DC Comics Month-to-Month Sales: October 2010

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by Marc-Oliver Frisch

The “Return of Bruce Wayne” and “Brightest Day” brands continued to be the driving force behind DC’s periodical output in October. While most of the Batman books were on hiatus, a bunch of one-shots, collectively titled Bruce Wayne: The Road Home, filled the gap. Other October releases include the low-profile miniseries Knight and Squire and JLA/The 99. Consequently, average sales of the DC Universe line remained relatively flat.

The same cannot be said about the company’s Vertigo and WildStorm imprints, however. The 18% drop versus September in Vertigo’s average periodical sales can be explained by the fact that some of Vertigo’s lower-selling series failed to ship in September and then double-shipped in October, which boosted the average in one month and dragged it down in the next. (There were 20 new Vertigo comic books in October, versus 13 in September.) For WildStorm, October was another historical low point, with estimated average sales of around 5,000 units — a drop of more than 50% versus October 2008 and 70% versus October 2005.

See below for the details, and please consider the small print at the end of the column. Thanks to Milton Griepp and ICv2.com for the permission to use their figures. An overview of ICv2.com‘s estimates can be found here.

—–

2 - BATMAN: THE RETURN OF BRUCE WAYNE
05/2010: Batman: TRoBW #1 of 6 -- 108,534          [114,447]
05/2010: Batman: TRoBW #2 of 6 --  93,606 (-13.8%) [ 99,361]
06/2010: Batman: TRoBW #3 of 6 --  92,140 (- 1.6%)
07/2010: Batman: TRoBW #4 of 6 --  88,020 (- 4.5%)
08/2010: --
09/2010: --
10/2010: Batman: TRoBW #5 of 6 --  86,006 (- 2.3%)

As usual with high-profile books, the lateness doesn’t seem to be having much of an impact on sales.

While we’re talking about Batman: Batgirl, Red Robin, Birds of Prey, Gotham City Sirens, Batman: Streets of Gotham and Batman proper all were on hiatus in October, as part of the franchise makeover.

<1–more–>—–

3/4 - BRIGHTEST DAY
04/2010: Brightest Day #0  -- 129,446
05/2010: Brightest Day #1  -- 129,158 (- 0.2%)
05/2010: Brightest Day #2  -- 112,806 (-12.7%)
06/2010: Brightest Day #3  -- 107,269 (- 4.9%)
06/2010: Brightest Day #4  -- 101,730 (- 5.2%)
07/2010: Brightest Day #5  --  97,245 (- 4.4%)
07/2010: Brightest Day #6  --  94,684 (- 2.6%)
08/2010: Brightest Day #7  --  93,459 (- 1.3%)
08/2010: Brightest Day #8  --  91,546 (- 2.1%)
09/2010: Brightest Day #9  --  88,446 (- 3.4%)
09/2010: Brightest Day #10 --  87,241 (- 1.4%)
10/2010: Brightest Day #11 --  83,823 (- 3.9%)
10/2010: Brightest Day #12 --  82,394 (- 1.7%)
-----------------
6 months: - 35.8%

Perfectly solid numbers, as usual. People seem to be happy with the book. As a brand for other titles, however, “Brightest Day” seems to have peaked, if October sales are any indication — see below.

—–

5 - GREEN LANTERN
10/2005: --
10/2006: --
10/2007: Green Lantern #24  --  78,650
10/2008: Green Lantern #35  --  63,383
--------------------------------------
10/2009: Green Lantern #47  -- 101,349 (- 2.2%)
11/2009: Green Lantern #48  -- 100,371 (- 1.0%)
12/2009: Green Lantern #49  --  97,285 (- 3.1%)
01/2010: Green Lantern #50  -- 106,444 (+ 9.4%)
02/2010: Green Lantern #51  --  95,509 (-10.3%)
03/2010: Green Lantern #52  --  97,369 (+ 2.0%)
04/2010: Green Lantern #53  -- 100,356 (+ 3.1%)
05/2010: Green Lantern #54  --  88,292 (-12.0%)
06/2010: Green Lantern #55  --  85,930 (- 2.7%)
07/2010: Green Lantern #56  --  84,164 (- 2.1%)
08/2010: --
09/2010: Green Lantern #57  --  85,179 (+ 1.2%)
10/2010: Green Lantern #58  --  81,626 (- 4.2%)
-----------------
6 months: - 18.7%
1 year  : - 19.5%
2 years : + 28.8%
5 years :  n.a.

The highest-selling of the “Brightest Day” tie-in books is losing steam, compared to the last year’s worth of numbers. As the long-term comparisons show, though, the numbers are still rock-solid for Green Lantern.

—–

6 - BATMAN AND ROBIN
10/2009: Batman and Robin #5  -- 101,607 (- 5.0%)
11/2009: Batman and Robin #6  --  95,690 (- 5.8%)
12/2009: --
01/2010: Batman and Robin #7  --  87,780 (- 8.3%)
02/2010: Batman and Robin #8  --  87,302 (- 0.6%)
02/2010: Batman and Robin #9  --  84,562 (- 3.1%)
03/2010: Batman and Robin #10 --  85,292 (+ 0.9%)
04/2010: Batman and Robin #11 --  84,006 (- 1.5%)
05/2010: Batman and Robin #12 --  84,843 (+ 1.0%)
06/2010: --
07/2010: Batman and Robin #13 --  85,804 (+ 1.1%)
08/2010: --
09/2010: Batman and Robin #14 --  82,894 (- 3.4%)
10/2010: Batman and Robin #15 --  80,173 (- 3.3%)
----------------
6 months: - 4.6%
1 year  : -21.1%

Slowly drifting downward as the Morrison run nears its conclusion.

—–

14 - GREEN LANTERN CORPS
10/2005: GLC: Recharge #2 of 5   -- 68,925 [71,414]
10/2006: Green Lantern Corps #5  -- 43,546
10/2007: Green Lantern Corps #16 -- 60,862
10/2007: Green Lantern Corps #17 -- 59,223
10/2008: Green Lantern Corps #29 -- 46,316
------------------------------------------
10/2009: Green Lantern Corps #41 -- 81,377 (- 2.1%)
11/2009: Green Lantern Corps #42 -- 80,391 (- 1.2%)
12/2009: Green Lantern Corps #43 -- 77,774 (- 3.3%)
01/2010: Green Lantern Corps #44 -- 76,458 (- 1.7%)
02/2010: Green Lantern Corps #45 -- 75,404 (- 1.4%)
03/2010: Green Lantern Corps #46 -- 76,720 (+ 1.8%)
04/2010: Green Lantern Corps #47 -- 72,163 (- 5.9%)
05/2010: Green Lantern Corps #48 -- 68,826 (- 4.6%)
06/2010: Green Lantern Corps #49 -- 66,652 (- 3.2%)
07/2010: Green Lantern Corps #50 -- 67,035 (+ 0.6%)
08/2010: Green Lantern Corps #51 -- 67,124 (+ 0.1%)
09/2010: Green Lantern Corps #52 -- 63,577 (- 5.3%)
10/2010: Green Lantern Corps #53 -- 60,808 (- 4.4%)
----------------
6 months: -15.7%
1 year  : -25.3%
2 years : +31.3%
5 years : -11.8%

See Green Lantern, basically. The “Brightest Day” banner seems past its prime now, but sales remain strong nonetheless.

—–

15 - JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA
10/2005: JLA #120           --  82,892
10/2005: JLA #121           --  78,869 [81,316]
10/2006: --
10/2007: Justice League #14 -- 101,763
10/2008: Justice League #25 --  80,731
10/2008: Justice League #26 --  77,353
--------------------------------------
10/2009: Justice League #38 --  61,012 (+10.0%)
11/2009: Justice League #39 --  89,376 (+46.5%)
12/2009: Justice League #40 --  68,672 (-23.2%)
01/2010: Justice League #41 --  62,262 (- 9.3%)
02/2010: Justice League #42 --  57,522 (- 7.6%)
03/2010: Justice League #43 --  56,461 (- 1.9%)
04/2010: Justice League #44 --  62,342 (+10.4%)
05/2010: Justice League #45 --  62,465 (+ 0.2%)
06/2010: Justice League #46 --  62,754 (+ 0.5%)
07/2010: Justice League #47 --  60,368 (- 3.8%)
08/2010: Justice League #48 --  60,733 (+ 0.6%)
09/2010: Justice League #49 --  57,616 (- 5.1%)
10/2010: Justice League #50 --  59,686 (+ 3.6%)
----------------
6 months: - 4.3%
1 year  : - 2.2%
2 years : -24.5%
5 years : -26.2%

That obligatory increase for the anniversary issue looks even less impressive if you consider that there was a 1:75 variant-cover edition for issue #50, in addition to the usual 1:10 variant.

—–

17/30/40/46/50/56/58/59 - BRUCE WAYNE: THE ROAD HOME
10/2010: Batgirl #1        -- 38,919
10/2010: Batman & Robin #1 -- 57,805
10/2010: Outsiders #1      -- 33,053
10/2010: Red Robin #1      -- 43,367
10/2010: Catwoman #1       -- 36,211
10/2010: Comm. Gordon #1   -- 33,176
10/2010: Oracle #1         -- 35,328
10/2010: Ras Al Ghul #1    -- 34,612

A rather shameless attempt to squeeze some more money from the “Return of Bruce Wayne” storyline, certainly, but it seems to have worked.

—–

20 - GREEN LANTERN: EMERALD WARRIORS
08/2010: Emerald Warriors #1  -- 68,332
09/2010: Emerald Warriors #2  -- 56,289 (-17.6%)
10/2010: Emerald Warriors #3  -- 50,490 (-10.3%)

Taking its time to bottom out. For the tertiary Green Lantern title, though, these are great numbers.

—–

21/27 - SUPERMAN
10/2005: Superman #222 --  67,638
10/2006: --
10/2007: Superman #668 --  47,948
10/2007: Superman #669 --  47,271
10/2008: Superman #681 --  54,611 [57,212]
---------------------------------
10/2009: Superman #693 --  35,395 (-  6.1%)
11/2009: Superman #694 --  34,430 (-  2.7%)
12/2009: Superman #695 --  32,482 (-  5.7%)
01/2010: Superman #696 --  31,940 (-  1.7%)
02/2010: Superman #697 --  31,504 (-  1.4%)
03/2010: Superman #698 --  33,336 (+  5.8%)
04/2010: Superman #699 --  33,183 (-  0.5%)
05/2010: --
06/2010: Superman #700 --  67,571 (+103.6%)
07/2010: Superman #701 --  54,506 (- 19.3%)
08/2010: Superman #702 --  50,023 (-  8.2%)
09/2010: --
10/2010: Superman #703 --  50,460 (+  0.9%)
10/2010: Superman #704 --  46,741 (-  7.4%)
-----------------
6 months: + 46.5%
1 year  : + 37.3%
2 years : - 11.0%
5 years : - 28.2%

Contrary to the preview information, the October issue ended up being a fill-in. Given J. Michael Straczynski’s departure, sales are unlikely to improve from here on out.

—–

26 - UNTOLD TALES OF BLACKEST NIGHT
10/2010: UToBN #1 --  47,299

Not bad for a $ 4.99 one-shot based on last year’s event story.

There was a 1:10 variant.

—–

35 - ACTION COMICS
10/2005: Action Comics #832 -- 47,968
10/2006: Action Comics #844 -- 78,869 [88,290]
10/2007: Action Comics #856 -- 53,815
10/2007: Action Comics #857 -- 51,401
10/2007: Action Comics #858 -- 54,596 [59,031]
10/2008: Action Comics #870 -- 57,407
-------------------------------------
10/2009: Action Comics #882 -- 34,754 (- 4.0%)
11/2009: Action Comics #883 -- 33,386 (- 3.9%)
12/2009: Action Comics #884 -- 31,873 (- 4.5%)
01/2010: Action Comics #885 -- 30,678 (- 3.8%)
02/2010: Action Comics #886 -- 29,845 (- 2.7%)
03/2010: Action Comics #887 -- 29,460 (- 1.3%)
04/2010: Action Comics #888 -- 29,536 (+ 0.3%)
04/2010: Action Comics #889 -- 29,106 (- 1.5%)
05/2010: --
06/2010: Action Comics #890 -- 34,744 (+19.4%) [40,039]
07/2010: Action Comics #891 -- 35,328 (+ 1.7%)
08/2010: Action Comics #892 -- 36,401 (+ 3.0%)
09/2010: Action Comics #893 -- 33,948 (- 6.7%)
10/2010: Action Comics #894 -- 42,291 (+24.6%)
----------------
6 months: +44.2%
1 year  : +21.7%
2 years : -26.3%
5 years : -11.8%

The October issue had an appearance by Death from Sandman, as well as a variant-cover edition. As a result, Action Comics gets its highest first-month sales in well over a year.

—–

36 - GREEN ARROW
10/2005: Green Arrow #55  -- 32,804
10/2006: Green Arrow #67  -- 32,583
10/2007: Year One #6 of 6 -- 30,943
10/2007: Arrow/Canary #1  -- 52,183
10/2008: Arrow/Canary #13 -- 26,890
-----------------------------------
10/2009: Arrow&Canary #25 -- 18,013 (-  4.1%)
11/2009: Arrow&Canary #26 -- 17,384 (-  3.5%)
12/2009: Arrow&Canary #27 -- 16,904 (-  2.8%)
01/2010: Arrow&Canary #28 -- 16,482 (-  2.5%)
02/2010: Arrow&Canary #29 -- 16,600 (+  0.7%)
02/2010: Black Arrow #30  -- 42,014 (+153.1%)
03/2010: Green Arrow #31  -- 28,486 (- 32.2%)
04/2010: Green Arrow #32  -- 29,137 (+  2.3%)
05/2010: --
06/2010: Green Arrow #1   -- 54,400 (+ 86.7%) [57,554]
07/2010: Green Arrow #2   -- 44,118 (- 18.9%)
08/2010: Green Arrow #3   -- 46,308 (+  5.0%)
09/2010: Green Arrow #4   -- 44,220 (-  4.5%)
10/2010: Green Arrow #5   -- 42,188 (-  4.6%)
-----------------
6 months: + 44.8%
1 year  : +134.2%
2 years : + 56.9%
5 years : + 28.6%

The numbers aren’t quite bottoming out yet, but Green Arrow is still doing very well overall, of course.

—–

43 - WONDER WOMAN
10/2005: Wonder Woman #221 --  52,894
10/2005: Wonder Woman #222 --  47,065 [49,101]
10/2006: --
10/2007: Wonder Woman #13  --  48,385
10/2008: Wonder Woman #25  --  33,583
-------------------------------------
10/2009: Wonder Woman #37  --  26,972 (-  6.4%)
11/2009: Wonder Woman #38  --  26,265 (-  2.6%)
12/2009: Wonder Woman #39  --  26,152 (-  0.4%)
01/2010: Wonder Woman #40  --  25,156 (-  3.8%)
02/2010: Wonder Woman #41  --  25,354 (+  0.8%)
03/2010: Wonder Woman #42  --  25,240 (-  0.5%)
04/2010: Wonder Woman #43  --  25,369 (+  0.5%)
05/2010: Wonder Woman #44  --  25,443 (+  0.3%)
06/2010: Wonder Woman #600 --  53,525 (+110.4%) [63,700]
07/2010: Wonder Woman #601 --  39,672 (- 25.9%)
08/2010: Wonder Woman #602 --  38,012 (-  4.2%)
09/2010: Wonder Woman #603 --  38,852 (+  2.2%)
10/2010: Wonder Woman #604 --  37,405 (-  3.7%)
-----------------
6 months: + 47.4%
1 year  : + 38.7%
2 years : + 11.4%
5 years : - 29.3%

The other monthly title J. Michael Straczynski left a few months in. The sales figures don’t offer much of an argument why he should stick around.

—–

47 - DETECTIVE COMICS
10/2005: Detective Comics #812 --  39,270
10/2006: Detective Comics #824 --  62,431
10/2007: Detective Comics #837 --  51,363
10/2008: Detective Comics #849 --  65,878
-----------------------------------------
10/2009: Detective Comics #858 --  58,599 (+ 2.7%)
11/2009: Detective Comics #859 --  54,392 (- 7.2%)
12/2009: Detective Comics #860 --  52,295 (- 3.9%)
01/2010: Detective Comics #861 --  45,937 (-12.2%)
02/2010: --
03/2010: Detective Comics #862 --  44,687 (- 2.7%)
03/2010: Detective Comics #863 --  43,119 (- 3.5%)
04/2010: Detective Comics #864 --  42,436 (- 1.6%)
05/2010: Detective Comics #865 --  41,501 (- 2.2%)
06/2010: Detective Comics #866 --  46,178 (+11.3%)
07/2010: Detective Comics #867 --  40,371 (-12.6%)
08/2010: Detective Comics #868 --  38,682 (- 4.2%)
09/2010: Detective Comics #869 --  37,394 (- 3.3%)
10/2010: Detective Comics #870 --  35,674 (- 4.6%)
-----------------
6 months: - 15.9%
1 year  : - 39.1%
2 years : - 45.9%
5 years : -  9.2%

Following six months’ worth of fill-in stories, a new creative team takes over in issue #871. Looking at the long-term comparisons, I’m sure DC wouldn’t mind a substantial sales boost, at this stage. The book has seen better days.

—–

48/54 - JUSTICE LEAGUE: GENERATION LOST
05/2010: Generation Lost #1  -- 50,784
05/2010: Generation Lost #2  -- 44,711 (-12.0%)
06/2010: Generation Lost #3  -- 43,278 (- 3.2%)
06/2010: Generation Lost #4  -- 41,702 (- 3.6%)
07/2010: Generation Lost #5  -- 40,370 (- 3.2%)
07/2010: Generation Lost #6  -- 39,190 (- 2.9%)
08/2010: Generation Lost #7  -- 39,971 (+ 2.0%)
08/2010: Generation Lost #8  -- 38,745 (- 3.1%)
09/2010: Generation Lost #9  -- 37,151 (- 4.1%)
09/2010: Generation Lost #10 -- 36,624 (- 1.4%)
10/2010: Generation Lost #11 -- 35,504 (- 3.1%)
10/2010: Generation Lost #12 -- 34,752 (- 2.1%)

The companion series to Brightest Day displays a similar, slow decline.

—–

49 - JUSTICE SOCIETY OF AMERICA
10/2005: JSA #78             --  54,070
10/2007: Justice Society #10 --  99,424
10/2008: Justice Society #19 --  72,073
---------------------------------------
10/2009: Justice Society #32 --  44,885 (-  5.4%)
11/2009: Justice Society #33 --  43,218 (-  3.7%)
12/2009: Justice Society #34 --  41,734 (-  3.4%)
01/2010: Justice Society #35 --  39,934 (-  4.3%)
02/2010: Justice Society #36 --  39,060 (-  2.2%)
03/2010: Justice Society #37 --  37,381 (-  4.3%)
04/2010: Justice Society #38 --  36,648 (-  2.0%)
05/2010: --
06/2010: Justice Society #39 --  36,630 (-  0.1%)
06/2010: Justice Society #40 --  36,008 (-  1.7%)
07/2010: Justice Society #41 --  48,858 (+ 35.7%)
08/2010: Justice Society #42 --  48,420 (-  0.9%)
09/2010: Justice Society #43 --  36,576 (- 24.5%)
10/2010: Justice Society #44 --  35,483 (-  3.0%)
----------------
6 months: - 3.2%
1 year  : -21.0%
2 years : -50.8%
5 years : -34.4%

The new creative team of Marc Guggenheim and Scott Kolins picks up where the previous one left off in June, saleswise.

Which is to say: oops.

—–

51 - BATMAN: ODYSSEY
07/2010: Batman: Odyssey #1  of  6 -- 61,827
08/2010: Batman: Odyssey #2  of  6 -- 47,675 (-22.9%)
09/2010: Batman: Odyssey #3  of  6 -- 40,046 (-16.0%)
10/2010: Batman: Odyssey #4  of 12 -- 35,307 (-11.8%)

Still not bottoming out. At this stage, it looks like retailers vastly overestimated the demand for this book — and, given that it was extended from the initial six issues to 12 and then to 13, it looks like DC may have done so, as well.

—–

63 - SUPERMAN/BATMAN
10/2005: --
10/2006: --
10/2007: Superman/Batman #41 --  54,928
10/2008: Superman/Batman #53 --  48,187
---------------------------------------
10/2009: Superman/Batman #65 --  34,585 (- 4.8%)
11/2009: Superman/Batman #66 --  52,143 (+50.8%)
12/2009: Superman/Batman #67 --  49,650 (- 4.8%)
01/2010: Superman/Batman #68 --  33,869 (-31.8%)
02/2010: Superman/Batman #69 --  33,224 (- 1.9%)
03/2010: Superman/Batman #70 --  32,196 (- 3.1%)
04/2010: Superman/Batman #71 --  31,714 (- 1.5%)
05/2010: Superman/Batman #72 --  32,047 (+ 1.1%)
06/2010: Superman/Batman #73 --  31,425 (- 1.9%)
07/2010: Superman/Batman #74 --  30,847 (- 1.8%)
08/2010: Superman/Batman #75 --  34,324 (+11.3%)
09/2010: Superman/Batman #76 --  32,003 (- 6.8%)
10/2010: Superman/Batman #77 --  31,741 (- 0.8%)
----------------
6 months: - 0.1%
1 year  : - 8.2%
2 years : -34.1%
5 years :  n.a.

Sales are holding level, for a change.

—–

66 - THE LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES
10/2005: Legion of SH #11     -- 34,113
10/2006: Supergirl & LoSH #23 -- 41,554
10/2007: Supergirl & LoSH #35 -- 27,370
10/2008: LoSH #47             -- 23,751
---------------------------------------
05/2010: LoSH #1              -- 44,415 (+98.9%) [50,106]
06/2010: LoSH #2              -- 39,102 (-12.0%)
07/2010: LoSH #3              -- 36,360 (- 7.0%)
08/2010: LoSH #4              -- 34,239 (- 5.8%)
09/2010: LoSH #5              -- 32,417 (- 5.3%)
10/2010: LoSH #6              -- 30,246 (- 6.7%)
-----------------
2 years : + 27.4%
5 years : - 11.3%

Legion sales are still in free-fall. At this point, this looks like another franchise that could have used some rest and consolidation, rather than two ongoing titles — see Adventure Comics below.

—–

67 - BATMAN BEYOND
06/2010: Batman Beyond #1 of 6 -- 35,113          [42,283]
07/2010: Batman Beyond #2 of 6 -- 31,397 (-10.6%)
08/2010: Batman Beyond #3 of 6 -- 31,469 (+ 0.2%)
09/2010: Batman Beyond #4 of 6 -- 31,368 (- 0.3%)
10/2010: Batman Beyond #5 of 6 -- 30,121 (- 4.0%)

Perfectly solid mid-level numbers.

—–

72 - TEEN TITANS
10/2005: Teen Titans #28 -- 66,581
10/2006: --
10/2007: Teen Titans #52 -- 55,176
10/2008: Teen Titans #64 -- 39,695
----------------------------------
10/2009: Teen Titans #76 -- 29,166 (-11.1%)
11/2009: Teen Titans #77 -- 46,239 (+58.5%)
12/2009: Teen Titans #78 -- 43,400 (- 6.1%)
01/2010: Teen Titans #79 -- 27,790 (-36.0%)
02/2010: Teen Titans #80 -- 26,537 (- 4.5%)
03/2010: Teen Titans #81 -- 25,758 (- 2.9%)
04/2010: Teen Titans #82 -- 25,303 (- 1.8%)
05/2010: Teen Titans #83 -- 24,960 (- 1.4%)
06/2010: Teen Titans #84 -- 24,593 (- 1.5%)
07/2010: Teen Titans #85 -- 24,248 (- 1.4%)
08/2010: Teen Titans #86 -- 24,971 (+ 3.0%)
09/2010: Teen Titans #87 -- 23,259 (- 6.9%)
10/2010: Teen Titans #88 -- 27,637 (+18.8%)
----------------
6 months: + 9.2%
1 year  : - 5.2%
2 years : -30.4%
5 years : -58.5%

Another new creative team and a 1:10 variant edition get Teen Titans a modest increase.

—–

74 - TITANS
10/2008: Titans #6      -- 45,453
---------------------------------
10/2009: Titans #18     -- 28,215 (- 6.4%)
11/2009: Titans #19     -- 27,099 (- 4.0%)
12/2009: Titans #20     -- 25,887 (- 4.5%)
01/2010: Titans #21     -- 24,924 (- 3.7%)
02/2010: Titans #22     -- 24,489 (- 1.8%)
03/2010: Titans #23     -- 24,260 (- 0.9%)
04/2010: --
05/2010: VfH Special #1 -- 31,718 (+30.7%)
06/2010: Titans #24     -- 33,079 (+ 4.3%)
07/2010: Titans #25     -- 31,505 (- 4.8%)
08/2010: Titans #26     -- 32,800 (+ 4.1%)
09/2010: Titans #27     -- 28,438 (-13.3%)
10/2010: Titans #28     -- 27,430 (- 3.6%)
----------------
6 months:  n.a.
1 year  : - 2.8%
2 years : -39.7%

The numbers keep falling back towards pre-“Brightest Day” levels.

—–

76 - ADVENTURE COMICS
10/2009: Adventure Comics #3   -- 44,431 (- 6.1%)
11/2009: Adventure Comics #4   -- 85,145 (+91.6%)
12/2009: Adventure Comics #5   -- 59,876 (-29.7%)
01/2010: Adventure Comics #6   -- 42,514 (-29.0%)
02/2010: Adventure Comics #7   -- 53,721 (+26.4%)
03/2010: Adventure Comics #8   -- 39,351 (-26.8%)
03/2010: Adventure Comics #9   -- 37,515 (- 4.7%)
04/2010: Adventure Comics #10  -- 37,573 (+ 0.2%)
05/2010: Adventure Comics #11  -- 34,794 (- 7.4%)
06/2010: Adventure Comics #12  -- 34,663 (- 0.4%)
07/2010: Adventure Comics #516 -- 30,897 (-10.9%)
08/2010: Adventure Comics #517 -- 28,966 (- 6.3%)
09/2010: Adventure Comics #518 -- 27,028 (- 6.7%)
10/2010: Adventure Comics #519 -- 25,346 (- 6.2%)
-----------------
6 months: - 32.5%
1 year  : - 43.0%

The other Legion of Super-Heroes book has shed more than 12,000 units over the last six months.

—–

79 - DC UNIVERSE LEGACIES
05/2010: DCU Legacies #1  of 10 -- 34,429
06/2010: DCU Legacies #2  of 10 -- 29,286 (-14.9%)
07/2010: DCU Legacies #3  of 10 -- 26,708 (- 8.8%)
08/2010: DCU Legacies #4  of 10 -- 25,691 (- 3.8%)
09/2010: DCU Legacies #5  of 10 -- 25,851 (+ 0.6%)
10/2010: DCU Legacies #6  of 10 -- 24,210 (- 6.4%)

Decent numbers for this type of thing.

—–

80 - SUPERGIRL
10/2005: --
10/2006: --
10/2007: Supergirl #22 --  41,758
10/2008: Supergirl #34 --  33,958
---------------------------------
10/2009: Supergirl #46 --  30,377 (- 5.8%)
11/2009: Supergirl #47 --  29,159 (- 4.0%)
12/2009: Supergirl #48 --  28,176 (- 3.4%)
01/2010: Supergirl #49 --  27,728 (- 1.6%)
02/2010: Supergirl #50 --  33,338 (+20.2%)
03/2010: Supergirl #51 --  29,845 (-10.5%)
04/2010: Supergirl #52 --  29,490 (- 1.2%)
05/2010: --
06/2010: Supergirl #53 --  28,317 (- 4.0%)
07/2010: Supergirl #54 --  26,941 (- 4.9%)
08/2010: Supergirl #55 --  25,891 (- 3.9%)
09/2010: Supergirl #56 --  25,034 (- 3.3%)
10/2010: Supergirl #57 --  23,842 (- 4.8%)
----------------
6 months: -19.2%
1 year  : -21.5%
2 years : -29.8%
5 years :  n.a.

Sliding down the charts. A new creative team arrives with issue #60.

—–

82 - ZATANNA
05/2010: Zatanna #1  -- 33,691
06/2010: Zatanna #2  -- 29,564 (-12.3%)
07/2010: Zatanna #3  -- 27,792 (- 6.0%)
08/2010: Zatanna #4  -- 27,203 (- 2.1%)
09/2010: Zatanna #5  -- 25,393 (- 6.7%)
10/2010: Zatanna #6  -- 23,427 (- 7.7%)

Still not bottoming out.

—–

85 - RED HOOD: LOST DAYS
06/2010: Red Hood: Lost Days #1 of 6 -- 34,197
07/2010: Red Hood: Lost Days #2 of 6 -- 26,560 (-22.3%)
08/2010: Red Hood: Lost Days #3 of 6 -- 24,701 (- 7.0%)
09/2010: Red Hood: Lost Days #4 of 6 -- 24,104 (- 2.4%)
10/2010: Red Hood: Lost Days #5 of 6 -- 22,967 (- 4.7%)
86 - TIME MASTERS: VANISHING POINT
07/2010: Vanishing Point #1 of 6 -- 34,509
08/2010: Vanishing Point #2 of 6 -- 26,918 (-22.0%)
09/2010: Vanishing Point #3 of 6 -- 24,177 (-10.2%)
10/2010: Vanishing Point #4 of 6 -- 22,813 (- 5.6%)

It looks like retailers aimed a little too high with their orders for the first few issues of these two miniseries. That said, let’s be realistic: 20K+ isn’t a bad number for either of them.

—–

87 - BATMAN: HIDDEN TREASURES
10/2010: Hidden Treasures #1 --  22,507

The belated publication of an old Ron Marz/Bernie Wrightson effort draws a respectable crowd, particularly as a $ 4.99 special stuffed out with reprint material.

—–

88 - JUSTICE SOCIETY OF AMERICA 80-PAGE GIANT 2010
10/2010: JSA 80-Page Giant 2010 #1 --  22,072

Any number above 10,000 is great for these types of one-shot specials. So: 22,072 = double plus good.

—–

89 - AMERICAN VAMPIRE (Vertigo)
03/2010: American Vampire #1  -- 33,762          [36,831]
04/2010: American Vampire #2  -- 26,770 (-20.7%)
05/2010: American Vampire #3  -- 26,510 (- 1.0%)
06/2010: American Vampire #4  -- 25,977 (- 2.0%)
07/2010: American Vampire #5  -- 24,857 (- 4.3%)
08/2010: --
09/2010: American Vampire #6  -- 23,349 (- 6.1%)
10/2010: American Vampire #7  -- 21,910 (- 6.2%)
-----------------
6 months: - 18.2%

A drop was expected after Stephen King’s departure. Looks like it’s taking a while to sink in, though. Obviously, American Vampire is still Vertigo’s best-selling comic-book series right now, so there’s no cause for concern yet.

—–

90 - KNIGHT AND SQUIRE
10/2010: Knight & Squire #1 of 6 -- 21,867

Predictably modest numbers for the quirky, British-flavoured Batman spin-off. There was a 1:10 variant edition.

—–

91 - SUPERMAN: THE LAST FAMILY OF KRYPTON
08/2010: Last Family #1 of 4  -- 25,046
09/2010: Last Family #2 of 4  -- 23,059 (-7.9%)
10/2010: Last Family #3 of 4  -- 21,570 (-6.5%)

Not bad sales for a $ 4.99 “Elseworlds” series.

—–

94 - SUPERGIRL ANNUAL
10/2010: Supergirl Annual #2 -- 21,080

The mother title isn’t doing especially well to begin with, so they can be lucky to sell more than 20,000 units of this.

—–

95 - JSA ALL-STARS
12/2009: JSA All-Stars #1  -- 42,493
01/2010: JSA All-Stars #2  -- 32,601 (-23.3%)
02/2010: JSA All-Stars #3  -- 29,666 (- 9.0%)
03/2010: JSA All-Stars #4  -- 28,526 (- 3.8%)
04/2010: JSA All-Stars #5  -- 26,581 (- 6.8%)
05/2010: JSA All-Stars #6  -- 25,306 (- 4.8%)
06/2010: JSA All-Stars #7  -- 24,436 (- 3.4%)
07/2010: JSA All-Stars #8  -- 23,478 (- 3.9%)
08/2010: JSA All-Stars #9  -- 22,347 (- 4.8%)
09/2010: JSA All-Stars #10 -- 21,646 (- 3.1%)
10/2010: JSA All-Stars #11 -- 20,496 (- 5.3%)
----------------
6 months: - 5.3%

The secondary JSA series keeps sliding down the chart.

—–

96 - SECRET SIX
10/2006: Secret Six #5 of 6 -- 36,628
10/2008: Secret Six #2      -- 27,846
-------------------------------------
10/2009: Secret Six #14     -- 23,345 (- 2.4%)
11/2009: Secret Six #15     -- 23,190 (- 0.7%)
12/2009: Secret Six #16     -- 22,638 (- 2.4%)
01/2010: Secret Six #17     -- 38,515 (+70.1%)
02/2010: Secret Six #18     -- 37,876 (- 1.7%)
03/2010: Secret Six #19     -- 23,181 (-38.8%)
04/2010: Secret Six #20     -- 22,695 (- 2.1%)
05/2010: Secret Six #21     -- 22,334 (- 1.6%)
06/2010: Secret Six #22     -- 21,941 (- 1.8%)
07/2010: Secret Six #23     -- 21,554 (- 1.8%)
08/2010: Secret Six #24     -- 21,177 (- 1.8%)
09/2010: Secret Six #25     -- 20,775 (- 1.9%)
10/2010: Secret Six #26     -- 20,377 (- 1.9%)
----------------
6 months: -10.2%
1 year  : -12.7%
2 years : -26.8%

The book keeps up a slow, consistent decline. If the numbers on R.E.B.E.L.S. below are any indication, Secret Six should be perfectly safe for years to come, at this rate.

—–

99 - JLA/THE 99
10/2010: JLA/The 99 #1 of 6 -- 19,995

A crossover between the Justice League and the 99, a superhero franchise published by Kuwaiti company Teshkeel Comics that’s ostensibly very popular in the Middle East.

The chart ranking is oddly appropriate, I guess.

—–

100 - FABLES (Vertigo)
10/2005: Fables #42 -- 24,953
10/2006: Fables #54 -- 25,534
10/2007: Fables #66 -- 25,016
10/2008: Fables #77 -- 23,761
-----------------------------
10/2009: Fables #89 -- 21,118 (-1.8%)
11/2009: Fables #90 -- 20,882 (-1.1%)
12/2009: Fables #91 -- 20,450 (-2.1%)
01/2010: Fables #92 -- 20,180 (-1.3%)
02/2010: --
03/2010: Fables #93 -- 20,003 (-0.9%)
04/2010: Fables #94 -- 19,965 (-0.2%)
05/2010: Fables #95 -- 19,932 (-0.2%)
06/2010: Fables #96 -- 19,842 (-0.5%)
07/2010: --
08/2010: Fables #97 -- 19,625 (-1.1%)
09/2010: Fables #98 -- 19,594 (-0.2%)
10/2010: Fables #99 -- 19,656 (+0.3%)
----------------
6 months: - 1.6%
1 year  : - 6.9%
2 years : -17.3%
5 years : -21.2%

Sales of the evergreen performer are edging upward in wait for issue #100.

—–

107 - POWER GIRL
10/2009: Power Girl #6  -- 27,060 (- 8.3%)
11/2009: --
12/2009: Power Girl #7  -- 22,533 (-16.7%)
01/2010: Power Girl #8  -- 21,760 (- 3.4%)
02/2010: Power Girl #9  -- 20,900 (- 4.0%)
03/2010: Power Girl #10 -- 20,801 (- 0.5%)
04/2010: Power Girl #11 -- 20,675 (- 0.6%)
05/2010: Power Girl #12 -- 20,681 (+ 0.0%)
06/2010: Power Girl #13 -- 20,583 (- 0.5%)
07/2010: Power Girl #14 -- 19,739 (- 4.1%)
08/2010: Power Girl #15 -- 19,091 (- 3.3%)
09/2010: Power Girl #16 -- 18,404 (- 3.6%)
10/2010: Power Girl #17 -- 17,847 (- 3.0%)
----------------
6 months: -13.7%
1 year  : -34.1%

The book keeps dropping down the chart too fast for comfort since the creative-team change in June.

—–

108 - BOOSTER GOLD
10/2007: Booster Gold #3  -- 39,374
10/2008: Booster Gold #13 -- 29,914
-----------------------------------
10/2009: Booster Gold #25 -- 21,597 (-  0.6%)
11/2009: Booster Gold #26 -- 57,122 (+164.5%)
12/2009: Booster Gold #27 -- 40,256 (- 29.5%)
01/2010: Booster Gold #28 -- 21,967 (- 45.4%)
02/2010: Booster Gold #29 -- 21,020 (-  4.3%)
03/2010: Booster Gold #30 -- 20,187 (-  4.0%)
04/2010: Booster Gold #31 -- 19,818 (-  1.8%)
05/2010: Booster Gold #32 -- 20,343 (+  2.7%)
06/2010: Booster Gold #33 -- 19,895 (-  2.2%)
07/2010: Booster Gold #34 -- 19,592 (-  1.5%)
08/2010: Booster Gold #35 -- 19,104 (-  2.5%)
09/2010: Booster Gold #36 -- 18,504 (-  3.1%)
10/2010: Booster Gold #37 -- 17,806 (-  3.8%)
----------------
6 months: -10.2%
1 year  : -17.6%
2 years : -40.5%

The decline is clearly accelerating.

—–

122 - DCU HALLOWEEN SPECIAL 2010
10/2010: DCUH Special 2010 #1 -- 15,256

Any number above 10,000 is great for these types of one-shot specials.

—–

123 - THE OUTSIDERS
10/2005: Outsiders #29 -- 47,611
10/2006: Outsiders #41 -- 36,672
10/2007: --
10/2008: Batsiders #12 -- 46,649
--------------------------------
10/2009: Outsiders #23 -- 21,413 (-  6.0%)
11/2009: Outsiders #24 -- 50,918 (+137.8%) [55,704]
12/2009: Outsiders #25 -- 37,847 (- 25.7%)
01/2010: Outsiders #26 -- 22,626 (- 40.2%)
02/2010: Outsiders #27 -- 21,167 (-  6.5%)
03/2010: Outsiders #28 -- 19,632 (-  7.3%)
04/2010: Outsiders #29 -- 19,094 (-  2.7%)
05/2010: --
06/2010: Outsiders #30 -- 18,045 (-  5.5%)
07/2010: Outsiders #31 -- 17,173 (-  4.8%)
08/2010: Outsiders #32 -- 15,754 (-  8.3%)
09/2010: --
10/2010: Outsiders #33 -- 15,253 (-  3.2%)
----------------
6 months: -20.1%
1 year  : -28.8%
2 years : -67.3%
5 years : -68.0%

Are the numbers finally bottoming out? It wouldn’t hurt.

—–

132 - BATMAN CONFIDENTIAL
10/2007: Batman Confidential #10 -- 28,724
10/2008: Batman Confidential #22 -- 24,281
------------------------------------------
10/2009: Batman Confidential #34 -- 17,097 (- 5.8%)
10/2009: Batman Confidential #35 -- 16,724 (- 2.2%)
11/2009: Batman Confidential #36 -- 16,664 (- 0.4%)
11/2009: Batman Confidential #37 -- 16,355 (- 1.9%)
12/2009: Batman Confidential #38 -- 16,132 (- 1.4%)
12/2009: Batman Confidential #39 -- 15,906 (- 1.4%)
01/2010: Batman Confidential #40 -- 17,241 (+ 8.4%)
02/2010: Batman Confidential #41 -- 16,856 (- 2.2%)
03/2010: Batman Confidential #42 -- 16,652 (- 1.2%)
04/2010: Batman Confidential #43 -- 16,449 (- 1.2%)
05/2010: Batman Confidential #44 -- 15,279 (- 7.1%)
06/2010: Batman Confidential #45 -- 15,070 (- 1.4%)
07/2010: Batman Confidential #46 -- 14,621 (- 3.0%)
08/2010: Batman Confidential #47 -- 14,341 (- 1.9%)
09/2010: Batman Confidential #48 -- 14,329 (- 0.1%)
10/2010: Batman Confidential #49 -- 14,112 (- 1.5%)
----------------
6 months: -14.2%
1 year  : -16.6%
2 years : -41.9%

Business as usual.

—–

134 - I, ZOMBIE
05/2010: I, Zombie #1  -- 33,025
06/2010: I, Zombie #2  -- 18,620 (-43.6%)
07/2010: I, Zombie #3  -- 16,898 (- 9.3%)
08/2010: I, Zombie #4  -- 15,772 (- 6.7%)
09/2010: I, Zombie #5  -- 14,839 (- 5.9%)
10/2010: I, Zombie #6  -- 13,782 (- 7.1%)

The book is still looking for a solid foothold.

—–

137 - FREEDOM FIGHTERS
10/2006: US & FF #4 of 8      -- 26,527
10/2007: US & FF #2 of 8      -- 19,006
---------------------------------------
09/2010: Freedom Fighters #1  -- 19,378
10/2010: Freedom Fighters #2  -- 12,758 (-34.2%)

Unlike for the first issue, there was no variant edition in October, to be fair. This is still a very steep drop, though. I’d be surprised if Freedom Fighters survived the next year, to be honest. Then again, it’s by the writers of Jonah Hex, so who knows.

—–

143 - THE UNWRITTEN (Vertigo)
10/2009: The Unwritten #6  -- 15,314 (- 4.4%)
11/2009: The Unwritten #7  -- 14,763 (- 3.6%)
12/2009: The Unwritten #8  -- 14,257 (- 3.4%)
01/2010: The Unwritten #9  -- 13,792 (- 3.3%)
02/2010: The Unwritten #10 -- 13,644 (- 1.1%)
03/2010: The Unwritten #11 -- 13,630 (- 0.1%)
04/2010: The Unwritten #12 -- 13,507 (- 0.9%)
05/2010: The Unwritten #13 -- 13,467 (- 0.3%)
06/2010: The Unwritten #14 -- 13,396 (- 0.5%)
07/2010: The Unwritten #15 -- 13,023 (- 2.8%)
08/2010: The Unwritten #16 -- 12,778 (- 1.9%)
09/2010: The Unwritten #17 -- 12,796 (+ 0.2%)
10/2010: The Unwritten #18 -- 12,273 (- 4.1%)
----------------
6 months: - 9.1%
1 year  : -19.9%

Relatively solid numbers overall.

—–

155 - R.E.B.E.L.S.
10/2009: R.E.B.E.L.S. #9  -- 11,284 (-  0.6%)
11/2009: R.E.B.E.L.S. #10 -- 51,100 (+352.9%)
12/2009: R.E.B.E.L.S. #11 -- 31,489 (- 38.4%)
01/2010: R.E.B.E.L.S. #12 -- 12,428 (- 60.5%)
02/2010: R.E.B.E.L.S. #13 -- 11,836 (-  4.8%)
03/2010: R.E.B.E.L.S. #14 -- 11,362 (-  4.0%)
04/2010: R.E.B.E.L.S. #15 -- 11,271 (-  0.8%)
05/2010: R.E.B.E.L.S. #16 -- 11,120 (-  1.3%)
06/2010: R.E.B.E.L.S. #17 -- 11,048 (-  0.7%)
07/2010: R.E.B.E.L.S. #18 -- 11,007 (-  0.4%)
08/2010: R.E.B.E.L.S. #19 -- 10,851 (-  1.4%)
09/2010: R.E.B.E.L.S. #20 -- 11,745 (+  8.2%)
10/2010: R.E.B.E.L.S. #21 -- 11,262 (-  4.1%)
-----------------
6 months: -  0.1%
1 year  : -  0.2%

The book continues to be rock-solid around the 11K mark.

—–

160 - RAGMAN: SUIT OF SOULS
10/2010: Ragman: Suit of Souls #1 -- 11,163

Pretty much the best they could have hoped for in the context of there being no context for this book in the company’s publishing line.

—–

161 - JONAH HEX
10/2006: Jonah Hex #12 -- 18,299
10/2007: Jonah Hex #24 -- 14,749
10/2008: Jonah Hex #36 -- 12,629
--------------------------------
10/2009: Jonah Hex #48 -- 11,281 (- 7.8%)
11/2009: Jonah Hex #49 -- 11,146 (- 1.2%)
12/2009: Jonah Hex #50 -- 15,131 (+35.8%)
01/2010: Jonah Hex #51 -- 11,184 (-26.1%)
02/2010: Jonah Hex #52 -- 11,213 (+ 0.3%)
03/2010: Jonah Hex #53 -- 11,565 (+ 3.1%)
04/2010: Jonah Hex #54 -- 11,306 (- 2.2%)
05/2010: Jonah Hex #55 -- 11,327 (+ 0.2%)
06/2010: Jonah Hex #56 -- 13,441 (+18.7%)
07/2010: Jonah Hex #57 -- 12,318 (- 8.4%)
08/2010: Jonah Hex #58 -- 11,775 (- 4.4%)
09/2010: Jonah Hex #59 -- 11,444 (- 2.8%)
10/2010: Jonah Hex #60 -- 11,141 (- 2.7%)
----------------
6 months: - 1.5%
1 year  : - 1.2%
2 years : -11.8%

There have been some ups and downs over the year, but on balance, Jonah Hex is still one of DC’s steadiest performers.

—–

169 - VERTIGO RESURRECTED (Vertigo)
10/2010: Vertigo Resurrected #1 -- 10,358

Among other things, this special includes a 10-year-old Hellblazer story by Warren Ellis and Phil Jimenez about school violence that was deemed too controversial back in the day, thanks to the Columbine shooting. The numbers aren’t spectacular, but still slightly ahead of Hellblazer proper. Not bad for a $ 7.99 book with content that was paid for long ago.

—–

170 - JACK OF FABLES (Vertigo)
10/2006: Jack of Fables #4  -- 21,614
10/2007: Jack of Fables #15 -- 18,329
10/2007: Jack of Fables #16 -- 17,743
10/2008: Jack of Fables #27 -- 15,092
-------------------------------------
10/2009: Jack of Fables #39 -- 13,161 (- 4.6%)
11/2009: --
12/2009: Jack of Fables #40 -- 12,970 (- 1.5%)
12/2009: Jack of Fables #41 -- 12,559 (- 3.2%)
01/2010: Jack of Fables #42 -- 11,966 (- 4.7%)
02/2010: --
03/2010: Jack of Fables #43 -- 11,878 (- 0.7%)
03/2010: Jack of Fables #44 -- 11,472 (- 3.4%)
04/2010: Jack of Fables #45 -- 11,324 (- 1.3%)
05/2010: --
06/2010: --
07/2010: Jack of Fables #46 -- 11,195 (- 1.1%)
08/2010: --
09/2010: Jack of Fables #47 -- 11,026 (- 1.5%)
10/2010: Jack of Fables #48 -- 10,347 (- 6.2%)
----------------
6 months: - 8.6%
1 year  : -21.4%
2 years : -31.4%

An unusually stiff drop. Jack of Fables #48 came out in the last week of October, though, so maybe a couple of boxes fell off a truck and weren’t found in time for the October chart.

——

174 - DOOM PATROL
10/2005: Doom Patrol #17 -- 14,114
----------------------------------
10/2009: Doom Patrol #3  -- 20,036 (-  8.9%)
11/2009: Doom Patrol #4  -- 53,748 (+168.3%)
12/2009: Doom Patrol #5  -- 35,348 (- 34.2%)
01/2010: Doom Patrol #6  -- 17,117 (- 51.6%)
02/2010: Doom Patrol #7  -- 15,689 (-  8.3%)
03/2010: Doom Patrol #8  -- 14,197 (-  9.5%)
04/2010: Doom Patrol #9  -- 13,126 (-  7.5%)
05/2010: Doom Patrol #10 -- 12,334 (-  6.0%)
06/2010: Doom Patrol #11 -- 11,857 (-  3.9%)
07/2010: Doom Patrol #12 -- 11,267 (-  5.0%)
08/2010: Doom Patrol #13 -- 10,878 (-  3.5%)
09/2010: Doom Patrol #14 -- 10,780 (-  0.9%)
10/2010: Doom Patrol #15 -- 10,081 (-  6.5%)
----------------
6 months: -23.2%
1 year  : -49.7%
5 years : -28.6%
175 - DOC SAVAGE
04/2010: Doc Savage #1   -- 24,539
05/2010: Doc Savage #2   -- 19,073 (-22.3%)
06/2010: Doc Savage #3   -- 16,153 (-15.3%)
07/2010: Doc Savage #4   -- 14,621 (- 9.5%)
08/2010: Doc Savage #5   -- 13,125 (-10.2%)
09/2010: Doc Savage #6   -- 11,838 (- 9.8%)
10/2010: Doc Savage #7   -- 10,050 (-15.1%)
----------------
6 months: -59.1%

Neither Doom Patrol nor Doc Savage came out in the last week of the month, unfortunately, so it looks like sales are genuinely terrible, in these cases.

—–

176 - TINY TITANS/LITTLE ARCHIE (Johnny DC)
10/2010: TT/LA #1 of 3   --  9,968

A Johnny DC book. See small print.

—–

180 - THE X-FILES/30 DAYS OF NIGHT (WildStorm)
07/2008: Special #0      -- 23,805
11/2008: X-Files #1 of 6 -- 16,042 (-32.6%)
12/2008: X-Files #2 of 6 -- 11,562 (-27.9%)
01/2009: X-Files #3 of 6 --  9,808 (-15.2%)
02/2009: X-Files #4 of 6 --  9,268 (- 5.5%)
03/2009: X-Files #5 of 6 --  8,999 (- 2.9%)
04/2009: X-Files #6 of 6 --  8,789 (- 2.3%)
----------------------------------
07/2010: XF30DoN #1 of 6 -- 16,109 (+83.3%)
08/2010: XF30DoN #2 of 6 -- 11,163 (-30.7%)
09/2010: XF30DoN #3 of 6 -- 10,803 (- 3.2%)
10/2010: XF30DoN #4 of 6 --  9,780 (- 9.5%)
----------------
2 years :  n.a.

The best-selling WildStorm comic book in October doesn’t offer much in the way of consolation for the folding imprint.

—–

182 - HELLBLAZER (Vertigo)
10/2005: Hellblazer #213 -- 14,688
10/2006: Hellblazer #225 -- 13,629
10/2007: Hellblazer #237 -- 12,703
10/2008: Hellblazer #248 -- 11,600
----------------------------------
10/2009: Hellblazer #260 -- 10,767 (-0.4%)
11/2009: Hellblazer #261 -- 10,553 (-2.0%)
12/2009: Hellblazer #262 -- 10,334 (-2.1%)
01/2010: Hellblazer #263 -- 10,179 (-1.5%)
02/2010: Hellblazer #264 -- 10,025 (-1.5%)
03/2010: Hellblazer #265 -- 10,295 (+2.7%)
04/2010: Hellblazer #266 -- 10,256 (-0.4%)
05/2010: Hellblazer #267 -- 10,155 (-1.0%)
06/2010: Hellblazer #268 -- 10,221 (+0.7%)
07/2010: Hellblazer #269 -- 10,048 (-1.7%)
08/2010: Hellblazer #270 --  9,928 (-1.2%)
09/2010: Hellblazer #271 --  9,851 (-0.8%)
10/2010: Hellblazer #272 --  9,650 (-2.0%)
----------------
6 months: - 5.9%
1 year  : -10.4%
2 years : -16.8%
5 years : -34.3%

Slowly declining, as always.

—–

186 - THE SPIRIT
10/2008: The Spirit #22 -- 10,997
---------------------------------
04/2010: The Spirit #1  -- 19,849 (+158.8%)
05/2010: The Spirit #2  -- 14,274 (- 28.1%)
06/2010: The Spirit #3  -- 13,030 (-  8.7%)
07/2010: The Spirit #4  -- 11,915 (-  8.6%)
08/2010: The Spirit #5  -- 11,015 (-  7.6%)
09/2010: The Spirit #6  -- 10,083 (-  8.5%)
10/2010: The Spirit #7  --  9,233 (-  8.4%)
-----------------
6 months: - 53.5%
2 years : - 16.0%

Infernal sales, obviously.

—–

189 - SWEET TOOTH (Vertigo)
10/2009: Sweet Tooth #2  -- 11,315 (-39.4%)
11/2009: Sweet Tooth #3  -- 10,363 (- 8.4%)
12/2009: Sweet Tooth #4  --  9,817 (- 5.3%)
01/2010: Sweet Tooth #5  --  9,787 (- 0.3%)
02/2010: Sweet Tooth #6  --  9,740 (- 0.5%)
03/2010: Sweet Tooth #7  --  9,718 (- 0.2%)
04/2010: Sweet Tooth #8  --  9,612 (- 1.1%)
05/2010: Sweet Tooth #9  --  9,654 (+ 0.4%)
06/2010: Sweet Tooth #10 --  9,570 (- 0.9%)
07/2010: Sweet Tooth #11 --  9,478 (- 1.0%)
08/2010: Sweet Tooth #12 --  9,246 (- 2.5%)
09/2010: Sweet Tooth #13 --  9,097 (- 1.6%)
10/2010: Sweet Tooth #14 --  8,933 (- 1.8%)
----------------
6 months: - 7.1%
1 year  : -21.1%

Standard attrition. At this rate, Sweet Tooth should be safe for a few years — see DMZ or Scalped below.

—–

191/206 - CONSTANTINE: HELLBLAZER: CITY OF DEMONS (Vertigo)
10/2010: CH: CoD #1 of 3 -- 8,784
10/2010: CH: CoD #2 of 3 -- 8,097 (-7.8%)
199 - HOUSE OF MYSTERY HALLOWEEN ANNUAL (Vertigo)
10/2010: HoM Halloween Annual #2 -- 8,323

Not bad sales for spin-off books. The House of Mystery Annual, a $ 4.99 package, is even a few hundred units ahead of its mother title.

—–

202 - AZRAEL
10/2009: Azrael #1  -- 35,311 (- 1.7%)
11/2009: Azrael #2  -- 21,392 (-39.4%)
12/2009: Azrael #3  -- 17,757 (-17.0%)
01/2010: Azrael #4  -- 14,703 (-17.2%)
02/2010: Azrael #5  -- 12,856 (-12.6%)
03/2010: Azrael #6  -- 11,825 (- 8.0%)
04/2010: Azrael #7  -- 11,080 (- 6.3%)
05/2010: Azrael #8  -- 10,228 (- 7.7%)
06/2010: Azrael #9  --  9,802 (- 4.2%)
07/2010: Azrael #10 --  9,223 (- 5.9%)
08/2010: Azrael #11 --  8,930 (- 3.2%)
09/2010: Azrael #12 --  8,559 (- 4.2%)
10/2010: Azrael #13 --  8,198 (- 4.2%)
----------------
6 months: -26.0%
1 year  : -76.8%

Azrael numbers keep crashing.

—–

207 - TINY TITANS (Johnny DC)
10/2008: Tiny Titans #9  --  9,521
----------------------------------
10/2009: Tiny Titans #21 --  8,259 (- 2.1%)
11/2009: Tiny Titans #22 --  8,100 (- 1.9%)
12/2009: Tiny Titans #23 --  8,017 (- 1.0%)
01/2010: Tiny Titans #24 --  7,844 (- 2.2%)
02/2010: Tiny Titans #25 --  8,566 (+ 9.2%)
03/2010: Tiny Titans #26 --  7,878 (- 8.0%)
04/2010: Tiny Titans #27 --  8,224 (+ 4.4%)
05/2010: Tiny Titans #28 --  7,959 (- 3.2%)
06/2010: Tiny Titans #29 --  8,195 (+ 3.0%)
07/2010: Tiny Titans #30 --  8,038 (- 1.9%)
08/2010: Tiny Titans #31 --  7,987 (- 0.6%)
09/2010: Tiny Titans #32 --  8,073 (+ 1.1%)
10/2010: Tiny Titans #33 --  8,045 (- 0.4%)
----------------
6 months: - 2.2%
1 year  : - 2.6%
2 years : -15.5%

A Johnny DC book.

—–

209 - HOUSE OF MYSTERY (Vertigo)
10/2008: House of Mystery #6  -- 15,934
---------------------------------------
10/2009: House of Mystery #18 -- 10,922 (- 2.0%)
11/2009: House of Mystery #19 -- 10,478 (- 4.1%)
12/2009: House of Mystery #20 -- 10,175 (- 2.9%)
01/2010: House of Mystery #21 --  9,888 (- 2.8%)
02/2010: House of Mystery #22 --  9,401 (- 4.9%)
03/2010: House of Mystery #23 --  9,350 (- 0.5%)
04/2010: House of Mystery #24 --  9,168 (- 2.0%)
05/2010: House of Mystery #25 --  9,253 (+ 0.9%)
06/2010: House of Mystery #26 --  8,742 (- 5.5%)
07/2010: House of Mystery #27 --  8,481 (- 3.0%)
08/2010: House of Mystery #28 --  8,238 (- 2.9%)
09/2010: House of Mystery #29 --  8,087 (- 1.8%)
10/2010: House of Mystery #30 --  7,913 (- 2.2%)
----------------
6 months: -13.7%
1 year  : -27.6%
2 years : -50.3%

The book keeps drifting down the charts, and the drops are adding up. That two-year comparison doesn’t look good.

—–

213/220 - MADAME XANADU (Vertigo)
10/2008: Madame Xanadu #5  -- 11,392
------------------------------------
10/2009: Madame Xanadu #16 --  9,283 (- 4.6%)
11/2009: Madame Xanadu #17 --  8,856 (- 4.6%)
12/2009: Madame Xanadu #18 --  8,686 (- 1.9%)
01/2010: Madame Xanadu #19 --  8,439 (- 2.8%)
02/2010: Madame Xanadu #20 --  8,285 (- 1.8%)
03/2010: Madame Xanadu #21 --  8,191 (- 1.1%)
04/2010: Madame Xanadu #22 --  8,158 (- 0.4%)
05/2010: Madame Xanadu #23 --  8,028 (- 1.6%)
06/2010: Madame Xanadu #24 --  7,979 (- 0.6%)
07/2010: Madame Xanadu #25 --  7,811 (- 2.1%)
08/2010: Madame Xanadu #26 --  7,656 (- 2.0%)
09/2010: --
10/2010: Madame Xanadu #27 --  7,453 (- 2.7%)
10/2010: Madame Xanadu #28 --  7,230 (- 3.0%)
----------------
6 months: -10.0%
1 year  : -20.9%
2 years : -36.5%

Another Vertigo title with less than impressive numbers. Madame Xanadu ends with issue #29.

—–

221 - NORTHLANDERS (Vertigo)
10/2008: Northlanders #11 -- 10,353
-----------------------------------
10/2009: Northlanders #21 --  8,360 (- 4.9%)
11/2009: Northlanders #22 --  8,136 (- 2.7%)
12/2009: Northlanders #23 --  8,069 (- 0.8%)
01/2010: Northlanders #24 --  7,935 (- 1.7%)
02/2010: Northlanders #25 --  7,807 (- 1.6%)
03/2010: Northlanders #26 --  7,824 (+ 0.2%)
04/2010: Northlanders #27 --  7,683 (- 1.8%)
05/2010: Northlanders #28 --  7,630 (- 0.7%)
06/2010: Northlanders #29 --  7,498 (- 1.7%)
07/2010: Northlanders #30 --  7,421 (- 1.0%)
08/2010: Northlanders #31 --  7,376 (- 0.6%)
09/2010: Northlanders #32 --  7,321 (- 0.8%)
10/2010: Northlanders #33 --  7,169 (- 2.1%)
----------------
6 months: - 6.7%
1 year  : -14.3%
2 years : -30.8%

The book continues its very slow, very steady decline.

—–

232/235 - SCALPED (Vertigo)
10/2007: Scalped #10 --  7,536
10/2008: Scalped #22 --  6,964
------------------------------
10/2009: Scalped #32 --  6,905 (- 0.2%)
11/2009: --
12/2009: Scalped #33 --  6,752 (- 2.2%)
01/2010: --
02/2010: Scalped #34 --  6,731 (- 0.3%)
02/2010: Scalped #35 --  6,443 (- 4.3%)
03/2010: Scalped #36 --  6,648 (+ 3.2%)
04/2010: Scalped #37 --  6,584 (- 1.0%)
05/2010: Scalped #38 --  6,632 (+ 0.7%)
06/2010: --
07/2010: Scalped #39 --  6,682 (+ 0.8%)
08/2010: Scalped #40 --  6,593 (- 1.3%)
09/2010: --
10/2010: Scalped #41 --  6,623 (+ 0.5%)
10/2010: Scalped #42 --  6,476 (- 2.2%)
----------------
6 months: - 0.5%
1 year  : - 5.2%
2 years : - 6.0%

Scalped sales have varied by less than 500 units over the last year. This continues to be DC’s most steady performer, despite its low sales level.

—–

233 - THE AUTHORITY (WildStorm)
10/2005: Revolution #12 of 12 -- 18,256
10/2006: The Authority v3 #1  -- 58,136
10/2007: Prime #1 of 6        -- 21,992
10/2008: The Authority v4 #3  -- 13,408
---------------------------------------
10/2009: The Authority v4 #15 --  8,174 (- 2.6%)
11/2009: The Authority v4 #16 --  8,066 (- 1.3%)
12/2009: The Authority v4 #17 --  7,829 (- 2.9%)
01/2010: The Authority v4 #18 --  7,952 (+ 1.6%)
02/2010: The Authority v4 #19 --  7,943 (- 0.1%)
03/2010: The Authority v4 #20 --  7,781 (- 2.0%)
04/2010: The Authority v4 #21 --  7,563 (- 2.8%)
05/2010: The Authority v4 #22 --  7,295 (- 3.5%)
06/2010: The Authority v4 #23 --  7,226 (- 1.0%)
07/2010: The Authority v4 #24 --  7,062 (- 2.3%)
08/2010: The Authority v4 #25 --  6,860 (- 2.9%)
09/2010: The Authority v4 #26 --  6,596 (- 3.9%)
10/2010: The Authority v4 #27 --  6,556 (- 0.6%)
----------------
6 months: -13.3%
1 year  : -19.8%
2 years : -51.1%
5 years : -64.1%

Cancelled with issue #29, evidently.

DC’s plans for the WildStorm Universe books aren’t clear yet, but at this stage, these concepts would probably greatly benefit from there not being any plans for them.

—–

236 - TOM STRONG AND THE ROBOTS OF DOOM (WildStorm)
06/2010: RoD #1 of 6    -- 10,552
07/2010: RoD #2 of 6    --  7,655 (-27.5%)
08/2010: RoD #3 of 6    --  6,989 (- 8.7%)
09/2010: RoD #4 of 6    --  6,661 (- 4.7%)
10/2010: RoD #5 of 6    --  6,271 (- 5.9%)

Average miniseries behavior.

—–

238 - DMZ (Vertigo)
10/2006: DMZ #12 -- 14,640
10/2007: DMZ #24 -- 11,583
10/2008: DMZ #35 --  9,240
--------------------------
10/2009: DMZ #46 --  7,399 (-2.5%)
11/2009: DMZ #47 --  7,187 (-2.9%)
12/2009: DMZ #48 --  6,977 (-2.9%)
01/2010: DMZ #49 --  6,872 (-1.5%)
02/2010: DMZ #50 --  7,262 (+5.7%)
03/2010: DMZ #51 --  6,840 (-5.8%)
04/2010: DMZ #52 --  6,826 (-0.2%)
05/2010: DMZ #53 --  6,759 (-1.0%)
06/2010: DMZ #54 --  6,661 (-1.5%)
07/2010: DMZ #55 --  6,581 (-1.2%)
08/2010: DMZ #56 --  6,524 (-0.9%)
09/2010: DMZ #57 --  6,333 (-2.9%)
10/2010: DMZ #58 --  6,198 (-2.1%)
----------------
6 months: - 9.2%
1 year  : -16.2%
2 years : -32.9%

The book is set to conclude with issue #72. At this rate, this means that DMZ is going to hit some really low numbers by then, but unless the decline accelerates, there should be nothing to worry about.

—–

241 - BATMAN: THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD (Johnny DC)
10/2005: Batman Strikes! #14   --  8,950
10/2006: Batman Strikes! #26   --  7,560
10/2007: Batman Strikes! #38   --  6,664
10/2008: Batman Strikes! #50   --  6,413
----------------------------------------
10/2009: Brave & Bold #10      --  6,646 (-  5.9%)
11/2009: Brave & Bold #11      --  6,438 (-  3.1%)
12/2009: Brave & Bold #12      --  6,342 (-  1.5%)
01/2010: Brave & Bold #13      --  6,129 (-  3.4%)
02/2010: Brave & Bold #14      --  6,084 (-  0.7%)
03/2010: Brave & Bold #15      --  6,208 (+  2.0%)
04/2010: Brave & Bold #16      --  6,506 (+  4.8%)
05/2010: Brave & Bold #17      --  6,103 (-  6.2%)
06/2010: Brave & Bold #18      --  6,270 (+  2.7%)
07/2010: Brave & Bold #19      --  6,489 (+  3.5%)
08/2010: Brave & Bold #20      --  6,244 (-  3.8%)
09/2010: Brave & Bold #21      --  6,345 (+  1.6%)
10/2010: Brave & Bold #22      --  6,044 (-  4.7%)
----------------
6 months: - 7.1%
1 year  : - 9.1%
2 years : - 5.8%
5 years : -32.5%

A Johnny DC book.

—–

246 - VICTORIAN UNDEAD SPECIAL (WildStorm)
11/2009: Victorian Undead #1 of 6 -- 11,422
12/2009: Victorian Undead #2 of 6 --  7,430
01/2010: Victorian Undead #3 of 6 --  6,663
02/2010: Victorian Undead #4 of 6 --  6,365
03/2010: Victorian Undead #5 of 6 --  6,285
04/2010: Victorian Undead #6 of 6 --  6,102
-------------------------------------------
10/2010: Victorian Undead Special --  5,723 (-6.2%)
----------------
6 months: - 6.2%

Believe it or not: This sold better than the average WildStorm comic book in October.

—–

250 - WILDCATS (WildStorm)
10/2005: Nemesis #2 of 9 -- 16,829
10/2006: Wildcats #1     -- 82,528
10/2007: --
10/2008: World's End #4  -- 12,431
----------------------------------
10/2009: World's End #16 --  6,883 (- 4.1%)
11/2009: World's End #17 --  6,691 (- 2.8%)
12/2009: World's End #18 --  6,487 (- 3.2%)
01/2010: World's End #19 --  6,791 (+ 4.7%)
02/2010: World's End #20 --  6,669 (- 1.8%)
03/2010: World's End #21 --  6,491 (- 2.7%)
04/2010: World's End #22 --  6,367 (- 1.9%)
05/2010: World's End #23 --  6,185 (- 2.9%)
06/2010: World's End #24 --  6,051 (- 2.2%)
07/2010: World's End #25 --  5,823 (- 3.8%)
08/2010: World's End #26 --  5,607 (- 3.7%)
09/2010: World's End #27 --  5,514 (- 1.7%)
10/2010: World's End #28 --  5,532 (+ 0.3%)
----------------
6 months: -13.1%
1 year  : -19.6%
2 years : -55.5%
5 years : -67.1%

Canceled with issue #29.

—–

251 - THE MIGHTY CRUSADERS
05/2010: Special #1               -- 7,017
06/2010: --
07/2010: Mighty Crusaders #1 of 6 -- 9,361 (+33.4%)
08/2010: Mighty Crusaders #2 of 6 -- 6,751 (-27.9%)
09/2010: Mighty Crusaders #3 of 6 -- 6,035 (-10.6%)
10/2010: Mighty Crusaders #4 of 6 -- 5,436 (- 9.9%)

Completely off the map.

—–

252 - FRINGE: TALES FROM THE FRINGE (WildStorm)
09/2008: Fringe #1 of 6 -- 15,929
01/2009: Fringe #2 of 6 --  8,239 (-48.3%)
03/2009: Fringe #3 of 6 --  7,426 (- 9.9%)
04/2009: Fringe #4 of 6 --  6,899 (- 7.1%)
05/2009: Fringe #5 of 6 --  6,744 (- 2.3%)
06/2009: Fringe #6 of 6 --  6,646 (- 1.5%)
---------------------------------
06/2010: Tales #1 of 6  --  8,099 (+21.9%)
07/2010: --
08/2010: Tales #2 of 6  --  6,506 (-19.7%)
08/2010: Tales #3 of 6  --  5,928 (- 8.9%)
09/2010: Tales #4 of 6  --  5,619 (- 5.2%)
10/2010: Tales #5 of 6  --  5,297 (- 5.7%)
----------------
2 years :  n.a.
253 - DV8: GODS AND MONSTERS (WildStorm)
04/2010: Gods and Monsters #1 of 8 -- 10,203
05/2010: Gods and Monsters #2 of 8 --  6,671 (-34.6%)
06/2010: Gods and Monsters #3 of 8 --  6,295 (- 5.6%)
07/2010: Gods and Monsters #4 of 8 --  5,918 (- 6.0%)
08/2010: Gods and Monsters #5 of 8 --  5,598 (- 5.4%)
09/2010: Gods and Monsters #6 of 8 --  5,488 (- 2.0%)
10/2010: Gods and Monsters #7 of 8 --  5,226 (- 4.8%)
----------------
6 months: -48.8%
254 - GEARS OF WAR (WildStorm)
10/2009: --
11/2009: GoW #10 --  8,066 (-10.5%)
12/2009: --
01/2010: GoW #11 --  7,157 (-11.3%)
02/2010: --
03/2010: --
04/2010: --
05/2010: --
06/2010: GoW #12 --  6,165 (-13.9%)
07/2010: --
08/2010: GoW #13 --  5,962 (- 3.3%)
09/2010: --
10/2010: GoW #14 --  5,204 (-12.7%)
----------------
6 months:  n.a.
1 year  :  n.a.

Assorted WildStorm titles, all still above the average for October.

—–

257 - UNKNOWN SOLDIER (Vertigo)
10/2008: Unknown Soldier #1  -- 16,038
--------------------------------------
10/2009: Unknown Soldier #13 --  6,636 (- 3.3%)
11/2009: Unknown Soldier #14 --  6,359 (- 4.2%)
12/2009: Unknown Soldier #15 --  6,134 (- 3.5%)
01/2010: Unknown Soldier #16 --  5,848 (- 4.7%)
02/2010: Unknown Soldier #17 --  5,701 (- 2.5%)
03/2010: Unknown Soldier #18 --  5,611 (- 1.6%)
04/2010: Unknown Soldier #19 --  5,542 (- 1.2%)
05/2010: Unknown Soldier #20 --  5,466 (- 1.4%)
06/2010: Unknown Soldier #21 --  5,371 (- 1.7%)
07/2010: Unknown Soldier #22 --  5,238 (- 2.5%)
08/2010: Unknown Soldier #23 --  5,090 (- 2.8%)
09/2010: --
10/2010: Unknown Soldier #24 --  5,100 (+ 0.2%)
----------------
6 months: - 8.0%
1 year  : -23.2%
2 years : -68.2%

Canceled with issue #25.

—–

260/270/273/284/293/295/n.a. - DC COMICS PRESENTS
10/2010: Green Lantern #1   -- 4,418
10/2010: Jack Cross #1      -- 3,662
10/2010: Batman/Catwoman #1 -- 4,076
10/2010: Brightest Day #1   -- 4,988
10/2010: Batman #1          -- 4,643
10/2010: Superman #1        -- 3,685
10/2010: Young Justice #1   -- ?

A bunch of $ 7.99 reprint books. The Young Justice one didn’t make the chart.

—–

261 - SCOOBY DOO: WHERE ARE YOU? (Johnny DC)
10/2005: Scooby Doo #101 -- 4,604
10/2006: Scooby Doo #113 -- 4,339
10/2007: Scooby Doo #125 -- 4,407
10/2008: Scooby Doo #137 -- ?
---------------------------------
10/2009: Scooby Doo #149 -- 4,005 (- 2.4%)
11/2009: Scooby Doo #150 -- 4,044 (+ 1.0%)
12/2009: Scooby Doo #151 -- 3,906 (- 3.4%)
01/2010: Scooby Doo #152 -- 3,724 (- 4.7%)
02/2010: Scooby Doo #153 -- 3,780 (+ 1.5%)
03/2010: Scooby Doo #154 -- 3,846 (+ 1.8%)
04/2010: Scooby Doo #155 -- 3,836 (- 0.3%)
05/2010: Scooby Doo #156 -- 3,857 (+ 0.6%)
06/2010: Scooby Doo #157 -- ?
07/2010: Scooby Doo #158 -- 4,147
08/2010: Scooby Doo #159 -- 4,092 (- 1.3%)
09/2010: SD:WAY? #1      -- 6,186 (+51.2%)
10/2010: SD:WAY? #2      -- 4,926 (-20.4%)
----------------
6 months: +28.4%
1 year  : +23.0%
2 years : ?
5 years : + 7.0%

A Johnny DC book.

—–

269 - GREEK STREET (Vertigo)
10/2009: Greek Street #4  --  9,246 (-13.0%)
11/2009: Greek Street #5  --  8,610 (- 6.9%)
12/2009: Greek Street #6  --  7,802 (- 9.4%)
01/2010: Greek Street #7  --  7,335 (- 6.0%)
02/2010: Greek Street #8  --  6,872 (- 6.3%)
03/2010: Greek Street #9  --  6,603 (- 3.9%)
04/2010: Greek Street #10 --  6,324 (- 4.2%)
05/2010: Greek Street #11 --  6,128 (- 3.1%)
06/2010: Greek Street #12 --  5,905 (- 3.6%)
07/2010: Greek Street #13 --  5,523 (- 6.5%)
08/2010: Greek Street #14 --  5,153 (- 6.7%)
09/2010: Greek Street #15 --  4,888 (- 5.1%)
10/2010: Greek Street #16 --  4,648 (- 4.9%)
----------------
6 months: -26.5%
1 year  : -49.3%

Canceled. Greek Street was one of Peter Milligan’s less penetrable — and, let’s be honest, creatively successful — efforts, so it was always going to be an uphill struggle.

—–

274 - GEN13 (WildStorm)
10/2006: Gen13 #1  -- 47,535
10/2007: Gen13 #13 -- 15,539
10/2008: Gen13 #23 -- 10,061
----------------------------
10/2009: Gen13 #32 --  6,044 (- 7.6%)
11/2009: --
12/2009: Gen13 #33 --  5,718 (- 5.4%)
01/2010: --
02/2010: Gen13 #34 --  5,412 (- 5.4%)
03/2010: --
04/2010: Gen13 #35 --  5,257 (- 2.9%)
05/2010: --
06/2010: Gen13 #36 --  5,124 (- 2.5%)
07/2010: --
08/2010: Gen13 #37 --  4,757 (- 7.2%)
09/2010: --
10/2010: Gen13 #38 --  4,404 (- 7.4%)
----------------
6 months: -16.2%
1 year  : -27.1%
2 years : -56.2%

Canceled with issue #39.

—–

286 - RATCHET AND CLANK (WildStorm)
09/2010: Ratchet and Clank #1 of 6 -- 5,655
10/2010: Ratchet and Clank #2 of 6 -- 4,001 (-29.3%)

Another licensed property from WildStorm.

—–

287 - BILLY BATSON & THE MAGIC OF SHAZAM (Johnny DC)
10/2008: --
-----------------------------------
10/2009: Billy Batson #9  --  5,388 (- 8.0%)
11/2009: Billy Batson #10 --  4,993 (- 7.3%)
12/2009: Billy Batson #11 --  4,795 (- 4.0%)
01/2010: Billy Batson #12 --  4,371 (- 8.8%)
02/2010: Billy Batson #13 --  4,316 (- 1.3%)
03/2010: Billy Batson #14 --  4,227 (- 2.1%)
04/2010: Billy Batson #15 --  4,236 (+ 0.2%)
05/2010: Billy Batson #16 --  4,125 (- 2.6%)
06/2010: Billy Batson #17 --  ?
07/2010: Billy Batson #18 --  4,281
08/2010: Billy Batson #19 --  4,120 (- 3.8%)
09/2010: Billy Batson #20 --  ?
10/2010: Billy Batson #21 --  3,945
----------------
6 months: - 6.9%
1 year  : -26.8%
2 years :  n.a.

Another Johnny DC title.

—–

292 - WELCOME TO TRANQUILITY: ONE FOOT IN THE GRAVE (WildStorm)
12/2006: Welcome to Tranquility #1  -- 24,352
01/2007: Welcome to Tranquility #2  -- 15,087 (-38.1%)
02/2007: Welcome to Tranquility #3  -- 12,334 (-18.3%)
03/2007: Welcome to Tranquility #4  -- 11,423 (- 7.4%)
04/2007: Welcome to Tranquility #5  -- 10,407 (- 8.9%)
05/2007: Welcome to Tranquility #6  -- 10,280 (- 1.2%)
06/2007: Welcome to Tranquility #7  --  9,858 (- 4.1%)
07/2007: Welcome to Tranquility #8  --  9,509 (- 3.5%)
08/2007: Welcome to Tranquility #9  --  9,135 (- 3.9%)
09/2007: Welcome to Tranquility #10 --  8,611 (- 5.7%)
10/2007: Welcome to Tranquility #11 --  8,439 (- 2.0%)
11/2007: Welcome to Tranquility #12 --  8,076 (- 4.3%)
---------------------------------------------
07/2010: One Foot i/t Grave #1 of 6 --  6,219 (-23.0%)
08/2010: One Foot i/t Grave #2 of 6 --  4,776 (-23.2%)
09/2010: One Foot i/t Grave #3 of 6 --  ?
10/2010: One Foot i/t Grave #4 of 6 --  3,734

The series missed the chart in September. In October, the WildStorm titles Kane and Lynch #3, Ides of Blood #3 and Telara Chronicles #2 failed to chart. As always, for the purposes of the average periodical statistics below, I’m presuming each of them sold as many units as the No. 300 book on the chart, although the actual number is likely to be lower.

Also, I’ve corrected last month’s average sales for DC and WildStorm periodicals, since I’d missed Kane and Lynch #2, which was published in September but also missed the chart.

—–

6-MONTH COMPARISONS
+ 47.4%: Wonder Woman
+ 46.5%: Superman
+ 44.8%: Green Arrow
+ 44.2%: Action Comics
+ 28.4%: Scooby-Doo
+  9.2%: Teen Titans
-  0.1%: REBELS
-  0.1%: Superman/Batman
-  0.5%: Scalped
-  1.5%: Jonah Hex
-  1.6%: Fables
-  2.2%: Tiny Titans
-  3.2%: JSA
-  4.3%: JLA
-  4.6%: Batman and Robin
-  5.3%: JSA All-Stars
-  5.9%: Hellblazer
-  6.2%: Victorian Undead
-  6.7%: Northlanders
-  6.9%: Billy Batson
-  7.1%: Batman: B&B
-  7.1%: Sweet Tooth
-  8.0%: Unknown Soldier
-  8.6%: Jack of Fables
-  9.1%: Unwritten
-  9.2%: DMZ
- 10.0%: Madame Xanadu
- 10.2%: Booster Gold
- 10.2%: Secret Six
- 13.1%: Wildcats
- 13.3%: Authority
- 13.7%: House of Mystery
- 13.7%: Power Girl
- 14.2%: Batman Confidential
- 15.7%: GL Corps
- 15.9%: Detective Comics
- 16.2%: Gen13
- 18.2%: American Vampire
- 18.7%: Green Lantern
- 19.2%: Supergirl
- 20.1%: Outsiders
- 23.2%: Doom Patrol
- 26.0%: Azrael
- 26.5%: Greek Street
- 32.5%: Adventure Comics
- 35.8%: Brightest Day
- 48.8%: DV8
- 53.5%: Spirit
- 59.1%: Doc Savage

—–

1-YEAR COMPARISONS
+134.2%: Green Arrow
+ 38.7%: Wonder Woman
+ 37.3%: Superman
+ 23.0%: Scooby-Doo
+ 21.7%: Action Comics
-  0.2%: REBELS
-  1.2%: Jonah Hex
-  2.2%: JLA
-  2.6%: Tiny Titans
-  2.8%: Titans
-  5.2%: Scalped
-  5.2%: Teen Titans
-  6.9%: Fables
-  8.2%: Superman/Batman
-  9.1%: Batman: B&B
- 10.4%: Hellblazer
- 12.7%: Secret Six
- 14.3%: Northlanders
- 16.2%: DMZ
- 16.6%: Batman Confidential
- 17.6%: Booster Gold
- 19.5%: Green Lantern
- 19.6%: Wildcats
- 19.8%: Authority
- 19.9%: Unwritten
- 20.9%: Madame Xanadu
- 21.0%: JSA
- 21.1%: Batman and Robin
- 21.1%: Sweet Tooth
- 21.4%: Jack of Fables
- 21.5%: Supergirl
- 23.2%: Unknown Soldier
- 25.3%: GL Corps
- 26.8%: Billy Batson
- 27.1%: Gen13
- 27.6%: House of Mystery
- 28.8%: Outsiders
- 34.1%: Power Girl
- 39.1%: Detective Comics
- 43.0%: Adventure Comics
- 49.3%: Greek Street
- 49.7%: Doom Patrol
- 76.8%: Azrael

—–

2-YEAR COMPARISONS
+ 56.9%: Green Arrow
+ 31.3%: GL Corps
+ 28.8%: Green Lantern
+ 27.4%: LoSH
+ 11.4%: Wonder Woman
-  5.8%: Batman: B&B
-  6.0%: Scalped
- 11.0%: Superman
- 11.8%: Jonah Hex
- 15.5%: Tiny Titans
- 16.0%: Spirit
- 16.8%: Hellblazer
- 17.3%: Fables
- 24.5%: JLA
- 26.3%: Action Comics
- 26.8%: Secret Six
- 29.8%: Supergirl
- 30.4%: Teen Titans
- 30.8%: Northlanders
- 31.4%: Jack of Fables
- 32.9%: DMZ
- 34.1%: Superman/Batman
- 36.5%: Madame Xanadu
- 39.7%: Titans
- 40.5%: Booster Gold
- 41.9%: Batman Confidential
- 43.0%: Adventure Comics
- 45.9%: Detective Comics
- 50.3%: House of Mystery
- 50.8%: JSA
- 51.1%: Authority
- 55.5%: Wildcats
- 56.2%: Gen13
- 67.3%: Outsiders
- 68.2%: Unknown Soldier

—–

5-YEAR COMPARISONS
+ 28.6%: Green Arrow
+  7.0%: Scooby-Doo
-  9.2%: Detective Comics
- 11.3%: LoSH
- 11.8%: Action Comics
- 11.8%: GL Corps
- 21.2%: Fables
- 26.2%: JLA
- 28.2%: Superman
- 28.6%: Doom Patrol
- 29.3%: Wonder Woman
- 32.5%: Batman: B&B
- 34.3%: Hellblazer
- 34.4%: JSA
- 58.5%: Teen Titans
- 64.1%: Authority
- 67.1%: Wildcats
- 68.0%: Outsiders

—–

Average Periodical Sales (not counting reprints, reorders shipping after the initial month of release, Johnny DC titles and magazines)

DC COMICS
10/2005: 36,627
10/2006: 33,406
10/2007: 31,648
10/2008: 29,109
---------------
10/2009: 27,525 (- 4.4%)**
11/2009: 28,913 (+ 5.1%)**
12/2009: 25,904 (-10.4%)**
01/2010: 25,657 (- 1.0%)**
02/2010: 26,199 (+ 2.1%)**
03/2010: 23,299 (-11.1%)**
04/2010: 23,740 (+ 1.9%)**
05/2010: 27,785 (+17.0%)**
06/2010: 25,788 (- 7.2%)**
07/2010: 25,841 (+ 0.2%)**
08/2010: 23,331 (- 9.7%)**
09/2010: 23,212 (- 0.5%)**
10/2010: 23,756 (- 2.3%)**
----------------
6 months: + 0.1%
1 year  : -13.7%
2 years : -18.4%
5 years : -35.1%
DC UNIVERSE
10/2005: 47,021
10/2006: 42,581
10/2007: 39,748
10/2008: 37,273
---------------
10/2009: 34,795 (- 5.3%)
11/2009: 38,488 (+10.6%)
12/2009: 35,473 (- 7.8%)**
01/2010: 33,698 (- 5.0%)
02/2010: 35,895 (+ 6.5%)
03/2010: 32,375 (- 9.8%)
04/2010: 32,859 (+ 1.5%)
05/2010: 37,463 (+14.0%)
06/2010: 34,612 (- 7.6%)**
07/2010: 35,372 (+ 2.2%)
08/2010: 33,411 (- 5.5%)
09/2010: 32,042 (- 4.1%)
10/2010: 32,832 (+ 2.5%)
----------------
6 months: - 0.1%
1 year  : - 5.6%
2 years : -11.9%
5 years : -30.2%
VERTIGO
10/2005: 16,009
10/2006: 15,189
10/2007: 10,678
10/2008: 11,284
---------------
10/2009: 10,551 (- 7.0%)
11/2009: 11,036 (+ 4.6%)
12/2009: 10,583 (- 4.1%)
01/2010: 11,267 (+ 6.5%)
02/2010:  9,256 (-17.9%)
03/2010: 11,394 (+23.1%)
04/2010: 10,815 (- 5.1%)
05/2010: 11,756 (+ 8.7%)
06/2010: 10,995 (- 6.5%
07/2010:  9,515 (-13.5%)
08/2010:  9,094 (- 4.4%)
09/2010: 11,622 (+27.8%)
10/2010:  9,546 (-17.9%)
----------------
6 months: -11.7%
1 year  : - 9.5%
2 years : -15.4%
5 years : -40.4%
WILDSTORM
10/2005: 17,215
10/2006: 25,747
10/2007: 11,960
10/2008: 10,736
---------------
10/2009:  9,769 (+18.0%)**
11/2009:  7,111 (-27.2%)**
12/2009:  7,260 (+ 2.1%)**
01/2010:  6,532 (-10.0%)**
02/2010:  5,692 (-12.9%)**
03/2010:  7,691 (+35.1%)**
04/2010:  5,923 (-23.0%)**
05/2010:  6,808 (+14.9%)**
06/2010:  6,140 (- 9.8%)**
07/2010:  7,054 (+14.9%)**
08/2010:  6,179 (-12.4%)**
09/2010:  6,046 (- 2.2%)**
10/2010:  5,158 (-14.7%)**
----------------
6 months: -12.9%
1 year  : -47.2%
2 years : -52.0%
5 years : -70.0%

—–
Disclaimers, et cetera

The numbers above are estimates for comic-book sales in the North American direct market, as calculated by ICv2.com according to the chart and index information provided by Diamond Comic Distributors.

ICv2.com‘s estimates are somewhat lower than the actual numbers, but they are consistent from month to month, so the trends they show are fairly accurate. Since it’s a “month-to-month” column, the comments, unless otherwise noted, are on the most recent month.

Bear in mind that the figures measure sales to retailers, not customers. Also, these numbers do not include sales to bookstores, newsstands, other mass-market retail chains or the United Kingdom. Re-orders are included, so long as they either reached stores in a book’s initial calendar month of release or were strong enough to make the chart again in a subsequent month.

If additional copies of an issue did appear on the chart after a book’s initial calendar month of release, you can see the total number of copies sold in parenthesis behind those issues (e.g. “[36,599]”). Should more than one issue have shipped in a month which is relevant for one of the long-term comparisons, the average between them will be used.

Titles released under the Johnny DC imprint and magazines, such as Mad, mostly sell through channels other than the direct market, so direct-market sales don’t tell us much about their performance. For most Vertigo and some WildStorm titles, collection sales tend to be a significant factor, so the numbers for those books should be taken with a grain of salt as well. To learn (a little) more about Vertigo’s collection sales, go right here.

** Two asterisks after a given month in the average charts mean that one or more periodical release did not make the Top 300 chart in that month. In those cases, it’s assumed that said releases sold as many units as the No. 300 comic on the chart for that month for the purposes of the chart, although its actual sales are likely to be less than that.

For a more lyrical approach to discussing sales figures that covers all the essentials in a more condensed, less tedious fashion, finally, go right here.
—–
Marc-Oliver Frisch writes about comics at his weblog and at Comicgate. You can also follow him on Twitter.

Briefs & Boxers! 09/10/10

o “Nothing Dramatically Broken at DC Comics”

At Comics Alliance, David Brothers takes the temperature of DC Comics, about half a year into the most recent management shake-up that replaced longtime publisher Paul Levitz with former DC Universe editor-in-chief Dan DiDio and star artist/WildStorm chief Jim Lee, and also left star writer Geoff Johns—in many ways the company’s golden goose—with an executive position.

Making a number of observations based on a recent interview with DiDio and Lee, Brothers concludes:

“It’s clear from their statements that the DC Comics of 2010 is not the DC Comics of 2004, when Identity Crisis ruled the land. […] [T]he DC Comics of 2011 will not be like the DC Comics of 2010. […] DC is clearly trying to turn a corner and move away from their past in one way or another […]. We’re still in the middle of the transition to a New DC, and while there are several new developments, we aren’t quite at the point where we can point what their new direction will be.”

Now, Brothers’s points on formats and distribution may be on the money, given what we’ve seen so far. But as far as the content of DC’s mainline product—periodical comic books starring superheroes—is concerned, it would be surprising if the DC Comics of 2011 looked much different at all from the DC Comics of 2010. Or 2008. Or 2004.

If the recent re-organization of DC Comics management has done anything, it’s to further empower the people who have effectively been running that line of comic books since the early 2000s: Dan DiDio, who started his editorial tenure at the company in 2002, and Geoff Johns, whose slow but steady rise to his current position at DC began with JSA #1 in 1999. Why would DiDio or Johns, of all people, want to make any substantial course corrections when they’ve been at the steering wheel anyway for the better part of the last decade?

Or, to say it with DiDio’s own words, quoted from the ICv2.com conversation with Milton Griepp that Brothers refers to:

“For us right now the good part about it is that there was nothing dramatically broken at DC Comics, so the goal for us was just to be as we’re working through transitions not to be disruptive to the business at hand. […] The good news for us right now is that, like I said before, we have the wind to our back coming out of Blackest Night with the [DC Universe] product. […] Any other change to come in place is really just getting us a smarter, tighter, more focused attack on how we’re going to be able to do things working more hand in hand with the other divisions, both within DC Comics and with Warner Brothers itself.”

Plainly, this doesn’t sound like there are any great changes in store for the line that developed from Identity Crisis in 2004 to Blackest Night in 2010. DiDio does mention “a slight course correction in different places,” but what he means by that seem to be things like CMX, Vertigo and WildStorm, which haven’t been doing that well. And mainly, the focus seems to be on fostering synergy between DC and the rest of Warner.

So, overall, not surprisingly, it seems DiDio is perfectly happy to keep his—and Johns’—line on the track they put it on. And so is Warner’s management, for that matter, since what they did earlier this year was to hand more power to the architects of that line. If anything, the statement is that they don’t want that part of DC Comics to change, because it’s working for them.

Why is it working for them? Because they’ve managed to keep their hardcore audience more or less happy.

The best-selling DC Universe book, Brightest Day #6, sold 94,684 copies in July 2010, according to ICv2.com’s estimates. The average new DC Universe comic book sold an estimated 35,018 copies that same month. It’s chic in North American comics circles to mournfully remember the times when comic books used to sell in the millions, and to conclude that the sky is falling, but the current sales numbers are not by any means peanuts, as Warren Ellis points out:

“Compared to cinema attendance, comic book sales look small. But I just pulled up North America’s estimated comics-sales figures for May, and the top comic sold 163,000 issues that month. That’s a regular US-style comic single, costing $4 that goes directly to specialist comic-book shops. The top ten comics for that month sold a combined number in excess of a million units. The top 20? Somewhere over 1.6 million. And these estimates are usually lower than the real sales figures. Plus, of course, all these single issues will eventually be reprinted as trade-paperback collections. Tell a book publisher those numbers and see what colour they turn.”

Heidi linked to Ellis’s piece earlier this week. In the comments, Kurt Busiek responds to a skeptical poster:

“This is one of the reasons comics writers like me keep getting inquiries from book editors as to whether we’ve got a novel to offer; they look at the size of our audience and the steadiness of our backlist sales and figure that if we could bring even a decent portion of that audience over, we’d be well worth a look.

“Every Astro City paperback, for instance, sells enough copies every year to be a very good seller for a book publisher, and it does so at cover prices comparable to hardcover books. I’m not close to competing with Stephen King, but I’m getting numbers way better than a midlist prose author, and any book publisher would be delighted with that kind of performance.”

And it’s not just prose publishers who take note of these numbers. In his column, Ellis goes on to observe that these sales are happening at a time when comics are being massively pirated and downloaded. Consequently, Ellis argues, it’s not surprising that the audience for comic books is being targeted by companies that want to sell movie tickets or DVDs.

And Warner, which owns DC Comics, happens to be just such a company.

It’s certainly tempting to identify all the failings of DC’s current line and assume that a new management must necessarily have a vested interest in fixing them, in order to maximize, rather than minimize, their target audience. But ultimately, maybe Warner finds that a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. Especially if the bird in the hand is, as a matter of fact, a pretty damn fat one.

So maybe that’s why the new management of DC Comics is the old management of DC Comics. It’s hard to believe that’s an accident, and it’s hard to believe that any significant course corrections are to be expected from these people, at least where the content of the DC Universe line is concerned.

Ideological and speculative objections aside, DiDio and Johns have managed to cultivate their existing audience pretty well. If their promotion says anything on Warner’s current approach to the comics company they own, it’s this: If it’s not broken, don’t try to fix it.

o “OMG What’s Gonna Happen Next?!”

I’m down with Douglas Wolk’s plea, in his latest “Emanata” column, for a good weekly comic-book series that actually takes advantage of being a weekly comic-book series.

Even with many of the monthlies out there, I’m not getting the sense that what I’m reading was meant to be experienced as a monthly episode. Rather, more often than not, the sense I’m getting is that the people who make the comics use the format with gritted teeth because there was no viable alternative. That doesn’t make for a very good reading experience, so the number of comic books I read is down to a good handful.

I also agree that 52 is the only example of a good weekly title in recent memory. In fact, I was surprised by how good it is. I was able to not just understand it, but enjoy it thoroughly. There’s some real urgency in the material, and the four writers—Geoff Johns, Grant Morrison, Greg Rucka and Mark Waid—somehow managed not to cancel out or water down each other’s strengths. And it was totally self-contained and I could pick up the paperbacks a year later and not be lost despite not knowing or caring much about the DC Universe.

I’d buy another one like that in a minute.

Then came Countdown, and the two issues I read made me want to throw myself off a bridge. Then came Trinity, and although I like Kurt Busiek and Mark Bagley, I lost interest three months in, because there was no real urgency. Then came Wednesday Comics, and it was not so much a serial comic going out of its way to entertain but a nostalgia-driven novelty thing celebrating something that I don’t understand, rather than to try and convince me I needed to know what happened next in any of the stories it tells.

I disagree with Wolk that this type of book should have to be made up of multiple smaller installments, rather than a single big one, though. There are writers well capable of handling six titles a month, so writing four or five issues of the same one–at least for a limited stretch of time–shouldn’t pose a problem. That way, you get a meaty chunk of entertainment that’s consistent from issue to issue.

The art side is more problematic, but as Amazing Spider-Man has shown, it’s possible to structure this type of book in such a way that each story arc is illustrated by one artist, for instance. And there are other ways to ensure that multiple artists can contribute without the story suffering as a result.

So, dear comics people: Please go and make a decent, self-contained weekly comic book that pulls out all the stops to keep me coming back.

o “Driddils’s Doorway”

Out now: A paperback collection of Brendan McCarthy’s Spider-Man: Fever, psychedelically colored psychedelic three-part tribute from one master of the form to another.

And just so there’s no doubt as to who inspired McCarthy here, the book also reprints Amazing Spider-Man Annual #2 from 1965, by Steve Ditko and Stan Lee.

It’s all very bright and colorful and psychedelic. Best listen to some Syd Barrett-era Pink Floyd while you’re reading it, to get you into the proper groove. Since we’re not advocating drugs.

—–
Marc-Oliver Frisch writes about comics at his weblog and at Comicgate. You can also follow him on Twitter.

Briefs & Boxers! 09/01/10

o “Unforgiving Fathers”

Where to take the Fantastic Four, now?

In his “Emanata” column at Techland, Douglas Wolk looks at the promotional efforts for an upcoming Marvel story by Jonathan Hickman, singling out Fantastic Four as a series that particularly finds itself in the shadow of its creators:

“As Lee and Kirby established the FF, their premises are inflexible: they’re a family. They’re explorers. They have adventures together. […] If you stick to those axioms, you’re not just making a Fantastic Four story, you’re making one in the Lee/Kirby tradition […]. If you ignore any of those axioms, then it’s not really the Fantastic Four any more, and the question becomes how, and how quickly, it’s going to get back to being the ‘real’ Fantastic Four.”

Now, there’s Doctor Strange, granted, who has never quite transcended those early Lee/Ditko stories in style or subject matter in a sustained way, and certainly not for lack of trying. And, as much as I want to agree with Wolk on Captain America (Bucky rawks), I don’t expect that Brubaker will have altered, or expanded upon, the Simon/Kirby/Lee roots of the concept in any significant fashion when he’s done, any more than Steve Englehart or Mark Gruenwald did—and lord, they tried.

But, other than that, when it comes to Marvel’s big franchises, it’s hard to argue the point.

The Lee/Ditko issues may still be Spider-Man’s most “defining” run, but the goal posts of the character’s world have moved in significant and lasting ways since: when John Romita replaced Ditko; when Gerry Conway and Gil Kane killed Gwen Stacy; when Harry Osborn became the Goblin; when Peter went to college; when the clones and alien costumes and marriages became a fixture. And, more importantly, it’s been proven over the last 10 years that the basic ingredients of the Spider-Man mythos that Lee and Ditko invented and put in place can be easily modified and translated for modern audiences. Some of the most popular comics creators of their times have tried to do this with the Fantastic Four and failed: Jim Lee, Brian Michael Bendis, Mark Millar, Warren Ellis.

Or the Hulk. If there’s been any “definitive” version of the Hulk, Herb Trimpe probably has dibs for putting a face on the one that most people would most immediately recognize. Then again, the live-action and animated TV shows of the 1970s and 1980s probably did more to cement the idea of “the Hulk’” in people’s minds than anything from a comic. (Yes, Peter David had a long, well-remembered run. But it’s long and well-remembered because David kept coming up with smart ways to deviate from the “Hulk Smash!” formula, then return to it; none of his deviations replaced that formula. The David run may be a satisfying stretch of periodical fiction, but it did little to redefine the Hulk.)

In Thor’s case, as Wolk says, Walter Simonson’s rediscovery of the character through the lens of the Norse myths that had always nominally informed it managed to leave an impression that’s up there with the melodramatic Lee/Kirby stuff from the 1960s. Something similar happened with Iron Man, who keeps snapping back to David Michelinie and Bob Layton’s struggling alcoholic as much as the Stan Lee/Don Heck version. The Avengers, as a formula, didn’t really crystallize into something that people keep coming back to until the end of the Roy Thomas run. The X-Men and Daredevil didn’t come into their own until the late 1970s and early 1980s, even, when Wein, Cockrum, Claremont, Byrne, Miller and Janson reshaped them into something that stuck, that finally resonated with the audience.

And DC’s big guns, compared to their Marvel cousins, are conceptual Frankensteins, made up and defined by patches collected over decades from dozens of different interpretations, rather than one or two particularly dominant ones. If it feels like there’s a new Superman origin with all-new, all-different sensibilities and emphasis every two years, then that’s because there is. The DC characters—Superman and Batman, certainly, but also Wonder Woman, the Flash and Green Lantern and a lot of the less major ones—are not so much solid institutions as tugs-of-war given conceptual form, composit constructs whose aspects are constantly at odds with each other and vying for dominance.

But with the Fantastic Four, literally everything that ever “stuck” comes from Lee and Kirby. John Byrne and Mark Waid’s runs are long and fondly remembered, but, as Wolk points out, they moved well within the established boundaries. There’s nothing in them that Lee and Kirby didn’t do first, in some way. In the 2000s, Grant Morrison and Joe Casey (and James Sturm, but I’m not brave enough to let him out of the parentheses)—neither of them known for creative modesty—all had their go at the Fantastic Four, but their efforts were marginal, uncharacteristically reverential oddities.

So, is it even possible to revamp and re-interpret the Fantastic Four and keep them relevant in the way it’s happened to Spider-Man, the X-Men or Daredevil? Or is it a concept that’s outlived itself and is best left in the 1960s?

Well, there is one particular Fantastic Four story that sticks to all the “axioms” Wolk identifies and still takes the concept in a new direction that’s at least as far removed from Lee and Kirby as Simonson’s Thor was. Incidentally, it deals with ideas like relevance, innovation and the caretaking of things we’ve come to love for nostalgic reasons. It’s called Planetary.

Where to take the Fantastic Four, now? I don’t know, but it would seem that there are ways, at least.

o “Comfort Through the Doors”

Out now: Punisher Max: Happy Ending #1, a one-shot special by Irish writer Peter Milligan and Spanish artist Juan Jose Ryp.

Peter Milligan is a bit baffling to me; half the time, his work is brilliant, the other half it’s… less so. I think I’ve read a few bland comics by him, too, but those were X-Men spinoffs that came out in the 1990s, so it’s not surprising. Generally speaking, when he’s good, he’s really good.

And he knows how to do the kind of short story that a Punisher one-shot calls for, as he’s demonstrated with Moon Knight: Silent Knight a couple of years ago. Ryp usually draws gory stuff for Avatar, and as the preview images show, he’s up to the task.

o “Knock It All to Hell”

Out today: Stumptown #4, written by Greg Rucka and drawn by Matthew Southworth. It’s the conclusion to the first arc of the series, titled, “The Case of the Girl Who Took Her Shampoo But Left Her Mini.”

It’s also the conclusion of the series, period, according to Diamond. Which sucks, because it’s the best crime comic I’ve read lately. It stars a down-but-not-out female private investigator named Dex Parios, who combines the familiar toughness and ambiguity of Rucka heroines like Tara Chace and Carrie Stetko with an unhealthy dose of Jim Rockford’s charm and bad luck. Here’s my review of the first issue.

—–

Marc-Oliver Frisch writes about comics at his weblog and at Comicgate. You can also follow him on Twitter.

Briefs & Boxers! 08/22/10

o “A Bit Lacerated”

Laura Hudson interviews Kieron Gillen, one of the most interesting writers working in Anglo-American mainstream comics right now. Gillen discusses the prospects of another volume of Phonogram, his acclaimed Image series with Jamie McKelvie:

“[E]ven if money fell from the ceiling now, I’m not sure we could do it; Jamie’s very booked up at the moment, and I think even emotionally Phonogram: Singles Club was such a f**king drain, it’d be the sort of thing that we couldn’t, we wouldn’t go into it now, immediately, even if we could.”

Gillen also talks in detail about his work for Marvel, including Thor and the upcoming X-Men spinoff Generation Hope.

o “Strewn About the Globe”

Here’s Marvel editor Axel Alonso, pitching the current X-Men crossover “Curse of the Mutants”:

“That’s right, the X-Men are going to resurrect Dracula. To do that, they must first retrieve his severed head from the darkest depths of the ocean. […] Then they must retrieve his body from a heavily guarded vampire fortress on a remote Greek Island [sic]. […] And then, they’ve got to put Humpty Dumpty back together again… and pray their plan doesn’t explode in their face. […]”

You know, thinking 10 years back, I can see the Axel Alonso of the year 2000 editing that very same story. Only back then, it would have been a 30-page one-shot written by Garth Ennis and drawn by Simon Bisley.

o “Too Much Jet Pack”

Out now: Ex Machina #50, the wrap-up of Brian K. Vaughan, Tony Harris and J.D. Mettler’s story starring a fictional New York City mayor who used to be a superhero. In an interview conducted by fellow writer Brad Meltzer (part 1, part 2), Vaughan looks back at the series.

Ex Machina has been a fun read while it’s been coming out, but it’s perhaps disappointing that so many of its individual arcs ended up being sci-fi mysteries with super-villains at their heart. Vaughan and crew did these stories better than most, mind you, but ultimately, in terms of what they delivered, I expected something a little less conventional back in 2004, when the series started, and perhaps a little more daring in terms of how much emphasis was on the “political stuff” and what it means to the characters.

That said, I can’t recall every being bored by Ex Machina, and while the various clues regarding the central mysteries of the series were too far and few between to keep all of them in mind over the course of six years, I’m looking forward to re-reading the book and catching that stuff, once the final issue appears in my mailbox. Vaughan’s other opus magnum, Y: The Last Man, paid off nicely a couple years ago, after all. I’m sure this one will, too.

Marc-Oliver Frisch writes about comics at his weblog and at Comicgate. You can also follow him on Twitter.

Briefs & Boxers! 08/15/10

o “Batman Can Take It”

Grant Morrison talks to Los Angeles Times blogger Geoff Boucher about his plans for Batman:

“Supple is the word. It’s really weird. Batman can take anything. You can do comedy Batman, you can do gay Batman … it all works. It something [sic] intrinsic to the character. It’s so strange and amazing. […] Nothing I’ve done with Batman is so shocking that it hasn’t been seen before. […] Don’t worry about the aspects of this stuff, we’re re-drawing aspects of Batman’s history all the time. […] I tell people not to worry. Batman can take it. He’d done it before.”

Take that, Frank Miller.

o “Balance to Strike”

Interviewed by Kiel Phegley at Comic Book Resources, Marvel editor Tom Brevoort talks about the point where marketing and storytelling intersect:

“[T]he goal here is to reach the widest audience possible. We absolutely keep our marketing hats on at the same time as our storytelling hats, and there is a balance to strike. If we’re doing something just for marketing, but it doesn’t make character or story sense, then it’s not worth doing. But there is a middle ground where marketing and story can meet to get the biggest bang for the effort put in.”

What Brevoort is looking for may be what’s called “appeal”; something—whatever it may be—that is of enough value to human beings so that exposing themselves to a given story that promises to have it might seem to them like a worthwhile thing to do. If there’s no such appeal, there’s no real story to be told. If there’s no such appeal, marketing efforts have nothing to latch on to.

Finding a compromise or middle ground between “story” and “marketing” has nothing to do with it, though; it’s the same thing. Only the storyteller’s job is to find and bring out the appeal, and the marketer’s job is to find the best way to pitch it to people.

o “A Lot of Unused Airspace”

At Techland, Douglas Wolk looks at Matt Fraction and Salvador Larroca’s Invincible Iron Man and Gilbert Hernandez’s The Troublemakers to discuss the use of horizontal, “widescreen” panels and their advantages and disadvantages:

“About the only way the widescreen layout can make a scene look more exciting is if there’s some kind of movement going on within the panels–and then it usually has to be moving consistently from left to right, at least in Western comics. But there’s not much motion in this issue, and Larroca tends to keep the focal point of each panel somewhere around the middle. That means that almost every page feels like there’s a line going right down the center, with a lot of dead space around it.”

I like how, in a matter of months, Wolk has managed to establish a reliable outlet for close critical readings and storytelling analysis of comics at a mainstream pop-culture site like Techland that aren’t just insightful in their observations, but also well-written and accessible in the way they approach their subjects.

You’d think this was the sort of thing that sites which are focused on comics should want to be doing best, not just because it’s their turf, but also because that’s where you’d expect the target audience for this type of article to be.

All the more reason to appreciate Wolk’s work.

o “A Little Louder, Please”

Out now: The Unwritten, Vol. 2: Inside Man, a new paperback collection of Mike Carey and Peter Gross’s sprawling metafiction epic at Vertigo.

One of the most critically acclaimed Vertigo titles of late, The Unwritten stars Tom Taylor, whose father created a hugely popular series of books with more than a passing resemblance to Harry Potter. Their protagonist, called Tommy Taylor, is said to be based on the real Tom Taylor—until Tom’s identity is called into question, that is.

The Unwritten seems like a carefully and smartly constructed inversion of Pinocchio, basically, with a protagonist finding himself in a situation requiring him to prove he’s the real deal, and not much of a clue about how he’s supposed to do it. It’s very much a story about the nature of fiction itself, as it relates to reality and identity. And it’s one whose creators don’t forget to root the intriguing intellectual approach in engaging character work. Or that’s my take on the first issue, anyway; here’s the Techland critics’ discussion of Inside Man.

Marc-Oliver Frisch writes about comics at his weblog and at Comicgate. You can also follow him on Twitter.

Briefs & Boxers! 08/08/10

o “Distinct Identity”

At Comic Book Resources, Marvel editors Axel Alonso and Tom Brevoort talk about the concept of a given writer’s “vision” as it pertains to franchises like the X-Men or Avengers books. Alonso, who oversees the X-Men line, shares what it takes to write his flagship series:

“Whoever’s writing Uncanny X-Men understands when they accept the assignment that they’re writing the main X-Men book. They’re writing the book that, for lack of a better word, ‘counts’ the most. Major revelations and large plot threads always start from or intersect the title, so there’s a certain amount of responsibility—and flexibility—required of the writer.”

Brevoort, who’s been in charge of the Avengers line since 1997, talks about his approach to running the franchise:

“Within any particular franchise, for me, the key thing is making sure that each satellite book or tertiary book has a distinct identity and specific mission statement or reason for being other than just ‘more of this stuff.’”

What those approaches get us, evidently, are titles like the recently launched X-Men, whose “distinct identity” means that it’s, um, the X-Men fighting vampires, and which, presumably, Uncanny X-Men writer Matt Fraction will have to coordinate his own stories with, because he’s so flexible—not that it matters, since he’s already doing that with the 17 other X-Men books that come out every month.

And, of course, it gets us about three different Avengers and X-Men series each, give or take a few minis, that have Wolverine on the roster. Because that’s somehow the best way of ensuring that all those books are distinctively distinct.

In all sincerity: I’d love to read a genuine Matt Fraction X-Men comic, but contrary to what the credits and Mr. Fraction’s paychecks may say, Marvel is not publishing one right now. Which is kind of sad, because 10 years back they managed to publish a Grant Morrison X-Men comic that seems to have been pretty successful for them in a number of ways, and that people still talk about a lot.

So it’s not like it’s impossible to put out X-Men comics that taste like Morrison, or Fraction, or whoever. But it’s not happening right now, and it hasn’t happened for quite some time. Doesn’t this suggest that something’s maybe wrong with the way Marvel is approaching this stuff?

o “When I Was 15, Superman Didn’t Deal with Rape So Much, You Know?”

Over at GQ, Robert Kirkman discusses a whole lot of fascinating issues. His take on the current corporate-comics landscape seems particularly noteworthy:

“You make a good living writing Spider-Man and Superman, and you don’t really see how short-term that is. It’s all about—I don’t know, I kind of want to say ‘complacency,’ but that seems kind of insulting. I don’t know. It’s a hard thing to have kids and have a job and go off and do something on your own and break into something that’s independent and is a little more risky. But everybody’s gotta take risks, and that’s kind of how you’re supposed to do it, I think.”

There’s nothing to add to that.

o “A Reprint Is Realistically Possible or Not”

At Techland, Douglas Wolk runs down some comics he’d like to see reprinted.

Aside from the Grant Morrison and Miracleman comics he mentions, some of the books I’d like to see—mainly because I would like to read them but haven’t been able to track them down—include the sum of Steve Gerber’s Superman work (The Phantom Zone #1-4, DC Comics Presents #97, A. Bizarro #1-4, Superman: Last Son of Earth #1-2 and Superman: Last Son of Krypton), as well as Christopher J. Priest and Mark D. Bright’s Quantum & Woody (Dark Horse Comics, I’m looking at you).

o “You Can See from His Stance with the Broom That He’s Action-Oriented”

Tom Crippen, writing for The Comics Journal, turns out another refreshingly skewed, breathtakingly well-observed review of some North American mainstream comic, in which—the review, not the comic—every other sentence is eminently quotable.

Hey, comics reviewers: Please go and read and try to top that every single time you sit down to write a review, instead of discussing pointless and boring things like plot.

o “Made of Metal”

Shield-throwers, rejoice:


Also, I hear an upcoming correction will clarify that it’s, in fact, not 23”, but rather 2.5’ in diameter, and its inside will have a robust leather strap at the center. (Price may vary.)

o “Don’t Entirely Understand the Impulse”

Out now: a couple of quirky one-shots with promising creative rosters from Marvel. One is Daredevil Black & White #1, with contributions by Peter Milligan, Rick Spears, Ann Nocenti and David Aja, among others. The other is Deadpool #1000, which has a whopping 70 pages of new material by David Lapham, Peter Bagge, Howard Chaykin, Philip Bond, Michael Kuppermann, Dean Haspiel and a host of other folks, plus extras.

I haven’t read the comics yet, and I’ve only skimmed through the discussion by the Techland crew I’m linking to above, but given who made them, they’re going to be very worthwhile oddities, at least.

Marc-Oliver Frisch writes about comics at his weblog and at Comicgate. You can also follow him on Twitter.

DC Comics Month-to-Month Sales: June 2010

201008061455.jpgby Marc-Oliver Frisch

After unleashing a deluge of new titles in May, DC Comics’ lineup of major periodicals was fairly restrained in June. There were oversized “milestone” issues of Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman, the latest Green Arrow relaunch and, following up on a 2008 event, a second wave of Joker’s Asylum one-shots. Average and overall unit sales were slightly down from May as a result, but overall dollar sales still went up, so it wasn’t a bad month by any stretch.

At Vertigo and WildStorm, it was business as usual, meaning June was another steady month for Vertigo — and a predictably dire one for WildStorm, given that neither of their two flagship titles Astro City and Ex Machina came out. Average WildStorm sales were down to fewer than 6,140 units; the actual number we don’t know, because three of WildStorm’s new comic books failed to make the Top 300 chart in June.

See below for the details, and please consider the small print at the end of the column. Thanks to Milton Griepp and ICv2.com for the permission to use their figures. An overview of ICv2.com‘s estimates can be found here.

—–

2 - BATMAN
06/2005: Batman #641 --  67,208 [70,748]
06/2006: Batman #654 --  76,525 [78,671]
06/2007: --
06/2008: --
-------------------------------
06/2009: Batman #687 --  96,913 (+ 8.7%)
07/2009: Batman #688 --  83,040 (-14.3%)
08/2009: Batman #689 --  78,392 (- 5.6%)
09/2009: Batman #690 --  77,001 (- 1.8%)
10/2009: Batman #691 --  71,431 (- 7.2%)
10/2009: Batman #692 --  70,322 (- 1.6%)
11/2009: Batman #693 --  68,983 (- 1.9%)
12/2009: Batman #694 --  65,908 (- 4.5%)
01/2010: Batman #695 --  63,467 (- 3.7%)
02/2010: Batman #696 --  61,290 (- 3.4%)
03/2010: Batman #697 --  61,157 (- 0.2%)
04/2010: Batman #698 --  60,934 (- 0.4%)
05/2010: Batman #699 --  62,377 (+ 2.4%)
06/2010: Batman #700 -- 104,755 (+67.9%)
----------------
6 months: +58.9%
1 year  : + 8.1%
2 years :  n.a.
5 years : +55.9%

Writer Grant Morrison returned to Batman for the oversized milestone issue, with stories drawn by high-ticket artists Andy Kubert, Frank Quitely and David Finch, as well as a tie-in with the popular “Return of Bruce Wayne” crossover and 1:25 and 1:75 variant-cover editions to provide an additional incentive for retailers to boost their orders. Still, all those extra incentives notwithstanding, a sales increase of 40,000 units is impressive.

—–

4 - BATMAN: THE RETURN OF BRUCE WAYNE
05/2010: Batman: TRoBW #1 of 6 -- 108,534          [114,447]
05/2010: Batman: TRoBW #2 of 6 --  93,606 (-13.8%) [ 99,361]
06/2010: Batman: TRoBW #3 of 6 --  92,140 (- 1.6%)

The event miniseries by Grant Morrison is finding its level quickly. Also, the two May issues sold another 12,000 copies between them in June, so it appears retailers are very pleased with the reception.

There was a 1:25 variant edition, as usual.

—–

5 - GREEN LANTERN
06/2005: Green Lantern #2   -- 117,816 [120,636]
06/2006: --
06/2007: --
06/2008: Green Lantern #32  --  64,839
--------------------------------------
06/2009: Green Lantern #42  --  84,131 (+ 3.2%)
07/2009: Green Lantern #43  -- 109,426 (+30.1%) [117,314]
07/2009: Green Lantern #44  -- 105,063 (- 4.0%) [109,599]
08/2009: Green Lantern #45  -- 102,431 (- 2.5%)
09/2009: Green Lantern #46  -- 103,666 (+ 1.2%)
10/2009: Green Lantern #47  -- 101,349 (- 2.2%)
11/2009: Green Lantern #48  -- 100,371 (- 1.0%)
12/2009: Green Lantern #49  --  97,285 (- 3.1%)
01/2010: Green Lantern #50  -- 106,444 (+ 9.4%)
02/2010: Green Lantern #51  --  95,509 (-10.3%)
03/2010: Green Lantern #52  --  97,369 (+ 2.0%)
04/2010: Green Lantern #53  -- 100,356 (+ 3.1%)
05/2010: Green Lantern #54  --  88,292 (-12.0%)
06/2010: Green Lantern #55  --  85,930 (- 2.7%)
-----------------
6 months: - 11.7%
1 year  : +  2.1%
2 years : + 32.5%
5 years : - 27.1%

Green Lantern sales remain at a much higher level than prior to the “Blackest Night” crossover issues.

Also, a correction: Contrary to what I said last month, there continue to be variant-cover editions for both this title and Green Lantern Corps – only the solicitation copy stopped mentioning them after the April issues, for some reason. My apologies for the confusion.

—–

6/7 - BRIGHTEST DAY
04/2010: Brightest Day #0  -- 129,446
05/2010: Brightest Day #1  -- 103,326 (-20.2%)
05/2010: Brightest Day #2  --  90,245 (-12.7%)
06/2010: Brightest Day #3  --  85,815 (- 4.9%)
06/2010: Brightest Day #4  --  81,384 (- 5.2%)

The twice-monthly event maxiseries hasn’t quite found its level, but keeps performing very well. There were 1:25 variants for both June issues, as usual.

Meanwhile “Brightest Day” is also getting a pretty good track record as an umbrella for assorted other DC books. Green Lantern, Green Lantern Corps, Green Arrow, Justice League of America, Birds of Prey, The Flash and Titans were all promoted as tie-in books in June. A lot of those titles have other things going for them, but it’s still worth noting that all of them are doing well, for the time being.

—–

11 - THE FLASH
06/2005: Flash #223      --  48,013 [ 49,583]
06/2006: Flash: FMA #1   -- 120,404 [126,741]
06/2007: Flash: FMA #13  --  96,075 [101,982]
06/2008: Flash #241      --  30,810
-----------------------------------
06/2009: Rebirth #3 of 5 --  83,086 (-  3.6%)
07/2009: --
08/2009: Rebirth #4 of 5 --  78,107 (-  6.0%)
09/2009: --
10/2009: --
11/2009: Rebirth #5 of 6 --  73,875 (-  5.4%)
12/2009: --
01/2010: --
02/2010: Rebirth #6 of 6 --  70,824 (-  4.1%)
03/2010: --
04/2010: Flash #1        -- 100,903 (+ 42.5%)
05/2010: Flash #2        --  76,560 (- 24.1%)
06/2010: Flash #3        --  68,804 (- 10.1%)
-----------------
6 months:  n.a.
1 year  : - 17.2%
2 years : +123.3%
5 years : + 43.3%

Still finding its level, and still doing very well for a Flash series. There was a 1:10 variant, as usual.

—–

12 - SUPERMAN
06/2005: Superman #218 --  61,515
06/2006: Superman #653 --  69,079
06/2007: Superman #663 --  53,384
06/2008: Superman #677 --  54,634
---------------------------------
06/2009: Superman #689 --  40,366 (-  3.1%)
07/2009: Superman #690 --  39,472 (-  2.2%)
08/2009: Superman #691 --  39,106 (-  0.9%)
09/2009: Superman #692 --  37,695 (-  3.6%)
10/2009: Superman #693 --  35,395 (-  6.1%)
11/2009: Superman #694 --  34,430 (-  2.7%)
12/2009: Superman #695 --  32,482 (-  5.7%)
01/2010: Superman #696 --  31,940 (-  1.7%)
02/2010: Superman #697 --  31,504 (-  1.4%)
03/2010: Superman #698 --  33,336 (+  5.8%)
04/2010: Superman #699 --  33,183 (-  0.5%)
05/2010: --
06/2010: Superman #700 --  67,571 (+103.6%)
-----------------
6 months: +108.0%
1 year  : + 67.4%
2 years : + 23.7%
5 years : +  9.9%

For a transitional issue with an epilogue to the James Robinson run, a prologue to the J. Michael Straczynski run and a filler piece, this is a lovely sales increase, certainly. The million-dollar question, though, is how much of it is purely due to the big, round number, and where issue #701, where Straczynski’s story begins in earnest, will pick up from that.

There were 1:25 and 1:75 variant editions.

—–

13 - GREEN LANTERN CORPS
06/2006: Green Lantern Corps #1  -- 76,686
06/2007: Green Lantern Corps #13 -- 32,792
06/2008: Green Lantern Corps #25 -- 47,399
------------------------------------------
06/2009: Green Lantern Corps #37 -- 63,574 (+ 3.2%)
07/2009: Green Lantern Corps #38 -- 82,415 (+29.6%)
08/2009: Green Lantern Corps #39 -- 84,241 (+ 2.2%)
09/2009: Green Lantern Corps #40 -- 83,112 (- 1.3%)
10/2009: Green Lantern Corps #41 -- 81,377 (- 2.1%)
11/2009: Green Lantern Corps #42 -- 80,391 (- 1.2%)
12/2009: Green Lantern Corps #43 -- 77,774 (- 3.3%)
01/2010: Green Lantern Corps #44 -- 76,458 (- 1.7%)
02/2010: Green Lantern Corps #45 -- 75,404 (- 1.4%)
03/2010: Green Lantern Corps #46 -- 76,720 (+ 1.8%)
04/2010: Green Lantern Corps #47 -- 72,163 (- 5.9%)
05/2010: Green Lantern Corps #48 -- 68,826 (- 4.6%)
06/2010: Green Lantern Corps #49 -- 66,652 (- 3.2%)
----------------
6 months: -14.3%
1 year  : + 4.8%
2 years : +40.6%

Sales keep dropping in the wake of “Blackest Night,” but remain at an astronomic level by the book’s usual standards. And again, contrary to what I said last month, there continue to be variant-cover editions for Green Lantern Corps; DC just stopped mentioning them in their solicitations after issue #47.

—–

15 - JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA
06/2005: JLA #115           --  95,375
06/2007: Justice League #10 -- 129,265
06/2008: Justice League #22 --  85,013
--------------------------------------
06/2009: Justice League #34 --  61,115 (- 4.3%)
07/2009: Justice League #35 --  58,915 (- 3.6%)
08/2009: Justice League #36 --  57,549 (- 2.3%)
09/2009: Justice League #37 --  55,478 (- 3.6%)
10/2009: Justice League #38 --  61,012 (+10.0%)
11/2009: Justice League #39 --  89,376 (+46.5%)
12/2009: Justice League #40 --  68,672 (-23.2%)
01/2010: Justice League #41 --  62,262 (- 9.3%)
02/2010: Justice League #42 --  57,522 (- 7.6%)
03/2010: Justice League #43 --  56,461 (- 1.9%)
04/2010: Justice League #44 --  62,342 (+10.4%)
05/2010: Justice League #45 --  62,465 (+ 0.2%)
06/2010: Justice League #46 --  62,754 (+ 0.5%)
----------------
6 months: - 8.6%
1 year  : + 2.7%
2 years : -26.2%
5 years : -34.2%

Sales are holding level for the third month in a row, thanks to the “Brightest Day” tie-in and the start of a Justice League/Justice Society crossover. Again, DC stopped mentioning the variant-cover editions in the solicitations after the April issue, but they exist for both #45 and #46.

—–

22 - GREEN ARROW
06/2005: Green Arrow #51  -- 31,346
06/2006: Green Arrow #63  -- 37,803
06/2007: Green Arrow #75  -- 35,022
06/2008: Arrow/Canary #9  -- 30,330
-----------------------------------
06/2009: Arrow/Canary #21 -- 20,807 (-  3.0%)
07/2009: Arrow&Canary #22 -- 20,571 (-  1.1%)
08/2009: Arrow&Canary #23 -- 19,452 (-  5.4%)
09/2009: Arrow&Canary #24 -- 18,780 (-  3.5%)
10/2009: Arrow&Canary #25 -- 18,013 (-  4.1%)
11/2009: Arrow&Canary #26 -- 17,384 (-  3.5%)
12/2009: Arrow&Canary #27 -- 16,904 (-  2.8%)
01/2010: Arrow&Canary #28 -- 16,482 (-  2.5%)
02/2010: Arrow&Canary #29 -- 16,600 (+  0.7%)
02/2010: Black Arrow #30  -- 42,014 (+153.1%)
03/2010: Green Arrow #31  -- 28,486 (- 32.2%)
04/2010: Green Arrow #32  -- 29,137 (+  2.3%)
05/2010: --
06/2010: Green Arrow #1   -- 54,400 (+ 86.7%)
-----------------
6 months: +221.8%
1 year  : +161.5%
2 years : + 79.4%
5 years : + 73.6%

The creative team remains the same, but the relaunch adds 25,000 units to the book’s sales. Say what you want about Cry for Justice and Rise of Arsenal, but they – along with “Brightest Day” – clearly succeeded in getting a lot of Green Arrow #1 out there. Compared with other recent relaunches of this type, these are great numbers.

There was a 1:25 variant.

—–

24 - WONDER WOMAN
06/2005: Wonder Woman #217 --  30,022 [ 31,687]
06/2006: Wonder Woman #1   -- 132,580 [139,562]
06/2007: Wonder Woman #10  --  54,472
06/2008: Wonder Woman #21  --  37,086
-------------------------------------
06/2009: Wonder Woman #33  --  32,755 (-  0.9%)
07/2009: Wonder Woman #34  --  30,131 (-  8.0%)
08/2009: Wonder Woman #35  --  29,657 (-  1.6%)
09/2009: Wonder Woman #36  --  28,806 (-  2.9%)
10/2009: Wonder Woman #37  --  26,972 (-  6.4%)
11/2009: Wonder Woman #38  --  26,265 (-  2.6%)
12/2009: Wonder Woman #39  --  26,152 (-  0.4%)
01/2010: Wonder Woman #40  --  25,156 (-  3.8%)
02/2010: Wonder Woman #41  --  25,354 (+  0.8%)
03/2010: Wonder Woman #42  --  25,240 (-  0.5%)
04/2010: Wonder Woman #43  --  25,369 (+  0.5%)
05/2010: Wonder Woman #44  --  25,443 (+  0.3%)
06/2010: Wonder Woman #600 --  53,525 (+110.4%)
-----------------
6 months: +104.7%
1 year  : + 63.4%
2 years : + 44.3%
5 years : + 78.3%

Another $ 4.99 “milestone” issue, similar to Superman #700. The stories in this one include the end of the Gail Simone run, the start of the J. Michael Straczynski run and a few filler pieces. And sales were helped by a 1:25 variant and a 1:75 variant.

Again, that’s a great increase, but we’ll have to wait for the July chart to gauge retailers’ faith in J. Michael Straczynski’s ability to sell a lot of Wonder Woman comics.

—–

32 - DETECTIVE COMICS
06/2005: Detective Comics #807 --  38,497
06/2006: Detective Comics #820 --  65,988
06/2007: Detective Comics #833 --  54,104
06/2008: Detective Comics #845 --  48,920
-----------------------------------------
06/2009: Detective Comics #854 --  72,808 (-30.1%) [79,573]
07/2009: Detective Comics #855 --  61,205 (-15.9%)
08/2009: Detective Comics #856 --  58,859 (- 3.8%)
09/2009: Detective Comics #857 --  57,063 (- 3.1%)
10/2009: Detective Comics #858 --  58,599 (+ 2.7%)
11/2009: Detective Comics #859 --  54,392 (- 7.2%)
12/2009: Detective Comics #860 --  52,295 (- 3.9%)
01/2010: Detective Comics #861 --  45,937 (-12.2%)
02/2010: --
03/2010: Detective Comics #862 --  44,687 (- 2.7%)
03/2010: Detective Comics #863 --  43,119 (- 3.5%)
04/2010: Detective Comics #864 --  42,436 (- 1.6%)
05/2010: Detective Comics #865 --  41,501 (- 2.2%)
06/2010: Detective Comics #866 --  46,178 (+11.3%)
-----------------
6 months: - 11.7%
1 year  : - 36.6%
2 years : -  5.6%
5 years : + 20.0%

There was a 1:75 variant-cover edition, hence the sales increase. The June issue was another fill-in one-shot. The preview copy, released back in March, still asked people to “come back next month for the return of The Question and Batwoman,” but shortly after it turned out that neither of the two Greg Rucka-written features would return.

—–

36 - BIRDS OF PREY
06/2005: Birds of Prey #83  -- 38,067
06/2006: Birds of Prey #95  -- 33,954
06/2007: Birds of Prey #107 -- 28,632
06/2008: Birds of Prey #119 -- 21,593
-------------------------------------
05/2010: Birds of Prey #1   -- 50,428 (+135.4%)
06/2010: Birds of Prey #2   -- 44,064 (- 12.6%)
----------------- 
2 years : +103.1%
5 years : + 15.8%

That’s a small second-issue drop for an ongoing series, especially considering that issue #1 was promoted with a variant-cover edition and #2 wasn’t. Great sales.

—–

37/39 - JUSTICE LEAGUE: GENERATION LOST
05/2010: Generation Lost #1  of 13 -- 50,784
05/2010: Generation Lost #2  of 13 -- 44,711 (-12.0%)
06/2010: Generation Lost #3  of 13 -- 43,278 (- 3.2%)
06/2010: Generation Lost #4  of 13 -- 41,702 (- 3.6%) 

This twice-monthly maxiseries also keeps doing well. Starting with issue #4, Generation Lost has been available as an official digital release on the same day the print versions come out. Given that retailers didn’t know that yet when they placed their initial orders for these and the next couple of issues, though, any potential effects on the sales of the direct-market edition are unlikely to appear on the chart for another few months.

As usual, both issues were promoted with 1:25 variants.

—–

43 - THE LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES
06/2005: Legion of SH #7      -- 39,155
06/2006: Supergirl & LoSH #19 -- 43,918
06/2007: Supergirl & LoSH #31 -- 30,385
06/2008: --
---------------------------------------
05/2010: LoSH #1              -- 44,415 (+98.9%) [50,106]
06/2010: LoSH #2              -- 39,102 (-12.0%)
-----------------
2 years :  n.a.
5 years : -  0.1%

Mark down another new ongoing title with an encouragingly small second-issue drop. Also, issue #1 made the chart again in June with an estimated 5,691 additional units. Like the previous issue, Legion #2 was promoted with a 1:10 variant.

The numbers above suggest that retailers did not overestimate demand for the May debuts of Birds of Prey, Generation Lost and Legion of Super-Heroes. Which may also have contributed in the strong Green Arrow debut sales in June — and would be good news for the overall strength of the DC Universe brand.

—–

46/48 - JUSTICE SOCIETY OF AMERICA
06/2005: JSA #74              -- 51,609
06/2006: JSA #86              -- 50,338
06/2007: --
06/2008: Justice Society #16 --  77,328
---------------------------------------
06/2009: Justice Society #28 --  52,673 (-  6.1%)
07/2009: Justice Society #29 --  51,375 (-  2.5%)
08/2009: Justice Society #30 --  49,416 (-  3.8%)
09/2009: Justice Society #31 --  47,436 (-  4.0%)
10/2009: Justice Society #32 --  44,885 (-  5.4%)
11/2009: Justice Society #33 --  43,218 (-  3.7%)
12/2009: Justice Society #34 --  41,734 (-  3.4%)
01/2010: Justice Society #35 --  39,934 (-  4.3%)
02/2010: Justice Society #36 --  39,060 (-  2.2%)
03/2010: Justice Society #37 --  37,381 (-  4.3%)
04/2010: Justice Society #38 --  36,648 (-  2.0%)
05/2010: --
06/2010: Justice Society #39 --  36,630 (-  0.1%)
06/2010: Justice Society #40 --  36,008 (-  1.7%)
----------------
6 months: -13.0%
1 year  : -31.1%
2 years : -53.0%
5 years : -29.6%

Sales are starting to bottom out after the long slide that started with the previous creative team’s departure.

But it’s a moot point, of course. As DC recently announced, issue #40 is writer Bill Willingham’s final issue. For the next couple of months, the book basically turns into a Justice League of America annex, until a new regular creative team takes over in October.

——

49 - RED ROBIN
06/2005: Robin #139    -- 29,645
06/2006: Robin #151    -- 38,921
06/2007: Robin #163    -- 26,284
06/2008: --
-------------------------------- 
06/2009: Red Robin #1  -- 64,261 (+102.8%) [71,925]
07/2009: Red Robin #2  -- 51,593 (- 19.7%) [54,544]
08/2009: Red Robin #3  -- 50,329 (-  2.5%)
09/2009: Red Robin #4  -- 47,945 (-  4.7%)
10/2009: Red Robin #5  -- 44,776 (-  6.6%)
11/2009: Red Robin #6  -- 42,409 (-  5.3%)
12/2009: Red Robin #7  -- 39,528 (-  6.8%)
01/2010: Red Robin #8  -- 37,869 (-  4.2%)
02/2010: Red Robin #9  -- 36,466 (-  3.7%)
03/2010: Red Robin #10 -- 36,708 (+  0.7%)
04/2010: Red Robin #11 -- 36,205 (-  1.4%)
05/2010: Red Robin #12 -- 36,273 (+  0.2%)
06/2010: Red Robin #13 -- 35,917 (-  1.0%)
-----------------
6 months: -  9.1%
1 year  : - 44.1%
2 years :   n.a.
5 years : + 21.2%

Fabian Nicieza takes over as the new writer, with no noticeable effect on sales. Given that the numbers were stabilizing during the last three issues of the Christopher Yost run, that’s probably a good sign.

—–

51 - BATMAN BEYOND
06/2010: Batman Beyond #1 of 6 -- 35,113

Another Batman spin-off, because lord knows DC doesn’t have enough of those yet. But the numbers are surprisingly good, actually.

There was a 1:25 variant.

—–

52 - ACTION COMICS
06/2005: Action Comics #828 -- 43,000
06/2006: Action Comics #840 -- 61,786 [63,676]
06/2007: --
06/2008: Action Comics #866 -- 50,158 [53,198]
-------------------------------------
06/2009: Action Comics #878 -- 40,011 (- 4.2%)
07/2009: Action Comics #879 -- 38,324 (- 4.2%)
08/2009: Action Comics #880 -- 37,588 (- 1.9%)
09/2009: Action Comics #881 -- 36,183 (- 3.7%)
10/2009: Action Comics #882 -- 34,754 (- 4.0%)
11/2009: Action Comics #883 -- 33,386 (- 3.9%)
12/2009: Action Comics #884 -- 31,873 (- 4.5%)
01/2010: Action Comics #885 -- 30,678 (- 3.8%)
02/2010: Action Comics #886 -- 29,845 (- 2.7%)
03/2010: Action Comics #887 -- 29,460 (- 1.3%)
04/2010: Action Comics #888 -- 29,536 (+ 0.3%)
04/2010: Action Comics #889 -- 29,106 (- 1.5%)
05/2010: --
06/2010: Action Comics #890 -- 34,744 (+19.4%)
----------------
6 months: + 9.0%
1 year  : -13.2% 
2 years : -30.7%
5 years : -19.2%

Paul Cornell and Pete Woods took over as the new creative team in June, starting another storyline that doesn’t have Superman in it. Thanks to DC’s frequently unreliable preview information, though, the numbers are unlikely to fully reflect retailers’ expectations from the material yet.

For one thing, there was another last-minute creator switch; when Action Comics #890 was solicited, Marc Guggenheim was supposed to be the new series writer. Also, the initial advertising copy once again neglected to mention that there was a variant-cover edition.

So it may take a couple of months for the numbers to catch up.

—–

55 - ADVENTURE COMICS
08/2009: Adventure Comics #1  -- 56,706 (+72.6%)
09/2009: Adventure Comics #2  -- 47,296 (-15.9%)
10/2009: Adventure Comics #3  -- 44,431 (- 6.1%)
11/2009: Adventure Comics #4  -- 85,145 (+91.6%)
12/2009: Adventure Comics #5  -- 59,876 (-29.7%)
01/2010: Adventure Comics #6  -- 42,514 (-29.0%)
02/2010: Adventure Comics #7  -- 53,721 (+26.4%)
03/2010: Adventure Comics #8  -- 39,351 (-26.8%)
03/2010: Adventure Comics #9  -- 37,515 (- 4.7%)
04/2010: Adventure Comics #10 -- 37,573 (+ 0.2%)
05/2010: Adventure Comics #11 -- 34,794 (- 7.4%)
06/2010: Adventure Comics #12 -- 34,663 (- 0.4%)
-----------------
6 months: - 42.1%

The new creative team of Paul Levitz and Kevin Sharpe manages to arrest the sales decline, at least. They had help from a 1:25 variant-cover edition, as opposed to the 1:10 one for issue #11.

—–

57 - RED HOOD: LOST DAYS
06/2010: Red Hood: Lost Days #1 of 6 -- 34,197

Another Batman spin-off, “exploring the lost days of this misunderstood character.” There was a 1:25 variant.

—–

59 - SUPERMAN/BATMAN ANNUAL
06/2010: Superman/Batman Annual #4 -- 33,240

This one-shot, another Paul Levitz-written story, ties in with Batman Beyond, with very similar sales. Notably, the book outsells Superman/Batman proper, which also happens to be written by Levitz currently. Maybe the Batman Beyond character makes the difference.

—–

60 - TITANS
06/2008: Titans #3      -- 54,512
---------------------------------
06/2009: Titans #14     -- 32,321 (- 5.9%)
07/2009: Titans #15     -- 46,189 (+42.9%)
08/2009: Titans #16     -- 31,408 (-32.0%)
09/2009: Titans #17     -- 30,154 (- 4.0%)
10/2009: Titans #18     -- 28,215 (- 6.4%)
11/2009: Titans #19     -- 27,099 (- 4.0%)
12/2009: Titans #20     -- 25,887 (- 4.5%)
01/2010: Titans #21     -- 24,924 (- 3.7%)
02/2010: Titans #22     -- 24,489 (- 1.8%)
03/2010: Titans #23     -- 24,260 (- 0.9%)
04/2010: --
05/2010: VfH Special #1 -- 31,718 (+30.7%)
06/2010: Titans #24     -- 33,079 (+ 4.3%)
----------------
6 months: +27.8%
1 year  : + 2.4%
2 years : -39.3%

Surprisingly enough, the book actually outsells May’s Villains for Hire Special by the same creative team, despite the lack of a variant edition. Unless there’s some other retailer incentive involved that I’m missing, this looks like a sign of recovery for Titans, at long last.

—–

62 - SUPERMAN/BATMAN
06/2005: Superman/Batman #20 -- 114,099
06/2006: Superman/Batman #27 --  95,717
06/2007: Superman/Batman #36 --  65,866
06/2007: Superman/Batman #37 --  72,635
06/2008: Superman/Batman #49 --  52,579
---------------------------------------
06/2009: Superman/Batman #61 --  38,228 (- 3.3%)
07/2009: Superman/Batman #62 --  38,412 (+ 0.5%)
08/2009: Superman/Batman #63 --  37,467 (- 2.5%)
09/2009: Superman/Batman #64 --  36,332 (- 3.0%)
10/2009: Superman/Batman #65 --  34,585 (- 4.8%)
11/2009: Superman/Batman #66 --  52,143 (+50.8%)
12/2009: Superman/Batman #67 --  49,650 (- 4.8%)
01/2010: Superman/Batman #68 --  33,869 (-31.8%)
02/2010: Superman/Batman #69 --  33,224 (- 1.9%)
03/2010: Superman/Batman #70 --  32,196 (- 3.1%)
04/2010: Superman/Batman #71 --  31,714 (- 1.5%)
05/2010: Superman/Batman #72 --  32,047 (+ 1.1%)
06/2010: Superman/Batman #73 --  31,425 (- 1.9%)
----------------
6 months: -36.7%
1 year  : -17.8%
2 years : -40.2%
5 years : -72.5%

The book seems to be settling into a slow decline.

—–

63 - JUSTICE LEAGUE: THE RISE OF ARSENAL
03/2010: JL: RoA #1 of 4 -- 36,020
04/2010: JL: RoA #2 of 4 -- 32,000 (-11.2%)
05/2010: JL: RoA #3 of 4 -- 31,246 (- 2.4%)
06/2010: JL: RoA #4 of 4 -- 30,753 (- 1.6%)

Perfectly solid sales for a Green Arrow spin-off.

—–

66 - ZATANNA
05/2010: Zatanna #1  -- 33,691
06/2010: Zatanna #2  -- 29,564 (-12.3%)

Once more, this is a surprisingly small second-issue drop for an ongoing title. Like for the debut issue, there was a 1:10 variant.

—–

68 - DC UNIVERSE LEGACIES
05/2010: DCU Legacies #1  of 10 -- 34,429
06/2010: DCU Legacies #2  of 10 -- 29,286 (-14.9%)

That’s a decent second-issue drop for a maxiseries. There was a 1:25 variant edition, same as for issue #1.

—–

69/80/90/91 - JOKER'S ASYLUM
07/2008: The Joker #1    -- 38,948
07/2008: The Penguin #1  -- 33,469
07/2008: Poison Ivy #1   -- 32,628
07/2008: Scarecrow #1    -- 31,406
07/2008: Two-Face #1     -- 30,335
----------------------------------
06/2010: Harley Quinn #1 -- 29,081
06/2010: The Riddler #1  -- 25,413
06/2010: Mad Hatter #1   -- 24,101
06/2010: Killer Croc #1  -- 22,919
06/2010: Clayface #1     -- 21,806

The second wave of Joker’s Asylum one-shots sells summarily below the first one. Given the number of Batman books already out there, this is hardly surprising.

—–

70 - BATGIRL
06/2005: Batgirl #65     -- 26,796
----------------------------------
08/2009: Batgirl #1      -- 51,724 (+149.3%)
09/2009: Batgirl #2      -- 40,626 (- 21.5%)
10/2009: Batgirl #3      -- 37,011 (-  8.9%)
11/2009: Batgirl #4      -- 34,697 (-  6.3%)
12/2009: Batgirl #5      -- 32,482 (-  6.4%)
01/2010: Batgirl #6      -- 30,403 (-  6.4%)
02/2010: Batgirl #7      -- 29,524 (-  2.9%)
03/2010: Batgirl #8      -- 30,886 (+  4.6%)
04/2010: Batgirl #9      -- 29,445 (-  4.7%)
05/2010: Batgirl #10     -- 28,641 (-  2.7%)
06/2010: Batgirl #11     -- 28,563 (-  0.3%)
----------------
6 months: -12.1%
5 years : + 6.6%

Batgirl seems to have found its level, for the time being.

—–

71 - SUPERGIRL
06/2006: --
06/2007: Supergirl #18 --  50,279
06/2008: Supergirl #30 --  29,553
---------------------------------
06/2009: Supergirl #42 --  32,705 (- 2.2%)
07/2009: Supergirl #43 --  32,849 (+ 0.4%)
08/2009: Supergirl #44 --  33,819 (+ 3.0%)
09/2009: Supergirl #45 --  32,240 (- 4.7%)
10/2009: Supergirl #46 --  30,377 (- 5.8%)
11/2009: Supergirl #47 --  29,159 (- 4.0%)
12/2009: Supergirl #48 --  28,176 (- 3.4%)
01/2010: Supergirl #49 --  27,728 (- 1.6%)
02/2010: Supergirl #50 --  33,338 (+20.2%)
03/2010: Supergirl #51 --  29,845 (-10.5%)
04/2010: Supergirl #52 --  29,490 (- 1.2%)
05/2010: --
06/2010: Supergirl #53 --  28,317 (- 4.0%)
----------------
6 months: + 0.5%
1 year  : -13.4%
2 years : - 4.2%

Sales continue to drop back to pre-#50 levels.

—–

77 - AMERICAN VAMPIRE (Vertigo)
03/2010: American Vampire #1  -- 33,762          [36,831]
04/2010: American Vampire #2  -- 26,770 (-20.7%)
05/2010: American Vampire #3  -- 26,510 (- 1.0%)
06/2010: American Vampire #4  -- 25,977 (- 2.0%)

To date, American Vampire is performing very well. After issue #5, though, Stephen King will no longer write the backup feature.

—–

78 - GOTHAM CITY SIRENS
06/2009: GC Sirens #1  -- 52,439
07/2009: GC Sirens #2  -- 39,518 (-24.6%)
08/2009: GC Sirens #3  -- 36,772 (- 7.0%)
09/2009: GC Sirens #4  -- 34,405 (- 6.4%)
10/2009: GC Sirens #5  -- 33,015 (- 4.0%)
11/2009: GC Sirens #6  -- 30,990 (- 6.1%)
12/2009: GC Sirens #7  -- 29,709 (- 4.1%)
01/2010: GC Sirens #8  -- 28,254 (- 4.9%)
02/2010: GC Sirens #9  -- 27,172 (- 3.8%)
03/2010: GC Sirens #10 -- 26,550 (- 2.3%)
04/2010: GC Sirens #11 -- 26,359 (- 0.7%)
05/2010: GC Sirens #12 -- 26,029 (- 1.3%)
06/2010: GC Sirens #13 -- 25,867 (- 0.6%)
-----------------
6 months: - 12.9%
1 year  : - 50.7%
82 - BATMAN: STREETS OF GOTHAM
06/2009: Batman: SoG #1  -- 57,650
07/2009: Batman: SoG #2  -- 44,240 (-23.3%)
08/2009: Batman: SoG #3  -- 40,353 (- 8.8%)
09/2009: Batman: SoG #4  -- 37,888 (- 6.1%)
10/2009: Batman: SoG #5  -- 34,533 (- 8.9%)
11/2009: Batman: SoG #6  -- 32,303 (- 6.5%)
12/2009: Batman: SoG #7  -- 30,290 (- 6.2%)
01/2010: Batman: SoG #8  -- 28,313 (- 6.5%)
02/2010: Batman: SoG #9  -- 27,023 (- 4.6%)
03/2010: Batman: SoG #10 -- 26,396 (- 2.3%)
04/2010: Batman: SoG #11 -- 25,925 (- 1.8%)
05/2010: Batman: SoG #12 -- 25,446 (- 1.9%)
06/2010: Batman: SoG #13 -- 25,205 (- 1.0%)
----------------
6 months: -16.8%
1 year  : -56.3%

The two tertiary Batman books written by Paul Dini continue selling back to back. But contrary to what DC claims in its advertisements, Gotham City Sirens actually hasn’t been written by Dini since issue #11, of course. Instead, Tony Bedard, whose name first appeared in the solicitation copy for #16, is writing the book. So if the change has any effect on sales, it’s unlikely to be reflected yet.

Speaking of the solicitations, Gotham City Sirens is missing from the latest batch. The book hasn’t officially been canceled, as far as I’m aware, so it may just be on a skip month in October. On the other hand, the decline over the first 12 months has been rather stiff, so it wouldn’t be a total surprise to learn that it’s axed.

—–

84 - TEEN TITANS
06/2005: Teen Titans #25 -- 70,542 [72,721]
06/2006: --
06/2007: Teen Titans #48 -- 60,786
06/2008: Teen Titans #60 -- 45,036
----------------------------------
06/2009: Teen Titans #72 -- 32,512 (- 4.7%)
07/2009: Teen Titans #73 -- 30,990 (- 4.7%)
08/2009: Teen Titans #74 -- 30,380 (- 2.0%)
09/2009: Teen Titans #75 -- 32,808 (+ 8.0%)
10/2009: Teen Titans #76 -- 29,166 (-11.1%)
11/2009: Teen Titans #77 -- 46,239 (+58.5%)
12/2009: Teen Titans #78 -- 43,400 (- 6.1%)
01/2010: Teen Titans #79 -- 27,790 (-36.0%)
02/2010: Teen Titans #80 -- 26,537 (- 4.5%)
03/2010: Teen Titans #81 -- 25,758 (- 2.9%)
04/2010: Teen Titans #82 -- 25,303 (- 1.8%)
05/2010: Teen Titans #83 -- 24,960 (- 1.4%)
06/2010: Teen Titans #84 -- 24,593 (- 1.5%)
----------------
6 months: -43.3%
1 year  : -24.4%
2 years : -45.4%
5 years : -65.1%

At long last, Teen Titans has settled into a slow standard decline. It’s been quite a free-fall.

—–

85 - JSA ALL-STARS
12/2009: JSA All-Stars #1  -- 42,493
01/2010: JSA All-Stars #2  -- 32,601 (-23.3%)
02/2010: JSA All-Stars #3  -- 29,666 (- 9.0%)
03/2010: JSA All-Stars #4  -- 28,526 (- 3.8%)
04/2010: JSA All-Stars #5  -- 26,581 (- 6.8%)
05/2010: JSA All-Stars #6  -- 25,306 (- 4.8%)
06/2010: JSA All-Stars #7  -- 24,436 (- 3.4%)
----------------
6 months: -42.5%

The Justice Society spin-off is finding its level.

—–

94 - SECRET SIX
06/2006: --
-------------------------------------
06/2009: Secret Six #10     -- 24,272 (-10.5%)
07/2009: Secret Six #11     -- 24,357 (+ 0.4%)
08/2009: Secret Six #12     -- 24,161 (- 0.8%)
09/2009: Secret Six #13     -- 23,919 (- 1.0%)
10/2009: Secret Six #14     -- 23,345 (- 2.4%)
11/2009: Secret Six #15     -- 23,190 (- 0.7%)
12/2009: Secret Six #16     -- 22,638 (- 2.4%)
01/2010: Secret Six #17     -- 38,515 (+70.1%)
02/2010: Secret Six #18     -- 37,876 (- 1.7%)
03/2010: Secret Six #19     -- 23,181 (-38.8%)
04/2010: Secret Six #20     -- 22,695 (- 2.1%)
05/2010: Secret Six #21     -- 22,334 (- 1.6%)
06/2010: Secret Six #22     -- 21,941 (- 1.8%)
----------------
6 months: - 3.1%
1 year  : - 9.6%

Standard attrition. These numbers haven’t been great, but they’re comparatively stable.

—–

99 - POWER GIRL
06/2009: Power Girl #2  -- 36,756 (-22.3%)
07/2009: Power Girl #3  -- 35,163 (- 4.3%)
08/2009: Power Girl #4  -- 32,140 (- 8.6%)
09/2009: Power Girl #5  -- 29,497 (- 8.2%)
10/2009: Power Girl #6  -- 27,060 (- 8.3%)
11/2009: --
12/2009: Power Girl #7  -- 22,533 (-16.7%)
01/2010: Power Girl #8  -- 21,760 (- 3.4%)
02/2010: Power Girl #9  -- 20,900 (- 4.0%)
03/2010: Power Girl #10 -- 20,801 (- 0.5%)
04/2010: Power Girl #11 -- 20,675 (- 0.6%)
05/2010: Power Girl #12 -- 20,681 (+ 0.0%)
06/2010: Power Girl #13 -- 20,583 (- 0.5%)
----------------
6 months: - 8.7%
1 year  : -44.0%

Power Girl sales are holding level with the first issue by the new creative team. Good news, certainly.

—–

102 - BOOSTER GOLD
06/2008: Booster Gold #10 -- 34,435
-----------------------------------
06/2009: Booster Gold #21 -- 23,222 (+  3.0%)
07/2009: Booster Gold #22 -- 22,414 (-  3.5%)
08/2009: Booster Gold #23 -- 22,108 (-  1.4%)
09/2009: Booster Gold #24 -- 21,731 (-  1.7%)
10/2009: Booster Gold #25 -- 21,597 (-  0.6%)
11/2009: Booster Gold #26 -- 57,122 (+164.5%)
12/2009: Booster Gold #27 -- 40,256 (- 29.5%)
01/2010: Booster Gold #28 -- 21,967 (- 45.4%)
02/2010: Booster Gold #29 -- 21,020 (-  4.3%)
03/2010: Booster Gold #30 -- 20,187 (-  4.0%)
04/2010: Booster Gold #31 -- 19,818 (-  1.8%)
05/2010: Booster Gold #32 -- 20,343 (+  2.7%)
06/2010: Booster Gold #33 -- 19,895 (-  2.2%)
----------------
6 months: -50.6%
1 year  : -14.3%
2 years : -42.2%

Sales are back in decline after last month’s upward twitch for the new creative team.

—–

104 - FABLES (Vertigo)
06/2005: Fables #38 -- 24,813
06/2006: Fables #50 -- 26,210
06/2007: Fables #62 -- 25,726
06/2008: --
-----------------------------
06/2009: Fables #85 -- 23,439 (-0.8%)
07/2009: Fables #86 -- 22,447 (-4.2%)
08/2009: Fables #87 -- 21,876 (-2.5%)
09/2009: Fables #88 -- 21,508 (-1.7%)
10/2009: Fables #89 -- 21,118 (-1.8%)
11/2009: Fables #90 -- 20,882 (-1.1%)
12/2009: Fables #91 -- 20,450 (-2.1%)
01/2010: Fables #92 -- 20,180 (-1.3%)
02/2010: --
03/2010: Fables #93 -- 20,003 (-0.9%)
04/2010: Fables #94 -- 19,965 (-0.2%)
05/2010: Fables #95 -- 19,932 (-0.2%)
06/2010: Fables #96 -- 19,842 (-0.5%)
----------------
6 months: - 3.0%
1 year  : -15.4%
2 years :  n.a.
5 years : -20.0%

Rock-solid numbers again over the last three months, after a relatively rough year.

—–

107 - I, ZOMBIE
05/2010: I, Zombie #1  -- 33,025
06/2010: I, Zombie #2  -- 18,620 (-43.6%)

The debut issue was promoted through a $ 1.00 cover price and a 1:10 variant, so the huge drop-off was to be expected. If it finds its level quickly, I, Zombie could still end up as one of Vertigo’s top-selling ongoing comic-book series.

—–

109 - THE OUTSIDERS
06/2005: Outsiders #25 -- 52,187 [55,884]
06/2006: Outsiders #37 -- 44,109
06/2007: Outsiders #48 -- 32,966
06/2008: Batsiders #8  -- 34,640
--------------------------------
06/2009: Outsiders #19 -- 27,485 (+  5.7%)
07/2009: Outsiders #20 -- 24,323 (- 11.5%)
08/2009: Outsiders #21 -- 23,856 (-  1.9%)
09/2009: Outsiders #22 -- 22,775 (-  4.5%)
10/2009: Outsiders #23 -- 21,413 (-  6.0%)
11/2009: Outsiders #24 -- 50,918 (+137.8%) [55,704]
12/2009: Outsiders #25 -- 37,847 (- 25.7%)
01/2010: Outsiders #26 -- 22,626 (- 40.2%)
02/2010: Outsiders #27 -- 21,167 (-  6.5%)
03/2010: Outsiders #28 -- 19,632 (-  7.3%)
04/2010: Outsiders #29 -- 19,094 (-  2.7%)
05/2010: --
06/2010: Outsiders #30 -- 18,045 (-  5.5%)
----------------
6 months: -52.3%
1 year  : -34.4%
2 years : -47.9%
5 years : -65.4%

Once again, more than a thousand units have evaporated from one month to the next. The Outsiders is missing from the October solicitations, so maybe someone pulled the emergency brake.

—–

118 - JOE THE BARBARIAN (Vertigo)  
01/2010: Joe the Barbarian #1 of 8 -- 25,543          [29,712]
02/2010: Joe the Barbarian #2 of 8 -- 17,512 (-31.4%)
03/2010: Joe the Barbarian #3 of 8 -- 17,672 (+ 0.9%)
04/2010: Joe the Barbarian #4 of 8 -- 17,102 (- 3.2%)
05/2010: Joe the Barbarian #5 of 8 -- 16,725 (- 2.2%)
06/2010: Joe the Barbarian #6 of 8 -- 16,219 (- 3.0%)

Grant Morrison’s latest Vertigo effort continues to perform decently enough, if not spectacularly.

—–

119 - DOC SAVAGE
04/2010: Doc Savage #1   -- 24,539
05/2010: Doc Savage #2   -- 19,073 (-22.3%)
06/2010: Doc Savage #3   -- 16,153 (-15.3%)

That’s a steep third-issue drop. Doc Savage #3 was promoted with a 1:10 variant, like the two previous issues.

—–

128 - BATMAN CONFIDENTIAL
06/2007: Batman Confidential #6  -- 33,480
06/2008: Batman Confidential #18 -- 24,881
------------------------------------------
06/2009: Batman Confidential #30 -- 18,443 (- 2.3%)
07/2009: Batman Confidential #31 -- 19,225 (+ 4.2%)
08/2009: Batman Confidential #32 -- 18,545 (- 3.5%)
09/2009: Batman Confidential #33 -- 18,140 (- 2.2%)
10/2009: Batman Confidential #34 -- 17,097 (- 5.8%)
10/2009: Batman Confidential #35 -- 16,724 (- 2.2%)
11/2009: Batman Confidential #36 -- 16,664 (- 0.4%)
11/2009: Batman Confidential #37 -- 16,355 (- 1.9%)
12/2009: Batman Confidential #38 -- 16,132 (- 1.4%)
12/2009: Batman Confidential #39 -- 15,906 (- 1.4%)
01/2010: Batman Confidential #40 -- 17,241 (+ 8.4%)
02/2010: Batman Confidential #41 -- 16,856 (- 2.2%)
03/2010: Batman Confidential #42 -- 16,652 (- 1.2%)
04/2010: Batman Confidential #43 -- 16,449 (- 1.2%)
05/2010: Batman Confidential #44 -- 15,279 (- 7.1%)
06/2010: Batman Confidential #45 -- 15,070 (- 1.4%)
----------------
6 months: - 5.9%
1 year  : -18.3%
2 years : -39.4%

Back in its usual decline.

—–

137 - JONAH HEX
06/2006: Jonah Hex #8  -- 21,006
06/2007: Jonah Hex #20 -- 16,150
06/2008: Jonah Hex #32 -- 12,969
--------------------------------
06/2009: Jonah Hex #44 -- 11,592 (- 0.1%)
07/2009: Jonah Hex #45 -- 12,588 (+ 8.6%)
08/2009: Jonah Hex #46 -- 12,466 (- 1.0%)
09/2009: Jonah Hex #47 -- 12,231 (- 1.9%)
10/2009: Jonah Hex #48 -- 11,281 (- 7.8%)
11/2009: Jonah Hex #49 -- 11,146 (- 1.2%)
12/2009: Jonah Hex #50 -- 15,131 (+35.8%)
01/2010: Jonah Hex #51 -- 11,184 (-26.1%)
02/2010: Jonah Hex #52 -- 11,213 (+ 0.3%)
03/2010: Jonah Hex #53 -- 11,565 (+ 3.1%)
04/2010: Jonah Hex #54 -- 11,306 (- 2.2%)
05/2010: Jonah Hex #55 -- 11,327 (+ 0.2%)
06/2010: Jonah Hex #56 -- 13,441 (+18.7%)
----------------
6 months: -11.2%
1 year  : +16.0%
2 years : + 3.6%

A variant-cover edition — once again not mentioned in the solicitation copy — probably explains the bulk of the sales increase in June. Since Jonah Hex numbers were already edging upwards over the last few months, though, some of it may be genuine.

—–

138 - THE UNWRITTEN (Vertigo)
06/2009: The Unwritten #2  -- 16,290 (-39.5%)
07/2009: The Unwritten #3  -- 17,028 (+ 4.5%)
08/2009: The Unwritten #4  -- 16,336 (- 4.1%)
09/2009: The Unwritten #5  -- 16,011 (- 2.0%)
10/2009: The Unwritten #6  -- 15,314 (- 4.4%)
11/2009: The Unwritten #7  -- 14,763 (- 3.6%)
12/2009: The Unwritten #8  -- 14,257 (- 3.4%)
01/2010: The Unwritten #9  -- 13,792 (- 3.3%)
02/2010: The Unwritten #10 -- 13,644 (- 1.1%)
03/2010: The Unwritten #11 -- 13,630 (- 0.1%)
04/2010: The Unwritten #12 -- 13,507 (- 0.9%)
05/2010: The Unwritten #13 -- 13,467 (- 0.3%)
06/2010: The Unwritten #14 -- 13,396 (- 0.5%)
----------------
6 months: - 6.0%
1 year  : -17.8%

Another Vertigo title with rock-solid numbers.

—–

141 - THE SPIRIT
06/2007: The Spirit #7  -- 22,621
06/2008: The Spirit #18 -- 13,257
---------------------------------
06/2009: The Spirit #29 --  8,273 (-  0.7%)
06/2009: The Spirit #30 --  8,103 (-  2.1%)
07/2009: The Spirit #31 --  7,882 (-  2.7%)
08/2009: The Spirit #32 --  7,670 (-  2.7%)
---------------------------------
04/2010: The Spirit #1  -- 19,849 (+158.8%)
05/2010: The Spirit #2  -- 14,274 (- 28.1%)
06/2010: The Spirit #3  -- 13,030 (-  8.7%)
-----------------
1 year  : + 58.2%
2 years : -  1.7%

So far, the relaunch of The Spirit looks as successful as DC could have realistically hoped for, under the circumstances.

——

153 - DOOM PATROL
06/2010: Doom Patrol #13 -- 15,290
----------------------------------
08/2009: Doom Patrol #1  -- 28,267
09/2009: Doom Patrol #2  -- 22,001 (- 22.2%)
10/2009: Doom Patrol #3  -- 20,036 (-  8.9%)
11/2009: Doom Patrol #4  -- 53,748 (+168.3%)
12/2009: Doom Patrol #5  -- 35,348 (- 34.2%)
01/2010: Doom Patrol #6  -- 17,117 (- 51.6%)
02/2010: Doom Patrol #7  -- 15,689 (-  8.3%)
03/2010: Doom Patrol #8  -- 14,197 (-  9.5%)
04/2010: Doom Patrol #9  -- 13,126 (-  7.5%)
05/2010: Doom Patrol #10 -- 12,334 (-  6.0%)
06/2010: Doom Patrol #11 -- 11,857 (-  3.9%)
----------------
6 months: -66.5%
5 years : -22.5%
160 - R.E.B.E.L.S.
06/2009: R.E.B.E.L.S. #5  -- 12,909 (-  4.2%)
07/2009: R.E.B.E.L.S. #6  -- 12,349 (-  4.3%)
08/2009: R.E.B.E.L.S. #7  -- 11,682 (-  5.4%)
09/2009: R.E.B.E.L.S. #8  -- 11,347 (-  2.9%)
10/2009: R.E.B.E.L.S. #9  -- 11,284 (-  0.6%)
11/2009: R.E.B.E.L.S. #10 -- 51,100 (+352.9%)
12/2009: R.E.B.E.L.S. #11 -- 31,489 (- 38.4%)
01/2010: R.E.B.E.L.S. #12 -- 12,428 (- 60.5%)
02/2010: R.E.B.E.L.S. #13 -- 11,836 (-  4.8%)
03/2010: R.E.B.E.L.S. #14 -- 11,362 (-  4.0%)
04/2010: R.E.B.E.L.S. #15 -- 11,271 (-  0.8%)
05/2010: R.E.B.E.L.S. #16 -- 11,120 (-  1.3%)
06/2010: R.E.B.E.L.S. #17 -- 11,048 (-  0.7%)
-----------------
6 months: - 64.9%
1 year  : - 14.4%

The Doom Patrol drops are getting smaller, finally, while R.E.B.E.L.S. numbers are stabilizing around 11K.

The October solicitations suggest that neither of the two books has been canceled yet, but given how erratic DC’s decisions have been over the last few years, that doesn’t have to mean anything — see the truncated Magog and The Great Ten, for instance.

—–

167 - TOM STRONG AND THE ROBOTS OF DOOM (WildStorm)
06/2005: Tom Strong #33 -- 11,956
---------------------------------
06/2010: RoD #1 of 6    -- 10,552
-----------------
5 years : - 11.7%

Tom Strong has seen better times, as the five-year comparison shows. Back then, the book was already well into its post-Alan Moore phase. Also, Tom Strong and the Robots of Doom #1 was promoted with a 1:10 variant edition, so its sales are quite unimpressive overall.

—–

172 - HELLBLAZER (Vertigo)
06/2005: Hellblazer #209 -- 15,149
06/2006: Hellblazer #221 -- 13,973
06/2007: Hellblazer #233 -- 13,201
06/2008: Hellblazer #245 -- 11,897
----------------------------------
06/2009: Hellblazer #256 -- 10,898 (-0.4%)
07/2009: Hellblazer #257 -- 10,762 (-1.3%)
08/2009: Hellblazer #258 -- 10,665 (-0.9%)
09/2009: Hellblazer #259 -- 10,813 (+1.4%)
10/2009: Hellblazer #260 -- 10,767 (-0.4%)
11/2009: Hellblazer #261 -- 10,553 (-2.0%)
12/2009: Hellblazer #262 -- 10,334 (-2.1%)
01/2010: Hellblazer #263 -- 10,179 (-1.5%)
02/2010: Hellblazer #264 -- 10,025 (-1.5%)
03/2010: Hellblazer #265 -- 10,295 (+2.7%)
04/2010: Hellblazer #266 -- 10,256 (-0.4%)
05/2010: Hellblazer #267 -- 10,155 (-1.0%)
06/2010: Hellblazer #268 -- 10,221 (+0.7%)
----------------
6 months: - 1.1%
1 year  : - 6.2%
2 years : -14.1%
5 years : -32.5%

Peter Milligan’s Hellblazer has been selling within 700 units for a year. The book is back to being one of DC’s most steady performers.

—–

180 - AZRAEL
10/2009: Azrael #1  -- 35,311 (- 1.7%)
11/2009: Azrael #2  -- 21,392 (-39.4%)
12/2009: Azrael #3  -- 17,757 (-17.0%)
01/2010: Azrael #4  -- 14,703 (-17.2%)
02/2010: Azrael #5  -- 12,856 (-12.6%)
03/2010: Azrael #6  -- 11,825 (- 8.0%)
04/2010: Azrael #7  -- 11,080 (- 6.3%)
05/2010: Azrael #8  -- 10,228 (- 7.7%)
06/2010: Azrael #9  --  9,802 (- 4.2%)
----------------
6 months: -44.8%

Sales are finding their level, but that’s not much of a silver lining, at this stage. The October issue is set to conclude a four-part storyline; quite possibly, that could be it for Azrael.

—–

183 - SWEET TOOTH (Vertigo)
09/2009: Sweet Tooth #1  -- 18,657
10/2009: Sweet Tooth #2  -- 11,315 (-39.4%)
11/2009: Sweet Tooth #3  -- 10,363 (- 8.4%)
12/2009: Sweet Tooth #4  --  9,817 (- 5.3%)
01/2010: Sweet Tooth #5  --  9,787 (- 0.3%)
02/2010: Sweet Tooth #6  --  9,740 (- 0.5%)
03/2010: Sweet Tooth #7  --  9,718 (- 0.2%)
04/2010: Sweet Tooth #8  --  9,612 (- 1.1%)
05/2010: Sweet Tooth #9  --  9,654 (+ 0.4%)
06/2010: Sweet Tooth #10 --  9,570 (- 0.9%)
----------------
6 months: - 2.5%
184 - DAYTRIPPER (Vertigo)
12/2009: Daytripper #1  of 10 -- 12,010
01/2009: Daytripper #2  of 10 --  9,846 (-18.0%)
02/2009: Daytripper #3  of 10 --  9,577 (- 2.7%)
03/2009: Daytripper #4  of 10 --  9,872 (+ 3.1%)
04/2009: Daytripper #5  of 10 --  9,703 (- 1.7%)
05/2009: Daytripper #6  of 10 --  9,574 (- 1.3%)
06/2009: Daytripper #7  of 10 --  9,333 (- 2.5%)
----------------
6 months: -22.3%

Two solid mid-tier Vertigo books.

For Daytripper, the usual second-issue drop aside, sales have remained within 600 units; for Sweet Tooth, the numbers have been within 300 copies over the last half-year.

—–

193 - HOUSE OF MYSTERY (Vertigo)
06/2008: House of Mystery #2  -- 19,485
---------------------------------------
06/2009: House of Mystery #14 -- 12,039 (-16.2%)
07/2009: House of Mystery #15 -- 11,809 (- 1.9%)
08/2009: House of Mystery #16 -- 11,572 (- 2.0%)
09/2009: House of Mystery #17 -- 11,142 (- 3.7%)
10/2009: House of Mystery #18 -- 10,922 (- 2.0%)
11/2009: House of Mystery #19 -- 10,478 (- 4.1%)
12/2009: House of Mystery #20 -- 10,175 (- 2.9%)
01/2010: House of Mystery #21 --  9,888 (- 2.8%)
02/2010: House of Mystery #22 --  9,401 (- 4.9%)
03/2010: House of Mystery #23 --  9,350 (- 0.5%)
04/2010: House of Mystery #24 --  9,168 (- 2.0%)
05/2010: House of Mystery #25 --  9,253 (+ 0.9%)
06/2010: House of Mystery #26 --  8,742 (- 5.5%)
----------------
6 months: -14.1%
1 year  : -27.4%
2 years : -55.1%

House of Mystery keeps slipping down the charts.

—–

199 - TINY TITANS (Johnny DC)
06/2008: Tiny Titans #5  -- 10,909
----------------------------------
06/2009: Tiny Titans #17 --  8,640 (- 2.3%)
07/2009: Tiny Titans #18 --  8,576 (- 0.7%)
08/2009: Tiny Titans #19 --  8,432 (- 1.7%)
09/2009: Tiny Titans #20 --  8,435 (+ 0.0%)
10/2009: Tiny Titans #21 --  8,259 (- 2.1%)
11/2009: Tiny Titans #22 --  8,100 (- 1.9%)
12/2009: Tiny Titans #23 --  8,017 (- 1.0%)
01/2010: Tiny Titans #24 --  7,844 (- 2.2%)
02/2010: Tiny Titans #25 --  8,566 (+ 9.2%)
03/2010: Tiny Titans #26 --  7,878 (- 8.0%)
04/2010: Tiny Titans #27 --  8,224 (+ 4.4%)
05/2010: Tiny Titans #28 --  7,959 (- 3.2%)
06/2010: Tiny Titans #29 --  8,195 (+ 3.0%)
----------------
6 months: + 2.2%
1 year  : - 5.2%
2 years : -24.9%

A Johnny DC title.

—–

201 - FRINGE: TALES FROM THE FRINGE (WildStorm)
09/2008: Fringe #1 of 6 -- 15,929
01/2009: Fringe #2 of 6 --  8,239 (-48.3%)
03/2009: Fringe #3 of 6 --  7,426 (- 9.9%)
04/2009: Fringe #4 of 6 --  6,899 (- 7.1%)
05/2009: Fringe #5 of 6 --  6,744 (- 2.3%)
06/2009: Fringe #6 of 6 --  6,646 (- 1.5%)
---------------------------------
06/2010: Tales #1 of 6  --  8,099 (+21.9%)
----------------
1 year  : +21.9%

Another WildStorm miniseries based on the TV show. Reportedly, the Fringe comics are doing well in DC’s recently launched digital store, though nobody seems to have a solid idea what that means or how reliable the information is yet. It would certainly seem to make sense to the extent that you’d expect casual browsers of the digital library to select titles they’re familiar with from other media, but that’s neither here nor there.

—–

203 - MADAME XANADU (Vertigo)
06/2008: Madame Xanadu #1  -- 22,073
------------------------------------
06/2009: Madame Xanadu #12 --  9,949 (- 2.3%)
07/2009: Madame Xanadu #13 -- 10,009 (+ 0.6%)
08/2009: Madame Xanadu #14 --  9,873 (- 1.4%)
09/2009: Madame Xanadu #15 --  9,733 (- 1.4%)
10/2009: Madame Xanadu #16 --  9,283 (- 4.6%)
11/2009: Madame Xanadu #17 --  8,856 (- 4.6%)
12/2009: Madame Xanadu #18 --  8,686 (- 1.9%)
01/2010: Madame Xanadu #19 --  8,439 (- 2.8%)
02/2010: Madame Xanadu #20 --  8,285 (- 1.8%)
03/2010: Madame Xanadu #21 --  8,191 (- 1.1%)
04/2010: Madame Xanadu #22 --  8,158 (- 0.4%)
05/2010: Madame Xanadu #23 --  8,028 (- 1.6%)
06/2010: Madame Xanadu #24 --  7,979 (- 0.6%)
----------------
6 months: - 8.1%
1 year  : -19.8%
2 years : -63.9%

Madame Xanadu has found its level around the 8,000-unit mark. If the rumors of its cancellation are true, it’s unlikely to be due to sales alone, judging from these numbers.

—–

209 - WARLORD
06/2006: Warlord #5 --  16,070
------------------------------
06/2009: Warlord #3  -- 12,283 (- 8.3%)
07/2009: Warlord #4  -- 11,445 (- 6.8%)
08/2009: Warlord #5  -- 10,790 (- 5.7%)
09/2009: Warlord #6  -- 10,331 (- 4.3%)
10/2009: Warlord #7  --  9,892 (- 4.3%)
11/2009: Warlord #8  --  9,547 (- 3.5%)
12/2009: Warlord #9  --  9,102 (- 4.7%)
01/2010: Warlord #10 --  8,807 (- 3.2%)
02/2010: Warlord #11 --  8,532 (- 3.1%)
03/2010: Warlord #12 --  8,430 (- 1.2%)
04/2010: Warlord #13 --  8,130 (- 3.6%)
05/2010: Warlord #14 --  7,915 (- 2.7%)
06/2010: Warlord #15 --  7,755 (- 2.0%)
----------------
6 months: -14.8%
1 year  : -36.9%

Canceled with issue #16.

—–

214 - NORTHLANDERS (Vertigo)
06/2008: --
-----------------------------------
06/2009: Northlanders #18 --  8,877 (- 3.9%)
07/2009: Northlanders #19 --  8,722 (- 1.8%)
08/2009: --
09/2009: Northlanders #20 --  8,786 (+ 0.7%)
10/2009: Northlanders #21 --  8,360 (- 4.9%)
11/2009: Northlanders #22 --  8,136 (- 2.7%)
12/2009: Northlanders #23 --  8,069 (- 0.8%)
01/2010: Northlanders #24 --  7,935 (- 1.7%)
02/2010: Northlanders #25 --  7,807 (- 1.6%)
03/2010: Northlanders #26 --  7,824 (+ 0.2%)
04/2010: Northlanders #27 --  7,683 (- 1.8%)
05/2010: Northlanders #28 --  7,630 (- 0.7%)
06/2010: Northlanders #29 --  7,498 (- 1.7%)
----------------
6 months: - 7.1%
1 year  : -15.5%
2 years :  n.a.

Continuing a very slow decline.

—–

216 - THE AUTHORITY (WildStorm)
06/2005: Revolution #9  of 12 -- 19,329
06/2007: --
---------------------------------------
06/2009: The Authority v4 #11 --  9,204 (- 3.4%)
07/2009: The Authority v4 #12 --  8,918 (- 3.1%)
08/2009: The Authority v4 #13 --  8,648 (- 3.0%)
09/2009: The Authority v4 #14 --  8,394 (- 2.9%)
10/2009: The Authority v4 #15 --  8,174 (- 2.6%)
11/2009: The Authority v4 #16 --  8,066 (- 1.3%)
12/2009: The Authority v4 #17 --  7,829 (- 2.9%)
01/2010: The Authority v4 #18 --  7,952 (+ 1.6%)
02/2010: The Authority v4 #19 --  7,943 (- 0.1%)
03/2010: The Authority v4 #20 --  7,781 (- 2.0%)
04/2010: The Authority v4 #21 --  7,563 (- 2.8%)
05/2010: The Authority v4 #22 --  7,295 (- 3.5%)
06/2010: The Authority v4 #23 --  7,226 (- 1.0%)
----------------
6 months: - 7.7%
1 year  : -21.5%
2 years :  n.a.
5 years : -62.6%

Business as usual. To be fair, sales of both The Authority and Wildcats have been perfectly steady for the last six months.

—–

225 - MAGOG
09/2009: Magog #1  -- 26,352
10/2009: Magog #2  -- 16,193 (-38.6%)
11/2009: Magog #3  -- 12,915 (-20.2%)
12/2009: Magog #4  -- 10,700 (-17.2%)
01/2010: Magog #5  --  9,215 (-13.9%)
02/2010: Magog #6  --  8,548 (- 7.2%)
03/2010: Magog #7  --  8,119 (- 5.0%)
04/2010: Magog #8  --  7,743 (- 4.6%)
05/2010: Magog #9  --  7,264 (- 6.2%)
06/2010: Magog #10 --  6,749 (- 7.1%)
----------------
6 months: -36.9%

Canceled with issue #12.

—–

227 - SUPERNATURAL: BEGINNING'S END (WildStorm)
05/2007: Origins #1         -- 21,128
06/2007: Origins #2         -- 15,955 (-24.5%)
07/2007: Origins #3         -- 14,812 (- 7.2%)
08/2007: Origins #4         -- 13,915 (- 6.1%)
09/2007: Origins #5         -- 13,034 (- 6.3%)
10/2007: Origins #6         -- 12,350 (- 5.5%)
-------------------------------------
04/2008: Rising Son #1 of 6 -- 16,013 (+29.7%)
05/2008: Rising Son #2 of 6 -- 11,846 (-26.0%)
06/2008: Rising Son #3 of 6 -- 11,276 (- 4.8%)
07/2008: Rising Son #4 of 6 -- 10,676 (- 5.3%)
08/2008: Rising Son #5 of 6 -- 10,110 (- 5.3%)
09/2008: Rising Son #6 of 6 --  9,590 (- 5.1%)
-------------------------------------
01/2010: End #1 of 6        --  9,251 (- 3.5%)
02/2010: End #2 of 6        --  6,922 (-25.2%)
03/2010: End #3 of 6        --  6,764 (- 2.3%)
04/2010: End #4 of 6        --  6,420 (- 5.1%)
05/2010: End #5 of 6        --  6,403 (- 0.3%)
06/2010: End #6 of 6        --  6,711 (+ 4.8%)
----------------
2 years : -40.5%

The conclusion of another TV adaptation.

—–

231 - DMZ (Vertigo)
06/2006: DMZ #8  -- 14,999
06/2007: DMZ #20 -- 12,704
06/2008: DMZ #32 --  9,760
--------------------------
06/2009: DMZ #42 --  7,927 (-1.7%)
07/2009: DMZ #43 --  7,806 (-1.5%)
08/2009: DMZ #44 --  7,654 (-2.0%)
09/2009: DMZ #45 --  7,589 (-0.9%)
10/2009: DMZ #46 --  7,399 (-2.5%)
11/2009: DMZ #47 --  7,187 (-2.9%)
12/2009: DMZ #48 --  6,977 (-2.9%)
01/2010: DMZ #49 --  6,872 (-1.5%)
02/2010: DMZ #50 --  7,262 (+5.7%)
03/2010: DMZ #51 --  6,840 (-5.8%)
04/2010: DMZ #52 --  6,826 (-0.2%)
05/2010: DMZ #53 --  6,759 (-1.0%)
06/2010: DMZ #54 --  6,661 (-1.5%)
----------------
6 months: - 4.5%
1 year  : -16.0%
2 years : -31.8%

DMZ keeps sticking to the 6-7K area. The book will reach its natural conclusion in the not-too-distant future.

—–

235 - THE AUTHORITY: THE LOST YEAR (WildStorm)
10/2006: The Authority v3 #1     -- 58,136
03/2007: The Authority v3 #2     -- 39,886
------------------------------------------
11/2009: The Lost Year #3  of 12 --  8,988 (-77.5%)
12/2009: The Lost Year #4  of 12 --  7,999 (-11.0%)
01/2010: The Lost Year #5  of 12 --  7,541 (- 5.7%)
02/2010: The Lost Year #6  of 12 --  7,184 (- 4.7%)
03/2010: The Lost Year #7  of 12 --  6,942 (- 3.4%)
04/2010: The Lost Year #8  of 12 --  6,712 (- 3.3%)
05/2010: --
06/2010: The Lost Year #9  of 12 --  6,558 (- 2.3%)
----------------
6 months: -18.0%

Bottoming out in time for the home stretch.

—–

238/256/268 - WHAT'S NEXT REPRINT SPECIALS
05/2010: Jonah Hex #1       -- 8,463
05/2010: Hellblazer #1      -- 7,089
05/2010: Scalped #1         -- 6,438
05/2010: Action Comics #858 -- 6,438
05/2010: The Authority #1   -- 5,792
06/2010: Flash: Rebirth #1  -- 6,400
06/2010: Detect Comics #854 -- 5,775
06/2010: Astro City #1      -- 5,304
06/2010: Fables #6          -- 5,264
06/2010: Jack of Fables #1  -- 4,629

Another bunch of $ 1.00 reprints. Judging from these numbers, the program has pretty much run its course. If a company like DC can’t sell 5,000 copies of a $ 1.00 reprint comic, it’s time to look for other avenues of promotion, at least for a while.

—–

241 - DV8: GODS AND MONSTERS (WildStorm)
04/2010: Gods and Monsters #1 of 8 -- 10,203
05/2010: Gods and Monsters #2 of 8 --  6,671 (-34.6%)
06/2010: Gods and Monsters #3 of 8 --  6,295 (- 5.6%)

This revamp of an old WildStorm Universe concept is finding its level quickly now.

—–

242 - BATMAN: THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD (Johnny DC)
06/2005: Batman Strikes! #10   -- 10,048
06/2006: Batman Strikes! #22   --  8,104
06/2007: Batman Strikes! #34   --  7,115
06/2008: Batman Strikes! #46   --  7,118
----------------------------------------
06/2009: Brave & Bold #6       --  7,614 (-  4.8%)
07/2009: Brave & Bold #7       --  7,441 (-  2.3%)
08/2009: Brave & Bold #8       --  7,153 (-  3.9%)
09/2009: Brave & Bold #9       --  7,064 (-  1.2%)
10/2009: Brave & Bold #10      --  6,646 (-  5.9%)
11/2009: Brave & Bold #11      --  6,438 (-  3.1%)
12/2009: Brave & Bold #12      --  6,342 (-  1.5%)
01/2010: Brave & Bold #13      --  6,129 (-  3.4%)
02/2010: Brave & Bold #14      --  6,084 (-  0.7%)
03/2010: Brave & Bold #15      --  6,208 (+  2.0%)
04/2010: Brave & Bold #16      --  6,506 (+  4.8%)
05/2010: Brave & Bold #17      --  6,103 (-  6.2%)
06/2010: Brave & Bold #18      --  6,270 (+  2.7%)
----------------
6 months: - 1.1%
1 year  : -17.7%
2 years : -11.9%
5 years : -37.6%

Another Johnny DC book.

—–

244 - GEARS OF WAR (WildStorm)
06/2009: --
07/2009: GoW #8  --  9,368 (- 5.9%)
07/2009: GoW #9  --  9,009 (- 3.8%)
08/2009: --
09/2009: --
10/2009: --
11/2009: GoW #10 --  8,066 (-10.5%)
12/2009: --
01/2010: GoW #11 --  7,157 (-11.3%)
02/2010: --  
03/2010: --
04/2010: --
05/2010: --
06/2010: GoW #12 --  6,165 (-13.9%)
----------------
6 months:  n.a.
1 year  :  n.a.

A videogame adaptation from WildStorm. Sales are dreadful, obviously.

—–

246 - WILDCATS (WildStorm)
06/2007: --
----------------------------------
06/2009: World's End #12 --  7,863 (- 3.7%)
07/2009: World's End #13 --  7,609 (- 3.2%)
08/2009: World's End #14 --  7,417 (- 2.5%)
09/2009: World's End #15 --  7,178 (- 3.2%)
10/2009: World's End #16 --  6,883 (- 4.1%)
11/2009: World's End #17 --  6,691 (- 2.8%)
12/2009: World's End #18 --  6,487 (- 3.2%)
01/2010: World's End #19 --  6,791 (+ 4.7%)
02/2010: World's End #20 --  6,669 (- 1.8%)
03/2010: World's End #21 --  6,491 (- 2.7%)
04/2010: World's End #22 --  6,367 (- 1.9%)
05/2010: World's End #23 --  6,185 (- 2.9%)
06/2010: World's End #24 --  6,051 (- 2.2%)
----------------
6 months: - 6.7%
1 year  : -23.1%
2 years :  n.a.

Another WildStorm Universe title that seems to be settling down around 6K.

—–

249 - THE GREAT TEN
11/2009: The Great Ten #1  of 10 -- 13,159
12/2009: The Great Ten #2  of 10 --  8,760 (-33.4%)
01/2010: The Great Ten #3  of 10 --  7,458 (-14.9%)
02/2010: The Great Ten #4  of 10 --  6,812 (- 8.7%)
03/2010: The Great Ten #5  of 10 --  6,555 (- 3.8%)
04/2010: The Great Ten #6  of 10 --  6,301 (- 3.9%)
05/2010: The Great Ten #7  of 10 --  6,112 (- 3.0%)
06/2010: The Great Ten #8  of 10 --  5,998 (- 1.9%)
----------------
6 months: -31.5%

Canceled with issue #9.

—–

250 - NEMESIS: THE IMPOSTORS
05/2009: FCA: Escape #1 of 6 -- 28,668
06/2009: FCA: Escape #2 of 6 -- 20,576 (-29.2%)
07/2009: FCA: Escape #3 of 6 -- 15,294 (-25.7%)
08/2009: FCA: Escape #4 of 6 -- 12,950 (-15.3%)
09/2009: FCA: Escape #5 of 6 -- 11,613 (-10.3%)
10/2009: FCA: Escape #6 of 6 -- 10,519 (- 9.4%)
--------------------------------------
03/2010: Impostors #1 of 4   --  9,005 (-14.4%)
04/2010: Impostors #2 of 4   --  7,291 (-19.0%)
05/2010: Impostors #3 of 4   --  6,252 (-14.3%)
06/2010: Impostors #4 of 4   --  5,919 (- 5.3%)
----------------
1 year  : -71.2%

A DC Universe miniseries that doesn’t “count,” doesn’t have any popular characters in its favor and wasn’t promoted, with predictable results.

—–

252 - GREEK STREET (Vertigo)
07/2009: Greek Street #1  -- 20,422
08/2009: Greek Street #2  -- 11,996 (-41.3%)
09/2009: Greek Street #3  -- 10,628 (-11.4%)
10/2009: Greek Street #4  --  9,246 (-13.0%)
11/2009: Greek Street #5  --  8,610 (- 6.9%)
12/2009: Greek Street #6  --  7,802 (- 9.4%)
01/2010: Greek Street #7  --  7,335 (- 6.0%)
02/2010: Greek Street #8  --  6,872 (- 6.3%)
03/2010: Greek Street #9  --  6,603 (- 3.9%)
04/2010: Greek Street #10 --  6,324 (- 4.2%)
05/2010: Greek Street #11 --  6,128 (- 3.1%)
06/2010: Greek Street #12 --  5,905 (- 3.6%)
----------------
6 months: -24.3%

Canceled with issue #16.

—–

254 - HUMAN TARGET
02/2010: Human Target #1 of 6 -- 13,690
03/2010: Human Target #2 of 6 --  8,403 (-38.6%)
04/2010: Human Target #3 of 6 --  6,857 (-18.4%)
05/2010: Human Target #4 of 6 --  6,222 (- 9.3%)
06/2010: Human Target #5 of 6 --  5,838 (- 6.2%)

A TV-show tie-in, tanking badly.

—–

262 - DEMO (Vertigo)
11/2003: Demo #1  of 12      -- 4,529
12/2003: Demo #2  of 12      -- 3,115 (-31.2%)
01/2004: Demo #3  of 12      -- 3,170 (+ 1.8%)
02/2004: Demo #4  of 12      -- 3,220 (+ 1.6%)
03/2004: Demo #5  of 12      -- 3,301 (+ 2.5%)
05/2004: Demo #6  of 12      -- 3,514 (+ 6.5%)
06/2004: Demo #7  of 12      -- 3,882 (+10.5%)
07/2004: Demo #8  of 12      -- 3,803 (- 2.0%)
08/2004: Demo #9  of 12      -- 3,976 (+ 4.6%)
10/2004: Demo #10 of 12      -- 4,260 (+ 7.1%)
10/2004: Demo #11 of 12      -- 4,344 (+ 2.0%)
12/2004: Demo #12 of 12      -- 4,628 (+ 6.5%)
-------------------------------------
02/2010: Demo Vol. 2 #1 of 6 -- 8,317
03/2010: Demo Vol. 2 #2 of 6 -- 6,573 (-21.0%)
04/2010: Demo Vol. 2 #3 of 6 -- 6,010 (- 8.6%)
05/2010: Demo Vol. 2 #4 of 6 -- 5,818 (- 3.2%)
06/2010: Demo Vol. 2 #5 of 6 -- 5,612 (- 3.5%)

The black-&-white miniseries looks like it’s going to finish ahead of the previous volume back from 2004. Given that Demo was published by AiT/Planet Lar back then, that’s hardly a ringing endorsement.

—–

266 - UNKNOWN SOLDIER (Vertigo)
06/2009: Unknown Soldier #9  --  7,586 (- 1.6%)
07/2009: Unknown Soldier #10 --  7,256 (- 4.4%)
08/2009: Unknown Soldier #11 --  7,070 (- 2.6%)
09/2009: Unknown Soldier #12 --  6,865 (- 2.9%)
10/2009: Unknown Soldier #13 --  6,636 (- 3.3%)
11/2009: Unknown Soldier #14 --  6,359 (- 4.2%)
12/2009: Unknown Soldier #15 --  6,134 (- 3.5%)
01/2010: Unknown Soldier #16 --  5,848 (- 4.7%)
02/2010: Unknown Soldier #17 --  5,701 (- 2.5%)
03/2010: Unknown Soldier #18 --  5,611 (- 1.6%)
04/2010: Unknown Soldier #19 --  5,542 (- 1.2%)
05/2010: Unknown Soldier #20 --  5,466 (- 1.4%)
06/2010: Unknown Soldier #21 --  5,371 (- 1.7%)
----------------
6 months: -12.4%
1 year  : -29.2%

Canceled with issue #24.

—–

281 - GEN13 (WildStorm)
06/2007: Gen13 #9  -- 18,644
06/2008: --
----------------------------
06/2009: Gen13 #30 --  6,880 (- 5.9%)
07/2009: --
08/2009: Gen13 #31 --  6,544 (- 4.9%)
09/2009: --
10/2009: Gen13 #32 --  6,044 (- 7.6%)
11/2009: --
12/2009: Gen13 #33 --  5,718 (- 5.4%)
01/2010: --
02/2010: Gen13 #34 --  5,412 (- 5.4%)
03/2010: --
04/2010: Gen13 #35 --  5,257 (- 2.9%)
05/2010: --
06/2010: Gen13 #36 --  5,124 (- 2.5%)
----------------
6 months: -10.4%
1 year  : -25.5%
2 years :  n.a.

Another long-running WildStorm Universe book, stumbling on well below the radar.

—–

283 - THE SHIELD
08/2009: RC: Shield #1  -- 19,088
09/2009: The Shield #1  -- 16,997 (-11.0%)
10/2009: The Shield #2  -- 10,401 (-38.8%)
11/2009: The Shield #3  --  8,546 (-17.8%)
12/2009: The Shield #4  --  7,316 (-14.4%)
01/2010: The Shield #5  --  6,444 (-11.9%)
02/2010: The Shield #6  --  6,010 (- 6.7%)
03/2010: The Shield #7  --  5,568 (- 7.4%)
04/2010: The Shield #8  --  5,288 (- 5.0%)
05/2010: The Shield #9  --  5,201 (- 1.7%)
06/2010: The Shield #10 --  5,082 (- 2.3%)
----------------
6 months: -30.5%

Canceled. The Web also ended with issue #10 in June, but didn’t make the Top 300 chart.

—–

287 - AIR (Vertigo)
06/2009: Air #10 --  6,954 (- 2.3%)
07/2009: Air #11 --  6,793 (- 2.3%)
08/2009: Air #12 --  6,589 (- 3.0%)
09/2009: Air #13 --  6,476 (- 1.7%)
10/2009: Air #14 --  6,156 (- 4.9%)
11/2009: Air #15 --  5,921 (- 3.8%)
12/2009: Air #16 --  5,733 (- 3.2%)
01/2010: Air #17 --  5,573 (- 2.8%)
02/2010: Air #18 --  5,352 (- 4.0%)
03/2010: Air #19 --  5,268 (- 1.6%)
04/2010: Air #20 --  5,184 (- 1.6%)
05/2010: Air #21 --  5,104 (- 1.5%)
06/2010: Air #22 --  4,973 (- 2.6%)
----------------
6 months: -13.3%
1 year  : -28.5%

Canceled with issue #24.

—–

289 - SUPER FRIENDS (Johnny DC)
06/2008: Super Friends #4  --  8,038
------------------------------------
06/2009: Super Friends #16 --  5,548 (+ 0.6%)
07/2009: Super Friends #17 --  5,368 (- 3.2%) 
08/2009: Super Friends #18 --  5,291 (- 1.4%)
09/2009: Super Friends #19 --  5,045 (- 4.7%)
10/2009: Super Friends #20 --  5,026 (- 0.4%)
11/2009: Super Friends #21 --  4,879 (- 2.9%)
12/2009: Super Friends #22 --  4,837 (- 0.9%)
01/2010: Super Friends #23 --  4,538 (- 6.2%)
02/2010: Super Friends #24 --  4,644 (+ 2.3%)
03/2010: Super Friends #25 --  4,678 (+ 0.7%)
04/2010: Super Friends #26 --  4,955 (+ 5.9%)
05/2010: Super Friends #27 --  4,688 (- 5.4%)
06/2010: Super Friends #28 --  4,885 (+ 4.2%)
----------------
6 months: + 1.0%
1 year  : -12.0%
2 years : -39.2%

Johnny DC.

—–

293 - CALL OF DUTY: MODERN WARFARE 2: GHOST (WildStorm)
11/2009: CoD:MW2: Ghost #1 of 6 -- 11,936
12/2009: CoD:MW2: Ghost #2 of 6 --  5,214 (-56.3%)
01/2010: --
02/2010: CoD:MW2: Ghost #3 of 6 --  4,938 (- 5.3%)
03/2010: CoD:MW2: Ghost #4 of 6 --  5,026 (+ 1.8%)
04/2010: --
05/2010: --
06/2010: CoD:MW2: Ghost #5 of 6 --  4,806 (- 4.4%)
----------------
6 months: - 7.8%
295 - RESIDENT EVIL (WildStorm)
06/2009: --
07/2009: --
08/2009: --
09/2009: --
10/2009: --
11/2009: Resident Evil #3 of 6 --  6,508 (-37.2%)
12/2009: --
01/2010: --
02/2010: --
03/2010: Resident Evil #4 of 6 --  5,074 (-22.0%)
04/2010: --
05/2010: --
06/2010: Resident Evil #5 of 6 --  4,782 (- 5.8%)
----------------
6 months:  n.a.
1 year  :  n.a.

Another couple of game adaptations from WildStorm.

In addition to the DC Universe title The Web, the WildStorm books Sparta, U.S.A. #4, Garrison #3 and Free Realms #10 also missed the chart in June. As always, I’m assuming they sold as many units as the No. 300 title on the chart for the purposes of the average periodical numbers below. The actual numbers are likely to be lower than that.

—–

REORDERS:
251: 5,913 -- Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne #1
257: 5,755 -- Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne #2
260: 5,691 -- Legion of Super-Heroes #1

—–

6-MONTH COMPARISONS
+221.8%: Green Arrow
+108.0%: Superman
+104.7%: Wonder Woman
+ 58.9%: Batman
+ 58.2%: Spirit
+ 27.8%: Titans
+  9.0%: Action Comics
+ 2.2%: Tiny Titans
+  1.0%: Super Friends
+  0.5%: Supergirl
-  1.1%: Batman: Brave & Bold
-  1.1%: Hellblazer
-  2.5%: Sweet Tooth
-  3.0%: Fables
-  3.1%: Secret Six
-  4.5%: DMZ
-  5.9%: Batman Confidential
-  6.0%: Unwritten
-  6.7%: Wildcats
-  7.1%: Northlanders
-  7.7%: Authority
-  7.8%: Modern Warfare 
-  8.1%: Madame Xanadu
-  8.6%: JLA
-  8.7%: Power Girl
-  9.1%: Red Robin
- 10.4%: Gen13
- 11.2%: Jonah Hex
- 11.7%: Detective Comics
- 11.7%: Green Lantern
- 12.1%: Batgirl
- 12.4%: Unknown Soldier
- 12.9%: GC Sirens
- 13.0%: JSA
- 13.3%: Air
- 14.1%: House of Mystery
- 14.3%: GL Corps
- 14.8%: Warlord
- 16.8%: Batman: SoG
- 18.0%: Authority: Lost Year
- 22.3%: Daytripper
- 24.3%: Greek Street
- 30.5%: Shield
- 31.5%: Great Ten
- 36.7%: Superman/Batman
- 36.9%: Magog
- 42.1%: Adventure Comics
- 42.5%: JSA All-Stars
- 43.3%: Teen Titans
- 44.8%: Azrael
- 50.6%: Booster Gold
- 52.3%: Outsiders
- 64.9%: REBELS
- 66.5%: Doom Patrol

—–

1-YEAR COMPARISONS
+161.5%: Green Arrow
+ 67.4%: Superman
+ 63.4%: Wonder Woman
+ 58.2%: Spirit
+ 21.9%: Fringe
+ 16.0%: Jonah Hex
+  8.1%: Batman
+  4.8%: GL Corps
+  2.7%: JLA
+  2.4%: Titans
+  2.1%: Green Lantern
-  5.2%: Tiny Titans
-  6.2%: Hellblazer
-  9.6%: Secret Six
- 12.0%: Super Friends
- 13.2%: Action Comics
- 13.4%: Supergirl
- 14.3%: Booster Gold
- 14.4%: REBELS
- 15.4%: Fables
- 15.5%: Northlanders
- 16.0%: DMZ
- 17.2%: Flash
- 17.7%: Batman: Brave & Bold
- 17.8%: Superman/Batman
- 17.8%: Unwritten
- 18.3%: Batman Confidential
- 19.8%: Madame Xanadu
- 21.5%: Authority
- 23.1%: Wildcats
- 24.4%: Teen Titans
- 25.5%: Gen13
- 27.4%: House of Mystery
- 28.5%: Air
- 29.2%: Unknown Soldier
- 31.1%: JSA
- 34.4%: Outsiders
- 36.6%: Detective Comics
- 36.9%: Warlord
- 44.0%: Power Girl
- 44.1%: Red Robin
- 50.7%: GC Sirens
- 56.3%: Batman: SoG
- 71.2%: Nemesis

—–

2-YEAR COMPARISONS
+123.3%: Flash
+103.1%: Birds of Prey
+ 79.4%: Green Arrow
+ 44.3%: Wonder Woman
+ 40.6%: GL Corps
+ 32.5%: Green Lantern
+ 23.7%: Superman
+  3.6%: Jonah Hex
-  1.7%: Spirit
-  4.2%: Supergirl
-  5.6%: Detective Comics
- 11.9%: Batman: Brave & Bold
- 14.1%: Hellblazer
- 24.9%: Tiny Titans
- 26.2%: JLA
- 30.7%: Action Comics
- 31.8%: DMZ
- 39.2%: Super Friends
- 39.3%: Titans
- 39.4%: Batman Confidential
- 40.2%: Superman/Batman
- 40.5%: Supernatural
- 42.2%: Booster Gold
- 45.4%: Teen Titans
- 47.9%: Outsiders
- 53.0%: JSA
- 55.1%: House of Mystery
- 63.9%: Madame Xanadu

—–

5-YEAR COMPARISONS
+ 78.3%: Wonder Woman
+ 73.6%: Green Arrow
+ 55.9%: Batman
+ 43.3%: Flash
+ 21.2%: Red Robin
+ 20.0%: Detective Comics
+ 15.8%: Birds of Prey
+  9.9%: Superman
+  6.6%: Batgirl
-  0.1%: Legion
- 11.7%: Tom Strong
- 19.2%: Action Comics
- 20.0%: Fables
- 22.5%: Doom Patrol
- 27.1%: Green Lantern
- 29.6%: JSA
- 32.5%: Hellblazer
- 34.2%: JLA
- 37.6%: Batman: Brave & Bold
- 62.6%: Authority
- 65.1%: Teen Titans
- 65.4%: Outsiders
- 72.5%: Superman/Batman

—–

Average Periodical Sales
(not counting reprints, reorders shipping after the initial month of release, Johnny DC titles and magazines)

DC COMICS
06/2005: 32,001
06/2006: 42,339
06/2007: 34,017
06/2008: 27,367
---------------
06/2009: 25,880 (+ 6.1%)**
07/2009: 30,905 (+19.4%)**
08/2009: 29,977 (- 3.0%)
09/2009: 28,493 (- 5.0%)**
10/2009: 27,525 (- 4.4%)**
11/2009: 28,913 (+ 5.1%)**
12/2009: 25,904 (-10.4%)**
01/2010: 25,657 (- 1.0%)**
02/2010: 26,199 (+ 2.1%)**
03/2010: 23,299 (-11.1%)**
04/2010: 23,740 (+ 1.9%)**
05/2010: 27,181 (+14.5%)**
06/2010: 25,313 (- 6.9%)**
----------------
6 months: - 2.3%
1 year  : - 2.2%
2 years : - 7.5%
5 years : -20.9%
DC UNIVERSE
06/2005: 39,888
06/2006: 53,274
06/2007: 47,986
06/2008: 35,800
---------------
06/2009: 36,329 (+ 9.6%)
07/2009: 41,218 (+13.9%)
08/2009: 37,300 (- 9.5%)
09/2009: 36,725 (- 1.5%)**
10/2009: 34,795 (- 5.3%)
11/2009: 38,488 (+10.6%)
12/2009: 35,473 (- 7.8%)**
01/2010: 33,698 (- 5.0%)
02/2010: 35,895 (+ 6.5%)
03/2010: 32,375 (- 9.8%)
04/2010: 32,859 (+ 1.5%)
05/2010: 36,533 (+11.2%)
06/2010: 33,891 (- 7.2%)**
----------------
6 months: - 4.5%
1 year  : - 6.7%
2 years : - 5.3%
5 years : -15.0%
VERTIGO
06/2005: 14,165
06/2006: 14,965
06/2007: 12,732
06/2008: 10,491
---------------
06/2009: 11,166 (-13.6%)
07/2009: 11,055 (- 1.0%)**
08/2009: 11,369 (+ 2.8%)
09/2009: 11,345 (- 0.2%)
10/2009: 10,551 (- 7.0%)
11/2009: 11,036 (+ 4.6%)
12/2009: 10,583 (- 4.1%)
01/2010: 11,267 (+ 6.5%)
02/2010:  9,256 (-17.9%)
03/2010: 11,394 (+23.1%)
04/2010: 10,815 (- 5.1%)
05/2010: 11,756 (+ 8.7%)
06/2010: 10,995 (- 6.5%
----------------
6 months: + 3.9%
1 year  : - 1.5%
2 years : + 4.8%
5 years : -22.4%
WILDSTORM
06/2005: 19,059
06/2006: 15,056
06/2007: 12,272
06/2008:  9,806
---------------
06/2009:  8,805 (+ 2.6%)**
07/2009:  8,519 (- 3.3%)**
08/2009:  7,977 (- 6.4%)
09/2009:  8,280 (+ 3.8%)**
10/2009:  9,769 (+18.0%)**
11/2009:  7,111 (-27.2%)**
12/2009:  7,260 (+ 2.1%)**
01/2010:  6,532 (-10.0%)**
02/2010:  5,692 (-12.9%)**
03/2010:  7,691 (+35.1%)**
04/2010:  5,923 (-23.0%)**
05/2010:  6,808 (+14.9%)**
06/2010:  6,140 (- 9.8%)**
----------------
6 months: -15.4%
1 year  : -30.3%
2 years : -37.4%
5 years : -67.8%

—–
Disclaimers, et cetera

The numbers above are estimates for comic-book sales in the North American direct market, as calculated by ICv2.com according to the chart and index information provided by Diamond Comic Distributors.

ICv2.com‘s estimates are somewhat lower than the actual numbers, but they are consistent from month to month, so the trends they show are fairly accurate. Since it’s a “month-to-month” column, the comments, unless otherwise noted, are on the most recent month.

Bear in mind that the figures measure sales to retailers, not customers. Also, these numbers do not include sales to bookstores, newsstands, other mass-market retail chains or the United Kingdom. Re-orders are included, so long as they either reached stores in a book’s initial calendar month of release or were strong enough to make the chart again in a subsequent month.

If additional copies of an issue did appear on the chart after a book’s initial calendar month of release, you can see the total number of copies sold in parenthesis behind those issues (e.g. “[36,599]”). Should more than one issue have shipped in a month which is relevant for one of the long-term comparisons, the average between them will be used.

Titles released under the Johnny DC imprint and magazines, such as Mad, mostly sell through channels other than the direct market, so direct-market sales don’t tell us much about their performance. For most Vertigo and some WildStorm titles, collection sales tend to be a significant factor, so the numbers for those books should be taken with a grain of salt as well. To learn (a little) more about Vertigo’s collection sales, go right here.

** Two asterisks after a given month in the average charts mean that one or more periodical release did not make the Top 300 chart in that month. In those cases, it’s assumed that said releases sold as many units as the No. 300 comic on the chart for that month for the purposes of the chart, although its actual sales are likely to be less than that.

For a more lyrical approach to discussing sales figures that covers all the essentials in a more condensed, less tedious fashion, finally, go right here.
—–
Marc-Oliver Frisch writes about comics at his weblog and at Comicgate. You can also follow him on Twitter.

Briefs & Boxers! 08/01/10

o “The Hellspawn Rule”

spawn-193x300.jpgAs Heidi reported earlier, Wisconsin Judge Barbara B. Crabb ruled on Thursday that Dark Ages Spawn, Domina and Tiffany, characters from Todd McFarlane’s Spawn comics, are derivatives of Medieval Spawn and Angela, two characters created by Neil Gaiman for Spawn #9 in 1992.

Personally, I’m fascinated with Crabb’s use of Spawn continuity to justify her decision:

“According to the rules of the Spawn universe, only one Hellspawn could be on Earth at the same time and the [original] Al Simmons Hellspawn was already around. […] Much as defendant tries to distinguish the two knight Hellspawn, he never explains why, of all the universe of possible Hellspawn incarnations, he introduced two knights from the same century. Not only does this break the Hellspawn ‘rule’ that Malebolgia never returns a Hellspawns [sic] to Earth more than once every 400 years (or possibly every 100 years, as suggested in Spawn, No. 9, exh. #1, at 4), it suggests that what defendant really wanted to do was exploit the possibilities of the knight introduced in issue no. 9.”

I want Rob Liefeld and Marvel in a Wisconsin court now, just to get Crabb’s take on how X-Man and Agent X are, or are not, derivatives of Cable and Deadpool.

o “Only the Beginning”

At his Web site, Kurt Busiek elaborates on the genesis of the in-the-works Astro City film. In particular, he explains his initial reluctance to have one made:

“[…] I had a little patter worked up, where I pointed out that what’s important about Astro City are the characters, the relationships, the emotional connections of the story. The big superhero action and explosions and such were important too, but they were the context, while the humanity of the characters was the real meat of the story. So you’d be telling a story that’s all about relationships and emotion, but you still have to pay for all those special effects. “Basically,” I’d say, “in Hollywood terms it’s a $200 million chick flick. No one’s going to make one of those.” And then Titanic came out and I had to stop saying that.”

If Busiek has his way and the film gets made and released, which always seems like a long shot until it’s in the past, it looks like it could end up being what a lot of people have been waiting for: a good film with a mature take on the notion of superheroes that doesn’t collapse under its own pretense.

o “Where’s Batman?”

dark_knight-191x300.jpgAt the Los Angeles TimesHero Complex blog, Frank Miller talks about his upcoming book-length comic Holy Terror, in which a costumed adventurer goes after Al Qaeda. A former working title of the book was Holy Terror, Batman!, but Miller says he’s decided to leave Batman out of it, after all:

“I had a talk with [then-DC publisher] Paul Levitz and I said, ‘Look, this isn’t your Batman. I pushed Batman as far as he can go and after a while he stops being Batman. My guy carries a couple of guns and is up against an existential threat. He’s not just up against a goofy villain. Ignoring an enemy that’s committed to our annihilation is kind of silly, It just seems that chasing the Riddler around seems silly compared to what’s going on out there. I’ve taken Batman as far as he can go.”

The “existential threat” Miller refers to, again, is Al Qaeda.

Now, personally, I’m rather disappointed. The prospect of seeing a character like Batman grapple with a real-life threat like Al Qaeda was what made me look forward to the project—not because I’m a big Batman fan (I’m probably not), but precisely because of the seemingly irreconcilable clash of sensibilities outlined by Miller in the quote above. I was curious what a bold, self-confident, accomplished storyteller like Miller was going to make of that.

Sure, judging from The Dark Knight Strikes Again and All Star Batman, it was going to be utterly and hopelessly mad and preposterous. But Miller being Miller, it was going to be mad and preposterous in a good way, and it was also going to be more than that.

Without Batman in there, I’m still interested, but it seems like Miller is surrendering. The resulting book will probably be a little bit less ridiculous, less bold and less memorable as a result. In other words, Frank Miller is the last person on the planet I want to worry how far Batman can go. Instead, I want the character dragged there and beyond, kicking and screaming if need be.

That’s where the fun is, right?

o “All-New, Comic Book Universe Continuity”

It seems WildStorm has found its new niche in the market.

In addition to publishing Alan Moore comics without Alan Moore (Tom Strong and the Robots of Doom) and Grant Morrison comics without Grant Morrison (The Authority: The Lost Year), on the horizon now are Warren Ellis comics without Warren Ellis.

They come in the shape of various one-shot prequels to Ellis’s 2003 miniseries Red with artist Cully Hamner, which is soon to come out as a film. The original miniseries was three issues. The number of new “prequel” comics? Five.

To be fair, one of the new books is written and drawn by Hamner himself, but let’s be honest: It doesn’t look like WildStorm is even trying anymore, does it?

o “Most Notorious Inker”

colletta-195x300.jpgOut now: The Thin Black Line: Perspectives on Vince Colletta, a new book on the extremely prolific, extremely controversial late comics artist and frequent inker of Jack Kirby’s work, by Robert L. Bryant Jr.

Recently, Colletta’s letter to Marvel in the wake of longtime editor-in-chief Jim Shooter’s ouster in 1987 resurfaced again. That missive suggests, if nothing else, that (a) Colletta was a rather outspoken fellow who didn’t mince words, even when it was sure to burn bridges, and (b) he was also a supporter of Jim Shooter, another controversial figure.

Based on that alone, it’s no surprise that Colletta still tends to polarize when his name comes up. Simply put, a guy who writes—and mails—letters like that one doesn’t just have friends in the world. Add the ongoing debate over the merits of his actual work—or lack thereof, depending on who you as—and Colletta is easily one of the most intriguing personalities in North American comics.

Marc-Oliver Frisch writes about comics at his weblog and at Comicgate. You can also follow him on Twitter.

Briefs & Boxers! 07/25/10

o “They Offered Me the Rights to Watchmen Back, If I Would Agree to Some Dopey Prequels and Sequels”

According to Wired’s Scott Thill, Alan Moore told DC Comics to go and screw themselves last week, after they offered him the rights to Watchmen back in exchange for gracing a bunch of planned spin-off books with his blessing or participation, or whatever his “agreement” would have meant in practice.

With long-time publisher Paul Levitz gone, it appears the new DC management of Dan DiDio and Jim Lee is entertaining the notion of mending fences with creators DC alienated over the decades. (Though certainly not trying very hard, if Moore’s description of their “offer” is correct.) Their latest batch of solicitations, which includes a couple of old Warren Ellis projects that didn’t go over well the first time around, among other things, confirms the impression.

Reached for comment by Thill, DC issued a joint response by DiDio and Lee:

Watchmen is the most celebrated graphic novel of all time. Rest assured, DC Comics would only revisit these iconic characters if the creative vision of any proposed new stories matched the quality set by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons nearly 25 years ago, and our first discussion on any of this would naturally be with the creators themselves.”

Which means we can probably expect a wave of “dopey prequels and sequels” to Watchmen in 2011—without Alan Moore, but with the possible involvement of co-creator Dave Gibbons; I expect the same thing they’re doing with Ellis’s Red in October, basically, only with much more cash on the line.

Tom Spurgeon comments on the prospect:

“This doesn’t seem to me like out of the box publishing thinking; this seems to me like sad, typical all the way in the box corporate media thinking. I don’t want a prequel to Lawrence of Arabia, I don’t want to see a sequel to To Kill a Mockingbird and I like Watchmen just the way it is as a singular expression of potent pop culture, thank you.

“I’m still waiting for something cool and unusual to be announced from the new DC regime.”

The obvious response would be that you don’t have to read it, of course. Personally, I can’t say I care a great deal about what DC (or Marvel) does or doesn’t publish. There’s more than enough material out there without them. I’ll probably end up ignoring whatever they come up with, like I do most of their books. Still, it’s hard to disagree with Spurgeon’s sentiment.

A sequel to Watchmen is the best thing you can come up with, DC? Really? Wow. You’re doomed.

And we won’t even miss you.

o “Lower Than Before”

Chris Eckert at Funnybook Babylon crunches the numbers of Vertigo’s ongoing-periodical launches from 2000 through 2010 and debunks some rumors in the wake of the latest wave of Vertigo cancellations, which includes Air, Unknown Soldier and Greek Street.

Notably, Eckert points out that Vertigo has grown a lot more lenient over the years:

“If there has been any change in their behavior over the past several years, it seems as if it has been to let books sink lower than before, as five or six years ago, books selling over 10,000 were up for execution. […] [L]ooking at all of this, I have no idea why anyone would postulate these books are being canceled because of ‘undue attention from above’, beyond baseless rumor-mongering.”

It’s a refreshingly well-researched piece that covers all the available angles.

Beyond the question of the aforementioned cancellations, for what it’s worth, there’s no sign that Vertigo is in any kind of trouble right now. In fact, their periodical department is looking healthier than it has in ages: The $ 1.00 debut issues they’ve been using to introduce new launches actually seem to result in higher periodical and paperback sales in the direct market, and recent launches like The Unwritten, American Vampire, I, Zombie, Joe the Barbarian and Daytripper are turning out to be more successful again than some of their predecessors.

o “I Live on the Side of a Mountain and Run Up It with My Dogs Every Night”

At the Guardian, British radio host and comics creator Jonathan Ross meets and talks to American comics innovator Jim Steranko, resulting in an interview that includes this exchange:

JR: I know you are health-conscious, which comes from your work in escapology and so on. What’s an average day for you now?

JS: I eat one meal a day. I believe everything you put in your body is toxic – I eat raw fruits and vegetables. A very small portion. I live on the side of a mountain and run up it with my dogs every night. I begin working after I have dinner at eight o’clock, and work till about nine in the morning. Then I turn in until about 11 o’clock.

JR: Two hours sleep? Conventional wisdom has it that you need sleep …

JS: I am proof the body can get by on two hours’ sleep.

JR: You know how mad that makes you sound?

JS: Yeah, I don’t give a damn.

There are legends about Steranko in German folklore, you know. My grandparents told me stories about him when I was a little boy.

o “If a Phone Rang Within Earshot, I Would Freeze Up”

At Graphic NYC, veteran comics maker Jim Shooter talks to Christopher Irving about his career. Among other topics, Shooter discusses his experiences with DC editor Mort Weisinger:

“So, when he was going over the material I had sent in earlier that week, he’d go over it panel by panel, word by word, page by page, he would start spewing ‘You idiot!’ He was just screaming at me about what a ‘retard, fucking moron I was, and how stupid I was every time he saw a spelling error or any kind of mistake. I was still doing rough sketches for every panel – I always did – and he also criticized my drawing: ‘What’s this guy holding? Is that supposed to be a gun? It looks like a carrot! You fucking moron!’ That’s a quote: that really happened.”

That supposedly happened when Shooter was fourteen, mind you.

Overall, there’s a great snapshot to be had of what things were like at Marvel and DC back in the day, including quite lively anecdotes involving industry figures like Stan Lee, Julius Schwartz, Marv Wolfman, Chris Claremont and James Galton.

o “Way More People Bought Siege #1 Than LCD Soundsystem’s Last Record”

Sean T. Collins puts things in perspective, pointing to a set of Soundscan sales figures for various independent records.

o “If There’s a Big Fight, I Almost Always Turn to ‘Vision Thing’ by the Sisters of Mercy”

Out now: CBGB: The Comic Book #1, the debut of a Boom! Studios anthology series dealing with a legendary New York bar and rock club. The first issue comes with two stories—one by Kieron Gillen (Phonogram) and Marc Ellerby (Love the Way You Love), the other by Sam Humphries (Fraggle Rock) and Rob G (The Couriers).

At Comic Book Resources, Gillen, who’s also a games and music journalist, talks about the similarities between his 14-pager in CBGB and Phonogram, writing to music, critics and masturbatory cock or cunt waving.

As with any anthology, there are bound to be hits and misses, but if Phonogram: The Singles Club or Gillen’s recent work on Marvel books like The Mystic Hands of Dr. Strange or Siege: Loki is any indication, the dramatic structure of one-shot stories plays to his strengths.

And if all else fails, there’s a cover by Jaime Hernandez.

Marc-Oliver Frisch writes about comics at his weblog and at Comicgate. You can also follow him on Twitter.

Briefs & Boxers! 07/18/10

o “Just Dithers and Dithers and Dithers”

Douglas Wolk and crew discuss a bunch of comics at Techland.

One of them is J. Michael Straczynski’s Superman, which seems to be on track to replacing JLA: Cry for Justice as the most unbelievably awful superhero comic of the year in the realm of public reception, evidently.

Here’s an excerpt from Wolk’s take:

“On reading this issue again–and believe me, it’s like driving the spike in a little deeper every time I do–there are two possibilities for the “jumper” sequence: either 1) it means that JMS has never read All-Star Superman or 2) he’s using it to make his Superman go head-to-head with All-Star Superman and one of its most fondly remembered moments. In which case, he is, as they say, tugging on Superman’s cape. I went back and read the All-Star scene with Regan the would-be jumper, and you know how long that thing is? ONE page. Five panels. (Plus a little bit of context before that.) In contrast, this thing just dithers and dithers and dithers.”

Also: X-Men: Second Coming and the latest Darwyn Cooke.

o “The Phone Is the Panel Is the Page”

Over at Techland, meanwhile, Wolk has a sterling think piece on the storytelling implications of digital comics:

“It’s been 75 years since the earliest American comic book publishers figured out that their magazines could be more than reformatted reprints of newspaper strips. Now there’s a new mass medium that’s waiting for comics that aren’t just reformatted reprints of print or Web-based material–and I suspect that whoever shows up earliest with genuinely compelling, formally appropriate work for tiny little screens is going to make a mint.”

It’s something anybody working in comics should start thinking about if they haven’t already. Do yourself a favor and read it.

o “Grueling and Humiliating”

Because the practice applies to comics as well, here’s a neat Salon piece by Laura Miller on the much frowned-about trade convention of blurb-writing:

“[W]hen publishing people look at the lineup of testimonials on the back of a new hardcover, they don’t see hints as to what the book they’re holding might be like. Instead, they see evidence of who the author knows, the influence of his or her agent, and which MFA program in creative writing he or she attended. In other words, blurbs are a product of all the stuff people claim to hate about publishing: its cliquishness and insularity.”

For a fun exercise, pull out some comics paperbacks from your shelf and look at the blurbs on them. You may find that some comics creators are better connected than others.

o “Avenging 3-View”


I have nothing to add to this screenshot taken from the Newsarama homepage a couple of days ago, in which the top four “stories” are bundles of Marvel previews. I can only assume the site is doing very well and there is no reason for them to do focus on doing anything differently than they are right now.

o “The People It’s Happening To”

At Comic Book Resources, Alex Dueben interviews Kurt Busiek.

The occasion is Astro City Special: Silver Agent, the latest chapter in Busiek’s own, long-running superhero series, but the writer also talks about his approach to writing Astro City: and superheroes in general:

“Most superhero stories are about what happens, Astro City‘s about how people react to what happens, how they feel as much as what they do. So a lot of that is internal, and that’s not as easy to make visual as, say, a punch or an explosion. But that’s the challenge of it, that’s what keeps it interesting. Finding a way to establish a voice, a viewpoint, to make the story come alive in a way that the reader feels like he’s there alongside the characters, feeling what they feel, rather than watching it as an outsider.”

Which is, pretty much, the definition of literary fiction, of course—or, as I like to call it, “good fiction.” Busiek also shares his outlook on life, in broad terms, in so far as it informs his work. A great, insightful little piece, all told.

o “There’s Been Some Kind of Breakdown Between Bendis’s Authorial Intention and My Reading of This Issue’s Final Scene”

This brief back-and-forth between critics Timothy Callahan and Douglas Wolk on a 2007 issue of New Avengers grazes a whole bunch of considerations that deserve more play than they are getting in the discussion of pop comics.

o “Robocop Meets Toxic Avenger as Played by Sylvester Schwarzenegger”

Now available: Officer Downe, a one-shot comic book by writer Joe Casey and artist Chris Burnham, descriptions of which sound positively bonkers.

With rare exceptions like The Milkman Murders and Rock Bottom, Casey has been sticking to the superhero genre throughout his comics career. Officer Downe mostly looks like an effort in fine, no-holds-barred, over-the-top ultraviolence, so it’s going to live or die on the creators’ ability to, forgive me, go batshit crazy.

After reading Casey’s recent Dark Reign: Zodiac miniseries and looking at some of Burnham’s art in the preview pages, I have no doubt that it delivers.

Marc-Oliver Frisch writes about comics at his weblog and at Comicgate. You can also follow him on Twitter.

DC Month-to-Month Sales: May 2010

by Marc-Oliver Frisch

DC Comics’ periodical business had one of its better months in May, thanks to a host of new launches that were received well by retailers. The new arrivals include the DC Universe titles Brightest Day, Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne, Justice League: Generation Lost and Birds of Prey, as well as Vertigo’s I, Zombie, among others. Average Vertigo sales continued to stabilize in May, thanks to a reinvigorated lineup, while DC’s WildStorm imprint, once again, depended on long-running creator-owned series Astro City and Ex Machina to remind people that it still exists, with average periodical sales of below 7,000.

See below for the details, and please consider the small print at the end of the column. Thanks to Milton Griepp and ICv2.com for the permission to use their figures. An overview of ICv2.com‘s estimates can be found here.

—–

3/6 - BATMAN: THE RETURN OF BRUCE WAYNE
05/2010: Batman: TRoBW #1 of 6 -- 108,534
05/2010: Batman: TRoBW #2 of 6 --  93,606 (-13.8%)

Grant Morrison’s gimmicky cross-time quest miniseries is being ordered as the minor juggernaut you’d expect. On the one hand, Return of Bruce Wayne is part of the culmination of Morrison’s five-year plan for the franchise; on the other hand, the structure of the story — which is spread over three series and relies heavily on comics that came out years ago — seems as fractured and anticlimactic as that of “Batman R.I.P.” a couple of years back. Retailers have ordered accordingly: plentifully, but with caution.

Both issues came with 1:25 variant-cover editions, issue #1 also had a rarer 1:200 variant.

—–

5/7 - BRIGHTEST DAY
04/2010: Brightest Day #0  -- 129,446
05/2010: Brightest Day #1  -- 103,326 (-20.2%)
05/2010: Brightest Day #2  --  90,245 (-12.7%)

The 26-issue twice-monthly post-event series co-written by Geoff Johns kicked off for good in May. In addition to a 1:50 variant edition for issue #1 and a 1:25 one for #2, DC also offered retailers the option to buy one $ 8.00 bag of 50 Green Lantern plastic rings for every 25 copies ordered of Brightest Day #1.

Even considering the  promotions, these are great numbers, though. At this stage, it’s still possible that retailers are caught in the glow of post-Blackest Night euphoria, of course, but we’ll find out whether they were able to sell their stock soon enough.

—–

8 - GREEN LANTERN
05/2005: GL: Rebirth #6     -- 114,354
05/2005: Green Lantern #1   -- 168,353 [180,483]
05/2006: Green Lantern #11  --  78,926
05/2007: Green Lantern #19  --  62,439
05/2007: Green Lantern #20  --  60,556
05/2008: Green Lantern #31  --  65,874
--------------------------------------
05/2009: Green Lantern #41  --  81,491 (+ 6.3%)
06/2009: Green Lantern #42  --  84,131 (+ 3.2%)
07/2009: Green Lantern #43  -- 109,426 (+30.1%) [117,314]
07/2009: Green Lantern #44  -- 105,063 (- 4.0%) [109,599]
08/2009: Green Lantern #45  -- 102,431 (- 2.5%)
09/2009: Green Lantern #46  -- 103,666 (+ 1.2%)
10/2009: Green Lantern #47  -- 101,349 (- 2.2%)
11/2009: Green Lantern #48  -- 100,371 (- 1.0%)
12/2009: Green Lantern #49  --  97,285 (- 3.1%)
01/2010: Green Lantern #50  -- 106,444 (+ 9.4%)
02/2010: Green Lantern #51  --  95,509 (-10.3%)
03/2010: Green Lantern #52  --  97,369 (+ 2.0%)
04/2010: Green Lantern #53  -- 100,356 (+ 3.1%)
05/2010: Green Lantern #54  --  88,292 (-12.0%)
-----------------
6 months: - 12.0%
1 year  : +  8.4%
2 years : + 34.0%
5 years : - 37.5%

The May issue was a “Brightest Day” tie-in, as well as the first issue in over a year that wasn’t promoted by a variant edition. The numbers drop a bit, not surprisingly, but Green Lantern remains DC’s commercial flagship title.

—–

9 - BATMAN AND ROBIN
06/2009: Batman and Robin #1  -- 168,604          [184,826]
07/2009: Batman and Robin #2  -- 117,986 (-30.2%) [129,086]
08/2009: Batman and Robin #3  -- 110,594 (- 6.3%)
09/2009: Batman and Robin #4  -- 106,925 (- 3.3%)
10/2009: Batman and Robin #5  -- 101,607 (- 5.0%)
11/2009: Batman and Robin #6  --  95,690 (- 5.8%)
12/2009: --
01/2010: Batman and Robin #7  --  87,780 (- 8.3%)
02/2010: Batman and Robin #8  --  87,302 (- 0.6%)
02/2010: Batman and Robin #9  --  84,562 (- 3.1%)
03/2010: Batman and Robin #10 --  85,292 (+ 0.9%)
04/2010: Batman and Robin #11 --  84,006 (- 1.5%)
05/2010: Batman and Robin #12 --  84,843 (+ 1.0%)
-----------------
6 months: - 11.3%

Sales remain rock-solid around the 85K mark for the fourth issue in a row. There was a 1:25 variant, as usual.

—–

12 - THE FLASH
05/2005: Flash #222      --  47,528
05/2007: Flash: FMA #12  --  47,809
05/2008: Flash #240      --  31,944
-----------------------------------
05/2009: Rebirth #2 of 5 --  86,183 (- 15.9%)
06/2009: Rebirth #3 of 5 --  83,086 (-  3.6%)
07/2009: --
08/2009: Rebirth #4 of 5 --  78,107 (-  6.0%)
09/2009: --
10/2009: --
11/2009: Rebirth #5 of 6 --  73,875 (-  5.4%)
12/2009: --
01/2010: --
02/2010: Rebirth #6 of 6 --  70,824 (-  4.1%)
03/2010: --
04/2010: Flash #1        -- 100,903 (+ 42.5%)
05/2010: Flash #2        --  76,560 (- 24.1%)
-----------------
6 months: +  3.6%
1 year  : - 11.2%
2 years : +139.7%
5 years : + 61.1%

That’s an average drop at first glance, but let’s not forget that The Flash #1 came with 1:25 and 1:100 variants, as well as one of those plastic-ring promotions. The 1:10 variant-cover edition scheme for issue #2 is relatively tame in comparison, so this is actually an encouraging sign for the title.

—–

14 - GREEN LANTERN CORPS
05/2007: Green Lantern Corps #12 -- 33,267
05/2008: Green Lantern Corps #24 -- 46,948
------------------------------------------
05/2009: Green Lantern Corps #36 -- 61,591 (+ 4.8%)
06/2009: Green Lantern Corps #37 -- 63,574 (+ 3.2%)
07/2009: Green Lantern Corps #38 -- 82,415 (+29.6%)
08/2009: Green Lantern Corps #39 -- 84,241 (+ 2.2%)
09/2009: Green Lantern Corps #40 -- 83,112 (- 1.3%)
10/2009: Green Lantern Corps #41 -- 81,377 (- 2.1%)
11/2009: Green Lantern Corps #42 -- 80,391 (- 1.2%)
12/2009: Green Lantern Corps #43 -- 77,774 (- 3.3%)
01/2010: Green Lantern Corps #44 -- 76,458 (- 1.7%)
02/2010: Green Lantern Corps #45 -- 75,404 (- 1.4%)
03/2010: Green Lantern Corps #46 -- 76,720 (+ 1.8%)
04/2010: Green Lantern Corps #47 -- 72,163 (- 5.9%)
05/2010: Green Lantern Corps #48 -- 68,826 (- 4.6%)
----------------
6 months: -14.4%
1 year  : +11.8%
2 years : +46.6%

Like the mother title, Green Lantern Corps tied in with “Brightest Day” but wasn’t promoted with a variant edition in May, for the first time in ages, so this is a fairly smooth drop.

—–

17 - JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA
05/2005: JLA #114           --  63,934
05/2007: Justice League #9  -- 129,285
05/2008: Justice League #21 --  90,035
--------------------------------------
05/2009: Justice League #33 --  63,867 (- 3.3%)
06/2009: Justice League #34 --  61,115 (- 4.3%)
07/2009: Justice League #35 --  58,915 (- 3.6%)
08/2009: Justice League #36 --  57,549 (- 2.3%)
09/2009: Justice League #37 --  55,478 (- 3.6%)
10/2009: Justice League #38 --  61,012 (+10.0%)
11/2009: Justice League #39 --  89,376 (+46.5%)
12/2009: Justice League #40 --  68,672 (-23.2%)
01/2010: Justice League #41 --  62,262 (- 9.3%)
02/2010: Justice League #42 --  57,522 (- 7.6%)
03/2010: Justice League #43 --  56,461 (- 1.9%)
04/2010: Justice League #44 --  62,342 (+10.4%)
05/2010: Justice League #45 --  62,465 (+ 0.2%)
----------------
6 months: -30.1%
1 year  : - 2.2%
2 years : -30.6%
5 years : - 2.3%

Contrary to what the advertising text in Previews says, Justice League #45 was also promoted by a variant edition, just like the previous issue. Still, the fact that it’s holding level for the second month of a crossover with Justice Society (or the prologue, technically) suggests that retailers were pleased with the initial reaction.

—–

18 - BATMAN
05/2005: Batman #640 --  66,640 [ 71,120]
05/2006: Batman #653 --  77,257 [ 78,435]
05/2007: Batman #665 --  80,122
05/2008: Batman #676 -- 105,039 [122,877]
-------------------------------
05/2009: BfC #3 of 3 --  89,170 (+ 0.1%)
06/2009: Batman #687 --  96,913 (+ 8.7%)
07/2009: Batman #688 --  83,040 (-14.3%)
08/2009: Batman #689 --  78,392 (- 5.6%)
09/2009: Batman #690 --  77,001 (- 1.8%)
10/2009: Batman #691 --  71,431 (- 7.2%)
10/2009: Batman #692 --  70,322 (- 1.6%)
11/2009: Batman #693 --  68,983 (- 1.9%)
12/2009: Batman #694 --  65,908 (- 4.5%)
01/2010: Batman #695 --  63,467 (- 3.7%)
02/2010: Batman #696 --  61,290 (- 3.4%)
03/2010: Batman #697 --  61,157 (- 0.2%)
04/2010: Batman #698 --  60,934 (- 0.4%)
05/2010: Batman #699 --  62,377 (+ 2.4%)
----------------
6 months: - 9.6%
1 year  : -30.1%
2 years : -40.6%
5 years : - 6.4%

Batman sales turn around in time for issue #700, which starts a three-part run by Grant Morrison.

—–

29/38 - JUSTICE LEAGUE: GENERATION LOST
05/2010: Generation Lost #1 of 13 -- 50,784
05/2010: Generation Lost #2 of 13 -- 44,711 (-12.0%)

The biweekly maxiseries by Judd Winick and Keith Giffen debuts with solid numbers, considering it stars a bunch of C-list characters. The “Brightest Day” tie-in and the 1:50 (issue #1) and 1:25 (#2) variants probably helped.

Notably, Justice League: Generation Lost is the first comic book by an American major publisher that’s offered digitally on the same day as the print version comes out — starting, somewhat improbably, with issue #4, no doubt because that makes sense in the strange and wonderful parallel universe that comics publishers, retailers, distributors and fans have created for themselves.

But I digress. It’ll be very interesting to watch if there’s any effect at all on the direct-market numbers.

—–

30 - BIRDS OF PREY
05/2005: Birds of Prey #82  -- 29,855
05/2006: Birds of Prey #94  -- 34,905
05/2007: Birds of Prey #106 -- 28,363
05/2008: Birds of Prey #118 -- 21,941
-------------------------------------
05/2010: Birds of Prey #1   -- 50,428 (+135.4%)
-----------------
2 years : +129.8%
5 years : + 68.9%

The new debut issue is by the same writer/artist team that took over the title with Birds of Prey #56 almost exactly seven years ago, but thanks to a relaunch, a “Brightest Day” tie-in, a 1:25 variant-cover edition and the higher profile of both writer Gail Simone and artist Ed Benes, sales almost double this time.

Ultimately, what matters is where the numbers will be half a year down the road, but this is a very promising start. Retailers have a lot of goodwill for this book by these creators, it appears.

—–

33/37/40/42 - SUPERMAN: WAR OF THE SUPERMEN
05/2009: WoNK #3  of 12 -- 42,153 (- 6.1%)
06/2009: WoNK #4  of 12 -- 41,620 (- 1.3%)
07/2009: WoNK #5  of 12 -- 39,939 (- 4.0%)
08/2009: WoNK #6  of 12 -- 39,218 (- 1.8%)
09/2009: WoNK #7  of 12 -- 37,697 (- 3.9%)
10/2009: WoNK #8  of 12 -- 36,672 (- 2.7%)
11/2009: WoNK #9  of 12 -- 35,286 (- 3.8%)
12/2009: WoNK #10 of 12 -- 33,868 (- 4.0%)
01/2010: WoNK #11 of 12 -- 32,728 (- 3.4%)
02/2010: WoNK #12 of 12 -- 32,407 (- 1.0%)
03/2010: LSoNK #1 of 3  -- 38,202 (+17.9%)
04/2010: LSoNK #2 of 3  -- 35,886 (- 6.1%)
04/2010: LSoNK #3 of 3  -- 34,553 (- 3.7%)
05/2010: WotS #0        -- ?
05/2010: WotS #1 of 4   -- 48,357 (+40.0%)
05/2010: WotS #2 of 4   -- 44,828 (- 7.3%)
05/2010: WotS #3 of 4   -- 43,056 (- 4.0%)
06/2010: WotS #4 of 4   -- 42,436 (- 1.4%)
-----------------
6 months: + 26.6%
1 year  : +  6.0%

The weekly War of the Supermen miniseries sees a nice little increase.

Given the baffling “Free Comic Book Day” promotion, the 1:25 variants for all four issues and the fact that it’s the payoff for more than a year’s worth of Superman storylines across a whole bunch of titles, though, “a nice little increase” isn’t terribly impressive.

Again: Whoever selected this, of all things, as the book DC should be promoting on “Free Comic Book Day” needs to be tarred and feathered.

—–

39 - THE LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES
05/2005: LoSH #6              -- 40,970
05/2006: Supergirl & LoSH #18 -- 45,520
05/2007: Supergirl & LoSH #30 -- 30,767
05/2008: LoSH #42             -- 27,940
---------------------------------------
05/2010: LoSH #1              -- 44,415 (+98.9%)
-----------------
2 years : + 59.0%
5 years : +  8.4%

Veteran comics writer and former DC head Paul Levitz and newcomer artist Yildiray Cinar turn in the fifth or sixth Legion of Super-Heroes relaunch of the last ten years, helped in relatively restrained fashion by a 1:10 variant.

For the sake of comparison, Mark Waid and Barry Kitson’s debut issue sold an estimated 50,691 copies back in December 2004, and Jim Shooter and Francis Manapul’s Legion #37 shifted an estimated 45,803 units three years later.

It doesn’t look like retailers expect a great change of temperature in the market, when it comes to this title.

—–

44 - DETECTIVE COMICS
05/2005: Detective Comics #806 --  38,838
05/2006: Detective Comics #819 --  65,800
05/2007: Detective Comics #832 --  51,727
05/2008: Detective Comics #844 --  48,394
-----------------------------------------
05/2009: --
06/2009: Detective Comics #854 --  72,808 (-30.1%) [79,573]
07/2009: Detective Comics #855 --  61,205 (-15.9%)
08/2009: Detective Comics #856 --  58,859 (- 3.8%)
09/2009: Detective Comics #857 --  57,063 (- 3.1%)
10/2009: Detective Comics #858 --  58,599 (+ 2.7%)
11/2009: Detective Comics #859 --  54,392 (- 7.2%)
12/2009: Detective Comics #860 --  52,295 (- 3.9%)
01/2010: Detective Comics #861 --  45,937 (-12.2%)
02/2010: --
03/2010: Detective Comics #862 --  44,687 (- 2.7%)
03/2010: Detective Comics #863 --  43,119 (- 3.5%)
04/2010: Detective Comics #864 --  42,436 (- 1.6%)
05/2010: Detective Comics #865 --  41,501 (- 2.2%)
-----------------
6 months: - 23.7%
1 year  :   n.a.
2 years : - 14.2%
5 years : +  6.9%

Business as usual. Retailers were able to place orders for this issue before it was made known that writer Greg Rucka and artist J. H. Williams III had departed for good, so these numbers may not yet reflect that reality.

——

51 - RED ROBIN
05/2005: Robin #138    -- 29,935
05/2006: Robin #150    -- 41,417
05/2007: Robin #162    -- 26,801
05/2008: Robin #174    -- 26,209
--------------------------------
06/2009: Red Robin #1  -- 64,261 (+102.8%) [71,925]
07/2009: Red Robin #2  -- 51,593 (- 19.7%) [54,544]
08/2009: Red Robin #3  -- 50,329 (-  2.5%)
09/2009: Red Robin #4  -- 47,945 (-  4.7%)
10/2009: Red Robin #5  -- 44,776 (-  6.6%)
11/2009: Red Robin #6  -- 42,409 (-  5.3%)
12/2009: Red Robin #7  -- 39,528 (-  6.8%)
01/2010: Red Robin #8  -- 37,869 (-  4.2%)
02/2010: Red Robin #9  -- 36,466 (-  3.7%)
03/2010: Red Robin #10 -- 36,708 (+  0.7%)
04/2010: Red Robin #11 -- 36,205 (-  1.4%)
05/2010: Red Robin #12 -- 36,273 (+  0.2%)
-----------------
6 months: - 14.5%
1 year  : - 43.6%
2 years : + 38.4%
5 years : + 21.2%

Writer Christopher Yost completes his story with rock-solid numbers. Red Robin sales are still about 10,000 units ahead of its predecessor Robin.

—–

54 - ADVENTURE COMICS
08/2009: Adventure Comics #1  -- 56,706 (+72.6%)
09/2009: Adventure Comics #2  -- 47,296 (-15.9%)
10/2009: Adventure Comics #3  -- 44,431 (- 6.1%)
11/2009: Adventure Comics #4  -- 85,145 (+91.6%)
12/2009: Adventure Comics #5  -- 59,876 (-29.7%)
01/2010: Adventure Comics #6  -- 42,514 (-29.0%)
02/2010: Adventure Comics #7  -- 53,721 (+26.4%)
03/2010: Adventure Comics #8  -- 39,351 (-26.8%)
03/2010: Adventure Comics #9  -- 37,515 (- 4.7%)
04/2010: Adventure Comics #10 -- 37,573 (+ 0.2%)
05/2010: Adventure Comics #11 -- 34,794 (- 7.4%)
-----------------
6 months: - 59.1%

The May issue is a fill-in, more or less, before new writer Paul Levitz takes over with #12. It doesn’t seem to have mattered to the numbers either way. There was a 1:10 variant.

—–

55 - DC UNIVERSE LEGACIES
05/2010: DCU Legacies #1  of 10 -- 34,429

The premise: Writer Len Wein and a bunch of high-ticket artists including Joe Kubert retell the revised history of the DC Universe in period stories, starting with one set in World War II starring Dr. Fate and the Spectre.

Sales are about as good as can be expected for this type of thing, I’d say. There was a 1:25 variant edition.

—–

56 - ZATANNA
05/2010: Zatanna #1 -- 33,691

Paul Dini finally gets his Zatanna series off the ground, a project that’s been mentioned for ages. Considering there’s no big-event tie-in and the solicitation copy describes the villain as “a crime boss who dominates the criminal underworld with the dark powers of the magical underworld,” every copy sold is an achievement. An estimated 33,691 of them mean that retailers are being very generous and hopeful about Zatanna in an already crowded market.

There was a 1:10 variant edition.

—–

60 - I, ZOMBIE
05/2010: I, Zombie #1  -- 33,025

Vertigo’s latest promotional $ 1.00 debut issue gets I, Zombie (“iZombie“?) a fantastic start. The Mike Allred art probably helped to convince retailers, but it’s still rather surprising that the book blows the previous $ 1.00 debuts Joe the Barbarian #1 (25,543 copies) and The Unwritten #1 (26,915) out of the water commercially.

Are zombies still that much of a draw in 2010?

—–

61 - SUPERMAN/BATMAN
05/2005: --
05/2006: Superman/Batman #25 -- 103,702 [110,845]
05/2006: Superman/Batman #26 -- 118,821 [130,077]
05/2007: Superman/Batman #35 --  68,160
05/2008: Superman/Batman #48 --  52,845
---------------------------------------
05/2009: Superman/Batman #60 --  39,531 (- 1.6%)
06/2009: Superman/Batman #61 --  38,228 (- 3.3%)
07/2009: Superman/Batman #62 --  38,412 (+ 0.5%)
08/2009: Superman/Batman #63 --  37,467 (- 2.5%)
09/2009: Superman/Batman #64 --  36,332 (- 3.0%)
10/2009: Superman/Batman #65 --  34,585 (- 4.8%)
11/2009: Superman/Batman #66 --  52,143 (+50.8%)
12/2009: Superman/Batman #67 --  49,650 (- 4.8%)
01/2010: Superman/Batman #68 --  33,869 (-31.8%)
02/2010: Superman/Batman #69 --  33,224 (- 1.9%)
03/2010: Superman/Batman #70 --  32,196 (- 3.1%)
04/2010: Superman/Batman #71 --  31,714 (- 1.5%)
05/2010: Superman/Batman #72 --  32,047 (+ 1.1%)
----------------
6 months: -38.5%
1 year  : -18.9%
2 years : -39.4%
5 years :  n.a.

A new storyline by Paul Levitz and Jerry Ordway brings a minuscule increase.

—–

62 - TITANS: VILLAINS FOR HIRE SPECIAL
05/2008: Titans #2      -- 57,358
---------------------------------
05/2009: Titans #13     -- 34,343 (- 4.6%)
06/2009: Titans #14     -- 32,321 (- 5.9%)
07/2009: Titans #15     -- 46,189 (+42.9%)
08/2009: Titans #16     -- 31,408 (-32.0%)
09/2009: Titans #17     -- 30,154 (- 4.0%)
10/2009: Titans #18     -- 28,215 (- 6.4%)
11/2009: Titans #19     -- 27,099 (- 4.0%)
12/2009: Titans #20     -- 25,887 (- 4.5%)
01/2010: Titans #21     -- 24,924 (- 3.7%)
02/2010: Titans #22     -- 24,489 (- 1.8%)
03/2010: Titans #23     -- 24,260 (- 0.9%)
04/2010: --
05/2010: VfH Special #1 -- 31,718 (+30.7%)
----------------
6 months: +17.1%
1 year  : - 7.6%
2 years : -44.7%

Titans returns with a regular creative team, a new direction, a one-shot special to kick things off and a 1:25 variant. It’s accompanied by some very mild enthusiasm from retailers, judging from these sales.

—–

64 - JUSTICE LEAGUE: THE RISE OF ARSENAL
03/2010: JL: RoA #1 of 4 -- 36,020
04/2010: JL: RoA #2 of 4 -- 32,000 (-11.2%)
05/2010: JL: RoA #3 of 4 -- 31,246 (- 2.4%)

This one’s bottoming out quickly, boding perhaps well for the new Green Arrow book it serves as a lead-in to.

—–

65 - FIRST WAVE
11/2009: B/DS Special #1    -- 32,636
-------------------------------------
03/2010: First Wave #1 of 6 -- 38,365
04/2010: --
05/2010: First Wave #2 of 6 -- 30,705 (-20.0%)

This, on the other hand, is a pretty stiff drop for a miniseries. As with issue #1, there was a 1:10 variant-cover edition.

—–

71 - BATGIRL
05/2005: Batgirl #64     -- 28,049
----------------------------------
08/2009: Batgirl #1      -- 51,724 (+149.3%)
09/2009: Batgirl #2      -- 40,626 (- 21.5%)
10/2009: Batgirl #3      -- 37,011 (-  8.9%)
11/2009: Batgirl #4      -- 34,697 (-  6.3%)
12/2009: Batgirl #5      -- 32,482 (-  6.4%)
01/2010: Batgirl #6      -- 30,403 (-  6.4%)
02/2010: Batgirl #7      -- 29,524 (-  2.9%)
03/2010: Batgirl #8      -- 30,886 (+  4.6%)
04/2010: Batgirl #9      -- 29,445 (-  4.7%)
05/2010: Batgirl #10     -- 28,641 (-  2.7%)
----------------
6 months: -17.5%
5 years : + 2.1%

Slipping down the charts, slowly but surely.

—–

77 - AMERICAN VAMPIRE (Vertigo)
03/2010: American Vampire #1  -- 33,762          [36,831]
04/2010: American Vampire #2  -- 26,770 (-20.7%)
05/2010: American Vampire #3  -- 26,510 (- 1.0%)

The numbers are bottoming out quickly, and issue #1 sold an additional 3,069 copies in May — good signs, certainly. The litmus test comes with issue #6 and on, when co-writer Stephen King is gone. There was a 1:25 variant, as usual.

—–

80 - GOTHAM CITY SIRENS
06/2009: GC Sirens #1       -- 52,439
07/2009: GC Sirens #2       -- 39,518 (-24.6%)
08/2009: GC Sirens #3       -- 36,772 (- 7.0%)
09/2009: GC Sirens #4       -- 34,405 (- 6.4%)
10/2009: GC Sirens #5       -- 33,015 (- 4.0%)
11/2009: GC Sirens #6       -- 30,990 (- 6.1%)
12/2009: GC Sirens #7       -- 29,709 (- 4.1%)
01/2010: GC Sirens #8       -- 28,254 (- 4.9%)
02/2010: GC Sirens #9       -- 27,172 (- 3.8%)
03/2010: GC Sirens #10      -- 26,550 (- 2.3%)
04/2010: GC Sirens #11      -- 26,359 (- 0.7%)
05/2010: GC Sirens #12      -- 26,029 (- 1.3%)
-----------------
6 months: - 16.0%
81 - BATMAN: STREETS OF GOTHAM
06/2009: Batman: SoG #1  -- 57,650
07/2009: Batman: SoG #2  -- 44,240 (-23.3%)
08/2009: Batman: SoG #3  -- 40,353 (- 8.8%)
09/2009: Batman: SoG #4  -- 37,888 (- 6.1%)
10/2009: Batman: SoG #5  -- 34,533 (- 8.9%)
11/2009: Batman: SoG #6  -- 32,303 (- 6.5%)
12/2009: Batman: SoG #7  -- 30,290 (- 6.2%)
01/2010: Batman: SoG #8  -- 28,313 (- 6.5%)
02/2010: Batman: SoG #9  -- 27,023 (- 4.6%)
03/2010: Batman: SoG #10 -- 26,396 (- 2.3%)
04/2010: Batman: SoG #11 -- 25,925 (- 1.8%)
05/2010: Batman: SoG #12 -- 25,446 (- 1.9%)
----------------
6 months: -21.2%

Standard attrition for the two Paul Dini vehicles.

—–

82 - WONDER WOMAN
05/2005: Wonder Woman #216 --  31,601
05/2007: Wonder Woman #9   --  58,561
05/2008: Wonder Woman #20  --  38,116
-------------------------------------
05/2009: Wonder Woman #32  --  33,065 (+ 3.8%)
06/2009: Wonder Woman #33  --  32,755 (- 0.9%)
07/2009: Wonder Woman #34  --  30,131 (- 8.0%)
08/2009: Wonder Woman #35  --  29,657 (- 1.6%)
09/2009: Wonder Woman #36  --  28,806 (- 2.9%)
10/2009: Wonder Woman #37  --  26,972 (- 6.4%)
11/2009: Wonder Woman #38  --  26,265 (- 2.6%)
12/2009: Wonder Woman #39  --  26,152 (- 0.4%)
01/2010: Wonder Woman #40  --  25,156 (- 3.8%)
02/2010: Wonder Woman #41  --  25,354 (+ 0.8%)
03/2010: Wonder Woman #42  --  25,240 (- 0.5%)
04/2010: Wonder Woman #43  --  25,369 (+ 0.5%)
05/2010: Wonder Woman #44  --  25,443 (+ 0.3%)
----------------
6 months: - 3.1%
1 year  : -23.1%
2 years : -33.3%
5 years : -19.5%

Retailers are holding their breath for new J. Michael Straczynski, for the fourth month in a row.

—–

83 - JSA ALL-STARS
12/2009: JSA All-Stars #1  -- 42,493
01/2010: JSA All-Stars #2  -- 32,601 (-23.3%)
02/2010: JSA All-Stars #3  -- 29,666 (- 9.0%)
03/2010: JSA All-Stars #4  -- 28,526 (- 3.8%)
04/2010: JSA All-Stars #5  -- 26,581 (- 6.8%)
05/2010: JSA All-Stars #6  -- 25,306 (- 4.8%)

Every new 5% drop makes it more questionable whether anybody was really looking for a Justice Society spin-off.

—–

85 - TEEN TITANS
05/2005: Teen Titans #24 -- 69,046
05/2006: Teen Titans #35 -- 72,954
05/2006: Teen Titans #36 -- 71,486
05/2007: Teen Titans #46 -- 61,478
05/2007: Teen Titans #47 -- 63,673
05/2008: Teen Titans #59 -- 46,306
----------------------------------
05/2009: Teen Titans #71 -- 34,110 (- 3.7%)
06/2009: Teen Titans #72 -- 32,512 (- 4.7%)
07/2009: Teen Titans #73 -- 30,990 (- 4.7%)
08/2009: Teen Titans #74 -- 30,380 (- 2.0%)
09/2009: Teen Titans #75 -- 32,808 (+ 8.0%)
10/2009: Teen Titans #76 -- 29,166 (-11.1%)
11/2009: Teen Titans #77 -- 46,239 (+58.5%)
12/2009: Teen Titans #78 -- 43,400 (- 6.1%)
01/2010: Teen Titans #79 -- 27,790 (-36.0%)
02/2010: Teen Titans #80 -- 26,537 (- 4.5%)
03/2010: Teen Titans #81 -- 25,758 (- 2.9%)
04/2010: Teen Titans #82 -- 25,303 (- 1.8%)
05/2010: Teen Titans #83 -- 24,960 (- 1.4%)
----------------
6 months: -46.0%
1 year  : -26.8%
2 years : -46.1%
5 years : -63.9%
90 - SECRET SIX
05/2006: Secret Six #1 of 6 -- 54,961 [57,425]
-------------------------------------
05/2009: Secret Six #9      -- 27,116 (+11.4%)
06/2009: Secret Six #10     -- 24,272 (-10.5%)
07/2009: Secret Six #11     -- 24,357 (+ 0.4%)
08/2009: Secret Six #12     -- 24,161 (- 0.8%)
09/2009: Secret Six #13     -- 23,919 (- 1.0%)
10/2009: Secret Six #14     -- 23,345 (- 2.4%)
11/2009: Secret Six #15     -- 23,190 (- 0.7%)
12/2009: Secret Six #16     -- 22,638 (- 2.4%)
01/2010: Secret Six #17     -- 38,515 (+70.1%)
02/2010: Secret Six #18     -- 37,876 (- 1.7%)
03/2010: Secret Six #19     -- 23,181 (-38.8%)
04/2010: Secret Six #20     -- 22,695 (- 2.1%)
05/2010: Secret Six #21     -- 22,334 (- 1.6%)
----------------
6 months: - 3.7%
1 year  : -17.6%

Standard attrition for Teen Titans and Secret Six.

The former launches a backup strip drawn by Ted Naifeh, which doesn’t seem to have affected sales.

—–

94 - THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD
05/2007: --
05/2008: The Brave and the Bold #13 -- 35,814
---------------------------------------------
05/2009: The Brave and the Bold #23 -- 22,312 (- 5.1%)
06/2009: The Brave and the Bold #24 -- 21,272 (- 4.7%)
07/2009: The Brave and the Bold #25 -- 21,234 (- 0.2%)
08/2009: The Brave and the Bold #26 -- 20,154 (- 5.1%)
09/2009: The Brave and the Bold #27 -- 26,904 (+33.5%)
10/2009: The Brave and the Bold #28 -- 23,176 (-13.9%)
11/2009: The Brave and the Bold #29 -- 21,287 (- 8.2%)
12/2009: The Brave and the Bold #30 -- 20,932 (- 1.7%)
01/2010: The Brave and the Bold #31 -- 21,406 (+ 2.3%)
02/2010: --
03/2010: The Brave and the Bold #32 -- 20,466 (- 4.4%)
04/2010: The Brave and the Bold #33 -- 21,528 (+ 5.2%)
05/2010: The Brave and the Bold #34 -- 21,758 (+ 1.1%)
----------------
6 months: + 2.2%
1 year  : - 2.5%
2 years : -39.3%

The book continues a small climb.

—–

96 - POWER GIRL
05/2009: Power Girl #1  -- 47,322
06/2009: Power Girl #2  -- 36,756 (-22.3%)
07/2009: Power Girl #3  -- 35,163 (- 4.3%)
08/2009: Power Girl #4  -- 32,140 (- 8.6%)
09/2009: Power Girl #5  -- 29,497 (- 8.2%)
10/2009: Power Girl #6  -- 27,060 (- 8.3%)
11/2009: --
12/2009: Power Girl #7  -- 22,533 (-16.7%)
01/2010: Power Girl #8  -- 21,760 (- 3.4%)
02/2010: Power Girl #9  -- 20,900 (- 4.0%)
03/2010: Power Girl #10 -- 20,801 (- 0.5%)
04/2010: Power Girl #11 -- 20,675 (- 0.6%)
05/2010: Power Girl #12 -- 20,681 (+ 0.0%)
----------------
6 months:  n.a.

The initial creative team end their run with decent, stable numbers. Given how closely Power Girl is identified with them and that sales are far from spectacular, I’m not sure it makes a lot of sense to keep the book going.

—–

100 - BOOSTER GOLD
05/2008: Booster Gold #9  -- 35,030
-----------------------------------
05/2009: Booster Gold #20 -- 22,549 (-  2.8%)
06/2009: Booster Gold #21 -- 23,222 (+  3.0%)
07/2009: Booster Gold #22 -- 22,414 (-  3.5%)
08/2009: Booster Gold #23 -- 22,108 (-  1.4%)
09/2009: Booster Gold #24 -- 21,731 (-  1.7%)
10/2009: Booster Gold #25 -- 21,597 (-  0.6%)
11/2009: Booster Gold #26 -- 57,122 (+164.5%)
12/2009: Booster Gold #27 -- 40,256 (- 29.5%)
01/2010: Booster Gold #28 -- 21,967 (- 45.4%)
02/2010: Booster Gold #29 -- 21,020 (-  4.3%)
03/2010: Booster Gold #30 -- 20,187 (-  4.0%)
04/2010: Booster Gold #31 -- 19,818 (-  1.8%)
05/2010: Booster Gold #32 -- 20,343 (+  2.7%)
----------------
6 months: -64.4%
1 year  : - 9.8%
2 years : -41.9%

In the case of Booster Gold, which saw the arrival of a new creative team in May, the extension made more sense, because the new writers have a long history with the character. As you can see, though, retailers were only slightly convinced it makes much of a difference.

—–

104 - FABLES (Vertigo)
05/2005: Fables #37 -- 24,477
05/2006: Fables #49 -- 24,444
05/2007: Fables #61 -- 26,056
05/2008: Fables #73 -- 23,785
-----------------------------
05/2009: Fables #84 -- 23,634 (+0.0%)
06/2009: Fables #85 -- 23,439 (-0.8%)
07/2009: Fables #86 -- 22,447 (-4.2%)
08/2009: Fables #87 -- 21,876 (-2.5%)
09/2009: Fables #88 -- 21,508 (-1.7%)
10/2009: Fables #89 -- 21,118 (-1.8%)
11/2009: Fables #90 -- 20,882 (-1.1%)
12/2009: Fables #91 -- 20,450 (-2.1%)
01/2010: Fables #92 -- 20,180 (-1.3%)
02/2010: --
03/2010: Fables #93 -- 20,003 (-0.9%)
04/2010: Fables #94 -- 19,965 (-0.2%)
05/2010: Fables #95 -- 19,932 (-0.2%)
----------------
6 months: - 4.6%
1 year  : -15.7%
2 years : -16.2%
5 years : -18.6%

Fables sticks to its 20K orbit.

—–

107 - DOC SAVAGE
04/2010: Doc Savage #1   -- 24,539
05/2010: Doc Savage #2   -- 19,073 (-22.3%)

An average second-issue drop for a miniseries. Both issues have 1:10 variants.

—–

114 - JOE THE BARBARIAN (Vertigo)
01/2010: Joe the Barbarian #1 of 8 -- 25,543          [29,712]
02/2010: Joe the Barbarian #2 of 8 -- 17,512 (-31.4%)
03/2010: Joe the Barbarian #3 of 8 -- 17,672 (+ 0.9%)
04/2010: Joe the Barbarian #4 of 8 -- 17,102 (- 3.2%)
05/2010: Joe the Barbarian #5 of 8 -- 16,725 (- 2.2%)

Rock-solid sales.

—–

120 - BATMAN CONFIDENTIAL
05/2007: --
05/2008: Batman Confidential #17 -- 25,017
------------------------------------------
05/2009: Batman Confidential #29 -- 18,867 (- 3.4%)
06/2009: Batman Confidential #30 -- 18,443 (- 2.3%)
07/2009: Batman Confidential #31 -- 19,225 (+ 4.2%)
08/2009: Batman Confidential #32 -- 18,545 (- 3.5%)
09/2009: Batman Confidential #33 -- 18,140 (- 2.2%)
10/2009: Batman Confidential #34 -- 17,097 (- 5.8%)
10/2009: Batman Confidential #35 -- 16,724 (- 2.2%)
11/2009: Batman Confidential #36 -- 16,664 (- 0.4%)
11/2009: Batman Confidential #37 -- 16,355 (- 1.9%)
12/2009: Batman Confidential #38 -- 16,132 (- 1.4%)
12/2009: Batman Confidential #39 -- 15,906 (- 1.4%)
01/2010: Batman Confidential #40 -- 17,241 (+ 8.4%)
02/2010: Batman Confidential #41 -- 16,856 (- 2.2%)
03/2010: Batman Confidential #42 -- 16,652 (- 1.2%)
04/2010: Batman Confidential #43 -- 16,449 (- 1.2%)
05/2010: Batman Confidential #44 -- 15,279 (- 7.1%)
----------------
6 months: - 7.5%
1 year  : -19.0%
2 years : -38.9%

Writer/artist Sam Kieth moved on in April, and so did the increase he brought to Batman Confidential. The new arc is a sequel to last year’s Batman and Superman vs. Vampires and Werewolves miniseries, evidently, with the same creative team now pitching Batman against zombies. (For real, this paragraph.)

That mini had estimated sales between 28,000 and 17,000, so it doesn’t look like anybody was particularly screaming for a follow-up.

—–

126 - THE SPIRIT
05/2007: The Spirit #6  -- 23,708
05/2008: The Spirit #17 -- 14,057
---------------------------------
05/2009: The Spirit #28 --  8,329 (-  5.2%)
06/2009: The Spirit #29 --  8,273 (-  0.7%)
06/2009: The Spirit #30 --  8,103 (-  2.1%)
07/2009: The Spirit #31 --  7,882 (-  2.7%)
08/2009: The Spirit #32 --  7,670 (-  2.7%)
---------------------------------
04/2010: The Spirit #1  -- 19,849 (+158.8%)
05/2010: The Spirit #2  -- 14,274 (- 28.1%)
-----------------
1 year  : + 71.4%
2 years : +  1.5%

This drop is on the steep side.

Then again, there was no variant edition for the second issue here, and The Spirit remains surprisingly far ahead of its previous incarnation, so let’s wait and see.

—–

130 - THE UNWRITTEN (Vertigo)
05/2009: The Unwritten #1  -- 26,915          [31,081]
06/2009: The Unwritten #2  -- 16,290 (-39.5%)
07/2009: The Unwritten #3  -- 17,028 (+ 4.5%)
08/2009: The Unwritten #4  -- 16,336 (- 4.1%)
09/2009: The Unwritten #5  -- 16,011 (- 2.0%)
10/2009: The Unwritten #6  -- 15,314 (- 4.4%)
11/2009: The Unwritten #7  -- 14,763 (- 3.6%)
12/2009: The Unwritten #8  -- 14,257 (- 3.4%)
01/2010: The Unwritten #9  -- 13,792 (- 3.3%)
02/2010: The Unwritten #10 -- 13,644 (- 1.1%)
03/2010: The Unwritten #11 -- 13,630 (- 0.1%)
04/2010: The Unwritten #12 -- 13,507 (- 0.9%)
05/2010: The Unwritten #13 -- 13,467 (- 0.3%)
----------------
6 months: - 8.8%
1 year  : -50.0%

A year down the road from its promotional $ 1.00 debut issue, The Unwritten continues its rock-solid performance. The last five months’ worth of issues have all sold within 350 copies of each other.

—–

133 - ASTRO CITY: THE DARK AGE (WildStorm)
06/2005: The Dark Age/Book 1 #1 of 4 -- 32,690
07/2005: The Dark Age/Book 1 #2 of 4 -- 29,721
08/2005: The Dark Age/Book 1 #3 of 4 -- 28,152
10/2005: The Dark Age/Book 1 #4 of 4 -- 27,367
-----------------------------------------------
11/2006: The Dark Age/Book 2 #1 of 4 -- 26,993
02/2007: The Dark Age/Book 2 #2 of 4 -- 23,412
04/2007: The Dark Age/Book 2 #3 of 4 -- 22,727
09/2007: The Dark Age/Book 2 #4 of 4 -- 19,764
-----------------------------------------------
05/2009: The Dark Age/Book 3 #1 of 4 -- 18,281 (- 7.5%)
06/2009: The Dark Age/Book 3 #2 of 4 -- 16,405 (-10.3%)
07/2009: The Dark Age/Book 3 #3 of 4 -- 15,291 (- 6.8%)
08/2009: The Dark Age/Book 3 #4 of 4 -- 14,684 (- 4.0%)
09/2009: Astra Special #1 of 2       -- 14,627 (- 0.4%)
10/2009: Astra Special #2 of 2       -- 13,847 (- 5.3%)
----------------------------------------------
01/2010: The Dark Age/Book 4 #1 of 4 -- 13,664 (- 1.3%)
02/2010: --
03/2010: The Dark Age/Book 4 #2 of 4 -- 13,118 (- 4.0%)
03/2010: The Dark Age/Book 4 #3 of 4 -- 12,630 (- 3.7%)
04/2010: --
05/2010: The Dark Age/Book 4 #4 of 4 -- 12,900 (+ 2.1%)
----------------
1 year  : -29.4%

Despite the higher cover price of $ 4.99, the Astro City: The Dark Age finale saw a tiny little sales increase.

It’s hard to tell, given the overall market situation, the brutal decline of the WildStorm brand over the last few years, the price increase from $ 2.99 to $ 3.99 halfway through and the delays between the individual chapters, but it looks like the 16-part The Dark Age — which took the creators five years to produce — may have driven away quite a few readers from Astro City.

The return to shorter stories doesn’t look like the worst idea, all things considered, although it’s still going to be an uphill climb — see the numbers for last year’s unrelated Astra Special miniseries.

Astro City is still WildStorm’s top-selling series, of course, particularly when the final issue of Ex Machina is out.

——

140 - DOOM PATROL
05/2005: Doom Patrol #12 -- 15,747
----------------------------------
08/2009: Doom Patrol #1  -- 28,267
09/2009: Doom Patrol #2  -- 22,001 (- 22.2%)
10/2009: Doom Patrol #3  -- 20,036 (-  8.9%)
11/2009: Doom Patrol #4  -- 53,748 (+168.3%)
12/2009: Doom Patrol #5  -- 35,348 (- 34.2%)
01/2010: Doom Patrol #6  -- 17,117 (- 51.6%)
02/2010: Doom Patrol #7  -- 15,689 (-  8.3%)
03/2010: Doom Patrol #8  -- 14,197 (-  9.5%)
04/2010: Doom Patrol #9  -- 13,126 (-  7.5%)
05/2010: Doom Patrol #10 -- 12,334 (-  6.0%)
----------------
6 months: -77.1%
5 years : -21.7%

The numbers remain in free-fall.

—–

141 - EX MACHINA (WildStorm)
05/2005: Ex Machina #11 -- 21,885
05/2006: Ex Machina #20 -- 20,589
05/2007: Ex Machina #28 -- 18,164
05/2008: --
---------------------------------
05/2009: Ex Machina #42 -- 13,403 (- 0.9%)
06/2009: Ex Machina #43 -- 13,204 (- 1.5%)
07/2009: --
08/2009: Ex Machina #44 -- 12,796 (- 3.1%)
09/2009: Ex Machina #45 -- 12,832 (+ 0.3%)
10/2009: Ex Machina #46 -- 12,538 (- 2.3%)
11/2009: --
12/2009: Ex Machina #47 -- 12,192 (- 2.8%)
01/2010: --
02/2010: --
03/2010: Ex Machina #48 -- 12,093 (- 0.8%)
04/2010: --
05/2010: Ex Machina #49 -- 11,994 (- 0.8%)
----------------
6 months:  n.a.
1 year  : -10.5%
2 years :  n.a.
5 years : -45.2%

One issue to go. My magical crystal ball says it will be a while before there’s another creator-owned WildStorm series that concludes its run above 10K.

—–

146 - JONAH HEX
05/2006: Jonah Hex #7  -- 21,910
05/2007: Jonah Hex #19 -- 16,473
05/2008: Jonah Hex #31 -- 13,140
--------------------------------
05/2009: Jonah Hex #43 -- 11,606 (+ 0.5%)
06/2009: Jonah Hex #44 -- 11,592 (- 0.1%)
07/2009: Jonah Hex #45 -- 12,588 (+ 8.6%)
08/2009: Jonah Hex #46 -- 12,466 (- 1.0%)
09/2009: Jonah Hex #47 -- 12,231 (- 1.9%)
10/2009: Jonah Hex #48 -- 11,281 (- 7.8%)
11/2009: Jonah Hex #49 -- 11,146 (- 1.2%)
12/2009: Jonah Hex #50 -- 15,131 (+35.8%)
01/2010: Jonah Hex #51 -- 11,184 (-26.1%)
02/2010: Jonah Hex #52 -- 11,213 (+ 0.3%)
03/2010: Jonah Hex #53 -- 11,565 (+ 3.1%)
04/2010: Jonah Hex #54 -- 11,306 (- 2.2%)
05/2010: Jonah Hex #55 -- 11,327 (+ 0.2%)
----------------
6 months: + 1.6%
1 year  : - 2.4%
2 years : -13.8%
147 - R.E.B.E.L.S.
05/2009: R.E.B.E.L.S. #4  -- 13,468 (-  6.7%)
06/2009: R.E.B.E.L.S. #5  -- 12,909 (-  4.2%)
07/2009: R.E.B.E.L.S. #6  -- 12,349 (-  4.3%)
08/2009: R.E.B.E.L.S. #7  -- 11,682 (-  5.4%)
09/2009: R.E.B.E.L.S. #8  -- 11,347 (-  2.9%)
10/2009: R.E.B.E.L.S. #9  -- 11,284 (-  0.6%)
11/2009: R.E.B.E.L.S. #10 -- 51,100 (+352.9%)
12/2009: R.E.B.E.L.S. #11 -- 31,489 (- 38.4%)
01/2010: R.E.B.E.L.S. #12 -- 12,428 (- 60.5%)
02/2010: R.E.B.E.L.S. #13 -- 11,836 (-  4.8%)
03/2010: R.E.B.E.L.S. #14 -- 11,362 (-  4.0%)
04/2010: R.E.B.E.L.S. #15 -- 11,271 (-  0.8%)
05/2010: R.E.B.E.L.S. #16 -- 11,120 (-  1.3%)
-----------------
6 months: - 78.2%
1 year  : - 17.4%

Two low-selling yet stable DC Universe titles.

—–

154 - AZRAEL
05/2009: Death's Dark Knight #3 of 3 -- 35,916 (- 1.4%)
06/2009: --
07/2009: --
08/2009: --
09/2009: --
10/2009: Azrael #1                   -- 35,311 (- 1.7%)
11/2009: Azrael #2                   -- 21,392 (-39.4%)
12/2009: Azrael #3                   -- 17,757 (-17.0%)
01/2010: Azrael #4                   -- 14,703 (-17.2%)
02/2010: Azrael #5                   -- 12,856 (-12.6%)
03/2010: Azrael #6                   -- 11,825 (- 8.0%)
04/2010: Azrael #7                   -- 11,080 (- 6.3%)
05/2010: Azrael #8                   -- 10,228 (- 7.7%)
----------------
6 months: -52.2%
1 year  : -71.5%

A low-selling and not stable DC Universe title. This one’s about to be axed, surely.

—–

155 - HELLBLAZER (Vertigo)
05/2005: Hellblazer #208 -- 15,420
05/2006: Hellblazer #220 -- 14,161
05/2007: Hellblazer #232 -- 13,164
05/2008: Hellblazer #244 -- 11,826
----------------------------------
05/2009: Hellblazer #255 -- 10,937 (-1.1%)
06/2009: Hellblazer #256 -- 10,898 (-0.4%)
07/2009: Hellblazer #257 -- 10,762 (-1.3%)
08/2009: Hellblazer #258 -- 10,665 (-0.9%)
09/2009: Hellblazer #259 -- 10,813 (+1.4%)
10/2009: Hellblazer #260 -- 10,767 (-0.4%)
11/2009: Hellblazer #261 -- 10,553 (-2.0%)
12/2009: Hellblazer #262 -- 10,334 (-2.1%)
01/2010: Hellblazer #263 -- 10,179 (-1.5%)
02/2010: Hellblazer #264 -- 10,025 (-1.5%)
03/2010: Hellblazer #265 -- 10,295 (+2.7%)
04/2010: Hellblazer #266 -- 10,256 (-0.4%)
05/2010: Hellblazer #267 -- 10,155 (-1.0%)
----------------
6 months: - 3.8%
1 year  : - 7.2%
2 years : -14.1%
5 years : -34.1%
159 - SWEET TOOTH (Vertigo)
09/2009: Sweet Tooth #1  -- 18,657
10/2009: Sweet Tooth #2  -- 11,315 (-39.4%)
11/2009: Sweet Tooth #3  -- 10,363 (- 8.4%)
12/2009: Sweet Tooth #4  --  9,817 (- 5.3%)
01/2010: Sweet Tooth #5  --  9,787 (- 0.3%)
02/2010: Sweet Tooth #6  --  9,740 (- 0.5%)
03/2010: Sweet Tooth #7  --  9,718 (- 0.2%)
04/2010: Sweet Tooth #8  --  9,612 (- 1.1%)
05/2010: Sweet Tooth #9  --  9,654 (+ 0.4%)
----------------
6 months: - 6.8%
160 - DAYTRIPPER (Vertigo)
12/2009: Daytripper #1  of 10 -- 12,010
01/2009: Daytripper #2  of 10 --  9,846 (-18.0%)
02/2009: Daytripper #3  of 10 --  9,577 (- 2.7%)
03/2009: Daytripper #4  of 10 --  9,872 (+ 3.1%)
04/2009: Daytripper #5  of 10 --  9,703 (- 1.7%)
05/2009: Daytripper #6  of 10 --  9,574 (- 1.3%)

A bunch of Vertigo books with rock-solid figures.

—–

161 - GOD OF WAR (WildStorm)
03/2010: God of War #1 of 6 -- 9,842
04/2010: --
05/2010: God of War #2 of 6 -- 9,501 (-3.5%)

Not a bad second-issue drop.

—–

165 - HOUSE OF MYSTERY (Vertigo)
05/2008: House of Mystery #1  -- 27,492
---------------------------------------
05/2009: House of Mystery #13 -- 14,358 (+13.6%)
06/2009: House of Mystery #14 -- 12,039 (-16.2%)
07/2009: House of Mystery #15 -- 11,809 (- 1.9%)
08/2009: House of Mystery #16 -- 11,572 (- 2.0%)
09/2009: House of Mystery #17 -- 11,142 (- 3.7%)
10/2009: House of Mystery #18 -- 10,922 (- 2.0%)
11/2009: House of Mystery #19 -- 10,478 (- 4.1%)
12/2009: House of Mystery #20 -- 10,175 (- 2.9%)
01/2010: House of Mystery #21 --  9,888 (- 2.8%)
02/2010: House of Mystery #22 --  9,401 (- 4.9%)
03/2010: House of Mystery #23 --  9,350 (- 0.5%)
04/2010: House of Mystery #24 --  9,168 (- 2.0%)
05/2010: House of Mystery #25 --  9,253 (+ 0.9%)
----------------
6 months: -11.7%
1 year  : -35.6%

The marginal increase is presumably thanks to the contributions by Bill Willingham and Paul Levitz.

—–

171/196/212/230 - WHAT'S NEXT REPRINT SPECIALS
05/2010: Jonah Hex #1       -- 8,463
05/2010: Hellblazer #1      -- 7,089
05/2010: Scalped #1         -- 6,438
05/2010: Action Comics #858 -- 6,438
05/2010: The Authority #1   -- 5,792

More $ 1.00 reprints. Retailers seem to be seizing the opportunity to stock up on cheap, introductory Jonah Hex comics, just in case the film doesn’t suck.

Also, there seems to be a lot of faith in Scalped and Hellblazer.

—–

178 - MADAME XANADU (Vertigo)
05/2009: Madame Xanadu #11 -- 10,179 (+ 5.3%)
06/2009: Madame Xanadu #12 --  9,949 (- 2.3%)
07/2009: Madame Xanadu #13 -- 10,009 (+ 0.6%)
08/2009: Madame Xanadu #14 --  9,873 (- 1.4%)
09/2009: Madame Xanadu #15 --  9,733 (- 1.4%)
10/2009: Madame Xanadu #16 --  9,283 (- 4.6%)
11/2009: Madame Xanadu #17 --  8,856 (- 4.6%)
12/2009: Madame Xanadu #18 --  8,686 (- 1.9%)
01/2010: Madame Xanadu #19 --  8,439 (- 2.8%)
02/2010: Madame Xanadu #20 --  8,285 (- 1.8%)
03/2010: Madame Xanadu #21 --  8,191 (- 1.1%)
04/2010: Madame Xanadu #22 --  8,158 (- 0.4%)
05/2010: Madame Xanadu #23 --  8,028 (- 1.6%)
----------------
6 months: - 9.4%
1 year  : -21.1%

Standard attrition.

—–

179 - TINY TITANS (Johnny DC)
05/2008: Tiny Titans #4  -- 10,369
----------------------------------
05/2009: Tiny Titans #16 --  8,844 (- 3.9%)
06/2009: Tiny Titans #17 --  8,640 (- 2.3%)
07/2009: Tiny Titans #18 --  8,576 (- 0.7%)
08/2009: Tiny Titans #19 --  8,432 (- 1.7%)
09/2009: Tiny Titans #20 --  8,435 (+ 0.0%)
10/2009: Tiny Titans #21 --  8,259 (- 2.1%)
11/2009: Tiny Titans #22 --  8,100 (- 1.9%)
12/2009: Tiny Titans #23 --  8,017 (- 1.0%)
01/2010: Tiny Titans #24 --  7,844 (- 2.2%)
02/2010: Tiny Titans #25 --  8,566 (+ 9.2%)
03/2010: Tiny Titans #26 --  7,878 (- 8.0%)
04/2010: Tiny Titans #27 --  8,224 (+ 4.4%)
05/2010: Tiny Titans #28 --  7,959 (- 3.2%)
----------------
6 months: - 1.7%
1 year  : -10.0%
2 years : -23.2%

A Johnny DC book. See small print.

—–

180 - WARLORD
05/2009: Warlord #2  -- 13,390 (-23.7%)
06/2009: Warlord #3  -- 12,283 (- 8.3%)
07/2009: Warlord #4  -- 11,445 (- 6.8%)
08/2009: Warlord #5  -- 10,790 (- 5.7%)
09/2009: Warlord #6  -- 10,331 (- 4.3%)
10/2009: Warlord #7  --  9,892 (- 4.3%)
11/2009: Warlord #8  --  9,547 (- 3.5%)
12/2009: Warlord #9  --  9,102 (- 4.7%)
01/2010: Warlord #10 --  8,807 (- 3.2%)
02/2010: Warlord #11 --  8,532 (- 3.1%)
03/2010: Warlord #12 --  8,430 (- 1.2%)
04/2010: Warlord #13 --  8,130 (- 3.6%)
05/2010: Warlord #14 --  7,915 (- 2.7%)
----------------
6 months: -17.1%
1 year  : -40.9%

Canceled with issue #18.

—–

188 - NORTHLANDERS (Vertigo)
05/2008: Northlanders #6  -- 12,009
-----------------------------------
05/2009: Northlanders #17 --  9,239 (- 0.9%)
06/2009: Northlanders #18 --  8,877 (- 3.9%)
07/2009: Northlanders #19 --  8,722 (- 1.8%)
08/2009: --
09/2009: Northlanders #20 --  8,786 (+ 0.7%)
10/2009: Northlanders #21 --  8,360 (- 4.9%)
11/2009: Northlanders #22 --  8,136 (- 2.7%)
12/2009: Northlanders #23 --  8,069 (- 0.8%)
01/2010: Northlanders #24 --  7,935 (- 1.7%)
02/2010: Northlanders #25 --  7,807 (- 1.6%)
03/2010: Northlanders #26 --  7,824 (+ 0.2%)
04/2010: Northlanders #27 --  7,683 (- 1.8%)
05/2010: Northlanders #28 --  7,630 (- 0.7%)
----------------
6 months: - 6.2%
1 year  : -17.4%
2 years : -36.5%

Northlanders sales have stabilized over the last six months.

—–

192 - THE AUTHORITY (WildStorm)
05/2005: Revolution #8  of 12 -- 19,446
05/2007: --
---------------------------------------
05/2009: The Authority v4 #10 --  9,531 (- 2.2%)
06/2009: The Authority v4 #11 --  9,204 (- 3.4%)
07/2009: The Authority v4 #12 --  8,918 (- 3.1%)
08/2009: The Authority v4 #13 --  8,648 (- 3.0%)
09/2009: The Authority v4 #14 --  8,394 (- 2.9%)
10/2009: The Authority v4 #15 --  8,174 (- 2.6%)
11/2009: The Authority v4 #16 --  8,066 (- 1.3%)
12/2009: The Authority v4 #17 --  7,829 (- 2.9%)
01/2010: The Authority v4 #18 --  7,952 (+ 1.6%)
02/2010: The Authority v4 #19 --  7,943 (- 0.1%)
03/2010: The Authority v4 #20 --  7,781 (- 2.0%)
04/2010: The Authority v4 #21 --  7,563 (- 2.8%)
05/2010: The Authority v4 #22 --  7,295 (- 3.5%)
----------------
6 months: - 9.6%
1 year  : -23.5%
2 years :  n.a.
5 years : -62.5%

The best-selling WildStorm Universe title. Why is this line still around, again?

—–

193 - MAGOG
09/2009: Magog #1  -- 26,352
10/2009: Magog #2  -- 16,193 (-38.6%)
11/2009: Magog #3  -- 12,915 (-20.2%)
12/2009: Magog #4  -- 10,700 (-17.2%)
01/2010: Magog #5  --  9,215 (-13.9%)
02/2010: Magog #6  --  8,548 (- 7.2%)
03/2010: Magog #7  --  8,119 (- 5.0%)
04/2010: Magog #8  --  7,743 (- 4.6%)
05/2010: Magog #9  --  7,264 (- 6.2%)
----------------
6 months: -43.8%

Canceled with issue #12, which was initially meant to be the second chapter of a 5-part arc.

—–

197 - THE MIGHTY CRUSADERS SPECIAL
05/2010: TMC Special #1  --  7,017

This is a $ 4.99 special one-shot starring the Red Circle characters, of The Shield and The Web fame — see below. Compared to those books, The Mighty Crusaders sales are astonishingly good.

—–

203 - DMZ (Vertigo)
05/2006: DMZ #7  -- 15,026
05/2007: DMZ #19 -- 13,116
05/2008: DMZ #31 --  9,911
--------------------------
05/2009: --
06/2009: DMZ #42 --  7,927 (-1.7%)
07/2009: DMZ #43 --  7,806 (-1.5%)
08/2009: DMZ #44 --  7,654 (-2.0%)
09/2009: DMZ #45 --  7,589 (-0.9%)
10/2009: DMZ #46 --  7,399 (-2.5%)
11/2009: DMZ #47 --  7,187 (-2.9%)
12/2009: DMZ #48 --  6,977 (-2.9%)
01/2010: DMZ #49 --  6,872 (-1.5%)
02/2010: DMZ #50 --  7,262 (+5.7%)
03/2010: DMZ #51 --  6,840 (-5.8%)
04/2010: DMZ #52 --  6,826 (-0.2%)
05/2010: DMZ #53 --  6,759 (-1.0%)
----------------
6 months: - 6.0%
1 year  :  n.a.
2 years : -31.8%

Stabilizing in the 7-8K area.

—–

205 - DV8: GODS AND MONSTERS (WildStorm)
04/2010: Gods and Monsters #1 of 8 -- 10,203
05/2010: Gods and Monsters #2 of 8 --  6,671 (-34.6%)

Issue #1 was promoted with a 1:10 variant edition, but this is still a terrible second-issue drop for an 8-part mini.

This is probably the kind of thing WildStorm should have done a lot sooner with their WildStorm Universe line, but I suspect it’s just too little, too late. They could be producing the best comics in the world right now, and nobody would notice.

—–

206 - SCALPED (Vertigo)
05/2007: Scalped #5  --  9,022
05/2008: Scalped #17 --  6,927
------------------------------
05/2009: --
06/2009: Scalped #29 --  7,078 (+ 3.2%)
07/2009: Scalped #30 --  7,059 (- 0.3%)
08/2009: Scalped #31 --  6,916 (- 2.0%)
09/2009: --
10/2009: Scalped #32 --  6,905 (- 0.2%)
11/2009: --
12/2009: Scalped #33 --  6,752 (- 2.2%)
01/2010: --
02/2010: Scalped #34 --  6,731 (- 0.3%)
02/2010: Scalped #35 --  6,443 (- 4.3%)
03/2010: Scalped #36 --  6,648 (+ 3.2%)
04/2010: Scalped #37 --  6,584 (- 1.0%)
05/2010: Scalped #38 --  6,632 (+ 0.7%)
----------------
6 months:  n.a.
1 year  :  n.a.
2 years : - 4.3%

Scalped keeps doing what it’s been doing for, oh, more than two years now: hanging in there with frighteningly low sales, at a fiercely consistent level.

Even May’s $ 1.00 reprint of Scalped #1 sold right in the same area with estimated sales of 6,438. Just incredible.

—–

214 - SUPERNATURAL: BEGINNING'S END (WildStorm)
05/2007: Origins #1         -- 21,128
06/2007: Origins #2         -- 15,955 (-24.5%)
07/2007: Origins #3         -- 14,812 (- 7.2%)
08/2007: Origins #4         -- 13,915 (- 6.1%)
09/2007: Origins #5         -- 13,034 (- 6.3%)
10/2007: Origins #6         -- 12,350 (- 5.5%)
-------------------------------------
04/2008: Rising Son #1 of 6 -- 16,013 (+29.7%)
05/2008: Rising Son #2 of 6 -- 11,846 (-26.0%)
06/2008: Rising Son #3 of 6 -- 11,276 (- 4.8%)
07/2008: Rising Son #4 of 6 -- 10,676 (- 5.3%)
08/2008: Rising Son #5 of 6 -- 10,110 (- 5.3%)
09/2008: Rising Son #6 of 6 --  9,590 (- 5.1%)
-------------------------------------
01/2010: Beginning's End #1 --  9,251 (- 3.5%)
02/2010: Beginning's End #2 --  6,922 (-25.2%)
03/2010: Beginning's End #3 --  6,764 (- 2.3%)
04/2010: Beginning's End #4 --  6,420 (- 5.1%)
05/2010: Beginning's End #5 --  6,403 (- 0.3%)
----------------
2 years : -46.0%

Stabilizing. It’s a six-issue miniseries, by the way.

—–

219 - NEMESIS: THE IMPOSTORS
05/2009: FCA: Escape #1 of 6 -- 28,668
06/2009: FCA: Escape #2 of 6 -- 20,576 (-29.2%)
07/2009: FCA: Escape #3 of 6 -- 15,294 (-25.7%)
08/2009: FCA: Escape #4 of 6 -- 12,950 (-15.3%)
09/2009: FCA: Escape #5 of 6 -- 11,613 (-10.3%)
10/2009: FCA: Escape #6 of 6 -- 10,519 (- 9.4%)
--------------------------------------
03/2010: Impostors #1 of 4   --  9,005 (-14.4%)
04/2010: Impostors #2 of 4   --  7,291 (-19.0%)
05/2010: Impostors #3 of 4   --  6,252 (-14.3%)
----------------
1 year  : -78.2%
220 - HUMAN TARGET
02/2010: Human Target #1 of 6 -- 13,690
03/2010: Human Target #2 of 6 --  8,403 (-38.6%)
04/2010: Human Target #3 of 6 --  6,857 (-18.4%)
05/2010: Human Target #4 of 6 --  6,222 (- 9.3%)

Two DC Universe miniseries that are utter disasters commercially.

—–

222 - WILDCATS (WildStorm)
05/2006: Nemesis #9 of 9 -- 14,123
05/2007: --
----------------------------------
05/2009: World's End #11 --  8,165 (- 3.5%)
06/2009: World's End #12 --  7,863 (- 3.7%)
07/2009: World's End #13 --  7,609 (- 3.2%)
08/2009: World's End #14 --  7,417 (- 2.5%)
09/2009: World's End #15 --  7,178 (- 3.2%)
10/2009: World's End #16 --  6,883 (- 4.1%)
11/2009: World's End #17 --  6,691 (- 2.8%)
12/2009: World's End #18 --  6,487 (- 3.2%)
01/2010: World's End #19 --  6,791 (+ 4.7%)
02/2010: World's End #20 --  6,669 (- 1.8%)
03/2010: World's End #21 --  6,491 (- 2.7%)
04/2010: World's End #22 --  6,367 (- 1.9%)
05/2010: World's End #23 --  6,185 (- 2.9%)
----------------
6 months: - 7.6%
1 year  : -24.3%
2 years :  n.a.

Another former flagship of the WildStorm Universe line.

—–

225 - GREEK STREET (Vertigo)
07/2009: Greek Street #1  -- 20,422
08/2009: Greek Street #2  -- 11,996 (-41.3%)
09/2009: Greek Street #3  -- 10,628 (-11.4%)
10/2009: Greek Street #4  --  9,246 (-13.0%)
11/2009: Greek Street #5  --  8,610 (- 6.9%)
12/2009: Greek Street #6  --  7,802 (- 9.4%)
01/2010: Greek Street #7  --  7,335 (- 6.0%)
02/2010: Greek Street #8  --  6,872 (- 6.3%)
03/2010: Greek Street #9  --  6,603 (- 3.9%)
04/2010: Greek Street #10 --  6,324 (- 4.2%)
05/2010: Greek Street #11 --  6,128 (- 3.1%)
----------------
6 months: -28.8%

Canceled.

—–

226 - THE GREAT TEN
11/2009: The Great Ten #1  of 10 -- 13,159
12/2009: The Great Ten #2  of 10 --  8,760 (-33.4%)
01/2010: The Great Ten #3  of 10 --  7,458 (-14.9%)
02/2010: The Great Ten #4  of 10 --  6,812 (- 8.7%)
03/2010: The Great Ten #5  of 10 --  6,555 (- 3.8%)
04/2010: The Great Ten #6  of 10 --  6,301 (- 3.9%)
05/2010: The Great Ten #7  of 10 --  6,112 (- 3.0%)

Canceled with issue #9, spectacularly.

—–

227 - BATMAN: THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD (Johnny DC)
05/2005: Batman Strikes! #9    -- 10,376
05/2006: Batman Strikes! #21   --  8,467
05/2007: Batman Strikes! #33   --  7,235
05/2008: Batman Strikes! #45   --  6,611
----------------------------------------
05/2009: Brave & Bold #5       --  7,994 (-  4.6%)
06/2009: Brave & Bold #6       --  7,614 (-  4.8%)
07/2009: Brave & Bold #7       --  7,441 (-  2.3%)
08/2009: Brave & Bold #8       --  7,153 (-  3.9%)
09/2009: Brave & Bold #9       --  7,064 (-  1.2%)
10/2009: Brave & Bold #10      --  6,646 (-  5.9%)
11/2009: Brave & Bold #11      --  6,438 (-  3.1%)
12/2009: Brave & Bold #12      --  6,342 (-  1.5%)
01/2010: Brave & Bold #13      --  6,129 (-  3.4%)
02/2010: Brave & Bold #14      --  6,084 (-  0.7%)
03/2010: Brave & Bold #15      --  6,208 (+  2.0%)
04/2010: Brave & Bold #16      --  6,506 (+  4.8%)
05/2010: Brave & Bold #17      --  6,103 (-  6.2%)
----------------
6 months: - 5.2%
1 year  : -23.7%
2 years : - 7.7%
5 years : - 4.1%

Another Johnny DC book.

—–

232 - DEMO (Vertigo)
11/2003: Demo #1  of 12      -- 4,529
12/2003: Demo #2  of 12      -- 3,115 (-31.2%)
01/2004: Demo #3  of 12      -- 3,170 (+ 1.8%)
02/2004: Demo #4  of 12      -- 3,220 (+ 1.6%)
03/2004: Demo #5  of 12      -- 3,301 (+ 2.5%)
05/2004: Demo #6  of 12      -- 3,514 (+ 6.5%)
06/2004: Demo #7  of 12      -- 3,882 (+10.5%)
07/2004: Demo #8  of 12      -- 3,803 (- 2.0%)
08/2004: Demo #9  of 12      -- 3,976 (+ 4.6%)
10/2004: Demo #10 of 12      -- 4,260 (+ 7.1%)
10/2004: Demo #11 of 12      -- 4,344 (+ 2.0%)
12/2004: Demo #12 of 12      -- 4,628 (+ 6.5%)
-------------------------------------
02/2010: Demo Vol. 2 #1 of 6 -- 8,317
03/2010: Demo Vol. 2 #2 of 6 -- 6,573 (-21.0%)
04/2010: Demo Vol. 2 #3 of 6 -- 6,010 (- 8.6%)
05/2010: Demo Vol. 2 #4 of 6 -- 5,818 (- 3.2%)

Brian Wood and Becky Cloonan’s black & white mini is bottoming out fairly quickly now.

—–

240 - UNKNOWN SOLDIER (Vertigo)
05/2009: Unknown Soldier #8  --  7,705 (-10.7%)
06/2009: Unknown Soldier #9  --  7,586 (- 1.6%)
07/2009: Unknown Soldier #10 --  7,256 (- 4.4%)
08/2009: Unknown Soldier #11 --  7,070 (- 2.6%)
09/2009: Unknown Soldier #12 --  6,865 (- 2.9%)
10/2009: Unknown Soldier #13 --  6,636 (- 3.3%)
11/2009: Unknown Soldier #14 --  6,359 (- 4.2%)
12/2009: Unknown Soldier #15 --  6,134 (- 3.5%)
01/2010: Unknown Soldier #16 --  5,848 (- 4.7%)
02/2010: Unknown Soldier #17 --  5,701 (- 2.5%)
03/2010: Unknown Soldier #18 --  5,611 (- 1.6%)
04/2010: Unknown Soldier #19 --  5,542 (- 1.2%)
05/2010: Unknown Soldier #20 --  5,466 (- 1.4%)
----------------
6 months: -14.0%
1 year  : -29.1%

Standard attrition.

—–

248 - THE SHIELD
08/2009: RC: Shield #1  -- 19,088
09/2009: The Shield #1  -- 16,997 (-11.0%)
10/2009: The Shield #2  -- 10,401 (-38.8%)
11/2009: The Shield #3  --  8,546 (-17.8%)
12/2009: The Shield #4  --  7,316 (-14.4%)
01/2010: The Shield #5  --  6,444 (-11.9%)
02/2010: The Shield #6  --  6,010 (- 6.7%)
03/2010: The Shield #7  --  5,568 (- 7.4%)
04/2010: The Shield #8  --  5,288 (- 5.0%)
05/2010: The Shield #9  --  5,201 (- 1.7%)
----------------
6 months: -39.1%

Canceled with issue #10.

—–

251 - AIR (Vertigo)
05/2009: Air #9  --  7,115 (- 1.4%)
06/2009: Air #10 --  6,954 (- 2.3%)
07/2009: Air #11 --  6,793 (- 2.3%)
08/2009: Air #12 --  6,589 (- 3.0%)
09/2009: Air #13 --  6,476 (- 1.7%)
10/2009: Air #14 --  6,156 (- 4.9%)
11/2009: Air #15 --  5,921 (- 3.8%)
12/2009: Air #16 --  5,733 (- 3.2%)
01/2010: Air #17 --  5,573 (- 2.8%)
02/2010: Air #18 --  5,352 (- 4.0%)
03/2010: Air #19 --  5,268 (- 1.6%)
04/2010: Air #20 --  5,184 (- 1.6%)
05/2010: Air #21 --  5,104 (- 1.5%)
----------------
6 months: -13.8%
1 year  : -28.3%

Canceled with issue #24.

—–

260 - SUPER FRIENDS (Johnny DC)
05/2008: Super Friends #3  --  8,037
------------------------------------
05/2009: Super Friends #15 --  5,513 (- 4.8%)
06/2009: Super Friends #16 --  5,548 (+ 0.6%)
07/2009: Super Friends #17 --  5,368 (- 3.2%)
08/2009: Super Friends #18 --  5,291 (- 1.4%)
09/2009: Super Friends #19 --  5,045 (- 4.7%)
10/2009: Super Friends #20 --  5,026 (- 0.4%)
11/2009: Super Friends #21 --  4,879 (- 2.9%)
12/2009: Super Friends #22 --  4,837 (- 0.9%)
01/2010: Super Friends #23 --  4,538 (- 6.2%)
02/2010: Super Friends #24 --  4,644 (+ 2.3%)
03/2010: Super Friends #25 --  4,678 (+ 0.7%)
04/2010: Super Friends #26 --  4,955 (+ 5.9%)
05/2010: Super Friends #27 --  4,688 (- 5.4%)
----------------
6 months: - 3.9%
1 year  : -15.0%
2 years : -41.7%

Johnny DC.

—–

262 - THE WEB
08/2009: RC: Web #1  -- 19,535
09/2009: The Web #1  -- 15,507 (-20.6%)
10/2009: The Web #2  --  9,421 (-39.3%)
11/2009: The Web #3  --  7,631 (-19.0%)
12/2009: The Web #4  --  6,653 (-12.8%)
01/2010: The Web #5  --  5,809 (-12.7%)
02/2010: The Web #6  --  5,276 (- 9.2%)
03/2010: The Web #7  --  4,981 (- 5.6%)
04/2010: The Web #8  --  4,763 (- 4.4%)
05/2010: The Web #9  --  4,640 (- 2.6%)
----------------
6 months: -39.2%

Canceled with issue #10.

—–

267 - SPARTA, U.S.A. (WildStorm)
03/2010: Sparta, U.S.A. #1 of 6 -- 8,214
04/2010: Sparta, U.S.A. #2 of 6 -- 5,194 (-36.8%)
05/2010: Sparta, U.S.A. #3 of 6 -- 4,425 (-14.8%)

This is what creator-owned series by established names tend to perform like at WildStorm, these days.

—–

272 - BILLY BATSON & THE MAGIC OF SHAZAM (Johnny DC)
05/2009: --
06/2009: Billy Batson #5  --  7,869 (- 7.1%)
07/2009: Billy Batson #6  --  6,771 (-14.0%)
08/2009: Billy Batson #7  --  6,382 (- 5.8%)
09/2009: Billy Batson #8  --  5,858 (- 8.2%)
10/2009: Billy Batson #9  --  5,388 (- 8.0%)
11/2009: Billy Batson #10 --  4,993 (- 7.3%)
12/2009: Billy Batson #11 --  4,795 (- 4.0%)
01/2010: Billy Batson #12 --  4,371 (- 8.8%)
02/2010: Billy Batson #13 --  4,316 (- 1.3%)
03/2010: Billy Batson #14 --  4,227 (- 2.1%)
04/2010: Billy Batson #15 --  4,236 (+ 0.2%)
05/2010: Billy Batson #16 --  4,125 (- 2.6%)
----------------
6 months: -17.4%
1 year  :  n.a.
276 - SCOOBY DOO (Johnny DC)
05/2005: Scooby Doo #96  -- 4,718
05/2006: Scooby Doo #108 -- 4,496
05/2007: Scooby Doo #120 -- 4,343
05/2008: Scooby Doo #132 -- 4,309
---------------------------------
05/2009: Scooby Doo #144 -- 4,062 (-11.9%)
06/2009: Scooby Doo #145 -- 4,093 (+ 0.8%)
07/2009: Scooby Doo #146 -- 4,110 (+ 0.4%)
08/2009: Scooby Doo #147 -- 4,111 (+ 0.0%)
09/2009: Scooby Doo #148 -- 4,103 (- 0.2%)
10/2009: Scooby Doo #149 -- 4,005 (- 2.4%)
11/2009: Scooby Doo #150 -- 4,044 (+ 1.0%)
12/2009: Scooby Doo #151 -- 3,906 (- 3.4%)
01/2010: Scooby Doo #152 -- 3,724 (- 4.7%)
02/2010: Scooby Doo #153 -- 3,780 (+ 1.5%)
03/2010: Scooby Doo #154 -- 3,846 (+ 1.8%)
04/2010: Scooby Doo #155 -- 3,836 (- 0.3%)
05/2010: Scooby Doo #156 -- 3,857 (+ 0.6%)
----------------
6 months: - 4.6%
1 year  : - 5.1%
2 years : -10.5%
5 years : -18.3%

Johnny DC.

—–

291 - GARRISON (WildStorm)
04/2010: Garrison #1  -- 4,936
05/2010: Garrison #2  -- 3,252 (-34.1%)
294 - DANTE'S INFERNO (WildStorm)
12/2009: Dante's Inferno #1 of 6 -- 5,431
01/2010: Dante's Inferno #2 of 6 -- 3,808 (-29.9%)
02/2010: Dante's Inferno #3 of 6 -- 3,557 (- 6.6%)
03/2010: Dante's Inferno #4 of 6 -- ?
04/2010: Dante's Inferno #5 of 6 -- 3,495
05/2010: Dante's Inferno #6 of 6 -- 3,197 (- 8.5%)

Garrison is another creator-owned series, Dante’s Inferno a game adaptation. Another WildStorm book, Free Realms, again missed the Top 300 chart with its ninth issue, for the ninth time in a row. For the purpose of the average sales charts below, as always, I’m assuming it sold as many units as the lowest-selling book on the chart, although the real number is probably much lower.

—–

6-MONTH COMPARISONS
+ 17.1%: Titans
+  3.6%: Flash
+  2.2%: Brave & Bold
+  1.6%: Jonah Hex
-  1.7%: Tiny Titans
-  3.1%: Wonder Woman
-  3.7%: Secret Six
-  3.8%: Hellblazer
-  3.9%: Super Friends
-  4.6%: Fables
-  4.6%: Scooby-Doo
-  5.2%: Batman: Brave & Bold
-  6.0%: DMZ
-  6.2%: Northlanders
-  6.8%: Sweet Tooth
-  7.5%: Batman Confidential
-  7.6%: Wildcats
-  8.8%: Unwritten
-  9.4%: Madame Xanadu
-  9.6%: Authority
-  9.6%: Batman
- 11.3%: Batman and Robin
- 11.7%: House of Mystery
- 12.0%: Green Lantern
- 13.8%: Air
- 14.0%: Unknown Soldier
- 14.4%: GL Corps
- 14.5%: Red Robin
- 16.0%: GC Sirens
- 17.1%: Warlord
- 17.4%: Billy Batson
- 17.5%: Batgirl
- 21.2%: Batman: SoG
- 23.7%: Detective Comics
- 28.8%: Greek Street
- 30.1%: JLA
- 38.5%: Superman/Batman
- 39.1%: Shield
- 39.2%: Web
- 43.8%: Magog
- 46.0%: Teen Titans
- 52.2%: Azrael
- 59.1%: Adventure Comics
- 64.4%: Booster Gold
- 77.1%: Doom Patrol
- 78.2%: REBELS

—–

1-YEAR COMPARISONS
+ 71.4%: Spirit
+ 11.8%: GL Corps
+  8.4%: Green Lantern
-  2.2%: JLA
-  2.4%: Jonah Hex
-  2.5%: Brave & Bold
-  5.1%: Scooby-Doo
-  7.2%: Hellblazer
-  7.6%: Titans
-  9.8%: Booster Gold
- 10.0%: Tiny Titans
- 10.5%: Ex Machina
- 11.2%: Flash
- 15.0%: Super Friends
- 15.7%: Fables
- 17.4%: Northlanders
- 17.4%: REBELS
- 17.6%: Secret Six
- 18.9%: Superman/Batman
- 19.0%: Batman Confidential
- 21.1%: Madame Xanadu
- 23.1%: Wonder Woman
- 23.5%: Authority
- 23.7%: Batman: Brave & Bold
- 24.3%: Wildcats
- 26.8%: Teen Titans
- 28.3%: Air
- 29.1%: Unknown Soldier
- 29.4%: Astro City
- 30.1%: Batman
- 35.6%: House of Mystery
- 40.9%: Warlord
- 43.6%: Red Robin
- 50.0%: Unwritten
- 71.5%: Azrael

—–

2-YEAR COMPARISONS
+139.7%: Flash
+129.8%: Birds of Prey
+ 59.0%: Legion
+ 38.4%: Red Robin
+ 34.0%: Green Lantern
+ 46.6%: GL Corps
+  1.5%: Spirit
-  4.3%: Scalped
-  7.7%: Batman: Brave & Bold
- 10.5%: Scooby-Doo
- 13.8%: Jonah Hex
- 14.1%: Hellblazer
- 14.2%: Detective Comics
- 16.2%: Fables
- 23.2%: Tiny Titans
- 30.6%: JLA
- 31.8%: DMZ
- 33.3%: Wonder Woman
- 36.5%: Northlanders
- 38.9%: Batman Confidential
- 39.3%: Brave & Bold
- 39.4%: Superman/Batman
- 40.6%: Batman
- 41.7%: Super Friends
- 41.9%: Booster Gold
- 44.7%: Titans
- 46.0%: Supernatural
- 46.1%: Teen Titans

—–

5-YEAR COMPARISONS
+ 68.9%: Birds of Prey
+ 61.1%: Flash
+ 21.2%: Red Robin
+  8.4%: Legion
+  6.9%: Detective Comics
+  2.1%: Batgirl
-  2.3%: JLA
-  4.1%: Batman: Brave & Bold
-  6.4%: Batman
- 18.3%: Scooby-Doo
- 18.6%: Fables
- 19.5%: Wonder Woman
- 21.7%: Doom Patrol
- 34.1%: Hellblazer
- 37.5%: Green Lantern
- 45.2%: Ex Machina
- 62.5%: Authority
- 63.9%: Teen Titans

—–

Average Periodical Sales
(not counting reprints, reorders shipping after the initial month of release, Johnny DC titles and magazines)

DC COMICS
05/2005: 34,801
05/2006: 44,554
05/2007: 35,656
05/2008: 27,075
---------------
05/2009: 24,386 (-10.9%)
06/2009: 25,880 (+ 6.1%)**
07/2009: 30,905 (+19.4%)**
08/2009: 29,977 (- 3.0%)
09/2009: 28,493 (- 5.0%)**
10/2009: 27,525 (- 4.4%)**
11/2009: 28,913 (+ 5.1%)**
12/2009: 25,904 (-10.4%)**
01/2010: 25,657 (- 1.0%)**
02/2010: 26,199 (+ 2.1%)**
03/2010: 23,299 (-11.1%)**
04/2010: 23,740 (+ 1.9%)**
05/2010: 27,181 (+14.5%)**
----------------
6 months: - 6.0%
1 year  : +11.5%
2 years : + 0.4%
5 years : -21.9%
DC UNIVERSE
05/2005: 43,505
05/2006: 59,505
05/2007: 49,161
05/2008: 35,230
---------------
05/2009: 33,163 (-13.1%)
06/2009: 36,329 (+ 9.6%)
07/2009: 41,218 (+13.9%)
08/2009: 37,300 (- 9.5%)
09/2009: 36,725 (- 1.5%)**
10/2009: 34,795 (- 5.3%)
11/2009: 38,488 (+10.6%)
12/2009: 35,473 (- 7.8%)**
01/2010: 33,698 (- 5.0%)
02/2010: 35,895 (+ 6.5%)
03/2010: 32,375 (- 9.8%)
04/2010: 32,859 (+ 1.5%)
05/2010: 36,533 (+11.2%)
----------------
6 months: - 5.1%
1 year  : +10.2%
2 years : + 3.7%
5 years : -16.0%
VERTIGO
05/2005: 14,520
05/2006: 15,266
05/2007: 12,256
05/2008: 10,418
---------------
05/2009: 12,918 (+20.0%)
06/2009: 11,166 (-13.6%)
07/2009: 11,055 (- 1.0%)**
08/2009: 11,369 (+ 2.8%)
09/2009: 11,345 (- 0.2%)
10/2009: 10,551 (- 7.0%)
11/2009: 11,036 (+ 4.6%)
12/2009: 10,583 (- 4.1%)
01/2010: 11,267 (+ 6.5%)
02/2010:  9,256 (-17.9%)
03/2010: 11,394 (+23.1%)
04/2010: 10,815 (- 5.1%)
05/2010: 11,756 (+ 8.7%)
----------------
6 months: + 6.5%
1 year  : - 9.0%
2 years : +12.8%
5 years : -19.0%
WILDSTORM
05/2005: 13,593
05/2006: 12,737
05/2007: 14,260
05/2008:  9,812
---------------
05/2009:  8,579 (+ 3.7%)
06/2009:  8,805 (+ 2.6%)**
07/2009:  8,519 (- 3.3%)**
08/2009:  7,977 (- 6.4%)
09/2009:  8,280 (+ 3.8%)**
10/2009:  9,769 (+18.0%)**
11/2009:  7,111 (-27.2%)**
12/2009:  7,260 (+ 2.1%)**
01/2010:  6,532 (-10.0%)**
02/2010:  5,692 (-12.9%)**
03/2010:  7,691 (+35.1%)**
04/2010:  5,923 (-23.0%)**
05/2010:  6,808 (+14.9%)**
----------------
6 months: - 4.2%
1 year  : -20.6%
2 years : -30.6%
5 years : -49.9%

—–
Disclaimers, et cetera

The numbers above are estimates for comic-book sales in the North American direct market, as calculated by ICv2.com according to the chart and index information provided by Diamond Comic Distributors.

ICv2.com‘s estimates are somewhat lower than the actual numbers, but they are consistent from month to month, so the trends they show are fairly accurate. Since it’s a “month-to-month” column, the comments, unless otherwise noted, are on the most recent month.

Bear in mind that the figures measure sales to retailers, not customers. Also, these numbers do not include sales to bookstores, newsstands, other mass-market retail chains or the United Kingdom. Re-orders are included, so long as they either reached stores in a book’s initial calendar month of release or were strong enough to make the chart again in a subsequent month.

If additional copies of an issue did appear on the chart after a book’s initial calendar month of release, you can see the total number of copies sold in parenthesis behind those issues (e.g. “[36,599]”). Should more than one issue have shipped in a month which is relevant for one of the long-term comparisons, the average between them will be used.

Titles released under the Johnny DC imprint and magazines, such as Mad, mostly sell through channels other than the direct market, so direct-market sales don’t tell us much about their performance. For most Vertigo and some WildStorm titles, collection sales tend to be a significant factor, so the numbers for those books should be taken with a grain of salt as well. To learn (a little) more about Vertigo’s collection sales, go right here.

** Two asterisks after a given month in the average charts mean that one or more periodical release did not make the Top 300 chart in that month. In those cases, it’s assumed that said releases sold as many units as the No. 300 comic on the chart for that month for the purposes of the chart, although its actual sales are likely to be less than that.

For a more lyrical approach to discussing sales figures that covers all the essentials in a more condensed, less tedious fashion, finally, go right here.
—–
Marc-Oliver Frisch writes about comics at his weblog and at Comicgate. You can also follow him on Twitter.

Briefs & Boxers! 07/11/10

o “Why Bother?”

At Newsarama, Vaneta Rogers interviews Jim Lee, who became a publisher at DC Comics earlier this year (here’s part 2). Among other subjects, Lee discusses his approach to conflicts of timeliness and quality:

I think there’s a responsibility of the publisher, of the company, to make sure the staple books that have been around for decades come out in a timely manner. Monthly books should be out there every month, on the weeks that they’re supposed to be out.

But beyond that, some of the special one-off projects are the result of a certain creative team that wants to do a specific story about specific characters for a specific number of issues. They’re not jumping onto a collaborative storyline that’s been in the works for decades. I think it behooves the company to allow those creators the flexibility to make sure their vision gets done to the way they set out to do it, otherwise, why bother?

Whether DC’s new commitment to letting creators produce “a specific story about specific characters for a specific number of issues” will, in the future, entail the publication of the final issues of their miniseries, Lee doesn’t say.

How was The Great Ten #9 (of 10) (of 9), by the way?

o “New Brand New”

Rich Johnston suggests that Marvel are about to revamp the Spider-Man line and no longer publish the flagship title, The Amazing Spider-Man, three times a month.

The “thrice-monthly” format, featuring material by a group of creators directed by editor Stephen Wacker, was introduced in January 2008. It was a commercial success initially, boosting the book’s numbers above the sales of the three separate monthly Spider-Man titles it replaced.

Of late, though, sales have been slipping, so another revamp makes sense, at this stage. It’s the way the direct market works.

Logistically, the move is overdue, arguably. The big appeal of the one-title, three-times-a-month format, early on, was that it provided a handy, catch-all way to follow the soap opera of Spider-Man’s life. It was the complete Spider-Man experience for less than ten bucks a month, basically, in a frequency that was easy to keep up with.

About a year into the run, that started to change, though.

More and more additional comics started cropping up, spinning in and out of The Amazing Spider-Man, but rarely maintaining its fairly consistent quality.

For the last year, there have been a second ongoing title as well as multiple miniseries and specials, all supplying additional stories about supporting characters and villains. Also, many issues of the main title came with “extra material” at an increased cover price that may have been justified by the page count, but ultimately just added less-than-essential baggage to the franchise for no pressing creative reason.

As the initial premise of the “Brand New Day” format would have it, there were three issues of The Amazing Spider-Man per month, which meant 66 pages for a total of $ 8.97, plus the prospect of an occasional special.

If you look at what was solicited for July 2010, now, there are three issues of The Amazing Spider-Man (higher-than-usual page count, $ 3.99 each), plus one issue each of the spin-off miniseries The Amazing Spider-Man Presents: American Son and The Amazing Spider-Man Presents: Black Cat (regular page count, $ 3.99 each) plus an issue of Web of Spider-Man (higher-than-usual page count, $ 3.99).

All of a sudden, that “full Spider-Man experience” requires you to spend time and money on six comics with a total of about 160 pages for a total price of $ 23.94—a 142% increase in pages and a 167% increase in cover price versus the initial model.

That’s asking a lot of the audience. It’s the equivalent of having to watch three hours of TV every day just to stay up-to-date on your favorite soap opera. Even assuming the quality was still top notch across the board, who but the most hardcore readers have the time or inclination to keep up with that?

It doesn’t look like a very smart publishing strategy, and it defeats the purpose of consolidating the franchise into a single, more frequent series.

o “More Than Anything Else”

Over at Comic Book Resources, meanwhile, editor Tom Brevoort reveals Marvel’s stunning new plan to compete with DC in making their comics even less attractive and accessible to people with lives:

What you’re really going to see more than anything else is the beginning of a fusion and integration between all the various parts of the Marvel Universe.

You’ll see more connectivity between the Avengers and the Hulk and the X-Men books and the Fantastic Four and the Daredevil, street-level characters – not to the point where they’re all standing on top of each other every page of every book every month. But they are going to be many more opportunities for natural cross points where characters involved in one title will get involved with the characters of another title, and we’ll go back and forth in a very casual manner.

It worked in the 1990s, after all.

o “Sick of Reading the Same Story 100 Times”

Returning to Bleeding Cool, Johnston also points to writer Mark Waid, who is evidently sick of reading superhero comics:

Annnnd today was the day I stopped reading super-hero comics. One that I won’t name finally broke me.

Collection stops as of now. No joke. It’s not one bad comic. It’s the unbearably last in a long string of bad comics. Just sick of reading the same story 100 times in the last three years.

Waid may be referring to something written by somebody other than himself, although he technically doesn’t exclude, say, a particularly bad experience proofing a copy of Irredeemable or Amazing Spider-Man.

o “You’re Like a Precocious 12 Year Old [sic] Who Hears the Grown-Ups Arguing and Has a Compulsion to Enter the Fray without Having the Wherewithal to Know What’s Being Discussed”

It probably takes a subset of a subset of a certain type of reader to find value in critics quibbling over semantics before inevitably losing their shit over who said what and how they meant it and whose fault it was that such tiresome matters are now being discussed. When Gary Groth shows up in the comments and shares his feelings, though, you know you’ve got a party for everyone.

o “Jae Lee Does Moody Stuff Where People Stand on Rocks”

David Brothers, meanwhile, knocks out a seven-part series of essays on some of the more interesting artists working in American comics these days. The above link leads to the Richard Corben piece; the other ones are on Ed McGuinness, Chris Bachalo, Amanda Conner, David Aja, Paolo Rivera and Doug Mahnke.

Granted, the enterprise is unlikely to garner Brothers insults from Gary Groth, so I’m not sure it’s up to the high standards of what we talk about when we talk about what we talk about. Yet, in a shorthand manner lacking effort to conceal my intellectual dishonesty, I feel confident in submitting it provides some good critical insight.

o “Investigating a Break in the Continuum”

Out now: The debut issue of a newly colored, lettered and repackaged edition of Matt Fraction and Gabriel Bá’s Casanova (link above), as well as the start of Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev’s Scarlet, both from Icon, Marvel’s Scooby Snack imprint.

Fraction and Bendis are both creators who started out with strong and unique approaches to mainstream comics storytelling that provided a welcome change of pace at the time. Both were soon grabbed up by Marvel and eventually plugged into the Great Hivemind to have their voices scrambled into the dreadfully generic, or just dreadfully dreadful, mess of the Avengers and X-Men lines. (All right, I liked Alias, and I still enjoy Invincible Iron Man.)

Scarlet, now, looks like a typical Bendis comic about a good-looking violent revolutionary. It’s meant to rotate with Powers, Bendis’s other Icon book, perhaps to prevent them from both not coming out at the same time. It’s probably a good idea to wait for the paperback collection on this one. In the meantime, Kevin Melrose of Robot 6 has collected some early reactions.

Casanova, meanwhile, is a hyperactive, hypercondensed sci-fi spy thriller starring a character who looks faintly like Mick Jagger. It first came out at Image a few years back, with less color and different letters, so this is your second chance to follow one of the most riveting American comics of the last decade—and then be sad that Fraction is too busy producing inferior work to make any more of it.


Marc-Oliver Frisch writes about comics at his weblog and at Comicgate. You can also follow him on Twitter.

Who is the biggest villain in comics today?

The recently revamped by Matt Fraction MANDARIN?

The revitalized under Paul Cornell LEX LUTHOR?

Or … this guy?

Briefs & Boxers! 06/30/10

o “…Where Am Football Game?”

I’m up to my neck in deadlines and it’s the World Cup, and the situation is compounded by my team suddenly starting to play soccer like they haven’t in 40 years, so this’ll be snappier than usual.

o “Good Writing + Good Art = Good Comic”

I’m not sure if I agree or disagree with David Brothers, but his essay made me wonder whether the differences between “pop” comics and “lit” comics (I know, I know—let’s try to not get hung up on the terminology, though; you know what I mean) run deeper than we’d generally expect them to.

My first instinct, certainly, is to embark upon a hazy monologue on how the way storytelling works in comics makes it impossible to separate “writing” and “art” in any meaningful way, because the notion of “narrative” in comics, in the way we tend to understand comics today, is something that can’t be narrowed down to either “writing” or “art,” but clearly requires something to happen on the page for which no better or more precise term than “comics” has been established.

But is that true for, say, Amazing Spider-Man? Or for 95% of the material that comes out of the direct market?

Most of these books, it seems, could be drawn by just about anyone: The artist rarely does more than to execute other people’s ideas, to realize other people’s scripts in a fashion that doesn’t seem to leave much room for actual collaboration when it comes to the creative decisions made on a page-to-page level.

I’m not saying that artists are interchangeable.

What I’m saying is that, by the time, say, Marcos Martin, whom I have a great deal of admiration for, gets anywhere near Spider-Man, both the story and the way it’s told tend to have been largely decided by people who are not Marcos Martin.

What I’m saying is that, under these conditions, it occurs to me that “story” and “art” appear to be separated from each other in a way that inherently contradicts the way comics work as a narrative form.

In other words: Are Chris Ware and John Romita Jr. working in the same medium?

o “We Actually Put Pants on the Martian Manhunter Too, Just Recently”

I don’t have anything to add to Wonder Woman’s much-publicized costume change this week. She just looks to me like she may have been in the Avengers in 1993.

o “But Not Brigitte Bardot”

Over at Techland, the ubiquitous Douglas Wolk has a preview of the English-language edition of the latest book by Norwegian cartoonist John Arne Sæterøy, alias Jason, that’s coming out this week, titled Werewolves of Montpellier.

At American publisher Fantagraphics, you can download another one.

Jason’s work, which combines anthropomorphic animal characters with ridiculous plots, absurd situations and fiercely mundane settings, is as good a reminder as any that it’s the how that counts, not the what.

In plot terms, Werewolves of Montpellier is about an art student/thief who dresses up as a werewolf before he goes out to break into people’s homes at night, which a society of actual werewolves is not amused about.

What that boils down to on the page, though, are scenes of people sitting next to each other at the laundromat, looking at each other in silence or talking about French actresses while playing chess—and each time, it’s utterly fascinating, and the scene draws you in almost immediately and you don’t want to stop.

Jason tells stories with comics in ways that never occur to a lot of people who make comics.


Marc-Oliver Frisch writes about comics at his weblog and at Comicgate. You can also follow him on Twitter.

DR WHO: “a pile of good things and bad things”

This afternoon marks the end of season 31 of DOCTOR WHO, or season 1 of the Eleventh Doctor (Matt Smith) if you are watching it on the BBC. Bookmark this column for a few weeks if you are watching on BBC America or elsewhere around the world. No spoilers (sweetie) for tonight’s finale, but potential spoilers for earlier episodes this season after the jump.

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Briefs & Boxers! 06/23/10

o “The Reed-Thin Coach of Germany Looks Like an Early Sketch From Coraline.”

As I’m writing this, the United States and England are, both but independently, fighting to make it to the knockouts, the French have disintegrated spectacularly and it’s not clear yet at all whether Germany, Spain and Italy, all considered top contenders, will survive the group stage. It’s the World Cup, of course.

I greatly enjoyed Brian Phillips’s Slate piece on international soccer managers, appropriately titled “World Cup Weirdos.” It’s a spot-on observation of one of the most underrated and most appealing aspects of the tournament, and it actually makes me want to watch a good TV show dealing with the ongoing drama faced by the likes of Domenech, Eriksson, Capello or Löw.

Apropos of nothing, it occurs to me that Diego Maradona, in his latest incarnation, bears an uncanny resemblance to German comics mascot Mecki.

o “Gain New Readership, Regain Lapsed Readers and Solidify Current Fans”

The North American comics market is suddenly a vastly more interesting place than it was a week ago. As Rich Johnston reports and investigates at Bleeding Cool, there’s a new major player in the direct market: The retail chain Hastings is planning to open extensive comic-book sections in about 150 of its stores.

Johnston provides an in-detail interview with Hastings representative James Parker, who is set to be in charge of the company’s comics program. Basically, what they’re offering seems a lot like what most existing comics stores are offering—except, of course, that we’re looking at a very different set of resources here.

The comics specialty retailers Johnston talks to about the news nicely cover the spectrum of opportunities and challenges involved for Hastings and its competitors. Mainly, what sticks out in the article are the different perspectives on what “the comics business” means: Parker talks about how he’s been “collecting” comics and retailer Chris Powell refers to comics as a “hobby”; retailer Rick Shea, on the other hand, points out that films based on “stand-alone” properties, like Kick-Ass and Watchmen, tend to drive more people into his store than ones based on more “fragmented” comics franchises, like Iron Man 2 and Batman.

What this suggests, I think, is that there are three largely separate major audiences for print comics in the U.S.: one each for “manga” and “graphic novels,” which both tend to view their comics as pieces entertainment and buy them where they buy other pieces of entertainment; and one for “comic books,” which tends to view its comics as a hobby and buy them at comic-book stores.

And Hastings is specifically aiming at the latter with this program, which seems noteworthy all of itself.

(And that’s for print comics, mind you. Given that all the major comic-book publishers—hello, DC Comics—now have working, potentially prosperous digital delivery systems for their output in place, we could be looking at a fourth “largely separate” major audience within a few years.)

o “We Wanted to Give Them Every Opportunity”

Kiel Phegley’s conversation with DC Comics publishers Jim Lee and Dan DiDio is a riot, for a number of reasons. Heidi, Sean T. Collins and Sean T. Collins point to, and comment on, some of the juicier parts.

One of the most funny bits comes from DiDio, not unexpectedly:

“If you look at our line now, some of our lower sellers are books we took risks on: The Great Ten and Magog or The Shield and The Web. These are things that don’t come pre-sold like Superman or Batman, but we wanted to give them every opportunity because it helped diversify and spread out our line.”

He means every opportunity except the ones that involve such minor concerns as focused promotion, a supportive publishing strategy involving a prominent position in the company’s overall line-up that gives books like these any room at all to breathe in the marketplace, or generating confidence in your product by publishing the 10th issue of a 10-issue miniseries, of course.

On another note, I’m fairly nonplussed by the way DC and a lot of industry observers tend to look at the properties that have come to be associated with Vertigo. Why on Earth should it pose a problem to have the Swamp Thing show up in DC Universe comics while also being the star of his own, competely self-sufficient Vertigo title? Marvel have been doing it for years with the Punisher.

o “If Cry for Justice Was on Facebook, It Would Be De-Friended”

Meet the first title in comic-book history whose awfulness causes revilement on such a universal scale that even The New York Times takes note.

o “The Man-on-the-Street’s Perspective”

Out this week in comics shops across America are two recommended comics by writer Kurt Busiek, in new packages.

The first (link above) is a hardback collection of the six-part Marvels: Eye of the Camera, drawn by Jay Anacleto; it’s the sequel to Marvels, the 1994 series with artist Alex Ross that was Busiek’s mainstream breakthrough. The other is a $ 1.00 reprint of Kurt Busiek’s Astro City #1; originally published in 1995, this issue marks the start of Busiek’s creator-owned series with art by Brent E. Anderson and covers by Marvels collaborator Ross.

What Marvels and Astro City have in common is their approach to superhero comics. Unlike most of the genre material that’s been published since the late 1960s at least, they don’t take superheroes and their conventions for granted. Rather, Busiek’s angle—in both Marvels volumes and in each new Astro City story—is to imagine what it would be like to see them for the first time, every time, and always keep them grounded in concerns shared by actual, nonfictional, living and breathing human beings.

The result have been some tremendously compelling stories that show a clear appreciation of the thrills associated with the superhero genre, but that reach well beyond them, in a way that makes Busiek one of the most literary and universally accessible American comics writers. So here’s your chance to catch up.

Marc-Oliver Frisch writes about comics at his weblog and at Comicgate. You can also follow him on Twitter.