Last week, Man of Steel took the top spot on the Comixology Bestseller List as whole bunch of new #1s hit the chart.

Comixology Rank Issue Previous Issue Print Sales Est. Previous Issue Diamond Rank
1 Man of Steel (2018-) Issue #3 78,942 9
2 Thor (2018-) Issue #1 N/A (56K)
3 Mister Miracle (2017-) Issue #9 39,326 39-APR
4 The Flash (2016-) Issue #48 53,222 20
5 Darth Vader (2017-) Issue #17 50,612 26
6 Titans Special (2018) Issue #1 N/A
7 Detective Comics (2016-) Issue #982 50,757 25
8 Injustice 2 (2017-) Issue #62 Digital First
9 Plastic Man (2018-) Issue #1 N/A
10 The Magic Order Issue #1 (of 6) N/A
11 Hawkman (2018-) Issue #1 N/A
12 Batman: Prelude to the Wedding: Batgirl vs. Riddler (2018-) Issue #1 N/A (53K?)
13 Hunt For Wolverine: Adamantium Agenda (2018) Issue #2 (of 4) 42,460 36
14 Hal Jordan and The Green Lantern Corps (2016-) Issue #46 27,682 74
15 Wonder Woman (2016-) Issue #48 33,848 54
16 Marvel Two-In-One (2017-) Annual Issue #1 33,844* 55
17 X-Men Blue (2017-) Issue #29 30,138 62
18 Venom (2018-) Issue #2 225,782 2
19 Domino (2018) Issue #3 26,343 82
20 Monstress Issue #17 13,851 156

Man of Steel tops the chart, although once more we’re without an upper boundary to estimate its relative popularity by.  The May print estimates have the first issue at roughly 79K, so it would reasonable to assume it’s somewhere in the print equivalent of 60K-80K, in terms of digital.  The relaunched Thor is #2 on the chart.  The last issue of the previous run was estimated at about 56K, so it would seem prudent to put think it’s somewhere in the equivalency of 56K – 80K relative to print.  Mister Miracle is #3 on the chart and it’s one that’s always sold proportionally better in digital (likely because of how under-ordered the first issue was by many retailers).

The #4 slot is where we get our first real baseline.  Flash did ~53.2K in May and the current storyline seems to have upped its sales, so this would seem about right.  Next we have Darth Vader, which did ~50.6K in print for May and is now the bestselling Star Wars title in print and digital.  Titans Special is at #6, which would seem to be a bit high for a Titans issue, but is billed as a Metal and No Justice tie-in and would seem to reap the rewards.  Then we have Detective, which has almost identical print sales to Darth Vader, so it’s probably safe to assume that VaderTitans and Detective have a relatively tight spacing between them in terms of sales.

Injustice is normally somewhere in the 45K-50K range for print equivalent, and that’s the dividing line for a run of first issues: Plastic Man, The Magic Order, Hawkman and Batman: Prelude to the Wedding: Batgirl vs. Riddler.  These titles are probably in the equivalent range of 40K-49K print.  Interesting that Plastic Man is the top of that pack.  On the bottom end, the Batman wedding special would seem to be performing a bit worse in digital that the print total for May’s Robin-focused special.  It’s also several slots below Detective, but it’s still a good place to be if you think of it as a Batgirl title more than a Bat-Event book.

Hunt for Wolverine: The Adamantium Agenda might be about where it’s supposed to be or it might be under-performing a bit.  Which is a change, because those Hunt for Wolverine’s have looked to be under-performing a lot, previously.

Hal Jordan is over-performing in digital, as is frequently the case.  Wonder Woman, Marvel Two-In-One Annual and X-Men: Blue are all roughly where you’d expect to see them.

Venom, though?  OUCH.  Granted, we’re comparing a digital #2 to a print #1 in all its variants and incentives glory, but…  we’re talking a print first issue ordered in at ~226K and a digital second issue selling like it’s somewhere in the 25K-30K range, print equivalent.  That’s a massive disconnect and probably not even great number for Venom in general.  That’s something to keep an eye on in both digital and print.

Domino is right about where you’d expect to see a ~26K-ish print title and then Monstress wraps up the top 20 list with the usual Image A-list over-performance in digital.

No real happy surprises this week, but that Venom issue sure does chart lower than you’d necessarily expect to see.

Methodology and standard disclaimers:

The initial methodology is to compare the current issue on the Comixology top 20 chart (issues pulled the evening of 6/10) with the last issue we have print sales estimates for from the Comichron May chart, with the exception of the last issue of Mister Miracle being from April.

The conventional wisdom that’s been handed down over the last few years is that he digital audience has more of less the same reading habits as the Direct Market Print audience.  I’ve had multiple publishers tell me that digital sales of new issues are roughly 10-15% of print sales and the titles more or less have the same proportional popularity in digital as in print.  Maybe a couple titles switch places on the sales ranking list, but largely the same.  The bestsellers on the newsstand were not always the same bestsellers as in the Direct Market, so it doesn’t seem like that should necessarily be the case with digital.  There will be a little bit of mismatch because these are more weekly than monthly ranks and it isn’t clear exactly how Comixology defines the reporting periods, but if you look at comics sales, you learn to live with the data available.

Want to learn more about how comics publishing and digital comics work?  Try Todd’s book, Economics of Digital Comics


  1. Todd- quick question regarding the ComiXology sales charts: are they for the US/North America only, or global? The Diamond figures only cover the North American market with the belief being that at least a further 10% is made up from foreign territories such as the UK and Australia.

    If the ComiXology figures are global, that may account for the discrepancies between it and the Diamond figures, as they reflect the global market instead of the US one.

  2. It could have _some_ effect on it, but things like the Image A-list titles and some of the YA titles are more like a 30% – 100% difference from the Diamond estimates. Unless there’s a LOT more overseas purchasing than anyone is willing to admit, that shouldn’t be the primary cause of the differences. Although, I suppose it’s possible that foreign sales are both greater than advertised and askew from the US tastes.

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