DC Comics Month-to-Month Sales: November 2009

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by Marc-Oliver Frisch

Is DC’s November success made of plastic?

We’ll come back to that later. First things first: How much of a success is it, anyway? What’s clear is that, thanks to “Blackest Night,” DC Comics once again dominated the comic-book Top 10 in November. And, as it turns out, the company’s 7-of-10 win isn’t wholly cosmetic this time. At least the publisher’s average comic-book sales increased again — for the first time since July.

On the other hand, the gross dollar value of DC’s periodical output in the direct market fell to its lowest level since June. Both Blackest Night the miniseries and “Blackest Night” the crossover are a great success, but much of the rest of the DC Universe line is flagging.

Over at the Vertigo imprint, a new Fables spin-off debuted with solid numbers, bringing a slight increase to Vertigo’s average periodical sales. Average WildStorm sales saw another major crash in November, meanwhile, dropping to an estimated 7,111 — less than 300 copies ahead of WildStorm’s all-time low in January 2009.

See below for the details, and 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.

—–

1 - BLACKEST NIGHT
07/2009: Blackest Night #1 of 8  -- 177,105          [199,863]
08/2009: Blackest Night #2 of 8  -- 146,092 (-17.5%) [155,512]
09/2009: Blackest Night #3 of 8  -- 140,786 (- 3.6%)
10/2009: Blackest Night #4 of 8  -- 137,169 (- 2.6%)
10/2009: Blackest Night #5 of 8  -- 144,935 (+ 5.7%)
2 - GREEN LANTERN
11/2004: Rebirth #2 of 6    --  86,273 [138,252] 
11/2005: Green Lantern #5   --  92,348
11/2006: Green Lantern #14  --  72,894
11/2006: Green Lantern #15  --  70,148
11/2007: --
--------------------------------------
11/2008: --
12/2008: Green Lantern #36  --  64,755 (+ 2.2%) [ 74,005]
01/2009: Green Lantern #37  --  65,556 (+ 1.2%) [ 71,331]
02/2009: Green Lantern #38  --  68,908 (+ 5.1%) [ 77,372]
03/2009: --
04/2009: Green Lantern #39  --  79,792 (+15.8%) [ 84,784]
04/2009: Green Lantern #40  --  76,665 (- 3.9%) [ 84,705]
05/2009: Green Lantern #41  --  81,491 (+ 6.3%)
06/2009: Green Lantern #42  --  84,131 (+ 3.2%)
07/2009: Green Lantern #43  -- 109,426 (+30.1%) [117,314]
07/2009: Green Lantern #44  -- 105,063 (- 4.0%) [109,599]
08/2009: Green Lantern #45  -- 102,431 (- 2.5%)
09/2009: Green Lantern #46  -- 103,666 (+ 1.2%)
10/2009: Green Lantern #47  -- 101,349 (- 2.2%)
11/2009: Green Lantern #48  -- 100,371 (- 1.0%)
-----------------
6 months: + 23.2%
1 year  :  n.a.
2 years :  n.a. 
5 years : + 16.3%

As usual, both Blackest Night and Green Lantern were promoted with 1-for-25 variant-cover editions in November.

For those of you just joining us, this means that comic-book retailers had to order 25 copies of the regular editions of Blackest Night #5 and Green Lantern #48 for every variant-cover edition. And, as usual, Blackest Night sales were also boosted with a rarer 1-for-100 variant edition.

So far, so simple, but now it gets complicated.


As an additional means to boost sales, DC came up with the idea of selling promotional Green Lantern plastic rings in various colors in November, to retailers who ordered specific quantities of specific comics.

In the case of Blackest Night #5, retailers were required to order 50 copies of the comic in order to be able to buy “one bag of fifty GREEN PROMOTIONAL RINGS at a net cost of $8.00 U.S.,” according to a DC Comics press release.

In addition to the green rings, the incentive involves yellow, orange, indigo, blue, violet and red rings, with each color tied to the orders of a specific DC Comics title. The involved titles are Doom Patrol, Booster Gold, R.E.B.E.L.S., Adventure Comics, The Outsiders and Justice League of America.

Still here? Good, because now it gets more complicated.

The number of comics that retailers were required to order to buy the plastic rings was not the same for all colors/titles. For Blackest Night #5, Adventure Comics #4 and Justice League #39, the magic number was 50 copies. For the rest of the bunch, it was 25.

Still more complicated, it gets.

Ordering that specific number of copies of Blackest Night #5 qualified a given retailer to buy one bag of fifty green rings. But ordering that specific number of copies of the other titles qualified a given retailer to buy two bags of fifty rings in another color each.

Consequently, in order to buy, say, 100 indigo rings, a retailer had to order 25 copies of R.E.B.E.L.S. But if that same retailer wanted an equal number of green rings, they had to order 100 copies of Blackest Night #5 to get them. Obviously DC speculated on everybody wanting a full set of rings.

Were they right? It’s hard to tell, but at least hypothetically, we can make an educated guess at the number of rings out there, based on the number of copies sold of the participating titles:

RING PROMOTION TITLES
11/2009: Blackest Night #5  -- 144,935 = 144,935 (gre)
11/2009: Justice League #39 --  89,376 = 178,752 (red)
11/2009: Adv Comics #4      --  85,145 = 170,290 (blu)
11/2009: Booster Gold #26   --  57,122 = 228,488 (ora)
11/2009: Doom Patrol #4     --  53,748 = 214,992 (yel)
11/2009: R.E.B.E.L.S. #10   --  51,100 = 204,400 (ind)
11/2009: Outsiders #24      --  50,918 = 203,642 (vio)

These numbers would suggest that the green ring coming with Blackest Night #5 is the rarest of the bunch, perhaps surprisingly, while the orange one coming with Booster Gold #26 is probably a dime a dozen.

This is highly hypothetical for various reasons, mind you.

For one thing, the total number of copies sold of one title isn’t enough information to calculate the number of rings out there: Theoretically, it’s quite possible for one retailer to order 30 copies of Booster Gold and the other 45, in which case both retailers would qualify for precisely the same number of rings.

Second, the thought that retailers qualified for a bag of rings but didn’t want to shell out the $ 8.00 to buy them — unlikely as it may seem — is not inconceivable.

Even if we pretend that the numbers reflect the real distribution of the rings, the conclusions to be drawn are limited, for that matter.

Because, first up, the promotion initially involved one bag of rings per x number of ordered copies for all participating titles; it was only expanded to two bags for six of the titles later. So it’s not impossible that a number of retailers missed the memo and ordered more copies of those six titles than they would have required for a maximum number of full sets.

And second, the November issues of Superman/Batman and Teen Titans also tied in with Blackest Night, and — although they weren’t part of the ring promotion — they also display significant sales increases.

So, in conclusion, the numbers don’t tell us a whole lot about how effective the ring promotion was, or about how many rings are out there. Strictly speaking, it’s not even clear if the promotion had any effect at all, although the particularly high increases for Justice League, Adventure Comics or R.E.B.E.L.S. would certainly suggest as much, of course.

—–

4 - BATMAN AND ROBIN
06/2009: Batman and Robin #1  -- 168,604          [184,826]
07/2009: Batman and Robin #2  -- 117,986 (-30.2%) [129,086]
08/2009: Batman and Robin #3  -- 110,594 (- 6.3%)
09/2009: Batman and Robin #4  -- 106,925 (- 3.3%)
10/2009: Batman and Robin #5  -- 101,607 (- 5.0%)
11/2009: Batman and Robin #6  --  95,690 (- 5.8%)

The flagship title of the Batman franchise keeps shedding readers, but it also remains the best-selling DC title that’s not tied to “Blackest Night” by more than 20,000 units.

As usual, there was a 1-for-25 variant edition.

—–

5 - JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA
11/2004: JLA #108           --  63,355 [ 65,882]
11/2005: JLA #122           --  80,866
11/2006: Justice League #3  -- 140,939 [143,310]
11/2007: --
--------------------------------------
11/2008: --
12/2008: Justice League #27 --  75,803 (- 2.0%)
12/2008: Justice League #28 --  72,728 (- 4.1%)
01/2009: Justice League #29 --  72,116 (- 0.8%)
02/2009: Justice League #30 --  69,710 (- 3.3%)
03/2009: Justice League #31 --  68,759 (- 1.4%)
04/2009: Justice League #32 --  66,021 (- 4.0%)
05/2009: Justice League #33 --  63,867 (- 3.3%)
06/2009: Justice League #34 --  61,115 (- 4.3%)
07/2009: Justice League #35 --  58,915 (- 3.6%)
08/2009: Justice League #36 --  57,549 (- 2.3%)
09/2009: Justice League #37 --  55,478 (- 3.6%)
10/2009: Justice League #38 --  61,012 (+10.0%)
11/2009: Justice League #39 --  89,376 (+46.5%)
----------------
6 months: +39.9%
1 year  :  n.a.
2 years :  n.a.
5 years : +41.1%
6 - ADVENTURE COMICS
11/2004: --
11/2005: LoSH #12             -- 33,541
11/2006: SLoSH #24            -- 33,985
11/2007: SLoSH #36            -- 26,814
---------------------------------------
11/2008: LoSH #48             -- 22,917 (- 3.5%)
12/2008: LoSH #49             -- 22,180 (- 3.2%)
01/2009: LoSH #50             -- 22,327 (+ 0.7%)
02/2009: Adventure Comics #0  -- 32,851 (+47.1%)
03/2009: --
04/2009: --
05/2009: --
06/2009: --
07/2009: --
08/2009: Adventure Comics #1  -- 56,706 (+72.6%)
09/2009: Adventure Comics #2  -- 47,296 (-15.9%)
10/2009: Adventure Comics #3  -- 44,431 (- 6.1%)
11/2009: Adventure Comics #4  -- 85,145 (+91.6%)
-----------------
6 months:   n.a.
1 year  : +271.5% 
2 years : +217.5%
5 years :   n.a.
7 - GREEN LANTERN CORPS
11/2006: Green Lantern Corps #6  -- 41,089
11/2007: Green Lantern Corps #18 -- 55,838 [59,049]
------------------------------------------
11/2008: Green Lantern Corps #30 -- 43,600 (- 5.9%)
12/2008: Green Lantern Corps #31 -- 44,033 (+ 0.9%)
01/2009: Green Lantern Corps #32 -- 44,312 (+ 0.6%)
02/2009: Green Lantern Corps #33 -- 44,607 (+ 0.7%) [50,171]
03/2009: Green Lantern Corps #34 -- 54,162 (+21.4%)
04/2009: Green Lantern Corps #35 -- 58,769 (+ 8.5%)
05/2009: Green Lantern Corps #36 -- 61,591 (+ 4.8%)
06/2009: Green Lantern Corps #37 -- 63,574 (+ 3.2%)
07/2009: Green Lantern Corps #38 -- 82,415 (+29.6%)
08/2009: Green Lantern Corps #39 -- 84,241 (+ 2.2%)
09/2009: Green Lantern Corps #40 -- 83,112 (- 1.3%)
10/2009: Green Lantern Corps #41 -- 81,377 (- 2.1%)
11/2009: Green Lantern Corps #42 -- 80,391 (- 1.2%)
----------------
6 months: +30.5%
1 year  : +84.4%
2 years : +95.7%

Three “Blackest Night” crossover titles: Justice League and Adventure Comics were part of the ring promotion, while Green Lantern Corps was not. We can’t know for sure, but these numbers strongly imply, at least, that it’s the rings that pushed the two former titles ahead.

There was a 1-for-25 variant for Green Lantern Corps #42 and a 1-for-10 variant for Justice League of America #39.

—–

9 - THE FLASH: REBIRTH
11/2004: Flash #216      --  43,618 [49,350]
11/2005: Flash #228      --  45,861
11/2006: Flash: FMA #6   --  56,789
11/2007: Flash #234      --  46,435
-----------------------------------
11/2008: Flash #246      --  27,746 (-  1.2%)
12/2008: Flash #247      --  26,498 (-  4.5%)
01/2009: --
02/2009: --
03/2009: --
04/2009: Rebirth #1 of 5 -- 102,429 (+286.6%) [111,515]
05/2009: Rebirth #2 of 5 --  86,183 (- 15.9%)
06/2009: Rebirth #3 of 5 --  83,086 (-  3.6%)
07/2009: --
08/2009: Rebirth #4 of 5 --  78,107 (-  6.0%)
09/2009: --
10/2009: --
11/2009: Rebirth #5 of 6 --  73,875 (-  5.4%)
-----------------
6 months: - 14.3%
1 year  : +166.3%
2 years : + 59.1%
5 years : + 69.4%

For a Flash book, these would still be splendid numbers. The question is where sales will bottom out once the dust has settled.

That’s not a typo, by the way: The miniseries was expanded by one issue with the solicitation for issue #5. As usual, the book was promoted with a 1-for-25 variant edition.

—–

12 - BATMAN
11/2004: Batman #634 --  63,769
11/2005: Batman #647 --  69,718
11/2006: Batman #658 --  94,349
11/2006: Batman #659 --  90,651
11/2007: Batman #671 --  76,764 [ 80,440]
-------------------------------
11/2008: Batman #681 -- 103,151 (- 0.8%) [114,657]
12/2008: Batman #682 --  93,469 (- 9.4%)
12/2008: Batman #683 --  90,272 (- 3.4%) [ 91,885]
12/2008: Batman #684 --  79,953 (-11.4%) [ 82,903]
01/2009: Batman #685 --  72,654 (- 9.1%)
02/2009: Batman #686 -- 111,353 (+53.3%) [128,780]
03/2009: BfC #1 of 3 --  91,619 (-17.7%) [103,913]
04/2009: BfC #2 of 3 --  89,120 (- 2.7%)
05/2009: BfC #3 of 3 --  89,170 (+ 0.1%)
06/2009: Batman #687 --  96,913 (+ 8.7%)
07/2009: Batman #688 --  83,040 (-14.3%)
08/2009: Batman #689 --  78,392 (- 5.6%)
09/2009: Batman #690 --  77,001 (- 1.8%)
10/2009: Batman #691 --  71,431 (- 7.2%)
10/2009: Batman #692 --  70,322 (- 1.6%)
11/2009: Batman #693 --  68,983 (- 1.9%)
----------------
6 months: -22.6%
1 year  : -33.1%
2 years : -10.1%
5 years : + 8.2%

Batman numbers are settling into a slow decline.

—–

19 - BOOSTER GOLD
11/2007: Booster Gold #4  -- 37,683
-----------------------------------
11/2008: Booster Gold #14 -- 28,260 (-  5.5%)
12/2008: Booster Gold #15 -- 26,835 (-  5.0%)
01/2009: Booster Gold #16 -- 25,472 (-  5.1%)
02/2009: Booster Gold #17 -- 24,732 (-  2.9%)
03/2009: Booster Gold #18 -- 23,737 (-  4.0%)
04/2009: Booster Gold #19 -- 23,203 (-  2.3%)
05/2009: Booster Gold #20 -- 22,549 (-  2.8%)
06/2009: Booster Gold #21 -- 23,222 (+  3.0%)
07/2009: Booster Gold #22 -- 22,414 (-  3.5%)
08/2009: Booster Gold #23 -- 22,108 (-  1.4%)
09/2009: Booster Gold #24 -- 21,731 (-  1.7%)
10/2009: Booster Gold #25 -- 21,597 (-  0.6%)
11/2009: Booster Gold #26 -- 57,122 (+164.5%)
-----------------
6 months: +153.3%
1 year  : +102.1%
2 years : + 51.6%

Another “Blackest Night” tie-in, obviously.

—–

22 - DETECTIVE COMICS
11/2004: Detective Comics #800 --  52,399
11/2005: Detective Comics #813 --  38,338
11/2006: Detective Comics #825 --  58,940
11/2007: Detective Comics #838 --  60,267 [65,293]
-----------------------------------------
11/2008: Detective Comics #850 --  64,196 (- 2.6%)
12/2008: Detective Comics #851 --  64,961 (+ 1.2%)
01/2009: Detective Comics #852 --  56,656 (-12.8%)
02/2009: --
03/2009: --
04/2009: Detective Comics #853 -- 104,107 (+83.8%)
05/2009: --
06/2009: Detective Comics #854 --  72,808 (-30.1%) [79,573]
07/2009: Detective Comics #855 --  61,205 (-15.9%)
08/2009: Detective Comics #856 --  58,859 (- 3.8%)
09/2009: Detective Comics #857 --  57,063 (- 3.1%)
10/2009: Detective Comics #858 --  58,599 (+ 2.7%)
11/2009: Detective Comics #859 --  54,392 (- 7.2%)
-----------------
6 months:  n.a.
1 year  : - 15.3%
2 years : -  9.8%
5 years : +  3.8%

Not good: The last two issues of Detective Comics were both promoted with 1-for-10 variant editions, so the 7% drop is real.

Not bad: It’s still more than 10,000 units ahead of most other Batman titles.

—–

24 - DOOM PATROL
11/2004: Doom Patrol #6  -- 21,841
11/2005: Doom Patrol #18 -- 13,853
----------------------------------
08/2009: Doom Patrol #1  -- 28,267
09/2009: Doom Patrol #2  -- 22,001 (- 22.2%)
10/2009: Doom Patrol #3  -- 20,036 (-  8.9%)
11/2009: Doom Patrol #4  -- 53,748 (+168.3%)
-----------------
5 years : +146.1%

A “Blackest Night” tie-in.

—–

27 - JUSTICE LEAGUE: CRY FOR JUSTICE
07/2009: Cry for Justice #1 of 6  -- 68,317          [72,719]
08/2009: Cry for Justice #2 of 6  -- 54,553 (-20.2%) [58,829]
09/2009: Cry for Justice #3 of 7  -- 54,726 (+ 0.3%)
10/2009: Cry for Justice #4 of 7  -- 54,386 (- 0.6%)
11/2009: Cry for Justice #5 of 7  -- 52,400 (- 3.7%)

Sales of the James Robinson vehicle are holding up well.

—–

29 - SUPERMAN/BATMAN
11/2004: Superman/Batman #13 -- 157,949
11/2004: Superman/Batman #14 -- 121,831 [127,527]
11/2005: --
11/2006: Superman/Batman #30 --  84,008
11/2007: Superman/Batman #42 --  54,341
---------------------------------------
11/2008: --
12/2008: Superman/Batman #54 --  45,968 (- 4.6%)
01/2009: --
02/2009: Superman/Batman #55 --  43,962 (- 4.4%)
03/2009: Superman/Batman #56 --  42,464 (- 3.4%)
04/2009: Superman/Batman #57 --  41,743 (- 1.7%)
04/2009: Superman/Batman #58 --  41,000 (- 1.8%)
04/2009: Superman/Batman #59 --  40,182 (- 2.0%)
05/2009: Superman/Batman #60 --  39,531 (- 1.6%)
06/2009: Superman/Batman #61 --  38,228 (- 3.3%)
07/2009: Superman/Batman #62 --  38,412 (+ 0.5%)
08/2009: Superman/Batman #63 --  37,467 (- 2.5%)
09/2009: Superman/Batman #64 --  36,332 (- 3.0%)
10/2009: Superman/Batman #65 --  34,585 (- 4.8%)
11/2009: Superman/Batman #66 --  52,143 (+50.8%)
----------------
6 months: +31.9%
1 year  :  n.a.
2 years : - 4.1%
5 years : -62.7%
30 - R.E.B.E.L.S.
02/2009: R.E.B.E.L.S. #1  -- 23,739
03/2009: R.E.B.E.L.S. #2  -- 16,122 (- 32.1%)
04/2009: R.E.B.E.L.S. #3  -- 14,442 (- 10.4%)
05/2009: R.E.B.E.L.S. #4  -- 13,468 (-  6.7%)
06/2009: R.E.B.E.L.S. #5  -- 12,909 (-  4.2%)
07/2009: R.E.B.E.L.S. #6  -- 12,349 (-  4.3%)
08/2009: R.E.B.E.L.S. #7  -- 11,682 (-  5.4%)
09/2009: R.E.B.E.L.S. #8  -- 11,347 (-  2.9%)
10/2009: R.E.B.E.L.S. #9  -- 11,284 (-  0.6%)
11/2009: R.E.B.E.L.S. #10 -- 51,100 (+352.9%)
-----------------
6 months: +279.4%
31 - THE OUTSIDERS
11/2004: --
11/2005: Outsiders #30 -- 44,682
11/2006: Outsiders #42 -- 35,598
11/2007: Batsiders #1  -- 60,690
11/2007: Batsiders #2  -- 42,827
--------------------------------
11/2008: Batsiders #13 -- 42,939 (-  8.0%)
12/2008: Batsiders #14 -- 32,163 (- 25.1%)
01/2009: --
02/2009: Special #1    -- 35,727 (+ 11.1%)
02/2009: Outsiders #15 -- 30,024 (- 16.0%)
03/2009: Outsiders #16 -- 27,977 (-  6.8%)
04/2009: Outsiders #17 -- 27,171 (-  2.9%)
05/2009: Outsiders #18 -- 25,995 (-  4.3%)
06/2009: Outsiders #19 -- 27,485 (+  5.7%)
07/2009: Outsiders #20 -- 24,323 (- 11.5%)
08/2009: Outsiders #21 -- 23,856 (-  1.9%)
09/2009: Outsiders #22 -- 22,775 (-  4.5%)
10/2009: Outsiders #23 -- 21,413 (-  6.0%)
11/2009: Outsiders #24 -- 50,918 (+137.8%)
----------------
6 months: +95.9%
1 year  : +18.6%
2 years : - 1.6%
5 years :  n.a.
38 - TEEN TITANS
11/2004: Teen Titans #18 -- 61,537 [65,142]
11/2005: Teen Titans #29 -- 69,558
11/2006: Teen Titans #40 -- 64,176
11/2006: Teen Titans #41 -- 61,714
11/2007: Teen Titans #53 -- 54,387
----------------------------------
11/2008: Teen Titans #65 -- 37,880 (- 4.6%)
12/2008: Teen Titans #66 -- 36,808 (- 2.8%)
01/2009: Teen Titans #67 -- 35,877 (- 2.5%)
02/2009: Teen Titans #68 -- 35,096 (- 2.2%)
03/2009: --
04/2009: Teen Titans #69 -- 35,375 (+ 0.8%)
04/2009: Teen Titans #70 -- 35,412 (+ 0.1%)
05/2009: Teen Titans #71 -- 34,110 (- 3.7%)
06/2009: Teen Titans #72 -- 32,512 (- 4.7%)
07/2009: Teen Titans #73 -- 30,990 (- 4.7%)
08/2009: Teen Titans #74 -- 30,380 (- 2.0%)
09/2009: Teen Titans #75 -- 32,808 (+ 8.0%)
10/2009: Teen Titans #76 -- 29,166 (-11.1%)
11/2009: Teen Titans #77 -- 46,239 (+58.5%)
----------------
6 months: +35.6%
1 year  : +22.1%
2 years : -15.0%
5 years : -24.9%

Four more “Blackest Night” crossover titles.

R.E.B.E.L.S. #10 and The Outsiders #24 were part of the plastic-ring promotion, while Superman/Batman #66 and Teen Titans #77 were not. Perhaps that explains why the two former books are the ones with the bigger percentage leaps.

—–

39 - SUPERMAN: SECRET ORIGIN
09/2009: Superman: Secret Origin #1 of 6 -- 54,630
10/2009: Superman: Secret Origin #2 of 6 -- 46,840 (-14.3%)
11/2009: Superman: Secret Origin #3 of 6 -- 45,029 (- 3.9%)

The numbers are bottoming out at a rather modest level, given the creative team. As usual, there was a 1-for-10 variant.

—–

40 - BATMAN: THE WIDENING GYRE
11/2008: Cacophony #1 of 3     -- 69,522
12/2008: Cacophony #2 of 3     -- 55,698 (-19.9%) [58,016]
01/2009: --
02/2009: --
03/2009: Cacophony #3 of 3     -- 52,814 (- 5.2%)
04/2009: --
05/2009: --
06/2009: --
07/2009: --
08/2009: Widening Gyre #1 of 6 -- 52,191 (- 1.2%)
09/2009: Widening Gyre #2 of 6 -- 46,287 (-11.3%)
10/2009: --
11/2009: Widening Gyre #3 of 6 -- 43,336 (- 6.4%)
----------------
6 months:  n.a.
1 year  : -37.7%

The Kevin Smith project is finding its level. There were a 1-for-25 and a 1-for-50 variant, as usual.

—–

41 - JUSTICE SOCIETY OF AMERICA
11/2004: JSA #67             --  47,725
11/2005: JSA #79             --  52,783
11/2007: --
---------------------------------------
11/2008: Justice Society #20 --  71,355 (-  1.0%)
12/2008: Justice Society #21 --  69,662 (-  2.4%)
12/2008: Justice Society #22 --  67,615 (-  2.9%)
01/2009: Justice Society #23 --  61,385 (-  9.2%)
02/2009: Justice Society #24 --  65,207 (+  6.2%)
03/2009: --
04/2009: Justice Society #25 --  65,713 (+  0.8%)
04/2009: Justice Society #26 --  81,200 (+ 23.6%)
05/2009: Justice Society #27 --  56,102 (- 30.9%)
06/2009: Justice Society #28 --  52,673 (-  6.1%)
07/2009: Justice Society #29 --  51,375 (-  2.5%)
08/2009: Justice Society #30 --  49,416 (-  3.8%)
09/2009: Justice Society #31 --  47,436 (-  4.0%)
10/2009: Justice Society #32 --  44,885 (-  5.4%)
11/2009: Justice Society #33 --  43,218 (-  3.7%)
----------------
6 months: -23.0%
1 year  : -39.0%
2 years :  n.a.
5 years : - 9.4%

There’s no end in sight for the book’s swift decline. The new creative team doesn’t seem to be catching on.

——

43 - RED ROBIN
11/2004: Robin #132    -- 35,927
11/2005: Robin #144    -- 32,314
11/2006: Robin #156    -- 31,682
11/2007: Robin #168    -- 50,672 [57,442]
-------------------------------- 
11/2008: Robin #180    -- 28,399 (-  5.6%)
12/2008: Robin #181    -- 27,891 (-  1.8%)
01/2009: Robin #182    -- 28,684 (+  2.8%)
02/2009: Robin #183    -- 31,682 (+ 10.5%)
03/2009: --
04/2009: --
05/2009: --
06/2009: Red Robin #1  -- 64,261 (+102.8%) [71,925]
07/2009: Red Robin #2  -- 51,593 (- 19.7%) [54,544]
08/2009: Red Robin #3  -- 50,329 (-  2.5%)
09/2009: Red Robin #4  -- 47,945 (-  4.7%)
10/2009: Red Robin #5  -- 44,776 (-  6.6%)
11/2009: Red Robin #6  -- 42,409 (-  5.3%)
-----------------
6 months:  n.a.
1 year  : + 49.3%
2 years : - 16.3%
5 years : + 18.0%

Like the rest of the Batman line, Red Robin keeps slipping down the charts. It’s still more than 10,000 units ahead of its previous incarnation, though, so there’s no reason to panic just yet.

—–

51 - SUPERMAN: WORLD OF NEW KRYPTON
03/2009: WoNK #1  of 12 -- 50,050
04/2009: WoNK #2  of 12 -- 44,880 (-10.3%)
05/2009: WoNK #3  of 12 -- 42,153 (- 6.1%)
06/2009: WoNK #4  of 12 -- 41,620 (- 1.3%)
07/2009: WoNK #5  of 12 -- 39,939 (- 4.0%)
08/2009: WoNK #6  of 12 -- 39,218 (- 1.8%)
09/2009: WoNK #7  of 12 -- 37,697 (- 3.9%)
10/2009: WoNK #8  of 12 -- 36,672 (- 2.7%)
11/2009: WoNK #9  of 12 -- 35,286 (- 3.8%)
----------------
6 months: -16.3%

The flagship Superman book hasn’t found its level quite yet. As usual, there was a 1-for-25 variant edition.

—–

52 - BATGIRL
11/2004: Batgirl #58     -- 31,056 [32,932]
11/2005: Batgirl #70     -- 27,002
----------------------------------
11/2008: Batgirl #5 of 6 -- 21,595 (-  8.1%)
12/2008: Batgirl #6 of 6 -- 20,750 (-  3.9%)
01/2009: --
02/2009: --
03/2009: --
04/2009: --
05/2009: --
06/2009: --
07/2009: -- 
08/2009: Batgirl #1      -- 51,724 (+149.3%)
09/2009: Batgirl #2      -- 40,626 (- 21.5%)
10/2009: Batgirl #3      -- 37,011 (-  8.9%)
11/2009: Batgirl #4      -- 34,697 (-  6.3%)
----------------
6 months:  n.a.
1 year  : +60.7%
5 years : +11.7%

Batgirl sales keep declining too fast for comfort.

If DC was hoping for another solid mid-level performer, the numbers will have to stabilize very soon.

—–

53 - SUPERMAN
11/2004: Superman #211 -- 106,469 [110,683]
11/2005: Superman #223 --  69,739
11/2006: Superman #657 --  62,327
11/2007: Superman #670 --  48,407
---------------------------------
11/2008: Superman #682 --  55,435 (+ 1.5%)
12/2008: Superman #683 --  55,287 (- 0.3%)
01/2009: Superman #684 --  48,489 (-12.3%)
02/2009: Superman #685 --  48,027 (- 1.0%)
03/2009: Superman #686 --  44,976 (- 6.4%)
04/2009: Superman #687 --  43,041 (- 4.3%)
05/2009: Superman #688 --  41,642 (- 3.3%)
06/2009: Superman #689 --  40,366 (- 3.1%)
07/2009: Superman #690 --  39,472 (- 2.2%)
08/2009: Superman #691 --  39,106 (- 0.9%)
09/2009: Superman #692 --  37,695 (- 3.6%)
10/2009: Superman #693 --  35,395 (- 6.1%)
11/2009: Superman #694 --  34,430 (- 2.7%)
----------------
6 months: -17.3%
1 year  : -37.9%
2 years : -28.9%
5 years : -67.7%
54 - ACTION COMICS
11/2004: Action Comics #821 -- 38,880
11/2005: Action Comics #833 -- 44,613
11/2006: Action Comics #845 -- 66,742 [71,135]
11/2007: Action Comics #859 -- 54,572
-------------------------------------
11/2008: Action Comics #871 -- 58,547 (+ 2.0%)
12/2008: Action Comics #872 -- 57,175 (- 2.3%)
01/2009: Action Comics #873 -- 51,940 (- 9.2%)
02/2009: Action Comics #874 -- 48,360 (- 6.9%)
03/2009: Action Comics #875 -- 47,079 (- 2.7%)
04/2009: Action Comics #876 -- 43,368 (- 7.9%)
05/2009: Action Comics #877 -- 41,772 (- 3.7%)
06/2009: Action Comics #878 -- 40,011 (- 4.2%)
07/2009: Action Comics #879 -- 38,324 (- 4.2%)
08/2009: Action Comics #880 -- 37,588 (- 1.9%)
09/2009: Action Comics #881 -- 36,183 (- 3.7%)
10/2009: Action Comics #882 -- 34,754 (- 4.0%)
11/2009: Action Comics #883 -- 33,386 (- 3.9%)
----------------
6 months: -20.1%
1 year  : -43.0%
2 years : -38.8%
5 years : -14.1%

The other two core Superman titles also keep burning unit sales like there’s no tomorrow. DC’s plans for the franchise don’t suggest that’s going to change anytime soon.

—–

56 - BATMAN/DOC SAVAGE SPECIAL
11/2009: Batman/Doc Savage Special #1  -- 32,636

The $ 4.99 one-shot by Brian Azzarello and Phil Noto serves as a lead-in to an upcoming miniseries, also written by Azzarello.

30K is all right, but this type of book will probably do a significant chunk of its business once it’s been collected.

There was a 1-for-10 variant edition.

—–

59 - BATMAN: STREETS OF GOTHAM
06/2009: Batman: SoG #1  -- 57,650
07/2009: Batman: SoG #2  -- 44,240 (-23.3%)
08/2009: Batman: SoG #3  -- 40,353 (- 8.8%)
09/2009: Batman: SoG #4  -- 37,888 (- 6.1%)
10/2009: Batman: SoG #5  -- 34,533 (- 8.9%)
11/2009: Batman: SoG #6  -- 32,303 (- 6.5%)
63 - GOTHAM CITY SIRENS
11/2004: Birds of Prey #76  -- 31,126
11/2005: Birds of Prey #88  -- 32,823
11/2006: Birds of Prey #100 -- 34,607
11/2007: Birds of Prey #112 -- 25,117
-------------------------------------
11/2008: Birds of Prey #124 -- 20,959 (- 0.7%)
12/2008: Birds of Prey #125 -- 20,161 (- 3.8%)
01/2009: Birds of Prey #126 -- 20,772 (+ 3.0%)
02/2009: Birds of Prey #127 -- 21,424 (+ 3.1%)
03/2009: Oracle #1 of 3     -- 34,081 (+59.1%)
04/2009: Oracle #2 of 3     -- 33,731 (- 1.0%)
05/2009: Oracle #3 of 3     -- 35,328 (+ 4.7%)
06/2009: GC Sirens #1       -- 52,439 (+48.4%)
07/2009: GC Sirens #2       -- 39,518 (-24.6%)
08/2009: GC Sirens #3       -- 36,772 (- 7.0%)
09/2009: GC Sirens #4       -- 34,405 (- 6.4%)
10/2009: GC Sirens #5       -- 33,015 (- 4.0%)
11/2009: GC Sirens #6       -- 30,990 (- 6.1%)
-----------------
6 months: - 12.3%
1 year  : + 47.9%
2 years : + 23.4%
5 years : -  0.4%

That’s another 2,000+ units down the drain each for Streets of Gotham and Gotham City Sirens. Something’s not clicking here.

—–

66 - SUPERGIRL
11/2005: Supergirl #3  --  99,990 [101,910]
11/2006: Supergirl #11 --  62,544
11/2007: Supergirl #23 --  45,460
---------------------------------
11/2008: Supergirl #35 --  45,518 (+34.0%)
12/2008: Supergirl #36 --  45,491 (- 0.1%)
01/2009: Supergirl #37 --  34,060 (-25.1%)
02/2009: Supergirl #38 --  34,225 (+ 0.5%)
03/2009: Supergirl #39 --  33,713 (- 1.5%)
04/2009: Supergirl #40 --  34,080 (+ 1.1%)
05/2009: Supergirl #41 --  33,441 (- 1.9%)
06/2009: Supergirl #42 --  32,705 (- 2.2%)
07/2009: Supergirl #43 --  32,849 (+ 0.4%)
08/2009: Supergirl #44 --  33,819 (+ 3.0%)
09/2009: Supergirl #45 --  32,240 (- 4.7%)
10/2009: Supergirl #46 --  30,377 (- 5.8%)
11/2009: Supergirl #47 --  29,159 (- 4.0%)
----------------
6 months: -12.8%
1 year  : -35.9%
2 years : -35.9%

Things started looking good for Supergirl about a year ago. Now, though, not so much anymore.

These aren’t the lowest numbers the series has seen, but if the drops continue like this, it’ll be getting there in a few months.

—–

71 - JUSTICE SOCIETY OF AMERICA 80-PAGE GIANT
11/2009: JSA 80-Page Giant #1  -- 27,905

Not bad numbers for a $ 5.99 one-shot, given the general state of the franchise.

—–

72 - TITANS
11/2007: TTE Special #1 -- 49,735
---------------------------------
11/2008: Titans #7      -- 41,507 (- 8.7%)
12/2008: Titans #8      -- 39,154 (- 5.7%)
01/2009: Titans #9      -- 37,693 (- 3.7%)
02/2009: Titans #10     -- 36,361 (- 3.5%)
03/2009: Titans #11     -- 35,240 (- 3.1%)
04/2009: Titans #12     -- 36,014 (+ 2.2%)
05/2009: Titans #13     -- 34,343 (- 4.6%)
06/2009: Titans #14     -- 32,321 (- 5.9%)
07/2009: Titans #15     -- 46,189 (+42.9%)
08/2009: Titans #16     -- 31,408 (-32.0%)
09/2009: Titans #17     -- 30,154 (- 4.0%)
10/2009: Titans #18     -- 28,215 (- 6.4%)
11/2009: Titans #19     -- 27,099 (- 4.0%)
----------------
6 months: -21.1%
1 year  : -34.7%
2 years : -45.5%

Titans sales continue to be in a free-fall. The solicitation text for the February issue suggests that the series may be cancelled, meanwhile.

—–

73 - WORLD'S FINEST
10/2009: World's Finest #1 of 4 -- 37,037
11/2009: World's Finest #2 of 4 -- 26,566 (-28.3%)

That’s a very high second-issue drop for a miniseries. On the other hand, sales of the first issue were surprisingly high, so maybe this is retailers coming to their senses.

—–

74 - WONDER WOMAN
11/2004: Wonder Woman #210 --  25,699
11/2005: Wonder Woman #223 --  49,332
11/2006: Wonder Woman #3   --  76,998
11/2007: Wonder Woman #14  --  53,090
-------------------------------------
11/2008: Wonder Woman #26  --  33,277 (- 0.9%)
12/2008: Wonder Woman #27  --  32,322 (- 2.9%)
01/2009: Wonder Woman #28  --  32,622 (+ 0.9%)
02/2009: Wonder Woman #29  --  33,237 (+ 1.9%)
03/2009: Wonder Woman #30  --  33,365 (+ 0.4%)
04/2009: Wonder Woman #31  --  31,857 (- 4.5%)
05/2009: Wonder Woman #32  --  33,065 (+ 3.8%)
06/2009: Wonder Woman #33  --  32,755 (- 0.9%)
07/2009: Wonder Woman #34  --  30,131 (- 8.0%)
08/2009: Wonder Woman #35  --  29,657 (- 1.6%)
09/2009: Wonder Woman #36  --  28,806 (- 2.9%)
10/2009: Wonder Woman #37  --  26,972 (- 6.4%)
11/2009: Wonder Woman #38  --  26,265 (- 2.6%)
----------------
6 months: -20.6%
1 year  : -21.1%
2 years : -50.5%
5 years : + 2.2%
91 - SECRET SIX
11/2006: --
-------------------------------------
11/2008: Secret Six #3      -- 26,053 (- 6.4%)
12/2008: Secret Six #4      -- 24,657 (- 5.4%)
01/2009: Secret Six #5      -- 24,899 (+ 1.0%)
02/2009: Secret Six #6      -- 24,758 (- 0.6%)
03/2009: Secret Six #7      -- 24,365 (- 1.6%)
04/2009: Secret Six #8      -- 24,338 (- 0.1%)
05/2009: Secret Six #9      -- 27,116 (+11.4%)
06/2009: Secret Six #10     -- 24,272 (-10.5%)
07/2009: Secret Six #11     -- 24,357 (+ 0.4%)
08/2009: Secret Six #12     -- 24,161 (- 0.8%)
09/2009: Secret Six #13     -- 23,919 (- 1.0%)
10/2009: Secret Six #14     -- 23,345 (- 2.4%)
11/2009: Secret Six #15     -- 23,190 (- 0.7%)
----------------
6 months: -14.5%
1 year  : -11.0%

Two books written by Gail Simone, two very different performances: Wonder Woman keeps slipping down the charts, while Secret Six sales have been relatively stable in comparison.

—–

96 - ARKHAM REBORN
04/2009: BftC: Arkham Asylum #1 -- 39,187
05/2009: --
06/2009: --
07/2009: --
08/2009: --
09/2009: --
10/2009: Arkham Reborn #1 of 3  -- 31,519 (-19.1%)
11/2009: Arkham Reborn #2 of 3  -- 21,770 (-30.9%)
98 - AZRAEL
03/2009: Death's Dark Knight #1 of 3 -- 39,985
04/2009: Death's Dark Knight #2 of 3 -- 36,432 (- 8.9%)
05/2009: Death's Dark Knight #3 of 3 -- 35,916 (- 1.4%)
06/2009: --
07/2009: --
08/2009: --
09/2009: --
10/2009: Azrael #1                   -- 35,311 (- 1.7%)
11/2009: Azrael #2                   -- 21,392 (-39.4%)
----------------
6 months: -40.4%

These two stragglers from the makeover of the Batman line are too much for the market, it turns out.

These numbers demonstrate, once again, that DC tends to expand franchises when the focus should be on consolidating them first. See Teen Titans. See Justice Society.

—–

99 - THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD
11/2007: The Brave and the Bold #8  -- 45,629
---------------------------------------------
11/2008: The Brave and the Bold #19 -- 26,407 (- 6.4%)
12/2008: The Brave and the Bold #20 -- 25,050 (- 5.1%)
01/2009: The Brave and the Bold #21 -- 24,375 (- 2.7%)
02/2009: The Brave and the Bold #22 -- 23,507 (- 3.6%)
03/2009: --
04/2009: --
05/2009: The Brave and the Bold #23 -- 22,312 (- 5.1%)
06/2009: The Brave and the Bold #24 -- 21,272 (- 4.7%)
07/2009: The Brave and the Bold #25 -- 21,234 (- 0.2%)
08/2009: The Brave and the Bold #26 -- 20,154 (- 5.1%)
09/2009: The Brave and the Bold #27 -- 26,904 (+33.5%)
10/2009: The Brave and the Bold #28 -- 23,176 (-13.9%)
11/2009: The Brave and the Bold #29 -- 21,287 (- 8.2%)
----------------
6 months: - 4.6%
1 year  : -19.4%
2 years : -53.4%

The numbers are almost back where they were before J. Michael Strczynski’s arrival. They couldn’t possibly have gotten any less mileage out of the high-profile writer’s name if they tried.

The Brave and the Bold is missing from the February solicitations, meanwhile.

—–

101 - FABLES (Vertigo)
11/2004: Fables #31 -- 25,061
11/2005: Fables #43 -- 24,659
11/2006: Fables #55 -- 25,635
11/2007: Fables #67 -- 24,841
-----------------------------
11/2008: Fables #78 -- 23,345 (-1.8%)
12/2008: Fables #79 -- 22,769 (-2.5%)
01/2009: Fables #80 -- 22,617 (-0.7%)
02/2009: Fables #81 -- 22,517 (-0.4%)
03/2009: Fables #82 -- 22,445 (-0.3%)
04/2009: Fables #83 -- 23,630 (+5.3%)
05/2009: Fables #84 -- 23,634 (+0.0%)
06/2009: Fables #85 -- 23,439 (-0.8%)
07/2009: Fables #86 -- 22,447 (-4.2%)
08/2009: Fables #87 -- 21,876 (-2.5%)
09/2009: Fables #88 -- 21,508 (-1.7%)
10/2009: Fables #89 -- 21,118 (-1.8%)
11/2009: Fables #90 -- 20,882 (-1.1%)
----------------
6 months: -11.6%
1 year  : -10.6%
2 years : -15.9%
5 years : -16.7%
105 - CINDERELLA: FROM FABLETOWN WITH LOVE (Vertigo)
11/2009: Cinderella #1 of 6 -- 20,337

While sales of the mother title are back in a slow decline, a new spin-off miniseries launches with solid numbers.

What may be of particular interest to Vertigo is that Cinderella seems to manage just fine without Fables creator Bill Willingham getting a “co-writer” credit.

—–

111/121 - BATMAN: THE UNSEEN
10/2009: The Unseen #1 of 5 -- 24,887
10/2009: The Unseen #2 of 5 -- 22,653 (- 9.0%)
11/2009: The Unseen #3 of 5 -- 19,169 (-15.4%)
11/2009: The Unseen #4 of 5 -- 17,944 (- 6.4%)

As usual with twice-monthly books, retailers delayed what’s usually the second-issue drop to issue #3 for some reason.

(If you know what that reason is, please tell me, by the way.)

—–

115 - JSA VS. KOBRA
06/2009: JSA Vs. Kobra #1 of 6 -- 32,237
07/2009: JSA Vs. Kobra #2 of 6 -- 25,591 (-20.6%)
08/2009: JSA Vs. Kobra #3 of 6 -- 22,806 (-10.9%)
09/2009: JSA Vs. Kobra #4 of 6 -- 21,107 (- 7.5%)
10/2009: JSA Vs. Kobra #5 of 6 -- 19,828 (- 6.1%)
11/2009: JSA Vs. Kobra #6 of 6 -- 18,994 (- 4.2%)

These numbers are not catastrophic, but they don’t exactly suggest there’s demand for a second ongoing JSA series, either.

—–

120 - LOBO: HIGHWAY TO HELL
11/2009: Highway to Hell #1 of 2 -- 18,247

Lobo: Highway to Hell is a two-part $ 6.99 series, drawn by Sam Kieth and written by the guitarist of, um, Anthrax; not bad sales for what’s basically a novelty item.

On a personal note, I’d like to add that I’m pretty sure that Lobo totally prefers John Bush. Joey Belladonna, my big, hairy … calculator.

—–

123 - GREEN ARROW & BLACK CANARY
11/2004: Green Arrow #44  -- 32,159
11/2005: Green Arrow #56  -- 32,670
11/2006: Green Arrow #68  -- 32,135
11/2007: Arrow/Canary #2  -- 42,827
-----------------------------------
11/2008: Arrow/Canary #14 -- 25,599 (- 4.8%)
12/2008: Arrow/Canary #15 -- 24,526 (- 4.2%)
01/2009: Arrow/Canary #16 -- 24,419 (- 0.4%)
02/2009: Arrow/Canary #17 -- 23,392 (- 4.2%)
03/2009: Arrow/Canary #18 -- 22,699 (- 3.0%)
04/2009: Arrow/Canary #19 -- 21,933 (- 3.4%)
05/2009: Arrow/Canary #20 -- 21,445 (- 2.2%)
06/2009: Arrow/Canary #21 -- 20,807 (- 3.0%)
07/2009: Arrow&Canary #22 -- 20,571 (- 1.1%)
08/2009: Arrow&Canary #23 -- 19,452 (- 5.4%)
09/2009: Arrow&Canary #24 -- 18,780 (- 3.5%)
10/2009: Arrow&Canary #25 -- 18,013 (- 4.1%)
11/2009: Arrow&Canary #26 -- 17,384 (- 3.5%)
----------------
6 months: -18.9%
1 year  : -32.1%
2 years : -59.4%
5 years : -45.9%

There’s some sort of mini-event storyline planned for the book next year — DC’s last-ditch effort to try and save the book, presumably.

—–

125 - BATMAN CONFIDENTIAL
11/2007: Batman Confidential #11 -- 27,397
------------------------------------------
11/2008: Batman Confidential #23 -- 22,909 (- 5.7%)
12/2008: Batman Confidential #24 -- 21,470 (- 6.3%)
01/2009: Batman Confidential #25 -- 20,517 (- 4.4%)
02/2009: Batman Confidential #26 -- 20,134 (- 1.9%)
03/2009: Batman Confidential #27 -- 19,934 (- 1.0%)
04/2009: Batman Confidential #28 -- 19,540 (- 2.0%)
05/2009: Batman Confidential #29 -- 18,867 (- 3.4%)
06/2009: Batman Confidential #30 -- 18,443 (- 2.3%)
07/2009: Batman Confidential #31 -- 19,225 (+ 4.2%)
08/2009: Batman Confidential #32 -- 18,545 (- 3.5%)
09/2009: Batman Confidential #33 -- 18,140 (- 2.2%)
10/2009: Batman Confidential #34 -- 17,097 (- 5.8%)
10/2009: Batman Confidential #35 -- 16,724 (- 2.2%)
11/2009: Batman Confidential #36 -- 16,664 (- 0.4%)
11/2009: Batman Confidential #37 -- 16,355 (- 1.9%)
----------------
6 months: -12.5%
1 year  : -27.9%
2 years : -39.7%

The Batman title for hardcore completists continues apace. If nothing else, it’ll be interesting to see how low DC’s willing to let sales drop before someone pulls the plug.

—–

137 - THE UNWRITTEN (Vertigo)
05/2009: The Unwritten #1  -- 26,915          [31,081]
06/2009: The Unwritten #2  -- 16,290 (-39.5%)
07/2009: The Unwritten #3  -- 17,028 (+ 4.5%)
08/2009: The Unwritten #4  -- 16,336 (- 4.1%)
09/2009: The Unwritten #5  -- 16,011 (- 2.0%)
10/2009: The Unwritten #6  -- 15,314 (- 4.4%)
11/2009: The Unwritten #7  -- 14,763 (- 3.6%)
----------------
6 months: -45.2%

Sales still haven’t found their level, but it’s safe to say that they’re still much higher than they would have been without the $ 1.00 debut issue.

—–

143 - THE GREAT TEN
11/2009: The Great Ten #1  of 10 -- 13,159
146 - MAGOG
09/2009: Magog #1  -- 26,352
10/2009: Magog #2  -- 16,193 (-38.6%)
11/2009: Magog #3  -- 12,915 (-20.2%)
150 - RED TORNADO
09/2009: Red Tornado #1 of 6 -- 20,551
10/2009: Red Tornado #2 of 6 -- 14,383 (-30.0%)
11/2009: Red Tornado #3 of 6 -- 12,331 (-14.3%)

A bunch of DC Universe books that are dropping into oblivion.

Magog is the odd man out, of course, because it’s meant to be ongoing. With these numbers, it’s not inconceivable that it may be over before The Great Ten is, however.

—–

154 - CALL OF DUTY: MODERN WARFARE 2: GHOST (WildStorm)
11/2009: CoD:MW2: Ghost #1 of 6 -- 11,936
156 - VICTORIAN UNDEAD (WildStorm)
11/2009: Victorian Undead #1 of 6 -- 11,422

Two new WildStorm books with surprisingly good numbers — particularly Victorian Undead, whose sales are positively astonishing compared to the imprint’s other recent creator-owned launches.

And Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2: Ghost is more proof that colons are all the rage in the video-game stores.

Both comics were supported with 1-for-10 variant editions.

—–

159 - JONAH HEX
11/2005: Jonah Hex #1  -- 33,771
11/2006: Jonah Hex #13 -- 18,747
11/2007: Jonah Hex #25 -- 14,577
--------------------------------
11/2008: Jonah Hex #37 -- 12,537 (- 0.7%)
12/2008: Jonah Hex #38 -- 12,132 (- 3.2%)
01/2009: Jonah Hex #39 -- 11,705 (- 3.5%)
02/2009: Jonah Hex #40 -- 11,631 (- 0.6%)
03/2009: Jonah Hex #41 -- 11,564 (- 0.6%)
04/2009: Jonah Hex #42 -- 11,551 (- 0.1%)
05/2009: Jonah Hex #43 -- 11,606 (+ 0.5%)
06/2009: Jonah Hex #44 -- 11,592 (- 0.1%)
07/2009: Jonah Hex #45 -- 12,588 (+ 8.6%)
08/2009: Jonah Hex #46 -- 12,466 (- 1.0%)
09/2009: Jonah Hex #47 -- 12,231 (- 1.9%)
10/2009: Jonah Hex #48 -- 11,281 (- 7.8%)
11/2009: Jonah Hex #49 -- 11,146 (- 1.2%)
----------------
6 months: - 4.0%
1 year  : -11.1%
2 years : -23.5%

Jonah Hex is back in a slow decline.

—–

167 - HELLBLAZER (Vertigo)
11/2004: Hellblazer #202 -- 15,254
11/2005: Hellblazer #214 -- 14,766
11/2006: Hellblazer #226 -- 13,388
11/2007: Hellblazer #238 -- 12,536
----------------------------------
11/2008: Hellblazer #249 -- 11,445 (-1.3%)
12/2008: Hellblazer #250 -- 12,478 (+9.0%)
01/2009: Hellblazer #251 -- 11,290 (-9.5%)
02/2009: Hellblazer #252 -- 11,174 (-1.0%)
03/2009: Hellblazer #253 -- 11,132 (-0.4%)
04/2009: Hellblazer #254 -- 11,053 (-0.7%)
05/2009: Hellblazer #255 -- 10,937 (-1.1%)
06/2009: Hellblazer #256 -- 10,898 (-0.4%)
07/2009: Hellblazer #257 -- 10,762 (-1.3%)
08/2009: Hellblazer #258 -- 10,665 (-0.9%)
09/2009: Hellblazer #259 -- 10,813 (+1.4%)
10/2009: Hellblazer #260 -- 10,767 (-0.4%)
11/2009: Hellblazer #261 -- 10,553 (-2.0%)
----------------
6 months: - 3.5%
1 year  : - 7.8%
2 years : -15.8%
5 years : -30.8%
169 - HOUSE OF MYSTERY (Vertigo)
11/2008: House of Mystery #7  -- 15,120 (- 5.1%)
12/2008: House of Mystery #8  -- 14,273 (- 5.6%)
01/2009: House of Mystery #9  -- 13,739 (- 3.7%)
02/2009: House of Mystery #10 -- 13,098 (- 4.7%)
03/2009: House of Mystery #11 -- 12,785 (- 2.4%)
04/2009: House of Mystery #12 -- 12,636 (- 1.2%)
05/2009: House of Mystery #13 -- 14,358 (+13.6%)
06/2009: House of Mystery #14 -- 12,039 (-16.2%)
07/2009: House of Mystery #15 -- 11,809 (- 1.9%)
08/2009: House of Mystery #16 -- 11,572 (- 2.0%)
09/2009: House of Mystery #17 -- 11,142 (- 3.7%)
10/2009: House of Mystery #18 -- 10,922 (- 2.0%)
11/2009: House of Mystery #19 -- 10,478 (- 4.1%)
----------------
6 months: -27.0%
1 year  : -30.7%
170 - SWEET TOOTH (Vertigo)
09/2009: Sweet Tooth #1  -- 18,657
10/2009: Sweet Tooth #2  -- 11,315 (-39.4%)
11/2009: Sweet Tooth #3  -- 10,363 (- 8.4%)

Hellblazer, House of Mystery and Sweet Tooth remain just above 10K in November. At this rate, though, Hellblazer will be the only one of the bunch that’ll still be above that marker in a couple of months.

Sweet Tooth remains the lowest-selling of the recent $ 1.00 launches from Vertigo, comparing their third issues.

Vertigo keeps struggling to launch periodicals that sell solidly above the 10,000-unit mark.

—–

173 - WORLD OF WARCRAFT (WildStorm)
11/2007: World of WarCraft #1  -- 44,508 [49,271]
----------------------------------------
11/2008: World of WarCraft #13 -- 17,017 (- 6.5%)
12/2008: World of WarCraft #14 -- 16,058 (- 5.6%)
01/2009: World of WarCraft #15 -- 14,996 (- 6.6%)
02/2009: World of WarCraft #16 -- 14,177 (- 5.5%)
03/2009: World of WarCraft #17 -- 13,614 (- 4.0%)
04/2009: World of WarCraft #18 -- 13,110 (- 3.7%)
05/2009: World of WarCraft #19 -- 12,536 (- 4.4%)
06/2009: World of WarCraft #20 -- 12,274 (- 2.1%)
07/2009: World of WarCraft #21 -- 12,656 (+ 3.1%)
08/2009: World of WarCraft #22 -- 12,131 (- 4.2%)
09/2009: World of WarCraft #23 -- 11,959 (- 1.4%)
10/2009: World of WarCraft #24 -- 10,442 (-12.7%)
11/2009: World of WarCraft #25 -- 10,067 (- 3.6%)
----------------
6 months: -19.7%
1 year  : -40.8%
2 years : -77.4%

World of WarCraft continues to be a very shaky presence in the direct market.

—–

177 - WARLORD
11/2006: Warlord #10 -- 10,539
------------------------------
04/2009: Warlord #1  -- 17,540
05/2009: Warlord #2  -- 13,390 (-23.7%)
06/2009: Warlord #3  -- 12,283 (- 8.3%)
07/2009: Warlord #4  -- 11,445 (- 6.8%)
08/2009: Warlord #5  -- 10,790 (- 5.7%)
09/2009: Warlord #6  -- 10,331 (- 4.3%)
10/2009: Warlord #7  --  9,892 (- 4.3%)
11/2009: Warlord #8  --  9,547 (- 3.5%)
----------------
6 months: -28.7%

DC’s beefcake sword & sorcery title keeps slipping down the charts.

—–

183 - THE AUTHORITY: THE LOST YEAR (WildStorm)
10/2006: The Authority v3 #1     -- 58,136
03/2007: The Authority v3 #2     -- 39,886
------------------------------------------
11/2009: The Lost Year #3  of 12 --  8,988 (-77.5%)

Not surprisingly, WildStorm’s attempt to do Grant Morrison comics without Grant Morrison is met with some resistance by retailers.

The solicitation text seems confused as to what Morrison’s exact role in the project is. Is The Lost Year “plotted by Grant Morrison”? Or “written by Grant Morrison”? How about “story by Grant Morrison,” maybe?

Or is all of that just shorthand for “Grant Morrison couldn’t be bothered but we’ve still got his notes”?

Also, why isn’t the book called “The Lost Three Years”?

The Authority: The Lost Year Reader, a reprint of the two comics the book is based on, sold an estimated 5,380 units, meanwhile.

Overall, projects like this one add to the general sense that WildStorm editorial isn’t really clear on what, precisely, the appeal of the WildStorm Universe line was, once upon a time.

—–

184 - MADAME XANADU (Vertigo)
11/2008: Madame Xanadu #6  -- 12,340 (+ 8.3%)
12/2008: Madame Xanadu #7  -- 10,272 (-16.8%)
01/2009: --
02/2009: Madame Xanadu #8  --  9,932 (- 3.3%)
03/2009: Madame Xanadu #9  --  9,798 (- 1.4%)
04/2009: Madame Xanadu #10 --  9,664 (- 1.4%)
05/2009: Madame Xanadu #11 -- 10,179 (+ 5.3%)
06/2009: Madame Xanadu #12 --  9,949 (- 2.3%)
07/2009: Madame Xanadu #13 -- 10,009 (+ 0.6%)
08/2009: Madame Xanadu #14 --  9,873 (- 1.4%)
09/2009: Madame Xanadu #15 --  9,733 (- 1.4%)
10/2009: Madame Xanadu #16 --  9,283 (- 4.6%)
11/2009: Madame Xanadu #17 --  8,856 (- 4.6%)
----------------
6 months: -13.0%
1 year  : -28.2%
186 - GREEK STREET (Vertigo)
07/2009: Greek Street #1  -- 20,422
08/2009: Greek Street #2  -- 11,996 (-41.3%)
09/2009: Greek Street #3  -- 10,628 (-11.4%)
10/2009: Greek Street #4  --  9,246 (-13.0%)
11/2009: Greek Street #5  --  8,610 (- 6.9%)

Greek Street seems to have profited from its cheap introductory issue in a rather less substantial fashion than The Unwritten.

Madame Xanadu sales are dropping off steeply again, too.

—–

187 - THE SHIELD
08/2009: RC: Shield #1  -- 19,088
09/2009: The Shield #1  -- 16,997 (-11.0%)
10/2009: The Shield #2  -- 10,401 (-38.8%)
11/2009: The Shield #3  --  8,546 (-17.8%)

There’s not much hope here.

—–

191 - NORTHLANDERS (Vertigo)
11/2008: Northlanders #12 -- 10,048 (- 3.0%)
12/2008: Northlanders #13 --  9,777 (- 2.7%)
01/2009: Northlanders #14 --  9,467 (- 3.2%)
02/2009: --
03/2009: Northlanders #15 --  9,443 (- 0.2%)
04/2009: Northlanders #16 --  9,323 (- 1.3%)
05/2009: Northlanders #17 --  9,239 (- 0.9%)
06/2009: Northlanders #18 --  8,877 (- 3.9%)
07/2009: Northlanders #19 --  8,722 (- 1.8%)
08/2009: --
09/2009: Northlanders #20 --  8,786 (+ 0.7%)
10/2009: Northlanders #21 --  8,360 (- 4.9%)
11/2009: Northlanders #22 --  8,136 (- 2.7%)
----------------
6 months: -11.9%
1 year  : -19.0%

Business as usual for Northlanders.

—–

192 - TINY TITANS (Johnny DC)
11/2008: Tiny Titans #10 --  9,239 (- 3.0%)
12/2008: Tiny Titans #11 --  9,085 (- 1.7%)
01/2009: Tiny Titans #12 --  8,733 (- 3.9%)
02/2009: Tiny Titans #13 --  8,710 (- 0.3%)
03/2009: Tiny Titans #14 --  8,736 (+ 0.3%)
04/2009: Tiny Titans #15 --  9,207 (+ 5.4%)
05/2009: Tiny Titans #16 --  8,844 (- 3.9%)
06/2009: Tiny Titans #17 --  8,640 (- 2.3%)
07/2009: Tiny Titans #18 --  8,576 (- 0.7%)
08/2009: Tiny Titans #19 --  8,432 (- 1.7%)
09/2009: Tiny Titans #20 --  8,435 (+ 0.0%)
10/2009: Tiny Titans #21 --  8,259 (- 2.1%)
11/2009: Tiny Titans #22 --  8,100 (- 1.9%)
----------------
6 months: - 8.4%
1 year  : -12.3%

A Johnny DC book. See small print.

—–

194 - THE AUTHORITY (WildStorm)
11/2004: Revolution #2  of 12 -- 23,282
11/2006: --
11/2007: Prime #2 of 6        -- 17,717
---------------------------------------
11/2008: The Authority v4 #4  -- 12,450 (- 7.2%)
12/2008: The Authority v4 #5  -- 11,534 (- 7.4%)
01/2009: The Authority v4 #6  -- 10,673 (- 7.5%)
02/2009: The Authority v4 #7  -- 10,553 (- 1.1%)
03/2009: The Authority v4 #8  --  9,990 (- 5.3%)
04/2009: The Authority v4 #9  --  9,748 (- 2.4%)
05/2009: The Authority v4 #10 --  9,531 (- 2.2%)
06/2009: The Authority v4 #11 --  9,204 (- 3.4%)
07/2009: The Authority v4 #12 --  8,918 (- 3.1%)
08/2009: The Authority v4 #13 --  8,648 (- 3.0%)
09/2009: The Authority v4 #14 --  8,394 (- 2.9%)
10/2009: The Authority v4 #15 --  8,174 (- 2.6%)
11/2009: The Authority v4 #16 --  8,066 (- 1.3%)
----------------
6 months: -15.4%
1 year  : -35.2%
2 years : -54.5%
5 years : -65.4%

The numbers are bottoming out, evidently.

—–

195 - GEARS OF WAR (WildStorm)
11/2008: GoW #2  -- 12,964 (-34.3%)
12/2008: GoW #3  -- 12,095 (- 6.7%)
01/2009: --
02/2009: GoW #4  -- 12,864 (+ 6.4%)
03/2009: GoW #5  -- 11,394 (-11.4%)
04/2009: GoW #6  -- 11,506 (+ 1.0%)
05/2009: GoW #7  --  9,955 (-13.5%)
06/2009: --
07/2009: GoW #8  --  9,368 (- 5.9%)
07/2009: GoW #9  --  9,009 (- 3.8%)
08/2009: --
09/2009: --
10/2009: --
11/2009: GoW #10 --  8,066 (-10.5%)
----------------
6 months: -19.0%
1 year  : -37.8%

Gears of War in particular has been mentioned as an example of a video-game adaptation that’s doing well for WildStorm outside the direct market.

—–

201 - THE WEB
08/2009: RC: Web #1  -- 19,535
09/2009: The Web #1  -- 15,507 (-20.6%)
10/2009: The Web #2  --  9,421 (-39.3%)
11/2009: The Web #3  --  7,631 (-19.0%)

I don’t see this book sticking around for much longer.

—–

211 - DMZ (Vertigo)
11/2005: DMZ #1  -- 18,705
11/2006: DMZ #13 -- 14,228
11/2007: DMZ #25 -- 11,277
--------------------------
11/2008: DMZ #36 --  8,851 (-4.2%)
12/2008: DMZ #37 --  8,823 (-0.3%)
01/2009: DMZ #38 --  8,457 (-4.2%)
02/2009: DMZ #39 --  8,353 (-1.2%)
03/2009: DMZ #40 --  8,167 (-2.2%)
04/2009: DMZ #41 --  8,061 (-1.3%)
05/2009: --  
06/2009: DMZ #42 --  7,927 (-1.7%)
07/2009: DMZ #43 --  7,806 (-1.5%)
08/2009: DMZ #44 --  7,654 (-2.0%)
09/2009: DMZ #45 --  7,589 (-0.9%)
10/2009: DMZ #46 --  7,399 (-2.5%)
11/2009: DMZ #47 --  7,187 (-2.9%)
----------------
6 months:  n.a.
1 year  : -18.8%
2 years : -36.3%

DMZ sales have been declining a little faster than usual in the last two months.

—–

222 - WILDCATS (WildStorm)
11/2005: Nemesis #3 of 9 -- 16,154
11/2006: --
----------------------------------
11/2008: World's End #5  -- 11,280 (- 9.3%)
12/2008: World's End #6  -- 10,450 (- 7.4%)
01/2009: World's End #7  --  9,539 (- 8.7%)
02/2009: World's End #8  --  9,040 (- 5.2%)
03/2009: World's End #9  --  8,758 (- 3.1%)
04/2009: World's End #10 --  8,460 (- 3.4%)
05/2009: World's End #11 --  8,165 (- 3.5%)
06/2009: World's End #12 --  7,863 (- 3.7%)
07/2009: World's End #13 --  7,609 (- 3.2%)
08/2009: World's End #14 --  7,417 (- 2.5%)
09/2009: World's End #15 --  7,178 (- 3.2%)
10/2009: World's End #16 --  6,883 (- 4.1%)
11/2009: World's End #17 --  6,691 (- 2.8%)
----------------
6 months: -18.1%
1 year  : -40.7%

A new creative team is waiting around the corner.

—–

226 - RESIDENT EVIL (WildStorm)
03/2009: Resident Evil #1 of 6 -- 15,759
04/2009: --
05/2009: Resident Evil #2 of 6 -- 10,366 (-34.2%)
06/2009: --
07/2009: --
08/2009: --
09/2009: --
10/2009: --
11/2009: Resident Evil #3 of 6 --  6,508 (-37.2%)
----------------
6 months: -37.2%

For WildStorm’s sake, let’s hope that the rumors about sales in video-game stores are true.

—–

227 - VIGILANTE
12/2008: Vigilante #1      -- 18,236
01/2009: Vigilante #2      -- 13,855 (-24.0%)
02/2009: Vigilante #3      -- 11,264 (-18.7%)
03/2009: Vigilante #4      -- 11,125 (- 1.2%)
04/2009: Vigilante #5      -- 21,290 (+91.4%)
05/2009: Vigilante #6      -- 18,677 (-12.3%)
06/2009: Vigilante #7      -- 11,483 (-38.5%)
07/2009: Vigilante #8      --  9,942 (-13.4%)
08/2009: Vigilante #9      --  8,387 (-15.6%)
09/2009: Vigilante #10     --  7,856 (- 6.3%)
10/2009: Vigilante #11     --  6,971 (-11.3%)
11/2009: Vigilante #12     --  6,450 (- 7.5%)
----------------
6 months: -65.5%

Cancelled.

—–

228 - BATMAN: THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD (Johnny DC)
11/2004: Batman Strikes! #3    -- 15,305
11/2005: Batman Strikes! #15   --  8,840
11/2006: Batman Strikes! #27   --  7,567
11/2007: Batman Strikes! #39   --  6,464
----------------------------------------
01/2009: Brave & Bold #1       -- 13,935 (+117.3%)
02/2009: Brave & Bold #2       --  8,678 (- 37.7%)
03/2009: Brave & Bold #3       --  8,184 (-  5.7%)
04/2009: Brave & Bold #4       --  8,381 (+  2.4%)
05/2009: Brave & Bold #5       --  7,994 (-  4.6%)
06/2009: Brave & Bold #6       --  7,614 (-  4.8%)
07/2009: Brave & Bold #7       --  7,441 (-  2.3%)
08/2009: Brave & Bold #8       --  7,153 (-  3.9%)
09/2009: Brave & Bold #9       --  7,064 (-  1.2%)
10/2009: Brave & Bold #10      --  6,646 (-  5.9%)
11/2009: Brave & Bold #11      --  6,438 (-  3.1%)
----------------
6 months: -19.5%
2 years : - 0.4% 
5 years : -57.9%

A Johnny DC book, see small print.

—–

231 - UNKNOWN SOLDIER (Vertigo)
11/2008: Unknown Soldier #2  -- 10,553 (-34.2%)
12/2008: Unknown Soldier #3  --  9,926 (- 5.9%)
01/2009: Unknown Soldier #4  --  8,711 (-12.2%)
02/2009: Unknown Soldier #5  --  8,348 (- 4.2%)
03/2009: Unknown Soldier #6  --  8,177 (- 2.1%)
04/2009: Unknown Soldier #7  --  8,631 (+ 5.6%)
05/2009: Unknown Soldier #8  --  7,705 (-10.7%)
06/2009: Unknown Soldier #9  --  7,586 (- 1.6%)
07/2009: Unknown Soldier #10 --  7,256 (- 4.4%)
08/2009: Unknown Soldier #11 --  7,070 (- 2.6%)
09/2009: Unknown Soldier #12 --  6,865 (- 2.9%)
10/2009: Unknown Soldier #13 --  6,636 (- 3.3%)
11/2009: Unknown Soldier #14 --  6,359 (- 4.2%)
----------------
6 months: -17.5%
1 year  : -39.7%
234 - AIR (Vertigo)
11/2008: Air #4  --  8,913 (-11.4%)
12/2008: Air #5  --  8,412 (- 5.6%)
01/2009: Air #6  --  7,607 (- 9.6%)
02/2009: --
03/2009: Air #7  -- 10,290 (+35.3%)
04/2009: Air #8  --  7,216 (-29.9%)
05/2009: Air #9  --  7,115 (- 1.4%)
06/2009: Air #10 --  6,954 (- 2.3%)
07/2009: Air #11 --  6,793 (- 2.3%)
08/2009: Air #12 --  6,589 (- 3.0%)
09/2009: Air #13 --  6,476 (- 1.7%)
10/2009: Air #14 --  6,156 (- 4.9%)
11/2009: Air #15 --  5,921 (- 3.8%)
----------------
6 months: -16.8%
1 year  : -33.6%

Air and Unknown Soldier have been the two lowest-selling Vertigo titles for a while.

Unless overall collection sales are better than the first-month direct-market numbers suggest, these books may be in trouble.

—–

236 - NORTH 40 (WildStorm)
07/2009: North 40 #1 of 6 -- 8,163
08/2009: North 40 #2 of 6 -- 6,523 (-20.1%)
09/2009: North 40 #3 of 6 -- 6,284 (- 3.7%) 
10/2009: North 40 #4 of 6 -- 6,068 (- 3.4%)
11/2009: North 40 #5 of 6 -- 5,819 (- 4.1%)

Another creator-owned WildStorm title with better-than-average sales overall.

—–

238 - THE MIGHTY
02/2009: The Mighty #1  --  17,956
03/2009: The Mighty #2  --  10,624 (-40.8%)
04/2009: The Mighty #3  --   8,777 (-17.4%)
05/2009: The Mighty #4  --   7,565 (-13.8%)
06/2009: The Mighty #5  --   7,104 (- 6.1%)
07/2009: The Mighty #6  --   6,660 (- 6.3%)
08/2009: The Mighty #7  --   6,292 (- 5.5%)
09/2009: The Mighty #8  --   6,104 (- 3.0%)
10/2009: The Mighty #9  --   5,932 (- 2.8%)
11/2009: The Mighty #10 --   5,728 (- 3.4%)
----------------
6 months: -24.3%

Cancelled with issue #12.

—–

254 - BILLY BATSON & THE MAGIC OF SHAZAM (Johnny DC)
11/2008: --
12/2008: Billy Batson #3  --  9,852 (-20.3%)
01/2009: --
02/2009: --
03/2009: --
04/2009: Billy Batson #4  --  8,470 (-14.0%)
05/2009: --
06/2009: Billy Batson #5  --  7,869 (- 7.1%)
07/2009: Billy Batson #6  --  6,771 (-14.0%)
08/2009: Billy Batson #7  --  6,382 (- 5.8%)
09/2009: Billy Batson #8  --  5,858 (- 8.2%)
10/2009: Billy Batson #9  --  5,388 (- 8.0%)
11/2009: Billy Batson #10 --  4,993 (- 7.3%)
----------------
6 months:  n.a.
1 year  :  n.a.
258 - SUPER FRIENDS (Johnny DC)
11/2008: Super Friends #9  --  5,739 (- 6.7%)
12/2008: Super Friends #10 --  5,543 (- 3.4%)
01/2009: Super Friends #11 --  5,500 (- 0.8%)
02/2009: Super Friends #12 --  5,394 (- 1.9%)
03/2009: Super Friends #13 --  5,387 (- 0.1%)
04/2009: Super Friends #14 --  5,792 (+ 7.5%)
05/2009: Super Friends #15 --  5,513 (- 4.8%)
06/2009: Super Friends #16 --  5,548 (+ 0.6%)
07/2009: Super Friends #17 --  5,368 (- 3.2%) 
08/2009: Super Friends #18 --  5,291 (- 1.4%)
09/2009: Super Friends #19 --  5,045 (- 4.7%)
10/2009: Super Friends #20 --  5,026 (- 0.4%)
11/2009: Super Friends #21 --  4,879 (- 2.9%)
----------------
6 months: -11.5%
1 year  : -15.0%

Two more Johnny DC books.

—–

264 - STORMWATCH: PHD (WildStorm)
11/2006: StormWatch: PHD #1  -- 29,975
11/2007: --
--------------------------------------
11/2008: StormWatch: PHD #16 --  6,824 (- 7.9%)
12/2008: StormWatch: PHD #17 --  6,468 (- 5.2%)
01/2009: StormWatch: PHD #18 --  6,030 (- 6.8%)
02/2009: StormWatch: PHD #19 --  5,708 (- 5.3%)
03/2009: StormWatch: PHD #20 --  5,555 (- 2.7%)
04/2009: --
05/2009: StormWatch: PHD #21 --  5,370 (- 3.3%)
06/2009: --
07/2009: StormWatch: PHD #22 --  5,090 (- 5.2%)
08/2009: --
09/2009: StormWatch: PHD #23 --  4,840 (- 4.9%)
10/2009: --
11/2009: StormWatch: PHD #24 --  4,598 (- 5.0%)
----------------
6 months: -14.4%
1 year  : -32.6%
2 years :  n.a.

Cancelled? Probably. No further issues have been solicited, and there has been no mention of StormWatch in a while from WildStorm.

—–

275 - STARCRAFT (WildStorm)
05/2009: StarCraft #1  -- 11,744
06/2009: StarCraft #2  --  7,933 (-32.5%)
07/2009: --
08/2009: StarCraft #3  --  6,410 (-19.2%)
09/2009: StarCraft #4  --  5,428 (-15.3%)
10/2009: StarCraft #5  --  4,422 (-18.5%)
11/2009: StarCraft #6  --  4,149 (- 6.2%)
----------------
6 months: -64.7%

See comments on Resident Evil above; these figures are abysmal.

—–

277 - SCOOBY DOO (Johnny DC)
11/2004: Scooby Doo #90  -- 5,280
11/2005: Scooby Doo #102 -- 4,587
11/2006: Scooby Doo #114 -- 4,387
11/2007: Scooby Doo #126 -- 4,237
---------------------------------
11/2008: Scooby Doo #138 -- 4,068
12/2008: Scooby Doo #139 -- ?
01/2009: Scooby Doo #140 -- 3,800
02/2009: Scooby Doo #141 -- 3,861 (+ 1.6%)
03/2009: Scooby Doo #142 -- 3,863 (+ 0.1%)
04/2009: Scooby Doo #143 -- 4,610 (+19.3%)
05/2009: Scooby Doo #144 -- 4,062 (-11.9%)
06/2009: Scooby Doo #145 -- 4,093 (+ 0.8%)
07/2009: Scooby Doo #146 -- 4,110 (+ 0.4%)
08/2009: Scooby Doo #147 -- 4,111 (+ 0.0%)
09/2009: Scooby Doo #148 -- 4,103 (- 0.2%)
10/2009: Scooby Doo #149 -- 4,005 (- 2.4%)
11/2009: Scooby Doo #150 -- 4,044 (+ 1.0%)
----------------
6 months: - 0.4%
1 year  : - 0.6% 
2 years : - 4.6%
5 years : -23.4%

A Johnny DC title.

—–

285 - RED HERRING (WildStorm)
08/2009: Red Herring #1 of 6 -- 5,982
09/2009: Red Herring #2 of 6 -- 4,337 (-27.5%)
10/2009: Red Herring #3 of 6 -- 3,797 (-12.5%)
11/2009: Red Herring #4 of 6 -- 3,438 (- 9.5%)

A creator-owned WildStorm miniseries.

The third issue of WildStorm’s game adaptation Free Realms shipped in November, and like the previous two, it failed to appear on the Top 300 chart.

As usual, for the purposes of the average charts below, I’m presuming any books that didn’t make the chart sold as many units as the last book on the chart, although actual sales are likely to be lower. The last book on the chart in November sold an estimated 2,699 units.

—–

6-MONTH COMPARISONS
+279.4%: REBELS
+153.3%: Booster Gold
+ 95.9%: Outsiders
+ 39.9%: JLA
+ 35.6%: Teen Titans
+ 31.9%: Superman/Batman
+ 30.5%: GL Corps
+ 23.2%: Green Lantern
-  0.4%: Scooby-Doo
-  3.5%: Hellblazer
-  4.0%: Jonah Hex
-  4.6%: Brave & Bold
-  8.4%: Tiny Titans
- 11.5%: Super Friends
- 11.6%: Fables
- 11.9%: Northlanders
- 12.3%: GC Sirens
- 12.5%: Batman Confidential
- 12.8%: Supergirl
- 13.0%: Madame Xanadu
- 14.3%: Flash
- 14.4%: StormWatch
- 14.5%: Secret Six
- 15.4%: Authority
- 16.3%: Superman: WoNK
- 16.8%: Air
- 17.3%: Superman
- 17.5%: Unknown Soldier
- 18.1%: Wildcats
- 18.9%: Green Arrow
- 19.0%: GoW
- 19.5%: Batman: Brave & Bold
- 19.7%: WoW
- 20.1%: Action Comics
- 20.6%: Wonder Woman
- 21.1%: Titans
- 22.6%: Batman
- 23.0%: JSA
- 24.3%: Mighty
- 27.0%: House of Mystery
- 28.7%: Warlord
- 37.2%: Resident Evil
- 40.4%: Azrael
- 45.2%: Unwritten
- 64.7%: StarCraft
- 65.5%: Vigilante

—–

1-YEAR COMPARISONS
+271.5%: Adventure Comics
+166.3%: Flash
+102.1%: Booster Gold
+ 84.4%: GL Corps
+ 60.7%: Batgirl
+ 49.3%: Red Robin
+ 47.9%: GC Sirens
+ 22.1%: Teen Titans
+ 18.6%: Outsiders
-  0.6%: Scooby-Doo
-  7.8%: Hellblazer
- 10.6%: Fables
- 11.0%: Secret Six
- 11.1%: Jonah Hex
- 12.3%: Tiny Titans
- 15.0%: Super Friends
- 15.3%: Detective Comics
- 18.8%: DMZ
- 19.0%: Northlanders
- 19.4%: Brave & Bold
- 21.1%: Wonder Woman
- 27.9%: Batman Confidential
- 28.2%: Madame Xanadu
- 30.7%: House of Mystery
- 32.1%: Green Arrow
- 32.6%: StormWatch
- 33.1%: Batman
- 33.6%: Air
- 34.7%: Titans
- 35.2%: Authority
- 35.9%: Supergirl
- 37.7%: Batman: Widening Gyre
- 37.8%: GoW
- 37.9%: Superman
- 39.0%: JSA
- 39.7%: Unknown Soldier
- 40.7%: Wildcats
- 40.8%: WoW
- 43.0%: Action Comics

—–

2-YEAR COMPARISONS
+217.5%: Adventure Comics
+ 95.7%: GL Corps
+ 59.1%: Flash
+ 51.6%: Booster Gold
+ 23.4%: GC Sirens
-  0.4%: Batman: Brave & Bold
-  1.6%: Outsiders
-  4.1%: Superman/Batman
-  4.6%: Scooby-Doo
-  9.8%: Detective Comics
- 10.1%: Batman
- 15.0%: Teen Titans
- 15.8%: Hellblazer
- 15.9%: Fables
- 16.3%: Red Robin
- 23.5%: Jonah Hex
- 28.9%: Superman
- 35.9%: Supergirl
- 36.3%: DMZ
- 38.8%: Action Comics
- 39.7%: Batman Confidential
- 45.5%: Titans
- 50.5%: Wonder Woman
- 53.4%: Brave & Bold
- 54.5%: Authority
- 59.4%: Green Arrow
- 77.4%: WoW

—–

5-YEAR COMPARISONS
+146.1%: Doom Patrol
+ 69.4%: Flash
+ 41.1%: JLA
+ 18.0%: Red Robin
+ 16.3%: Green Lantern
+ 11.7%: Batgirl
+  8.2%: Batman
+  3.8%: Detective Comics
+  2.2%: Wonder Woman
-  0.4%: GC Sirens
-  9.4%: JSA
- 14.1%: Action Comics
- 16.7%: Fables
- 23.4%: Scooby-Doo
- 24.9%: Teen Titans
- 30.8%: Hellblazer
- 45.9%: Green Arrow
- 57.9%: Batman: Brave & Bold
- 62.7%: Superman/Batman
- 65.4%: Authority
- 67.7%: Superman

—–

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

DC COMICS
11/2004: 31,940
11/2005: 32,971
11/2006: 34,907
11/2007: 29,429
---------------
11/2008: 25,340 (-13.0%)
12/2008: 26,793 (+ 5.7%)**
01/2009: 24,273 (- 9.4%)
02/2009: 23,080 (- 4.9%)
03/2009: 21,792 (- 5.6%)
04/2009: 27,373 (+25.6%)**
05/2009: 24,386 (-10.9%)
06/2009: 25,880 (+ 6.1%)**
07/2009: 30,905 (+19.4%)**
08/2009: 29,977 (- 3.0%)
09/2009: 28,493 (- 5.0%)**
10/2009: 27,525 (- 4.4%)**
11/2009: 28,913 (+ 5.1%)**
----------------
6 months: +18.6%
1 year  : +14.1%
2 years : - 1.8%
5 years : - 6.4%
DC UNIVERSE
11/2004: 40,291
11/2005: 42,342
11/2006: 45,399
11/2007: 37,257
---------------
11/2008: 33,096 (-11.2%)
12/2008: 35,050 (+ 5.9%)
01/2009: 32,705 (- 6.7%)
02/2009: 30,224 (- 7.6%)
03/2009: 31,336 (+ 3.7%)
04/2009: 38,150 (+21.8%)
05/2009: 33,163 (-13.1%)
06/2009: 36,329 (+ 9.6%)
07/2009: 41,218 (+13.9%)
08/2009: 37,300 (- 9.5%)
09/2009: 36,725 (- 1.5%)**
10/2009: 34,795 (- 5.3%)
11/2009: 38,488 (+10.6%)
----------------
6 months: +16.1%
1 year  : +16.3%
2 years : + 3.3%
5 years : - 4.5%
VERTIGO
11/2004: 15,239
11/2005: 15,730
11/2006: 13,773
11/2007: 10,946
---------------
11/2008: 11,936 (+ 5.8%)
12/2008: 11,603 (- 2.8%)
01/2009: 10,980 (- 5.4%)
02/2009: 11,353 (+ 3.4%)
03/2009: 10,177 (-10.4%)
04/2009: 10,767 (+ 5.8%)
05/2009: 12,918 (+20.0%)
06/2009: 11,166 (-13.6%)
07/2009: 11,055 (- 1.0%)**
08/2009: 11,369 (+ 2.8%)
09/2009: 11,345 (- 0.2%)
10/2009: 10,551 (- 7.0%)
11/2009: 11,036 (+ 4.6%)
----------------
6 months: -14.6%
1 year  : - 7.5%
2 years : + 0.8%
5 years : -27.6%
WILDSTORM
11/2004: 16,628
11/2005: 16,255
11/2006: 18,987
11/2007: 15,109
---------------
11/2008: 10,220 (- 4.8%)
12/2008:  9,415 (- 7.9%)**
01/2009:  6,851 (-27.2%)
02/2009:  8,019 (+17.1%)
03/2009:  8,954 (+11.7%)
04/2009:  8,277 (- 7.6%)**
05/2009:  8,579 (+ 3.7%)
06/2009:  8,805 (+ 2.6%)**
07/2009:  8,519 (- 3.3%)**
08/2009:  7,977 (- 6.4%)
09/2009:  8,280 (+ 3.8%)**
10/2009:  9,769 (+18.0%)**
11/2009:  7,111 (-27.2%)
----------------
6 months: -17.1%
1 year  : -30.4%
2 years : -52.9%
5 years : -57.2%

—–
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 traditionally known to be 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. The estimates from March 2001 to February 2003 (marked with an asterisk) were for initial orders rather than actual sales, so they’re only roughly compatible with the subsequent figures.

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. Reorders are included, so long as they either reached stores in a book’s initial 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 the book’s initial 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 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 and some WildStorm 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 may be less than that.

—–
Marc-Oliver Frisch writes about comics at his weblog and at Comicgate. You can also follow him on Twitter, where he will be cursing in German every Friday through 2010.

Comments

  1. “As usual with twice-monthly books, retailers delayed what’s usually the second-issue drop to issue #3 for some reason.

    (If you know what that reason is, please tell me, by the way.)”

    One Phrase, Three (or perhaps four) Words:

    FOC; Final Order Cut-Off.

    Two issues are solicited in a month. I order (say) 10 copies of #1, 8 copies of #2. I’ve put in a placeholder order for #3 of 8 copies.

    #1 arrives, I only sell 8 copies. For a normal book, I’d be FOCing #2 down to 6 or 7, but FOC already passed for #2 in this case. My first chance to adjust the order is #3. I FOC it down to 6.

    Thus you see the behavior you see — if I COULD have cut #2, I would have… but I can’t, so I don’t…

    (Clearly those percentages don’t match the charted reactions, but it’s fair to imagine that some people ordered 10/10/8 or something, not thinking that #3 was the first chance to FOC down; also a largish percentage of people aren’t even using in the first place)

    -B

  2. Matthew Murray says:

    I’m mystified as to why Victorian Undead did so much better than other recent wildstorm miniseries that seemed to have more well known creative teams.
    Aren’t we past zombie books being ordered for being zombie books?

  3. VICTORIAN UNDEAD did better because it has a very fun, straightforward premise (Sherlock Holmes vs. Zombies) and a good price point ($2.99), both of which I personally found very appealing. The first issue was pretty good as well, so here’s hoping WildStorm keeps projects like this coming.

  4. Alan Coil says:

    “Things started looking good for Supergirl about a year ago. Now, though, not so much anymore.”

    I blame it on the line editor. Sales have gone down ever since he said ‘no more up-the-skirt panties shots.’ He obviously doesn’t want to give the pervy fans what they want.

  5. Scratchie says:

    Some of this “analysis” defies belief:

    “What may be of particular interest to Vertigo is that Cinderella seems to manage just fine without Fables creator Bill Willingham getting a “co-writer” credit.”

    Surely it’s not too much to ask that we wait until at least the second issue — or, God forbid, the end of the mini-series — before attempting to determine whether or not the series (and, by implication, other Willingham-free spin-offs) can “manage just fine” without Willingham’s writer credit.

  6. John Dunbar says:

    Ewww, Alan Coil, just ewww.

    Supergirl # 35 and 36 were part of the “New Krypton” crossover. Issue # 35 experienced a 34% increase over the previous issue; if I’m doing the math right, issue #34 came in at just under 34,000 copies. Issue # 37 is right back at that level. The drop is pretty minimal since then, around 5000 copies; at around 29,000 it seems a lot healthier than several other books.

  7. Mo Walker says:

    Based on the solicitations Stormwatch has been ‘quietly canceled’. Members of that team are supposed to be folded into Wildcats and The Authority. Based on the data, The Wildstorm Universe titles are doing better than the Red Circle ones. I would have expected the opposite because of the push to integrate the Red Circle characters into the DCU.

  8. Not so snarky this time. Good job.

  9. Brian: “FOC; Final Order Cut-Off.”

    Thanks for chiming in.

    That makes sense, although it does suggest that retailers don’t err on the side of caution: The drop for second issues shipping in the same calendar month as first issues almost always seems between 5 and 10% lower than the drop for second issues shipping in a subsequent calendar month.

  10. Scratchie:

    I’m not sure what the issue is. Even if CINDERELLA lost 50% of its sales in December, which is unlikely, it would still be one of Vertigo’s better-selling titles.

    Vertigo books don’t usually launch with sales of 20,000 units these days, unless they’re cheap loss-leaders or have the names “Gaiman” or “Willingham” somewhere in the credits.

  11. Christos Gage says:

    A possible reason why VICTORIAN UNDEAD did well: A preview copy of #1 was sent out to retailers before final orders were due. This is entirely anecdotal, but my local retailer really enjoyed it and commented to me that he was ordering more copies of the book than he otherwise would have because he was confident he could sell it to his customers.

  12. Does average comic-book sales actually mean anything other than DC having an increased willingness to continue to publish stuff with low sales?

    For example, if you looked at “Number of titles with sales over 30,000″ (replace 30,000 with your favorite number), would there be a noticeable drop in DC’s titles over the past year?

    (There are other reasons to be worried about DC’s output, such as the decline in the Superman and Wonder Woman line, but I don’t think average comic-book sales actually measures what you think it does.)

  13. Thok:

    I don’t know what you think I think the average sales measure beyond the average sales — that includes the top-selling titles and the low-selling titles, as well as those mid-list books you mention.

    Of course the average figures are prone to short-term jumps and falls from month to month, depending on what’s out and what isn’t — so in that regard, they’re highly volatile. But then, there are other factors to provide context, like the dollar value of the books sold or the trends of specific individual titles or franchises.

    And either way, the average figures can help to identify long-term trends, as in the case of Vertigo and WildStorm. Those changes over the last few years aren’t just statistical noise — they’re genuine, dramatic shifts in the way those imprints operate in the direct market.

  14. Heinz Hochkoepper says:

    Well, I really enjoyed reading the column this month. And since we were talking about snark, those THE AUTHORITY: THE LOST YEAR comments were quite funny.

    About THE SHIELD and THE WEB, did you read this statement by Dan Didio:

    “The Red Circle books have our full support. We’re about to enter our second year with them, and it’s all systems go. The sales might seem a little low at this particular moment, but I think the creativity is high on those books, and we want to keep pushing them as strong as we can.”

    I think it’s really interesting to consider what other factors besides sales determine publishing decisions. I mean, sales are obviously a big part of it, but they don’t seem to be the only one.

    “Air and Unknown Soldier have been the two lowest-selling Vertigo titles for a while. Unless overall collection sales are better than the first-month direct-market numbers suggest, these books may be in trouble.”

    That must have been the most convincing and well-balanced assessment of Vertigo sales I ever read in your column. It certainly looks like both books aren’t too long for this world, but I would still insist that 20+ issues is a nice healthy run for books so far removed from mainstream sensibilities, in a market where even new superhero books routinely get cancelled after one year. That being said, I’m quite disappointed about the sales of the brilliant Greek Street. It probably falls into the gap between the two major parts of the Vertigo customer base, hard-boiled crime and high-concept fantasy. It should appeal to both, but maybe some fans were put off by the odd mixture.

    Merry christmas, everyone. Frohe Weihnachten, Marc-Oliver.

  15. “They couldn’t possibly have gotten any less mileage out of the high-profile writer’s name if they tried.”

    Are you sure they DIDN’T try?

    Looking at the numbers for L.E.G.I.O.N. and the Blackest Night books as a whole would lead one to believe that DC really knows what they are doing. Looking at the Brave and the Bold, the RED CIRCLE characters, Superman, JSA, Titans, etc. etc. etc. makes one think the exact opposite.

    I know we’ll never actually see the sales figures for them, but I wonder how the Latern Ring-Set that was just soclicited, will do.

  16. David Hackett says:

    Excellent column. Much better this month, kudos.

  17. I’m not a number cruncher but looking at those numbers for Superman, JSA, JLA, Green Arrow etc; DC really is in a whole, Blackest Night not withstanding

  18. Synsidar says:

    This is slightly off-topic, but —

    I read POWER GIRL #7 today, and was not impressed. The parody, with all the silly names and motives, reads like something that might have appeared in PENTHOUSE COMIX, except that the plot would have been simpler, the story would have been shorter, and the final product would have been better. Vartox’s initial problem was rendered obsolete by technology; the issue-ending problem can’t work because mass can’t appear from nowhere unless, like a Hydra, the creature is magical; so what virtues does the story have? Or was this issue atypical?

    I don’t know how many similar stories have involved superheroes, but Gerry Conway and Rich Buckler had Mahkizmo and Thundra appear in FANTASTIC FOUR back in 1974.

    SRS

  19. Different strokes, I guess. I read Power Girl 7, too, and it was lighthearted, fun, and funny — everything I expected it to be. A really great comic that I’m adding to my pull list.

    But you’re right — this is way off topic. Especially since PG isn’t even mentioned in the list itself. Makes me wonder why you brought it up.

  20. There is no way to measure this, but it sure seems like BLACKEST NIGHT might be cannibalizing sales of non-BN DCU titles.

    Don’t get me wrong, BN is a huge smash hit. It is clearly working extremely well. However, the massive upsurge in sales of BN tie-ins coupled with moderate-to-severe drops in other DCU books suggest that the most of the same consumers are spending roughly the same amount of money, but just buying different titles.

    That sort of destroys the logic of the mega-crossover, right?

    Also, you would again be warranted in exercising some perspective regarding the declines in re-launches. Reading the Marvel sales charts, their re-boots are returning to their prior levels within 2-3 issues. If a title like BATGIRL lands in the 27k range after 6 mos, then that re-boot was “successful” relative to the current environment. That does not seem like an unlikely goal.

  21. On a quick skim of the figures, it doesn’t look to me like that mid-tier DC books have started dropping any more quickly since BLACKEST NIGHT came along. (Nor is it necessarily true that DC would prefer a bunch of low-selling titles to one really big-selling title. They may well think that it’s a lot less hassle to produce one title rather than ten in order to get the same total sales at the end of the day.)

  22. Brendan T says:

    Christos Gage Says:

    12/22/09 at 8:53 pm
    A possible reason why VICTORIAN UNDEAD did well: A preview copy of #1 was sent out to retailers before final orders were due. This is entirely anecdotal, but my local retailer really enjoyed it and commented to me that he was ordering more copies of the book than he otherwise would have because he was confident he could sell it to his customers.

    This.

    My shop wasn’t ordering any. I read the preview copy, loved it, and ordered 3 copies of the first issue. Great marketing strategy.

    For the record, the same thing happened with Dave Sim’s Judenhaas.

  23. i still don’t get why sirens of gotham isn’t connected to past sales of catwoman. it has nothing to do with birds of prey which wasn’t even edited by the bat office. you should fix that.

  24. FYI.

    TITANS is not canceled. It’ll be getting a revamp with a Deathstroke led team. The creative team for FCA: INK is taking over… Plus, there’s a March solicit.

    SECRET SIX #15 was written by John Ostrander, not Gail Simone.

  25. Callum says:

    You got criticism on calling the Fables spin-off a success and starting Straczynski off on the Brave and the Bold is a failure plus accusations that you don’t comprehend what the word “average” means. Tough crowd. Maybe you should keep up the snark!

    jason Says:

    “12/26/09 at 12:51 am
    i still don’t get why sirens of gotham isn’t connected to past sales of catwoman. it has nothing to do with birds of prey which wasn’t even edited by the bat office. you should fix that.”

    Even I’m tired of seeing this every month. Let’s move on to bigger and better things.

  26. Well, now that it’s been confirmed that Birds of Prey is relaunching, it’ll be interesting to see if Marc will still stubbornly insist on keeping old BoP sales in Sirens, or if he’ll do the sensible thing and finally move them over to new BoP when it starts.

Trackbacks

  1. […] The book continues to outsell the 2007-2008 relaunch by a factor of two, and is holding above Final Crisis: Rogues’ Revenge, which sold in the 54-62K range. On the other hand, it seems to be dropping at a comparable rate to Flash: The Fastest Man Alive. Maybe it’s more typical (and less cause for concern) in a miniseries than in a regular series. Update: The Beat has more analysis of DC’s November sales. […]

  2. […] “Still here? Good, because now it gets more complicated”: The sales analysis at The Beat is always worth a read for super-comics fans, but Marc-Oliver Frisch’s look at DC Comics sales for November of 2009 is particularly fascinating, if only to watch Frisch wrestle with DC’s plastic lantern ring promotion in an attempt to discern how much they boosted sales, or even if they did so at all (evidence seems to suggest that Blackest Night itself did a bunch of the sales-boosting, rings or no rings). Also, holy crap did that work! Some of the books more than doubled their sales. That’s great news for DC, but for some reason I don’t think it bodes well for comics, given the industry’s habit of noting something works inexplicably well, and then repeating it until it’s stopped working and started hurting. […]

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