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

Marvel Month-to-Month Sales: November 2009

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by Paul O’Brien

For the second month running, DC dominated the top 10 in November, with only REBORN preventing another clean sweep of the top 5. However, taking a broader view, it’s something of a return to normal. In October, Marvel’s lead over DC was whittled down to only 2% in market share, and 2.5% in dollar terms. But with November, the margin is wider: Marvel led DC by 42% to 35% in unit share, and 38% to 32% in dollars.

It’s also worth bearing in mind that November was a quiet month in terms of new product. This is fairly standard for Marvel; they’re gearing up for a major crossover in January with SIEGE, and as we’ve seen before, they tend to hold back new Marvel Universe titles to launch out of the big event. Consequently, the months immediately before a crossover tend to be comparatively quiet. That’s compounded this month by a relative dearth of variant covers. DC, in contrast, are in the middle of their BLACKEST NIGHT crossover.

November did see the launch of a third ongoing Deadpool title, DEADPOOL TEAM-UP (depending on whether you count October’s DEADPOOL #900 as the first issue); a new S.W.O.R.D. series; the relaunch of PUNISHER MAX; the return of POWERS; a second WIZARD OF OZ miniseries; and the beginning of another cosmic crossover, REALM OF KINGS.

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

3.  CAPTAIN AMERICA: REBORN
11/04  Captain America #1   -  67,225
11/05  Captain America #12  -  45,038
11/06  Captain America #24  -  79,885
11/07  Captain America #32  -  73,310 
=====
11/08  Captain America #44  -  75,493  (  +4.3%)
12/08  Captain America #45  -  71,186  (  -5.7%)
01/09  Captain America #46  -  73,184  (  +2.8%)
02/09  Captain America #47  -  62,850  ( -14.1%)
03/09  Captain America #48  -  62,108  (  -1.2%)
04/09  Captain America #49  -  63,874  (  +2.8%)
05/09  Captain America #50  -  72,708  ( +13.8%)
06/09  Captain America #600 - 123,152  ( +69.4%)
07/09  Captain America #601 -  87,844  ( -28.7%)
07/09  Reborn #1 of 5       - 197,565  (+124.9%)
08/09  Reborn #2 of 5       - 125,366  ( -36.5%)
09/09  Reborn #3 of 5       - 108,331  ( -13.6%)
10/09  ---
11/09  Reborn #4 of 5       -  96,571  ( -10.9%)
                               6 mnth  ( +32.8%)
                               1 year  ( +27.9%)
                               2 year  ( +31.7%)
                               3 year  ( +20.9%)
                               4 year  (+114.4%)
                               5 year  ( +43.7%)

REBORN has slipped off schedule, which has led to the ending being given away in other titles. Mind you, some would say the ending was pretty clearly signalled when they called the book REBORN. Presumably Marvel couldn’t delay the other books involved, because that would have screwed up the SIEGE crossover.

This issue has three covers, which is fairly standard for REBORN – although Marvel have been scaling back the ordering incentives slightly over the course of the series. Needless to say, these remain very good numbers even by the standards of recent CAPTAIN AMERICA issues, which themselves have seen big increases over the last couple of years thanks to the “death of Captain America” storyline.

8.  NEW AVENGERS
11/04  Avengers #503    - 105,761
11/05  New Avengers #13 - 126,148
11/06  New Avengers #25 - 136,504
11/07  New Avengers #36 - 107,715
=====
11/08  ---
12/08  New Avengers #47 -  95,703  ( -3.8%)
12/08  New Avengers #48 -  95,688  ( -0.0%)
01/09  New Avengers #49 -  94,291  ( -1.5%)
02/09  New Avengers #50 - 106,831  (+13.3%)
03/09  New Avengers #51 -  95,340  (-10.8%)
04/09  New Avengers #52 -  93,975  ( -1.4%)
05/09  New Avengers #53 -  94,367  ( +0.4%)
06/09  New Avengers #54 -  93,878  ( -0.5%)
07/09  New Avengers #55 -  84,745  ( -9.7%)
08/09  New Avengers #56 -  89,996  ( +6.2%)
09/09  New Avengers #57 -  85,598  ( -4.9%)
10/09  New Avengers #58 -  76,656  (-10.4%)
11/09  New Avengers #59 -  74,379  ( -3.0%)
                           6 mnth  (-21.2%)
                           1 year  (  --- )
                           2 year  (-30.9%)
                           3 year  (-57.7%)
                           4 year  (-45.5%)
                           5 year  (-29.7%)

The second straight issue with no variant cover, which goes some way towards explaining the sales drop in October. The book ought to get a boost from the upcoming SIEGE crossover, after which one imagines a general revamp of the Avengers franchise is on its way.

10. DARK AVENGERS
01/09  Dark Avengers #1  - 139,239
02/09  Dark Avengers #2  - 102,277  (-26.5%)
03/09  Dark Avengers #3  - 101,978  ( -0.3%)
04/09  Dark Avengers #4  -  99,694  ( -2.2%)
05/09  ---
06/09  Dark Avengers #5  -  95,746  ( -4.0%)
06/09  Dark Avengers #6  -  93,634  ( -2.2%)
07/09  Dark Avengers #7  -  94,189  ( +0.6%)
08/09  Dark Avengers #8  -  94,191  ( +0.0%)
09/09  Dark Avengers #9  -  79,729  (-15.4%)
10/09  Dark Avengers #10 -  75,618  ( -5.2%)
11/09  Dark Avengers #11 -  72,225  ( -4.5%)
                            6 mnth  (  --- )

The third straight issue without a variant cover, which again explains the downward lurch in September. Orders are down 5% for the second month running, and normally I’d say that was caused for concern almost a year into the title’s life. But DARK AVENGERS is an unusual case, since it’s hard to see how the title can continue in its present form once “Dark Reign” ends; at the very least, a drastic revamp has to be on its way.

11. UNCANNY X-MEN
11/04  Uncanny X-Men #452 -  92,051
11/05  Uncanny X-Men #466 -  82,825
11/06  Uncanny X-Men #480 -  88,584
11/07  Uncanny X-Men #492 - 102,511
=====
11/08  Uncanny X-Men #504 -  77,773  (-10.8%)
12/08  Uncanny X-Men #505 -  82,271  ( +5.8%)
01/09  ---
02/09  Uncanny X-Men #506 -  71,684  (-12.9%)
03/09  Uncanny X-Men #507 -  77,957  ( +8.8%)
04/09  Uncanny X-Men #508 -  76,442  ( -1.9%)
04/09  Uncanny X-Men #509 -  69,185  ( -9.5%)
05/09  Uncanny X-Men #510 -  75,139  ( +8.6%)
06/09  Uncanny X-Men #511 -  71,148  ( -5.3%)
06/09  Uncanny X-Men #512 -  76,283  ( +7.2%)
07/09  Uncanny X-Men #513 -  87,582  (+14.8%)
08/09  Uncanny X-Men #514 -  90,316  ( +3.1%)
09/09  Uncanny X-Men #515 -  73,585  (-18.5%)
10/09  Uncanny X-Men #516 -  73,916  ( +0.4%)
11/09  Uncanny X-Men #517 -  69,557  ( -5.9%)
                             6 mnth  ( -7.4%)
                             1 year  (-10.6%)
                             2 year  (-32.1%)
                             3 year  (-21.5%)
                             4 year  (-16.0%)
                             5 year  (-24.4%)

Again, the third straight issue with no variant. Last month’s slight upward tick was presumably connected to the return of Magneto, trailed with house ads, since there’s no other obvious reason. That probably has the effect of exaggerating this month’s drop, but sales are still drifting downwards. It’s only fair to note, though, that sales were slightly lower back in April, so the book does seem to have won some readers back with recent stories.

13,14,15,17. AMAZING SPIDER-MAN
11/04  Amazing Spider-Man #514 -  87,121
11/05  Amazing Spider-Man #526 -  79,674
11/06  Amazing Spider-Man #536 - 118,833
11/07  ---
=====
11/08  Amazing Spider-Man #576 -  68,956  ( +0.1%)
11/08  Amazing Spider-Man #577 -  76,625  (+11.1%)
11/08  Amazing Spider-Man #578 -  66,564  (-13.1%)
12/08  Amazing Spider-Man #579 -  69,784  ( +4.8%)
12/08  Amazing Spider-Man #580 -  62,979  ( -9.8%)
12/08  Amazing Spider-Man #581 -  68,905  ( +9.4%)
01/09  Amazing Spider-Man #582 -  59,932  (-13.0%)
01/09  Amazing Spider-Man #583 - 525,050 (+776.1%)
01/09  Amazing Spider-Man #584 -  63,754  (-87.9%)
02/09  Amazing Spider-Man #585 -  60,286  ( -5.4%)
02/09  Amazing Spider-Man #586 -  59,521  ( -1.3%)
02/09  Amazing Spider-Man #587 -  60,118  ( +1.0%)
03/09  Amazing Spider-Man #588 -  61,334  ( +2.0%)
03/09  Amazing Spider-Man #589 -  58,832  ( -4.1%)
04/09  Amazing Spider-Man #590 -  66,415  (+12.9%)
04/09  Amazing Spider-Man #591 -  60,508  ( -8.9%)
04/09  Amazing Spider-Man #592 -  65,940  ( +9.0%)
05/09  Amazing Spider-Man #593 -  58,363  (-11.5%)
05/09  Amazing Spider-Man #594 -  58,464  ( +0.2%)
05/09  Amazing Spider-Man #595 -  71,837  (+22.9%)
06/09  Amazing Spider-Man #596 -  63,525  (-11.6%)
06/09  Amazing Spider-Man #597 -  61,646  ( -3.0%)
06/09  Amazing Spider-Man #598 -  61,585  ( -0.0%)
07/09  Amazing Spider-Man #599 -  72,412  (+17.6%)
07/09  Amazing Spider-Man #600 - 116,857  (+61.4%)
08/09  Amazing Spider-Man #601 -  74,279  (-36.4%)
08/09  Amazing Spider-Man #602 -  71,532  ( -3.7%)
08/09  Amazing Spider-Man #603 -  71,051  ( -0.7%)
09/09  Amazing Spider-Man #604 -  63,435  (-10.7%)
09/09  Amazing Spider-Man #605 -  62,831  ( -1.0%)
09/09  Amazing Spider-Man #606 -  70,177  (+11.7%)
09/09  Amazing Spider-Man #607 -  62,570  (-10.8%)
10/09  Amazing Spider-Man #608 -  72,035  (+15.1%)
10/09  Amazing Spider-Man #609 -  61,176  (-15.1%)
11/09  Amazing Spider-Man #610 -  61,170  ( -0.0%)
11/09  Amazing Spider-Man #611 -  64,514  ( +5.5%)
11/09  Amazing Spider-Man #612 -  68,459  ( +6.1%)
11/09  Amazing Spider-Man #613 -  64,499  ( -5.8%)
                                  6 mnth  (+10.3%)
                                  1 year  ( -6.5%)
                                  2 year  (  --- )
                                  3 year  (-45.7%)
                                  4 year  (-19.0%)
                                  5 year  (-26.0%)

Four issues this month, thanks to issue #609 slipping from October. AMAZING is still making heavy use of variant covers, but issue #611 isn’t one of them. The 5% climb seems to be attributable to a guest appearance by Deadpool, written by Joe Kelly.

Issue #612, on the other hand, is the first part of the “Gauntlet” storyline, and has two variants: one by Adi Granov, and a 1:15 by Ed McGuinness. Issue #613 has a 1:15 variant by Joe Quinones. Still, not a bad month, all told.

16. ASTONISHING X-MEN
11/04  Astonishing X-Men #6  - 134,840
11/05  ---
11/06  Astonishing X-Men #18 - 118,285
11/07  Astonishing X-Men #23 - 112,920 
=====
11/08  ---
12/08  ---
01/09  Astonishing X-Men #28 -  72,610  (-16.3%)
02/09  ---
03/09  ---
04/09  Astonishing X-Men #29 -  67,774  ( -6.7%)
05/09  ---
06/09  Astonishing X-Men #30 -  64,608  ( -4.7%)
07/09  ---
08/09  ---
09/09  ---
10/09  Astonishing X-Men #31 -  67,064  ( +3.8%)
11/09  Astonishing X-Men #32 -  62,154  ( -7.3%)
                                6 mnth  (  --- )
                                1 year  (  --- )
                                2 year  (-45.0%)
                                3 year  (-47.5%)
                                4 year  (  --- )
                                5 year  (-53.9%)

Now some way adrift of UNCANNY. This issue has a 1:15 “Super Hero Squad” variant cover, but that compares to the October issue having both a 1:25 incentive and a 1:100 wraparound sketch variant. With that sort of firepower, it’s actually surprising that the drop is so small.

As we’ll see, October’s 1:200 variant on HULK #16 seems to have had no visible effect on sales either. It may be that ratios like this are simply too high to affect sales, because retailers don’t believe they can justify the cost of upping their orders to get the variant cover.

18. ULTIMATE COMICS AVENGERS
08/09  U.C. Avengers #1 - 99,701
09/09  U.C. Avengers #2 - 68,597  (-31.2%)
10/09  U.C. Avengers #3 - 62,716  ( -8.6%)
11/09  U.C. Avengers #4 - 59,023  ( -5.9%)

Levelling out somewhat, but clearly not in the same league as ULTIMATES. It remains to be seen whether this is because readers and retailers are treating ULTIMATE COMICS AVENGERS as a lesser title, or alternatively whether it reflects a general decline in interest in the imprint. It’ll be very interesting to see what happens when ULTIMATE X comes out.

20. DARK REIGN: THE LIST
09/09  Avengers        - 64,059
09/09  X-Men           - 56,853
09/09  Daredevil       - 45,092
10/09  Wolverine       - 45,959
10/09  Hulk            - 41,695
10/09  Secret Warriors - 37,890
10/09  Punisher        - 36,791
11/09  Spider-Man      - 56,214

After a slightly anaemic performance, THE LIST ends with fairly strong sales for the Spider-Man issue – though still below what they’d have achieved by simply selling it as an extra issue of AMAZING SPIDER-MAN. The X-Men issue picks up re-orders of 2,984, which is enough to scrape the November chart at number 292. They’re added in to the figure above.

21. INVINCIBLE IRON MAN
11/04  Iron Man #1             - 68,992
11/05  ---
11/06  Iron Man #13            - 76,800
11/07  ---
=====
11/08  Invincible Iron Man #7  - 49,356  ( -7.5%)
12/08  Invincible Iron Man #8  - 56,708  (+14.9%)
01/09  Invincible Iron Man #9  - 52,364  ( -7.7%)
02/09  Invincible Iron Man #10 - 56,381  ( +7.7%)
03/09  Invincible Iron Man #11 - 52,165  ( -7.5%)
04/09  Invincible Iron Man #12 - 51,774  ( -0.7%)
05/09  Invincible Iron Man #13 - 51,311  ( -0.9%)
06/09  Invincible Iron Man #14 - 53,229  ( +3.7%)
07/09  Invincible Iron Man #15 - 50,554  ( -5.0%)
08/09  Invincible Iron Man #16 - 53,782  ( +6.4%)
09/09  Invincible Iron Man #17 - 47,182  (-12.3%)
09/09  Invincible Iron Man #18 - 48,039  ( +1.8%)
10/09  Invincible Iron Man #19 - 47,178  ( -1.8%)
11/09  Invincible Iron Man #20 - 55,160  (+16.9%)
                                 6 mnth  ( +7.5%)
                                 1 year  (+11.8%)
                                 2 year  (  --- )
                                 3 year  (-28.2%)
                                 4 year  (  --- )
                                 5 year  (-20.0%)

This has two variant covers, which probably accounts for the increase. Admittedly, the October issue had a 1:15 Super Hero Squad variant, but the Squad covers seem to have been generally ineffective in boosting sales.

23. X-FORCE
11/08  X-Force #9  - 57,241  ( -4.2%)
12/08  X-Force #10 - 58,801  ( +2.7%)
01/09  X-Force #11 - 51,817  (-11.9%)
02/09  X-Force #12 - 51,449  ( -0.7%)
03/09  X-Force #13 - 51,797  ( +0.7%)
04/09  X-Force #14 - 62,674  (+21.0%)
05/09  X-Force #15 - 58,340  ( -6.9%)
06/09  X-Force #16 - 58,818  ( +0.8%)
07/09  X-Force #17 - 61,104  ( +3.9%)
08/09  X-Force #18 - 56,421  ( -7.7%)
09/09  X-Force #19 - 49,817  (-11.7%)
10/09  X-Force #20 - 48,921  ( -1.8%)
11/09  X-Force #21 - 53,967  (+10.3%)
                     6 mnth  ( -7.5%)
                     1 year  ( -5.7%)

This is part of the Necrosha-X crossover, and it also has a 1:15 variant cover pastiching “Interview with a Vampire.”

25. THOR
11/07  Thor #4   - 106,541
=====
11/08  ---
12/08  Thor #12  - 73,784  ( -6.2%)
01/09  ---
02/09  Thor #600 - 96,718  (+31.1%)
03/09  ---
04/09  Thor #601 - 82,742  (-14.5%)
05/09  ---
06/09  Thor #602 - 69,568  (-15.3%)
07/09  ---
08/09  ---
09/09  Thor #603 - 65,265  ( -6.2%)
10/09  ---
11/09  Finale    - 53,566  (-17.9%)
                   6 mnth  (  --- )
                   1 year  (  --- )
                   2 year  (-49.7%)

This one-shot, which ends the J Michael Straczynski run, is effectively issue #603A, so I’ve included it in the regular listing. It comes with both 1:20 and 1:50 variant covers, so the downward lurch in sales is cause for concern, especially when THOR (without Straczynski) is expected to play a major role in the SIEGE crossover.

26. HULK
11/08  Hulk #8  - 90,776  (-17.7%)
12/08  Hulk #9  - 87,786  ( -3.3%)
01/09  ---
02/09  Hulk #10 - 77,217  (-12.0%)
03/09  ---
04/09  Hulk #11 - 82,726  ( +7.1%)
05/09  Hulk #12 - 73,105  (-11.6%)
06/09  ---
07/09  ---
08/09  Hulk #13 - 71,369  ( -2.4%)
08/09  Hulk #14 - 77,455  ( +8.5%)
09/09  Hulk #15 - 58,667  (-24.3%)
10/09  Hulk #16 - 56,811  ( -3.2%)
11/09  Hulk #17 - 52,653  ( -7.3%)
                  6 mnth  (-28.0%)
                  1 year  (-42.0%)

This has a 1:15 Ed McGuinness variant, compared to 1:15 and 1:200 variants on the previous issue. It looks very much as though the 1:200 variant had no impact on sales, presumably because retailers were not prepared to order so many extra copies just to get a single copy which they would then have to sell at an inordinate price in order to make their money back. Obviously, that makes it a rather ineffective gimmick.

The continuing decline in HULK sales must be cause for concern, given that Marvel have expanded the line and are due to go into a major crossover. If you count this book as a continuation of INCREDIBLE HULK, then the number hasn’t been this low since March 2007, shortly before WORLD WAR HULK, when the book was hovering around the 47K mark – but without the benefit of variant covers.

28. DARK WOLVERINE
11/04  Wolverine #22      - 81,841
11/05  Wolverine #36      - 85,969
11/06  Wolverine #48      - 99,991
11/07  Wolverine #59      - 65,725
=====
11/08  Wolverine #69      - 93,914  ( -3.5%)
12/08  Wolverine #70      - 98,915  ( +5.3%)
01/09  ---
02/09  ---
03/09  Wolverine #71      - 91,229  ( -7.8%)
04/09  ---
05/09  Wolverine #72      - 91,333  ( +0.1%)
05/09  Wolverine #73      - 83,324  ( -8.8%)
06/09  Wolverine #74      - 66,186  (-20.6%)
06/09  Dark Wolverine #75 - 80,780  (+22.0%)
07/09  Dark Wolverine #76 - 74,017  ( -8.4%)
08/09  Dark Wolverine #77 - 68,593  ( -7.3%)
09/09  Dark Wolverine #78 - 60,702  (-11.5%)
10/09  Dark Wolverine #79 - 60,076  ( -1.0%)
11/09  Dark Wolverine #80 - 52,394  (-12.8%)
                            6 mnth  (-37.1%)
                            1 year  (-44.2%)
                            2 year  (-20.3%)
                            3 year  (-47.6%)
                            4 year  (-39.1%)
                            5 year  (-36.0%)

This has a 1:15 variant cover, compared to 1:10 and 1:15 variants on the previous issue. Nonetheless, the 13% drop is concerning.

We saw something similar with INCREDIBLE HERCULES, another “stealth launch” where a new character took over an existing title in circumstances where it might have been a short-term gimmick. After a while, readers twigged that it was a new series, and sales started dropping to the level you’d expect for the new character. So if this is viewed as a new Daken book which inherited WOLVERINE’s numbering, the drop isn’t so surprising.

What’s more interesting is that readers don’t appear to have accepted WOLVERINE: WEAPON X as a replacement for the WOLVERINE title, treating it instead as an unwanted third monthly book. Consequently, we’re now in a situation where the top selling Wolverine series is WOLVERINE ORIGINS, with orders at around 38K. This is not good. Frankly, even DARK WOLVERINE’ 52K is lousy by Wolverine standards, but it’s closer to the mark.

Of course, it’s always possible that this was always intended to be a temporary thing during Dark Reign – though that would still leave them with some rebuilding to do, and a third monthly title that hasn’t taken.

By the way, if you’re wondering, it’ll be some time before Marvel can pull a renumbering stunt with this book. WOLVERINE had reached issue #189 when it was arbitrarily rebooted in 2004, so this would be issue #269. Throw in WOLVERINE ORIGINS and WOLVERINE: WEAPON X, on the other hand – which would be stupid, but no more stupid than some of the things they’ve done – and you overshoot issue #300 by a mile. I suppose they could renumber to issue #275, but it’s not exactly anniversary material.

32. X-MEN LEGACY
11/04  X-Men #164        -  88,620
11/05  X-Men #177        -  78,405
11/06  X-Men #193        -  80,102
11/07  X-Men #205        - 101,401
=====
11/08  X-Men Legacy #218 -  63,512  ( -3.6%)
12/08  X-Men Legacy #219 -  60,587  ( -4.6%)
01/09  X-Men Legacy #220 -  59,286  ( -2.1%)
02/09  X-Men Legacy #221 -  56,517  ( -4.7%)
03/09  X-Men Legacy #222 -  55,606  ( -1.6%)
04/09  X-Men Legacy #223 -  71,935  (+29.4%)
05/09  X-Men Legacy #224 -  54,008  (-24.9%)
06/09  X-Men Legacy #225 -  58,374  ( +8.1%)
07/09  X-Men Legacy #226 -  59,298  ( +1.6%)
08/09  X-Men Legacy #227 -  63,316  ( +6.8%)
09/09  ---
10/09  X-Men Legacy #228 -  52,855  (-16.5%)
11/09  X-Men Legacy #229 -  50,789  ( -3.9%)
                            6 mnth  ( -6.0%)
                            1 year  (-20.0%)
                            2 year  (-49.9%)
                            3 year  (-36.6%)
                            4 year  (-35.2%)
                            5 year  (-42.7%)

This is the second straight issue without a variant cover, and yes, I’m afraid in this day and age, that’s notable. Sales are still drifting down.

33. DARK X-MEN
11/09  Dark X-Men #1 of 5 - 50,167

Miniseries about the ersatz X-Men team that Norman Osborn created in the “Utopia” crossover between DARK AVENGERS and UNCANNY X-MEN. It also features the return of Nate Grey from the 1990s X-MAN series. Sales are pretty good.

34. MIGHTY AVENGERS
11/07  ---
=====
11/08  ---
12/08  Mighty Avengers #20 -  86,085  ( -1.3%)
01/09  ---
02/09  Mighty Avengers #21 -  76,247  (-11.4%)
02/09  Mighty Avengers #22 -  72,865  ( -4.4%)
03/09  Mighty Avengers #23 -  71,333  ( -2.1%)
04/09  Mighty Avengers #24 -  68,231  ( -4.3%)
05/09  ---
06/09  Mighty Avengers #25 -  65,010  ( -4.7%)
06/09  Mighty Avengers #26 -  63,178  ( -2.8%)
07/09  Mighty Avengers #27 -  64,680  ( +2.4%)
08/09  Mighty Avengers #28 -  61,323  ( -5.2%)
09/09  Mighty Avengers #29 -  54,476  (-11.2%)
10/09  Mighty Avengers #30 -  52,708  ( -3.2%)
11/09  Mighty Avengers #31 -  49,480  ( -6.1%)
                              6 mnth  (  --- )
                              1 year  (  --- )
                              2 year  (  --- )

Declining at some speed, but as I say, a revamp of the Avengers books is clearly imminent.

36. ULTIMATE COMICS SPIDER-MAN
11/04  Ult. Spider-Man #68  -  91,075
11/05  Ult. Spider-Man #86  -  76,864
11/06  Ult. Spider-Man #102 -  77,121
11/07  Ult. Spider-Man #116 -  61,534
=====
11/08  Ult. Spider-Man #128 -  52,187  (  -0.8%)
12/08  Ult. Spider-Man #129 -  51,071  (  -2.1%)
01/09  Ult. Spider-Man #130 -  49,637  (  -2.8%)
02/09  Ult. Spider-Man #131 -  49,565  (  -0.1%)
03/09  ---
04/09  ---
05/09  Ult. Spider-Man #132 -  50,144  (  +1.2%)
06/09  Ult. Spider-Man #133 -  57,364  ( +14.4%)06/09  USM: Requiem #1 of 2 -  44,988  ( -21.6%)
07/09  USM: Requiem #2 of 2 -  41,374  (  -8.0%)
08/09  U.C. Spider-Man #1   -  86,008  (+107.9%)
09/09  U.C. Spider-Man #2   -  57,477  ( -33.2%)
10/09  U.C. Spider-Man #3   -  52,813  (  -8.1%)
11/09  U.C. Spider-Man #4   -  49,106  (  -7.0%)
                               6 mnth  (  -2.1%)
                               1 year  (  -5.9%)
                               2 year  ( -20.2%)
                               3 year  ( -36.3%)
                               4 year  ( -36.1%)
                               5 year  ( -46.1%)

We are now officially back where we started, only four months into the relaunch. And since it’s dropping at 7% a month, there’s a good chance the book will be considerably lower in short order.

Before putting all the blame on ULTIMATUM, though, it’s worth noting that Marvel have relaunched quite a few books recently, for no greater reason than the arrival of a new creative team, and it generally hasn’t made a lasting difference. It’s one thing to renumber a book if you’re changing the lead character, as they did with BLACK PANTHER; it’s rather more questionable to start fresh from issue #1 just because a new creative team is taking over EXILES or MOON KNIGHT. At any rate, merely starting a book over from issue #1 no longer seems to be a reliable method of boosting sales beyond the very short term.

37. DEADPOOL
11/08  Deadpool #4  - 49,577  (-19.8%)
12/08  Deadpool #5  - 46,856  ( -5.5%)
01/09  Deadpool #6  - 46,549  ( -0.7%)
02/09  Deadpool #7  - 44,082  ( -5.3%)
03/09  Deadpool #8  - 53,109  (+20.5%)
04/09  Deadpool #9  - 54,556  ( +2.7%)
05/09  Deadpool #10 - 56,123  ( +2.9%)
06/09  Deadpool #11 - 55,343  ( -1.4%)
07/09  Deadpool #12 - 58,807  ( +6.3%)
08/09  Deadpool #13 - 55,442  ( -5.7%)
08/09  Deadpool #14 - 50,263  ( -9.3%)
09/09  Deadpool #15 - 50,479  ( +0.4%)
10/09  Deadpool #16 - 46,288  ( -8.3%)
11/09  Deadpool #17 - 46,765  ( +1.0%)
                      6 mnth  (-16.7%)
                      1 year  ( -5.7%)

There’s no variant on this issue, but the slight uptick might reflect the fact that this storyline ties the character more closely to the higher-selling X-Men.

44. INCREDIBLE HULK
11/04  ---
11/05  Incredible Hulk #88  -  41,141
11/06  Incredible Hulk #100 -  84,169
11/07  Incredible Hulk #111 - 101,536
11/08  Hulk #8              -  90,776 
=====
07/09  Incredible Hulk #600 -  92,343
08/09  Incredible Hulk #601 -  64,120  (-30.6%)
09/09  Incredible Hulk #602 -  51,582  (-19.6%)
10/09  Incredible Hulk #603 -  49,126  ( -4.8%)
11/09  Incredible Hulk #604 -  40,652  (-17.2%)
                               6 mnth  (  --- )
                               1 year  (-55.2%)
                               2 year  (-60.0%)
                               3 year  (-51.7%)
                               4 year  (-51.7%)
                               5 year  ( -1.2%)

There’s no variant cover on this, in contrast to the previous issue, which had two. So the 17% drop is probably exaggerated. Even so, there are clearly big drops going on here, and the market seems reluctant to support a second ongoing Hulk title.

If you regard this book as the successor to the previous INCREDIBLE HULK title, then these are the lowest orders since January 2006, immediately before the “Planet HulK” storyline led to a resurgence in interest in the character. In fairness, this must have seemed like a much better idea when Jeph Loeb’s HULK was a huge hit; it’s bad timing, more than anything else, that has led to a spin-off title emerging just as sales went into decline. But that’s where we are.

45. DAREDEVIL
11/04  Daredevil #67  - 51,347
11/05  Daredevil #79  - 44,250
11/06  Daredevil #91  - 49,335
11/07  Daredevil #102 - 45,030
=====
11/08  Daredevil #113 - 41,200  (-10.8%)
12/08  Daredevil #114 - 44,351  ( +7.6%)
01/09  Daredevil #115 - 40,214  ( -9.3%)
02/09  ---
03/09  Daredevil #116 - 41,261  ( +2.6%)
03/09  Daredevil #117 - 41,046  ( -0.5%)
04/09  Daredevil #118 - 44,982  ( +9.6%)
05/09  ---
06/09  Daredevil #119 - 41,403  ( -8.0%)
07/09  ---
08/09  Daredevil #500 - 73,486  (+77.5%)
09/09  ---
10/09  Daredevil #501 - 45,181  (-38.5%)
11/09  Daredevil #502 - 40,354  (-10.7%)
                        6 mnth  (  --- )
                        1 year  ( -2.1%)
                        2 year  (-10.4%)
                        3 year  (-18.2%)
                        4 year  ( -8.8%)
                        5 year  (-21.4%)

Back to regular sales after the anniversary (and renumbering) blip. Last issue had a variant cover, which further exaggerates the decline. Screen out issues #500-501, though, and things look okay.

46. DEADPOOL TEAM-UP
10/09  Deadpool #900         - 51,337
11/09  Deadpool Team-Up #899 - 39,584  (-22.9%)

A third monthly Deadpool series, this time picking up its numbering from October’s spoof DEADPOOL #900 and counting backwards. The solicitations confused quite a few people, which may have made a difference to sales; it’s also hard to judge whether retailers have ordered this as a first issue, or treated it as a second issue drop. I have my doubts that the market will support three Deadpool titles a month, but we shall see.

47. FANTASTIC FOUR
11/04  Fantastic Four #520 - 51,685
11/05  Fantastic Four #532 - 47,771
11/06  ---
11/07  Fantastic Four #551 - 58,617
=====
11/08  Fantastic Four #561 - 61,331  ( +5.3%)
12/08  Fantastic Four #562 - 54,062  (-11.9%)
01/09  Fantastic Four #563 - 52,747  ( -2.4%)
02/09  Fantastic Four #564 - 49,520  ( -6.1%)
03/09  Fantastic Four #565 - 48,378  ( -2.3%)
04/09  ---
05/09  Fantastic Four #566 - 46,653  ( -3.6%)
06/09  Fantastic Four #567 - 46,225  ( -0.9%)
07/09  Fantastic Four #568 - 45,828  ( -0.9%)
07/09  Fantastic Four #569 - 44,710  ( -2.4%)
08/09  Fantastic Four #570 - 62,401  (+39.6%)
09/09  Fantastic Four #571 - 47,468  (-23.4%)
10/09  Fantastic Four #572 - 41,939  (-11.6%)
11/09  Fantastic Four #573 - 39,433  ( -6.0%)
                             6 mnth  (-15.5%)
                             1 year  (-35.7%)
                             2 year  (-32.7%)
                             3 year  (  --- )
                             4 year  (-17.5%)
                             5 year  (-23.7%)

This has a variant cover, but so did the previous issue, so the decline is probably legitimate. (Actually, the October issue had two variants, but one of them was a Super Hero Squad cover, and those don’t seem to have much impact on sales.)

Sales are clearly down under the new creative team, but that’s not entirely surprising since they’re much less well known.

48. WOLVERINE: ORIGINS
11/06  Origins #8  - 91,585
11/07  Origins #19 - 55,999
=====
11/08  Origins #30 - 50,359  (-14.4%)
12/08  Origins #31 - 45,043  (-10.6%)
01/09  Origins #32 - 44,697  ( -0.8%)
02/09  Origins #33 - 44,935  ( +0.5%)
03/09  Origins #34 - 45,579  ( +1.4%)
04/09  Origins #35 - 44,976  ( -1.3%)
05/09  Origins #36 - 45,451  ( +1.1%)
06/09  Origins #37 - 44,930  ( -1.1%)
07/09  Origins #38 - 47,211  ( +5.1%)
08/09  Origins #39 - 44,968  ( -4.8%)
09/09  Origins #40 - 42,724  ( -5.0%)
10/09  Origins #41 - 39,453  ( -7.7%)
11/09  Origins #42 - 37,903  ( -3.9%)
                     6 mnth  (-16.6%)
                     1 year  (-24.7%)
                     2 year  (-32.3%)
                     3 year  (-58.6%)

On the face of it, sales are levelling out somewhat, but that’s actually confused by the fact that issue #40 had a variant cover. It’s odd that sales have started dropping after being so solid earlier in the year, but in any event it’s largely academic at this point; Daniel Way’s storyline seems to be entering the home stretch.

49. DEADPOOL: MERC WITH A MOUTH
07/09  Merc With A Mouth #1 - 59,628
08/09  Merc With A Mouth #2 - 51,147  (-14.2%)
09/09  Merc With A Mouth #3 - 43,855  (-14.3%)
10/09  Merc With A Mouth #4 - 40,154  ( -8.4%)
11/09  Merc With A Mouth #5 - 37,781  ( -5.9%)

Dropping off rather quickly for the fifth issue, but still doing pretty well by the standards of Marvel’s recent launches.

50. WOLVERINE: WEAPON X
04/09  Weapon X #1 - 97,896
05/09  Weapon X #2 - 59,192  (-39.5%)
06/09  Weapon X #3 - 51,076  (-13.7%)
07/09  ---
08/09  Weapon X #4 - 49,284  ( -3.5%)
09/09  Weapon X #5 - 40,975  (-16.9%)
10/09  Weapon X #6 - 38,446  ( -6.2%)
11/09  Weapon X #7 - 36,108  ( -6.1%)
                     6 mnth  (-39.0%)

Last issue had a variant cover and this one doesn’t, so underlying sales are probably steadier than they appear. The book has basically dropped to the same range as WOLVERINE: ORIGINS.

ULTIMATE COMICS ARMOR WARS
09/09  U.C. Armor Wars #1 of 4 - 51,035
10/09  U.C. Armor Wars #2 of 4 - 34,141  (-33.1%)
11/09  ---

This didn’t ship in November. But as I pointed out last month, the initial sales on issue #2 were remarkably low, leading me to suggest that a distribution glitch might have led some of them to fall into the November chart. And indeed, that’s what seems to have happened, as issue #2 appears at number 214 on the November chart with a further 7,054 sales. Those are added into the number above.

55. NEW MUTANTS
05/09  New Mutants #1 - 60,972
06/09  New Mutants #2 - 43,230  (-29.1%)
07/09  New Mutants #3 - 42,961  ( -0.6%)
08/09  New Mutants #4 - 38,558  (-10.2%)
09/09  New Mutants #5 - 31,502  (-18.3%)
10/09  New Mutants #6 - 34,967  (+11.0%)
11/09  New Mutants #7 - 33,328  ( -4.7%)
                        6 mnth  (-45.3%)

The second part of a Necrosha-X tie-in. The October issue also had the benefit of a variant cover, so the drop is actually fairly modest.

57. DARK TOWER
11/07  ---
=====
11/08  Treachery #3 of 6       -  58,279  (-11.3%)
12/08  Treachery #4 of 6       -  53,735  ( -7.8%)
01/09  Treachery #5 of 6       -  50,683  ( -5.7%)
02/09  Treachery #6 of 6       -  48,127  ( -5.0%)
03/09  ---
04/09  Sorcerer #1             -  39,210  (-18.5%)
05/09  Fall of Gilead #1 of 6  -  43,580  (+11.1%)
06/09  Fall of Gilead #2 of 6  -  39,978  ( -8.3%)
07/09  Fall of Gilead #3 of 6  -  36,982  ( -7.5%)
08/09  Fall of Gilead #4 of 6  -  35,607  ( -3.7%)
09/09  Fall of Gilead #5 of 6  -  34,522  ( -3.0%)
10/09  ---
11/09  Fall of Gilead #6 of 6 -   32,531  ( -5.8%)
                                  6 mnth  (-25.4%)
                                  1 year  (-44.2%)
                                  2 year  (  --- )

Another DARK TOWER series wraps up, and sales remain on a clear downward trend.

58. SPIDER-WOMAN
09/09  Spider-Woman #1 - 50,344
10/09  Spider-Woman #2 - 37,255  (-26.0%)
11/09  Spider-Woman #3 - 32,437  (-12.9%)

Issue #1 picks up re-orders of 3,142 to chart at number 289; those are added in above. Sales are levelling out, at least.

60. WEB OF SPIDER-MAN
10/09  Web of Spider-Man #1 - 58,412
11/09  Web of Spider-Man #2 - 32,093  (-45.1%)

Ah. I was surprised by how well WEB OF SPIDER-MAN #1 sold in October, since it’s essentially a repackaging of the low-selling AMAZING SPIDER-MAN FAMILY. This month we get a huge second-issue crash, taking the book more into the territory I would have expected. (Issue #1 also had a 1:10 variant, for whatever that’s worth.)

I’m inclined to say that this drop is largely due to issue #1 being overordered, and so I wouldn’t panic too much about it. It’s still a vast improvement from the book’s previous incarnation.

61. SECRET WARRIORS
02/09  Secret Warriors #1  - 62,764
03/09  Secret Warriors #2  - 48,086  (-23.4%)
04/09  Secret Warriors #3  - 50,126  ( +4.2%)
05/09  Secret Warriors #4  - 42,781  (-14.7%)
06/09  Secret Warriors #5  - 40,849  ( -4.5%)
07/09  Secret Warriors #6  - 41,749  ( +2.2%)
08/09  Secret Warriors #7  - 38,990  ( -6.6%)
09/09  Secret Warriors #8  - 33,893  (-13.1%)
10/09  Secret Warriors #9  - 36,385  ( +7.4%)
11/09  Secret Warriors #10 - 31,567  (-13.2%)
                             6 mnth  (-26.2%)

Issue #9 had a variant cover, so the month-to-month drop is vastly exaggerated. A fairer comparison is issue #8, and on that basis, it’s not looking too bad.

62. THUNDERBOLTS
11/04  New Thunderbolts #1  - 45,792
11/05  New Thunderbolts #15 - 25,245
11/06  Thunderbolts #108    - 27,890
11/07  ---
=====
11/08  Thunderbolts #126    - 34,640  (-16.2%)
12/08  Thunderbolts #127    - 36,378  ( +5.0%)
01/09  Thunderbolts #128    - 45,745  (+25.7%)
02/09  Thunderbolts #129    - 45,401  ( -0.7%)
03/09  Thunderbolts #130    - 52,264  (+15.1%)
04/09  Thunderbolts #131    - 49,155  ( -5.9%)
05/09  Thunderbolts #132    - 43,911  (-10.7%)
06/09  Thunderbolts #133    - 39,479  (-10.1%)
07/09  Thunderbolts #134    - 40,885  ( +3.6%)
08/09  ---
09/09  Thunderbolts #135    - 39,961  ( -2.3%)
09/09  Thunderbolts #136    - 34,031  (-14.8%)
10/09  Thunderbolts #137    - 32,409  ( -4.8%)
11/09  Thunderbolts #138    - 31,238  ( -3.6%)
                              6 mnth  (-28.9%)
                              1 year  ( -9.8%)
                              2 year  (  --- )
                              3 year  (+12.0%)
                              4 year  (+23.7%)
                              5 year  (-31.8%)

Clearly in decline, but the book is plainly getting some sort of revamp after the end of “Dark Reign.”

64. BLACK WIDOW: DEADLY ORIGIN
11/09  Deadly Origin #1 of 4 - 29,352

Precisely what it says: a Black Widow origin mniseries. Not a bad number, actually.

65. CABLE
11/08  Cable #8  - 37,315  (-13.9%)
12/08  Cable #9  - 34,527  ( -7.5%)
01/09  Cable #10 - 33,319  ( -3.5%)
02/09  Cable #11 - 31,817  ( -4.5%)
03/09  Cable #12 - 32,407  ( +1.9%)
04/09  Cable #13 - 47,638  (+47.0%)
05/09  Cable #14 - 52,245  ( +9.7%)
06/09  Cable #15 - 49,912  ( -4.5%)
07/09  Cable #16 - 39,646  (-20.6%)
08/09  Cable #17 - 39,424  ( -0.6%)
09/09  Cable #18 - 33,958  (-13.9%)
10/09  Cable #19 - 31,009  ( -8.7%)
11/09  Cable #20 - 29,245  ( -5.7%)
                   6 mnth  (-44.0%)
                   1 year  (-21.6%)

CABLE hasn’t had a variant cover since issue #17, so the drops over the last couple of months are real. This isn’t very encouraging, but a crossover, and most likely a return to the mainstream Marvel Universe afer two years in alternate timelines, are imminent.

67. PUNISHERMAX  [Max]
11/04  Punisher #13     - 42,088
11/05  Punisher #27     - 36,072
11/06  Punisher #41     - 33,164
11/07  Punisher #52     - 32,909 
=====
11/08  Punisher #64     - 24,660  ( -4.9%)
12/08  Punisher #65     - 23,881  ( -3.2%)
01/09  Frank Castle #66 - 22,806  ( -4.5%)
02/09  Frank Castle #67 - 22,267  ( -2.4%)
03/09  Frank Castle #68 - 22,255  ( -0.0%)
04/09  Frank Castle #69 - 21,843  ( -1.9%)
05/09  Frank Castle #70 - 21,864  ( +0.1%)
06/09  Frank Castle #71 - 21,319  ( -2.5%)
07/09  Frank Castle #72 - 21,049  ( -1.3%)
08/09  Frank Castle #73 - 20,375  ( -3.2%)
09/09  Frank Castle #74 - 20,259  ( -0.6%)
10/09  Frank Castle #75 - 22,210  ( +9.6%)
11/09  PunisherMax #1   - 29,119  (+31.1%)
                          6 mnth  (+33.2%)
                          1 year  (+18.1%)
                          2 year  (-11.5%)
                          3 year  (-12.2%)
                          4 year  (-19.3%)
                          5 year  (-30.8%)

Relaunch of the Max version of the Punisher, which went into decline after Garth Ennis left. This version has Jason Aaron and Steve Dillon, which may well be a bigger draw for lapse Ennis readers. First month sales are encouraging, but as we’ll see below, I could have said the same about MOON KNIGHT (and in fact, the Marvel Universe version of this book got a much bigger bounce when it relaunched earlier in 2009). It all depends on how well the book can hold on to these extra sales.

Unusually for the Max imprint, this issue has a 1:10 variant.

68. AVENGERS: THE INITIATIVE
11/07  Initiative #7 -  66,455
=====
11/08  ---
12/08  Initiative #19 - 52,558  (-14.1%)
12/08  Initiative #20 - 51,230  ( -2.5%)
01/09  Initiative #21 - 47,734  ( -6.8%)
02/09  Initiative #22 - 46,932  ( -1.7%)
03/09  ---
04/09  Initiative #23 - 45,146  ( -3.8%)
05/09  Initiative #24 - 42,510  ( -5.8%)
06/09  Initiative #25 - 40,101  ( -5.7%)
07/09  Initiative #26 - 38,215  ( -4.7%)
08/09  Initiative #27 - 39,014  ( +2.1%)
09/09  Initiative #28 - 33,855  (-13.2%)
10/09  Initiative #29 - 31,412  ( -7.2%)
11/09  Initiative #30 - 28,688  ( -8.7%)
                        6 mnth  (-32.5%)
                        1 year  (  --- )
                        2 year  (-56.8%)

Another satellite Avengers book in clear decline, but almost guaranteed to get a new direction once “Dark Reign” is out of the way.

70. REALM OF KINGS
11/09  Realm of Kings - 28,181

One-shot leading in to the new cosmic crossover, a direct sequel to the recently completed “War of Kings.”

75. PSYLOCKE
11/09  Psylocke #1 of 4 - 26,144

That’s less than a Black Widow origin miniseries, you’ll note. I doubt whether the X-books brand is strong enough at the moment to support (or justify) spin-offs like this.

77. THE STAND
11/08  Captain Trips #3 of 5  - 55,076  (-14.5%)
12/08  Captain Trips #4 of 5  - 49,211  (-10.6%)
01/09  Captain Trips #5 of 5  - 46,702  ( -5.1%)
02/09  ---
03/09  Nightmares #1 of 5     - 47,473  ( +1.7%)
04/09  Nightmares #2 of 5     - 38,909  (-18.0%)
05/09  Nightmares #3 of 5     - 36,364  ( -6.5%)
06/09  ---
07/09  Nightmares #4 of 5     - 34,292  ( -5.7%)
08/09  Nightmares #5 of 5     - 31,506  ( -8.1%)10/09  Soul Survivors #1 of 5 - 27,725  (-12.0%)
11/09  Soul Survivors #2 of 5 - 25,600  ( -7.7%)
                                6 mnth  (-29.6%)
                                1 year  (-53.5%)

Continuing its downward plunge; SOUL SURVIVORS didn’t even get a token sales bump for issue #1. But of course, comics like this should in theory be well placed to sell through other avenues, or in the collected format.

78. ASSAULT ON NEW OLYMPUS
11/09  Assault on New Olympus - 25,558

Essentially an extra issue of INCREDIBLE HERCULES, this is a one-shot leading into that book’s next storyline.

79. MARVELOUS LAND OF OZ
12/08  Wizard of Oz #1 of 8   - 25,116
01/09  Wizard of Oz #2 of 8   - 17,608  (-29.9%)
02/09  Wizard of Oz #3 of 8   - 15,668  (-11.0%)
03/09  Wizard of Oz #4 of 8   - 16,159  ( +3.1%)
04/09  
Wizard of Oz #5 of 8   - 16,110  ( -0.3%)
05/09  Wizard of Oz #6 of 8   - 15,774  ( -2.1%)
06/09  Wizard of Oz #7 of 8   - 15,473  ( -1.9%)
07/09  Wizard of Oz #8 of 8   - 15,487  ( +0.1%)
08/09  ---
09/09  ---
10/09  ---
11/09  Marvelous Land #1 of 8 - 25,338  (+63.6%)
                                6 mnth  (+60.6%)

A sequel to the well-received WIZARD OF OZ mini from earlier in the year, which sold in far greater quantities than most all-ages Marvel books. This issue has two variant covers, but the same was true of the first issue of the previous series. Normally diminishing returns set in with a sequel miniseries, so equalling its first issue sales is impressive.

81. X-MEN VS AGENTS OF ATLAS
10/09  X-Men vs Atlas #1 of 2 - 32,743
11/09  X-Men vs Atlas #2 of 2 - 25,222  (-23.0%)

The Agents of Atlas push continues. Bearing in mind that the ongoing AGENTS OF ATLAS title was selling around 18K when it was cancelled, Marvel should be perfectly happy with these numbers.

82. INCREDIBLE HERCULES
11/08  Hercules #123 - 35,780  (-16.6%)
12/08  Hercules #124 - 36,855  ( +3.0%)
01/09  Hercules #125 - 31,888  (-13.5%)
02/09  Hercules #126 - 31,000  ( -2.8%)
03/09  Hercules #127 - 31,890  ( +2.9%)
04/09  Hercules #128 - 33,739  ( +5.8%)
05/09  Hercules #129 - 28,995  (-14.1%)
06/09  Hercules #130 - 27,872  ( -3.9%)
07/09  Hercules #131 - 29,188  ( +4.7%)
08/09  Hercules #132 - 32,680  (+12.0%)
08/09  Hercules #133 - 27,491  (-15.9%)
09/09  Hercules #134 - 25,380  ( -7.7%)
09/09  Hercules #135 - 26,344  ( +3.8%)
10/09  Hercules #136 - 26,447  ( -0.4%)
10/09  Hercules #137 - 23,463  (-11.3%)
11/09  Hercules #138 - 25,116  ( +7.0%)
                       6 mnth  (-13.4%)
                       1 year  (-29.8%)

Rich Johnston has reported that the series ends with issue #150. If that’s true, it’s far enough in the future that it probably indicates a relaunch in the offing. The book has certainly been well enough received.

This issue has a wraparound cover, but no variants. Other possible explanations for the sales boost are the start of the “Assault on New Olympus” storyline, and the arrival of the “Agents of Atlas” back-up strip – which will presumably have brought with it a few AGENTS OF ATLAS readers who weren’t previously reading this title.

83. PUNISHER
11/06  War Journal #1  - 102,727
11/07  War Journal #13 -  41,783
=====
11/08  War Journal #25 -  29,982  (  -5.7%)
12/08  War Journal #26 -  22,423  ( -25.2%)
01/09  Punisher #1     -  49,222  (+119.5%)
02/09  Punisher #2     -  40,928  ( -16.9%)
03/09  Punisher #3     -  37,570  (  -8.2%)
04/09  Punisher #4     -  36,995  (  -1.5%)
05/09  Punisher #5     -  35,621  (  -3.7%)
06/09  Punisher #6     -  32,982  (  -7.4%)
07/09  Punisher #7     -  31,227  (  -5.3%)
08/09  Punisher #8     -  33,057  (  +5.9%)
09/09  Punisher #9     -  28,424  ( -14.1%)
10/09  Punisher #10    -  27,167  (  -4.4%)
11/09  Punisher #11    -  24,900  (  -8.3%)
                          6 mnth  ( -30.1%)
                          1 year  ( -17.0%)
                          2 year  ( -40.4%)
                          3 year  ( -75.8%)

This was relaunched back in January, and initially saw a huge increase (though it helped that the first arc was a Dark Reign tie-in). But it’s already back in the sales territory that got it relaunched. Hmm. In fairness, the month-to-month drop is exaggerated, because the last three issues all had 1:15 variants.

85. REALM OF KINGS: INHUMANS
11/09  Inhumans #1 of 5 - 24,213

86. MARVEL ZOMBIES: EVIL EVOLUTION
11/09  Evil Evolution - 23,751

88. REALM OF KINGS: IMPERIAL GUARD
11/09  Imperial Guard #1 of 5 - 23,450

89. STRANGE
11/09  Strange #1 of 4 - 23,362

A cluster of minis selling about the same amount, so we might as well take them together. The two REALM OF KINGS minis are tie-ins to the latest crossover among the cosmic books. EVIL EVOLUTION is a Marvel Zombies vs Marvel Apes one-shot, eking a little more mileage out of the joke. And STRANGE follows up on the NEW AVENGERS storyline where Dr Strange lost his position as Sorcerer Supreme.

90. VENGEANCE OF THE MOON KNIGHT
11/06  Moon Knight #6  - 74,017
11/07  ---
=====
11/08  Moon Knight #24 - 23,947  ( -5.0%)
12/08  Moon Knight #25 - 23,283  ( -2.8%)
01/09  Moon Knight #26 - 21,796  ( -6.4%)
02/09  Moon Knight #27 - 21,413  ( -1.8%)
03/09  Moon Knight #28 - 20,866  ( -2.6%)
04/09  Moon Knight #29 - 22,689  ( +8.7%)
05/09  Moon Knight #30 - 19,693  (-13.2%)
06/09  ---
07/09  ---
08/09  ---
09/09  Moon Knight #1  - 35,706  (+81.3%)
10/09  Moon Knight #2  - 26,493  (-25.8%)
11/09  Moon Knight #3  - 23,359  (-11.8%)
                         6 mnth  (+18.6%)
                         1 year  ( -2.5%)
                         2 year  (  --- )
                         3 year  (-68.4%)

Another relaunch with an initially promising sales boost, returning almost immediately to its previous numbers. That doesn’t bode well.

92. GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY
11/08  Guardians o/Galaxy #7  - 30,516  (-16.5%)
12/08  Guardians o/Galaxy #8  - 31,564  ( +3.4%)
01/09  Guardians o/Galaxy #9  - 28,502  ( -9.7%)
02/09  Guardians o/Galaxy #10 - 27,648  ( -3.0%)
03/09  Guardians o/Galaxy #11 - 27,415  ( -0.8%)
03/09  Guardians o/Galaxy #12 - 26,764  ( -2.4%)
04/09  Guardians o/Galaxy #13 - 27,107  ( +1.3%)
05/09  Guardians o/Galaxy #14 - 27,130  ( +0.1%)
06/09  Guardians o/Galaxy #15 - 26,808  ( -1.2%)
07/09  Guardians o/Galaxy #16 - 26,605  ( -0.8%)
08/09  Guardians o/Galaxy #17 - 27,893  ( +4.8%)
09/09  Guardians o/Galaxy #18 - 24,896  (-10.7%)
10/09  Guardians o/Galaxy #19 - 23,597  ( -5.2%)
11/09  Guardians o/Galaxy #20 - 22,965  ( -2.7%)
                                6 mnth  (-15.4%)
                                1 year  (-24.7%)

This is a REALM OF KINGS tie-in. Since the book has only just come out of a WAR OF KINGS tie-in arc, it’s understandable that there’s no obvious impacton sales.

93. MS MARVEL
11/06  Ms Marvel #9  - 37,881
11/07  Ms Marvel #21 - 26,484
=====
11/08  Ms Marvel #33 - 23,980  ( -7.4%)
12/08  Ms Marvel #34 - 29,770  (+24.1%)
01/09  Ms Marvel #35 - 26,824  (-10.0%)
02/09  Ms Marvel #36 - 25,864  ( -3.6%)
03/09  Ms Marvel #37 - 25,053  ( -3.1%)
04/09  Ms Marvel #38 - 27,535  (+10.0%)
05/09  Ms Marvel #39 - 24,757  (-10.1%)
06/09  Ms Marvel #40 - 25,216  ( +1.9%)
07/09  Ms Marvel #41 - 27,187  ( +7.8%)
07/09  Ms Marvel #42 - 25,103  ( -7.7%)
08/09  Ms Marvel #43 - 28,261  (+12.6%)
08/09  Ms Marvel #44 - 25,550  ( -9.6%)
09/09  Ms Marvel #45 - 30,528  (+19.5%)
10/09  Ms Marvel #46 - 25,717  (-15.8%)
11/09  Ms Marvel #47 - 22,937  (-10.8%)
                       6 mnth  ( -7.4%)
                       1 year  ( -4.3%)
                       2 year  (-13.4%)
                       3 year  (-39.4%)

Cancelled with issue #50 – although that isn’t to say it won’t be relaunched.

94. NOVA
11/07  Nova #8 -  32,110 
=====
11/08  Nova #19 - 28,306  (-26.3%)
12/08  Nova #20 - 29,405  ( +3.9%)
01/09  Nova #21 - 25,647  (-12.8%)
02/09  Nova #22 - 25,065  ( -2.3%)
03/09  Nova #23 - 26,413  ( +5.4%)
04/09  Nova #24 - 26,240  ( -0.7%)
05/09  Nova #25 - 26,172  ( -0.3%)
06/09  Nova #26 - 28,107  ( +7.4%)
07/09  Nova #27 - 25,677  ( -8.6%)
08/09  Nova #28 - 27,038  ( +5.3%)
09/09  Nova #29 - 23,924  (-11.5%)
10/09  Nova #30 - 22,845  ( -4.5%)
11/09  Nova #31 - 22,928  ( +0.4%)
                  6 mnth  (-12.4%)
                  1 year  (-19.0%)
                  2 year  (-28.6%)

Another REALM OF KINGS tie-in; see GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY, really.

95. S.W.O.R.D.
11/09  S.W.O.R.D. #1 - 21,988

Ongoing series for the interstellar S.H.I.E.L.D. counterparts that Joss Whedon created for his ASTONISHING X-MEN run. And the debut sales are… not good, frankly. This is about 1,400 below last month’s DR VOODOO #1, although that issue had the benefit of a 1:15 variant. (Surprisingly, this issue doesn’t.)

We will come to DR VOODOO in a bit, and it won’t be pretty.

102. DEATHLOK
11/09  Deathlok #1 of 7 - 20,855

This is an out-of-continuity miniseries from the Marvel Knights imprint, so it was never going to do huge numbers. Still, with a 21K debut, this might not be pretty by issue #7.

106. DARK AVENGERS: ARES
10/09  Ares #1 of 3 - 25,995
11/09  Ares #2 of 3 - 20,256  (-22.1%)

About standard for a low-end Dark Reign tie-in.

107. POWERS  [Icon]
11/04  Powers #6  - 30,431
11/05  Powers #14 - 26,109
11/06  Powers #21 - 22,134
11/07  Powers #27 - 19,843
=====
11/09  Powers #1  - 20,146
                    6 mnth  (  --- )
                    1 year  (  --- )
                    2 year  ( +1.5%)
                    3 year  ( -9.0%)
                    4 year  (-22.8%)
                    5 year  (-33.8%)

The last issue of POWERS shipped in September 2008, so starting over with a fresh issue #1 is justifiable. The book was selling 18K when it ended, so there’s a slight bump for the third volume.

108,109. X-MEN FOREVER
06/09  X-Men Forever #1  - 36,213
06/09  X-Men Forever #2  - 31,767  (-12.3%)
07/09  X-Men Forever #3  - 28,651  ( -9.8%)
07/09  X-Men Forever #4  - 28,645  ( -0.0%)
08/09  X-Men Forever #5  - 27,825  ( -2.9%)
08/09  X-Men Forever #6  - 24,875  (-10.6%)
09/09  X-Men Forever #7  - 24,115  ( -3.1%)
09/09  X-Men Forever #8  - 23,174  ( -3.9%)
10/09  X-Men Forever #9  - 21,926  ( -5.4%)
10/09  X-Men Forever #10 - 22,287  ( +1.6%)
11/09  X-Men Forever #11 - 20,130  ( -9.7%)
11/09  X-Men Forever #12 - 19,541  ( -2.9%)

Drifting slowly down. With the announcement of NEW MUTANTS FOREVER and X-FACTOR FOREVER miniseres in 2010, Marvel are evidently happy enough with numbers like these.

110. SPIDER-MAN CLONE SAGA
09/09  Clone Saga #1 of 6 - 27,697
10/09  Clone Saga #2 of 6 - 21,473  (-22.5%)
11/09  Clone Saga #3 of 6 - 19,478  ( -9.3%)

An alternate-reality retelling of a none-more-nineties storyline was always going to have a limited audience. To be honest, this is doing better than I’d expected.

112. BLACK PANTHER
11/05  Black Panther #10 - 31,987
11/06  Black Panther #22 - 41,268
11/07  Black Panther #32 - 28,426
=====
11/08  ---
12/08  ---
01/09  ---
02/09  Black Panther #1  - 52,991  (+57.6%)
03/09  Black Panther #2  - 33,755  (-36.3%)
04/09  Black Panther #3  - 33,356  ( -1.2%)
05/09  Black Panther #4  - 30,984  ( -7.1%)
06/09  Black Panther #5  - 29,762  ( -3.9%)
07/09  Black Panther #6  - 29,727  ( -0.1%)
08/09  Black Panther #7  - 27,619  ( -7.1%)
09/09  Black Panther #8  - 23,020  (-16.7%)
10/09  Black Panther #9  - 20,346  (-11.6%)
11/09  Black Panther #10 - 19,147  ( -5.9%)
                           6 mnth  (-38.2%)
                           1 year  (  --- )
                           2 year  (-32.6%)
                           3 year  (-53.6%)
                           4 year  (-40.1%)

The previous volume of BLACK PANTHER was doing 19K when Marvel relaunched it (disregarding the final three issues, which were SECRET INVASION tie-ins). So, once again, this is a relaunched title which finds itself back where it started within a year. In an interesting strategy, the book is going on hiatus in February, to be replaced by a five-issue miniseries called DOOMWAR, which will continue the storylines with a ton of extra guest stars.

113. SON OF HULK
11/08  Skaar, Son of Hulk #5  - 34,779  (-21.5%)
12/08  Skaar, Son of Hulk #6  - 34,593  ( -0.5%)
01/09  Skaar, Son of Hulk #7  - 31,096  (-10.1%)
02/09  Skaar, Son of Hulk #8  - 28,771  ( -7.5%)
03/09  Skaar, Son of Hulk #9  - 27,137  ( -5.7%)
04/09  Skaar, Son of Hulk #10 - 27,317  ( +0.7%)
05/09  ---
06/09  Skaar, Son of Hulk #11 - 28,633  ( +4.8%)
06/09  Skaar, Son of Hulk #12 - 35,920  (+25.4%)
07/09  Son of Hulk #13        - 29,195  (-18.7%)
08/09  Son of Hulk #14        - 27,171  ( -6.9%)
09/09  Son of Hulk #15        - 22,722  (-16.4%)
10/09  Son of Hulk #16        - 20,504  ( -9.8%)
11/09  Son of Hulk #17        - 19,097  ( -6.9%)
                                6 mnth  (  --- )
                                1 year  (-45.1%)

Axed.

114. X-MEN ORIGINS: ICEMAN
11/09  Iceman - 19,004

Another low-selling X-Men one-shot. That said, it does make sense to have a more up-to-date version of these origin stories, for use in trade paperbacks. (The original Iceman origin story is from an undistinguished late sixties back-up strip, and most would agree that there was room to improve on it.)

117. WAR MACHINE
12/08  War Machine #1  - 54,396
01/09  War Machine #2  - 39,835  (-26.8%)
02/09  War Machine #3  - 33,818  (-15.1%)
03/09  War Machine #4  - 32,693  ( -3.3%)
04/09  War Machine #5  - 34,254  ( +4.8%)
05/09  War Machine #6  - 27,703  (-19.1%)
06/09  War Machine #7  - 28,757  ( +3.8%)
07/09  ---
08/09  War Machine #8  - 23,961  (-16.7%)
09/09  War Machine #9  - 23,589  ( -1.6%)
10/09  War Machine #10 - 20,207  (-14.3%)
11/09  War Machine #11 - 18,545  ( -8.2%)
                         6 mnth  (-33.1%)

Axed with issue #12.

124. DOCTOR VOODOO, AVENGER OF THE SUPERNATURAL
10/09  Dr Voodoo #1 - 23,328 
11/09  Dr Voodoo #2 - 16,681  (-28.5%)

This is FANTASTIC FORCE territory. Barring a swift turnaround, it doesn’t look good for this book.

127. GHOST RIDERS: HEAVENS ON FIRE
08/09  Heavens on Fire #1 of 6 - 21,944
09/09  Heavens on Fire #2 of 6 - 18,262  (-16.8%)
10/09  Heavens on Fire #3 of 6 - 16,879  ( -7.6%)
11/09  Heavens on Fire #4 of 6 - 16,193  ( -4.1%)

Fairly level, considering it’s a miniseries.

129,133. IMMORTAL WEAPONS
11/06  Immortal Iron Fist #1    - 60,079
11/07  Immortal Iron Fist #10   - 41,368
=====
11/08  ---
12/08  Immortal Iron Fist #20   - 24,966  ( -3.5%)
12/08  Immortal Iron Fist #21   - 24,134  ( -3.3%)
01/09  ---
02/09  Immortal Iron Fist #22   - 23,259  ( -3.6%)
03/09  Immortal Iron Fist #23   - 22,691  ( -2.4%)
03/09  Immortal Iron Fist #24   - 22,326  ( -1.6%)
04/09  Immortal Iron Fist #25   - 22,309  ( -0.0%)
05/09  Immortal Iron Fist #26   - 21,864  ( -2.0%)
06/09  Immortal Iron Fist #27   - 27,376  (+25.2%)
07/09  Immortal Weapons #1 of 5 - 22,151  (-18.7%)
08/09  ---
09/09  Immortal Weapons #2 of 5 - 17,493  (-21.0%)
09/09  Immortal Weapons #3 of 5 - 17,029  ( -2.7%)
10/09  ---
11/09  Immortal Weapons #4 of 5 - 15,931  ( -6.4%)
11/09  Immortal Weapons #5 of 5 - 15,511  ( -2.6%)
                                  6 mnth  (-29.1%)
                                  1 year  (  --- )
                                  2 year  (-62.5%)
                                  3 year  (-74.2%)

Marvel previously announced that IRON FIST would pick up again after this miniseries was complete, but there’s no sign of it being solicited. (Unless the March solicitations have come out by the time you read this, in which case, who knows, maybe there is.)

130. CRIMINAL  [Icon]
11/06  Criminal #2     - 21,115
11/07  Criminal #10    - 14,539
=====
10/09  Sinners #1 of 5 - 20,580
11/09  Sinners #2 of 5 - 15,628  (-24.1%)
                         6 mnth  (  --- )
                         1 year  (  --- )
                         2 year  ( +7.5%)
                         3 year  (-26.0%)

Fairly typical for this title.

135. TORCH
09/09  Torch #1 of 8 - 26,921
10/09  Torch #2 of 8 - 18,115  (-32.7%)
11/09  Torch #3 of 8 - 15,209  (-16.0%)

147. SPIDER-MAN 1602
10/09  Spider-Man 1602 #1 of 5 - 18,273
11/09  Spider-Man 1602 #2 of 5 - 12,802  (-29.9%)

Not much interest in either of these. I’m surprised that TORCH isn’t doing better on the strength of its creative team; the 1602 universe, on the other hand, seems to have reached its natural end point.

148. STRANGE TALES
09/09  Strange Tales #1 of 3 - 16,266
10/09  Strange Tales #2 of 3 - 16,018  ( -1.5%)
11/09  Strange Tales #3 of 3 - 12,259  (-23.5%)

Unusual. You’d have expected that drop on the second issue. Anyhow, these sales are perfectly decent for an anthology of indie creators riffing on Marvel characters.

149. X-BABIES
10/09  X-Babies #1 of 4 - 18,383
11/09  X-Babies #2 of 4 - 12,429  (-32.4%)

Again, not much interest in this project, but then a revival of characters from the 1980s Star imprint never seemed like an obvious selling point.

155. BLACK KNIGHT
11/09  Black Knight #1 - 11,646

This one-shot is the print edition of a comic from Marvel’s digital subscription service, so it’s also brought in some money elsewhere.

157. IRON MAN: ARMOR WARS
08/09  Armor Wars #1 of 4 - 19,935
09/09  Armor Wars #2 of 4 - 14,781  (-25.9%)
10/09  Armor Wars #3 of 4 - 12,422  (-16.0%)
11/09  Armor Wars #4 of 4 - 11,276  ( -9.2%)

Not bad numbers, if you compare it to Marvel’s other all-ages comics.

163. HOUSE OF M: MASTERS OF EVIL
08/09  Masters of Evil #1 of 4 - 17,528
09/09  Masters of Evil #2 of 4 - 13,794  (-49.6%)
10/09  Masters of Evil #3 of 4 - 11,569  (-16.1%)
11/09  Masters of Evil #4 of 4 - 10,774  ( -6.9%)

Again, probably time to put this alternate reality out to pasture.

166. UNCANNY X-MEN: FIRST CLASS
11/06  First Class #3 of 8 - 30,805
11/07  First Class #6      - 16,965
=====
11/08  ---
12/08  ---
01/09  ---
02/09  Finals #1 of 4      - 15,736  (+18.6%)
03/09  Finals #2 of 4      - 11,533  (-26.7%)
04/09  Finals #3 of 4      - 10,870  ( -5.7%)
05/09  Finals #4 of 4      - 10,579  ( -2.7%)
06/09  Giant-Size Special  - 12,614  (+19.2%)
07/09  Uncanny #1 of 8     - 18,363  (+45.6%)
08/09  Uncanny #2 of 8     - 12,978  (-29.3%)
09/09  Uncanny #3 of 8     - 11,954  ( -7.9%)
10/09  Uncanny #4 of 8     - 11,260  ( -5.8%)
11/09  Uncanny #5 of 8     - 10,589  ( -6.0%)
                             6 mnth  ( +0.1%)
                             1 year  (  --- )
                             2 year  (-37.6%)
                             3 year  (-65.6%)

Steady sales over the last few months.

171. HALO: HELLJUMPER
07/09  Helljumper #1 of 5 - 15,809
08/09  Helljumper #2 of 5 - 12,602  (-20.3%)
09/09  Helljumper #3 of 5 - 11,827  ( -6.1%)
10/09  Helljumper #4 of 5 - 10,784  ( -8.8%)
11/09  Helljumper #5 of 5 - 10,235  ( -5.1%)

Modest sales in the direct market, but don’t forget that video game adaptations reputedly do big business in other channels.

176. WOLVERINE: FIRST CLASS
11/08  First Class #9  - 13,857  ( -7.2%)
12/08  First Class #10 - 13,441  ( -3.0%)
01/09  First Class #11 - 12,845  ( -4.4%)
02/09  First Class #12 - 12,403  ( -3.4%)
03/09  First Class #13 - 12,430  ( -0.0%)
04/09  First Class #14 - 13,695  (+10.2%)
05/09  First Class #15 - 12,221  (-10.8%)
06/09  First Class #16 - 11,623  ( -4.9%)
07/09  First Class #17 - 12,441  ( +7.0%)
08/09  First Class #18 - 13,110  ( +5.4%)
09/09  First Class #19 - 11,723  (-10.6%)
10/09  First Class #20 - 10,208  (-12.9%)
11/09  First Class #21 -  9,727  ( -4.7%)
                         6 mnth  (-20.4%)
                         1 year  (-29.8%)

The decline seems to be speeding up on this one, for some reason.

182. LUKE CAGE NOIR
08/09  Luke Cage Noir #1 of 4 - 14,776
09/09  Luke Cage Noir #2 of 4 - 12,176  (-17.6%)
10/09  Luke Cage Noir #3 of 4 - 10,084  (-11.3%)
11/09  Luke Cage Noir #4 of 4 -  9,013  (-10.6%)

The NOIR books don’t sell in huge numbers, but Marvel are evidently happy enough, as there’s more to come in the new year.

185. NOMAD: GIRL WITHOUT A WORLD
09/09  Nomad #1 of 4 - 18,069
10/09  Nomad #2 of 4 - 10,296  (-43.0%)
11/09  Nomad #3 of 4 -  8,772  (-14.8%)

Sales on the miniseries are tiny, but the character is set to get a higher profile as a back-up strip in CAPTAIN AMERICA.

193. SKY DOLL: DOLL FACTORY  [Soleil]
11/09  Doll Factory #1 of 2 - 8,077

European reprint. Throw in the higher price tag, and the economics for this sort of thing are entirely different.

199. ENDERS GAME: COMMAND SCHOOL
09/09  Command School #1 of 5 - 9,840
10/09  Command School #2 of 5 - 8,428  (-14.3%)
11/09  Command School #3 of 5 - 7,735  ( -8.2%)

215. MODELS INC
09/09  Models Inc #1 of 4 - 17,918
10/09  Models Inc #2 of 4 - 10,321  (-42.4%)
10/09  Models Inc #3 of 4 -  9,997  ( -3.1%)
11/09  Models Inc #3 of 4 -  7,014  (-29.8%)

218. ENDERS SHADOW: COMMAND SCHOOL
09/09  Command School #1 of 5 - 8,972
10/09  Command School #2 of 5 - 7,547  (-15.9%)
11/09  Command School #3 of 5 - 6,938  ( -8.1%)

The two Orson Scott Card adaptations, still moving in synch. Sandwiched between them, the much-maligned MODELS INC, which really didn’t find an audience at all.

At number 220, last month’s X-NECROSHA one-shot picks up 6,858 reorders, bringing its total sales to 54,752.

221. POWERS ENCYCLOPAEDIA  [Icon]
11/09  Powers Encyclopaedia #1 - 6,780

Profile book, released to tie in with the relaunch of POWERS itself.

239. DOMINIC FORTUNE  [Max]
08/09  Dominic Fortune #1 of 4 - 9,157
09/09  Dominic Fortune #2 of 4 - 6,976  (-23.8%)
10/09  Dominic Fortune #3 of 4 - 5,980  (-14.3%)
11/09  Dominic Fortune #4 of 4 - 5,657  ( -5.4%)

More modest sales from the Max imprint.

247. KOOKABURRA K  [Soleil]
11/09  Kookaburra K #1 of 3 - 5,253

In theory, this Soleil reprint sounds like it ought to have more appeal to the American audience, since it’s drawn by Humberto Ramos. In practice, though, sales are in typical Soleil territory.

248.  STARR THE SLAYER [Max]
09/09  Starr the Slayer #1 of 4 - 9,744
10/09  Starr the Slayer #2 of 4 - 6,535  (-32.9%)
11/09  Starr the Slayer #3 of 4 - 5,235  (-19.9%)

And yet more modest sales from the Max imprint. Presumably these stories are selling somewhere else.

And to wrap up, a few more all-ages books, and the MARVEL INDEX.

266. MARVEL ADVENTURES SPIDER-MAN  [All ages]
11/05  M.A. Spider-Man #9  - 6,637
11/06  M.A. Spider-Man #21 - 6,529
11/07  M.A. Spider-Man #33 - 6,126
=====
11/08  M.A. Spider-Man #45 - 5,003  ( -2.9%)
12/08  M.A. Spider-Man #46 - 4,851  ( -3.0%)
01/09  M.A. Spider-Man #47 - 4,592  ( -5.3%)
02/09  M.A. Spider-Man #48 - 4,622  ( +0.7%)
03/09  M.A. Spider-Man #49 - 4,640  ( +0.4%)
04/09  M.A. Spider-Man #50 - 4,780  ( +3.0%)
05/09  M.A. Spider-Man #51 - 4,557  ( -4.7%)
06/09  M.A. Spider-Man #52 - 4,612  ( +1.2%)
07/09  M.A. Spider-Man #53 - 5,710  (+23.8%)
08/09  M.A. Spider-Man #54 - 5,684  ( -0.5%)
09/09  M.A. Spider-Man #55 - 5,668  ( -0.3%)
10/09  M.A. Spider-Man #56 - 4,579  (-19.2%)
11/09  M.A. Spider-Man #57 - 4,501  ( -1.7%)
                            6 mnth  ( -1.2%)
                            1 year  (-10.0%)
                            2 year  (-26.5%)
                            3 year  (-31.1%)
                            4 year  (-32.2%)

272. MARVEL SUPER HERO SQUAD
09/09  Super Hero Squad #1 of 4 - 6,760
10/09  Super Hero Squad #2 of 4 - 4,496  (-33.5%)
11/09  Super Hero Squad #3 of 4 - 4,384  ( -2.5%)

281. OFFICIAL INDEX TO THE MARVEL UNIVERSE
01/09  Index #1  - 9,852
02/09  Index #2  - 7,278  (-26.1%)
03/09  Index #3  - 6,331  (-13.0%)
04/09  Index #4  - 5,517  (-12.9%)
05/09  Index #5  - 4,913  (-10.9%)
06/09  Index #6  - 4,743  ( -3.5%)
07/09  Index #7  - 4,518  ( -4.7%)
08/09  Index #8  - 4,263  ( -5.6%)
09/09  Index #9  - 4,144  ( -2.8%)
10/09  Index #10 - 3,980  ( -4.0%)
11/09  Index #11 - 3,739  ( -6.1%)
                  6 mnth  (-23.9%)

287. MARVEL ADVENTURES SUPER HEROES
11/08  M.A. Super Heroes #5 -  4,233  ( -6.8%)
12/08  M.A. Super Heroes #6 -  ?,???  (  ??? )
01/09  M.A. Super Heroes #7 -  4,141  (  ??? )
02/09  M.A. Super Heroes #8 -  3,993  ( -3.6%)
03/09  M.A. Super Heroes #9 -  3,716  ( -6.9%)
04/09  M.A. Super Heroes #10 - 3,699  ( -0.5%)
05/09  M.A. Super Heroes #11 - 3,474  ( -6.1%)
06/09  M.A. Super Heroes #12 - 3,508  ( +1.0%)
07/09  M.A. Super Heroes #13 - 4,439  (+26.5%)
08/09  M.A. Super Heroes #14 - 4,355  ( -1.9%)
09/09  M.A. Super Heroes #15 - 4,268  ( -2.0%)
10/09  M.A. Super Heroes #16 - 3,250  (-23.9%)
11/09  M.A. Super Heroes #17 - 3,308  ( +1.8%)
                              6 mnth  ( -4.8%)
                              1 year  (-21.9%)


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

+60.6% - Marvelous Land of Oz
+33.2% - PunisherMax
+32.8% - Captain America/Reborn
+18.6% - Moon Knight
+10.3% - Amazing Spider-Man
+ 7.5% - Invincible Iron Man
+ 0.1% - X-Men: First Class
- 1.2% - Marvel Adventures Spider-Man
- 2.1% - Ultimate Comics Spider-Man
- 4.8% - Marvel Adventures Super Heroes
- 6.0% - X-Men Legacy
- 7.4% - Uncanny X-Men
- 7.4% - Ms Marvel
- 7.5% - X-Force
-12.4% - Nova
-13.4% - Incredible Hercules
-15.4% - Guardians of the Galaxy
-15.5% - Fantastic Four
-16.6% - Wolverine: Origins
-16.7% - Deadpool
-20.4% - Wolverine: First Class
-21.2% - New Avengers
-23.9% - Official Index 
-25.4% - Dark Tower
-26.2% - Secret Warriors
-28.0% - Hulk
-28.9% - Thunderbolts
-29.1% - Iron Fist/Immortal Weapons
-29.6% - Stand
-30.1% - Punisher
-32.5% - Avengers: The Initiative
-33.1% - War Machine
-37.1% - Dark Wolverine
-38.2% - Black Panther
-39.0% - Wolverine: Weapon X
-44.0% - Cable
-45.3% - New Mutants


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

+27.9% - Captain America/Reborn
+18.1% - PunisherMax
+11.8% - Invincible Iron Man
- 2.1% - Daredevil
- 2.5% - Moon Knight
- 4.3% - Ms Marvel
- 5.7% - X-Force
- 5.7% - Deadpool
- 5.9% - Ultimate Comics Spider-Man
- 6.5% - Amazing Spider-Man
- 9.8% - Thunderbolts
-10.0% - Marvel Adventures Spider-Man
-10.6% - Uncanny X-Men
-17.0% - Punisher
-19.0% - Nova
-20.0% - X-Men Legacy
-21.6% - Cable
-21.9% - Marvel Adventures Super Heroes
-24.7% - Wolverine: Origins
-24.7% - Guardians of the Galaxy
-29.8% - Incredible Hercules
-29.8% - Wolverine: First Class
-35.7% - Fantastic Four
-42.0% - Hulk
-44.2% - Dark Wolverine
-44.2% - Dark Tower
-45.1% - Son of Hulk
-53.5% - Stand
-55.2% - Incredible Hulk


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

+31.7% - Captain America/Reborn
+ 7.5% - Criminal
+ 1.5% - Powers
-10.4% - Daredevil
-11.5% - PunisherMax
-13.4% - Ms Marvel
-20.2% - Ultimate Comics Spider-Man
-20.3% - Dark Wolverine
-26.5% - Marvel Adventures Spider-Man
-28.6% - Nova
-30.9% - New Avengers
-32.1% - Uncanny X-Men
-32.3% - Wolverine Origins
-32.6% - Black Panther
-32.7% - Fantastic Four
-37.6% - X-Men: First Class
-40.4% - Punisher
-45.0% - Astonishing X-Men
-49.7% - Thor
-49.9% - X-Men Legacy
-56.8% - Avengers: The Initiative
-60.0% - Incredible Hulk
-62.5% - Iron Fist/Immortal Weapons


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

+20.9% - Captain America/Reborn
+12.0% - Thunderbolts
- 9.0% - Powers
-12.2% - PunisherMax
-18.2% - Daredevil
-21.5% - Uncanny X-Men
-26.0% - Criminal
-28.2% - Invincible Iron Man
-31.1% - Marvel Adventures Spider-Man
-36.3% - Ultimate Comics Spider-Man
-36.6% - X-Men Legacy
-39.4% - Ms Marvel
-45.7% - Amazing Spider-Man
-47.5% - Astonishing X-Men
-47.6% - Dark Wolverine
-51.7% - Incredible Hulk
-53.6% - Black Panther
-57.7% - New Avengers
-58.6% - Wolverine: Origins
-65.6% - X-Men: First Class
-68.4% - Moon Knight
-74.2% - Iron Fist/Immortal Weapons
-75.8% - Punisher


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

+114.4% - Captain America/Reborn
+ 23.7% - Thunderbolts
-  8.8% - Daredevil
- 16.0% - Uncanny X-Men
- 17.5% - Fantastic Four
- 19.0% - Amazing Spider-Man
- 19.3% - PunisherMax
- 22.8% - Powers
- 32.2% - Marvel Adventures Spider-Man
- 35.2% - X-Men Legacy
- 36.1% - Ultimate Comics Spider-Man
- 39.1% - Dark Wolverine
- 40.1% - Black Panther
- 45.5% - New Avengers
- 51.7% - Incredible Hulk


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

+43.7% - Captain America/Reborn
- 1.2% - Incredible Hulk
-20.0% - Invincible Iron Man
-21.4% - Daredevil
-23.7% - Fantastic Four
-24.4% - Uncanny X-Men
-26.0% - Amazing Spider-Man
-29.7% - New Avengers
-30.8% - PunisherMax
-31.8% - Thunderbolts
-33.8% - Powers
-36.0% - Dark Wolverine
-42.7% - X-Men Legacy
-46.1% - Ultimate Comics Spider-Man
-53.9% - Astonishing X-Men

  1. It’s a shame about the Ultimate Books slowly sinking down the chart as I think Spiderman & Avengers have been excellent reads. What i’m wondering is how low will Marvel let it go before pulling the plug on the imprint? I suspect that once Bendis finally leaves Spidey down the line and Millar/Loeb have left the building, there will be no big name attached to any of them and the fans will drift away. Still, enjoying them at the moment and as always reading your good comments on the chart Paul! Right, enough sooking, merry xmas one and all!

  2. For the dwindling Ultimate Comics numbers, starting over — and jacking them up to $3.99 — seemed to be a good jumping off point.

    Also, for me at least, there’s just way too many Marvel comics priced at $3.99 and they are not worth the bang for the buck.

  3. Interesting stuff, as always. One little thing that was missing that bugged me, though, is the mention of “Realm of Kings” as a follow-up to “War of Kings” without a single mention as to how these new RoK titles are selling in comparison to the WoK titles. The comparative stuff is the best part of this analysis, and it feels like it’s really missing to treat every one of these cosmic crossovers as its own entity instead of looking at the trend across them. I mean, I haven’t compared this month’s numbers yet, but just for my own amusement, a week or so ago I compared the numbers on the Annihilation and Ann.: Conquest crossovers to WoK and was shocked by how much better the books were selling now. I’d really like to see that data captured, as I think that speaks more to the relative health of Marvel’s cosmic brand than the ongoing fortunes of Nova and Guardians of the Galaxy.

  4. I wonder how much of the Ultimate Spider-Man drop is related to the price increase. There’s basically nothing special in it to make it a 3.99 book and consumers might be unwilling to pay that much for 22 pages of story.

  5. #47 – Fantastic Four – lowest sales in over half a decade. Wow.
    _________________

    #93 – Ms. Marvel “Cancelled with issue #50 – although that isn’t to say it won’t be relaunched.”

    Does that mean any Marvel title not in the Top 100 is subject to being cancelled?
    _________________

    I guess the important question this month is what is causing the loss in sales.

    Is it that Marvel raised most cover prices to $3.99?

    Is it that Marvel has been bought by Disney?

    Is it because of the damn recession/depression?

  6. Sales on the miniseries are tiny, but the character is set to get a higher profile as a back-up strip in CAPTAIN AMERICA.

    Yep, and Cap makes the leap to $3.99. As a result, I’ve dropped my favorite Marvel book. Bring on the discounted collected editions.

    Thanks as always for the analysis!

  7. Alan Coil: Does that mean any Marvel title not in the Top 100 is subject to being cancelled?

    Well, yeah, pretty much. Nova has been pretty solid so that doesn’t seem to be in danger, but everything else below it is either:

    A. Already cancelled (Son of Hulk, War Machine, Ghost Rider, Immortal Iron Fist)
    B. A miniseries/one-shot
    C. Already being retooled (Black Panther), or
    D. Part of a larger line that Marvel has clearly made an exception (the Noir books, X-Men Forever, plus MAX, Icon and Marvel Adv. books)

    Yonatan:
    erm…where is X-Factor?

    There was no X-Factor book released in November…X-Factor #50 shipped on 10/28, and #200 didn’t ship until 12/16.

  8. If it matters, Black Widow: Deadly Origin #1 had two different Variants and X-Babies #1 & #2 each had a Variant.

    As for the declines in the Hulk and Wolverine families of titles, I would guess that at least a few people were put off by the proliferation of books and used the new series launches as an opportunity to reevaluate just how much interest they had in following every title within those groups.

  9. Well, I told you guys so. Marvel’s high sales over the last several years were mainly due to gimmicks/stunts. Once the gimmick/stunts stopped or lost their effectiveness to fool those fans who have caught the speculator bug, sales began to fall.

    BLACK PANTHER going on “hiatus” is PC spin for saying that “the book has been quietly canceled”. After all, with Hudlin no longer the head of BET programing and the BLACK PANTHER cartoon has yet to premier (if it ever will) on BET, his usefulness to Marvel is over. So the BP book has become a financial liability, and therefore is being put out to pasture.

    The very low sales on THE TORCH mini series and the less then impressive sales on ASTONISHING X-MEN is proof that putting a popular and/or critically acclaimed creative team on a book is not a guarantee that said book will sell well. Marvel (and DC) should stop pushing and marketing CREATORS and start pushing and marketing their CHARACTERS and the basic concepts behind the comics they appear in.

    The novelty and speculative allure of the ULTIMATE line of books has worn off, which is why sales have been falling.

    Too many spin off books of popular characters and comics is hurting an already weak market. The current market can’t support 3 DEADPOOL books,4 AVENGERS books,12 ongoing X-books (4 of which are ongoing Wolverine books),and a thrice monthly Spider-Man book and a 2nd ongoing spin off book.

    I said it before, and I’ll keep saying it until the Big 2 finally realize or “get it”. Aiming the over whelming majority of their mainstream MU and DCU superhero titles at the very narrow and shrinking older teen and adult readers (be they long time readers,lapsed readers,or the very rare and near mythical new older teen/adult reader) is one of the main reasons why comic sales for the Big 2 are falling.

  10. There are several reasons why sales on the Wolverine series are plummeting.

    1. The character is over exposed.

    2. He is no longer unique in regard to both powers and personality (Daken and X-23 are responsible for that).

    3. His origin being revealed has taken away one of the most interesting aspects of his character.

    4. He has become way too powerful and invincible.

    5. His actions are now justified,accepted,and imitated by other heroes.

    6. He has a friggan son.

  11. >1. The character is over exposed.

    Err, when hasn’t he been over-exposed?

    >4. He has become way too powerful and invincible.

    I always thought Wolvie got his ass handed to him way too often.

    With him out of his main title, the other two (Origins and Weapon X) are probably seen as secondary titles and thus unnecessary to follow.

  12. “Err, when hasn’t he been over-exposed?”

    He has been over exposed since the early 90’s. However, his over exposure has went way up over the last several years. Where back in the day (before Quesada became EIC) his exposure was limited to X-MEN,UNCANNY X-MEN, his solo title,and the occasional one shot or guest appearance (usually when a book’s sales was in the toilet) he now has 4 ongoing series,appears in UXM, AXM,X-FORCE,NEW AVENGERS,numerous one shots and mini series,and the usual guest appearance.

    “I always thought Wolvie got his ass handed to him way too often.”

    Everybody likes a bad@$$, but most people hate an invincible and indestructible bad@$$ (Lobo’s current unpopularity is proof of that).

  13. Thanks! Wow… I’m one of 3,000 readers who buys Marvel Adventures in a comicbook store… If you’re not reading it, give it a try… great storytelling, almost “all ages”, and very little continuity to worry about!

    The Black Widow origin miniseries will finish in February. I believe the trade paperback was solicited in this month’s Previews, along with just about every other Iron Man trade in Marvel’s catalog. It’s a smart move on Marvel’s part… everyday readers get an introduction to the character without all the luggage from forty years of storytelling.

  14. If you’re talking about the Black Widow origin miniseries there, I disagree; it’s not an introduction for new readers so much as an attempt to reconcile her assorted origin stories for the benefit of continuity nerds. It’s the sort of thing that assumes that the reader already knows that she met Wolverine as a child, or who the Winter Soldier is.

  15. Not to nitpick, but you do write a column, as such you should have somebody proof these things, or have some command of basic English.

    It is not Marvel are, Marvel is a single subject, therefore it should read Marvel is. If DC and Marvel were your subjects it would be DC and Marvel are. Same again with has and have. As a single subject it should read Marvel has, not have. Once again, if you were to be using both DC and Marvel as your subjects, it would read DC and Marvel have.

    It’s simple really; single subject use is and has; mutiple subjects use are and have.

  16. Not to nitpick, but you do write a column, as such you should have somebody proof these things, or have some command of basic English.

    You apparently haven’t had much experience reading material written by Britons, since British English treats companies and, I suppose, other multiple-person entities, as plural nouns. Marvel are, DC are, AT&T are, Robert is.

    SRS

  17. Sorry, smarty, Synsidar is write (sic). Paul is a proud Scotsman and they have a slightly different (but equally correct) grammar, which I’ve preserved for color and lack of supervision.

    Marc-Oliver Frisch is a native of Germany, meaning we’ve outsourced all the charts save for new recruit Matthew.

  18. “So much negativity. It’s the holidays. Whatever happened to Good Will?”

    It doesn’t exist a) on the internet b) in contemporary society.

  19. Nice work, Paul, I always look forward to reading your column.

    So, it looks like Wolverine First Class has been quietly canceled. It has not been solicited past issue 21.

    Regarding the poor sales on books like Vengeance Of Moon Knight and Dr. Voodoo I blame Marvel’s practice of making #1 books $3.99 with a 22 page story padded out with reprints. I would have given both of these series a try at $2.99. I also would have given them a try if I knew I was getting a 38 page story for my $3.99. Over the last year and a half or so too many of their books have featured unnecessary reprint material and I think readers are finally rebelling.

  20. “So much negativity. It’s the holidays. Whatever happened to Good Will?”

    Oh, I think there’s plenty of good will out there, but it’s reserved for good comics! And as it stands, Marvel is producing way too many lumps of coal and at inflated prices.

  21. 1) I am amused that Deadpool currently has more ongoing series than Superman or Wolverine. In fact, depending on which series you count for Superman, you could even argue that Deadpool has as many ongoing series as Superman and Wolverine *combined*.

    2) No PUNISHERMAX name wisecrack this month? Oh come on, Paul, give us one!

    3) I always had a hunch that IRON FIST was just stealth cancelled and it does look like it. (Although I wouldn’t rule out a relaunch in a while MOON KNIGHT style, but that would be a new series, still leaving IMMORTAL cancelled.) I get the same vibe for BLACK PANTHER, and I agree with Wraith’s assessment that keeping the book alive for the animated series tie-in train seems to have sailed (mixing my metaphors).

  22. Oddly enough, Bill, I do know how to conjugate a verb.

    From Carter & McCarthy, “Cambridge Grammar of English”, 2006 edition, paras 182a and 184: “Collective nouns, such as committee, government, team, can be followed by either a singular or a plural verb form… Proper names also involve agreement choices. When specific organisations, institutions and countries are mentioned, plural and singular verb forms tend to be used interchangeably, depending on whether the entity is treated as a single unit or as composed of individuals.”

    But in the spirit of constructive criticism…

    “It is not Marvel are, Marvel is a single subject, therefore it should read Marvel is.”

    …might I suggest that “Marvel are” and the second “Marvel is” should be in quotes, and that the first comma should be a semicolon?

  23. I must admit i never noticed nonstandard (nonUS?) usage here, but it still rings true to me with the ‘governance by committee’ that the major comics publishers seem to have.

  24. I know it’s acceptable but it always “sounds” wrong to me too. It always bugs me when I read it here.

    It bugged me even more however, when I read it (I think) in an issue of the Punisher by Garth Ennis. Being American, The Punisher would have most likely used the collective singular so for him to NOT it felt odd. On the other hand, it might have never occured to the author to use the grammar approrpiate to the character.
    I guess the editor could have said something, but I’m sure no one else even noticed it.

  25. THOR
    09/09 Thor #603 – 65,265 ( -6.2%)
    10/09 —
    11/09 Finale – 53,566 (-17.9%)

    This one-shot, which ends the J Michael Straczynski run, is effectively issue #603A, so I’ve included it in the regular listing. It comes with both 1:20 and 1:50 variant covers, so the downward lurch in sales is cause for concern, especially when THOR (without Straczynski) is expected to play a major role in the SIEGE crossover.

    This annoys me. Why wouldn’t Marvel call this 604 and just title it FINALE on the cover? Actually, come to think of it with 604 following this issue soon after, I would assume it was because of scheduling and making sure 604 didn’t come out after 605. Even so, they let around 10,000 copies that this book could have moved just disappear. Did they really think a one-shot called FINALE (that was really just another issue story-wise) move more units than 605?

  26. “Well, I told you guys so.”

    You say this every month while stating the fairly obvious. Coming to logical conclusions does not a prognosticator make.

    “Marvel’s high sales over the last several years were mainly due to gimmicks/stunts. Once the gimmick/stunts stopped or lost their effectiveness to fool those fans who have caught the speculator bug, sales began to fall.”
    Yes, things work until they don’t. Again, not exactly a genius observation.

    These charts seem increasingly irrelevant for everything out of the top 100. They are interesting and I enjoy reading them (thank you for your work) but with the proliferation of mini-series, one-shots planned for collection, or books like Noir that apparently don’t have to move a lot of copies, it seems like every month is the same for books at the lower end of the chart.

  27. “Paul is a proud Scotsman and they have a slightly different (but equally correct) grammar, which I’ve preserved for color and lack of supervision.”

    Don’t you mean colour?

  28. i always get the feeling that the bar is closing when i scroll past #60 or so. but Secret Warriors, Avengers The Initiative, and Guardians of the Galaxy are being robbed somehow..im sure of it. im finally jumping on the Hulk bandwagon though, so maybe that signals where my readership lies. WWH drowned me out, and the combined force of the warring Hulks might do the same, but i like the father/son being in-title together. i might not be too keen on the Son yet, admittedly. thanks for the early X-Mas!!

  29. “Well, I told you guys so.”

    You say this every month while stating the fairly obvious. Coming to logical conclusions does not a prognosticator make.

    “Marvel’s high sales over the last several years were mainly due to gimmicks/stunts. Once the gimmick/stunts stopped or lost their effectiveness to fool those fans who have caught the speculator bug, sales began to fall.”
    Yes, things work until they don’t. Again, not exactly a genius observation.

    ________________________________________________

    If what I am stating is so obvious, then why do Marvel (and many fans) think that all the stupid crap Marvel has been doing over the last 10 years is a good idea and a positive thing for the company?

    And coming to logical conclusions might not make me a “prognosticator”, but it does make me right.

  30. Re: Wolverine
    > 3. His origin being revealed has taken away one of the most interesting aspects of his character.

    For myself, it isn’t the revelation itself that has taken away interest. Rather, it is that the origin revealed has ranged from uninteresting (the James Howlett stuff) to awful (Romulus, Daken).

    Indeed, the low quality of Wolverine stories for the last several years combined with the garbage that is everything related to Romulus is enough to drive away most of the interest that I have in the character. If I hadn’t dropped Wolverine years ago, the soft relaunch to a Daken title would have been enough to sever my buying practice and prevent me from picking up a new Wolverine title.

    I might would transfer to an X-23 title, as she had been a good character in her own right, but Kyle/Yost reduced my interest in her as New X-Men progressed and their early X-Force was so awful as to finish it.

  31. “I recommend a good massage for those strained muscles in your shoulder. ”

    _______________________

    Don’t hate the player son, hate the game.

  32. “Re: Wolverine
    > 3. His origin being revealed has taken away one of the most interesting aspects of his character.

    For myself, it isn’t the revelation itself that has taken away interest. Rather, it is that the origin revealed has ranged from uninteresting (the James Howlett stuff) to awful (Romulus, Daken).

    Indeed, the low quality of Wolverine stories for the last several years combined with the garbage that is everything related to Romulus is enough to drive away most of the interest that I have in the character. If I hadn’t dropped Wolverine years ago, the soft relaunch to a Daken title would have been enough to sever my buying practice and prevent me from picking up a new Wolverine title.”

    _____________________________________

    I agree with everything you said. The WOLVERINE ORIGIN mini series, as well as the later crap added to his origin, was IMO complete crap.

  33. 60. WEB OF SPIDER-MAN
    10/09 Web of Spider-Man #1 – 58,412
    11/09 Web of Spider-Man #2 – 32,093 (-45.1%)

    I’m inclined to say that this drop is largely due to issue #1 being overordered, and so I wouldn’t panic too much about it. It’s still a vast improvement from the book’s previous incarnation.

    Marvel send at lot of free issues to retailers. We ordered between 15 and 20 copies for our shop and got 4 promo issues. Image what bigger retailers may have gotten as freebies.

  34. also wanted to mention how great its looking for the new Wizard of Oz mini. dont think the followup material is as well read/viewed. the comic medium seems a really warm place to do it some more justice. is the first hardcover out yet?

  35. Looking at the collected one-year comparisons in which we see that only two or three Marvel books are doing better than they were a year, two years, and five years ago, I’m stupefied; I think it was Brian Hibbs who said that the comic industry has actually sold more product n the last few years, but how is that possible with DM numbers like these?

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