DC Comics Month-to-Month Sales: May 2013 – ¡Viva el Vertigo!

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by Marc-Oliver Frisch

In May 2013, Vertigo is back in business in a major way: The first issue of The Wake, a 10-issue miniseries by writer Scott Snyder and artist Sean G. Murphy, sold an estimated 45,000 units, the highest number for a Vertigo comic book since the year 2000. The imprint’s average comic-book sales increased to 21,000 units as a result — the highest level recorded since Diamond Comic Distributors started providing information on actual sales in March 2003. (To date, the record was held by October 2003, with average Vertigo sales of 18,000 copies.)

This is a very big deal indeed. Even with top-flight creative teams and increasingly desperate promotional stunts, Vertigo never managed to crack 34,000 units with any of its launches in more than 10 years. As recently as January 2010, Joe the Barbarian, an eight-issue miniseries drawn by Murphy and written by top-flight creator Grant Morrison, debuted with an estimated 25,543 units sold — the cover price was $1.00. American Vampire, mainly written by Scott Snyder, managed an estimated 33,762 units in March 2010, at least, by having Stephen King on board as a back-up writer.

There was a fair amount of grumbling recently when DC Comics co-publisher and fan-favorite bogeyman Dan DiDio was quoted in the New York Times expressing some doubts on Vertigo’s recent business model. It was — wait for it — “myopic” to think “that servicing a very small slice of our audience is the way to go ahead,” DiDio told Dave Itzkoff.

It’s understandable why readers and critics, probably feeling nostalgic about one project or another from Vertigo’s 20-year history, are not inclined to agree with DiDio. Especially so considering that the statement is part of a profile of outgoing long-time DC editor Karen Berger, who founded Vertigo, curated many of its signature titles and was one of a select few people left at the publisher who haven’t been subjected to the scorn of fans, critics and estranged creators on a daily basis.

Up to a point, those critics are right. Ideally, Vertigo is the type of imprint where creators get to grow and experiment while finding a voice and an audience, not necessarily starting out with great sales right away, but rewarding the publisher with a strong backlist of titles that will remain in print for years to come — not to mention a stable of homegrown big-name talent, ready to infuse DC’s signature franchises with the new blood they need every few years to keep selling. That kind of idea and talent farm is something worth worth cultivating, even if the immediate sales aren’t stellar compared to, say, Batman.

It’s the opposite of “myopic.”

In practice, though, the last time this model really worked was with Y: The Last Man (2002-2008) and Fables (also launched in 2002 and still ongoing), the two most recent Vertigo properties to register consistently and in significant numbers in the Nielsen Bookscan and Diamond “Graphic Novel” charts. For any new Vertigo series launched in the last 10 years, including titles like DMZ, Scalped and American Vampire, success had to be measured in rather more modest terms.

So, ultimately, once DC’s parent company Warner got involved more heavily and restructured the publisher in 2010, it was to be expected that Vertigo would be affected, as well. Warner doesn’t need comics anymore to make tons of money with Batman and Superman films. Christopher Nolan’s trilogy of Batman movies has probably made the company more money than all of DC Comics combined. As a consequence, it seems, there’s now more of a need to be profitable right away at DC to justify a book’s existence. Among other things, this has resulted in the heavy reorientation of the Vertigo imprint that’s been happening for the last several months, and which is entering a new stage with the release of The Wake.

The Wake included, only four ongoing Vertigo titles are left in May 2013, the lowest number of monthly titles on record for the imprint since at least March 2003. And unlike previous measures taken to streamline and re-energize the brand, this time it appears to working quite well.

Relying on creators who have already enjoyed mainstream success is not how Vertigo started out, certainly. Right now, we’re in the middle of Vertigo’s transformation from a relatively sheltered idea and talent farm to a much more competitive place. In terms of content, it’s not entirely clear what Vertigo will look like once — and if — it emerges from this transformation. Recent and forthcoming additions like Django Unchained, Astro City or Collider don’t reveal a distinctive direction yet.

What The Wake does, at this stage, is to prove that “creator-driven” books (as opposed to “creator-owned,” which only fully applies to Astro City) with high-profile creative teams can sell despite the Vertigo label. Whether or not this is going to help DC in re-establishing the Vertigo brand as a selling point, we’re going to find out in the next several months.

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.

—–

290 - GREEN LANTERN: THE ANIMATED SERIES (Johnny DC)
04/2012: GL: TAS #1  -- 12,791
05/2012: GL: TAS #2  --  9,615 (-24.8%)
06/2012: GL: TAS #3  --  8,716 (- 9.4%)
07/2012: GL: TAS #4  --  7,790 (-10.6%)
08/2012: GL: TAS #5  --  6,968 (-10.6%)
09/2012: GL: TAS #6  --  6,619 (- 5.0%)
10/2012: GL: TAS #7  --  6,516 (- 1.6%)
11/2012: GL: TAS #8  --  5,961 (- 8.5%)
12/2012: GL: TAS #9  --  5,464 (- 8.3%)
01/2013: GL: TAS #10 --  5,263 (- 3.7%)
02/2013: GL: TAS #11 --  5,211 (- 1.0%)
03/2013: GL: TAS #12 --  5,115 (- 1.8%)
04/2013: --
05/2013: GL: TAS #13 --  5,104 (- 0.2%)
----------------
6 months: -14.4%
1 year  : -60.1%

Cancelled with issue #14.

—–

234 - THE UNWRITTEN (Vertigo)
05/2009: The Unwritten #1  -- 26,915 [31,081]
05/2010: The Unwritten #13 -- 13,467
05/2011: The Unwritten #25 -- 11,137
------------------------------------
05/2012: The Unwritten #37 --  9,549 (- 1.3%)
06/2012: The Unwritten #38 --  9,494 (- 0.6%)
07/2012: The Unwritten #39 --  9,478 (- 0.2%)
08/2012: The Unwritten #40 --  9,127 (- 3.7%)
09/2012: The Unwritten #41 --  8,943 (- 2.0%)
10/2012: The Unwritten #42 --  8,881 (- 0.7%)
11/2012: The Unwritten #43 --  8,791 (- 1.0%)
12/2012: The Unwritten #44 --  8,532 (- 3.0%)
01/2013: The Unwritten #45 --  8,465 (- 0.8%)
02/2013: The Unwritten #46 --  8,352 (- 1.3%)
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%)
----------------
6 months: - 6.3%
1 year  : -13.8%
2 years : -26.1%

This issue was billed as a lead-in to the storyline crossing over with Fables, but The Unwritten sales have been stabilizing over the last six months, anyway.

It’s the lowest-selling remaining Vertigo title by 7,000 units, but writer Mike Carey has indicated that there’s a predetermined ending point, and right now, there’s no reason to suspect the book won’t reach it.

—–

210 - JSA LIBERTY FILES: THE WHISTLING SKULL
12/2012: Whistling Skull #1 of 6 -- 21,370
01/2013: Whistling Skull #2 of 6 -- 16,593 (-22.4%)
02/2013: Whistling Skull #3 of 6 -- 12,851 (-22.6%)
03/2013: Whistling Skull #4 of 6 -- 11,569 (-10.0%)
04/2013: Whistling Skull #5 of 6 -- 10,728 (- 7.3%)
05/2013: Whistling Skull #6 of 6 -- 10,017 (- 6.6%)

Let’s be realistic: This was a repurposed stand-alone miniseries originally commissioned for WildStorm. The fact that it finished above 10K is much more than it could otherwise have hoped for.

—–

209 - 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%)
----------------
6 months: -60.6%

Not really levelling out. Arrow is the lowest-selling of DC’s “digital-first” books, to which different economics apply. I imagine sales upwards of 10,000 units are perfectly all right for this type of book, as well.

—–

205 - THE FURY OF FIRESTORM: THE NUCLEAR MEN
05/2012: Firestorm #9  -- 17,240 (+ 1.0%)
06/2012: Firestorm #10 -- 15,789 (- 8.4%)
07/2012: Firestorm #11 -- 14,931 (- 5.4%)
08/2012: Firestorm #12 -- 14,137 (- 5.3%)
09/2012: Firestorm #0  -- 17,279 (+22.2%)
10/2012: Firestorm #13 -- 13,460 (-22.1%)
11/2012: Firestorm #14 -- 12,862 (- 4.4%)
12/2012: Firestorm #15 -- 11,997 (- 6.7%)
01/2013: Firestorm #16 -- 11,361 (- 5.3%)
02/2013: Firestorm #17 -- 11,100 (- 2.3%)
03/2013: Firestorm #18 -- 10,679 (- 3.8%)
04/2013: Firestorm #19 -- 10,603 (- 0.7%)
05/2013: Firestorm #20 -- 10,235 (- 3.5%)
----------------
6 months: -20.4%
1 year  : -40.6%

Cancelled.

We’re in “New 52″ land now, where the culling never stops. In June, DC’s average sales will probably make quite the leap — not necessarily because of the big-ticket projects at the top of the charts, but more because six of the lowest-selling ones got the axe in May.

—–

200 - SWORD OF SORCERY
09/2012: Sword of Sorcery #0  -- 29,954
10/2012: Sword of Sorcery #1  -- 23,947 (-20.1%)
11/2012: Sword of Sorcery #2  -- 18,080 (-24.5%)
12/2012: Sword of Sorcery #3  -- 15,280 (-15.5%)
01/2013: Sword of Sorcery #4  -- 13,995 (- 8.4%)
02/2013: Sword of Sorcery #5  -- 12,334 (-11.9%)
03/2013: Sword of Sorcery #6  -- 11,776 (- 4.5%)
04/2013: Sword of Sorcery #7  -- 11,412 (- 3.1%)
05/2013: Sword of Sorcery #8  -- 10,677 (- 6.4%)
----------------
6 months: -41.0%

Cancelled.

—–

198 - TEAM 7
09/2012: Team 7 #0  -- 34,503
10/2012: Team 7 #1  -- 27,661 (-19.8%)
11/2012: Team 7 #2  -- 19,510 (-29.5%)
12/2012: Team 7 #3  -- 17,090 (-12.4%)
01/2013: Team 7 #4  -- 14,919 (-12.7%)
02/2013: Team 7 #5  -- 13,005 (-12.8%)
03/2013: Team 7 #6  -- 11,805 (- 9.2%)
04/2013: Team 7 #7  -- 11,610 (- 1.7%)
05/2013: Team 7 #8  -- 10,805 (- 6.9%)
----------------
6 months: -60.9%

Cancelled.

—–

193 - THE SAVAGE HAWKMAN
05/2003: Hawkman #15        -- 29,899
-------------------------------------
05/2012: Savage Hawkman #9  -- 17,626 (- 3.7%)
06/2012: Savage Hawkman #10 -- 16,417 (- 6.9%)
07/2012: Savage Hawkman #11 -- 15,460 (- 5.8%)
08/2012: Savage Hawkman #12 -- 14,745 (- 4.6%)
09/2012: Savage Hawkman #0  -- 18,750 (+27.2%)
10/2012: Savage Hawkman #13 -- 14,763 (-21.3%)
11/2012: Savage Hawkman #14 -- 14,726 (- 0.3%)
12/2012: Savage Hawkman #15 -- 13,564 (- 7.9%)
01/2013: Savage Hawkman #16 -- 12,852 (- 5.3%)
02/2013: Savage Hawkman #17 -- 12,376 (- 3.7%)
03/2013: Savage Hawkman #18 -- 12,021 (- 2.9%)
04/2013: Savage Hawkman #19 -- 11,927 (- 0.8%)
05/2013: Savage Hawkman #20 -- 11,104 (- 6.9%)
----------------
6 months: -24.6%
1 year  : -37.0%
10 years: -62.9%

Cancelled.

—–

191 - 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%)

Cancelled with issue #8.

—–

184 - DEATHSTROKE
05/2012: Deathstroke #9  -- 20,878 (+10.9%)
06/2012: Deathstroke #10 -- 19,722 (- 5.5%)
07/2012: Deathstroke #11 -- 17,107 (-13.3%)
08/2012: Deathstroke #12 -- 16,772 (- 2.0%)
09/2012: Deathstroke #0  -- 20,796 (+24.0%)
10/2012: Deathstroke #13 -- 15,078 (-27.5%)
11/2012: Deathstroke #14 -- 14,452 (- 4.2%)
12/2012: Deathstroke #15 -- 13,528 (- 6.4%)
01/2013: Deathstroke #16 -- 12,758 (- 5.7%)
02/2013: Deathstroke #17 -- 12,626 (- 1.0%)
03/2013: Deathstroke #18 -- 12,306 (- 2.5%)
04/2013: Deathstroke #19 -- 12,392 (+ 0.7%)
05/2013: Deathstroke #20 -- 11,768 (- 5.0%)
----------------
6 months: -18.6%
1 year  : -43.6%

Cancelled.

—–

181 - 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%)
----------------
6 months: -25.3%

Sales are back where they were three months ago. If the book manages to level out here, it might be around for a while.

—–

176 - DEMON KNIGHTS
05/2012: Demon Knights #9  -- 20,196 (- 4.4%)
06/2012: Demon Knights #10 -- 19,005 (- 5.9%)
07/2012: Demon Knights #11 -- 18,201 (- 4.2%)
08/2012: Demon Knights #12 -- 17,295 (- 5.0%)
09/2012: Demon Knights #0  -- 20,474 (+18.4%)
10/2012: Demon Knights #13 -- 16,805 (-17.9%)
11/2012: Demon Knights #14 -- 16,005 (- 4.8%)
12/2012: Demon Knights #15 -- 15,152 (- 5.3%)
01/2013: Demon Knights #16 -- 14,168 (- 6.5%)
02/2013: Demon Knights #17 -- 13,571 (- 4.2%)
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%)
----------------
6 months: -23.8%
1 year  : -39.6%

Cancelled with issue #23.

—–

175 - THE RAVAGERS
05/2012: Ravagers #1  -- 44,230
06/2012: Ravagers #2  -- 31,128 (-29.6%)
07/2012: Ravagers #3  -- 24,963 (-19.8%)
08/2012: Ravagers #4  -- 20,730 (-17.0%)
09/2012: Ravagers #0  -- 22,437 (+ 8.2%)
10/2012: Ravagers #5  -- 18,656 (-16.9%)
11/2012: Ravagers #6  -- 17,334 (- 7.1%)
12/2012: Ravagers #7  -- 16,177 (- 6.7%)
01/2013: Ravagers #8  -- 15,030 (- 7.1%)
02/2013: Ravagers #9  -- 14,223 (- 5.4%)
03/2013: Ravagers #10 -- 13,466 (- 5.3%)
04/2013: Ravagers #11 -- 13,074 (- 2.9%)
05/2013: Ravagers #12 -- 12,221 (- 6.5%)
----------------
6 months: -34.5%
1 year  : -72.4%

Cancelled.

—–

173 - DIAL H
05/2003: H-E-R-O #4 -- 21,023
-----------------------------
05/2012: Dial H #1  -- 45,308
06/2012: Dial H #2  -- 30,618 (-32.4%)
07/2012: Dial H #3  -- 26,109 (-14.7%)
08/2012: Dial H #4  -- 22,733 (-12.9%)
09/2012: Dial H #0  -- 24,070 (+ 5.9%)
10/2012: Dial H #5  -- 19,903 (-17.3%)
11/2012: Dial H #6  -- 17,832 (-10.4%)
12/2012: Dial H #7  -- 16,217 (- 9.1%)
01/2013: Dial H #8  -- 14,672 (- 9.5%)
02/2013: Dial H #9  -- 13,541 (- 7.7%)
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%)
----------------
6 months: -30.6%
1 year  : -72.7%
10 years: -41.1%

Cancelled with issue #15, give or take an idiotically marketed epilogue issue called Justice League #23.3: Dial E.

—–

164 - STORMWATCH
05/2003: Stormwatch: TA #11   -- 14,078
05/2008: Stormwatch: PHD #7   -- 12,812
05/2009: Stormwatch: PHD #21  --  5,370
---------------------------------------
05/2012: Stormwatch #9        -- 22,448 (- 3.3%)
06/2012: Stormwatch #10       -- 20,592 (- 8.3%)
07/2012: Stormwatch #11       -- 19,678 (- 4.4%)
08/2012: Stormwatch #12       -- 18,531 (- 5.8%)
09/2012: Stormwatch #0        -- 21,764 (+17.5%)
10/2012: Stormwatch #13       -- 17,621 (-19.0%)
11/2012: Stormwatch #14       -- 16,559 (- 6.0%)
12/2012: Stormwatch #15       -- 15,437 (- 6.8%)
01/2013: Stormwatch #16       -- 14,411 (- 6.7%)
02/2013: Stormwatch #17       -- 13,657 (- 5.2%)
03/2013: Stormwatch #18       -- 13,255 (- 2.9%)
04/2013: Stormwatch #19       -- 13,626 (+ 2.8%)
05/2013: Stormwatch #20       -- 13,049 (- 4.2%)
-----------------
6 months: - 21.2%
1 year  : - 41.9%
5 years : +  1.9%
10 years: -  7.3%

Still ongoing, at this time, and on balance, the decline has at least slowed down somewhat over the last three issues. I wouldn’t bet the farm on Stormwatch being around in six months, though.

—–

161 - BATWING
05/2012: Batwing #9  -- 35,731 (+75.4%)
06/2012: Batwing #10 -- 20,724 (-42.0%)
07/2012: Batwing #11 -- 20,047 (- 3.3%)
08/2012: Batwing #12 -- 18,279 (- 8.8%)
09/2012: Batwing #0  -- 22,135 (+21.1%)
10/2012: Batwing #13 -- 17,166 (-22.5%)
11/2012: Batwing #14 -- 15,967 (- 7.0%)
12/2012: Batwing #15 -- 14,674 (- 8.1%)
01/2013: Batwing #16 -- 13,427 (- 8.5%)
02/2013: Batwing #17 -- 12,595 (- 6.2%)
03/2013: Batwing #18 -- 12,084 (- 4.1%)
04/2013: Batwing #19 -- 13,570 (+12.3%)
05/2013: Batwing #20 -- 13,302 (- 2.0%)
----------------
6 months: -16.7%
1 year  : -62.8%

There’s still a marginal increase following the arrival of a new creative team in April. But sales are awfully low already, and so far there’s no real sign of a trend reversal, either.

—–

156 - SMALLVILLE SEASON 11 SPECIAL (Digital-First)
05/2013: Smallville S11 Special #1 -- 13,988

About 1,500 units below the regular series. Very good numbers for this type of thing.

—–

154 - BATMAN: ARKHAM UNHINGED (Digital-First)
05/2012: Arkham Unhinged #2  -- 25,215 (-19.1%)
06/2012: Arkham Unhinged #3  -- 23,322 (- 7.5%)
07/2012: Arkham Unhinged #4  -- 21,809 (- 6.5%)
08/2012: Arkham Unhinged #5  -- 21,059 (- 3.4%)
09/2012: Arkham Unhinged #6  -- 20,259 (- 3.8%)
10/2012: Arkham Unhinged #7  -- 19,890 (- 1.8%)
11/2012: Arkham Unhinged #8  -- 18,393 (- 7.5%)
12/2012: Arkham Unhinged #9  -- 17,220 (- 6.4%)
01/2013: Arkham Unhinged #10 -- 16,113 (- 6.4%)
02/2013: Arkham Unhinged #11 -- 15,703 (- 2.6%)
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%)
----------------
6 months: -23.6%
1 year  : -44.3%

This digital-first title keeps sliding down the charts, but we’ve yet to see any cancellations on this line, so there’s probably a lot of rope left.

—–

152 - 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%)

This “New 52″ book is clearly in cancellation territory, on the other hand. Katana isn’t crashing as badly as Threshold, but its numbers aren’t substantially better, either.

—–

151 - FAIREST (Vertigo)
05/2012: Fairest #3  -- 22,329 (- 2.9%)
06/2012: Fairest #4  -- 21,156 (- 5.3%)
07/2012: Fairest #5  -- 20,371 (- 3.7%)
08/2012: Fairest #6  -- 19,446 (- 4.5%)
09/2012: Fairest #7  -- 18,626 (- 4.2%)
10/2012: Fairest #8  -- 18,376 (- 1.3%)
11/2012: Fairest #9  -- 17,417 (- 5.2%)
12/2012: Fairest #10 -- 16,919 (- 2.9%)
01/2013: Fairest #11 -- 16,498 (- 2.5%)
02/2013: Fairest #12 -- 16,141 (- 2.2%)
03/2013: Fairest #13 -- 15,693 (- 2.8%)
04/2013: Fairest #14 -- 15,269 (- 2.7%)
05/2013: Fairest #15 -- 14,959 (- 2.0%)
----------------
6 months: -14.1%
1 year  : -33.0%

Standard attrition. Interestingly, the book seems totally unaffected by recent creative-team changes. Issue #14 was written by Fables creator Bill Willingham, but you wouldn’t know it from looking at the numbers.

—–

150 - 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%)

Another “New 52″ book in terminal decline. The writers and the artist who launched the book have all jumped ship, or are about to, already, so a turnaround seems very unlikely.

—–

146 - FABLES (Vertigo)
05/2003: Fables #13  -- 25,158
05/2008: Fables #73  -- 23,785
05/2009: Fables #84  -- 23,634
05/2010: Fables #95  -- 19,932
05/2011: Fables #105 -- 18,749
------------------------------
05/2012: Fables #117 -- 17,484 (- 0.3%)
06/2012: Fables #118 -- 18,566 (+ 6.2%)
07/2012: Fables #119 -- 17,110 (- 7.8%)
08/2012: Fables #120 -- 16,704 (- 2.4%)
09/2012: Fables #121 -- 16,596 (- 0.7%)
10/2012: Fables #122 -- 16,513 (- 0.5%)
11/2012: Fables #123 -- 16,229 (- 1.7%)
12/2012: Fables #124 -- 16,018 (- 1.3%)
01/2013: Fables #125 -- 15,983 (- 0.2%)
02/2013: Fables #126 -- 15,480 (- 3.2%)
03/2013: Fables #127 -- 15,529 (+ 0.3%)
04/2013: Fables #128 -- 15,606 (+ 0.5%)
05/2013: Fables #129 -- 15,380 (- 1.5%)
----------------
6 months: - 5.2%
1 year  : -12.0%
2 years : -18.0%
5 years : -35.3%
10 years: -38.9%

Rock-solid numbers over the last few months.

—–

145 - SMALLVILLE SEASON 11 (Digital-First)
05/2012: Smallville S11 #1  -- 27,004
06/2012: Smallville S11 #2  -- 22,468 (-16.8%)
07/2012: Smallville S11 #3  -- 20,864 (- 7.1%)
08/2012: Smallville S11 #4  -- 19,861 (- 4.8%)
09/2012: Smallville S11 #5  -- 19,499 (- 1.8%)
10/2012: Smallville S11 #6  -- 19,663 (+ 0.8%)
11/2012: Smallville S11 #7  -- 19,104 (- 2.8%)
12/2012: Smallville S11 #8  -- 18,633 (- 2.5%)
01/2013: Smallville S11 #9  -- 17,845 (- 4.2%)
02/2013: Smallville S11 #10 -- 17,024 (- 4.6%)
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%)
----------------
6 months: -19.2%
1 year  : -42.8%

Drifting down slowly.

—–

142 - THE LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES
05/2003: Legion #20           -- 23,184
05/2008: LoSH #42             -- 27,940
05/2010: LoSH #1              -- 44,415 [50,106]
05/2011: LoSH #13             -- 23,105
---------------------------------------
05/2012: LoSH #9              -- 20,854 (-  2.8%)
06/2012: LoSH #10             -- 19,963 (-  4.3%)
07/2012: LoSH #11             -- 19,421 (-  2.7%)
08/2012: LoSH #12             -- 18,907 (-  2.7%)
09/2012: LoSH #0              -- 21,561 (+ 14.0%)
10/2012: LoSH #13             -- 18,487 (- 14.3%)
11/2012: LoSH #14             -- 17,767 (-  3.9%)
12/2012: LoSH #15             -- 16,912 (-  4.8%)
01/2013: LoSH #16             -- 16,496 (-  2.5%)
02/2013: LoSH #17             -- 16,242 (-  1.5%)
03/2013: LoSH #18             -- 16,148 (-  0.6%)
04/2013: LoSH #19             -- 16,015 (-  0.9%)
05/2013: LoSH #20             -- 15,532 (-  3.0%)
-----------------
6 months: - 12.6%
1 year  : - 25.5%
2 years : - 32.8%
5 years : - 44.4%
10 years: - 33.0%

Cancelled with issue #23.

—–

140 - BATMAN BEYOND UNLIMITED (Digital-First)
05/2012: Unlimited #4          -- 24,356 (+ 0.7%)
06/2012: Unlimited #5          -- 24,058 (- 1.2%)
07/2012: Unlimited #6          -- 22,555 (- 6.3%)
08/2012: Unlimited #7          -- 21,219 (- 5.9%)
09/2012: Unlimited #8          -- 20,897 (- 1.5%)
10/2012: Unlimited #9          -- 19,877 (- 4.9%)
11/2012: Unlimited #10         -- 19,004 (- 4.4%)
12/2012: Unlimited #11         -- 18,089 (- 4.8%)
01/2013: Unlimited #12         -- 17,446 (- 3.6%)
02/2013: Unlimited #13         -- 17,025 (- 2.4%)
03/2013: Unlimited #14         -- 16,456 (- 3.3%)
04/2013: Unlimited #15         -- 16,283 (- 1.1%)
05/2013: Unlimited #16         -- 15,822 (- 2.8%)
----------------
6 months: -16.7%
1 year  : -35.0%

Drifting slowly down.

—–

136 - ALL STAR WESTERN
05/2008: Jonah Hex #31 -- 13,140
05/2009: Jonah Hex #43 -- 11,606
05/2010: Jonah Hex #55 -- 11,327
05/2011: Jonah Hex #67 -- 10,288
--------------------------------
05/2012: ASW #9        -- 31,413 (+ 25.5%)
06/2012: ASW #10       -- 25,334 (- 19.4%)
07/2012: ASW #11       -- 23,572 (-  7.0%)
08/2012: ASW #12       -- 22,767 (-  3.4%)
09/2012: ASW #0        -- 25,388 (+ 11.5%)
10/2012: ASW #13       -- 21,481 (- 15.4%)
11/2012: ASW #14       -- 20,186 (-  6.0%)
12/2012: ASW #15       -- 19,190 (-  4.9%)
01/2013: ASW #16       -- 18,254 (-  4.9%)
02/2013: ASW #17       -- 17,398 (-  4.7%)
03/2013: ASW #18       -- 16,897 (-  2.9%)
04/2013: ASW #19       -- 16,838 (-  0.4%)
05/2013: ASW #20       -- 16,184 (-  3.9%)
-----------------
6 months: - 19.8%
1 year  : - 48.5%
2 years : + 57.3%
5 years : + 23.2%

Slipping, but still comfortably ahead of pre-”New 52″ levels.

—–

135 - 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%)
----------------
6 months: -34.9%

Without Gene Ha on art, sales are back in decline.

—–

128 - LEGENDS OF THE DARK KNIGHT (Digital-First)
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%)
----------------
6 months: -43.1%

Sliding down.

—–

122 - BATMAN: LI'L GOTHAM (Digital-First)
04/2013: Li'l Gotham #1  -- 27,591
05/2013: Li'l Gotham #2  -- 18,573 (-32.7%)

There was a 1:10 variant edition for issue #1, so some of the second-issue drop can be attributed to that. Average sales behavior for a new title, so far.

—–

119 - HE-MAN AND THE MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE
05/2003: MotU #3 of 6   -- 22,103
---------------------------------
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%)
----------------
6 months: +10.9%
10 years: -12.2%

Sales are slightly below September’s issue #2, but still ahead of the tail end of the preceding miniseries. By the standards of WildStorm, where a book like this one would have ended up a couple of years ago, these are very good numbers.

—–

110 - BIRDS OF PREY
05/2003: Birds of Prey #55  -- 23,227
05/2008: Birds of Prey #118 -- 21,941
05/2010: Birds of Prey #1   -- 50,428 [54,965]
05/2011: Birds of Prey #12  -- 29,690
-------------------------------------
05/2012: Birds of Prey #9   -- 41,521 (+ 44.9%)
06/2012: Birds of Prey #10  -- 28,457 (- 31.5%)
07/2012: Birds of Prey #11  -- 27,389 (-  3.8%)
08/2012: Birds of Prey #12  -- 26,587 (-  2.9%)
09/2012: Birds of Prey #0   -- 30,574 (+ 15.0%)
10/2012: Birds of Prey #13  -- 25,851 (- 15.5%)
11/2012: Birds of Prey #14  -- 24,904 (-  3.7%)
12/2012: Birds of Prey #15  -- 24,026 (-  3.5%)
01/2013: Birds of Prey #16  -- 23,182 (-  3.5%)
02/2013: Birds of Prey #17  -- 22,112 (-  4.6%)
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%)
-----------------
6 months: - 15.2%
1 year  : - 49.1%
2 years : - 28.9%
5 years : -  3.7%
10 years: -  9.1%

Slowly drifting down.

—–

102 - SUPERBOY
05/2011: Superboy #7  --  24,622
--------------------------------
05/2012: Superboy #9  --  34,838 (+  9.2%)
06/2012: Superboy #10 --  31,358 (- 10.0%)
07/2012: Superboy #11 --  29,677 (-  5.4%)
08/2012: Superboy #12 --  27,518 (-  7.3%)
09/2012: Superboy #0  --  31,840 (+ 15.7%)
10/2012: Superboy #13 --  25,726 (- 19.2%)
11/2012: Superboy #14 --  28,017 (+  8.9%)
12/2012: Superboy #15 --  27,619 (-  1.4%)
01/2013: Superboy #16 --  27,110 (-  1.8%)
02/2013: Superboy #17 --  26,762 (-  1.3%)
03/2013: Superboy #18 --  24,455 (-  8.6%)
04/2013: Superboy #19 --  24,211 (-  1.0%)
05/2013: Superboy #20 --  22,508 (-  7.0%)
-----------------
6 months: - 19.7%
1 year  : - 35.4%
2 years : -  8.6%

Fairly erratic sales. But with an army of fill-in creators passing through every other month, that’s what you get.

—–

101 - 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%)
----------------
6 months: -45.0%

Issue #8 was the first without Scott Snyder getting a co-writer credit, so the May drop is not as steep as it might have been. Still, these numbers look far from encouraging.

—–

99 - SUICIDE SQUAD
05/2012: Suicide Squad #9       -- 32,581 (-  0.6%)
06/2012: Suicide Squad #10      -- 31,576 (-  3.1%)
07/2012: Suicide Squad #11      -- 29,809 (-  5.6%)
08/2012: Suicide Squad #12      -- 28,302 (-  5.1%)
09/2012: Suicide Squad #0       -- 31,875 (+ 12.6%)
10/2012: Suicide Squad #13      -- 27,644 (- 13.3%)
11/2012: Suicide Squad #14      -- 63,691 (+130.4%) [69,185]
12/2012: Suicide Squad #15      -- 57,132 (- 10.3%)
01/2013: Suicide Squad #16      -- 27,061 (- 52.6%)
02/2013: Suicide Squad #17      -- 26,370 (-  2.6%)
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%)
-----------------
6 months: - 63.1%
1 year  : - 27.8%

A new creative team took over with issue #20, but it doesn’t seem to have made any difference to sales either way.

—–

96 - CATWOMAN ANNUAL
05/2013: Catwoman Annual #1  -- 24,228

Slightly below the regular title, as usual. As long as annuals perform this well, DC has every reason to continue publishing them.

—–

93 - JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK
05/2012: Justice League Dark #9   -- 34,649 (- 1.1%)
06/2012: Justice League Dark #10  -- 33,238 (- 4.1%)
07/2012: Justice League Dark #11  -- 31,792 (- 4.4%)
08/2012: Justice League Dark #12  -- 30,754 (- 3.3%)
09/2012: Justice League Dark #0   -- 34,287 (+11.5%)
10/2012: Justice League Dark #13  -- 30,008 (-12.5%)
11/2012: Justice League Dark #14  -- 28,966 (- 3.5%)
12/2012: Justice League Dark #15  -- 27,712 (- 4.3%)
01/2013: Justice League Dark #16  -- 26,902 (- 2.9%)
02/2013: Justice League Dark #17  -- 25,841 (- 3.9%)
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%)
----------------
6 months: -14.8%
1 year  : -28.7%

Standard attrition.

—–

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%)

The breakout hit of DC’s digital-first line, a videogame adaptation, keeps climbing the charts. Also, all previous issues made the chart again with sizeable reorder figures: third printings of issue #1 (9,162) and #2 (6,438), a second printing of #3 (5,861) and some plain-vanilla reorders of #4 (5,070).

—–

88 - ANIMAL MAN
05/2012: Animal Man #9     -- 35,699 (- 1.8%)
06/2012: Animal Man #10    -- 34,992 (- 2.0%)
07/2012: Animal Man #11    -- 33,909 (- 3.1%)
08/2012: Animal Man #12    -- 34,549 (+ 1.9%)
09/2012: Animal Man #0     -- 38,295 (+10.8%)
10/2012: Animal Man #13    -- 34,303 (-10.4%)
11/2012: Animal Man #14    -- 33,503 (- 2.3%)
12/2012: Animal Man #15    -- 32,013 (- 4.5%)
01/2013: Animal Man #16    -- 30,322 (- 5.3%)
02/2013: Animal Man #17    -- 29,425 (- 3.0%)
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%)
----------------
6 months: -23.0%
1 year  : -27.7%

There’s no readily evident reason for the big drop, which tends to be a bad sign, because it suggests that readers are just abandoning the book. Animal Man hasn’t aged well over the last six months, particularly given that it used to be writer Jeff Lemire’s signature title.

—–

85 - CATWOMAN
05/2003: Catwoman #19 -- 23,732
05/2008: Catwoman #79 -- 17,999
-------------------------------
05/2012: Catwoman #9  -- 49,726 (+28.5%)
06/2012: Catwoman #10 -- 37,158 (-25.3%)
07/2012: Catwoman #11 -- 35,551 (- 4.3%)
08/2012: Catwoman #12 -- 34,117 (- 4.0%)
09/2012: Catwoman #0  -- 39,117 (+14.7%)
10/2012: Catwoman #13 -- 40,147 (+ 2.6%) [60,257]
11/2012: Catwoman #14 -- 63,653 (+58.6%)
12/2012: Catwoman #15 -- 35,020 (-45.0%)
01/2013: Catwoman #16 -- 33,915 (- 3.2%)
02/2013: Catwoman #17 -- 30,194 (-11.0%)
03/2013: Catwoman #18 -- 33,220 (+10.0%)
04/2013: Catwoman #19 -- 28,058 (-15.5%)
05/2013: Catwoman #20 -- 26,886 (- 4.2%)
-----------------
6 months: - 57.8%
1 year  : - 45.9%
5 years : + 49.4%
10 years: + 13.3%

Another title that’s been in a stiff decline of late. Historically, Catwoman has seen worse sales, but the post-relaunch honeymoon period is clearly over.

—–

84 - WORLDS' FINEST
05/2012: Worlds' Finest #1  -- 69,531
06/2012: Worlds' Finest #2  -- 51,510 (-25.9%)
07/2012: Worlds' Finest #3  -- 45,514 (-11.6%)
08/2012: Worlds' Finest #4  -- 39,629 (-12.9%)
09/2012: Worlds' Finest #0  -- 42,770 (+ 7.9%)
10/2012: Worlds' Finest #5  -- 35,951 (-15.9%)
11/2012: Worlds' Finest #6  -- 34,338 (- 4.5%)
12/2012: Worlds' Finest #7  -- 32,010 (- 6.8%)
01/2013: Worlds' Finest #8  -- 30,399 (- 5.0%)
02/2013: Worlds' Finest #9  -- 28,332 (- 6.8%)
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%)
----------------
6 months: -21.2%
1 year  : -61.1%

Sales appear to be levelling out.

—–

82 - SWAMP THING
05/2012: Swamp Thing #9  -- 39,385 (- 0.1%)
06/2012: Swamp Thing #10 -- 37,383 (- 5.1%)
07/2012: Swamp Thing #11 -- 36,257 (- 3.0%)
08/2012: Swamp Thing #12 -- 36,696 (+ 1.2%)
09/2012: Swamp Thing #0  -- 40,123 (+ 9.3%)
10/2012: Swamp Thing #13 -- 36,069 (-10.1%)
11/2012: Swamp Thing #14 -- 42,036 (+16.5%)
12/2012: Swamp Thing #15 -- 33,916 (-19.3%)
01/2013: Swamp Thing #16 -- 32,262 (- 4.9%)
02/2013: Swamp Thing #17 -- 31,497 (- 2.4%)
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%)
----------------
6 months: -35.0%
1 year  : -30.6%

The second post-Scott Snyder issue, and now there’s a bigger drop. Not a good sign.

—–

81 - SUPERGIRL
05/2008: Supergirl #29 --  30,192
05/2009: Supergirl #41 --  33,441
05/2010: --
05/2011: Supergirl #64 --  21,411
---------------------------------
05/2012: Supergirl #9  --  35,129 (-  2.5%)
06/2012: Supergirl #10 --  33,309 (-  5.2%)
07/2012: Supergirl #11 --  31,879 (-  4.3%)
08/2012: Supergirl #12 --  30,420 (-  4.6%)
09/2012: Supergirl #0  --  34,457 (+ 13.3%)
10/2012: Supergirl #13 --  29,450 (- 14.5%)
11/2012: Supergirl #14 --  31,270 (+  6.2%)
12/2012: Supergirl #15 --  30,814 (-  1.5%)
01/2013: Supergirl #16 --  30,350 (-  1.5%)
02/2013: Supergirl #17 --  30,146 (-  0.7%)
03/2013: Supergirl #18 --  28,051 (-  7.0%)
04/2013: Supergirl #19 --  29,558 (+  5.4%)
05/2013: Supergirl #20 --  27,509 (-  6.9%)
-----------------
6 months: - 12.0%
1 year  : - 21.7%
2 years : + 28.5%
5 years : -  8.9%

There was a special variant edition in April. Now sales resume their usual decline.

—–

80 - GREEN ARROW
05/2003: Green Arrow #25  -- 52,535
05/2003: Green Arrow #26  -- 50,475
05/2008: Arrow/Canary #8  -- 30,864
05/2009: Arrow/Canary #20 -- 21,445
05/2011: Green Arrow #12  -- 31,742
-----------------------------------
05/2012: Green Arrow #9   -- 26,966 (-  1.7%)
06/2012: Green Arrow #10  -- 25,769 (-  4.4%)
07/2012: Green Arrow #11  -- 24,646 (-  4.4%)
08/2012: Green Arrow #12  -- 23,126 (-  6.2%)
09/2012: Green Arrow #0   -- 28,408 (+ 22.8%)
10/2012: Green Arrow #13  -- 22,057 (- 22.4%)
11/2012: Green Arrow #14  -- 21,825 (-  1.1%)
12/2012: Green Arrow #15  -- 20,672 (-  5.3%)
01/2013: Green Arrow #16  -- 19,888 (-  3.8%)
02/2013: Green Arrow #17  -- 36,043 (+ 81.2%)
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%)
-----------------
6 months: + 26.2%
1 year  : +  2.1%
2 years : - 13.2%
5 years : - 10.8%
10 years: - 46.5%

Still holding up relatively well following the arrival of the new creative team with issue #17.

—–

77 - GREEN TEAM
05/2013: Green Team #1  -- 27,775

These launch figures are just marginally better than those of Vibe and Katana, and slightly below those of Threshold. So unless Green Team defies the trend, it’ll be in cancellation territory by issue #4.

To be fair, it’s a new concept, and for that sort of thing, this is not a bad debut performance by any stretch, taken on its own terms. But the trends are what they are. In the market DC and Marvel have shaped in the last 10 years, barring any earth-shattering events or top-flight creators, a title like this one has a snowball’s chance in hell of reaching issue #18.

—–

75 - CONSTANTINE
05/2003: Hellblazer #184 -- 16,931
05/2008: Hellblazer #244 -- 11,826
05/2009: Hellblazer #255 -- 10,937
05/2010: Hellblazer #267 -- 10,155
05/2011: Hellblazer #279 --  9,454
----------------------------------
05/2012: Hellblazer #291 --  9,426 (-  0.5%)
06/2012: Hellblazer #292 --  9,533 (+  1.1%)
07/2012: Hellblazer #293 --  9,247 (-  3.0%)
08/2012: Hellblazer #294 --  9,396 (+  1.6%)
09/2012: Hellblazer #295 --  9,143 (-  2.7%)
10/2012: Hellblazer #296 --  9,255 (+  1.2%)
11/2012: Hellblazer #297 --  9,146 (-  1.2%)
12/2012: Hellblazer #298 --  9,132 (-  0.2%)
01/2013: Hellblazer #299 --  9,329 (+  2.2%)
02/2013: Hellblazer #300 -- 12,522 (+ 34.2%)
03/2013: Constantine #1  -- 37,564 (+200.0%)
04/2013: Constantine #2  -- 30,789 (- 18.0%)
05/2013: Constantine #3  -- 29,106 (-  5.5%)
-----------------
6 months: +218.2%
1 year  : +208.8%
2 years : +207.9%
5 years : +146.1%
10 years: + 71.9%

Levelling out quickly. The litmus test comes when co-writer Jeff Lemire’s name vanishes from the credits, though.

—–

74 - THE MOVEMENT
05/2013: The Movement #1  -- 29,246

This series about a thoroughly disciplined and rational non-team of English poets taking on Ezra Pound debuts in the same area as Threshold, so see comments on Green Team, basically.

—–

73 - BATWOMAN
05/2012: Batwoman #9  --  43,942 (- 3.1%)
06/2012: Batwoman #10 --  41,014 (- 6.7%)
07/2012: Batwoman #11 --  38,980 (- 5.0%)
08/2012: Batwoman #12 --  38,064 (- 2.4%)
09/2012: Batwoman #0  --  41,684 (+ 9.5%)
10/2012: Batwoman #13 --  37,315 (-10.5%)
11/2012: Batwoman #14 --  36,395 (- 2.5%)
12/2012: Batwoman #15 --  34,964 (- 3.9%)
01/2013: Batwoman #16 --  34,103 (- 2.5%)
02/2013: Batwoman #17 --  32,041 (- 6.1%)
03/2013: Batwoman #18 --  31,381 (- 2.1%)
04/2013: Batwoman #19 --  31,538 (+ 0.5%)
05/2013: Batwoman #20 --  29,698 (- 5.8%)
----------------
6 months: -18.4%
1 year  : -32.4%

Special variant in April, back in decline in May.

—–

72 - RED HOOD AND THE OUTLAWS ANNUAL
05/2013: Red Hood Annual #1  -- 30,157

Another annual selling somewhat but not substantially below the regular book. Always a good way to strengthen the line in an off-month, these days.

—–

69 - ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN (Digital-First)
05/2013: Adventures of Superman #1  -- 30,992

Another new addition to DC’s digital-first line.

The debut issue was not written by Orson Scott Card, who evidently is not up to the high ethical standards enforced at DC Comics.

Perfectly good numbers for this type of book.

—–

64 - RED LANTERNS
05/2012: Red Lanterns #9  -- 39,215 (- 2.4%)
06/2012: Red Lanterns #10 -- 38,005 (- 3.1%)
07/2012: Red Lanterns #11 -- 36,462 (- 4.1%)
08/2012: Red Lanterns #12 -- 35,070 (- 3.8%)
09/2012: Red Lanterns #0  -- 38,928 (+11.0%)
10/2012: Red Lanterns #13 -- 42,804 (+10.0%)
11/2012: Red Lanterns #14 -- 40,779 (- 4.7%)
12/2012: Red Lanterns #15 -- 39,071 (- 4.2%)
01/2013: Red Lanterns #16 -- 38,223 (- 2.2%)
02/2013: Red Lanterns #17 -- 35,839 (- 6.2%)
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%)
----------------
6 months: -16.8%
1 year  : -13.5%

“Reign of the Blood Rippers” epilogue. New creative teams are waiting around the corner on all four Green Lantern titles.

—-

62 - RED HOOD AND THE OUTLAWS
05/2012: Red Hood #9  -- 54,220 (+42.8%)
06/2012: Red Hood #10 -- 37,044 (-31.7%)
07/2012: Red Hood #11 -- 35,820 (- 3.3%)
08/2012: Red Hood #12 -- 34,439 (- 3.9%)
09/2012: Red Hood #0  -- 39,511 (+14.7%)
10/2012: Red Hood #13 -- 35,420 (- 6.7%)
11/2012: Red Hood #14 -- 37,710 (+ 6.5%)
12/2012: Red Hood #15 -- 64,103 (+70.0%)
01/2013: Red Hood #16 -- 59,621 (- 7.0%)
02/2013: Red Hood #17 -- 53,076 (-11.0%)
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%)
----------------
6 months: - 5.8%
1 year  : -34.5%

Back in a slow decline, but still doing pretty well over the last half-year.

—–

60 - TEEN TITANS
05/2008: Teen Titans #59  -- 46,306
05/2009: Teen Titans #71  -- 34,110
05/2010: Teen Titans #83  -- 24,960
05/2011: Teen Titans #95  -- 24,738
-----------------------------------
05/2012: Teen Titans #9   -- 50,261 (-  1.1%)
06/2012: Teen Titans #10  -- 47,491 (-  5.5%)
07/2012: Teen Titans #11  -- 45,367 (-  4.5%)
08/2012: Teen Titans #12  -- 42,817 (-  5.6%)
09/2012: Teen Titans #0   -- 47,318 (+ 10.5%)
10/2012: Teen Titans #13  -- 41,059 (- 13.2%)
11/2012: Teen Titans #14  -- 39,745 (-  3.3%)
12/2012: Teen Titans #15  -- 68,707 (+ 72.9%)
01/2013: Teen Titans #16  -- 63,726 (-  7.3%)
02/2013: Teen Titans #17  -- 39,186 (- 38.5%)
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%)
-----------------
6 months: -  8.4%
1 year  : - 27.6%
2 years : + 47.1%
5 years : - 21.4%

Another big drop, but viewed over the last six months, Teen Titans is still doing okay.

—–

59 - WONDER WOMAN
05/2003: Wonder Woman #192 --  25,994
05/2008: Wonder Woman #20  --  38,116
05/2009: Wonder Woman #32  --  33,065
05/2010: Wonder Woman #44  --  25,443
05/2011: --
-------------------------------------
05/2012: Wonder Woman #9   --  48,750 (-  3.4%)
06/2012: Wonder Woman #10  --  47,229 (-  3.1%)
07/2012: Wonder Woman #11  --  45,669 (-  3.3%)
08/2012: Wonder Woman #12  --  44,584 (-  2.4%)
09/2012: Wonder Woman #0   --  49,778 (+ 11.7%)
10/2012: Wonder Woman #13  --  43,731 (- 12.2%)
11/2012: Wonder Woman #14  --  42,384 (-  3.1%)
12/2012: Wonder Woman #15  --  41,641 (-  1.8%)
01/2013: Wonder Woman #16  --  40,105 (-  3.7%)
02/2013: Wonder Woman #17  --  39,110 (-  2.5%)
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%)
-----------------
6 months: - 12.4%
1 year  : - 23.8%
2 years :    n.a.
5 years : -  2.6%
10 years: + 42.9%

Variant-cover boost come, variant-cover boost go. Sales are right back in their usual slow decline.

—–

54 - FLASH
05/2003: Flash #198      --  31,210 [33,152]
05/2008: Flash #240      --  31,944
05/2009: Rebirth #2 of 5 --  86,183
05/2010: Flash #2        --  76,560
05/2011: Flash #12       --  54,914
-----------------------------------
05/2012: Flash #9        --  62,807 (-  1.4%)
06/2012: Flash #10       --  55,681 (- 11.4%)
07/2012: Flash #11       --  53,674 (-  3.6%)
08/2012: Flash #12       --  51,779 (-  3.5%)
09/2012: Flash #0        --  56,890 (+  9.9%)
10/2012: Flash #13       --  49,936 (- 12.2%)
11/2012: Flash #14       --  48,012 (-  3.9%)
12/2012: Flash #15       --  45,925 (-  4.4%)
01/2013: Flash #16       --  44,093 (-  4.0%)
02/2013: Flash #17       --  42,936 (-  2.6%)
03/2013: Flash #18       --  41,659 (-  3.0%)
04/2013: Flash #19       --  42,079 (+  1.0%)
05/2013: Flash #20       --  39,667 (-  5.7%)
-----------------
6 months: - 17.4%
1 year  : - 36.8%
2 years : - 27.8%
5 years : + 24.2%
10 years: + 27.1%

Over here, the decline has been a little steeper.

—–

50 - GREEN LANTERN: NEW GUARDIANS
05/2011: Emerald Warriors #10 -- 52,971
---------------------------------------
05/2012: New Guardians #9     -- 46,237 (- 2.3%)
06/2012: New Guardians #10    -- 44,404 (- 4.0%)
07/2012: New Guardians #11    -- 42,929 (- 3.3%)
08/2012: New Guardians #12    -- 41,479 (- 3.4%)
09/2012: New Guardians #0     -- 46,718 (+12.6%)
10/2012: New Guardians #13    -- 48,500 (+ 3.8%)
11/2012: New Guardians #14    -- 47,062 (- 3.0%)
12/2012: New Guardians #15    -- 45,136 (- 4.1%)
01/2013: New Guardians #16    -- 43,770 (- 3.0%)
02/2013: New Guardians #17    -- 42,285 (- 3.4%)
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%)
----------------
6 months: -13.8%
1 year  : -12.3%
2 years : -23.4%

“Race of the Red Wrath Riders” epilogue.

—–

49 - EARTH 2 ANNUAL
05/2013: Earth 2 Annual #1  -- 41,325

Ka-ching.

—–

46 - BATGIRL
05/2003: Batgirl #40     -- 30,172
05/2010: Batgirl #10     -- 28,641
05/2011: Batgirl #21     -- 24,043
----------------------------------
05/2012: Batgirl #9      -- 58,710 (+ 20.1%)
06/2012: Batgirl #10     -- 47,050 (- 19.9%)
07/2012: Batgirl #11     -- 45,004 (-  4.4%)
08/2012: Batgirl #12     -- 43,804 (-  2.7%)
09/2012: Batgirl #0      -- 50,441 (+ 15.2%)
10/2012: Batgirl #13     -- 50,074 (-  0.7%) [71,109]
11/2012: Batgirl #14     -- 77,468 (+ 54.7%)
12/2012: Batgirl #15     -- 75,341 (-  2.8%)
01/2013: Batgirl #16     -- 72,470 (-  3.8%)
02/2013: Batgirl #17     -- 65,751 (-  9.6%)
03/2013: Batgirl #18     -- 51,677 (- 21.4%)
04/2013: Batgirl #19     -- 45,939 (- 11.1%)
05/2013: Batgirl #20     -- 42,600 (-  7.3%)
-----------------
6 months: - 45.0%
1 year  : - 27.4%
2 years : + 77.2%
10 years: + 41.2%

The stiff decline over the last six months is deceiving, because there have been a bunch of crossover tie-in issues that boosted sales to an insane degree. Overall, Batgirl is holding up pretty well, if you compare the numbers with the pre-”event” ones from June through August 2012.

—–

45 - GREEN LANTERN CORPS
05/2008: Green Lantern Corps #24 -- 46,948
05/2009: Green Lantern Corps #36 -- 61,591
05/2010: Green Lantern Corps #48 -- 68,826
05/2011: Green Lantern Corps #60 -- 60,964
------------------------------------------
05/2012: Green Lantern Corps #9  -- 46,336 (- 2.6%)
06/2012: Green Lantern Corps #10 -- 44,615 (- 3.7%)
07/2012: Green Lantern Corps #11 -- 42,996 (- 3.6%)
08/2012: Green Lantern Corps #12 -- 41,778 (- 2.8%)
09/2012: Green Lantern Corps #0  -- 47,309 (+13.2%)
10/2012: Green Lantern Corps #13 -- 50,773 (+ 7.3%)
11/2012: Green Lantern Corps #14 -- 49,594 (- 2.3%)
12/2012: Green Lantern Corps #15 -- 47,841 (- 3.5%)
01/2013: Green Lantern Corps #16 -- 45,387 (- 5.1%)
02/2013: Green Lantern Corps #17 -- 44,497 (- 2.0%)
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%)
----------------
6 months: -13.2%
1 year  : - 7.1%
2 years : -29.4%
5 years : - 8.4%

“Roast of the Ruddy Rumrunner” epilogue.

—–

44 - BATMAN: THE DARK KNIGHT ANNUAL
05/2013: Batman: The Dark Knight Annual #1  -- 43,175

Ka-ching.

—–

43 - EARTH 2
05/2012: Earth 2 #1  -- 95,742          [102,490]
06/2012: Earth 2 #2  -- 75,936 (-20.7%) [ 84,740] 
07/2012: Earth 2 #3  -- 74,892 (- 1.4%)
08/2012: Earth 2 #4  -- 67,393 (-10.0%)
09/2012: Earth 2 #0  -- 69,111 (+ 2.6%)
10/2012: Earth 2 #5  -- 61,529 (-11.0%)
11/2012: Earth 2 #6  -- 58,271 (- 4.8%)
12/2012: Earth 2 #7  -- 54,409 (- 6.6%)
01/2013: Earth 2 #8  -- 50,860 (- 6.5%)
02/2013: Earth 2 #9  -- 48,208 (- 5.2%)
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%)
----------------
6 months: -24.5%
1 year  : -54.1%

Slowly drifting down the charts.

—–

40 - THE WAKE (Vertigo)
05/2013: The Wake #1  of 10 -- 44,867

As I say in the introduction, this is the best-selling Vertigo comic book in more than 10 years.

Since Diamond started providing data on actual sales to retailers, we’ve only had six Vertigo titles whose first-month estimates managed to break the 30K barrier: Swamp Thing #1 (March 2004, 33,382); Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere #1 (June 2005, 30,815); Sandman: Dream Hunters #1 (November 2008, 32,638); American Vampire #1 (March 2010, 33,762); I, Zombie #1 (May 2010, 33,025); and Fairest #1 (March 2012, 31,769).

The ceiling that none of them have reached, to date, was 34,000 units. So those 45K The Wake pulled in are quite a departure. (There was a 1:25 variant, but that’s unlikely to have added more than a couple thousand units.)

For a Vertigo title that sold in similar quantities as The Wake #1, we have to go back to Preacher #66, the final issue of Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon’s signature series, which, according to John Jackson Miller’s Comichron, sold an estimated 43,328 units in advance orders in August 2000. That was before Diamond provided information on actual sales, so given the nature of advance orders, the actual number of units shipped to retailers in August was likely somewhat higher. Before that, you have to go back another 16 months, to April 1999, to find a Vertigo book in that area: Preacher #50, which sold an estimated 44,436 units in advance orders. (Preacher consistently sold around the 40-45K mark in the late 1990s — subsequent Vertigo titles Y and Fables managed something between 25,000 and 30,000 units for a while, in their best period.)

The last month in which the recorded orders for a Vertigo title unequivocally exceeded those of The Wake #1, according to Miller’s Web site, is December 1997. Back then, both Preacher #34 (44,816) and the Alex Ross vehicle Uncle Sam #2 (60,997) had estimated advance orders that beat the actual sales of The Wake #1. Advance orders for Uncle Sam #1 were an estimated 70,350 in November 1997.

—–

39 - NIGHTWING
05/2003: Nightwing #81  -- 29,942
05/2008: Nightwing #144 -- 29,367
---------------------------------
05/2012: Nightwing #9   -- 61,395 (+17.9%)
06/2012: Nightwing #10  -- 50,585 (-17.6%)
07/2012: Nightwing #11  -- 49,124 (- 2.9%)
08/2012: Nightwing #12  -- 47,484 (- 3.3%)
09/2012: Nightwing #0   -- 53,109 (+11.9%)
10/2012: Nightwing #13  -- 47,171 (-11.2%)
11/2012: Nightwing #14  -- 50,720 (+ 7.5%)
12/2012: Nightwing #15  -- 74,407 (+46.7%)
01/2013: Nightwing #16  -- 69,643 (- 6.4%)
02/2013: Nightwing #17  -- 62,107 (-10.8%)
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%)
-----------------
6 months: - 11.2%
1 year  : - 26.6%
5 years : + 53.4%
10 years: + 50.4%

There’s a slow underlying decline, if you ignore the crossover boosts over the last year, but historically, Nightwing is still doing exceptionally well.

—–

37 - SUPERMAN
05/2003: Superman #193 --  34,927 [36,599]
05/2008: Superman #676 --  45,644
05/2009: Superman #688 --  41,642
05/2010: --
05/2011: Superman #711 --  38,471
---------------------------------
05/2012: Superman #9   --  62,232 (-  3.5%)
06/2012: Superman #10  --  59,081 (-  5.1%)
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%)
-----------------
6 months: - 13.5%
1 year  : - 27.0%
2 years : + 18.2%
5 years : -  0.4%
10 years: + 30.2%

In April there was a special 1:25 variant edition, in May there was just a “regular” 1:25 variant edition, hence the big drop. There’s a clear downward trend here, but on balance, these sales are still all right, if you look at the long-term comparisons.

—–

34 - ACTION COMICS
05/2003: Action Comics #803 --  32,118
05/2008: Action Comics #865 --  46,764
05/2009: Action Comics #877 --  41,772
05/2010: --
05/2011: Action Comics #901 --  44,143
--------------------------------------
05/2012: Action Comics #9   --  88,796 (+  0.9%)
06/2012: Action Comics #10  --  80,751 (-  9.1%)
07/2012: Action Comics #11  --  76,232 (-  5.6%)
08/2012: Action Comics #12  --  71,203 (-  6.6%)
09/2012: Action Comics #0   --  78,626 (+ 10.4%)
10/2012: Action Comics #13  --  67,241 (- 14.5%)
11/2012: Action Comics #14  --  64,341 (-  4.3%)
12/2012: Action Comics #15  --  61,298 (-  4.7%)
01/2013: Action Comics #16  --  58,645 (-  4.3%)
02/2013: Action Comics #17  --  57,189 (-  2.5%)
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%)
-----------------
6 months: - 24.9%
1 year  : - 45.6%
2 years : +  9.5%
5 years : +  3.3%
10 years: + 50.5%

The complete mess DC made of the book after Grant Morrison’s departure appears to be sinking in at the retail level. So far, there’s still enough of a buffer for Action Comics to keep looking good in the longer-term comparisons, though.

—–

25/30 - AQUAMAN
05/2003: Aquaman #6  -- 33,213
------------------------------
05/2012: Aquaman #9  -- 60,527 (- 1.8%)
06/2012: Aquaman #10 -- 59,288 (- 2.1%)
07/2012: Aquaman #11 -- 57,675 (- 2.7%)
08/2012: Aquaman #12 -- 61,210 (+ 6.1%)
09/2012: Aquaman #0  -- 61,227 (+ 0.0%)
10/2012: Aquaman #13 -- 54,648 (-10.8%)
11/2012: Aquaman #14 -- 53,664 (- 1.8%)
12/2012: Aquaman #15 -- 75,947 (+41.5%)
01/2013: Aquaman #16 -- 62,153 (-18.2%)
02/2013: Aquaman #17 -- 58,578 (- 5.8%)
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%)
----------------
6 months: - 3.9%
1 year  : -14.8%
10 years: +55.2%

Special variant in April, regular variant in May.

—–

28 - BATMAN: THE DARK KNIGHT
05/2011: --
-----------------------------------
05/2012: Dark Knight #9  --  82,169 (+ 10.6%)
06/2012: Dark Knight #10 --  71,671 (- 12.8%)
07/2012: Dark Knight #11 --  68,632 (-  4.2%)
08/2012: Dark Knight #12 --  67,084 (-  2.3%)
09/2012: Dark Knight #0  --  72,919 (+  8.7%)
10/2012: Dark Knight #13 --  65,271 (- 10.5%)
11/2012: Dark Knight #14 --  62,792 (-  3.8%)
12/2012: Dark Knight #15 --  60,569 (-  3.6%)
01/2013: Dark Knight #16 --  58,258 (-  3.8%)
02/2013: Dark Knight #17 --  55,990 (-  3.9%)
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%)
-----------------
6 months: - 19.7%
1 year  : - 38.6%
2 years :    n.a.

Sliding down the charts.

—–

23 - BATMAN, INCORPORATED
05/2011: Batman, Inc. #6  --  60,480
------------------------------------
05/2012: Batman, Inc. #1  --  96,486 (+124.1%)
06/2012: Batman, Inc. #2  --  73,654 (- 23.7%)
07/2012: --
08/2012: Batman, Inc. #3  --  66,720 (-  9.4%)
09/2012: Batman, Inc. #0  --  66,112 (-  0.9%)
10/2012: Batman, Inc. #4  --  60,888 (-  7.9%)
11/2012: Batman, Inc. #5  --  58,172 (-  4.5%)
12/2012: Batman, Inc. #6  --  52,636 (-  9.5%)
01/2013: Batman, Inc. #7  --  50,345 (-  4.4%)
02/2013: Batman, Inc. #8  --  55,414 (+ 10.1%) [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%)
----------------
6 months: - 1.5%
1 year  : -40.6%
2 years : - 5.3%

A few weeks before publication, a DC press release mentioned in passing that issue #11 was not going to be written by Grant Morrison. Presumably, the May number would be lower if people had known in advance that it was going to be a fill-in issue.

—–

21 - BATMAN AND RED HOOD
05/2010: Batman and Robin #12 --  84,843
05/2011: Batman and Robin #23 --  57,525
----------------------------------------
05/2012: Batman and Robin #9  --  75,967 (+14.0%)
06/2012: Batman and Robin #10 --  66,894 (-11.9%)
07/2012: Batman and Robin #11 --  65,043 (- 2.8%)
08/2012: Batman and Robin #12 --  63,993 (- 1.6%)
09/2012: Batman and Robin #0  --  69,146 (+ 8.1%)
10/2012: Batman and Robin #13 --  63,097 (- 8.8%)
11/2012: Batman and Robin #14 --  75,543 (+19.7%)
12/2012: Batman and Robin #15 --  89,878 (+19.0%)
01/2013: Batman and Robin #16 --  81,494 (- 9.3%)
02/2013: Batman and Robin #17 --  60,988 (-25.2%)
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%)
----------------
6 months: -13.7%
1 year  : -14.1%
2 years : +13.4%

As the dust on the “Requiem” crossover settles, sales return to regular levels. The Batman and Big Bad Wolf issue is just around the corner, though, so everything’s possible.

—–

19 - GREEN LANTERN
05/2003: Green Lantern #164 --  44,351
05/2003: Green Lantern #165 --  37,997
05/2008: Green Lantern #31  --  65,874
05/2009: Green Lantern #41  --  81,491
05/2010: Green Lantern #54  --  88,292
05/2011: Green Lantern #66  --  75,371
--------------------------------------
05/2012: Green Lantern #9   --  87,601 (- 0.8%)
06/2012: Green Lantern #10  --  80,615 (- 8.0%)
07/2012: Green Lantern #11  --  78,708 (- 2.4%)
08/2012: Green Lantern #12  --  77,187 (- 1.9%)
09/2012: Green Lantern #0   --  89,909 (+16.5%)
10/2012: Green Lantern #13  --  91,814 (+ 2.1%)
11/2012: Green Lantern #14  --  78,499 (-14.5%)
12/2012: Green Lantern #15  --  74,363 (- 5.3%)
01/2013: Green Lantern #16  --  72,884 (- 2.0%)
02/2013: Green Lantern #17  --  71,060 (- 2.5%)
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%)
-----------------
6 months: - 14.1%
1 year  : - 23.0%
2 years : - 10.6%
5 years : +  2.3%
10 years: + 63.7%

“Ruby Rut of the Red Blood Bleeders” epilogue.

—–

8/12 - JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA
05/2003: JLA #81             --  60,316
05/2008: JL of America #21   --  90,035
05/2009: JL of America #33   --  63,867
05/2010: JL of America #45   --  62,465
05/2011: JL of America #57   --  46,729
---------------------------------------
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%)
-----------------
2 years : + 72.4%
5 years : - 10.5%
10 years: + 33.6%

Surprisingly, the new Geoff Johns/David Finch vehicle missed its shipping date in April and required fill-in art for issue #4. If only this could have been foreseen somehow.

Sales appear to be settling down quickly after the insane, insanely gimmick-driven number of the debut issue.

—–

10 - DETECTIVE COMICS
05/2003: Detective Comics #782 --  38,443
05/2008: Detective Comics #844 --  48,394
05/2009: --
05/2010: Detective Comics #865 --  41,501
05/2011: Detective Comics #877 --  39,609
-----------------------------------------
05/2012: Detective Comics #9   --  96,016 (+  9.5%)
06/2012: Detective Comics #10  --  83,317 (- 13.2%)
07/2012: Detective Comics #11  --  79,835 (-  4.2%)
08/2012: Detective Comics #12  --  75,998 (-  4.8%)
09/2012: Detective Comics #0   --  84,063 (+ 10.6%)
10/2012: Detective Comics #13  --  76,392 (-  9.1%)
11/2012: Detective Comics #14  --  74,560 (-  2.4%)
12/2012: Detective Comics #15  -- 106,395 (+ 42.7%)
01/2013: Detective Comics #16  --  92,300 (- 13.3%)
02/2013: Detective Comics #17  --  85,824 (-  7.0%)
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%)
-----------------
6 months: +  5.0%
1 year  : - 18.5%
2 years : + 97.6%
5 years : + 61.7%
10 years: +103.6%

There were three variant-cover editions in May versus two in April, hence the marginal increase. Still perfectly good numbers, on balance.

—–

3 - JUSTICE LEAGUE
05/2003: JLA #81             --  60,316
05/2008: JL of America #21   --  90,035
05/2009: JL of America #33   --  63,867
05/2010: JL of America #45   --  62,465
05/2011: JL of America #57   --  46,729
---------------------------------------
05/2012: Justice League #9   -- 131,332 (-  1.4%)
06/2012: Justice League #10  -- 130,502 (-  0.6%)
07/2012: Justice League #11  -- 123,971 (-  5.0%)
08/2012: Justice League #12  -- 120,796 (-  2.6%) [161,235]
09/2012: Justice League #0   -- 125,868 (+  4.2%)
10/2012: Justice League #13  -- 117,752 (-  6.5%)
11/2012: Justice League #14  -- 113,094 (-  4.0%)
12/2012: Justice League #15  -- 115,074 (+  1.8%)
01/2013: Justice League #16  -- 117,719 (+  2.3%)
02/2013: Justice League #17  -- 105,304 (- 10.6%)
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%)
-----------------
6 months: - 13.6%
1 year  : - 25.6%
2 years : +109.0%
5 years : +  8.5%
10 years: + 61.9%

Slowly drifting out of the 100K juggernaut club, but still doing very well overall.

—–

2 - BATMAN
05/2003: Batman #615 -- 144,090 [158,350]
05/2008: Batman #676 -- 105,039 [122,877]
05/2009: BfC #3 of 3 --  89,170
05/2010: Batman #699 --  62,377
05/2011: Batman #710 --  55,086
-------------------------------
05/2012: Batman #9   -- 134,605 (+  3.1%)
06/2012: Batman #10  -- 130,265 (-  3.2%)
07/2012: Batman #11  -- 127,210 (-  2.4%)
08/2012: Batman #12  -- 125,249 (-  1.5%)
09/2012: Batman #0   -- 156,561 (+ 25.0%)
10/2012: Batman #13  -- 148,305 (-  5.3%) [174,642]
11/2012: Batman #14  -- 159,729 (+  7.7%)
12/2012: Batman #15  -- 151,568 (-  5.1%)
01/2013: Batman #16  -- 145,923 (-  3.7%)
02/2013: Batman #17  -- 150,684 (+  3.3%)
03/2013: Batman #18  -- 137,893 (-  8.5%)
04/2013: Batman #19  -- 132,147 (-  4.2%)
05/2013: Batman #20  -- 129,039 (-  2.4%)
-----------------
6 months: - 19.2%
1 year  : -  4.1%
2 years : +134.3%
5 years : + 22.9%
10 years: - 10.5%

Levelling out around 130K, it seems. Stellar numbers, obviously.

—–

6-MONTH COMPARISONS
+218.2%: Constantine
+ 26.2%: Green Arrow
+ 10.9%: He-Man
+  5.0%: Detective Comics
-  1.5%: Batman, Inc.
-  3.9%: Aquaman
-  5.2%: Fables
-  5.8%: Red Hood
-  6.3%: Unwritten
-  8.4%: Teen Titans
- 11.2%: Nightwing
- 12.0%: Supergirl
- 12.4%: Wonder Woman
- 12.6%: LoSH
- 13.2%: GL Corps
- 13.5%: Superman
- 13.6%: Justice League
- 13.7%: Batman and Red Hood
- 13.8%: New Guardians
- 14.1%: Fairest
- 14.1%: Green Lantern
- 14.4%: GL: TAS
- 14.8%: JLD
- 15.2%: Birds of Prey
- 16.7%: BB Unlimited
- 16.7%: Batwing
- 16.8%: Red Lanterns
- 17.4%: Flash
- 18.4%: Batwoman
- 18.6%: Deathstroke
- 19.2%: Batman
- 19.2%: Smallville
- 19.7%: Dark Knight
- 19.7%: Superboy
- 19.8%: ASW
- 20.4%: Firestorm
- 21.2%: Stormwatch
- 21.2%: Worlds' Finest
- 23.0%: Animal Man
- 23.6%: Arkham Unhinged
- 23.8%: Demon Knights
- 24.5%: Earth 2
- 24.6%: Hawkman
- 24.9%: Action Comics
- 25.3%: Ame-Comi Girls
- 30.6%: Dial H
- 34.5%: Ravagers
- 34.9%: Phantom Stranger
- 35.0%: Swamp Thing
- 41.0%: Sword of Sorcery
- 43.1%: LotDK
- 45.0%: Batgirl
- 45.0%: Talon
- 57.8%: Catwoman
- 60.6%: Arrow
- 60.9%: Team 7
- 63.1%: Suicide Squad

—–

1-YEAR COMPARISONS
+208.8%: Constantine
+  2.1%: Green Arrow
-  4.1%: Batman
-  7.1%: GL Corps
- 12.0%: Fables
- 12.3%: New Guardians
- 13.5%: Red Lanterns
- 13.8%: Unwritten
- 14.1%: Batman and Red Hood
- 14.8%: Aquaman
- 18.5%: Detective Comics
- 21.7%: Supergirl
- 23.0%: Green Lantern
- 23.8%: Wonder Woman
- 25.5%: LoSH
- 25.6%: Justice League
- 26.6%: Nightwing
- 27.0%: Superman
- 27.4%: Batgirl
- 27.6%: Teen Titans
- 27.7%: Animal Man
- 27.8%: Suicide Squad
- 28.7%: JLD
- 30.6%: Swamp Thing
- 32.8%: Batwoman
- 33.0%: Fairest
- 34.5%: Red Hood
- 35.0%: BB Unlimited
- 35.4%: Superboy
- 36.8%: Flash
- 37.0%: Hawkman
- 38.6%: Dark Knight
- 39.6%: Demon Knights
- 40.6%: Batman, Inc.
- 40.6%: Firestorm
- 41.9%: Stormwatch
- 42.8%: Smallville
- 43.6%: Deathstroke
- 44.3%: Arkham Unhinged
- 45.6%: Action Comics
- 45.9%: Catwoman
- 48.5%: ASW
- 49.1%: Birds of Prey
- 54.1%: Earth 2
- 60.1%: GL: TAS
- 61.1%: Worlds' Finest
- 62.8%: Batwing
- 72.4%: Ravagers
- 72.7%: Dial H

—–

2-YEAR COMPARISONS
+207.9%: Constantine
+134.3%: Batman
+109.0%: Justice League
+ 97.6%: Detective Comics
+ 77.2%: Batgirl
+ 72.4%: JLA
+ 57.3%: ASW
+ 47.1%: Teen Titans
+ 28.5%: Supergirl
+ 18.2%: Superman
+ 13.4%: Batman and Red Hood
+  9.5%: Action Comics
-  5.3%: Batman, Inc.
-  8.6%: Superboy
- 10.6%: Green Lantern
- 13.2%: Green Arrow
- 16.1%: Unwritten
- 18.0%: Fables
- 23.4%: New Guardians
- 27.8%: Flash
- 28.9%: Birds of Prey
- 29.4%: GL Corps
- 32.8%: LoSH

—–

5-YEAR COMPARISONS
+146.1%: Constantine
+ 61.7%: Detective Comics
+ 53.4%: Nightwing
+ 49.4%: Catwoman
+ 24.2%: Flash
+ 23.2%: ASW
+ 22.9%: Batman
+  8.5%: Justice League
+  3.3%: Action Comics
+  2.3%: Green Lantern
+  1.9%: Stormwatch
-  0.4%: Superman
-  2.6%: Wonder Woman
-  3.7%: Birds of Prey
-  8.4%: GL Corps
-  8.9%: Supergirl
- 10.5%: JLA
- 10.8%: Green Arrow
- 21.4%: Teen Titans
- 35.3%: Fables
- 44.4%: LoSH

—–

10-YEAR COMPARISONS
+103.6%: Detective Comics
+ 71.9%: Constantine
+ 63.7%: Green Lantern
+ 61.9%: Justice League
+ 55.2%: Aquaman
+ 50.5%: Action Comics
+ 50.4%: Nightwing
+ 42.9%: Wonder Woman
+ 41.2%: Batgirl
+ 33.6%: JLA
+ 30.2%: Superman
+ 27.1%: Flash
+ 13.3%: Catwoman
-  7.3%: Stormwatch
-  9.1%: Birds of Prey
- 10.5%: Batman
- 12.2%: MotU
- 33.0%: LoSH
- 38.9%: Fables
- 41.1%: Dial H
- 46.5%: Green Arrow
- 62.9%: Hawkman

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

DC COMICS
05/2003: 26,961
05/2008: 27,075
05/2009: 24,386
05/2010: 27,785**
05/2011: 24,561**
---------------
05/2012: 38,708 (+ 23.6%)
06/2012: 37,599 (-  2.9%)
07/2012: 33,837 (- 10.0%)
08/2012: 33,500 (-  1.0%)**
09/2012: 35,811 (+  6.9%)
10/2012: 32,901 (-  8.1%)**
11/2012: 33,872 (+  3.0%)
12/2012: 34,272 (+  1.2%)
01/2013: 31,759 (-  7.3%)
02/2013: 34,711 (+  9.1%)
03/2013: 30,819 (- 11.2%)**
04/2013: 29,914 (-  2.9%)
05/2013: 31,412 (+  5.0%)
-----------------
6 months: -  7.3%
1 year  : - 18.9%
2 years : - 21.8%
5 years : + 16.0%
10 years: + 16.5%
DC UNIVERSE
05/2003: 32,055
05/2008: 35,230
05/2009: 33,163
05/2010: 37,463
05/2011: 27,745**
---------------
05/2012: 44,139 (+ 25.2%)
06/2012: 43,082 (-  2.4%)
07/2012: 38,502 (- 10.6%)
08/2012: 38,047 (-  1.2%)**
09/2012: 39,408 (+  3.6%)
10/2012: 36,571 (-  7.2%)
11/2012: 36,585 (+  0.0%)
12/2012: 36,880 (+  0.8%)
01/2013: 33,485 (-  9.2%)
02/2013: 36,838 (+ 10.0%)
03/2013: 32,294 (- 12.3%)**
04/2013: 31,426 (-  2.7%)
05/2013: 32,015 (+  1.9%)
-----------------
6 months: - 12.5%
1 year  : - 27.5%
2 years : + 15.4%
5 years : -  9.1%
10 years: -  0.1%
VERTIGO
05/2003: 14,798
05/2008: 10,418
05/2009: 12,918
05/2010: 11,756
05/2011: 10,668
---------------
05/2012: 11,102 (- 4.3%)
06/2012: 11,448 (+ 3.1%)
07/2012: 11,589 (+ 1.2%)
08/2012: 10,764 (- 7.1%)**
09/2012: 11,710 (+ 8.8%)
10/2012: 11,496 (- 1.8%)**
11/2012: 11,487 (- 0.1%)
12/2012: 11,771 (+ 2.5%)
01/2013: 10,764 (- 8.6%)
02/2013: 12,019 (+11.7%)
03/2013: 11,055 (- 8.0%)
04/2013: 11,467 (+ 3.7%)
05/2013: 20,860 (+81.9%)
-----------------
6 months: + 81.6%
1 year  : + 87.9%
2 years : + 95.5%
5 years : +100.2%
10 years: + 41.0%

—–
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. Surprisingly, the new Geoff Johns/David Finch vehicle missed its shipping date in April and required fill-in art for issue #4. If only this could have been foreseen somehow.
    Truly.

  2. Lenny says:

    In Snyder we trust.

  3. jaroslav hasek says:

    “Christopher Nolan’s trilogy of Batman movies has probably made the company more money than all of DC Comics combined.”

    probably? more like definitely, or easily.

    but yeah, good points about Vertigo. its been the best and most consistent label for years now IMHO. i own far more Vertigo books than any other “brand”. its where i direct anyone i talk to about where to go to check out comics that are “not just for kids”.

    but i still always saw it as an anomaly. it doesnt make all that much sense for an IP based multi media corp to be in the business of publishing creator participating fringe comics. even playing the long game, its tough to justify unprofitable business units. having a catolog with Y and Sandman in it looks great, but what are their margins on those books and what are the chances of landing another one?

    i dunno. i hope they continue publishing great comics. but if DC/WB decide that Vertigo must go the way of Wildstorm, and that their business model does not leave room for any such imprints, then it means hopefully more room for Image, Dark Horse, IDW etc, whose core competency IS publishing comic books and NOT turning established properties into movie franchises.

    it will be sad for nostalgic reasons if and when Vertigo ceases to be, but we’ll always shave the books they already published, and an industry in better shape than it was before they were.

  4. Silly but True says:

    RE: Nolan/Batman success vs. “DC Comics.”

    False comparison. How successful would Nolan and Batman movie franchise be without DC Comics and the Batman character?

    If the latest Batman movie’s success can’t be tied toDCs Nightfall storyline and Bane character, then I think something’s wrong with that method of crediting success.

    Why isn’t the successful exploitation of its property, also DC’s to own?

    Silly But True

  5. Johnny Memeonic says:

    Does the Beat have any contacts over at Comixology that could start sharing sales info with the guys who do the month-to-month sales columns?

    If Diamond publishes physical copy sales numbers I don’t see why digital sales numbers should be some kind of state secret.

  6. Foolish says:

    I miss the exclamation marks!!!!!!!!

  7. Glenn Simpson says:

    RE: DC as an IP farm: I remain fascinated at the notion that WB needs anything that DC will produce or has produced in the last 30 years to build upon to produce successful movies and TV shows around these characters. Which is not to say that, say, the GL animated series didn’t use Red Lanterns and Blue Lanterns. But I find it hard to believe that the people behind the TV show couldn’t have produced a show that was just as successful just using the basic Silver Age canon. Nolan’s movie might have been different if there was no Bane, but I have no reason to believe he wouldn’t have come up with something else just as successful. Ubu, maybe. Not to mention how much things get altered relative to the comics anyway, it’s hard to see where they needed the original anyway.

  8. More jokes, please.

    This comments section will probably be light on impotent rage, and that’s a shame.

  9. “Christopher Nolan’s trilogy of Batman movies has probably made the company more money than all of DC Comics combined.”

    DC makes well under a hundred million a year, all divisions. The Batman films made something over a billion dollars *so far*. Remember when Steve Jobs called the Apple TV a hobby business? Well Warner should consider DC a hobby division.

  10. johnrobiethecat says:

    Some pictogram fun or free text art for next month as DC continues to rock the comics world with that big Superman movie boost…

    ————–
    12/2012: Savage Hawkman #15 — 13,564 (- 7.9%)
    01/2013: Savage Hawkman #16 — 12,852 (- 5.3%)
    02/2013: Savage Hawkman #17 — 12,376 (- 3.7%)
    03/2013: Savage Hawkman #18 — 12,021 (- 2.9%)
    04/2013: Savage Hawkman #19 — 11,927 (- 0.8%)
    05/2013: Savage Hawkman #20 — 11,104 (- 6.9%)
    —————-
    ========—– ==== —– ====—– ====
    =================
    6 months: -24.6% ==============
    1 year : -37.0% ———–
    10 years: -62.9% ——-
    ======
    —-
    ==—-


    -

    “Cancelled”

  11. johnrobiethecat says:

    Nuts, my vortex text drain drawing didn’t work….
    Worth a try. That was going to be my portfolio piece to Vertigo.

  12. Michael P says:

    “This series about a thoroughly disciplined and rational non-team of English poets taking on Ezra Pound”

    Someone please make this happen.

  13. Chris Hero says:

    I’m undecided on the kindler, gentler MOF, but I was still laughing pretty heartily at some of the jokes.

  14. Saipaman says:

    Bring back classic MOF.

  15. Pedro Bouça says:

    Old Frisch was better…

  16. >Well Warner should consider DC a hobby division.

    This could be a comment from late 90s Usenet for all the times it’s been said… I think Nolan’s Batman has simply underscored the matter.

  17. Dan Reed says:

    Actually had to double check to see if MOF was still writing this.
    Big thumbs up!!

  18. Majorjoe23 says:

    “Does the Beat have any contacts over at Comixology that could start sharing sales info with the guys who do the month-to-month sales columns?

    If Diamond publishes physical copy sales numbers I don’t see why digital sales numbers should be some kind of state secret.”

    Diamond doesn’t publish physical sale numbers. They publish rankings with numbers showing how the books sell in relation to Batman. Others use that to extrapolate the sales estimates.

    I suspect no one is going to share Comixology numbers if they want to keep their job. You might be able to get an indie artist/writer to give sales figures on their book, but without a key like how it sells in relation to Batman or some other book, it would do no good.

  19. James says:

    Did some doppelganger write this?!?

    I’m glad that The Wake is doing well, but I’ll be picking it up in trade. I’m hoping it drops to $20 for the trade – although knowing my luck, it’ll be a $35 HC.
    Fingers doubled crossed that Lemire’s new series does the same, if not better :)

  20. Kentucky Fried Horse says:

    I got into Fables late and have picked up the entire series in trade. Also picked up the entire run of Jack of Fables in trade and will be picking up Fairest in trade as the funds become available. Apparently, people buying Vertigo titles in trade isn’t the exception, but rather the norm.

  21. PeterCSM730 says:

    Love the smashingly creative GL epilogue names. Like a grindhouse Hal Jordan story. The Action Comics drops are shockingly quick.

  22. James T says:

    “The ‘DC Comics Month-to-Month Sales’ column is slowly drifting down in readership as the author has left behind his normal snark. Hopefully the column will find it’s level soon.”

Trackbacks

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