DC Month-to-Month Sales: February 2009

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by Marc-Oliver Frisch

[Please note that Marc-Oliver Frisch is offline for a few weeks, so he will not be able to answer any questions in the comments immediately.]

DC Comics’ average periodical sales in the direct market declined further in February 2009. They dropped to just above 23,000 units, yet another new low since Diamond Comic Distributors began releasing data on sales to retailers in March 2003.

The average periodical of the publisher’s mainstream DC Universe line sold an estimated 30,000 units, which is 4.9 percent down from January, and the lowest point for the line since January 2005.

DC’s Vertigo and WildStorm sublabels slightly recovered from their January slump. The average Vertigo title sold an estimated 11,353 units, up by 3.4 percent from January. The average WildStorm title sold 8,019 units, up 17.1 percent from January; however, it remains the second-lowest number in the imprint’s history by a wide margin.

The publisher’s only high-profile periodical release in February was Batman #686, the first half of a two-parter by Neil Gaiman and Andy Kubert. Although there were a number of new series launches from the DC Universe and Vertigo imprints, none of them managed to crack 25K.

See below for the analysis, and please consider the small print at the end of the column.

Thanks to Milton Griepp and ICv2.com for the permission to use their figures. An overview of ICv2.com‘s estimates can be found here.

—–

2 - BATMAN
02/2004: Batman #624 --  84,081
02/2005: Batman #637 --  58,034 [60,246]
02/2006: Batman #650 --  66,447
02/2007: Batman #663 --  83,167
-------------------------------
02/2008: Batman #674 --  68,208 (- 1.5%)
03/2008: --
04/2008: Batman #675 --  71,138 (+ 4.3%)
05/2008: Batman #676 -- 105,039 (+47.9%) [122,877]
05/2008: Batman #677 --  96,116 (- 8.5%) [111,065]
06/2008: --
07/2008: Batman #678 -- 103,213 (+ 7.4%)
08/2008: Batman #679 -- 103,588 (+ 0.4%)
09/2008: --
10/2008: Batman #680 -- 103,941 (+ 0.3%)
11/2008: Batman #681 -- 103,151 (- 0.8%) [114,657]
12/2008: Batman #682 --  93,469 (- 9.4%)
12/2008: Batman #683 --  90,272 (- 3.4%) [ 91,885]
12/2008: Batman #684 --  79,953 (-11.4%) [ 82,903]
01/2009: Batman #685 --  72,654 (- 9.1%)
02/2009: Batman #686 -- 111,353 (+53.3%)
----------------
6 months: + 7.5%
1 year  : +63.3%
2 years : +33.9%
5 years : +32.4%

The first chapter of Neil Gaiman and Andy Kubert’s “Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader?” was supported with a 50/50 variant-cover edition, but obviously it’s a big commercial success by any standard. In terms of first-month numbers, it outsells May’s Batman #676, for instance, which was the beginning of the much-promoted “Batman R.I.P.”

Detective Comics #853, the second part of the story, was originally scheduled for February as well, but the book is late and, as I’m writing this, is delayed until April 22.

—–

10 - JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA
02/2004: JLA #93            --  57,461
02/2005: JLA #111           --  64,540
02/2006: JLA #125           --  74,341
02/2007: --
--------------------------------------
02/2008: Justice League #18 --  89,803 (- 5.2%)
03/2008: Justice League #19 --  87,482 (- 2.6%)
04/2008: Justice League #20 --  85,807 (- 1.9%)
05/2008: Justice League #21 --  90,035 (+ 4.9%)
06/2008: Justice League #22 --  85,013 (- 5.6%)
07/2008: Justice League #23 --  82,953 (- 2.4%)
08/2008: Justice League #24 --  81,451 (- 1.8%)
09/2008: --
10/2008: Justice League #25 --  80,731 (- 0.9%)
10/2008: Justice League #26 --  77,353 (- 4.2%)
11/2008: --
12/2008: Justice League #27 --  75,803 (- 2.0%)
12/2008: Justice League #28 --  72,728 (- 4.1%)
01/2009: Justice League #29 --  72,116 (- 0.8%)
02/2009: Justice League #30 --  69,710 (- 3.3%)
----------------
6 months: -14.4%
1 year  : -22.4%
2 years :   n.a.
5 years : +21.3%

January’s “Faces of Evil” stunt failed to attract any sales whatsoever to the participating DC Universe series, and it seems February’s follow-up “Origins and Omens” didn’t fare any better.

This time, the idea is for each participating book — and there are a lot of them — to have a backup strip, evidently without affecting the overall page count. So in practice, what it boils down to is that the lead stories are shorter than usual, in favor of a backup story that’s in there because it happens to be “Origins and Omens” month. You can’t really blame people for being skeptical.

In somewhat related news, writer Dwayne McDuffie doesn’t enjoy working on the series. We know this because he said so — on a public message board.

—–

11 - GREEN LANTERN
02/2004: Green Lantern #174 --  29,403
02/2005: GL: Rebirth #4     -- 108,077 [121,581]
02/2006: Green Lantern #8   --  89,252
02/2006: Green Lantern #9   --  86,554 [ 89,974]
02/2007: Green Lantern #17  --  62,018
--------------------------------------
02/2008: --
03/2008: Green Lantern #28  --  68,073 (+ 0.7%)
03/2008: Green Lantern #29  --  66,536 (- 2.3%)
04/2008: Green Lantern #30  --  65,347 (- 1.9%)
05/2008: Green Lantern #31  --  65,874 (+ 0.8%)
06/2008: Green Lantern #32  --  64,839 (- 1.6%)
07/2008: Green Lantern #33  --  63,814 (- 1.6%)
08/2008: --
09/2008: Green Lantern #34  --  63,825 (+ 0.0%)
10/2008: Green Lantern #35  --  63,383 (- 0.7%)
11/2008: --
12/2008: Green Lantern #36  --  64,755 (+ 2.2%) [74,005]
01/2009: Green Lantern #37  --  65,556 (+ 1.2%) [71,331]
02/2009: Green Lantern #38  --  68,908 (+ 5.1%)
-----------------
6 months:   n.a.
1 year  :   n.a.
2 years : + 11.1%
5 years : +134.4%

The “Rage of the Red Lanterns” storyline keeps gaining steam. In addition to the 5-percent increase, the two previous issues sold more than 5,000 units in reorders each in February.

Initially, the series’ “Faces of Evil” and “Origins and Omens” tie-ins were scheduled for issues #38 and #39, respectively, but because Green Lantern is a month behind right now, they ended up being in issues #37 and #38 instead. Got it?

Never mind. The important thing to note here is that almost four years after the relaunch, the Green Lantern franchise helmed by Geoff Johns is still going strong. This, of course, is precisely what DC expects from March’s The Flash: Rebirth, as well.

—–

13 - JUSTICE SOCIETY OF AMERICA
02/2004: JSA #58             --  44,756
02/2005: JSA #70             --  42,864
02/2006: JSA #82             --  54,234
02/2007: Justice Society #3  --  84,356 [ 86,014]
---------------------------------------
02/2008: Justice Society #12 --  84,162 (-  6.1%)
02/2008: Justice Society #13 --  82,702 (-  1.7%)
03/2008: --
04/2008: Justice Society #14 --  80,507 (-  2.7%)
05/2008: Justice Society #15 --  78,311 (-  2.7%)
06/2008: Justice Society #16 --  77,328 (-  1.3%)
07/2008: Justice Society #17 --  75,532 (-  2.3%)
08/2008: Justice Society #18 --  73,485 (-  2.7%)
09/2008: --
10/2008: Justice Society #19 --  72,073 (-  1.9%)
11/2008: Justice Society #20 --  71,355 (-  1.0%)
12/2008: Justice Society #21 --  69,662 (-  2.4%)
12/2008: Justice Society #22 --  67,615 (-  2.9%)
01/2009: Justice Society #23 --  61,385 (-  9.2%)
02/2009: Justice Society #24 --  65,207 (+  6.2%)
----------------
6 months: -11.3%
1 year  : -21.8%
2 years : -22.7%
5 years : +45.7%

Somebody made the decision not to promote Justice Society of America with a 1-for-10 variant-cocer edition in January, for the first time since the series’ launch.

In February, the 1-for-10 variant-cover scheme was back, so we now have a pretty good idea of the effects these “incentives” have on retailers’ ordering behavior.

On balance, sales remain in a steady downward trend. A new creative team is waiting around the corner.

—–

15 - FINAL CRISIS: LEGION OF 3 WORLDS
08/2008: Legion of 3 Worlds #1 of 5 -- 68,306        [73,914]
09/2008: --
10/2008: Legion of 3 Worlds #2 of 5 -- 64,412 (-5.7%)
11/2008: --
12/2008: --
01/2008: --
02/2008: Legion of 3 Worlds #3 of 5 -- 61,358 (-4.7%)
----------------
6 months: -10.2%

In terms of the schedule, the last remaining Final Crisis spin-off has gone far off the rails, but the sales remain solid.

—-

25 - ACTION COMICS
02/2004: Action Comics #812 -- 51,466 [70,458]
02/2005: Action Comics #824 -- 37,432
02/2006: Action Comics #836 -- 51,722 [55,331]
02/2007: Action Comics #846 -- 64,554 [66,349]
-------------------------------------
02/2008: Action Comics #862 -- 55,658 (- 0.8%)
03/2008: --
04/2008: Action Comics #863 -- 56,882 (+ 2.2%)
04/2008: Action Comics #864 -- 48,438 (-14.9%)
05/2008: Action Comics #865 -- 46,764 (- 3.5%)
06/2008: Action Comics #866 -- 50,158 (+ 7.3%) [53,198]
07/2008: Action Comics #867 -- 49,363 (- 1.6%)
08/2008: Action Comics #868 -- 49,556 (+ 0.4%)
09/2008: Action Comics #869 -- 49,597 (+ 0.1%)
10/2008: Action Comics #870 -- 57,407 (+15.8%)
11/2008: Action Comics #871 -- 58,547 (+ 2.0%)
12/2008: Action Comics #872 -- 57,175 (- 2.3%)
01/2009: Action Comics #873 -- 51,940 (- 9.2%)
02/2009: Action Comics #874 -- 48,360 (- 6.9%)
----------------
6 months: - 2.4%
1 year  : -13.1%
2 years : -25.1%
5 years : - 6.0%
28 - SUPERMAN
02/2004: Superman #202 --  50,449 [66,640]
02/2005: Superman #213 -- 101,258
02/2006: Superman #226 --  63,982
02/2007: Superman #659 --  58,258
---------------------------------
02/2008: Superman #673 --  41,580 (- 6.9%)
03/2008: Superman #674 --  41,715 (+ 0.3%)
04/2008: Superman #675 --  54,855 (+31.5%)
05/2008: Superman #676 --  45,644 (-16.8%)
06/2008: Superman #677 --  54,634 (+19.7%)
07/2008: Superman #678 --  47,670 (-12.8%)
08/2008: Superman #679 --  46,615 (- 2.2%)
09/2008: Superman #680 --  46,585 (- 0.1%)
10/2008: Superman #681 --  54,611 (+17.2%) [57,212]
11/2008: Superman #682 --  55,435 (+ 1.5%)
12/2008: Superman #683 --  55,287 (- 0.3%)
01/2009: Superman #684 --  48,489 (-12.3%)
02/2009: Superman #685 --  48,027 (- 1.0%)
----------------
6 months: + 3.0%
1 year  : +15.5%
2 years : -17.6%
5 years : - 4.8%

The February issues of Action Comics and Superman have a two-part crossover preparing the Superman line’s March makeover, and both issues were written by James Robinson, who is one of the architects of the new direction.

And yet, Action Comics maintains a swift decline, while Superman just keeps slowly dropping back to its pre-“New Krypton”-crossover level. Both books are still doing all right, historically speaking, but these numbers don’t signal a lot of confidence in the revamp.

—–

33 - GREEN LANTERN CORPS
02/2006: --
02/2007: Green Lantern Corps #9  -- 34,897
------------------------------------------
02/2008: Green Lantern Corps #21 -- 47,582 (+ 6.7%)
03/2008: Green Lantern Corps #22 -- 46,736 (- 1.8%)
04/2008: Green Lantern Corps #23 -- 46,780 (+ 0.1%)
05/2008: Green Lantern Corps #24 -- 46,948 (+ 0.4%)
06/2008: Green Lantern Corps #25 -- 47,399 (+ 1.0%)
07/2008: Green Lantern Corps #26 -- 46,098 (- 2.8%)
08/2008: Green Lantern Corps #27 -- 46,045 (- 0.1%)
09/2008: Green Lantern Corps #28 -- 44,939 (- 2.4%)
10/2008: Green Lantern Corps #29 -- 46,316 (+ 3.1%)
11/2008: Green Lantern Corps #30 -- 43,600 (- 5.9%)
12/2008: Green Lantern Corps #31 -- 44,033 (+ 0.9%)
01/2009: Green Lantern Corps #32 -- 44,312 (+ 0.6%)
02/2009: Green Lantern Corps #33 -- 44,607 (+ 0.7%)
----------------
6 months: - 3.1%
1 year  : - 6.3%
2 years : +27.8%

The book kept climbing in February, slowly but steadily, with another issue tagged as a “Prelude to Blackest Night.”

—–

35 - SUPERMAN/BATMAN
02/2004: Superman/Batman #6  --  99,930 [109,952]
02/2005: Superman/Batman #17 -- 116,637 [118,126]
02/2006: --
02/2007: --
---------------------------------------
02/2008: Superman/Batman #46 --  52,009 (- 0.2%)
03/2008: --
04/2008: Superman/Batman #47 --  52,557 (+ 1.1%)
05/2008: Superman/Batman #48 --  52,845 (+ 0.6%)
06/2008: Superman/Batman #49 --  52,579 (- 0.5%)
07/2008: Superman/Batman #50 --  61,321 (+16.6%)
08/2008: Superman/Batman #51 --  51,701 (-15.7%)
09/2008: Superman/Batman #52 --  50,000 (- 3.3%)
10/2008: Superman/Batman #53 --  48,187 (- 3.6%)
11/2008: --
12/2008: Superman/Batman #54 --  45,968 (- 4.6%)
01/2009: --
02/2009: Superman/Batman #55 --  43,962 (- 4.4%)
----------------
6 months: -15.0%
1 year  : -15.5%
2 years :  n.a.
5 years : -56.0%

This is quite intriguing, actually: Superman/Batman dropped 15 percent over the past six months, but a mere 0.5 percent in the six months before that.

In fact, the “K” storyline running through issues #44 through #49 is the only one since writer Jeph Loeb’s departure that didn’t massively drop in sales. It even got a few nice increases along the way.

And the only discernible difference is that those issues were illustrated by Shane Davis. Maybe the editor might want to give Mr. Davis a call?

—–

36 - NIGHTWING
02/2004: Nightwing #90  -- 28,688
02/2005: Nightwing #103 -- 36,921
02/2005: Nightwing #104 -- 36,411
02/2006: Nightwing #117 -- 35,489
02/2007: Nightwing #129 -- 32,651
---------------------------------
02/2008: Nightwing #141 -- 30,980 (- 4.1%)
03/2008: Nightwing #142 -- 30,253 (- 2.4%)
04/2008: Nightwing #143 -- 29,914 (- 1.1%)
05/2008: Nightwing #144 -- 29,367 (- 1.8%)
06/2008: Nightwing #145 -- 29,435 (+ 0.2%)
07/2008: Nightwing #146 -- 29,494 (+ 0.2%)
08/2008: Nightwing #147 -- 56,300 (+90.9%)
09/2008: Nightwing #148 -- 53,210 (- 5.5%)
10/2008: Nightwing #149 -- 50,588 (- 4.9%)
11/2008: Nightwing #150 -- 50,993 (+ 0.8%)
12/2008: Nightwing #151 -- 35,210 (-31.0%)
01/2009: Nightwing #152 -- 35,637 (+ 1.2%)
02/2009: Nightwing #153 -- 37,651 (+ 5.7%)
----------------
6 months: -33.1%
1 year  : +21.5%
2 years : +15.3%
5 years : +31.2%

The book was cancelled in February to clear the decks before June’s big revamp of the Batman line. It’s had a good run over the years, mostly shifting something north of 30,000 units.

For the first few months, whatever DC replaces it with will no doubt get higher sales. But establishing a new series that has the same long-term resilience won’t be an easy task, surely.

—–

40 - TITANS
04/2008: Titans #1      -- 75,584 (+52.0%)
05/2008: Titans #2      -- 57,358 (-24.1%)
06/2008: Titans #3      -- 54,512 (- 5.0%)
07/2008: --
08/2008: --
09/2008: Titans #4      -- 51,755 (- 5.1%)
09/2008: Titans #5      -- 49,959 (- 3.5%)
10/2008: Titans #6      -- 45,453 (- 9.0%)
11/2008: Titans #7      -- 41,507 (- 8.7%)
12/2008: Titans #8      -- 39,154 (- 5.7%)
01/2009: Titans #9      -- 37,693 (- 3.7%)
02/2009: Titans #10     -- 36,361 (- 3.5%)
----------------
6 months:  n.a.

Titans still looks far from healthy. More than half of the audience of the debut issue is gone, and while there’s a crossover with the lower-selling Teen Titans and Vigilante coming up, it already looks like a big mess before it even begins.

Current Titans writer Judd Winick was initially slated to write his side of the crossover, then replaced by Sean McKeever. McKeever is the writer of Teen Titans, and he was said to handle the crossover issues in Winick’s stead.

Except, a few days ago, McKeever also declared his sudden exit from the franchise; evidently, if you believe the awkward credits, his April issue of Teen Titans already went through a rewrite by another, anonymous party.

Which begs the question: Is there anybody writing the Titans franchise right now? What’s the point of making a grab for attention with a crossover when the people who create it are not the same people who will be around after it’s done, anyway?

—–

41/42/44/45 - TRINITY
06/2008: Trinity #1  -- 88,044 
06/2008: Trinity #2  -- 79,495 (- 9.7%)
06/2008: Trinity #3  -- 76,224 (- 4.1%)
06/2008: Trinity #4  -- 73,448 (- 3.6%)
07/2008: Trinity #5  -- 68,351 (- 6.9%)
07/2008: Trinity #6  -- 66,624 (- 2.5%)
07/2008: Trinity #7  -- 65,509 (- 1.7%)
07/2008: Trinity #8  -- 64,220 (- 2.0%)
07/2008: Trinity #9  -- 62,252 (- 3.1%)
08/2008: Trinity #10 -- 60,249 (- 3.2%)
08/2008: Trinity #11 -- 59,356 (- 1.5%)
08/2008: Trinity #12 -- 58,151 (- 2.0%)
08/2008: Trinity #13 -- 57,284 (- 1.5%)
09/2008: Trinity #14 -- 53,736 (- 6.2%)
09/2008: Trinity #15 -- 53,101 (- 1.2%)
09/2008: Trinity #16 -- 52,316 (- 1.5%)
09/2008: Trinity #17 -- 51,318 (- 1.9%)
10/2008: Trinity #18 -- 49,174 (- 4.2%)
10/2008: Trinity #19 -- 48,551 (- 1.3%)
10/2008: Trinity #20 -- 47,927 (- 1.3%)
10/2008: Trinity #21 -- 47,252 (- 1.4%)
10/2008: Trinity #22 -- 46,638 (- 1.3%)
11/2008: Trinity #23 -- 44,971 (- 3.6%)
11/2008: Trinity #24 -- 44,498 (- 1.1%)
11/2008: Trinity #25 -- 43,804 (- 1.6%)
11/2008: Trinity #26 -- 43,210 (- 1.4%)
12/2008: Trinity #27 -- 41,725 (- 3.4%)
12/2008: Trinity #28 -- 41,510 (- 0.5%)
12/2008: Trinity #29 -- 40,883 (- 1.5%)
12/2008: Trinity #30 -- 40,771 (- 0.3%)
12/2008: Trinity #31 -- 40,575 (- 0.5%)
01/2009: Trinity #32 -- 38,332 (- 5.5%)
01/2009: Trinity #33 -- 38,325 (- 0.0%)
01/2009: Trinity #34 -- 37,933 (- 1.0%)
01/2009: Trinity #35 -- 37,119 (- 2.2%)
02/2009: Trinity #36 -- 36,201 (- 2.5%)
02/2009: Trinity #37 -- 35,798 (- 1.1%)
02/2009: Trinity #38 -- 35,286 (- 1.4%)
02/2009: Trinity #39 -- 35,200 (- 0.2%)
----------------
6 months: -39.4%

That’s a harsh six-month drop, but not a big surprise.

Comparing sales of the average Trinity issue in February to those in January, you end up with a month-to-month drop of 6.1 percent, which is very steep, nine months in.

—–

43/60 - THE OUTSIDERS
02/2004: Outsiders #9  -- 43,428
02/2005: Outsiders #20 -- 39,051
02/2005: Outsiders #21 -- 40,032 [42,077]
02/2006: Outsiders #33 -- 43,270
02/2007: Outsiders #45 -- 32,976
--------------------------------
02/2008: Batsiders #4  -- 37,903 (- 6.1%)
03/2008: Batsiders #5  -- 36,797 (- 2.9%)
04/2008: Batsiders #6  -- 36,551 (- 0.7%)
05/2008: Batsiders #7  -- 35,071 (- 4.1%)
06/2008: Batsiders #8  -- 34,640 (- 1.2%)
07/2008: Batsiders #9  -- 34,401 (- 0.7%)
08/2008: Batsiders #10 -- 33,645 (- 2.2%)
09/2008: Batsiders #11 -- 49,945 (+48.5%)
10/2008: Batsiders #12 -- 46,649 (- 6.6%)
11/2008: Batsiders #13 -- 42,939 (- 8.0%)
12/2008: Batsiders #14 -- 32,163 (-25.1%)
01/2009: --
02/2009: Special #1    -- 35,727 (+11.1%)
02/2009: Outsiders #15 -- 30,024 (-16.0%)
----------------
6 months: - 2.3%
1 year  : -13.3%
2 years : - 0.3%
5 years : -24.3%

The other recent revolving-door property.

Infamously, DC exchanged the entire creative team for Batman and the Outsiders after two issues were already solicited and material had been produced. Then the replacement writer left in a huff. Then an interim writer took over for the “Batman R.I.P.” crossover. Then it was decided to roll back on the relaunch and call the series just plain vanilla The Outsiders again.

Remember when Adam Kubert drawing a comic was a big deal? What happened is, he signed an exclusive contract with DC Comics. And now he draws Batman and the Outsiders Special #1, which lifts the series to the lofty heights of almost 36,000 units, for the briefest of moments.

Why does DC keep doing this to itself and its top-flight creators?

Why hasn’t Kubert been nibbling away at some high-profile project with Geoff Johns, Grant Morrison or J. Michael Straczynski since completing his work on Action Comics?

—–

46 - TEEN TITANS
02/2004: Teen Titans #8    -- 68,190
02/2005: Teen Titans #21   -- 66,861 [68,751]
02/2006: Teen Titans #32   -- 69,131
02/2007: --
----------------------------------
02/2008: Teen Titans #56 -- 50,283 (- 4.0%)
03/2008: Teen Titans #57 -- 49,109 (- 2.3%)
04/2008: Teen Titans #58 -- 47,357 (- 3.6%)
05/2008: Teen Titans #59 -- 46,306 (- 2.2%)
06/2008: Teen Titans #60 -- 45,036 (- 2.7%)
07/2008: Teen Titans #61 -- 44,666 (- 0.8%)
08/2008: Teen Titans #62 -- 43,258 (- 3.2%)
09/2008: Teen Titans #63 -- 41,790 (- 3.4%)
10/2008: Teen Titans #64 -- 39,695 (- 5.0%)
11/2008: Teen Titans #65 -- 37,880 (- 4.6%)
12/2008: Teen Titans #66 -- 36,808 (- 2.8%)
01/2009: Teen Titans #67 -- 35,877 (- 2.5%)
02/2009: Teen Titans #68 -- 35,096 (- 2.2%)
----------------
6 months: -18.9%
1 year  : -30.2%
2 years :  n.a.
5 years : -48.5%

The decline is abating somewhat, but that’s moot now; see comments on Titans.

—–

47 - SUPERGIRL
02/2006: Supergirl #4  -- 104,734
02/2006: Supergirl #5  -- 103,108 [104,930]
02/2007: Supergirl #14 --  52,977
---------------------------------
02/2008: Supergirl #26 --  34,186 (- 6.2%)
03/2008: Supergirl #27 --  32,596 (- 4.7%)
04/2008: Supergirl #28 --  31,379 (- 3.7%)
05/2008: Supergirl #29 --  30,192 (- 3.8%)
06/2008: Supergirl #30 --  29,553 (- 2.1%)
07/2008: Supergirl #31 --  28,813 (- 2.5%)
08/2008: Supergirl #32 --  28,114 (- 2.4%)
09/2008: Supergirl #33 --  27,609 (- 1.8%)
10/2008: Supergirl #34 --  33,958 (+23.0%)
11/2008: Supergirl #35 --  45,518 (+34.0%)
12/2008: Supergirl #36 --  45,491 (- 0.1%)
01/2009: Supergirl #37 --  34,060 (-25.1%)
02/2009: Supergirl #38 --  34,225 (+ 0.5%)
----------------
6 months: +21.7%
1 year  : + 0.1%
2 years : -35.4%

Sales are holding level in the middle of a storyline, with no stunts or gimmicks attached. That’s very unusual, obviously. It seems the new creative team is on to something.

Or, alternatively, it might also mean that the completists caught on to the little triangle symbol on the cover that now marks Supergirl as an official part of the Superman line.

—–

49 - WONDER WOMAN
02/2004: Wonder Woman #201 --  29,210
02/2005: Wonder Woman #213 --  24,728
02/2006: Wonder Woman #226 --  45,682
02/2007: Wonder Woman #4   --  69,860
-------------------------------------
02/2008: Wonder Woman #17  --  41,948 (- 2.2%)
03/2008: Wonder Woman #18  --  40,771 (- 2.8%)
04/2008: Wonder Woman #19  --  39,489 (- 3.1%)
05/2008: Wonder Woman #20  --  38,116 (- 3.5%)
06/2008: Wonder Woman #21  --  37,086 (- 2.7%)
07/2008: Wonder Woman #22  --  36,514 (- 1.5%)
08/2008: Wonder Woman #23  --  35,562 (- 2.6%)
09/2008: Wonder Woman #24  --  34,583 (- 2.8%)
10/2008: Wonder Woman #25  --  33,583 (- 2.9%)
11/2008: Wonder Woman #26  --  33,277 (- 0.9%)
12/2008: Wonder Woman #27  --  32,322 (- 2.9%)
01/2009: Wonder Woman #28  --  32,622 (+ 0.9%)
02/2009: Wonder Woman #29  --  33,237 (+ 1.9%)
----------------
6 months: - 6.5%
1 year  : -20.8%
2 years : -52.4%
5 years : +13.8%

Because both issue #28 and issue #29 were promoted through 1-for-10 variant-cover editions, it’s possible that the increase for the February issue is genuine.

There’s another plausible explanation, though: The variant-cover edition #29 was advertised in the Previews text, while the one for issue #28 was not.

We’ll find out in the March figures.

—–

50 - ADVENTURE COMICS
02/2009: Adventure Comics #0  --  32,851

My first instinct here is to wonder if it isn’t kind of depressing for a major company like DC Comics to produce a $ 1 comic and only sell 30K and change of it. But I don’t, because I’ve read the advertising copy, and I’ve read the comic.

Adventure Comics #0 has two stories. The first is a “Legion of Super-Heroes” reprint from the 1950s, an “adventure comic,” very much of its time, and as corny and naive as those things are prone to.

The second is a new six-pager that’s brutal and excessively violent, and it doesn’t make a lick of sense to anyone who hasn’t been reading a lot of DC’s comics anyway.

This, you have to understand, is not an accident: DC Comics is simply not interested in selling its comics to people who don’t already read them.

I’m not making this up. DC Comics Executive Editor Dan DiDio says so, all the time and on the record. Asked in a recent Newsarama piece why his DC Universe imprint doesn’t publish more low-priced entry-level comics, DiDio says:

“When we’re working with pre-existing characters and properties as we do in the DC Universe, people are mostly predisposed and understand who our characters are, so the idea of a wider sampling at a lower price isn’t nearly as necessary as it is with Vertigo.”

The logical conclusion, evidently, is to sometimes publish low-priced comics, but make absolutely sure that they are impenetrable to the general public, lest anyone not among the predisposed might be accidentally seduced into buying a Superman comic.

——

56 - ROBIN
02/2004: Robin #123 -- 26,494
02/2005: Robin #135 -- 32,331
02/2006: Robin #147 -- 32,120
02/2007: Robin #159 -- 28,210
-----------------------------
02/2008: Robin #171 -- 27,781 (-  7.6%)
03/2008: Robin #172 -- 26,912 (-  3.1%)
04/2008: Robin #173 -- 26,357 (-  2.1%)
05/2008: Robin #174 -- 26,209 (-  0.6%)
06/2008: --
07/2008: Robin #175 -- 53,880 (+105.6%)
08/2008: Robin #176 -- 54,912 (+  1.9%)
08/2008: Robin #177 -- 31,346 (- 42.9%)
09/2008: Robin #178 -- 32,234 (+  2.8%)
10/2008: Robin #179 -- 30,081 (-  6.7%)
11/2008: Robin #180 -- 28,399 (-  5.6%)
12/2008: Robin #181 -- 27,891 (-  1.8%)
01/2009: Robin #182 -- 28,684 (+  2.8%)
02/2009: Robin #183 -- 31,682 (+ 10.5%)
-----------------
6 months: - 26.5%
1 year  : + 14.0%
2 years : + 12.3%
5 years : + 19.6%

Another Batman spin-off that’s being cancelled as part of the big franchise shake-up in June. Over the years, Robin mostly sold between the low 20,000s and the low 30,000s, which isn’t too bad.

So, again, it’s more than likely that its replacement will be a better seller for the first few months, but in the long term, I’m not convinced cancelling a title as stable as this one is a good idea.

They’re in short supply as it is, these days.

—–

73 - SECRET SIX
05/2006: Secret Six #1 of 6 -- 54,961 [57,425]
07/2006: Secret Six #2 of 6 -- 47,346
08/2006: Secret Six #3 of 6 -- 44,507
09/2006: Secret Six #4 of 6 -- 40,782
10/2006: Secret Six #5 of 6 -- 36,628
12/2006: Secret Six #6 of 6 -- 35,513
-------------------------------------
09/2008: Secret Six #1      -- 31,673 (-10.8%)
10/2008: Secret Six #2      -- 27,846 (-12.1%)
11/2008: Secret Six #3      -- 26,053 (- 6.4%)
12/2008: Secret Six #4      -- 24,657 (- 5.4%)
01/2009: Secret Six #5      -- 24,899 (+ 1.0%)
02/2009: Secret Six #6      -- 24,758 (- 0.6%)

Sales have been holding level for three issues now. That’s unusual at this early stage of a series and, of course, a good sign.

Then again, Secret Six numbers are awfully low already, so this is really its only chance if it wants to survive the first year.

It seems to be seizing it.

—–

74 - BOOSTER GOLD
02/2008: Booster Gold #0  -- 37,808 (+ 4.2%)
03/2008: Booster Gold #7  -- 36,140 (- 4.4%)
04/2008: Booster Gold #8  -- 35,982 (- 0.4%)
05/2008: Booster Gold #9  -- 35,030 (- 2.7%)
06/2008: Booster Gold #10 -- 34,435 (- 1.7%)
07/2008: BGold #1,000,000 -- 34,431 (- 0.0%)
08/2008: Booster Gold #11 -- 32,900 (- 4.5%)
09/2008: Booster Gold #12 -- 32,049 (- 2.6%)
10/2008: Booster Gold #13 -- 29,914 (- 6.7%)
11/2008: Booster Gold #14 -- 28,260 (- 5.5%)
12/2008: Booster Gold #15 -- 26,835 (- 5.0%)
01/2009: Booster Gold #16 -- 25,472 (- 5.1%)
02/2009: Booster Gold #17 -- 24,732 (- 2.9%)
----------------
6 months: -24.8%
1 year  : -34.6%

Booster Gold is still dropping too fast for comfort.

—–

75 - R.E.B.E.L.S.
02/2009: R.E.B.E.L.S. #1  --  23,739

Tony Bedard and Andy Clarke’s Legion of Super-Heroes spin-off launches with rather dispiriting numbers; and because the first issue was promoted through a 1-for-10 variant-cover scheme, the second-issue drop in March is bound to be steep.

Given that a relaunch of the mother title on the back of the fairly successful Final Crisis: Legion of 3 Worlds miniseries is supposedly in the pipeline, the decision to launch R.E.B.E.L.S. at this stage is another odd one on DC’s part.

The book could certainly have used the extra sales a more cohesive publishing strategy might have brought.

—–

77 - THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD
02/2007: The Brave and the Bold #1  -- 92,091 [98,266]
---------------------------------------------
02/2008: The Brave and the Bold #10 -- 39,124 (-10.0%)
03/2008: The Brave and the Bold #11 -- 37,751 (- 3.5%)
04/2008: The Brave and the Bold #12 -- 37,739 (- 0.0%)
05/2008: The Brave and the Bold #13 -- 35,814 (- 5.1%)
06/2008: The Brave and the Bold #14 -- 34,361 (- 4.1%)
07/2008: The Brave and the Bold #15 -- 32,688 (- 4.9%)
08/2008: The Brave and the Bold #16 -- 31,522 (- 3.6%)
09/2008: The Brave and the Bold #17 -- 29,857 (- 5.3%)
10/2008: The Brave and the Bold #18 -- 28,199 (- 5.5%)
11/2008: The Brave and the Bold #19 -- 26,407 (- 6.4%)
12/2008: The Brave and the Bold #20 -- 25,050 (- 5.1%)
01/2009: The Brave and the Bold #21 -- 24,375 (- 2.7%)
02/2009: The Brave and the Bold #22 -- 23,507 (- 3.6%)
----------------
6 months: -25.4%
1 year  : -39.9%
2 years : -75.0%

The Brave and the Bold continues its downward slide.

The book is now on hiatus until May, then returns with a string of fill-in stories until superstar writer J. Michael Straczynski takes over. It’s another baffling management decision that’s going to cost them tens of thousands of sales if they go through with it.

—–

78 - GREEN ARROW/BLACK CANARY
02/2004: Green Arrow #35  -- 35,507
02/2005: Green Arrow #47  -- 31,553
02/2006: Green Arrow #59  -- 31,250
02/2007: Green Arrow #71  -- 31,470
-----------------------------------
02/2008: Arrow/Canary #5  -- 36,662 (+ 4.6%)
03/2008: Arrow/Canary #6  -- 32,621 (-11.0%)
04/2008: Arrow/Canary #7  -- 32,033 (- 1.8%) 
05/2008: Arrow/Canary #8  -- 30,864 (- 3.7%)
06/2008: Arrow/Canary #9  -- 30,330 (- 1.7%)
07/2008: Arrow/Canary #10 -- 29,604 (- 2.4%)
08/2008: Arrow/Canary #11 -- 28,694 (- 3.1%)
09/2008: Arrow/Canary #12 -- 27,896 (- 2.8%)
10/2008: Arrow/Canary #13 -- 26,890 (- 3.6%)
11/2008: Arrow/Canary #14 -- 25,599 (- 4.8%)
12/2008: Arrow/Canary #15 -- 24,526 (- 4.2%)
01/2009: Arrow/Canary #16 -- 24,419 (- 0.4%)
02/2009: Arrow/Canary #17 -- 23,392 (- 4.2%)
----------------
6 months: -18.5%
1 year  : -36.2%
2 years : -25.7%
5 years : -34.1%

Sales keep declining briskly.

—–

83 - FABLES (Vertigo)
02/2004: Fables #22 -- 25,317
02/2005: Fables #34 -- 24,322
02/2006: Fables #46 -- 24,134
02/2007: --
-----------------------------
02/2008: Fables #69 -- 24,337 (-1.0%)
02/2008: Fables #70 -- 23,975 (-1.5%)
03/2008: Fables #71 -- 24,006 (+0.1%)
04/2008: Fables #72 -- 23,853 (-0.6%)
05/2008: Fables #73 -- 23,785 (-0.3%)
06/2008: --
07/2008: Fables #74 -- 24,166 (+1.6%)
08/2008: --
09/2008: Fables #75 -- 25,266 (+4.6%)
09/2008: Fables #76 -- 23,914 (-5.4%)
10/2008: Fables #77 -- 23,761 (-0.6%)
11/2008: Fables #78 -- 23,345 (-1.8%)
12/2008: Fables #79 -- 22,769 (-2.5%)
01/2009: Fables #80 -- 22,617 (-0.7%)
02/2009: Fables #81 -- 22,517 (-0.4%)
----------------
6 months:  n.a.
1 year  : - 6.8%
2 years :  n.a.
5 years : -11.1%

Vertigo’s flagship periodical seems to be stabilizing between 22 and 23K.

—–

89 - TERROR TITANS
10/2008: Terror Titans #1 of 6 -- 33,001
11/2008: Terror Titans #2 of 6 -- 27,023 (-18.1%)
12/2008: Terror Titans #3 of 6 -- 24,059 (-11.0%)
01/2009: Terror Titans #4 of 6 -- 23,068 (- 4.1%)
02/2009: Terror Titans #5 of 6 -- 21,640 (- 6.2%)

The Teen Titans spin-off hasn’t been doing well.

—–

90 - BIRDS OF PREY
02/2004: Birds of Prey #64  -- 29,731
02/2005: Birds of Prey #79  -- 29,510
02/2006: Birds of Prey #91  -- 29,835
02/2007: Birds of Prey #103 -- 28,327
-------------------------------------
02/2008: Birds of Prey #115 -- 23,157 (- 4.4%)
03/2008: Birds of Prey #116 -- 22,627 (- 2.3%)
04/2008: Birds of Prey #117 -- 22,181 (- 2.0%)
05/2008: Birds of Prey #118 -- 21,941 (- 1.1%)
06/2008: Birds of Prey #119 -- 21,593 (- 1.6%)
07/2008: Birds of Prey #120 -- 21,572 (- 0.1%)
08/2008: Birds of Prey #121 -- 22,406 (+ 3.9%)
09/2008: Birds of Prey #122 -- 21,318 (- 4.9%)
10/2008: Birds of Prey #123 -- 21,110 (- 1.0%)
11/2008: Birds of Prey #124 -- 20,959 (- 0.7%)
12/2008: Birds of Prey #125 -- 20,161 (- 3.8%)
01/2009: Birds of Prey #126 -- 20,772 (+ 3.0%)
02/2009: Birds of Prey #127 -- 21,424 (+ 3.1%)
----------------
6 months: - 4.4%
1 year  : - 7.5%
2 years : -24.4%
5 years : -27.9%

Birds of Prey is the third long-running Batman spin-off that was axed in February to make room for the line’s big makeover in June.

Overall, it’s another series with remarkably solid sales for most of its run, particularly under series creator Chuck Dixon and writer Gail Simone, who took over with issue #56 and stayed on board until #108.

But once Simone left, though, creative teams came and went, and the book started to plummet down the charts, so the cancellation arguably makes more sense than it does in the cases of Robin and Nightwing.

—–

99 - BATMAN CONFIDENTIAL
02/2007: Batman Confidential #3  -- 41,109
------------------------------------------
02/2008: Batman Confidential #12 -- 27,208 (- 0.7%)
02/2008: Batman Confidential #13 -- 25,735 (- 5.4%)
03/2008: Batman Confidential #14 -- 25,330 (- 1.6%)
03/2008: Batman Confidential #15 -- 24,283 (- 4.1%)
04/2008: Batman Confidential #16 -- 24,038 (- 1.0%)
05/2008: Batman Confidential #17 -- 25,017 (+ 4.1%)
06/2008: Batman Confidential #18 -- 24,881 (- 0.5%)
07/2008: Batman Confidential #19 -- 25,037 (+ 0.6%)
08/2008: Batman Confidential #20 -- 24,654 (- 1.5%)
09/2008: Batman Confidential #21 -- 24,515 (- 0.6%)
10/2008: Batman Confidential #22 -- 24,281 (- 1.0%)
11/2008: Batman Confidential #23 -- 22,909 (- 5.7%)
12/2008: Batman Confidential #24 -- 21,470 (- 6.3%)
01/2009: Batman Confidential #25 -- 20,517 (- 4.4%)
02/2009: Batman Confidential #26 -- 20,134 (- 1.9%)
----------------
6 months: -18.3%
1 year  : -23.9%
2 years : -51.0%

The decline is slowing down, but Batman Confidential has seen better days.

—–

100 - SANDMAN: DREAM HUNTERS (Vertigo)
11/2008: Dream Hunters #1 of 4 -- 32,638
12/2008: Dream Hunters #2 of 4 -- 24,031 (-26.4%)
01/2009: Dream Hunters #3 of 4 -- 21,157 (-12.0%)
02/2009: Dream Hunters #4 of 4 -- 20,109 (- 5.0%)

Any Vertigo periodical project finishing with sales upwards of 20K is an unusual success for the imprint, these days. Dream Hunters was promoted with 1-for-25 variant-cover editions throughout its run.

—–

107 - THE MIGHTY
02/2009: The Mighty #1  --  17,956

The latest nominal DC Universe series that’s actually not part of the DC Universe at all debuts with abysmal numbers, despite a 1-for-10 variant-cover scheme.

Given the lack of promotion and distinction in the market, this shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone.

—–

113 - BATMAN: GOTHAM AFTER MIDNIGHT
05/2008: Gotham After Midnight #1  of 12 -- 29,570
06/2008: Gotham After Midnight #2  of 12 -- 24,259 (-18.0%)
07/2008: Gotham After Midnight #3  of 12 -- 22,663 (- 6.6%)
08/2008: Gotham After Midnight #4  of 12 -- 20,863 (- 7.9%)
09/2008: Gotham After Midnight #5  of 12 -- 19,747 (- 5.4%)
10/2008: Gotham After Midnight #6  of 12 -- 18,980 (- 3.9%)
11/2008: Gotham After Midnight #7  of 12 -- 17,802 (- 6.2%)
12/2008: Gotham After Midnight #8  of 12 -- 17,236 (- 3.2%)
01/2009: Gotham After Midnight #9  of 12 -- 16,354 (- 5.1%)
02/2009: Gotham After Midnight #10 of 12 -- 15,993 (- 2.2%)
----------------
6 months: -23.3%
114 - TANGENT: SUPERMAN'S REIGN
03/2008: Tangent #1  of 12 -- 32,378
04/2008: Tangent #2  of 12 -- 25,652 (-20.8%)
05/2008: Tangent #3  of 12 -- 22,858 (-14.2%)
06/2008: Tangent #4  of 12 -- 21,701 (- 5.1%)
07/2008: Tangent #5  of 12 -- 21,061 (- 3.0%)
08/2008: Tangent #6  of 12 -- 20,314 (- 3.6%)
09/2008: Tangent #7  of 12 -- 19,269 (- 5.1%)
10/2008: Tangent #8  of 12 -- 18,273 (- 5.2%)
11/2008: Tangent #9  of 12 -- 17,523 (- 4.1%)
12/2008: Tangent #10 of 12 -- 17,030 (- 2.8%)
01/2009: Tangent #11 of 12 -- 16,369 (- 3.9%)
02/2009: Tangent #12 of 12 -- 15,897 (- 2.9)
----------------
6 months: -21.7%

The numbers for these two maxiseries set on the fringes of the DC Universe aren’t desperately good, but at least remain above 15K.

—–

123 - SGT. ROCK: LOST BATTALION
11/2008: Lost Battalion #1 of 6 -- 22,641
12/2008: Lost Battalion #2 of 6 -- 17,525 (-22.6%)
01/2009: Lost Battalion #3 of 6 -- 15,330 (-12.5%)
02/2009: Lost Battalion #4 of 6 -- 14,258 (- 7.0%)

Billy Tucci’s take on the old war-comics property keeps declining, but is probably doing as well as could be expected.

—–

124 - WORLD OF WARCRAFT (WildStorm)
02/2008: World of WarCraft #4  -- 28,982 (- 7.1%)
03/2008: World of WarCraft #5  -- 27,159 (- 9.4%)
04/2008: World of WarCraft #6  -- 26,271 (- 3.3%)
05/2008: World of WarCraft #7  -- 24,589 (- 6.4%)
06/2008: World of WarCraft #8  -- 23,310 (- 5.2%)
07/2008: World of WarCraft #9  -- 22,203 (- 4.8%)
08/2008: World of WarCraft #10 -- 20,883 (- 6.0%)
09/2008: World of WarCraft #11 -- 19,331 (- 7.4%)
10/2008: World of WarCraft #12 -- 18,200 (- 5.9%)
11/2008: World of WarCraft #13 -- 17,017 (- 6.5%)
12/2008: World of WarCraft #14 -- 16,058 (- 5.6%)
01/2009: World of WarCraft #15 -- 14,996 (- 6.6%)
02/2009: World of WarCraft #16 -- 14,177 (- 5.5%)
----------------
6 months: -32.1%
1 year  : -51.1%
128 - WORLD OF WARCRAFT: ASHBRINGER (WildStorm)
09/2008: Ashbringer #1 of 4 -- 21,086
10/2008: Ashbringer #2 of 4 -- 16,579 (-21.4%)
11/2008: --
12/2008: Ashbringer #3 of 4 -- 14,404 (-13.1%)
01/2009: --
02/2009: Ashbringer #4 of 4 -- 13,716 (- 4.8%)

WildStorm’s World of WarCraft adaptations keep sliding downwards. Ashbringer was promoted with a 1-for-10 variant-cover edition.

—–

131 - JACK OF FABLES (Vertigo)
02/2007: Jack of Fables #8  -- 20,060
-------------------------------------
02/2008: Jack of Fables #20 -- 16,650 (- 1.4%)
03/2008: Jack of Fables #21 -- 16,597 (- 0.3%)
04/2008: Jack of Fables #22 -- 16,305 (- 1.8%)
05/2008: --
06/2008: Jack of Fables #23 -- 16,144 (- 1.0%)
07/2008: --
08/2008: Jack of Fables #24 -- 15,953 (- 1.2%)
08/2008: Jack of Fables #25 -- 15,642 (- 2.0%)
09/2008: Jack of Fables #26 -- 15,471 (- 1.1%)
10/2008: Jack of Fables #27 -- 15,092 (- 2.5%)
11/2008: Jack of Fables #28 -- 14,528 (- 3.7%)
12/2008: Jack of Fables #29 -- 14,151 (- 2.6%)
01/2009: Jack of Fables #30 -- 13,746 (- 2.9%)
02/2009: Jack of Fables #31 -- 13,586 (- 1.2%)
----------------
6 months: -14.0%
1 year  : -18.4%
2 years : -32.3%
134 - HOUSE OF MYSTERY (Vertigo)
05/2008: House of Mystery #1  -- 27,492
06/2008: House of Mystery #2  -- 19,485 (-29.1%)
07/2008: House of Mystery #3  -- 18,407 (- 5.5%)
08/2008: House of Mystery #4  -- 17,569 (- 4.6%)
09/2008: House of Mystery #5  -- 16,721 (- 4.8%)
10/2008: House of Mystery #6  -- 15,934 (- 4.7%)
11/2008: House of Mystery #7  -- 15,120 (- 5.1%)
12/2008: House of Mystery #8  -- 14,273 (- 5.6%)
01/2009: House of Mystery #9  -- 13,739 (- 3.7%)
02/2009: House of Mystery #10 -- 13,098 (- 4.7%)
----------------
6 months: -25.5%

Of the two Vertigo books written (or co-written) by Matthew Sturges, Jack of Fables has the more stable sales.

—–

136 - GEARS OF WAR (WildStorm)
10/2008: GoW #1  -- 19,718
11/2008: GoW #2  -- 12,964 (-34.3%)
12/2008: GoW #3  -- 12,095 (- 6.7%)
01/2009: --
02/2009: GoW #4  -- 12,864 (+ 6.4%)

The videogame adaptation’s February issue was promoted with a 1-for-10 variant-cover scheme, while issue #3 wasn’t, hence the apparent increase.
Still, Gears of War remains one of WildStorm’s most successful periodicals overall.

—–

141 - REIGN IN HELL
07/2008: Reign in Hell #1 of 8 -- 29,003
08/2008: Reign in Hell #2 of 8 -- 20,459 (-29.5%)
09/2008: Reign in Hell #3 of 8 -- 17,964 (-12.2%)
10/2008: Reign in Hell #4 of 8 -- 15,123 (-15.8%)
11/2008: Reign in Hell #5 of 8 -- 13,565 (-10.3%)
12/2008: Reign in Hell #6 of 8 -- 12,945 (- 4.6%)
01/2009: Reign in Hell #7 of 8 -- 12,111 (- 6.4%)
02/2009: Reign in Hell #8 of 8 -- 11,669 (- 3.7%)
----------------
6 months: -43.0%

Terrible numbers, but it stayed above 10K, at least.

—–

142 - JONAH HEX
02/2006: Jonah Hex #4  -- 23,569
02/2007: Jonah Hex #16 -- 17,490
--------------------------------
02/2008: Jonah Hex #28 -- 13,614 (- 1.9%)
03/2008: Jonah Hex #29 -- 13,439 (- 1.3%)
04/2008: Jonah Hex #30 -- 13,253 (- 1.4%)
05/2008: Jonah Hex #31 -- 13,140 (- 0.9%)
06/2008: Jonah Hex #32 -- 12,969 (- 1.3%)
07/2008: Jonah Hex #33 -- 14,281 (+10.1%)
08/2008: Jonah Hex #34 -- 12,969 (- 9.2%)
09/2008: Jonah Hex #35 -- 13,231 (+ 2.0%)
10/2008: Jonah Hex #36 -- 12,629 (- 4.6%)
11/2008: Jonah Hex #37 -- 12,537 (- 0.7%)
12/2008: Jonah Hex #38 -- 12,132 (- 3.2%)
01/2009: Jonah Hex #39 -- 11,705 (- 3.5%)
02/2009: Jonah Hex #40 -- 11,631 (- 0.6%)
----------------
6 months: -10.3%
1 year  : -14.6%
2 years : -33.5%
145 - VIGILANTE
09/2005: Vigilante #1 of 6 -- 24,533
11/2005: Vigilante #2 of 6 -- 18,712
11/2005: Vigilante #3 of 6 -- 16,412
12/2005: Vigilante #4 of 6 -- 13,344
01/2006: Vigilante #5 of 6 -- 11,939
02/2006: Vigilante #6 of 6 -- 11,382
------------------------------------
12/2008: Vigilante #1      -- 18,236
01/2009: Vigilante #2      -- 13,855 (-24.0%)
02/2009: Vigilante #3      -- 11,264 (-18.7%)

Jonah Hex and Vigilante are both well below the usual cancellation threshold for DC Universe titles. The former remains ongoing because editorial is fond of it, the latter was just launched and will presumably get at least a year before the plug is pulled.

—–

146 - HELLBLAZER (Vertigo)
02/2004: Hellblazer #193 -- 15,000
02/2005: Hellblazer #205 -- 15,158
02/2006: Hellblazer #217 -- 14,306
02/2007: Hellblazer #229 -- 13,032
----------------------------------
02/2008: Hellblazer #241 -- 11,998 (-1.8%)
03/2008: Hellblazer #242 -- 11,916 (-0.7%)
04/2008: Hellblazer #243 -- 11,958 (+0.4%)
05/2008: Hellblazer #244 -- 11,826 (-1.1%)
06/2008: Hellblazer #245 -- 11,897 (+0.6%)
07/2008: Hellblazer #246 -- 12,088 (+1.6%)
08/2008: --
09/2008: Hellblazer #247 -- 11,851 (-2.0%)
10/2008: Hellblazer #248 -- 11,600 (-2.1%)
11/2008: Hellblazer #249 -- 11,445 (-1.3%)
12/2008: Hellblazer #250 -- 12,478 (+9.0%)
01/2009: Hellblazer #251 -- 11,290 (-9.5%)
02/2009: Hellblazer #252 -- 11,174 (-1.0%)
----------------
6 months:  n.a.
1 year  : - 6.9%
2 years : -14.3%
5 years : -25.5%

New series writer Peter Milligan doesn’t affect the book’s performance: The numbers keep slipping, slowly but steadily.

—–

149 - BLUE BEETLE
02/2007: Blue Beetle #12 -- 18,555
----------------------------------
02/2008: Blue Beetle #24 -- 14,378 (- 3.9%)
03/2008: Blue Beetle #25 -- 14,304 (- 0.5%)
04/2008: Blue Beetle #26 -- 14,285 (- 0.1%)
05/2008: Blue Beetle #27 -- 13,802 (- 3.4%)
06/2008: -- 
07/2008: Blue Beetle #28 -- 13,620 (- 1.3%)
07/2008: Blue Beetle #29 -- 13,310 (- 2.3%)
08/2008: Blue Beetle #30 -- 12,669 (- 4.8%)
09/2008: Blue Beetle #31 -- 12,302 (- 2.9%)
10/2008: Blue Beetle #32 -- 11,828 (- 3.9%)
11/2008: Blue Beetle #33 -- 11,452 (- 3.2%)
12/2008: Blue Beetle #34 -- 11,020 (- 3.8%)
01/2009: Blue Beetle #35 -- 10,593 (- 3.9%)
02/2009: Blue Beetle #36 -- 10,621 (+ 0.3%)
----------------
6 months: -16.2%
1 year  : -26.1%
2 years : -42.8%

The series is axed, but the comic returns as a backup strip in Booster Gold in June, with the same writer attached. A three-year run isn’t bad by today’s standards.

—–

150 - THE AUTHORITY (WildStorm)
02/2004: CdE: Authority #4    -- 28,705
02/2005: Revolution #5 of 12  -- 20,683
02/2007: --
---------------------------------------
02/2008: Prime #5 of 6        -- 14,099 (- 6.4%)
03/2008: Prime #6 of 6        -- 13,369 (- 5.2%)
04/2008: --
05/2008: --
06/2008: --
07/2008: --
08/2008: The Authority v4 #1  -- 15,735 (+17.7%)
09/2008: The Authority v4 #2  -- 14,324 (- 9.0%)
10/2008: The Authority v4 #3  -- 13,408 (- 6.4%)
11/2008: The Authority v4 #4  -- 12,450 (- 7.2%)
12/2008: The Authority v4 #5  -- 11,534 (- 7.4%)
01/2009: The Authority v4 #6  -- 10,673 (- 7.5%)
02/2009: The Authority v4 #7  -- 10,553 (- 1.1%)
----------------
6 months: -32.9% 
1 year  : -25.2%
2 years :  n.a. 
5 years : -63.2%

Sales of the WildStorm Universe flagship may finally be bottoming out.

—–

152/158 - BLACK LIGHTNING: YEAR ONE
01/2009: Year One #1 of 6 -- 13,804
01/2009: Year One #2 of 6 -- 12,286 (-11.0%)
02/2009: Year One #3 of 6 -- 10,413 (-15.3%)
02/2009: Year One #4 of 6 --  9,713 (- 6.7%)

These are terrible numbers for a DC Universe project.

I still don’t really understand why retailers are convinced that more people than usual will buy issue #2 for the sole reason that it comes out in the same calendar month as issue #1.

—–

155 - MADAME XANADU (Vertigo)
06/2008: Madame Xanadu #1  -- 22,073
07/2008: Madame Xanadu #2  -- 16,655 (-24.6%)
08/2008: Madame Xanadu #3  -- 13,052 (- 3.3%)
09/2008: Madame Xanadu #4  -- 12,329 (- 5.5%)
10/2008: Madame Xanadu #5  -- 11,392 (- 7.6%)
11/2008: Madame Xanadu #6  -- 12,340 (+ 8.3%)
12/2008: Madame Xanadu #7  -- 10,272 (-16.8%)
01/2009: --
02/2009: Madame Xanadu #8  --  9,932 (- 3.3%)
----------------
6 months: -23.9%
160 - HAUNTED TANK (Vertigo)
12/2008: Haunted Tank #1 of 5 -- 16,021
01/2009: Haunted Tank #2 of 5 -- 10,448 (-34.8%)
02/2009: Haunted Tank #3 of 5 --  9,665 (- 7.5%)

Now that variant-cover editions are no longer a factor, sales of these two Vertigo series are levelling out.

—–

164 - THE SPIRIT
02/2007: The Spirit #3     -- 25,516
------------------------------------
02/2008: The Spirit #14    -- 17,277 (- 1.1%)
03/2008: The Spirit #15    -- 16,038 (- 7.2%)
04/2008: The Spirit #16    -- 14,697 (- 8.4%)
05/2008: The Spirit #17    -- 14,057 (- 4.4%)
06/2008: The Spirit #18    -- 13,257 (- 5.7%)
07/2008: The Spirit #19    -- 12,709 (- 4.1%)
08/2008: The Spirit #20    -- 12,358 (- 2.8%)
09/2008: The Spirit #21    -- 11,551 (- 6.5%)
10/2008: The Spirit #22    -- 10,997 (- 4.8%)
11/2008: The Spirit #23    -- 10,372 (- 5.7%)
12/2008: The Spirit #24    -- 10,048 (- 3.1%)
01/2009: The Spirit #25    --  9,576 (- 4.7%)
02/2009: The Spirit #26    --  9,405 (- 1.8%)
----------------
6 months: -23.9%
1 year  : -45.6%
2 years : -63.1%

Sales are bottoming out. The Spirit is produced by WildStorm, despite officially being a “DC Universe” series, so it gets more rope than usual.

—–

165 - THE X-FILES (WildStorm)
07/2008: Special #0      -- 23,805
08/2008: --
09/2008: --
10/2008: --
11/2008: X-Files #1 of 6 -- 16,042 (-32.6%)
12/2008: X-Files #2 of 6 -- 11,562 (-27.9%)
01/2009: X-Files #3 of 6 --  9,808 (-15.2%)
02/2009: X-Files #4 of 6 --  9,268 (- 5.5%)
----------------
6 months:  n.a.

These numbers are mediocre, but they could be much worse.

—–

167 - WILDCATS (WildStorm)
02/2004: CdE: WC #3 of 4 -- 27,091 
02/2006: Nemesis #6 of 9 -- 14,572
02/2007: --
----------------------------------
07/2008: World's End #1  -- 16,895 (-79.5%)
08/2008: World's End #2  -- 13,311 (-21.2%)
09/2008: World's End #3  -- 13,559 (+ 1.9%)
10/2008: World's End #4  -- 12,431 (- 8.3%)
11/2008: World's End #5  -- 11,280 (- 9.3%)
12/2008: World's End #6  -- 10,450 (- 7.4%)
01/2009: World's End #7  --  9,539 (- 8.7%)
02/2009: World's End #8  --  9,040 (- 5.2%)
----------------
6 months: -32.1%
1 year  :  n.a.
2 years :  n.a.
5 years : -66.6%

The five-year comparison makes it official: WildStorm Universe sales have gone to hell.

—–

172 - TINY TITANS (Johnny DC)
02/2008: Tiny Titans #1  -- 15,238
03/2008: Tiny Titans #2  -- 11,432 (-25.0%)
04/2008: Tiny Titans #3  -- 11,197 (- 2.1%)
05/2008: Tiny Titans #4  -- 10,369 (- 7.4%)
06/2008: Tiny Titans #5  -- 10,909 (+ 5.2%)
07/2008: Tiny Titans #6  -- 10,636 (- 2.5%)
08/2008: Tiny Titans #7  -- 10,234 (- 3.8%)
09/2008: Tiny Titans #8  --  9,795 (- 4.3%)
10/2008: Tiny Titans #9  --  9,521 (- 2.8%)
11/2008: Tiny Titans #10 --  9,239 (- 3.0%)
12/2008: Tiny Titans #11 --  9,085 (- 1.7%)
01/2009: Tiny Titans #12 --  8,733 (- 3.9%)
02/2009: Tiny Titans #13 --  8,710 (- 0.3%)
----------------
6 months: -14.9%
1 year  : -42.8%
173 - BATMAN: THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD (Johnny DC)
02/2004: Batman Adventures #11 -- 12,082
02/2005: Batman Strikes! #6    -- 11,102
02/2006: Batman Strikes! #18   --  8,626
02/2007: Batman Strikes! #30   --  7,335
----------------------------------------
02/2008: Batman Strikes! #42   --  6,623 (-  1.5%)
03/2008: Batman Strikes! #43   --  6,544 (-  1.2%)
04/2008: Batman Strikes! #44   --  7,541 (+ 15.2%)
05/2008: Batman Strikes! #45   --  6,611 (- 12.3%)
06/2008: Batman Strikes! #46   --  7,118 (+  7.7%)
07/2008: Batman Strikes! #47   --  7,711 (+  8.3%)
08/2008: Batman Strikes! #48   --  6,702 (- 13.1%)
09/2008: Batman Strikes! #49   --  6,387 (-  4.7%)
10/2008: Batman Strikes! #50   --  6,413 (+  0.4%)
11/2008: --
12/2008: --
01/2009: Brave & Bold #1       -- 13,935 (+117.3%)
02/2009: Brave & Bold #2       --  8,678 (- 37.7%)
----------------
6 months: +29.5%
1 year  : +31.0%
2 years : +18.3%
5 years : -28.2%

Two Johnny DC series, see small print.

—–

175 - VIXEN: RETURN OF THE LION
10/2008: Vixen #1 of 5 -- 16,246
11/2008: Vixen #2 of 5 -- 11,206 (-31.0%)
12/2008: Vixen #3 of 5 --  9,739 (-13.1%)
01/2009: Vixen #4 of 5 --  8,900 (- 8.6%)
02/2009: Vixen #5 of 5 --  8,465 (- 4.9%)

Another DC Universe project with terrible sales; but, again, this is what you get with third-stringer characters and no promotion, so I doubt anybody at DC is surprised at these kinds of numbers.

—–

177 - DMZ (Vertigo)
02/2006: DMZ #4  -- 14,778
02/2007: DMZ #16 -- 13,199
--------------------------
02/2008: DMZ #28 -- 10,463 (-1.9%)
03/2008: DMZ #29 -- 10,266 (-1.9%)
04/2008: DMZ #30 -- 10,038 (-2.2%)
05/2008: DMZ #31 --  9,911 (-1.3%)
06/2008: DMZ #32 --  9,760 (-1.5%)
07/2008: DMZ #33 --  9,684 (-0.8%)
08/2008: DMZ #34 --  9,561 (-1.3%)
09/2008: --  
10/2008: DMZ #35 --  9,240 (-3.4%)
11/2008: DMZ #36 --  8,851 (-4.2%)
12/2008: DMZ #37 --  8,823 (-0.3%)
01/2009: DMZ #38 --  8,457 (-4.2%)
02/2009: DMZ #39 --  8,353 (-1.2%)
----------------
6 months: -12.6%
1 year  : -20.2%
2 years : -36.7%
178 - UNKNOWN SOLDIER (Vertigo)
10/2008: Unknown Soldier #1  -- 16,038
11/2008: Unknown Soldier #2  -- 10,553 (-34.2%)
12/2008: Unknown Soldier #3  --  9,926 (- 5.9%)
01/2009: Unknown Soldier #4  --  8,711 (-12.2%)
02/2009: Unknown Soldier #5  --  8,348 (- 4.2%)

Two Vertigo series bottoming out.

DMZ Vol. 6: Blood in the Game took the No. 4 spot on Diamond’s Graphic Novel chart for February, selling an estimated 5,275 units through the direct market in its first calendar month. It’s the lowest first-month number compared to earlier DMZ collections, but still very much in the usual ballpark for series.

Also, thanks to the fact that Diamond has expanded its Graphic Novel chart to the top 300 books, two more DMZ volumes were listed in February. Vol. 1, originally published in June 2006, sold an estimated 317 units, while the second volume, originally released in February 2007, sold an estimated 253 copies.

—–

185 - SIMON DARK
02/2008: Simon Dark #5  -- 15,360 (- 5.4%)
03/2008: Simon Dark #6  -- 14,684 (- 4.4%)
04/2008: Simon Dark #7  -- 13,936 (- 5.1%)
05/2008: Simon Dark #8  -- 13,222 (- 5.1%)
06/2008: Simon Dark #9  -- 12,514 (- 5.4%)
07/2008: Simon Dark #10 -- 12,038 (- 3.8%)
08/2008: Simon Dark #11 -- 11,529 (- 4.2%)
09/2008: Simon Dark #12 -- 10,895 (- 5.5%)
10/2008: Simon Dark #13 -- 10,404 (- 4.5%)
11/2008: Simon Dark #14 --  9,582 (- 7.9%)
12/2008: Simon Dark #15 --  9,076 (- 5.3%)
01/2009: Simon Dark #16 --  8,421 (- 7.2%)
02/2009: Simon Dark #17 --  7,958 (- 5.5%)
----------------
6 months: -31.0%
1 year  : -48.2%

Cancelled with issue #18.

—–

187 - GEN13 (WildStorm)
02/2007: Gen13 #5  -- 22,422
----------------------------
02/2008: Gen13 #17 -- 12,844 (- 5.7%)
03/2008: Gen13 #18 -- 12,396 (- 3.5%)
04/2008: Gen13 #19 -- 11,887 (- 4.1%)
05/2008: Gen13 #20 -- 11,429 (- 3.9%)
06/2008: --
07/2008: --
08/2008: Gen13 #21 -- 11,074 (- 3.1%)
09/2008: Gen13 #22 -- 10,533 (- 4.9%)
10/2008: Gen13 #23 -- 10,061 (- 4.5%)
11/2008: Gen13 #24 --  9,460 (- 6.0%)
12/2008: Gen13 #25 --  8,954 (- 5.4%)
01/2009: Gen13 #26 --  8,341 (- 6.9%)
02/2009: Gen13 #27 --  7,929 (- 4.9%)
----------------
6 months: -28.4%
1 year  : -38.3%
2 years : -64.6%

The WildStorm Universe title keeps slipping down the chart.

—–

199 - SCALPED (Vertigo)
02/2007: Scalped #2  -- 10,005
------------------------------
02/2008: Scalped #14 --  6,903 (- 1.3%)
03/2008: Scalped #15 --  7,004 (+ 1.5%)
04/2008: Scalped #16 --  7,071 (+ 1.0%)
05/2008: Scalped #17 --  6,927 (- 2.0%)
06/2008: Scalped #18 --  7,020 (+ 1.3%)
07/2008: Scalped #19 --  7,221 (+ 2.9%)
08/2008: Scalped #20 --  7,034 (- 2.6%)
09/2008: Scalped #21 --  7,029 (- 0.1%)
10/2008: Scalped #22 --  6,964 (- 0.9%)
11/2008: Scalped #23 --  6,910 (- 0.8%)
12/2008: Scalped #24 --  6,777 (- 1.9%)
01/2009: --
02/2009: Scalped #25 --  6,887 (+ 1.6%)
----------------
6 months: - 2.1%
1 year  : - 0.2%
2 years : -31.2%

Scalped remains rock-solid in the 7,000-unit range with a slight increase. It’s been hovering in the same area for more than a year, which may be part of the reason why it’s still around.

—–

201 - BANG! TANGO (Vertigo)
02/2009: Bang! Tango #1 of 6 --  6,743

Depressing numbers which, again, can hardly come as a surprise to anyone.

—–

203 - THE WAR THAT TIME FORGOT
05/2008: The War That Time Forgot #1  of 8  -- 18,243
06/2008: The War That Time Forgot #2  of 8  -- 13,296 (-27.1%)
07/2008: The War That Time Forgot #3  of 8  -- 11,407 (-14.2%)
08/2008: The War That Time Forgot #4  of 8  --  9,965 (-12.6%)
09/2008: The War That Time Forgot #5  of 12 --  9,153 (- 8.2%)
10/2008: The War That Time Forgot #6  of 12 --  8,243 (- 9.9%)
11/2008: The War That Time Forgot #7  of 12 --  7,700 (- 6.6%)
12/2008: The War That Time Forgot #8  of 12 --  7,403 (- 3.9%)
01/2009: The War That Time Forgot #9  of 12 --  6,960 (- 6.0%)
02/2009: The War That Time Forgot #10 of 12 --  6,690 (- 3.9%)
----------------
6 months: -32.9%

The best the DC Universe maxiseries can hope for is to finish with sales above 6,000 units.

—–

212 - SUPERGIRL: COSMIC ADVENTURES IN THE 8TH GRADE (Johnny DC)
12/2008: Supergirl: CAit8G #1  -- 9,281
01/2009: Supergirl: CAit8G #2  -- 6,488 (-30.1%)
02/2009: Supergirl: CAit8G #3  -- 6,222 (- 4.1%)

A Johnny DC series.

—–

216 - YOUNG LIARS (Vertigo)
03/2008: Young Liars #1  -- 13,177
04/2008: Young Liars #2  --  9,917 (-24.7%)
05/2008: Young Liars #3  --  8,954 (- 9.7%)
06/2008: Young Liars #4  --  8,590 (- 4.1%)
07/2008: Young Liars #5  --  8,172 (- 4.9%)
08/2008: Young Liars #6  --  7,862 (- 3.8%)
09/2008: Young Liars #7  --  7,520 (- 4.4%)
10/2008: Young Liars #8  --  7,265 (- 3.4%)
11/2008: Young Liars #9  --  6,775 (- 6.8%)
12/2008: Young Liars #10 --  6,646 (- 1.9%)
01/2009: Young Liars #11 --  6,081 (- 8.5%)
02/2009: Young Liars #12 --  5,820 (- 4.3%)
----------------
6 months: -26.0%

Business as usual.

—–

219 - STORMWATCH: PHD (WildStorm)
02/2004: CdE: SW #2 of 4     -- 27,822
02/2007: StormWatch: PHD #4  -- 15,893
--------------------------------------
08/2008: StormWatch: PHD #13 --  8,650 (-13.6%)
09/2008: StormWatch: PHD #14 --  7,883 (- 8.9%)
10/2008: StormWatch: PHD #15 --  7,411 (- 6.0%)
11/2008: StormWatch: PHD #16 --  6,824 (- 7.9%)
12/2008: StormWatch: PHD #17 --  6,468 (- 5.2%)
01/2009: StormWatch: PHD #18 --  6,030 (- 6.8%)
02/2009: StormWatch: PHD #19 --  5,708 (- 5.3%)
----------------
6 months: -34.0%
1 year  :  n.a.
2 years : -64.1%
5 years : -79.5%

The WildStorm Universe series evidently goes bimonthly after issue #20. With numbers such as these, there can’t be much rope left.

—–

226 - SUPER FRIENDS (Johnny DC)
03/2008: Super Friends #1  -- 12,554
04/2008: Super Friends #2  --  8,935 (-28.8%)
05/2008: Super Friends #3  --  8,037 (-10.1%)
06/2008: Super Friends #4  --  8,038 (+ 0.0%)
07/2008: Super Friends #5  --  7,141 (-11.2%)
08/2008: Super Friends #6  --  6,671 (- 6.6%)
09/2008: Super Friends #7  --  6,428 (- 3.6%)
10/2008: Super Friends #8  --  6,153 (- 4.3%)
11/2008: Super Friends #9  --  5,739 (- 6.7%)
12/2008: Super Friends #10 --  5,543 (- 3.4%)
01/2009: Super Friends #11 --  5,500 (- 0.8%)
02/2009: Super Friends #12 --  5,394 (- 1.9%)
----------------
6 months: -19.1%

A Johnny DC book.

—–

257 - EL DIABLO
09/2008: El Diablo #1 of 6 -- 11,510
10/2008: El Diablo #2 of 6 --  7,349 (-36.2%)
11/2008: El Diablo #3 of 6 --  5,531 (-24.7%)
12/2008: El Diablo #4 of 6 --  4,683 (-15.3%)
01/2009: El Diablo #5 of 6 --  4,192 (-10.5%)
02/2009: El Diablo #6 of 6 --  3,997 (- 4.7%)
264 - MYSTERIUS (WildStorm)
01/2009: Mysterius #1 of 6  -- 5,667
02/2009: Mysterius #2 of 6  -- 3,873 (-31.7%)

Women and children first.

—–

266 - SCOOBY DOO (Johnny DC)
02/2004: Scooby Doo #81  -- 5,297
02/2005: Scooby Doo #93  -- 4,747
02/2006: Scooby Doo #105 -- 4,326
02/2007: Scooby Doo #117 -- 4,275
---------------------------------
02/2008: Scooby Doo #129 -- 4,161 (+ 0.4%)
03/2008: Scooby Doo #130 -- 4,463 (+ 7.3%)
04/2008: Scooby Doo #131 -- 4,403 (- 1.3%)
05/2008: Scooby Doo #132 -- 4,309 (- 2.1%)
06/2008: Scooby Doo #133 -- 4,501 (+ 4.5%)
07/2008: Scooby Doo #134 -- 4,286 (- 4.8%)
08/2008: Scooby Doo #135 -- 4,226 (- 1.4%)
09/2008: Scooby Doo #136 -- 4,283 (+ 1.4%)
10/2008: Scooby Doo #137 -- ?
11/2008: Scooby Doo #138 -- 4,068
12/2008: Scooby Doo #139 -- ?
01/2009: Scooby Doo #140 -- 3,800
02/2009: Scooby Doo #141 -- 3,861 (+ 1.6%)
----------------
6 months: - 8.6%
1 year  : - 7.2%
2 years : - 9.7%
5 years : -27.1%

Another Johnny DC book. See disclaimers.

—–

275 - RESISTANCE (WildStorm)
01/2009: Resistance #1 of 6  -- 6,001
01/2009: Resistance #2 of 6  -- 5,166 (-13.9%)
02/2009: Resistance #3 of 6  -- 3,590 (-30.5%)
294 - MIRROR'S EDGE (WildStorm)
10/2008: Mirror's Edge #1 of 6 -- 5,800
11/2008: --
12/2008: Mirror's Edge #2 of 6 -- ?
01/2009: Mirror's Edge #3 of 6 -- 3,211
02/2009: Mirror's Edge #4 of 6 -- 2,763 (-14.0%)
296 - PUSH (WildStorm)
11/2008: Push #1 of 6 -- 5,706
11/2008: Push #2 of 6 -- 4,829 (-15.4%)
12/2008: Push #3 of 6 -- ?
01/2009: Push #4 of 6 -- 2,790
01/2009: Push #5 of 6 -- 2,674 (- 4.2%)
02/2009: Push #6 of 6 -- 2,745 (+ 2.7%)

And a bunch of licensed properties tanking badly for WildStorm.

They would have to sell truckloads of these through other channels to make them profitable, surely.

—–

REORDERS:
217:  5,775 -- Green Lantern #37
220:  5,690 -- Green Lantern #36 (2nd)
260:  3,974 -- Final Crisis #6
293:  2,803 -- Final Crisis #7
6-MONTH COMPARISONS
+ 29.5%: Batman: Brave & Bold
+ 21.7%: Supergirl
+  7.5%: Batman
+  3.0%: Superman
-  2.1%: Scalped
-  2.3%: Outsiders
-  2.4%: Action Comics
-  3.1%: GL Corps
-  4.4%: Birds of Prey
-  6.5%: Wonder Woman
-  8.6%: Scooby-Doo
- 10.2%: Legion of 3 Worlds
- 10.3%: Jonah Hex
- 11.3%: JSA
- 12.6%: DMZ
- 14.0%: Jack of Fables
- 14.4%: JLA
- 14.9%: Tiny Titans
- 15.0%: Superman/Batman
- 16.2%: Blue Beetle
- 18.3%: Batman Confidential
- 18.5%: Green Arrow
- 18.9%: Teen Titans
- 19.1%: Super Friends
- 21.7%: Tangent
- 23.3%: Batman: GAM
- 23.9%: Madame Xanadu
- 23.9%: Spirit
- 24.8%: Booster Gold
- 25.4%: Brave & Bold
- 25.5%: House of Mystery
- 26.0%: Young Liars
- 26.5%: Robin
- 28.4%: Gen13
- 31.0%: Simon Dark
- 32.1%: Wildcats
- 32.1%: WoW
- 32.9%: The Authority
- 32.9%: War TTF
- 33.1%: Nightwing
- 34.0%: StormWatch
- 39.4%: Trinity
- 43.0%: Reign in Hell

—–

1-YEAR COMPARISONS
+ 63.3%: Batman
+ 31.0%: Batman: Brave & Bold
+ 21.5%: Nightwing
+ 15.5%: Superman
+ 14.0%: Robin
+  0.1%: Supergirl
-  0.2%: Scalped
-  6.3%: GL Corps
-  6.8%: Fables
-  6.9%: Hellblazer
-  7.2%: Scooby-Doo
-  7.5%: Birds of Prey
- 13.1%: Action Comics
- 13.3%: Outsiders
- 14.6%: Jonah Hex
- 15.5%: Superman/Batman
- 18.4%: Jack of Fables
- 20.2%: DMZ
- 20.8%: Wonder Woman
- 21.8%: JSA
- 22.4%: JLA
- 23.9%: Batman Confidential
- 25.2%: The Authority
- 26.1%: Blue Beetle
- 30.2%: Teen Titans
- 34.6%: Booster Gold
- 36.2%: Green Arrow
- 38.3%: Gen13
- 39.9%: Brave & Bold
- 42.8%: Tiny Titans
- 45.6%: Spirit
- 48.2%: Simon Dark
- 51.1%: WoW

—–

2-YEAR COMPARISONS
+ 33.9%: Batman
+ 27.8%: GL Corps
+ 18.3%: Batman: Brave & Bold
+ 15.3%: Nightwing
+ 12.1%: Robin
+ 11.1%: Green Lantern
-  0.3%: Outsiders
-  9.7%: Scooby-Doo
- 14.3%: Hellblazer
- 17.6%: Superman
- 22.7%: JSA
- 24.4%: Birds of Prey
- 25.1%: Action Comics
- 25.7%: Green Arrow
- 30.2%: Teen Titans
- 31.2%: Scalped
- 32.3%: Jack of Fables
- 33.5%: Jonah Hex
- 35.4%: Supergirl
- 36.7%: DMZ
- 42.8%: Blue Beetle
- 51.0%: Batman Confidential
- 51.1%: WoW
- 52.2%: Wonder Woman
- 63.1%: Spirit
- 64.1%: StormWatch
- 64.6%: Gen13
- 75.0%: Brave & Bold

—–

5-YEAR COMPARISONS
+134.4%: Green Lantern
+ 45.7%: JSA
+ 32.4%: Batman
+ 31.2%: Nightwing
+ 21.3%: JLA
+ 19.6%: Robin
+ 13.8%: Wonder Woman
-  4.8%: Superman
-  6.0%: Action Comics
- 11.1%: Fables
- 24.3%: Outsiders
- 25.5%: Hellblazer
- 27.1%: Scooby-Doo
- 27.9%: Birds of Prey
- 28.2%: Batman: Brave & Bold
- 34.1%: Green Arrow
- 48.5%: Teen Titans
- 56.0%: Superman/Batman
- 63.2%: The Authority
- 66.6%: Wildcats

—–

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

DC COMICS
02/2004: 26,900
02/2005: 27,525
02/2006: 32,292
02/2007: 31,051
---------------
02/2008: 27,652 (+ 2.3%)
03/2008: 26,423 (- 4.5%)
04/2008: 28,051 (+ 6.1%)
05/2008: 27,075 (- 3.5%)
06/2008: 27,367 (+ 1.1%)
07/2008: 27,436 (+ 0.3%)**
08/2008: 29,678 (+ 8.2%)
09/2008: 25,562 (-13.9%)
10/2008: 29,109 (+13.9%)**
11/2008: 25,340 (-13.0%)
12/2008: 26,793 (+ 5.7%)**
01/2009: 24,273 (- 9.4%)
02/2009: 23,080 (- 4.9%)
----------------
6 months: -22.2%
1 year  : -16.5%
2 years : -25.7%
3 years : -28.5%
4 years : -16.2%
5 years : -14.2%
DC UNIVERSE
02/2004: 30,632
02/2005: 34,956
02/2006: 40,823
02/2007: 39,976
---------------
02/2008: 35,994 (+ 7.0%)
03/2008: 33,151 (- 7.9%)
04/2008: 35,452 (+ 6.9%)
05/2008: 35,230 (- 0.6%)
06/2008: 35,800 (+ 1.6%)
07/2008: 35,553 (- 0.7%)
08/2008: 38,502 (+ 8.3%)
09/2008: 33,591 (-13.0%)
10/2008: 37,273 (+11.0%)
11/2008: 33,096 (-11.2%)
12/2008: 35,050 (+ 5.9%)
01/2009: 32,705 (- 6.7%)
02/2009: 30,224 (- 7.6%)
----------------
6 months: -21.5%
1 year  : -16.0%
2 years : -24.4%
3 years : -26.0%
4 years : -13.5%
5 years : - 1.3%
VERTIGO
02/2004: 14,808
02/2005: 13,451
02/2006: 15,026
02/2007: 11,855
---------------
02/2008: 10,885 (+ 7.6%)
03/2008: 10,484 (- 3.7%)
04/2008: 10,550 (+ 0.6%)
05/2008: 10,418 (- 1.3%)
06/2008: 10,491 (+ 0.7%)
07/2008: 10,821 (+ 3.2%)**
08/2008: 10,979 (+ 1.5%)
09/2008: 11,748 (+ 7.0%)
10/2008: 11,284 (- 4.0%)
11/2008: 11,936 (+ 5.8%)
12/2008: 11,603 (- 2.8%)
01/2009: 10,980 (- 5.4%)
02/2009: 11,353 (+ 3.4%)
----------------
6 months: + 3.4%
1 year  : + 4.3%
2 years : - 4.2%
3 years : -24.4%
4 years : -15.6%
5 years : -23.3%
WILDSTORM
02/2004: 21,164
02/2005: 14,362
02/2006: 13,610
02/2007: 14,105
---------------
02/2008: 13,155 (- 6.3%)
03/2008: 12,842 (- 2.4%)
04/2008: 12,156 (- 5.3%)
05/2008:  9,812 (-19.3%)
06/2008:  9,806 (- 0.1%)
07/2008:  9,875 (+ 0.7%)**
08/2008: 10,064 (+ 1.9%)
09/2008: 11,864 (+17.9%)
10/2008: 10,736 (- 9.5%)**
11/2008: 10,220 (- 4.8%)
12/2008:  9,415 (- 7.9%)**
01/2009:  6,851 (-27.2%)
02/2009:  8,019 (+17.1%)
----------------
6 months: -20.3%
1 year  : -39.0%
2 years : -43.2%
3 years : -41.1%
4 years : -44.2%
5 years : -62.1%

—–
Disclaimers, et cetera

The numbers above are estimates for comic-book sales in the North American direct market, as calculated by ICv2.com according to the chart and index information provided by Diamond Comic Distributors.

ICv2.com‘s estimates are traditionally known to be somewhat lower than the actual numbers, but they are consistent from month to month, so the trends they show are fairly accurate. Since it’s a “month-to-month” column, the comments, unless otherwise noted, are on the most recent month. The estimates from March 2001 to February 2003 (marked with an asterisk) were for initial orders rather than actual sales, so they’re only roughly compatible with the subsequent figures.

Bear in mind that the figures measure sales to retailers, not customers. Also, these numbers do not include sales to bookstores, newsstands, other mass market retail chains or the United Kingdom. Reorders are included, so long as they either reached stores in a book’s initial month of release or were strong enough to make the chart again in a subsequent month.

If additional copies of an issue did appear on the chart after the book’s initial month of release, you can see the total number of copies sold in parenthesis behind those issues (e.g. “[36,599]”). Should more than one issue have shipped in a month which is relevant for one of the long-term comparisons, the average will be used.

Titles released under the Johnny DC imprint and magazines, such as Mad, mostly sell through channels other than the direct market, so direct-market sales don’t tell us much about their performance. For most Vertigo and some WildStorm titles, collection sales tend to be a significant factor, so the numbers for those books should be taken with a grain of salt as well. To learn (a little) more about Vertigo’s collection sales, go right here.

** Two asterisks after a given month in the average charts mean that one or more periodical release did not make the Top 300 chart in that month. In those cases, it’s assumed that said releases sold as many units as the No. 300 comic on the chart for that month for the purposes of the chart, although its actual sales may be less than that.

—–
Germany-based Marc-Oliver Frisch has a weblog and regularly contributes to Comicgate.

 DC Month to Month Sales: February 2009

Comments

  1. MBunge says:

    Weirdly, when you compare the 6 month numbers to Marvel’s, only about one-third of DC’s books have lost 25% or more of their sales to Marvel’s roughly half. That might be simply because DC books have lower sales generally and therefore don’t have as far to fall.

    Mike

  2. “Women and children first.”

    That made me laugh. The hysterical pitch of that laugh may have been due to the overall horrible, horrible numbers, which for the umpteenth month running made me want to breath into a paper bag to calm my nerves.

    Towards the bottom end of the chart it would be cheaper to phone the remaining readers individually and tell them the story than go through the expense of producing actual issues.

  3. Michael says:

    Of course there’s someone writing the Titans franchise: Dan Didio, the same one who’s been writing it.

  4. “Why hasn’t Kubert been nibbling away at some high-profile project with Geoff Johns, Grant Morrison or J. Michael Straczynski since completing his work on Action Comics?”

    Your phrase “completing his work on Action Comics” is the key to understanding Kubert’s diminished status. My guess is that his chronic delays in completing “Last Son” gave him a bit of a toxic reputation around the DC editorial offices (a well-deserved one, in my opinion).

  5. Scott says:

    “Although there were a number of new series launches from the DC Universe and Vertigo imprints, none of them managed to crack 25K.”

    You can tell this is a far cry from the numbers of the early 90’s. Numbers of these levels would have been cancelled back then. This is pathetic. Good job, Dan! Drive DC into the toilet with your shitty story content that goes from one long (and overwritten) event series into another, which is all based on hype and no has substance or fun.

    Go back to the McDonald’s franchise from which you sprang, Putz!

  6. Isn’t R.E.B.E.L.S. a spin-off of L.E.G.I.O.N.? There’s the Dox connection, but how important is whatever happens in whatever century the Legion of Super-Heroes to a comic set in the present day and current continuity?

  7. Ken B. says:

    The Kuberts have been relegated to “specials” because they can’t keep a monthly schedule.

    Look at the travesty of “Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader?” That was planned a year ago, as a stand alone story to emulate Moore’s work, and Kubert still can’t get two issues done in time.

    In fact Adam has only done 8 issues and some covers during his entire DC contract. Andy has only done 10 issues and some covers, mainly Trinity.

    I wouldn’t use them as artists either if I was DC.

  8. “This time, the idea is for each participating book — and there are a lot of them — to have a backup strip, evidently without affecting the overall page count. So in practice, what it boils down to is that the lead stories are shorter than usual, in favor of a backup story that’s in there because it happens to be “Origins and Omens” month. You can’t really blame people for being skeptical.”

    That is incorrect. The total story page counts per issue of participating “Origins and Omens” books went up by two pages each.

    Just clarifyin’.

    Gail

  9. The Beat says:

    I don’t think the reasons for the Kuberts delays have ever been made public, but I’ve heard there were extenuating circumstances. (And no I don’t know what they are.)

    So please, no name calling or personal aspersions. It is great when artists can keep to a regular schedule, but sometimes it isn’t possible for legitimate reasons.

  10. Jason says:

    I don’t see figures for Vertigo titles like “Air,” “Northlanders” and “Greatest Hits” here or at the iCv2.com link. They can’t be moving fewer units than “Push” and “Wonderful Wizard of Oz,” can they?

  11. Interesting the running theme that a series is underpromoted, like “Vixen”, which I didn’t pick up mainly because I didn’t hear about it until the second or third issue was out. Why does DC run a 2-page spread for the “Flash:Rebirth” comic that is getting publicity everywhere, but nothing for series they’ve GOT to know won’t be selling well?

  12. Henry says:

    Jason, none of those titles shipped in February. Air and Northlanders just had a skip month and the final issue to Greatest Hits has been pushed back to this month.

  13. Alan Coil says:

    Didn’t Kubert sign an exclusive with Marvel?

  14. Alan Coil says:

    austinspace asked:

    “Why does DC run a 2-page spread for the “Flash:Rebirth” comic that is getting publicity everywhere, but nothing for series they’ve GOT to know won’t be selling well? ”

    Because there is no sense spending good money after bad. Vixen was never going to sell in huge numbers, no matter how well it was promoted or how much was spent promoting it. Flash will be a continuing series that will far outstrip Vixen in sales.

  15. Alan Coil says:

    100 – SANDMAN: DREAM HUNTERS (Vertigo)
    11/2008: Dream Hunters #1 of 4 — 32,638
    12/2008: Dream Hunters #2 of 4 — 24,031 (-26.4%)
    01/2009: Dream Hunters #3 of 4 — 21,157 (-12.0%)
    02/2009: Dream Hunters #4 of 4 — 20,109 (- 5.0%)

    Any Vertigo periodical project finishing with sales upwards of 20K is an unusual success for the imprint, these days. Dream Hunters was promoted with 1-for-25 variant-cover editions throughout its run.
    ============
    First I heard of the variant covers. (I don’t read solicits; too many spoilers.) But given that there are 4000 stores serviced by Diamond, that’s only 5 copies per store average. Not many stores would get the variant.

  16. alwaysoptimistic says:

    The Dream Hunters variant covers were quite difficult to find for me. If you are interested, these were the creators:
    #1 was by P Craig Russell
    #2 was by Mike Mignola
    #3 was by Paul Pope
    #4 was by Joe Kubert

  17. Samy Merchi says:

    “Why does DC run a 2-page spread for the “Flash:Rebirth” comic that is getting publicity everywhere, but nothing for series they’ve GOT to know won’t be selling well?”

    The only theory I have is the following:

    DC believes that promotion works on a percentile basis rather than absolute numbers basis. In other words, they believe a 2-page spread of promotion would bring up sales by, say, 5% rather than, say, 5000 units.

    If they have this belief, then it makes sense to use the advertising on books that already do high numbers. Boosting a 100k book by 5% is 5000 additional units sold. Boosting a 10k book by 5% is only 500 additional units sold.

    I’m not entirely convinced that advertising boosts *are* on a percentile basis rather than on an absolute units basis. But if that’s what DC believes, then it would make sense to promote the higher selling books.

  18. Supergirl
    Sales are holding level in the middle of a storyline, with no stunts or gimmicks attached. That’s very unusual, obviously. It seems the new creative team is on to something.

    Or, alternatively, it might also mean that the completists caught on to the little triangle symbol on the cover that now marks Supergirl as an official part of the Superman line.

    I’d think it’s more that the creative team is on to something. I’ll admit I got suckered into buying the book because it was going to be tying in more closely with Action and Superman, but now, Supergirl is at the top of the stack each week it comes out while I’m close to dropping the two now Superman-less series from my pull.

  19. Jack Harkness says:

    So to sum up: DC’s sales are in the toilet or declining on everything not called “Green Lantern,” the writer of JLA is publicly unhappy, no one is writing Titans, and Jeebus only knows when part 2 of the Gaiman Batman thing will see the light of day.

    Well, gee, how DARE those unwashed fanboys criticize DC’s editorial direction!

  20. Alan Coil says:

    So to sum up: All sales are in the toilet.

  21. Dennis V. says:

    “Detective Comics #853, the second part of the story, was originally scheduled for February as well, but the book is late and, as I’m writing this, is delayed until April 22.”

    Two months late (at least)? What a bunch of bullshit. When will these publishers stand up to these creators who can’t seem to meet a deadline (continually)?

  22. Dennis V. says:

    Alan Coil wrote: “So to sum up: All sales are in the toilet.”

    Maybe… but some seem to be in the process of being pulled to the bottom of the bowl (DC) while others are still managing to float at the top (Marvel).

  23. Heinz Hochkoepper says:

    I’ll never understand why people feel the need to post these doom and gloom, “sales are in the toilet” comments. Let’s look at the three imprints seperately:

    DCU: Average periodical sales are almost exactly at the same level as 5 years ago (5 years : – 1.3%). Of course there were lots of sales bumps inbetween, and another one is surely coming up, as there is no doubt that Blackest Night will do pretty well. No reason for concern here.

    Vertigo: Average periodical sales have declined as TPB sales have risen. I just wish more people would read (and remember!) Brian Wood’s incredibly frank statements on this subject (he gives another one in the Millarworld thread about this very post) so they might get the simple fact that Vertigo is doing just fine into their thick skulls.

    Wildstorm: By all available data, this imprint is indeed doing badly, though there is the not-quite-irrelevant fact that, according to Rich Johnston and others, it publishes the best-selling comics books in the western hemisphere (the licensed properties). The exact nature of this seems to be unknown, but it’s certainly food for thought.

  24. Alan, Adam Kubert is back with Marvel, though no idea if he signed an exclusive with them or not.

    He said in a Newsarama interview that when he went to DC, all he wanted to do was Superman, and after he did the six issues, he really didn’t want to do much else.

    So DC REALLY paid well for 3 years exclusivity there!

    Andy however is not through with DC yet and still has other work planeed with them at least according to Didio.

    And Heidi, I’m one who believes that least when extenuating circumstances cause delays like what the Kuberts have gone through (exeption of course for the passing of their mother), more info should be given out to the retailers/fans so at least we don’t sit around complaining on message boards.

    We’re an understanding bunch when we’re treated like adults.

  25. “and Jeebus only knows when part 2 of the Gaiman Batman thing will see the light of day.”

    That’s odd. I have a Westfield Comics catalog that has a listing for a hardcover graphic novel of the “Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader” by Gaiman. It’s also listed on Amazon.

    http://www.amazon.com/Batman-Whatever-Happened-Crusader-Hardcover/dp/1401223036

  26. Sonic2nd, just because a date is listed by Westfield and Amazon doesn’t mean it’s set in stone. The internet is full of misinformation and not all of it is intended.

  27. not mike carlin says:

    The only ‘late’ artist i have any sympathy for is George Perez. Most others are still young and haven’t really earned the benefit of the doubt.

    In the ‘real world’ people lose family (or whatever) all the time and are still somehow expected to show up to work once in a while.

  28. Jon in Austin says:

    The Mighty is really good – I picked it up for the artist and like what I see – but I don’t expect it to last beyond six issues due to zero promotion. What’s the point of even bringing a product to market if you aren’t going to make an effort to sell it?

  29. Torsten Adair says:

    The hardcover collection of Gaiman’s Batman stories is due to ship in early July, to coincide with Moore’s collection of Superman stories. How does the delay affect production? Extra cost to airfreight the books?

    As for variants, I wait for the trade, since they are usually placed in the appendix of the collection.

    The only DC periodical I buy is the Johnny DC Supergirl miniseries. I’l give the Vertigo Noir titles a chance. Wish Wildstorm would produce more Pushing Daisies comics.

  30. Scalped numbers are completely stable! HUZZAH! The other shocker is that REBELS launched so poorly. Great story and great art! I don’t even follow LEGION, never read any of the previous volumes, and found the story interesting and easy to follow. I am surprised by the line-wide direction of the Superman titles; I was initially off-put about it, but continued picking up Supes and Action. The new direction is really interesting and well done.

  31. MBunge says:

    “Because there is no sense spending good money after bad. Vixen was never going to sell in huge numbers, no matter how well it was promoted or how much was spent promoting it. Flash will be a continuing series that will far outstrip Vixen in sales.”

    And that short-sighted approach is one of the reasons why comic sales are in the toilet. The reasons why you promote a title like Vixen at least a bit instead of just throwing everything behind Flash are…

    1. Get the folks who are already going to be buying Flash to try Vixen. Which is more likely, getting an extra 10 thousand people to buy Flash or getting 10 thousand people who are buying Flash to also buy Vixen?

    2. People who might never buy Flash, no matter what, might buy Vixen.

    Mike

  32. Louis Lane says:

    Re: Adventure Comics and Entry-Level Books

    >DC Comics is simply not interested in selling its comics to people who don’t already read them. I’m not making this up.

  33. Louis Lane says:

    This is the second time I’ve posted a comment, only to have most of what I’ve written fail to appear. I guess I’ll just give up and lurk.

    LL

  34. Alan Coil says:

    Mike said:

    “And that short-sighted approach is one of the reasons why comic sales are in the toilet.”

    Yes, it is.

  35. Pedro Bouça says:

    “Wildstorm: By all available data, this imprint is indeed doing badly, though there is the not-quite-irrelevant fact that, according to Rich Johnston and others, it publishes the best-selling comics books in the western hemisphere (the licensed properties). The exact nature of this seems to be unknown, but it’s certainly food for thought. ”

    Do I have to repeat this every time? NO US COMIC IS THE BEST-SELLING WESTERN COMIC NOWADAYS!

    A new Asterix book sells about seven million copies. Italy’s Topolino (Mickey) magazine sells over 300k a WEEK.

    Comic sales on the US are incredibly low considering its enormous population and wealth. Not that long ago there were monthly US comics selling over half a million copies every month, but the US comics industry did a remarkable job alienating itself from its audience.

    Best,
    Hunter (Pedro Bouça)

  36. Why in the world would anyone read Veritgo in single issues when the trades tend to be cheaper when they come out?

    I was FURIOUS when the trade of House of Mystery was 30% less than what I paid for ad-laden singles.

    Once the new arc finishes, I’m done with it. Right now, my pull list is about 3-5 comics a month and shrinking regularly. Trades all the way.

  37. morganagrom says:

    It wouldn’t be surprising if lots of Vertigo readers feel that way.

    House of Mystery paperback was a good deal? Try Northlanders Vol. 1: Sven The Returned which costs 58% less than buying the ad-filled pamphlets. Maybe some people prefer getting to read the story in advance over months and months, but a lot of people might prefer the extra $14 to put towards volume 2 (it’s $15 and comes out this summer and costs $3 less than buying the same story as pamphlets).

    DC’s website also lists the first Madame Xanadu paperback as containing the first 10 pamphlets for only $13. That’s a 56% price break and an extra $17 in the wallet.

    With deals like that, it’s no wonder why the Vertigo numbers (as reflected in this column) appear to drop the way they do.

  38. Heinz Hochkoepper says:

    “Why in the world would anyone read Veritgo in single issues when the trades tend to be cheaper when they come out?”

    Well, as morganagrom mentioned, those huge discounts only seem to apply to each book’s first trade. For this reason, I’ve decided to try out promising new series via trade. On the other hand, I still prefer the singles with long-running series, for the simple reason that I don’t want to wait half a year or longer for each new installment. Just think of the upcoming Fables crossover: surely it’s much more fun to pick up a new part of this almost every week than to read it in one huge chunk.

  39. Callum says:

    I like some of the Vertigo titles but most of the DCU comics other than Batman and Green Lantern-related ones are either not terribly good or I have no idea what’s going on. They’re too obtuse for me and remind me of Avenger comics in the 80s when half the characters spoke in stilted dialogue and they were always off fighting in space or fixing time continuum problems.
    I am glad that Scalped went up a bit after a few months of decline. And I think Secret Six will probably start to have slight increases as time goes on through good word of mouth. I hear it mentioned in a postive light fairly often.
    Your analyses, while gloomily, seemed pretty dead on for the most part. Thanks!

  40. morganagrom says:

    “Well, as morganagrom mentioned, those huge discounts only seem to apply to each book’s first trade.”

    In many cases, the savings still add up over the life of a series. For instance, when the final volume of 100 Bullets is published in July, the difference between buying the 100 pamphlets ($268) and the 13 paperbacks ($185) is $83, just over 30% savings.

    “Just think of the upcoming Fables crossover: surely it’s much more fun to pick up a new part of this almost every week than to read it in one huge chunk.”

    For some people, yes, if they don’t mind spending the extra money.

    Others will probably appreciate that the paperback will probably run about $20 vs. $27 for the 9 pamphlets.

    It will be interesting to see whether Jack of Fables (and the Literals) rise to Fables numbers or whether they stay at expected levels, perhaps with a slight bump.

  41. TonyC says:

    I do find it interesting that very few comments here mention trades as a major factor in sales declines, other than the Vertigo stuff. I can’t even list the number of people I know that don’t pick up floppies anymore because it’s more economical to get the books, and, of course, the way they line up so pretty on the shelf has high appeal to our kind!

    Dan D. – I’m sure he’s a nice man and all, but as several have mentioned, the editorial direction at DC is just south of pathetic. There is NO excuse for all the delays and the constant ‘events’ (who really thought “faces of evil” would be a good idea or generate any sales, other than Dan? Is he running the ship solo there? Is there no one to stand up and say “hey… maybe there are better ideas than this!”

    Jonah Hex – I’ve heard several times that the title pulls its weight with the trades… I don’t think ‘editorial favor’ is the reason it’s still going. I get all the trades, love them, and would not pay the outrageous price for the floppies. Same for Sgt. Rock and the Haunted Tank – I’m all over them when the books come out.

    One other thing – I don’t read too much about the Geoff Johns factor. I was really getting into Action/Superman, and then, OF COURSE, they get greedy as soon as they sniff something good going on and all of a sudden GJ is off to a mini-series chaos breaks out. ANOTHER good thing that was on the way that was blown by editorial… greed.

  42. There may be hope for the Mighty yet… issue 3 was given the “hot! hot! hot!” placard at my LCS, and they only had one copy left. The checkout clerk said they’d had to reorder both 1 and 2. Good word of mouth? It is an interesting story.

  43. Gail:

    “The total story page counts per issue of participating “Origins and Omens” books went up by two pages each.”

    My bad. The solicitation copy gave the total page count as 32 pages, as usual, so I presumed the “Origins and Omens” backups were at the expense of the lead story. I should have double-checked that.

  44. metalfanatic says:

    and now, a pet peeve of mine:

    QUIT CALLING THEM “FLOPPIES! QUIT CALLING THEM “PAMPHLETS”!

    Floppies are DISKS, and pamphlets are wht you get at the free clinic!

    Acceptable terms are: comics, comic books, issues, perodicals, monthlies, pubications, and “overpriced collectibles”

Trackbacks

  1. […] THE BEAT » Blog Archive » DC Month-to-Month Sales: February 2009 […]

  2. […] ICEBERG, DEAD AHEAD! The Beat has posted the respective month-to-month sales-and-commentary charts for Marvel and DC. This particular comment, from Mark Clapham in the DC thread, caused me to laugh the laugh of the damned: Towards the bottom end of the chart it would be cheaper to phone the remaining readers individually and tell them the story than go through the expense of producing actual issues. […]

  3. […] Marc-Oliver Frisch presents month-to-month comparisons for DC Comics’ sales to Direct Market retailers, now updated for February. […]

  4. […] Yikes. I knew from flip-throughs and keeping an eye on the solicitations that the title has been creatively…chaotic, but I didn’t realize it had gotten that bad. Even more depressing? JLoA is one of DC’s best-sellers, sometimes the best-selling title, depending on what’s up with Batman during that particular month. […]

  5. […] 48 dc-month-to-month-sales-febroary-2009/ […]

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