DC Month-to-Month Sales: April 2009

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[This really got delayed due to MoCCA madness. Many apologies to Marc-Oliver and faithful readers.]

by Marc-Oliver Frisch

After a terrifying March performance, DC Comics’ periodical sales in the direct market rebounded in April. The second part of Neil Gaiman’s “Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader?” and the debut of Geoff Johns’ The Flash: Rebirth claimed the two top spots for DC, for starters, which is something that hasn’t happened in a while. Also, with The Battle for the Cowl, the soaring Green Lantern franchise and “The Great Fables Crossover,” there were a number of other strong projects from the company, all contributing to an improved overall performance.

Mainly, though, DC’s recovering average sales were due to more new comic-book releases from its main DC Universe line, which accounts for the bulk of the publisher’s periodical sales. After producing only 36 new comics in March, Executive Editor Dan DiDio’s office ramped up its output to a more conventional 49 releases in April.

Whereas the average periodical sales of DC Comics overall and the DC Universe line in particular showed signs of recovery, however, the Vertigo and WildStorm imprints remained largely unaffected by the upturn. At Vertigo, the second act of Grant Morrison’s Seaguy saga proved to be a commercial non-starter, while three of WildStorm’s series, once again, failed to make the chart.

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

—–

<strong>1 - DETECTIVE COMICS</strong>
04/2004: Detective Comics #793 --  34,800
04/2005: Detective Comics #805 --  39,077
04/2006: Detective Comics #818 --  60,440 [68,189]
04/2007: Detective Comics #831 --  56,284
-----------------------------------------
04/2008: Detective Comics #843 --  48,431 (- 2.0%)
05/2008: Detective Comics #844 --  48,394 (- 0.1%)
06/2008: Detective Comics #845 --  48,920 (+ 1.2%)
07/2008: Detective Comics #846 --  72,417 (+48.0%)
08/2008: Detective Comics #847 --  71,134 (- 1.8%)
09/2008: Detective Comics #848 --  68,306 (- 4.0%)
10/2008: Detective Comics #849 --  65,878 (- 3.6%)
11/2008: Detective Comics #850 --  64,196 (- 2.6%)
12/2008: Detective Comics #851 --  64,961 (+ 1.2%)
01/2009: Detective Comics #852 --  56,656 (-12.8%)
02/2009: --
03/2009: --
04/2009: Detective Comics #853 -- 104,107 (+83.8%)
-----------------
6 months: + 58.0%
1 year  : +115.0%
2 years : + 85.0%
5 years : +199.2%

There was a 1-for-50 variant-cover edition of Detective Comics #853 that likely boosted sales to no small degree.

That said, Neil Gaiman and Andy Kubert’s two-parter “Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader?” probably wouldn’t have needed the help to be called a big whopping success.

The first chapter of the story, published in Batman #686 in February (see below), sold another respectable 8,056 units in April, bringing the total to 124,542.

Evidently, retailers’ faith in the material was justified.

—–

2 - THE FLASH: REBIRTH
04/2004: Flash #209     --   47,543 [51,233]
04/2005: Flash #221     --   46,471 [47,704]
04/2007: Flash: FMA #11 --   46,963
-----------------------------------
04/2008: Flash #239      --  33,741 (-  5.2%)
05/2008: Flash #240      --  31,944 (-  5.3%)
06/2008: Flash #241      --  30,810 (-  3.6%)
07/2008: Flash #242      --  30,325 (-  1.6%)
08/2008: Flash #243      --  29,647 (-  2.2%)
09/2008: Flash #244      --  29,180 (-  1.6%)
10/2008: Flash #245      --  28,085 (-  3.8%)
11/2008: Flash #246      --  27,746 (-  1.2%)
12/2008: Flash #247      --  26,498 (-  4.5%)
01/2009: --
02/2009: --
03/2009: --
04/2008: Rebirth #1 of 5 -- 102,429 (+286.6%)
-----------------
6 months: +264.7%
1 year  : +203.6%
2 years : +118.1%
5 years : +115.5%

There are two ways of looking at Geoff Johns and Ethan van Sciver’s stab at reviving ostensible A-list character The Flash.

On its own terms, The Flash: Rebirth debuts with fantastic numbers, even accounting for the 1-for-25 variant-cover edition that boosted the numbers. It’s a juggernaut, plainly, and it beats everything Marvel had to offer in April, including the first issue of a new Wolverine series. That’s not too shabby.

Then again, this is the third Flash revamp in as many years, of course. And compared to DC’s previous attempts to reignite interest in the franchise, sales for The Flash: Rebirth #1 are not the unequivocal vote of confidence the publisher may have hoped for.

In July 2007, Mark Waid’s All Flash #1 shipped an estimated 98,694 units, while The Flash: Fastest Man Alive #1 sold in excess of 120,000 copies in June 2006. And neither one of them had the benefit of the company’s most popular creator, as Rebirth arguably does. So, all things considered, retailers’ response looks rather cautious here.

—–

6 - BATMAN: BATTLE FOR THE COWL
04/2004: Batman #626 --  78,519 [80,149]
04/2005: Batman #639 --  62,344
04/2006: Batman #652 --  72,889 [82,438]
04/2007: --
-------------------------------
04/2008: Batman #675 --  71,138 (+ 4.3%)
05/2008: Batman #676 -- 105,039 (+47.9%) [122,877]
05/2008: Batman #677 --  96,116 (- 8.5%) [111,065]
06/2008: --
07/2008: Batman #678 -- 103,213 (+ 7.4%)
08/2008: Batman #679 -- 103,588 (+ 0.4%)
09/2008: --
10/2008: Batman #680 -- 103,941 (+ 0.3%)
11/2008: Batman #681 -- 103,151 (- 0.8%) [114,657]
12/2008: Batman #682 --  93,469 (- 9.4%)
12/2008: Batman #683 --  90,272 (- 3.4%) [ 91,885]
12/2008: Batman #684 --  79,953 (-11.4%) [ 82,903]
01/2009: Batman #685 --  72,654 (- 9.1%)
02/2009: Batman #686 -- 111,353 (+53.3%) [124,542]
03/2009: BfC #1 of 3 --  91,619 (-17.7%) [ 95,780]
04/2009: BfC #2 of 3 --  89,120 (- 2.7%)
----------------
6 months: -14.3%
1 year  : +25.3%
2 years :  n.a.
5 years : +13.5%

It was something of a gamble on DC’s part to hand a major project like Battle for the Cowl over to Tony Daniel, who doesn’t have much of a critical or commercial track record as a writer. Looking at the figures, however, it seems to have paid off.

The second-issue drop is minuscule for a miniseries; and even if retailers just view Battle for the Cowl as three more issues of Batman, sales are very good. They’re in the same range as Grant Morrison’s “Final Crisis” two-parter from December, which in itself was about 20K ahead of Morrison’s usual level.

Considering that issue #1 sold another 4,161 units in April, it’s safe to say that this isn’t a case of retailers overreacting — the sales figures appear to be a reflection of genuine demand for the material. (Well, for the most part; there was a 1-for-10 variant-cover edition, as usual.)

Battle for the Cowl is being sold purely on the strength of its premise, so its success bodes well for June’s revamp of the Batman line. People are curious about the direction of the franchise.

—–

8/20 - JUSTICE SOCIETY OF AMERICA
04/2004: JSA #60             --  42,824
04/2005: JSA #72             --  43,472
04/2006: JSA #84             --  53,245
04/2007: Justice Society #5  --  98,069 [102,275]
---------------------------------------
04/2008: Justice Society #14 --  80,507 (-  2.7%)
05/2008: Justice Society #15 --  78,311 (-  2.7%)
06/2008: Justice Society #16 --  77,328 (-  1.3%)
07/2008: Justice Society #17 --  75,532 (-  2.3%)
08/2008: Justice Society #18 --  73,485 (-  2.7%)
09/2008: --
10/2008: Justice Society #19 --  72,073 (-  1.9%)
11/2008: Justice Society #20 --  71,355 (-  1.0%)
12/2008: Justice Society #21 --  69,662 (-  2.4%)
12/2008: Justice Society #22 --  67,615 (-  2.9%)
01/2009: Justice Society #23 --  61,385 (-  9.2%)
02/2009: Justice Society #24 --  65,207 (+  6.2%)
03/2009: --
04/2009: Justice Society #25 --  65,713 (+  0.8%)
04/2009: Justice Society #26 --  81,200 (+ 23.6%)
----------------
6 months: + 1.9%
1 year  : - 8.8%
2 years : -25.1%
5 years : +71.5%

Geoff Johns’ swan song after running the JSA franchise for ten years sees a surge of interest — among retailers, at any rate. No doubt, the 1-for-10 variant-cover edition of issue #25 and the three Alex Ross covers for issue #26 were helpful to that end.

Overall, Johns and his collaborators have been remarkably successful in establishing the Justice Society as one of DC’s flagship properties. Sales had been slipping lately, but even at its lowest point in January, the current series still sold almost 20,000 units more than its predecessor — also written by Johns, mind you — did five years ago. That sort of growth during the run of a single creator is very rare in the periodical direct market.

—–

9/11 - GREEN LANTERN
04/2004: Green Lantern #176 --  34,674 [ 37,565]
04/2005: Rebirth #5 of 6    -- 115,006 [116,652]
04/2006: --
04/2007: --
--------------------------------------
04/2008: Green Lantern #30  --  65,347 (- 1.9%)
05/2008: Green Lantern #31  --  65,874 (+ 0.8%)
06/2008: Green Lantern #32  --  64,839 (- 1.6%)
07/2008: Green Lantern #33  --  63,814 (- 1.6%)
08/2008: --
09/2008: Green Lantern #34  --  63,825 (+ 0.0%)
10/2008: Green Lantern #35  --  63,383 (- 0.7%)
11/2008: --
12/2008: Green Lantern #36  --  64,755 (+ 2.2%) [74,005]
01/2009: Green Lantern #37  --  65,556 (+ 1.2%) [71,331]
02/2009: Green Lantern #38  --  68,908 (+ 5.1%)
03/2008: --
04/2008: Green Lantern #39  --  79,792 (+15.8%)
04/2008: Green Lantern #40  --  76,665 (- 3.9%)
-----------------
6 months: + 23.4%
1 year  : + 19.7%  
2 years :   n.a.
5 years : +125.6%

Speaking of Geoff Johns, his reboot of the Green Lantern franchise also keeps going strong more than four years in.

The two April issues each came with 1-for-25 variant-cover editions, but the main reason for the latest increase is probably the new “Agent Orange” storyline that takes the plot one step closer to the upcoming “Blackest Night” crossover.

—–

18 - JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA
04/2004: JLA #96            --  70,377 [71,546]
04/2004: JLA #97            --  68,170 [70,446]
04/2005: JLA #113           --  64,002
04/2007: Justice League #7  -- 154,984
--------------------------------------
04/2008: Justice League #20 --  85,807 (- 1.9%)
05/2008: Justice League #21 --  90,035 (+ 4.9%)
06/2008: Justice League #22 --  85,013 (- 5.6%)
07/2008: Justice League #23 --  82,953 (- 2.4%)
08/2008: Justice League #24 --  81,451 (- 1.8%)
09/2008: --
10/2008: Justice League #25 --  80,731 (- 0.9%)
10/2008: Justice League #26 --  77,353 (- 4.2%)
11/2008: --
12/2008: Justice League #27 --  75,803 (- 2.0%)
12/2008: Justice League #28 --  72,728 (- 4.1%)
01/2009: Justice League #29 --  72,116 (- 0.8%)
02/2009: Justice League #30 --  69,710 (- 3.3%)
03/2009: Justice League #31 --  68,759 (- 1.4%)
04/2009: Justice League #32 --  66,021 (- 4.0%)
----------------
6 months: -16.5%
1 year  : -23.1%
2 years : -57.4%
5 years : - 4.7%

Business as usual for Justice League: Sales keep declining.

After publicly talking about the challenges involved in working on the book, writer Dwayne McDuffie has just been ousted, so a new creative team may be waiting around the corner.

—–

26 - GREEN LANTERN CORPS
04/2007: Green Lantern Corps #11 -- 33,506
------------------------------------------
04/2008: Green Lantern Corps #23 -- 46,780 (+ 0.1%)
05/2008: Green Lantern Corps #24 -- 46,948 (+ 0.4%)
06/2008: Green Lantern Corps #25 -- 47,399 (+ 1.0%)
07/2008: Green Lantern Corps #26 -- 46,098 (- 2.8%)
08/2008: Green Lantern Corps #27 -- 46,045 (- 0.1%)
09/2008: Green Lantern Corps #28 -- 44,939 (- 2.4%)
10/2008: Green Lantern Corps #29 -- 46,316 (+ 3.1%)
11/2008: Green Lantern Corps #30 -- 43,600 (- 5.9%)
12/2008: Green Lantern Corps #31 -- 44,033 (+ 0.9%)
01/2009: Green Lantern Corps #32 -- 44,312 (+ 0.6%)
02/2009: Green Lantern Corps #33 -- 44,607 (+ 0.7%) [50,171]
03/2009: Green Lantern Corps #34 -- 54,162 (+21.4%)
04/2009: Green Lantern Corps #35 -- 58,769 (+ 8.5%)
----------------
6 months: +26.9%
1 year  : +25.6%
2 years : +75.4%

The numbers on the secondary Green Lantern book are climbing for the fifth month in a row now, and in this instance it’s in the middle of a storyline, unusually.

There was a 1-for-25 variant-cover edition, just like for the previous issue.

—–

28 - FINAL CRISIS: LEGION OF 3 WORLDS
08/2008: Legion of 3 Worlds #1 of 5 -- 68,306        [73,914]
09/2008: --
10/2008: Legion of 3 Worlds #2 of 5 -- 64,412 (-5.7%)
11/2008: --
12/2008: --
01/2009: --
02/2009: Legion of 3 Worlds #3 of 5 -- 61,358 (-4.7%)
03/2009: --
04/2009: Legion of 3 Worlds #4 of 5 -- 56,888 (-7.3%)
----------------
6 months: -11.7%

This title keeps performing respectably. Quite what this means for the upcoming monthly Adventure Comics, which relaunches the Legion of Super-Heroes property once again, though, remains to be seen.

—–

40 - SUPERMAN: WORLD OF NEW KRYPTON
03/2009: WoNK #1 of 12 -- 50,050
03/2009: WoNK #2 of 12 -- 44,880 (-10.3%)
42 - ACTION COMICS
04/2004: Action Comics #814 -- 56,714
04/2005: Action Comics #826 -- 54,769 [58,294]
04/2006: --
04/2007: Action Comics #848 -- 62,216
-------------------------------------
04/2008: Action Comics #863 -- 56,882 (+ 2.2%)
04/2008: Action Comics #864 -- 48,438 (-14.9%)
05/2008: Action Comics #865 -- 46,764 (- 3.5%)
06/2008: Action Comics #866 -- 50,158 (+ 7.3%) [53,198]
07/2008: Action Comics #867 -- 49,363 (- 1.6%)
08/2008: Action Comics #868 -- 49,556 (+ 0.4%)
09/2008: Action Comics #869 -- 49,597 (+ 0.1%)
10/2008: Action Comics #870 -- 57,407 (+15.8%)
11/2008: Action Comics #871 -- 58,547 (+ 2.0%)
12/2008: Action Comics #872 -- 57,175 (- 2.3%)
01/2009: Action Comics #873 -- 51,940 (- 9.2%)
02/2009: Action Comics #874 -- 48,360 (- 6.9%)
03/2009: Action Comics #875 -- 47,079 (- 2.7%)
04/2009: Action Comics #876 -- 43,368 (- 7.9%)
----------------
6 months: -24.5%
1 year  : -23.8%
2 years : -30.3%
5 years : -23.5%
43 - SUPERMAN
04/2004: Superman #204 -- 231,411 [244,120]
04/2005: Superman #215 -- 112,593 [116,198]
04/2006: Superman #651 --  73,355
04/2007: Superman #661 --  55,738
---------------------------------
04/2008: Superman #675 --  54,855 (+31.5%)
05/2008: Superman #676 --  45,644 (-16.8%)
06/2008: Superman #677 --  54,634 (+19.7%)
07/2008: Superman #678 --  47,670 (-12.8%)
08/2008: Superman #679 --  46,615 (- 2.2%)
09/2008: Superman #680 --  46,585 (- 0.1%)
10/2008: Superman #681 --  54,611 (+17.2%) [57,212]
11/2008: Superman #682 --  55,435 (+ 1.5%)
12/2008: Superman #683 --  55,287 (- 0.3%)
01/2009: Superman #684 --  48,489 (-12.3%)
02/2009: Superman #685 --  48,027 (- 1.0%)
03/2009: Superman #686 --  44,976 (- 6.4%)
04/2009: Superman #687 --  43,041 (- 4.3%)
----------------
6 months: -21.2%
1 year  : -21.5%
2 years : -22.8%
5 years : -81.4%

The big revamp in March notwithstanding, the three Superman books are limping along at their lowest sales levels in years.

World of New Krypton sees a relatively smooth second-issue drop, granted, but the figures still don’t look very encouraging.

—–

45/47/49 - SUPERMAN/BATMAN
04/2004: Superman/Batman #9  -- 145,072 [156,539]
04/2005: Superman/Batman #18 -- 115,305
04/2005: Superman/Batman #19 -- 114,258 [150,464]
04/2006: --
04/2007: Superman/Batman #33 --  74,807
---------------------------------------
04/2008: Superman/Batman #47 --  52,557 (+ 1.1%)
05/2008: Superman/Batman #48 --  52,845 (+ 0.6%)
06/2008: Superman/Batman #49 --  52,579 (- 0.5%)
07/2008: Superman/Batman #50 --  61,321 (+16.6%)
08/2008: Superman/Batman #51 --  51,701 (-15.7%)
09/2008: Superman/Batman #52 --  50,000 (- 3.3%)
10/2008: Superman/Batman #53 --  48,187 (- 3.6%)
11/2008: --
12/2008: Superman/Batman #54 --  45,968 (- 4.6%)
01/2009: --
02/2009: Superman/Batman #55 --  43,962 (- 4.4%)
03/2009: Superman/Batman #56 --  42,464 (- 3.4%)
04/2009: Superman/Batman #57 --  41,743 (- 1.7%)
04/2009: Superman/Batman #58 --  41,000 (- 1.8%)
04/2009: Superman/Batman #59 --  40,182 (- 2.0%)
----------------
6 months: -15.0%
1 year  : -22.0%
2 years : -45.2%
5 years : -71.8%

Superman/Batman ran a complete three-part storyline in April, all drawn by Whilce Portacio, whose name used to sell comics in the 1990s. These days, though, not so much, evidently.

—–

51/54/55 - BATMAN: BATTLE FOR THE COWL ONE-SHOTS
03/2009: Commissioner Gordon #1 -- 39,628
04/2009: Man-Bat #1             -- 38,495
04/2009: Arkham #1              -- 39,187
04/2009: The Underground #1     -- 38,761
59 - AZRAEL: DEATH'S DARK KNIGHT
03/2009: Death's Dark Knight #1 of 3 -- 39,985
04/2009: Death's Dark Knight #2 of 3 -- 36,432 (-8.9%)

The Battle for the Cowl spin-off miniseries and one-shots keep selling solidly in the 35-40K area for the most part, which isn’t bad at all for a bunch of third-stringer properties.

—–

60 - TITANS
04/2008: Titans #1      -- 75,584 (+52.0%)
05/2008: Titans #2      -- 57,358 (-24.1%)
06/2008: Titans #3      -- 54,512 (- 5.0%)
07/2008: --
08/2008: --
09/2008: Titans #4      -- 51,755 (- 5.1%)
09/2008: Titans #5      -- 49,959 (- 3.5%)
10/2008: Titans #6      -- 45,453 (- 9.0%)
11/2008: Titans #7      -- 41,507 (- 8.7%)
12/2008: Titans #8      -- 39,154 (- 5.7%)
01/2009: Titans #9      -- 37,693 (- 3.7%)
02/2009: Titans #10     -- 36,361 (- 3.5%)
03/2009: Titans #11     -- 35,240 (- 3.1%)
04/2009: Titans #12     -- 36,014 (+ 2.2%)
----------------
6 months: -20.8%
1 year  : -52.4%
61/62 - TEEN TITANS
04/2004: Teen Titans #10 -- 68,359
04/2005: Teen Titans #23 -- 66,802 [68,675]
04/2006: Teen Titans #34 -- 82,503 [90,051]
04/2007: Teen Titans #45 -- 61,051
----------------------------------
04/2008: Teen Titans #58 -- 47,357 (- 3.6%)
05/2008: Teen Titans #59 -- 46,306 (- 2.2%)
06/2008: Teen Titans #60 -- 45,036 (- 2.7%)
07/2008: Teen Titans #61 -- 44,666 (- 0.8%)
08/2008: Teen Titans #62 -- 43,258 (- 3.2%)
09/2008: Teen Titans #63 -- 41,790 (- 3.4%)
10/2008: Teen Titans #64 -- 39,695 (- 5.0%)
11/2008: Teen Titans #65 -- 37,880 (- 4.6%)
12/2008: Teen Titans #66 -- 36,808 (- 2.8%)
01/2009: Teen Titans #67 -- 35,877 (- 2.5%)
02/2009: Teen Titans #68 -- 35,096 (- 2.2%)
03/2009: --
04/2009: Teen Titans #69 -- 35,375 (+ 0.8%)
04/2009: Teen Titans #70 -- 35,412 (+ 0.1%)
----------------
6 months: -10.8%
1 year  : -25.3% 
2 years : -42.0% 
5 years : -48.2%

The Titans books get a marginal increase from the “Deathtrap” story that runs through both titles, as well as Teen Titans Annual 2009 and Vigilante (see below for those) in April and May, but the crossover doesn’t make much of a difference.

The franchise remains in a desolate condition overall — in terms of sales, certainly, but also in terms of the creative personnel, who keep rotating in and out of Teen Titans and Titans faster than the monthly Previews advertisments can keep up with.

This week, for instance, Teen Titans is to be handled by one of those writers DC produces periodically that you’ve never heard of, but whose names looks like they may be an anagram of “John Byrne” in some weird kind of way.

—–

66 - SUPERGIRL
04/2006: --
04/2007: Supergirl #16 --  51,641
---------------------------------
04/2008: Supergirl #28 --  31,379 (- 3.7%)
05/2008: Supergirl #29 --  30,192 (- 3.8%)
06/2008: Supergirl #30 --  29,553 (- 2.1%)
07/2008: Supergirl #31 --  28,813 (- 2.5%)
08/2008: Supergirl #32 --  28,114 (- 2.4%)
09/2008: Supergirl #33 --  27,609 (- 1.8%)
10/2008: Supergirl #34 --  33,958 (+23.0%)
11/2008: Supergirl #35 --  45,518 (+34.0%)
12/2008: Supergirl #36 --  45,491 (- 0.1%)
01/2009: Supergirl #37 --  34,060 (-25.1%)
02/2009: Supergirl #38 --  34,225 (+ 0.5%)
03/2009: Supergirl #39 --  33,713 (- 1.5%)
04/2009: Supergirl #40 --  34,080 (+ 1.1%)
----------------
6 months: + 0.4%
1 year  : + 8.6%
2 years : -34.0%

Supergirl sales hang on to the 34,000 mark.

To some extent, that’s probably due to the fact that the series is now marketed as a more integral part of the Superman line. Given that the three other Superman titles are rather struggling right now, though, perhaps people just like where the current creative team is taking the book.

—–

68 - ORACLE
04/2004: Birds of Prey #66  -- 31,525
04/2005: Birds of Prey #81  -- 29,832
04/2006: Birds of Prey #93  -- 34,404
04/2007: Birds of Prey #105 -- 28,328
-------------------------------------
04/2008: Birds of Prey #117 -- 22,181 (- 2.0%)
05/2008: Birds of Prey #118 -- 21,941 (- 1.1%)
06/2008: Birds of Prey #119 -- 21,593 (- 1.6%)
07/2008: Birds of Prey #120 -- 21,572 (- 0.1%)
08/2008: Birds of Prey #121 -- 22,406 (+ 3.9%)
09/2008: Birds of Prey #122 -- 21,318 (- 4.9%)
10/2008: Birds of Prey #123 -- 21,110 (- 1.0%)
11/2008: Birds of Prey #124 -- 20,959 (- 0.7%)
12/2008: Birds of Prey #125 -- 20,161 (- 3.8%)
01/2009: Birds of Prey #126 -- 20,772 (+ 3.0%)
02/2009: Birds of Prey #127 -- 21,424 (+ 3.1%)
03/2009: Oracle #1 of 3     -- 34,081 (+59.1%)
04/2009: Oracle #2 of 3     -- 33,731 (- 1.0%)
----------------
6 months: +59.8%
1 year  : +52.1%
2 years : +19.1%
5 years : + 7.0%

The Oracle miniseries didn’t quite manage the same kind of sales as the other “Battle for the Cowl” books last month, but, unusually, there’s barely any second-issue drop-off.

—–

69/71/72/73/74 - TRINITY
06/2008: Trinity #1  -- 88,044 
06/2008: Trinity #2  -- 79,495 (- 9.7%)
06/2008: Trinity #3  -- 76,224 (- 4.1%)
06/2008: Trinity #4  -- 73,448 (- 3.6%)
07/2008: Trinity #5  -- 68,351 (- 6.9%)
07/2008: Trinity #6  -- 66,624 (- 2.5%)
07/2008: Trinity #7  -- 65,509 (- 1.7%)
07/2008: Trinity #8  -- 64,220 (- 2.0%)
07/2008: Trinity #9  -- 62,252 (- 3.1%)
08/2008: Trinity #10 -- 60,249 (- 3.2%)
08/2008: Trinity #11 -- 59,356 (- 1.5%)
08/2008: Trinity #12 -- 58,151 (- 2.0%)
08/2008: Trinity #13 -- 57,284 (- 1.5%)
09/2008: Trinity #14 -- 53,736 (- 6.2%)
09/2008: Trinity #15 -- 53,101 (- 1.2%)
09/2008: Trinity #16 -- 52,316 (- 1.5%)
09/2008: Trinity #17 -- 51,318 (- 1.9%)
10/2008: Trinity #18 -- 49,174 (- 4.2%)
10/2008: Trinity #19 -- 48,551 (- 1.3%)
10/2008: Trinity #20 -- 47,927 (- 1.3%)
10/2008: Trinity #21 -- 47,252 (- 1.4%)
10/2008: Trinity #22 -- 46,638 (- 1.3%)
11/2008: Trinity #23 -- 44,971 (- 3.6%)
11/2008: Trinity #24 -- 44,498 (- 1.1%)
11/2008: Trinity #25 -- 43,804 (- 1.6%)
11/2008: Trinity #26 -- 43,210 (- 1.4%)
12/2008: Trinity #27 -- 41,725 (- 3.4%)
12/2008: Trinity #28 -- 41,510 (- 0.5%)
12/2008: Trinity #29 -- 40,883 (- 1.5%)
12/2008: Trinity #30 -- 40,771 (- 0.3%)
12/2008: Trinity #31 -- 40,575 (- 0.5%)
01/2009: Trinity #32 -- 38,332 (- 5.5%)
01/2009: Trinity #33 -- 38,325 (- 0.0%)
01/2009: Trinity #34 -- 37,933 (- 1.0%)
01/2009: Trinity #35 -- 37,119 (- 2.2%)
02/2009: Trinity #36 -- 36,201 (- 2.5%)
02/2009: Trinity #37 -- 35,798 (- 1.1%)
02/2009: Trinity #38 -- 35,286 (- 1.4%)
02/2009: Trinity #39 -- 35,200 (- 0.2%)
03/2009: Trinity #40 -- 34,613 (- 1.7%)
03/2009: Trinity #41 -- 34,437 (- 0.5%)
03/2009: Trinity #42 -- 34,119 (- 0.9%)
03/2009: Trinity #43 -- 33,841 (- 0.8%)
04/2009: Trinity #44 -- 33,499 (- 1.0%)
04/2009: Trinity #45 -- 33,355 (- 0.4%)
04/2009: Trinity #46 -- 33,114 (- 0.7%)
04/2009: Trinity #47 -- 32,970 (- 0.4%)
04/2009: Trinity #48 -- 32,826 (- 0.4%)
----------------
6 months: -30.8%

With the final issue around the corner, it seems Trinity sales have reached their low point.

Now, while 30K+ isn’t bad for a weekly series taken on its own terms, it’s obviously a far cry from what the book’s predecessors Countdown and 52 were shifting. As far as selling points go, the weekly schedule seems to have lost its appeal to the audience, evidently. It’s a wise decision on DC’s part to go for something different with its upcoming weekly Wednesday Comics.

—–

75 - TEEN TITANS ANNUAL 2009
04/2009: Annual 2009 #1 -- 32,525

The Annual kicks off the “Deathtrap” crossover, so it’s somewhat odd that it sells a few thousand units below Teen Titans and Titans proper. Then again, with a $ 4.99 price tag, this is still a pretty good number, I guess.

—–

78 - WONDER WOMAN
04/2004: Wonder Woman #203 --  30,418
04/2005: Wonder Woman #215 --  28,977 [30,436]
04/2007: Wonder Woman #7   --  60,168
04/2007: Wonder Woman #8   --  58,772
-------------------------------------
04/2008: Wonder Woman #19  --  39,489 (- 3.1%)
05/2008: Wonder Woman #20  --  38,116 (- 3.5%)
06/2008: Wonder Woman #21  --  37,086 (- 2.7%)
07/2008: Wonder Woman #22  --  36,514 (- 1.5%)
08/2008: Wonder Woman #23  --  35,562 (- 2.6%)
09/2008: Wonder Woman #24  --  34,583 (- 2.8%)
10/2008: Wonder Woman #25  --  33,583 (- 2.9%)
11/2008: Wonder Woman #26  --  33,277 (- 0.9%)
12/2008: Wonder Woman #27  --  32,322 (- 2.9%)
01/2009: Wonder Woman #28  --  32,622 (+ 0.9%)
02/2009: Wonder Woman #29  --  33,237 (+ 1.9%)
03/2009: Wonder Woman #30  --  33,365 (+ 0.4%)
04/2009: Wonder Woman #31  --  31,857 (- 4.5%)
----------------
6 months: - 5.1%
1 year  : -19.3%
2 years : -45.8%
5 years : + 4.7%

Wonder Woman sales over the last few months are odd; the fact that issues #28 through #30 came with variant-cover editions explains why they sold better than issue #27, but it doesn’t explain why the numbers kept going up.

Now, there was no variant edition for issue #31, and sales promptly returned to their decline. Which suggests that the increase for the three previous issues was indeed due to the gimmick covers.

Overall, DC’s variant-cover policy on this title is fairly befuddling. The “Rise of the Olympian” storyline has been running through Wonder Woman since issue #26; there have been variant-cover editions for issues #26, #28 through #30 and #32, but not #27 or #31.

—–

84/107 - WATCHMEN SPECIAL EDITION REPRINTS
12/2008: Watchmen #1                 -- 20,974 [23,042]
03/2009: Saga of the Swamp Thing #21 -- 21,052 [27,107]
03/2009: Transmetropolitan #1        -- 18,604 [24,773]
03/2009: Planetary #21               -- 20,207 [26,116]
04/2009: Preacher #1                 -- 28,574
04/2009: Identity Crisis #1          -- 22,497

DC’s “After Watchmen” line of $ 1.00 reprints keeps going strong.

April’s Preacher #1 reels in the highest sales of the bunch so far, including, perhaps surprisingly, Watchmen #1 itself. The book — which debuted in 1995 and has been in print ever since — also outsells any and all new Vertigo releases in recent history.

All three March books made the chart again in April, meanwhile, each adding around 6,000 units to their first-month sales.

It’s hard to tell whether these figures transcend the existing direct-market audience. On the one hand, I don’t see flocks of average Joes storming into comics stores. But then again, the recent success of titles like The Umbrella Academy, Buffy or World of WarCraft strongly suggests that people who aren’t hardcore comics fans do seek out specialty shops under certain circumstances.

As far as the direct market is concerned, though, it should be interesting to check if these promotional reprints result in higher sales for the publisher’s backlist of collections over the next few months. Thanks to Diamond’s recently extended Top 300 Graphic Novels chart, it shouldn’t be hard to find out.

—–

87 - THE OUTSIDERS
04/2004: Outsiders #11 -- 43,130
04/2005: --
04/2006: Outsiders #35 -- 45,774
04/2007: --
--------------------------------
04/2008: Batsiders #6  -- 36,551 (- 0.7%)
05/2008: Batsiders #7  -- 35,071 (- 4.1%)
06/2008: Batsiders #8  -- 34,640 (- 1.2%)
07/2008: Batsiders #9  -- 34,401 (- 0.7%)
08/2008: Batsiders #10 -- 33,645 (- 2.2%)
09/2008: Batsiders #11 -- 49,945 (+48.5%)
10/2008: Batsiders #12 -- 46,649 (- 6.6%)
11/2008: Batsiders #13 -- 42,939 (- 8.0%)
12/2008: Batsiders #14 -- 32,163 (-25.1%)
01/2009: --
02/2009: Special #1    -- 35,727 (+11.1%)
02/2009: Outsiders #15 -- 30,024 (-16.0%)
03/2009: Outsiders #16 -- 27,977 (- 6.8%)
04/2009: Outsiders #17 -- 27,171 (- 2.9%)
----------------
6 months: -41.8%
1 year  : -25.7%
2 years :  n.a.
5 years : -37.0%

The numbers keep declining, with no end in sight.

—–

97 - SECRET SIX
05/2006: Secret Six #1 of 6 -- 54,961 [57,425]
07/2006: Secret Six #2 of 6 -- 47,346
08/2006: Secret Six #3 of 6 -- 44,507
09/2006: Secret Six #4 of 6 -- 40,782
10/2006: Secret Six #5 of 6 -- 36,628
12/2006: Secret Six #6 of 6 -- 35,513
-------------------------------------
09/2008: Secret Six #1      -- 31,673 (-10.8%)
10/2008: Secret Six #2      -- 27,846 (-12.1%)
11/2008: Secret Six #3      -- 26,053 (- 6.4%)
12/2008: Secret Six #4      -- 24,657 (- 5.4%)
01/2009: Secret Six #5      -- 24,899 (+ 1.0%)
02/2009: Secret Six #6      -- 24,758 (- 0.6%)
03/2009: Secret Six #7      -- 24,365 (- 1.6%)
04/2009: Secret Six #8      -- 24,338 (- 0.1%)
----------------
6 months: -12.6%

Secret Six sales are holding level.

—–

100 - FABLES (Vertigo)
04/2004: Fables #24 -- 25,464
04/2005: Fables #36 -- 24,975
04/2006: Fables #48 -- 24,476
04/2007: Fables #60 -- 26,048
-----------------------------
04/2008: Fables #72 -- 23,853 (-0.6%)
05/2008: Fables #73 -- 23,785 (-0.3%)
06/2008: --
07/2008: Fables #74 -- 24,166 (+1.6%)
08/2008: --
09/2008: Fables #75 -- 25,266 (+4.6%)
09/2008: Fables #76 -- 23,914 (-5.4%)
10/2008: Fables #77 -- 23,761 (-0.6%)
11/2008: Fables #78 -- 23,345 (-1.8%)
12/2008: Fables #79 -- 22,769 (-2.5%)
01/2009: Fables #80 -- 22,617 (-0.7%)
02/2009: Fables #81 -- 22,517 (-0.4%)
03/2009: Fables #82 -- 22,445 (-0.3%)
04/2009: Fables #83 -- 23,630 (+5.3%)
----------------
6 months: - 0.6%
1 year  : - 0.9%
2 years : - 9.3%
5 years : - 7.2%

Not surprisingly, Fables itself doesn’t profit much from “The Great Fables Crossover” that’s running through the franchise — including Jack of Fables and The Literals (see below) — from April through June.

It’s also worth noting that a crossover, like the variant-cover editions and low-priced introductory issues we’ve seen recently, is another marketing approach that’s new to Vertigo’s periodical line.

—–

103 - BOOSTER GOLD
04/2008: Booster Gold #8  -- 35,982 (- 0.4%)
05/2008: Booster Gold #9  -- 35,030 (- 2.7%)
06/2008: Booster Gold #10 -- 34,435 (- 1.7%)
07/2008: BGold #1,000,000 -- 34,431 (- 0.0%)
08/2008: Booster Gold #11 -- 32,900 (- 4.5%)
09/2008: Booster Gold #12 -- 32,049 (- 2.6%)
10/2008: Booster Gold #13 -- 29,914 (- 6.7%)
11/2008: Booster Gold #14 -- 28,260 (- 5.5%)
12/2008: Booster Gold #15 -- 26,835 (- 5.0%)
01/2009: Booster Gold #16 -- 25,472 (- 5.1%)
02/2009: Booster Gold #17 -- 24,732 (- 2.9%)
03/2009: Booster Gold #18 -- 23,737 (- 4.0%)
04/2009: Booster Gold #19 -- 23,203 (- 2.3%)
----------------
6 months: -22.4%
1 year  : -35.5%
110 - GREEN ARROW/BLACK CANARY
04/2004: Green Arrow #37  -- 34,124
04/2005: Green Arrow #49  -- 31,403
04/2006: Green Arrow #61  -- 35,993 [40,621]
04/2007: Green Arrow #73  -- 30,652
-----------------------------------
04/2008: Arrow/Canary #7  -- 32,033 (- 1.8%) 
05/2008: Arrow/Canary #8  -- 30,864 (- 3.7%)
06/2008: Arrow/Canary #9  -- 30,330 (- 1.7%)
07/2008: Arrow/Canary #10 -- 29,604 (- 2.4%)
08/2008: Arrow/Canary #11 -- 28,694 (- 3.1%)
09/2008: Arrow/Canary #12 -- 27,896 (- 2.8%)
10/2008: Arrow/Canary #13 -- 26,890 (- 3.6%)
11/2008: Arrow/Canary #14 -- 25,599 (- 4.8%)
12/2008: Arrow/Canary #15 -- 24,526 (- 4.2%)
01/2009: Arrow/Canary #16 -- 24,419 (- 0.4%)
02/2009: Arrow/Canary #17 -- 23,392 (- 4.2%)
03/2009: Arrow/Canary #18 -- 22,699 (- 3.0%)
04/2009: Arrow/Canary #19 -- 21,933 (- 3.4%)
----------------
6 months: -18.4%
1 year  : -31.5%
2 years : -28.5%
5 years : -35.7%

These two third-tier DC Universe titles keep drifting down the chart.

—–

113 - VIGILANTE
09/2005: Vigilante #1 of 6 -- 24,533
11/2005: Vigilante #2 of 6 -- 18,712
11/2005: Vigilante #3 of 6 -- 16,412
12/2005: Vigilante #4 of 6 -- 13,344
01/2006: Vigilante #5 of 6 -- 11,939
02/2006: Vigilante #6 of 6 -- 11,382
------------------------------------
12/2008: Vigilante #1      -- 18,236
01/2009: Vigilante #2      -- 13,855 (-24.0%)
02/2009: Vigilante #3      -- 11,264 (-18.7%)
03/2009: Vigilante #4      -- 11,125 (- 1.2%)
04/2009: Vigilante #5      -- 21,290 (+91.4%)

The “Deathtrap” crossover with Titans and Teen Titans gives Vigilante a welcome sales boost — the April issue comfortably outsells #1, in fact.

While that’s great news indeed, though, the book’s immediate future depends on how many of those additional sales will stick around after the storyline. Traditionally, there’s ample reason to be pessimistic.

—–

116 - THE LITERALS (Vertigo)
04/2009: The Literals #1 of 3   -- 20,287

This Fables spin-off was created for the purposes of “The Great Fables Crossover.” The numbers are good, as it were, but I still wonder if they could have shifted a few copies more by, you know, putting the word “Fables” in the title. (Yes, I’m aware it’s fairly prominent on the cover, but still.)

—–

121 - BATMAN CONFIDENTIAL
04/2007: Batman Confidential #5  -- 36,219
------------------------------------------
04/2008: Batman Confidential #16 -- 24,038 (- 1.0%)
05/2008: Batman Confidential #17 -- 25,017 (+ 4.1%)
06/2008: Batman Confidential #18 -- 24,881 (- 0.5%)
07/2008: Batman Confidential #19 -- 25,037 (+ 0.6%)
08/2008: Batman Confidential #20 -- 24,654 (- 1.5%)
09/2008: Batman Confidential #21 -- 24,515 (- 0.6%)
10/2008: Batman Confidential #22 -- 24,281 (- 1.0%)
11/2008: Batman Confidential #23 -- 22,909 (- 5.7%)
12/2008: Batman Confidential #24 -- 21,470 (- 6.3%)
01/2009: Batman Confidential #25 -- 20,517 (- 4.4%)
02/2009: Batman Confidential #26 -- 20,134 (- 1.9%)
03/2009: Batman Confidential #27 -- 19,934 (- 1.0%)
04/2009: Batman Confidential #28 -- 19,540 (- 2.0%)
----------------
6 months: -19.5%
1 year  : -18.7%
2 years : -46.1%

The token out-of-continuity Batman book maintains its downward drift.

—–

124 - JACK OF FABLES (Vertigo)
04/2007: Jack of Fables #9  -- 20,273
-------------------------------------
04/2008: Jack of Fables #22 -- 16,305 (- 1.8%)
05/2008: --
06/2008: Jack of Fables #23 -- 16,144 (- 1.0%)
07/2008: --
08/2008: Jack of Fables #24 -- 15,953 (- 1.2%)
08/2008: Jack of Fables #25 -- 15,642 (- 2.0%)
09/2008: Jack of Fables #26 -- 15,471 (- 1.1%)
10/2008: Jack of Fables #27 -- 15,092 (- 2.5%)
11/2008: Jack of Fables #28 -- 14,528 (- 3.7%)
12/2008: Jack of Fables #29 -- 14,151 (- 2.6%)
01/2009: Jack of Fables #30 -- 13,746 (- 2.9%)
02/2009: Jack of Fables #31 -- 13,586 (- 1.2%)
03/2009: Jack of Fables #32 -- 13,595 (+ 0.1%)
04/2009: Jack of Fables #33 -- 19,242 (+41.5%)
----------------
6 months: +27.5%
1 year  : +18.0%
2 years : - 5.1%

The numbers are bouncing up considerably thanks to “The Great Fables Crossover.”

—–

128 - SOLOMON GRUNDY
01/2009: Faces of Evil: Grundy #1 -- 27,093
02/2009: --
03/2009: Solomon Grundy #1 of 7   -- 23,175 (-14.5%)
04/2009: Solomon Grundy #2 of 7   -- 18,516 (-20.1%)

This doesn’t look good. The first issue already represented a step down from January’s one-shot, and this is a large second-issue drop for a miniseries.

—–

133 - WARLORD
02/2006: Warlord #1  -- 27,443
03/2006: Warlord #2  -- 21,570
04/2006: Warlord #3  -- 19,993
05/2006: Warlord #4  -- 18,480
06/2006: Warlord #5  -- 16,070
07/2006: Warlord #6  -- 14,786
08/2006: Warlord #7  -- 13,553
09/2006: Warlord #8  -- 12,361
10/2006: Warlord #9  -- 11,244
11/2006: Warlord #10 -- 10,539
------------------------------
04/2009: Warlord #1  -- 17,540

As usual for poorly promoted series out on the fringes of the DC Universe line, Warlord is struggling right out of the gate. Given that the property failed fairly recently, I’m not sure why they expected the results to be different right now.

The new version is by series creator Mike Grell, granted, so it could arguably be expected to play better with a specific group of long-term fans. In this case, though, the appeal of a sword-and-sorcery title would have been rather niche at the best of times.

Relaunching the book less than three years after it last crashed and burned seems like a blissfully optimistic endeavor.

—–

141 - BATMAN: GOTHAM AFTER MIDNIGHT
05/2008: Gotham After Midnight #1  of 12 -- 29,570
06/2008: Gotham After Midnight #2  of 12 -- 24,259 (-18.0%)
07/2008: Gotham After Midnight #3  of 12 -- 22,663 (- 6.6%)
08/2008: Gotham After Midnight #4  of 12 -- 20,863 (- 7.9%)
09/2008: Gotham After Midnight #5  of 12 -- 19,747 (- 5.4%)
10/2008: Gotham After Midnight #6  of 12 -- 18,980 (- 3.9%)
11/2008: Gotham After Midnight #7  of 12 -- 17,802 (- 6.2%)
12/2008: Gotham After Midnight #8  of 12 -- 17,236 (- 3.2%)
01/2009: Gotham After Midnight #9  of 12 -- 16,354 (- 5.1%)
02/2009: Gotham After Midnight #10 of 12 -- 15,993 (- 2.2%)
03/2009: Gotham After Midnight #11 of 12 -- 15,793 (- 1.3%)
04/2009: Gotham After Midnight #12 of 12 -- 15,617 (- 1.1%)
----------------
6 months: -17.7%

The usual for off-the-center DC Universe projects starring Superman or Batman.

—–

148 - STRANGE ADVENTURES
03/2009: Strange Adventures #1 of 8  --  22,820
04/2009: Strange Adventures #2 of 8  --  14,499 (-36.5%)

The drop looks larger than it really is, to be fair, because there was a 1-for-10 variant-cover edition that boosted the sales of issue #1. Still, these sales figures are pretty damning.

—–

149 - R.E.B.E.L.S.
02/2009: R.E.B.E.L.S. #1  -- 23,739
03/2009: R.E.B.E.L.S. #2  -- 16,122 (-32.1%)
04/2009: R.E.B.E.L.S. #3  -- 14,442 (-10.4%)

A mediocre performance from a DC Universe book that started out with low sales to begin with.

—–

151 - SGT. ROCK: LOST BATTALION
11/2008: Lost Battalion #1 of 6 -- 22,641
12/2008: Lost Battalion #2 of 6 -- 17,525 (-22.6%)
01/2009: Lost Battalion #3 of 6 -- 15,330 (-12.5%)
02/2009: Lost Battalion #4 of 6 -- 14,258 (- 7.0%)
03/2009: --
04/2009: Lost Battalion #5 of 6 -- 13,879 (- 2.7%)

Compared to books like Warlord, R.E.B.E.L.S. or Strange Adventures, Sgt. Rock is selling surprisingly well. Presumably, writer/artist Billy Tucci’s name is making the difference here.

—–

153 - 100 BULLETS (Vertigo)
04/2004: --
04/2005: 100 Bullets #60 -- 14,882
04/2006: 100 Bullets #71 -- 13,514
04/2007: --
-----------------------------------
04/2008: 100 Bullets #90  -- 10,856 (- 0.2%)
05/2008: 100 Bullets #91  -- 10,736 (- 1.1%)
06/2008: 100 Bullets #92  -- 10,797 (+ 0.6%)
07/2008: 100 Bullets #93  -- 10,796 (- 0.0%)
08/2008: 100 Bullets #94  -- 10,721 (- 0.7%)
09/2008: 100 Bullets #95  -- 10,669 (- 0.5%)
10/2008: 100 Bullets #96  -- 10,654 (- 0.1%)
11/2008: 100 Bullets #97  -- 10,580 (- 0.7%)
12/2008: 100 Bullets #98  -- 10,515 (- 0.6%)
01/2009: 100 Bullets #99  -- 10,411 (- 1.0%)
02/2009: --
03/2009: --
04/2009: 100 Bullets #100 -- 13,755 (+32.1%)
----------------
6 months: +29.1%
1 year  : +26.7%
2 years :  n.a.
5 years :  n.a.

As expected, 100 Bullets gets a decent sales increase with its final issue, which means that it’s managed to stay above the 10,000 unit mark for its entire 100-issue run. Right now, it looks suspiciously like Fables could be the last print periodical from Vertigo to pull this off.

In addition to its rock-solid sales as a periodical over the last year, 100 Bullets has also been one of Vertigo’s top-selling paperback series, of course. Its first-month collection sales in the direct market have been hovering between 6 and 8K for years, and earlier volumes have shown up in all four Top 300 Graphic Novel charts for 2009 so far.

—–

155 - EX MACHINA (WildStorm)
04/2005: Ex Machina #10 -- 22,101
04/2006: Ex Machina #19 -- 20,358
04/2007: Ex Machina #27 -- 18,242
---------------------------------
04/2008: Ex Machina #36 -- 15,188 (- 2.0%)
05/2008: --
06/2008: Ex Machina #37 -- 14,921 (- 1.8%)
07/2008: --
08/2008: --
09/2008: Ex Machina #38 -- 14,973 (+ 0.4%)
10/2008: --
11/2008: Ex Machina #39 -- 14,194 (- 5.2%)
12/2008: Ex Machina #40 -- 14,067 (- 0.9%)
01/2009: --
02/2009: --
03/2009: --
04/2009: Ex Machina #41 -- 13,526 (- 3.9%)
----------------
6 months:  n.a.
1 year  : -10.9%
2 years : -25.9%

Ex Machina sales keep slipping. Along with Astro City, which returned in May, the book has been the last vestige of commercially successful creator-owned comics at WildStorm for quite some time, with no likely replacements in sight.

—–

158 - WORLD OF WARCRAFT (WildStorm)
04/2008: World of WarCraft #6  -- 26,271 (- 3.3%)
05/2008: World of WarCraft #7  -- 24,589 (- 6.4%)
06/2008: World of WarCraft #8  -- 23,310 (- 5.2%)
07/2008: World of WarCraft #9  -- 22,203 (- 4.8%)
08/2008: World of WarCraft #10 -- 20,883 (- 6.0%)
09/2008: World of WarCraft #11 -- 19,331 (- 7.4%)
10/2008: World of WarCraft #12 -- 18,200 (- 5.9%)
11/2008: World of WarCraft #13 -- 17,017 (- 6.5%)
12/2008: World of WarCraft #14 -- 16,058 (- 5.6%)
01/2009: World of WarCraft #15 -- 14,996 (- 6.6%)
02/2009: World of WarCraft #16 -- 14,177 (- 5.5%)
03/2009: World of WarCraft #17 -- 13,614 (- 4.0%)
04/2009: World of WarCraft #18 -- 13,110 (- 3.7%)
----------------
6 months: -28.0%
1 year  : -50.1%

WildStorm’s best-selling licensed property has been bottoming out over the last three months, slowly but steadily.

—–

159 - SEAGUY: SLAVES OF MICKEY EYE (Vertigo)
05/2004: Seaguy #1 of 3 -- 21,512 [23,096]
06/2004: Seaguy #2 of 3 -- 18,581
07/2004: Seaguy #3 of 3 -- 16,601
---------------------------------
04/2009: SoME #1 of 3   -- 12,739

This is the first of two planned sequels to Grant Morrison and Cameron Stewart’s superhero pastiche, in case you were wondering.

The drastic sales crash compared to the first Seaguy series mirrors the overall decline of Vertigo’s periodical line over the last five years. Of course, the book wasn’t very well-received among the direct-market audience, so that may be another contributing factor.

In any case, these sales are embarrassing for a Grant Morrison book.

—–

160 - HOUSE OF MYSTERY (Vertigo)
05/2008: House of Mystery #1  -- 27,492
06/2008: House of Mystery #2  -- 19,485 (-29.1%)
07/2008: House of Mystery #3  -- 18,407 (- 5.5%)
08/2008: House of Mystery #4  -- 17,569 (- 4.6%)
09/2008: House of Mystery #5  -- 16,721 (- 4.8%)
10/2008: House of Mystery #6  -- 15,934 (- 4.7%)
11/2008: House of Mystery #7  -- 15,120 (- 5.1%)
12/2008: House of Mystery #8  -- 14,273 (- 5.6%)
01/2009: House of Mystery #9  -- 13,739 (- 3.7%)
02/2009: House of Mystery #10 -- 13,098 (- 4.7%)
03/2009: House of Mystery #11 -- 12,785 (- 2.4%)
04/2009: House of Mystery #12 -- 12,636 (- 1.2%)
----------------
6 months: -20.7%

Sales appear to be bottoming out around 12K, which makes House of Mystery Vertigo’s most successful periodiocal launch since Jack of Fables. It’s probably no coincidence that Fables creator Bill Willingham had a hand in getting both books off the ground.

—–

166 - JONAH HEX
04/2006: Jonah Hex #6  -- 22,763
04/2007: Jonah Hex #18 -- 16,880
--------------------------------
04/2008: Jonah Hex #30 -- 13,253 (- 1.4%)
05/2008: Jonah Hex #31 -- 13,140 (- 0.9%)
06/2008: Jonah Hex #32 -- 12,969 (- 1.3%)
07/2008: Jonah Hex #33 -- 14,281 (+10.1%)
08/2008: Jonah Hex #34 -- 12,969 (- 9.2%)
09/2008: Jonah Hex #35 -- 13,231 (+ 2.0%)
10/2008: Jonah Hex #36 -- 12,629 (- 4.6%)
11/2008: Jonah Hex #37 -- 12,537 (- 0.7%)
12/2008: Jonah Hex #38 -- 12,132 (- 3.2%)
01/2009: Jonah Hex #39 -- 11,705 (- 3.5%)
02/2009: Jonah Hex #40 -- 11,631 (- 0.6%)
03/2009: Jonah Hex #41 -- 11,564 (- 0.6%)
04/2009: Jonah Hex #42 -- 11,551 (- 0.1%)
----------------
6 months: - 8.5%
1 year  : -12.8%
2 years : -31.6%

Holding level.

—–

167 - GEARS OF WAR (WildStorm)
10/2008: GoW #1  -- 19,718
11/2008: GoW #2  -- 12,964 (-34.3%)
12/2008: GoW #3  -- 12,095 (- 6.7%)
01/2009: --
02/2009: GoW #4  -- 12,864 (+ 6.4%)
03/2009: GoW #5  -- 11,394 (-11.4%)
04/2009: GoW #6  -- 11,506 (+ 1.0%)
----------------
6 months: -41.7%

This one’s fairly successful by WildStorm standards.

—–

170 - HELLBLAZER (Vertigo)
04/2004: Hellblazer #195 -- 14,887
04/2005: Hellblazer #207 -- 15,368
04/2006: Hellblazer #219 -- 14,206
04/2007: Hellblazer #231 -- 13,142
----------------------------------
04/2008: Hellblazer #243 -- 11,958 (+0.4%)
05/2008: Hellblazer #244 -- 11,826 (-1.1%)
06/2008: Hellblazer #245 -- 11,897 (+0.6%)
07/2008: Hellblazer #246 -- 12,088 (+1.6%)
08/2008: --
09/2008: Hellblazer #247 -- 11,851 (-2.0%)
10/2008: Hellblazer #248 -- 11,600 (-2.1%)
11/2008: Hellblazer #249 -- 11,445 (-1.3%)
12/2008: Hellblazer #250 -- 12,478 (+9.0%)
01/2009: Hellblazer #251 -- 11,290 (-9.5%)
02/2009: Hellblazer #252 -- 11,174 (-1.0%)
03/2009: Hellblazer #253 -- 11,132 (-0.4%)
04/2009: Hellblazer #254 -- 11,053 (-0.7%)
----------------
6 months: - 4.7%
1 year  : - 7.6%
2 years : -15.9%
5 years : -25.8%

Hellblazer continues the same glacial decline that’s been going on for the last five years, at least.

—–

180 - THE AUTHORITY (WildStorm)
04/2004: The Authority v2 #11 -- 21,938
04/2005: Revolution #7  of 12 -- 19,582
04/2007: --
---------------------------------------
08/2008: The Authority v4 #1  -- 15,735 (+17.7%)
09/2008: The Authority v4 #2  -- 14,324 (- 9.0%)
10/2008: The Authority v4 #3  -- 13,408 (- 6.4%)
11/2008: The Authority v4 #4  -- 12,450 (- 7.2%)
12/2008: The Authority v4 #5  -- 11,534 (- 7.4%)
01/2009: The Authority v4 #6  -- 10,673 (- 7.5%)
02/2009: The Authority v4 #7  -- 10,553 (- 1.1%)
03/2009: The Authority v4 #8  --  9,990 (- 5.3%)
04/2009: The Authority v4 #9  --  9,748 (- 2.4%)
----------------
6 months: -27.3%
1 year  :  n.a.
2 years :  n.a.
5 years : -55.6%

The flagship of the WildStorm Universe line is about to find its new sales level, evidently.

—–

182 - MADAME XANADU (Vertigo)
06/2008: Madame Xanadu #1  -- 22,073
07/2008: Madame Xanadu #2  -- 16,655 (-24.6%)
08/2008: Madame Xanadu #3  -- 13,052 (- 3.3%)
09/2008: Madame Xanadu #4  -- 12,329 (- 5.5%)
10/2008: Madame Xanadu #5  -- 11,392 (- 7.6%)
11/2008: Madame Xanadu #6  -- 12,340 (+ 8.3%)
12/2008: Madame Xanadu #7  -- 10,272 (-16.8%)
01/2009: --
02/2009: Madame Xanadu #8  --  9,932 (- 3.3%)
03/2009: Madame Xanadu #9  --  9,798 (- 1.4%)
04/2009: Madame Xanadu #10 --  9,664 (- 1.4%)
----------------
6 months: -15.2%

Madame Xanadu is another recent Vertigo launch that’s reasonably successful by the imprint’s recent standards, meaning: It’s got a decent chance of surviving its second year.

—–

185 - DEAD ROMEO
04/2009: Dead Romeo #1 of 6 --  9,439

This miniseries about a 1980s rock singer returning as a vampire is doing about as well as expected for this type of thing in the direct market. As an added point of confusion, Dead Romeo isn’t released by Vertigo or WildStorm, but is officially a DC Universe title.

—–

186 - NORTHLANDERS (Vertigo)
04/2008: Northlanders #5  -- 12,278 (- 4.5%)
05/2008: Northlanders #6  -- 12,009 (- 2.2%)
06/2008: --
07/2008: Northlanders #7  -- 11,918 (- 0.8%)
07/2008: Northlanders #8  -- 11,477 (- 3.7%)
08/2008: Northlanders #9  -- 11,063 (- 3.6%)
09/2008: Northlanders #10 -- 10,738 (- 2.9%)
10/2008: Northlanders #11 -- 10,353 (- 3.6%)
11/2008: Northlanders #12 -- 10,048 (- 3.0%)
12/2008: Northlanders #13 --  9,777 (- 2.7%)
01/2009: Northlanders #14 --  9,467 (- 3.2%)
02/2008: --
03/2008: Northlanders #15 --  9,443 (- 0.2%)
04/2008: Northlanders #16 --  9,323 (- 1.3%)
----------------
6 months: -10.0%
1 year  : -24.1%

Business as usual. Northlanders is another one of Vertigo’s more successful periodical series of late.

—–

189 - TINY TITANS (Johnny DC)
04/2008: Tiny Titans #3  -- 11,197 (- 2.1%)
05/2008: Tiny Titans #4  -- 10,369 (- 7.4%)
06/2008: Tiny Titans #5  -- 10,909 (+ 5.2%)
07/2008: Tiny Titans #6  -- 10,636 (- 2.5%)
08/2008: Tiny Titans #7  -- 10,234 (- 3.8%)
09/2008: Tiny Titans #8  --  9,795 (- 4.3%)
10/2008: Tiny Titans #9  --  9,521 (- 2.8%)
11/2008: Tiny Titans #10 --  9,239 (- 3.0%)
12/2008: Tiny Titans #11 --  9,085 (- 1.7%)
01/2009: Tiny Titans #12 --  8,733 (- 3.9%)
02/2009: Tiny Titans #13 --  8,710 (- 0.3%)
03/2009: Tiny Titans #14 --  8,736 (+ 0.3%)
04/2009: Tiny Titans #15 --  9,207 (+ 5.4%)
----------------
6 months: - 3.3%
1 year  : -17.8%

A Johnny DC book — see small print.

—–

193 - HAUNTED TANK (Vertigo)
12/2008: Haunted Tank #1 of 5 -- 16,021
01/2009: Haunted Tank #2 of 5 -- 10,448 (-34.8%)
02/2009: Haunted Tank #3 of 5 --  9,665 (- 7.5%)
03/2009: Haunted Tank #4 of 5 --  9,327 (- 3.5%)
04/2009: Haunted Tank #5 of 5 --  8,974 (- 3.8%)

These aren’t stellar numbers, but they could have been much worse.

—–

194 - PROTOTYPE (WildStorm)
04/2009: Prototype #1 of 6 -- 8,871
195 - THE X-FILES (WildStorm)
07/2008: Special #0      -- 23,805
08/2008: --
09/2008: --
10/2008: --
11/2008: X-Files #1 of 6 -- 16,042 (-32.6%)
12/2008: X-Files #2 of 6 -- 11,562 (-27.9%)
01/2009: X-Files #3 of 6 --  9,808 (-15.2%)
02/2009: X-Files #4 of 6 --  9,268 (- 5.5%)
03/2009: X-Files #5 of 6 --  8,999 (- 2.9%)
04/2009: X-Files #6 of 6 --  8,789 (- 2.3%)
----------------
6 months:  n.a.

Two more licensed properties from WildStorm, right where you’d expect them to be on the chart.

—–

196 - THE SPIRIT
04/2007: The Spirit #5     -- 23,887
------------------------------------
04/2008: The Spirit #16    -- 14,697 (- 8.4%)
05/2008: The Spirit #17    -- 14,057 (- 4.4%)
06/2008: The Spirit #18    -- 13,257 (- 5.7%)
07/2008: The Spirit #19    -- 12,709 (- 4.1%)
08/2008: The Spirit #20    -- 12,358 (- 2.8%)
09/2008: The Spirit #21    -- 11,551 (- 6.5%)
10/2008: The Spirit #22    -- 10,997 (- 4.8%)
11/2008: The Spirit #23    -- 10,372 (- 5.7%)
12/2008: The Spirit #24    -- 10,048 (- 3.1%)
01/2009: The Spirit #25    --  9,576 (- 4.7%)
02/2009: The Spirit #26    --  9,405 (- 1.8%)
03/2009: --
04/2009: The Spirit #27    --  8,785 (- 6.6%)
----------------
6 months: -20.1%
1 year  : -40.2%
2 years : -63.2%

The Spirit is cancelled with issue #32, although the Previews copy suggests that there’s some kind of relaunch coming up.

Looking at these numbers, I wonder what the point is. It doesn’t seem like there’s a desperate demand for a Spirit series without Will Eisner, unless you’ve got an established sales draw like Darwyn Cooke running the show.

—–

197 - THE MIGHTY
02/2009: The Mighty #1  --  17,956
03/2009: The Mighty #2  --  10,624 (-40.8%)
04/2009: The Mighty #3  --   8,777 (-17.4%)

These are god-awful numbers, but, again, nobody can expect differently for an unproven property thrown out there without any promotional effort worth speaking of.

It can’t have helped that The Mighty looks like another fairly generic post-Watchmen superhero comic in a market that’s already drowning in them.

—–

200 - UNKNOWN SOLDIER (Vertigo)
10/2008: Unknown Soldier #1  -- 16,038
11/2008: Unknown Soldier #2  -- 10,553 (-34.2%)
12/2008: Unknown Soldier #3  --  9,926 (- 5.9%)
01/2009: Unknown Soldier #4  --  8,711 (-12.2%)
02/2009: Unknown Soldier #5  --  8,348 (- 4.2%)
03/2009: Unknown Soldier #6  --  8,177 (- 2.1%)
04/2009: Unknown Soldier #7  --  8,631 (+ 5.6%)
----------------
6 months: -46.2%

The advertising copy announced Dave Johnston as the new cover artist and promised a “stand-alone story.” Evidently, it worked.

—–

204 - BILLY BATSON & THE MAGIC OF SHAZAM (Johnny DC)
07/2008: Billy Batson #1  -- 20,340
08/2008: --
09/2008: Billy Batson #2  -- 12,363 (-39.2%)
10/2008: --
11/2008: --
12/2008: Billy Batson #3  --  9,852 (-20.3%)
01/2009: --
02/2009: --
03/2009: --
04/2009: Billy Batson #4  --  8,470 (-14.0%)
----------------
6 months:  n.a.

Another Johnny DC title. See small print.

—–

205 - WILDCATS (WildStorm)
04/2004: Version 3.0 #20 -- 13,545
04/2006: Nemesis #8 of 9 -- 14,410
04/2007: --
----------------------------------
07/2008: World's End #1  -- 16,895 (-79.5%)
08/2008: World's End #2  -- 13,311 (-21.2%)
09/2008: World's End #3  -- 13,559 (+ 1.9%)
10/2008: World's End #4  -- 12,431 (- 8.3%)
11/2008: World's End #5  -- 11,280 (- 9.3%)
12/2008: World's End #6  -- 10,450 (- 7.4%)
01/2009: World's End #7  --  9,539 (- 8.7%)
02/2009: World's End #8  --  9,040 (- 5.2%)
03/2009: World's End #9  --  8,758 (- 3.1%)
04/2009: World's End #10 --  8,460 (- 3.4%)
----------------
6 months: -31.9%
1 year  :  n.a.
2 years :  n.a.
5 years : -37.5%

Wildcats keeps shedding 300 units per month. That doesn’t seem like a lot, but with sales below 10K, it starts adding up rather quickly.

—–

206 - BATMAN: THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD (Johnny DC)
04/2004: Batman Adventures #13 -- 12,092
04/2005: Batman Strikes! #8    -- 10,368
04/2006: Batman Strikes! #20   --  8,331
04/2007: Batman Strikes! #32   --  7,294
----------------------------------------
04/2008: Batman Strikes! #44   --  7,541 (+ 15.2%)
05/2008: Batman Strikes! #45   --  6,611 (- 12.3%)
06/2008: Batman Strikes! #46   --  7,118 (+  7.7%)
07/2008: Batman Strikes! #47   --  7,711 (+  8.3%)
08/2008: Batman Strikes! #48   --  6,702 (- 13.1%)
09/2008: Batman Strikes! #49   --  6,387 (-  4.7%)
10/2008: Batman Strikes! #50   --  6,413 (+  0.4%)
11/2008: --
12/2008: --
01/2009: Brave & Bold #1       -- 13,935 (+117.3%)
02/2009: Brave & Bold #2       --  8,678 (- 37.7%)
03/2009: Brave & Bold #3       --  8,184 (-  5.7%)
04/2009: Brave & Bold #4       --  8,381 (+  2.4%)
----------------
6 months: +30.7%
1 year  : +11.1%
2 years : +14.9%
5 years : -30.7%

Johnny DC; see fine print below.

—–

212 - DMZ (Vertigo)
04/2006: DMZ #6  -- 15,212
04/2007: DMZ #18 -- 13,120
--------------------------
04/2008: DMZ #30 -- 10,038 (-2.2%)
05/2008: DMZ #31 --  9,911 (-1.3%)
06/2008: DMZ #32 --  9,760 (-1.5%)
07/2008: DMZ #33 --  9,684 (-0.8%)
08/2008: DMZ #34 --  9,561 (-1.3%)
09/2008: --  
10/2008: DMZ #35 --  9,240 (-3.4%)
11/2008: DMZ #36 --  8,851 (-4.2%)
12/2008: DMZ #37 --  8,823 (-0.3%)
01/2009: DMZ #38 --  8,457 (-4.2%)
02/2009: DMZ #39 --  8,353 (-1.2%)
03/2009: DMZ #40 --  8,167 (-2.2%)
04/2009: DMZ #41 --  8,061 (-1.3%)
----------------
6 months: -12.8%
1 year  : -19.7%
2 years : -38.6%

Continuing a slow decline.

—–
225 – GEN13 (WildStorm)
04/2007: Gen13 #7 — 20,555
—————————-
04/2008: Gen13 #19 — 11,887 (- 4.1%)
05/2008: Gen13 #20 — 11,429 (- 3.9%)
06/2008: —
07/2008: —
08/2008: Gen13 #21 — 11,074 (- 3.1%)
09/2008: Gen13 #22 — 10,533 (- 4.9%)
10/2008: Gen13 #23 — 10,061 (- 4.5%)
11/2008: Gen13 #24 — 9,460 (- 6.0%)
12/2008: Gen13 #25 — 8,954 (- 5.4%)
01/2009: Gen13 #26 — 8,341 (- 6.9%)
02/2009: Gen13 #27 — 7,929 (- 4.9%)
03/2009: Gen13 #28 — 7,593 (- 4.2%)
04/2009: Gen13 #29 — 7,313 (- 3.7%)
—————-
6 months: -27.3%
1 year : -38.5%
2 years : -64.4%

Gen13 and StormWatch: PHD are on a bimonthly schedule now.

There may be all kinds of reasons for that, but the notion that the move is related to the abysmal sales of the WildStorm Universe line in general and these two books in particular doesn’t seem too far-fetched.

—–

227 - AIR (Vertigo)
08/2008: Air #1  -- 13,868
09/2008: Air #2  -- 10,971 (-20.9%)
10/2008: Air #3  -- 10,061 (- 8.3%)
11/2008: Air #4  --  8,913 (-11.4%)
12/2008: Air #5  --  8,412 (- 5.6%)
01/2009: Air #6  --  7,607 (- 9.6%)
02/2009: --
03/2009: Air #7  -- 10,290 (+35.3%)
04/2009: Air #8  --  7,216 (-29.9%)
----------------
6 months: -28.3%

There’s no immediate effect on Air sales from March’s low-priced promotional issue.

The first paperback collection of the series charted with first-month direct-market sales of 3,195 in March, meanwhile, and moved another 785 units in April. While these numbers don’t look spectacular, this is another case where it might prove worthwhile to keep an eye on the Top 300 Graphic Novel chart — maybe that’s where the $ 1.00 cover price for Air #7 will pay off.

—–

232/235 - SCALPED (Vertigo)
04/2007: Scalped #4  --  9,163
------------------------------
04/2008: Scalped #16 --  7,071 (+ 1.0%)
05/2008: Scalped #17 --  6,927 (- 2.0%)
06/2008: Scalped #18 --  7,020 (+ 1.3%)
07/2008: Scalped #19 --  7,221 (+ 2.9%)
08/2008: Scalped #20 --  7,034 (- 2.6%)
09/2008: Scalped #21 --  7,029 (- 0.1%)
10/2008: Scalped #22 --  6,964 (- 0.9%)
11/2008: Scalped #23 --  6,910 (- 0.8%)
12/2008: Scalped #24 --  6,777 (- 1.9%)
01/2009: --
02/2009: Scalped #25 --  6,887 (+ 1.6%)
03/2009: Scalped #26 --  6,866 (- 0.3%)
04/2009: Scalped #27 --  6,950 (+ 1.2%)
04/2009: Scalped #28 --  6,860 (- 1.3%)
----------------
6 months: - 0.9%
1 year  : - 2.4%
2 years : -24.6%

Scalped sales stick to their established mark.

The book’s fourth paperback collection came out in April with first-month sales of 3,337 in the direct market, which is in the same area as previous ones.

Neither of these numbers is very high, but they remain solid at their given levels.

—–

234 - FRINGE (WildStorm)
09/2008: Fringe #1 of 6 -- 15,929
10/2008: --
11/2008: --
12/2008: --
01/2009: Fringe #2 of 6 --  8,239 (-48.3%)
02/2009: --
03/2009: Fringe #3 of 6 --  7,426 (- 9.9%)
04/2009: Fringe #4 of 6 --  6,899 (- 7.1%)
----------------
6 months:  n.a.

The TV adaptation continues its nosedive.

—–

240 - SUPERGIRL: COSMIC ADVENTURES IN THE 8TH GRADE (Johnny DC)
12/2008: Supergirl: CAit8G #1  -- 9,281
01/2009: Supergirl: CAit8G #2  -- 6,488 (-30.1%)
02/2009: Supergirl: CAit8G #3  -- 6,222 (- 4.1%)
03/2009: Supergirl: CAit8G #4  -- 6,200 (- 0.4%)
04/2009: Supergirl: CAit8G #5  -- 6,576 (+ 6.1%)

A Johnny DC series, see small print.

—–

246 - THE WAR THAT TIME FORGOT
05/2008: The War That Time Forgot #1  of 8  -- 18,243
06/2008: The War That Time Forgot #2  of 8  -- 13,296 (-27.1%)
07/2008: The War That Time Forgot #3  of 8  -- 11,407 (-14.2%)
08/2008: The War That Time Forgot #4  of 8  --  9,965 (-12.6%)
09/2008: The War That Time Forgot #5  of 12 --  9,153 (- 8.2%)
10/2008: The War That Time Forgot #6  of 12 --  8,243 (- 9.9%)
11/2008: The War That Time Forgot #7  of 12 --  7,700 (- 6.6%)
12/2008: The War That Time Forgot #8  of 12 --  7,403 (- 3.9%)
01/2009: The War That Time Forgot #9  of 12 --  6,960 (- 6.0%)
02/2009: The War That Time Forgot #10 of 12 --  6,690 (- 3.9%)
03/2009: The War That Time Forgot #11 of 12 --  6,598 (- 1.4%)
04/2009: The War That Time Forgot #12 of 12 --  6,281 (- 4.8%)
----------------
6 months: -23.8%

The War That Time Forgot counts as another example of what happens with fringe DC Universe books that receive no promotion.

—–

257 - SUPER FRIENDS (Johnny DC)
04/2008: Super Friends #2  --  8,935 (-28.8%)
05/2008: Super Friends #3  --  8,037 (-10.1%)
06/2008: Super Friends #4  --  8,038 (+ 0.0%)
07/2008: Super Friends #5  --  7,141 (-11.2%)
08/2008: Super Friends #6  --  6,671 (- 6.6%)
09/2008: Super Friends #7  --  6,428 (- 3.6%)
10/2008: Super Friends #8  --  6,153 (- 4.3%)
11/2008: Super Friends #9  --  5,739 (- 6.7%)
12/2008: Super Friends #10 --  5,543 (- 3.4%)
01/2009: Super Friends #11 --  5,500 (- 0.8%)
02/2009: Super Friends #12 --  5,394 (- 1.9%)
03/2009: Super Friends #13 --  5,387 (- 0.1%)
04/2009: Super Friends #14 --  5,792 (+ 7.5%)
----------------
6 months: - 5.9%
1 year  : -35.2%

Another Johnny DC title.

—–

263 - YOUNG LIARS (Vertigo)
04/2008: Young Liars #2  --  9,917 (-24.7%)
05/2008: Young Liars #3  --  8,954 (- 9.7%)
06/2008: Young Liars #4  --  8,590 (- 4.1%)
07/2008: Young Liars #5  --  8,172 (- 4.9%)
08/2008: Young Liars #6  --  7,862 (- 3.8%)
09/2008: Young Liars #7  --  7,520 (- 4.4%)
10/2008: Young Liars #8  --  7,265 (- 3.4%)
11/2008: Young Liars #9  --  6,775 (- 6.8%)
12/2008: Young Liars #10 --  6,646 (- 1.9%)
01/2009: Young Liars #11 --  6,081 (- 8.5%)
02/2009: Young Liars #12 --  5,820 (- 4.3%)
03/2009: Young Liars #13 --  5,735 (- 1.5%)
04/2009: Young Liars #14 --  5,698 (- 0.7%)
----------------
6 months: -21.6%
1 year  : -42.5%

Young Liars is cancelled with issue #18.

In this case, the first collection charted with first-month sales of 2,711 units in the direct market in December, and hasn’t sold enough copies to appear on any Top 300 Graphic Novel charts since.

—–

272 - GREATEST HITS (Vertigo)
09/2008: Greatest Hits #1 of 6 -- 13,142
10/2008: Greatest Hits #2 of 6 --  8,222 (-37.4%)
11/2008: Greatest Hits #3 of 6 --  6,737 (-18.1%)
12/2008: Greatest Hits #4 of 6 --  5,991 (-11.1%)
01/2009: Greatest Hits #5 of 6 --  5,493 (- 8.3%)
02/2009: Greatest Hits #6 of 6 --  5,243 (- 4.6%)

Terrible sales.

—–

281 - SCOOBY DOO (Johnny DC)
04/2004: Scooby Doo #83  -- 5,528
04/2005: Scooby Doo #95  -- 4,800
04/2006: Scooby Doo #107 -- 4,359
04/2007: Scooby Doo #119 -- 4,373
---------------------------------
04/2008: Scooby Doo #131 -- 4,403 (- 1.3%)
05/2008: Scooby Doo #132 -- 4,309 (- 2.1%)
06/2008: Scooby Doo #133 -- 4,501 (+ 4.5%)
07/2008: Scooby Doo #134 -- 4,286 (- 4.8%)
08/2008: Scooby Doo #135 -- 4,226 (- 1.4%)
09/2008: Scooby Doo #136 -- 4,283 (+ 1.4%)
10/2008: Scooby Doo #137 -- ?
11/2008: Scooby Doo #138 -- 4,068
12/2008: Scooby Doo #139 -- ?
01/2009: Scooby Doo #140 -- 3,800
02/2009: Scooby Doo #141 -- 3,861 (+ 1.6%)
03/2009: Scooby Doo #142 -- 3,863 (+ 0.1%)
04/2009: Scooby Doo #143 -- 4,610 (+19.3%)
----------------
6 months:  n.a.
1 year  : + 4.7%
2 years : + 5.4%
5 years : -16.6%

A Johnny DC book.

—–

295 - BANG! TANGO (Vertigo)
02/2009: Bang! Tango #1 of 6 --  6,743
03/2009: Bang! Tango #2 of 6 --  4,539 (-32.7%)
04/2009: Bang! Tango #3 of 6 --  3,847 (-15.3%)

And another Vertigo miniseries, barely scraping into the Top 300.

WildStorm’s Mirror’s Edge #6, Mysterius #4 and Resistance #5 also came out in April, but all failed to chart in the Top 300, which means they had estimated sales of 3,699 or less.

For the purposes of the average-sales charts below, I’m assuming they sold 3,699 units each.

—–

REORDERS:
213:  8,056 -- Batman #686
248:  6,169 -- Transmetropolitan #1 Special Edition
253:  6,055 -- Saga of the Swamp Thing #21 Special Edition
255:  5,909 -- Planetary #1 Special Edition
288:  4,161 -- Batman: Battle for the Cowl #1
6-MONTH COMPARISONS
+264.7%: Flash
+ 58.0%: Detective Comics
+ 30.7%: Batman: Brave & Bold
+ 29.1%: 100 Bullets
+ 27.5%: Jack of Fables
+ 26.9%: GL Corps
+ 23.4%: Green Lantern
+  1.9%: JSA
+  0.4%: Supergirl
-  0.6%: Fables
-  0.9%: Scalped
-  3.3%: Tiny Titans
-  4.7%: Hellblazer
-  5.1%: Wonder Woman
-  5.9%: Super Friends
-  8.5%: Jonah Hex
- 10.0%: Northlanders
- 10.8%: Teen Titans
- 11.7%: Final Crisis: Legion of 3 Worlds
- 12.6%: Secret Six
- 12.8%: DMZ
- 14.3%: Batman
- 15.0%: Superman/Batman
- 15.2%: Madame Xanadu
- 16.5%: JLA
- 17.7%: Gotham After Midnight
- 18.4%: Green Arrow
- 19.5%: Batman Confidential
- 20.1%: Spirit
- 20.7%: House of Mystery
- 20.8%: Titans
- 21.2%: Superman
- 21.6%: Young Liars
- 22.4%: Booster Gold
- 23.8%: War That Time Forgot
- 24.5%: Action Comics
- 27.3%: Authority
- 27.3%: Gen13
- 28.0%: WoW
- 28.3%: Air
- 30.8%: Trinity
- 31.9%: Wildcats
- 41.7%: Gears of War
- 41.8%: Outsiders
- 46.2%: Unknown Soldier

—–

1-YEAR COMPARISONS
+203.6%: Flash
+115.0%: Detective Comics
+ 26.7%: 100 Bullets
+ 25.6%: GL Corps
+ 25.3%: Batman
+ 19.7%: Green Lantern
+ 18.0%: Jack of Fables
+ 11.1%: Batman: Brave & Bold
+  8.6%: Supergirl
+  5.4%: Scooby-Doo
-  0.9%: Fables
-  2.4%: Scalped
-  7.6%: Hellblazer
-  8.8%: JSA
- 10.9%: Ex Machina
- 12.8%: Jonah Hex
- 17.8%: Tiny Titans
- 18.7%: Batman Confidential
- 19.3%: Wonder Woman
- 19.7%: DMZ
- 21.5%: Superman
- 22.0%: Superman/Batman
- 23.1%: JLA
- 23.8%: Action Comics
- 24.1%: Northlanders
- 25.3%: Teen Titans
- 25.7%: Outsiders
- 31.5%: Green Arrow
- 35.2%: Super Friends
- 35.5%: Booster Gold
- 38.5%: Gen13
- 40.2%: Spirit
- 42.5%: Young Liars
- 50.1%: WoW
- 52.4%: Titans

—–

2-YEAR COMPARISONS
+118.1%: Flash
+ 85.0%: Detective Comics
+ 75.4%: GL Corps
+ 14.9%: Batman: Brave & Bold
+  5.4%: Scooby-Doo
-  5.1%: Jack of Fables
-  9.3%: Fables
- 15.9%: Hellblazer
- 22.8%: Superman
- 24.6%: Scalped
- 25.1%: JSA
- 25.9%: Ex Machina
- 28.5%: Green Arrow
- 30.3%: Action Comics
- 31.6%: Jonah Hex
- 34.0%: Supergirl
- 38.6%: DMZ
- 42.0%: Teen Titans
- 45.2%: Superman/Batman
- 45.8%: Wonder Woman
- 46.1%: Batman Confidential
- 57.4%: JLA
- 63.2%: Spirit
- 64.4%: Gen13

—–

5-YEAR COMPARISONS
+199.2%: Detective Comics
+125.6%: Green Lantern
+115.5%: Flash
+ 71.5%: JSA
+ 13.5%: Batman
+  4.7%: Wonder Woman
-  4.7%: JLA
-  7.2%: Fables
- 16.6%: Scooby-Doo
- 23.5%: Action Comics
- 25.8%: Hellblazer
- 30.7%: Batman: Brave & Bold
- 35.7%: Green Arrow
- 37.0%: Outsiders
- 37.5%: Wildcats
- 48.2%: Teen Titans
- 55.6%: Authority
- 71.8%: Superman/Batman
- 81.4%: Superman

—–

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

DC COMICS
04/2004: 31,332
04/2005: 30,053
04/2006: 33,566
04/2007: 39,134
---------------
04/2008: 28,051 (+ 6.1%)
05/2008: 27,075 (- 3.5%)
06/2008: 27,367 (+ 1.1%)
07/2008: 27,436 (+ 0.3%)**
08/2008: 29,678 (+ 8.2%)
09/2008: 25,562 (-13.9%)
10/2008: 29,109 (+13.9%)**
11/2008: 25,340 (-13.0%)
12/2008: 26,793 (+ 5.7%)**
01/2009: 24,273 (- 9.4%)
02/2009: 23,080 (- 4.9%)
03/2009: 21,792 (- 5.6%)
04/2009: 27,373 (+25.6%)**
----------------
6 months: - 6.0%
1 year  : - 2.4%
2 years : -30.1%
5 years : -12.6%
DC UNIVERSE
04/2004: 37,332
04/2005: 39,140
04/2006: 45,129
04/2007: 52,768
---------------
04/2008: 35,452 (+ 6.9%)
05/2008: 35,230 (- 0.6%)
06/2008: 35,800 (+ 1.6%)
07/2008: 35,553 (- 0.7%)
08/2008: 38,502 (+ 8.3%)
09/2008: 33,591 (-13.0%)
10/2008: 37,273 (+11.0%)
11/2008: 33,096 (-11.2%)
12/2008: 35,050 (+ 5.9%)
01/2009: 32,705 (- 6.7%)
02/2009: 30,224 (- 7.6%)
03/2009: 31,336 (+ 3.7%)
04/2009: 38,150 (+21.8%)
----------------
6 months: + 2.4%
1 year  : + 7.6%
2 years : -27.7%
5 years : + 2.2%
VERTIGO
04/2004: 16,427
04/2005: 13,050
04/2006: 15,473
04/2007: 12,105
---------------
04/2008: 10,550 (+ 0.6%)
05/2008: 10,418 (- 1.3%)
06/2008: 10,491 (+ 0.7%)
07/2008: 10,821 (+ 3.2%)**
08/2008: 10,979 (+ 1.5%)
09/2008: 11,748 (+ 7.0%)
10/2008: 11,284 (- 4.0%)
11/2008: 11,936 (+ 5.8%)
12/2008: 11,603 (- 2.8%)
01/2009: 10,980 (- 5.4%)
02/2009: 11,353 (+ 3.4%)
03/2009: 10,177 (-10.4%)
04/2009: 10,767 (+ 5.8%)
----------------
6 months: - 4.6%
1 year  : + 2.1%
2 years : -11.1%
5 years : -34.5%
WILDSTORM
04/2004: 16,866
04/2005: 12,846
04/2006: 16,036
04/2007: 13,609
---------------
04/2008: 12,156 (- 5.3%)
05/2008:  9,812 (-19.3%)
06/2008:  9,806 (- 0.1%)
07/2008:  9,875 (+ 0.7%)**
08/2008: 10,064 (+ 1.9%)
09/2008: 11,864 (+17.9%)
10/2008: 10,736 (- 9.5%)**
11/2008: 10,220 (- 4.8%)
12/2008:  9,415 (- 7.9%)**
01/2009:  6,851 (-27.2%)
02/2009:  8,019 (+17.1%)
03/2009:  8,954 (+11.7%)
04/2009:  8,277 (- 7.6%)**
----------------
6 months: -22.9%
1 year  : -31.9%
2 years : -39.2%
5 years : -50.9%

—–
Disclaimers, et cetera

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Comments

  1. In regards to sales of Flash:Rebirth – Aren’t average sales down drastically from when the last few relaunches occurred? Since it placed higher on the charts than the other relaunches (pretty sure they didn’t snare the #1 or #2 spot) wouldn’t that say that retailers have more confidence with Geoff John’s story than the other two?

  2. If you mean their confidence relative to the market as a whole, then yes, I suppose so.

    But I think the real point is that previous FLASH relaunches had very strong starts, only to fall off a cliff almost immediately. So it would be premature to call this relaunch a success (even provisionally). Given the book’s track record, it needs to show a bit more staying power before that conclusion would be justified.

    In other words, for all we can tell so far, this relaunch might be on track to do the same as the previous ones. Or it might not – perhaps this time it’ll stick. All we can really say for now is that it didn’t crash straight away.

  3. Charles Knight says:

    Some of the code needs fixing?

    In regards to the sales – Is “The Mighty” even going to get to finish off it’s current storyline?

  4. The numbers for the GL titles continue to be unbelievable impressive after all this time. Though you forgot to add the resale numbers for GL #38 it sold 3,807 in March putting the final number over 72,000.

  5. Micah says:

    Thanks for the numbers and write-up Paul. SCALPED!

  6. Regarding the Johnny DC titles. Almost all of them had increases. I think this might have to do with the strengh of the DC Kids Free Comic Book Day Book. The only one showing a decline is the Shazam book, which has schedule problems.

  7. Wow, my pingbacker is really stupid. Sorry. Feel free to prune that one.

  8. The Beat says:

    Ert, sorry about all the posting problems, people.

  9. The $1 issue of Air worked to bring me on board — I bought the trade the next week, and every issue since (with plans to go back to trades with volume 3).

  10. “It’s also worth noting that a crossover, like the variant-cover editions and low-priced introductory issues we’ve seen recently, is another marketing approach that’s new to Vertigo’s periodical line.”

    Blocking “Children’s Crusade” from your memory, eh?

  11. Dave Hackett says:

    I agree with Alex, that the Johnny DC books might be interesting to watch, despite the traditional inclination to disregard their numbers in the direct market. Tiny Titans in particular is getting a pretty big push and I know my retailer moves it pretty well.

  12. “The War That Time Forgot counts as another example of what happens with fringe DC Universe books that receive no promotion.”

    And are written by the 21st C. iteration of Bruce Jones. Following the spectacular collapses (in terms of both sales and general reception) of every single one of his DC titles in the past few years, I suspect his number may finally be up.

  13. alwaysoptimistic says:

    Wonder Woman actually has had Variant covers for every recent issue beginning with #26. #27 was by Frank Quitely, #29 was by Marcos Martin and #31 was by Scott Kolins.

  14. alwaysoptimistic says:

    “Blocking “Children’s Crusade” from your memory, eh”?

    I had mercifully forgotten that mess. The Doom Patrol Annual especially was jaw droppingly awful.

    I have read somewhere in the vicinity of 60,000 comics in my life and I would have no hesitation in placing that amongst the absolute worst ever imo.

  15. Thanks for the huge work ! :)

    And can we have indie sales for April, please, please, please ? :)

  16. Mark Coale says:

    Was there a Y2K vertigo cross-over or just that one-shot that had all the classic vertigo characters (animal man, swamp thing, doom patrol, shade, …) in it?

  17. Evan Meadow says:

    To Charles Knight:

    The Mighty was always talked about as a 12 part story with hopes it woudl progress past that if sales were worthy. Hence why they listed it as an ongoing.

    I would think DC’s going to be willing to let it run to that.

  18. Heinz Hochkoepper says:

    Mark: That was just a one-shot (Totems). Children’s Crusade was the only real Vertigo crossover, and I liked it just fine. I skipped the Doom Patrol annual since I didn’t read that book post-Morrisson, but some of the others were great (Animal Man and Books of Magic especially). The book-ends by Gaiman were fine too, though I think the ending was somewhat disappointing. Just talking about this makes me feel nostalgic about early Vertigo, I don’t think I ever enjoyed their books more than in those first few years.

    Really interesting to see the rather small gap in numbers (both periodical and TPB) between Air/Scalped on the one hand and Young Liars on the other hand. Are we able to pinpoint the current Vertigo cancellation point from this?

  19. Concerning THE FLASH: REBIRTH #1, I think there may have been some small hesitation on the part of retailers but considering it came in at #2, I believe that’s more of a statement on the sales of all titles right now.

    The main problem DC has had with the Flash relaunches is simply executing bad ideas with poor creativity. Someone thought it would be a good idea to follow Geoff Johns’ well-received run with a lackluster final arc and then take Wally West out of the equation and replace him with an aged Bart Allen. They hyped the relaunched THE FLASH: THE FASTEST MAN ALIVE well enough, but gave it to Danny Bilson and Paul DeMeo, presumably only because they happened to be the producers of the 1990-91 FLASH TV series. Fans were less than impressed, which forced DC to kill off Bart (albeit temporarily) a year later and cancel FLASH: TFMA.

    ALL FLASH #1 seemed promising, but the return of Wally West and his series featured an unimpressive initial arc by Mark Waid that was soon followed by another unimpressive arc by Tom Peyer and then a final arc by Alan Burnett that quietly ended Wally’s series…again.

    So now DC is trying to bring back Barry Allen after their success at bringing back Hal Jordan. And unless the same formula is used of following a REBIRTH series written by Geoff Johns with a monthly ongoing series written by Geoff Johns, it may be hard for DC to finally get a Flash relaunch right.

  20. brandon says:

    Seems to me that in recent years the plan to revamp the Flash is to add more speedsters to the roster. Which solves nothing.

    When Bart failed they brought back Wally plus his kids. Now we have Barry and Bart back in the mix. That’s five – depending on how you factor in the kid’s powers.

    Instead of mapping out a plan with any ONE Flash they just keep throwing more characters at the problem. It’s not exactly an idea that looks like a good one at all.

  21. Matt D says:

    I still say that the Superman titles are pushing/developing secondary characters and new IPs right now and that’s worth a hell of a lot more to DC than a few thousand sales here or there, especially counterbalanced by World of New Krypton and Superman: Secret Origin basically being Action Comics and Superman (aka the books with Clark Kent/Superman in them).

    Action Comics and Superman right now are really Nightwing and Flamebird and Mon-El & Friends, just with different names. And there’s no way that they’d sell nearly as well as they’re selling now with those names.

    We’ll see how Superman: Secret Origin debuts, I guess, though.

  22. DC must be pleased with those Battle for the Cowl minis and one-shots, as the last issue of Azrael teased an ongoing starting later in the year.

  23. Keith says:

    Well, now that 100 Bullets has ended, hopefully some* of its readers who are itching for something new will give the other younger Vertigo titles a try (Air, Madame Xanadu). *Of course I say “some” because I don’t know how much interested the average 100 Bullets reader would be interested in the aforementioned titles, but you never know…

  24. Javier Maidana says:

    What ever happend with the Indie Comics Month-to-Month Sales by Steve Horton?

  25. Sean McClenahan says:

    I too thought Childrens Crusade was a very good story. The Books of Magic story particulary stood out. I can’t recall the Doom Patrol contribution to the story though.

  26. majorjoe23 says:

    “What ever happend with the Indie Comics Month-to-Month Sales by Steve Horton? ”

    I was wondering the same thing. Is that experiment over? If so, could Marc start adding them back to his analysis?

  27. Tijmen says:

    Another month, another good job, Marc-Oliver. Was that John Byrne crack a sly reference to the Marv Wolfman-esque writer of the Teen Titans Year One mini, or am I genuinely missing something (wouldn’t be the first time, so hey, surprise me)?

    Also: SCALPED! (it bears repeating)

Trackbacks

  1. [...] The original numbers are here. I’m going to reproduce the relevant portion. 232/235 – SCALPED (Vertigo) 04/2007: Scalped #4  —  9,163 —————————— 04/2008: Scalped #16 —  7,071 (+ 1.0%) 05/2008: Scalped #17 —  6,927 (- 2.0%) 06/2008: Scalped #18 —  7,020 (+ 1.3%) 07/2008: Scalped #19 —  7,221 (+ 2.9%) 08/2008: Scalped #20 —  7,034 (- 2.6%) 09/2008: Scalped #21 —  7,029 (- 0.1%) 10/2008: Scalped #22 —  6,964 (- 0.9%) 11/2008: Scalped #23 —  6,910 (- 0.8%) 12/2008: Scalped #24 —  6,777 (- 1.9%) 01/2009: – 02/2009: Scalped #25 —  6,887 (+ 1.6%) 03/2009: Scalped #26 —  6,866 (- 0.3%) 04/2009: Scalped #27 —  6,950 (+ 1.2%) 04/2009: Scalped #28 —  6,860 (- 1.3%) —————- 6 months: – 0.9% 1 year  : – 2.4% 2 years : -24.6% Scalped sales stick to their established mark. [...]

  2. [...] The Beat looks at DC’s April sales, putting the success of Flash: Rebirth #1 (102K) in context with the last two Flash relaunches: Flash: The Fastest Man Alive #1 (120K) and All-Flash #1 (98K), noting that “neither one of them had the benefit of the company’s most popular creator, as Rebirth arguably does.” [...]

  3. [...] Marc-Olivier Frisch, attento osservatore del mercato dei comic books, ha pubblicato su The Beat un’analisi delle vendite DC dello scorso mese di aprile. La cosa è di particolare interesse per gli aficionados di Brainiac 5 e soci, in quanto è stato proprio in quel periodo che i comics shop d’oltreoceano hanno ricevuto il penultimo capitolo di “Final Crisis: Legion of 3 Worlds”. Questa appassionante miniserie, realizzata con esasperante lentezza da Geoff Johns e George Pérez, è infatti al momento l’unico titolo direttamente dedicato al gruppo di eroi del XXXI° secolo. Sigh. Ecco dunque i dati raccolti da Frisch, seguiti dalle sue considerazioni: 28 – FINAL CRISIS: LEGION OF 3 WORLDS 08/2008: Legion of 3 Worlds #1 of 5 — 68,306 [73,914] 09/2008: – 10/2008: Legion of 3 Worlds #2 of 5 — 64,412 (-5.7%) 11/2008: – 12/2008: – 01/2009: – 02/2009: Legion of 3 Worlds #3 of 5 — 61,358 (-4.7%) 03/2009: – 04/2009: Legion of 3 Worlds #4 of 5 — 56,888 (-7.3%) —————- 6 months: -11.7% [...]

  4. [...] 30 DC Month-to-Month Sales: April 2009 [...]

  5. [...] 30 DC Month-to-Month Sales: April 2009 [...]

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