by Paul O'BrienThe AVENGERS VS X-MEN crossover continued to dominate Marvel's schedule in June, but the month also saw another high profile release - the SPIDER-MEN miniseries, in which the original Spider-Man meets the new Ultimate Universe version of the character. The Icon imprint also launches a HIT-GIRL miniseries. And other than that, it's a pretty quiet month for new releases, as often tends to be the case in the height of major crossovers. Despite the sales boost from the summer crossover, it was a very close month in terms of market share in the North American direct market, with DC leading Marvel in unit terms by 38.2% to 37.8%, but Marvel leading in retail share by 33.8% to 33.0%. Effectively a tie, then. DC's performance can be attributed in large part to all four BEFORE WATCHMEN titles landing in the top 10 with estimated sales of over 100K each.
By Paul O'BrienPerhaps it's a side effect of the decision to trim the line, but Marvel seem to have gone back to the days when each month had a small number of new launches that they could focus on properly. This month's sole new title is SCARLET SPIDER, and the only major new miniseries is WOLVERINE AND THE X-MEN: ALPHA & OMEGA. There's also WOLVERINE #300, and the second issue of the AvX lead-in mini AVENGERS: X-SANCTION. DC's resurgence continued in January, as once again Marvel faced a fight to be the top publisher in the direct market. In terms of market share, it's really too close to call; DC led in units, by 40% to 38%, while Marvel led in dollars, by 36% to 34%. On the other hand, DC swept the top ten with the fifth issues of their regular titles - some of which are selling in a different league from anything in Marvel's range. It's been a long time since AQUAMAN was outselling the entire Marvel line. Thanks as always to ICV2.com for permission to use these figures.
by Paul O'Brien-- This month, the slow build to AVENGERS VS X-MEN begins with the AVENGERS: X-SANCTION miniseries; and DEFENDERS is relaunched. Both are wisely given a pretty clear run, without other Marvel launches competing for space. Elsewhere, the X-Men, Hulk and Fantastic Four relaunches continue to bed down. And down at the bottom end of the chart, the cancellations continue to mount up. Normal service is resumed, kind of, as Marvel had the largest share of the north American direct market, albeit by a fairly narrow margin - 39% to 38% in units, 34.4% to 33.7% in dollars. But bear in mind, this was a five-week month where DC more or less sat out week five.
With FEAR ITSELF wrapping up, Marvel had several major releases in November - the POINT ONE one-shot, the relaunches of UNCANNY X-MEN and FANTASTIC FOUR, and the first issue of new ongoing title AVENGING SPIDER-MAN.
We've also got the epilogue of FEAR ITSELF, the start of BATTLE SCARS, and a bunch of other "Regenesis" tie-ins from the X-books.
Marvel found itself behind DC for the third straight month in November, though the gap is growing closer. DC led by 40% to 38% in unit share, and 35% to 33% in dollars. And of course, it should be remembered that DC's extra sales don't appear to have come at Marvel's expense; if DC's relaunch has brought any new or lapsed readers into the market, then in theory, that's good for other publishers too - it brings them into everyone's potential market.
Thanks as always to ICV2.com for permission to use these figures.
5. POINT ONE 11/11 One-shot - 113,352
Marvel's top selling comic of the month! Or is it? This book was massively overshipped, with retailers receiving twice the number of copies they'd actually ordered, at no extra cost. Those copies are presumably included in this number - that certainly appears to be Diamond's standard practice, given the odd sales spikes that we've seen when this strategy has been used before.
If that's the case, then the actual orders of this book would be 56,676 - which would have placed the book at number 29 between AMAZING SPIDER-MAN and AVENGERS. Considering the solicitation ("You CANNOT miss this. Catch a tease of the biggest change to the Marvel Universe in over 35 years!") that number would surely have been disappointing, even allowing for the six dollar price tag. The wisdom of pricing a teaser book that high must also be open to question.
3. FEAR ITSELF 04/11 #1 of 7 - 135,746 05/11 #2 of 7 - 105,359 (-22.4%) 06/11 #3 of 7 - 99,501 ( -5.6%) 07/11 #4 of 7 - 93,435 ( -6.1%) 08/11 #5 of 7 - 90,914 ( -2.7%)Levelling out quite comfortably as the series goes on. I'll come to the performance of the tie-in issues later.