+ 5.9%)
10/2012: Dial H #5  -- 19,903 (-17.3%)
11/2012: Dial H #6  -- 17,832 (-10.4%)
12/2012: Dial H #7  -- 16,217 (- 9.1%)
01/2013: Dial H #8  -- 14,672 (- 9.5%)
02/2013: Dial H #9  -- 13,541 (- 7.7%)
----------------
6 months: -40.4%

This this title seems to be fairly well-reviewed, but that won’t save it from meeting its demise very, very, very soon if sales don’t improve drastically.

—–

150 - DJANGO UNCHAINED (Vertigo)
12/2012: Django Unchained #1 of 6 -- 11,795
01/2013: --
02/2013: Django Unchained #2 of 6 -- 13,554 (+14.9%)

It’s pretty unusual for sales to increase by any standard, let alone with the second issue, so this qualifies as a small hit for Vertigo. A motion-picture adaptation selling below the 15K mark certainly won’t save the imprint’s bacon, as far as new periodical comics are concerned, though.

—–

149 - DEMON KNIGHTS
02/2012: Demon Knights #6  -- 23,476 (- 9.1%)
03/2012: Demon Knights #7  -- 22,000 (- 6.3%)
04/2012: Demon Knights #8  -- 21,124 (- 4.0%)
05/2012: Demon Knights #9  -- 20,196 (- 4.4%)
06/2012: Demon Knights #10 -- 19,005 (- 5.9%)
07/2012: Demon Knights #11 -- 18,201 (- 4.2%)
08/2012: Demon Knights #12 -- 17,295 (- 5.0%)
09/2012: Demon Knights #0  -- 20,474 (+18.4%)
10/2012: Demon Knights #13 -- 16,805 (-17.9%)
11/2012: Demon Knights #14 -- 16,005 (- 4.8%)
12/2012: Demon Knights #15 -- 15,152 (- 5.3%)
01/2013: Demon Knights #16 -- 14,168 (- 6.5%)
02/2013: Demon Knights #17 -- 13,571 (- 4.2%)
----------------
6 months: -21.5%
1 year  : -42.2%

It’s too early to tell if sales are genuinely levelling out. In any case, there’s cause to be amazed that Demon Knights hasn’t been axed yet.

—–

148 - STORMWATCH
02/2008: --
02/2009: Stormwatch: PHD #19  --  5,708
---------------------------------------
02/2012: Stormwatch #6        -- 26,076 (-10.4%)
03/2012: Stormwatch #7        -- 24,384 (- 6.5%)
04/2012: Stormwatch #8        -- 23,212 (- 4.8%)
05/2012: Stormwatch #9        -- 22,448 (- 3.3%)
06/2012: Stormwatch #10       -- 20,592 (- 8.3%)
07/2012: Stormwatch #11       -- 19,678 (- 4.4%)
08/2012: Stormwatch #12       -- 18,531 (- 5.8%)
09/2012: Stormwatch #0        -- 21,764 (+17.5%)
10/2012: Stormwatch #13       -- 17,621 (-19.0%)
11/2012: Stormwatch #14       -- 16,559 (- 6.0%)
12/2012: Stormwatch #15       -- 15,437 (- 6.8%)
01/2013: Stormwatch #16       -- 14,411 (- 6.7%)
02/2013: Stormwatch #17       -- 13,657 (- 5.2%)
-----------------
6 months: - 26.3%
1 year  : - 47.6%
5 years :   n.a.

Very slowly levelling out over the last few months. By the time the new creative team gets here with issue #19, though, it’s going to take a small miracle to prevent Stormwatch from being one the danger list.

—–

145 - THE RAVAGERS
05/2012: Ravagers #1  -- 44,230
06/2012: Ravagers #2  -- 31,128 (-29.6%)
07/2012: Ravagers #3  -- 24,963 (-19.8%)
08/2012: Ravagers #4  -- 20,730 (-17.0%)
09/2012: Ravagers #0  -- 22,437 (+ 8.2%)
10/2012: Ravagers #5  -- 18,656 (-16.9%)
11/2012: Ravagers #6  -- 17,334 (- 7.1%)
12/2012: Ravagers #7  -- 16,177 (- 6.7%)
01/2013: Ravagers #8  -- 15,030 (- 7.1%)
02/2013: Ravagers #9  -- 14,223 (- 5.4%)
----------------
6 months: -31.4%

Cancelled with issue #12.

—–

133 - FABLES (Vertigo)
02/2008: Fables #69  -- 24,337
02/2008: Fables #70  -- 23,975
02/2009: Fables #81  -- 22,517
02/2010: --
02/2011: Fables #102 -- 19,215
------------------------------
02/2012: Fables #114 -- 17,374 (- 1.2%)
03/2012: Fables #115 -- 17,384 (+ 0.1%)
04/2012: Fables #116 -- 17,543 (+ 0.9%)
05/2012: Fables #117 -- 17,484 (- 0.3%)
06/2012: Fables #118 -- 18,566 (+ 6.2%)
07/2012: Fables #119 -- 17,110 (- 7.8%)
08/2012: Fables #120 -- 16,704 (- 2.4%)
09/2012: Fables #121 -- 16,596 (- 0.7%)
10/2012: Fables #122 -- 16,513 (- 0.5%)
11/2012: Fables #123 -- 16,229 (- 1.7%)
12/2012: Fables #124 -- 16,018 (- 1.3%)
01/2013: Fables #125 -- 15,983 (- 0.2%)
02/2013: Fables #126 -- 15,480 (- 3.2%
----------------
6 months: - 7.3%
1 year  : -10.9%
2 years : -19.4%
5 years : -35.9%

Presumably, the anniversary issue in January did well enough to cover up the usual underlying decline, hence the larger drop in February. On balance, Fables sticks to its very slow but steady decline.

—–

132 - BATMAN: ARKHAM UNHINGED
04/2012: Arkham Unhinged #1  -- 31,170
05/2012: Arkham Unhinged #2  -- 25,215 (-19.1%)
06/2012: Arkham Unhinged #3  -- 23,322 (- 7.5%)
07/2012: Arkham Unhinged #4  -- 21,809 (- 6.5%)
08/2012: Arkham Unhinged #5  -- 21,059 (- 3.4%)
09/2012: Arkham Unhinged #6  -- 20,259 (- 3.8%)
10/2012: Arkham Unhinged #7  -- 19,890 (- 1.8%)
11/2012: Arkham Unhinged #8  -- 18,393 (- 7.5%)
12/2012: Arkham Unhinged #9  -- 17,220 (- 6.4%)
01/2013: Arkham Unhinged #10 -- 16,113 (- 6.4%)
02/2013: Arkham Unhinged #11 -- 15,703 (- 2.6%)
----------------
6 months: -25.4%

Is this digital-first title levelling out? Too early to tell.

—–

130 - FAIREST (Vertigo)
03/2012: Fairest #1  -- 31,769
04/2012: Fairest #2  -- 22,997 (-27.6%)
05/2012: Fairest #3  -- 22,329 (- 2.9%)
06/2012: Fairest #4  -- 21,156 (- 5.3%)
07/2012: Fairest #5  -- 20,371 (- 3.7%)
08/2012: Fairest #6  -- 19,446 (- 4.5%)
09/2012: Fairest #7  -- 18,626 (- 4.2%)
10/2012: Fairest #8  -- 18,376 (- 1.3%)
11/2012: Fairest #9  -- 17,417 (- 5.2%)
12/2012: Fairest #10 -- 16,919 (- 2.9%)
01/2013: Fairest #11 -- 16,498 (- 2.5%)
02/2013: Fairest #12 -- 16,141 (- 2.2%)
----------------
6 months: -17.0%

Vertigo’s best-selling ongoing title appears to be finding its level around the 16,000-unit mark.

—–

128 - THE LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES
02/2008: Supergirl & LoSH #39 -- 31,123
02/2011: LoSH #10             -- 23,738
---------------------------------------
02/2012: LoSH #6              -- 23,428 (-  8.6%)
03/2012: LoSH #7              -- 21,894 (-  6.6%)
04/2012: LoSH #8              -- 21,457 (-  2.0%)
05/2012: LoSH #9              -- 20,854 (-  2.8%)
06/2012: LoSH #10             -- 19,963 (-  4.3%)
07/2012: LoSH #11             -- 19,421 (-  2.7%)
08/2012: LoSH #12             -- 18,907 (-  2.7%)
09/2012: LoSH #0              -- 21,561 (+ 14.0%)
10/2012: LoSH #13             -- 18,487 (- 14.3%)
11/2012: LoSH #14             -- 17,767 (-  3.9%)
12/2012: LoSH #15             -- 16,912 (-  4.8%)
01/2013: LoSH #16             -- 16,496 (-  2.5%)
02/2013: LoSH #17             -- 16,242 (-  1.5%)
-----------------
6 months: - 14.1%
1 year  : - 30.7%
2 years : - 31.6%
5 years : - 47.8%

Levelling out, at long last. But with sales well below 20K already, that alone might not be enough for the book to survive 2013.

—–

122 - SMALLVILLE SEASON 11
05/2012: Smallville S11 #1  -- 27,004
06/2012: Smallville S11 #2  -- 22,468 (-16.8%)
07/2012: Smallville S11 #3  -- 20,864 (- 7.1%)
08/2012: Smallville S11 #4  -- 19,861 (- 4.8%)
09/2012: Smallville S11 #5  -- 19,499 (- 1.8%)
10/2012: Smallville S11 #6  -- 19,663 (+ 0.8%)
11/2012: Smallville S11 #7  -- 19,104 (- 2.8%)
12/2012: Smallville S11 #8  -- 18,633 (- 2.5%)
01/2013: Smallville S11 #9  -- 17,845 (- 4.2%)
02/2013: Smallville S11 #10 -- 17,024 (- 4.6%)
----------------
6 months: -14.3%

Smallville, another digital-first book, hasn’t quite found its level yet.

—–

121 - BATMAN BEYOND UNLIMITED
02/2012: Unlimited #1          -- 26,589 (+21.8%) [30,683]
03/2012: Unlimited #2          -- 23,570 (-11.4%)
04/2012: Unlimited #3          -- 24,196 (+ 2.7%)
05/2012: Unlimited #4          -- 24,356 (+ 0.7%)
06/2012: Unlimited #5          -- 24,058 (- 1.2%)
07/2012: Unlimited #6          -- 22,555 (- 6.3%)
08/2012: Unlimited #7          -- 21,219 (- 5.9%)
09/2012: Unlimited #8          -- 20,897 (- 1.5%)
10/2012: Unlimited #9          -- 19,877 (- 4.9%)
11/2012: Unlimited #10         -- 19,004 (- 4.4%)
12/2012: Unlimited #11         -- 18,089 (- 4.8%)
01/2013: Unlimited #12         -- 17,446 (- 3.6%)
02/2013: Unlimited #13         -- 17,025 (- 2.4%)
----------------
6 months: -19.8%
1 year  : -36.0%

Also a digital-first title, and Batman Beyond Unlimited continues to level out nicely. For a collection of previously published material, sales upwards of 15K should be perfectly all right.

—–

120 - INJUSTICE: GODS AMONG US
01/2013: Injustice #1  -- 20,733
02/2013: Injustice #2  -- 17,068 (-17.7%)

Another digital-first book. Unlike Arrow or Ame-Comi Girls, Injustice sees a very modest second-issue drop, rather increasing its chances at mid-term survival.

—–

118 - ALL STAR WESTERN
02/2008: Jonah Hex #28 -- 13,614
02/2009: Jonah Hex #40 -- 11,631
02/2010: Jonah Hex #52 -- 11,213
02/2011: Jonah Hex #64 -- 10,255
--------------------------------
02/2012: ASW #6        -- 26,170 (-  3.8%)
03/2012: ASW #7        -- 25,349 (-  3.1%)
04/2012: ASW #8        -- 25,040 (-  1.2%)
05/2012: ASW #9        -- 31,413 (+ 25.5%)
06/2012: ASW #10       -- 25,334 (- 19.4%)
07/2012: ASW #11       -- 23,572 (-  7.0%)
08/2012: ASW #12       -- 22,767 (-  3.4%)
09/2012: ASW #0        -- 25,388 (+ 11.5%)
10/2012: ASW #13       -- 21,481 (- 15.4%)
11/2012: ASW #14       -- 20,186 (-  6.0%)
12/2012: ASW #15       -- 19,190 (-  4.9%)
01/2013: ASW #16       -- 18,254 (-  4.9%)
02/2013: ASW #17       -- 17,398 (-  4.7%)
-----------------
6 months: - 23.6%
1 year  : - 33.5%
2 years : + 69.7%
5 years : + 27.8%

These numbers still aren’t levelling out in any meaningful way.

—–

112 - PHANTOM STRANGER
09/2012: Phantom Stranger #0  -- 40,103
10/2012: Phantom Stranger #1  -- 33,350 (-16.8%)
11/2012: Phantom Stranger #2  -- 24,979 (-25.1%)
12/2012: Phantom Stranger #3  -- 23,378 (- 6.4%)
01/2013: Phantom Stranger #4  -- 19,903 (-14.9%)
02/2013: Phantom Stranger #5  -- 18,032 (- 9.4%)

After the big drop in January, I suspected that my numbers for issues #0 through #3 — which were adjusted for a 10% cut Diamond likes to knock off of returnable comics for the purposes of their charts — may have been wrong this time. But looking at the February figure now, I don’t think so anymore. Phantom Stranger just seems to be dropping quickly.

—–

109 - THRESHOLD
01/2013: Threshold #1  -- 29,312
02/2013: Threshold #2  -- 18,389 (-37.3%)

Looks like my guess that the book might end up below the 20K mark within a few months was rather conservative.

Issue #1 was promoted with a 1:100 variant edition, while the ratio for the issue #2 variant was 1:25 — so that explains at least part of February’s big drop. Overall, though, these sales are emphatically not good. If the numbers don’t improve immediately, Threshold will be in cancellation territory by issue #3.

—–

103 - YOUNG ROMANCE: NEW 52 VALENTINE'S DAY SPECIAL
02/2013: Young Romance #1 -- 20,963

For an inconsequential $7.99 special, this is a surprisingly good number.

—–

102 - LEGENDS OF THE DARK KNIGHT
10/2012: LotDK #1  -- 42,904
11/2012: LotDK #2  -- 30,085 (-29.9%)
12/2012: LotDK #3  -- 25,710 (-14.5%)
01/2013: LotDK #4  -- 22,671 (-11.8%)
02/2013: LotDK #5  -- 21,041 (- 7.2%)

Very slowly levelling out, though it remains the best-selling digital-first title by a few thousand units.

—–

99 - BIRDS OF PREY
02/2008: Birds of Prey #115 -- 23,157
02/2009: Birds of Prey #127 -- 21,424
02/2011: Birds of Prey #9   -- 30,641
-------------------------------------
02/2012: Birds of Prey #6   -- 30,376 (-  4.2%)
03/2012: Birds of Prey #7   -- 29,196 (-  3.9%)
04/2012: Birds of Prey #8   -- 28,661 (-  1.8%)
05/2012: Birds of Prey #9   -- 41,521 (+ 44.9%)
06/2012: Birds of Prey #10  -- 28,457 (- 31.5%)
07/2012: Birds of Prey #11  -- 27,389 (-  3.8%)
08/2012: Birds of Prey #12  -- 26,587 (-  2.9%)
09/2012: Birds of Prey #0   -- 30,574 (+ 15.0%)
10/2012: Birds of Prey #13  -- 25,851 (- 15.5%)
11/2012: Birds of Prey #14  -- 24,904 (-  3.7%)
12/2012: Birds of Prey #15  -- 24,026 (-  3.5%)
01/2013: Birds of Prey #16  -- 23,182 (-  3.5%)
02/2013: Birds of Prey #17  -- 22,112 (-  4.6%)
-----------------
6 months: - 16.8%
1 year  : - 27.2%
2 years : - 27.8%
5 years : -  4.5%

Another 1,000 units gone.

—–

85 - JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK
02/2012: Justice League Dark #6   -- 38,360 (- 6.4%)
03/2012: Justice League Dark #7   -- 36,089 (- 5.9%)
04/2012: Justice League Dark #8   -- 35,022 (- 3.0%)
05/2012: Justice League Dark #9   -- 34,649 (- 1.1%)
06/2012: Justice League Dark #10  -- 33,238 (- 4.1%)
07/2012: Justice League Dark #11  -- 31,792 (- 4.4%)
08/2012: Justice League Dark #12  -- 30,754 (- 3.3%)
09/2012: Justice League Dark #0   -- 34,287 (+11.5%)
10/2012: Justice League Dark #13  -- 30,008 (-12.5%)
11/2012: Justice League Dark #14  -- 28,966 (- 3.5%)
12/2012: Justice League Dark #15  -- 27,712 (- 4.3%)
01/2013: Justice League Dark #16  -- 26,902 (- 2.9%)
02/2013: Justice League Dark #17  -- 25,841 (- 3.9%)
----------------
6 months: -16.0%
1 year  : -32.6%

And another 1,000 units gone.

—–

84 - SUICIDE SQUAD
02/2008: Raise the Flag #6 of 8 -- 16,152
-----------------------------------------
02/2012: Suicide Squad #6       -- 30,834 (-  5.8%)
03/2012: Suicide Squad #7       -- 32,908 (+  6.7%)
04/2012: Suicide Squad #8       -- 32,789 (-  0.4%)
05/2012: Suicide Squad #9       -- 32,581 (-  0.6%)
06/2012: Suicide Squad #10      -- 31,576 (-  3.1%)
07/2012: Suicide Squad #11      -- 29,809 (-  5.6%)
08/2012: Suicide Squad #12      -- 28,302 (-  5.1%)
09/2012: Suicide Squad #0       -- 31,875 (+ 12.6%)
10/2012: Suicide Squad #13      -- 27,644 (- 13.3%)
11/2012: Suicide Squad #14      -- 63,691 (+130.4%) [69,185]
12/2012: Suicide Squad #15      -- 57,132 (- 10.3%)
01/2013: Suicide Squad #16      -- 27,061 (- 52.6%)
02/2013: Suicide Squad #17      -- 26,370 (-  2.6%)
-----------------
6 months: -  6.8%
1 year  : - 14.5%
5 years : + 63.3%

Suicide Squad remains fairly stable overall, on the other hand. The current creative team will still be off the book after issue #19. (This week, at any rate. You never know.)

—–

82 - SUPERBOY
02/2011: Superboy #4  --  27,448
--------------------------------
02/2012: Superboy #6  --  34,520 (-  7.8%)
03/2012: Superboy #7  --  33,050 (-  4.3%)
04/2012: Superboy #8  --  31,900 (-  3.5%)
05/2012: Superboy #9  --  34,838 (+  9.2%)
06/2012: Superboy #10 --  31,358 (- 10.0%)
07/2012: Superboy #11 --  29,677 (-  5.4%)
08/2012: Superboy #12 --  27,518 (-  7.3%)
09/2012: Superboy #0  --  31,840 (+ 15.7%)
10/2012: Superboy #13 --  25,726 (- 19.2%)
11/2012: Superboy #14 --  28,017 (+  8.9%)
12/2012: Superboy #15 --  27,619 (-  1.4%)
01/2013: Superboy #16 --  27,110 (-  1.8%)
02/2013: Superboy #17 --  26,762 (-  1.3%)
-----------------
6 months: -  2.8%
1 year  : - 22.5%
2 years : -  2.5%

At first glance, it looks like sales are levelling out, but there’s still a crossover with Superman and Supergirl going on. So ultimately, it’s quite possible that there’s a much steeper underlying decline here that will become apparent in March.

—–

80 - KATANA
02/2013: Katana #1  -- 27,021

—–

78 - JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA'S VIBE
02/2013: Vibe #1  -- 27,051

Well, Threshold launched with an estimated 29K units in January, and it slipped below 20K with its second issue. So the prospects aren’t rosy here. The silver lining is that the first issues of Katana and Vibe were promoted with 1:50 variants instead of, like Threshold, 1:100 ones, so there’s a fighting chance for the second-issue drop-off not to be entirely as stiff. Even then, though, issues #3 will follow.

In any case, the fact that sales of the two new launches are within 30 units of each other doesn’t bode well. It usually means that retailers didn’t know what to do with these, which, in turn, suggests that there may not be much of an audience clamoring for them.

—–

77 - TALON
09/2012: Talon #0  -- 59,691
10/2012: Talon #1  -- 55,737 (- 6.6%)
11/2012: Talon #2  -- 41,250 (-26.0%)
12/2012: Talon #3  -- 35,034 (-15.1%)
01/2013: Talon #4  -- 30,909 (-11.8%)
02/2013: Talon #5  -- 28,003 (- 9.4%)

Another recently launched title that’s not levelling out in any meaningful way — despite being co-written by new golden boy Scott Snyder and spinning out of a spectacularly successful storyline.

Not good at all, in terms of what it says about the market.

—–

76 - WORLDS' FINEST
05/2012: Worlds' Finest #1  -- 69,531
06/2012: Worlds' Finest #2  -- 51,510 (-25.9%)
07/2012: Worlds' Finest #3  -- 45,514 (-11.6%)
08/2012: Worlds' Finest #4  -- 39,629 (-12.9%)
09/2012: Worlds' Finest #0  -- 42,770 (+ 7.9%)
10/2012: Worlds' Finest #5  -- 35,951 (-15.9%)
11/2012: Worlds' Finest #6  -- 34,338 (- 4.5%)
12/2012: Worlds' Finest #7  -- 32,010 (- 6.8%)
01/2013: Worlds' Finest #8  -- 30,399 (- 5.0%)
02/2013: Worlds' Finest #9  -- 28,332 (- 6.8%)
----------------
6 months: -28.5%

Not remotely finding its level yet.

—–

75 - ANIMAL MAN
02/2012: Animal Man #6     -- 38,504 (- 5.1%)
03/2012: Animal Man #7     -- 36,860 (- 4.3%)
04/2012: Animal Man #8     -- 36,369 (- 1.3%)
05/2012: Animal Man #9     -- 35,699 (- 1.8%)
06/2012: Animal Man #10    -- 34,992 (- 2.0%)
07/2012: Animal Man #11    -- 33,909 (- 3.1%)
08/2012: Animal Man #12    -- 34,549 (+ 1.9%)
09/2012: Animal Man #0     -- 38,295 (+10.8%)
10/2012: Animal Man #13    -- 34,303 (-10.4%)
11/2012: Animal Man #14    -- 33,503 (- 2.3%)
12/2012: Animal Man #15    -- 32,013 (- 4.5%)
01/2013: Animal Man #16    -- 30,322 (- 5.3%)
02/2013: Animal Man #17    -- 29,425 (- 3.0%)
----------------
6 months: -14.8%
1 year  : -23.6%

Let’s put it this way: The “Rotworld” crossover doesn’t seem to have done Animal Man much good.

—–

73 - SUPERGIRL
02/2008: Supergirl #26 --  34,186
02/2009: Supergirl #38 --  34,225
02/2010: Supergirl #50 --  33,338
02/2011: Supergirl #61 --  22,048
---------------------------------
02/2012: Supergirl #6  --  38,719 (-  6.6%)
03/2012: Supergirl #7  --  37,041 (-  4.3%)
04/2012: Supergirl #8  --  36,042 (-  2.7%)
05/2012: Supergirl #9  --  35,129 (-  2.5%)
06/2012: Supergirl #10 --  33,309 (-  5.2%)
07/2012: Supergirl #11 --  31,879 (-  4.3%)
08/2012: Supergirl #12 --  30,420 (-  4.6%)
09/2012: Supergirl #0  --  34,457 (+ 13.3%)
10/2012: Supergirl #13 --  29,450 (- 14.5%)
11/2012: Supergirl #14 --  31,270 (+  6.2%)
12/2012: Supergirl #15 --  30,814 (-  1.5%)
01/2013: Supergirl #16 --  30,350 (-  1.5%)
02/2013: Supergirl #17 --  30,146 (-  0.7%)
-----------------
6 months: -  0.9%
1 year  : - 22.1%
2 years : + 36.7%
5 years : - 11.8%

Sales are levelled out, it would appear, but as with Superboy, the crossover is still in full swing here. So the stability is probably deceiving.

—–

72 - CATWOMAN
02/2008: Catwoman #76 -- 18,798
-------------------------------
02/2012: Catwoman #6  -- 41,447 (- 5.9%)
03/2012: Catwoman #7  -- 39,608 (- 4.4%)
04/2012: Catwoman #8  -- 38,711 (- 2.3%)
05/2012: Catwoman #9  -- 49,726 (+28.5%)
06/2012: Catwoman #10 -- 37,158 (-25.3%)
07/2012: Catwoman #11 -- 35,551 (- 4.3%)
08/2012: Catwoman #12 -- 34,117 (- 4.0%)
09/2012: Catwoman #0  -- 39,117 (+14.7%)
10/2012: Catwoman #13 -- 40,147 (+ 2.6%) [60,257]
11/2012: Catwoman #14 -- 63,653 (+58.6%)
12/2012: Catwoman #15 -- 35,020 (-45.0%)
01/2013: Catwoman #16 -- 33,915 (- 3.2%)
02/2013: Catwoman #17 -- 30,194 (-11.0%)
-----------------
6 months: - 11.5%
1 year  : - 27.2%
5 years : + 60.6%

There’s no discernible reason for the big whopping drop — no crossovers, variant covers or creative-team changes were involved. And Catwoman #17 didn’t come out in the last week of February, either, so a box of copies didn’t just fall off a truck. Very odd.

—–

69 - SWAMP THING
02/2012: Swamp Thing #6  -- 41,235 (- 5.9%)
03/2012: Swamp Thing #7  -- 40,268 (- 2.4%)
04/2012: Swamp Thing #8  -- 39,431 (- 2.1%)
05/2012: Swamp Thing #9  -- 39,385 (- 0.1%)
06/2012: Swamp Thing #10 -- 37,383 (- 5.1%)
07/2012: Swamp Thing #11 -- 36,257 (- 3.0%)
08/2012: Swamp Thing #12 -- 36,696 (+ 1.2%)
09/2012: Swamp Thing #0  -- 40,123 (+ 9.3%)
10/2012: Swamp Thing #13 -- 36,069 (-10.1%)
11/2012: Swamp Thing #14 -- 42,036 (+16.5%)
12/2012: Swamp Thing #15 -- 33,916 (-19.3%)
01/2013: Swamp Thing #16 -- 32,262 (- 4.9%)
02/2013: Swamp Thing #17 -- 31,497 (- 2.4%)
----------------
6 months: -14.2%
1 year  : -23.6%

Levelling out again, evidently. It’s moot, though, since Scott Snyder and Yanick Paquette will be off the book after issue #18.

—–

68 - BATWOMAN
02/2012: Batwoman #6  --  49,227 (- 5.2%)
03/2012: Batwoman #7  --  46,874 (- 4.8%)
04/2012: Batwoman #8  --  45,341 (- 3.3%)
05/2012: Batwoman #9  --  43,942 (- 3.1%)
06/2012: Batwoman #10 --  41,014 (- 6.7%)
07/2012: Batwoman #11 --  38,980 (- 5.0%)
08/2012: Batwoman #12 --  38,064 (- 2.4%)
09/2012: Batwoman #0  --  41,684 (+ 9.5%)
10/2012: Batwoman #13 --  37,315 (-10.5%)
11/2012: Batwoman #14 --  36,395 (- 2.5%)
12/2012: Batwoman #15 --  34,964 (- 3.9%)
01/2013: Batwoman #16 --  34,103 (- 2.5%)
02/2013: Batwoman #17 --  32,041 (- 6.1%)
----------------
6 months: -15.8%
1 year  : -34.9%

Another title with a sales drop for no apparent reason.

—–

59 - RED LANTERNS
02/2012: Red Lanterns #6  -- 43,450 (- 7.5%)
03/2012: Red Lanterns #7  -- 41,628 (- 4.2%)
04/2012: Red Lanterns #8  -- 40,189 (- 3.5%)
05/2012: Red Lanterns #9  -- 39,215 (- 2.4%)
06/2012: Red Lanterns #10 -- 38,005 (- 3.1%)
07/2012: Red Lanterns #11 -- 36,462 (- 4.1%)
08/2012: Red Lanterns #12 -- 35,070 (- 3.8%)
09/2012: Red Lanterns #0  -- 38,928 (+11.0%)
10/2012: Red Lanterns #13 -- 42,804 (+10.0%)
11/2012: Red Lanterns #14 -- 40,779 (- 4.7%)
12/2012: Red Lanterns #15 -- 39,071 (- 4.2%)
01/2013: Red Lanterns #16 -- 38,223 (- 2.2%)
02/2013: Red Lanterns #17 -- 35,839 (- 6.2%)
----------------
6 months: + 2.2%
1 year  : -17.5%

Sales are still slightly ahead of the August figure, to be fair. But looking at the February drop, it’s pretty clear that people are tired of crossovers here: From September through January, the book was part of the “Rise of the Third Army” crossover, and now there’s “Wrath of the First Lantern,” which runs for another three months.

—–

57 - GREEN ARROW
02/2008: Arrow/Canary #5  -- 36,662
02/2009: Arrow/Canary #17 -- 23,392
02/2010: Arrow&Canary #29 -- 16,600
02/2010: Black Arrow #30  -- 42,014
02/2011: Green Arrow #9   -- 33,922
-----------------------------------
02/2012: Green Arrow #6   -- 30,097 (- 10.4%)
03/2012: Green Arrow #7   -- 29,004 (-  3.6%)
04/2012: Green Arrow #8   -- 27,433 (-  5.4%)
05/2012: Green Arrow #9   -- 26,966 (-  1.7%)
06/2012: Green Arrow #10  -- 25,769 (-  4.4%)
07/2012: Green Arrow #11  -- 24,646 (-  4.4%)
08/2012: Green Arrow #12  -- 23,126 (-  6.2%)
09/2012: Green Arrow #0   -- 28,408 (+ 22.8%)
10/2012: Green Arrow #13  -- 22,057 (- 22.4%)
11/2012: Green Arrow #14  -- 21,825 (-  1.1%)
12/2012: Green Arrow #15  -- 20,672 (-  5.3%)
01/2013: Green Arrow #16  -- 19,888 (-  3.8%)
02/2013: Green Arrow #17  -- 36,043 (+ 81.2%)
-----------------
6 months: + 55.7%
1 year  : + 53.0%
2 years : +  6.3%
5 years : -  1.7%

In February, the new creative team of Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino took over Green Arrow, promoted with a 1:50 variant-cover edition and an additional “We Can Be Heroes Blank Cover Variant.” Results are spectacular, obviously.

Now, we know Lemire has some draw as a writer, but I’m wondering what caused the major chunk of the boost here. The “We Can Be Heroes” charity variants, of which DC has been releasing one per month since September 2012, might be the key. To date, they’ve only been used on issues whose sales were — or seemed to be, at least — elevated by other factors. But Green Arrow is making me consider they might be a bigger draw than I previously gave them credit for.

Then again, maybe I’m just underestimating Jeff Lemire’s draw. Either way, we’ll get a better sense next month.

—–

54 - WONDER WOMAN
02/2008: Wonder Woman #17  --  41,948
02/2009: Wonder Woman #29  --  33,237
02/2010: Wonder Woman #41  --  25,354
02/2011: Wonder Woman #607 --  33,053
-------------------------------------
02/2012: Wonder Woman #6   --  54,190 (-  6.0%)
03/2012: Wonder Woman #7   --  51,314 (-  5.3%)
04/2012: Wonder Woman #8   --  50,450 (-  1.7%)
05/2012: Wonder Woman #9   --  48,750 (-  3.4%)
06/2012: Wonder Woman #10  --  47,229 (-  3.1%)
07/2012: Wonder Woman #11  --  45,669 (-  3.3%)
08/2012: Wonder Woman #12  --  44,584 (-  2.4%)
09/2012: Wonder Woman #0   --  49,778 (+ 11.7%)
10/2012: Wonder Woman #13  --  43,731 (- 12.2%)
11/2012: Wonder Woman #14  --  42,384 (-  3.1%)
12/2012: Wonder Woman #15  --  41,641 (-  1.8%)
01/2013: Wonder Woman #16  --  40,105 (-  3.7%)
02/2013: Wonder Woman #17  --  39,110 (-  2.5%)
-----------------
6 months: - 12.3%
1 year  : - 27.8%
2 years : + 18.3%
5 years : -  6.8%

Sales appear to be levelling out, at long last. Historically, this is a solid level for a Wonder Woman title, if not a spectacular one.

—–

53 - TEEN TITANS
02/2008: Teen Titans #56  -- 50,283
02/2009: Teen Titans #68  -- 35,096
02/2010: Teen Titans #80  -- 26,537
02/2011: Teen Titans #92  -- 26,170
-----------------------------------
02/2012: Teen Titans #6   -- 53,123 (-  2.7%)
03/2012: Teen Titans #7   -- 51,402 (-  3.2%)
04/2012: Teen Titans #8   -- 50,814 (-  1.1%)
05/2012: Teen Titans #9   -- 50,261 (-  1.1%)
06/2012: Teen Titans #10  -- 47,491 (-  5.5%)
07/2012: Teen Titans #11  -- 45,367 (-  4.5%)
08/2012: Teen Titans #12  -- 42,817 (-  5.6%)
09/2012: Teen Titans #0   -- 47,318 (+ 10.5%)
10/2012: Teen Titans #13  -- 41,059 (- 13.2%)
11/2012: Teen Titans #14  -- 39,745 (-  3.3%)
12/2012: Teen Titans #15  -- 68,707 (+ 72.9%)
01/2013: Teen Titans #16  -- 63,726 (-  7.3%)
02/2013: Teen Titans #17  -- 39,186 (- 38.5%)
-----------------
6 months: -  8.5%
1 year  : - 26.2%
2 years : + 49.7%
5 years : - 22.1%

The “Death of the Family” crossover moves on, and so do the extra readers it brought to Teen Titans.

Curiously, the solicitation text still name-checks the crossover, and its logo continues to be on the cover. Retailers were having none of it, though. Depending on how relevant the contents actually were, we might see some significant re-order activity here in March.

—–

50 - GREEN LANTERN: NEW GUARDIANS
02/2011: Emerald Warriors #7  -- 44,828
---------------------------------------
02/2012: New Guardians #6     -- 50,319 (- 3.8%)
03/2012: New Guardians #7     -- 48,422 (- 3.8%)
04/2012: New Guardians #8     -- 47,320 (- 2.3%)
05/2012: New Guardians #9     -- 46,237 (- 2.3%)
06/2012: New Guardians #10    -- 44,404 (- 4.0%)
07/2012: New Guardians #11    -- 42,929 (- 3.3%)
08/2012: New Guardians #12    -- 41,479 (- 3.4%)
09/2012: New Guardians #0     -- 46,718 (+12.6%)
10/2012: New Guardians #13    -- 48,500 (+ 3.8%)
11/2012: New Guardians #14    -- 47,062 (- 3.0%)
12/2012: New Guardians #15    -- 45,136 (- 4.1%)
01/2013: New Guardians #16    -- 43,770 (- 3.0%)
02/2013: New Guardians #17    -- 42,285 (- 3.4%)
----------------
6 months: + 1.9%
1 year  : -16.0%
2 years : - 5.7%

The “Rise of the Third Army” crossover leads seamlessly into the “Wrath of the First Lantern” crossover. Once again, sales are still marginally ahead of the book’s August 2012 figures, but at this stage, the crossovers are masking an underlying decline, at best.

—–

49 - FLASH
02/2008: Flash #237      --  37,719
02/2010: Rebirth #6 of 6 --  70,824
02/2011: Flash #9        --  55,980
-----------------------------------
02/2012: Flash #6        --  68,061 (-  5.0%)
03/2012: Flash #7        --  64,975 (-  4.5%)
04/2012: Flash #8        --  63,702 (-  2.0%)
05/2012: Flash #9        --  62,807 (-  1.4%)
06/2012: Flash #10       --  55,681 (- 11.4%)
07/2012: Flash #11       --  53,674 (-  3.6%)
08/2012: Flash #12       --  51,779 (-  3.5%)
09/2012: Flash #0        --  56,890 (+  9.9%)
10/2012: Flash #13       --  49,936 (- 12.2%)
11/2012: Flash #14       --  48,012 (-  3.9%)
12/2012: Flash #15       --  45,925 (-  4.4%)
01/2013: Flash #16       --  44,093 (-  4.0%)
02/2013: Flash #17       --  42,936 (-  2.6%)
-----------------
6 months: - 17.1%
1 year  : - 36.9%
2 years : - 23.3%
5 years : + 13.8%

The book seems to be settling down just above 40K, but given the capricious figures to date, it’s probably still too early to tell.

—–

48 - BEFORE WATCHMEN: DOCTOR MANHATTAN
08/2012: Dr. Manhattan #1 of 4 -- 86,197
09/2012: --
10/2012: Dr. Manhattan #2 of 4 -- 57,226 (-33.6%)
11/2012: --
12/2012: Dr. Manhattan #3 of 4 -- 48,909 (-14.5%)
01/2013: --
02/2013: Dr. Manhattan #4 of 4 -- 43,273 (-11.5%)
----------------
6 months: -49.8%

—–

44 - BEFORE WATCHMEN: COMEDIAN
06/2012: Comedian #1 of 6 -- 115,713
07/2012: Comedian #2 of 6 --  70,762 (-38.9%)
08/2012: --
09/2012: Comedian #3 of 6 --  55,114 (-22.1%)
10/2012: --
11/2012: --
12/2012: Comedian #4 of 6 --  50,073 (- 9.2%)
01/2013: --
02/2013: Comedian #5 of 6 --  44,393 (-11.3%)
----------------
6 Monate:  n.a.

Well, I hope it was worth the damage it’s done to creators’ rights issues for all involved. The sales figures don’t suggest that retailers were rewarded for ordering boatloads of copies early on, at least. The numbers just keep crashing with every new issue.

—–

43 - GREEN LANTERN CORPS
02/2008: Green Lantern Corps #21 -- 47,582
02/2009: Green Lantern Corps #33 -- 44,607 [50,171]
02/2010: Green Lantern Corps #45 -- 75,404
02/2011: Green Lantern Corps #57 -- 52,770
------------------------------------------
02/2012: Green Lantern Corps #6  -- 51,168 (- 5.4%)
03/2012: Green Lantern Corps #7  -- 48,692 (- 4.8%)
04/2012: Green Lantern Corps #8  -- 47,584 (- 2.3%)
05/2012: Green Lantern Corps #9  -- 46,336 (- 2.6%)
06/2012: Green Lantern Corps #10 -- 44,615 (- 3.7%)
07/2012: Green Lantern Corps #11 -- 42,996 (- 3.6%)
08/2012: Green Lantern Corps #12 -- 41,778 (- 2.8%)
09/2012: Green Lantern Corps #0  -- 47,309 (+13.2%)
10/2012: Green Lantern Corps #13 -- 50,773 (+ 7.3%)
11/2012: Green Lantern Corps #14 -- 49,594 (- 2.3%)
12/2012: Green Lantern Corps #15 -- 47,841 (- 3.5%)
01/2013: Green Lantern Corps #16 -- 45,387 (- 5.1%)
02/2013: Green Lantern Corps #17 -- 44,497 (- 2.0%)
----------------
6 months: + 6.5%
1 year  : -13.0%
2 years : -15.7%
5 years : - 6.5%

Another “Wrath of the First Lantern” crossover. You know the drill.

—–

37 - EARTH 2
05/2012: Earth 2 #1  -- 95,742          [102,490]
06/2012: Earth 2 #2  -- 75,936 (-20.7%) [ 84,740] 
07/2012: Earth 2 #3  -- 74,892 (- 1.4%)
08/2012: Earth 2 #4  -- 67,393 (-10.0%)
09/2012: Earth 2 #0  -- 69,111 (+ 2.6%)
10/2012: Earth 2 #5  -- 61,529 (-11.0%)
11/2012: Earth 2 #6  -- 58,271 (- 4.8%)
12/2012: Earth 2 #7  -- 54,409 (- 6.6%)
01/2013: Earth 2 #8  -- 50,860 (- 6.5%)
02/2013: Earth 2 #9  -- 48,208 (- 5.2%)
----------------
6 months: -28.5%

Sliding down the charts, with no end in sight.

—-

32 - RED HOOD AND THE OUTLAWS
02/2012: Red Hood #6  -- 39,898 (- 6.3%)
03/2012: Red Hood #7  -- 38,630 (- 3.2%)
04/2012: Red Hood #8  -- 37,974 (- 1.7%)
05/2012: Red Hood #9  -- 54,220 (+42.8%)
06/2012: Red Hood #10 -- 37,044 (-31.7%)
07/2012: Red Hood #11 -- 35,820 (- 3.3%)
08/2012: Red Hood #12 -- 34,439 (- 3.9%)
09/2012: Red Hood #0  -- 39,511 (+14.7%)
10/2012: Red Hood #13 -- 35,420 (- 6.7%)
11/2012: Red Hood #14 -- 37,710 (+ 6.5%)
12/2012: Red Hood #15 -- 64,103 (+70.0%)
01/2013: Red Hood #16 -- 59,621 (- 7.0%)
02/2013: Red Hood #17 -- 53,076 (-11.0%)
----------------
6 months: +54.1%
1 year  : +33.0%

Interestingly, this wasn’t marketed much differently from Teen Titans in terms of its relevance to the “Death of the Family” crossover, but sales here remain significantly above pre-crossover levels. But the title character played a major role in the crossover, of course, so that’s probably why retailers ordered more heavily here.

—–

29 - BATMAN, INCORPORATED
02/2011: --
------------------------------------
02/2012: --
03/2012: --
04/2012: --
05/2012: Batman, Inc. #1  --  96,486 (+124.1%)
06/2012: Batman, Inc. #2  --  73,654 (- 23.7%)
07/2012: --
08/2012: Batman, Inc. #3  --  66,720 (-  9.4%)
09/2012: Batman, Inc. #0  --  66,112 (-  0.9%)
10/2012: Batman, Inc. #4  --  60,888 (-  7.9%)
11/2012: Batman, Inc. #5  --  58,172 (-  4.5%)
12/2012: Batman, Inc. #6  --  52,636 (-  9.5%)
01/2013: Batman, Inc. #7  --  50,345 (-  4.4%)
02/2013: Batman, Inc. #8  --  55,414 (+ 10.1%)
----------------
6 months: -17.0%
1 year  :  n.a.
2 years :  n.a.

Amazingly, killing off characters still gets a raise out of retailers.

—–

28 - BATMAN: THE DARK KNIGHT
02/2011: --
-----------------------------------
02/2012: Dark Knight #6  --  77,140 (+  0.4%) [80,464]
03/2012: Dark Knight #7  --  75,297 (-  2.4%)
04/2012: Dark Knight #8  --  74,287 (-  1.3%)
05/2012: Dark Knight #9  --  82,169 (+ 10.6%)
06/2012: Dark Knight #10 --  71,671 (- 12.8%)
07/2012: Dark Knight #11 --  68,632 (-  4.2%)
08/2012: Dark Knight #12 --  67,084 (-  2.3%)
09/2012: Dark Knight #0  --  72,919 (+  8.7%)
10/2012: Dark Knight #13 --  65,271 (- 10.5%)
11/2012: Dark Knight #14 --  62,792 (-  3.8%)
12/2012: Dark Knight #15 --  60,569 (-  3.6%)
01/2013: Dark Knight #16 --  58,258 (-  3.8%)
02/2013: Dark Knight #17 --  55,990 (-  3.9%)
-----------------
6 months: - 16.5%
1 year  : - 27.4%

Sliding down the charts.

—–

25 - ACTION COMICS
02/2008: Action Comics #862 --  55,658
02/2009: Action Comics #874 --  48,360
02/2010: Action Comics #886 --  29,845
02/2011: Action Comics #898 --  31,935
--------------------------------------
02/2012: Action Comics #6   --  96,592 (- 11.7%)
03/2012: Action Comics #7   --  91,822 (-  4.9%)
04/2012: Action Comics #8   --  87,980 (-  4.2%)
05/2012: Action Comics #9   --  88,796 (+  0.9%)
06/2012: Action Comics #10  --  80,751 (-  9.1%)
07/2012: Action Comics #11  --  76,232 (-  5.6%)
08/2012: Action Comics #12  --  71,203 (-  6.6%)
09/2012: Action Comics #0   --  78,626 (+ 10.4%)
10/2012: Action Comics #13  --  67,241 (- 14.5%)
11/2012: Action Comics #14  --  64,341 (-  4.3%)
12/2012: Action Comics #15  --  61,298 (-  4.7%)
01/2013: Action Comics #16  --  58,645 (-  4.3%)
02/2013: Action Comics #17  --  57,189 (-  2.5%)
-----------------
6 months: - 19.7%
1 year  : - 40.8%
2 years : + 79.1%
5 years : +  2.8%

As Grant Morrison’s run is nearing its end, DC wants to let everybody know that, once again, they’ve horribly botched the editorial management of one of their flagship titles.

—–

22 - AQUAMAN
02/2012: Aquaman #6  -- 63,450 (- 2.5%)
03/2012: Aquaman #7  -- 62,345 (- 1.7%)
04/2012: Aquaman #8  -- 61,657 (- 1.1%)
05/2012: Aquaman #9  -- 60,527 (- 1.8%)
06/2012: Aquaman #10 -- 59,288 (- 2.1%)
07/2012: Aquaman #11 -- 57,675 (- 2.7%)
08/2012: Aquaman #12 -- 61,210 (+ 6.1%)
09/2012: Aquaman #0  -- 61,227 (+ 0.0%)
10/2012: Aquaman #13 -- 54,648 (-10.8%)
11/2012: Aquaman #14 -- 53,664 (- 1.8%)
12/2012: Aquaman #15 -- 75,947 (+41.5%)
01/2013: Aquaman #16 -- 62,153 (-18.2%)
02/2013: Aquaman #17 -- 58,578 (- 5.8%)
----------------
6 months: - 4.3%
1 year  : - 7.7%

The “Throne of Atlantis” epilogue keeps the figures solidly ahead of the book’s November sales.

—–

21 - BATMAN AND ROBIN
02/2010: Batman and Robin #8  --  87,302
02/2010: Batman and Robin #9  --  84,562
02/2011: Batman and Robin #20 --  60,642
----------------------------------------
02/2012: Batman and Robin #6  --  70,103 (- 3.7%)
03/2012: Batman and Robin #7  --  68,010 (- 3.0%)
04/2012: Batman and Robin #8  --  66,659 (- 2.0%)
05/2012: Batman and Robin #9  --  75,967 (+14.0%)
06/2012: Batman and Robin #10 --  66,894 (-11.9%)
07/2012: Batman and Robin #11 --  65,043 (- 2.8%)
08/2012: Batman and Robin #12 --  63,993 (- 1.6%)
09/2012: Batman and Robin #0  --  69,146 (+ 8.1%)
10/2012: Batman and Robin #13 --  63,097 (- 8.8%)
11/2012: Batman and Robin #14 --  75,543 (+19.7%)
12/2012: Batman and Robin #15 --  89,878 (+19.0%)
01/2013: Batman and Robin #16 --  81,494 (- 9.3%)
02/2013: Batman and Robin #17 --  60,988 (-25.2%)
----------------
6 months: - 4.7%
1 year  : -13.0%
2 years : + 0.6%

As the book emerges from “Death of the Family,” another 20,000 units disappear, magically leaving Batman and Robin where it was before the crossover started — well, almost.

—–

20 - NIGHTWING
02/2008: Nightwing #141 -- 30,980
---------------------------------
02/2012: Nightwing #6   -- 53,036 (- 5.4%)
03/2012: Nightwing #7   -- 50,489 (- 4.8%)
04/2012: Nightwing #8   -- 52,063 (+ 3.1%) [61,711]
05/2012: Nightwing #9   -- 61,395 (+17.9%)
06/2012: Nightwing #10  -- 50,585 (-17.6%)
07/2012: Nightwing #11  -- 49,124 (- 2.9%)
08/2012: Nightwing #12  -- 47,484 (- 3.3%)
09/2012: Nightwing #0   -- 53,109 (+11.9%)
10/2012: Nightwing #13  -- 47,171 (-11.2%)
11/2012: Nightwing #14  -- 50,720 (+ 7.5%)
12/2012: Nightwing #15  -- 74,407 (+46.7%)
01/2013: Nightwing #16  -- 69,643 (- 6.4%)
02/2013: Nightwing #17  -- 62,107 (-10.8%)
-----------------
6 months: + 30.8%
1 year  : + 17.0%
5 years : +100.5%

—–

18 - BATGIRL
02/2010: Batgirl #7      -- 29,524
02/2011: Batgirl #18     -- 24,390
----------------------------------
02/2012: Batgirl #6      -- 53,151 (-  6.8%)
03/2012: Batgirl #7      -- 50,761 (-  4.5%)
04/2012: Batgirl #8      -- 48,878 (-  3.7%)
05/2012: Batgirl #9      -- 58,710 (+ 20.1%)
06/2012: Batgirl #10     -- 47,050 (- 19.9%)
07/2012: Batgirl #11     -- 45,004 (-  4.4%)
08/2012: Batgirl #12     -- 43,804 (-  2.7%)
09/2012: Batgirl #0      -- 50,441 (+ 15.2%)
10/2012: Batgirl #13     -- 50,074 (-  0.7%) [71,109]
11/2012: Batgirl #14     -- 77,468 (+ 54.7%)
12/2012: Batgirl #15     -- 75,341 (-  2.8%)
01/2013: Batgirl #16     -- 72,470 (-  3.8%)
02/2013: Batgirl #17     -- 65,751 (-  9.6%)
-----------------
6 months: + 50.1%
1 year  : + 23.7%
2 years : +169.6%

Two more Batman spin-off titles that keep profiting significantly from the “Death of the Family” aftermath.

—–

17 - GREEN LANTERN
02/2008: --
02/2009: Green Lantern #38  --  68,908 [77,372]
02/2010: Green Lantern #51  --  95,509
02/2011: Green Lantern #62  --  71,517
--------------------------------------
02/2012: Green Lantern #6   --  94,087 (- 3.9%)
03/2012: Green Lantern #7   --  90,232 (- 4.1%)
04/2012: Green Lantern #8   --  88,335 (- 2.1%)
05/2012: Green Lantern #9   --  87,601 (- 0.8%)
06/2012: Green Lantern #10  --  80,615 (- 8.0%)
07/2012: Green Lantern #11  --  78,708 (- 2.4%)
08/2012: Green Lantern #12  --  77,187 (- 1.9%)
09/2012: Green Lantern #0   --  89,909 (+16.5%)
10/2012: Green Lantern #13  --  91,814 (+ 2.1%)
11/2012: Green Lantern #14  --  78,499 (-14.5%)
12/2012: Green Lantern #15  --  74,363 (- 5.3%)
01/2013: Green Lantern #16  --  72,884 (- 2.0%)
02/2013: Green Lantern #17  --  71,060 (- 2.5%)
-----------------
6 months: -  7.9%
1 year  : - 24.5%
2 years : -  0.6%
5 years :    n.a.

The flagship Green Lantern title transitions from “Rise of the Third Army” to “Wrath of the First Lantern,” and it’s nowhere more obvious than here how tired the audience is. But while the Geoff Johns run is running out of steam commercially, all signs currently point to whatever comes after him being a complete disaster.

—–

9 - DETECTIVE COMICS
02/2008: Detective Comics #841 --  50,535
02/2009: --
02/2010: --
02/2011: Detective Comics #874 --  39,106
-----------------------------------------
02/2012: Detective Comics #6   --  94,415 (-  5.0%)
03/2012: Detective Comics #7   --  89,891 (-  4.8%)
04/2012: Detective Comics #8   --  87,675 (-  2.5%)
05/2012: Detective Comics #9   --  96,016 (+  9.5%)
06/2012: Detective Comics #10  --  83,317 (- 13.2%)
07/2012: Detective Comics #11  --  79,835 (-  4.2%)
08/2012: Detective Comics #12  --  75,998 (-  4.8%)
09/2012: Detective Comics #0   --  84,063 (+ 10.6%)
10/2012: Detective Comics #13  --  76,392 (-  9.1%)
11/2012: Detective Comics #14  --  74,560 (-  2.4%)
12/2012: Detective Comics #15  -- 106,395 (+ 42.7%)
01/2013: Detective Comics #16  --  92,300 (- 13.3%)
02/2013: Detective Comics #17  --  85,824 (-  7.0%)
-----------------
6 months: + 12.9%
1 year  : -  9.1%
2 years : +119.5%
5 years : + 69.8%

The secondary Batman title also keeps profiting from “Death of the Family,” even though it’s firmly in the “aftermath” stage.

—–

4 - JUSTICE LEAGUE
02/2008: JL of America #18   --  89,803
02/2009: JL of America #30   --  69,710
02/2010: JL of America #42   --  57,522
02/2011: JL of America #54   --  46,269
---------------------------------------
02/2012: Justice League #6   -- 140,819 (-  2.7%)
03/2012: Justice League #7   -- 136,436 (-  3.1%)
04/2012: Justice League #8   -- 133,240 (-  2.3%)
05/2012: Justice League #9   -- 131,332 (-  1.4%)
06/2012: Justice League #10  -- 130,502 (-  0.6%)
07/2012: Justice League #11  -- 123,971 (-  5.0%)
08/2012: Justice League #12  -- 120,796 (-  2.6%) [161,235]
09/2012: Justice League #0   -- 125,868 (+  4.2%)
10/2012: Justice League #13  -- 117,752 (-  6.5%)
11/2012: Justice League #14  -- 113,094 (-  4.0%)
12/2012: Justice League #15  -- 115,074 (+  1.8%)
01/2013: Justice League #16  -- 117,719 (+  2.3%)
02/2013: Justice League #17  -- 105,304 (- 10.6%)
-----------------
6 months: - 12.8%
1 year  : - 25.2%
2 years : +127.6%
5 years : + 17.3%

Last month, the book was promoted with a “We Can Be Heroes” variant, which may have masked a decline that’s now becoming more evident. Justice League looks like it’s on its way out of the 100K club.

—–

3 - BATMAN
02/2008: Batman #674 --  68,208
02/2009: Batman #686 -- 111,353 [128,780]
02/2010: Batman #696 --  61,290
02/2011: Batman #707 --  58,803
-------------------------------
02/2012: Batman #6   -- 128,459 (-  5.0%) [135,435]
03/2012: Batman #7   -- 131,091 (+  2.1%)
04/2012: Batman #8   -- 130,602 (-  0.4%) [136,218]
05/2012: Batman #9   -- 134,605 (+  3.1%)
06/2012: Batman #10  -- 130,265 (-  3.2%)
07/2012: Batman #11  -- 127,210 (-  2.4%)
08/2012: Batman #12  -- 125,249 (-  1.5%)
09/2012: Batman #0   -- 156,561 (+ 25.0%)
10/2012: Batman #13  -- 148,305 (-  5.3%) [174,642]
11/2012: Batman #14  -- 159,729 (+  7.7%)
12/2012: Batman #15  -- 151,568 (-  5.1%)
01/2013: Batman #16  -- 145,923 (-  3.7%)
02/2013: Batman #17  -- 150,684 (+  3.3%)
-----------------
6 months: + 20.3%
1 year  : + 17.3%
2 years : +156.3%
5 years : +120.9%

Well, continuously spectacular sales, obviously.

There hasn’t been a book that clicked this well this consistently with the audience and sold this well for so long based on one particular creative team in years — in decades, probably.

—–

1 - JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA
02/2008: JL of America #18   --  89,803
02/2009: JL of America #30   --  69,710
02/2010: JL of America #42   --  57,522
02/2011: JL of America #54   --  46,269
---------------------------------------
02/2013: JL of America #1    -- 307,734
-----------------
2 years : +565.1%
5 years : +242.7%

And the big one.

Retailers were able to order each of the book’s 52 “state variants” (including one each for the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico) separately, and there were also the regular cover, an Emerald City Con variant, a Combo Pack Edition and a complete set containing all the variants (the latter two not included in the above sales figure, because they had separate order codes). So, all told, there were 56 ways of buying Justice League of America #1.

And retailers and collectors love that sort of thing, as the numbers amply demonstrate. We’ve seen sales overwhelmingly driven by gimmicks before, of course, but it’s been a while since Marvel or DC employed them on this scale. While the second-issue drop-off will no doubt be huge, it’ll be interesting to see just how huge.

Mind you, even if the book loses two thirds of its sales in March, it’s still going to crack 100K, so everything’s relative.

—–

6-MONTH COMPARISONS
+ 55.7%: Green Arrow
+ 54.1%: Red Hood
+ 50.1%: Batgirl
+ 33.3%: Hellblazer
+ 30.8%: Nightwing
+ 20.3%: Batman
+ 12.9%: Detective Comics
+  6.5%: Green Lantern Corps
+  2.2%: Red Lanterns
+  1.9%: New Guardians
-  0.9%: Supergirl
-  2.8%: Superboy
-  3.2%: Young Justice
-  4.3%: Aquaman
-  4.7%: Batman and Robin
-  6.8%: Suicide Squad
-  7.3%: Fables
-  7.9%: Green Lantern
-  8.5%: Teen Titans
-  8.5%: Unwritten
- 11.5%: Catwoman
- 12.3%: Wonder Woman
- 12.8%: Justice League
- 14.1%: LoSH
- 14.2%: Swamp Thing
- 14.3%: Smallville
- 14.8%: Animal Man
- 15.8%: Batwoman
- 16.0%: JLD
- 16.1%: Hawkman
- 16.5%: Dark Knight
- 16.8%: Birds of Prey
- 17.0%: Batman, Inc.
- 17.0%: Fairest
- 17.1%: Flash
- 19.7%: Action Comics
- 19.8%: BB Unlimited
- 20.0%: I, Vampire
- 20.8%: DCU Presents
- 21.5%: Demon Knights
- 21.5%: Firestorm
- 23.6%: ASW
- 24.7%: Deathstroke
- 25.2%: GL: TAS
- 25.4%: Arkham Unhinged
- 26.3%: Stormwatch
- 28.5%: Worlds' Finest
- 30.3%: Saucer Country
- 31.1%: Batwing
- 31.4%: Ravagers
- 40.4%: Dial H
- 49.8%: Dr. Manhattan

—–

1-YEAR COMPARISONS
+ 53.0%: Green Arrow
+ 33.0%: Red Hood
+ 31.1%: Hellblazer
+ 23.7%: Batgirl
+ 17.3%: Batman
+ 17.0%: Nightwing
+  2.1%: Scooby-Doo
-  1.4%: Young Justice
-  7.7%: Aquaman
-  9.1%: Detective Comics
- 10.9%: Fables
- 13.0%: Batman and Robin
- 13.0%: GL Corps
- 13.8%: Unwritten
- 14.5%: Suicide Squad
- 16.0%: New Guardians
- 17.5%: Red Lanterns
- 22.1%: Supergirl
- 22.5%: Superboy
- 23.6%: Animal Man
- 23.6%: Swamp Thing
- 24.5%: Green Lantern
- 25.2%: Justice League
- 26.2%: Teen Titans
- 27.2%: Birds of Prey
- 27.2%: Catwoman
- 27.4%: Dark Knight
- 27.8%: Wonder Woman
- 30.7%: LoSH
- 32.6%: JLD
- 33.5%: ASW
- 34.8%: I, Vampire
- 34.9%: Batwoman
- 36.0%: BB Unlimited
- 36.9%: Flash
- 40.6%: DCU Presents
- 40.7%: Deathstroke
- 40.8%: Action Comics
- 41.8%: Batwing
- 42.1%: Firestorm
- 42.2%: Demon Knights
- 46.9%: Hawkman
- 47.6%: Stormwatch

—–

2-YEAR COMPARISONS
+565.1%: JLA
+169.6%: Batgirl
+156.3%: Batman
+127.6%: Justice League
+119.5%: Detective Comics
+ 79.1%: Action Comics
+ 69.7%: ASW
+ 49.7%: Teen Titans
+ 36.7%: Supergirl
+ 32.3%: Hellblazer
+ 18.3%: Wonder Woman
+  6.6%: Scooby-Doo
+  6.3%: Green Arrow
+  0.6%: Batman and Robin
-  0.6%: Green Lantern
-  2.5%: Superboy
-  5.7%: New Guardians
- 15.7%: GL Corps
- 19.4%: Fables
- 23.3%: Flash
- 26.6%: Unwritten
- 27.8%: Birds of Prey
- 31.6%: LoSH
- 33.8%: Young Justice

—–

5-YEAR COMPARISONS
+242.7%: JLA
+120.9%: Batman
+100.5%: Nightwing
+ 69.8%: Detective Comics
+ 63.3%: Suicide Squad
+ 60.6%: Catwoman
+ 27.8%: ASW
+ 17.3%: Justice League
+ 14.5%: Scooby-Doo
+ 13.8%: Flash
+  4.4%: Hellblazer
+  2.8%: Action Comics
-  1.7%: Green Arrow
-  4.5%: Birds of Prey
-  6.5%: GL Corps
-  6.8%: Wonder Woman
- 11.8%: Supergirl
- 22.1%: Teen Titans
- 35.9%: Fables
- 47.8%: LoSH

—–
Average Periodical Sales (not counting reprints, reorders shipping after the initial month of release, Johnny DC titles and magazines)

DC COMICS
02/2008: 27,652
02/2009: 23,080
02/2010: 26,199**
02/2011: 23,252**
---------------
02/2012: 31,535 (-  6.9%)**
03/2012: 29,679 (-  5.9%)
04/2012: 31,319 (+  5.5%)
05/2012: 38,708 (+ 23.6%)
06/2012: 37,599 (-  2.9%)
07/2012: 33,837 (- 10.0%)
08/2012: 33,500 (-  1.0%)**
09/2012: 35,811 (+  6.9%)
10/2012: 32,901 (-  8.1%)**
11/2012: 33,872 (+  3.0%)
12/2012: 34,272 (+  1.2%)
01/2013: 31,759 (-  7.3%)
02/2013: 34,711 (+  9.1%)
-----------------
6 months: +  3.6%
1 year  : + 10.1%
2 years : + 49.3%
5 years : + 25.2%
DC UNIVERSE
02/2008: 35,994
02/2009: 30,224
02/2010: 35,895
02/2011: 25,887**
---------------
02/2012: 34,456 (-  7.2%)**
03/2012: 33,229 (-  3.6%)
04/2012: 35,264 (+  6.1%)
05/2012: 44,139 (+ 25.2%)
06/2012: 43,082 (-  2.4%)
07/2012: 38,502 (- 10.6%)
08/2012: 38,047 (-  1.2%)**
09/2012: 39,408 (+  3.6%)
10/2012: 36,571 (-  7.2%)
11/2012: 36,585 (+  0.0%)
12/2012: 36,880 (+  0.8%)
01/2013: 33,485 (-  9.2%)
02/2013: 36,838 (+ 10.0%)
-----------------
6 months: -  3.2%
1 year  : +  6.9%
2 years : + 42.3%
5 years : +  2.4%
VERTIGO
02/2008: 10,885
02/2009: 11,353
02/2010:  9,256
02/2011: 10,295
---------------
02/2012: 10,252 (+ 2.6%)
03/2012: 12,688 (+23.8%)
04/2012: 11,595 (- 8.6%)
05/2012: 11,102 (- 4.3%)
06/2012: 11,448 (+ 3.1%)
07/2012: 11,589 (+ 1.2%)
08/2012: 10,764 (- 7.1%)**
09/2012: 11,710 (+ 8.8%)
10/2012: 11,496 (- 1.8%)**
11/2012: 11,487 (- 0.1%)
12/2012: 11,771 (+ 2.5%)
01/2013: 10,764 (- 8.6%)
02/2013: 12,019 (+11.7%)
-----------------
6 months: + 11.7%
1 year  : + 17.2%
2 years : + 16.8%
5 years : + 10.4%

—–
Disclaimers, et cetera

The numbers above are estimates for comic-book sales in the North American direct market, as calculated by ICv2.com according to the chart and index information provided by Diamond Comic Distributors.

ICv2.com‘s estimates are somewhat lower than the actual numbers, but they are consistent from month to month, so the trends they show are fairly accurate. Since it’s a “month-to-month” column, the comments, unless otherwise noted, are on the most recent month.

Bear in mind that the figures measure sales to retailers, not customers. Also, these numbers do not include sales to bookstores, newsstands, other mass-market retail chains or the United Kingdom. Re-orders are included, so long as they either reached stores in a book’s initial calendar month of release or were strong enough to make the chart again in a subsequent month.

If additional copies of an issue did appear on the chart after a book’s initial calendar month of release, you can see the total number of copies sold in parenthesis behind those issues (e.g. “[36,599]”). Should more than one issue have shipped in a month which is relevant for one of the long-term comparisons, the average between them will be used.

Titles released under the Johnny DC imprint and magazines, such as Mad, mostly sell through channels other than the direct market, so direct-market sales don’t tell us much about their performance. For most Vertigo titles, collection sales tend to be a significant factor, so the numbers for those books should be taken with a grain of salt as well. To learn (a little) more about Vertigo’s collection sales, go right here.

** Two asterisks after a given month in the average charts mean that one or more periodical release did not make the Top 300 chart in that month. In those cases, it’s assumed that said releases sold as many units as the No. 300 comic on the chart for that month for the purposes of the chart, although its actual sales are likely to be less than that.

For a more lyrical approach to discussing sales figures that covers all the essentials in a more condensed, less tedious fashion, finally, go right here.

—–
Marc-Oliver Frisch writes about comics at his weblog and at Comicgate. You can also follow him on Twitter.

Comments

  1. Is this a report about DC sales being solid or an indictment of the publisher’s policies that the writer disagrees with? Seems those should be two different articles.

  2. Wonderer says:

    Well this should be good

    *Grabs the popcorn*

  3. Torsten Adair says:

    RE: JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA

    http://comicsbeat.com/justice-league-of-america-1-the-biggest-book-since-1996/

    “John Jackson Miller says:
    03/12/2013 at 11:39 am
    Bob H, Diamond’s Allyn Gibson has confirmed for me that Diamond broke out the “set” sales into individual issues, and counted them with the rest of the loose issues. They did the same for IDW’s MARS ATTACKS pack and MY LITTLE PONY pack. So I suspect this is how these sorts of packages will be tabulated in the future.”

  4. I stand corrected. Thanks!

  5. Count me as one of those that picked up Green Arrow based on the new creative team! So perhaps they do have some pull!

  6. Nathn says:

    This column was even better than usual this month. Love the analysis and commentary. Keep it up. (4.5 stars!)

  7. Is this a report about DC sales being solid or an indictment of the publisher’s policies that the writer disagrees with? Seems those should be two different articles.
    I think it is all connected. Titles are being impacted by stories that are clearly being run-over by editorial and the exodus of talent who is getting tired of DC’s overwrought editorial tactics. Sales are falling because fans are getting tired of it too. It is also affecting numbers on new series as well. As we see DC bailing on new titles inside of a year, it makes it less likely fans will jump onboard from the get-go.
    I know it has changed my attitude on buying new series from DC. Having been burned on Sword of Sorcery (most recently) and seeing how quickly they are turning over so many other books, I won’t be picking up ANY new series DC publishes until they prove their commitment to it. I know in some ways that becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy of failure if the reading audience isn’t supporting these books from the start, but DC isn’t giving us any reason to. They dump creative teams before a first arc has been completed and go in a different direction on a whim [Voodoo]. If the premise was so questionable to begin with that they couldn’t trust it beyond 5 issues, why publish the damn thing in the first place? They are canceling series after only 8 issues now. They aren’t even really waiting on the trade numbers at this point.
    The only thing I see from DC editorial right now is that they are clueless in terms of what the market wants and will support and are further clueless in how to treat the creative talent they bring on board to tell stories they’ve pitched and had approved. They are running good talent out the door and I think readers are starting to follow as well. I’ve dropped some titles (I otherwise would normally keep following because I like the characters) just because I’m tired of the mess editorial is creating and I don’t want to continue footing the bill for such piss-poor organization and management.

  8. You may want to look at what happened with Insurgent a little differently. Because one of the things not largely publicized was that DC was publishing it while still owned by its creators (aka the Sovereign 7 deal) so the split between the two of them may not have been profitable enough to obviously pay for the printing costs of the remaining issues. We’ll see if they buck the trend though of never completing the work and still decide to put the whole story out in trade format.

    Also, I don’t expect Green Lantern Animated to hang around that much longer with the cartoon gone as well. They just may have more issues in the can then YJ did and they decided to go bi-monthly to spread them out as long as possible.

  9. Yeah with what DC’s gone through this week, the snark has reason to exist without calling the writer bitter this month.

  10. Saipman says:

    Another rocking column.

  11. I guess everything is fair game in the wild frontier that is the internet, but it seems to me that the report of the sales is viciously covered by the commentary.

    “DC Has Solid February” and “Things this writer doesn’t like about DC management policy” are two different pieces, each with its own lead line.

    “As DC keeps clowning around and pushing hard to single-handedly choke the concept of irony to death by summer…”
    Great… it’s snarky. I get that. But what does it even mean?

  12. ““DC Has Solid February” and “Things this writer doesn’t like about DC management policy” are two different pieces, each with its own lead line. ”

    That hardly seems right, Joe — it’s a sales analysis column, using pretty much exactly the same tone for the last umpty years.

    The fact is that it’s hardly a “solid” month for DC when both unit and dollar sales are down from the month before, AND what benefit there is is largely from a single title (and one that *can’t* keep a number that high in month #2) — of the 70 DC comics listed here only SIX increased in sales, while SIXTY decreased. That’s not “solid”, that’s “bleeding”

    I, for one, don’t think that a sales analysis column should cheerlead, but should be blunt and specific about the trends observed. Marc-Oliver does exactly that.

    “Great… it’s snarky. I get that. But what does it even mean?”

    Yeah, I couldn’t figure out that first sentence, either….

    -B

  13. Doctor Timebomb says:

    What happened to the star ratings for every book? That was important and really helpful!

  14. Chris Hero says:

    I can’t believe those drops on Before Watchmen are still so big. That’s not a good sign for the eventual trade collection. I love MOF’s comment about it, though.

  15. Not looking for “cheerleading” at all, but more of a division between actual reporting and editiorializing.

    The way this is written— and yes, the way many of these items have been written here before— it’s more about the writer wanting his opinion to throw a blanket on everything else.

    I’d prefer opinion columns to be labeled as such. But it’s Heidi’s site, so Heidi’s rules.

  16. Rick H says:

    DC must fire Bob Harras before they end up in bankruptcy like Marvel a few years ago. It’s not completely his fault, but he must shoulder the brunt of the blame.

  17. LobsterAfternoon says:

    Love it, never change, MOF. This is by far the best thing on the Beat.

  18. I’d imagine some of the Green Arrow increase is due to Sorrentino fans jumping from the good ship I, Vampire.

  19. Kentucky Fried Horse says:

    This is SPEC-TAC-U-LAR reading! Marc’s calling it like it is! DC is a house on fire with no fire department in sight to put out the flames. I absolutely LOVE the fact that this New 52 thing is pretty close to officially blowing up in their faces. They had a lot of great things set up to come out of Brightest Day and they decided to throw all that potential, along with a lot of loyal longtime readers, out the window in the name of a quick buck. Well, guess what? Now that a lot of their longtime fanbase isn’t around to bail them out anymore, the sales are starting to go into an endless spiral. New readers are a lot more fickle than longtime readers. It’s not too late DC. Undo Flashpoint and some old-timers might give you a chance again.

  20. ghodspeed and What the Fifty-two to you, Marc-Oliver Frisch!

    The eyes of the comic industry are upon you.

  21. PeterCSM730 says:

    I’d bet Batman Inc 8 gets quite a few reorders.

    “As Grant Morrison’s run is nearing its end, DC wants to let everybody know that, once again, they’ve horribly botched the editorial management of one of their flagship titles.” “But while the Geoff Johns run is running out of steam commercially, all signs currently point to whatever comes after him being a complete disaster.”

    I wish comments like this were explained because I have no idea what they’re referring to that supports their cynicism. DC’s changing and botching creative teams is probably mentioned 15 times in this column, and though it may be very true, no examples or information about it is provided.

  22. Awesome Dude says:

    While I appreciate the work you do every month, I often think you’re overly rude, cynical, and snotty.
    HOWEVER-
    Your intro was dead on this month. With what a rotten, creatively bankrupt, and chaotic couple of months DC has had – this month, you were very much in the right, and even as a die-hard DC Fan boy who buys no marvel- i have to agree with you.

    At least Batman, B&R, AM, Swamp, and WW are great! Small victories in a horrifying wasteland!

  23. What a spectacular amount of cancellations.

  24. Matthew. says:

    I love this column. Truthfully, it’s why I read this site. Thanks, MOF!

  25. Nicholas Winter says:

    There will be no bankruptcy of DC as DC is just a unit of Warner Brothers. For DC to go into bankruptcy would mean all of Warner Brothers went into bankruptcy, something that’s *not* going to happen. Go read the annual report for Warner: DC Comics represents far, far less than one tenth of one percent of the revenues generated by the company.

    As Steve Jobs referred to the Apple TV as ‘a hobby’, it’s not unfair to say, that, outside of the movies, DC properties represent a hobby to the company they are part of.

  26. Paul Houston says:

    DC needs to concentrate on their better selling books, and stop putting out bullshit books like Ravagers, Team 7, etc. I realize they got money to burn, but there’s got to be a better way to use it than make terrible books that don’t sell anyway?

  27. Hans Adolph says:

    I get the snark for hiring the 90’s creators. I get the snark for Before Watchmen. I get the snark for Orson Scott Card on Superman. And I get the snark for the 54 variant covers on JLoA. But for the life of me, I do not understand Frisch’s ongoing grievance with DC doing a kid-friendly Green Lantern comic.

    Yes the main books violent. That just makes me all the more appreciative that there’s alternative to those titles that I can actually give to my kids.

  28. *I wish comments like this were explained because I have no idea what they’re referring to that supports their cynicism. DC’s changing and botching creative teams is probably mentioned 15 times in this column, and though it may be very true, no examples or information about it is provided.*

    I guess he’s assuming you read The Beat for stuff other than his column…?

    http://comicsbeat.com/your-morning-superman-and-green-lantern-controversy-links/

  29. Referring to DC comics as a “hobby” for WB is not even a stretch, it makes no sense. Apple has bags of cash, the WB does not this is an issue of maintaining licenses. WB can easily change their plans for how those licenses are maintained especially if comic sales continue on a long term sales decline. The future of DC characters is without a doubt kid’s cartoons, video games and toys. There will be no DC comics as it exists today in the next 15-20 years. Comics are a dying industry.

  30. The Beat says:

    >>> Comics are a dying industry.

    Except sales are up, comics are everywhere, four webcomics had six figures Kickstarters this week, comics are one of the highest grossing apps on the iPad, and so on.

    BZZZZT wrong answer.

  31. Nicholas Winter says:

    Jesse, I don’t know how much WB has for cash on hand but I guarantee that it’s far than enough to keep DC operating, if it does, at a loss for years to come. The value of the characters for film, both live and animated, for outweighs the trivial costs of operating DC given the three Batman films raked in money beyond the wildest dreams of the corporate suits.

    Comic aren’t dying, DC isn’t dying, nor is Marvel dying. Do they put shitty product sometimes? Sure but they’ve that for decades now. But they still make money.

  32. The thing is, Warner or Disney don’t need comics to profit from DC or Marvel properties. Not even Marvel needs comics to profit from its properties anymore, as THE AVENGERS demonstrated last year. So there’s no guarantee that these two major addresses will stick around forever as comics publishers. And while the comics industry goes well beyond Marvel and DC these days in terms of content and distribution channels, the direct market is still very much dependent on them.

    So as long as the Big Two’s efforts in the direct market are the publishing-strategy equivalent of the movie CRANK, as they’ve been for the last few years, I probably wouldn’t bet the farm on the direct market. There’s a good chance it’ll stick around for a good, long while; and there’s an equally good chance it’ll implode spectacularly as soon as Warner or Disney decide it’s no longer worth the hassle, if and when that happens — or simply because too many retailers bought into one plastic-ring or variant-cover scheme too many.

    There’ll always be a comics industry, and its opportunities to thrive outside the direct market have grown dramatically over the last 10 years. But the current period is one of various major transitions, where everything can change overnight and nobody can be sure that what’s true today will be true tomorrow. Let’s not forget that.

  33. Jesse says:

    Character licensing and comics are an entirely different thing. WB made 12.6 billion in 2011 in their Filmed Development Division care to tell us what Total Comic Sales were in 2011? Do they begin with a Billion? Do all comics sales amount to more a less a hit movie? Comics are in fact a niche market and a dying one at that. Saying sales are up is immaterial. Don’t get me wrong I love comics and spend well over $150 a month but let’s be honest character licensing may make money but comics are the very definition of an irrelevant sales market. Kickstarter, hardly an example I know people who sell hand-made yarn on the Internet and semi-support themselves I would hardly call it market or industry.

  34. Sales here for Green Arrow #17 were 4x what they had been over the past year.

    We don’t order any variants, so that was no influence on our orders. Our initial order was 2x normal GA sales, and props to DC for overprinting enough to cover more than one reorder.

  35. Synsidar says:

    I agree that Disney and Time Warner could stop publishing paper comics at any time. All that’s required is for executives to decide that floppy comics are an obsolete format, not worthy of investment.

    While some fans might wish for a return to the “old” DC of some sort, I don’t see that as a possibility. There would be no way of promoting the change positively, and no reason to think that there are enough alienated former readers to make such a move worthwhile. Going back would be comparable to a corporation dumping its new logo and image campaign in favor of the old logo and image.

    And when one considers DC’s crises to material in other formats: to any reader with negative feelings about the content, a crisis was as much a jumping off point as it was a jumping on point. If people rework a pilot, or a writer revises a story, are the reworking and revision supposed to be entertaining? The reader is supposed to be entertained by the finished product.

    It’s possible that,although comics as a format is growing, there are so many forms of online and video entertainment now that superhero comics just aren’t seen as being worth the money.

    SRS

  36. Nicholas Winter says:

    Jesse, my best guess after reading the 2012 financials (which makes the contracts I deal with in the music industry look clear by comparison) is that DC Comics has revenues of less than a hundred million a year. Could be a bit more. Could be a lot less. Even the animated properties makes a lot more revenue than do the printed properties.

    By comparison, they makes more off their NASCAR licensed properties.

  37. Glenn Simpson says:

    re: Catwoman – I wonder if people hung in there a little longer based on Nocenti’s reputation before they figured out she’s batshit crazy.

    re: Green Arrow – I think the overall tone change has a lot to do with the increases, as this brings GA back into a form more people appreciate, regardless of the specific writer or artist.

    re: DC’s editorial practices vs. their sales – I hold to the notion that we don’t know whether a given ousted writer’s product would or would not have been better than what we eventually do get. It’s kinda screwed up in terms of professionalism but there’s no proof it’s having an ill effect on quality. 90% of the people who buy DC comics don’t even know all this stuff is going on – heck we had one guy in this thread who didn’t know about it.

    re: DC cancelling their publishing division – I keep saying that they could end it al, and other people keep telling me that it’s worth it to WB to keep DC around so that they might come up with another Bane or some modern storyline that does successfully feed another movie.

  38. Bzzzt. Right answer Nicholas. Somewhere around 100 million. The whole shootin’ match only runs around 400 million plus GROSS. That is a ridiculously small market by any stretch of the imagination. So is this market growing, really? By what a few thousand books? This is posturing from comic insiders who like to pat themselves on the back and pretend comicland means anything, it doesn’t. One movie in the continental US can gross 400 million, on it’s own. NY’s coffee and Pizza market are bigger than 400 million, respectively. Comics aren’t dying they are already dead. You are sitting around in the wreckage like Kurt Russell at the end of The Thing, the remake.

  39. Nicholas Winter says:

    Jesse, it’s even smaller than that given that at least fifty percent of every dollar spent on comics goes to retailers and jobbers. If Warner didn’t think of it as a legacy hobby business, they’d shut it down tomorrow as they ont need to feed the cash cows of live and animated films.

    I suspect that DC loses money on single issue sales but makes money on trades and the collector market of hard cover editions such as the absolutes.

  40. PeterCSM730 says:

    @caleb: Thanks! I tune in when I have the time but it’s hard to catch every article. That Action Comics bit is incredible. How does that happen? Poor Supes. He’s had a tough decade.

  41. Dan Ahn says:

    DC is at a point where issue #17 of AQUAMAN is outselling issue #2 of a new Wolverine ongoing. And in couple month AQUAMAN is on course to be outselling New Avengers.

    They must be doing something right.

    90% of the sales problems that DC is having are the same as the problems ALL comics companies are having. Things relaunch high but then drop like a stone. Series are launching higher than they did a few years ago, but they’re dropping faster.

  42. @Dan Ahn
    Aquaman is selling good because of Geoff Johns. If you took Johns off of Aquaman, then how will Aquaman sell?
    So let`s not get all excited about Aquaman`s sales.
    respectfully
    “The Amazing Stam”

  43. Shawn Kane says:

    “Well, I hope it was worth the damage it’s done to creators’ rights issues for all involved.”

    Yikes! I can’t figure out if that’s bitterness or just dramatic. I know that many people hoped that their principled stand would be followed by store owners not ordering and fans not buying the book (I didn’t buy or read it) but let’s not make Before Watchmen to be the most catastrophic thing to ever happen to comics.

  44. Shawn Kane says:

    By the way, I’m not a DC apologist. I only buy World’s Finest but in a few years time people will have forgotten all about Before Watchmen. Except for Alan Moore fans who will still want to be outraged by DC.

  45. I enjoyed this month’s column very much; the introduction was particularly on point.

    I have a lot of positive feelings for characters like Superman and Batman, and great memories of Grant Morrison’s JLA run. It’s sad to see the editors, through sheer incompetence, do such a disservice to these ageless characters.

  46. Micah says:

    Jeff Lemire’s run is a natural successor to the incredible Andy Diggle/Jock Green Arrow miniseries a few years back. It has the same tone and makes me think back on Bendis & Maleev’s early Daredevil stuff. Fantasic start.

    And thanks MOF for the column. Love it to pieces.

  47. Wow! Dan Ahn states that Aquaman #17 is outselling Wolverine #2, so DC must be doing something right & this fact is immediately dismissed as inconsequential because Geoff Johns is writing it. Who cares? It’s Aquaman! Aquaman has rarely outsold any comic ever! Would anyone have predicted that would happen during a major Marvel reboot?

    For all their many mistakes, DC is still doing many things right in this market. Why can’t both be acknowledged and discussed without the dripping sarcasm and/or hate?

  48. Heinz Hochkoepper says:

    Very interesting discussion this month. These sales figures prove that DC can be quite successful in several ways. Combining top characters with popular creators produces top sales (Justice League, Batman). Combining third tier characters with popular creators produces very respectable sales (Aquaman, Swamp Thing). Even obscure characters can produce moderate successes when a talented creator comes along (Animal Man). However, the numbers also show one thing quite clearly: 52 is too much. I don’t understand why DC doesn’t just concentrate on what works, plus a handful of titles for genre diversification and experimentation. Surely 30 titles or so would be enough for that? Brian Hibbs recently wrote how harmful the glut of titles is for retailers and the market as a whole. So can any of you industry experts explain what motivates DC to produce far more titles than the market supports?

  49. Nicholas Winter says:

    Heinz, my counting shows that Marvel has sixty five titles scheduled for June.

  50. Heinz Hochkoepper says:

    Nicholas: Yes, Marvel faces basically the same situation, though not quite as dramatically. Looking at the current sales chart, I count 47 ongoing titles featuring their main superhero characters (if you count minis and all-ages titles, the number for DC is higher than 52 as well). Marvel also has to cancel titles from time to time (in the current chart 3 are cancelled and 4-6 are in cancellation territory), but not as frequently as DC had to in the last 12 months.

  51. Superboy Prime says:

    DC management are living on borrowed time, If the new Superman movie under-performs WB is putting the hammer on them. It’s make or break time, they need that movie to hit it out of the park and translate into comic sales.

  52. Superboy Prime- not to be a DC apologist, but the truth is the Internet community has been saying Dan Didio’s days are numbered for almost a decade now.(I remember when common wisdom was that his contract as EiC was not going to be renewed and Jimmy Palmiotti was going to take over his job; not only was his contract re-upped by he was eventually promoted to publisher) Regardless of what you or I might think about the editorial choices that have been made under his tenure, the fact remains that DC comics has been very successful with him at the helm.

  53. Good job, DC. What now, ‘nother reboot?

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