DC Comics Month-to-Month Sales: July 2013 – The Ring Bling

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201308291250 DC Comics Month to Month Sales: July 2013   The Ring Bling
by Marc-Oliver Frisch

Breaking: Comics retailers will buy any old rubbish.

The direct market is a peculiar distribution channel, and it has its hang-ups. One of the more peculiar aspects of this arrangement is how at every level — publishing, retail and consumer — its users fail singularly and incessantly to exercise or even realize their ability to help shape the market in such a way as to better serve their interests, while simultaneously bemoaning the situation that results.

The latest consequence of this permanent and collective state of cognitive dissonance involves DC’s “Villains Month” event in September. San Francisco retailer Brian Hibbs wasn’t thrilled with the idea of 52 $3.99 comics with special 3-D covers to begin with, as he explained in a June 20 column — even best-case, Hibbs points out, an entire comics line consisting of fill-in issues exclusively offered with high-end gimmick covers would have been a nightmare for retailers, for a variety of reasons.

Seven weeks later, Hibbs’s worst worries had come true. DC claims to be unable to satisfy all orders on its stunt, the publisher’s handling of the situation has resulted in one big mess, and retailers are not amused. Leo McGovern from New Orleans calls it “ridiculous” and “a money-grab,” and admits he has considerable trouble making sense of the situation; “I look at this as either a complete blunder or a very sneaky way to inflate sales in a very underhanded manner,” writes Mike Milewski (San Antonio, Texas), concluding that “the unintended consequences are devastating”; Rich Biedrzycki (Schaumburg, Illinois) surmises that the term F.O.C. may have an entirely different meaning at DC Comics; and Hibbs, in a piece titled “The staggeringly epic incompetence of DC Entertainment,” refers to the publisher’s efforts as “shameful” and “EVIL” (his capitalization).

So, are retailers just the hapless victims of a cynical and ill-considered scheme by a Big Two publisher?

In his initial piece about “Villains Month,” well before it imploded on the market, Hibbs formulated his basic issue with DC’s September output:

“Ultimately, because of the ‘vignette’ nature of this event, and because of the creative teams announced, I am left with the sense that the actual content is absolutely irrelevant to the overall program. That, in some sense, it doesn’t really matter what is between covers this month. But, we’re in a content business!”

Really? I disagree.

If the direct market — at least DC’s corner of it — were a content business, then I think publishers would focus on works that keep selling long-term and attract new readers; retailers would reward this type of product and steer their customers towards it; and most of those customers would be readers, rather than hardcore enthusiasts and collectors.

When DC relaunched its line of superhero titles in September 2011, there was quite a bit of mainstream-media attention. None of this attention — none of it — focused on the stories themselves. It was all about the logistics of the relaunch, and although DC managed to get these books under the noses of dozens of mainstream outlets, nothing in those books seemed noteworthy or relevant enough to constitute a hook. On the contrary: By the time all those new readers (who, it turns out, weren’t new readers at all) had supposedly digested the content of the books, the hype died down. This was DC’s major chance to make a splash and get its books into many more hands than usual, and it worked, and nobody cared about anything that happened in any of the stories, any more than before the relaunch. The hardcore readers and comics critics picked their favorites, as they always do, and within weeks, the media attention evaporated.

A content business?

Comparing the variant-cover editions solicited by DC for release in the month of July in the last 10 years, the number of variants quadrupled from 3 in 2003 (all 50/50 variants) to 12 in 2008 (six 50/50 variants, five 1:10 variants and one 1:25 variant).

By July 2013, the number has grown to 55 (thirty 1:25 variants, nine “Combo Pack Editions,” six 1:100 variants, one 1:300 variant, and one “We Can Be Heroes” charity variant, plus eight more unspecified variants on Superman Unchained #2) — more than four and a half times what it was in 2008.

DC COMICS VARIANT-COVER EDITIONS (BASED ON SOLICITATIONS)
July 2003:  3 variants/83 titles
July 2004:  0 variants/85 titles
July 2005:  2 variants/79 titles
July 2006:  5 variants/80 titles
July 2007:  5 variants/77 titles
July 2008: 12 variants/97 titles
July 2009: 15 variants/84 titles
July 2010: 25 variants/90 titles
July 2011: 14 variants/86 titles
July 2012: 38 variants/80 titles
July 2013: 55 variants/78 titles

If anything, DC’s direct-market performance has, over the course of the last 10 years, become less content-based than ever. It’s not just the number of the variants that has increased, but also the number of units retailers have to purchase in order to be able to buy them.

And retailers keep playing along.

In February, when DC offered 54 variant editions of a single new title, retailers were not discouraged by content-based considerations and ordered more than 300,000 copies total. In March, though still distorted by a 1:100 variant, sales of the second issue dropped by 70% — an expected drop, since everybody knew that the initial orders way outnumbered any actual demand. It was all about the variant editions.

A content business?

In November 2009, as part of its its “Blackest Night” crossover, DC offered a bunch of promotional plastic rings to retailers under the condition that they order shiploads of six usually lower-selling titles. Not wanting to disappoint any collectors among their customers, retailers happily complied — never mind that this involved ordering about 100,000 units total of those six comic books that they knew nobody had any interest in. (Marvel quickly rose to the occasion and offered retailers a special variant-edition comic in return for shredded copies of the unwanted DC stock they had acquired.)

And this wasn’t the last time retailers bought comics from DC in order to be able to purchase plastic rings. The stunt came up again in early 2010, to push the next Green Lantern-based publishing event; and once more in June and July 2013, to promote the new post-Geoff Johns creative teams.

Since DC tied the promotion to titles that were doing relatively well to begin with in those subsequent iterations, results were less spectacular. But looking at the difference between June’s Green Lantern #21 (which was part of the plastic ring promotion) and July’s Green Lantern #22 (which wasn’t), nearly 10,000 extra sales in June don’t exactly speak for a great amount of restraint. (The four spin-off titles were still involved in the plastic-ring promotion in July, so we won’t be able to gauge the full effect of the plastic rings until the August figures are out.)

A content business?

There’s nothing wrong with catering to collectors, if that’s what you think you should be doing. But if comics retailers want to be part of a content business, they’re either kidding themselves or failing to act in their own best interests.

Unless the content business we’re talking about is one where retailers are content to gobble up anything that glitters, regardless of content.

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.

—–

230 - THE UNWRITTEN (Vertigo)
07/2009: The Unwritten #3  -- 17,028
07/2010: The Unwritten #15 -- 13,023
07/2011: The Unwritten #27 -- 10,787
------------------------------------
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%)
03/2013: The Unwritten #47 --  8,267 (- 1.0%)
04/2013: The Unwritten #48 --  8,226 (- 0.5%)
05/2013: The Unwritten #49 --  8,234 (+ 0.1%)
06/2013: The Unwritten #50 -- 10,124 (+23.0%)
07/2013: The Unwritten #51 --  9,143 (- 9.7%)
----------------
6 months: + 8.0%
1 year  : - 3.5%
2 years : -15.2%

The Unwritten is cancelled with issue #54 in October, and to be relaunched in January.

Looking at recent developments at Vertigo, The Unwritten has become the odd man out. All lower-selling titles have been axed or rebooted, and the next Vertigo ongoing series up the chart is now Fairest, which sells almost 4,000 units more. It’s always worth pointing out that paperback collections are a factor at the imprint, but then again, good paperback sales tend to apply to titles with good comic-book sales. Still, it’s not inconceivable that collection sales and generally favorable reviews convinced DC to go for a relaunch.

Mike Carey and Peter Gross imply that the relaunch was something they suggested to their editor for narrative reasons — the word “sales” doesn’t appear at all in that interview, bizarrly.

But relaunches of this type almost never boost sales for more than a few issues, anyway, and the creators are quick to stress that only a few more arcs are left to tell. So maybe a relaunch makes sense here, commercially. If we’re talking about, say, a year’s worth of more stories, then that expected initial boost may help carry The Unwritten over the finish line — particularly since the current Fables tie-in storyline doesn’t really lift the numbers as much as DC might have hoped.

—–

226 - ARROW (Digital-First)
11/2012: Arrow #1  -- 25,442
12/2012: Arrow #2  -- 15,780 (-38.0%)
01/2013: Arrow #3  -- 13,090 (-17.1%)
02/2013: Arrow #4  -- 11,581 (-11.5%)
03/2013: Arrow #5  -- 10,908 (- 5.8%)
04/2013: Arrow #6  -- 10,462 (- 4.1%)
05/2013: Arrow #7  -- 10,017 (- 4.3%)
06/2013: Arrow #8  --  9,671 (- 3.5%)
07/2013: Arrow #9  --  9,334 (- 3.5%)
----------------
6 months: -28.7%

Cancelled with issue #12.

—–

224 - THRESHOLD
01/2013: Threshold #1  -- 29,312
02/2013: Threshold #2  -- 18,389 (-37.3%)
03/2013: Threshold #3  -- 15,109 (-17.8%)
04/2013: Threshold #4  -- 12,811 (-15.2%)
05/2013: Threshold #5  -- 11,209 (-12.5%)
06/2013: Threshold #6  -- 10,184 (- 9.1%)
07/2013: Threshold #7  --  9,361 (- 8.1%)
----------------
6 months: -68.1%

Cancelled with issue #8.

—–

207 - TOM STRONG AND THE PLANET OF PERIL (Vertigo)
07/2003: --
------------------------------------------
06/2010: Robots of Doom #1 of 6  -- 10,552
07/2010: Robots of Doom #2 of 6  --  7,655
08/2010: Robots of Doom #3 of 6  --  6,989
09/2010: Robots of Doom #4 of 6  --  6,661
10/2010: Robots of Doom #5 of 6  --  6,271
11/2010: Robots of Doom #6 of 6  --  5,995
------------------------------------------
07/2013: Planet of Peril #1 of 6 -- 10,492
---------------
10 years: n.a.

The latest miniseries featuring the Alan Moore character starts out pretty much exactly like the last one. Which should be no great surprise, given that it’s by the same creative team.

On the other hand, the debut issue of the 2010 mini was promoted with a 1:10 variant edition, while the current one comes with a 1:25 variant, so there probably is a small degree of attrition from debut issue to debut issue.

And of course, the return of the former WildStorm property is a disappointment for the reorganized Vertigo: There’s no effect whatsoever from switching publishing imprints. On the contrary, these are poor sales even by the Vertigo standards of the last few years.

—–

205 - AME-COMI GIRLS (Digital-First)
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%)
03/2013: Ame-Comi Girls #1         -- 16,558 (+34.2%)
04/2013: Ame-Comi Girls #2         -- 12,878 (-22.2%)
05/2013: Ame-Comi Girls #3         -- 12,007 (- 6.8%)
06/2013: Ame-Comi Girls #4         -- 11,229 (- 6.5%)
07/2013: Ame-Comi Girls #5         -- 10,672 (- 5.0%)
----------------
6 months: -14.5%

Cancelled with issue #8.

—–

198 - GREEN TEAM
05/2013: Green Team #1  -- 27,775
06/2013: Green Team #2  -- 14,328 (-48.4%)
07/2013: Green Team #3  -- 11,220 (-21.7%)

—–

196 - KATANA
02/2013: Katana #1  -- 27,021
03/2013: Katana #2  -- 19,247 (-28.8%)
04/2013: Katana #3  -- 16,157 (-16.1%)
05/2013: Katana #4  -- 14,804 (- 8.4%)
06/2013: Katana #5  -- 12,998 (-12.2%)
07/2013: Katana #6  -- 11,346 (-12.7%)

The two lowest-selling “New 52″ titles that haven’t been axed, as I’m writing this. Sales continue to be abysmal.

—–

195 - DEMON KNIGHTS
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%)
03/2013: Demon Knights #18 -- 12,975 (- 4.4%)
04/2013: Demon Knights #19 -- 12,941 (- 0.3%)
05/2013: Demon Knights #20 -- 12,195 (- 5.8%)
06/2013: Demon Knights #21 -- 11,627 (- 4.7%)
07/2013: Demon Knights #22 -- 11,364 (- 2.3%)
----------------
6 months: -19.8%
1 year  : -37.6%

Cancelled with issue #23.

—–

193 - DIAL H
07/2003: H-E-R-O #6 -- 19,366
-----------------------------
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%)
03/2013: Dial H #10 -- 13,084 (- 3.4%)
04/2013: Dial H #11 -- 13,355 (+ 2.1%)
05/2013: Dial H #12 -- 12,381 (- 7.3%)
06/2013: Dial H #13 -- 11,905 (- 3.9%)
07/2013: Dial H #14 -- 11,421 (- 4.1%)
----------------
6 months: -22.2%
1 year  : -56.3%
10 years: -41.0%

Cancelled with issue #15.

—–

190 - STORMWATCH
07/2003: Stormwatch: TA #13   -- 13,018
07/2008: --
07/2009: Stormwatch: PHD #22  --  5,090
---------------------------------------
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%)
03/2013: Stormwatch #18       -- 13,255 (- 2.9%)
04/2013: Stormwatch #19       -- 13,626 (+ 2.8%)
05/2013: Stormwatch #20       -- 13,049 (- 4.2%)
06/2013: Stormwatch #21       -- 12,277 (- 5.9%)
07/2013: Stormwatch #22       -- 11,792 (- 4.0%)
-----------------
6 months: - 18.1%
1 year  : - 40.1%
5 years :   n.a.
10 years: -  9.4%

Another “New 52″ that has not been cancelled yet and keeps sliding down the charts.

—–

189 - 100 BULLETS: BROTHER LONO (Vertigo)
07/2003: 100 Bullets #46      -- 17,108
07/2008: 100 Bullets #93      -- 10,796
---------------------------------------
06/2013: Brother Lono #1 of 8 -- 17,489
07/2013: Brother Lono #2 of 8 -- 11,984 (-31.5%)
----------------
5 years : +11.0%
10 years: -30.0%

There was a 1:25 variant for issue #1, so the drop is not as terrible as it looks. Still, that means sales weren’t impressive to begin with, and now Brother Lono remains only about 1,000 units ahead of the old 100 Bullets title. Whatever caused The Wake to sell as well as it did, it doesn’t seem to be affecting any of the other Vertigo launches, to date.

—–

187 - BATWING
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%)
03/2013: Batwing #18 -- 12,084 (- 4.1%)
04/2013: Batwing #19 -- 13,570 (+12.3%)
05/2013: Batwing #20 -- 13,302 (- 2.0%)
06/2013: Batwing #21 -- 12,437 (- 6.5%)
07/2013: Batwing #22 -- 12,062 (- 3.0%)
----------------
6 months: -10.2%
1 year  : -39.8%

Another very low-selling “New 52″ title that’s still officially ongoing. In November, it ties in with the “Zero Year” crossover — probably a last-ditch effort to improve the numbers.

—–

185 - JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA'S VIBE
02/2013: Vibe #1  -- 27,051
03/2013: Vibe #2  -- 19,092 (-29.4%)
04/2013: Vibe #3  -- 16,972 (-11.1%)
05/2013: Vibe #4  -- 14,970 (-11.8%)
06/2013: Vibe #5  -- 13,706 (- 8.4%)
07/2013: Vibe #6  -- 12,241 (-10.7%)

And one more still-ongoing “New 52″ title in terminal decline. Issue #5 was the last one supported with a 1:25 variant cover, so that explains at least part of the big drop. The July issue was also the last one drawn by Pete Woods. (Original co-writers Geoff Johns and Andrew Kreisberg bolted after issue #3.)

—–

177 - SMALLVILLE SEASON 11 SPECIAL (Digital-First)
05/2013: Smallville S11 Special #1 -- 13,988
06/2013: --
07/2013: Smallville S11 Special #2 -- 12,858 (-8.1%)

Not bad sales for a $4.99 book containing previously published material.

—–

176 - BATMAN: ARKHAM UNHINGED (Digital-First)
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%)
03/2013: Arkham Unhinged #12 -- 15,067 (- 4.1%)
04/2013: Arkham Unhinged #13 -- 14,702 (- 2.4%)
05/2013: Arkham Unhinged #14 -- 14,048 (- 4.5%)
06/2013: Arkham Unhinged #15 -- 13,729 (- 2.3%)
07/2013: Arkham Unhinged #16 -- 13,046 (- 5.0%)
----------------
6 months: -19.0%
1 year  : -40.2%

Cancelled with issue #20, and to be relaunched as Batman: Arkham Origins, in order to tie in with the upcoming new video game of the same title. Print sales haven’t been stellar, either, lately.

—–

171 - FAIREST (Vertigo)
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%)
03/2013: Fairest #13 -- 15,693 (- 2.8%)
04/2013: Fairest #14 -- 15,269 (- 2.7%)
05/2013: Fairest #15 -- 14,959 (- 2.0%)
06/2013: Fairest #16 -- 14,289 (- 4.5%)
07/2013: Fairest #17 -- 13,915 (- 2.6%)
----------------
6 months: -15.7%
1 year  : -31.7%

Standard attrition.

—–

164 - THE MOVEMENT
05/2013: The Movement #1  -- 29,246
06/2013: The Movement #2  -- 18,001 (-38.5%)
07/2013: The Movement #3  -- 14,524 (-19.3%)

Another horrendous drop for a “New 52″ title. The writing is on the wall.

—–

161 - THE LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES
07/2003: Legion #22           -- 22,987
07/2008: LoSH #43             -- 27,531
07/2008: LoSH #44             -- 29,954
07/2010: LoSH #3              -- 36,360
07/2011: LoSH #15             -- 21,788
---------------------------------------
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%)
03/2013: LoSH #18             -- 16,148 (-  0.6%)
04/2013: LoSH #19             -- 16,015 (-  0.9%)
05/2013: LoSH #20             -- 15,532 (-  3.0%)
06/2013: LoSH #21             -- 14,997 (-  3.5%)
07/2013: LoSH #22             -- 14,726 (-  1.8%)
-----------------
6 months: - 10.7%
1 year  : - 24.2%
2 years : - 32.4%
5 years : - 48.8%
10 years: - 35.9%

Cancelled with issue #23.

—–

157 - SMALLVILLE SEASON 11 (Digital-First)
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%)
03/2013: Smallville S11 #11 -- 16,502 (- 3.1%)
04/2013: Smallville S11 #12 -- 15,930 (- 3.5%)
05/2013: Smallville S11 #13 -- 15,442 (- 3.1%)
06/2013: Smallville S11 #14 -- 15,097 (- 2.2%)
07/2013: Smallville S11 #15 -- 14,930 (- 1.1%)
----------------
6 months: -16.3%
1 year  : -28.4%

Levelling out around the 15K mark, evidently.

—–

156 - FABLES (Vertigo)
07/2003: Fables #15  -- 25,567
07/2008: Fables #74  -- 24,166
07/2009: Fables #86  -- 22,447
07/2010: --
07/2011: Fables #107 -- 18,523
------------------------------
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%)
03/2013: Fables #127 -- 15,529 (+ 0.3%)
04/2013: Fables #128 -- 15,606 (+ 0.5%)
05/2013: Fables #129 -- 15,380 (- 1.5%)
06/2013: Fables #130 -- 15,129 (- 1.6%)
07/2013: Fables #131 -- 15,109 (- 0.1%)
----------------
6 months: - 5.5%
1 year  : -11.7%
2 years : -18.4%
5 years : -37.5%
10 years: -40.9%

Holding level with the start of a new arc.

—–

154 - BATMAN BEYOND UNLIMITED (Digital-First)
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%)
03/2013: Unlimited #14         -- 16,456 (- 3.3%)
04/2013: Unlimited #15         -- 16,283 (- 1.1%)
05/2013: Unlimited #16         -- 15,822 (- 2.8%)
06/2013: Unlimited #17         -- 15,464 (- 2.3%)
07/2013: Unlimited #18         -- 15,275 (- 1.2%)
----------------
6 months: -12.4%
1 year  : -32.3%

Cancelled, and relaunched in August as Batman Beyond Universe.

—–

153 - ALL STAR WESTERN
07/2008: Jonah Hex #33 -- 14,281
07/2009: Jonah Hex #45 -- 12,588
07/2010: Jonah Hex #57 -- 12,318
07/2011: Jonah Hex #69 -- 10,521
--------------------------------
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%)
03/2013: ASW #18       -- 16,897 (-  2.9%)
04/2013: ASW #19       -- 16,838 (-  0.4%)
05/2013: ASW #20       -- 16,184 (-  3.9%)
06/2013: ASW #21       -- 15,788 (-  2.5%)
07/2013: ASW #22       -- 15,376 (-  2.6%)
-----------------
6 months: - 15.8%
1 year  : - 34.8%
2 years : + 46.2%
5 years : +  7.7%

Standard attrition.

—–

151 - COLLIDER (Vertigo)
06/2013: Collider #1  -- 17,336

This new Vertigo series by Simon Oliver, best known for his previous Vertigo series The Exterminators, and Robbi Rodriguez, who drew the Oni Press title Maintenance, has generated some press by having to change its title with issue #2, because another current comic called Collider is already out there. Not the most fortunate way of launching a new book, certainly. But then again, this is the direct market, where most comics are bought and sold months in advance of actual publication, so there probably won’t be too much of a negative effect — whoever ordered a copy of Collider #2 from their retailer will probably get a copy of The Federal Bureau of Physics #2.

Vertigo took some pains to promote its new wave of titles, not just by talking to the mainstream press about them and through the now obligatory 1:25 variant editions, but also by making the first few issues of some of them returnable. Consequently, according to Diamond Comic Distributors, “comics marked with an asterisk have had their reported quantities reduced due to retailer returnability, and thus may rank lower on the charts than their actual sales would reflect,” as usual.

In July, this applies to Collider #1 and The Wake #3, as far as Vertigo is concerned, so, as usual, I’m assuming that the Diamond chart only lists about 90% of the sales of these titles, and added the missing 10%, because that has turned out to be correct before; and even if it’s not, it’s still just a different kind of wrong than what Diamond reports.

Bearing all this in mind, Collider #1 sales are marginally better than what we’d come to expect from Vertigo prior to The Wake, but not substantially so. As with Tom Strong or Brother Lono, there’s no sign here of any across-the-board sales improvement based on a rejuvenated Vertigo brand.

—–

147 - LEGENDS OF THE DARK KNIGHT (Digital-First)
07/2003: LotDK #169 -- 26,286
-----------------------------
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%)
03/2013: LotDK #6   -- 19,681 (- 6.5%)
04/2013: LotDK #7   -- 18,201 (- 7.5%)
05/2013: LotDK #8   -- 17,126 (- 5.9%)
06/2013: LotDK #9   -- 16,678 (- 2.6%)
07/2013: LotDK #10  -- 16,184 (- 3.0%)
----------------
6 months: -28.6%
10 years: -38.4%

Cancelled with issue #13. These sales still seem pretty good for a book that consists of previously published material. On the other hand, it’s been quite a decline since issue #1, of course.

Quite possibly, DC is changing its tack on the digital-first books and starting to demand that they pay for themselves in print after a honeymoon period. That would certainly explain the recent wave of cancellations and relaunches.

—–

138 - HE-MAN AND THE MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE
07/2003: MotU Vol. 2 #5 -- 23,500
---------------------------------
07/2012: He-Man #1 of 6 -- 27,665
08/2012: --
09/2012: He-Man #2 of 6 -- 19,737 (-28.7%)
10/2012: He-Man #3 of 6 -- 18,269 (- 7.4%)
11/2012: He-Man #4 of 6 -- 17,499 (- 4.2%)
12/2012: He-Man #5 of 6 -- 16,858 (- 3.7%)
01/2013: He-Man #6 of 6 -- 16,441 (- 2.5%)
02/2013: --
03/2013: --
04/2013: He-Man #1      -- 25,254 (+53.6%)
05/2013: He-Man #2      -- 19,410 (-23.1%)
06/2013: He-Man #3      -- 18,277 (- 5.8%)
07/2013: He-Man #4      -- 18,101 (- 1.0%)
----------------
6 months: +10.1%
1 year  : -34.6%
10 years: -23.0%

Levelling out at the 18K mark, probably.

—–

133 - ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN (Digital-First)
07/2003: Adventures of Superman #618 -- 29,086
----------------------------------------------
05/2013: Adventures of Superman #1   -- 30,992
06/2013: Adventures of Superman #2   -- 22,407 (-27.7%)
07/2013: Adventures of Superman #3   -- 19,453 (-13.2%)
----------------
10 years: -33.1%

An average third-issue drop.

—–

131 - SUPERBOY
07/2011: Superboy #9  --  22,102
--------------------------------
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%)
03/2013: Superboy #18 --  24,455 (-  8.6%)
04/2013: Superboy #19 --  24,211 (-  1.0%)
05/2013: Superboy #20 --  22,508 (-  7.0%)
06/2013: Superboy #21 --  20,952 (-  6.9%)
07/2013: Superboy #22 --  19,984 (-  4.6%)
-----------------
6 months: - 26.3%
1 year  : - 32.7%
2 years : -  9.6%

Dropping below 20K for the first time. There are currently 12 “New 52″ books selling fewer than 20,000 units, and four of them are officially cancelled.

—–

128 - ASTRO CITY (Vertigo)
07/2003: --
07/2009: Dark Age/Bk3 #3 of 4 -- 15,291
07/2010: Silver Agent #1 of 2 -- 13,182
---------------------------------------
06/2013: Astro City #1        -- 27,700
07/2013: Astro City #2        -- 20,193 (-27.1%)
-----------------
5 years :  n.a.
10 years:  n.a.

There was no variant-cover edition in July, so the drop may be somewhat distorted. Generally, Astro City sales are still comfortably ahead of its last few WildStorm miniseries. So unlike most other recent Vertigo launches, this one actually shows noticeable improvement.

All things considered, it seems unlikely that this is due to the Vertigo brand, though. In fact, the recent wave of successful Image titles may have more to do with it; Astro City has more incommon with those titles than it does with the rest of Vertigo’s output, after all. And it started out at Image in 1995, for that matter, and remained there until Jim Lee sold his entire publishing operation to DC Comics in 1999.

—–

127 - BIRDS OF PREY
07/2003: Birds of Prey #57  -- 27,898 [29,178]
07/2008: Birds of Prey #120 -- 21,572
07/2010: Birds of Prey #3   -- 43,420
07/2011: Birds of Prey #14  -- 27,102
-------------------------------------
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%)
03/2013: Birds of Prey #18  -- 21,957 (-  0.7%)
04/2013: Birds of Prey #19  -- 21,707 (-  1.1%)
05/2013: Birds of Prey #20  -- 21,126 (-  2.7%)
06/2013: Birds of Prey #21  -- 20,767 (-  1.7%)
07/2013: Birds of Prey #22  -- 20,209 (-  2.7%)
-----------------
6 months: - 12.8%
1 year  : - 26.2%
2 years : - 25.4%
5 years : -  6.3%
10 years: - 27.6%

Standard attrition.

—–

126 - 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%)
03/2013: Talon #6  -- 25,440 (- 9.2%)
04/2013: Talon #7  -- 24,045 (- 5.5%)
05/2013: Talon #8  -- 22,710 (- 5.6%)
06/2013: Talon #9  -- 21,755 (- 4.2%)
07/2013: Talon #10 -- 20,296 (- 6.7%)
----------------
6 months: -34.3%

Not quite standard attrition. The two Batman spin-off titles are about to drop below 20,000 units.

—–

123 - TRINITY OF SIN: 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%)
03/2013: Phantom Stranger #6  -- 17,375 (- 3.6%)
04/2013: Phantom Stranger #7  -- 17,326 (- 0.3%)
05/2013: Phantom Stranger #8  -- 16,269 (- 6.1%)
06/2013: ToS: PS #9           -- 17,241 (+ 6.0%)
07/2013: ToS: PS #10          -- 20,636 (+19.7%)
----------------
6 months: + 3.7%

Another increase?

Well, the July issue is touted as a “Trinity War” prologue in the advertising text. Maybe the title change in June wasn’t enough of a clue. Or maybe DC promised retailers the one-time opportunity to buy some limited-edition plastic jewelry in return for a few more orders.

—–

120 - ANIMAL MAN ANNUAL
07/2013: Animal Man Annual #2 -- 20,917

A special one-shot by regular writer Jeff Lemire and drawn by Travel Foreman, the artist on the first eight issues of the “New 52″ title. As usual, sales are slightly below those of the series.

—–

115 - BATMAN: LI'L GOTHAM (Digital-First)
04/2013: Li'l Gotham #1  -- 27,591
05/2013: Li'l Gotham #2  -- 18,573 (-32.7%)
06/2013: Li'l Gotham #3  -- 18,578 (+ 0.0%)
07/2013: Li'l Gotham #4  -- 21,646 (+16.5%)

The big increase is due to a special charity variant the issue was promoted with. But there was no drop for the previous issue, so part of the boost may well be genuine.

—–

110 - SUICIDE SQUAD
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%)
03/2013: Suicide Squad #18      -- 25,232 (-  4.3%)
04/2013: Suicide Squad #19      -- 24,300 (-  3.7%)
05/2013: Suicide Squad #20      -- 23,537 (-  3.1%)
06/2013: Suicide Squad #21      -- 22,907 (-  2.7%)
07/2013: Suicide Squad #22      -- 22,447 (-  2.0%)
-----------------
6 months: - 17.1%
1 year  : - 24.7%

Levelling out, just in time for the next creative team to pass the revolving door.

—–

107 - ANIMAL MAN
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%)
03/2013: Animal Man #18    -- 28,711 (- 2.4%)
04/2013: Animal Man #19    -- 27,562 (- 4.0%)
05/2013: Animal Man #20    -- 25,807 (- 6.4%)
06/2013: Animal Man #21    -- 23,862 (- 7.5%)
07/2013: Animal Man #22    -- 22,974 (- 3.7%)
----------------
6 months: -24.2%
1 year  : -32.3%

—–

105 - SWAMP THING
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%)
03/2013: Swamp Thing #18 -- 30,716 (- 2.5%)
04/2013: Swamp Thing #19 -- 29,254 (- 4.8%)
05/2013: Swamp Thing #20 -- 27,338 (- 6.6%)
06/2013: Swamp Thing #21 -- 25,186 (- 7.9%)
07/2013: Swamp Thing #22 -- 23,885 (- 5.2%)
----------------
6 months: -26.0%
1 year  : -34.1%

Two titles with similar declines over the last six and 12 months, respectively. What they have in common is that they used to be successful, and then they crossed over with each other.

—–

101 - CATWOMAN
07/2003: Catwoman #21 -- 23,090
07/2008: Catwoman #81 -- 17,766
-------------------------------
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%)
03/2013: Catwoman #18 -- 33,220 (+10.0%)
04/2013: Catwoman #19 -- 28,058 (-15.5%)
05/2013: Catwoman #20 -- 26,886 (- 4.2%)
06/2013: Catwoman #21 -- 25,611 (- 4.7%)
07/2013: Catwoman #22 -- 24,737 (- 3.4%)
-----------------
6 months: - 27.1%
1 year  : - 30.4%
5 years : + 39.2%
10 years: +  7.1%

Drifting down the charts.

—–

100 - WORLDS' FINEST
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%)
03/2013: Worlds' Finest #10 -- 28,469 (+ 0.5%)
04/2013: Worlds' Finest #11 -- 27,453 (- 3.6%)
05/2013: Worlds' Finest #12 -- 27,073 (- 1.4%)
06/2013: Worlds' Finest #13 -- 25,815 (- 4.7%)
07/2013: Worlds' Finest #14 -- 25,143 (- 2.6%)
----------------
6 months: -17.3%
1 year  : -44.8%

Drifting down the charts.

—–

99 - SUPERGIRL
07/2008: Supergirl #31 --  28,813
07/2009: Supergirl #43 --  32,849
07/2010: Supergirl #54 --  26,941
07/2011: Supergirl #66 --  20,001
---------------------------------
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%)
03/2013: Supergirl #18 --  28,051 (-  7.0%)
04/2013: Supergirl #19 --  29,558 (+  5.4%)
05/2013: Supergirl #20 --  27,509 (-  6.9%)
06/2013: Supergirl #21 --  25,856 (-  6.0%)
07/2013: Supergirl #22 --  25,514 (-  1.3%)
-----------------
6 months: - 15.9%
1 year  : - 20.0%
2 years : + 27.5%
5 years : - 11.5%

Supergirl sales continue to be fairly erratic.

—–

98 - INJUSTICE: GODS AMONG US (Digital-First)
01/2013: Injustice #1  -- 20,733          [35,438]
02/2013: Injustice #2  -- 17,068 (-17.7%) [29,096]
03/2013: Injustice #3  -- 18,608 (+ 9.0%) [24,469]
04/2013: Injustice #4  -- 21,669 (+16.5%) [26,739]
05/2013: Injustice #5  -- 25,215 (+16.4%)
06/2013: Injustice #6  -- 26,011 (+ 3.2%)
07/2013: Injustice #7  -- 25,731 (- 1.1%)
-----------------
6 months: + 24.1%

Very good sales for this digital-first video-game adaptation.

—–

95 - GREEN ARROW
07/2003: Green Arrow #28  -- 45,270
07/2008: Arrow/Canary #10 -- 29,604
07/2009: Arrow&Canary #22 -- 20,571
07/2010: Green Arrow #2   -- 44,118
07/2011: Green Arrow #14  -- 25,568
-----------------------------------
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%)
03/2013: Green Arrow #18  -- 28,080 (- 22.1%)
04/2013: Green Arrow #19  -- 29,922 (+  6.6%)
05/2013: Green Arrow #20  -- 27,541 (-  8.0%)
06/2013: Green Arrow #21  -- 26,924 (-  2.2%)
07/2013: Green Arrow #22  -- 26,172 (-  2.8%)
-----------------
6 months: +  3.1%
1 year  : +  6.2%
2 years : +  2.4%
5 years : - 11.6%
10 years: - 42.2%

Settling into the usual attrition pattern, evidently. The book is still doing better than before the creative-team change and even slightly better than it did in July 2012.

—–

90 - BATWOMAN
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%)
03/2013: Batwoman #18 --  31,381 (- 2.1%)
04/2013: Batwoman #19 --  31,538 (+ 0.5%)
05/2013: Batwoman #20 --  29,698 (- 5.8%)
06/2013: Batwoman #21 --  28,173 (- 5.1%)
07/2013: Batwoman #22 --  27,400 (- 2.7%)
----------------
6 months: -19.7%
1 year  : -29.7%

Levelling out, it seems.

—–

89 - THE WAKE (Vertigo)
05/2013: The Wake #1  of 10 -- 44,867
06/2013: The Wake #2  of 10 -- 32,562 (-27.4%)
07/2013: The Wake #3  of 10 -- 30,622 (- 6.0%)

Like the previous issue, The Wake #3 was made returnable by DC to encourage retailers — see comments on Collider. Also, as with the two previous issues, there’s another 1:25 variant-cover edition.

Still, it’s been a while since a Vertigo title sold above 30K three months in. Looking at the rest of the imprint’s revamped line-up, this seems to be Scott Snyder and Sean Murphy’s success, rather than any great turnaround.

—–

82 - LARFLEEZE
06/2013: Larfleeze #1  -- 36,638
07/2013: Larfleeze #2  -- 30,221 (-17.5%)

That’s a relatively smooth second-issue drop.

In addition to the usual 1:25 variant, the first two issues were also promoted with plastic rings, so there’s probably going to be a steeper-than-usual drop for the third issue as a result.

—-

80 - RED HOOD AND THE OUTLAWS
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%)
03/2013: Red Hood #18 -- 37,731 (-28.9%) [42,901]
04/2013: Red Hood #19 -- 36,630 (- 2.9%)
05/2013: Red Hood #20 -- 35,542 (- 3.0%)
06/2013: Red Hood #21 -- 32,416 (- 8.8%)
07/2013: Red Hood #22 -- 30,534 (- 5.8%)
----------------
6 months: -48.8%
1 year  : -14.8%

Now that the boosts from the various crossovers are wearing off, this Batman spin-off is drifting down the charts.

—–

78 - CONSTANTINE
07/2003: Hellblazer #186 -- 16,405
07/2008: Hellblazer #246 -- 12,088
07/2009: Hellblazer #257 -- 10,762
07/2010: Hellblazer #269 -- 10,048
07/2011: Hellblazer #281 --  9,225
----------------------------------
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%)
03/2013: Constantine #1  -- 37,564 (+200.0%)
04/2013: Constantine #2  -- 30,789 (- 18.0%)
05/2013: Constantine #3  -- 29,106 (-  5.5%)
06/2013: Constantine #4  -- 26,417 (-  9.2%)
07/2013: Constantine #5  -- 30,664 (+ 16.1%)
-----------------
6 months: +228.7%
1 year  : +231.6%
2 years : +232.4%
5 years : +153.7%
10 years: + 86.9%

The “Trinity War” tie-in brings a modest increase. Issue #5 was also the first one without a 1:25 variant edition or co-writer Jeff Lemire’s name in the credits, so on balance, things could be worse.

—–

75 - TEEN TITANS
07/2003: Teen Titans #1   -- 63,259 [98,319]
07/2008: Teen Titans #61  -- 44,666
07/2009: Teen Titans #73  -- 30,990
07/2010: Teen Titans #85  -- 24,248
07/2011: Teen Titans #97  -- 23,138
07/2011: Teen Titans #98  -- 23,095
-----------------------------------
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%)
03/2013: Teen Titans #18  -- 42,055 (+  7.3%)
04/2013: Teen Titans #19  -- 39,532 (-  6.0%)
05/2013: Teen Titans #20  -- 36,391 (-  8.0%)
06/2013: Teen Titans #21  -- 34,710 (-  4.6%)
07/2013: Teen Titans #22  -- 33,062 (-  4.8%)
-----------------
6 months: - 48.1%
1 year  : - 27.1%
2 years : + 43.0%
5 years : - 26.0%
10 years: - 47.7%

Drifting downwards.

—–

71 - THE FLASH ANNUAL
07/2013: Flash Annual #2 -- 34,114

The Annual sold about 5,000 units less than the regular title, which was one dollar cheaper and promoted with a 1:25 variant edition. So the Annual is doing quite well.

—–

67/77 - TRINITY OF SIN: PANDORA
07/2013: Pandora #1 of 3 -- 35,106
07/2013: Pandora #2 of 3 -- 32,170 (-8.4%)

At first glance, you might suspect that retailers skipped the usual second-issue drop because both issues came out in the same month, as they often do. But that doesn’t seem to be the case here. Issue #1 was meant to come out June 19, but shipped two weeks late on July 3, so if there’s a particular reason for the smooth drop, it’s probably something else.

Both issues were promoted with 1:25 variants.

—–

65 - RED LANTERNS
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%)
03/2013: Red Lanterns #18 -- 35,203 (- 1.8%)
04/2013: Red Lanterns #19 -- 34,673 (- 1.5%)
05/2013: Red Lanterns #20 -- 33,923 (- 2.2%)
06/2013: Red Lanterns #21 -- 37,312 (+10.0%)
07/2013: Red Lanterns #22 -- 35,236 (- 5.6%)
----------------
6 months: - 7.8%
1 year  : - 3.4%

Another title promoted with plastic rings in June and July.

—–

63 - WONDER WOMAN
07/2003: Wonder Woman #194 --  25,347
07/2008: Wonder Woman #22  --  36,514
07/2009: Wonder Woman #34  --  30,131
07/2010: Wonder Woman #601 --  39,672
07/2011: Wonder Woman #613 --  29,720
-------------------------------------
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%)
03/2013: Wonder Woman #18  --  38,406 (-  1.8%)
04/2013: Wonder Woman #19  --  46,492 (+ 21.1%)
05/2013: Wonder Woman #20  --  37,132 (- 20.1%)
06/2013: Wonder Woman #21  --  35,999 (-  3.1%)
07/2013: Wonder Woman #22  --  35,539 (-  1.3%)
-----------------
6 months: - 11.4%
1 year  : - 22.2%
2 years : + 19.6%
5 years : -  2.7%
10 years: + 40.2%

Levelling out around 35K — a solid level, historically.

—–

62 - SUPERMAN ANNUAL
07/2013: Superman Annual #2 -- 36,943

About 6,000 units below the regular title.

But that one was promoted with a 1:25 variant and the Annuals have a price tag of $4.99, so this is not bad at all.

—–

57 - FLASH
07/2003: Flash #200      --  41,078 [44,977]
07/2008: Flash #242      --  30,325
07/2009: --
07/2010: Flash #4        --  64,832
07/2011: --
-----------------------------------
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%)
03/2013: Flash #18       --  41,659 (-  3.0%)
04/2013: Flash #19       --  42,079 (+  1.0%)
05/2013: Flash #20       --  39,667 (-  5.7%)
06/2013: Flash #21       --  38,848 (-  2.1%)
07/2013: Flash #22       --  38,993 (+  0.4%)
-----------------
6 months: - 11.6%
1 year  : - 27.4%
2 years :   n.a.
5 years : + 28.6%
10 years: -  5.1%

Levelled out around 40,000 units, for the time being. Perfectly good numbers for a Flash title, historically.

—–

56 - BATGIRL
07/2003: Batgirl #42     -- 29,144
07/2008: Batgirl #1 of 6 -- 34,411
07/2010: Batgirl #12     -- 28,011
07/2011: Batgirl #23     -- 22,619
----------------------------------
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%)
03/2013: Batgirl #18     -- 51,677 (- 21.4%)
04/2013: Batgirl #19     -- 45,939 (- 11.1%)
05/2013: Batgirl #20     -- 42,600 (-  7.3%)
06/2013: Batgirl #21     -- 40,252 (-  5.5%)
07/2013: Batgirl #22     -- 39,218 (-  2.6%)
-----------------
6 months: - 45.9%
1 year  : - 12.9%
2 years : + 73.4%
5 years : + 14.0%
10 years: + 34.6%

Another title that appears to be levelling out. Once again, sales are still rock-solid, viewed over the last 10 years.

—–

52 - GREEN LANTERN: NEW GUARDIANS
07/2011: Emerald Warriors #12 -- 48,087
---------------------------------------
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%)
03/2013: New Guardians #18    -- 42,028 (- 0.6%)
04/2013: New Guardians #19    -- 41,481 (- 1.3%)
05/2013: New Guardians #20    -- 40,569 (- 2.2%)
06/2013: New Guardians #21    -- 42,290 (+ 4.2%)
07/2013: New Guardians #22    -- 40,788 (- 3.6%)
----------------
6 months: - 6.8%
1 year  : - 5.0%
2 years : -15.2%

Another Green Lantern spin-off promoted with plastic rings in June and July. Consequently, a big drop in August is likely.

—–

47 - EARTH 2
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%)
03/2013: Earth 2 #10 -- 46,213 (- 4.1%)
04/2013: Earth 2 #11 -- 45,468 (- 1.6%)
05/2013: Earth 2 #12 -- 43,983 (- 3.3%)
06/2013: Earth 2 #13 -- 42,916 (- 2.4%)
07/2013: Earth 2 #14 -- 42,022 (- 2.1%)
----------------
6 months: -17.4%
1 year  : -43.9%

Settling down above 40K, evidently. Writer James Robinson is leaving DC with the October issue.

—–

46 - NIGHTWING
07/2003: Nightwing #83  -- 29,745
07/2008: Nightwing #146 -- 29,494
---------------------------------
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%)
03/2013: Nightwing #18  -- 48,223 (-22.4%) [53,978]
04/2013: Nightwing #19  -- 46,978 (- 2.6%)
05/2013: Nightwing #20  -- 45,038 (- 4.1%)
06/2013: Nightwing #21  -- 43,353 (- 3.7%)
07/2013: Nightwing #22  -- 42,073 (- 3.0%)
-----------------
6 months: - 39.6%
1 year  : - 14.4%
5 years : + 42.7%
10 years: + 41.5%

Slowly drifting down, but still more than 10,000 units ahead of its traditional mid-tier level.

—–

45 - GREEN LANTERN CORPS
07/2008: Green Lantern Corps #26 -- 46,098
07/2009: Green Lantern Corps #38 -- 82,415
07/2010: Green Lantern Corps #50 -- 67,035
07/2011: Green Lantern Corps #61 -- 60,836
07/2011: Green Lantern Corps #62 -- 57,928
------------------------------------------
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%)
03/2013: Green Lantern Corps #18 -- 44,215 (- 0.6%)
04/2013: Green Lantern Corps #19 -- 43,903 (- 0.8%)
05/2013: Green Lantern Corps #20 -- 43,026 (- 2.0%)
06/2013: Green Lantern Corps #21 -- 45,423 (+ 5.6%)
07/2013: Green Lantern Corps #22 -- 42,194 (- 7.1%)
----------------
6 months: - 7.0%
1 year  : - 1.9%
2 years : -29.0%
5 years : - 8.5%

The highest-selling Green Lantern spin-off on the chart, promoted with plastic rings in June and July.

—–

43 - SUPERMAN
07/2003: Superman #195 --  35,302
07/2008: Superman #678 --  47,670
07/2009: Superman #690 --  39,472
07/2010: Superman #701 --  54,506
07/2011: Superman #713 --  36,646
---------------------------------
07/2012: Superman #11  --  56,066 (-  5.1%)
08/2012: Superman #12  --  53,326 (-  4.9%)
09/2012: Superman #0   --  60,493 (+ 13.4%)
10/2012: Superman #13  --  52,155 (- 13.8%)
11/2012: Superman #14  --  52,572 (+  0.8%)
12/2012: Superman #15  --  51,225 (-  2.6%)
01/2013: Superman #16  --  50,621 (-  1.2%)
02/2013: --
03/2013: Superman #17  --  49,666 (-  1.9%)
03/2013: Superman #18  --  48,236 (-  2.9%)
04/2013: Superman #19  --  48,598 (+  0.8%)
05/2013: Superman #20  --  45,458 (-  6.5%)
06/2013: Superman #21  --  44,285 (-  2.6%)
07/2013: Superman #22  --  42,961 (-  3.0%)
-----------------
6 months: - 15.1%
1 year  : - 23.4%
2 years : + 16.5%
5 years : -  9.9%
10 years: + 21.7%

—–

41 - ACTION COMICS
07/2003: Action Comics #805 --  31,959
07/2008: Action Comics #867 --  49,363
07/2009: Action Comics #879 --  38,324
07/2010: Action Comics #891 --  35,328
07/2011: Action Comics #903 --  40,205
--------------------------------------
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%)
03/2013: Action Comics #18  --  61,879 (+  8.2%)
04/2013: Action Comics #19  --  52,007 (- 16.0%)
05/2013: Action Comics #20  --  48,324 (-  7.1%)
06/2013: Action Comics #21  --  46,475 (-  3.8%)
07/2013: Action Comics #22  --  44,861 (-  3.5%)
-----------------
6 months: - 23.5%
1 year  : - 41.2%
2 years : + 11.6%
5 years : -  9.1%
10 years: + 40.4%

The two core Superman titles may be levelling out above 40K, but creative teams are in flux, so it’s too early to tell.

—–

38 - AQUAMAN
07/2003: Aquaman #8  -- 29,628
------------------------------
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%)
03/2013: Aquaman #18 -- 53,337 (- 9.0%)
04/2013: --
05/2013: Aquaman #19 -- 53,415 (+ 0.2%)
05/2013: Aquaman #20 -- 49,697 (- 7.0%)
06/2013: Aquaman #21 -- 46,832 (- 5.8%)
07/2013: Aquaman #22 -- 45,653 (- 2.5%)
----------------
6 months: -26.6%
1 year  : -20.8%
10 years: +54.1%

Settling down around 45K. Stellar sales for an Aquaman title, obviously.

—–

35 - BATMAN: THE DARK KNIGHT
07/2011: Dark Knight #3  --  62,792
07/2011: Dark Knight #4  --  57,333
-----------------------------------
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%)
03/2013: Dark Knight #18 --  54,269 (-  3.1%)
04/2013: Dark Knight #19 --  52,644 (-  3.0%)
05/2013: Dark Knight #20 --  50,423 (-  4.2%)
06/2013: Dark Knight #21 --  48,612 (-  3.6%)
07/2013: Dark Knight #22 --  47,096 (-  3.1%)
-----------------
6 months: - 19.2%
1 year  : - 31.4%
2 years : - 21.6%

Slowly levelling out, apparently.

—–

33 - BATMAN '66 (Digital-First)
07/2013: Batman '66 #1 -- 50,430

This new Adam West pastiche by Jeff Parker and Jonathan Case is the best-selling digital-first book, to date, beating Legends of the Dark Knight #1, which sold 42,904 units in October 2012. Of course, the latter comic sells well below 20,000 units, at this point, so everything’s relative. Also, there was a 1:25 variant to boost the numbers.

For the time being, though, this is a solid number.

—–

31 - DETECTIVE COMICS ANNUAL
07/2013: Detective Comics Annual #2 -- 52,245

There’s a 10,000-unit difference between this Annual and the regular title, despite both sharing the same writer.

—–

30/32 - BATMAN, INCORPORATED
07/2011: --
------------------------------------
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%) [99,406]
03/2013: Batman, Inc. #9  --  64,067 (+ 15.6%) [69,123]
04/2013: Batman, Inc. #10 --  56,464 (- 11.9%)
05/2013: Batman, Inc. #11 --  57,298 (+  1.5%)
06/2013: --
07/2013: Batman, Inc. #12 --  52,595 (-  8.2%)
07/2013: Batman, Inc. #13 --  51,558 (-  2.0%)
----------------
6 months: + 3.4%
1 year  :   n.a.
2 years :   n.a.

The end of Grant Morrison’s six-year Batman saga doesn’t sell spectacularly, but then again, Morrison hasn’t been the headwriter of the franchise for almost two years, at this stage. Overall, for a book that was mostly off in its own little corner of the Batman universe since the “New 52″ relaunch, these aren’t bad numbers. (There were 1:25 and 1:100 variants, as always.)

For that matter, these are not the lowest-selling issues of that run, either. That honor goes to Leviathan Strikes, the one-shot special that came out in December 2011 as a bridge between volumes 1 and 2 of Batman, Incorporated, and sold an estimated 43,048 units. The sales pinnacle of the Morrison run was Batman and Robin #1, drawn by Frank Quitely, which sold 168,604 units in June 2009 and accumulated an estimated total of about 185K in subsequent months. Morrison’s first issue, Batman #655, which had art by Andy Kubert, sold 113,567 units in in July 2006 and an estimated 125K total. Overall, only 12 issues of Morrison’s Batman run sold more than 100,000 units in their first months, including the first issue of the Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne miniseries.

So, as far as single issues are concerned, Morrison’s tenure wasn’t quite as impressive as the Snyder/Capullo run, which has been selling well above 100K for almost two years now. Given the critical reception, though, it seems safe to say that Morrison’s run is one of the franchise milestones and will remain in print for years to come. DC has already sold a shipload of “Batman: R.I.P.” collections, for that matter.

—–

26 - BATMAN AND CATWOMAN
07/2009: Batman and Robin #2  -- 117,986 [129,086]
07/2010: Batman and Robin #13 --  85,804
07/2011: Batman and Robin #25 --  55,172
----------------------------------------
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%)
03/2013: Batman and Robin #18 --  69,614 (+14.1%) [76,575]
04/2013: and Red Robin #19    --  89,182 (+28.1%)
05/2013: and Red Hood #20     --  65,222 (-26.9%)
06/2013: and Batgirl #21      --  60,601 (- 7.1%)
07/2013: and Catwoman #22     --  57,808 (- 4.6%)
----------------
6 months: -29.1%
1 year  : -11.1%
2 years : + 4.8%

Levelling out again.

—–

23 - JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK
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%)
03/2013: Justice League Dark #18  -- 25,664 (-  0.7%)
04/2013: Justice League Dark #19  -- 25,407 (-  1.0%)
05/2013: Justice League Dark #20  -- 24,693 (-  2.8%)
06/2013: Justice League Dark #21  -- 24,663 (-  0.1%)
07/2013: Justice League Dark #22  -- 68,294 (+176.9%)
-----------------
6 months: +153.9%
1 year  : +114.8%

As part of the hype for the “Trinity War” crossover, which runs through the three Justice League titles in July and August, DC evidently made Justice League Dark #22 and #23 returnable under the condition that retailers order as many units as they did of Justice League #22. Hence the gigantic increase.

—–

22 - GREEN LANTERN
07/2003: --
07/2008: Green Lantern #33  --  63,814
07/2009: Green Lantern #43  -- 109,426 [117,314]
07/2009: Green Lantern #44  -- 105,063 [109,599]
07/2010: Green Lantern #56  --  84,164
07/2011: Green Lantern #67  --  74,521
--------------------------------------
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%)
03/2013: Green Lantern #18  --  69,801 (- 1.8%)
04/2013: Green Lantern #19  --  71,018 (+ 1.7%)
05/2013: Green Lantern #20  --  67,414 (- 5.1%)
06/2013: Green Lantern #21  --  71,870 (+ 6.6%)
07/2013: Green Lantern #22  --  62,415 (-13.2%)
-----------------
6 months: - 14.4%
1 year  : - 20.7%
2 years : - 16.3%
5 years : -  2.2%
10 years:    n.a.

Unlike the four spin-off books, Green Lantern proper was no longer supported with a plastic ring-scheme in July. Sales dip accordingly. It will probably take a while for the franchise to find its post-Geoff Johns level.

—–

21 - DETECTIVE COMICS
07/2003: Detective Comics #784 --  38,571
07/2008: Detective Comics #846 --  72,417
07/2009: Detective Comics #855 --  61,205
07/2010: Detective Comics #867 --  40,371
07/2011: Detective Comics #879 --  39,185
07/2011: Detective Comics #880 --  38,585
-----------------------------------------
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%)
03/2013: Detective Comics #18  --  76,237 (- 11.2%)
04/2013: Detective Comics #19  --  77,922 (+  2.2%)
05/2013: Detective Comics #20  --  78,252 (+  0.4%)
06/2013: Detective Comics #21  --  65,200 (- 16.7%)
07/2013: Detective Comics #22  --  63,949 (-  1.9%)
-----------------
6 months: - 30.7%
1 year  : - 19.9%
2 years : + 63.8%
5 years : - 11.7%
10 years: + 65.8%

Levelling out above 60K, for the time being.

—–

7 - JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA
07/2003: JLA #83             --  58,242 [59,154]
07/2008: JL of America #23   --  82,953
07/2009: JL of America #35   --  58,915
07/2010: JL of America #47   --  60,368
07/2011: JL of America #59   --  43,545
---------------------------------------
02/2013: JL of America #1    -- 307,734          [326,959]
03/2013: JL of America #2    --  91,734 (-70.2%)
04/2013: --
05/2013: JL of America #3    --  83,283 (- 9.2%)
05/2013: JL of America #4    --  77,856 (- 6.5%)
06/2013: JL of America #5    --  71,793 (- 7.8%)
07/2013: JL of America #6    --  86,192 (+20.1%)
-----------------
2 years : + 97.9%
5 years : +  3.9%
10 years: + 48.0%

Another chapter of the “Trinity War” crossover.

—–

6 - BATMAN/SUPERMAN
07/2008: Superman/Batman #50 --  61,321
07/2009: Superman/Batman #62 --  38,412
07/2010: Superman/Batman #74 --  30,847
07/2011: Superman/Batman #86 --  26,530
---------------------------------------
06/2013: Batman/Superman #1  -- 143,457 [151,054]
07/2013: Batman/Superman #2  --  92,558 (-35.5%)
-----------------
2 years : +248.9%
5 years : + 50.9%

The first issue was promoted with a 1:100 variant, two 1:25 variants and a special charity variant; for the second issue, they whittled it down to the usual 1:25 and 1:100 variants.

So all things considered, that’s not a terrible drop. Unless something goes horribly wrong here, which is always a possibility at DC, the book looks like a permanent Top 25 title.

Issue #1 sold another 7,597 units in July, meanwhile.

—–

5 - BATMAN ANNUAL
07/2013: Batman Annual #2 -- 101,726

A Scott Snyder-written “Zero Year” tie-in.

—–

4 - JUSTICE LEAGUE
07/2003: JLA #83             --  58,242 [59,154]
07/2008: JL of America #23   --  82,953
07/2009: JL of America #35   --  58,915
07/2010: JL of America #47   --  60,368
07/2011: JL of America #59   --  43,545
---------------------------------------
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%)
03/2013: Justice League #18  -- 102,494 (-  2.7%)
04/2013: Justice League #19  -- 100,943 (-  1.5%)
05/2013: Justice League #20  --  97,676 (-  3.2%)
06/2013: Justice League #21  --  94,054 (-  3.7%)
07/2013: Justice League #22  -- 110,194 (+ 17.2%)
-----------------
6 months: -  6.4%
1 year  : - 11.1%
2 years : +153.1%
5 years : + 32.8%
10 years: + 89.2%

Another “Trinity War” crossover.

Given how well the book was doing in the first place, that’s a pretty big increase — which also helps to explain the Justice League Dark number, this being the benchmark figure for retailers who wanted to qualify for returnability on that book.

—–

2 - BATMAN
07/2003: Batman #617 -- 146,601 [158,844]
07/2008: Batman #678 -- 103,213
07/2009: Batman #688 --  83,040
07/2010: Batman #701 --  76,398
07/2011: Batman #712 --  51,385
-------------------------------
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%)
03/2013: Batman #18  -- 137,893 (-  8.5%)
04/2013: Batman #19  -- 132,147 (-  4.2%)
05/2013: Batman #20  -- 129,039 (-  2.4%)
06/2013: Batman #21  -- 142,088 (+ 10.1%) [156,845]
07/2013: Batman #22  -- 132,047 (-  7.1%)
-----------------
6 months: -  9.5%
1 year  : +  3.8%
2 years : +157.0%
5 years : + 27.9%
10 years: -  9.9%

The “Zero Year” story continues, and the Snyder/Capullo Batman does what the Snyder/Capullo Batman does.

A “Director’s Cut” version of issue #21 charted in July with another 14,929 units. Since comics usually don’t have directors, I’m presuming it’s a glorified reprint with extras.

—–

1 - SUPERMAN UNCHAINED
06/2013: Superman Unchained #1  -- 256,792 [271,721]
07/2013: Superman Unchained #2  -- 165,754 (-35.5%)

I’m counting 12 variant editions for issue #1 and nine for issue #2, but this is still a pretty harsh drop — it’s almost 100,000 units. Could retailers and/or collectors have possibly gone ridiculously over the top with their orders for the first issue? Perish the thought.

Of course, 165K is still good enough to make this one of the biggest juggernauts of the direct market right now, as you’d expect from a Scott Snyder/Jim Lee Superman comic.

There was another “Director’s Cut” edition of Superman Unchained #1, which sold 14,757 units in July. In this case, it seems to be a reprint of Jim Lee’s pencils rather than the finished book, but I’m still wondering who the director is.

—–

6-MONTH COMPARISONS
+228.7%: Constantine
+153.9%: JLD
+ 24.1%: Injustice
+ 10.1%: He-Man
+  8.0%: Unwritten
+  3.7%: Phantom Stranger
+  3.4%: Batman, Inc.
+  3.1%: Green Arrow
-  5.5%: Fables
-  6.4%: Justice League
-  6.8%: New Guardians
-  7.0%: GL Corps
-  7.8%: Red Lanterns
-  9.5%: Batman
- 10.2%: Batwing
- 10.7%: LoSH
- 11.4%: Wonder Woman
- 11.6%: Flash
- 12.4%: BB Unlimited
- 12.8%: Birds of Prey
- 14.4%: Green Lantern
- 14.5%: Ame-Comi Girls
- 15.1%: Superman
- 15.7%: Fairest
- 15.8%: ASW
- 15.9%: Supergirl
- 16.3%: Smallville
- 17.1%: Suicide Squad
- 17.3%: Worlds' Finest
- 17.4%: Earth 2
- 18.1%: Stormwatch
- 19.0%: Arkham Unhinged
- 19.2%: Dark Knight
- 19.7%: Batwoman
- 19.8%: Demon Knights
- 22.2%: Dial H
- 23.5%: Action Comics
- 24.2%: Animal Man
- 26.0%: Swamp Thing
- 26.3%: Superboy
- 26.6%: Aquaman
- 28.6%: LotDK
- 28.7%: Arrow
- 29.1%: Batman and Robin
- 30.7%: Detective Comics
- 34.3%: Talon
- 39.6%: Nightwing
- 45.9%: Batgirl
- 48.1%: Teen Titans
- 48.8%: Red Hood
- 68.1%: Threshold

—–

1-YEAR COMPARISONS
+231.6%: Constantine
+114.8%: JLD
+  6.2%: Green Arrow
+  3.8%: Batman
-  1.9%: GL Corps
-  3.4%: Red Lanterns
-  3.5%: Unwritten
-  5.0%: New Guardians
- 11.1%: Batman and Robin
- 11.1%: Justice League
- 11.7%: Fables
- 12.9%: Batgirl
- 14.4%: Nightwing
- 14.8%: Red Hood
- 19.9%: Detective Comics
- 20.0%: Supergirl
- 20.7%: Green Lantern
- 20.8%: Aquaman
- 22.2%: Wonder Woman
- 23.4%: Superman
- 24.2%: LoSH
- 24.7%: Suicide Squad
- 26.2%: Birds of Prey
- 27.1%: Teen Titans
- 27.4%: Flash
- 28.4%: Smallville
- 29.7%: Batwoman
- 30.4%: Catwoman
- 31.4%: Dark Knight
- 31.7%: Fairest
- 32.2%: BB Unlimited
- 32.3%: Animal Man
- 32.7%: Superboy
- 34.1%: Swamp Thing
- 34.6%: He-Man
- 34.8%: ASW
- 37.6%: Demon Knights
- 38.4%: LotDK
- 39.8%: Batwing
- 40.1%: Stormwatch
- 40.2%: Arkham Unhinged
- 41.2%: Action Comics
- 43.9%: Earth 2
- 44.8%: Worlds' Finest
- 56.3%: Dial H

—–

2-YEAR COMPARISONS
+248.9%: Batman/Superman
+232.4%: Constantine
+157.0%: Batman
+153.1%: Justice League
+ 97.9%: JLoA
+ 73.4%: Batgirl
+ 63.8%: Detective Comics
+ 46.2%: ASW
+ 43.0%: Teen Titans
+ 27.5%: Supergirl
+ 19.6%: Wonder Woman
+ 16.5%: Superman
+ 11.6%: Action Comics
+  4.8%: Batman and Robin
+  2.4%: Green Arrow
-  9.6%: Superboy
- 15.2%: New Guardians
- 15.2%: Unwritten
- 16.3%: Green Lantern
- 18.4%: Fables
- 21.6%: Dark Knight
- 25.4%: Birds of Prey
- 29.0%: GL Corps
- 32.4%: LoSH

—–

5-YEAR COMPARISONS
+153.7%: Constantine
+ 50.9%: Batman/Superman
+ 42.7%: Nightwing
+ 39.2%: Catwoman
+ 32.8%: Justice League
+ 28.6%: Flash
+ 27.9%: Batman
+ 14.0%: Batgirl
+ 11.0%: 100 Bullets
+  7.7%: ASW
+  3.9%: JLoA
-  2.2%: Green Lantern
-  2.7%: Wonder Woman
-  6.3%: Birds of Prey
-  8.5%: GL Corps
-  9.1%: Action Comics
-  9.9%: Superman
- 11.5%: Supergirl
- 11.6%: Green Arrow
- 11.7%: Detective Comics
- 26.0%: Teen Titans
- 37.5%: Fables
- 48.8%: LoSH

—–

10-YEAR COMPARISONS
+ 89.2%: Justice League
+ 86.9%: Constantine
+ 65.8%: Detective Comics
+ 54.1%: Aquaman
+ 48.0%: JLoA
+ 41.5%: Nightwing
+ 40.4%: Action Comics
+ 40.2%: Wonder Woman
+ 34.6%: Batgirl
+ 21.7%: Superman
+  7.1%: Catwoman
-  5.1%: Flash
-  9.4%: Stormwatch
-  9.9%: Batman
- 23.0%: MotU
- 27.6%: Birds of Prey
- 30.0%: 100 Bullets
- 33.1%: Adventures of Superman
- 35.9%: LoSH
- 38.4%: LotDK
- 40.9%: Fables
- 41.0%: Dial H
- 42.2%: Green Arrow
- 47.7%: Teen Titans

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

DC COMICS
07/2003: 25,980
07/2008: 27,436
07/2009: 30,905**
07/2010: 25,841**
07/2011: 26,138**
---------------
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%)
03/2013: 30,819 (- 11.2%)**
04/2013: 29,914 (-  2.9%)
05/2013: 31,412 (+  5.0%)
06/2013: 34,517 (+  9.9%)
07/2013: 34,402 (-  0.3%)
-----------------
6 months: +  8.3%
1 year  : +  1.7%
2 years : + 31.6%
5 years : + 25.4%
10 years: + 32.4%
DC UNIVERSE
07/2003: 31,686
07/2008: 35,553
07/2009: 41,218
07/2010: 35,372
07/2011: 28,586**
---------------
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%)
03/2013: 32,294 (- 12.3%)**
04/2013: 31,426 (-  2.7%)
05/2013: 32,015 (+  1.9%)
06/2013: 37,133 (+ 16.0%)
07/2013: 36,524 (-  1.6%)
-----------------
6 months: +  9.1%
1 year  : -  5.1%
2 years : + 27.8%
5 years : +  2.7%
10 years: + 15.3%
VERTIGO
07/2003: 15,720
07/2008: 10,821
07/2009: 11,055**
07/2010:  9,515
07/2011: 10,784
---------------
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%)
03/2013: 11,055 (- 8.0%)
04/2013: 11,467 (+ 3.7%)
05/2013: 20,860 (+81.9%)
06/2013: 17,368 (-16.7%)
07/2013: 16,099 (- 7.3%)
-----------------
6 months: + 49.6%
1 year  : + 38.9%
2 years : + 49.3%
5 years : + 48.8%
10 years: +  2.4%

—–
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. MBunge says:

    “A content business?”

    1. When DC relaunched the New 52, there were a surprising number of non-super hero titles among them. That the company would take the opportunity of such a high profile event to try and sell such stuff would indicate the somebody, somewhere at DC does care about content.

    2. I’m not sure how the process MOF describes, even if it does fairly represent what DC is doing, differs all that much from any other entertainment business.

    Mike

  2. Breaking: Columnists will write any crap to try and generate some controversy.

  3. Wow, it must be difficult to service the comic market. So many fans hate variants, but many buy them. There is a portion of the market that is attracted to the next shiny gimmick or limited edition collector piece. Then there is the digital market, where nothing is variant, nothing is owned, and nothing is really collected, in the traditional sense (my copy is always mint as long as the file doesn’t corrupt).
    And the publishers create big events, driving huge crossover opportunities, yet many readers find those tiresome. What to do, what to do…

  4. Glenn Simpson says:

    I find that people like to spell out what is wrong with things, but they rarely spell out what the solution is. I assume it means retailers telling customers that they refuse to give the customer what he wants, because they want to do what will be best for the comic book industry in the long run.

  5. Synsidar says:

    I’m not sure how the process MOF describes, even if it does fairly represent what DC is doing, differs all that much from any other entertainment business.

    The treatment of comics differs from the treatment of other fiction genres, in that the publishers of other genres believe that their books can reach a mass audience. They market them; people talk about best sellers; Web sites run articles about them; best selling authors produce more best sellers. Many of the books that are published might not sell well, but they can’t sell well unless they’re marketed.

    Marvel and DC rely on the base, ultimately, for sales, but their direct customers are retailers, and the retailers, as Frisch points out, can be manipulated. The relationships between the base and their local shops, and the shops and Marvel and DC, aren’t pleasant to contemplate. Granted, book stores aren’t doing well, but that’s more because of changes in the distribution channels than in changes of what’s published.

    If Marvel and DC died, or simply stopped publishing comics, the comics shops would be hurt, obviously, but comics as a format wouldn’t be hurt at all. Fans of Kinney’s Wimpy Kid or of Telgemeier or Bechdel or Ware don’t care about superhero comics. They care about what a creator is putting on the pages.

    SRS

  6. rob e says:

    Sad that the books featuring minor characters and different concepts aren’t doing well. DC deserves credit for at least trying something new new with Green Team and Movement. Vibe was better than I expected, while Katana is, in my opinion, pure dreck. Even sadder, it looks as if my current favorite New 52 title, All Star Western, is in the danger zone. I know Didio has a real fondness for Jonah Hex, but when the book drops to 32 pages for $3.99, lets hope that most fans don’t drop it.

  7. Swampy says:

    “I find that people like to spell out what is wrong with things, but they rarely spell out what the solution is”

    Well, if someone spells out what’s wrong, then the(ir) solution would be not to do what’s wrong.

    It’s pretty clear, IMHO.

  8. Glenn Simpson says:

    No, because it’s not a yes/no situation, there are multiple options. Telling me that retailers shouldn’t sell comics because of gimmicks like plastic rings doesn’t tell me how retailers should sell comics.

  9. Shane says:

    Just curious if I missed it, but do you do a similar column breaking down Marvel? And maybe Image/IDW/Dark Horse?

    Just curious to see if there’s a comparison, as there is a lot of negativity directed at the numbers here. I wonder if that would stand true for other publishers?

  10. Glenn Simpson says:

    @Shane – you can see other sales charts here: http://comicsbeat.com/category/sales-charts/

    However, MOF is rather unique in his style of presentation.

  11. Dominance of the top ten is great, but the midlist is fucked. Zero titles between 7 and 21 on the chart? Unsustainable, says I!

    I’m enjoying Astro City and Batman ’66; beyond those two titles, DC has successfully chased me away.

  12. Glenn Simpson says:

    @Adam – on one hand, I believe that’s going to change as the titles scheduled for cancellation drop off and more of the more marketable replacements (like Harley Quinn and Superman/Wonder Woman) hit the chart.

    That said, I don’t necessarily think it’s impossible for that kind of distribution to be a problem. I don’t know the exact numbers, but I expect that movie studios have their blockbusters and then they have their little artsy films. The former help pay for the latter.

  13. Glenn Simpson says:

    Hurm. “That said, I don’t necessarily think that kind of distribution has to be a problem.”

  14. Paul Mellerick says:

    Justice League Dark #23, despite the return ability incentive, was actually substantially under-ordered. It’s also gone to a second printing. And it’s also worth pointing out that Superman Unleashed #1’s sales weren’t just driven by collectors, but also by a film, and the fact that DC52 back issues are selling astonishingly well at the moment.
    That’s actually an interesting little footnote to the DC column at the moment. Most back-issue dealers I’ve spoken to recently have told me that they cannot keep up with the demand for N52 back issues, even for titles that have been cancelled. Snyder Batmans are like gold-dust. Much of the excess that variants are creating seem to be being absorbed very quickly. So while initial sales might be getting a massage from promotions, the content is still pretty popular.

  15. Spike says:

    What Ring promotion in June and July? My store didn’t give out rings (not that I need any) but still…what was the GL promotion?
    As for the 3D covers. I’ll buy some 3D and some regular. I’ll buy a couple of 3D if they look like “fun” covers, but mostly I’ll be happy buying the regular book since I buy comics to read and not collect. I will say I’ll be buying more in September though. These “fill in” issues look like they will be intersting. Not only are they the Villians which are usually fun, but some will be first time seen in the 52, OR better yet, might take the time to rewrite what we’ve already seen and replace some of the crappy looks and origins of the villians that were first launched two years ago.

  16. Clearly we’re in the content business, even when marketing tricks obscure that message a little — SUPERMAN UNCHAINED didn’t take the #1 spot *because* of variant covers (though, sure, they didn’t hurt that either); it took it because readers are interested in DC’s #1 current writer and #1 current artist on a property with more exposure than usual at the moment.

    Think of it this way: 100 BULLETS BROTHER LONO took a 31% drop between issue #1 & #2, which you seem to attribute to the lack of a 1:25.

    But UNCHAINED dropped 35% between #1 & #2, but it still has lots and lots of variants attached to it.

    And GREEN TEAM dropped 48%, without any variants attached.

    Drawing that conclusion for 100 BULLETS doesn’t seem reasonable.

    Further, and I’m very much on record as being virulently anti-variant, IF there is a net income gain (from selling the variants or the rings to consenting adults) it’s a little difficult to see where there’s an economic problem involved.

    -B

  17. Johnny Memeonic says:

    Still wish there was a way to get digital sales data for these columns. Maybe you guys could ask Comixology real, real nicely?

  18. majorjoe23 says:

    Johnny, I think you would have to ask the companies directly, rather than Comixology.

    Keep in mind that Diamond/Marvel/DC don’t release physical sales figures either. Diamond releases its top 300 sales and shows how each book sells in relation to Batman. People then independently use that info to backwards engineer these numbers.

  19. Synsidar says:

    Clearly we’re in the content business, even when marketing tricks obscure that message a little — SUPERMAN UNCHAINED didn’t take the #1 spot *because* of variant covers (though, sure, they didn’t hurt that either); it took it because readers are interested in DC’s #1 current writer and #1 current artist on a property with more exposure than usual at the moment.

    Content of a very specialized sort. Isn’t the serialized nature of the publication the single biggest factor in limiting sales? People who might be interested in a Superman story, who go to Superman movies, have watched TV shows, and watch SF and fantasy on TV, don’t buy Superman comics because they have to go to a shop every month to get a single installment of a story that might be good, bad, or terrible.

    Prose best sellers are successful as films in part because the audiences are different, and in part because people who liked the book are interested in seeing how the story unfolds on the screen. The success of the Avengers film had practically nothing to do with the Avengers comics; it happened because Whedon, et al. used the characters in an entertaining sci-fi film and because of the usual studio marketing effort.

    Today’s Kibbles & Bits item on the failed attempts at a Superman film showed that many screenwriters and their associates don’t want to do a comic book-type Superman story; they want to do something different. “Different” takes on the heroes in the form of OGNs might fail–some certainly would–but some might sell better than their series ever will.

    SRS

  20. Is there a reason that Tom Strong is referred to as an Alan Moore character and not an Alan Moore/Chris Sprouse character?

  21. john layman says:

    Sales on Detective are sinking like a stone. DC should fire the writer!

  22. Glenn Simpson says:

    @Synsidar – to be fair, most of those people don’t buy Superman comics because they don’t know they exist any more. Or they are the sort of person who isn’t going to read the source material from a movie, no matter how readily available it might be, because it would involve READING.

  23. Chris Hero says:

    I knew the comments for this article would be awesome once I started reading the editorial at top.

    I just re-read the list of all the New 52 titles and every single one was a superhero comic. Novels certainly aren’t selling based on variant packaging and corporately owned characters. There are very few, if any, characters in literature that are written by author after author with all the rights being owned by the corporation.

    Marvel and DC comics haven’t been about the content since the Marvel Shooter days. All of these things are poorly written and drawn by artists and writers who only learned their craft from other artists and writers. The people who actually have some passion for their craft are much more invested in their creator owned work and it definitely shows. The whole corporate superhero industry is built on selling poorly made comics to people trying to recapture the emotions they had when they read comics in their youth.

    I’m a hypocrite, too. Whenever Marvel throws Speedball, Darkhawk, or Moon Knight into a comic, I’m right there buying this stuff, too. I love those characters and I buy books with them to feel the same joy I had when I first came across them. So, I’m part of the problem.

    But, I will say I also love Rocket Raccoon and was reading books with him. Bendis’s writing on the new books broke my spirit. I have a strong emotional attachment to the character, but when the content was amateurish enough, I quit.

    There’s nothing wrong with buying any comic because you have an emotional attachment to the character or something the writer wrote a long time ago or whatever. I think the bigger problem is a LOT of blatantly unethical behavior has been swept under the carpet because of the shared hypocrisy we have when buying these books.

  24. “Isn’t the serialized nature of the publication the single biggest factor in limiting sales?”

    Um, no.

    “People who might be interested in a Superman story, who go to Superman movies, have watched TV shows, and watch SF and fantasy on TV, don’t buy Superman comics because they have to go to a shop every month to get a single installment of a story that might be good, bad, or terrible.”

    Clearly, they needn’t go into a store, if they don’t want — they can buy them digitally in their PJs at 3 in the AM, they can mail order, yadda yadda yadda. Or they can wait for the collection.

    ” “Different” takes on the heroes in the form of OGNs might fail–some certainly would–but some might sell better than their series ever will.”

    Yeah, unlikely.

    Serialization + collection will invariably yield more sales than collection alone, over the long haul.

    -B

  25. Synsidar says:

    Serialization + collection will invariably yield more sales than collection alone, over the long haul.

    Not if a (graphic) novel is written for the mass market and marketed appropriately. Until a best-selling author actually sets out to write a standalone Superman or Batman novel that “changes him forever”, people don’t know how successful that work could be. Lethem and Mieville both limited themselves by choosing obscure properties to write, possibly because they thought they could do more creatively with them.

    I realize that protecting Superman, Batman, and the other heroes as lucrative properties is DC’s top priority, but creatively, that’s deadening. Rehashing Superman’s origin or writing yet another Batman-Joker battle is, in creative terms, equivalent to doing nothing. There’s no way to promote those approaches as creative endeavors.

    SRS

  26. johnrobiethecat says:

    I wonder where the retailer story ends. They seem to be in the same situation as Best Buy. Do they to have to take every short sighted gimmick publishers throw at them in the need for money while being confounded why people cut down on books because their tired of being scammed. Its safe to say Marvel and DC won’t open their own stores to continue print books if these guys start folding. So just keep plopping these guys along works out just fine on their end. Its an odd business thats hard to understand from the outside that seems fragile. And print is still an expensive process for independents in the year 2013. Maybe the comics press can enlighten us on whats the deal is with them someday, somebody writing from their point of view,

  27. kingdom2000 says:

    You have Bob Harras ad EIC, you get gimmicks. Lots and lots of gimmicks. How DC is run currently is literally the Marvel playbook in the late 90s under Bob Harras when he helped cause it to go bankrupt. He is a non-comic book fan in charge of comic books. He is an accountant. He sees his job as hitting certain metrics each quarter and he doesn’t care how they get hit. If hitting the metrics now causes problems years from now…well that is a future problem and probably not his. And if you look at the over all sales rates, he is hitting those metrics and so his decisions are considered smart. Not long term thinking smart, just each quarter metrics smart. As long as comic stores and comic fans continue to waste their money on variants (and paying more for them is a complete waste of money), then he will continue to be rewarded for what has historically been proven to be horrible management style. How he was not permanently blacklisted from the industry continues to baffle me.

  28. royd_9 says:

    The small drop between issues 1 and 2 of Pandora could be due to the fact that #2 was an official Trinity War tie-in, while issue 1 was not.

  29. alan smith says:

    ‘Keep in mind that Diamond/Marvel/DC don’t release physical sales figures either. Diamond releases its top 300 sales and shows how each book sells in relation to Batman.’

    If sales figures aren’t released how do we how much Batman sold? Do they provide figures for Batman only?

  30. Love this column! MOF, you pointed out what really seems to be the attitude of DC right now: to not give a sh.t about content. So far, all gimmick sales sales have been cover oriented. If only DC could put that much effort into keeping its creative team on its titles and stop doing things 1 month later contradicting what they did the month before (Lobo for exemple)

  31. @Alan Smith: “If sales figures aren’t released how do we how much Batman sold? Do they provide figures for Batman only?”

    Diamond only provides index figures for each title on the chart. These figures indicate how sales of the various titles relate to each other.

    For instance, BATMAN is usually Diamond’s 100% title. In June, SUPERMAN UNCHAINED sold 176.97% of BATMAN sales, according to Diamond. In July, SUPERMAN UNCHAINED sold 125.53% of BATMAN sales. Of course, we still don’t know how much BATMAN or SUPERMAN UNCHAINED actually sold in June or July. We just know how well everything else did in relation to BATMAN.

    That’s where John Jackson Miller (Comichron), Milton Griepp (ICv2) and John Mayo (CBR) come in. Thanks to actual sales information obtained from smaller publishers whose titles are on the chart, they match that sales information with the index figures for those titles provided by Diamond, and, based on the results, calculate BATMAN sales each month. And once you know what BATMAN sold, Diamond’s index figures are the key to all other sales figures on the chart.

  32. hsssh says:

    Why are people pretending that its only DC’s problem? Marvel is in same boat.

  33. DC and Marvel have figured out how to make money selling to a particular market. It involves serialization, crossovers, variant covers, plotting in circles, drawing titties as circles, etc. And it works: it gives that market what it wants, and they keep coming back for it.

    But the same things that work for that market won’t work outside that market. Rebooting the DCU with a partial change of focus wasn’t ever going to accomplish that. Creating another Marvel U with a different continuity but the same editorial model wasn’t ever going to accomplish that.

    For Warner or Disney to expand their market would require doing something rather different, while continuing to publish Uncanny Action serials every Wednesday. And it seems to me that they’ve both hit on the same idea … but it isn’t thru comics. Instead they’re doing movies and TV. Still serialized, but in a way that those audiences are accustomed to. Different handling of characterization, and plotting. Different approach to the visuals. Larger audience. More money.

  34. alansmith says:

    ‘Sales on Detective are sinking like a stone. DC should fire the writer!’

    Cant understand this. The book is so much better with the change in creative team.
    Guess I’m just out of step with the mainstream comic buyer!!

  35. It’s truly amazing that a comic book titled “Superman” did not receive any bump at all from a huge movie featuring a character of the same name.

    Yes, Superman Unchained sold a bunch. But since they put what they consider to be their top creative team on it, seems like they would have sold in that neighborhood anyway – it most likely wasn’t a result of a movie promotion.

    Want to bring more readers into the fold? Start with your highest-profile character, make the content and products accessible and visible, and merchandise/draft off the multimillion-dollar movie marketing budget.

    Who runs marketing over there, anyway? Did no one tell them the movie was coming out? Or have they given up?

  36. I think once DC unloads stuff like Stormwatch, Green Team, Movement, Vibe and Katana and replaces them with a moderately successful Superman-WW title or Harley Quinn or the Sinestro Corps title and just leave a void where 52 titles may have been stretching it–they’ve almost gotten to where they can sustain things I think.

    They’ve pretty much gotten their staffing setup right having pushed out the peskier elements who don’t want to do massive rewrites or have their plans change at the drop of a hat or be excluded from writing their installment of a notable crossover tie-in that would give a title more exposure. So the “help” seems to be in place and those days of embarrassing tweets are largely blown over.

    So with super talent like 90s Holdovers and stellar titles like Yet Another Batman Title, DCE is poised to phase out the retailer with the digital frontier that is being presented to the WB bean counters as the space to grow in. Meanwhile, doing it on the backs of retailers themselves keeping the wheels greased by coerced variant/incentive schemes that offer the idiot OCD superhero reader their heart’s desire amidst a panoply of Pavlovian responses.

  37. “Why are people pretending that its only DC’s problem? Marvel is in same boat.”
    I really don’t think so. there are also big problems for readers wo want to pick Marvel those days but content or quality of those comics are mostly not part of it.
    The biggest problems I find with MArvel comics those days are price (4€ for a20p comics whithout a proper cover, with ads everywhere when every other publishers sell less with better products for the same price) and their double shipping policy, increasing the price problem. They clearly want our pockets empty and want us to not be able to buy any comics from another publisher. And meaningless events everywhere, common to the big publishers.

  38. majorjoe23 says:

    “Cant understand this. The book is so much better with the change in creative team.
    Guess I’m just out of step with the mainstream comic buyer!!”

    The joke is that the person who posted the comment you’re responding to is the writer of Detective.

  39. Alex Cox says:

    ” Fans of Kinney’s Wimpy Kid or of Telgemeier or Bechdel or Ware don’t care about superhero comics”

    That’s a ridiculous statement. It’s a broad assumption that doesn’t reflect reality. I, and all of my friends that read comics, read Bechdel, Ware, etc, and assorted superhero comics. It also flies against what i witnessed in over 15 years selling comics.

    People don’t categorize as easy as that.

  40. SniktSnakt says:

    “Who runs marketing over there, anyway? Did no one tell them the movie was coming out? Or have they given up?”

    Bob Harras was EIC @Marvel when the first X-Men movie came out. Even then he didn’t give a damn and did NOTHING to try to ca$h on the success of the movie. Rumor has it that was the final straw that led to his ouster…

  41. jason says:

    Quoted for truth: “Two titles with similar declines over the last six and 12 months, respectively. What they have in common is that they used to be successful, and then they crossed over with each other.”
    I totally dropped Animal Man simply because it crossed over to a title I didn’t want to buy. Publishers always seem to count on readers gained by crossovers and not realize readers also jump right off.

  42. “It’s truly amazing that a comic book titled “Superman” did not receive any bump at all from a huge movie featuring a character of the same name. ”

    Why would it? DC marketing was 100% clear that Unchained was the book that ‘counted’ and the market got the message.

    “Not if a (graphic) novel is written for the mass market and marketed appropriately. Until a best-selling author actually sets out to write a standalone Superman or Batman novel that “changes him forever”, people don’t know how successful that work could be.”

    You’re making the mistaken assumption that something you want is what the market wants and is waiting for. No evidence supports your assertions.

  43. Silly but True says:

    People do know to a degree. While not Superman or Batman, Del Rey did exactly what was suggested in 1999 with its Star Wars brand. They meshed the then-up-and-comer “dark fantasy” superstars, J. Gregory Keyes, Matthew Stover, and of course the infamously bad-hand-dealt “I killed the family dog” R.A. Salvatore. Using plot and direction from Dark Horse Comics, among the several licensees, and the desire to make permanent changes, the end product is arguably the most divisive Star Wars fiction published: the New Jedi Order.

    I don’t have much faith in trying to recreate the same model for comics properties equally beloved. Although I will say the prose adaptation of Crisis on Infinite Earths was a surprisingly enjoyable read. I’d suggest the event it adapted changed things permanently, but I don’t know what that means when the co-publisher no longer recognizes its existence.

    Silly But True

  44. MBunge says:

    “If Marvel and DC died, or simply stopped publishing comics, the comics shops would be hurt, obviously, but comics as a format wouldn’t be hurt at all.”

    If DC and Marvel die, the Direct Market comic industry dies. How many folks are making a living a comics without at least some sales in the Direct Market? The artform would surely survive but the comic book will die with Marvel and DC and I do think losing that format would hurt comics as a whole, to some degree.

    Mike

  45. Micah says:

    John Layman is the best!

    Sales of Trinity War may have gone up because readers like the content. If you take a quick look at what is selling on eBay for crazy money, Batman is way up there. Batman has major content. Actually expanding across all publishers, you can also add Saga and Walking Dead to the list, both because of content. Even Daredevil and Hawkeye are commanding $$$ on the secondary market, because of content. But MOF is right in the sense that DC is using a lot of gimmicks to move their books. As a content-based reader I’ve read of lot of the New52 relaunches but most of those titles have dropped off my radar. The creative teams are too unknown or too much in flux. Look at the Superman line; who’s editing those books (rhetorically)? It’s a nightmare, and I’m not going to try them out.

    And your dropped ball is the constant non-presence of comics inside the movie theaters. Get some promotional books INSIDE the lobby somewhere and sell sell sell! “Want a large popcorn? It comes with a free comic book.” The fact that this is not happening already is bizarre.

  46. Micah says:

    Oh, and Lemire’s Animal is the best thing DC is publishing (no offense John Layman). Steve Pugh delivered a MASTERPIECE with issue #22. Crack this book open and look at those backgrounds. Look at that detail! Fantastic! The storyline has been moving at an excellent pace ever since the end of the Rot. Annual No. 2 was superb. Jeff Lemire is writing DC’s avant-garde superhero book!

  47. alan smith says:

    Re m binge and comic books dying if marvel/DC died

    Gotta love you Americans you are so insular. Comic books may die in the us but elsewhere comics are still selling and even available on new stands and the majority aren’t superhero books. So DC/marvel failing wouldn’t mean the end of comic books except in the us.

  48. alan smith: Based on the context, I think what MBunge meant by “comic book will die” is that saddle-stitched monthly serial comics will die as a publishing format.

  49. “Gotta love you Americans you are so insular. Comic books may die in the us but elsewhere comics are still selling and even available on new stands and the majority aren’t superhero books. So DC/marvel failing wouldn’t mean the end of comic books except in the us.”

    Oh joy, America bashing. Most normal people would look at an article about American comic companies, American comic sales, and American comic book stores and assume that any reference to comics would be about comics in, I don’t know, America. Is it really necessary for people replying to this thread to preface every comment about comics with “in America”? Only a very insular person would think that.

  50. “Why would it? DC marketing was 100% clear that Unchained was the book that ‘counted’ and the market got the message.”

    @Aaron, the flagship title should have been part of the marketing push because it is called “Superman.” Unchained could have been part of the package for consumers to purchase…but not THE package. Takes some advance planning, but so does creating a multimillion-dollar motion picture.

  51. Lorrie says:

    I don’t understand why an adult would want a plastic ring unless it actually gave one superpowers.

  52. Cavemold says:

    Look at that HUGE Varaint increase holy crap.
    The ring I totally missed. It looks liked it kinda helped . I wonder if it was worth the over head for it. 12 books selling really bad is sign to break way from the 52 book label. Glad to see Astro city stablized well so far.

  53. Shawn Kane says:

    “In fact, the recent wave of successful Image titles may have more to do with it; Astro City has more incommon with those titles than it does with the rest of Vertigo’s output, after all.’

    How about that people just like a monthly dose of Astro City? I’d think that some of the lower sales are probably more from it’s sporadic shipping schedule over the years rather than who is publishing it. I know that you prefer Image to DC but let’s not make up reasons why a good book has good sales.

  54. Whatever says:

    “I don’t understand why an adult would want a plastic ring unless it actually gave one superpowers.”
    Have you ever walked into a comic store and seen the people who actually read superhero comics? Just look at any series photos from any comic-con anywhere, ever.

  55. Ed Brubaker says:

    I don’t know why anyone would wish for the end of the Direct Market just because they don’t like DC or Marvel. Its something 2500 small businesses that are helping to keep print alive, and it’s a model that is so individual that no Barnes and Noble chain ever coopted them and then slowly went bankrupt. These same stores that sell superhero comics also sell gorgeous Parker Martini editions, and EC hardbacks, and Saga, and Sandman, and hundreds of other non-superhero comics. The good stores have changed with the market and the audience tastes.

    People need to stop looking at DC and Marvel as the entire industry.

  56. Ed Brubaker says:

    As someone who watched B and N and Borders drive a lot of small local bookstores out of business in the 90s, I’m glad the DM is as idiosyncratic as it is, because I think that’s one of the main reasons it survived.

  57. @ Jon in Austin – I disagree. Having one book as a gateway for movie fans is a good idea, having multiple Superman books with no relation to each other, nor any level of consistent quality, is a bad idea. While I doubt many Man of Steel fans picked up Superman Unchained, at least the book is out there and good.

  58. alansmith says:

    ‘I think what MBunge meant by “comic book will die” is that saddle-stitched monthly serial comics will die as a publishing format.’

    But only in the US, monthly comic books are still being published around the world and available on newstands.

  59. Shawn Kane says:

    “Have you ever walked into a comic store and seen the people who actually read superhero comics? Just look at any series photos from any comic-con anywhere, ever.”

    I can’t say that about my LCS. There are all sorts of different types of people who come in and buy comics, of course not all are superhero comic readers. I’m a superhero comic reader and I don’t look anything like the people in those pictures. Are there people that may fit one’s narrow minded stereotype? Sure but to say that’s what all people in a store who read superhero comics look like would mean that the individual might need to re-evaluate their negative view of people.

  60. Glenn Simpson says:

    Stereotypes don’t spontaneously come into being. They usually have some kernel of truth.

  61. James says:

    “Sales on Detective are sinking like a stone. DC should fire the writer!”

    I was gonna have a go a this poster! As its my favourite Batman title at the moment! But it’s Layman who wrote it!! haha… Snyder’s Batman issues has no humour. Its a bit depressing.

    Also, I thought Pandora was an ongoing title.

  62. James says:

    And my store didn’t give me a ring with my GL #21!!!! Which one was it? I don’t have a white or black one yet.

  63. Whatever says:

    Yup Shawn comic book guy from the Simpons has been funny for 20 years because it’s a wildly inaccurate portrail of comic fans. Superhero comics are stupid, melodrama for boys with inferiority complexes. Batman (insert your favorite Big 2 hero) will never die or progress so there is no reason to read the thing; Unless you are into pictures of men in tight suits beating up other men. The sooner the Big Two transition these characters to movies and comics progress on to other things the better. Wink, wink that will never happen now that WB and Disney are instiotnalizing the geek a la Sheldon Cooper, fake geek girls and everything else that sucks.

  64. DC forced retailers to meet certain ordering levels to get the rings; retailers also had to pay extra for the rings – they were not free. Your store may not have gotten any rings because they did not want to order more copies of the GL books than they could sell (and therefore lose money) or because they were annoyed at paying for a sales incentive.

    Steve

  65. Glenn Simpson says:

    @Steve – I think it’s more accurate to say “DC offered the rings to retailers who chose to order at certain levels.”

  66. Looks like KATANA and VIBE are safe for a while; DC recently announced they’ll publish trade paperback collections of issues #8-12 (KATANA) and #8-13 (VIBE) in July 2014. STORMWATCH also will see at least a few more issues; DC is collecting #19-28 in June 2014.

    Steve

  67. Glenn,
    Yeah, if I could edit my post I’d consider replacing “forced” with “required.”
    It’s certainly more polite to say it your way.
    Thanks,
    Steve

  68. Synsidar says:

    The worst things about how Marvel and DC use their characters are the effects they have on attitudes toward creativity. Creating characters as needed for a particular story is the norm, not some eccentricity. Wondering or fearing what will happen to them intensifies a reader’s involvement with the story.

    There really isn’t any way to justify using an unchanging character over and over again in stories from an aesthetics standpoint, because doing that is non-creative, or even anti-creative. The only justification is economic: there’s a paying market for that character, but there might not be one for a new character. The adage “Nobody ever dies in comics” has nothing to do with drama or storytelling; it’s used because a character with a measurable fan base is a property that’s too valuable to lose by having it die.

    Danielle Steel is a writer with a bad reputation, but she owns what she has published, for better or worse, and that’s preferable, from a creative standpoint, to having a job writing about a character you don’t own, and having a host of excuses to offer whenever a story is unsatisfactory. Whenever doing what’s needed to get the job done conflicts with creativity, creativity loses.

    SRS

  69. Strabo says:

    Character aren’t unchanging. They are extremely slow-changing and often get reset to a status quo unnecessarily, but for a few months, years or even decades (for example Superman’s marriage, Peter Parker’s marriage, Wally West as Flash, the different Bat-Girls and Robins…) they do develop and change – until the next writer takes over and/or the old writer before puts them how he found them or some stupid company-wide reboot happens and retcons Stephanie Brown and Cassandra Cain out of existence.
    Popular changes will often be kept, unpopular discarded. Except in case of certain Bat-Girls.

  70. Torsten Adair says:

    Hmmm… it’s funny, but Micky Maus Magazin has sold tremendously well over the years. Each issue has an “extra”. Sometimes it’s a toy attached to the cover, sometimes it’s an insert like cards, a poster, or stickers.

    DC’s ring initiative failed. I never heard of it. If the fans don’t demand it, why would a retailer get involved? (Unless, of course, to sell them online, like Midtown Comics did with the Darkest Night rings.)

    Of course, if DC really wanted to increase sales among readers, it would insert a coupon into the comic that had to be redeemed for an extra. I believe Malibu and Valiant both did this. (And perhaps Wizard with their 1/2 issues.)

    Astro City is the first title I read every month from DC. None of the New 52 are high on my list. Vertigo and the digital comics tend to rise to the top of the reading pile.

    I suspect that DC will use Morrison’s Multiversity to add other universes to the New 52, possibly using these “elseworlds” to experiment with new characters or versions. Why? Because look at DC’s superhero backlist. No one buys old volumes of the serial titles (except for Morrison’s JLA reboot). It’s Superman: Red Son, or Dark Knight Returns, or Arkham Asylum. Done-in-one volumes, easy to read, easy to understand.

    That then becomes a breeding ground for screenwriters looking for ideas suitable for movies. Once the movies are released, those books are then tied-in with the promotion. DC did this quite effectively with each Batman movie, with backlist titles hitting the NY Times bestseller list.

  71. “Looks like KATANA and VIBE are safe for a while; DC recently announced they’ll publish trade paperback collections of issues #8-12 (KATANA) and #8-13 (VIBE) in July 2014. STORMWATCH also will see at least a few more issues; DC is collecting #19-28 in June 2014. ”

    Arrrgh! DC’s cancelled all of the titles I was previously reading and I’m ready for a new wave.

Trackbacks

  1. […] First of all, what is The New 52? Some people call it a relaunch, or a reboot. Essentially, though, it was a renumbering: all of DC’s monthly comic book series were set to “#1″ in September 2011. Therefore, Action Comics #904 from August 2011 is followed by Action Comics #1 in September instead of #905. Likewise, there is no Detective Comics #882, and so on. This seems like a risky idea, but commercially, it worked wonders for DC, at least in the beginning. By now, it looks to me as if the sales boost effect has waned, judging by the estimates published on The Beat, for instance (see e.g. this column by Marc-Oliver Frisch on DC’s July 2013 sales). […]

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