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Marvel Month-to-Month Sales June 2008

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by Paul O’Brien

Crossover season continued in June, with SECRET INVASION and its tie-ins still leading Marvel’s output. But this time round, the event hasn’t completely taken over Marvel’s output. There’s also the heavily promoted ULTIMATE ORIGINS series, and two new ongoing titles: SKAAR, SON OF HULK and ETERNALS.

As usual, Marvel had the dominant share of the North American direct market. If you go by Diamond’s figures, Marvel had a 48% unit share compared to DC’s 30%. In dollar terms, their lead was smaller but still commanding: 42% to 30%.

However, that’s probably overstating it a bit. One of DC’s big launches for June was TRINITY, their latest weekly series. Like 52 and COUNTDOWN before it, the early issues of TRINITY are being sold to stores on a returnable basis. Diamond’s policy, in compiling the charts, is to reduce the sales by some unspecified amount to allow for this.

In theory this is perhaps fair enough, but in practice, 52 and COUNTDOWN both supposedly saw their sales bounce up when the first non-returnable issue shipped. The obvious inference is that Diamond is being excessively pessimistic in allowing for returns, and that TRINITY probably sold significantly better than the chart shows – with the consequence that DC’s market share is probably at least slightly bigger than the chart makes it look.

Oh, one other thing. I’ve decided that listing all the skip month titles at the end of the column is just taking up a lot of space for no particular benefit, so I’ll drop it this month and see if any of you particularly care.

Thanks as always to Milton Griepp and ICV2 for permission to use these figures for their calculations.

1.  SECRET INVASION
04/08  Secret Invasion #1 of 8 - 254,449
05/08  Secret Invasion #2 of 8 - 191,024  (-24.9%)
06/08  Secret Invasion #3 of 8 - 175,735  ( -8.0%)

Still at the top of the charts, with a comfortable lead over the titles below it. These are steeper drops than we saw for the opening issues of WORLD WAR HULK, but then SECRET INVASION started out from a higher level. All told, it’s a runaway hit.

Issue #2 picks up re-orders of 8,581, and as usual, they’re added to the total above.

2.  ULTIMATE ORIGINS
07/08  Ultimate Origins #1 of 5 - 136,418

A surprisingly strong debut for this miniseries, which is basically an explanation of where superpowers came from in the Ultimate universe. The Ultimate imprint has been looking a bit lacklustre over the last couple of years, and the spin-off minis no longer selling in “event” numbers. This bucks the trend.

Mind you, it does have four covers – two of which are by the late Michael Turner, and one of those is a 1 in 75 incentive variant. I suspect that there genuinely is more interest in this series than in some other Ultimate minis of the last few years, but that it’s variant covers which are really pushing sales up to these heights. We’ll have to see how well it holds up over the rest of its run.

pre>4. NEW AVENGERS
06/03 Avengers #68 – 57,587
06/04 Avengers #84 – 57,073
06/05 New Avengers #6 – 161,575
06/06 New Avengers #21 – 134,278
=====
06/07 New Avengers #31 – 172,684 (+36.6%)
07/07 New Avengers #32 – 122,991 (-28.8%)
08/07 New Avengers #33 – 117,906 ( -4.1%)
09/07 New Avengers #34 – 112,815 ( -4.3%)
10/07 New Avengers #35 – 111,481 ( -1.2%)
11/07 New Avengers #36 – 107,715 ( -3.4%)
12/07 New Avengers #37 – 105,545 ( -2.0%)
01/08 —
02/08 New Avengers #38 – 104,140 ( -1.3%)
03/08 New Avengers #39 – 103,046 ( -1.1%)
04/08 New Avengers #40 – 117,201 (+13.7%)
05/08 New Avengers #41 – 109,185 ( -6.8%)
06/08 New Avengers #42 – 108,495 ( -0.6%)
6 mnth ( +2.8%)
1 year (-37.2%)
2 year (-19.2%)
3 year (-32.9%)
4 year (+90.1%)
5 year (+88.4%)

This is the third SECRET INVASION tie-in issue. It’s not an arc as such; basically, NEW AVENGERS and MIGHTY AVENGERS have been running flashback stories explaining how the Skrulls fit into everything that came before. At this point, sales aren’t significantly up from the book’s regular levels, but we’ve seen before that NEW AVENGERS tends not to see huge gains from crossovers, presumably because it sells so well to start with.

A second printing of issue #40 (yes, the April issue, not the May one) charts at number 209, picking up another 6,731 sales.

5.  WOLVERINE
06/03  Wolverine #2  -  99,867
06/04  Wolverine #16 -  67,519
06/05  Wolverine #29 -  79,951
06/06  Wolverine #43 -  97,807
=====
06/07  ---
07/07  Wolverine #55 - 130,707  (+36.0%)
08/07  Wolverine #56 -  73,368  (-43.9%)
09/07  Wolverine #57 -  74,588  ( +1.7%)
10/07  Wolverine #58 -  83,810  (+12.4%)
11/07  Wolverine #59 -  65,725  (-21.6%)
12/07  Wolverine #60 -  63,194  ( -3.9%)
01/08  Wolverine #61 -  60,857  ( -3.7%)
02/08  Wolverine #62 -  69,698  (+14.5%)
03/08  Wolverine #63 -  64,475  ( -7.5%)
04/08  Wolverine #64 -  64,871  ( +0.0%)
05/08  Wolverine #65 -  62,451  ( -3.7%)
06/08  Wolverine #66 -  98,026  (+57.0%)
                        6 mnth  (+55.1%)
                        1 year  (  --- )
                        2 year  ( +0.2%)
                        3 year  (+22.6%)
                        4 year  (+45.2%)
                        5 year  ( -1.8%)

This is the first part of “Old Man Logan”, an eight-issue story by Mark Millar and Steve McNiven about an aging Wolverine coming out of retirement for one last adventure in a dystopian future. It’s a promising start; these are the highest sales on WOLVERINE since the Loeb/Bianchi arc which ended last July.

This book is interesting for two reasons. First of all, Millar’s FANTASTIC FOUR run with Bryan Hitch hasn’t boosted sales as much as you might expect, which made me wonder how well he’d draw on this book. So far, so good, but it’s really too early to draw any firm conclusions; after all, FANTASTIC FOUR had good first month sales too (92,654, subsequently boosted to 98,111 by re-orders).

Second, although it apparently has some loose tie-in to other Millar stories, this is basically an out-of-continuity storyline appearing in a major ongoing title. Marvel don’t do this often, perhaps because out-of-continuity stories tend not to sell as well. Normally, they’d have published this as a miniseries – it’s basically WOLVERINE: THE END, or would be if Paul Jenkins hadn’t already written that series. So they’re experimenting with the format here, and so far, it seems like it’s working.

6.  ULTIMATES
06/03  ---
06/04  ---
06/05  ---
06/06  Ultimates 2 #11     -  96,751
=====
06/07  ---
07/07  ---
08/07  ---
09/07  ---
10/07  ---
11/07  ---
12/07  Ultimates 3 #1 of 5 - 154,722  (+46.3%)
01/08  Ultimates 3 #2 of 5 - 112,044  (-27.6%)
02/08  Ultimates 3 #3 of 5 - 103,570  ( -7.6%)
03/08  ---
04/08  ---
05/08  ---
06/08  Ultimates 3 #4 of 5 -  95,688  ( -7.6%)
                              6 mnth  (-38.2%)
                              1 year  (  --- )
                              2 year  ( -1.1%)
                              3 year  (  --- )
                              4 year  (  --- )
                              5 year  (  --- )

Losing readers, but it’s only a five-issue miniseries, and it’s still on a par with the performance of ULTIMATES 2. The real test for the Ultimate imprint comes with the upcoming Ultimatum event.

7.  MIGHTY AVENGERS
06/07  ---
07/07  Mighty Avengers #4  - 107,768  ( -6.6%)
08/07  ---
09/07  ---
10/07  Mighty Avengers #5  -  99,544  ( -7.6%)
11/07  ---
12/07  Mighty Avengers #6  -  90,709  ( -8.9%)
01/08  Mighty Avengers #7  -  92,739  ( +2.2%)
01/08  Mighty Avengers #8  -  84,459  ( -8.9%)
02/08  Mighty Avengers #9  -  83,466  ( -1.2%)
03/08  Mighty Avengers #10 -  82,149  ( -1.6%)
03/08  Mighty Avengers #11 -  82,253  ( +0.1%)
04/08  Mighty Avengers #12 -  97,239  (+18.2%)
05/08  Mighty Avengers #13 - 102,266  ( +5.2%)
05/08  Mighty Avengers #14 -  95,281  ( -6.8%)
06/08  Mighty Avengers #15 -  94,014  ( -1.3%)
                              6 mnth  ( +3.6%)
                              1 year  (  --- )

The fourth SECRET INVASION tie-in for this book, and it’s still enjoying a noticeable boost from pre-crossover levels. A second printing of issue #13 charts at number 227 with orders of 5,376, included in the chart above. If those extra sales are left out of account, the crossover issues are performing solidly in the mid-90K range.

8.  HULK
01/08  Hulk #1 - 139,931
02/08  Hulk #2 - 101,598  (-27.4%)
03/08  ---
04/08  Hulk #3 - 100,167  ( -1.4%)
05/08  ---
06/08  Hulk #4 -  90,600  ( -9.6%)

Drifting off the monthly schedule. Don’t be fooled by the 10% drop from issue #3 – it shipped a second printing in May. Its first month sales, in April, were estimated at 92,487. So in terms of first month sales, HULK is holding up well.

10. AVENGERS/INVADERS
05/08  Avngrs/Invaders #1 of 12 - 108,136
06/08  Avngrs/Invaders #2 of 12 -  83,012 (-23.2%)

That’s at the upper end of the range for second issue drops, but sales remain healthy. This series is doing much better than I had anticipated it would.

11. UNCANNY X-MEN
06/03  Uncanny X-Men #426 -  89,719
06/04  Uncanny X-Men #445 -  98,660
06/05  Uncanny X-Men #461 -  91,221
06/06  Uncanny X-Men #474 -  78,140
=====
06/07  Uncanny X-Men #487 -  81,481  ( -0.6%)
07/07  Uncanny X-Men #488 -  86,747  ( +6.5%)
08/07  Uncanny X-Men #489 -  88,068  ( +1.5%)
09/07  Uncanny X-Men #490 -  87,592  ( -0.5%)
10/07  Uncanny X-Men #491 -  85,638  ( -2.2%)
11/07  Uncanny X-Men #492 - 111,160  (+29.8%)
12/07  Uncanny X-Men #493 - 109,176  ( -1.8%)
01/08  Uncanny X-Men #494 - 105,520  ( -3.3%)
02/08  Uncanny X-Men #495 -  96,183  ( -8.8%)
03/08  Uncanny X-Men #496 -  89,054  ( -7.4%)
04/08  Uncanny X-Men #497 -  93,369  ( +4.8%)
05/08  Uncanny X-Men #498 -  82,090  (-12.1%)
06/08  Uncanny X-Men #499 -  81,100  ( -1.2%)
                             6 mnth  (-25.7%)
                             1 year  ( -0.5%)
                             2 year  ( +3.8%)
                             3 year  (-11.1%)
                             4 year  (-17.8%)
                             5 year  ( -9.1%)

The final part of UNCANNY’s “Divided We Stand” arc. As we’ve seen before, “Divided” isn’t a crossover, so much as a common brand for various X-Men stories appearing after “Messiah Complex.” In practice, it seems to be a bridge between that crossover, and the start of the X-Men’s new direction with issue #500 and ASTONISHING #25 in July.

You’ll recall that the “Messiah Complex” crossover ran from November to January, but it was preceded by a crossover back-up strip from July to October. So you have to go all the way back to last June to find the pre-crossover level, and… well, the book has fallen back to those levels. But next month’s anniversary issue, and the new direction, should spike the sales again.

13. CAPTAIN AMERICA
06/03  Captain America #14 -  45,639
06/04  Captain America #27 -  36,212
06/05  Captain America #7  -  47,160
06/06  Captain America #19 -  47,315
=====
06/07  Captain America #27 -  99,108  ( -23.4%)
07/07  Captain America #28 -  89,721  (  -9.5%)
08/07  Captain America #29 -  83,781  (  -6.6%)
09/07  Captain America #30 -  79,554  (  -5.0%)
10/07  Captain America #31 -  77,131  (  -3.0%)
11/07  Captain America #32 -  73,310  (  -5.0%)
12/07  Captain America #33 -  78,279  (  +6.8%)
01/08  Captain America #34 - 152,739  ( +95.1%)
02/08  Captain America #35 -  86,038  ( -43.7%)
03/08  Captain America #36 -  81,378  (  -5.4%)
04/08  Captain America #37 -  80,635  (  -0.9%)
05/08  Captain America #38 -  79,350  (  -1.6%)
06/08  Captain America #39 -  79,387  (  +0.0%)
                              6 mnth  (  +1.4%)
                              1 year  ( -19.9%)
                              2 year  ( +67.8%)
                              3 year  ( +68.3%)
                              4 year  (+119.2%)
                              5 year  ( +73.9%)

Holding steady. The death of Captain America has proved to be a sustained hit for this title – just compare the more typical sales from previous years.

14. DARK TOWER
06/07  Gunslinger Born #5 of 7 - 132,090  ( -5.3%)
07/07  Gunslinger Born #6 of 7 - 128,336  ( -2.8%)
08/07  Gunslinger Born #7 of 7 - 124,609  ( -2.9%)
09/07  ---
10/07  ---
11/07  ---
12/07  ---
01/08  ---
02/08  ---
03/08  Long Road Home #1 of 5  - 123,839  ( -0.6%)
04/08  Long Road Home #2 of 5  - 106,023  (-14.4%)
05/08  Long Road Home #3 of 5  -  87,631  (-17.3%)
06/08  Long Road Home #4 of 5  -  79,270  ( -9.5%)
                                  6 mnth  (  --- )
                                  1 year  (-40.0%)

It was perhaps inevitable that future DARK TOWER stories wouldn’t maintain quite the same “special event” aura, and would slide a little further down the charts. But LONG ROAD HOME is still doing fine, especially when you bear in mind that it surely has much greater bookstore potential than most of the titles around it.

Issue #2 picks up re-orders of 2,994.

16. SKAAR, SON OF HULK
06/08  Skaar, Son of Hulk #1 - 73,698

This is a sequel to the successful “Planet Hulk” storyline from INCREDIBLE HULK, and it’s more of a barbarian comic than any sort of superhero book. It’s also set on literally the other side of the Marvel Universe, and it features mainly new characters. So, all told, Marvel were taking something of a risk with this one. The WORLD WAR HULK: AFTERSMASH miniseries saw some nasty sales drops over their runs, which suggested that the retailers had overestimated demand and made me wonder whether we’d see more cautious ordering on SKAAR. But there’s no sign of that; this is a fine start for an ongoing title, and I’d say it’s actually a very good number for a book like this.

17,29,20. AMAZING SPIDER-MAN
06/03  ---
06/04  Amazing Spider-Man #509 -  88,289
06/05  Amazing Spider-Man #521 -  74,117
06/06  Amazing Spider-Man #533 - 112,982
=====
06/07  Amazing Spider-Man #541 - 108,284  ( -9.5%)
07/07  Amazing Spider-Man #542 - 105,715  ( -2.4%)
08/07  Amazing Spider-Man #543 - 106,485  ( +0.7%)
09/07  Amazing Spider-Man #544 - 159,104  (+49.4%)
10/07  ---
11/07  ---
12/07  Amazing Spider-Man #545 - 129,085  (-18.9%)
01/08  Amazing Spider-Man #546 - 127,958  ( -0.9%)
01/08  Amazing Spider-Man #547 - 101,213  (-20.9%)
01/08  Amazing Spider-Man #548 -  97,959  ( -3.2%)
02/08  Amazing Spider-Man #549 - 101,112  ( +3.2%)
02/08  Amazing Spider-Man #550 -  90,874  (-10.1%)
02/08  Amazing Spider-Man #551 -  88,084  ( -3.1%)
03/08  Amazing Spider-Man #552 -  89,835  ( +2.0%)
03/08  Amazing Spider-Man #553 -  82,648  ( -8.0%)
03/08  Amazing Spider-Man #554 -  81,072  ( -1.9%)
04/08  Amazing Spider-Man #555 -  86,902  ( +7.2%)
04/08  Amazing Spider-Man #556 -  78,458  ( -9.7%)
04/08  Amazing Spider-Man #557 -  77,057  ( -1.8%)
05/08  Amazing Spider-Man #558 -  76,966  ( -0.1%)
05/08  Amazing Spider-Man #559 -  74,206  ( -3.6%)
05/08  Amazing Spider-Man #560 -  74,012  ( -0.3%)
06/08  Amazing Spider-Man #561 -  72,372  ( -2.2%)
06/08  Amazing Spider-Man #562 -  71,409  ( -1.3%)
06/08  Amazing Spider-Man #563 -  70,792  ( -0.9%)
                                  6 mnth  (-45.2%)
                                  1 year  (-34.6%)
                                  2 year  (-37.3%)
                                  3 year  ( -4.5%)
                                  4 year  (-19.8%)
                                  5 year  (  --- )

Well, it’s still dropping. Cue the monthly debate on whether Joe Quesada can now be mathematically proven wrong.

Of course, it’ll never be that clear cut. On the one hand, AMAZING is still shedding readers at 4% a month, and six months into the relaunch, that’s higher than you would like. And it goes without saying that these numbers do not exactly look like a runaway success.

On the other hand, you can still make a mathematical case that they’re no worse off than they were with three separate titles. And you could argue that if the book IS appealing to completely new readers, then they’re likely to buy it on the newsstands or in trade paperback form, and either way they wouldn’t show up on this chart.

And let’s not forget that plenty of things changed in January, any of which could have contributed to the sales. Yes, readers might have been driven away by “One More Day.” But maybe they just preferred J Michael Straczynski. Or maybe they don’t like the thrice-monthly format.

And even if “One More Day” DID hurt sales, you could still make a case that it’s worth Marvel’s while riding out that storm for the long-term health of the franchise, to leave them with a comic more in tune with the Spider-Man they’re actually marketing in other media. (Personally, I prefer the book these days. But what do I know?)

18. X-MEN: LEGACY
06/03  New X-Men #127     -  99,672
06/04  New X-Men #142     -  97,897
06/05  X-Men #158         -  96,759
06/06  X-Men #187         -  77,918
=====
06/07  X-Men #200         - 156,787  (+106.3%)
07/07  X-Men #201         -  86,278  ( -45.0%)
08/07  X-Men #202         -  86,521  (  +0.3%)
09/07  X-Men #203         -  85,652  (  -1.0%)
10/07  X-Men #204         -  83,456  (  -2.6%)
11/07  X-Men #205         - 101,401  ( +21.5%)
12/07  X-Men #206         - 104,815  (  +3.4%)
01/08  X-Men #207         - 104,793  (  -0.0%)
02/08  X-Men: Legacy #208 -  88,132  ( -16.0%)
03/08  X-Men: Legacy #209 -  82,243  (  -6.7%)
04/08  X-Men: Legacy #210 -  77,441  (  -5.8%)
05/08  X-Men: Legacy #211 -  79,818  (  +3.1%)
05/08  X-Men: Legacy #212 -  74,033  (  -7.2%)
06/08  X-Men: Legacy #213 -  71,893  (  -2.9%)
                             6 mnth  ( -31.4%)
                             1 year  ( -54.1%)
                             2 year  (  -7.7%)
                             3 year  ( -25.7%)
                             4 year  ( -26.6%)
                             5 year  ( -27.9%)

Another “Divided We Stand” book. Like UNCANNY, this title ran crossovers in one form or another from July 2007 to January 2008. And June 2007 was an anniversary issue. So for a meaningful benchmark of pre-crossover sales, we have to look back to spring 2007, when the book spent four months hovering around the 75K mark.

Again, X-MEN: LEGACY has dropped below that level, and the new direction doesn’t look like a sales winner at this point.

22. INVINCIBLE IRON MAN
05/08  Invincible Iron Man #1 - 120,657
06/08  Invincible Iron Man #2 -  69,021  (-42.8%)

The second issue drop is exaggerated, because issue #1 picked up re-orders of 14,793. But even leaving those out of account, the drop would still be a hefty 33%. However, issue #1 had five variant covers and was supported by a movie release. Once you allow for all that, I suspect the “real” drop is fairly standard.

25. AVENGERS: THE INITIATIVE
06/07  Initiative #3 -  92,339  (-10.5%)
07/07  Initiative #4 -  94,773  ( +2.6%)
08/07  Initiative #5 -  86,536  ( -8.7%)
09/07  Initiative #6 -  74,184  (-14.3%)
10/07  ---
11/07  Initiative #7 -  66,455  (-10.4%)
12/07  Initiative #8 -  58,126  (-12.5%)
01/08  Initiative #9 -  55,270  ( -4.9%)
02/08  ---
03/08  Initiative #10 - 54,422  ( -1.5%)
04/08  Initiative #11 - 52,877  ( -2.8%)
04/08  Initiative #12 - 52,343  ( -1.0%)
05/08  Initiative #13 - 56,818  ( +8.5%)
06/08  Initiative #14 - 62,236  ( +9.5%)
                        6 mnth  ( +7.1%)
                        1 year  (-32.6%)

The number three Avengers title is seeing big gains from its SECRET INVASION tie-ins.

26. FANTASTIC FOUR
06/03  Fantastic Four #56  - 42,947
06/04  Fantastic Four #70  - 53,066
06/05  Fantastic Four #528 - 55,937
06/06  Fantastic Four #538 - 78,147
=====
06/07  Fantastic Four #547 - 69,610  (  -3.6%)
07/07  ---
08/07  Fantastic Four #548 - 65,695  (  -5.6%)
08/07  Fantastic Four #549 - 61,770  (  -6.0%)
09/07  ---
10/07  Fantastic Four #550 - 57,906  (  -6.3%)
11/07  Fantastic Four #551 - 58,617  (  +1.2%)
12/07  Fantastic Four #552 - 51,320  ( -12.4%)
01/08  Fantastic Four #553 - 48,332  (  -5.8%)
02/08  Fantastic Four #554 - 98,111  (+103.0%)
03/08  Fantastic Four #555 - 67,416  ( -31.3%)
04/08  Fantastic Four #556 - 65,013  (  -3.6%)
05/08  Fantastic Four #557 - 62,736  (  -3.5%)
06/08  Fantastic Four #558 - 61,003  (  -2.8%)
                             6 mnth  ( +18.9%)
                             1 year  ( -12.4%)
                             2 year  ( -21.9%)
                             3 year  (  +9.1%)
                             4 year  ( +14.9%)
                             5 year  ( +42.0%)

In sales terms, at least, Millar and Hitch’s FANTASTIC FOUR continues to underwhelm. It’s quite bizarre to see these A-list creators selling in the same quantities as last autumn’s fill-in run by Dwayne McDuffie and Paul Pelletier.

27. SECRET INVASION: WHO DO YOU TRUST
06/08  Who Do You Trust - 60,998

An anthology book of short SECRET INVASION tie-ins. Pretty good number.

30. ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN
06/03  Ult. Spider-Man #42  - 100,151
06/04  Ult. Spider-Man #61  - 101,159
06/05  Ult. Spider-Man #78  -  79,420
06/06  Ult. Spider-Man #96  -  73,472
=====
06/07  Ult. Spider-Man #110 -  73,646  ( +1.6%)
07/07  Ult. Spider-Man #111 -  75,487  ( +2.5%)
08/07  Ult. Spider-Man #112 -  76,523  ( +1.4%)
09/07  Ult. Spider-Man #113 -  67,476  (-11.8%)
09/07  Ult. Spider-Man #114 -  66,682  ( -1.2%)
10/07  Ult. Spider-Man #115 -  74,310  (+11.4%)
11/07  Ult. Spider-Man #116 -  61,534  (-17.2%)
12/07  Ult. Spider-Man #117 -  60,361  ( -1.9%)
01/08  Ult. Spider-Man #118 -  58,800  ( -2.6%)
02/08  Ult. Spider-Man #119 -  58,045  ( -1.3%)
03/08  Ult. Spider-Man #120 -  57,728  ( -0.5%)
04/08  Ult. Spider-Man #121 -  56,633  ( -1.9%)
05/08  Ult. Spider-Man #122 -  55,759  ( -1.5%)
06/08  Ult. Spider-Man #123 -  57,187  ( +2.6%)
                               6 mnth  ( -5.3%)
                               1 year  (-22.3%)
                               2 year  (-22.2%)
                               3 year  (-28.0%)
                               4 year  (-43.5%)
                               5 year  (-42.9%)

Looks like ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN might have bottomed out and started hovering around the mid-50K range. Some of the other Ultimate books have pulled out of declines as well; perhaps readers have decided that they’ll stick around see where Ultimatum takes things. Of course, these things sometimes turn out to be one-off blips, so we’ll have to see whether it sticks.

33. INCREDIBLE HERCULES
06/03  Incredible Hulk #56  -  68,529
06/04  Incredible Hulk #73  -  44,249
06/05  Incredible Hulk #82  -  43,248
06/06  ---
=====
06/07  Incredible Hulk #107 - 115,912  (  -3.2%)
07/07  Incredible Hulk #108 - 107,714  (  -7.1%)
08/07  Incredible Hulk #109 - 104,322  (  -3.1%)
09/07  Incredible Hulk #110 -  96,835  (  -7.2%)
10/07  ---
11/07  Incredible Hulk #111 - 101,536  (  +4.9%)
12/07  Incredible Hulk #112 -  77,119  ( -24.0%)
01/08  Hercules #113        -  73,533  (  -4.6%)
02/08  Hercules #114        -  52,200  ( -29.0%)
03/08  Hercules #115        -  49,336  (  -5.5%)
04/08  Hercules #116        -  44,575  (  -9.7%)
05/08  Hercules #117        -  53,008  ( +18.9%)
06/08  Hercules #118        -  52,975  (  -0.0%)
                               6 mnth  ( -31.3%)
                               1 year  ( -54.3%)
                               2 year  (   --- )
                               3 year  ( +22.5%)
                               4 year  ( +19.7%)
                               5 year  ( -22.7%)

The second issue of a SECRET INVASION tie-in arc, with the expected sales boost.

35. SECRET INVASION: FANTASTIC FOUR
05/08  Fantastic Four #1 of 3 - 60,689
06/08  Fantastic Four #2 of 3 - 51,434  (-15.2%)

Fairly typical sales drop. As you’d expect, the spin-off series lags a few thousand behind the core title.

36. KICK-ASS  [Icon]
02/08  Kick-Ass #1 - 73,317
03/08  ---
04/08  Kick-Ass #2 - 54,596  (-25.5%)
05/08  ---
06/08  Kick-Ass #3 - 50,896  ( -6.8%)

The Director’s Cut edition of issue #1 charts at number 140, with a further 14,094 sales. Bear in mind that issue #2 also picked up re-orders of 8,933 last month – so in fact, first month orders for issue #3 are up. All this is very positive news for an Icon book.

38. SECRET INVASION: RUNAWAYS & YOUNG AVENGERS
06/08  SIRYA #1 of 3 - 50,123

Massively outselling RUNAWAYS itself, but it’s perhaps more in accord with what you could expect of a YOUNG AVENGERS book. If nothing else, this miniseries will at least capitalise on the crossover to remind readers of both these properties.

39. CABLE
03/08  Cable #1 - 68,073
04/08  Cable #2 - 59,877  (-12.0%)
05/08  Cable #3 - 54,760  ( -8.5%)
06/08  Cable #4 - 49,996  ( -8.7%)

Okay, we’re starting to reach the point where 9% looks a bit steep for a month-to-month drop – especially considering that CABLE is still being boosted by variant covers. On the other hand, it’s still doing far better than CABLE & DEADPOOL managed. The signs are mixed.

41. ULTIMATE X-MEN
06/03  Ultimate X-Men #34 - 110,753
06/04  Ultimate X-Men #48 -  94,238
06/05  Ultimate X-Men #60 -  78,613
06/06  Ultimate X-Men #71 -  71,314
=====
06/07  Ultimate X-Men #83 -  59,677  ( -3.8%)
07/07  Ultimate X-Men #84 -  59,929  ( +0.4%)
08/07  Ultimate X-Men #85 -  57,660  ( -3.8%)
09/07  Ultimate X-Men #86 -  55,346  ( -4.0%)
10/07  Ultimate X-Men #87 -  63,028  (+13.9%)
11/07  ---
12/07  Ultimate X-Men #88 -  51,633  (-18.1%)
12/07  Ultimate X-Men #89 -  50,516  ( -2.2%)
01/08  Ultimate X-Men #90 -  49,634  ( -1.7%)
02/08  Ultimate X-Men #91 -  49,062  ( -1.2%)
03/08  Ultimate X-Men #92 -  49,015  ( -0.0%)
04/08  Ultimate X-Men #93 -  49,107  ( +0.2%)
05/08  Ultimate X-Men #94 -  49,779  ( +1.4%)
06/08  Ultimate X-Men #95 -  48,137  ( -3.3%)
                             6 mnth  ( -4.7%)
                             1 year  (-19.3%)
                             2 year  (-32.5%)
                             3 year  (-38.8%)
                             4 year  (-48.9%)
                             5 year  (-56.5%)

Down a bit this time, but ULTIMATE X-MEN has still been generally steady over the last six months.

42. WOLVERINE: ORIGINS
06/06  Origins #3  - 116,058
=====
06/07  Origins #15 -  65,558  ( -4.9%)
07/07  ---
08/07  Origins #16 -  69,781  ( +6.4%)
09/07  Origins #17 -  62,235  (-10.8%)
10/07  Origins #18 -  60,050  ( -3.5%)
11/07  Origins #19 -  55,999  ( -6.7%)
12/07  Origins #20 -  53,548  ( -4.4%)
01/08  Origins #21 -  51,919  ( -3.0%)
02/08  Origins #22 -  50,324  ( -3.1%)
03/08  Origins #23 -  49,633  ( -1.4%)
04/08  Origins #24 -  49,299  ( -0.7%)
05/08  Origins #25 -  52,907  ( +5.9%)
06/08  Origins #26 -  48,059  ( -9.2%)
                      6 mnth  (-10.3%)
                      1 year  (-26.7%)
                      2 year  (-58.6%)

Last month’s sales boost was a variant cover blip, so just ignore it. The general picture is that after a long period of continual decline, WOLVERINE: ORIGINS seems to be on the verge of levelling out. There’s a crossover with X-MEN: LEGACY in the pipeline.

46. THOR: AGES OF THUNDER
04/08  Ages of Thunder - 47,693
05/08  ---
06/08  Reign of Blood  - 46,577  (-2.3%)

A second THOR one-shot by Matt Fraction. This is a miniseries in all but name, and the first one-shot from April charts with re-orders of 4,256. So first month sales are actually up for the second part – always a good sign.

47. YOUNG X-MEN
04/08  Young X-Men #1 - 71,593
05/08  Young X-Men #2 - 51,267  (-28.4%)
06/08  Young X-Men #3 - 45,227  (-11.8%)

Another “Divided We Stand” book. This is on the steep side for a third issue drop, but there’s time enough for YOUNG X-MEN to level out.

48.  X-FACTOR
06/06  X-Factor #8  - 59,131
=====
06/07  X-Factor #20 - 37,105  ( -2.1%)
07/07  X-Factor #21 - 50,227  (+35.4%)
08/07  X-Factor #22 - 52,627  ( +4.8%)
09/07  X-Factor #23 - 53,311  ( +1.3%)
10/07  X-Factor #24 - 52,085  ( -2.3%)
11/07  X-Factor #25 - 79,066  (+51.8%)
12/07  X-Factor #26 - 84,219  ( +6.5%)
01/08  X-Factor #27 - 81,350  ( -3.4%)
02/08  X-Factor #28 - 61,173  (-24.8%)
03/08  X-Factor #29 - 54,832  (-10.4%)
04/08  X-Factor #30 - 51,447  ( -6.2%)
05/08  X-Factor #31 - 48,231  ( -6.3%)
06/08  X-Factor #32 - 45,104  ( -6.5%)
                      6 mnth  (-46.4%)
                      1 year  (+21.6%)
                      2 year  (-23.7%)

Another “Divided We Stand” book, and this time, if you go back to the pre-crossover sales last June, you’ll see that X-FACTOR is actually up considerably.

In fact, remarkably enough, this is one of only three Marvel titles on the June chart to have increased their sales year on year – the other two being MS. MARVEL and the Icon book CRIMINAL. It’s actually a misleading statistic, because June 2007 saw WORLD WAR HULK in full flow, whereas SECRET INVASION crossovers have been rather less overwhelming, or confined to tie-in minis. Nonetheless, it does point to X-FACTOR doing something right, when it’s bucking the trend in this way.

50.  X-FORCE: AIN'T NO DOG
06/08  Ain't No Dog - 44,987

Two X-FORCE solo stories, starring Warpath and the ever-underused Wolverine. It’s plugging the gap while X-FORCE is on a skip month; however, that book has been selling above the 80K mark, so this issue tails in way behind.

51.  MS MARVEL
06/06  Ms Marvel #4  - 40,627
=====
06/07  Ms Marvel #16 - 40,048  ( -6.5%)
07/07  Ms Marvel #17 - 38,003  ( -5.1%)
08/07  Ms Marvel #18 - 34,818  ( -8.4%)
09/07  Ms Marvel #19 - 32,371  ( -7.0%)
10/07  Ms Marvel #20 - 37,930  (+17.2%)
11/07  Ms Marvel #21 - 26,484  (-30.2%)
12/07  Ms Marvel #22 - 25,450  ( -3.9%)
01/08  Ms Marvel #23 - 24,260  ( -4.7%)
02/08  Ms Marvel #24 - 24,139  ( -0.5%)
03/08  Ms Marvel #25 - 40,993  (+69.8%)
04/08  Ms Marvel #26 - 42,277  ( +3.1%)
05/08  Ms Marvel #27 - 41,131  ( -2.7%)
06/08  Ms Marvel #28 - 42,194  ( +2.6%)
                       6 mnth  (+65.8%)
                       1 year  ( +5.4%)
                       2 year  ( +3.9%)

Another SECRET INVASION tie-in arc, doing wonders for the sales of this book.

52.  ETERNALS
06/08  Eternals #1 - 41,680

An extremely belated ongoing series, following from Neil Gaiman’s ETERNALS mini which wrapped up as long ago as February 2007. That series debuted at 103K and dropped to an estimated 59K by the end of its run; the new ongoing title debuts even further below that. That’s only to be expected, as Gaiman was the main selling point of the miniseries. Still, Marvel have left it a very long time to try and capitalise on the miniseries.

53. MARVEL 1985
05/08  Marvel 1985 #1 of 6 - 55,137
06/08  Marvel 1985 #2 of 6 - 40,134  (-27.2%)

On the steep side for a second issue drop, but Millar’s curious thematic homage to SECRET WARS (and nostalgia for the comics of 23 years ago) is probably doing okay for an oddball project.

54. DAREDEVIL
06/03  Daredevil #48  - 59,869
06/04  Daredevil #61  - 53,770
06/05  Daredevil #74  - 48,175
06/06  Daredevil #86  - 48,280
=====
06/07  Daredevil #98  - 46,816  ( -0.8%)
07/07  ---
08/07  Daredevil #99  - 47,386  ( +1.2%)
09/07  Daredevil #100 - 78,143  (+64.9%)
10/07  Daredevil #101 - 47,189  (-39.6%)
11/07  Daredevil #102 - 45,030  ( -4.6%)
12/07  Daredevil #103 - 43,874  ( -2.6%)
01/08  Daredevil #104 - 42,773  ( -2.5%)
02/08  Daredevil #105 - 42,098  ( -1.6%)
03/08  Daredevil #106 - 41,537  ( -1.3%)
04/08  ---
05/08  Daredevil #107 - 40,418  ( -2.7%)
06/08  Daredevil #108 - 39,557  ( -2.1%)
                        6 mnth  ( -9.8%)
                        1 year  (-15.5%)
                        2 year  (-18.1%)
                        3 year  (-17.9%)
                        4 year  (-26.4%)
                        5 year  (-33.9%)

Continuing its gentle decline.

55. CAPTAIN BRITAIN & MI-13
05/08  Cpt. Britain & MI-13 #1 - 43,281
06/08  Cpt. Britain & MI-13 #2 - 37,986  (-12.2%)

That’s an unusually small second-issue drop, which is a good sign. This opening arc is a SECRET INVASION tie-in, so the moment of truth will be when the crossover ends and the book has to stay on its own. The precedents aren’t very encouraging – HEROES FOR HIRE, anyone? – but with positive reviews and healthy second issue sales, there are some signs that this one might be different.

56. THUNDERBOLTS
06/03  Thunderbolts #80    - 18,766
06/04  Avngrs/T'Bolts #4   - 38,298
06/05  New Thunderbolts #9 - 27,300
06/06  Thunderbolts #103   - 48,058
=====
06/07  Thunderbolts #115   - 64,876  (  -2.2%)
07/07  ---
08/07  Thunderbolts #116   - 52,503  ( -19.1%)
09/07  ---
10/07  Thunderbolts #117   - 47,151  ( -10.2%)
11/07  ---
12/07  ---
01/08  Thunderbolts #118   - 43,645  (  -7.4%)
02/08  ---
03/08  Thunderbolts #119   - 40,173  (  -8.0%)
04/08  ---
05/08  Thunderbolts #120   - 38,330  (  -4.6%)
06/08  Thunderbolts #121   - 37,693  (  -1.7%)
                             6 mnth  (   --- )
                             1 year  ( -41.9%)
                             2 year  ( -21.6%)
                             3 year  ( +38.1%)
                             4 year  (  -1.6%)
                             5 year  (+100.9%)

THUNDERBOLTS has been losing readers hand over fist for the last year, but it seems to be levelling out this month. We shall see. There’s a SECRET INVASION tie-in around the corner, so it’ll be a while before we can get a real sense of where this title is heading in the longer term.

58. ULTIMATE FANTASTIC FOUR
06/04  Ult. Fantastic Four #7  - 99,445
06/05  Ult. Fantastic Four #20 - 69,097
06/06  ---
=====
06/07  Ult. Fantastic Four #43 - 51,453  ( -2.6%)
07/07  Ult. Fantastic Four #44 - 50,796  ( -1.3%)
08/07  Ult. Fantastic Four #45 - 48,779  ( -4.0%)
09/07  Ult. Fantastic Four #46 - 46,647  ( -4.4%)
10/07  Ult. Fantastic Four #47 - 45,015  ( -3.5%)
11/07  Ult. Fantastic Four #48 - 43,080  ( -4.3%)
12/07  Ult. Fantastic Four #49 - 40,656  ( -5.6%)
01/08  Ult. Fantastic Four #50 - 44,144  ( +8.6%)
02/08  Ult. Fantastic Four #51 - 38,804  (-12.1%)
03/08  Ult. Fantastic Four #52 - 38,146  ( -1.7%)
04/08  Ult. Fantastic Four #53 - 37,461  ( -1.8%)
05/08  Ult. Fantastic Four #54 - 37,556  ( +0.3%)
06/08  Ult. Fantastic Four #55 - 35,731  ( -4.9%)
                                 6 mnth  (-12.1%)
                                 1 year  (-30.6%)
                                 2 year  (  --- )
                                 3 year  (-48.3%)
                                 4 year  (-64.1%)

Looks like last issue was a blip, and the book’s decline continues.

59. IRON MAN: DIRECTOR OF SHIELD
06/03  Iron Man #69 - 31,976
06/04  Iron Man #85 - 29,615
06/05  ---
06/06  Iron Man #9  - 37,650
=====
06/07  Iron Man #18 - 56,474  (-10.8%)
06/07  Iron Man #19 - 83,801  (+48.4%)
07/07  Iron Man #20 - 72,831  (-13.1%)
08/07  Iron Man #21 - 49,548  (-32.0%)
09/07  Iron Man #22 - 46,691  ( -5.8%)
10/07  Iron Man #23 - 42,608  ( -8.7%)
11/07  ---
12/07  Iron Man #24 - 38,834  ( -8.9%)
01/08  Iron Man #25 - 38,072  ( -2.0%)
02/08  Iron Man #26 - 36,607  ( -3.8%)
03/08  Iron Man #27 - 36,011  ( -1.6%)
04/08  Iron Man #28 - 35,754  ( -0.7%)
05/08  Iron Man #29 - 36,415  ( +1.8%)
06/08  Iron Man #30 - 35,384  ( -2.8%)
                      6 mnth  ( -8.9%)
                      1 year  (-37.3%)
                      2 year  ( -6.0%)
                      3 year  (  --- )
                      4 year  (+19.5%)
                      5 year  (+10.7%)

Stubbornly unmoved by the movie promotion. Marvel have announced that this is being turned into a WAR MACHINE book after SECRET INVASION, thus effectively bringing us back to a single Iron Man title. It’s a similar device to the one they used to launch INCREDIBLE HERCULES, and the jury’s still out on how well that worked.

And this is as good a place as any to mention…

IRON MAN: VIVA LAS VEGAS
05/08  Viva Las Vegas #1 of 4 - 40,249
06/08  ---

The second issue doesn’t come out till August (so much for capitalising on the film). But issue #1 picks up re-orders of 5,097, added above.

64. GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY
05/08  Guardians of the Galaxy #1 - 36,293
06/08  Guardians of the Galaxy #2 - 32,967 (-9.2%)

A remarkably small second issue drop. Good sign.

65. WOLVERINE: DANGEROUS GAME
06/08  Dangerous Game - 31,940

Yet another random Wolverine one-shot.

66. RUNAWAYS
06/03  Runaways #3  - 20,778
06/04  Runaways #16 - 19,045
06/05  Runaways #5  - 28,409
06/06  Runaways #17 - 23,654
=====
06/07  ---
07/07  Runaways #27 - 41,254  (-10.6%)
08/07  ---
09/07  ---
10/07  Runaways #28 - 47,760  (+15.8%)
11/07  ---
12/07  ---
01/08  ---
02/08  Runaways #29 - 33,210  (-30.5%)
03/08  ---
04/08  ---
05/08  ---
06/08  Runaways #30 - 31,353  ( -5.6%)
                      6 mnth  (  --- )
                      1 year  (  --- )
                      2 year  (+32.5%)
                      3 year  (+10.4%)
                      4 year  (+64.6%)
                      5 year  (+50.9%)

RUNAWAYS has been bleeding readers over its ridiculously late Joss Whedon run – but it’s still doing a lot better than it ever has in the past. Another relaunch is just around the corner.

69. IMMORTAL IRON FIST
06/07  Immortal Iron Fist #6  - 36,731  ( -0.3%)
07/07  Immortal Iron Fist #7  - 35,842  ( -2.4%)
08/07  Immortal Iron Fist #8  - 35,449  ( -1.1%)
09/07  Immortal Iron Fist #9  - 34,282  ( -3.3%)
10/07  ---
11/07  Immortal Iron Fist #10 - 41,368  (+20.7%)
12/07  Immortal Iron Fist #11 - 32,975  (-20.3%)
01/08  Immortal Iron Fist #12 - 32,623  ( -1.1%)
02/08  ---
03/08  Immortal Iron Fist #13 - 32,047  ( -1.8%)
04/08  Immortal Iron Fist #14 - 30,881  ( -3.6%)
05/08  Immortal Iron Fist #15 - 30,334  ( -1.8%)
06/08  Immortal Iron Fist #16 - 29,822  ( -1.7%)
                                6 mnth  ( -9.6%)
                                1 year  (-18.8%)

Very slow but steady decline. I’ll be fascinated to see what happens when the creative team changes; they’ve built a solid audience for an IRON FIST title, but I wonder whether it’s the sort of audience who are interested in seeing another writer take on the character. We shall see.

70. PUNISHER  [Max]
06/03  Punisher #28 - 39,431
06/04  Punisher #7  - 48,124
06/05  Punisher #22 - 37,811
06/06  Punisher #34 - 34,161
=====
06/07  Punisher #48 - 33,804  ( -0.3%)
07/07  Punisher #49 - 34,317  ( +1.5%)
08/07  Punisher #50 - 36,457  ( +6.2%)
09/07  ---
10/07  Punisher #51 - 33,771  ( -7.4%)
11/07  Punisher #52 - 32,909  ( -2.6%)
12/07  Punisher #53 - 31,772  ( -3.5%)
01/08  Punisher #54 - 31,654  ( -0.4%)
02/08  ---
03/08  Punisher #55 - 31,276  ( -1.2%)
04/08  Punisher #56 - 30,796  ( -1.5%)
05/08  Punisher #57 - 30,528  ( -0.9%)
06/08  Punisher #58 - 29,802  ( -2.4%)
                      6 mnth  ( -6.2%)
                      1 year  (-11.8%)
                      2 year  (-12.8%)
                      3 year  (-21.2%)
                      4 year  (-38.1%)
                      5 year  (-24.4%)

Continuing its gentle slide.

74. TWELVE
12/07  Twelve #0 of 12 - 20,218
01/08  Twelve #1 of 12 - 40,199  (+98.8%)
02/08  Twelve #2 of 12 - 32,403  (-19.4%)
03/08  Twelve #3 of 12 - 32,729  ( +1.0%)
04/08  Twelve #4 of 12 - 29,729  ( -9.2%)
05/08  Twelve #5 of 12 - 29,876  ( +0.5%)
06/08  Twelve #6 of 12 - 29,303  ( -1.9%)

Incredibly solid sales for this miniseries.

76. NOVA
06/07  Nova #3 -  45,004  ( +1.1%)
07/07  Nova #4 -  40,173  (-10.7%)
08/07  Nova #5 -  39,543  ( -1.6%)
09/07  Nova #6 -  36,978  ( -6.5%)
10/07  Nova #7 -  34,876  ( -5.7%)
11/07  Nova #8 -  32,110  ( -7.9%)
12/07  Nova #9 -  30,469  ( -5.1%)
01/08  Nova #10 - 29,397  ( -3.5%)
02/08  ---
03/08  Nova #11 - 28,162  ( -4.2%)
04/08  Nova #12 - 28,185  ( +0.1%)
05/08  Nova #13 - 28,144  ( -0.1%)
06/08  Nova #14 - 28,892  ( +2.7%)
                  6 mnth  ( -5.2%)
                  1 year  (-35.8%)

This is very unusual – NOVA seems to have levelled out and may actually be turning around to start edging its way back up the charts. That’s a real achievement.

77. YOUNG AVENGERS PRESENTS
01/08  Y.A. Presents #1 of 6 - 43,714
02/08  Y.A. Presents #2 of 6 - 34,766  (-20.5%)
03/08  ---
04/08  Y.A. Presents #3 of 6 - 31,984  ( -8.0%)
04/08  Y.A. Presents #4 of 6 - 30,483  ( -4.7%)
05/08  Y.A. Presents #5 of 6 - 28,796  ( -5.5%)
06/08  Y.A. Presents #6 of 6 - 28,476  ( -1.1%)

Well, it’s a typical miniseries pattern. But we’re surely reaching the point where Marvel have to bite the bullet and decide whether they’re going to push these characters properly, or just abandon them.

80. PUNISHER WAR JOURNAL
06/07  War Journal #8  - 61,376  (-18.6%)
07/07  War Journal #9  - 56,854  ( -7.4%)
08/07  War Journal #10 - 51,303  ( -9.8%)
09/07  War Journal #11 - 47,220  ( -8.0%)
10/07  War Journal #12 - 66,548  (+40.9%)
11/07  War Journal #13 - 41,783  (-37.2%)
12/07  War Journal #14 - 38,471  ( -7.9%)
01/08  War Journal #15 - 35,815  ( -6.9%)
02/08  War Journal #16 - 32,508  ( -9.2%)
03/08  War Journal #17 - 31,227  ( -3.9%)
04/08  War Journal #18 - 29,565  ( -5.3%)
05/08  War Journal #19 - 29,906  ( +1.2%)
06/08  War Journal #20 - 27,288  ( -8.8%)
                         6 mnth  (-29.1%)
                         1 year  (-55.5%)

So much for the book levelling out. The decline continues.

81. HULK: RAGING THUNDER
06/08  Raging Thunder - 26,994

A Hulk/Thundra one-shot by Jeff Parker and Mitch Breitweiser. Sales are about what you’d expect.

83. MOON KNIGHT
06/06  Moon Knight #3  - 69,446
=====
06/07  Moon Knight #11 - 58,313  ( +2.8%)
07/07  ---
08/07  ---
09/07  Moon Knight #12 - 47,521  (-18.5%)
10/07  Moon Knight #13 - 44,082  ( -7.2%)
11/07  ---
12/07  ---
01/08  Moon Knight #14 - 34,569  (-21.6%)
02/08  Moon Knight #15 - 31,553  ( -8.7%)
03/08  Moon Knight #16 - 29,546  ( -6.4%)
04/08  Moon Knight #17 - 27,808  ( -5.9%)
05/08  Moon Knight #18 - 26,626  ( -4.3%)
06/08  Moon Knight #19 - 25,820  ( -3.0%)
                         6 mnth  (  --- )
                         1 year  (-55.7%)
                         2 year  (-62.8%)

Bleeding. The drops are levelling out, to be fair, so there’s some sign of progress – but I suspect it needs to be quicker.

84. NEW EXILES
06/03  Exiles #28    - 39,048
06/04  Exiles #48    - 38,120
06/05  Exiles #65    - 34,484
06/06  Exiles #83    - 33,143
=====
06/07  Exiles #95    - 30,612  ( -0.4%)
07/07  Exiles #96    - 30,245  ( -1.2%)
08/07  Exiles #97    - 29,092  ( -3.8%)
09/07  Exiles #98    - 28,308  ( -2.7%)
10/07  Exiles #99    - 27,776  ( -1.9%)
11/07  ---
12/07  Exiles #100   - 33,416  (+20.3%)
01/08  New Exiles #1 - 47,618  (+42.5%)
02/08  New Exiles #2 - 34,454  (-27.6%)
03/08  New Exiles #3 - 30,480  (-11.5%)
04/08  New Exiles #4 - 29,231  ( -4.1%)
04/08  New Exiles #5 - 28,505  ( -2.5%)
05/08  New Exiles #6 - 27,533  ( -3.4%)
06/08  New Exiles #7 - 25,742  ( -6.5%)
                       6 mnth  (-23.0%)
                       1 year  (-15.9%)
                       2 year  (-22.3%)
                       3 year  (-25.4%)
                       4 year  (-32.5%)
                       5 year  (-34.1%)

Now emphatically back at pre-relaunch levels. The drops have actually been growing over the last couple of months, which is particularly worrying.

85. GENEXT
05/08  GeNext #1 of 5 - 33,685
06/08  GeNext #1 of 5 - 25,345  (-24.8%)

Steep, but not exceptional for a miniseries.

88. GHOST RIDER
06/07  Ghost Rider #12 - 71,348  (+63.5%)
07/07  Ghost Rider #13 - 64,092  (-10.2%)
08/07  Ghost Rider #14 - 41,121  (-35.8%)
09/07  Ghost Rider #15 - 38,220  ( -7.1%)
10/07  Ghost Rider #16 - 34,335  (-10.2%)
11/07  Ghost Rider #17 - 31,581  ( -8.0%)
12/07  Ghost Rider #18 - 30,540  ( -3.3%)
01/08  Ghost Rider #19 - 28,566  ( -6.5%)
02/08  Ghost Rider #20 - 27,958  ( -2.1%)
03/08  Ghost Rider #21 - 26,526  ( -5.1%)
04/08  Ghost Rider #22 - 25,866  ( -2.5%)
05/08  Ghost Rider #23 - 25,099  ( -3.0%)
06/08  Ghost Rider #24 - 24,494  ( -2.4%)
                         6 mnth  (-19.8%)
                         1 year  (-65.7%)

Another book which is losing readers at an unhealthy rate, and needs to turn things around quickly.

90. NEWUNIVERSAL: SHOCKFRONT
05/08  Shockfront #1 of 6 - 28,888
06/08  Shockfront #2 of 6 - 
23,941  (-17.1%)

The original NEWUNIVERSAL series launched at 43K and dropped to 32K by issue #6, so this is about as good as could be expected.

93. ASTONISHING X-MEN SKETCHBOOK
06/08  Astonishing X-Men Sketchbook - 23,394

Trailer for next month’s ASTONISHING X-MEN #25. Always a good sign when people pay for the adverts.

95. PUNISHER: LITTLE BLACK BOOK  [Max]
06/08  Little Black Book - 22,826

One-shot by crime novelist Victor Gischler. Lagging some way behind the regular title, but then the creators aren’t particularly well known to comics fans, so that’s natural.

97. IRON MAN: LEGACY OF DOOM
04/08  Legacy of Doom #1 of 4 - 31,622
05/08  Legacy of Doom #2 of 4 - 23,377  (-26.1%)
06/08  Legacy of Doom #3 of 4 - 22,117  ( -5.4%)

One of Marvel’s occasional bones thrown to fans of the 1980s. Modest sales, but no surprises.

102. THE LAST DEFENDERS
03/08  Last Defenders #1 of 6 - 33,065
04/08  Last Defenders #2 of 6 - 25,731  (-22.2%)
05/08  Last Defenders #3 of 6 - 23,387  ( -9.1%)
06/08  Last Defenders #4 of 6 - 21,544  ( -7.9%)

Still shedding readers over the length of its run, which isn’t a good sign for a miniseries.

103. SHE-HULK
06/04  She-Hulk #4  - 27,648
06/05  ---
06/06  ---
=====
06/07  She-Hulk #19 - 26,127  (-37.5%)
07/07  ---
08/07  She-Hulk #20 - 25,582  ( -2.1%)
09/07  She-Hulk #21 - 27,221  ( +6.4%)
10/07  She-Hulk #22 - 35,568  (+30.7%)
11/07  She-Hulk #23 - 24,956  (-29.8%)
12/07  She-Hulk #24 - 23,585  ( -5.5%)
01/08  She-Hulk #25 - 23,283  ( -1.3%)
02/08  She-Hulk #26 - 22,181  ( -4.7%)
03/08  She-Hulk #27 - 21,421  ( -3.4%)
04/08  She-Hulk #28 - 20,843  ( -2.7%)
05/08  She-Hulk #29 - 20,678  ( -0.8%)
06/08  She-Hulk #30 - 21,016  ( +1.6%)
                      6 mnth  (-10.9%)
                      1 year  (-19.6%)
                      2 year  (  --- )
                      3 year  (  --- )
                      4 year  (-24.0%)

Pretty much level over the last few months, so perhaps it’s going to turn around. There’s a SECRET INVASION tie-in (doubling as a crossover with X-FACTOR) imminent.

104. NEW WARRIORS
06/07  New Warriors #1  - 56,809
07/07  New Warriors #2  - 45,820  (-19.3%)
08/07  New Warriors #3  - 42,660  ( -6.9%)
09/07  New Warriors #4  - 39,998  ( -6.2%)
10/07  New Warriors #5  - 36,937  ( -7.7%)
11/07  ---
12/07  New Warriors #6  - 32,982  (-10.7%)
12/07  New Warriors #7  - 30,177  ( -8.5%)
01/08  New Warriors #8  - 28,926  ( -4.1%)
02/08  New Warriors #9  - 25,694  (-11.2%)
03/08  New Warriors #10 - 23,887  ( -7.0%)
04/08  New Warriors #11 - 22,636  ( -5.2%)
05/08  New Warriors #12 - 21,808  ( -3.7%)
06/08  New Warriors #13 - 20,992  ( -3.7%)
                          6 mnth  (-30.4%)
                          1 year  (-63.0%)

Crashing and burning, by all appearances, but Marvel continue to solicit it.

105. WOLVERINE: FIRST CLASS
03/08  Wolverine: First Class #1 - 35,695
04/08  Wolverine: First Class #2 - 25,610 (-28.3%)
05/08  Wolverine: First Class #3 - 22,430 (-12.4%)
06/08  Wolverine: First Class #4 - 20,199 ( -9.9%)

Dropping back to the typical level of Marvel’s all-ages comics. No surprises here; if anything, it’s more unusual that WOLVERINE: FIRST CLASS debuted so high in the firstplace.

106. BLACK PANTHER
06/05  Black Panther #5  - 37,401
06/06  Black Panther #17 - 27,993
=====
06/07  Black Panther #28 - 61,808  (+17.6%)
07/07  Black Panther #29 - 55,027  (-11.0%)
08/07  Black Panther #30 - 48,478  (-11.9%)
09/07  ---
10/07  Black Panther #31 - 33,673  (-30.5%)
11/07  Black Panther #32 - 28,426  (-15.6%)
12/07  Black Panther #33 - 25,906  ( -8.9%)
01/08  ---
02/08  Black Panther #34 - 23,395  ( -9.7%)
03/08  Black Panther #35 - 21,332  ( -8.9%)
04/08  ---
05/08  Black Panther #36 - 20,841  ( -2.3%)
06/08  Black Panther #37 - 19,989  ( -4.1%)
                           6 mnth  (-22.8%)
                           1 year  (-67.7%)
                           2 year  (-25.9%)
                           3 year  (-46.6%)

Another book where the numbers look pretty catastrophic. It doesn’t seem to be in the October solicitations, but that could well be a skip month. BLACK PANTHER is an unusual case, because there’s an animated series on the way; that provides an argument for keeping the book around, in the hope of reaping the benefits when the show hits the air.

107. ANITA BLAKE, VAMPIRE HUNTER
06/07  ---
07/07  First Death #1 of 2   - 38,631  (+25.6%)
08/07  ---
09/07  ---
10/07  First Death #2 of 2   - 36,035  ( -6.7%)
11/07  ---
12/07  ---
01/08  Guilty Pls. #7 of 12  - 27,874  (-22.6%)
02/08  Guilty Pls. #8 of 12  - 27,358  ( -1.9%)
03/08  Guilty Pls. #9 of 12  - 26,324  ( -3.8%)
04/08  Guilty Pls. #10 of 12 - 21,462  (-18.5%)
05/08  Guilty Pls. #11 of 12 - 20,627  ( -3.9%)
06/08  Guilty Pls. #12 of 12 - 19,866  ( -3.7%)

ANITA BLAKE continues to lose readers, as her maxiseries finally wraps up. These numbers don’t exactly inspire confidence for future projects, but with the right creative team attached, you never know.

110. MYTHOS
06/07  Spider-Man      - 23,432  ( +5.7%)
07/07  ---
08/07  ---
09/07  ---
10/07  Fantastic Four  - 17,322  (-26.1%)
11/07  ---
12/07  ---
01/08  ---
02/08  ---
03/08  ---
04/08  ---
05/08  ---
06/08  Captain America - 19,284  (+11.3%)

As usual, the MYTHOS origin books don’t attract much interest in the direct market; but they’re not necessarily aimed at the hardcore fans.

112. SPIDER-MAN: WITH GREAT POWER
01/08  With Great Power #1 of 5 - 32,201
02/08  With Great Power #2 of 5 - 24,800  (-23.0%)
03/08  With Great Power #3 of 5 - 22,029  (-11.2%)
04/08  ---
05/08  ---
06/08  With Great Power #4 of 5 - 18,448  (-16.3%)

Vanishing from the radar.

120. CRIMINAL  [Icon]
06/07  Criminal #7  - 15,214  ( -3.2%)
07/07  ---
08/07  Criminal #8  - 15,169  ( -0.3%)
09/07  Criminal #9  - 14,768  ( -2.6%)
10/07  ---
11/07  Criminal #10 - 14,539  ( -1.6%)
12/07  ---
01/08  ---
02/08  Criminal #1  - 18,655  (+28.3%)
03/08  ---
04/08  Criminal #2  - 15,885  (-14.8%)
05/08  ---
06/08  Criminal #3  - 15,840  ( -0.3%)
                      6 mnth  (  --- )
                      1 year  ( +4.1%)

If you ignore the one-off boost for issue #1, CRIMINAL seems to have a rock solid core audience of around 15K. That’s perfectly good for a crime book.

123. AMAZING SPIDER-GIRL
06/03  Spider-Girl #61         - 23,429
06/04  Spider-Girl #75         - 24,674
06/05  Spider-Girl #87         - 19,605
06/06  Spider-Girl #99         - 17,915
=====
06/07  Amazing Spider-Girl #9  - 19,142  ( -2.2%)
07/07  Amazing Spider-Girl #10 - 19,094  ( -0.3%)
08/07  Amazing Spider-Girl #11 - 18,725  ( -1.9%)
09/07  Amazing Spider-Girl #12 - 18,676  ( -0.3%)
10/07  Amazing Spider-Girl #13 - 26,558  (+42.2%)
11/07  Amazing Spider-Girl #14 - 17,410  (-34.4%)
12/07  Amazing Spider-Girl #15 - 17,164  ( -1.4%)
01/08  Amazing Spider-Girl #16 - 16,422  ( -4.3%)
02/08  Amazing Spider-Girl #17 - 16,193  ( -1.4%)
03/08  Amazing Spider-Girl #18 - 15,910  ( -1.7%)
04/08  Amazing Spider-Girl #19 - 15,970  ( +0.4%)
05/08  Amazing Spider-Girl #20 - 15,646  ( -2.0%)
06/08  Amazing Spider-Girl #21 - 15,659  ( +0.0%)
                                 6 mnth  ( -8.8%)
                                 1 year  (-18.2%)
                                 2 year  (-12.6%)
                                 3 year  (-20.1%)
                                 4 year  (-36.5%)
                                 5 year  (-33.2%)

Looks to have levelled out at last.

Number 124 is WHAT IF… THIS WAS THE FANTASTIC FOUR?: A TRIBUTE TO MIKE WIERINGO, selling 15,659. It’s not a Marvel book, but a fundraiser for the Hero Initiative, consisting of an uncompleted Wieringo WHAT IF? story finished by other creators. At five dollars, the performance is very respectable.

125. ANGEL: REVELATIONS
05/08  Revelations #1 of 5 - 22,328
06/08  Revelations #2 of 5 - 15,351  (-31.2%)

Ooh, nasty. Retailers seem to have been landed with a lot of unwanted Angel comics in May, if this is any indication.

138. MARVEL SPOTLIGHT
06/06  N Gaiman/S Larroca  -  5,449
=====
06/07  Captain America     - 31,483  (+281.1%)
07/07  ---
08/07  World War Hulk      - 22,534  ( -28.4%)
08/07  Halo                -  9,782  ( -56.6%)
09/07  Thor                - 11,300  ( +15.5%)
10/07  Marvel Zombies      - 16,697  ( +47.8%)
11/07  ---
12/07  One More Day        - 12,807  ( -23.3%)
12/07  Messiah Complex     - 13,462  (  +5.1%)
01/08  Ultimates 3         -  9,354  ( -30.5%)
02/08  ---
03/08  L Hamilton/G Martin
 -  4,656  ( -50.2%)
04/08  Iron Man Movie      -  8,124  ( +74.5%)
05/08  Hulk Movie          -  7,680  (  -5.5%)
06/08  Secret Invasion     - 14,206  ( +85.0%)
                             6 mnth  (  +5.5%)
                             1 year  ( -54.9%)
                             2 year  (+160.7%)

As usual, the direct market sales on MARVEL SPOTLIGHT vary according to the event being promoted.

139. X-MEN: FIRST CLASS
06/07  First Class #1  - 26,370  (+11.9%)
07/07  First Class #2  - 22,269  (-15.6%)
08/07  First Class #3  - 20,495  ( -8.0%)
09/07  First Class #4  - 19,088  ( -6.9%)
10/07  First Class #5  - 18,134  ( -5.0%)
11/07  First Class #6  - 17,050  ( -6.0%)
12/07  First Class #7  - 16,195  ( -5.0%)
01/08  First Class #8  - 15,986  ( -1.3%)
02/08  First Class #9  - 15,320  ( -4.2%)
03/08  First Class #10 - 14,907  ( -2.7%)
04/08  First Class #11 - 14,896  ( -0.0%)
05/08  First Class #12 - 14,566  ( -2.2%)
06/08  First Class #13 - 14,157  ( -2.8%)
                         6 mnth  (-12.6%)
                         1 year  (-46.3%)

Dropping, but if you judge it by the standards of the other all ages books, it’s still doing very well.

142. HAUNT OF HORROR  [Max]
06/08  Lovecraft #1 of 3 - 13,605

Richard Corben does Lovecraft adaptations, in a follow-up to his earlier take on Edgar Allen Poe. This is clearly a product with an eye on the bookstore market, so the direct market sales are not that important.

146. MARVEL COMICS PRESENTS
09/07  Marvel Comics Prs. #1  - 38,337
10/07  Marvel Comics Prs. #2  - 26,573  (-30.7%)
11/07  Marvel Comics Prs. #3  - 23,444  (-11.8%)
12/07  Marvel Comics Prs. #4  - 19,890  (-15.2%)
01/08  Marvel Comics Prs. #5  - 17,426  (-12.4%)
02/08  Marvel Comics Prs. #6  - 16,188  ( -7.1%)
03/08  Marvel Comics Prs. #7  - 15,015  ( -7.2%)
04/08  Marvel Comics Prs. #8  - 13,630  ( -9.2%)
05/08  Marvel Comics Prs. #9  - 13,670  ( +0.3%)
06/08  Marvel Comics Prs. #10 - 12,900  ( -5.6%)
                                6 mnth  (-35.1%)

Ends with issue #12, but it’s apparently returning for a second season. Not necessarily a bad idea, as long as the next lead feature is a bigger commercial draw.

150. CLANDESTINE
02/08  ClanDestine #1 of 5 - 20,633
03/08  ClanDestine #2 of 5 - 15,366  (-25.5%)
04/08  ClanDestine #3 of 5 - 13,516  (-12.0%)
05/08  ClanDestine #4 of 5 - 12,223  ( -9.6%)
06/08  ClanDestine #5 of 5 - 11,927  ( -2.4%)

Sank without trace, unfortunately.

154. WAR IS HELL [Max]
03/08  Phantom Eagle #1 of 5 - 20,373
04/08  Phantom Eagle #2 of 5 - 13,993  (-31.3%)
05/08  Phantom Eagle #3 of 5 - 12,488  (-10.8%)
06/08  Phantom Eagle #4 of 5 - 11,765  ( -5.8%)

Not brilliant numbers, but Marvel seem to be prepared to accept that from the Max imprint. Presumably they either see these titles selling in bookstores, or they’re willing to live with low sales in the medium term as the cost of building the imprint.

156,160. AMERICAN DREAM
05/08  American Dream #1 of 5 - 15,259
05/08  American Dream #2 of 5 - 13,150  (-13.8%)
06/08  American Dream #3 of 5 - 11,540  (-12.2%)
06/08  American Dream #4 of 5 - 11,031  ( -4.4%)

Much as you’d expect from a biweekly SPIDER-GIRL spin-off.

158. SKY DOLL [Soleil]
05/08  Sky Doll #1 of 3 - 15,628
06/08  Sky Doll #2 of 3 - 11,208  (-28.3%)

Licensed comics from France. I suspect this is more of a trade paperback product, so the sales on this chart probably aren’t too important. Interestingly, though, issue #1 picks up re-orders of 2,651 – a hefty chunk for a book at this point on the chart.

190. FAIRY TALES
06/07  Spider-Man #2 of 4 - 13,845  (-20.3%)
07/07  Spider-Man #3 of 4 - 12,173  (-12.1%)
08/07  ---
09/07  Spider-Man #4 of 4 - 10,925  (-10.3%)
10/07  ---
11/07  ---
12/07  ---
01/08  ---
02/08  ---
03/08  Avengers #1 of 4   - 12,762  (-16.8%)
04/08  Avengers #2 of 4   -  9,668  (-24.2%)
05/08  ---
06/08  Avengers #3 of 4   -  8,189  (-15.3%)
                            6 mnth  (  --- )
                            1 year  (-40.9%)

This is clearly a pet project of somebody, but I confess that I just don’t get it.

196. OMEGA THE UNKNOWN
10/07  Omega t/Unknown #1 of 10 - 19,322
11/07  Omega t/Unknown #2 of 10 - 13,986  (-27.6%)
12/07  Omega t/Unknown #3 of 10 - 11,518  (-17.6%)
01/08  Omega t/Unknown #4 of 10 - 10,164  (-11.8%)
02/08  Omega t/Unknown #5 of 10 -  9,147  (-10.0%)
03/08  Omega t/Unknown #6 of 10 -  8,595  ( -6.0%)
04/08  Omega t/Unknown #7 of 10 -  8,302  ( -3.4%)
05/08  Omega t/Unknown #8 of 10 -  7,894  ( -4.9%)
06/08  Omega t/Unknown #9 of 10 -  7,724  ( -2.2%)
                                  6 mnth  (-32.9%)

This is an arthouse project, by Marvel standards, and it’s likely to do better in trade form.

198. SPIDER-MAN FAMILY
06/07  Spider-Man Family #3 - 16,853  (-18.5%)
07/07  ---
08/07  Spider-Man Family #4 - 14,253  (-15.4%)
09/07  ---
10/07  Spider-Man Family #5 - 11,771  (-17.4%)
11/07  ---
12/07  Spider-Man Family #6 -  9,860  (-16.2%)
01/08  ---
02/08  Spider-Man Family #7 -  8,587  (-12.9%)
03/08  ---
04/08  Spider-Man Family #8 -  7,889  ( -8.1%)
05/08  ---
06/08  Spider-Man Family #9 -  7,431  ( -5.8%)
                              6 mnth  (-24.6%)
                              1 year  (-55.9%)

Still dropping with no end in sight. The book is being relaunched to tie it more closely to the parent title.

205. THREE MUSKETEERS  [Marvel Illustrated]
06/08  Three Musketeers #1 of 3 - 6,937

Another adaptation of a public domain classic. Beginning here, we’re mainly looking at all ages titles which depend largely on sales through other channels – don’t put much weight on their figures here.

218. MARVEL ADVENTURES SPIDER-MAN  [All ages]
06/05  M.A. Spider-Man #4  - 8,878
06/06  M.A. Spider-Man #16 - 6,114
=====
06/07  M.A. Spider-Man #28 - 7,006  ( +2.8%)
07/07  M.A. Spider-Man #29 - 7,071  ( +0.9%)
08/07  M.A. Spider-Man #30 - 6,573  ( -7.0%)
09/07  M.A. Spider-Man #31 - 6,723  ( +2.3%)
10/07  M.A. Spider-Man #32 - 6,355  ( -5.5%)
11/07  M.A. Spider-Man #33 - 6,126  ( -3.6%)
12/07  M.A. Spider-Man #34 - 6,115  ( -0.2%)
01/08  M.A. Spider-Man #35 - 6,065  ( -0.8%)
02/08  M.A. Spider-Man #36 - 5,893  ( -2.8%)
03/08  M.A. Spider-Man #37 - 5,877  ( -0.3%)
04/08  M.A. Spider-Man #38 - 5,833  ( -0.7%)
05/08  M.A. Spider-Man #39 - 5,816  ( -0.3%)
06/08  M.A. Spider-Man #40 - 5,954  ( +2.4%)
                            6 mnth  ( -2.6%)
                            1 year  (-15.0%)
                            2 year  ( -2.6%)
                            3 year  (-32.9%)


228. MARVEL ADVENTURES AVENGERS  [All ages]
06/06  M.A. Avengers #2  - 9,359
=====
06/07  M.A. Avengers #14 - 7,293  ( +0.6%)
07/07  ---
08/07  M.A. Avengers #15 - 6,950  ( -4.7%)
09/07  M.A. Avengers #16 - 6,870  ( -1.2%)
10/07  M.A. Avengers #17 - 6,423  ( -6.5%)
11/07  M.A. Avengers #18 - 6,141  ( -4.4%)
12/07  M.A. Avengers #19 - 6,115  ( -0.4%)
01/08  M.A. Avengers #20 - 5,670  ( -7.3%)
02/08  M.A. Avengers #21 - 5,607  ( -1.1%)
03/08  M.A. Avengers #22 - 5,575  ( -0.6%)
04/08  M.A. Avengers #23 - 5,556  ( -0.3%)
05/08  M.A. Avengers #24 - 5,358  ( -3.6%)
06/08  M.A. Avengers #25 - 5,327  ( -0.6%)
                          6 mnth  (-12.9%)
                          1 year  (-27.0%)
                          2 year  (-43.1%)


232. LORDS OF AVALON: SWORD OF DARKNESS
02/08  Sword of Darkness #1 of 6 - 14,284
03/08  Sword of Darkness #2 of 6 -  6,994 (-51.0%)
04/08  Sword of Darkness #3 of 6 -  6,161 (-11.9%)
05/08  Sword of Darkness #4 of 6 -  5,551 ( -9.9%)
06/08  Sword of Darkness #5 of 6 -  5,195 ( -6.4%)

One of the last stragglers from the Dabel Brothers collaboration.

233. THE ILIAD [Marvel Illustrated]
12/07  Iliad #1 of 8 - 8,393
01/08  Iliad #2 of 8 - 5,248  (-37.5%)
02/08  Iliad #3 of 8 - 5,150  ( -1.9%)
03/08  Iliad #4 of 8 - 5,200  ( +1.0%)
04/08  Iliad #5 of 8 - 5,257  ( +1.1%)
05/08  Iliad #6 of 8 - 5,195  ( -1.2%)
06/08  Iliad #7 of 8 - 5,122  ( -1.4%)
                      6 mnth  (-39.0%)


235. CIVIL WAR CHRONICLES
07/07  Civil War Chronicles #1  - 18,449
08/07  Civil War Chronicles #2  - 12,953  (-29.8%)
09/07  Civil War Chronicles #3  - 11,094  (-14.4%)
10/07  Civil War Chronicles #4  -  9,108  (-17.9%)
11/07  Civil War Chronicles #5  -  7,500  (-17.7%)
12/07  Civil War Chronicles #6  -  6,841  ( -8.8%)
01/08  Civil War Chronicles #7  -  6,127  (-10.4%)
02/08  Civil War Chronicles #8  -  5,811  ( -5.2%)
03/08  Civil War Chronicles #9  -  5,536  ( -4.7%)
04/08  Civil War Chronicles #10 -  5,350  ( -3.4%)
05/08  Civil War Chronicles #11 -  5,052  ( -5.6%)
06/08  Civil War Chronicles #12 -  5,073  ( +0.4%)
                                  6 mnth  (-25.8%)

End of the series, which reprinted CIVIL WAR and its major tie-ins in chronological sequence. It’s being replaced by a similar series for WORLD WAR HULK.

247. MARVEL ADVENTURES HULK [All ages]
07/07  M.A. Hulk #1  - 11,394
08/07  M.A. Hulk #2  -  7,142  (-37.3%)
09/07  M.A. Hulk #3  -  5,790  (-18.9%)
10/07  M.A. Hulk #4  -  5,588  ( -3.5%)
11/07  M.A. Hulk #5  -  4,990  (-10.7%)
12/07  M.A. Hulk #6  -  4,862  ( -2.6%)
01/08  M.A. Hulk #7  -  4,653  ( -4.3%)
02/08  M.A. Hulk #8  -  4,533  ( -2.6%)
03/08  M.A. Hulk #9  -  4,394  ( -3.1%)
04/08  M.A. Hulk #10 -  4,645  ( +5.7%)
05/08  M.A. Hulk #11 -  4,686  ( +0.9%)
06/08  M.A. Hulk #12 -  4,716  ( +0.6%)
                       6 mnth  ( -3.0%)


249. THOR: SEARCH FOR ODIN
06/08  Search for Odin - 4,706

A reprint of THOR #7-8.

252. POWER PACK  [All ages]
06/06  Avengers #3 of 4       - 6,137
=====
06/07  Hulk #4 of 4           - 5,443  ( -2.7%)
07/07  Fantastic Four #1 of 4 - 6,577  (+20.8%)
08/07  Fantastic Four #2 of 4 - 5,749  (-12.6%)
09/07  Fantastic Four #3 of 4 - 5,400  ( -6.1%)
10/07  Fantastic Four #4 of 4 - 5,152  ( -4.6%)
11/07  Iron Man #1 of 4       - 5,527  ( +7.3%)
12/07  Iron Man #2 of 4       - 4,855  (-12.2%)
01/08  Iron Man #3 of 4       - 4,445  ( -8.4%)
02/08  Iron Man #4 of 4       - 4,256  ( -4.3%)
03/08  Day One #1 of 4        - 8,298  (+95.0%)
04/08  Day One #2 of 4        - 4,830  (-41.8%)
05/08  Day One #3 of 4        - 4,696  ( -2.8%)
06/08  Day One #4 of 4        - 4,491  ( -4.4%)
                               6 mnth  ( -7.5%)
                               1 year  (-17.5%)
                               2 year  (-26.8%)


260. MARVEL ADVENTURES FANTASTIC FOUR  [All ages]
06/05  M.A. Fantastic Four #1  - 9,617
06/06  M.A. Fantastic Four #13 - 4,752
=====
06/07  M.A. Fantastic Four #25 - 4,972  ( +3.4%)
07/07  M.A. Fantastic Four #26 - 5,370  ( +8.0%)
08/07  M.A. Fantastic Four #27 - 4,641  (-13.6%)
09/07  M.A. Fantastic Four #28 - 5,194  (+11.9%)
10/07  M.A. Fantastic Four #29 - 4,851  ( -6.6%)
11/07  M.A. Fantastic Four #30 - 4,460  ( -8.1%)
12/07  M.A. Fantastic Four #31 - 4,392  ( -1.5%)
01/08  M.A. Fantastic Four #32 - 4,293  ( -2.3%)
02/08  M.A. Fantastic Four #33 - 4,222  ( -1.7%)
03/08  M.A. Fantastic Four #34 - 4,176  ( -1.1%)
04/08  M.A. Fantastic Four #35 - 4,154  ( -0.5%)
05/08  M.A. Fantastic Four #36 - 4,054  ( -2.4%)
06/08  M.A. Fantastic Four #37 - 3,972  ( -2.0%)
                                6 mnth  ( -9.6%)
                                1 year  (-20.1%)
                                2 year  (-16.4%)
                                3 year  (-58.7%)


267. MOBY DICK [Marvel Illustrated]
02/08  Moby Dick #1 of 6 - 7,251
03/08  Moby Dick #2 of 6 - 3,954  (-45.5%)
04/08  Moby Dick #3 of 6 - 3,713  ( -6.1%)
05/08  Moby Dick #4 of 6 - 3,596  ( -3.2%)
06/08  Moby Dick #5 of 6 - 3,547  ( -1.4%)


279. SPIDER-MAN MAGAZINE
06/08  Spider-Man Magazine #1 - 3,018

A repackaging of Spider-Man stories in magazine format, priced at seven dollars, and presumably aimed at younger casual fans outside the direct market. The solicitation promises that the first issue will feature puzzles, games, and (rather ambitiously, I’d have thought) a letters page.

285. GIANT-SIZE X-MEN FIRST CLASS
06/08  New Beginnings - 2,935

296. GIANT-SIZE FANTASTIC FOUR
06/08  Cosmic Threats - 2,617

Two more reprint books, both of which came out a while age with a five dollar price tag but now appear on the June charts priced at one dollar fifty. “New Beginnings” collects the first four issues of the original X-MEN: FIRST CLASS miniseries, while cosmic threats collects MARVEL ADVENTURES FANTASTIC FOUR #12-15.

6 month comparisons
===================

+ 65.8% - Ms Marvel
+ 55.1% - Wolverine
+ 18.9% - Fantastic Four
+  7.1% - Avengers: The Initiative
+  5.5% - Marvel Spotlight
+  3.6% - Mighty Avengers
+  2.8% - New Avengers
+  1.4% - Captain America
-  2.6% - Marvel Adventures Spider-Man
-  3.0% - Marvel Adventures Hulk
-  4.7% - Ultimate X-Men
-  5.2% - Nova
-  5.3% - Ultimate Spider-Man
-  6.2% - Punisher
-  7.5% - Power Pack
-  8.8% - Amazing Spider-Girl
-  8.9% - Iron Man: Director of SHIELD
-  9.6% - Immortal Iron Fist
-  9.6% - Marvel Adventures Fantastic Four
-  9.8% - Daredevil
- 10.3% - Wolverine: Origins
- 10.9% - She-Hulk
- 12.1% - Ultimate Fantastic Four
- 12.6% - X-Men: First Class
- 12.9% - Marvel Adventures Avengers
- 19.8% - Ghost Rider
- 22.8% - Black Panther
- 23.0% - New Exiles
- 24.6% - Spider-Man Family
- 25.7% - Uncanny X-Men
- 25.8% - Civil War Chronicles
- 29.1% - Punisher War Journal
- 30.4% - New Warriors
- 31.3% - Incredible Hercules
- 31.4% - X-Men: Legacy
- 32.9% - Omega the Unknown
- 35.1% - Marvel Comics Presents
- 38.2% - Ultimates
- 39.0% - The Iliad
- 45.2% - Amazing Spider-Man
- 46.4% - X-Factor


1 year comparisons
==================

+ 21.6% - X-Factor
+  5.4% - Ms Marvel
+  4.1% - Criminal
-  0.5% - Uncanny X-Men
- 11.8% - Punisher
- 12.4% - Fantastic Four
- 15.0% - Marvel Adventures Spider-Man
- 15.5% - Daredevil
- 15.9% - New Exiles
- 17.5% - Power Pack
- 18.2% - Amazing Spider-Girl
- 18.8% - Immortal Iron Fist
- 19.3% - Ultimate X-Men
- 19.6% - She-Hulk
- 19.9% - Captain America
- 20.1% - Marvel Adventures Fantastic Four
- 22.3% - Ultimate Spider-Man
- 26.7% - Wolverine: Origins
- 27.0% - Marvel Adventures Avengers
- 30.6% - Ultimate Fantastic Four
- 32.6% - Avengers: The Initiative
- 34.6% - Amazing Spider-Man
- 35.8% - Nova
- 37.2% - New Avengers
- 37.3% - Iron Man
- 40.0% - Dark Tower
- 40.9% - Fairy Tales
- 41.9% - Thunderbolts
- 46.3% - X-Men: First Class
- 54.1% - X-Men: Legacy
- 54.3% - Incredible Hercules
- 55.5% - Punisher War Journal
- 55.7% - Moon Knight
- 55.9% - Spider-Man Family
- 54.9% - Marvel Spotlight
- 63.0% - New Warriors
- 65.7% - Ghost Rider
- 67.7% - Black Panther


2 year comparisons
==================

+160.7% - Marvel Spotlight
+ 67.8% - Captain America
+ 32.5% - Runaways
+  3.9% - Ms Marvel
+  3.8% - Uncanny X-Men
+  0.2% - Wolverine
-  1.1% - Ultimates
-  2.6% - Marvel Adventures Spider-Man
-  6.0% - Iron Man
-  7.7% - X-Men: Legacy
- 12.6% - Amazing Spider-Girl
- 12.8% - Punisher
- 16.4% - Marvel Adventures Fantastic Four
- 18.1% - Daredevil
- 19.2% - New Avengers
- 21.6% - Thunderbolts
- 21.9% - Fantastic Four
- 22.2% - Ultimate Spider-Man
- 22.3% - New Exiles
- 23.7% - X-Factor
- 25.9% - Black Panther
- 26.8% - Power Pack
- 32.5% - Ultimate X-Men
- 37.3% - Amazing Spider-Man
- 43.1% - Marvel Adventures Avengers
- 58.6% - Wolverine: Origins
- 62.8% - Moon Knight


3 year comparisons
==================

+ 68.3% - Captain America
+ 38.1% - Thunderbolts
+ 22.6% - Wolverine
+ 22.5% - Incredible Hercules
+ 10.4% - Runaways
+  9.1% - Fantastic Four
-  4.5% - Amazing Spider-Man
- 11.1% - Uncanny X-Men
- 17.9% - Daredevil
- 20.1% - Amazing Spider-Girl
- 21.2% - Punisher
- 25.4% - New Exiles
- 25.7% - X-Men: Legacy
- 28.0% - Ultimate Spider-Man
- 32.9% - New Avengers
- 32.9% - Marvel Adventures Spider-Man
- 38.8% - Ultimate X-Men
- 46.6% - Black Panther
- 48.3% - Ultimate Fantastic Four
- 58/7% - Marvel Adventures Fantastic Four


4 year comparisons
==================

+119.2% - Captain America
+ 90.1% - New Avengers
+ 64.6% - Runaways
+ 45.2% - Wolverine
+ 19.7% - Incredible Hercules
+ 19.5% - Iron Man
+ 14.9% - Fantastic Four
-  1.6% - Thunderbolts
- 17.8% - Uncanny X-Men
- 19.8% - Amazing Spider-Man
- 24.0% - She-Hulk
- 26.4% - Daredevil
- 26.6% - X-Men: Legacy
- 32.5% - New Exiles
- 36.5% - Amazing Spider-Girl
- 38.1% - Punisher
- 43.5% - Ultimate Spider-Man
- 48.9% - Ultimate X-Men
- 64.1% - Ultimate Fantastic Four


5 year comparisons
==================

+100.9% - Thunderbolts
+ 88.4% - New Avengers
+ 73.9% - Captain America
+ 50.9% - Runaways
+ 42.0% - Fantastic Four
+ 10.7% - Iron Man
-  1.8% - Wolverine
-  9.1% - Uncanny X-Men
- 22.7% - Incredible Hercules
- 24.4% - Punisher
- 27.9% - X-Men: Legacy
- 33.2% - Amazing Spider-Girl
- 33.9% - Daredevil
- 34.1% - New Exiles
- 42.9% - Ultimate Spider-Man
- 56.5% - Ultimate X-Men

  1. Actually, the numbers on AMAZING SPIDER-MAN really are clear cut.

    1. It has now reached, I believe, the second worst per-issue sales level in the history of the book. I believe the late 90s to early 01 period is the only time when AMAZING has sold fewer copies per issue.

    2. Are these sales levels even close to what Marvel wanted or expected from this reboot and thrice-monthly stuff? I feel pretty safe in saying no.

    Even if every single person who was reading one of the other two Spider-monthlies before OMD was also reading AMAZING, Marvel’s seen 30,000+ readers bail on BND in just the first 6 months…with no real indication that the sales decline has run its course.

    All that’s left to argue about is the scale of the disaster, not whether a disaster has occured.

    Mike

  2. Of course variant covers of 1-to-75 drive sales. Some comics shops order 76 copies of these books when they don’t sell nearly half of them.

    There was a small, one-day comic book convention in July in Toledo, Ohio. One of the dealers had 14 copies of Secret invasion #1, and 5 copies of a variant cover with a white rectangle, all in the 50 cents box.

    I have no idea if he ordered 75 or 150, but the point is, he had ordered way too many to sell, thus was dumping them off for 50 cents.

    The same holds true for any comic that has variant covers, whether 1-to-75, 1-to-25, or 1-to-10. If a dealer can sell 23 copies of a 1-to-10 book, but can get 3 people to buy the alternate covers at a high enough price to make a profit overall, then he is going to order 30.

  3. Interesting as always, Paul, and a surprisingly useful resource for Amazing Spider-Man sales arguments.

    I’ve been involved in a debate on a message board over what constitutes a valid “pre-event” point of comparison for ASM – I think you have to go all the way back to 2005, sales around 70K, just before The Other and Civil War and all that stuff started, to get at what the “base” sales of the title, without support from crossovers and events, looked like. The guy on the other side of the argument thinks that a 106K number at the end of Back in Black (just before One More Day) is the right number for comparison, because he wants to show that Brand New Day is directly responsible for a 30+% drop in sales on the title. It seems to me that, while it’s clear that BND isn’t a big sales success, the book is pretty much following a well-established pattern of dropping back to pre-event levels after the events end. It’ll be interesting to see what the sales do between now and the next hyped storyline.

    Regarding the Angel book’s big drop, I suspect that part of the problem was that you just can’t tell what the book is from a glance at the cover. I skipped over it accidentally the first week it came out (and I was specifically looking for it), and if I remember correctly, you did the same thing. The unique cover design may be having a negative effect on sales because people don’t realize what the book IS.

  4. Captain America sells 80,000 copies because of Brubaker. Once he leaves (probably after issue #50), so will 30,000 sales.

    Amazing Spider-Man now selling less than 3 years ago. And plummeting rapidly.

    Is there really any point to listing books that sell under the 200 position.

    Anybody wondering how comics are going to be produced in the future has only to look at the number of issues with multi-variant covers and the large number of books that are involved in the mega-crossovers.

    Finally, we all know these numbers are sales estimates. Because some people just don’t get that, Paul O’Brien has to type it about 20 times in every column. Imagine the good that could be done with the time saved from not having to type that so often.

  5. According to a recent Carey interview, the LEGACY subtitle and direction will only stay until #221 (remember, this was originally a 12-issue maxiseries, and they’ve added 2 issues for the W:O crossover). After that, we’ll get a new direction and a new subtitle.

    By the way, I liked the “skip month” charts. It made it way easier to make comparisons for irregular books while looking at the ICV2 charts.

  6. “I’ve been involved in a debate on a message board over what constitutes a valid “pre-event” point of comparison for ASM – I think you have to go all the way back to 2005, sales around 70K, just before The Other and Civil War and all that stuff started, to get at what the “base” sales of the title”

    It’s a legitimate issue, but you’ve picked the wrong point of comparison. Just before The Other there was this little story called Sins of the Past you might have heard of. A significant decline in sales started immediately after that story arc, a decline that was halted by the The Other’s sales boost. Pre-Sins, JMS’s run on AMAZING had been selling pretty well for a few years.

    Mike

  7. If Captain America sells 80,000, because of Mr. Brubaker. Way don’t Daredevil and Criminal… I loved Gotham Central. I would have loved to have 60,000 more with me to enjoy that book.

    If sales were sale were as simple as A + B = 100,000, Fantastic Four should have amazing number. As far as I can see you put good people on a book and hope for the best.

    On paper and the web every thing seems to be as easy as A + B = Great Sales.

  8. Actually, Sins Past featured prominently in another part of the discussion I was involved in. The assertion was that Sins Past caused a big dropoff in sales because everybody hated it, so I went and looked at Paul’s numbers, and the magnitude and rate of the dropoff that happened in the 10 or 11 months between Sins Past and The Other was pretty close to the magnitude and rate of the dropoff that happened in the 10-11 months prior to Sins Past.

    The numbers don’t seem to support the assertion that Sins Past significantly hurt the sales of the book – the “standard decline” was evident for a significant length of time before and after it. The trend for the (approximately) 2 year period before The Other was pretty much a linear downward trend, with blips for the #500 issue and Sins Past, after which sales returned immediately to the pre-500/pre-Sins Past level and resumed the standard decline.

  9. Actually, Sins Past featured prominently in another part of the discussion I was involved in. The assertion was that Sins Past caused a big dropoff in sales because everybody hated it, so I went and looked at Paul’s numbers, and the magnitude and rate of the dropoff that happened in the 10 or 11 months between Sins Past and The Other was pretty close to the magnitude and rate of the dropoff that happened in the 10-11 months prior to Sins Past.

    The numbers don’t seem to support the assertion that Sins Past significantly hurt the sales of the book – the “standard decline” was evident for a significant length of time before and after it. The trend for the (approximately) 2 year period before The Other was pretty much a linear downward trend, with blips for the #500 issue and Sins Past, after which sales returned immediately to the pre-500/pre-Sins Past level and resumed the standard decline.

  10. Sorry for the dupe, I only submitted once… I might as well talk a bit more so this isn’t just an apology post. :-)

    The drops on ASM seem to have leveled out a little bit in the last month or two. It’s still dropping, but more like a normal issue-to-issue drop (of course, that adds up a lot faster when the book is published 3 times a month). BND seems to have, at best, had the effect of slowing the tumble back to the pre-event levels (which in the case of ASM were like 3 years prior, at least according to my reasoning). It’ll be interesting to see what the drops are between now and the upcoming Romita Venom/Goblin arc, which seems likely to bump sales back up at least a bit.

  11. Can I just say that I particularly care about the skip month figures. It’s nice to have them as a reference guide to all the comics Marvel are currently publishing, as well as an at-a-glance guide to just how many of their titles failed to come out on time. Please put them back!

  12. MBunge is right about Amazing Spider-Man, it has reached the second worst per-issue sales level in the history of the book. And that would really mean something…
    …in an alternate universe where Marvel was only selling ONE issue of Amazing Spider-Man a month. And only going by the North American DIRECT market. And not counting Marvel’s subscriptions to the book (which has been offering a pretty good deal on ASM for the past half a year). And in a world where the previous two Spider-Man monthlies weren’t selling at 50K and 40K.

  13. Jerry, I agree that you can make a case for drawing comparisons with way-back-when before The Other, as AMAZING has more or less been in event mode ever since. On the other hand, a case can be made that, given the way Brand New Day was promoted, it’s perfectly fair to compare it with Event sales.

    ANGEL: entirely possible. For what it’s worth, my store thought that might be an explanation too. They’ve got piles of the bloody things left.

  14. “On the other hand, a case can be made that, given the way Brand New Day was promoted, it’s perfectly fair to compare it with Event sales.”

    I think that’s a good point- they’ve had extra one-shots to essentially promote it (Amazing Spiderman Extra #1 just came out, the reprint of “Swing Shot”, etc.), they’ve brought on some really big names to try to sell it, they’ve heavily advertised it in general, etc. I don’t think Marvel is viewing these issues as mundane “business as usual” ones at all.

  15. Yeah, Paul, that is a good point to bring up – BND does have the banner on the issues and new creative teams and “event-like” features to it. You could at least make the argument that it’s something like “The Initiative” or “Divided We Stand” – not quite an “event,” but something that’s flagged as something out of the ordinary.

    But content-wise (and I believe Quesada or others at Marvel have made comments to this effect), BND is really about telling plain old Spider-Man stories, with no deaths and resurrections or crossovers or unmaskings or dying aunts or broken marriages. The selling point is that BND IS the new status quo, so it’s not all that surprising that, like most books in status quo, sales are dropping.

    (I’m not arguing that BND is a big success, but I don’t think that the new status quo is the main thing that’s driving the drops in sales – I’d postulate that no matter what Marvel published following that long series of events, even if it was the old status quo with Peter and MJ and Aunt May all living happily ever after, sales would probably have wound up back down in the 70-80k range pretty quickly.)

  16. The sales of Amazing Spider-Man would look very good for everyone
    at Marvel if you back to first relaunch.
    The Issue #29, the one before JMS arrived, sold exactly 47650 copies,
    It was JMS who doubled the number in just a few months.

  17. “I went and looked at Paul’s numbers, and the magnitude and rate of the dropoff that happened in the 10 or 11 months between Sins Past and The Other was pretty close to the magnitude and rate of the dropoff that happened in the 10-11 months prior to Sins Past.

    The numbers don’t seem to support the assertion that Sins Past significantly hurt the sales of the book”

    That’s a misleading analysis. Yes, sales had dropped from the peak JMS hit after he took over the book, but when you look at the numbers some differences are quite clear.

    Here are the icv2.com sales figures for the first issue of “Sins” and “The Other” and the 4 issues that led up to them.

    #505 83,613
    #506 83,152
    #507 81,944
    #508 82,268
    #509 88,268

    #521 74,117
    #522 73,130
    #523 72,046
    #524 71,065
    #525 79,520

    Now, there certainly was a drop-off from the sales levels around #500 and before that, but there’s a big difference between a book that loses less than 1400 issues over 4 months and jumps back up to over 88,000 and a book that loses over 4000 issues over 4 months and only jumps back up to 79,520.

    Mike

  18. “I went and looked at Paul’s numbers, and the magnitude and rate of the dropoff that happened in the 10 or 11 months between Sins Past and The Other was pretty close to the magnitude and rate of the dropoff that happened in the 10-11 months prior to Sins Past.

    The numbers don’t seem to support the assertion that Sins Past significantly hurt the sales of the book”

    That’s a misleading analysis. Yes, sales had dropped from the peak JMS hit after he took over the book, but when you look at the numbers some differences are quite clear.

    Here are the icv2.com sales figures for the first issue of “Sins” and “The Other” and the 4 issues that led up to them.

    #505 83,613
    #506 83,152
    #507 81,944
    #508 82,268
    #509 88,268

    #521 74,117
    #522 73,130
    #523 72,046
    #524 71,065
    #525 79,520

    Now, there certainly was a drop-off from the sales levels around #500 and before that, but there’s a big difference between a book that loses less than 1400 issues over 4 months and jumps back up to over 88,000 and a book that loses over 3000 issues over 4 months and only jumps back up to 79,520.

    Mike

  19. Sorry for the multiple posts.

    “…in an alternate universe where Marvel was only selling ONE issue of Amazing Spider-Man a month. And only going by the North American DIRECT market. And not counting Marvel’s subscriptions to the book (which has been offering a pretty good deal on ASM for the past half a year). And in a world where the previous two Spider-Man monthlies weren’t selling at 50K and 40K. ”

    If Marvel’s business plan is to sell more comics to a smaller number of readers, they can claim success. Selling three comics to three individual readers is generally a better idea than selling three comics to one reader, however.

    Mike

  20. Maybe JMS simply used up all the big things you can have happen to Spider-Man. JMS had him get his butt kicked, die and be eaten, get unmasked, Join the Avengers, get a new costume, find out his powers were the opposite of what he thought, be betrayed by his friends, see his Aunt Shot and lose his wife. I mean, what’s the next guy supposed to do for an encore. Kill him AGAIN!

  21. Isn’t it a bit presumptuous to be claiming who is buying comics? And since Marvel probably doesn’t care if 70,000 people are buying each issue or one guy is buying 70,000 copies, anyway, I think all this talk about Amazing Spiderman is stupid. I mean, people are just skewing the numbers in order to bolster their position; if you don’t like BND, then well, it is never going to matter how many copies it sells because you’ll all find some way to downplay that. I mean the simple way to look at it is this: how many Spiderman comics does Marvel sell each month. It doesn’t seem like that number has changed so dramatically. So what’s the argument?

  22. I think it’s pretty hard to look at much more than general trends with these numbers. The numbers are only estimates, and on top of that, it’s hard to know all the factors that go into sales fluctuations – stuff like seasonal fluctuations that kind of get lost when you’re just looking at issue numbers. About all I’m dead certain of is that sales tend to drop in the absence of events to push them to higher levels.

    For example, I could point out how the book only jumped 6,000 copies when Sins Past started, but jumped 8,500 copies when The Other started, but I have no idea what that really means.

    From that standpoint, looking at broad trends, I don’t think my analysis of Sins Past was “misleading.” The book was dropping at a fairly steady rate going into Sins Past, jumped for the crossover, and resumed the drop at just about the same rate after Sins Past. (IIRC, it dropped a bit faster over the 10-11 months following Sins Past, but that run didn’t have the #500 blip to slow it down like the 10-11 month run up to Sins Past.) What you don’t see is an exaggerated dropoff immediately after Sins Past, or any particularly large drop off in any one month in the 10-11 months before The Other. At best, you could speculate that Sins Past accelerated the drop by a couple hundred copies a month, but there’s no obvious “5,000 people quit buying the book this month” point.

    In any event, there were about 72K people buying individual issues before The Other. Maybe without Sins Past there would have been more like 75K or 80K (or maybe not), but the thing I’ve been arguing is that that 70-80K number pre-The Other is a better point for comparison for Brand New Day than the mid-event numbers prior to One More Day.

  23. Volume Two of Anita Blake: Guilty Pleasures hit the Barnes & Noble.com Top 100 when it was released a few weeks ago, just like her regular prose novels do. (This GN is currently #1400 overall). First Death, which was released last February, is currently #1166. AND Marvel just released a new edition of GP v.1, so there’s still interest in the title. Expect to see more adaptations.

    (And as a fan of her other series, I hope to see Meredith Gentry adapted as well, although that’s a Random House title, so it might be DC…)

  24. “Millar’s FANTASTIC FOUR run with Bryan Hitch hasn’t boosted sales as much as you might expect, which made me wonder how well he’d draw on this book. Well, he’s done just fine, so FANTASTIC FOUR seems to be an anomaly.”

    I find this an odd statement, considering that Millar’s first FF issue outsold Millar’s first Wolverine issue. Yet, the FF one with higher sales is a failure and the Wolverine issue with lower sales is a success?

    02/08 Fantastic Four #554 – 98,111 (+103.0%)
    06/08 Wolverine #66 – 98,026 (+57.0%)

  25. I think “New Ways to Die” is really going to be the litmus test for “Brand New Day.” If the title doesn’t see significant and sustained sales increases off of that, it’s pretty much done.

    By which I mean, at a bare minimum, the first issue of NWtD MUST do better than the 7-percent issue-to-issue sales spike that BND received from Wolverine’s guest-starring appearance. And let’s not kid ourselves, it’ll probably do at least that well, at first – which is not to say that this means it’s free and clear. If, by the end of this event, sales are back down in the 60-70K range, that’s still a failure, because there’s really nothing else that BND can do to bolster its sales anymore.

    Throwing each new writer onto a three-issue arc to start with was a huge mistake, because it simply reinforced how utterly generic all the writers are going to be on this status quo. If you’d done six or nine issues of Slott, and THEN gone to Guggenheim, you could have seen some serious sales bumps, but as it stands, rotating them all three-issues-at-a-time only made them seem interchangeable, and variant covers (and Wolverine) sales bumps aside, NONE of the writers aside from Slott really got any sort of “first issue by a new writer” bump.

    In terms of “big name” writers who are left, I suppose we’ll see how well Kelly did this month, but neither he nor Waid have been measurable sales draws in years (much as I might have wished otherwise in certain cases). Millar? He already did Spider-Man, so I don’t see much novelty appeal in him doing BND. Bendis? Maybe, maybe not, for the same reasons, although what’s funny is that his teenage version of Peter Parker in USM is about a billion times more mature, intelligent, sympathetic and easy to relate to than the Peter Parker in BND, in no small part because Ultimate MJ and Aunt May are in on his secret. Now, if Whedon were to come on board, I could see sales jumping … or maybe not, considering the current backlash against him, but I also don’t see him doing it.

    What should concern Marvel is that, aside from old-school fans in their 30s, I don’t really hear anyone praising this book, and even a lot of those fans are sort of qualified in their praise, saying things like, “It’s not MEANT to be exciting.” I suppose this is where I disagree with Paul, because I recall Paul once asserting that Spider-Man works best when it’s a formula, except that all of the best Spider-Man stories were either written BEFORE their style became calcified enough to qualify as a “formula,” or else they BROKE the formula. The only reason a story like “The Night Gwen Stacy Died” seems like a formula Spider-Man story NOW is because countless talentless hacks referenced it to fucking death, to the point that, much like “The Dark Phoenix Saga,” it’s a great story that I almost wish had never been written, simply so that I wouldn’t have to suffer through every other writer trying to rip it off.

    I mean, has there been ANY positive mainstream press about this? At ALL? Every single story I’ve seen, by non-comics industry journalists, has referenced the deal with the devil to the exclusion of all else, and half of those called it a “divorce” between Peter and Mary Jane, which was precisely what Quesada DIDN’T want people to see it as. I try and explain the current state of Spider-Man’s continuity to non-comics readers, and they’re convinced that I’m lying to them, because they can’t believe that a company like Marvel would publish a story that stupid. Outside of nostalgic longtime fanboys, I really don’t see this as appealing to anyone at all.

  26. After 40+ years of Spider-Man, what stories are left to tell?

    Spider-Man leading a team? Different spiders getting iradiated/genetically altered and tested on various people? (Whatever happened to the Kingpin’s metahuman lab?) Spider-men (and -women) of different countries? Kick him through the multiverse? Center a cult around him? Focus on the supporting cast, some whom haven’t been seen for some time? Bring back the Spidey Buggy? Give him some closure on his grief so he relax?

    He’s already time-travelled (Marvel Team-Up). They’ve brought back clones, twice. They’ve retroconned at least two periods (Untold Tales, and that fiasco with Gwen in London, not counting the Clones). They turned him into Superman. He’s been a six-armed freak.

    Sorry…. this thread is getting off topic… The only Marvel titles I bought on this list were the director’s cut of Kick Ass, 1985, and ClanDestine. Nothing else interests me, except She-Hulk in trade.

  27. There’s a backlash against Whedon? Do you mean from a Marvel POV? Because the success of the BUffy comic and for Dr. Horrible would seem to indicate lots of people liking his stuff of late.

    I haven’t read Runaways yet (that’s a trade series for me) and I thought the X-book was okay.

    The only criticisms I usually hear about his work are the standard ones: always with the young teenage girl protagonist and the killing of a beloved character out of nowhere.

  28. Guys,
    I love the banter that exists on this site! I have lurked around here for ever it seems. Being a Spiderman fan since I was 5(now 39), I just can’t stand what is going on with the title. I know I do not have to read the title but I own a comic store(23years) and kinda have to read it. It’s just so generic. The Venom story arc will increase sales, there is a variant, like 1 in 50, JrJr is back. BUT, I do not think it will be able to hold on to this bump in sales. Most people I come in contact with at the shop seem to be one of two about the book:
    1 Can’t stand it or
    2 Continue to pick it up but are indifferent to the story…not quite sure why they still get it if it’s just OK. I guess numeric run and such.
    The fact Joe Q. thought that divorce would be bad versus making a deal with the devil makes you wonder. Neither works for me, although I haven’t tried either one…
    I know I don’t offer anything new to the discussion but I just had to get this off my chest! Thanks guys. Keep up the excellent work..
    Eddie

  29. Using the numbers provided in the link above by Hutch…

    In the 5 months in the first half of 2007 where all three Spider-Man titles were published, sales were as listed with average after the semi-colon—

    203600;67867
    255100;85033
    244500;81500
    217979;72660
    214163;71054

    For those 5 months, the overall sales and average—

    1135342;75689

    Sales for May and June of this year have been below that average.

    Of course, overall Spider-Man sales this year will seem much higher, as there were only 4 Spider-Man titles published in the last 4 months of 2007. Notice also that all 11 Amazing Spider-Man issues published in 2007 were over 105,000 in sales.

    The experiment has failed. Time to start a new one.

  30. Paul you did fix it, I had misplaced the new one in the recent travels. I’ve put in the correct file.

    My apologies to all, especially Paul who works so hard each and every month on this.

  31. Only Loeb can save ASM now. ;)

    I’m really happy about Nova. If there is one book that deserves to INCREASE sales (without event tie-ins and crossovers) it’s Nova. There seems to be a small but loyal fan base; hopefully the Nova readers will buy Guardians of the Galaxy, too.

  32. At this point, I would have to say that the “reboot” of Amazing Spider-Man can only been seen as a failure. Why? Look at the amount of hype and promotion Marvel invested into it. I’m sure Marvel had higher expectations. Of course, at this point Marvel (Quesada) will never admit this was a mistake.

    Personally I have stuck to my guns and not read Amazing Spider-Man issue since “One More Day.” I do browse through each new issue that comes out but the “Brand New Day” direction just does not interest me (and I’ve been a Spider-Man fan for decades and liked the fact Peter and MJ were married). These new stories remind me of filler issues which don’t seem to matter all that much if missed. All I’m seeing in the pages of ASM these days are third rate new villains and mediocre looking storylines. I want better from what was once the premiere title of all the Spidey books.

    I have to say though, I am a bit curious about the upcoming storyline with Anti-Vemon and the Green Goblin drawn by Romita Jr., so maybe I’ll give that storyline a try. I dunno.

  33. Mark Coale,

    Actually, the divisive reaction that Dr. Horrible has received, even from a lot of former Whedon die-hards, is precisely the backlash that I’m talking about. For all the fans who love it, just as many fans have finally decided that Dr. Horrible is to Whedon’s career what The Village was to M. Night Shyamalan’s career, in terms of being the straw that broke the camel’s back. I’ve literally lost track of the number of reviews of it that can be summed up simply as, “AGAIN, Joss?”

  34. Hooray for unsubstantiated anecdotal evidence! Can I play?

    I am a new reader of Amazing Spider-Man and am enjoying it a lot, particularly given that Slott, Wells and Waid are three of my favourite writers, and artists like Marcos Martin and Chris Bachalo are keeping me coming back for every issue. I was not interested in reading Amazing Spider-Man prior to this, and have picked up every one since the BND relaunch. As far as I’m concerned, the experiment can only be counted as a success.

    Also, I loved Dr Horrible and every Whedon fan I know did too. I’ve literally lost track of the number of people I’ve talked to about it who thought it was great. This is mainly down to the fact that I haven’t been counting, due to it being utterly irrelevant to the ongoing discussion of anything whatsoever.

  35. My feelings on the actual contents of ASM have been mixed. I think that almost every decision regarding the character has been a bad one since JMS started writing the book. Coming clean to Aunt May and working at the high school were good, but the Totem stuff, Sins Past, The Other, unmasking (and what a missed opportunity to explore that area – if you’re going to do it, at least do it right!), etc. were all just terrible ideas.

    My feelings about the marriage were neutral tending toward negative – it just doesn’t seem like much interesting material ever came out of it, and a lot of irritating stuff (MJ is targeted by a villain; MJ sits at home and worries) came out of it. I’ve got no problem with them ending the marriage, but the whole deal with the devil thing was a stupid way to do it, and mucking around with a bunch of other bits of history (Harry’s back, etc.) adds a bunch of unnecessary complications.

    I’ve generally enjoyed Brand New Day – I like the tone, and most of the stories have been acceptable. It’s an interesting experiment. It really was about time the book got back to just telling Spider-Man stories, after 2 or 3 years of nonstop EVENTS. Once they get back to mixing in traditional villains with the new guys, I think it’ll improve.

  36. Ultimate Origins #1 had a special deep-discount promotion for retailers. #2 had a different deal. I went for the deal on #1, but not #2.

    Marvel 1985 had 3 covers (a 50/50 split and a separately orderable one), plus IIRC some incentive covers.

    At least in my store, Anita Blake sells as well in HC as in the monthly comics.

    All of Marvel’s Soliel titles, including Sky Doll, are $5.99.

    I hope this helps!

  37. If you look at BND without an agenda, the numbers look fine. All comics have declining sales, that’s the biz these days. They need a boost now and then. The Slott/JrJr arc will cause a spike, then after that it will decline again, then they’ll come up with something else. Being thrice-monthly amplifies the trends.

    Is Spider-Man so unbelievably popular he should be immune to the trends? Nope.

  38. Paul, perhaps you can simplify the skip month content to something more in keeping with the comparison charts at the end… a dense list of all absent titles with the short designations of “skip”, “late”, or “slipped to next month”. I will miss your snark and horror at just how late some of the perennially absent books are, but if you’re trying to save time and space while still providing the data to your readers, it might be a compromise.

  39. “If you look at BND without an agenda, the numbers look fine. All comics have declining sales, that’s the biz these days. They need a boost now and then. The Slott/JrJr arc will cause a spike, then after that it will decline again, then they’ll come up with something else. Being thrice-monthly amplifies the trends.

    Is Spider-Man so unbelievably popular he should be immune to the trends? Nope. ”

    STOP MAKING SENSE! :)

  40. As a retailer I can say that the relaunch of Amazing Spider-man has been a failure. I was selling 75 copies of Amazing Spider-man and 35 copies each of the other 2 Spider-man books before BND. Thus I was moving 145 copies of a Spider-man book each month. Now I am selling 40 copies of each issue of Amazing Spider-man. I have lost sales of 25 copies. This does not seem like much, but if people keep dropping Amazing Spider-man at the rate they have, I will probably lose sales of another 25 copies during the next three months. This will bring my Amazing Spider-man sales down to 95 copies each month for a loss of sales of 50 sales. From talking to other retailers in my are, they are having the same attrition I am.

  41. I agree with Kirk wholeheartedly re:ASM. I went into BND with an open mind but Marvel lost me with Spidey getting his butt kicked by a D level supervillianess who knows the deadly art of Parkour (and Marvel wants me to believe he’d still be an Avenger, disconnect much?). And selfless new job as a Perez Hilton wannabe (apparently great power coming with great responsibility doesn’t mean much if he has no bread). The only thing I can ascertain is at my LCS they had a stone cold 50% drop. While New Ways to Die will bump up the numbers it most likely will drop once it goes back to the hackneyed formula Marvel has come up for ASM.

  42. The supposed “backlash” against Whedon seems to exist entirely amongst whiny whiners who have been complaining about Whedon for years.

  43. You guys comparing sales numbers on ASM, another thing to consider about the thrice monthly publishing is that Marvel also has to pay the creators thrice as opposed to once/month.

    They may still sell more copies combined in a month but the expenses to do so is also higher. I can’t see how they can view this as anything other than a disappointment.

  44. In regards to Angel, the big problem was the books other X-Titles it shipped with. For a book primarily directed to X-Men fans, the first issue shipped with too much competition for X-fan’s money.

    #1 was shipped the same day as:
    GIANT SIZE ASTONISHING X-MEN #1
    UNCANNY X-MEN #498 DWS
    WOLVERINE FIRST CLASS #3
    X-FORCE #4 DWS
    X-MEN FIRST CLASS VOL 2 #12
    X-MEN LEGACY #212 DWS

    Add in a really odd cover that really didn’t tell you it was an X-Men related title and this one was completely invisible on the shelf. I had it displayed on the counter with the other big X-books that came out that day and most people assumed it was a Buffy tie-in.

  45. “fesak Says:
    08/6/08 at 9:06 pm

    You guys comparing sales numbers on ASM, another thing to consider about the thrice monthly publishing is that Marvel also has to pay the creators thrice as opposed to once/month.

    They may still sell more copies combined in a month but the expenses to do so is also higher. I can’t see how they can view this as anything other than a disappointment.”

    You do realise that people working on all 3 Spider-Man books got paid each month, not just the ASM team right?

  46. I figure if Countdown could be considered a sales disaster, ASM is definitely one as well.

    While they were investing less importance onto it in the way of building the universe, I would argue that the marketing and general notion of it was to revitalize the Spiderman character, one which is a major franchise and moneymaker, and if sales are to be believed, they’ve utterly failed in doing that. Especially when you consider the claims that they’ve dragged a lot of new readers in, which could very possibly mean they’ve actually managed to alienate half or more of their previous audience completely.

    The goal was for sales to either stay the same or go up but with higher frequency. That has not happened by any means. Thereby failure.

    Relevence or not, Countdown was fronted by largely minor and neglected characters who people just didn’t care about. And DC’s at fault for this, but at least they didn’t manage to sabotage the major fanbase of a franchise character.

    That said, I cannot argue the promotion of Secret Invasion vs. Final Crisis. FC is better quality, but that’s not everything and DC should have realized that. Now Darkseid is being beaten in sales by Skrulls. Oy.

  47. “After 40+ years of Spider-Man, what stories are left to tell?”

    After 100 years of movie dramas, what stories are left to tell? After untold “coming of age” novels, what more stories are left to tell? After 400 episodes of “The Simpsons”, what stories are left to tell? Etc, etc.

    These are all silly statements that are about personal taste and nothing more. To some people, superhero comics are the same thing over and over. To others, there’s nuance that’s interesting and worth exploring – and to each their own.

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