DC Comics Month-to-Month Sales: November 2011

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201112301532 DC Comics Month to Month Sales: November 2011
by Marc-Oliver Frisch

Three months into the wholesale makeover of DC’s line of superhero comic books, the direct-market numbers suggest three main things: One, the “New 52″ relaunch was extremely successful at mobilizing comics specialty retailers; two, this success doesn’t seem to be affecting, for good or ill, any other comics beyond the initial 52 titles; and three, the number of new comics readers the “New 52″ has brought into comics stores seems negligible, overall.

Retailers continued to adjust their orders for the “New 52″ titles in November, and this time, the downward correction was more noticeable. On average, sales of new DC comic books dropped by nearly 10,000 units or 19.2% in November, versus 10.4% in October. The average drop on the third issues of the 52 new superhero titles was 18.8%, versus 5.2% for the second issues. Animal Man (-8.0%) and Detective Comics (-9.7%) were the “New 52″ books with the smallest drops in November, while Blackhawks (-29.5%), Mister Terrific (-29.7%), Blue Beetle (-29.9%) and Captain Atom (-30.0%) were at the tail end of the spectrum.

In contrast to October, when all but one of the “New 52″ debut issues made the chart again with significant re-orders, only two of the #3 issues — namely Batman and Aquaman — charted again in November. On balance, the drop-off on those titles is still better than average. The fact that the larger drop came in November and the lack of more #2 re-orders both suggest that customer interest in the “New 52″ peaked early, however.

Over at The Comics Reporter, Tom Spurgeon, who as usual seems barely able to conceal his excitement when it comes to talking about sales figures, suggests that the direct market seems to be be reverting to pre-“New 52″ patterns in November. The average and total sales figures back him up.

Among the 105 months since March 2003 that we have sales information on, DC’s November 2011 comic-book output ranks at No. 6 for average unit sales (41,414), at No. 13 for average DC Universe unit sales (46,670), at No. 4 each for total unit sales (3.2 million) and total DC Universe unit sales (3.0 million).

That’s an excellent showing in the context of the direct market of the last 10 years, particularly since the pre-“New 52″ months of 2011 and 2010, with few exceptions, don’t register in the Top 50 of those particular statistics. It’s well worth noting that, with the “New 52,” DC managed to mobilize the direct market in a way that hasn’t happened for them in five years.

Total dollar sales for new DC comic books further support the notion: The five top spots go to October 2011 (11.9 million), September 2011 (10.9 million), May 2006 (10.2 million), November 2011 (9.8 million) and October 2007 (9.3 million). So DC got retailers to buy a hell of a lot of merchandise in terms of cover price. (There are all kinds of extra discounts and returnability schemes involved in the “New 52,” though, so it’s not directly comparable with earlier numbers, strictly speaking. Also, these statistics don’t include units shipped after the first calendar month; otherwise, the huge number of “New 52″ re-orders that appeared on the chart in October would further bolster the September figure.)

One of the two notable things the “New 52″ hasn’t done, though, is to flush new audiences into the direct market — or if it has, it hasn’t been in the kind of quantity required to grow noticeably beyond the pre-existing comics audience. DC gave it their best shot, but the ceiling of the market, in terms of units, is still broadly the same as it was five years ago, when the big DC Comics publishing events of the year were called 52 and “One Year Later.” Given the unprecedented promotional push, large-scale returnability incentives and lip service paid to the idea of attracting new readers this time around, this failure to expand beyond the existing direct-market readership is well worth mentioning.

The other thing the “New 52″ push lacks, to date, is the kind of sustainability needed to extend beyond the initial 52 relaunch titles. Through November, within two months of the big “New 52″ launch month September, DC has launched a number of additional miniseries, most of them in its main DC Universe imprint, but with no measurable effect from the extra traffic in comics stores purportedly generated by the “New 52.”

For everything on the “New 52″ not pertaining to sales figures, finally, I may direct you to Comiks Debris, where, for my sins, I review every last one of the debut books and identify some prominent trends and issues among the bunch: “New 52 Redux: The Good, the Bad and the Kinky.”

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.

And, once again, two procedural notes on the “New 52.”

One: The fact that 41 of the “New 52″ titles below are listed with higher numbers than over at ICv2.com is not an error. It’s because Diamond only reported 90% of their sales on the chart, to compensate for the fact that they were made returnable by DC if retailers met a specific sales quota. Since Diamond’s way of accounting for the incentive seems fairly arbitrary, I’ve re-added the missing 10% for those books to get a more accurate picture. Just keep in mind that those numbers probably wouldn’t have been as high if retailers weren’t required to meet a certain threshold to qualify for returnability. It’s just one more gimmick that publishers use. (As another result of this, don’t be surprised if the chart positions are all over the place, by the way.)

Two: Of the 11 remaining “New 52″ books, Batman, Justice League, Action Comics, Green Lantern and Flash were promoted with a 1:25 variant-cover edition and a 1:200 variant-cover edition each. The special discount, which also required retailers to meet a certain quota, applies to Batwoman, Green Lantern: New Guardians, Stormwatch, Swamp Thing, Teen Titans and Wonder Woman, meanwhile. I’ll just mention those here, so keep in mind that these promotional initiatives are likely to have affected the numbers of those books. Whether it affected them more than the thresholds for returnability affected the other 41 titles or less so, we have no way of knowing.

—–

1 - JUSTICE LEAGUE
11/2006: Justice League #3   -- 140,939 [143,310]
11/2007: --
11/2008: --
11/2009: Justice League #39  --  89,376 (+46.5%)
--------------------------------------
11/2010: JL of America #51   --  50,887 (- 14.7%)
12/2010: JL of America #52   --  48,501 (-  4.7%)
01/2011: JL of America #53   --  47,093 (-  2.9%)
02/2011: JL of America #54   --  46,269 (-  1.8%)
03/2011: JL of America #55   --  50,533 (+  9.2%)
04/2011: JL of America #56   --  47,179 (-  6.6%)
05/2011: JL of America #57   --  46,729 (-  1.0%)
06/2011: JL of America #58   --  45,442 (-  2.8%)
07/2011: JL of America #59   --  43,545 (-  4.2%)
08/2011: JL of America #60   --  42,587 (-  2.2%)
08/2011: Justice League #1   -- 185,776 (+336.2%) [255,556]
09/2011: --
10/2011: Justice League #2   -- 196,569 (+  5.8%)
11/2011: Justice League #3   -- 168,679 (- 14.2%)
-----------------
6 months: +261.0%
1 year  : +231.5%
2 years : + 88.7%
5 years : + 19.7%

That’s still a pretty mild drop by any standard. Compare it with the Brad Meltzer/Ed Benes relaunch from 2006, for instance: Back then, Justice League of America started out with much higher sales in its first calendar month, but proceeded to drop off much more sharply than it does this time around.

The numbers for issue #3 include 9,979 units of the “Combo Pack” edition, which charted at No. 180 in November.

—–

2 - BATMAN
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 [114,657]
11/2009: Batman #693 --  68,983
-------------------------------
11/2010: Batman #704 --  65,212 (- 15.4%)
12/2010: Batman #705 --  63,262 (-  3.0%)
01/2011: Batman #706 --  60,231 (-  4.8%)
02/2011: Batman #707 --  58,803 (-  2.4%)
03/2011: Batman #708 --  58,594 (-  0.4%)
04/2011: Batman #709 --  56,578 (-  3.4%)
05/2011: Batman #710 --  55,086 (-  2.6%)
06/2011: Batman #711 --  53,113 (-  3.6%)
07/2011: Batman #712 --  51,385 (-  3.3%)
08/2011: Batman #713 --  51,760 (+  0.7%)
09/2011: Batman #1   -- 188,420 (+264.0%) [211,520]
10/2011: Batman #2   -- 172,428 (-  8.5%) [177,721]
11/2011: Batman #3   -- 150,984 (- 12.4%)
-----------------
6 months: +174.1%
1 year  : +131.5%
2 years : +118.9%
5 years : + 63.2%

Batman sales remain way ahead of any pre-“New 52″ month since the final issue of the Loeb/Lee run in September 2003.

The October issue was one of the two “New 52″ #2 issues to chart again, ranking at No. 272 with estimated sales of 5,293.

—–

3 - ACTION COMICS
11/2006: Action Comics #845 --  66,742 [71,135]
11/2007: Action Comics #859 --  54,572
11/2008: Action Comics #871 --  58,547
11/2009: Action Comics #883 --  33,386
--------------------------------------
11/2010: Action Comics #895 --  33,089 (- 21.8%)
12/2010: Action Comics #896 --  32,357 (-  2.2%)
01/2011: Action Comics #897 --  32,134 (-  0.7%)
02/2011: Action Comics #898 --  31,935 (-  0.6%)
03/2011: Action Comics #899 --  31,808 (-  0.4%)
04/2011: Action Comics #900 --  60,152 (+ 89.1%) [ 73,004]
05/2011: Action Comics #901 --  44,143 (- 26.6%)
06/2011: Action Comics #902 --  41,960 (-  5.0%)
07/2011: Action Comics #903 --  40,205 (-  4.2%)
08/2011: Action Comics #904 --  39,323 (-  2.2%)
09/2011: Action Comics #1   -- 182,748 (+364.7%) [200,947]
10/2011: Action Comics #2   -- 153,855 (- 15.8%)
11/2011: Action Comics #3   -- 134,875 (- 12.3%)
-----------------
6 months: +205.5%
1 year  : +307.6%
2 years : +304.0%
5 years : +102.1%

Grant Morrison’s Superman revamp is cooling off rather more quickly than DC’s other four remaining 100K+ titles. It’s already lost almost 50,000 units in first-month sales since issue #1.

—–

4 - GREEN LANTERN
11/2006: Green Lantern #14  --  72,894
11/2006: Green Lantern #15  --  70,148
11/2007: --
11/2008: --
11/2009: Green Lantern #48  -- 100,371
--------------------------------------
11/2010: Green Lantern #59  --  76,173 (- 6.7%)
12/2010: Green Lantern #60  --  76,360 (+ 0.3%)
12/2010: Green Lantern #61  --  72,203 (- 5.4%)
01/2011: --
02/2011: Green Lantern #62  --  71,517 (- 1.0%)
03/2011: Green Lantern #63  --  75,632 (+ 5.8%)
03/2011: Green Lantern #64  --  76,898 (+ 1.7%)
04/2011: Green Lantern #65  --  75,780 (- 1.5%)
05/2011: Green Lantern #66  --  75,371 (- 0.5%)
06/2011: --
07/2011: Green Lantern #67  --  74,521 (- 1.1%)
08/2011: --
09/2011: Green Lantern #1   -- 141,682 (+90.1%) [169,159]
10/2011: Green Lantern #2   -- 142,344 (+ 0.5%)
11/2011: Green Lantern #3   -- 122,644 (-13.8%)
-----------------
6 months: + 62.7%
1 year  : + 61.0%
2 years : + 22.2%
5 years : + 71.5%

Considering that the Green Lantern franchise was doing perfectly well before the relaunch, Geoff Johns and Doug Mahnke’s flagship title remains comfortably ahead of the previous incarnation.

—–

8 - DETECTIVE COMICS
11/2006: Detective Comics #825 --  58,940
11/2007: Detective Comics #838 --  60,267 [65,293]
11/2008: Detective Comics #850 --  64,196
11/2009: Detective Comics #859 --  54,392
-----------------------------------------
11/2010: Detective Comics #871 --  36,941 (+  3.6%)
12/2010: Detective Comics #872 --  37,961 (+  2.8%) [ 39,758]
01/2011: Detective Comics #873 --  38,417 (+  1.2%)
02/2011: Detective Comics #874 --  39,106 (+  1.8%)
03/2011: Detective Comics #875 --  40,047 (+  2.4%)
04/2011: Detective Comics #876 --  40,133 (+  0.2%)
05/2011: Detective Comics #877 --  39,609 (-  1.3%)
06/2011: Detective Comics #878 --  39,152 (-  1.2%)
07/2011: Detective Comics #879 --  39,185 (+  0.1%)
07/2011: Detective Comics #880 --  38,585 (-  1.5%)
08/2011: Detective Comics #881 --  39,729 (+  3.0%)
09/2011: Detective Comics #1   -- 114,880 (+189.2%) [150,403]
10/2011: Detective Comics #2   -- 123,099 (+  7.2%)
11/2011: Detective Comics #3   -- 111,197 (-  9.7%)
-----------------
6 months: +180.7%
1 year  : +201.0%
2 years : +104.4%
5 years : + 88.7%

I guess Detective Comics is one of the breakout hits of the “New 52″ titles. The book has one of only two third-issue drops below the 10% mark, and the first issue sold yet another 9,368 units in November.

Don’t ask me why, though.

—–

9 - THE FLASH
11/2006: Flash: FMA #6   --  56,789
11/2007: Flash #234      --  46,435
11/2008: Flash #246      --  27,746
11/2009: Rebirth #5 of 6 --  73,875
-----------------------------------
11/2010: Flash #6        --  57,673 (-  7.1%)
12/2010: Flash #7        --  56,304 (-  2.4%)
12/2010: Flash #8        --  53,975 (-  4.1%)
01/2011: --
02/2011: Flash #9        --  55,980 (+  3.7%)
03/2011: --
04/2011: Flash #10       --  54,953 (-  1.8%)
04/2011: Flash #11       --  54,633 (-  0.6%)
05/2011: Flash #12       --  54,914 (+  0.5%)
06/2011: --
07/2011: --
08/2011: --
09/2011: Flash #1        -- 129,260 (+135.4%) [147,818]
10/2011: Flash #2        -- 114,137 (- 11.7%)
11/2011: Flash #3        --  90,417 (- 20.8%)
-----------------
6 months: + 64.7%
1 year  : + 56.8%
2 years : + 22.4%
5 years : + 59.2%

That’s a steep drop-off, overall.

It’s still the best Flash sales since the debut issue of the 2010 relaunch written by Geoff Johns, though.

—–

12 - BATMAN: THE DARK KNIGHT
12/2010: Dark Knight #1  --  89,985           [ 92,791]
01/2011: --
02/2011: --
03/2011: Dark Knight #2  --  71,108 (- 21.0%)
04/2011: --
05/2011: --
06/2011: --
07/2011: Dark Knight #3  --  62,792 (- 11.7%)
07/2011: Dark Knight #4  --  57,333 (-  8.7%)
08/2011: Dark Knight #5  --  52,908 (-  7.7%)
09/2011: Dark Knight #1  -- 109,321 (+106.6%) [128,689]
10/2011: Dark Knight #2  -- 100,494 (-  8.1%)
11/2011: Dark Knight #3  --  87,133 (- 13.3%)
-----------------
6 months:  n.a.

The numbers are still ahead of the book’s last run by about 35,000 units.

—–

13 - SUPERMAN
11/2006: Superman #657 --  62,327
11/2007: Superman #670 --  48,407
11/2008: Superman #682 --  55,435
11/2009: Superman #694 --  34,430
---------------------------------
11/2010: Superman #705 --  46,261 (-  1.0%)
12/2010: Superman #706 --  43,027 (-  7.0%)
01/2011: Superman #707 --  41,843 (-  2.8%)
02/2011: Superman #708 --  40,639 (-  2.9%)
03/2011: Superman #709 --  39,846 (-  2.0%)
04/2011: Superman #710 --  39,644 (-  0.5%)
05/2011: Superman #711 --  38,471 (-  3.0%)
06/2011: Superman #712 --  37,362 (-  2.9%)
07/2011: Superman #713 --  36,646 (-  1.9%)
08/2011: Superman #714 --  35,919 (-  2.0%)
09/2011: Superman #1   -- 131,529 (+266.2%) [150,128]
10/2011: Superman #2   -- 104,703 (- 20.4%)
11/2011: Superman #3   --  86,386 (- 17.5%)
-----------------
6 months: +124.6%
1 year  : + 86.7%
2 years : +150.9%
5 years : + 38.6%

Similar to Action Comics, we’re seeing another very stiff drop-off for Superman. Which suggests it may be a brand issue.

—–

14 - BATMAN AND ROBIN
11/2009: Batman and Robin #6  --  95,690
----------------------------------------
11/2010: Batman and Robin #16 --  80,343 (+ 0.2%)
11/2010: Batman and Robin #17 --  70,600 (-12.1%)
12/2010: Batman and Robin #18 --  68,814 (- 2.5%)
01/2011: Batman and Robin #19 --  61,785 (-10.2%)
02/2011: Batman and Robin #20 --  60,642 (- 1.9%)
03/2011: Batman and Robin #21 --  59,818 (- 1.4%)
04/2011: Batman and Robin #22 --  59,076 (- 1.2%)
05/2011: Batman and Robin #23 --  57,525 (- 2.6%)
06/2011: Batman and Robin #24 --  54,984 (- 4.4%)
07/2011: Batman and Robin #25 --  55,172 (+ 0.3%)
08/2011: Batman and Robin #26 --  52,704 (- 4.5%)
09/2011: Batman and Robin #1  --  94,713 (+79.7%) [116,053]
10/2011: Batman and Robin #2  --  98,807 (+ 4.3%)
11/2011: Batman and Robin #3  --  86,309 (-12.7%)
----------------
6 months: +50.0%
1 year  : + 7.4%
2 years : - 9.8%

The final core Batman title on the chart, coming in less than 1,000 units below Batman: The Dark Knight.

—–

18 - BATGIRL
11/2008: Batgirl #5 of 6 -- 21,595
11/2009: Batgirl #4      -- 34,697
----------------------------------
11/2010: Batgirl #15     -- 25,827 (-  3.9%)
12/2010: Batgirl #16     -- 25,225 (-  2.3%)
01/2011: Batgirl #17     -- 25,189 (-  0.1%)
02/2011: Batgirl #18     -- 24,390 (-  3.2%)
03/2011: Batgirl #19     -- 24,821 (+  1.8%)
04/2011: Batgirl #20     -- 24,310 (-  2.1%)
05/2011: Batgirl #21     -- 24,043 (-  1.1%)
06/2011: Batgirl #22     -- 23,323 (-  3.0%)
07/2011: Batgirl #23     -- 22,619 (-  3.0%)
08/2011: Batgirl #24     -- 22,695 (+  0.3%)
09/2011: Batgirl #1      -- 90,543 (+299.0%) [107,055]
10/2011: Batgirl #2      -- 83,586 (-  7.7%)
11/2011: Batgirl #3      -- 69,971 (- 16.3%)
-----------------
6 months: +191.0%
1 year  : +170.9%
2 years : +101.7%

Batgirl remains the best-selling DC solo title starring a female character.

—–

19 - AQUAMAN
09/2011: Aquaman #1  -- 80,302          [108,545]
10/2011: Aquaman #2  -- 79,156 (- 1.4%) [ 83,626]
11/2011: Aquaman #3  -- 69,137 (-12.7%)

The second and final “New 52″ #2 issue that made the chart again in November was Aquaman #2, which ranked at No. 293 with estimated sales of 4,470. The drop-off is very smooth here, as well, so this looks like another breakout title.

—–

17 - WONDER WOMAN
11/2006: Wonder Woman #3   --  76,998
11/2007: Wonder Woman #14  --  53,090
11/2008: Wonder Woman #26  --  33,277
11/2009: Wonder Woman #38  --  26,265
-------------------------------------
11/2010: --
12/2010: Wonder Woman #605 --  35,495 (-  5.1%)
01/2011: Wonder Woman #606 --  33,601 (-  5.3%)
02/2011: Wonder Woman #607 --  33,053 (-  1.6%)
03/2011: Wonder Woman #608 --  32,540 (-  1.6%)
03/2011: Wonder Woman #609 --  31,421 (-  3.4%)
04/2011: Wonder Woman #610 --  31,002 (-  1.3%)
05/2011: --
06/2011: Wonder Woman #611 --  30,874 (-  0.4%)
06/2011: Wonder Woman #612 --  30,690 (-  0.6%)
07/2011: Wonder Woman #613 --  29,720 (-  3.2%)
08/2011: Wonder Woman #614 --  29,223 (-  1.7%)
09/2011: Wonder Woman #1   --  76,214 (+160.8%) [95,902]
10/2011: Wonder Woman #2   --  79,060 (+  3.7%)
11/2011: Wonder Woman #3   --  65,621 (- 17.0%)
-----------------
6 months:  n.a.
1 year  :  n.a.
2 years : +149.8%
5 years : - 14.8%

That’s not a gigantic drop, but then again, Wonder Woman hasn’t set the charts on fire to begin with. 65K is still a good number in the context of the last few years, mind you, but as the long-term comparison shows, it falls more than 10,000 units short of the last Wonder Woman #3, released in November 2006.

—–

24 - 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
11/2009: Green Lantern Corps #42 -- 80,391
------------------------------------------
11/2010: Green Lantern Corps #54 -- 57,448 (- 5.5%)
12/2010: Green Lantern Corps #55 -- 54,387 (- 5.3%)
01/2011: Green Lantern Corps #56 -- 53,646 (- 1.4%)
02/2011: Green Lantern Corps #57 -- 52,770 (- 1.6%)
03/2011: Green Lantern Corps #58 -- 60,100 (+13.9%)
04/2011: Green Lantern Corps #59 -- 60,162 (+ 0.1%)
05/2011: Green Lantern Corps #60 -- 60,964 (+ 1.3%)
06/2011: --
07/2011: Green Lantern Corps #61 -- 60,836 (- 0.2%)
07/2011: Green Lantern Corps #62 -- 57,928 (- 4.8%)
08/2011: Green Lantern Corps #63 -- 53,372 (- 7.9%)
09/2011: Green Lantern Corps #1  -- 83,077 (+55.7%) [94,800]
10/2011: Green Lantern Corps #2  -- 78,501 (- 5.5%)
11/2011: Green Lantern Corps #3  -- 65,393 (-16.7%)
----------------
6 months: + 7.3%
1 year  : +13.8%
2 years : -18.7%
5 years : +59.2%

The best-selling Green Lantern spin-off on the November chart sees a stiff third-issue drop, but remains slightly ahead of its previous run.

—–

28 - NIGHTWING
11/2006: Nightwing #126 -- 36,145
11/2007: Nightwing #138 -- 46,757 [52,282]
11/2008: Nightwing #150 -- 50,993
---------------------------------
09/2011: Nightwing #1   -- 69,686         [87,561]
10/2011: Nightwing #2   -- 73,054 ( +4.8%)
11/2011: Nightwing #3   -- 64,098 (-12.3%)
-----------------
5 years : + 77.3%

That’s not much of a drop-off, overall. Nightwing keeps doing well.

—–

20 - BATWOMAN
11/2010: Batwoman #0  --  43,891
--------------------------------
09/2011: Batwoman #1  --  72,228 (+64.6%) [87,952]
10/2011: Batwoman #2  --  74,392 (+ 3.0%)
11/2011: Batwoman #3  --  61,997 (-16.7%)
----------------
1 year  : +41.3%

Sales remain ahead of the character’s Detective Comics run by about 15K.

—–

32 - RED LANTERNS
09/2011: Red Lanterns #1  -- 73,940          [89,170]
10/2011: Red Lanterns #2  -- 74,163 (+ 0.3%)
11/2011: Red Lanterns #3  -- 60,823 (-18.0%)

Not a bad sales level for the second Green Lantern spin-off.

—–

21 - TEEN TITANS
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
11/2009: Teen Titans #77  -- 46,239
-----------------------------------
11/2010: Teen Titans #89  -- 26,444 (-  4.3%)
12/2010: Teen Titans #90  -- 25,997 (-  1.7%)
01/2011: Teen Titans #91  -- 25,443 (-  2.1%)
02/2011: Teen Titans #92  -- 26,170 (+  2.9%)
03/2011: Teen Titans #93  -- 24,957 (-  4.6%)
04/2011: Teen Titans #94  -- 25,187 (+  0.9%)
05/2011: Teen Titans #95  -- 24,738 (-  1.8%)
06/2011: Teen Titans #96  -- 23,849 (-  3.6%)
07/2011: Teen Titans #97  -- 23,138 (-  3.0%)
07/2011: Teen Titans #98  -- 23,095 (-  0.2%)
08/2011: Teen Titans #99  -- 23,756 (+  2.9%)
08/2011: Teen Titans #100 -- 27,459 (+ 15.6%)
09/2011: Teen Titans #1   -- 73,675 (+168.3%) [89,056]
10/2011: Teen Titans #2   -- 72,107 (-  2.1%)
11/2011: Teen Titans #3   -- 60,758 (- 15.7%)
-----------------
6 months: +145.6%
1 year  : +129.8%
2 years : + 31.4%
5 years : -  3.5%

Still much improved versus the previous series, obviously.

—–

23 - GREEN LANTERN: NEW GUARDIANS
11/2010: Emerald Warriors #4  -- 46,319 (- 8.3%)
12/2010: Emerald Warriors #5  -- 44,077 (- 4.8%)
01/2011: Emerald Warriors #6  -- 43,471 (- 1.4%)
02/2011: Emerald Warriors #7  -- 44,828 (+ 3.1%)
03/2011: Emerald Warriors #8  -- 51,322 (+14.5%) [54,110]
04/2011: Emerald Warriors #9  -- 51,784 (+ 0.5%)
05/2011: Emerald Warriors #10 -- 52,971 (+ 2.3%)
06/2011: Emerald Warriors #11 -- 53,927 (+ 1.8%)
07/2011: Emerald Warriors #12 -- 48,087 (-10.8%)
08/2011: Emerald Warriors #13 -- 44,228 (- 8.0%)
09/2011: New Guardians #1     -- 84,033 (+90.0%) [96,596]
10/2011: New Guardians #2     -- 71,713 (-14.7%)
11/2011: New Guardians #3     -- 59,774 (-16.7%)
----------------
6 months: +12.8%
1 year  : +29.1%

That’s almost 25K gone since issue #1, in first-month sales. That aside, though, we’ve got three Green Lantern spin-off books selling at 60K or better, so I doubt DC will complain much.

—–

40 - JUSTICE LEAGUE INTERNATIONAL
09/2011: Justice League International #1  -- 67,866          [78,869]
10/2011: Justice League International #2  -- 66,100 (- 2.6%)
11/2011: Justice League International #3  -- 54,413 (-17.7%)

Smooth drop-off, overall, for one of the more traditional “New 52″ titles.

—–

36 - SWAMP THING
09/2011: Swamp Thing #1  -- 54,757          [73,683]
10/2011: Swamp Thing #2  -- 58,634 (+ 7.1%)
11/2011: Swamp Thing #3  -- 52,300 (-10.8%)

That’s less than 3,000 units down from issue #1, as far as the first-month figures are concerned, plus an additional 4,941 units in re-orders for Swamp Thing #1 that made the chart again in November 2011 at No. 4,941. The people heart the Swamp Thing.

—–

41 - CATWOMAN
11/2006: Catwoman #61 -- 23,182
11/2007: Catwoman #73 -- 18,815
-------------------------------
09/2011: Catwoman #1  -- 59,633          [75,566]
10/2011: Catwoman #2  -- 63,573 (+ 6.6%)
11/2011: Catwoman #3  -- 52,196 (-17.9%)
-----------------
5 years : +125.2%

Another book that’s been doing very well since the relaunch. Catwoman lost about 7K since issue #1, which is a great performance by any standard.

This is where DC’s traditionally remarkable instincts when it comes to the direct-market audience’s tremendous appreciation of the goofy, kinky, rubbery kind of sex are paying dividends.

—–

42 - JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK
09/2011: Justice League Dark #1   -- 69,840          [81,955]
10/2011: Justice League Dark #2   -- 63,392 (- 9.2%)
11/2011: Justice League Dark #3   -- 51,674 (-18.5%)

Peter Milligan and Mikel Janin’s weirdo Justice League shows one of the steeper overall drops.

—–

43 - SUPERGIRL
11/2006: Supergirl #11 --  62,544
11/2007: Supergirl #23 --  45,460
11/2008: Supergirl #35 --  45,518
11/2009: Supergirl #47 --  29,159
---------------------------------
11/2010: Supergirl #58 --  25,412 (+  6.6%)
12/2010: Supergirl #59 --  22,606 (- 11.0%)
01/2011: Supergirl #60 --  22,568 (-  0.2%)
02/2011: Supergirl #61 --  22,048 (-  2.3%)
03/2011: Supergirl #62 --  21,786 (-  1.2%)
04/2011: Supergirl #63 --  21,598 (-  0.9%)
05/2011: Supergirl #64 --  21,411 (-  0.9%)
06/2011: Supergirl #65 --  20,985 (-  2.0%)
07/2011: Supergirl #66 --  20,001 (-  4.7%)
08/2011: Supergirl #67 --  19,764 (-  1.2%)
09/2011: Supergirl #1  --  60,058 (+203.9%) [74,218]
10/2011: Supergirl #2  --  61,388 (+  2.2%)
11/2011: Supergirl #3  --  50,784 (- 17.3%)
-----------------
6 months: +137.2%
1 year  : + 99.8%
2 years : + 74.2%
5 years : - 18.8%

Still more than twice the sales of the previous run.

—–

44 - RED HOOD AND THE OUTLAWS
09/2011: Red Hood #1  -- 56,112          [70,244]
10/2011: Red Hood #2  -- 59,382 (+ 5.8%)
11/2011: Red Hood #3  -- 50,140 (-15.6%)

The final book above the 50K mark; an overall drop-off of not even 6,000 units speaks for itself, I think. This was a niche waiting to be filled ever since J. Scott Campbell left Gen13. All the Bloodhound Gang aficionados in the comic-book market are eating this up.

—–

45 - ANIMAL MAN
09/2011: Animal Man #1     -- 46,051          [65,229]
10/2011: Animal Man #2     -- 53,432 (+16.0%)
11/2011: Animal Man #3     -- 49,184 (- 8.0%)

This is the only “New 52″ title that still outsells its debut issue in November. Speaking of which, Animal Man #1 also charted for the third time, selling an additional 4,676 units in November.

—–

47 - SUPERBOY
11/2010: Superboy #1  --  39,701
12/2010: Superboy #2  --  31,761 (- 20.0%)
01/2011: Superboy #3  --  29,550 (-  7.0%)
02/2011: Superboy #4  --  27,448 (-  7.1%)
03/2011: Superboy #5  --  27,215 (-  0.9%)
04/2011: Superboy #6  --  30,490 (+ 12.0%)
05/2011: Superboy #7  --  24,622 (- 19.3%)
06/2011: Superboy #8  --  23,037 (-  6.4%)
07/2011: Superboy #9  --  22,102 (-  4.1%)
08/2011: Superboy #10 --  20,563 (-  7.0%)
08/2011: Superboy #11 --  20,317 (-  1.2%)
09/2011: Superboy #1  --  55,608 (+173.7%) [69,283]
10/2011: Superboy #2  --  57,424 (+  3.3%)
11/2011: Superboy #3  --  47,442 (- 17.4%)
-----------------
6 months: + 92.7%
1 year  : + 19.5%

Smooth drop-off. Sales are still better than they were for the debut issue of the last relaunch, which happened, erm, 12 months ago.

—–

48 - GREEN ARROW
11/2006: Green Arrow #68  -- 32,135
11/2007: Arrow/Canary #2  -- 42,827
11/2008: Arrow/Canary #14 -- 25,599
11/2009: Arrow&Canary #26 -- 17,384
-----------------------------------
10/2010: Green Arrow #5   -- 42,188 (-  4.6%)
11/2010: Green Arrow #6   -- 39,575 (-  6.2%)
12/2010: Green Arrow #7   -- 36,835 (-  6.9%)
01/2011: Green Arrow #8   -- 35,307 (-  4.2%)
02/2011: Green Arrow #9   -- 33,922 (-  3.9%)
03/2011: Green Arrow #10  -- 33,085 (-  2.5%)
04/2011: Green Arrow #11  -- 32,669 (-  1.3%)
05/2011: Green Arrow #12  -- 31,742 (-  2.8%)
06/2011: Green Arrow #13  -- 27,552 (- 13.2%)
07/2011: Green Arrow #14  -- 25,568 (-  7.2%)
08/2011: Green Arrow #15  -- 23,883 (-  6.6%)
09/2011: Green Arrow #1   -- 61,680 (+158.3%) [72,359]
10/2011: Green Arrow #2   -- 58,708 (-  4.8%)
11/2011: Green Arrow #3   -- 46,899 (- 20.1%)
-----------------
6 months: + 47.8%
1 year  : + 11.2%
2 years : +169.8%
5 years : + 45.9%

Holding up nicely, historically.

—–

61 - BIRDS OF PREY
11/2006: Birds of Prey #100 -- 34,607
11/2007: Birds of Prey #112 -- 25,117
11/2008: Birds of Prey #124 -- 20,959
-------------------------------------
11/2010: Birds of Prey #6   -- 34,440 (- 14.2%)
12/2010: Birds of Prey #7   -- 33,114 (-  3.9%)
01/2011: Birds of Prey #8   -- 31,616 (-  4.5%)
02/2011: Birds of Prey #9   -- 30,641 (-  3.1%)
03/2011: Birds of Prey #10  -- 30,777 (+  0.4%)
04/2011: Birds of Prey #11  -- 30,270 (-  1.7%)
05/2011: Birds of Prey #12  -- 29,690 (-  1.9%)
06/2011: Birds of Prey #13  -- 28,992 (-  2.4%)
07/2011: Birds of Prey #14  -- 27,102 (-  6.5%)
08/2011: Birds of Prey #15  -- 26,043 (-  3.9%)
09/2011: Birds of Prey #1   -- 56,073 (+115.3%) [66,423]
10/2011: Birds of Prey #2   -- 53,156 (-  5.2%)
11/2011: Birds of Prey #3   -- 40,891 (- 23.1%)
-----------------
6 months: + 37.7%
1 year  : + 18.7%
5 years : + 18.2%

This one is briskly heading back towards its pre-relaunch sales level.

—–

62 - SUICIDE SQUAD
11/2007: Raise the Flag #3 of 8 -- 19,774
-----------------------------------------
09/2011: Suicide Squad #1       -- 49,979          [61,815]
10/2011: Suicide Squad #2       -- 49,570 (- 0.8%)
11/2011: Suicide Squad #3       -- 40,827 (-17.6%)
56 - STORMWATCH
11/2006: StormWatch: PHD #1   -- 29,975
11/2007: --
11/2008: StormWatch: PHD #16  --  6,824
11/2009: StormWatch: PHD #24  --  4,598
---------------------------------------
09/2011: Stormwatch #1        -- 46,397          [57,287]
10/2011: Stormwatch #2        -- 47,520 (+ 2.4%)
11/2011: Stormwatch #3        -- 39,262 (-17.4%)
-----------------
2 years : +753.9%
5 years : + 31.0%

Very small overall drop-off on Suicide Squad and Stormwatch.

—–

69 - THE SAVAGE HAWKMAN
11/2006: Hawkgirl #58       -- 18,634
-------------------------------------
09/2011: Savage Hawkman #1  -- 55,954          [63,959]
10/2011: Savage Hawkman #2  -- 47,763 (-14.6%)
11/2011: Savage Hawkman #3  -- 35,177 (-26.4%)
-----------------
5 years : + 88.8%

The same cannot be said for Hawkman. That’s one of the steeper declines. Couldn’t have been the prose, possibly.

—–

70 - BATWING
09/2011: Batwing #1  -- 45,980          [53,721]
10/2011: Batwing #2  -- 42,750 (- 7.0%)
11/2011: Batwing #3  -- 35,110 (-17.9%)

On its way to being a solid mid-level performer, evidently, which isn’t unusual for Batman spin-off series.

—–

71 - THE LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES
11/2006: SLoSH #24            -- 33,985
11/2007: SLoSH #36            -- 26,814
11/2008: LoSH #48             -- 22,917
---------------------------------------
11/2010: LoSH #7              -- 26,439 (- 12.6%)
12/2010: LoSH #8              -- 25,063 (-  5.2%)
01/2011: LoSH #9              -- 24,230 (-  3.3%)
02/2011: LoSH #10             -- 23,738 (-  2.0%)
03/2011: LoSH #11             -- 23,667 (-  0.3%)
04/2011: LoSH #12             -- 23,419 (-  1.1%)
05/2011: LoSH #13             -- 23,105 (-  1.3%)
06/2011: LoSH #14             -- 22,600 (-  2.2%)
07/2011: LoSH #15             -- 21,788 (-  3.6%)
08/2011: LoSH #16             -- 21,373 (-  1.9%)
09/2011: LoSH #1              -- 50,402 (+135.8%) [58,325]
10/2011: LoSH #2              -- 47,227 (-  6.3%)
11/2011: LoSH #3              -- 34,979 (- 25.9%)
-----------------
6 months: + 48.1%
1 year  : + 32.3%
5 years : +  2.9%

Declining swiftly now. It looks like the people who bought the first issue may have read it. For the sakes of DC and the whole comic-book direct market in America, let’s hold on tight and just hope this isn’t turning into some type of new trend.

—–

72 - DEMON KNIGHTS
09/2011: Demon Knights #1  -- 41,602          [52,329]
10/2011: Demon Knights #2  -- 42,230 (+ 1.5%)
11/2011: Demon Knights #3  -- 34,681 (-17.9%)

Very smooth decline, all told. Establishing itself as a consistent mid-level performer would be a big success for this type of book.

—–

74 - DEATHSTROKE
09/2011: Deathstroke #1  -- 47,028          [56,820]
10/2011: Deathstroke #2  -- 44,647 (- 5.1%)
11/2011: Deathstroke #3  -- 33,754 (-24.4%)

That’s an average drop-off, overall.

—–

75 - ALL STAR WESTERN
11/2006: Jonah Hex #13 -- 18,747
11/2007: Jonah Hex #25 -- 14,577
11/2008: Jonah Hex #37 -- 12,537
11/2009: Jonah Hex #49 -- 11,146
--------------------------------
11/2010: Jonah Hex #61 -- 10,796 (-  3.1%)
12/2010: Jonah Hex #62 -- 10,899 (+  1.0%)
01/2011: Jonah Hex #63 -- 10,752 (-  1.4%)
02/2011: Jonah Hex #64 -- 10,255 (-  4.6%)
03/2011: Jonah Hex #65 -- 10,353 (+  1.0%)
04/2011: Jonah Hex #66 -- 10,335 (-  0.2%)
05/2011: Jonah Hex #67 -- 10,288 (-  0.5%)
06/2011: Jonah Hex #68 -- 10,224 (-  0.6%)
07/2011: Jonah Hex #69 -- 10,521 (+  2.9%)
08/2011: Jonah Hex #70 -- 10,369 (-  1.5%)
09/2011: ASW #1        -- 43,681 (+321.3%) [54,992]
10/2011: ASW #2        -- 39,857 (-  8.8%)
11/2011: ASW #3        -- 32,776 (- 17.8%)
-----------------
6 months: +218.6%
1 year  : +203.6%
2 years : +194.1%
5 years : + 74.8%

Still three times the numbers it did as Jonah Hex.

—–

76 - FRANKENSTEIN: AGENT OF S.H.A.D.E.
09/2011: Frankenstein #1          -- 41,551          [50,817]
10/2011: Frankenstein #2          -- 40,423 (- 2.7%)
11/2011: Frankenstein #3          -- 31,869 (-21.2%)

Not a tremendous drop, but given that DC’s bean counters seem to be getting awfully and unreasonably trigger-happy as a result of the relaunch (see below), 30K may be the new 15K at DC.

So let’s all hope for the best here.

—–

78 - THE FURY OF FIRESTORM: THE NUCLEAR MEN
11/2006: Firestorm #31 -- 16,068
--------------------------------
09/2011: Firestorm #1  -- 51,537          [62,076]
10/2011: Firestorm #2  -- 43,990 (-14.6%)
11/2011: Firestorm #3  -- 31,654 (-28.0%)
-----------------
5 years : + 97.0%

Very steep drop-off. On top of my head, I can only assume the torture and death scenes in issue #1 were not graphic enough for the notoriously bloodthirsty Firestorm fanbase.

—–

80 - LEGION LOST
09/2011: Legion Lost #1  -- 46,362          [54,588]
10/2011: Legion Lost #2  -- 42,650 (- 8.0%)
11/2011: Legion Lost #3  -- 31,226 (-26.8%)

Another one that’s declining stiffly. But, well, it’s a Legion spin-off.

—–

79 - THE HUNTRESS
10/2011: Huntress #1 of 6 -- 36,099
11/2011: Huntress #2 of 6 -- 28,377 (-21.4%)

Very stiff drop for a miniseries. If anyone was still waiting for a delayed effect from the “New 52,” it didn’t happen.

—–

81 - DC UNIVERSE PRESENTS
09/2011: DCU Presents #1  -- 45,701          [53,103]
10/2011: DCU Presents #2  -- 41,584 (- 9.0%)
11/2011: DCU Presents #3  -- 31,019 (-25.4%)
84 - GRIFTER
09/2011: Grifter #1  -- 41,222          [50,959]
10/2011: Grifter #2  -- 39,900 (- 3.2%)
11/2011: Grifter #3  -- 29,802 (-25.3%)
85 - RESURRECTION MAN
09/2011: Resurrection Man #1  -- 41,740          [50,230]
10/2011: Resurrection Man #2  -- 38,560 (- 7.6%)
11/2011: Resurrection Man #3  -- 29,480 (-23.6%)

Three “New 52″ titles with a steep overall decline.

—–

89 - BLUE BEETLE
11/2006: Blue Beetle #8  -- 25,861
11/2007: Blue Beetle #21 -- 15,645
11/2008: Blue Beetle #33 -- 11,452
----------------------------------
09/2011: Blue Beetle #1  -- 44,448          [52,288]
10/2011: Blue Beetle #2  -- 39,396 (-11.4%)
11/2011: Blue Beetle #3  -- 27,612 (-29.9%)
-----------------
5 years : +  6.8%

Dropping very stiffly, despite the tasteful displays of genocide, mutilation and burned human flesh in the debut issue.

What’s wrong with kids today?

—–

90 - HAWK & DOVE
09/2011: Hawk & Dove #1  -- 42,294          [47,999]
10/2011: Hawk & Dove #2  -- 36,068 (-14.7%)
11/2011: Hawk & Dove #3  -- 27,464 (-23.9%)

The sales of Rob Liefeld comics aren’t what they used to be.

—–

92 - BATMAN: ODYSSEY VOL. 2
07/2010: Batman: Odyssey #1  of 6  -- 61,827
08/2010: Batman: Odyssey #2  of 6  -- 47,675 (-22.9%)
09/2010: Batman: Odyssey #3  of 6  -- 40,046 (-16.0%)
10/2010: Batman: Odyssey #4  of 12 -- 35,307 (-11.8%)
11/2010: Batman: Odyssey #5  of 13 -- 31,386 (-11.1%)
02/2011: Batman: Odyssey #6  of 13 -- 29,093 (- 7.3%)
--------------------------------------------
10/2011: Odyssey Vol. 2 #1  of 7   -- 30,410 (+ 4.5%)
11/2011: Odyssey Vol. 2 #2  of 7   -- 24,271 (-20.2%)
----------------
1 year  : -22.7%

A stiff drop for a miniseries, but perhaps still respectable, considering that Odyssey is basically a hangover from last year that could easily have been lost in the shuffle.

—–

93 - CAPTAIN ATOM
09/2011: Captain Atom #1  -- 44,110          [51,314]
10/2011: Captain Atom #2  -- 38,309 (-13.2%)
11/2011: Captain Atom #3  -- 26,829 (-30.0%)
96 - I, VAMPIRE
09/2011: I, Vampire #1  -- 39,683          [46,993]
10/2011: I, Vampire #2  -- 34,599 (-12.8%)
11/2011: I, Vampire #3  -- 26,070 (-24.7%)
99 - MISTER TERRIFIC
09/2011: Mister Terrific #1  -- 41,450          [48,352]
10/2011: Mister Terrific #2  -- 35,963 (-13.2%)
11/2011: Mister Terrific #3  -- 25,282 (-29.7%)
104 - O.M.A.C.
09/2011: O.M.A.C. #1  -- 37,312          [42,871]
10/2011: O.M.A.C. #2  -- 32,704 (-12.4%)
11/2011: O.M.A.C. #3  -- 25,080 (-23.3%)
105 - VOODOO
09/2011: Voodoo #1  -- 40,301          [47,112]
10/2011: Voodoo #2  -- 34,690 (-13.9%)
11/2011: Voodoo #3  -- 25,067 (-27.7%)
109 - STATIC SHOCK
06/2011: Special #1 of 1  --  9,976
-----------------------------------
09/2011: Static Shock #1  -- 37,782 (+278.7%) [43,046]
10/2011: Static Shock #2  -- 32,360 (- 14.4%)
11/2011: Static Shock #3  -- 24,374 (- 24.7%)
112 - MEN OF WAR
09/2011: Men of War #1  -- 37,488
10/2011: Men of War #2  -- 31,446 (-16.1%)
11/2011: Men of War #3  -- 23,770 (-24.4%)

That’s a whole bunch of “New 52″ titles headed for sales around the 20K mark at best, it seems. From recent comments made by DC, it seems they’re willing to give the relaunch titles at least a year before pulling the plug, so who knows.

On the plus side, I don’t think any of these books would be selling above 20,000 units without the push of the “New 52.”

—–

108 - LEGION: SECRET ORIGIN
10/2011: Secret Origin #1 of 6 -- 38,248
11/2011: Secret Origin #2 of 6 -- 22,435 (-41.3%)

There was some sort of promotion involving plastic rings for issue #1, hence the monstrous drop. Again, if there’s any effect from the “New 52″ here, it’s negligible.

—–

115 - BLACKHAWKS
09/2011: Blackhawks #1  -- 40,014          [46,435]
10/2011: Blackhawks #2  -- 31,704 (-20.8%)
11/2011: Blackhawks #3  -- 22,349 (-29.5%)

No plastic-ring-shaped excuse here. That’s a terrible drop-off.

Still, hats off to DC for trying their hand at a 24-hour comic with the debut issue. Good sportsmanship!

—–

111 - THE SHADE
10/2011: Shade #1  of 12 -- 30,648
11/2011: Shade #2  of 12 -- 21,431 (-30.1%)

Both issues had 1:10 variant covers, so that’s a very stiff drop-off.

Which is bad news, because again, there was no visible effect from the “New 52″ to begin with. That said, I’m still surprised by The Shade writer James Robinson’s suggestion that the maxiseries may be in danger of cancellation. The Shade is doing poorly by “New 52″ standards, but in the context of the direct market of the last year prior to the relaunch, these numbers are decent enough; it’s what you’d expect for the combination of a fan-favorite creative team and property. And, frankly, the “New 52″ numbers to date don’t strike me as being of such a quality as to suggest that those expectations would need to be re-adjusted.

—–

114 - PENGUIN: PAIN AND PREJUDICE
10/2011: Penguin #1 of 5 -- 26,380
11/2011: Penguin #2 of 5 -- 21,021 (-20.3%)

Steep drop for a mini, and again: no visible effect from the “New 52.”

—–

125 - FABLES (Vertigo)
11/2006: Fables #55  -- 25,635
11/2007: Fables #67  -- 24,841
11/2008: Fables #78  -- 23,345
11/2009: Fables #90  -- 20,882
------------------------------
11/2010: --
12/2010: Fables #100 -- 23,014 (+17.1%)
01/2011: Fables #101 -- 19,183 (-16.7%)
02/2011: Fables #102 -- 19,215 (+ 0.2%)
03/2011: Fables #103 -- 18,910 (- 1.6%)
04/2011: Fables #104 -- 18,811 (- 0.5%)
05/2011: Fables #105 -- 18,749 (- 0.3%)
06/2011: Fables #106 -- 18,505 (- 1.3%)
07/2011: Fables #107 -- 18,523 (+ 0.1%)
08/2011: Fables #108 -- 18,390 (- 0.7%)
09/2011: Fables #109 -- 18,072 (- 1.7%)
10/2011: Fables #110 -- 18,109 (+ 0.2%)
11/2011: Fables #111 -- 17,687 (- 2.3%)
----------------
6 months: - 5.7%
1 year  :  n.a.
2 years : -15.3%
5 years : -31.0%

Business as usual for Vertigo’s flagship title.

—–

132 - AMERICAN VAMPIRE (Vertigo)
11/2010: American Vampire #8  -- 19,850 (- 9.4%)
12/2010: American Vampire #9  -- 19,019 (- 4.2%)
12/2010: American Vampire #10 -- 17,761 (- 6.6%)
01/2011: American Vampire #11 -- 16,969 (- 4.5%)
02/2011: American Vampire #12 -- 16,522 (- 2.6%)
03/2011: American Vampire #13 -- 17,269 (+ 4.5%)
04/2011: American Vampire #14 -- 16,168 (- 6.4%)
05/2011: American Vampire #15 -- 15,876 (- 1.8%)
06/2011: American Vampire #16 -- 15,705 (- 1.1%)
07/2011: American Vampire #17 -- 15,565 (- 0.9%)
08/2011: American Vampire #18 -- 15,423 (- 0.9%)
09/2011: American Vampire #19 -- 15,288 (- 0.9%)
10/2011: --
11/2011: American Vampire #20 -- 15,685 (+ 2.6%)
----------------
6 months: - 1.2%
1 year  : -21.0%

The Scott Snyder-written Vertigo book returns with a marginal increase that may or may not be “New 52″-related. (He’s writing the super-successful Batman and Swamp Thing, so who knows.)

—–

136 - SPACEMAN (Vertigo)
10/2011: Spaceman #1 of 9 -- 22,355
11/2011: Spaceman #2 of 9 -- 14,962 (-33.1%)

On the one hand, that drop-off was to be expected, because the first issue came with a $1.00 price tag subsidized by the marketing department. Then again, though, this is a pretty poor showing for an established, critically acclaimed creative team, especially in a situation where the “New 52″ relaunch is said to have brought a lot of people into stores. If Vertigo can’t succeed with a $1.00 Spaceman #1 by Brian Azzarello and Eduardo Risso in this climate, it’s a pretty tough road ahead for them.

—–

137 - T.H.U.N.D.E.R. AGENTS
11/2010: T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents #1  -- 16,122
12/2010: T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents #2  -- 11,227 (-30.4%)
01/2011: T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents #3  -- 10,602 (- 5.6%)
02/2011: T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents #4  -- 10,124 (- 4.5%)
03/2011: T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents #5  --  9,934 (- 1.9%)
04/2011: T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents #6  --  9,680 (- 2.6%)
05/2011: T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents #7  --  9,453 (- 2.4%)
06/2011: T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents #8  --  8,954 (- 5.3%)
07/2011: T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents #9  --  8,710 (- 2.7%)
08/2011: T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents #10 --  8,453 (- 3.0%)
09/2011: --
10/2011: --
11/2011: Vol. 2 #1 of 6            -- 14,794 (+75.0%)
----------------
6 months: +56.5%
1 year  : - 8.2%

The critically acclaimed and low-selling DC title of 2011 returns for a six-issue miniseries and, well, you know the drill. Despite the “New 52,” the new T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents #1 sold fewer copies than the debut issue of the ongoing title that was cancelled a couple months back did this time last year.

—–

141/144 - DC UNIVERSE ONLINE: LEGENDS
02/2011: DCU Online: Legends #1  -- 36,517
02/2011: DCU Online: Legends #2  -- 28,953 (-20.7%)
03/2011: DCU Online: Legends #3  -- 24,824 (-14.3%)
03/2011: DCU Online: Legends #4  -- 23,001 (- 7.3%)
04/2011: DCU Online: Legends #5  -- 21,427 (- 6.8%)
04/2011: DCU Online: Legends #6  -- 20,461 (- 4.5%)
05/2011: DCU Online: Legends #7  -- 20,064 (- 1.9%)
05/2011: DCU Online: Legends #8  -- 19,471 (- 3.0%)
06/2011: DCU Online: Legends #9  -- 18,759 (- 3.7%)
06/2011: DCU Online: Legends #10 -- 18,178 (- 3.1%)
07/2011: DCU Online: Legends #11 -- 17,509 (- 3.7%)
07/2011: DCU Online: Legends #12 -- 17,223 (- 1.6%)
08/2011: DCU Online: Legends #13 -- 16,540 (- 4.0%)
08/2011: DCU Online: Legends #14 -- 16,018 (- 3.2%)
09/2011: --
10/2011: DCU Online: Legends #15 -- 15,460 (- 3.5%)
10/2011: DCU Online: Legends #16 -- 15,238 (- 1.4%)
11/2011: DCU Online: Legends #17 -- 14,226 (- 6.6%)
11/2011: DCU Online: Legends #18 -- 13,955 (- 1.9%)
----------------
6 months: -28.7%

Business as usual for the video-game adaptation.

—–

153 - GREEN LANTERN: THE ANIMATED SERIES (Johnny DC)
11/2011: GL: TAS #0 -- 13,569

A new Johnny DC title. See small print below.

—–

163 - MY GREATEST ADVENTURE
01/2011: Weird Worlds #1 of 6 -- 14,964
02/2011: Weird Worlds #2 of 6 -- 11,587 (- 22.6%)
03/2011: Weird Worlds #3 of 6 -- 10,470 (-  9.6%)
04/2011: Weird Worlds #4 of 6 --  9,665 (-  7.7%)
05/2011: Weird Worlds #5 of 6 --  9,043 (-  6.4%)
06/2011: Weird Worlds #6 of 6 --  8,536 (-  5.6%)
---------------------------------------
10/2011: MGA #1 of 6          -- 17,222 (+101.8%)
11/2011: MGA #2 of 6          -- 11,782 (- 31.6%)
----------------
6 months: +30.3%

Steep drop, but still ahead of its predecessor; about what you’d expect for the resident weirdo DC Universe thing, really.

—–

175/178 - THE UNWRITTEN (Vertigo)
11/2009: The Unwritten #7  -- 14,763
------------------------------------
11/2010: The Unwritten #19 -- 12,036 (- 1.9%)
12/2010: The Unwritten #20 -- 11,684 (- 2.9%)
01/2011: The Unwritten #21 -- 11,443 (- 2.1%)
02/2011: The Unwritten #22 -- 11,371 (- 0.6%)
03/2011: The Unwritten #23 -- 11,319 (- 0.5%)
04/2011: The Unwritten #24 -- 11,028 (- 2.6%)
05/2011: The Unwritten #25 -- 11,137 (+ 1.0%)
06/2011: The Unwritten #26 -- 10,979 (- 1.4%)
07/2011: The Unwritten #27 -- 10,787 (- 1.8%)
08/2011: The Unwritten #28 -- 10,731 (- 0.5%)
09/2011: The Unwritten #29 -- 10,511 (- 2.1%)
10/2011: The Unwritten #30 -- 10,481 (- 0.3%)
11/2011: The Unwritten #31 -- 10,434 (- 0.5%)
11/2011: The Unwritten #.5 -- 10,183 (- 2.4%)
----------------
6 months: - 7.4%
1 year  : -14.4%
2 years : -30.2%

Well, the “point” thing is working better than it did for Marvel, at least.

—–

185 - HELLBLAZER (Vertigo)
11/2006: Hellblazer #226 -- 13,388
11/2007: Hellblazer #238 -- 12,536
11/2008: Hellblazer #249 -- 11,445
11/2009: Hellblazer #261 -- 10,553
----------------------------------
11/2010: Hellblazer #273 --  9,645 (-0.1%)
12/2010: Hellblazer #274 --  9,342 (-3.1%)
01/2011: Hellblazer #275 --  9,507 (+1.8%)
02/2011: Hellblazer #276 --  9,466 (-0.4%)
03/2011: Hellblazer #277 --  9,525 (+0.6%)
04/2011: Hellblazer #278 --  9,417 (-1.1%)
05/2011: Hellblazer #279 --  9,454 (+0.4%)
06/2011: Hellblazer #280 --  9,329 (-1.3%)
07/2011: Hellblazer #281 --  9,225 (-1.1%)
08/2011: Hellblazer #282 --  9,372 (+1.5%)
09/2011: Hellblazer #283 --  9,597 (+2.4%)
10/2011: Hellblazer #284 --  9,608 (+0.1%)
11/2011: Hellblazer #285 --  9,500 (-1.1%)
----------------
6 months: + 0.5%
1 year  : - 1.5%
2 years : -10.0%
5 years : -29.0%

Standard attrition in November, and rock-solid numbers for the last year, overall.

—–

194 - I, ZOMBIE (Vertigo)
11/2010: I, Zombie #7  -- 12,800 (- 7.1%)
12/2010: I, Zombie #8  -- 12,038 (- 6.0%)
01/2011: I, Zombie #9  -- 11,536 (- 4.2%)
02/2011: I, Zombie #10 -- 11,182 (- 3.1%)
03/2011: I, Zombie #11 -- 10,874 (- 2.8%)
04/2011: I, Zombie #12 -- 10,727 (- 1.4%)
05/2011: I, Zombie #13 -- 10,567 (- 1.5%)
06/2011: I, Zombie #14 -- 10,320 (- 2.3%)
07/2011: I, Zombie #15 -- 10,006 (- 3.0%)
08/2011: I, Zombie #16 --  9,568 (- 4.4%)
09/2011: I, Zombie #17 --  9,316 (- 2.6%)
10/2011: I, Zombie #18 --  9,237 (- 0.9%)
11/2011: I, Zombie #19 --  8,999 (- 2.6%)
----------------
6 months: -14.8%
1 year  : -29.7%

It’s not quite levelled out yet.

—–

212 - SWEET TOOTH (Vertigo)
11/2009: Sweet Tooth #3  -- 10,363
----------------------------------
11/2010: Sweet Tooth #15 --  8,750 (- 2.1%)
12/2010: Sweet Tooth #16 --  8,602 (- 1.7%)
01/2011: Sweet Tooth #17 --  8,522 (- 0.9%)
02/2011: Sweet Tooth #18 --  8,466 (- 0.7%)
03/2011: Sweet Tooth #19 --  8,532 (+ 0.8%)
04/2011: Sweet Tooth #20 --  8,361 (- 2.0%)
05/2011: Sweet Tooth #21 --  8,360 (- 0.0%)
06/2011: Sweet Tooth #22 --  8,252 (- 1.3%)
07/2011: Sweet Tooth #23 --  8,018 (- 2.8%)
08/2011: Sweet Tooth #24 --  7,948 (- 0.9%)
09/2011: Sweet Tooth #25 --  7,896 (- 0.7%)
10/2011: Sweet Tooth #26 --  7,963 (+ 0.9%)
11/2011: Sweet Tooth #27 --  7,923 (- 0.5%)
----------------
6 months: - 5.2%
1 year  : - 9.5%
2 years : -23.6%

This Jeff Lemire vehicle been steady around the 8K mark for the last few months, at least. Maybe there’s some crossover from the writer’s acclaimed Animal Man and Frankenstein books.

On the other hand, Sweet Tooth is the lowest-selling ongoing Vertigo book without an official expiration date.

—–

220 - TINY TITANS (Johnny DC)
11/2008: Tiny Titans #10 --  9,239
11/2009: Tiny Titans #22 --  8,100
----------------------------------
11/2010: Tiny Titans #34 --  7,713 (- 4.1%)
12/2010: Tiny Titans #35 --  7,515 (- 2.6%)
01/2011: Tiny Titans #36 --  7,480 (- 0.5%)
02/2011: Tiny Titans #37 --  7,426 (- 0.7%)
03/2011: Tiny Titans #38 --  7,372 (- 0.7%)
04/2011: Tiny Titans #39 --  7,445 (+ 1.0%)
05/2011: Tiny Titans #40 --  7,847 (+ 5.4%)
06/2011: Tiny Titans #41 --  7,811 (- 0.5%)
07/2011: Tiny Titans #42 --  7,664 (- 1.9%)
08/2011: Tiny Titans #43 --  7,534 (- 1.7%)
09/2011: Tiny Titans #44 --  7,619 (+ 1.1%)
10/2011: Tiny Titans #45 --  7,836 (+ 2.9%)
11/2011: Tiny Titans #46 --  7,748 (- 1.1%)
----------------
6 months: - 1.3%
1 year  : + 0.5%
2 years : - 4.4%
222 - YOUNG JUSTICE (Johnny DC)
01/2011: Young Justice #0  --  9,412
02/2011: Young Justice #1  -- 10,777 (+14.5%)
03/2011: Young Justice #2  --  9,612 (-10.8%)
04/2011: Young Justice #3  --  9,407 (- 2.1%)
05/2011: Young Justice #4  --  9,729 (+ 3.4%)
06/2011: Young Justice #5  --  8,988 (- 7.6%)
07/2011: Young Justice #6  --  8,642 (- 3.9%)
08/2011: Young Justice #7  --  8,062 (- 6.7%)
09/2011: Young Justice #8  --  7,930 (- 1.6%)
10/2011: Young Justice #9  --  7,737 (- 2.4%)
11/2011: Young Justice #10 --  7,650 (- 1.1%)
----------------
6 months: -21.4%

Two Johnny DC titles. See small print.

—–

224 - SUPERNATURAL
10/2007: Origins #6         -- 12,350
-------------------------------------
10/2011: Supernatrl #1 of 6 --  8,896
11/2011: Supernatrl #2 of 6 --  7,506 (-15.6%)

Average drop-off for the TV adaptation.

—–

229 - THE ALL-NEW BATMAN: THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD (Johnny DC)
11/2006: Batman Strikes! #27   --  7,567
11/2007: Batman Strikes! #39   --  6,464
11/2009: Brave & Bold #11      --  6,438
----------------------------------------
11/2010: All-New BBB #1        --  8,408 (+ 39.1%)
12/2010: All-New BBB #2        --  6,688 (- 20.5%)
01/2011: All-New BBB #3        --  6,557 (-  2.0%)
02/2011: All-New BBB #4        --  6,561 (+  0.1%)
03/2011: All-New BBB #5        --  6,463 (-  1.5%)
04/2011: All-New BBB #6        --  6,324 (-  2.1%)
05/2011: All-New BBB #7        --  6,869 (+  8.6%)
06/2011: All-New BBB #8        --  6,645 (-  3.3%)
07/2011: All-New BBB #9        --  6,404 (-  3.6%)
08/2011: All-New BBB #10       --  6,351 (-  0.8%)
09/2011: All-New BBB #11       --  6,410 (+  0.9%)
10/2011: All-New BBB #12       --  6,771 (+  5.6%)
11/2011: All-New BBB #13       --  7,143 (+  5.5%)
----------------
6 months: + 4.0%
1 year  : -15.1%
2 years : +11.0%
5 years : - 5.6%

Another Johnny DC title.

—–

235 - NORTHLANDERS (Vertigo)
11/2008: Northlanders #12 -- 10,048
11/2009: Northlanders #22 --  8,136
-----------------------------------
11/2010: Northlanders #34 --  7,018 (- 2.1%)
12/2010: Northlanders #35 --  7,061 (+ 0.6%)
01/2011: Northlanders #36 --  6,806 (- 3.6%)
02/2011: Northlanders #37 --  7,006 (+ 2.9%)
03/2011: Northlanders #38 --  7,020 (+ 0.2%)
04/2011: Northlanders #39 --  6,983 (- 0.5%)
05/2011: Northlanders #40 --  7,055 (+ 1.0%)
06/2011: Northlanders #41 --  6,954 (- 1.4%)
07/2011: Northlanders #42 --  6,989 (+ 0.5%)
08/2011: Northlanders #43 --  6,901 (- 1.3%)
09/2011: Northlanders #44 --  6,858 (- 0.6%)
10/2011: Northlanders #45 --  6,973 (+ 1.7%)
11/2011: Northlanders #46 --  6,792 (- 2.6%)
----------------
6 months: - 3.7%
1 year  : - 3.2%
2 years : -16.5%

Cancelled with issue #50.

—–

253 - UNCHARTED
11/2011: Uncharted #1 of 6 -- 6,171

Another video-game adaptation with poor numbers.

There was a 1:10 variant.

—–

255 - SCALPED (Vertigo)
11/2007: Scalped #11 --  7,323
11/2008: Scalped #23 --  6,910
11/2009: --
------------------------------
11/2010: Scalped #43 --  6,324 (- 2.4%)
12/2010: Scalped #44 --  6,192 (- 2.1%)
01/2011: Scalped #45 --  6,187 (- 0.1%)
02/2011: Scalped #46 --  6,179 (- 0.1%)
03/2011: Scalped #47 --  6,222 (+ 0.7%)
04/2011: Scalped #48 --  6,272 (+ 0.8%)
05/2011: --
06/2011: Scalped #49 --  6,333 (+ 1.0%)
06/2011: Scalped #50 --  6,471 (+ 2.2%)
07/2011: --
08/2011: Scalped #51 --  6,409 (- 1.0%)
09/2011: Scalped #52 --  6,270 (- 2.2%)
10/2011: Scalped #53 --  6,203 (- 1.1%)
11/2011: Scalped #54 --  6,157 (- 0.7%)
----------------
6 months:  n.a.
1 year  : - 2.6%
2 years :  n.a.

Ending with issue #60.

—–

263 - DIABLO
11/2011: Diablo #1 of 5 -- 5,612

Another video-game adaptation with poor sales, but this time without a variant edition.

—–

264 - DMZ (Vertigo)
11/2006: DMZ #13 -- 14,228
11/2007: DMZ #25 -- 11,277
11/2008: DMZ #36 --  8,851
11/2009: DMZ #47 --  7,187
--------------------------
11/2010: DMZ #59 --  6,046 (-2.5%)
12/2010: DMZ #60 --  6,023 (-0.4%)
01/2011: DMZ #61 --  5,855 (-2.8%)
02/2011: DMZ #62 --  5,781 (-1.3%)
03/2011: DMZ #63 --  5,877 (+1.7%)
04/2011: DMZ #64 --  5,851 (-0.4%)
05/2011: DMZ #65 --  5,865 (+0.2%)
06/2011: DMZ #66 --  5,825 (-0.7%)
07/2011: DMZ #67 --  5,720 (-1.8%)
08/2011: DMZ #68 --  5,668 (-0.9%)
09/2011: DMZ #69 --  5,544 (-2.2%)
10/2011: DMZ #70 --  5,610 (+1.2%)
11/2011: DMZ #71 --  5,579 (-0.6%)
----------------
6 months: - 4.9%
1 year  : - 7.7%
2 years : -22.4%
5 years : -60.8%

Ending with issue #72.

—–

289 - SCOOBY DOO: WHERE ARE YOU? (Johnny DC)
11/2006: Scooby Doo #114 -- 4,387
11/2007: Scooby Doo #126 -- 4,237
11/2008: Scooby Doo #138 -- 4,068
11/2009: Scooby Doo #150 -- 4,044
---------------------------------
11/2010: SD:WAY? #3      -- 4,861 (- 1.3%)
12/2010: SD:WAY? #4      -- 4,802 (- 1.2%)
01/2011: SD:WAY? #5      -- 4,540 (- 5.5%)
02/2011: SD:WAY? #6      -- 4,456 (- 1.9%)
03/2011: SD:WAY? #7      -- 4,522 (+ 1.5%)
04/2011: SD:WAY? #8      -- 4,599 (+ 1.7%)
05/2011: SD:WAY? #9      -- 4,838 (+ 5.2%)
06/2011: SD:WAY? #10     -- 4,774 (- 1.3%)
07/2011: SD:WAY? #11     -- 4,791 (+ 0.4%)
08/2011: SD:WAY? #12     -- 4,686 (- 2.2%)
09/2011: SD:WAY? #13     -- 4,701 (+ 0.3%)
10/2011: SD:WAY? #14     -- ?
11/2011: SD:WAY? #15     -- 4,701
----------------
6 months: - 2.8%
1 year  : - 3.3%
2 years : +16.3%
5 years : + 7.2%

And another Johnny DC book.

Another game adaptation, End of Nations #1 (of 4), also shipped in November, but it didn’t make the Top 300. As usual, I’m assuming it sold as many units as the No. 300 title on the chart for the purposes of the average-sales statistics below, which in November was an estimated 4,330 units.

Thanks for reading, and have a great 2012!

—–

"NEW 52" RE-ORDERS
188:  9,368 -- Detective Comics #1
272:  5,293 -- Batman #2
281:  4,941 -- Swamp Thing #1
290:  4,676 -- Animal Man #1
293:  4,470 -- Aquaman #2

—–

"NEW 52" #3 CHANGES
- 8.0%: Animal Man
- 9.7%: Detective Comics
------
-10.8%: Swamp Thing
-12.3%: Action Comics
-12.3%: Nightwing
-12.4%: Batman
-12.7%: Aquaman
-12.7%: Batman and Robin
-13.8%: Green Lantern
-14.2%: Justice League
------
-15.6%: Red Hood
-15.7%: Teen Titans
-16.3%: Batgirl
-16.7%: Batwoman
-16.7%: GL Corps
-16.7%: New Guardians
-17.0%: Wonder Woman
-17.3%: Supergirl
-17.4%: Stormwatch
-17.4%: Superboy
-17.5%: Superman
-17.6%: Suicide Squad
-17.7%: JLI
-17.8%: All Star Western
-17.9%: Batwing
-17.9%: Catwoman
-17.9%: Demon Knights
-18.0%: Red Lanterns
-18.5%: JLD
------
-20.1%: Green Arrow
-20.8%: Flash
-21.2%: Frankenstein
-23.1%: Birds of Prey
-23.3%: OMAC
-23.6%: Resurrection Man
-23.9%: Hawk & Dove
-24.4%: Deathstroke
-24.4%: Men of War
-24.7%: I, Vampire
-24.7%: Static Shock
-25.3%: Grifter
-25.4%: DCU Presents
-25.9%: LoSH
-26.4%: Hawkman
-26.8%: Legion Lost
-27.7%: Voodoo
-28.0%: Firestorm
-29.5%: Blackhawks
-29.7%: Mister Terrific
-29.9%: Blue Beetle
-30.0%: Captain Atom

—–

6-MONTH COMPARISONS
+261.0%: JLA
+218.6%: All Star Western
+205.5%: Action Comics
+191.0%: Batgirl
+180.7%: Detective Comics
+174.1%: Batman
+145.6%: Teen Titans
+137.2%: Supergirl
+124.6%: Superman
+ 92.7%: Superboy
+ 64.7%: Flash
+ 62.7%: Green Lantern
+ 56.5%: THUNDER Agents
+ 50.0%: Batman and Robin
+ 48.1%: LoSH
+ 47.8%: Green Arrow
+ 37.7%: Birds of Prey
+ 30.3%: My Greatest Adventure
+ 12.8%: New Guardians
+  7.3%: GL Corps
+  4.0%: All-New BBB
+  0.5%: Hellblazer
-  1.2%: American Vampire
-  1.3%: Tiny Titans
-  2.8%: Scooby-Doo
-  3.7%: Northlanders
-  4.9%: DMZ
-  5.2%: Sweet Tooth
-  5.7%: Fables
-  7.4%: Unwritten
- 14.8%: I, Zombie
- 21.4%: Young Justice
- 28.7%: DCU Online

—–

1-YEAR COMPARISONS
+307.6%: Action Comics
+231.5%: JLA
+203.6%: All Star Western
+201.0%: Detective Comics
+170.9%: Batgirl
+131.5%: Batman
+129.8%: Teen Titans
+ 99.8%: Supergirl
+ 86.7%: Superman
+ 61.0%: Green Lantern
+ 56.8%: Flash
+ 41.3%: Batwoman
+ 32.3%: LoSH
+ 29.1%: New Guardians
+ 19.5%: Superboy
+ 18.7%: Birds of Prey
+ 13.8%: GL Corps
+ 11.2%: Green Arrow
+  7.4%: Batman and Robin
+  0.5%: Tiny Titans
-  1.5%: Hellblazer
-  2.6%: Scalped
-  3.2%: Northlanders
-  3.3%: Scooby-Doo
-  7.7%: DMZ
-  8.2%: THUNDER Agents
-  9.5%: Sweet Tooth
- 14.4%: Unwritten
- 15.1%: All-New BBB
- 21.0%: American Vampire
- 22.7%: Batman: Odyssey
- 29.7%: I, Zombie

—–

2-YEAR COMPARISONS
+753.9%: Stormwatch
+304.0%: Action Comics
+194.1%: All Star Western
+169.8%: Green Arrow
+150.9%: Superman
+149.8%: Wonder Woman
+118.9%: Batman
+104.4%: Detective Comics
+101.7%: Batgirl
+ 88.7%: JLA
+ 74.2%: Supergirl
+ 31.4%: Teen Titans
+ 22.4%: Flash
+ 22.2%: Green Lantern
+ 16.3%: Scooby-Doo
+ 11.0%: All-New BBB
-  4.4%: Tiny Titans
-  9.8%: Batman and Robin
- 10.0%: Hellblazer
- 15.3%: Fables
- 16.5%: Northlanders
- 18.7%: GL Corps
- 22.4%: DMZ
- 23.6%: Sweet Tooth
- 30.2%: Unwritten

—–

5-YEAR COMPARISONS
+150.9%: Superman
+125.2%: Catwoman
+102.1%: Action Comics
+ 97.0%: Firestorm
+ 88.8%: Hawkman
+ 88.7%: Detective Comics
+ 77.3%: Nightwing
+ 74.8%: All Star Western
+ 71.5%: Green Lantern
+ 63.2%: Batman
+ 59.2%: Flash
+ 59.2%: GL Corps
+ 45.9%: Green Arrow
+ 31.0%: Stormwatch
+ 19.7%: JLA
+ 18.2%: Birds of Prey
+  7.2%: Scooby-Doo
+  6.8%: Blue Beetle
+  2.9%: LoSH
-  3.5%: Teen Titans
-  5.6%: All-New BBB
- 14.8%: Wonder Woman
- 18.8%: Supergirl
- 29.0%: Hellblazer
- 31.0%: Fables
- 60.8%: DMZ

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

DC COMICS
11/2006: 34,907
11/2007: 29,429
11/2008: 25,340
11/2009: 28,913**
---------------
11/2010: 25,497 (+  7.3%)**
12/2010: 23,869 (-  6.4%)**
01/2011: 21,922 (-  8.2%)**
02/2011: 23,252 (+  6.1%)**
03/2011: 23,976 (+  3.1%)**
04/2011: 25,651 (+  7.0%)
05/2011: 24,561 (-  4.3%)**
06/2011: 25,814 (+  5.1%)**
07/2011: 26,138 (+  1.3%)**
08/2011: 25,632 (-  1.9%)**
09/2011: 57,224 (+123.3%)
10/2011: 51,280 (- 10.4%)**
11/2011: 41,414 (-19.2%)**
-----------------
6 months: + 68.6%
1 year  : + 62.4%
2 years : + 43.2%
5 years : + 18.6%
DC UNIVERSE
11/2006: 45,399
11/2007: 37,257
11/2008: 33,096
11/2009: 38,488
---------------
11/2010: 34,180 (+  4.1%)
12/2010: 30,870 (-  9.7%)
01/2011: 24,321 (- 21.2%)**
02/2011: 25,887 (+  6.4%)**
03/2011: 26,720 (+  3.2%)**
04/2011: 29,126 (+  9.0%)
05/2011: 27,745 (-  4.7%)**
06/2011: 28,673 (+  3.4%)**
07/2011: 28,586 (-  0.3%)**
08/2011: 27,761 (-  2.9%)**
09/2011: 67,411 (+142.8%)
10/2011: 59,146 (- 12.3%)**
11/2011: 46,670 (- 21.1%)**
-----------------
6 months: + 68.2%
1 year  : + 36.5%
2 years : + 21.3%
5 years : +  2.8%
VERTIGO
11/2006: 13,773
11/2007: 10,946
11/2008: 11,936
11/2009: 11,036
---------------
11/2010:  9,034 (- 5.4%)
12/2010: 11,193 (+23.9%)
01/2011: 10,145 (- 9.4%)
02/2011: 10,295 (+ 1.5%)
03/2011: 10,450 (+ 1.5%)
04/2011: 10,014 (- 4.2%)
05/2011: 10,668 (+ 6.5%)
06/2011: 10,415 (- 2.4%)
07/2011: 10,784 (+ 3.5%)
08/2011: 10,147 (- 5.9%)
09/2011:  9,995 (- 1.5%)
10/2011: 10,643 (+ 6.5%)
11/2011: 10,355 (- 2.7%)
-----------------
6 months: -  2.9%
1 year  : + 14.6%
2 years : -  6.2%
5 years : - 24.8%

—–
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. I’m going to disagree with a few of your premises in the column above the numbers, in a “Your Mileage May Vary” kind of way. I know I’ve posted some of this on the Beat before, but I’m elaborating some, for context.

    My regular subscription customer base grew by 20% from August to October. Most of these people were lapsed comics readers (“I haven’t bought a comic since Event X”), but some of them were people who never bought western comics before.

    99% of these subscribers are still around, 4 months later. They’ve dropped titles they didn’t like, and tried new things from DC and other publishers. They are enthusiastic about comics in general. Justice League is currently my best-selling title, and the subs for it keep growing. The last time that happened for a new title was for Buffy Season 8, which held my most-subscrived-to record until Justice League, which is beating it by 25%

    Now, I ordered heavily for the relaunch. My Sept. orders for DC were 290% of my normal DC orders. I worked hard to suggest titles to regulars and new customers that seemed to fit their interests. I ended up selling out of little over half of the #1s in the first month.

    From what I’ve gathered through talking to the other store owners in town and their customers, NONE of them went as heavily into the relaunch as I did. I’m the highest volume shop in town for new comics, and all three others (soon to be only 2 others) sold out of most of their #1s each Wednesday. Two of them openly criticized the relaunch to their customers, and to me, before it happened. One of them continued to complain about it afterwards. I’ve heard (second-hand, unfortunately, but from multiple sources) that most of the “new” business left the other stores by issue #3.

    I also pushed the minis (Huntress, Penguin, Shade and The Ray) the same way I pushed the New 52, and got similar results, and needing to reorder all of them multiple times.

    What I’m saying in my long-winded way, was that stores got out of the relaunch what they put into it. Those who were positive about it and supported it saw their customer base grow. Those who did nothing, got no more than a temporary and minor boost.

  2. MBunge says:

    Let me say, I am 100% satisfied with the snark content of this sales analysis.

    Mike

  3. Rebis says:

    There are many things I’ve loved about The New 52 and several things I’ve hated. (I didn’t read them all; avoiding titles like Hawk and Dove to begin with kept my eye-rolling to a minimum.) And I’m buying somewhere between 3-4 times the number of DC Comics each month than I was before, so overall I suppose it’s a hit.

    But my biggest disappointment is the fact that DC wasn’t smart enough to hold off on releasing Xombi. If it had come out just a few months later, with the rest of the New 52, it would be a hit. We’d have a monthly by Frazer Irving! Grrrrr.

  4. The Beat says:

    I don’t think you will ever have a monthly by Frazer again! And I love the guy don’t get me wrong!

  5. I feel like you’re writing this now in a way that will bring me the most possible entertainment from the eventual comments of the haters. Thank you for that.

  6. Good work, Marc. I’m always impressed by the stats and I love the commentary. Also, I heard you are the anti-christ and you need to apologize personally to Time Warner.

  7. Rebis says:

    @The Beat (Heidi?): Never again a monthly from Frazer? That’s very sad. I wasn’t sure he could keep up the monthly pace, but that’s what well-planned fill-ins (like “Times Past” issues in Starman) are for.

    p.s. to Mark: I love your commentary too. Praise where due, snark when called for. Keep it up.

  8. The Animal Man-Sales make me believe in humanity again ;D

  9. It’s interesting.

    To read the lead on this story, it makes it seem The New 52 isn’t doing well. Yet, we see increases from the previous incarnations of these same characters of 2x-6x at the top end and a still loftier line average for the bottom end sellers.

    Anecdotal, sure, but when I look at the mini-series numbers for Huntress and Penguin, they are 15-20% higher than my sales history would indicate.

    Say what you will about content—that’s always up for debate— but there’s just no way these numbers look bad when compared to what came before.

    From a sales standpoint, from a marketing view, The New 52 has brought a lot of energy to the market–and a lot of new and different eyes to see comics’ full spectrum, whether super-hero, indie art-comics or anything in between.

    Hopefully, that’s something we can all agree is a good thing.

  10. I want to echo both Brian and Joe here:

    * I have had the same success as Brian. Almost word for word, really. We were the only local store to go deep on The New 52; awe talked it up, we were positive, we put together specials and it’s all worked out great. At the very least, our DC numbers have doubled, and our non-DC numbers are up significantly as well.

    * I agree with Joe that the numbers look better than the way they’re being presented. I’m not surprised by the titles towards the bottom of this list, but Huntress and Penguin would be doing much MUCH worse, pre-New 52.

    * There’s some incorrect information being presented as facts at the beginning of this article. Justice League, Batman, Action Comics, Flash and Green Lantern do NOT all have 1-in-25 variants. Since the launch of The New 52, The only title through issue #4 to have a 1-in-25 variant has been Justice League. The rest have had (in addition to the 1:200 variants) “match-to” variants.

    I’m not pointing this out to be snippy, but because the difference between a match-to and 1:25 (or 1:10, 1:15, 1:20, whichever) is important to retailers. The match-to variants for those titles are targeted to the lowest selling New 52 title for that particular week. For example, Hawk & Dove come out the same week as Action Comics. H&D is my lowest selling title for that week, so I can only order as many of the Action match-to variants, as I can of Hawk & Dove. In order to get more of the match-to variant, I need to order more H&D, NOT – as in the case of the 1:25 – order more Action Comics.

    Implying that those four titles’ numbers are boosted by the prospect of additional 1:25 variants is actually the opposite of what’s happening. Certain low-selling titles are ordered in higher quantities, so that retailers can meet demand on the match-to’s.

    This is an important distinction, and I would recommend keeping that in mind when compiling these charts in the future.

    * This is more of the “your mileage may vary” than anything else (thanks for that, Brian), but most of my Marvel numbers are staying steady or seeing a slight increase, only because I’ve picked up so many new customers over the last couple months. If it wasn’t for The New 52, I think many of Marvel’s books would be seeing serious steep decline(The Avengers books, especially).

    So, this then: “this success doesn’t seem to be affecting, for good or ill, any other comics beyond the initial 52 titles; and three, the number of new comics readers the “New 52″ has brought into comics stores seems negligible, overall.”

    .. is not a statement I can agree with whatsoever. I don’t know whether, in the long run, The New 52 will help comics sales -increase- tremendously, but I know that they’ve stopped single issues sales from further decay.

    Some food for thought.

    -Scott
    Dragon’s Den
    Poughkeepsie, NY

  11. “three, the number of new comics readers the “New 52″ has brought into comics stores seems negligible, overall.”

    Really? When have we had so many comics over 100,000. And issue #3s at that.

    If 20-60,000 customers is negligible, then I guess that is negligible. But sales are up.

  12. “….there’s just no way these numbers look bad when compared to what came before.”

    I don’t think anyone is claiming the numbers are “bad,” just that regression to the mean is happening now after the initial spike in sales.

    I’m fascinated by Brian’s comments above about maintaining New 52 momentum at his shop. I get the impression that it’s back to business as usual at my LCS. I wonder if the norm is somewhere between–it sure looks that way.

  13. Brendan T (@TheUnholyDragon) says:

    Batman Brave and the Bold sales are interesting. With the “Every Robin” hype and the talk about it online, especially within the women-in-comics based corners…well, seeing it jump by a thousand units or so is pretty pleasing.

    It’s sold out at Diamond too. It’d be nice if that led to a rare second printing of a kid’s comic.

  14. Chris Hero says:

    Most of these books are returnable, right? I don’t think anything can be said until that returnable window closes.

    Except…the new 52 is definitely not helping anything outside of DC and maybe a little help for Marvel. If any readers are coming back, they’re lapsed superhero readers.

  15. Chris:

    Returns aren’t free — they have a restock fee attached to them, in addition to the incoming freight, extra work of stripping covers, etc. There might still be a LITTLE overbuying-on-purpose going on, but it’s going to be a pretty negligible amount — no (sane) retailer is going to bring in goods they know for a fact they can not sell, so they can pay fees to send them back!

    Also: JL, BATMAN, ACTION, FLASH, GL — DC’s entire top five — are NOT returnable, whatsoever, even FOR a fee. In point of fact, I’m not seeing any really clear market distinctions in buying patterns between the returnable, non-returnable, and super deep discount titles on the chart at all, which would strongly suggest that returnability is just no factor whatsoever at month 3.

    To echo my fellow retailers — this is just a success, there’s no other way to call it, and this is the first month ever I started to think “Marc-Oliver needs to stop writing these, he’s too jaded — and it shows!”

    -B

  16. legitsquare says:

    These sales analysis are always my favorite thing on The Beat. Thank you.

    I know you have sort of an anti-DC bent, and I’m not convinced the numbers you’re looking at indicate that no new customers were brought in.

    However, I do have to question the wisdom of DC trying to launch other series and mini-series so soon after the New52. The Shade is connected to a decade old series that was a love letter to former DC continuity. Launching Shade now was horrifyingly stupid.

    And while I’ve heard from a few people that The Ray is good, I would have bought it during the New52 month, but now? I’m buying so many of the New52 that I’m actively avoiding other new books due to budget concerns. D’oh!

  17. legitsquare says:

    Oh wow dude- even Brian Hibbs thinks you’re too snarky!

  18. Chris Hero says:

    Brian,

    Respectfully, I disagree. Returnable books is a rather big variable when looking at an increase in sales numbers. To wave it away with a statement like the “no (sane) retailer” line is waving away a lot.

    This can’t be called a success or a failure yet.

  19. Krissy says:

    Every time I see these sales breakdowns I’m never quite clear on if these are accounting for digital sales or not? Am I blind? This was pretty long and it’s late so maybe so, but are those numbers being included and if not I’d imagine they’d make a big difference. I know I’m young, female, and only digital for all of the new 52 and boy do my spending habits and that of my friends look totally different then anything reflected here. Just curious if this is just the actual physical sales side of things or including those sweet digital sales. Because a lot of new customers aren’t the sort that walk into comic shops, they’re the sorts that got ipads and kindles (some for xmas) which was a big point of this whole relaunch thing but I feel like I’m always seeing the ‘success’ of the relaunch discussed in two completely different rooms, one about physical issues and one about digital and I have no idea if their powers combined equaled a bigger deal or not. I just know I’m happily spending 100+ a month on digital comics whereas I was spending maybe 12 a month before the relaunch.

  20. Jochen says:

    When Marc-Oliver writes that no new comics readers were brought into the stores he is both right and wrong. Right when just comparing the numbers to five or ten years ago, as he writes “the ceiling of the market, in terms of units, is still broadly the same as it was five years ago”, which is supported by the numbers.

    Wrong when comparing the numbers to the last year or two, wrong when actually looking at the number of new customers many retailers, in particular those supportive of the New 52, gained.

    And I kinda doubt, that Shade would have done even 20.000 if it would have launched before. And as said by someone else, I wonder how Xombi would have done now.

  21. Mikael says:

    I’ll always trust retailers over number crunchers any day of the week. It’s these numbers that are a failure (not DC’s relaunch). They are inconclusive, not sales through and don’t include so many other factors: book stores, abroad, digital, etc. And even in these comments we have retailers chiming in and yet people still cling to the numbers just because it’s all they have to try and prove their notions are correct. How about doing real work: contact one comic shop in every state to participate in a monthly survey (switch it up each time even) and get your numbers that way. At least you’ll build your reputation on actual work and not sitting at home with imaginary numbers trying to come up with the snarkiest way possible to put down a company.

  22. “And even in these comments we have retailers chiming in and yet people still cling to the numbers just because it’s all they have to try and prove their notions are correct.”

    Because like other commentary on the Internet, a handful of whiny retailers who are in the pocket of the publisher being discussed are equally unrepresentative of the overall sales picture. Little pockets of regional activity have rarely indicated any trends being set in this mostly insular business model.

  23. Chris,

    Not to speak for Hibbs, but most retailers I’ve spoken to were not looking at returnability for the #3’s the same way as they were for the #1’s; we all knew the numbers were trending down, especially once we hit the 2nd week of October, and had a full week’s worth of #2 sales to analyze.

    Brian’s point about retailers not going as deep on the #3’s is valid.

    Ket,

    I don’t know if you’re referring to myself, Brian J., Joe F., and Brian H. as whining, but given the incorrect information being given as fact in this blog, I think it’s only fair for Marc to be corrected. None of us are rude about it. There’s also something to be said about perspective. We’re the ones doing the orders, Marc is the one drawing conclusions based on information that isn’t accurate.

    Also, if I’m in the pocket of DC, then I should be getting paid for it, and that hasn’t happened yet. Someone call Bob Wayne and tell him the checks are late! :)

    -Scott
    Dragon’s Den
    Poughkeepsie, NY

  24. Mikael,

    In a perfect world, I’d love to see more efficient polling and numbers. I think DC’s hiring of Nielsen(?) is a good first step.

    You’d need a trusted individual to get accurate sales numbers from that many retailers. Many DM retailers are nervous about giving out sales data. Someone should hire Nate Silver.

    -Scott
    Dragon’s Den
    Poughkeepsie, NY

  25. Another excellent column, but…

    24 comments and no crazed invective?

    I gotta admit to being a little disappointed.

  26. Bill K. says:

    “There might still be a LITTLE overbuying-on-purpose going on, but it’s going to be a pretty negligible amount — no (sane) retailer is going to bring in goods they know for a fact they can not sell, so they can pay fees to send them back!”

    I’m confused are we talking about sane retailers or comics retailers? Seriously I think the truth is somewhere in between. Not overbuying on purpose, but aggressive ordering based on best case scenarios with the thought of “hey if it doesn’t work out I’ll just send the extras back and if it does I get all that money” Yes that’s not really a good idea for all the reasons you listed, but your understanding of math and business is why you’re more successful than most retailers.

  27. Duncan, Pegasus Books says:

    I have to chime in to agree with the other retailers here.

    Almost the same exact experience. I’m not quite sure why reporting success is considered “whining”….

    I had about a 25% increase in subscribers, I’ve been able to jump a discount level with DC and it looks like I’ll stay there.

    Sure, there isn’t as much talk in the store, and sure there has been the predictable tailing off…but that doesn’t mean it isn’t still successful. These look like “new” customers to me — and it has helped sales throughout the store.

    Duncan McGeary
    Pegasus Books of Bend
    Oregon.

  28. Duncan, Pegasus Books says:

    Duncan, Pegasus,

    I have no particular reason to root for DC, and I do carry a large selection of independents. Sales in one area of the store help in keeping up the other areas of the store.

    There is some shakeout in the titles — which is to be predicted. But almost all the titles are selling solidly at higher levels than they would have if they had been introduced one by one.

    I was a doubter, actually, until I started asking my customers. Then I was a doubter they’d buy past #1’s.

    There a clarity to the 52 which has made them easier to display and stock. I think it will be years, not months, before they drift down to previous levels and I hope they can find ways to keep the interest level up.

    Duncan

  29. Since no one answered Krissy’s question: no, these figures do NOT include digital — they only include sales through Diamond Comics Distribution in the Americas (including Canada)

    “Newstand” sales aren’t included, UNLESS that company is buying non-returnable through Diamond (eg: Hastings), nor are sales in Europe (through Diamond UK)

    Digital is assumed to be a VERY low number at the minute. No ACTUAL numbers have been affirmatively revealed, but reading between the lines with interviews with DC’s John Rood would seem to indicate that we’re dealing with an audience that is significantly less than 20% of the size of the print audience (“16%” is the highest number he mentions) — try this interview for that suggestion: http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=35861

    We’re hoping for a little more specificity at the ComicsPRO meeting in February.

    So, you, Krissy, would seem to be the extreme bleeding edge of customer acceptance of digital comics.

    -B

  30. Chris:

    Here’s the evidence I would submit to you that I’ve got a better picture of what retailers are doing WRT their ordering than you: I actually asked them.

    On CBIA (a closed comics industry forum) I asked (specifically about #4s) “Do you qualify for returnability on #4s?”

    Only 10% of respondants said “yes”

    27% emphatically said “no”, and 62% said they had no idea either way… and, therefore, returnability is not a factor in their ordering.

    (the final 1% was “I am not a retailer”)

    I’d be happy to hear any counterveiling actual evidence, other than “I (who is not a retailer) do not think so”!

    It was a HUGE factor on #1 & #2 — in order to find the maximum “ceiling” of sales — but for almost every retailer that I’ve spoken to the actual sales on #2 *is* the ceiling… consumers don’t (as a rule) start buying more copies of #3s, as they did of #2, so once we had our first week numbers in, it was pretty overwhelmingly obvious how to place those FOC orders for #3.

    Given that, again, returning comics COSTS FEES, you’d have to be a pretty large dumbass to knowingly order significantly more copies that you believe you can sell. We can make all of the snarky comments you like about “dumb retailers”, but the fact of the matter is you don’t stay in business very long if you can’t do basic math.

    Finally: LOOK AT THE CHARTS. I *defy* you to show a significant difference in the ordering patterns of the returnable and non-returnable books. If anything, the *returnable* ones are having SIGNIFICANTLY greater drops in orders.

    The charts simply can’t lie in this!

    Again, these books are NOT returnable, and never have been, having only variant covers as their sales mechanism: ACTION, BATMAN, FLASH, GREEN LANTERN, JUSTICE LEAGUE. These titles did not have returnabilty, only as deeper discount: BATWOMAN, GL: NEW GUARDIANS, STORMWATCH, SWAMP THING, TEEN TITANS, WONDER WOMAN.

    Compare those 11 to the other 41, and try to prove that “returnability” is an important factor in order on the #3s, I’d be quite happy to see that analysis!

    Hell, I’ll do it:

    The 5 “Variants” books have an average drop off between #2 and #3 of -14.7%

    The six “Deep Discount” books are -15.72%

    The 41 returnable titles? -24.95%

    So, yeah, explain how returnability is somehow keeping those books dramatically artificially high in the third month?

    -B

  31. jason says:

    I love that someone invented a “Krissy”. Yes, there’s a magical female reader named Krissy who spends over 100 dollars a month on digital comics. She’s so cool and hip and young and exactly the demographic DC was needing. She loves torture porn, goldfish brain Starfire, stripper heroes, and a prematurely ejaculating Batman so much. She’s so real that some 40 to 50 year old man who works for DC had to invent her. I love the bad attempt at slightly youthful language. Sadly a fail overall though. Try harder Krissy or Bill or Bob or whoever you are…

  32. With all due respect to the retailers here, I do agree with Marc’s assertion that the relaunch has been a success in the direct market but not a success in reaching a new, mainstream audience. Only they can speak to who is coming into their shops, but based on the numbers, these books are doing a good job of reaching the same number of fans that were buying comics in 2004ish.

  33. Rikk Odinson says:

    Marc, YOU SUCK, You wretched excuse for a human!

    That bein’ said, thanks for another entertaining column.

    P.S. BUY LEGION LOST!

  34. Kate Melony says:

    So Marc why all the hate for DC anyway?

    Have you looked at the sales column for Marvel? That one always looks professional. Something to consider.

  35. Please , please. It really is time to have someone else do this column or at least have someone do a professional report , may under another title. Heidi this column is hurting your credibility. Is it any wonder people seem to prefer Rich at BC? Stuff like this column kills your standing in the industry.

  36. Chris Hero says:

    Brian,

    I think you miss my point. I have a degree in electrical engineering (with a minor in math) meaning I’m *very* familiar with statistical analysis. If a variable is introduced to a pattern of results and that variable *can* directly affect those results, no conclusion can be drawn until the variable is removed. It does not matter if the variable *is* affecting the results, that’s why it’s called a variable.

    I’m not rooting against your store or any store in general. I think the person saying retailers are “whining” is hitting below the belt. Also, I’m not rooting for or against anyone. I’m actually buying a few of these books. (Shhh! I’ll be kicked out of the indie crowd or something! ^_^)

    From your comment, here’s a problem with drawing any conclusions yet…only 11 of the 52 books aren’t returnable. Those books have variables of their own, deep discounts and variant covers. There’s no control group to look at and measure against.

    Maybe I need to take my engineer hat off, but I can’t no more than you can take your retailer hat off. I can see how a retailer would vote success based on what we’re seeing so far. Marc-Oliver’s conclusion that it’s a failure makes sense, too, since the charts seem to indicate only a small growth and expectations were a large growth. As someone only interested in the numbers and looking at this chart for trends and patterns, I can’t conclude either way due to too many variables.

  37. Chris Hero says:

    Oh wow. I’m re-reading my post and I typed “can’t no more.” That should be “can’t any more.”

    Also, my “variable” definition is poor, but I think the concept is pretty common.

  38. Great to see so many drops below 20%. This was meant to be the month so many people were saying DC would crash and burn. In a day and age where second issue drops are normally about 40% (see all the Avengers titles). In fact, when you include the titles having an increase for issue 2, some titles haven’t even had a decrease of 10% in two issues! Great accomplishment.

    Hoping Birds of Prey doesn’t get a creative change. Its on the steeper end of those drops, but it is a great read, and one of my favorites of the new 52.

  39. @Jason – yeah, Krissy seems rather … different, doesn’t she. But then, she is young, female, and only digital for all of the new 52…. so she might be the ‘different’ DC wants… haha

  40. Bill K. says:

    I think Chris Hero has given us a perfect summary of the issue between Marc Oliver and some of his critics. It’s an engineering perspective vs. a business perspective. Something I’ve seen myself working with people with an engineering background assigned to new product launches. I think a lot of business and marketing people could use some of the statistical analysis and methodological rigor of the engineering folks. But the engineering types often ignore that we have historical data and understanding of human behavior that can be used to eliminate a lot of the uncertainty and eliminate some of the “variables” as irrelevant.

  41. Ah, I have figured out the problem, Chris — ordering comics is an Art, not a Science!

    -B

  42. Chris Hero says:

    Brian,

    Yep! I can agree with you there. I’ve never ordered comics and I’m not claiming to have a clue how to accurately read customers. So, the art of it is lost on me. ^_^

    Bill,

    Engineers are an odd sort. We’re all compulsive in some ways and while some of us do work with historical data, the idea of a variable being irrelevant is heresy!

  43. Chris Hero says:

    I should be quiet, but I had all these thoughts and I find you guys to be great conversation….

    Statistical analysis does take in historical data. Analysis is about observing trends and trying to predict what comes next using math models. So, the variable of how much the numbers are off by from actual orders is irrelevant because the numbers are off by the same amount each month.

    I can talk about statistical analysis all day, but I’ll save anyone who reads this. Nate Silver uses it to predict political results and before that, he would use it to predict baseball performance to predict something like the success of right handed batters in the 3rd inning with 1 out versus a left handed pitcher that predominately throws curve balls.

    To tie that back into comics, I believe the performance of any title at a particular chart position can be predicted within a slim margin of error. Well, that works as long as market conditions stay more or less constant. Like the comic charts eventually reflected the economic recession. There was lag because comics are pre-ordered based on retailers predicting the market.

    Returnability introduces a variable that isn’t constant for everyone. It’s not constant for all the publishers and it’s not constant for all the comics published by DC. Saying all “sane” retailers would not do something isn’t a good enough reason to take out a variable because what’s “sane?”

    All the retailer input on here is always fascinating to me. While I don’t think the DM on the whole deserves economic protection from digital, I also don’t think there aren’t good retailers with valuable insight. So, retailers who think this is a success for them – best possible news!

    But Marc-Oliver says it’s a failure based on the numbers we’ve seen so far compared to the size of the market before the new 52 and I can understand that, too.

    But, as a statistician, I can’t agree with an overall verdict yet because there are too many variables in play. The market changes need to settle in first.

  44. AfterHours Al™ says:

    Thanks for the numbers and the analysis.

    I still buy Batman Odyssey, which I find has finally found its direction.

    I enjoy Animal Man each month.

    I have stopped purchasing All Star Western. I am not enjoying Jonah Hex’s stay in Gotham any more than he is. Jonah: don’t hang around there, it’s the first step in them gettin’ ya into a superhero uniform.

  45. Chris,

    As a historian (and a retailer), we don’t believe in the independent variable.

    So I think Brian’s point that the returnable books are dropping more substantially combined with retailer conjecture is evidence enough (and that is all we ever have is evidence enough) that retailers stopped depending on returnability with issue #3. We had solid numbers for the first month of issue one and week one sales of issue two. We all have our percentages that we order of #3s based on what we sold of #1.

  46. Chris Hero says:

    Regan,

    Not believing in variables affecting statistical analysis is like not believing in gravity because gravity is only theoretical. You can do that, but if you do, we’re having different conversations.

    This column is all about sales numbers each month and how they compare to previous months. The very nature of the column opens the topic to statistical analysis. I don’t need your approval to do statistical analysis and I don’t have to agree with anything you chose to believe in or not believe in.

    I was just trying to share my enthusiasm of statistical analysis and explain it in layman’s terms. I’m not trying to win an argument.

  47. Chris, at what point does a variable become insignificant? Who letters a comic book is a variable, but does anyone consider it a significant one? Brian and other retailers here arguing that returnability was not a major factor in their ordering of the third month books is not the same as them arguing that returnability is not a variable…just that it is not a significant one.

  48. Kentucky Fried Horse says:

    Without having read the comments after the analysis, I’d just like to say that Marc’s comments about Firestorm’s massive dropoff made me laugh. A lot. This abortion of a title is the main reason I’ve dropped all mainstream DC Universe titles.

  49. Chris Hero says:

    RJT,

    I guess it depends how deep you want the analysis to go. I mean, if we really wanted to, we could build a model around letters and see how often certain letterers pop up in books in the top 300 and how much that would affect sales.

    My point is more looking at sales numbers on the whole, what variables are consistent and what variables are not? Changes in creative teams are consistent. So, whatever changes different letterers have are always reflected in the charts every month. It’s factored into something us nerds call standard derivation and it accounts for variables we know are going to be in the numbers every month. The goal is to get the standard derivation number as small as possible.

    Anyway, with the New 52, there were several huge variables introduced at one time – the reboot, or restarting all the numbering, the changes to the content, the deep discounts on some books, and the returnability on some books. Any one of those variables has the potential to heavily affect the monthly orders and none of them are constants in the monthly orders.

    So, if anything, I’m not including enough variables in my analysis. My analysis is flawed because I’m not including deep discounts, too. What I am saying is it’s hard to call the relaunch a success or a failure based on just the reboot because there are other variables in play with major potential to impact the monthly sales orders.

  50. PeterCSM730 says:

    The numbers and their corresponding comments left me a little confused this month so I’m wondering if I’m missing something or misreading things. Books shedding 8k to 9k readers in a month (like Suicide Squad and Stormwatch) were followed by positive comments about a small drop-off. And Green Arrow which lost 12k readers in a month and it’s sales for issue #3 are lower than the previous #3 of two years ago is said to be “holding up nicely, historically”. And a miniseries with a 20% drop off from first to second issue had a negative comments about it being a steep drop. That actually seems like a low to moderate drop between a first and second issue of a miniseries. Especially for a Huntress or Penguin mini.

  51. PeterCSM730 says:

    So, uh, Krissy, you want to get together some time and discuss our favorite Kindle books or whatever?

  52. Joe Field:

    “Say what you will about content—that’s always up for debate— but there’s just no way these numbers look bad when compared to what came before.”

    I agree, Joe, and I don’t think I’m suggesting otherwise. My point is that the numbers, as such, don’t suggest a notable influx of “new readers” at all, but rather a flashback to 2006.

    —–

    Scott:

    “Justice League, Batman, Action Comics, Flash and Green Lantern do NOT all have 1-in-25 variants. Since the launch of The New 52, The only title through issue #4 to have a 1-in-25 variant has been Justice League. The rest have had (in addition to the 1:200 variants) “match-to” variants.”

    Thanks for pointing this out. I copied that note from September and neglected to update it. I’ll correct the error in the next column.

    —–

    Brian Hibbs:

    “… and this is the first month ever I started to think ‘Marc-Oliver needs to stop writing these, he’s too jaded — and it shows!'”

    Brian, each new installment of your column has seemed kinda the same to me ever since around all the way back when you came home from the Civil War, so I guess we’re even!

    —–

    Chris Hero:

    “Marc-Oliver’s conclusion that it’s a failure makes sense, too, …”

    That’s not my conclusion at all.

    As I say IN THE VERY FIRST PARAGRAPH and explain a couple of paragraphs later, I think the “New 52″ launch is a tremendous success by direct-market standards.

    And I very much appreciate the reports from retailers, by the way. (Even Hibbs!) It’s additional information that helps to understand the market.

  53. Jason says:

    I think that the comment on variables is true. Ignoring the returnability how many stores ran specials that would increase the volume of books? For example I know of a local store that if you subrscribed and bought the the first three issues of the new DC books they would give you the fourth issue for free.

    While I am not saying that would inflate numbers, I am sure there were multiple programs like this retailers offered consumers that in aggrigate would likly have impacted or influenced their consumer buying and their ordering behavior. Once we get about a 8 to 9 months out I think the numbers will tell the true tale of how the launch did.

    Good that the numbers have held up so far and that more lapsed readers are back in shops. However I think that all the new 52 has done is shore of the DM while allowing digital out of the gate for same as date. If we go out a year or so from now I wouldn’t be surprised if large portions of day and date digital releases are not cheaper than the paper version.

  54. Sean W says:

    Is that Vol.2 debut for THUNDER AGENTS really so bad? It seems pretty good, really – it sells almost as much as Vol.1 #1, and gaining a few thousand readers from where it ended up only 2 months ago.

    I really expected Vol.2 #1 to be in the 9K area.

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