Home Publishers Marvel Marvel Month-to-Month Sales: May 2009

Marvel Month-to-Month Sales: May 2009

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by Paul O’Brien

It’s an uneventful month, in every sense of the word. By ICV2’s estimates, sales were down a massive 19% compared with the previous year. But then, that’s hardly surprising. May 2008 saw the release of FINAL CRISIS #1, SECRET INVASION #2, INVINCIBLE IRON MAN #1, GIANT-SIZE ASTONISHING X-MEN #1 and two issues of the “Batman R.I.P.” storyline. There was a lot out.

By comparison, there wasn’t much going on in May 2009, either at Marvel or DC. Yes, there are the Dark Reign tie-ins, and yes, there’s a crossover going on in the third-tier X-books. But the biggest new launch of the month was NEW MUTANTS, at the bottom end of the top 20.

So it’s not really a case of would-be events failing to deliver; it’s more that the would-be events don’t exist in the first place. Well, there’s ULTIMATUM, but that didn’t come out in May. And there’s “Dark Reign”, but that’s more comparable to the “Initiative” books that came out after CIVIL WAR – though admittedly, they had a more visible effect on sales.

As usual, Marvel had the biggest share of the North American direct market. In dollar share, they had 45% to DC’s 30%; in units, it’s 39% to 26%.

Thanks as always to ICV2.com for permission to use these figures.

1.  NEW AVENGERS
05/04  New Avengers #82 -  55,711
05/05  ---
05/06  New Avengers #19 - 123,318
05/07  New Avengers #30 - 126,425
=====
05/08  New Avengers #41 - 109,185  ( -6.8%)
06/08  New Avengers #42 - 108,495  ( -0.6%)
07/08  New Avengers #43 - 108,751  ( +0.2%)
08/08  New Avengers #44 - 106,385  ( -2.2%)
09/08  New Avengers #45 - 103,326  ( -2.9%)
10/08  New Avengers #46 -  99,513  ( -3.7%)
11/08  ---
12/08  New Avengers #47 -  95,703  ( -3.8%)
12/08  New Avengers #48 -  95,688  ( -0.0%)
01/09  New Avengers #49 -  94,291  ( -1.5%)
02/09  New Avengers #50 - 106,831  (+13.3%)
03/09  New Avengers #51 -  95,340  (-10.8%)
04/09  New Avengers #52 -  93,975  ( -1.4%)
05/09  New Avengers #53 -  94,367  ( +0.4%)
6 mnth  (  --- )
1 year  (-13.6%)
2 year  (-25.4%)
3 year  (-23.5%)
4 year  (  --- )
5 year  (+69.4%)

NEW AVENGERS was number 5 in April, behind DETECTIVE COMICS #853, FLASH: REBIRTH #1, WOLVERINE: WEAPON X #1 and DARK AVENGERS #4. This month, without significantly increasing its sales, it’s back at number one – more due to the absence of big releases than anything else. As you’d expect, WEAPON X drops off with the second issue; DARK AVENGERS didn’t come out at all (though chances are it would have sold in similar quantities).

This is a Dark Reign crossover issue, and as usual, there’s a variant cover. Leave aside the spike for issue #50, and sales have been extreme steady.

3,5. WOLVERINE
05/04  Wolverine #15 -  68,728
05/05  Wolverine #28 -  80,961
05/06  Wolverine #42 -  93,558
05/07  Wolverine #54  - 96,082
=====
05/08  Wolverine #65 -  62,451  ( -3.7%)
06/08  Wolverine #66 - 117,456  (+88.1%)
07/08  Wolverine #67 - 101,889  (-13.3%)
08/08  Wolverine #68 -  97,325  ( -4.5%)
09/08  ---
10/08  ---
11/08  Wolverine #69 -  93,914  ( -3.5%)
12/08  Wolverine #70 -  98,915  ( +5.3%)
01/09  ---
02/09  ---
03/09  Wolverine #71 -  91,229  ( -7.8%)
04/09  ---
05/09  Wolverine #72 -  87,075  ( -4.6%)
05/09  Wolverine #73 -  83,324  ( -4.3%)
6 mnth  (-11.3%)
1 year  (+33.4%)
2 year  (-13.3%)
3 year  (-10.9%)
4 year  ( +2.9%)
5 year  (+21.2%)

Two issues this month, as WOLVERINE struggles to get back on schedule. Mark Millar and Steve McNiven’s “Old Man Logan” storyline has slipped badly off schedule, and will end up being resolved in a one-shot in the autumn. Issue #72 is the last chapter to appear in this series.

Meanwhle, issue #75 will see the book retitled DARK WOLVERINE, and begin a Dark Reign tie-in arc starring Daken (the impostor Wolverine from DARK AVENGERS).

And in between, issues #73 and #74 are… well, fill-ins, basically. The format is unusual: instead of running two full-length stories, Marvel have opted to split the stories in two, an run half in each issue. Mind you, that means they get Adam Kubert art in both issues instead of one, which can’t hurt when you’re running fill-ins. And issue #73 does indeed hold up remarkably well.

Earlier chapters of “Old Man Logan” continue to pile on the re-orders thanks to yet more printings. Issue #66, now in its fourth printing, adds 4,987 copies; issue #67 gets 5,238; issue #68 gets 5,143; issue #69 gets 5,004, and issue #70 gets 4,696. It’s very unusual for re-orders to keep mounting up after such a long time, and show this storyline is a hit.

THOR
05/04  Thor #79 -  30,270
05/05  ---
05/06  ---
05/07  ---
=====
05/08  Thor #9   - 87,101  (  -5.3%)
06/08  ---
07/08  Thor #10  - 83,784  (  -3.8%)
08/08  ---
09/08  ---
10/08  Thor #11  - 78,673  (  -6.1%)
11/08  ---
12/08  Thor #12  - 73,784  (  -6.2%)
01/09  ---
02/09  Thor #600 - 96,718  ( +31.1%)
03/09  ---
04/09  Thor #601 - 82,742  ( -14.5%)
05/09  ---

THOR didn’t ship in May, but issue #601 picks up another 3,116 in re-orders.

7.  UNCANNY X-MEN
05/04  Uncanny X-Men #444 - 112,129
05/05  Uncanny X-Men #459 -  83,547
05/06  Uncanny X-Men #473 -  79,335
05/07  Uncanny X-Men #486 -  81,965
=====
05/08  Uncanny X-Men #498 -  82,090  (-12.1%)
06/08  Uncanny X-Men #499 -  81,100  ( -1.2%)
07/08  Uncanny X-Men #500 - 160,876  (+98.4%)
08/08  Uncanny X-Men #501 -  85,398  (-46.9%)
09/08  Uncanny X-Men #502 -  82,883  ( -2.9%)
10/08  Uncanny X-Men #503 -  87,196  ( +5.2%)
11/08  Uncanny X-Men #504 -  77,773  (-10.8%)
12/08  Uncanny X-Men #505 -  82,271  ( +5.8%)
01/09  ---
02/09  Uncanny X-Men #506 -  71,684  (-12.9%)
03/09  Uncanny X-Men #507 -  77,957  ( +8.8%)
04/09  Uncanny X-Men #508 -  76,442  ( -1.9%)
04/09  Uncanny X-Men #509 -  69,185  ( -9.5%)
05/09  Uncanny X-Men #510 -  75,139  ( +8.6%)
6 mnth  ( -3.4%)
1 year  ( -8.5%)
2 year  ( -8.3%)
3 year  ( -5.3%)
4 year  (-10.1%)
5 year  (-33.0%)

There’s a 1:15 variant cover by J Scott Campbell. Of course, UNCANNY has variant covers on most issues – but it didn’t last month, hence the fluctuation.

8.  HULK
05/04  Incredible Hulk #72  -  45,385
05/05  Incredible Hulk #81  -  43,822
05/06  Incredible Hulk #95  -  46,571
05/07  Incredible Hulk #106 - 110,192
=====
05/08  ---
06/08  Hulk #4              - 101,927  ( +1.8%)
07/08  ---
08/08  Hulk #5              - 102,105  ( +0.2%)
09/08  Hulk #6              - 117,807  (+15.4%)
10/08  Hulk #7              - 110,261  ( -6.4%)
11/08  Hulk #8              -  90,776  (-17.7%)
12/08  Hulk #9              -  87,786  ( -3.3%)
01/09  ---
02/09  Hulk #10             -  77,217  (-12.0%)
03/09  ---
04/09  Hulk #11             -  82,726  ( +7.1%)
05/09  Hulk #12             -  73,105  (-11.6%)
6 mnth  (-19.5%)
1 year  (  --- )
2 year  (-33.7%)
3 year  (+57.0%)
4 year  (+66.8%)
5 year  (+61.1%)

Hmm. HULK is another title which drowns in variant covers. Issues #10-12 all had two Ed McGuinness covers and a 1:15 Art Adams cover. The jump for issue #11 is because that issue also had a fourth cover, a 1:10 Wolverine Art Appreciation Month one. So bear in mind that all these figures are pretty massively inflated compared to the books around them.

The most direct comparison is with issue #10. On the whole, sales are drifting slowly downwards, but at an acceptably gentle pace.

9,15,16. AMAZING SPIDER-MAN
05/04  Amazing Spider-Man #507 -  81,944
05/05  Amazing Spider-Man #520 -  76,143
05/06  Amazing Spider-Man #532 -  95,544
05/07  Amazing Spider-Man #540 - 119,662
=====
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%)
07/08  Amazing Spider-Man #564 -  68,882  ( -2.7%)
07/08  Amazing Spider-Man #565 -  69,182  ( +0.4%)
07/08  Amazing Spider-Man #566 -  68,912  ( -0.4%)
08/08  Amazing Spider-Man #567 -  68,130  ( -1.1%)
08/08  Amazing Spider-Man #568 - 105,324  (+54.6%)
08/08  Amazing Spider-Man #569 -  86,432  (-17.9%)
09/08  Amazing Spider-Man #570 -  89,516  ( +3.6%)
09/08  Amazing Spider-Man #571 -  80,178  (-10.4%)
09/08  Amazing Spider-Man #572 -  80,220  ( +0.1%)
10/08  Amazing Spider-Man #573 -  82,550  ( +2.9%)
10/08  Amazing Spider-Man #574 -  69,069  (-16.3%)
10/08  Amazing Spider-Man #575 -  68,913  ( -0.2%)
11/08  Amazing Spider-Man #576 -  68,956  ( +0.1%)
11/08  Amazing Spider-Man #577 -  76,625  (+11.1%)
11/08  Amazing Spider-Man #578 -  66,564  (-13.1%)
12/08  Amazing Spider-Man #579 -  69,784  ( +4.8%)
12/08  Amazing Spider-Man #580 -  62,979  ( -9.8%)
12/08  Amazing Spider-Man #581 -  68,905  ( +9.4%)
01/09  Amazing Spider-Man #582 -  59,932  (-13.0%)
01/09  Amazing Spider-Man #583 - 525,050 (+776.1%)
01/09  Amazing Spider-Man #584 -  63,754  (-87.9%)
02/09  Amazing Spider-Man #585 -  60,286  ( -5.4%)
02/09  Amazing Spider-Man #586 -  59,521  ( -1.3%)
02/09  Amazing Spider-Man #587 -  60,118  ( +1.0%)
03/09  Amazing Spider-Man #588 -  61,334  ( +2.0%)
03/09  Amazing Spider-Man #589 -  58,832  ( -4.1%)
04/09  Amazing Spider-Man #590 -  66,415  (+12.9%)
04/09  Amazing Spider-Man #591 -  60,508  ( -8.9%)
04/09  Amazing Spider-Man #592 -  65,940  ( +9.0%)
05/09  Amazing Spider-Man #593 -  58,363  (-11.5%)
05/09  Amazing Spider-Man #594 -  58,464  ( +0.2%)
05/09  Amazing Spider-Man #595 -  71,837  (+22.9%)
6 mnth  ( -7.9%)
1 year  ( -6.7%)
2 year  (-40.0%)
3 year  (-24.8%)
4 year  ( -5.7%)
5 year  (-12.3%)

Issue #595 has a 1:20 variant cover, but it’s also the first part of a Dark Reign tie-in, and that seems to be a signifiant draw in its own right. Meanwhile, incredibly, the demand for the Obama issue still hasn’t quite tailed off. The fifth printing of issue #583 adds another 3,219 to the total.

10. CAPTAIN AMERICA
05/04  Captain America #26 -  37,558
05/05  Captain America #6  -  46,368
05/06  Captain America #18 -  46,740
05/07  Captain America #26 - 126,449
=====
05/08  Captain America #38 -  79,350  ( -1.6%)
06/08  Captain America #39 -  79,387  ( +0.0%)
07/08  Captain America #40 -  79,317  ( -0.0%)
08/08  Captain America #41 -  85,035  ( +7.2%)
09/08  Captain America #42 -  75,574  (-11.1%)
10/08  Captain America #43 -  72,405  ( -4.2%)
11/08  Captain America #44 -  75,493  ( +4.3%)
12/08  Captain America #45 -  71,186  ( -5.7%)
01/09  Captain America #46 -  73,184  ( +2.8%)
02/09  Captain America #47 -  62,850  (-14.1%)
03/09  Captain America #48 -  62,108  ( -1.2%)
04/09  Captain America #49 -  63,874  ( +2.8%)
05/09  Captain America #50 -  66,928  ( +4.8%)
6 mnth  (-11.3%)
1 year  (-15.7%)
2 year  (-47.1%)
3 year  (+43.2%)
4 year  (+44.3%)
5 year  (+78.2%)

A slight increase for the anniversary issue, but the book seems to be on a general upwards trend as it makes it way towards the big REBORN event.

13. WOLVERINE: WEAPON X
04/09  Wolverine: Weapon X #1 - 97,896
05/09  Wolverine: Weapon X #2 - 59,192  (-39.5%)

At first glance, that’s a horrendous second-issue drop. But issue #1 had five covers, including a 1:100 sketch variant – plus, the second printing came out in time to count towards the April chart. Issue #2 had only two covers, neither of which was an incentive variant. Allowing for that, the 39% drop isn’t really so bad.

17. X-FORCE
05/08  X-Force #4  - 84,792  ( -1.1%)
06/08  ---
07/08  X-Force #5  - 76,978  ( -9.2%)
08/08  X-Force #6  - 69,010  (-10.4%)
09/08  X-Force #7  - 64,911  ( -5.9%)
10/08  X-Force #8  - 59,745  ( -8.0%)
11/08  X-Force #9  - 57,241  ( -4.2%)
12/08  X-Force #10 - 58,801  ( +2.7%)
01/09  X-Force #11 - 51,817  (-11.9%)
02/09  X-Force #12 - 51,449  ( -0.7%)
03/09  X-Force #13 - 51,797  ( +0.7%)
04/09  X-Force #14 - 62,674  (+21.0%)
05/09  X-Force #15 - 58,340  ( -6.9%)
6 mnth  ( +1.9%)
1 year  (-31.2%)

This is the second month of the Messiah War crossover with CABLE, and it looks like a hit. Issue #14 picks up re-orders of 5,366 – so in terms of first issue sales, the number is up.

18. ULTIMATE WOLVERINE VS HULK
12/05  Wolverine/Hulk #1 of 6 - 135,614
01/06  ---
02/06  Wolverine/Hulk #2 of 6 - 124,653  ( -8.1%)
04/06  ---
04/06  ---
05/06  ---
06/06  ---
07/06  ---
08/06  ---
09/06  ---
10/06  ---
11/06  ---
12/06  ---
01/07  ---
02/07  ---
04/07  ---
04/07  ---
05/07  ---
06/07  ---
07/07  ---
08/07  ---
09/07  ---
10/07  ---
11/07  ---
12/07  ---
01/08  ---
02/08  ---
03/08  ---
04/08  ---
05/08  ---
06/08  ---
07/08  ---
08/08  ---
09/08  ---
10/08  ---
11/08  ---
12/08  ---
01/09  ---
02/09  ---
03/09  Wolverine/Hulk #3 of 6 -  68,390  (-45.1%)
04/09  Wolverine/Hulk #4 of 6 -  64,062  ( -6.3%)
04/09  Wolverine/Hulk #5 of 6 -  59,403  ( -7.3%)
05/09  Wolverine/Hulk #6 of 6 -  57,149  ( -3.8%)

Issue #4 picks up re-orders of 3,244. And now, let us not speak of this fiasco again.

20. NEW MUTANTS
05/09  New Mutants #1 - 55,734

The latest incarnation of the X-Men’s junior team is a relaunch of the first incarnation. This is a perfectly solid start, and of course, it’s Marvel’s biggest new launch of the month. On the other hand, that’s 56K with the benefit of four covers, so expect a significant drop next month.

For comparison, the book it replaced, YOUNG X-MEN, launched in April 2008 with estimated sales of 71,593. That book had four covers too, but with incentive schemes that don’t apply here.

21. X-MEN: LEGACY
05/04  X-Men #157         - 107,185
05/05  X-Men #170         -  81,048
05/06  X-Men #186         -  79,536
05/07  X-Men #199         -  75,996
=====
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%)
07/08  X-Men: Legacy #214 -  69,863  ( -2.8%)
08/08  X-Men: Legacy #215 -  68,047  ( -2.6%)
09/08  X-Men: Legacy #216 -  66,434  ( -2.4%)
10/08  X-Men: Legacy #217 -  65,888  ( -0.8%)
11/08  X-Men: Legacy #218 -  63,512  ( -3.6%)
12/08  X-Men: Legacy #219 -  60,587  ( -4.6%)
01/09  X-Men: Legacy #220 -  59,286  ( -2.1%)
02/09  X-Men: Legacy #221 -  56,517  ( -4.7%)
03/09  X-Men: Legacy #222 -  55,606  ( -1.6%)
04/09  X-Men: Legacy #223 -  71,935  (+29.4%)
05/09  X-Men: Legacy #224 -  54,008  (-24.9%)
6 mnth  (-15.0%)
1 year  (-32.3%)
2 year  (-28.9%)
3 year  (-32.1%)
4 year  (-33.4%)
5 year  (-49.6%)

LEGACY returns to its normal range after last month’s unusually large variant cover blip.

22. INVINCIBLE IRON MAN
05/04  Iron Man #81            -  28,232
05/05  ---
05/06  Iron Man #8             -  38,860
05/07  Iron Man #17            -  63,328
=====
05/08  Invincible Iron Man #1  - 120,657
06/08  Invincible Iron Man #2  -  76,001  (-37.0%)
07/08  Invincible Iron Man #3  -  66,430  (-12.6%)
08/08  Invincible Iron Man #4  -  58,154  (-12.5%)
09/08  Invincible Iron Man #5  -  60,444  ( +3.9%)
10/08  Invincible Iron Man #6  -  53,332  (-11.8%)
11/08  Invincible Iron Man #7  -  49,356  ( -7.5%)
12/08  Invincible Iron Man #8  -  56,708  (+14.9%)
01/09  Invincible Iron Man #9  -  52,364  ( -7.7%)
02/09  Invincible Iron Man #10 -  56,381  ( +7.7%)
03/09  Invincible Iron Man #11 -  52,165  ( -7.5%)
04/09  Invincible Iron Man #12 -  51,774  ( -0.7%)
05/09  Invincible Iron Man #13 -  51,311  ( -0.9%)
6 mnth  ( +4.0%)
1 year  (-57.5%)
2 year  (-19.0%)
3 year  (+32.0%)
4 year  (  --- )
5 year  (+81.7%)

Continuing a Dark Reign crossover arc. Sales are looking very steady over the last few months.

23. DEADPOOL
09/08  Deadpool #1  - 75,058
09/08  Deadpool #2  - 65,400  (-12.9%)
10/08  Deadpool #3  - 61,833  ( -5.5%)
11/08  Deadpool #4  - 49,577  (-19.8%)
12/08  Deadpool #5  - 46,856  ( -5.5%)
01/09  Deadpool #6  - 46,549  ( -0.7%)
02/09  Deadpool #7  - 44,082  ( -5.3%)
03/09  Deadpool #8  - 53,109  (+20.5%)
04/09  Deadpool #9  - 54,556  ( +2.7%)
05/09  Deadpool #10 - 51,113  ( -6.3%)
6 mnth  ( +3.1%)

And another Dark Reign crossover. Issue #9 picks up re-orders of 6,073, which are added into the number above. So the first month sales actually went up from last month.

24. ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN
05/04  Ult. Spider-Man #58  -  90,963
05/05  Ult. Spider-Man #77  -  81,034
05/06  Ult. Spider-Man #95  -  73,564
05/07  Ult. Spider-Man #109 -  72,478
=====
05/08  Ult. Spider-Man #122 -  55,759  ( -1.5%)
06/08  Ult. Spider-Man #123 -  57,187  ( +2.6%)
07/08  Ult. Spider-Man #124 -  55,262  ( -3.4%)
08/08  Ult. Spider-Man #125 -  54,746  ( -0.9%)
09/08  Ult. Spider-Man #126 -  54,604  ( -0.3%)
10/08  Ult. Spider-Man #127 -  52,584  ( -3.7%)
11/08  Ult. Spider-Man #128 -  52,187  ( -0.8%)
12/08  Ult. Spider-Man #129 -  51,071  ( -2.1%)
01/09  Ult. Spider-Man #130 -  49,637  ( -2.8%)
02/09  Ult. Spider-Man #131 -  49,565  ( -0.1%)
03/09  ---
04/09  ---
05/09  Ult. Spider-Man #132 -  50,144  ( +1.2%)
6 mnth  ( -3.9%)
1 year  (-10.1%)
2 year  (-30.8%)
3 year  (-31.8%)
4 year  (-38.1%)
5 year  (-44.9%)

This is the penultimate issue before the relaunch (though there’s something called REQUIEM in the middle), and the fourth part of an ULTIMATUM crossover. Yes, that’s right, these numbers are *with* the benefit of the crossover that’s supposed to reinvigorate the line. This is strange, because the core crossover is selling perfectly well. It’s just having no apparent effect on the tie-in books. I’d say that suggests the event has singularly failed to attract any attention back to the Ultimate imprint, but we’ll have to wait and see what happens when it relaunches officially later in the year.

26. CABLE
05/08  Cable #3  - 54,760  ( -8.5%)
06/08  Cable #4  - 49,996  ( -8.7%)
07/08  Cable #5  - 46,429  ( -7.1%)
08/08  Cable #6  - 45,050  ( -3.0%)
09/08  ---
10/08  Cable #7  - 43,358  ( -3.8%)
11/08  Cable #8  - 37,315  (-13.9%)
12/08  Cable #9  - 34,527  ( -7.5%)
01/09  Cable #10 - 33,319  ( -3.5%)
02/09  Cable #11 - 31,817  ( -4.5%)
03/09  Cable #12 - 32,407  ( +1.9%)
04/09  Cable #13 - 47,638  (+47.0%)
05/09  Cable #14 - 47,196  ( -0.9%)
6 mnth  (+26.5%)
1 year  (-13.8%)

Continuing the “Messiah War” crossover with X-FORCE, which looks to be a hit. Issue #13 picks up reorders of 7,098, so the first-month sales are up very significantly.

27. FANTASTIC FOUR
05/04  Fantastic Four #513 - 50,936
05/05  Fantastic Four #527 - 67,433
05/06  ---
05/07  Fantastic Four #546 - 72,182
=====
05/08  Fantastic Four #557 - 62,736  ( -3.5%)
06/08  Fantastic Four #558 - 61,003  ( -2.8%)
07/08  ---
08/08  Fantastic Four #559 - 59,791  ( -2.0%)
09/08  Fantastic Four #560 - 58,258  ( -2.6%)
10/08  ---
11/08  Fantastic Four #561 - 61,331  ( +5.3%)
12/08  Fantastic Four #562 - 54,062  (-11.9%)
01/09  Fantastic Four #563 - 52,747  ( -2.4%)
02/09  Fantastic Four #564 - 49,520  ( -6.1%)
03/09  Fantastic Four #565 - 48,378  ( -2.3%)
04/09  ---
05/09  Fantastic Four #566 - 46,653  ( -3.6%)
6 mnth  (-23.9%)
1 year  (-25.6%)
2 year  (-35.4%)
3 year  (  --- )
4 year  (-30.8%)
5 year  ( -8.4%)

Settling back into a routine decline, as the Millar/Hitch run nears its conclusion.

28. WAR OF KINGS
03/09  War of Kings #1 of 6 - 58,709
04/09  War of Kings #2 of 6 - 50,631  (-13.8%)
05/09  War of Kings #3 of 6 - 45,560  (-10.0%)

This year’s cosmic crossover continues to out-perform the participating titles quite impressively. A second printing of issue #2 adds 2,979 copies.

29. WOLVERINE: ORIGINS
05/06  Origins #2  - 131,522
05/07  Origins #14 -  68,953
=====
05/08  Origins #25 -  52,907  ( +5.9%)
06/08  Origins #26 -  48,059  ( -9.2%)
07/08  Origins #27 -  47,540  ( -1.1%)
08/08  ---
09/08  Origins #28 -  49,950  ( +5.1%)
10/08  Origins #29 -  58,841  (+17.8%)
11/08  Origins #30 -  50,359  (-14.4%)
12/08  Origins #31 -  45,043  (-10.6%)
01/09  Origins #32 -  44,697  ( -0.8%)
02/09  Origins #33 -  44,935  ( +0.5%)
03/09  Origins #34 -  45,579  ( +1.4%)
04/09  Origins #35 -  44,976  ( -1.3%)
05/09  Origins #36 -  45,451  ( +1.1%)
6 mnth  ( -9.7%)
1 year  (-14.1%)
2 year  (-34.1%)
3 year  (-65.4%)

Another Dark Reign arc, though it doesn’t seem to be making much difference to sales. However, they’ve been incredibly consistent on this title since last December.

30. AVENGERS/INVADERS
05/08  Avngrs/Invaders #1 of 12 - 108,136
06/08  Avngrs/Invaders #2 of 12 -  83,012 (-23.2%)
07/08  Avngrs/Invaders #3 of 12 -  75,161 ( -9.5%)
08/08  Avngrs/Invaders #4 of 12 -  69,010 ( -8.2%)
09/08  ---
10/08  Avngrs/Invaders #5 of 12 -  63,757 ( -7.6%)
11/08  Avngrs/Invaders #6 of 12 -  56,224 (-11.8%)
12/08  Avngrs/Invaders #7 of 12 -  52,193 ( -7.2%)
01/09  ---
02/09  Avngrs/Invaders #8 of 12 -  48,319 ( -7.4%)
03/09  ---
04/09  Avngrs/Invaders #9 of 12 -  48,032 ( -0.6%)
04/09  Avngrs/Invaders #10 o/12 -  43,997 ( -8.4%)
05/09  Avngrs/Invaders #11 o/12 -  44,037 ( +0.1%)
6 mnth (-21.7%)

Levelling out, as miniseries often do towards the end of their run. After all, if you’ve bought the first ten issues, you’re probably going to pick up the last two.

31. DARK TOWER
05/07  Gunslinger Born #4 of 7 - 131,753
=====
05/08  Long Road Home #3 of 5  -  87,631  (-17.3%)
06/08  Long Road Home #4 of 5  -  79,270  ( -9.5%)
07/08  Long Road Home #5 of 5  -  74,981  ( -5.4%)
08/08  ---
09/08  Treachery #1 of 6       -  82,541  (+10.1%)
10/08  Treachery #2 of 6       -  65,732  (-20.4%)
11/08  Treachery #3 of 6       -  58,279  (-11.3%)
12/08  Treachery #4 of 6       -  53,735  ( -7.8%)
01/09  Treachery #5 of 6       -  50,683  ( -5.7%)
02/09  Treachery #6 of 6       -  48,127  ( -5.0%)
03/09  ---
04/09  Sorcerer #1             -  39,210  (-18.5%)
05/09  Fall of Gilead #1 of 6  -  43,580  (+11.1%)
6 mnth  (-25.2%)
1 year  (-50.3%)
2 year  (-66.9%)

Diminished returns are setting in at a remarkable rate. FALL OF GILEAD doesn’t even get a first issue bump, and debuts at almost half the level of TREACHERY #1.

32. SECRET WARRIORS
02/09  Secret Warriors #1 - 62,764
03/09  Secret Warriors #2 - 48,086  (-23.4%)
04/09  Secret Warriors #3 - 50,126  ( +4.2%)
05/09  Secret Warriors #4 - 42,781  (-14.7%)

Back to regular sales after last month’s Wolverine variant. This is still part of a Dark Reign arc.

33. AVENGERS: THE INITIATIVE
05/07  Initiative #2 - 103,189
=====
05/08  Initiative #13 - 56,818  ( +8.5%)
06/08  Initiative #14 - 62,236  ( +9.5%)
07/08  Initiative #15 - 63,634  ( +2.2%)
08/08  Initiative #16 - 60,381  ( -5.1%)
09/08  Initiative #17 - 59,037  ( -2.2%)
10/08  Initiative #18 - 61,159  ( +3.6%)
11/08  ---
12/08  Initiative #19 - 52,558  (-14.1%)
12/08  Initiative #20 - 51,230  ( -2.5%)
01/09  Initiative #21 - 47,734  ( -6.8%)
02/09  Initiative #22 - 46,932  ( -1.7%)
03/09  ---
04/09  Initiative #23 - 45,146  ( -3.8%)
05/09  Initiative #24 - 42,510  ( -5.8%)
6 mnth  (  --- )
1 year  (-25.2%)
2 year  (-58.8%)

More Dark Reign, but sales are still on the slide.

37. THUNDERBOLTS
05/04  ---
05/05  New Thunderbolts #8 - 27,769
05/06  Thunderbolts #102   - 23,741
05/07  Thunderbolts #114   - 66,309
=====
05/08  Thunderbolts #120   - 38,330  ( -4.6%)
06/08  Thunderbolts #121   - 37,693  ( -1.7%)
07/08  Thunderbolts #122   - 47,170  (+25.1%)
08/08  Thunderbolts #123   - 45,403  ( -3.7%)
09/08  Thunderbolts #124   - 43,429  ( -4.3%)
10/08  Thunderbolts #125   - 41,358  ( -4.8%)
11/08  Thunderbolts #126   - 34,640  (-16.2%)
12/08  Thunderbolts #127   - 36,378  ( +5.0%)
01/09  Thunderbolts #128   - 45,745  (+25.7%)
02/09  Thunderbolts #129   - 45,401  ( -0.7%)
03/09  Thunderbolts #130   - 52,264  (+15.1%)
04/09  Thunderbolts #131   - 49,155  ( -5.9%)
05/09  Thunderbolts #132   - 40,324  (-18.0%)
6 mnth  (+16.4%)
1 year  ( +5.2%)
2 year  (-39.2%)
3 year  (+69.8%)
4 year  (+45.2%)
5 year  (  --- )

And another Dark Reign book. There are two main reasons for the drop: issue #131 was part of a crossover with DEADPOOL, and this is also the first issue in quite a while not to feature a 1:15 variant cover.

41. THE STAND
09/08  Captain Trips #1 of 5 - 82,671
10/08  Captain Trips #2 of 5 - 64,443  (-22.0%)
11/08  Captain Trips #3 of 5 - 55,076  (-14.5%)
12/08  Captain Trips #4 of 5 - 49,211  (-10.6%)
01/09  Captain Trips #5 of 5 - 46,702  ( -5.1%)
02/09  ---
03/09  Nightmares #1 of 5    - 47,473  ( +1.7%)
04/09  Nightmares #2 of 5    - 38,909  (-18.0%)
05/09  Nightmares #3 of 5    - 36,364  ( -6.5%)
6 mnth  (-34.0%)

Another King adaptation which, at least as a direct market serial, isn’t holding up particularly well. Of course, these books ought to sell better than usual in their collected editions.

42. MARVEL ZOMBIES
10/08  Marvel Zombies 3 #1 of 4 - 67,999
11/08  Marvel Zombies 3 #2 of 4 - 47,253  (-30.5%)
12/08  Marvel Zombies 3 #3 of 4 - 41,837  (-11.5%)
01/09  Marvel Zombies 3 #4 of 4 - 38,805  ( -7.2%)
02/09  ---
03/09  ---
04/09  Marvel Zombies 4 #1 of 4 - 42,891  (+10.5%)
05/09  Marvel Zombies 4 #2 of 4 - 35,926  (-16.2%)
6 mnth  (-24.0%)

Diminishing returns again, but the ZOMBIES franchise is still doing well enough to justify its existence.

44. PUNISHER
05/07  War Journal #7  - 72,871
=====
05/08  War Journal #19 - 29,906  (  +1.2%)
06/08  War Journal #20 - 27,288  (  -8.8%)
07/08  War Journal #21 - 26,299  (  -3.6%)
08/08  War Journal #22 - 25,555  (  -2.8%)
09/08  War Journal #23 - 27,384  (  +7.2%)
10/08  War Journal #24 - 31,785  ( +16.1%)
11/08  War Journal #25 - 29,982  (  -5.7%)
12/08  War Journal #26 - 22,423  ( -25.2%)
01/09  Punisher #1     - 49,222  (+119.5%)
02/09  Punisher #2     - 40,928  ( -16.9%)
03/09  Punisher #3     - 37,570  (  -8.2%)
04/09  Punisher #4     - 36,995  (  -1.5%)
05/09  Punisher #5     - 35,621  (  -3.7%)
6 mnth  ( +18.8%)
1 year  ( +19.1%)
2 year  ( -51.1%)

More Dark Reign. The book is still finding its level, but it’s comfortably up from the previous incarnation.

45. DEADPOOL: SUICIDE KINGS
04/09  Suicide Kings #1 of 5 - 38,420
05/09  Suicide Kings #2 of 5 - 35,478 (-7.7%)

That’s a good number for a spin-off series featuring a B-list character, and without particularly big name creators attached. This might explain Marvel’s confidence that Deadpool can carry a second ongoing series.

47. NEW AVENGERS: REUNION
03/09  Reunion #1 of 4 - 46,847
04/09  Reunion #2 of 4 - 38,935  (-16.9%)
05/09  Reunion #3 of 4 - 34,438  (-11.6%)

A rather steep drop at this point in the miniseries.

55. DARK REIGN: YOUNG AVENGERS
05/09  Dark Reign: Young Avengers #1 of 5 - 32,266

Another of the miniseries which periodically pops up to remind us that this book exists. The ongoing series has effectively been on hold for years while they wait for the original writer, Allan Heinberg; I can’t help but think that the loss of momentum has been so extreme that they’d have been better off ploughing on without him, but what’s done is done.

56. X-FACTOR
05/06  X-Factor #7  - 44,315
05/07  X-Factor #19 - 37,898
=====
05/08  X-Factor #31 - 48,231  ( -6.3%)
06/08  X-Factor #32 - 45,104  ( -6.5%)
07/08  X-Factor #33 - 53,088  (+17.7%)
08/08  X-Factor #34 - 50,416  ( -5.0%)
09/08  X-Factor #35 - 44,481  (-11.8%)
10/08  X-Factor #36 - 38,552  (-13.3%)
11/08  X-Factor #37 - 35,754  ( -7.3%)
12/08  X-Factor #38 - 34,425  ( -3.7%)
01/09  X-Factor #39 - 32,796  ( -4.7%)
02/09  X-Factor #40 - 31,943  ( -2.6%)
03/09  X-Factor #41 - 31,888  ( -0.2%)
04/09  X-Factor #42 - 32,000  ( +0.4%)
05/09  X-Factor #43 - 31,543  ( -1.4%)
6 mnth  (-11.8%)
1 year  (-34.6%)
2 year  (-16.8%)
3 year  (-28.8%)

Another book which has been extremely stable over the last few months.

57. BLACK PANTHER
05/05  Black Panther #4  - 40,804
05/06  Black Panther #16 - 28,091
05/07  Black Panther #27 - 52,552
=====
05/08  Black Panther #36 - 20,841  ( -2.3%)
06/08  Black Panther #37 - 19,989  ( -4.1%)
07/08  Black Panther #38 - 19,459  ( -2.7%)
07/08  Black Panther #39 - 37,546  (+92.9%)
08/08  Black Panther #40 - 33,583  (-10.6%)
09/08  Black Panther #41 - 33,620  ( +0.1%)
10/08  ---
11/08  ---
12/08  ---
01/09  ---
02/09  Black Panther #1  - 52,991  (+57.6%)
03/09  Black Panther #2  - 33,755  (-36.3%)
04/09  Black Panther #3  - 33,356  ( -1.2%)
05/09  Black Panther #4  - 30,984  ( -7.1%)
6 mnth  (  --- )
1 year  (+48.7%)
2 year  (-41.0%)
3 year  (+10.3%)
4 year  (-24.1%)

Last month had an unexpectedly small drop, but that seems to have been a blip. The book is still finding its level after the relaunch, though it remains significantly up from previous levels (once you ignore the SECRET INVASION crossover at the end of the last run, anyway).

58. DARK REIGN: HAWKEYE
04/09  Hawkeye #1 of 5 - 41,056
05/09  Hawkeye #2 of 5 - 30,581  (-25.5%)

60. DARK REIGN: HOOD
05/09  Dark Reign: Hood #1 of 5 - 29,857

The Dark Reign minis aren’t selling spectacularly, but I’ve no doubt they’re doing better than a Bullseye or Hood miniseries without the branding would have managed.

62. INCREDIBLE HERCULES
05/08  Hercules #117 - 57,264  (+28.5%)
06/08  Hercules #118 - 52,975  ( -7.5%)
07/08  Hercules #119 - 52,598  ( -0.7%)
08/08  Hercules #120 - 51,100  ( -2.8%)
09/08  Hercules #121 - 47,363  ( -7.3%)
10/08  Hercules #122 - 42,876  ( -9.5%)
11/08  Hercules #123 - 35,780  (-16.6%)
12/08  Hercules #124 - 36,855  ( +3.0%)
01/09  Hercules #125 - 31,888  (-13.5%)
02/09  Hercules #126 - 31,000  ( -2.8%)
03/09  Hercules #127 - 31,890  ( +2.9%)
04/09  Hercules #128 - 33,739  ( +5.8%)
05/09  Hercules #129 - 28,995  (-14.1%)
6 mnth  (-19.0%)
1 year  (-49.4%)

Returning to its regular sales after a Wolverine variant last month.

66. WAR MACHINE
12/08  War Machine #1 - 54,396
01/09  War Machine #2 - 39,835  (-26.8%)
02/09  War Machine #3 - 33,818  (-15.1%)
03/09  War Machine #4 - 32,693  ( -3.3%)
04/09  War Machine #5 - 34,254  ( +4.8%)
05/09  War Machine #6 - 27,703  (-19.1%)

More Dark Reign. Last month had a variant cover, but the book still seems to be shedding readers at around 5K every couple of months, which doesn’t look very healthy.

68. GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY
05/08  Guardians o/Galaxy #1  - 36,293
06/08  Guardians o/Galaxy #2  - 32,967  ( -9.2%)
07/08  Guardians o/Galaxy #3  - 33,986  ( +3.1%)
08/08  Guardians o/Galaxy #4  - 40,285  (+18.5%)
09/08  Guardians o/Galaxy #5  - 42,104  ( +4.5%)
10/08  Guardians o/Galaxy #6  - 36,546  (-13.2%)
11/08  Guardians o/Galaxy #7  - 30,516  (-16.5%)
12/08  Guardians o/Galaxy #8  - 31,564  ( +3.4%)
01/09  Guardians o/Galaxy #9  - 28,502  ( -9.7%)
02/09  Guardians o/Galaxy #10 - 27,648  ( -3.0%)
03/09  Guardians o/Galaxy #11 - 27,415  ( -0.8%)
03/09  Guardians o/Galaxy #12 - 26,764  ( -2.4%)
04/09  Guardians o/Galaxy #13 - 27,107  ( +1.3%)
05/09  Guardians o/Galaxy #14 - 27,130  ( +0.1%)
6 mnth  (-11.1%)
1 year  (-25.2%)

This is a WAR OF KINGS tie-in, though the sales impact is minimal.

69. DARK REIGN: ELEKTRA
03/09  Elektra #1 of 5 - 36,385
04/09  Elektra #2 of 5 - 29,892  (-17.8%)
05/09  Elektra #3 of 5 - 27,118  ( -9.3%)

Another Dark Reign mini. See above.

73. PLANET SKAAR: PROLOGUE
05/09  Planet Skaar: Prologue - 26,765

This is effectively issue #10a of SKAAR, SON OF HULK, which is on a skip month. Retailers have ordered it in standard SKAAR quantities. It leads into the next storyline, where Skaar finally arrives on earth and gets to interact with the rest of the Marvel Universe.

74. DARK REIGN: FANTASTIC FOUR
03/09  Fantastic Four #1 of 5 - 48,061
04/09  Fantastic Four #2 of 5 - 31,497  (-34.5%)
05/09  Fantastic Four #3 of 5 - 26,536  (-15.8%)

It’s really quite remarkable that the Fantastic Four’s Dark Reign mini is selling below Elektra’s. You could interpret this as evidence that the FF just won’t support spin-off titles.

75. NOVA
05/07  Nova #2  - 44,532
=====
05/08  Nova #13 - 28,144  ( -0.1%)
06/08  Nova #14 - 28,892  ( +2.7%)
07/08  Nova #15 - 28,592  ( -1.0%)
08/08  Nova #16 - 38,338  (+34.1%)
09/08  Nova #17 - 37,015  ( -3.5%)
10/08  Nova #18 - 38,417  ( +3.8%)
11/08  Nova #19 - 28,306  (-26.3%)
12/08  Nova #20 - 29,405  ( +3.9%)
01/09  Nova #21 - 25,647  (-12.8%)
02/09  Nova #22 - 25,065  ( -2.3%)
03/09  Nova #23 - 26,413  ( +5.4%)
04/09  Nova #24 - 26,240  ( -0.7%)
05/09  Nova #25 - 26,172  ( -0.3%)
6 mnth  ( -7.5%)
1 year  ( -7.0%)
2 year  (-41.2%)

Rock solid. This is also a WAR OF KINGS tie-in, but as with GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY, it doesn’t seem to be making a great deal of difference.

77. WAR OF KINGS: ASCENSION
04/09  Ascension #1 of 4 - 34,540
05/09  Ascension #2 of 4 - 25,993  (-24.7%)

On the steep side for a second issue drop. This is basically a Darkhawk miniseries, if you’re wondering.

78. WOLVERINE NOIR
04/09  Wolverine Noir #1 of 4 - 32,112
05/09  Wolverine Noir #2 of 4 - 25,792  (-19.7%)

A perfectly respectable performance for an out-of-continuity Wolverine story, beating several regular Marvel Universe titles.

80,81. AGENTS OF ATLAS
02/09  Agents of Atlas #1 - 34,449
03/09  Agents of Atlas #2 - 26,783  (-22.3%)
04/09  Agents of Atlas #3 - 29,748  (+11.1%)
05/09  Agents of Atlas #4 - 25,377  (-14.7%)
05/09  Agents of Atlas #5 - 25,207  ( -0.7%)

More Dark Reign. The sales increase for issue #3 isn’t repeated, which suggests that it was probably the Wolverine variant after all. But the good news is that sales have settled down very quickly. Variant covers by Ed McGuinness won’t be hurting, but it’s always a good sign when a book stabilises so rapidly.

82. MS MARVEL
05/06  Ms Marvel #3  - 43,048
05/07  Ms Marvel #15 - 42,849
=====
05/08  Ms Marvel #27 - 41,131  ( -2.7%)
06/08  Ms Marvel #28 - 42,194  ( +2.6%)
07/08  Ms Marvel #29 - 41,231  ( -2.3%)
08/08  ---
09/08  Ms Marvel #30 - 40,041  ( -2.9%)
09/08  Ms Marvel #31 - 32,145  (-19.7%)
10/08  Ms Marvel #32 - 25,892  (-19.5%)
11/08  Ms Marvel #33 - 23,980  ( -7.4%)
12/08  Ms Marvel #34 - 29,770  (+24.1%)
01/09  Ms Marvel #35 - 26,824  (-10.0%)
02/09  Ms Marvel #36 - 25,864  ( -3.6%)
03/09  Ms Marvel #37 - 25,053  ( -3.1%)
04/09  Ms Marvel #38 - 27,535  (+10.0%)
05/09  Ms Marvel #39 - 24,757  (-10.1%)
6 mnth  ( -3.2%)
1 year  (-39.8%)
2 year  (-42.2%)
3 year  (-42.5%)

Back to normal after a variant cover. It’s still a Dark Reign arc, but as with many books, that doesn’t seem to be making a huge difference.

INCOGNITO [Icon]
12/08  Incognito #1 - 27,958
01/09  ---
02/09  Incognito #2 - 22,962  (-17.9%)
03/09  ---
04/09  Incognito #3 - 24,280  ( +5.7%)
05/09  ---

Incognito was on a skip month in May, but the “Must Have” collection charted at number 291, selling 2,881 copies.

88. EXILES
05/04  Exiles #46     - 38,788
05/05  Exiles #64     - 34,033
05/06  Exiles #81     - 33,908
05/07  Exiles #94     - 30,735
=====
05/08  New Exiles #6  - 27,533  ( -3.4%)
06/08  New Exiles #7  - 25,742  ( -6.5%)
07/08  New Exiles #8  - 24,436  ( -5.1%)
08/08  New Exiles #9  - 22,986  ( -5.9%)
08/08  New Exiles #10 - 23,048  ( +0.3%)
09/08  New Exiles #11 - 22,630  ( -1.8%)
10/08  New Exiles #12 - 21,682  ( -4.2%)
10/08  New Exiles #13 - 21,058  ( -2.9%)
11/08  New Exiles #14 - 20,493  ( -2.7%)
12/08  New Exiles #15 - 19,498  ( -4.9%)
12/08  New Exiles #16 - 19,227  ( -1.4%)
01/09  New Exiles #17 - 18,381  ( -4.4%)
02/09  New Exiles #18 - 17,925  ( -2.5%)
03/09  ---
04/09  Exiles #1      - 31,136  (+73.7%)
05/09  Exiles #2      - 22,148  (-28.9%)
6 mnth  ( +8.1%)
1 year  (-19.6%)
2 year  (-27.9%)
3 year  (-34.7%)
4 year  (-34.9%)
5 year  (-42.9%)

Two issues in, this relaunch is already back at the levels of NEW EXILES #11. That’s not a very encouraging sign, unfortunately.

90. IMMORTAL IRON FIST
05/07  Immortal Iron Fist #5  - 36,856
=====
05/08  Immortal Iron Fist #15 - 30,334  ( -1.8%)
06/08  Immortal Iron Fist #16 - 29,822  ( -1.7%)
07/08  Immortal Iron Fist #17 - 32,839  (+10.1%)
08/08  Immortal Iron Fist #18 - 27,430  (-16.5%)
09/08  ---
10/08  Immortal Iron Fist #19 - 25,861  ( -5.7%)
11/08  ---
12/08  Immortal Iron Fist #20 - 24,966  ( -3.5%)
12/08  Immortal Iron Fist #21 - 24,134  ( -3.3%)
01/09  ---
02/09  Immortal Iron Fist #22 - 23,259  ( -3.6%)
03/09  Immortal Iron Fist #23 - 22,691  ( -2.4%)
03/09  Immortal Iron Fist #24 - 22,326  ( -1.6%)
04/09  Immortal Iron Fist #25 - 22,309  ( -0.0%)
05/09  Immortal Iron Fist #26 - 21,864  ( -2.0%)
6 mnth  (  --- )
1 year  (-27.9%)
2 year  (-40.7%)

The book goes on hiatus after issue #27, replaced on the schedule by a miniseries starring members of the supporting cast.

91. PUNISHER: FRANK CASTLE  [Max]
05/04  Punisher #6      - 48,576
05/05  Punisher #21     - 37,998
05/06  Punisher #33     - 34,480
05/07  Punisher #47     - 33,892
=====
05/08  Punisher #57     - 30,528  ( -0.9%)
06/08  Punisher #58     - 29,802  ( -2.4%)
07/08  Punisher #59     - 30,064  ( +0.9%)
08/08  Punisher #60     - 30,683  ( +2.1%)
08/08  Punisher #61     - 28,373  ( -7.5%)
09/08  Punisher #62     - 26,906  ( -5.2%)
10/08  Punisher #63     - 25,933  ( -3.6%)
11/08  Punisher #64     - 24,660  ( -4.9%)
12/08  Punisher #65     - 23,881  ( -3.2%)
01/09  Frank Castle #66 - 22,806  ( -4.5%)
02/09  Frank Castle #67 - 22,267  ( -2.4%)
03/09  Frank Castle #68 - 22,255  ( -0.0%)
04/09  Frank Castle #69 - 21,843  ( -1.9%)
05/09  Frank Castle #70 - 21,864  ( +0.1%)
6 mnth  (-11.3%)
1 year  (-28.4%)
2 year  (-35.5%)
3 year  (-36.6%)
4 year  (-42.5%)
5 year  (-55.0%)

Seems to have found its level again after the departure of Garth Ennis.

93. SPIDER-MAN: SHORT HALLOWEEN
05/09  Short Halloween - 21,473

A one-shot by Bill Hader and Seth Meyers. The market really doesn’t seem all that interested in Spider-Man spin-offs of any description right now.

97. HUMAN TORCH COMICS
05/09  70th Anniversary Special - 20,808

Another part of Marvel’s 70th anniversary celebrations.

98. DAREDEVIL NOIR
04/09  Daredevil Noir #1 of 4 - 24,673
05/09  Daredevil Noir #2 of 4 - 20,555  (-16.7%)

Another noir miniseries. They’re doing better than you’d expect for a Marvel non-superhero book, but I can’t help feeling that the audience here is basically completists.

99. GHOST RIDER
05/07  Ghost Rider #11 - 43,626
=====
05/08  Ghost Rider #23 - 25,099  ( -3.0%)
06/08  Ghost Rider #24 - 24,494  ( -2.4%)
07/08  Ghost Rider #25 - 24,546  ( +0.2%)
08/08  Ghost Rider #26 - 27,026  (+10.1%)
09/08  Ghost Rider #27 - 23,402  (-13.4%)
10/08  Ghost Rider #28 - 26,993  (+15.3%)
11/08  Ghost Rider #29 - 24,205  (-10.3%)
12/08  Ghost Rider #30 - 25,508  ( +5.4%)
01/09  Ghost Rider #31 - 22,421  (-12.1%)
02/09  Ghost Rider #32 - 21,351  ( -4.8%)
03/09  Ghost Rider #33 - 21,347  ( -0.0%)
04/09  Ghost Rider #34 - 23,130  ( +8.4%)
05/09  Ghost Rider #35 - 20,523  (-11.3%)
6 mnth  (-15.2%)
1 year  (-18.2%)
2 year  (-53.0%)

Axed with issue #35, with a miniseries to follow.

100. ALL-NEW SAVAGE SHE-HULK
04/09  She-Hulk #1 of 4 - 23,220
05/09  She-Hulk #2 of 4 - 20,194  (-13.0%)

The whole series has a Dark Reign banner, to boot. After this, the character will continue as a back-up strip in INCREDIBLE HULK.

101. MOON KNIGHT
05/06  Moon Knight #2  - 75,333
05/07  Moon Knight #10 - 56,734
=====
05/08  Moon Knight #18 - 26,626  ( -4.3%)
06/08  Moon Knight #19 - 25,820  ( -3.0%)
07/08  Moon Knight #20 - 28,773  (+11.4%)
08/08  Moon Knight #21 - 30,900  ( +7.4%)
09/08  Moon Knight #22 - 26,380  (-14.6%)
10/08  Moon Knight #23 - 25,216  ( -4.4%)
11/08  Moon Knight #24 - 23,947  ( -5.0%)
12/08  Moon Knight #25 - 23,283  ( -2.8%)
01/09  Moon Knight #26 - 21,796  ( -6.4%)
02/09  Moon Knight #27 - 21,413  ( -1.8%)
03/09  Moon Knight #28 - 20,866  ( -2.6%)
04/09  Moon Knight #29 - 22,689  ( +8.7%)
05/09  Moon Knight #30 - 19,693  (-13.2%)
6 mnth  (-17.8%)
1 year  (-26.0%)
2 year  (-65.3%)
3 year  (-73.9%)

Cancelled, with a relaunch later in the year.

102. HULK: BROKEN WORLDS
03/09  Broken Worlds #1 of 2 - 24,380
04/09  ---
05/09  Broken Worlds #2 of 2 - 19,622  (-19.5%)

Once again, a major character in a spin-off miniseries proves not to be a particularly big draw.

106. MARVEL MYSTERY COMICS
05/09  70th Anniversary Special - 19,085

More anniversary celebrations.

111. CAPTAIN BRITAIN & MI-13
05/08  Cpt. Britain & MI-13 #1  - 43,281
06/08  Cpt. Britain & MI-13 #2  - 37,986  (-12.2%)
07/08  Cpt. Britain & MI-13 #3  - 39,100  ( +2.9%)
08/08  Cpt. Britain & MI-13 #4  - 36,826  ( -5.8%)
09/08  Cpt. Britain & MI-13 #5  - 32,999  (-10.4%)
10/08  Cpt. Britain & MI-13 #6  - 28,033  (-15.0%)
11/08  Cpt. Britain & MI-13 #7  - 22,189  (-20.8%)
12/08  Cpt. Britain & MI-13 #8  - 21,236  ( -4.3%)
01/09  Cpt. Britain & MI-13 #9  - 18,483  (-13.0%)
02/09  Cpt. Britain & MI-13 #10 - 20,627  (+11.6%)
03/09  Cpt. Britain & MI-13 #11 - 17,757  (-13.9%)
04/09  Cpt. Britain & MI-13 #12 - 19,992  (+12.6%)
05/09  Cpt. Britain & MI-13 #13 - 17,947  (-10.2%)
6 mnth  (-19.1%)
1 year  (-58.5%)

Axed with issue #15.

113. GENEXT UNITED
05/09  GeNext United #1 of 5 - 17,766

A second miniseries for Chris Claremont’s future version of the junior X-Men team. Modest sales, but then it’s an out-of-continuity series.

115. LOCKJAW AND THE PET AVENGERS
05/09  Pet Avengers #1 of 4 - 17,638

Lockjaw teams up with other Marvel pets to fight evil. It’s a cute concept, and this was about the sales level to expect.

116. RUNAWAYS
05/04  Runaways #15 - 19,306
05/05  Runaways #4  - 28,968
05/06  Runaways #16 - 23,842
05/07  Runaways #26 - 46,134
=====
05/08  ---
06/08  Runaways #30 - 31,353  ( -5.6%)
07/08  ---
08/08  Runaways #1  - 33,252  ( +6.1%)
09/08  Runaways #2  - 27,958  (-15.9%)
10/08  Runaways #3  - 25,757  ( -7.9%)
11/08  Runaways #4  - 23,496  ( -8.8%)
12/08  Runaways #5  - 21,918  ( -6.7%)
01/09  Runaways #6  - 20,459  ( -6.7%)
02/09  Runaways #7  - 19,684  ( -3.8%)
03/09  Runaways #8  - 19,000  ( -3.5%)
04/09  Runaways #9  - 19,851  ( +4.5%)
05/09  Runaways #10 - 17,523  (-11.7%)
6 mnth  (-25.4%)
1 year  (  --- )
2 year  (-62.0%)
3 year  (-26.5%)
4 year  (-39.5%)
5 year  ( -9.2%)

Looking a bit shaky, to say the least. But a new creative team takes over with issue #11, so evidently Marvel are sticking with this.

118. FANTASTIC FORCE
04/09  Fantastic Force #1 of 4 - 21,865
05/09  Fantastic Force #2 of 4 - 16,541  (-24.3%)

You can see why this was cut down from an ongoing series before the first issue hit the stands.

120. TIMESTORM 2009/2099
04/09  Timestorm #1 of 4 - 19,973
05/09  Timestorm #2 of 4 - 16,190  (-18.9%)

122. SKRULL KILL KREW
04/09  Skrull Kill Krew #1 of 5 - 22,234
05/09  Skrull Kill Krew #2 of 5 - 15,795  (-29.0%)

Relaunches of old concepts, for which there doesn’t seem to be much of an audience.

123. WONDERFUL WIZARD OF OZ
12/08  Wizard of Oz #1 of 8 - 25,116
01/09  Wizard of Oz #2 of 8 - 17,608  (-29.9%)
02/09  Wizard of Oz #3 of 8 - 15,668  (-11.0%)
03/09  Wizard of Oz #4 of 8 - 16,159  ( +3.1%)
04/09
Wizard of Oz #5 of 8 - 16,110  ( -0.3%)
05/09  Wizard of Oz #6 of 8 - 15,774  ( -2.1%)

Still selling very well for one of Marvel’s novel adaptations.

127. HOWLING COMMANDOS
05/09  Howling Commandos - 15,275

A random one-shot without much in the way of publicity behind it. Sales are about what you’d expect.

128. SQUADRON SUPREME
07/08  Squadron Supreme #1  - 35,583
08/08  Squadron Supreme #2  - 28,052  (-21.2%)
09/08  Squadron Supreme #3  - 27,131  ( -3.3%)
10/08  Squadron Supreme #4  - 22,430  (-17.3%)
11/08  Squadron Supreme #5  - 19,822  (-11.6%)
12/08  Squadron Supreme #6  - 18,948  ( -4.5%)
01/09  Squadron Supreme #7  - 17,691  ( -6.6%)
02/09  Squadron Supreme #8  - 16,566  ( -6.4%)
03/09  Squadron Supreme #9  - 16,080  ( -2.9%)
04/09  Squadron Supreme #10 - 15,569  ( -3.2%)
05/09  Squadron Supreme #11 - 15,164  ( -2.6%)
6 mnth  (-23.5%)

Axed with issue #12.

129. X-MEN FOREVER ALPHA
05/09  X-Men Forever Alpha - 15,133

This is a reprint of 1991’s X-MEN #1-3, intended as a lead-in to June’s X-MEN FOREVER series, a high concept book in which Chris Claremont picks up the X-Men from where he left off. The issue also features a few pages of original material but, somewhat remarkably, Marvel didn’t mention that in the solicitation.

134. DESTROYER  [Max]
04/09  Destroyer #1 of 5 - 19,395
05/09  Destroyer #2 of 5 - 14,087  (-27.4%)

Fairly standard for the Max imprint.

135. THOR: TALES OF ASGARD BY LEE AND KIRBY
05/09  Tales of Asgard #1 of 6 - 13,488

Exactly what it says: a series of remastered Silver Age reprints. In the past, books like these have existed partly to spread the cost of restoration work for the Masterworks volumes.

139. ASTONISHING TALES
02/09  Astonishing Tales #1 - 27,030
03/09  Astonishing Tales #2 - 17,758  (-34.3%)
04/09  Astonishing Tales #3 - 15,862  (-10.7%)
05/09  Astonishing Tales #4 - 13,268  (-16.4%)

As this anthology title uses material from Marvel’s website, it’s effectively a reprint book. By that standard, it’s not doing so badly.

144. WOLVERINE: FIRST CLASS
05/08  First Class #3  - 22,430  (-12.4%)
06/08  First Class #4  - 20,199  ( -9.9%)
07/08  First Class #5  - 18,788  ( -7.0%)
08/08  First Class #6  - 19,443  ( +3.5%)
09/08  First Class #7  - 16,168  (-16.8%)
10/08  First Class #8  - 14,936  ( -7.6%)
11/08  First Class #9  - 13,857  ( -7.2%)
12/08  First Class #10 - 13,441  ( -3.0%)
01/09  First Class #11 - 12,845  ( -4.4%)
02/09  First Class #12 - 12,403  ( -3.4%)
03/09  First Class #13 - 12,430  ( -0.0%)
04/09  First Class #14 - 13,695  (+10.2%)
05/09  First Class #15 - 12,221  (-10.8%)
6 mnth  (-11.8%)
1 year  (-45.5%)

Last month was a variant cover blip; otherwise, the book has been very stable since the start of the year.

149. X-MEN: FUTURE HISTORY MESSIAH WAR SOURCEBOOK
05/09  Future History - 11,823

It’s a reference book, although it’s more about Cable and Bishop in general than the “Messiah War” crossover in particular.

157. X-MEN: FIRST CLASS
05/07  First Class Special - 23,556
=====
05/08  First Class #12     - 14,566  ( -2.2%)
06/08  First Class #13     - 14,157  ( -2.8%)
07/08  First Class #14     - 13,870  ( -2.0%)
08/08  First Class #15     - 13,249  ( -4.5%)
09/08  First Class #16     - 12,842  ( -3.1%)
10/08  Giant-Size Special  - 13,263  ( +3.3%)
11/08  ---
12/08  ---
01/09  ---
02/09  Finals #1 of 4      - 15,736  (+18.6%)
03/09  Finals #2 of 4      - 11,533  (-26.7%)
04/09  Finals #3 of 4      - 10,870  ( -5.7%)
05/09  Finals #4 of 4      - 10,579  ( -2.7%)
6 mnth  (  --- )
1 year  (-27.4%)
2 year  (-55.1%)

An UNCANNY X-MEN: FIRST CLASS miniseries is to follow.

160,173. TERROR INC.: APOCALYPSE SOON  [Max]
05/09  Apocalypse Soon #1 of 4 - 10,252
05/09  Apocalypse Soon #2 of 4 -  9,301  (-9.3%)

Again, much what we’ve come to expect from the Max imprint. Marvel are evidently happy enough with these sorts of sales, as the books keep coming.

167. ENDERS SHADOW: BATTLE SCHOOL
12/08  Shadow #1 of 5 - 15,151
01/09  Shadow #2 of 5 - 12,736  (-15.9%)
02/09  Shadow #3 of 5 - 10,851  (-14.8%)
03/09  ---
04/09  Shadow #4 of 5 - 10,288  ( -5.2%)
05/09  Shadow #5 of 5 -  9,900  ( -3.8%)

Sci-fi adaptation, doing better than average.

183. FIN FANG FOUR RETURN
05/09  Fin Fang Four Return - 8,402

Another reprint book, of assorted Fin Fang Four material from the website.

190. AMAZING SPIDER-MAN FAMILY
08/08  Spider-Man Family #1 - 13,549
09/08  ---
10/08  Spider-Man Family #2 - 10,560  (-22.1%)
11/08  ---
12/08  Spider-Man Family #3 -  7,711  (-27.0%)
01/09  ---
02/09  Spider-Man Family #4 -  7,289  ( -5.5%)
03/09  ---
04/09  Spider-Man Family #5 -  8,051  (+10.5%)
05/09  Spider-Man Family #6 -  8,061  ( +0.1%)
6 mnth  (  --- )

The slight increase over the last couple of issues is presumably because a Spider-Girl series has been added. Making the book monthly seems a bold move given its sales.

216. UNIVERSAL WAR ONE: REVELATIONS  [Soleil]
04/09  Revelations #1 of 3 - 8,252
05/09  Revelations #2 of 3 - 6,158  (-25.4%)

European reprints. Soleil books also have a higher price point, so they’re bringing in more money than the titles around them.

226. TROJAN WAR
05/09  Trojan War #1 of 5 - 5,452

Exactly what it says – it’s a Marvel Illustrated retelling of the story of the Trojan War. Fairly standard sales for that imprint.

231. MARVEL APES
05/09  Grunt Line Special - 5,143

For god’s sake, just let the joke lie.

238. OFFICIAL INDEX TO THE MARVEL UNIVERSE
01/09  Index #1 - 9,852
02/09  Index #2 - 7,278  (-26.1%)
03/09  Index #3 - 6,331  (-13.0%)
04/09  Index #4 - 5,517  (-12.9%)
05/09  Index #5 - 4,913  (-10.9%)

A niche product, but it has to be said that it seems to be getting even more so with every passing month. Of course, I suppose the nature of the product is that you’re particularly unlikely to join it in progress. (With hindsight, it would be interesting to know whether they’d have been better off doing one series at a time rather than three, which would have allowed a fresh issue #1 every few months.)

244. PRIDE & PREJUDICE
04/09  Pride & Prejudice #1 of 5 - 7,530
05/09  Pride & Prejudice #2 of 5 - 4,686  (-37.8%)

Falling back to more typical Marvel Illustrated numbers.

246. MARVEL SPOTLIGHT
05/07  Fantastic Four     -  8,261
=====
05/08  Hulk Movie         -  7,680  ( -5.5%)
06/08  Secret Invasion    - 14,206  (+85.0%)
07/08  Uncanny X-Men #500 -  8,763  (-38.3%)
08/08  Brand New Day      -  6,257  (-28.6%)
09/08  Marvel Knights     -  5,936  ( -5.1%)
10/08  Ultimatum          -  6,819  (+14.9%)
11/08  Punisher Movie     -  4,342  (-36.3%)
12/08  S.I. Aftermath     -  8,085  (+86.2%)
01/09  Dark Reign         -  7,527  ( -6.9%)
02/09  War of Kings       -  6,075  (-19.3%)
03/09  Wolverine          -  6,670  ( +9.8%)
04/09  ---
05/09  New Mutants        -  4,661  (-30.1%)
6 mnth  ( +7.3%)
1 year  (-39.3%)
2 year  (-43.6%)

At the lower end of the range.

250. MARVEL ADVENTURES SPIDER-MAN  [All ages]
05/05  M.A. Spider-Man #3  - 9,110
05/06  M.A. Spider-Man #15 - 6,165
05/07  M.A. Spider-Man #27 - 6,818
=====
05/08  M.A. Spider-Man #39 - 5,816  ( -0.3%)
06/08  M.A. Spider-Man #40 - 5,954  ( +2.4%)
07/08  M.A. Spider-Man #41 - 5,859  ( -1.6%)
08/08  M.A. Spider-Man #42 - 5,718  ( -2.4%)
09/08  M.A. Spider-Man #43 - 5,505  ( -3.7%)
10/08  M.A. Spider-Man #44 - 5,155  ( -6.4%)
11/08  M.A. Spider-Man #45 - 5,003  ( -2.9%)
12/08  M.A. Spider-Man #46 - 4,851  ( -3.0%)
01/09  M.A. Spider-Man #47 - 4,592  ( -5.3%)
02/09  M.A. Spider-Man #48 - 4,622  ( +0.7%)
03/09  M.A. Spider-Man #49 - 4,640  ( +0.4%)
04/09  M.A. Spider-Man #50 - 4,780  ( +3.0%)
05/09  M.A. Spider-Man #51 - 4,557  ( -4.7%)
6 mnth  ( -8.9%)
1 year  (-21.6%)
2 year  (-33.2%)
3 year  (-26.1%)
4 year  (-50.0%)

255. MARVEL ADVENTURES AVENGERS  [All ages]
05/06  M.A. Avengers #1  - 13,891
05/07  M.A. Avengers #13 -  7,251
=====
05/08  M.A. Avengers #24 -  5,358  ( -3.6%)
06/08  M.A. Avengers #25 -  5,327  ( -0.6%)
07/08  M.A. Avengers #26 -  5,418  ( +1.7%)
08/08  M.A. Avengers #27 -  5,200  ( -4.0%)
09/08  M.A. Avengers #28 -  4,966  ( -4.5%)
10/08  M.A. Avengers #29 -  4,844  ( -2.5%)
11/08  M.A. Avengers #30 -  4,679  ( -3.4%)
12/08  M.A. Avengers #31 -  ?,???  (  ??? )
01/09  M.A. Avengers #32 -  4,323  (  ??? )
02/09  M.A. Avengers #33 -  4,325  ( +0.0%)
03/09  M.A. Avengers #34 -  4,379  ( +1.2%)
04/09  M.A. Avengers #35 -  3,914  (-10.6%)
05/09  M.A. Avengers #36 -  4,238  ( +8.3%)
6 mnth  ( -9.4%)
1 year  (-20.9%)
2 year  (-69.5%)

270. MARVEL ADVENTURES SUPER HEROES
07/08  M.A. Super Heroes #1 - 11,968
08/08  M.A. Super Heroes #2 -  5,956  (-50.2%)
09/08  M.A. Super Heroes #3 -  4,857  (-18.5%)
10/08  M.A. Super Heroes #4 -  4,542  ( -6.5%)
11/08  M.A. Super Heroes #5 -  4,233  ( -6.8%)
12/08  M.A. Super Heroes #6 -  ?,???  (  ??? )
01/09  M.A. Super Heroes #7 -  4,141  (  ??? )
02/09  M.A. Super Heroes #8 -  3,993  ( -3.6%)
03/09  M.A. Super Heroes #9 -  3,716  ( -6.9%)
04/09  M.A. Super Heroes #10 - 3,699  ( -0.5%)
05/09  M.A. Super Heroes #11 - 3,474  ( -6.1%)
6 mnth  (-17.9%)

Fairly standard numbers from the Marvel Adventures imprint. MARVEL ADVENTURES FANTASTIC FOUR #48 didn’t make the top 300.

275. YTHAQ: NO ESCAPE  [Soleil]
04/09  No Escape #1 of 3 - 4,415
05/09  No Escape #2 of 3 - 3,335  (-24.5%)

284. LORDS OF AVALON: KNIGHTS OF DARKNESS
12/08  Knights #1 of 6 - 4,879
12/08  Knights #2 of 6 - ?,???  (  ??? )
01/09  Knights #3 of 6 - 3,640  (  ??? )
02/09  Knights #4 of 6 - 3,329  ( -8.5%)
03/09  ---
04/09  Knights #5 of 6 - ?,???  (  ??? )
05/09  Knights #6 of 6 - 3,045  (  ??? )

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

+ 26.5% - Cable
+ 18.8% - Punisher
+ 16.4% - Thunderbolts
+  8.1% - Exiles
+  7.3% - Marvel Spotlight
+  4.0% - Invincible Iron Man
+  3.1% - Deadpool
+  1.9% - X-Force
-  3.2% - Ms Marvel
-  3.4% - Uncanny X-Men
-  3.9% - Ultimate Spider-Man
-  7.5% - Nova
-  7.9% - Amazing Spider-Man
-  8.9% - Marvel Adventures Spider-Man
-  9.4% - Marvel Adventures Avengers
-  9.7% - Wolverine: Origins
- 11.1% - Guardians of the Galaxy
- 11.3% - Punisher: Frank Castle
- 11.3% - Wolverine
- 11.3% - Captain America
- 11.8% - X-Factor
- 11.8% - Wolverine: First Class
- 15.0% - X-Men: Legacy
- 15.2% - Ghost Rider
- 17.8% - Moon Knight
- 17.9% - Marvel Adventures Super Heroes
- 19.0% - Incredible Hercules
- 19.1% - Captain Britain & MI-13
- 19.5% - Hulk
- 21.7% - Avengers/Invaders
- 23.5% - Squadron Supreme
- 23.9% - Fantastic Four
- 24.0% - Marvel Zombies
- 25.2% - Dark Tower
- 25.4% - Runaways
- 34.0% - The Stand

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

+ 48.7% - Black Panther
+ 33.4% - Wolverine
+ 19.1% - Punisher
+  5.2% - Thunderbolts
-  6.7% - Amazing Spider-Man
-  7.0% - Nova
-  8.5% - Uncanny X-Men
- 10.1% - Ultimate Spider-Man
- 13.6% - New Avengers
- 13.8% - Cable
- 14.1% - Wolverine: Origins
- 15.7% - Captain America
- 18.2% - Ghost Rider
- 19.6% - Exiles
- 20.9% - Marvel Adventures Avengers
- 21.6% - Marvel Adventures Spider-Man
- 25.2% - Avengers: The Initiative
- 25.2% - Guardians of the Galaxy
- 25.6% - Fantastic Four
- 26.0% - Moon Knight
- 27.4% - X-Men: First Class
- 27.9% - Immortal Iron Fist
- 28.4% - Punisher: Frank Castle
- 31.2% - X-Force
- 32.3% - X-Men: Legacy
- 34.6% - X-Factor
- 39.3% - Marvel Spotlight
- 39.8% - Ms Marvel
- 45.5% - Wolverine: First Class
- 49.4% - Incredible Hercules
- 50.3% - Dark Tower
- 57.5% - Invincible Iron Man
- 58.5% - Captain Britain & MI-13

<strong>2 year comparisons
==================

-  8.3% - Uncanny X-Men
- 13.3% - Wolverine
- 16.8% - X-Factor
- 19.0% - Invincible Iron Man
- 25.4% - New Avengers
- 27.9% - Exiles
- 28.9% - X-Men: Legacy
- 30.8% - Ultimate Spider-Man
- 33.2% - Marvel Adventures Spider-Man
- 33.7% - Hulk
- 34.1% - Wolverine: Origins
- 35.4% - Fantastic Four
- 35.5% - Punisher: Frank Castle
- 39.2% - Thunderbolts
- 40.0% - Amazing Spider-Man
- 40.7% - Immortal Iron Fist
- 41.0% - Black Panther
- 41.2% - Nova
- 42.2% - Ms Marvel
- 43.6% - Marvel Spotlight
- 47.1% - Captain America
- 51.1% - Punisher
- 53.0% - Ghost Rider
- 55.1% - X-Men: First Class
- 58.8% - Avengers: The Initiative
- 62.0% - Runaways
- 65.3% - Moon Knight
- 66.9% - Dark Tower
- 69.5% - Marvel Adventures Avengers

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

+ 69.8% - Thunderbolts
+ 57.0% - Hulk
+ 43.2% - Captain America
+ 32.0% - Invincible Iron Man
+ 10.3% - Black Panther
-  5.3% - Uncanny X-Men
- 10.9% - Wolverine
- 23.5% - New Avengers
- 24.8% - Amazing Spider-Man
- 26.1% - Marvel Adventures Spider-Man
- 26.5% - Runaways
- 28.8% - X-Factor
- 31.8% - Ultimate Spider-Man
- 32.1% - X-Men: Legacy
- 34.7% - Exiles
- 36.6% - Punisher: Frank Castle
- 42.5% - Ms Marvel
- 65.4% - Wolverine: Origins
- 73.9% - Moon Knight

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

+ 66.8% - Hulk
+ 45.2% - Thunderbolts
+ 44.3% - Captain America
+  2.9% - Wolverine
-  5.7% - Amazing Spider-Man
- 10.1% - Uncanny X-Men
- 24.1% - Black Panther
- 30.8% - Fantastic Four
- 33.4% - X-Men: Legacy
- 34.9% - Exiles
- 38.1% - Ultimate Spider-Man
- 39.5% - Runaways
- 42.5% - Punisher: Frank Castle
- 50.0% - Marvel Adventures Spider-Man

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

+ 81.7% - Invincible Iron Man
+ 78.2% - Captain America
+ 69.4% - New Avengers
+ 61.1% - Hulk
+ 21.2% - Wolverine
-  8.4% - Fantastic Four
-  9.2% - Runaways
- 12.3% - Amazing Spider-Man
- 33.0% - Uncanny X-Men
- 42.9% - Exiles
- 44.9% - Ultimate Spider-Man
- 49.6% - X-Men: Legacy
- 55.0% - Frank Castle

  1. Nice analysis as usual, Paul. I also wanted to mention that the HTML editor seems to have messed up, doing strong rather then an actual tag.

  2. Trying to fix the bad tags as we speak. Picture Scottie in the Enterprise engine room during a Klingon assault and you have some idea of the process.

  3. No comment on the fact that Amazing Spider-Man hasn’t “leveled out” at 60K, as you’d previously predicted?

    Indeed, just just before the first issue of “American Son,” it once again managed to set a new sales low for the BND era.

    Yes, “American Son” will temporarily draw in more readers – it already has, just like “New Ways to Die” did – but just like “New Ways to Die,” it won’t stop the title’s sales from continuing to slide ever further downward.

    The last time Amazing Spider-Man’s per-issue sales were this low, John Byrne and Howard Mackie were working on it.

  4. K-Box, you might be interested in this 06/17/09 analysis of Spider-Man titles sales figures by Matt Ampersand. His conclusion:

    The last stage is that of Brand New Day, starting in 2008 until the present. During this time, the Spider-Man titles, now almost exclusively Amazing Spider-Man, would also easily break the 200,000 month in and out. Although the numbers started plateauing around that mark with the coming of the new year, we have to see how the numbers will react in the upcoming year before making a final judgement on it.

    If we are talking about total units sold, BND proved to be an obvious improvement over the early “JMS era”, although roughly the same as the second part of the JMS era, which was helped by the constant involvement of Spider-Man in special events, most notably Civil War.

    However, it is important to note that the readership of the BND era is a lot smaller than any of the previous eras. The total linewide sales are higher, but it is a smaller readership buying the issues more often. Whether Spider-Man lost the readers because of the controversial aspect of the new era or because the thrice-monthly cost scared readers away is entirely open to interpretation.

  5. Hi there,

    I haven’t finished reading yet, but I saw the New Mutants entry, and want to write while I’m thinking. Young X-Men had 3 covers that I remember – the standard, the skrull variant, and the Peterson “Uncle Sam” riff. Was the fourth cover a 2nd printing?

    I really enjoyed the New Mutants book, and all four covers. I hope it does well and is a successful title.

    Now, back to the article…

    Cheers,

    B

  6. It looks like the New Avengers drop-off in sales is correlated to the announcement of the $3.99 cover price, about 10,000 sales less. Similar for Hulk. But the Thor number is really interesting. #601 was a regular issue and retained some of the Anniversary #600 sales. Also, the new direction of the series, since #600, has been more Dark Reign-centric. So JMS is off because of being forced to move the story more into the MU, but sales bounce up.

    Thanks again for the numbers Paul. I love this column!

  7. It’s worth noting that New Mutants #1 got a 2nd printing in June, and #2 is getting a 2nd printing next week. So it seems like demand may have been underestimated on it.

  8. I’m sure it has been explained a lot of times, but is there a reason that you use an ‘s’ where a ‘z’ in a title header should appear? e.g. with AmaSing Spider-Man and Marvel Sombies. Is it some sort of in-joke? As it has been like this in every single Marvel sales analysis for as long as I can remember…

  9. Never mind, skip that last remark. I tried to copy/paste the title just to make sure, and it turns out it’s written out with a ‘z’ after all. Either a terribly misleading font, or my cue to check my eye-sight…

  10. I think it would be interesting for someone to do an analysis on the how price jumps affect sales. For example, Runaways #11 was a $3.99 book, but the issues on either side were $2.99. It was also my reason for not picking it up.

    I would buy some of the Dark Reign mini-series at $2.99, but have no interest at $3.99.

    Granted, DR Fantastic Four has a $2.99 price point, and it’s selling worse than a lot of the others….

  11. K-Box – Did Paul actually “predict” Amazing would level-out at 60k? I thought the argument was that 60k, three times a month, was the point where Amazing was considered to be doing equivalent business to three monthly spider-books during an event-assisted period. Which it is.

    Averaged out, Amazing Spider-Man is bringing Marvel as many monthly sales as three regular titles did pre-BND, and that’s in a year when it opted OUT of being part of the big summer crossover. Pre-BND, it had Back in Black and Civil War buoying the Spider-line, and yet thrice-weekly Amazing is still competing on that level.

  12. Know the part of this column I shake my head at every month? The stale Spider Man argument. Can we please just let it go? It spoils the whole works to a degree.

  13. “Did Paul actually ‘predict’ Amazing would level-out at 60k?”

    Just last month, he used that month’s sales figures as “evidence” that the title was leveling out at 60K.

    “I thought the argument was that 60k, three times a month, was the point where Amazing was considered to be doing equivalent business to three monthly spider-books during an event-assisted period.”

    That’s an entirely separate prediction you’re thinking of – it’s 63K (not 60K), three times a month, where the sales would average out to what they were before. And Paul’s exact quote on the subject was as follows:

    “Now, stranger things have happened, but I really can’t imagine the audience dropping off by quite that much.”

    Which is why, when you say this …

    “Averaged out, Amazing Spider-Man is bringing Marvel as many monthly sales as three regular titles did pre-BND […]”

    … You’re objectively proven wrong.

  14. Micah, it’s probably not fair to compare the last few issues of NEW AVENGERS to #50, when the price hike happened. It was an anniversary issue. Looking at #46-49 vs. #51-53, the difference is pretty minimal. I’m surprised by that myself, but NEW AVENGERS is one of the few $3.99 books that I’ve kept buying (along with DARK AVENGERS and CA: REBORN). Its “importance” for following the Marvel U. month-to-month makes it difficult for me to drop it.

  15. Kentucky Fried Horse — The Spider-Man discussion will go on forever because it is a seminal moment in Marvel’s history.

    BTK Spider-Man was the end of innocence for many readers, and the beginning of the moment in time where many of those same readers began to realize that Marvel really doesn’t care about the characters, only the money the characters bring in.

    Oh, I’m sorry, that was supposed to be BND, not BTK.

    But some of those readers obviously felt they had seen their favorite character tied up, abused, and slain.

  16. @K-Box

    “it won’t stop the title’s sales from continuing to slide ever further downward.”

    Uh, nothing will. That’s the natural course of a comic book series. There aren’t series that keep increasing month to month. All comics “slide ever further downward”. That’s what comics do. If you actually read these columns as often as you reply to them, you’d have noticed that trend.

    Seems to me like you’re holding the series to an impossible standard that no other series is held to, and then crying doom when it fails to uphold that impossible standard. It’s like pointing to a guy on the street and yelling, “HA HA LOOK THAT GUY IS AGING!” Uh, what?

    I dropped Spider-Man with BND myself so you have an idea of how I feel about it, but setting an impossible standard like that a series isn’t allowed to decline *at all* over time — well, that’s just stupid.

    Spider-Man will continue to decline. A year from now it’ll be in the low 50s/high 40s. Three years from now it’ll be in the 30s. Assuming that there aren’t changes in direction or new #1s. That’s just how comic books go. That’s not a mark of failure, it’s just a mark of being an ongoing comic book.

  17. Ouch, those 2-year sales comparisons look bad – all negative. Of course, there are mitigating circumstances in comparing MU with the aftermath of Civil War, but still, it looks painful.

    [Also, there still seems to be an HTML error there]

  18. So did books like Captain America and Daredevil, and Agents of Atlas is leveling out very quickly. It’s the leveling out that you’d expect from a property like Spider-Man, which is just not happening. If Marvel can’t hold on to sales for arguably their most recognizable character, then they’re in trouble, because the entire BND thing makes it very hard to gain back those readers.

    On the other hand, the 500k of Obama issues makes all this moot: that one issue single-handedly makes up for any other losses. And so will #600. Marvel knows what it’s doing, but nonetheless they can’t have guessed that less than 60k would be buying Spidey whereas it used to be over 100k easily (because many people did buy just one of the multiple series, coming to a higher total of actual readers rather than buyers–the former is, in the long run, more important than the latter)

    Also: so sad that nobody is buying Captain Britain, it’s one of my only Marvel buys left :/

  19. Something entirely different that truly astounds me is the sustained interest in New Avengers: I’ve read the entire series before Bendis came along and rarely has the book been as dull and uninspired as it is now.

    In the beginning I thought it must have had to do with Spider-Man and Wolverine, but Spider-Man’s own book isn’t drawing that much attention and even Wolverine’s is less popular. Of course the combined power of both might help, but even so, the losses on this book are minimal whereas it’s arguably Bendis’s worst book, given that he doesn’t write teams well at all (everyone sounding the same is about the last thing you want to do in a series about many individuals, but it’s what he does “best”.)

    So I honestly don’t understand how this series keeps on selling so well whereas much more exciting and better written books are lower on the list. It doesn’t even have any big names helping out on the penciling front, so it’s particularly puzzling to me. The only main difference, to me, seems to be that it’s Bendis writing it (yet his other ongoing books are nowhere near this popular nor have they ever been, apart from USM but that’s different, and also look where it ended up now, that’s a title that did shed over half of its readership)

    I don’t feel it’s that essential to whatever’s going on in the MU either because so much of what goes on in the MU seems inconsequential, since Civil War started things have changed some, sure, but the changes have been largely cosmetic and haven’t been reflected well at all in New Avengers, as far as I can tell. Not trying to convert anyone here, in a way I’m glad people are finally buying the Avengers book, I just wish I could enjoy it the same way they do, because I miss buying the Avengers (it’s been since Johns was on the book, really–I tried Disassembled and the opening arc of Bendis’s run, but just couldn’t continue, mainly the dialogue but also the plots were simply too dire for me and every time I flip through it on the stands, it seems like more of the same…)

  20. Peter, it confuses me, too, but I keep finding reasons to not slash it off of my pull list. While I enjoyed the book for a very long time, it’s really been floundering, post-Secret Invasion. The issue where Luke Cage spent about half of it crying was easily one of the worst comics I’ve ever read, and the quest for a new Sorceror Supreme in the last few issues was completely uninspiring. Just as I was ready to drop it…they announce Stuart Immonen as the new artist. *sigh* So I’m sticking with it for the time being.

    But really, Secret Invasion seems to have killed the momentum of ALL of the Avengers books. I’ll be chopping Mighty Avengers and Avengers: The Initiative off of my pull list the next time I visit the shop just because I’m completely uninterested in the direction of both titles. Mighty Avengers, in particular, seems to have gone way off the rails–say what you will about Bendis writing people out of character, but I have *never* seen Reed Richards more out of character than in the last couple issues of that book.

    And yet Marvel probably doesn’t care, because pre-SI, I was buying 3 Avengers books (New, Mighty, and Initiative) at $9 a month, and now I’ll be buying 2 Avengers books (New and Dark) at $8 a month. Not that big a difference to them, in the grand scheme of things.

  21. “IIRC GLC does just that. ”

    Fine, fine, I should have said that there are *practically* no series that keep increasing month to month.

    INVINCIBLE also grew month to month for a lengthy period of time and is an even better example than GLC.

    But they are one-in-a-million exceptions.

  22. Paul,

    For the sake of comparison, it might be nice to run the 70th Anniversary Specials in one column rather than list each one individually- kind of like you do with the Marvel Spotlight books.

  23. 1) I’m also tired of hearing BND Spider-Man bitching. Time to move on.
    2) I stopped buying New Avengers after the Skrull Invasion. In the issues leading up to it it just felt like a side-story to other books with random members joining or leaving with no explanantion given (Hello, Iron Fist!). Afterwards, well let’s just say Skrulls killed any interest I have in crossovers and Marvel/DC status-quos.

  24. @ Samy Merchi – I understand what you’re saying, but just for the fun of playing devil’s advocate, Walking Dead also grows month to month. Just to provide discussion, I think the position of any business is to grow. With comics, while it’s unrealistic to expect most series to grow every year, there has to be a healthy core sales number – it certainly wouldn’t make sense to expect *every* series to have a shelf life of x number of years due to natural attrition. A business selling products of any kind has to find some connection to their customers or else they’re not going to stay in business very long.

    @Jason Green – Stuart Immonen is on Avengers now??? Why won’t they let him go back to Ellis!? Argh! (I mean, I know why – Nextwave didn’t sell *that* well, but it was sure enjoyable!) I think Marvel would prefer you buying two books for $8 than three for $9. The three for $9 costs Marvel 50% more to produce for 12.5% more profit than two for $8.

  25. Rich – The solicits for New Avengers indicated that the book would be $3.99 sometime around issues 43. I think 47 was the first issue at the new price point. Then again, the post-Secret Invasion issues begin right around that point to, so there was likely a drop off of sales as people left the cross-over. But, yes, since the change in cover price, the sales have been consistent. They’ve also been the lowest since the launch of the series 5 years ago. It is also the number 1 selling book in the direct market with little or no gimicks. Then again it did so in a quiet month. Ugh, my head hurts. I’m just going to read Agents of Atlas.

  26. Just FTR, without comment:-
    *Sales figures released on icv2.com: 15 Jun 2009
    *Column posted: 7 Jul 2009

    ANYway….

    Ouch for Exiles. What’s worse is that Quesada actually said that, after a failed series, they’ve realised it’s best to leave a character’s book dead for around three years.

    So, after the toxic Claremont run, they run STRAIGHT into a new series (which is much better, but…) while the brand is still “radioactive” (Quesada’s own word). And so sales are in Red Alert territory by issue 2. *sigh*

  27. BTW, we haven’t had indy sales figures the last couple of months. Can we start doing those again?

    That won’t be reappearing for a while. From the Indies, Charts, Diamond Beat entry:

    In the end, publishers I spoke with were ambivalent about a potential chart. None of them jumped for joy at the idea, but no one thought it was the sure hoof beat of the Apocalypse, either. I felt the charts would be useful — transparency is generally a good thing, and I thought it might point out some interesting trends.

    However, for now, this chart is on hold. Steve is just too busy with his freelance career for this to work out for him right now. So, we imagine a lot of creators are breathing a sigh of relief right now. As for ongoing indie sales analysis, The Mayo Report over at CBR does look at the entire top 300, and is a great addition to what Paul and Marc-Oliver do here.

  28. Yes, you read that right. It’s the attempt to publish accurate sales figures that’s killing comics.

    I don’t know how Marvel has survived the monthly listing of these damnable ratings.

  29. “I don’t know how Marvel has survived the monthly listing of these damnable ratings.”

    I agree with the sentiment.

    I don’t believe for a second that the distribution of sales information, to the extent it’s been happening, is causing any kind of harm to anyone; there’s no evidence whatsoever that it is.

    However, in the case of most indie comics, there’s another factor to be considered: While the accuracy of the numbers tracked by Diamond is the same as for the Marvel and DC numbers, there’s much more activity below the radar of the Top 300 charts that’s never being tracked to begin with — not to mention that the business models can be profoundly different.

    That’s why I essentially stopped looking at independent books outside of the Top 100, back when I still included indies in the DC column. I’m not saying that these numbers should be kept off the air or can’t be used to identify trends in a meaningful way, but at the same time, I understand why the creators and publishers of those books might be less than thrilled about the prospect.

  30. 2 quick points.

    1. The continuing sales drop on ASM is MAINLY due to the book coming out 3 times a month. If the crappy OMD story never happened, and Spidey was still married, the sales on ASM would MOST LIKELY still be where they are currently at. If this book was on a monthly schedule at the beginning of BND, the inevitable sales attrition would have been a hell of lot slower. More people are willing to stick with and pay for a monthly comic then they are for a comic that comes out 3 times a month.

    2. As I predicted and have said several times before in this forum (and on other forums), removing Claremont from EXILES/NEW EXILES would NOT increase sales or stop sales from falling on that (relaunched) series.

  31. Paul and Marc-Oliver, thanks again for doing this for us. I certainly appreciate the time and effort involved, and just wish we could get an even better picture of the industry. Whenever indie sales are reported there is so much discussion of what numbers used, underreported sales/markets etc that it hardly seems worth the effort, but since that is a very fertile ground for young artists (particularly ones with appeal outside the direct market) there is always something to keep your eyes.

    If anyone out there has real data on ratings or sales figures negatively impacting any other media, please bring it out! Until then i can only assume some disingenuousness on the part of the publishers.

  32. “(BND) Spider-Man was the end of innocence for many readers, and the beginning of the moment in time where many of those same readers began to realize that Marvel really doesn’t care about the characters, only the money the characters bring in.”

    I thought they were finally showing that they were willing to fix an idea that was bad for the character instead of maintaining the status quo so sales wouldn’t drop.

  33. I thought they were finally showing that they were willing to fix an idea that was bad for the character instead of maintaining the status quo so sales wouldn’t drop.

    Part of the reasons why BND upset so many people, aside from the sheer clumsiness of the storyline, was that eliminating any serious relationships from Parker’s life, for the sake of keeping “kids” interested, turned the series into an overly large, overly expensive comic strip devoid of drama. If there’s an editorial mandate to keep Parker unchanged because the corporation will need him 30 years from now, then why read the stories? His laugh lines aren’t that good. Characters have to evolve in some ways to stay interesting over time, whether they’re Peter Parker or any other hero. The trick is to evolve a character slowly, not spasmodically or temporarily.

    SRS

  34. I find it both hypocritical and funny as hell that many internet fans are saying that characters have to “evolve and change” in order to stay interesting, but MOST (NOT ALL) of those same fans didn’t by SPIDER-GIRL or the last ongoing FLASH series.

    Wake up and smell the friggin coffeee, the Marvel and DC superhero comics are NOT and should NEVER be about permanent change, but should always be about the ILLUSION of change.

  35. Wake up and smell the friggin coffeee, the Marvel and DC superhero comics are NOT and should NEVER be about permanent change, but should always be about the ILLUSION of change.

    The “illusion of change” policy only works for readers who are unaware it’s in place. What’s worse to see in print: The hero going temporarily insane, so that he’ll do something different and entertaining; the hero traveling in time so that he’ll see himself and others living lives they dreamed about, or feared; or a retcon that pretends that x, and/or y and/or z never happened as they were shown happening?

    A reader is left hoping for writers who can sneak change past the editors.

    SRS

  36. Reed Richards out of character in Mighty Avengers? Not after Civil War and McDuffie’s Fantastic Four issues … plus, we were seeing him from Hank Pym’s perspective, too. Reed has a lot of detractors these days, despite his nifty Anti-Skrull gun.

    I think New continues to sell because it’s a high-profile team book (just like JLA always sells better when it has big guns); and it’s tied into Dark Avengers.

  37. “Well the illusion of change hasn’t hurt the James Bond movie franchise or the SIMPSONS.”

    I dunno, people are constantly complaining about the Simpsons.

  38. I can only speak for myself, but I love Amazing Spider-Man since Brand New Day. I couldn’t stand it before that, and I tried really hard several times because I want to enjoy Spider-Man comics.

    I dunno, all I can say is that the stories have been fun. The DB! subplot, the new character of Peter’s crooked cop roommate, Marcos Martin art, Peter and Harry’s complicated relationship…it’s all been drawing me in. It hasn’t all been great, but the cumulative effect has been to turn me from an occasional reader into a three-times-a-month guaranteed sale.

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