DC Month-to-Month Sales: December 2011

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by Marc-Oliver Frisch

Sales of the “New 52″ books show no sign of stabilization, four issues into DC’s big relaunch. The average “New 52″ title dropped by 17.4% in December, versus 19.6% in November and 5.2% in October.

The only “New 52″ titles with single-digit drops in December are Aquaman (6.0%), Teen Titans (9.6%) and Batman: The Dark Knight (9.7%). The three “New 52″ titles with the biggest fourth-issue drops are Static Shock (28.2%), Mister Terrific (29.0%) and Men of War (30.0%). Overall, there are 18 “New 52″ titles with drops in excess of 20% in December, down from 22 in November. The lack of re-orders on the chart also suggests that the sheen is off the “New 52.” Whereas 51 of the debut issues made the chart again in October, only two of the second issues charted again in November. In December, none of the third issues made the chart again.

The average drop-off in first-month sales since issue #1 for the “New 52″ books is 36.4%, as of December. The three titles with the smallest overall drop-off are Animal Man (7.4%), Detective Comics (13.5%) and Nightwing (17.6%). The three titles with the largest overall drop-off are Blackhawks (58.0%), Mister Terrific (56.7%) and Men of War (55.6%). Only 7 of the “New 52″ titles display an overall drop-off of less than 20%, while 9 of them have already lost more than 50% of their debut first-month sales.

As you may have heard, Hawk & Dove, O.M.A.C., Mister Terrific, Static Shock, Blackhawks and Men of War are getting the axe at issue #8 and are to be replaced with six other titles in May. With the exception of Hawk & Dove, which still narrowly outsells Captain Atom, those are the six lowest-selling “New 52″ titles in December, so they would seem to be logical choices. Ignoring Captain Atom, which dropped below that mark in December but remains ongoing for the time being, it appears that 20K is the new baseline expectation for DC Universe titles.

The thing is, there’s a quite substantial number of “New 52″ books that aren’t doing much better than the ones that are being cancelled. In November, 12 of the “New 52″ were selling below the 30K mark. In December, it’s 22. And out of the 16 of those that have not been cancelled, 9 are already selling below 25K.

Nor are the six post-”New 52″ DC Universe launches doing any better. The best-selling one of them, The Huntress, sold an estimated 25,215 copies in December. Only two more managed to crack 20K. The latest, The Ray, launched with estimated sales of 17,779 in December. If it weren’t a four-issue miniseries to begin with, the book would be dead on arrival, by DC’s new standards.

So it’s odd for DC to readjust their baseline expectations at this early stage of the relaunch. The way things look right now, their overall numbers may be back to pre-”New 52″ levels in a few months. The average DC Universe book has dropped by almost 30K since September and remains ahead of its June level by fewer than 11K, at this stage (see below for the statistics). It’s possible that DC’s plan to apply the “New 52″ brand to six new titles in May 2012 will get people to pay attention once again, but I wouldn’t bet on it. It looks more like any new titles will have to succeed or fail on their own merits, the same as before the “New 52″ relaunch.

In other news, it appears that the lower-selling among the “New 52″ books are also the ones with the largest drops. (The one notable exception is All Star Western, which displayed the 5th-lowest drop in December, despite being the No. 31 “New 52″ title on the chart.) A possible explanation for this phenomenon may be that the conditions for DC’s retailer incentives (see below), which are continuing through April, are favoring higher-selling titles. After all, the more copies of a given title you can sell to begin with, the lower the risk involved in meeting the thresholds required to qualify for variant covers, discounts or returnability. (And, yes, even returnable books come with risks for retailers. DC charges a fee for each returned unit, and the process of returning them also requires time and man-power.)

Consequently, the incentives probably aren’t as much of a distorting factor as Marvel’s lead percussionist Tom Brevoort makes them out to be, at this stage. By the time DC drops the incentives, I don’t expect many retailers will be left using them, anyway.

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

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

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

Two: Of the 11 remaining “New 52″ books, Batman, Justice League, Action Comics, Green Lantern and Flash have been promoted with multiple variant-cover editions, including 1:200 ones, that are likely to have boosted sales, as well. Special discounts, which also required retailers to meet a certain unit threshold, apply to Batwoman, Green Lantern: New Guardians, Stormwatch, Swamp Thing, Teen Titans and Wonder Woman, meanwhile. I’ll just mention those here, so keep in mind that these promotional initiatives are likely to have affected the numbers of those books. Whether it affected them more than the thresholds for returnability affected the other 41 titles, or less so, we have no way of knowing.

—–

1 - JUSTICE LEAGUE
12/2006: Justice League #4   -- 136,709 [139,123]
12/2006: Justice League #5   -- 132,460 [133,924]
12/2007: Justice League #15  -- 100,234
12/2007: Justice League #16  --  95,557
12/2008: Justice League #27  --  75,803
12/2009: Justice League #40  --  68,672
---------------------------------------
12/2010: JL of America #52   --  48,501 (-  4.7%)
01/2011: JL of America #53   --  47,093 (-  2.9%)
02/2011: JL of America #54   --  46,269 (-  1.8%)
03/2011: JL of America #55   --  50,533 (+  9.2%)
04/2011: JL of America #56   --  47,179 (-  6.6%)
05/2011: JL of America #57   --  46,729 (-  1.0%)
06/2011: JL of America #58   --  45,442 (-  2.8%)
07/2011: JL of America #59   --  43,545 (-  4.2%)
08/2011: JL of America #60   --  42,587 (-  2.2%)
08/2011: Justice League #1   -- 185,776 (+336.2%) [255,556]
09/2011: --
10/2011: Justice League #2   -- 196,569 (+  5.8%)
11/2011: Justice League #3   -- 168,679 (- 14.2%)
12/2011: Justice League #4   -- 149,314 (- 11.5%)
-----------------
6 months: +228.6%
1 year  : +207.9%
2 years : +117.4%
5 years : + 10.9%

The flagship title of the “New 52″ loses almost 20K, but still remains ahead of the next book on the chart by more than 15K. As the five-year comparison shows, Justice League also still outsells its previous incarnation. The 7,068 units of the $4.99 Combo Pack edition that charted at No. 224 are included in the December number.
—–

2 - BATMAN
12/2006: Batman #660 --  76,967
12/2006: Batman #661 --  75,512
12/2007: Batman #672 --  71,189
12/2008: Batman #682 --  93,469
12/2009: Batman #694 --  65,908
-------------------------------
12/2010: Batman #705 --  63,262 (-  3.0%)
01/2011: Batman #706 --  60,231 (-  4.8%)
02/2011: Batman #707 --  58,803 (-  2.4%)
03/2011: Batman #708 --  58,594 (-  0.4%)
04/2011: Batman #709 --  56,578 (-  3.4%)
05/2011: Batman #710 --  55,086 (-  2.6%)
06/2011: Batman #711 --  53,113 (-  3.6%)
07/2011: Batman #712 --  51,385 (-  3.3%)
08/2011: Batman #713 --  51,760 (+  0.7%)
09/2011: Batman #1   -- 188,420 (+264.0%) [211,520]
10/2011: Batman #2   -- 172,428 (-  8.5%) [177,721]
11/2011: Batman #3   -- 150,984 (- 12.4%)
12/2011: Batman #4   -- 133,781 (- 11.4%)
-----------------
6 months: +151.9%
1 year  : +111.5%
2 years : +103.0%
5 years : + 75.5%

Likewise, Batman loses close to 20,000 units, but stays above Action Comics by more than 15,000. Writer Scott Snyder is one of the big winners of the “New 52″ relaunch, which DC is exploiting by making his book the launch pad of a big crossover.
—–

3 - ACTION COMICS
12/2006: --
12/2007: Action Comics #860 --  56,254
12/2008: Action Comics #872 --  57,175
12/2009: Action Comics #884 --  31,873
--------------------------------------
12/2010: Action Comics #896 --  32,357 (-  2.2%)
01/2011: Action Comics #897 --  32,134 (-  0.7%)
02/2011: Action Comics #898 --  31,935 (-  0.6%)
03/2011: Action Comics #899 --  31,808 (-  0.4%)
04/2011: Action Comics #900 --  60,152 (+ 89.1%) [ 73,004]
05/2011: Action Comics #901 --  44,143 (- 26.6%)
06/2011: Action Comics #902 --  41,960 (-  5.0%)
07/2011: Action Comics #903 --  40,205 (-  4.2%)
08/2011: Action Comics #904 --  39,323 (-  2.2%)
09/2011: Action Comics #1   -- 182,748 (+364.7%) [200,947]
10/2011: Action Comics #2   -- 153,855 (- 15.8%)
11/2011: Action Comics #3   -- 134,875 (- 12.3%)
12/2011: Action Comics #4   -- 112,839 (- 16.3%)
-----------------
6 months: +168.9%
1 year  : +248.7%
2 years : +254.0%
5 years :  n.a.

Action Comics is the 3rd-best-selling “New 52″ book overall, but displays the biggest percentage drop among the 17 top-selling “New 52″ titles in December. The lack of a consistent art team may be hampering the book’s performance.
—–

4 - GREEN LANTERN
12/2006: --
12/2007: Green Lantern #25  --  90,545
12/2007: Green Lantern #26  --  69,986
12/2008: Green Lantern #36  --  64,755 [ 74,005]
12/2009: Green Lantern #49  --  97,285
--------------------------------------
12/2010: Green Lantern #60  --  76,360 (+ 0.3%)
12/2010: Green Lantern #61  --  72,203 (- 5.4%)
01/2011: --
02/2011: Green Lantern #62  --  71,517 (- 1.0%)
03/2011: Green Lantern #63  --  75,632 (+ 5.8%)
03/2011: Green Lantern #64  --  76,898 (+ 1.7%)
04/2011: Green Lantern #65  --  75,780 (- 1.5%)
05/2011: Green Lantern #66  --  75,371 (- 0.5%)
06/2011: --
07/2011: Green Lantern #67  --  74,521 (- 1.1%)
08/2011: --
09/2011: Green Lantern #1   -- 141,682 (+90.1%) [169,159]
10/2011: Green Lantern #2   -- 142,344 (+ 0.5%)
11/2011: Green Lantern #3   -- 122,644 (-13.8%)
12/2011: Green Lantern #4   -- 104,199 (-15.0%)
-----------------
6 months:  n.a.
1 year  : + 40.3%
2 years : +  7.1%
5 years :  n.a.

Quickly dropping back towards its previous level. Given that the Green Lantern franchise was in rock-solid shape before the relaunch and the creative team remains the same, though, an increase of 20K versus July is still more than decent.
—–

6 - DETECTIVE COMICS
12/2006: Detective Comics #826 --  59,657
12/2006: Detective Comics #827 --  55,031
12/2007: Detective Comics #839 --  62,297 [65,773]
12/2008: Detective Comics #851 --  64,961
12/2009: Detective Comics #860 --  52,295
-----------------------------------------
12/2010: Detective Comics #872 --  37,961 (+  2.8%) [ 39,758]
01/2011: Detective Comics #873 --  38,417 (+  1.2%)
02/2011: Detective Comics #874 --  39,106 (+  1.8%)
03/2011: Detective Comics #875 --  40,047 (+  2.4%)
04/2011: Detective Comics #876 --  40,133 (+  0.2%)
05/2011: Detective Comics #877 --  39,609 (-  1.3%)
06/2011: Detective Comics #878 --  39,152 (-  1.2%)
07/2011: Detective Comics #879 --  39,185 (+  0.1%)
07/2011: Detective Comics #880 --  38,585 (-  1.5%)
08/2011: Detective Comics #881 --  39,729 (+  3.0%)
09/2011: Detective Comics #1   -- 114,880 (+189.2%) [154,427]
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%)
-----------------
6 months: +153.8%
1 year  : +161.8%
2 years : + 90.0%
5 years : + 73.3%

Dropping below 100K. But Detective Comics still massively outsells both its pre-relaunch version and writer/artist Tony Daniel’s pre-”New 52″ stint on Batman. It’s another book that’s profiting considerably from the relaunch. The first issue went into its fourth printing and sold another 4,024 units in re-orders, meanwhile — it’s the only DC title that made the chart again in December.
—–

9 - BATMAN: THE DARK KNIGHT
12/2010: Dark Knight #1  --  89,985           [ 92,791]
01/2011: --
02/2011: --
03/2011: Dark Knight #2  --  71,108 (- 21.0%)
04/2011: --
05/2011: --
06/2011: --
07/2011: Dark Knight #3  --  62,792 (- 11.7%)
07/2011: Dark Knight #4  --  57,333 (-  8.7%)
08/2011: Dark Knight #5  --  52,908 (-  7.7%)
09/2011: Dark Knight #1  -- 109,321 (+106.6%) [128,689]
10/2011: Dark Knight #2  -- 100,494 (-  8.1%)
11/2011: Dark Knight #3  --  87,133 (- 13.3%)
12/2011: Dark Knight #4  --  78,689 (-  9.7%)
-----------------
6 months:  n.a.
1 year  : - 12.6%

The David Finch vehicle is, along with Green Arrow, among the first two “New 52″ titles with a negative 12-month comparison.

Then again, the comparison is with issue #1 of the book’s previous run, in this case, which was also by Finch. Compared with issue #4 of that series, the “New 52″ version still wins by more than 20K units, so it’s another title that’s profited quite noticeably from the relaunch.
—–

8 - THE FLASH
12/2006: Flash: FMA #7   --  53,600
12/2007: Flash #235      --  43,788
12/2008: Flash #247      --  26,498
12/2009: --
-----------------------------------
12/2010: Flash #7        --  56,304 (-  2.4%)
12/2010: Flash #8        --  53,975 (-  4.1%)
01/2011: --
02/2011: Flash #9        --  55,980 (+  3.7%)
03/2011: --
04/2011: Flash #10       --  54,953 (-  1.8%)
04/2011: Flash #11       --  54,633 (-  0.6%)
05/2011: Flash #12       --  54,914 (+  0.5%)
06/2011: --
07/2011: --
08/2011: --
09/2011: Flash #1        -- 129,260 (+135.4%) [147,818]
10/2011: Flash #2        -- 114,137 (- 11.7%)
11/2011: Flash #3        --  90,417 (- 20.8%)
12/2011: Flash #4        --  77,336 (- 14.5%)
-----------------
6 months:  n.a.
1 year  : + 40.3%
2 years :  n.a.
5 years : + 44.3%

The last Flash #4 sold an estimated 64,832 units in July 2010, with the same art team and with superstar writer Geoff Johns at the wheel. So, once again, the relaunch is paying off. On the downside, the book’s overall drop-off since September has been a steep 40.2%.
—–

10 - SUPERMAN
12/2006: --
12/2007: Superman #671 --  45,290
12/2008: Superman #683 --  55,287
12/2009: Superman #695 --  32,482
---------------------------------
12/2010: Superman #706 --  43,027 (-  7.0%)
01/2011: Superman #707 --  41,843 (-  2.8%)
02/2011: Superman #708 --  40,639 (-  2.9%)
03/2011: Superman #709 --  39,846 (-  2.0%)
04/2011: Superman #710 --  39,644 (-  0.5%)
05/2011: Superman #711 --  38,471 (-  3.0%)
06/2011: Superman #712 --  37,362 (-  2.9%)
07/2011: Superman #713 --  36,646 (-  1.9%)
08/2011: Superman #714 --  35,919 (-  2.0%)
09/2011: Superman #1   -- 131,529 (+266.2%) [150,128]
10/2011: Superman #2   -- 104,703 (- 20.4%)
11/2011: Superman #3   --  86,386 (- 17.5%)
12/2011: Superman #4   --  76,532 (- 11.4%)
-----------------
6 months: +104.8%
1 year  : + 77.9%
2 years : +135.6%
5 years :  n.a.

The secondary Superman title remains way ahead of its previous incarnation, and the numbers appear to be levelling out. Like Flash, though, Superman isn’t doing well in terms of overall drop-off: It lost 41.8% since issue #1, in first-month sales.
—–

11 - BATMAN AND ROBIN
12/2009: --
----------------------------------------
12/2010: Batman and Robin #18 --  68,814 (- 2.5%)
01/2011: Batman and Robin #19 --  61,785 (-10.2%)
02/2011: Batman and Robin #20 --  60,642 (- 1.9%)
03/2011: Batman and Robin #21 --  59,818 (- 1.4%)
04/2011: Batman and Robin #22 --  59,076 (- 1.2%)
05/2011: Batman and Robin #23 --  57,525 (- 2.6%)
06/2011: Batman and Robin #24 --  54,984 (- 4.4%)
07/2011: Batman and Robin #25 --  55,172 (+ 0.3%)
08/2011: Batman and Robin #26 --  52,704 (- 4.5%)
09/2011: Batman and Robin #1  --  94,713 (+79.7%) [116,053]
10/2011: Batman and Robin #2  --  98,807 (+ 4.3%)
11/2011: Batman and Robin #3  --  86,309 (-12.7%)
12/2011: Batman and Robin #4  --  76,000 (-11.9%)
----------------
6 months: +38.2%
1 year  : +10.4%
2 years :  n.a.

Another book that’s not quite levelling out, but still handsomely outsells its pre-relaunch incarnation.
—–

14 - AQUAMAN
09/2011: Aquaman #1  -- 80,302          [108,545]
10/2011: Aquaman #2  -- 79,156 (- 1.4%) [ 83,626]
11/2011: Aquaman #3  -- 69,137 (-12.7%)
12/2011: Aquaman #4  -- 64,961 (- 6.0%)

Aquaman was the “New 52″ title with the smallest fourth-issue drop in December. These are fantastic numbers for a B-list book, obviously. To a degree, this was to be expected, given that it’s by the creative team of Blackest Night. Still, the mild overall drop-off suggests that Johns and Reis are connecting with the audience.
—–

23 - BATGIRL
12/2008: Batgirl #6 of 6 -- 20,750
12/2009: Batgirl #5      -- 32,482
----------------------------------
12/2010: Batgirl #16     -- 25,225 (-  2.3%)
01/2011: Batgirl #17     -- 25,189 (-  0.1%)
02/2011: Batgirl #18     -- 24,390 (-  3.2%)
03/2011: Batgirl #19     -- 24,821 (+  1.8%)
04/2011: Batgirl #20     -- 24,310 (-  2.1%)
05/2011: Batgirl #21     -- 24,043 (-  1.1%)
06/2011: Batgirl #22     -- 23,323 (-  3.0%)
07/2011: Batgirl #23     -- 22,619 (-  3.0%)
08/2011: Batgirl #24     -- 22,695 (+  0.3%)
09/2011: Batgirl #1      -- 90,543 (+299.0%) [107,055]
10/2011: Batgirl #2      -- 83,586 (-  7.7%)
11/2011: Batgirl #3      -- 69,971 (- 16.3%)
12/2011: Batgirl #4      -- 59,972 (- 14.3%)
-----------------
6 months: +157.1%
1 year  : +137.8%
2 years : + 84.6%

Another title that hasn’t found its level yet. Batgirl is still moving more than twice as many units as its pre-”New 52″ version, though.
—–

16 - WONDER WOMAN
12/2006: --
12/2007: Wonder Woman #15  --  44,628
12/2008: Wonder Woman #27  --  32,322
12/2009: Wonder Woman #39  --  26,152
-------------------------------------
12/2010: Wonder Woman #605 --  35,495 (-  5.1%)
01/2011: Wonder Woman #606 --  33,601 (-  5.3%)
02/2011: Wonder Woman #607 --  33,053 (-  1.6%)
03/2011: Wonder Woman #608 --  32,540 (-  1.6%)
03/2011: Wonder Woman #609 --  31,421 (-  3.4%)
04/2011: Wonder Woman #610 --  31,002 (-  1.3%)
05/2011: --
06/2011: Wonder Woman #611 --  30,874 (-  0.4%)
06/2011: Wonder Woman #612 --  30,690 (-  0.6%)
07/2011: Wonder Woman #613 --  29,720 (-  3.2%)
08/2011: Wonder Woman #614 --  29,223 (-  1.7%)
09/2011: Wonder Woman #1   --  76,214 (+160.8%) [95,902]
10/2011: Wonder Woman #2   --  79,060 (+  3.7%)
11/2011: Wonder Woman #3   --  65,621 (- 17.0%)
12/2011: Wonder Woman #4   --  57,675 (- 12.1%)
-----------------
6 months: + 87.4%
1 year  : + 62.5%
2 years : +120.5%
5 years :  n.a.

Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chiang’s Wonder Woman relaunch is one of the more acclaimed “New 52″ titles. Maybe the critical reception is contributing to the relatively mild drop-off. In terms of absolute numbers, the book still performing solidly, as well, historically, even if the relaunch didn’t exactly send sales through the roof.
—–

27 - NIGHTWING
12/2006: Nightwing #127 -- 34,889
12/2007: Nightwing #139 -- 49,291 [52,607]
12/2008: Nightwing #151 -- 35,210
---------------------------------
09/2011: Nightwing #1   -- 69,686         [87,561]
10/2011: Nightwing #2   -- 73,054 ( +4.8%)
11/2011: Nightwing #3   -- 64,098 (-12.3%)
12/2011: Nightwing #4   -- 57,409 (-10.4%)
-----------------
5 years : + 64.6%

The book with the 3rd-smallest overall drop-off among the “New 52″ titles, as of December. Readers like what they find here, evidently.
—–

28 - GREEN LANTERN CORPS
12/2006: Green Lantern Corps #7  -- 38,737
12/2007: Green Lantern Corps #19 -- 50,516
12/2008: Green Lantern Corps #31 -- 44,033
12/2009: Green Lantern Corps #43 -- 77,774
------------------------------------------
12/2010: Green Lantern Corps #55 -- 54,387 (- 5.3%)
01/2011: Green Lantern Corps #56 -- 53,646 (- 1.4%)
02/2011: Green Lantern Corps #57 -- 52,770 (- 1.6%)
03/2011: Green Lantern Corps #58 -- 60,100 (+13.9%)
04/2011: Green Lantern Corps #59 -- 60,162 (+ 0.1%)
05/2011: Green Lantern Corps #60 -- 60,964 (+ 1.3%)
06/2011: --
07/2011: Green Lantern Corps #61 -- 60,836 (- 0.2%)
07/2011: Green Lantern Corps #62 -- 57,928 (- 4.8%)
08/2011: Green Lantern Corps #63 -- 53,372 (- 7.9%)
09/2011: Green Lantern Corps #1  -- 83,077 (+55.7%) [94,800]
10/2011: Green Lantern Corps #2  -- 78,501 (- 5.5%)
11/2011: Green Lantern Corps #3  -- 65,393 (-16.7%)
12/2011: Green Lantern Corps #4  -- 57,180 (-12.6%)
----------------
6 months:  n.a.
1 year  : + 5.1%
2 years : -26.5%
5 years : +47.6%

The book is back at pre-relaunch levels. Given that it was a perfectly good level to begin with, though, that’s not a problem, per se. On the other hand, it doesn’t look like Green Lantern Corps is done dropping yet.
—–

19 - TEEN TITANS
12/2006: Teen Titans #42  -- 60,165
12/2007: Teen Titans #54  -- 53,790
12/2008: Teen Titans #66  -- 36,808
12/2009: Teen Titans #78  -- 43,400
-----------------------------------
12/2010: Teen Titans #90  -- 25,997 (-  1.7%)
01/2011: Teen Titans #91  -- 25,443 (-  2.1%)
02/2011: Teen Titans #92  -- 26,170 (+  2.9%)
03/2011: Teen Titans #93  -- 24,957 (-  4.6%)
04/2011: Teen Titans #94  -- 25,187 (+  0.9%)
05/2011: Teen Titans #95  -- 24,738 (-  1.8%)
06/2011: Teen Titans #96  -- 23,849 (-  3.6%)
07/2011: Teen Titans #97  -- 23,138 (-  3.0%)
07/2011: Teen Titans #98  -- 23,095 (-  0.2%)
08/2011: Teen Titans #99  -- 23,756 (+  2.9%)
08/2011: Teen Titans #100 -- 27,459 (+ 15.6%)
09/2011: Teen Titans #1   -- 73,675 (+168.3%) [89,056]
10/2011: Teen Titans #2   -- 72,107 (-  2.1%)
11/2011: Teen Titans #3   -- 60,758 (- 15.7%)
12/2011: Teen Titans #4   -- 54,929 (-  9.6%)
-----------------
6 months: +130.3%
1 year  : +111.3%
2 years : + 26.6%
5 years : -  8.7%

Teen Titans is the “New 52″ book with the 2nd-smallest drop in December.
—–

24 - GREEN LANTERN: NEW GUARDIANS
12/2010: Emerald Warriors #5  -- 44,077 (- 4.8%)
01/2011: Emerald Warriors #6  -- 43,471 (- 1.4%)
02/2011: Emerald Warriors #7  -- 44,828 (+ 3.1%)
03/2011: Emerald Warriors #8  -- 51,322 (+14.5%) [54,110]
04/2011: Emerald Warriors #9  -- 51,784 (+ 0.5%)
05/2011: Emerald Warriors #10 -- 52,971 (+ 2.3%)
06/2011: Emerald Warriors #11 -- 53,927 (+ 1.8%)
07/2011: Emerald Warriors #12 -- 48,087 (-10.8%)
08/2011: Emerald Warriors #13 -- 44,228 (- 8.0%)
09/2011: New Guardians #1     -- 84,033 (+90.0%) [96,596]
10/2011: New Guardians #2     -- 71,713 (-14.7%)
11/2011: New Guardians #3     -- 59,774 (-16.7%)
12/2011: New Guardians #4     -- 53,305 (-10.8%)
----------------
6 months: - 1.2%
1 year  : +20.9%

Another Green Lantern spin-off whose numbers are already back in pre-”New 52″ territory, four issues in. The relaunch didn’t accomplish a whole lot here.
—–

26 - BATWOMAN
09/2011: Batwoman #1  --  72,228 (+64.6%) [87,952]
10/2011: Batwoman #2  --  74,392 (+ 3.0%)
11/2011: Batwoman #3  --  61,997 (-16.7%)
12/2011: Batwoman #4  --  52,757 (-14.9%)
35 - RED LANTERNS
09/2011: Red Lanterns #1  -- 73,940          [89,170]
10/2011: Red Lanterns #2  -- 74,163 (+ 0.3%)
11/2011: Red Lanterns #3  -- 60,823 (-18.0%)
12/2011: Red Lanterns #4  -- 50,271 (-17.4%)

These two spin-off titles are holding up relatively well, ranking at No. 14 and No. 20 among the “New 52″ in terms of overall drop-off, respectively. They’re not yet levelling out in a meaningful way, though.
—–

39 - CATWOMAN
12/2006: Catwoman #62 -- 22,305
12/2007: Catwoman #74 -- 18,623
-------------------------------
09/2011: Catwoman #1  -- 59,633          [75,566]
10/2011: Catwoman #2  -- 63,573 (+ 6.6%)
11/2011: Catwoman #3  -- 52,196 (-17.9%)
12/2011: Catwoman #4  -- 45,581 (-12.7%)
-----------------
5 years : +104.4%

Catwoman is No. 9, as far as overall drop-off is concerned, and No. 15 in terms of its issue #4 drop. Encouraging signs, particularly given that sales are still fairly high, historically.
—–

40 - JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK
09/2011: Justice League Dark #1   -- 69,840          [81,955]
10/2011: Justice League Dark #2   -- 63,392 (- 9.2%)
11/2011: Justice League Dark #3   -- 51,674 (-18.5%)
12/2011: Justice League Dark #4   -- 44,750 (-13.4%)

An average performer in the context of the “New 52.”
—–

37 - SWAMP THING
09/2011: Swamp Thing #1  -- 54,757          [73,683]
10/2011: Swamp Thing #2  -- 58,634 (+ 7.1%)
11/2011: Swamp Thing #3  -- 52,300 (-10.8%)
12/2011: Swamp Thing #4  -- 44,660 (-14.6%)

Scott Snyder and Yanick Paquette’s Swamp Thing revamp is doing comparatively well, displaying the fourth-smallest overall drop-off since issue #1. Then again, the drops are increasing, so the picture is mixed.
—–

41 - RED HOOD AND THE OUTLAWS
09/2011: Red Hood #1  -- 56,112          [70,244]
10/2011: Red Hood #2  -- 59,382 (+ 5.8%)
11/2011: Red Hood #3  -- 50,140 (-15.6%)
12/2011: Red Hood #4  -- 44,278 (-11.7%)
42 - SUPERGIRL
12/2006: Supergirl #12 --  59,819
12/2006: Supergirl #13 --  56,648
12/2007: Supergirl #24 --  37,922
12/2008: Supergirl #36 --  45,491
12/2009: Supergirl #48 --  28,176
---------------------------------
12/2010: Supergirl #59 --  22,606 (- 11.0%)
01/2011: Supergirl #60 --  22,568 (-  0.2%)
02/2011: Supergirl #61 --  22,048 (-  2.3%)
03/2011: Supergirl #62 --  21,786 (-  1.2%)
04/2011: Supergirl #63 --  21,598 (-  0.9%)
05/2011: Supergirl #64 --  21,411 (-  0.9%)
06/2011: Supergirl #65 --  20,985 (-  2.0%)
07/2011: Supergirl #66 --  20,001 (-  4.7%)
08/2011: Supergirl #67 --  19,764 (-  1.2%)
09/2011: Supergirl #1  --  60,058 (+203.9%) [74,218]
10/2011: Supergirl #2  --  61,388 (+  2.2%)
11/2011: Supergirl #3  --  50,784 (- 17.3%)
12/2011: Supergirl #4  --  44,180 (- 13.0%)
-----------------
6 months: +110.5%
1 year  : + 95.4%
2 years : + 56.8%
5 years : - 24.1%

Two relatively good performers, all things considered.
—–

43 - JUSTICE LEAGUE INTERNATIONAL
09/2011: Justice League International #1  -- 67,866          [78,869]
10/2011: Justice League International #2  -- 66,100 (- 2.6%)
11/2011: Justice League International #3  -- 54,413 (-17.7%)
12/2011: Justice League International #4  -- 44,062 (-19.0%)

Mediocre sales, and the decline is accelerating.
—–

38 - BATMAN INCORPORATED: LEVIATHAN STRIKES
11/2010: Batman, Inc. #1  --  95,587
12/2010: Batman, Inc. #2  --  71,544 (-25.2%) [72,957]
03/2011: Batman, Inc. #3  --  66,772 (- 6.7%)
03/2011: Batman, Inc. #4  --  65,315 (- 2.2%)
04/2011: Batman, Inc. #5  --  62,204 (- 4.8%)
05/2011: Batman, Inc. #6  --  60,480 (- 2.8%)
06/2011: Batman, Inc. #7  --  56,108 (- 7.2%)
08/2011: Batman, Inc. #8  --  53,481 (- 4.7%)
------------------------------------
12/2011: Lev Strikes #1   --  43,048 (-19.5%)
----------------
6 months: -23.3%
1 year  : -39.8%

The wrap-up to the first volume of Grant Morrison’s Batman, Inc. is a $6.99 paperback (or “prestige format” title, as they used to call it), so the 10K drop isn’t as dire as it looks. Still, I’m curious where sales will pick up when the book returns in May. It’s probably going to hinge on whether DC can convince the audience that Morrison’s long-term Batman arc is still relevant in the relaunched DC Universe.
—–

46 - ANIMAL MAN
09/2011: Animal Man #1     -- 46,051          [65,229]
10/2011: Animal Man #2     -- 53,432 (+16.0%)
11/2011: Animal Man #3     -- 49,184 (- 8.0%)
12/2011: Animal Man #4     -- 42,630 (-13.3%)

Jeff Lemire and Travel Foreman are producing the “New 52″ title with the smallest overall drop-off since issue #1 in terms of first-month sales, by a wide margin. Animal Man dropped a mere 7.4% in its first four months, and by fewer than 4,000 units. That’s a remarkable performance by any standard. On the downside, once again, the drops are increasing, small as they may be compared to the rest of the line.
—–

54 - SUPERBOY
12/2010: Superboy #2  --  31,761 (- 20.0%)
01/2011: Superboy #3  --  29,550 (-  7.0%)
02/2011: Superboy #4  --  27,448 (-  7.1%)
03/2011: Superboy #5  --  27,215 (-  0.9%)
04/2011: Superboy #6  --  30,490 (+ 12.0%)
05/2011: Superboy #7  --  24,622 (- 19.3%)
06/2011: Superboy #8  --  23,037 (-  6.4%)
07/2011: Superboy #9  --  22,102 (-  4.1%)
08/2011: Superboy #10 --  20,563 (-  7.0%)
08/2011: Superboy #11 --  20,317 (-  1.2%)
09/2011: Superboy #1  --  55,608 (+173.7%) [69,283]
10/2011: Superboy #2  --  57,424 (+  3.3%)
11/2011: Superboy #3  --  47,442 (- 17.4%)
12/2011: Superboy #4  --  40,002 (- 15.7%)
-----------------
6 months: + 73.6%
1 year  : + 26.0%

No sign yet that sales are levelling out, though they remain way ahead of the previous run.
—–

57 - GREEN ARROW
12/2006: Green Arrow #69  -- 32,234
12/2007: Arrow/Canary #3  -- 40,321
12/2008: Arrow/Canary #15 -- 24,526
12/2009: Arrow&Canary #27 -- 16,904
-----------------------------------
11/2010: Green Arrow #6   -- 39,575 (-  6.2%)
12/2010: Green Arrow #7   -- 36,835 (-  6.9%)
01/2011: Green Arrow #8   -- 35,307 (-  4.2%)
02/2011: Green Arrow #9   -- 33,922 (-  3.9%)
03/2011: Green Arrow #10  -- 33,085 (-  2.5%)
04/2011: Green Arrow #11  -- 32,669 (-  1.3%)
05/2011: Green Arrow #12  -- 31,742 (-  2.8%)
06/2011: Green Arrow #13  -- 27,552 (- 13.2%)
07/2011: Green Arrow #14  -- 25,568 (-  7.2%)
08/2011: Green Arrow #15  -- 23,883 (-  6.6%)
09/2011: Green Arrow #1   -- 61,680 (+158.3%) [72,359]
10/2011: Green Arrow #2   -- 58,708 (-  4.8%)
11/2011: Green Arrow #3   -- 46,899 (- 20.1%)
12/2011: Green Arrow #4   -- 37,116 (- 20.9%)
-----------------
6 months: + 34.7%
1 year  : -  6.2%
2 years : +119.6%
5 years : + 15.2%

As you may guess from looking at the drops to date, Green Arrow isn’t doing all that well. It’s one of the first two “New 52″ titles to display a negative 12-month comparison, and unlike Batman: The Dark Knight, it doesn’t have a good excuse. The last Green Arrow #4, also written by J.T. Krul and published in September 2010, sold an estimated 44,220 units, so the “New 52″ relaunch isn’t very sustaining by comparison.

Nor, for that matter, does it look like the book is finding its level anytime soon. The new creative team taking over with issue #7 have their work cut out for them.
—–

62 - SUICIDE SQUAD
12/2007: Raise the Flag #1 of 8 -- 18,025
-----------------------------------------
09/2011: Suicide Squad #1       -- 49,979          [61,815]
10/2011: Suicide Squad #2       -- 49,570 (- 0.8%)
11/2011: Suicide Squad #3       -- 40,827 (-17.6%)
12/2011: Suicide Squad #4       -- 34,550 (-15.4%)

Suicide Squad is No. 18 among the “New 52″ in terms of overall drop-off and No. 23 in terms of December drop-off, and it’s the 28th-best-selling “New 52″ title on the December chart. Not a stellar performance, but not bad for a C-list concept without established creators or top-rung characters, certainly.
—–

63 - BIRDS OF PREY
12/2006: Birds of Prey #101 -- 29,825
12/2007: Birds of Prey #113 -- 24,717
12/2008: Birds of Prey #125 -- 20,161
-------------------------------------
12/2010: Birds of Prey #7   -- 33,114 (-  3.9%)
01/2011: Birds of Prey #8   -- 31,616 (-  4.5%)
02/2011: Birds of Prey #9   -- 30,641 (-  3.1%)
03/2011: Birds of Prey #10  -- 30,777 (+  0.4%)
04/2011: Birds of Prey #11  -- 30,270 (-  1.7%)
05/2011: Birds of Prey #12  -- 29,690 (-  1.9%)
06/2011: Birds of Prey #13  -- 28,992 (-  2.4%)
07/2011: Birds of Prey #14  -- 27,102 (-  6.5%)
08/2011: Birds of Prey #15  -- 26,043 (-  3.9%)
09/2011: Birds of Prey #1   -- 56,073 (+115.3%) [66,423]
10/2011: Birds of Prey #2   -- 53,156 (-  5.2%)
11/2011: Birds of Prey #3   -- 40,891 (- 23.1%)
12/2011: Birds of Prey #4   -- 34,460 (- 15.7%)
-----------------
6 months: + 18.7%
1 year  : +  4.1%
5 years : + 15.5%

Well, at least the December drop was smaller. Overall, though, the drop-off so far is bigger than average for Birds of Prey. And the last issue #4 sold an estimated 46,149 units in August 2010, so this isn’t impressive by any stretch.
—–

64 - STORMWATCH
12/2006: StormWatch: PHD #2   -- 21,605
12/2007: --
12/2008: StormWatch: PHD #17  --  6,468
---------------------------------------
09/2011: Stormwatch #1        -- 46,397          [57,287]
10/2011: Stormwatch #2        -- 47,520 (+ 2.4%)
11/2011: Stormwatch #3        -- 39,262 (-17.4%)
12/2011: Stormwatch #4        -- 30,987 (-21.1%)
-----------------
5 years : + 43.4%

The best-selling of the three former WildStorm Universe titles remains massively ahead of its previous incarnations, at least. Compared to the other “New 52″ books, sales and drop-off are average, though. And it’s nowhere near having found its level.

And that’s the last DC title selling above 30K in December.
—–

70 - ALL STAR WESTERN
12/2006: Jonah Hex #14 -- 18,295
12/2007: Jonah Hex #26 -- 14,088
12/2008: Jonah Hex #38 -- 12,132
12/2009: Jonah Hex #50 -- 15,131
--------------------------------
12/2010: Jonah Hex #62 -- 10,899 (+  1.0%)
01/2011: Jonah Hex #63 -- 10,752 (-  1.4%)
02/2011: Jonah Hex #64 -- 10,255 (-  4.6%)
03/2011: Jonah Hex #65 -- 10,353 (+  1.0%)
04/2011: Jonah Hex #66 -- 10,335 (-  0.2%)
05/2011: Jonah Hex #67 -- 10,288 (-  0.5%)
06/2011: Jonah Hex #68 -- 10,224 (-  0.6%)
07/2011: Jonah Hex #69 -- 10,521 (+  2.9%)
08/2011: Jonah Hex #70 -- 10,369 (-  1.5%)
09/2011: ASW #1        -- 43,681 (+321.3%) [54,992]
10/2011: ASW #2        -- 39,857 (-  8.8%)
11/2011: ASW #3        -- 32,776 (- 17.8%)
12/2011: ASW #4        -- 29,349 (- 10.5%)
-----------------
6 months: +187.1%
1 year  : +169.3%
2 years : + 94.0%
5 years : + 60.4%

All Star Western may not be a good seller in absolute numbers, but it displays an unusually small overall drop-off, as well as the 5th-smallest December drop. That’s impressive, particularly if you consider that sales are still almost three times what they were in August.
—–

74 - THE SAVAGE HAWKMAN
12/2006: Hawkgirl #59       -- 18,141
-------------------------------------
09/2011: Savage Hawkman #1  -- 55,954          [63,959]
10/2011: Savage Hawkman #2  -- 47,763 (-14.6%)
11/2011: Savage Hawkman #3  -- 35,177 (-26.4%)
12/2011: Savage Hawkman #4  -- 28,263 (-19.7%)
-----------------
5 years : + 55.8%

With an overall drop-off of 49.5% since issue #1, Hawkman is one of the least successful “New 52″ books. Rob Liefeld, to the rescue?
—–

75 - DEMON KNIGHTS
09/2011: Demon Knights #1  -- 41,602          [52,329]
10/2011: Demon Knights #2  -- 42,230 (+ 1.5%)
11/2011: Demon Knights #3  -- 34,681 (-17.9%)
12/2011: Demon Knights #4  -- 28,109 (-19.0%)

Not levelling out.
—–

77 - THE LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES
12/2006: SLoSH #25            -- 33,288
12/2007: LoSH #37             -- 45,803
12/2008: LoSH #49             -- 22,180
---------------------------------------
12/2010: LoSH #8              -- 25,063 (-  5.2%)
01/2011: LoSH #9              -- 24,230 (-  3.3%)
02/2011: LoSH #10             -- 23,738 (-  2.0%)
03/2011: LoSH #11             -- 23,667 (-  0.3%)
04/2011: LoSH #12             -- 23,419 (-  1.1%)
05/2011: LoSH #13             -- 23,105 (-  1.3%)
06/2011: LoSH #14             -- 22,600 (-  2.2%)
07/2011: LoSH #15             -- 21,788 (-  3.6%)
08/2011: LoSH #16             -- 21,373 (-  1.9%)
09/2011: LoSH #1              -- 50,402 (+135.8%) [58,325]
10/2011: LoSH #2              -- 47,227 (-  6.3%)
11/2011: LoSH #3              -- 34,979 (- 25.9%)
12/2011: LoSH #4              -- 27,832 (- 20.4%)
-----------------
6 months: + 23.2%
1 year  : + 11.1%
5 years : - 16.4%

Sales are back at pre-”New 52″ levels. In August 2010, the last Legion of Super-Heroes #4, also written by Paul Levitz, sold an estimated 34,239 units, so, once again, the relaunch fails to have a lasting effect on sales.
—–

80 - BATWING
09/2011: Batwing #1  -- 45,980          [53,721]
10/2011: Batwing #2  -- 42,750 (- 7.0%)
11/2011: Batwing #3  -- 35,110 (-17.9%)
12/2011: Batwing #4  -- 26,726 (-23.9%)
82 - DEATHSTROKE
09/2011: Deathstroke #1  -- 47,028          [56,820]
10/2011: Deathstroke #2  -- 44,647 (- 5.1%)
11/2011: Deathstroke #3  -- 33,754 (-24.4%)
12/2011: Deathstroke #4  -- 26,367 (-21.9%)

These drops are not encouraging, obviously.
—–

87 - THE FURY OF FIRESTORM: THE NUCLEAR MEN
12/2006: Firestorm #32 -- 15,255
--------------------------------
09/2011: Firestorm #1  -- 51,537          [62,076]
10/2011: Firestorm #2  -- 43,990 (-14.6%)
11/2011: Firestorm #3  -- 31,654 (-28.0%)
12/2011: Firestorm #4  -- 25,610 (-19.1%)
-----------------
5 years : + 67.9%

Firestorm is one of nine “New 52″ books that have lost more than half of their September sales — and six of those have already been axed.

If the trends on display so far continue for another couple of months, the “New 52″ titles below this point — nine books, not counting the ones DC already cancelled — will be in cancellation territory, basically.
—–

76 - THE HUNTRESS
10/2011: Huntress #1 of 6 -- 36,099
11/2011: Huntress #2 of 6 -- 28,377 (-21.4%)
12/2011: Huntress #3 of 6 -- 25,215 (-11.1%)

Levelling out after the stiff second-issue drop.
—–

90 - FRANKENSTEIN: AGENT OF S.H.A.D.E.
09/2011: Frankenstein #1          -- 41,551          [50,817]
10/2011: Frankenstein #2          -- 40,423 (- 2.7%)
11/2011: Frankenstein #3          -- 31,869 (-21.2%)
11/2011: Frankenstein #4          -- 24,812 (-22.1%)
92 - DC UNIVERSE PRESENTS
09/2011: DCU Presents #1  -- 45,701          [53,103]
10/2011: DCU Presents #2  -- 41,584 (- 9.0%)
11/2011: DCU Presents #3  -- 31,019 (-25.4%)
12/2011: DCU Presents #4  -- 24,398 (-21.4%)
94 - LEGION LOST
09/2011: Legion Lost #1  -- 46,362          [54,588]
10/2011: Legion Lost #2  -- 42,650 (- 8.0%)
11/2011: Legion Lost #3  -- 31,226 (-26.8%)
12/2011: Legion Lost #4  -- 24,020 (-23.1%)

Three more “New 52″ titles with no indication that the numbers may be stabilizing anytime soon.
—–

86 - BATMAN: ODYSSEY VOL. 2
07/2010: Batman: Odyssey #1  of 6  -- 61,827
08/2010: Batman: Odyssey #2  of 6  -- 47,675 (-22.9%)
09/2010: Batman: Odyssey #3  of 6  -- 40,046 (-16.0%)
10/2010: Batman: Odyssey #4  of 12 -- 35,307 (-11.8%)
11/2010: Batman: Odyssey #5  of 13 -- 31,386 (-11.1%)
02/2011: Batman: Odyssey #6  of 13 -- 29,093 (- 7.3%)
--------------------------------------------
10/2011: Odyssey Vol. 2 #1  of 7   -- 30,410 (+ 4.5%)
11/2011: Odyssey Vol. 2 #2  of 7   -- 24,271 (-20.2%)
12/2011: Odyssey Vol. 2 #3  of 7   -- 23,089 (- 4.9%)
----------------
1 year  : n.a.

This Neal Adams vehicle is levelling out nicely after the harsh initial drop.
—–

99 - RESURRECTION MAN
09/2011: Resurrection Man #1  -- 41,740          [50,230]
10/2011: Resurrection Man #2  -- 38,560 (- 7.6%)
11/2011: Resurrection Man #3  -- 29,480 (-23.6%)
12/2011: Resurrection Man #4  -- 23,060 (-21.8%)
100 - GRIFTER
09/2011: Grifter #1  -- 41,222          [50,959]
10/2011: Grifter #2  -- 39,900 (- 3.2%)
11/2011: Grifter #3  -- 29,802 (-25.3%)
12/2011: Grifter #4  -- 22,486 (-24.6%)

Two more “New 52″ titles that aren’t levelling out.
—–

103 - I, VAMPIRE
09/2011: I, Vampire #1  -- 39,683          [46,993]
10/2011: I, Vampire #2  -- 34,599 (-12.8%)
11/2011: I, Vampire #3  -- 26,070 (-24.7%)
11/2011: I, Vampire #4  -- 21,601 (-17.1%)
104 - BLUE BEETLE
12/2006: Blue Beetle #10 -- 21,358
12/2007: Blue Beetle #22 -- 15,256
12/2008: Blue Beetle #34 -- 11,020
----------------------------------
09/2011: Blue Beetle #1  -- 44,448          [52,288]
10/2011: Blue Beetle #2  -- 39,396 (-11.4%)
11/2011: Blue Beetle #3  -- 27,612 (-29.9%)
12/2011: Blue Beetle #4  -- 21,408 (-22.5%)
-----------------
5 years : +  0.2%
110 - VOODOO
09/2011: Voodoo #1  -- 40,301          [47,112]
10/2011: Voodoo #2  -- 34,690 (-13.9%)
11/2011: Voodoo #3  -- 25,067 (-27.7%)
12/2011: Voodoo #4  -- 20,703 (-17.4%)

For Voodoo, Blue Beetle and I, Vampire, at least the drops are getting smaller. Blue Beetle is another one of the titles that have already lost more than 50% of their sales since September, however, and the other two aren’t far behind.
—–

101 - LEGION: SECRET ORIGIN
10/2011: Secret Origin #1 of 6 -- 38,248
11/2011: Secret Origin #2 of 6 -- 22,435 (-41.3%)
12/2011: Secret Origin #3 of 6 -- 20,033 (-10.7%)

Levelling out, now that the harsh initial drop is out ouf the way.
—–

114 - HAWK & DOVE
09/2011: Hawk & Dove #1  -- 42,294          [47,999]
10/2011: Hawk & Dove #2  -- 36,068 (-14.7%)
11/2011: Hawk & Dove #3  -- 27,464 (-23.9%)
12/2011: Hawk & Dove #4  -- 20,016 (-27.1%)

Horrible sales all around, and axed with issue #8. Bluntly, these figures don’t suggest that Rob Liefeld is the guy to call if you want to save a low-selling book from cancellation. Or maybe the assignment is to keep them afloat until issue #12, leading to another round of replacements in September? Blind speculation, obviously.
—–

115 - CAPTAIN ATOM
09/2011: Captain Atom #1  -- 44,110          [51,314]
10/2011: Captain Atom #2  -- 38,309 (-13.2%)
11/2011: Captain Atom #3  -- 26,829 (-30.0%)
12/2011: Captain Atom #4  -- 19,908 (-25.8%)

This one’s not cancelled yet, despite the No. 4 most horrible overall drop-off, the No. 6 most horrible December drop and being narrowly outsold by a book that was just axed. The writing is on the wall.
—–

107 - PENGUIN: PAIN AND PREJUDICE
10/2011: Penguin #1 of 5 -- 26,380
11/2011: Penguin #2 of 5 -- 21,021 (-20.3%)
12/2011: Penguin #3 of 5 -- 19,131 (- 9.0%)
108 - THE SHADE
10/2011: Shade #1  of 12 -- 30,648
11/2011: Shade #2  of 12 -- 21,431 (-30.1%)
12/2011: Shade #3  of 12 -- 18,922 (-11.7%)

Two DC Universe miniseries with mediocre sales.
—–

126 - O.M.A.C.
09/2011: O.M.A.C. #1  -- 37,312          [42,871]
10/2011: O.M.A.C. #2  -- 32,704 (-12.4%)
11/2011: O.M.A.C. #3  -- 25,080 (-23.3%)
12/2011: O.M.A.C. #4  -- 18,371 (-26.8%)
127 - MISTER TERRIFIC
09/2011: Mister Terrific #1  -- 41,450          [48,352]
10/2011: Mister Terrific #2  -- 35,963 (-13.2%)
11/2011: Mister Terrific #3  -- 25,282 (-29.7%)
12/2011: Mister Terrific #4  -- 17,963 (-29.0%)

Two “New 52″ titkes axed with issue #8.
—–

117 - THE RAY
12/2011: The Ray #1 of 4 -- 17,779

A new DC Universe mini with abysmal figures.
—–

120 - FABLES (Vertigo)
12/2006: Fables #56  -- 25,892
12/2007: Fables #68  -- 24,574
12/2008: Fables #79  -- 22,769
12/2009: Fables #91  -- 20,450
------------------------------
12/2010: Fables #100 -- 23,014 (+17.1%)
01/2011: Fables #101 -- 19,183 (-16.7%)
02/2011: Fables #102 -- 19,215 (+ 0.2%)
03/2011: Fables #103 -- 18,910 (- 1.6%)
04/2011: Fables #104 -- 18,811 (- 0.5%)
05/2011: Fables #105 -- 18,749 (- 0.3%)
06/2011: Fables #106 -- 18,505 (- 1.3%)
07/2011: Fables #107 -- 18,523 (+ 0.1%)
08/2011: Fables #108 -- 18,390 (- 0.7%)
09/2011: Fables #109 -- 18,072 (- 1.7%)
10/2011: Fables #110 -- 18,109 (+ 0.2%)
11/2011: Fables #111 -- 17,687 (- 2.3%)
12/2011: Fables #112 -- 17,602 (- 0.5%)
----------------
6 months: - 4.9%
1 year  : -23.5%
2 years : -13.9%
5 years : -32.0%

Vertigo’s top-selling periodical franchise is about to spawn a new ongoing title. The mothership had a reasonably stable year, meanwhile, if you ignore the bump for issue #100 in December 2010.
—–

131 - STATIC SHOCK
06/2011: Special #1 of 1  --  9,976
-----------------------------------
09/2011: Static Shock #1  -- 37,782 (+278.7%) [43,046]
10/2011: Static Shock #2  -- 32,360 (- 14.4%)
11/2011: Static Shock #3  -- 24,374 (- 24.7%)
12/2011: Static Shock #4  -- 17,514 (- 28.2%)
135 - BLACKHAWKS
09/2011: Blackhawks #1  -- 40,014          [46,435]
10/2011: Blackhawks #2  -- 31,704 (-20.8%)
11/2011: Blackhawks #3  -- 22,349 (-29.5%)
12/2011: Blackhawks #4  -- 16,810 (-24.8%)
139 - MEN OF WAR
09/2011: Men of War #1  -- 37,488
10/2011: Men of War #2  -- 31,446 (-16.1%)
11/2011: Men of War #3  -- 23,770 (-24.4%)
12/2011: Men of War #4  -- 16,641 (-30.0%)

Three “New 52″ titles, cancelled at issue #8 each.

Despite selling fewer than 20K, these books also each lost more than 50% of their debut sales, and they show some of the worst December drops. It’s not hard to see why DC pulled the plug here.
—–

136/140 - AMERICAN VAMPIRE (Vertigo)
12/2010: American Vampire #9  -- 19,019 (- 4.2%)
12/2010: American Vampire #10 -- 17,761 (- 6.6%)
01/2011: American Vampire #11 -- 16,969 (- 4.5%)
02/2011: American Vampire #12 -- 16,522 (- 2.6%)
03/2011: American Vampire #13 -- 17,269 (+ 4.5%)
04/2011: American Vampire #14 -- 16,168 (- 6.4%)
05/2011: American Vampire #15 -- 15,876 (- 1.8%)
06/2011: American Vampire #16 -- 15,705 (- 1.1%)
07/2011: American Vampire #17 -- 15,565 (- 0.9%)
08/2011: American Vampire #18 -- 15,423 (- 0.9%)
09/2011: American Vampire #19 -- 15,288 (- 0.9%)
10/2011: --
11/2011: American Vampire #20 -- 15,685 (+ 2.6%)
12/2011: American Vampire #21 -- 15,026 (- 4.2%)
12/2011: American Vampire #22 -- 14,759 (- 1.8%)
----------------
6 months: - 5.2%
1 year  : -21.7%

Standard attrition.
—–

149 - SPACEMAN (Vertigo)
10/2011: Spaceman #1 of 9 -- 22,355
11/2011: Spaceman #2 of 9 -- 14,962 (-33.1%)
12/2011: Spaceman #3 of 9 -- 13,492 (- 9.8%)

Levelling out, following the stiff second-issue drop resulting from the loss-leader $1.00 price point of issue #1.
—–

150/152 - DC UNIVERSE ONLINE: LEGENDS
02/2011: DCU Online: Legends #1  -- 36,517
02/2011: DCU Online: Legends #2  -- 28,953 (-20.7%)
03/2011: DCU Online: Legends #3  -- 24,824 (-14.3%)
03/2011: DCU Online: Legends #4  -- 23,001 (- 7.3%)
04/2011: DCU Online: Legends #5  -- 21,427 (- 6.8%)
04/2011: DCU Online: Legends #6  -- 20,461 (- 4.5%)
05/2011: DCU Online: Legends #7  -- 20,064 (- 1.9%)
05/2011: DCU Online: Legends #8  -- 19,471 (- 3.0%)
06/2011: DCU Online: Legends #9  -- 18,759 (- 3.7%)
06/2011: DCU Online: Legends #10 -- 18,178 (- 3.1%)
07/2011: DCU Online: Legends #11 -- 17,509 (- 3.7%)
07/2011: DCU Online: Legends #12 -- 17,223 (- 1.6%)
08/2011: DCU Online: Legends #13 -- 16,540 (- 4.0%)
08/2011: DCU Online: Legends #14 -- 16,018 (- 3.2%)
09/2011: --
10/2011: DCU Online: Legends #15 -- 15,460 (- 3.5%)
10/2011: DCU Online: Legends #16 -- 15,238 (- 1.4%)
11/2011: DCU Online: Legends #17 -- 14,226 (- 6.6%)
11/2011: DCU Online: Legends #18 -- 13,955 (- 1.9%)
12/2011: DCU Online: Legends #19 -- 13,350 (- 4.3%)
12/2011: DCU Online: Legends #20 -- 13,219 (- 1.0%)
----------------
6 months: -28.1%

The video-game adaptation continues a slow decline. It’s a 26-issue maxiseries, evidently.
—–

161 - T.H.U.N.D.E.R. AGENTS
12/2010: T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents #2  -- 11,227 (-30.4%)
01/2011: T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents #3  -- 10,602 (- 5.6%)
02/2011: T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents #4  -- 10,124 (- 4.5%)
03/2011: T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents #5  --  9,934 (- 1.9%)
04/2011: T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents #6  --  9,680 (- 2.6%)
05/2011: T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents #7  --  9,453 (- 2.4%)
06/2011: T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents #8  --  8,954 (- 5.3%)
07/2011: T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents #9  --  8,710 (- 2.7%)
08/2011: T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents #10 --  8,453 (- 3.0%)
09/2011: --
10/2011: --
11/2011: Vol. 2 #1 of 6            -- 14,794 (+75.0%)
12/2011: Vol. 2 #2 of 6            -- 12,015 (-18.8%)
----------------
6 months: +34.2%
1 year  : + 7.0%

On the plus side, the second issue outsells last year’s #2.
—–

174/178 - THE UNWRITTEN (Vertigo)
12/2009: The Unwritten #8  -- 14,257
------------------------------------
12/2010: The Unwritten #20 -- 11,684 (- 2.9%)
01/2011: The Unwritten #21 -- 11,443 (- 2.1%)
02/2011: The Unwritten #22 -- 11,371 (- 0.6%)
03/2011: The Unwritten #23 -- 11,319 (- 0.5%)
04/2011: The Unwritten #24 -- 11,028 (- 2.6%)
05/2011: The Unwritten #25 -- 11,137 (+ 1.0%)
06/2011: The Unwritten #26 -- 10,979 (- 1.4%)
07/2011: The Unwritten #27 -- 10,787 (- 1.8%)
08/2011: The Unwritten #28 -- 10,731 (- 0.5%)
09/2011: The Unwritten #29 -- 10,511 (- 2.1%)
10/2011: The Unwritten #30 -- 10,481 (- 0.3%)
11/2011: The Unwritten #31 -- 10,434 (- 0.5%)
11/2011: The Unwritten #.5 -- 10,183 (- 2.4%)
12/2011: The Unwritten #32 -- 10,073 (- 1.1%)
12/2011: The Unwritten #.5 --  9,759 (- 3.1%)
----------------
6 months: - 9.7%
1 year  : -15.1%
2 years : -30.5%

Retailers don’t seem very enthusiastic about these #.5 issues.
—–

181 - HELLBLAZER (Vertigo)
12/2006: Hellblazer #227 -- 13,231
12/2007: Hellblazer #239 -- 12,344
12/2008: Hellblazer #250 -- 12,478
12/2009: Hellblazer #262 -- 10,334
----------------------------------
12/2010: Hellblazer #274 --  9,342 (-3.1%)
01/2011: Hellblazer #275 --  9,507 (+1.8%)
02/2011: Hellblazer #276 --  9,466 (-0.4%)
03/2011: Hellblazer #277 --  9,525 (+0.6%)
04/2011: Hellblazer #278 --  9,417 (-1.1%)
05/2011: Hellblazer #279 --  9,454 (+0.4%)
06/2011: Hellblazer #280 --  9,329 (-1.3%)
07/2011: Hellblazer #281 --  9,225 (-1.1%)
08/2011: Hellblazer #282 --  9,372 (+1.5%)
09/2011: Hellblazer #283 --  9,597 (+2.4%)
10/2011: Hellblazer #284 --  9,608 (+0.1%)
11/2011: Hellblazer #285 --  9,500 (-1.1%)
12/2011: Hellblazer #286 --  9,404 (-1.0%)
----------------
6 months: + 0.8%
1 year  : + 0.7%
2 years : - 9.0%
5 years : -28.9%
184 - HELLBLAZER ANNUAL (Vertigo)
12/2011: Hellblazer Annual #1 -- 9,289

Standard attrition, and the Annual sells very close to the mother title. Relatively solid numbers overall.
—–

187 - MY GREATEST ADVENTURE
01/2011: Weird Worlds #1 of 6 -- 14,964
02/2011: Weird Worlds #2 of 6 -- 11,587 (- 22.6%)
03/2011: Weird Worlds #3 of 6 -- 10,470 (-  9.6%)
04/2011: Weird Worlds #4 of 6 --  9,665 (-  7.7%)
05/2011: Weird Worlds #5 of 6 --  9,043 (-  6.4%)
06/2011: Weird Worlds #6 of 6 --  8,536 (-  5.6%)
---------------------------------------
10/2011: MGA #1 of 6          -- 17,222 (+101.8%)
11/2011: MGA #2 of 6          -- 11,782 (- 31.6%)
12/2011: MGA #3 of 6          --  8,858 (- 24.8%)
----------------
6 months: + 3.8%

Crashing. Seems like retailers were way too optimistic on the first two issues.
—–

189 - I, ZOMBIE (Vertigo)
12/2010: I, Zombie #8  -- 12,038 (- 6.0%)
01/2011: I, Zombie #9  -- 11,536 (- 4.2%)
02/2011: I, Zombie #10 -- 11,182 (- 3.1%)
03/2011: I, Zombie #11 -- 10,874 (- 2.8%)
04/2011: I, Zombie #12 -- 10,727 (- 1.4%)
05/2011: I, Zombie #13 -- 10,567 (- 1.5%)
06/2011: I, Zombie #14 -- 10,320 (- 2.3%)
07/2011: I, Zombie #15 -- 10,006 (- 3.0%)
08/2011: I, Zombie #16 --  9,568 (- 4.4%)
09/2011: I, Zombie #17 --  9,316 (- 2.6%)
10/2011: I, Zombie #18 --  9,237 (- 0.9%)
11/2011: I, Zombie #19 --  8,999 (- 2.6%)
12/2011: I, Zombie #20 --  8,805 (- 2.2%)
----------------
6 months: -14.7%
1 year  : -26.9%
206 - SWEET TOOTH (Vertigo)
12/2009: Sweet Tooth #4  --  9,817
----------------------------------
12/2010: Sweet Tooth #16 --  8,602 (- 1.7%)
01/2011: Sweet Tooth #17 --  8,522 (- 0.9%)
02/2011: Sweet Tooth #18 --  8,466 (- 0.7%)
03/2011: Sweet Tooth #19 --  8,532 (+ 0.8%)
04/2011: Sweet Tooth #20 --  8,361 (- 2.0%)
05/2011: Sweet Tooth #21 --  8,360 (- 0.0%)
06/2011: Sweet Tooth #22 --  8,252 (- 1.3%)
07/2011: Sweet Tooth #23 --  8,018 (- 2.8%)
08/2011: Sweet Tooth #24 --  7,948 (- 0.9%)
09/2011: Sweet Tooth #25 --  7,896 (- 0.7%)
10/2011: Sweet Tooth #26 --  7,963 (+ 0.9%)
11/2011: Sweet Tooth #27 --  7,923 (- 0.5%)
12/2011: Sweet Tooth #28 --  7,699 (- 2.8%)
----------------
6 months: - 6.7%
1 year  : -10.5%
2 years : -21.6%

Standard attrition for the two lowest-selling Vertigo books that don’t yet have an official end date.
—–

208 - TINY TITANS (Johnny DC)
12/2008: Tiny Titans #11 --  9,085
12/2009: Tiny Titans #23 --  8,017
----------------------------------
12/2010: Tiny Titans #35 --  7,515 (- 2.6%)
01/2011: Tiny Titans #36 --  7,480 (- 0.5%)
02/2011: Tiny Titans #37 --  7,426 (- 0.7%)
03/2011: Tiny Titans #38 --  7,372 (- 0.7%)
04/2011: Tiny Titans #39 --  7,445 (+ 1.0%)
05/2011: Tiny Titans #40 --  7,847 (+ 5.4%)
06/2011: Tiny Titans #41 --  7,811 (- 0.5%)
07/2011: Tiny Titans #42 --  7,664 (- 1.9%)
08/2011: Tiny Titans #43 --  7,534 (- 1.7%)
09/2011: Tiny Titans #44 --  7,619 (+ 1.1%)
10/2011: Tiny Titans #45 --  7,836 (+ 2.9%)
11/2011: Tiny Titans #46 --  7,748 (- 1.1%)
12/2011: Tiny Titans #47 --  7,689 (- 0.8%)
----------------
6 months: - 1.6%
1 year  : + 2.3%
2 years : - 4.1%
218 - YOUNG JUSTICE (Johnny DC)
01/2011: Young Justice #0  --  9,412
02/2011: Young Justice #1  -- 10,777 (+14.5%)
03/2011: Young Justice #2  --  9,612 (-10.8%)
04/2011: Young Justice #3  --  9,407 (- 2.1%)
05/2011: Young Justice #4  --  9,729 (+ 3.4%)
06/2011: Young Justice #5  --  8,988 (- 7.6%)
07/2011: Young Justice #6  --  8,642 (- 3.9%)
08/2011: Young Justice #7  --  8,062 (- 6.7%)
09/2011: Young Justice #8  --  7,930 (- 1.6%)
10/2011: Young Justice #9  --  7,737 (- 2.4%)
11/2011: Young Justice #10 --  7,650 (- 1.1%)
12/2011: Young Justice #11 --  7,221 (- 5.6%)
----------------
6 months: -19.7%
233 - THE ALL-NEW BATMAN: THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD (Johnny DC)
12/2006: Batman Strikes! #28   --  7,427
12/2007: Batman Strikes! #40   --  6,492
12/2009: Brave & Bold #12      --  6,342
----------------------------------------
12/2010: All-New BBB #2        --  6,688 (- 20.5%)
01/2011: All-New BBB #3        --  6,557 (-  2.0%)
02/2011: All-New BBB #4        --  6,561 (+  0.1%)
03/2011: All-New BBB #5        --  6,463 (-  1.5%)
04/2011: All-New BBB #6        --  6,324 (-  2.1%)
05/2011: All-New BBB #7        --  6,869 (+  8.6%)
06/2011: All-New BBB #8        --  6,645 (-  3.3%)
07/2011: All-New BBB #9        --  6,404 (-  3.6%)
08/2011: All-New BBB #10       --  6,351 (-  0.8%)
09/2011: All-New BBB #11       --  6,410 (+  0.9%)
10/2011: All-New BBB #12       --  6,771 (+  5.6%)
11/2011: All-New BBB #13       --  7,143 (+  5.5%)
12/2011: All-New BBB #14       --  6,724 (-  5.9%)
----------------
6 months: + 1.2%
1 year  : + 0.5%
2 years : + 6.0%
5 years : - 9.5%

Three Johnny DC titles. See small print.
—–

234 - SUPERNATURAL
10/2011: Supernatrl #1 of 6 --  8,896
11/2011: Supernatrl #2 of 6 --  7,506 (-15.6%)
12/2011: Supernatrl #3 of 6 --  6,638 (-11.6%)

A TV-show adaptation, well below the radar.
—–

239/295 - DC COMICS PRESENTS
12/2011: Elseworlds 80-Page Giant #1 -- 6,115
12/2011: Batman: Urban Legends #1    -- 3,195

Two more reprint books.
—–

242 - DMZ (Vertigo)
12/2006: DMZ #14 -- 13,731
12/2007: DMZ #26 -- 11,027
12/2008: DMZ #37 --  8,823
12/2009: DMZ #48 --  6,977
--------------------------
12/2010: DMZ #60 --  6,023 (-0.4%)
01/2011: DMZ #61 --  5,855 (-2.8%)
02/2011: DMZ #62 --  5,781 (-1.3%)
03/2011: DMZ #63 --  5,877 (+1.7%)
04/2011: DMZ #64 --  5,851 (-0.4%)
05/2011: DMZ #65 --  5,865 (+0.2%)
06/2011: DMZ #66 --  5,825 (-0.7%)
07/2011: DMZ #67 --  5,720 (-1.8%)
08/2011: DMZ #68 --  5,668 (-0.9%)
09/2011: DMZ #69 --  5,544 (-2.2%)
10/2011: DMZ #70 --  5,610 (+1.2%)
11/2011: DMZ #71 --  5,579 (-0.6%)
12/2011: DMZ #72 --  5,990 (+7.4%)
----------------
6 months: + 2.8%
1 year  : - 0.6%
2 years : -14.2%
5 years : -56.4%

Concluding its run after six years. A few years back, Brian Wood comics used to be comparatively solid performers at Vertigo, both as periodicals and as paperback collections, but this doesn’t seem to be true anymore. Nor, for that matter, does it look like there’s much of anything at Vertigo that may get to issue #72, at this stage.
—–

260 - SCOOBY DOO: WHERE ARE YOU? (Johnny DC)
12/2006: Scooby Doo #115 -- 4,364
12/2007: Scooby Doo #127 -- 4,293
12/2008: Scooby Doo #139 -- ?
12/2009: Scooby Doo #151 -- 3,906
---------------------------------
12/2010: SD:WAY? #4      -- 4,802 (- 1.2%)
01/2011: SD:WAY? #5      -- 4,540 (- 5.5%)
02/2011: SD:WAY? #6      -- 4,456 (- 1.9%)
03/2011: SD:WAY? #7      -- 4,522 (+ 1.5%)
04/2011: SD:WAY? #8      -- 4,599 (+ 1.7%)
05/2011: SD:WAY? #9      -- 4,838 (+ 5.2%)
06/2011: SD:WAY? #10     -- 4,774 (- 1.3%)
07/2011: SD:WAY? #11     -- 4,791 (+ 0.4%)
08/2011: SD:WAY? #12     -- 4,686 (- 2.2%)
09/2011: SD:WAY? #13     -- 4,701 (+ 0.3%)
10/2011: SD:WAY? #14     -- ?
11/2011: SD:WAY? #15     -- 4,701
12/2011: SD:WAY? #16     -- 4,627 (- 1.6%)
----------------
6 months: - 3.1%
1 year  : - 3.6%
2 years : +18.5%
5 years : + 6.0%

Another Johnny DC book.
—–

265 - UNCHARTED
11/2011: Uncharted #1 of 6 -- 6,171
12/2011: Uncharted #2 of 6 -- 4,532 (-26.6%)
268 - GEARS OF WAR
12/2009: --
12/2010: GoW #3  -- 12,095
--------------------------
12/2010: GoW #15 --  4,709 (- 9.5%)
01/2011: --
02/2011: --
03/2011: GoW #16 --  4,719 (+ 0.2%)
04/2011: --
05/2011: --
06/2011: GoW #17 --  4,652 (- 1.4%)
07/2011: GoW #18 --  4,327 (- 7.0%)
08/2011: GoW #19 --  ?
09/2011: --
10/2011: GoW #20 --  ?
11/2011: --
12/2011: GoW #21 --  4,374
----------------
6 months: - 6.0%
1 year  : - 7.1%
2 years : -63.8%

Two more video-game adaptations.

Another one, End of Nations #2, also shipped in December, but failed to make the chart. As always, for the purposes of the average-sales statistics below, I’m assuming it sold as many units as the No. 300 title on the chart, which was 3,105 in December.
—–

"NEW 52" #4 CHANGES
- 6.0%: Aquaman
- 9.6%: Teen Titans
- 9.7%: Batman: The Dark Knight
------
-10.4%: Nightwing
-10.5%: All Star Western
-10.6%: Detective Comics
-10.8%: New Guardians
-11.4%: Batman
-11.4%: Superman
-11.5%: Justice League
-11.7%: Red Hood
-11.9%: Batman and Robin
-12.1%: Wonder Woman
-12.6%: GL Corps
-12.7%: Catwoman
-13.0%: Supergirl
-13.3%: Animal Man
-13.4%: JLD
-14.3%: Batgirl
-14.5%: Flash
-14.6%: Swamp Thing
-14.9%: Batwoman
------
-15.0%: Green Lantern
-15.4%: Suicide Squad
-15.7%: Birds of Prey
-15.7%: Superboy
-16.3%: Action Comics
-17.1%: I, Vampire
-17.4%: Red Lanterns
-17.4%: Voodoo
-19.0%: Demon Knights
-19.0%: JLI
-19.1%: Firestorm
-19.7%: Hawkman
------
-20.4%: LoSH
-20.9%: Green Arrow
-21.1%: Stormwatch
-21.4%: DCU Presents
-21.8%: Resurrection Man
-21.9%: Deathstroke
-22.1%: Frankenstein
-22.5%: Blue Beetle
-23.1%: Legion Lost
-23.9%: Batwing
-24.6%: Grifter
-24.8%: Blackhawks
-25.8%: Captain Atom
-26.8%: OMAC
-27.1%: Hawk & Dove
-28.2%: Static Shock
-29.0%: Mister Terrific
-30.0%: Men of War

—–

6-MONTH COMPARISONS
+228.6%: JLA
+187.1%: All Star Western
+168.9%: Action Comics
+157.1%: Batgirl
+153.8%: Detective Comics
+151.9%: Batman
+130.3%: Teen Titans
+110.5%: Supergirl
+104.8%: Superman
+ 87.4%: Wonder Woman
+ 73.6%: Superboy
+ 38.2%: Batman and Robin
+ 34.7%: Green Arrow
+ 34.2%: THUNDER Agents
+ 23.2%: LoSH
+ 18.7%: Birds of Prey
+  3.8%: My Greatest Adventure
+  2.8%: DMZ
+  1.2%: All-New BBB
+  0.8%: Hellblazer
-  1.2%: New Guardians
-  1.6%: Tiny Titans
-  3.1%: Scooby-Doo
-  4.9%: Fables
-  5.2%: American Vampire
-  6.0%: GoW
-  6.7%: Sweet Tooth
-  9.7%: Unwritten
- 14.7%: I, Zombie
- 19.7%: Young Justice
- 23.3%: Batman, Inc.
- 28.1%: DCU Online

—–

1-YEAR COMPARISONS
+248.7%: Action Comics
+207.9%: JLA
+169.3%: All Star Western
+161.8%: Detective Comics
+137.8%: Batgirl
+111.5%: Batman
+111.3%: Teen Titans
+ 95.4%: Supergirl
+ 77.9%: Superman
+ 62.5%: Wonder Woman
+ 40.3%: Flash
+ 40.3%: Green Lantern
+ 26.0%: Superboy
+ 20.9%: New Guardians
+ 11.1%: LoSH
+ 10.4%: Batman and Robin
+  7.0%: THUNDER Agents
+  5.1%: GL Corps
+  2.3%: Birds of Prey
+  0.7%: Hellblazer
+  0.5%: All-New BBB
-  0.6%: DMZ
-  3.6%: Scooby-Doo
-  6.2%: Green Arrow
-  7.1%: GoW
- 10.5%: Sweet Tooth
- 12.6%: Batman: The Dark Knight
- 15.1%: Unwritten
- 21.7%: American Vampire
- 23.5%: Fables
- 26.9%: I, Zombie
- 39.8%: Batman, Inc.

—–

2-YEAR COMPARISONS
+254.0%: Action Comics
+135.6%: Superman
+120.5%: Wonder Woman
+119.6%: Green Arrow
+117.4%: JLA
+103.0%: Batman
+ 94.0%: All Star Western
+ 90.0%: Detective Comics
+ 84.6%: Batgirl
+ 56.8%: Supergirl
+ 26.6%: Teen Titans
+  7.1%: Green Lantern
+  6.0%: All-New BBB
-  4.1%: Tiny Titans
-  9.0%: Hellblazer
- 13.9%: Fables
- 14.2%: DMZ
- 21.6%: Sweet Tooth
- 26.5%: GL Corps
- 30.5%: Unwritten

—–

5-YEAR COMPARISONS
+104.4%: Catwoman
+ 75.5%: Batman
+ 73.3%: Detective Comics
+ 67.9%: Firestorm
+ 64.6%: Nightwing
+ 60.4%: All Star Western
+ 55.8%: Hawkman
+ 47.6%: GL Corps
+ 44.3%: Flash
+ 43.4%: Stormwatch
+ 15.5%: Birds of Prey
+ 15.2%: Green Arrow
+ 10.9%: JLA
+  6.0%: Scooby-Doo
+  0.2%: Blue Beetle
-  8.7%: Teen Titans
-  9.5%: All-New BBB
- 16.4%: LoSH
- 24.1%: Supergirl
- 28.9%: Hellblazer
- 32.0%: Fables
- 56.4%: DMZ

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

DC COMICS
12/2006: 34,418
12/2007: 33,138
12/2008: 26,793**
12/2009: 25,904**
---------------
12/2010: 23,869 (-  6.4%)**
01/2011: 21,922 (-  8.2%)**
02/2011: 23,252 (+  6.1%)**
03/2011: 23,976 (+  3.1%)**
04/2011: 25,651 (+  7.0%)
05/2011: 24,561 (-  4.3%)**
06/2011: 25,814 (+  5.1%)**
07/2011: 26,138 (+  1.3%)**
08/2011: 25,632 (-  1.9%)**
09/2011: 57,224 (+123.3%)
10/2011: 51,280 (- 10.4%)**
11/2011: 41,414 (- 19.2%)**
12/2011: 35,397 (- 14.5%)**
-----------------
6 months: + 37.1%
1 year  : + 48.3%
2 years : + 36.7%
5 years : +  2.8%
DC UNIVERSE
12/2006: 44,641
12/2007: 40,074
12/2008: 35,050
12/2009: 35,473**
---------------
12/2010: 30,870 (-  9.7%)
01/2011: 24,321 (- 21.2%)**
02/2011: 25,887 (+  6.4%)**
03/2011: 26,720 (+  3.2%)**
04/2011: 29,126 (+  9.0%)
05/2011: 27,745 (-  4.7%)**
06/2011: 28,673 (+  3.4%)**
07/2011: 28,586 (-  0.3%)**
08/2011: 27,761 (-  2.9%)**
09/2011: 67,411 (+142.8%)
10/2011: 59,146 (- 12.3%)**
11/2011: 46,670 (- 21.1%)**
12/2011: 39,390 (- 15.6%)**
-----------------
6 months: + 37.4%
1 year  : + 27.6%
2 years : + 11.0%
5 years : - 11.8%
VERTIGO
12/2006: 13,834
12/2007: 11,035
12/2008: 11,603
12/2009: 10,583
---------------
12/2010: 11,193 (+23.9%)
01/2011: 10,145 (- 9.4%)
02/2011: 10,295 (+ 1.5%)
03/2011: 10,450 (+ 1.5%)
04/2011: 10,014 (- 4.2%)
05/2011: 10,668 (+ 6.5%)
06/2011: 10,415 (- 2.4%)
07/2011: 10,784 (+ 3.5%)
08/2011: 10,147 (- 5.9%)
09/2011:  9,995 (- 1.5%)
10/2011: 10,643 (+ 6.5%)
11/2011: 10,355 (- 2.7%)
12/2011: 11,082 (+ 7.0%)
-----------------
6 months: +  6.4%
1 year  : -  1.0%
2 years : +  4.7%
5 years : - 19.9%

—–
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. First off, of course the number of books “failing” to make the charts again with #3 and #4 is going to be negligable. We retailers had figured out how to order the books by then. Duh.

    Any analyst should know that.

    With such a terrible start to this month’s chart, I’m sure I’ll have more comments to follow.

  2. Second, Green Lantern #4 selling 104,199 compared to 74,521 isn’t “20K” it’s 29K difference, almost 30K. I even used a calculator to check.

    Did you?

  3. Todd Allen says:

    I’ve had one manager tell me the issue 5 numbers are the first batch he thought might “real,” in terms of what might stick. I had another tell me he thought there might be a lot of people treating it like an Event mini and there would be a lot of drops after stories were wrapping up in #6′s.

    Will next month be more stable?

  4. Aquaman is a “B-List book?”

    I understand how he’s been a B or C list character for a long time now, but referring to the #14 best-selling comic for the month as a B-list book is stretching the term beyond usefulness.

  5. Wow, I didn’t want to put Marc-Oliver Frisch’s face through a plate glass window after reading this month’s article. A Christmas miracle!

    At the store, our numbers on #5 and on have been pretty solid, with only a few taking some last minute sales drops. I think we should see a lot more stability by #6.

  6. Heh, maybe I should have read Brian’s comments first.

  7. royd_9 says:

    Well, if I remember correctly, I think Mr Didio declared that some titles actually increased in sales in January with their 5th issue. And I believe Tony Daniel said in an interview that Detective Comics is one of those titles. We’ll see next month if this reflects in the charts at all.

  8. royd_9 says:

    For what it’s worth, here’s how I personnally am purchasing the New 52. I bought all 52 #1s. Then I bought issues #2 through #5 for 31 of the 52. As of issue #6, I will gradually start to drop titles to be at around 16 by the summer. Based on my reading so far, I know which titles those will be, but I want as much as possible to “cut” the titles I chose not to remain with at a place that makes sense storywise, hence the fact it will take me 4 months to makes those cuts.

    The only non New 52 title I am currently buying from DC is Legion: Secret Origin, thoug I did get the Leviathan Strikes one-shot. There is only one New 52 title I am not currently buying because I am trade-waiting (Batwoman).

    In May, I intend to buy all 6 new #1s, but the only one I am sure I will be sticking with is Batman Incorporated. Out of the 5 others, and based on my interest for the concept, characters and creative teams, I will give a chance to Earth 2 and Dial H, a lesser chance to Worlds’ Finest and The Ravagers, and there is very little chance I will be buying GI Combat past the first issue, though I always remain open until I’ve read the book.

    I don’t know if my consumer habits are typical or not, but that’s what it is for me.

  9. Speaking for me personally, the New 52 are increasingly a success. Pre-52 I was reading no DCU books at all. Then I started reading Superboy, now I’ve added Animal Man and possibly Swamp Thing, and I’ll probably get Ravagers when it launches.

    Digital means I could easily catch up from #1 on books, but of course also means I don’t count in the charts.

    Oh! And Batwoman TP’s before and after. Keep forgetting to count that as a DCU book, for some reason.

  10. Re: Unwritten:
    “Retailers don’t seem very enthusiastic about these #.5 issues.”

    Couldn’t the difference be attributed to the fact that the #.5 issues ship the last week of the month, so the regular number issues get 2 weeks’ worth of reorder activity that doesn’t shop up on the charts for the #.5 issues? That could certainly account for some of the 300 issue “drop” each time.

    Actually, that’s a good question that we’ll probably never know the answer to: now that these books always ship during the same week of the month, how does that ship week (and therefore the number of reorders that do or don’t make the chart) affect the chart placement and relative performance on these month-to-month charts?

  11. El Tiburon says:

    What makes DC keep going back to the well with concepts and characters that fail again and again? Especially without a talented/popular creative team to boost them? Like, did anyone at DC REALLY think that this Green Arrow relaunch would go down any better than the 5 other Green Arrow #1s we’ve had in the past year?

  12. Chadlee says:

    I’m doing essentially the same things royd_9. I bought all the #1′s, and am buying a majority of the New 52 at least through the conclusions for their first story arcs. Each month, I’m dropping a few more.

    I was already buying more DC than Marvel before the New 52, but the relaunch has caused me to start following new characters and titles. Previously, I never really bought Batman. Now I’m hooked on Snyder’s work and can’t wait for the Court of Owls crossover. Superboy is another example.

  13. Jason:

    “Couldn’t the difference be attributed to the fact that the #.5 issues ship the last week of the month, so the regular number issues get 2 weeks’ worth of reorder activity that doesn’t shop up on the charts for the #.5 issues? That could certainly account for some of the 300 issue “drop” each time.”

    That’s almost certainly a factor, yes.

    However, the drop for the first of the two December issues doesn’t suggest that’s all that’s going on. If sales on the second issue released in November are made to look particularly unflattering due to the way Diamond calculates the charts (by calendar month), you’d normally expect sales on the first December issue to act as a corrective for that. That doesn’t seem to be happening, though.

    Or looking at it from another angle: THE UNWRITTEN #32 dropped by 3.5% versus #31, but #31 only dropped by 0.7% versus #29. So the decline is (slightly) steeper since the .5 issues started to come out.

    That said, we’re only talking about a few hundred units at this stage, of course.

  14. Marc- given your comments on the Marvel sales thread about dropping Daredevil since they are shipping two issues in April, is it possible that you are reading too much into the .5 issues of Unwritten (i.e. attributing the drop to people hating double-shipping books because you hate double-shipping books)?

  15. PeterCSM730 says:

    royd_9: “I don’t know if my consumer habits are typical or not, but that’s what it is for me.”

    Haha, no probably not. I don’t know too many who bought all #1s of 52. But apparently Chadlee did too so it’s definitely not an unusual habit.
    Did you buy #’s 2-5 for 31 of the books because you liked all 31 of the books or because you thought they had potential? Why specifically the first 5 issues for ALL of them?

  16. I think if the initiative was to illustrate a Pavlovian response toward #1 issues, then yes, this was a rousing success.

  17. James says:

    Gotta say that at least the top 25 titles of this relaunch are still hitting home runs compared to what they were selling. Miles ahead of Marvel’s ongoing too. I mean even Superboy, the 54th titles is double what it was pre relaunch.

    The only high end title back to regular levels is Green Lantern Corps. (New Gaurdians is still 7k above where it was. And 7000 extra readers is still impressive 4 months later).

    Its their bottom 15-20 titles that need a shot in the the arm! ….well, bottom 14 now! haha… ;)

  18. James says:

    What DC needs now is some fresh new talent. Leifeld, Mackie… that ain’t gonna get the bottom titles to stop falling. Or get these new 6 to sell….

    I would love to seesome great writers like Parker, Rucka, Brubaker, David and Waid on some DC titles. To name a few. Instead we get Tony Daniel and Scott McDaniel…. urgghhh. NO THANKS!!

  19. royd_9 says:

    PeterCSM730:

    I chose the 31 series because of the characters-concepts-creative teams that seemed the most interesting to me. I should say that I picked up a few more than I normally would have because my LCS offered discounts for the first 5 issues. As of issue 6, their discount program no longer applies. I’m actually only ending one title with the fifth issue (Justice League International) and two with the sixth issue (Men of war and Superman). The twelve others I will be dropping will be with issues 7, 8 or 9. So in February and March, I Will be buying nearly as much comics as in October to January, but without the discount.

    Just for the sake of it, here are the 16 titles I’m going to stick to for the foreseeable future:

    Justice League
    Aquaman
    Flash
    Wonder Woman
    Green Lantern
    Action Comics
    Batman
    Batman & Robin
    Nightwing
    Batwing
    Teen Titans
    Swamp Thing
    Animal Man
    I, Vampire
    Demon Knights
    Stormwatch

  20. OtisTFirefly says:

    I’m surprised by the almost “surprise! the sales are dropping fast!” tone of the article. Did anyone EVER say they’d sell a buttload the first 3 months and then level out? I don’t think so… I don’t think ANYONE ever expected sales not to do pretty much exactly what they’ve done. Everyone knew that most people would sample most of the #1′s, then weed out the the next few months. Surely even the incredible boneheads that are running DC Comics proud traditions into the toilet at an increasingly fast clip aren’t.

    (and thanks to DC for the timing of the new ‘what the fck is that supposed to be??’ logo to nicely split the timeline into “pre-ruination DC” and “post-ruination DC.”)

    LOVED LOVED LOVED the line “Rob Liefeld, to the rescue?” Funniest thing I’ve seen in months!! Words that no comics fan would EVER expect to see run together in a sentence! The masterminds of DC, I suspect, are pulling some sort of joke on the fans… instead of just saying straight out “FVCK YOU!!! WE don’t give a shitt about this company and WE RUN IT!! Haahhaaaa!!!” they got RL to draw a title (a job he is obviously not suited for)… THEN they say “Let Rob WRITE it too!! hahah!!”… NOW they give him THREE bOOKS!!! Could there BE a bigger FU to DC fans?

  21. DanielT says:

    There are numerous errors in the ranking numbers. We see this sequence, for example:

    115 – CAPTAIN ATOM
    107 – PENGUIN: PAIN AND PREJUDICE
    108 – THE SHADE
    126 – O.M.A.C.
    127 – MISTER TERRIFIC
    117 – THE RAY
    120 – FABLES (Vertigo)

    That’s just one. Sloppy copy editing.

  22. shagamu says:

    “The last Green Arrow #4, also written by J.T. Krul and published in September 2010, sold an estimated 44,220 units, so the “New 52″ relaunch isn’t very sustaining by comparison.”

    Actually, Krul left the current Green Arrow series after only 3 issues. Issue #4 was the first co-written by Keith Giffen and Dan Jurgens, who are filling in for 3 months before Ann Nocenti takes over the book.

    “Still, I’m curious where sales will pick up when the book returns in May. It’s probably going to hinge on whether DC can convince the audience that Morrison’s long-term Batman arc is still relevant in the relaunched DC Universe.”

    I agree, and taking so long to relaunch the book isn’t doing it any favors, especially now that DC seems to be positioning Scott Snyder as the new main writer on the Batman line.

    I think they should have somehow made Batman Incorporated v2 an exception to the relaunch and set it in the pre-Flashpoint continuity, like they did with the Leviathan Strikes one-shot. Having Batman be the father of a ten-year-old boy who’s the fifth Robin flies in the face of “rejuvenating” DC’s characters.

  23. Daniel:

    “There are numerous errors in the ranking numbers. Sloppy copy editing.”

    Or sloppy reading on your part?

    I understand why people skip all the text in the column, as most of it is pretty boring. It’s still there for a reason, though, and sometimes it helps to explain stuff.

  24. saipaman says:

    I think we’re beginning to see the effects of alienating a lot of older fans. I wouldn’t be surprised to see DC average sales settle out lower than ‘pre-52′.

  25. PeterCSM730 says:

    Swamp Thing’s sales strike me as particularly bi-polar from its very good first and second months to its disappointing fourth month. Hope it, and most of the rest of these books, find their level soon. I’m also surprised by Catwoman’s high sales.

    @royd_9: That makes sense. Thanks for the reply! I don’t my local shop had any deals that lasted to the fifth issue I’m sorry to say. As it is I’m down to buying five or six of the on-goings regularly. Possibly seven but I’m behind on my reading of Suicide Squad so no idea if it’s still worth getting. I was a fan of the original series like most folks.

    I haven’t been keeping up with Aquaman, Nightwing, or Wonder Woman. Worth picking up?

  26. Nawid A says:

    Hey what’s up with the retailers in here acting like dicks?

  27. Earth-2 Chad says:

    Wait, Marc dropped Daredevil? Are you crazy?

  28. This about DMZ

    <Concluding its run after six years. A few years back, Brian Wood comics used to be comparatively solid performers at Vertigo, both as periodicals and as paperback collections, but this doesn’t seem to be true anymore. <

    This chart has nothing to do with paperback collections, so why draw a conclusion based on non-existent data?

  29. I’m in looooove with DC comics right now.

  30. James Woodward says:

    So if you use Green Arrow as your demarcation point of where success turns to failure, you still get 26 titles, or half, of the Nü52 that are outselling their previous incarnations, some by a very wide margin. The 2 Green Lantern spinoffs may be headed toward their previous levels, but this ignores the fact that they added a 4th book to the franchise that is also selling 50K. And if you look at the price point on Batman: Leviathian Strikes, DC made more money off of it than they did off of any issue of Batman Inc. besides #1.
    Even among the bottom 26, All-Star Western and Stormwatch are selling in multiples of their previous incarnations, and some of the new books that were gambles are doing far better than they would have without the “Event”.
    My own track record: I bought 28 the 1st month, 14 the 2nd, and then 8 through the 5th. Which leaves me with 7 titles that I’ll buy through at least the 1st arc: Swamp Thing, Animal Man, Action Comics, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, Batman and The Flash.

  31. Of the 26 titles of the launch I have tried out for the first 5 issues of ,19 are really solid and plan to follow for a long time. The launch was a success to me.

    Hopefully sales levels and become steady on the beter series,so I can enjoy some long runs with good storylines.

  32. I actually have read the DC 52 Omnibus and I would consider it a failure. It was nothing new, just more water down version of Alan Moore and Grant Morrison stuff. Yeah the Alan Moore and Grant Morrison stuff was cool when I read them in the 1980s, but hey this is not the 1980s. Can`t these people come up with a different take on superheroes instead of Deconstruction of super hero themes?
    I expect half this line to be cancelled and DC Comic to go full throttle ahead with digital comic books. The end is near for DC as a monthly publisher. This 52 was their Hail Mary shot at saving themselves. Don`t fret none though because Batman, Superman and Green Lantern will still stay around in animated TV shows, movies and videogames.
    respectfully “stam”

  33. To James Woodward
    Hi
    You keep saying they are selling. They are but the danger lies that it’s the 1700 LCS who are buying multiple copies to get the variants to sell for good profits on EBay. This is a system built on a deck of cards that could fall any minute. The foundation they built smells doom. They should have slowly rebooted and looked for new kinds of readers; instead they went with the same old routine covered up a little slicker. Just imagine when some of these LCS decide to buy different variant covers from other comic companies or some of these LCS get into cash flow problems. This DC 52 will be known in years to come as the new DC IMPLOSION and will have pushed the death of the monthly comic closer to its digital rebirth.
    Respectfully “stam”

  34. Chris Hero says:

    I think it’s interesting last month’s narrative was retailers had figured out the sales for all the titles and we’d see smaller drops but this month has huge drops.

  35. Naveed says:

    It gets discouraging as a fan to pick up any new titles nowadays as it seems few of them will live past 20-30 issues. It sucks, the market has too many books out on a monthly basis. Dc publishes over 55 and Marvel? 80 or more? hey are diluting the readers and few of their products survive. IT is frustrating, as a big DC fan (I pull 35+ title a month) many of the ttles in danger are very good. People should try out Batwing, awesome art. iVampire, is another great book….a this rate in 12 months we will be back to the pre-52, meaning DC will have 24 Batman books and a few Green-Lantherns and Marvel will have 14 X-men books and a few Avengers.

  36. Spike says:

    I think with the fifth issue of titles, people can make real decisions on what they will continue with. I gave Aquaman 5 issues and its one of the most boring books I’ve ever read. I can’t help but think back to Peter Davids run and how he had that book running at top performance.
    I’ll give Hawkman one more issue..see how the Gentleman Ghost story goes, but its not looking good.
    LEGION I like. I feel this book and its characters are being written the way they should be. I’m surprise more people don’t like Legion

  37. @James Woodward – I think your analysis is spot on. Several of the cancelled titles were longshots at best & look at the unusual titles (Animal Man, Swamp Thing, All Star Western) & B-list heroes (Aquaman, BatWing) that are still making it, some in very big,very unexpected ways.

    @PeterCM370 – I’m finding Aquaman interesting for the first time ever. Reis makes quiet moments beautiful & Johns seems to have a clear handle on the characters. Wonder Woman is also worth it, though building more slowly.

    @Stam – While your analysis may be correct, and is certainly of the half glass empty variety, will we be getting a public mea culpa when more than 26 titles of the nu52 are still publishing their issue 12?

  38. Kentucky Fried Horse says:

    Let it burn! Heh heh hehhhhh……

  39. Jaxon Sales says:

    Does Marvel pay you by the level of hate you inject? Because you really outdid yourself this time.

  40. JeffF says:

    @royd_9: You’re numbers are very interesting. I’m another who also bought all 52 #1′s and cut it down to 31 #2′s. I’ve been whittling it down each month and starting with January, I’m also at 16. If you substitute Nightwing, Teen Titans, Demon Knights, Stormwatch, and Batwing from your list with OMAC, Frankenstein, Batwoman, DC Universe Presents, and All-Star Western, we’ve got the same list.

  41. Thomas says:

    In response to Otis above, yes, there were many people who did think that sales from the new 52 would not drop, or at least not as quickly as they have been dropping. DC was supposed to have brought new readers into shops, and the hope was that many of them would stick around.

    My personal opinion is that the new 52 was a test of the proposition that the problem with comics sales wasn’t the quality of the product, but the marketing. Some of the new DC books are better than before the relaunch and some are worse, but by and large they’re the same kind of thing. The charts are starting to show that even when they’ve tried it, people just don’t want to buy what DC is selling.

  42. Is it wrong of me to wish for the dissolution of DC comics, after the horrors of the craptastic ‘New 52′? As a fangirl I LOATHE the direction they’re taking with Clark and Lois in Action and Superman. I hope the sales really, really tank and the rights to Superman revert to the Siegel heirs ASAP. Petty I know, but the reboot just makes me so ragey!!!!

  43. Jude: I’m right there with you. I’m a HUGE Superman fan, and I hate DC’s tone deaf new version so much that I could only stomach 3 issues of Action and barely made it to the end of the 1st issue of Superman. It’s really a shame.

  44. Synsidar says:

    WONDER WOMAN is very enjoyable reading, with WW #5 perhaps being the most entertaining comic I’ve read since the ’80s. Making Diana a daughter of Zeus and getting her involved in infighting among the Olympians might have solved all the problems in writing her. Azzarello’s dialogue, the occasional punnish groaner aside, is terrific.

    SRS

  45. PeterCSM730 says:

    Thanks kdc, Spike, and Synsidar for your opinions on those books! I’ll to do some shelf browsing next time in my local shop.

    I don’t know if the New 52 is a failure (well, at least not yet). The sales still haven’t evened out so it might end up being a disaster in the long run but right now there are a lot of books doing much better than they would’ve done otherwise. Frankly Hawk & Dove, O.M.A.C., Mister Terrific, Static Shock, Blackhawks, Men of War, Firestorm, I, Vampire, Blue Beetle, Demon Knights, and Voodoo not doing well isn’t much of a surprise. I was more surprised that they even got a shot at being on-goings. Legion Lost had its work cut out for it being the second Legion title given the Legion franchise was hardly strong to beforehand. And Resurrection Man and Frankenstein seem more like Vertigo titles than DCU proper, which sadly means low sales.

    The New 52 gave these books a much bigger opening audience than they would’ve gotten otherwise. I agree that if people liked what they read then these comics would be selling better. Frankly most of those B-list characters have a lot of potential. That seems to indicate that some (or most) of DC’s creative teams aren’t keeping readers’ interest. And maybe to a lesser extent some characters although I’m a big believer in nearly any character can be a good read if done right. There are a few books doing pretty good considering their characters have never carried an on-going before or weren’t very popular beforehand but the sales keep dropping so who knows. It might turn out that only DC’s big time characters get a shot in the arm from all this (along with whatever Geoff Johns is writing).

    I’m seeing a lot of discord for the Superman books. Before the launch his books were selling pretty poorly so it’ll be interesting to see if this new direction keeps sales up or drops them to pre-launch levels. Or lower.

  46. Jason Green: Yeah, the first issue of Superman was just incredibly bad. Caption: “A being of fire hit Superman in the face.” Artwork: a being of fire hitting Superman in the face. And it was like that throughout the book. I know a new creative team is coming, but I’m not inclined to give it another shot.

    I will say that I’m reading more DC after the relaunch–a single book would be more than the zero I was buying before. It’s actually more a function of recently having discovered Scott Snyder and Jeff Lemire and following them to their new books than anything else. Besides their four books, I think the only one I’m staying with for now is Aquaman.

  47. legitsquare says:

    Fantastic column this month. As always these are greatly appreciated.

  48. Ras: Ha! Exactly. I mean, I’m a big enough fan that I have a pretty high tolerance for shitty Superman books (most of my Superman collection dates from The Mullet Years), but I just couldn’t stomach that ham-fisted writing. Which is a shame, because after the dreadful bore the books had become after New Krypton, I was really hoping for a reason to be excited about the character again…he definitely needed the fresh start. The New 52, sadly, was not that fresh start.

  49. Shawn Kane says:

    There seems to be alot of “I don’t like it so I hope it fails” in the comments this month.

  50. So if I don’t like their comments, will me not liking them cause them to fail before their not liking the new 52 causes it to fail?

    I mean, that’s how it works in Magic, so I assume the same rules apply here.

  51. saipaman says:

    DC needs a new Implosion.

    They should simply keep slashing publishing slots until they get average sales up to a respectable level.

    If corporate overhead is too high to make any book profitable, then heads need to roll.

  52. Derek says:

    i don’t like it so i hope it changes/(fails?)

    better?

  53. Shawn Kane says:

    My point is that if you don’t like what they’re doing, don’t read the books. If enough people feel the same way then there will be an implosion/failure/whatever else. If more people like what they’re doing than dislike what they’re doing, you’re in the minority and those people don’t want there to be changes/(failure).

  54. “The charts are starting to show that even when they’ve tried it, people just don’t want to buy what DC is selling.”

    Well, define “people.”

    If we’re talking about former and current direct-market readers who gave the “New 52″ relaunch a try, I agree. Nobody can claim that the 52 titles didn’t get a chance, or didn’t get exposure in comics stores. So far, it seems like either retailers went massively overboard on many of the first, second and third issues — or people tried them and decided they didn’t like them. (As of December, at least. Obviously, retailers still aren’t done catching up with actual demand yet, so we may yet see a trend reversal one some of the books.)

    If we’re talking about people who’ve never been regular comics readers though, there’s no indication whatsoever in the direct-market numbers that many of them were lured into comic-book stores to begin with.

    You could chalk that up to marketing, I suppose. Personally, though, I simply don’t believe that the 22-page comic book is a good enough package for anyone who’s not already into it. It’s flimsy, expensive and a pain to store. That, for me, is the main thing the “New 52″ has confirmed, at this juncture: that the 22-page comic book is dead as a door nail, in terms of attracting new readers. Existing readers will keep buying it for another 10, 20 years or so, probably, but that’s it. It’s just not a good enough format to regain any sort of traction in the 21st century.

    That said, I’m curious about digital and about the collections. I guess there’s a chance the book will fare better with casual readers next May, but if that’s to happen, DC will have to promote the hell out of it first. With the digital stuff, all depends on the price point. We won’t really know if there’s any real interest in new digital superhero comics out there until either DC or Marvel start offering them at 99 cents, but it’ll probably take another year or two for this to happen.

  55. Shawn Kane says:

    “It’s flimsy, expensive and a pain to store.”

    I know that it’s been said ad nauseum but the monthly comic book priced between $2.99 and $3.99 is too much to pay. As a guy who started reading at 60 cents, usually I had to beg my parents to buy me more than one or two comics so it’s ridiculous to think that some parent out there is willing to give their child $10 to buy comics when that money can buy more of something else.

  56. no008 says:

    Clearly the only thing saving DC is an Infinite New 52 Crisis featuring New 52 Anti-Monitor.

  57. saipaman says:

    At least once a week, I get a e-mail from DC pushing a bunch of digital comics for 99 cents each. I wonder how well that is doing for them?

    When I suggest DC needs a new implosion, I’m looking at that as a positive. There are simply too many books out there chasing too few dollars. If you can’t raise the dollar count, why not lower the book count?

    As each books is cancelled off the bottom of the list, some money will stay in the customers’ pockets, some will go to other publishers but at least some of it will get spent on the remaining books.

    There has to be way more profit in one book that sells 30,000 than two books that sell 15,000. It may even be true that one book that sells 20,000 may be more profitable than two books that sell 15,000 each. It depends on creative costs.

  58. Nick Jones says:

    “As each books is cancelled off the bottom of the list, some money will stay in the customers’ pockets, some will go to other publishers but at least some of it will get spent on the remaining books.”

    I can’t recall any time that a spate of cancellations at the bottom of a sales chart resulted in growth at the top. There just doesn’t seem to be much of a median between those people who are simultaneously buying both the lower and higher selling titles (notably including those who bought all fifty-two of DC’s relaunched books, a concept that still confounds me) and the folks who are only interested in the underdog title and not the bestsellers. Cancelling lower-end books seems to lose the audience’s money entirely, at least until something else is launched that could take their place.

    Personally speaking, if DC were to cancel The Unwritten (the last ongoing book I’m following from them) I sure as heck wouldn’t decide to start picking up some godawful crap like Aquaman as an alternative.

  59. Mike L says:

    I dropped all dozen or so new 52 DCs I’ve been reading in favor of getting them later, digitally, or maybe in trade, with the exception of Swamp Thing, which my significant other really likes. I made a resolution to stick within a certain monthly budget and there’s just too much interesting stuff coming up in the next few months. A few of them I probably won’t bother going back to, and I can take advantage of the $1 off the digital versions after the 60 days.

    I really like what Synder is doing on Batman but I have to say I’m pretty skeptical of the whole crossover thing already. That was one of the reasons I quit reading the Bat-books years ago was because of the necessity to follow all of them. It was fun to be able to read just one Batman comic without needing to be aware of what was going on in the rest.

    Didn’t realize iZombie was doing that poorly, though, really enjoying that. DC needs to promote that more.

  60. Kentucky Fried Horse says:

    Taking comics out of readily accessible places is the biggest thing that’s killed them, IMO. We can thank Diamond for that, right?

  61. saipaman says:

    @Nick Jones

    Thanks for helping prove why I put this — “some money will stay in the customers’ pockets” — as my first possible outcome.

  62. saipaman says:

    @Kentucky Fried Horse

    The spinner racks were the entry level sales point and I’m actually surprised that the (sales) motion from those racks has continued for so long.

    But eventually, everything spins down.

  63. I don’t own a store, but I have been a very avid comic reader since 1983. Unlike most, I actually have generally favored DC over the years. I tried a bunch of the new 52 titles, but when it became apparent the extent to witch the old stories had been disavowed…. I decided to cut just about everything. To be frank, to have someone tell you that Ted isn’t just dead “he never existed” was kind of sick. More than that, I took it as an insult. Dan must have been thinking he was burning his ships or something to make a point, but this has disaster written all over it. Kind of like the 4th edition for D&D. It is not usually a good idea to bet the house that new people will carry you while you make every effort to alienate your well established fan base. Well, at least the Tiny Titans is still fun to read with your kids!

  64. What DC needs to do is axe redundant titles at the top, and the readers will flow to lesser-selling titles at the bottom.

    Batman and Superman need only ONE title each. Axe the rest (including Detective and Action). ONE Green Lantern title.

    You’ll see. A few months later, lower-selling titles like Supergirl, Catwoman, Batwoman, Batgirl, and Birds of Prey will pick up readers.

  65. Wow, lots of DC Apologists in this thread. Either that or they’re just trolls.

    Speaking as someone who was sent running by DC’s *last* 52 debacle, the only surprise is that the #2s weren’t the big drop, the #3s were.

    Like every reboot in DC history, including the original Silver Age launch, this will fail. That was never a question. The question was how fast it would happen. Also like every reboot in DC history, it was a short term fix. What DC needs to do–aside from fire Didio in a hurry–is to step back and let heroes be heroes again, instead of treating the characters like garbage. That was the one thing the Silver Age launch got right. The post-COIE was mixed. Every reboot since? Pfeh.

    I say this as a guy who bought more DC than anything else from 1989-2007. Now I’m only buying Dynamite, and not much of that.

  66. PeterCSM730 says:

    I saw James’ comment about Howard Mackie working for DC but thought it was something in the past he was referencing. But apparently not. I’m really (REALLY) surprised they hired Mackie. He’s one of the worst writers I’ve ever read and had a very large hand in killing my interest in comics in the ’90s. Is Terry Kavanagh next?

  67. @saipaman

    I don’t know why older fans would reject the New 52, since so many of them are created by 90s talents and so many of the concepts revert to classic status for the characters. This old fan has been more than pleased, and I’m sticking with the series I started with, losing only the ones that got cancelled on me.

    So,that means Wonder Woman, Batgirl, Batman, Batwoman, Swamp Thing, Animal Man (a pleasant surprise that it’s been so good), Stormwatch (if it stays good), OMAC (for 2 more issues, sniff!) … did bail on Detective and Justice League and Action and Superman already, they just didn’t seem to be heading anywhere new to me.

    Very excited about Earth 2.

  68. @Jason Green. ITA. The Superman #1 reboot was so dreadful that I stopped reading any more after that. As for reboot Action, I refused to even try it after the disrespectful interviews given by Grant Morrison and Rags Morales. Interestingly, DC just released Nielsens numbers for its New 52, and despite all its fanfare and promotion, it only managed to attract about 5% new readers, and lost about 3% of female ones (like me). All that money spent and all they’re really doing is treading water! Hahahaha!

    @Jay – I agree, DiDio should be fired (preferably from a very large cannon!)

    Sorry, but the reboot and DC management just bring out the worst in me.

  69. PeterCSM730 says:

    @Jude: What disrespectful things did Morrison and Morales says in interviews?

  70. I read a few web articles with Morrison and Morales (separately) trying to justify the reboot of the Clark/Lois relationship by basically saying that it was too boring and that Clark Kent was too much of a boy scout to be interesting, and Rags Morales actually saying that Superman sucks on his blog.

  71. PeterCSM730 says:

    Haha, well I guess that does seem a tad disrespectful to the character.

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