Marvel Month-to-Month Sales: October 2009

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By Paul O’Brien

Usually, Marvel are the largest publisher in the North American direct market by a comfortable margin. But October was close. Marvel still held on to first place, beating DC by 40% to 38% in unit share, and 36.5% to 34% in dollars. That’s an unusually narrow gap.

What’s more, DC took the top six places on the chart, leaving Marvel’s top book – NEW AVENGERS – to tail in at number 7. Now, normally I’d expect something like this to happen in a month when Marvel’s major titles failed to ship. But there’s really only one book in that category, namely REBORN. In fact, the explanation seems to be simply that DC’s BLACKEST NIGHT crossover is doing very well, and and Marvel’s output for October just didn’t grab the same sort of attention.

Major releases this month include the second wave of DARK REIGN: THE LIST one-shots, the beginning of the “Necrosha-X” crossover between the second-tier X-books, and the launches of WEB OF SPIDER-MAN, DR VOODOO and a third ongoing Deadpool series.

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

===============

7.  NEW AVENGERS
10/04  ---
10/05  New Avengers #12 - 127,949
10/06  New Avengers #24 - 136,811
10/07  New Avengers #35 - 111,481
=====
10/08  New Avengers #46 -  99,513  ( -3.7%)
11/08  ---
12/08  New Avengers #47 -  95,703  ( -3.8%)
12/08  New Avengers #48 -  95,688  ( -0.0%)
01/09  New Avengers #49 -  94,291  ( -1.5%)
02/09  New Avengers #50 - 106,831  (+13.3%)
03/09  New Avengers #51 -  95,340  (-10.8%)
04/09  New Avengers #52 -  93,975  ( -1.4%)
05/09  New Avengers #53 -  94,367  ( +0.4%)
06/09  New Avengers #54 -  93,878  ( -0.5%)
07/09  New Avengers #55 -  84,745  ( -9.7%)
08/09  New Avengers #56 -  89,996  ( +6.2%)
09/09  New Avengers #57 -  85,598  ( -4.9%)
10/09  New Avengers #58 -  76,656  (-10.4%)
                           6 mnth  (-18.4%)
                           1 year  (-23.0%)
                           2 year  (-31.2%)
                           3 year  (-44.0%)
                           4 year  (-40.1%)
                           5 year  (  --- )

For a change, an issue of NEW AVENGERS without a variant cover. The last two issues both had variants, as did issues #50-54, so the drop is somewhat exaggerated. Issue #55 is a reasonable comparison, though, so there’s still an underlying decline.

8.  DARK AVENGERS
01/09  Dark Avengers #1  - 139,239
02/09  Dark Avengers #2  - 102,277  (-26.5%)
03/09  Dark Avengers #3  - 101,978  ( -0.3%)
04/09  Dark Avengers #4  -  99,694  ( -2.2%)
05/09  ---
06/09  Dark Avengers #5  -  95,746  ( -4.0%)
06/09  Dark Avengers #6  -  93,634  ( -2.2%)
07/09  Dark Avengers #7  -  94,189  ( +0.6%)
08/09  Dark Avengers #8  -  94,191  ( +0.0%)
09/09  Dark Avengers #9  -  79,729  (-15.4%)
10/09  Dark Avengers #10 -  75,618  ( -5.2%)
                            6 mnth  (-24.1%)

The first eight issues all had variant covers, so the drop with last month’s issue #9 was fairly predictable. A further 5% drop this month is slightly more worrying, but we may still be in the territory of retailers trying to figure out what this book actually sells without the assistance of variant covers.

9.  UNCANNY X-MEN
10/04  Uncanny X-Men #432 -  92,472
10/05  Uncanny X-Men #450 - 101,506
10/06  Uncanny X-Men #479 -  89,052
10/07  Uncanny X-Men #491 -  85,638
=====
10/08  Uncanny X-Men #503 -  87,196  ( +5.2%)
11/08  Uncanny X-Men #504 -  77,773  (-10.8%)
12/08  Uncanny X-Men #505 -  82,271  ( +5.8%)
01/09  ---
02/09  Uncanny X-Men #506 -  71,684  (-12.9%)
03/09  Uncanny X-Men #507 -  77,957  ( +8.8%)
04/09  Uncanny X-Men #508 -  76,442  ( -1.9%)
04/09  Uncanny X-Men #509 -  69,185  ( -9.5%)
05/09  Uncanny X-Men #510 -  75,139  ( +8.6%)
06/09  Uncanny X-Men #511 -  71,148  ( -5.3%)
06/09  Uncanny X-Men #512 -  76,283  ( +7.2%)
07/09  Uncanny X-Men #513 -  87,582  (+14.8%)
08/09  Uncanny X-Men #514 -  90,316  ( +3.1%)
09/09  Uncanny X-Men #515 -  73,585  (-18.5%)
10/09  Uncanny X-Men #516 -  73,916  ( +0.4%)
                             6 mnth  ( +6.8%)
                             1 year  (-15.2%)
                             2 year  (-13.7%)
                             3 year  (-17.0%)
                             4 year  (-27.2%)
                             5 year  (-20.1%)

Holding steady, more or less. There hasn’t been a variant cover since August, so it’s interesting to note that after dipping down to 69K earlier in the year, UNCANNY seems to have pulled itself back up to 74K. This issue has the return of Magneto, which might well have proved a draw.

10,16. AMAZING SPIDER-MAN
10/04  Amazing Spider-Man #513 -  89,615
10/05  Amazing Spider-Man #525 -  79,520
10/06  ---
10/07  ---
=====
10/08  Amazing Spider-Man #573 -  82,550  ( +2.9%)
10/08  Amazing Spider-Man #574 -  69,069  (-16.3%)
10/08  Amazing Spider-Man #575 -  68,913  ( -0.2%)
11/08  Amazing Spider-Man #576 -  68,956  ( +0.1%)
11/08  Amazing Spider-Man #577 -  76,625  (+11.1%)
11/08  Amazing Spider-Man #578 -  66,564  (-13.1%)
12/08  Amazing Spider-Man #579 -  69,784  ( +4.8%)
12/08  Amazing Spider-Man #580 -  62,979  ( -9.8%)
12/08  Amazing Spider-Man #581 -  68,905  ( +9.4%)
01/09  Amazing Spider-Man #582 -  59,932  (-13.0%)
01/09  Amazing Spider-Man #583 - 525,050 (+776.1%)
01/09  Amazing Spider-Man #584 -  63,754  (-87.9%)
02/09  Amazing Spider-Man #585 -  60,286  ( -5.4%)
02/09  Amazing Spider-Man #586 -  59,521  ( -1.3%)
02/09  Amazing Spider-Man #587 -  60,118  ( +1.0%)
03/09  Amazing Spider-Man #588 -  61,334  ( +2.0%)
03/09  Amazing Spider-Man #589 -  58,832  ( -4.1%)
04/09  Amazing Spider-Man #590 -  66,415  (+12.9%)
04/09  Amazing Spider-Man #591 -  60,508  ( -8.9%)
04/09  Amazing Spider-Man #592 -  65,940  ( +9.0%)
05/09  Amazing Spider-Man #593 -  58,363  (-11.5%)
05/09  Amazing Spider-Man #594 -  58,464  ( +0.2%)
05/09  Amazing Spider-Man #595 -  71,837  (+22.9%)
06/09  Amazing Spider-Man #596 -  63,525  (-11.6%)
06/09  Amazing Spider-Man #597 -  61,646  ( -3.0%)
06/09  Amazing Spider-Man #598 -  61,585  ( -0.0%)
07/09  Amazing Spider-Man #599 -  72,412  (+17.6%)
07/09  Amazing Spider-Man #600 - 116,857  (+61.4%)
08/09  Amazing Spider-Man #601 -  74,279  (-36.4%)
08/09  Amazing Spider-Man #602 -  71,532  ( -3.7%)
08/09  Amazing Spider-Man #603 -  71,051  ( -0.7%)
09/09  Amazing Spider-Man #604 -  63,435  (-10.7%)
09/09  Amazing Spider-Man #605 -  62,831  ( -1.0%)
09/09  Amazing Spider-Man #606 -  70,177  (+11.7%)
09/09  Amazing Spider-Man #607 -  62,570  (-10.8%)
10/09  Amazing Spider-Man #608 -  72,035  (+15.1%)
10/09  Amazing Spider-Man #609 -  61,176  (-15.1%)
                                  6 mnth  ( -7.2%)
                                  1 year  (-25.9%)
                                  2 year  (  --- )
                                  3 year  (  --- )
                                  4 year  (-23.1%)
                                  5 year  (-31.7%)

Issue #608 is the first part of “Who Was Ben Reilly?”, a three-part storyline revisiting the notorious Clone Saga. But the sales increase is probably thanks to Marko Djurdjevic’s variant cover.

Issue #610 was also solicited for October, but it slipped into the first week of November.

13. ASTONISHING X-MEN
10/04  ---
10/05  ---
10/06  ---
10/07  ---
=====
10/08  Astonishing X-Men #27 -  86,770  ( -7.9%)
11/08  ---
12/08  ---
01/09  Astonishing X-Men #28 -  72,610  (-16.3%)
02/09  ---
03/09  ---
04/09  Astonishing X-Men #29 -  67,774  ( -6.7%)
05/09  ---
06/09  Astonishing X-Men #30 -  64,608  ( -4.7%)
07/09  ---
08/09  ---
09/09  ---
10/09  Astonishing X-Men #31 -  67,064  ( +3.8%)
                                6 mnth  ( -1.0%)
                                1 year  (-22.7%)
                                2 year  (  --- )
                                3 year  (  --- )
                                4 year  (  --- )
                                5 year  (  --- )

The first issue of a new storyline following a planned hiatus. This issue has two variants, a 1:25 Travis Charest cover, and a 1:100 sketch variant. You’d normally expect that to result in a significant sales boost. (For comparison, ASTONISHING hasn’t had a variant since issue #25 in 2008.) So an increase of only 4% is decidedly anaemic. The most likely explanation is that the boost from the variants is being partly cancelled out by an underlying decline.

Next up is ULTIMATE COMICS AVENGERS, but let’s take all three Ultimate books together.

15. ULTIMATE COMICS AVENGERS
08/09  U.C. Avengers #1 - 99,701
09/09  U.C. Avengers #2 - 68,597  (-31.2%)
10/09  U.C. Avengers #3 - 62,716  ( -8.6%)

24. ULTIMATE COMICS SPIDER-MAN
10/04  Ult. Spider-Man #67  - 95,071
10/05  Ult. Spider-Man #84  - 74,670
10/06  Ult. Spider-Man #101 - 78,963
10/07  Ult. Spider-Man #115 - 74,310
=====
10/08  Ult. Spider-Man #127 - 52,584  (  -3.7%)
11/08  Ult. Spider-Man #128 - 52,187  (  -0.8%)
12/08  Ult. Spider-Man #129 - 51,071  (  -2.1%)
01/09  Ult. Spider-Man #130 - 49,637  (  -2.8%)
02/09  Ult. Spider-Man #131 - 49,565  (  -0.1%)
03/09  ---
04/09  ---
05/09  Ult. Spider-Man #132 - 50,144  (  +1.2%)
06/09  Ult. Spider-Man #133 - 57,364  ( +14.4%)06/09  USM: Requiem #1 of 2 - 44,988  ( -21.6%)
07/09  USM: Requiem #2 of 2 - 41,374  (  -8.0%)
08/09  U.C. Spider-Man #1   - 86,008  (+107.9%)
09/09  U.C. Spider-Man #2   - 57,477  ( -33.2%)
10/09  U.C. Spider-Man #3   - 52,813  (  -8.1%)
                              6 mnth  (   --- )
                              1 year  (  +0.4%)
                              2 year  ( -28.9%)
                              3 year  ( -33.1%)
                              4 year  ( -29.3%)
                              5 year  ( -44.4%)

75.  ULTIMATE COMICS ARMOR WARS
09/09  U.C. Armor Wars #1 of 4 - 51,035
10/09  U.C. Armor Wars #2 of 4 - 27,087  (-46.9%)

Let’s start with the two ongoing titles. They both had incentive variants on the first issue, straightforward variants on the second, and no variants on the third. So there’s nothing particularly alarming about the drops themselves. As for ARMOR WARS, the first issue had 1:15 and 1:25 variants, while this month the book has none at all. Again, that means you’d expect a hefty decline.

On the other hand… ULTIMATE COMICS AVENGERS is clearly not going to sell in ULTIMATES quantities, despite featuring writer Mark Millar and much of that book’s cast. ULTIMATE COMICS SPIDER-MAN is already more or less back where it was before the relaunch.

And ARMOR WARS seems to have fallen off a cliff. This time last year, the final issue of ULTIMATE ORIGINS was shifted 61K. So when the first miniseries after the much-hyped relaunch crashes down to 27K in its second month… well, that’s a real surprise. In fairness, it’s not unknown for remarkably low sales to be cancelled out by “re-orders” on the following month’s chart, presumably reflecting distribution delays at Diamond. And ARMOR WARS did ship in the last week of the month. But this doesn’t look very promising.

On the strength of these numbers, ULTIMATUM doesn’t seem to have worked. It doesn’t seem to have done much harm, either – Spider-Man’s back where he was before – but if the idea was to reinvigorate interest in the flagging imprint, there’s no sign of that happening.

18. DARK WOLVERINE
10/04  Wolverine #20      - 116,831
10/05  Wolverine #34      -  75,664
10/06  Wolverine #47      - 106,201
10/07  Wolverine #58      -  83,810 
=====
10/08  ---
11/08  Wolverine #69      -  93,914  ( -3.5%)
12/08  Wolverine #70      -  98,915  ( +5.3%)
01/09  ---
02/09  ---
03/09  Wolverine #71      -  91,229  ( -7.8%)
04/09  ---
05/09  Wolverine #72      -  91,333  ( +0.1%)
05/09  Wolverine #73      -  83,324  ( -8.8%)
06/09  Wolverine #74      -  66,186  (-20.6%)
06/09  Dark Wolverine #75 -  80,780  (+22.0%)
07/09  Dark Wolverine #76 -  74,017  ( -8.4%)
08/09  Dark Wolverine #77 -  68,593  ( -7.3%)
09/09  Dark Wolverine #78 -  60,702  (-11.5%)
10/09  Dark Wolverine #79 -  60,076  ( -1.0%)
                             6 mnth  (  --- )
                             1 year  (  --- )
                             2 year  (-27.7%)
                             3 year  (-43.4%)
                             4 year  (-20.6%)
                             5 year  (-48.6%)

On the face of it, holding steady. But it’s not quite that simple. Last month, issue #78 had a 1:15 variant. This month, issue #79 has two variants, with 1:10 and 1:15 incentives. (Oh, and one of them was a zombie cover, if those still mean anything.) So you’d expect sales to do up. Again, if sales are holding steady, that probably means the extra variant is just cancelling out an underlying decline.

To be fair, this seems to have been the soft launch of a new title disguised as a short-term storyline. We saw the same thing with INCREDIBLE HERCULES, and it took a while for sales to drop from the inherited level to one that reflected the popularity of the new title character. It’s no surprise that something similar is happening here.

20. WEB OF SPIDER-MAN
10/09  Web of Spider-Man #1 - 58,412

Behold the power of marketing in action. This is a replacement for AMAZING SPIDER-MAN FAMILY, which was cancelled in July, and which sold about 8,000 copies at the end. They’ve tied it a bit more closely to the main Spider-Man title, and they’ve promoted it as a proper second Spider-Man ongoing, and now it’s doing 58K.

Actually, there’s a 1:10 zombie variant on this issue, so the core sales will be somewhat less. Still, Marvel should be happy enough with this debut, considering that WEB is very much a distant second Spider-Man title.

21. HULK
10/08  Hulk #7  - 110,261  ( -6.4%)
11/08  Hulk #8  -  90,776  (-17.7%)
12/08  Hulk #9  -  87,786  ( -3.3%)
01/09  ---
02/09  Hulk #10 -  77,217  (-12.0%)
03/09  ---
04/09  Hulk #11 -  82,726  ( +7.1%)
05/09  Hulk #12 -  73,105  (-11.6%)
06/09  ---
07/09  ---
08/09  Hulk #13 -  71,369  ( -2.4%)
08/09  Hulk #14 -  77,455  ( +8.5%)
09/09  Hulk #15 -  58,667  (-24.3%)
10/09  Hulk #16 -  56,811  ( -3.2%)
                   6 mnth  (-31.3%)
                   1 year  (-48.5%)

HULK always has a 1:15 variant cover, but this issue also had a second Deadpool variant with a massive 1:200 incentive ratio. That should have caused a big spike, so the 3% drop suggests that the underlying trend is cause for concern.

To be fair, there’s another interpretation, which is that underlying sales are fairly steady but the 1:200 variant failed. They did this before with issue #14, and as you can see, it worked quite well. But to get meet the incentive, stores would have to up their orders by a huge amount. Since they clearly don’t believe they can sell that many copies (or they’d have ordered them in the first place), it only makes sense if they think they can find somebody willing to pay a truly astronomical price for a variant cover, in order to recoup their costs. So perhaps a lot of retailers got burnt on issue #14 and decided not to touch this one.

My bet would be that it’s a bit of both – but that still points to a worrying decline in sales.

23. X-MEN: LEGACY
10/04  X-Men #163         -  88,615
10/05  X-Men #176         -  74,635
10/06  X-Men #192         -  81,816
10/07  X-Men #204         -  83,456
=====
10/08  X-Men: Legacy #217 -  65,888  ( -0.8%)
11/08  X-Men: Legacy #218 -  63,512  ( -3.6%)
12/08  X-Men: Legacy #219 -  60,587  ( -4.6%)
01/09  X-Men: Legacy #220 -  59,286  ( -2.1%)
02/09  X-Men: Legacy #221 -  56,517  ( -4.7%)
03/09  X-Men: Legacy #222 -  55,606  ( -1.6%)
04/09  X-Men: Legacy #223 -  71,935  (+29.4%)
05/09  X-Men: Legacy #224 -  54,008  (-24.9%)
06/09  X-Men: Legacy #225 -  58,374  ( +8.1%)
07/09  X-Men: Legacy #226 -  59,298  ( +1.6%)
08/09  X-Men: Legacy #227 -  63,316  ( +6.8%)
09/09  ---
10/09  X-Men: Legacy #228 -  52,855  (-16.5%)
                             6 mnth  (-26.5%)
                             1 year  (-19.8%)
                             2 year  (-36.7%)
                             3 year  (-35.4%)
                             4 year  (-29.2%)
                             5 year  (-40.4%)

There’s no variant cover this month. The closest comparison is issue #224, which suggests that underlying sales are fairly steady.

25. MIGHTY AVENGERS
10/07  Mighty Avengers #5  - 99,544
=====
10/08  Mighty Avengers #19 - 87,258  ( -3.9%)
11/08  ---
12/08  Mighty Avengers #20 - 86,085  ( -1.3%)
01/09  ---
02/09  Mighty Avengers #21 - 76,247  (-11.4%)
02/09  Mighty Avengers #22 - 72,865  ( -4.4%)
03/09  Mighty Avengers #23 - 71,333  ( -2.1%)
04/09  Mighty Avengers #24 - 68,231  ( -4.3%)
05/09  ---
06/09  Mighty Avengers #25 - 65,010  ( -4.7%)
06/09  Mighty Avengers #26 - 63,178  ( -2.8%)
07/09  Mighty Avengers #27 - 64,680  ( +2.4%)
08/09  Mighty Avengers #28 - 61,323  ( -5.2%)
09/09  Mighty Avengers #29 - 54,476  (-11.2%)
10/09  Mighty Avengers #30 - 52,708  ( -3.2%)
                             6 mnth  (-22.8%)
                             1 year  (-40.6%)
                             2 year  (-47.1%)

Like many books in October, this has a 1:15 “Super Hero Squad” variant cover. None of them seem to have made much difference to sales, which suggests that people weren’t very interested. Not hugely surprising, really – the show doesn’t seem to be targetted at the direct market collector demographic.

27. DEADPOOL TEAM-UP
10/09  Deadpool #900 - 51,337

An anthology of Deadpool stories, parodying Marvel’s increasingly contrived anniversary issues. Actually, the “cover gallery” at the end gets up to 200 more or less legitimately, by counting assorted minis and the whole of CABLE & DEADPOOL.

This is also effectively the first issue of DEADPOOL TEAM-UP, a third ongoing monthly Deadpool title which will start at issue #900 and count backwards. Which, if nothing else, tells us that Marvel are pretty confident that the book will be cancelled before hitting issue #0 in 2084.

30. INCREDIBLE HULK
10/04  ---
10/05  Incredible Hulk #87  -  42,454
10/06  Incredible Hulk #99  -  47,878
10/07  ---
10/08  Hulk #7              - 110,261
=====
07/09  Incredible Hulk #600 -  92,343
08/09  Incredible Hulk #601 -  64,120  (-30.6%)
09/09  Incredible Hulk #602 -  51,582  (-19.6%)
10/09  Incredible Hulk #603 -  49,126  ( -4.8%)
                               6 mnth  (  --- )
                               1 year  (-55.4%)
                               2 year  (  --- )
                               3 year  ( +2.6%)
                               4 year  (+15.7%)
                               5 year  (  --- )

This has a Super Hero Squad variant – for the second month running! – plus a 1:10 zombie cover. Again, it’s starting to look like Marvel might be expanding the Hulk line just as the audience is losing interest in the current direction.

31. X-FORCE
10/08  X-Force #8  - 59,745  ( -8.0%)
11/08  X-Force #9  - 57,241  ( -4.2%)
12/08  X-Force #10 - 58,801  ( +2.7%)
01/09  X-Force #11 - 51,817  (-11.9%)
02/09  X-Force #12 - 51,449  ( -0.7%)
03/09  X-Force #13 - 51,797  ( +0.7%)
04/09  X-Force #14 - 62,674  (+21.0%)
05/09  X-Force #15 - 58,340  ( -6.9%)
06/09  X-Force #16 - 58,818  ( +0.8%)
07/09  X-Force #17 - 61,104  ( +3.9%)
08/09  X-Force #18 - 56,421  ( -7.7%)
09/09  X-Force #19 - 49,817  (-11.7%)
10/09  X-Force #20 - 48,921  ( -1.8%)
                     6 mnth  (-21.9%)
                     1 year  (-18.1%)

32. X-NECROSHA
10/09  X-Necrosha #1 - 47,894

“X-Necrosha” is notionally a crossover between X-FORCE, NEW MUTANTS and X-MEN: LEGACY, although in practice X-FORCE seems to get the main plot with the other two books tying in. X-NECROSHA #1 is a one-shot to kick-start the story. I’m slightly surprised that it came in this far below LEGACY. It does more or less match the sales on core title X-FORCE, but it does so with the aid of a 1:20 incentive. To be honest, I’m a little surprised it didn’t do better than this.

33. INVINCIBLE IRON MAN
10/04  Iron Man #89            - 33,483
10/05  ---
10/06  ---
10/07  Iron Man #23            - 42,608
=====
10/08  Invincible Iron Man #6  - 53,332  (-11.8%)
11/08  Invincible Iron Man #7  - 49,356  ( -7.5%)
12/08  Invincible Iron Man #8  - 56,708  (+14.9%)
01/09  Invincible Iron Man #9  - 52,364  ( -7.7%)
02/09  Invincible Iron Man #10 - 56,381  ( +7.7%)
03/09  Invincible Iron Man #11 - 52,165  ( -7.5%)
04/09  Invincible Iron Man #12 - 51,774  ( -0.7%)
05/09  Invincible Iron Man #13 - 51,311  ( -0.9%)
06/09  Invincible Iron Man #14 - 53,229  ( +3.7%)
07/09  Invincible Iron Man #15 - 50,554  ( -5.0%)
08/09  Invincible Iron Man #16 - 53,782  ( +6.4%)
09/09  Invincible Iron Man #17 - 47,182  (-12.3%)
09/09  Invincible Iron Man #18 - 48,039  ( +1.8%)
10/09  Invincible Iron Man #19 - 47,178  ( -1.8%)
                                 6 mnth  ( -8.9%)
                                 1 year  (-11.5%)
                                 2 year  (+10.7%)
                                 3 year  (  --- )
                                 4 year  (  --- )
                                 5 year  (+40.9%)

Another Super Hero Squad variant, but as we’ll see, they really don’t seem to make any difference. Sales appear to be legitimately holding steady on this title.

35. DEADPOOL
10/08  Deadpool #3  - 61,833  ( -5.5%)
11/08  Deadpool #4  - 49,577  (-19.8%)
12/08  Deadpool #5  - 46,856  ( -5.5%)
01/09  Deadpool #6  - 46,549  ( -0.7%)
02/09  Deadpool #7  - 44,082  ( -5.3%)
03/09  Deadpool #8  - 53,109  (+20.5%)
04/09  Deadpool #9  - 54,556  ( +2.7%)
05/09  Deadpool #10 - 56,123  ( +2.9%)
06/09  Deadpool #11 - 55,343  ( -1.4%)
07/09  Deadpool #12 - 58,807  ( +6.3%)
08/09  Deadpool #13 - 55,442  ( -5.7%)
08/09  Deadpool #14 - 50,263  ( -9.3%)
09/09  Deadpool #15 - 50,479  ( +0.4%)
10/09  Deadpool #16 - 46,288  ( -8.3%)
                      6 mnth  (-15.2%)
                      1 year  (-25.1%)

No obvious reason for the drop here. It’s actually got a variant cover, unlike the previous issue. Still, even this only takes DEADPOOL back to the sales level of issue #6.

36,43,48,52. DARK REIGN: THE LIST
09/09  Avengers        - 64,059
09/09  X-Men           - 53,869
09/09  Daredevil       - 45,092
10/09  Wolverine       - 45,959
10/09  Hulk            - 41,695
10/09  Secret Warriors - 37,890
10/09  Punisher        - 36,791

The AVENGERS issue adds 3,722 with its second printing, while DAREDEVIL adds 3,358. As usual, those are added in above.

As I said last month, the LIST one-shots were hyped as a pretty big deal, but the sales suggest that retailers weren’t convinced. I gather many of these issues do in fact contain major developments for their own titles.

37. DAREDEVIL
10/04  Daredevil #66  - 53,138
10/05  Daredevil #78  - 45,071
10/06  Daredevil #90  - 50,500
10/07  Daredevil #101 - 47,189
=====
10/08  Daredevil #112 - 46,202  ( -0.2%)
11/08  Daredevil #113 - 41,200  (-10.8%)
12/08  Daredevil #114 - 44,351  ( +7.6%)
01/09  Daredevil #115 - 40,214  ( -9.3%)
02/09  ---
03/09  Daredevil #116 - 41,261  ( +2.6%)
03/09  Daredevil #117 - 41,046  ( -0.5%)
04/09  Daredevil #118 - 44,982  ( +9.6%)
05/09  ---
06/09  Daredevil #119 - 41,403  ( -8.0%)
07/09  ---
08/09  Daredevil #500 - 73,486  (+77.5%)
09/09  ---
10/09  Daredevil #501 - 45,181  (-38.5%)
                        6 mnth  ( +0.4%)
                        1 year  ( -2.2%)
                        2 year  ( -4.3%)
                        3 year  (-10.5%)
                        4 year  ( +0.2%)
                        5 year  (-15.0%)

As you’d expect, sales drop back towards normal levels after the anniversary issue.

42. FANTASTIC FOUR
10/04  Fantastic Four #519 - 47,969
10/05  ---
10/06  Fantastic Four #540 - 88,933
10/07  Fantastic Four #550 - 57,906
=====
10/08  ---
11/08  Fantastic Four #561 - 61,331  ( +5.3%)
12/08  Fantastic Four #562 - 54,062  (-11.9%)
01/09  Fantastic Four #563 - 52,747  ( -2.4%)
02/09  Fantastic Four #564 - 49,520  ( -6.1%)
03/09  Fantastic Four #565 - 48,378  ( -2.3%)
04/09  ---
05/09  Fantastic Four #566 - 46,653  ( -3.6%)
06/09  Fantastic Four #567 - 46,225  ( -0.9%)
07/09  Fantastic Four #568 - 45,828  ( -0.9%)
07/09  Fantastic Four #569 - 44,710  ( -2.4%)
08/09  Fantastic Four #570 - 62,401  (+39.6%)
09/09  Fantastic Four #571 - 47,468  (-23.4%)
10/09  Fantastic Four #572 - 41,939  (-11.6%)
                             6 mnth  (  --- )
                             1 year  (  --- )
                             2 year  (-27.6%)
                             3 year  (-52.8%)
                             4 year  (  --- )
                             5 year  (-12.6%)

Two variants on this issue, as in September. The book still seems to be finding its level with the new creative team.

44. DEADPOOL: MERC WITH A MOUTH
07/09  Merc With A Mouth #1 - 59,628
08/09  Merc With A Mouth #2 - 51,147  (-14.2%)
09/09  Merc With A Mouth #3 - 43,855  (-14.3%)
10/09  Merc With a Mouth #4 - 40,154  ( -8.4%)

The big drop in issue #3 was because the first two issues had variants; this month, the decline isn’t as big. 8% is a bit on the high side for a fourth issue, but perhaps there’s the added factor of retailers trying to figure out what the book sells without variants.

45. WOLVERINE: ORIGINS
10/06  Origins #7  - 103,273
10/07  Origins #18 -  60,050
=====
10/08  Origins #29 -  58,841  (+17.8%)
11/08  Origins #30 -  50,359  (-14.4%)
12/08  Origins #31 -  45,043  (-10.6%)
01/09  Origins #32 -  44,697  ( -0.8%)
02/09  Origins #33 -  44,935  ( +0.5%)
03/09  Origins #34 -  45,579  ( +1.4%)
04/09  Origins #35 -  44,976  ( -1.3%)
05/09  Origins #36 -  45,451  ( +1.1%)
06/09  Origins #37 -  44,930  ( -1.1%)
07/09  Origins #38 -  47,211  ( +5.1%)
08/09  Origins #39 -  44,968  ( -4.8%)
09/09  Origins #40 -  42,724  ( -5.0%)
10/09  Origins #41 -  39,453  ( -7.7%)
                      6 mnth  (-12.3%)
                      1 year  (-32.9%)
                      2 year  (-34.3%)
                      3 year  (-61.8%)

This is the first issue without a variant since issue #37, hence the drop. There’s still a fairly steep decline in evidence. With supporting character Daken shifted into DARK WOLVERINE, the series is apparently slated to wrap up some time around issue #50 when Daniel Way completes his storyline.

46. MARVELS PROJECT
08/09  Marvels Project #1 of 8 - 89,062
09/09  Marvels Project #2 of 8 - 47,744  (-46.4%)
10/09  Marvels Project #3 of 8 - 39,313  (-17.7%)

Levelling out, obviously. The variants are the same as last month.

47. WOLVERINE: WEAPON X
04/09  Weapon X #1 - 97,896
05/09  Weapon X #2 - 59,192  (-39.5%)
06/09  Weapon X #3 - 51,076  (-13.7%)
07/09  ---
08/09  Weapon X #4 - 49,284  ( -3.5%)
09/09  Weapon X #5 - 40,975  (-16.9%)
10/09  Weapon X #6 - 38,446  ( -6.2%)
                     6 mnth  (-60.7%)

Well, it’s levelling out… but if this is supposed to be the new main Wolverine title following the re-branding of DARK WOLVERINE, then something’s gone awry.

49. SPIDER-WOMAN
09/09  Spider-Woman #1 - 47,202
10/09  Spider-Woman #2 - 37,255  (-21.1%)

That’s not bad at all. Issue #1 had a variant cover, this one doesn’t – so the drop’s pretty reasonable.

54. SECRET WARRIORS
02/09  Secret Warriors #1 - 62,764
03/09  Secret Warriors #2 - 48,086  (-23.4%)
04/09  Secret Warriors #3 - 50,126  ( +4.2%)
05/09  Secret Warriors #4 - 42,781  (-14.7%)
06/09  Secret Warriors #5 - 40,849  ( -4.5%)
07/09  Secret Warriors #6 - 41,749  ( +2.2%)
08/09  Secret Warriors #7 - 38,990  ( -6.6%)
09/09  Secret Warriors #8 - 33,893  (-13.1%)
10/09  Secret Warriors #9 - 36,385  ( +7.4%)
                            6 mnth  (-27.4%)

Two variant covers. One’s a Super Hero Squad variant, which probably makes no difference, but the other is a 1:10 zombie cover.

57. NEW MUTANTS
05/09  New Mutants #1 - 60,972
06/09  New Mutants #2 - 43,230  (-29.1%)
07/09  New Mutants #3 - 42,961  ( -0.6%)
08/09  New Mutants #4 - 38,558  (-10.2%)
09/09  New Mutants #5 - 31,502  (-18.3%)
10/09  New Mutants #6 - 34,967  (+11.0%)

Another 1:10 zombie cover. It’s also a Necrosha-X tie-in.

62. X-MEN VS AGENTS OF ATLAS
10/09  X-Men vs Agents of Atlas #1 of 2 - 32,743

Marvel really are committed to the Agents of Atlas characters. Despite the cancellation of their monthly title, they’ve got a string of miniseries coming up, plus guest appearances and back-up strips. Considering that AGENTS OF ATLAS was doing 18K last month, I’m sure Marvel will be very happy with these numbers.

63. THUNDERBOLTS
10/05  New Thunderbolts #13 - 29,250
10/06  Thunderbolts #107    - 29,624
10/07  Thunderbolts #117    - 47,151
=====
10/08  Thunderbolts #125    - 41,358  ( -4.8%)
11/08  Thunderbolts #126    - 34,640  (-16.2%)
12/08  Thunderbolts #127    - 36,378  ( +5.0%)
01/09  Thunderbolts #128    - 45,745  (+25.7%)
02/09  Thunderbolts #129    - 45,401  ( -0.7%)
03/09  Thunderbolts #130    - 52,264  (+15.1%)
04/09  Thunderbolts #131    - 49,155  ( -5.9%)
05/09  Thunderbolts #132    - 43,911  (-10.7%)
06/09  Thunderbolts #133    - 39,479  (-10.1%)
07/09  Thunderbolts #134    - 40,885  ( +3.6%)
08/09  ---
09/09  Thunderbolts #135    - 39,961  ( -2.3%)
09/09  Thunderbolts #136    - 34,031  (-14.8%)
10/09  Thunderbolts #137    - 32,409  ( -4.8%)
                              6 mnth  (-34.1%)
                              1 year  (-21.6%)
                              2 year  (-31.3%)
                              3 year  ( +9.4%)
                              4 year  (+10.8%)

Drifting down. But since the current set-up is tied to Dark Reign, common sense dictates that some sort of relaunch or change of direction must be in the offing.

66. AVENGERS: THE INITIATIVE
10/07  ---
=====
10/08  Initiative #18 - 61,159  ( +3.6%)
11/08  ---
12/08  Initiative #19 - 52,558  (-14.1%)
12/08  Initiative #20 - 51,230  ( -2.5%)
01/09  Initiative #21 - 47,734  ( -6.8%)
02/09  Initiative #22 - 46,932  ( -1.7%)
03/09  ---
04/09  Initiative #23 - 45,146  ( -3.8%)
05/09  Initiative #24 - 42,510  ( -5.8%)
06/09  Initiative #25 - 40,101  ( -5.7%)
07/09  Initiative #26 - 38,215  ( -4.7%)
08/09  Initiative #27 - 39,014  ( +2.1%)
09/09  Initiative #28 - 33,855  (-13.2%)
10/09  Initiative #29 - 31,412  ( -7.2%)
                        6 mnth  (-30.4%)
                        1 year  (-48.6%)
                        2 year  (  --- )

This is another of the Super Hero Squad variant covers, and once again, it doesn’t seem to have made any difference. INITIATIVE is rumoured to be set for a relaunch after Dark Reign ends.

67. CABLE
10/08  Cable #7  - 43,358  ( -3.8%)
11/08  Cable #8  - 37,315  (-13.9%)
12/08  Cable #9  - 34,527  ( -7.5%)
01/09  Cable #10 - 33,319  ( -3.5%)
02/09  Cable #11 - 31,817  ( -4.5%)
03/09  Cable #12 - 32,407  ( +1.9%)
04/09  Cable #13 - 47,638  (+47.0%)
05/09  Cable #14 - 52,245  ( +9.7%)
06/09  Cable #15 - 49,912  ( -4.5%)
07/09  Cable #16 - 39,646  (-20.6%)
08/09  Cable #17 - 39,424  ( -0.6%)
09/09  Cable #18 - 33,958  (-13.9%)
10/09  Cable #19 - 31,009  ( -8.7%)
                   6 mnth  (-34.9%)
                   1 year  (-28.5%)

Dropping back to pre-crossover levels from the start of the year.

69. X-FACTOR
10/06  X-Factor #12 - 42,909
10/07  X-Factor #24 - 52,085
=====
10/08  X-Factor #36 - 38,552  (-13.3%)
11/08  X-Factor #37 - 35,754  ( -7.3%)
12/08  X-Factor #38 - 34,425  ( -3.7%)
01/09  X-Factor #39 - 32,796  ( -4.7%)
02/09  X-Factor #40 - 31,943  ( -2.6%)
03/09  X-Factor #41 - 31,888  ( -0.2%)
04/09  X-Factor #42 - 32,000  ( +0.4%)
05/09  X-Factor #43 - 31,543  ( -1.4%)
06/09  X-Factor #44 - 31,552  ( +0.0%)
06/09  X-Factor #45 - 31,109  ( -1.4%)
07/09  X-Factor #46 - 31,213  ( +0.3%)
08/09  X-Factor #47 - 33,052  ( +5.9%)
09/09  X-Factor #48 - 30,305  ( -8.3%)
09/09  X-Factor #49 - 29,934  ( -1.2%)
10/09  X-Factor #50 - 30,138  ( +0.7%)
                      6 mnth  ( -5.8%)
                      1 year  (-21.8%)
                      2 year  (-42.1%)
                      3 year  (-29.8%)

With the next issue, the book jumps to issue #200. The anniversary bump will probably come then.

73. THE STAND
10/08  Captain Trips #2 of 5  - 64,443  (-22.0%)
11/08  Captain Trips #3 of 5  - 55,076  (-14.5%)
12/08  Captain Trips #4 of 5  - 49,211  (-10.6%)
01/09  Captain Trips #5 of 5  - 46,702  ( -5.1%)
02/09  ---
03/09  Nightmares #1 of 5     - 47,473  ( +1.7%)
04/09  Nightmares #2 of 5     - 38,909  (-18.0%)
05/09  Nightmares #3 of 5     - 36,364  ( -6.5%)
06/09  ---
07/09  Nightmares #4 of 5     - 34,292  ( -5.7%)
08/09  Nightmares #5 of 5     - 31,506  ( -8.1%)
10/09  Soul Survivors #1 of 5 - 27,725  (-12.0%)
                                6 mnth  (-28.7%)
                                1 year  (-57.0%)

Plainly it’s not holding up at all well as a direct market title. But I suspect it’s the sort of project which, by its nature, ought to do better as a collection.

74. PUNISHER
10/07  War Journal #12 - 66,548
=====
10/08  War Journal #24 - 31,785  ( +16.1%)
11/08  War Journal #25 - 29,982  (  -5.7%)
12/08  War Journal #26 - 22,423  ( -25.2%)
01/09  Punisher #1     - 49,222  (+119.5%)
02/09  Punisher #2     - 40,928  ( -16.9%)
03/09  Punisher #3     - 37,570  (  -8.2%)
04/09  Punisher #4     - 36,995  (  -1.5%)
05/09  Punisher #5     - 35,621  (  -3.7%)
06/09  Punisher #6     - 32,982  (  -7.4%)
07/09  Punisher #7     - 31,227  (  -5.3%)
08/09  Punisher #8     - 33,057  (  +5.9%)
09/09  Punisher #9     - 28,424  ( -14.1%)
10/09  Punisher #10    - 27,167  (  -4.4%)
                         6 mnth  ( -26.6%)
                         1 year  ( -14.5%)
                         2 year  ( -59.2%)

Drifting down. We’re now looking at the same sort of numbers that the previous incarnation had shortly before it was relaunched.

78. VENGEANCE OF THE MOON KNIGHT
10/06  ---
10/07  Moon Knight #13 - 44,082
=====
10/08  Moon Knight #23 - 25,216  ( -4.4%)
11/08  Moon Knight #24 - 23,947  ( -5.0%)
12/08  Moon Knight #25 - 23,283  ( -2.8%)
01/09  Moon Knight #26 - 21,796  ( -6.4%)
02/09  Moon Knight #27 - 21,413  ( -1.8%)
03/09  Moon Knight #28 - 20,866  ( -2.6%)
04/09  Moon Knight #29 - 22,689  ( +8.7%)
05/09  Moon Knight #30 - 19,693  (-13.2%)
06/09  ---
07/09  ---
08/09  ---
09/09  Moon Knight #1  - 35,706  (+81.3%)
10/09  Moon Knight #2  - 26,493  (-25.8%)
                         6 mnth  (+16.8%)
                         1 year  ( +5.1%)
                         2 year  (-39.9%)

Issue #1 picks up re-orders of 3,309, but sales look to be heading back to previous levels fairly quickly.

79,87. INCREDIBLE HERCULES
10/08  Hercules #122 - 42,876  ( -9.5%)
11/08  Hercules #123 - 35,780  (-16.6%)
12/08  Hercules #124 - 36,855  ( +3.0%)
01/09  Hercules #125 - 31,888  (-13.5%)
02/09  Hercules #126 - 31,000  ( -2.8%)
03/09  Hercules #127 - 31,890  ( +2.9%)
04/09  Hercules #128 - 33,739  ( +5.8%)
05/09  Hercules #129 - 28,995  (-14.1%)
06/09  Hercules #130 - 27,872  ( -3.9%)
07/09  Hercules #131 - 29,188  ( +4.7%)
08/09  Hercules #132 - 32,680  (+12.0%)
08/09  Hercules #133 - 27,491  (-15.9%)
09/09  Hercules #134 - 25,380  ( -7.7%)
09/09  Hercules #135 - 26,344  ( +3.8%)
10/09  Hercules #136 - 26,447  ( -0.4%)
10/09  Hercules #137 - 23,463  (-11.3%)
                       6 mnth  (-30.5%)
                       1 year  (-45.3%)

The previous issue had a 1:10 variant, which slightly exaggerates the book’s gradual drop.

80. DARK AVENGERS: ARES
10/09  Ares #1 of 3 - 25,995

Interestingly, not billed as a Dark Reign title. Nonetheless, these are the sort of sales that books like DARK REIGN: THE HOOD were getting.

81. MS MARVEL
10/06  Ms Marvel #8  - 62,893
10/07  Ms Marvel #20 - 37,930
=====
10/08  Ms Marvel #32 - 25,892  (-19.5%)
11/08  Ms Marvel #33 - 23,980  ( -7.4%)
12/08  Ms Marvel #34 - 29,770  (+24.1%)
01/09  Ms Marvel #35 - 26,824  (-10.0%)
02/09  Ms Marvel #36 - 25,864  ( -3.6%)
03/09  Ms Marvel #37 - 25,053  ( -3.1%)
04/09  Ms Marvel #38 - 27,535  (+10.0%)
05/09  Ms Marvel #39 - 24,757  (-10.1%)
06/09  Ms Marvel #40 - 25,216  ( +1.9%)
07/09  Ms Marvel #41 - 27,187  ( +7.8%)
07/09  Ms Marvel #42 - 25,103  ( -7.7%)
08/09  Ms Marvel #43 - 28,261  (+12.6%)
08/09  Ms Marvel #44 - 25,550  ( -9.6%)
09/09  Ms Marvel #45 - 30,528  (+19.5%)
10/09  Ms Marvel #46 - 25,717  (-15.8%)
                       6 mnth  ( -6.6%)
                       1 year  ( -0.7%)
                       2 year  (-32.2%)
                       3 year  (-59.1%)

Cancelled with issue #50, though I wouldn’t be surprised if there was a relaunch
in the offing.
There’s a 1:10 zombie variant on this book, but issue #45 had a 70th anniversary cover.

85. AMAZING SPIDER-MAN PRESENTS ANTI-VENOM
09/09  Anti-Venom #1 of 3 - 32,128
10/09  Anti-Venom #2 of 3 - 23,870  (-25.7%)

Fairly typical for a miniseries.

86. GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY
10/08  Guardians o/Galaxy #6  - 36,546  (-13.2%)
11/08  Guardians o/Galaxy #7  - 30,516  (-16.5%)
12/08  Guardians o/Galaxy #8  - 31,564  ( +3.4%)
01/09  Guardians o/Galaxy #9  - 28,502  ( -9.7%)
02/09  Guardians o/Galaxy #10 - 27,648  ( -3.0%)
03/09  Guardians o/Galaxy #11 - 27,415  ( -0.8%)
03/09  Guardians o/Galaxy #12 - 26,764  ( -2.4%)
04/09  Guardians o/Galaxy #13 - 27,107  ( +1.3%)
05/09  Guardians o/Galaxy #14 - 27,130  ( +0.1%)
06/09  Guardians o/Galaxy #15 - 26,808  ( -1.2%)
07/09  Guardians o/Galaxy #16 - 26,605  ( -0.8%)
08/09  Guardians o/Galaxy #17 - 27,893  ( +4.8%)
09/09  Guardians o/Galaxy #18 - 24,896  (-10.7%)
10/09  Guardians o/Galaxy #19 - 23,597  ( -5.2%)
                                6 mnth  (-12.9%)
                                1 year  (-35.4%)

Sales on the cosmic books seem to be tailing off a little now that the “War of Kings” crossover is finished.

89. DOCTOR VOODOO, AVENGERS OF THE SUPERNATURAL
10/09  Dr Voodoo #1 - 23,328

Uh-oh. This is only slightly better than the first issue of DARK REIGN: ZODIAC, and it’s got a 1:15 variant cover to help it out. I don’t see this sticking around very long.

92. NOVA
10/07  Nova #7  - 34,876
=====
10/08  Nova #18 - 38,417  ( +3.8%)
11/08  Nova #19 - 28,306  (-26.3%)
12/08  Nova #20 - 29,405  ( +3.9%)
01/09  Nova #21 - 25,647  (-12.8%)
02/09  Nova #22 - 25,065  ( -2.3%)
03/09  Nova #23 - 26,413  ( +5.4%)
04/09  Nova #24 - 26,240  ( -0.7%)
05/09  Nova #25 - 26,172  ( -0.3%)
06/09  Nova #26 - 28,107  ( +7.4%)
07/09  Nova #27 - 25,677  ( -8.6%)
08/09  Nova #28 - 27,038  ( +5.3%)
09/09  Nova #29 - 23,924  (-11.5%)
10/09  Nova #30 - 22,845  ( -4.5%)
                  6 mnth  (-12.9%)
                  1 year  (-40.5%)
                  2 year  (-34.5%)

See GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY, basically.

94,97. X-MEN FOREVER
06/09  X-Men Forever #1  - 36,213
06/09  X-Men Forever #2  - 31,767  (-12.3%)
07/09  X-Men Forever #3  - 28,651  ( -9.8%)
07/09  X-Men Forever #4  - 28,645  ( -0.0%)
08/09  X-Men Forever #5  - 27,825  ( -2.9%)
08/09  X-Men Forever #6  - 24,875  (-10.6%)
09/09  X-Men Forever #7  - 24,115  ( -3.1%)
09/09  X-Men Forever #8  - 23,174  ( -3.9%)
10/09  X-Men Forever #9  - 21,926  ( -5.4%)
10/09  X-Men Forever #10 - 22,287  ( +1.6%)

The slight increase on issue #10 is thanks to a zombie variant.

95. PUNISHER: FRANK CASTLE  [Max]
10/04  Punisher #12     - 42,702
10/05  Punisher #26     - 36,450
10/06  Punisher #39     - 33,962
10/07  Punisher #51     - 33,771
=====
10/08  Punisher #63     - 25,933  ( -3.6%)
11/08  Punisher #64     - 24,660  ( -4.9%)
12/08  Punisher #65     - 23,881  ( -3.2%)
01/09  Frank Castle #66 - 22,806  ( -4.5%)
02/09  Frank Castle #67 - 22,267  ( -2.4%)
03/09  Frank Castle #68 - 22,255  ( -0.0%)
04/09  Frank Castle #69 - 21,843  ( -1.9%)
05/09  Frank Castle #70 - 21,864  ( +0.1%)
06/09  Frank Castle #71 - 21,319  ( -2.5%)
07/09  Frank Castle #72 - 21,049  ( -1.3%)
08/09  Frank Castle #73 - 20,375  ( -3.2%)
09/09  Frank Castle #74 - 20,259  ( -0.6%)
10/09  Frank Castle #75 - 22,210  ( +9.6%)
                          6 mnth  ( +1.7%)
                          1 year  (-14.4%)
                          2 year  (-34.2%)
                          3 year  (-34.6%)
                          4 year  (-39.1%)
                          5 year  (-48.0%)

The series relaunches in November as PUNISHERMAX. I’d love to see the names they turned down.

99. SPIDER-MAN CLONE SAGA
09/09  Clone Saga #1 of 6 - 27,697
10/09  Clone Saga #2 of 6 - 21,473  (-22.5%)

Standard miniseries behaviour.

101. DARK REIGN: YOUNG AVENGERS
05/09  Young Avengers #1 of 5 - 32,266
06/09  Young Avengers #2 of 5 - 26,974  (-16.4%)
07/09  Young Avengers #3 of 5 - 24,237  (-10.1%)
08/09  ---
09/09  Young Avengers #4 of 5 - 22,875  ( -5.6%)
10/09  Young Avengers #5 of 5 - 21,285  ( -7.0%)

That’s better than a lot of Dark Reign minis, so evidently there’s still some interest in these characters.

104. CRIMINAL  [Icon]
10/07  ---
10/08  Criminal #6 - 15,134
=====
10/09  Sinners #1  - 20,580

The crime book launches a new run with a pleasing increase in sales.

105. SON OF HULK
10/08  Skaar, Son of Hulk #4  - 44,310  (-12.8%)
11/08  Skaar, Son of Hulk #5  - 34,779  (-21.5%)
12/08  Skaar, Son of Hulk #6  - 34,593  ( -0.5%)
01/09  Skaar, Son of Hulk #7  - 31,096  (-10.1%)
02/09  Skaar, Son of Hulk #8  - 28,771  ( -7.5%)
03/09  Skaar, Son of Hulk #9  - 27,137  ( -5.7%)
04/09  Skaar, Son of Hulk #10 - 27,317  ( +0.7%)
05/09  ---
06/09  Skaar, Son of Hulk #11 - 28,633  ( +4.8%)
06/09  Skaar, Son of Hulk #12 - 35,920  (+25.4%)
07/09  Son of Hulk #13        - 29,195  (-18.7%)
08/09  Son of Hulk #14        - 27,171  ( -6.9%)
09/09  Son of Hulk #15        - 22,722  (-16.4%)
10/09  Son of Hulk #16        - 20,504  ( -9.8%)
                                6 mnth  (-24.9%)
                                1 year  (-53.7%)

Axed with issue #17.

106. BLACK PANTHER
10/05  Black Panther #9  - 40,173
10/06  Black Panther #21 - 26,077
10/07  Black Panther #31 - 33,673 
=====
10/08  ---
11/08  ---
12/08  ---
01/09  ---
02/09  Black Panther #1  - 52,991  (+57.6%)
03/09  Black Panther #2  - 33,755  (-36.3%)
04/09  Black Panther #3  - 33,356  ( -1.2%)
05/09  Black Panther #4  - 30,984  ( -7.1%)
06/09  Black Panther #5  - 29,762  ( -3.9%)
07/09  Black Panther #6  - 29,727  ( -0.1%)
08/09  Black Panther #7  - 27,619  ( -7.1%)
09/09  Black Panther #8  - 23,020  (-16.7%)
10/09  Black Panther #9  - 20,346  (-11.6%)
                           6 mnth  (-39.0%)
                           1 year  (  --- )
                           2 year  (-39.6%)
                           3 year  (-22.0%)
                           4 year  (-49.4%)

We’re now back at the levels which prompted the last relaunch.

107. WAR MACHINE
12/08  War Machine #1  - 54,396
01/09  War Machine #2  - 39,835  (-26.8%)
02/09  War Machine #3  - 33,818  (-15.1%)
03/09  War Machine #4  - 32,693  ( -3.3%)
04/09  War Machine #5  - 34,254  ( +4.8%)
05/09  War Machine #6  - 27,703  (-19.1%)
06/09  War Machine #7  - 28,757  ( +3.8%)
07/09  ---
08/09  War Machine #8  - 23,961  (-16.7%)
09/09  War Machine #9  - 23,589  ( -1.6%)
10/09  War Machine #10 - 20,207  (-14.3%)
                         6 mnth  (-41.0%)

Axed with issue #12.

115. X-BABIES
10/09  X-Babies #1 of 4 - 18,383

A miniseries apparently intended to promote the upcoming collections of Marvel’s short-lived, largely forgotten Star Comics imprint from over twenty years ago. Probably one for the completists.

116. SPIDER-MAN 1602
10/09  Spider-Man 1602 #1 of 5 - 18,273

And ditto here, I suspect. They’ve taken this property as far as it can go.

117. TORCH
09/09  Torch #1 of 8 - 26,921
10/09  Torch #2 of 8 - 18,115  (-32.7%)

That’s a hefty drop, even for a miniseries. Not much interest in the Golden Age hero, evidently. With eight issues in this run, the numbers will need to level out quickly.

120. GHOST RIDERS: HEAVENS ON FIRE
08/09  Heavens on Fire #1 of 6 - 21,944
09/09  Heavens on Fire #2 of 6 - 18,262  (-16.8%)
10/09  Heavens on Fire #3 of 6 - 16,879  ( -7.6%)

On the steep side for the third issue.

125. STRANGE TALES
09/09  Strange Tales #1 of 3 - 16,266
10/09  Strange Tales #2 of 3 - 16,018  (-1.5%)

An exceptionally small drop. For some reason, retailers apparently think that if you were on board for issue #1, you’ll want the lot. Very unusual.

131. IRON MAN: IRON PROTOCOLS
10/09  Iron Protocols - 14,854

Well, it’s one of those generic one-shots that Marvel chuck out there from time to time. And they never sell especially well.

136. CAPTAIN AMERICA: THEATER OF WAR
10/09  Ghosts of My Country - 14,071

This month’s Captain America flashback story.

140. DARK REIGN: ZODIAC
06/09  Zodiac #1 of 3 - 22,076
07/09  ---
08/09  Zodiac #2 of 3 - 15,960  (-27.7%)
09/09  ---
10/09  Zodiac #3 of 3 - 13,632  (-14.6%)

About as good as could be expected for a miniseries about a completely new character, thrown out there as part of an oversaturated event.

141. PUNISHER NOIR
08/09  Punisher Noir #1 of 4 - 18,315
09/09  Punisher Noir #2 of 4 - 15,466  (-15.6%)
10/09  Punisher Noir #3 of 4 - 13,609  (-12.0%)

Modest numbers, but Marvel are still apparently committed to the imprint.

149. IRON MAN AND THE ARMOR WARS
08/09  Armor Wars #1 of 4 - 19,935
09/09  Armor Wars #2 of 4 - 14,781  (-25.9%)
10/09  Armor Wars #3 of 4 - 12,422  (-16.0%)

An all-ages Iron Man miniseries. It’s doing a lot better than the Marvel Adventures books.

152. HOUSE OF M: MASTERS OF EVIL
08/09  Masters of Evil #1 of 4 - 17,528
09/09  Masters of Evil #2 of 4 - 13,794  (-49.6%)
10/09  Masters of Evil #3 of 4 - 11,569  (-16.1%)

Surely this has to be the last HOUSE OF M mini.

161. UNCANNY X-MEN: FIRST CLASS
10/06  First Class #2 of 8 - 33,688 
10/07  First Class #5      - 18,134
=====
10/08  Giant-Size Special  - 13,263  ( +3.3%)
11/08  ---
12/08  ---
01/09  ---
02/09  Finals #1 of 4      - 15,736  (+18.6%)
03/09  Finals #2 of 4      - 11,533  (-26.7%)
04/09  Finals #3 of 4      - 10,870  ( -5.7%)
05/09  Finals #4 of 4      - 10,579  ( -2.7%)
06/09  Giant-Size Special  - 12,614  (+19.2%)
07/09  Uncanny #1 of 8     - 18,363  (+45.6%)
08/09  Uncanny #2 of 8     - 12,978  (-29.3%)
09/09  Uncanny #3 of 8     - 11,954  ( -7.9%)
10/09  Uncanny #4 of 8     - 11,260  ( -5.8%)
                             6 mnth  ( +3.6%)
                             1 year  (-15.1%)
                             2 year  (-37.9%)
                             3 year  (-66.6%)

Very solid, and consistent with the sales on the previous miniseries.

163. ANITA BLAKE, VAMPIRE HUNTER
10/06  Guilty Pleaures #1 of 12 - 53,277
10/07  First Death #2 of 2      - 36,035
=====
10/08  Laughing Corpse #1 of 5  - 22,493  (+13.2%)
11/08  Laughing Corpse #2 of 5  - 17,187  (-23.6%)
12/08  Laughing Corpse #3 of 5  - 15,665  ( -8.9%)
01/09  Laughing Corpse #4 of 5  - 14,422  ( -7.9%)
02/09  Laughing Corpse #5 of 5  - 14,095  ( -2.3%)
03/09  ---
04/09  Necromancer #1 of 5      - 15,308  ( +8.6%)
05/09  ---
06/09  Necromancer #2 of 5      - 12,907  (-15.7%)
07/09  Necromancer #3 of 5      - 12,143  ( -5.9%)
08/09  Necromancer #4 of 5      - 11,597  ( -4.5%)
09/09  Necromancer #5 of 5      - 11,142  ( -3.9%)
10/09  Executioner #1 of 5      - 11,205  ( +0.6%)
                                  6 mnth  (-26.8%)
                                  1 year  (-50.2%)
                                  2 year  (-68.9%)
                                  3 year  (-79.0%)

Only a token sales boost for the first issue of the new arc. Still, sales have been reasonably steady over the last few months.

166. MARVEL DIVAS
07/09  Marvel Divas #1 of 4 - 21,616
08/09  Marvel Divas #2 of 4 - 14,662  (-32.2%)
09/09  Marvel Divas #3 of 4 - 12,238  (-16.5%)
10/09  Marvel Divas #4 of 4 - 10,827  (-11.5%)

Not great sales, but the premise of four B-list Marvel heroines doing Sex And The City was never particularly commercial.

167. HALO: HELLJUMPER
07/09  Helljumper #1 of 5 - 15,809
08/09  Helljumper #2 of 5 - 12,602  (-20.3%)
09/09  Helljumper #3 of 5 - 11,827  ( -6.1%)
10/09  Helljumper #4 of 5 - 10,784  ( -8.8%)

Video game adaptations reportedly do very well outside the direct market, so I’d take this with a pinch of salt.

175. GENEXT UNITED
05/09  GeNext United #1 of 5 - 17,766
06/09  GeNext United #2 of 5 - 14,091  (-20.7%)
07/09  GeNext United #3 of 5 - 12,347  (-12.4%)
08/09  GeNext United #4 of 5 - 11,003  (-10.9%)
09/09  ---
10/09  GeNext United #5 of 5 - 10,357  ( -5.9%)

This was the second miniseries featuring Chris Claremont’s GeNext characters (a sort of next-generation X-Men from an alternate future). The previous series launched at 34K and dropped to 17K over its run in summer 2008. That was evidently enough to get a sequel commissioned, but I’d be surprised to see a third series given these sales.

176,183. MODELS INC
09/09  Models Inc #1 of 4 - 17,918
10/09  Models Inc #2 of 4 - 10,321  (-42.4%)
10/09  Models Inc #3 of 4 -  9,997  ( -3.1%)

177. NOMAD: GIRL WITHOUT A WORLD
09/09  Nomad #1 of 4 - 18,069
10/09  Nomad #2 of 4 - 10,296  (-43.0%)

Two very low-selling minis. NOMAD is being set up for a run as a back-up strip in CAPTAIN AMERICA; if the book gets decent reviews and can attract some buzz, the poor sales may not matter so much.

178. WOLVERINE: FIRST CLASS
10/08  First Class #8  - 14,936  ( -7.6%)
11/08  First Class #9  - 13,857  ( -7.2%)
12/08  First Class #10 - 13,441  ( -3.0%)
01/09  First Class #11 - 12,845  ( -4.4%)
02/09  First Class #12 - 12,403  ( -3.4%)
03/09  First Class #13 - 12,430  ( -0.0%)
04/09  First Class #14 - 13,695  (+10.2%)
05/09  First Class #15 - 12,221  (-10.8%)
06/09  First Class #16 - 11,623  ( -4.9%)
07/09  First Class #17 - 12,441  ( +7.0%)
08/09  First Class #18 - 13,110  ( +5.4%)
09/09  First Class #19 - 11,723  (-10.6%)
10/09  First Class #20 - 10,208  (-12.9%)
                         6 mnth  (-25.5%)
                         1 year  (-31.7%)

On a very slow drift down.

180. LUKE CAGE NOIR
08/09  Luke Cage Noir #1 of 4 - 14,776
09/09  Luke Cage Noir #2 of 4 - 12,176  (-17.6%)
10/09  Luke Cage Noir #3 of 4 - 10,084  (-11.3%)

Tailing in about 3,000 behind the Punisher mini, which is quite a lot at this point on the chart.

189. SKRULL KILL KREW
04/09  Skrull Kill Krew #1 of 5 - 22,234
05/09  Skrull Kill Krew #2 of 5 - 15,795  (-29.0%)
06/09  ---
07/09  Skrull Kill Krew #3 of 5 - 12,904  (-18.3%)
08/09  Skrull Kill Krew #4 of 5 - 11,082  (-14.1%)
09/09  ---
10/09  Skrull Kill Krew #5 of 5 -  9,581  (-13.5%)
                                  6 mnth  (-56.9%)

I doubt we’ll be hearing of these characters again any time soon, after sales like this.

199. THOR: TALES OF ASGARD BY LEE AND KIRBY
05/09  Tales of Asgard #1 of 6 - 13,488
06/09  Tales of Asgard #2 of 6 - 11,022  (-18.3%)
07/09  Tales of Asgard #3 of 6 - 10,618  ( -3.7%)
08/09  Tales of Asgard #4 of 6 - 10,048  ( -5.4%)
09/09  Tales of Asgard #5 of 6 -  9,440  ( -6.1%)
10/09  Tales of Asgard #6 of 6 -  8,831  ( -6.5%)

Perfectly good numbers for Silver Age reprints.

203. ENDERS GAME: COMMAND SCHOOL
09/09  Command School #1 of 5 - 9,840
10/09  Command School #2 of 5 - 8,428  (-14.3%)

220. ENDERS SHADOW: COMMAND SCHOOL
09/09  Command School #1 of 5 - 8,972
10/09  Command School #2 of 5 - 7,547  (-15.9%)

The twin novel adaptations remain in synch.

214. WOLVERINE: ART APPRECIATION
10/09  Art Appreciation - 7,964

A collection of the Wolverine variant covers from a few months back. Well, they are rather good.

224. MARVEL SPOTLIGHT
10/06  Onslaught Reborn      -  4,557
10/07  Marvel Zombies        - 16,697
=====
10/08  Ultimatum             -  6,819  (+14.9%)
11/08  Punisher Movie        -  4,342  (-36.3%)
12/08  S.I. Aftermath        -  8,085  (+86.2%)
01/09  Dark Reign            -  7,527  ( -6.9%)
02/09  War of Kings          -  6,075  (-19.3%)
03/09  Wolverine             -  6,670  ( +9.8%)
04/09  ---
05/09  New Mutants           -  4,661  (-30.1%)
06/09  Captain America       -  6,733  (+44.5%)
07/09  ---
08/09  Summer Events         -  5,999  (-10.9%)
09/09  Marvel Zombies Return -  5,546  ( -7.6%)
10/09  Deadpool              -  7,284  (+31.3%)
                               6 mnth  (  --- )
                               1 year  ( +6.8%)
                               2 year  (-56.4%)
                               3 year  (+59.9%)

Sales on this title always vary according to the topic, and evidently Deadpool is a draw.

230. MARVEL HOLIDAY SPECTACULAR
10/09  Marvel Holiday Spectacular - 7,060

A ten dollar magazine, so it’ll still have taken a decent amount of money.

238. STARR THE SLAYER [Max]
09/09  Starr the Slayer #1 of 4 - 9,744
10/09  Starr the Slayer #2 of 4 - 6,535  (-32.9%)

247. DOMINIC FORTUNE [Max]
08/09  Dominic Fortune #1 of 4 - 9,157
09/09  Dominic Fortune #2 of 4 - 6,976  (-23.8%)
10/09  Dominic Fortune #3 of 4 - 5,980  (-14.3%)

A couple of characteristically low-selling minis from the Max imprint.

269. MARVEL ADVENTURES SPIDER-MAN  [All ages]
10/05  M.A. Spider-Man #8  - 7,088
10/06  M.A. Spider-Man #20 - 6,131
10/07  M.A. Spider-Man #32 - 6,355
=====
10/08  M.A. Spider-Man #44 - 5,155  ( -6.4%)
11/08  M.A. Spider-Man #45 - 5,003  ( -2.9%)
12/08  M.A. Spider-Man #46 - 4,851  ( -3.0%)
01/09  M.A. Spider-Man #47 - 4,592  ( -5.3%)
02/09  M.A. Spider-Man #48 - 4,622  ( +0.7%)
03/09  M.A. Spider-Man #49 - 4,640  ( +0.4%)
04/09  M.A. Spider-Man #50 - 4,780  ( +3.0%)
05/09  M.A. Spider-Man #51 - 4,557  ( -4.7%)
06/09  M.A. Spider-Man #52 - 4,612  ( +1.2%)
07/09  M.A. Spider-Man #53 - 5,710  (+23.8%)
08/09  M.A. Spider-Man #54 - 5,684  ( -0.5%)
09/09  M.A. Spider-Man #55 - 5,668  ( -0.3%)
10/09  M.A. Spider-Man #56 - 4,579  (-19.2%)
                            6 mnth  ( -4.2%)
                            1 year  (-11.2%)
                            2 year  (-27.9%)
                            3 year  (-25.3%)
                            4 year  (-35.4%)

290. MARVEL ADVENTURES SUPER HEROES
10/08  M.A. Super Heroes #4 -  4,542  ( -6.5%)
11/08  M.A. Super Heroes #5 -  4,233  ( -6.8%)
12/08  M.A. Super Heroes #6 -  ?,???  (  ??? )
01/09  M.A. Super Heroes #7 -  4,141  (  ??? )
02/09  M.A. Super Heroes #8 -  3,993  ( -3.6%)
03/09  M.A. Super Heroes #9 -  3,716  ( -6.9%)
04/09  M.A. Super Heroes #10 - 3,699  ( -0.5%)
05/09  M.A. Super Heroes #11 - 3,474  ( -6.1%)
06/09  M.A. Super Heroes #12 - 3,508  ( +1.0%)
07/09  M.A. Super Heroes #13 - 4,439  (+26.5%)
08/09  M.A. Super Heroes #14 - 4,355  ( -1.9%)
09/09  M.A. Super Heroes #15 - 4,268  ( -2.0%)
10/09  M.A. Super Heroes #16 - 3,250  (-23.9%)
                              6 mnth  (-12.1%)
                              1 year  (-28.4%)

Out of order, but I’ll take these two together. Both Marvel Adventures books saw a surge of interest over the last three months, but it seems to have worn off now.

270. MARVEL SUPER HERO SQUAD
09/09  Super Hero Squad #1 of 4 - 6,760
10/09  Super Hero Squad #2 of 4 - 4,496  (-33.5%)

That’s a very steep drop. There’s little sign of the direct market taking an interest in this property, but then, that was hardly the target audience.

275. OFFICIAL INDEX TO THE MARVEL UNIVERSE
01/09  Index #1  - 9,852
02/09  Index #2  - 7,278  (-26.1%)
03/09  Index #3  - 6,331  (-13.0%)
04/09  Index #4  - 5,517  (-12.9%)
05/09  Index #5  - 4,913  (-10.9%)
06/09  Index #6  - 4,743  ( -3.5%)
07/09  Index #7  - 4,518  ( -4.7%)
08/09  Index #8  - 4,263  ( -5.6%)
09/09  Index #9  - 4,144  ( -2.8%)
10/09  Index #10 - 3,980  ( -4.0%)
                  6 mnth  (-27.9%)

Clinging in there. It’s been solicited through to issue #14, and it looks as though Marvel are committed to bringing the AMAZING SPIDER-MAN index up to date.

Number 285 is a Deadpool poster book, selling 3,501.

295. RIFTWAR
06/09  Riftwar #1 of 5 - 7,051
07/09  Riftwar #2 of 5 - 4,090  (-42.0%)
08/09  Riftwar #3 of 5 - 3,766  ( -7.9%)
09/09  Riftwar #4 of 5 - ?,???  (  ??? )
10/09  Riftwar #5 of 5 - 2,908  (  ??? )

298. SPIN ANGELS [Soleil]
08/09  Spin Angels #1 - 5,595
09/09  Spin Angels #2 - ?,???  (  ??? )
10/09  Spin Angels #3 - 2,774  (  ??? )

A couple of minis hovering around the botom end of the chart.

strong>6 month comparisons
===================

+ 16.8% - Moon Knight
+  6.8% - Uncanny X-Men
+  3.6% - X-Men: First Class
+  1.7% - Punisher: Frank Castle
+  0.4% - Daredevil
-  1.0% - Astonishing X-Men
-  4.2% - Marvel Adventures Spider-Man
-  5.8% - X-Factor
-  6.6% - Ms Marvel
-  7.2% - Amazing Spider-Man
-  8.9% - Invincible Iron Man
- 12.1% - Marvel Adventures Super Heroes
- 12.3% - Wolverine: Origins
- 12.9% - Guardians of the Galaxy
- 12.9% - Nova
- 15.2% - Deadpool
- 18.4% - New Avengers
- 21.9% - X-Force
- 22.8% - Mighty Avengers
- 24.1% - Dark Avengers
- 24.9% - Son of Hulk
- 25.5% - Wolverine: First Class
- 26.5% - X-Men: Legacy
- 26.6% - Punisher
- 26.8% - Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter
- 27.4% - Secret Warriors
- 27.9% - Official Index to the Marvel Universe
- 28.7% - The Stand
- 30.4% - Avengers: The Initiative
- 30.5% - Hercules
- 31.3% - Hulk
- 34.1% - Thunderbolts
- 34.9% - Cable
- 39.0% - Black Panther
- 41.0% - War Machine
- 56.9% - Skrull Kill Krew
- 60.7% - Wolverine: Weapon X


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

+  6.8% - Marvel Spotlight
+  5.1% - Moon Knight
+  0.4% - Ultimate Comics Spider-Man
-  0.7% - Ms Marvel
-  2.2% - Daredevil
- 11.2% - Marvel Adventures Spider-Man
- 11.5% - Invincible Iron Man
- 14.4% - Punisher (Max)
- 14.5% - Punisher
- 15.1% - X-Men: First Class
- 15.2% - Uncanny X-Men
- 18.1% - X-Force
- 19.8% - X-Men: Legacy
- 21.6% - Thunderbolts
- 21.8% - X-Factor
- 22.7% - Astonishing X-Men
- 23.0% - New Avengers
- 25.1% - Deadpool
- 25.9% - Amazing Spider-Man
- 28.4% - Marvel Adventures Super Heroes
- 28.5% - Cable
- 31.7% - Wolverine: First Class
- 32.9% - Wolverine: Origins
- 35.4% - Guardians of the Galaxy
- 40.5% - Nova
- 40.6% - Mighty Avengers
- 45.3% - Hercules
- 48.5% - Hulk
- 48.6% - Avengers: The Initiative
- 50.2% - Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter
- 53.7% - Son of Hulk
- 55.4% - Incredible Hulk / Hulk
- 57.0% - The Stand


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

+ 10.7% - Iron Man
-  4.3% - Daredevil
- 13.7% - Uncanny X-Men
- 27.6% - Fantastic Four
- 27.7% - Dark Wolverine
- 27.9% - Marvel Adventures Spider-Man
- 28.9% - Ultimate Comics Spider-Man
- 31.2% - New Avengers
- 31.3% - Thunderbolts
- 32.2% - Ms Marvel
- 34.2% - Punisher (Max)
- 34.3% - Wolverine: Origins
- 34.5% - Nova
- 36.7% - X-Men: Legacy
- 37.9% - X-Men: First Class
- 39.6% - Black Panther
- 39.9% - Moon Knight
- 42.1% - X-Factor
- 47.1% - Mighty Avengers
- 56.4% - Marvel Spotlight
- 59.2% - Punisher
- 68.9% - Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter


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

+ 59.9% - Marvel Spotlight
+  9.4% - Thunderbolts
+  2.6% - Incredible Hulk
- 10.5% - Daredevil
- 17.0% - Uncanny X-Men
- 22.0% - Black Panther
- 25.3% - Marvel Adventures Spider-Man
- 29.8% - X-Factor
- 33.1% - Ultimate Comics Spider-Man
- 34.6% - Punisher (Max)
- 35.4% - X-Men: Legacy
- 43.4% - Dark Wolverine
- 44.0% - New Avengers
- 52.8% - Fantastic Four
- 59.1% - Ms Marvel
- 61.8% - Wolverine: Origins
- 66.6% - X-Men: First Class
- 79.0% - Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter


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

+ 15.7% - Incredible Hulk
+ 10.8% - Thunderbolts
+  0.2% - Daredevil
- 20.6% - Dark Wolverine
- 23.1% - Amazing Spider-Man
- 27.2% - Uncanny X-Men
- 29.2% - X-Men: Legacy
- 29.3% - Ultimate Comics Spider-Man
- 35.4% - Marvel Adventures Spider-Man
- 39.1% - Punisher (Max)
- 40.1% - New Avengers
- 49.4% - Black Panther


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

+ 40.9% - Invincible Iron Man
- 12.6% - Fantastic Four
- 15.0% - Daredevil
- 20.1% - Uncanny X-Men
- 31.7% - Amazing Spider-Man
- 40.4% - X-Men: Legacy
- 44.4% - Ultimate Comics Spider-Man
- 48.0% - Punisher (Max)
- 48.6% - Dark Wolverine

Comments

  1. Travis M. says:

    I take Paul’s larger point about the Ultimate books, but it seems a little unfair to compare Armor Wars to Ultimate Origins, which was written by Bendis and was pretty heavily hyped as a key Ultimate book. It seems like it would be more accurate to comare the numbers to Ultimate Human, Ellis’ last Iron Man-centric Ultimate book (though it was a while ago).

  2. Taken as a whole, and reading just as an interested non-expert, it seems to me that the overarching theme here is that variant covers in general aren’t doing much for sales anymore. Maybe the whole concept is just played out, except for covers by very hot artists? It’s worth a thought.

  3. thequestion says:

    paul: joe quesada doesn’t seem to think the drops have anything to do with the 3.99 price point. anything in these patterns that you could point to prove him wrong?

  4. Why are newsstand prices a dollar more than direct market versions?

    ~

    Coat

  5. I know that the 3.99 price point made me question my purchases and cancel more than one title.

    It will be interesting to see if the higher price point just encourages more people to simply wait for the trade editions instead of the monthly books. I wonder if comparisons of trade sales side by side with the monthlies might show en entirely different trend in purchasing habits.

  6. Once Siege rolls around, expect it to kick Blackest Night’s ass.

    Really these few months have been good for Marvel in separating the wheat from the chaff. The unsustainable books like War Machine get cancelled while the stronger boks like Thunderbolts and Secret Warriors will only get better after Siege.

  7. Micah says:

    New Avengers has to be seen as a drastic drop in sales. Marvel’s premiere book and it loses that many readers? Its sales match Dark Avengers?

    Contrary to Patrick’s comment, variants seem to be a significant factor in Marvel’s sales. A lot of the big drops were because of a lack of an incentive cover. I’m stunned that in our economic climate that variants would be such a big factor, but in your upper tier books you’re looking at 8-10%. The lack of variants this month might be a large factor for the narrowing gap in sales between Marvel & DC.

    The $3.99 price point has to be a factor. The mini series that are coming out are DOA, Hulk is plummeting, and there is a dramatic sales drop for New Avengers and Thor (albeit Thor is returning to $2.99). It is a disaster.

    I just started getting Hercules and I’m really enjoying it, along with Mighty Avengers. Thunderbolts seems scatter-shot these days but I’m hanging on to see what Parker does. It is also interesting that Spiderwoman sales are that low, considering the creative team and the character. I expected Daredevil-numbers.

    Once again, thank you Paul for your column. Love it.

  8. I pretty much made a straight $3.99 comic cancellation list off of my monthly pull. I refuse to pay $4 for the majority of comics on the stand.

  9. Also, only one Marvel title selling more today than it was 5 years ago? Ouch.

  10. Mikael says:

    “Once Siege rolls around, expect it to kick Blackest Night’s ass.”

    In what sense? In the sense that retailers order heavy on Marvel more than DC because that’s how they were conditioned when Marvel imposed strict ordering policies on them years ago? Because in that sense, sure. Possibly.

    Or, in the sense that Blackest Night is a major event, paying off in more ways than one, is an event retailers are getting behind because it’s giving them better returns than say Final Crisis or World War Hulk, is an event readers are getting behind and is story driven and shaping up to be the end point of a writer’s long vision on a title? Because in that sense, no way does Siege beat it.

    All those stories that Marvel’s been planning this since Avengers Disassembled? Hogwash.

  11. Actually, I can well believe they have. If you look at the last few years of crossovers, it fits reasonably neatly into a fairly conventional story structure, at least from Civil War onwards. Act one: Iron Man promotes the superhero registration act, tearing the superheroes apart. Act two: Iron Man sees it all blow up in his face and gets replaced by Norman Osborn. Act three: Iron Man redeems himself, the superheroes are reunited the real Avengers are restored, and all is right with the world. Leaving aside the fact that major changes of this sort always have to be reversed sooner or later, this does have the ring of a genuinely pre-planned story about it.

  12. Steve says:

    I want to see’s Paul’s comments regarding Fantastic Four’s sales. For the majority of Millar and Hitch’s run, the sales were “disappointing”. Now, Hitch is working on the #1 book at Marvel again, and the Fantastic Four is at its lowest level yet, only three issues into the new creative team.

    Since the beginning of the decade, the book has only sold well with the first issue of new creative teams or during Civil War/The Initiative.

  13. Synsidar says:

    There’s evidence in these posts on Brevoort’s blog (SECRET INVASION; SECRET INVASION revised) that SECRET INVASION changed from a fairly small-scale “Avengers” event to a line-wide event with many more tie-ins.

    That Marvel’s events seem to be connected is more the result of doing what they can to chain events together than it is of following an editorial master plan. Whether the events follow a plan is an issue separate from the quality of each event. The conclusion to SECRET INVASION — Osborn becoming a national hero, etc., and stopping a planet-wide invasion by shooting one person — was so ridiculous, when combined with SI’s other drawbacks, that it arguably didn’t lay the groundwork for anything. But “Dark Reign” does let Bendis write about villains instead of heroes.

    SRS

  14. Wraith says:

    I told you guys so.

    1. I have said several times before in this forum (and other forums) that Ellis name alone is not enough to make a comic sale huge numbers, and the less then impressive sales on both AXM and ULTIMAYE COMICS ARMOR WARS is proof of that.

    2. I have been saying for several years now that high sales on the majority of Marvel (and DC) comics were mainly due to gimmicks (like crossovers and variant covers) and the sizable sales drops on NEW AVENGERS,DARK AVENGERS,and HULK are proof of that.

    3. I have been saying that putting WOLVERINE in a comic is not enough to make said book sell any more, and the unimpressive sales of X-FORCE ,WOLVERINE ORIGINS,and WOLVERINE:WEAPON X are proof of that. I also said that Jason Aaron writing W:WX is not going to make that book sell really well, and I was right. A lot of Wolverine’s major selling power and appeal as a character has pretty much been destroyed due to over exposure,him becoming to powerful,his origin being revealed,him being made less unique by having a female clone and son running around with similar powers and attitude,his “let’s kill the bad guys attitude” being either adapted or condoned by heroes who used to be opposed to such brutality,and stories from his past being told that show him committing irredeemable acts.

    4. Aiming the over whelming majority of Marvel (and DC) superhero comics at a very narrow and shrinking niche market of older teen and adult comic book readers, as well as selling most of their books in the very small and shrinking direct market, is a major factor why comic sales are plummeting. Both Marvel and DC should return to making ALL of their interconnected MU and DCU superhero and related titles both suitable for and appealing to kids/all ages without talking down to the readers and writing the books in layers so that they could be enjoyed by readers of various ages on different levels. They should also return to selling their books in venues outside of the DM in addition to selling them in comic shops.

    5. Instead of promoting and selling the creators, they should spend more time on promoting and selling the characters and the premise of the comic they are appearing in. To paraphrase John Byrne, it shouldn’t be about the singer, but about the song.

  15. Alan Coil says:

    Tim commented:

    “Also, only one Marvel title selling more today than it was 5 years ago? ”

    That really looks bad on the surface, but some of the names of titles have been changed or the books cancelled and re-started with different names. That makes comparisons more difficult.

  16. mark coale says:

    As someone asked me today, has Marvel (and DC) making the $3.99 “standard” price-tag create a tipping point where people have either stopped buying and/or made the jump to downloading?

  17. majorjoe23 says:

    “Why are newsstand prices a dollar more than direct market versions”

    On the newsstand, a $2.99 comic takes up as much space as a $4.99 magazine, so dealers are more likely to stock a magazine, since it’s a better return on the space. A $3.99 comic makes them more likely to consider giving it space.

  18. Dennis V. says:

    Just speaking of my Marvel buying habits, the $3.99 price tag has caused me to drop several of these jacked up titles — and none of the boring backups (ala She-Hulk) or worthless reprint backups justify the extra dollar.

  19. Regarding X-Babies, I think it was more to tie into the early positive buzz to the Lockjaw series. Plus in a market where 80s nostalgia can sell, Bone like all ages books can do well and the X-Men being the main characters, makes for a convincing case to put it out on it’s own. The look and feel of the series has nothing to do with the old Star line of books.

  20. Regarding X-Babies, Marvel Apes and the Pet Avengers: Purely anecdotal, I know, but my girlfriend reads, and likes, all three, mainly because they require the knowledge of the MArvel Universe a non-omics reader will need, and nothing more. She has regularly tried to read other Marvel titles (the most recent being the first issue of the X-Men/Dark Avengers crossover Utopia) and finds them impossible to understand because she hasn’t been reading every Marvel comic for the last five years, and it has put her off of trying any more, unless they are like the three titles listed above.

    So in that respect, X-Babies, Marvel Apes and the Pet Avengers should be considered minor successes in bringing in new readers to comics, and Marvel’s higher selling titles failures for alienating new readers.

    (I would add, in the spirit of fairness, that exactly the same can be said of her attitudes to DC, where she is disinterested in the regular DC universe, but reads and enjoys several Vertigo comics because of their accessibility).

  21. All else being equal, a price rise will always cause sales to drop. That’s basic economics. But it’s not that simple.

    The variable is how MUCH sales drop (or “elasticity of demand”, in the jargon). Even though sales are down, you make more money from the sales that remain. So it’s perfectly possible for sales to go down, but revenue to go up. Plainly this is what Marvel are going for.

    Bear in mind, also, that the $4 books weren’t chosen at random. Presumably they were chosen because Marvel thought they’d be relatively resistant to price rises. So if the $4 books are now falling at broadly the same rate as the $3 books, that could be because they were previously doing better.

    A further complication is that sales on virtually every title drop from month to month anyway, which makes it difficult to figure out how much of the loss is actually attributable to the price rise, and therefore to work out whether Marvel are ahead on the deal. In the short term, I suspect they probably are.

    There’s also, of course, the question of whether, in the long term, it’s a good move to get higher revenue at the expense of a smaller readership. This is more of a value judgment. But on any view, these are not the best economic conditions in which to try and expand the audience. Even before the price rises, comics represented abysmal value for money compared to virtually every other form of home entertainment, at least judged in terms of how many minutes of entertainment you get for your dollar. So even if it would be a bad, short-term strategy in most years, price rises may be a sensible (or least-worst) option in 2009.

  22. “So even if it would be a bad, short-term strategy in most years, price rises may be a sensible (or least-worst) option in 2009.”

    And they get us one step closer to digital distribution for comics serials. The direct market will be getting a lot more direct in the next few years.

  23. brandon says:

    For revenue to remain this level during this deep of a recession is fairly remarkable in of itself.

    The digital age may be around the corner but looking at the year over year history the evidence does not supprt the idea that “comic sales are plummeting” as some suggest. Especially with Marvel.

  24. I enjoy watching these charts and talking about them as much as the next guy, but I am always amazed by the readers who think Marvel doesn’t have access to these same (or really more accurate) numbers or accountants.

    Sure Marvel would appear healthier if they only sold the books you see selling in the top 100, but I have a feeling they wouldn’t be doing it this way if their bottom line didn’t support it.

  25. Okay majorjoe23 – with that being said about newsstand space. Why doesn’t DC follow suit? I still see their books on the newstand still being priced at $2.99

    ~

    Coat

  26. MBunge says:

    “Sure Marvel would appear healthier if they only sold the books you see selling in the top 100, but I have a feeling they wouldn’t be doing it this way if their bottom line didn’t support it.”

    I’m sure people made the same assumption about Enron.

    Mike

  27. Joe Lawler says:

    No idea on that one.

  28. James Dell says:

    As muich as I hate DC, Marvel isn’t without its fault’s either. But get this next year, Marvel has more events clearly planned out with Siege and its apparent Thor/Iron Man/Steve Rogers reunion than DC does. They may continue to stay on top and lengthening the lead again in 2010.

    DC is rumored to be planning Bruce Wayne’s return and this could be a smaller Bat-book type event rather than a companywide one like Blackest Night was. The rumored Geoff Johns/Jim Lee Justice League book featuring Wonder Woman, Batman and Superman would serve as the direct answer to Marvel. One has to be cautious at the delays that will obviously occur after Lee backed out on his ongoing Wildcats: World’s End title with Morrisson a few years ago. That was beyond a disaster and they never even got issue #2 off the ground.

  29. Rikk Odinson says:

    For this guy, the price of comics has done me in at last.

    I’ve bought the Avengers family of titles (and GL’s books at DC) faithfully for over 35 years and $2.99 was almost the breaking point but $3.99 finally did me in.
    I make plenty of money but even I can’t justify $100 a month for 20-25 comic books.

    For the first time in decades, no money for Marvel or DC from me.
    I’m sure there are plenty of other entertainment companies and industries that give a decent product for the value that will like my money.

  30. Quesada’s been saying in interviews that Siege is the end of the line-wide events for a while. It sounds like this is the wrap-up of all the Dark Reign/Civil War stuff, after which it’s a return to business as usual in the Marvel Universe, with the books largely going their own way. (The only obvious exception would be the X-Men crossover “Second Coming”, but that’s the concluing part of a trilogy dating back two years. “Fall of the Hulks” slightly predates Siege. And neither of them, of course, is a full-blown line-wide event like Dark Reign or Secret Invasion.)

  31. Callum says:

    Love this column, but not so much reader comments starting off with ‘I told you guys so”. Wtf?

    The only near $4 book I’m still regularly buying is Criminal because it’s been $3.50 for a while and I enjoy the extra material it has in it. A lot of others I just make note of and will pick them up in a few months for a buck online or in a back bin.

  32. Ranger says:

    On a positive note, this is the first column in months with no Spider-Man argument

  33. I’m coming in here several days late so I hope this entry has fallen completely off the radar.
    I’m really curious about the ASM numbers.
    It seems there has developed a pattern of a fairly significant increase in purchased (retailer purchased — not necessarily consumer purchased) copies with each new ‘major’ storyline.
    We’ve seen jumps from the 61-62K range up into the 70K range for those. So we’re talking about 10K and more for these supposedly promoted storylines.
    What I’m curious about is — why do these bumps not carry over to the next issue or two? It doesn’t make sense for a retailer to increase their order on an almost weekly book and then drop it completely back to the previous level for the next issue or two of the arc.
    I’m not sure how many stores there are now in the direct market. Supposing there were about 3,000 stores, that would average out to a bump of just over 3 issues per store. If it is only 2,000 stores, then it would be a bump of 5 issues per store (on an average basis of course).
    In the grand scheme of things, an extra 3 (or even 5) copies of a single comic isn’t going to break a store. It just seems odd they keep repeating the same pattern. Obviously those extra issues must not be moving because if they were, we wouldn’t see the numbers for the remaining issues dropping back down every single time. But that appears to be exactly what is happening.
    Are retailers continuing to hope that these new story arcs are going to bring the ‘lost’ readers back? They are not backing it up with the orders (of the remaining issues of the arcs). If they are right that an arc is going to be the one that pulls the previous readers back in, they are not ordering enough of the subsequent issues to support those readers if they do end up getting hooked again.
    I find this whole pattern really confusing.

  34. Callum says:

    @skullduggery:

    Good question. My guess is that they treat it like an issue #1 and suspect that their customers will buy it to see if they like the arc (since it’s always a different cast of creators) and that after that a lot won’t bother picking up the following issues of the arc.

    I’m seeing all the comments going on in the DC column and feel like spreading the love over to here. So.. I think Brand New Day is a brilliant success and is probably the smartest thing Marvel’s done with Spider-Man. Ever.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] Paul O’Brien presents his month-to-month comparisons for Marvel sales to Direct Market retailers, now updated for October. [...]

  2. [...] December 3rd, 2009Author J. Caleb Mozzocco Wow, has another month come and gone in the exciting world of superhero comics already? I guess it must have, since Paul O’Brien and Marc-Oliver Frisch posted their monthly analysis of Marvel Comics and DC Comics sales figures, based on ICv2.com’s numbers, at Publisher Weekly’s blog The Beat. [...]

  3. [...] THE BEAT » Blog Archive » Marvel Month-to-Month Sales: October 2009 [...]

  4. [...] And yet I come back to Giordano’s statements that “expanding the scope of our audience demands diversity,” which in turn “requires time, patience, money, and [an occasional] willingness to gamble.” Now, I cannot help but observe that this umpteenth column on diversity is being written while DC celebrates its Blackest Night-driven dominance atop October 2009’s sales charts. Still, the question remains: what next? If Marvel’s Siege marks the end of its particular cycle of events, will Blackest Night likewise wrap up the various storylines which started with Identity Crisis (or even Donna Troy’s death)? Even Giordano’s editorial alludes to the sweeping changes just six months away in the pages of Crisis On Infinite Earths. Perhaps DC’s choice might be expressed more specifically as between “campaigning” and “governing”; that is, between Events designed to churn the marketplace, and storytelling which has less quantifiable goals. [...]

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