Marvel Month-to-Month Sales: August 2009

by Paul O’Brien

Marvel’s big project for August was the relaunch of the Ultimate imprint, with the first issues of the unwieldily titled ULTIMATE COMICS AVENGERS and ULTIMATE COMICS SPIDER-MAN both reaching stores. There’s also the first issue of the MARVELS PROJECT miniseries, and the “Utopia” crossover between UNCANNY X-MEN and DARK AVENGERS. Plus, the familiar army of Dark Reign titles.

As usual, Marvel had the largest share of the North American direct market, beating DC by 44% to 36% in unit share, and a rather closer 40% to 33% in dollars.

Thanks as always to ICv2.com and Milton Griepp for allowing us to use these figures.

2.  CAPTAIN AMERICA: REBORN
08/04  Captain America #30  -  38,464
08/05  Captain America #8   -  51,842
08/06  ---
08/07  Captain America #29  -  83,781
=====
08/08  Captain America #41  -  85,035  (  +7.2%)
09/08  Captain America #42  -  75,574  ( -11.1%)
10/08  Captain America #43  -  72,405  (  -4.2%)
11/08  Captain America #44  -  75,493  (  +4.3%)
12/08  Captain America #45  -  71,186  (  -5.7%)
01/09  Captain America #46  -  73,184  (  +2.8%)
02/09  Captain America #47  -  62,850  ( -14.1%)
03/09  Captain America #48  -  62,108  (  -1.2%)
04/09  Captain America #49  -  63,874  (  +2.8%)
05/09  Captain America #50  -  72,708  ( +13.8%)
06/09  Captain America #600 - 123,152  ( +69.4%)
07/09  Captain America #601 -  87,844  ( -28.7%)
07/09  Reborn #1 of 5       - 193,142  (+119.9%)
08/09  Reborn #2 of 5       - 125,366  ( -35.1%)
                               6 mnth  ( +99.5%)
                               1 year  ( +47.4%)
                               2 year  ( +49.6%)
                               3 year  (   --- )
                               4 year  (+141.8%)
                               5 year  (+225.9%)

That’s pretty good. REBORN was always going to see a big second issue drop after the huge sales of its first issue. But even after that drop, it still outsells CAPTAIN AMERICA #600, and it’s miles ahead of the book’s usual sales. When you bear in mind that this issue is effectively CAPTAIN AMERICA #603, these are really excellent numbers. There are four covers on this issue, including three 1:25 variants, but that doesn’t really detract from the numbers.

5.  ULTIMATE COMICS AVENGERS
08/09  Ultimate Comics Avengers #1 - 94,985

The first of the two relaunched Ultimate books, now with added word. Actually, the cover logo just says ULTIMATE AVENGERS, so something tells me the full title is going to be quietly dropped after a discreet interval. There are three covers on this issue, including 1:15 and 1:25 variants. One of them even came with HoloFoil, something we haven’t seen in quite a few years.

Despite being written by Mark Millar and featuring some of the ULTIMATES cast, this is apparently not the next volume of ULTIMATES. That would be Jeph Loeb and Frank Cho’s NEW ULTIMATES, which is still to come.

But ULTIMATES is still the nearest comparison for this book. By most standards, 95K and a top five placing is a very good start for any book. But it’s roughly what previous ULTIMATES volumes were selling at the end of their run, not the start. ULTIMATES 3, for example, launched in December 2007 with first month sales of 131,401. ULTIMATES 2, in December 2004, started with 146,271. And by those standards, 95K isn’t really that fantastic.

On the other hand, judge this as a completely new book or as an ULTIMATES spin-off, and 95K is very good. Still, if you’re looking for signs of an reinvigoration of the Ultimate imprint, the signals are mixed.

6. 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%)
                           6 mnth  ( -7.9%)

7. UNCANNY X-MEN
08/04  Uncanny X-Men #447 -  95,838
08/05  Uncanny X-Men #463 -  87,610
08/06  Uncanny X-Men #477 -  89,225
08/07  Uncanny X-Men #489 -  88,068
=====
08/08  Uncanny X-Men #501 -  85,398  (-46.9%)
09/08  Uncanny X-Men #502 -  82,883  ( -2.9%)
10/08  Uncanny X-Men #503 -  87,196  ( +5.2%)
11/08  Uncanny X-Men #504 -  77,773  (-10.8%)
12/08  Uncanny X-Men #505 -  82,271  ( +5.8%)
01/09  ---
02/09  Uncanny X-Men #506 -  71,684  (-12.9%)
03/09  Uncanny X-Men #507 -  77,957  ( +8.8%)
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%)
                             6 mnth  (+26.0%)
                             1 year  ( +5.8%)
                             2 year  ( +2.6%)
                             3 year  ( +1.2%)
                             4 year  ( +3.1%)
                             5 year  ( -5.8%)

This is the second month of the “Utopia” crossover between DARK AVENGERS and UNCANNY X-MEN. As the lower-selling title, it’s the X-Men who get most of the benefit here, but DARK AVENGERS still manages to hold steady in sales – impressive in a book selling at these levels.

Admittedly, this month both titles have two incentive variants – a 1:10 “70th frame” cover, and a 1:20 Simone Bianchi variant. Last month, they each just had the 1:20 variant. So with an extra variant cover, the sales increase isn’t entirely unexpected; in the case of DARK AVENGERS, it seems to have simply cancelled out the sales drop that you’d normally expect in the second month of a crossover.

For UNCANNY, though, the continuing sales increase really is pretty impressive. The book has now gained sales three months in a row, putting on a healthy 19K in sales. The second printing of issue #513 also makes the charts, adding a further 4,183 to the total. As usual, that number’s included above.

From the look of it, UNCANNY has done well out of this crossover.

8.  NEW AVENGERS
08/04  ---
08/05  New Avengers #9  - 145,673
08/06  New Avengers #23 - 154,262
08/07  New Avengers #33 - 117,906 
=====
08/08  New Avengers #44 - 106,385  ( -2.2%)
09/08  New Avengers #45 - 103,326  ( -2.9%)
10/08  New Avengers #46 -  99,513  ( -3.7%)
11/08  ---
12/08  New Avengers #47 -  95,703  ( -3.8%)
12/08  New Avengers #48 -  95,688  ( -0.0%)
01/09  New Avengers #49 -  94,291  ( -1.5%)
02/09  New Avengers #50 - 106,831  (+13.3%)
03/09  New Avengers #51 -  95,340  (-10.8%)
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%)
                           6 mnth  (-15.8%)
                           1 year  (-15.4%)
                           2 year  (-23.7%)
                           3 year  (-41.6%)
                           4 year  (-38.2%)
                           5 year  (  --- )

Last month was a rare example of NEW AVENGERS shipping with just the one cover, hence the unusually low number. This time, there’s a 1:10 “70th frame” cover, and sales bounce back up somewhat – though there’s still a downward trend evident.

9.  MARVELS PROJECT
08/09  Marvels Project #1 of 8 - 89,062

Ed Brubaker and Steve Epting, with a miniseries about the dawn of Marvel’s Golden Age heroes. Since these characters don’t have much of a fanbase, the sales are largely a testimony to the popularity of the creative team. An array of five variant covers also plays a part; among others, there’s a 1:25 Gerald Parel variant and a 1:70 Steve McNiven variant here.

11. ULTIMATE COMICS SPIDER-MAN
08/04  Ult. Spider-Man #64  -  94,682
08/05  Ult. Spider-Man #81  -  75,572
08/06  Ult. Spider-Man #99  -  76,075
08/07  Ult. Spider-Man #112 -  76,523
=====
08/08  Ult. Spider-Man #125 -  54,746  (  -0.9%)
09/08  Ult. Spider-Man #126 -  54,604  (  -0.3%)
10/08  Ult. Spider-Man #127 -  52,584  (  -3.7%)
11/08  Ult. Spider-Man #128 -  52,187  (  -0.8%)
12/08  Ult. Spider-Man #129 -  51,071  (  -2.1%)
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%)
                               6 mnth  ( +73.5%)
                               1 year  ( +57.1%)
                               2 year  ( +12.4%)
                               3 year  ( +13.1%)
                               4 year  ( +13.8%)
                               5 year  (  -9.2%)

Not bad at all. Sales on ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN had slid down as far as the 50K level before the relaunch, so while 86K isn’t up there with the book’s heyday, it’s still a marked improvement.

That said, this book has three variant covers, including 1:15 and 1:25 incentives – so you can expect a drop next month.

15,20. HULK
08/08  Hulk #5  - 102,105  ( +0.2%)
09/08  Hulk #6  - 117,807  (+15.4%)
10/08  Hulk #7  - 110,261  ( -6.4%)
11/08  Hulk #8  -  90,776  (-17.7%)
12/08  Hulk #9  -  87,786  ( -3.3%)
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%)
                   6 mnth  ( +0.3%)
                   1 year  (-24.1%)

Since this is apparently no longer a continuation of INCREDIBLE HULK (even though it counts towards that book’s numbering), I’ve moved the earlier years over to the original title. If you can even call it that.

There are two issues this month. Now, looking at those sales, you could be forgiven for assuming that issue #14 has a variant cover and issue #13 doesn’t. But you’d be wrong. This is HULK, after all. Actually, these two issues have seven covers between them – issue #14 just has one more.

Specifically, both issues have 1:10 and 1:20 variants. But issue #14 also has an Ed McGuinness Deadpool cover pitched at a staggering 1:200 (though every store that was a member of the Marvel Retailer Resource Center apparently got a copy too). Hence the sales increase.

17,19,21. AMAZING SPIDER-MAN
08/04  Amazing Spider-Man #511 -  88,118
08/05  Amazing Spider-Man #523 -  72,046
08/06  ---
08/07  Amazing Spider-Man #543 - 106,485
=====
08/08  Amazing Spider-Man #567 -  68,130  ( -1.1%)
08/08  Amazing Spider-Man #568 - 105,324  (+54.6%)
08/08  Amazing Spider-Man #569 -  86,432  (-17.9%)
09/08  Amazing Spider-Man #570 -  89,516  ( +3.6%)
09/08  Amazing Spider-Man #571 -  80,178  (-10.4%)
09/08  Amazing Spider-Man #572 -  80,220  ( +0.1%)
10/08  Amazing Spider-Man #573 -  82,550  ( +2.9%)
10/08  Amazing Spider-Man #574 -  69,069  (-16.3%)
10/08  Amazing Spider-Man #575 -  68,913  ( -0.2%)
11/08  Amazing Spider-Man #576 -  68,956  ( +0.1%)
11/08  Amazing Spider-Man #577 -  76,625  (+11.1%)
11/08  Amazing Spider-Man #578 -  66,564  (-13.1%)
12/08  Amazing Spider-Man #579 -  69,784  ( +4.8%)
12/08  Amazing Spider-Man #580 -  62,979  ( -9.8%)
12/08  Amazing Spider-Man #581 -  68,905  ( +9.4%)
01/09  Amazing Spider-Man #582 -  59,932  (-13.0%)
01/09  Amazing Spider-Man #583 - 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%)
                                  6 mnth  (+18.2%)
                                  1 year  ( +4.3%)
                                  2 year  (-33.3%)
                                  3 year  (  --- )
                                  4 year  ( -1.4%)
                                  5 year  (-19.4%)

There are 1:10 “70th frame” variants on all three issues, but considering that sales had dropped to the 58K mark a while back, that’s unlikely to be the sole explanation for sales above 70K. The other likely factor is that this arc, “Red-Headed
Stranger”, is a Mary Jane Watson story, presumably attracting the curiosity of people who want to know how they’re going to deal with her.

18. DAREDEVIL
08/04  Daredevil #63  - 52,090
08/05  Daredevil #76  - 46,424
08/06  Daredevil #88  - 50,554
08/07  Daredevil #99  - 47,386
=====
08/08  Daredevil #110 - 43,362  (+10.5%)
09/08  Daredevil #111 - 46,305  ( +6.8%)
10/08  Daredevil #112 - 46,202  ( -0.2%)
11/08  Daredevil #113 - 41,200  (-10.8%)
12/08  Daredevil #114 - 44,351  ( +7.6%)
01/09  Daredevil #115 - 40,214  ( -9.3%)
02/09  ---
03/09  Daredevil #116 - 41,261  ( +2.6%)
03/09  Daredevil #117 - 41,046  ( -0.5%)
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%)
                        6 mnth  (  --- )
                        1 year  (+69.5%)
                        2 year  (+55.0%)
                        3 year  (+45.4%)
                        4 year  (+58.3%)
                        5 year  (+41.1%)

Yet another title reverting to its original numbering, this time some ten years after the last relaunch. As expected, there’s a healthy sales boost – though it won’t hurt that there were also four variant covers, including 1:10, 1:15 and 1:25 incentives.

This is probably a one month anniversary blip, but you never know.

22. DARK WOLVERINE
08/04  Wolverine #18      -  65,304
08/05  Wolverine #31      -  75,618
08/06  Wolverine #45      - 108,680
08/07  Wolverine #56      -  73,368
=====
08/08  Wolverine #68      -  97,325  ( -4.5%)
09/08  ---
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%)
                             6 mnth  (  --- )
                             1 year  (-29.5%)
                             2 year  ( -6.5%)
                             3 year  (-36.9%)
                             4 year  ( -9.3%)
                             5 year  ( +5.0%)

Not brilliant numbers by the standards of this book, but not that bad either. However, four issues in, this really does appear to be the soft launch of an ongoing Daken solo title, rather than just a story arc in WOLVERINE. Judged as a new spin-off title, it’s doing pretty well. But Marvel did the same thing with INCREDIBLE HERCULES, and it took quite some time for the sales to find their level, as readers slowly twigged to the fact that they were now reading a completely different series. We could see the same thing here – though chances are Daken’s solo title will still do better for it in the long run.

24. INCREDIBLE HULK
08/04  Incredible Hulk #76  -  42,498
08/05  Incredible Hulk #85  -  53,177
08/06  Incredible Hulk #97  -  48,893
08/07  Incredible Hulk #109 - 104,322
08/08  Hulk #5              - 102,105
=====
07/09  Incredible Hulk #600 -  92,343
08/09  Incredible Hulk #601 -  64,120  (-30.6%)
                               6 mnth  (  --- )
                               1 year  (-37.2%)
                               2 year  (-38.5%)
                               3 year  (+31.1%)
                               4 year  (+20.6%)
                               5 year  (+50.9%)

Effectively a new title, but Marvel say it’s a continuation of INCREDIBLE HULK, so I’ll play ball and include the previous years here.

For those in need of a recap, issue #600 was promoted as a renumbering of Jeph Loeb’s HULK title, but then turned out to be the launch of a new series altogether. So, yes, the first twelve issues of HULK are being counted towards the numbering of both titles, just as a hundred or so issues of INCREDIBLE HULK are also being counted towards the numbering of INCREDIBLE HERCULES. My instinct is that all this unfathomable hypernumbering will only confuse readers, but time will tell.

Since issue #600 was in practice HULK #12.5, the August issue is the de facto launch of a new spin-off title. The book tails in roughly 10% behind the parent title (taking HULK #13 as our benchmark, since it had the same number of variants with the same incentive schemes). But most titles drop from their debut sales. That said, as the previous years show, 64K is still a very good number for the Hulk, who had been mired in the 40K range for a while prior to his recent commercial success.

25. X-MEN: LEGACY
08/04  X-Men #160         -  91,790
08/05  X-Men #174         -  76,342
08/06  X-Men #190         -  82,084
08/07  X-Men #202         -  86,521
=====
08/08  X-Men: Legacy #215 -  68,047  ( -2.6%)
09/08  X-Men: Legacy #216 -  66,434  ( -2.4%)
10/08  X-Men: Legacy #217 -  65,888  ( -0.8%)
11/08  X-Men: Legacy #218 -  63,512  ( -3.6%)
12/08  X-Men: Legacy #219 -  60,587  ( -4.6%)
01/09  X-Men: Legacy #220 -  59,286  ( -2.1%)
02/09  X-Men: Legacy #221 -  56,517  ( -4.7%)
03/09  X-Men: Legacy #222 -  55,606  ( -1.6%)
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%)
                             6 mnth  (+12.0%)
                             1 year  ( -7.0%)
                             2 year  (-26.8%)
                             3 year  (-22.9%)
                             4 year  (-17.1%)
                             5 year  (-31.0%)

This is a tie-in to the “Utopia” crossover between UNCANNY X-MEN and DARK AVENGERS, and it’s also got a 1:10 “70th frame” variant. X-MEN: LEGACY is about to change direction and tie itself more closely to the other X-Men titles, which might help sales generally.

26. FANTASTIC FOUR
08/04  Fantastic Four #517 - 50,247
08/05  Fantastic Four #530 - 51,782
08/06  Fantastic Four #539 - 89,676
08/07  Fantastic Four #549 - 61,770
=====
08/08  Fantastic Four #559 - 59,791  ( -2.0%)
09/08  Fantastic Four #560 - 58,258  ( -2.6%)
10/08  ---
11/08  Fantastic Four #561 - 61,331  ( +5.3%)
12/08  Fantastic Four #562 - 54,062  (-11.9%)
01/09  Fantastic Four #563 - 52,747  ( -2.4%)
02/09  Fantastic Four #564 - 49,520  ( -6.1%)
03/09  Fantastic Four #565 - 48,378  ( -2.3%)
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%)
                             6 mnth  (+26.0%)
                             1 year  ( +4.4%)
                             2 year  ( +1.0%)
                             3 year  (-30.4%)
                             4 year  (-20.5%)
                             5 year  (+24.2%)

This is the first issue by the new creative team of Jonathan Hickman and Dale Eaglesham, and it’s also got three variant covers behind it (with 1:4, 1:10 and 1:20 incentives). For what it’s worth, the Millar/Hitch run kicked off with 93K back in February 2008, but they were a much higher profile creative team, and the initial boost didn’t last. I’d say this is a pretty good number.

27. MIGHTY AVENGERS
08/07  ---
=====
08/08  Mighty Avengers #17 -  92,950  ( -3.4%)
09/08  Mighty Avengers #18 -  90,799  ( -2.3%)
10/08  Mighty Avengers #19 -  87,258  ( -3.9%)
11/08  ---
12/08  Mighty Avengers #20 -  86,085  ( -1.3%)
01/09  ---
02/09  Mighty Avengers #21 -  76,247  (-11.4%)
02/09  Mighty Avengers #22 -  72,865  ( -4.4%)
03/09  Mighty Avengers #23 -  71,333  ( -2.1%)
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%)
                              6 mnth  (-15.8%)
                              1 year  (-34.0%)
                              2 year  (  --- )

Still drifting down.

31.  X-FORCE
08/08  X-Force #6  - 69,010  (-10.4%)
09/08  X-Force #7  - 64,911  ( -5.9%)
10/08  X-Force #8  - 59,745  ( -8.0%)
11/08  X-Force #9  - 57,241  ( -4.2%)
12/08  X-Force #10 - 58,801  ( +2.7%)
01/09  X-Force #11 - 51,817  (-11.9%)
02/09  X-Force #12 - 51,449  ( -0.7%)
03/09  X-Force #13 - 51,797  ( +0.7%)
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%)
                     6 mnth  ( +9.7%)
                     1 year  (-18.2%)

Unusually, X-FORCE seems to be experiencing a lasting benefit from the “Messiah War” crossover, which ran from issues #14-16. There’s a 1:10 variant cover on this issue (compared with a 1:5 last month), so the drop suggests things may return to normal sooner or later – but it’s a good result nonetheless.

32,42. DEADPOOL
09/08  Deadpool #1  - 75,058
09/08  Deadpool #2  - 65,400  (-12.9%)
10/08  Deadpool #3  - 61,833  ( -5.5%)
11/08  Deadpool #4  - 49,577  (-19.8%)
12/08  Deadpool #5  - 46,856  ( -5.5%)
01/09  Deadpool #6  - 46,549  ( -0.7%)
02/09  Deadpool #7  - 44,082  ( -5.3%)
03/09  Deadpool #8  - 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%)
                      6 mnth  (+14.0%)

Two issues this month. Issue #13 has a 1:10 “70th frame cover”, plus it’s a Dark Reign tie-in. Issue #14 is just a regular issue, so the drop-off is to be expected. Interestingly, with no gimmicks at all, DEADPOOL is still selling much better than it did in February. It’s a hit.

The second printing of issue #11 scrapes the bottom of the chart at number 295, adding 3,058 to its total.

33. DARK X-MEN: THE BEGINNING
07/09  Dark X-Men #1 of 3 - 79,204
07/09  Dark X-Men #2 of 3 - 57,255  (-27.7%)
08/09  Dark X-Men #3 of 3 - 54,897  ( -4.1%)

Lots of re-orders here. Issue #1 adds 5,768 from the San Diego variant, plus 4,384 from a second printing, bringing the total to nearly 80K. The third issue drop is also pretty low. Considering this is basically an anthology title of vignettes, it’s done very well.

While we’re at it, the “Utopia” lead-in book, DARK AVENGERS/UNCANNY X-MEN: UTOPIA, also picks up reorders, with 5,699 copies of the San Diego variant, and 3,625 copies of a Bianchi variant. That brings the estimated total to 107,004.

36. INVINCIBLE IRON MAN
08/04  Iron Man #87            - 33,512
08/05  Iron Man #4             - 48,403
08/06  Iron Man #11            - 37,279
08/07  Iron Man #21            - 49,548
=====
08/08  Invincible Iron Man #4  - 58,154  (-12.5%)
09/08  Invincible Iron Man #5  - 60,444  ( +3.9%)
10/08  Invincible Iron Man #6  - 53,332  (-11.8%)
11/08  Invincible Iron Man #7  - 49,356  ( -7.5%)
12/08  Invincible Iron Man #8  - 56,708  (+14.9%)
01/09  Invincible Iron Man #9  - 52,364  ( -7.7%)
02/09  Invincible Iron Man #10 - 56,381  ( +7.7%)
03/09  Invincible Iron Man #11 - 52,165  ( -7.5%)
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%)
                                 6 mnth  ( -4.6%)
                                 1 year  ( -7.5%)
                                 2 year  ( +8.8%)
                                 3 year  (+44.3%)
                                 4 year  (+11.1%)
                                 5 year  (+60.5%)

Another Dark Reign tie-in. There’s a 1:10 variant this month, which accounts for the slight increase. Generally speaking, though, IRON MAN seems to be settling at a little over the 50K mark, which is pretty good given its track record.

40. 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%)

Issue #1 picks up reorders of 3,949, so the second issue drop is actually very small. This is a very solid start; it looks like Marvel were right, and the market will indeed support a second monthly Deadpool title. I can’t help thinking they’re pushing their luck with a third, but you never know.

44. WOLVERINE: WEAPON X
04/09  Wolverine: Weapon X #1 - 97,896
05/09  Wolverine: Weapon X #2 - 59,192  (-39.5%)
06/09  Wolverine: Weapon X #3 - 51,076  (-13.7%)
07/09  ---
08/09  Wolverine: Weapon X #4 - 49,284  ( -3.5%)

If the DARK WOLVERINE series is indeed the soft launch of a new Daken title, then this was presumably supposed to be the new WOLVERINE book. If so, it may have backfired, because retailers seem to be ordering it as a spin-off. Given that this is, at least temporarily, the lead WOLVERINE title, it’s something of a surprise to see it tailing in behind two Deadpool series. The problem, I think, is that it was promoted as an additional title rather than a relaunch, and nobody was really crying out for a third monthly Wolverine book.

On the other hand, if DARK WOLVERINE is just a story arc, and this is simply a third monthly Wolverine book, Marvel should be happy enough with it – after all, it’s still selling more than this next book…

45. WOLVERINE: ORIGINS
08/06  Origins #5  - 120,448
08/07  Origins #16 -  69,781
=====
08/08  ---
09/08  Origins #28 -  49,950  ( +5.1%)
10/08  Origins #29 -  58,841  (+17.8%)
11/08  Origins #30 -  50,359  (-14.4%)
12/08  Origins #31 -  45,043  (-10.6%)
01/09  Origins #32 -  44,697  ( -0.8%)
02/09  Origins #33 -  44,935  ( +0.5%)
03/09  Origins #34 -  45,579  ( +1.4%)
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%)
                      6 mnth  ( +0.1%)
                      1 year  (  --- )
                      2 year  (-35.6%)
                      3 year  (-62.7%)

Remarkably solid sales. ORIGINS just won’t be budged from that 44K mark.

47. WAR OF KINGS
03/09  War of Kings #1 of 6 - 58,709
04/09  War of Kings #2 of 6 - 50,631  (-13.8%)
05/09  War of Kings #3 of 6 - 45,560  (-10.0%)
06/09  War of Kings #4 of 6 - 43,376  ( -4.8%)
07/09  War of Kings #5 of 6 - 42,163  ( -2.8%)
08/09  War of Kings #6 of 6 - 40,137  ( -4.8%)

A very impressive performance for this crossover between Marvel’s cosmic titles, most of which sell far below this level.

48. CABLE
08/08  Cable #6  - 45,050  ( -3.0%)
09/08  ---
10/08  Cable #7  - 43,358  ( -3.8%)
11/08  Cable #8  - 37,315  (-13.9%)
12/08  Cable #9  - 34,527  ( -7.5%)
01/09  Cable #10 - 33,319  ( -3.5%)
02/09  Cable #11 - 31,817  ( -4.5%)
03/09  Cable #12 - 32,407  ( +1.9%)
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%)
                   6 mnth  (+23.9%)
                   1 year  (-12.5%)

As with X-FORCE, this book seems to have received a lasting benefit from the “Messiah Complex” crossover which ran from issues #13-15. Actually, there’s an underlying decline here: issue #16 had only one cover, but issue #17 has a 1:10 variant. Nonetheless, that cover can’t account for a 24% increase on pre-crossover sales.

51. AVENGERS: THE INITIATIVE
08/07  Initiative #5 -  86,536
=====
08/08  Initiative #16 - 60,381  ( -5.1%)
09/08  Initiative #17 - 59,037  ( -2.2%)
10/08  Initiative #18 - 61,159  ( +3.6%)
11/08  ---
12/08  Initiative #19 - 52,558  (-14.1%)
12/08  Initiative #20 - 51,230  ( -2.5%)
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%)
                        6 mnth  (-16.9%)
                        1 year  (-35.4%)
                        2 year  (-54.9%)

The increase is probably due to the 1:10 “70th frame” variant.

52. 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%)
                            6 mnth  (-37.9%)

On a gentle decline, but perfectly okay.

54. 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%)

Hmm. Issues #3 and #4 both had three covers, with the same incentives for the variants, so the 10% drop is a little concerning.

55. ULTIMATUM: X-MEN - REQUIEM
08/09  Requiem - 38,410

The epilogue issue for ULTIMATE X-MEN, which was cancelled back in March. The series was selling in the upper 40K range over its last few months, so this isn’t a particularly good performance – but after a five month delay and a poorly received crossover, it’s no surprise that momentum has been lost.

56. DEADPOOL: SUICIDE KINGS
04/09  Suicide Kings #1 of 5 - 43,200
05/09  Suicide Kings #2 of 5 - 35,478  (-17.9%)
06/09  Suicide Kings #3 of 5 - 36,086  ( +1.7%)
07/09  Suicide Kings #4 of 5 - 38,590  ( +6.9%)
08/09  Suicide Kings #5 of 5 - 37,831  ( -3.1%)

This has done unexpectedly well. It’s rare enough for a miniseries to gain sales over the course of a miniseries, but it’s also worth noting that Deadpool’s spin-offs are selling far better than those of A-list characters like Spider-Man or the Fantastic Four. This is presumably why we’re getting three Deadpool books a month, although whether sales will hold up at that level of exposure is another matter.

63. DARK TOWER
08/07  Gunslinger Born #7 of 7 - 124,609
=====
08/08  ---
09/08  Treachery #1 of 6       -  82,541  (+10.1%)
10/08  Treachery #2 of 6       -  65,732  (-20.4%)
11/08  Treachery #3 of 6       -  58,279  (-11.3%)
12/08  Treachery #4 of 6       -  53,735  ( -7.8%)
01/09  Treachery #5 of 6       -  50,683  ( -5.7%)
02/09  Treachery #6 of 6       -  48,127  ( -5.0%)
03/09  ---
04/09  Sorcerer #1             -  39,210  (-18.5%)
05/09  Fall of Gilead #1 of 6  -  43,580  (+11.1%)
06/09  Fall of Gilead #2 of 6  -  39,978  ( -8.3%)
07/09  Fall of Gilead #3 of 6  -  36,982  ( -7.5%)
08/09  Fall of Gilead #4 of 6 -   35,607  ( -3.7%)
                                  6 mnth  (-26.0%)
                                  1 year  (  --- )
                                  2 year  (-71.4%)

Levelling out, as you’d expect over the course of a miniseries, but it’s clear that diminishing returns have set in in a big way.

65. PUNISHER
08/07  War Journal #10 - 51,303
=====
08/08  War Journal #22 - 25,555  (  -2.8%)
09/08  War Journal #23 - 27,384  (  +7.2%)
10/08  War Journal #24 - 31,785  ( +16.1%)
11/08  War Journal #25 - 29,982  (  -5.7%)
12/08  War Journal #26 - 22,423  ( -25.2%)
01/09  Punisher #1     - 49,222  (+119.5%)
02/09  Punisher #2     - 40,928  ( -16.9%)
03/09  Punisher #3     - 37,570  (  -8.2%)
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%)
                         6 mnth  ( -19.2%)
                         1 year  ( +29.4%)
                         2 year  ( -35.6%)

That’ll be the “70th frame” variant.

66. X-FACTOR
08/06  X-Factor #10 - 44,603
08/07  X-Factor #22 - 52,627
=====
08/08  X-Factor #34 - 50,416  ( -5.0%)
09/08  X-Factor #35 - 44,481  (-11.8%)
10/08  X-Factor #36 - 38,552  (-13.3%)
11/08  X-Factor #37 - 35,754  ( -7.3%)
12/08  X-Factor #38 - 34,425  ( -3.7%)
01/09  X-Factor #39 - 32,796  ( -4.7%)
02/09  X-Factor #40 - 31,943  ( -2.6%)
03/09  X-Factor #41 - 31,888  ( -0.2%)
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%)
                      6 mnth  ( +3.5%)
                      1 year  (-34.4%)
                      2 year  (-37.2%)
                      3 year  (-25.9%)

Another 70th frame cover. X-FACTOR is set to do the renumbering stunt shortly, jumping to issue #200.

67,81. INCREDIBLE HERCULES
08/08  Hercules #120 - 51,100  ( -2.8%)
09/08  Hercules #121 - 47,363  ( -7.3%)
10/08  Hercules #122 - 42,876  ( -9.5%)
11/08  Hercules #123 - 35,780  (-16.6%)
12/08  Hercules #124 - 36,855  ( +3.0%)
01/09  Hercules #125 - 31,888  (-13.5%)
02/09  Hercules #126 - 31,000  ( -2.8%)
03/09  Hercules #127 - 31,890  ( +2.9%)
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%)
                       6 mnth  (-11.3%)
                       1 year  (-46.2%)

Two issues this month. Both issues have variant covers (a Marko Djurdjevic Thor cover for issue #132, and a 70th frame for issue #133). The boost from that 70th frame cover appears to have more or less matched the decline since issue #130, which had only one cover, but sold about the same.

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

Another dwindling Steven King book, but the money here, at least in theory, is in the collections.

73. ULIMATUM: FANTASTIC FOUR - REQUIEM
08/09  Requiem - 30,073

Once again, this is an extremely belated epilogue to ULTIMATE FANTASTIC FOUR, which was cancelled back in February. That book bottomed out a year ago with sales of around 34K, so this number isn’t really so bad.

76,84. MS MARVEL
08/06  Ms Marvel #6  - 68,330
08/07  Ms Marvel #18 - 34,818 
=====
08/08  ---
09/08  Ms Marvel #30 - 40,041  ( -2.9%)
09/08  Ms Marvel #31 - 32,145  (-19.7%)
10/08  Ms Marvel #32 - 25,892  (-19.5%)
11/08  Ms Marvel #33 - 23,980  ( -7.4%)
12/08  Ms Marvel #34 - 29,770  (+24.1%)
01/09  Ms Marvel #35 - 26,824  (-10.0%)
02/09  Ms Marvel #36 - 25,864  ( -3.6%)
03/09  Ms Marvel #37 - 25,053  ( -3.1%)
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%)
                       6 mnth  ( -1.2%)
                       1 year  (  --- )
                       2 year  (-26.6%)
                       3 year  (-62.6%)

Returning to normal after last month’s “70th frame” variant. The book’s basic sales are holding steady at 25K.

77. GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY
08/08  Guardians o/Galaxy #4  - 40,285  (+18.5%)
09/08  Guardians o/Galaxy #5  - 42,104  ( +4.5%)
10/08  Guardians o/Galaxy #6  - 36,546  (-13.2%)
11/08  Guardians o/Galaxy #7  - 30,516  (-16.5%)
12/08  Guardians o/Galaxy #8  - 31,564  ( +3.4%)
01/09  Guardians o/Galaxy #9  - 28,502  ( -9.7%)
02/09  Guardians o/Galaxy #10 - 27,648  ( -3.0%)
03/09  Guardians o/Galaxy #11 - 27,415  ( -0.8%)
03/09  Guardians o/Galaxy #12 - 26,764  ( -2.4%)
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%)
                                6 mnth  ( -0.9%)
                                1 year  (-30.8%)

Another “70th frame” variant (and it’s also a “War of Kings” tie-in, though that doesn’t seem to make much difference). Sales on this title have been incredibly steady over the year.

78,85. 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%)

The irregular decline is because issues #4-5 had variant covers.

79. BLACK PANTHER
08/05  Black Panther #6  - 42,905
08/06  Black Panther #19 - 28,372
08/07  Black Panther #30 - 48,478
=====
08/08  Black Panther #40 - 33,583  (-10.6%)
09/08  Black Panther #41 - 33,620  ( +0.1%)
10/08  ---
11/08  ---
12/08  ---
01/09  ---
02/09  Black Panther #1  - 52,991  (+57.6%)
03/09  Black Panther #2  - 33,755  (-36.3%)
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%)
                           6 mnth  (-47.9%)
                           1 year  (-17.8%)
                           2 year  (-43.9%)
                           3 year  ( -2.7%)
                           4 year  (-35.6%)

This actually has a “70th frame” variant cover, so the 7% decline is a bit of a surprise. There was a variant last month too, but there’s evidently an underlying decline going on beneath those gimmicks.

80. DARK REIGN: SINISTER SPIDER-MAN
06/09  Spider-Man #1 of 4 - 40,887
07/09  Spider-Man #2 of 4 - 29,711  (-27.3%)
08/09  Spider-Man #3 of 4 - 27,498  ( -7.4%)

The first of many Dark Reign spin-off titles cluttering up the lower end of the chart. To be fair, though, most of them feature villains or minor characters, and wouldn’t normally be expected to achieve significant sales. As with a lot of Dark Reign books, they’re not really crossover titles at all, merely comics that happen to acknowledge the current status quo of the Marvel Universe.

82. SON OF HULK
08/08  Skaar, Son of Hulk #3  - 50,841  (-10.8%)
09/08  ---
10/08  Skaar, Son of Hulk #4  - 44,310  (-12.8%)
11/08  Skaar, Son of Hulk #5  - 34,779  (-21.5%)
12/08  Skaar, Son of Hulk #6  - 34,593  ( -0.5%)
01/09  Skaar, Son of Hulk #7  - 31,096  (-10.1%)
02/09  Skaar, Son of Hulk #8  - 28,771  ( -7.5%)
03/09  Skaar, Son of Hulk #9  - 27,137  ( -5.7%)
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%)
                                6 mnth  ( -5.6%)
                                1 year  (-46.6%)

This has a “70th frame” variant (oddly, showing Galactus rather than the title character), so the 7% drop isn’t disappointing. That said, there was a variant last month as well, and the book is still arguably just returning to its previous sales level.

83. NOVA
08/07  Nova #5  - 39,543
=====
08/08  Nova #16 - 38,338  (+34.1%)
09/08  Nova #17 - 37,015  ( -3.5%)
10/08  Nova #18 - 38,417  ( +3.8%)
11/08  Nova #19 - 28,306  (-26.3%)
12/08  Nova #20 - 29,405  ( +3.9%)
01/09  Nova #21 - 25,647  (-12.8%)
02/09  Nova #22 - 25,065  ( -2.3%)
03/09  Nova #23 - 26,413  ( +5.4%)
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%)
                  6 mnth  ( +7.9%)
                  1 year  (-29.5%)
                  2 year  (-31.6%)

Another “70th frame” variant. It’s also a “War of Kings” crossover, but again, despite the impressive sales of the core miniseries, that event seems to have had little if any effect on the sales of participating titles.

89. 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%)
                        6 mnth  (-29.1%)

Coming off a variant cover last month, so the issue-to-issue drop is exaggerated. But the downward trend isn’t healthy.

91. DARK REIGN: ELEKTRA
03/09  Elektra #1 of 5 - 36,385
04/09  Elektra #2 of 5 - 29,892  (-17.8%)
05/09  Elektra #3 of 5 - 27,118  ( -9.3%)
06/09  Elektra #4 of 5 - 25,145  ( -7.3%)
07/09  ---
08/09  Elektra #5 of 5 - 23,456  ( -6.7%)

Not bad numbers for an Elektra mini.

98. GHOST RIDERS: HEAVEN'S ON FIRE
08/06  Ghost Rider #2           - 61,793
08/07  Ghost Rider #14          - 41,121
=====
08/08  Ghost Rider #26          - 27,026  (+10.1%)
09/08  Ghost Rider #27          - 23,402  (-13.4%)
10/08  Ghost Rider #28          - 26,993  (+15.3%)
11/08  Ghost Rider #29          - 24,205  (-10.3%)
12/08  Ghost Rider #30          - 25,508  ( +5.4%)
01/09  Ghost Rider #31          - 22,421  (-12.1%)
02/09  Ghost Rider #32          - 21,351  ( -4.8%)
03/09  Ghost Rider #33          - 21,347  ( -0.0%)
04/09  Ghost Rider #34          - 23,130  ( +8.4%)
05/09  Ghost Rider #35          - 20,523  (-11.3%)
06/09  ---
07/09  ---
08/09  Heaven's on Fire #1 of 6 - 21,944  ( +6.9%)
                                  6 mnth  ( +2.8%)
                                  1 year  (-18.8%)
                                  2 year  (-46.6%)
                                  3 year  (-64.5%)

This is effectively a continuation of GHOST RIDER, but the miniseries gets only a minimal increase for its first issue. Since there’s a 1:15 variant on this issue, that’s not a good sign.

100. EXILES
08/04  Exiles #51     - 36,946
08/05  Exiles #68     - 33,815
08/06  Exiles #85     - 33,978
08/07  Exiles #97     - 29,092 
=====
08/08  New Exiles #9  - 22,986  ( -5.9%)
08/08  New Exiles #10 - 23,048  ( +0.3%)
09/08  New Exiles #11 - 22,630  ( -1.8%)
10/08  New Exiles #12 - 21,682  ( -4.2%)
10/08  New Exiles #13 - 21,058  ( -2.9%)
11/08  New Exiles #14 - 20,493  ( -2.7%)
12/08  New Exiles #15 - 19,498  ( -4.9%)
12/08  New Exiles #16 - 19,227  ( -1.4%)
01/09  New Exiles #17 - 18,381  ( -4.4%)
02/09  New Exiles #18 - 17,925  ( -2.5%)
03/09  ---
04/09  Exiles #1      - 31,136  (+73.7%)
05/09  Exiles #2      - 22,148  (-28.9%)
06/09  Exiles #3      - 21,654  ( -2.2%)
07/09  Exiles #4      - 20,548  ( -5.1%)
08/09  Exiles #5      - 21,799  ( +6.1%)
                        6 mnth  (+21.6%)
                        1 year  ( -5.2%)
                        2 year  (-25.1%)
                        3 year  (-35.8%)
                        4 year  (-35.5%)
                        5 year  (-41.0%)

Cancelled with issue #6, after the recent relaunch failed to boost numbers. In fairness, if it hadn’t been for the renumbering, that would be a very respectable 124-issue run.

101. WAR OF KINGS: WARRIORS
07/09  Warriors #1 of 2 - 23,275
08/09  Warriors #2 of 2 - 21,206  (-8.9%)

Not bad at all for a spin-off title about Blastaar and Gladiator.

103. AGENTS OF ATLAS
02/09  Agents of Atlas #1 - 34,449
03/09  Agents of Atlas #2 - 26,783  (-22.3%)
04/09  Agents of Atlas #3 - 29,748  (+11.1%)
05/09  Agents of Atlas #4 - 25,377  (-14.7%)
05/09  Agents of Atlas #5 - 25,207  ( -0.7%)
06/09  Agents of Atlas #6 - 22,579  (-10.4%)
07/09  Agents of Atlas #7 - 23,217  ( +2.8%)
07/09  Agents of Atlas #8 - 20,540  (-11.5%)
08/09  Agents of Atlas #9 - 20,828  ( +1.4%)
                            6 mnth  (-39.5%)

Ends with issue #11, but the series is continuing as a back-up strip in HERCULES with a view to relaunching it down the line. The slight boost is probably due to another of those “70th frame” variants.

104. PUNISHER: FRANK CASTLE  [Max]
08/04  Punisher #10     - 45,396
08/05  Punisher #24     - 37,022
08/06  Punisher #36     - 34,227
08/07  Punisher #50     - 36,457
=====
08/08  Punisher #60     - 30,683  ( +2.1%)
08/08  Punisher #61     - 28,373  ( -7.5%)
09/08  Punisher #62     - 26,906  ( -5.2%)
10/08  Punisher #63     - 25,933  ( -3.6%)
11/08  Punisher #64     - 24,660  ( -4.9%)
12/08  Punisher #65     - 23,881  ( -3.2%)
01/09  Frank Castle #66 - 22,806  ( -4.5%)
02/09  Frank Castle #67 - 22,267  ( -2.4%)
03/09  Frank Castle #68 - 22,255  ( -0.0%)
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%)
                          6 mnth  ( -8.5%)
                          1 year  (-33.3%)
                          2 year  (-44.1%)
                          3 year  (-40.5%)
                          4 year  (-45.0%)
                          5 year  (-55.1%)

Relaunching in November.

108. IRON MAN: ARMOR WARS
08/09  Armor Wars #1 of 4 - 19,935

This is an all-ages miniseries, so the number’s pretty decent. This is comparable to the likes of X-MEN: FIRST CLASS.

109. DARK REIGN: HOOD
05/09  Hood #1 of 5 - 29,857
06/09  Hood #2 of 5 - 24,076  (-19.4%)
07/09  Hood #3 of 5 - 21,162  (-12.1%)
08/09  Hood #4 of 5 - 19,912  ( -5.9%)

I’m surprised this didn’t do better, considering that the Hood is one of the Dark Reign Cabal. Still, that aside, this would be a decent number for a Hood mini.

110. MARVEL COMICS
08/09  70th Anniversary Special - 19,835

146. ALL WINNERS COMICS
08/09  70th Anniversary Special - 13,364

We’ll take these two together, even though they’re out of sequence. Most of these 70th Anniversary issues sell about 13-14K, but the brand name of Marvel Comics itself apparently merits another 5-6K.

120. PUNISHER NOIR
08/09  Punisher Noir #1 of 4 - 18,315

137. LUKE CAGE NOIR
08/09  Luke Cage Noir #1 of 4 - 14,776

Same deal with these books. Marvel are clearly happy with the sales on the Noir minis, because there’s plenty more in the works. As you’d expect, the character with the long-running solo title sells better.

Returning to the charts, we pick up at number 121.

121. HOUSE OF M: MASTERS OF EVIL
08/09  Masters of Evil #1 of 4 - 17,528

HOUSE OF M came out in 2005, but apparently Marvel think there’s still demand for more. The evidence is not altogether compelling, but reportedly earlier House of M minis did surprising well in collected form.

123. RUNAWAYS
08/04  Runaways #17 - 18,563
08/05  Runaways #7  - 27,063
08/06  Runaways #19 - 25,042
08/07  ---
=====
08/08  Runaways #1  - 33,252  ( +6.1%)
09/08  Runaways #2  - 27,958  (-15.9%)
10/08  Runaways #3  - 25,757  ( -7.9%)
11/08  Runaways #4  - 23,496  ( -8.8%)
12/08  Runaways #5  - 21,918  ( -6.7%)
01/09  Runaways #6  - 20,459  ( -6.7%)
02/09  Runaways #7  - 19,684  ( -3.8%)
03/09  Runaways #8  - 19,000  ( -3.5%)
04/09  Runaways #9  - 19,851  ( +4.5%)
05/09  Runaways #10 - 17,523  (-11.7%)
06/09  Runaways #11 - 16,988  ( -3.1%)
07/09  Runaways #12 - 16,323  ( -3.9%)
08/09  Runaways #13 - 17,347  ( +6.3%)
                      6 mnth  (-11.9%)
                      1 year  (-47.8%)
                      2 year  (  --- )
                      3 year  (-30.7%)
                      4 year  (-35.9%)
                      5 year  ( -6.6%)

Not solicited past October, but Marvel say it’s being relaunched. There’s a 70th Frame variant on this issue, of course.

124. DARK REIGN: MISTER NEGATIVE
06/09  Mr Negative #1 of 3 - 25,760
07/09  Mr Negative #2 of 3 - 19,544  (-24.1%)
08/09  Mr Negative #3 of 3 - 17,248  (-11.7%)

Another low-selling Dark Reign mini, this time featuring a Spider-Man villain.

128. BETA RAY BILL: GODHUNTER
06/09  Godhunter #1 of 3 - 21,273
07/09  Godhunter #2 of 3 - 17,561  (-17.4%)
08/09  Godhunter #3 of 3 - 16,570  ( -5.6%)

As good as you could expect for a Beta Ray Bill miniseries.

129. CAPTAIN AMERICA: THEATER OF WAR
08/09  To Soldier On - 16,349

Another war story.

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

The lowest selling Dark Reign book, but then it doesn’t even have the advantage of featuring a familiar lead character.

139. MARVEL DIVAS
07/09  Marvel Divas #1 of 4 - 21,616
08/09  Marvel Divas #2 of 4 - 14,662  (-32.2%)

Despite all the controversy over the covers, this looks like it’s sinking.

149. WOLVERINE: FIRST CLASS
08/08  First Class #6  - 19,443  ( +3.5%)
09/08  First Class #7  - 16,168  (-16.8%)
10/08  First Class #8  - 14,936  ( -7.6%)
11/08  First Class #9  - 13,857  ( -7.2%)
12/08  First Class #10 - 13,441  ( -3.0%)
01/09  First Class #11 - 12,845  ( -4.4%)
02/09  First Class #12 - 12,403  ( -3.4%)
03/09  First Class #13 - 12,430  ( -0.0%)
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%)
                         6 mnth  ( +5.7%)
                         1 year  (-32.6%)

There’s a “70th frame” variant on this one, featuring Kitty and Lockheed.

150. TIMESTORM 2009/2099
04/09  Timestorm #1 of 4 - 19,973
05/09  Timestorm #2 of 4 - 16,190  (-18.9%)
06/09  Spider-Man        - 16,874  ( +4.2%)
06/09  X-Men             - 16,646  ( -1.4%)
07/09  Timestorm #3 of 4 - 14,435  (-13.3%)
08/09  Timestorm #4 of 4 - 13,066  ( -9.5%)

There’s not much interest in the 2099 imprint evident here.

151. UNCANNY X-MEN: FIRST CLASS
08/07  First Class #3     - 20,495
=====
08/08  First Class #15    - 13,249  ( -4.5%)
09/08  First Class #16    - 12,842  ( -3.1%)
10/08  Giant-Size Special - 13,263  ( +3.3%)
11/08  ---
12/08  ---
01/09  ---
02/09  Finals #1 of 4     - 15,736  (+18.6%)
03/09  Finals #2 of 4     - 11,533  (-26.7%)
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%)
                            6 mnth  (-17.5%)
                            1 year  ( -2.0%)
                            2 year  (-36.7%)

We’re more or less back where we were at the end of X-MEN: FIRST CLASS.

155. HALO: HELLJUMPER
07/09  Helljumper #1 of 5 - 15,809
08/09  Helljumper #2 of 5 - 12,602  (-20.3%)

Not great numbers on their face, but video game adaptations reportedly have plenty of other distribution channels that won’t show up on this chart.

166. ANITA BLAKE, VAMPIRE HUNTER
08/07  ---
=====
08/08  ---
09/08  ---
10/08  Laughing Corpse #1 of 5 - 22,493  (+13.2%)
11/08  Laughing Corpse #2 of 5 - 17,187  (-23.6%)
12/08  Laughing Corpse #3 of 5 - 15,665  ( -8.9%)
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%)
                                 6 mnth  (-17.7%)
                                 1 year  (  --- )
                                 2 year  (  --- )

Levelling out, at least.

171. LOCKJAW AND THE PET AVENGERS
05/09  Pet Avengers #1 of 4 - 17,638
06/09  Pet Avengers #2 of 4 - 12,317  (-30.2%)
07/09  Pet Avengers #3 of 4 - 11,739  ( -4.7%)
08/09  Pet Avengers #4 of 5 - 11,340  ( -3.4%)

Levelling out pretty quickly after the initial drop.

172. DESTROYER  [Max]
04/09  Destroyer #1 of 5 - 19,395
05/09  Destroyer #2 of 5 - 14,087  (-27.4%)
06/09  Destroyer #3 of 5 - 12,633  (-10.3%)
07/09  Destroyer #4 of 5 - 12,110  ( -4.2%)
08/09  Destroyer #5 of 5 - 11,254  ( -7.1%)

Above average for a Max book that isn’t PUNISHER, actually, but hardly spectacular.

175. 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%)

Sinking without trace, I’m afraid.

176. 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%)

I’d be surprised to see a third miniseries, with numbers like this, but stranger things have happened.

182. 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%)

Holding steady, and selling quite well for a Silver Age reprint book.

185. DOMINIC FORTUNE  [Max]
08/09  Dominic Fortune #1 of 4 - 9,157

Even the last TERROR INC. mini opened with estimated sales in five figures, so this really isn’t especially good.

230. MARVEL SPOTLIGHT
08/06  Brubaker/Tan    -  3,580
08/07  Halo            -  9,782
=====
08/08  Brand New Day   -  6,257  (-28.6%)
09/08  Marvel Knights  -  5,936  ( -5.1%)
10/08  Ultimatum       -  6,819  (+14.9%)
11/08  Punisher Movie  -  4,342  (-36.3%)
12/08  S.I. Aftermath  -  8,085  (+86.2%)
01/09  Dark Reign      -  7,527  ( -6.9%)
02/09  War of Kings    -  6,075  (-19.3%)
03/09  Wolverine       -  6,670  ( +9.8%)
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%)
                         6 mnth  ( -1.3%)
                         1 year  ( -4.1%)
                         2 year  (-38.7%)
                         3 year  (+67.6%)

Or “miscellaneous”, in other words. Sales on this book seem to be narrowing to a range hovering around 6K.

And from here on, it’s the all ages titles – with the Marvel Adventures books still experiencing sales increases on the back of their recent promotional push – plus a couple of Soleil reprint books and the niche Marvel Index book.

238. MARVEL ADVENTURES SPIDER-MAN  [All ages]
08/05  M.A. Spider-Man #6  - 7,636
08/06  M.A. Spider-Man #18 - 6,220 
08/07  M.A. Spider-Man #30 - 6,573
=====
08/08  M.A. Spider-Man #42 - 5,718  ( -2.4%)
09/08  M.A. Spider-Man #43 - 5,505  ( -3.7%)
10/08  M.A. Spider-Man #44 - 5,155  ( -6.4%)
11/08  M.A. Spider-Man #45 - 5,003  ( -2.9%)
12/08  M.A. Spider-Man #46 - 4,851  ( -3.0%)
01/09  M.A. Spider-Man #47 - 4,592  ( -5.3%)
02/09  M.A. Spider-Man #48 - 4,622  ( +0.7%)
03/09  M.A. Spider-Man #49 - 4,640  ( +0.4%)
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%)
                            6 mnth  (+23.0%)
                            1 year  ( -0.6%)
                            2 year  (-13.5%)
                            3 year  ( -8.6%)
                            4 year  (-25.6%)

240. SPIN ANGELS [Soleil]
08/09  Spin Angels #1 - 5,595

246. MARVEL ADVENTURES AVENGERS  [All ages]
08/06  M.A. Avengers #4  - 8,610
08/07  M.A. Avengers #15 - 6,950
=====
08/08  M.A. Avengers #27 - 5,200  ( -4.0%)
09/08  M.A. Avengers #28 - 4,966  ( -4.5%)
10/08  M.A. Avengers #29 - 4,844  ( -2.5%)
11/08  M.A. Avengers #30 - 4,679  ( -3.4%)
12/08  M.A. Avengers #31 - ?,???  (  ??? )
01/09  M.A. Avengers #32 - 4,323  (  ??? )
02/09  M.A. Avengers #33 - 4,325  ( +0.0%)
03/09  M.A. Avengers #34 - 4,379  ( +1.2%)
04/09  M.A. Avengers #35 - 3,914  (-10.6%)
05/09  M.A. Avengers #36 - 4,238  ( +8.3%)
06/09  M.A. Avengers #37 - 4,612  ( +8.8%)
07/09  M.A. Avengers #38 - 5,339  (+15.8%)
08/09  M.A. Avengers #39 - 5,259  ( -1.5%)
                          6 mnth  (+21.6%)
                          1 year  ( +1.1%)
                          2 year  (-24.3%)
                          3 year  (-38.9%)

258. PRIDE & PREJUDICE
04/09  Pride & Prejudice #1 of 5 - 7,530
05/09  Pride & Prejudice #2 of 5 - 4,686  (-37.8%)
06/09  Pride & Prejudice #3 of 5 - 4,659  ( -0.6%)
07/09  Pride & Prejudice #4 of 5 - 4,608  ( -1.1%)
08/09  Pride & Prejudice #5 of 5 - 4,523  ( -1.8%)

263. MARVEL ADVENTURES SUPER HEROES
08/08  M.A. Super Heroes #2 -  5,956  (-50.2%)
09/08  M.A. Super Heroes #3 -  4,857  (-18.5%)
10/08  M.A. Super Heroes #4 -  4,542  ( -6.5%)
11/08  M.A. Super Heroes #5 -  4,233  ( -6.8%)
12/08  M.A. Super Heroes #6 -  ?,???  (  ??? )
01/09  M.A. Super Heroes #7 -  4,141  (  ??? )
02/09  M.A. Super Heroes #8 -  3,993  ( -3.6%)
03/09  M.A. Super Heroes #9 -  3,716  ( -6.9%)
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%)
                              6 mnth  ( +9.1%)
                              1 year  (-26.9%)

265. 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%)
                 6 mnth  (-41.4%)

279. RIFTWAR  [Soleil]
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%)

283. TROJAN WAR
05/09  Trojan War #1 of 5 - 5,452
06/09  Trojan War #2 of 5 - 4,254  (-22.0%)
07/09  Trojan War #3 of 5 - ?,???  (  ??? )
08/09  Trojan War #4 of 5 - 3,646  (  ??? )

286. SCOURGE OF GODS: FALL  [Soleil]
07/09  Fall #1 of 3 - 5,021
08/09  Fall #2 of 3 - 3,616  (-28.0%)


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

+ 99.5% - Captain America
+ 73.5% - Ultimate Comics Spider-Man
+ 26.0% - Uncanny X-Men
+ 26.0% - Fantastic Four
+ 23.9% - Cable
+ 23.0% - Marvel Adventures Spider-Man
+ 21.6% - Exiles
+ 21.6% - Marvel Adventures Avengers
+ 18.2% - Amazing Spider-Man
+ 14.0% - Deadpool
+ 12.0% - X-Men: Legacy
+  9.7% - X-Force
+  9.1% - Marvel Adventures Super Heroes
+  7.9% - Nova
+  5.7% - Wolverine: Fist Class
+  3.5% - X-Factor
+  2.8% - Ghost Rider
+  0.3% - Hulk
+  0.1% - Wolverine: Origins
-  0.9% - Guardians of the Galaxy
-  1.2% - Ms Marvel
-  1.3% - Marvel Spotlight
-  4.6% - Invincible Iron Man
-  5.6% - Son of Hulk
-  7.9% - Dark Avengers
-  8.5% - Punisher: Frank Castle
- 11.3% - Incredible Hercules
- 11.9% - Runaways
- 15.8% - New Avengers
- 15.8% - Mighty Avengers
- 16.9% - Avengers: The Initiative
- 17.7% - Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter
- 19.2% - Punisher
- 26.0% - Dark Tower
- 29.1% - War Machine
- 37.9% - Secret Warriors
- 39.5% - Agents of Atlas
- 41.4% - Official Index of the Marvel Universe
- 47.9% - Black Panther


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

+ 69.5% - Daredevil
+ 57.1% - Ultimate Comics Spider-Man
+ 47.4% - Captain America
+ 29.4% - Punisher
+  5.8% - Uncanny X-Men
+  4.4% - Fantastic Four
+  4.3% - Amazing Spider-Man
+  1.1% - Marvel Adventures Avengers
-  0.6% - Marvel Adventures Spider-Man
-  2.0% - X-Men: First Class
-  4.1% - Marvel Spotlight
-  5.2% - Exiles
-  7.0% - X-Men: Legacy
-  7.5% - Invincible Iron Man
- 12.5% - Cable
- 15.4% - New Avengers
- 17.8% - Black Panther
- 18.2% - X-Force
- 18.8% - Ghost Rider
- 24.1% - Hulk
- 26.9% - Marvel Adventures Super Heroes
- 29.5% - Dark Wolverine
- 29.5% - Nova
- 30.8% - Guardians of the Galaxy
- 32.6% - Wolverine: First Class
- 33.3% - Punisher: Frank Castle
- 34.0% - Mighty Avengers
- 34.4% - X-Factor
- 35.4% - Avengers: The Initiative
- 37.2% - Incredible Hulk
- 46.2% - Incredible Hercules
- 46.6% - Son of Hulk
- 47.8% - Runaways

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

+ 55.0% - Daredevil
+ 49.6% - Captain America
+ 12.4% - Ultimate Comics Spider-Man
+  8.8% - Invincible Iron Man
+  2.6% - Uncanny X-Men
+  1.0% - Fantastic Four
-  6.5% - Dark Wolverine
- 13.5% - Marvel Adventures Spider-Man
- 23.7% - New Avengers
- 24.3% - Marvel Adventures Avengers
- 25.1% - Exiles
- 26.6% - Ms Marvel
- 26.8% - X-Men: Legacy
- 31.6% - Nova
- 33.3% - Amazing Spider-Man
- 35.6% - Wolverine: Origins
- 35.6% - Punisher
- 36.7% - X-Men: First Class
- 37.2% - X-Factor
- 38.5% - Incredible Hulk
- 38.7% - Marvel Spotlight
- 43.9% - Black Panther
- 44.1% - Punisher: Frank Castle
- 46.6% - Ghost Rider
- 54.9% - Avengers: The Initiative
- 71.4% - Dark Tower


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

+ 67.6% - Marvel Spotlight
+ 45.4% - Daredevil
+ 44.3% - Invincible Iron Man
+ 31.1% - Incredible Hulk
+ 13.1% - Ultimate Comics Spider-Man
+  1.2% - Uncanny X-Men
-  2.7% - Black Panther
-  8.6% - Marvel Adventures Spider-Man
- 22.9% - X-Men: Legacy
- 25.9% - X-Factor
- 30.4% - Fantastic Four
- 30.7% - Runaways
- 35.8% - Exiles
- 36.9% - Dark Wolverine
- 38.9% - Marvel Adventures Avengers
- 40.5% - Punisher: Frank Castle
- 41.6% - New Avengers
- 62.6% - Ms Marvel
- 62.7% - Wolverine: Origins
- 64.5% - Ghost Rider


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

+141.8% - Captain America
+ 58.3% - Daredevil
+ 20.6% - Incredible Hulk
+ 13.8% - Ultimate Comics Spider-Man
+ 11.1% - Invincible Iron Man
+  3.1% - Uncanny X-Men
-  1.4% - Amazing Spider-Man
-  9.3% - Dark Wolverine
- 17.1% - X-Men: Legacy
- 20.5% - Fantastic Four
- 25.6% - Marvel Adventures Spider-Man
- 35.5% - Exiles
- 35.6% - Black Panther
- 35.9% - Runaways
- 38.2% - New Avengers
- 45.0% - Punisher: Frank Castle


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

+225.9% - Captain America
+ 60.5% - Invincible Iron Man
+ 50.9% - Incredible Hulk
+ 41.1% - Daredevil
+ 24.2% - Fantastic Four
+  5.0% - Dark Wolverine
-  5.8% - Uncanny X-Men
-  6.6% - Runaways
-  9.2% - Ultimate Comics Spider-Man
- 19.4% - Amazing Spider-Man
- 31.0% - X-Men: Legacy
- 41.0% - Exiles
- 55.1% - Punisher: Frank Castle

Comments

  1. K-Box says:

    The other likely factor is that this arc, “Red-Headed Stranger”, is a Mary Jane Watson story, presumably attracting the curiosity of people who want to know how they’re going to deal with her.

    Well, it was PROMOTED that way, yes, but except for a brief cameo at the beginning, and a reasonably prominent role in the last issue, this arc was actually a bait-and-switch in which Mary Jane could have been removed completely without any impact on the plot. Instead, we got Peter having drunken sex for no reason with the stereotypical Latina roommate who hates him, and the issues that appeared to derive laughs from the Chameleon sexually assaulting that same character.

  2. Sheez, this month Marvel even crazier than usual with all those variants.

  3. Thanks again for the charts, Paul. A question and a comment:

    – Why wasn’t Captain America: Theater of War: To Soldier On comapred to the other various CA: ToW one-shots from the last year?

    – It’s a shame Marvel Divas is tanking so bad, though I can hardly fault people for not buying it. The first issue was really interesting and quite different than what I was expecting from the book, but at $4 an issue, I just couldn’t bring myself to keep buying it. At $3, I almost certainly would still be reading it.

  4. Batlash says:

    It was to be expected, but it’s downright unforgivable that a mini-series by a great talent (Howard Chaykin) featuring a great character (Dominic Fortune) can’t even muster up 10,000 copies in sales. It is to be hoped that there are more readers just waiting for the TPB.

  5. Micah says:

    A holofoil cover on the Ultimates? Oh, man. It’s worse than I thought.

    PAD on X-Factor said his goal was a top-10 book. How did he expect that with a year-long story arc with zero jumping-on points? That said, this story got me back into X-Factor and the book is great. I’m really treasuring the Marvel books that are outside of Dark Reign right now. And morning those that didn’t make it; Agents of Atlas, oh how I will miss thee.

    Thanks for the number crunching Paul. Outstanding work!

  6. Micah says:

    Lousy mourning.

  7. I cant believe people still buy single issues. Not only that but they fall for over variant cover.

  8. simmo says:

    On Deadpool’s ability to sell multiple books in one month…this raises to me the distinct possibility that, given the slow burn nature of a lot of books, that a bi-weekly, rather than monthly schedule with rotating artists would well be worth Marvel’s while. New Avengers runs so outrageously slowly (taking 6 months to cover what can amount to 1 or 2 days action) that surely this wouldn’t be the worst idea Marvel’s ever had.

  9. “110. MARVEL COMICS
    08/09 70th Anniversary Special – 19,835

    146. ALL WINNERS COMICS
    08/09 70th Anniversary Special – 13,364

    We’ll take these two together, even though they’re out of sequence. Most of these 70th Anniversary issues sell about 13-14K, but the brand name of Marvel Comics itself apparently merits another 5-6K.”

    Two very different books. ALL WINNERS was one of those
    modern-story/GA-reprint-filler titles that we’ve seen throughout 2009 (delivering ever-diminishing returns), but MARVEL COMICS was something else entirely: an all-reprint book (with modern coloring techniques) that repurposed the original issue in its entirety — coincidentally, at the same time that THE MARVELS PROJECT was referencing some of those stories.

    It ain’t the name so much as the content, the history, and the Bru.

  10. alwaysoptimistic says:

    I think that you undercounted on the Reborn #2 & Fantastic Four #570 Variants. I have the list of the Reborn Covers:

    CAPTAIN AMERICA REBORN #2 (OF 5) $3.99
    CAPTAIN AMERICA REBORN #2 (OF 5) 70TH FRAME VARIANT
    CAPTAIN AMERICA REBORN #2 (OF 5) CASSADAY SKETCH VAR $3.99
    CAPTAIN AMERICA REBORN #2 (OF 5) CASSADAY VAR (PP #875) $3.99
    CAPTAIN AMERICA REBORN #2 (OF 5) TIM SALE VAR (PP #875) $3.99

    So, I believe that you missed the 1:100 Cassaday Sketch Variant on Reborn as well as the 1:100 Cassaday Sketch Variant on Fantastic Four #570.

  11. WAR MACHINE has officially been cancelled with issue #12. Though they’re apparently aiming for a relaunch at some point.

    Also, it looks like SON OF HULK won’t go past issue #17.

  12. Faust says:

    Thanks for posting!! :)

    The only thing I got out of it, however, was that:

    – Marvels variants are out of control – 4 to 5 covers on at least half a dozen books?!? what?!? did I go back in time?!?

    – Their numbering is just as bad! – prime eg: hulk, incredible hulk, incredible hercules.. (is son of hulk in this mess too?)…. so confusing…. (if anyone at DC is reading this? dont change wonder womans numbers back to 600 – this way leads to trouble).

    – And thirdly? – Marvel are trying to take their core/diehard fans for every cent they have, and it looks like they are succeeding(sp?).

  13. It is infuriatingly difficult to track down complete lists of variant covers with details of the incentive ratio (since they aren’t all included in the original solicitation, and they don’t always get listed separately on the Diamond shipping list, and most of the online databases turn out to be incomplete at least some of the time, or don’t list the incentives, or don’t clearly distinguish the second printings that came out the next month). If anyone can suggest some more reliable sources for this sort of thing, I’d be very interested to know.

  14. Michael says:

    Marvel’s approach to “dealing with” MJ appears to be NOT dealing with her, and having her show up once a year or so to remind us that they won’t be dealing with her.

  15. Hollow says:

    RE: Variants

    Get one retailer to forward you Marvel’s super secret weekly mail – this week alone those greedy bastards announced around 20 previously unannounced “Super Hero Squad” variant covers.k

  16. Midtown Comics does a good job of at least listing each variant, but sometimes not the ratio.

  17. I treated Wolverine: Weapon X like a new ongoing for Wolvie. Each Wolverine subscriber got one in his/her box to check out. Very few decided to add it regularly.

    For Dark Wolverine I simply continued pulling for previous Wolverine subs. While some dropped it, several other people, mostly Dark Avengers readers, added it. I suspect that DA readers is where the primary sales are coming from across the board, rather than Wolverine fans.

    I didn’t order any of the stupid frame variants, even ones I normally would qualify for just with regular orders. Marvel screwed up our FOC dates for all of August just for those variants. I liked cutting those orders so much, I may stop ordering other variants as well…

  18. ephraim says:

    i love how you glossed over the drop CAP REBORN #2. the stunt to induce retailer over-ordering of issue #1 is stunningly evident, yet the comment is “that’s pretty good”???

  19. Callum says:

    Alright! I wasn’t expecting this for a few more days, thanks Paul! I hate all the variants. For Marvels Project I’m just not buying them and will wait til the variants I really like are cheap (even if it’s a few years from now). Or just pick up the trade, which sounds infinitely easier.
    I’m pretty sure LOCKJAW AND THE PET AVENGERS is only 4 issues, not 5.

  20. alwaysoptimistic says:

    @ Paul O’Brien,

    As someone who buys a few of these Variants then I very much understand and agree that a central listing would be wonderful. That all the publishers (with the exception of Aspen MLT) make it so difficult to track down what Variants are published for each issue can only result in some collector’s throwing up their hands and giving up entirely.

    What I do is got to Marvel.com every Monday, when they list what titles are shipping for the week. That list isn’t always complete, but I think that it’s pretty good. And then I go to ebay on Wednesday and type in each comic that I am interested in looking up. If a Variant has been published, it’s going to make it’s way there.

  21. At least DC announce their variants and ratios in the solicitations, most of the time.

  22. why are you surprised a hood mini didn’t sell well. no one is interested in that character but bendis. he keeps telling us via exposition that the hood is supposed to be a big character but he has yet to write him as such

  23. Samy Merchi says:

    “There’s not much interest in the 2099 imprint evident here.”

    As in previous months, I feel compelled to point out that:

    Timestorm only gauges interest in the 2099 word/number appearing in the title of a comic. Just the title. It gauges how many people are interested in buying the word/number.

    It does _not_ gauge interest in the 2099 *characters*, which were not included. (Or, in closest case scenarios, some Bizarro What If incarnations of them were included.)

  24. Alan Coil says:

    Paul O’Brien —

    I think most if the variant covers are announced in the solicits every month in the RETAILERS copy of Previews. Or they used to be. I haven’t seen a retailers copy in at least 5 years.

  25. There’s absolutely no interest in the 2099 line because Marvel refuses to take an interest in it. Every time they revisit the 2099 universe, they revisit an “alternate” 2099 universe with different characters and weird changes. Not once have they actually attempted to continue the 2099 continuity proper, and if they don’t do that, how can you expect old fans of 2099 to care? There’s no nostalgia value when the 2099 Marvel revisits isn’t the real 2099.

  26. Somebody says:

    > A very impressive performance for this crossover between Marvel’s cosmic titles, most of which sell far below this level.

    Thing is, calling it a crossover between the titles is pushing it – Nova didn’t appear at all in the main WoK series, and about a third of the Guardians’ roster showed up for one issue and then buggered off again. It was really a follow-up to Secret Invasion: Inhumans on the one hand, and the Deadly Genesis/Emperor Vulcan stuff on the other.

    The other titles did tie-ins, sure, but Nova‘s tie-in was about as relevant to the core series as its’ Secret Invasion tie-in was to THAT series.

    > This is effectively a continuation of GHOST RIDER, but the miniseries gets only a minimal increase for its first issue. Since there’s a 1:15 variant on this issue, that’s not a good sign.

    OTOH, Ghost Rider was $3, GRs: Heaven’s on Fire is $4. Same sales (or even as far a quarter down) = more cash.

  27. Wraith says:

    A few quick points.

    1. A possible reason for why sales on CABLE haven’t fallen right back down to pre MESSIAH WAR numbers, is because retailers might be waiting to see if customers are going to stick with the book after the crossover. I predict that the book will be taking a nose dive in sales (unless the book is saddled with gimmicks) over the next several months.

    2. The numerous gimmicks/stunts (controversial mainstream news story’s, variant covers,and crossovers) is proof that the industry is in serious trouble.

    3. The over exposure of Wolverine, as well as getting rid of all of the elements that made the character cool and interesting, is taking it’s toll on the character’s selling power. I predict the same thing will happen to Deadpool within the next year or two.

  28. Frank Rook says:

    I should mention that the Marvel Comics #1 had that event night variant, with some stores holding midnight events concerning it. That may also account for the higher-than-other-70-year-old-titles placement.

  29. Wraith: Usually (in fact, almost invariably) sales drop straight back to normal after a crossover, rather than taking two or three months to get there. So you need to explain why this one is different.

  30. brandon says:

    wraith:

    Your claim that the industry is in serious trouble simply makes no sense when looking at the financials.

    August numbers show that the top 300 had a gross dollar amount of $23,323,933 or an avg of 77k a title. Comic #150 on the chart grossed 52k.

    Whereas in Sept of 2004 the gross was just under 20 million and the middle comic on the charts grossed only 36k.

    I’d argue the industry is healthier now than 5 years ago and certainly 10 years ago. Especially when you take into account the sales from trades.

    Marvel’s annual report states that in 2007 the publishing arm had some 70 million in net sales after operating income and 125 million in gross sales.

    There are plenty of industries that would kill to have this type of growth and sustained sales during a recession.

  31. Wraith says:

    Wraith: Usually (in fact, almost invariably) sales drop straight back to normal after a crossover, rather than taking two or three months to get there. So you need to explain why this one is different.

    ________________________________________

    Paul, some retailers don’t always immediately decrease their orders for a book after a crossover is over because there are some readers (who picked up the book solely for the crossover) might be interested in continuing to buy that book. Also, some customers request on their pull lists to be given a book during a crossover, but don’t specifically state when to stop giving them that particular comic. Combined this with the variant covers, and sales on CABLE are higher then pre crossover numbers.

  32. Wraith says:

    wraith:

    Your claim that the industry is in serious trouble simply makes no sense when looking at the financials.

    August numbers show that the top 300 had a gross dollar amount of $23,323,933 or an avg of 77k a title. Comic #150 on the chart grossed 52k.

    Whereas in Sept of 2004 the gross was just under 20 million and the middle comic on the charts grossed only 36k.

    I’d argue the industry is healthier now than 5 years ago and certainly 10 years ago. Especially when you take into account the sales from trades.

    Marvel’s annual report states that in 2007 the publishing arm had some 70 million in net sales after operating income and 125 million in gross sales.

    There are plenty of industries that would kill to have this type of growth and sustained sales during a recession.

    ______________________________________

    Brandon, to quote John Byrne “that’s like saying you’re the tallest midget”.

    If the comic book industry was doing as well as you say it is, the Big 2 wouldn’t be shoving out numerous gimmicks like they have been doing over the last several years. It’s mainly due to those gimmicks why sales are up. Take away the gimmicks, and sales would be a hell of a lot lower then they currently are.

  33. brandon says:

    wraith –

    The numbers simply dont lie. The gross revenue shown from ICv2 and what’s reported by Marvel as a public corporation state the industry has grown over the last 60 and 120 months.

    Whether you attribute it gimmicks, crossovers, foil covers, etc that still means its sales. In any business if you advertise an incentive and it translates into sales you keep doing it until it slows then you try something else.

    Any newspaper or magazine out there would kill for this kind of growth (or even level) in their service.

    To suggest the industry is in the dumper because companies are trying ways to sell their product sounds bizarre. You’d have an easier time trying to make the case that number of unique readers is down thereby cutting the number of comic shoppers from 5 or 10 years ago.

  34. Samy Merchi says:

    “Paul, some retailers don’t always immediately decrease their orders for a book after a crossover is over because there are some readers (who picked up the book solely for the crossover) might be interested in continuing to buy that book.”

    Wraith, you’re not understanding what Paul is saying. What he’s saying is that the sales after MESSIAH WAR deviate from what happens after 99% of other crossovers.

    We’re not looking for reasons why orders don’t drop quickly after crossovers. You’re trying to explain that, and it’s irrelevant.

    We’re looking for reasons why orders drop differently after MESSIAH WAR than after other crossovers. What made MESSIAH WAR different.

  35. Shawn Hill says:

    Re: the success of War of Kings

    Well, it did feature the death of Lilandra, and is probably one of the best Inhumans stories, ever.

    re: the non-drop-off of War of Kings: Warriors

    The 2nd issue switched the focus from Blastaar and Gladiator to Lilandra and Crystal; alien girl power!

    re: Daredevil #500 sales boost

    “Healthy?” The book almost doubled for the anniversary! I don’t know if this means people are looking forward to the new creators; can it really be the onslaught of variant covers alone?

  36. Why on Earth would Marvel want to continue the old 2099 continuity? The line ended with the destruction of the Earth and the deaths of many of the major characters.

    War of Kings did really well here, and I expect the follow-ups to do as well as long as they keep Abnett and Lanning as the writers.

    Hey Marvel! Don’t do to your cosmic books what you did to the Zombies franchise!

  37. Wraith says:

    Wraith, you’re not understanding what Paul is saying. What he’s saying is that the sales after MESSIAH WAR deviate from what happens after 99% of other crossovers.

    We’re not looking for reasons why orders don’t drop quickly after crossovers. You’re trying to explain that, and it’s irrelevant.

    We’re looking for reasons why orders drop differently after MESSIAH WAR than after other crossovers. What made MESSIAH WAR different.

    _____________________________

    Sammy, I completely understand what you guys mean, and I gave you a possible reason. Remember, the MW crossover was not a huge mega crossover, but a small mini crossover. Many dealers could have taken the sudden interest in this crossover as a possible rise in interest in both X-FORCE and CABLE.

  38. Wraith says:

    wraith –

    The numbers simply dont lie. The gross revenue shown from ICv2 and what’s reported by Marvel as a public corporation state the industry has grown over the last 60 and 120 months.

    Whether you attribute it gimmicks, crossovers, foil covers, etc that still means its sales. In any business if you advertise an incentive and it translates into sales you keep doing it until it slows then you try something else.

    Any newspaper or magazine out there would kill for this kind of growth (or even level) in their service.

    To suggest the industry is in the dumper because companies are trying ways to sell their product sounds bizarre. You’d have an easier time trying to make the case that number of unique readers is down thereby cutting the number of comic shoppers from 5 or 10 years ago.

    ____________________________________________

    Brandon, it was this kind of crap that caused the industry to crash in the 90’s.

    Anyone who touts and praises the current sales gimmicks/stunts as a “good thing” because it has increased sales in the current industry, should never again complain about how bad comics were in the 90’s and how the previous Marvel editorial regimes ruined the company in the 90’s.

  39. brandon says:

    wraith –

    I think I understand what you are trying to say. Basically you feel the multiple covers are going to repeat the 1990s collapse. It is a fair comparison and has some similarities.

    However, the major difference between now and then is that those sales of multiple issues per customer were largely built off pure, unknown speculation.

    The only thing we’ve seen on that level recently was the Obama Spider-Man comic.

    Back then there was no real time scale of supply/demand to determine an issue actual real time worth. Now we have ebay (among others) to set a market price the day the comic comes out. It takes a lot of the speculation out of the fray. Now, why people are buying the 1-in-250 is a good question. But is it enough to crash the entire industry?

    I’ll turn it around on you then: when do you think the industry will collapse?

    BTW – I’m not sure who you think said gimmicks were a good thing. I merely pointed out the revenues as being steady or growing over time. Also, I have no idea who complained about the 1990s comics, but I cant seem to find it in this thread. That one seemed to come out of left field from you.

  40. Wraith says:

    wraith –

    I think I understand what you are trying to say. Basically you feel the multiple covers are going to repeat the 1990s collapse. It is a fair comparison and has some similarities.

    However, the major difference between now and then is that those sales of multiple issues per customer were largely built off pure, unknown speculation.

    The only thing we’ve seen on that level recently was the Obama Spider-Man comic.

    Back then there was no real time scale of supply/demand to determine an issue actual real time worth. Now we have ebay (among others) to set a market price the day the comic comes out. It takes a lot of the speculation out of the fray. Now, why people are buying the 1-in-250 is a good question. But is it enough to crash the entire industry?

    I’ll turn it around on you then: when do you think the industry will collapse?

    BTW – I’m not sure who you think said gimmicks were a good thing. I merely pointed out the revenues as being steady or growing over time. Also, I have no idea who complained about the 1990s comics, but I cant seem to find it in this thread. That one seemed to come out of left field from you.

    ______________________________

    Brandon, the speculation bug isn’t only limited to the Obama AMAZING SPIDER-MAN guest spot. We seen this kind of thing with the unmasking of Spidey,the death of Captain America,and (to a much lesser extent) the faux death.of Batman.

    I have no idea when the industry is going to collapse again. However, it could be argued that the industry has not completely recovered from the 90’s collapse. After all, today’s comic sales are no where near where they were in the 80’s.

    And I was speaking in general, and not specifically about this thread, when I mentioned about people complaining about how bad the industry was durring the 90’s.

  41. Pierce says:

    “Now, why people are buying the 1-in-250 is a good question.”

    Because they see it and prefer/like it better than the normal cover?

  42. Thierry says:

    Don’t really see the problems with variants . There’s no obligation to buy them . Problem in the 90’s was that lots of people came into the industry to “make money” and left .

Trackbacks

  1. […] Speak of the devil: Paul O’Brien presents his month-to-month estimates for sales by Marvel to Direct Market retailers, now updated for August. […]

  2. […] October 8th, 2009Author J. Caleb Mozzocco Last week, Paul O’Brien and Marc-Oliver Frisch posted their monthly analysis of Marvel Comics and DC Comics sales figures, assembled from ICv2.com’s numbers, at Publisher Weekly’s The Beat. […]

  3. […] 44 Marvel Month-to-Month Sales: August 2009 […]

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