Marvel Month-to-Month Sales: May 2011

201107061616 Marvel Month to Month Sales: May 2011
by Paul O’Brien

It’s month two of event season, and FEAR ITSELF tie-ins are starting to crop up across the Marvel Universe. And there’s also the relaunch of MOON KNIGHT – wisely given a clear run in a month that’s otherwise pretty light on new titles.

DC’s FLASHPOINT event also gets underway in May, but with the crossover titles not hitting until June, it’s no surprise that Marvel were once again the top company in the direct market. They led DC by 46% to 28% in unit share and by 42% to 27% in dollars.

All of this, of course, could be turned upside down in September – a month which will be unpredictable if nothing else. But for now, let us cast our minds back to a simpler time.

Thanks as always to ICV2.com for allowing us to use these figures. And a reminder for newer readers: these numbers only relate to the North American direct market. They don’t cover newsstands, or foreign markets. And the same material will also (eventually) sell in digital and trade paperback format, so the total sales will be higher. On the other hand, these numbers reflect the orders placed by direct market retailers – it doesn’t follow that all the copies were actually sold to customers. But the longer a book has been going, the more accurate the retailers’ estimates ought to be.

1. FEAR ITSELF
04/11  #1 of 7 - 135,746
05/11  #2 of 7 -  96,318  (-29.0%)

Round one to Marvel, as FEAR ITSELF holds on to the top spot for a second month, while DC’s FLASHPOINT enters at number two. Admittedly, FEAR ITSELF is a more conventional line-wide crossover; FLASHPOINT is basically a Flash storyline with a horde of spin-off minis, but it doesn’t cross into any other regular DC title apart from BOOSTER GOLD. And when the retailers placed their orders for May, we didn’t know that it was the lead-in to another re-boot.

It’ll be interesting to see if things change over the next few months – though at this stage it wouldn’t surprise me if the DC hype channels readers towards the September relaunch rather than FLASHPOINT. (If everyone knows your event book ends by hitting the cosmic reset button, does that make it a non-event?)

Issue #1 picks up reorders of 7,151, which are included in the numbers above.

Also picking up reorders is KICK-ASS 2 #1, which came out last October, but still adds 5,149 to its total. That brings its total to 76,931. I mention that now because 76,931 would have been enough to beat any other Marvel title on the May chart. No wonder Mark Millar wants to pursue his creator-owned work.

4. AVENGERS
05/10  #1  - 170,682
06/10  #2  -  98,788  (-42.1%)
07/10  #3  -  87,410  (-11.5%)
08/10  #4  -  87,333  ( -0.1%)
09/10  #5  -  82,411  ( -5.6%)
10/10  #6  -  73,258  (-11.1%)
11/10  #7  -  89,758  (+22.5%)
12/10  #8  -  67,056  (-25.3%)
01/11  #9  -  64,867  ( -3.3%)
02/11  #10 -  63,924  ( -1.5%)
03/11  #11 -  66,618  ( +4.2%)
04/11  #12 -  63,441  ( -4.8%)
04/11  #.1 -  60,455  ( -4.7%)
05/11  #13 -  68,086  (+12.6%)
              6 mnth  (-24.1%)

This is the first part of a FEAR ITSELF tie-in arc. At first glance that 12.6% increase from the previous issue looks pretty good. But not so fast. For one thing, the previous issue was a Point One, which sold below normal. Comparing with issue #12 would give us +7.3% instead.

And issue #13 also has an X-Men Evolutions variant cover – this month’s line-wide theme. The last variant cover was on issue #11. Compare with that, and sales are up 2.2%.

Having said that, the Avengers titles tend not to see much benefit from Marvel’s line-wide crossovers, presumably because the relevant audience is buying them already. There tends to be more impact the further you get down the chart. Let’s see how we get on with that.

5,7. FF
05/06  ---
05/07  #546 -  72,183
05/08  #557 -  62,736
05/09  #566 -  46,653
=====
05/10  #579 -  38,415  (  +1.3%)
06/10  #580 -  36,582  (  -4.8%)
07/10  #581 -  35,505  (  -2.9%)
08/10  #582 -  34,617  (  -2.5%)
09/10  #583 -  46,267  ( +33.7%)
10/10  #584 -  45,066  (  -2.6%)
11/10  #585 -  41,568  (  -7.8%)
12/10  #586 -  42,829  (  +3.0%)
01/11  #587 - 144,173  (+236.6%)
02/11  #588 -  68,153  ( -52.7%)
03/11  #1   - 121,172  ( +77.8%)
04/11  #2   -  72,897  ( -39.8%)
05/11  #3   -  66,885  (  -8.2%)
05/11  #4   -  60,571  (  -9.4%)
               6 mnth  ( +45.7%)
               1 year  ( +57.7%)
               2 year  ( +29.8%)
               3 year  (  -3.5%)
               4 year  ( -16.1%)
               5 year  (   --- )

Two issues this month, and while the relaunched FF is still finding its level, it’s also miles ahead of the 38K it was selling a year ago. Issue #3 has two variant covers, issue #4 has one, which ought to be magnifying the drop between the issues.

Issue #2 charts again at number 293, picking up reorders of 3,107. Those are added to the figures above, and again, it makes the #2-3 drop look a little steeper than it is.

9. NEW AVENGERS
05/06  #19    - 123,318
05/07  #30    - 126,425
05/08  #41    - 109,185
05/09  #53    -  94,367
=====
05/10  Finale -  82,152  ( +8.9%)
06/10  #1     - 129,084  (+67.8%)
07/10  #2     -  83,397  (-35.4%)
08/10  #3     -  81,354  ( -2.4%)
09/10  #4     -  77,479  ( -4.7%)
10/10  #5     -  73,409  ( -5.3%)
11/10  #6     -  66,724  ( -9.1%)
12/10  #7     -  67,840  ( +1.7%)
01/11  #8     -  61,169  ( -9.8%)
02/11  #9     -  60,914  ( -0.4%)
03/11  #10    -  59,929  ( -1.6%)
04/11  #11    -  61,778  ( +3.1%)
05/11  #12    -  60,328  ( -2.3%)
                 6 mnth  ( -9.6%)
                 1 year  (-26.6%)
                 2 year  (-36.1%)
                 3 year  (-44.7%)
                 4 year  (-52.3%)
                 5 year  (-51.1%)

This has a variant cover, for the second month running. The “Fear Itself” tie-in arc won’t arrive until issue #14.

10,11,13. AMAZING SPIDER-MAN
05/06  #532 -  95,544
05/07  #540 - 119,662
05/08  #560 -  74,012
05/09  #593 -  58,363
=====
05/10  #630 -  57,969  ( +8.2%)
05/10  #631 -  57,239  ( -1.3%)
05/10  #632 -  56,723  ( -0.9%)
06/10  #633 -  57,670  ( +1.7%)
06/10  #634 -  61,736  ( +7.1%)
06/10  #635 -  56,146  ( -9.1%)
07/10  #636 -  56,011  ( -0.2%)
07/10  #637 -  56,031  ( +0.0%)
07/10  #638 -  68,271  (+21.8%)
08/10  #639 -  67,086  ( -1.7%)
08/10  #640 -  73,656  ( +9.8%)
09/10  #641 -  68,345  ( -7.2%)
09/10  #642 -  60,115  (-12.0%)
09/10  #643 -  61,855  ( +2.9%)
09/10  #644 -  58,310  ( -5.7%)
10/10  #645 -  56,709  ( -2.7%)
10/10  #646 -  58,125  ( +2.5%)
11/10  #647 -  55,819  ( -4.0%)
11/10  #648 -  79,714  (+42.8%)
11/10  #649 -  55,515  (-30.4%)
12/10  #650 -  58,909  ( +6.1%)
01/11  #651 -  56,749  ( -3.7%)
01/11  #652 -  52,050  ( -8.3%)
02/11  #653 -  53,103  ( +2.0%)
02/11  #654 -  53,882  ( +1.5%)
02/11  #.1  -  55,283  ( +2.6%)
02/11  #655 -  53,366  ( -3.5%)
03/11  #656 -  59,626  (+11.7%)
03/11  #657 -  58,704  ( -1.5%)
04/11  #658 -  61,687  ( +5.1%)
04/11  #659 -  58,258  ( -5.6%)
05/11  #660 -  58,249  ( -0.0%)
05/11  #661 -  59,087  ( +1.4%)
05/11  #662 -  55,883  ( -5.4%)
               6 mnth  ( +0.7%)
               1 year  ( -3.6%)
               2 year  ( -4.2%)
               3 year  (-24.5%)
               4 year  (-53.3%)
               5 year  (-41.5%)

Three issues this month. The variant cover is on issue #661, as if you couldn’t tell. Issues #661 and #662 are a two-part story by AVENGERS ACADEMY writer Christos Gage, guest starring the kids from that book; that could be viewed as a fill-in. But the same issues also have back-up strips building to the upcoming “Spider-Island” crossover, which could be cancelling out that effect.

16. UNCANNY X-MEN
05/06  #473 -  79,335
05/07  #486 -  81,965
05/08  #498 -  82,090
05/09  #510 -  75,139
=====
05/10  #524 -  77,056  ( -2.5%)
06/10  #525 -  76,068  ( -1.3%)
07/10  #526 -  66,723  (-12.3%)
08/10  #527 -  69,052  ( +3.5%)
09/10  #528 -  62,415  ( -9.6%)
10/10  #529 -  62,256  ( -0.3%)
11/10  #530 -  58,006  ( -6.8%)
12/10  #531 -  55,770  ( -3.9%)
01/11  #532 -  54,071  ( -3.0%)
02/11  #533 -  53,834  ( -0.4%)
03/11  #534 -  55,731  ( +3.5%)
04/11  #.1  -  53,473  ( -4.1%)
04/11  #535 -  56,795  ( +6.2%)
04/11  #536 -  53,502  ( -5.8%)
05/11  #537 -  53,716  ( +0.4%)
               6 mnth  ( -7.4%)
               1 year  (-30.3%)
               2 year  (-28.5%)
               3 year  (-34.6%)
               4 year  (-34.5%)
               5 year  (-32.3%)

Very slightly up this month, which is unusual considering that it’s part three of a four-part storyline and there are no variant covers in play.

UNCANNY X-MEN is being relaunched in October, with Axel Alonso being quoted as saying “We promise that there will be a reason for each and every new issue No. 1 that hits stores in the near future.”

And who would doubt the sincerity of that promise, coming from a company that, in the last year alone, has relaunched (or announced the relaunch) of FANTASTIC FOUR, NEW AVENGERS, UNCANNY X-MEN, X-FORCE, THOR, ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN, CAPTAIN AMERICA, WOLVERINE, DARK WOLVERINE, DAREDEVIL and HERC?

I have seen it suggested that the muted response to the “UNCANNY X-MEN cancelled” press release might be because it was overshadowed by DC’s relaunch. But surely, at this stage, no reader could regard yet another renumbering as anything other than utterly mundane.

18. X-MEN: GIANT-SIZE
05/11  #1 - 52,103

To all intents and purposes, this is X-MEN #11.5 – it’s the first part of the “First and Last” storyline which continues in X-MEN #12. Allowing for the fact that it has two variant covers, retailers have ordered it accordingly.

19. SECRET AVENGERS
05/10  #1  - 110,681
06/10  #2  -  77,933  (-30.0%)
07/10  #3  -  72,293  ( -7.2%)
08/10  #4  -  74,655  ( +3.3%)
09/10  #5  -  69,546  ( -6.8%)
10/10  #6  -  68,617  ( -1.3%)
11/10  #7  -  59,999  (-12.6%)
12/10  #8  -  54,048  ( -9.9%)
01/11  #9  -  50,748  ( -6.1%)
02/11  #10 -  49,717  ( -2.0%)
03/11  #11 -  51,353  ( +3.3%)
04/11  #12 -  50,641  (-13.9%)
04/11  #.1 -  46,161  ( -8.8%)
05/11  #13 -  51,936  (+12.5%)
              6 mnth  (-13.4%)
              1 year  (-53.1%)

This is the start of a FEAR ITSELF tie-in arc. The effect on sales is magnified by April’s underperforming Point One issue. In fact, the increase from issue #12 is not spectacular – but, as already noted, the Avengers books don’t tend to see big gains from these events.

20,21. UNCANNY X-FORCE
05/08  #4      - 80,175
05/09  #15     - 58,340
=====
05/10  #27     - 62,509  (  -7.4%)
06/10  ---
07/10  #28     - 61,680  (  -1.3%)
07/10  Sex #1  - 41,426  ( -32.8%)
08/10  #2 of 3 - 38,480  (  -7.1%)
09/10  #3 of 3 - 37,283  (  -3.1%)
10/10  #1      - 99,194  (+166.1%)
11/10  #2      - 56,518  ( -43.0%)
12/10  #3      - 55,520  (  -1.8%)
01/11  #4      - 51,381  (  -7.5%)
02/11  #5      - 51,470  (  +0.2%)
03/11  #5.1    - 50,732  (  -1.4%)
03/11  #6      - 51,248  (  -1.0%)
04/11  #7      - 54,292  (  +5.9%)
04/11  #8      - 50,908  (  -6.2%)
05/11  #9      - 51,726  (  +1.6%)
05/11  #10     - 50,676  (  -2.0%)
                 6 mnth  ( -10.3%)
                 1 year  ( -18.9%)
                 2 year  ( -13.1%)
                 3 year  ( -36.8%)

Holding steady. Ignore the variant cover on issue #7 and you can see that this book has been solid since the start of the year.

22. MIGHTY THOR
05/06  ---
05/07  ---
05/08  #9   - 87,101
05/09  ---
=====
05/10  #610 - 61,779  ( -4.3%)
06/10  #611 - 56,443  ( -8.6%)
07/10  #612 - 53,373  ( -5.4%)
08/10  #613 - 51,076  ( -4.3%)
09/10  #614 - 53,505  ( +4.8%)
09/10  #615 - 52,896  ( -1.2%)
10/10  #616 - 51,051  ( -3.5%)
11/10  #617 - 49,165  ( -3.7%)
12/10  #618 - 45,142  ( -8.2%)
01/11  #619 - 42,899  ( -5.0%)
02/11  #620 - 42,106  ( -1.8%)
03/11  #.1  - 41,605  ( -1.2%)
03/11  #621 - 42,104  ( +1.2%)
04/11  #1   - 82,071  (+94.9%)
05/11  #2   - 50,473  (-38.5%)
              6 mnth  ( +2.7%)
              1 year  (-18.3%)
              2 year  (  --- )
              3 year  (-42.1%)
              4 year  (  --- )
              5 year  (  --- )

Heading rapidly back towards previous sales levels, but that’s renumbering for you.

23. MOON KNIGHT
05/06  #2      - 75,333
05/07  #10     - 56,734
05/08  #18     - 26,626
05/09  #30     - 19,693
=====
05/10  #8      - 20,597  (  -0.6%)
06/10  #9      - 18,695  (  -9.2%)
07/10  #10     - 19,143  (  +2.4%)
08/10  #1 of 3 - 28,196  ( +47.3%)
09/10  #2 of 3 - 20,307  ( -28.0%)
10/10  #3 of 3 - 18,318  (  -9.8%)
11/10  ---
12/10  ---
01/11  ---
02/11  ---
03/11  ---
04/11  ---
05/11  #1      - 49,018  (+167.6%)
                 6 mnth  (   --- )
                 1 year  (+138.0%)
                 2 year  (+148.9%)
                 3 year  ( +84.1%)
                 4 year  ( -13.6%)
                 5 year  ( -34.9%)

By today’s standards, Marvel have given this title a rest before the relaunch. They’ve also given it a high-profile creative team with Brian Bendis and Alex Maleev. It’s certainly resulted in a big increase in sales; we can only speculate on how much of that is due to the renumbering, and how much is because of the new creative team.

24. ULTIMATE COMICS SPIDER-MAN
05/06  #95  -  73,564
05/07  #109 -  72,478
05/08  #122 -  55,759
05/09  #132 -  50,144
=====
05/10  #10  -  39,690  ( -0.7%)
06/10  #11  -  39,149  ( -1.4%)
07/10  #12  -  37,879  ( -3.2%)
08/10  #13  -  36,946  ( -2.5%)
09/10  #14  -  35,776  ( -3.7%)
10/10  #15  -  34,657  ( -3.1%)
11/10  #150 -  40,553  (+17.0%)
12/10  #151 -  33,707  (-16.9%)
01/11  #152 -  33,481  ( -1.0%)
02/11  #153 -  43,986  (+31.4%)
02/11  #154 -  43,209  ( -1.8%)
03/11  #155 -  44,067  ( +2.0%)
03/11  #156 -  44,920  ( +1.9%)
04/11  #157 -  50,896  (+13.3%)
05/11  #158 -  47,941  ( -5.8%)
               6 mnth  (+18.2%)
               1 year  (+20.8%)
               2 year  ( -4.4%)
               3 year  (-14.0%)
               4 year  (-33.9%)
               5 year  (-34.8%)

Continuing the “Death of Spider-Man” storyline. A relaunch is, of course, imminent.

26. X-MEN
07/10  #1  - 143,167
08/10  #2  -  71,464  (-50.1%)
09/10  #3  -  66,549  ( -6.9%)
10/10  #4  -  63,772  ( -4.2%)
11/10  #5  -  56,651  (-11.2%)
12/10  #6  -  53,005  ( -6.4%)
01/11  #7  -  64,615  (+21.9%)
02/11  #8  -  49,522  (-23.4%)
03/11  #9  -  51,179  ( +3.3%)
04/11  #10 -  50,553  ( -1.2%)
05/11  #11 -  46,519  ( -8.0%)
              6 mnth  (-17.9%)

This is, rather oddly, an epilogue to the “Curse of the Mutants” story which ended in issue #6. There’s a variant cover, but there were two in April, so the drop ought to be magnified.

27,28. X-MEN LEGACY
05/06  #186 -  79,536
05/07  #199 -  75,996
05/08  #212 -  74,033
05/09  #224 -  54,008
=====
05/10  #236 -  69,731  ( +6.8%)
06/10  #237 -  65,578  ( -6.0%)
07/10  #238 -  53,313  (-18.7%)
08/10  #239 -  53,236  ( -0.1%)
09/10  #240 -  50,984  ( -4.2%)
10/10  #241 -  48,133  ( -5.6%)
11/10  #242 -  43,750  ( -9.1%)
12/10  #243 -  41,797  ( -4.5%)
01/11  #244 -  40,193  ( -3.8%)
02/11  #245 -  57,203  (+42.3%)
03/11  #246 -  47,893  (-16.3%)
04/11  #247 -  51,970  ( +8.5%)
05/11  #248 -  46,083  (-11.3%)
05/11  #249 -  45,063  ( -2.2%)
               6 mnth  ( +3.0%)
               1 year  (-35.4%)
               2 year  (-16.6%)
               3 year  (-39.1%)
               4 year  (-40.7%)
               5 year  (-43.3%)

The book seems to have held on to most of the sales gain from “Age of X”, although in fairness, these two issues are an epilogue to that storyline, and were solicited accordingly.

29. INVINCIBLE IRON MAN
05/06  #8   -  36,860
05/07  #17  -  63,328
05/08  #1   - 105,864
05/09  #13  -  51,311
=====
05/10  #26  -  53,625  (-27.2%)
06/10  #27  -  52,268  ( -2.5%)
07/10  #28  -  48,690  ( -6.8%)
08/10  #29  -  49,012  ( +0.7%)
09/10  #30  -  47,238  ( -3.6%)
10/10  #31  -  45,507  ( -3.7%)
11/10  #32  -  40,978  (-10.0%)
12/10  #33  -  41,890  ( +2.2%)
01/11  #500 -  54,186  (+29.4%)
02/11  #.1  -  42,191  (-22.1%)
02/11  #501 -  41,517  ( -1.6%)
03/11  #502 -  43,899  ( +5.7%)
04/11  #503 -  45,314  ( +3.2%)
05/11  #504 -  44,791  ( -1.2%)
               6 mnth  ( +9.3%)
               1 year  (-16.5%)
               2 year  (-12.7%)
               3 year  (-57.7%)
               4 year  (-29.3%)
               5 year  (+21.5%)

This is the second FEAR ITSELF tie-in issue, also bolstered by a variant cover. There’s some increase, but not a huge one.

30. CAPTAIN AMERICA
05/06  #18  -  46,740
05/07  #26  - 126,449
05/08  #38  -  79,350
05/09  #50 -   66,928
=====
05/10  ---
06/10  #606 -  57,443  ( -2.7%)
06/10  #607 -  52,989  ( -7.8%)
07/10  ---
08/10  #608 -  51,362  ( -3.1%)
08/10  #609 -  52,834  ( +2.9%)
09/10  #610 -  47,986  ( -9.2%)
10/10  #611 -  48,788  ( +1.7%)
11/10  #612 -  47,343  ( -3.0%)
12/10  #613 -  42,871  ( -9.4%)
01/11  #614 -  42,119  ( -1.8%)
02/11  #615 -  41,935  ( -0.4%)
03/11  #.1  -  43,117  ( +2.8%)
03/11  #616 -  44,394  ( +3.0%)
04/11  #617 -  45,400  ( +2.3%)
05/11  #618 -  44,748  ( -1.4%)
               6 mnth  ( -5.5%)
               1 year  (  --- )
               2 year  (-33.1%)
               3 year  (-43.6%)
               4 year  (-64.6%)
               5 year  ( -4.3%)

Hovering quite comfortably in the mid-40K range.

31. WOLVERINE
05/06  #42  -  93,558
05/07  #54  -  96,082
05/08  #65  -  62,451
05/09  #2   -  59,192
=====
05/10  #13  -  29,773  (  -0.9%)
06/10  #14  -  30,035  (  +0.9%)
07/10  #15  -  29,555  (  -1.6%)
08/10  #16  -  29,424  (  -0.4%)
09/10  #1   - 104,414  (+254.9%)
10/10  #2   -  63,210  ( -39.5%)
11/10  #3   -  51,600  ( -18.4%)
12/10  #4   -  52,812  (  +2.3%)
01/11  #5   -  46,920  ( -11.2%)
02/11  #5.1 -  44,332  (  -5.5%)
02/11  #6   -  45,932  (  +3.6%)
03/11  #7   -  47,337  (  +3.1%)
04/11  #8   -  47,010  (  -0.7%)
05/11  #9   -  44,635  (  -5.1%)
               6 mnth  ( -13.5%)
               1 year  ( +49.9%)
               2 year  ( -24.6%)
               3 year  ( -28.5%)
               4 year  ( -53.5%)
               5 year  ( -52.3%)

This has a variant cover, but so did the previous two issues. The 5% drop is a little odd, unless the X-Men’s guest starring role in the previous three issues made a difference.

33. ULTIMATE AVENGERS VS NEW ULTIMATES
05/10  Vol 2 #2 - 52,939  (-18.3%)
06/10  Vol 2 #3 - 50,797  ( -4.0%)
06/10  Vol 2 #4 - 49,606  ( -2.3%)
07/10  Vol 2 #5 - 46,886  ( -5.5%)
08/10  Vol 2 #6 - 46,358  (-11.3%)
08/10  Vol 3 #1 - 53,870  (+16.2%)
09/10  Vol 3 #2 - 43,119  (-20.0%)
10/10  Vol 3 #3 - 38,529  (-10.6%)
11/10  Vol 3 #4 - 36,777  ( -4.5%)
12/10  Vol 3 #5 - 34,483  ( -6.2%)
01/11  Vol 3 #6 - 33,454  ( -3.0%)
02/11  #1 of 6  - 49,360  (+47.5%)
03/11  #2 of 6  - 44,116  (-10.6%)
04/11  #3 of 6  - 43,822  ( -0.7%)
05/11  #4 of 6  - 43,707  ( -0.3%)
                  6 mnth  (+18.8%)
                  1 year  (-17.4%)

Part of the Death of Spider-Man crossover, which is doing better than the previous arc.

34. VENOM
03/11  #1 - 58,936
04/11  #2 - 41,006  (-30.4%)
05/11  #3 - 40,634  ( -0.9%)

Issue #3 has a variant cover, which goes some way towards explaining the unusually small drop this month. But even allowing for that, these are decent numbers.

36. JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY
04/11  #622 - 43,925
05/11  #623 - 39,003  (-11.2%)

A relatively modest drop for a de facto second issue. This is a FEAR ITSELF tie-in with a variant cover, but the same applied in April.

37,39.  ASTONISHING X-MEN
05/06  ---
05/07  #21 - 120,495
05/08  GS1 - 105,508
05/09  ---
=====
05/10  ---
06/10  #34 -  57,363  ( -0.4%)
07/10  ---
08/10  #35 -  50,441  (-12.1%)
09/10  ---
10/10  ---
11/10  ---
12/10  ---
01/11  ---
02/11  #36 -  44,326  (-12.2%)
03/11  ---
04/11  ---
05/11  #37 -  38,513  (-13.1%)
05/11  #38 -  37,580  ( -2.4%)
              6 mnth  (  --- )
              1 year  (  --- )
              2 year  (  --- )
              3 year  (-64.4%)
              4 year  (-68.8%)
              5 year  (  --- )

Two issues in a month? Really? Well, at least it’s levelling out.

43,49. X-MEN: PRELUDE TO SCHISM
05/11  #1 of 4 - 34,796
05/11  #2 of 4 - 31,311  (-10.0%)

Two issues in its first month. This is, of course, a lead-in to the “Schism” crossover. You can view these numbers two ways. On the one hand, it’s a good number for an X-Men mini in 2011. On the other hand, you might hope for more from the lead-in to a major crossover.

44. NEW MUTANTS
05/09  #1  - 60,972
=====
05/10  #13 - 54,169  ( +9.2%)
06/10  #14 - 53,926  ( -0.4%)
07/10  #15 - 35,426  (-34.3%)
08/10  #16 - 31,989  ( -9.7%)
09/10  #17 - 31,684  ( -1.0%)
10/10  #18 - 27,027  (-14.7%)
11/10  #19 - 25,440  ( -5.9%)
12/10  #20 - 24,416  ( -4.0%)
01/11  #21 - 23,773  ( -2.6%)
02/11  #22 - 41,236  (+73.5%)
03/11  #23 - 37,659  ( -8.7%)
04/11  #24 - 38,701  ( +2.8%)
05/11  #25 - 34,724  (-10.3%)
             6 mnth  (+36.5%)
             1 year  (-35.9%)
             2 year  (-43.0%)

Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning take over as the new writers. The previous three issues were “Age of X” crossovers, but the new team do deliver increased sales compared to the book’s previous baseline, even allowing for two variant covers.

45. FEAR ITSELF: SPIDER-MAN
05/11  #1 of 3 - 34,551

Roughly 20,000 behind the core Spider-Man title, but it’s a better debut number than FEAR ITSELF: THE HOME FRONT managed last month.

47. HULK
05/08  ---
05/09  #12 - 73,105
=====
05/10  #22 - 49,618  ( -2.3%)
06/10  #23 - 50,724  ( +2.2%)
07/10  ---
08/10  #24 - 48,903  ( -3.6%)
09/10  #25 - 46,784  ( -4.3%)
10/10  #26 - 42,934  ( -8.2%)
11/10  #27 - 38,691  ( -9.9%)
12/10  #28 - 34,755  (-10.2%)
01/11  ---
02/11  #29 - 33,375  ( -4.0%)
02/11  #30 - 32,907  ( -1.4%)
03/11  #.1 - 32,163  ( -2.3%)
03/11  #31 - 31,368  ( -2.5%)
04/11  #32 - 30,652  ( -2.3%)
05/11  #33 - 32,273  ( +5.3%)
             6 mnth  (-16.6%)
             1 year  (-35.0%)
             2 year  (-55.9%)
             3 year  (  --- )

Two variant covers, which most likely explains the increase.

52,55. INCREDIBLE HULKS
05/06  #95  -  46,571
05/07  #106 - 110,192
05/08  ---
05/09  ---
=====
05/10  #609 -  46,670  ( -1.0%)
06/10  #610 -  46,461  ( -0.4%)
07/10  ---
08/10  #611 -  44,982  ( -3.2%)
09/10  #612 -  42,956  ( -4.5%)
09/10  #613 -  40,063  ( -6.7%)
10/10  #614 -  39,572  ( -1.2%)
10/10  #615 -  36,750  ( -7.1%)
11/10  #616 -  35,296  ( -4.0%)
11/10  #617 -  34,340  ( -2.7%)
12/10  #618 -  34,868  ( -1.5%)
12/10  #619 -  32,657  ( -6.3%)
01/11  #620 -  30,992  ( -5.1%)
01/11  #621 -  30,957  ( -0.1%)
02/11  #622 -  30,404  ( -1.8%)
02/11  #623 -  30,140  ( -0.9%)
03/11  #624 -  32,066  ( +6.4%)
03/11  #625 -  29,792  ( -7.1%)
04/11  #626 -  29,782  ( -0.0%)
04/11  #627 -  30,788  ( +3.3%)
05/11  #628 -  28,822  ( -6.4%)
05/11  #629 -  28,103  ( -2.5%)
               6 mnth  (-18.2%)
               1 year  (-39.8%)
               2 year  (  --- )
               3 year  (  --- )
               4 year  (-74.5%)
               5 year  (-39.7%)

Cancelled with issue #635.

53. FEAR ITSELF: THE HOME FRONT
04/11  #1 of 7 - 32,601
05/11  #2 of 7 - 28,605  (-12.3%)

That’s a fairly small second-issue drop.

56. DEADPOOL
05/09  #10 - 56,123
=====
05/10  #23 - 42,761  ( -0.7%)
06/10  #24 - 38,663  ( -9.6%)
07/10  #25 - 36,828  ( -4.7%)
08/10  #26 - 35,595  ( -3.3%)
09/10  #27 - 36,404  ( +2.3%)
10/10  #28 - 34,828  ( -4.3%)
11/10  #29 - 31,350  (-10.0%)
12/10  #30 - 30,488  ( -2.7%)
01/11  #31 - 29,167  ( -4.3%)
01/11  #32 - 29,144  ( -0.1%)
02/11  #33 - 28,649  ( -1.7%)
03/11  #.1 - 28,979  ( +1.2%)
03/11  #34 - 30,299  ( +4.6%)
04/11  #35 - 28,517  ( -5.9%)
04/11  #36 - 28,173  ( -1.2%)
05/11  #37 - 28,002  ( -0.6%)
             6 mnth  (-10.7%)
             1 year  (-34.5%)
             2 year  (-50.1%)

Sales remain solid at around 28K, at least when there are no variant covers in play.

58. IDENTITY WARS
04/11  Spider-Man Ann #38 - 42,040
05/11  Deadpool Annual #1 - 27,592  (-34.4%)

These “annual” crossovers are seeing pretty horrific drop-offs as they go on – no doubt a combination of the normal miniseries effect, and the diminishing profile of the characters.

59,70. DAKEN: DARK WOLVERINE
05/10  #86 - 46,315  ( -2.6%)
06/10  #87 - 43,087  ( -7.0%)
07/10  #88 - 42,522  ( -1.3%)
08/10  #89 - 41,409  ( -2.6%)
08/10  #90 - 39,815  ( -3.8%)
09/10  #1  - 48,819  (+22.6%)
10/10  #2  - 38,660  (-22.9%)
11/10  #3  - 32,679  (-15.5%)
12/10  #4  - 30,726  ( -6.0%)
01/11  ---
02/11  #5  - 28,833  ( -6.2%)
03/11  #6  - 27,486  ( -4.7%)
03/11  #7  - 27,224  ( -1.0%)
04/11  #8  - 26,925  ( -1.1%)
05/11  #9  - 26,294  ( -2.3%)
05/11  #.1 - 24,599  ( -6.4%)
             6 mnth  (-24.7%)
             1 year  (-46.9%)

Once again, the Point One issue comes in behind the book’s regular sales. In theory it also ought to suffer from the fact that issues #7-9 were a crossover with X-23, but that crossover didn’t seem to help much in the first place.

60. DAREDEVIL: REBORN
05/06  #85     - 47,899
05/07  #97     - 47,200
05/08  #107    - 40,418
05/09  ---
=====
05/10  ---
06/10  #507    - 34,744  ( -7.3%)
07/10  #508    - 41,943  (+20.7%)
08/10  #509    - 41,577  ( -0.9%)
09/10  #510    - 44,728  ( +7.6%)
10/10  #511    - 43,167  ( -3.5%)
11/10  ---
12/10  #512    - 40,317  ( -7.1%)
01/11  #1 of 4 - 34,310  (-14.9%)
02/11  #2 of 4 - 29,108  (-15.2%)
03/11  #3 of 4 - 27,231  ( -6.4%)
04/11  ---
05/11  #4 of 4 - 26,179  ( -3.9%)
                 6 mnth  (  --- )
                 1 year  (  --- )
                 2 year  (  --- )
                 3 year  (-35.2%)
                 4 year  (-44.5%)
                 5 year  (-45.3%)

Heading for a relaunch later in the summer.

61. X-23
09/10  #1  - 48,481
10/10  #2  - 35,280  (-27.2%)
11/10  #3  - 31,224  (-11.5%)
12/10  #4  - 29,703  ( -4.9%)
01/11  #5  - 27,855  ( -6.2%)
02/11  #6  - 27,156  ( -2.5%)
03/11  #7  - 27,510  ( +1.3%)
03/11  #8  - 27,745  ( +0.9%)
04/11  #9  - 28,562  ( +2.9%)
05/11  #10 - 26,157  ( -8.4%)
             6 mnth  (-16.2%)

Unlike DAKEN, X-23 does seem to have seen a small drop following the end of the crossover.

62. ALPHA FLIGHT
05/11  #.1 - 25,775

The lead-in issue to a new miniseries. Given the usual performance of Point One and prelude issues (and the fact that issue #1 is a FEAR ITSELF tie-in), I’d expect sales to climb next month.

64. THUNDERBOLTS
05/06  #102 - 23,741
05/07  #114 - 66,309
05/08  #120 - 38,330
05/09  #132 - 43,911
=====
05/10  #144 - 33,276  ( -6.7%)
06/10  #145 - 31,999  ( -3.8%)
07/10  #146 - 31,501  ( -1.6%)
08/10  #147 - 31,252  ( -0.8%)
09/10  #148 - 32,190  ( +3.0%)
10/10  #149 - 30,580  ( -5.0%)
11/10  #150 - 31,704  ( +3.7%)
12/10  #151 - 27,943  (-11.9%)
01/11  #152 - 26,515  ( -5.1%)
02/11  #153 - 26,098  ( -1.6%)
03/11  #154 - 25,455  ( -2.5%)
03/11  #155 - 26,710  ( +4.9%)
04/11  #156 - 25,117  ( -6.0%)
05/11  #157 - 25,063  ( -0.2%)
              6 mnth  (-20.9%)
              1 year  (-24.7%)
              2 year  (-42.9%)
              3 year  (-34.6%)
              4 year  (-62.2%)
              5 year  ( +5.6%)

Very solid. A FEAR ITSELF tie-in arc starts next month.

65,73. AVENGERS ACADEMY
06/10  #1  - 45,890  (+20.3%)
07/10  #2  - 38,061  (-17.1%)
08/10  #3  - 35,629  ( -6.4%)
09/10  #4  - 31,212  (-12.4%)
10/10  #5  - 31,272  ( +0.2%)
11/10  #6  - 25,977  (-16.9%)
12/10  #7  - 27,774  ( +6.9%)
01/11  #8  - 24,014  (-13.5%)
02/11  #9  - 23,709  ( -1.3%)
03/11  #10 - 23,708  ( -0.0%)
03/11  #11 - 23,636  ( -0.3%)
04/11  #12 - 23,578  ( -0.2%)
05/11  #13 - 24,840  ( +5.4%)
05/11  #14 - 23,537  ( -5.2%)
             6 mnth  ( -9.4%)

Again, filter out the variant covers, and sales on this book seem to be rock solid. Nice to see.

66. X-FACTOR
05/06  #7   - 44,315
05/07  #19  - 37,898
05/08  #31  - 48,231
05/09  #43  - 31,543
=====
05/10  #205 - 41,745  ( +3.0%)
06/10  #206 - 40,981  ( -1.8%)
07/10  #207 - 32,082  (-21.7%)
08/10  #208 - 30,095  ( -6.2%)
09/10  #209 - 29,626  ( -1.6%)
10/10  #210 - 27,548  ( -7.0%)
11/10  #211 - 26,632  ( -3.3%)
12/10  #212 - 26,443  ( -0.7%)
01/11  #213 - 25,403  ( -3.9%)
01/11  #214 - 25,117  ( -1.1%)
02/11  #215 - 25,298  ( +0.7%)
03/11  #216 - 25,256  ( -0.2%)
03/11  #217 - 25,125  ( -0.5%)
04/11  #218 - 24,826  ( -1.2%)
05/11  #219 - 24,766  ( -0.2%)
              6 mnth  ( -7.0%)
              1 year  (-40.7%)
              2 year  (-21.5%)
              3 year  (-48.7%)
              4 year  (-34.7%)
              5 year  (-44.1%)

On a very slow slide.

68. FEAR ITSELF: YOUTH IN REVOLT
05/11  #1 of 6 - 24,709

Not a bad number considering the relatively obscure cast (it’s essentially an AVENGERS: THE INITIATIVE reunion). They certainly wouldn’t be delivering these numbers for a miniseries without the FEAR ITSELF tie-in.

72. ASTONISHING SPIDER-MAN/WOLVERINE
05/10  #1 of 5 - 56,518
06/10  ---
07/10  #2 of 5 - 34,704  (-38.6%)
08/10  ---
09/10  #3 of 5 - 29,455  (-15.1%)
10/10  ---
11/10  ---
12/10  #4 of 5 - 25,580  (-13.2%)
01/11  ---
02/11  ---
03/11  #5 of 6 - 24,036  ( -6.0%)
04/11  ---
05/11  #6 of 6 - 23,603  ( -1.8%)

Levelling out nicely over time.

75. ANNIHILATORS
03/11  #1 of 4 - 26,543
04/11  #2 of 4 - 24,117  (-9.1%)
05/11  #3 of 4 - 23,145  (-4.0%)

The cosmic audience seems to be as loyal as ever.

77. WOLVERINE: THE BEST THERE IS
12/10  #1 - 57,348
01/11  #2 - 33,469  (-41.6%)
02/11  #3 - 27,790  (-17.0%)
03/11  #4 - 25,226  ( -9.2%)
04/11  #5 - 24,771  ( -1.8%)
05/11  #6 - 22,695  ( -8.4%)

No variant this month, so the drop is exaggerated. You still have to wonder whether Marvel really needs a second Wolverine title that sells at this level – below both DAKEN and X-23, after all.

79. SECRET WARRIORS
05/09  #4  - 42,781
=====
05/10  #16 - 29,340  ( -1.1%)
06/10  #17 - 28,017  ( -4.5%)
07/10  ---
08/10  #18 - 27,415  ( -2.1%)
08/10  #19 - 26,902  ( -1.9%)
09/10  #20 - 25,947  ( -3.5%)
10/10  #21 - 24,748  ( -4.6%)
11/10  #22 - 24,059  ( -2.8%)
12/10  #23 - 23,078  ( -4.1%)
01/11  ---
02/11  #24 - 22,704  ( -1.6%)
02/11  #25 - 22,691  ( -0.1%)
04/11  #26 - 22,394  ( -1.3%)
05/11  #27 - 22,104  ( -1.3%)
             6 mnth  ( -8.1%)
             1 year  (-24.7%)
             2 year  (-48.3%)

Ends next month.

80. SILVER SURFER
02/11  #1 of 5 - 24,409
03/11  #2 of 5 - 23,484  (-3.8%)
04/11  #3 of 5 - 22,540  (-4.0%)
05/11  #4 of 5 - 21,918  (-2.8%)

Very little drop-off on this series – again, I can only assume it’s the intense loyalty of the audience for Marvel’s cosmic books.

83. BLACK PANTHER: THE MAN WITHOUT FEAR
05/06  #16     - 23,091
05/07  #27     - 52,552
05/08  #36     - 20,841
05/09  #4      - 30,984
=====
05/10  #4 of 6 - 28,307  (  +1.6%)
06/10  #5 of 6 - 26,041  (  -8.0%)
07/10  ---
08/10  #6 of 6 - 24,797  (  -4.8%)
09/10  ---
10/10  #1 of 4 - 16,973  ( -31.6%)
10/10  #2 of 4 - 12,960  ( -23.6%)
11/10  #3 of 4 - 10,356  ( -20.1%)
12/10  #4 of 4 -  9,145  ( -11.7%)
12/10  #513    - 33,124  (+262.2%)
01/11  #514    - 27,474  ( -17.1%)
02/11  #515    - 24,556  ( -10.6%)
03/11  #516    - 23,987  (  -2.3%)
04/11  #517    - 23,120  (  -3.6%)
05/11  #518    - 20,906  (  -9.6%)
                 6 mnth  (+101.9%)
                 1 year  ( -26.1%)
                 2 year  ( -32.5%)
                 3 year  (  +0.3%)
                 4 year  ( -60.2%)
                 5 year  (  -9.5%)

Coming off two months of variants, this gives us some indication of the book’s core level. A FEAR ITSELF arc is imminent.

85. GENERATION HOPE
11/10  #1 - 37,398
12/10  #2 - 38,984  ( +4.2%)
01/11  #3 - 24,094  (-38.2%)
02/11  #4 - 22,170  ( -8.0%)
03/11  #5 - 21,290  ( -4.0%)
04/11  #6 - 20,376  ( -4.3%)
05/11  #7 - 20,375  ( -0.0%)
            6 mnth  (-45.5%)

This has a variant cover, presumably cancelling out an underlying decline.

86. IRON MAN 2.0
02/11  #1 - 31,380
02/11  #2 - 24,600  (-21.6%)
03/11  #3 - 20,905  (-15.0%)
04/11  #4 - 20,342  ( -2.7%)
05/11  #5 - 20,320  ( -0.1%)

It’s the start of a FEAR ITSELF tie-in arc, but the gain from the crossover seems to be cancelled out by not having a variant cover for the first time.

88,97. HEROES FOR HIRE
12/10  #1 - 32,936
01/11  #2 - 23,013  (-30.1%)
02/11  #3 - 22,401  ( -2.7%)
03/11  #4 - 21,827  ( -2.6%)
04/11  #5 - 21,815  ( -0.0%)
05/11  #6 - 20,057  ( -8.1%)
05/11  #7 - 18,671  ( -6.9%)

Issue #7 is the first without a variant, going some way to explain the drop.

93,103. HERC
05/08  #117      - 53,008
05/09  #129      - 28,995
=====
05/10  Prince #1 - 20,373  (  +0.8%)
06/10  #2 of 4   - 17,068  ( -16.2%)
07/10  #3 of 4   - 15,667  (  -8.2%)
08/10  #4 of 4   - 17,137  (  +9.4%)
09/10  ---
10/10  Chaos #1  - 34,509  (+101.4%)
10/10  #2 of 5   - 29,375  ( -14.9%)
11/10  #3 of 5   - 28,630  (  -2.5%)
12/10  #4 of 5   - 26,313  (  -8.1%)
01/11  #5 of 5   - 24,694  (  -6.2%)
02/11  ---
03/11  ---
04/11  #1        - 38,774  ( +57.0%)
05/11  #2        - 17,385  ( -55.2%)
05/11  #3        - 18,755  (  +7.9%)
                   6 mnth  ( -34.5%)
                   1 year  (  -7.9%)
                   2 year  ( -35.3%)
                   3 year  ( -64.6%)

Two issues this month. The drop off from issue #1 is obviously pretty horrific – we’re down at the levels of the PRINCE OF POWER miniseries already. Issue #3 has a variant cover and it’s a FEAR ITSELF tie-in, but the impact is hardly massive.

98. AVENGERS ACADEMY GIANT-SIZE
05/11  #1 - 18,543

This is an 80-page, eight dollar book with a story that was originally slated to run through the annuals for AVENGERS ACADEMY, SPIDER-GIRL and YOUNG ALLIES, and was then going to be a miniseries called ARCADE: DEATH GAME, before ending up in this format. Bearing in mind the high price tag, and the fact that AVENGERS ACADEMY only sells around 23K to start with, it’s actually not such a bad number.

99. PUNISHERMAX  [Max]
05/06  #33 - 34,480
05/07  #47 - 33,892
05/08  #57 - 30,528
05/09  #70 - 21,864
=====
05/10  #7  - 22,198  ( -0.2%)
06/10  #8  - 22,053  ( -0.7%)
07/10  #9  - 21,453  ( -2.7%)
08/10  ---
09/10  ---
10/10  --- 
11/10  ---
12/10  ---
01/11  ---
02/11  #10 - 19,236  (-10.3%)
03/11  #11 - 19,243  ( +0.0%)
04/11  #12 - 18,740  ( -2.6%)
05/11  #13 - 18,448  ( -1.6%)
             6 mnth  (  --- )
             1 year  (-16.9%)
             2 year  (-15.6%)
             3 year  (-39.6%)
             4 year  (-45.6%)
             5 year  (-46.5%)

Continuing a slow but steady erosion.

105. ASTONISHING THOR
11/10  #1 of 5 - 29,202
12/10  ---
01/11  #2 of 5 - 19,642  (-32.7%)
02/11  ---
03/11  #3 of 5 - 17,698  ( -9.9%)
04/11  ---
05/11  #4 of 5 - 17,008  ( -3.9%)

Levelling out nicely.

106. DEADPOOLMAX  [Max]
10/10  #1 - 29,176
11/10  #2 - 23,382  (-19.9%)
12/10  #3 - 20,990  (-10.2%)
01/11  #4 - 19,238  ( -8.3%)
02/11  #5 - 18,221  ( -5.3%)
03/11  #6 - 17,528  ( -3.8%)
04/11  #7 - 17,005  ( -3.0%)
05/11  #8 - 16,428  ( -3.4%)
            6 mnth  (-29.7%)

Cancelled with issue #12.

109. ESCAPE FROM THE NEGATIVE ZONE
03/11  Un. X-Men Annual #3 - 41,720
04/11  S. Rogers Annual #1 - 24,573  (-41.1%)
05/11  Namor Annual #1     - 15,259  (-37.9%)

Bleeding readers.

110. MARVEL ZOMBIES SUPREME
03/11  #1 of 5 - 20,995
03/11  #2 of 5 - 18,287  (-12.9%)
04/11  #3 of 5 - 16,473  (-10.0%)
05/11  #4 of 5 - 15,191  ( -7.8%)

Levelling out over the course of the mini, which is perfectly normal.

113. THE STAND
05/10  ---
06/10  Hardcases #1      - 20,802  ( -6.7%)
07/10  #2 of 5           - 19,194  ( -7.7%)
08/10  #3 of 5           - 18,352  ( -4.4%)
09/10  ---
10/10  #4 of 5           - 17,186  ( -6.4%)
11/10  #5 of 5           - 16,751  ( -2.5%)
12/10  ---
01/11  ---
02/11  No Man's Land #1  - 16,094  ( -3.9%)
03/11  #2 of 5           - 15,332  ( -4.7%)
03/11  #3 of 5           - 14,768  ( -3.7%)
04/11  ---
05/11  #4 of 5           - 14,696  ( -0.5%)
                           6 mnth  (-12.3%)
                           1 year  (  --- )

Seems to be levelling out too.

117,132. CAPTAIN AMERICA: FIRST VENGEANCE
05/11  #1 of 4 - 13,689
05/11  #2 of 4 - 12,116  (-11.5%)

This is a tie-in to the movie, and those never do particularly well in the direct market.

123. ONSLAUGHT UNLEASHED
02/11  #1 of 4 - 28,434
03/11  #2 of 4 - 18,098  (-36.4%)
04/11  #3 of 4 - 14,960  (-17.3%)
05/11  #4 of 4 - 13,295  (-11.1%)

127. SKAAR: KING OF THE SAVAGE LAND
04/11  #1 of 5 - 18,002
04/11  #2 of 5 - 14,915  (-17.1%)
05/11  #3 of 5 - 12,661  (-15.1%)

Some low-selling Marvel Universe minis.

129. SPIDER-GIRL
11/10  #1 - 23,926
12/10  #2 - 21,606  ( -9.7%)
01/11  ---
02/11  #3 - 15,302  (-29.2%)
02/11  #4 - 14,804  ( -3.3%)
03/11  #5 - 13,757  ( -7.1%)
04/11  #6 - 13,235  ( -3.8%)
05/11  #7 - 12,563  ( -5.1%)
            6 mnth  (-47.5%)

Cancelled with issue #8, though there’s a “Spider-Island” tie-in mini almost immediately afterwards.

134. NAMOR: THE FIRST MUTANT
08/10  #1  - 37,399
09/10  #2  - 23,880  (-36.1%)
10/10  ---
11/10  #3  - 20,541  (-14.0%)
11/10  #4  - 19,469  ( -5.2%)
12/10  #5  - 17,730  ( -8.9%)
01/11  #6  - 15,181  (-14.4%)
02/11  #7  - 14,001  ( -7.8%)
03/11  #8  - 13,385  ( -4.4%)
04/11  #9  - 12,493  ( -6.7%)
05/11  #10 - 12,027  ( -3.7%)
             6 mnth  (-38.2%)

Cancelled with issue #11.

138. HAWKEYE: BLIND SPOT
06/10  H&M #1     - 27,552 
07/10  #2         - 20,531  (-25.5%)
08/10  #3         - 17,870  (-13.0%)
09/10  #4         - 16,405  ( -8.2%)
10/10  #5         - 15,337  ( -6.5%)
11/10  #6         - 14,217  ( -7.3%)
12/10  WM #1      - 18,245  (+28.3%)
12/10  #2 of 4    - 16,050  (-12.0%)
01/11  #3 of 4    - 13,368  (-16.7%)
02/11  #4 of 4    - 13,102  ( -2.0%)
02/11  BS #1 of 4 - 14,235  ( +8.6%)
03/11  #2 of 4    - 12,467  (-12.4%)
04/11  #3 of 4    - 11,702  ( -6.1%)
05/11  #4 of 4    - 11,126  ( -4.9%)
                    6 mnth  (-21.7%)

The end of the road for this one.

140.  RUSE  [Crossgen]
03/11  #1 of 4 - 28,520
04/11  #2 of 4 - 11,861  (-58.4%)
05/11  #3 of 4 - 10,749  ( -9.4%)

Well, at least it’s levelling out.

144. WOLVERINE/HERCULES: MYTHS, MONSTERS & MUTANTS
03/11  #1 of 4 - 14,351
04/11  #2 of 4 - 11,389  (-20.6%)
05/11  #3 of 4 - 10,477  ( -8.0%)

156. CAPTAIN AMERICA: HAIL HYDRA
01/11  #1 of 5 - 26,841
02/11  #2 of 5 - 11,029  (-58.9%)
03/11  #3 of 5 - 10,375  ( -5.9%)
04/11  #4 of 5 -  9,838  ( -5.2%)
05/11  #5 of 5 -  9,637  ( -2.0%)

We’re getting into completist territory here.

157.  SIGIL  [Crossgen]
03/11  #1 of 4 - 28,496
04/11  #2 of 4 - 10,887  (-61.8%)
05/11  #3 of 4 -  9,595  (-11.9%)

See RUSE, basically.

166. POWER MAN & IRON FIST
08/10  #1 of 4 - 21,206
09/10  #2 of 4 - 17,647  ( -17.0%)
10/10  #3 of 4 - 15,147  ( -14.2%)
11/10  #4 of 4 - 13,584  ( -10.3%)
12/10  ---
01/11  ---
02/11  #1 of 5 - 27,579  (+103.0%)
02/11  #2 of 5 - 12,181  ( -55.8%)
03/11  #3 of 5 - 10,226  ( -16.0%)
04/11  #4 of 5 -  9,322  (  -8.8%)
05/11  #5 of 5 -  8,892  (  -4.6%)
                 6 mnth  ( -34.5%)

Not exactly encouraging, but the new Power Man is due to show up in FEAR ITSELF: THE HOME FRONT, so they’re sticking with him.

From here on, it’s mainly adaptations, reference books, all-ages titles and so forth. I’ll chip in where there’s something to add.

168. OZMA OF OZ
05/09  #6 of 8 - 15,774
=====
05/10  #6 of 8 - 12,366  ( -4.3%)
06/10  #7 of 8 - 12,200  ( -1.3%)
07/10  #8 of 8 - 12,152  ( -0.4%)
08/10  ---
09/10  ---
10/10  ---
11/10  #1 of 8 - 13,222  ( +8.8%)
12/10  #2 of 8 - 10,419  (-21.2%)
01/11  #3 of 8 -  9,386  ( -9.9%)
02/11  #4 of 8 -  9,159  ( -2.4%)
03/11  ---
04/11  #5 of 8 -  8,797  ( -4.0%)
05/11  #6 of 8 -  8,753  ( -0.5%)
                 6 mnth  (-33.8%)
                 1 year  (-29.2%)
                 2 year  (-44.5%)


179. OFFICIAL HANDBOOK
05/06  A to Z #5 of 12       - 21,331
05/07  Update #2 of 4        - 16,633
05/08  Iron Manual           - 18,294
05/09  ---
=====
05/10  Avengers Assemble #1  - 15,113  ( +59.8%)
06/10  A to Z Update #2 of 5 -  5,312  ( -64.9%)
07/10  X-Men: Phoenix Force  -  9,566  ( +80.1%)
08/10  A to Z Update #3 of 5 -  4,962  ( -48.1%)
09/10  Heroic Age: Heroes    - 11,224  (+126.2%)
10/10  A to Z Update #4 of 5 -  4,990  ( -55.5%)
11/10  Heroic Age: Villains  -  9,294  ( +86.3%)
12/10  A to Z Update #5 of 5 -  4,808  ( -48.3%)
12/10  Heroic Age: X-Men     - 13,789  (+186.8%)
01/11  Blockbusters          -  5,354  ( -61.2%)
02/11  ---
03/11  ---
04/11  Thor                  -  9,251  ( +72.8%)
05/11  X-Men                 -  8,228  ( -11.1%)
                               6 mnth  ( -11.5%)
                               1 year  ( -45.6%)
                               2 year  (   --- )
                               3 year  ( -55.0%)
                               4 year  ( -50.5%)
                               5 year  ( -61.4%)

209. SPIDEY SUNDAY SPECTACULAR!
05/11  One-shot - 6,604

This is a reprint of the Stan Lee/Marcos Martin back-ups from AMAZING SPIDER-MAN.

233. SPIDER-MAN  [Marvel Adventures]
05/06  #15 - 6,615
05/07  #27 - 6,818
05/08  #39 - 5,816
05/09  #51 - 4,557
=====
05/10  #2  - 7,709  (-21.1%)
06/10  #3  - 7,200  ( -6.6%)
07/10  #4  - 6,347  (-11.8%)
08/10  #5  - 6,202  ( -2.3%)
09/10  #6  - 5,779  ( -6.8%)
10/10  ---
11/10  #7  - 5,603  ( -3.0%)
11/10  #8  - 5,269  ( -6.0%)
12/10  #9  - 5,116  ( -2.9%)
01/11  #10 - 4,816  ( -5.9%)
02/11  #11 - 4,923  ( +2.2%)
03/11  #12 - 4,965  ( +0.9%)
04/11  #13 - 5,083  ( +2.4%)
05/11  #14 - 5,220  ( +2.7%)
            6 mnth  ( -0.9%)
            1 year  (-32.3%)
            2 year  (+14.5%)
            3 year  (-10.2%)
            4 year  (-23.4%)
            5 year  (-21.1%)

Climbing for the fourth straight month. The same may be happening with SUPER HEROES, though it’s hard to tell since it doesn’t consistently make the top 300.

237. SPIDER-MAN: WITH GREAT POWER
04/11  #1 of 7 - 5,838
05/11  #2 of 7 - 4,972  (-14.8%)


239,240. MARVEL'S GREATEST COMICS
03/11  Ultimate Spider-Man #1         - 6,812
03/11  Astonishing X-Men #1           - 6,665
03/11  Ultimates #1                   - 6,073
03/11  X-23 #1                        - 5,343
03/11  Captain America: Reborn #1     - 4,639
03/11  Dark Tower: Gunslinger Born #1 - 4,547
04/11  Thor #7                        - 5,951
04/11  House of M #1                  - 4,551
04/11  Ultimate X-Men #1              - 4,368
04/11  Ultimate Fantastic Four #1     - 3,808
05/11  Cable & Deadpool #1            - 4,903
05/11  X-Force: Angels and Demons #1  - 4,858
05/11  Fantastic Four #570            - 4,224
05/11  Wolverine #20                  - 4,068
05/11  Supreme Power #1               - 2,983


250,254. SPOTLIGHT
11/10  Curse of the Mutants - 5,962
12/10  ---
01/11  ---
02/11  ---
03/11  ---
04/11  Fear Itself          - 7,275
05/11  Captain America      - 4,518
05/11  X-Men                - 4,395


267. ORSON SCOTT CARD'S SPEAKER FOR THE DEAD
06/10  Ender in Exile #1 - 6,568
07/10  #2 of 5           - 5,673  (-13.6%)
08/10  #3 of 5           - 5,342  ( -5.8%)
09/10  #4 of 5           - ?,???  (  ??? )
10/10  #5 of 5           - 4,812  (  ??? )
11/10  ---
12/10  ---
01/11  Speaker #1 of 7   - 4,703  ( -2.3%)
02/11  #2 of 7           - 4,262  ( -9.4%)
03/11  #3 of 5           - ?,???  (  ??? )
04/11  #4 of 5           - 4,071  (  ??? )
05/11  #5 of 5           - 3,984  ( -2.1%)
                          6 mnth  (  --- )
                          1 year  (-39.3%)


268. FORMIC WARS: BURNING EARTH
02/11  #1 of 7 - 6,901
02/11  #2 of 7 - 4,935  (-28.5%)
03/11  #3 of 7 - 
04/11  #4 of 7 - 4,068  (-17.6%)
05/11  #5 of 7 - 3,945  ( -3.0%)


277. SUPER HEROES  [Marvel Adventures]
05/09  #11 - 3,474
=====
05/10  #2  - 6,360  (-21.5%)
06/10  #3  - 5,678  (-10.7%)
07/10  #4  - 4,564  (-19.6%)
08/10  #5  - 4,418  ( -3.2%)
09/10  #6  - ?,???  (  ??? )
10/10  #7  - 3,800  (  ??? )
11/10  #8  - 3,541  ( -6.8%)
12/10  #9  - ?,???  (  ??? )
01/11  #10 - 3,386  (  ??? )
02/11  #11 - 3,134  ( -7.4%)
03/11  #12 - ?,???  (  ??? )
04/11  #13 - 3,355  (  ??? )
05/11  #14 - 3,610  ( +7.6%)
            6 mnth  ( +1.9%)
            1 year  (-43.2%)
            2 year  ( +3.9%)

And two books failed to make the chart in May: EMMA #3 and OFFICIAL INDEX #13.

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

+101.9% - Black Panther
+ 45.7% - FF
+ 36.5% - New Mutants
+ 18.8% - Ultimate Avengers
+ 18.2% - Ultimate Comics Spider-Man
+  9.3% - Invincible Iron Man
+  3.0% - X-Men Legacy
+  2.7% - Thor
+  1.9% - Super Heroes [Marvel Adventures]
+  0.7% - Amazing Spider-Man
-  0.9% - Spider-Man [Marvel Adventures]
-  5.5% - Captain America
-  7.0% - X-Factor
-  7.4% - Uncanny X-Men
-  8.1% - Secret Warriors
-  9.4% - Avengers Academy
-  9.6% - New Avengers
- 10.3% - Uncanny X-Force
- 10.7% - Deadpool
- 11.5% - Official Handbook
- 12.3% - Stand
- 13.4% - Secret Avengers
- 13.5% - Wolverine
- 16.2% - X-23
- 16.6% - Hulk
- 17.9% - X-Men
- 18.2% - Incredible Hulks
- 20.9% - Thunderbolts
- 21.7% - Hawkeye
- 24.1% - Avengers
- 24.7% - Daken: Dark Wolverine
- 29.7% - DeadpoolMax
- 33.8% - Oz
- 34.5% - Herc
- 34.5% - Power Man and Iron Fist
- 38.2% - Namor: The First Mutant
- 45.5% - Generation Hope
- 47.5% - Spider-Girl


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

+138.0% - Moon Knight
+ 57.7% - FF
+ 49.9% - Wolverine
+ 20.8% - Ultimate Comics Spider-Man
-  3.6% - Amazing Spider-Man
-  7.9% - Herc
- 10.7% - Deadpool
- 16.5% - Invincible Iron Man
- 16.9% - PunisherMax
- 17.4% - Ultimate Avengers
- 18.3% - Thor
- 18.9% - X-Force
- 24.7% - Thunderbolts
- 24.7% - Secret Warriors
- 26.1% - Black Panther
- 26.6% - New Avengers
- 29.2% - Oz
- 30.3% - Uncanny X-Men
- 32.3% - Spider-Man [Marvel Adventures]
- 35.0% - Hulk
- 35.4% - X-Men Legacy
- 35.9% - New Mutants
- 39.3% - Orson Scott Card: Ender
- 39.8% - Incredible Hulks
- 40.7% - X-Factor
- 43.2% - Super Heroes
- 45.6% - Official Handbook
- 46.9% - Daken: Dark Wolverine
- 53.1% - Secret Avengers


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

+148.9% - Moon Knight
+ 29.8% - FF
+ 14.5% - Spider-Man [Marvel Adventures]
+  3.9% - Super Heroes
-  4.2% - Amazing Spider-Man
-  4.4% - Ultimate Comics Spider-Man
- 12.7% - Invincible Iron Man
- 13.1% - Uncanny X-Force
- 15.6% - PunisherMax
- 16.6% - X-Men Legacy
- 21.5% - X-Factor
- 24.6% - Wolverine
- 28.5% - Uncanny X-Men
- 32.5% - Black Panther
- 33.1% - Captain America
- 35.3% - Herc
- 36.1% - New Avengers
- 42.9% - Thunderbolts
- 43.0% - New Mutants
- 44.5% - Oz
- 48.3% - Secret Warriors
- 50.1% - Deadpool
- 55.9% - Hulk


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

+ 84.1% - Moon Knight
+  0.3% - Black Panther
-  3.5% - FF
- 10.2% - Spider-Man [Marvel Adventures]
- 14.0% - Ultimate Comics Spider-Man
- 24.5% - Amazing Spider-Man
- 28.5% - Wolverine
- 34.6% - Uncanny X-Men
- 34.6% - Thunderbolts
- 35.2% - Daredevil
- 36.8% - X-Force
- 39.1% - X-Men Legacy
- 39.6% - PunisherMax
- 42.1% - Thor
- 43.6% - Captain America
- 44.7% - New Avengers
- 48.7% - X-Factor
- 55.0% - Official Handbook
- 57.7% - Iron Man
- 64.4% - Astonishing X-Men
- 64.6% - Herc


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

- 13.6% - Moon Knight
- 16.1% - FF
- 23.4% - Spider-Man [Marvel Adventures]
- 29.3% - Iron Man
- 33.9% - Ultimate Comics Spider-Man
- 34.5% - Uncanny X-Men
- 34.7% - X-Factor
- 40.7% - X-Men Legacy
- 44.5% - Daredevil
- 45.6% - PunisherMax
- 50.5% - Official Handbook
- 52.3% - New Avengers
- 53.3% - Amazing Spider-Man
- 53.5% - Wolverine
- 60.2% - Black Panther
- 62.2% - Thunderbolts
- 64.6% - Captain America
- 68.8% - Astonishing X-Men
- 74.5% - Incredible Hulks


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

+ 21.5% - Iron Man
+  5.6% - Thunderbolts
-  4.3% - Captain America
-  9.5% - Black Panther
- 21.1% - Spider-Man
- 32.3% - Uncanny X-Men
- 34.8% - Ultimate Comics Spider-Man
- 34.9% - Moon Knight
- 39.7% - Incredible Hulks
- 41.5% - Amazing Spider-Man
- 43.3% - X-Men Legacy
- 44.1% - X-Factor
- 45.3% - Daredevil
- 46.5% - PunisherMax
- 51.1% - New Avengers
- 52.3% - Wolverine
- 61.4% - Official Handbook

Comments

  1. 36. JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY
    04/11 #622 – 43,925
    05/11 #623 – 39,003 (-11.2%)

    11.2% of comic book fans made a stupid decision. :)

  2. Blair says:

    Thanks for doing these, Paul. They are always well worth reading.

    It has been said by others many times but the bounce from number one issues seems to be smaller and smaller with each relaunch. The way Marvel are overusing this gimmick it will not be long before every issue is a number one.

  3. Brendan T says:

    I’d expect a HUGE jump for Alpha Flight #1…they doubleshipped it.

  4. I didn’t care for Journey into Mystery. As much as I wanted to, too.

  5. Dreamer says:

    Thank you as always for doing the column and putting in all the work. I keep checking up the site frantically whenever they run late..

    However, among the notes for the new readers, it might have been helpful to add that these are only estimates by icv2 and not the actual number of books ordered by the shops either. :)

  6. Louis Lane says:

    The HERC drop off is not as bad as it looks; Marvel shipped all retailers twice what they ordered on the first issue — so actual retailer orders were only 50% of what ICV2.com reported. That said, clearly the book opened at cancellation levels and won’t survive much longer. (Which is a shame; while it’s not a great book I suspect Marvel could have turned it into a modern-day Conan-type barbarian title that would have filled a niche in the market.)

    LL

  7. Louis Lane says:

    ASTONISHING SPIDER-MAN/WOLVERINE
    05/10 #1 of 5 – 56,518
    07/10 #2 of 5 – 34,704 (-38.6%)
    09/10 #3 of 5 – 29,455 (-15.1%)
    12/10 #4 of 5 – 25,580 (-13.2%)
    03/11 #5 of 6 – 24,036 ( -6.0%)
    05/11 #6 of 6 – 23,603 ( -1.8%)
    Levelling out nicely over time.

    +++

    Given the characters and creators involved with this book I suspect Marvel is very disapointed in these numbers. Perhaps this series is one reason most new Marvel mini-series are priced at $2.99.

    LL

  8. Probably the best book right now at Marvel is “Herc.” It is a shame that it probably won’t make it to issue 12.

  9. Scott says:

    “I’d expect a HUGE jump for Alpha Flight #1…they doubleshipped it.”

    Actually Alpha Flight #1 was 50% overshipped. So if a retailer ordered 20 copies, they got 10 freebies. Expect a big drop off for #2 though.

  10. James says:

    Nice to see my 2 favorite Marvel titles with pretty consistent sales – Thunderbolts and X-Factor.

    How sad that their second best book is doing 70k! :(

  11. James says:

    @Blair – yeah, it’ll have the new blurp in the previews each month:

    “still #1″ haha…

  12. likefunbutnot says:

    Goddammitsomuch people. Buy Herc. What is wrong with you?

    This is why we cannot have nice things.

  13. TengoPantalones says:

    Scary shit. Marvel has to take some serious steps to fix this sorry state of affairs.

  14. @Nathan Aaron: “11.2% of comic book fans made a stupid decision. :)”

    Or their their comic shop made a stupid decision. I enjoyed the first issue a lot but never saw another issue of JIM on the racks, so I’m trade-waiting now.

    As for Herc, man, I loved Incredible Hercules but I just was not interested in Chaos War and dropped out. Is Herc easy to follow if you skipped that section of the story? (Note to Marvel: if you made monthly comics the way you ought to be making monthly comics, I really shouldn’t have to ask this question.)

  15. Jason,I realize your store is at fault, so this isn’t pointed at you, but a thought…

    Anyone think trade waiting on titles is what kills comics today? I mean, no one buys the floppies, the companies don’t think the title is doing good, and it’s cancelled. Meanwhile a whole bunch of people were simply waiting to buy the title in a trade format, not floppies.

    If DC is willing to only give books a six month trial, or they’re cancelled due to poor sales (as it’s been stated with DCnU), and trades are USUALLY 6 issues long (though DCnU has also said this might no longer be the case, story wise) waiting on trades could be the death of a whole lot of new titles about to hit stands.

    Thoughts?

  16. Snikt Snakt says:

    “Given the characters and creators involved with this book I suspect Marvel is very disapointed in these numbers. Perhaps this series is one reason most new Marvel mini-series are priced at $2.99.”

    IMO the erratic schedule killed any momentum the book may have had. And I loved the mini!

  17. Snikt Snakt says:

    “Thoughts?”

    IMO the comic companies created this problem, where most monthly pamphlet storylines are written in arc’s for eventual tpb’s. They’ve been doing this for YEARS.

    When it becomes easier (and cheaper) to read a title in trade format, who cares about hunting down (or even supporting) the monthly format?

  18. “When it becomes easier (and cheaper) to read a title in trade format, who cares about hunting down (or even supporting) the monthly format?”

    Not me. I’ve gotten to the point that I get annoyed when something I want to read isn’t available in collected editions (e.g., Marvel’s ROM series, Grell’s Green Arrow, Millar/Morrison Swamp Thing). I wouldn’t shed a tear if Marvel never published another monthly comic, and I *enjoy* a lot of Marvel’s output.

  19. Synsidar says:

    It’s possible that declines in monthly sales are tied to sales of TPBs, but the only way to verify that would be to plug the numbers for sales of the series’ issues and the corresponding TPBs into a spreadsheet and look for consistent percentage variations.

    Waiting for a TPB, especially when series are tied so closely to events, defeats the whole purpose of Marvel’s marketing strategy. I’d compare it to not watching a miniseries or series when it airs — deciding to buy it on DVD later. If you’re that uninterested in the program, why buy it at all?

    The low sales of some titles — in the 20K to 30K range — and the percentage declines over three years and longer are amazing. They’re more the signs of a fatal illness than business as usual.

    SRS

  20. TengoPantalones says:

    Nathan:
    I respectfully disagree.

    We’ve had TPBs being commonplace since Marvel got their act together in the early 2000s. Comics sold much better from around 2002-2006. DC was getting Batman, Superman/Batman and a couple other books into the 100k+ mark, and Marvel had around a dozen that regularly sold in that range.

    The problem is over-reliance on shock tactics, variant covers and new #1s. These are sort of like when farmers in South America convert the rain forest into farm land. It’s good for a short term gain, but it’s ultimately a net loss.

  21. “I’d compare it to not watching a miniseries or series when it airs — deciding to buy it on DVD later. If you’re that uninterested in the program, why buy it at all?”

    Respectfully, I have to reject your premise. Choosing not to watch (or read) a series serially doesn’t necessarily indicate disinterest in it. An individual may instead be highly interested, but need or prefer to consume the series in another format.

  22. What TengoPantalones said.
    Also we are still in a bad economy, so saturating the market with C & D-List characters, like HERC, aren’t helping matters when it comes to purchasing, people aren’t spending the money on new books, just what they know & like. Marvel doesn’t understand this and when these books fail, they’ll just put out another Avengers/Spider-Man/Wolverine/X-Men book to fill the void, pissing off customers that are already tired of seeing so few characters in multiple books.

    As a retailer, when a customer asks whats new & good, I don’t send them to C & D-List Marvel/DC characters, I send them to Vertigo and to Image, they are putting out original, solid books the last few years, and we sell the monthlies as well as the trades.

  23. Synsidar says:

    Choosing not to watch (or read) a series serially doesn’t necessarily indicate disinterest in it.

    But where’s the anticipation element in waiting for a TPB to come out, when all the promotions and online discussions are centered on the monthly releases? If a person is genuinely anticipating something, waiting half a year for its release would be unpleasant. A person can anticipate a novel months ahead of its release, because he has no choice but to wait, and the novel will be a satisfying chunk. The price difference between the single issues and the collection shouldn’t be significant — it’s entertainment, not essentials.

    SRS

  24. Thomas says:

    Since fans are so interested in the financial performance of their favorite books, it would be interesting to have a feature on the chart which made it easier to compare 3.99 books to 2.99 books. If Avengers is selling 70k at 3.99, does that mean it’s really selling the equivalent of 91k for a 2.99 book? Or is the financial situation too complex for that kind of math to make sense?

  25. “But where’s the anticipation element in waiting for a TPB to come out, when all the promotions and online discussions are centered on the monthly releases?”

    I believe that you’re underestimating the extent to which individuals train themselves to use a certain format. It doesn’t take long to learn not to engage in forums where spoilers are abundant. I lose the ability to talk about current stories while they happen, which you may value more than I do.

    “If a person is genuinely anticipating something, waiting half a year for its release would be unpleasant.”

    To the contrary, I’d say that once you’re accustomed to reading collections the wait becomes routine. For example, I read WALKING DEAD in thick hardcovers, SECRET WARRIORS in thin hardbacks, and NORTHLANDERS in TPBs. I like those formats, and I’m happy to wait for the next book each time.

  26. Chris Hero says:

    Waiting for trades is not killing the mainstream comic market. About a million other factors are, as people have been commenting here.

    The equivalent argument to waiting for the trade would be waiting for a paperback release of a novel. Most book buyers wait for the paperback version and no one in their right mind would argue that’s the reason book sales have dipped.

  27. J North says:

    “These are sort of like when farmers in South America convert the rain forest into farm land. It’s good for a short term gain, but it’s ultimately a net loss.”

    Yeah, I wish South America would just learn to starve and tough it out.

  28. Synsidar, just because I want to read something badly doesn’t mean I can’t wait to read it in the format which I think is the best presentation.

    And I like larger chunks–I’ve never bought a Vertigo book in singles, for instance, but that hasn’t stopped me from counting down the months until new volumes of some of my favorite books arrived.

    I wait until novels come out in paperback, too, because I dislike those big, unwieldy hardbacks (which unlike comics, offer no advantage for being big).

    There are different ways to enjoy one’s entertainment.

  29. TengoPantalones says:

    J North:
    Are you really advocating destroying the rain forest? Really? home to incredible bio-diversity and the source for the basic materials for life-saving medications? No one is telling South America to starve. People all over the world need to be thoughtful in regards to land use and sustainable growth or we’re all gonna end up starving to death in the long term.

  30. Synsidar says:

    I’d prefer comparing buying TPBs of the superhero serial comics to, say, buying Lost on DVD. I question the point of watching Lost if you know how the series ends and how the various mysteries are resolved.

    The superhero stories are, at least in theory, supposed to provide suspense and intrigue. Thus, the end-of-issue cliffhangers, mysteries to be solved, etc. If you wait for the TPBs to be released, then there’s no suspense factor, the anticipation factor is diminished, at least, and you can’t participate in discussions about the monthly comics without knowing what’s going to happen in the TPBs.

    If there’s no suspense or intrigue factors in a particular storyline, and a reader reads enough material from various sources so that no one writer’s work is anticipated much more than another’s is, then I agree that waiting for the TPB isn’t much different from waiting for a paperback version of a novel.

    SRS

  31. @Synsidar says: If you wait for the TPBs to be released, then there’s no suspense factor.

    I think you’re doing a great job explaining why you enjoy the serial format. However, I’m content to be a trade waiter and a DVD waiter — for instance, I’m looking forward to Game of Thrones when it comes out later this year.

    Yes, we’ll have different experiences, but that doesn’t mean I enjoy my experience less.

  32. TengoPantalones says:

    agreed, GameCouch

    Generally speaking, i buy superhero comics in serial format, and indie/small press stuff in TPB format. I like being able to add or drop a superhero comic as the creative team changes, whereas an indie book is more likely to have the same creative team tell a complete story, which i’m unlikely to drop midway through

  33. Blair says:

    Nathan Aaron:

    Jason,I realize your store is at fault, so this isn’t pointed at you, but a thought…

    Anyone think trade waiting on titles is what kills comics today? I mean, no one buys the floppies, the companies don’t think the title is doing good, and it’s cancelled. Meanwhile a whole bunch of people were simply waiting to buy the title in a trade format, not floppies.

    If DC is willing to only give books a six month trial, or they’re cancelled due to poor sales (as it’s been stated with DCnU), and trades are USUALLY 6 issues long (though DCnU has also said this might no longer be the case, story wise) waiting on trades could be the death of a whole lot of new titles about to hit stands.

    Thoughts?

    ———————————————

    I started reading comics again in 2006 after about a thirteen year break. I was appalled to see the decompressed state of storytelling then and I am still disgusted by it now. If Marvel want readers to buy the individual issues how about giving us value for money? Very, very rarely have I read a recent multi issue arc that felt like it was paced properly. Inevitably there are filler issues. Why should readers follow comics monthly when it is obvious that they are written for the trade?

  34. “As for Herc, man, I loved Incredible Hercules but I just was not interested in Chaos War and dropped out. Is Herc easy to follow if you skipped that section of the story?”

    Yes. CHAOS WAR wrapped up all the outstanding storylines. HERC is a completely fresh start with a new direction, new setting and new supporting cast.

  35. I never said trades (and more so, the practice of trade waiting) were the SOLE reason comics might be dying. Just ONE of the possible reasons…

    One thing I’m loving about the new DC is they’ve announced their writers are NO longer writing for trades. I personally blame Bendis for starting all this decompression crap, LOL, whether or not he deserves it. But really, if you’re complaining about filler issues of single issues being wasteful, so you just wait to “read it properly” in trade format, your still just reading drawn out stories, just all at once. If that were the case, you could just collect the floppies, and not read them until you had them all.

    Everyone likes what they like,though. For whatever reason, I’m definitely not a trade fan. In fact, the few trades I do have, I’ve actually went out and purchased the single issues to, so I could get rid of the trade! Crazy, I know. :)

    And I also think if you take a look at some of Marvel’s pricing for trades vs. floppies, you’ll discover you’re no longer saving the money you used to be, when purchasing a trade.

    Just more food for thought.

  36. TonyJazz says:

    The elephant in the room remains the $4 price tag. Dynamite and IDW produce some excellent books, too, but I don’t have the income to spend $4 on a quick read.

    Even though Marvel sells some comics at $3, the $4 pricetag is too much. The overall effect is one of pushing fans to spend their money elsewhere.

    At least DC has this one issue handled fairly well…. (now, if we could get these companies to do more one&dones, and more limited-scope and less crossover-oriented stories, we might have some more fans sticking around…)

  37. Blair says:

    @ Nathan Aaron

    When did anyone from DC claim that they would no longer be writing for the trade?

  38. Peter Adriaenssens says:

    Warren Ellis started the decompression with Authority/Planetary (he loves his pages full of one thing happening slooooowly) and Bendis made it more abundant (only because he writes everything at Marvel :p)

    Books like Fables, Walking Dead, Sandman, Swamp Thing, Preacher, Y The Last Man and so on are old / long-running series and thus unable to be followed monthly, yet the sales of their collections keep on going well. Why? Because they’re stories worth reading.

    People don’t buy comics because they don’t think they’re worth reading. Literally. They aren’t worth the money that they’d be spending on them. Just make comics worth reading again. Actual pay-offs, lots of wallop in your story (note that all the above collections are good at doing that), and some emotional core instead of trying to maintain the status quo.

    Also, people don’t mind watching/reading something they know the end of. I’ve read every Discworld novel at least twice. I’ve read most Agatha Christie novels multiple times and also watch the adaptations. I’m rereading Preacher right now and knowing what happened/will happen is part of the fun.

    We bought the Shield years after it aired, and loved the hell out of it. Suppose there were no dvd sets, how can people get into something that’s no longer on tv?

    Farscape is a good example there, every year its fandom grows only because the collections are still around, so it’s easy to make someone a fan.

    But with comics, I’m not gonna try convincing anyone to look at any of DC’s or Marvel’s current output. Vertigo and Image, sure. Self-contained, inner story logic, all that. But Marvel and DC are money-sucks, they do the same thing over and over and over again and pretend they don’t.

    They make empty promises and hope nobody will notice. Judging by the sales numbers, I think a bunch of people noticed / grew up.

    I still love comics, adore my thousands of back issues, hundreds of tpb’s, love to make fun of them as much as praising them. But comics then versus comics now is a big difference.

    So yeah, I love me my dvd-sets and trade paperbacks, they’re good formats to watch / rewatch something. If anything, collections are probably the only thing keeping the entire thing from collapsing, because it’s continued money coming in without any effort to produce new material.

  39. Blair, this is from the DC Roadshow they’ve been doing:

    “Another change DC is making is that they won’t be ‘writing for the trade’ anymore. Writers have been told to write the story they want to write and not worry about the trade collecting. If they can tell a well-paced story in 4 issues, they’ve been told not to pad it to make it 6 issues. Editorial can worry about how it’s going to be collected. Going forward, books will be trade-collected depending on how the story fits. If a book has a 4-issue arc followed by a 3 issue arc, the trade will collect both. If it’s 2 4-issue arcs or 3 2-issue stories, those will get collected. As a side note, DC is looking into a new trade dress to represent the New 52 and a better spine design to call out information for fans.”

  40. Micah says:

    @Peter Adriaenssens, watch your mouth about Planetary.

    Looking at the total list, all I can think about is what I used to read at Marvel far outweighs what I read now. My money is shifting to Dark Horse and Image.

    Thanks for the numbers Paul. Love this columan as always!

  41. @Rich; I could care less about the trades, like Synisdar, I can’t wait until they come out to read the stories I like. If I buy a trade, it’s of something old that I think has lasting value; and even then, for example, I recently gave up on the Project Pegasus hardcover from Marvel because I found it cheaper to buy the six original vintage issues. And if I buy a DVD, it’s almost always of something I’ve seen and want to see again. I don’t buy untried properties in DVD form; I buy instead eternal access to beloved ones.

  42. Blair says:

    @ Nathan Aaron

    Huh, very interesting, thanks for posting that. I never thought that I would live to see the day where someone from Marvel or DC even admitted that writing for the trade is something that happens. Of course we will have to wait and see how the “new” DC actually approach their storytelling but if this results in less filler and fewer padded arcs it can only be a good thing. Hopefully DC is very successful with it and Marvel follows suit.

    Ironically I have dropped all of my DC books and depending on the critical reaction I may be reading some of the new titles in trade.

  43. PeterCSM says:

    The Avengers Academy Giant Size number is impressive. I wonder how much of it is accurate to the readership because that seems like a pretty loyal base if they’re willing to shell out eight bucks.

  44. @Shawn Almost ALL of my DVDs are things that I hadn’t seen before. Why? Because I was unaware of it (obscure sci-fi movie, for example), recently got into the genre (girls-with-guns, robots-on-a-rampage, etc.), or don’t have access to it (I don’t have cable).

    I downloaded the first episode of “Noir” and then dropped $210 plus tax to get all 7 volumes on DVD. One of my favorite series ever.

    My friend taped the first and 84th or 85th episode of “Robotech” for me. I order the entire 7-box Legacy Collection and paid for it all at once. Robotech fan for life.

    I ordered the limited-edition $200 “Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam” boxed set after being introduced to the Gundam franchise through “Gundam Battle Assault 2″ – a VIDEO GAME – and THEN ordered the movie trilogy version of the original series, because that was required to understand the plot of the sequel series. Gundam fan for life.

    Most of the time, it’s WORTH buying new, untested movies and series on DVD.

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