By Paul O’Brien

Unlike the previous month, Marvel shipped most of their big titles in November, and managed to complete their autumn crossover. It was another light month for new titles, with only a few miniseries hitting the shelves. But the “Messiah Complex” crossover in the X-books got into full swing, WORLD WAR HULK wrapped up, and “One More Day” continued.

Most of the Marvel Universe superhero titles are, by this point, between events. They completed their WORLD WAR HULK crossovers as originally scheduled, and they’ve stopped carrying “Initiative” banners on the front. Although November saw the first book to carry a “Secret Invasion” banner – NEW AVENGERS: ILLUMINATI #5 – the event proper is still months away. This is presumably the main reason why a lot of former Initiative titles have gone into a dramatic sales decline over the last couple of months, which continued in November.

Still, with Marvel’s major titles reaching the shelves, we’re back to business as usual in terms of market share. Once again, Marvel was the largest publisher in the direct market, leading DC by a tight 37% to 36% in dollar share, and a slightly more comfortable 42% to 36% in units.

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

1.  WORLD WAR HULK
05/07  Prologue               - 111,153
06/07  World War Hulk #1 of 5 - 204,823  (+84.3%)
07/07  World War Hulk #2 of 5 - 165,402  (-19.2%)
08/07  World War Hulk #3 of 5 - 156,526  ( -5.4%)
09/07  World War Hulk #4 of 5 - 148,610  ( -5.1%)
10/07  ---
11/07  World War Hulk #5 of 5 - 145,821  ( -1.9%)
                                 6 mnth  (+31.2%)

Although WORLD WAR HULK hasn’t sold in the numbers of CIVIL WAR, nobody really expected it to. When you consider that the parent title generally sells around 47K, these are astronomical numbers. By any reasonable standards, the book has to be considered a huge success.

The next question is how well Marvel can capitalise. They have a new HULK title in the wings, while INCREDIBLE HULK is being relaunched (presumably temporarily) as a Hercules series. There are also a couple of spin-off miniseries from the crossover: WARBOUND and DAMAGE CONTROL.

Issue #5 has a variant cover, like the rest of the series.

2.  ASTONISHING X-MEN
11/04  Astonishing X-Men #6  - 134,840
11/05  ---
=====
11/06  Astonishing X-Men #18 - 118,285  ( -4.6%)
12/06  Astonishing X-Men #19 - 124,033  ( +4.9%)
01/07  ---
02/07  Astonishing X-Men #20 - 119,736  ( -3.5%)
03/07  ---
04/07  ---
05/07  Astonishing X-Men #21 - 120,495  ( +0.6%)
06/07  ---
07/07  ---
08/07  Astonishing X-Men #22 - 117,321  ( -2.6%)
09/07  ---
10/07  ---
11/07  Astonishing X-Men #23 - 112,920  ( -3.8%)
                                6 mnth  ( -6.3%)
                                1 year  ( -4.5%)
                                2 year  (  --- )
                                3 year  (-16.3%)

Dropping off a little. But there are only two issues to go on this run – issue #24 and GIANT-SIZE ASTONISHING X-MEN #1. It’s quite clear that the series is going to finish off at a very satisfactory level.

As usual, there’s a variant cover on this issue.

3.  NEW AVENGERS
11/01  Avengers #48     -  59,021
11/02  Avengers #60     -  54,700
11/03  Avengers #73     -  58,177
11/04  Avengers #503    - 105,761
11/05  New Avengers #13 - 126,148
=====
11/06  New Avengers #25 - 136,504  ( -0.2%)
12/06  New Avengers #26 - 122,670  (-10.1%)
01/06  ---
02/07  New Avengers #27 - 132,109  ( +7.7%)
03/07  New Avengers #28 - 119,514  ( -9.5%)
04/07  New Avengers #29 - 125,378  ( +4.9%)
05/07  New Avengers #30 - 126,425  ( +0.8%)
06/07  New Avengers #31 - 160,911  (+27.3%)
07/07  New Avengers #32 - 122,991  (-23.6%)
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%)
                           6 mnth  (-14.8%)
                           1 year  (-21.1%)
                           2 year  (-14.6%)
                           3 year  ( +1.8%)
                           4 year  (+85.2%)

Sales have been dropping off a little on this book lately, but then it’s between major events at the moment. Looking at the big picture, NEW AVENGERS has sustained very impressive sales for three years under Brian Bendis, so he’s clearly doing something right. You don’t keep up the sales for that long with crossovers alone.

4.  THOR
11/01  Thor #43 -  36,797
11/02  Thor #56 -  35,782
11/03  Thor #71 -  31,706
=====
07/07  Thor #1  - 202,798
08/07  Thor #2  - 122,951  ( -39.4%)
09/07  Thor #3  - 109,964  ( -10.6%)
10/07  ---
11/07  Thor #4  - 106,541  (  -3.1%)
                   4 year  (+236.0%)

Levelling out nicely. There’s another variant cover on this issue, and that’ll continue to be the case on this book for some months to come. Considering the lacklustre sales of the previous volume, this relaunch is clearly a big success.

A collected edition of issues #1-3 charts at number 205, with sales of 7,362.

5.  UNCANNY X-MEN
11/01  Uncanny X-Men #400 - 125,044
11/02  Uncanny X-Men #415 -  83,581
11/03  Uncanny X-Men #433 -  90,764
11/04  Uncanny X-Men #452 -  92,051
11/05  Uncanny X-Men #466 -  82,825
=====
11/06  Uncanny X-Men #480 -  88,584  ( -0.5%)
12/06  Uncanny X-Men #481 -  85,995  ( -2.9%)
01/07  Uncanny X-Men #482 -  83,860  ( -2.5%)
02/07  Uncanny X-Men #483 -  83,009  ( -1.0%)
03/07  Uncanny X-Men #484 -  82,043  ( -1.2%)
04/07  Uncanny X-Men #485 -  81,764  ( -0.3%)
05/07  Uncanny X-Men #486 -  81,965  ( +0.2%)
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 - 102,511  (+19.7%)
                             6 mnth  (+25.1%)
                             1 year  (+15.7%)
                             2 year  (+23.8%)
                             3 year  (+11.4%)
                             4 year  (+12.9%)

This is the first of the “Messiah Complex” tie-in books, and it delivers a very satisfying jump. It’s all the more impressive when you remember that sales were already boosted for the last few months by the “Endangered Species” crossover which ran as a back-up strip through the four participating titles (UNCANNY, X-MEN, X-FACTOR and NEW X-MEN).

It’s been a while since UNCANNY was selling at this level, so that’s a very promising sign. Admittedly, there’s also a variant cover by Marc Silvestri, which would probably have boosted sales significantly on its own. But even allowing for that, it’s a good start for the crossover.

The X-MEN: MESSIAH COMPLEX one-shot picks up re-orders of 13,495 to chart at number 161. That brings the total sales to 121,576.

6.  INCREDIBLE HULK
11/01  Incredible Hulk #34  -  38,811
11/02  Incredible Hulk #47  -  49,852
11/03  Incredible Hulk #63  -  53,357
11/04  ---
11/05  Incredible Hulk #88  -  41,141
=====
11/06  Incredible Hulk #100 -  84,169  ( +75.8%)
12/06  Incredible Hulk #101 -  47,927  ( -43.1%)
01/07  Incredible Hulk #102 -  46,965  (  -2.0%)
02/07  Incredible Hulk #103 -  46,690  (  -0.6%)
03/07  Incredible Hulk #104 -  47,823  (  +2.4%)
04/07  Incredible Hulk #105 -  53,256  ( +11.4%)
05/07  Incredible Hulk #106 - 119,735  (+124.8%)
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%)
                               6 mnth  ( -15.2%)
                               1 year  ( +20.6%)
                               2 year  (+146.8%)
                               3 year  (   --- )
                               4 year  ( +90.3%)

A WORLD WAR HULK tie-in, obviously. There’s also a variant cover on this issue. It goes without saying that we can expect a big sales drop next month simply because the crossover is over, but even so, it’ll be very interesting to see what happens with the book’s new direction as a Hercules solo title. If they can pull this off and make the Hulk’s core audience stick around to read a series about somebody else entirely, I’ll be impressed.

7.  SENSATIONAL SPIDER-MAN
11/04  Marvel Knights S-M #8  -  68,290
11/05  Marvel Knights S-M #20 -  64,747
=====
11/06  Sensational S-M #32    -  50,222  ( -2.6%)
12/06  Sensational S-M #33    -  48,443  ( -3.5%)
01/07  Sensational S-M #34    -  47,008  ( -3.0%)
02/07  Sensational S-M #35    -  69,543  (+47.9%)
03/07  Sensational S-M #36    -  58,559  (-15.8%)
04/07  Sensational S-M #37    -  57,528  ( -1.8%)
05/07  ---
06/07  Sensational S-M #38    -  57,091  ( -0.8%)
07/07  Sensational S-M #39    -  55,346  ( -3.1%)
08/07  Sensational S-M #40    -  52,180  ( -5.7%)
09/07  ---
10/07  ---
11/07  Sensational S-M #41    - 100,300  (+92.2%)
                                 6 mnth  (  --- )
                                 1 year  (+99.7%)
                                 2 year  (+54.9%)
                                 3 year  (+46.9%)

Cancelled, as part of the upcoming Spider-Man relaunch which is merging the three titles into a single thrice-monthly book.

In practice, the series really ended with issue #40 back in August. Issue #41 is a chapter of “One More Day”, which has been tacked on to the end of this series and FRIENDLY NEIGHBORHOOD SPIDER-MAN so that it can be presented as the final storyline of the current era, rather than the first storyline of the next one.

As you’d expect, it sells much better than the typical issue of SENSATIONAL, but that’s largely meaningless. To all intents and purposes, this is really issue #544B of AMAZING SPIDER-MAN. The real comparison is with the earlier chapters of “One More Day”, and with the sales on AMAZING.

To take “One More Day” first, part one sold 146,215 in its first month (and picked up some re-orders after). Part two sold 110,405. Now we’re down to 100,300, which is a 9.2% drop. So far, that’s not great, but it’s not bad either.

But what about AMAZING SPIDER-MAN more generally? Well, that’s not so good. Consider the standards that AMAZING has set over the last year. The “Back in Black” issues sold around 105K or so. Before that, the various CIVIL WAR tie-ins ranged from a minimum of 119K all the way up to to the dizzy heights of 156K. In that company, “One More Day” isn’t looking too good with its 100,300.

You might argue that it’s unfair to compare “One More Day” to a CIVIL WAR tie-in. I’d disagree with you. Given the level of hype, it should absolutely be selling in that range in order to be considered a success. But by any standards, it should surely be beating “Back in Black.” And it’s not. In fact, if this had appeared as an issue of AMAZING SPIDER-MAN, then its sales of 100,300 would make it the lowest selling issue in the direct market since April 2006.

Of course, it goes without saying that most books would kill for sales of 100,300. Before AMAZING entered its year of stunts and crossovers, it was generally selling in the 90K range. “One More Day” is doing better than that. It’s certainly not a disaster. But relative to the level of hype and the expectations that Marvel must surely have had for this project, it’s clearly underperforming.

It’s also worth remembering that the slow pace of “One More Day” has reduced Marvel to one Spider-Man book a month, whereas by this point they were supposed to be shipping three editions of their unified flagship title. Again, you have to question whether the delay has been worth it for Marvel.

8.  X-MEN
11/01  New X-Men #120 - 116,782
11/02  New X-Men #134 -  97,023
11/03  New X-Men #149 - 102,591
11/04  X-Men #164     -  88,620
11/05  X-Men #177     -  78,405
=====
11/06  X-Men #193     -  80,102  (  -2.1%)
12/06  X-Men #194     -  78,114  (  -2.5%)
01/07  X-Men #195     -  76,900  (  -1.6%)
02/07  X-Men #196     -  75,707  (  -1.6%)
03/07  X-Men #197     -  75,184  (  -0.7%)
04/07  X-Men #198     -  74,841  (  -0.5%)
05/07  X-Men #199     -  75,996  (  +1.5%)
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     -  99,087  ( +18.7%)
                         6 mnth  ( +30.4%)
                         1 year  ( +23.7%)
                         2 year  ( +26.4%)
                         3 year  ( +11.8%)
                         4 year  (  -3.4%)

Another “Messiah Complex” tie-in, also with a variant cover. By the standards of recent years, these are very good sales for X-MEN.

11. NEW AVENGERS: ILLUMINATI
12/06  Illuminati #1 of 5 - 106,381
01/07  ---
02/07  Illuminati #2 of 5 -  92,881  (-12.7%)
03/07  ---
04/07  ---
05/07  Illuminati #3 of 5 -  92,821  ( -0.0%)
06/07  ---
07/07  ---
08/07  Illuminati #4 of 5 -  88,114  ( -5.1%)
09/07  ---
10/07  ---
11/07  Illuminati #5 of 5 -  85,546  ( -2.9%)
                             6 mnth  ( -7.8%)

Interesting. This was solicited as a story that “opens the door to the Marvel event of 2008”, and it is indeed a “Secret Invasion” crossover issue (bannered as such on the cover, although the solicitation wasn’t quite that explicit about it). But sales don’t show any sign of movement, and come to think of it, they didn’t budge much on NEW AVENGERS after the initial hype either.

I’m starting to wonder about the level of interest in this storyline. Mind you, they’ve got a few months yet to build the hype before the main event comes along. We shall see what happens.

Of course, there’s no denying that sales have remained at an impressive level throughout this spin-off miniseries, regardless of the crossover.

16. CAPTAIN AMERICA
11/01  Captain America #49 -  35,418
11/02  Captain America #7  -  60,689
11/03  Captain America #20 -  41,143
11/04  Captain America #1  -  67,225
11/05  Captain America #12 -  45,038
=====
11/06  Captain America #24 -  82,348  (  +1.3%)
12/06  ---
01/07  ---
02/07  ---
03/07  Captain America #25 - 344,270  (+318.1%)
04/07  ---
05/07  Captain America #26 - 129,365  ( -62.4%)
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%)
                              6 mnth  ( -43.3%)
                              1 year  ( -11.0%)
                              2 year  ( +62.8%)
                              3 year  (  +9.1%)
                              4 year  ( +78.2%)

Still dropping back towards normal levels after the post-death surge. Don’t be fooled by the November 2006 figure – that’s a CIVIL WAR tie-in. The series is still comfortably ahead of its pre-event sales, and there should be a spike around the corner for the introduction of the new Captain.

19. MARVEL ZOMBIES 2
10/07  Marvel Zombies 2 #1 of 5 - 92,587
11/07  Marvel Zombies 2 #2 of 5 - 72,711  (-21.5%)

A rather steep drop from last month, but even so, it’s outselling the original series. The joke still has legs, despite Marvel’s best efforts to beat it into the ground.

20. NEW X-MEN
11/03  New Mutants #7 - 38,830
11/04  ---
11/05  New X-Men #20  - 53,062
=====
11/06  New X-Men #32  - 37,919  ( -3.2%)
12/06  New X-Men #33  - 38,076  ( +0.4%)
01/07  New X-Men #34  - 37,272  ( -2.1%)
02/07  New X-Men #35  - 37,142  ( -0.3%)
03/07  New X-Men #36  - 37,004  ( -0.4%)
04/07  New X-Men #37  - 37,935  ( +2.5%)
05/07  New X-Men #38  - 38,915  ( +2.6%)
06/07  New X-Men #39  - 39,258  ( +0.9%)
07/07  New X-Men #40  - 49,515  (+26.1%)
08/07  New X-Men #41  - 52,950  ( +6.9%)
09/07  New X-Men #42  - 52,730  ( -0.4%)
10/07  New X-Men #43  - 49,558  ( -6.0%)
11/07  New X-Men #44  - 70,830  (+42.9%)
                        6 mnth  (+82.0%)
                        1 year  (+86.8%)
                        2 year  (+33.5%)
                        3 year  (  --- )
                        4 year  (+82.4%)

A “Messiah Complex” crossover, and sales shoot through the roof. However, the series appears to be cancelled with issue #46 as part of the post-crossover reshuffle. As with the rest of the crossover, there’s a variant cover here.

21. X-FACTOR
11/05  ---
=====
11/06  X-Factor #13 - 42,844  ( -0.2%)
12/06  X-Factor #14 - 40,208  ( -6.2%)
01/07  X-Factor #15 - 38,693  ( -3.8%)
02/07  X-Factor #16 - 38,240  ( -1.2%)
03/07  X-Factor #17 - 38,067  ( -0.4%)
04/07  X-Factor #18 - 37,851  ( -0.6%)
05/07  X-Factor #19 - 37,898  ( +0.1%)
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 - 70,431  (+35.2%)
                      6 mnth  (+86.1%)
                      1 year  (+64.4%)

The fourth and final “Messiah Complex” book, and much the same applies. It’s a huge gain, even on top of the existing boost from “Endangered Species.” And as with the rest of the crossover, there’s a Marc Silvestri variant.

22. AVENGERS: THE INITIATIVE
04/07  Initiative #1 - 127,798
05/07  Initiative #2 - 103,189  (-19.3%)
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%)
                        6 mnth  (-35.6%)

Okay, this is not good. INITIATIVE is shedding a regular 10% of its direct market readership month after month, and that’s an alarming rate of decline. Admittedly, the book started from an artificially high level, due in part to the dubious decision to promote it as an Avengers title. But even so, readers are deserting this book, and the decline shows no signs of levelling out. We’ve got a problem here.

23. WOLVERINE
11/01  Wolverine #170 -  73,398
11/02  Wolverine #183 -  66,346
11/03  Wolverine #7   -  78,734
11/04  Wolverine #22  -  81,841
11/05  Wolverine #36  -  85,969
=====
11/06  Wolverine #48  -  99,991  ( -5.8%)
12/06  Wolverine #49  -  78,807  (-21.2%)
01/07  Wolverine #50  - 117,160  (+48.7%)
02/07  Wolverine #51  -  99,636  (-15.0%)
03/07  Wolverine #52  -  97,111  ( -2.5%)
04/07  Wolverine #53  -  98,441  ( +1.4%)
05/07  Wolverine #54  -  96,082  ( -2.4%)
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%)
                         6 mnth  (-31.6%)
                         1 year  (-34.3%)
                         2 year  (-23.5%)
                         3 year  (-19.7%)
                         4 year  (-16.5%)

Last month was a variant cover to promote MARVEL ZOMBIES 2, but now we’re back to regular sales. It’s a disappointing drop – by my reckoning, this is the lowest first-month sales we’ve seen on WOLVERINE since issue #19 in September 2004. Still, with the gimmicks and the creative team changes, it’s hard to filter out the trends here. We’ll have to see where it goes next month.

24. ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN
11/01  Ult. Spider-Man #15  -  80,278
11/02  Ult. Spider-Man #30  -  91,405
11/03  Ult. Spider-Man #49  -  96,707
11/04  Ult. Spider-Man #68  -  91,075
11/05  Ult. Spider-Man #86  -  76,864
=====
11/06  Ult. Spider-Man #102 -  77,121  ( -2.3%)
12/06  Ult. Spider-Man #103 -  76,251  ( -1.1%)
01/07  Ult. Spider-Man #104 - 108,082  (+41.7%)
02/07  Ult. Spider-Man #105 -  74,376  (-31.2%)
03/07  Ult. Spider-Man #106 -  73,832  ( -1.3%)
03/07  Ult. Spider-Man #107 -  72,818  ( -1.4%)
04/07  Ult. Spider-Man #108 -  72,713  ( -0.1%)
05/07  Ult. Spider-Man #109 -  72,478  ( -0.3%)
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%)
                               6 mnth  (-15.1%)
                               1 year  (-20.2%)
                               2 year  (-19.9%)
                               3 year  (-32.4%)
                               4 year  (-36.4%)

I don’t understand this at all. Last month’s boost was for another zombie variant, so it has no wider significance. But even leaving that out of account, ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN has still crashed by over ten thousand copies in the last few months. The only major change in the series is the departure of artist Mark Bagley and his replacement by Stuart Immonen, but it’s hard to believe that Bagley is that much of a sales draw.

One possibility is that a lot of readers chose to regard the end of the Bendis/Bagley run as a convenient jumping off point. If so, Marvel may have shot themselves in the foot with the “end of an era” tone of their solicitations. But I can’t blame them for not seeing this coming.

27. FANTASTIC FOUR
11/01  Fantastic Four #49  - 49,111
11/02  Fantastic Four #63  - 50,945
11/03  Fantastic Four #506 - 51,721
11/04  Fantastic Four #520 - 51,685
11/05  Fantastic Four #532 - 47,771
=====
11/06  ----
12/06  Fantastic Four #541 - 84,895  ( -4.5%)
01/07  Fantastic Four #542 - 84,338  ( -0.7%)
02/07  ---
03/07  Fantastic Four #543 - 78,823  ( -6.5%)
03/07  Fantastic Four #544 - 85,677  ( +8.7%)
04/07  Fantastic Four #545 - 77,576  ( -9.5%)
05/07  Fantastic Four #546 - 72,182  ( -7.0%)
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%)
                             6 mnth  (-15.8%)
                             1 year  (  --- )
                             2 year  (+22.7%)
                             3 year  (+13.4%)
                             4 year  (+13.3%)

At first glance, this looks like good news. The book has been dropping badly over the last few months, but now it’s turned around.

But not so fast. This issue has a variant cover by Art Adams. A climb of only 1.2% suggests that the core audience is still dropping, and that the variant cover boost has simply cancelled it out this month. If so, you can expect the drops to resume in December, I’m afraid.

Still, it doesn’t really matter beyond the short term. With Mark Millar and Bryan Hitch taking over the book in 2008, a big sales boost is guaranteed.

28. WOLVERINE: ORIGINS
11/06  Origins #8  -  91,585  (-11.3%)
12/06  Origins #9  -  84,733  ( -7.5%)
01/07  Origins #10 -  97,881  (+15.5%)
02/07  Origins #11 -  78,901  (-19.4%)
03/07  Origins #12 -  74,750  ( -5.3%)
04/07  Origins #13 -  70,963  ( -5.1%)
05/07  Origins #14 -  68,953  ( -2.8%)
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%)
                      6 mnth  (-18.8%)
                      1 year  (-38.9%)

Still bleeding readers at a rate that ought to be cause for concern.

34. FRONT LINE
11/06  Civil War #8  of 11    - 100,869  ( -5.4%)
12/06  Civil War #9  of 11    -  97,948  ( -2.9%)
01/07  Civil War #10 of 11    -  99,795  ( +1.9%)
02/07  Civil War #11 of 11    -  89,163  (-10.7%)
03/07  ---
04/07  ---
05/07  ---
06/07  World War Hulk #1 of 6 -  84,386  ( -5.4%)
07/07  World War Hulk #2 of 6 -  76,140  ( -9.8%)
08/07  World War Hulk #3 of 6 -  69,104  ( -9.2%)
09/07  World War Hulk #4 of 6 -  62,546  ( -9.5%)
10/07  World War Hulk #5 of 6 -  59,584  ( -4.7%)
11/07  World War Hulk #6 of 6 -  53,159  (-10.8%)
                                 6 mnth  (  --- )
                                 1 year  (-47.3%)

This series has lagged far behind the parent title WORLD WAR HULK, which didn’t happen with the CIVIL WAR series. Still, it could be said that WORLD WAR HULK didn’t really lend itself to the format. I’d be surprised if we didn’t get another series when “Secret Invasion” comes along.

37. HALO: UPRISING
08/07  Uprising #1 of 4 - 71,812
09/07  ---
10/07  ---
11/07  Uprising #2 of 4 - 50,165  (-30.1%)

This has drifted alarmingly off schedule, which seems a questionable way to treat a major licensed property. The second issue drop is hefty, perhaps because retailers don’t expect fans of the game to come back looking for the rest of the series. Issue #3 is due at the end of January.

39. CAPTAIN AMERICA: CHOSEN
09/07  Chosen #1 of 6 - 74,010
09/07  Chosen #2 of 6 - 59,776  (-19.2%)
10/07  Chosen #3 of 6 - 53,168  (-11.1%)
11/07  Chosen #4 of 6 - 48,507  ( -8.8%)

Levelling out a little bit. It’s holding up quite well for an out-of-continuity miniseries, although it’s worth noting that the whole series is boosted by variant covers.

42. HOUSE OF M: AVENGERS
11/07  House of M: Avengers #1 of 5 - 47,525

Apparently the HOUSE OF M trade paperbacks have been doing unexpectedly well, hence the decision to add another one. I think Marvel have missed the boat on this for the monthly audience, but it’s still a respectable start.

47. DAREDEVIL
11/01  Daredevil #27  - 49,490
11/02  Daredevil #39  - 55,832
11/03  Daredevil #54  - 57,557
11/04  Daredevil #67  - 51,347
11/05  Daredevil #79  - 44,250
=====
11/06  Daredevil #91  - 49,335  ( -2.3%)
12/06  Daredevil #92  - 48,035  ( -2.6%)
01/07  Daredevil #93  - 47,124  ( -1.9%)
02/07  Daredevil #94  - 46,773  ( -0.7%)
03/07  Daredevil #95  - 46,455  ( -0.7%)
04/07  Daredevil #96  - 46,198  ( -0.6%)
05/07  Daredevil #97  - 47,200  ( +2.2%)
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%)
                        6 mnth  ( -4.6%)
                        1 year  ( -8.7%)
                        2 year  ( +1.8%)
                        3 year  (-12.3%)
                        4 year  (-21.8%)

Still hovering around its usual level.

49. CAPTAIN MARVEL
11/07  Captain Marvel #1 of 5 - 43,694

Not bad at all, considering the frosty reception given to CIVIL WAR: THE RETURN, and the fact that the character hasn’t got much of a built-in fanbase with today’s readership. After all, he was killed off in 1982, and the various titles starring his son were only ever modestly successful. I’d say this is as about as much as could realistically be hoped for.

50. WORLD WAR HULK: GAMMA CORPS
07/07  Gamma Corps #1 of 4 - 65,718
08/07  Gamma Corps #2 of 4 - 54,497  (-17.1%)
09/07  Gamma Corps #3 of 4 - 47,543  (-12.8%)
10/07  ---
11/07  Gamma Corps #4 of 4 - 43,118  ( -9.3%)

This has done quite well when you consider that it’s a peripheral part of the crossover, featuring largely obscure characters.

51. ULTIMATE FANTASTIC FOUR
11/04  Ult. Fantastic Four #13 - 96,820
11/05  Ult. Fantastic Four #25 - 70,032
=====
11/06  Ult. Fantastic Four #36 - 57,779  ( -5.7%)
12/06  Ult. Fantastic Four #37 - 55,047  ( -4.7%)
01/07  Ult. Fantastic Four #38 - 52,859  ( -4.0%)
02/07  Ult. Fantastic Four #39 - 52,104  ( -1.4%)
03/07  Ult. Fantastic Four #40 - 50,488  ( -3.1%)
04/07  ---
05/07  Ult. Fantastic Four #41 - 49,916  ( -1.1%)
05/07  Ult. Fantastic Four #42 - 52,840  ( +5.9%)
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%)
                                 6 mnth  (-18.5%)
                                 1 year  (-25.4%)
                                 2 year  (-38.5%)
                                 3 year  (-55.5%)

Still in a significant decline, with no obvious sign of levelling out. This doesn’t look at all healthy.

55. PUNISHER WAR JOURNAL
11/06  War Journal #1  - 102,727
12/06  --
01/07  War Journal #2  -  96,112  ( -6.4%)
01/07  War Journal #3  -  70,143  (-27.0%)
02/07  War Journal #4  -  52,961  (-24.5%)
03/07  War Journal #5  -  50,190  ( -5.2%)
04/07  War Journal #6  -  53,498  ( +6.6%)
05/07  War Journal #7  -  75,360  (+40.9%)
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%)
                          6 mnth  (-44.6%)
                          1 year  (-59.3%)

Back to normal after last month’s crossover and variant cover double whammy. Unfortunately, this seems to be another title entering a slump now that the big events are behind it.

56. IMMORTAL IRON FIST
11/06  Immortal Iron Fist #1  - 60,079
12/06  Immortal Iron Fist #2  - 40,617  (-32.4%)
01/07  ---
02/07  Immortal Iron Fist #3  - 35,654  (-12.2%)
03/07  ---
04/07  Immortal Iron Fist #4  - 37,159  ( +4.2%)
05/07  Immortal Iron Fist #5  - 36,856  ( -0.8%)
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%)
                                6 mnth  (+12.2%)
                                1 year  (-31.1%)

The sales boost is almost certainly due to the zombie variant cover, which should have been out last month to coincide with the launch of MARVEL ZOMBIES 2.

58. SILVER SURFER
05/07  Requiem #1 of 4     - 63,634
06/07  Requiem #2 of 4     - 46,470  (-27.0%)
07/07  Requiem #3 of 4     - 45,652  ( -1.8%)
08/07  Requiem #4 of 4     - 43,915  ( -3.8%)
09/07  ---
10/07  ---
11/07  In Thy Name #1 of 4 - 39,917  ( -9.1%)
                             6 mnth  (-37.3%)

It’s debatable whether the market was really crying out for another SILVER SURFER miniseries so soon after the last one. Sales are down, but that’s hardly surprising, as the previous series had bigger creative names attached.

59. X-MEN: EMPEROR VULCAN
09/07  Emperor Vulcan #1 of 5 - 48,990
10/07  Emperor Vulcan #2 of 5 - 42,022  (-14.2%)
11/07  Emperor Vulcan #3 of 5 - 37,699  (-10.3%)

Perhaps a bit steep for a third issue drop, but still not bad for a book which is really a Starjammers miniseries.

61. ANNIHILATION: CONQUEST
11/07  Conquest #1 of 6 - 35,826

The three lead-in miniseries were selling around 27K each by the end of their run, so this is a respectable jump for the start of the miniseries.

62. SUB-MARINER
06/07  Sub-Mariner #1 of 6 - 57,902
07/07  Sub-Mariner #2 of 6 - 45,728  (-21.0%)
08/07  Sub-Mariner #3 of 6 - 42,491  ( -7.1%)
09/07  Sub-Mariner #4 of 6 - 40,130  ( -5.6%)
10/07  Sub-Mariner #5 of 6 - 37,155  ( -7.4%)
11/07  Sub-Mariner #6 of 6 - 35,334  ( -4.9%)

Not a spectacular performance, but then the Sub-Mariner hasn’t had much of a following in recent years. This is probably as good as they’re going to get from him.

63. IRON MAN ANNUAL
11/07  Annual #1 - 34,360

The regular series does around 42K, but annuals generally do worse than the parent title. This is why Bill Jemas stopped running them in the first place, when he was in charge, and replaced them with extra issues of the regular series.

The current philosophy, however, seems to be to use the annuals for stories by guest creators, which would look like fill-ins if they appeared in the regular title. MOON KNIGHT and IRON MAN both solicited annuals this month instead of their regular issues.

64. HEROES FOR HIRE
11/06  Heroes for Hire #4  - 38,070  ( -37.4%)
12/06  Heroes for Hire #5  - 31,318  ( -17.7%)
01/07  Heroes for Hire #6  - 27,513  ( -12.1%)
02/07  Heroes for Hire #7  - 24,476  ( -11.0%)
03/07  Heroes for Hire #8  - 22,563  (  -7.8%)
04/07  Heroes for Hire #9  - 21,444  (  -5.0%)
05/07  Heroes for Hire #10 - 20,503  (  -4.4%)
06/07  Heroes for Hire #11 - 47,808  (+133.2%)
07/07  Heroes for Hire #12 - 41,229  ( -13.8%)
08/07  --- 
09/07  Heroes for Hire #13 - 40,086  (  -2.8%)
10/07  Heroes for Hire #14 - 36,381  (  -9.2%)
11/07  Heroes for Hire #15 - 33,408  (  -8.2%)
                             6 mnth  ( +62.9%)
                             1 year  ( -12.2%)

Cancelled. The last few issues were WORLD WAR HULK crossovers, so a drop back to previous sales levels was almost guaranteed had the book continued.

65. PUNISHER  [Max]
11/01  Punisher #6  - 63,029
11/02  Punisher #19 - 46,335
11/03  Punisher #36 - 39,217
11/04  Punisher #13 - 42,088
11/05  Punisher #27 - 36,072
=====
11/06  Punisher #40 - 33,579  ( -1.1%)
11/06  Punisher #41 - 33,164  ( -1.2%)
12/06  Punisher #42 - 33,003  ( -0.5%)
01/07  Punisher #43 - 33,023  ( +0.0%)
02/07  Punisher #44 - 32,951  ( -0.2%)
03/07  Punisher #45 - 33,245  ( +0.9%)
04/07  Punisher #46 - 33,427  ( +0.5%)
05/07  Punisher #47 - 33,892  ( +1.4%)
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%)
                      6 mnth  ( -2.9%)
                      1 year  ( -2.0%)
                      2 year  ( -8.8%)
                      3 year  (-21.8%)
                      4 year  (-16.1%)

Still clinging tenaciously to the 33K mark.

68. MOON KNIGHT ANNUAL
11/07  Annual #1 - 32,202

MOON KNIGHT normally sells around 44K, which makes this a little disappointing. But the parent series has been dropping fast over recent months, which might explain why retailers are sceptical about the demand for spin-off projects.

69. NOVA
04/07  Nova #1 - 42,917  (+21.9%)
05/07  Nova #2 - 44,532  ( +3.8%)
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%)
                 6 mnth  (-27.9%)

This is the first regular issue after a four-month ANNIHILATION: CONQUEST tie-in, not that you’d know it from the sales. The month-to-month drops are a bit too steep for my taste.

70. THUNDERBOLTS
11/07  Breaking Point - 32,041

With the monthly title spiralling into scheduling purgatory, Marvel have taken the interesting approach of using one-shots to pad out the skip months. Or “fill-in stories”, as we used to call them. The previous one was DESPERATE MEASURES, which sold 41,555 back in July. There’s a substantial drop this time around, which suggests that this isn’t an ideal long-term solution.

73. GHOST RIDER
11/06  Ghost Rider #5  - 47,929  ( -5.9%)
12/06  Ghost Rider #6  - 46,673  ( -2.6%)
01/07  Ghost Rider #7  - 43,557  ( -6.7%)
02/07  Ghost Rider #8  - 48,736  (+11.9%)
03/07  Ghost Rider #9  - 48,041  ( -1.4%)
04/07  Ghost Rider #10 - 43,986  ( -8.4%)
05/07  Ghost Rider #11 - 43,626  ( -0.8%)
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%)
                         6 mnth  (-27.6%)
                         1 year  (-34.1%)

Another book which is bleeding readers at an alarming rate. We’ve seen a lot of this over the last couple of months, mostly with books that have recently stopped running Initiative banners on their covers. GHOST RIDER doesn’t have that excuse; it’s just losing readers at a rate which can’t be sustainable. A new creative team is around the corner, but without any big names involved, I’m not sure it’s going to turn things around.

75. X-MEN: DIE BY THE SWORD
10/07  Die By The Sword #1 of 5 - 38,306
10/07  Die By The Sword #2 of 5 - 34,320  (-10.4%)
11/07  Die By The Sword #3 of 5 - 30,283  (-11.8%)

A bit steep, but it could be worse. This is the lead-in miniseries for NEW EXILES, and online reaction hasn’t been too encouraging.

78. THE ORDER
07/07  The Order #1 - 57,264
08/07  The Order #2 - 40,274  (-30.0%)
09/07  The Order #3 - 33,936  (-15.7%)
10/07  ---
11/07  The Order #4 - 29,746  (-12.3%)

This is the October issue, running late. The scheduled November issue slipped to the first week of December. A 12% drop is really far too high at this stage, four issues in, and the signs aren’t looking promising. A shame, because it’s a very good comic.

79. WHAT IF?
10/07  Planet Hulk  - 46,151
11/07  Annihilation - 29,715  (-35.6%)

Much lower sales than last month, but hey, that’s what happens when you go from PLANET HULK to ANNIHILATION. I’d say this is actually quite a good number when you consider that it’s an alternative ending to a modestly successful crossover that came out a year ago.

82. GHOST RIDER ANNUAL
11/07  Annual #1 - 28,456

Actually quite close to the sales of the parent title, unlike the other two annuals of the month. That could be seen as a positive sign. If the retailers think they’ve nearly reached the loyal core audience, then presumably they’ll stop cutting their orders for the parent title.

83. BLACK PANTHER
11/05  Black Panther #10 - 31,987
=====
11/06  Black Panther #22 - 47,556  (+38.8%)
12/06  Black Panther #23 - 54,762  (+15.2%)
01/07  Black Panther #24 - 59,971  ( +9.5%)
02/07  Black Panther #25 - 56,479  ( -5.8%)
03/07  Black Panther #26 - 51,385  ( -9.0%)
04/07  ---
05/07  Black Panther #27 - 52,552  ( +2.3%)
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%)
                           6 mnth  (-45.9%)
                           1 year  (-40.2%)
                           2 year  (-11.1%)

I can’t see any way of putting a positive spin on this. After a string of events, crossovers, zombie appearances, and Initiative issues, BLACK PANTHER has been left to stand on its own two feet again, and it’s plummetting. Granted, issue #28 was a blip, but even when you ignore that, the series has lost roughly half its audience over the last four months.

That’s simply terrible, however you look at it, and it suggests that the audience for BLACK PANTHER is much, much softer than anyone could have expected.

84. ANNIHILATION: CONQUEST - STAR LORD
07/07  Star Lord #1 of 4 - 35,833
08/07  Star Lord #2 of 4 - 32,001  (-10.7%)
09/07  Star Lord #3 of 4 - 29,447  ( -8.0%)
10/07  ---
11/07  Star Lord #4 of 4 - 27,735  ( -5.8%)

One of the ANNIHILATION: CONQUEST lead-in minis, which slipped a week from the end of October to the start of November.

85. ULTIMATE VISION
11/06  Ultimate Vision #0 of 5 - 40,004
12/06  Ultimate Vision #1 of 5 - 53,069  (+32.7%)
01/07  Ultimate Vision #2 of 5 - 40,288  (-24.1%)
02/07  ---
03/07  Ultimate Vision #3 of 5 - 33,455  (-17.0%)
04/07  ---
05/07  ---
06/07  Ultimate Vision #4 of 5 - 29,844  (-10.8%)
07/07  ---
08/07  ---
09/07  ---
10/07  ---
11/07  Ultimate Vision #5 of 5 - 27,589  ( -7.6%)
                                 6 mnth  (  --- )
                                 1 year  (-31.0%)

Well, at least it’s over. But when you consider the mediocre sales, the five month gap between the last two issues, and the fact that nobody even seemed to care enough to complain, this is another black mark against the Ultimate imprint.

90. MS MARVEL
11/06  Ms Marvel #9  - 37,881  (-39.8%)
12/06  Ms Marvel #10 - 34,350  ( -9.3%)
01/07  Ms Marvel #11 - 32,298  ( -6.0%)
02/07  Ms Marvel #12 - 30,763  ( -4.8%)
03/07  Ms Marvel #13 - 40,836  (+32.7%)
04/07  Ms Marvel #14 - 42,877  ( +5.0%)
05/07  Ms Marvel #15 - 42,849  ( -0.0%)
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%)
                       6 mnth  (-38.2%)
                       1 year  (-30.1%)

One of the post-Initiative titles, still dropping and showing no signs of levelling out. Last month’s boost was for a zombie variant. But look at the overall trend since May, and it’s not pretty. At this rate of decline, the book will soon be entering the danger zone.

93. ULTIMATES SAGA
11/07  Ultimates Saga - 25,401

A recap book summarising the plot of ULTIMATES for the benefit of new readers. It’s basically a promotional item for ULTIMATES 3 (albeit priced at four dollars), so I’d say these are good sales.

95. SHE-HULK
11/04  She-Hulk #9  - 23,869
11/05  She-Hulk #2  - 31,610
=====
11/06  She-Hulk #13 - 26,267  ( -0.7%)
12/06  She-Hulk #14 - 24,552  ( -6.5%)
01/07  She-Hulk #15 - 27,600  (+12.4%)
02/07  She-Hulk #16 - 27,961  ( +1.3%)
03/07  ---
04/07  She-Hulk #17 - 27,669  ( -1.0%)
05/07  She-Hulk #18 - 41,800  (+51.4%)
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%)
                      6 mnth  (-40.3%)
                      1 year  ( -5.0%)
                      2 year  (-21.1%)
                      3 year  ( +4.6%)

Back to normal after the spike from last month’s zombie cover. SHE-HULK has generally been hovering around the 24-27K range when it hasn’t been boosted by events, so this is within its normal territory.

98. CABLE & DEADPOOL
11/04  Cable & Deadpool #9  - 27,612
11/05  Cable & Deadpool #22 - 23,746
=====
11/06  Cable & Deadpool #34 - 29,144  ( -5.2%)
12/06  Cable & Deadpool #35 - 27,785  ( -4.7%)
01/07  Cable & Deadpool #36 - 26,803  ( -3.5%)
02/07  Cable & Deadpool #37 - 26,588  ( -0.8%)
03/07  Cable & Deadpool #38 - 26,258  ( -1.2%)
04/07  Cable & Deadpool #39 - 26,110  ( -0.6%)
05/07  Cable & Deadpool #40 - 26,120  ( +0.0%)
06/07  Cable & Deadpool #41 - 27,431  ( +5.0%)
06/07  Cable & Deadpool #42 - 27,203  ( -0.8%)
07/07  Cable & Deadpool #43 - 26,341  ( -3.2%)
08/07  Cable & Deadpool #44 - 25,944  ( -1.5%)
09/07  Cable & Deadpool #45 - 26,009  ( +0.3%)
10/07  Cable & Deadpool #46 - 32,108  (+23.4%)
11/07  Cable & Deadpool #47 - 24,388  (-24.0%)
                              6 mnth  ( -6.6%)
                              1 year  (-16.3%)
                              2 year  ( +2.7%)
                              3 year  (-11.7%)

Axed with issue #50, to make way for a relaunched CABLE solo series. Again, sales return to normal after last month’s zombie-fuelled spike.

102. MARVEL COMICS PRESENTS
09/07  Marvel Comics Presents #1 - 38,337
10/07  Marvel Comics Presents #2 - 26,573 (-30.7%)
11/07  Marvel Comics Presents #3 - 23,444 (-11.8%)

At least it’s levelling out, but the good news ends there. For an ongoing Marvel Universe title, these are very bad numbers. The book is guaranteed to run for at least a year, in order to complete the serials it’s already running. I don’t expect the sales to be happy reading by the end.

104. SPIDER-MAN & RED SONJA
08/07  Spider-Man/Sonja #1 of 5 - 36,780
09/07  Spider-Man/Sonja #2 of 5 - 28,764  (-21.8%)
10/07  Spider-Man/Sonja #3 of 5 - 25,956  ( -9.8%)
11/07  Spider-Man/Sonja #4 of 5 - 22,968  (-11.5%)

Fading gracefully into obscurity.

107. PENANCE: RELENTLESS
09/07  Relentless #1 of 5 - 30,454
10/07  Relentless #2 of 5 - 24,346  (-20.1%)
11/07  Relentless #3 of 5 - 22,461  ( -7.7%)

Parent title THUNDERBOLTS sells more than twice this amount in the direct market, so this is a bad number for a spin-off. It is, shall we say, less than a ringing endorsement for Dark Speedball.

110. ULTIMATE MARVEL SAMPLER
11/07  Ultimate Marvel Sampler - 21,571

A surprise entry on the chart, because this has a retail price of 25 cents. Diamond disqualified low-price items from the charts a few years ago when publishers were regularly putting out comics at giveaway prices, but apparently they’ve rethought their policy on that.

112. POWERS  [Icon]
11/01  Powers #16 - 27,281
11/02  Powers #26 - 26,751
11/03  Powers #35 - 26,141
11/04  Powers #6  - 30,431
11/05  Powers #14 - 26,109
=====
11/06  Powers #21 - 22,134  ( -3.5%)
12/06  ---
01/07  Powers #22 - 22,018  ( -0.5%)
02/07  Powers #23 - 21,939  ( -0.4%)
03/07  ---
04/07  Powers #24 - 20,960  ( -4.5%)
05/07  ---
06/07  ---
07/07  ---
08/07  Powers #25 - 21,349  ( +1.9%)
09/07  ---
10/07  Powers #26 - 20,541  ( -3.8%)
11/07  Powers #27 - 19,843  ( -3.4%)
                    6 mnth  (  --- )
                    1 year  (-10.4%)
                    2 year  (-24.0%)
                    3 year  (-32.8%)
                    4 year  (-24.1%)

Hovering around its usual level.

129. IRON MAN: ENTER THE MANDARIN
09/07  Enter t/Mandarin #1 of 6 - 26,912
10/07  Enter t/Mandarin #2 of 6 - 20,781  (-22.8%)
11/07  Enter t/Mandarin #3 of 6 - 17,686  (-14.9%)

Levelling out, but the sales aren’t particularly encouraging.

131. MYSTIC ARCANA
06/07  Magik         - 26,976
07/07  Black Knight  - 20,928  (-22.4%)
08/07  Scarlet Witch - 23,481  (+12.2%)
09/07  ---
10/07  ---
11/07  Sister Grimm  - 17,533  (-25.3%)

This is the final issue of the miniseries. There’s not much sign of interest here.

133. AMAZING SPIDER-GIRL
11/01  Spider-Girl #40         - 23,897
11/02  Spider-Girl #53         - 24,907
11/03  Spider-Girl #66         - 21,864
11/04  Spider-Girl #80         - 21,146
11/05  Spider-Girl #92         - 17,597
=====
11/06  Amazing Spider-Girl #2  - 28,135  (-40.5%)
12/06  Amazing Spider-Girl #3  - 25,645  ( -8.9%)
01/07  Amazing Spider-Girl #4  - 23,113  ( -9.9%)
02/07  Amazing Spider-Girl #5  - 21,391  ( -7.5%)
03/07  Amazing Spider-Girl #6  - 20,478  ( -4.3%)
04/07  Amazing Spider-Girl #7  - 20,093  ( -1.9%)
05/07  Amazing Spider-Girl #8  - 19,574  ( -2.6%)
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%)
                                 6 mnth  (-11.1%)
                                 1 year  (-38.1%)
                                 2 year  ( -1.1%)
                                 3 year  (-17.7%)
                                 4 year  (-20.4%)

Another book returning to normal sales after last month’s zombie cover. It’s business as usual.

136. X-MEN: FIRST CLASS
11/06  First Class #3 of 8 - 30,805  ( -8.6%)
12/06  First Class #4 of 8 - 28,455  ( -7.6%)
01/07  First Class #5 of 8 - 26,607  ( -6.5%)
02/07  First Class #6 of 8 - 25,125  ( -5.6%)
03/07  First Class #7 of 8 - 24,028  ( -4.4%)
04/07  First Class #8 of 8 - 23,420  ( -2.5%)
05/07  First Class Special - 23,556  ( +0.6%)
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      - 16,965  ( -6.4%)
                             6 mnth  (-28.0%)
                             1 year  (-44.9%)

Sales aren’t holding up particularly well. But it depends how you look at it. If you view it as an all-ages book, it’s way ahead of the pack. And, like the Marvel Adventures titles, it’s presumably well placed to sell outside the direct market.

137. OFFICIAL HANDBOOK OF THE MARVEL UNIVERSE
11/04  Book of the Dead - 25,131
11/05  X-Men            - 22,986
=====
11/06  A to Z #11 of 12 - 18,285  (  -2.6%)
12/06  A to Z #12 of 12 - 21,183  ( +15.8%)
01/07  Update #1 of 4   - 17,182  ( -18.9%)
02/07  ---
03/07  ---
04/07  Spider-Man: BIB  - 23,510  ( +36.8%)
05/07  Update #2 of 4   - 16,633  ( -29.3%)
05/07  Anita Blake      - 20,936  ( +25.9%)
06/07  Mystic Arcana    - 15,669  ( -25.2%)
06/07  Mighty Avengers  - 22,312  ( +42.4%)
07/07  Update #3 of 4   - 15,600  ( -30.1%)
08/07  World War Hulk   - 41,583  (+166.6%)
09/07  Marvel Zombies   - 35,664  ( -14.2%)
10/07  Update #4 of 4   - 14,328  ( -59.8%)
11/07  Atlas #1 of 2    - 16,857  ( +17.7%)
                          6 mnth  ( +19.5%)
                          1 year  (  -7.8%)
                          2 year  ( -26.7%)
                          3 year  ( -32.9%)

I’d have thought this was a niche project even by the standards of the HANDBOOK, but it’s actually up slightly from last month’s all-round UPDATE issue.

144. ZOMBIE: SIMON GARTH  [Max]
11/07  Simon Garth #1 of 4 - 15,430

Another low-selling Max miniseries. Last month, FOOLKILLER debuted at around 20K, so this isn’t particularly good even by the standards of the imprint. However, it’s a sequel to an earlier mini. Given the length of time that it’s taken to come along, Marvel could well be motivated by strong trade paperback sales.

152. CRIMINAL  [Icon]
11/06  Criminal #2  - 21,115  (-18.7%)
12/06  Criminal #3  - 17,702  (-16.2%)
01/07  Criminal #4  - 16,827  ( -4.9%)
02/07  ---
03/07  Criminal #5  - 16,389  ( -2.6%)
04/07  ---
05/07  Criminal #6  - 15,720  ( -4.1%)
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%)
                      6 mnth  ( -8.7%)
                      1 year  (-31.1%)

Declining slowly. The book is being repackaged in the new year.

154. 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%)

Not very good at all, and I anticipate some ugly numbers by the end of the run. But the project is clearly aimed primarily at the bookstore market, so that’s nothing to worry about.

158. FOOLKILLER  [Max]
10/07  Foolkiller #1 of 5 - 19,706
11/07  Foolkiller #2 of 5 - 13,779  (-30.1%)

A huge drop, which does not bode well for the next few months.

163. LONERS
04/07  Loners #1 of 6 - 24,377
05/07  Loners #2 of 6 - 18,901  (-22.5%)
06/07  Loners #3 of 6 - 17,351  ( -8.2%)
07/07  Loners #4 of 6 - 15,650  ( -9.8%)
08/07  ---
09/07  Loners #5 of 6 - 15,561  ( -0.6%)
10/07  ---
11/07  Loners #6 of 6 - 13,357  (-14.2%)
                        6 mnth  (-29.3%)

Relatively steady over the last few months, but the numbers are quite low. I’m not holding my breath for a sequel, although you never know.

165. HOWARD THE DUCK
10/07  Howard the Duck #1 of 4 - 26,182
11/07  Howard the Duck #2 of 4 - 13,203  (-49.6%)

Last month’s issue was boosted by a zombie cover, hence the huge drop. It’s still a bad number, and I’m not convinced there’s really much of a market for non-Gerber HOWARD THE DUCK stories.

167. SHANNA THE SHE-DEVIL: SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST
08/07  Survival #1 of 4 - 25,336
09/07  Survival #2 of 4 - 17,993  (-29.0%)
10/07  Survival #3 of 4 - 14,651  (-18.6%)
11/07  Survival #4 of 4 - 12,965  (-11.5%)

170. SUPER-VILLAIN TEAM-UP: MODOK's 11
07/07  MODOK's 11 #1 of 5 - 22,612
08/07  MODOK's 11 #2 of 5 - 17,355  (-23.2%)
09/07  MODOK's 11 #3 of 5 - 14,819  (-14.6%)
10/07  MODOK's 11 #4 of 5 - 13,305  (-10.2%)
11/07  MODOK's 11 #5 of 5 - 12,443  ( -6.5%)

Two miniseries crashing into oblivion together. We’ll move on.

171. AVENGERS CLASSIC
06/07  Avengers Classic #1 - 29,319
07/07  Avengers Classic #2 - 20,954  (-28.5%)
08/07  Avengers Classic #3 - 18,817  (-10.2%)
09/07  Avengers Classic #4 - 15,392  (-18.2%)
10/07  Avengers Classic #5 - 13,599  (-11.6%)
11/07  Avengers Classic #6 - 12,213  (-10.2%)

This is bleeding out. Yes, the economics are very different for part-reprint books. And yes, it reportedly exists in order to spread the cost of remastering the reprints for future use in a new Marvel Masterworks edition. But even so, can it really be earning its keep at this level?

202. 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%)

Dropping fast, but I’m honestly surprised that this reprint title has done this well.

From here on down, it’s the all-ages books, the DBPro fantasy titles, and the Marvel Illustrated adaptations of classic novels. You know the drill by now – these books are aimed mainly at an audience outside the direct market, and so their sales on this chart don’t really matter a great deal.

221. MARVEL ADVENTURES AVENGERS  [All ages]
11/06  M.A. Avengers #7  - 7,642  ( -3.0%)
12/06  M.A. Avengers #8  - 7,512  ( -1.7%)
01/07  M.A. Avengers #9  - 7,315  ( -2.6%)
02/07  M.A. Avengers #10 - 7,053  ( -3.6%)
03/07  M.A. Avengers #11 - 7,068  ( +0.2%)
04/07  M.A. Avengers #12 - 7,092  ( +0.3%)
05/07  M.A. Avengers #13 - 7,251  ( +2.2%)
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%)
                           6 mnth (-15.3%)
                           1 year (-19.6%)


223. MARVEL ADVENTURES SPIDER-MAN  [All ages]
11/05  M.A. Spider-Man #9  - 6,637
=====
11/06  M.A. Spider-Man #21 - 6,529  ( +6.5%)
12/06  M.A. Spider-Man #22 - 6,396  ( -2.0%)
01/07  M.A. Spider-Man #23 - 6,271  ( -2.0%)
02/07  M.A. Spider-Man #24 - 6,678  ( +6.5%)
03/07  M.A. Spider-Man #25 - 6,408  ( -4.0%)
04/07  M.A. Spider-Man #26 - 6,478  ( +1.1%)
05/07  M.A. Spider-Man #27 - 6,818  ( +5.2%)
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%)
                            6 mnth  (-10.1%)
                            1 year  ( -6.2%)
                            2 year  ( -7.7%)


231. FRANKLIN RICHARDS  [All ages]
11/06  Happy Franksgiving   - 8,067  ( -3.1%)
03/07  March Madness        - 6,416  (-20.5%)
06/07  World Be Warned      - 7,293  (+13.7%)
09/07  Monster Mash         - 6,480  (-11.1%)
11/07  Fall Football Fiasco - 5,727  (-11.6%)


233. POWER PACK  [All ages]
11/05  X-Men #2 of 4          - 9,482
=====
12/06  Spider-Man #2 of 4     - 6,350  (-19.6%)
01/07  Spider-Man #3 of 4     - 5,880  ( -7.4%)
02/07  Spider-Man #4 of 4     - 5,605  ( -4.7%)
03/07  Hulk #1 of 4           - 6,697  (+19.5%)
04/07  Hulk #2 of 4           - 5,944  (-11.2%)
05/07  Hulk #3 of 4           - 5,593  ( -5.9%)
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%)
                               6 mnth  ( -1.2%)
                               1 year  (-13.0%)
                               2 year  (-41.7%)


238. LAST OF THE MOHICANS [Marvel Illustrated]
05/07  Last o/Mohicans #1 of 6 - 11,498
06/07  Last o/Mohicans #2 of 6 -  7,786  (-32.3%)
07/07  ---
08/07  Last o/Mohicans #3 of 6 -  6,896  (-11.4%)
08/07  Last o/Mohicans #4 of 6 -  6,319  ( -8.4%)
09/07  Last o/Mohicans #5 of 6 -  5,679  (-10.1%)
10/07  ---
11/07  Last o/Mohicans #6 of 6 -  5,235  ( -7.8%)
                                 6 mnth  (-54.5%)


241. MAGICIAN: APPRENTICE  [DBPro]
11/06  Apprentice #3   of 12 - 4,595  (+142.9%)
12/06  Apprentice #4   of 12 - 7,266  ( +58.1%)
01/07  Apprentice #5   of 12 - 7,206  (  -0.8%)
02/07  ---
03/07  Apprentice #6   of 12 - 6,818  (  -5.4%)
04/07  ---
05/07  Apprentice #7   of 12 - 6,193  (  -9.2%)
06/07  Apprentice #8   of 12 - 5,941  (  -4.1%)
07/07  Apprentice #9   of 12 - 5,454  (  -8.2%)
08/07  ---
09/07  ---
10/07  Apprentice #10  of 12 - 5,190  (  -4.8%)
11/07  Apprentice #11  of 12 - 5,036  (  -3.0%)
                              6 mnth  ( -18.6%)
                              1 year  (  +9.6%)


243. 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%)


246. MARVEL ADVENTURES IRON MAN  [All ages]
05/07  M.A. Iron Man #1 - 11,922
06/07  M.A. Iron Man #2 -  7,050  (-40.9%)
07/07  M.A. Iron Man #3 -  6,543  ( -7.2%)
08/07  M.A. Iron Man #4 -  5,911  ( -9.7%)
09/07  M.A. Iron Man #5 -  5,562  ( -5.9%)
10/07  M.A. Iron Man #6 -  5,130  ( -7.8%)
11/07  M.A. Iron Man #7 -  4,844  ( -5.6%)


258. MARVEL ADVENTURES FANTASTIC FOUR  [All ages]
11/05  M.A. Fantastic Four #6  - 5,522
=====
11/06  M.A. Fantastic Four #18 - 4,614  ( +1.3%)
12/06  M.A. Fantastic Four #19 - 4,533  ( -1.8%)
01/07  M.A. Fantastic Four #20 - 4,459  ( -1.6%)
02/07  M.A. Fantastic Four #21 - 4,508  ( +1.1%)
03/07  M.A. Fantastic Four #22 - 4,588  ( +1.8%)
04/07  M.A. Fantastic Four #23 - 4,604  ( +0.3%)
05/07  M.A. Fantastic Four #24 - 4,807  ( +4.4%)
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%)
                                6 mnth  ( -7.2%)
                                1 year  ( -3.3%)
                                2 year  (-19.2%)


267. TREASURE ISLAND [Marvel Illustrated]
06/07  Treasure Island #1 of 6 - 8,224
07/07  Treasure Island #2 of 6 - 6,351  (-22.8%)
08/07  Treasure Island #3 of 6 - 5,534  (-12.9%)
09/07  Treasure Island #4 of 6 - 4,908  (-11.3%)
10/07  Treasure Island #5 of 6 - 4,543  ( -7.4%)
11/07  Treasure Island #6 of 6 - 4,207  ( -7.4%)


272. MAN IN THE IRON MASK  [Marvel Illustrated]
07/07  Iron Mask #1 of 6 - 7,188
08/07  Iron Mask #2 of 6 - 5,526  (-23.1%)
09/07  Iron Mask #3 of 6 - 4,687  (-15.2%)
10/07  Iron Mask #4 of 6 - 4,159  (-11.3%)
11/07  Iron Mask #5 of 6 - 3,930  ( -5.5%)
12/07  Iron Mask #6 of 6 


Skip months and re-orders
=========================

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN
11/01  Amazing Spider-Man #37  -  87,112
11/02  Amazing Spider-Man #47  -  95,883
11/03  Amazing Spider-Man #501 -  94,558
11/04  Amazing Spider-Man #514 -  87,121
11/05  Amazing Spider-Man #526 -  79,674
=====
11/06  Amazing Spider-Man #536 - 121,003 ( -1.6%)
12/06  ---
01/07  Amazing Spider-Man #537 - 123,160 ( +1.8%)
02/07  Amazing Spider-Man #538 - 145,435 (+18.1%)
03/07  Amazing Spider-Man #539 - 155,980 ( +7.3%)
04/07  ---
05/07  Amazing Spider-Man #540 - 119,662 (-23.3%)
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 - 150,788 (+41.6%)
10/07  ---
11/07  ---

See what I mean about 100,300 not being especially good for a Spider-Man comic over the last year? The series is due to return with the delayed final part of “One More Day” on the December chart.

MIGHTY AVENGERS
03/07  Mighty Avengers #1 - 156,400
04/07  Mighty Avengers #2 - 124,209  (-20.6%)
05/07  Mighty Avengers #3 - 115,440  ( -7.1%)
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  ---

Running late.

ULTIMATE X-MEN
11/01  Ultimate X-Men #12 - 100,668
11/02  Ultimate X-Men #25 -  89,390
11/03  Ultimate X-Men #39 - 105,737
11/04  Ultimate X-Men #53 -  92,133
11/05  Ultimate X-Men #65 -  74,264
=====
11/06  Ultimate X-Men #76 -  69,054  ( -6.5%)
12/06  Ultimate X-Men #77 -  67,338  ( -2.5%)
01/07  Ultimate X-Men #78 -  66,409  ( -1.4%)
02/07  Ultimate X-Men #79 -  64,363  ( -3.1%)
03/07  Ultimate X-Men #80 -  63,037  ( -2.1%)
04/07  Ultimate X-Men #81 -  62,926  ( -0.2%)
05/07  Ultimate X-Men #82 -  62,063  ( -1.4%)
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  ---

Slipped to the first week of December.

ULTIMATE POWER
11/06  Ultimate Power #2 of 9 -  76,654  (-32.7%)
12/06  Ultimate Power #3 of 9 -  70,148  ( -8.5%)
01/07  ---
02/07  ---
03/07  Ultimate Power #4 of 9 -  63,818  ( -9.0%)
04/07  ---
05/07  Ultimate Power #5 of 9 -  62,784  ( -1.6%)
06/07  ---
07/07  Ultimate Power #6 of 9 -  61,361  ( -2.3%)
08/07  ---
09/07  Ultimate Power #7 of 9 -  57,998  ( -5.5%)
10/07  Ultimate Power #8 of 9 -  54,845  ( -5.4%)
11/07  ---

Slipped to mid-December.

RUNAWAYS
11/03  Runaways #8  - 20,896
11/04  ---
11/05  Runaways #10 - 25,761
=====
11/06  Runaways #22 - 25,908  (  +1.4%)
12/06  ---
01/07  Runaways #23 - 25,346  (  -2.2%)
02/07  Runaways #24 - 25,216  (  -0.5%)
03/07  ---
04/07  Runaways #25 - 56,250  (+123.1%)
05/07  Runaways #26 - 46,134  ( -18.0%)
06/07  ---
07/07  Runaways #27 - 41,254  ( -10.6%)
08/07  ---
09/07  ---
10/07  Runaways #28 - 47,760  ( +15.8%)
11/07  ---

Delayed to January, for some strange reason.

THUNDERBOLTS
11/01  Thunderbolts #58     - 31,097
11/02  Thunderbolts #74     - 27,170
11/03  ---
11/04  New Thunderbolts #1  - 45,793
11/05  New Thunderbolts #15 - 25,245
=====
11/06  Thunderbolts #108    - 27,890  (  -5.9%)
12/06  Thunderbolts #109    - 27,300  (  -2.1%)
01/07  Thunderbolts #110    - 73,557  (+169.4%)
02/07  Thunderbolts #111    - 62,791  ( -14.6%)
03/07  Thunderbolts #112    - 61,395  (  -2.2%)
04/07  Thunderbolts #113    - 65,092  (  +6.0%)
05/07  Thunderbolts #114    - 66,309  (  +1.9%)
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  ---

Also delayed to January.

ONSLAUGHT REBORN
11/06  Onslaught Reborn #1 of 5 - 82,642
12/06  Onslaught Reborn #2 of 5 - 55,111  (-33.3%)
01/07  ---
02/07  ---
03/07  Onslaught Reborn #3 of 5 - 52,420  ( -4.9%)
04/07  ---
05/07  ---
06/07  ---
07/07  Onslaught Reborn #4 of 5 - 45,946  (-12.4%)
08/07  ---
09/07  ---
10/07  ---
11/07  ---

Supposedly coming out in January, but I’ll believe it when I see it.

MOON KNIGHT
11/06  Moon Knight #6  - 74,017  (+14.3%)
12/06  --
01/07  Moon Knight #7  - 76,921  ( +3.9%)
02/07  --
03/07  Moon Knight #8  - 77,390  ( +0.6%)
04/07  Moon Knight #9  - 69,196  (-10.6%)
05/07  Moon Knight #10 - 56,734  (-18.0%)
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  ---

Skip month. The series resumes in January with a new creative team.

IRON MAN
11/01  Iron Man #48 - 36,016
11/02  Iron Man #61 - 34,765
11/03  Iron Man #74 - 32,016
11/04  Iron Man #1  - 68,992
11/05  ---
=====
11/06  Iron Man #13 - 76,800  (+111.7%)
12/06  Iron Man #14 - 73,388  (  -4.4%)
01/07  ---
02/07  Iron Man #15 - 72,394  (  -1.4%)
03/07  --- 
04/07  Iron Man #16 - 59,470  ( -17.9%)
05/07  Iron Man #17 - 63,328  (  +6.5%)
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  ---

Skip month, coinciding with the annual.

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  ---

Slipped to December.

ANITA BLAKE, VAMPIRE HUNTER  [DBPro]
11/06  Guilty Pls. #2 of 12 - 39,450  (-26.0%)
12/06  Guilty Pls. #3 of 12 - 36,091  ( -8.5%)
01/07  Guilty Pls. #4 of 12 - 32,363  (-10.3%)
02/07  ---
03/07  Guilty Pls. #5 of 12 - 31,136  ( -3.8%)
04/07  Guilty Pls. #6 of 12 - 30,759  ( -1.2%)
05/07  ---
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  ---

GUILTY PLEASURES is currently scheduled to resume in January.

EXILES
11/01  Exiles #6  - 42,220
11/02  Exiles #19 - 37,608
11/03  Exiles #37 - 40,272
11/04  Exiles #54 - 34,180
11/05  Exiles #72 - 34,329
=====
11/06  Exiles #88 - 30,928  ( -3.2%)
12/06  Exiles #89 - 36,880  (+19.2%)
01/07  Exiles #90 - 31,595  (-14.3%)
02/07  Exiles #91 - 31,712  ( +0.4%)
03/07  Exiles #92 - 30,296  ( -4.5%)
04/07  Exiles #93 - 30,697  ( +1.3%)
05/07  Exiles #94 - 30,735  ( +0.1%)
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  ---

Skip month, coinciding with the X-MEN: DIE BY THE SWORD miniseries. Issue #100 comes out in December, followed by NEW EXILES #1 in January.

MARVEL SPOTLIGHT
11/06  Bendis/Bagley       -  5,869  ( +28.8%)
12/06  ---
01/07  Ghost Rider         -  7,902  ( +34.6%)
01/07  Dark Tower          - 18,922  (+139.5%)
02/07  ---
03/07  Civil War Aftermath - 31,072  ( +64.2%)
04/07  Spider-Man          - 13,210  ( -57.5%)
05/07  Fantastic Four      -  8,261  ( -37.5%)
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  ---

Late, through no fault of its own. This would have been the “One More Day” issue, but because the crossover isn’t finished yet, it’s been pushed back to Christmas.

TERROR, INC.
08/07  Terror Inc. #1 of 5 - 18,025
09/07  Terror Inc. #2 of 5 - 14,496  (-19.6%)
10/07  Terror Inc. #3 of 5 - 13,365  ( -7.8%)
11/07  ---

Late. Issue #4 has been rescheduled to mid-December, and issue #5 has drifted off to February.

SPIDER-MAN FAMILY
02/07  Spider-Man Family #1 - 30,516
03/07  ---
04/07  Spider-Man Family #2 - 20,679  (-32.2%)
05/07  ---
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  ---

Bimonthly.

KABUKI  [Icon]
11/06  ---
12/06  ---
01/07  Kabuki #8 -  9,961  ( -7.8%)
02/07  ---
03/07  ---
04/07  ---
05/07  ---
06/07  ---
07/07  ---
08/07  ---
09/07  ---
10/07  ---
11/07  ---

Issue #9 actually came out at the start of December.

HEDGE KNIGHT 2: SWORN SWORD  [DBPro]
06/07  Sworn Sword #1 of 6 - 12,011
07/07  Sworn Sword #2 of 6 -  8,763  (-27.0%)
08/07  Sworn Sword #3 of 6 -  7,658  (-12.6%)
09/07  ---
10/07  ---
11/07  ---

Rescheduled to January, with the remaining issues following in February and March. This is one of several DBPro books with weird scheduling gaps.

ORSON SCOTT CARD'S WYRMS  [DBPro]
02/07  Wyrms #1 of 6 - 6,246
03/07  Wyrms #2 of 6 - 5,401  (-13.5%)
04/07  Wyrms #3 of 6 - 4,902  ( -9.2%)
05/07  Wyrms #4 of 6 - 4,567  ( -6.8%)
06/07  Wyrms #5 of 6 - 4,209  ( -7.8%)
07/07  ---
08/07  ---
09/07  ---
10/07  ---
11/07  ---

Issue #6 shipped in December.

RED PROPHET: TALES OF ALVIN MAKER  [DBPro]
10/06  Alvin Maker #1-2 of 12 -   1,617
11/06  Alvin Maker #3   of 12 - < 3,170  (+<96.0%)
12/06  Alvin Maker #4   of 12 -   5,034  (+>58.8%)
01/07  Alvin Maker #5   of 12 -   4,480  ( -11.0%)
02/07  ---
03/07  Alvin Maker #6   of 12 -   4,009  ( -10.5%)
04/07  ---
05/07  Alvin Maker #7   of 12 -   3,678  (  -8.3%)
06/07  Alvin Maker #8   of 12 -   3,441  (  -6.4%)
07/07  Alvin Maker #9   of 12 -   3,184  (  -7.5%)
08/07  Alvin Maker #10  of 12 -   3,048  (  -4.3%)
09/07  ---
10/07  ---
11/07  ---

Issue #11 is due out at Christmas, with issue #12 at the end of January.

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

+86.1% - X-Factor
+82.0% - New X-Men
+62.9% - Heroes for Hire
+31.2% - World War Hulk
+30.4% - X-Men
+25.1% - Uncanny X-Men
+19.5% - Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe
+12.2% - Immortal Iron Fist
- 1.2% - Power Pack
- 2.9% - Punisher
- 4.6% - Daredevil
- 6.3% - Astonishing X-Men
- 6.6% - Cable & Deadpool
- 7.2% - Marvel Adventures Fantastic Four
- 7.8% - New Avengers: Illuminati
- 8.7% - Criminal
-10.1% - Marvel Adventures Spider-Man
-11.1% - Amazing Spider-Girl
-14.8% - New Avengers
-15.1% - Ultimate Spider-Man
-15.2% - Incredible Hulk
-15.3% - Marvel Adventures Avengers
-15.8% - Fantastic Four
-18.5% - Ultimate Fantastic Four
-18.6% - Magician: Apprentice
-18.8% - Wolverine: Origins
-27.6% - Ghost Rider
-27.9% - Nova
-28.0% - X-Men: First Class
-29.3% - Loners
-31.6% - Wolverine
-35.6% - Avengers: The Initiative
-37.3% - Silver Surfer
-38.2% - Ms Marvel
-40.3% - She-Hulk
-43.3% - Captain America
-44.6% - Punisher War Journal
-45.9% - Black Panther
-54.5% - Last of the Mohicans


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

+99.7% - Sensational Spider-Man
+86.8% - New X-Men
+64.4% - X-Factor
+23.7% - X-Men
+20.6% - Incredible Hulk
+15.7% - Uncanny X-Men
+ 9.6% - Magician: Apprentice
- 2.0% - Punisher
- 3.3% - Marvel Adventures Fantastic Four
- 4.5% - Astonishing X-Men
- 5.0% - She-Hulk
- 6.2% - Marvel Adventures Spider-Man
- 7.8% - Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe
- 8.7% - Daredevil
-10.4% - Powers
-11.0% - Captain America
-12.2% - Heroes for Hire
-13.0% - Power Pack
-16.3% - Cable & Deadpool
-19.6% - Marvel Adventures Avengers
-20.2% - Ultimate Spider-Man
-21.1% - New Avengers
-25.4% - Ultimate Fantastic Four
-30.1% - Ms Marvel
-31.0% - Ultimate Vision
-31.1% - Immortal Iron Fist
-31.1% - Criminal
-34.1% - Ghost Rider
-34.3% - Wolverine
-38.1% - Amazing Spider-Girl
-38.9% - Wolverine: Origins
-40.2% - Black Panther
-44.9% - X-Men: First Class
-47.3% - Front Line
-59.3% - Punisher War Journal


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

+146.8% - Incredible Hulk
+ 62.8% - Captain America
+ 54.9% - Sensational Spider-Man
+ 33.5% - New X-Men
+ 26.4% - X-Men
+ 23.8% - Uncanny X-Men
+ 22.7% - Fantastic Four
+  2.7% - Cable & Deadpool
+  1.8% - Daredevil
-  1.1% - Amazing Spider-Girl
-  7.7% - Marvel Adventures Spider-Man
-  8.8% - Punisher
- 11.1% - Black Panther
- 14.6% - New Avengers
- 19.2% - Marvel Adventures Fantastic Four
- 19.9% - Ultimate Spider-Man
- 21.1% - She-Hulk
- 23.5% - Wolverine
- 24.0% - Powers
- 26.7% - Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe
- 38.5% - Ultimate Fantastic Four
- 41.7% - Power Pack


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

+46.9% - Sensational Spider-Man
+13.4% - Fantastic Four
+11.8% - X-Men
+11.4% - Uncanny X-Men
+ 9.1% - Captain America
+ 4.6% - She-Hulk
+ 1.8% - New Avengers
-11.7% - Cable & Deadpool
-12.3% - Daredevil
-16.3% - Astonishing X-Men
-17.7% - Amazing Spider-Girl
-19.7% - Wolverine
-21.8% - Punisher
-32.4% - Ultimate Spider-Man
-32.8% - Powers
-32.9% - Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe
-55.5% - Ultimate Fantastic Four


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

+236.0% - Thor
+ 90.3% - Incredible Hulk
+ 85.2% - New Avengers
+ 82.4% - New X-Men
+ 78.2% - Captain America
+ 13.3% - Fantastic Four
+ 12.9% - Uncanny X-Men
-  3.4% - X-Men
- 16.1% - Punisher
- 16.5% - Wolverine
- 20.4% - Amazing Spider-Girl
- 21.8% - Daredevil
- 24.1% - Powers
- 36.4% - Ultimate Spider-Man

1 COMMENT

  1. Regarding BLACK PANTHER : those figures are not so far from what the title was selling before the CivilWar/FF/Zombies stunts started at issue #18.
    Indeed, this month’s 28K are eerily similar to the “Storm Marriage” issues (#14-17), which stuck to… 28K.

    Which would prove that a whole year of stunts has done absolutely nothing to improve the title’s sales baseline… but it may still have some hope to stay at this level. Assuming, of course, that the loss of momentum has not driven the original reader base away, in which case the drops may continue further. Oops.

  2. “The only major change in the series is the departure of artist Mark Bagley and his replacement by Stuart Immonen, but it’s hard to believe that Bagley is that much of a sales draw.”

    Er… why? Obviously the reason Jemas insisted on him for the series is because he’s a big draw, particularly when associated with Spider-Man. And there was a pretty big uproar when he signed with DC. He may not be everybody’s cup of tea, but then, what artist is?

  3. Bagley on any given book isn’t a real sales draw but Bagley on Spider-Man is a pretty decent sized draw. Bagley has drawn Spider-Man more than anyone else over the last 15 years or so.

  4. Paul, if I may?

    On what basis do you decide which specials to include in the ongoings’ charts and which ones not to include? You included World Breaker in World War Hulk’s chart and the Special in X-Men First Class chart, but you did not include the Iron Man and Moon Knight Annuals in their ongoings’ chart nor do you include the Thunderbolts one-shots on the ongoing’s chart. How do World Breaker and First Class Special differ, for instance, from Thunderbolts Breaking Point?

    For my part, I would prefer to see a greater degree of one-shot inclusion in the main titles’ charts.

  5. Another thing that amazes me is the wild tumble downwards that Avengers: The Initiative is taking. It has some really good buzz online. I guess it just goes to show how contrary online opinion is to actual sales. Anything that has good buzz is *doomed* to race down to the 20-40k region.

  6. Ian: I think if DC puts Bagley on a major book (I’d prefer a team book) he’ll be as much a draw as Kubert on Batman or Frank on Action Comics.

    Samy: I dropped Avengers: The Initiative pretty quickly. When I first heard about it, I thought it would be giving secondary MU characters their time in the spotlight. When it became apparent that it was just another teen superhero book focusing on a passel of fairly generic new characters, I lost interest.

    I think Paul is correct that the drops are because of the marketing. First, it was announced as an idea that “blew everyone away” at a Marvel story conference. There’s nothing mind-blowing about the concept. Second, the promotion (and even the very title) suggested a focus on existing characters. It certainly wouldn’t have sold any better if they said up front “This is a book about new superheroes who are going through basic training” but the sales would likely have been more consistent.

    It’s ironic that it started off as a miniseries, and based on initial orders they changed it to an ongoing; in this case, they did such a great marketing job that they fooled themselves.

  7. Matt: I know what you mean about Initiative. It does seem like it’s focusing more on Cloud 9, Trauma, Hardball and the rest of the newbies than it is on Vance, Rhodey, Hank and the rest of the characters that people came in to see. I’m sure that part of the drop can be attributed to that: people are starting to realize that the book’s pushing original characters on us instead of the faves people came to see.

  8. Samy: My basic rule of thumb is to include an issue if it can sensibly be described as part of the month-to-month trend for that title. Annuals and one-shots are generally ordered as spin-offs, way below the parent title. They’re not part of the monthly series in substance or in form, so including them in the listing woudln’t be especially informative.

    WORLDBREAKER was a prologue issue to a miniseries and might as well be listed as issue #0. The X-MEN FIRST CLASS SPECIAL is a borderline case, but retailers clearly treated it as just another issue of the series, so it makes sense to include it.

  9. New X-Men: cancelled. Cable & Deadpool: cancelled. The Order: slipping alarmingly in the charts.

    I’m beginning to feel cursed. All my favourite Marvel books are either dead or dying. Even Moon Knight‘s not doing as well as it should be. And Runaways only started to do well after they handed it to a creative team I don’t like.

  10. Regarding the all ages titles… using the old postal circulation figures, how did the old Star titles sell compared to the Marvel Universe titles? Can a ratio be computed to help analyze the current trends?

  11. “Yikes! DC books don’t come in until #8! Yiiiiiiiiiiiiiiikes…”

    Not as frightening as it looks; JLA and JSA didn’t ship this month.

  12. Torsten: Using the old statements of ownership, and averaging the Star Comics line versus averaging the core Marvel titles, you could probably get some kind of a rough ratio, but it would be totally useless. In the 20 years since, Marvel has reorganized multiple times over, the market has changed drastically, and pretty much everything is different than it was then. That ratio would be meaningless today.

  13. I think “Incredible Hercules” is now permanent-until/unless-it-absolutely-tanks, since they’re talking about the second & third arcs. Which I give it a 50/50 chance of doing, although #112 was fun.

  14. > Samy: My basic rule of thumb is to include an issue if it can sensibly be described as part of the month-to-month trend for that title. Annuals and one-shots are generally ordered as spin-offs, way below the parent title. They’re not part of the monthly series in substance or in form, so including them in the listing woudln’t be especially informative.

    How come you’re not tracking the Tbolts “one-shots” together though, given that, with Desperate Measures in July, Breaking Point in November and International Incident due in February, they’re practically turning into a secondary title. (Or, alternatively, tracking Desperate Measures as Penance #0, since it’s the same writer and the same lead character).

    > Another thing that amazes me is the wild tumble downwards that Avengers: The Initiative is taking. It has some really good buzz online. I guess it just goes to show how contrary online opinion is to actual sales. Anything that has good buzz is *doomed* to race down to the 20-40k region.

    The “buzz” I’ve seen for A:TI has been mixed – decent, perhaps, but certainly not overwhelmingly “BUY THIS!”

  15. A few quick points.

    1. The sales drop of ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN has less to do with Bagely leaving and more to do with fans growing tired of the book (for whatever reason) and deciding to drop the book. This is what happens when an industry depends more on it’s existing and shrinking older teen and adult readership. And yes I know USM and the rest of the Ultimate books were supposed to be aimed at new younger readers, but we all know who Marvel was really aiming these books at.

    2. The premise of both AVENGERS INITIATIVE and THE ORDER CANNOT carry a book. In fact, the whole INITIATIVE concept DOES NOT work in the context of the MU. This is only one of the MANY reasons why these books are rapidly falling in sales. I t was a mistake for Marvel to rely on and/or let one writer with a HUGE ego map out the status quo of the entire MU. Not to mention, that the idea behind both AI and THE ORDER (and the whole concept behind both CW and the INITIATIVE in general) aren’t all that original.

    3. While I have no doubt that sales on the FF will increase when Millar and Hitch take over the book. I believe that the increase sales will be LESS then spectacular. FF is a tough sale NO MATTER who is writing and drawing the book.

    4. The next time Reginald Hudlin goes on a message board under a different name to defend his BP run by dissing his “good buddy” Priest run on the book by using sales as an example, someone needs to show him these sales figures. It’s a damn shame that Marvel allowed Hudlin to ruin Storm by taking her out of the X-books and letting him tie her permanently to BP by marrying them in an effort to boost sales. I smell the sulfuric stench of a OMD retcon coming in a few years.

    5. Now for a few not so kind words about the PENANCE mini series. Mr. Jenkins I told you (a) the book wouldn’t sell much better then a SPEEDBALL series and (b) that the whole idea behind Penance was a stupid,pointless,and cliche concept..

  16. I wonder if Marvel will realize that the initial high orders for Avengers: The Initiative means that there really is a demand for an Avengers book to serve as an alternative to the Bendis’ Avengers books.

  17. I don’t see how they indicate any such thing, Matt. The most obvious explanation is that AVENGERS: THE INITIATIVE only sold well in the first place because people expected it to be like Bendis’ NEW AVENGERS, or at least to have some sort of association with it, and then they deserted the book when they realised it was nothing like that.

  18. I agree with Wraith that people may simply be tired of Ultimate Spider-Man but were hanging in there just to complete the Bendis/Bagley run, and now that pent-up desire to leave is manifesting. 100+ issues is a long time to stay following a book uninterrupted.

    I disagree with Wraith on FF. I would bet $50 that FF will shoot up to be a 100k+ book, at least for the first issue.

    I do think Matt has a point. However you want to semantically phrase it, I do think the initial high numbers for A:TI show that there was demand for a Slott Avengers book.

  19. Slott is just not a high seller. It’s odd. Bendis and Loeb get a lot of criticism on Web sites but consistently have books that sell 100+. Slott seems to be universally loved and people claim that they like his writing but it does not translate into comics sold. The Thing being a case in point. Every one claimed to love it and buy it but it sold about 30,000 copies a month or less.

    His Spiderman book will be a big test to see if he can translate his popularity into sales.

    The initial big sales for A:TI were because this book and others like it came out at the end of Civil War. As the association fades over time, readers are losing interest in the books. This is what happens when you rely on special events and variant covers for sales. It is hard to get new material on the market and sustain sales over a number of years.

    I really enjoy and buy every issue of Nova, Immortal Iron Fist, Annihilation: Conquest and Omega the Unknown. The 4 together sell less than one issue of Loeb’s turgid stuff. We have to support these books more by actually buying them and not just saying on web sites how much we like these books.

  20. Exactly, Sami. I don’t think anyone expected a Slott Avengers book to be like a Bendis Avengers book. The overwhelming reaction at the time it was announced was “Finally, an alternative!”

    I don’t think that Slott inherently can’t sell books the way Bendis’ does; remember that Bendis got major assignments right off the bat; Daredevil and USM. That helps to build your following. Avengers: The Initiative was Slott’s first major assignment, and it got a strong initial reaction, but the bottom line was that people didn’t like what they read.

    Brand New Day is another shot for Slott, but I’m concerned readers may be turned off by the fallout of OMD (there’s also question as to how well the rotating teams will work out). I personally wish they’d given Mighty Avengers to Slott.

  21. Or maybe the first issue of Avengers The Initiative sold well because it spun out of Civil War and had an alternate cover. Maybe the third sold well because it crossed over to Back in Black. Maybe the fourth and fifth issues sold well because they tied in to World War Hulk. There are a lot of “maybes” in there.

    The sixth issue had a fill-in artist that most readers didn’t like and that could have affected the sales to the last issue. Now that they regular artist is back and the book doesn’t have any crossovers for a while, perhaps the book’s numbers will stabilize? This is not an exact science, at best this is guess work, like a soothsayer looking at an animal’s innards and trying to divine the future.

    One of the things Paul O’Brien doesn’t mention is that every issue has been in the top 25. And outside of a handful of titles like Green Lantern, Batman, JLA, and JSA, Avengers The Initiative outsells most of DC’s monthly titles. That’s pretty impressive for a book that features a mix of new characters and D-listers like Slapstick.

  22. The reason the early issues of AVENGERS INITIATIVE sold well was MOST DEFINITELY due to the book being a tie in/spin off of CW, having tie in issues to BACK IN BLACK and WORLD WAR HULK,and variant covers.

    The reason why AI is falling in sales is because many fans don’t like the whole concept of the book (the whole idea behind the INITIATIVE doesn’t really work in the context of the MU) and because there are just too many AVENGERS books.

    The reason why comics written by Slott don’t sell all that well is because he write books (mostly SPIN OFF books) that would MOST LIKELY not sell NO MATTER who is writing them. Editors and fans need to realize that in MOST cases (NOT ALL CASES) the HUGE sells of many of todays top selling comic has less to do with who’s writing those comics and due more to what those comics are.

    And every issues of AI being in the top 25 doesn’t mean JACK when you have the book loosing thousands of readers each month. Now if sales on AI stabilize and the book still remains in the top 25, then the book could be consider a modest success (at least by todays sales standards).

  23. I disagree. A book that’s been in the Top 25 for over 6 months does mean jack. Other books have taken steeper dives in shorter amounts of time.

    At the end of the day, over 65,000 readers have been there for this title for over half a year. That’s better than DC flagship titles like Action Comics and Detective Comics, and this is a book without a Superman or a Batman behind it. The biggest draw this book has is Yellowjacket.

    If Avengers The Initiatve even stabilizes at 50,000 it should be considered a success. It seems very premature to scream that the sky is falling for a book that has stayed in the Top 25 for over half a year no matter how many readers it’s shed.

  24. “Slott seems to be universally loved”

    Never in hell. Slott’s snarky, ain’t-I-clever bullshit makes his comics just as bad as Bendis’s or Loeb’s to me.

  25. “The biggest draw this book has is Yellowjacket. ”
    No, the biggest draw this book has is AVENGERS in the title and status of spin-off from CW. It’s like Blue Beetle which spin-offed from IC – start is big, but has no legs.

  26. I’ll agree with you that the biggest draw of Avengers The Initiative is that it spun out of Civil War. The book is very much a continuation of the events of Civil War and how they affect the Marvel Universe. Beyond that, the Avengers Initiative/CW vs. Blue Beetle/IC comparison doesn’t hold.

    Blue Beetle launched in the Top 40. By it’s next issue it was out of the Top 40. By it’s next issue it was out of the Top 50. Two issues later it was out of the Top 60. By its half year mark it was out of the Top 70. And not long after that, it was out of the Top 100.

    Avengers the Initiative has been going on for over half a year. It launched in the Top 25. And in all that time it’s stayed in the Top 25. Even at its current numbers, if it can start to level out, outside of five or six titles, it will still outsell most of DC’s regular monthly books. That’s far from having “no legs.”

  27. I’d have to agree with Paul that the initial draw for Avengers: Initiative was that people were expecting something similar to New Avengers. Joe Q said repeatedly that the idea blew everyone away and that it was a return to the dark storytelling Slott had shown in his Arkham mini. It was stated repeatedly that this would show the dark side of the Initiative. I believe that it was even said that essentially the idea was that you signed a piece of paper and now had to pay the price for it. This is not at all what the series is. I think this case of false advertising plays a large role in the loss of readership. (Add to that, the fact that most of the issues I’ve looked at haven’t been particularly good.)

  28. But it hasn’t lost 10% of its readership each month. That’s factually inacurrate.

    It’s largest drops have taken place after a previous issue had an alternate cover and when it stopped participating in a major crossover. Most books in those situations take drops in sales.

    If this book has “no legs”, then as one of Marvel’s best selling monthly titles and as a book that’s never left the Top 25, it’s the highest ranking/best selling “leggless” book on the market.

  29. Have any of the people trying to defend the sales of AI ever looked at these sales charts before? It’s pretty much an iron law that if a book starts out with 127 thousand copies for issue #1, it’s still going to be selling fairly well by issue #7. But if you’ve lost almost half the audience by issue #7, that’s not good by any standard.

    It’s like a rule of human behavior. No matter how horrible something may be, sales can only drop so much at one time.

    Mike

  30. In 6 months Captain America has shed over 40% of its audience.
    But when you look at its place in the charts, no one would deny its success.
    To go from a high inflated number of 1st issue sales, sales that also benefitted from an alternate cover, and compare that to current numbers will not give anyone an accurate gauge.

  31. Regarding Bagley vs. Immonen: I just read today’s issue of USM (the finale of the Goblin storyline) and I’ve come to the conclusion that Immonen is just not a very good storyteller. His draftsmanship is impeccable, but I kept having to go back and look at panels repeatedly to figure out what was going on (perfect example: it took me a couple of minutes to figure out that Harry Osborne had turned into a second goblin — that sort of essential plot point should be beyond obvious for anyone reading the comic).

    There are far too many artists like this nowadays, where you see a “Bang” sound effect, and someone collapses, and you have no idea what was supposed to have happened. They make it a chore to read a comic book even if the writing is superlative.

    By contrast, Bagley seems like one of those artists like Sal Buscema. He’s not flashy. He’ll probably never make anyone’s Top 10 Artists lists. If I had to pick a single panel to frame and put on my wall, I’d probably pick one by Immonen over Bagley. But with Bagley, you never had to stop reading the comic to figure out what the characters are supposed to be doing.

  32. I think the reason for the drop is simple: people have decided they don’t like Immonen. They gave him a shot for a few issues and just gave up.

    I have collected the entire series since issue 1 and I am this close | | to cancelling it because I am sick of the crappy artwork. Shoot, you can see it in the writing. Bendis would give Bagley blank panels because he knew the artwork would convey emotion so words where not necessary but with Immonen because he can’t. His line work, his storytelling style, expressions, designs, pretty much everything, when you compare it to Bagley is just flat out bad. He simply doesn’t work for this title, I don’t care what is previous Spidey experience is.

    A new artist is needed, then they might recover the lost readers but it might be to late. With the Goblin arc finished I suspect another drop as people use that as a jumping off point (as I am debating doing).

  33. “The biggest draw this book has is Yellowjacket. ”
    “No, the biggest draw this book has is AVENGERS in the title”

    For me, the biggest draw IS Dan Slott. I tried one issue because I liked the cover. And because of Slott’s writing, I enjoyed the issue, IN SPITE of the fact I knew few of the characters.

    One odd draw: a crazy german scientist. I love that silly cheesy stuff! :)

  34. Avengers: The Initiative — I bought it because I liked Slott’s other books, and the concept had potential. I quickly dropped it because it was laughably bad.

    As for online buzz, I didn’t know there was any positive buzz online past the first few issues, barring perhaps forums that are pro-Marvel/Civil War/Initiative anyway.

  35. “But it hasn’t lost 10% of its readership each month. That’s factually inacurrate.”

    Actually, on average, it’s almost bang on. We have direct market sales figures for seven issues of AVENGERS: THE INITIATIVE, and so we have six month-to-month comparisons. The average drop is 10.1% per month. And that’s COUNTING the boosts it gets from crossovers.

  36. Scratchie, I would include BOTH Mark Bagley and Sal Buscema in my personal top ten of comic book artists. Their storytelling and style is impeccable and they are a major reason I used to love Spidey comics so much. Sal Buscema’s self-inked work is a joy to my eyes, and much of what Bagley has done is far more awesome to me than anything Jim Lee, Bryan “I’m just a crappy Alan Davis” Hitch or Michael “I will NOT draw feet” Turner have ever done (just to list three names I assume would be in a lot of people’s top 10).

    Mind you, I actually like Immonen’s work as well, always have, my problems with USM have always involved the writing…

  37. Peter, you are obviously a man of rare and exquisite taste, and there’s no question that Buscema (and probably Bagley) belongs in the all time hall of fame for under-appreciated comic book creators.

    However, I think that when most people pick their favorite artists (or “the best” artists), they tend to pick the ones who show more “fine art technique”, i.e., drawing pretty pictures. As Steven Grant pointed out in a recent column, it’s hard to think of a page by Buscema that makes you say “WOW!”, even though, as a STORYTELLER, he’s second to none.

  38. M. Yourself, the reason no one is denying the current success of CAPTAIN AMERICA is because the book is still selling way above what it was selling before the gimmick “death” issue.

    That being said, I will go on record and say that the current success of CA is MOSTLY (if not SOLELY) due to the book still being in gimmick mode. After the gimmick is over, sales will drop right back down to pre-death issues. I said it before, and I’ll keep saying it until I’m blue in the face, the 90’s are back.

  39. Mr. O’Brien,
    You’ve been doing this for some time. You know that every book takes a big drop going from its first issue to its second issue. You also know that drop is even larger when that first issue has an alternate cover. The only way you’re able to get your 10% figure is by folding in that first drop- a figure that is typical in that it’s a market trend for almost all books, but atypical in that it doesn’t represent the regular readership of that specific book.

    Unless the next issue of Avengers Initiative takes that much of a drop (19%), that figure will not hold when doing your 6 month assessment. That number is an outlier. If you were to take it out of the equation and look at the following 5 months worth of sales, the standard drop of the book shrinks down to around 8%.

    Also, looking at the numbers as they’re laid out here, without individual context (when they were part of a crossover, negative reaction to a fill-in artist, etc.), it doesn’t really tell an accurate story of this, or any other book. Like another poster on this thread said, “It’s all a crapshoot.”

    One thing that is inarguable is that this book started in the Top 25 and has remained there for its entire run.

  40. Avengers: The Initiative does have a bit more dramatic decline going on than what would be nice, but it’s still making more money for Marvel than most of their other titles. I think that’s the point M. Youssef might be trying to make. Yes, it’s losing readers, but it’s still bringing in a lot of money. I assume the most expensive creator on the book was cover artist Jim Cheung, and they stopped using him with issue #5 (and last month’s annual).

    The bottom line comes down to asking “Is the book making money for Marvel”. Avengers the Initiative seems like it has to be. Heck, they just put out a premiere hardcover, which I thought was kind of overdoing it, but clearly someone at Marvel is convinced people will spend that kind of money on it.

    Having said that, it would be nice if it wasn’t loosing around 10,000 readers for the past 4 issues and hopefully that trend will stop soon.

  41. It is a shame to see

    The Order falling so much in sales because its a great book. Not something I would expect from Marvel. As I say it reminds me of something Valiant would have put out back in the day. Also if you look at the fact the heroes are mostly new I don’t see the sales as being awful.

    Avengers: The Initiative rocks, but it stars characters a lot of people don’t care about, or want to take the time to know. If anything I would think it would sell in the same range as New Warriors.

    Ghost Rider just sucks because Daniel Way doesn’t know how to write the character.

    Moon Knight I have always felt was way overhyped. The last issue was the best issue in the last 7.

    Iron fist is a niche so you really can’t expect him to sell a ton. For a B-lister you gotta give the book its props.

    Nova is another one that is sad to see it going. I would think though that the low 30s would be considered decent for the character. The big test with Nova will be whether or not it will be able to stand on its own without crossovers.

    Black Panther is just a broken book driving with four flat tires going nowhere.

  42. “Unless the next issue of Avengers Initiative takes that much of a drop (19%), that figure will not hold when doing your 6 month assessment.”

    True, but you’re the one who told another poster that it was “factually inaccurate.” And it isn’t. It’s totally accurate.

  43. No. It’s factually inaccurate.

    That poster said: “Well, having no legs is losing 10% of readership each month.”

    And Avengers the Initiative hasn’t lost 10% of its readership each month. It’s fluctuated. It went UP around 2.5% when it took part in the World War Hulk crossover. It went down over 14% when it came out of the crossover. There’s context that you’re not bringing to the table when you make blanket statements like it’s “losing 10% of readership each month.”

    In your last post you agree that the book would have to take close to a 20% drop next month for that average to hold. And you’ve been doing this long enough to know that a book usually takes its biggest drop from issue #1 to issue #2, especially if the first issue had a varient cover.

    Do you think that the book will take that steep of a drop going from issue #7 to #8? Do you think the 10% average will exist next month? Do you think that the book will drop out of the Top 25?

  44. Considering that the last two issues, the first two without any “crossover” banner (Initiative – which they took the opportunity to make the book like an Initiative tie-in issue of plain Avengers for…. – technically not being a crossover despite being ordered like one) dropped by 14 & 10%, I’d say a c. 8% drop for #6, and – barring a bunch of high-selling titles not shipping – yes, it’ll drop out of the Top 25.

  45. Mr. O’Brien,
    If that’s the case, then the average drop on Avengers: The Initiative over 6 months would go down to 8.5%. If the drop is less than 10%, and the 6 month average is even less, what will you attribute the leveling out to? The start of a new story line? The addition of Gage to the creative team? The introduction of Taskmaster or Ant-Man? A combination of those factors?

    If at least 60,000+ readers stay with the title for 9 months, doesn’t that say something? That puts Avengers Initiative in the same range as titles like Detective Comics, in the middle of a major Bat crossover.

    You can point to the numbers of readers who have left and opine that it was because “it was nothing like Bendis’ New Avengers”. If that is true, then what about the converse? What about the 60,000+ readers who’ve stayed? What does that say about an audience that large who are still following a Marvel title about new characters and c-listers?

    I guess what I’m asking is, if that 10% drop doesn’t occur like you’ve predicted, and the book continues to stay in the Top 25, will you start seeing the glass half full instead of half empty?

  46. According to the DC Month-to-Month numbers posted on The Beat, outside of 4 titles, it’s a glass that’s outselling every other glass in the DC line. That’s a pretty big glass.

    (And it’s not consistently losing 10% a month. Con•sis•tent: (adj) able to maintain a particular standard or repeat a particular task with minimal variation. How is a 19% drop from a first issue with a varient cover a minimal variation from a 2.6% bump during a crossover? Do you have enough data to show a consistent trend for this book?)

  47. It’s consistently losing [at least] 10% a month on the basis that the only two issues without some sort of major crossover or pseudo-crossover branding have both lost 10% or more.

    Crossovers (and, as I said, Initiative seems to have been treated as a crossover for the purposes of ordering based on the sales of all the books bannered as such), as you and just about everyone else who reads the charts will know, tend to put a square wave in the trends – they bump up hugely, but only during the crossover, when the vast, vast majority of them drop straight back down to where or below where they were before. The only books in recent memory which IIRC bucked that trend in any way without a post-bannered issues relaunch were Cable & Deadpool and Thunderbolts (which was relaunched five months after the CW banner had gone away and so has post-CW, pre-Ellis data), who both held 5k or so above their pre-crossover levels the month after and took a few months to reach where they were.

    And A:TI, of course, HAS no baseline for retailers to cut back to. So they hacked away a huge chunk post-crossovers to see where they were, found themselves with a big excess still, and hacked away some more. What are the odds, with that sort of trend, that they won’t be hacking away for a month or two more at the very least before they find some sort of level that won’t leave them losing money?

    The glass may not be down to half quite yet, but there’s big hole in the bottom.

  48. M. Youssef Says: (And it’s not consistently losing 10% a month. Con•sis•tent: (adj) able to maintain a particular standard or repeat a particular task with minimal variation.

    Denying reality doesn´t stop it from happening. The persistent drop in A:TI is worrying, specially when you take into account the hints being dropped that a book in the top20 will be canceled not due to sales, but to skrulls.

  49. Marvel sales have begun to reflect the fact that there is simply too many books being offered, specially team books. The drops in books like Ghost Rider, Moon Knight, Ms. Marvel, Black Panther, the Ultimate line who used to have more stable sales in the previous year is reminiscent of the last time that Marvel output was this massive. The constant reshuffling of the X-titles in the last 3 years is proof that there isn´t a market for so many X-titles, they always end canibalizing each other´s sales.

  50. Black Panther was being kept afloat by crossovers. Seriously – go back to here – http://tinyurl.com/39ge7c – before Storm, Civil War & the F4:

    ————————————————————————————-
    80. BLACK PANTHER
    Feb 02 Black Panther #41 – 19,523
    Feb 03 Black Panther #54 – 17,401
    ======
    Feb 05 Black Panther #1 – 69,930
    Mar 05 Black Panther #2 – 47,533 (-32.0%)
    Apr 05 Black Panther #3 – 44,925 ( -5.5%)
    May 05 Black Panther #4 – 40,804 ( -9.2%)
    Jun 05 Black Panther #5 – 37,401 ( -8.1%)
    Jul 05 Black Panther #6 – 35,256 ( -5.7%)
    Aug 05 Black Panther #7 – 42,905 (+21.7%)
    Sep 05 Black Panther #8 – 46,239 ( +7.8%)
    Oct 05 Black Panther #9 – 40,173 (-13.1%)
    Nov 05 Black Panther #10 – 31,987 (-20.4%)
    Dec 05 Black Panther #11 – 29,327 ( -8.3%)
    Jan 06 Black Panther #12 – 27,933 ( -4.7%)
    Feb 06 Black Panther #13 – 26,054 ( -6.7%)
    6 mnth (-39.3%)
    1 year (-62.7%)

    The other half of the big wedding, and it continues to drop like a stone. At these levels it really can’t afford to keep shedding almost 2,000 readers an issue, but that’s what it’s doing. Marvel evidently have tremendous faith in the book, but the direct market doesn’t agree with them, on the strength of these numbers.
    ————————————————————————————-

    It’s just back on that trend at last, now that the endless propping up from other books has all-but-ended (Storm’s still in the book, but she’s also back in Uncanny X-Men and any references to BP in there are trivial – even when they had the “new F4” appear, it was just Ben & Johnny, not BP).

  51. And, for the record, Avengers: Initiative #8 came in at 58k, over 8k down on #7, and 12.5% lower. And the Annual, despite being a labelled Secret Invasion: Infiltration issue, was 1k lower than that.

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