What Happened To Shade and Other First Impressions From the November Sales Estimates

By Todd Allen

ICV2 has released it’s sales estimates for November (you know the drill, actually sales should be bumped somewhere by 10-20%, split the difference and call it 15%), and it’s shedding a little light on a few things.

What Happened To Shade

We have a little better idea why Shade might be on the verge of being in trouble.

Shade #1 – 30,648 copies
Shade #2 – 21,431 copies

That’s a 30% drop.

In an attempt to compare apples to apples, here’s a couple other mini’s launched in October:

Huntress#1 – 36,099
Huntress#2 – 28,377

21% drop.

Penguin: Pain and Prejudice #1 – 26,380
Penguin: Pain and Prejudice #2 – 21,021

20% drop.

DC probably has final numbers for Shade #3 and non-adjusted numbers for #4 and #5.  Since comic sales do tend to drift down, I can see why DC would be sweating on a 12 issue commitment if that doesn’t level out quickly.  This makes me sad, but I see where this is coming from.

Detective Comics

Detective continues to be a bigger hit than expected by most, but was anyone expecting 9,368 copies of #1 to be shipping in November?  That’s not the only #1 still getting reordered, but that’s a lot of belated demand.

Swamp Thing / Animal Man

OK, we all know that these two books are telling the same story from different angles and going to converge, right?  Apparently not, since Swamp Thing is getting ordered at 8K higher than Animal Man.  Decent odds there’s a run on Animal Man when the two books finally sync up.  (That or there are going to be some really puzzled Swamp Thing readers.)

Crossovers and Sales

Used to be, you’d cross a new book over into an established one to try and pull some new readers in.  With Marvel, it was usually crossing over with Spidey.

There are starting to be a few crossovers and guest appearances that aren’t Events (though one may be a precursor to an event).  Let’s see where this falls.

There’s an Amazing Spider-Man (~57K) – Daredevil (~38K) in the works.
Justice League Dark (46.5K) – I… Vampire (23.4K)
Static (21.9K) is guest-starring in Hawkman (31.6K)
Superman (77.7K) is going to be fighting the Daemonites when the new creative launches [villains in Grifter (26.8K) and Voodoo (22.5K)

For the most part, this is all a lessor book crossing over with a more popular book.  Hawkman and Static… I’ll be honest, that combo doesn’t make a lot of sense to me, but Static is the third lowest 52 title and needs the help.  I… Vampire also had a pretty steep drop from issue 2-3 and could use some new readers.  With the Daemonites, I’ve long suspected Stormwatch, Grifter and Voodoo were going to converge in an event and spawn a new WILDCats book.  With Paul Cornell off Stormwatch, Ron Marz off Voodoo and Grifter floating just above where the danger zone seems to be, I’m thinking the Wildstorm integration hasn’t gone as smoothly as hoped.

With Daredevil and Spider-Man, it may be more about a shared writer and Daredevil being under-appreciated.  It’s one of the best superhero books on the market and deserves higher sales.

Speaking of Low Sales

Might as well start the Save T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents campaign right now.  Vol. 2 launched with 14,794 estimated copies.  Very disappointing.  And it looked to me like DC was giving this a little more push than previous licensed books.  Reorders?

Comments

  1. Not a huge surpirse that so many of the non big name 52′s are already entering a perceived red zone four issues in. DC has done nothing to promote the books that needed a bigger push out the door up-front. They should have had sustained marketing muscule behind a good chunk of the less known titles for at least the first 6 issues to case their nets as wide as possible.

    We don’t need JLA, Superman or Batman getting the high level promotion or ads since they are already highly exposed to the general and super hero market place via cartoons, merchandising etc.

  2. I was a big, big Starman fan. I was excited about the Shade…I guess I just haven’t been impressed so far, and will probably drop it if it doesn’t get more appealing by say, issue 4.

    In all honesty: this book is 10 years too late.

    Also, it’s confusing, since it’s got NuDC Deathstroke, does that mean that Starman happened in the nuDC? Such a potential mess.

  3. Chris McClelland says:

    I was trade waiting for the Shade book. I have all of Robinson’s Starman in HC so I wanted Shade in that format too.

  4. If I was DC, I would put a preview in the back of every Justice League book highlighting a quality, lesser selling book. A different book highlighted every month.

  5. Snikt Snakt says:

    Pretty soon the only monthlies that will survive are JLA, Green Lantern, Batman and Superman titles…

  6. John Warren says:

    @Jason–The Shade and T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents were not “new 52″ books. They launched later.

  7. Corey Poole says:

    Really enjoying Shade so far, best thing Robinson has written in years. Also, some really nice art as well. Hopefully we can get the full run released.

  8. “Might as well start the Save T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents campaign right now.”

    Well, it’s a six-issue miniseries. Unless DC takes a cue from Marvel, there should be nothing to worry about there, despite the dire numbers.

  9. AfterHours Al™ says:

    I hope Animal Man survives the shakedown. It is a fascinating read. I am not easily impressed these days, but that one comic title has me very very interested.

  10. brian says:

    I am also trade waiting Shade and there seems little incentive now to buy the monthly if DC could cancel it-maybe mid story.

    A shame I know but DC have broken my habit of monthly buying.

  11. I’m really enjoying the Shade, and especially all the great little James Robinson touches. Fingers crossed for this one.

  12. Well in the new batch of solicits they added a 2 part backup story for the last two issues of the mini so that bumped the price of the book up to $3.99.

  13. Jason says:

    @John – My comment was directed at the original new 52 based on the cross-over and sales section not Shade or other mini’s that launched afterwards.

    I think Shade is suffering from coming out too long after the original material with a health mix of waiting for harcover to match the Starman Omnibus collections people already have.

  14. Zoomy says:

    Looking at the New 52 sales rankings, Animal Man is the high climber (35th out of 52 in September, 27th in October, 25th in November). Other climbers are Demon Knights (43-37-34) and Frankenstein (44-39-37).

    The biggest fallers are Firestorm (30-34-38), Green Arrow (21-25-27) and Captain Atom (39-44-45).

    At the top of the charts, Detective Comics has now overtaken Flash in 5th, while Batman: Dark Knight has moved ahead of Superman in 7th, with Batman And Robin poised to do the same. Green Lantern is holding steady, but the rest of the Lantern family are falling at a faster rate than the comics around them.

    Blackhawks becomes the lowest-seller in November, and also the first book to lose 50% of its sales (#1 sold 42,434 including reorders, #3 sold 20,114).

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