DC Comics Month-to-Month Sales: October 2012

by Marc-Oliver Frisch

As expected, DC Comics’s average and total comic-book unit sales were dropping again in October, in the wake of September’s zero-issue stunt. To be fair, though, it’s not a huge drop, and viewed over the last four months, the publisher’s averages continue to look sturdy.

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Thanks to a new round of crossovers — notably “Death of the Family” in the Batman line and “Rise of the Third Army” in the Green Lantern line — and Annuals, as well as continually strong sales from the expanding line of “digital-first” compilation titles, the pertinent figures remain well within the spectrum that’s been established following last year’s relaunch.

In terms of total dollar sales, there was even a slight increase from $9.08 million in September to $9.24 million in October, in fact, because DC increased its monthly number of new DC Universe titles. In October, it was 70 again — the second-highest monthly number of new DC Universe comic books since Diamond started providing data on actual sales in March 2003.

Overall, this means that DC has now released more than 64 new DC Universe titles on average per month since September 2011, which is more than in any other period. From March 2003 through 2006, the average monthly number of new DCU titles was 47; from 2007 through 2009, it rose to 52; from 2010 through August 2011, it went up to 57. So there’s been a very clear upwards trend here, and looking at the last few months, the monthly number of new DC Universe titles is still growing.

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

—–

N/A - DOMINIQUE LAVEAU: VOODOO CHILD (Vertigo)
03/2012: Dominique Laveau #1  -- 12,800
04/2012: Dominique Laveau #2  --  8,302 (-35.1%)
05/2012: Dominique Laveau #3  --  6,873 (-17.2%)
06/2012: Dominique Laveau #4  --  5,752 (-16.3%)
07/2012: Dominique Laveau #5  --  5,054 (-12.1%)
08/2012: Dominique Laveau #6  --  ?
09/2012: --
10/2012: Dominique Laveau #7  --  ?

Cancelled. The lowest-selling title Vertigo has had in a while missed the Diamond Top 300 altogether with its two final issues, meaning it must have sold fewer than 5,376 units in August and 5,161 or fewer units in October, because that’s what the No. 300 books sold.

In October, the No. 300 entry would place it before Dominique Laveau in the alphabet, so it’s technically possible that Dominique Laveau sold exactly as many units but was pushed off the chart anyway. Looking at the sales trajectory above, though, I’d say that’s highly unlikely.

—–

259 - GREEN LANTERN: THE ANIMATED SERIES (Johnny DC)
04/2012: GL: TAS #1 -- 12,791
05/2012: GL: TAS #2 --  9,615 (-24.8%)
06/2012: GL: TAS #3 --  8,716 (- 9.4%)
07/2012: GL: TAS #4 --  7,790 (-10.6%)
08/2012: GL: TAS #5 --  6,968 (-10.6%)
09/2012: GL: TAS #6 --  6,619 (- 5.0%)
10/2012: GL: TAS #7 --  6,516 (- 1.6%)
----------------
6 months: -49.1%

The book has found its level, apparently. It’s a good direct-market level for a Johnny DC book, the direct market being the place where you’ve also got all those other Green Lantern titles that have the beheadings and dismemberment and blood-vomiting and cuddly-space-aliens-on-spikes elements in addition to the Care Bears elements of the franchise, making them more popular among the mature male readership demographic.

Not this one, though, so these are good numbers.

—–

236 - SWEET TOOTH (Vertigo)
10/2009: Sweet Tooth #2  -- 11,315
10/2010: Sweet Tooth #14 --  8,933
----------------------------------
10/2011: Sweet Tooth #26 --  7,963 (+ 0.9%)
11/2011: Sweet Tooth #27 --  7,923 (- 0.5%)
12/2011: Sweet Tooth #28 --  7,699 (- 2.8%)
01/2012: Sweet Tooth #29 --  8,128 (+ 5.6%)
02/2012: Sweet Tooth #30 --  7,584 (- 6.7%)
03/2012: Sweet Tooth #31 --  7,541 (- 0.6%)
04/2012: Sweet Tooth #32 --  7,534 (- 0.1%)
05/2012: Sweet Tooth #33 --  7,631 (+ 1.3%)
06/2012: Sweet Tooth #34 --  7,689 (+ 0.8%)
07/2012: Sweet Tooth #35 --  7,558 (- 1.7%)
08/2012: Sweet Tooth #36 --  7,441 (- 1.6%)
09/2012: Sweet Tooth #37 --  7,333 (- 1.5%)
10/2012: Sweet Tooth #38 --  7,354 (+ 0.3%)
----------------
6 months: - 2.4%
1 year  : - 7.7%
2 years : -17.7%

Ending with issue #40, and it looks like sales will remain above the 7,000-unit mark for the remainder of the book’s run.

—–

230 - SAUCER COUNTRY (Vertigo)
03/2012: Saucer Country #1  -- 15,684
04/2012: Saucer Country #2  -- 11,263 (-28.2%)
05/2012: Saucer Country #3  -- 10,656 (- 5.4%)
06/2012: Saucer Country #4  --  9,959 (- 6.5%)
07/2012: Saucer Country #5  --  9,470 (- 4.9%)
08/2012: Saucer Country #6  --  8,700 (- 8.1%)
09/2012: Saucer Country #7  --  8,152 (- 6.3%)
10/2012: Saucer Country #8  --  7,557 (- 7.3%)
----------------
6 months: -32.9%

Clearly not levelling out yet. The first paperback collection came out in November, so a decision on the book’s future — or lack thereof — probably isn’t far away. Writer Paul Cornell has evidently left the DC Universe line behind and signed on for a major new Marvel project, meanwhile.

—–

229 - YOUNG JUSTICE (Johnny DC)
10/2011: Young Justice #9  --  7,737 (- 2.4%)
11/2011: Young Justice #10 --  7,650 (- 1.1%)
12/2011: Young Justice #11 --  7,221 (- 5.6%)
01/2012: Young Justice #12 --  7,288 (+ 0.9%)
02/2012: Young Justice #13 --  7,237 (- 0.7%)
03/2012: Young Justice #14 --  7,241 (+ 0.1%)
04/2012: Young Justice #15 --  7,273 (+ 0.4%)
05/2012: Young Justice #16 --  7,466 (+ 2.7%)
06/2012: Young Justice #17 --  7,459 (- 0.1%)
07/2012: Young Justice #18 --  7,458 (- 0.0%)
08/2012: Young Justice #19 --  7,375 (- 1.1%)
09/2012: Young Justice #20 --  7,515 (+ 1.9%)
10/2012: Young Justice #21 --  7,558 (+ 0.6%)
----------------
6 months: + 3.9%
1 year  : - 2.3%

Once again, decent direct-market sales for a Johnny DC title.

—–

224 - THE NEW DEADWARDIANS (Vertigo)
03/2012: New Deadwardians #1 of 8 -- 14,530
04/2012: New Deadwardians #2 of 8 -- 10,229 (-29.6%)
05/2012: New Deadwardians #3 of 8 --  9,594 (- 6.2%)
06/2012: New Deadwardians #4 of 8 --  9,124 (- 4.9%)
07/2012: New Deadwardians #5 of 8 --  8,784 (- 3.7%)
08/2012: New Deadwardians #6 of 8 --  8,383 (- 4.6%)
09/2012: New Deadwardians #7 of 8 --  8,080 (- 3.6%)
10/2012: New Deadwardians #8 of 8 --  7,790 (- 3.6%)
----------------
6 months: -23.8%

And this is as good as it gets for a Vertigo project of this type, these days, I suppose.

—–

215 - SUPERMAN FAMILY ADVENTURES (Johnny DC)
05/2012: Superman Family Adventures #1  -- 13,303
06/2012: Superman Family Adventures #2  -- 10,137 (-23.8%)
07/2012: Superman Family Adventures #3  --  9,246 (- 8.8%)
08/2012: Superman Family Adventures #4  --  8,925 (- 3.5%)
09/2012: Superman Family Adventures #5  --  8,572 (- 4.0%)
10/2012: Superman Family Adventures #6  --  8,450 (- 1.4%)

Another Johnny DC book with perfectly respectable direct-market sales.

—–

210 - THE UNWRITTEN (Vertigo)
10/2009: The Unwritten #6  -- 15,314
10/2010: The Unwritten #18 -- 12,273
------------------------------------
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%)
12/2011: The Unwritten #32 -- 10,073 (- 1.1%)
12/2011: The Unwritten #.5 --  9,759 (- 3.1%)
01/2012: The Unwritten #33 --  9,888 (+ 1.3%)
01/2012: The Unwritten #.5 --  9,483 (- 4.1%)
02/2012: The Unwritten #34 --  9,789 (+ 3.2%)
02/2012: The Unwritten #.5 --  9,595 (- 2.0%)
03/2012: The Unwritten #35 --  9,675 (+ 0.8%)
03/2012: The Unwritten #.5 --  9,529 (- 1.5%)
04/2012: The Unwritten #36 --  9,678 (+ 1.6%)
05/2012: The Unwritten #37 --  9,549 (- 1.3%)
06/2012: The Unwritten #38 --  9,494 (- 0.6%)
07/2012: The Unwritten #39 --  9,478 (- 0.2%)
08/2012: The Unwritten #40 --  9,127 (- 3.7%)
09/2012: The Unwritten #41 --  8,943 (- 2.0%)
10/2012: The Unwritten #42 --  8,881 (- 0.7%)
----------------
6 months: - 8.2%
1 year  : -15.3%
2 years : -27.6%

Another ongoing Vertigo title with sales well below the 10K mark, but also one of the three current ones whose paperback collections register at all on the bookstore charts.

Presumably, the latter is the reason for the former, but given DC management’s recent zeal to cull the weak, there’s ample reason to be skeptical on the book’s prospects; the next one, higher up in the chain, is American Vampire, at 15K, and anything else except the very recently launched Saucer Country has already been axed.

—–

205 - HELLBLAZER (Vertigo)
10/2007: Hellblazer #237 -- 12,703
10/2008: Hellblazer #248 -- 11,600
10/2009: Hellblazer #260 -- 10,767
10/2010: Hellblazer #272 --  9,650
----------------------------------
10/2011: Hellblazer #284 --  9,608 (+0.1%)
11/2011: Hellblazer #285 --  9,500 (-1.1%)
12/2011: Hellblazer #286 --  9,404 (-1.0%)
01/2012: Hellblazer #287 --  9,368 (-0.4%)
02/2012: Hellblazer #288 --  9,553 (+2.0%)
03/2012: Hellblazer #289 --  9,363 (-2.0%)
04/2012: Hellblazer #290 --  9,472 (+1.2%)
05/2012: Hellblazer #291 --  9,426 (-0.5%)
06/2012: Hellblazer #292 --  9,533 (+1.1%)
07/2012: Hellblazer #293 --  9,247 (-3.0%)
08/2012: Hellblazer #294 --  9,396 (+1.6%)
09/2012: Hellblazer #295 --  9,143 (-2.7%)
10/2012: Hellblazer #296 --  9,255 (+1.2%)
----------------
6 months: - 2.3%
1 year  : - 3.7%
2 years : - 4.1%
5 years : -27.1%

Cancelled with issue #300, to be relaunched as a mainstream DC Universe title. (Told you so.) In the short term, that’s likely to give the book a good sales boost, so I can certainly see why the idea must have seemed appealing to DC’s management.

On the other hand, it seems like a very odd decision, in the same sense that most other decisions the company has been making — relaunching their line without really starting over; almost immediately falling back on hardcore comics-market strategies like crossovers rather than to try to attract and cultivate new readers; the whole Before Watchmen nonsense — have seemed odd. These are all good short-term decisions, but in the context of a long-term market strategy, they only make sense if you’ve long abandoned hope that new readers can still be drawn into comic-book stores.

Also, in the case of Hellblazer in particular, which has been a modest but very steady performer for a very long time, the relaunch raises a couple of questions. How likely is it for the new DC Universe Constantine title to stick around longer than a year or two? And how profitable have Hellblazer sales really been, if DC is now willing to pull the plug on a slow but steady seller and roll the dice on a relaunch?

Overall, the notion that ongoing Vertigo titles may be on their way out for good, at least as far as print is concerned, doesn’t seem too outlandish anymore. Vertigo does have projects in the pipeline that are sure to be commercially successful — names like Neil Gaiman and Scott Snyder guarantee as much. But they’re all limited series and one-shot projects.

Ultimately, whatever happens with Vertigo might serve as a hint for DC Comics as a whole. In the last 25 years, DC has used Vertigo (even before it existed officially as an imprint) and WildStorm to grow talent and create properties that gave them a foothold in the bookstore market. With WildStorm long gone, it may be time to pay closer attention to Vertigo to find out just how valuable DC Comics as a whole still is to Warner.

After all, they already have Batman and Superman and the Justice League, and they probably make more money on a single new Batman film than DC Comics does in 10 years. Warner doesn’t need a comics-publishing operation to be able to keep doing that. They just need a comics-publishing operation if they’re genuinely interested in new properties, and those are most likely to originate with a healthy Vertigo imprint.

—–

197 - G.I. COMBAT
05/2012: G.I. Combat #1  -- 33,740
06/2012: G.I. Combat #2  -- 19,002 (-43.7%)
07/2012: G.I. Combat #3  -- 14,359 (-24.4%)
08/2012: G.I. Combat #4  -- 11,797 (-17.8%)
09/2012: G.I. Combat #0  -- 14,072 (+19.3%)
10/2012: G.I. Combat #5  -- 10,526 (-25.2%)

Cancelled with issue #7. The book was part of the “second wave” of “New 52″ titles, meaning that the only reason it exists in the first place is that there was one before it that sold so poorly they had to cancel it, and they hoped that this one was going to do better.

—–

196 - PHANTOM LADY
08/2012: Phantom Lady #1 of 4 -- 17,043
09/2012: Phantom Lady #2 of 4 -- 12,653 (-25.8%)
10/2012: Phantom Lady #3 of 4 -- 10,535 (-16.7%)

Abysmal figures for a DC Universe miniseries, but this is still a type of book that the company wants to make more of.

—–

185 - GRIFTER
10/2011: Grifter #2  -- 39,900 (- 3.2%)
11/2011: Grifter #3  -- 29,802 (-25.3%)
12/2011: Grifter #4  -- 22,486 (-24.6%)
01/2012: Grifter #5  -- 20,060 (-10.8%)
02/2012: Grifter #6  -- 18,057 (-10.0%)
03/2012: Grifter #7  -- 16,559 (- 8.3%)
04/2012: Grifter #8  -- 15,686 (- 5.3%)
05/2012: Grifter #9  -- 15,228 (- 2.9%)
06/2012: Grifter #10 -- 14,258 (- 6.4%)
07/2012: Grifter #11 -- 13,382 (- 6.1%)
08/2012: Grifter #12 -- 12,400 (- 7.3%)
09/2012: Grifter #0  -- 15,751 (+27.0%)
10/2012: Grifter #13 -- 12,142 (-22.9%)
----------------
6 months: -22.6%
1 year  : -69.6%

This is one of four “New 52″ titles cancelled in February 2013 with issue #16 each. As of October, there are five more “New 52″ titles that sell below the highest-selling of those four, but are still officially ongoing. With a character library as large as DC’s, I’m sure they’re unlikely to run out of replacement properties anytime soon, though.

—–

184 - NATIONAL COMICS
07/2012: Eternity #1       -- 17,587
08/2012: Looker #1         -- 13,475 (-23.4%)
09/2012: Rose and Thorn #1 -- 12,859 (- 4.6%)
10/2012: Madame X #1       -- 12,231 (- 4.9%)

No further issues have been solicited to date, and the sales don’t suggest that this is a series DC might be eager to continue.

—–

182 - PUNK ROCK JESUS (Vertigo)
07/2012: Punk Rock Jesus #1 of 5 -- 14,571
08/2012: Punk Rock Jesus #2 of 5 -- 11,936 (-18.1%)
09/2012: Punk Rock Jesus #3 of 5 -- 11,962 (+ 0.2%)
10/2012: Punk Rock Jesus #4 of 5 -- 12,378 (+ 3.5%)

It’s only 400 units and change, but content-driven sales increases are rare enough for it to be well worth mentioning. Vertigo have already announced another project with Sean Gordon Murphy’s involvement. Good for them.

—–

181 - LOT 13
10/2012: Lot 13 #1 of 5 -- 12,476

A horror title by Steve Niles and Glenn Fabry. A few years ago, no doubt this would have been a WildStorm book. The numbers are solid for this type of thing, by DC standards.

—–

176 - BLUE BEETLE
10/2007: Blue Beetle #20 -- 27,611
10/2008: Blue Beetle #32 -- 11,828
----------------------------------
10/2011: Blue Beetle #2  -- 39,396 (-11.4%)
11/2011: Blue Beetle #3  -- 27,612 (-29.9%)
12/2011: Blue Beetle #4  -- 21,408 (-22.5%)
01/2012: Blue Beetle #5  -- 19,042 (-11.1%)
02/2012: Blue Beetle #6  -- 17,034 (-10.6%)
03/2012: Blue Beetle #7  -- 15,780 (- 7.4%)
04/2012: Blue Beetle #8  -- 15,180 (- 3.8%)
05/2012: Blue Beetle #9  -- 16,607 (+ 9.4%)
06/2012: Blue Beetle #10 -- 14,413 (-13.2%)
07/2012: Blue Beetle #11 -- 13,923 (- 3.4%)
08/2012: Blue Beetle #12 -- 13,325 (- 4.3%)
09/2012: Blue Beetle #0  -- 16,888 (+26.7%)
10/2012: Blue Beetle #13 -- 13,141 (-22.2%)
-----------------
6 months: - 13.4%
1 year  : - 66.6%
5 years : - 52.4%

Cancelled with issue #16.

—–

175 - AMERICAN VAMPIRE: LORD OF NIGHTMARES (Vertigo)
06/2012: Lord of Nightmares #1 of 5  -- 15,858
07/2012: Lord of Nightmares #2 of 5  -- 14,412 (-9.1%)
08/2012: Lord of Nightmares #3 of 5  -- 13,872 (-3.8%)
09/2012: Lord of Nightmares #4 of 5  -- 13,472 (-2.9%)-p
10/2012: Lord of Nightmares #5 of 5  -- 13,235 (-1.8%)

More than decent sales by Vertigo standards, but probably not the best use of Scott Snyder’s time anymore.

Why waste him on a book like this one when he could be writing the next Salvation Run or Amazon Attacks?

—–

171 - THE FURY OF FIRESTORM: THE NUCLEAR MEN
10/2011: Firestorm #2  -- 43,990 (-14.6%)
11/2011: Firestorm #3  -- 31,654 (-28.0%)
12/2011: Firestorm #4  -- 25,610 (-19.1%)
01/2012: Firestorm #5  -- 21,329 (-16.7%)
02/2012: Firestorm #6  -- 19,162 (-10.2%)
03/2012: Firestorm #7  -- 17,786 (- 7.2%)
04/2012: Firestorm #8  -- 17,076 (- 4.0%)
05/2012: Firestorm #9  -- 17,240 (+ 1.0%)
06/2012: Firestorm #10 -- 15,789 (- 8.4%)
07/2012: Firestorm #11 -- 14,931 (- 5.4%)
08/2012: Firestorm #12 -- 14,137 (- 5.3%)
09/2012: Firestorm #0  -- 17,279 (+22.2%)
10/2012: Firestorm #13 -- 13,460 (-22.1%)
----------------
6 months: -21.2%
1 year  : -69.4%

The lowest-selling “New 52″ title that hasn’t been axed yet, and one of 10 “New 52″ titles total that haven’t been axed but have sales below the 20K mark. I wonder what’s going to replace all those next year.

Captain Carrot, to the rescue?

—–

168 - I, VAMPIRE
10/2011: I, Vampire #2  -- 34,599 (-12.8%)
11/2011: I, Vampire #3  -- 26,070 (-24.7%)
12/2011: I, Vampire #4  -- 21,601 (-17.1%)
01/2012: I, Vampire #5  -- 18,816 (-12.9%)
02/2012: I, Vampire #6  -- 18,153 (- 3.5%)
03/2012: I, Vampire #7  -- 18,440 (+ 1.6%)
04/2012: I, Vampire #8  -- 18,717 (+ 1.5%)
05/2012: I, Vampire #9  -- 17,175 (- 8.2%)
06/2012: I, Vampire #10 -- 16,517 (- 3.8%)
07/2012: I, Vampire #11 -- 15,734 (- 4.7%)
08/2012: I, Vampire #12 -- 14,788 (- 6.0%)
09/2012: I, Vampire #0  -- 17,920 (+21.2%)
10/2012: I, Vampire #13 -- 14,260 (-20.4%)
----------------
6 months: -23.8%
1 year  : -58.8%

In theory, DC may be more willing to keep this one around despite low sales, since it’s one of the few non-superhero DC Universe books — see Jonah Hex.

In practice, though, I, Vampire sales would have to level out pretty quickly for this to happen.

—–

165 - DC UNIVERSE PRESENTS
10/2011: DCU Presents #2  -- 41,584 (- 9.0%)
11/2011: DCU Presents #3  -- 31,019 (-25.4%)
12/2011: DCU Presents #4  -- 24,398 (-21.4%)
01/2012: DCU Presents #5  -- 22,048 (- 9.6%)
02/2012: DCU Presents #6  -- 20,188 (- 8.4%)
03/2012: DCU Presents #7  -- 17,830 (-11.7%)
04/2012: DCU Presents #8  -- 16,566 (- 7.1%)
05/2012: DCU Presents #9  -- 15,776 (- 4.8%)
06/2012: DCU Presents #10 -- 14,310 (- 9.3%)
07/2012: DCU Presents #11 -- 13,619 (- 4.8%)
08/2012: DCU Presents #12 -- 15,138 (+11.2%)
09/2012: DCU Presents #0  -- 17,528 (+15.8%)
10/2012: DCU Presents #13 -- 14,405 (-17.8%)
----------------
6 months: -13.1%
1 year  : -65.4%

Writer Mark Andreyko gets to revamp Black Lightning and Blue Devil in a new arc, resulting in sales still slightly better than those of the June and July issues.

—–

162 - THE SAVAGE HAWKMAN
10/2011: Savage Hawkman #2  -- 47,763 (-14.6%)
11/2011: Savage Hawkman #3  -- 35,177 (-26.4%)
12/2011: Savage Hawkman #4  -- 28,263 (-19.7%)
01/2012: Savage Hawkman #5  -- 23,967 (-15.2%)
02/2012: Savage Hawkman #6  -- 21,316 (-11.1%)
03/2012: Savage Hawkman #7  -- 19,433 (- 8.8%)
04/2012: Savage Hawkman #8  -- 18,300 (- 5.8%)
05/2012: Savage Hawkman #9  -- 17,626 (- 3.7%)
06/2012: Savage Hawkman #10 -- 16,417 (- 6.9%)
07/2012: Savage Hawkman #11 -- 15,460 (- 5.8%)
08/2012: Savage Hawkman #12 -- 14,745 (- 4.6%)
09/2012: Savage Hawkman #0  -- 18,750 (+27.2%)
10/2012: Savage Hawkman #13 -- 14,763 (-21.3%)
----------------
6 months: -19.3%
1 year  : -69.1%

Another “New 52″ title selling at a level that has to be well below what DC is comfortable with. In fairness, sales are still higher than they were in August — by, um, 18 units.

—–

161 - JOE KUBERT PRESENTS
10/2012: Joe Kubert Presents #1 of 6 -- 14,842

A new anthology series with work by the late comics legend Joe Kubert, who passed away on August 12 and remains best known at DC Comics for his groundbreaking work on J. Michael Straczynski’s Before Watchmen: Nite Owl.

—–

159 - AMERICAN VAMPIRE (Vertigo)
10/2010: American Vampire #7  -- 21,910
---------------------------------------
10/2011: --
11/2011: American Vampire #20 -- 15,685 (+ 2.6%)
12/2011: American Vampire #21 -- 15,026 (- 4.2%)
12/2011: American Vampire #22 -- 14,759 (- 1.8%)
01/2012: American Vampire #23 -- 14,240 (- 3.5%)
02/2012: American Vampire #24 -- 14,278 (+ 0.3%)
03/2012: American Vampire #25 -- 14,598 (+ 2.2%)
04/2012: American Vampire #26 -- 14,493 (- 0.7%)
05/2012: American Vampire #27 -- 14,420 (- 0.5%)
06/2012: American Vampire #28 -- 15,573 (+ 8.0%)
07/2012: American Vampire #29 -- 15,324 (- 1.6%)
08/2012: American Vampire #30 -- 15,081 (- 1.6%)
09/2012: American Vampire #31 -- 14,796 (- 1.9%)
10/2012: American Vampire #32 -- 14,857 (+ 0.4%)
----------------
6 months: + 2.5%
1 year  :  n.a.
2 years : -32.2%

Holding level. There was a 1:10 variant edition, as usual. American Vampire goes on hiatus after issue #34, which may be one more hint regarding Vertigo’s standing among DC Entertainment executives. The imprint’s slow-but-steady, backlist-building approach is no longer cutting it.

—–

157 - DEATHSTROKE
10/2011: Deathstroke #2  -- 44,647 (- 5.1%)
11/2011: Deathstroke #3  -- 33,754 (-24.4%)
12/2011: Deathstroke #4  -- 26,367 (-21.9%)
01/2012: Deathstroke #5  -- 23,872 (- 9.5%)
02/2012: Deathstroke #6  -- 21,306 (-10.8%)
03/2012: Deathstroke #7  -- 19,744 (- 7.3%)
04/2012: Deathstroke #8  -- 18,834 (- 4.6%)
05/2012: Deathstroke #9  -- 20,878 (+10.9%)
06/2012: Deathstroke #10 -- 19,722 (- 5.5%)
07/2012: Deathstroke #11 -- 17,107 (-13.3%)
08/2012: Deathstroke #12 -- 16,772 (- 2.0%)
09/2012: Deathstroke #0  -- 20,796 (+24.0%)
10/2012: Deathstroke #13 -- 15,078 (-27.5%)
----------------
6 months: -19.9%
1 year  : -66.2%

This “New 52″ title is still officially ongoing, as I’m writing this.

—–

154 - LEGION LOST
10/2011: Legion Lost #2  -- 42,650 (- 8.0%)
11/2011: Legion Lost #3  -- 31,226 (-26.8%)
12/2011: Legion Lost #4  -- 24,020 (-23.1%)
01/2012: Legion Lost #5  -- 21,549 (-10.3%)
02/2012: Legion Lost #6  -- 19,447 (- 9.8%)
03/2012: Legion Lost #7  -- 18,214 (- 6.3%)
04/2012: Legion Lost #8  -- 17,984 (- 1.3%)
05/2012: Legion Lost #9  -- 23,794 (+32.3%)
06/2012: Legion Lost #10 -- 17,581 (-26.1%)
07/2012: Legion Lost #11 -- 17,037 (- 3.1%)
08/2012: Legion Lost #12 -- 16,066 (- 5.7%)
09/2012: Legion Lost #0  -- 18,786 (+16.9%)
10/2012: Legion Lost #13 -- 15,377 (-18.2%)
----------------
6 months: -14.5%
1 year  : -64.0%

Cancelled with issue #16.

—–

147 - FRANKENSTEIN: AGENT OF S.H.A.D.E.
10/2011: Frankenstein #2          -- 40,423 (- 2.7%)
11/2011: Frankenstein #3          -- 31,869 (-21.2%)
12/2011: Frankenstein #4          -- 24,812 (-22.1%)
01/2012: Frankenstein #5          -- 22,737 (- 8.4%)
02/2012: Frankenstein #6          -- 20,463 (-10.0%)
03/2012: Frankenstein #7          -- 18,891 (- 7.7%)
04/2012: Frankenstein #8          -- 17,953 (- 5.0%)
05/2012: Frankenstein #9          -- 17,266 (- 3.8%)
06/2012: Frankenstein #10         -- 16,377 (- 5.2%)
07/2012: Frankenstein #11         -- 15,635 (- 4.5%)
08/2012: Frankenstein #12         -- 14,679 (- 6.1%)
09/2012: Frankenstein #0          -- 18,122 (+23.5%)
10/2012: Frankenstein #13         -- 16,501 (- 9.0%)
----------------
6 months: - 8.1%
1 year  : -59.2%

Sales remain solidly above the August figure thanks to the “Rotworld” crossover. Still axed with issue #16, though.

—–

146 - FABLES (Vertigo)
10/2007: Fables #66  -- 25,016
10/2008: Fables #77  -- 23,761
10/2009: Fables #89  -- 21,118
10/2010: Fables #99  -- 19,656
------------------------------
10/2011: Fables #110 -- 18,109 (+ 0.2%)
11/2011: Fables #111 -- 17,687 (- 2.3%)
12/2011: Fables #112 -- 17,602 (- 0.5%)
01/2012: Fables #113 -- 17,588 (- 0.1%)
02/2012: Fables #114 -- 17,374 (- 1.2%)
03/2012: Fables #115 -- 17,384 (+ 0.1%)
04/2012: Fables #116 -- 17,543 (+ 0.9%)
05/2012: Fables #117 -- 17,484 (- 0.3%)
06/2012: Fables #118 -- 18,566 (+ 6.2%)
07/2012: Fables #119 -- 17,110 (- 7.8%)
08/2012: Fables #120 -- 16,704 (- 2.4%)
09/2012: Fables #121 -- 16,596 (- 0.7%)
10/2012: Fables #122 -- 16,513 (- 0.5%)
----------------
6 months: - 5.9%
1 year  : - 8.8%
2 years : -16.0%
5 years : -34.0%

Steady sales.

—–

145 - GHOSTS (Vertigo)
05/2011: Strange Adventures #1  --  9,999
10/2011: The Unexpected #1      -- 10,416
05/2012: Mystery in Space #1    -- 11,184
-----------------------------------------
10/2012: Ghosts #1              -- 16,574

That’s a surprisingly good number for Vertigo’s latest $7.99 anthology one-shot. The book has a pretty good line-up — including Paul Pope, Jeff Lemire, Gilbert Hernandez and Phil Jimenez — and a 1:10 variant-cover edition, but so did previous issues. Maybe the fact that Ghosts includes some of Joe Kubert’s final work made the difference here.

—–

143 - DEMON KNIGHTS
10/2011: Demon Knights #2  -- 42,230 (+ 1.5%)
11/2011: Demon Knights #3  -- 34,681 (-17.9%)
12/2011: Demon Knights #4  -- 28,109 (-19.0%)
01/2012: Demon Knights #5  -- 25,823 (- 8.1%)
02/2012: Demon Knights #6  -- 23,476 (- 9.1%)
03/2012: Demon Knights #7  -- 22,000 (- 6.3%)
04/2012: Demon Knights #8  -- 21,124 (- 4.0%)
05/2012: Demon Knights #9  -- 20,196 (- 4.4%)
06/2012: Demon Knights #10 -- 19,005 (- 5.9%)
07/2012: Demon Knights #11 -- 18,201 (- 4.2%)
08/2012: Demon Knights #12 -- 17,295 (- 5.0%)
09/2012: Demon Knights #0  -- 20,474 (+18.4%)
10/2012: Demon Knights #13 -- 16,805 (-17.9%)
----------------
6 months: -20.5%
1 year  : -60.2%

A new writer is slated to take over with issue #16, bafflingly. If they really succeed in keeping this book going for more than six months after Paul Cornell’s departure, I’ll be impressed. I’m more inclined to suspect that the post-Cornell issues are just to wind things down until a replacement title is ready, though.

—–

141 - BATWING
10/2011: Batwing #2  -- 42,750 (- 7.0%)
11/2011: Batwing #3  -- 35,110 (-17.9%)
12/2011: Batwing #4  -- 26,726 (-23.9%)
01/2012: Batwing #5  -- 24,036 (-10.1%)
02/2012: Batwing #6  -- 21,643 (-10.0%)
03/2012: Batwing #7  -- 21,058 (- 2.7%)
04/2012: Batwing #8  -- 20,373 (- 3.3%)
05/2012: Batwing #9  -- 35,731 (+75.4%)
06/2012: Batwing #10 -- 20,724 (-42.0%)
07/2012: Batwing #11 -- 20,047 (- 3.3%)
08/2012: Batwing #12 -- 18,279 (- 8.8%)
09/2012: Batwing #0  -- 22,135 (+21.1%)
10/2012: Batwing #13 -- 17,166 (-22.5%)
----------------
6 months: -15.7%
1 year  : -59.9%

Another low-selling “New 52″ title with a creative-team change around the corner. See above.

—–

139 - STORMWATCH
10/2007: StormWatch: PHD #12  -- 10,011
10/2008: StormWatch: PHD #15  --  7,411
---------------------------------------
10/2011: Stormwatch #2        -- 47,520 (+ 2.4%)
11/2011: Stormwatch #3        -- 39,262 (-17.4%)
12/2011: Stormwatch #4        -- 30,987 (-21.1%)
01/2012: Stormwatch #5        -- 29,112 (- 6.1%)
02/2012: Stormwatch #6        -- 26,076 (-10.4%)
03/2012: Stormwatch #7        -- 24,384 (- 6.5%)
04/2012: Stormwatch #8        -- 23,212 (- 4.8%)
05/2012: Stormwatch #9        -- 22,448 (- 3.3%)
06/2012: Stormwatch #10       -- 20,592 (- 8.3%)
07/2012: Stormwatch #11       -- 19,678 (- 4.4%)
08/2012: Stormwatch #12       -- 18,531 (- 5.8%)
09/2012: Stormwatch #0        -- 21,764 (+17.5%)
10/2012: Stormwatch #13       -- 17,621 (-19.0%)
-----------------
6 months: - 24.1%
1 year  : - 62.9%
5 years : + 76.0%

You know the drill: below 20K, still declining fast.

—–

135 - HE-MAN AND THE MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE
07/2012: He-Man #1  -- 27,665
08/2012: --
09/2012: He-Man #2  -- 19,737 (-28.7%)
10/2012: He-Man #3  -- 18,269 (- 7.4%)

Levelling out, evidently.

—–

134 - FAIREST (Vertigo)
03/2012: Fairest #1  -- 31,769
04/2012: Fairest #2  -- 22,997 (-27.6%)
05/2012: Fairest #3  -- 22,329 (- 2.9%)
06/2012: Fairest #4  -- 21,156 (- 5.3%)
07/2012: Fairest #5  -- 20,371 (- 3.7%)
08/2012: Fairest #6  -- 19,446 (- 4.5%)
09/2012: Fairest #7  -- 18,626 (- 4.2%)
10/2012: Fairest #8  -- 18,376 (- 1.3%)
----------------
6 months: -20.1%

A pleasant surprise for Vertigo: There’s not much of a drop-off at all for the first issue of the title’s second arc that, crucially, doesn’t involve original creators Willingham or Jimenez.

—–

133 - MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE: ORIGIN OF SKELETOR
10/2012: MotU: OoS #1  -- 18,420

It must be a great time for comics when Frazer Irving is drawing Skeletor stories. To be honest, though, these are better sales than, say, a new Morrison/Irving vehicle at Vertigo would likely have seen.

—–

132 - THE LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES
10/2007: Supergirl & LoSH #35 -- 27,370
10/2008: LoSH #47             -- 23,751
10/2010: LoSH #6              -- 30,246
---------------------------------------
10/2011: LoSH #2              -- 47,227 (-  6.3%)
11/2011: LoSH #3              -- 34,979 (- 25.9%)
12/2011: LoSH #4              -- 27,832 (- 20.4%)
01/2012: LoSH #5              -- 25,624 (-  7.9%)
02/2012: LoSH #6              -- 23,428 (-  8.6%)
03/2012: LoSH #7              -- 21,894 (-  6.6%)
04/2012: LoSH #8              -- 21,457 (-  2.0%)
05/2012: LoSH #9              -- 20,854 (-  2.8%)
06/2012: LoSH #10             -- 19,963 (-  4.3%)
07/2012: LoSH #11             -- 19,421 (-  2.7%)
08/2012: LoSH #12             -- 18,907 (-  2.7%)
09/2012: LoSH #0              -- 21,561 (+ 14.0%)
10/2012: LoSH #13             -- 18,487 (- 14.3%)
-----------------
6 months: - 13.8%
1 year  : - 60.9%
2 years : - 38.9%
5 years : - 32.5%

A “New 52″ title that’s still ongoing, and still in decline.

—–

131 - RAVAGERS
05/2012: Ravagers #1  -- 44,230
06/2012: Ravagers #2  -- 31,128 (-29.6%)
07/2012: Ravagers #3  -- 24,963 (-19.8%)
08/2012: Ravagers #4  -- 20,730 (-17.0%)
09/2012: Ravagers #0  -- 22,437 (+ 8.2%)
10/2012: Ravagers #5  -- 18,656 (-16.9%)

There’s a creative-team change coming up for Ravagers. I’m sure that’ll turn things around.

—–

127 - SMALLVILLE SEASON 11
05/2012: Smallville S11 #1  -- 27,004
06/2012: Smallville S11 #2  -- 22,468 (-16.8%)
07/2012: Smallville S11 #3  -- 20,864 (- 7.1%)
08/2012: Smallville S11 #4  -- 19,861 (- 4.8%)
09/2012: Smallville S11 #5  -- 19,499 (- 1.8%)
10/2012: Smallville S11 #6  -- 19,663 (+ 0.8%)

This is the lowest-selling of DC’s quickly expanding line of “digital-first” compilations. Rock-solid figures.

—–

125 - BATMAN BEYOND UNLIMITED
02/2012: Unlimited #1          -- 26,589 (+21.8%) [30,683]
03/2012: Unlimited #2          -- 23,570 (-11.4%)
04/2012: Unlimited #3          -- 24,196 (+ 2.7%)
05/2012: Unlimited #4          -- 24,356 (+ 0.7%)
06/2012: Unlimited #5          -- 24,058 (- 1.2%)
07/2012: Unlimited #6          -- 22,555 (- 6.3%)
08/2012: Unlimited #7          -- 21,219 (- 5.9%)
09/2012: Unlimited #8          -- 20,897 (- 1.5%)
10/2012: Unlimited #9          -- 19,877 (- 4.9%)
----------------
6 months: -17.9%

—–

124 - BATMAN: ARKHAM UNHINGED
04/2012: Arkham Unhinged #1 -- 31,170
05/2012: Arkham Unhinged #2 -- 25,215 (-19.1%)
06/2012: Arkham Unhinged #3 -- 23,322 (- 7.5%)
07/2012: Arkham Unhinged #4 -- 21,809 (- 6.5%)
08/2012: Arkham Unhinged #5 -- 21,059 (- 3.4%)
09/2012: Arkham Unhinged #6 -- 20,259 (- 3.8%)
10/2012: Arkham Unhinged #7 -- 19,890 (- 1.8%)
----------------
6 months: -36.2%

Two more “digital-first” titles with good numbers.

—–

123 - DIAL H
05/2012: Dial H #1  -- 45,308
06/2012: Dial H #2  -- 30,618 (-32.4%)
07/2012: Dial H #3  -- 26,109 (-14.7%)
08/2012: Dial H #4  -- 22,733 (-12.9%)
09/2012: Dial H #0  -- 24,070 (+ 5.9%)
10/2012: Dial H #5  -- 19,903 (-17.3%)

Another recently launched “second-wave” “New 52″ titles in terminal decline.

—–

119 - ALL STAR WESTERN
10/2007: Jonah Hex #24 -- 14,749
10/2008: Jonah Hex #36 -- 12,629
10/2009: Jonah Hex #48 -- 11,281
10/2010: Jonah Hex #60 -- 11,141
--------------------------------
10/2011: ASW #2        -- 39,857 (-  8.8%)
11/2011: ASW #3        -- 32,776 (- 17.8%)
12/2011: ASW #4        -- 29,349 (- 10.5%)
01/2012: ASW #5        -- 27,206 (-  7.3%)
02/2012: ASW #6        -- 26,170 (-  3.8%)
03/2012: ASW #7        -- 25,349 (-  3.1%)
04/2012: ASW #8        -- 25,040 (-  1.2%)
05/2012: ASW #9        -- 31,413 (+ 25.5%)
06/2012: ASW #10       -- 25,334 (- 19.4%)
07/2012: ASW #11       -- 23,572 (-  7.0%)
08/2012: ASW #12       -- 22,767 (-  3.4%)
09/2012: ASW #0        -- 25,388 (+ 11.5%)
10/2012: ASW #13       -- 21,481 (- 15.4%)
-----------------
6 months: - 14.2%
1 year  : - 46.1%
2 years : + 92.8%
5 years : + 45.6%

That’s an unusually steep drop for All Star Western, relative to August. Overall, though, the title keeps doing very well.

—–

114 - GREEN ARROW
10/2007: Year One #6 of 6 -- 30,943
10/2007: Arrow/Canary #1  -- 52,183
10/2008: Arrow/Canary #13 -- 26,890
10/2009: Arrow&Canary #25 -- 18,013
10/2010: Green Arrow #5   -- 42,188
-----------------------------------
10/2011: Green Arrow #2   -- 58,708 (-  4.8%)
11/2011: Green Arrow #3   -- 46,899 (- 20.1%)
12/2011: Green Arrow #4   -- 37,116 (- 20.9%)
01/2012: Green Arrow #5   -- 33,593 (-  9.5%)
02/2012: Green Arrow #6   -- 30,097 (- 10.4%)
03/2012: Green Arrow #7   -- 29,004 (-  3.6%)
04/2012: Green Arrow #8   -- 27,433 (-  5.4%)
05/2012: Green Arrow #9   -- 26,966 (-  1.7%)
06/2012: Green Arrow #10  -- 25,769 (-  4.4%)
07/2012: Green Arrow #11  -- 24,646 (-  4.4%)
08/2012: Green Arrow #12  -- 23,126 (-  6.2%)
09/2012: Green Arrow #0   -- 28,408 (+ 22.8%)
10/2012: Green Arrow #13  -- 22,057 (- 22.4%)
-----------------
6 months: - 19.6%
1 year  : - 62.4%
2 years : - 47.7%
5 years : - 46.9%

Another “New 52″ book that’s still crashing.

—–

117 - SWORD OF SORCERY
09/2012: Sword of Sorcery #0  -- 29,954
10/2012: Sword of Sorcery #1  -- 23,947 (-20.1%)

DC’s Amethyst revamp is the lowest-selling of the “third wave” of “New 52″ titles. If this drop is the result of retailers treating issue #1 as the second issue, it’s not bad, actually. We’ll find out when the November figures are released.

A technical note, once again: Actual sales of the October issues of the latest “New 52″ titles were reduced by Diamond for the purposes of the chart, to compensate for the fact that those books were made returnable for comics retailers under specific conditions. Recently, the reduction made by Diamond has been a flat 10%, or very close to it, so I’m once again adding these 10% to the estimate supplied by Diamond and ICv2.com, which is why the chart position doesn’t make sense here. The same applies to Team 7, Phantom Stranger and Talon.

—–

106 - AME-COMI GIRLS
10/2012: ACG #1: Wonder Woman -- 24,966

A new “digital-first” title. This one came with a 1:25 variant-cover edition to boost the numbers, but sales are still solid enough.

—–

103 - SUPERBOY
10/2011: Superboy #2  --  57,424 (+  3.3%)
11/2011: Superboy #3  --  47,442 (- 17.4%)
12/2011: Superboy #4  --  40,002 (- 15.7%)
01/2012: Superboy #5  --  37,419 (-  6.5%)
02/2012: Superboy #6  --  34,520 (-  7.8%)
03/2012: Superboy #7  --  33,050 (-  4.3%)
04/2012: Superboy #8  --  31,900 (-  3.5%)
05/2012: Superboy #9  --  34,838 (+  9.2%)
06/2012: Superboy #10 --  31,358 (- 10.0%)
07/2012: Superboy #11 --  29,677 (-  5.4%)
08/2012: Superboy #12 --  27,518 (-  7.3%)
09/2012: Superboy #0  --  31,840 (+ 15.7%)
10/2012: Superboy #13 --  25,726 (- 19.2%)
-----------------
6 months: - 19.4%
1 year  : - 55.2%

Another “New 52″ title that hasn’t found its level. That’s a massive drop versus August.

—–

102 - BIRDS OF PREY
10/2007: Birds of Prey #111 -- 26,400
10/2008: Birds of Prey #123 -- 21,110
10/2010: --
-------------------------------------
10/2011: Birds of Prey #2   -- 53,156 (-  5.2%)
11/2011: Birds of Prey #3   -- 40,891 (- 23.1%)
12/2011: Birds of Prey #4   -- 34,460 (- 15.7%)
01/2012: Birds of Prey #5   -- 31,700 (-  8.0%)
02/2012: Birds of Prey #6   -- 30,376 (-  4.2%)
03/2012: Birds of Prey #7   -- 29,196 (-  3.9%)
04/2012: Birds of Prey #8   -- 28,661 (-  1.8%)
05/2012: Birds of Prey #9   -- 41,521 (+ 44.9%)
06/2012: Birds of Prey #10  -- 28,457 (- 31.5%)
07/2012: Birds of Prey #11  -- 27,389 (-  3.8%)
08/2012: Birds of Prey #12  -- 26,587 (-  2.9%)
09/2012: Birds of Prey #0   -- 30,574 (+ 15.0%)
10/2012: Birds of Prey #13  -- 25,851 (- 15.5%)
-----------------
6 months: -  9.8%
1 year  : - 51.4%
2 years :   n.a.
5 years : -  2.1%

Continuing to drift down the charts after the zero-issue bump.

—–

97 - JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK ANNUAL
10/2012: JLD Annual #1  -- 27,239

This is by the regular Justice League Dark creative team and the conclusion to the book’s first year, so it’s odd that the book comes in almost 3,000 units below the mother title.

—–

96 - SUICIDE SQUAD
10/2007: Raise the Flag #2 of 8 -- 22,774
-----------------------------------------
10/2011: Suicide Squad #2       -- 49,570 (- 0.8%)
11/2011: Suicide Squad #3       -- 40,827 (-17.6%)
12/2011: Suicide Squad #4       -- 34,550 (-15.4%)
01/2012: Suicide Squad #5       -- 32,726 (- 5.3%)
02/2012: Suicide Squad #6       -- 30,834 (- 5.8%)
03/2012: Suicide Squad #7       -- 32,908 (+ 6.7%)
04/2012: Suicide Squad #8       -- 32,789 (- 0.4%)
05/2012: Suicide Squad #9       -- 32,581 (- 0.6%)
06/2012: Suicide Squad #10      -- 31,576 (- 3.1%)
07/2012: Suicide Squad #11      -- 29,809 (- 5.6%)
08/2012: Suicide Squad #12      -- 28,302 (- 5.1%)
09/2012: Suicide Squad #0       -- 31,875 (+12.6%)
10/2012: Suicide Squad #13      -- 27,644 (-13.3%)
----------------
6 months: -15.7%
1 year  : -44.2%
5 years : +21.4%

Gently sliding down the chart, but still doing relatively well.

—–

107 - TEAM 7
09/2012: Team 7 #0  -- 34,503
10/2012: Team 7 #1  -- 27,661 (-19.8%)

The latest revamped WildStorm Universe property. To date, these are decent enough numbers, but as with Sword of Sorcery, we’ll have to see where they go from here. See above.

—–

86 - SUPERGIRL
10/2007: Supergirl #22 --  41,758
10/2008: Supergirl #34 --  33,958
10/2009: Supergirl #46 --  30,377
10/2010: Supergirl #57 --  23,842
---------------------------------
10/2011: Supergirl #2  --  61,388 (+  2.2%)
11/2011: Supergirl #3  --  50,784 (- 17.3%)
12/2011: Supergirl #4  --  44,180 (- 13.0%)
01/2012: Supergirl #5  --  41,446 (-  6.2%)
02/2012: Supergirl #6  --  38,719 (-  6.6%)
03/2012: Supergirl #7  --  37,041 (-  4.3%)
04/2012: Supergirl #8  --  36,042 (-  2.7%)
05/2012: Supergirl #9  --  35,129 (-  2.5%)
06/2012: Supergirl #10 --  33,309 (-  5.2%)
07/2012: Supergirl #11 --  31,879 (-  4.3%)
08/2012: Supergirl #12 --  30,420 (-  4.6%)
09/2012: Supergirl #0  --  34,457 (+ 13.3%)
10/2012: Supergirl #13 --  29,450 (- 14.5%)
-----------------
6 months: - 18.3%
1 year  : - 52.0%
2 years : + 23.5%
5 years : - 29.5%

Sales haven’t found their level yet.

—–

85 - JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK
10/2011: Justice League Dark #2   -- 63,392 (- 9.2%)
11/2011: Justice League Dark #3   -- 51,674 (-18.5%)
12/2011: Justice League Dark #4   -- 44,750 (-13.4%)
01/2012: Justice League Dark #5   -- 40,996 (- 8.4%)
02/2012: Justice League Dark #6   -- 38,360 (- 6.4%)
03/2012: Justice League Dark #7   -- 36,089 (- 5.9%)
04/2012: Justice League Dark #8   -- 35,022 (- 3.0%)
05/2012: Justice League Dark #9   -- 34,649 (- 1.1%)
06/2012: Justice League Dark #10  -- 33,238 (- 4.1%)
07/2012: Justice League Dark #11  -- 31,792 (- 4.4%)
08/2012: Justice League Dark #12  -- 30,754 (- 3.3%)
09/2012: Justice League Dark #0   -- 34,287 (+11.5%)
10/2012: Justice League Dark #13  -- 30,008 (-12.5%)
----------------
6 months: -14.3%
1 year  : -52.7%

Slowly drifting down.

—–

77 - SWAMP THING ANNUAL
10/2012: Swamp Thing Annual #1  -- 32,293

Another annual by the regular writer that’s noticeably below the regular title. Isn’t this something retailers should be paying attention to? Do 10.5% of Swamp Thing readers really not care if they end up skipping a chapter?

—–

84 - PHANTOM STRANGER
09/2012: Phantom Stranger #0  -- 40,103
10/2012: Phantom Stranger #1  -- 33,350 (-16.8%)

A very modest second-issue drop, if that’s what it is. See comments on Sword of Sorcery.

—–

46 - ANIMAL MAN
10/2011: Animal Man #2     -- 53,432 (+16.0%)
11/2011: Animal Man #3     -- 49,184 (- 8.0%)
12/2011: Animal Man #4     -- 42,630 (-13.3%)
01/2012: Animal Man #5     -- 40,573 (- 4.8%)
02/2012: Animal Man #6     -- 38,504 (- 5.1%)
03/2012: Animal Man #7     -- 36,860 (- 4.3%)
04/2012: Animal Man #8     -- 36,369 (- 1.3%)
05/2012: Animal Man #9     -- 35,699 (- 1.8%)
06/2012: Animal Man #10    -- 34,992 (- 2.0%)
07/2012: Animal Man #11    -- 33,909 (- 3.1%)
08/2012: Animal Man #12    -- 34,549 (+ 1.9%)
09/2012: Animal Man #0     -- 38,295 (+10.8%)
10/2012: Animal Man #13    -- 34,303 (-10.4%)
----------------
6 months: - 5.7%
1 year  : -35.8%

Holding level, largely, probably thanks to the “Rotworld” crossover that starts here.

—-

68 - RED HOOD AND THE OUTLAWS
10/2011: Red Hood #2  -- 59,382 (+ 5.8%)
11/2011: Red Hood #3  -- 50,140 (-15.6%)
12/2011: Red Hood #4  -- 44,278 (-11.7%)
01/2012: Red Hood #5  -- 42,560 (- 3.9%)
02/2012: Red Hood #6  -- 39,898 (- 6.3%)
03/2012: Red Hood #7  -- 38,630 (- 3.2%)
04/2012: Red Hood #8  -- 37,974 (- 1.7%)
05/2012: Red Hood #9  -- 54,220 (+42.8%)
06/2012: Red Hood #10 -- 37,044 (-31.7%)
07/2012: Red Hood #11 -- 35,820 (- 3.3%)
08/2012: Red Hood #12 -- 34,439 (- 3.9%)
09/2012: Red Hood #0  -- 39,511 (+14.7%)
10/2012: Red Hood #13 -- 35,420 (- 6.7%)
----------------
6 months: - 6.7%
1 year  : -40.4%

Sales are still 1,000 units ahead of the August figure. The book seems to have found its level at the 35K mark.

—–

66 - WORLDS' FINEST
05/2012: Worlds' Finest #1  -- 69,531
06/2012: Worlds' Finest #2  -- 51,510 (-25.9%)
07/2012: Worlds' Finest #3  -- 45,514 (-11.6%)
08/2012: Worlds' Finest #4  -- 39,629 (-12.9%)
09/2012: Worlds' Finest #0  -- 42,770 (+ 7.9%)
10/2012: Worlds' Finest #5  -- 35,951 (-15.9%)

This is another huge drop compared to August, on the other hand.

—–

66 - SWAMP THING
10/2011: Swamp Thing #2  -- 58,634 (+ 7.1%)
11/2011: Swamp Thing #3  -- 52,300 (-10.8%)
12/2011: Swamp Thing #4  -- 44,660 (-14.6%)
01/2012: Swamp Thing #5  -- 43,806 (- 1.9%)
02/2012: Swamp Thing #6  -- 41,235 (- 5.9%)
03/2012: Swamp Thing #7  -- 40,268 (- 2.4%)
04/2012: Swamp Thing #8  -- 39,431 (- 2.1%)
05/2012: Swamp Thing #9  -- 39,385 (- 0.1%)
06/2012: Swamp Thing #10 -- 37,383 (- 5.1%)
07/2012: Swamp Thing #11 -- 36,257 (- 3.0%)
08/2012: Swamp Thing #12 -- 36,696 (+ 1.2%)
09/2012: Swamp Thing #0  -- 40,123 (+ 9.3%)
10/2012: Swamp Thing #13 -- 36,069 (-10.1%)
----------------
6 months: - 8.5%
1 year  : -38.5%

The “Rotworld” crossover is keeping sales around 36K, for the time being, cancelling out a slow underlying decline.

—–

60 - BATWOMAN
10/2011: Batwoman #2  --  74,392 (+ 3.0%)
11/2011: Batwoman #3  --  61,997 (-16.7%)
12/2011: Batwoman #4  --  52,757 (-14.9%)
01/2012: Batwoman #5  --  51,924 (- 1.6%)
02/2012: Batwoman #6  --  49,227 (- 5.2%)
03/2012: Batwoman #7  --  46,874 (- 4.8%)
04/2012: Batwoman #8  --  45,341 (- 3.3%)
05/2012: Batwoman #9  --  43,942 (- 3.1%)
06/2012: Batwoman #10 --  41,014 (- 6.7%)
07/2012: Batwoman #11 --  38,980 (- 5.0%)
08/2012: Batwoman #12 --  38,064 (- 2.4%)
09/2012: Batwoman #0  --  41,684 (+ 9.5%)
10/2012: Batwoman #13 --  37,315 (-10.5%)
----------------
6 months: -17.7%
1 year  : -49.8%

Very slowly levelling out, it seems. If the trend continues, the book will end up as a decent mid-level performer.

—–

54 - BATGIRL ANNUAL
10/2012: Batgirl Annual #1  -- 39,017

The regular title is still tying in with the “Court of Owls” storyline; presumably that’s the main reason for the huge gap in sales between the two.

—–

52 - CATWOMAN
10/2007: Catwoman #72 -- 19,473
-------------------------------
10/2011: Catwoman #2  -- 63,573 (+ 6.6%)
11/2011: Catwoman #3  -- 52,196 (-17.9%)
12/2011: Catwoman #4  -- 45,581 (-12.7%)
01/2012: Catwoman #5  -- 44,034 (- 3.4%)
02/2012: Catwoman #6  -- 41,447 (- 5.9%)
03/2012: Catwoman #7  -- 39,608 (- 4.4%)
04/2012: Catwoman #8  -- 38,711 (- 2.3%)
05/2012: Catwoman #9  -- 49,726 (+28.5%)
06/2012: Catwoman #10 -- 37,158 (-25.3%)
07/2012: Catwoman #11 -- 35,551 (- 4.3%)
08/2012: Catwoman #12 -- 34,117 (- 4.0%)
09/2012: Catwoman #0  -- 39,117 (+14.7%)
10/2012: Catwoman #13 -- 40,147 (+ 2.6%)
-----------------
6 months: +  3.7%
1 year  : - 36.9%
5 years : +101.0%

The new creative team of Ann Nocenti and Adriana Melo result in another nice little boost on top of the October increase, evidently. Sometimes, critical acclaim still works.

—–

48 - TEEN TITANS
10/2007: Teen Titans #52  -- 55,176
10/2008: Teen Titans #64  -- 39,695
10/2009: Teen Titans #76  -- 29,166
10/2010: Teen Titans #88  -- 27,637
-----------------------------------
10/2011: Teen Titans #2   -- 72,107 (-  2.1%)
11/2011: Teen Titans #3   -- 60,758 (- 15.7%)
12/2011: Teen Titans #4   -- 54,929 (-  9.6%)
01/2012: Teen Titans #5   -- 54,606 (-  0.6%)
02/2012: Teen Titans #6   -- 53,123 (-  2.7%)
03/2012: Teen Titans #7   -- 51,402 (-  3.2%)
04/2012: Teen Titans #8   -- 50,814 (-  1.1%)
05/2012: Teen Titans #9   -- 50,261 (-  1.1%)
06/2012: Teen Titans #10  -- 47,491 (-  5.5%)
07/2012: Teen Titans #11  -- 45,367 (-  4.5%)
08/2012: Teen Titans #12  -- 42,817 (-  5.6%)
09/2012: Teen Titans #0   -- 47,318 (+ 10.5%)
10/2012: Teen Titans #13  -- 41,059 (- 13.2%)
-----------------
6 months: - 19.2%
1 year  : - 43.1%
2 years : + 48.6%
5 years : - 25.6%

Back in decline.

—–

46 - RED LANTERNS
10/2011: Red Lanterns #2  -- 74,163 (+ 0.3%)
11/2011: Red Lanterns #3  -- 60,823 (-18.0%)
12/2011: Red Lanterns #4  -- 50,271 (-17.4%)
01/2012: Red Lanterns #5  -- 46,992 (- 6.5%)
02/2012: Red Lanterns #6  -- 43,450 (- 7.5%)
03/2012: Red Lanterns #7  -- 41,628 (- 4.2%)
04/2012: Red Lanterns #8  -- 40,189 (- 3.5%)
05/2012: Red Lanterns #9  -- 39,215 (- 2.4%)
06/2012: Red Lanterns #10 -- 38,005 (- 3.1%)
07/2012: Red Lanterns #11 -- 36,462 (- 4.1%)
08/2012: Red Lanterns #12 -- 35,070 (- 3.8%)
09/2012: Red Lanterns #0  -- 38,928 (+11.0%)
10/2012: Red Lanterns #13 -- 42,804 (+10.0%)
----------------
6 months: + 6.5%
1 year  : -42.3%

New “Rise of the Third Army” crossover tie-in and 1:25 variant edition equal instant fake sales increase.

Welcome to the direct market.

—–

45 - LEGENDS OF THE DARK KNIGHT
10/2012: LotDK #1  -- 42,904

Yet another new title collecting “digital-first” stories. And on this one, sales are downright stellar.

If this trend continues, there’s no reason why this shouldn’t be the standard publication model in a few years, is there?

—–

44 - WONDER WOMAN
10/2007: Wonder Woman #13  --  48,385
10/2008: Wonder Woman #25  --  33,583
10/2009: Wonder Woman #37  --  26,972
10/2010: Wonder Woman #604 --  37,405
-------------------------------------
10/2011: Wonder Woman #2   --  79,060 (+  3.7%)
11/2011: Wonder Woman #3   --  65,621 (- 17.0%)
12/2011: Wonder Woman #4   --  57,675 (- 12.1%)
01/2012: Wonder Woman #5   --  57,626 (-  0.1%)
02/2012: Wonder Woman #6   --  54,190 (-  6.0%)
03/2012: Wonder Woman #7   --  51,314 (-  5.3%)
04/2012: Wonder Woman #8   --  50,450 (-  1.7%)
05/2012: Wonder Woman #9   --  48,750 (-  3.4%)
06/2012: Wonder Woman #10  --  47,229 (-  3.1%)
07/2012: Wonder Woman #11  --  45,669 (-  3.3%)
08/2012: Wonder Woman #12  --  44,584 (-  2.4%)
09/2012: Wonder Woman #0   --  49,778 (+ 11.7%)
10/2012: Wonder Woman #13  --  43,731 (- 12.2%)
-----------------
6 months: - 13.3%
1 year  : - 44.7%
2 years : + 16.9%
5 years : -  9.6%

Back in decline.

—–

41 - NIGHTWING
10/2007: Nightwing #137 -- 28,363
10/2008: Nightwing #149 -- 50,588
---------------------------------
10/2011: Nightwing #2   -- 73,054 (+ 4.8%)
11/2011: Nightwing #3   -- 64,098 (-12.3%)
12/2011: Nightwing #4   -- 57,409 (-10.4%)
01/2012: Nightwing #5   -- 56,040 (- 2.4%)
02/2012: Nightwing #6   -- 53,036 (- 5.4%)
03/2012: Nightwing #7   -- 50,489 (- 4.8%)
04/2012: Nightwing #8   -- 52,063 (+ 3.1%) [61,711]
05/2012: Nightwing #9   -- 61,395 (+17.9%)
06/2012: Nightwing #10  -- 50,585 (-17.6%)
07/2012: Nightwing #11  -- 49,124 (- 2.9%)
08/2012: Nightwing #12  -- 47,484 (- 3.3%)
09/2012: Nightwing #0   -- 53,109 (+11.9%)
10/2012: Nightwing #13  -- 47,171 (-11.2%)
----------------
6 months: - 9.4%
1 year  : -35.4%
5 years : +59.3%

Holding level. For a book that rarely sold more than 35K in the past, Nightwing continues to do surprisingly well.

—–

40 - GREEN LANTERN: NEW GUARDIANS
10/2010: Emerald Warriors #3  -- 50,490
---------------------------------------
10/2011: New Guardians #2     -- 71,713 (-14.7%)
11/2011: New Guardians #3     -- 59,774 (-16.7%)
12/2011: New Guardians #4     -- 53,305 (-10.8%)
01/2012: New Guardians #5     -- 52,305 (- 1.9%)
02/2012: New Guardians #6     -- 50,319 (- 3.8%)
03/2012: New Guardians #7     -- 48,422 (- 3.8%)
04/2012: New Guardians #8     -- 47,320 (- 2.3%)
05/2012: New Guardians #9     -- 46,237 (- 2.3%)
06/2012: New Guardians #10    -- 44,404 (- 4.0%)
07/2012: New Guardians #11    -- 42,929 (- 3.3%)
08/2012: New Guardians #12    -- 41,479 (- 3.4%)
09/2012: New Guardians #0     -- 46,718 (+12.6%)
10/2012: New Guardians #13    -- 48,500 (+ 3.8%)
----------------
6 months: + 2.5%
1 year  : -32.4%
2 years : - 3.9%

Another “Rise of the Third Army” crossover, hence the increase. New Guardians has been promoted with 1:25 variants all along, so the crossover seems to provide much more of a boost here than it does for Red Lanterns, for some reason.

—–

38 - FLASH
10/2007: Flash #233      --  51,152
10/2008: Flash #245      --  28,085
10/2010: --
-----------------------------------
10/2011: Flash #2        -- 114,137 (- 11.7%)
11/2011: Flash #3        --  90,417 (- 20.8%)
12/2011: Flash #4        --  77,336 (- 14.5%)
01/2012: Flash #5        --  71,611 (-  7.4%)
02/2012: Flash #6        --  68,061 (-  5.0%)
03/2012: Flash #7        --  64,975 (-  4.5%)
04/2012: Flash #8        --  63,702 (-  2.0%)
05/2012: Flash #9        --  62,807 (-  1.4%)
06/2012: Flash #10       --  55,681 (- 11.4%)
07/2012: Flash #11       --  53,674 (-  3.6%)
08/2012: Flash #12       --  51,779 (-  3.5%)
09/2012: Flash #0        --  56,890 (+  9.9%)
10/2012: Flash #13       --  49,936 (- 12.2%)
-----------------
6 months: - 21.6%
1 year  : - 56.3%
2 years :   n.a.
5 years : -  2.4%

Back in decline. Flash is still doing well, by longer-term standards, but it hasn’t quite found its level yet.

—–

36 - BATGIRL
10/2008: Batgirl #4 of 6 -- 23,501
10/2009: Batgirl #3      -- 37,011
10/2010: --
----------------------------------
10/2011: Batgirl #2      -- 83,586 (-  7.7%)
11/2011: Batgirl #3      -- 69,971 (- 16.3%)
12/2011: Batgirl #4      -- 59,972 (- 14.3%)
01/2012: Batgirl #5      -- 57,030 (-  4.9%)
02/2012: Batgirl #6      -- 53,151 (-  6.8%)
03/2012: Batgirl #7      -- 50,761 (-  4.5%)
04/2012: Batgirl #8      -- 48,878 (-  3.7%)
05/2012: Batgirl #9      -- 58,710 (+ 20.1%)
06/2012: Batgirl #10     -- 47,050 (- 19.9%)
07/2012: Batgirl #11     -- 45,004 (-  4.4%)
08/2012: Batgirl #12     -- 43,804 (-  2.7%)
09/2012: Batgirl #0      -- 50,441 (+ 15.2%)
10/2012: Batgirl #13     -- 50,074 (-  0.7%)
-----------------
6 months: +  2.5%
1 year  : - 40.1%
2 years :   n.a.

Holding level, for the most part, probably thanks to the “Court of Owls” tie-in.

—–

34 - ACTION COMICS ANNUAL
10/2012: Action Comics Annual #1  -- 50,485

Grant Morrison didn’t write this one, so the 17K lag relative to the regular title is understandable.

—–

33 - GREEN LANTERN CORPS
10/2007: Green Lantern Corps #16 -- 60,862
10/2007: Green Lantern Corps #17 -- 59,223
10/2008: Green Lantern Corps #29 -- 46,316
10/2009: Green Lantern Corps #41 -- 81,377
10/2010: Green Lantern Corps #53 -- 60,808
------------------------------------------
10/2011: Green Lantern Corps #2  -- 78,501 (- 5.5%)
11/2011: Green Lantern Corps #3  -- 65,393 (-16.7%)
12/2011: Green Lantern Corps #4  -- 57,180 (-12.6%)
01/2012: Green Lantern Corps #5  -- 54,088 (- 5.4%)
02/2012: Green Lantern Corps #6  -- 51,168 (- 5.4%)
03/2012: Green Lantern Corps #7  -- 48,692 (- 4.8%)
04/2012: Green Lantern Corps #8  -- 47,584 (- 2.3%)
05/2012: Green Lantern Corps #9  -- 46,336 (- 2.6%)
06/2012: Green Lantern Corps #10 -- 44,615 (- 3.7%)
07/2012: Green Lantern Corps #11 -- 42,996 (- 3.6%)
08/2012: Green Lantern Corps #12 -- 41,778 (- 2.8%)
09/2012: Green Lantern Corps #0  -- 47,309 (+13.2%)
10/2012: Green Lantern Corps #13 -- 50,773 (+ 7.3%)
----------------
6 months: + 6.7%
1 year  : -35.3%
2 years : -16.5%
5 years : -15.4%

The “Rise of the Third Army” crossover and a 1:25 variant are responsible for the increase.

—–

31 - SUPERMAN
10/2007: Superman #668 --  47,948
10/2007: Superman #669 --  47,271
10/2008: Superman #681 --  54,611 [57,212]
10/2009: Superman #693 --  35,395
10/2010: Superman #703 --  50,460
10/2010: Superman #704 --  46,741
---------------------------------
10/2011: Superman #2   -- 104,703 (- 20.4%)
11/2011: Superman #3   --  86,386 (- 17.5%)
12/2011: Superman #4   --  76,532 (- 11.4%)
01/2012: Superman #5   --  73,719 (-  3.7%)
02/2012: Superman #6   --  69,633 (-  5.5%)
03/2012: Superman #7   --  66,588 (-  4.4%)
04/2012: Superman #8   --  64,486 (-  3.2%)
05/2012: Superman #9   --  62,232 (-  3.5%)
06/2012: Superman #10  --  59,081 (-  5.1%)
07/2012: Superman #11  --  56,066 (-  5.1%)
08/2012: Superman #12  --  53,326 (-  4.9%)
09/2012: Superman #0   --  60,493 (+ 13.4%)
10/2012: Superman #13  --  52,155 (- 13.8%)
-----------------
6 months: - 19.1%
1 year  : - 50.2%
2 years : +  7.3%
5 years : +  9.6%

Back in decline.

—–

29 - BEFORE WATCHMEN: MINUTEMEN
06/2012: Minutemen #1 of 6 -- 119,463
07/2012: Minutemen #2 of 6 --  76,409 (-36.0%)
08/2012: Minutemen #3 of 6 --  57,208 (-25.1%)
09/2012: --
10/2012: Minutemen #4 of 6 --  53,270 (- 6.9%)

All these Before Watchmen books by good people with good friends in the comic-book business, all of whom owe nothing to Alan Moore and are completely powerless about their peers still getting screwed by publishers and if they hadn’t taken the money somebody else would have and they were just following orders, seem to be settling down above the 50K mark.

Which must be good numbers, given that a Dollar Bill one-shot is just around the corner. (Told you so.)

—–

27 - AQUAMAN
10/2011: Aquaman #2  -- 79,156 (- 1.4%) [ 83,626]
11/2011: Aquaman #3  -- 69,137 (-12.7%)
12/2011: Aquaman #4  -- 64,961 (- 6.0%)
01/2012: Aquaman #5  -- 65,094 (+ 0.2%)
02/2012: Aquaman #6  -- 63,450 (- 2.5%)
03/2012: Aquaman #7  -- 62,345 (- 1.7%)
04/2012: Aquaman #8  -- 61,657 (- 1.1%)
05/2012: Aquaman #9  -- 60,527 (- 1.8%)
06/2012: Aquaman #10 -- 59,288 (- 2.1%)
07/2012: Aquaman #11 -- 57,675 (- 2.7%)
08/2012: Aquaman #12 -- 61,210 (+ 6.1%)
09/2012: Aquaman #0  -- 61,227 (+ 0.0%)
10/2012: Aquaman #13 -- 54,648 (-10.8%)
----------------
6 months: -11.4%
1 year  : -31.0%

That’s the biggest drop in a while, for no apparent reason. But Aquaman #13 came out on October 31, so maybe a couple of boxes fell off a truck and weren’t found right away.

—–

35 - TALON
09/2012: Talon #0  -- 59,691
10/2012: Talon #1  -- 55,737 (-6.6%)

See comments on Sword of Sorcery for context, but either way, that’s a minuscule drop.

—–

32 - BEFORE WATCHMEN: DOCTOR MANHATTAN
08/2012: Dr. Manhattan #1 of 4 -- 86,197
09/2012: --
10/2012: Dr. Manhattan #2 of 4 -- 57,226 (-33.6%)

This one’s rather big, on the other hand, but we’re used to that by now from the Before Watchmen titles.

The notable and memorable thing about this one in particular is that Dr. Manhattan thinks Schrödinger’s cat might, in theory, turn into a teddy bear, or a baseball glove — certainly an exciting interpretation of quantum physics that deepens and enrichens our understanding of the Dr. Manhattan character.

—–

19 - BATMAN INCORPORATED
10/2011: --
11/2011: --
12/2011: Lev Strikes #1   --  43,048 (- 19.5%)
01/2012: --
02/2012: --
03/2012: --
04/2012: --
05/2012: Batman, Inc. #1  --  96,486 (+124.1%)
06/2012: Batman, Inc. #2  --  73,654 (- 23.7%)
07/2012: --
08/2012: Batman, Inc. #3  --  66,720 (-  9.4%)
09/2012: Batman, Inc. #0  --  66,112 (-  0.9%)
10/2012: Batman, Inc. #4  --  60,888 (-  7.9%)
----------------
6 months:  n.a.
1 year  :  n.a.

Evidently, Grant Morrison intends to leave his ongoing titles next year to focus on his burgeoning career in cynical narcissism. Looking at these sales figures, you can’t blame him.

—–

18 - EARTH 2
05/2012: Earth 2 #1  -- 95,742          [102,490]
06/2012: Earth 2 #2  -- 75,936 (-20.7%) [ 84,740] 
07/2012: Earth 2 #3  -- 74,892 (- 1.4%)
08/2012: Earth 2 #4  -- 67,393 (-10.0%)
09/2012: Earth 2 #0  -- 69,111 (+ 2.6%)
10/2012: Earth 2 #5  -- 61,529 (-11.0%)

Back in a rather steep decline.

—–

25 - BEFORE WATCHMEN: RORSCHACH
08/2012: Rorschach #1 of 4 -- 94,970
09/2012: --
10/2012: Rorschach #2 of 4 -- 62,788 (-33.9%)

Another one of those books by good people with good friends. You know the drill.

—–

15 - BATMAN AND ROBIN
10/2009: Batman and Robin #5  -- 101,607
10/2010: Batman and Robin #15 --  80,173
----------------------------------------
10/2011: Batman and Robin #2  --  98,807 (+ 4.3%)
11/2011: Batman and Robin #3  --  86,309 (-12.7%)
12/2011: Batman and Robin #4  --  76,000 (-11.9%)
01/2012: Batman and Robin #5  --  72,786 (- 4.2%)
02/2012: Batman and Robin #6  --  70,103 (- 3.7%)
03/2012: Batman and Robin #7  --  68,010 (- 3.0%)
04/2012: Batman and Robin #8  --  66,659 (- 2.0%)
05/2012: Batman and Robin #9  --  75,967 (+14.0%)
06/2012: Batman and Robin #10 --  66,894 (-11.9%)
07/2012: Batman and Robin #11 --  65,043 (- 2.8%)
08/2012: Batman and Robin #12 --  63,993 (- 1.6%)
09/2012: Batman and Robin #0  --  69,146 (+ 8.1%)
10/2012: Batman and Robin #13 --  63,097 (- 8.8%)
----------------
6 months: - 5.3%
1 year  : -36.1%
2 years : -21.3%

The book has pretty much found its level, it seems.

—–

14 - BATMAN: THE DARK KNIGHT
10/2011: Dark Knight #2  -- 100,494 (-  8.1%)
11/2011: Dark Knight #3  --  87,133 (- 13.3%)
12/2011: Dark Knight #4  --  78,689 (-  9.7%)
01/2012: Dark Knight #5  --  76,824 (-  2.4%)
02/2012: Dark Knight #6  --  77,140 (+  0.4%) [ 80,464]
03/2012: Dark Knight #7  --  75,297 (-  2.4%)
04/2012: Dark Knight #8  --  74,287 (-  1.3%)
05/2012: Dark Knight #9  --  82,169 (+ 10.6%)
06/2012: Dark Knight #10 --  71,671 (- 12.8%)
07/2012: Dark Knight #11 --  68,632 (-  4.2%)
08/2012: Dark Knight #12 --  67,084 (-  2.3%)
09/2012: Dark Knight #0  --  72,919 (+  8.7%)
10/2012: Dark Knight #13 --  65,271 (- 10.5%)
-----------------
6 months: - 12.1%
1 year  : - 35.1%

Still drifting down the chart.

—–

12 - ACTION COMICS
10/2007: Action Comics #856 --  53,815
10/2007: Action Comics #857 --  51,401
10/2007: Action Comics #858 --  54,596 [59,031]
10/2008: Action Comics #870 --  57,407
10/2009: Action Comics #882 --  34,754
10/2010: Action Comics #894 --  42,291
--------------------------------------
10/2011: Action Comics #2   -- 153,855 (- 15.8%)
11/2011: Action Comics #3   -- 134,875 (- 12.3%)
12/2011: Action Comics #4   -- 112,839 (- 16.3%)
01/2012: Action Comics #5   -- 109,350 (-  3.1%)
02/2012: Action Comics #6   --  96,592 (- 11.7%)
03/2012: Action Comics #7   --  91,822 (-  4.9%)
04/2012: Action Comics #8   --  87,980 (-  4.2%)
05/2012: Action Comics #9   --  88,796 (+  0.9%)
06/2012: Action Comics #10  --  80,751 (-  9.1%)
07/2012: Action Comics #11  --  76,232 (-  5.6%)
08/2012: Action Comics #12  --  71,203 (-  6.6%)
09/2012: Action Comics #0   --  78,626 (+ 10.4%)
10/2012: Action Comics #13  --  67,241 (- 14.5%)
-----------------
6 months: - 23.6%
1 year  : - 56.3%
2 years : + 59.0%
5 years : + 26.2%

Back in a steep decline.

—–

7 - DETECTIVE COMICS
10/2007: Detective Comics #837 --  51,363
10/2008: Detective Comics #849 --  65,878
10/2009: Detective Comics #858 --  58,599
10/2010: Detective Comics #870 --  35,674
-----------------------------------------
10/2011: Detective Comics #2   -- 123,099 (+  7.2%)
11/2011: Detective Comics #3   -- 111,197 (-  9.7%)
12/2011: Detective Comics #4   --  99,366 (- 10.6%)
01/2012: Detective Comics #5   --  99,342 (-  0.0%)
02/2012: Detective Comics #6   --  94,415 (-  5.0%)
03/2012: Detective Comics #7   --  89,891 (-  4.8%)
04/2012: Detective Comics #8   --  87,675 (-  2.5%)
05/2012: Detective Comics #9   --  96,016 (+  9.5%)
06/2012: Detective Comics #10  --  83,317 (- 13.2%)
07/2012: Detective Comics #11  --  79,835 (-  4.2%)
08/2012: Detective Comics #12  --  75,998 (-  4.8%)
09/2012: Detective Comics #0   --  84,063 (+ 10.6%)
10/2012: Detective Comics #13  --  76,392 (-  9.1%)
-----------------
6 months: - 12.9%
1 year  : - 37.9%
2 years : +114.1%
5 years : + 48.7%

In another stroke of genius, the new Detective Comics creative team arrives with the issues after the one that retailers made sure to order more copies of.

—–

6 - GREEN LANTERN
10/2007: Green Lantern #24  --  78,650
10/2008: Green Lantern #35  --  63,383
10/2009: Green Lantern #47  -- 101,349
10/2010: Green Lantern #58  --  81,626
--------------------------------------
10/2011: Green Lantern #2   -- 142,344 (+ 0.5%)
11/2011: Green Lantern #3   -- 122,644 (-13.8%)
12/2011: Green Lantern #4   -- 104,199 (-15.0%)
01/2012: Green Lantern #5   --  97,878 (- 6.0%)
02/2012: Green Lantern #6   --  94,087 (- 3.9%)
03/2012: Green Lantern #7   --  90,232 (- 4.1%)
04/2012: Green Lantern #8   --  88,335 (- 2.1%)
05/2012: Green Lantern #9   --  87,601 (- 0.8%)
06/2012: Green Lantern #10  --  80,615 (- 8.0%)
07/2012: Green Lantern #11  --  78,708 (- 2.4%)
08/2012: Green Lantern #12  --  77,187 (- 1.9%)
09/2012: Green Lantern #0   --  89,909 (+16.5%)
10/2012: Green Lantern #13  --  91,814 (+ 2.1%)
-----------------
6 months: +  3.9%
1 year  : - 35.5%
2 years : + 12.5%
5 years : + 16.7%

The new crossover brings a slight increase.

—–

4 - JUSTICE LEAGUE
10/2007: JL of America #14   -- 101,763
10/2008: JL of America #25   --  80,731
10/2008: JL of America #26   --  77,353
10/2009: JL of America #38   --  61,012
10/2010: JL of America #50   --  59,686
---------------------------------------
10/2011: Justice League #2   -- 196,569 (+  5.8%)
11/2011: Justice League #3   -- 168,679 (- 14.2%)
12/2011: Justice League #4   -- 149,314 (- 11.5%) [152,340]
01/2012: Justice League #5   -- 144,670 (-  3.1%) [148,117]
02/2012: Justice League #6   -- 140,819 (-  2.7%)
03/2012: Justice League #7   -- 136,436 (-  3.1%)
04/2012: Justice League #8   -- 133,240 (-  2.3%)
05/2012: Justice League #9   -- 131,332 (-  1.4%)
06/2012: Justice League #10  -- 130,502 (-  0.6%)
07/2012: Justice League #11  -- 123,971 (-  5.0%)
08/2012: Justice League #12  -- 120,796 (-  2.6%) [161,235]
09/2012: Justice League #0   -- 125,868 (+  4.2%)
10/2012: Justice League #13  -- 117,752 (-  6.5%)
-----------------
6 months: - 11.6%
1 year  : - 40.1%
2 years : + 97.3%
5 years : + 15.7%

People start noticing that Jim Lee is no longer drawing the book.

—–

3 - BATMAN
10/2007: Batman #670 --  76,890 [86,049]
10/2008: Batman #680 -- 103,941
10/2009: Batman #692 --  70,322
10/2010: --
-------------------------------
10/2011: Batman #2   -- 172,428 (-  8.5%) [177,721]
11/2011: Batman #3   -- 150,984 (- 12.4%)
12/2011: Batman #4   -- 133,781 (- 11.4%) [144,777]
01/2012: Batman #5   -- 135,145 (+  1.0%) [142,499]
02/2012: Batman #6   -- 128,459 (-  5.0%) [135,435]
03/2012: Batman #7   -- 131,091 (+  2.1%)
04/2012: Batman #8   -- 130,602 (-  0.4%) [136,218]
05/2012: Batman #9   -- 134,605 (+  3.1%)
06/2012: Batman #10  -- 130,265 (-  3.2%)
07/2012: Batman #11  -- 127,210 (-  2.4%)
08/2012: Batman #12  -- 125,249 (-  1.5%)
09/2012: Batman #0   -- 156,561 (+ 25.0%)
10/2012: Batman #13  -- 148,305 (-  5.3%)
-----------------
6 months: + 13.6%
1 year  : - 14.0%
2 years :   n.a.
5 years : + 92.9%

The next crossover kicks off, resulting in stellar sales.

—–

6-MONTH COMPARISONS
+ 13.6%: Batman
+  6.7%: GL Corps
+  6.5%: Red Lanterns
+  3.9%: Green Lantern
+  3.9%: Young Justice
+  3.7%: Catwoman
+  2.5%: American Vampire
+  2.5%: Batgirl
+  2.5%: New Guardians
-  2.3%: Hellblazer
-  2.4%: Sweet Tooth
-  5.3%: Batman and Robin
-  5.7%: Animal Man
-  5.9%: Fables
-  6.7%: Red Hood
-  8.1%: Frankenstein
-  8.2%: Unwritten
-  8.5%: Swamp Thing
-  9.4%: Nightwing
-  9.8%: BoP
- 11.4%: Aquaman
- 11.6%: JLA
- 12.1%: Dark Knight
- 12.9%: Detective Comics
- 13.1%: DCU Presents
- 13.3%: Wonder Woman
- 13.4%: Blue Beetle
- 13.8%: LoSH
- 14.2%: ASW
- 14.3%: JLD
- 14.5%: Legion Lost
- 15.7%: Batwing
- 15.7%: Suicide Squad
- 17.7%: Batwoman
- 17.9%: BB Unlimited
- 18.3%: Supergirl
- 19.1%: Superman
- 19.2%: Teen Titans
- 19.3%: Hawkman
- 19.4%: Superboy
- 19.6%: Green Arrow
- 19.9%: Deathstroke
- 20.1%: Fairest
- 20.5%: Demon Knights
- 21.2%: Firestorm
- 21.6%: Flash
- 22.6%: Grifter
- 23.6%: Action Comics
- 23.8%: I, Vampire
- 23.8%: New Deadwardians
- 24.1%: Stormwatch
- 32.9%: Saucer Country
- 36.2%: Arkham Unhinged
- 49.1%: GL: TAS

—–

1-YEAR COMPARISONS
-  2.3%: Young Justice
-  3.7%: Hellblazer
-  7.7%: Sweet Tooth
-  8.8%: Fables
- 14.0%: Batman
- 15.3%: Unwritten
- 31.0%: Aquaman
- 32.4%: New Guardians
- 35.1%: Dark Knight
- 35.3%: GL Corps
- 35.4%: Nightwing
- 35.5%: Green Lantern
- 35.8%: Animal Man
- 36.1%: Batman and Robin
- 36.9%: Catwoman
- 37.9%: Detective Comics
- 38.5%: Swamp Thing
- 40.1%: Batgirl
- 40.1%: JLA
- 40.4%: Red Hood
- 42.3%: Red Lanterns
- 43.1%: Teen Titans
- 44.2%: Suicide Squad
- 44.7%: Wonder Woman
- 46.1%: ASW
- 49.8%: Batwoman
- 50.2%: Superman
- 51.4%: BoP
- 52.0%: Supergirl
- 52.7%: JLD
- 55.2%: Superboy
- 56.3%: Action Comics
- 56.3%: Flash
- 58.8%: I, Vampire
- 59.2%: Frankenstein
- 59.9%: Batwing
- 60.2%: Demon Knights
- 60.9%: LoSH
- 62.4%: Green Arrow
- 62.9%: Stormwatch
- 64.0%: Legion Lost
- 65.4%: DCU Presents
- 66.2%: Deathstroke
- 66.6%: Blue Beetle
- 69.1%: Hawkman
- 69.4%: Firestorm
- 69.6%: Grifter

—–

2-YEAR COMPARISONS
+114.1%: Detectice Comics
+ 97.3%: JLA
+ 92.8%: ASW
+ 59.0%: Action Comics
+ 48.6%: Teen Titans
+ 23.5%: Supergirl
+ 16.9%: Wonder Woman
+ 12.5%: Green Lantern
+  7.3%: Superman
-  3.9%: New Guardians
-  4.1%: Hellblazer
- 16.0%: Fables
- 16.5%: GL Corps
- 17.7%: Sweet Tooth
- 21.3%: Batman and Robin
- 27.6%: Unwritten
- 32.2%: American Vampire
- 38.9%: LoSH
- 47.7%: Green Arrow

—–

5-YEAR COMPARISONS
+101.0%: Catwoman
+ 92.9%: Batman
+ 76.0%: Stormwatch
+ 59.3%: Nightwing
+ 48.7%: Detective Comics
+ 45.6%: ASW
+ 26.2%: Action Comics
+ 21.4%: Suicide Squad
+ 16.7%: Green Lantern
+ 15.7%: JLA
+  9.6%: Superman
-  2.1%: BoP
-  2.4%: Flash
-  9.6%: Wonder Woman
- 15.4%: GL Corps
- 25.6%: Teen Titans
- 27.1%: Hellblazer
- 29.5%: Supergirl
- 32.5%: LoSH
- 34.0%: Fables
- 46.9%: Green Arrow
- 52.4%: Blue Beetle

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

DC COMICS
10/2007: 31,648
10/2008: 29,109
10/2009: 27,525**
10/2010: 23,756**
---------------
10/2011: 51,280 (- 10.4%)**
11/2011: 41,414 (- 19.2%)**
12/2011: 35,397 (- 14.5%)**
01/2012: 33,887 (-  4.3%)**
02/2012: 31,535 (-  6.9%)**
03/2012: 29,679 (-  5.9%)
04/2012: 31,319 (+  5.5%)
05/2012: 38,708 (+ 23.6%)
06/2012: 37,599 (-  2.9%)
07/2012: 33,837 (- 10.0%)
08/2012: 33,500 (-  1.0%)**
09/2012: 35,811 (+  6.9%)
10/2012: 32,901 (-  8.1%)**
-----------------
6 months: +  5.1%
1 year  : - 35.8%
2 years : + 38.5%
5 years : +  4.0%
DC UNIVERSE
10/2007: 39,748
10/2008: 37,273
10/2009: 34,795
10/2010: 32,832
---------------
09/2011: 67,411 (+142.8%)
10/2011: 59,146 (- 12.3%)**
11/2011: 46,670 (- 21.1%)**
12/2011: 39,390 (- 15.6%)**
01/2012: 37,145 (-  5.7%)**
02/2012: 34,456 (-  7.2%)**
03/2012: 33,229 (-  3.6%)
04/2012: 35,264 (+  6.1%)
05/2012: 44,139 (+ 25.2%)
06/2012: 43,082 (-  2.4%)
07/2012: 38,502 (- 10.6%)
08/2012: 38,047 (-  1.2%)**
09/2012: 39,408 (+  3.6%)
10/2012: 36,571 (-  7.2%)
-----------------
6 months: +  3.7%
1 year  : - 45.8%
2 years : + 11.4%
5 years : -  8.0%
VERTIGO
10/2007: 10,678
10/2008: 11,284
10/2009: 10,551
10/2010:  9,546
---------------
10/2011: 10,643 (+ 6.5%)
11/2011: 10,355 (- 2.7%)
12/2011: 11,082 (+ 7.0%)
01/2012:  9,995 (- 9.8%)
02/2012: 10,252 (+ 2.6%)
03/2012: 12,688 (+23.8%)
04/2012: 11,595 (- 8.6%)
05/2012: 11,102 (- 4.3%)
06/2012: 11,448 (+ 3.1%)
07/2012: 11,589 (+ 1.2%)
08/2012: 10,764 (- 7.1%)**
09/2012: 11,710 (+ 8.8%)
10/2012: 11,496 (- 1.8%)**
-----------------
6 months: -  0.9%
1 year  : +  8.0%
2 years : + 20.4%
5 years : +  7.7%

—–
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 hate this backwards countdown thing.

  2. MBunge says:

    Hopefully DC can commit some new outrage in the near future so MOF can manufacture some new snark about it. We’re about at the point where the commentary on these things might just as well be cut-n-pasted from previous posts.

    Mike

  3. Like the car accident I can’t look away from, every month I swear this will be my last time reading this column, but then I keep coming back when I see it’s been posted. MOF continues to troll to a hilarious degree. The level of passive-aggressiveness has risen to amazing levels with this month’s column. I think I’m over hating it because it’s so clearly either 1) Amazing commentary on modern internet fan culture, or 2) Clearly some sort of Marvel/Image hand-puppet/pay-off scam by The Beat/MOF.

    If there’s one thing I’ve come to the conclusion of, though, is that this column needs some sort of “parody” tag since it’s impossible for one person to be this sincere in his cut-n-paste response, so clearly copied from standard internet troll memes.

  4. Torsten Adair says:

    The truth is, Herr Frisch is a Snarkmeister, running multiple online identities, commenting on multiple boards. He is part of a larger cabal, much like the Eltingville Comic Book, Science Fiction, Horror, Fantasy and Role-Playing Club, with each member responsible for a particular segment of popular culture.

    Care bears! I hope someone edits the movie to tie it into “Blackest Night”. Or did Robot Chicken already do that?

  5. Someone is in pretty good form today!

    I’ll just grab my popcorn and sit down over there to enjoy the show.

  6. Charles says:

    Interesting stuff.

    I wonder why most comics can’t keep up their sales figures. Even good titles tend to lose sales over time.

    What exactly is the cause of this phenomena?

  7. unknown says:

    What’s with this reverse order bullshit? No better way to make readers uninterested in your article then to start talking about the shittiest titles first. And if you’re going to make it reverse order, make it standard for all the month-to-month sales articles. Don’t give me a Marvel M2M where it starts from best-seller to worst and a DC M2M that starts worst-seller to best. It’s called conformity.

  8. I find this column to be more informative if I just look at the numbers, and not the “analysis” provided.

  9. Keep it up, MOF. Love the commentary you provide. Legitimately makes me lul.

  10. I like the personal attacks on creators. I like the sales analysis, but this column is on the verge of making me skip the Beat all together. Mission accomplished!

  11. Joe Lawler says:

    Conform, Mark, conform!

  12. I think the reason the Vertigo one shot Ghosts sold better than previous ones is probably Geoff Johns writing a story.

  13. “Maybe the fact that Ghosts includes some of Joe Kubert’s final work made the difference here.”

    Actually, DC did a free 50% overship of GHOSTS, so it’s actually more likely that it really properly sold 10,939.

    Fun fact: we sold, to the nose, what I ordered of the comic. I still have the overship only sitting on the rack.

    “Another annual by the regular writer that’s noticeably below the regular title. Isn’t this something retailers should be paying attention to? Do 10.5% of Swamp Thing readers really not care if they end up skipping a chapter?”

    That wasn’t really a proper chapter of “Rotworld” — the JL Dark *was* the conclusion, though, yes.

    But to answer the question, no, Annuals always sell better than their parent book. Even when they’re DIRECT tie-ins. It’s a weird fact of consumer behavior.

    -B

  14. “Worse”, I meant, not “better”, sheesh.

    -B

  15. Also? I *love* the “reverse order”, and I think it puts things into a much better perspective for the entire line. I’d not be opposed if the other two chart watchers switched to that format.

    -B

  16. George Bush (not that one) says:

    Snarky little bugger aren’t you.

  17. Interesting numbers, good jokes. Why people come here to complain about this delightfully presented free service, I’ll never know.

    As a consumer, I’ve found that the New 52 has made it very easy to walk away from titles I’ve read for a long time. I like Superman —> this guy sure doesn’t feel like Superman as I know him —> why am I buying this?

  18. Glenn Simpson says:

    @Charles – not 100% sure. Presumably an combination of several things. People leaving the hobby due to life changes at a greater rate than new people coming in. And if as MOF says the number of DC Universe titles has grown, and if that’s true for Marvel, and independents as well, then the number of titles available may be growing faster than comics fans budgets, resulting in the same money being spread around more thinly.

  19. @charles: one word answer: entropy.

    It’s not just for the heat-death of the universe!

    -B

  20. @ Charles – I think it’s because we don’t have casual fans in our industry. You only have the dedicated ones, and when a crappy book sheds readers quickly, no one replaces them. Additionally, even for a good book, there are life events that make readers shed a comic (I’m back to school and I’ve dropped a fuck ton of titles), and again, few new readers are coming in to pick up my slack.

  21. Paul Mellerick says:

    Brian – I’ve been thinking about it for the Indie Chart, but I keep forgetting when I actually sit down to write the thing. Maybe next month.

  22. I think it’s pretty safe to say that from an objective-as-possible standpoint, the actual analysis in the DC M2M has slipped. A lot. The ratio of snark to actual substantive analysis is at an all-time high. As others have pointed out, Marc doesn’t even know when an Annual does or does not solidly tie into the actual ongoing’s storyline, nor when certain titles had free 50% overships. So, I mean, what’s the point of reading this article if the author is ignorant of so much factual data? For about five months running now he doesn’t even seen sure if “Court of the Owls” or “Night of the Owls” was the actual branding of the crossover.

    I’m not defending DC, really — because there’s sure a lot to criticize about the company, and most of the sales aren’t that good — but this article has become less and less substantive, and less and less amusing. I pretty much only click on it anymore because it’s nice to see convenient comparisons of the current numbers vs. past numbers. But as far as actually reading the commentary? That’s become a total waste of time.

  23. jaroslav hasek says:

    i kind of enjoy the whole before watchmen debate still. its fun watching alan moore piss all over an industry, then watch his loyal supporters piss all over the professionals who dare work on a project that alan moore said he doesn’t want anything to do with ever again, just because how dare there.

    i think its a dumb project and im not going to read or buy and of the before watchmen comics, but seems like a lot of pissing over who even gives a shit. anyway, fun fun fun, piss piss piss!

  24. giuliano says:

    Personally, I really enjoy this columns, has character. Screw before watchmen.

  25. Naveed says:

    Well someone is reading Before Watchmen! Look at all those copies sold…..I am reading most of them and they arent half bad. Im sure half the people dissing the books didnt even bother reading a single issue.

    Alot of other DC titles are down, but lets be honest, in bout 12-18 months we will see the same thing with Marvel Now! – the way the market works now titles just arent meant to last long, your lucky if you hit #50.

  26. I for one am glad DC over shipped the Ghosts one-shot. I had no plans to pick it up, but after I learned (what is perhaps) Joe Kubert’s last work was one of the tales, I immediately grabbed it up. Even though it wasn’t a completely finished work, I actually enjoyed being able to see it in that state.

  27. Glenn Simpson says:

    I have no problem with them overshipping anything, but the extra copies shouldn’t show up on this chart.

  28. My first foray into the new DC 52 world went very badly this week. I read Aquaman, Firestorm, Amethyst, Phantom Stranger and Action Comics. Of the 5 Action was the only entertaining one. The rest were absolute shit. They are filler comics, simply made to be put on the shelf to keep up with the competition, not with quality but by sheer number of titles produced, I’m sure of it. I’m glad DC is employing artists in these hard economic times, but the results are just awful.

  29. I actually like the reverse order. With an article this long, it’s easy to trail off partway through if you aren’t looking for something specific, and starting with the lower tier brings more attention to books that might otherwise be missed from tuning out after hitting the JL/Bat/GL block.

    On another note, I really hope Carey & Gross get the opportunity to finish The Unwritten without over-compressing it. I seem to remember they were aiming for something in the 60-70-issue range.

  30. “Why waste him on a book like this one when he could be writing the next Salvation Run or Amazon Attacks?”
    ^^ Good one !

    And I like the reverse order.

  31. AArrrrgh! Words! Opinons! Jokes! Grrr! Gnash! Rend!

  32. Saipaman says:

    I’m so glad I dropped most of my DC titles.

  33. Chris Hero says:

    I love everything about these columns from the analysis to the hysterics in the comments.

    I respectfully disagree with Mr. LT, though. I don’t think knowing the specifics of story titles or which annuals tie in and which don’t matters. I believe data is data and can be objectively analyzed independent of what’s inside the box, so to speak.

    Beyond that, though, these comments are always entertaining. I love the passion! I think it’s wonderful we all love different comics in different ways!

  34. shagamu says:

    That dig at Morrison was pretty uncalled for. Since when does defendng yourself from a bunch of unfounded accusations count as “cynical narcissism”?

  35. AndyD says:

    I like the column. Good work, MOF. Also like the reverse order. It puts some things into perspektive.

    To think that a book like Phantom Stranger is selling 4 times more then a book like Unwritten is just sad.

  36. I’d agree that MOF doesn’t need to know about the contents or storylines in the comics to analyze sales, except for the fact that he does use information about contents and storylines in his analysis, and his information is often wrong. If he feels that that information is important to his analysis, it should be important enough just to do a quick google search to make sure that he knows what he is talking about.

  37. Saucy Jack says:

    This was the best DC Sales column in a while. I might say that every month, but it’s damn true.

  38. “What’s with this reverse order bullshit? No better way to make readers uninterested in your article then to start talking about the shittiest titles first”
    Oh, because it’s selling less, it’s les interesting. I wouldn’t live in your world.
    I applause the revers order: it’s more exposure for the smallest titles. Who gives a sh.t how many more people whithout brain this month picked an extra copy of a comics only because it’s part of a brand or of a big crossover thingie?
    Love your comments Marc Olivier, it’s still funny to read, which is the point. People can plug their brain to have their own opinion on those numbers if they don’t agree.
    I’m really surprised by the good numbers of DC line of already published online comics. Well, the people on it are really talented and the price value is really interesting, and there is no crossover and minor editorial interference. In fact, I’m picking more of those titles than the normal DC universe.

  39. James T says:

    Keep the reverse order and I love the “snarky-talk.”

    229 – YOUNG JUSTICE (Johnny DC)

    Hasn’t it been announced that this book is cancelled?

  40. Carlos says:

    “The new creative team of Ann Nocenti and Adriana Melo result in another nice little boost on top of the October increase, evidently. Sometimes, critical acclaim still works.”

    Usually I find MOF’s attempts at humor quite pathetic but this little gem of a quote is hilarious.

  41. Carlos says:

    “That dig at Morrison was pretty uncalled for. Since when does defendng yourself from a bunch of unfounded accusations count as “cynical narcissism”?”

    What you mean uncalled? That focking Morrison dare to disagree with Alan Moore (or as MOF knows him “The God”) that his whole career he’s done nothing but plagiarized The God’s work… what a nerve that shameless arsehole has to even think about defending himself and introducing facts against the words of The God.

  42. SniktSnakt says:

    “All these Before Watchmen books by good people with good friends in the comic-book business, all of whom owe nothing to Alan Moore and are completely powerless about their peers still getting screwed by publishers and if they hadn’t taken the money somebody else would have and they were just following orders, seem to be settling down above the 50K mark.”

    HAHAHA, couldn’t have said it better myself!

    What a bunch of f’n sellouts those creators are. I won’t be picking up any of their future work, that’s for sure…

  43. RAGGEDT says:

    Anyone who grew up listening to American Top 40 with Casey Kasem LOVES the backwards counting down! Um, I realize that that is, in itself, a steadily decreasing number! Yeah, I am dating myself! So it goes…

  44. Shawn Hill says:

    I’m buying Before Watchmen, and I don’t feel at all bad about it. The ones I’m reading (Spectre, Ozymandias, Minutemen, Niteowl) are entertaining me. But MOF’s snark is pretty mild, compared to vitriol elsewhere on the net. Clever, even, as some might miss the putdowns altogether.

  45. Synsidar says:

    I’m buying Before Watchmen, and I don’t feel at all bad about it. The ones I’m reading (Spectre, Ozymandias, Minutemen, Niteowl) are entertaining me.

    What about them is entertaining, compared to a standalone story? If someone reads a piece of literature, he appreciates what the writer does. While he might, upon request, break down the story into its elements, identify the story’s themes, and describe the writer’s apparent purpose in doing the story, he doesn’t have to–his reaction can be “That was a damn good story! As nice a treatment of people reacting to an ‘end of the world’ threat as anything I’ve ever read!” In the case of the BEFORE WATCHMEN stories, I don’t see anything to appreciate in an aesthetic sense, because the writer is separated from the characters. He didn’t create them; whatever situations he puts them in are wholly artificial constructs; and if they’re not written, nobody loses anything.

    SRS

  46. Glenn Simpson says:

    @Synsidar – in what way is that different from the latest issue of “Superman”? And before you say “the intent of the author”, I don’t believe “the intent of the author” necessarily comes across in the work itself.

  47. Synsidar says:

    @Synsidar – in what way is that different from the latest issue of “Superman”?

    The WATCHMEN characters are different from the standard superhero, because they appeared in a standalone story. Superman is arguably a burned out character with nowhere to go. In the case of Marvel’s Vision, his romance with the Scarlet Witch developed him and gave him identifiable themes that would be missing in a story about a robot struggling to comprehend the idea of emotions. An writer who was handling the Vision could identify his themes and the themes in his relationship with the Witch, and write a story that developed either character, the relationship, or a guest character, or achieved some other literary objective. Or someone could say the Vision is a robot and write about him being a robot, or write about a hero being a hero in some picked-at-random situation and produce a themeless story that doesn’t develop anything.

    The BEFORE WATCHMEN stories are themeless by definition because the characters’ stories were told in WATCHMEN. There’s no path for development of any of them. Every situation one is put in is artificial–makes him or her a puppet being pulled by its strings.

    SRS

  48. Glenn Simpson says:

    Oh, I understand now. For some reason you require themes in your adolescent power fantasies.

  49. Synsidar says:

    For some reason you require themes in your adolescent power fantasies.

    Why write a story that doesn’t have one? A story that merely has a hero being a hero, whether he’s Superman or anyone else, doesn’t accomplish anything more than a single picture of Superman being heroic. That’s not worth much.

    SRS

  50. Glenn Simpson says:

    Because the details of how the hero goes about being a hero are interesting. A story about Superman punching robot dinosaurs into the sun and then trying to figure out who sent the robot dinosaurs and stopping them from making more robot dinosaurs that he will have to punch into the sun while taking a few minutes to reflect on his relationship with Lois Lane is great funnybook entertainment.

    A romantic comedy could, in theory, win an Academy Award for Best Picture, but the fact that they never do doesn’t make romantic comedies worthless. The fact that “Ted” had no artistic merit doesn’t change the fact that I laughed my ass off at it.

  51. MBunge says:

    “The WATCHMEN characters are different from the standard superhero, because they appeared in a standalone story”

    Spider-Man’s origin was a standalone story. Star Wars, no matter what fantasies George Lucas had at the time, was a standalone story. When James Bond, Sherlock Holmes and Conan were first set down on the printed page, they were standalone stories because none of the authors were guaranteed anything more than that.

    Mike

  52. Glenn Simpson says:

    BTW – if Alan Moore suddenly decided he wanted to write more Watchmen stories, would that be wrong because the original series was “intended to be a standalone story”?

  53. BTW, in the 80s, Moore and Gibbons were initially planning to do more Watchmen. So clearly he didn’t intend it to be a stand-alone tale.

  54. Shawn Hill says:

    @Synisdar: What makes them entertaining to me: great art (I mean great, in the case of those series I listed we’ve got Cooke, Conner, Kubert, and Jae Lee); and a chance to revisit an intriguing world that was gone too quick the first time. I’ve learned a lot about Silk Spectre that adds dimension to her character, and a lot about the 1940s world of the Minutemen that was only hinted at in the original story. It was a world fertile enough to keep playing in: that Moore didn’t do so due to a legal dispute doesn’t change that.

  55. PeterCSM730 says:

    shagamu says: “That dig at Morrison was pretty uncalled for. Since when does defendng yourself from a bunch of unfounded accusations count as “cynical narcissism”?”

    Yeah I didn’t get that dig either. But that combined with the Before Watchmen anger in this column means maybe Mr. Alan Moore can do no wrong!

  56. PeterCSM730 says:

    Synsidar says “The WATCHMEN characters are different from the standard superhero, because they appeared in a standalone story.”

    I also don’t understand your stance because it seems circular. It’s a standalone story because nobody wrote anything further. But they can’t write anything further because it’s a stand alone story. There are complete arcs in comics all the time. And then another one follows. Characters who were meant for single appearances often end up in multiple stories. Personally I don’t care for the BW books but not because there’s no more story to tell.

    Synsidar says “What about them is entertaining, compared to a standalone story? … In the case of the BEFORE WATCHMEN stories, I don’t see anything to appreciate in an aesthetic sense, because the writer is separated from the characters.”

    I’m not sure what a writer being separated has to do with something like attractive interior art. Good looking drawings are aesthetically pleasing. Such a thing being outweighted for you because of your moral stance is understandable, though there isn’t an actual direct connection to its aesthetics. The art doesn’t turn hideous because you think the idea’s crap. But not being able to see why others might like it seems willfully obtuse. I don’t like Bendis’ Avengers but I’d have to have a purposefully stubborn blindness to not understand how any part of his work could be aesthetically pleasing to someone else.

    “He didn’t create them; whatever situations he puts them in are wholly artificial constructs; and if they’re not written, nobody loses anything.”

    This is nearly every DC and Marvel comic ever.

  57. saipaman says:

    All this ‘Before Watchmen’ angst simply helps DC sell more of these books.

    If you don’t like it, don’t buy. Crying about it simply promotes it.

  58. As much as I disagree with Synsidar’s defense of the idea, I do agree with the idea of Before Watchmen being little more than artificial constructs because, well, they’re PREquels. They by definition can’t bring about any major changes to the characters therein because the rest of the actual Watchmen story still has to happen as originally written or the whole thing falls apart. So the entire exercise is either filling in the blanks (if you’re charitable) or treading water (if you’re not), but either result doesn’t really take the characters anywhere new. It can’t.

  59. Glenn Simpson says:

    @Jason, well, it can and it can’t. Obviously some things have to end up at a certain point at the end, but there is a lot of ground to cover. I haven’t read the books, so I have no idea what they are dealing with, but just to throw out an extreme, internet-breaking example, what if the Comedian had a twin brother, and at some point the original Comedian died and his brother took over, only to end up dying at Ozymandias’ hands? Plus, people love origin stories, and the original work was a little light on the origins. There were bound to be some specific events that led the 2nd Nite-Owl to put on his mask. Was the first half of Batman Begins worthless because we knew he would become Batman, so why bother showing us how that happened?

  60. Synsidar says:

    Because the details of how the hero goes about being a hero are interesting.

    I’d compare the Marvel or DC universe to the world, or universe, an SF writer creates. The work put into creating the environment, the environment’s effects on its inhabitants, and the exploration of the world justifies multiple stories set in it. SF is an exploration of ideas.

    Many superhero stories, however. are devoid of ideas because the fantasy of being a superhero is considered sufficient to hook the reader. But if the power isn’t rationalized and its possible uses can be worked out in seconds, how interesting are stories about it? Super-science SF is a close cousin of superhero fiction, but super-science SF explores the powerful possibilities of technology, and once an idea’s been explored sufficiently, the writer’s finished with it.

    If a superhero story isn’t written for any (artistic) reason except to put the hero and his power on display, there really isn’t a reason to write it. No ideas are being explored, nothing new is being said about anything–it’s like inviting the reader to dream for a few minutes about how cool it would be to have a power.

    A story’s artwork might be pleasant to the eye, and aesthetically pleasing, but the artwork doesn’t provide the theme, development, or exploration of ideas–it doesn’t do anything that a writer can’t do by himself. To the extent that the artwork makes an intellectually empty story pleasing to read, it’s a negative, not a positive. One might as well argue that seeing all those buxom superheroines putting their figures on display justifies any given story, because they’re so damn pretty.

    Superman is an example of a character who’s static because he has nowhere to go but down. If he loses his status as the world’s premier superhero, why continue to write about him–and a story that had him lose that status would disappoint readers who fantasize about being Superman. If I were to write a Superman story, it would be a tragedy because there’s hardly anything else to do with him. He’s the embodiment of an adolescent power fantasy; a happy life is mere wish fulfillment.

    I’ve never seen the heroes as anything more than elements in stories, uninteresting by themselves. What a writer does with a hero, and the ideas that accompany the development of him, are infinitely more interesting than the mere sight of him is.

    SRS

  61. PeterCSM730 says:

    Yeah I also agree that the BW titles don’t feel like full stories (though you wouldn’t know that when the series first started, only with hindsight –and good guesswork) and I understand and agree with most of that. But on the other hand I completely understand the appeal of most, if not all, of the BW series. They do have A-list talent on them. I just don’t care for writing off either side of the coin as being completely unfathomable.
    Are there any plans, depending on how happy DC is with the BW sales, for sequels rather than prequels? ‘Rorschach vs Hell’, ‘Dr. Manhattan’s Search for God and pants’, ‘Five months later Veidt has to come up with another plan because despite his brilliance he really hates reading those bulky history books that illustrate how fickle the human race is even after catastrophes so how about this time he fake a giant asteroid on a collision course with Earth or something..’

  62. Glenn Simpson says:

    @Synsidar – that’s all fine for you, but luckily I don’t have such unreasonable expectations from my funnybook reading, or else I’d never have anything to read, since what you look for is tremendously rare.

  63. johnrobiethecat says:

    This is my favorite post every month. That Watchmen-good-people-that owe -nothing-to-Alan Moore comment is a gem and sums it up.

    Can’t help appreciating how well made some of these comics are-craftsmanship-wise. DC , Marvel, Image an others have made these things as compelling as a big budget movie sometime. Maybe not all of them but you could find 10 or 12 books in a given month that are beautifully constructed. There is no debate on my end with those efforts. What photoshop, better computers and better papers offers to savvy creative teams , these stories have layers of reality I don’t remember having growing up or maybe was achieved by simpler, still effective devices. Also writers understanding not to crowd pages with dialog and work with the art. But I do remember the stories being a bit better and satisfying.

    So that said, giving credit to the hard work these creators do, there is just a layer of marketing indulgence and calculation in the industry that is just so off-putting and antithetical to what comics used to be before the 90s that is just hard to like and win new readers with. The 3.99 price point for a very short experience, especially when they can repackage it as a trade later and get even more. 2.99 is more reasonable for the times. The shameless exploitation of horrible violence. It should stop there. The crossovers, tons of variants and excessive liberties with characters they didn’t create or exploit other creators without conscious. And this almost comical aspiration to match movies as events. Why bother? A lot of those event movies look pretty bad 5 years down the line. . Maybe even the Batman ones will too. I don’t think I could pay half of you to watch Lord of the Rings III another time.

    Movies have had a good effect and bad effect on comics as a self contained art form. Just make good, self contained stories without all this noise and calculation in the background, The few that do are winning fans. The many that indulge in this practice will find that it leads to an empty road. Better to do good, honest work that shows some ethics and see where it lands.

  64. Shawn Hill says:

    @Jason: “Was the first half of Batman Begins worthless because we knew he would become Batman, so why bother showing us how that happened?”

    No, but the middle part of Dark Knight Rises where they did it again was!

  65. Shawn Hill says:

    Sorry, should have attributed: @Glenn above.

  66. Nawid says:

    Ryan Higgins never ceases to amaze me. A image/marvel conspiracy? Really?

  67. Synsidar says:

    @Synsidar – that’s all fine for you, but luckily I don’t have such unreasonable expectations from my funnybook reading, or else I’d never have anything to read, since what you look for is tremendously rare.

    Marvel published those comics in the ’70s and has been mining them for content ever since. Roy Thomas’s Kree-Skrull war was space opera with superheroes; Englehart’s “Celestial Madonna” storyline was SF with superheroes. But the focus on trying to imitate the visual dimensions of movies–does anyone care about motion comics anymore?–has driven away readers who wanted comics that presented the content of prose stories.

    SRS

  68. MBunge says:

    “Also writers understanding not to crowd pages with dialog and work with the art.”

    This is one of the great dividing lines, I think, between old and new fans. Old fans like to READ their comics. We look at them more like books with illustrations. New fans seem to value to visual of comics over all else, essentially regarding them more like picture books for grownups, though that analogy is more insulting than I mean.

    Mike

  69. >> Spider-Man’s origin was a standalone story.>>

    Stan’s later mythologizing to the contrary, no, it wasn’t. It was a complete story, but it was conceived and intended as an ongoing series (and even had a next-issue blurb and an announcement that the series would be ongoing when first printed). Several Spider-Man stories were drawn before AMAZING FANTASY was canceled.

    But if you’d like to make the same point: The first Henry Pym story was a standalone story.

  70. Michael P says:

    “Several Spider-Man stories were drawn before AMAZING FANTASY was canceled.”

    That explains why Amazing issues 1-2 have two stories. I’d always wondered that.

  71. >> When James Bond, Sherlock Holmes and Conan were first set down on the printed page, they were standalone stories because none of the authors were guaranteed anything more than that.>>

    And here, I think you’re confusing creativity with publishing choices. Not being guaranteed more doesn’t mean something was designed to be a standalone work; many creative fields are doubtless littered with one-off stories that were designed to be the beginning of open-ended series.

    To pick one easy example: TV pilots, by their nature, aren’t created to be standalone works even though there’s no guarantee of more at the time they’re created. They’re designed to be open-ended, while other works are designed to stand alone.

    I don’t think there’s some forbidding wall between a standalone project and sequels or spinoffs, myself — something can be conceived as a standalone and then later the creator can come up with a way to open it up to more. But there’s more to creating a project as a standalone than not being guaranteed a contract for more.

  72. >> That explains why Amazing issues 1-2 have two stories. I’d always wondered that.>>

    If I remember correctly, the story in #1 that guest-stars the FF was newly-done, but the other three stories in #1-2 were done for AMAZING FANTASY. But I could be misremembering. It was figured out due to the story codes on the splash pages and where they fit into Marvel’s ongoing production.

    That, along with the “special announcement” to the reader in AF #15 that Spider-Man would be the ongoing lead in AF from here onward.

  73. Michael P says:

    I’ve never actually read a copy of Amazing 15 (not even the Marvel Milestones reprint they did when I was a kid), so I never knew what that special announcement was. Until now!

  74. If you’d like to read that “Important Announcement,” I put it up on Tumblr:

    A look at AMAZING FANTASY 15′s “Important Announcement to YOU” http://kurtbusiek.tumblr.com/post/37350872662/i-thought-itd-be-interesting-to-show-how

  75. MBunge says:

    “And here, I think you’re confusing creativity with publishing choices.”

    Well, the point I’m getting at is that it’s somewhat silly to brand WATCHMEN a standalone story simply because no one immediately followed up on it. For pete’s sake, it includes the line “Nothing ends, Adrian. Nothing ever ends.” Most good stories are meant to be standalone stories, even the latest arc of CAPTAIN INVINCIBLE MAN.

    Whether WATCHMEN should have been continued or the way in which it should be is another discussion.

    Mike

  76. Kentucky Fried Horse says:

    I dropped all my DC titles after trying a few of the #1 issues during the initial relaunch. I come here every month to laugh at the sales decline, since DC thought it’d be a good idea to run off a lot of their longtime fans with the New 52 stunt.

  77. Jim 'Bruce' Lee says:

    Thank you for another awesome article Marc. Please keep the reverse order.

  78. I think people tend to skip annuals because of the perception that the stories are filler and completely removed from what’s happened and will happen in the main title. Before titles started being $3.99 anyway, they usually tacked an extra buck on the annuals, making it even easier to skip.

    Crossovers don’t work for me. They said each installment of Owls would be self-contained, so I only read Batman, which was the only DC book I read. I haven’t figured out if this Death of the Family requires reading other titles, but I won’t. I dropped Swamp Thing after they required me to read Frankenstein and Animal Man. AND one of the annuals.

    I’m more Marvel anyway, but most of these Marvel NOW! titles are subpar. It is nice saving more and more money every month.

  79. SniktSnakt says:

    Sorry KFHorse but DC did the New 52 Relaunch b/c not enough of their longtime fans, or anyone for that matter, were buying their books anyway.

    At least relaunching everything with a new #1 has a better chance of hooking some NEW fans then did #658 of Batman or Superman did…

  80. Your commentary on the sales data of digital first books would be a lot more objective if you acknowledged in your data that the way these books perform digitally doesn’t always match the print.

    For example, you state that it’s “rock solid” that Smallville Season 11 is the lowest selling of the digital first books but the problem with that is that it’s not accurate data as the digital first books get most of their sales from their digital release.

    Smallville Season 11 is one of the highest selling books in the digital format in terms of downloads each month. As of yesterday, it was the 3rd highest selling book on the new Kindle app through Amazon outselling virutally every other title except Batman.

    So what do we take from this? Well, for starters, the elusive “new readers” that it’s estimated the Season 11 title brought in aren’t going into comic book shops to purchase the book in print thereby solidifying that print is, in terms of new readers, a dying medium.

    If you are going to cover the digital first titles it might help if you were honest about the realities that are influencing the changing market with these titles.

  81. As someone who feels intensely frustrated and disheartened with the changes made to the Superman books, it feels ridiculous to look at these sales figures and see point blank that the sales on the Superman books one year into the new 52 aren’t any better than the were prior to DC making all these massive changes to character.

    So, DC picked up some lapsed readers on the Superman titles and lost ones who left when they gutted the marriage and changed the character so drastically.

    What I’m left with then is wondering why the heck so many of the things I loved about the Superman story—things that were SELLING and well written a few years ago when there was a consistent vision on the books under writers like Simone, Busiek, Rucka, Johns etc. were gutted to make way for this “new” Superman that hasn’t even risen in sales.

    One would think that in order to justify all the horrible changes that have been made to Superman the sales would have to be substantially higher now. They aren’t. So clearly, the character was never as “broken”as people thought he was. It was the writing and the stories.

  82. DC Where Warned says:

    ”What I’m left with then is wondering why the heck so many of the things I loved about the Superman story—things that were SELLING and well written a few years ago when there was a consistent vision on the books under writers like Simone, Busiek, Rucka, Johns etc. were gutted to make way for this “new” Superman that hasn’t even risen in sales.”

    Because of Grant Morrison’s ego. Google the ‘Superman 2000′ pitch and see for yourself.

    No coincidence to the smart observer that Grant is now claiming he is burnt out and is running away from Superhero’s after his dream pet project of complete control over ‘Superman’ has been a complete failure from day one.

  83. Mesektet says:

    Nocenti’s Catwoman has been panned by critics, were are you getting “critically acclaimed” from?

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