DC Month-to-Month Sales: September 2012

scoobydoo25 DC Month to Month Sales: September 2012
by Marc-Oliver Frisch

One year after the big relaunch, DC wanted to give its superhero line another jolt by borrowing a gimmick from the glory days of 1994 and releasing “zero” issues of all of the “New 52″ titles.

In terms of average sales, this means an increase of more than 1,000 units compared to August. Of course, these are sales to retailers, and increases based on this type of gimmick never stick around for subsequent issues, but the fact that retailers have enough faith in DC to support the initiative to this degree is good news, certainly.

Overall, in the 115 months since March 2003 that we have comparable data on, September 2012 is No. 39 in terms of average DC Universe unit sales (39,408), No. 8 in total DCU dollar sales ($8.7 million) and No. 11 in total DCU unit sales (2.6 million). All of which is, once again, impressive. However, it’s also the month with the 7th-highest number of new DCU titles on sale (67) during that period, so in that context, the high total unit and dollar figures aren’t as spectacular as it might seem at first glance. On balance, though, it’s another more than solid month.

Speaking of the number of new monthly DC Universe titles, this bears repeating: While the official spin is that DC has reduced the monthly number of new superhero releases, the opposite is true. From March 2003 through 2006, the average monthly number of new DCU titles was 47; from 2007 through 2009, it rose to 52; from 2010 through August 2011, it went up to 57. In the year since the relaunch, it’s now approaching 64. In September 2012, incidentally, the number of “New 52″ titles alone was 55, thanks to an overlap of titles that are being cancelled with their replacements.

As I mention above, September was the one-year anniversary of the “New 52″ relaunch, so it’s worth taking a closer look at the longer-term comparisons this month. Given the nature of the relaunch, it goes without saying that none of the “New 52″ titles went up in sales compared to September 2011. However, there are still some clear winners and losers.

The 10 books that held on to the highest percentages of their debut sales over the last year, as of September 2012, are Animal Man (83.2%), Batman (83.1%), Aquaman and Nightwing (76.2% each), Swamp Thing (73.3%), Detective Comics (73.2%), Batman and Robin (73.0%), Red Hood and the Outlaws (70.4%), Batman: The Dark Knight (66.7%) and Catwoman (65.6%). The 10 titles that held on to the smallest percentages of their debut sales are Captain Atom (31.6%), Firestorm and Hawkman (33.5% each), Voodoo (35.3%), Blue Beetle (38.0%), Grifter (38.2%), DC Universe Presents (38.1%), Resurrection Man (39.9%) and Legion Lost (40.5%). (Note that these comparisons do not include Justice League, whose debut issue came out in August 2011 rather than in September, or the seven initial “New 52″ titles that were cancelled prior to September 2012.)

As far as the boosts for the “zero” issues are concerned, the notable thing is that only 11 of the 45 current “New 52″ titles that were around six months ago display a sales increase in their six-month comparison, and out of those 11, three are titles that are about to be axed. So, while the overall figures of the DC Universe imprint keep suggesting a healthy market position for DC’s comic-book line, there is still a considerable underlying rot that keeps eating away at the line, and which is being masked by things like the release of Annuals for the better-selling titles, or the Before Watchmen books, or the replacement of lower-selling “New 52″ titles with new ones.

Speaking of replacement “New 52″ titles, DC launched another set of those in September: Talon, Phantom Stranger, Team 7 and Sword of Sorcery. And, as usual, their sales were reduced by Diamond for the purposes of the chart, to compensate for the fact that they were made returnable under certain conditions. With the initial “New 52″ titles, that reduction was by a token 10%, or very close to that number, so, once again, I’m running with that and adding the missing 10% to the figures of those titles for as long as the reduction applies. Ideally, this will give us more accurate figures. At worst, the figures you see below on these titles are a different type of wrong than what Diamond provides. In the past, my approach has always turned out to be correct once the reduction period stopped, though, so there’s a good chance it will be again. If it turns out to be grossly wrong, we’ll know about it in a few months.

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

—–

288 - SCOOBY DOO: WHERE ARE YOU? (Johnny DC)
09/2007: Scooby Doo #124 -- 4,401
09/2008: Scooby Doo #136 -- 4,283
09/2009: Scooby Doo #148 -- 4,103
09/2010: SD:WAY? #1      -- 6,186
---------------------------------
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%)
01/2012: SD:WAY? #17     -- 4,533 (- 2.0%)
02/2012: SD:WAY? #18     -- 4,655 (+ 2.7%)
03/2012: SD:WAY? #19     -- 4,677 (+ 0.5%)
04/2012: SD:WAY? #20     -- 4,752 (+ 1.6%)
05/2012: SD:WAY? #21     -- 5,269 (+10.9%)
06/2012: SD:WAY? #22     -- 4,968 (- 5.7%)
07/2012: SD:WAY? #23     -- 4,934 (- 0.7%)
08/2012: SD:WAY? #24     -- ?
09/2012: SD:WAY? #25     -- 4,979
----------------
6 months: + 6.5%
1 year  : + 5.9%
2 years : -19.5%
5 years : +13.1%

Scooby-Doo was pushed off the Top 300 chart last month by better-selling titles, but it’s certainly earning its way back in.

The popular though still unproven notion that this type of book thrives on sales via subscriptions, mass retail stores or libraries aside, direct-market figures are rock-solid here.

There is a surprisingly resilient group of Scooby-Doo fans out there that gets its monthly fix in comic-book stores.

—–

255 - NIGHT FORCE
03/2012: Night Force #1 of 6 -- 13,174
04/2012: Night Force #2 of 6 --  9,698 (-26.4%)
05/2012: Night Force #3 of 6 --  8,458 (-12.8%)
06/2012: Night Force #4 of 7 --  7,768 (- 8.2%)
07/2012: Night Force #5 of 7 --  7,222 (- 7.0%)
08/2012: Night Force #6 of 7 --  6,637 (- 8.1%)
09/2012: Night Force #7 of 7 --  6,402 (- 3.5%)
----------------
6 months: -51.4%

The lowest-selling DC Universe title in September concludes with god-awful sales.

—–

250 - GREEN LANTERN: THE ANIMATED SERIES (Johnny DC)
11/2011: GL: TAS #0 -- 13,569
-----------------------------
04/2012: GL: TAS #1 -- 12,791
05/2012: GL: TAS #2 --  9,615 (-24.8%)
06/2012: GL: TAS #3 --  8,716 (- 9.4%)
07/2012: GL: TAS #4 --  7,790 (-10.6%)
08/2012: GL: TAS #5 --  6,968 (-10.6%)
09/2012: GL: TAS #6 --  6,619 (- 5.0%)

The Green Lantern title for kids hasn’t found its level, but… no, wait: the Green Lantern title for kids. As opposed to the other Green Lantern titles that DC publishes, you know: the ones with the genocides, the rapes, the beheadings, and all the other things that point to the intellectual and emotional maturity of these Green Lantern comics and the adult human beings that read them.

This, you see, is not one of those emotionally mature and intellectually sophisticated adult Green Lantern comics.

It’s the Green Lantern comic for kids.

—–

230 - SWEET TOOTH (Vertigo)
09/2009: Sweet Tooth #1  -- 18,657
09/2010: Sweet Tooth #13 --  9,097
----------------------------------
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%)
01/2012: Sweet Tooth #29 --  8,128 (+ 5.6%)
02/2012: Sweet Tooth #30 --  7,584 (- 6.7%)
03/2012: Sweet Tooth #31 --  7,541 (- 0.6%)
04/2012: Sweet Tooth #32 --  7,534 (- 0.1%)
05/2012: Sweet Tooth #33 --  7,631 (+ 1.3%)
06/2012: Sweet Tooth #34 --  7,689 (+ 0.8%)
07/2012: Sweet Tooth #35 --  7,558 (- 1.7%)
08/2012: Sweet Tooth #36 --  7,441 (- 1.6%)
09/2012: Sweet Tooth #37 --  7,333 (- 1.5%)
----------------
6 months: - 2.8%
1 year  : - 7.1%
2 years : -19.4%

Ending with issue #40.

—–

225 - YOUNG JUSTICE (Johnny DC)
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%)
01/2012: Young Justice #12 --  7,288 (+ 0.9%)
02/2012: Young Justice #13 --  7,237 (- 0.7%)
03/2012: Young Justice #14 --  7,241 (+ 0.1%)
04/2012: Young Justice #15 --  7,273 (+ 0.4%)
05/2012: Young Justice #16 --  7,466 (+ 2.7%)
06/2012: Young Justice #17 --  7,459 (- 0.1%)
07/2012: Young Justice #18 --  7,458 (- 0.0%)
08/2012: Young Justice #19 --  7,375 (- 1.1%)
09/2012: Young Justice #20 --  7,515 (+ 1.9%)
----------------
6 months: + 3.8%
1 year  : - 5.2%

“The Invasion Starts Here!” it says on the cover of Young Justice #20, and that must have sounded more exciting to the direct-market readership than the “Gorilla Warfare” tag line on the cover of issue #19 — the 527th DC comic to feature that tag line, studies have found.

Either way, Young Justice is another Johnny DC title with a sturdy direct-market audience.

—–

213 - THE NEW DEADWARDIANS (Vertigo)
03/2012: New Deadwardians #1 of 8 -- 14,530
04/2012: New Deadwardians #2 of 8 -- 10,229 (-29.6%)
05/2012: New Deadwardians #3 of 8 --  9,594 (- 6.2%)
06/2012: New Deadwardians #4 of 8 --  9,124 (- 4.9%)
07/2012: New Deadwardians #5 of 8 --  8,784 (- 3.7%)
08/2012: New Deadwardians #6 of 8 --  8,383 (- 4.6%)
09/2012: New Deadwardians #7 of 8 --  8,080 (- 3.6%)
----------------
6 months: -44.4%

Average Vertigo sales got a bit of a break in September, because the low-selling Scalped has ended and the final issue of the lower-selling Dominique Laveau slipped into October.

That said, the imprint’s comic-book sales still don’t look particularly hopeful, and neither do their prospects. New Deadwardians, which was part of the most recent wave of new launches back in March 2012, hasn’t dropped as much as it could have, to its credit, but they’re still going to be happy that it’s just a miniseries.

—–

210 - SAUCER COUNTRY (Vertigo)
03/2012: Saucer Country #1  -- 15,684
04/2012: Saucer Country #2  -- 11,263 (-28.2%)
05/2012: Saucer Country #3  -- 10,656 (- 5.4%)
06/2012: Saucer Country #4  --  9,959 (- 6.5%)
07/2012: Saucer Country #5  --  9,470 (- 4.9%)
08/2012: Saucer Country #6  --  8,700 (- 8.1%)
09/2012: Saucer Country #7  --  8,152 (- 6.3%)
----------------
6 months: -48.0%

The same cannot be said about Saucer Country, unfortunately. The names Paul Cornell and Ryan Kelley, established creators with a good degree of critical acclaim to back them up, don’t seem to be helping at all here, which I admit is somewhat unexpected. Sales still haven’t levelled out yet, and given the rather less patient approach of the new DC regime, some clock is probably already ticking down somewhere.

The book’s future is hinging on the sales of the first collection, which comes out in November, I would guess.

—–

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

Right in time for Zack Snyder’s upcoming Man of Steel, DC is establishing a Superman title for kids. Good for them.

—–

198 - THE UNWRITTEN (Vertigo)
09/2009: The Unwritten #5  -- 16,011
09/2010: The Unwritten #17 -- 12,796
------------------------------------
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%)
01/2012: The Unwritten #33 --  9,888 (+ 1.3%)
01/2012: The Unwritten #.5 --  9,483 (- 4.1%)
02/2012: The Unwritten #34 --  9,789 (+ 3.2%)
02/2012: The Unwritten #.5 --  9,595 (- 2.0%)
03/2012: The Unwritten #35 --  9,675 (+ 0.8%)
03/2012: The Unwritten #.5 --  9,529 (- 1.5%)
04/2012: The Unwritten #36 --  9,678 (+ 1.6%)
05/2012: The Unwritten #37 --  9,549 (- 1.3%)
06/2012: The Unwritten #38 --  9,494 (- 0.6%)
07/2012: The Unwritten #39 --  9,478 (- 0.2%)
08/2012: The Unwritten #40 --  9,127 (- 3.7%)
09/2012: The Unwritten #41 --  8,943 (- 2.0%)
----------------
6 months: - 6.9%
1 year  : -14.9%
2 years : -30.1%

The Unwritten dips below 9,000 units for the first time. Its paperback collections sell better than those of most of the other current Vertigo titles, so the book may be somewhat less dependent on its comic-book numbers. Once more, though, Vertigo haven’t been as patient with low-selling titles as they used to be lately.

—–

196 - HELLBLAZER (Vertigo)
09/2007: Hellblazer #236 -- 12,938
09/2008: Hellblazer #247 -- 11,851
09/2009: Hellblazer #259 -- 10,813
09/2010: Hellblazer #271 --  9,851
----------------------------------
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%)
01/2012: Hellblazer #287 --  9,368 (-0.4%)
02/2012: Hellblazer #288 --  9,553 (+2.0%)
03/2012: Hellblazer #289 --  9,363 (-2.0%)
04/2012: Hellblazer #290 --  9,472 (+1.2%)
05/2012: Hellblazer #291 --  9,426 (-0.5%)
06/2012: Hellblazer #292 --  9,533 (+1.1%)
07/2012: Hellblazer #293 --  9,247 (-3.0%)
08/2012: Hellblazer #294 --  9,396 (+1.6%)
09/2012: Hellblazer #295 --  9,143 (-2.7%)
----------------
6 months: - 2.4%
1 year  : - 4.7%
2 years : - 4.6%
5 years : -29.3%

Very stable figures over the last two years. There’s still a drain going on, but it’s relatively slow.

—–

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

Holding level. An encouraging sign, certainly. It’s not surprising that DC are holding on to Sean G. Murphy for future projects.

—–

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

That’s a very steep second-issue drop for a miniseries, but DC has already commissioned a follow-up anyway, starring yet another character from the Freedom Fighters’ corner of the DC Universe.

—–

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

National Comics is missing from the December and January solicitations, but DC evidently wants to continue publishing it, nonetheless, despite the low sales figures. I suppose it depends on the creative teams what the book’s prospects look like.

—–

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

This spin-off from one of Vertigo’s two most important franchises is doing relatively well, but will probably do most of its business once the whole miniseries is being collected, anyway.

—–

156 - 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%)
01/2012: Shade #4  of 12 -- 17,512 (- 7.5%)
02/2012: Shade #5  of 12 -- 16,255 (- 7.2%)
03/2012: Shade #6  of 12 -- 16,005 (- 1.5%)
04/2012: Shade #7  of 12 -- 15,499 (- 3.2%)
05/2012: Shade #8  of 12 -- 15,051 (- 2.9%)
06/2012: Shade #9  of 12 -- 14,818 (- 1.6%)
07/2012: Shade #10 of 12 -- 14,257 (- 3.8%)
08/2012: Shade #11 of 12 -- 13,828 (- 3.0%)
09/2012: Shade #12 of 12 -- 13,660 (- 1.2%)
----------------
6 months: -14.7%

The maxiseries concludes with predictably low numbers for a fringe DC Universe character. Thanks to its roster of high-profile artists, I guess collections might end up selling better than you’d expect for this type of project, though.

—–

154 - 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%)
01/2012: Captain Atom #5  -- 17,437 (-12.4%)
02/2012: Captain Atom #6  -- 15,220 (-12.7%)
03/2012: Captain Atom #7  -- 13,738 (- 9.7%)
04/2012: Captain Atom #8  -- 13,001 (- 5.4%)
05/2012: Captain Atom #9  -- 12,264 (- 5.7%)
06/2012: Captain Atom #10 -- 11,546 (- 5.9%)
07/2012: Captain Atom #11 -- 11,041 (- 4.4%)
08/2012: Captain Atom #12 -- 10,445 (- 5.4%)
09/2012: Captain Atom #0  -- 13,934 (+33.4%)
----------------
6 months: + 1.4%
1 year  : -68.4%

—–

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

—–

150 - 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%)
01/2012: Voodoo #5  -- 17,683 (-14.6%)
02/2012: Voodoo #6  -- 16,422 (- 7.1%)
03/2012: Voodoo #7  -- 15,097 (- 8.1%)
04/2012: Voodoo #8  -- 14,589 (- 3.4%)
05/2012: Voodoo #9  -- 13,762 (- 5.7%)
06/2012: Voodoo #10 -- 12,928 (- 6.1%)
07/2012: Voodoo #11 -- 12,120 (- 6.3%)
08/2012: Voodoo #12 -- 11,328 (- 6.5%)
09/2012: Voodoo #0  -- 14,223 (+25.6%)
----------------
6 months: - 5.8%
1 year  : -64.7%

—–

145 - AMERICAN VAMPIRE (Vertigo)
09/2010: American Vampire #6  -- 23,349
---------------------------------------
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%)
01/2012: American Vampire #23 -- 14,240 (- 3.5%)
02/2012: American Vampire #24 -- 14,278 (+ 0.3%)
03/2012: American Vampire #25 -- 14,598 (+ 2.2%)
04/2012: American Vampire #26 -- 14,493 (- 0.7%)
05/2012: American Vampire #27 -- 14,420 (- 0.5%)
06/2012: American Vampire #28 -- 15,573 (+ 8.0%)
07/2012: American Vampire #29 -- 15,324 (- 1.6%)
08/2012: American Vampire #30 -- 15,081 (- 1.6%)
09/2012: American Vampire #31 -- 14,796 (- 1.9%)
----------------
6 months: + 1.4%
1 year  : - 3.2%
2 years : -36.6%

American Vampire is going on hiatus after issue #34, because Scott Snyder and Rafael Albuquerque are going to work on a DC Universe book instead, which is meant to make them and the company more money.

They want to return to American Vampire in late 2013, though. Whether or not American Vampire: Lord of Nightmares artist Dustin Nguyen will return to Wildcats Version 3.0 in late 2013 as well, though, as initially announced when he left, DC didn’t say, unfortunately.

Either way, the book’s absence will be felt in Vertigo’s figures.

—–

141 - 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%)
01/2012: Grifter #5  -- 20,060 (-10.8%)
02/2012: Grifter #6  -- 18,057 (-10.0%)
03/2012: Grifter #7  -- 16,559 (- 8.3%)
04/2012: Grifter #8  -- 15,686 (- 5.3%)
05/2012: Grifter #9  -- 15,228 (- 2.9%)
06/2012: Grifter #10 -- 14,258 (- 6.4%)
07/2012: Grifter #11 -- 13,382 (- 6.1%)
08/2012: Grifter #12 -- 12,400 (- 7.3%)
09/2012: Grifter #0  -- 15,751 (+27.0%)
----------------
6 months: - 4.9%
1 year  : -61.8%

—–

137 - FABLES (Vertigo)
09/2007: Fables #65  -- 25,311
09/2008: Fables #75  -- 25,266
09/2008: Fables #76  -- 23,914
09/2009: Fables #88  -- 21,508
09/2010: Fables #98  -- 19,594
------------------------------
09/2011: Fables #109 -- 18,072 (- 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%)
01/2012: Fables #113 -- 17,588 (- 0.1%)
02/2012: Fables #114 -- 17,374 (- 1.2%)
03/2012: Fables #115 -- 17,384 (+ 0.1%)
04/2012: Fables #116 -- 17,543 (+ 0.9%)
05/2012: Fables #117 -- 17,484 (- 0.3%)
06/2012: Fables #118 -- 18,566 (+ 6.2%)
07/2012: Fables #119 -- 17,110 (- 7.8%)
08/2012: Fables #120 -- 16,704 (- 2.4%)
09/2012: Fables #121 -- 16,596 (- 0.7%)
----------------
6 months: - 4.5%
1 year  : - 8.2%
2 years : -15.3%
5 years : -34.4%

The flagship title of the one remaining big Vertigo franchise is stabilizing again, though well below the 17K mark.

—–

136 - 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%)
01/2012: Resurrection Man #5  -- 20,750 (-10.0%)
02/2012: Resurrection Man #6  -- 18,569 (-10.5%)
03/2012: Resurrection Man #7  -- 17,176 (- 7.5%)
04/2012: Resurrection Man #8  -- 16,664 (- 3.0%)
05/2012: Resurrection Man #9  -- 18,018 (+ 8.1%)
06/2012: Resurrection Man #10 -- 15,481 (-14.1%)
07/2012: Resurrection Man #11 -- 14,715 (- 5.0%)
08/2012: Resurrection Man #12 -- 13,741 (- 6.6%)
09/2012: Resurrection Man #0  -- 16,672 (+21.3%)
----------------
6 months: - 2.9%
1 year  : -60.1%

—–

135 - BLUE BEETLE
09/2007: Blue Beetle #19 -- 15,737
09/2008: Blue Beetle #31 -- 12,302
----------------------------------
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%)
01/2012: Blue Beetle #5  -- 19,042 (-11.1%)
02/2012: Blue Beetle #6  -- 17,034 (-10.6%)
03/2012: Blue Beetle #7  -- 15,780 (- 7.4%)
04/2012: Blue Beetle #8  -- 15,180 (- 3.8%)
05/2012: Blue Beetle #9  -- 16,607 (+ 9.4%)
06/2012: Blue Beetle #10 -- 14,413 (-13.2%)
07/2012: Blue Beetle #11 -- 13,923 (- 3.4%)
08/2012: Blue Beetle #12 -- 13,325 (- 4.3%)
09/2012: Blue Beetle #0  -- 16,888 (+26.7%)
-----------------
6 months: +  7.0%
1 year  : - 62.0%
5 years : +  7.3%

—–

132 - THE FURY OF FIRESTORM: THE NUCLEAR MEN
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%)
01/2012: Firestorm #5  -- 21,329 (-16.7%)
02/2012: Firestorm #6  -- 19,162 (-10.2%)
03/2012: Firestorm #7  -- 17,786 (- 7.2%)
04/2012: Firestorm #8  -- 17,076 (- 4.0%)
05/2012: Firestorm #9  -- 17,240 (+ 1.0%)
06/2012: Firestorm #10 -- 15,789 (- 8.4%)
07/2012: Firestorm #11 -- 14,931 (- 5.4%)
08/2012: Firestorm #12 -- 14,137 (- 5.3%)
09/2012: Firestorm #0  -- 17,279 (+22.2%)
----------------
6 months: - 2.9%
1 year  : -66.5%

—–

130 - 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%)
01/2012: DCU Presents #5  -- 22,048 (- 9.6%)
02/2012: DCU Presents #6  -- 20,188 (- 8.4%)
03/2012: DCU Presents #7  -- 17,830 (-11.7%)
04/2012: DCU Presents #8  -- 16,566 (- 7.1%)
05/2012: DCU Presents #9  -- 15,776 (- 4.8%)
06/2012: DCU Presents #10 -- 14,310 (- 9.3%)
07/2012: DCU Presents #11 -- 13,619 (- 4.8%)
08/2012: DCU Presents #12 -- 15,138 (+11.2%)
09/2012: DCU Presents #0  -- 17,528 (+15.8%)
----------------
6 months: - 1.7%
1 year  : -61.7%

—–

128 - 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%)
12/2011: I, Vampire #4  -- 21,601 (-17.1%)
01/2012: I, Vampire #5  -- 18,816 (-12.9%)
02/2012: I, Vampire #6  -- 18,153 (- 3.5%)
03/2012: I, Vampire #7  -- 18,440 (+ 1.6%)
04/2012: I, Vampire #8  -- 18,717 (+ 1.5%)
05/2012: I, Vampire #9  -- 17,175 (- 8.2%)
06/2012: I, Vampire #10 -- 16,517 (- 3.8%)
07/2012: I, Vampire #11 -- 15,734 (- 4.7%)
08/2012: I, Vampire #12 -- 14,788 (- 6.0%)
09/2012: I, Vampire #0  -- 17,920 (+21.2%)
----------------
6 months: - 2.8%
1 year  : -54.8%

—–

126 - 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%)
12/2011: Frankenstein #4          -- 24,812 (-22.1%)
01/2012: Frankenstein #5          -- 22,737 (- 8.4%)
02/2012: Frankenstein #6          -- 20,463 (-10.0%)
03/2012: Frankenstein #7          -- 18,891 (- 7.7%)
04/2012: Frankenstein #8          -- 17,953 (- 5.0%)
05/2012: Frankenstein #9          -- 17,266 (- 3.8%)
06/2012: Frankenstein #10         -- 16,377 (- 5.2%)
07/2012: Frankenstein #11         -- 15,635 (- 4.5%)
08/2012: Frankenstein #12         -- 14,679 (- 6.1%)
09/2012: Frankenstein #0          -- 18,122 (+23.5%)
----------------
6 months: - 4.1%
1 year  : -56.4%

—–

125 - FAIREST (Vertigo)
03/2012: Fairest #1  -- 31,769
04/2012: Fairest #2  -- 22,997 (-27.6%)
05/2012: Fairest #3  -- 22,329 (- 2.9%)
06/2012: Fairest #4  -- 21,156 (- 5.3%)
07/2012: Fairest #5  -- 20,371 (- 3.7%)
08/2012: Fairest #6  -- 19,446 (- 4.5%)
09/2012: Fairest #7  -- 18,626 (- 4.2%)
----------------
6 months: -41.4%

The original creative team has moved on, but surprisingly there’s not much of a sales drain yet as a result. If this continues to be the case when the regular new creative team takes over in October, it would be an extremely good sign for the book’s long-term health.

—–

123 - THE SAVAGE HAWKMAN
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%)
01/2012: Savage Hawkman #5  -- 23,967 (-15.2%)
02/2012: Savage Hawkman #6  -- 21,316 (-11.1%)
03/2012: Savage Hawkman #7  -- 19,433 (- 8.8%)
04/2012: Savage Hawkman #8  -- 18,300 (- 5.8%)
05/2012: Savage Hawkman #9  -- 17,626 (- 3.7%)
06/2012: Savage Hawkman #10 -- 16,417 (- 6.9%)
07/2012: Savage Hawkman #11 -- 15,460 (- 5.8%)
08/2012: Savage Hawkman #12 -- 14,745 (- 4.6%)
09/2012: Savage Hawkman #0  -- 18,750 (+27.2%)
----------------
6 months: - 3.5%
1 year  : -66.5%

—–

122 - 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%)
01/2012: Legion Lost #5  -- 21,549 (-10.3%)
02/2012: Legion Lost #6  -- 19,447 (- 9.8%)
03/2012: Legion Lost #7  -- 18,214 (- 6.3%)
04/2012: Legion Lost #8  -- 17,984 (- 1.3%)
05/2012: Legion Lost #9  -- 23,794 (+32.3%)
06/2012: Legion Lost #10 -- 17,581 (-26.1%)
07/2012: Legion Lost #11 -- 17,037 (- 3.1%)
08/2012: Legion Lost #12 -- 16,066 (- 5.7%)
09/2012: Legion Lost #0  -- 18,786 (+16.9%)
----------------
6 months: + 3.1%
1 year  : -59.5%

—–

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

This title collects material that was first published digitally. Sales are pretty good for this type of book, all things considered.

—–

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

The second issue missed its August shipping date because the writer credit changed halfway through its creation, so like Before Watchmen, that other great 1980s nostalgia title DC is publishing, the mind boggles at the kind of unrestrained creative electricity that one imagines must be crackling behind the scenes here.

The first issue was promoted with a 1:25 variant edition, so the drop probably isn’t as big as it looks.

—–

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

Another book collecting digital-first material, and once again, sales remain unexpectedly good.

—–

114 - 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%)
01/2012: Demon Knights #5  -- 25,823 (- 8.1%)
02/2012: Demon Knights #6  -- 23,476 (- 9.1%)
03/2012: Demon Knights #7  -- 22,000 (- 6.3%)
04/2012: Demon Knights #8  -- 21,124 (- 4.0%)
05/2012: Demon Knights #9  -- 20,196 (- 4.4%)
06/2012: Demon Knights #10 -- 19,005 (- 5.9%)
07/2012: Demon Knights #11 -- 18,201 (- 4.2%)
08/2012: Demon Knights #12 -- 17,295 (- 5.0%)
09/2012: Demon Knights #0  -- 20,474 (+18.4%)
----------------
6 months: - 6.9%
1 year  : -50.8%

—–

112 - 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%)
01/2012: Deathstroke #5  -- 23,872 (- 9.5%)
02/2012: Deathstroke #6  -- 21,306 (-10.8%)
03/2012: Deathstroke #7  -- 19,744 (- 7.3%)
04/2012: Deathstroke #8  -- 18,834 (- 4.6%)
05/2012: Deathstroke #9  -- 20,878 (+10.9%)
06/2012: Deathstroke #10 -- 19,722 (- 5.5%)
07/2012: Deathstroke #11 -- 17,107 (-13.3%)
08/2012: Deathstroke #12 -- 16,772 (- 2.0%)
09/2012: Deathstroke #0  -- 20,796 (+24.0%)
----------------
6 months: + 5.3%
1 year  : -55.8%

—–

111 - BATMAN BEYOND UNLIMITED
02/2012: Unlimited #1          -- 26,589 (+21.8%) [30,683]
03/2012: Unlimited #2          -- 23,570 (-11.4%)
04/2012: Unlimited #3          -- 24,196 (+ 2.7%)
05/2012: Unlimited #4          -- 24,356 (+ 0.7%)
06/2012: Unlimited #5          -- 24,058 (- 1.2%)
07/2012: Unlimited #6          -- 22,555 (- 6.3%)
08/2012: Unlimited #7          -- 21,219 (- 5.9%)
09/2012: Unlimited #8          -- 20,897 (- 1.5%)
----------------
6 months: -11.3%

The best-selling of the digital-first books — more are on the way, not surprisingly. Not only are these titles achieving more than solid numbers for books not set in the DC Universe proper, but they do so with material that’s already done and paid for. I wouldn’t be surprised if this turned out to be the default way of publishing superhero comics a few years down the road.

(As I predicted in 2004, you guys!)

—–

109 - THE LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES
09/2007: Supergirl & LoSH #34 -- 28,294
09/2008: LoSH #46             -- 24,959
09/2010: LoSH #5              -- 32,417
---------------------------------------
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%)
01/2012: LoSH #5              -- 25,624 (-  7.9%)
02/2012: LoSH #6              -- 23,428 (-  8.6%)
03/2012: LoSH #7              -- 21,894 (-  6.6%)
04/2012: LoSH #8              -- 21,457 (-  2.0%)
05/2012: LoSH #9              -- 20,854 (-  2.8%)
06/2012: LoSH #10             -- 19,963 (-  4.3%)
07/2012: LoSH #11             -- 19,421 (-  2.7%)
08/2012: LoSH #12             -- 18,907 (-  2.7%)
09/2012: LoSH #0              -- 21,561 (+ 14.0%)
-----------------
6 months: -  1.5%
1 year  : - 57.2%
2 years : - 33.5%
5 years : - 23.8%

—–

107 - STORMWATCH
09/2007: StormWatch: PHD #11  -- 10,440
09/2008: StormWatch: PHD #14  --  7,883
09/2009: StormWatch: PHD #23  --  4,840
---------------------------------------
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%)
01/2012: Stormwatch #5        -- 29,112 (- 6.1%)
02/2012: Stormwatch #6        -- 26,076 (-10.4%)
03/2012: Stormwatch #7        -- 24,384 (- 6.5%)
04/2012: Stormwatch #8        -- 23,212 (- 4.8%)
05/2012: Stormwatch #9        -- 22,448 (- 3.3%)
06/2012: Stormwatch #10       -- 20,592 (- 8.3%)
07/2012: Stormwatch #11       -- 19,678 (- 4.4%)
08/2012: Stormwatch #12       -- 18,531 (- 5.8%)
09/2012: Stormwatch #0        -- 21,764 (+17.5%)
-----------------
6 months: - 10.8%
1 year  : - 53.1%
5 years : +108.5%

—–

102 - 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%)
01/2012: Batwing #5  -- 24,036 (-10.1%)
02/2012: Batwing #6  -- 21,643 (-10.0%)
03/2012: Batwing #7  -- 21,058 (- 2.7%)
04/2012: Batwing #8  -- 20,373 (- 3.3%)
05/2012: Batwing #9  -- 35,731 (+75.4%)
06/2012: Batwing #10 -- 20,724 (-42.0%)
07/2012: Batwing #11 -- 20,047 (- 3.3%)
08/2012: Batwing #12 -- 18,279 (- 8.8%)
09/2012: Batwing #0  -- 22,135 (+21.1%)
----------------
6 months: + 5.1%
1 year  : -51.9%

—–

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

—–

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

—–

87 - ALL STAR WESTERN
09/2007: Jonah Hex #23 -- 15,157
09/2008: Jonah Hex #35 -- 13,231
09/2009: Jonah Hex #47 -- 12,231
09/2010: Jonah Hex #59 -- 11,444
--------------------------------
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%)
01/2012: ASW #5        -- 27,206 (-  7.3%)
02/2012: ASW #6        -- 26,170 (-  3.8%)
03/2012: ASW #7        -- 25,349 (-  3.1%)
04/2012: ASW #8        -- 25,040 (-  1.2%)
05/2012: ASW #9        -- 31,413 (+ 25.5%)
06/2012: ASW #10       -- 25,334 (- 19.4%)
07/2012: ASW #11       -- 23,572 (-  7.0%)
08/2012: ASW #12       -- 22,767 (-  3.4%)
09/2012: ASW #0        -- 25,388 (+ 11.5%)
-----------------
6 months: +  0.2%
1 year  : - 41.9%
2 years : +121.9%
5 years : + 67.5%

—–

80 - GREEN ARROW
09/2007: Year One #5 of 6 -- 31,504
09/2008: Arrow/Canary #12 -- 27,896
09/2009: Arrow&Canary #24 -- 18,780
09/2010: Green Arrow #4   -- 44,220
-----------------------------------
09/2011: Green Arrow #1   -- 61,680 (+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%)
01/2012: Green Arrow #5   -- 33,593 (-  9.5%)
02/2012: Green Arrow #6   -- 30,097 (- 10.4%)
03/2012: Green Arrow #7   -- 29,004 (-  3.6%)
04/2012: Green Arrow #8   -- 27,433 (-  5.4%)
05/2012: Green Arrow #9   -- 26,966 (-  1.7%)
06/2012: Green Arrow #10  -- 25,769 (-  4.4%)
07/2012: Green Arrow #11  -- 24,646 (-  4.4%)
08/2012: Green Arrow #12  -- 23,126 (-  6.2%)
09/2012: Green Arrow #0   -- 28,408 (+ 22.8%)
-----------------
6 months: -  2.1%
1 year  : - 53.9%
2 years : - 35.8%
5 years : -  9.8%

—–

84 - SWORD OF SORCERY
09/2012: Sword of Sorcery #0  -- 29,954

—–

70 - BIRDS OF PREY
09/2007: Birds of Prey #110 -- 27,148
09/2008: Birds of Prey #122 -- 21,318
09/2010: Birds of Prey #5   -- 40,146
-------------------------------------
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%)
01/2012: Birds of Prey #5   -- 31,700 (-  8.0%)
02/2012: Birds of Prey #6   -- 30,376 (-  4.2%)
03/2012: Birds of Prey #7   -- 29,196 (-  3.9%)
04/2012: Birds of Prey #8   -- 28,661 (-  1.8%)
05/2012: Birds of Prey #9   -- 41,521 (+ 44.9%)
06/2012: Birds of Prey #10  -- 28,457 (- 31.5%)
07/2012: Birds of Prey #11  -- 27,389 (-  3.8%)
08/2012: Birds of Prey #12  -- 26,587 (-  2.9%)
09/2012: Birds of Prey #0   -- 30,574 (+ 15.0%)
-----------------
6 months: +  4.7%
1 year  : - 45.5%
2 years : - 23.8%
5 years : + 12.6%

—–

65 - SUPERBOY
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%)
01/2012: Superboy #5  --  37,419 (-  6.5%)
02/2012: Superboy #6  --  34,520 (-  7.8%)
03/2012: Superboy #7  --  33,050 (-  4.3%)
04/2012: Superboy #8  --  31,900 (-  3.5%)
05/2012: Superboy #9  --  34,838 (+  9.2%)
06/2012: Superboy #10 --  31,358 (- 10.0%)
07/2012: Superboy #11 --  29,677 (-  5.4%)
08/2012: Superboy #12 --  27,518 (-  7.3%)
09/2012: Superboy #0  --  31,840 (+ 15.7%)
-----------------
6 months: -  3.7%
1 year  : - 42.7%

—–

64 - SUICIDE SQUAD
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%)
01/2012: Suicide Squad #5       -- 32,726 (- 5.3%)
02/2012: Suicide Squad #6       -- 30,834 (- 5.8%)
03/2012: Suicide Squad #7       -- 32,908 (+ 6.7%)
04/2012: Suicide Squad #8       -- 32,789 (- 0.4%)
05/2012: Suicide Squad #9       -- 32,581 (- 0.6%)
06/2012: Suicide Squad #10      -- 31,576 (- 3.1%)
07/2012: Suicide Squad #11      -- 29,809 (- 5.6%)
08/2012: Suicide Squad #12      -- 28,302 (- 5.1%)
09/2012: Suicide Squad #0       -- 31,875 (+12.6%)
----------------
6 months: - 3.1%
1 year  : -36.2%

—–

56 - 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%)
01/2012: Justice League Dark #5   -- 40,996 (- 8.4%)
02/2012: Justice League Dark #6   -- 38,360 (- 6.4%)
03/2012: Justice League Dark #7   -- 36,089 (- 5.9%)
04/2012: Justice League Dark #8   -- 35,022 (- 3.0%)
05/2012: Justice League Dark #9   -- 34,649 (- 1.1%)
06/2012: Justice League Dark #10  -- 33,238 (- 4.1%)
07/2012: Justice League Dark #11  -- 31,792 (- 4.4%)
08/2012: Justice League Dark #12  -- 30,754 (- 3.3%)
09/2012: Justice League Dark #0   -- 34,287 (+11.5%)
----------------
6 months: - 5.0%
1 year  : -50.9%

—–

55 - SUPERGIRL
09/2007: Supergirl #21 --  44,656
09/2008: Supergirl #33 --  27,609
09/2009: Supergirl #45 --  32,240
09/2010: Supergirl #56 --  25,034
---------------------------------
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%)
01/2012: Supergirl #5  --  41,446 (-  6.2%)
02/2012: Supergirl #6  --  38,719 (-  6.6%)
03/2012: Supergirl #7  --  37,041 (-  4.3%)
04/2012: Supergirl #8  --  36,042 (-  2.7%)
05/2012: Supergirl #9  --  35,129 (-  2.5%)
06/2012: Supergirl #10 --  33,309 (-  5.2%)
07/2012: Supergirl #11 --  31,879 (-  4.3%)
08/2012: Supergirl #12 --  30,420 (-  4.6%)
09/2012: Supergirl #0  --  34,457 (+ 13.3%)
-----------------
6 months: -  7.0%
1 year  : - 42.6%
2 years : + 37.6%
5 years : - 22.8%

—–

67 - TEAM 7
09/2012: Team 7 #0  -- 34,503

—–

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%)
01/2012: Animal Man #5     -- 40,573 (- 4.8%)
02/2012: Animal Man #6     -- 38,504 (- 5.1%)
03/2012: Animal Man #7     -- 36,860 (- 4.3%)
04/2012: Animal Man #8     -- 36,369 (- 1.3%)
05/2012: Animal Man #9     -- 35,699 (- 1.8%)
06/2012: Animal Man #10    -- 34,992 (- 2.0%)
07/2012: Animal Man #11    -- 33,909 (- 3.1%)
08/2012: Animal Man #12    -- 34,549 (+ 1.9%)
09/2012: Animal Man #0     -- 38,295 (+10.8%)
----------------
6 months: + 3.9%
1 year  : -16.8%

—–

45 - 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%)
01/2012: Red Lanterns #5  -- 46,992 (- 6.5%)
02/2012: Red Lanterns #6  -- 43,450 (- 7.5%)
03/2012: Red Lanterns #7  -- 41,628 (- 4.2%)
04/2012: Red Lanterns #8  -- 40,189 (- 3.5%)
05/2012: Red Lanterns #9  -- 39,215 (- 2.4%)
06/2012: Red Lanterns #10 -- 38,005 (- 3.1%)
07/2012: Red Lanterns #11 -- 36,462 (- 4.1%)
08/2012: Red Lanterns #12 -- 35,070 (- 3.8%)
09/2012: Red Lanterns #0  -- 38,928 (+11.0%)
----------------
6 months: - 6.5%
1 year  : -47.4%

—–

44 - CATWOMAN
09/2007: Catwoman #71 -- 19,492
-------------------------------
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%)
01/2012: Catwoman #5  -- 44,034 (- 3.4%)
02/2012: Catwoman #6  -- 41,447 (- 5.9%)
03/2012: Catwoman #7  -- 39,608 (- 4.4%)
04/2012: Catwoman #8  -- 38,711 (- 2.3%)
05/2012: Catwoman #9  -- 49,726 (+28.5%)
06/2012: Catwoman #10 -- 37,158 (-25.3%)
07/2012: Catwoman #11 -- 35,551 (- 4.3%)
08/2012: Catwoman #12 -- 34,117 (- 4.0%)
09/2012: Catwoman #0  -- 39,117 (+14.7%)
-----------------
6 months: -  1.2%
1 year  : - 34.4%
5 years : +100.7%

—-

42 - 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%)
01/2012: Red Hood #5  -- 42,560 (- 3.9%)
02/2012: Red Hood #6  -- 39,898 (- 6.3%)
03/2012: Red Hood #7  -- 38,630 (- 3.2%)
04/2012: Red Hood #8  -- 37,974 (- 1.7%)
05/2012: Red Hood #9  -- 54,220 (+42.8%)
06/2012: Red Hood #10 -- 37,044 (-31.7%)
07/2012: Red Hood #11 -- 35,820 (- 3.3%)
08/2012: Red Hood #12 -- 34,439 (- 3.9%)
09/2012: Red Hood #0  -- 39,511 (+14.7%)
----------------
6 months: + 2.3%
1 year  : -29.6%

—–

49 - PHANTOM STRANGER
09/2012: Phantom Stranger #0  -- 40,103

—–

41 - 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%)
01/2012: Swamp Thing #5  -- 43,806 (- 1.9%)
02/2012: Swamp Thing #6  -- 41,235 (- 5.9%)
03/2012: Swamp Thing #7  -- 40,268 (- 2.4%)
04/2012: Swamp Thing #8  -- 39,431 (- 2.1%)
05/2012: Swamp Thing #9  -- 39,385 (- 0.1%)
06/2012: Swamp Thing #10 -- 37,383 (- 5.1%)
07/2012: Swamp Thing #11 -- 36,257 (- 3.0%)
08/2012: Swamp Thing #12 -- 36,696 (+ 1.2%)
09/2012: Swamp Thing #0  -- 40,123 (+ 9.3%)
----------------
6 months: - 0.4%
1 year  : -26.7%

—–

37 - 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%)
01/2012: Batwoman #5  --  51,924 (- 1.6%)
02/2012: Batwoman #6  --  49,227 (- 5.2%)
03/2012: Batwoman #7  --  46,874 (- 4.8%)
04/2012: Batwoman #8  --  45,341 (- 3.3%)
05/2012: Batwoman #9  --  43,942 (- 3.1%)
06/2012: Batwoman #10 --  41,014 (- 6.7%)
07/2012: Batwoman #11 --  38,980 (- 5.0%)
08/2012: Batwoman #12 --  38,064 (- 2.4%)
09/2012: Batwoman #0  --  41,684 (+ 9.5%)
----------------
6 months: -11.7%
1 year  : -42.3%

—–

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

—–

33 - GREEN LANTERN: NEW GUARDIANS
09/2010: Emerald Warriors #2  -- 56,289
---------------------------------------
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%)
01/2012: New Guardians #5     -- 52,305 (- 1.9%)
02/2012: New Guardians #6     -- 50,319 (- 3.8%)
03/2012: New Guardians #7     -- 48,422 (- 3.8%)
04/2012: New Guardians #8     -- 47,320 (- 2.3%)
05/2012: New Guardians #9     -- 46,237 (- 2.3%)
06/2012: New Guardians #10    -- 44,404 (- 4.0%)
07/2012: New Guardians #11    -- 42,929 (- 3.3%)
08/2012: New Guardians #12    -- 41,479 (- 3.4%)
09/2012: New Guardians #0     -- 46,718 (+12.6%)
----------------
6 months: - 3.5%
1 year  : -44.4%
2 years : -17.0%

—–

32 - GREEN LANTERN CORPS
09/2007: --
09/2008: Green Lantern Corps #28 -- 44,939
09/2009: Green Lantern Corps #40 -- 83,112
09/2010: Green Lantern Corps #52 -- 63,577
------------------------------------------
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%)
01/2012: Green Lantern Corps #5  -- 54,088 (- 5.4%)
02/2012: Green Lantern Corps #6  -- 51,168 (- 5.4%)
03/2012: Green Lantern Corps #7  -- 48,692 (- 4.8%)
04/2012: Green Lantern Corps #8  -- 47,584 (- 2.3%)
05/2012: Green Lantern Corps #9  -- 46,336 (- 2.6%)
06/2012: Green Lantern Corps #10 -- 44,615 (- 3.7%)
07/2012: Green Lantern Corps #11 -- 42,996 (- 3.6%)
08/2012: Green Lantern Corps #12 -- 41,778 (- 2.8%)
09/2012: Green Lantern Corps #0  -- 47,309 (+13.2%)
----------------
6 months: - 2.8%
1 year  : -43.1%
2 years : -25.6%
5 years :   n.a.

—–

31 - TEEN TITANS
09/2007: Teen Titans #51  -- 57,851
09/2008: Teen Titans #63  -- 41,790
09/2009: Teen Titans #75  -- 32,808
09/2010: Teen Titans #87  -- 23,259
-----------------------------------
09/2011: Teen Titans #1   -- 73,675 (+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%)
01/2012: Teen Titans #5   -- 54,606 (-  0.6%)
02/2012: Teen Titans #6   -- 53,123 (-  2.7%)
03/2012: Teen Titans #7   -- 51,402 (-  3.2%)
04/2012: Teen Titans #8   -- 50,814 (-  1.1%)
05/2012: Teen Titans #9   -- 50,261 (-  1.1%)
06/2012: Teen Titans #10  -- 47,491 (-  5.5%)
07/2012: Teen Titans #11  -- 45,367 (-  4.5%)
08/2012: Teen Titans #12  -- 42,817 (-  5.6%)
09/2012: Teen Titans #0   -- 47,318 (+ 10.5%)
-----------------
6 months: -  8.0%
1 year  : - 35.8%
2 years : +103.4%
5 years : - 18.2%

—–

30 - WONDER WOMAN
09/2007: --
09/2008: Wonder Woman #24  --  34,583
09/2009: Wonder Woman #36  --  28,806
09/2010: Wonder Woman #603 --  38,852
-------------------------------------
09/2011: Wonder Woman #1   --  76,214 (+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%)
01/2012: Wonder Woman #5   --  57,626 (-  0.1%)
02/2012: Wonder Woman #6   --  54,190 (-  6.0%)
03/2012: Wonder Woman #7   --  51,314 (-  5.3%)
04/2012: Wonder Woman #8   --  50,450 (-  1.7%)
05/2012: Wonder Woman #9   --  48,750 (-  3.4%)
06/2012: Wonder Woman #10  --  47,229 (-  3.1%)
07/2012: Wonder Woman #11  --  45,669 (-  3.3%)
08/2012: Wonder Woman #12  --  44,584 (-  2.4%)
09/2012: Wonder Woman #0   --  49,778 (+ 11.7%)
-----------------
6 months: -  3.0%
1 year  : - 34.7%
2 years : + 28.1%
5 years :   n.a.

—–

29 - BATGIRL
09/2008: Batgirl #3 of 6 -- 24,932
09/2009: Batgirl #2      -- 40,626
09/2010: Batgirl #14     -- 26,861
----------------------------------
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%)
01/2012: Batgirl #5      -- 57,030 (-  4.9%)
02/2012: Batgirl #6      -- 53,151 (-  6.8%)
03/2012: Batgirl #7      -- 50,761 (-  4.5%)
04/2012: Batgirl #8      -- 48,878 (-  3.7%)
05/2012: Batgirl #9      -- 58,710 (+ 20.1%)
06/2012: Batgirl #10     -- 47,050 (- 19.9%)
07/2012: Batgirl #11     -- 45,004 (-  4.4%)
08/2012: Batgirl #12     -- 43,804 (-  2.7%)
09/2012: Batgirl #0      -- 50,441 (+ 15.2%)
-----------------
6 months: -  0.6%
1 year  : - 44.3%
2 years : + 87.8%

—–

28 - BEFORE WATCHMEN: OZYMANDIAS
07/2012: Ozymandias #1 of 6 -- 98,011
08/2012: Ozymandias #2 of 6 -- 64,460 (-34.2%)
09/2012: Ozymandias #3 of 6 -- 52,280 (-18.9%)

I’m sure these Before Watchmen books by the Friends of Dick Burger will keep selling once they’ve been collected, but boy, these are some depressing sales figures to have screwed someone over for.

Can DC still be taken seriously as a company that screws people over with these kinds of sales figures? Paul Levitz knew what he was doing, I think. This, on the other hand, is just embarrassing.

(On a technical note, Ozymandias stopped being returnable with issue #3, like all the Before Watchmen titles to date, so, for the record, there’s a possibility that I overestimated sales on the first two issues — I don’t really think so, but it’s worth mentioning. This also applies to the other three Before Watchmen titles that sold above this one, right below.)

—–

26 - NIGHTWING
09/2007: Nightwing #136 -- 29,256
09/2008: Nightwing #148 -- 53,210
---------------------------------
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%)
01/2012: Nightwing #5   -- 56,040 (- 2.4%)
02/2012: Nightwing #6   -- 53,036 (- 5.4%)
03/2012: Nightwing #7   -- 50,489 (- 4.8%)
04/2012: Nightwing #8   -- 52,063 (+ 3.1%) [61,711]
05/2012: Nightwing #9   -- 61,395 (+17.9%)
06/2012: Nightwing #10  -- 50,585 (-17.6%)
07/2012: Nightwing #11  -- 49,124 (- 2.9%)
08/2012: Nightwing #12  -- 47,484 (- 3.3%)
09/2012: Nightwing #0   -- 53,109 (+11.9%)
----------------
6 months: + 5.2%
1 year  : -23.8%
5 years : +81.5%

—–

25 - BEFORE WATCHMEN: NITE OWL
06/2012: Nite Owl #1 of 4 -- 112,255
07/2012: --
08/2012: Nite Owl #2 of 4 --  66,290 (-41.0%)
09/2012: Nite Owl #3 of 4 --  53,270 (-19.6%)

—–

23 - BEFORE WATCHMEN: SILK SPECTRE
06/2012: Silk Spectre #1 of 6 -- 114,394
07/2012: Silk Spectre #2 of 6 --  68,403 (-40.2%)
08/2012: --
09/2012: Silk Spectre #3 of 6 --  53,464 (-21.8%)

—–

20 - BEFORE WATCHMEN: COMEDIAN
06/2012: Comedian #1 of 6 -- 115,713
07/2012: Comedian #2 of 6 --  70,762 (-38.9%)
08/2012: --
09/2012: Comedian #3 of 6 --  55,114 (-22.1%)

The Friends of Dick Burger strike again. But I’m pretty sure even Dick Burger would think twice before ripping someone off for these pitiable sales figures. This is truly and deeply embarrassing for a company that aspires to evil and has such a rich and fabled history of screwing people through the eye sockets while they were still looking through them. Way to rest on your Superman laurels, DC Comics.

—–

17 - FLASH
09/2007: Flash #232      --  56,969
09/2008: Flash #244      --  29,180
09/2009: --
09/2010: Flash #5        --  62,063
-----------------------------------
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%)
01/2012: Flash #5        --  71,611 (-  7.4%)
02/2012: Flash #6        --  68,061 (-  5.0%)
03/2012: Flash #7        --  64,975 (-  4.5%)
04/2012: Flash #8        --  63,702 (-  2.0%)
05/2012: Flash #9        --  62,807 (-  1.4%)
06/2012: Flash #10       --  55,681 (- 11.4%)
07/2012: Flash #11       --  53,674 (-  3.6%)
08/2012: Flash #12       --  51,779 (-  3.5%)
09/2012: Flash #0        --  56,890 (+  9.9%)
-----------------
6 months: - 12.4%
1 year  : - 56.0%
2 years : -  8.3%
5 years : -  0.1%

—–

22 - TALON
09/2012: Talon #0  -- 59,691

—–

12 - SUPERMAN
09/2007: Superman #667 --  48,608
09/2008: Superman #680 --  46,585
09/2009: Superman #692 --  37,695
09/2010: --
---------------------------------
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%)
01/2012: Superman #5   --  73,719 (-  3.7%)
02/2012: Superman #6   --  69,633 (-  5.5%)
03/2012: Superman #7   --  66,588 (-  4.4%)
04/2012: Superman #8   --  64,486 (-  3.2%)
05/2012: Superman #9   --  62,232 (-  3.5%)
06/2012: Superman #10  --  59,081 (-  5.1%)
07/2012: Superman #11  --  56,066 (-  5.1%)
08/2012: Superman #12  --  53,326 (-  4.9%)
09/2012: Superman #0   --  60,493 (+ 13.4%)
-----------------
6 months: -  9.2%
1 year  : - 54.0%
2 years :   n.a.
5 years : + 24.5%

—–

11 - 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%)
01/2012: Aquaman #5  -- 65,094 (+ 0.2%)
02/2012: Aquaman #6  -- 63,450 (- 2.5%)
03/2012: Aquaman #7  -- 62,345 (- 1.7%)
04/2012: Aquaman #8  -- 61,657 (- 1.1%)
05/2012: Aquaman #9  -- 60,527 (- 1.8%)
06/2012: Aquaman #10 -- 59,288 (- 2.1%)
07/2012: Aquaman #11 -- 57,675 (- 2.7%)
08/2012: Aquaman #12 -- 61,210 (+ 6.1%)
09/2012: Aquaman #0  -- 61,227 (+ 0.0%)
----------------
6 months: - 1.8%
1 year  : -23.8%

—–

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

—–

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

—–

8 - BATMAN AND ROBIN
09/2009: Batman and Robin #4  -- 106,925
09/2010: Batman and Robin #14 --  82,894
----------------------------------------
09/2011: Batman and Robin #1  --  94,713 (+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%)
01/2012: Batman and Robin #5  --  72,786 (- 4.2%)
02/2012: Batman and Robin #6  --  70,103 (- 3.7%)
03/2012: Batman and Robin #7  --  68,010 (- 3.0%)
04/2012: Batman and Robin #8  --  66,659 (- 2.0%)
05/2012: Batman and Robin #9  --  75,967 (+14.0%)
06/2012: Batman and Robin #10 --  66,894 (-11.9%)
07/2012: Batman and Robin #11 --  65,043 (- 2.8%)
08/2012: Batman and Robin #12 --  63,993 (- 1.6%)
09/2012: Batman and Robin #0  --  69,146 (+ 8.1%)
----------------
6 months: + 1.7%
1 year  : -27.0%
2 years : -16.6%

—–

7 - BATMAN: THE DARK KNIGHT
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%)
01/2012: Dark Knight #5  --  76,824 (-  2.4%)
02/2012: Dark Knight #6  --  77,140 (+  0.4%) [ 80,464]
03/2012: Dark Knight #7  --  75,297 (-  2.4%)
04/2012: Dark Knight #8  --  74,287 (-  1.3%)
05/2012: Dark Knight #9  --  82,169 (+ 10.6%)
06/2012: Dark Knight #10 --  71,671 (- 12.8%)
07/2012: Dark Knight #11 --  68,632 (-  4.2%)
08/2012: Dark Knight #12 --  67,084 (-  2.3%)
09/2012: Dark Knight #0  --  72,919 (+  8.7%)
-----------------
6 months: -  3.2%
1 year  : - 33.3%

—–

6 - ACTION COMICS
09/2007: --
09/2008: Action Comics #869 --  49,597
09/2009: Action Comics #881 --  36,183
09/2010: Action Comics #893 --  33,948
--------------------------------------
09/2011: Action Comics #1   -- 182,748 (+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%)
01/2012: Action Comics #5   -- 109,350 (-  3.1%)
02/2012: Action Comics #6   --  96,592 (- 11.7%)
03/2012: Action Comics #7   --  91,822 (-  4.9%)
04/2012: Action Comics #8   --  87,980 (-  4.2%)
05/2012: Action Comics #9   --  88,796 (+  0.9%)
06/2012: Action Comics #10  --  80,751 (-  9.1%)
07/2012: Action Comics #11  --  76,232 (-  5.6%)
08/2012: Action Comics #12  --  71,203 (-  6.6%)
09/2012: Action Comics #0   --  78,626 (+ 10.4%)
-----------------
6 months: - 14.4%
1 year  : - 57.0%
2 years : +131.6%
5 years :   n.a.

—–

5 - DETECTIVE COMICS
09/2007: Detective Comics #836 --  49,475
09/2008: Detective Comics #848 --  68,306
09/2009: Detective Comics #857 --  57,063
09/2010: Detective Comics #869 --  37,394
-----------------------------------------
09/2011: Detective Comics #1   -- 114,880 (+189.2%) [157,751]
10/2011: Detective Comics #2   -- 123,099 (+  7.2%)
11/2011: Detective Comics #3   -- 111,197 (-  9.7%)
12/2011: Detective Comics #4   --  99,366 (- 10.6%)
01/2012: Detective Comics #5   --  99,342 (-  0.0%)
02/2012: Detective Comics #6   --  94,415 (-  5.0%)
03/2012: Detective Comics #7   --  89,891 (-  4.8%)
04/2012: Detective Comics #8   --  87,675 (-  2.5%)
05/2012: Detective Comics #9   --  96,016 (+  9.5%)
06/2012: Detective Comics #10  --  83,317 (- 13.2%)
07/2012: Detective Comics #11  --  79,835 (-  4.2%)
08/2012: Detective Comics #12  --  75,998 (-  4.8%)
09/2012: Detective Comics #0   --  84,063 (+ 10.6%)
-----------------
6 months: -  6.5%
1 year  : - 26.8%
2 years : +124.8%
5 years : + 69.9%

—–

4 - GREEN LANTERN
09/2007: Green Lantern #23  --  79,084 [82,168]
09/2008: Green Lantern #34  --  63,825
09/2009: Green Lantern #46  -- 103,666
09/2010: Green Lantern #57  --  85,179
--------------------------------------
09/2011: Green Lantern #1   -- 141,682 (+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%)
01/2012: Green Lantern #5   --  97,878 (- 6.0%)
02/2012: Green Lantern #6   --  94,087 (- 3.9%)
03/2012: Green Lantern #7   --  90,232 (- 4.1%)
04/2012: Green Lantern #8   --  88,335 (- 2.1%)
05/2012: Green Lantern #9   --  87,601 (- 0.8%)
06/2012: Green Lantern #10  --  80,615 (- 8.0%)
07/2012: Green Lantern #11  --  78,708 (- 2.4%)
08/2012: Green Lantern #12  --  77,187 (- 1.9%)
09/2012: Green Lantern #0   --  89,909 (+16.5%)
-----------------
6 months: -  0.4%
1 year  : - 36.5%
2 years : +  5.6%
5 years : + 13.7%

—–

3 - JUSTICE LEAGUE
09/2007: Justice League #13 -- 119,471 [124,006]
09/2008: --
09/2009: Justice League #37 --   55,478
09/2010: Justice League #49 --   57,616
---------------------------------------
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%) [152,340]
01/2012: Justice League #5   -- 144,670 (-  3.1%) [148,117]
02/2012: Justice League #6   -- 140,819 (-  2.7%)
03/2012: Justice League #7   -- 136,436 (-  3.1%)
04/2012: Justice League #8   -- 133,240 (-  2.3%)
05/2012: Justice League #9   -- 131,332 (-  1.4%)
06/2012: Justice League #10  -- 130,502 (-  0.6%)
07/2012: Justice League #11  -- 123,971 (-  5.0%)
08/2012: Justice League #12  -- 120,796 (-  2.6%) [161,235]
09/2012: Justice League #0   -- 125,868 (+  4.2%)
-----------------
6 months: -  7.8%
1 year  :   n.a.
2 years : +118.5%
5 years : +  5.4%

—–

2 - BATMAN
09/2007: Batman #669 --  73,471
09/2008: --
09/2009: Batman #690 --  77,001
09/2010: Batman #703 --  77,033
-------------------------------
09/2011: Batman #1   -- 188,420 (+264.0%) [223,299]
10/2011: Batman #2   -- 172,428 (-  8.5%) [177,721]
11/2011: Batman #3   -- 150,984 (- 12.4%)
12/2011: Batman #4   -- 133,781 (- 11.4%) [144,777]
01/2012: Batman #5   -- 135,145 (+  1.0%) [142,499]
02/2012: Batman #6   -- 128,459 (-  5.0%) [135,435]
03/2012: Batman #7   -- 131,091 (+  2.1%)
04/2012: Batman #8   -- 130,602 (-  0.4%) [136,218]
05/2012: Batman #9   -- 134,605 (+  3.1%)
06/2012: Batman #10  -- 130,265 (-  3.2%)
07/2012: Batman #11  -- 127,210 (-  2.4%)
08/2012: Batman #12  -- 125,249 (-  1.5%)
09/2012: Batman #0   -- 156,561 (+ 25.0%)
-----------------
6 months: + 19.4%
1 year  : - 16.9%
2 years : +103.2%
5 years : +113.1%

That’s quite an increase for Batman #0. Unexpected.

—–

6-MONTH COMPARISONS
+ 19.4%: Batman
+  7.0%: Blue Beetle
+  6.5%: Scooby-Doo
+  5.2%: Nightwing
+  5.1%: Batwing
+  4.7%: Birds of Prey
+  3.9%: Animal Man
+  3.8%: Young Justice
+  3.1%: Legion Lost
+  2.3%: Red Hood
+  1.7%: Batman and Robin
+  1.4%: American Vampire
+  1.4%: Captain Atom
+  0.2%: All Star Western
-  0.4%: Green Lantern
-  0.4%: Swamp Thing
-  0.6%: Batgirl
-  1.2%: Catwoman
-  1.5%: LoSH
-  1.7%: DCU Presents
-  1.8%: Aquaman
-  2.1%: Green Arrow
-  2.4%: Hellblazer
-  2.8%: GL Corps
-  2.8%: I, Vampire
-  2.8%: Sweet Tooth
-  2.9%: Firestorm
-  2.9%: Resurrection Man
-  3.0%: Wonder Woman
-  3.1%: Suicide Squad
-  3.2%: Dark Knight
-  3.5%: Hawkman
-  3.5%: New Guardians
-  3.7%: Superboy
-  4.1%: Frankenstein
-  4.5%: Fables
-  4.9%: Grifter
-  5.0%: JLD
-  5.8%: Voodoo
-  6.5%: Detective Comics
-  6.5%: Red Lanterns
-  6.9%: Demon Knights
-  6.9%: Unwritten
-  7.0%: Supergirl
-  7.8%: JLA
-  8.0%: Teen Titans
-  9.2%: Superman
- 10.8%: Stormwatch
- 11.3%: BB Unlimited
- 11.7%: Batwoman
- 12.4%: Flash
- 14.4%: Action Comics
- 14.7%: Shade
- 41.4%: Fairest
- 44.4%: New Deadwardians
- 48.0%: Saucer Country
- 51.4%: Night Force

—–

1-YEAR COMPARISONS
+  5.9%: Scooby-Doo
-  3.2%: American Vampire
-  4.7%: Hellblazer
-  5.2%: Young Justice
-  7.1%: Sweet Tooth
-  8.2%: Fables
- 14.9%: Unwritten
- 16.8%: Animal Man
- 16.9%: Batman
- 23.8%: Aquaman
- 23.8%: Nightwing
- 26.7%: Swamp Thing
- 26.8%: Detective Comics
- 27.0%: Batman and Robin
- 29.6%: Red Hood
- 33.3%: Dark Knight
- 34.4%: Catwoman
- 34.7%: Wonder Woman
- 35.8%: Teen Titans
- 36.2%: Suicide Squad
- 36.5%: Green Lantern
- 41.9%: All Star Western
- 42.3%: Batwoman
- 42.6%: Supergirl
- 42.7%: Superboy
- 43.1%: GL Corps
- 44.3%: Batgirl
- 44.4%: New Guardians
- 45.5%: Birds of Prey
- 47.4%: Red Lanterns
- 50.8%: Demon Knights
- 50.9%: JLD
- 51.9%: Batwing
- 53.1%: Stormwatch
- 53.9%: Green Arrow
- 54.0%: Superman
- 54.8%: I, Vampire
- 55.8%: Deathstroke
- 56.0%: Flash
- 56.4%: Frankenstein
- 57.0%: Action Comics
- 57.2%: LoSH
- 59.5%: Legion Lost
- 60.1%: Resurrection Man
- 61.7%: DCU Presents
- 61.8%: Grifter
- 62.0%: Blue Beetle
- 64.7%: Voodoo
- 66.5%: Firestorm
- 66.5%: Hawkman
- 68.4%: Captain Atom

—–

2-YEAR COMPARISONS
+131.6%: Action Comics
+124.8%: Detective Comics
+121.9%: All Star Western
+118.5%: JLA
+103.4%: Teen Titans
+103.2%: Batman
+ 87.8%: Batgirl
+ 37.6%: Supergirl
+  5.6%: Green Lantern
-  4.6%: Hellblazer
-  8.3%: Flash
- 15.3%: Fables
- 16.6%: Batman and Robin
- 17.0%: New Guardians
- 19.4%: Sweet Tooth
- 19.5%: Scooby-Doo
- 23.8%: Birds of Prey
- 25.6%: GL Corps
- 30.1%: Unwritten
- 33.5%: LoSH
- 34.7%: Wonder Woman
- 35.8%: Green Arrow
- 36.6%: American Vampire

—–

5-YEAR COMPARISONS
+113.1%: Batman
+108.5%: Stormwatch
+100.7%: Catwoman
+ 81.5%: Nightwing
+ 69.9%: Detective Comics
+ 67.5%: All Star Western
+ 24.5%: Superman
+ 13.7%: Green Lantern
+ 13.1%: Scooby-Doo
+ 12.6%: Birds of Prey
+  7.3%: Blue Beetle
+  5.4%: JLA
-  0.1%: Flash
-  9.8%: Green Arrow
- 18.2%: Teen Titans
- 22.8%: Supergirl
- 23.8%: LoSH
- 29.3%: Hellblazer
- 34.4%: Fables

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

DC COMICS
09/2007: 32,332
09/2008: 25,562
09/2009: 28,493**
09/2010: 23,212**
---------------
09/2011: 57,224 (+123.3%)
10/2011: 51,280 (- 10.4%)**
11/2011: 41,414 (- 19.2%)**
12/2011: 35,397 (- 14.5%)**
01/2012: 33,887 (-  4.3%)**
02/2012: 31,535 (-  6.9%)**
03/2012: 29,679 (-  5.9%)
04/2012: 31,319 (+  5.5%)
05/2012: 38,708 (+ 23.6%)
06/2012: 37,599 (-  2.9%)
07/2012: 33,837 (- 10.0%)
08/2012: 33,500 (-  1.0%)**
09/2012: 35,811 (+  6.9%)
-----------------
6 months: + 20.7%
1 year  : - 37.4%
2 years : + 54.3%
5 years : + 10.8%
DC UNIVERSE
09/2007: 42,894
09/2008: 33,591
09/2009: 36,725**
09/2010: 32,042
---------------
09/2011: 67,411 (+142.8%)
10/2011: 59,146 (- 12.3%)**
11/2011: 46,670 (- 21.1%)**
12/2011: 39,390 (- 15.6%)**
01/2012: 37,145 (-  5.7%)**
02/2012: 34,456 (-  7.2%)**
03/2012: 33,229 (-  3.6%)
04/2012: 35,264 (+  6.1%)
05/2012: 44,139 (+ 25.2%)
06/2012: 43,082 (-  2.4%)
07/2012: 38,502 (- 10.6%)
08/2012: 38,047 (-  1.2%)**
09/2012: 39,408 (+  3.6%)
-----------------
6 months: + 18.6%
1 year  : - 41.5%
2 years : + 23.0%
5 years : -  8.1%
VERTIGO
09/2007: 11,806
09/2008: 11,748
09/2009: 11,345
09/2010: 11,622
---------------
09/2011:  9,995 (- 1.5%)
10/2011: 10,643 (+ 6.5%)
11/2011: 10,355 (- 2.7%)
12/2011: 11,082 (+ 7.0%)
01/2012:  9,995 (- 9.8%)
02/2012: 10,252 (+ 2.6%)
03/2012: 12,688 (+23.8%)
04/2012: 11,595 (- 8.6%)
05/2012: 11,102 (- 4.3%)
06/2012: 11,448 (+ 3.1%)
07/2012: 11,589 (+ 1.2%)
08/2012: 10,764 (- 7.1%)**
09/2012: 11,710 (+ 8.8%)
-----------------
6 months: -  7.7%
1 year  : + 17.2%
2 years : +  0.8%
5 years : -  0.8%

—–
Disclaimers, et cetera

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

ICv2.com‘s estimates are somewhat lower than the actual numbers, but they are consistent from month to month, so the trends they show are fairly accurate. Since it’s a “month-to-month” column, the comments, unless otherwise noted, are on the most recent month.

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

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

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

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

For a more lyrical approach to discussing sales figures that covers all the essentials in a more condensed, less tedious fashion, finally, go right here.

—–
Marc-Oliver Frisch writes about comics at his weblog and at Comicgate. You can also follow him on Twitter.

Comments

  1. This is a dangerous game Snyder and Albuquerque are playing with American Vampire. It smells like we could never see the end of it after all (remeber Otherworld?)

  2. There’s got to be a less verbose way of saying you’re tired of writing this column.

  3. I think you’re being disingenuous with the numbers. You continue to use DC’s “New 52″ and their “DC Universe” superhero line interchangeably, when, while there is (admittedly a LOT of) overlap, they aren’t the same thing. Minis like Phantom Lady and The Shade are not part of the “New 52″ which specifically refers to the 52 ongoing titles. They aren’t marketed as such, nor do their covers reflect it. Indeed, arguments could be made that they’re not necessarily even in the same universe as the “new 52.”

    When you redo the math on the effect the #0 issues had, excluding all of the non-“New 52″ titles, the month-to-month bump is closer to 3000 copies on average. Parsing the numbers this way is essential, since the non-“New 52″ titles did not have #0 issues that the “New 52″ had to provide an apples-to-apples comparison. Mini-series that had no #0 would naturally not have the same kind of chance for any bump that might happen to ongoing titles that did have one.

    On another subject, where are these rapes in Green Lantern? I seemed to have missed all of those. The beheading quota seems not to have been met lately to boot. Also, I fail to see any connection between a six-month old all-ages Superman title and a movie that comes out next June.

  4. Like.

  5. Declining sales or not, the so-called “Friends of Dick Burger” are producing some excellent WATCHMEN stories in the MINUTEMEN and SILK SPECTRE mini-series. What a shame Frisch has such a bug up his ass that he can’t appreciate them.

  6. Wow. If you put a #0 in front of all your titles, they WILL sell more copies. Interesting… (and yet, kinda sad.)

  7. Sorry, I loathed this month’s mostly silent column.

    “Not only are these titles achieving more than solid numbers for books not set in the DC Universe proper, but they do so with material that’s already done and paid for. ”

    Wait, what? Prove the second part of that statement, please?

    -B

  8. Scratchie says:

    My power ring detects emanations of sarcasm from the “GL:TAS” entry.

  9. Evan Meadow says:

    To explain the whole He-Man thing:

    Robinson’s original idea approved and loved by Mattel due to actual change. Issue #1 comes out.

    Someone at Mattel freaks out and then says they actually don’t want change for fear of somehow driving the people still buying the action figures away (even though they’re all the same people) and wants Robinson to scrap his idea and do something that changes nothing. (See entire history of MOTU comics with Crossgen, Val Staples, MV Creations, and anyone who actually cares about He-Man).

    Robinson decides to leave the project instead, and Keith Giffen is brought in to tell the rest of the story to Mattel’s specifications.

    As for the rest of the list, back to the wrestling chant:

    “Bitttttttttttttttttttter, bittttttttttttttttttter, axe to grindddddddddddddddd……..”

  10. >That’s quite an increase for Batman #0. Unexpected.

    Surprising? Isn’t it entirely due to Scott Snyder & Greg Capullo?

  11. jonboy says:

    Does MOF work for Marvel?

  12. MBunge says:

    Wow. No comments at all on those zero issues? Nothing? Not even a little ironic self-mockery? I don’t think even MOF and his biggest fans can pretend any longer that the tone of these posts is just a product of the numbers or honest snark or anything like that. MOF either has a grudge against DC or a grudge against the comic industry that he’s taking out on DC.

    Mike

  13. Zeparu says:

    You really should have had a sip of beer for each DC title selling +5% or more this month. Skol!

  14. As opposed to the other Green Lantern titles that DC publishes, you know: the ones with the genocides, the rapes, the beheadings, and all the other things that point to the intellectual and emotional maturity of these Green Lantern comics and the adult human beings that read them.

    I’m not sure if you’re just trolling for critical comments now or what, but I imagine that is going to generate some.
    I’ll get my popcorn ready so I can sit back and watch.

  15. Operating under the assumption that the increase in orders for the Zero issues translated to actual sales and those sales continue to stick, then it looks like most of the longer running titles bought themselves 3-5 months. Due to a compressed timeline some of the younger titles only seemed to get a month or two back. Except Batman Incorporated…that title didn’t really see an appreciable difference with the Zero installment.

    I’m guessing Sword of Sorcery and Team 7 don’t make it past 12 issues.

  16. Glenn Simpson says:

    I like the fact that there was no repetitive “It was the zero issue so sales went up” every time. Excellent.

    Took me a minute to get the sarcasm on the Before Watchmen items, though.

  17. Glenn Simpson says:

    Oh, yeah, regarding Green Lantern – I think the point is, regardless of whether you think the content really applies to “mature”, the fact is that the direct market really prefers the main book to the animated “kids” book. There’s nothing stopping comic shop customers from picking up the kids version instead – but they like the regular version better.

  18. Greg, I’m devastated. I was fully expecting you to give this column a four-star rating, given that it says “DC” on top.

  19. “Done and paid for” in the sense that the material already exists, regardless of the print edition, I mean.

  20. Al™ says:

    I like that we now start with the lowest selling books. It shifts the focus from the top titles to those that cling to the precipice.

    Speaking of that, it is interesting to watch titles leak readers issue by issue. Losing a few hundred readers per month, or even a few thousand. It seems that word of mouth still works, and it can certainly work against a title that is not inspiring its readers.

  21. Glenn Simpson says:

    It’s pretty much the norm that every series starts at point A and drops readers month after month, with the occassional uptick if there’s some gimmick or crossover. Some books drop readers faster than others. That’s why it’s no surprise that they restart books at #1 so often.

  22. Glenn Simpson says:

    I guess that makes the assumption that DC expects to make their money back from digital sales, but i suppose that is an assumption. it is possible that they are taking a loss on the digital with the expectation of print sales making up the difference and ultimately generating the profit.
    But I find it hard to believe they would do that.

  23. Fielding says:

    I was wondering how this Frisch person would handle September’s numbers, considering how thoroughly DC dominated Marvel. For a while I thought he wouldn’t even produce a column. Now I think it’s better if he hadn’t, because this was lazy and pathetic. Does he get paid for this?

  24. Michael P says:

    That’s less an indictment of the kids’ book and more an indictment of the direct market audience.

  25. Jim 'Bruce' Lee says:

    I didn’t even the pooch a drink.

  26. Glenn Simpson says:

    Regardless, that’s what that audience wants. I’m sorry that the popular adolescent power fantasy doesn’t match up to what he thinks the popular adolescent power fantasy ought to be.

  27. I wonder, though, about the author’s personal opinions concerning DC Comics outside of these sales figures.

  28. Charles says:

    Good one again. There’s really no point talking about the sales spike because we already know the reason. I’m more curious to see what happens in October when the books return to their normal numbering.

  29. I got this far:

    “The Green Lantern title for kids hasn’t found its level, but… no, wait: the Green Lantern title for kids. As opposed to the other Green Lantern titles that DC publishes, you know: the ones with the genocides, the rapes, the beheadings, and all the other things that point to the intellectual and emotional maturity of these Green Lantern comics and the adult human beings that read them.”

    I’m done. You’re a fucking idiot.

  30. Were there also some variants or other incentives to cause the spikes for the #0 issues, or was it only the numbering itself?

    Pretty good return on investment for DC in that case! Wonder when Marvel will follow :)

  31. PeterCSM730 says:

    Brian Jacoby’s analysis of increasing the average for the zero issues makes sense. Any idea why Batman Inc. #0 didn’t get any increase?

  32. Joe Gualtieri says:

    Before Watchmen was never returnable. DC did offer some copies on consignment to some retailers, but that’s not the same thing.

  33. Chris Hero says:

    The most fun part of these comments every month are from people who think anyone who isn’t fawning over DC’s comics must be Marvel fans when the truth is there are people who don’t care about either company or their output, we’re just data nerds.

    The sales for both Marvel and DC seem to be telling a story of two companies trying to squeeze every last cent out of a shrinking market. Both companies don’t seem to be able to generate sales outside of marketing tricks (52 “new” comics, 0 issues, etc) or copying yesterday’s hits while offering huge returnability (Avengers v X-Men, Before Watchmen).

    The superhero market isn’t looking too stable.

  34. Chris Hero says:

    BTW – I really enjoyed the Before Watchmen comments. You’d think a company that made most of it’s fortune screwing over little old ladies (I.e. the Superman story) would know how to make a fortune screwing over their most successful writer, but that’s DC for you.

  35. Christ, just hang it up already.

  36. giuliano says:

    This is not true.I bought all the #1 without bias and they all sucked. Books were at most average. You take what is considered the more important super hero graphic novel in history, you don’t make “meh” prequeles…or at least if it’s the best you come up with you don’t publish them. Are them good comics? Maybe but they are not revolutionary, not near watchmen importance/quality…there are lot of comics like these in the market, it has just been a commercialo peration.

  37. giuliano says:

    I don’t see that as “domination”. I am not marvel fan or dc enemy (I mainly buy image and underground comics from the u.s.a. market, surely in the past I bought more from vertigo than marvel) but I woul say the story is a bit different: DC pulled his guns with the new 52 a year ago and already lost at least 40% of the gains it made, during this year Marvel has been obviously quiet (with a so little market two concurrent realunchrs would kill each other) escept for the usual event. September, where DC “dominated” also happens to be the last month before Marvel own relaunch, a real flat month without a lot of interesting and a lot of comic books ending, so not a big surprise that DC won if you add they had a gimmick too this month.

  38. James says:

    What happened to the Skeletor one shot? It had a great creative team attached.

  39. James says:

    Haha… thats a funny one!

  40. Nick Jones says:

    The thing I find shocking here is the number of people who are apparently being forced to read Marc-Oliver’s commentary at gunpoint. I mean, coercion under pain of death is the only explanation I can think of for the offended folks not preserving their sanity by simply skipping the analysis and looking solely at the numbers when they are obviously so monumentally dismayed by Mr. Frisch’s writing in less than glowing terms about corporate periodical sales.

    Should we be notifying the FBI? Hostage taking is a serious crime, after all.

  41. Oh, there was analysis? I missed it in all the sour griping and sullen silences.

  42. In our quarterly creative retreat here at THE BEAT, it was decided to double-ship the columns in October, so all the redundant remarks on the one-month sales increases had to be cut.

    We believe that those are first-rate silences, though — the very best silences to be found in the market.

  43. No, the assumption I make is that the internal company economics of books that repackage pre-existing material are different than those of more traditional comic books.

  44. blacaucasian says:

    You can’t really present your opinion as fact against someone else’s opinion. It doesn’t work that way.

  45. blacaucasian says:

    Forget for a second that these books are clearly rated for a teen audience. Because these are, and MOF’s argument above clearly leaves this context out.

    I just read the full first year of all three Green Lantern titles. (I haven’t red the Red Lantern books yet so I can’t comment on those.) I noticed no rapes, no beheadings, there was violence, but not any more then I’ve noticed on shows like Arrow or Revolution (network TV shows that are also rated, like the DC books, for a teen audience) and I especially found the John Stewart storyline in Green Lantern Corps complex as well as both intellectually and emotionally mature. If you are going to make a sweeping commentary on the contents of these comics, I think you should at least have to read them first. This is and will always be my problem with your column. It’s heavily biased and this months column proves, to me at least, that you’re editorializing content without even reading the books. That’s both inappropriate and shameful if your trying to indeed be taken seriously.

  46. blacaucasian says:

    The point isn’t that we’re being forced to read this. The point is this is supposed to be a market analysis. One would hope an unbiased market analysis of the numbers. The Marvel and Indie charts seems to be able to provide analysis for their charts without even a little of the bile MOF has for the company he is covering. Beyond that, he throws in commentary about the content of books that he is clearly reading from other commentary because he can’t possibly be reading the books himself. I’ve stated before, I would prefer a much more unbiased view of these numbers as I believe the commentary he has a history of provided in these charts, which I believe him to see as smart and clever, and I, as someone who reads this site several times daily as immature, unproductive, and unnecessary (his current trend to say nothing now instead of providing a constant snarky dialogue of the same thing over and over again for each title serves no purpose either.) His dislike and distaste for the current slate of DC titles, their attempt to diversify their product with licensed property, and sycophantic worship of Watchmen, is well documented, and instead of taking feedback from those of us who don’t like his tone and snark in something that SHOULD BE a fairly straight forward look at sales tends from month to month for DC has devolved into, well, this.

    I like the Beat. I’m a regular reader of the Beat. I don’t always agree with everything written by Heidi or other writers on this site, but nothing has repelled me to, in recent history, not want to read something on this website as these charts and their snarky commentary does. I would argue I’m not the only one, clearly by the comments. And I recognize it does seem to be split evenly down the middle (although in recent months I would say more people read this column for the comments then the actual column itself.) As one of many regular readers to this site, I am only commenting to what I think could be a more productive and informative column. There’s ways to comment on DC’s sales declining without being dismissive and condescending. There’s way to be critical of DC’s publishing plan without being snarky. Unfortunately, and especially as of late, this column seems to be more concerned with being smart-ass then smart.

    I just wish it would be more concerned with being smart. Because quite frankly, I don’t want to come to this website and instant be repelled to read anything by any writer on it.

  47. spike says:

    I like Before Watchmen, but I stopped after the second issues because I decided I would just pick up the trades. I figured the stories will be more enjoyable that way. I give Before Watchmen 2 thumbs up.

  48. Thanks for the flip and unfair dismissal, but I’m serious. I don’t mind a good helping of snark along with a sales analysis, and I think that in the past you’ve been critical of DC while still providing an interesting and enjoyable reading experience.

    Over the past few months, though, your column has shifted to something far more sour and genuinely angry. It’s projecting out to the readers and based on the comments here I’m not the only one getting that vibe. Are you really getting any sort of enjoyment out of writing this column any more? Because right now, that’s clearly not what a lot of your audience is getting from this.

  49. jonboy says:

    Having Marc-Oliver comment on DC’s sales numbers is akin to having Rush Limbaugh comment on Obama’s approval ratings.

  50. So, then, CANCELED COMICS CAVALCADE was “bought and paid for”, and, by inference, somehow more profitable, by that logic?

    -B

  51. giuliano says:

    Actually, I presented my opinion against someone else opinion. I will be more clear: the value of watchmen is that it redefined a narrative genre (super heroes). You can like Watchmen Before (I don’t) but certainly you can’t say this books are revolutionary in any way, that they redefine the medium or the genre, don’t you agree? I think nobody could disagree about that. So, why ask these authors to write these stories, because they could contribute to the real value of the original redifining again the figure of super heroes? Nope, for the money.

  52. Regarding this:

    “The popular though still unproven notion that this type of book thrives on sales via subscriptions, mass retail stores or libraries aside, direct-market figures are rock-solid here.”

    I think you raise a great point and I’m surprised this isn’t more thoroughly researched by more comics bloggers. I mean, my first impulse is, “Well, who really cares how many copies a book sells?” but that’s obviously moot since we’re reading a column precisely about unit sales and analysis thereof. So, second impulse is, “Can we take a look at those figures?” Subscription sales are easily obtainable from a BPA report, which is itself easily obtainable if you’re an industry professional of some sort (journalists, especially, included). Likewise Bookscan for the bookstore figures. So with those three easily Google-able points (ICv2, BPA, and Bookscan) you’ve already answered more than half the question, and all that’s left (if you care enough) is a phone call to PR people to ask about the mass market sales left out of Bookscan.

    (Totally not directing this at Mark, necessarily, just to anyone with even a casual interest in the topic who also has a blog.)

  53. “Whether or not American Vampire: Lord of Nightmares artist Dustin Nguyen will return to Wildcats Version 3.0 in late 2013 as well, though, as initially announced when he left, DC didn’t say, unfortunately.”

    Heh, nice.
    And based on the way DC is running through properties to relaunch there probably will be a new Wildcats book next year.

  54. Brian, I think he specifically means comics that are published in multiple formats, generating multiple revenue streams. It’s just a mathematical thing — the P&L is in the black (or breaks even) on the first thing you publish so the next format of the same material you publish has a higher profit margin. Of course, if that second thing doesn’t sell, it isn’t more profitable, but it still had a higher possibility of profit at the outset.

    In the example Mark is pointing out, he’s assuming the 20K-odd copies sold of a print edition of previously published material has a higher profit margin than the original digital edition.

  55. MBunge says:

    Seriously, dude, can’t you at least be a two-trick pony?

    Mike

  56. Glenn Simpson says:

    Is there nothing in-between “shameless money-grab” and “revolutionized the genre”?

  57. Swampy says:

    who cares? It doesn’t change the what the numbers tell us.

  58. Joe S. Walker says:

    Comment on the zero issues is right there at the top – the stunt produced a line-wide sales bump, but tells us nothing whatsoever about each title’s future prospects. What else is there to say?

  59. Phil Southern says:

    Thanks for the column, which I read and enjoy every month, given that I agree with most of his comments re: content.

    The sales for Marvel and DC are simply horrendous, both in the near and distant history. To see people become enraged when someone points this out is puzzling to me.

    However, with the umbrage taken by so many to MOF’s analysis, I am beginning to understand why corporations are now classified as people, as so many seem to respond so personally to a perceived attack or slight.

  60. blacaucasian says:

    You said “this is not true.” Typically, that would be taken a s a factual statement. Not to mention the commentor before you did not claim them to be revolutionary or groundbreaking. He stated two of the minis were excellent Watchmen stories. While a declarative statement, it certainly is notthe factual statement you have claimed in “not being true.”
    I’m not reading “Before Watchmen” because I’m just not a huge fan of the original work. So I can’t comment as to the content of the work. I can comment to the motivation of the creators as I’ve read multiple interviews with them. I take them at their word when they said they found interesting stories to tell with the characters. Arguing the “quality” of those is a subjective argument. Your argument for why they would do it is not only completely speculative and not in all based in fact of the evidence the creators themselves have presented (biased or not) but it’s also subjective.

    I would argue that’s it’s just as possible that the creators involved had stories to tell as they were attracted to money offered. The difference between us however is I wouldn’t presume to introduce either as absolute fact behind the genesis of their working on this project and you apparently feel the need to do exactly that.

  61. blacaucasian says:

    HA! Definitely hyperbolic. But still…HA!

  62. blacaucasian says:

    Read the Marvel and Indie charts and please tell me you don’t see a difference between how the analysis is approached. I don’t see many people arguing that numbers are wrong. I do see many people arguing about the tone of the analysis, which optimally would be a lot less bias then it appears to be, especially in the last few months. How people taking umbrage with the tone of commentary in the analysis of the numbers equals people seeing companies corporations classified as people…I just don’t know how you are making that jump.

    Not to mention the fact that the hidden meaning behind much of the commentary in these charts seems to be “if you are reading these books and enjoying them, what’s wrong with you?” Lines like “all the other things that point to the intellectual and emotional maturity of these Green Lantern comics and the adult human beings that read them” is condescending, no matter how you want to look at it. I don’t read these charts to be condescended to. (I actually try not to read these charts at all anymore, but I always get sucked back in. Which I fully admit is my own fault.)

  63. blacaucasian says:

    Jim Lee has already said Wildcats is one of the properties being reserved for him.

    With American Vampire’s seeming popularity on Amazon and in bookstores, and it’s continual debut at the top of the NYT charts, I doubt we’ll have another Otherworld situation with it.

  64. Green Lantern is rated T, or, as DC puts it:

    “T – TEEN
    Appropriate for readers age 12 and older. May contain mild violence, language and/or suggestive themes.”

    Marc may have overstated the sexual violence in the title, but it IS hyper-violent, including brutal prison beatings and, in one example that stayed with me because of it’s callous ignoring of the “superheroes don’t kill” rule, Hal Jordan blowing up an enemies head with a ring-generated bazooka.

    DC’s “T” would cover the MPAA’s suggested audience for PG-13 films (and dip slightly into the G audience, since it includes 12-year-olds). No way in hell do CW shows contain a Green Lantern franchise comics worth of violence (although I haven’t seen Arrow; maybe a bunch of the characters DO constantly vomit blood…?)

  65. Phil Southern says:

    First of all, I appreciate your civility, and I hope to equal it. Any failures in this are due to poor execution on my part, not bad intent!

    “Read the Marvel and Indie charts and please tell me you don’t see a difference between how the analysis is approached. ”

    I do see a great difference. I agree with and enjoy the difference.

    ” I do see many people arguing about the tone of the analysis, which optimally would be a lot less bias then it appears to be, especially in the last few months.”

    I think he clearly states that his analysis reveals that these numbers are terrible. Is it a bias in that he clearly observes this? I would hope that if we saw a long and sustained improvement in the numbers, this would be reflected in the commentary. However, we have decidedly not seen this. What we have seen is erosive attrition after gains were made after the “New 52″.

    ” How people taking umbrage with the tone of commentary in the analysis of the numbers equals people seeing companies corporations classified as people…I just don’t know how you are making that jump.”

    This point I might concede. My thought/feeling/theory is that folks take this analysis as insulting to DC Comics the brand which is then taken as insulting to them personally. I would love to hear why some folks seem to get so mad about this, month in and month out, despite the overall accuracy of his analysis, vis-a-vis what is going to continue to be published versus ceasing publication, etc.

    “…hidden meaning behind much of the commentary in these charts seems to be “if you are reading these books and enjoying them, what’s wrong with you?”

    Here is where I agree with MOF, and therefore like his analysis. I think the modern GL books are books for immature males, rampant with unnecessary violence, gore, decolletage, murder, blood and genocide. I work part time selling comics, and I have trouble selling modern GL books to the seven to 12 year olds because of this very reason.

    I know that this kind of subject manner can be presented more imaginatively and subtly, and made appropriate for all audiences. I do not mean they will be for kids–I would hope they would be for everyone!

    Star Wars managed to do this. Harry Potter managed to do this. Warner Bros. cartoons managed to do this. Batman the animated series did this. Bone managed to do this. Adventure manages to do this.

    Geoff Johns cannot do this, and DC doesn’t seem eager to do it, either. I see MOF’s verbalization of this as an analysis, one which I agree with.

    Phil

  66. giuliano says:

    Honestly I think you are taking my statements a bit too seriously. I still feel that while the watchmen stories can be for someone good stories, they are not (always in my opinion) good watchmen stories, but just good stories; with nothing to share with watchmen in atmosphere, innovation, originaltiy etc. We can wait 20 years and see if this book will have the have impact watchmen had. I feel they won’t.

  67. blacaucasian says:

    We are likely arguing semantics for the large part at this point, but I’m fairly confident any of the Green Lantern books filmed and released would be released as a PG-13 in this day and age. Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, rated a PG in 1984, had a scene with a man having his heart ripped out of his chest. (Yes a realize ratings were later changed as a result of scenes like this, but Temple of Doom likely would have been rated with the PG-13 rating a year or two after.) The MPAA is notorious for understating violence in ratings.

    Whether this is right or not is entirely different matter and also dives into the responsibility of the parents to know what their children are reading/watching. But is DC releasing items within the ratings put forth – I think in today’s climate – 2012?- I believe they are. Mild violence is a relative term and compared to the violence in some of the M and T+ rated books, I certainly believe it’s comparatively less violent. But these are also subjective judgements on some level, so what I think is “mild” you might see as “extreme” and vice versa. It’s a never ending argument that neither of us will ever win.

    Arrow, by the way, is rated PG. In the pilot (spoiler), Oliver Queen snaps the neck of one of the villains to keep him from finding out his identity. So everything seems to be relative in the ratings game.

  68. Mike Powell says:

    M. Bunge,

    Dude, I have been reading this column, and the comments, and YOUR comments, for years now, and you increasingly sound like you would like to be Marc Oliver’s boyfriend.

    There’s other fish in the pond, you know.

    Just sayin’.

  69. I love this column. And I love the comments left on this column for entirely different reasons. Thank you for doubling my entertainment, Marc-Oliver!

  70. Synsidar says:

    I can comment to the motivation of the creators as I’ve read multiple interviews with them. I take them at their word when they said they found interesting stories to tell with the characters.

    That’s the basic problem with BEFORE WATCHMEN, actually. Compare they said they found interesting stories to tell with the characters to interesting stories to tell about New York City or interesting stories about terrorists or interesting stories about humans vs aliens. Using Moore’s characters as the foundations for their stories turns the creative process upside down. If they’re creative, they should be able to create characters along with everything else. Other writers do that every time they write standalone stories. It doesn’t require genius.

    SRS

  71. Stephen says:

    I don’t mind the elimination of redundant messages on the 0 issues, however, it would have been nice if some analysis / comment was made on DC Universe Presents, Batman Inc., and the four new titles.

  72. Charles says:

    The Beat’s sales analysis is the one place to get everything put into proper perspective. Comparing Marvel to DC sales at the moment doesn’t make much sense because Marvel havent re-launched their entire line with massive amounts of hype (yet). People like to make statements like “DC trounced Marvel in September sales and Marvel is failing” (probably because bashing the big bad evil corporation that Marvel is is very popular on the internet) without putting things into proper context which the folks at the Beat actually do.

    Keep up the good work MOF, it’s good to see unbiased analysis of sales figures with a little bit of snark.

  73. The relatively big increase on DC UNIVERSE PRESENTS (on top of the August increase, let’s not forget) probably results from the attention by the readers of the various aborted “New 52″ runs that it followed up on.

    On BATMAN, INC., I suspect there’s an underlying decline that cancelled out the increase, but we’ll be getting a clearer picture on that next month.

    TALON is doing extremely well, obviously — not unexpected, given the success of the Snyder/Capullo run and the “Night of the Owls” story in particular. I’d say 40K for a PHANTOM STRANGER book is also pretty good. Unless there’s another bump for issues #1, which I doubt, I don’t see a particularly bright future for SWORD OF SORCERY or TEAM 7, though — their figures are well below the debuts of RAVAGERS and DIAL H, and if you look at the subsequent drops on those titles (or on G.I. COMBAT, for that matter), prospects don’t seem rosy.

    I’m curious how retailers are treating the #1 issues in relation to the #0 issues, though. That’s what a lot is going to depend on for the new books.

  74. Micah says:

    Here here Adam. I like the commentary, I love the presentation of the numbers, and love the pissed off readers. Make mine Marc.

  75. Evan Meadow says:

    The Skeletor one shot is still scheduled to come out next Wed.

  76. Yeah, except that ALL DC comics are published with multiple revenue streams. There’s not one single print comic book that they do (that I am aware of) that they don’t also sell digitally; so there’s no reason whatsoever to to differentiate between (say) SMALLVILLE and FIRESTORM — they have essentially the same P&L, *unless* they’re paying a lower page rate for “digital first”

    Marc-Oliver, IMO, implied that the digital first comics were inherently somehow more profitable, and I don’t think there’s any evidence that the DF books are selling better digitally than their equivalent print peers.

    -B

  77. Right, but most of the other comics are published print periodical first, or print periodical simultaneously with digital periodical. I think these are the only instances of a print periodical benefiting from having most of the production costs earned out by an earlier format (usually the TPBs and hardcovers get to do that). At least that’s the point I thought was being made — admittedly not a very interesting point, but just something else to add in to a long piece examining sales.

  78. MBunge says:

    “I think he clearly states that his analysis reveals that these numbers are terrible.”

    Here’s the point.

    These numbers really aren’t that terrible IN THE CONTEXT OF THE DIRECT COMIC MARKETPLACE AS IT EXISTS TODAY.

    By any short term commercial standard, the New 52 has been an almost unqualified success. Long term? That’s certainly up for debate and I think there’s little evidence the New 52 has been any sort of paradigm shifting event that’s going to fix all the problems that have plagued the Direct Market since the 90s implosion.

    This is supposed to be a sales analysis. There’s nothing wrong with wanting that analysis to acknowledge and grapple with the reality underlying the numbers instead of meekly spitting out the same, tired, old snark.

    Or at the very least, make a frickin’ effort.

    Mike

  79. MBunge says:

    Yeah, you regularly find folks in these threads polishing MOF’s knob, but I don’t think I’m one of them.

    Mike

  80. Torsten Adair says:

    Wikipedia:
    “Bleez (of Sector 33): A woman who is tortured and raped by the members of the Sinestro Corps while imprisoned on Ranx the Sentient City;”

    GCD
    R.E.B.E.L.S. #22 January 2011:
    “Starfire realized she was being observed and confronted [Green Lantern] Gorius Karkum, who took her to the Psion homeworld and showed Starfire how Psion women are treated. ”

    Superman is a popular character, suitable for children of all ages. Most likely, the movie will be rated PG so that families can attend. Problem: Most of the DCU material from the past two decades is not very kid-friendly. DC experimented with “Adventures” reprints for both Superman (Millar stories) and Wonder Woman.

    So what does a retailer do when a kid or parent comes in to look for a Superman comic? Maybe sell them a Showcase volume, but that’s $15-$20. How about a comic book? Or a $10 full-color book of SFA?

    Also, without a Superman cartoon, how do you get kids interested in the character (and thus eager to see the movie)? You take the team responsible for Tiny Titans (very popular) and you transfer them over to Superman, keeping the humor and style intact.

  81. Paul D Houston says:

    I actually read all the comments/complaining this time around. What a buncha freaks. You knew at the top he posts the links straight to just the numbers which has no commentary, right? That ICV2.com link. If you dont want to read the commentary just click that link to look at the numbers. Dimwits.

    Before Watchmen so far is entirely mediocre. The art is nice, but I always ask myself why did they make this comic after reading? Fortunately I’m not stupid enough to buy these comics and just go to pirate bay to get them.

    I give Ryan Higgins 4 months before he’s back. Anyone want to take that bet?

  82. I agree, this and Paul’s column are the reason why I come here.

  83. Torsten Adair says:

    “These numbers really aren’t that terrible IN THE CONTEXT OF THE DIRECT COMIC MARKETPLACE AS IT EXISTS TODAY.”

    A boat which maintains buoyancy even when filled with water is still a boat filled with water.

    What the New 52 appears to be is an attempt to keep comics publishing profitable while waiting for digital comics to become ubiquitous. Of course, once that happens, then some non-comics online retailer will step in, create an iTunes-style store for comics, and make millions of dollars by selling digital comics one cent above cost, or at a loss subsidized by advertising or book sales. Amazon did it with books, Netflix did it with video rental (and Amazon is doing it to Netflix with streaming video), Apple did it with music.

  84. Chris Hero says:

    The last Green Lantern comic was one I read where Green Lantern and Green Arrow were discussing having threesomes while drunk with some of the superheroines. That’s the problem. It doesn’t matter that this particular Green Lantern series doesn’t have rape and torture, it’s that you can reasonably expect that sort of debauchery from Green Lantern comics. Saying this particular Green Lantern comic hasn’t had debauchery yet is like saying a new puppy hasn’t chewed up a shoe yet. You know it’s coming, it’s just a matter of when.

  85. blacaucasian says:

    If this is how you feel, why do you even care enough to comment on anything DC does then? Clearly you have no faith that they will change their ways so what’s the point even paying attention to them?

  86. PeterCSM730 says:

    Thanks Marc!

  87. blacaucasian says:

    If there’s snark involved it’s not really unbiased.

  88. Phil Southern says:

    MBunge:
    “These numbers really aren’t that terrible IN THE CONTEXT OF THE DIRECT COMIC MARKETPLACE AS IT EXISTS TODAY.

    By any short term commercial standard, the New 52 has been an almost unqualified success. ”

    You listed two qualifiers before you described it as an unqualified success.

    I am fearful what a market where Jim Lee’s JLA sells so poorly, and Uncanny X-Men struggles to maintain 60,000 readers. The returns of this publishing strategy, which seems to have it roots in the mid-90’s “Heroes Reborn” relaunch, have had diminished returns with each iteration, DC’s New 52 and Marvel NOW! being the most recent examples.

    I am interested in seeing a different interpretation of this data these numbers by anyone! Please somebody, give it a crack! I, however, agree with MOF’s interpretation.

    Thanks!
    Phil

  89. PeterCSM730 says:

    I was wondering why there’s so much ire for the Before Watchmen books? How is using those characters different than using all the other DC characters whose creators have lost the rights/income to?

    I agree with a previous poster that those are comics to buy in trade. Too pricey as monthlies, though none of the series have appealed to me. I was surprised that the Rorschach one was so lame since he seems like he’d be the most fun to write.

  90. Synsidar says:

    I was wondering why there’s so much ire for the Before Watchmen books? How is using those characters different than using all the other DC characters whose creators have lost the rights/income to?

    The WATCHMEN characters weren’t created to be serial characters. Batman, Superman, et al. were, and that’s reflected in their simplicity. They were designed for morality plays that kids read and watch. Kids don’t mind repetition; they could watch a Super Friends episode ten, fifteen times (?) before they’d be bored enough to do something else. Develop Supes or Batman to the point that they’re comparable to genre fiction characters; DC Editorial would scream that the hero had been ruined because his life had been defined. Rorschach and the others were sufficiently developed and defined to the point that a reader doesn’t benefit from seeing them again–unless Moore were to come up with more ideas. If the themes in WATCHMEN piqued creators’ interests, they could do their own stories on the themes.

    SRS

  91. Serge says:

    Thanks for these additional comments, M-O. While I’m not really crazy about this month’s report (a feature I look forward to each month, from you and Paul, here at The Beat) at least you’ve been able to provide a few. Can you add those into the column?

    Also, a couple books ended with this month’s #0 (CAPTAIN ATOM and VOODOO) – can you go back and mention that at least?

  92. Stephen says:

    If the indy charts are any indication, I suspect the new number ones will at least have a slower decline than a second issue marked #2. I think it would be kind of odd if the comic shops treated DC differently than the other publishers prior to actual customer feedback.

    I also find it curious that a couple of dollar increase didn’t seem to affect orders for DCU Presents #0. It seems counter intuitive that lower in the chart would be less price sensitive.

  93. “benefiting from having most of the production costs earned out by an earlier format”

    Prove that?

    I’d generally expect the percentage-of-sales-in-relationship-to-print for the Digital First books to be within a few percent of the digital-at-the-same-time books. If not, you would imagine that DC would be crowing about that, no?

    -B

  94. Stephen says:

    I’ve don’t understand where people get the idea that this is a “Heroes Reborn” situation; this is a Post Crisis situation. DC has committed far too many resources to this reboot to turn it back.

    Accept that the Pre-Flashpoint continuity will never be the main continuity again. You’ll feel better.

  95. Glenn Simpson says:

    @Synsidar – but in this particular case, they were not hired to write about new characters, they were offered the chance to write about the Watchmen characters. That doesn’t mean they are incapable of creating new characters.
    If every writer insisted on creating new characters, who would write Superman, Batman, etc.?

    @giuliano – again, I don’t know why these have to have “the impact Watchmen had.” Why can’t they just be entertaining comics that sell well enough to pay for themselves?

  96. Chris Hero says:

    Because it’s still the comics industry and I love comics in the general sense. I think it’s sad and pathetic, but no industry is without companies selling to the lowest common denominator. (I also think McDonald’s is horrible food but I own lots of shares of McDonald’s and follow their sales, too.)

    I’m really disturbed by the implication the only reason to follow the sales of a company is because one loves the company’s product. That kinda forces out any other industry analysis. MOF is just analyzing the sales. He’s calling it like he sees it and what he sees are bad sales from a company either only selling to their most dedicated consumer or a company trying to maximize sales selling to the lowest common denominator. In either case, it isn’t working and the overall sales look pretty bad.

  97. Wayne Hollander says:

    Agreed, poor showing sir.

  98. PeterCSM730 says:

    @synsidar: That’s an interesting take, like Lonesome Dove vs Bonanza. I’d counter that making these new series as prequels may add to the original ( treating them like serials and the original series like Dark Knight Returns) but frankly given that the new series aren’t particularly inspired it seems you’re right about it being better using the themes, instead of the characters, in their own stories. Thanks for the excellent reply!

  99. For the life of me, I can’t seem to see Wildstorm as a value-add. Since The New 52 put Wildstorm front and center, it’s seemed like an albatross around their neck.

    I mean, Wildstorm was kind of played out way before The New 52 started up.

  100. Increases for single issues have never much deterred retailers, as far as I’m aware — “anniversary” issues frequently have higher price points, and they still get a sales bump. DCU PRESENTS #0 was kind of a “Cancelled Comics Calvacade” special, so I suspect the same principle applies.

  101. blacaucasian says:

    Not for nothing, but name calling serves no purpose on either side.

  102. James says:

    Nice. Thanks for the info! For some reason I thought it was cancelled :-)

  103. blacaucasian says:

    But it does change the tone of how they are spun. He’s got plenty to editorialize about the Green Lantern books, but for Batman#0 increase all he’s got is “That’s quite unexpected.”

  104. Glenn Simpson says:

    Re: The Watchmen characters weren’t created to be serial characters – bear in mind that Swamp Thing was introduced as a one-shot character whom they then brought back when he turned out to be popular. The Joker also died at the end of his first appearance. In both cases, the intent of the author wasn’t for them to be used again.

  105. Wonderer says:

    *grabs another half handful of popcorn*
    *throws into mouth*

    *munch munch*

  106. oswegocomics says:

    Consider this – Digital First books like Batman LotDK – are sold in smaller forms. So they .99cents book by Lindelof and Lemire would only take up 8 pages of print comics. As a result they MIGHT be paid a lower rate. Many months after the book in question was released Digital First it appears in print combined with two other 8 page Batman stories by other creators. – Might it be that the creators were paid a rate commiserate with a shorter story and that DC made bank because if readers wanted to read the story immediately rather than wait several months, they picked it up in Digital? I think the purchasing habits of Digital-first-print-4-months-later are different than day-and-date print/digital. Food for thought Mr. Hibbs.

  107. Pascal Lavoie says:

    What is Otherworld?

  108. blacaucasian says:

    Phil Jimenez’s Vertigo book. Half of it was published. He was supposed to take a short break and come back to finish the story. That was 7 years ago.

  109. johnrobiethecat says:

    This take on DC is a good thing and entertaining reading. I like that some comic fans are reacting against the scams and excess gimmicks by these big companies….Maybe part of the problem is that to the general public (most of it ) comics are still for kids or stuff a Friday night movie is based on. To the comic fans that grew up on them, it isn’t and they want real stories told with some craftsmanship and respect for the medium (not some writer auditioning for “Pulp Fiction” remakes) .

    To kids, comics aren’t what they were in the 70’s , 80’s and 90’s since there is a slew of other distractions with high profit margins to corporations that come before that, then they just go to regular novels and such as they grow older. To the Big Two, comic fans are just a fixed number of addicts to their characters that they just haven’t found the right angle or formula to exploit their properties and maximize value before they completely go out of business. So be skeptical and hold them to account. The world of digital holds a lot of promise for real visions and the medium will be better for it…

  110. Mike Powell says:

    Mike Bunge,

    My previous message was intended to say that it was my impression that you may be taking all of this a wee bit personal, coming here, month after month, year after year, to say how little you enjoy Marc Oliver’s writing and then projecting your own displeasure into the writing itself – something which, granted, does not seem to be an unusual response among comic fans if you read the other comments – when Marc Oliver just seems to be someone who’s having a lot of fun talking about sales figures and market strategies and providing his own, very distinguished, very opinionated perspective, which veers refreshingly away from the official company line that most comic news pages sadly follow.

    But now, as somebody dabbling in psychology, I do find it interesting that you are taking this fixation of yours to a sexual level.

  111. MBunge says:

    Oh, give me a break.

    1. You’re the doofus who introduced the whole “sexual level” into the discussion. Or is there some non-homophobic way to interpret that “boyfriend” remark? There’s nothing worse than trying to be a smartass and then rhetorically running way when it’s thrown back in your face.

    2. Just as MOF is free to write these things any way he wants, I and anyone else are free to respond to them. Until The Beat takes away the comment feature, that’s the way it will be. This pathetic, fanboy whining of “Leave MOF alone” is at least as bad as, if not worse than, any of the complaining about MOF’s lazy, biased analysis.

    3. Did this column read like someone who’s having “fun”? MOF pretty well seems to have nothing but contempt for DC as a company and disdain for almost all of its non-Vertigo publishing slate. I also doubt he’s getting paid in gold bricks for the time and effort he puts into these posts. Why do I and others comment? Why the hell is he still writing? Why doesn’t he have better things to do with his time? Who has the fixation here? The people who get annoyed at the same, tired snark or the guy who keeps dishing out the same, tired snark NO MATTER WHAT DC SALES FIGURES LOOK LIKE?

    I don’t think you need to dabble in psychology. You need to receive some through treatment.

    Mike

  112. comicsatemybrain says:

    “National Comics is missing from the December and January solicitations, but DC evidently wants to continue publishing it, nonetheless, despite the low sales figures. I suppose it depends on the creative teams what the book’s prospects look like.”

    I wonder if DC’s primary mission behind this title is to maintain trademark rights for various properties that haven’t been used for a very long time? Marvel lost trademark rights to The Champions and (I’ve heard) to Machine Man as well. One explanation for DC continuing the National Comics one-shots would be to retain trademark rights.

  113. Mike Powell says:

    Mike Bunge,

    No reason to try to insult me too, you know. You seem a lot more agitated and obsessed than Marc Oliver, is all I’m sayin, and it’s hard to not roll your eyes at someone who keeps following a columnist around for years just to hurl insults and what not. That’s creepy stalker shit, you know. He’s a columnist. He sees things differently than you do and it probably isn’t goin to change. Get over it. Don’t you have anything better to do with your life, man? It’s just sad. (Also, I’m gay, so back off.)

  114. Synsidar says:

    The Joker also died at the end of his first appearance. In both cases, the intent of the author wasn’t for them to be used again.

    From an aesthetic standpoint, making the Joker a one-shot villain would have made him a much better character.

    His theme is being Batman’s opposite, in several senses, and he has no themes aside from that. As a one-shot villain, Batman’s encounter with him could have been a life-changing event, causing Batman (Wayne) to reassess his priorities, whether an obsession is ever a good thing, whether there are other ways to contribute to fighting crime, etc. The theme of being Batman’s opposite wore out very quickly though. Now, the Joker is just another space-filler, someone for Batman to defeat, rather uselessly, since the Joker always returns eventually. Why use him instead of some other villain, unless the reasons are name recognition and the capacity to be more sadistic and shocking than other villains?

    Why write a story about any superhero if the story only emphasizes what everyone already knows about him? Firemen are heroes, but they’re not featured in stories because fires are boring–see one fire, you’ve seen them all. If a story about firemen does nothing more than show that they’re dedicated, brave, etc., the reaction is likely to be, “Well, what else do you expect? They’re firemen, for chrissake!”

    If a story about a superhero doesn’t say something new about him, there’s no point in writing it.

    SRS

  115. Mesektet says:

    I appreciate that this months column was early although it means i have to wait even longer for the next one. I know people like to bitch about the negative tone of the articles but i love them, I don’t think they are negative but realistic and i agree with most of the non technical side.

    With day and date digital i wonder how much they contribute to sales, if a 15k title is selling 5-10k digital then it makes sense that the lower selling titles are not cancelled but we wont know until they release the deets.

    Why does the DC column get so many more comments than the Mrvel column?

  116. Jim 'Bruce' Lee says:

    I liked the comment were the commentator complained about the article. That was great.

  117. Glenn Simpson says:

    Other than the fact that people seem to enjoy reading stories about superheroes that don’t say something new about them, and rather just provide a continuance of what we already know. YMMV.

  118. Synsidar says:

    Other than the fact that people seem to enjoy reading stories about superheroes that don’t say something new about them, and rather just provide a continuance of what we already know.

    Quite so. The biggest reason that superhero comics don’t benefit from the success of movies probably isn’t that the publishers have failed to convince the public that the characters are tasty monthly treats. It’s that the non-readers aren’t interested in stories that are all about the characters and nothing else.

    SRS

  119. Samy Merchi says:

    I was a little disappointed by the lack of snark, but I understand that the column needed to play catch-up. Looking forward to the snark resuming next month in earnest.

  120. NotLevelingOut says:

    Marc-Oliver, I really enjoy your sales chart column every month and find your comments rather funny.

    Additionally, everyone that comments and bickers here about this column (which you don’t have read), I find your comments equally as funny as well.

    “Life is too important to be taken seriously.” – Oscar Wilde

  121. Shawn Hill says:

    The sales figures? That’s usually what I get.

  122. Shawn Hill says:

    What I wanted from Before Watchmen was more Silk Spectre and Silhouette, and that’s what I’m getting. The series is a success. I don’t, btw, think Marc hates it: I think he’s just having fun with some snarky names.

  123. Shawn Hill says:

    It was pretty good. Weirdly perfect material for Frazier Irving.

  124. You think he actually drank that much beer while writing?
    I’m dissapointed that Marc didn’t write much comments this month, but what can you really say other than the gimmick worked and there was an spike in sales and we’ll have to wait one month to see if those books retained those readers or not.
    I would have wanted more snark on the He-Man book where Robinson was fired by Mattel, not DC. That was a low blow for Robinson… and I loved the bit where Giffen made Skeletor say to Trapjaw “tell me why didn’t you just killed him”, which read pretty meta for me, but I’m biased against Robinson.

  125. It seems you didn’t read the column where he replies Rob Liefeld’s comments about Batman selling only because of the character and not because of the work done by Snyder and Capullo.

  126. I think the point is that those books “already paid for”, were originally produced for digital distribution. One would assume that DC financed those books with the money they got from the digital purchases, and therefore any additional sales from the printed editions are very good for them because those are books partially or fully financed at the cost end of things.
    Digital sales of printed books add revenue but aren’t the main source of income for those projects.
    So I think that Mr Frisch did a pretty innocent remark there, that those printed editions of digital first books were good business for the company because it allowed them to monetize the work even further.

  127. Wow, you are filled with Hate…

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