Marvel Month-Month Sales November 2015: Ticking Up the Failure Counter

Marvel Month-Month Sales November 2015: Ticking Up the Failure Counter

by Xavier Lancel

Welcome to a new analysis of Marvel sales. Reminder: I’m French, that’s why I’m talking funny. Please address your complaints to my soccer sex-tapes recording country.

Reminder: those sales are estimates, sales to comics shops situated in North America. American comics do get sold somewhere else in their original floppy edition. Keep also in mind that it’s not because a copy is sold to a shop that it’s sold to a customer. This would be way too easy. Digital sales are not taken into account.

All hell broke loose in November as relaunched and new series #1s and #2s (double shipping is still a trend at Marvel) arrived on the racks. So far, it’s been quite ugly! A large number of these relaunches have proved useless, leaving titles in the same state they were before being renumbered, if not worse off. I’ll keep count of the Failed relaunch (F) and the Winning (W) ones. Once all the titles are out, we’ll examine the proportion of wins against loses.

VaderDown2015001_DC11

Another worrying factor is the abnormal fall of a lot of mini-series. Lateness seems to be the key factor here, as even Secret Wars, the main series that spawned a line of “Battleworld” and “Last Days of” minis, saw its sales take a hit. However, at the same time, we saw other minis, neither late nor connected to Secret Wars, exhibiting weird behavior. So are we seeing a lasting change in buyers’ habits? It’s gonna take months to verify that, and hopefully they will be less agitated than the last 10.

On the Star Wars front, something important happened: Marvel announced the first Star Wars related cancellation. Kanan will stop at issue #12. It seems like an indicator of Marvel’s policy about its Star Wars brand. They have huge expectations for it and apparently don’t want to overflow the floppy market with ancillary titles, especially if some are gonna sell way fewer copies than others. The price tag next to the name of the title, when different from 4$, is only valid for its first issue. Enjoy!

 
A-FORCE PRESENTS TP VOL.1: 1,975
A-FORCE PRESENTS TP VOL.2:   948
136p, $15, cents per page: 11.0

It’s only the second anthology collection and those numbers are already a little worrying. It needs to stop losing sales to have a chance to make it past issue #6. Apparently, it is not relased on a monthly status, but a bimonthly once. That’s tricky, as it will become later and later compared to the floppy releases of Ms. Marvel, She-Hulk, Captain Marvel and the other female-led series collected here.

 


2- STAR WARS VADER DOWN LTD ($5)

1/15 Vader Down Ltd #1 of 6  -  384,969               

Huge success here, confirming the popularity of the Darth Vader character. This is the first crossover in the Star Wars line.

3- 15- DEADPOOL ($5)

11/12  Deadpool #2 -  76,445 
...
03/14  Deadpool #25 -  48,775  (+ 18.6%)(Now)
... 
10/14  Deadpool #36 -  46,600  (+  7.0%)(Axis)
...
03/15  Deadpool #44 -  39,716  (- 11.5%)
04/15  Deadpool #45 -  96.897  (+144.0%)

11/15	Deadpool  #1 -  180,565      
11/15	Deadpool  #2 -    92,008  (-49.0%)      

This is one rare case where the relaunch actually worked and attracted more people to the floppy. Since its last real relaunch – let’s forget the fake #1 Marvel Now thing-, Deadpool has confirmed himself as Marvel’s most lucrative cash machine, thanks to its mind-blowing TPB sales every month. Even though 90K is probably not the level at which this new volume will level out, it will, with almost no doubt, stay way above its previous 40K sales level. That’s a win.

Relaunch Counter: W:+1

4- SECRET WARS LTD 

05/15 Secret Wars Ltd #1 -  544,342                  
05/15 Secret Wars Ltd #2 -  231,560   (-57.5%)         
06/15 Secret Wars Ltd #3 -  224,067   (-  3.2%)
07/15 Secret Wars Ltd #4 -  221,041   (-  1.4%)
08/15 Secret Wars Ltd #5 – 204,416   (-  7.5%)
09/15 ---
10/15 Secret Wars Ltd #6 -  192,244   (-  6.0%)
11/15 Secret Wars Ltd #7 -  177,019   (-  7.9%)

There is definitively an erosion here due to lateness and scheduling: Secret Wars is now in competition with all the relaunches that were supposed to spawn from it. Could be that some readers gave up on it for the time being to spend their money on those new #1s. However, seeing as Secret Wars sales levels were very high and still are relative to most comics, the series remains a massive success.

5- 24-EXTRAORDINARY X-MEN ($5)

11/15	Extraordinary X-Men #1 -  133,716   
11/15	Extraordinary X-Men #2 -    64,595  (-51.7%)    

Seeing the bad shape in which the X-Men licence is, it’s great that this #1 broke 100K. If it manages to stay above 50K, this will be a very nice improvement over the previous X-Men titles.

 6- ALL NEW ALL DIFFERENT AVENGERS ($5)

11/15	ANAD Avengers #1 -  128,570            

The fact that this book sold a little less than an X-Men launch is an indication that the Avengers franchise has been cannibalized by the numerous Avengers titles that have sprung up over the last few years. Frankly, it is confusing to have 3 Avengers titles with such similar names: « Avengers », « New Avengers » and « All New All Different Avengers ». This is almost turning into a joke. Is All-New Avengers newer than New Avengers? Marvel has really a problem with using adjectives to give identity to its titles– they just don’t mean anything anymore!

7- 9-  279- STAR WARS

01/15 Star Wars  #1 -  1,060,067                 [+4,773]
02/15 Star Wars  #2 -	   212,089  (-80.0%)
03/15 Star Wars  #3 -	   175,579  (-17.2%)
04/15 Star Wars  #4 -	   203,817  (+16.1%)
05/15 Star Wars  #5 -	   146,850  (-27.9%)
06/15 Star Wars  #6 -	   152,652  (+ 4.0%)
07/15 Star Wars  #7 -	   160,000  (+ 1.0%)
08/15 Star Wars #8  -	   145,066  (-  9.3%)
09/15 Star Wars #9  -	   135,817  (-  6.4%)
10/15 Star Wars#10 -    134,613  (-  0.9%)
11/15 Star Wars#11 -	   126,780  (-  5.8%)
11/15 Star Wars#12 -	   123,133  (-  2.9%)

Since issue #2: -41.9%
TPB VOL.1: 23,823  [+1,997]
Average +%TPB sales issues 1-6: +6.4%

Two issues this month as the title slowly slides down, but still does wonderfully. Issue #1 has been reordered again to coincide with the influx of fans coming off the release of Star Wars VII: the Force Awakens. Meanwhile, the first TPB collection is selling quite well in its second month, to nobody’s surprise.

 8- UNCANNY X-MEN ($6)

02/13 Uncanny X-Men v3 #2  - 94,615
---
03/14 U X-Men #19.NOW      - 64,514 ( 17.5%)
04/14 Uncanny X-Men v3 #20 - 55,359 (-14.2%)
05/14 Uncanny X-Men v3 #21 - 54,747 ( -1.1%)
06/14 Uncanny X-Men v3 #22 - 52,731 ( -3.7%)
07/14 Uncanny X-Men v3 #23 - 55,738 (  5.7%)
07/14 Uncanny X-Men v3 #24 - 53,677 (  5.7%)O.Sin
08/14 ---
09/14 Uncanny X-Men v3 #25 -  58,062 (  8.2%)
09/14 Uncanny X-Men v3 #26 -  51,862 (-10.7%)
10/14 Uncanny X-Men v3 #27 -  57,908 ( 11.7%)
11/14 Uncanny X-Men v3 #28 -  55,939 ( -3.4%)
12/14 Uncanny X-Men v3 #29 -  53,502 ( -4.4%)
01/15 Uncanny X-Men v3 #30 -  48,824  (-8.7%)
02/15 Uncanny X-Men v3 #31 -  46,993  (-3.8%)
03/15 Uncanny X-Men v3 #32 -  49,639  (+5.6%)
04/15 Uncanny X-Men v3 #33 -  49,278  (-0.7%)
05/15 Uncanny X-Men v3 #34 -  45,267  (-8.1%)
06/15 ---
07/15 Uncanny X-Men v3 #35 -  48,094  (+6.2%)
08/15 ---
09/15 ---
10/15 ---
11/15 Uncanny X-Men #600 -  126,447 (+162.9%)

Look who’s back for an anniversary issue! That’s almost exactly the same number of copies as the launch of Extraordinary X-Men, so there is a kind of logic here that argues that it should sell more with its coming relaunch. Marvel really wants, like we say in France, « le beurre, l’argent du beurre et le cul de la crémière » (« the money from the butter sold as well as the ass of the lady running the dairy » -yes, I know, dirty french people!-). They will renumber and take your money, but also want to keep getting your money on anniversary issues that ignore the aforementioned renumbering! The next step will be anniversary relaunch issues: “look, it’s the 10th relaunch of this series, let’s celebrate it!”

 6-  34-ALL NEW WOLVERINE ($5)

01/14  Wolverine v5 #13 -  31,164 ( -3.4%)
02/14  Wolverine v6 #1  -  88,923 (185.3%)
02/14  Wolverine v6 #2  -  47,339 (-46.8%)
...
08/14  Wolverine v6 #12 -  50,570 (  2.8%)
09/14  Death of Wolv #1 – 261,975 
09/14  Death of Wolv #2 - 129,999 (-50.4%)
10/14  Death of Wolv #3 – 141,567 (  8.9%)
10/14  Death of Wolv #4 - 165,582 ( 17.0%)
11/15	AN Wolverine #1 -  119,786    
11/15	AN Wolverine #2 -    55,634  (-53.6%) 

Eh! If it worked for Thor, why not try it on Wolverine? So far, not a real success -at least not on the scale of Thor-, seeing that this new volume will fall next month at the same level where the previous one was. If it sells as much than Wolverine, then everything is okay, if it sells less and falls to the level of v5, it could be in trouble once the « true » Wolverine comes back.

11- 16- DARTH VADER

02/15 Darth Vader #1 -  296,929                
02/15 Darth Vader #2 -  125,466  (-57.7%)
03/15 Darth Vader #3 -  126,278  (+ 0.6%)    
04/15 Darth Vader #4 -  136,451  (+ 8.1%)    
05/15 Darth Vader #5 -  113,025  (-17.2%)
06/15 Darth Vader #6 -  107,739  (- 4.7%)
07/15 Darth Vader #7 -  114,349  (+ 6.1%)
08/15 Darth Vader #8 -    98,994  (-13.4%)
09/15 Darth Vader #9 -  100,235  (+ 1.3%)
10/15 Darth Vader#10-    94,372  (-  5.8%)
10/15 Darth Vader#11-    92,866  (-  1.6%)
11/15 Darth Vader#12-    90,077  (-  3.0%)
11/15 Darth Vader#13-   113,448 (+25.9%)  (Vader Down)

Since issue #2: -9.6%

Thanks to the Vader Down crossover, this title is bouncing back.

 12- MIGHTY THOR ($5)
  
12/12  Thor v5 #1   - 110,443
...
02/14  Thor #19.Now–  42.034  ( 10.1%)
...
09/14  Thor v5 #25 –  53,047  (  38.4%)
10/14  Thor v6 #1  – 150,862  ( 184.4%)
11/14  Thor v6 #2  –  89,131  ( -40.9%)
12/14  Thor v6 #3  –  72,563  ( -18.6%)
01/15  Thor v6 #4  -  69,497  ( -4.2%)
02/15  Thor v6 #5  -  69,513  ( +0.0%)
03/15  Thor v6 #6  -  70,569  ( +1.5%)
04/15  Thor v6 #7  -  71,372  ( +1.1%)
05/15  Thor v6 #8  -  86,222  (+20.1%)
...
11/15	Mighty Thor  #1 -  112,053        

-Should we be worried? Even with a cushioned fall, this one should go back immediately to its previous sales level with #2. Without a light drop, it’ll fall way below its previous sales.

14-AMAZING SPIDER-MAN
04/14  Amazing v3 #1  - 532,586  ( 293.1%)[23,871]
05/14  Amazing v3 #2  - 123,945  ( -76.7%)
06/14  Amazing v3 #3  - 109,029  ( -12.0%)
07/14  Amazing v3 #4  - 117,917  (   8.2%)O.Sin 
08/14  Amazing v3 #5  - 101,655  ( -13.8%)O.Sin 
09/14  Amazing v3 #6  -  93,564  (  -8.0%)
10/14  Amazing v3 #7  - 116,051  (  24.0%)
10/14  Amazing v3 #8  -  99,549  ( -14.2%)
11/14  Amazing v3 #9  - 135,280  
11/14  Amazing v3 #10 – 100,899 
12/14  Amazing v3 #11 – 104,739  ( +3.8%)
01/15  Amazing v3 #12 – 105,458  ( +0.6%)
01/15  Amazing v3 #13 – 103,093  ( -2.2%)
02/15  Amazing v3 #14 – 106,778  ( +3.6%)
02/15  Amazing v3 #15 -  99,660  ( -6.7%)
03/15  Amazing v3 #16 -  92,289  ( -7.4%)
04/15  Amazing v3 #17 -  99.964  ( +8.3%)
05/15  Amazing v3 #18 -	88,338  (-11.6%)

03/15  Amazing #16.1- 73,170  (-20.7%)
...
08/15  Amazing #20.1- 65,634  (-2.8%)

06/15 Spider-Man Renew your wows Ltd #1  -  203,565
...
09/15 Spider-Man Renew your wows Ltd #5 -     94,653  (+13.3%)

10/15 Amazing Spider-Man  #1 -  245,873 
10/15 Amazing Spider-Man  #2 -  111,322   (-54.7%)    
11/15 Amazing Spider-Man  #3 -   93,848    (-15.7%)

And we are already back to where this title was in its weakest days before the relaunch. That’s a loss for this one.

Relaunch counter: W=1 L=1

 18- MS MARVEL ($5)

02/14  Ms. Marvel #1 -  50,286  (  --- ) 
03/14  Ms. Marvel #2 -  38,357  (-23.7%)
...
02/15  Ms. Marvel #12 – 29,054  ( -2.7%)
03/15  Ms. Marvel #13 – 32,425  (+11.6%)
04/15  Ms. Marvel #14 – 32,058  (- 1.1%)
05/15  Ms. Marvel #15 – 32,185  (+ 0.4%)
06/15  Ms. Marvel #16 – 32,855  (+ 2.1%)
07/15 ---
08/15  Ms. Marvel #17 – 31,567  (- 3.9%)
09/15  Ms. Marvel #18 -  33,761  (+7.0%)

11/15  Ms Marvel  #1 -  79,222            

This one is starting higher! Like Deadpool, Ms. Marvel could take this opportunity to attract new readers and/or encourage some TPB buyers switch to the floppy. There isn’t a lot of rope, given that if it loses 50% of its first issue readers, it will come back only 5K ahead of its previous sales level. We can probably expect only a slight loss of buyers with next issue, seeing that only 2 months separated the last volume’s issue from this one.-

 19- 57- CARNAGE

11/15	Carnage  #1 -  69,773    
11/15	Carnage  #2 -  41,576   (-40.4%)

A comfort zone of 30K-40K sales would give this title a lot of time to flourish.

56- ALL NEW HAWKEYE

03/15  All New Hawkeye #1  -  66,608
04/15  All New Hawkeye #2  -  42,730  (-35.8%)
05/15  All New Hawkeye #3  -  38,087  (-10.9%)
06/15  ---
07/15  All New Hawkeye #4  -  31,661  (-16.9%)
08/15  ---
09/15	All New Hawkeye #5  - 31,141  (-  1.6%)
10/15  ---

11/15  All New Hawkeye  #1  -  68,933
 
Since issue#2: -27.1%

Same #1 sales level as the one it had last relaunch, which was only 8 months ago. We should, by all logic, go back very quickly to the previous level: not enough reviews have been written or time has passed for new readers to jump on board.  I’m betting this relaunch will be filed very quickly under L.

 HAWKEYE TPB VOL.5: 4,109
112p, $16, cents per page: 14.3
Average +%TPB sales issues 1-5: +13.0%

The new creative team passed the second test: their new version is selling well in its first month release. Now, the big decisive question is: will it sell every month like every other Hawkeye TPB? First clue next month!

22- DOCTOR STRANGE 

10/15 Doctor Strange  #1 – 145,456  
11/15 Doctor Strange  #2  -   65,091   (-55.3%)        

We’re going closer to what the real new audience for a Dr Strange book is. If the book survives at least a whole year, it’ll be considered a success, seeing that Marvel has never had enough faith in the long-term viability of the character to release a new Dr. Strange ongoing before.

23- 32- CHEWBACCA LTD

10/15 Chewbacca #1 -  122,952
10/15 Chewbacca #2 -    74,311  (-39.5%) 
11/15 Chewbacca #3 -    64,672  (-13.0%)
11/15 Chewbacca #4 -    58,051  (-10.2%)

That’s not really nice behavior. We are still in good sales territory, but that’s the first sign of the comics franchise tiring a little.

25- SPIDER-GWEN

02/15 Spider-Gwen #1 -  278,575 
03/15 Spider-Gwen #2 -  107,070 (-61.6%)
04/15 spider-Gwen #3 -  102,234 (- 4.5%)
05/15 Spider-Gwen #4 -    86,586 (-15.3%)
06/15 Spider-Gwen #5 -    67,697 (-21.8%)
07/15 ---
08/15 ---
09/15 ---
10/15 Spider-Gwen  #1 -  197,103   
11/15 Spider-Gwen  #2 -    62,209 (-68.4%)

11/15 Spider-Gwen  #0 ($5) -    30,062 

A very ugly fall, and we are already quite below where the previous series was. A completely useless relaunch. #0 is a reprint of Edge of Spider-Verse #2 with bonuses.

Relaunch counter: W=1 L=2

 SPIDER-GWEN VOL.0: 5,157
112p, $17, cents per page: 15.2
Average +% TPB sales issues 1-5: +6.0%

The first collection of Spider-Gwen is out and it’s selling in great quantity. We will need to see if it can sell significantly every month or not to know if it’s a real blockbuster for Marvel.

 26- WEB WARRIORS ($5)

11/15	Web Warriors  #1 -  62,096        

Seems to be heading toward Spider-Man 2099 territory.

 27- ULTIMATES

11/15	Ultimates  #1 -  61,406         

Any Ultimates book that survives its first year would be considered a success.

 28- HOWARD THE DUCK ($5)

03/15 Howard the Duck #1 – 85,929
04/15 Howard the Duck #2 – 43,572 (-49.3%)
05/15 Howard the Duck #3 – 35,391 (-18.2%)
06/15 Howard the Duck #4 – 34,043 (- 3.8%)
07/15 ---
08/15 Howard the Duck #5 – 26,891 (-21.0%)
09/15 ---
10/15 ---
11/15	Howard The Duck  #1 -  61,346       

A debut way weaker than the one the series had 8 months ago. It should be right back where it was pre-Secret Wars with issue #2 or #3.

 29- VENOM SPACEKNIGHT

11/15	Venom Spaceknight  #1 -  59,151      

This one will have to settle quickly if it follows the usual issue # fall pattern. For those looking for some real Spaceknight action, don’t be fooled, Rom made its home at IDW, not here!

30- INVINCIBLE IRON MAN

03/14  Ir. Man #23.NOW  - 43,912  (  51.3%)
...
06/14  Iron Man v6 #28  - 28,027  (  -0.9%)
11/14  Sup. Iron Man #1 - 83,994  ( 199.7%)
11/14  Sup. Iron Man #2 - 42,621  ( -49.3%)
12/14  Sup. Iron Man #3 - 38,806  (  -9.0%)
01/15  Sup. Iron Man #4 – 38,515  (  -0,7%)
02/15  Sup. Iron Man #5 – 35,094  (  -8.9%)
03/15  Sup. Iron Man #6 – 37,113  (  +5.8%)
04/15  Sup. Iron Man #7 – 34,440  (  -7.2%)
05/15  Sup. Iron Man #8 – 32,006  (  -7.3%)
06/15  Sup. Iron Man #9 – 33,989  (  +6.2%)
...
10/15 Invincible Iron Man  #1 -  279,514  
10/15 Invincible Iron Man  #2 -    66,664  (-76.2%)         
11/15 Invincible Iron Man  #3 -    59,069  (-11.4%)

Since issue #2: -11.4%

This volume should settle way higher than the failed Superior relaunch. Now, sustaining two ongoing series with the upcoming International Iron Man? I wouldn’t bet on that. Still, this series is a win.

Relaunch counter: W=2 L=2

 33- SILK

02/15 Silk #1 -  86,263 
03/15 Silk #2 -  69,369 (-19.6%)
04/15 Silk #3 -  58.755 (-15.3%)
05/15 Silk #4 -  44,316 (-24.6%)
06/15 Silk #5 -  38,798 (-12.5%)
07/15 ---
08/15 Silk #6 -  34,368 (-10.7%)
09/15 Silk #7 -  36,477 (+ 6.1%)
10/15 ---
11/15	Silk  #1 -  57,140     

This one doesn’t look good at all. Like all the titles that only got through 5-8 issues before being renumbered, it suffers weaker debut sales.  However, even taking that into account, I see it going very quickly under its previous sales level – which hadn’t stabilized yet, to be fair.

 

35- 66- UNCANNY AVENGERS

03/14  U Avengers #18.NOW   -  63,516  ( 19.4%)
...
10/14  Uncanny Avengers #25 –  53,263  (  7.7%)
10/14  Aven & X-Men Axis #1 – 138,966  (180.9%)
...
12/14  Aven & X-Men Axis #9 –  69,518  (  0.1%)
01/15  Uncanny Avengers v2 #1 – 74,849 
02/15  Uncanny Avengers v2 #2 – 51,339 (-31.4%)
---
04/15  Uncanny Avengers v2 #3 – 50,595 (-1.4%)
05/15  Uncanny Avengers v2 #4 – 46,682 (-7.7%)
06/15  Uncanny Avengers v2 #5 – 43,417 (-7.0%)

10/15 Uncanny Avengers  #1 - 105,234
11/15 Uncanny Avengers  #2 -   55,008 (-47.3%)

11/15 Uncanny Avengers Annual ($5)– 36,481  

Surprisingly, this relaunch did way better with its new #1, but then went to the same issue#2 level as its predecessor. The annual suffers sales weaker than they should be, but was it really the right month to release the annual?

 37- SPIDER-WOMAN

11/14  Spider-Woman #1 -  93,723           (Spider-Verse)
12/14  Spider-Woman #2 -  44,618  ( -52.4%)(Spider-Verse)
01/15  Spider-Woman #3 -  38,484  (-13.8%) (spider-Verse)
02/15  Spider-Woman #4 -  36,058  (- 6.3%)
03/15  Spider-Woman #5 -  40,068  (+11.1%)
04/15  Spider-Woman #6 -  32,041  (-20.0%)
05/15  Spider-Woman #7 -  29,567  (- 7.3%)
06/15  Spider-Woman #8 -  26,568  (-10.1%)
07/15  Spider-Woman #9 -  24,354  (- 8.3%)
08/15 Spider-Woman #10-  23,005  (- 5.5%)
09/15 ---
10/15 ---
11/15 Spider-Woman  #1 -   53,885     

Same trouble here as those facing Silk, except the problem is amplified by the fact that this relaunch is not supported by the Spider-Verse event like it was before. This relaunch will probably allow us to have 3-4 issues more of Spider-Woman before it’s axed again.

 

39- GUARDIANS OF GALAXY

03/13 Guardians of Galaxy #1-   211,312
…
04/15  Guardians v3 #26 -  54,124  (-12.4%)
05/15  Guardians v3 #27 -  49,308  (- 8.9%)

07/15 Guardians of Knowhere Ltd #1  -  81,902
...
09/15 Guardians of Knowhere Ltd #4  -  39,523  (-22.4%)

10/15 Guardians of Galaxy #1 -      118,342
11/15 Guardians of Galaxy #2 -	51,690  (-56.3%)

Average +% TPB SALES #18-23: +3.6% 
GUARDIANS OTG VOL.4 HC: 2,241

Ouch, it seems that the Guardians of Galaxy brand lost popularity rather quickly. That’s already a relaunch fail.

Relaunch counter: W=2 L=3

 40- DRAX

11/15	Drax  #1 -  49,601     

We are entering a zone where we find a lot of new launches. The following months will separate the doomed from the successful, seeing as all of them will probably navigate in the 20K-30K with their issue #2s.

41- THORS LTD 

06/15 Thors Ltd #1  -  114,854
07/15 Thors Ltd #2  -   59,286  (-48.4%)
08/15 ---
09/15 Thors Ltd #3 -     57,917  (- 2.3%)
10/15 ---
11/15 Thors Ltd #4 -	   48,113  (-16.9%)

Better late than never, but don’t cry if you lost some people on the way.

 42- AVENGERS VS INFINITY LTD ($6)

11/15	Avengers VS Infinity Ltd #1 -  47,490    

A collection of web stories.

 44- STAR-LORD

07/14  Star Lord #1 – 78,501
08/14  Star Lord #2 – 37,109 (-52.7%)
09/14  Star Lord #3 – 32,918 (-11.3%)
10/14  Star Lord #4 – 37,123 ( 12.8%)
11/14  Star Lord #5 – 36,905 ( -0.6%)
12/14  Star Lord #6 – 32,863 (-11.0%)
01/15  Star Lord #7 – 28,174 (-14.3%)
01/15  Star Lord #8 – 25,227 (-10.5%)
02/15  Star Lord #9 – 38,655 (+53.2%)   B. Vortex
03/15  Star Lord#10 – 40,836 (+ 4.5%)   B. Vortex
04/15  Star Lord#11 – 41,325 (+ 1.2%)   B. Vortex
05/15  Star Lord#12 – 25,580 (-38.1%)
---
07/15  Star-Lord & Kitty Pride Ltd #1 -  44,760 
08/15  Star-Lord & Kitty Pride Ltd #2 -  32,578  (-27.2%)
09/15  Star-Lord & Kitty Pride Ltd #3 -  31,012  (-  4.8%)

11/15	Star-Lord  #1 -  47,104    

Debuting slightly higher than the last mini, and of course way below its launch. It should be right back where it was pre-Secret Wars in one or two months. Be ready for a F+1.

 47- NOVA

02/14  Nova #13.Now – 26,147  (   4.4%)
03/14  Nova v5 #14 – 23,459  ( -10.3%)
...
05/15  Nova v5 #31 – 18,129  ( -2.7%)

11/15	Nova  #1 -  45,536     

Same thing here unless it manages to have a very cushioned fall with its #2 numbers.

 49- HERCULES

11/15	Hercules  #1 -  44,512    

As all the other titles debuting in this zone: it will have to settle quickly if it experiences the cruel modern issue #2 drop. On another note, I just spent the last 5 months chatting with Dan Abnett, the series’ writer, for a special issue of Scarce -the French magazine I’m the editor of- that focuses on both his and Andy Lanning’s work. It has been a wonderful experience and, knowing the man a little more than before, I’m more excited to read his new books at Marvel. Friendly writer counter: +1. Go, go, Dan!

 50- ILLUMINATI

11/15	Illuminati  #1 -  44,163    

Once again, the name of this new series is very misleading, as it has nothing to do with the Illuminati group of heroes. Instead, it’s about the life of super villains, with The Hood at the series’ center. More Thunderbolts or Superior Foes than Illuminati.

52-KANAN THE LAST PADAWAN

04/15 Kanan TLP  #1 -  113,158                 
05/15 Kanan TLP  #2 -   64,960  (-42.6%)
06/15 Kanan TLP  #3 -   56,370  (-13.2%)
07/15 Kanan TLP  #4 -   52,260  (-  7.3%)
08/15 Kanan TLP  #5 -   46,351  (-11.3%)
09/15 Kanan TLP  #6 -   45,402  (- 2.0%)
10/15 Kanan TLP  #7 -   44,127  (- 2.8%)
11/15 Kanan TLP  #8 -   42,824  (- 3.0%)

Since issue #2:  -34.1%

This is interesting. Kanan will be cancelled at issue #12. As you can see from those numbers and the post-#2 percentage drops, the cause of the cancellation is not poor sales. It’s probably because there are others Star Wars comics that could sell more than it, and Kanan is taking their slot. That means Marvel has reached its limit in the numbers of floppy Star Wars titles they want marketed each month. Indeed, despite Kanan’s success relative to the overall Marvel line, it is doing worse than Star Wars, Darth Vader, and even the minis released since the launch of the Stars Wars line. We can safely assume that 40K is currently the limit Marvel doesn’t want to see it’s Star Wars titles fall below.

 54- VISION

11/15	Vision  #1 -  42,119 

Weaker than Venom, Hercules or Illuminati. That’s not a good sign.

56- NEW AVENGERS 

01/13  New Avengers v3 # 1 -  116,280 
...
03/14  N Avengers #16.NOW  -  48,731  (  0.0%)
...
12/14  New Avengers v3 #28 -  39,855  ( -1.4%)
01/15  New Avengers v3 #29 -  41,116  (+3.1%) (SW prelude)
02/15  New Avengers v3 #30 -  42,827  (+4.2%) (SW prelude)
03/15  New Avengers v3 #31 -  44,444  (+3.8%) (SW prelude)
03/15  New Avengers v3 #32 -  40,583  (-8.7%) (SW prelude)
04/15  New Avengers v3 #33 -  55.437 (+36.6%) (Sw prelude) END

10/15 New Avengers  #1 -  71,243
10/15 New Avengers  #2 -  50,455  (-29.8%)
11/15 New Avengers  #3 -  41,630  (-17.5%)

And that’s another failed relaunch!

Relaunch counter: W=2 L=4

59- UNCANNY INHUMANS ($5)

04/14  Inhuman #1 - 58,309  
05/14  Inhuman #2 - 41,810 ( -28.3%) 
08/14  Inhuman #3 - 37,159 ( -11.1%) 
08/14  Inhuman #4 - 34,215 (  -7.9%) 
09/14  Inhuman #5 - 32,719 (  -4.4%) 
09/14  Inhuman #6 - 30,761 (  -6.0%) 
10/14  Inhuman #7 - 29,903 (  -2.8%)
11/14  Inhuman #8 - 50,766 ( -15.0%)
12/14  Inhuman #9 - 25,962 ( -48.9%)
12/14  Inhuman #10- 25,445 (  -2.0%)
01/15  Inhuman #11- 24,410  (- 4.1%)
02/15  Inhuman #12- 24,689  (+ 1.1%)
03/15  Inhuman #13- 25,510  (+ 3.3%)
04/15  Inhuman #14- 26,194  (+ 2.7%)

04/15 Uncanny Inhumans #0 -  67.017
...
10/15 Uncanny Inhumans #1 -  90,528
11/15 Uncanny Inhumans #2 -   41,321  (-54.4%)

Even though the first issue sold way better than the fourteenth, once again, the sad truth of today’s market (lots of buyers of variants and #1, way less readers) caused Uncanny Inhumans to hit the same #2 sales the series did last time it was relaunched. God only knows if it will follow the same pattern moving forward. Any small improvement over the 25K the previous title settled in would be a small step into making Inhumans one of the big brands at Marvel.

60- INFINITY GAUNTLET LTD

05/15 Infinity Gauntlet Ltd  #1 -  95,131
06/15 Infinity Gauntlet Ltd  #2 -  59,667 (-37.3%)
07/15 ---
08/15 Infinity Gauntlet Ltd  #3 – 54,279  (-  9.0%)
09/15 Infinity Gauntlet Ltd  #4 – 45,160  (-16.8%)
10/15 ---
11/15 Infinity Gauntlet Ltd   #5 - 40,464  (-10.4%)

Once again, a really weird pattern for a mini-series, but many Secret Wars minis behaved weirdly.

 61- BLACK KNIGHT

11/15	Black Knight  #1 -  39,381 

Quite a risky move for Marvel with this one. Frank Tieri is back at Marvel!

 63- MOON GIRL AND DEVIL DINOSAUR

11/15	Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur  #1 -  38,133

Another funny-cartoony title that will perhaps prove to be a huge seller in TPB format. Marvel is searching for the new Ms. Marvel and is simultaneously expanding its very successful kid-friendly line.

72- SPIDER-MAN 2099 

07/14 Spider-Man 2099  #1  -  90,690  ( --- )
08/14 Spider-Man 2099  #2  -  47,512  (-47.6%)
09/14 Spider-Man 2099  #3  -  43,418  ( -8.6%)
10/14 Spider-Man 2099  #4  -  40,755  ( -6.1%)
10/14 Spider-Man 2099  #5  -  40,880  (  0.3%)
11/14 Spider-Man 2099  #6  -  38,634  ( -5.5%)
---
01/15 Spider-Man 2099  #7 -  38,455 (-0.5%)
01/15 Spider-Man 2099  #8 -  37,484 (-2.5%)
02/15 Spider-Man 2099  #9 -  34,374 (-8.3%)
03/15 Spider-Man 2099 #10 -  33,528 (-2.5%)
04/15 Spider-Man 2099 #11 -  31,665 (-5.6%)
05/15 Spider-Man 2099 #12 -  28,916 (-8.7%)
...
10/15 Spider-Man 2099  #1 -  57,719
10/15 Spider-Man 2099  #2 -  40,701  (-29.5%)
11/15 Spider-Man 2099  #3 -  34,969  (-14.1%)

Since issue #2: -14.1%

Well, we are almost where we were before the relaunch. If the fall stops now, it will still result in a small improvement, but we know the chances of that happening , right?

73- CONTEST OF CHAMPIONS ($5)

10/15 Contest of champions #1 -  79,873
11/15 Contest of champions #2 -  34,942  (-56.3%)

Despite the ugly fall from its #1, this issue has something good: Ares! So the counter stands at: W=35 L=1. … …That was a 1982 Contest of Champions joke.

78- CAPTAIN AMERICA SAM WILSON 

02/14  Capt AmericaV7 #16.Now – 36,534  (   9.3%)
...
09/14  Captain America v7 #24 – 33,517  (   8.4%)
10/14  Captain America v7 #25 – 74,183  ( 121.3%)
11/14  Captain America v8 #1  –120,500  (  62.4%)
12/14  Captain America v8 #2  – 50,077  ( -58.4%)
01/15  Captain America v8 #3  - 50,045  ( -0.1%)
02/15  Captain America v8 #4  - 41,222  (-17.6%)
03/15  Captain America v8 #5  - 38,871  (- 5.7%)
04/15  Captain America v8 #6  - 38,199  (- 1.7%)
...
10/15 Cap America S. Wilson #1 -  62,535
10/15 Cap America S. Wilson #2 -  40,224  (-35.7%)
11/15 Cap America S. Wilson #3 -  33,984  (-15.5%)

Another failed relaunch, this one with no doubt. We are already below the previous volume’s lowest numbers.

Relaunch counter: W=2 L=5

56-CAPTAIN AMERICA WHITE LTD

09/15 Captain America White Ltd#1 of 5 – 59,510
09/15 Captain America White Ltd#2 of 5 -  40,422  (-32.1%)
10/15 Captain America White Ltd#3 of 5 -  38,867  (-  3.8%)
11/15 Captain America White Ltd#4 of 5 -  32,858  (-15.5%)

Why, god, readers are so volatile those days?! I can understand « variant or #1 » crazy men not wanting to follow the series after #1, but giving up massively after issue #3?

88- ASTONISHING ANT-MAN

01/15 Ant-Man #1 – 	73,370
02/15 Ant-Man #2 – 	40,192  (-45.2%)
03/15 Ant-Man #3 – 	37,139  (- 7.6%)
04/15 Ant-Man #4 – 	31,637  (-14.8%)
05/15 Ant-Man #5 – 	83,095 (+162.7%)
06/15 Ant-Man Larger than Life #1- 28,797 
07/15 Ant-Man Annual #1 – 		24,223
08/15 Ant-Man Last Days -  		35,594  (-57.2%)
09/15 ---
10/15 Astonishing Ant-Man #1 -  75,598
11/15 Astonishing Ant-Man #2 -  31,358  (-58.5%)

Average +% TPB sales #1-5 : +9.6%
ANT-MAN TPB VOL.1: 3,870 

You know the song: another failed relaunch!

Relaunch counter: W=2 L=6

105- GROOT LTD

06/15 Groot Ltd #1  -  97,193          
07/15 Groot Ltd #2  -  39,198  (-59.7%)
08/15 Groot Ltd #3  -  34,663  (-11.6%)
09/15 Groot Ltd #4  -  28,170  (-18.7%)
10/15 Groot Ltd #5  -  27,389  (-  2.8%)
11/15 Groot Ltd #6  -  23,714  (-14.4%)

This does not bode well for the upcoming Groot/Rocket Raccoon team-up series.

107- ANGELA QUEEN OF HELL 

12/14  Angela #1 -  61,398  
01/15  Angela #2 -  36,992  (-39.8%)
02/15  Angela #3 -  31,096  (-15.9%)
03/15  Angela #4 -  25,529  (-17.9%)
04/15  Angela #5 -  23,551  (- 7.7%)
05/15  Angela #6 -  22,272  (- 5.4%)

06/15 1602 Witch Hunter Angela Ltd #1 – 37,996
07/15 1602 Witch Hunter Angela Ltd #2 – 26,481  (-30.3%)
08/15 ---
09/15 1602 Witch Hunter Angela Ltd #3 – 23,058  (-12.9%)
10/15 1602 Witch Hunter Angela Ltd #4 - 19,545

10/15 Angela Queen of Hel  #1-	39,271
11/15 Angela Queen of Hel  #2-	23,264  (-40.8%)

There is an echo going by an-oth-er fai-led re-launch.

Relaunch counter: W=2 L=7

108- UNBEATABLE SQUIRREL GIRL 

01/15 Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #1 - 41,693
02/15 Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #2 – 24,621  (-40.9%)
03/15 Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #3 – 26,586  ( +8.0%)
04/15 Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #4 –  20,987  (-21.1%)
05/15 Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #5 – 20,088  (- 4.3%)
06/15 Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #6 – 19,341  (- 3.7%)
07/15 Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #7 – 19,801  (+ 2.4%)
08/15 Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #8 -  19,134  (- 3.4%)
09/15 ---
10/15 Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #1 -  43,155
11/15 Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #2 -  23,064  (-46.6%)

 TPB VOL.1: 6,261 [+432]
Average +%TPB sales issues 1-4:  +25.4%

This one is following the exact same trend as its previous volume. It could grab 1K more readers than before if it does not fall too fast. No matter what, its TPB sales keep it safe for a long time.

 SQUIRREL GIRL : 2,928 
120p, $15, cents per page: 12.5
Average +%TPB sales issues 5-8: +6.6%

The second volume of Squirrel Girl is out, and even if its sales level is lower than vol.1, which is perfectly normal, we can safely induct Squirrel Girl as the 4th member of the previously huge TPB sellers trinity, composed of Deadpool, Hawkeye, and Ms. Marvel. Its Vol.1 TPB has been selling every month since its release: 4,382 copies, than 881, then 566 then 432 this month. It’s not Ms Marvel numbers, but it seems to be a constant seller, which is a rarity in the Marvel catalog. Marvel is discovering that all-ages comedy comics can sell!

115- SQUADRON SINISTER 

06/15 Squadron Sinister #1 -  53,187
07/15 Squadron Sinister #2 -  31,141  (-41.4%)
08/15 ---
09/15 Squadron Sinister #3 -  27,454  (-11.8%)
10/15 ---
11/15 Squadron Sinister #4 -  21,491  (-21.7%)

Those numbers are crazy. Even short-term readers are a dying species.

 116- SECRET WARS TOO ($5)

11/15	Secret wars Too #1 -  21,347

So late in the game, it’s no suprise there isn’t much left at the buffet.

117- SILVER SURFER

03/14  Silver Surfer  #1 -  64,919  (  --- )
04/14  Silver Surfer  #2 -  39,132  (-39.7%)
06/14  Silver Surfer  #3 -  36,075  ( -7.8%)
07/14  Silver Surfer  #4 -  32,747  ( -9.2%)
08/14  Silver Surfer  #5 -  31,125  ( -5.0%)
10/14  Silver Surfer  #6 -  28,052  ( -9.9%)
11/14  Silver Surfer  #7 -  25,759  ( -8.2%)
12/14  ---
01/15  Silver Surfer  #8 -  23,420  (- 9.1%)
02/15  Silver Surfer  #9 -  21,716  (- 7.3%)
03/15  Silver Surfer #10 -  21,100  (- 2.8%)
04/15  Silver Surfer #11 -  20,776  (- 1.5%)
05/15  ---
06/15  Silver Surfer #12 -  20,704  (- 0.3%)
07/15  Silver Surfer #13 -  24,321  (+17.5%)
08/15 ---
09/15 Silver Surfer #14 -   23,008  (-  5.4%)
10/15 ---
11/15 Silver Surfer #15 -   21,343   (-  7.2%)

Since issue #2: -45.5%

This one could grasp some more readers with its relaunch, let’s cross fingers.

119- HOWLING COMMANDOS OF SHIELD 

10/15 Howling Commandos of SHIELD  #1 -  44,532
11/15 Howling Commandos of SHIELD  #2 -  20,498  (-54.0%)

Sadly, it’s pretty doomed.

129- HAIL HYDRA LTD 

07/15 Hail Hydra Ltd #1 -  44,515
08/15 ---
09/15 Hail Hydra Ltd #2 -  26,974  (-39.4%)
09/15 Hail Hydra Ltd #3 -  22,742  (-15.7%)
10/15 ---
11/15 Hail Hydra Ltd #4 -  17,600  (-22.6%)

Ouch! Being late for a mini in such a demanding market is a killer.

131- SHIELD 

12/14  SHIELD #1 -  94,503  
01/15  SHIELD #2 -  33,965  (- 64.1%)
02/15  SHIELD #3 –  29,790  (- 12.3%)
03/15  ---
04/15  SHIELD #4 -  26,930  (-  9.6%)
04/15  SHIELD #5 -  26,614  (-  1.2%)
05/15  SHIELD #6 -  23,152  (- 13.0%)
06/15  SHIELD #7 -  25,786  (+11.4%)
07/15  SHIELD #8 -  19,469  (- 24.5%)
08/15  SHIELD #9 -  22,613  (+16.1%)
09/15  SHIELD#10-  18,693  (- 17.3%)

09/15 Agent Carter SHIELD -  26,438
09/15 Fury SHIELD – 26,313
09/15 Mockingbird SHIELD ($5) – 25,593
09/15 Quake SHIELD – 25,193
09/15 Cavalry SHIELD – 23,831

10/15  SHIELD#11 -	20,121  (+ 7.6%)
11/15  SHIELD#12 -  17,470  (-13.2%)

Since issue #2: -48.6%
SHIELD TPB Vol.1 -  2,460
Average +% TPB sales #1-6: +7.2%

Marvel TV shows are not reverse-Walking Dead material: they will never attract people to read the comics that are based off of them.

 

134- MIRACLEMAN ($5) 

09/15 Miracleman #1 -  27,269
09/15 Miracleman #2 -  22,143  (-18.8%)
10/15 Miracleman #3 -  19,375  (-12.5%)
11/15 Miracleman #4 -  16,825  (-13.2%)

Renumbering the title for each reprinting period has done wonders for it.

150- FIGMENT 2 LTD 

09/15 Figment Ltd #1   - 20,551
10/15 Figment Ltd #2	  - 13,517  (-34.2%)
11/15 Figment Ltd #3   - 11,103  (-17.9%)

One of the longest running numbers title this month at Marvel, no joke!

198- DARK TOWER DRAWING LADY OF SHADOWS LTD

03/15 Dark Tower D3HC Ltd #1 of 5 – 11,107
...
07/15 Dark Tower D3HC Ltd #5 of 5 –  9,027  (- 2.4%)
08/15 ---
09/15 Dark Tower Lady of Shadows Ltd #1 of 5 –  9,918
10/15 Dark Tower Lady of Shadows Ltd #2 of 5 -   8,946  (-  9.8%)
11/15 Dark Tower Lady of Shadows Ltd #3 of 5 -   8,118  (-  9.3%)

I’ll leave you with a riddle: do you know which Marvel character DC’s Resurrection Man is based on?

222- MARVEL UNIVERSE GUARDIANS OF GALAXY 

02/15 MU guardians of Galaxy #1       – 12,047 
03/15 MU guardians of Galaxy #2       –  9,108 (-24.4%)
04/15 MU guardians of galaxy #3 of  4 -  8,406 (- 7.7%)
05/15 MU guardians of Galaxy #4 of  4 -  7,468 (-18.0%)

10/15 MU Guardians of Galaxy  #1 - 11,751
11/15 MU Guardians of Galaxy  #2 -  7,364  (-37.3%)

Sadly, upping the price of $1 didn’t bring in extra readers. Where does this mad world go, I ask you?

 227- MU ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN SPIDERVERSE

11/15 MU Ult. Spider-Man Spider-verse #1 -  7,144

A kind of all-ages adaptation of the Spider-verse event.

 255- MAX RIDE ULTIMATE FLIGHT LTD

11/15	Max Ride ultimate Flight Ltd #1 -  5,877

Is there even a point in releasing this one in floppies?

290- MU AVENGERS ASSEMBLE SEASON TWO ($3)

01/15 MU Avengers Assemble Season Two #3 - 4,503
?
?
?
05/15 MU Avengers Assemble Season Two #7 – 4,665
?
?
08/15 MU Avengers Assemble Season Two #10- 4,806
?
10/15 MU Avengers Assemble Season Two #12-  4,639
11/15 MU Avengers Assemble Season Two #13-  4,500  (- 3.0%)


The answer to the riddle was Immortal Man, from the Great Lake Avengers. Remember, Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning did scribe Force Works: they had the idea of using Immortal Man at one point, giving him new powers every time he died that were related to the way he was killed.

Thanks for reading until the end! I hope to see you next time. Meanwhile, feel free to comment, express your rage or your love for french sarcasm! I’ll hug everyone, no matter what.

Comments

  1. says

    Everyone do yourself a favor and please pick up Vision, there’s two issues out so far (third issue hits on 1/6) and it’s really something different, but not odd for odd’s sake, just a unique narrative voice with great art too.

  2. Carl says

    ‘The next step will be anniversary relaunch issues: “look, it’s the 10th relaunch of this series, let’s celebrate it!”’

    This is a hilarious and oddly foreseeable eventuality, and, given the sales on the current volume of Captain America (the ninth, by your count), one Marvel could have the opportunity to inaugurate in only a matter of months.

  3. Glenn Simpson says

    While I think the general idea of evaluating the benefit of the relaunches is sound, I do think that expectations for upticks on books from this particular relaunch might not need to be high. Marvel didn’t relaunch individual books based on the need to gain sales for that book. They relaunched everything, pretty much just on the basis of “we’re only going to do Secret Wars for a couple of months”. So while they may have taken the opportunity to rearrange some creatives, the only reason a lot of them relaunched was just because everybody was doing it. Peer pressure, as it were. What this DOES tell us is how relaunches (regardless of reason) are not as effective as they used to be.

  4. says

    Tom King’s work, including Vision and Omega Men, seems to be developing a habit of garnering critical praise but netting minimal sales. I think a part of this is the character driven marketing the big two are pushing. Few people are going to pick up a book that focuses on a C/D list character if you market it on the strength of said character.

    If the big two marketed these no-name books as TOM KING stories, and pushed the hell out of him rather than their small potato properties, it’s possible that they’d see sales rise.

  5. Tim says

    Wasn’t The Vision in that last Avengers movie?

    Conventional wisdom probably dictates that The Vision charts higher than Tom King at this point. And Marvel is generally more likely to push their stable of characters over an online favorite.

  6. Kent Durgan says

    I lived and participated (slightly) in the 90’s speculator bubble. Looks like it is happening again but this time, I am not buying multiple copies of every #1. Guess I learned a little something in my youth.

  7. LobsterAfternoon says

    @Tim – that logic just doesn’t hold up. Media ties in having varying effects, particularly when there’s media that’s just based on one thing (Watchmen, Walking Dead) vs media that’s based on multiple series (most superhero stuff).

  8. Nate A. says

    I’m pretty sure it was Tom Taylor that wrote the video game comic. And a quick web search suggests that the best selling author is another person altogether.

  9. says

    On MIRACLEMAN: “Renumbering the title for each reprinting period has done wonders for it.”

    We were just discussing this at our store ordering meeting today, as we’re being asked to order #1 & 2 of “MIracleman by Gaiman & Buckingham: The Silver Age”, where the NEW NEIL GAIMAN COMICS will be printed as issue #3 (and forward) of that series.

    Interest is pretty low in the reprints (we’re somewhere in the 20 copy range at the main store), but I don’t see how I’m expected to order up on #3? How many people are going to jump on at that point? I actually think more people would grasp it if it was #25, honestly — I mean “#3” will be Neil’s ninth issue of MM, right?

    Re-serializing MM was almost certainly a tactical mistake — the early issues just aren’t very good, in the context of 2015, and it created a fair amount of ennui about the character as a whole. In retrospect, they really should have just gone straight to book, monthly on the first four volumes, then did “New” MM as a #1 from the material that was supposed to be in #25 originally, and done a “#0” bumper of #23 & 24 — then they would have had some real excitement. Not now, though.

    -B

  10. Chris Hero says

    First, love the sales analysis. Really love the French humor.

    I’m not really in the superhero game anymore other than trying to follow Ms Marvel and figuring out which Avengers comic she’s in sucked. That was not fun.

    As always, Mr. Brian has a really great point about Miracleman. I’ve been waiting 20 some years for MM #25 and I just realized I would have missed it it not for him pouting it out!

  11. Jason says

    I enjoy Tom King’s work. Sad to see it not catching on better. As for some of the other titles, did anyone really expect Hawkeye or Spider Woman to do better?

  12. says

    Thanks for all those insightfull comments!

    Jason: as I said, for Spider-woman, it’s a little trick that will probably help to tell a little more episodes than expected. And for Hawkeye, I guess it could have worked a little, if his relaunch had been done a little later than that.

  13. Shawn Kane says

    I think that Marvel and Axel Alonso, for the past few years, has tried to appeal to the Image reader. Instead of coming up with original comics and characters, the creators have been allowed to write and change characters to suit their tastes. I don’t mind that Hawkeye is basically Kate Bishop’s book but he has been unrecognizable since at least the Fraction series and arguably since Bendis brought him back after killing him off. But it had good sales and buzz. Falcon as Captain America got a lot of press and online buzz but no one is buying it. Lots of Marvel seem to have taken the MCU’s and are making every character seem as if Robert Downey Jr. is playing them. Basically, I think one of the problems with sales is that, in trying to court new readers (which is not a bad thing at all), Marvel has lost a lot of Marvel fans. New #1’s are just as effective as jumping off points as they are for jumping on.

  14. Chris Hero says

    Oh, I wanted to mention I did give the Vision series a shot after hearing a lot of good things about it. It’s not bad. I like parts and don’t like parts. It has made me very, very interested to see what a Tom King creator owned book would be like. I’m going to keep buying it for a while because it’s different enough to have converted me into a fan.

  15. Steve says

    Part of me is glad to see the numbers on Howard The Duck be down — if only because they raised the price $1 for a backup nobody wanted. That”s when I dropped the book and when I drop something I almost never look back…

    Agreed about the excellence of The Vision. Much different (and much better!) than I had expected. Ant-Man, sadly, is another overlooked book. Quite funny and feels like an actual *read* for 20 pages than a lot of other books.

    Black Knight/Hercules/Illuminati — will any make it past the number of issues to make the first TPB?

  16. says

    Steve: Tpb are often shorter now, there is often 5 issues only in one. If deathlock and its atrocious sales made it to two TPB and 10 issues, we can safely bet that almost everyone will reach it from now on.

  17. Suzene says

    ANAD Marvel is a very mixed bag for me. I see a lot of things that look interesting, but not interesting enough to pay $4 a pop for while stepping into a status quo that Marvel’s higher ups are being annoyingly vague about. I was never much of a Carol Danvers fan, but I’ll be picking up Captain Marvel because of Alpha Flight. I was buying Ms. Marvel in singles and trades, but opted to drop it due to the reboot, Avengers intrusion, and the price hike. Might pick up Ultimates, Moon Girl, and Vision in trade because I’ve heard good things, but plenty of time to decide on that. The X-Men line, which has been my primary attachment to Marvel for nearly 20 years, is offering nothing that interests me, partly because it looks like a miserable slog through Decimation 2.0 and partly because the popular approach to the X-Books these days seems to be to throw the character development out with the continuity. But they’ll likely be offering something new inside of a year, so it’s just a matter of waiting and keeping an eye on the solits to see if any of my favorites show up.

    I guess the big thing with the reboots is that it doesn’t feel worth getting invested. At least if I pick up an Image book that only makes it to six issues, I enjoyed it and it’s done. If I pick up a Marvel or DC book that doesn’t make it through the year, the character will go on, but any growth that I enjoyed reading about is likely to be discarded by the next writer to come along. So it feels like more a waste of time and money. It’s one of the inherent downsides of a shared universe, but these days it’s also one more reason to spend my entertainment dollar elsewhere.

  18. Micah says

    Everything is being laid out for digital distribution. Kill the boy, Jon Snow.

  19. Rand says

    Xavier, your line about Marvel wanting to eat its cake and have it, too, with these re-booted series that somehow manage to celebrate anniversary issues anyway was my favorite comment this month.

    I would only point out that you left out the first item in the list when you translated “le beurre, l’argent du beurre et le cul de la crémière”: it’s not merely “the money for the butter and the ass of the dairywoman” but “THE BUTTER, the money for the butter, and the ass of the dairywoman”. (Marvel wants it all!)

    One other minor correction: when you asked who inspired Resurrection Man, I thought “Immortal Man”, and that is indeed the answer that you give… but we made the same mistake: he’s “Mr Immortal”!

  20. says

    Randh: oh yes, right, Mr Immortal, Immortal Man is this old DC charactezr who appeared in the last issues Of rEsurrection Man vol.1 , you are totally right, sorry!
    And yes, Alex tried to translate it as best as he could , he already improved on my “chese lady” proposition for “cremiere” but yeah, he lost the first part in the final translation. You are right, that’s butter, money for the butter and the ass of the dairywoman”!

    alpha flight is in the new Captain Marvel? God, I’ll have to check that!

  21. Jerry Ray says

    The impression that I’ve gotten to this point is that it’s not actually Alpha Flight in the new Captain Marvel, just a reuse of the name for something completely different (a space program or something). Somebody please correct me if I’m wrong – I kind of like actual Alpha Flight, but the last few years have driven me away from Captain Marvel.

  22. Suzene says

    @Jerry Ray

    The Alpha Flight name is being re-purposed for the space defense team, but it’s not completely divorced from its roots in the MU. There are actual Alpha Flight members involved. Aurora, Sasquatch, and Puck show up in the previews for Captain Marvel #1, they had a one-panel cameo at the space station in Spider Woman #2, and they’re on the cover for Captain Marvel #3 here: http://tinyurl.com/qyjahyr

    I’m digging the new logo and the Anka redesigns, and I’m really hoping that Aurora will get some decent characterization under this writing team. So yeah, this is something I’m willing to put down $4 an issue to try out, even if the characters I’m interested in are just supporting cast,

  23. Jerry says

    Yes , Micah. That is the answer killer about 90% of your readership. Digital Marvel/DC comic books are already toast , with a decline to aprx 10% of the total market. Last year the number was 14%. Once comic books stop being printed on paper , the industry is done

  24. Kevin Fisher says

    I think Marvel needs to stop rebooting. I honestly don’t think readers care when they join a series, so long as it’s good. When I started reading comics, I started picking up some series that were well over issue #500. As long as you start a new arc, and have a basic outline of the character in your mind, generally things are fine for any Big 2 comic.

    That said, most of these #1s are fake #1s. For instance, All-New Hawkeye #1 requires knowledge from All-New Hawkeye #5 to really get into the story.

  25. Rich H says

    I think if Marvel stuck with classic versions of the characters, it might help new/lapsed/casual readers wanting to join in. Right now, the Avengers in those books are nothing like the movies. Hulk is a kid. Spider-Man’s got a global company! The Inhumans are replacing the X-Men. All moves not even existing fans probably like.

    I think that’s why Hawkeye, Ms Marvel and Deadpool do so well, since they’re still their own version.

    Maybe Marvel will one day wake up to that.

  26. Samy Merchi says

    If Marvel stuck with the classic versions, everything would remain stagnant and I would have walked away decades ago. A massive part of why the ongoing soap opera concept is interesting is because they try new things, new angles, new developments. There’s only so many years I can read about Peter Parker worrying about rent over and over again. He’s supposed to be brilliant, it should be damn time after fifty years for us to finally see him make use of it for once.

  27. Skottie says

    “I think if Marvel stuck with classic versions of the characters, it might help new/lapsed/casual readers wanting to join in”

    For years, Marvel had been aligned their comics with the films. It’s nice that we’re finally getting something more imaginative.

    Don’t get me wrong, these new books are awful, but at least they’re trying.

  28. says

    Great analysis, Xavier. Thanks for taking the time. My thoughts:

    I feel one of Marvel’s biggest problems are too many titles stretched too thin. Every member of GOTG has a solo series. There’s three Avengers books (at least?) before you talk about the solo books. Are we up to 10 spider-series? It’s not far off. And then there’s the forced Inhumans trend…

    The only series that is bucking this is X-Men, which is sad. A few of those characters could at least benefit from a limited series. How about Iceman? With his humour he’s surely due for ‘Deadpool’ level fame.

    I’m predicting the return of Steve Rogers as Captain America this year, especially with low sales and a movie coming out. I’d love to see real grounded WWII era stories about him – almost a pulp fiction comic.

    You’re right about Uncanny X-Men #600 sales (complete with the dairy maid analogy) but that’s hardly new. I recall recently it happened with Spider-Man, Fantastic Four, and even X-Men Legacy.

    Thor’s relaunch mightn’t have done enough this time, but Jane becoming Thor had a huge boost over Thor: God of Thunder before it – even if the story quality and creative team stayed at the previous high level.

    Thankfully for my bank budget I’m now down to six Marvel titles: Star Wars, Daredevil, Thor, Spider-Man (although not loving the global Parker Industries), Dr Strange and Hercules.

  29. MB says

    @Samy Merchi

    I wouldn’t mind it if they didn’t make Peter, Tony Stark. If I wanted to read Iron Man I would read Iron Man.

  30. says

    I would hate to see so many artist, writers and other creators lose there jobs but Marvel needs to cut there Title list in HALF..

    Nobody wants a Black Knight or Hercules series… and apparently they don’t know what to do with ANGELA . The character was so awesome in the Spawn universe but has been nothing but lame since coming to Marvel.

    And all these #1’s was completely uncessary and it was so annoying I stopped reading Marvel all together. I was enjoying Ms Marvel and those 1st 20 issues. It didnt need to start at #1 again. Its the same plot progression. The same artist and writer.. it was strictly for marketing purpose. They just lost a loyal customer. I took my Ms Marvel money and started buying Hench Girl in its place.

  31. Kentucky Fried Horse says

    Shawn, Rich and MJ all make great points. The need to line up closer to the MCU and the need to “diversify” are losing Marvel longtime readers that like traditional elements of the Marvel Comic universe. It’s sad how far the X-Men titles have fallen, all over a battle over who owns the film rights. No matter how hard Marvel tries to push the Inhumans as an alternative, they’ll never be as popular as the X-Men.

    Diversity is good if you have a character grow and develop over the years. Luke Cage is a great example of this: I loved him most when he was in charge of the Thunderbolts. He came a long way from his jive talkin’ roots. However, shoehorning a character with a different ethnicity, gender, religion or age into a role that was filled just fine before(Capt. America, Thor, Ms. Marvel, Nova) can tend to drive off longtime readers.

    Who here really buys Bobby Drake as being gay, given his 50 year history of appearances? After the absolute character assassination of Cyclops over the last 10+ years, you would think Marvel wouldn’t be throwing jarring shifts onto any of the other original X-Men.

  32. SAMURAI36 says

    Wow, this was an excellent article. Quite refreshing to see, in lieu of the typical “Look, Marvel’s topping the charts!! They’re beating DC!!” fanboy rants that you usually see on the internet.

    It’s part (and perhaps the result) of Marvel’s sleight of hand, that they want/get people to focus on the dollar/market share. Just a classic example of how numbers don’t always tell the entire story.

    Once thing that I felt kinda got glossed over in this otherwise perfect and poignant article, is the fact that the only reason Marvel is even doing well right now, is due to their acquisition of Star Wars.

    More over, I find it hugely ironic, though, that despite their characters being wildly successful in the theaters, the corresponding books for those exact same characters are dwelling at the bottom of the sales charts, and have been ever since the MCU first began.

    It’s too bad that Marvel can’t bring themselves to be honest about how they publish. variant gimmicks and “All New #1’s” are killing the business faster than the 90’s bubble.

    At least the books were fun to read back then.

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