Marvel Month-to-Month Sales May 2008

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By Paul O’Brien
The May sales charts have received a lot of attention already, and we all know what the big story is: FINAL CRISIS #1 triumphed for DC, vindicating the controversial direction of their superhero imprint, and proving the critics wrong.

Oh no, hold on. That’s Earth-2.

Here in the real world, FINAL CRISIS #1 tailed in around 40,000 copies behind SECRET INVASION #2, which caused a bit of a stir. And it was a strong month for Marvel all round. In addition to the summer crossover, May also saw the release of the Iron Man movie, the conclusion of Joss Whedon and John Cassaday’s ASTONISHING X-MEN, and the launch of AVENGERS/INVADERS (which turns out to be a bigger deal than I’d expected).

All of this means – and if you’re a devoted DC fan, you might want to look away now – that Marvel thrashed DC yet again, with a dollar share of 43% to DC’s 28%, and a unit share of 48% to 30%. And arguably, that’s a lot more damning than just comparing the figures of SECRET INVASION and FINAL CRISIS. Of course, to be fair, there’s a strong argument that DC should be happy with being number two. After all, they’ve still got around a third of the direct market. And they have imprints like Vertigo, CMX and Minx which could be selling well in other channels – Marvel has no equivalent of those. Still, the superhero books are an important part of DC’s line, and the gap between them and Marvel is starting to look more like a chasm.

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

1.  SECRET INVASION
04/08  Secret Invasion #1 of 8 - 254,449
05/08  Secret Invasion #2 of 8 - 182,443  (-28.3%)

Marvel’s summer event book holds onto the top spot for the second month running. It has a comfortable margin over FINAL CRISIS #1, with estimated sales of 144,826. Most books tend to see their big sales drop with issue #2, so chances are that Marvel will keep the lead for the rest of the run.

The conventional interpretation is that FINAL CRISIS has underperformed. I’m not sure that’s entirely fair. After all, 145K would be a comfortable number one in most months, and it’s around 35K clear of NEW AVENGERS in the third slot. So let’s look at it from the other perspective. Hasn’t SECRET INVASION done unexpectedly well?

Marvel have spent months building up this story, and at first it didn’t seem to have much impact on sales. In the last couple of months, however, things have picked up. Satellite books like MS MARVEL have seen big increases. The core title is comfortably outperforming last year’s WORLD WAR HULK, which debuted with first month sales of 178,408, before dropping to 155,322 in the second month.

If SECRET INVASION and FINAL CRISIS had both sold 145K with their first issue, nobody would have been particularly shocked by that. So let’s be fair: this gap is as much due to SECRET INVASION doing well, as FINAL CRISIS doing badly.

It’s not unqualified good news for Marvel, though. That 28% drop is on the steep side. In comparison, WORLD WAR HULK dropped 18% in its second month; CIVIL WAR, only 9%. And the re-orders aren’t spectacular. Issue #1 picks up only 4,186 extra copies (as usual, included above). However, that might be misleading – SECRET INVASION #1 came out in the first week of April, so three weeks of re-orders will have been included in the April chart.

Still, it’s possible retailers might have overdone it a bit with this series, and we might see some further downward corrections over the next few months. But even if that happens, we’re only talking about sales dropping from “astronomical” to “very good indeed.”

3.  NEW AVENGERS
05/03  New Avengers #67 -  58,097
05/04  New Avengers #82 -  55,711
05/05  ---
05/06  New Avengers #19 - 123,318
=====
05/07  New Avengers #30 - 126,425  ( +0.8%)
06/07  New Avengers #31 - 172,684  (+36.6%)
07/07  New Avengers #32 - 122,991  (-28.8%)
08/07  New Avengers #33 - 117,906  ( -4.1%)
09/07  New Avengers #34 - 112,815  ( -4.3%)
10/07  New Avengers #35 - 111,481  ( -1.2%)
11/07  New Avengers #36 - 107,715  ( -3.4%)
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 - 110,470  ( +7.2%)
05/08  New Avengers #41 - 109,185  ( -1.2%)
                           6 mnth  ( +1.4%)
                           1 year  (-15.8%)
                           2 year  (+88.5%)
                           3 year  (  --- )
                           4 year  (+96.0%)
                           5 year  (+87.9%)

The second month of a SECRET INVASION tie-in arc. NEW AVENGERS tends to see relatively modest increases from its crossovers, presumably most of the Marvel crossover audience are buying it already.

4.  AVENGERS/INVADERS
05/08  Avengers/Invaders #1 of 12 - 108,136

Now, this surprises me. This is a miniseries written by Jim Krueger and Alex Ross, and pencilled by Steve Sadowski. The Invaders are brought forward in time, and meet the Avengers. Obviously the Avengers are hot these days, but that doesn’t usually guarantee a slot in the top ten for spin-off titles – just ask AVENGERS: THE INITIATIVE.

I had this pegged as a likely mid-table book, but apparently the creative team is a much bigger draw than I’d imagined. It’s also possible that retailers put some weight on the appearance of Captain America (as one of the Invaders).

5.  INVINCIBLE IRON MAN
05/08  Invincible Iron Man #1 - 105,864

The new ongoing title, launched to coincide with the movie. There are multiple variant covers on this thing, but it’s still a good number – the last relaunch, with Warren Ellis in 2005, only debuted with 69K.
Intriguingly, as we’ll see below, the existing IRON MAN title received almost no boost from the movie (at least in the direct market), and the two tie-in miniseries haven’t done especially well either. That makes the strong performance of INVINCIBLE IRON MAN all the more striking.

6.  ASTONISHING X-MEN
05/04  Astonishing X-Men #1  - 209,389
05/05  Astonishing X-Men #10 - 156,298
05/06  ---
=====
05/07  Astonishing X-Men #21 - 120,495  ( +0.6%)
06/07  ---
07/07  ---
08/07  Astonishing X-Men #22 - 117,321  ( -2.6%)
09/07  ---
10/07  ---
11/07  Astonishing X-Men #23 - 112,920  ( -3.8%)
12/07  ---
01/08  Astonishing X-Men #24 - 107,631  ( -4.7%)
02/08  ---
03/08  ---
04/08  ---
05/08  Giant-Size Ast. #1    - 105,508  ( -2.0%)
                                6 mnth  ( -6.6%)
                                1 year  (-12.4%)
                                2 year  (  --- )
                                3 year  (-32.5%)
                                4 year  (-49.6%)

The much-delayed conclusion of a 25-issue storyline which, if it had run to schedule, would have finished two years ago. Despite billing this as GIANT-SIZE ASTONISHING X-MEN #1, there’s no effect on sales – retailers have treated it as just another issue.

8,10. MIGHTY AVENGERS
05/07  Mighty Avengers #3 - 115,440  ( -7.1%)
06/07  ---
07/07  Mighty Avengers #4 - 107,768  ( -6.6%)
08/07  ---
09/07  ---
10/07  Mighty Avengers #5 -  99,544  ( -7.6%)
11/07  ---
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 - 96,890  ( -0.4%)
05/08  Mighty Avengers #14 - 95,281  ( -2.7%)
                             6 mnth  (  --- )
                             1 year  (-17.5%)

SECRET INVASION tie-in arc. As usual, this book sees more benefit from crossovers than its higher-selling sibling NEW AVENGERS.

12. DARK TOWER
05/07  Gunslinger Born #4 of 7 - 139,545  ( -6.5%)
06/07  Gunslinger Born #5 of 7 - 132,090  ( -5.3%)
07/07  Gunslinger Born #6 of 7 - 128,336  ( -2.8%)
08/07  Gunslinger Born #7 of 7 - 124,609  ( -2.9%)
09/07  ---
10/07  ---
11/07  ---
12/07  ---
01/08  ---
02/08  ---
03/08  Long Road Home #1 of 5  - 123,839  ( -0.6%)
04/08  Long Road Home #2 of 5  - 103,029  (-16.8%)
05/08  Long Road Home #3 of 5  -  87,631  (-14.9%)
                                  6 mnth  (  --- )
                                  1 year  (-37.2%)

Hmm. The second issue drop was fine, but seeing it more or less repeated on issue #3 is a little strange. It’s dangerous to read too much into the sales of DARK TOWER, though, because it’s clearly intended to have a long and prosperous afterlife in the bookstores. It’s entirely possible, for example, that Steven King fans treated the first series as an event and bought it in serial form, but are now adjusting to the idea of waiting for the trade.

We’ll have to wait and see where this one goes before I’m going to be confident expressing any real opinions on it.

13. THOR
05/03  Thor #64 -  34,337
05/04  Thor #79 -  30,270
=====
07/07  Thor #1  - 202,798
08/07  Thor #2  - 122,951  ( -39.4%)
09/07  Thor #3  - 109,964  ( -10.6%)
10/07  ---
11/07  Thor #4  - 112,307  (  +2.1%)
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%)
                   6 mnth  ( -22.4%)
                   1 year  (   --- )
                   2 year  (   --- )
                   3 year  (   --- )
                   4 year  (+187.7%)
                   5 year  (+153.7%)

Still dropping, but THOR remains in a different league from any other recent incarnation of the book.

14. UNCANNY X-MEN
05/03  Uncanny X-Men #424 -  94,638
05/04  Uncanny X-Men #444 - 112,129
05/05  Uncanny X-Men #459 -  83,547
05/06  Uncanny X-Men #473 -  79,335
=====
05/07  Uncanny X-Men #486 -  81,965  ( +0.2%)
06/07  Uncanny X-Men #487 -  81,481  ( -0.6%)
07/07  Uncanny X-Men #488 -  86,747  ( +6.5%)
08/07  Uncanny X-Men #489 -  88,068  ( +1.5%)
09/07  Uncanny X-Men #490 -  87,592  ( -0.5%)
10/07  Uncanny X-Men #491 -  85,638  ( -2.2%)
11/07  Uncanny X-Men #492 - 111,160  (+29.8%)
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%)
                             6 mnth  (-26.2%)
                             1 year  ( +0.2%)
                             2 year  ( +3.5%)
                             3 year  ( -1.7%)
                             4 year  (-26.8%)
                             5 year  (-13.3%)

The month-to-month drop is misleading, as issue #497 had a variant cover spike. Nonetheless, UNCANNY seems to have drifted back to pre-crossover levels. Issue #500, and a much-hyped new direction, should help.

16. 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 -  80,175  ( -6.5%)

Holding up quite well at this stage. A collected edition of the first three issues charts at number 209 with sales of 7,008.

17,22. X-MEN: LEGACY
05/03  New X-Men #141     -  95,805
05/04  X-Men #157         - 107,185
05/05  X-Men #170         -  81,048
05/06  X-Men #186         -  79,536
=====
05/07  X-Men #199         -  75,996  (  +1.5%)
06/07  X-Men #200         - 156,787  (+106.3%)
07/07  X-Men #201         -  86,278  ( -45.0%)
08/07  X-Men #202         -  86,521  (  +0.3%)
09/07  X-Men #203         -  85,652  (  -1.0%)
10/07  X-Men #204         -  83,456  (  -2.6%)
11/07  X-Men #205         - 101,401  ( +21.5%)
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%)
                             6 mnth  ( -27.0%)
                             1 year  (  -2.6%)
                             2 year  (  -6.9%)
                             3 year  (  -8.7%)
                             4 year  ( -30.9%)
                             5 year  ( -22.7%)

Same points as for UNCANNY, really. We’re back at pre-crossover levels.

18. CAPTAIN AMERICA
05/03  Captain America #13 -  49,279
05/04  Captain America #26 -  37,558
05/05  Captain America #6  -  46,368
05/06  Captain America #18 -  46,740
=====
05/07  Captain America #26 - 129,365  ( -62.4%)
06/07  Captain America #27 -  99,108  ( -23.4%)
07/07  Captain America #28 -  89,721  (  -9.5%)
08/07  Captain America #29 -  83,781  (  -6.6%)
09/07  Captain America #30 -  79,554  (  -5.0%)
10/07  Captain America #31 -  77,131  (  -3.0%)
11/07  Captain America #32 -  73,310  (  -5.0%)
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%)
                              6 mnth  (  +8.2%)
                              1 year  ( -38.7%)
                              2 year  ( +69.8%)
                              3 year  ( +71.1%)
                              4 year  (+111.3%)
                              5 year  ( +61.0%)

After introducing Bucky as the new Captain America, the book seems to have stabilised at around 80K. That’s up significantly on six months ago, and in the longer term, the book has done very well from the death of its lead character. You have to wonder, actually, whether there’s really any point in bringing him back.

20,21,23. AMAZING SPIDER-MAN
05/03  Amazing Spider-Man #53  -  95,777
05/04  Amazing Spider-Man #507 -  81,944
05/05  Amazing Spider-Man #520 -  76,143
05/06  Amazing Spider-Man #532 -  95,544
=====
05/07  Amazing Spider-Man #540 - 119,662  (-23.3%)
06/07  Amazing Spider-Man #541 - 108,284  ( -9.5%)
07/07  Amazing Spider-Man #542 - 105,715  ( -2.4%)
08/07  Amazing Spider-Man #543 - 106,485  ( +0.7%)
09/07  Amazing Spider-Man #544 - 159,104  (+49.4%)
10/07  ---
11/07  ---
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%)
                                  6 mnth  (  --- )
                                  1 year  (-38.1%)
                                  2 year  (-22.5%)
                                  3 year  ( -2.8%)
                                  4 year  ( -9.7%)
                                  5 year  (-22.7%)

Still shedding about 3,000 a month, but still arguably up on the sales of the previous regime – don’t forget that FRIENDLY and SPECTACULAR were low-selling titles, and while AMAZING used to do better, it could only limp out nine times a year. We’ve been through the arguments many times by now, and there’s plenty else to talk about this month, so let’s move on.

26. FANTASTIC FOUR
05/03  Fantastic Four #69  - 52,103
05/04  Fantastic Four #513 - 50,936
05/05  Fantastic Four #527 - 67,433
05/06  ---
=====
05/07  Fantastic Four #546 - 72,182  (  -7.0%)
06/07  Fantastic Four #547 - 69,610  (  -3.6%)
07/07  ---
08/07  Fantastic Four #548 - 65,695  (  -5.6%)
08/07  Fantastic Four #549 - 61,770  (  -6.0%)
09/07  ---
10/07  Fantastic Four #550 - 57,906  (  -6.3%)
11/07  Fantastic Four #551 - 58,617  (  +1.2%)
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%)
                             6 mnth  (  +7.0%)
                             1 year  ( -13.1%)
                             2 year  (   --- )
                             3 year  (  -7.0%)
                             4 year  ( +23.2%)
                             5 year  ( +20.4%)

Still finding its level. This is far below the sales I expected from Millar and Hitch – the book is selling on a par with its Initiative issues.

27. WOLVERINE
05/03  Wolverine #1  - 158,787
05/04  Wolverine #15 -  68,728
05/05  Wolverine #28 -  80,961
05/06  Wolverine #42 -  93,558
=====
05/07  Wolverine #54 -  96,082  ( -2.4%)
06/07  ---
07/07  Wolverine #55 - 130,707  (+36.0%)
08/07  Wolverine #56 -  73,368  (-43.9%)
09/07  Wolverine #57 -  74,588  ( +1.7%)
10/07  Wolverine #58 -  83,810  (+12.4%)
11/07  Wolverine #59 -  65,725  (-21.6%)
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%)
                        6 mnth  ( -5.0%)
                        1 year  (-35.0%)
                        2 year  (-33.2%)
                        3 year  (-22.9%)
                        4 year  ( -9.1%)
                        5 year  (-60.7%)

The concluding part of a “Divided We Stand” arc by Jason Aaron and Ron Garney. Next up is an out-of-continuity storyline by Mark Millar and Steve McNiven – possibly one to watch, given the lacklustre performance of FANTASTIC FOUR.

28. SECRET INVASION: FANTASTIC FOUR
05/08  Fantastic Four #1 of 3 - 60,689

Very close behind the parent title. A good start.

29. KING-SIZE HULK
05/08  King-Size Hulk #1 - 57,480

A bunch of short stories trailing upcoming HULK arcs, and some reprints, including the first appearance of Wolverine. It’s mostly reprints, in fact, so this is a good number.

31. AVENGERS: THE INITIATIVE
05/07  Initiative #2 - 103,189  (-19.3%)
06/07  Initiative #3 -  92,339  (-10.5%)
07/07  Initiative #4 -  94,773  ( +2.6%)
08/07  Initiative #5 -  86,536  ( -8.7%)
09/07  Initiative #6 -  74,184  (-14.3%)
10/07  ---
11/07  Initiative #7 -  66,455  (-10.4%)
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%)
                        6 mnth  (-14.5%)
                        1 year  (-44.9%)

The spike is presumably thanks to the Skrull variant cover.

32. X-MEN: DIVIDED WE STAND
04/08  Divided We Stand #1 of 2 - 65,340
05/08  Divided We Stand #2 of 2 - 56,563  (-13.4%)

Decent sales for this anthology title, which features short stories about (for the most part) lower tier X-Men characters.

33. ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN
05/03  Ult. Spider-Man #40  - 104,480
05/04  Ult. Spider-Man #58  -  90,963
05/05  Ult. Spider-Man #77  -  81,034
05/06  Ult. Spider-Man #95  -  73,564
=====
05/07  Ult. Spider-Man #109 -  72,478  ( -0.3%)
06/07  Ult. Spider-Man #110 -  73,646  ( +1.6%)
07/07  Ult. Spider-Man #111 -  75,487  ( +2.5%)
08/07  Ult. Spider-Man #112 -  76,523  ( +1.4%)
09/07  Ult. Spider-Man #113 -  67,476  (-11.8%)
09/07  Ult. Spider-Man #114 -  66,682  ( -1.2%)
10/07  Ult. Spider-Man #115 -  74,310  (+11.4%)
11/07  Ult. Spider-Man #116 -  61,534  (-17.2%)
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%)
                               6 mnth  ( -9.4%)
                               1 year  (-23.1%)
                               2 year  (-24.2%)
                               3 year  (-31.2%)
                               4 year  (-38.7%)
                               5 year  (-46.6%)

Seems to be levelling out in the mid-50K range again.

34. MARVEL 1985
05/08  Marvel 1985 #1 of 6 - 55,137

The Mark Millar miniseries which was originally going to be a photo strip, but then turned into a regular comic. It’s Marvel heroes (circa 1985) visiting Earth. Not a bad start for a series on the fringes of continuity.

35. CABLE
03/08  Cable #1 - 68,073
04/08  Cable #2 - 59,877  (-12.0%)
05/08  Cable #3 - 54,760  ( -8.5%)

This is a fairly standard course for the early issues of a series.

36. LOGAN
03/08  Logan #1 of 3 - 63,289
04/08  Logan #2 of 3 - 56,114  (-11.3%)
05/08  Logan #3 of 3 - 54,628  ( -2.6%)

A good performance for a Wolverine miniseries, and surely attributable to the reputation of the creators.

38. INCREDIBLE HERCULES
05/03  Incredible Hulk #54  -  61,426
05/04  Incredible Hulk #72  -  45,385
05/05  Incredible Hulk #81  -  43,822
05/06  Incredible Hulk #95  -  46,571
=====
05/07  Incredible Hulk #106 - 119,735  (+124.8%)
06/07  Incredible Hulk #107 - 115,912  (  -3.2%)
07/07  Incredible Hulk #108 - 107,714  (  -7.1%)
08/07  Incredible Hulk #109 - 104,322  (  -3.1%)
09/07  Incredible Hulk #110 -  96,835  (  -7.2%)
10/07  ---
11/07  Incredible Hulk #111 - 101,536  (  +4.9%)
12/07  Incredible Hulk #112 -  77,119  ( -24.0%)
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        -  53,008  ( +18.9%)
                               6 mnth  ( -47.8%)
                               1 year  ( -55.7%)
                               2 year  ( +13.8%)
                               3 year  ( +21.0%)
                               4 year  ( +16.8%)
                               5 year  ( -13.7%)

Secret Invasion tie-in, and sales bounce up accordingly.

39. WOLVERINE: ORIGINS
05/06  Origins #2  - 131,522
=====
05/07  Origins #14 -  68,953  ( -2.8%)
06/07  Origins #15 -  65,558  ( -4.9%)
07/07  ---
08/07  Origins #16 -  69,781  ( +6.4%)
09/07  Origins #17 -  62,235  (-10.8%)
10/07  Origins #18 -  60,050  ( -3.5%)
11/07  Origins #19 -  55,999  ( -6.7%)
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%)
                      6 mnth  ( -5.5%)
                      1 year  (-23.3%)
                      2 year  (-59.8%)

Variant cover.

42. YOUNG X-MEN
04/08  Young X-Men #1 - 71,593
05/08  Young X-Men #2 - 51,267  (-28.4%)

On the steep side for a second issue drop. But then, the first issue had variant covers on its side, which probably makes it look worse than it is.

43. ULTIMATE X-MEN
05/03  Ultimate X-Men #33 - 93,125
05/04  Ultimate X-Men #45 - 96,698
05/05  Ultimate X-Men #59 - 81,321
05/06  Ultimate X-Men #70 - 72,235
=====
05/07  Ultimate X-Men #82 - 62,063  ( -1.4%)
06/07  Ultimate X-Men #83 - 59,677  ( -3.8%)
07/07  Ultimate X-Men #84 - 59,929  ( +0.4%)
08/07  Ultimate X-Men #85 - 57,660  ( -3.8%)
09/07  Ultimate X-Men #86 - 55,346  ( -4.0%)
10/07  Ultimate X-Men #87 - 63,028  (+13.9%)
11/07  ---
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%)
                            6 mnth  (  --- )
                            1 year  (-19.8%)
                            2 year  (-31.1%)
                            3 year  (-38.8%)
                            4 year  (-48.5%)
                            5 year  (-46.5%)

Another book which has come out of an extended drop to become rock solid at a lower level. An interesting trend.

45. X-FACTOR
05/06  X-Factor #7  - 44,315
=====
05/07  X-Factor #19 - 37,898  ( +0.1%)
06/07  X-Factor #20 - 37,105  ( -2.1%)
07/07  X-Factor #21 - 50,227  (+35.4%)
08/07  X-Factor #22 - 52,627  ( +4.8%)
09/07  X-Factor #23 - 53,311  ( +1.3%)
10/07  X-Factor #24 - 52,085  ( -2.3%)
11/07  X-Factor #25 - 79,066  (+51.8%)
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%)
                      6 mnth  (-38.9%)
                      1 year  (+27.3%)
                      2 year  ( +8.8%)

Another X-book still on its way back to pre-crossover levels, although X-FACTOR is still holding on to some of that boost.

51. CAPTAIN BRITAIN & MI-13
05/08  Captain Britain & MI-13 #1 - 43,281

This is roughly where NOVA started out. In other words, it’s as good as anyone could realistically have expected from an MI-13 series, and it’s got a fair chance.

52. MS MARVEL
05/06  Ms Marvel #3  - 43,048
=====
05/07  Ms Marvel #15 - 42,849  ( -0.0%)
06/07  Ms Marvel #16 - 40,048  ( -6.5%)
07/07  Ms Marvel #17 - 38,003  ( -5.1%)
08/07  Ms Marvel #18 - 34,818  ( -8.4%)
09/07  Ms Marvel #19 - 32,371  ( -7.0%)
10/07  Ms Marvel #20 - 37,930  (+17.2%)
11/07  Ms Marvel #21 - 26,484  (-30.2%)
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%)
                       6 mnth  (+55.3%)
                       1 year  ( -4.0%)
                       2 year  ( -4.5%)

SECRET INVASION tie-in arc. INFILTRATION, a collection of tie-in reprints from this book and CAPTAIN MARVEL, appears at number 230 with sales of 5,857.

53. DAREDEVIL
05/03  Daredevil #47  - 61,368
05/04  Daredevil #60  - 54,012
05/05  Daredevil #73  - 48,681
05/06  Daredevil #85  - 47,899
=====
05/07  Daredevil #97  - 47,200  ( +2.2%)
06/07  Daredevil #98  - 46,816  ( -0.8%)
07/07  ---
08/07  Daredevil #99  - 47,386  ( +1.2%)
09/07  Daredevil #100 - 78,143  (+64.9%)
10/07  Daredevil #101 - 47,189  (-39.6%)
11/07  Daredevil #102 - 45,030  ( -4.6%)
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%)
                        6 mnth  (-10.2%)
                        1 year  (-14.4%)
                        2 year  (-15.6%)
                        3 year  (-17.0%)
                        4 year  (-25.2%)
                        5 year  (-34.1%)

Standard attrition, as Marc likes to call it.

54. THUNDERBOLTS
05/03  Thunderbolts #79    - 19,755
05/04  ---
05/05  New Thunderbolts #8 - 27,769
05/06  Thunderbolts #102   - 23,741
=====
05/07  Thunderbolts #114   - 66,309  ( +1.9%)
06/07  Thunderbolts #115   - 64,876  ( -2.2%)
07/07  ---
08/07  Thunderbolts #116   - 52,503  (-19.1%)
09/07  ---
10/07  Thunderbolts #117   - 47,151  (-10.2%)
11/07  ---
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%)
                             6 mnth  (  --- )
                             1 year  (-42.2%)
                             2 year  (+61.5%)
                             3 year  (+38.0%)
                             4 year  (  --- )
                             5 year  (+94.0%)

Still bleeding – perhaps because, on its much-delayed schedule, THUNDERBOLTS is still working through the post-Initiative drops that have been and gone for other titles. It remains way up from the title’s previous incarnation.

56. ULTIMATE FANTASTIC FOUR
05/04  ---
05/05  Ult. Fantastic Four #18 -  71,478
05/06  Ult. Fantastic Four #30 - 102,582
=====
05/07  Ult. Fantastic Four #41 -  49,916  ( -1.1%)
05/07  Ult. Fantastic Four #42 -  52,840  ( +5.9%)
06/07  Ult. Fantastic Four #43 -  51,453  ( -2.6%)
07/07  Ult. Fantastic Four #44 -  50,796  ( -1.3%)
08/07  Ult. Fantastic Four #45 -  48,779  ( -4.0%)
09/07  Ult. Fantastic Four #46 -  46,647  ( -4.4%)
10/07  Ult. Fantastic Four #47 -  45,015  ( -3.5%)
11/07  Ult. Fantastic Four #48 -  43,080  ( -4.3%)
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%)
                                  6 mnth  (-12.8%)
                                  1 year  (-24.8%)
                                  2 year  (-63.4%)
                                  3 year  (-47.5%)
                                  4 year  (  --- )

Seems to have levelled out at 37-38K.

58. X-FACTOR: THE QUICK AND THE DEAD
05/08  Quick and the Dead - 37,098

A Quicksilver story by regular X-FACTOR writer Peter David, of considerable importance to the plot of that series. Quite why they’ve published it as a one-shot, I have no clue – it doesn’t seem to achieve anything, other than to throw away 10,000 sales.

60. IRON MAN
05/03  Iron Man #68 - 33,213
05/04  Iron Man #81 - 28,232
05/05  ---
05/06  Iron Man #8  - 38,860
=====
05/07  Iron Man #17 - 63,328  ( +6.5%)
06/07  Iron Man #18 - 56,474  (-10.8%)
06/07  Iron Man #19 - 83,801  (+48.4%)
07/07  Iron Man #20 - 72,831  (-13.1%)
08/07  Iron Man #21 - 49,548  (-32.0%)
09/07  Iron Man #22 - 46,691  ( -5.8%)
10/07  Iron Man #23 - 42,608  ( -8.7%)
11/07  ---
12/07  Iron Man #24 - 38,834  ( -8.9%)
01/08  Iron Man #25 - 38,072  ( -2.0%)
02/08  Iron Man #26 - 36,607  ( -3.8%)
03/08  Iron Man #27 - 36,011  ( -1.6%)
04/08  Iron Man #28 - 35,754  ( -0.7%)
05/08  Iron Man #29 - 36,415  ( +1.8%)
                      6 mnth  (  --- )
                      1 year  (-42.5%)
                      2 year  ( -6.3%)
                      3 year  (  --- )
                      4 year  (+29.0%)
                      5 year  ( +9.6%)

Surprisingly, the film barely moves the needle for IRON MAN. It’s as though retailers have accepted that INVINCIBLE IRON MAN is the book to push, and treated the existing series as a bit of a side issue. This title needs a bit of attention.

61. GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY
05/08  Guardians of the Galaxy #1 - 36,293

Ongoing series spinning out of ANNIHILATION: CONQUEST. The name is a bit of a misnomer – the cast actually bears more resemblance to WARLOCK & THE INFINITY WATCH than any previous version of the Guardians of the Galaxy. It’s actually quite good, but the debut sales are a bit touch and go.

62. GIANT-SIZE INCREDIBLE HULK
05/08  Giant-Size Incredible Hulk #1 - 36,212

Another new story coupled with an old reprint. However, this one has no connection to the current Jeph Loeb title, and the reprint material is less well know. So, lower sales.

64. IRON MAN: VIVA LAS VEGAS
05/08  Viva Las Vegas #1 of 4 - 35,152

Another Iron Man movie tie-in, debuting to little apparent interest.

67. GENEXT
05/08  GeNext #1 of 5 - 33,685

This is a new Chris Claremont miniseries, as voted for on Marvel.com. The premise is incredibly convoluted. It’s a new team of third-generation X-Men, set in a world where the X-Men debuted in 1963 and the Marvel Universe advanced in real time. Basically, though, it’s an out-of-continuity miniseries about a bunch of completely new characters. Not an easy sell, and the debut is about what you’d expect.

68. WOLVERINE: AMAZING IMMORTAL
05/08  Amazing Immortal - 32,280

The full title is WOLVERINE: THE AMAZING IMMORTAL MAN AND OTHER BLOODY TALES. This is the first of a torrent of Wolverine one-shots which are being published over the next few months for no discernible reason. Their main value, I suspect, will be to prove just how much the creative team contributed to the success of LOGAN.

71. PUNISHER  [Max]
05/03  Punisher #26 - 40,140
05/04  Punisher #6  - 48,576
05/05  Punisher #21 - 37,998
05/06  Punisher #33 - 34,480
=====
05/07  Punisher #47 - 33,892  ( +1.4%)
06/07  Punisher #48 - 33,804  ( -0.3%)
07/07  Punisher #49 - 34,317  ( +1.5%)
08/07  Punisher #50 - 36,457  ( +6.2%)
09/07  ---
10/07  Punisher #51 - 33,771  ( -7.4%)
11/07  Punisher #52 - 32,909  ( -2.6%)
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%)
                      6 mnth  ( -7.2%)
                      1 year  (-10.0%)
                      2 year  (-11.5%)
                      3 year  (-19.7%)
                      4 year  (-37.2%)
                      5 year  (-23.9%)

Solid as ever.

73. IMMORTAL IRON FIST
05/07  Immortal Iron Fist #5  - 36,856  ( -0.8%)
06/07  Immortal Iron Fist #6  - 36,731  ( -0.3%)
07/07  Immortal Iron Fist #7  - 35,842  ( -2.4%)
08/07  Immortal Iron Fist #8  - 35,449  ( -1.1%)
09/07  Immortal Iron Fist #9  - 34,282  ( -3.3%)
10/07  ---
11/07  Immortal Iron Fist #10 - 41,368  (+20.7%)
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%)
                                6 mnth  (-26.7%)
                                1 year  (-17.7%)

Holding up reasonably well.

75. PUNISHER WAR JOURNAL
05/07  War Journal #7  - 75,360  (+40.9%)
06/07  War Journal #8  - 61,376  (-18.6%)
07/07  War Journal #9  - 56,854  ( -7.4%)
08/07  War Journal #10 - 51,303  ( -9.8%)
09/07  War Journal #11 - 47,220  ( -8.0%)
10/07  War Journal #12 - 66,548  (+40.9%)
11/07  War Journal #13 - 41,783  (-37.2%)
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%)
                         6 mnth  (-28.4%)
                         1 year  (-60.3%)

At long last, this book might have finally levelled out.

76. TWELVE
12/07  Twelve #0 of 12 - 20,218
01/08  Twelve #1 of 12 - 40,199  (+98.8%)
02/08  Twelve #2 of 12 - 32,403  (-19.4%)
03/08  Twelve #3 of 12 - 32,729  ( +1.0%)
04/08  Twelve #4 of 12 - 29,729  ( -9.2%)
05/08  Twelve #5 of 12 - 29,876  ( +0.5%)

Seems to have found its level. Increases in the course of a miniseries, however slight, are highly unusual and suggest that it’s doing something right.

80. NEWUNIVERSAL: SHOCKFRONT
05/08  Shockfront #1 of 6 - 28,888

NEWUNIVERSAL, originally announced as an ongoing title, ran for six issues from December 2006 to May 2007. It started with 43K and dropped to 32K, so you could argue that this miniseries is just picking up where it left off. But there’s probably going to be a big second issue drop, as with most titles. It looks more like they’ve lost the momentum, and blown it.

Speaking of which…

81. YOUNG AVENGERS PRESENTS
01/08  Y.A. Presents #1 of 6 - 43,714
02/08  Y.A. Presents #2 of 6 - 34,766  (-20.5%)
03/08  ---
04/08  Y.A. Presents #3 of 6 - 31,984  ( -8.0%)
04/08  Y.A. Presents #4 of 6 - 30,483  ( -4.7%)
05/08  Y.A. Presents #5 of 6 - 28,796  ( -5.5%)

Looking at it now, it’s hard to believe this launched as a highly successful new franchise. A cautionary tale for publishers.

82. NOVA
05/07  Nova #2 -  44,532  ( +3.8%)
06/07  Nova #3 -  45,004  ( +1.1%)
07/07  Nova #4 -  40,173  (-10.7%)
08/07  Nova #5 -  39,543  ( -1.6%)
09/07  Nova #6 -  36,978  ( -6.5%)
10/07  Nova #7 -  34,876  ( -5.7%)
11/07  Nova #8 -  32,110  ( -7.9%)
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%)
                  6 mnth  (-12.4%)
                  1 year  (-36.8%)

Low, but steady.

85. THUNDERBOLTS: REASON IN MADNESS
05/08  Reason In Madness - 27,635

Yet another fill-in one-shot, although as it happens, THUNDERBOLTS actually came out this month.

86. NEW EXILES
05/03  Exiles #27    - 37,204
05/04  Exiles #46    - 38,788
05/05  Exiles #64    - 34,033
05/06  Exiles #81    - 33,908
=====
05/07  Exiles #94    - 30,735  ( +0.1%)
06/07  Exiles #95    - 30,612  ( -0.4%)
07/07  Exiles #96    - 30,245  ( -1.2%)
08/07  Exiles #97    - 29,092  ( -3.8%)
09/07  Exiles #98    - 28,308  ( -2.7%)
10/07  Exiles #99    - 27,776  ( -1.9%)
11/07  ---
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%)
                       6 mnth  (  --- )
                       1 year  (-10.4%)
                       2 year  (-18.8%)
                       3 year  (-19.1%)
                       4 year  (-29.0%)
                       5 year  (-26.0%)

Still dropping. This relaunch isn’t looking too good.

88. X-MEN ORIGINS: COLOSSUS
05/08  Colossus - 26,759

The first of a string of one-shots retelling the origin of various X-Men. The numbers are deeply unimpressive, and perhaps ought to provoke a rethink about this idea.

89. MOON KNIGHT
05/07  Moon Knight #10 - 56,734  (-18.0%)
06/07  Moon Knight #11 - 58,313  ( +2.8%)
07/07  ---
08/07  ---
09/07  Moon Knight #12 - 47,521  (-18.5%)
10/07  Moon Knight #13 - 44,082  ( -7.2%)
11/07  ---
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%)
                         6 mnth  (  --- )
                         1 year  (-53.1%)

92. GHOST RIDER
05/07  Ghost Rider #11 - 43,626  ( -0.8%)
06/07  Ghost Rider #12 - 71,348  (+63.5%)
07/07  Ghost Rider #13 - 64,092  (-10.2%)
08/07  Ghost Rider #14 - 41,121  (-35.8%)
09/07  Ghost Rider #15 - 38,220  ( -7.1%)
10/07  Ghost Rider #16 - 34,335  (-10.2%)
11/07  Ghost Rider #17 - 31,581  ( -8.0%)
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%)
                         6 mnth  (-20.5%)
                         1 year  (-42.5%)

Two titles that are shedding readers too fast for comfort at this point on the charts.

99. THE LAST DEFENDERS
03/08  Last Defenders #1 of 6 - 33,065
04/08  Last Defenders #2 of 6 - 25,731  (-22.2%)
05/08  Last Defenders #3 of 6 - 23,387  ( -9.1%)

As good as could be expected, given the low-level characters and cryptic promotion.

100. IRON MAN: LEGACY OF DOOM
04/08  Legacy of Doom #1 of 4 - 31,622
05/08  Legacy of Doom #2 of 4 - 23,377  (-26.1%)

Issue #1 picks up 4,319 copies with a sketch variant cover.

105. WOLVERINE: FIRST CLASS
03/08  Wolverine: First Class #1 - 35,695
04/08  Wolverine: First Class #2 - 25,610 (-28.3%)
05/08  Wolverine: First Class #3 - 22,430 (-12.4%)

On its way down to join the all-ages books, from the look of it. Probably nothing to worry about – if anything, it’s surprising the book debuted so high compared to its peers.

106. ANGEL: REVELATIONS
05/08  Revelations #1 of 5 - 22,328

Another X-Men origin miniseries, and the numbers are really quite bad for this sort of thing. Once again, Marvel seem to be racing to expand the line without properly rebuilding it first.

109. NEW WARRIORS
06/07  New Warriors #1  - 56,809
07/07  New Warriors #2  - 45,820  (-19.3%)
08/07  New Warriors #3  - 42,660  ( -6.9%)
09/07  New Warriors #4  - 39,998  ( -6.2%)
10/07  New Warriors #5  - 36,937  ( -7.7%)
11/07  ---
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%)
                          6 mnth  (  --- )

111. BLACK PANTHER
05/05  Black Panther #4  - 40,804
05/06  Black Panther #16 - 28,091
=====
05/07  Black Panther #27 - 52,552  ( +2.3%)
06/07  Black Panther #28 - 61,808  (+17.6%)
07/07  Black Panther #29 - 55,027  (-11.0%)
08/07  Black Panther #30 - 48,478  (-11.9%)
09/07  ---
10/07  Black Panther #31 - 33,673  (-30.5%)
11/07  Black Panther #32 - 28,426  (-15.6%)
12/07  Black Panther #33 - 25,906  ( -8.9%)
01/08  ---
02/08  Black Panther #34 - 23,395  ( -9.7%)
03/08  Black Panther #35 - 21,332  ( -8.9%)
04/08  ---
05/08  Black Panther #36 - 20,841  ( -2.3%)
                           6 mnth  (-26.7%)
                           1 year  (-60.3%)
                           2 year  (-25.8%)
                           3 year  (-48.9%)

Both books have SECRET INVASION crossovers round the corner, and it’s not hard to see why. Sales are sickly.

112. SHE-HULK
05/04  She-Hulk #3  - 29,662
05/05  ---
05/06  She-Hulk #8  - 43,812
=====
05/07  She-Hulk #18 - 41,800  (+51.4%)
06/07  She-Hulk #19 - 26,127  (-37.5%)
07/07  ---
08/07  She-Hulk #20 - 25,582  ( -2.1%)
09/07  She-Hulk #21 - 27,221  ( +6.4%)
10/07  She-Hulk #22 - 35,568  (+30.7%)
11/07  She-Hulk #23 - 24,956  (-29.8%)
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%)
                      6 mnth  (-17.1%)
                      1 year  (-50.5%)
                      2 year  (-52.8%)
                      3 year  (  --- )
                      4 year  (-30.3%)

In much the same position – SHE-HULK is crossing over with X-FACTOR and SECRET INVASION simultaneously. However, its sales are a little more stable than the preceding two titles.

114. ANITA BLAKE, VAMPIRE HUNTER  [DBPro]
05/07  ---
06/07  ---
07/07  First Death #1 of 2   - 38,631  (+25.6%)
08/07  ---
09/07  ---
10/07  First Death #2 of 2   - 36,035  ( -6.7%)
11/07  ---
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%)

Back to a regular decline, now that the variant cover effect has worn off.

119. OFFICIAL HANDBOOK OF THE MARVEL UNIVERSE
05/04  X-Men 2004       - 39,380
05/05  Teams 2005       - 22,564
05/06  A to Z #5 of 12  - 21,331
=====
05/07  Update #2 of 4   - 16,633  ( -29.3%)
05/07  Anita Blake      - 20,936  ( +25.9%)
06/07  Mystic Arcana    - 15,669  ( -25.2%)
06/07  Mighty Avengers  - 22,312  ( +42.4%)
07/07  Update #3 of 4   - 15,600  ( -30.1%)
08/07  World War Hulk   - 41,583  (+166.6%)
09/07  Marvel Zombies   - 47,090  ( +13.2%)
10/07  Update #4 of 4   - 14,328  ( -69.6%)
11/07  Atlas #1 of 2    - 16,857  ( +17.7%)
12/07  Messiah Complex  - 24,795  ( +47.1%)
01/08  Ultimate Secrets - 22,556  (  -9.0%)
02/08  ---
03/08  Atlas #2 of 2    - 10,893  ( -51.7%)
04/08  ---
05/08  Iron Manual      - 18,294  ( +67.9%)
                          6 mnth  (  +8.5%)
                          1 year  ( +10.0%)
                          2 year  ( -14.2%)
                          3 year  ( -18.9%)
                          4 year  ( -53.5%)

It’s an Iron Man themed issue, basically. I might have expected sales to be a couple of thousand higher, but so it goes.

129. AMAZING SPIDER-GIRL
05/03  Spider-Girl #60         - 23,112
05/04  Spider-Girl #73         - 20,275
05/05  Spider-Girl #86         - 19,452
05/06  Spider-Girl #98         - 17,738
=====
05/07  Amazing Spider-Girl #8  - 19,574  ( -2.6%)
06/07  Amazing Spider-Girl #9  - 19,142  ( -2.2%)
07/07  Amazing Spider-Girl #10 - 19,094  ( -0.3%)
08/07  Amazing Spider-Girl #11 - 18,725  ( -1.9%)
09/07  Amazing Spider-Girl #12 - 18,676  ( -0.3%)
10/07  Amazing Spider-Girl #13 - 26,558  (+42.2%)
11/07  Amazing Spider-Girl #14 - 17,410  (-34.4%)
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%)
                                 6 mnth  (-10.1%)
                                 1 year  (-20.1%)
                                 2 year  (-11.8%)
                                 3 year  (-19.6%)
                                 4 year  (-22.8%)
                                 5 year  (-32.3%)

131,147. AMERICAN DREAM
05/08  American Dream #1 of 5 - 15,259
05/08  American Dream #2 of 5 - 13,150  (-13.8%)

SPIDER-GIRL holds steady, and its spin-off miniseries is right behind it. There’s a small but loyal audience for this.

135. X-MEN: FIRST CLASS
05/07  First Class Special - 23,556  ( +0.6%)
06/07  First Class #1      - 26,370  (+11.9%)
07/07  First Class #2      - 22,269  (-15.6%)
08/07  First Class #3      - 20,495  ( -8.0%)
09/07  First Class #4      - 19,088  ( -6.9%)
10/07  First Class #5      - 18,134  ( -5.0%)
11/07  First Class #6      - 17,050  ( -6.0%)
12/07  First Class #7      - 16,195  ( -5.0%)
01/08  First Class #8      - 15,986  ( -1.3%)
02/08  First Class #9      - 15,320  ( -4.2%)
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%)
                             6 mnth  (-14.6%)
                             1 year  (-38.2%)

Reasonably steady, and still some way ahead of the other all ages books.

144. MARVEL COMICS PRESENTS
09/07  Marvel Comics Presents #1 - 38,337
10/07  Marvel Comics Presents #2 - 26,573 (-30.7%)
11/07  Marvel Comics Presents #3 - 23,444 (-11.8%)
12/07  Marvel Comics Presents #4 - 19,890 (-15.2%)
01/08  Marvel Comics Presents #5 - 17,426 (-12.4%)
02/08  Marvel Comics Presents #6 - 16,188 ( -7.1%)
03/08  Marvel Comics Presents #7 - 15,015 ( -7.2%)
04/08  Marvel Comics Presents #8 - 13,630 ( -9.2%)
05/08  Marvel Comics Presents #9 - 13,670 ( +0.3%)
                                   6 mnth (-41.7%)

Missing from the September solicitations, so it seems to have been axed with issue #12 in August. No surprise there.

151. SKY DOLL [Soleil]
05/08  Sky Doll #1 - 12,977

The first of a wave of reprinted French comics. Nice of Marvel to bring this material to an anglophone audience, but it’s clearly a tough sell. I suspect that if it sells anywhere in America, it’ll be the bookstores.

152. WAR IS HELL [Max]
03/08  Phantom Eagle #1 of 5 - 20,373
04/08  Phantom Eagle #2 of 5 - 13,993  (-31.3%)
05/08  Phantom Eagle #3 of 5 - 12,488  (-10.8%)

Bit disappointing for a Garth Ennis war story. Okay, he’s done tons of them before, but hey, how many superhero stories has Mark Waid written?

153. CLANDESTINE
02/08  ClanDestine #1 of 5 - 20,633
03/08  ClanDestine #2 of 5 - 15,366  (-25.5%)
04/08  ClanDestine #3 of 5 - 13,516  (-12.0%)
05/08  ClanDestine #4 of 5 - 12,223  ( -9.6%)

Completely off the radar, unfortunately.

175. FOOLKILLER  [Max]
10/07  Foolkiller #1 of 5 - 19,706
11/07  Foolkiller #2 of 5 - 13,779  (-30.1%)
12/07  Foolkiller #3 of 5 - 12,892  ( -6.4%)
01/08  ---
02/08  ---
03/08  Foolkiller #4 of 5 - 11,353  (-11.9%)
04/08  ---
05/08  Foolkiller #5 of 5 -  9,697  (-14.6%)
                            6 mnth  (-29.6%)

Amazingly, a second miniseries starts in July – evidently commissioned long before any trade paperback sales would have been measurable. I’m faintly baffled by Marvel’s approach to the Max imprint. For the most part, these books aren’t selling in the direct market, nor do they seem like obvious contenders to do well elsewhere. Perhaps Marvel are just in it for the long haul with the Max imprint, and willing to throw some money at it while they build up its repuation.

189. AVENGERS CLASSIC
06/07  Avengers Classic #1  - 29,319
07/07  Avengers Classic #2  - 20,954  (-28.5%)
08/07  Avengers Classic #3  - 18,817  (-10.2%)
09/07  Avengers Classic #4  - 15,392  (-18.2%)
10/07  Avengers Classic #5  - 13,599  (-11.6%)
11/07  Avengers Classic #6  - 12,213  (-10.2%)
12/07  Avengers Classic #7  - 11,162  ( -8.6%)
01/08  Avengers Classic #8  - 10,517  ( -5.8%)
02/08  Avengers Classic #9  -  9,590  ( -8.8%)
03/08  Avengers Classic #10 -  9,173  ( -4.3%)
04/08  Avengers Classic #11 -  9,106  ( -0.7%)
05/08  Avengers Classic #12 -  8,516  ( -6.5%)
                              6 mnth  (-30.3%)

Axed.

190. DEAD OF NIGHT FEATURING MAN-THING  [Max]
02/08  Dead of Night #1 of 4 - 12,721
03/08  Dead of Night #2 of 4 - 10,043  (-21.1%)
04/08  Dead of Night #3 of 4 -  9,205  ( -8.3%)
05/08  Dead of Night #4 of 4 -  8,505  ( -7.6%)

Another Max miniseries. Again, the poor sales haven’t deterred Marvel from commissioning a sequel with Devil-Slayer.

199. OMEGA THE UNKNOWN
10/07  Omega t/Unknown #1 of 10 - 19,322
11/07  Omega t/Unknown #2 of 10 - 13,986  (-27.6%)
12/07  Omega t/Unknown #3 of 10 - 11,518  (-17.6%)
01/08  Omega t/Unknown #4 of 10 - 10,164  (-11.8%)
02/08  Omega t/Unknown #5 of 10 -  9,147  (-10.0%)
03/08  Omega t/Unknown #6 of 10 -  8,595  ( -6.0%)
04/08  Omega t/Unknown #7 of 10 -  8,302  ( -3.4%)
05/08  Omega t/Unknown #8 of 10 -  7,894  ( -4.9%)
                                  6 mnth  (-43.6%)

By Marvel’s standards, an arthouse project. It’s aimed at the bookstores.

202. MARVEL SPOTLIGHT
05/06  ---
=====
05/07  Fantastic Four       -  8,261  ( -37.5%)
06/07  Captain America      - 31,483  (+281.1%)
07/07  ---
08/07  World War Hulk       - 22,534  ( -28.4%)
08/07  Halo                 -  9,782  ( -56.6%)
09/07  Thor                 - 11,300  ( +15.5%)
10/07  Marvel Zombies       - 16,697  ( +47.8%)
11/07  ---
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%)
                              6 mnth  (   --- )
                              1 year  (  -7.0%)
                              2 year  (   --- )

Fairly typical.

213. FRANKLIN RICHARDS
05/07  ---
06/07  World Be Warned        - 7,293  (+13.7%)
07/07  ---
08/07  ---
09/07  Monster Mash           - 6,480  (-11.1%)
10/07  ---
11/07  Fall Football Fiasco   - 5,727  (-11.6%)
12/07  ---
01/08  ---
02/08  ---
03/08  Spring Break!          - 5,684  ( -0.8%)
04/08  ---
05/08  Not So Secret Invasion - 6,764  (+19.0%)

Tenuous links to major crossovers don’t seem to make much difference to the sales of FRANKLIN RICHARDS strips.

And from here on, it’s the all ages books, the Marvel Illustrated Line, and the novel adaptatons…

233. MARVEL ADVENTURES SPIDER-MAN  [All ages]
05/05  M.A. Spider-Man #3  - 9,110
05/06  M.A. Spider-Man #15 - 6,165
=====
05/07  M.A. Spider-Man #27 - 6,818  ( +5.2%)
06/07  M.A. Spider-Man #28 - 7,006  ( +2.8%)
07/07  M.A. Spider-Man #29 - 7,071  ( +0.9%)
08/07  M.A. Spider-Man #30 - 6,573  ( -7.0%)
09/07  M.A. Spider-Man #31 - 6,723  ( +2.3%)
10/07  M.A. Spider-Man #32 - 6,355  ( -5.5%)
11/07  M.A. Spider-Man #33 - 6,126  ( -3.6%)
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%)
                            6 mnth  ( -5.1%)
                            1 year  (-14.7%)
                            2 year  ( -5.7%)
                            3 year  (-36.2%)


236. LORDS OF AVALON: SWORD OF DARKNESS  [DBPro]
02/08  Sword of Darkness #1 of 6 - 14,284
03/08  Sword of Darkness #2 of 6 -  6,994 (-51.0%)
04/08  Sword of Darkness #3 of 6 -  6,161 (-11.9%)
05/08  Sword of Darkness #4 of 6 -  5,551 ( -9.9%)


240. MARVEL ADVENTURES AVENGERS  [All ages]
05/06  M.A. Avengers #1  - 13,891
=====
05/07  M.A. Avengers #13 -  7,251  ( +2.2%)
06/07  M.A. Avengers #14 -  7,293  ( +0.6%)
07/07  ---
08/07  M.A. Avengers #15 -  6,950  ( -4.7%)
09/07  M.A. Avengers #16 -  6,870  ( -1.2%)
10/07  M.A. Avengers #17 -  6,423  ( -6.5%)
11/07  M.A. Avengers #18 -  6,141  ( -4.4%)
12/07  M.A. Avengers #19 -  6,115  ( -0.4%)
01/08  M.A. Avengers #20 -  5,670  ( -7.3%)
02/08  M.A. Avengers #21 -  5,607  ( -1.1%)
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%)
                           6 mnth  (-12.8%)
                           1 year  (-26.1%)
                           2 year  (-61.4%)


245. THE ILIAD [Marvel Illustrated]
12/07  Iliad #1 of 8 - 8,393
01/08  Iliad #2 of 8 - 5,248  (-37.5%)
02/08  Iliad #3 of 8 - 5,150  ( -1.9%)
03/08  Iliad #4 of 8 - 5,200  ( +1.0%)
04/08  Iliad #5 of 8 - 5,257  ( +1.1%)
05/08  Iliad #6 of 8 - 5,195  ( -1.2%)


250. CIVIL WAR CHRONICLES
07/07  Civil War Chronicles #1  - 18,449
08/07  Civil War Chronicles #2  - 12,953  (-29.8%)
09/07  Civil War Chronicles #3  - 11,094  (-14.4%)
10/07  Civil War Chronicles #4  -  9,108  (-17.9%)
11/07  Civil War Chronicles #5  -  7,500  (-17.7%)
12/07  Civil War Chronicles #6  -  6,841  ( -8.8%)
01/08  Civil War Chronicles #7  -  6,127  (-10.4%)
02/08  Civil War Chronicles #8  -  5,811  ( -5.2%)
03/08  Civil War Chronicles #9  -  5,536  ( -4.7%)
04/08  Civil War Chronicles #10 -  5,350  ( -3.4%)
05/08  Civil War Chronicles #11 -  5,052  ( -5.6%)
                                  6 mnth  (-32.6%)


256. MARVEL ADVENTURES IRON MAN  [All ages]
05/07  M.A. Iron Man #1  - 11,922
06/07  M.A. Iron Man #2  -  7,050  (-40.9%)
07/07  M.A. Iron Man #3  -  6,543  ( -7.2%)
08/07  M.A. Iron Man #4  -  5,911  ( -9.7%)
09/07  M.A. Iron Man #5  -  5,562  ( -5.9%)
10/07  M.A. Iron Man #6  -  5,130  ( -7.8%)
11/07  M.A. Iron Man #7  -  4,844  ( -5.6%)
12/07  M.A. Iron Man #8  -  4,656  ( -3.9%)
01/08  M.A. Iron Man #9  -  4,452  ( -4.4%)
02/08  M.A. Iron Man #10 -  4,318  ( -3.0%)
03/08  M.A. Iron Man #11 -  4,572  ( +5.9%)
04/08  M.A. Iron Man #12 -  4,866  ( +6.4%)
05/08  M.A. Iron Man #13 -  4,910  ( +0.9%)
                           6 mnth  ( +1.4%)
                           1 year  (-58.8%)


259. POWER PACK  [All ages]
05/06  Avengers #2 of 4       - 6,613
=====
05/07  Hulk #3 of 4           - 5,593  ( -5.9%)
06/07  Hulk #4 of 4           - 5,443  ( -2.7%)
07/07  Fantastic Four #1 of 4 - 6,577  (+20.8%)
08/07  Fantastic Four #2 of 4 - 5,749  (-12.6%)
09/07  Fantastic Four #3 of 4 - 5,400  ( -6.1%)
10/07  Fantastic Four #4 of 4 - 5,152  ( -4.6%)
11/07  Iron Man #1 of 4       - 5,527  ( +7.3%)
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%)
                               6 mnth  (-15.0%)
                               1 year  (-16.0%)
                               2 year  (-29.0%)


260. MARVEL ADVENTURES HULK [All ages]
07/07  M.A. Hulk #1  - 11,394
08/07  M.A. Hulk #2  -  7,142  (-37.3%)
09/07  M.A. Hulk #3  -  5,790  (-18.9%)
10/07  M.A. Hulk #4  -  5,588  ( -3.5%)
11/07  M.A. Hulk #5  -  4,990  (-10.7%)
12/07  M.A. Hulk #6  -  4,862  ( -2.6%)
01/08  M.A. Hulk #7  -  4,653  ( -4.3%)
02/08  M.A. Hulk #8  -  4,533  ( -2.6%)
03/08  M.A. Hulk #9  -  4,394  ( -3.1%)
04/08  M.A. Hulk #10 -  4,645  ( +5.7%)
05/08  M.A. Hulk #11 -  4,686  ( +0.9%)
                       6 mnth  ( -6.1%)


272. MARVEL ADVENTURES FANTASTIC FOUR  [All ages]
05/05  M.A. Fantastic Four #0  - 9,723
05/06  M.A. Fantastic Four #12 - 4,836
=====
05/07  M.A. Fantastic Four #24 - 4,807  ( +4.4%)
06/07  M.A. Fantastic Four #25 - 4,972  ( +3.4%)
07/07  M.A. Fantastic Four #26 - 5,370  ( +8.0%)
08/07  M.A. Fantastic Four #27 - 4,641  (-13.6%)
09/07  M.A. Fantastic Four #28 - 5,194  (+11.9%)
10/07  M.A. Fantastic Four #29 - 4,851  ( -6.6%)
11/07  M.A. Fantastic Four #30 - 4,460  ( -8.1%)
12/07  M.A. Fantastic Four #31 - 4,392  ( -1.5%)
01/08  M.A. Fantastic Four #32 - 4,293  ( -2.3%)
02/08  M.A. Fantastic Four #33 - 4,222  ( -1.7%)
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%)
                                6 mnth  ( -9.1%)
                                1 year  (-15.7%)
                                2 year  (-16.2%)
                                3 year  (-58.3%)


278. PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY [Marvel Illustrated]
12/07  Dorian Gray #1 of 6 - 6,279
01/08  Dorian Gray #2 of 6 - 4,286  (-31.7%)
02/08  Dorian Gray #3 of 6 - 3,690  (-13.9%)
03/08  Dorian Gray #4 of 6 - 3,875  ( +5.0%)
04/08  Dorian Gray #5 of 6 - 3,870  ( -0.1%)
05/08  Dorian Gray #6 of 6 - 3,789  ( -2.1%)


283. MOBY DICK [Marvel Illustrated]
02/08  Moby Dick #1 of 6 - 7,251
03/08  Moby Dick #2 of 6 - 3,954  (-45.5%)
04/08  Moby Dick #3 of 6 - 3,713  ( -6.1%)
05/08  Moby Dick #4 of 6 - 3,596  ( -3.2%)


Skip months and re-orders
=========================

ULTIMATES
05/03  Ultimates #10       - 105,546
05/04  ---
05/05  Ultimates 2 #6      - 102,026
05/06  ---
=====
05/07  Ultimates 2 #13     - 105,745  ( +6.2%)
06/07  ---
07/07  ---
08/07  ---
09/07  ---
10/07  ---
11/07  ---
12/07  Ultimates 3 #1 of 5 - 154,722  (+46.3%)
01/08  Ultimates 3 #2 of 5 - 112,044  (-27.6%)
02/08  Ultimates 3 #3 of 5 - 103,570  ( -7.6%)
03/08  ---
04/08  ---
05/08  ---

Late.

HULK
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  ---

Late. Issue #3 picks up re-orders of 7,680.

HALO: UPRISING
08/07  Uprising #1 of 4 - 71,812
09/07  ---
10/07  ---
11/07  Uprising #2 of 4 - 50,165  (-30.1%)
12/07  ---
01/08  ---
02/08  ---
03/08  ---
04/08  ---
05/08  ---

Off the rails entirely.

KICK-ASS  [Icon]
02/08  Kick-Ass #1 - 59,223
03/08  ---
04/08  Kick-Ass #2 - 54,596  (-7.8%)
05/08  ---

Late. Issue #2 picks up re-orders of 8,933, which is very healthy. All three Icon books failed to ship in May.

ULTIMATE IRON MAN II
12/07  Iron Man II #1 of 5 - 61,087
01/08  Iron Man II #2 of 5 - 46,248  (-24.3%)
02/08  Iron Man II #3 of 5 - 43,496  ( -6.0%)
03/08  Iron Man II #4 of 5 - 41,354  ( -4.9%)
04/08  ---
05/08  ---

Delayed to July. Something’s clearly gone wrong here.

RUNAWAYS
05/03  Runaways #2  - 23,328
05/04  Runaways #15 - 19,306
05/05  Runaways #4  - 28,968
05/06  Runaways #16 - 23,842
=====
05/07  Runaways #26 - 46,134  ( -18.0%)
06/07  ---
07/07  Runaways #27 - 41,254  ( -10.6%)
08/07  ---
09/07  ---
10/07  Runaways #28 - 47,760  ( +15.8%)
11/07  ---
12/07  ---
01/08  ---
02/08  Runaways #29 - 33,210  ( -30.5%)
03/08  ---
04/08  ---
05/08  ---

Haywire.

SPIDER-MAN: WITH GREAT POWER
01/08  With Great Power #1 of 5 - 32,201
02/08  With Great Power #2 of 5 - 24,800  (-23.0%)
03/08  With Great Power #3 of 5 - 22,029  (-11.2%)
04/08  ---
05/08  ---

Late.

POWERS  [Icon]
05/03  Powers #31 - 26,830
05/04  ---
05/05  ---
05/06  Powers #18 - 23,617
=====
05/07  ---
06/07  ---
07/07  ---
08/07  Powers #25 - 21,349  ( +1.9%)
09/07  ---
10/07  Powers #26 - 20,541  ( -3.8%)
11/07  Powers #27 - 19,843  ( -3.4%)
12/07  ---
01/08  ---
02/08  ---
03/08  Powers #28 - 19,256  ( -3.0%)
04/08  ---
05/08  ---

Off the rails.

CRIMINAL  [Icon]
05/07  Criminal #6  - 15,720  ( -4.1%)
06/07  Criminal #7  - 15,214  ( -3.2%)
07/07  ---
08/07  Criminal #8  - 15,169  ( -0.3%)
09/07  Criminal #9  - 14,768  ( -2.6%)
10/07  ---
11/07  Criminal #10 - 14,539  ( -1.6%)
12/07  ---
01/08  ---
02/08  Criminal #1  - 18,655  (+28.3%)
03/08  ---
04/08  Criminal #2  - 15,885  (-14.8%)
05/08  ---

Slipped to June.

FAIRY TALES
05/07  Spider-Man #1 of 4 - 17,362
06/07  Spider-Man #2 of 4 - 13,845  (-20.3%)
07/07  Spider-Man #3 of 4 - 12,173  (-12.1%)
08/07  ---
09/07  Spider-Man #4 of 4 - 10,925  (-10.3%)
10/07  ---
11/07  ---
12/07  ---
01/08  ---
02/08  ---
03/08  Avengers #1 of 4   - 12,762  (-16.8%)
04/08  Avengers #2 of 4   -  9,668  (-24.2%)
05/08  ---

Ditto.

SPIDER-MAN FAMILY
05/07  ---
06/07  Spider-Man Family #3 - 16,853  (-18.5%)
07/07  ---
08/07  Spider-Man Family #4 - 14,253  (-15.4%)
09/07  ---
10/07  Spider-Man Family #5 - 11,771  (-17.4%)
11/07  ---
12/07  Spider-Man Family #6 -  9,860  (-16.2%)
01/08  ---
02/08  Spider-Man Family #7 -  8,587  (-12.9%)
03/08  ---
04/08  Spider-Man Family #8 -  7,889  ( -8.1%)
05/08  ---

Bimonthly.

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

+ 55.3% - Ms Marvel
+  8.5% - Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe
+  8.2% - Captain America
+  7.0% - Fantastic Four
+  1.4% - New Avengers
+  1.4% - Marvel Adventures Iron Man
-  5.0% - Wolverine
-  5.1% - Marvel Adventures Spider-Man
-  5.5% - Wolverine: Origins
-  6.1% - Marvel Adventures Hulk
-  6.6% - Astonishing X-Men
-  7.2% - Punisher
-  9.1% - Marvel Adventures Fantastic Four
-  9.4% - Ultimate Spider-Man
- 10.1% - Amazing Spider-Girl
- 10.2% - Daredevil
- 12.4% - Nova
- 12.8% - Ultimate Fantastic Four
- 12.8% - Marvel Adventures Avengers
- 14.5% - Avengers: The Initiative
- 14.6% - X-Men: First Class
- 15.0% - Power Pack
- 17.1% - She-Hulk
- 20.5% - Ghost Rider
- 22.4% - Thor
- 26.2% - Uncanny X-Men
- 26.7% - Immortal Iron Fist
- 26.7% - Black Panther
- 27.0% - X-Men: Legacy
- 28.4% - Punisher War Journal
- 29.6% - Foolkiller
- 30.3% - Avengers Classic
- 32.6% - Civil War Chronicles
- 38.9% - X-Factor
- 41.7% - Marvel Comics Presents
- 43.6% - Omega the Unknown
- 47.8% - Incredible Hercules


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

+ 27.3% - X-Factor
+ 10.0% - Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe
+  0.2% - Uncanny X-Men
-  2.6% - X-Men: Legacy
-  4.0% - Ms Marvel
-  7.0% - Marvel Spotlight
- 10.0% - Punisher
- 10.4% - New Exiles
- 12.4% - Astonishing X-Men
- 13.1% - Fantastic Four
- 14.4% - Daredevil
- 14.7% - Marvel Adventures Spider-Man
- 15.7% - Marvel Adventures Fantastic Four
- 15.8% - New Avengers
- 16.0% - Power Pack
- 17.5% - Mighty Avengers
- 17.7% - Immortal Iron Fist
- 19.8% - Ultimate X-Men
- 20.1% - Amazing Spider-Girl
- 23.1% - Ultimate Spider-Man
- 23.3% - Wolverine: Origins
- 24.8% - Ultimate Fantastic Four
- 26.1% - Marvel Adventures Avengers
- 35.0% - Wolverine
- 36.8% - Nova
- 37.2% - Dark Tower
- 38.1% - Amazing Spider-Man
- 38.2% - X-Men: First Class
- 38.7% - Captain America
- 42.2% - Thunderbolts
- 42.5% - Iron Man
- 42.5% - Ghost Rider
- 44.9% - Avengers: The Initiative
- 50.5% - She-Hulk
- 53.1% - Moon Knight
- 55.7% - Incredible Hercules
- 58.8% - Marvel Adventures Iron Man
- 60.3% - Punisher War Journal
- 60.3% - Black Panther


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

+ 88.5% - New Avengers
+ 69.8% - Captain America
+ 61.5% - Thunderbolts
+ 13.8% - Incredible Hercules
+  8.8% - X-Factor
+  3.5% - Uncanny X-Men
-  4.5% - Ms Marvel
-  5.7% - Marvel Adventures Spider-Man
-  6.3% - Iron Man
-  6.9% - X-Men: Legacy
- 11.5% - Punisher
- 11.8% - Amazing Spider-Girl
- 14.2% - Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe
- 15.6% - Daredevil
- 16.2% - Marvel Adventures Fantastic Four
- 18.8% - New Exiles
- 22.5% - Amazing Spider-Man
- 24.2% - Ultimate Spider-Man
- 25.8% - Black Panther
- 29.0% - Power Pack
- 31.1% - Ultimate X-Men
- 33.2% - Wolverine
- 52.8% - She-Hulk
- 59.8% - Wolverine: Origins
- 61.4% - Marvel Adventures Avengers
- 63.4% - Ultimate Fantastic Four


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

+ 71.1% - Captain America
+ 38.0% - Thunderbolts
+ 21.0% - Incredible Hercules
-  1.7% - Uncanny X-Men
-  2.8% - Amazing Spider-Man
-  7.0% - Fantastic Four
-  8.7% - X-Men: Legacy
- 17.0% - Daredevil
- 18.9% - Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe
- 19.1% - New Exiles
- 19.6% - Amazing Spider-Girl
- 19.7% - Punisher
- 22.9% - Wolverine
- 31.2% - Ultimate Spider-Man
- 32.5% - Astonishing X-Men
- 36.2% - Marvel Adventures Spider-Man
- 38.8% - Ultimate X-Men
- 47.5% - Ultimate Fantastic Four
- 48.9% - Black Panther
- 58.3% - Marvel Adventures Fantastic Four


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

+187.7% - Thor
+111.3% - Captain America
+ 96.0% - New Avengers
+ 29.0% - Iron Man
+ 23.2% - Fantastic Four
+ 16.8% - Incredible Hercules
-  9.1% - Wolverine
-  9.7% - Amazing Spider-Man
- 22.8% - Amazing Spider-Girl
- 26.8% - Uncanny X-Men
- 25.2% - Daredevil
- 29.0% - New Exiles
- 30.3% - She-Hulk
- 30.9% - X-Men: Legacy
- 37.2% - Punisher
- 38.7% - Ultimate Spider-Man
- 48.5% - Ultimate X-Men
- 49.6% - Astonishing X-Men
- 53.5% - Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe


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

+153.7% - Thor
+ 94.0% - Thunderbolts
+ 87.9% - New Avengers
+ 61.0% - Captain America
+ 20.4% - Fantastic Four
+  9.6% - Iron Man
- 13.3% - Uncanny X-Men
- 13.7% - Incredible Hercules
- 22.7% - X-Men: Legacy
- 22.7% - Amazing Spider-Man
- 23.9% - Punisher
- 26.0% - New Exiles
- 32.3% - Amazing Spider-Girl
- 34.1% - Daredevil
- 46.5% - Ultimate X-Men
- 46.6% - Ultimate Spider-Man
- 60.7% - Wolverine

Comments

  1. Lawson says:

    The only Marvel titles I read monthly, DAREDEVIL and THE PUNISHER, deserve twice the audience they receive. One of the greatest things about them is that they’re isolated in their own little corners of the Marvel Universe and don’t participate in the Major Event Crossover Project of the Week. Except — my opinion seems to be in the minority on that sort of thing.

    It’s good to see the new creative team on THE ULTIMATES keep up that title’s proud tradition of failing to ship for several months on end. Strangely, this current run doesn’t look like it takes much effort — the first issue was colored with mud, for one thing — whereas the Millar/Hitch run was always ridiculously late, but beautiful once we got it.

  2. geek goggles says:

    >151. SKY DOLL [Soleil]
    >05/08 Sky Doll #1 – 12,977The first of a wave of reprinted >French comics. Nice of Marvel to bring this material to an >anglophone audience, but it’s clearly a tough sell. I suspect >that if it sells anywhere in America, it’ll be the bookstores.

    another factor (good or bad depending on what you do with it) is the $5.50 price tag.

  3. Matthew says:

    Some of the max books and stuff are at $3.99, so that helps offset the costs.

    For the Dark Tower series it was selling slowly when it first came out, so we cut our orders for three, only to see that issue sell out as people came in and bought all three. THat’s still happening now as people come in and want all the issues, similar to the buffy comics really. As they’re selling to people outside the normal market they can forget they exist for several months at a time.

  4. morganagrom says:

    Why would anyone buy Ennis’ and Chaykin’s War is Hell book as a serial anyway? At $4 per issue, it’d cost $20 for the whole thing. With the serial not even completed yet, Marvel’s already listed a $20 hardcover on amazon, which will wind up costing less than $14 after discount. Of course, the ones who should feel a little burned are the retailers who bought the product non-returnable. Good for Marvel, good for the tradewaiters (hardcoverwaiters, technically), bad for the retailers.

  5. Alan Coil says:

    Amazing.

    Sales on Spider-Man continue to fall, yet Paul says, “There’s nothing to see here. Move along.”

  6. Shawn says:

    Am I the only one who finds the “analysis” tacked onto these monthly lists totally useless and arbitrary?

    How is a 10% drop in one year “solid as ever”? How is a 10% drop in 6 months, and 20% in a year, something that “holds steady”?

    Another book that has lost 13% in 6 months has “found its level”. Another that is losing 1.5-2% a month fairly consistently is “leveling out”.

    One book drops 40% over a year and it’s “shedding readers”, another has lost more than 60% in the same time, but another is “finding its level” because of a one-month increase of about 400, or just over 1%.

    Can somebody please explain any of this to me?

  7. arch 14 says:

    maybe add some titles along with your questions? there are a lot of potential factors at play.

  8. arch 14 says:

    re: Alan Coil –

    I’m pretty sure Paul is saying, “the exact same arguments that were made last month on both sides are applicable this month as well”

  9. Shawn says:

    Shoud read:

    One book drops 40% over a year and it’s “shedding readers”, another has lost more than 60% in the same time, but it’s “finding its level” because of a one-month increase of about 400, or just over 1%.

  10. Shawn says:

    Should read:

    One book drops 40% over a year and it’s “shedding readers”, another has lost more than 60% in the same time, but it’s “finding its level” because of a one-month increase of about 400, or just over 1%.

  11. Kenny says:

    morganagrom,

    I’ve been buying War is Hell monthly because…well, probably because I’m an idiot. I just wanted to read another monthly Ennis book. I like his work a lot.

  12. It comes down to what the point of comparison is. For instance, _Ultimate Spider-Man_ has shed some readers in the last year (-23.1%) but the rate of attrition has “leveled out,” as Paul says, in the mid-50k for the last six months (down -9.4%). Will it stay there? Who knows, but it seems to be “leveling out.”

    As someone pointed out more generally, a title like _X-Factor_, on the other hand, has a seemingly vicious six month comparison (-38.9%), but that is comparing May’s issue with a Messiah Complex issue of the title, i.e. the December’s numbers are inflated; it is thus rather misleading for the medium- and long-term trends.

    When I look at these charts, I mostly pay attention to the month to month change, not the comparisons. All comics seems to have a fairly standard 1-2% drop or rise per month once they find their level; these can certainly add up to a fairly eye-popping year comparison at times, but it’s fairly standard attrition (I almost view it as statistical noise, really). Any drops over 3-4% per month for a title is a rate of attrition that can’t be sustained without intervention.

  13. Shawn:
    “Can somebody please explain any of this to me?”

    I can’t explain anything else, because you don’t specify which books you’re talking about – but a 10% drop over a year is, comparatively, extremely solid.

  14. Andrew says:

    After introducing Bucky as the new Captain America, the book seems to have stabilised at around 80K. That’s up significantly on six months ago, and in the longer term, the book has done very well from the death of its lead character. You have to wonder, actually, whether there’s really any point in bringing him back.

    — Here’s the point, or at least one perspective. If I did not have faith Cap would be coming back around issue #50, then I would have dropped this one at #25 – largely out of protest. Winter Soldier is a character with a future, but Cap fans (I believe) would react differently if they truly believed Steve Rogers was gone for good. You may not see the point if you didn’t like Steve Rogers. But if you did, its hard for me to see you making a statement like that. On the purely commercial side, there’s a 2009 movie to consider as well.

  15. morganagrom says:

    Kenny,

    Fair enough – and you’ll get to read the story sooner too. Bear in mind though, these days Marvel seems to collect everything at a record pace, and a little patience is usually rewarded – no ads, and often a lower price tag.

  16. arch 14 says:

    Also, re: Cap –

    The Death of Captain of America introduced the book to a much wider audience. Hopefully they’re sticking around because of the great artistic team and not due to the ‘awesomeness’ of Bucky or due to waiting for Steve’s return. In a comics scene with growing loyalty being placed in writers and artists rather than characters, this seems likely to me.

  17. Andrew says:

    arch 14

    RE: Cap.

    That could be a very good alternative explanation as well. With only raw sales numbers we don’t really get a glimpse of the demographics of those buying or dropping a particular book.

    In any case, all we can really conclude is that its selling. The rest is speculation for now.

  18. Re: Fantastic Four sales

    “Still finding its level. This is far below the sales I expected from Millar and Hitch – the book is selling on a par with its Initiative issues.”

    I must be the only one who wasn’t expecting much of an effect from Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. The stock of these guys has fallen quite a bit from their Ultimates heyday…partly (or mostly) due to their casual acquaintance with deadlines and partly because there’s a creeping sameness to so many of their collaborations.

  19. brett says:

    Well, yeah, I guess maybe the same arguements were made last month regarding Accessible Spider-Man (a title that used to be Amazing but is just Accessible now) but they do hold merit!

    The point is that this new direction for Spidey was supposed to have been done to preserve Spidey for a new generation, you know, all the new people who can buy Spider-Man now because Peter Parker is so ‘accessible’, both as a single guy and one who is available at shops 3x a month.

    With all the press the thing received, getting the word out to all those new readers, we shouldn’t be looking at circ figures but asking Shop Owners ‘How many new, next generation readers are now coming into shops to buy Accessible Spider-Man?’

    While that questions waits for an answer, I’m starting to feel sorry for ol’ poor luck Petey. Regardless of actual copies sold, Spidey has fallen 20 stories. He not only barely makes the top ten, but the top twenty.

    Guess they don’t make those webs the way they used too…

    (Oh wait, I ‘did’ say that last month)

  20. geekgoggles says:

    one thing i’ll say for Accessible Spider-Man is that its managed to ship 3x monthly thus far (thur May). i thought that would have failed by now.

  21. My take on the Spider-man drops:

    If this title drops down into the 60-69K mark within the next two months of sales figures, I can’t see how it could be considered anything but alarming.

    If the Norman Osborn/Venom story coming up fails to bump the book back ABOVE the 70-79K mark, I’m expecting BND to be undone by next February.

    The rotating writers thing actually seems to have HURT them in the long run, because while each writer’s debut has received a slight bump over the last issue of the writer immediately preceding him, each month has ALWAYS wound up significantly down from the previous month.

    If they’d had, say, a steady stream of Slott issues, and THEN gone to, say one of the stories by Kelly, Waid or Stern, I think you’d see a higher bump for those “guest writers,” which could even translate into a slight but sustained sales increase.

    But by doing three issues each of four new writers, in turn, Marvel seems to have made a lot of readers feel like the writers are largely interchangeable, as long as the BND concept is still in place.

    That’s a deadly development, because if readers don’t like the BND concept itself (and a lot of them clearly don’t, from these numbers), then the only hope Marvel has of bumping their sales is through its creators, except that BND has hammered home how interchangeable its creators really are on this concept.

  22. Micah says:

    I love the commentary for all of the details. I can grasp everything Paul is conveying in the summary. Sometimes I wish Paul would go into greater depth (Iron Fist) and put some in more positive comments to titles he likes (whether or not their performances levels are something to write about.) As far as I know the guy does this stuff for free. At least I read it for free, so I appreciate every word and number.

    Fantastic Four is underperforming because the story sucks, and it is no where near the quality that Ultimates were. Millar is definitely hit and miss. It’ll be interesting to see what the “Fraction-Bump” is going to be on Uncanny X-Men. I know I’m on board with almost everything he writes (just can’t get interested in his Punisher – Ennis’ Punisher is too good.)

    And due to last week’s buys alone, you can expect Marvel to trounce DC once again.

  23. Alan Coil says:

    “Accessible Spider-Man”

    Great title, brett! :-)

  24. Shawn: For the most part those would be books which had been dropping, but now appear to be levelling out. Hence, they’re down over six months or a year, but relatively steady in the last couple of months. Although you’ve got a point about PUNISHER; I’m probably being too generous there.

    Whether you find that sort of comment useful is a matter of taste. However, the main purpose of this exercise is simply to present the numbers in a way that brings out the trends more clearly than the monthly charts. I’m not trying to offer a detailed analysis of every title in every month. There’s no need for it; a lot of the numbers speak for themselves.

    Alan: There’s really nothing new to say about AMAZING SPIDER-MAN this time. But there will be in the next few months, which was a major reason why I decided to give it a rest.

  25. Somebody says:

    Something appears to have gone wrong with your 2-year New Avengers comparison: 123k -> 109k does not a near-doubling of sales make.

  26. You’re absolutely right, it’s down 11.5%. No idea what happened there – thanks for pointing it out.

  27. Alan, in the long run, Marvel only cares about the combined total of the 3 Spider-Man books every month.

    For that, the books’s technically in the top 10.

    For all everyone says about “Well its better then the previous books” I don’t even think they’re looking at it that way anymore.

    The books could probably do 50,000 each and with a combined total of 150,000 copies Marvel would say they’re doing it right.

    Its just one book to them, not three.

  28. Somebody says:

    It costs a lot more, on every level from creation to printing & shipping, to sell the same number of physical issues per month as three issues rather than one.

  29. brett says:

    Evan,

    You are correct. That’s what I was saying a year ago, before BND first began. It was pure genius that Marvel did the BND storyline at a time when they were launching it 3x a month… because no matter what the levels of drop are, it will still be considered a success because from the total copies sold for each issue ‘combined’ will always be more than what it was selling when it was 3 different books.

    But I digress
    (Honorable mention to Peter David for coining the phrase)…

    That’s not why Marvel did it. They did it to make Peter more accessible for the new generation of readers.

    So I think its perfectly normal to ask, how many shops are selling Accessible Spider-Man to these new, next gen readers? With all the press and talk shows Marvel’s EIC went on to promote it, EVERYONE knows how Accessible Spider-Man is now.

    I remember in Rocky, when Paulie was trying to get Adrian to go on a date with Rocky, he screamed at her, ‘Go on, get outta here! You’re hanging around here like a spider!’

    So is single Peter and at 3x a month, Accessible Spiderman is quite the available bachelor, hanging around the shops, well, like a spider!

    Are all these new, next generation readers biting?

  30. Its just one book to them, not three.

    One book that they’re paying THREE TIMES the number of creators to produce. You don’t think that comes with higher expectations? At the very least, from an economic standpoint, getting the SAME amount of sales, and paying TRIPLE the production costs to do it, is tremendously poor business practice. People get FIRED for shit like that in the real world.

    And if the sales actually DID go down to 50,000 copies sold per issue, then even if they were only paying one writer and one artist to produce the book, and even if that meant they were still technically getting the same numbers of sales per month, that would mean that their number of customers for the book had been reduced to a THIRD of what it was before.

    Again, in REAL WORLD economics, relying on LESS customers to give you the SAME amount of sales is an incredibly ill-advised strategy, which anyone who has any memories of the 1990s should know already, because that’s why the speculators’ market was able to nearly DESTROY the industry in the first place.

  31. One book that they’re paying THREE TIMES the number of creators to produce.

    But are they really, since they canceled the other two Spidey monthlies? Somebody was writing and drawing those too, and they aren’t now. They were producing three Spidey books before BND, and they’re producing three Spidey books now. Two of them just have a different banner on the cover.

  32. Thom B. says:

    That’s just the point, though, Rich. What I feel is being miscommunicated in this thread (but that Paul has mentioned time and time again in his previous analyses) is that Marvel is not looking at the total units of ASM, but rather the average number between the three issues shipping each month. From the looks of it, they’re going to just about break even, maybe ahead by around 10% from the average of the Amazing/Sensational/Friendly Neighborhood trio, which is…well…probably not at all what they were hoping for with this stunt.

  33. The Beat says:

    Maybe I’m just braindead, but I cannot for the life of me understand this ASM argument.

  34. Kirk unfortunately we can’t use real world logic.

    If we were, people would be held accountable/fired for late books.

  35. From the looks of it, they’re going to just about break even, maybe ahead by around 10% from the average of the Amazing/Sensational/Friendly Neighborhood trio, which is…well…probably not at all what they were hoping for with this stunt.

    Dan Slott actually BET a Newsarama poster that per-issue sales on “Brand New Day” would remain above 80K through the month of May.

    They dipped into the 77K range in April.

    That’s pretty conclusive proof that this is not at all what they were hoping for.

    Really, if you look at it strictly in terms of actual numbers of readers, this is an unambiguous failure, no matter which audience they’re supposedly catering to.

    If they were hoping to attract new readers, well, the numbers of readers per issue are lower than they’ve been in years, so clearly, that’s not happened.

    Likewise, if they thought they could retain existing readers, well, again, the same numbers show this hasn’t happened, either.

    They’re simply relying on their ever-decreasing numbers of loyal readers to buy MORE books than they were before, and as I’ve said, anyone who thinks that’s a good idea needs a history lesson on the speculator’s market of the 1990s.

  36. Maybe I’m just braindead, but I cannot for the life of me understand this ASM argument.

    If you’d like to understand it, you’ll need to hint at what statements aren’t clear.

    Is it just that you can’t understand why there’s still an ASM argument? Because, though I can agree with you on that, it wasn’t that clear that you were trying to say that.

  37. Kirk: It depends whether Dan Slott meant specifically sales on the Diamond chart, or all sales. When you factor in sales to the UK, newsstand sales and subscriptions, the total is almost certainly going to be over 80K.

  38. Kenny says:

    Who is this new, next generation of readers people are referring to? Because the next generation doesn’t care about Spider-man comics, they get their Spider-man content from movies, As for comics, they’re reading manga.

  39. Somebody says:
  40. brett says:

    Who indeed are these new, next generation of readers? That’s what I wanted to know when Marvel’s EIC publically justified his whole OMD, BMD (which is starting to sound like a line of underwear) affair to all the backlash Marvel was getting.

    They claim they were doing this whole thing to preserve Spidey for a new generation of readers, that they deserved to have an unmarried, down on his luck Peter who still lived with his aging aunt.

    Then, to judge if Accessible Spider-Man is a success, one would have to see how many new, next gen readers are buying.

    You ask, ‘What new, next Gen readers? All they care about is Spidey in the movies, not the comics’ is essentially my point. If I’m wrong, then all the shop owners who are selling Accessible Spidey to this new, next generation of readers should speak up.

    Because if anyone is going to judge whether Accessible Spidey is a success or not, it should be properly measured by the standard Marvel set for themselves, which would be to gage all the new readers now buying.

  41. Well, the bet was “80K per issue”. Neither of them said anything about only counting direct market sales. Although you might argue it’s implicit since those are the only numbers available to verify the outcome.

  42. Kenny says:

    Brett,

    I was thinking a similar line of thought when I was on my way to work this morning. Tiger Woods said he only wants to be judged by the Masters he wins and sports journalists have complied. When he went on a small drought for, I believe, a year and a half, no one cut him any slack because he was being judged by the standard he set for himself.

    We should be judging Marvel’s sales by the same metric. Not by how many issues ASM sells above the pre-BND combination of the sales of the three Spider-man titles, but by how many of the post-OMD sales are to kids between 5 and 15, the next generation with the disposable income that’s going to have to keep comics afloat.

  43. Somebody says:

    > Well, the bet was “80K per issue”. Neither of them said anything about only counting direct market sales. Although you might argue it’s implicit since those are the only numbers available to verify the outcome.

    I presume that was hammered out in the PMs Slott mentioned to set it up – and the guy said he won in the later thread when the USDM estimates were out.

  44. The problem with that, Kenny, is (a) we don’t have that information, and (b) if the book IS picking up new readers from that source, they’ll probably be buying it on the newsstands, which means they won’t show up on this chart at all.

  45. Paul,

    Yeah, I see your point and I think you’re right to. I think we’d be better served by having sell through numbers. I know from talking to the ordering guys at the shops I go to that they’re constantly frustrated by the disparity of the Diamond numbers versus their sell through. On the one hand, Diamond may show huge sales on something like ASM; the shop guys I’ve talked to all have large amounts of unsold ASM on their hands. On the other hand, Diamond may show huge sales and the shop guys I talk to sold all their copies and would love more; Secret Invasion is a recent example for them.

    Without the sell through numbers, you’re right, the discussion is moot. I’d love to know the sell through numbers of now versus 5 years ago, but I know that’s a complete fantasy. Still, it would be interesting to see the trends of sales to 5-15 year olds now versus 5 years ago.

  46. Bob Mitchum says:

    I suspect what Heidi’s getting at is that it’s getting really tiresome reading the same two or three guys whine every month about BND. It’s really tiresome, guys. Especially because you don’t know how all this is going to play out.

    The Spidey books are more fun to read then they have been in years. ‘Nuff said.

  47. I think the Iron Man: Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. title is still suffering primarily from the way the character was portrayed in Civil War. Invincible Iron Man outsells it nearly 4-to-1 in my store, despite IM:DoS being a much better series. That title fits neatly into the same category of super-hero/espionage that Captain America fits into, and should be selling much closer to those numbers. Of course, Cap is the best book (quality-wise) Marvel has these days, hands down. More Marvel comics should imitate it.

    Invincible Iron Man’s big debut is TOTALLY due to excitement about the movie. It’s a decent title, but sales would have been worse than IM:DoS by #2 if it weren’t for the movie.

  48. Alan Coil says:

    There’s more to be said about Accessible Spider-Man. ‘Nuff said.

  49. The Spidey books are more fun to read then they have been in years.

    And I would say exactly the opposite, but the reason I bring up sales is because Joe Quesada has made it quite clear that he could care less about my opinion, unless it results in enough of a drop in sales that he’s forced to listen.

  50. Paul,

    Slott’s bet was made in direct response to a thread on Newsarama about the direct market numbers that you yourself use. Especially considering that Slott never contradicted the Newsarama poster, when he asserted that the bet would be based on those direct market numbers, if Slott were to suddenly add any number of stipulations NOW, for an incredibly penny-ante bet, he would appear to be an incredibly weaselly goalpost-mover (I mean, seriously, how desperate would he have to be, to get out of writing a simple, silly “ode to you”?).

    Moreover, from that context of their posts, it requires a significant suspension of disbelief on my part, to NOT assume that Slott was referring to the direct market numbers all along.

  51. “Slott’s bet was made in direct response to a thread on Newsarama about the direct market numbers that you yourself use.”

    No it wasn’t. It’s in a comments thread about a “sold out” announcement for AMAZING #546.

  52. morganagrom says:

    Why are adults reading Spiderman in the first place?

  53. “Slott’s bet was made in direct response to a thread on Newsarama about the direct market numbers that you yourself use.”

    No it wasn’t. It’s in a comments thread about a “sold out” announcement for AMAZING #546.

    True, but it was still about a sellout notice that was about the direct market, not all other possible markets.

  54. AERose says:

    This might just be me, I smell intellectual dishonesty when people start talking about BND as a step down from Straczynski’s run.

    Speaking as someone who has no affection for Spider-Man to begin with, I find the BND books at least well intentioned and kind of charming in a “look, we know this character’s best stories were all told 35 years ago, so we’re just going to knock off the pretensions and tell’em again” way, whereas JMS’s last year was just abominable drek. Do we really need to trumpet the quality of “Kingpin orders a hit on Peter’s loved ones!” “Peter threatens to kill Kingpin!” or any of the wider-universe crossovers Spider-Man has taken part in (not to mention OMD) in order to try and win arguments around here?

  55. Dweeze says:

    Why are adults reading Spiderman in the first place?

    I had no idea there was an approved adult-reading list. Is there anywhere I can get my hands on one?

    It was pure genius that Marvel did the BND storyline at a time when they were launching it 3x a month

    I’d argue the opposite. The thrice-monthly schedule gives people two reasons to drop the book: the change in direction or the increased hit on the pocketbook. If you had a fixed comic budget and were buying only Amazing under the old publishing schedule, tripling the number of issues in a month forces you into deciding between dropping two other books you like to buy three issues of Amazing each month or dropping Amazing and either having extra money or buying a book you weren’t previously buying. I imagine that if you were on the fence about the new direction, you went with the latter route. I think you’ll see Marvel say “we’ve established Spider-Man with the three times a month schedule, so now we can scale back to twice a month” long before you see Marvel say “we’re replacing the new status quo with the old status quo”.

  56. Richard Renteria says:

    Paul,

    Long-time reader first time poster here.

    I believe the reason you are seeing so many Wolverine specials and one-shots is due to the movie in May 2009. I would hazard to guess that Marvel wants as many “non-continuity” in-continuity stories as possible for potential new readers. If that makes any sense.

    In regards to the Twelve, I think word of mouth is finally starting to help this book catch on.

    Captain America continues to hold on to readers due to anticipation. I know Cap is not coming back in the next dozen issues, but the journey to his return, if he returns at all, has been one of those rare moments in comicdom where everything seems to just be clicking.

    It’s sad to see Marvel ruin Marvel Comics Present by not doing anything to back it up marketing wise. The title seems like the perfect vehicle for events like Secret Invasion.

    Thanks again!

    R-

  57. Ron Thibodeau says:

    People looking to save money can go the subscription route. I dropped almost all my comics. Now I get Cap, Mighty and New Avengers directly from Marvel Subscriptions. 12 issues a year for only 19.97. I also ordered the Amazing Spider-Man 36 pack (a one year subscription for 49.97. My total for the the 4 titles directly from marvel is $109.88 for the whole year.

    If I bought those issues off the stands, the total would be $215.28 for those 4 titles for the year. I am saving over $105.00 by ordering my books directly from Marvel. Of course, those sales won’t count on the Diamond charts, but that’s ok. I know what titles I am enjoying, and I am also enjoying the big discount. And I get it delivered right to my door. Yeah, sometimes I have to wait an extra few days, but with those savings I really can’t complain.

  58. Micah says:

    Ron, through the subscription service, what kind of condition do the books arrive in? Do you ever get dinged-up copies?

  59. I used to subscribe to Amazing Spider-man when I was in the 5th or 6th grade and I remember they used to come delivered wrapped in brown parcel paper.

    They never came in bad shape from what I recall.

    Of course, I only subscribed back then because I wasn’t allowed to buy comics at the local stationary story when I brought home back report cards – so in order to get my fix sneaked in the house, the postal service had to smuggle them in for me.

    ~

    Coat

  60. Sean W says:

    64. IRON MAN: VIVA LAS VEGAS
    05/08 Viva Las Vegas #1 of 4 – 35,152

    WTF?! 35k?! This was written by the guy who directed the movie! And drawn by the guy who designed the movie’s Iron Man armor and was the artist on Ellis’ run. This is pretty bad…

  61. Wraith says:

    There are 2 MAIN reasons why sales on ASM are dropping from issue to issue.

    1. The book is being published 3 times a month and many fans either don’t have or want to spend the extra money on buying 2 EXTRA copies of ASM a month. The reason why ASM always sold much better then the other 2 Spidey titles is because MANY fans only want to buy/spend money on ONE Spidey comic a month. And if they had to spend money on one Spidey title a month, it is going to be the main/original/flagship Spidey title.

    2. The book is NOT currently part of a major event/gimmick crossover and/or controversial storyline.

    I said it before, and I’ll say it again, sales on ASM would be EXACTLY where they are at and still falling if Peter and MJ were still married.

  62. Wraith,

    I would partly agree, in that I think the AMZx3 publishing schedule would inevitably result in lower sales per issue than the title had previously. I doubt that the drops would be as large as we’ve seen under BND, though.

    However, this brings up an interesting point, because while we seem to disagree on BND, you and I both agree that the AMZx3 publishing schedule is at least partly responsible for driving away customers, which makes me wonder why in the hell Joe Quesada thought it was a good idea, especially since even he has admitted that BND was bound to drive away at least SOME readers. I mean, why do that to yourself, when you’re ALREADY trying to recruit NEW readers, to make up for the ones that you KNOW you’ll lose?

  63. Wraith says:

    Kirk

    I have long theorized that the reason why Quesada does the things he does is because (a) he wants to make the comics as close as possible to their TV and movie versions and (b) he wants to give the higher ups the impression that storylines he has approved are actually increasing the sales of the books (which is why ASM comes out 3 times a month). Notice how whenever Marvel either relaunches a book or revamps a book with a new (and MOST LIKELY) more expensive popular/critically acclaimed/celebrity writer, that they always saddle said book with sales gimmick like variant covers,being part of a crossover,being involved in a high profile controversial storyline,or get a very popular artist to draw the early issues of said book.

  64. I have long theorized that the reason why Quesada does the things he does is because (a) he wants to make the comics as close as possible to their TV and movie versions [...]

    Except that, if we were going by this logic, both Harry and Norman would be dead (again), and Peter and Mary Jane would be engaged, with Mary Jane fully aware of Peter’s secret identity. On that point, several Spider-movie fans of my acquaintance bestowed particular praise on Spider-Man II for NOT doing what Superman II did, by reverting the relationship and the secret identity knowledge back into their start-up status quo. Indeed, any time I’ve recommended a superhero comic book I like to those who don’t read superhero comic books, Lois Lane’s long-time blindness to Superman’s secret identity has been the single most-cited reason why those people choose not to read superhero comic books, so I would assert that, if Quesada is serious about attracting readers who are genuinely new to the titles and the genre alike, then he’s going about it in exactly the wrong direction.

  65. And regarding the sales stunts (again, directed toward Wraith),

    I can’t help but see the three-times-a-month publishing schedule as generating temporary gains in the short-term at the direct cost of regular readers in the long term. By switching to thrice-monthly issues, they’ve literally made themselves three times more dependent upon each of their remaining customers, so if they lose THOSE readers, the impact to their sales is MUCH bigger.

  66. Wraith says:

    If you go back and re-read my post, you will see that I said that they were trying to make the comics resemble BOTH their TV and MOVIE versions. The SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN cartoon is a HUGE hit (in both ratings and to fans) and in that series Peter is not engaged to MJ,Norman is alive,Harry is alive,Peter is a teenage high school student,MJ doesn’t know that Peter is Spider-Man,Gwen is alive,and he has mechanical webshooters. So it’s not the Spider-Man movies that the current comics are trying to reflect, but it is the current hit animated TV show that they are trying to reflect. IMO, the current TV series is a heck of a lot better then the movies (and I liked all of the movies except for the 3rd one). And speaking of the movies, Sam Ranni has gone on record as saying that Spidey should NEVER get married.

    I agree with you about the 3 times a month publishing schedule.

  67. biffordmichael says:

    Quesada’s latest myspace blog revealed that Marvel Comic Presents ISN’T over…which makes me happy as can be as I love the little book!

    Biff

  68. With regards to Young Avengers : “Looking at it now, it’s hard to believe this launched as a highly successful new franchise. A cautionary tale for publishers.”

    Marvel so completely dropped the ball on this it’s not funny. They had a succesful new franchise that handled right could still be selling big numbers now, and what do they do? They wait, and wait (and wait and wait) on a “super star” writer who clearly has no ineterest or respect for what he was writing, and now the Young Avengers are nothing different from any of the Initiative stuff that has been put out.

    A cautionary tale indeed.

  69. kj1313 says:

    First time posting here. VG I totally agree with you re:Young Avengers. When it first came out it was fresh & exciting. I loved the fact they used Kang as a teenage hero and loved the makeup & feel of the team. Not only did the delays hurt YA but I think all the events (especially CW) has given it such a disjointed feeling to it. YA needed a good 2-3 yr run before they involved them in all the event madness.

  70. For those wondering, my bet with Dan was based on direct market numbers.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] [Publishing] Paul O’Brien compare’s Marvel Entertainment’s month-to-month sales to Direct-Market retailers, now updated for May. [...]

  2. [...] [Publishing] Paul O’Brien compare’s Marvel Entertainment’s month-to-month sales to Direct-Market retailers, now updated for May. [...]

  3. [...] Yet well-known creators are still not a guarantee of success—see the “underwhelm” of the current Millar/Hitch run on Fantastic Four—and the rest of the MAX line doesn’t fare nearly as well as this debut. Justifiably underground legend Richard Corben’s book only hit 13,605, while the Ellis/Chaykin book has never had the numbers of Little Black Book; it debuted with 20,373 copies and has now slid in its penultimate fourth issue to 11,765 copies. Further, the recent MAX Foolkiller series debuted at 19,706 copies before plunging to a finale five issues later of 9,697, and Dead of Night never broke 13k. [...]

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