Marvel Month-to-Month Sales August 2011

by Paul O’Brien

Welcome to the calm before the storm. Or, in Marvel’s case, the calm before more calm. September will all be about the DC Universe relaunch, and it’s going to be a little while before the news cycle comes back round to anything Marvel have to announce.

In the meantime, this month we have more “Fear Itself”, more “Spider-Island”, and the relaunch of the Ultimate imprint with ULTIMATE COMICS HAWKEYE and (ahem) ULTIMATE COMICS ULTIMATES.

Once again, Marvel had the largest share of the North American direct market, leading DC by 42% to 35% in unit share and 37% to 31% in DC. Needless to say, it’ll be a huge surprise if that holds up next month.

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

3.  FEAR ITSELF
04/11  #1 of 7 - 135,746
05/11  #2 of 7 - 105,359  (-22.4%)
06/11  #3 of 7 -  99,501  ( -5.6%)
07/11  #4 of 7 -  93,435  ( -6.1%)
08/11  #5 of 7 -  90,914  ( -2.7%)

Levelling out quite comfortably as the series goes on. I’ll come to the performance of the tie-in issues later.

Marvel Month-to-Month Sales: July 2011

Quite the busy month, July. FEAR ITSELF is still rumbling onwards, but it’s now joined by two other events – the “Spider-Island” crossover, and X-MEN: SCHISM. And there are relaunches of DAREDEVIL, GHOST RIDER and CAPTAIN AMERICA (which spawns a spin-off into the bargain).

Oh, and now that the FEAR ITSELF crossover arcs are firmly underway, this seems a good month to ask: is it really having much of an impact on sales of the tie-in books?

As per usual, Marvel had the largest share of the North American direct market, leading DC by 44% to 35% in unit share, and 39% to 31% in dollars.

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

Marvel Month to Month Sales: June 2011

Yes, yes, I know. June? It’s August. This column is horrendously late. The July sales are already out. So I’m going to focus on the big events this month and otherwise keep the commentary pretty brief. Then we’ll be back on track, the sun will shine, and everything will be lovely.

The big news in June is, of course, the death of a Spider-Man. (Don’t worry, they’ve got a spare.) FEAR ITSELF continues to sprawl across the Marvel Universe line, and there’s also the first issue of a new GHOST RIDER series.

As normal, Marvel had the largest share of the North American direct market, leading DC by 43% to 33% in unit share and 39% to 28% in dollar terms.

Marvel Month-to-Month Sales: May 2011

It’s month two of event season, and FEAR ITSELF tie-ins are starting to crop up across the Marvel Universe. And there’s also the relaunch of MOON KNIGHT – wisely given a clear run in a month that’s otherwise pretty light on new titles.

DC’s FLASHPOINT event also gets underway in May, but with the crossover titles not hitting until June, it’s no surprise that Marvel were once again the top company in the direct market. They led DC by 46% to 28% in unit share and by 42% to 27% in dollars.

All of this, of course, could be turned upside down in September – a month which will be unpredictable if nothing else. But for now, let us cast our minds back to a simpler time.

Thanks as always to ICV2.com for allowing us to use these figures. And a reminder for newer readers: these numbers only relate to the North American direct market. They don’t cover newsstands, or foreign markets. And the same material will also (eventually) sell in digital and trade paperback format, so the total sales will be higher. On the other hand, these numbers reflect the orders placed by direct market retailers – it doesn’t follow that all the copies were actually sold to customers. But the longer a book has been going, the more accurate the retailers’ estimates ought to be.

Marvel Month-to-Month Sales: April 2011

by Paul O’Brien

Event season is upon us again. FEAR ITSELF launched in April, together with its spin-off anthology FEAR ITSELF: THE HOME FRONT. Further down the charts, “Death of Spider-Man” and “Age of X” are also underway. April also sees the relaunches of THOR and HERC, as well the de facto launch of a new series, JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY, continuing from THOR’s previous numbering.

It’s also worth noting Marvel’s increasing trend towards shipping extra issues of ongoing titles, apparently in place of low-selling miniseries. Now that the hordes of Captain America and Thor minis which were used to generate movie tie-in material are out of the way, it’s actually thinning out quite a bit at the lower end of the chart.

As usual, Marvel had the largest share of the North American direct market, leading DC by 40% to 27% in dollars and 48% to 27% in units. Of course, FLASHPOINT doesn’t start until next month, so you’d expect the gap to be larger than normal in April.

Marvel Month-to-Month Sales — March 2011

This is the busiest month Marvel have had in quite some time. The big release for March was the relaunch of FANTASTIC FOUR as just plain FF, but the month also sees the prologue to upcoming mega-crossover FEAR ITSELF, two new ongoing titles in VENOM and IRON MAN 2.0, the revival of CrossGen titles RUSE and SIGIL, and issues from the “Death of Spider-Man” and “Age of X” crossovers.

We also have the second month of Point One issues – more on that below.

As usual, Marvel had the largest share of the direct market, both in terms of dollars (leading DC by 40% to 28%) and unit sales (45% to 32%).

Marvel Month-to-Month Sales: February 2011

February sees Marvel’s “Point One” programme get under way, with issues of AMAZING SPIDER-MAN, WOLVERINE and IRON MAN. The Age of X crossover starts in X-MEN LEGACY and NEW MUTANTS. And there’s a new ongoing series, IRON MAN 2.0.

As usual, Marvel had the largest share of the North American direct market. It’s a pretty wide margin over DC this month – 45% to 31% in unit terms, 41% to 28% in dollars.

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

Marvel Month-to-Month Sales: January 2011

by Paul O’Brien

Let’s be blunt: January was a pretty terrible month for the direct market. Compared with January 2010, comic book sales were down by 23% in units and 22% in dollars. The picture for graphic novels wasn’t much better. In part, it’s because of a lack of really big titles; but to be honest, there seems to have been a lack of titles across the board. The number 300 title in January was LADY MECHANIKA #1, with estimated orders of only 1,291. That’s extraordinarily low. In December, it took more than three times that many sales to make the chart.

As usual, Marvel had the largest share of the direct market, and the margin was bigger than normal – they led DC by 39% to 26% in dollars, and 42% to 32% in units.

The big release this month, of course, is FANTASTIC FOUR #587, with the death of the Human Torch. There’s also INVINCIBLE IRON MAN #500, the AGE OF X ALPHA one-shot and a handful of new minis. But it’s a quiet month.

As always, thanks to ICV2.com for permission to use these figures.

Marvel Month-to-Month sales: December 2010

It’s not a great month for Marvel. In fact, it’s one of those rare months when DC had the largest share of the direct market, beating Marvel by 33% to 32% in dollar terms (though if you prefer the unit share, Marvel lead by 39% to 37%). In part, it’s because DC’s new Batman titles are doing very well – but as we’ll see, it’s also the case that Marvel just don’t have any really big titles out this month.

There are a couple of new ongoing series this month – WOLVERINE: THE BEST THERE IS and HEROES FOR HIRE. Following the Shadowland crossover, DAREDEVIL reinvents itself as BLACK PANTHER. And there’s just one new miniseries – ULTIMATE COMICS DOOM. And that’s it, so far as new books.

Marvel Month-to-Month Sales: November 2010

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.