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Comixology Sales Charts: Marvel’s Relaunches Outsold By Final Bendis Issue of Iron Man (Week of 5/23/18)

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For the week of 5/23/18, Justice League: No Justice was the bestselling book on the Comixology charts, but Bendis was getting more digital burn on his farewell to Marvel than Marvel was getting on its relaunches.

Comixology Rank Issue Previous Issue Print Sales Est. Previous Issue Diamond Rank
1
Justice League: No Justice (2018-) Issue #3
N/A
2
The Flash (2016-) Issue #47
45,402
28
3
Detective Comics (2016-) Issue #981
50,049
21
4
Invincible Iron Man (2016-) Issue #600
33,976
51
5
Injustice 2 (2017-) Issue #59
Digital First
6
Star Wars (2015-) Issue #48
59,335
14
7
Star Wars (2015-) Annual Issue #4
See above
8
The Terrifics (2018-) Issue #4
30,134
68
9
Super Sons (2017-) Issue #16
27,667
77
10
Wonder Woman (2016-) Issue #47
34,296
49
11
Hal Jordan and The Green Lantern Corps (2016-) Issue #45
27,871
75
12
Black Panther (2018-) Issue #1
26,345
82
13
Star Wars: Doctor Aphra (2016-) Issue #20
28,888
71
14
X-Men Gold (2017-) Issue #28
37,490
43
15
Hunt For Wolverine: Mystery In Madripoor (2018) Issue #1 (of 4)
138,584*
4
16
Doctor Strange (2015-) Issue #390
24,877
90
17
Champions (2016-) Issue #20
17,922
154
18
Old Man Logan (2016-) Issue #40
37,955
42
19
Infinity Countdown: Darkhawk (2018) Issue #1 (of 4)
67,963*
12
20
Green Lantern: Earth One Vol. 1
2,171
30*

It’s a little hard to put a number on Justice League: No Justice #3.  That whole Snyder-helmed Justice League relaunch is something I’ve been expecting to settle into a readership just below Batman, somewhere between 60K – 90K.  (I generally expect the Bendis Superman to fall in that range, too.)  That’s how it’s broadly behaved with the kickoff miniseries, but it’s a little hard to know just exactly how popular it is.  This week, it’s two notches above Detective on the chart and Detective has been reliably 50K+ in print.  It’s one notch above Flash, which has catapulted Detective this week and perhaps is enjoying the launch of a hot storyline in “Flash War.”  So JL:NJ is probably selling the print equivalent of at least 55K-60K, possibly much higher.  We don’t an upper boundary to measure against.  Suffice it to say, it bodes well for the Justice League suite of ongoing titles.

The #4 book of the week is Invincible Iron Man #600.  The final Bendis comic at Marvel.  (For now anyway.)  As is common, it’s showing up a bit higher than you might expect.  The last few months those last Bendis titles have upticked with what I’ve been calling the Bendis Bounce.  Iron Man #600 is one that’ll probably have a spectacular print total with all the variants and incentives around a #600, but as you’ve figured out in recent weeks, some of those anniversary issues show little to no bounce on the Comixology charts.  This outsold Star Wars, the latest Hunt For Wolverine #1and the relaunch of Black Panther.  Ergo, at least with the digital audience, now that he’s out the door, Bendis seems to be a better draw for Marvel than the relaunches.

Star Wars and the Star Wars Annual slip beneath Injustice this week and it does seem like at least the flagship Star Wars title is declining a bit in digital.

Below the Star Wars titles, there are two questions you need to ask yourself to interpret the rest of the chart:

  • Do you think X-Men: Gold is under-performing in digital?
  • Do you think Old Man Logan is under-performing in digital?

Looking at the rest of the chart, I think the answer is likely yes to both and perhaps the return of the *cough* Middle-Aged Man Logan *cough* character is causing a drop off for Old Man Logan.

Either way, The Terrifics and Super Sons seem to be over-performing in digital, as usual.  Wonder Woman is roughly where you’d expect it.  Hal Jordan is likely up again, and this is not unusual.

Black Panther #1 is the #12 book of the week and one slot above Doctor Aphra.  Now maybe Aphra is over-performing and maybe she isn’t, but that Black Panther performance looks like it’s just the next issue of the series, not a successfully executed jumping on point.  Hopefully the print version is faring better.

Then we have X-Men: Gold, which is likely under-performing in digital and followed by another Hunt for Wolverine #1.  It seems unlikely that Hunt is doing much better than the equivalent of 30K in print.  #15 book of the week at launch.  That’s not the reaction Marvel was hoping for, but I suppose there’s a proud tradition of overextending Wolverine.  That 138K estimate is for the first issue of a different Hunt mini that launched last month, so it’s not really a 1-to-1 comparison, but that sure is a difference in magnitude, isn’t it?

Following that, Doctor Strange is more or less where you’d expect to see it.  Champions seems to be over-performing in digital, but that’s normal.  Old Man Logan looks like it might be crashing in digital.

For Infinity Countdown: Darkhawk, I used last month’s issue of Infinity Countdown as the comparable.  So let’s just say the digital reaction to a Darkhawk tie-in isn’t exactly overwhelming.

Finally,  in the #20 spot, we have a sale item.  Green Lantern: Earth One is an original graphic novel that was released in March and still managed just under 2200 reorders in April.  It probably had something in the neighborhood of 2K downloads at a sale price of $5.99  Reader do love deep discounts on recent releases.  Retailers… not so much.

Methodology and standard disclaimers:

The initial methodology is to compare the current issue on the Comixology top 20 chart (issues pulled the evening of 5/26) with the last issue we have print sales estimates for from the Comichron April chart.

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

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