The Relative Popularity of The 52 Relaunch Titles: Animal Man Up, Firestorm Down

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By Todd Allen

Marc-Oliver can tell you how the actual sales levels of the DC relaunch are, but let’s take a look at a slightly different metric: how do the relative popularity of the “New 52″ titles compare to the way that retailers initially ordered them?  With November’s sales estimates, we see orders where the retailers had a chance to see how the #1’s moved and potentially the #2’s in some cases, before the cutoff dates for adjusting orders.

What I’ve done here is compared the relative sales position of the DC titles in September (1-52, and counting Justice League as #1, even though it shipped the last week of August) with the relative positions of the titles in November.

It probably isn’t a surprise that the biggest riser was Animal Man, going from #35 ordered DC-52 title in September to the #25 title in November.  Up 10 slots on the relaunch-specific chart.  I was personally surprised to find out the biggest drop was Firestorm, from #30 down to #38.

The bulk of the titles stayed within 3 slots of their original order (up or down).  Outside of Justice League Dark, the surging sector of the relaunch seems to be the “Dark” area.  Of course, those titles weren’t ordered as heavily, so there’s more room for improvement.  And yes, Dan DiDio’s OMAC is on the up swing.

With that in mind, let’s see which titles have improved their station in life:

Title November Sales Rank September Sales Rank Change
ANIMAL MAN 25 35 10
DEMON KNIGHTS 34 43 9
FRANKENSTEIN AGENT OF SHADE 37 44 7
GRIFTER 41 46 5
BATWING 32 36 4
ALL STAR WESTERN 36 40 4
OMAC 48 52 4
AQUAMAN 12 15 3
BATWOMAN 13 16 3
SWAMP THING 19 22 3
I VAMPIRE 46 49 3
DETECTIVE COMICS 5 7 2
WONDER WOMAN 10 12 2
NIGHTWING 17 19 2
SUICIDE SQUAD 30 32 2
BATMAN THE DARK KNIGHT 7 8 1
RED HOOD AND THE OUTLAWS 24 25 1
STORMWATCH 28 29 1
JUSTICE LEAGUE 1 1 0
BATMAN 2 2 0
ACTION COMICS 3 3 0
GREEN LANTERN 4 4 0
BATMAN AND ROBIN 9 9 0
BATGIRL 11 11 0
TEEN TITANS 14 14 0
JUSTICE LEAGUE INTERNATIONAL 20 20 0
SUPERGIRL 23 23 0
RESURRECTION MAN 42 42 0
STATIC SHOCK 50 50 0
MEN OF WAR 51 51 0
FLASH 6 5 -1
RED LANTERNS 18 17 -1
SUPERMAN 8 6 -2
SUPERBOY 26 28 -2
LEGION OF SUPER HEROES 33 31 -2
DEATHSTROKE 35 33 -2
MISTER TERRIFIC 47 45 -2
VOODOO 49 47 -2
GREEN LANTERN CORPS 16 13 -3
CATWOMAN 21 24 -3
BIRDS OF PREY 29 26 -3
DC UNIVERSE PRESENTS 40 37 -3
HAWK AND DOVE 44 41 -3
JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK 22 18 -4
SAVAGE HAWKMAN 31 27 -4
BLACKHAWKS 52 48 -4
GREEN LANTERN NEW GUARDIANS 15 10 -5
LEGION LOST 39 34 -5
BLUE BEETLE 43 38 -5
CAPTAIN ATOM 45 39 -6
GREEN ARROW 27 21 -6
FURY OF FIRESTORM THE NUCLEAR MEN 38 30 -8

Comments

  1. thank you for this article, this is definitely an article I will follow. I’m glad that Animal Man and Demon Knights are on the rise. I’m bummed that New Guardians and Blue Beetle are taking some missteps. I’m a huge Kyle and Jaime fan!

  2. Interesting analysis, even if a title losing place or gaining places doesn’t necesseraly means losing/gaining sales. but it sure is an indicator of which titles clicked the bests with their readers.

    As far as I’m concerned, I bought 10 titles from the relaunch:

    Legion of SH and Legion Lost: I buy them only as a completist and waiting for a change. I almost force myself to read it. If the waiting is really too long, I will perhaps drop them.

    Voodoo: mistook it for a “Milestone relaunch” title. Dropped it with issue 2, before having read it but will not change my mind after reading it.

    Static Shock: same case than Legion except that I decied to drop it with issue 5. I’ll find the remaining issues in the back bin.

    Action comics: bought n°1 out of curiosity. Was OK but not worth purchasing another issue.

    Birds of Prey: dropped it with issue 4. Bought it for Jesus Saiz but was disapointed by his performance and the story was too predictable so…

    Mister Terrific: God that was such a disapointment. Bought it for Roger Robinson, no roger Robinson finally so I had not much expectations, but find it even worse than I thought it could be so dropped it with issue 3.

    Justice League Dark & Animal Man: even better than in my dreams. I keep it.

    Resurection Man: no disapointment at all. As good as I hoped! I keep it!

    OMAC: Very pleaseantly surprised. I keep it for sure!

    Wonder Woman: did not make the cut the first time but bought issue 1 later out of curiosity and now I’m following it with issue 4

    That makes 5 titles dropped, 5 remaining and 1 new on. 6 titles now instead of 10.

  3. Kater says:

    Technically Catwoman actually moved up three slots. Morally your statistics are of course absolutely correct! ^^

    Out of the 13 titles I’m interested in following, 8 are on the rise, 2 stayed the same and only 3 dropped a bit, so in general very good news for me! JLD dropped most, though is still doing good. Deadman is a shame though. It’s really well written.

    Yeah, the titles on the bottom had a little more air above them, so they could climb easier (even if JL’s saley actually went up it wouldn’t have a chance to climb in this list). Still I’m very happy for Animal Man and Demon Knights. Those two are my favourite comic books at them moment!

  4. Zoomy says:

    I don’t get why people on the internet are so down on Catwoman (especially since most of them don’t seem to have looked inside the front cover of #1 before making their minds up). It’s actually one of my favourites of the New 52 – the story of a woman who’s finding herself way over her head and spiralling out of control…

    One thing the bottom of the chart have in common, to me at least, is that the central characters are generally unlikeable people. I can’t really sympathise with Captain Atom (no real personality at all), Green Arrow (basically a loony) or the Firestorms (Jason is a complete jerk). On the other hand, Aquaman’s a really likeable guy now, and he’s moving up the charts! :-)

  5. I really wish DC had maintained the Firestorm arrangement set up during BRIGHTEST DAY. It was a great way to appeal to Ronnie Raymond fans like myself who have been waiting years to see Ronnie back in the driver’s seat while keeping Jason Rusch in the Firestorm Matrix mix and a making Jason a natural successor to Martin Stein.

    I don’t suppose there could be some nuclear-powered, shiny, candy-like Quantum Reset Button only a year into “The New 52,” could there?

  6. HubbaBubbaa says:

    How many copies a title sells should have little to no bearing on whether you continue to read that book! If you want to drop it because you’re not enjoying the storyline or artwork, then that’s fair. But basing your choices on sales figures is universally idiotic.

    The majority of comic book fans (in reference to the ones opining on the internet) try to come off like they’re educated and knowledgeable readers, but when you say things like “I’m glad I’m reading a book that’s selling XXk,” you need to understand that it’s equivalent to a high school popularity contest, ie “I’m reading this book because a lot of other people are reading this book, too.”

    Do you watch a television show because it’s charting at the top of Nielson’s ratings? Do you only watch movies that are top box office earners? Do you only read websites that have the highest page hits?

    Conversely, do you feel bad about yourself if you watch a television show that is not highly viewed by the masses? Are you ashamed sitting in the theatre of a movie that doesn’t rake in $50mil it’s opening weekend?

  7. David T.G. Riches says:

    @HubbaBubbaa “Do you watch a television show because it’s charting at the top of Nielson’s ratings? Do you only watch movies that are top box office earners? Do you only read websites that have the highest page hits?

    Conversely, do you feel bad about yourself if you watch a television show that is not highly viewed by the masses? Are you ashamed sitting in the theatre of a movie that doesn’t rake in $50mil it’s opening weekend?”

    Yes actually I do watch a TV show because it’s charting at the top. It’s a form of peer pressure because if everyone at the water cooler i talking about something you don’t want to be left out of the conversation so many times something you give up on can get a second chance simply because you want top find out what the deal is. It’s what kept Cheers going when it first started and it’ what happened with many other shows and books that gained momentum over time. It’s how I discovered The Office and stayed with LOST.
    Yes there is a converse to this that I can find the occasional episode of Rules Of Engagement to be a guilty little pleasure even though I know no one really watches it nor do I care to promote David Spade too much but seeing him trike out brings a little joy to my heart. Similarly I was ashamed to sit in the theatre for Green Lantern, and Midnight In Paris but for different reasons.
    Ratings are a form of measuring and showing success and we all want to be successful and associated with success so there is a peer pressure to watch some thing or catch something to be part of the crowd. It’s why you see in adverts the term “The #1″ for a lot of stuff the critics panned.

  8. Rikk Odinson says:

    Buy Legion Lost!

    After getting sidelined for years, I would really like to read about Wildfire and Dawnstar for awhile longer!

  9. David T.G. Riches says:

    BTW because I simply want to see how the current arc is going I will continue to collect some series but I can already tell that if they were one off issues I would have dropped Firestorm, Green Arrow, and Blackhawks on or before they came out. They are all action and no real character development. They need a clear concise points to lead us on our journey otherwise we resent what we have. Blackhawks needs a Jonas leader to say here is what and where we are going and not the sci-fi war story we got. Firestorm has so much bickering amongst the action that you miss the dumbing down banter we had decades ago. Green Arrow is just all over the place both action, art, and storytelling that you could switchout the bow and he could easily be the new Vigilante. FRANKENSTEIN AGENT OF SHADE, Animal Man, Birds Of Prey, actually seem to be taking us somewhere we want to go and see and you can see it in either the art or the storytelling or in the way the chapters are coming together. Somethings you want to tell people about besides the same old/nu Justice League.

  10. David T.G. Riches says:

    Legion Lost is one of those series that when you get the new issue you go back to read the previous issue again to say to yourself how did I miss that and then re read the new issue to enjoy all the more. Not for the fickle and not for jumping into lightly. Same for Justice League Dark which has at least one moment in each issue you look at and say “Cool!”

  11. Torsten Adair says:

    Can these numbers be indexed? Perhaps multiplied by the percentage of total issues sold that month? (Sorry… I grew up in Nebraska, so I’m a football rankings junkie.)

    I’m on the comp list for DC Comics, so I read almost all of the comics they publish. (Some get pushed to the bottom, and never get read, like the video game tie-ins.)

    I read all of the DC52 titles, starting with the issues from last month, then reading the current month. They are picked at random. Originally, given the hubbub over content, I read Catwoman, Red Hood, Swamp Thing, Animal Man at home, not on the subway. Since then, I don’t mind what the title is.

    Most series have great cliffhangers. Catwoman is in tight jam right now, facing a murder rap.

    Firestorm has some issues, and is somewhere in the middle of interest. O.M.A.C. is a blockbuster. Not much happening, but it’s a fun read.

    There doesn’t seem to be a lot happening in each issue, except maybe for Morrison’s Superman stories. I think these titles will read better in the trade collection. Right now, I’m curious about how everything is set up, how it compares to What Went Before, how crossovers are handled, and how the new stuff works.

  12. Captain Atom deserves better really. #1 wasn’t great, but #2 and #3 were a lot better. At the very least it deserves to be higher than Hawk & Dove, in my opinion.

    I’m happy that Demon Knights, Frankenstein, and OMAC (which admittedly, I doubted at issue #1 as well) are on the up though

  13. Mikael says:

    If you only use sales chart to determine what you’re reading, I feel bad for you.

  14. David T.G. Riches says:

    The sales chart doesn’t tell you what to read.
    It tell you what people are reading.
    With that lots of people are reading Justice League and no one wants to read Men of War or Blackhawks.

  15. HubbaBubba says:

    @DavidRiches — A lot of what you’re saying, to me, registers as a lack of self esteem, in particular, your admitted need to be in with the “water cooler crowd”…

    Look, I can understand someone picking up a new book due to buzz or heat from others, but implying it is associating yourself to success as a result, is laughable. In essence, you admit to being a follower, and not an independent free will thinker. Again, I understand that you might be more open to trying something new based on positive reviews by others, but…

    … I’m more concerned with people who say they DROP a book because sales are not as high as other books. That you feel any form of shame (or other negative associations) from reading — enjoying — something that might not be a “top seller”…

  16. Synsidar says:

    I’m buying three DC series — BATGIRL, BATWOMAN, and WONDER WOMAN — and they’re entertaining enough that I’ll continue buying them indefinitely.

    SRS

  17. BryanD says:

    I don’t know about other definitions, but for me I’m “happy” when a title I read goes up in readership because the likely-hood of the title remaining in circulation increases.

  18. I’d prefer Flash to be on a positive trend, but number 6 is definitely a worthy position for a book of its quality.

    From the looks of this, maybe I should follow Animal Man again?

  19. @Peter You and I are quite alike. I also enjoy Kyle and Jaime and both of their series are fantastic, with Blue Beetle being my favorite of The New 52!

  20. hondobrode says:

    This, to me, shows that the 52 has been a success.

    BTW, Catwoman went up 3 notches, not down, and Superboy went up 2 notches, not down.

    The two war titles are very close to being dropped, but, I hang on hoping to see how the first arc wraps up. Barely hanging on to Men of War and am probably dropping Blackhawks. I want to like them both, but the story itself has been really weak. The concept behind both is solid.

    Really surprised Demon Knights is up. That’s been the biggest disappointment of the 52 for me. Glad to see OMAC and Frankenstein, two of my favorite titles, climbing.

  21. James says:

    Cant believe Detective and Dark Knight are on the rise…. haha…

    Birds of Prey better not get a creative change! Its near the bottom of that list, and I am loving it! Gotta be one of best of the 52!

    Red Hood on the other hand is just… bad. Hes not the Jason Todd that Winnick (sp?) made me love! Had to cancel it! :(

  22. Excuse me but I checked icv2.com’s November Top 300 comics chart and their numbers are nothing like the ones you use here. With the exception of a few comics remaining stable all others are falling. Are you sure you did not use October’s chart instead? Because the New 52 is plummeting in November…

  23. The Real DCU says:

    WTF??? This article is FAKE!!! These are not November’s positions! DCnU is falling like a rock in November! More lies about the “success” of the New 52!

  24. Torsten Adair says:

    I’ll wait for the actual sales chart, but if DC is doing so bad, why did Aquaman NUMBER TWO sell 4470 additional copies, charting at #293? Animal Man #1? Swamp Thing #1? Detective Comics #1, with another 9368 copies into the third month?

    DC sold 3,015,883 copies on the Top 300 for November. 85 titles (including reorders) charted.

    DC sold 3,387,321 copies on the Top 300 for September (which does not include Justice League, which was an August title). 68 titles charted (including reorders).

    That’s a loss of 371,438 copies.
    11% from September to November.

    But consider… June, their dollar share was 28.3%. then it rose to 30.55, 30.72, 35.74, 42.47 for October, and 34.69% for November. Good numbers, considering that they charge $2.99 for most of their titles, where Marvel charges $3.99.

    Poor Marc-Oliver Frisch… either he notes the doom-and-gloom, and gets marked as a hater (as usual), or he tries to be optimistic given pre-52 sales, and gets tagged as a lickspittle. Tar-and-feathers on one side, paintballers on the other.

    Myself, I’ll wait for the data from the New 52 graphic novel sales.

  25. It’s all a big lie!

    These numbers are the “relative popularity of the 52 relaunch titles”, people. As in, Animal Man was the 35th most popular of the New 52 in September, and the 25th most popular of the New 52 in November.

Trackbacks

  1. […] Comics | Todd Allen compares the relative positions of DC’s New 52 titles in November with their September rankings; the November orders reflect the adjustments retailers made after seeing how the different titles sold in September. The results: Animal Man shot up by 10 slots, The Fury of Firestorm: The Nuclear Men sank by eight, but most titles only moved a few notches up or down. [The Beat] […]

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