DC Comics Month-to-Month Sales: September 2013 – Big 3D 10th Anniversary Collector’s Item Spectacular

tom strong and the planet of peril 3 cover DC Comics Month to Month Sales: September 2013   Big 3D 10th Anniversary Collectors Item Spectacular
by Marc-Oliver Frisch

First things first: September 2013 is, by quite a margin, the most successful month ever for DC Comics since Diamond started providing data on actual comic-book sales to retailers in March 2003.

In September 2013, DC Comics sold an estimated 4.2 million new comic books to specialty retailers, for a total of $15.3 million in retail sales value. To date, the record was held by October 2011, with 3.8 million new comic books for a total retail sales value of $11.9 million, followed by September 2011, with 3.6 million new comic books for $10.9 million.

Average unit sales are similarly impressive, with an estimated 54,892 units sold of the average new DC comic book and an estimated 61,036 units of the average DC Universe comic book in September. The only month in which DC did better was the “New 52″ launch month, September 2011, when it sold an estimated 57,224 units of the average new DC comic book and an estimated 67,411 units of the average DC Universe comic book.

Given that each of the 52 separate DC Universe titles on sale in September charted twice — once in a $3.99 3-D-cover edition and once in a $2.99 regular edition –, and all of them were touted as new issues of 18 of DC’s best-selling titles, those are not surprising numbers.

For instance, Batman alone sold an estimated total of 536,000 units (combining 3-D and regular editions) of its four September issues, which were titled Batman #23.1: Joker, Batman #23.2: Riddler, Batman #23.3: Bane and Batman #23.4: Penguin, respectively.

You get the idea.

That said, if it was always your feeling that the numbers discussed in these columns were wrong and useless, then this is the month I agree with you, for a veritable cornucopia of first-class reasons.

Thankfully, the September 2013 numbers also conclude my 10th year writing this column, however, so, in the spirit of the season, and in lieu of many interesting new sales trends to talk about, you are all cordially invited to join me in a glorious a bash that’s light on content and high on sparkle. To share in the sprit of invention on display at DC Comics, and to express my gratitude to you, my faithful readers, I thought it appropriate to treat you to something really special this month, something nobody has ever done before — and so I am proud to present to you the first-ever lenticular 3-D sales analysis.

I’m not kidding.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. There’s a nasty big mess to sort through first, before we get to all the fun and games and the merry smearing of birthday cake and root beer floats onto our giddy naked bodies.

Calamity first poked our way one of its scrawny long fingers when DC announced to celebrate the second anniversary of the big “New 52″ relaunch by replacing all of its regular DC Universe titles with one-shots starring super-villains. It was decided that all of those one-shots were to sport special 3-D covers and come with an increased price of $3.99 a pop. It was further decreed that each of those 52 one-shots be numbered by way of decimal fractions, which, along with appropriate monikers, marked them all as continuations of 18 of DC’s best-selling titles. Finally, the majority of these “Villains Month” one-shots, as DC called the publishing event, were to contain one-shot stories by guest creators, rather than actually continue the ongoing storylines of the titles they had just been subsumed under.

When initial plans for “Villains Month” manifested, it was clear that all of this would present a challenge to comics stores, even under the best of circumstances. Retailers would have to gauge the demand for an entire month’s worth of fill-in issues — fill-in issues that were, in most cases, 25% more expensive than a regular issue would have been.

And then everything went south.

If you believe DC, and I don’t think that’s a good idea, generally, because if you believe a company that publishes press releases like the ones they published to explain “Villains Month,” regardless if true or not, then here’s a bridge I’d like to sell you, but anyway — if you believe DC, then this is how it went down: Due to the 3-D covers of the “Villains Month” books, DC claims, the publisher had to set print runs on these books so far in advance that it was not possible to know what the demand for them was going to be.

Now, even presuming that this is what really happened, it’s unclear whether the ordering process had started when production of the 3-D comics commenced, in this scenario. Be that as it may, this problem evidently descended upon DC’s collective heads so suddenly and unforeseeably that there was no way the company could possibly have reacted sooner — by delaying the comics, say, or by modifying the solicitations, or by offering non-3-D replacement copies right away, or at least by letting retailers know about the problem earlier in the process –, and so the best available solution was to wait and see what happened.

And what happened was this, according to DC: So unexpectedly huge and overwhelming was the actual demand for the 52 “Villains Month” 3-D cover comics that DC would not be able to fulfill all orders, meaning that orders would be “allocated,” which is Evil Socialist Speak for “You’re not going to get what you want, you’re going to get what we give you.” Which, incidentally, included a handsome number of standard “2-D” cover editions, which had not even been offered in the original solicitations, but were now going to be produced as a means to fill out the shipments that fell short of what retailers had ordered.

Quite how DC was going to determine how many of its books to give to which retail stores, the publisher did not share; nor is it clear why DC, in the knowledge that the 3-D editions were oh-so-difficult to produce, did not offer the regularly priced standard editions right away. (Well, because then the 3-D ones might have been less of a red-hot collector’s item, one can only speculate.)

In other words, what occurred in September 2013 is that DC published 52 randomly titled and randomly numbered superhero comics with random content assembled by a group of random creators, then printed a randomly determined number of copies of them and finally shipped randomly determined amounts of those to randomly selected retailers. It’s the Soviet way of producing comic books, basically.

Retailer Brian Hibbs takes a brave stab at interpreting the figures that result, and he makes some potentially good observations, but at this point there’s so much we do not know about what precisely DC did or didn’t do, and there’s so little credibility to what they publicly say about it, that I’m way more interested to see what happens to the market in the next few months, after the dust has settled on this entire clusterfudge.

The thing is, there’s no indication of actual demand at the retail level whatsoever in the September 2013 DC Universe numbers, and even if there were, it wouldn’t be content-based. What we got here is just a good old, 1990s-style, let’s-game-the-system variant-cover feeding frenzy, and retailers swallowed it, hook, line and sinker.

You hear all this talk about how comics stores are so much smarter now than they were in the 1990s, and how that sort of market crash could never happen again. Looking at the September figures — seeing that DC managed to push more than 4 million comic books and $13 million in dollar value on stores with a hoary old gimmick-cover scheme and no regard for content at all — certainly puts that notion in perspective.

Then again, that’s also part of why I find the direct market fascinating enough to write a column about it for 10 years and counting. I’m just very glad sometimes I don’t have to rely on it for a living.

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

—–

290 - TOM STRONG AND THE PLANET OF PERIL (Vertigo)
06/2010: Robots of Doom #1 of 6  -- 10,552
07/2010: Robots of Doom #2 of 6  --  7,655
08/2010: Robots of Doom #3 of 6  --  6,989
09/2010: Robots of Doom #4 of 6  --  6,661
10/2010: Robots of Doom #5 of 6  --  6,271
11/2010: Robots of Doom #6 of 6  --  5,995
------------------------------------------
07/2013: Planet of Peril #1 of 6 -- 10,492
08/2013: Planet of Peril #2 of 6 --  7,593 (-27.6%)
09/2013: Planet of Peril #3 of 6 --  6,746 (-11.2%)

Pretty much the same pattern as three years ago. The move to Vertigo is having zero effect on sales.

—–

254 - ARROW (Digital-First)
11/2012: Arrow #1  -- 25,442
12/2012: Arrow #2  -- 15,780 (-38.0%)
01/2013: Arrow #3  -- 13,090 (-17.1%)
02/2013: Arrow #4  -- 11,581 (-11.5%)
03/2013: Arrow #5  -- 10,908 (- 5.8%)
04/2013: Arrow #6  -- 10,462 (- 4.1%)
05/2013: Arrow #7  -- 10,017 (- 4.3%)
06/2013: Arrow #8  --  9,671 (- 3.5%)
07/2013: Arrow #9  --  9,334 (- 3.5%)
08/2013: Arrow #10 --  9,028 (- 3.3%)
09/2013: Arrow #11 --  8,621 (- 4.5%)
----------------
6 months: -21.0%

Cancelled with issue #12.

—–

249 - 100 BULLETS: BROTHER LONO (Vertigo)
09/2003: --
09/2008: 100 Bullets #95      -- 10,669
---------------------------------------
06/2013: Brother Lono #1 of 8 -- 17,489
07/2013: Brother Lono #2 of 8 -- 11,984 (-31.5%)
08/2013: Brother Lono #3 of 8 -- 10,051 (-16.1%)
09/2013: Brother Lono #4 of 8 --  8,891 (-11.5%)
----------------
5 years : -16.7%
10 years:   n.a.

Sure, there’s probably a substantial audience for the paperback collection of any Azzarello/Risso project. But that said, the comic-book version of this particular project is tanking badly.

—–

248 - THE UNWRITTEN (Vertigo)
09/2009: The Unwritten #5  -- 16,011
09/2010: The Unwritten #17 -- 12,796
09/2011: The Unwritten #29 -- 10,511
------------------------------------
09/2012: The Unwritten #41 --  8,943 (- 2.0%)
10/2012: The Unwritten #42 --  8,881 (- 0.7%)
11/2012: The Unwritten #43 --  8,791 (- 1.0%)
12/2012: The Unwritten #44 --  8,532 (- 3.0%)
01/2013: The Unwritten #45 --  8,465 (- 0.8%)
02/2013: The Unwritten #46 --  8,352 (- 1.3%)
03/2013: The Unwritten #47 --  8,267 (- 1.0%)
04/2013: The Unwritten #48 --  8,226 (- 0.5%)
05/2013: The Unwritten #49 --  8,234 (+ 0.1%)
06/2013: The Unwritten #50 -- 10,124 (+23.0%)
07/2013: The Unwritten #51 --  9,143 (- 9.7%)
08/2013: The Unwritten #52 --  9,033 (- 1.2%)
09/2013: The Unwritten #53 --  8,982 (- 0.6%)
----------------
6 months: + 8.7%
1 year  : + 0.4%
2 years : -14.6%

The book’s final storyline, which ties in with Fables, is levelling out slightly above recent levels. Cancelled with issue #54, to be relaunched in January.

—–

247 - DJANGO UNCHAINED (Vertigo)
12/2012: Django Unchained #1 of 6 -- 11,795
01/2013: --
02/2013: Django Unchained #2 of 6 -- 13,554 (+14.9%)
03/2013: --
04/2013: Django Unchained #3 of 6 -- 12,561 (- 7.3%)
05/2013: --
06/2013: Django Unchained #4 of 6 -- 12,119 (- 3.5%)
06/2013: Django Unchained #5 of 6 -- 10,856 (-10.4%)
07/2013: --
08/2013: Django Unchained #6 of 6 --  9,938 (- 8.5%)
09/2013: Django Unchained #7 of 7 --  9,203 (- 7.4%)
----------------
6 months:  n.a.

Not a stellar performance, but solid by Vertigo standards.

—–

238 - AME-COMI GIRLS (Digital-First)
10/2012: ACG #1: Wonder Woman      -- 24,966
11/2012: ACG #2: Batgirl           -- 16,083 (-35.6%)
12/2012: ACG #3: Duela Dent        -- 13,185 (-18.0%)
01/2013: ACG #4: Power Girl        -- 12,488 (- 5.3%)
02/2013: ACG #5 of 5: Supergirl    -- 12,343 (- 1.2%)
03/2013: Ame-Comi Girls #1         -- 16,558 (+34.2%)
04/2013: Ame-Comi Girls #2         -- 12,878 (-22.2%)
05/2013: Ame-Comi Girls #3         -- 12,007 (- 6.8%)
06/2013: Ame-Comi Girls #4         -- 11,229 (- 6.5%)
07/2013: Ame-Comi Girls #5         -- 10,672 (- 5.0%)
08/2013: Ame-Comi Girls #6         --  9,979 (- 6.5%)
09/2013: Ame-Comi Girls #7         --  9,616 (- 3.6%)
----------------
6 months: -41.9%

Cancelled with issue #8.

—–

214 - FBP: FEDERAL BUREAU OF PHYSICS (Vertigo)
07/2013: Collider #1  -- 17,336
08/2013: FBP #2       -- 14,068 (-18.9%)
09/2013: FBP #3       -- 13,977 (- 0.7%)

Levelling out quickly now.

Once again, the book’s quantities were reduced on the chart by Diamond to compensate for returnability, so I’m presuming that Diamond reported 90% of those sales, and adding the missing 10% to the numbers reported, because that turned out to be broadly correct in the past. The same applies to Trillium.

—–

213 - BATMAN: ARKHAM UNHINGED (Digital-First)
09/2012: Arkham Unhinged #6  -- 20,259 (- 3.8%)
10/2012: Arkham Unhinged #7  -- 19,890 (- 1.8%)
11/2012: Arkham Unhinged #8  -- 18,393 (- 7.5%)
12/2012: Arkham Unhinged #9  -- 17,220 (- 6.4%)
01/2013: Arkham Unhinged #10 -- 16,113 (- 6.4%)
02/2013: Arkham Unhinged #11 -- 15,703 (- 2.6%)
03/2013: Arkham Unhinged #12 -- 15,067 (- 4.1%)
04/2013: Arkham Unhinged #13 -- 14,702 (- 2.4%)
05/2013: Arkham Unhinged #14 -- 14,048 (- 4.5%)
06/2013: Arkham Unhinged #15 -- 13,729 (- 2.3%)
07/2013: Arkham Unhinged #16 -- 13,046 (- 5.0%)
08/2013: Arkham Unhinged #17 -- 13,360 (+ 2.4%)
09/2013: Arkham Unhinged #18 -- 12,984 (- 2.8%)
----------------
6 months: -13.8%
1 year  : -35.9%

Cancelled with issue #20.

—–

210 - FAIREST (Vertigo)
09/2012: Fairest #7  -- 18,626 (- 4.2%)
10/2012: Fairest #8  -- 18,376 (- 1.3%)
11/2012: Fairest #9  -- 17,417 (- 5.2%)
12/2012: Fairest #10 -- 16,919 (- 2.9%)
01/2013: Fairest #11 -- 16,498 (- 2.5%)
02/2013: Fairest #12 -- 16,141 (- 2.2%)
03/2013: Fairest #13 -- 15,693 (- 2.8%)
04/2013: Fairest #14 -- 15,269 (- 2.7%)
05/2013: Fairest #15 -- 14,959 (- 2.0%)
06/2013: Fairest #16 -- 14,289 (- 4.5%)
07/2013: Fairest #17 -- 13,915 (- 2.6%)
08/2013: Fairest #18 -- 13,511 (- 2.9%)
09/2013: Fairest #19 -- 13,278 (- 1.7%)
----------------
6 months: -15.4%
1 year  : -28.7%

Standard attrition.

—–

209 - BATMAN: LI'L GOTHAM (Digital-First)
04/2013: Li'l Gotham #1  -- 27,591
05/2013: Li'l Gotham #2  -- 18,573 (-32.7%)
06/2013: Li'l Gotham #3  -- 18,578 (+ 0.0%)
07/2013: Li'l Gotham #4  -- 21,646 (+16.5%)
08/2013: Li'l Gotham #5  -- 14,696 (-32.1%)
09/2013: Li'l Gotham #6  -- 13,654 (- 7.1%)

For a while, it looked like DC was on to something with their line of digital-first books, which steadily expanded through 2013. In the last few months, though, most of the books are running out of steam, getting cancelled or relaunched. Nonetheless, nine digital-first titles are slated to come out in January 2014, so the experimentation period isn’t over yet.

One of the trends to watch next year.

—–

208 - SMALLVILLE SEASON 11 (Digital-First)
09/2012: Smallville S11 #5  -- 19,499 (- 1.8%)
10/2012: Smallville S11 #6  -- 19,663 (+ 0.8%)
11/2012: Smallville S11 #7  -- 19,104 (- 2.8%)
12/2012: Smallville S11 #8  -- 18,633 (- 2.5%)
01/2013: Smallville S11 #9  -- 17,845 (- 4.2%)
02/2013: Smallville S11 #10 -- 17,024 (- 4.6%)
03/2013: Smallville S11 #11 -- 16,502 (- 3.1%)
04/2013: Smallville S11 #12 -- 15,930 (- 3.5%)
05/2013: Smallville S11 #13 -- 15,442 (- 3.1%)
06/2013: Smallville S11 #14 -- 15,097 (- 2.2%)
07/2013: Smallville S11 #15 -- 14,930 (- 1.1%)
08/2013: Smallville S11 #16 -- 14,640 (- 1.9%)
09/2013: Smallville S11 #17 -- 14,153 (- 3.3%)
----------------
6 months: -14.2%
1 year  : -27.4%

Cancelled with issue #19, to be continued in a miniseries.

—–

203 - FABLES (Vertigo)
09/2003: Fables #17  -- 25,856
09/2008: Fables #75  -- 25,266
09/2008: Fables #76  -- 23,914
09/2009: Fables #88  -- 21,508
09/2010: Fables #98  -- 19,594
09/2011: Fables #109 -- 18,072
------------------------------
09/2012: Fables #121 -- 16,596 (- 0.7%)
10/2012: Fables #122 -- 16,513 (- 0.5%)
11/2012: Fables #123 -- 16,229 (- 1.7%)
12/2012: Fables #124 -- 16,018 (- 1.3%)
01/2013: Fables #125 -- 15,983 (- 0.2%)
02/2013: Fables #126 -- 15,480 (- 3.2%)
03/2013: Fables #127 -- 15,529 (+ 0.3%)
04/2013: Fables #128 -- 15,606 (+ 0.5%)
05/2013: Fables #129 -- 15,380 (- 1.5%)
06/2013: Fables #130 -- 15,129 (- 1.6%)
07/2013: Fables #131 -- 15,109 (- 0.1%)
08/2013: Fables #132 -- 14,893 (- 1.4%)
09/2013: Fables #133 -- 14,639 (- 1.7%)
----------------
6 months: - 5.7%
1 year  : -11.8%
2 years : -19.0%
5 years : -40.5%
10 years: -43.4%

Standard attrition.

—–

199 - LEGENDS OF THE DARK KNIGHT (Digital-First)
09/2003: LotDK #171 -- 25,294
-----------------------------
10/2012: LotDK #1   -- 42,904
11/2012: LotDK #2   -- 30,085 (-29.9%)
12/2012: LotDK #3   -- 25,710 (-14.5%)
01/2013: LotDK #4   -- 22,671 (-11.8%)
02/2013: LotDK #5   -- 21,041 (- 7.2%)
03/2013: LotDK #6   -- 19,681 (- 6.5%)
04/2013: LotDK #7   -- 18,201 (- 7.5%)
05/2013: LotDK #8   -- 17,126 (- 5.9%)
06/2013: LotDK #9   -- 16,678 (- 2.6%)
07/2013: LotDK #10  -- 16,184 (- 3.0%)
08/2013: LotDK #11  -- 15,546 (- 3.9%)
09/2013: LotDK #12  -- 15,166 (- 2.4%)
----------------
6 months: -22.9%
10 years: -40.0%

Cancelled with issue #13.

—–

190 - ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN (Digital-First)
09/2003: Adventures of Superman #620 -- 28,100
----------------------------------------------
05/2013: Adventures of Superman #1   -- 30,992
06/2013: Adventures of Superman #2   -- 22,407 (-27.7%)
07/2013: Adventures of Superman #3   -- 19,453 (-13.2%)
08/2013: Adventures of Superman #4   -- 17,370 (-10.7%)
09/2013: Adventures of Superman #5   -- 16,011 (- 7.8%)
----------------
10 years: -43.0%

Levelling out, very slowly.

—–

175 - ASTRO CITY (Vertigo)
09/2009: Astra Special #1     -- 14,627
09/2010: Silver Agent #2      -- 12,486
---------------------------------------
06/2013: Astro City #1        -- 27,700
07/2013: Astro City #2        -- 20,193 (-27.1%)
08/2013: Astro City #3        -- 18,802 (- 6.9%)
09/2013: Astro City #4        -- 17,641 (- 6.2%)
-----------------
5 years :  n.a.
10 years:  n.a.

Another book that’s taking its time levelling out. Astro City is still doing better than it did at WildStorm shortly before that imprint faltered, however.

—–

167 - BATMAN BEYOND UNIVERSE (Digital-First)
09/2012: Unlimited #8   -- 20,897 (- 1.5%)
10/2012: Unlimited #9   -- 19,877 (- 4.9%)
11/2012: Unlimited #10  -- 19,004 (- 4.4%)
12/2012: Unlimited #11  -- 18,089 (- 4.8%)
01/2013: Unlimited #12  -- 17,446 (- 3.6%)
02/2013: Unlimited #13  -- 17,025 (- 2.4%)
03/2013: Unlimited #14  -- 16,456 (- 3.3%)
04/2013: Unlimited #15  -- 16,283 (- 1.1%)
05/2013: Unlimited #16  -- 15,822 (- 2.8%)
06/2013: Unlimited #17  -- 15,464 (- 2.3%)
07/2013: Unlimited #18  -- 15,275 (- 1.2%)
08/2013: Universe #1    -- 23,358 (+52.9%)
09/2013: Universe #2    -- 18,332 (-21.5%)
----------------
6 months: +11.4%
1 year  : -12.3%

On its way back to previous levels, not unexpectedly.

—–

140 - TRILLIUM (Vertigo)
08/2013: Trillium #1 of 8 -- 30,712
09/2013: Trillium #2 of 8 -- 24,482 (-20.3%)

That’s a big second-issue drop for a miniseries, but sales remain at an unusually high level for Vertigo.

(Trillium was made returnable by DC and had its numbers reduced on the chart by Diamond, before I readjusted them for the column.)

—–

129 - INJUSTICE: GODS AMONG US (Digital-First)
01/2013: Injustice #1  -- 20,733          [35,438]
02/2013: Injustice #2  -- 17,068 (-17.7%) [29,096]
03/2013: Injustice #3  -- 18,608 (+ 9.0%) [24,469]
04/2013: Injustice #4  -- 21,669 (+16.5%) [26,739]
05/2013: Injustice #5  -- 25,215 (+16.4%)
06/2013: Injustice #6  -- 26,011 (+ 3.2%)
07/2013: Injustice #7  -- 25,731 (- 1.1%)
08/2013: Injustice #8  -- 25,223 (- 2.0%)
09/2013: Injustice #9  -- 24,333 (- 3.5%)
----------------
6 months: +30.8%

To be relaunched after issue #12.

Since sales are still fairly good here, presumably the relaunch is an effort to turn the good reception into even better numbers.

—–

88 - THE WAKE (Vertigo)
05/2013: The Wake #1  of 10 -- 44,867          [50,188]
06/2013: The Wake #2  of 10 -- 32,562 (-27.4%)
07/2013: The Wake #3  of 10 -- 30,622 (- 6.0%)
08/2013: --
09/2013: The Wake #4  of 10 -- 31,674 (+ 3.4%)

The first three issues were made returnable, so the slight increase here may just be a statistical hiccup resulting from my adjustment not being on the level. Given the positive reception, though, a genuine increase would seem plausible, as well.

—–

78 - BATMAN '66 (Digital-First)
07/2013: Batman '66 #1  -- 50,430
08/2013: Batman '66 #2  -- 37,113 (-26.4%)
09/2013: Batman '66 #3  -- 32,954 (-11.2%)

That’s a fairly regular levelling-out pattern for a new title, but overall sales are still perfectly good for a book collecting previously published material.

—–

74 - DC UNIVERSE VS. MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE
09/2013: DCU vs. MotU #1 of 6 -- 35,269

On one side, a world based on barbaric fantasies for little boys, where the stories are just thinly veiled excuses to see action figures fight; on the other, He-Man and the Masters of the Universe.

It had to happen, I guess.

And now, on to “Villains Month,” our special 10th Anniversary Collector’s Item Extravaganza courtesy of DC Comics, whose numbers mean absolutely nothing whatsoever, along with the world’s first-ever 3-D sales analysis.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

(A procedural note: Each of the “Villains Month” figures you see below is a combination of the 3-D edition and the standard edition. The standard-edition books were made returnable by DC, which means they “had their reported quantities reduced due to retailer returnability, and thus may rank lower on the charts than their actual sales would reflect.” As usual, I’m presuming Diamond reported 90% of those sales, and adding the missing 10% to the numbers reported by ICv2.com. In any case, the DC Universe rankings provided by Diamond are completely bogus, thanks to the fact that each book appears on the chart twice, and half of them with reduced quantities.)

—–

122/211 - SWAMP THING
09/2011: Swamp Thing #1  -- 54,757 [73,683]
----------------------------------
09/2012: Swamp Thing #0  -- 40,123 (+ 9.3%)
10/2012: Swamp Thing #13 -- 36,069 (-10.1%)
11/2012: Swamp Thing #14 -- 42,036 (+16.5%)
12/2012: Swamp Thing #15 -- 33,916 (-19.3%)
01/2013: Swamp Thing #16 -- 32,262 (- 4.9%)
02/2013: Swamp Thing #17 -- 31,497 (- 2.4%)
03/2013: Swamp Thing #18 -- 30,716 (- 2.5%)
04/2013: Swamp Thing #19 -- 29,254 (- 4.8%)
05/2013: Swamp Thing #20 -- 27,338 (- 6.6%)
06/2013: Swamp Thing #21 -- 25,186 (- 7.9%)
07/2013: Swamp Thing #22 -- 23,885 (- 5.2%)
08/2013: Swamp Thing #23 -- 22,695 (- 5.0%)
09/2013: #23.1: Arcane   -- 40,390 (+78.0%)
----------------
6 months: +31.5%
1 year  : + 0.7%
2 years : -26.2%
(ノ ̄ω ̄)ノ

—–

112/202 - GREEN ARROW
09/2003: Green Arrow #30  -- 40,443
09/2008: Arrow/Canary #12 -- 27,896
09/2009: Arrow&Canary #24 -- 18,780
09/2010: Green Arrow #4   -- 44,220
09/2011: Green Arrow #1   -- 61,680 [72,359]
-----------------------------------
09/2012: Green Arrow #0   -- 28,408 (+ 22.8%)
10/2012: Green Arrow #13  -- 22,057 (- 22.4%)
11/2012: Green Arrow #14  -- 21,825 (-  1.1%)
12/2012: Green Arrow #15  -- 20,672 (-  5.3%)
01/2013: Green Arrow #16  -- 19,888 (-  3.8%)
02/2013: Green Arrow #17  -- 36,043 (+ 81.2%)
03/2013: Green Arrow #18  -- 28,080 (- 22.1%)
04/2013: Green Arrow #19  -- 29,922 (+  6.6%)
05/2013: Green Arrow #20  -- 27,541 (-  8.0%)
06/2013: Green Arrow #21  -- 26,924 (-  2.2%)
07/2013: Green Arrow #22  -- 26,172 (-  2.8%)
08/2013: Green Arrow #23  -- 25,449 (-  2.8%)
09/2013: #23.1: CtVertigo -- 43,234 (+ 69.9%)
-----------------
6 months: + 54.0%
1 year  : + 52.2%
2 years : - 29.9%
5 years : + 55.0%
10 years: +  6.9%
ヘ( ̄ω ̄ヘ)

—–

95/118/189/192 - WONDER WOMAN
09/2003: Wonder Woman #196 --  27,539
09/2008: Wonder Woman #24  --  34,583
09/2009: Wonder Woman #36  --  28,806
09/2010: Wonder Woman #603 --  38,852
09/2011: Wonder Woman #1   --  76,214 [95,902]
-------------------------------------
09/2012: Wonder Woman #0   --  49,778 (+ 11.7%)
10/2012: Wonder Woman #13  --  43,731 (- 12.2%)
11/2012: Wonder Woman #14  --  42,384 (-  3.1%)
12/2012: Wonder Woman #15  --  41,641 (-  1.8%)
01/2013: Wonder Woman #16  --  40,105 (-  3.7%)
02/2013: Wonder Woman #17  --  39,110 (-  2.5%)
03/2013: Wonder Woman #18  --  38,406 (-  1.8%)
04/2013: Wonder Woman #19  --  46,492 (+ 21.1%)
05/2013: Wonder Woman #20  --  37,132 (- 20.1%)
06/2013: Wonder Woman #21  --  35,999 (-  3.1%)
07/2013: Wonder Woman #22  --  35,539 (-  1.3%)
08/2013: Wonder Woman #23  --  34,747 (-  2.2%)
09/2013: #23.1: Cheetah    --  49,297 (+ 41.9%)
09/2013: #23.2: First Born --  44,154 (- 10.4%)
-----------------
6 months: + 21.7%
1 year  : -  6.1%
2 years : - 38.7%
5 years : + 35.1%
10 years: + 69.7%
ヽ(⌐■_■)ノ♪♬

—–

113/117/176/184 - JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK
09/2012: Justice League Dark #0   -- 34,287 (+ 11.5%)
10/2012: Justice League Dark #13  -- 30,008 (- 12.5%)
11/2012: Justice League Dark #14  -- 28,966 (-  3.5%)
12/2012: Justice League Dark #15  -- 27,712 (-  4.3%)
01/2013: Justice League Dark #16  -- 26,902 (-  2.9%)
02/2013: Justice League Dark #17  -- 25,841 (-  3.9%)
03/2013: Justice League Dark #18  -- 25,664 (-  0.7%)
04/2013: Justice League Dark #19  -- 25,407 (-  1.0%)
05/2013: Justice League Dark #20  -- 24,693 (-  2.8%)
06/2013: Justice League Dark #21  -- 24,663 (-  0.1%)
07/2013: Justice League Dark #22  -- 68,294 (+176.9%) [76,570]
08/2013: Justice League Dark #23  -- 71,157 (+  4.2%)
09/2013: #23.1: Creeper           -- 46,326 (- 34.9%)
09/2013: #23.2: Eclipso           -- 45,138 (-  2.6%)
-----------------
6 months: + 78.2%
1 year  : + 33.4%
\(._.\) ƪ(‘-’ ƪ)(ʃ ‘-’)ʃ (/._.)/

—–

90/93/185/197 - TEEN TITANS
09/2003: Teen Titans #3   -- 66,626
09/2008: Teen Titans #63  -- 41,790
09/2009: Teen Titans #75  -- 32,808
09/2010: Teen Titans #87  -- 23,259
09/2011: Teen Titans #1   -- 73,675 [89,056]
-----------------------------------
09/2012: Teen Titans #0   -- 47,318 (+ 10.5%)
10/2012: Teen Titans #13  -- 41,059 (- 13.2%)
11/2012: Teen Titans #14  -- 39,745 (-  3.3%)
12/2012: Teen Titans #15  -- 68,707 (+ 72.9%)
01/2013: Teen Titans #16  -- 63,726 (-  7.3%)
02/2013: Teen Titans #17  -- 39,186 (- 38.5%)
03/2013: Teen Titans #18  -- 42,055 (+  7.3%)
04/2013: Teen Titans #19  -- 39,532 (-  6.0%)
05/2013: Teen Titans #20  -- 36,391 (-  8.0%)
06/2013: Teen Titans #21  -- 34,710 (-  4.6%)
07/2013: Teen Titans #22  -- 33,062 (-  4.8%)
08/2013: Teen Titans #23  -- 31,742 (-  4.0%)
09/2013: #23.1: Trigon    -- 48,974 (+ 54.3%)
09/2013: #23.2: Dthstroke -- 49,920 (+  1.9%)
-----------------
6 months: + 17.6%
1 year  : +  4.5%
2 years : - 32.9%
5 years : + 18.3%
10 years: - 25.1%
へ(>_<へ)

-----

84/92/96/157/164/174 - FLASH
09/2003: Flash #202      --  34,599
09/2008: Flash #244      --  29,180
09/2009: --
09/2010: Flash #5        --  62,063
09/2011: Flash #1        -- 129,260 [147,818]
-----------------------------------
09/2012: Flash #0        --  56,890 (+  9.9%)
10/2012: Flash #13       --  49,936 (- 12.2%)
11/2012: Flash #14       --  48,012 (-  3.9%)
12/2012: Flash #15       --  45,925 (-  4.4%)
01/2013: Flash #16       --  44,093 (-  4.0%)
02/2013: Flash #17       --  42,936 (-  2.6%)
03/2013: Flash #18       --  41,659 (-  3.0%)
04/2013: Flash #19       --  42,079 (+  1.0%)
05/2013: Flash #20       --  39,667 (-  5.7%)
06/2013: Flash #21       --  38,848 (-  2.1%)
07/2013: Flash #22       --  38,993 (+  0.4%)
08/2013: Flash #23       --  38,860 (-  0.3%)
09/2013: #23.1: Grodd    --  52,901 (+ 36.1%)
09/2013: #23.2: RvrsFlsh --  53,359 (+  0.9%)
09/2013: #23.3: Rogues   --  51,072 (-  4.3%)
-----------------
6 months: + 25.9%
1 year  : -  7.8%
2 years : - 59.4%
5 years : + 79.7%
10 years: + 47.6%
─=≡Σ((( つ•̀ω•́)つ

-----

27/30/32/75/170/173/187/196 - ACTION COMICS
09/2003: Action Comics #807 --  30,858
09/2008: Action Comics #869 --  49,597
09/2009: Action Comics #881 --  36,183
09/2010: Action Comics #893 --  33,948
09/2011: Action Comics #1   -- 182,748 [200,947]
--------------------------------------
09/2012: Action Comics #0   --  78,626 (+ 10.4%)
10/2012: Action Comics #13  --  67,241 (- 14.5%)
11/2012: Action Comics #14  --  64,341 (-  4.3%)
12/2012: Action Comics #15  --  61,298 (-  4.7%)
01/2013: Action Comics #16  --  58,645 (-  4.3%)
02/2013: Action Comics #17  --  57,189 (-  2.5%)
03/2013: Action Comics #18  --  61,879 (+  8.2%)
04/2013: Action Comics #19  --  52,007 (- 16.0%)
05/2013: Action Comics #20  --  48,324 (-  7.1%)
06/2013: Action Comics #21  --  46,475 (-  3.8%)
07/2013: Action Comics #22  --  44,861 (-  3.5%)
08/2013: Action Comics #23  --  42,603 (-  5.0%)
09/2013: #23.1: Cyborg Smn  --  69,796 (+ 63.8%)
09/2013: #23.2: Zod         --  69,356 (-  0.6%)
09/2013: #23.3: Lex Luthor  --  67,621 (-  2.5%)
09/2013: #23.4: Metallo     --  51,807 (- 23.4%)
-----------------
6 months: +  4.5%
1 year  : - 17.8%
2 years : - 64.6%
5 years : + 30.3%
10 years: +109.5%
(ノ´ヮ´)ノ*:・゚✧

-----

83/85/166/171 - EARTH 2
09/2012: Earth 2 #0  -- 69,111 (+ 2.6%)
10/2012: Earth 2 #5  -- 61,529 (-11.0%)
11/2012: Earth 2 #6  -- 58,271 (- 4.8%)
12/2012: Earth 2 #7  -- 54,409 (- 6.6%)
01/2013: Earth 2 #8  -- 50,860 (- 6.5%)
02/2013: Earth 2 #9  -- 48,208 (- 5.2%)
03/2013: Earth 2 #10 -- 46,213 (- 4.1%)
04/2013: Earth 2 #11 -- 45,468 (- 1.6%)
05/2013: Earth 2 #12 -- 43,983 (- 3.3%)
06/2013: Earth 2 #13 -- 42,916 (- 2.4%)
07/2013: Earth 2 #14 -- 42,022 (- 2.1%)
08/2013: Earth 2 #15 -- 40,845 (- 2.8%)
09/2013: #15.1: Desd -- 51,850 (+26.9%)
09/2013: #15.2: SlGr -- 52,369 (+ 1.0%)
----------------
6 months: +12.8%
1 year  : -24.6%
(〃 ̄д ̄)八(  ̄д ̄ )八( ̄д ̄〃)

-----

61/71/159/191 - AQUAMAN
09/2003: Aquaman #10 -- 26,370
09/2011: Aquaman #1  -- 80,302 [108,545]
------------------------------
09/2012: Aquaman #0  -- 61,227 (+ 0.0%)
10/2012: Aquaman #13 -- 54,648 (-10.8%)
11/2012: Aquaman #14 -- 53,664 (- 1.8%)
12/2012: Aquaman #15 -- 75,947 (+41.5%)
01/2013: Aquaman #16 -- 62,153 (-18.2%)
02/2013: Aquaman #17 -- 58,578 (- 5.8%)
03/2013: Aquaman #18 -- 53,337 (- 9.0%)
04/2013: --
05/2013: Aquaman #19 -- 53,415 (+ 0.2%)
05/2013: Aquaman #20 -- 49,697 (- 7.0%)
06/2013: Aquaman #21 -- 46,832 (- 5.8%)
07/2013: Aquaman #22 -- 45,653 (- 2.5%)
08/2013: Aquaman #23 -- 44,140 (- 3.3%)
09/2013: #23.1: BMta -- 58,207 (+31.9%)
09/2013: #23.2: OMtr -- 53,679 (- 7.8%)
-----------------
6 months: +  4.9%
1 year  : -  8.6%
2 years : - 30.3%
10 years: +112.2%
╭ (oㅇ‿ o#)ᕗ

-----

46/62/68/72/147/158/178/204 - SUPERMAN
09/2003: Superman #197 --  33,430
09/2008: Superman #680 --  46,585
09/2009: Superman #692 --  37,695
09/2010: --
09/2011: Superman #1   -- 131,529 [150,128]
---------------------------------
09/2012: Superman #0   --  60,493 (+ 13.4%)
10/2012: Superman #13  --  52,155 (- 13.8%)
11/2012: Superman #14  --  52,572 (+  0.8%)
12/2012: Superman #15  --  51,225 (-  2.6%)
01/2013: Superman #16  --  50,621 (-  1.2%)
02/2013: --
03/2013: Superman #17  --  49,666 (-  1.9%)
03/2013: Superman #18  --  48,236 (-  2.9%)
04/2013: Superman #19  --  48,598 (+  0.8%)
05/2013: Superman #20  --  45,458 (-  6.5%)
06/2013: Superman #21  --  44,285 (-  2.6%)
07/2013: Superman #22  --  42,961 (-  3.0%)
08/2013: Superman #23  --  42,155 (-  1.9%)
09/2013: #23.1: Bzarro --  59,589 (+ 41.4%)
09/2013: #23.2: Brniac --  58,197 (-  2.3%)
09/2013: #23.3: H'el   --  55,069 (-  5.4%)
09/2013: #23.4: Prsite --  59,811 (+  8.6%)
-----------------
6 months: + 18.8%
1 year  : -  3.9%
2 years : - 55.8%
5 years : + 24.9%
10 years: + 74.0%
←~(o `▽´ )oΨ

-----

89/91/98/100/103/132/133/143 - BATMAN: THE DARK KNIGHT
09/2011: Dark Knight #1  -- 109,321 [128,689]
-----------------------------------
09/2012: Dark Knight #0  --  72,919 (+  8.7%)
10/2012: Dark Knight #13 --  65,271 (- 10.5%)
11/2012: Dark Knight #14 --  62,792 (-  3.8%)
12/2012: Dark Knight #15 --  60,569 (-  3.6%)
01/2013: Dark Knight #16 --  58,258 (-  3.8%)
02/2013: Dark Knight #17 --  55,990 (-  3.9%)
03/2013: Dark Knight #18 --  54,269 (-  3.1%)
04/2013: Dark Knight #19 --  52,644 (-  3.0%)
05/2013: Dark Knight #20 --  50,423 (-  4.2%)
06/2013: Dark Knight #21 --  48,612 (-  3.6%)
07/2013: Dark Knight #22 --  47,096 (-  3.1%)
08/2013: Dark Knight #23 --  45,584 (-  3.2%)
09/2013: #23.1: Vtrlqust --  57,363 (+ 25.8%)
09/2013: #23.2: MrFreeze --  57,349 (-  0.0%)
09/2013: #23.3: Clayface --  55,084 (-  4.0%)
09/2013: #23.4: JkrsDgtr --  64,952 (+ 17.9%)
-----------------
6 months: +  8.1%
1 year  : - 19.5%
2 years : - 46.3%
(▰︶︹︺▰)

-----

29/82/86/87/97/109/123/135 - JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA
09/2003: JLA #86            --   59,496
09/2003: JLA #87            --   58,678
09/2008: --
09/2009: JL of America #37  --   55,478
09/2010: JL of America #49  --   57,616
---------------------------------------
02/2013: JL of America #1    -- 307,734          [326,959]
03/2013: JL of America #2    --  91,734 (-70.2%)
04/2013: --
05/2013: JL of America #3    --  83,283 (- 9.2%)
05/2013: JL of America #4    --  77,856 (- 6.5%)
06/2013: JL of America #5    --  71,793 (- 7.8%)
07/2013: JL of America #6    --  86,192 (+20.1%) [91,344]
08/2013: JL of America #7    --  93,777 (+ 8.8%)
09/2013: #7.1: Deadshot      --  66,815 (-28.8%)
09/2013: #7.2: Killer Frost  --  62,706 (- 6.2%)
09/2013: #7.3: Shadow Thief  --  60,397 (- 3.7%)
09/2013: #7.4: Black Adam    --  74,875 (+24.0%)
-----------------
6 months: - 27.8%
5 years :    n.a.
10 years: + 12.0%
ー═┻┳︻▄ξ(✿ ❛‿❛)ξ▄︻┻┳═一

-----

37/58/64/65/116/127/130/154 - GREEN LANTERN
09/2003: Green Lantern #169 --  33,149
09/2008: Green Lantern #34  --  63,825
09/2009: Green Lantern #46  -- 103,666
09/2010: Green Lantern #57  --  85,179
09/2011: Green Lantern #1   -- 141,682 [169,159]
--------------------------------------
09/2012: Green Lantern #0   --  89,909 (+16.5%)
10/2012: Green Lantern #13  --  91,814 (+ 2.1%)
11/2012: Green Lantern #14  --  78,499 (-14.5%)
12/2012: Green Lantern #15  --  74,363 (- 5.3%)
01/2013: Green Lantern #16  --  72,884 (- 2.0%)
02/2013: Green Lantern #17  --  71,060 (- 2.5%)
03/2013: Green Lantern #18  --  69,801 (- 1.8%)
04/2013: Green Lantern #19  --  71,018 (+ 1.7%)
05/2013: Green Lantern #20  --  67,414 (- 5.1%)
06/2013: Green Lantern #21  --  71,870 (+ 6.6%)
07/2013: Green Lantern #22  --  62,415 (-13.2%)
08/2013: Green Lantern #23  --  59,176 (- 5.2%)
09/2013: #23.1: Relic       --  66,495 (+12.4%)
09/2013: #23.2: Mongul      --  63,731 (- 4.2%)
09/2013: #23.3: Black Hand  --  62,753 (- 1.5%)
09/2013: #23.4: Sinestro    --  70,893 (+13.0%)
-----------------
6 months: -  5.5%
1 year  : - 26.6%
2 years : - 53.4%
5 years : +  3.4%
10 years: + 99.0%
( ^◡^)っ✂╰⋃╯

-----

15/44/51/66/76/101/106/115 - JUSTICE LEAGUE
09/2003: JLA #86            --   59,496
09/2003: JLA #87            --   58,678
09/2008: --
09/2009: JL of America #37  --   55,478
09/2010: JL of America #49  --   57,616
09/2011: --
---------------------------------------
09/2012: Justice League #0   -- 125,868 (+  4.2%)
10/2012: Justice League #13  -- 117,752 (-  6.5%)
11/2012: Justice League #14  -- 113,094 (-  4.0%)
12/2012: Justice League #15  -- 115,074 (+  1.8%)
01/2013: Justice League #16  -- 117,719 (+  2.3%)
02/2013: Justice League #17  -- 105,304 (- 10.6%)
03/2013: Justice League #18  -- 102,494 (-  2.7%)
04/2013: Justice League #19  -- 100,943 (-  1.5%)
05/2013: Justice League #20  --  97,676 (-  3.2%)
06/2013: Justice League #21  --  94,054 (-  3.7%)
07/2013: Justice League #22  -- 110,194 (+ 17.2%) [124,026]
08/2013: Justice League #23  -- 103,936 (-  6.4%)
09/2013: #23.1: Darkseid     -- 111,142 (+  6.9%)
09/2013: #23.2: Lobo         --  79,244 (- 28.7%)
09/2013: #23.3: Dial E       --  64,119 (- 19.1%)
09/2013: #23.4: Secret Socty --  78,014 (+ 21.7%)
-----------------
6 months: - 18.9%
1 year  : - 34.0%
2 years :   n.a.
5 years :   n.a.
10 years: + 40.7%
(@ーεー@)

-----

23 - BATMAN BLACK & WHITE
09/2013: Batman B&W #1 of 6 -- 65,018

An initial four-issue Batman Black and White miniseries was published in 1996, then the concept ran as a backup strip in Batman: Gotham Knights from 2000 through 2004, before returning as a digital-only mini in 2010. So the idea to let creators tell black & white one-shot stories with Batman has a tradition at DC.

And for an out-of-continuity anthology project, these are surprisingly good sales, particularly with a $4.99 cover price. There were 1:25 and 1:200 variant-cover editions to boost the numbers, granted, but still.

-----

34/35/36/40/59/119/141/161 - DETECTIVE COMICS
09/2003: Detective Comics #786 --  37,778
09/2008: Detective Comics #848 --  68,306
09/2009: Detective Comics #857 --  57,063
09/2010: Detective Comics #869 --  37,394
09/2011: Detective Comics #1   -- 114,880 [157,751]
-----------------------------------------
09/2012: Detective Comics #0   --  84,063 (+ 10.6%)
10/2012: Detective Comics #13  --  76,392 (-  9.1%)
11/2012: Detective Comics #14  --  74,560 (-  2.4%)
12/2012: Detective Comics #15  -- 106,395 (+ 42.7%)
01/2013: Detective Comics #16  --  92,300 (- 13.3%)
02/2013: Detective Comics #17  --  85,824 (-  7.0%)
03/2013: Detective Comics #18  --  76,237 (- 11.2%)
04/2013: Detective Comics #19  --  77,922 (+  2.2%)
05/2013: Detective Comics #20  --  78,252 (+  0.4%)
06/2013: Detective Comics #21  --  65,200 (- 16.7%)
07/2013: Detective Comics #22  --  63,949 (-  1.9%)
08/2013: Detective Comics #23  --  61,448 (-  3.9%)
09/2013: #23.1: Poison Ivy     --  78,522 (+ 27.8%)
09/2013: #23.2: Harley Quinn   --  89,636 (+ 14.2%)
09/2013: #23.3: Scarecrow      --  73,043 (- 18.5%)
09/2013: #23.4: Man-Bat        --  68,110 (-  6.8%)
-----------------
6 months: +  1.4%
1 year  : -  8.1%
2 years : - 32.9%
5 years : + 12.9%
10 years: +104.2%
ლ(́◉◞౪◟◉‵ლ)

-----

28/31/33/38/128/131/142/163 - BATMAN AND ROBIN
09/2009: Batman and Robin #4  -- 106,925
09/2010: Batman and Robin #14 --  82,894
09/2011: Batman and Robin #1  --  94,713 [116,053]
----------------------------------------
09/2012: Batman and Robin #0  --  69,146 (+ 8.1%)
10/2012: Batman and Robin #13 --  63,097 (- 8.8%)
11/2012: Batman and Robin #14 --  75,543 (+19.7%)
12/2012: Batman and Robin #15 --  89,878 (+19.0%)
01/2013: Batman and Robin #16 --  81,494 (- 9.3%)
02/2013: Batman and Robin #17 --  60,988 (-25.2%)
03/2013: Batman and Robin #18 --  69,614 (+14.1%) [76,575]
04/2013: and Red Robin #19    --  89,182 (+28.1%)
05/2013: and Red Hood #20     --  65,222 (-26.9%)
06/2013: and Batgirl #21      --  60,601 (- 7.1%)
07/2013: and Catwoman #22     --  57,808 (- 4.6%)
08/2013: and Nightwing #23    --  55,707 (- 3.6%)
09/2013: #23.1: Two-Face      --  77,073 (+38.4%)
09/2013: #23.2: Court of Owls --  75,546 (- 2.0%)
09/2013: #23.3: Ra's al Ghul  --  73,746 (- 2.4%)
09/2013: #23.4: Killer Croc   --  69,428 (- 5.9%)
----------------
6 months: + 6.2%
1 year  : + 7.0%
2 years : -21.9%
(≼⓪≽◟⋌⋚⋛⋋◞≼⓪≽)

-----

21/145 - BATMAN/SUPERMAN
09/2003: Superman/Batman #2  -- 104,474
09/2008: Superman/Batman #52 --  50,000
09/2009: Superman/Batman #64 --  36,332
09/2010: Superman/Batman #76 --  32,003
---------------------------------------
06/2013: Batman/Superman #1  -- 143,457          [151,054]
07/2013: Batman/Superman #2  --  92,558 (-35.5%) [ 97,961]
08/2013: Batman/Superman #3  --  87,337 (- 5.6%)
09/2013: #3.1: Doomsday      --  92,290 (+ 5.7%)
-----------------
5 years : + 84.6%
10 years: - 11.7%
(Ɔ˘⌣˘)(˘⌣˘)˘⌣˘ C)

-----

5/6/8/10/49/108/111/120 - BATMAN
09/2003: Batman #619 -- 233,775 [308,945]
09/2008: --
09/2009: Batman #690 --  77,001
09/2010: Batman #703 --  77,033
09/2011: Batman #1   -- 188,420 [223,299]
-------------------------------
09/2012: Batman #0   -- 156,561 (+ 25.0%)
10/2012: Batman #13  -- 148,305 (-  5.3%) [174,642]
11/2012: Batman #14  -- 159,729 (+  7.7%)
12/2012: Batman #15  -- 151,568 (-  5.1%)
01/2013: Batman #16  -- 145,923 (-  3.7%)
02/2013: Batman #17  -- 150,684 (+  3.3%)
03/2013: Batman #18  -- 137,893 (-  8.5%)
04/2013: Batman #19  -- 132,147 (-  4.2%)
05/2013: Batman #20  -- 129,039 (-  2.4%)
06/2013: Batman #21  -- 142,088 (+ 10.1%) [156,845]
07/2013: Batman #22  -- 132,047 (-  7.1%)
08/2013: Batman #23  -- 128,230 (-  2.9%)
09/2013: #23.1: Jkr  -- 151,351 (+ 18.0%)
09/2013: #23.2: Rdlr -- 140,065 (-  7.5%)
09/2013: #23.3: Pngn -- 120,026 (- 14.3%)
09/2013: #23.4: Bane -- 124,382 (+  3.6%)
-----------------
6 months: -  2.9%
1 year  : - 14.4%
2 years : - 28.9%
5 years :   n.a.
10 years: - 42.7%
(人-ω-)。o.゚。*・★Good Night★・*。゚o。(-ω-人)

-----

1 - FOREVER EVIL
09/2013: Forever Evil #1 of 7 -- 139,976

There are seven variant-cover editions of Geoff Johns and David Finch's flagship event miniseries, including a 3-D one and a 1:200 one.

Your average big-event sales-juggernaut debut, I'd say.

-----

6-MONTH COMPARISONS
+ 78.2%: JLD
+ 54.0%: Green Arrow
+ 31.5%: Swamp Thing
+ 30.8%: Injustice
+ 25.9%: Flash
+ 21.7%: Wonder Woman
+ 18.8%: Superman
+ 17.6%: Teen Titans
+ 12.8%: Earth 2
+ 11.4%: Batman Beyond Universe
+  8.7%: Unwritten
+  8.1%: Dark Knight
+  6.2%: Batman and Robin
+  4.9%: Aquaman
+  4.5%: Action Comics
+  1.4%: Detective Comics
-  2.9%: Batman
-  5,5%: Green Lantern
-  5.7%: Fables
- 13.8%: Arkham Unhinged
- 14.2%: Smallville
- 15.4%: Fairest
- 18.9%: Justice League
- 21.0%: Arrow
- 22.9%: LotDK
- 27.8%: JLA
- 41.9%: Ame-Comi Girls

-----

1-YEAR COMPARISONS
+ 52.2%: Green Arrow
+ 33.4%: JLD
+  7.0%: Batman and Robin
+  4.5%: Teen Titans
+  0.7%: Swamp Thing
+  0.4%: Unwritten
-  3.9%: Superman
-  6.1%: Wonder Woman
-  7.8%: Flash
-  8.1%: Detective Comics
-  8.6%: Aquaman
- 11.8%: Fables
- 12.3%: Batman Beyond Universe
- 14.4%: Batman
- 17.8%: Action Comics
- 19.5%: Dark Knight
- 24.6%: Earth 2
- 26.6%: Green Lantern
- 27.4%: Smallville
- 28.7%: Fairest
- 34.0%: Justice League
- 35.9%: Arkham Unhinged

-----

2-YEAR COMPARISONS
- 14.6%: Unwritten
- 19.0%: Fables
- 21.9%: Batman and Robin
- 26.2%: Swamp Thing
- 28.9%: Batman
- 29.9%: Green Arrow
- 30.3%: Aquaman
- 32.9%: Detective Comics
- 32.9%: Teen Titans
- 38.7%: Wonder Woman
- 46.3%: Dark Knight
- 53.4%: Green Lantern
- 55.8%: Superman
- 59.4%: Flash
- 64.6%: Action Comics

-----

5-YEAR COMPARISONS
+ 84.6%: Batman/Superman
+ 79.7%: Flash
+ 55.0%: Green Arrow
+ 35.1%: Wonder Woman
+ 30.3%: Action Comics
+ 24.9%: Superman
+ 18.3%: Teen Titans
+ 12.9%: Detective Comics
+  3.4%: Green Lantern
- 16.7%: 100 Bullets
- 40.5%: Fables

-----

10-YEAR COMPARISONS
+112.2%: Aquaman
+109.5%: Action Comics
+104.2%: Detective Comics
+ 99.0%: Green Lantern
+ 74.0%: Superman
+ 69.7%: Wonder Woman
+ 47.6%: Flash
+ 40.7%: Justice League
+ 12.0%: JLA
+  6.9%: Green Arrow
- 11.7%: Batman/Superman
- 25.1%: Teen Titans
- 40.0%: LotDK
- 42.7%: Batman
- 43.0%: Adventures of Superman
- 43.4%: Fables

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

DC COMICS
09/2003: 28,511
09/2008: 25,562
09/2009: 28,493**
09/2010: 23,212**
09/2011: 57,224
---------------
09/2012: 35,811 (+  6.9%)
10/2012: 32,901 (-  8.1%)**
11/2012: 33,872 (+  3.0%)
12/2012: 34,272 (+  1.2%)
01/2013: 31,759 (-  7.3%)
02/2013: 34,711 (+  9.1%)
03/2013: 30,819 (- 11.2%)**
04/2013: 29,914 (-  2.9%)
05/2013: 31,412 (+  5.0%)
06/2013: 34,517 (+  9.9%)
07/2013: 34,402 (-  0.3%)
08/2013: 30,843 (- 10.4%)
09/2013: 54,892 (+ 78.0%)
-----------------
6 months: + 78.1%
1 year  : + 53.3%
2 years : -  4.1%
5 years : +114.7%
10 years: + 92.5%
DC UNIVERSE
09/2003: 32,934
09/2008: 33,591
09/2009: 36,725**
09/2010: 32,042
09/2011: 67,411
---------------
09/2012: 39,408 (+  3.6%)
10/2012: 36,571 (-  7.2%)
11/2012: 36,585 (+  0.0%)
12/2012: 36,880 (+  0.8%)
01/2013: 33,485 (-  9.2%)
02/2013: 36,838 (+ 10.0%)
03/2013: 32,294 (- 12.3%)**
04/2013: 31,426 (-  2.7%)
05/2013: 32,015 (+  1.9%)
06/2013: 37,133 (+ 16.0%)
07/2013: 36,524 (-  1.6%)
08/2013: 33,583 (-  8.1%)
09/2013: 61,036 (+ 81.8%)
-----------------
6 months: + 89.0%
1 year  : + 54.9%
2 years : -  9.5%
5 years : + 81.7%
10 years: + 85.3%
VERTIGO
09/2003: 17,084
09/2008: 11,748
09/2009: 11,345
09/2010: 11,622
09/2011:  9,995
---------------
09/2012: 11,710 (+ 8.8%)
10/2012: 11,496 (- 1.8%)**
11/2012: 11,487 (- 0.1%)
12/2012: 11,771 (+ 2.5%)
01/2013: 10,764 (- 8.6%)
02/2013: 12,019 (+11.7%)
03/2013: 11,055 (- 8.0%)
04/2013: 11,467 (+ 3.7%)
05/2013: 20,860 (+81.9%)
06/2013: 17,368 (-16.7%)
07/2013: 16,099 (- 7.3%)
08/2013: 14,130 (-12.2%)
09/2013: 14,951 (+ 5.8%)
-----------------
6 months: + 35.2%
1 year  : + 27.7%
2 years : + 49.6%
5 years : + 27.4%
10 years: + 12.5%

-----
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. slow claps as Guided By Voices – Hangover Child plays
    That was an event. i give it a 10/1-

    All of that and the ending is so anticlimactic. 139,976?

  2. Ew, adding the two numbers together for each book was a mistake, I think (especially if you added 10% back) — they’re entirely different products, and I think the 2d versions are going to come back in truly epic quantities (I’m sending back something on the order of 70%)

    Though, I guess if people want to see the non-added version, they can follow the link (thanks) — I just feel like this is more “the paper of record” on these kinds of things, and keeping them distinct (including the cases where 2d had more copies ordered in than 3d) would have been the smarter course.

    -B

  3. Dan Ahn says:

    That… was… AWESOME. Totally worth paying 33% more to read the column this month!

    Anyway. So, ten years ago the Loeb/Lee Batman was selling between 233,775 and 308,945 copies. Kind of puts the Snyder/Capullo sales figures in some kind of perspective.

  4. Hi Brian,

    I briefly considered listing the 3-D and standard editions separately, but opted against it. Multiple variations of the same comic end up combined on Diamond’s charts all the time, after all, and while the circumstances were certainly special in this case, I don’t consider them separate products in principle any more than usual.

    The same goes for returnability: We never really get to know how many units retailers send back, so generally, I’m just interested in what Diamond shipped to retailers in the first place. I figure that the most reliable indication of actual demand from customers is what happens to a given title in subsequent months.

  5. (And I agree that the distribution of 3-D editions vs. standard editions was pretty interesting, in some cases. But you already did a good job pointing that out, and I’m really, really, really wary of taking anything DC says at face value here, so I preferred to go a different route, rather than add more speculation about what might have happened.)

  6. MOF I think you’re great

  7. @ Dan – it does put it in perspective, but to be fair, Jim Lee as the artist on your book isn’t really a long-term sales success strategy. Yes, he can sell massive amounts of books, but he needs fill-ins and jumps ship after roughly a year. While Snyder/Capullo aren’t selling in the same range, they at least offer consistently high sales.

  8. Torsten Adair says:

    Eerie how his eyes follow you around the room…

    That was a brilliant analysis of the 3-D-bacle.

    For some titles, the #.1s sold better. For Justice League [fill in the blank], worse. (I guess those were “where do we stick these titles” choices. The “Omega Squad” or the “Justice League Antarctica” of Villains Month.)

    I’m still wondering why Creeper didn’t take over “Katana”. And wondering what a Catwoman 23.1 issue would look like…

    HEY! What didn’t chart? I don’t see Scooby Doo on the list…

    Reading everything that DC publishes, the digital-first and Vertigo titles rise to the top. Then I wade through the New 52.

  9. NotLevellingOut says:

    Happy 10 year, Marc! This is the only DC related material I read since the reboot and its much better than anything they’re publishing!

  10. bad wolf says:

    Good work with confusing material and congratulations on 10 years. If i might make a suggestion, perhaps comparing each Villains month book to the “normal” book preceding it, instead of only the first one and the others compared to each other? I understand if it’s too late to redo. But this also begs the question, How will you gauge next month’s sales? The last numbered Villain issue? This whole month’s listings are essentially an anomaly that will confound future comparisons as well… at least until the next Stunt-ember.

  11. Mesektet says:

    I don’t get it. do the random squiggles mean something?

  12. Whatever says:

    “On one side, a world based on barbaric fantasies for little boys, where the stories are just thinly veiled excuses to see action figures fight; on the other, He-Man and the Masters of the Universe.”

    Best thing I have ever read.

  13. DC Vilains Month numbers are indeed useless except to see which characters are more popular than others. No surprise in which characters sell best but it clears the landscape for DC.

  14. Kudos and Kang said your analysis was very thorough and quite spot on.
    Here’s hoping for another 10 years.

  15. I didn’t buy any of the villains month stuff (hell, I only read Snyder Superman from DC at the moment), but it does sorta raise the question of why doesn’t DC just publish books that work? Why spend the money and effort of publishing books that sell like shit? Cut the line in half and you’d have higher average sales with presumably lower creative costs. You could then slowly expand the line if/when a new character/revitalized older character seems ready for a solo book.

  16. Torsten Adair says:

    @Zach:
    Define “work”.
    For DC, the first definition is “profitable”.

    When DC announced the 3D covers, they said the comics would cost more, both to produce and to purchase.
    DC didn’t lose money, they just didn’t make as much money per issue as they do on the boring 2D covers. But, looking at these numbers, they made money.

    It’s the Woolworth model… you take in a lot of pennies and nickels, and soon you’re talking millions of dollars. (See: Super Crown Books, Amazon.)

    I doubt that DC is losing money, even on the lower half of their line. Profit sharing, royalties, and other contractual minutiae affect profits and losses.

    Now, DC hopes that the stories told will continue to sell in collections long after the initial comics are long gone, but that is unlikely.
    Superhero comics are soap operas, and how many fans of soap operas delve into old episodes? How well do boxed sets of sequential television series sell five, ten years after the series has left the airwaves?

    Just look at the shelves at Barnes & Noble. How many “Volume 1″ trades of the New 52 are on the shelf (i.e. still selling)? How many Post-Crisis collections?

    That’s the second definition of “work”: longevity and backlist.
    Vertigo has that. Stand-alone superhero titles (Red Son, Dark Knight Returns) have that. But DC isn’t producing much of that now. The Earth One series is about all that is being sold, and that is only two titles a year.

  17. Two quick points:
    1) I believe that comics retailers are much more sophisticated business people than we were in the ‘90s. This is a vastly different market than we had 20 years ago. There may be no million sellers, just as there are far fewer unsold comics now than there was back then. Less landfill, more profitability.
    2) Villains’ Month sales were up 30% or so? And there’s a problem where? Sure, the allocations issue was flubbed, but the addition of fully returnable 2D versions gave every retailer a safe landing if we chose to take it.
    3) “…no regard for content at all…” ?? With 52 stories, there were at least a couple hundred creative comics professionals involved. You think none of these writers, artists, inkers, letterers, colorists, editors, etc. had “no regard for content at all”? You think none of the thousands upon thousands of readers enjoyed what they bought and read? Maybe this Villains’ Month wasn’t your bag, but your words throw way too many professionals and readers under the bus.

    Clearly, I’m not looking forward to a return to hundreds of new cover gimmicks. I doubt that will happen given the more professional level of retailers coupled with an audience that also is quick to react to content not delivering what shiny covers promise. But I’m not willing to remove that sales arrow from any publisher’s quiver, just because it gives some people a recurrence of the ‘90s Shakes.

  18. Pedro Bouça says:

    “It’s the Soviet way of producing comic books, basically.”

    Hey, the soviets kicked your perfectly organized german arses all the way to Berlin! DC just wishes it could ever give Marvel (a far less fearsome opponent than the Wehrmacht) such a drubbing.

    Although Dan Didio DOES share some characteristics with Stalin. He makes regular purges among his subordinates and keeps a circle of less than capable but loyal yesmen around him. So maybe that analogy isn’t completely wrong…

  19. @ Torsten – work is obviously a subjective term. I was kinda envisioning the stuff that DC deemed worth printing up during villains month. Your Superman/Batman/WW, JL and its second stringers, etc. While I see your point that profitable may be a larger set of books than I’m including, it’s tough to say that with any accuracy without seeing DC’s financials.

  20. RAGGEDT says:

    “So unexpectedly huge and overwhelming was the actual demand for the 52 ‘Villains Month’ 3-D cover comics that DC would not be able to fulfill all orders, meaning that orders would be ‘allocated,’ which is Evil Socialist Speak for ‘You’re not going to get what you want, you’re going to get what we give you.'”

    So, basically, you’re saying that, immediately after coming up with the Villain’s Month promotion, the DC marketeers, spun around and got to work on the healthcare.gov Web-site? Explains MUCH!!!

  21. Sid Hoffman says:

    How is Forever Evil at all “your average big-event sales-juggernaut debut?” 120k is fairly lackluster for a big event, and you only have to compare it to Infinity #1 at 205k to see that, which itself was way down from the AVX #1 total of 258k.

  22. …I will never not love MOF’s monthly breakdowns, no matter how egregiously late they may come.

  23. Shawn Hill says:

    1) Mystified by the ascii art as well, but …
    2) “Superhero comics are soap operas, and how many fans of soap operas delve into old episodes? How well do boxed sets of sequential television series sell five, ten years after the series has left the airwaves? ”

    If you look on youtube, quite a lot. Fans circulate, trade and stockpile their taped episodes. It depends on the character and the series; I bet those ST: TOS sets do okay.

  24. i see marc oliver is still doing his frisch schtick DC bashing wow … do you get paid to do this? because 10 years is an awfullly long time to take pot shot without you having some sort of axe to grind?

  25. I got like a dozen of these covers, and despite what some are saying, I love them. My favorite: the Lex Luthor one. I found it to be quite clever, and I posted a picture of my copy (you can click my name to check out the picture).

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