Marvel Month-to-Month Sales: March 2009

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by Paul O’Brien

Dark Reign continued in March, with more tie-in issues and miniseries. As with the Initiative books a couple of years ago, Dark Reign isn’t a crossover so much as an umbrella branding for books that use the backdrop of Norman Osborn running the show. How much difference is it making to sales? Well, look below.

March also saw the start of the WAR OF KINGS crossover among the various cosmic superhero books, and the “Messiah War” crossover between X-FORCE and CABLE. And, after more than three years, ULTIMATE WOLVERINE VS HULK #3 finally emerged blinking into the daylight.

You won’t be surprised to learn that Marvel had the largest share of the North American direct market once again, beating DC by 47% to 28% in units and 43% to 27% in dollars.

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

1.  DARK AVENGERS
01/09  Dark Avengers #1 - 133,161
02/09  Dark Avengers #2 - 102,277  (-23.2%)
03/09  Dark Avengers #3 -  96,546  ( -5.6%)

It may be number one, but DARK AVENGERS gets there with estimated sales below 100,000. This is the lowest number for a chart-topping book since ICV2 started tracking sales eight years ago. Nor is it due to major titles failing to ship in March; THOR did slightly better last month, but that was for issue #600, and the book would almost certainly have returned to normal levels.

However, it’s fair to say that both Marvel and DC are currently between the major events that tend to drive the top end of the chart. It may also be the case that the higher prices for top books are starting to hurt – though clearly they aren’t causing the sort of damage that would leave Marvel worse off in the short term.

Anyhow, this is still Marvel’s strongest seller at the moment. And there’s some sign of buzz. Issue #1 is still adding sales, with the second printing notching up 2,852 copies this month. Issue #2, meanwhile, picks up healthy re-orders of 8,724. Those numbers are added in above – and they mean that first-month sales for issue #3 actually went up slightly, always a good sign.

2.  NEW AVENGERS
03/04  Avengers #80     -  55,533
03/05  New Avengers #4  - 155,113
03/06  New Avengers #17 - 121,098
03/07  New Avengers #28 - 119,514
=====
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 -  95,688  ( -0.0%)
01/09  New Avengers #49 -  94,291  ( -1.5%)
02/09  New Avengers #50 - 106,831  (+13.3%)
03/09  New Avengers #51 -  95,340  (-10.8%)
                           6 mnth  ( -7.7%)
                           1 year  ( -7.5%)
                           2 year  (-20.2%)
                           3 year  (-21.3%)
                           4 year  (-38.5%)
                           5 year  (+71.7%)

Another Dark Reign book. NEW AVENGERS seems to be hovering generally in the mid-90K range at the moment, last month’s anniversary issue being a blip. Issue #49, which had previously seemed to be underperforming a bit, picks up another 4,251 sales on a second printing, to bring it into line with the issues around it. In fairness, issue #49 was also one of those rare issues of NEW AVENGERS that didn’t have a variant cover; this one does, from Chris Bachalo.

4.  WOLVERINE
03/04  Wolverine #12 -  69,815
03/05  Wolverine #26 - 105,984
03/06  Wolverine #40 -  75,557
03/07  Wolverine #52 -  95,276
=====
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 -  89,217  ( +0.3%)
01/09  ---
02/09  ---
03/09  Wolverine #71 -  86,046  ( -3.6%)
                        6 mnth  (  --- )
                        1 year  (+33.5%)
                        2 year  ( -9.7%)
                        3 year  (+13.9%)
                        4 year  (-18.8%)
                        5 year  (+23.2%)

Continuing the late-running “Old Man Logan” storyline by Mark Millar and Steve McNiven. Sales are holding up despite the delays, and it’s doing rather well for an out-of-continuity story.

5.  ULTIMATUM
11/08  Ultimatum #1 of 5 - 114,230
12/08  Ultimatum #2 of 5 -  92,973  (-18.6%)
01/09  ---
02/09  ---
03/09  Ultimatum #3 of 5 -  79,439  (-14.6%)

That’s quite a big drop for the third issue of a miniseries, despite having two variant covers by Ed McGuinness. Yes, it’s still a top five book, but the bigger picture here is that ULTIMATUM is supposed to be building interest for the upcoming relaunch of the Ultimate imprint – and whether it’s succeeding in that must be a little doubtful with drops like this. The second printing of issue #2 adds a further 4,861 in sales.

6.  UNCANNY X-MEN
03/04  Uncanny X-Men #441 -  86,431
03/05  Uncanny X-Men #457 -  86,365
03/06  Uncanny X-Men #471 -  78,286
03/07  Uncanny X-Men #484 -  82,043
=====
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%)
01/09  ---
02/09  Uncanny X-Men #506 -  71,684  (-12.9%)
03/09  Uncanny X-Men #507 -  77,957  ( +8.8%)
                             6 mnth  ( -5.9%)
                             1 year  (-12.5%)
                             2 year  ( -5.0%)
                             3 year  ( -0.4%)
                             4 year  ( -9.7%)
                             5 year  ( -9.8%)

This is the final issue of a storyline, so the sales increase is almost certainly attributable to issue #507 having a 1:50 variant cover by Michael Golden. Issue #506, in contrast, had no variants at all.

In case you’re wondering, the other issues with no variants over the past year were #496, #498, #499,
#501, #502 and #504.

7.  MIGHTY AVENGERS
03/07  Mighty Avengers #1  - 156,400
=====
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%)
01/09  ---
02/09  Mighty Avengers #21 -  76,247  (-11.4%)
02/09  Mighty Avengers #22 -  72,865  ( -4.4%)
03/09  Mighty Avengers #23 -  71,333  ( -2.1%)
                              6 mnth  (-21.4%)
                              1 year  (-13.2%)
                              2 year  (-54.4%)

Sales are down with the new direction, but the book seems to have settled into a fairly standard decline already.

9.  ULTIMATE WOLVERINE VS HULK
12/05  Wolverine/Hulk #1 of 6 - 130,431
01/06  ---
02/06  Wolverine/Hulk #2 of 6 - 119,456  (-8.4%)
03/06  ---
04/06  ---
05/06  ---
06/06  ---
07/06  ---
08/06  ---
09/06  ---
10/06  ---
11/06  ---
12/06  ---
01/07  ---
02/07  ---
03/07  ---
04/07  ---
05/07  ---
06/07  ---
07/07  ---
08/07  ---
09/07  ---
10/07  ---
11/07  ---
12/07  ---
01/08  ---
02/08  ---
03/08  ---
04/08  ---
05/08  ---
06/08  ---
07/08  ---
08/08  ---
09/08  ---
10/08  ---
11/08  ---
12/08  ---
01/09  ---
02/09  ---
03/09  Wolverine/Hulk #3 of 6 -  68,390  (-42.8%)

The three year delay hasn’t done the book any favours, it would seem. Now, in fairness, the numbers for issues #1 and #2 include the reprints that came out last month. And more to the point, the Ultimate imprint has crashed through the floor since 2006, which won’t help matters. Still, it’s not the event it once was.

11. CAPTAIN AMERICA
03/04  Captain America #24 -  39,168
03/05  Captain America #4  -  46,654
03/06  Captain America #16 -  44,717
03/07  Captain America #25 - 290,514
=====
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%)
01/09  Captain America #46 -  73,184  ( +2.8%)
02/09  Captain America #47 -  62,850  (-14.1%)
03/09  Captain America #48 -  62,108  ( -1.2%)
                              6 mnth  (-17.8%)
                              1 year  (-23.7%)
                              2 year  (-78.6%)
                              3 year  (+38.9%)
                              4 year  (+33.1%)
                              5 year  (+58.6%)

Two years after the death of Captain America in issue #25, his series is still selling far better than it did when he was actually in it. Sales are holding steady from last month; the drop in February was due to the previous three issues all having variant covers.

12,13. AMAZING SPIDER-MAN
03/04  Amazing Spider-Man #505 -  83,613
03/05  Amazing Spider-Man #518 -  77,025
03/06  Amazing Spider-Man #530 -  89,874
03/07  Amazing Spider-Man #539 - 137,730
=====
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%)
01/09  Amazing Spider-Man #582 -  59,932  (-13.0%)
01/09  Amazing Spider-Man #583 - 521,831 (+770.7%)
01/09  Amazing Spider-Man #584 -  63,754  (-87.8%)
02/09  Amazing Spider-Man #585 -  60,286  ( -5.4%)
02/09  Amazing Spider-Man #586 -  59,521  ( -1.3%)
02/09  Amazing Spider-Man #587 -  60,118  ( +1.0%)
03/09  Amazing Spider-Man #588 -  61,334  ( +2.0%)
03/09  Amazing Spider-Man #589 -  58,832  ( -4.1%)
                                  6 mnth  (-26.7%)
                                  1 year  (-34.5%)
                                  2 year  (-57.3%)
                                  3 year  (-34.5%)
                                  4 year  (-23.6%)
                                  5 year  (-29.6%)

Obama-mania continues, as the fifth printing of issue #583 charts at number 95, adding a further 20,073 copies to the total. Meanwhile, back in the real world, sales seem to be meandering just below the 60K mark. In the absence of any variant covers, the modest increases for issues #587 and #588 were presumably because of the “Character Assassination” arc, promoted as a major story. Just two issues this month, which is the first time the book has slipped off schedule since its relaunch.

14.  WAR OF KINGS
03/09  War of Kings #1 of 6 - 58,709

A strong debut for this miniseries, which serves as the lynchpin of a crossover among Marvel’s cosmic superhero books. The participating titles aren’t huge sellers – but this issue does feature two variant covers, going some way to explaining its high placing.

15. X-MEN: LEGACY
03/04  New X-Men #154     - 117,253
03/05  X-Men #168         -  83,979
03/06  X-Men #184         -  78,000
03/07  X-Men #197         -  75,184
=====
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%)
01/09  X-Men: Legacy #220 -  59,286  ( -2.1%)
02/09  X-Men: Legacy #221 -  56,517  ( -4.7%)
03/09  X-Men: Legacy #222 -  55,606  ( -1.6%)
                             6 mnth  (-16.3%)
                             1 year  (-32.4%)
                             2 year  (-26.0%)
                             3 year  (-28.7%)
                             4 year  (-33.8%)
                             5 year  (-52.6%)

Holding steady from last month, but you’d be hard pressed to dispute that these are historically poor sales for the second X-Men title; the LEGACY direction has not done well in holding audiences.

18. X-FORCE/CABLE: MESSIAH WAR - PROLOGUE
03/09  Messiah War - 52,777

This is the lead-in to a crossover between CABLE and X-FORCE, and comes with two variant covers to boost its numbers. It’s a little surprising to see it place below WAR OF KINGS, but then the satellite X-books don’t seem to have the drawing power of old.

19. INVINCIBLE IRON MAN
03/04  Iron Man #78            -  29,680
03/05  ---
03/06  Iron Man #6             -  40,264
03/07  ---
03/08  Iron Man #27            -  36,011
=====
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%)
01/09  Invincible Iron Man #9  -  52,364  ( -7.7%)
02/09  Invincible Iron Man #10 -  56,381  ( +7.7%)
03/09  Invincible Iron Man #11 -  52,165  ( -7.5%)
                                  6 mnth  (-13.7%)
                                  1 year  (+44.9%)
                                  2 year  (  --- )
                                  3 year  (+29.6%)
                                  4 year  (  --- )
                                  5 year  (+75.8%)

Another Dark Reign crossover. Issue #10 picks up a further 4,732 with a second printing, so the first month sales have actually been very solid over the last couple of months.

20. X-FORCE
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%)
01/09  X-Force #11 - 51,817  (-11.9%)
02/09  X-Force #12 - 51,449  ( -0.7%)
03/09  X-Force #13 - 51,797  ( +0.7%)
                     6 mnth  (-20.2%)
                     1 year  (-41.6%)

This is a prologue to the “Messiah War” crossover. There’s no significant effect on sales, but you never know – there’s always next month, when the story proper gets under way.

21. ULTIMATE X-MEN
03/04  Ultimate X-Men #43  - 97,002
03/05  Ultimate X-Men #57  - 83,835
03/06  Ultimate X-Men #68  - 72,765
03/07  Ultimate X-Men #80  - 63,037
=====
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%)
01/09  ---
02/09  ---
03/09  Ultimate X-Men #100 - 51,374  (+15.8%)
                             6 mnth  (  --- )
                             1 year  ( +4.8%)
                             2 year  (-18.5%)
                             3 year  (-29.4%)
                             4 year  (-38.7%)
                             5 year  (-47.0%)

Axed, although there’s an epilogue issue to follow. This is part of the “Ultimatum” crossover, which leads into a relaunch of the Utimate imprint. The storyline has had no discernible effect on sales until now, so the March jump is probably due to two factors: the anniversary number, and an Ed McGuinness variant cover with a mighty 1:100 incentive ratio.

23. FANTASTIC FOUR
03/03  Fantastic Four #67  - 53,218
03/04  Fantastic Four #511 - 50,089
03/05  Fantastic Four #524 - 46,660
03/07  Fantastic Four #544 - 73,880
=====
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%)
01/09  Fantastic Four #563 - 52,747  ( -2.4%)
02/09  Fantastic Four #564 - 49,520  ( -6.1%)
03/09  Fantastic Four #565 - 48,378  ( -2.3%)
                             6 mnth  (-17.0%)
                             1 year  (-28.2%)
                             2 year  (-34.5%)
                             3 year  ( +3.7%)
                             4 year  ( -3.4%)
                             5 year  ( -9.1%)

Still falling. The Millar/Hitch run is now delivering merely standard FANTASTIC FOUR numbers.

24. SECRET WARRIORS
02/09  Secret Warriors #1 - 62,764
03/09  Secret Warriors #2 - 48,086  (-23.4%)

A second printing of issue #1 adds a further 5,060 sales; issue #2 will get a similar boost from its own second printing in April. So the drop’s actually not as steep as it looks. I’d say these are pretty good numbers for a book about little known characters.

25. DARK REIGN: FANTASTIC FOUR
03/09  Dark Reign: Fantastic Four #1 of 3 - 48,061

Marvel’s usual strategy is that books deemed too important to join in the crossovers will nonetheless contribute a tie-in mini. And here comes the first of the Dark Reign minis, with a respectable enough number, considering that Fantastic Four spin-offs haven’t done that well lately. There’s a variant cover by Marko Durdjevic.

26. 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%)
01/09  Deadpool #6 - 46,549  ( -0.7%)
02/09  Deadpool #7 - 44,082  ( -5.3%)
03/09  Deadpool #8 - 47,974  ( +8.8%)

A Dark Reign tie-in, hence the sales boost. Marvel are evidently very happy with the performance of this series, as a string of spin-offs are on their way.

29. NEW AVENGERS: REUNION
03/09  Reunion #1 of 4 - 46,847

Another Dark Reign tie-in miniseries, this time featuring Hawkeye/Ronin and Mockingbird. A decent enough number for those two characters, who aren’t huge draws outside the context of a team book.

30. THUNDERBOLTS
03/04  ---
03/05  New Thunderbolts #6 - 29,103
03/06  Thunderbolts #100   - 26,798
03/07  Thunderbolts #112   - 61,395
=====
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%)
01/09  Thunderbolts #128   - 45,745  (+25.7%)
02/09  Thunderbolts #129   - 45,401  ( -0.7%)
03/09  Thunderbolts #130   - 45,810  ( +0.9%)
                             6 mnth  ( +5.5%)
                             1 year  (+14.0%)
                             2 year  (-25.4%)
                             3 year  (+70.9%)
                             4 year  (+57.4%)
                             5 year  (  --- )

A Dark Reign tie-in, with sales holding very steady at 45K over recent months. The last four issues have all had variant covers.

31. WOLVERINE: ORIGINS
03/07  Origins #12 - 74,750
=====
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%)
01/09  Origins #32 - 44,697  ( -0.8%)
02/09  Origins #33 - 44,935  ( +0.5%)
03/09  Origins #34 - 45,579  ( +1.4%)
                     6 mnth  ( -8.8%)
                     1 year  ( -8.2%)
                     2 year  (-39.0%)

The second part of a “Dark Reign” tie-in arc, though there’s little effect on sales. Nonetheless, the book has held very steady over the last few months, which is an achievement.

34,35. DAREDEVIL
03/04  Daredevil #58  - 54,400
03/05  Daredevil #71  - 49,715
03/06  Daredevil #83  - 46,804
03/07  Daredevil #95  - 46,455
=====
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%)
01/09  Daredevil #115 - 40,214  ( -9.3%)
02/09  ---
03/09  Daredevil #116 - 41,261  ( +2.6%)
03/09  Daredevil #117 - 41,046  ( -0.5%)
                        6 mnth  (-11.2%)
                        1 year  ( -1.2%)
                        2 year  (-11.6%)
                        3 year  (-12.3%)
                        4 year  (-17.4%)
                        5 year  (-24.5%)

Two issues shipped in March, bringing the book back on schedule after last month’s slip. These are the first two chapters of “Return of the King”; leaving variant covers out of consideration, sales are very solid on this title.

39. PUNISHER
03/07  War Journal #5  - 50,190
=====
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%)
01/09  Punisher #1     - 49,222  (+119.5%)
02/09  Punisher #2     - 40,928  ( -16.9%)
03/09  Punisher #3     - 37,570  (  -8.2%)
                         6 mnth  ( +37.2%)
                         1 year  ( +20.3%)
                         2 year  ( -25.1%)

This is a Dark Reign tie-in, with a variant cover to boot. A second printing of issue #2 picks up 4,402 extra orders, landing at number 240 on the chart – meaning that first month sales for issue #3 went up. All told, the relaunch is doing well so far.

40. X-INFERNUS
12/08  X-Infernus #1 of 4 - 51,556
01/09  X-Infernus #2 of 4 - 37,693  (-26.9%)
02/09  X-Infernus #3 of 4 - 36,747  ( -2.5%)
03/09  X-Infernus #4 of 4 - 36,431  ( -0.9%)

A very solid performance after the initial drop, which bodes well for the upcoming relaunch of NEW MUTANTS.

41. DARK REIGN: ELEKTRA
03/09  Dark Reign: Elektra #1 of 5 - 36,385

Another Dark Reign tie-in book, and another variant cover. It doubtless sells much better than a regular ELEKTRA miniseries would have done.

43. DEADPOOL: GAMES OF DEATH
03/09  Games of Death - 34,851

One of those random one-shots that Marvel like to put out from time to time and charge four dollars for. A pretty good number, in fact – perhaps there’s still some novelty to Deadpool spin-offs, in a way that can’t be said for some of the other characters whose minis placed further down the chart.

49. BLACK PANTHER
03/05  Black Panther #2  - 47,533
03/06  Black Panther #14 - 28,809
03/07  Black Panther #26 - 48,717
=====
03/08  Black Panther #35 - 21,332  ( -8.9%)
04/08  ---
05/08  Black Panther #36 - 20,841  ( -2.3%)
06/08  Black Panther #37 - 19,989  ( -4.1%)
07/08  Black Panther #38 - 19,459  ( -2.7%)
07/08  Black Panther #39 - 37,546  (+92.9%)
08/08  Black Panther #40 - 33,583  (-10.6%)
09/08  Black Panther #41 - 33,620  ( +0.1%)
10/08  ---
11/08  ---
12/08  ---
01/09  ---
02/09  Black Panther #1  - 52,991  (+57.6%)
03/09  Black Panther #2  - 33,755  (-36.3%)
                           6 mnth  ( +0.4%)
                           1 year  (+58.2%)
                           2 year  (-30.7%)
                           3 year  (+17.2%)
                           4 year  (-29.0%)

The second issue of the relaunch, and despite the Dark Reign tie-in and a variant cover, we’re already back where the previous series left off. But that’s actually not so bad – the previous series ended with a Secret Invasion tie-in arc, which sold twice its normal numbers. So we’ll have to wait and see what happens when the Dark Reign arc ends.

Issue #1 picks up 6,292 further sales with a second printing, which isn’t bad at all.

52. WAR MACHINE
12/08  War Machine #1 - 54,396
01/09  War Machine #2 - 39,835  (-26.8%)
02/09  War Machine #3 - 33,818  (-15.1%)
03/09  War Machine #4 - 32,693  ( -3.3%)

Levelling out. The second printing of issue #2 (yes, #2) adds up another 2,738 to its total.

53. 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%)
01/09  Cable #10 - 33,319  ( -3.5%)
02/09  Cable #11 - 31,817  ( -4.5%)
03/09  Cable #12 - 32,407  ( +1.9%)
                   6 mnth  (  --- )
                   1 year  (-52.4%)

There’s no apparent reason for this climb – except, perhaps anticipation for the “Messiah War” crossover starting next month. Perhaps the book has finally found its level.

54. INCREDIBLE HERCULES
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%)
01/09  Hercules #125 - 31,888  (-13.5%)
02/09  Hercules #126 - 31,000  ( -2.8%)
03/09  Hercules #127 - 31,890  ( +2.9%)
                       6 mnth  (-32.7%)
                       1 year  (-35.6%)

A Dark Reign tie-in, though there’s only a modest sales increase. Still, the numbers have been very steady over the last couple of months.

55. X-FACTOR
03/06  X-Factor #4  - 48,183
03/07  X-Factor #17 - 38,067
=====
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%)
01/09  X-Factor #39 - 32,796  ( -4.7%)
02/09  X-Factor #40 - 31,943  ( -2.6%)
03/09  X-Factor #41 - 31,888  ( -0.2%)
                      6 mnth  (-28.3%)
                      1 year  (-41.8%)
                      2 year  (-16.2%)
                      3 year  (-33.8%)

Another title which may be finding its level following an extended drop.

58,61. GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY
05/08  Guardians o/Galaxy #1  - 36,293
06/08  Guardians o/Galaxy #2  - 32,967  ( -9.2%)
07/08  Guardians o/Galaxy #3  - 33,986  ( +3.1%)
08/08  Guardians o/Galaxy #4  - 40,285  (+18.5%)
09/08  Guardians o/Galaxy #5  - 42,104  ( +4.5%)
10/08  Guardians o/Galaxy #6  - 36,546  (-13.2%)
11/08  Guardians o/Galaxy #7  - 30,516  (-16.5%)
12/08  Guardians o/Galaxy #8  - 31,564  ( +3.4%)
01/09  Guardians o/Galaxy #9  - 28,502  ( -9.7%)
02/09  Guardians o/Galaxy #10 - 27,648  ( -3.0%)
03/09  Guardians o/Galaxy #11 - 27,415  ( -0.8%)
03/09  Guardians o/Galaxy #12 - 26,764  ( -2.4%)
                                6 mnth  (-36.4%)

Holding steady over the last few months, and presumably set to benefit from the WAR OF KINGS crossover.

59. 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%)
01/09  Skaar, Son of Hulk #7 - 31,096  (-10.1%)
02/09  Skaar, Son of Hulk #8 - 28,771  ( -7.5%)
03/09  Skaar, Son of Hulk #9 - 27,137  ( -5.7%)
                               6 mnth  (  --- )

It’s levelling out, but in percentage terms, those drops are still awfully high. This fantasy barbarian Hulk spin-off may be trying to fill a non-existent gap in the market.

60. AGENTS OF ATLAS
02/09  Agents of Atlas #1 - 34,449
03/09  Agents of Atlas #2 - 26,783  (-22.3%)

Issue #1 picks up 4,188 with a second printing, so the second issue drop really isn’t that bad. On the other hand, the issue’s boosted by an Ed McGuinness variant cover (with a 1:20 incentive ratio). But all told, I’d say these numbers were about as good as you could realistically expect for an AGENTS OF ATLAS ongoing.

62. NOVA
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%)
01/09  Nova #21 - 25,647  (-12.8%)
02/09  Nova #22 - 25,065  ( -2.3%)
03/09  Nova #23 - 26,413  ( +5.4%)
                  6 mnth  (-31.2%)
                  1 year  ( -6.2%)

This is a WAR OF KINGS tie-in, though the sales increase is fairly modest. However, numbers have been very steady of late.

64. X-MEN NOIR
12/08  X-Men Noir #1 of 4 - 36,474
01/09  X-Men Noir #2 of 4 - 28,604  (-21.6%)
02/09  X-Men Noir #3 of 4 - 27,054  ( -5.4%)
03/09  X-Men Noir #4 of 4 - 25,861  ( -4.4%)

If you view the Noir books as one of Marvel’s occasional ventures outside the superhero genre, then these are actually very good numbers. If you view them as a heavily-promoted superhero line, then they’re not so great. In fairness, it’s probably more the former. (Which, if nothing else, proves that sometimes Marvel do give the big promotional push to something that isn’t a surefire hit – this got a ton of house ads).

65. X-MEN: KINGBREAKER
12/08  Kingbreaker #1 of 4 - 36,387
01/09  Kingbreaker #2 of 4 - 32,186  (-11.5%)
02/09  Kingbreaker #3 of 4 - 32,475  ( +0.9%)
03/09  Kingbreaker #4 of 4 - 25,670  (-21.0%)

That’s a nasty downward correction for the final issue of a miniseries.

67. MS MARVEL
03/06  Ms Marvel #1  - 73,407
03/07  Ms Marvel #13 - 40,836
=====
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%)
01/09  Ms Marvel #35 - 26,824  (-10.0%)
02/09  Ms Marvel #36 - 25,864  ( -3.6%)
03/09  Ms Marvel #37 - 25,053  ( -3.1%)
                       6 mnth  (-22.1%)
                       1 year  (-38.8%)
                       2 year  (-38.6%)
                       3 year  (-65.9%)

Continuing the Dark Reign tie-in arc, which isn’t having an enormous effect on sales.

68. 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%)
01/09  Young X-Men #10 - 26,933  (-11.7%)
02/09  Young X-Men #11 - 25,601  ( -4.9%)
03/09  Young X-Men #12 - 25,023  ( -2.3%)
                         6 mnth  (-34.5%)

Axed.

69. SPIDER-MAN NOIR
12/08  Spider-Man Noir #1 of 4 - 31,985
01/09  Spider-Man Noir #2 of 4 - 26,228  (-18.0%)
02/09  Spider-Man Noir #3 of 4 - 25,601  ( -2.4%)
03/09  Spider-Man Noir #4 of 4 - 24,720  ( -3.4%)

See the comments above for X-MEN NOIR, really.

70. HULK: BROKEN WORLDS
03/09  Broken Worlds #1 of 2 - 24,380

The market isn’t very interested in HULK spin-offs right now, from the look of it.

72. X-MEN: MANIFEST DESTINY - NIGHTCRAWLER
03/09  Nightcrawler - 24,316

A random fill-in story where Nightcrawler leaves the X-Men at the start and rejoins at the end following a trip to Germany to fight a one-off villain. Marvel, however, solicited the book as X-MEN: QUITTING TIME, explicitly promised a story about Nightcrawler leaving the X-Men, and added in the solicitation text “Don’t miss the departure of one of the most important characters in X-Men history.”

In fairness, the book shows signs of last-minute creator changes and may well have been solicited in good faith – but whatever happened, the comic as published bears little resemblance to the one Marvel solicited.

Fortunately, with sales at this level, most of the people who bought it were probably completists anyway.

74. WAR OF KINGS: DARKHAWK
02/09  Darkhawk #1 of 2 - 25,585
03/09  Darkhawk #2 of 2 - 23,704  (-7.4%)

Not bad considering the character involved.

77. AVENGERS: THE INITIATIVE FEATURING REPTIL
03/09  Reptil - 23,103

Apparently a story intended to introduce Reptil – from the Super Hero Squad cartoon – into the Marvel Universe proper. Not much attention here.

80. AMAZING SPIDER-MAN EXTRA
07/08  Spider-Man Extra #1 - 44,456
01/09  Spider-Man Extra #2 - 27,470  (-38.2%)
03/09  Spider-Man Extra #3 - 22,771  (-17.1%)

Apparently there’s a fourth one coming in August, but you have to wonder how far it’s worth Marvel’s while pursuing this series. Between this and AMAZING SPIDER-MAN FAMILY, it doesn’t look as though the Spider-Man audience is particularly interested in supporting spin-offs right now.

82,84. IMMORTAL IRON FIST
03/07  ---
=====
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%)
01/09  ---
02/09  Immortal Iron Fist #22 - 23,259  ( -3.6%)
03/09  Immortal Iron Fist #23 - 22,691  ( -2.4%)
03/09  Immortal Iron Fist #24 - 22,326  ( -1.6%)
                                6 mnth  (  --- )
                                1 year  (-30.3%)
                                2 year  (  --- )

This hasn’t been solicited past issue #27, but supposedly it’s just a hiatus, with a spin-off miniseries filling the gap.

85. PUNISHER: FRANK CASTLE  [Max]
03/04  Punisher #4      - 47,096
03/05  Punisher #18     - 38,348
03/06  Punisher #31     - 34,505
03/07  Punisher #45     - 33,245
=====
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%)
01/09  Frank Castle #66 - 22,806  ( -4.5%)
02/09  Frank Castle #67 - 22,267  ( -2.4%)
03/09  Frank Castle #68 - 22,255  ( -0.0%)
                          6 mnth  (-17.3%)
                          1 year  (-28.8%)
                          2 year  (-33.1%)
                          3 year  (-35.5%)
                          4 year  (-42.0%)
                          5 year  (-52.7%)

The book may have stabilised, following the drop after Garth Ennis left.

86. 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%)
01/09  X-Men/Spider-Man #3 of 4 - 23,075  ( -9.8%)
02/09  ---
03/09  X-Men/Spider-Man #4 of 4 - 22,036  ( -4.5%)

Not bad, but a bit underwhelming for a miniseries featuring some of Marvel’s top stars. It goes to show, I suppose, that the people buying the core titles evidently aren’t slavish completists.

90. GHOST RIDER
03/07  Ghost Rider #9  - 48,041
=====
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%)
01/09  Ghost Rider #31 - 22,421  (-12.1%)
02/09  Ghost Rider #32 - 21,351  ( -4.8%)
03/09  Ghost Rider #33 - 21,347  ( -0.0%)
                         6 mnth  ( -8.8%)
                         1 year  (-19.5%)
                         2 year  (-55.6%)

Axed with issue #35 – but a miniseries is set to follow, so they might be heading for a relaunch of some sort.

92. MOON KNIGHT
03/07  Moon Knight #8  - 77,390
=====
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%)
01/09  Moon Knight #26 - 21,796  ( -6.4%)
02/09  Moon Knight #27 - 21,413  ( -1.8%)
03/09  Moon Knight #28 - 20,866  ( -2.6%)
                         6 mnth  (-20.9%)
                         1 year  (-29.4%)
                         2 year  (-73.0%)

This was missing from the June and July solicitations, so it looks like it’s been quietly cancelled with issue #30.

97. X-MEN: SWORD OF THE BRADDOCKS
03/09  Sword of the Braddocks - 20,068

Despite the title, this is an addendum to Chris Claremont’s run on EXILES, tying up a loose plot thread about Psylocke. The sales suggest that retailers saw straight through the device of labelling it as an X-Men comic.

101. RUNAWAYS
03/04  Runaways #13 - 19,459
03/05  Runaways #2  - 30,096
03/06  Runaways #14 - 24,536
03/07  ---
=====
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%)
01/09  Runaways #6  - 20,459  ( -6.7%)
02/09  Runaways #7  - 19,684  ( -3.8%)
03/09  Runaways #8  - 19,000  ( -3.5%)
                      6 mnth  (-32.0%)
                      1 year  (  --- )
                      2 year  (  --- )
                      3 year  (-22.6%)
                      4 year  (-36.9%)
                      5 year  ( -2.4%)

Pretty horrible numbers, but Marvel are sticking with the book, announcing a new creative team.

102. X-MEN: TIMES AND LIFE OF LUCAS BISHOP
02/09  Bishop #1 of 3 - 22,275
03/09  Bishop #2 of 3 - 18,653  (-16.3%)

Again, not really an X-Men book but a spin-off from CABLE, where Bishop is presently appearing as the main villain. There doesn’t seem to be much appetite for another version of his origin story.

107. ASTONISHING TALES
02/09  Astonishing Tales #1 - 27,030
03/09  Astonishing Tales #2 - 17,758  (-34.3%)

This is an anthology title reprinting material from Marvel’s digital comics service, so bear in mind that there’s another source of income from this material. The second issue drop isn’t quite as horrific as it looks: the first issue had a variant cover by Marc Silvestri, of all people, while issue #2 was left to fend for itself.

108. 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%)
01/09  Cpt. Britain & MI-13 #9  - 18,483  (-13.0%)
02/09  Cpt. Britain & MI-13 #10 - 20,627  (+11.6%)
03/09  Cpt. Britain & MI-13 #11 - 17,757  (-13.9%)
                                  6 mnth  (-46.2%)

It’s always possible that the book is doing spectacularly well in Britain (where the sales wouldn’t register on this chart), but all signs point to this book being in trouble, despite good reviews.

111. WONDERFUL WIZARD OF OZ
12/08  Wizard of Oz #1 of 8 - 25,116
01/09  Wizard of Oz #2 of 8 - 17,608  (-29.9%)
02/09  Wizard of Oz #3 of 8 - 15,668  (-11.0%)
03/09  Wizard of Oz #4 of 8 - 16,159  ( +3.1%)

Sales are actually up for this novel adaptation, a rarity on any miniseries. And WIZARD OF OZ is doing unexpectedly well in the first place, perhaps because of the unusual decision to push it with house ads.

113. 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%)
01/09  Squadron Supreme #7 - 17,691  ( -6.6%)
02/09  Squadron Supreme #8 - 16,566  ( -6.4%)
03/09  Squadron Supreme #9 - 16,080  ( -2.9%)
                             6 mnth  (-40.7%)

Axed with issue #12.

114. 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%)
01/09  Eternals #7 - 17,495  ( -3.5%)
02/09  Eternals #8 - 16,264  ( -7.0%)
03/09  Eternals #9 - 16,002  ( -1.6%)
                     6 mnth  (-31.0%)

Axed.

144,249. SPIDER-MAN/HUMAN TORCH
03/09  Bahia de los Muertos - 14,816

It’s a random Spider-Man/Human Torch one-shot, published in English and Spanish language editions. The chart lists them separately, with 10,834 in English and 3,984 in Spanish, but I’ve added them together and placed the book out of chart order to reflect its cumulative sales.

120. AMAZING SPIDER-GIRL
03/04  Spider-Girl #71         - 20,709
03/05  Spider-Girl #84         - 20,050
03/06  Spider-Girl #96         - 16,739
03/07  Amazing Spider-Girl #6  - 20,478
=====
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%)
01/09  Amazing Spider-Girl #28 - 13,790  (-10.3%)
02/09  Amazing Spider-Girl #29 - 13,689  ( -0.7%)
03/09  Amazing Spider-Girl #30 - 14,249  ( +4.1%)
                                 6 mnth  ( -4.8%)
                                 1 year  (-10.4%)
                                 2 year  (-30.4%)
                                 3 year  (-14.9%)
                                 4 year  (-28.9%)
                                 5 year  (-31.2%)

Axed, after a commendably long run.

124. SUB-MARINER: THE DEPTHS
09/08  Depths #1 of 5 - 27,275
10/08  Depths #2 of 5 - 20,653  (-24.3%)
11/08  Depths #3 of 5 - 16,906  (-18.1%)
12/08  ---
01/09  Depths #4 of 5 - 14,269  (-15.6%)
02/09  ---
03/09  Depths #5 of 5 - 13,292  ( -6.8%)

With hindsight, perhaps they’d have been best to hold off this series for a few months and bill it as a Dark Reign prelude…

128. 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%)
01/09  First Class #11 - 12,845  ( -4.4%)
02/09  First Class #12 - 12,403  ( -3.4%)
03/09  First Class #13 - 12,430  ( -0.0%)
                         6 mnth  (-23.1%)
                         1 year  (-65.2%)

Still doing very well if you judge it as an all-ages title.

129. 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  ---
01/09  ---
02/09  Battle School #3 of 5 - 14,022  (-16.4%)
03/09  Battle School #4 of 5 - 12,082  (-13.8%)

A novel adaptation, doing much better than usual for this sort of thing.

133. X-MEN: FIRST CLASS
03/08  First Class #10    - 14,907  ( -2.7%)
04/08  First Class #11    - 14,896  ( -0.0%)
05/08  First Class #12    - 14,566  ( -2.2%)
06/08  First Class #13    - 14,157  ( -2.8%)
07/08  First Class #14    - 13,870  ( -2.0%)
08/08  First Class #15    - 13,249  ( -4.5%)
09/08  First Class #16    - 12,842  ( -3.1%)
10/08  Giant-Size Special - 13,263  ( +3.3%)
11/08  ---
12/08  ---
01/09  ---
02/09  Finals #1 of 4     - 15,736  (+18.6%)
03/09  Finals #2 of 4     - 11,533  (-26.7%)
                            6 mnth  (-10.2%)
                            1 year  (-22.6%)

Returning to the decline in progress. After this, it seems, we’re getting an UNCANNY X-MEN: FIRST CLASS miniseries about the 1975 roster.

154. ADAM: LEGEND OF THE BLUE MARVEL
11/08  Adam #1 of 5 - 17,308
12/08  Adam #2 of 5 - 12,160  (-29.7%)
01/09  Adam #3 of 5 - 10,796  (-11.2%)
02/09  Adam #4 of 5 -  9,704  (-10.1%)
03/09  Adam #5 of 5 -  9,457  ( -2.5%)

With a new character, a little-known writer (whose previous work was badly reviewed) and negligible promotion, Marvel could hardly have expected anything more.

178. DEAD OF NIGHT  [Max]
01/09  Werewolf by Night #1 of 4 - 8,966
02/09  Werewolf by Night #2 of 4 - 7,599  (-15.2%)
03/09  Werewolf by Night #3 of 4 - 8,057  ( +6.0%)

Sales are up – very unusual for a miniseries.

180. 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%)
01/09  ---
02/09  Age of the Sentry #5 of 6 -  8,418 (-13.9%)
03/09  Age of the Sentry #6 of 6 -  7,963 ( -5.4%)
                                   6 mnth (-63.8%)

Bit of a niche product.

199. MARVEL APES
03/09  Speedball Special - 6,915

Okay, seriously, joke’s over.

Number 202 is the WOLVERINE SAGA promotional handout, sold in bundles of 25, and shifting 6,837 of those bundles.

203. MARVEL SPOTLIGHT
03/06  Finch/Sacasa         -  4,146
03/07  Civil War Aftermath  - 31,072
=====
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%)
01/09  Dark Reign           -  7,527  ( -6.9%)
02/09  War of Kings         -  6,075  (-19.3%)
03/09  Wolverine            -  6,670  ( +9.8%)
                              6 mnth  (+12.4%)
                              1 year  (+43.3%)
                              2 year  (-78.5%)
                              3 year  (+60.9%)

A fairly typical month, in the world of massive fluctuations that is MARVEL SPOTLIGHT.

209. OFFICIAL INDEX TO THE MARVEL UNIVERSE
01/09  Index #1 - 9,852
02/09  Index #2 - 7,278  (-26.1%)
03/09  Index #3 - 6,331  (-13.0%)

Even more of a niche product.

226. SCOURGE OF GODS  [Soleil]
01/09  Scourge of Gods #1 of 3 - 8,748
02/09  Scourge of Gods #2 of 3 - 5,301  (-39.4%)
03/09  Scourge of Gods #3 of 3 - 5,160  ( -2.7%)

Fairly standard Soleil numbers.

235. MARVEL ADVENTURES SPIDER-MAN  [All ages]
03/05  M.A. Spider-Man #1  - 14,351
03/06  M.A. Spider-Man #13 -  5,899
03/07  M.A. Spider-Man #25 -  6,408
=====
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%)
01/09  M.A. Spider-Man #47 -  4,592  ( -5.3%)
02/09  M.A. Spider-Man #48 -  4,622  ( +0.7%)
03/09  M.A. Spider-Man #49 -  4,640  ( +0.4%)
                             6 mnth  (-15.7%)
                             1 year  (-21.0%)
                             2 year  (-27.6%)
                             3 year  (-21.3%)
                             4 year  (-67.7%)

242. MARVEL ADVENTURES AVENGERS  [All ages]
03/07  M.A. Avengers #11 -  7,068
=====
03/08  M.A. Avengers #22 -  5,575  ( -0.6%)
04/08  M.A. Avengers #23 -  5,556  ( -0.3%)
05/08  M.A. Avengers #24 -  5,358  ( -3.6%)
06/08  M.A. Avengers #25 -  5,327  ( -0.6%)
07/08  M.A. Avengers #26 -  5,418  ( +1.7%)
08/08  M.A. Avengers #27 -  5,200  ( -4.0%)
09/08  M.A. Avengers #28 -  4,966  ( -4.5%)
10/08  M.A. Avengers #29 -  4,844  ( -2.5%)
11/08  M.A. Avengers #30 -  4,679  ( -3.4%)
12/08  M.A. Avengers #31 -  ?,???  (  ??? )
01/09  M.A. Avengers #32 -  4,323  (  ??? )
02/09  M.A. Avengers #33 -  4,325  ( +0.0%)
03/09  M.A. Avengers #34 -  4,379  ( +1.2%)
                           6 mnth  (-11.8%)
                           1 year  (-21.5%)
                           2 year  (-38.0%)


255. MARVEL ADVENTURES SUPER HEROES  [All ages]
07/08  M.A. Super Heroes #1 - 11,968
08/08  M.A. Super Heroes #2 -  5,956  (-50.2%)
09/08  M.A. Super Heroes #3 -  4,857  (-18.5%)
10/08  M.A. Super Heroes #4 -  4,542  ( -6.5%)
11/08  M.A. Super Heroes #5 -  4,233  ( -6.8%)
12/08  M.A. Super Heroes #6 -  ?,???  (  ??? )
01/09  M.A. Super Heroes #7 -  4,141  (  ??? )
02/09  M.A. Super Heroes #8 -  3,993  ( -3.6%)
03/09  M.A. Super Heroes #9 -  3,716  ( -6.9%)
                              6 mnth  (-23.5%)

The Marvel Adventures titles aren’t reliant on direct market sales, so by the time we get this far down the chart, the numbers don’t mean a great deal. For what it’s worth, two of them are trending slightly up.

258. SECRET INVASION CHRONICLES
03/09  Secret Invasion Chronicles #1 of 9 - 3,676

The latest of Marvel’s crossover reprint books for the newsstands. They aren’t really aimed at the direct market, and it’ll probably vanish from sight quickly.

Number 263 is, of all things, FALLEN SON: DEATH OF CAPTAIN AMERICA – IRON MAN. Every so often Marvel seem to find an old unopened box of this thing, and send them out to retailers – which, I suppose, beats pulping them. Diamond dutifully count them towards the chart, and this month it’s 3,529 more copies. I long since gave up keeping a running total, since the “re-orders” are somewhat notional.

271. MARVEL ADVENTURES FANTASTIC FOUR  [All ages]
03/06  M.A. Fantastic Four #10 - 4,663
03/07  M.A. Fantastic Four #22 - 4,588
====
03/08  M.A. Fantastic Four #34 - 4,176  ( -1.1%)
04/08  M.A. Fantastic Four #35 - 4,154  ( -0.5%)
05/08  M.A. Fantastic Four #36 - 4,054  ( -2.4%)
06/08  M.A. Fantastic Four #37 - 3,972  ( -2.0%)
07/08  M.A. Fantastic Four #38 - ?,???  (  ??? )
08/08  M.A. Fantastic Four #39 - 3,833  (  ??? )
09/08  M.A. Fantastic Four #40 - 3,716  ( -3.1%)
10/08  M.A. Fantastic Four #41 - ?,???  (  ??? )
11/08  M.A. Fantastic Four #42 - 3,523  (  ??? )
12/08  M.A. Fantastic Four #43 - ?,???  (  ??? )
01/09  M.A. Fantastic Four #44 - 3,219  (  ??? )
02/09  M.A. Fantastic Four #45 - 3,195  ( -0.7%)
03/09  M.A. Fantastic Four #46 - 3,134  ( -1.9%)
                                6 mnth  (-15.7%)
                                1 year  (-25.0%)
                                2 year  (-31.7%)
                                3 year  (-32.8%)


273. ODYSSEY [Marvel Illustrated]
09/08  Odyssey #1 of 8 - 4,536
10/08  Odyssey #2 of 8 - ?,???  (  ??? )
11/08  Odyssey #3 of 8 - 3,631  (  ??? )
12/08  Odyssey #4 of 8 - ?,???  (  ??? )
01/09  Odyssey #5 of 8 - 3,175  (  ??? )
02/09  Odyssey #6 of 8 - 3,114  ( -1.9%)
03/09  Odyssey #7 of 8 - 3,077  ( -1.2%)
                        6 mnth  (-32.2%)

A book which wobbles on and off the chart, depending on where the cut-off point happens to be that month.

294. MARVEL: YOUR UNIVERSE
02/09  Your Universe #1 - 4,826
03/09  Your Universe #2 - 2,150  (-55.4%)

A reprint anthology aimed at the newsstands, which almost certainly won’t be troubling us again.

Number 295 is a Wolverine poster book, selling 2,089 copies. And rounding off the month, MARVEL ILLUSTRATED: KIDNAPPED once again failed to make the top 300, with estimates sales below 1,962.

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

+37.2% - Punisher
+12.4% - Marvel Spotlight
+ 5.5% - Thunderbolts
+ 0.4% - Black Panther
- 4.8% - Amazing Spider-Girl
- 5.9% - Uncanny X-Men
- 7.7% - New Avengers
- 8.8% - Wolverine: Origins
- 8.8% - Ghost Rider
-10.2% - X-Men: First Class
-11.2% - Daredevil
-11.8% - Marvel Adventures Avengers
-13.7% - Invincible Iron Man
-15.7% - Marvel Adventures Spider-Man
-15.7% - Marvel Adventures Fantastic Four
-16.3% - X-Men: Legacy
-17.0% - Fantastic Four
-17.3% - Punisher (Max)
-17.8% - Captain America
-20.2% - X-Force
-20.9% - Moon Knight
-21.4% - Mighty Avengers
-22.1% - Ms Marvel
-23.1% - Wolverine: First Class
-23.5% - Marvel Adventures Super Heroes
-26.7% - Amazing Spider-Man
-28.3% - X-Factor
-31.0% - Eternals
-31.2% - Nova
-32.0% - Runaways
-32.2% - Marvel Illustrated: Odyssey
-32.7% - Incredible Hercules
-34.5% - Young X-Men
-36.4% - Guardians of the Galaxy
-40.7% - Squadron Supreme
-46.2% - Captain Britain & MI-13
-63.8% - Age of the Sentry


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

+58.2% - Black Panther
+44.9% - Iron Man
+43.3% - Marvel Spotlight
+33.5% - Wolverine
+20.3% - Punisher
+14.0% - Thunderbolts
+ 4.8% - Ultimate X-Men
- 1.2% - Daredevil
- 6.2% - Nova
- 7.5% - New Avengers
- 8.2% - Wolverine: Origins
-10.4% - Amazing Spider-Girl
-12.5% - Uncanny X-Men
-13.2% - Mighty Avengers
-19.5% - Ghost Rider
-21.0% - Marvel Adventures Spider-Man
-21.5% - Marvel Adventures Avengers
-22.6% - X-Men: First Class
-23.7% - Captain America
-25.0% - Marvel Adventures Fantastic Four
-28.2% - Fantastic Four
-28.8% - Punisher (Max)
-29.4% - Moon Knight
-30.3% - Immortal Iron Fist
-32.4% - X-Men: Legacy
-34.5% - Amazing Spider-Man
-35.6% - Hercules
-38.8% - Ms Marvel
-41.6% - X-Force
-41.8% - X-Factor
-52.4% - Cable
-65.2% - Wolverine: First Class


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

- 5.0% - Uncanny X-Men
- 9.7% - Wolverine
-11.6% - Daredevil
-16.2% - X-Factor
-18.5% - Ultimate X-Men
-20.2% - New Avengers
-25.1% - Punisher
-25.4% - Thunderbolts
-26.0% - X-Men: Legacy
-27.6% - Marvel Adventures Spider-Man
-30.4% - Amazing Spider-Girl
-30.7% - Black Panther
-31.7% - Marvel Adventures Fantastic Four
-33.1% - Punisher (Max)
-34.5% - Fantastic Four
-38.0% - Marvel Adventures Avengers
-38.6% - Ms Marvel
-39.0% - Wolverine: Origins
-54.4% - Mighty Avengers
-55.6% - Ghost Rider
-57.3% - Amazing Spider-Man
-73.0% - Moon Knight
-78.5% - Marvel Spotlight
-78.6% - Captain America


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

+70.9% - Thunderbolts
+60.9% - Marvel Spotlight
+38.9% - Captain America
+29.6% - Iron Man
+17.2% - Black Panther
+13.9% - Wolverine
+ 3.7% - Fantastic Four
- 0.4% - Uncanny X-Men
-12.3% - Daredevil
-14.9% - Spider-Girl
-21.3% - New Avengers
-21.3% - Marvel Adventures Spider-Man
-22.6% - Runaways
-28.7% - X-Men: Legacy
-29.4% - Ultimate X-Men
-32.8% - Marvel Adventures Fantastic Four
-33.8% - X-Factor
-34.5% - Amazing Spider-Man
-35.5% - Punisher
-65.9% - Ms Marvel


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

+57.4% - Thunderbolts
+33.1% - Captain America
- 3.4% - Fantastic Four
- 9.7% - Uncanny X-Men
-17.4% - Daredevil
-18.8% - Wolverine
-23.6% - Amazing Spider-Man
-28.9% - Spider-Girl
-29.0% - Black Panther
-33.8% - X-Men: Legacy
-36.9% - Runaways
-38.5% - New Avengers
-38.7% - Ultimate X-Men
-42.0% - Punisher (Max)
-67.7% - Marvel Adventures Spider-Man


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

+75.8% - Invincible Iron Man
+71.7% - New Avengers
+58.6% - Captain America
+23.2% - Wolverine
- 2.4% - Runaways
- 9.1% - Fantastic Four
- 9.8% - Uncanny X-Men
-24.5% - Daredevil
-29.6% - Amazing Spider-Man
-31.2% - Spider-Girl
-47.0% - Ultimate X-Men
-52.6% - X-Men: Legacy
-52.7% - Punisher (Max)

Comments

  1. Dave Hackett says:

    Shame that Sub-Mariner mini tanked, it was really quite good.

  2. I wouldn’t be surprised if the $3.99 cover price is hurting a lot of titles.

  3. Reboot says:

    Yep, getting near a full month between the charts coming out and this appearing here – replete with out-of-date references because it was written weeks ago….

  4. Jerry Ray says:

    I know the joke of the Marvel Apes stuff, if it was ever any good, has worn thin, but the pair of recent one-shots (actually part of a miniseries but not numbered as such) were actually surprisingly decent.

    A couple of thoughts about these columns, and I’m sure these ideas are probably more trouble than they’re worth…

    First, is there some way to include cover price in the listings? Now that we’ve got a mix of $2.99 and $3.99 books (and I honestly couldn’t tell you what books fall into each price point), that might be something interesting to track. Second, and similarly, it might be good to flag books with variant covers somehow.

    The reason I’m wondering is that it seems like it would be worthwhile to have all of these numbers consolidated into one place (like a big spreadsheet of the sort that I’m sure Paul’s probably working from at home) as far back as they go, but it’s kind of hard to incorporate the monthly comments into such a format, so some of the finer points of the data would get lost if you were just looking at numbers. Somebody would really have to be hardcore to put something like that together, of course, but it seems like it would be a good resource, and easier to use than fishing back through posts here to find old numbers.

  5. Spider-Man Family has become a monthly joy, packed with lots of stories (including an ongoing Spider-Girl arc).

    Marvel Adventures are an impulse buy, but usually worthy.

    Wizard of Oz… couldn’t wait once I heard the news.

    Suggestions:
    1) Bold type or notate issues which had reorders and/or reprints
    2) Italicize issues which had variants.
    3) Add a sixth column for notes (variants, reprints, reorders, notable events)

    If the cover price reduces readership while making a profit, does it hurt the title?
    If the graphic novel makes a profit, does readership matter?

    Mr. O’Brien, given your calculated circulation and known cover prices, have gross dollars increased or decreased with a change in price?

  6. It would also be interesting to know just how many comic book shops are factored in when coming up with these lists. With more and more shops going out of business, sales charts showing how many total comics purchased by comic book shops would be more useful if we knew how many individual shops these numbers represent. This is especially true when you compare sales from a couple of months ago to sales from five years ago.

    Are there fewer shops today then there were five years ago?

    Even the Comic Book Shop Locator doesn’t really tell much. One of the two comic book shop in the town I live, Watchtower Games and Comics, stopped selling comic books months ago, yet they were still listed on the Comic Book Shop Locator. I guess they might still have an account with Diamond, even though they aren’t ordering books.

  7. Scratchie says:

    Anybody know what happened to “The Twelve”? It was just OK but it seemed to be getting better and I loved the art.

  8. Alan Coil says:

    Rick Rottman–

    Diamond treats the number of comics chops as privileged information, so it’s not likely that that number would be revealed.

  9. Scratchie, THE TWELVE is delayed while JMS finishes the scripts. Weston has commented on his blog a couple times recently that he is working on other projects while those trickle in. I’m eager for it to wrap up as well.

  10. Scratchie – JMS was writing Twelve when he jumped ship to DC to write a new book over there (Brave and the Bold?), but then his schedule aligned with the artist and he said that they were going to finish it. Good news because I love the book.

    Paul, thanks for compiling these figures on your own spare time for free. I absolutely love checking the numbers every month.

    Overall it seems that Marvel books have hit the bottom. The Mighty Avengers numbers seem to be leveling out quickly with the new creative team on board. I’m loving Slott’s approach; he’s writing Avengers stories again which is a really nice contrast to Bendis’ material.

    And I weep that Agents of Atlas did not relaunch big. It is such a fun book playing in the fringes of the M.U. Secret Warriors doing really well is a good sign. Hickman is writing a great book there and the art is really dynamic. Good stuff. Thanks again Paul.

  11. Not really a Marvel topic, but there’s no better place to I can ask this question:

    Will you write about indie sales ? You did it two months ago but not last month. It’s something I’m really interested in.

    And thanks for the work. :)

  12. Jerry Ray says:

    I’ve heard a lot of praise for Agents of Atlas, but I never read the original mini. I’ve got a lot of time for Parker’s writing on other books, but I’ve been kind of underwhelmed by the current series. It’s got some nice moments in it, but the overall story isn’t grabbing me.

  13. The Beat says:

    BTW sorry for the delay in posting these but I usually wait until MOF turns in the Dc numbers and this month he’s been travelling a lot. Things should be back to normal soon.

    Please everyone, just thank Paul and Marc-Oliver for all the incredible work they put in on these charts!

  14. Nate Horn says:

    Thank you, Paul and Marc-Oliver! I appreciate all your hard work and find them plenty fascinating as they are!

  15. Callum says:

    I second!

  16. Alan Coil: but without knowing how many comic book shops are represented in these monthly sales charts, you cannot really compare month to month, year to year. That was my point.

  17. Matt D says:

    I’m a little curious at the cover price thing myself. Presumably, Marvel has to be selling 75% or less of what they were selling before on $3.99 titles that used to be 2.99 in order to not be gaining money on the endevour, after all (unless people are dropping lower-selling titles to make up for it, but there seemed like a lot of standard attrition there, if, perhaps, less “crossover boost” than we saw in Initiative titles).

  18. Micah says:

    Jerry Ray – The Agents of Atlas mini was collected into a $25 hardcover that is totally worth it. Story is self-contained with a bunch of twists and turns. Very smart – think Planetary with monkeys and robots? Maybe a more lighter toned BPRD. So good.

  19. mark coale says:

    the ATLAS HC also has a bunch of golden age/50s reprints featuring members of the team.

  20. Alan Coil says:

    “…without knowing how many comic book shops are represented in these monthly sales charts, you cannot really compare month to month, year to year. That was my point. ”

    And a good point it was. Average sales per store would be a more defining number, but it appears we will never get that information.

  21. Kentucky Fried Horse says:

    In regards to the Messiah War Prologue placing below War of Kings,….

    Could it be that possibly, maybe, Marvel has been building a good solid fanbase for its’ cosmic titles ever since Annihilation? Therefore, this series, written by the enjoyable team of Abnett and Lanning, is outselling the X-Crossover dejour?

    Hmmmm……of course I might be biased. I don’t buy Cable or X-Force, but do pick up Nova and Guardians of the Galaxy every month.

  22. On the delays: entirely my fault.

    I’ve been on a couple of extended road trips over the past eight weeks or so (one more to go), and been playing catch-up on everything else in-between.

    My apologies, especially to Heidi and Paul. By the end of the month, things will be back to normal.

  23. Strong Wall says:

    Not to poo-poo the new creative team but there’s no FREAKIN’ way that anyone’s going to match the quality work that Vaughan and Alphona did in Runaways. NO FREAKIN’ WAY. They should just kill the book now so that we don’t have to see it slowly murdered by people trying to capture the beautifully unique story they created.

  24. Brian says:

    I, too, am very grateful for these articles. It does not matter when they appear, nor if there are 2 or 3. Just to have them is great.

    Cheers,

    B

  25. Reboot says:

    *still doesn’t get why, if the Marvel column is written, it needs to be held back until the DC column is written*

  26. Corey Zero says:

    I will also have to check out the Agents of Atlas trade as I’m always hearing good things about it. I really hope Iron Fist is not cancelled as it’s currently my favorite Marvel title.

  27. “Average sales per store would be a more defining number, but it appears we will never get that information.”

    While the number of shops that each monthly chart represents would surely be interesting (and I’m slowly bringing together some data points I have across time for some earlier years), I do suspect the per-store averages would be misleading, or would need additional context. There have been times when the market had a lot more retailers at the lower discount tiers — sportscard and game-store dabblers — and then times without as many, so the average bounces around not really reflecting what the mainline stores are doing.

    So having the average would be good, but even better would be something that says, in month X, 20% of the accounts sold 80% of the comics, or whatever the number is, and then we could watch that change over time. I’ve seen this kind of thing before, but only in internal documents.

  28. Samy Merchi says:

    “you’d be hard pressed to dispute that these are historically poor sales for the second X-Men title”

    Well, I’d argue that LEGACY isn’t the second X-Men title any longer. It may have retained the numbering, but it’s not the second X-Men title any more than INCREDIBLE HERCULES is a Hulk title. It’s more or less a solo book now, and it can’t be thought of in the same terms as a second core title for the X-Men team.

  29. Brendan T says:

    RE: The Fallen Son: Iron Man thing.

    They don’t give out spare copies. What they *do* is offer them to retailers at 50-70% off.

    Which is one way to clean house.

  30. Brandan –

    The Fallen Son Iron Mans were given free to retailers if they ordered copies of comics from a liquidation list. It was a one for one deal, so every liquidation comic got a copy of the Fallen Son. I guess they sold 3,529 liquidation comics.

  31. I’d be fascinated to know why they printed so many copies of the thing in the first place. It’s uncharacteristic of Marvel to overprint so drastically.

  32. I’d imagine the $4 price on books like New & Dark Avengers are starting to affect things, but unless there is a drastic drop in sales, Marvel are still raking in more cash than they were previously.

    Is it any wonder that sales are down on the Ulitmate line whenever their huge event can’t even bother to ship on time. It’s nothing short of pathetic that Ultimatum has fallen so far behind.

    And it’s really bizarre that Marvel could not do their usual issues of 3 Amazings considering the large creative group on that title.

  33. Amazing does seem to run into scheduling problems these days, especially on the artist front. Some of the latest arcs have slipped a week or two here and there, and there’s been some appearances of random fill-in art recently (such as the subplots by Dale Eaglesham in #591, or Barry Kitson being credited in the previews to #594).
    The upcoming “American Son” arc seems to be doing away entirely with the “each arc by the same artist” rule, as Phil Jimenez, Paulo Siquiera and Marco Checchetto were announced on different issues of it.

    July will also be a “2 issues only” month, though one of them is the oversized #600 (and there will also be an annual out that month).

  34. Alan Coil says:

    “…or Barry Kitson being credited in the previews to #594).”

    Barry Kitson has shown over then years that he is a slow artist and is not capable of doing a monthly comic. It would seem, then, that the Amazing Spider-Man format of 3 issues a month would work to his favor by allowing him to get three issues done, then soliciting the book. Apparently something mucked up the plan.

    Or perhaps Marvel is just resorting to the old bait-and-switch.

  35. I don’t see how the delays on Ultimatum can be the cause of low sales on the Ultimate titles, which have been in a slump for over a year. If anything, there’s an inverse correlation between sales and punctuality for the Ultimate imprint.

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

    Paul – I forget who it was that said it (it might even have been you), but I think the Ultimate titles are now being undermined by two factors that simply CANNOT be corrected:

    1) They now have CONTINUITY, and LOTS OF IT. After all, the ENTIRE SELLING POINT of this line originally was that it was CONTINUITY-FREE, so you could just jump on right away. But now, the Ultimate line is hitting its 10-year mark, and due to some STUNNINGLY short-sighted planning, they’s actually managed to fit 40 years’ worth of continuity into 10 years’ worth of issues, by attempting to adapt every single preexisting Marvel character that they could into an Ultimate version.

    2) The preexisting Marvel line IS the Ultimate line now, because as soon as the Ultimate lines got popular enough, the preexisting Marvel line poached both its most popular creators (Bendis and Millar) AND all of its most popular themes (greater “realism,” more government conspiracies, a darker atmosphere overall). Hell, thanks to Mephisto, those who simply wanted a single Spider-Man again no longer have any reason to read Ultimate Spider-Man anymore, do they? (Of course, some of us still prefer Ultimate Spider-Man, because Ultimate Peter Parker is actually more mature, and less unforgivably stupid and worthless, than adult Peter Parker in Amazing Spider-Man, but I digress.)

    Really, what’s the POINT of the Ultimate line anymore? It’s no longer any more ACCESSIBLE to new readers, it’s no longer the exclusive marvel outlet for popular creators, and almost all of its stylistic trappings have been incorporated into the non-Ultimate Marvel titles, so as a line, it is 100-percent useless.

  37. Kentucky Fried Horse says:

    I totally agree with the above posted comments re: the Ultimate line.

  38. 199. MARVEL APES
    03/09 Speedball Special – 6,915
    Okay, seriously, joke’s over.

    Marvel has just cancelled “Marvel Apes: Prime Eight Special”, so they’ve presumably they’ve got the point.

  39. johnny-tx says:

    Yknow I can remember when Marvel was magical back in the late 70’s & early 80’s. Of course it was a world without blogs & internet previews etc. Still the stories seemed fresh & real. Maybe I was at an impressionable age is all. I dunno. But to me today’s stories seemed totally choreographed from day one. Where are the stories for the sake of stories? It’s all crap now…………they push the envelope of sex & violence it seems to me for sales effect – it just seems gimicky. The days of comics may be numbered folks. Think about it. Do your little nieces & nephews etc. even read comics? Sure the movies & video games are popular tie-ins but wheres the actual fan base. So sad.

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  1. [...] Paul O’Brien examines Marvel’s month-to-month sales to Direct Market retailers, now updated for March. [...]

  2. [...] Paul O’Brien handles The Beat analysis of Marvel Comics, so that’s where I’m getting the list of titles that shipped in March from that company. [...]

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