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DC Month-to-Month Sales January 2008

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DC COMICS MONTH-TO-MONTH SALES: JANUARY 2008
by Marc-Oliver Frisch

With Justice League of America, DC Comics only had one book selling above 70,000 units in January. As a consequence, the publisher’s average periodical sales saw a steep drop, falling to around 27,000, their lowest level since January 2005. Similarly, average sales of the company’s DC Universe line, which makes up the bulk of their releases, dropped to around 33,000, also the lowest they’ve been in three years. Then again, not much was happening at DC’s mainstream line in January: There just were a couple of Teen Titans spin-off books and new creative teams on Robin and Nightwing. The general consensus right now seems to be that much is hinging on the upcoming Final Crisis blockbuster series for DC’s periodical business. Based on the publisher’s recent performance, it’s hard to disagree.

DC’s Vertigo sublabel, meanwhile, saw the release of Y: The Last Man #60, which marks the conclusion of the imprint’s best-selling periodical. Despite a moderate increase for the final issue, however, average Vertigo sales dropped to yet another historical low in January. At DC Comics’ WildStorm department, things look a little bit more encouraging. With the licensed books World of WarCraft and Freddy vs. Jason vs. Ash, WildStorm finally seem to have two much-needed breakout titles in their stable again. On the other hand, WildStorm: Revelations, the latest attempt to breathe new life into the flagging WildStorm Universe line of superhero titles, is being met with total apathy. See below for the details, and please consider the disclaimers at the bottom 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.

—–

11 - JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA
01/2002: JLA #62            --  63,345* 
01/2003: JLA #77            --  60,405*
01/2004: JLA #92            --  58,008
01/2005: JLA #110           --  64,094
01/2006: JLA #124           --  74,069
--------------------------------------
01/2007: --
02/2007: --
03/2007: Justice League #6  -- 130,099 (- 1.8%) [131,754]
04/2007: Justice League #7  -- 154,984 (+19.1%)
04/2007: Justice League #8  -- 130,365 (-15.9%)
05/2007: Justice League #9  -- 129,285 (- 0.8%)
06/2007: Justice League #10 -- 129,265 (- 0.0%)
07/2007: Justice League #11 -- 122,823 (- 5.0%)
08/2007: Justice League #12 -- 131,420 (+ 7.0%) [137,181]
09/2007: Justice League #13 -- 119,471 (- 9.1%) [124,006]
10/2007: Justice League #14 -- 101,763 (-14.8%)
11/2007: --
12/2007: Justice League #15 -- 100,234 (- 1.5%)
12/2007: Justice League #16 --  95,557 (- 4.7%)
01/2008: Justice League #17 --  94,712 (- 0.9%)
----------------
6 months: -22.9%
1 year  :   n.a.
2 years : +27.9%

DC’s highest-selling monthly title seems to have found its level upwards of 90k. That’s still a very good level for Justice League of America, historically.

For the record, the lead story in issue #17 was by guest writer Alan Burnett, who also handles the lead story for #18 and the whole of #19. The name change in the solicitations doesn’t seem to have had much of an impact on the orders, though.

And that’s the only DC Comics release selling more than 70,000 units in the North American direct market in January, according to ICv2.com‘s estimates. In theory, Justice Society of America, All Star Superman and All Star Batman also fall in the area between 100,000 and 75,000 units. But the latter two don’t come out regularly, and Justice Society was a week late and missed its January shipping date, so this is what we’re left with.

As far as new books which can realistically be expected to shift around – or even close to – 100,000 copies are concerned, well… there’s nothing on the agenda until Grant Morrison and J.G. Jones’ blockbuster series Final Crisis launches in May, it seems.

—–

19/20/21/23/24 - COUNTDOWN TO FINAL CRISIS
05/2007: Countdown #51       -- 91,083
05/2007: Countdown #50       -- 83,752 (- 8.1%) [85,564]
05/2007: Countdown #49       -- 81,484 (- 2.7%) [83,188]
05/2007: Countdown #48       -- 79,810 (- 2.1%) [81,828]
06/2007: Countdown #47       -- 77,504 (- 2.9%)
06/2007: Countdown #46       -- 76,362 (- 1.5%)
06/2007: Countdown #45       -- 74,918 (- 1.9%)
06/2007: Countdown #44       -- 73,971 (- 1.3%)
07/2007: Countdown #43       -- 73,912 (- 0.1%)
07/2007: Countdown #42       -- 73,116 (- 1.1%)
07/2007: Countdown #41       -- 72,621 (- 0.7%)
07/2007: Countdown #40       -- 72,102 (- 0.7%)
08/2007: Countdown #39       -- 88,021 (+22.1%)
08/2007: Countdown #38       -- 87,260 (- 0.9%)
08/2007: Countdown #37       -- 86,405 (- 1.0%)
08/2007: Countdown #36       -- 85,536 (- 1.0%)
08/2007: Countdown #35       -- 84,350 (- 1.4%)
09/2007: Countdown #34       -- 82,537 (- 2.2%)
09/2007: Countdown #33       -- 81,744 (- 1.0%)
09/2007: Countdown #32       -- 81,097 (- 0.8%)
09/2007: Countdown #31       -- 80,127 (- 1.2%)
10/2007: Countdown #30       -- 78,222 (- 2.4%)
10/2007: Countdown #29       -- 77,755 (- 0.6%)
10/2007: Countdown #28       -- 77,003 (- 1.0%)
10/2007: Countdown #27       -- 76,401 (- 0.8%)
10/2007: Countdown to FC #26 -- 75,514 (- 1.2%)
11/2007: Countdown to FC #25 -- 74,668 (- 1.1%)
11/2007: Countdown to FC #24 -- 74,047 (- 0.8%)
11/2007: Countdown to FC #23 -- 73,241 (- 1.1%)
11/2007: Countdown to FC #22 -- 72,765 (- 0.7%)
12/2007: Countdown to FC #21 -- 71,524 (- 1.7%)
12/2007: Countdown to FC #20 -- 71,331 (- 0.3%)
12/2007: Countdown to FC #19 -- 70,805 (- 0.7%)
12/2007: Countdown to FC #18 -- 70,619 (- 0.3%)
01/2008: Countdown to FC #17 -- 69,587 (- 1.5%)
01/2008: Countdown to FC #16 -- 69,629 (+ 0.1%)
01/2008: Countdown to FC #15 -- 69,504 (- 0.2%)
01/2008: Countdown to FC #14 -- 68,770 (- 1.1%)
01/2008: Countdown to FC #13 -- 68,099 (- 1.0%)
----------------
6 months: - 5.2%

You know the drill: If Countdown to Final Crisis hadn’t been hyped as DC’s big event title of the year, these would be great numbers. But it was, so these sales may be very consistent, but they’re also at a disappointing level – not to mention its endless tail of lukewarmly performing spin-off titles.

The publisher’s next weekly title is already in the pipeline, and to DC’s credit, they seem to be aware of the reasons why Countdown didn’t work out quite as well as its predecessor 52, commercially. Whether or not retailers and readers are willing to give them another shot, we’re going to find out.

—–

22 - BATMAN
01/2002: Batman #599 --  47,209*
01/2003: Batman #611 -- 120,042*
01/2004: Batman #623 --  89,051 [102,319]
01/2005: Batman #636 --  58,630 [ 60,528]
01/2006: Batman #649 --  62,379 [ 64,645]
-------------------------------
01/2007: Batman #662 --  72,499 (- 4.0%)
02/2007: Batman #663 --  83,167 (+14.7%)
03/2007: Batman #664 --  80,497 (- 3.2%) [82,107]
04/2007: --
05/2007: Batman #665 --  80,122 (- 0.5%)
06/2007: --
07/2007: Batman #666 --  83,781 (+ 4.6%)
08/2007: Batman #667 --  78,578 (- 6.2%) [82,418]
08/2007: Batman #668 --  76,962 (- 2.1%)
09/2007: Batman #669 --  73,471 (- 4.5%)
10/2007: Batman #670 --  76,890 (+ 4.7%) [86,049] 
11/2007: Batman #671 --  76,764 (- 0.2%) [80,440]
12/2007: Batman #672 --  71,189 (- 7.3%)
01/2008: Batman #673 --  69,234 (- 2.8%)
----------------
6 months: -17.4%
1 year  : - 4.5%
2 years : +11.0%

Batman sales continue to slip away.

All hope is not lost, though. Come April, a major storyline titled “Batman R.I.P.” gets underway, so perhaps DC are hoping to infuse the book’s numbers with new life by way of a mainstream press blizzard – after all, it worked for the competition’s Captain America last year, and Batman is a rather more recognizable character.

And for anyone who didn’t get the memo that the recent “Resurrection of Ra’s al Ghul” crossover was a big success: Between Nightwing #138 and #139, Detective Comics #838 and #839, Batman #671 and Robin #169, the storyline sold an additional 23,795 units in reorders in January.

—–

25 - GREEN LANTERN
01/2002: Green Lantern #146 --  32,551*
01/2003: Green Lantern #158 --  37,033*
01/2004: Green Lantern #173 --  30,099
01/2005: --
01/2006: Green Lantern #7   --  84,723
--------------------------------------
01/2007: Green Lantern #16  --  66,105 (- 5.8%)
02/2007: Green Lantern #17  --  62,018 (- 6.2%)
03/2007: Green Lantern #18  --  61,661 (- 0.6%)
04/2007: --
05/2007: Green Lantern #19  --  62,439 (+ 1.3%)
05/2007: Green Lantern #20  --  60,556 (- 3.0%)
06/2007: --
07/2007: Green Lantern #21  --  81,929 (+35.3%) [93,052]
08/2007: Green Lantern #22  --  77,916 (- 4.9%) [82,980]
09/2007: Green Lantern #23  --  79,084 (+ 1.5%) [82,168]
10/2007: Green Lantern #24  --  78,650 (- 0.6%)
11/2007: --
12/2007: Green Lantern #25  --  90,545 (+15.1%)
12/2007: Green Lantern #26  --  69,986 (-22.7%)
01/2008: Green Lantern #27  --  67,600 (- 3.4%)
----------------
6 months: -17.5% 
1 year  : + 2.3%
2 years : -20.2%

Sales continue to fall back towards the level Green Lantern sold at prior to the “Sinestro Corps War” story. It’s still a good 6,000 unit ahead of it, though, and it’s not dropping any faster than it was before, so the sales-boosting effect of the crossover continues to be unusually sustaining – also see comments on Green Lantern Corps, which shows a similar picture. Batman and Detective Comics, by contrast, dropped right back to their previous levels after the recent “Resurrection of Ra’s al Ghul” crossover.

Notably, the current storyline is also marked as being part of “the build-up to Final Crisis” in the solicitation copy, but that doesn’t seem to have much of an impact on sales. While it’s too early to draw any conclusions from that, particularly given the spillover effect from “Sinestro Corp War,” I guess there is a certain danger of the audience being tired of Final Crisis before it’s even properly begun – especially given the lackluster performance of Countdown.

—–

30 - ACTION COMICS
01/2002: Action Comics #787 -- 35,898*
01/2003: Action Comics #799 -- 31,727*
01/2004: Action Comics #811 -- 33,920 [35,871]
01/2005: Action Comics #823 -- 36,638
01/2006: Action Comics #835 -- 41,114
-------------------------------------
01/2007: --
02/2007: Action Comics #846 -- 64,554 (- 3.3%) [66,349]
03/2007: Action Comics #847 -- 64,679 (+ 0.2%)
04/2007: Action Comics #848 -- 62,216 (- 3.8%)
05/2007: Action Comics #849 -- 53,610 (-13.8%)
05/2007: Action Comics #850 -- 56,166 (+ 4.8%)
06/2007: --
07/2007: Action Comics #851 -- 76,500 (+36.2%)
07/2007: Action Comics #852 -- 50,294 (-34.3%)
08/2007: Action Comics #853 -- 49,694 (- 1.2%)
08/2007: Action Comics #854 -- 48,455 (- 2.5%)
08/2007: Action Comics #855 -- 55,536 (+14.6%)
09/2007: --
10/2007: Action Comics #856 -- 53,815 (- 3.1%)
10/2007: Action Comics #857 -- 51,401 (- 4.5%)
10/2007: Action Comics #858 -- 54,596 (+ 6.2%) [59,031]
11/2007: Action Comics #859 -- 54,572 (- 0.0%)
12/2007: Action Comics #860 -- 56,254 (+ 3.1%)
01/2008: Action Comics #861 -- 56,093 (- 0.3%)
----------------
6 months: -11.5%
1 year  :   n.a.
2 years : +36.4%

The “Superman and the Legion of Super-Heroes” storyline by writer Geoff Johns and artist Gary Frank maintains its rock-solid sales level. Like previous issues in the arc, the January issue was promoted with a 1-for-10 variant cover edition – meaning that retailers had to order ten copies of the regular comic to be able to buy one variant cover edition.

—–

32 - TEEN TITANS
01/2002: Young Justice #41 -- 24,889*
01/2003: Young Justice #53 -- 22,424*
01/2004: Teen Titans #7    -- 68,142 [69,428]
01/2005: Teen Titans #20   -- 65,953 [67,781]
01/2006: Teen Titans #31   -- 65,223
------------------------------------
01/2007: Teen Titans #43   -- 60,290 (+ 0.2%) [62,560]
02/2007: --
03/2007: Teen Titans #44   -- 61,572 (+ 2.1%)
04/2007: Teen Titans #45   -- 61,051 (- 0.9%)
05/2007: Teen Titans #46   -- 61,478 (+ 0.7%)
05/2007: Teen Titans #47   -- 63,673 (+ 3.6%)
06/2007: Teen Titans #48   -- 60,786 (- 4.5%)
07/2007: Teen Titans #49   -- 59,258 (- 2.5%)
08/2007: Teen Titans #50   -- 69,620 (+17.5%)
09/2007: Teen Titans #51   -- 57,851 (-16.9%)
10/2007: Teen Titans #52   -- 55,176 (- 4.6%)
11/2007: Teen Titans #53   -- 54,387 (- 1.4%)
12/2007: Teen Titans #54   -- 53,790 (- 1.1%)
01/2008: Teen Titans #55   -- 52,376 (- 2.6%)
----------------
6 months: -11.6%
1 year  : -13.1%
2 years : -19.7%

Teen Titans numbers keep declining, slowly but surely.

—–

33 - SUPERMAN/BATMAN
01/2004: --
01/2005: --
01/2006: --
---------------------------------------
01/2007: --
02/2007: --
03/2007: Superman/Batman #32 --  77,905 (- 4.7%)
04/2007: Superman/Batman #33 --  74,807 (- 4.0%)
04/2007: Superman/Batman #34 --  71,278 (- 4.7%)
05/2007: Superman/Batman #35 --  68,160 (- 4.4%)
06/2007: Superman/Batman #36 --  65,866 (- 3.4%)
06/2007: Superman/Batman #37 --  72,635 (+10.3%)
07/2007: Superman/Batman #38 --  67,695 (- 6.8%)
08/2007: Superman/Batman #39 --  59,622 (-11.9%)
09/2007: Superman/Batman #40 --  57,410 (- 3.7%)
10/2007: Superman/Batman #41 --  54,928 (- 4.3%)
11/2007: Superman/Batman #42 --  54,341 (- 1.1%)
11/2007: Superman/Batman #43 --  53,489 (- 1.6%)
12/2007: Superman/Batman #44 --  53,057 (- 0.8%)
01/2008: Superman/Batman #45 --  52,119 (- 1.8%)
----------------
6 months: -23.0%
1 year  :   n.a.
2 years :   n.a.

The book has existed since late 2003, but apparently 2008 was the first year it managed to ship in January. That makes you wonder whether DC were jesting when they said their editors’ calendars only had nine months on them.

But I digress. Superman/Batman sales have settled into a standard decline.

—–

35 - DETECTIVE COMICS
01/2002: Detective Comics #766 -- 49,607*
01/2003: Detective Comics #778 -- 38,293*
01/2004: Detective Comics #790 -- 35,505
01/2005: Detective Comics #802 -- 40,842
01/2006: Detective Comics #815 -- 35,569
----------------------------------------
01/2007: --
02/2007: Detective Comics #828 -- 55,206 (+ 0.3%)
03/2007: Detective Comics #829 -- 52,943 (- 4.1%)
03/2007: Detective Comics #830 -- 52,395 (- 1.0%)
04/2007: Detective Comics #831 -- 56,284 (+ 7.4%)
05/2007: Detective Comics #832 -- 51,727 (- 8.1%)
06/2007: Detective Comics #833 -- 54,104 (+ 4.6%)
07/2007: Detective Comics #834 -- 53,461 (- 1.2%)
08/2007: Detective Comics #835 -- 50,479 (- 5.6%)
09/2007: Detective Comics #836 -- 49,475 (- 2.0%)
10/2007: Detective Comics #837 -- 51,363 (+ 3.8%)
11/2007: Detective Comics #838 -- 60,267 (+17.3%) [65,293]
12/2007: Detective Comics #839 -- 62,297 (+ 3.4%) [65,773]
01/2008: Detective Comics #840 -- 51,579 (-17.2%)
----------------
6 months: - 3.5%
1 year  :   n.a.
2 years : +45.0%

With its first post-“Resurrection” issue, Detective Comics drops right back to its previous level. Speaking of “The Resurrection of Ra’s al Ghul,” issues #838 and #839 both charted again in January, selling another 5,026 and 3,476 units, respectively.

—–

40 - SUPERMAN
01/2002: Superman #178 --  40,553*
01/2003: --
01/2004: Superman #201 --  35,986 [37,155]
01/2005: --
01/2006: Superman #225 --  61,768
---------------------------------
01/2007: Superman #658 --  60,682 (- 2.6%)
02/2007: Superman #659 --  58,258 (- 4.0%)
03/2007: Superman #660 --  57,169 (- 1.9%)
04/2007: Superman #661 --  55,738 (- 2.5%)
05/2007: Superman #662 --  55,236 (- 0.9%)
06/2007: Superman #663 --  53,384 (- 3.4%)
07/2007: Superman #664 --  52,313 (- 2.0%)
07/2007: Superman #665 --  51,936 (- 0.7%)
08/2007: Superman #666 --  53,566 (+ 3.1%)
09/2007: Superman #667 --  48,608 (- 9.3%)
10/2007: Superman #668 --  47,948 (- 1.4%)
10/2007: Superman #669 --  47,271 (- 1.4%)
11/2007: Superman #670 --  48,407 (+ 2.4%)
12/2007: Superman #671 --  45,290 (- 6.4%)
01/2008: Superman #672 --  44,656 (- 1.4%)
----------------
6 months: -14.3%
1 year  : -26.4% 
2 years : -27.7%

Superman sales seem back in a standard decline. DC have announced writer Kurt Busiek’s departure after issue #675, meanwhile, to make room for his new weekly title.

—–

41 - GREEN LANTERN CORPS
01/2006: GLC: Recharge #4 of 5   -- 59,952 [61,540]
------------------------------------------
01/2007: Green Lantern Corps #8  -- 36,924 (- 4.7%)
02/2007: Green Lantern Corps #9  -- 34,897 (- 5.5%)
03/2007: Green Lantern Corps #10 -- 34,227 (- 1.9%)
04/2007: Green Lantern Corps #11 -- 33,506 (- 2.1%)
05/2007: Green Lantern Corps #12 -- 33,267 (- 0.7%)
06/2007: Green Lantern Corps #13 -- 32,792 (- 1.4%)
07/2007: Green Lantern Corps #14 -- 45,393 (+38.4%) [61,493]
08/2007: Green Lantern Corps #15 -- 51,572 (+13.2%) [57,751]
09/2007: --
10/2007: Green Lantern Corps #16 -- 60,862 (+18.0%)
10/2007: Green Lantern Corps #17 -- 59,223 (- 2.7%)
11/2007: Green Lantern Corps #18 -- 55,838 (- 5.7%) [59,049]
12/2007: Green Lantern Corps #19 -- 50,516 (- 9.5%)
01/2008: Green Lantern Corps #20 -- 44,607 (-11.7%)
----------------
6 months: - 1.7%
1 year  : +20.8%
2 years : -25.6%

The numbers take another big step down, but, as mentioned earlier, they remain considerably ahead of pre-“Sinestro Corps War” levels.

—–

46 - TEEN TITANS: YEAR ONE
01/2008: Teen Titans: Year One #1 of 6 -- 43,057

After November’s Teen Titans East Special, DC rolled out another couple of Teen Titans spin-off books in January. They’re followed by new Johnny DC title Tiny Titans in February and a second ongoing DC Universe book called Titans in April. Quite why there’s such a flood of material devoted to the property right now, I’m open to suggestions.

Anyway, Teen Titans: Year One, by writer Amy Wolfram – which I’m sure only looks like it might be a clever anagram of “Marv Wolfman” – and artist Karl Kerschl, is debuting with great numbers.

—–

48 - WONDER WOMAN
01/2002: Wonder Woman #178 --  28,967*
01/2003: Wonder Woman #188 --  23,096*
01/2004: Wonder Woman #200 --  38,007 [43,800]
01/2005: Wonder Woman #212 --  25,610
01/2006: Wonder Woman #225 --  42,661
-------------------------------------
01/2007: --
02/2007: Wonder Woman #4   --  69,860 (- 9.3%)
03/2007: Wonder Woman #5   --  64,414 (- 7.8%)
03/2007: Wonder Woman #6   --  62,458 (- 3.0%)
04/2007: Wonder Woman #7   --  60,168 (- 3.7%)
04/2007: Wonder Woman #8   --  58,772 (- 2.3%)
05/2007: Wonder Woman #9   --  58,561 (- 0.4%)
06/2007: Wonder Woman #10  --  54,472 (- 7.0%)
07/2007: Wonder Woman #11  --  52,983 (- 2.7%)
08/2007: Wonder Woman #12  --  50,880 (- 4.0%)
09/2007: --
10/2007: Wonder Woman #13  --  48,385 (- 4.9%)
11/2007: Wonder Woman #14  --  53,090 (+ 9.7%)
12/2007: Wonder Woman #15  --  44,628 (-15.9%)
01/2008: Wonder Woman #16  --  42,897 (- 3.9%)
-----------------
6 months: - 19.0%
1 year  :   n.a.
2 years : +  0.6%
50 - THE FLASH
01/2002: Flash #182     --  26,583*
01/2003: Flash #194     --  27,562*
01/2004: Flash #206     --  33,367
01/2005: Flash #217     --  49,771
01/2005: Flash #218     --  41,668 [43,914]
01/2006: Flash #230     --  40,571 [42,392]
----------------------------------
01/2007: Flash: FMA #8  --  50,967 (-  4.9%)
02/2007: Flash: FMA #9  --  47,214 (-  7.4%)
03/2007: Flash: FMA #10 --  46,133 (-  2.3%)
04/2007: Flash: FMA #11 --  46,963 (+  1.8%)
05/2007: Flash: FMA #12 --  47,809 (+  1.8%)
06/2007: Flash: FMA #13 --  76,860 (+ 60.8%) [82,767]
07/2007: All Flash #1   --  78,955 (+  2.7%)
08/2007: Flash #231     --  72,898 (-  7.7%)
09/2007: Flash #232     --  56,969 (- 21.9%)
10/2007: Flash #233     --  51,152 (- 10.2%)
11/2007: Flash #234     --  46,435 (-  9.2%)
12/2007: Flash #235     --  43,788 (-  5.7%)
01/2008: Flash #236     --  41,464 (-  5.3%)
----------------
6 months: -47.5%
1 year  : -18.7%
2 years : + 2.2%
54 - SUPERGIRL
01/2002: Supergirl #66 --  20,262*
01/2003: Supergirl #78 --  22,508*
01/2006: --
---------------------------------
01/2007: --
02/2007: Supergirl #14 --  52,977 (- 6.5%)
03/2007: Supergirl #15 --  51,083 (- 3.6%)
04/2007: Supergirl #16 --  51,641 (+ 1.1%)
05/2007: Supergirl #17 --  50,429 (- 2.4%)
06/2007: Supergirl #18 --  50,279 (- 0.3%)
07/2007: Supergirl #19 --  48,576 (- 3.4%)
08/2007: Supergirl #20 --  46,862 (- 3.5%)
09/2007: Supergirl #21 --  44,656 (- 4.7%)
10/2007: Supergirl #22 --  41,758 (- 6.5%)
11/2007: Supergirl #23 --  45,460 (+ 8.9%)
12/2007: Supergirl #24 --  37,922 (-16.6%)
01/2008: Supergirl #25 --  36,459 (- 3.9%)
----------------
6 months: -24.9%
1 year  :   n.a.
2 years :   n.a.

The Flash, Wonder Woman and Supergirl keep shredding units at a dire rate. All three titles had shiny new launches debuting with sales well beyond the 100,000 mark in the not too distant past, we recall. Something has been going wrong.

Nor have the recent creative team changes been able to stem the bleeding, for that matter. For The Flash, the January issue was the last by writer Mark Waid, which may give retailers further cause to slash their orders.

—–

55 - BOOSTER GOLD
08/2007: Booster Gold #1  -- 53,689          [57,811]
09/2007: Booster Gold #2  -- 47,102 (-12.3%)
10/2007: Booster Gold #3  -- 39,374 (-16.4%)
11/2007: Booster Gold #4  -- 37,683 (- 4.3%)
12/2007: Booster Gold #5  -- 38,228 (+ 1.5%)
01/2008: Booster Gold #6  -- 36,292 (- 5.1%)

This five-percent drop doesn’t look great at this stage, but overall, Booster Gold is still doing well for a book about a C-list character.

—–

59 - GREEN ARROW/BLACK CANARY
01/2002: Green Arrow #12  -- 75,978*
01/2003: Green Arrow #21  -- 52,554*
01/2004: Green Arrow #34  -- 35,986
01/2005: Green Arrow #46  -- 32,469
01/2006: Green Arrow #58  -- 30,990
-----------------------------------
01/2007: Green Arrow #70  -- 31,798 (- 1.4%)
02/2007: Green Arrow #71  -- 31,470 (- 1.0%)
03/2007: Green Arrow #72  -- 31,144 (- 1.0%)
04/2007: Green Arrow #73  -- 30,652 (- 1.6%)
05/2007: Green Arrow #74  -- 30,751 (+ 0.3%)
06/2007: Green Arrow #75  -- 35,022 (+13.9%)
07/2007: Year One #1 of 6 -- 37,090 (+ 5.9%)
07/2007: Year One #2 of 6 -- 32,222 (-13.1%) [34,962]
08/2007: Year One #3 of 6 -- 32,971 (+ 2.3%)
08/2007: Year One #4 of 6 -- 31,885 (- 3.3%)
09/2007: Year One #5 of 6 -- 31,504 (- 1.2%)
10/2007: Year One #6 of 6 -- 30,943 (- 1.8%)
10/2007: Arrow/Canary #1  -- 52,183 (+68.6%)
11/2007: Arrow/Canary #2  -- 42,827 (-17.9%)
12/2007: Arrow/Canary #3  -- 40,321 (- 5.9%)
01/2008: Arrow/Canary #4  -- 35,039 (-13.1%)
----------------
6 months: + 1.1%
1 year  : +10.2%
2 years : +13.1%

Well, that’s quite a horrible drop, isn’t it? Green Arrow/Black Canary #4 was the first issue without a variant cover edition to boost sales on its side, and sales duly respond. The book is barely 5,000 units ahead of the solo Green Arrow title now – not counting the final issue, mind you – and it’s yet to find its level. This isn’t a good omen.

—–

60 - TEEN TITANS: THE LOST ANNUAL
01/2008: Teen Titans: The Lost Annual -- 34,970

Teen Titans: The Lost Annual is a $ 4.99 special written by the late Bob Haney, with art by Jay Stephens and Mike Allred. I’d say these are pretty good numbers for this type of book.

—–

64 - THE LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES
01/2002: Legion #4            -- 24,416*
01/2003: Legion #16           -- 23,744*
01/2004: Legion #29           -- 24,908
01/2005: Legion of SH #2      -- 42,261 [48,584]
01/2006: Legion of SH #13     -- 32,730
---------------------------------------
01/2007: Supergirl & LoSH #26 -- 32,342 (- 2.8%)
02/2007: Supergirl & LoSH #27 -- 31,387 (- 3.0%)
03/2007: --
04/2007: Supergirl & LoSH #28 -- 31,525 (+ 0.4%)
04/2007: Supergirl & LoSH #29 -- 30,906 (- 2.0%)
05/2007: Supergirl & LoSH #30 -- 30,767 (- 0.5%)  
06/2007: Supergirl & LoSH #31 -- 30,385 (- 1.2%)
07/2007: Supergirl & LoSH #32 -- 29,826 (- 1.8%)
08/2007: Supergirl & LoSH #33 -- 29,315 (- 1.7%)
09/2007: Supergirl & LoSH #34 -- 28,294 (- 3.5%)
10/2007: Supergirl & LoSH #35 -- 27,370 (- 3.3%)
11/2007: Supergirl & LoSH #36 -- 26,814 (- 2.0%)
12/2007: Legion of SH #37     -- 45,803 (+70.8%)
01/2008: Legion of SH #38     -- 33,045 (-27.9%)
----------------
6 months: +10.8%
1 year  : + 2.2%
2 years : + 1.0%

After December’s gigantic increase for the new creative team’s arrival, Legion of Super-Heroes sees a gigantic drop in January. Once again, the only clue provided by the solicitation copy is that, contrary to issue #37, the January issue was not promoted with a variant cover edition. Either way, sales are still decently ahead of the book’s previous level, so whether or not writer Jim Shooter’s return is a commercial success will depend on the next few months.

—–

66 - NIGHTWING
01/2002: Nightwing #65  -- 41,398*
01/2003: Nightwing #77  -- 29,278*
01/2004: Nightwing #89  -- 28,835
01/2005: Nightwing #101 -- 38,098 [41,243]
01/2005: Nightwing #102 -- 36,093 [40,271]
01/2006: Nightwing #116 -- 35,113 [37,851]
---------------------------------
01/2007: Nightwing #128 -- 33,930 (- 2.8%)
02/2007: Nightwing #129 -- 32,651 (- 3.8%)
03/2007: Nightwing #130 -- 31,788 (- 2.6%)
04/2007: Nightwing #131 -- 31,530 (- 0.8%)
05/2007: Nightwing #132 -- 30,807 (- 2.3%)
06/2007: Nightwing #133 -- 30,623 (- 0.6%)
07/2007: Nightwing #134 -- 30,228 (- 1.3%)
08/2007: Nightwing #135 -- 29,923 (- 1.0%)
09/2007: Nightwing #136 -- 29,256 (- 2.2%)
10/2007: Nightwing #137 -- 28,363 (- 3.1%)
11/2007: Nightwing #138 -- 46,757 (+64.9%) [52,282]
12/2007: Nightwing #139 -- 49,291 (+ 5.4%) [52,607]
01/2008: Nightwing #140 -- 32,305 (-34.5%)
----------------
6 months: + 6.9%
1 year  : - 4.8%
2 years : - 8.0%

The first post-“Resurrection” issue of Nightwing stays around 4k ahead of the book’s previous level. Given that the crossover had no lasting effect on the sales of Batman or Detective Comics, the still slightly increased level is presumably due to the new creative team of writer Peter J. Tomasi and artist Rags Morales.

“Resurrection of Ra’s al Ghul” crossover issues #138 and #139 made the chart again shifting another 5,525 and 3,316 units in January, meanwhile.

—–

69 - WORLD OF WARCRAFT (WildStorm)
11/2007: World of WarCraft #1  -- 44,508          [49,271]
12/2007: World of WarCraft #2  -- 32,740 (-34.9%) [36,340]
01/2008: World of WarCraft #3  -- 31,183 (- 4.8%)

Despite the sharp initial second-issue drop, World of WarCraft appears to be finding its level very fast, as of January. Additionally, the two previous issues both made the chart again, selling an additional 4,763 and 3,600 units, respectively. WildStorm finally seem to have another hit at their hands.

—–

71 - DEATH OF THE NEW GODS
10/2007: Death of the New Gods #1 of 8 -- 46,670
10/2007: Death of the New Gods #2 of 8 -- 35,681 (-23.6%)
11/2007: Death of the New Gods #3 of 8 -- 32,655 (- 8.5%)
12/2007: Death of the New Gods #4 of 8 -- 31,914 (- 2.3%)
01/2008: Death of the New Gods #5 of 8 -- 30,996 (- 2.9%)

The highest-selling of the gamut of Countdown and 52 spin-off books in January, Death of the New Gods is now the only one among the bunch with sales above 30k.

—–

73 - ROBIN
01/2002: Robin #98  -- 34,717*
01/2003: Robin #110 -- 23,180*
01/2004: Robin #122 -- 26,413 [27,397]
01/2005: Robin #134 -- 32,850
01/2006: Robin #146 -- 29,499 [31,851]
-----------------------------
01/2007: Robin #158 -- 29,464 (-  3.6%)
02/2007: Robin #159 -- 28,210 (-  4.3%)
03/2007: Robin #160 -- 27,659 (-  2.0%)
04/2007: Robin #161 -- 27,180 (-  1.7%)
05/2007: Robin #162 -- 26,801 (-  1.4%)
06/2007: Robin #163 -- 26,284 (-  1.9%)
07/2007: Robin #164 -- 25,955 (-  1.3%)
08/2007: Robin #165 -- 25,397 (-  2.2%)
09/2007: Robin #166 -- 24,877 (-  2.1%)
10/2007: Robin #167 -- 24,625 (-  1.0%)
11/2007: Robin #168 -- 50,672 (+105.8%) [57,442]
12/2007: Robin #169 -- 48,665 (-  4.0%) [51,441]
01/2008: Robin #170 -- 30,048 (- 38.3%)
----------------
6 months: +15.8%
1 year  : + 2.0%
2 years : + 1.9%

Similar to Nightwing, Robin also stays ahead of its pre-“Resurrection” numbers. I suspect it’s due to the new creative team of writer Chuck Dixon – who also wrote the first 100 issues of the title – and artist Chris Batista.

Issue #169 made the chart again selling another 2,776 copies in January, meanwhile.

—–

77 - BLACK ADAM: THE DARK AGE
08/2007: Black Adam: The Dark Age #1 of 6 -- 51,788
09/2007: Black Adam: The Dark Age #2 of 6 -- 36,758 (-29.0%)
10/2007: Black Adam: The Dark Age #3 of 6 -- 33,380 (- 9.2%)
11/2007: Black Adam: The Dark Age #4 of 6 -- 31,588 (- 5.4%)
12/2007: Black Adam: The Dark Age #5 of 6 -- 30,405 (- 3.8%)
01/2008: Black Adam: The Dark Age #6 of 6 -- 28,905 (- 4.9%)

A 52 spin-off, Black Adam: The Dark Age is declining rather quickly.

—–

80 - Y: THE LAST MAN (Vertigo)
01/2003: Y: The Last Man #7  -- 20,719*
01/2004: Y: The Last Man #18 -- 26,341
01/2005: Y: The Last Man #30 -- 25,744
01/2006: Y: The Last Man #41 -- 25,931
--------------------------------------
01/2007: Y: The Last Man #53 -- 25,375 (- 0.2%)
02/2007: Y: The Last Man #54 -- 25,374 (- 0.0%)
03/2007: Y: The Last Man #55 -- 25,300 (- 0.3%)
04/2007: --
05/2007: Y: The Last Man #56 -- 25,759 (+ 1.8%)
06/2007: --
07/2007: Y: The Last Man #57 -- 25,436 (- 1.3%)
08/2007: --
09/2007: Y: The Last Man #58 -- 25,539 (+ 0.4%)
10/2007: --
11/2007: Y: The Last Man #59 -- 25,409 (- 0.5%)
12/2007: --
01/2008: Y: The Last Man #60 -- 28,434 (+11.9%)
----------------
6 months: +11.8%
1 year  : +12.1%
2 years : + 9.7%

Having run its natural course, Y: The Last Man concluded in January after a five-and-a-half-year run – and neatly so, as the first-month sales of the final issue are the highest to date since Diamond began releasing information on actual sales in March 2003.
It’s been a tremendously successful book for Vertigo, certainly. Y was their best-selling periodical for most of its run, and, even more importantly in this case, it’s also been selling boatloads of collections. While they now have another complete story to put next to The Invisibles, Preacher or Transmetropolitan in their library, though, the book’s absence will leave a big gap in Vertigo’s periodical business.

—–

84 - SALVATION RUN
11/2007: Salvation Run #1 of 7 -- 40,531
12/2007: Salvation Run #2 of 7 -- 28,938 (-28.6%)
12/2007: Salvation Run #3 of 7 -- 26,828 (- 7.3%)
85 - 52 AFTERMATH: THE FOUR HORSEMEN
08/2007: The Four Horsemen #1 of 6 -- 48,932
09/2007: The Four Horsemen #2 of 6 -- 37,764 (-22.8%)
10/2007: The Four Horsemen #3 of 6 -- 32,642 (-13.6%)
11/2007: The Four Horsemen #4 of 6 -- 29,784 (- 8.8%)
12/2007: The Four Horsemen #5 of 6 -- 27,949 (- 6.2%)
01/2008: The Four Horsemen #6 of 6 -- 26,350 (- 5.7%)
86/98 - COUNTDOWN TO MYSTERY
09/2007: Countdown to Mystery #1 of 8 -- 37,235
10/2007: Countdown to Mystery #2 of 8 -- 29,664 (-20.3%)
11/2007: Countdown to Mystery #3 of 8 -- 27,428 (- 7.5%)
12/2007: --
01/2008: Countdown to Mystery #4 of 8 -- 25,782 (- 6.0%)
01/2008: Countdown to Mystery #5 of 8 -- 22,979 (-10.9%)
87 - COUNTDOWN TO ADVENTURE
08/2007: Countdown to Adventure #1 of 8 -- 42,883
09/2007: Countdown to Adventure #2 of 8 -- 34,561 (-19.4%)
10/2007: Countdown to Adventure #3 of 8 -- 31,018 (-10.3%)
11/2007: Countdown to Adventure #4 of 8 -- 28,633 (- 7.7%)
12/2007: Countdown to Adventure #5 of 8 -- 27,443 (- 4.2%)
01/2008: Countdown to Adventure #6 of 8 -- 25,243 (- 8.0%)
90 - GOTHAM UNDERGROUND
10/2007: Gotham Underground #1 of 9 -- 31,003
11/2007: Gotham Underground #2 of 9 -- 26,537 (-14.4%)
12/2007: Gotham Underground #3 of 9 -- 25,386 (- 4.3%)
01/2008: Gotham Underground #4 of 9 -- 24,737 (- 2.6%)

Once again, most of the Countdown and 52 spin-offs keep clinging together on the chart, which implies that there are too many of them for retailers and readers to consider each of them on its own terms.

—–

91 - TRIALS OF SHAZAM
01/2007: --
02/2007: Trials of SHAZAM #5  of 12 -- 34,614 (- 9.0%)
03/2007: --
04/2007: Trials of SHAZAM #6  of 12 -- 32,875 (- 5.0%)
05/2007: --
06/2007: Trials of SHAZAM #7  of 12 -- 31,056 (- 5.5%)
07/2007: --
08/2007: --
09/2007: Trials of SHAZAM #8  of 12 -- 29,241 (- 5.8%)
10/2007: Trials of SHAZAM #9  of 12 -- 27,490 (- 6.0%)
11/2007: Trials of SHAZAM #10 of 12 -- 25,562 (- 7.0%)
12/2007: --
01/2008: Trials of SHAZAM #11 of 12 -- 24,606 (- 3.7%)
----------------
6 months:  n.a.
1 year  :  n.a.

Trials of SHAZAM sales keep declining, but the end is in sight now.

—–

93 - BIRDS OF PREY
01/2002: Birds of Prey #39  -- 32,617*
01/2003: Birds of Prey #51  -- 25,245*
01/2004: Birds of Prey #63  -- 29,725
01/2005: Birds of Prey #78  -- 29,456
01/2006: Birds of Prey #90  -- 30,460
-------------------------------------
01/2007: Birds of Prey #102 -- 29,043 (- 2.6%)
02/2007: Birds of Prey #103 -- 28,327 (- 2.5%)
03/2007: Birds of Prey #104 -- 28,464 (+ 0.5%)
04/2007: Birds of Prey #105 -- 28,328 (- 0.5%)
05/2007: Birds of Prey #106 -- 28,363 (+ 0.1%)
06/2007: Birds of Prey #107 -- 28,632 (+ 1.0%)
07/2007: Birds of Prey #108 -- 28,025 (- 2.1%)
08/2007: Birds of Prey #109 -- 28,268 (+ 0.9%)
09/2007: Birds of Prey #110 -- 27,148 (- 4.0%)
10/2007: Birds of Prey #111 -- 26,400 (- 2.8%)
11/2007: Birds of Prey #112 -- 25,117 (- 4.9%)
12/2007: Birds of Prey #113 -- 24,717 (- 1.6%)
01/2008: Birds of Prey #114 -- 24,211 (- 2.1%)
----------------
6 months: -13.6%
1 year  : -16.6%
2 years : -20.5%

New regular writer Sean McKeever’s first issue of Birds of Prey was #113. His final one, apparently, will be #117. It’s questionable whether the creative shuffle in the wake of Gail Simone’s departure is helping much, in terms of stabilizing the book’s numbers.

—–

100/110 - COUNTDOWN PRESENTS: LORD HAVOK AND THE EXTREMISTS
10/2007: CP: Lord Havok #1 of 6 -- 29,423
11/2007: CP: Lord Havok #2 of 6 -- 24,196 (-17.8%)
12/2007: --
01/2008: CP: Lord Havok #3 of 6 -- 22,646 (- 6.4%)
01/2008: CP: Lord Havok #4 of 6 -- 19,683 (-13.1%)

That’s a horrible drop for the Countdown spin-off.

—–

102 - SUPERMAN CONFIDENTIAL
01/2007: Superman Confidential #3  -- 41,346 (-11.6%)
02/2007: --
03/2007: Superman Confidential #4  -- 36,779 (-11.1%)
04/2007: --
05/2007: --
06/2007: --
07/2007: Superman Confidential #5  -- 35,180 (- 4.4%)
08/2007: --
09/2007: Superman Confidential #6  -- 31,152 (-11.5%)
10/2007: Superman Confidential #7  -- 29,228 (- 6.2%)
10/2007: Superman Confidential #8  -- 26,535 (- 9.2%)
11/2007: Superman Confidential #9  -- 24,841 (- 6.4%)
12/2007: Superman Confidential #10 -- 23,172 (- 6.7%)
01/2008: Superman Confidential #11 -- 22,556 (- 2.7%)
----------------
6 months: -35.9%
1 year  : -45.5%

The January issue finally concluded the book’s first arc, with a story originally meant to appear in issue #6. It doesn’t seem to have mattered much to retailers, unless you count the fact that sales dropped by three percent instead of seven as a sign of great interest.

—–

106 - CATWOMAN
01/2002: Catwoman #3  -- 33,348*
01/2003: Catwoman #15 -- 23,852*
01/2004: Catwoman #27 -- 25,023 [26,175]
01/2005: Catwoman #39 -- 24,161
01/2006: Catwoman #51 -- 22,681
-------------------------------
01/2007: Catwoman #63 -- 21,597 (- 3.2%)
02/2007: Catwoman #64 -- 20,767 (- 3.8%)
03/2007: Catwoman #65 -- 20,237 (- 2.6%)
04/2007: Catwoman #66 -- 19,896 (- 1.7%)
05/2007: Catwoman #67 -- 19,926 (+ 0.2%)
06/2007: Catwoman #68 -- 20,132 (+ 1.0%)
07/2007: Catwoman #69 -- 19,387 (- 3.7%)
08/2007: Catwoman #70 -- 20,518 (+ 5.8%)
09/2007: Catwoman #71 -- 19,492 (- 5.0%)
10/2007: Catwoman #72 -- 19,473 (- 0.1%)
11/2007: Catwoman #73 -- 18,815 (- 3.4%)
12/2007: Catwoman #74 -- 18,623 (- 1.0%)
01/2008: Catwoman #75 -- 21,580 (+15.9%)
----------------
6 months: +11.3%
1 year  : - 0.1%
2 years : - 4.9%

I reckon the 3,000 extra copies Catwoman sold in January have more to do with the fact that it’s issue #75 than with the mention of Salvation Run in the solicitation copy – remember, Salvation Run was meant to be a big deal when they announced it last summer. Either way, we’ll find out next month, since the tie-in continues for another couple of issues.

—–

109/113 - JLA: CLASSIFIED
01/2005: JLA: Classified #3  -- 60,225 [62,158]
01/2006: JLA: Classified #16 -- 39,336
--------------------------------------
01/2007: JLA: Classified #31 -- 22,939 (- 3.0%)
01/2007: JLA: Classified #32 -- 23,091 (+ 0.7%)
01/2007: JLA: Classified #33 -- 22,504 (- 2.5%)
02/2007: JLA: Classified #34 -- 22,347 (- 0.7%)
02/2007: JLA: Classified #35 -- 21,998 (- 1.6%)
03/2007: JLA: Classified #36 -- 21,799 (- 0.9%)
04/2007: JLA: Classified #37 -- 22,350 (+ 2.5%)
05/2007: JLA: Classified #38 -- 21,961 (- 1.7%)
06/2007: JLA: Classified #39 -- 21,728 (- 1.1%)
07/2007: JLA: Classified #40 -- 21,473 (- 1.2%)
08/2007: JLA: Classified #41 -- 21,134 (- 1.6%)
09/2007: JLA: Classified #42 -- 20,014 (- 5.3%)
09/2007: JLA: Classified #43 -- 19,742 (- 1.4%)
10/2007: JLA: Classified #44 -- 19,217 (- 2.7%)
10/2007: JLA: Classified #45 -- 18,818 (- 2.1%)
11/2007: JLA: Classified #46 -- 18,078 (- 3.9%)
11/2007: JLA: Classified #47 -- 17,832 (- 1.4%)
12/2007: JLA: Classified #48 -- 17,391 (- 2.5%)
12/2007: JLA: Classified #49 -- 17,114 (- 1.6%)
01/2008: JLA: Classified #50 -- 19,773 (+15.5%)
01/2008: JLA: Classified #51 -- 18,852 (- 4.7%)
----------------
6 months: -10.1%
1 year  : -15.5%
2 years : -50.9%

The book’s final arc, by writer Roger Stern and artist John Byrne, brings a modest sales increase. JLA: Classified is cancelled with issue #54.

—–

112/116 - THE SPIRIT
01/2007: The Spirit #2     -- 27,245 (-21.2%)
02/2007: The Spirit #3     -- 25,516 (- 6.4%)
03/2007: The Spirit #4     -- 24,383 (- 4.4%)
04/2007: The Spirit #5     -- 23,887 (- 2.0%)
05/2007: The Spirit #6     -- 23,708 (- 0.8%)
06/2007: The Spirit #7     -- 22,621 (- 4.6%)
07/2007: The Spirit #8     -- 21,984 (- 2.8%)
08/2007: The Spirit #9     -- 20,841 (- 5.2%)
09/2007: The Spirit #10    -- 19,962 (- 4.2%)
10/2007: --
11/2007: The Spirit #11    -- 18,892 (- 5.4%)
12/2007: --
01/2008: The Spirit #12    -- 18,894 (+ 0.0%)
01/2008: The Spirit #13    -- 17,475 (- 7.5%)
----------------
6 months: -17.3%
1 year  : -33.3%

The Spirit #12 was writer/artist Darwyn Cooke’s final issue, #13 was a so-called jam issue by a whole bunch of people. I’m skeptical whether the arrival of the new creative team with issue #14 will do much to halt the book’s worrying sales decline. While The Spirit is officially published as part of the publisher’s DC Universe line, it probably has a little more rope than most of the other titles there.

—–

114 - CRIME BIBLE: THE FIVE LESSONS OF BLOOD
10/2007: Crime Bible #1 of 5 -- 23,354
11/2007: Crime Bible #2 of 5 -- 19,498 (-16.5%)
12/2007: Crime Bible #3 of 5 -- 18,886 (- 3.1%)
01/2008: Crime Bible #4 of 5 -- 18,139 (- 4.0%)

That’s an average limited series decline.

—–

120 - FREDDY VS. JASON VS. ASH (WildStorm)
11/2007: Freddy vs. Jason vs. Ash #1 of 6 -- 23,306          [27,515]
11/2007: Freddy vs. Jason vs. Ash #2 of 6 -- 15,291 (-34.4%)
12/2007: Freddy vs. Jason vs. Ash #3 of 6 -- 15,348 (+ 0.4%) 
01/2008: Freddy vs. Jason vs. Ash #4 of 6 -- 17,170 (+11.9%)

This crossover adaptation of various horror film properties turns out to be another modest hit for WildStorm. It’s certainly not usual for books to go up in sales with their fourth issue, and the series also summarily outsells WildStorm’s company-owned titles. Freddy vs. Jason vs. Ash #1 sold another 4,209 units in January, meanwhile.

—–

121 - SUICIDE SQUAD: RAISE THE FLAG
01/2002: Suicide Squad #5       -- 18,194*
-----------------------------------------
09/2007: Raise the Flag #1 of 8 -- 29,506
10/2007: Raise the Flag #2 of 8 -- 22,774 (-22.8%)
11/2007: Raise the Flag #3 of 8 -- 19,774 (-13.2%)
12/2007: Raise the Flag #4 of 8 -- 18,025 (- 8.9%)
01/2008: Raise the Flag #5 of 8 -- 17,094 (- 5.2%)

After a hefty decline, sales of the 52 spin-off are bottoming out.

—–

122 - CHECKMATE
01/2007: Checkmate #10 -- 22,032 (- 6.0%)
02/2007: Checkmate #11 -- 20,659 (- 6.2%)
03/2007: Checkmate #12 -- 20,116 (- 2.6%)
04/2007: --
05/2007: Checkmate #13 -- 22,554 (+12.1%)
05/2007: Checkmate #14 -- 22,074 (- 2.1%)
06/2007: Checkmate #15 -- 22,015 (- 0.3%)
07/2007: Checkmate #16 -- 20,225 (- 8.1%)
08/2007: Checkmate #17 -- 19,841 (- 1.9%)
09/2007: Checkmate #18 -- 18,742 (- 5.5%)
10/2007: Checkmate #19 -- 18,096 (- 3.5%)
11/2007: Checkmate #20 -- 17,663 (- 2.4%)
12/2007: Checkmate #21 -- 17,363 (- 1.7%)
01/2008: Checkmate #22 -- 17,087 (- 1.6%)
----------------
6 months: -15.5%
1 year  : -22.5%

Checkmate has settled into a standard decline. Meanwhile, a creative team change is coming up after issue #25.

—–

123 - JACK OF FABLES (Vertigo)
01/2007: Jack of Fables #7  -- 20,314 (- 3.0%)
02/2007: Jack of Fables #8  -- 20,060 (- 1.3%)
03/2007: --
04/2007: Jack of Fables #9  -- 20,273 (+ 1.1%)
05/2007: Jack of Fables #10 -- 19,982 (- 1.4%)
06/2007: Jack of Fables #11 -- 19,797 (- 0.9%)
06/2007: Jack of Fables #12 -- 19,337 (- 2.3%)
07/2007: --
08/2007: Jack of Fables #13 -- 19,187 (- 0.8%)
09/2007: Jack of Fables #14 -- 18,728 (- 2.4%)
10/2007: Jack of Fables #15 -- 18,329 (- 2.1%)
10/2007: Jack of Fables #16 -- 17,743 (- 3.2%)
11/2007: Jack of Fables #17 -- 17,456 (- 1.6%)
12/2007: Jack of Fables #18 -- 17,242 (- 1.2%)
01/2008: Jack of Fables #19 -- 16,886 (- 2.1%)
----------------
6 months:  n.a.
1 year  : -16.9%

The drops are adding up. Of course, it’s worth pointing out that Jack of Fables is still doing very well as a periodical by Vertigo standards – it’s now their second-highest-selling title, as a matter of fact. And among the imprint’s ongoing titles, it also seems to be one of their better performers in the collection market.

—–

124 - JSA: CLASSIFIED
01/2006: JSA: Classified #7  -- 42,857
--------------------------------------
01/2007: JSA: Classified #21 -- 24,476 (- 1.0%)
01/2007: JSA: Classified #22 -- 23,830 (- 2.6%)
02/2007: JSA: Classified #23 -- 22,730 (- 4.6%)
03/2007: JSA: Classified #24 -- 22,113 (- 2.7%)
04/2007: JSA: Classified #25 -- 22,052 (- 0.3%)
05/2007: JSA: Classified #26 -- 21,569 (- 2.2%)
06/2007: JSA: Classified #27 -- 21,295 (- 1.3%)
07/2007: JSA: Classified #28 -- 20,736 (- 2.6%)
08/2007: JSA: Classified #29 -- 20,195 (- 2.6%)
09/2007: JSA: Classified #30 -- 19,382 (- 4.0%)
10/2007: JSA: Classified #31 -- 18,585 (- 4.1%)
11/2007: JSA: Classified #32 -- 17,756 (- 4.5%)
12/2007: JSA: Classified #33 -- 17,413 (- 1.9%)
01/2008: JSA: Classified #34 -- 16,852 (- 3.2%)
----------------
6 months: -18.7%
1 year  : -30.2%
2 years : -60.7%

Well, according to DC’s April solicitations, JSA: Classified was supposed to be cancelled with issue #37, but then they went and solicited issue #38 for May release, the beginning of a two-parter. Looking at the book’s numbers, maybe they just found something they’d forgotten in an old drawer.

—–

125 - WONDER GIRL
09/2007: Wonder Girl #1 of 6 -- 33,517
10/2007: Wonder Girl #2 of 6 -- 24,407 (-27.2%)
11/2007: Wonder Girl #3 of 6 -- 19,774 (-19.0%)
12/2007: Wonder Girl #4 of 6 -- 18,146 (- 8.2%)
01/2008: Wonder Girl #5 of 6 -- 16,741 (- 7.7%)
127 - SIMON DARK
10/2007: Simon Dark #1  -- 24,256
11/2007: Simon Dark #2  -- 18,492 (-23.8%)
12/2007: Simon Dark #3  -- 17,391 (- 6.0%)
01/2008: Simon Dark #4  -- 16,242 (- 6.6%)
128 - METAL MEN
08/2007: Metal Men #1 of 8 -- 30,454
09/2007: Metal Men #2 of 8 -- 23,658 (-22.3%)
10/2007: Metal Men #3 of 8 -- 20,571 (-13.1%)
11/2007: Metal Men #4 of 8 -- 18,707 (- 9.1%)
12/2007: --
01/2008: Metal Men #5 of 8 -- 16,152 (-13.7%)

At least Wonder Girl and Metal Men are limited series. That silver lining doesn’t apply to Simon Dark, however. Still, it could be a lot worse – see below.

—–

129 - SHADOWPACT
01/2007: Shadowpact #9  -- 22,866 (- 4.3%)
02/2007: Shadowpact #10 -- 21,823 (- 4.6%)
03/2007: Shadowpact #11 -- 21,114 (- 3.3%)
04/2007: Shadowpact #12 -- 20,746 (- 1.7%)
05/2007: Shadowpact #13 -- 20,335 (- 2.0%)
06/2007: Shadowpact #14 -- 19,899 (- 2.1%)
07/2007: Shadowpact #15 -- 19,689 (- 1.2%)
08/2007: Shadowpact #16 -- 19,410 (- 1.4%)
09/2007: Shadowpact #17 -- 18,382 (- 5.3%)
10/2007: Shadowpact #18 -- 17,818 (- 3.1%)
11/2007: Shadowpact #19 -- 17,103 (- 4.0%)
12/2007: Shadowpact #20 -- 16,459 (- 3.8%)
01/2008: Shadowpact #21 -- 16,014 (- 2.7%)
----------------
6 months: -18.7%
1 year  : -30.0%

According to the May solicitations, the book is cancelled with issue #25. This means that any ongoing DC Universe titles selling below this point are probably on the ropes as well.

—–

131 - NORTHLANDERS (Vertigo)
12/2007: Northlanders #1  -- 19,805
01/2008: Northlanders #2  -- 15,945 (-19.5%)

That seems to be an average second-issue drop. In a novel move for Vertigo, the book’s sales are being supported by 1-for-10 variant cover editions through issue #4, so we’ll have a better idea of its performance once the March numbers are released.

According to series writer Brian Wood, Diamond Comic Distributors for some reason seem to have omitted the variant cover edition sales for issue #1 – around 1,500 units, Wood says – in their December sales data. Now, since we can’t be sure whether the time frames and sales venues covered by Wood’s figures and the Diamond figures are entirely compatible, I’m reluctant to just add those numbers up. Still, it seems well worth pointing out that the total sales for issue #1 were beyond 21,000 units, according to Wood.

If there was indeed a glitch on Diamond’s part – and it certainly wouldn’t be the first time – it’ll even out in the March figures, at any rate.

—–

135 - THE AUTHORITY: PRIME (WildStorm)
01/2004: The Authority v2 #9  -- 22,797
01/2005: Revolution #4 of 12  -- 20,984
---------------------------------------
01/2007: --
02/2007: --
03/2007: The Authority v3 #2  -- 39,886 (-31.4%)
04/2007: --
05/2007: --
06/2007: --
07/2007: --
08/2007: --
09/2007: --
10/2007: Prime #1 of 6        -- 21,992 (-44.9%)
11/2007: Prime #2 of 6        -- 17,717 (-19.4%)
12/2007: Prime #3 of 6        -- 16,623 (- 6.2%)
01/2008: Prime #4 of 6        -- 15,058 (- 9.4%)
----------------
6 months:  n.a.
1 year  :  n.a.
2 years :  n.a.

The Authority: Prime saw a rather awful drop in January. Nonetheless, it’s the highest-selling remaining WildStorm Universe title.

But hold on, how can that be? Didn’t the latest big revamp of the WildStorm Universe start in January?

Easy, we’ll get there.

—–

136 - UNCLE SAM & THE FREEDOM FIGHTERS
07/2006: Uncle Sam & FF #1 of 8 -- 40,736
08/2006: Uncle Sam & FF #2 of 8 -- 31,616 (-22.4%) [32,758]
09/2006: Uncle Sam & FF #3 of 8 -- 28,430 (-10.1%)
10/2006: Uncle Sam & FF #4 of 8 -- 26,527 (- 6.7%)
11/2006: Uncle Sam & FF #5 of 8 -- 25,144 (- 5.2%)
12/2006: Uncle Sam & FF #6 of 8 -- 23,321 (- 7.3%)
01/2007: Uncle Sam & FF #7 of 8 -- 22,460 (- 3.7%)
02/2007: --
03/2007: Uncle Sam & FF #8 of 8 -- 22,507 (+ 0.2%)
-----------------------------------------
09/2007: Uncle Sam & FF #1 of 8 -- 23,731 (+ 5.4%)
10/2007: Uncle Sam & FF #2 of 8 -- 19,006 (-19.9%)
11/2007: Uncle Sam & FF #3 of 8 -- 17,157 (- 9.7%)
12/2007: Uncle Sam & FF #4 of 8 -- 15,832 (- 7.7%)
01/2008: Uncle Sam & FF #5 of 8 -- 14,989 (- 5.3%)
----------------
6 months:  n.a.
1 year  : -33.3%

Sales are settling into a standard limited series decline.

—–

137 - BLUE BEETLE
01/2007: Blue Beetle #11 -- 19,865 (- 7.0%)
02/2007: Blue Beetle #12 -- 18,555 (- 6.6%)
03/2007: Blue Beetle #13 -- 17,653 (- 4.9%)
04/2007: Blue Beetle #14 -- 17,167 (- 2.8%)
05/2007: Blue Beetle #15 -- 16,906 (- 1.5%)
06/2007: Blue Beetle #16 -- 17,016 (+ 0.7%)
07/2007: Blue Beetle #17 -- 16,128 (- 5.2%)
08/2007: Blue Beetle #18 -- 19,140 (+18.7%)
09/2007: Blue Beetle #19 -- 15,737 (-17.8%)
10/2007: Blue Beetle #20 -- 27,611 (+75.5%)
11/2007: Blue Beetle #21 -- 15,645 (-43.3%)
12/2007: Blue Beetle #22 -- 15,256 (- 2.5%)
01/2008: Blue Beetle #23 -- 14,961 (- 1.9%)
----------------
6 months: - 7.2%
1 year  : -24.7%

Don’t be confused by the numbers of those crossover tie-ins with issues #16, #18 and #20: Blue Beetle has actually been one of the publisher’s more stable titles over the last six months. However, it still sells considerably below the cancelled Shadowpact, so there’s cause to be concerned.

—–

142 - INFINITY INC.
09/2007: Infinity Inc. #1  -- 33,400
10/2007: Infinity Inc. #2  -- 24,158 (-27.7%)
11/2007: Infinity Inc. #3  -- 18,776 (-22.3%)
12/2007: Infinity Inc. #4  -- 15,861 (-15.5%)
01/2008: Infinity Inc. #5  -- 13,951 (-12.0%)

Five issues in, Infinity Inc. is still in the double-digit drops. Evidently, something about this book isn’t working at all.

—–

143 - JONAH HEX
01/2006: Jonah Hex #3  -- 24,671
--------------------------------
01/2007: Jonah Hex #15 -- 17,987 (- 1.7%)
02/2007: Jonah Hex #16 -- 17,490 (- 2.8%)
03/2007: Jonah Hex #17 -- 17,081 (- 2.3%)
04/2007: Jonah Hex #18 -- 16,880 (- 1.2%)
05/2007: Jonah Hex #19 -- 16,473 (- 2.4%)
06/2007: Jonah Hex #20 -- 16,150 (- 2.0%)
07/2007: Jonah Hex #21 -- 15,734 (- 2.6%)
08/2007: Jonah Hex #22 -- 15,362 (- 2.4%)
09/2007: Jonah Hex #23 -- 15,157 (- 1.4%)
10/2007: Jonah Hex #24 -- 14,749 (- 2.7%)
11/2007: Jonah Hex #25 -- 14,577 (- 1.2%)
12/2007: Jonah Hex #26 -- 14,088 (- 3.5%)
01/2008: Jonah Hex #27 -- 13,881 (- 1.5%)
----------------
6 months: -11.8%
1 year  : -22.8%
2 years : -43.7%

Jonah Hex continues its usual, slow decline. To be fair, though, it’s another reasonably consistent performer, and it’s also said to be doing fairly well in the collection market.

—–

144 - THE ALL-NEW ATOM
01/2007: The All-New Atom #7  -- 20,996 (- 8.1%)
02/2007: The All-New Atom #8  -- 19,004 (- 9.5%)
03/2007: The All-New Atom #9  -- 17,572 (- 7.5%)
04/2007: The All-New Atom #10 -- 16,739 (- 4.4%)
05/2007: The All-New Atom #11 -- 16,193 (- 3.3%)
06/2007: The All-New Atom #12 -- 16,848 (+ 4.1%)
07/2007: The All-New Atom #13 -- 16,982 (+ 0.8%)
08/2007: The All-New Atom #14 -- 17,894 (+ 5.4%)
09/2007: The All-New Atom #15 -- 17,266 (- 3.5%)
10/2007: The All-New Atom #16 -- 16,013 (- 7.3%)
11/2007: The All-New Atom #17 -- 15,529 (- 3.0%)
12/2007: The All-New Atom #18 -- 14,701 (- 5.3%)
01/2008: The All-New Atom #19 -- 13,861 (- 5.7%)
----------------
6 months: -18.4%
1 year  : -34.0%

This decline isn’t very slow, on the other hand, and it’s getting faster. The All-New Atom is the lowest-selling ongoing DC Universe book.

—–

145 - GEN13 (WildStorm)
01/2002: Gen13 #73 -- 16,802*
01/2003: Gen13 #5  -- 19,051*
----------------------------
01/2007: Gen13 #4  -- 27,615 (- 8.7%)
02/2007: Gen13 #5  -- 22,422 (-18.8%)
03/2007: Gen13 #6  -- 21,356 (- 4.8%)
04/2007: Gen13 #7  -- 20,555 (- 3.8%)
05/2007: Gen13 #8  -- 19,638 (- 4.5%)
06/2007: Gen13 #9  -- 18,644 (- 5.1%)
07/2007: Gen13 #10 -- 17,720 (- 5.0%)
08/2007: Gen13 #11 -- 16,955 (- 4.3%)
09/2007: Gen13 #12 -- 16,112 (- 5.0%)
10/2007: Gen13 #13 -- 15,539 (- 3.6%)
11/2007: Gen13 #14 -- 14,831 (- 4.6%)
12/2007: Gen13 #15 -- 14,330 (- 3.4%)
01/2008: Gen13 #16 -- 13,618 (- 5.0%)
----------------
6 months: -23.2%
1 year  : -50.7%

Sales of the highest-selling ongoing WildStorm Universe title keep declining too fast for comfort. According to writer Simon Oliver, his run on Gen13 lasts for seven issues. That would mean May’s issue #20 is his final one.

Wait, what about that latest big WildStorm Universe revamp, now?
Just a little more patience, almost there.

—–

149 - BAT LASH
12/2007: Bat Lash #1 of 6 -- 18,324
01/2008: Bat Lash #2 of 6 -- 12,428 (-32.2%)

That’s a large drop, especially for a limited series.

—–

151 - HELLBLAZER (Vertigo)
01/2002: Hellblazer #170 -- 18,161*
01/2003: Hellblazer #180 -- 17,094*
01/2004: Hellblazer #192 -- 15,094
01/2005: Hellblazer #204 -- 14,523
01/2006: Hellblazer #216 -- 14,590
----------------------------------
01/2007: Hellblazer #228 -- 12,956 (-2.1%)
02/2007: Hellblazer #229 -- 13,032 (+0.6%)
03/2007: Hellblazer #230 -- 13,210 (+1.4%)
04/2007: Hellblazer #231 -- 13,142 (-0.5%)
05/2007: Hellblazer #232 -- 13,164 (+0.2%)
06/2007: Hellblazer #233 -- 13,201 (+0.3%)
07/2007: Hellblazer #234 -- 13,112 (-0.7%)
08/2007: Hellblazer #234 -- 13,214 (+0.8%)
08/2007: Hellblazer #235 -- 13,153 (-0.5%)
09/2007: Hellblazer #236 -- 12,938 (-1.6%)
10/2007: Hellblazer #237 -- 12,703 (-1.8%)
11/2007: Hellblazer #238 -- 12,536 (-1.3%)
12/2007: Hellblazer #239 -- 12,344 (-1.5%)
01/2008: Hellblazer #240 -- 12,213 (-1.1%)
----------------
6 months: - 6.9%
1 year  : - 5.7%
2 years : -16.3%

This, once again, falls under “standard attrition,” I’d say.

—–

152 - THE MIDNIGHTER (WildStorm)
01/2007: The Midnighter #3  -- 27,564 (- 9.5%)
02/2007: The Midnighter #4  -- 24,792 (-10.1%)
03/2007: The Midnighter #5  -- 21,452 (-13.5%)
04/2007: The Midnighter #6  -- 20,561 (- 4.2%)
05/2007: The Midnighter #7  -- 19,910 (- 3.2%)
06/2007: The Midnighter #8  -- 18,076 (- 9.2%)
07/2007: The Midnighter #9  -- 16,656 (- 7.9%)
08/2007: The Midnighter #10 -- 15,654 (- 6.0%)
09/2007: The Midnighter #11 -- 14,349 (- 8.3%)
10/2007: The Midnighter #12 -- 13,741 (- 4.2%)
11/2007: The Midnighter #13 -- 12,996 (- 5.4%)
12/2007: The Midnighter #14 -- 12,358 (- 4.9%)
01/2008: The Midnighter #15 -- 11,929 (- 3.5%)
----------------
6 months: -28.4%
1 year  : -56.7%

The second-highest-selling ongoing WildStorm Universe title (well, there are only two left) keeps losing readers at a rather unhealthy rate.

Oh, and that big new revamp of the WildStorm Universe line?

—–

153/162 - WILDSTORM: REVELATIONS (WildStorm)
01/2008: Revelations #1 of 6 -- 11,694
01/2008: Revelations #2 of 6 -- 10,877 (-7.0%)

Well, here it is, that big new revamp of the WildStorm Universe line, right below all the other WildStorm Universe titles currently on sale. What it is whispering to DC’s management, with pursed lips, is this: Nobody cares about the WildStorm Universe.

Seriously: The reason why people, once upon a time, cared about the WildStorm Universe line had nothing to do with the fact that it had a derivative world with derivative characters. Rather, it had something to do with the fact that, once upon a time, it was an outlet for books which had innovative storytelling and made Paul Levitz feel a little uncomfortable inside.

So, really, blowing up the WildStorm Universe again and again is not much of a selling point. People already have the Marvel Universe and the DC Universe to care about. They don’t need another one of those.

—–

160 - 100 BULLETS (Vertigo)
01/2002: 100 Bullets #32 -- 16,783*
01/2003: 100 Bullets #42 -- 16,914*
01/2004: --
01/2005: 100 Bullets #57 -- 15,068
01/2006: 100 Bullets #68 -- 13,879
----------------------------------
01/2007: 100 Bullets #80 -- 12,651 (- 2.0%)
02/2007: 100 Bullets #81 -- 12,458 (- 1.5%)
03/2007: 100 Bullets #82 -- 12,260 (- 1.6%)
04/2007: --
05/2007: 100 Bullets #83 -- 12,475 (+ 1.8%)
06/2007: 100 Bullets #84 -- 12,148 (- 2.6%)
07/2007: --
08/2007: --
09/2007: 100 Bullets #85 -- 11,888 (- 2.1%)
10/2007: --
11/2007: 100 Bullets #86 -- 11,599 (- 2.4%)
12/2007: --
01/2008: 100 Bullets #87 -- 11,244 (- 3.1%)
----------------
6 months:  n.a.
1 year  : -11.1%
2 years : -19.0%
167 - DMZ (Vertigo)
01/2006: DMZ #3  -- 14,503
--------------------------
01/2007: DMZ #15 -- 13,340 (-2.9%)
02/2007: DMZ #16 -- 13,199 (-1.1%)
03/2007: DMZ #17 -- 13,081 (-0.9%)
04/2007: DMZ #18 -- 13,120 (+0.3%)
05/2007: DMZ #19 -- 13,116 (-0.0%)
06/2007: DMZ #20 -- 12,704 (-3.1%)
07/2007: DMZ #21 -- 12,433 (-2.1%)
08/2007: DMZ #22 -- 12,175 (-2.1%)
09/2007: DMZ #23 -- 11,858 (-2.6%)
10/2007: DMZ #24 -- 11,583 (-2.3%)
11/2007: DMZ #25 -- 11,277 (-2.6%)
12/2007: DMZ #26 -- 11,027 (-2.2%)
01/2008: DMZ #27 -- 10,662 (-3.3%)
----------------
6 months: -14.2%
1 year  : -20.1%
2 years : -26.5%

Periodical sales of 100 Bullets and DMZ keep declining. Both books are doing very well as collections, though, so there’s nothing to worry about here, even if they should drop below the 10,000 unit mark.

—–

173 - COUNTDOWN SPECIAL 80-PAGE GIANT
10/2007: The Flash        -- 16,381
11/2007: Jimmy Olsen      -- 12,106 (-26.1%)
12/2007: The Atom #1 of 2 --  9,404 (-22.3%)
12/2007: The Atom #2 of 2 --  9,005 (- 4.2%)
01/2008: The New Gods     -- 10,157 (+12.8%)

The New Gods are more popular than The Atom, evidently. These are fantastic numbers for a series o $ 4.99 reprint books. The fact that DC are continuing the series as DC Universe Special once Countdown has concluded is not surprising, given these sales.

—–

187 - JUSTICE LEAGUE UNLIMITED (Johnny DC)
01/2002: JL Adventures #3  -- 20,149*
01/2003: JL Adventures #15 -- 13,949*
01/2004: JL Adventures #27 -- 12,325
01/2005: JL Unlimited #5   -- 12,717
01/2006: JL Unlimited #17  -- 10,199
------------------------------------
01/2007: JL Unlimited #29  --  9,273 (- 4.5%)
02/2007: JL Unlimited #30  --  9,123 (- 1.6%)
03/2007: JL Unlimited #31  --  9,072 (- 0.6%)
04/2007: JL Unlimited #32  --  9,326 (+ 2.8%)
05/2007: JL Unlimited #33  --  9,230 (- 1.0%)
06/2007: JL Unlimited #34  --  9,328 (+ 1.1%)
07/2007: JL Unlimited #35  --  8,998 (- 3.5%)
08/2007: JL Unlimited #36  --  9,043 (+ 0.5%)
09/2007: JL Unlimited #37  --  8,706 (- 3.7%)
10/2007: JL Unlimited #38  --  8,461 (- 2.8%)
11/2007: JL Unlimited #39  --  8,367 (- 1.1%)
12/2007: JL Unlimited #40  --  8,272 (- 1.1%)
01/2008: JL Unlimited #41  --  8,308 (+ 0.4%)
----------------
6 months: - 7.7%
1 year  : -10.4%
2 years : -18.5%

This one’s a Johnny DC title. See disclaimers.

—–

188 - FRIDAY THE 13TH: BAD LAND (WildStorm)
01/2007: Friday the 13th #2      --  9,555 (-39.5%)
02/2007: Friday the 13th #3      --  8,965 (- 6.2%)
03/2007: Friday the 13th #4      --  8,637 (- 3.7%)
04/2007: Friday the 13th #5      --  8,724 (+ 1.0%)
05/2007: Friday the 13th #6      --  8,605 (- 1.4%)
06/2007: --
07/2007: Pamela's Tale #1 of 2   --  8,420 (- 2.2%)
08/2007: Pamela's Tale #2 of 2   --  7,635 (- 9.3%)
09/2007: Summer Vacation #1 of 2 --  7,839 (+ 2.7%)
10/2007: Summer Vacation #2 of 2 --  7,431 (- 5.2%)
11/2007: --
12/2007: --
10/2007: Bad Land #1 of 2        --  8,128 (+ 9.4%)
----------------
6 months: - 3.5%
1 year  : -14.9%

Sales on Friday the 13th appear to have settled into the 7 to 8k area. That’s not stellar, but it’s enough to keep the book going, apparently: Another one-shot has already been solicited.

190 - TEEN TITANS GO (Johnny DC)
01/2004: Teen Titans Go #3  -- 18,264
01/2005: Teen Titans Go #15 -- 14,294
01/2006: Teen Titans Go #27 -- 11,609
-------------------------------------
01/2007: Teen Titans Go #39 --  9,425 (- 1.1%)
02/2007: Teen Titans Go #40 --  9,132 (- 3.1%)
03/2007: Teen Titans Go #41 --  8,895 (- 2.6%)
04/2007: Teen Titans Go #42 --  9,050 (+ 1.7%)
05/2007: Teen Titans Go #43 --  8,918 (- 1.5%)
06/2007: Teen Titans Go #44 --  8,738 (- 2.0%)
07/2007: Teen Titans Go #45 --  8,554 (- 2.1%)
08/2007: Teen Titans Go #46 --  8,427 (- 1.5%)
09/2007: Teen Titans Go #47 --  8,229 (- 2.4%)
10/2007: Teen Titans Go #48 --  7,927 (- 3.7%)
11/2007: Teen Titans Go #49 --  7,699 (- 2.9%)
12/2007: Teen Titans Go #50 --  7,966 (+ 3.5%)
01/2008: Teen Titans Go #51 --  7,602 (- 4.6%)
----------------
6 months: -11.1%
1 year  : -19.3%
2 years : -34.5%

Another Johnny DC book. See disclaimers.

—–

195 - THE EXTERMINATORS (Vertigo)
01/2006: The Exterminators #1  -- 16,187
----------------------------------------
01/2007: The Exterminators #13 --  9,447 (- 2.0%)
02/2007: The Exterminators #14 --  8,965 (- 5.1%)
03/2007: The Exterminators #15 --  8,839 (- 1.4%)
04/2007: The Exterminators #16 --  8,758 (- 1.0%)
05/2007: The Exterminators #17 --  8,813 (+ 0.6%)
06/2007: The Exterminators #18 --  8,651 (- 1.8%)
07/2007: The Exterminators #19 --  8,454 (- 2.3%)
08/2007: The Exterminators #20 --  8,289 (- 2.0%)
09/2007: The Exterminators #21 --  7,950 (- 4.1%)
10/2007: The Exterminators #22 --  7,792 (- 2.0%)
11/2007: The Exterminators #23 --  7,461 (- 4.3%)
12/2007: The Exterminators #24 --  7,211 (- 3.4%)
01/2008: The Exterminators #25 --  7,096 (- 1.6%)
----------------
6 months: -16.1%
1 year  : -24.9%
197 - SCALPED (Vertigo)
01/2007: Scalped #1  -- 13,644
02/2007: Scalped #2  -- 10,005 (-26.7%)
03/2007: Scalped #3  --  9,531 (- 4.7%)
04/2007: Scalped #4  --  9,163 (- 3.9%)
05/2007: Scalped #5  --  9,022 (- 1.5%)
06/2007: Scalped #6  --  8,689 (- 3.7%)
07/2007: Scalped #7  --  8,303 (- 4.4%)
08/2007: Scalped #8  --  7,942 (- 4.4%)
09/2007: Scalped #9  --  7,678 (- 3.3%)
10/2007: Scalped #10 --  7,536 (- 1.9%)
11/2007: Scalped #11 --  7,323 (- 2.8%)
12/2007: Scalped #12 --  7,048 (- 3.8%)
01/2008: Scalped #13 --  6,993 (- 0.8%)
----------------
6 months: -15.8%
1 year  : -48.8%
199 - AMERICAN VIRGIN (Vertigo)
01/2007: American Virgin #10 -- 10,331 (- 2.2%)
01/2007: American Virgin #11 --  9,628 (- 6.8%)
02/2007: American Virgin #12 --  9,215 (- 4.3%)
03/2007: --
04/2007: American Virgin #13 --  8,960 (- 2.8%)
05/2007: American Virgin #14 --  8,805 (- 1.7%)
05/2007: American Virgin #15 --  8,613 (- 2.2%)
06/2007: --
07/2007: American Virgin #16 --  8,403 (- 2.4%)
08/2007: American Virgin #17 --  8,204 (- 2.4%)
08/2007: American Virgin #18 --  7,727 (- 5.8%)
09/2007: American Virgin #19 --  7,487 (- 3.1%)
10/2007: American Virgin #20 --  7,228 (- 3.5%)
11/2007: American Virgin #21 --  6,893 (- 4.6%)
12/2007: --
01/2008: American Virgin #22 --  6,903 (+ 0.2%)
----------------
6 months: -17.9%
1 year  : -30.8%

The Exterminators and American Virgin have both been cancelled – the former ends with issue #30, the latter with #23.

As far as Scalped is concerned, both the book’s periodical and first-month collection sales are in the same area as those of The Exterminators, so that would suggest that it’s on shaky ground as well.

However, writer Jason Aaron has said that, due to strong collection sales, it’s in no danger of being cancelled. And, to be fair, it’s entirely possible for a given collection to consistently shift a few hundred copies every month without ever appearing on the Diamond charts. So let’s give it the benefit of the doubt.

—–

200 - THE VINYL UNDERGROUND (Vertigo)
10/2007: The Vinyl Underground #1  -- 10,823
11/2007: The Vinyl Underground #2  --  8,237 (-23.9%)
12/2007: The Vinyl Underground #3  --  7,432 (- 9.8%)
01/2008: The Vinyl Underground #4  --  6,854 (- 7.8%)

The numbers are bottoming out, but very slowly. The first Vinyl Underground collection won’t be out until June, so even if you presume that it’s going to do extraordinary well, it’s going to be a very, very tough five months until it comes out, at this rate.

—–

 - BATMAN STRIKES! (Johnny DC)
01/2002: Gotham Adventures #46 -- 11,868*
01/2003: Gotham Adventures #58 -- 11,440*
01/2004: Batman Adventures #10 -- 12,877
01/2005: Batman Strikes! #5    -- 11,808
01/2006: Batman Strikes! #17   --  8,172
----------------------------------------
01/2007: Batman Strikes! #29   --  7,330 (- 1.3%)
02/2007: Batman Strikes! #30   --  7,335 (+ 0.1%)
03/2007: Batman Strikes! #31   --  7,100 (- 3.2%)
04/2007: Batman Strikes! #32   --  7,294 (+ 2.7%)
05/2007: Batman Strikes! #33   --  7,235 (- 0.8%)
06/2007: Batman Strikes! #34   --  7,115 (- 1.7%)
07/2007: Batman Strikes! #35   --  7,222 (+ 1.5%)
08/2007: Batman Strikes! #36   --  7,511 (+ 4.0%)
09/2007: Batman Strikes! #37   --  6,833 (- 9.0%)
10/2007: Batman Strikes! #38   --  6,664 (- 2.5%)
11/2007: Batman Strikes! #39   --  6,464 (- 3.0%)
12/2007: Batman Strikes! #40   --  6,492 (+ 0.4%)
01/2008: Batman Strikes! #41   --  6,723 (+ 3.6%)
----------------
6 months: - 6.9%
1 year  : - 8.3%
2 years : -17.7%
204 - THE LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES IN THE 31ST CENTURY (Johnny DC)
04/2007: The LoSH in the 31st Century #1  -- 13,519
05/2007: The LoSH in the 31st Century #2  -- 11,121 (-17.7%)
06/2007: The LoSH in the 31st Century #3  --  9,252 (-16.8%)
07/2007: The LoSH in the 31st Century #4  --  8,236 (-11.0%)
08/2007: The LoSH in the 31st Century #5  --  7,681 (- 6.7%)
09/2007: The LoSH in the 31st Century #6  --  7,362 (- 4.2%)
10/2007: The LoSH in the 31st Century #7  --  7,010 (- 4.8%)
11/2007: The LoSH in the 31st Century #8  --  6,886 (- 1.8%)
12/2007: The LoSH in the 31st Century #9  --  6,777 (- 1.6%)
01/2008: The LoSH in the 31st Century #10 --  6,674 (- 1.5%)
----------------
6 months: -19.0%

Two more Johnny DC titles. See disclaimers.

—–

205 - THE PROGRAMME (WildStorm)
07/2007: The Programme #1  of 12 -- 14,293
08/2007: The Programme #2  of 12 --  9,412 (-34.2%)
09/2007: The Programme #3  of 12 --  8,545 (- 9.2%)
10/2007: The Programme #4  of 12 --  7,717 (- 9.7%)
11/2007: The Programme #5  of 12 --  7,262 (- 5.9%)
12/2007: The Programme #6  of 12 --  6,856 (- 5.6%)
01/2008: The Programme #7  of 12 --  6,640 (- 3.2%)
----------------
6 months: -53.5%
208 - FAKER (Vertigo)
07/2007: Faker #1 of 6 -- 11,461
08/2007: Faker #2 of 6 --  8,735 (-23.8%)
09/2007: Faker #3 of 6 --  7,913 (- 9.4%)
10/2007: Faker #4 of 6 --  7,363 (- 7.0%)
11/2007: Faker #5 of 6 --  6,748 (- 8.4%)
12/2007: --
01/2008: Faker #6 of 6 --  6,390 (- 5.3%)
----------------
6 months: -44.3%

They may be released by different imprints, but what The Programme and Faker have in common is that they’re by established, generally well-reviewed creators. By the look of these numbers, though, Milligan and Carey might as well have released the material elsewhere – which doesn’t speak well of the current condition of the WildStorm and Vertigo brands.

—–

218 - ARMY@LOVE (Vertigo)
03/2007: Army@Love #1  -- 14,578
04/2007: Army@Love #2  -- 11,195 (-23.2%)
05/2007: Army@Love #3  -- 10,312 (- 7.9%)
06/2007: Army@Love #4  --  9,089 (-11.9%)
07/2007: Army@Love #5  --  8,386 (- 7.7%)
08/2007: Army@Love #6  --  7,858 (- 6.3%)
09/2007: Army@Love #7  --  7,310 (- 7.0%)
10/2007: Army@Love #8  --  7,010 (- 4.1%)
11/2007: Army@Love #9  --  6,617 (- 5.6%)
12/2007: Army@Love #10 --  6,364 (- 3.8%)
01/2008: Army@Love #11 --  6,023 (- 5.4%)
----------------
6 months: -28.2%
227 - THE UN-MEN (Vertigo)
08/2007: The Un-Men #1  -- 11,868
09/2007: The Un-Men #2  --  8,758 (-26.2%)
10/2007: The Un-Men #3  --  7,566 (-13.6%)
11/2007: The Un-Men #4  --  6,678 (-11.7%)
12/2007: The Un-Men #5  --  6,094 (- 8.8%)
01/2008: The Un-Men #6  --  5,525 (- 9.3%)
230 - TESTAMENT (Vertigo)
01/2006: Testament #2  -- 13,518
--------------------------------
01/2007: Testament #14 --  7,960 (- 4.3%)
02/2007: Testament #15 --  7,618 (- 4.3%)
03/2007: Testament #16 --  7,422 (- 2.6%)
04/2007: Testament #17 --  7,193 (- 3.1%)
05/2007: Testament #18 --  6,963 (- 3.2%)
06/2007: --
07/2007: Testament #19 --  6,225 (-10.6%)
08/2007: --
09/2007: Testament #20 --  6,061 (- 2.6%)
10/2007: --
11/2007: Testament #21 --  5,596 (- 7.7%)
12/2007: --
01/2008: Testament #22 --  5,303 (- 5.2%)
----------------
6 months: -14.8%
1 year  : -33.4%
232 - CROSSING MIDNIGHT (Vertigo)
01/2007: Crossing Midnight #3  --  8,236 (- 8.3%)
02/2007: Crossing Midnight #4  --  7,568 (- 8.1%)
03/2007: Crossing Midnight #5  --  7,196 (- 4.9%)
04/2007: Crossing Midnight #6  --  7,036 (- 2.2%)
05/2007: Crossing Midnight #7  --  6,866 (- 2.4%)
06/2007: Crossing Midnight #8  --  6,612 (- 3.7%)
07/2007: Crossing Midnight #9  --  6,351 (- 4.0%)
08/2007: Crossing Midnight #10 --  6,142 (- 3.3%)
09/2007: Crossing Midnight #11 --  5,870 (- 4.4%)
10/2007: Crossing Midnight #12 --  5,754 (- 2.0%)
11/2007: Crossing Midnight #13 --  5,519 (- 4.1%)
12/2007: Crossing Midnight #14 --  5,467 (- 0.9%)
01/2008: Crossing Midnight #15 --  5,255 (- 3.9%)
----------------
6 months: -17.3%
1 year  : -36.2%

For the rest of the Vertigo books on the January chart, things don’t look rosy: Crossing Midnight and Testament are both cancelled, while Army@Love ended in February and is to be relaunched sometime down the line, according to the solicitations.

The Un-Men has already dropped below 6,000 units as well with its sixth issue, with no signs of finding its level. The first collection of that series will be out in April, so that will give us a better idea of where it’s standing. I wouldn’t get too attached, though.

—–

255 - SCOOBY DOO (Johnny DC)
01/2002: Scooby Doo #56  -- 5,382*
01/2003: Scooby Doo #68  -- 5,690*
01/2004: Scooby Doo #80  -- 5,307
01/2005: Scooby Doo #92  -- 4,872
01/2006: Scooby Doo #104 -- 4,454
---------------------------------
01/2007: Scooby Doo #116 -- 4,285 (- 1.8%)
02/2007: Scooby Doo #117 -- 4,275 (- 0.2%)
03/2007: Scooby Doo #118 -- 4,395 (+ 2.8%)
04/2007: Scooby Doo #119 -- 4,373 (- 0.5%)
05/2007: Scooby Doo #120 -- 4,343 (- 0.7%)
06/2007: Scooby Doo #121 -- 4,415 (+ 1.7%)
07/2007: Scooby Doo #122 -- 4,424 (+ 0.2%)
08/2007: Scooby Doo #123 -- 4,641 (+ 4.9%)
09/2007: Scooby Doo #124 -- 4,401 (- 5.2%)
10/2007: Scooby Doo #125 -- 4,407 (+ 0.1%)
11/2007: Scooby Doo #126 -- 4,237 (- 3.9%)
12/2007: Scooby Doo #127 -- 4,293 (+ 1.3%)
01/2008: Scooby Doo #128 -- 4,147 (- 3.4%)
----------------
6 months: - 6.3%
1 year  : - 3.2%
2 years : - 6.9%
265 - WILDSTORM FINE ARTS SPOTLIGHT (WildStorm)
01/2007: --
02/2007: --
03/2007: J. Scott Campbell -- 8,130 (-10.4%)
04/2007: --
05/2007: --
06/2007: --
07/2007: --
08/2007: --
09/2007: --
10/2007: --
11/2007: The Authority     -- 4,828 (-40.6%)
12/2007: Gen13             -- 4,585 (- 5.0%)
01/2008: Wildcats          -- 3,566 (-22.2%)
----------------
6 months:  n.a.
1 year  :  n.a.
296 - LOONEY TUNES (Johnny DC)
01/2002: Looney Tunes #86  -- 3,031*
01/2003: Looney Tunes #98  -- 3,253*
01/2004: Looney Tunes #110 -- 3,197
01/2005: Looney Tunes #122 -- 2,896
01/2006: Looney Tunes #134 -- 2,601
-----------------------------------
01/2007: Looney Tunes #146 -- 2,588 (- 5.3%)
02/2007: Looney Tunes #147 -- 2,553 (- 1.4%)
03/2007: Looney Tunes #148 -- 2,705 (+ 6.0%)
04/2007: Looney Tunes #149 -- 2,640 (- 2.4%)
05/2007: Looney Tunes #150 -- 3,093 (+17.2%)
06/2007: Looney Tunes #151 -- 2,711 (-12.4%)
07/2007: Looney Tunes #152 -- 2,865 (+ 5.7%)
08/2007: Looney Tunes #153 -- 2,755 (- 3.8%)
09/2007: Looney Tunes #154 -- 2,740 (- 0.6%)
10/2007: Looney Tunes #155 -- ?
11/2007: Looney Tunes #156 -- ?
12/2007: Looney Tunes #157 -- 2,641
01/2008: Looney Tunes #158 -- 2,596 (- 1.7%)
----------------
6 months: - 9.1%
1 year  : + 0.3%
2 years : - 0.2%

Finally, two more Johnny DC titles (see disclaimers), plus a supplementary publication that may or may not be selling enough copies someplace to justify its existence.

—–

REORDERS:
226: 5,525 -- Nightwing #138 (2nd)
235: 5,026 -- Detective Comics #838
239: 4,763 -- World of WarCraft #1 (2nd)
252: 4,209 -- Freddy vs. Jason vs. Ash #1
262: 3,676 -- Batman #671 (2nd)
264: 3,600 -- World of WarCraft #2
267: 3,476 -- Detective Comics #839
272: 3,316 -- Nightwing #139
288: 2,776 -- Robin #169 (2nd)

—–

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

DC COMICS
01/2004: 24,889
01/2005: 24,650
01/2006: 33,019
---------------
01/2007: 29,706 (-13.7%)
02/2007: 31,051 (+ 4.5%)
03/2007: 32,398 (+ 4.3%)
04/2007: 39,134 (+20.8%)
05/2007: 34,489 (-11.9%)
06/2007: 32,437 (- 6.0%)
07/2007: 34,330 (+ 5.8%)
08/2007: 34,885 (+ 1.6%)
09/2007: 32,332 (- 7.3%)
10/2007: 31,489 (- 2.6%)
11/2007: 29,427 (- 6.6%)
12/2007: 33,138 (+12.6%)
01/2008: 27,033 (-18.4%)
----------------
6 months: -21.3% 
1 year  : - 9.0%
2 years : -18.1%
3 years : + 9.7%
4 years : + 8.6%
DC UNIVERSE
01/2004: 29,783
01/2005: 30,156
01/2006: 40,118
---------------
01/2007: 38,302 (-14.2%)
02/2007: 39,976 (+ 4.4%)
03/2007: 42,634 (+ 6.7%)
04/2007: 52,768 (+23.8%)
05/2007: 47,294 (-10.4%)
06/2007: 45,380 (- 4.1%)
07/2007: 47,134 (+ 3.9%)
08/2007: 46,717 (- 0.9%)
09/2007: 42,894 (- 8.2%)
10/2007: 39,409 (- 8.1%)
11/2007: 37,257 (- 5.5%)
12/2007: 40,074 (+ 7.6%)
01/2008: 33,654 (-16.0%)
----------------
6 months: -28.6%
1 year  : -12.1%
2 years : -16.1%
3 years : +11.6%
4 years : +13.0%
VERTIGO
01/2004: 15,069
01/2005: 13,262
01/2006: 15,036
---------------
01/2007: 13,572 (- 1.9%)
02/2007: 11,855 (-12.7%)
03/2007: 13,748 (+16.0%)
04/2007: 12,105 (-12.0%)
05/2007: 12,256 (+ 1.3%)
06/2007: 12,732 (+ 3.9%)
07/2007: 12,193 (- 4.2%)
08/2007: 10,817 (-11.3%)
09/2007: 11,806 (+ 9.1%)
10/2007: 10,678 (- 9.6%)
11/2007: 10,946 (+ 2.5%)
12/2007: 11,035 (+ 0.8%)
01/2008: 10,115 (- 8.3%)
----------------
6 months: -17.0%
1 year  : -25.5%
2 years : -32.7%
3 years : -23.7%
4 years : -32.9%
WILDSTORM
01/2004: 14,234
01/2005: 17,591
01/2006: 17,505
---------------
01/2007: 14,525 (-16.0%)
02/2007: 14,105 (- 2.9%)
03/2007: 15,224 (+ 7.9%)
04/2007: 13,609 (-10.6%)
05/2007: 14,260 (+ 4.8%)
06/2007: 12,272 (-13.9%)
07/2007: 11,234 (- 8.5%)
08/2007: 10,744 (- 4.4%)
09/2007: 11,379 (+ 5.9%)
10/2007: 11,960 (+ 5.1%)
11/2007: 15,109 (+26.3%)
12/2007: 15,601 (+ 3.3%)
01/2008: 14,033 (-10.1%)
----------------
6 months: +24.9%
1 year  : - 3.4%
2 years : -19.8%
3 years : -20.2%
4 years : - 1.4%

—–

6-MONTH COMPARISONS
+ 15.8%: Robin
+ 11.8%: Y: The Last Man
+ 11.3%: Catwoman
+ 10.8%: Legion
+  6.3%: Scooby-Doo
+  6.9%: Nightwing
+  1.1%: Green Arrow
-  1.7%: Green Lantern Corps
-  3.5%: Detective Comics
-  3.5%: Friday the 13th
-  5.2%: Countdown
-  6.9%: Batman Strikes
-  6.9%: Hellblazer
-  7.2%: Blue Beetle
-  7.7%: Justice League Unlimited
-  9.1%: Looney Tunes
- 10.1%: JLA: Classified
- 11.1%: Teen Titans Go
- 11.5%: Action Comics
- 11.6%: Teen Titans
- 11.8%: Jonah Hex
- 13.6%: Birds of Prey
- 14.2%: DMZ
- 14.3%: Superman
- 14.8%: Testament
- 15.5%: Checkmate
- 15.8%: Scalped
- 16.1%: The Exterminators
- 17.3%: Crossing Midnight
- 17.3%: The Spirit
- 17.4%: Batman
- 17.5%: Green Lantern
- 17.9%: American Virgin
- 18.4%: All-New Atom
- 18.7%: JSA: Classified
- 18.7%: JSA: Classified
- 19.0%: The LoSH in the 31th Century
- 19.0%: Wonder Woman
- 22.9%: Justice League of America
- 23.0%: Superman/Batman
- 23.2%: Gen13
- 24.9%: Supergirl
- 28.2%: Army@Love
- 28.4%: Midnighter
- 35.9%: Superman Confidential
- 44.3%: Faker
- 47.5%: Flash
- 53.5%: The Programme

—–

1-YEAR COMPARISONS
+ 20.8%: Green Lantern Corps
+ 12.1%: Y: The Last Man
+ 10.2%: Green Arrow
+  2.3%: Green Lantern
+  2.2%: Legion
+  2.0%: Robin
+  0.3%: Looney Tunes
-  0.1%: Catwoman
-  3.2%: Scooby-Doo
-  4.5%: Batman
-  4.8%: Nightwing
-  5.7%: Hellblazer
-  8.3%: Batman Strikes
- 10.4%: Justice League Unlimited
- 11.1%: 100 Bullets 
- 13.1%: Teen Titans
- 14.9%: Friday the 13th
- 15.5%: JLA: Classified
- 16.6%: Birds of Prey
- 16.9%: Jack of Fables
- 18.7%: Flash
- 19.3%: Teen Titans Go
- 20.1%: DMZ
- 22.5%: Checkmate
- 22.8%: Jonah Hex
- 24.7%: Blue Beetle
- 24.9%: The Exterminators
- 26.4%: Superman
- 30.0%: Shadowpact
- 30.2%: JSA: Classified
- 30.8%: American Virgin
- 33.3%: The Spirit
- 33.3%: Uncle Sam
- 33.4%: Testament
- 34.0%: All-New Atom
- 36.2%: Crossing Midnight
- 45.5%: Superman Confidential
- 48.8%: Scalped
- 50.7%: Gen13
- 56.7%: Midnighter

—–

2-YEAR COMPARISONS
+ 45.0%: Detective Comics
+ 36.4%: Action Comics
+ 27.9%: Justice League of America
+ 13.1%: Green Arrow
+ 11.0%: Batman
+  9.7%: Y: The Last Man
+  2.2%: Flash
+  1.9%: Robin
+  1.0%: Legion
+  0.6%: Wonder Woman
-  0.2%: Looney Tunes
-  4.9%: Catwoman
-  6.9%: Scooby-Doo
-  8.0%: Nightwing
- 16.3%: Hellblazer
- 17.7%: Batman Strikes
- 18.5%: Justice League Unlimited
- 19.0%: 100 Bullets
- 19.7%: Teen Titans
- 20.2%: Green Lantern
- 20.5%: Birds of Prey
- 25.6%: Green Lantern Corps
- 26.5%: DMZ
- 27.7%: Superman
- 34.5%: Teen Titans Go
- 43.7%: Jonah Hex
- 50.9%: JLA: Classified
- 60.7%: JSA: Classified

—–
OTHER PUBLISHERS

14 - BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER (Dark Horse Comics)
01/2002: Buffy #41 --  15,744*
01/2003: Buffy #53 --  15,305*
-----------------------------
03/2007: Buffy #1  -- 109,919          [158,437]
04/2007: Buffy #2  --  96,409 (-12.3%) [132,378]
05/2007: Buffy #3  -- 106,634 (+10.6%) [125,078]
06/2007: Buffy #4  -- 102,430 (- 3.9%) [117,866]
07/2007: Buffy #5  -- 100,830 (- 2.0%) [109,322]
08/2007: --
09/2007: Buffy #6  --  96,556 (- 4.2%) [102,728]
10/2007: Buffy #7  --  94,144 (- 2.4%) [ 97,142]
11/2007: Buffy #8  --  91,595 (- 2.7%) [ 96,975]
12/2007: Buffy #9  --  89,556 (- 2.2%)
01/2008: Buffy #10 --  88,474 (- 1.2%)
----------------
6 months: -12.3%

Buffy creator Joss Whedon himself returned as the book’s writer with issue #10. And somewhat surprisingly, there is no sales increase as a result. Instead, the book just continues its very slow decline. That may be good news for Dark Horse, actually, because it means that the book’s numbers aren’t as dependent on Whedon’s personal involvement as a writer as you’d have expected.

As usual, Buffy was supported with a variant cover edition in January. Issues #8 through #6, meanwhile, made the chart again, selling between 3,102 and 2,818 additional units.

—–

39 - ANGEL: AFTER THE FALL (IDW)
01/2006: Old Friends #2 of 5    -- 14,753
-----------------------------------------
01/2007: Auld Lang Syne #3 of 5 --  6,699 (-  9.0%)
02/2007: Auld Lang Syne #4 of 5 --  6,371 (-  4.9%)
03/2007: Auld Lang Syne #5 of 5 --  6,351 (-  0.3%)
04/2007: --
05/2007: --
06/2007: --
07/2007: --
08/2007: --
09/2007: --
10/2007: --
11/2007: After the Fall #1      -- 47,563 (+648.9%) [65,293]
12/2007: After the Fall #2      -- 44,792 (-  5.8%) [56,396]
01/2008: After the Fall #3      -- 46,013 (+  2.7%)
-----------------
6 months:  n.a.
1 year  : +586.9%
2 years : +211.9%

The other Joss Whedon vehicle actually goes up in sales with issue #3, which is remarkable by any standard. As usual, there were multiple variant cover editions, while the two previous issues also charted again: #1 sold another 8,675 units in January, while #2 shifted another 11,604 copies.

Angel: After the Fall isn’t written by Whedon himself, but – as with Buffy – it seems Whedon’s status as a “producer” and the fact that the book is an official continuation of the TV show are enough to entice the audience.

—–

70 - STAR WARS: LEGACY (Dark Horse Comics)
01/2007: Star Wars: Legacy #7  -- 34,249 (+3.8%)
02/2007: Star Wars: Legacy #8  -- 33,533 (-2.1%)
03/2007: Star Wars: Legacy #9  -- 33,084 (-1.3%)
03/2007: Star Wars: Legacy #10 -- 32,320 (-2.3%)
04/2007: -- 
05/2007: Star Wars: Legacy #11 -- 33,138 (+2.5%)
05/2007: Star Wars: Legacy #12 -- 32,161 (-3.0%)
06/2007: Star Wars: Legacy #13 -- 32,149 (-0.0%)
07/2007: Star Wars: Legacy #14 -- 31,652 (-1.6%)
08/2007: Star Wars: Legacy #15 -- 31,539 (-0.4%)
09/2007: Star Wars: Legacy #16 -- 31,240 (-1.0%)
10/2007: -- 
11/2007: Star Wars: Legacy #17 -- 31,197 (-0.1%)
10/2007: -- 
11/2007: Star Wars: Legacy #18 -- 31,038 (-0.5%)
----------------
6 months: - 1.9%
1 year  : - 9.4%

The commercial flagship of Dark Horse Comics’ Star Wars periodicals has been a throughly solid performer throughout its run.

—–

74 - THE UMBRELLA ACADEMY: APOCALYPSE SUITE (Dark Horse Comics)
09/2007: Apocalypse Suite #1 of 6 -- 37,698          [48,514]
10/2007: Apocalypse Suite #2 of 6 -- 31,176 (-17.3%) [36,002]
11/2007: Apocalypse Suite #3 of 6 -- 29,508 (- 5.4%) [34,699]
12/2007: Apocalypse Suite #4 of 6 -- 28,703 (- 2.7%) [31,583]
01/2008: Apocalypse Suite #5 of 6 -- 29,736 (+ 3.6%)

Any limited series managing to increase its numbers with its penultimate issue must be doing something right. The demand for previous issues also remains high – issues #2 through #4 all charted again in January, selling between 2,576 and 2,880 units.

—–

79 - THE BOYS (Dynamite Entertainment)
01/2007: --
02/2007: --
03/2007: --
04/2007: --
05/2007: The Boys #7  -- 31,616 (+16.9%) [37,255]
06/2007: The Boys #8  -- 30,639 (- 3.1%) [32,868]
07/2007: --
08/2007: The Boys #9  -- 32,570 (+ 6.3%)
09/2007: The Boys #10 -- 32,077 (- 1.5%)
10/2007: The Boys #11 -- 30,852 (- 3.8%)
11/2007: The Boys #12 -- 29,754 (- 3.6%)
12/2007: The Boys #13 -- 29,195 (- 1.9%)
01/2008: The Boys #14 -- 28,559 (- 2.2%)
----------------
6 months:   n.a.
1 year  :   n.a.

The book is settling into a slow decline.

—–

89 - STAR WARS: KNIGHTS OF THE OLD REPUBLIC (Dark Horse Comics)
01/2006: Star Wars: KotOR #1  -- 23,486 [25,140]
---------------------------------------
01/2007: Star Wars: KotOR #12 -- 24,940 (+ 2.1%)
01/2007: Star Wars: KotOR #13 -- 24,149 (- 3.2%)
02/2007: Star Wars: KotOR #14 -- 23,395 (- 3.1%)
03/2007: --
04/2007: Star Wars: KotOR #15 -- 23,560 (+ 0.7%)
05/2007: Star Wars: KotOR #16 -- 23,572 (+ 0.1%)
05/2007: Star Wars: KotOR #17 -- 22,907 (- 2.8%)
06/2007: --
07/2007: Star Wars: KotOR #18 -- 22,713 (- 0.9%)
08/2007: Star Wars: KotOR #19 -- 22,396 (- 1.4%)
09/2007: Star Wars: KotOR #20 -- 21,836 (- 2.5%)
10/2007: Star Wars: KotOR #21 -- 21,879 (+ 0.2%)
11/2007: Star Wars: KotOR #22 -- 21,694 (- 0.9%)
11/2007: Star Wars: KotOR #23 -- 20,519 (- 5.4%)
12/2007: Star Wars: KotOR #24 -- 20,396 (- 0.6%)
01/2008: Star Wars: KotOR #25 -- 25,035 (+22.8%)
----------------
6 months: +10.2%
1 year  : + 2.0%
2 years : + 6.6%

The January issue was the start of a twelve-part crossover between the various Star Wars titles, hence the sales increase. If it works for Marvel and DC, why shouldn’t it work for Star Wars, after all. It’s a comparatively modest increase, certainly, but then again, Dark Horse’s Star Wars line is already rock-solid to begin with.

—–

96 - STAR WARS: DARK TIMES (Dark Horse Comics)
01/2007: Star Wars: Dark Times #2 of 5 -- 30,500 (-11.6%)
02/2007: --
03/2007: --
04/2007: --
05/2007: Star Wars: Dark Times #3 of 5 -- 29,501 (- 3.3%)
06/2007: --
07/2007: Star Wars: Dark Times #4 of 5 -- 27,514 (- 6.7%)
08/2007: --
09/2007: --
10/2007: Star Wars: Dark Times #5 of 5 -- 26,573 (- 3.4%)
10/2007: Star Wars: Dark Times #6      -- 25,121 (- 5.5%)
11/2007: --
12/2007: Star Wars: Dark Times #7      -- ?
01/2008: Star Wars: Dark Times #8      -- 23,353
----------------
6 months: -15.1%
1 year  : -23.4%

If you’re wondering what the sales of Star Wars: Dark Times #7 were, well, so am I. The book shipped in December, apparently, but it’s nowhere to be found on the Diamond chart, for reasons which escape me.

Anyway, the book’s numbers aren’t as consistent as those of the rest of the line, but it’s still been doing well enough to turn it into an ongoing series after its initial five issues were up, evidently. So, no reason to complain.

—–

99 - SPAWN (Image Comics/TMP)
01/2002: Spawn #118 -- 43,281*
01/2003: Spawn #130 -- 36,937*
01/2004: --
01/2005: Spawn #142 -- 28,705
01/2006: Spawn #152 -- 27,247
-----------------------------
01/2007: Spawn #164 -- 24,534 (- 1.6%)
02/2007: --
03/2007: Spawn #165 -- 24,519 (- 0.1%)
03/2007: Spawn #166 -- 23,690 (- 3.4%)
04/2007: --
05/2007: Spawn #167 -- 24,277 (+ 2.5%)
06/2007: Spawn #168 -- 24,152 (- 0.5%)
07/2007: Spawn #169 -- 24,037 (- 0.5%)
08/2007: Spawn #170 -- 23,712 (- 1.4%)
09/2007: Spawn #171 -- 23,768 (+ 0.2%)
10/2007: --
11/2007: Spawn #172 -- 23,628 (- 0.6%)
12/2007: Spawn #173 -- 23,136 (- 2.1%)
01/2008: Spawn #174 -- 22,667 (- 2.0%)
----------------
6 months: - 5.7%
1 year  : - 7.6%
2 years : -16.8%

Spawn, as always, keeps slowly declining.

—–
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 traditionally known to be 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. The estimates from March 2001 to February 2003 (marked with an asterisk) were for initial orders rather than actual sales, so they’re only roughly compatible with the subsequent figures.

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. Reorders are included, so long as they either reached stores in a book’s initial 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 the book’s initial 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 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.

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Germany-based Marc-Oliver Frisch has a weblog and regularly contributes to German online magazine Comicgate.

  1. I wish DC would just cancel the whole idea of a Wildstorm Universe along with flooding the market with spinoffs of whatever their current event is and devote the time and money to something else (like improving their own universe).

    I could see the WS imprint continuing as an imprint for licensed properties though.

  2. I don’t see the usual Vertigo argument this month as the writer went to great lengths to be very cautious in including the statements of creators who’d have problems with the numbers and the commentary. Actually, I’m kind of glad to see the comments withheld. I don’t mind the factual variant covers/creative team change kind of stuff or even “standard attrition” but often I find the other comments to be a lot of conjecture that doesn’t add much.

  3. Following up on what was written about Northlanders, I offer my numbers as a PSA:

    Initial orders for #2:
    15,262 (reg)
    + 1,193 (var)

    = 16455

    So only off by 500 copies. Not so bad.

    And off my DMZ royalty sheets, copies sold to date:

    #22 – 13634
    #23 – 13287
    #24 – 12964

    Roughly 1400 copies per issue difference.

    -bri

  4. Brian: First up, obviously, any context in the shape of hard, actual numbers is to be appreciated.

    That said, even if the numbers we’re working with were 100% accurate rather than just estimates, they’d likely not match with your royalty statements. For one thing, as I say in the column, the time periods measured by the two sets of numbers are unlikely to be precisely the same. And for another, your royalty statements presumably measure total sales, whereas the Diamond figures only cover sales to the North American direct market.

    Bearing all this in mind, though, I’m surprised the discrepancies aren’t larger, to be honest.

  5. Brian:

    Interestingly, the numbers are all show a 10.6-10.7% variance which is entirely consistent with the 10-12% lower number stat I’ve always heard and seen for the Diamond numbers. So things match up pretty well. Thanks for posting.

  6. “The general consensus right now seems to be that much is hinging on the upcoming Final Crisis blockbuster series for DC’s periodical business. Based on the publisher’s recent performance, it’s hard to disagree.”
    ==–==–

    Yeah, I agree. DC will be out of business soon.

  7. In my opinion, with FINAL CRISIS it would be interesting to see a company-wide reboot. Start fresh and market on that relentlessly. Also gear all the relaunches to work in print as well as online. SELL DOWNLOADS ONLINE AT A GREAT PRICE! Or heck, offer all the first issues for free on Wowio and get all over MySpace. Give the new generation a reason to pay attention to these books and think they are cool again!

    Because running in the same direct market circles with the same tired and beleaguered continuities is going nowhere.

  8. It’s working okay for Marvel. Publishing is still profitable for them.

    If DC were to focus their resources and cut some of the fat, they’d be doing a whole lot better.

  9. Marvel’s getting a boost from their success in movies and other media, but to be honest with the exposure they’ve have in mainstream culture they should easily be selling 3 to 4 times what they are now.

  10. I agree that DC needs to cut some of the fat. Stop wasting energy on Wildstorm and, for the love of God, stop greenlighting ongoing Vertigo books. As a consumer, I can say that I’m not the least bit interested in Countdown or any of its seemingly endless spinoffs. The news that we’ll have more of the same this summer, with Final Crisis, does not sit well with me. I’m down to maybe three DC books a month, but the company could win me back if they’d get away from hollow ‘events’ and focus on solid stories.

  11. I think you overestimate the extent to which success in other media get people into comic shops. Now, is Marvel selling 3x more crap at Toys ‘R Us and Target? I have no idea.

  12. “I agree that DC needs to cut some of the fat.”

    I kept hoping that someone would say it, so I guess I will. It’s time for the good old boys at DC to step down. Time to infuse new ideas beyond what they want to see published before they die, better yet here’s a novel idea…visit a comic shop and see what’s really going on in the real world.

  13. Good point Angry Girl. Get the pros away from the cons, where they preach to the converted. Get them into the real Pits of Purchase (Oops, I mean Point of Purchase, ha ha)

  14. “Seriously: The reason why people, once upon a time, cared about the WildStorm Universe line had nothing to do with the fact that it had a derivative world with derivative characters. Rather, it had something to do with the fact that, once upon a time, it was an outlet for books which had innovative storytelling and made Paul Levitz feel a little uncomfortable inside.”

    Well put. I still miss Wildcats 3.0, Micah Wright’s Stormwatch, and Ellis’s/Millar’s untamed Authority. Shame on you Levitz! Maybe the whole of the Wildstorm Universe needs to disappear for a few years to re-build audience interest, and then it could return either unshackled by DC or another publisher entirely.

  15. Whenever I read these market analysis there’s one question I’ve had that I’d be interested to see any opinions on:

    Why is it that a series — almost any series — always declines over time? I can understand why someone would read the first couple of issues and decide “not for me,” but ten or twenty issues in? I’d assume by then a reader has had both plenty of time to make that determination and an investment in the narrative.

    My personal reading habits are such that if I like a series, I’ll keep buying it until it’s finished or canceled. What’s the point of reading several hundred pages of story only to toss it aside without finding out how it ends? Who is it that reads up to issue _#86_ of “100 Bullets,” and 14 issues from the end, ditches the title? This sort of purchasing pattern has always mystified me, assuming that is what’s happening.

  16. What you usually find is that a new series (or a relaunched series, or a new run by a hot creator) launches high, and then drops back significantly in the second month. Those are the readers who tried it and didn’t like it.

    Then, over the next few month, you lose more readers who were giving the book a bit more time to prove itself, and decide that they didn’t like it. And by issue six or so – give or take – you’re typically down to a core audience, some of whom will get bored and drift away each month.

    Once in a blue moon, a comic gets such good word of mouth that it continues to attract new readers beyond the initial phase, but that’s extremely rare. I suspect most readers now accept the notion that there are “jumping on points” where you can start buying a series – and if you’ve missed it, you might as well not bother, because you’re going to get an incomplete story.

    So the new readers only come right at the start (stunts and crossovers aside, and they rarely have a lasting effect), while attrition and boredom are continuing forces. Therefore, everything enters high and goes down. As a general rule, anyway.

  17. Thanks for the insight, Paul; that certainly makes sense, particularly for ongoing series such as a “Batman” title (or even “Hellblazer”). But I still find it odd that “closed narratives” with a definite beginning and end, like “Y” or “100 Bullets,” will tend to shed readers as they approach their conclusion. I can only liken it to watching “Usual Suspects,” then getting up and leaving before the last ten minutes because you’ve suddenly decided that you don’t really care who Keyser Soze is.

  18. Last year I decided to stop purchasing my weekly pull of over fifteen years.

    My old list comprised of Superman & Batman titles, Flash, Wonder Woman… oh hell, pretty much a big chunk of superhero books DC put out every month, and this remained constant every week until last March.

    After Infinite Crisis, my interest became muddled with dissatisfaction largely due to continuity problems, short-term creative teams, and books being late. The continuity problems still bother me the most, since its been two years and no damn explanation has been presented. All I want to know is if Bibbo existed, dammit!

    Several friends of mine also stopped buying DC titles as well, citing continuity fuck ups and event wear-out as their reasons.

    However, I will point out that my friends and I have been comic readers for many years; I started in 1992.

    I know there are so many people who have never picked up a comic or *gasp* have never even heard of Superman and other superheroes. That’s right, they’re out there.

    In the past year living in Hollywood ironically enough I have met more people who have never even heard of Superman or Wonder Woman, and when they do, I direct them to a comic book store, BUT I tell them to buy trades, because to quote myself: “you may not understand the new stuff. It’s too confusing when it should never be.”

  19. chris7crows:

    There are as many reasons for dropping a book mid-stream as there are people. Maybe it’s no longer in the budget. Maybe the reader found some other book he/she likes more and those three dollars are going towards that. Maybe the new artist or writer on a book isn’t to the reader’s liking. Maybe some new character’s really getting on the reader’s nerves. Maybe there was a price increase (that’s why I dropped the IDW Transformers stuff). Maybe the reader decided to start waiting for the trade. Maybe it’s just not clicking with the reader anymore. Maybe the reader has just read all the stories with that character, or that universe, that he/she needed to read — not in an, “Oh, if I read another ______ story I’m gonna throw up!” way, but just in an, “Huh, I guess I’m done,” sort of way.

    Heck, maybe the reader just got busy and forgot to go to the comic store that month and when he/she figured it out he/she shrugged his/her shoulders and went, “Huh, I guess I don’t need to buy these things anymore.” Habits can be like that sometimes, y’know.

    Oh, and the other thing to remember is that these are the orders placed by the retailers, not the end consumers. As long as they have the extra cash, they can keep buying two copies of such-and-such-a-title for the racks just in case they might sell, but if a hot new title comes along, or an event starts up, or they need to tighten their belts, they can’t keep up with those two copies of that book. It’s kind of like how all the B-level titles started to drop at the same time the books became so darned event-driven — part of that was probably the retailers buying less copies, but part of that was also the readers adjusting their budgets to follow the event rather than what had been, ’til then, their regular books.

  20. I’m obviously in the minority among comics fans, but I read many more DC titles then I do Marvel, so I have a hard time understanding why DC’s books are doing so poorly. Marvel has been able to have great success (albeit initially, so it may be fleeting) with characters like the Hulk and Thor, which have never been big sellers. Why can’t DC do the same?

    It seems like there are a few things DC could learn from Marvel:
    1.) Remove the character for a long period of time. Marvel built up a lot of anticipation for the return of Thor by having him “die” for a few years before bringing him back. Presumably, this would also allow a creative team to get pretty far ahead on their deadlines, so that the nightmares that DC faced after One Year Later could be avoided. It would seem to me that Wonder Woman would benefit greatly from this strategy.

    2.) If you have to do events, build them around a character. Marvel has really given the Hulk a shot in the arm with World War Hulk. Would Green Lantern have benefitted more from the Sinestro Corps War if it was a standalone series supported by the ongoing? As successful as SCW was, I really think it could have been bigger.

    I also don’t understand why DC continues to release books like The Programme as comics. These books are designed to be read as trades. Why have they gotten away from the Prestige Format? A series like this would do much better in that format, with a collection to follow.

  21. Chris – people lose their jobs, move out of their parent’s basement, leave the country or just decide to move to tradepaperbacks all the time.
    I’ve noticed a lot of our customers slash their comicbook reading habit entirely when they get married for example.

  22. Typically, one of the things that causes me to drop a book can be missing an issue. Much like one of the readers above, I’m a completist:I have a hard time dropping a book after getting so far in. Usually it takes a creative shakeup or direction I can’t stand to make me drop a title. A good example of this was when Morrison/Quietly took over X-Men a few years back. I had a complete run of the title up into the one-teens, but was so upset by the finangling of the creative team that I dropped the book. I started picking it back up when Morrison’s run was coming to a close. Similarly, I remember having a complete run of Morbius up until issue 25 of that title. The art and story shift was so jarring with the new creative team that came in that I dropped the book after 26. Apparently not too many other people cared for the new direction either, since the book got canned with 34.

    It’s kind of odd, but I enjoy a lot of the lower selling DC titles, which I consider to be pretty well written. I’m among the number that reads Checkmate, Shadowpact and Suicide Squad. I was also among the readers of such excellent series as Manhunter and Chase that seemed to get canned before their time.

    I’m also of the opinion that DC had some titles that had great runs before new, supposedly high profile creative teams took over to “relaunch” certain books. I loved Greg Rucka’s run on Wonder Woman at the end of the old post-Crisis series, similarly I’d never been a regular Flash reader before discovering the great team of Geoff Johns and Scott Kolins on that title. When the books were relaunched, I detested the new direction of both and thus refused to buy them, having read the first issue of each new series that a friend had purchased. Similarly, one issue of the new Flash was enough for him and he gave up the new Wonder Woman title 4 issues in.

    Sometimes creative changes aren’t needed, but sometimes they come too late to save a title. The new Firestorm is a good example of this. While the title was enjoyable after Stuart Moore took over as a writer, the initial launch under Dan Jolley was hard to read at times. The only reason I hung in is because the character is my favorite superhero of all time so I’m a completist. By the time the book became enjoyable under Moore’s tutelage(he came onboard around issue 15 IIRC), a good portion of the audience was already lost.

  23. Typically, one of the things that causes me to drop a book can be missing an issue. Much like one of the readers above, I’m a completist:I have a hard time dropping a book after getting so far in. Usually it takes a creative shakeup or direction I can’t stand to make me drop a title. A good example of this was when Morrison/Quietly took over X-Men a few years back. I had a complete run of the title up into the one-teens, but was so upset by the finangling of the creative team that I dropped the book. I started picking it back up when Morrison’s run was coming to a close. Similarly, I remember having a complete run of Morbius up until issue 25 of that title. The art and story shift was so jarring with the new creative team that came in that I dropped the book after 26. Apparently not too many other people cared for the new direction either, since the book got canned with 34.

    It’s kind of odd, but I enjoy a lot of the lower selling DC titles, which I consider to be pretty well written. I’m among the number that reads Checkmate, Shadowpact and Suicide Squad. I was also among the readers of such excellent series as Manhunter and Chase that seemed to get canned before their time.

    I’m also of the opinion that DC had some titles that had great runs before new, supposedly high profile creative teams took over to “relaunch” certain books. I loved Greg Rucka’s run on Wonder Woman at the end of the old post-Crisis series, similarly I’d never been a regular Flash reader before discovering the great team of Geoff Johns and Scott Kolins on that title. When the books were relaunched, I detested the new direction of both and thus refused to buy them, having read the first issue of each new series that a friend had purchased. Similarly, one issue of the new Flash was enough for him and he gave up the new Wonder Woman title 4 issues in.

    Sometimes creative changes aren’t needed, but sometimes they come too late to save a title. The new Firestorm is a good example of this. While the title was enjoyable after Stuart Moore took over as a writer, the initial launch under Dan Jolley was hard to read at times. The only reason I hung in is because the character is my favorite superhero of all time so I’m a completist. By the time the book became enjoyable under Moore’s tutelage(he came onboard around issue 15 IIRC), a good portion of the audience was already lost.

  24. Thanks for the opinions, I appreciate the input — I was definitely curious — but it still seems to me that many of those reasons apply to ongoing titles and not finite runs by a single creative team.

    “100 Bullets” is a good example: Why would 644 people drop the book between issues #85 and #87? You’d figure at that point they’d either a) Already have been buying trades, b) Figured out if they liked the series (and it’s not like there have been fill-ins), or c) Having read 85 issues of the series, just hold out 15 more issues for the conclusion, even if they are leaving comics (assuming, of course, they have the financial resources available). Being a creator, I’ve been puzzling over this for a while.

  25. >

    As someone said, these numbers are retailers ordering the books, not customers buying them.

    If there are, for argument’s sake, 3000 comics stores, 22% of them ordering one less copy of #87 would account for those 644 lost orders. For each individual store, no big deal really, ordering 19 instead of 20 copies. But it adds up.

  26. “Why would 644 people drop the book between issues #85 and #87?”

    Look at it this way: The vast majority of readers do stick around from month to month. However, there are countless reasons why a given reader may drop a given title from one month to the next. Consequently, every month, those books which didn’t manage to gain enough new readers to compensate for the lapsed ones will drop by a cerain percentage.

    And the longer a serial narrative goes on, the harder it usually gets to convince people to jump on board. As a result, most books are trending downward by about two percent every month.

  27. Harken everyone — these figures DO NOT REPRESENT SALES TO READERS. They represent what comics shops THINK THEY WILL SELL TO READERS!

    Thus every given month a retailer may think, hm, Blue Lantern isn’t selling very well, I’m only going to order 2 copies instead of 4. A few people do it and a few hundred copies less per month.

    This has ALWAYS been the pattern, even when these charts were not as publicised at they are now. Look up Matt High’s original charts back on Usenet and you will see this is true.

  28. “these figures DO NOT REPRESENT SALES TO READERS. They represent what comics shops THINK THEY WILL SELL TO READERS!”

    Well, on the one hand, I’d argue that retailers don’t place their orders in a vacuum – they have feedback from their customers, which I’d wager determines the bulk of their ordering habits, as far as periodicals are concerned. So, ultimately, the trends we see here should give us a pretty good idea of what readers want, I think.

    Then again, I wonder how much of a factor the so-called “shelf copies” are. If books have to compete for shelf space with a thrice-monthly AMAZING SPIDER-MAN, a weekly COUNTDOWN and twenty-seven spin-off titles, then something eventually has to give. And if a book stops being on the shelf, its potential for attracting new readers is considerably diminished, obviously.

  29. I agree with Wheeljack (heck, I am the guy he borrowed the terrible Flash and WonderWoman issues from…).

    The problem with certain trends is that the “fan-boys” of the world get fed all this crap about how everything that a certain writer is doing is all they should buy…IMHO, Bendis is the biggest hack in all of comic-land, but, damn, Wizard thinks he is the “end-all-be-all” writer.

    Storywise, Marvel isn’t that great, and the sad part is “Secret Invasion” will outsell “Final Crisis” by leaps and bounds…Why?!?! Because of BMB and the wonderful people at Wizard! That is why!

    I think that the majority of the sales that we are seeing each month is caused by these mindless drones (Marvel Zombies, if you will) are being led like lambs to the slaughter…while World War Hulk might have sold more than it’s counterpart at DC (Sinestro War)…Sinestro was ten-times the story…Just the same, Infinite Crisis (for all the crap that it cause afterwords) was better (in terms of story) than Civil War (most anti-climatic ending…Captain America #25 was the true final issue of the mini), however, what Wizard tells these people to buy, they do…

    Makes me wonder if Marvel signed Shamus to one of those exclusive contracts…

    My ranting is over…

  30. DC just needs to get off these big events and let the creators do thier books without having to shove these storylines into thier stories. The occasional cross-over used to be really cool but nobody can tell an organic story with all the editorial interference. I’m down to a handful of DC titles (Titans, Legion, Action, Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, JLA, JSA and Simon Dark)

  31. About what Bo Storm said–do people even read Wizard anymore? They always seem to be bleeding staff every time I turn around. Also, when I read Wizard, it did seem to have something of a pro-Marvel slant in terms of what the staff seemed excited about, but it seemed to make an effort to cover both major companies (as someone who never allied himself to either publisher, I never had much reason to notice or care though.)

    I don’t think it’s fair to call anyone a mindless zombie for buying what they like at any rate. Some people really, really do like Bendis (I do, often), and some people really don’t like Geoff Johns (JSA makes me want to kill things), and these are their honest, true preferences and opinions. There was a time I bought more DC than Marvel… now it’s not the case. While both companies seem constantly embroiled in mega events, Marvel at least gives me some event free options so I don’t feel drowned with it all. Books like Runaways, Captain America and Daredevil often make reference to the big stories going on, but it’s not the main focus. At DC, I’m down to Blue Beetle and Brave and the Bold (and All Star Supes, whenever it manifests).

    And by all that, I just mean to say, clearly Marvel is doing something to please the bulk of its audience that DC just isn’t at the moment. To assume people who like what we dislike are duped sheep is… well it’s something, but it’s probably not correct!

  32. One of the things I find consistently puzzling when people talk about DC today is the complaint that they’ve been in an endless cycle of event comics, when in fact that’s not the case at all. Since Infinite Crisis DC has remained remarkably event-free. 52 was certainly not an event comic; it was an entirely self contained series, to the point that none of its’ main characters appeared anywhere else during its’ publication period. And 52 was generally successful and beloved. Countdown was something different, but even then we’ve mostly seen spinoffs rather than the story leaking into the rest of the DCU books.

    Marvel, meanwhile, has published Civil War, World War Hulk, Annihilation, Annihilation: Conquest, and their myriad spinoffs and crossovers since DC published Infinite Crisis, not to mention Messiah Complex and the buildup to Secret Invasion. Right or wrong, DC has more or less allowed their books to sink or swim on their own, yet no one complains that Marvel is just jumping from event to event to event. Why is the perception so inverted from reality?

    Oh, I guess DC did also do Amazons Attack. Does it count as an event if no one notices?

  33. Ken, don’t worry about it. DC will be out of business by this time next year. Then, when speaking of the comic book hobby, I finally will have to stop saying—

    “I don’t know how to quit you.”

  34. I submit the suggestion that, regarding Green Lantern and Green Lantern Corps, the degree of hold-on sales from Sinestro Corps might be partially due to the fact that we have “Sinestro Corps 2” to look forward to, in Blackest Night. I think it really gives a book focus to know that there’s a “sequel” big event coming up. It’s sort of like the feeling I had between “Fellowship of the Ring” and “Two Towers” or “Two Towers” and “Return of the King”. You felt like you were in the zone, with a grand plan at works, a greater story being told than just the one part of it. You really feel like there’s a long-term view for the book, and that, to get the complete story, you should stick around.

    Most books these days, you don’t know ANYTHING — *ANYTHING* more than 1-2 months past solicitations. It strikes me that the thing that’s most different about GL is that we *do* know what’s coming up in Summer 2009, and I believe that affects the sales.

  35. I for one dont understand the sales figures .How can some Dc books sell well below Marvel’s when most Dc books are better written then most Marvel’s.Ihave always bought more Dc’s then Marvel’s .It’s very weird.
    I think the best written Marvel book right now is Capt America.At Dc i would say JSA .
    I am looking forward to the Secret Invasion story just so it clears up some marvel storylines like maybe Tony Stark possibly acting so weird.
    Ken.

  36. Quality has nothing whatsoever to do with sales. Look at the best-selling movies of all time and try to argue that they’re the best *quality* movies of all time. Really, try it.

    Sales does not equal quality. Never ever has. In any industry.

  37. Does anyone know how many of these books do end up sitting on the store shelf, never purchased? I mean, I see a number like 20-25K on Countdown to Adeventure, then I look it my tiny little LCS in East Tennessee only to note that 10 of them are still sitting on the shelf a month later and think we’re probably not getting a good example of what’s selling.

    Compare that to the Crime Bible series, which I have to keep asking my LCS to reorder for me because there aren’t enough. Point being, where does 20K really start equaling 20K? It’s one thing to get excited about a book doing 20k or down on a book for doing just 20k, but in reality, if LCS are filling up storage boxes with unsold books, that’s the real measure of success.

    I understand that stores adjust their order quanties, but some of them will automatically order three or four or something no matter what, which is what was happening I think with Countdown to Adventure #6 and Crime Bible #4. The difference was that I as a consumer, had no trouble stuffing my bag with Countdown to Adventure several times over, but left the shop empty handed when it came to Crime Bible.

  38. “Does anyone know how many of these books do end up sitting on the store shelf, never purchased?”

    Well, that differs from book to book and from month to month, so in the current system of largely non-returnable distribution, there’s probably no workable way to find out.

    Generally, the difference between what’s sold to retailers and what retailers sell to their customers tends to be the largest in the first month of a new launch, and gradually get smaller in subsequent months, as retailers adjust their orders to match the demand for a given title.

    Ultimately, there’s always going to be a delayed effect, as far as these charts are concerned, of course. Still, I’d say that most of that is covered by the trends we see. If a retailer orders 15 copies of COUNTDOWN TO ADVENTURE and sells three, for instance, they’re probably going to order no more than five copies of the next issue – and hence we get to see an eight-percent drop on the chart.

  39. RE: DC

    Several problems here. DC and DD have chosen to go for the quick QUICK buck instead of focusing on quality series that can be picked up and enjoyed without having to buy countless crossovers and events to have any idea what might be happening. DD seems (finally!) to have at least grasped the concept by announcing that Superman and Batman will (paraphrasing) be embarking on adventures in THEIR OWN TITLES! Wow! Let us STOP going for the quick $$ by events and spin-offs (!!!) of events. Anyone remember the 90s? Anyone? Greed? Gluttony? Hello??

    The DCU: As a long-time GA/BC fan, I’ve been waiting years for said book. And what to we get? Judd. The GA/BC “family” of endless confusion and… drek. Passed on the book, thanks. If ever we bring back Green Arrow and Black Canary, perhaps they’ll let us in on it and we’ll bite, yeah?

    Flash: Jeezuz, where to start? We get over the Bart insanity (yeah, it was planned all along! uh huh), bring back Wally and we get… the Flash “family”. Does anyone wonder why sales on that book have plummeted? Do I want to read about second-rate Wonder Twins? Nada. Idea: DUMP THE WIFE AND KIDDIES! Better yet, BRING BACK BARRY ALLEN, say YES we made a mistake, have Patrick Duffy open the shower door and BRING BACK THE FLASH!!

    On the up side, the Johns/ Robinson Superman team looks promising.

    If anyone wants more ideas on how to save DC Comics, let me know!! yeah! : )

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