Marvel Month-to-Month Sales – December ’08

by Paul O’Brien
After nine long months – the final issue was slightly late – SECRET INVASION finally wrapped up in December, and “Dark Reign” immediately began. Not quite a crossover as such, “Dark Reign” is more akin to the “Initiative”-bannered books that appeared in the aftermath of CIVIL WAR. Those titles did well, even though the links between them were often tenuous, and it looks like the pattern will be repeated with “Dark Reign.”

Outside that promotion, the big new releases of the month include the launch of the heavily-promoted Noir titles; a couple of X-Men minis; the new WAR MACHINE title; and INCOGNITO, the new series from Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips.

As usual, Marvel had the biggest share of the North American direct market. In dollar share, they took 45% to DC’s 29%, and in unit share,they took a shade under 50% against DC’s 31.%

Thanks as always to ICV2.com for permission to use these figures.

1.  SECRET INVASION
04/08  Secret Invasion #1 of 8 - 272,195
05/08  Secret Invasion #2 of 8 - 197,685  (-27.4%)
06/08  Secret Invasion #3 of 8 - 186,533  ( -5.6%)
07/08  Secret Invasion #4 of 8 - 175,469  ( -5.9%)
08/08  Secret Invasion #5 of 8 - 165,958  ( -5.4%)
09/08  Secret Invasion #6 of 8 - 169,440  ( +2.1%)
10/08  Secret Invasion #7 of 8 - 154,675  ( -8.7%)
11/08  ---
12/08  Secret Invasion #8 of 8 - 152,429  ( -1.5%)
                                  6 mnth  (-18.3%)

The big crossover wraps up, miles ahead of its nearest competition – whether you judge that to be Marvel’s top ongoing series (some 60,000 behind), the “Dark Reign” prelude (50,000 behind) or DC’s FINAL CRISIS (over 40,000 behind). And this is the final issue of eight, remember.

Granted, it’s not in the same league as CIVIL WAR, whose final issue sold 266K. But it’s bigger than last year’s WORLD WAR HULK, which finished up at 146K. A clear hit, proving that the audience still hasn’t tired of the big crossovers.

3.  SECRET INVASION: DARK REIGN
12/08  Secret Invasion: Dark Reign - 102,928

This is the prelude story for “Dark Reign”, setting up the new direction for the Marvel Universe. (In a nutshell: Iron Man’s kicked out as head of the Initiative and the bad guys take his place.) And it delivers the high sales you’d expect from that sort of book.

4,5. NEW AVENGERS
12/03  Avengers #75     -  57,814
12/04  New Avengers #1  - 240,724
12/05  New Avengers #14 - 124,300
12/06  New Avengers #26 - 122,670
=====
12/07  New Avengers #37 - 105,545  ( -2.0%)
01/08  ---
02/08  New Avengers #38 - 104,140  ( -1.3%)
03/08  New Avengers #39 - 103,046  ( -1.1%)
04/08  New Avengers #40 - 117,201  (+13.7%)
05/08  New Avengers #41 - 109,185  ( -6.8%)
06/08  New Avengers #42 - 108,495  ( -0.6%)
07/08  New Avengers #43 - 108,751  ( +0.2%)
08/08  New Avengers #44 - 106,385  ( -2.2%)
09/08  New Avengers #45 - 103,326  ( -2.9%)
10/08  New Avengers #46 -  99,513  ( -3.7%)
11/08  ---
12/08  New Avengers #47 -  95,703  ( -3.8%)
12/08  New Avengers #48 -  93,908  ( -1.9%)
                           6 mnth  (-13.4%)
                           1 year  (-11.0%)
                           2 year  (-23.4%)
                           3 year  (-24.5%)
                           4 year  (-61.0%)
                           5 year  (+62.4%)

Issue #47 is a Secret Invasion tie-in slipping from November; issue #48 is Dark Reign. These numbers are a little lower than I would have expected – the book is significantly down on its pre-crossover numbers, despite the Dark Reign tie-in – but it’s still Marvel’s biggest ongoing series by a comfortable margin.

8.  HULK
12/03  Incredible Hulk #64  -  51,960
12/04  ---
12/05  Incredible Hulk #90  -  36,924
12/06  Incredible Hulk #101 -  47,927
=====
12/07  Incredible Hulk #112 -  77,119  ( -24.0%)
01/08  Hulk #1              - 139,931
02/08  Hulk #2              - 101,598  ( -27.4%)
03/08  ---
04/08  Hulk #3              - 100,167  (  -1.4%)
05/08  ---
06/08  Hulk #4              - 101,927  (  +1.8%)
07/08  ---
08/08  Hulk #5              - 102,105  (  +0.2%)
09/08  Hulk #6              - 117,807  ( +15.4%)
10/08  Hulk #7              - 110,261  (  -6.4%)
11/08  Hulk #8              -  90,776  ( -17.7%)
12/08  Hulk #9              -  87,786  (  -3.3%)
                               6 mnth  ( -13.9%)
                               1 year  ( +13.8%)
                               2 year  ( +83.2%)
                               3 year  (+137.7%)
                               4 year  (   --- )
                               5 year  ( +68.9%)

The relaunched HULK book is still finding its level. The drop seems to be relatively small this month, but interpreting the numbers is complicated by the fact that HULK has variant covers every month, of ever-changing quantity and popularity. December had a slew of them – one by Frank Cho, one by Art Adams, two by Ed McGuinness, and sketch variants on top of those – so it’s hardly surprising that the sales hold up better than usual.

9.  MIGHTY AVENGERS
12/07  Mighty Avengers #6  -  90,709  ( -8.9%)
01/08  Mighty Avengers #7  -  92,739  ( +2.2%)
01/08  Mighty Avengers #8  -  84,459  ( -8.9%)
02/08  Mighty Avengers #9  -  83,466  ( -1.2%)
03/08  Mighty Avengers #10 -  82,149  ( -1.6%)
03/08  Mighty Avengers #11 -  82,253  ( +0.1%)
04/08  Mighty Avengers #12 -  97,239  (+18.2%)
05/08  Mighty Avengers #13 - 102,266  ( +5.2%)
05/08  Mighty Avengers #14 -  95,281  ( -6.8%)
06/08  Mighty Avengers #15 -  94,014  ( -1.3%)
07/08  Mighty Avengers #16 -  96,252  ( +2.4%)
08/08  Mighty Avengers #17 -  92,950  ( -3.4%)
09/08  Mighty Avengers #18 -  90,799  ( -2.3%)
10/08  Mighty Avengers #19 -  87,258  ( -3.9%)
11/08  ---
12/08  Mighty Avengers #20 -  86,085  ( -1.3%)
                              6 mnth  ( -8.4%)
                              1 year  ( -5.1%)

Another Dark Reign tie-in. The secondary Avengers title saw bigger gains during the Secret Invasion crossover, and seems to have held on to them for now, with sales continuing on their existing gradual decline rather than dropping straight back to pre-crossover levels from the spring.

10. ULTIMATUM
11/08  Ultimatum #1 of 5 - 114,230
12/08  Ultimatum #2 of 5 -  85,627  (-25.0%)

Not bad, but I suspect Marvel may have been hoping for a top five place from a series with big name creators that’s supposed to be revitalising the beleaguered Ultimate imprint. Note, also, that the tie-in books ULTIMATE X-MEN and ULTIMATE FANTASTIC FOUR still aren’t seeing any benefit from the crossover. We shall see where it goes from here.

11. WOLVERINE
12/03  Wolverine #9  -  74,659
12/04  Wolverine #23 -  80,678
12/05  Wolverine #37 -  70,716
12/06  Wolverine #49 -  78,807
=====
12/07  Wolverine #60 -  63,194  ( -3.9%)
01/08  Wolverine #61 -  60,857  ( -3.7%)
02/08  Wolverine #62 -  69,698  (+14.5%)
03/08  Wolverine #63 -  64,475  ( -7.5%)
04/08  Wolverine #64 -  64,871  ( +0.0%)
05/08  Wolverine #65 -  62,451  ( -3.7%)
06/08  Wolverine #66 - 112,469  (+80.1%)
07/08  Wolverine #67 -  96,651  (-14.1%)
08/08  Wolverine #68 -  92,182  ( -4.6%)
09/08  ---
10/08  ---
11/08  Wolverine #69 -  88,910  ( -3.5%)
12/08  Wolverine #70 -  83,356  ( -6.2%)
                        6 mnth  (-25.9%)
                        1 year  (+31.9%)
                        2 year  ( +5.8%)
                        3 year  (+17.9%)
                        4 year  ( +3.3%)
                        5 year  (+11.6%)

Part five of Mark Millar and Steve McNiven’s eight-part “Old Man Logan” storyline. A slightly bigger drop this month than I might have expected, but it’s still doing very well for a story which isn’t in continuity.

12. UNCANNY X-MEN
12/03  Uncanny X-Men #434 -  90,318
12/04  Uncanny X-Men #453 -  89,952
12/05  Uncanny X-Men #467 -  81,282
12/06  Uncanny X-Men #481 -  85,995
=====
12/07  Uncanny X-Men #493 - 109,176  ( -1.8%)
01/08  Uncanny X-Men #494 - 105,520  ( -3.3%)
02/08  Uncanny X-Men #495 -  96,183  ( -8.8%)
03/08  Uncanny X-Men #496 -  89,054  ( -7.4%)
04/08  Uncanny X-Men #497 -  93,369  ( +4.8%)
05/08  Uncanny X-Men #498 -  82,090  (-12.1%)
06/08  Uncanny X-Men #499 -  81,100  ( -1.2%)
07/08  Uncanny X-Men #500 - 160,876  (+98.4%)
08/08  Uncanny X-Men #501 -  85,398  (-46.9%)
09/08  Uncanny X-Men #502 -  82,883  ( -2.9%)
10/08  Uncanny X-Men #503 -  87,196  ( +5.2%)
11/08  Uncanny X-Men #504 -  77,773  (-10.8%)
12/08  Uncanny X-Men #505 -  82,271  ( +5.8%)
                             6 mnth  ( +1.4%)
                             1 year  (-24.6%)
                             2 year  ( -4.3%)
                             3 year  ( +1.2%)
                             4 year  ( -8.5%)
                             5 year  ( -8.9%)

Variant cover. This month’s theme is villains, to tie in with “Dark Reign.” In UNCANNY’s case, it’s a 1-in-20 incentive by Greg Land.

15. THOR
12/03  Thor #72 -  31,953
12/04  ---
12/05  ---
12/06  ---
=====
12/07  Thor #5  - 101,551  (  -9.6%)
01/08  ---
02/08  Thor #6  -  98,315  (  -3.2%)
03/08  Thor #7  -  97,491  (  -0.8%)
04/08  Thor #8  -  91,981  (  -5.7%)
05/08  Thor #9  -  87,101  (  -5.3%)
06/08  ---
07/08  Thor #10 -  83,784  (  -3.8%)
08/08  ---
09/08  ---
10/08  Thor #11 -  78,673  (  -6.1%)
11/08  ---
12/08  Thor #12 -  73,784  (  -6.2%)
                   6 mnth  (   --- )
                   1 year  ( -27.3%)
                   2 year  (   --- )
                   3 year  (   --- )
                   4 year  (   --- )
                   5 year  (+130.9%)

That’s a drop of 10,000 in only two issues – unusually high at this stage in a title’s life. But of course, THOR is still selling in a different league from its previous incarnation of a few years ago, and has miles of leeway to find its level, even if it isn’t sustaining all the initial momentum of its relaunch.

18. CAPTAIN AMERICA
12/03  Captain America #21 -  43,018
12/04  ---
12/05  Captain America #13 -  44,945
12/06  ---
=====
12/07  Captain America #33 -  78,279  ( +6.8%)
01/08  Captain America #34 - 152,739  (+95.1%)
02/08  Captain America #35 -  86,038  (-43.7%)
03/08  Captain America #36 -  81,378  ( -5.4%)
04/08  Captain America #37 -  80,635  ( -0.9%)
05/08  Captain America #38 -  79,350  ( -1.6%)
06/08  Captain America #39 -  79,387  ( +0.0%)
07/08  Captain America #40 -  79,317  ( -0.0%)
08/08  Captain America #41 -  85,035  ( +7.2%)
09/08  Captain America #42 -  75,574  (-11.1%)
10/08  Captain America #43 -  72,405  ( -4.2%)
11/08  Captain America #44 -  75,493  ( +4.3%)
12/08  Captain America #45 -  71,186  ( -5.7%)
                              6 mnth  (-10.2%)
                              1 year  ( -9.1%)
                              2 year  (  --- )
                              3 year  (+58.4%)
                              4 year  (  --- )
                              5 year  (+65.5%)

There’s a Dark Reign variant cover on this, but apparently it’s less of a draw than last month’s Sal Buscema variant. Generally, though, the new Captain America still sells much better than his predecessor.

19,21,27. AMAZING SPIDER-MAN
12/03  Amazing Spider-Man #502 -  90,484
12/04  Amazing Spider-Man #515 -  82,840
12/05  Amazing Spider-Man #527 -  79,261
12/06  ---
=====
12/07  Amazing Spider-Man #545 - 129,085  (-18.9%)
01/08  Amazing Spider-Man #546 - 127,958  ( -0.9%)
01/08  Amazing Spider-Man #547 - 101,213  (-20.9%)
01/08  Amazing Spider-Man #548 -  97,959  ( -3.2%)
02/08  Amazing Spider-Man #549 - 101,112  ( +3.2%)
02/08  Amazing Spider-Man #550 -  90,874  (-10.1%)
02/08  Amazing Spider-Man #551 -  88,084  ( -3.1%)
03/08  Amazing Spider-Man #552 -  89,835  ( +2.0%)
03/08  Amazing Spider-Man #553 -  82,648  ( -8.0%)
03/08  Amazing Spider-Man #554 -  81,072  ( -1.9%)
04/08  Amazing Spider-Man #555 -  86,902  ( +7.2%)
04/08  Amazing Spider-Man #556 -  78,458  ( -9.7%)
04/08  Amazing Spider-Man #557 -  77,057  ( -1.8%)
05/08  Amazing Spider-Man #558 -  76,966  ( -0.1%)
05/08  Amazing Spider-Man #559 -  74,206  ( -3.6%)
05/08  Amazing Spider-Man #560 -  74,012  ( -0.3%)
06/08  Amazing Spider-Man #561 -  72,372  ( -2.2%)
06/08  Amazing Spider-Man #562 -  71,409  ( -1.3%)
06/08  Amazing Spider-Man #563 -  70,792  ( -0.9%)
07/08  Amazing Spider-Man #564 -  68,882  ( -2.7%)
07/08  Amazing Spider-Man #565 -  69,182  ( +0.4%)
07/08  Amazing Spider-Man #566 -  68,912  ( -0.4%)
08/08  Amazing Spider-Man #567 -  68,130  ( -1.1%)
08/08  Amazing Spider-Man #568 - 105,324  (+54.6%)
08/08  Amazing Spider-Man #569 -  86,432  (-17.9%)
09/08  Amazing Spider-Man #570 -  89,516  ( +3.6%)
09/08  Amazing Spider-Man #571 -  80,178  (-10.4%)
09/08  Amazing Spider-Man #572 -  80,220  ( +0.1%)
10/08  Amazing Spider-Man #573 -  82,550  ( +2.9%)
10/08  Amazing Spider-Man #574 -  69,069  (-16.3%)
10/08  Amazing Spider-Man #575 -  68,913  ( -0.2%)
11/08  Amazing Spider-Man #576 -  68,956  ( +0.1%)
11/08  Amazing Spider-Man #577 -  76,625  (+11.1%)
11/08  Amazing Spider-Man #578 -  66,564  (-13.1%)
12/08  Amazing Spider-Man #579 -  69,784  ( +4.8%)
12/08  Amazing Spider-Man #580 -  62,979  ( -9.8%)
12/08  Amazing Spider-Man #581 -  68,905  ( +9.4%)
                                  6 mnth  ( -2.7%)
                                  1 year  (-46.6%)
                                  2 year  (  --- )
                                  3 year  (-13.1%)
                                  4 year  (-16.8%)
                                  5 year  (-23.8%)

Issues #579 and #581 both have villain variants. But issue #580 doesn’t, so it’s the best indicator of the real audience size: roughly 63K. And that’s not great considering that in November, the non-variant issues sold over 66K. AMAZING is an odd book, in that its sales tend to bounce up for highly promoted storylines even when they’re not crossovers or any other sort of events. Nonetheless, strip out the variants and it looks like the book is still shedding readers after a year of the new format.

The January chart will be a different story, of course, featuring as it does Barack Obama in pulse-pounding conversation with the wall-crawler. Still, you can understand the reservations of retailers who were told they had to up their orders considerably in order to receive the variant covers.

22.  DARK REIGN: NEW NATION
12/08  Dark Reign: New Nation - 68,485

26.  SECRET INVASION: REQUIEM
12/08  Secret Invasion: Requiem - 63,465

NEW NATION is an anthology one-shot containing trailer stories plugging upcoming Dark Reign tie-in titles. No great surprises there.

REQUIEM is another matter. Originally solicited with the dreaded “Classified” notice, Marvel subsequently clarified that the book contains only eight pages of original story, serving as a framing sequence for reprints of TALES TO ASTONISH #44 and AVENGERS #213.

63K is astoundingly high for a couple of dusty old Wasp stories, original framing sequence or not. I’m tempted to wonder whether retailers actually understood what they were ordering here – but then, the solicitation (as eventually published) is perfectly clear and explicit.

28. X-MEN: LEGACY
12/03  New X-Men #135     -  96,154
12/04  New X-Men #150     - 110,591
12/05  X-Men #165         -  86,633
12/06  X-Men #194         -  78,114
=====
12/07  X-Men #206         - 104,815  ( +3.4%)
01/08  X-Men #207         - 104,793  ( -0.0%)
02/08  X-Men: Legacy #208 -  88,132  (-16.0%)
03/08  X-Men: Legacy #209 -  82,243  ( -6.7%)
04/08  X-Men: Legacy #210 -  77,441  ( -5.8%)
05/08  X-Men: Legacy #211 -  79,818  ( +3.1%)
05/08  X-Men: Legacy #212 -  74,033  ( -7.2%)
06/08  X-Men: Legacy #213 -  71,893  ( -2.9%)
07/08  X-Men: Legacy #214 -  69,863  ( -2.8%)
08/08  X-Men: Legacy #215 -  68,047  ( -2.6%)
09/08  X-Men: Legacy #216 -  66,434  ( -2.4%)
10/08  X-Men: Legacy #217 -  65,888  ( -0.8%)
11/08  X-Men: Legacy #218 -  63,512  ( -3.6%)
12/08  X-Men: Legacy #219 -  60,587  ( -4.6%)
                             6 mnth  (-15.7%)
                             1 year  (-42.2%)
                             2 year  (-22.4%)
                             3 year  (-30.1%)
                             4 year  (-45.2%)
                             5 year  (-37.0%)

Still losing readers. Issues #217-218 were actually part of a crossover with WOLVERINE: ORIGINS, not that you’d know from the numbers. But it might mean that this month’s drop is slighly exaggerated.

29. X-FORCE
02/08  X-Force #1  - 116,467
03/08  X-Force #2  -  88,650  (-23.9%)
04/08  X-Force #3  -  85,750  ( -3.3%)
05/08  X-Force #4  -  84,792  ( -1.1%)
06/08  ---
07/08  X-Force #5  -  76,978  ( -9.2%)
08/08  X-Force #6  -  69,010  (-10.4%)
09/08  X-Force #7  -  64,911  ( -5.9%)
10/08  X-Force #8  -  59,745  ( -8.0%)
11/08  X-Force #9  -  57,241  ( -4.2%)
12/08  X-Force #10 -  58,801  ( +2.7%)
                      6 mnth  (  --- )

Variant cover.

30. ASTONISHING X-MEN: GHOST BOXES
10/08  Ghost Boxes #1 of 2 - 69,609
11/08  ---
12/08  Ghost Boxes #2 of 2 - 57,876  (-16.9%)

At four dollars for only sixteen pages of story – something that wasn’t made clear in either the original or the amended solicitations – this book is an utterly indefensible act of contempt for the audience. But two issues is not long enough for a backlash to set in.

32. INVINCIBLE IRON MAN
12/03  Iron Man #75           -  31,889
12/04  Iron Man #2            -  53,292
12/05  ---
12/06  Iron Man #14           -  73,388
12/07  Iron Man #24           -  28,834
=====
05/08  Invincible Iron Man #1 - 120,657
06/08  Invincible Iron Man #2 -  76,001  (-37.0%)
07/08  Invincible Iron Man #3 -  66,430  (-12.6%)
08/08  Invincible Iron Man #4 -  58,154  (-12.5%)
09/08  Invincible Iron Man #5 -  60,444  ( +3.9%)
10/08  Invincible Iron Man #6 -  53,332  (-11.8%)
11/08  Invincible Iron Man #7 -  49,356  ( -7.5%)
12/08  Invincible Iron Man #8 -  56,708  (+14.9%)
                                 6 mnth  (-25.4%)
                                 1 year  (+96.7%)
                                 2 year  (+22.7%)
                                 3 year  (  --- )
                                 4 year  ( +6.4%)
                                 5 year  (+77.8%)

Now that the previous IRON MAN series has finished, I’ve started using its figures for comparison purposes here. Issue #8 is a Dark Reign tie-in with a variant cover, hence the sales boost.

35. FANTASTIC FOUR
12/03  Fantastic Four #508 - 50,333
12/04  Fantastic Four #521 - 47,634
12/05  Fantastic Four #533 - 46,751
12/06  Fantastic Four #541 - 84,895
=====
12/07  Fantastic Four #552 - 51,320  ( -12.4%)
01/08  Fantastic Four #553 - 48,332  (  -5.8%)
02/08  Fantastic Four #554 - 98,111  (+103.0%)
03/08  Fantastic Four #555 - 67,416  ( -31.3%)
04/08  Fantastic Four #556 - 65,013  (  -3.6%)
05/08  Fantastic Four #557 - 62,736  (  -3.5%)
06/08  Fantastic Four #558 - 61,003  (  -2.8%)
07/08  ---
08/08  Fantastic Four #559 - 59,791  (  -2.0%)
09/08  Fantastic Four #560 - 58,258  (  -2.6%)
10/08  ---
11/08  Fantastic Four #561 - 61,331  (  +5.3%)
12/08  Fantastic Four #562 - 54,062  ( -11.9%)
                             6 mnth  ( -11.4%)
                             1 year  (  +5.3%)
                             2 year  ( -36.3%)
                             3 year  ( +15.6%)
                             4 year  ( +13.5%)
                             5 year  (  +7.4%)

Last month’s sales were boosted by a variant cover, so the real drop isn’t quite as steep as it looks. Nonetheless, 54K is disappointing.

Considering the hype and the big name creators, the underperformance of the Millar/Hitch run is remarkable. Yes, issues #552-553 sold lower than this – but they were fill-ins. Leave them aside, and you have to go back to February 2006 to find lower sales. Something about these creators on this title doesn’t seem to be clicking.

36. DARK TOWER
12/07  ---
01/08  ---
02/08  ---
03/08  Long Road Home #1 of 5 - 126,783  ( +1.7%)
04/08  Long Road Home #2 of 5 - 106,023  (-16.4%)
05/08  Long Road Home #3 of 5 -  87,631  (-17.3%)
06/08  Long Road Home #4 of 5 -  79,270  ( -9.5%)
07/08  Long Road Home #5 of 5 -  74,981  ( -5.4%)
08/08  ---
09/08  Treachery #1 of 6      -  82,541  (+10.1%)
10/08  Treachery #2 of 6      -  65,732  (-20.4%)
11/08  Treachery #3 of 6      -  58,279  (-11.3%)
12/08  Treachery #4 of 6      -  53,735  ( -7.8%)
                                 6 mnth  (-32.2%)
                                 1 year  (  --- )

There’s a variant cover, but then there always is. DARK TOWER is shedding readers in serial format, but that was inevitable – it couldn’t retain the aura of a special event indefinitely. It’s still doing extremely well for an adaptation, and of course the collected edition should be a strong seller.

37,39. AVENGERS: THE INITIATIVE
12/07  Initiative #8 -  58,126  (-12.5%)
01/08  Initiative #9 -  55,270  ( -4.9%)
02/08  ---
03/08  Initiative #10 - 54,422  ( -1.5%)
04/08  Initiative #11 - 52,877  ( -2.8%)
04/08  Initiative #12 - 52,343  ( -1.0%)
05/08  Initiative #13 - 56,818  ( +8.5%)
06/08  Initiative #14 - 62,236  ( +9.5%)
07/08  Initiative #15 - 63,634  ( +2.2%)
08/08  Initiative #16 - 60,381  ( -5.1%)
09/08  Initiative #17 - 59,037  ( -2.2%)
10/08  Initiative #18 - 61,159  ( +3.6%)
11/08  ---
12/08  Initiative #19 - 52,558  (-14.1%)
12/08  Initiative #20 - 51,230  ( -2.5%)
                        6 mnth  (-17.7%)
                        1 year  (-11.9%)

Back to pre-crossover levels. Actually, issue #19 is officially a Secret Invasion tie-in, and issue #20 is a Dark Reign book, so this is slightly disappointing.

38. AVENGERS/INVADERS
05/08  Avngrs/Invaders #1 of 12 - 108,136
06/08  Avngrs/Invaders #2 of 12 -  83,012 (-23.2%)
07/08  Avngrs/Invaders #3 of 12 -  75,161 ( -9.5%)
08/08  Avngrs/Invaders #4 of 12 -  69,010 ( -8.2%)
09/08  ---
10/08  Avngrs/Invaders #5 of 12 -  63,757 ( -7.6%)
11/08  Avngrs/Invaders #6 of 12 -  56,224 (-11.8%)
12/08  Avngrs/Invaders #7 of 12 -  52,193 ( -7.2%)
                                   6 mnth (-37.1%)

Still dropping – but as I’ve said before, these are good numbers for an Invaders miniseries.

40. ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN
12/03  Ult. Spider-Man #50  - 109,819
12/04  Ult. Spider-Man #70  -  88,960
12/05  Ult. Spider-Man #88  -  72,984
12/06  Ult. Spider-Man #103 -  76,251
=====
12/07  Ult. Spider-Man #117 -  60,361  ( -1.9%)
01/08  Ult. Spider-Man #118 -  58,800  ( -2.6%)
02/08  Ult. Spider-Man #119 -  58,045  ( -1.3%)
03/08  Ult. Spider-Man #120 -  57,728  ( -0.5%)
04/08  Ult. Spider-Man #121 -  56,633  ( -1.9%)
05/08  Ult. Spider-Man #122 -  55,759  ( -1.5%)
06/08  Ult. Spider-Man #123 -  57,187  ( +2.6%)
07/08  Ult. Spider-Man #124 -  55,262  ( -3.4%)
08/08  Ult. Spider-Man #125 -  54,746  ( -0.9%)
09/08  Ult. Spider-Man #126 -  54,604  ( -0.3%)
10/08  Ult. Spider-Man #127 -  52,584  ( -3.7%)
11/08  Ult. Spider-Man #128 -  52,187  ( -0.8%)
12/08  Ult. Spider-Man #129 -  51,071  ( -2.1%)
                               6 mnth  (-10.7%)
                               1 year  (-15.4%)
                               2 year  (-33.0%)
                               3 year  (-30.0%)
                               4 year  (-42.6%)
                               5 year  (-53.5%)

Cancelled with issue #133, according to the April solicitations – which practically guarantees we’ll be getting NEW ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #1 in May.

41. KICK-ASS  [Icon]
02/08  Kick-Ass #1 - 79,158
03/08  ---
04/08  Kick-Ass #2 - 60,947  (-23.0%)
05/08  ---
06/08  Kick-Ass #3 - 61,561  ( +1.0%)
07/08  ---
08/08  Kick-Ass #4 - 56,816  ( -7.7%)
09/08  ---
10/08  ---
11/08  ---
12/08  Kick-Ass #5 - 50,529  (-11.1%)
                     6 mnth  (-17.9%)

A surprisingly big drop between two issues. I’m tempted to blame the four-month gap, but delays don’t usually make that much difference. Of course, KICK-ASS is still doing incredibly well for an Icon book.

43. WAR MACHINE
12/08  War Machine #1 - 49,754

A Dark Reign book, also boosted by a variant cover. Notionally this is the successor title to IRON MAN, DIRECTOR OF S.H.I.E.L.D., but there’s actually very little connection between the two. For what it’s worth, that book was selling in the mid-30K range, so this is a significant increase.

However, reviews have been rather mixed – whatever Marvel’s press release may claim – so we’ll have to see where this one goes.

45. THE STAND: CAPTAIN TRIPS
09/08  Captain Trips #1 of 5 - 82,671
10/08  Captain Trips #2 of 5 - 64,443  (-22.0%)
11/08  Captain Trips #3 of 5 - 55,076  (-14.5%)
12/08  Captain Trips #4 of 5 - 49,211  (-10.6%)

Hmm. Shedding readers at quite a rate, this one. But again, the Stephen King books are doing very well for adaptations, and they’ll probably thrive as trade paperbacks.

46. X-INFERNUS
12/08  X-Infernus #1 of 4 - 48,417

Variant cover. This is a Magik miniseries, which appears to be leading into a relaunch of NEW MUTANTS – perhaps replacing the abortive YOUNG X-MEN title. It’s a respectable number.

47. DEADPOOL
09/08  Deadpool #1 - 75,058
09/08  Deadpool #2 - 65,400  (-12.9%)
10/08  Deadpool #3 - 61,833  ( -5.5%)
11/08  Deadpool #4 - 49,577  (-19.8%)
12/08  Deadpool #5 - 46,856  ( -5.5%)

Levelling out. Bear in mind that the first three issues were Secret Invasion tie-ins, so the drops aren’t as severe as they first seem.

50. WOLVERINE: ORIGINS
12/06  Origins #9  - 84,733
=====
12/07  Origins #20 - 53,548  ( -4.4%)
01/08  Origins #21 - 51,919  ( -3.0%)
02/08  Origins #22 - 50,324  ( -3.1%)
03/08  Origins #23 - 49,633  ( -1.4%)
04/08  Origins #24 - 49,299  ( -0.7%)
05/08  Origins #25 - 52,907  ( +5.9%)
06/08  Origins #26 - 48,059  ( -9.2%)
07/08  Origins #27 - 47,540  ( -1.1%)
08/08  ---
09/08  Origins #28 - 49,950  ( +5.1%)
10/08  Origins #29 - 58,841  (+17.8%)
11/08  Origins #30 - 50,359  (-14.4%)
12/08  Origins #31 - 45,043  (-10.6%)
                     6 mnth  ( -6.3%)
                     1 year  (-15.9%)
                     2 year  (-46.8%)

Returning to its normal level after a two-issue crossover with X-MEN: LEGACY. The book might benefit from the exposure given to co-star Daken in DARK AVENGERS, but exposure in top-tier team books doesn’t seem to have made a huge amount of difference for the likes of Ms Marvel.

51. ULTIMATE X-MEN
12/03  Ultimate X-Men #40 - 104,443
12/04  ---
12/05  ---
12/06  Ultimate X-Men #77 -  67,338
=====
12/07  Ultimate X-Men #88 -  51,633  (-18.1%)
12/07  Ultimate X-Men #89 -  50,516  ( -2.2%)
01/08  Ultimate X-Men #90 -  49,634  ( -1.7%)
02/08  Ultimate X-Men #91 -  49,062  ( -1.2%)
03/08  Ultimate X-Men #92 -  49,015  ( -0.0%)
04/08  Ultimate X-Men #93 -  49,107  ( +0.2%)
05/08  Ultimate X-Men #94 -  49,779  ( +1.4%)
06/08  Ultimate X-Men #95 -  48,137  ( -3.3%)
07/08  Ultimate X-Men #96 -  48,011  ( -0.3%)
08/08  Ultimate X-Men #97 -  47,050  ( -2.0%)
09/08  ---
10/08  ---
11/08  Ultimate X-Men #98 -  46,446  ( -1.3%)
12/08  Ultimate X-Men #99 -  44,360  ( -4.5%)
                             6 mnth  ( -7.8%)
                             1 year  (-14.1%)
                             2 year  (-34.1%)
                             3 year  (  --- )
                             4 year  (  --- )
                             5 year  (-57.5%)

Axed with issue #100. This is the second issue of an “Ultimatum” tie-in arc, but as you can see, it’s had no effect on sales whatsoever. If anything, they’ve actually started dropping faster. This apparent total indifference to the Ultimate line’s big event should be a serious cause for concern.

52. DAREDEVIL
12/03  Daredevil #40  - 54,292
12/04  Daredevil #55  - 53,660
12/05  Daredevil #68  - 50,491
12/06  Daredevil #92  - 48,035
=====
12/07  Daredevil #103 - 43,874  ( -2.6%)
01/08  Daredevil #104 - 42,773  ( -2.5%)
02/08  Daredevil #105 - 42,098  ( -1.6%)
03/08  Daredevil #106 - 41,537  ( -1.3%)
04/08  ---
05/08  Daredevil #107 - 40,418  ( -2.7%)
06/08  Daredevil #108 - 39,557  ( -2.1%)
07/08  Daredevil #109 - 39,258  ( -0.8%)
08/08  Daredevil #110 - 43,362  (+10.5%)
09/08  Daredevil #111 - 46,305  ( +6.8%)
10/08  Daredevil #112 - 46,202  ( -0.2%)
11/08  Daredevil #113 - 41,200  (-10.8%)
12/08  Daredevil #114 - 44,351  ( +7.6%)
                        6 mnth  (+12.1%)
                        1 year  ( +1.1%)
                        2 year  ( -7.7%)
                        3 year  (-12.2%)
                        4 year  (-17.3%)
                        5 year  (-18.3%)

Variant cover. Issues #111 and #112 also had variants, and it’s starting to look as though Marvel might be heading in the direction of putting a variant on more or less anything.

54. ULTIMATE HULK ANNUAL
12/08  Ultimate Hulk Annual #1 - 43,379

For comparison, in October, ULTIMATE CAPTAIN AMERICA ANNUAL #1 sold 50,058 and ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN ANNUAL #3 managed 47,771. This tails in a little way behind both, but it’s the same general territory.

55. MARVEL ZOMBIES 3
10/08  Marvel Zombies 3 #1 of 4 - 67,999
11/08  Marvel Zombies 3 #2 of 4 - 47,253  (-30.5%)
12/08  Marvel Zombies 3 #3 of 4 - 41,837  (-11.5%)

Despite the evidence of diminishing returns, we’re getting a fourth volume in the spring.

62. GOD SIZED THOR
12/08  God Sized Thor #1 - 38,734

Another Thor one-shot by Matt Fraction. The previous three sold in the 40K range, so there’s a bit of a drop here.

63,94. MARVELS: EYE OF THE CAMERA
12/08  Eye of the Camera #1 of 6 - 37,976
12/08  Eye of the Camera #2 of 6 - 27,256 (-28.2%)

Belated sequel to the 1994 miniseries, with Kurt Busiek, but without Alex Ross. As you’d expect, there are variant covers on both issues. About what I’d expect for the project, although the second issue drop is awfully steep.

65. INCREDIBLE HERCULES
01/08  Hercules #113 - 73,533  ( -4.6%)
02/08  Hercules #114 - 52,200  (-29.0%)
03/08  Hercules #115 - 49,336  ( -5.5%)
04/08  Hercules #116 - 44,575  ( -9.7%)
05/08  Hercules #117 - 57,264  (+28.5%)
06/08  Hercules #118 - 52,975  ( -7.5%)
07/08  Hercules #119 - 52,598  ( -0.7%)
08/08  Hercules #120 - 51,100  ( -2.8%)
09/08  Hercules #121 - 47,363  ( -7.3%)
10/08  Hercules #122 - 42,876  ( -9.5%)
11/08  Hercules #123 - 35,780  (-16.6%)
12/08  Hercules #124 - 36,855  ( +3.0%)
                       6 mnth  (-30.4%)

Another variant cover.

67,86,89,92. PUNISHER WAR ZONE
12/08  Punisher War Zone #1 of 6 - 36,425
12/08  Punisher War Zone #2 of 6 - 29,742 (-18.3%)
12/08  Punisher War Zone #3 of 6 - 28,424 ( -4.4%)
12/08  Punisher War Zone #4 of 6 - 27,349 ( -3.8%)

A weekly series reuniting Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon, to coincide with the movie of the same name. It outsells both of the regular Punisher titles by several thousand. There’s a variant cover on issue #1.

68. X-MEN: KINGBREAKER
12/08  Kingbreaker #1 of 4 - 36,387

This is the sequel to X-MEN: EMPEROR VULCAN, and a lead-in to the upcoming “War of Kings” crossover. Like the previous series, this is actually a Starjammers mini, not an X-Men book.

EMPEROR VULCAN started with 49K and dropped to 34K by the end of its run, so diminishing returns are clearly in evidence with this sequel.

69. THUNDERBOLTS
12/03  ---
12/04  New Thunderbolts #3  - 32,720
12/05  New Thunderbolts #16 - 25,084
12/06  Thunderbolts #109    - 27,300
=====
12/07  ---
01/08  Thunderbolts #118    - 43,645  ( -7.4%)
02/08  ---
03/08  Thunderbolts #119    - 40,173  ( -8.0%)
04/08  ---
05/08  Thunderbolts #120    - 38,330  ( -4.6%)
06/08  Thunderbolts #121    - 37,693  ( -1.7%)
07/08  Thunderbolts #122    - 47,170  (+25.1%)
08/08  Thunderbolts #123    - 45,403  ( -3.7%)
09/08  Thunderbolts #124    - 43,429  ( -4.3%)
10/08  Thunderbolts #125    - 41,358  ( -4.8%)
11/08  Thunderbolts #126    - 34,640  (-16.2%)
12/08  Thunderbolts #127    - 36,378  ( +5.0%)
                              6 mnth  ( -3.5%)
                              1 year  (  --- )
                              2 year  (+33.3%)
                              3 year  (+45.0%)
                              4 year  (+11.2%)
                              5 year  (  --- )

Another variant cover. From the look of it, THUNDERBOLTS is set to get a big push in “Dark Reign.”

71. SKAAR, SON OF HULK
06/08  Skaar, Son of Hulk #1 - 91,279
07/08  Skaar, Son of Hulk #2 - 56,984  (-37.6%)
08/08  Skaar, Son of Hulk #3 - 50,841  (-10.8%)
09/08  ---
10/08  Skaar, Son of Hulk #4 - 44,310  (-12.8%)
11/08  Skaar, Son of Hulk #5 - 34,779  (-21.5%)
12/08  Skaar, Son of Hulk #6 - 34,593  ( -0.5%)
                               6 mnth  (-62.1%)

There’s a variant cover on this issue, which probably explains why the book has suddenly levelled out. However, it’s still a somewhat positive sign, given the alarming trend to date.

72. CABLE
03/08  Cable #1 - 68,073
04/08  Cable #2 - 59,877  (-12.0%)
05/08  Cable #3 - 54,760  ( -8.5%)
06/08  Cable #4 - 49,996  ( -8.7%)
07/08  Cable #5 - 46,429  ( -7.1%)
08/08  Cable #6 - 45,050  ( -3.0%)
09/08  ---
10/08  Cable #7 - 43,358  ( -3.8%)
11/08  Cable #8 - 37,315  (-13.9%)
12/08  Cable #9 - 34,527  ( -7.5%)
                  6 mnth  (-30.9%)

Dropping fast. There’s a crossover with X-FORCE slated for the spring.

73. X-FACTOR
12/05  X-Factor #2  - 52,705
12/06  X-Factor #14 - 40,208
=====
12/07  X-Factor #26 - 84,219  ( +6.5%)
01/08  X-Factor #27 - 81,350  ( -3.4%)
02/08  X-Factor #28 - 61,173  (-24.8%)
03/08  X-Factor #29 - 54,832  (-10.4%)
04/08  X-Factor #30 - 51,447  ( -6.2%)
05/08  X-Factor #31 - 48,231  ( -6.3%)
06/08  X-Factor #32 - 45,104  ( -6.5%)
07/08  X-Factor #33 - 53,088  (+17.7%)
08/08  X-Factor #34 - 50,416  ( -5.0%)
09/08  X-Factor #35 - 44,481  (-11.8%)
10/08  X-Factor #36 - 38,552  (-13.3%)
11/08  X-Factor #37 - 35,754  ( -7.3%)
12/08  X-Factor #38 - 34,425  ( -3.7%)
                      6 mnth  (-23.7%)
                      1 year  (-59.1%)
                      2 year  (-14.4%)
                      3 year  (-34.7%)

Also still dropping, though it’s only fair to note that sales a year ago were massively boosted by the “Messiah Complex” crossover, which had lingering effects for the rest of the year.

74. ULTIMATE FANTASTIC FOUR
12/03  Ult. Fantastic Four #1  - 173,441
12/04  Ult. Fantastic Four #14 -  77,931
12/05  Ult. Fantastic Four #26 -  68,323
12/06  Ult. Fantastic Four #37 -  55,047
=====
12/07  Ult. Fantastic Four #49 -  40,656  ( -5.6%)
01/08  Ult. Fantastic Four #50 -  44,144  ( +8.6%)
02/08  Ult. Fantastic Four #51 -  38,804  (-12.1%)
03/08  Ult. Fantastic Four #52 -  38,146  ( -1.7%)
04/08  Ult. Fantastic Four #53 -  37,461  ( -1.8%)
05/08  Ult. Fantastic Four #54 -  37,556  ( +0.3%)
06/08  Ult. Fantastic Four #55 -  35,731  ( -4.9%)
07/08  Ult. Fantastic Four #56 -  35,082  ( -1.8%)
08/08  Ult. Fantastic Four #57 -  33,863  ( -3.5%)
09/08  ---
10/08  ---
11/08  Ult. Fantastic Four #58 -  34,995  ( +3.3%)
12/08  Ult. Fantastic Four #59 -  34,013  ( -2.8%)
                                  6 mnth  ( -4.8%)
                                  1 year  (-16.3%)
                                  2 year  (-38.2%)
                                  3 year  (-50.2%)
                                  4 year  (-56.4%)
                                  5 year  (-80.4%)

Cancelled with issue #60. Again, readers seem completely unmoved by its Ultimatum tie-in.

75. WOLVERINE: MANIFEST DESTINY
10/08  Manifest Destiny #1 of 4 - 40,142
11/08  ---
12/08  Manifest Destiny #2 of 4 - 33,574  (-16.4%)
12/08  Manifest Destiny #3 of 4 - 29,237  (-12.9%)

Much as you’d expect for yet another Wolverine project.

76. X-MEN NOIR
12/08  X-Men Noir #1 of 4 - 33,125

The first of several miniseries based on the odd concept of doing noir stories where all the characters are loosely based on Marvel characters. All seems a bit gimmicky to me. Reviews have been quite favourable for this particular book, though.

Given the months of house ads, the number seems a little low. Of course, anything outside the superhero genre is a notoriously tough sell in the direct market – but whether the solution to that problem is an arbitrary hybrid with an existing superhero property seems questionable to me.

77. X-MEN: MANIFEST DESTINY
09/08  Manifest Destiny #1 of 5 - 49,262
10/08  Manifest Destiny #2 of 5 - 39,633  (-19.5%)
11/08  Manifest Destiny #3 of 5 - 35,885  ( -9.5%)
12/08  Manifest Destiny #4 of 5 - 32,565  ( -9.3%)

An anthology title; readers have clearly figured out that it’s one for the completists.

78. SECRET INVASION: FRONT LINE
07/08  Front Line #1 of 5 - 56,313
08/08  Front Line #2 of 5 - 45,796  (-18.7%)
09/08  Front Line #3 of 5 - 40,307  (-12.0%)
10/08  Front Line #4 of 5 - 35,558  (-11.8%)
11/08  ---
12/08  Front Line #5 of 5 - 32,509  ( -8.6%)

Not brilliant numbers compared to previous FRONT LINE titles, but in fairness, not bad if you view it as a Ben Urich miniseries.

81. SPIDER-MAN NOIR
12/08  Spider-Man Noir #1 of 4 - 31,985

The other Noir book. See above.

82. GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY
05/08  Guardians o/the Galaxy #1 - 36,293
06/08  Guardians o/the Galaxy #2 - 32,967 ( -9.2%)
07/08  Guardians o/the Galaxy #3 - 33,986 ( +3.1%)
08/08  Guardians o/the Galaxy #4 - 40,285 (+18.5%)
09/08  Guardians o/the Galaxy #5 - 42,104 ( +4.5%)
10/08  Guardians o/the Galaxy #6 - 36,546 (-13.2%)
11/08  Guardians o/the Galaxy #7 - 30,516 (-16.5%)
12/08  Guardians o/the Galaxy #8 - 31,564 ( +3.4%)
                                   6 mnth ( -4.3%)

Variant cover. Even allowing for that, though, GUARDIANS is holding up quite nicely.

83,93,95,98,108. WHAT IF?
12/08  Captain America: Fallen Son - 30,873
12/08  Secret Wars                 - 27,340
12/08  Spider-Man: Back in Black   - 27,228
12/08  House of M                  - 26,779
12/08  Newer Fantastic Four        - 24,470

Another batch of What If titles, which seems to be an annual thing. They all cluster together, but understandably the best seller is based on the popular current CAPTAIN AMERICA arc.

84. YOUNG X-MEN
04/08  Young X-Men #1 - 71,593
05/08  Young X-Men #2 - 51,267  (-28.4%)
06/08  Young X-Men #3 - 45,227  (-11.8%)
07/08  Young X-Men #4 - 41,341  ( -8.6%)
08/08  Young X-Men #5 - 38,379  ( -7.2%)
09/08  Young X-Men #6 - 38,176  ( -0.5%)
10/08  Young X-Men #7 - 36,483  ( -4.4%)
11/08  Young X-Men #8 - 30,237  (-17.1%)
12/08  Young X-Men #9 - 30,508  ( +0.9%)
                        6 mnth  (-32.5%)

Axed with issue #12. There’s a variant cover on this.

85. MS MARVEL
12/06  Ms Marvel #10 - 34,350
=====
12/07  Ms Marvel #22 - 25,450  ( -3.9%)
01/08  Ms Marvel #23 - 24,260  ( -4.7%)
02/08  Ms Marvel #24 - 24,139  ( -0.5%)
03/08  Ms Marvel #25 - 40,993  (+69.8%)
04/08  Ms Marvel #26 - 42,277  ( +3.1%)
05/08  Ms Marvel #27 - 41,131  ( -2.7%)
06/08  Ms Marvel #28 - 42,194  ( +2.6%)
07/08  Ms Marvel #29 - 41,231  ( -2.3%)
08/08  ---
09/08  Ms Marvel #30 - 40,041  ( -2.9%)
09/08  Ms Marvel #31 - 32,145  (-19.7%)
10/08  Ms Marvel #32 - 25,892  (-19.5%)
11/08  Ms Marvel #33 - 23,980  ( -7.4%)
12/08  Ms Marvel #34 - 29,770  (+24.1%)
                       6 mnth  (-29.4%)
                       1 year  (+16.9%)
                       2 year  (-13.3%)

Dark Reign tie-in. It looks like, as with the “Initiative” branding, lower-selling titles can expect to see big gains from this promotion.

87. NOVA
12/07  Nova #9 -  30,469  ( -5.1%)
01/08  Nova #10 - 29,397  ( -3.5%)
02/08  ---
03/08  Nova #11 - 28,162  ( -4.2%)
04/08  Nova #12 - 28,185  ( +0.1%)
05/08  Nova #13 - 28,144  ( -0.1%)
06/08  Nova #14 - 28,892  ( +2.7%)
07/08  Nova #15 - 28,592  ( -1.0%)
08/08  Nova #16 - 38,338  (+34.1%)
09/08  Nova #17 - 37,015  ( -3.5%)
10/08  Nova #18 - 38,417  ( +3.8%)
11/08  Nova #19 - 28,306  (-26.3%)
12/08  Nova #20 - 29,405  ( +3.9%)
                  6 mnth  ( +1.8%)
                  1 year  ( -3.5%)

Variant cover.

100. X-MEN & SPIDER-MAN
11/08  X-Men/Spider-Man #1 of 4 - 30,774
12/08  X-Men/Spider-Man #2 of 4 - 25,573  (-17.0%)

Fairly typical for a throwaway crossover mini between two major franchises.

101. GHOST RIDER
12/06  Ghost Rider #6  - 46,673 
=====
12/07  Ghost Rider #18 - 30,540  ( -3.3%)
01/08  Ghost Rider #19 - 28,566  ( -6.5%)
02/08  Ghost Rider #20 - 27,958  ( -2.1%)
03/08  Ghost Rider #21 - 26,526  ( -5.1%)
04/08  Ghost Rider #22 - 25,866  ( -2.5%)
05/08  Ghost Rider #23 - 25,099  ( -3.0%)
06/08  Ghost Rider #24 - 24,494  ( -2.4%)
07/08  Ghost Rider #25 - 24,546  ( +0.2%)
08/08  Ghost Rider #26 - 27,026  (+10.1%)
09/08  Ghost Rider #27 - 23,402  (-13.4%)
10/08  Ghost Rider #28 - 26,993  (+15.3%)
11/08  Ghost Rider #29 - 24,205  (-10.3%)
12/08  Ghost Rider #30 - 25,508  ( +5.4%)
                         6 mnth  ( +4.1%)
                         1 year  (-16.5%)
                         2 year  (-45.3%)

Another variant cover. GHOST RIDER appears to have levelled out after its long decline, though.

104,109. IMMORTAL IRON FIST
12/07  Immortal Iron Fist #11 - 32,975  (-20.3%)
01/08  Immortal Iron Fist #12 - 32,623  ( -1.1%)
02/08  ---
03/08  Immortal Iron Fist #13 - 32,047  ( -1.8%)
04/08  Immortal Iron Fist #14 - 30,881  ( -3.6%)
05/08  Immortal Iron Fist #15 - 30,334  ( -1.8%)
06/08  Immortal Iron Fist #16 - 29,822  ( -1.7%)
07/08  Immortal Iron Fist #17 - 32,839  (+10.1%)
08/08  Immortal Iron Fist #18 - 27,430  (-16.5%)
09/08  ---
10/08  Immortal Iron Fist #19 - 25,861  ( -5.7%)
11/08  ---
12/08  Immortal Iron Fist #20 - 24,966  ( -3.5%)
12/08  Immortal Iron Fist #21 - 24,134  ( -3.3%)
                                6 mnth  (-19.1%)
                                1 year  (-27.0%)

Steadily dropping, which isn’t hugely encouraging at this point on the chart.

112. X-MEN: WORLDS APART
10/08  Worlds Apart #1 of 4 - 31,234
11/08  Worlds Apart #2 of 4 - 26,978  (-13.6%)
12/08  Worlds Apart #3 of 4 - 23,928  (-11.3%)

Issue #2 picks up re-orders of 5,459, as retailers apparently conclude that they underestimated demand. In fact, first month sales of issue #3 actually went up. They’re still not great, but they’re not quite as awful as they seemed last month.

113. PUNISHER  [Max]
12/03  Punisher #37 - 38,561
12/04  Punisher #15 - 40,357
12/05  Punisher #28 - 35,535
12/06  Punisher #42 - 33,003
=====
12/07  Punisher #53 - 31,772  ( -3.5%)
01/08  Punisher #54 - 31,654  ( -0.4%)
02/08  ---
03/08  Punisher #55 - 31,276  ( -1.2%)
04/08  Punisher #56 - 30,796  ( -1.5%)
05/08  Punisher #57 - 30,528  ( -0.9%)
06/08  Punisher #58 - 29,802  ( -2.4%)
07/08  Punisher #59 - 30,064  ( +0.9%)
08/08  Punisher #60 - 30,683  ( +2.1%)
08/08  Punisher #61 - 28,373  ( -7.5%)
09/08  Punisher #62 - 26,906  ( -5.2%)
10/08  Punisher #63 - 25,933  ( -3.6%)
11/08  Punisher #64 - 24,660  ( -4.9%)
12/08  Punisher #65 - 23,881  ( -3.2%)
                      6 mnth  (-19.9%)
                      1 year  (-24.8%)
                      2 year  (-27.6%)
                      3 year  (-32.8%)
                      4 year  (-40.8%)
                      5 year  (-38.1%)

Still dropping gently, but Marvel seem to have fairly relaxed expectations of their Max books. The book is renamed PUNISHER: FRANK CASTLE in January, thus freeing up the PUNISHER name for a relaunch of PUNISHER WAR JOURNAL.

115. MOON KNIGHT
12/06  ---
=====
12/07  ---
01/08  Moon Knight #14 - 34,569  (-21.6%)
02/08  Moon Knight #15 - 31,553  ( -8.7%)
03/08  Moon Knight #16 - 29,546  ( -6.4%)
04/08  Moon Knight #17 - 27,808  ( -5.9%)
05/08  Moon Knight #18 - 26,626  ( -4.3%)
06/08  Moon Knight #19 - 25,820  ( -3.0%)
07/08  Moon Knight #20 - 28,773  (+11.4%)
08/08  Moon Knight #21 - 30,900  ( +7.4%)
09/08  Moon Knight #22 - 26,380  (-14.6%)
10/08  Moon Knight #23 - 25,216  ( -4.4%)
11/08  Moon Knight #24 - 23,947  ( -5.0%)
12/08  Moon Knight #25 - 23,283  ( -2.8%)
                         6 mnth  ( -9.8%)
                         1 year  (  --- )
                         2 year  (  --- )

Seems to be levelling out.

116. VENOM: DARK ORIGIN
08/08  Dark Origin #1 of 5 - 44,336
09/08  Dark Origin #2 of 5 - 34,078  (-23.1%)
10/08  Dark Origin #3 of 5 - 28,719  (-15.7%)
11/08  Dark Origin #4 of 5 - 25,439  (-11.4%)
12/08  Dark Origin #5 of 5 - 23,068  ( -9.3%)

A bit disappointing to see the book shed quite so many readers over its run, but then Venom’s origin story has never been played as a mystery.

118. CIVIL WAR: HOUSE OF M
09/08  House of M #1 of 5 - 35,082
10/08  House of M #2 of 5 - 29,498  (-15.9%)
11/08  House of M #3 of 5 - 24,207  (-17.9%)
12/08  House of M #4 of 5 - 22,573  ( -6.8%)

The mystifyingly superfluous series drifts off into the lower reaches of the chart.

121. PUNISHER WAR JOURNAL
12/06  ---
=====
12/07  War Journal #14 - 38,471  ( -7.9%)
01/08  War Journal #15 - 35,815  ( -6.9%)
02/08  War Journal #16 - 32,508  ( -9.2%)
03/08  War Journal #17 - 31,227  ( -3.9%)
04/08  War Journal #18 - 29,565  ( -5.3%)
05/08  War Journal #19 - 29,906  ( +1.2%)
06/08  War Journal #20 - 27,288  ( -8.8%)
07/08  War Journal #21 - 26,299  ( -3.6%)
08/08  War Journal #22 - 25,555  ( -2.8%)
09/08  War Journal #23 - 27,384  ( +7.2%)
10/08  War Journal #24 - 31,785  (+16.1%)
11/08  War Journal #25 - 29,982  ( -5.7%)
12/08  War Journal #26 - 22,423  (-25.2%)
                         6 mnth  (-17.8%)
                         1 year  (-41.7%)
                         2 year  (  --- )

Axed, but relaunched in January as just plain PUNISHER.

124. X-MEN: MAGNETO - TESTAMENT
09/08  Testament #1 of 5 - 34,863
10/08  Testament #2 of 5 - 27,472  (-21.2%)
11/08  Testament #3 of 5 - 24,555  (-10.6%)
12/08  Testament #4 of 5 - 22,049  (-10.2%)

Notionally this is Magneto’s origin story, but it’s really a miniseries about the Holocaust. Levelling out as it goes on, but not exactly a crowd-pleaser.

125. CAPTAIN AMERICA: THEATER OF WAR
10/08  Operation: Zero Point - 31,702
11/08  ---
12/08  America First         - 21,984  (-30.7%)

Another Steve Rogers one-shot. Doesn’t seem to be much interest in this project.

126. RUNAWAYS
12/03  Runaways #9  - 20,429
12/04  ---
12/05  Runaways #11 - 25,260
12/06  ---
=====
12/07  ---
01/08  ---
02/08  Runaways #29 - 33,210  (-30.5%)
03/08  ---
04/08  ---
05/08  ---
06/08  Runaways #30 - 31,353  ( -5.6%)
07/08  ---
08/08  Runaways #1  - 33,252  ( +6.1%)
09/08  Runaways #2  - 27,958  (-15.9%)
10/08  Runaways #3  - 25,757  ( -7.9%)
11/08  Runaways #4  - 23,496  ( -8.8%)
12/08  Runaways #5  - 21,918  ( -6.7%)
                      6 mnth  (-30.1%)
                      1 year  (  --- )
                      2 year  (  --- )
                      3 year  (-13.2%)
                      4 year  (  --- )
                      5 year  ( +7.3%)

Dropping fast.

127. WOLVERINE: FLIES TO A SPIDER
12/08  Flies to a Spider - 21,890

129. PUNISHER MAX XMAS SPECIAL
21/08  Xmas Special - 21,246

A couple of random one-shots. Not much to be said about them, really.

130. CAPTAIN BRITAIN & MI-13
05/08  Cpt. Britain & MI-13 #1 - 43,281
06/08  Cpt. Britain & MI-13 #2 - 37,986  (-12.2%)
07/08  Cpt. Britain & MI-13 #3 - 39,100  ( +2.9%)
08/08  Cpt. Britain & MI-13 #4 - 36,826  ( -5.8%)
09/08  Cpt. Britain & MI-13 #5 - 32,999  (-10.4%)
10/08  Cpt. Britain & MI-13 #6 - 28,033  (-15.0%)
11/08  Cpt. Britain & MI-13 #7 - 22,189  (-20.8%)
12/08  
Cpt. Britain & MI-13 #8 - 21,236  ( -4.3%)
                                 6 mnth  (-44.1%)

Variant cover. In an unusual turn of events, Marvel’s marketing manager Jim McCann actually announced the book’s cancellation on CBR’s message boards, only for Marvel to put out a retraction the next day. Clearly there’s been a breakdown of communications here, but it’s a fair inference that cancellation has at least been discussed, and with sales like this, you can understand why.

That said, it’s always possible that Marvel plan to relaunch it on the strength of the good reviews – which has worked to an extent for other titles in a similar position. It’s also possible that the book is doing disproportionately well in the UK, whose sales don’t feature on this chart. Britain is a significant chunk of the market, after all.

133. WONDERFUL WIZARD OF OZ
12/08  Wizard of Oz #1 of 8 - 20,535

Unusally high for an all-ages book, but then this has had the benefit of extensive house ads across the line.

136. IRON MAN/HULK/FURY
12/08  Iron Man/Hulk/Fury - 19,862

A reprint of two stories which appeared on Marvel’s website to tie in with the Iron Man and Hulk films, plus an original Nick Fury story from the same continuity. Not a bad number for that sort of book.

137. SHE-HULK
12/04  She-Hulk #10 - 23,848
12/05  She-Hulk #3  - 29,428
12/06  She-Hulk #14 - 24,552
=====
12/07  She-Hulk #24 - 23,585  ( -5.5%)
01/08  She-Hulk #25 - 23,283  ( -1.3%)
02/08  She-Hulk #26 - 22,181  ( -4.7%)
03/08  She-Hulk #27 - 21,421  ( -3.4%)
04/08  She-Hulk #28 - 20,843  ( -2.7%)
05/08  She-Hulk #29 - 20,678  ( -0.8%)
06/08  She-Hulk #30 - 21,016  ( +1.6%)
07/08  She-Hulk #31 - 39,079  (+85.9%)
08/08  She-Hulk #32 - 38,069  ( -2.6%)
09/08  She-Hulk #33 - 32,862  (-13.7%)
10/08  She-Hulk #34 - 22,763  (-30.7%)
11/08  She-Hulk #35 - 20,940  ( -8.0%)
12/08  She-Hulk #36 - 19,815  ( -5.4%)
                      6 mnth  ( -5.7%)
                      1 year  (-16.0%)
                      2 year  (-19.3%)
                      3 year  (-32.7%)
                      4 year  (-16.9%)

Cancelled with issue #38.

138,142. NEW EXILES
12/03  Exiles #39     - 38,313
12/04  Exiles #55     - 33,744
12/05  Exiles #74     - 33,881
12/06  Exiles #89     - 20,727
=====
12/07  Exiles #100    - 33,416  (+20.3%)
01/08  New Exiles #1  - 47,618  (+42.5%)
02/08  New Exiles #2  - 34,454  (-27.6%)
03/08  New Exiles #3  - 30,480  (-11.5%)
04/08  New Exiles #4  - 29,231  ( -4.1%)
04/08  New Exiles #5  - 28,505  ( -2.5%)
05/08  New Exiles #6  - 27,533  ( -3.4%)
06/08  New Exiles #7  - 25,742  ( -6.5%)
07/08  New Exiles #8  - 24,436  ( -5.1%)
08/08  New Exiles #9  - 22,986  ( -5.9%)
08/08  New Exiles #10 - 23,048  ( +0.3%)
09/08  New Exiles #11 - 22,630  ( -1.8%)
10/08  New Exiles #12 - 21,682  ( -4.2%)
10/08  New Exiles #13 - 21,058  ( -2.9%)
11/08  New Exiles #14 - 20,493  ( -2.7%)
12/08  New Exiles #15 - 19,498  ( -4.9%)
12/08  New Exiles #16 - 19,227  ( -1.4%)
                        6 mnth  (-25.3%)
                        1 year  (-42.5%)
                        2 year  ( -7.2%)
                        3 year  (-43.3%)
                        4 year  (-43.0%)
                        5 year  (-49.8%)

Cancelled with issue #18, but relaunching as just plain EXILES again in April. Either Marvel couldn’t bring themselves to publish a book called NEW NEW EXILES, or the word NEW is like a minus sign and cancels itself out.

141. INCOGNITO [Icon]
12/08  Incognito #1 - 19,283

New series by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips, along somewhat similar lines to their acclaimed WildStorm book SLEEPER. A good start, considering that their existing Icon book CRIMINAL sells about 14K.

143. SQUADRON SUPREME
07/08  Squadron Supreme #1 - 35,583
08/08  Squadron Supreme #2 - 28,052  (-21.2%)
09/08  Squadron Supreme #3 - 27,131  ( -3.3%)
10/08  Squadron Supreme #4 - 22,430  (-17.3%)
11/08  Squadron Supreme #5 - 19,822  (-11.6%)
12/08  Squadron Supreme #6 - 18,948  ( -4.5%)

Surely on its way to swift cancellation.

144. HULK FAMILY
12/08  Hulk Family #1 - 18,591

An anthology one-shot with characters from the Hulk’s supporting cast.

146. ETERNALS
06/08  Eternals #1 - 41,680
07/08  Eternals #2 - 30,395  (-27.1%)
08/08  Eternals #3 - 25,555  (-15.9%)
09/08  Eternals #4 - 23,176  ( -9.3%)
10/08  Eternals #5 - 23,418  ( -1.0%)
11/08  ---
12/08  Eternals #6 - 18,133  (-22.6%)
                     6 mnth  (-56.5%)

Looking very sickly. The X-Men guest star in the second arc, but I can’t see that turning things around.

148. FANTASTIC FOUR: COSMIC SPECIAL
12/08  Cosmic Special - 17,881

150. MOON KNIGHT: SILENT KNIGHT
12/08  Silent Knight - 17,647

154. NEW EXILES ANNUAL
12/08  New Exiles Annual #1 - 17,236

More random one-shots.

156. GHOST RIDER: DANNY KETCH
10/08  Danny Ketch #1 of 5 - 22,119
11/08  Danny Ketch #2 of 5 - 18,259  (-17.5%)
12/08  Danny Ketch #3 of 5 - 17,142  ( -6.1%)

As good as could be expected, considering that the parent title sells in the mid-20K range.

159. WEAPON X: FIRST CLASS
11/08  Weapon X #1 of 3 - 24,577
12/08  Weapon X #2 of 3 - 16,862  (-31.4%)

Inexplicable all-ages retelling of the Barry Windsor-Smith Weapon X storyline. As usual for a First Class book, it hovers somewhere between Marvel Universe and all-ages sales levels. Curiously, it’s actually outselling its notional parent title WOLVERINE: FIRST CLASS.

162. SHE-HULK: COSMIC COLLISION
12/08  Cosmic Collision - 16,049

A spin-off from a series that’s being cancelled due to low sales? Are they mad?

164. NEW WARRIORS
12/07  New Warriors #6  - 32,982  (-10.7%)
12/07  New Warriors #7  - 30,177  ( -8.5%)
01/08  New Warriors #8  - 28,926  ( -4.1%)
02/08  New Warriors #9  - 25,694  (-11.2%)
03/08  New Warriors #10 - 23,887  ( -7.0%)
04/08  New Warriors #11 - 22,636  ( -5.2%)
05/08  New Warriors #12 - 21,808  ( -3.7%)
06/08  New Warriors #13 - 20,992  ( -3.7%)
07/08  New Warriors #14 - 33,209  (+58.2%)
08/08  New Warriors #15 - 30,683  ( -7.6%)
09/08  New Warriors #16 - 20,335  (-33.7%)
10/08  New Warriors #17 - 18,689  ( -8.1%)
11/08  New Warriors #18 - 17,385  ( -7.0%)
12/08  New Warriors #19 - 15,824  ( -9.0%)
                          6 mnth  (-24.6%)
                          1 year  (-52.0%)

Axed with issue #20.

166. ANITA BLAKE, VAMPIRE HUNTER
12/06  Guilty Pls. #3 of 12    - 30,610
=====
12/07  ---
01/08  Guilty Pls. #7 of 12    - 27,874  (-22.6%)
02/08  Guilty Pls. #8 of 12    - 27,358  ( -1.9%)
03/08  Guilty Pls. #9 of 12    - 26,324  ( -3.8%)
04/08  Guilty Pls. #10 of 12   - 21,462  (-18.5%)
05/08  Guilty Pls. #11 of 12   - 20,627  ( -3.9%)
06/08  Guilty Pls. #12 of 12   - 19,866  ( -3.7%)
07/08  ---
08/08  ---
09/08  ---
10/08  Laughing Corpse #1 of 5 - 22,493  (+13.2%)
11/08  Laughing Corpse #2 of 5 - 17,187  (-23.6%)
12/08  Laughing Corpse #3 of 5 - 15,665  ( -8.9%)
                                 6 mnth  (-21.1%)
                                 1 year  (  --- )
                                 2 year  (-48.8%)

Boy, the bloom’s off the rose here.

168. AMAZING SPIDER-GIRL
12/03  Spider-Girl #67         - 21,403
12/04  Spider-Girl #81         - 20,419
12/05  Spider-Girl #93         - 17,057
12/06  Amazing Spider-Girl #3  - 25,645
=====
12/07  Amazing Spider-Girl #15 - 17,164  ( -1.4%)
01/08  Amazing Spider-Girl #16 - 16,422  ( -4.3%)
02/08  Amazing Spider-Girl #17 - 16,193  ( -1.4%)
03/08  Amazing Spider-Girl #18 - 15,910  ( -1.7%)
04/08  Amazing Spider-Girl #19 - 15,970  ( +0.4%)
05/08  Amazing Spider-Girl #20 - 15,646  ( -2.0%)
06/08  Amazing Spider-Girl #21 - 15,659  ( +0.0%)
07/08  Amazing Spider-Girl #22 - 15,373  ( -1.8%)
08/08  Amazing Spider-Girl #23 - 15,155  ( -1.4%)
09/08  Amazing Spider-Girl #24 - 14,966  ( -1.2%)10/08  Amazing Spider-Girl #25 - 18,782  (+25.5%)
11/08  Amazing Spider-Girl #26 - 14,389  (-23.4%)
12/08  Amazing Spider-Girl #27 - 15,376  ( +6.9%)
                                 6 mnth  ( -1.8%)
                                 1 year  (-10.4%)
                                 2 year  (-40.0%)
                                 3 year  ( -9.9%)
                                 4 year  (-24.7%)
                                 5 year  (-28.2%)

Cancelled with issue #30. There’s a variant cover on this.

170.  ENDERS GAME: BATTLE SCHOOL
10/08  Battle School #1 of 5 - 25,424
11/08  Battle School #2 of 5 - 16,771  (-34.0%)
12/08  Battle School #3 of 5 - 15,151  ( -9.7%)

Variant cover. The chart actually says this is issue #1 again, but I’m assuming that’s a misprint. Fairly typical sales for an adaptation.

173. CRIMINAL  [Icon]
12/06  Criminal #3 - 17,702
=====
12/07  ---
01/08  ---
02/08  Criminal #1 - 18,655  (+28.3%)
03/08  ---
04/08  Criminal #2 - 15,885  (-14.8%)
05/08  ---
06/08  Criminal #3 - 15,840  ( -0.3%)
07/08  ---
08/08  Criminal #4 - 15,621  ( -1.4%)
09/08  Criminal #5 - 15,615  ( -0.0%)
10/08  Criminal #6 - 15,134  ( -3.1%)
11/08  ---
12/08  Criminal #7 - 14,703  ( -2.8%)
                     6 mnth  ( -7.2%)
                     1 year  (  --- )
                     2 year  (-16.9%)

Steady as ever.

181. WOLVERINE: FIRST CLASS
03/08  First Class #1  - 35,695
04/08  First Class #2  - 25,610  (-28.3%)
05/08  First Class #3  - 22,430  (-12.4%)
06/08  First Class #4  - 20,199  ( -9.9%)
07/08  First Class #5  - 18,788  ( -7.0%)
08/08  First Class #6  - 19,443  ( +3.5%)
09/08  First Class #7  - 16,168  (-16.8%)
10/08  First Class #8  - 14,936  ( -7.6%)
11/08  First Class #9  - 13,857  ( -7.2%)
12/08  First Class #10 - 13,441  ( -3.0%)
                         6 mnth  (-33.5%)

Typical First Class sales. This is the level that X-MEN: FIRST CLASS settled to.

182. NYX: NO WAY HOME
08/08  No Way Home #1 of 6 - 29,927
09/08  No Way Home #2 of 6 - 20,471  (-31.6%)
10/08  No Way Home #3 of 6 - 16,495  (-19.4%)
11/08  ---
12/08  No Way Home #4 of 6 - 13,310  (-19.3%)

191. ADAM: LEGEND OF THE BLUE MARVEL
11/08  Adam #1 of 4 - 17,308
12/08  Adam #2 of 4 - 12,160  (-29.7%)

207. MARVEL APES
12/08  Marvel Apes #0 - 10,805

220. AGE OF THE SENTRY
09/08  Age of the Sentry #1 of 6 - 21,981
10/08  Age of the Sentry #2 of 6 - 15,103 (-31.3%)
11/08  Age of the Sentry #3 of 6 - 12,428 (-17.7%)
12/08  Age of the Sentry #4 of 6 -  9,777 (-21.3%)

236. PATSY WALKER, HELLCAT
07/08  Hellcat #1 of 5 - 19,679
08/08  Hellcat #2 of 5 - 12,814  (-34.9%)
09/08  Hellcat #3 of 5 - 12,213  ( -4.7%)
10/08  ---
11/08  ---
12/08  Hellcat #4 of 5 -  8,627  (-29.4%)

A bunch of peripheral Marvel Universe titles selling to very small audiences. Not much more to say, really.

237. SAMURAI LEGEND  [Soleil]
09/08  Samurai Legend #1 of 4 - 12,425
10/08  Samurai Legend #2 of 4 -  9,126  (-26.6%)
11/08  Samurai Legend #3 of 4 -  6,923  (-24.1%) 
12/08  Samurai Legend #4 of 4 -  8,627  (+24.6%)

No idea what’s going on with this increase, although with books at this level, it’s entirely possible that re-orders of earlier issues have not shown up on the chart.

244. MARVEL SPOTLIGHT
12/05  Cassaday/McKeever   -  9,763
12/06  ---
=====
12/07  One More Day        - 12,807  (-23.3%)
12/07  Messiah Complex     - 13,462  ( +5.1%)
01/08  Ultimates 3         -  9,354  (-30.5%)
02/08  ---
03/08  L Hamilton/G Martin
 -  4,656  (-50.2%)
04/08  Iron Man Movie      -  8,124  (+74.5%)
05/08  Hulk Movie          -  7,680  ( -5.5%)
06/08  Secret Invasion     - 14,206  (+85.0%)
07/08  Uncanny X-Men #500  -  8,763  (-38.3%)
08/08  Brand New Day       -  6,257  (-28.6%)
09/08  Marvel Knights      -  5,936  ( -5.1%)
10/08  Ultimatum           -  6,819  (+14.9%)
11/08  Punisher Movie      -  4,342  (-36.3%)
12/08  S.I. Aftermath      -  8,085  (+86.2%)
                             6 mnth  (-43.1%)
                             1 year  (-36.9%)
                             2 year  (  --- )
                             3 year  (-17.2%)

A relatively popular subject this month.

247. YTHAQ: FORSAKEN WORLD  [Soleil]
12/08  Forsaken World #1 of 3 - 7,795

Standard range for a Soleil reprint.

248. AMAZING SPIDER-MAN FAMILY
08/08  Spider-Man Family #1 - 13,549
09/08  ---
10/08  Spider-Man Family #2 - 10,560  (-22.1%)
11/08  ---
12/08  Spider-Man Family #3 -  7,711  (-27.0%)

How long before they give up on this, do you think?

250. SPIDER-MAN LOVES MARY JANE
08/08  SMLMJ Season 2 #1 of 5 - 14,409
09/08  SMLMJ Season 2 #2 of 5 - 11,639  (-19.2%)
10/08  SMLMJ Season 2 #3 of 5 -  9,053  (-22.2%)
11/08  SMLMJ Season 2 #4 of 5 -  8,114  (-10.4%)
12/08  SMLMJ Season 2 #5 of 5 -  7,459  ( -8.1%)

An all-ages book, so the sales expectations are never very high to start with.

264. SPIDER-MAN: BRAND NEW DAY YEARBOOK
12/08  Brand New Day Yearbook - 6,524

A recap of the first year of “Brand New Day.”

266. DEAD OF NIGHT: DEVIL-SLAYER  [Max]
09/08  Devil-Slayer #1 of 4 - 10,212
10/08  Devil-Slayer #2 of 4 -  8,263  (-19.1%)
11/08  Devil-Slayer #3 of 4 -  6,856  (-17.0%)
12/08  Devil-Slayer #4 of 4 -  6,365  ( -7.2%)

Another low-selling Max title, but Marvel seem fairly tolerant of them.

284. BIG HERO 6
09/08  Big Hero 6 #1 of 5 - 13,026
10/08  Big Hero 6 #2 of 5 -  8,409  (-35.4%)
11/08  Big Hero 6 #3 of 5 -  6,291  (-25.2%)
12/08  Big Hero 6 #4 of 5 -  5,328  (-15.3%)

Much as I hate to say it, there is an outside possibility that this could become the first Marvel Universe title to miss the top 300 next month. (The cut-off point this month was 4,608.)

287. POWER PACK  [All ages]
12/06  Spider-Man #2 of 4 - 6,350
=====
12/07  Iron Man #2 of 4   - 4,855  (-12.2%)
01/08  Iron Man #3 of 4   - 4,445  ( -8.4%)
02/08  Iron Man #4 of 4   - 4,256  ( -4.3%)
03/08  Day One #1 of 4    - 8,298  (+95.0%)
04/08  Day One #2 of 4    - 4,830  (-41.8%)
05/08  Day One #3 of 4    - 4,696  ( -2.8%)
06/08  Day One #4 of 4    - 4,491  ( -4.4%)
07/08  Skrulls #1 of 4    - 7,141  (+59.0%)
08/08  Skrulls #2 of 4    - 6,246  (-12.5%)
09/08  
Skrulls #3 of 4    - 5,663  ( -9.3%)
10/08  Skrulls #4 of 4    - 5,291  ( -6.6%)
11/08  Wolverine #1 of 4  - 5,984  (+13.1%)
12/08  Wolverine #2 of 4  - 5,150  (-13.9%)
                           6 mnth  (+14.7%)
                           1 year  ( +6.1%)
                           2 year  (-18.9%)

Selling steadily.

292. LORDS OF AVALON: KNIGHTS OF DARKNESS
12/08  Knights of Darkness #1 of 6 - 4,879

Another low-selling fantasy adaptation.

294. MARVEL ADVENTURES SPIDER-MAN  [All ages]
12/05  M.A. Spider-Man #10 - 6,391
12/06  M.A. Spider-Man #22 - 6,396
=====
12/07  M.A. Spider-Man #34 - 6,115  ( -0.2%)
01/08  M.A. Spider-Man #35 - 6,065  ( -0.8%)
02/08  M.A. Spider-Man #36 - 5,893  ( -2.8%)
03/08  M.A. Spider-Man #37 - 5,877  ( -0.3%)
04/08  M.A. Spider-Man #38 - 5,833  ( -0.7%)
05/08  M.A. Spider-Man #39 - 5,816  ( -0.3%)
06/08  M.A. Spider-Man #40 - 5,954  ( +2.4%)
07/08  M.A. Spider-Man #41 - 5,859  ( -1.6%)
08/08  M.A. Spider-Man #42 - 5,718  ( -2.4%)
09/08  M.A. Spider-Man #43 - 5,505  ( -3.7%)
10/08  M.A. Spider-Man #44 - 5,155  ( -6.4%)
11/08  M.A. Spider-Man #45 - 5,003  ( -2.9%)
12/08  M.A. Spider-Man #46 - 4,851  ( -3.0%)
                            6 mnth  (-18.5%)
                            1 year  (-20.7%)
                            2 year  (-24.2%)
                            3 year  (-24.1%)

And… that’s it. The remaining Marvel Adventures books missed the top 300 entirely (FANTASTIC FOUR didn’t actually come out in December, but would have missed the chart if it had). So did the other two Marvel Illustrated books, KIDNAPPED and ODYSSEY. And both of the reprint books, SPIDER-MAN: BRAND NEW DAY and HULK CHRONICLES were nowhere to be seen either.

6 month comparisons
===================

+ 14.7% - Power Pack
+ 12.1% - Daredevil
+  4.1% - Ghost Rider
+  1.8% - Nova
+  1.4% - Uncanny X-Men
-  1.8% - Spider-Girl
-  2.7% - Amazing Spider-Man
-  3.5% - Thunderbolts
-  4.3% - Guardians of the Galaxy
-  4.8% - Ultimate Fantastic Four
-  5.7% - She-Hulk
-  6.3% - Wolverine: Origins
-  7.2% - Criminal
-  7.8% - Ultimate X-Men
-  8.4% - Mighty Avengers
-  9.8% - Moon Knight
- 10.2% - Captain America
- 10.7% - Ultimate Spider-Man
- 11.4% - Fantastic Four
- 13.4% - New Avengers
- 13.9% - Hulk
- 15.7% - X-Men: Legacy
- 17.7% - Avengers: The Initiative
- 17.8% - Punisher War Journal
- 17.9% - Kick-Ass
- 18.5% - Marvel Adventures Spider-Man
- 19.1% - Iron Fist
- 19.9% - Punisher
- 21.1% - Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter
- 23.7% - X-Factor
- 24.6% - New Warriors
- 25.3% - New Exiles
- 25.4% - Iron Man
- 25.9% - Wolverine
- 29.4% - Ms Marvel
- 30.1% - Runaways
- 30.4% - Hercules
- 30.9% - Cable
- 32.2% - Dark Tower
- 32.5% - Young X-Men
- 33.5% - Wolverine: First Class
- 43.1% - Marvel Spotlight
- 44.1% - Captain Britain & MI-13
- 56.5% - Eternals
- 62.1% - Skaar


1 year comparisons
==================

+ 96.7% - Iron Man
+ 31.9% - Wolverine
+ 16.9% - Ms Marvel
+ 13.8% - Hulk
+  6.1% - Power Pack
+  5.3% - Fantastic Four
+  1.1% - Daredevil
-  3.5% - Nova
-  5.1% - Mighty Avengers
-  9.1% - Captain America
- 10.4% - Spider-Girl
- 11.0% - New Avengers
- 11.9% - Avengers: The Initiative
- 14.1% - Ultimate X-Men
- 15.4% - Ultimate Spider-Man
- 15.9% - Wolverine: Origins
- 16.0% - She-Hulk
- 16.3% - Ultimate Fantastic Four
- 16.5% - Ghost Rider
- 20.7% - Marvel Adventures Spider-Man
- 24.6% - Uncanny X-Men
- 24.8% - Punisher
- 27.0% - Iron Fist
- 27.3% - Thor
- 36.9% - Marvel Spotlight
- 41.7% - Punisher War Journal
- 42.2% - X-Men: Legacy
- 42.5% - New Exiles
- 46.6% - Amazing Spider-Man
- 52.0% - New Warriors
- 59.1% - X-Factor


2 year comparisons
==================

+ 83.2% - Hulk
+ 33.3% - Thunderbolts
+ 22.7% - Iron Man
+  5.8% - Wolverine
-  4.3% - Uncanny X-Men
-  7.2% - New Exiles
-  7.7% - Daredevil
- 13.3% - Ms Marvel
- 14.4% - X-Factor
- 16.9% - Criminal
- 18.9% - Power Pack
- 19.3% - She-Hulk
- 22.4% - X-Men: Legacy
- 23.4% - New Avengers
- 24.2% - Marvel Adventures Spider-Man
- 27.6% - Punisher
- 33.0% - Ultimate Spider-Man
- 34.1% - Ultimate X-Men
- 36.3% - Fantastic Four
- 38.2% - Ultimate Fantastic Four
- 40.0% - Spider-Girl
- 45.3% - Ghost Rider
- 46.8% - Wolverine: Origins
- 48.8% - Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter


3 year comparisons
==================

+137.7% - Hulk
+ 58.4% - Captain America
+ 45.0% - Thunderbolts
+ 17.9% - Wolverine
+ 15.6% - Fantastic Four
+  1.2% - Uncanny X-Men
-  9.9% - Spider-Girl
- 12.2% - Daredevil
- 13.1% - Amazing Spider-Man
- 13.2% - Runaways
- 17.2% - Marvel Spotlight
- 24.1% - Marvel Adventures Spider-Man
- 24.5% - New Avengers
- 30.0% - Ultimate Spider-Man
- 30.1% - X-Men: Legacy
- 32.7% - She-Hulk
- 32.8% - Punisher
- 34.7% - X-Factor
- 43.3% - New Exiles
- 50.2% - Ultimate Fantastic Four


4 year comparisons
==================

+ 13.5% - Fantastic Four
+ 11.2% - Thunderbolts
+  6.4% - Iron Man
+  3.3% - Wolverine
-  8.5% - Uncanny X-Men
- 16.8% - Amazing Spider-Man
- 16.9% - She-Hulk
- 17.3% - Daredevil
- 24.7% - Spider-Girl
- 40.8% - Punisher
- 42.6% - Ultimate Spider-Man
- 43.0% - New Exiles
- 45.2% - X-Men: Legacy
- 56.4% - Ultimate Fantastic Four
- 61.0% - New Avengers


5 year comparisons
==================

+130.9% - Thor
+ 77.8% - Iron Man
+ 68.9% - Hulk
+ 65.5% - Captain America
+ 62.4% - New Avengers
+ 11.6% - Wolverine
+  7.4% - Fantastic Four
+  7.3% - Runaways
-  8.9% - Uncanny X-Men
- 18.3% - Daredevil
- 23.8% - Amazing Spider-Man
- 28.2% - Spider-Girl
- 37.0% - X-Men: Legacy
- 38.1% - Punisher
- 49.8% - New Exiles
- 53.5% - Ultimate Spider-Man
- 57.5% - Ultimate X-Men
- 80.4% - Ultimate Fantastic Four

Comments

  1. “170. ENDERS GAME: BATTLE SCHOOL
    The chart actually says this is issue #1 again, but I’m assuming that’s a misprint. Fairly typical sales for an adaptation.”

    Actually, I think that is ENDERS *SHADOW* #1 — Marvel is running two concurrent ENDERS mini-series…

    “148. FANTASTIC FOUR: COSMIC SPECIAL
    12/08 Cosmic Special – 17,881″

    This one BLOWS ME AWAY — it was solicited (and FOCed) with ZERO content information. I ordered 1 (one) copy, and it took two weeks to sell…

    -B

  2. “This one BLOWS ME AWAY — it was solicited (and FOCed) with ZERO content information.”

    In tough times like these, with sales dropping, prices increasing and advertisements becoming a rare commodity, Marvel have evidently made it a priority to test just how much they can get away with.

  3. Those Captain Britain sales are very discouraging. It’s way too good of a book to be doing so poorly. Cornell is doing some great stuff on it right now.

  4. Reboot says:

    > 19,21,27. AMAZING SPIDER-MAN
    > Issues #579 and #581 both have villain variants. But issue #580 doesn’t, so it’s the best indicator of the real audience size: roughly 63K.

    No mention that it’s below the “magic number” target you couldn’t see sales dropping to back at the end of 2007?

    > 26. SECRET INVASION: REQUIEM
    > 63K is astoundingly high for a couple of dusty old Wasp stories, original framing sequence or not. I’m tempted to wonder whether retailers actually understood what they were ordering here – but then, the solicitation (as eventually published) is perfectly clear and explicit.

    Secret Invasion title + consumer preorders that couldn’t be cancelled + some retailers not spotting that there were only eight pages in the final solicit?

    > 40. ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN
    > Cancelled with issue #133, according to the April solicitations – which practically guarantees we’ll be getting NEW ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #1 in May.

    Surely they’ll wait until ULTIMATUM is finished, yes? (running late as Ultimatum is is, May was probably the original target date for the Ultimate imprint relaunch…)

    > 41. KICK-ASS [Icon]
    > A surprisingly big drop between two issues. I’m tempted to blame the four-month gap, but delays don’t usually make that much difference.

    Historically, they haven’t, but I’m noticing big drops on heavily-delayed comics like this and Thor, and am wondering if the recession is changing that…

    > 62. GOD SIZED THOR
    > 12/08 God Sized Thor #1 – 38,734
    > Another Thor one-shot by Matt Fraction. The previous three sold in the 40K range, so there’s a bit of a drop here.

    The other three were a linked unit, though, with a different setting to the standard Thor title. This is simply a fill-in issue of Thor that’s based heavily around an 80s issue (also reprinted, in spite of the first eight-pages existing ONLY to recap that story…)

    > 63,94. MARVELS: EYE OF THE CAMERA
    > Belated sequel to the 1994 miniseries, with Kurt Busiek, but without Alex Ross. As you’d expect, there are variant covers on both issues. About what I’d expect for the project, although the second issue drop is awfully steep.

    Even more belated – it was announced in *2003*, and the #1 and #2 covers were released as promo art at the time. I think Busiek’s even been exclusive at DC for most of the time since it was announced…

    > 73. X-FACTOR
    > 11/08 X-Factor #37 – 35,754 ( -7.3%)
    > 12/08 X-Factor #38 – 34,425 ( -3.7%)
    > Also still dropping, though it’s only fair to note that sales a year ago were massively boosted by the “Messiah Complex” crossover, which had lingering effects for the rest of the year.

    And PAD’s swearing to make this a top 10 book? Good luck with that…

    > 130. CAPTAIN BRITAIN & MI-13
    > It’s also possible that the book is doing disproportionately well in the UK, whose sales don’t feature on this chart. Britain is a significant chunk of the market, after all.

    I’m wondering about the TPB sales on this though – don’t Marvel make very little money from the Panini reprints, which they got on a very-long term lease or somesuch during Marvel’s bankrupcy? Panini’s TPB is not only out first and doesn’t include superfoulous ancient MTU issues, but is also very significantly cheaper and printed on heavier paper.

    I really wonder if that will cannibalise Marvel (US) TPB sales for this title.

    > 162. SHE-HULK: COSMIC COLLISION
    > 12/08 Cosmic Collision – 16,049
    > A spin-off from a series that’s being cancelled due to low sales? Are they mad?

    Apparently, it was originally meant to be a She-Hulk Annual. Whether that deals with your question, I’m not so sure…

    > 168. AMAZING SPIDER-GIRL
    > 11/08 Amazing Spider-Girl #26 – 14,389 (-23.4%)
    > 12/08 Amazing Spider-Girl #27 – 15,376 ( +6.9%)
    > Cancelled with issue #30. There’s a variant cover on this.

    > 248. AMAZING SPIDER-MAN FAMILY
    > 10/08 Spider-Man Family #2 – 10,560 (-22.1%)
    > 11/08 —
    > 12/08 Spider-Man Family #3 – 7,711 (-27.0%)
    > How long before they give up on this, do you think?

    Marvel’s publishing plan – kill ASG, make ASMF montly, and put SG in there.

    I’m not saying ASG isn’t at a level where it’s a dead title shambling, it’s the ASMF stuff I can’t get my head round.

  5. Reboot says:

    > 19,21,27. AMAZING SPIDER-MAN
    > Issues #579 and #581 both have villain variants. But issue #580 doesn’t, so it’s the best indicator of the real audience size: roughly 63K.

    No mention that it’s below the “magic number” target you couldn’t see sales dropping to back at the end of 2007?

    > 26. SECRET INVASION: REQUIEM
    > 63K is astoundingly high for a couple of dusty old Wasp stories, original framing sequence or not. I’m tempted to wonder whether retailers actually understood what they were ordering here – but then, the solicitation (as eventually published) is perfectly clear and explicit.

    Secret Invasion title + consumer preorders that couldn’t be cancelled + some retailers not spotting that there were only eight pages in the final solicit?

    > 40. ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN
    > Cancelled with issue #133, according to the April solicitations – which practically guarantees we’ll be getting NEW ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #1 in May.

    Surely they’ll wait until ULTIMATUM is finished, yes? (running late as Ultimatum is is, May was probably the original target date for the Ultimate imprint relaunch…)

    > 41. KICK-ASS [Icon]
    > A surprisingly big drop between two issues. I’m tempted to blame the four-month gap, but delays don’t usually make that much difference.

    Historically, they haven’t, but I’m noticing big drops on heavily-delayed comics like this and Thor, and am wondering if the recession is changing that…

    > 62. GOD SIZED THOR
    > 12/08 God Sized Thor #1 – 38,734
    > Another Thor one-shot by Matt Fraction. The previous three sold in the 40K range, so there’s a bit of a drop here.

    The other three were a linked unit, though, with a different setting to the standard Thor title. This is simply a fill-in issue of Thor that’s based heavily around an 80s issue (also reprinted, in spite of the first eight-pages existing ONLY to recap that story…)

    > 63,94. MARVELS: EYE OF THE CAMERA
    > Belated sequel to the 1994 miniseries, with Kurt Busiek, but without Alex Ross. As you’d expect, there are variant covers on both issues. About what I’d expect for the project, although the second issue drop is awfully steep.

    Even more belated – it was announced in *2003*, and the #1 and #2 covers were released as promo art at the time. I think Busiek’s even been exclusive at DC for most of the time since it was announced…

    > 73. X-FACTOR
    > 11/08 X-Factor #37 – 35,754 ( -7.3%)
    > 12/08 X-Factor #38 – 34,425 ( -3.7%)
    > Also still dropping, though it’s only fair to note that sales a year ago were massively boosted by the “Messiah Complex” crossover, which had lingering effects for the rest of the year.

    And PAD’s swearing to make this a top 10 book? Good luck with that…

    > 130. CAPTAIN BRITAIN & MI-13
    > It’s also possible that the book is doing disproportionately well in the UK, whose sales don’t feature on this chart. Britain is a significant chunk of the market, after all.

    I’m wondering about the TPB sales on this though – don’t Marvel make very little money from the Panini reprints, which they got on a very-long term lease or somesuch during Marvel’s bankruptcy? Panini’s TPB is not only out first and doesn’t include superfluous ancient MTU issues, but is also very significantly cheaper and printed on heavier paper.

    I really wonder if that will cannibalise Marvel (US) TPB sales for this title.

    > 162. SHE-HULK: COSMIC COLLISION
    > 12/08 Cosmic Collision – 16,049
    > A spin-off from a series that’s being cancelled due to low sales? Are they mad?

    Apparently, it was originally meant to be a She-Hulk Annual. Whether that deals with your question, I’m not so sure…

    > 168. AMAZING SPIDER-GIRL
    > 11/08 Amazing Spider-Girl #26 – 14,389 (-23.4%)
    > 12/08 Amazing Spider-Girl #27 – 15,376 ( +6.9%)
    > Cancelled with issue #30. There’s a variant cover on this.

    > 248. AMAZING SPIDER-MAN FAMILY
    > 10/08 Spider-Man Family #2 – 10,560 (-22.1%)
    > 11/08 —
    > 12/08 Spider-Man Family #3 – 7,711 (-27.0%)
    > How long before they give up on this, do you think?

    Marvel’s publishing plan – kill ASG, make ASMF monthly, and put SG in there.

    I’m not saying ASG isn’t at a level where it’s a dead title shambling, it’s the ASMF stuff I can’t get my head round.

  6. Wonderful Wizard of Oz had a big discount incentive. Something like “Match orders of title X #y and get WWoO at some big discount.”

  7. fwiw, two area stores sold out of Incognito – I had to wait for reorders.

    on an unrelated note – I’m enjoying Sentry and Hellcat, but the sales aren’t particularly surprising.

  8. Joseph says:

    Isn’t ASMF a $4.99 title, as opposed to Spider-Girl at $2.99? Maybe Marvel figures a majority of SG fans will be willing to pony up the extra dough to follow the continuing adventures of Mayday, making ASMF more profitable despite shipping fewer copies.

  9. How is Incognito even on this list when it didn’t come out until January 2nd?

    Joseph:
    Isn’t ASMF a $4.99 title, as opposed to Spider-Girl at $2.99? Maybe Marvel figures a majority of SG fans will be willing to pony up the extra dough to follow the continuing adventures of Mayday, making ASMF more profitable despite shipping fewer copies.

    That’d be my guess. And I’m seriously debating if I want to be one of those guys. If only Marvel’s digest reprints weren’t so far behind on collecting the existing material, I’d just hop over to those…

  10. Because it SHOULD have been out on December 31, but Diamond decided at the last moment to shove all those books back two days.

  11. I’m sure that there are people up at Marvel and DC that hate this sales analysis, but if you didn’t do it someone else would (and I’m sure it wouldn’t be as good). It’s sad that there are people that look forward tp reading this analysis more than they do reading the actual books (although with a lot of said titles I can understand this).

  12. MBunge says:

    Congratulations to Paul O’Brien for finally recognizing what other folks could see coming a mile away for AMAZING SPIDER-MAN! Give yourself a cookie!

    Putting aside the variant covers that make it hard to know anything about genuine reader levels, it appears that the main difference between Marvel and DC right now (besides the traditional sales advantage Marvel has enjoyed since the late 1960s) is that they’ve managed to NOT piss off such a big chunk of their audience with their crossover/event books. Perhaps Dan Didio can figure out a way to trade Grant Morrison for Peter David to even things out.

    Mike

  13. Kirk Boxleitner, a.k.a. K-Box says:

    Yeah, Paul, I’m gonna second the comments on a) Amazing Spider-Man sinking BELOW your “magic number” threshold and b) the fact that you “couldn’t imagine” sales sinking this low a year ago.

    For a guy who’s normally as smart as you are (and indeed, you demonstrate your intelligence every month, with these sales charts), these are notable oversights.

  14. Kenny says:

    “It’s sad that there are people that look forward tp reading this analysis more than they do reading the actual books (although with a lot of said titles I can understand this).”

    I’m one of those people. The only Marvel books I look forward to are the Soliel reprints!

  15. Paul,
    With Amazing Spider-Man you take the time to mention that two of the issues had variant covers. But you don’t take the time to mention that the low selling issue was a fill-in issue that was done by creators who aren’t part of the regular team. If you’re going to single out outliers on one side, why not single out outliers on the other side? Don’t fill-in issues usually sell lower than regular issues?

  16. Reboot says:

    Stern’s joined the ASM “brain trust” (insert snigger) now – it wasn’t a one-off, just his first issue.

  17. Did it progress any of the subplots? No. Was it in the drawer for a while? According to interviews with Wacker, yes. Was it a fill-in? Yes. And fill-ins always do poorly. If this was an issue of a comic that wasn’t as divisive as Amazing Spider-Man, no one would blink. When the non-Obama issues go back up to the high sixties, what will be that say?

  18. AERose says:

    Jesus, what a pack of vultures. You’d think they actually accomplished something by being right about Spider-Man’s sales the way they go on.

  19. Warren says:

    In last month’s sales charts Paul mentioned that the three separate Spider-man titles had sold a total of 2,284,676 copies in the calendar year prior to “One More Day”. Adding up the numbers above, Amazing Spider-man sold a total of 2,894,050 copies in 2008. I would think that Marvel is reasonably happy with that.

  20. I never thought I’d see the day when Uncanny X-Men is not in the top ten.

    Conversely, I never thought I’d see the day when Amazing Spider-Man not only isn’t in the top ten but is a book that without a hook, hangs by a web thread at the bottom of the top 20.

    Today, Uncanny X-Men is a comic that can barely crack the 100k mark and Accessible Spider-Man struggles in the mid 60k.

    Uncanny X-Men and Spider-Man used to be books that no matter how stinky the stories, still sold relatively well just on recognizability alone, because they were Marvel’s two best known francises.

    Marvel’s leaders should be proud.

    They have been able to achieve the impossible, something no one else has been able to do in 30 years… take the formerly invincible X-Men and Amazing Spider-Man and plundered them out of the top 10 and top 20.

    Times, they are a changin’ and for sure, it’s a dark reign of something.

  21. Warren,

    The three separate Spider-Man title sold less because the individual reader didn’t necessarily buy all three Spidey books.

    Because they only use the flagship book now, publishing it 2x more a month, the are conning the regular reader to buy a Spider Man comic 2x more than they normally would.

    So, yeah Spidey may be selling more copies but they’re selling them to less individual readers and at a cost that puts Spidey in a place he was rarely at: the bottom of the top 20.

    Marvel is trying way too hard and the desperation shows.

  22. Brett,
    Yes. Spidey wasn’t at the bottom of the top 20. But there were three Spider-Man books coming out a month and it’s rare for all 3 of them NOT to be in the top 20. That was only the case when there were big crossovers like “The Other.” Now it’s happened 11 out of 12 times. Isn’t that impressive? Isn’t that a good thing for Marvel? If that’s desperation, than more books should get desperate, because it’s working.

  23. The Spidey argument is incomplete without hard data on these amazing (pun intended) subscription numbers that Brevoort has alluded to. If their subscriptions are up by 20K, this is a whole new ballgame.

  24. Micah says:

    Great column Paul. The numbers are dropping faster now (even with expected “leveling off” and “variant” corrections). The direct market is catching up with the economy and this is the first step. All those bottom tier books are the new $3.99 books. I might be buying a couple of those, but the price point has totally removed my attention. With no cross-over in either Marvel or DC, there’s a major market retraction right around the corner. Unfortunately there’s more to come.

    I’ve been dropping titles from my pull, not because of the economy, but because the quality is down. And poor, poor DC. I did a head count of my monthlies and it does not look good. Without Final Crisis, Batman lost until Morrison returns, and Superman in outerspace, GL is all I’m getting. Marvel has a direction and some new talent/books that I’m interested in. But that $3.99 is a killer. Thanks again Paul.

  25. Brett says:

    Greg, Marvel is selling more copies of Amazing aggregiately but they’re selling more copies to less individual readers.

    The goal in any business is to grow, to expand your consumer base and Marvel is not expanding their reader base, they’re just selling more copies to a considerably smaller audience.

    People can try and delude themselves that everything is hunky dory because they’re selling more product but the truth is, there is no real success when there is a shrinkage in the number of customers buying that product.

    But this is old hat already. My point was, in my 30 years of reading comics, never have I seen X-Men or Spider Man fall so low on the sales charts considering where they were for so long. And all I can say to that is “Oh, how the mighty have fallen.”

  26. The long term goal is to grow; but in a depression/severe recession/whatever, the short term goal is to survive.

    As for Spider-Man, it’s an odd book, in that its sales bounce up and down depending on the storyline. The “magic number” was the amount that EACH issue would need to sell in order to generate the same cumulative sales over a year as the previous set-up. Obviously, over its first year, Brand New Day was consistently over that level, often by a long way.

    Now, at this point, it is indeed clearly trending down below that that level – but as I say, we’ve seen over the last year that ASM has the unusual ability to spark its sales simply by announcing an Important Storyline, without resorting to crossovers or other stunts. So I think it’s too early to say that the book is *consistently* selling below the previous level – particularly when the January charts will feature enough Barack Obama variants to fill a mineshaft. (You could, of course, argue that those are a gimmick and don’t count – but then, the “magic number” is based on a year which was largely Civil War crossovers, unmasking stunts, and so forth.)

    And as I’ve said before, even if you DO judge Brand New Day a failure, there’s still the whole issue of which bit failed. The schedule? The choice of creators? The tone? The undoing of the marriage? Any or all of the above? So much was changed with the relaunch that it could be the clearest bomb in the world and it still wouldn’t prove that any individual element was necessarily a bad call.

  27. Pedro Bouça says:

    I recommend anyone saying that “never saw ASM selling so low on the charts” to take a look on the late 90s (post-Clone Saga) sales numbers.

    THAT was the time when I got worried about the longterm health of the Spider-Man series…

    Best,
    Hunter (Pedro Bouça)

  28. MBunge says:

    “As for Spider-Man, it’s an odd book, in that its sales bounce up and down depending on the storyline. The “magic number” was the amount that EACH issue would need to sell in order to generate the same cumulative sales over a year as the previous set-up. Obviously, over its first year, Brand New Day was consistently over that level, often by a long way.

    Now, at this point, it is indeed clearly trending down below that that level – but as I say, we’ve seen over the last year that ASM has the unusual ability to spark its sales simply by announcing an Important Storyline, without resorting to crossovers or other stunts.”

    Oh, for pete’s sake. YOUR OWN NUMBERS show the book down nearly 24% from 5 years ago, nearly 17% from 4 years ago and over 13% from 3 years ago. It’s not just down from the CW crossover hype. It’s significantly below even where the book was pre-CW and certainly below where it was at the height of JMS’ run.

    Factoring in people buying multiple copies and the small number of folk who may have been buying SENSATIONAL or FRIENDLY NEIGHBORHOOD and not AMAZING, Marvel drove off 40 to 60 thousand readers in a single year and dragged AMAZING down to the second lowest sales in its history, after having brought it back to the best sales in 15 years.

    And the ability to “pop” a sales number is more than counteracted by the burn through rate. Instead of taking 13 issues and over a year to lose the boost from #568, AMAZING ripped through it in just over 3 months. That means AMAZING is going to have to have an Important Storyline 3 or 4 times a year JUST TO TREAD WATER.

    Looking a cumulative sales, is the book an utter disaster? Not quite yet, but it’s clearly and undeniably trending that way. But more importantly, there is NO FRICKIN’ WAY this is what Marvel wanted or expected when they started this whole mess.

    So, the sales trend is negative, they’ve significantly shrunk their total audience and they’ve established the highest, practical reader burn through rate in the entire industry. And you still want to quibble over the failure of this approach?

    Mike

  29. I agree that Marvel were clearly hoping for better sales than this. Dan Slott said as much at the time (and, I think, even made a bet on a comments thread somewhere, which he lost).

    However, I disagree that taking a year to drop to sales which – if maintained – would be more or less equivalent to what they were selling before can be counted as an outright failure. They sold significantly more Spider-Man comics in 2008 than in 2007. And that’s even without getting into Tom Brevoort’s claim that an online promotion led to a significant jump in subscriptions (which, if true, would mean that sales are in fact still above the “magic number”).

  30. MBunge says:

    (Bangs head into wall)

    Look. It’s fair to say that this hasn’t turned into a complete fiasco when looking at overall sales. But, and I’m going to put this as clearly as I can because it’s really important…

    There. Are. Fewer. People. Reading. The. Book.

    A. Lot. Fewer.

    I wouldn’t call Tom Brevoort a liar, so subscriptions may be significantly up by some measures. But if they’ve made up even one-fourth the readers lost in the DM, I’ll eat my hat.

    Forget about sales. There is zero reason to think Marvel would have lost this many AMAZING readers in the course of a year if they’d gone a different creative direction. That’s where it’s a failure, unless you think squeezing more money out of a smaller customer base is a great business plan.

    It’s also a failure when looking into the future, because declining sales over time is the standard in the industry right now. As I said, just to tread water saleswise, AMAZING is going to have to do what every other book does to increase sales but it’s going to have to do 3 to 4 times as much of it. I believe the problem that poses as time goes by is fairly obvious. Also, what the heck are they going to do if sometime next year overall sales really and truly do fall before the break-even point? If they try and relaunch other Spider-titles, they’ll be launching them into a significantly smaller audience pool. And if they try to introduce more Spider-titles while maintaining a thrice-monthly AMAZING, they’ll just be doubling down on the whole “squeezing more money out of a smaller audience thing”.

    I can understand the arguments for trying this. It was a bit greedy and self-centered, but it wasn’t a totally crazy concept. But it already hasn’t worked and there’s zero reason to think things are going to get better and not worse in the future.

    Mike

  31. Jerry Ray says:

    I don’t remember the precise way in which the ASM “magic number” was calculated, but wouldn’t that number also be a sinking target? All else being equal, sales on everything drop month to month, so if they hadn’t gone to one thrice-monthly Spider-Man title, they’d still have been selling fewer and fewer cumulative copies of the 3 previous titles every month – the “magic number” would have been getting smaller and smaller every month, as well.

  32. Jerry Ray says:

    The thing that colors the arguments that the ASM relaunch is a giant mistake is that arguments about the economics of the situation are almost always inseperably coupled with more fanboyish “Spider-Man would never make a deal with the devil and he should still be married” stuff, which damages the credibility of the purely economic arguments amongst people like myself (and probably Paul) who aren’t as bothered by the in-story direction of the book.

    That said, MBunge makes the most compelling, non-fanboy economic argument I’ve seen to date above.

  33. Why doesn’t someone dig up the issue of ASM with the Post Office-mandated declarations that has total number of copies printed, subscription numbers, etc. printed in it, then compare that with the same numbers from the 3 separate monthly titles? That’s probably the only way to solve this convoluted argument at this point.

  34. Kirk Boxleitner, a.k.a. K-Box says:

    In Amazing Spider-Man #574, it has a statement of ownership on the third to last page and breaks down the average sales for Amazing Spider-Man for the past 12 months, with the last one being the cover date for September (which probably corresponds to July in real time). Anyways, the breakdown for Amazing Spider-Man is:
    _____

    Paid or requested mail subscriptions:
    Actual No. of copies of single issue published nearest filing date: 8,410
    _____

    Yes, THAT’S what Tom Brevoort said he could “float the book on,” and that was more than six months ago. How many of those one-year subscriptions do you want to bet didn’t get renewed in January? Based on what I’ve heard from several former subscribers online, I’d say a lot.

  35. I agree with Paul.

    AMAZING SPIDER-MAN did much, much, MUCH bette in 2008 than the three Spider-Man books in the previous year; by all accounts, it’s a big commercial success. It did the job it was supposed to do, and it’s not reasonable to call the revamp a failure on the grounds that it MIGHT not hit that benchmark again in 2009.

    I agree that it would be a failure on Marvel’s part if AMAZING SPIDER-MAN sales declined considerably in 2009. But this wouldn’t mean “Brand New Day” was a failure; it would simply mean that Marvel failed to keep the momentum of the first year.

  36. Steven R. Stahl says:

    Re people who bought SECRET INVASION (SI) and other events:

    I wonder how much they are like fanatical soap opera fans who devour promotional material, converse among themselves about the shows, and get into the (imagined) psychological make-ups of the characters, to the extent that watching the actual telecasts is less important than anticipating future “This week, (fill in the blank)’s life will change forever!”-type developments.

    Early on, there were fans who went back and intently read each page of “Avengers Disassembled,” NEW AVENGERS, MIGHTY AVENGERS, etc., looking for clues to plot developments in SI. As it turned out, they’d have been better off doing practically anything else (including getting drunk) – but have any of them said as much? Or have they already gone on to the next thrilling event?

    SI failed so completely as a storyline (major defects including switching from Skrulls as sleeper agents to Skrulls as active conspirators; childish handling of organizational and computer technology issues; scientifically illiterate handling of DNA), separately from the problems with SI #8 specifically, that I can’t imagine people reading SI for the actual story content reacting favorably. If the event buyers are influenced more by marketing and their own wild enthusiasm for the events than they are by the stories, then the sales of event issues will indicate mostly the success of marketing campaigns.

    SRS

  37. Jerry Ray says:

    Regarding Secret Invasion, I was very underwhelmed with the whole thing. This was not a story that required like 150 books to tell. The core idea was fairly interesting, and the story Bendis seems to THINK he was telling (based on interviews and such) had promise, but those things were almost completely missing in the actual published story. As published, there wasn’t a lot of paranoia and “secret invading” and whatnot, it was just a big fight scene (not secret at all, right in the middle of Times Square) and then it ended.

    (Not to mention all the spurious threads that came and went with very little apparent point – Captain Marvel, Marvel Boy, Fury and his crew, etc.)

  38. The fallacy here is to compare the current AMAZING solely with the previous AMAZING, when the reality is that it is equally the successor to two other low-selling titles.

    Fewer people are buying Spider-Man comics in 2009 than in 2007. But many of the ones who stuck around are now buying three issues a month instead of one. It more or less cancels out.

    A case can be made that this is not a desirable trade-off. But it was always obviously going to happen: Marvel deliberately opted for fewer readers spending more money when they chose a thrice-monthly format. The bet was that total takings would go up. In 2008 they were right.

    Jerry is also right to point out that sales were unlikely to remain at 2007 levels indefinitely. That was an unusually big year for the Spider-Man books. The further we get from the relaunch, the more important it is to remember that, even if Brand New Day had never happened, sales would probably have gone down to some extent anyway.

    I tend to agree, however, that the statement of ownership sits uneasily with Tom Brevoort’s comments to CBR in August about an “overwhelming” response to the online subscription offer and a “huge circulation spike.”

  39. Somebody who has the time might want to check what the statement of ownership said in 2007.

  40. Kirk Boxleitner, a.k.a. K-Box says:

    Paul and Marc,

    Assuming the sales on Amazing Spider-Man ever DO get to the point where you WOULD deem them a flat-out failure – and given the degree of goalpost-shifting that I believe both of you have engaged in during this thread, I’d be VERY interested to hear you give a NEW “magic number” that we CAN hold you to, since you’re doing your damnedest to talk your way out of the old “magic number” – what would be your recommended course of action?

    Because what it sounds like you’re saying, at least to me, is that even if the sales eventually get to the point where you can’t call them anything but a failure, the only thing I hear you recommending is to “stay the course,” because a) there are TOO MANY(!!!) reasons why this relaunch could have failed, including mere “loss of momentum,” and b) the sales would have started sucking eventually anyway even without the relaunch.

    That’s the kind of thinking that led Bob Harras to keep Howard Mackie on the “rebooted” Spider-Man titles for so long, and when a book is shedding buyers AT AN ACCELERATED RATE, and slip-sliding down the charts even when Marvel’s numbers for December are actually UP overall, “staying the course” is an undeniably wrong-headed plan.

    Paul, you set out a VERY CLEAR benchmark of success or failure, that you said you couldn’t imagine it EVER failing to meet, and now that the sales HAVE failed to meet it, you’re coming up with all sort of new justifications, so I want to know EXACTLY WHAT is your standard for this title’s sales failure or success. Simply give us your criteria, with the understanding that we’ll hold you to those when the sales fail to meet them.

  41. Kirk,

    I’ve only spoken once on the subject, so I would hope to think my goal posts haven’t moved that much.

    Second, I don’t get why people get hung up on the “magic number” thing, at this stage. Paul calculated the number the revamped AMAZING SPIDER-MAN would have had to sell in order to be more successful per issue than the three Spider-Man titles were in 2007. And, as it turns out, AMAZING SPIDER-MAN did indeed stay above that number for all of 2008.

    Consequently, the debate whether the 2008 revamp of AMAZING SPIDER-MAN is a commercial success is over.

  42. AMAZING SPIDER-MAN did much, much, MUCH bette in 2008 than the three Spider-Man books in the previous year; by all accounts, it’s a big commercial success.

    Actually, Marc, you would be incorrect in that. The three Spider-Man books averaged sales 82,881 per issue in 2007, while they only averaged 79,307 in 2008. The difference, of course, is that they missed 10 issues in 2007. It is unsurprising that if you do not produce an issue that you cannot sell it; it does not erase the fact that AMS is selling fewer issues to a smaller audience than the three book combo did. Thus, a failure. Not yet a disaster — things may still turn around — but definitively a failure.

  43. Kirk, the relaunch was a year ago! Sales in 2008 were higher than in 2007! We’re not waiting to find out whether the relaunch was a success any more. It already succeeded!

  44. Kirk Boxleitner, a.k.a. K-Box says:

    Paul,

    By that same standard, the Byrne-and-Mackie “reboot” was a “success” as well, because it did almost as well in its first year.

    You’re being deliberately obtuse.

    And you’re also dead wrong, because aside from variant covers, the ONLY “fluctuation” this title has had was NWtD – otherwise, it’s been going STRAIGHT DOWN.

    And I notice you didn’t answer any of my questions.

    At what point do you rate … hell, let’s call it “the current status quo,” a failure?

    Is there ANY set of circumstances under which you can admit that Marvel should, or must, restore some or all aspects of the previous status quo?

  45. Tavella: No, they’re selling more comics in total, because the book actually comes out now. You can’t just ignore the fact that Marvel are bringing in more money because they’re shipping more product.

  46. Kirk, the sales will never prove that the solution is a return to the previous status quo. All they can ever prove is dissatisfaction with the current product, not what the readers would want to see instead.

  47. The Beat says:

    Paul, have you not heard Law XXVII of the internet — don’t argue with K-Box?

  48. This argument is still going on? After all this time?

    All that matters is that Amazing Spiderman is more awesome than it’s been in years and years and years.

  49. Tavella,

    To expand Paul’s response. Part of the revamp of the ASM series has been to put in place structures to ensure that it meets its 3 issues a month target. Removing the need to have a single creative team per book has meant that it achieves its shipping targets month after month. So any increase in 2008 due to shipping every issue is evidence of the success of the revamp.

  50. AERose says:

    Do you think if we all agreed to give K-Box an official No Prize he’d be happy?

    Yeah, you’re right, not a chance.

  51. Wraith says:

    A few quick points.

    1. IIRC, before his run started relying on gimmicks to boost sales, JMS ASM run started falling in sales close to where the book is currently selling at. You guys need to realize that any high sales on ASM (and ALL of Marvel’s current comics) have been MAINLY due to stunts/gimmicks for a few years now.

    2. The plummeting sales on both UXM and X-MEN LEGACY is proof that putting internet fan favorite and critically acclaimed writers (and artists) on the top books is NOT enough to guarantee said books are going to sell really well.

    3. I’m calling it right now, the ULTIMATE lines days are numbered.

    4. It seems like the gimmicks/stunts are no longer boosting sales on NEW AVENGERS. I take this as a sign that many fans are getting tired (as well as broke) of buying books SOLELY because they are tying into some crossover or FAUX crossover (like the INITIATIVE and DARK REIGN).

    5. The plummeting sales on THOR is proof that fans are getting sick and tired of waiting for and paying for late books.

    6. It’sthe 90′s all over again.

  52. Steven R. Stahl says:

    Jerry Ray, you’re right about Bendis not achieving the effects in his stories that he apparently wants to. I think that’s due in part to not having read enough stories in other genres, written well, to recognize how writers use words for maximum effect in different situations (e.g., varying points of view). He seems to have gotten the idea that having a character repeat words or a phrase over and over is profound and dramatic, when the device has already become tired.

    More examples of his painfully limited range pop up in NEW AVENGERS #49. Most of the issue consists of sequences commonly seen in crime fiction, with Marvel characters substituted for the suspects, policemen, investigators, et al., seen in the crime fiction stories. If, while reading NA #49, you had the feeling that you’d read similar scenes before — you’re right. The sequences aren’t all clichés, but another writer would break them up, provide different angles, or provide interesting contexts. With Bendis, stringing the situations together without any original material does make them all seem like clichés. One could compare the approach for the issue generally to a penciller who relies on swipe files for an entire issue.

    SRS

  53. Brett says:

    Paul and Mark,

    I’d be careful about declaring anything a success without first being clear about your defination of success.

    For clarity, we’re going to make this real simple:

    A= Amazing, S= Sensational and F= Friendly

    Four people are buying comics: Dick, Sam, Steve and Sally.

    Prior to BND:

    Dick was buying A & S
    Sam was only buying A
    Steve was buing A & F
    Sally wasn’t buying any of it.

    Total Spiderman’s sold? 5
    Total readers reading Spiderman? 3

    Post BND:

    Dick is buying AAA
    Sam is buying AAA
    Steve no longer buys Spider-Man
    Sally still isn’t buying any of it.

    Sally reads Castle Waiting and likes it a lot. FYI, she like most women find men who still live at home with their parents or aging aunts to be unattractive. She wishes that Spidey and the boys reading Spidey would just grow up.

    Total Spidey comics sold? 6
    Total Spidey readers? 2

    Success is achieved when there is gain and growth. Does selling more product necessarily equal success? Hard to fathom when you had to lose a customer to do it. Still, most people believe Sally is the smart one.

  54. Wraith, in fairness, the rock-bottom of J Michael Straczynski’s run was 71,065 in September 2005, immediately before “The Other.”

  55. Pedro Bouça says:

    “1. IIRC, before his run started relying on gimmicks to boost sales, JMS ASM run started falling in sales close to where the book is currently selling at. You guys need to realize that any high sales on ASM (and ALL of Marvel’s current comics) have been MAINLY due to stunts/gimmicks for a few years now.”

    That’s valid for most of the Big Two comics right now. This is a VERY unhealthy situation nad pretty much means that we are doomed to see regular continuity super-hero comics become just a string of events and gimmicks. Not good.

    I do however think that Marvel’s idea of making the book thrice monthly is fascinating and its implications are getting lost on the inane OMD discussion. The sales numbers show an interesting detail about that policy: The book has been able to keep more or less afloat (even occasionally improve its sales) WITHOUT relying on megacrossovers or absurd stunts (you guys like it or not, New Ways to Die was a pretty conventional storyline, without the shock value factor that most JMS big stories had). THAT is quite interesting!

    If ASM could survive on the current market without radical status quo shifts (the current generation of readers – about one tenth of the people who read comics even on the 80s – may enjoy it, but those are destroying the genre), megacrossovers and garbage like that, it could point the way to SAVE super-hero comics!

    Pity the OMD trash (ironically done by a previous creative/editorial team, who is destroying other books out there while the current team on ASM takes the blame) set so many readers against the book. “My” OMD would have been Spider-Man jumping out from the comics pages, beating up JMS and Axel Alonso and making them give him a better status quo and step down to make way for the BND team. THAT would have been a classic!

    Best,
    Hunter (Pedro Bouça)

  56. Ah, another constructive and mutually enjoyable Amazing Spider-Man comments thread.

    God, I hope they cancel the bloody book so that we don’t have to go through this routine every month.

  57. MBunge says:

    “Ah, another constructive and mutually enjoyable Amazing Spider-Man comments thread.”

    The problem, Paul, is that for this one title (and only this one title) you seem to have adopted the standard that it’s a success until…

    A. Marvel publicly admits it’s a failure, or…

    B. No more than 37 and a half people are reading the book.

    When it’s pointed out that readership has drastically fallen, you say sales are what really matter. When it’s pointed out that sales have now fallen below the “magic number” point that you established, you say its the sales for the entire year that matter. When it’s pointed out that average sales per issue were actually higher in 2007 than 2008, you say that doesn’t count because Marvel couldn’t be bothered to publish enough of the higher selling 2007 book.

    The reason this discussion gets so contentious is because, unlike what you do for every other title, you insist for AMAZING on ignoring past performance and refuse to project obvious trends into the future.

    Here’s a question. If this has been so darn successful, when are we going to see Marvel and DC start to do it with other books?

    Mike

  58. No, the reason this discussion gets so contentious is because a number of readers are inexplicably obsessed with getting me to tell them something they believe they already know.

  59. DC have recently reinstated the Triangle Number system across their Superman line of comics, effectively turning the books into one ongoing saga – or Klyforb, as they used to say on Krypton in the nineteen-fifties, when superhero costumes had knitted sleeves and everyone flew feet-first.

    They have also been publishing a weekly comic – not a three times a month comic – for two and a half years. 52/Countdown, followed by Trinity.

    //Oo/\

  60. Yeah, not to dogpile on the tedious Spider-Man discussion, but I would think average sales per issue across the 3 titles would be the real measurement here, not total Spidey comics sold during the year. Because really, when you publish 36 comics instead of 26 in a year, you also have to pay for 220 more pages of stuff to be written, pencilled, inked, lettered, colored, edited, and printed that you didn’t pay for the year before. That cost can’t be insignificant.

  61. MBunge says:

    “No, the reason this discussion gets so contentious is because a number of readers are inexplicably obsessed with getting me to tell them something they believe they already know.”

    No, that’s not it. If there was a book that had been selling 120 thousand copies an issue at the start of 2006 and was now selling 68 thousand copies an issue to start 2009, there is absolutely no way you’d call that book a success BY ANY STANDARD. I know it and everybody else who reads your otherwise quite fine sales analysis knows it. If I have any frustration or aggravation, it’s because I don’t have the slightest idea why this revamp approach to AMAZING is being treated like “The Golden Child Who Shall Ever Prosper”.

    Mike

  62. Okay, let’s kick this one into touch.

    As I’ve made clear MANY times before, the reference period here is not the calendar year 2007, it’s the year prior to “One More Day” – September 2006 to August 2007. The reason for not using “One More Day” is twofold: first, the schedule went so far off the rails that it causes a massive distortion to annual sales. Second, it’s effectively part of the relaunch in its own right, or at least inextricably linked to it. (If OMD had come out on schedule, it would have been a weekly story and effectively the opening arc of the merged book.)

    During that reference period, AMAZING shipped nine issues, SENSATIONAL shipped eleven, and FRIENDLY managed all twelve. So that’s four missing issues, not ten.

    Now, if you *really* want to go by the average sale per issue, fine. The total sales over the year ending August 2007 were 2,284,676. That’s an average of 71,396 per issue. I’ll take Tavella’s word for it that the average in 2008 was 79,307. On that basis, average sales were up 11% from the reference period.

  63. “If there was a book that had been selling 120 thousand copies an issue at the start of 2006 and was now selling 68 thousand copies an issue to start 2009, there is absolutely no way you’d call that book a success BY ANY STANDARD.”

    Captain America? Thor?

  64. Steven R. Stahl says:

    Re the argument over sales of ASM: I don’t see the point in arguing that sales are declining primarily, or in part, because the change in the editorial direction started by “Brand New Day” (BBD) is terrible. The quality of the writing and editing on the title are issues to be discussed separately. Given the variable factors that go into the sales of each ASM issue, there’s just nothing to be gained by arguing that sales are dropping BECAUSE of BND. If you can argue that BND as a concept is so unimaginative, mistake-ridden, and unprofessional that the people at Marvel Editorial should be embarrassed to be associated with it, then go for it.

    SRS

  65. Brian says:

    could ASM be a test? Is Marvel thinking of making their franchises weekly books? (Think X-Men 3 times a month, Avengers, etc.)

    Cheers,

    B

  66. Pedro Bouça says:

    I think that for the characters with multiple titles stepping up the periodicity is better than multiplying the spin-offs.

    The usual response for increased popularity of a comic outside the USA is either do that or augment the page count (and price, of course). And the later measure would be difficult to implement because US comics are already hideously expensive.

    Best,
    Hunter (Pedro Bouça)

  67. Reboot says:

    Didn’t New Ways to Die have *at least* three covers for every issue, and at least one had five, not counting reprints?

    With that in mind, I’m not entirely sure that they “Just announced an Important Story” and sales automagically popped up…

  68. Steven R. Stahl says:

    I just read the Newsarama report on the “Dark Reign” panel at NYCC. The Q&A session that followed the panel discussion. . . God. I find it very hard to believe that anyone asking one of the questions had a mental age higher than 12 or 13. Are those the people who buy most of the events and event tie-ins that Marvel publishes?

    SRS

  69. Jerry Ray says:

    Forget about the mental age of the fans, how about the mental age of the guy in charge of it all? Here’s an exchange from the panel:

    Fan: Can we take a break from events?
    Quesada: So you don’t want books where something happens?

  70. Pedro Bouça says:

    “Didn’t New Ways to Die have *at least* three covers for every issue, and at least one had five, not counting reprints?”

    Lots of ASM issues had multiple covers since the start of BND and sales haven’t been improving regularly. Even NWtD sales have just improved on the arc’s beginning.

    Best,
    Hunter (Pedro Bouça)

  71. I think everyone’s missed the most important point…

    “the word NEW is like a minus sign and cancels itself out”

    GENIUS :D

  72. BoozerX says:

    Spider-Man is selling more than before.
    End of discussion.

  73. Gigantic says:

    I used to enjoy reading the comments, but the obsession over ASM numbers is getting pathetic…

  74. Micah says:

    Any discussion on the fact that one out of the three monthly books is $3.99, a dollar more than the figures used in 2006-2007? Anyone? Okay, then let’s talk about Mike’s obsession with Paul taking responsibility for Amazing Spiderman sales. Anyone?

    I did an experiment with Secret Invasion. After reading House of M, and disliking the story Bendis told, and after reading Civil War and tossing my hands up in the air, I decided to read Secret Invasion via only the satellite books. I avoided the main book altogether and caught up on the Newsarama interviews. The story was so much better, and the event was great! Sure, I missed Yu’s art, but I didn’t have to read Bendis’ team stuff and avoided the massive plot holes and failed potential. Great event! Now I’m planning on avoiding his $3.99 team books (Spiderwoman will test my mettle vs. the new price point.) Make Mine Marvel Nuff Said!

  75. RaoulDuke37 says:

    For whatever reason (mental degradation) I’ve forgot to read the Monthly Sales Chart recap for the last 6 months or so. I think about it today, hope on over, see 75 Comments, and think wow, something is going on. Then I read 60+ comments about Spider-Man, and it’s as if I never left. I love you guys!

  76. Brandon Yates says:

    I don’t know that Millar and Hitch aren’t clicking with the audience. I honestly think it’s because FANTASTIC FOUR is detached from the Bendis-event-driven MU at large and so it and similar books (like Fraction’s first IRON MAN arc which was similar excellent but sold disappointingly) are being perfumed with a stink of “unimportance,” regardless of actual content.

    I don’t care about “event fatigue” per se, but I do think that event driven superhero lines diminish the appreciation of great stories told within those titles that want to do something different and self-contained. Unfortunately, voting with their wallets, many readers would rather pay for a SECRET INVASION that they’re not even enjoying (although I’m sure many people did like it), in fear of missing something “important”, than shelling out $2.99 for an “inconsequential” but entertaining title like a CAP, or IRON MAN, or FF.

  77. Brandon Yates says:

    Oops. I didn’t read all of the comments before posting. Sorry for interrupting the Great ASM Debate. Please continue.

  78. Andrew says:

    For what its worth, I was a reader looking forward to jumping on the Spider-man books when they shifted from 3 monthlies to one series that came out 3X a month.

    I found that restructuring appealing.

    Unfortunately, the direction they took with BND is why I didn’t.

  79. Great stuff!

Trackbacks

  1. [...] Before we leave the states, three other charts showed up over the past couple days: ICv2 has the BookScan top-twenty list for January (thirteen were by Japanese cartoonists, and seven of those were Naruto volumes); Paul O’Brien has your month-to-month sales by Marvel to Direct Market retailers, now updated for December; and Calvin Reid gives us his estimated graphic-novel sales to the booksellers and Direct markets for January. [...]

  2. [...] december sales Commenta 5th February , 2009 here [...]

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