Marvel Month-to-Month Sales: November 2010

Avengers #7by Paul O’Brien

Marvel had quite a lot of new material on the market in November. Aside from AMAZING SPIDER-MAN shifting to a fortnightly format with its new “Big Time” direction, we’ve also got two new ongoing titles, GENERATION HOPE and SPIDER-GIRL. Further down the chart, there’s also a veritable horde of new miniseries, including ASTONISHING THOR, OSBORN, SHE-HULKS and a whole bunch of CHAOS WAR tie-ins.

As usual, Marvel had the largest share of the direct market. It’s a relatively close month, though, with a lead over DC of 40% to 37% in unit share and 34% to 33% in dollars. A major factor there will be a number of high-profile Batman comics in the top 10.

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

3.  AVENGERS
05/10  #1 - 170,682
06/10  #2 -  98,788  (-42.1%)
07/10  #3 -  87,410  (-11.5%)
08/10  #4 -  87,333  ( -0.1%)
09/10  #5 -  82,411  ( -5.6%)
10/10  #6 -  73,258  (-11.1%)
11/10  #7 -  89,758  (+22.5%)
             6 mnth  (-47.4%)

It’s been a very good month for DC, who take all but two of the top 10 slots, thanks in large part to the “Return of Bruce Wayne” storyline in the Batman titles. The remaining two spaces go to Marvel, and the company’s top seller of the month is AVENGERS.

This is the start of the book’s second storyline, but don’t read too much into the big sales increase just yet. The first five issues were heavily supported by variant covers, including 1:75 “character” variants by John Romita Jr. Issue #6, for some reason, was allowed to fend for itself. But with issue #7, it’s back to business as usual – this has a 1:15 Tron variant, a 1:25 Ed McGuinness variant, and a 1:50 Marko Djurdjevic gatefold variant. It also introduces the Red Hulk into the cast, which might be something of a draw; HULK sales may have passed their peak, but there’s still a significant audience there who might not have been buying the book before.

8,19,20. AMAZING SPIDER-MAN
11/05  #526 -  79,674
11/06  #536 - 118,833
11/07  ---
11/08  #578 -  66,564
=====
11/09  #610 -  61,170  ( -0.0%)
11/09  #611 -  64,514  ( +5.5%)
11/09  #612 -  68,459  ( +6.1%)
11/09  #613 -  64,499  ( -5.8%)
12/09  #614 -  59,696  ( -7.4%)
12/09  #615 -  63,738  ( +6.8%)
12/09  #616 -  58,856  ( -7.7%)
01/10  #617 -  76,730  (+30.4%)
01/10  #618 -  61,969  (-19.2%)
01/10  #619 -  56,837  ( -8.3%)
02/10  #620 -  59,860  ( +5.3%)
02/10  #621 -  55,350  ( -7.5%)
02/10  #622 -  53,929  ( -2.6%)
03/10  #623 -  66,064  (+22.5%)
03/10  #624 -  60,213  ( -8.9%)
03/10  #625 -  54,179  (-10.0%)
03/10  #626 -  53,868  ( -0.6%)
03/10  #627 -  54,206  ( +0.6%)
04/10  #628 -  57,797  ( +6.6%)
04/10  #629 -  53,560  ( -7.3%)
05/10  #630 -  57,969  ( +8.2%)
05/10  #631 -  57,239  ( -1.3%)
05/10  #632 -  56,723  ( -0.9%)
06/10  #633 -  57,670  ( +1.7%)
06/10  #634 -  61,736  ( +7.1%)
06/10  #635 -  56,146  ( -9.1%)
07/10  #636 -  56,011  ( -0.2%)
07/10  #637 -  56,031  ( +0.0%)
07/10  #638 -  68,271  (+21.8%)
08/10  #639 -  67,086  ( -1.7%)
08/10  #640 -  73,656  ( +9.8%)
09/10  #641 -  68,345  ( -7.2%)
09/10  #642 -  60,115  (-12.0%)
09/10  #643 -  61,855  ( +2.9%)
09/10  #644 -  58,310  ( -5.7%)
10/10  #645 -  56,709  ( -2.7%)
10/10  #646 -  58,125  ( +2.5%)
11/10  #647 -  55,819  ( -4.0%)
11/10  #648 -  77,033  (+38.0%)
11/10  #649 -  52,586  (-31.7%)
               6 mnth  ( -7.3%)
               1 year  (-14.0%)
               2 year  (-21.0%)
               3 year  (  --- )
               4 year  (-55.7%)
               5 year  (-34.0%)

Theoretically this is the start of AMAZING’s new fortnightly schedule, but because the book was running late, we actually get three issues this month. Issue #647 is a triple-sized anthology wrapping up the “Brand New Day” period – it’s got a 1:20 variant by Steve McNiven, but the previous issue had two variants, so the slight sales drop is not altogether surprising.

Issue #648 is the start of “Big Time”, supported by 1:15, 1:25 and 1:100 variants. Not surprisingly, it’s the one that makes the top 10. But issue #649 is just a regular issue left to stand by itself, so it’s probably the best measure of where the book stands right now – slightly down, but still in the same ballpark where it’s been hovering over the course of the year.

11.  NEW AVENGERS
11/05  #13    - 126,148
11/06  #25    - 136,504
11/07  #36    - 107,715
11/08  ---
=====
11/09  #59    -  74,379  ( -3.0%)
12/09  #60    -  72,790  ( -2.1%)
01/10  #61    -  78,202  ( +7.4%)
02/10  #62    -  76,405  ( -2.3%)
03/10  #63    -  76,145  ( -0.3%)
04/10  #64    -  75,430  ( -0.9%)
04/10  ---
05/10  Finale -  82,152  ( +8.9%)
06/10  #1     - 129,084  (+67.8%)
07/10  #2     -  83,397  (-35.4%)
08/10  #3     -  81,354  ( -2.4%)
09/10  #4     -  77,479  ( -4.7%)
10/10  #5     -  73,409  ( -5.3%)
11/10  #6     -  66,724  ( -9.1%)
                 6 mnth  (-18.8%)
                 1 year  (-10.3%)
                 2 year  (  --- )
                 3 year  (-38.1%)
                 4 year  (-64.8%)
                 5 year  (-47.1%)

13.  SECRET AVENGERS
05/10  #1 - 110,681
06/10  #2 -  77,933  (-30.0%)
07/10  #3 -  72,293  ( -7.2%)
08/10  #4 -  74,655  ( +3.3%)
09/10  #5 -  69,546  ( -6.8%)
10/10  #6 -  68,617  ( -1.3%)
11/10  #7 -  59,999  (-12.6%)
             6 mnth  (-45.8%)

Hefty drops for the B- and C-level AVENGERS titles, but that’s understandable when you look at the variants. NEW AVENGERS #6 is the first issue of the series without any variant cover; everything before now has had at least a 1:75 variant and usually something more as well. Much the same goes for SECRET AVENGERS #7, although at least it gets a 1:15 Tron variant to help it out a bit. So while there’s very likely an underlying decline on both titles, it’s nowhere near as steep as these drops make it appear.

14.  UNCANNY X-MEN
11/05  #466 -  82,825
11/06  #480 -  88,584
11/07  #492 - 102,511
11/08  #504 -  77,773
=====
11/09  #517 -  69,557  ( -5.9%)
12/09  #518 -  68,572  ( -1.4%)
12/09  #519 -  67,043  ( -2.2%)
01/10  #520 -  65,758  ( -1.9%)
02/10  #521 -  67,049  ( +2.0%)
03/10  #522 -  67,996  ( +1.4%)
04/10  #523 -  78,999  (+16.2%)
05/10  #524 -  77,056  ( -2.5%)
06/10  #525 -  76,068  ( -1.3%)
07/10  #526 -  66,723  (-12.3%)
08/10  #527 -  69,052  ( +3.5%)
09/10  #528 -  62,415  ( -9.6%)
10/10  #529 -  62,256  ( -0.3%)
11/10  #530 -  58,006  ( -6.8%)
               6 mnth  (-24.7%)
               1 year  (-16.6%)
               2 year  (-25.4%)
               3 year  (-43.4%)
               4 year  (-34.5%)
               5 year  (-30.0%)

No variant this time, so the month-to-month drop is slightly exaggerated. Having said that, September’s issue #528 didn’t have a variant either, so the book still appears to have shed something in the region of 4,000 sales in two months, which isn’t great.

17.  X-MEN
07/10  #1 - 143,167
08/10  #2 -  71,464  (-50.1%)
09/10  #3 -  66,549  ( -6.9%)
10/10  #4 -  63,772  ( -4.2%)
11/10  #5 -  56,651  (-11.2%)

Dropping below UNCANNY for the first time, but that shouldn’t be a surprise; UNCANNY is still being treated as the flagship X-title. The “Curse of the Mutants” crossover storyline is still running, and this issue has a 1:25 variant, though that’s a significant scaleback from earlier issues and likely explains why the drop is steeper this month. Nonetheless, it looks like the book is still quite some way from finding its level.

18. UNCANNY X-FORCE
11/08  #9      - 57,241
=====
11/09  #21     - 53,967  ( +10.3%)
12/09  #22     - 51,859  (  -3.9%)
01/10  #23     - 50,848  (  -1.9%)
02/10  #24     - 49,790  (  -2.1%)
03/10  #25     - 49,910  (  +0.2%)
04/10  #26     - 67,512  ( +35.3%)
05/10  #27     - 62,509  (  -7.4%)
06/10  ---
07/10  #28     - 61,680  (  -1.3%)
07/10  Sex #1  - 41,426  ( -32.8%)
08/10  #2 of 3 - 38,480  (  -7.1%)
09/10  #3 of 3 - 37,283  (  -3.1%)
10/10  #1      - 99,194  (+166.1%)
11/10  #2      - 56,518  ( -43.0%)
                 6 mnth  (  -9.6%)
                 1 year  (  +4.7%)
                 2 year  (  -1.3%)

Much healthier than the 43% drop might suggest. Issue #1 had a horde of variant covers; this has none. Ignore the final three issues of the previous run, which were part of the “Second Coming” crossover, and you’ll see that it was doing a little under 50K before the relaunch (and that’s with the benefit of variant covers and tie-ins to the “Necrosha-X” crossover). So thus far, the book seems to be up as a result of the relaunch. Issue #1 picks up re-orders of 3,555, which are added to the numbers above.

21. WOLVERINE
11/05  #36  -  85,969
11/06  #48  -  99,991
11/07  #59  -  65,725
11/08  #69  -  93,914
=====
11/09  WX#7 -  36,108  (  -6.1%)
12/09  #8   -  33,470  (  -7.3%)
01/10  #9   -  31,678  (  -5.4%)
02/10  #10  -  30,132  (  -4.9%)
03/10  #11  -  29,799  (  -1.1%)
04/10  #12  -  30,050  (  +0.8%)
05/10  #13  -  29,773  (  -0.9%)
06/10  #14  -  30,035  (  +0.9%)
07/10  #15  -  29,555  (  -1.6%)
08/10  #16  -  29,424  (  -0.4%)
09/10  #1   - 104,414  (+254.9%)
10/10  #2   -  63,210  ( -39.5%)
11/10  #3   -  51,600  ( -18.4%)
               6 mnth  ( +73.3%)
               1 year  ( +42.9%)
               2 year  ( -45.1%)
               3 year  ( -21.5%)
               4 year  ( -48.4%)
               5 year  ( -40.0%)

No variant this month, compared to two 1:15 variants last month, so again the drop should be exaggerated.

The good news is that, so far, the book is up significantly from sales before the relaunch, which had bottomed out at around 30K. The bad news? Well, to be honest, these sales aren’t too far removed from the first three issues of WOLVERINE: WEAPON X (98K, 59K, 51K), and we saw how that turned out.

I still suspect that this will settle at a higher level than WEAPON X did, but you only have to look at the earlier years to see that these are still pretty weak sales for the lead Wolverine title. For comparison, let’s break with the usual running order and see how the two spin-off titles are doing:

49. DAKEN: DARK WOLVERINE
11/09  #80 - 52,394  (-12.8%)
12/09  #81 - 48,102  ( -8.2%)
01/10  #82 - 54,838  (+14.0%)
02/10  #83 - 53,958  ( -1.6%)
03/10  #84 - 49,469  ( -8.3%)
04/10  #85 - 47,527  ( -3.9%)
05/10  #86 - 46,315  ( -2.6%)
06/10  #87 - 43,087  ( -7.0%)
07/10  #88 - 42,522  ( -1.3%)
08/10  #89 - 41,409  ( -2.6%)
08/10  #90 - 39,815  ( -3.8%)
09/10  #1  - 48,819  (+22.6%)
10/10  #2  - 38,660  (-22.9%)
11/10  #3  - 32,679  (-15.5%)
             6 mnth  (-29.4%)
             1 year  (-37.6%)

56. X-23
09/10  #1 - 48,481
10/10  #2 - 35,280  (-27.2%)
11/10  #3 - 31,224  (-11.5%)

Both books are without a variant cover this month, so the drops are going to be slightly exaggerated. Nonetheless, three issues in to its new run, DAKEN is clearly miles below its previous sales levels, which suggests that some readers took the relaunch as a jumping off point. As for X-23, it’s selling in roughly the same quantities as its sibling – understandable enough, since Marjorie Liu is writing both books, and so you’d expect them to appeal to similar tastes.

23. THOR
11/05  ---
11/06  ---
11/07  #4     - 106,541
11/08  ---
=====
11/09  Finale -  53,566  (-17.9%)
12/09  #604   -  61,608  (+15.0%)
12/09  #605   -  55,242  (-10.3%)
01/10  #606   -  55,353  ( +0.2%)
02/10  #607   -  66,973  (+21.0%)
03/10  #608   -  62,012  ( -7.4%)
04/10  #609   -  64,522  ( +4.0%)
05/10  #610   -  61,779  ( -4.3%)
06/10  #611   -  56,443  ( -8.6%)
07/10  #612   -  53,373  ( -5.4%)
08/10  #613   -  51,076  ( -4.3%)
09/10  #614   -  53,505  ( +4.8%)
09/10  #615   -  52,896  ( -1.2%)
10/10  #616   -  51,051  ( -3.5%)
11/10  #617   -  49,165  ( -3.7%)
                 6 mnth  (-20.4%)
                 1 year  ( -8.2%)
                 2 year  (  --- )
                 3 year  (-53.9%)
                 4 year  (  --- )
                 5 year  (  --- )

Drifting down, but nothing of any great concern. And again, this seems a sensible place to break from the usual running order and run through the multitude of Thor books which Marvel are currently churning out – in most cases, it seems, with a view to generating tie-in material for the movie.

50. ULTIMATE COMICS THOR
10/10  #1 of 4 - 49,747
11/10  #2 of 4 - 31,829  (-36.0%)

58. ASTONISHING THOR
11/10  #1 of 5 - 29,202

83. IRON MAN/THOR
11/10  #1 of 4 - 21,416

84. THOR: FOR ASGARD
09/10  #1 of 6 - 32,236
09/10  #2 of 6 - 28,563  (-11.4%)
10/10  #3 of 6 - 23,724  (-16.9%)
11/10  #4 of 6 - 20,934  (-11.8%)

93. CHAOS WAR: THOR
11/10  #1 of 2 - 19,738

131. WARRIORS THREE
11/10  #1 of 4 - 14,203

133. THOR: FIRST THUNDER
09/10  #1 of 5 - 21,228
10/10  #2 of 5 - 16,126  (-24.0%)
11/10  #3 of 5 - 14,038  (-12.9%)

186. THOR: THE MIGHTY AVENGER
07/10  #1 - 20,076
07/10  #2 - 14,315  (-28.7%)
08/10  #3 - 12,112  (-15.4%)
09/10  #4 - 10,887  (-10.1%)
10/10  #5 -  9,673  (-11.2%)
11/10  #6 -  8,420  (-13.0%)

Yes, that’s right, Marvel shipped nine THOR titles in November – well, eight if you don’t count WARRIORS THREE, but come on now. Needless to say, they’re almost all being mutually lost in the shuffle.

ASTONISHING THOR is the latest of Marvel’s “Astonishing” minis which are supposed to be some sort of prestige line, but don’t seem to be reflecting that in terms of sales – the first issue comes in some 20K behind last month’s ULTIMATE THOR debut. CHAOS WAR: THOR is a CHAOS WAR tie-in mini and is in a slightly different position to the rest of the Thor Deluge. And THOR: THE MIGHTY AVENGER is cancelled with issue #8.

Other than that, there really doesn’t seem to be much point in listing these books separately; the most striking thing about them is that the sheer quantity turns them all into an indistinguishable mulch, and makes it all the more difficult for any of them to stand out from the pack and find an audience. Do Marvel really think that the average reader can even remember which one THOR: FOR ASGARD is, let alone make a decision to buy it? This is, surely, textbook oversaturation of the market, particularly when applied to a character who has historically never been able to sustain this volume of spin-off material even in healthier times.

24. CAPTAIN AMERICA
11/05  #12       - 45,038
11/06  #24       - 79,885
11/07  #32       - 73,310
11/08  #44       - 75,493
=====
11/09  Reborn #4 - 96,571  (-10.9%)
12/09  Reborn #5 - 91,790  ( -5.0%)
01/10  Reborn #6 - 84,844  ( -7.6%)
01/10  #602      - 63,948  (-24.6%)
02/10  #603      - 63,568  ( -0.6%)
03/10  #604      - 56,962  (-10.4%)
04/10  #605      - 59,051  ( +3.7%)
05/10  ---
06/10  #606      - 57,443  ( -2.7%)
06/10  #607      - 52,989  ( -7.8%)
07/10  ---
08/10  #608      - 51,362  ( -3.1%)
08/10  #609      - 52,834  ( +2.9%)
09/10  #610      - 47,986  ( -9.2%)
10/10  #611      - 48,788  ( +1.7%)
11/10  #612      - 47,343  ( -3.0%)
                   6 mnth  (  --- )
                   1 year  (-51.0%)
                   2 year  (-37.3%)
                   3 year  (-35.4%)
                   4 year  (-40.7%)
                   5 year  ( +5.1%)

Drifting very slowly down. This issue and last both had 1:15 variants, so the trend is probably about right.

28. X-MEN LEGACY
11/05  #177 -  78,405
11/06  #193 -  80,102
11/07  #205 - 101,401
11/08  #218 -  63,512
=====
11/09  #229 -  50,789  ( -3.9%)
12/09  #230 -  49,776  ( -2.0%)
12/09  #231 -  50,929  ( +2.3%)
01/10  #232 -  49,200  ( -3.4%)
02/10  #233 -  51,344  ( +4.4%)
03/10  #234 -  48,217  ( -6.1%)
04/10  #235 -  65,302  (+35.4%)
05/10  #236 -  69,731  ( +6.8%)
06/10  #237 -  65,578  ( -6.0%)
07/10  #238 -  53,313  (-18.7%)
08/10  #239 -  53,236  ( -0.1%)
09/10  #240 -  50,984  ( -4.2%)
10/10  #241 -  48,133  ( -5.6%)
11/10  #242 -  43,750  ( -9.1%)
               6 mnth  (-37.3%)
               1 year  (-13.9%)
               2 year  (-31.1%)
               3 year  (-56.9%)
               4 year  (-45.4%)
               5 year  (-44.2%)

No variant this month, compared to 1:15 variants on the last three issues. So the month-to-month drop is exaggerated. The last issue without a variant cover was #238, but that seems to have benefitted from the afterglow of the “Second Coming” crossover, so it might not be an entirely fair comparison. Before that, you have to go to #234 in March, and that does show a fairly clear downward trend.

29. AVENGERS PRIME
06/10  #1 of 5 - 69,433
07/10  ---
08/10  #2 of 5 - 55,518  (-20.0%)
09/10  #3 of 5 - 48,173  (-13.2%)
10/10  ---
11/10  #4 of 5 - 41,932  (-13.0%)

Still shedding readers, even though it’s quite some way into its run.

31. INVINCIBLE IRON MAN
11/05  ---
11/06  #13 - 76,800
11/07  ---
11/08  #7  - 49,356
=====
11/09  #20 - 61,667  (+30.7%)
12/09  #21 - 49,986  (-18.9%)
01/10  #22 - 49,130  ( -1.7%)
02/10  #23 - 50,027  ( +1.8%)
03/10  #24 - 49,239  ( -1.6%)
04/10  #25 - 73,694  (+49.7%)
05/10  #26 - 53,625  (-27.2%)
06/10  #27 - 52,268  ( -2.5%)
07/10  #28 - 48,690  ( -6.8%)
08/10  #29 - 49,012  ( +0.7%)
09/10  #30 - 47,238  ( -3.6%)
10/10  #31 - 45,507  ( -3.7%)
11/10  #32 - 40,978  (-10.0%)
             6 mnth  (-23.6%)
             1 year  (-33.5%)
             2 year  (-17.0%)
             3 year  (  --- )
             4 year  (-46.6%)
             5 year  (  --- )

And another book with no variant cover. The last such issue was #28, which would suggest that the book has lost 7,700 readers since July – at any rate, this is certainly way below the title’s established range.

32. ULTIMATE COMICS SPIDER-MAN
11/05  #86  -  76,864
11/06  #102 -  77,121
11/07  #116 -  61,534
11/08  #128 -  52,187
=====
11/09  #4   -  49,106  ( -7.0%)
12/09  #5   -  45,849  ( -6.6%)
01/10  #6   -  43,622  ( -4.9%)
02/10  #7   -  42,176  ( -3.3%)
03/10  #8   -  40,967  ( -2.9%)
04/10  #9   -  39,955  ( -2.5%)
05/10  #10  -  39,690  ( -0.7%)
06/10  #11  -  39,149  ( -1.4%)
07/10  #12  -  37,879  ( -3.2%)
08/10  #13  -  36,946  ( -2.5%)
09/10  #14  -  35,776  ( -3.7%)
10/10  #15  -  34,657  ( -3.1%)
11/10  #150 -  40,553  (+17.0%)
               6 mnth  ( +2.2%)
               1 year  (-17.4%)
               2 year  (-22.3%)
               3 year  (-34.1%)
               4 year  (-47.4%)
               5 year  (-47.2%)

Returning to its original numbering, and bolstered by two variant covers – which is enough to get sales back to where they were in March, but doesn’t suggest that this is going to make a huge difference in the long term.

35. HULK
11/08  #8  - 90,776
=====
11/09  #17 - 52,653  ( -7.3%)
12/09  #18 - 53,222  ( +1.1%)
01/10  #19 - 56,738  ( +6.6%)
02/10  #20 - 51,962  ( -8.4%)
03/10  #21 - 50,785  ( -2.3%)
04/10  ---
05/10  #22 - 49,618  ( -2.3%)
06/10  #23 - 50,724  ( +2.2%)
07/10  ---
08/10  #24 - 48,903  ( -3.6%)
09/10  #25 - 46,784  ( -4.3%)
10/10  #26 - 42,934  ( -8.2%)
11/10  #27 - 38,691  ( -9.9%)
             6 mnth  (-22.0%)
             1 year  (-26.5%)
             2 year  (-57.4%)

Believe it or not, the very first issue of HULK not to have a variant cover.

36. FANTASTIC FOUR
11/05  #532 - 47,771
11/06  ---
11/07  #551 - 58,617
11/08  #561 - 61,331
=====
11/09  #573 - 39,433  ( -6.0%)
12/09  #574 - 38,431  ( -2.5%)
01/10  #575 - 41,284  ( +7.4%)
02/10  #576 - 37,526  ( -9.1%)
03/10  #577 - 35,791  ( -4.6%)
04/10  #578 - 37,940  ( +6.0%)
05/10  #579 - 38,415  ( +1.3%)
06/10  #580 - 36,582  ( -4.8%)
07/10  #581 - 35,505  ( -2.9%)
08/10  #582 - 34,617  ( -2.5%)
09/10  #583 - 42,257  (+22.1%)
10/10  #584 - 41,163  ( -2.6%)
11/10  #585 - 37,740  ( -8.3%)
              6 mnth  ( -1.8%)
              1 year  ( -4.3%)
              2 year  (-38.5%)
              3 year  (-35.6%)
              4 year  (  --- )
              5 year  (-21.0%)

Once again, no variant cover, but it does have the advantage of being part of the heavily promoted “Three” storyline. The last issue without a variant was issue #582, and sales are up from there, presumably on the strength of interest in the storyline.

37. GENERATION HOPE
11/10  #1 - 37,398

GENERATION HOPE is an X-Men spin-off starring Hope Summers and the new mutants who activated at the end of the “Second Coming” crossover. So it’s launched out of a major crossover; it was trailed with an entire story arc in UNCANNY X-MEN; and it’s supported by 1:15 and 1:75 variants.

Given all that – in particular the fact that it spins directly out of a heavily promoted storyline – I kind of assumed this would be ordered as a more than averagely significant X-book. In fact, it almost exactly matches the first issue sales of NAMOR: THE FIRST MUTANT. I’m honestly surprised that this didn’t do significantly better.

39. ULTIMATE COMICS AVENGERS
11/09  Vol 1 #4 - 59,023  ( -5.9%)
12/09  ---
01/10  ---
02/10  ---
03/10  Vol 1 #5 - 58,098  ( -1.6%)
04/10  Vol 1 #6 - 53,438  ( -8.0%)
04/10  Vol 2 #1 - 64,811  (+21.3%)
05/10  Vol 2 #2 - 52,939  (-18.3%)
06/10  Vol 2 #3 - 50,797  ( -4.0%)
06/10  Vol 2 #4 - 49,606  ( -2.3%)
07/10  Vol 2 #5 - 46,886  ( -5.5%)
08/10  Vol 2 #6 - 46,358  (-11.3%)
08/10  Vol 3 #1 - 53,870  (+16.2%)
09/10  Vol 3 #2 - 43,119  (-20.0%)
10/10  Vol 3 #3 - 38,529  (-10.6%)
11/10  Vol 3 #4 - 36,777  ( -4.5%)
                  6 mnth  (-30.5%)
                  1 year  (-37.7%)

Continuing its seemingly inexorable downward slide.

40. AVENGERS: THE CHILDREN'S CRUSADE
07/10  #1 of 9 - 44,934
08/10  ---
09/10  #2 of 9 - 35,497  (-21.0%)
10/10  ---
11/10  #3 of 9 - 35,410  ( -0.2%)

Well, that’s interesting – after the first issue drop, this book seems to have levelled out almost completely. Somewhat unusual behaviour these days, and it suggests there’s still a fairly loyal core Young Avengers readership out there.

41,44. INCREDIBLE HULKS
11/05  #88  -  41,141
11/06  #100 -  84,169
11/07  #111 - 101,536
11/08  #8   -  90,776
=====
11/09  #604 -  40,652  (-17.2%)
12/09  #605 -  43,964  ( +8.1%)
01/10  #606 -  48,197  ( +9.6%)
02/10  #607 -  45,870  ( -4.8%)
03/10  #608 -  47,148  ( +2.8%)
04/10  ---
05/10  #609 -  46,670  ( -1.0%)
06/10  #610 -  46,461  ( -0.4%)
07/10  ---
08/10  #611 -  44,982  ( -3.2%)
09/10  #612 -  42,956  ( -4.5%)
09/10  #613 -  40,063  ( -6.7%)
10/10  #614 -  39,572  ( -1.2%)
10/10  #615 -  36,750  ( -7.1%)
11/10  #616 -  35,296  ( -4.0%)
11/10  #617 -  34,340  ( -2.7%)
               6 mnth  (-26.4%)
               1 year  (-15.5%)
               2 year  (-62.1%)
               3 year  (-66.2%)
               4 year  (-59.2%)
               5 year  (-16.5%)

The last three issues all lacked variant covers, so we’ve got a fairly clear picture of the trend here – it’s losing about 1,000 sales an issue right now, but levelling out a bit.

42. SUPERIOR  [Icon]
10/10  #1 of 6 - 40,842
11/10  #2 of 6 - 34,688  (-15.1%)

Mark Millar continues to enjoy great sales on his creator-owned projects. That’s a pretty modest second issue drop.

52. THUNDERBOLTS
11/05  #15  - 25,245
11/06  #108 - 27,890
11/07  ---
11/08  #126 - 34,640
=====
11/09  #138 - 31,238  ( -3.6%)
12/09  #139 - 29,957  ( -4.1%)
01/10  #140 - 28,644  ( -4.4%)
02/10  #141 - 33,948  (+18.5%)
03/10  #142 - 34,132  ( +0.5%)
04/10  #143 - 35,656  ( +4.5%)
05/10  #144 - 33,276  ( -6.7%)
06/10  #145 - 31,999  ( -3.8%)
07/10  #146 - 31,501  ( -1.6%)
08/10  #147 - 31,252  ( -0.8%)
09/10  #148 - 32,190  ( +3.0%)
10/10  #149 - 30,580  ( -5.0%)
11/10  #150 - 31,704  ( +3.7%)
              6 mnth  ( -4.7%)
              1 year  ( +1.5%)
              2 year  ( -8.5%)
              3 year  (  --- )
              4 year  (+13.7%)
              5 year  (+25.6%)

Giant-size anniversary issue. Sales seem pretty steady around the 30-31K mark.

54. DEADPOOL
11/08  #4  - 49,577
=====
11/09  #17 - 46,765  ( +1.0%)
12/09  #18 - 45,914  ( -1.8%)
01/10  ---
02/10  #19 - 44,580  ( -2.9%)
02/10  #20 - 43,347  ( -2.8%)
03/10  #21 - 42,062  ( -3.0%)
04/10  #22 - 43,061  ( +2.4%)
05/10  #23 - 42,761  ( -0.7%)
06/10  #24 - 38,663  ( -9.6%)
07/10  #25 - 36,828  ( -4.7%)
08/10  #26 - 35,595  ( -3.3%)
09/10  #27 - 36,404  ( +2.3%)
10/10  #28 - 34,828  ( -4.3%)
11/10  #29 - 31,350  (-10.0%)
             6 mnth  (-26.7%)
             1 year  (-33.0%)
             2 year  (-36.8%)

You guessed it – another book taking a break from the variants this month. The last no-variant issue was #26, so sales are down a little over 4,000 since August.

59. THANOS IMPERATIVE
05/10  Ignition - 29,716
06/10  #1 of 6  - 34,285  (+13.4%)
07/10  #2 of 6  - 31,888  ( -7.0%)
08/10  #3 of 6  - 30,493  ( -4.4%)
09/10  #4 of 6  - 29,704  ( -2.6%)
10/10  #5 of 6  - 29,614  ( -0.3%)
11/10  #6 of 6 -  29,188  ( -1.4%)

Pretty much rock solid after the second-issue drop, which might explain why Marvel are commissioning more “cosmic” stories after all.

61. CHAOS WAR
11/08  Herc #123 - 35,780
=====
11/09  Herc #138 - 25,116  (  +7.0%)
12/09  #139      - 23,591  (  -6.1%)
01/10  #140      - 23,244  (  -1.5%)
02/10  #141      - 24,539  (  +5.6%)
03/10  Fall #1   - 23,036  (  -6.1%)
04/10  #2 of 2   - 20,215  ( -12.2%)
05/10  Prince #1 - 20,373  (  +0.8%)
06/10  #2 of 4   - 17,068  ( -16.2%)
07/10  #3 of 4   - 15,667  (  -8.2%)
08/10  #4 of 4   - 17,137  (  +9.4%)
09/10  ---
10/10  Chaos #1  - 34,509  (+101.4%)
10/10  #2 of 5   - 29,375  ( -14.9%)
11/10  #3 of 5   - 28,630  (  -2.5%)
                   6 mnth  ( +40.5%)
                   1 year  ( +14.0%)
                   2 year  ( -20.0%)

This is doing remarkably well. It’s really a continuation of the HERCULES ongoing series, as were the two minis that preceded it – but this time, readers seem to have bought into the presentation of the story as an event in its own right, and sales are significantly up.

63. X-FACTOR
11/06  #13  - 42,844
11/07  #25  - 79,066
11/08  #37  - 35,754
=====
11/09  ---
12/09  #200 - 36,577  (+21.4%)
01/10  #201 - 29,732  (-18.7%)
02/10  #202 - 30,981  ( +4.2%)
03/10  #203 - 28,924  ( -6.6%)
04/10  #204 - 40,534  (+40.1%)
05/10  #205 - 41,745  ( +3.0%)
06/10  #206 - 40,981  ( -1.8%)
07/10  #207 - 32,082  (-21.7%)
08/10  #208 - 30,095  ( -6.2%)
09/10  #209 - 29,626  ( -1.6%)
10/10  #210 - 27,548  ( -7.0%)
11/10  #211 - 26,632  ( -3.3%)
              6 mnth  (-36.2%)
              1 year  (  --- )
              2 year  (-25.5%)
              3 year  (-66.3%)
              4 year  (-37.8%)

X-FACTOR, unusually, hasn’t had a variant cover since May, so its figures are relatively transparent. But bear in mind that it’s another X-book which saw a lasting gain from the “Second Coming” crossover – before that, it was doing around 29K, and it’s only in the last couple of months that it’s dropped back below that level.

66. AVENGERS ACADEMY
06/10  #1 - 45,890  (+20.3%)
07/10  #2 - 38,061  (-17.1%)
08/10  #3 - 35,629  ( -6.4%)
09/10  #4 - 31,212  (-12.4%)
10/10  #5 - 31,272  ( +0.2%)
11/10  #6 - 25,977  (-16.9%)

This actually DOES have a variant cover, although the incentive ratios are a lot lower than last month. Still, the general trend doesn’t look too great here.

68. NEW MUTANTS
11/09  #7  - 33,328  ( -4.7%)
12/09  #8  - 32,240  ( -3.3%)
01/10  #9  - 30,572  ( -5.2%)
02/10  #10 - 30,807  ( +0.8%)
03/10  #11 - 36,629  (+18.9%)
04/10  #12 - 49,591  (+35.4%)
05/10  #13 - 54,169  ( +9.2%)
06/10  #14 - 53,926  ( -0.4%)
07/10  #15 - 35,426  (-34.3%)
08/10  #16 - 31,989  ( -9.7%)
09/10  #17 - 31,684  ( -1.0%)
10/10  #18 - 27,027  (-14.7%)
11/10  #19 - 25,440  ( -5.9%)
             6 mnth  (-53.0%)
             1 year  (-23.7%)

Second straight month without a variant, and again the downward trend is visible.

70. SCARLET  [Icon]
07/10  #1 - 34,938
08/10  ---
09/10  #2 - 27,312  (-21.8%)
10/10  ---
11/10  #3 - 24,986  ( -8.5%)

Brian Bendis and Alex Maleev’s new title is levelling out quite nicely.

73. SECRET WARRIORS
11/09  #10 - 31,567  (-13.2%)
12/09  #11 - 30,748  ( -2.6%)
01/10  #12 - 29,894  ( -2.8%)
02/10  #13 - 30,843  ( +3.2%)
03/10  #14 - 28,580  ( -7.3%)
04/10  #15 - 29,669  ( +3.8%)
05/10  #16 - 29,340  ( -1.1%)
06/10  #17 - 28,017  ( -4.5%)
07/10  ---
08/10  #18 - 27,415  ( -2.1%)
08/10  #19 - 26,902  ( -1.9%)
09/10  #20 - 25,947  ( -3.5%)
10/10  #21 - 24,748  ( -4.6%)
11/10  #22 - 24,059  ( -2.8%)
             6 mnth  (-18.0%)
             1 year  (-23.8%)

Fairly steady. The book is coming to a close within the next six months or so, when the storyline concludes.

74. SPIDER-GIRL
11/10  #1 - 23,926

This looks like it may be another example of Marvel over-extending a franchise that won’t bear the weight. This has three covers, including a 1:15 incentive, so 24K isn’t a great starting point. HAWKEYE AND MOCKINGBIRD launched higher than this.

75. CAPTAIN AMERICA: MAN OUT OF TIME
11/10  #1 of 5 - 23,566

Marvel have been a bit more restrained with Captain America than with Thor, but we’ve still had a string of minis generating material to tie in with the upcoming movie. This is an updated version of Captain America being revived in the present day, which at least makes sense as a possible entry point to market to new readers.

76. DEADPOOLMAX  [Max]
10/10  #1 - 29,176
11/10  #2 - 23,382  (-19.9%)

Despite appearing in one set of solicitations as a six-issue miniseries, this book seems to be safe as an ongoing title for now. The second issue drop is fairly reasonable.

78. OSBORN
11/10  #1 of 5 - 23,152

Not the most mainstream of stories in tone, admittedly, but I’m a little surprised that this mini didn’t do slightly better, if only because Norman Osborn has been such a high-profile character in the last couple of years that surely some readers want to know what happens to him next.

86. NAMOR: THE FIRST MUTANT
08/10  #1 - 37,399
09/10  #2 - 23,880  (-36.1%)
10/10  ---
11/10  #3 - 20,541  (-14.0%)

The drops are exaggerated because the book has been scaling back the variant covers (this issue doesn’t have any), but it’s still plainly not a good number for the third issue of an ongoing series.

88. CHAOS WAR: DEAD AVENGERS
11/10  #1 of 3 - 20,312

The top selling Chaos War tie-in book (though CHAOS WAR: THOR wasn’t far behind).

89. PUNISHER: IN THE BLOOD
11/06  #1      - 102,727
11/07  #13     -  41,783
11/08  #25     -  29,982
=====
11/09  #11     -  24,900  ( -8.3%)
12/09  #12     -  24,985  ( +0.3%)
01/10  #13     -  23,734  ( -5.0%)
02/10  #14     -  23,455  ( -1.8%)
03/10  #15     -  22,285  ( -5.0%)
04/10  #16     -  23,047  ( +3.4%)
05/10  ---
06/10  #17     -  22,378  ( -2.9%)
06/10  #18     -  19,605  (-12.4%)
07/10  #19     -  24,947  (+27.2%)
08/10  #20     -  24,304  ( -2.6%)
09/10  #21     -  20,036  (-17.6%)
10/10  ---
11/10  #1 of 5 -  20,028  ( -0.0%)
                  6 mnth  (  --- )
                  1 year  (-19.6%)
                  2 year  (-33.2%)
                  3 year  (-52.1%)
                  4 year  (-80.5%)

Picking up exactly where the regular title left off – though that doesn’t mean we won’t get the usual second issue drop in December.

96. X-MEN: TO SERVE AND PROTECT
09/10  Vampires #1   - 25,654
10/10  #2 of 2       - 23,362  ( -8.9%)
11/10  Serve #1 of 4 - 19,273  (-17.5%)

Another X-Men anthology title, following on immediately from the X-MEN VS VAMPIRES mini – with diminishing returns.

97. SHE-HULKS
11/10  #1 - 18,616

Originally announced as an ongoing title, but pre-emptively cancelled with issue #4, for fairly obvious reasons.

98. INVADERS NOW!
09/10  #1 of 5 - 33,696
10/10  #2 of 5 - 21,137  (-37.3%)
11/10  #3 of 5 - 18,366  (-13.1%)

Well, it’s the Invaders. It’s a niche market.

99. DEADPOOL CORPS
03/10  Prelude #1 - 37,011
03/10  #2 of 5    - 32,024  (-13.5%)
03/10  #3 of 5    - 31,065  ( -3.0%)
03/10  #4 of 5    - 30,254  ( -2.6%)
03/10  #5 of 5    - 29,037  ( -4.0%)
04/10  Corps #1   - 39,466  (+35.9%)
05/10  #2         - 28,236  (-28.5%)
06/10  #3         - 26,251  ( -7.0%)
07/10  #4         - 24,476  ( -6.8%)
08/10  #5         - 22,887  ( -6.5%)
09/10  #6         - 21,888  ( -4.4%)
10/10  #7         - 19,644  (-10.3%)
11/10  #8         - 18,267  ( -7.0%)
                    6 mnth  (-35.3%)

102. DEADPOOL TEAM-UP
11/09  #899 - 39,584  (-22.9%)
12/09  #898 - 36,308  ( -8.3%)
01/10  #897 - 32,671  (-10.0%)
02/10  #896 - 30,119  ( -7.8%)
03/10  #895 - 28,573  ( -5.1%)
04/10  #894 - 28,835  ( +0.9%)
05/10  #893 - 26,578  ( -7.8%)
06/10  #892 - 23,697  (-10.8%)
07/10  #891 - 22,439  ( -5.3%)
08/10  #890 - 21,279  ( -5.2%)
09/10  #889 - 19,917  ( -6.4%)
10/10  #888 - 18,394  ( -7.6%)
11/10  #887 - 17,677  ( -3.9%)
              6 mnth  (-33.5%)
              1 year  (-55.3%)

Both apparently cancelled in March, though Marvel are still running “vote for which one gets axed” ads.

103,107. CHAOS WAR ONE-SHOTS
11/10  Chaos King   - 17,578
11/10  Alpha Flight - 17,164

More CHAOS WAR tie-ins – not huge sellers, but doing quite respectably.

110. THE STAND
11/09  Soul Survivors #2 - 25,600  ( -7.7%)
12/09  #3 of 5           - 24,308  ( -5.0%)
01/10  ---
02/10  #4 of 5           - 22,804  ( -6.2%)
03/10  #5 of 5           - 22,294  ( -2.2%)
04/10  ---
05/10  ---
06/10  Hardcases #1      - 20,802  ( -6.7%)
07/10  #2 of 5           - 19,194  ( -7.7%)
08/10  #3 of 5           - 18,352  ( -4.4%)
09/10  ---
10/10  #4 of 5           - 17,186  ( -6.4%)
11/10  #5 of 5           - 16,751  ( -2.5%)
                           6 mnth  (  --- )
                           1 year  (-34.6%)

Drifting down, but bear in mind that THE STAND is presumably targeted to a large extent at readers of the collected editions.

113. THUNDERSTRIKE
11/10  #1 of 5 - 15,689

Revival of the mid-nineties THOR spin-off. Seems a rather odd time to do it, when the market is being saturated with actual Thor material.

117. BULLSEYE: PERFECT GAME
11/10  #1 of 2 - 15,462

A seemingly random Bullseye miniseries, rather oddly scheduled to come out after the character was killed off in SHADOWLAND.

122. DEADPOOL: PULP
09/10  #1 of 4 - 20,965
10/10  #2 of 4 - 16,782  (-20.0%)
11/10  #3 of 4 - 15,009  (-10.6%)

Well, it’s doing better than the NOIR books were, to be fair.

123. ANT-MAN & WASP
11/10  #1 of 3 - 14,975

That would be a team-up of Hank Pym (the current Wasp) and the current version of Ant-Man, from HACK/SLASH creator Tim Seeley. It’s actually very readable, in the vein of IRREDEEMABLE ANT-MAN, but the characters may not have the prominence to support this sort of mini.

125. BLACK WIDOW
04/10  #1 - 32,807
05/10  #2 - 23,384  (-28.7%)
06/10  #3 - 19,892  (-14.9%)
07/10  #4 - 18,665  ( -6.2%)
08/10  #5 - 17,568  ( -5.9%)
09/10  #6 - 18,499  ( +5.3%)
10/10  #7 - 16,653  (-10.0%)
11/10  #8 - 14,856  (-10.9%)
            6 mnth  (-36.5%)

Cancelled, though it effectively continues into the WIDOWMAKER miniseries (originally planned as a crossover between this book and HAWKEYE & MOCKINGBIRD).

126. SHADOWLAND: BLOOD ON THE STREETS
08/10  #1 of 4 - 22,110
09/10  #2 of 4 - 19,199  (-13.2%)
10/10  #3 of 4 - 16,396  (-14.6%)
11/10  #4 of 4 - 14,617  (-10.9%)

SHADOWLAND itself is on a skip month, as is parent title DAREDEVIL, but we still have some of the tie-in minis hanging in there at the lower end of the chart. Considering the obscure characters involved, this actually hasn’t done badly.

130. HAWKEYE AND MOCKINGBIRD
06/10  #1 - 27,552
07/10  #2 - 20,531  (-25.5%)
08/10  #3 - 17,870  (-13.0%)
09/10  #4 - 16,405  ( -8.2%)
10/10  #5 - 15,337  ( -6.5%)
11/10  #6 - 14,217  ( -7.3%)

Cancelled, though as noted above, it leads into WIDOWMAKER and, it seems, from there into a Hawkeye solo mini.

132. SHADOWLAND: DAUGHTERS OF THE SHADOW
08/10  #1 of 3 - 19,513
09/10  #2 of 3 - 16,265  (-16.6%)
10/10  ---
11/10  #3 of 3 - 14,129  (-13.1%)

Again, not too bad given the prominence of the characters.

134. IRON MAN LEGACY
04/10  #1 - 48,956
05/10  #2 - 29,175  (-40.4%)
06/10  #3 - 23,340  (-20.0%)
07/10  #4 - 20,142  (-13.7%)
08/10  #5 - 17,773  (-11.8%)
09/10  #6 - 15,949  (-10.3%)
10/10  #7 - 14,882  ( -6.7%)
11/10  #8 - 13,686  ( -8.0%)
            6 mnth  (-53.1%)

Below two cancelled titles and surely in some danger.

135. SHADOWLAND: POWER MAN
08/10  #1 of 4 - 21,206
09/10  #2 of 4 - 17,647  (-17.0%)
10/10  #3 of 4 - 15,147  (-14.2%)
11/10  #4 of 4 - 13,584  (-10.3%)

A sequel, POWER MAN AND IRON FIST (with the new Power Man and the original Iron Fist), is coming out in early 2011.

137. OZMA OF OZ
11/10  #1 of 8 - 13,222

More Oz, doing considerably better than usual for Marvel’s novel adaptations.

138. TASKMASTER
09/10  #1 of 4 - 18,550
10/10  #2 of 4 - 14,553  (-21.5%)
11/10  #3 of 4 - 13,127  ( -9.8%)

Levelling out relatively quickly, at least. (And it’s very good.)

141,152. IRON MAN: RAPTURE
11/10  #1 of 4 - 12,479
11/10  #2 of 4 - 11,239  (-9.9%)

A Marvel Knights mini by Alexander Irvine and Lan Medina. Two issues this month, a format which often leads to relatively modest second-issue drops being balanced out next month.

142. I AM AN AVENGER
09/10  #1 of 5 - 20,922
10/10  #2 of 5 - 14,882  (-28.9%)
11/10  #3 of 5 - 12,277  (-17.5%)

Anthology title, looking like the sales won’t be very pretty by the end of the run.

143. AVENGERS & THE INFINITY GAUNTLET
08/10  #1 of 4 - 24,438
09/10  #2 of 4 - 17,733  (-27.4%)
10/10  #3 of 4 - 13,796  (-22.2%)
11/10  #4 of 4 - 12,064  (-12.6%)

All-ages retelling of INFINITY GAUNTLET, and by those standards it’s done well.

145,148. X-MEN FOREVER
11/09  #11  - 20,130  ( -9.7%)
11/09  #12  - 19,541  ( -2.9%)
12/09  #13  - 18,870  ( -3.4%)
12/09  #14  - 18,376  ( -2.6%)
01/10  #15  - 17,665  ( -3.9%)
01/10  #16  - 17,290  ( -2.1%)
02/10  #17  - 17,873  ( +3.4%)
02/10  #18  - 16,464  ( -7.9%)
03/10  #19  - 16,183  ( -1.7%)
03/10  #20  - 15,990  ( -1.2%)
04/10  #21  - 15,530  ( -2.9%)
04/10  #22  - 15,305  ( -1.4%)
05/10  #23  - 15,045  ( -1.7%)
05/10  #24  - 14,940  ( -0.7%)
06/10  GS#1 - 15,039  ( +0.7%)
06/10  #1   - 16,094  ( +7.0%)
06/10  #2   - 14,933  ( -7.2%)
07/10  #3   - 14,151  ( -5.2%)
07/10  #4   - 13,835  ( -2.2%)
08/10  #5   - 13,632  ( -1.5%)
08/10  #6   - 13,351  ( -2.1%)
09/10  #7   - 12,869  ( -3.6%)
09/10  #8   - 12,753  ( -0.9%)
10/10  #9   - 12,260  ( -3.9%)
10/10  #10  - 12,064  (-16.0%)
11/10  #11  - 12,018  ( -0.4%)
11/10  #12  - 11,756  ( -2.2%)
              6 mnth  (-21.3%)
              1 year  (-41.6%)

Cancelled with #16.

149. INCREDIBLE HULKS: ENIGMA FORCE
09/10  #1 of 3 - 16,206
10/10  #2 of 3 - 12,634  (-22.0%)
11/10  #3 of 3 - 11,696  ( -7.4%)

Not great sales for a Micronauts mini, but it’s only three issues and wasn’t particularly clearly promoted. (Well, that’ll happen when you can’t call them “Micronauts” any more.)

156. YOUNG ALLIES
06/10  #1 - 20,858
07/10  #2 - 16,209  (-22.3%)
08/10  #3 - 14,016  (-13.5%)
09/10  #4 - 12,620  (-10.0%)
10/10  #5 - 11,265  (-10.7%)
11/10  #6 - 11,015  ( -2.2%)

Cancelled. Issue #7 was solicited but isn’t shipping.

161. NEW MUTANTS FOREVER
08/10  #1 of 5 - 16,784
09/10  #2 of 5 - 13,778  (-17.9%)
10/10  #3 of 5 - 11,910  (-13.6%)
11/10  #4 of 5 - 10,515  (-11.7%)

Fairly close to its spiritual parent title X-MEN FOREVER, which is as good as could reasonably have been hoped for.

162. KLAWS OF THE PANTHER
11/05  BP #10     - 31,987
11/06  #22        - 41,268
11/07  #32        - 28,426
11/08  ---
=====
11/09  BP #10     - 19,147  (  -5.9%)
12/09  #11        - 17,989  (  -6.0%)
01/10  #12        - 17,881  (  -1.0%)
02/10  Doomwar #1 - 43,241  (+141.8%)
03/10  #2 of 6    - 30,555  ( -29.3%)
04/10  #3 of 6    - 27,859  (  -8.9%)
05/10  #4 of 6    - 28,307  (  +1.6%)
06/10  #5 of 6    - 26,041  (  -8.0%)
07/10  ---
08/10  #6 of 6    - 24,797  (  -4.8%)
09/10  ---
10/10  Klaws #1   - 16,973  ( -31.6%)
10/10  #2 of 4    - 12,960  ( -23.6%)
11/10  #3 of 4    - 10,356  ( -20.1%)
                    6 mnth  ( -63.4%)
                    1 year  ( -45.9%)
                    2 year  (   --- )
                    3 year  ( -63.6%)
                    4 year  ( -74.9%)
                    5 year  ( -67.6%)

This looks set to dip below the 10K mark next month. With T’Challa taking over as the lead character of DAREDEVIL for a while, this surely marks the end of the BLACK PANTHER title until the next inevitable relaunch comes around.

165. STRANGE TALES 2  [Max]
10/10  #1 of 3 - 11,800
11/10  #2 of 3 -  9,960  (-15.6%)

Maybe it’s just me, but this doesn’t seem to be attracting as much attention as the original mini did.

167. CAPTAIN AMERICA: FOREVER ALLIES
08/10  #1 of 4 - 17,418
09/10  #2 of 4 - 13,131  (-24.6%)
10/10  #3 of 4 - 10,813  (-17.7%)
11/10  #4 of 4 -  9,905  ( -8.4%)

A Young Allies reunion series, which is plainly a rather niche proposition.

173. OFFICIAL HANDBOOK
02/10  A to Z Update #1 of 5 -  5,406
03/10  Deadpool Corps        - 21,900  (+305.1%)
04/10  Iron Manual Mark 3    -  9,456  ( -56.8%)
05/10  Avengers Assemble #1  - 15,113  ( +59.8%)
06/10  A to Z Update #2 of 5 -  5,312  ( -64.9%)
07/10  X-Men: Phoenix Force  -  9,566  ( +80.1%)
08/10  A to Z Update #3 of 5 -  4,962  ( -48.1%)
09/10  Heroic Age: Heroes    - 11,224  (+126.2%)
10/10  A to Z Update #4 of 5 -  4,990  ( -55.5%)
11/10  Heroic Age: Villains  -  9,294  ( +86.3%)
                               6 mnth  ( -38.5%)

As usual, wavering all over the place according to theme. The HEROIC AGE profile books aren’t really handbooks in the normal sense, but they’re filling the same slot on the schedule, so I’m treating them as part of the same series for now.

189. WOMEN OF MARVEL
11/10  #1 of 2 - 8,145

Reprints from Marvel’s digital service.

And from here on, it’s all-ages books, movie adaptations, promotional material and so forth, all included here for the sake of completeness.

191. AVENGERS: EARTH'S MIGHTIEST HEROES
11/10  #1 of 4 - 7,934

209. TRON: ORIGINAL MOVIE ADAPTATION
11/10  #1 of 2 - 6,854

226. X-MEN: CURSE OF THE MUTANTS SPOTLIGHT
11/10  One-shot - 5,962

228.  AVENGERS VS PET AVENGERS
02/10  Tails        - 8,214  (-27.6%)
03/10  Unleashed #1 - 8,554  ( +4.1%)
04/10  #2 of 4      - 6,767  (-20.9%)
05/10  #3 of 4      - 6,339  ( -6.3%)
06/10  #4 of 4      - 6,166  ( -2.7%)
07/10  Dogs/Summer  - 5,142  (-16.6%)
08/10  ---
09/10  ---
10/10  #1 of 4      - 7,097  (+38.0%)
11/10  #2 of 4      - 5,871  (-17.3%)
                     6 mnth  ( -7.4%)

231. TRON: THE BETRAYAL
10/10  #1 of 2 - 10,934
11/10  #2 of 2 -  5,742  (-47.5%)

233,236. SPIDER-MAN  [Marvel Adventures]
11/06  #9  - 6,637
11/07  #21 - 6,529
11/08  #33 - 6,126
=====
11/09  #57 - 4,501  (  -1.7%)
12/09  #58 - 4,352  (  -3.3%)
01/10  #59 - 4,315  (  -0.9%)
02/10  #60 - 4,212  (  -2.4%)
03/10  #61 - 4,200  (  -2.8%)
04/10  #1  - 9,770  (+132.6%)
05/10  #2  - 7,709  ( -21.1%)
06/10  #3  - 7,200  (  -6.6%)
07/10  #4  - 6,347  ( -11.8%)
08/10  #5  - 6,202  (  -2.3%)
09/10  #6  - 5,779  (  -6.8%)
10/10  ---
11/10  #7  - 5,603  (  -3.0%)
11/10  #8  - 5,269  (  -6.0%)
            6 mnth  ( -31.7%)
            1 year  ( +17.1%)
            2 year  ( -14.0%)
            3 year  ( -19.3%)
            4 year  ( -20.6%)

243. SUPER HERO SQUAD
11/09  #3  - 4,384  (  -2.5%)
12/09  #4  - 4,132  (  -5.7%)
01/10  #1  - 9,709  (+135.0%)
02/10  #2  - 5,691  ( -41.4%)
03/10  #3  - 5,399  (  -5.1%)
04/10  #4  - 5,822  (  +7.8%)
05/10  #5  - 5,639  (  -3.1%)
06/10  #6  - 6,029  (  +6.9%)
07/10  #7  - 5,328  ( -11.6%)
08/10  #8  - 5,358  (  +0.6%)
09/10  #9  - 5,304  (  -1.0%)
10/10  #10 - 5,139  (  -3.1%)
11/10  #11 - 4,977  (  -3.2%)
            6 mnth  ( -11.7%)
            1 year  ( +13.5%)

266. MARVELMAN FAMILY'S FINEST
07/10  #1 of 6 - 17,739
08/10  #2 of 6 -  9,324  (-47.4%)
09/10  #3 of 6 -  6,151  (-34.0%)
10/10  #4 of 6 -  4,707  (-23.5%)
11/10  #5 of 6 -  3,993  (-15.2%)

276. SUPER HEROES  [Marvel Adventures]
11/08  #5  - 4,233
=====
11/09  #17 - 3,308  ( +1.8%)
12/09  #18 - ?,???  (  ??? )
01/10  #19 - 3,103  (  ??? )
02/10  #20 - 3,008  ( -3.1%)
03/10  #21 - ?,???  (  ??? )
04/10  #1  - 8,107  (  ??? )
05/10  #2  - 6,360  (-21.5%)
06/10  #3  - 5,678  (-10.7%)
07/10  #4  - 4,564  (-19.6%)
08/10  #5  - 4,418  ( -3.2%)
09/10  #6  - ?,???  (  ??? )
10/10  #7  - 3,800  (  ??? )
11/10  #8  - 3,541  ( -6.8%)
            6 mnth  (-44.3%)
            1 year  ( +7.0%)
            2 year  (-16.3%)

293. OFFICIAL INDEX TO THE MARVEL UNIVERSE
11/09  #11  - 3,739  ( -6.1%)
12/09  #12  - 3,689  ( -1.3%)
01/10  #13  - 3,248  (-12.0%)
02/10  #14  - 3,161  ( -2.7%)
03/10  ---
04/10  ---
05/10  #1   - 4,997  (+58.1%)
06/10  #2   - ?,???  (  ??? )
07/10  #3   - 3,776  (  ??? )
08/10  #4   - 3,448  ( -8.7%)
09/10  #5   - ?,???  (  ??? )
10/10  #6   - ?,???  (  ??? )
11/10  #7   - 2,947  (  ??? )
             6 mnth  (-41.0%)
             1 year  (-21.2%)


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

+ 73.3% - Wolverine
+ 40.5% - Chaos War/Hercules
+  2.2% - Ultimate Comics Spider-Man
-  1.8% - Fantastic Four
-  4.7% - Thunderbolts
-  7.3% - Amazing Spider-Man
-  7.4% - Pet Avengers
-  9.6% - Uncanny X-Force
- 11.7% - Super Hero Squad
- 18.0% - Secret Warriors
- 18.8% - New Avengers
- 20.4% - Thor
- 21.3% - X-Men Forever
- 22.0% - Hulk
- 23.6% - Invincible Iron Man
- 24.7% - Uncanny X-Men
- 26.4% - Incredible Hulks
- 26.7% - Deadpool
- 29.4% - Daken: Dark Wolverine
- 30.5% - Ultimate Comics Avengers
- 31.7% - Spider-Man (Marvel Adventures)
- 33.5% - Deadpool Team-Up
- 35.3% - Deadpool Corps
- 36.2% - X-Factor
- 36.5% - Black Widow
- 37.3% - X-Men Legacy
- 38.5% - Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe
- 41.0% - Official Index to the Marvel Universe
- 44.3% - Super Heroes (Marvel Adventures)
- 45.8% - Secret Avengers
- 47.4% - Avengers
- 53.0% - New Mutants
- 53.1% - Iron Man Legacy
- 63.4% - Black Panther


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

+ 42.9% - Wolverine
+ 17.1% - Spider-Man (Marvel Adventures)
+ 14.0% - Chaos War/Hercules
+ 13.5% - Super Hero Squad
+  7.0% - Super Heroes (Marvel Adventures)
+  4.7% - Uncanny X-Force
+  1.5% - Thunderbolts
-  4.3% - Fantastic Four
-  8.2% - Thor
- 10.3% - New Avengers
- 13.9% - X-Men Legacy
- 14.0% - Amazing Spider-Man
- 15.5% - Incredible Hulks
- 16.6% - Uncanny X-Men
- 17.4% - Ultimate Comics Spider-Man
- 19.6% - Punisher
- 21.2% - Official Index to the Marvel Universe
- 23.7% - New Mutants
- 23.8% - Secret Warriors
- 26.5% - Hulk
- 33.0% - Deadpool
- 33.5% - Invincible Iron Man
- 34.6% - The Stand
- 37.6% - Daken: Dark Wolverine
- 37.7% - Ultimate Comics Avengers
- 41.6% - X-Men Forever
- 45.9% - Black Panther
- 51.0% - Captain America
- 55.3% - Deadpool Team-Up


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

-  1.3% - Uncanny X-Force
-  8.5% - Thunderbolts
- 14.0% - Spider-Man (Marvel Adventures)
- 16.3% - Super Heroes (Marvel Adventures)
- 17.0% - Invincible Iron Man
- 20.0% - Chaos War/Hercules
- 21.0% - Amazing Spider-Man
- 22.3% - Ultimate Comics Spider-Man
- 25.4% - Uncanny X-Men
- 25.5% - X-Factor
- 31.1% - X-Men Legacy
- 33.2% - Punisher
- 36.8% - Deadpool
- 37.3% - Captain America
- 38.5% - Fantastic Four
- 45.1% - Wolverine
- 57.4% - Hulk
- 62.1% - Incredible Hulks


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

- 19.3% - Spider-Man (Marvel Adventures)
- 21.5% - Wolverine
- 34.1% - Ultimate Comics Spider-Man
- 35.4% - Captain America
- 35.6% - Fantastic Four
- 38.1% - New Avengers
- 43.4% - Uncanny X-Men
- 52.1% - Punisher
- 53.9% - Thor
- 56.9% - X-Men Legacy
- 63.6% - Black Panther
- 66.2% - Incredible Hulks
- 66.3% - X-Factor

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

+ 13.7% - Thunderbolts
- 20.6% - Spider-Man (Marvel Adventures)
- 34.5% - Uncanny X-Men
- 37.8% - X-Factor
- 40.7% - Captain America
- 45.4% - X-Men Legacy
- 46.6% - Invincible Iron Man
- 47.4% - Ultimate Comics Spider-Man
- 48.4% - Wolverine
- 55.7% - Amazing Spider-Man
- 59.2% - Incredible Hulks
- 64.8% - New Avengers
- 74.9% - Black Panther
- 80.5% - Punisher


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

+ 25.6% - Thunderbolts
+  5.1% - Captain America
- 16.5% - Incredible Hulks
- 21.0% - Fantastic Four
- 30.0% - Uncanny X-Men
- 34.0% - Amazing Spider-Man
- 40.0% - Wolverine
- 44.2% - X-Men Legacy
- 47.1% - New Avengers
- 47.2% - Ultimate Comics Spider-Man
- 67.6% - Black Panther

Comments

  1. Steve says:

    Paul,

    You do a lot of work on these columns, but I really wonder if each book needs a comment. Maybe I’m biased as the only Marvel title I’ve followed over the last three years is the Fantastic Four, but the comments don’t make sense.

    When Millar and Hitch were on the book, you constantly stated that the book underperformed despite a high-level creative team. When Hickman and Co. started, sales went lower and have kept drifting. The current “three” storyline had a slight bounce and is dropping again.

    March will see the first time Marvel does not publish a Fantastic Four title since 1961, almost 50 years. In hindsight, the Millar/Hitch factor did better than new writer and variant covers. So did Millar/Hitch underperform or is this book just a tough sell? The only time the title recently saw a sustained boost was in the Civil War/Initiative era which also changed the line-up. So Marvel goes back to what worked with New Avengers, Initiative FF and Bucky Cap, change the dynamic of the book so it no longer resembles the classic version. FF #1, this March for an extra buck a month.

    Instead for analysis we get sales are better than when the last time we didn’t have a variant. I’m sorry, but saying that the Three storyline is successful is like saying a jumper’s body bouncing up off of the pavement after impact is showing signs of life.

    None of this is a knock on Hickman’s work. I think the last several creative teams have done good work. Also, if I were the editor, I’d make the same change as nothing seems to break the book above the 50K mark and now is hitting the 30Ks regularly.

  2. Man, those are some ugly-ass numbers. Marvel would be really wise to set a hard bright line at 20k, and both cancel anything below that line, and not solicit new books that don’t seem likely to surpass it. They’re choking THEMSELVES to death, and this is scary to watch.

    (I think any kind of “Decent performance” comments on books selling below 20k are kind of epically misinformed, actually)

    First quarter numbers are going to be insanely ugly, at this rate — my February-shipping order form is the single lowest order I’ve placed in the last decade (maybe longer, but it isn’t worth the time to actually check)

    It’s possible that, by March, Marvel won’t have more than 4-5 comics selling over 50k (!) — I don’t think that the “point one” initiative is going to move the needle one tiny bit…

    ****

    Is that drop from 18k to 4k on MIRACLEMAN FAMILY’S FINEST the single largest percentage drop on a mini-series in DM history? I think it might be… and there’s still an issue to go to drop even farther.

    If they even released the Moore/Gaiman material now would anyone care?

    -B

  3. If I’m counting everything correctly (might not be), Marvel is now publishing 46 titles will sales under 20k, versus just 45 with sales above 20k

    In November of 2009, that was 37 under 20k/59 over.

    -B

  4. Tony Jazz says:

    I wonder if the report on DC will be any different. As a life-long Marvel zombie, I stopped buying most of their books as I couldn’t afford $4 a book….

    But my purchasing of DC comics has more than tripled due to their better pricing policies…

    For example, I would have bought the following books (if they had been $3 instead of $4):

    Shadowland series
    Spider-Girl
    Avengers
    Ultimate Spider-Man
    some of the Deadpool variants
    (and some older:)
    Realms of Kings (did I get that title right?)
    The Eye of the Camera series

    ..and on a different note, what happened to the Twelve? Captain America: White?

  5. Naveed says:

    DC also has numerous titles in the lower 15-25k mark, but most of their books show better stability. Marvel was doing great the past 3-5 years consistently ahead of DC but the tide is turning (see past 2 months sales charts) , the overpricing, overexposure of several B characters, the renumbering and back and forth of their flag ship titles, have led them in a different direction. I am a fan of both companies, favoring a little more DC, but must say DC is doing good with Blackest night, brightest day, Batman, etc…

    A question about FF, I read that Steve mentioned March will be the first time in 50 years we get no FF?? Did I miss something or miss-read?

  6. Isaac Lawrence says:

    Yeah, technically Steve is right, because even though FF (Future Foundation?) #1 launches in March and is in essence a Fantastic Four comic, it’s not the FANTASTIC FOUR comic that we’ve had over the last almost 50 years.

    February’s FANTASTIC FOUR #588 is the last Fantastic Four comic.

    Of course, the assumption is that FF will run for about 12 issues and then be relaunched as FANTASTIC FOUR #600, but, y’know…

  7. srfan says:

    I thought Spider-Woman ended because Bendis did not want to continue without Maleev, who had other obligations. Yet here they are three issues and six months into another collaboration.

    What gives?

    I was interested in Black Widow and received the first three issues before I was able to get my Spider-Woman subscription switched over to my Cap subscription. Decided not to buy it past those three issues due to the very good chance it would be canned. Wonder if Marvel will find a way to get two trades out of the eight issues.

  8. Naveed says:

    Thanks Isaac for the FF clarification. I will drop the book from my pick up list immediately to avoid another F%?&*!!! Marvel relaunch and number switching, thinking about dropping Iron Man with the crappy no.500 due out shortly. Marvel has the worst numbering system and killed many titles and new fans whom may have been tempted to trace some back issues for any series that makes it beyond 50 issues. (not many nowadays). Black Widow was not bad, canned in only 8 issues, the Marvel line is in terrible shape. I wonder if the Disney folks are involved in anything, they took over 1 year, which corresponded with the acceleration of Marvel’s decline. Just wondering.

  9. I’m worried that measuring the dwindling sales of superhero comics in bricks-and-mortar stores might be a bit like staying onboard the Titanic long enough to calculate the rate of it’s descent. I’m not against superhero comics, mind you, but we’ve certainly not seen a lot of forward thinking in the major publishing houses. A monthly measurement of the numerous Batman titles really only tells us how many people are willing to by more than one Batman comic a month.

    I’m sorry, but don’t the percentages mentioned here for multiple titles showcase the ripe competitive energy of too few publisher with too little to offer vying for the attention of what they know to be a dwindling market?

  10. rocketeuropa says:

    Ha, ha, ha,…
    As a fan of Marvel back in the sixties (and worked for them briefly as an artist in the seventies), I don’t find these figures at all surprising.
    Marvel died when Stan and Jack left. Anything since is tantamount to trying to resserect a dead moldy corpse, especially with the terrible storytelling skills of today’s “artists”. Awful!!
    I wish someone would finally place the final nail in this festering market’s coffin and be done with it.

  11. Wow. 9 Thor titles in a single month. So Marvel is effectively cannibalizing themselves. Very good business plan.
    And Spider-Man is back in the low-to-mid 50s again. Seems like they can’t seem to get that one back on track regardless of how many “big” new storylines they announce.
    No surprise that they are trying more day and date digital releases to try and prop up sales. But anyone who pays the same full cover price for a digital comic is being foolish. The reason they published so many $3.99 comics is because people kept buying them. If people are paying the same full cover price for digital releases, then they will continue to charge that price even though their costs are less.

  12. JeffF says:

    “Is that drop from 18k to 4k on MIRACLEMAN FAMILY’S FINEST the single largest percentage drop on a mini-series in DM history? I think it might be… and there’s still an issue to go to drop even farther.

    If they even released the Moore/Gaiman material now would anyone care?”

    I would. I have no interest in Miracleman/Marvelman the character, his origins, early stories, but I am interested in Moore and Gaiman material that is relatively unavailable.

    “I thought Spider-Woman ended because Bendis did not want to continue without Maleev, who had other obligations. Yet here they are three issues and six months into another collaboration.

    What gives?”

    Maleev was burned out on Spider-Woman and wanted to get to work on their created-owned project Scarlet. Bendis didn’t want to work on Spider-Woman without Maleev, so it ended. They are obligated to do another series for Marvel, so they’ll be doing Scarlet and Moon Knight, supposedly starting in May.

  13. KentuckyFriedHorse says:

    Paul, let me tell you why I wasn’t interested in the Hope spinoff from the recent storyline in Uncanny.

    A) The new mutant characters “activated” in the lead in story from Uncanny were, to put it nicely, bland.

    B)The Portacio art didn’t help with this matter.

    C)From the preview that ran in the back of some of the X-Books, the mini seemed like it would be more run-of-the-mill generic who hates mutants this month fare.

  14. So 2005, a modernish comics golden age?

  15. I really don’t understand the logic of claiming that FF #1 is somehow a different title from FANTASTIC FOUR. This is hardly the first time they’ve written out one of the main characters, even for an extended period of time – they’ve done it before with both Ben and Reed. I can’t see what makes this any different beyond the renumbering stunt.

    Brian: Marvel do seem to be in the process of cancelling ongoing titles with sales below 20K. The ones that remain are all-ages books (for which different standards have long applied); books in mid-storyline (so you wouldn’t expect them to announce a cancellation until they solicit the final chapter); reference books (who knows what the economics are on those?); and THE STAND, which presumably does okay in collected editions. Since this seems to be a recent change of tack, I can’t help wondering whether we’ll see a similar change of policy when it comes to commissioning books like FOREVER ALLIES which nobody could possibly have expected to clear the 20K threshold for its entire run.

    Re GENERATION HOPE: I agree that the “Five Lights” storyline in UNCANNY was ineffective at introducing the characters, in large part because the story didn’t actually provide them with an opportunity to do anything besides whimper for an issue. Nonetheless, it’s a new series which introduces the first new mutants since M-Day (something which logically ought to be a major, major plot development) and which was built up by a line-wide crossover and an entire storyline in the flagship X-book. Those ought to be some major points in its favour, and yet the sales don’t seem to reflect that. If this concept isn’t engaging X-Men readers, then that ought to be serious cause for concern, because it’s basically been the direction of the line for the last three or four years.

  16. Could one of the problems with Generation Hope be that readers (like me) assumed it was another anthology miniseries? Marvel has been doing that the past few years — releasing an anthology named after whatever the ongoing storyline is, especially in the X-Men line of books.

  17. Isaac Lawrence says:

    In regards to the Fantastic Four:

    You’re right, Paul. Outside of the renumbering stunt, the only real difference is the renaming of the comic itself.

    So for the first time in nearly 50 years Marvel won’t be publishing a comic entitled FANTASTIC FOUR.

    True, in the grand scheme of things this may be a distinction without much of a difference, but it is what it is…

  18. BiffordMichael says:

    Generation Hope is beyond awful. The Hope character seems to be written differently by every writer that gets near her which doesn’t help…the new characters activated are useless as well. It’s the lone X-book I don’t buy…well along with those bizarre multiple story mini-series thingys.

    Biff

  19. Tony Jazz says:

    Sorry, rocketeuropa, but there’s been wonderful stuff delivered under the Marvel imprint in the last 2 decades (and I was a 60s Marvel fan, too). I won’t list my favorites, as everyone has different ones.

    …and the quality of paper along with the wonderful new computer coloring makes comics more beautiful than they’ve ever been.

    But, back to Marvel’s direction, the company does seem to be going down the tubes.

    Too many mediocre stories about characters that no one cares about (how many Avengers comics? how many X-men comics—which have destroyed that franchise? on and on…)

    And a personal beef of mine: their association with Orson Scott Card, who is an insane homophobe (he threatened to try to overthrow the US government if same sex marriage became legal). Marvel should not be associated with this effeminate man, and I’m certain that they would not work with him if he was a documented racist (though I suspect he is also one).

  20. Steve says:

    2011 is the 50th anniversary of the Fantastic Four. As of now it looks like 10 months of the year including the month of the anniversary, there is no title called Fantastic Four.

    Could you imagine Marvel in 2012 having only one Spider-Man book with out Spider-Man in the title? Can’t call it the Spider as I believe someone else has the trademark. How about one Iron Man book in 2013 called Man or Iron?

    Again, this is why I don’t get the analysis. The brand “Fantastic Four” has fallen so far that Marvel is running away from it during it’s 50th anniversary. During all the membership changes the book has been the Fantastic Four. Why? It’s the flagship title. Under the current creative team and bad economy a stable selling book which would spike and then drop back to its level has lost another 20 to 30% of its readers. That’s with variant covers. Instead it’s the glass half-full, “The last issue without a variant was issue #582, and sales are up from there, presumably on the strength of interest in the storyline”.

    Maybe I’m looking at this wrong, but if the book was at the top, like X-Men was when Grant Morrison came onto that book, I think we’d be looking at Fantastic Four #589 in March.

  21. PeterCSM says:

    Steve said: “You do a lot of work on these columns, but I really wonder if each book needs a comment.”
    I really like each book on the list having a comment.

    I also like when somebody older, like rocketeuropa, talks about how great things were and how terrible they’ve been since. It’s cute.

    I’m surprised Marvel has Marjorie Liu writing as many books as they do. They never seem to do well or is that an unfair thing to state?
    Oh and Heroic Age: Villains had a really cool Jae Lee cover.

  22. beautfiul says:

    Beautiful, simply beautiful.

    You know what they say about self fulling prophecies…

  23. beautfiul says:

    And please nobody bring up the Fear Itself is a huge event and “no big event because means low sales numbers” argument.

    Shadowland was a huge event spanning multiple books but not the entire line, and it bombed even as Grim and Gritty too!

    So the whole “Grim N’ Gritty sells” is completely retarded and makes no sense in this context.

  24. Steve says:

    PeterCSM: I know that compiling all these books and having to say something about all of them is a huge amount of time and work. I commend Paul on doing it month in and month out, and I wanted to note that. It’s a thankless job to do all this work, and knowing that I’m drawing attention to a miniscule portion of it I couldn’t proceeded without acknowledging it as what I’m arguing about is minutia at best. I fully concede that the comments on the other hundred books might be spot-on. But based on one of the few titles I check out, I see a totally different picture.

    My own comic buying dropped to the point that starting in 2008, the only new book I read that came out close to monthly was Fantastic Four. Since 2000 the book sold about 50K. There would be short spikes: the $.09 issue, the JMS debut, Civil War and the Initiative. After a while the book drifted to 50K. The Millar/Hitch run debuted well and had a slower drift. Paul’s comments called this disappointing. It’s his opinion, and only Marvel knows if the book made money. Eventually the title ended up back where it always did. Marvel tried something different by using a new writer instead of someone like Waid, JMS or Millar. The comments by Paul acknowledged this. Sales went to their lowest level ever even with the use of variant covers almost every month.

    So now a member is being killed. No big deal, it’s been done before. The book’s getting a new #1. It’s been done before. Now during the 50th anniversary, they are not even using the title for the anniversary. Is it a big deal? For the 20th, 25th and 30th anniversaries, Marvel promoted the book with special issues of the actual book. Then sales were good.

    During this year, new sales lows were set several months in a row. Marvel is doing everything it can to draw attention to the title because it needs help. I get that. But I don’t think McDonald’s would celebrate the anniversary of the Big Mac by raising the price and rebranding it the BM. Why? The Big Mac is successful. Based on all that I think it’s pretty obvious that this run may be critically lauded but a sales disappointment.

    Now if Paul did this kind of writing on every title, he’d go bonkers. That’s why I suggested skipping comments on some titles. As a reader, I’d rather read a paragraph were I could follow the logic, than two sentences that make me say “WTF”?

  25. srfan says:

    JeffF, thanks for the explanation about Bendis/Maleev and Spider-Woman.

  26. Micah says:

    It’s interesting that Marvel would show their cards by all but eliminating variant editions, especially after all this time producing them. The numbers are reflecting the impact of the $4 price point.

    My Marvel buys are the mutant $3 books, and the oversized $4 Hulk and Amazing Spiderman. The quality is still there, but no one is going to try out a new series if the book is $4! Now the clock starts on when Marvel matches DC’s price point, and how they are going to spin the back-pedaling.

  27. It’s not that unusual for Marvel to do a month without a line-wide variant cover gimmick. It comes round three or four times a year.

  28. Wraith says:

    And this is where I come along and say “I told you guys so”.

  29. Grobbel says:

    @wraith:
    Even a broken clock is right twice a day.

  30. Yeah, because of the Orson Scott Card thing I basically only buy Marvel comics that personal friends of mine are involved in professionally. Glad I am not the only one bothered by their association with him. Maybe they could let him write a Hate Monger mini?

  31. JeffF says:

    srfan, you’re welcome.

  32. Samy Merchi says:

    I didn’t buy GENERATION HOPE because it has thoroughly average talent. I’m too old and tired to pick up every middling Marvel comic out there anymore.

    I do think it’s odd that for the bulk of the Fantastic Four’s anniversary year there won’t be a title called “Fantastic Four”. But who knows, maybe it’ll change back to “Fantastic Four” with #2 already.

  33. 50th anniversary of the Fantastic Four without a comic by that name being published? Why does that sound familiar?

    Oh, yeah: 50th anniversary of the Legion saw their comic and their cartoon both get cancelled. Nothing special to Marvel, this time around!

    (Maybe Marvel hopes to get Byrne back on the book in a couple years?)

  34. I want more comments, not fewer! The numbers mean less without analysis. I got what Paul was saying that Steve seems to be nonplussed by:

    1. The expectation was that Millar/Hitch (who had a fine run on the book and told some really cool stories) would blast the book up to Avengers levels. Didn’t happen.

    2. Hickman’s building a word of mouth and a mounting interest in 3. Does it compare to earlier periods of greater success, no? But what does anymore?

  35. Effeminate homophobes are totally the worst kind! Those macho ones are the pushovers!

    More seriously, I’ve refused to purchase any Orson Scott Card products ever again (and his Ultimate Iron Man was stupid), but I don’t condemn the company as a whole for working with him. It’s a business decision.

  36. errant says:

    The problem with Generation Hope is probably that it’s the 4th “new generation of mutants” book to be launched in the last several years (New Mutants vol. 2, leading to New X-Men, then Young X-Men). All of them have been abortions. Why would anyone expect this one to do better? It doesn’t even have an “X” in the title. That shouldn’t matter, but it’s pretty obvious that it does. And nobody believes this “first new mutants since M-Day” stuff because they’ve been getting around that the entire time by introducing mutants that we’d supposedly just never seen before, especially young ones. And they’d also just dumped a shitload of them into the books right before M-Day, so there’s not really been a shortage of young, unexplored mutants to write about and introduce into the casts of the various books.

  37. KentuckyFriedHorse says:

    RE:Errant,

    The sad part about it was that the characters introduced in New Mutants Vol.2 that carried over into New X-Men were actually very interesting. Some, such as Pixie, Rockslide and Elixir, still get some panel time, but others are all too often forgotten about(Prodigy, Surge).

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