By Paul O’Brien

It’s an unusually hectic month on Marvel’s release schedule. Aside from the usual raft of Dark Reign tie-ins, major releases include the OLD MAN LOGAN one-shot, the second month of the relaunched Ultimate imprint, the DARK AVENGERS/UNCANNY X-MEN crossover “Utopia”, the LIST one-shots, and relaunches of SPIDER-WOMAN and MOON KNIGHT.

As usual, Marvel had the biggest share of the North American direct market. They beat DC by 41% to 30% in dollar terms, and 48% to 33% in units.

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

2.  CAPTAIN AMERICA: REBORN
09/04  Captain America #31  -  37,128
09/05  Captain America #10  -  52,609
09/06  Captain America #22  -  82,230
09/07  Captain America #30  -  79,554
=====
09/08  Captain America #42  -  75,574  ( -11.1%)
10/08  Captain America #43  -  72,405  (  -4.2%)
11/08  Captain America #44  -  75,493  (  +4.3%)
12/08  Captain America #45  -  71,186  (  -5.7%)
01/09  Captain America #46  -  73,184  (  +2.8%)
02/09  Captain America #47  -  62,850  ( -14.1%)
03/09  Captain America #48  -  62,108  (  -1.2%)
04/09  Captain America #49  -  63,874  (  +2.8%)
05/09  Captain America #50  -  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%)
                               6 mnth  ( +74.4%)
                               1 year  ( +43.3%)
                               2 year  ( +36.2%)
                               3 year  ( +31.7%)
                               4 year  (+105.9%)
                               5 year  (+191.8%)

This one comes with two variant covers, with 1:10 and 1:25 incentives. Since issue #2 had three 1:25 variants, the drop’s actually quite modest. Meanwhile, issue #1 picks up estimate reorders of 4,423, which is enough to scrape the bottom of the chart at number 289.

When you bear in mind that REBORN is effectively a CAPTAIN AMERICA story arc, these are great numbers. The “death of Steve Rogers” storyline has been boosting sales for years now already, but this has sent them even further skyward. If you judge this as CAPTAIN AMERICA #604 – which it could easily have been – the numbers are clearly stellar.

5.  WOLVERINE: GIANT-SIZE OLD MAN LOGAN
09/09  Old Man Logan - 93,823

This is the concluding part of Mark Millar and Steve McNiven’s late-running “Old Man Logan” storyline, the rest of which appeared in WOLVERINE #66-72. The book had settled down to around 91K by the end of that run, so this is a slight increase.

7.  NEW AVENGERS
09/04  Avengers #502    -  93,105
09/05  New Avengers #10 - 143,014
09/06  ---
09/07  New Avengers #34 - 112,815
=====
09/08  New Avengers #45 - 103,326  ( -2.9%)
10/08  New Avengers #46 -  99,513  ( -3.7%)
11/08  ---
12/08  New Avengers #47 -  95,703  ( -3.8%)
12/08  New Avengers #48 -  95,688  ( -0.0%)
01/09  New Avengers #49 -  94,291  ( -1.5%)
02/09  New Avengers #50 - 106,831  (+13.3%)
03/09  New Avengers #51 -  95,340  (-10.8%)
04/09  New Avengers #52 -  93,975  ( -1.4%)
05/09  New Avengers #53 -  94,367  ( +0.4%)
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%)
                           6 mnth  (-10.2%)
                           1 year  (-17.2%)
                           2 year  (-24.1%)
                           3 year  (  --- )
                           4 year  (-40.1%)
                           5 year  ( -8.1%)

NEW AVENGERS regains its place as the top-selling Avengers title this month, as DARK AVENGERS slips below it for the first time. This issue has a “Super Hero Squad” variant cover, but with an unusually low incentive of 1:5. It ends up slightly ahead of issue #55, which was a rare issue that only had one cover.

9.  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%)
                           6 mnth  (-21.8%)

Returning to regular stories after the two-month crossover with UNCANNY X-MEN. Sales held steady during that arc, but at first glance the crossover seems to have disguising an underlying sales drop. Actually, it’s not quite that simple: issue #9 is also the first issue of DARK AVENGERS without a variant cover, while issue #8 had two variant covers and a crossover to boost it. So the drop’s not as bad as it looks.

12. DARK AVENGERS/UNCANNY X-MEN: EXODUS
09/09  Exodus - 75,662

The final chapter of the crossover, selling in X-Men rather than Avengers numbers.

13. UNCANNY X-MEN
09/04  Uncanny X-Men #448 -  94,708
09/05  Uncanny X-Men #464 -  85,885
09/06  Uncanny X-Men #478 -  89,850
09/07  Uncanny X-Men #490 -  87,592 
=====
09/08  Uncanny X-Men #502 -  82,883  ( -2.9%)
10/08  Uncanny X-Men #503 -  87,196  ( +5.2%)
11/08  Uncanny X-Men #504 -  77,773  (-10.8%)
12/08  Uncanny X-Men #505 -  82,271  ( +5.8%)
01/09  ---
02/09  Uncanny X-Men #506 -  71,684  (-12.9%)
03/09  Uncanny X-Men #507 -  77,957  ( +8.8%)
04/09  Uncanny X-Men #508 -  76,442  ( -1.9%)
04/09  Uncanny X-Men #509 -  69,185  ( -9.5%)
05/09  Uncanny X-Men #510 -  75,139  ( +8.6%)
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%)
                             6 mnth  ( -5.6%)
                             1 year  (-11.2%)
                             2 year  (-16.0%)
                             3 year  (-18.1%)
                             4 year  (-14.3%)
                             5 year  (-22.3%)

Also returning to its regular stories after the crossover. However, this is also the first part of “Nation X” – not so much a crossover as an anchor storyline for the other X-books to revolve around.

Sales are basically back to pre-crossover levels. But in fairness, this issue doesn’t have any variant covers. The last variant-free issue was #511, and sales are up slightly from that point.

14,18,19,20. AMAZING SPIDER-MAN
09/04  Amazing Spider-Man #412 -  87,236
09/05  Amazing Spider-Man #524 -  71,065
09/06  Amazing Spider-Man #535 - 117,056
09/07  Amazing Spider-Man #544 - 146,215
=====
09/08  Amazing Spider-Man #570 -  89,516  ( +3.6%)
09/08  Amazing Spider-Man #571 -  80,178  (-10.4%)
09/08  Amazing Spider-Man #572 -  80,220  ( +0.1%)
10/08  Amazing Spider-Man #573 -  82,550  ( +2.9%)
10/08  Amazing Spider-Man #574 -  69,069  (-16.3%)
10/08  Amazing Spider-Man #575 -  68,913  ( -0.2%)
11/08  Amazing Spider-Man #576 -  68,956  ( +0.1%)
11/08  Amazing Spider-Man #577 -  76,625  (+11.1%)
11/08  Amazing Spider-Man #578 -  66,564  (-13.1%)
12/08  Amazing Spider-Man #579 -  69,784  ( +4.8%)
12/08  Amazing Spider-Man #580 -  62,979  ( -9.8%)
12/08  Amazing Spider-Man #581 -  68,905  ( +9.4%)
01/09  Amazing Spider-Man #582 -  59,932  (-13.0%)
01/09  Amazing Spider-Man #583 - 525,050 (+776.1%)
01/09  Amazing Spider-Man #584 -  63,754  (-87.9%)
02/09  Amazing Spider-Man #585 -  60,286  ( -5.4%)
02/09  Amazing Spider-Man #586 -  59,521  ( -1.3%)
02/09  Amazing Spider-Man #587 -  60,118  ( +1.0%)
03/09  Amazing Spider-Man #588 -  61,334  ( +2.0%)
03/09  Amazing Spider-Man #589 -  58,832  ( -4.1%)
04/09  Amazing Spider-Man #590 -  66,415  (+12.9%)
04/09  Amazing Spider-Man #591 -  60,508  ( -8.9%)
04/09  Amazing Spider-Man #592 -  65,940  ( +9.0%)
05/09  Amazing Spider-Man #593 -  58,363  (-11.5%)
05/09  Amazing Spider-Man #594 -  58,464  ( +0.2%)
05/09  Amazing Spider-Man #595 -  71,837  (+22.9%)
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%)
                                  6 mnth  ( +6.4%)
                                  1 year  (-30.1%)
                                  2 year  (-57.2%)
                                  3 year  (-46.5%)
                                  4 year  (-12.0%)
                                  5 year  (-28.3%)

Four issues this month – and yes, that’s how they solicited it. Issue #605 is a giant-size issue, which doesn’t seem to have made much difference one way or the other. Issue #606 has a J Scott Campbell variant cover, and the impact is much more visible. Overall, though, the basic Spider-Man sales seem to have stabilised at around 62-63K – up slightly from the high 50Ks earlier in the year.

15. ULTIMATE COMICS AVENGERS
08/09  U.C. Avengers #1 - 99,701
09/09  U.C. Avengers #2 - 68,597  (-31.2%)

Issue #1 picks up re-orders of 4,716, and as usual they’re added in to the number above. The drop isn’t as bad as it looks – issue #1 had 1:15 and 1:25 variants, while issue #2 has just a single cover. Nonetheless, 68K seems a bit underwhelming for the second issue of a new Ultimate book. As I pointed out last month, this is some way below ULTIMATES numbers. In fact, at present, we’re talking about numbers roughly equivalent to writer Mark Millar’s FANTASTIC FOUR run (98K in month one, 67K in month two).

16. THOR
09/04  Thor #84  - 37,342
09/05  ---
09/06  ---
09/07  ---
=====
09/08  ---
10/08  Thor #11  - 78,673  ( -6.1%)
11/08  ---
12/08  Thor #12  - 73,784  ( -6.2%)
01/09  ---
02/09  Thor #600 - 96,718  (+31.1%)
03/09  ---
04/09  Thor #601 - 82,742  (-14.5%)
05/09  ---
06/09  Thor #602 - 69,568  (-15.3%)
07/09  ---
08/09  ---
09/09  Thor #603 - 65,265  ( -6.2%)
                   6 mnth  (  --- )
                   1 year  (  --- )
                   2 year  (  --- )
                   3 year  (  --- )
                   4 year  (  --- )
                   5 year  (+74.8%)

Still drifting downwards.

21. DARK WOLVERINE
09/04  Wolverine #19      -  65,046
09/05  Wolverine #32      -  89,026
09/06  Wolverine #46      - 107,865
09/07  Wolverine #57      -  74,588
=====
09/08  ---
10/08  ---
11/08  Wolverine #69      -  93,914  ( -3.5%)
12/08  Wolverine #70      -  98,915  ( +5.3%)
01/09  ---
02/09  ---
03/09  Wolverine #71      -  91,229  ( -7.8%)
04/09  ---
05/09  Wolverine #72      -  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%)
                             6 mnth  (-33.5%)
                             1 year  (  --- )
                             2 year  (-18.6%)
                             3 year  (-43.7%)
                             4 year  (-31.8%)
                             5 year  ( -6.7%)

Just one variant cover, compared to two last month. Even so, sales look to be dropping pretty steeply. A likely explanation is that retailers and readers have figured out that this is not a short-term stunt but the soft launch of a Daken solo title, and they’re still adjusting their orders accordingly. We saw something similar with INCREDIBLE HERCULES, which launched in much the same way.

22,30,51.  DARK REIGN: THE LIST
09/09  Avengers  - 60,337
09/09  X-Men     - 53,869
09/09  Daredevil - 41,734

Three Dark Reign tie-in stories which. Marvel went to some lengths to hype these as important issues. “There’ll be a new Marvel Universe in 2010 and it all starts with THE LIST,” says the press release. “No Marvel fan can afford to miss a single chapter of THE LIST!”

With promotion like that, I’d rate these numbers as disappointing. They’re certainly being taken more seriously than your typical random Dark Reign spin-off project, but they aren’t selling in event numbers.

23. HULK
09/08  Hulk #6  - 117,807  (+15.4%)
10/08  Hulk #7  - 110,261  ( -6.4%)
11/08  Hulk #8  -  90,776  (-17.7%)
12/08  Hulk #9  -  87,786  ( -3.3%)
01/09  ---
02/09  Hulk #10 -  77,217  (-12.0%)
03/09  ---
04/09  Hulk #11 -  82,726  ( +7.1%)
05/09  Hulk #12 -  73,105  (-11.6%)
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%)
                   6 mnth  (  --- )
                   1 year  (-50.2%)

Owww. This book was consistently selling at 100K in its first six months, but it’s gone into freefall over the last year.

To be fair, you can ignore the sales boost for issue #14, which had a 1:200 Deadpool cover alongside two other variants. Issue #15 only has a 1:15 variant, which is positively conservative by the standards of this title. But to put this in perspective, INCREDIBLE HULK was selling around 53K three years ago. Just as Marvel is expanding the line and announcing crossovers, goodwill seems to be running out.

24. ULTIMATE COMICS SPIDER-MAN
09/04  Ult. Spider-Man #65  -  94,174
09/05  Ult. Spider-Man #82  -  75,756
09/06  Ult. Spider-Man #100 - 116,197
09/07  Ult. Spider-Man #114 -  66,682
=====
09/08  Ult. Spider-Man #126 -  54,604  (  -0.3%)
10/08  Ult. Spider-Man #127 -  52,584  (  -3.7%)
11/08  Ult. Spider-Man #128 -  52,187  (  -0.8%)
12/08  Ult. Spider-Man #129 -  51,071  (  -2.1%)
01/09  Ult. Spider-Man #130 -  49,637  (  -2.8%)
02/09  Ult. Spider-Man #131 -  49,565  (  -0.1%)
03/09  ---
04/09  ---
05/09  Ult. Spider-Man #132 -  50,144  (  +1.2%)
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%)
                               6 mnth  (   --- )
                               1 year  (  +5.3%)
                               2 year  ( -13.8%)
                               3 year  ( -50.5%)
                               4 year  ( -24.1%)
                               5 year  ( -39.0%)

The relaunched ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN looks to be heading rapidly back towards its previous sales level. That’s not a good sign for the relaunch of the Ultimate imprint.

29. MIGHTY AVENGERS
09/07  ---
=====
09/08  Mighty Avengers #18 -  90,799  ( -2.3%)
10/08  Mighty Avengers #19 -  87,258  ( -3.9%)
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%)
                              6 mnth  (-23.6%)
                              1 year  (-40.0%)
                              2 year  (  --- )

The unusually steep drop this month is because issues #27 and #28 both had variant covers. But that said, issues #23-26 all had a single cover, so it does look as though MIGHTY AVENGERS has lost a fair number of readers over the last six months.

32. INCREDIBLE HULK
09/04  ---
09/05  Incredible Hulk #86  -  52,992
09/06  Incredible Hulk #98  -  52,987
09/07  Incredible Hulk #110 -  96,835
08/08  Hulk #5              - 102,105
=====
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%)
                               6 mnth  (  --- )
                               1 year  (-49.5%)
                               2 year  (-46.7%)
                               3 year  ( -2.7%)
                               4 year  ( -2.7%)
                               5 year  (  --- )

The relaunched INCREDIBLE HULK is selling in roughly the same quantities as it was three or four years ago – which would be fine, except it’s still finding its level after the recent relaunch, so it’s probably going to dip further over the next couple of months.

33. ULTIMATE COMICS ARMOR WARS
09/09  U.C. Armor Wars #1 of 4 - 51,035

Again, not a great sign for the relaunched Ultimate imprint, particularly considering that there’s two variant covers on this issue, with 1:15 and 1:25 incentives. By way of comparison, this is lower than the entire run of last year’s ULTIMATE ORIGINS miniseries, which shifted an estimated 61K of its final issue.

34. DEADPOOL
09/08  Deadpool #1  - 75,058
09/08  Deadpool #2  - 65,400  (-12.9%)
10/08  Deadpool #3  - 61,833  ( -5.5%)
11/08  Deadpool #4  - 49,577  (-19.8%)
12/08  Deadpool #5  - 46,856  ( -5.5%)
01/09  Deadpool #6  - 46,549  ( -0.7%)
02/09  Deadpool #7  - 44,082  ( -5.3%)
03/09  Deadpool #8  - 53,109  (+20.5%)
04/09  Deadpool #9  - 54,556  ( +2.7%)
05/09  Deadpool #10 - 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%)
                      6 mnth  ( -5.0%)
                      1 year  (-32.7%)

This is the start of a new story arc, but that aside, it’s just a regular issue. The book appears to be legitimately holding steady at a very respectable 50K.

35. DARK X-MEN: THE CONFESSION
09/09  Confession - 49,939

A one-shot which serves as the pay-off for a long-running UNCANNY X-MEN subplot, and it tails in over 20K behind the parent book. Of course, UNCANNY is still a $2.99 title, and this book was priced at $3.99 – so the difference in dollar value isn’t quite so marked.

36. KICK-ASS  [Icon]
09/08  ---
10/08  ---
11/08  ---
12/08  Kick-Ass #5 - 52,142  (-14.3%)
01/09  ---
02/09  ---
03/09  ---
04/09  Kick-Ass #6 - 50,037  ( -4.0%)
05/09  ---
06/09  ---
07/09  ---
08/09  ---
09/09  Kick-Ass #7 - 49,937  ( -0.2%)
                     6 mnth  (  --- )
                     1 year  (  --- )

The schedule may be erratic, to put it mildly, but sales are holding up well. Issue #8 is currently supposed to be shipping in December.

37. X-FORCE
09/08  X-Force #7  - 64,911  ( -5.9%)
10/08  X-Force #8  - 59,745  ( -8.0%)
11/08  X-Force #9  - 57,241  ( -4.2%)
12/08  X-Force #10 - 58,801  ( +2.7%)
01/09  X-Force #11 - 51,817  (-11.9%)
02/09  X-Force #12 - 51,449  ( -0.7%)
03/09  X-Force #13 - 51,797  ( +0.7%)
04/09  X-Force #14 - 62,674  (+21.0%)
05/09  X-Force #15 - 58,340  ( -6.9%)
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%)
                     6 mnth  ( -3.8%)
                     1 year  (-23.3%)

This seems to be a case of a delayed return to normal sales levels after the “Messiah War” crossover. Another crossover, “X-Necrosha”, is just around the corner.

38,46. INVINCIBLE IRON MAN
09/04  Iron Man #88            - 32,932
09/05  ---
09/06  Iron Man #12            - 36,278
09/07  Iron Man #22            - 46,691
=====
09/08  Invincible Iron Man #5  - 60,444  ( +3.9%)
10/08  Invincible Iron Man #6  - 53,332  (-11.8%)
11/08  Invincible Iron Man #7  - 49,356  ( -7.5%)
12/08  Invincible Iron Man #8  - 56,708  (+14.9%)
01/09  Invincible Iron Man #9  - 52,364  ( -7.7%)
02/09  Invincible Iron Man #10 - 56,381  ( +7.7%)
03/09  Invincible Iron Man #11 - 52,165  ( -7.5%)
04/09  Invincible Iron Man #12 - 51,774  ( -0.7%)
05/09  Invincible Iron Man #13 - 51,311  ( -0.9%)
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%)
                                 6 mnth  ( -7.9%)
                                 1 year  (-20.5%)
                                 2 year  ( +2.9%)
                                 3 year  (+32.4%)
                                 4 year  (  --- )
                                 5 year  (+45.9%)

No variant covers here; this is just a regular issue, apparently holding steady on its merits.

40. MARVELS PROJECT
08/09  Marvels Project #1 of 8 - 89,062
09/09  Marvels Project #2 of 8 - 47,744  (-46.4%)

That’s a huge second issue drop, but then the first issue had six covers (one of which had a 1:75 incentive ratio), and this only has three. Besides, stories set in the Marvel Universe Golden Age aren’t traditionally a draw – if anything, it’s more surprising that issue #1 did so well.

41. THOR ANNUAL
09/09  Thor Annual #1 - 47,718

About 17K behind the parent title, which isn’t bad for an essentially random one-shot.

42. FANTASTIC FOUR
09/04  Fantastic Four #518 - 48,939
09/05  Fantastic Four #531 - 49,745
09/06  ---
09/07  ---
=====
09/08  Fantastic Four #560 - 58,258  ( -2.6%)
10/08  ---
11/08  Fantastic Four #561 - 61,331  ( +5.3%)
12/08  Fantastic Four #562 - 54,062  (-11.9%)
01/09  Fantastic Four #563 - 52,747  ( -2.4%)
02/09  Fantastic Four #564 - 49,520  ( -6.1%)
03/09  Fantastic Four #565 - 48,378  ( -2.3%)
04/09  ---
05/09  Fantastic Four #566 - 46,653  ( -3.6%)
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%)
                             6 mnth  ( -1.9%)
                             1 year  (-18.5%)
                             2 year  (  --- )
                             3 year  (  --- )
                             4 year  ( -4.6%)
                             5 year  ( -3.0%)

Straight back to normal sales after the blip for the new creative team last month.

45. SPIDER-WOMAN
09/09  Spider-Woman #1 - 47,202

Also available as a “motion comic”, whatever that is. (It sounds suspiciously like a euphemism for “low-budget animation”, but since they aren’t available in the United Kingdom, I can’t check for myself.)

This long-delayed series has been in the works for years. It’s a NEW AVENGERS spin-off, and while it comes in some way behind the parent book, the character’s exposure in that title does seem to have gathered an audience.

47. X-MEN: LEGACY ANNUAL
09/09  X-Men: Legacy Annual #1 - 46,822

The parent title is on a skip month. But that’s more form than substance, because this actually the first part of “Devil at the Crossroads”, a four-parter which continues in LEGACY #228. That wasn’t made terribly clear in the solicitations. In any event, some 13,000 readers of the regular series ended up sitting this one out.

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%)

The first two issues had 1:10 variants, this one doesn’t. Allowing for that, sales are settling down quite nicely.

50. WOLVERINE: ORIGINS
09/06  Origins #6  - 101,013
09/07  Origins #17 -  62,235
=====
09/08  Origins #28 -  49,950  ( +5.1%)
10/08  Origins #29 -  58,841  (+17.8%)
11/08  Origins #30 -  50,359  (-14.4%)
12/08  Origins #31 -  45,043  (-10.6%)
01/09  Origins #32 -  44,697  ( -0.8%)
02/09  Origins #33 -  44,935  ( +0.5%)
03/09  Origins #34 -  45,579  ( +1.4%)
04/09  Origins #35 -  44,976  ( -1.3%)
05/09  Origins #36 -  45,451  ( +1.1%)
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%)
                      6 mnth  ( -6.3%)
                      1 year  (-14.5%)
                      2 year  (-31.4%)
                      3 year  (-57.7%)


52. WOLVERINE: WEAPON X
04/09  Wolverine: Weapon X #1 - 97,896
05/09  Wolverine: Weapon X #2 - 59,192  (-39.5%)
06/09  Wolverine: Weapon X #3 - 51,076  (-13.7%)
07/09  ---
08/09  Wolverine: Weapon X #4 - 49,284  ( -3.5%)
09/09  Wolverine: Weapon X #5 - 40,975  (-16.9%)

WEAPON X dips below ORIGINS for the first time. As already noted, the re-titled DARK WOLVERINE series appears to be a Hercules-style soft launch of a new Daken ongoing series. If so, WEAPON X was presumably intended to replace WOLVERINE.
Instead, it’s being ordered as if it were an unwanted extra spin-off book. Which would suggest that while this launch technique might have got Daken’s title off to a good start, it’s inadvertantly torpedoed Wolverine himself.

To be fair, there’s only one variant on this issue (with no incentive ratio), compared to two variants on the previous issue. Even so, the numbers aren’t stellar.

54,67. THUNDERBOLTS
09/04  ---
09/05  New Thunderbolts #12 - 25,912
09/06  Thunderbolts #106    - 31,527
09/07  ---
=====
09/08  Thunderbolts #124    - 43,429  ( -4.3%)
10/08  Thunderbolts #125    - 41,358  ( -4.8%)
11/08  Thunderbolts #126    - 34,640  (-16.2%)
12/08  Thunderbolts #127    - 36,378  ( +5.0%)
01/09  Thunderbolts #128    - 45,745  (+25.7%)
02/09  Thunderbolts #129    - 45,401  ( -0.7%)
03/09  Thunderbolts #130    - 52,264  (+15.1%)
04/09  Thunderbolts #131    - 49,155  ( -5.9%)
05/09  Thunderbolts #132    - 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%)
                              6 mnth  (-34.9%)
                              1 year  (-21.6%)
                              2 year  (  --- )
                              3 year  ( +7.9%)
                              4 year  (+31.3%)
                              5 year  (  --- )

Two issues this month, thanks to issue #135 slipping from August. Issues #134 and #135 both had 1:10 variants, so the underlying trend is a lot less erratic than it looks.

62,78,82,86,88. MARVEL ZOMBIES RETURN
09/09  Marvel Zombies Return #1 - 35,295
09/09  Marvel Zombies Return #2 - 30,198  (-14.4%)
09/09  Marvel Zombies Return #3 - 30,628  ( +1.4%)
09/09  Marvel Zombies Return #4 - 29,396  ( -4.0%)
09/09  Marvel Zombies Return #5 - 28,770  ( -2.2%)

Although this weekly series is listed on the charts as issues #1-5, it’s actually a set of five one-shots, each with a different creative team and lead character – hence the slightly odd ordering pattern. (Issue #3 was Wolverine, if you’re wondering.)

64. DARK TOWER
09/07  ---
=====
09/08  Treachery #1 of 6       -  82,541  (+10.1%)
10/08  Treachery #2 of 6       -  65,732  (-20.4%)
11/08  Treachery #3 of 6       -  58,279  (-11.3%)
12/08  Treachery #4 of 6       -  53,735  ( -7.8%)
01/09  Treachery #5 of 6       -  50,683  ( -5.7%)
02/09  Treachery #6 of 6       -  48,127  ( -5.0%)
03/09  ---
04/09  Sorcerer #1             -  39,210  (-18.5%)
05/09  Fall of Gilead #1 of 6  -  43,580  (+11.1%)
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%)
                                  6 mnth  (  --- )
                                  1 year  (-58.2%)
                                  2 year  (  --- )

Sales seem to be levelling out somewhat as we approach the end of this miniseries, but the general trend of diminishing returns remains clear.

68. CABLE
09/08  ---
10/08  Cable #7  - 43,358  ( -3.8%)
11/08  Cable #8  - 37,315  (-13.9%)
12/08  Cable #9  - 34,527  ( -7.5%)
01/09  Cable #10 - 33,319  ( -3.5%)
02/09  Cable #11 - 31,817  ( -4.5%)
03/09  Cable #12 - 32,407  ( +1.9%)
04/09  Cable #13 - 47,638  (+47.0%)
05/09  Cable #14 - 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%)
                   6 mnth  ( +4.8%)
                   1 year  (  --- )

As with X-FORCE, a delayed return to normal after the “Messiah War” crossover.

70. 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%)
                            6 mnth  (-29.5%)

Issues #6 and #7 both had 1:10 variant covers, which makes this month’s drop look steeper than it is. Nonetheless, issues #4 and #5 had no gimmicks, so the book does seem to be noticeably losing sales.

71. AVENGERS: THE INITIATIVE
09/07  Initiative #6 -  74,184
=====
09/08  Initiative #17 - 59,037  ( -2.2%)
10/08  Initiative #18 - 61,159  ( +3.6%)
11/08  ---
12/08  Initiative #19 - 52,558  (-14.1%)
12/08  Initiative #20 - 51,230  ( -2.5%)
01/09  Initiative #21 - 47,734  ( -6.8%)
02/09  Initiative #22 - 46,932  ( -1.7%)
03/09  ---
04/09  Initiative #23 - 45,146  ( -3.8%)
05/09  Initiative #24 - 42,510  ( -5.8%)
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%)
                        6 mnth  (  --- )
                        1 year  (-42.7%)
                        2 year  (-54.4%)

Last issue had a 1:10 variant, which exaggerates this month’s drop. Still, the downward trend remains evident.

73. VENGEANCE OF MOON KNIGHT
09/06  Moon Knight #5  - 64,736
09/07  Moon Knight #12 - 47,521 
=====
09/08  Moon Knight #22 - 26,380  (-14.6%)
10/08  Moon Knight #23 - 25,216  ( -4.4%)
11/08  Moon Knight #24 - 23,947  ( -5.0%)
12/08  Moon Knight #25 - 23,283  ( -2.8%)
01/09  Moon Knight #26 - 21,796  ( -6.4%)
02/09  Moon Knight #27 - 21,413  ( -1.8%)
03/09  Moon Knight #28 - 20,866  ( -2.6%)
04/09  Moon Knight #29 - 22,689  ( +8.7%)
05/09  Moon Knight #30 - 19,693  (-13.2%)
06/09  ---
07/09  ---
08/09  ---
09/09  Moon Knight #1  - 32,397  (+64.5%)
                         6 mnth  (+55.3%)
                         1 year  (+22.8%)
                         2 year  (-31.8%)
                         3 year  (-50.0%)

The relaunch generates a respectable sales spike, but the series remains some way distant from the sales of two years ago.

76. AMAZING SPIDER-MAN PRESENTS ANTI-VENOM
09/09  Anti-Venom #1 of 3 - 32,128

The other recent miniseries about a Spider-Man villain, DARK REIGN: MISTER NEGATIVE, opened at 26K, so this is an improvement.

77. 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%)

To be fair, this is another case of variant covers making a drop look worse than it is. This is just a regular issue, while issue #4 had both a 1:10 and 1:15 variant. Having said that, the shortlived predecessor title YOUNG X-MEN was doing better than this, five issues in to its run.

79. MS MARVEL
09/06  Ms Marvel #7  - 64,973
09/07  Ms Marvel #19 - 32,371
=====
09/08  Ms Marvel #30 - 40,041  ( -2.9%)
09/08  Ms Marvel #31 - 32,145  (-19.7%)
10/08  Ms Marvel #32 - 25,892  (-19.5%)
11/08  Ms Marvel #33 - 23,980  ( -7.4%)
12/08  Ms Marvel #34 - 29,770  (+24.1%)
01/09  Ms Marvel #35 - 26,824  (-10.0%)
02/09  Ms Marvel #36 - 25,864  ( -3.6%)
03/09  Ms Marvel #37 - 25,053  ( -3.1%)
04/09  Ms Marvel #38 - 27,535  (+10.0%)
05/09  Ms Marvel #39 - 24,757  (-10.1%)
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%)
                       6 mnth  (+21.9%)
                       1 year  (-23.8%)
                       2 year  ( -5.7%)
                       3 year  (-53.0%)

Curious. There’s a variant cover on this issue, but they don’t normally have this much effect on sales. And there’s no other obvious reason for a spike – this is the penultimate part of “War of the Marvels”, a storyline that’s been running for months. So beneath the variant, there may be an underlying sales increase here.

80,84. X-FACTOR
09/06  X-Factor #11 - 43,431
09/07  X-Factor #23 - 53,311
=====
09/08  X-Factor #35 - 44,481  (-11.8%)
10/08  X-Factor #36 - 38,552  (-13.3%)
11/08  X-Factor #37 - 35,754  ( -7.3%)
12/08  X-Factor #38 - 34,425  ( -3.7%)
01/09  X-Factor #39 - 32,796  ( -4.7%)
02/09  X-Factor #40 - 31,943  ( -2.6%)
03/09  X-Factor #41 - 31,888  ( -0.2%)
04/09  X-Factor #42 - 32,000  ( +0.4%)
05/09  X-Factor #43 - 31,543  ( -1.4%)
06/09  X-Factor #44 - 31,552  ( +0.0%)
06/09  X-Factor #45 - 31,109  ( -1.4%)
07/09  X-Factor #46 - 31,213  ( +0.3%)
08/09  X-Factor #47 - 33,052  ( +5.9%)
09/09  X-Factor #48 - 30,305  ( -8.3%)
09/09  X-Factor #49 - 29,934  ( -1.2%)
                      6 mnth  ( -6.1%)
                      1 year  (-32.7%)
                      2 year  (-43.9%)
                      3 year  (-31.1%)

Holding fairly steady. A renumbering is imminent.

81. WAR OF KINGS: WHO WILL RULE
09/09  Who Will Rule - 30,237

An epilogue to the “War of Kings” crossover, obviously enough. The series itself wrapped up last month at 40K, so this is a bit of a drop.

89. PUNISHER
09/07  War Journal #11 - 47,220
=====
09/08  War Journal #23 - 27,384  (  +7.2%)
10/08  War Journal #24 - 31,785  ( +16.1%)
11/08  War Journal #25 - 29,982  (  -5.7%)
12/08  War Journal #26 - 22,423  ( -25.2%)
01/09  Punisher #1     - 49,222  (+119.5%)
02/09  Punisher #2     - 40,928  ( -16.9%)
03/09  Punisher #3     - 37,570  (  -8.2%)
04/09  Punisher #4     - 36,995  (  -1.5%)
05/09  Punisher #5     - 35,621  (  -3.7%)
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%)
                         6 mnth  ( -24.3%)
                         1 year  (  +3.8%)
                         2 year  ( -39.8%)

The August issue had a variant cover spike, so the underlying decline is still more shallow. And in fairness, the book remains slightly up on a year ago.

91. SPIDER-MAN CLONE SAGA
09/09  Clone Saga #1 of 6 - 27,697

A retelling of the clone saga written by Howard Mackie and Tom DeFalco, the premise apparently being to do the story that they would have done if the whole thing hadn’t spiralled out of control. It’s not a million miles from X-MEN FOREVER, another out of continuity series based on the premise of writers returning to their old stories.

To be honest, 28K for an out-of-continuity miniseries about the much-maligned clone saga isn’t bad at all. I’d imagine Marvel will be more than satisfied with this.

92. TORCH
09/09  Torch #1 of 8 - 26,921

This is a revival of the Golden Age Human Torch, tying in with Marvel’s 70th anniversary celebrations. Golden Age characters are rarely big sellers, but with Alex Ross’s name attached (even as co-writer), I’d expected this to do slightly better.

95,98. INCREDIBLE HERCULES
09/08  Hercules #121 - 47,363  ( -7.3%)
10/08  Hercules #122 - 42,876  ( -9.5%)
11/08  Hercules #123 - 35,780  (-16.6%)
12/08  Hercules #124 - 36,855  ( +3.0%)
01/09  Hercules #125 - 31,888  (-13.5%)
02/09  Hercules #126 - 31,000  ( -2.8%)
03/09  Hercules #127 - 31,890  ( +2.9%)
04/09  Hercules #128 - 33,739  ( +5.8%)
05/09  Hercules #129 - 28,995  (-14.1%)
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%)
                       6 mnth  (-17.4%)
                       1 year  (-44.4%)

The slight increase is presumably due to the Super Hero Squad variant cover.

97. PUNISHER ANNUAL
09/09  Punisher Annual #1 - 25,550

Only about 3,000 behind the parent title, which is pretty good.

Next up is DARK REIGN: SINISTER SPIDER-MAN at number 99, but to save repetition, let’s just cover all the DARK REIGN: INSERT NAME HERE stuff at once, since there’s really not much to say about them.

99. DARK REIGN: SINISTER SPIDER-MAN
06/09  Spider-Man #1 of 4 - 40,887
07/09  Spider-Man #2 of 4 - 29,711  (-27.3%)
08/09  Spider-Man #3 of 4 - 27,498  ( -7.4%)
09/09  Spider-Man #4 of 4 - 25,157  ( -8.5%)

110. DARK REIGN: YOUNG AVENGERS
05/09  Young Avengers #1 of 5 - 32,266
06/09  Young Avengers #2 of 5 - 26,974  (-16.4%)
07/09  Young Avengers #3 of 5 - 24,237  (-10.1%)
08/09  ---
09/09  Young Avengers #4 of 5 - 22,875  ( -5.6%)

124. DARK REIGN: MADE MEN
09/09  Made Men - 19,011

129. DARK REIGN: HOOD
05/09  Hood #1 of 5 - 29,857
06/09  Hood #2 of 5 - 24,076  (-19.4%)
07/09  Hood #3 of 5 - 21,162  (-12.1%)
08/09  Hood #4 of 5 - 19,912  ( -5.9%)
09/09  Hood #5 of 5 - 18,427  ( -7.5%)

156. DARK REIGN: LETHAL LEGION
06/09  Lethal Legion #1 of 3 - 23,430
07/09  Lethal Legion #2 of 3 - 16,529  (-29.5%)
08/09  ---
09/09  Lethal Legion #3 of 3 - 14,346  (-13.2%)

Well, no great surprises there. MADE MEN is a reprint of five stories which originally appeared on Marvel’s “Digital Comics Unlimited” site.

Returning to the countdown in progress, one place below SINISTER SPIDER-MAN, we find…

100. GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY
09/08  Guardians o/Galaxy #5  - 42,104  ( +4.5%)
10/08  Guardians o/Galaxy #6  - 36,546  (-13.2%)
11/08  Guardians o/Galaxy #7  - 30,516  (-16.5%)
12/08  Guardians o/Galaxy #8  - 31,564  ( +3.4%)
01/09  Guardians o/Galaxy #9  - 28,502  ( -9.7%)
02/09  Guardians o/Galaxy #10 - 27,648  ( -3.0%)
03/09  Guardians o/Galaxy #11 - 27,415  ( -0.8%)
03/09  Guardians o/Galaxy #12 - 26,764  ( -2.4%)
04/09  Guardians o/Galaxy #13 - 27,107  ( +1.3%)
05/09  Guardians o/Galaxy #14 - 27,130  ( +0.1%)
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%)
                                6 mnth  ( -7.0%)
                                1 year  (-40.9%)

Returning to normal levels after getting a slight bump from a variant cover last month. It’s also the first issue after the “War of Kings” crossover, which didn’t actually help sales noticeably, but might explain why some people seem to have waited to this point to jump off.

103,108. 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%)

That’s pretty steady. Chris Claremont has announced a NEW MUTANTS FOREVER spin-off for 2010, though it’s not clear yet whether it’s an ongoing or a miniseries.

104. NOVA
09/07  Nova #6 -  36,978
=====
09/08  Nova #17 - 37,015  ( -3.5%)
10/08  Nova #18 - 38,417  ( +3.8%)
11/08  Nova #19 - 28,306  (-26.3%)
12/08  Nova #20 - 29,405  ( +3.9%)
01/09  Nova #21 - 25,647  (-12.8%)
02/09  Nova #22 - 25,065  ( -2.3%)
03/09  Nova #23 - 26,413  ( +5.4%)
04/09  Nova #24 - 26,240  ( -0.7%)
05/09  Nova #25 - 26,172  ( -0.3%)
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%)
                  6 mnth  ( -9.4%)
                  1 year  (-35.4%)
                  2 year  (-35.3%)

See GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY, basically.

107. 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%)
                        6 mnth  (-27.8%)

Axed with issue #12.

109. BLACK PANTHER
09/05  Black Panther #8  - 40,494
09/06  Black Panther #20 - 26,585
09/07  ---
=====
09/08  Black Panther #41 - 33,620  ( +0.1%)
10/08  ---
11/08  ---
12/08  ---
01/09  ---
02/09  Black Panther #1  - 52,991  (+57.6%)
03/09  Black Panther #2  - 33,755  (-36.3%)
04/09  Black Panther #3  - 33,356  ( -1.2%)
05/09  Black Panther #4  - 30,984  ( -7.1%)
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%)
                           6 mnth  (-31.8%)
                           1 year  (-31.5%)
                           2 year  (  --- )
                           3 year  (-13.4%)
                           4 year  (-43.2%)

The last two issues actually had variant covers, which didn’t increase sales, but did serve to slow the decline. So this month’s 17% drop is exaggerated – but even so, the underlying trend doesn’t look great.

112. SON OF HULK
09/08  ---
10/08  Skaar, Son of Hulk #4  - 44,310  (-12.8%)
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%)
                                6 mnth  (-16.3%)
                                1 year  (  --- )

Axed with issue #17, though the character has effectively been transferred over to the higher-selling INCREDIBLE HULK title.

114. INCOGNITO  [Icon]
12/08  Incognito #1 - 27,958
01/09  ---
02/09  Incognito #2 - 22,962  (-17.9%)
03/09  ---
04/09  Incognito #3 - 24,280  ( +5.7%)
05/09  ---
06/09  Incognito #4 - 23,584  ( -2.9%)
07/09  Incognito #5 - 23,311  ( -1.2%)
08/09  ---
09/09  Incognito #6 - 22,524  ( -3.4%)
                      6 mnth  (  --- )

Remarkably consistent sales.

121. PUNISHER: FRANK CASTLE  [Max]
09/04  Punisher #11     - 44,038
09/05  Punisher #25     - 37,149
09/06  Punisher #38     - 33,389
09/07  ---
=====
09/08  Punisher #62     - 26,906  ( -5.2%)
10/08  Punisher #63     - 25,933  ( -3.6%)
11/08  Punisher #64     - 24,660  ( -4.9%)
12/08  Punisher #65     - 23,881  ( -3.2%)
01/09  Frank Castle #66 - 22,806  ( -4.5%)
02/09  Frank Castle #67 - 22,267  ( -2.4%)
03/09  Frank Castle #68 - 22,255  ( -0.0%)
04/09  Frank Castle #69 - 21,843  ( -1.9%)
05/09  Frank Castle #70 - 21,864  ( +0.1%)
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%)
                          6 mnth  ( -9.0%)
                          1 year  (-24.7%)
                          2 year  (  --- )
                          3 year  (-39.3%)
                          4 year  (-18.5%)
                          5 year  (-54.0%)

Set to be relaunched in November as PUNISHERMAX. Yes, that’s one word. Yes, I know.

125. EXILES
09/04  Exiles #52     - 36,245
09/05  Exiles #69     - 43,794
09/06  Exiles #86     - 33,080
09/07  Exiles #98     - 28,308
=====
09/08  New Exiles #11 - 22,630  ( -1.8%)
10/08  New Exiles #12 - 21,682  ( -4.2%)
10/08  New Exiles #13 - 21,058  ( -2.9%)
11/08  New Exiles #14 - 20,493  ( -2.7%)
12/08  New Exiles #15 - 19,498  ( -4.9%)
12/08  New Exiles #16 - 19,227  ( -1.4%)
01/09  New Exiles #17 - 18,381  ( -4.4%)
02/09  New Exiles #18 - 17,925  ( -2.5%)
03/09  ---
04/09  Exiles #1      - 31,136  (+73.7%)
05/09  Exiles #2      - 22,148  (-28.9%)
06/09  Exiles #3      - 21,654  ( -2.2%)
07/09  Exiles #4      - 20,548  ( -5.1%)
08/09  Exiles #5      - 21,799  ( +6.1%)
09/09  Exiles #6      - 18,941  (-13.1%)
                        6 mnth  (  --- )
                        1 year  (-16.3%)
                        2 year  (-33.1%)
                        3 year  (-42.7%)
                        4 year  (-56.7%)
                        5 year  (-47.7%)

Axed. If it hadn’t been for the two recent relaunches, this would have been issue #124, and that’s a very respectable run.

130. 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%)

Holding up fairly well, actually. GHOST RIDER had dropped to 20K when it was cancelled in May, so this is basically selling like a continuation of the series.

132. NOMAD: GIRL WITHOUT A WORLD
09/09  Nomad #1 of 4 - 18,069

A miniseries about the Heroes Reborn version of Bucky, who’s now being repackaged as the latest version of Nomad. Not stellar sales, but the aim is really to draw some attention to the character before she moves into CAPTAIN AMERICA as a back-up strip in issue #602.

134. MODELS INC
09/09  Models Inc #1 of 4 - 17,918

Because nobody in particular demanded it: a miniseries about Marvel’s long-cancelled model characters, released to tie in with New York Fashion Week. The sales are actually slightly better than I’d have expected.

135,136. AGENTS OF ATLAS
02/09  Agents of Atlas #1  - 34,449
03/09  Agents of Atlas #2  - 26,783  (-22.3%)
04/09  Agents of Atlas #3  - 29,748  (+11.1%)
05/09  Agents of Atlas #4  - 25,377  (-14.7%)
05/09  Agents of Atlas #5  - 25,207  ( -0.7%)
06/09  Agents of Atlas #6  - 22,579  (-10.4%)
07/09  Agents of Atlas #7  - 23,217  ( +2.8%)
07/09  Agents of Atlas #8  - 20,540  (-11.5%)
08/09  Agents of Atlas #9  - 20,828  ( +1.4%)
09/09  Agents of Atlas #10 - 17,877  (-14.2%)
09/09  Agents of Atlas #11 - 17,529  ( -1.9%)
                             6 mnth  (-34.6%)

Axed, but Marvel aren’t giving up on this one just yet – an array of minis and back-up strips are on their way.

137,139. IMMORTAL WEAPONS
09/07  Immortal Iron Fist #9    - 34,282
=====
09/08  ---
10/08  Immortal Iron Fist #19   - 25,861  ( -5.7%)
11/08  ---
12/08  Immortal Iron Fist #20   - 24,966  ( -3.5%)
12/08  Immortal Iron Fist #21   - 24,134  ( -3.3%)
01/09  ---
02/09  Immortal Iron Fist #22   - 23,259  ( -3.6%)
03/09  Immortal Iron Fist #23   - 22,691  ( -2.4%)
03/09  Immortal Iron Fist #24   - 22,326  ( -1.6%)
04/09  Immortal Iron Fist #25   - 22,309  ( -0.0%)
05/09  Immortal Iron Fist #26   - 21,864  ( -2.0%)
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%)
                                  6 mnth  (-23.7%)
                                  1 year  (  --- )
                                  2 year  (-50.3%)

Levelling out very quickly, and that’s a good sign.

141. HULK TEAM-UP
09/09  Hulk Team-Up - 16,745

Apparently this is a Hulk/X-Men one-shot, but to be honest, even I failed to notice it had come out. Which might explain why it’s selling 17K.

142. SHANG-CHI: MASTER OF KUNG-FU
09/09  Black and white one-shot - 16,698

Exactly what it says on the tin. Seventies retro isn’t for everyone, so I’d say this was a solid number.

144. STRANGE TALES
09/09  Strange Tales #1 of 3 - 16,266

An anthology of indie creators doing Marvel superhero characters. The main selling point is the serialisation of the long-shelved Peter Bagge “Incorrigible Hulk” strip. Again, it’s doing perfectly well for that sort of product.

148. RUNAWAYS
09/04  Runaways #18 - 18,614
09/05  Runaways #8  - 26,954
09/06  Runaways #20 - 23,561
09/07  ---
=====
09/08  Runaways #2  - 27,958  (-15.9%)
10/08  Runaways #3  - 25,757  ( -7.9%)
11/08  Runaways #4  - 23,496  ( -8.8%)
12/08  Runaways #5  - 21,918  ( -6.7%)
01/09  Runaways #6  - 20,459  ( -6.7%)
02/09  Runaways #7  - 19,684  ( -3.8%)
03/09  Runaways #8  - 19,000  ( -3.5%)
04/09  Runaways #9  - 19,851  ( +4.5%)
05/09  Runaways #10 - 17,523  (-11.7%)
06/09  Runaways #11 - 16,988  ( -3.1%)
07/09  Runaways #12 - 16,323  ( -3.9%)
08/09  Runaways #13 - 17,347  ( +6.3%)
09/09  Runaways #14 - 15,547  (-10.4%)
                      6 mnth  (-18.2%)
                      1 year  (-44.4%)
                      2 year  (  --- )
                      3 year  (-34.0%)
                      4 year  (-42.3%)
                      5 year  (-16.5%)

Axed, though a relaunch is supposed to be in the works for 2010.

150. PUNISHER NOIR
08/09  Punisher Noir #1 of 4 - 18,315
09/09  Punisher Noir #2 of 4 - 15,466  (-15.6%)

173. 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%)

We might as well take the two Noir books together, because there’s not much to say about them. As you’d expect, the higher-profile character sells more.

153. IRON MAN: ARMOR WARS
08/09  Armor Wars #1 of 4 - 19,935
09/09  Armor Wars #2 of 4 - 14,781  (-25.9%)

One of the all-ages books, and doing quite well by their standards.

161. 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  (-21.3%)

Surely the time for House of M tie-ins has passed by now?

166. FANTASTIC FORCE
04/09  Fantastic Force #1 of 4 - 21,865
05/09  Fantastic Force #2 of 4 - 16,541  (-24.3%)
06/09  Fantastic Force #3 of 4 - 14,359  (-13.2%)
07/09  ---
08/09  ---
09/09  Fantastic Force #4 of 4 - 12,577  (-12.4%)

Pretty much catastrophic when you consider that it was originally solicited as an ongoing title.

170. MARVEL DIVAS
07/09  Marvel Divas #1 of 4 - 21,616
08/09  Marvel Divas #2 of 4 - 14,662  (-32.2%)
09/09  Marvel Divas #3 of 4 - 12,238  (-16.5%)

Crashing and burning, I’m afraid.

177. UNCANNY X-MEN: FIRST CLASS
09/06  First Class #1 of 8 - 39,859
09/07  First Class #4      - 19,088
=====
09/08  First Class #16     - 12,842  ( -3.1%)
10/08  Giant-Size Special  - 13,263  ( +3.3%)
11/08  ---
12/08  ---
01/09  ---
02/09  Finals #1 of 4      - 15,736  (+18.6%)
03/09  Finals #2 of 4      - 11,533  (-26.7%)
04/09  Finals #3 of 4      - 10,870  ( -5.7%)
05/09  Finals #4 of 4      - 10,579  ( -2.7%)
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%)
                             6 mnth  ( +3.7%)
                             1 year  ( -6.9%)
                             2 year  (-37.4%)
                             3 year  (-70.0%)

Celebrating its third birthday, and sales seem to be settling into the 10-11K range – not bad for an all ages book. This was originally announced as an eight-issue miniseries, but later solicitations seem to be treating it as an ongoing.

178. 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%)

Levelling out. However, video game licences are said to sell in vast quantities outside the direct market, so take this number with a pinch of salt.

181. WOLVERINE: FIRST CLASS
09/08  First Class #7  - 16,168  (-16.8%)
10/08  First Class #8  - 14,936  ( -7.6%)
11/08  First Class #9  - 13,857  ( -7.2%)
12/08  First Class #10 - 13,441  ( -3.0%)
01/09  First Class #11 - 12,845  ( -4.4%)
02/09  First Class #12 - 12,403  ( -3.4%)
03/09  First Class #13 - 12,430  ( -0.0%)
04/09  First Class #14 - 13,695  (+10.2%)
05/09  First Class #15 - 12,221  (-10.8%)
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%)
                         6 mnth  ( -5.7%)
                         1 year  (-27.5%)

Back to normal levels after a variant cover last month.

188. DARING MYSTERY COMICS
09/09  70th Anniversary Special - 11,145

This month’s obligatory anniversary publication.

189. ANITA BLAKE, VAMPIRE HUNTER
09/07  ---
=====
09/08  ---
10/08  Laughing Corpse #1 of 5 - 22,493  (+13.2%)
11/08  Laughing Corpse #2 of 5 - 17,187  (-23.6%)
12/08  Laughing Corpse #3 of 5 - 15,665  ( -8.9%)
01/09  Laughing Corpse #4 of 5 - 14,422  ( -7.9%)
02/09  Laughing Corpse #5 of 5 - 14,095  ( -2.3%)
03/09  ---
04/09  Necromancer #1 of 5     - 15,308  ( +8.6%)
05/09  ---
06/09  Necromancer #2 of 5     - 12,907  (-15.7%)
07/09  Necromancer #3 of 5     - 12,143  ( -5.9%)
08/09  Necromancer #4 of 5     - 11,597  ( -4.5%)
09/09  Necromancer #5 of 5     - 11,142  ( -3.9%)
                                 6 mnth  (  --- )
                                 1 year  (  --- )
                                 2 year  (  --- )

Levelling out as the miniseries wraps up.

203. ENDERS GAME: COMMAND SCHOOL
09/09  Command School #1 of 5 - 9,840

212. ENDERS SHADOW: COMMAND SCHOOL
09/09  Command School #1 of 5 - 8,972

You’d think they’d sell in the same quantities, but apparently not…

205. STARR THE SLAYER [Max]
09/09  Starr the Slayer #1 of 4 - 9,744

Fairly typical Max sales (once you leave the Punisher out of the picture).

206. MODOK: REIGN DELAY
09/09  Reign Delay - 9,735

Another reprint from the Marvel website.

209. THOR: TALES OF ASGARD BY LEE AND KIRBY
05/09  Tales of Asgard #1 of 6 - 13,488
06/09  Tales of Asgard #2 of 6 - 11,022  (-18.3%)
07/09  Tales of Asgard #3 of 6 - 10,618  ( -3.7%)
08/09  Tales of Asgard #4 of 6 - 10,048  ( -5.4%)
09/09  Tales of Asgard #5 of 6 -  9,440  ( -6.1%)

Perfectly good sales for a Silver Age reprint book.

243. DOMINIC FORTUNE [Max]
08/09  Dominic Fortune #1 of 4 - 9,157
09/09  Dominic Fortune #2 of 4 - 6,976  (-23.8%)

Vanishing. Of course, another way of looking at it is that the market for Howard Chaykin reviving Dominic Fortune in 2009 was always going to be tiny, and Marvel deserve some credit for publishing the thing anyway.

246. MARVEL SUPER HERO SQUAD
09/09  Super Hero Squad #1 of 4 - 6,760

Tie-in to the new cartoon series. On the low side for the launch of an all-ages book, to be honest, but then the direct market isn’t its natural home.

248. MARVEL MYSTERY HANDBOOK
09/09  70th Anniversary Special - 6,565

A Handbook issue featuring characters from Marvel’s first year of publication. Again, it’s a bit of a narrow market.

269. MARVEL ADVENTURES SPIDER-MAN  [All ages]
09/05  M.A. Spider-Man #7  - 7,199
09/06  M.A. Spider-Man #19 - 6,057
09/07  M.A. Spider-Man #31 - 6,723 
=====
09/08  M.A. Spider-Man #43 - 5,505  ( -3.7%)
10/08  M.A. Spider-Man #44 - 5,155  ( -6.4%)
11/08  M.A. Spider-Man #45 - 5,003  ( -2.9%)
12/08  M.A. Spider-Man #46 - 4,851  ( -3.0%)
01/09  M.A. Spider-Man #47 - 4,592  ( -5.3%)
02/09  M.A. Spider-Man #48 - 4,622  ( +0.7%)
03/09  M.A. Spider-Man #49 - 4,640  ( +0.4%)
04/09  M.A. Spider-Man #50 - 4,780  ( +3.0%)
05/09  M.A. Spider-Man #51 - 4,557  ( -4.7%)
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%)
                            6 mnth  (+22.2%)
                            1 year  ( +3.0%)
                            2 year  (-15.7%)
                            3 year  ( -6.4%)
                            4 year  (-21.3%)

294. MARVEL ADVENTURES SUPER HEROES
09/08  M.A. Super Heroes #3 -  4,857  (-18.5%)
10/08  M.A. Super Heroes #4 -  4,542  ( -6.5%)
11/08  M.A. Super Heroes #5 -  4,233  ( -6.8%)
12/08  M.A. Super Heroes #6 -  ?,???  (  ??? )
01/09  M.A. Super Heroes #7 -  4,141  (  ??? )
02/09  M.A. Super Heroes #8 -  3,993  ( -3.6%)
03/09  M.A. Super Heroes #9 -  3,716  ( -6.9%)
04/09  M.A. Super Heroes #10 - 3,699  ( -0.5%)
05/09  M.A. Super Heroes #11 - 3,474  ( -6.1%)
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%)
                              6 mnth  (+14.9%)
                              1 year  (-12.1%)

Both books seem to have got a modest but lasting increase from their recent promotional push.

272. MARVEL SPOTLIGHT
09/06  Lee/Kirby             -  6,313
09/07  Thor                  - 11,300
=====
09/08  Marvel Knights        -  5,936  ( -5.1%)
10/08  Ultimatum             -  6,819  (+14.9%)
11/08  Punisher Movie        -  4,342  (-36.3%)
12/08  S.I. Aftermath        -  8,085  (+86.2%)
01/09  Dark Reign            -  7,527  ( -6.9%)
02/09  War of Kings          -  6,075  (-19.3%)
03/09  Wolverine             -  6,670  ( +9.8%)
04/09  ---
05/09  New Mutants           -  4,661  (-30.1%)
06/09  Captain America       -  6,733  (+44.5%)
07/09  ---
08/09  Summer Events         -  5,999  (-10.9%)
09/09  Marvel Zombies Return -  5,546  ( -7.6%)
                               6 mnth  (-16.9%)
                               1 year  ( -6.6%)
                               2 year  (-50.9%)
                               3 year  (-12.1%)

When they did “Marvel Zombies” as a theme in October 2007, the estimated sales were 16,697. But hey, diminishing returns and all that.

297. 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%)
                 6 mnth  (-34.5%)

Clinging in there at the bottom of the chart. Sales are actually pretty steady at this point – after all, if you’ve stuck with it this far, chances are you’re in for the long haul – but it’s plainly in some danger of dropping off the bottom of the top 300.

And three Marvel titles did just that in September: RIFTWAR #4, TROJAN WAR #5 and SCOURGE OF THE GODS: FALL #3. All three missed the charts entirely, selling fewer copies than the number 300 book (BLACKEST NIGHT: TALES OF THE CORPS #2, with re-orders of 4,098).

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

+ 74.4% - Captain America
+ 55.3% - Vengeance of Moon Knight
+ 22.2% - Marvel Adventures Spider-Man
+ 21.9% - Ms Marvel
+ 14.9% - Marvel Adventures Super Heroes
+  6.4% - Amazing Spider-Man
+  4.8% - Cable
+  3.7% - X-Men: First Class
-  1.9% - Fantastic Four
-  3.8% - X-Force
-  5.0% - Deadpool
-  5.6% - Uncanny X-Men
-  5.7% - Wolverine: First Class
-  6.1% - X-Factor
-  6.3% - Wolverine: Origins
-  7.0% - Guardians of the Galaxy
-  7.9% - Invincible Iron Man
-  9.0% - Punisher: Frank Castle
-  9.4% - Nova
- 10.2% - New Avengers
- 16.3% - Son of Hulk
- 16.9% - Marvel Spotlight
- 17.4% - Incredible Hercules
- 18.2% - Runaways
- 21.8% - Dark Avengers
- 23.6% - Mighty Avengers
- 23.7% - Immortal Weapons/Iron Fist
- 24.3% - Punisher
- 27.8% - War Machine
- 29.5% - Secret Warriors
- 31.8% - Black Panther
- 33.5% - Dark Wolverine
- 34.5% - Official Index to the Marvel Universe
- 34.6% - Agents of Atlas
- 34.9% - Thunderbolts


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

+ 43.3% - Captain America
+ 22.8% - Vengeance of Moon Knight
+  5.3% - Ultimate Comics Spider-Man
+  3.8% - Punisher
+  3.0% - Marvel Adventures Spider-Man
-  6.6% - Marvel Spotlight
-  6.9% - X-Men: First Class
- 11.2% - Uncanny X-Men
- 12.1% - Marvel Adventures Super Heroes
- 14.5% - Wolverine: Origins
- 16.3% - Exiles
- 17.2% - New Avengers
- 18.5% - Fantastic Four
- 20.5% - Invincible Iron Man
- 21.6% - Thunderbolts
- 23.3% - X-Force
- 23.8% - Ms Marvel
- 24.7% - Punisher: Frank Castle
- 27.5% - Wolverine: First Class
- 30.1% - Amazing Spider-Man
- 31.5% - Black Panther
- 32.7% - Deadpool
- 32.7% - X-Factor
- 35.4% - Nova
- 40.0% - Mighty Avengers
- 40.9% - Guardians of the Galaxy
- 42.7% - Avengers: The Initiative
- 44.4% - Incredible Hercules
- 44.4% - Runaways
- 49.5% - Incredible Hulk
- 50.2% - Hulk
- 58.2% - Dark Tower


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

+ 36.2% - Captain America
+  2.9% - Invincible Iron Man
-  5.7% - Ms Marvel
- 13.8% - Ultimate Comics Spider-Man
- 15.7% - Marvel Adventures Spider-Man
- 16.0% - Uncanny X-Men
- 18.6% - Dark Wolverine
- 24.1% - New Avengers
- 31.4% - Wolverine: Origins
- 31.8% - Vengeance of Moon Knight
- 33.1% - Exiles
- 35.3% - Nova
- 37.4% - X-Men: First Class
- 39.8% - Punisher
- 43.9% - X-Factor
- 46.7% - Incredible Hulk
- 50.3% - Immortal Weapons / Iron Fist
- 50.9% - Marvel Spotlight
- 54.4% - Avengers: The Initiative
- 57.2% - Amazing Spider-Man


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

+ 32.4% - Invincible Iron Man
+ 31.7% - Captain America
+  7.9% - Thunderbolts
-  2.7% - Incredible Hulk
-  6.4% - Marvel Adventures Spider-Man
- 12.1% - Marvel Spotlight
- 13.4% - Black Panther
- 18.1% - Uncanny X-Men
- 31.1% - X-Factor
- 34.0% - Runaways
- 39.3% - Punisher: Frank Castle
- 42.7% - Exiles
- 43.7% - Dark Wolverine
- 46.5% - Amazing Spider-Man
- 50.0% - Vengeance of Moon Knight
- 50.5% - Ultimate Comics Spider-Man
- 53.0% - Ms Marvel
- 57.7% - Wolverine: Origins
- 70.0% - X-Men: First Class


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

+105.9% - Captain America
+ 31.3% - Thunderbolts
-  2.7% - Incredible Hulk
-  4.6% - Fantastic Four
- 12.0% - Amazing Spider-Man
- 14.3% - Uncanny X-Men
- 18.5% - Punisher: Frank Castle
- 21.3% - Marvel Adventures Spider-Man
- 24.1% - Ultimate Comics Spider-Man
- 31.8% - Dark Wolverine
- 40.1% - New Avengers
- 42.3% - Runaways
- 43.2% - Black Panther
- 56.7% - Exiles


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

+191.8% - Captain America
+ 74.8% - Thor
+ 45.9% - Invincible Iron Man
-  3.0% - Fantastic Four
-  6.7% - Dark Wolverine
-  8.1% - New Avengers
- 16.5% - Runaways
- 22.3% - Uncanny X-Men
- 28.3% - Amazing Spider-Man
- 39.0% - Ultimate Comics Spider-Man
- 47.7% - Exiles
- 54.0% - Punisher: Frank Castle

1 COMMENT

  1. Actually, I think Iron Man is one of those rare cases where someone is writing a really exciting story and people are buying it because it’s exciting.

  2. “motion comic”, whatever that is. (It sounds suspiciously like a euphemism for “low-budget animation”

    That about sums it up.

  3. Good to see Amazing Spider-Man has trended upwards over last year. Maybe word has gotten out that it’s gotten better?

    The Wolverine relaunch looks like a total disaster, doesn’t it? I would have thought his mainline title would have been more-or-less unkillable, but despite the solid creators, Weapon X was a big disappointment, and so little happened in each issue that I personally couldn’t justify dropping $4 on it, no matter how awesome the art was.

    Hulk #15 was the first issue after Ed McGuinness left, which may explain a bunch of people jetting the title. It’s a shame the writing is so bad on that book, because Ian Churchill’s “new” art style is pretty damn awesome, but I just can’t stomach reading the book, or dropping $4 on it. (Hrm…I sense a trend here…)

    The main Deadpool book at 50k and his 2nd ongoing at 43k? Kind of unreal…

    Could the Ms. Marvel hiccup be explained by shipment of some copies of #44 getting pushed into September? I really can’t imagine hype of the current storyline boosting readership that much, but maybe I’m just biased because it’s this storyline that got me to drop the book.

    I can’t believe how low Incredible Hercules is on this chart, given it’s one of the best (if not THE best) books Marvel is publishing right now.

  4. “Good to see Amazing Spider-Man has trended upwards over last year.”

    Except it hasn’t, because this month’s issues were the concluding parts of the highly anticipated MJ arc, and the two-part Black Cat arc, which was Black Cat’s first appearance in the ASM title proper in YEARS, if not DECADES. You WILL see a sharp drop in these numbers next month.

  5. K-Box: Good point. Also, I missed that Paul said “earlier in the year” and not “last year.” Still, I think the sharp drop you’re expecting might be at least another month or so off, since “The Gauntlet” storyline is getting a pretty heavy push. It might just be one of those Spidey storylines like “New Ways To Die” that draws in readers for just that one arc.

  6. Anyone know how many issues of NEW AVENGERS The Hood and the Wrecker (plus his crew) have appeared in? If the series was a video program, the crooks would be credited as “Also starring”.

    SRS

  7. “Still, I think the sharp drop you’re expecting might be at least another month or so off, since ‘The Gauntlet’ storyline is getting a pretty heavy push.”

    Except that the next sales figures to come out won’t be “The Gauntlet” issues. They’ll be the “Who Was Ben Reilly?” story arc, the last issue of which came out yesterday, and has hardly even been MENTIONED on most message boards, because neither BND fans NOR “Clone Saga” fans found anything interesting about it.

  8. Regarding the sinking Hulk sales, for me I dropped this title because the “mystery” of the Red Hulk was dragging on way too long. Also, this title reads way too fast to justify the inflated $3.99 cover price (heck, even at $2.99!).

    Most $3.99 Marvel titles can’t be justified to be purchased… same with most of the DC new $3.99 titles. And I don’t care if some of these $3.99 titles have backup stories — none so far have interested me (and those reprint fillers are totally worthless as well). Sigh…

  9. “Good to see Amazing Spider-Man has trended upwards over last year.”

    # K-Box Says: Except it hasn’t, because this month’s issues were the concluding parts of the highly anticipated MJ arc, and the two-part Black Cat arc, which was Black Cat’s first appearance in the ASM title proper in YEARS, if not DECADES. You WILL see a sharp drop in these numbers next month.

    That’s odd. Because in the article right before this one, it was shown that Amazing Spider-Man was a Top 10 book in October and Marvel’s 4th best selling title that month.

    http://pwbeat.publishersweekly.com/blog/2009/11/05/diamond-october-a-big-month-for-dc/

  10. “Because in the article right before this one, it was shown that Amazing Spider-Man was a Top 10 book in October and Marvel’s 4th best selling title that month.”

    That issue also had a 70th anniversary cover. Talk to me when we see #609’s sales.

  11. I would love to be a fly in the Marvel offices as the suits look at your Marvel monthly sales reports (because you know they read this). I think you’re pretty spot on with most of your commentary. In regards to the fifteen or however many Avengers titles there are and some of their declining sales, I’m sure out of the Siege and return of Captain America, we’ll see Marvel drop Dark Avengers for a new Siege Avengers title that’ll be a new #1 issue which will do really welll (with lots of covers) and that’s how they’ll recharge that books’ numbers.

  12. K-Box Says: That issue also had a 70th anniversary cover. Talk to me when we see #609’s sales.

    I guess all it takes for a book to be a Top 10 title then is a 70th anniversary cover.
    And the previous issues only did well because they had the Black Cat in them.
    And the issues before only did well because they had MJ in them.

    Is there any way you could spin this where you’re not right?

  13. # jason Says: it’s top 10 but selling below uncanny? that is nothing to get all excited about.

    You’re right. As a Top 10 book and the 4th best selling book from Marvel, it’s doing terrible.

  14. “I guess all it takes for a book to be a Top 10 title then is a 70th anniversary cover.”

    In a month where Marvel’s sales as a whole are doing so poorly that DC took THE TOP SIX of the top 10 sales slots, FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE 1968??? Yes, that IS all it takes.

    “Is there any way you could spin this where you’re not right?”

    No, there isn’t, because I AM right, regardless of how butthurt that makes you.

  15. “So how many consecutive issues in a row of selling a product that people want to buy will make Amazing Spider Man a success?”

    The current era of the title has been outsold, on a copies-per-issue basis, by every other era of its published history except for the Byrne and Mackie reboot period (and even the first half of that era outsells the current issues), which is universally acknowledged as the biggest critical and commercial failure in Spider-Man’s history. Your assertion that a majority of people want to buy this book is objectively wrong, and growing more wrong every month.

  16. I’m suprised Marvels dollars and units share are as high as they are when so many of their titles this month have drastic decreases.

    Also, love the comment about Marvels Project – ‘ONLY 3 variant covers’… only?!? haha….

  17. Punisher #9 and Punisher Annual #1 both had RIP Variants by Tom Raney.

    And Dominic Fortune isn’t technically an original book: it’s the print debut of the current “Astonishing Tales” digital comic run.

  18. “You’re right. As a Top 10 book and the 4th best selling book from Marvel, it’s doing terrible.”

    Well, that’s not very meaningful, to be honest. These things are dictated largely by what else came out. AMAZING was only Marvel’s 7th best-selling title in September, and the difference is because of two one-shots and a mini that didn’t ship in October.

  19. “The current era of the title has been outsold, on a copies-per-issue basis, by every other era of its published history…”

    Wrong. According to ICV2’s estimates for March 2001 (the first month of figures, and the last month before J Michael Straczynski’s run), AMAZING was selling around 45K at that point – some 17,000 lower than the current sales.

    (And before you say it: yes, the 2001 figures didn’t include re-orders. But that comes nowhere close to accounting for the discrepancy. The charts for March 2003, the changeover month, were produced on both bases, and the effect was to increase sales on AMAZING by 3K.)

  20. Actually, hold on… issue #29 was the tail end of the Byrne/Mackie reboot period. And you did mark that out as an exception.

    So, you’re correct. Sorry about that – my fault for not checking what was actually in issue #29 before posting.

    (That said, the Byrne/Mackie run was *so* far below the current version that I think it really does undermine the argument that the current sales are a historic low.)

  21. K-Box Says: The current era of the title has been outsold, on a copies-per-issue basis, by every other era of its published history except for the Byrne and Mackie reboot period…

    Before the current run of ASM, there were 3 Spider-Man titles coming out every month: Amazing, Sensational, and Friendly Neighborhood (or Web, Spectacular, etc.). Now, there are three Spider-Man books coming out every month that are all under the ASM banner.

    How well is the current era of Spider-Man doing NOT compared to the single issue ASM, but compared to the combined sales of the previous three Spider-Man titles? From the JMS era ASM to the Byrne/Mackie era ASM, readers were only asked to buy one copy a month, now they’re asked to buy three times that. Shouldn’t that be taken into consideration?

  22. Greg, that calculation has been done a few times by Paul in past columns…the first one I came across (from Jan. ’08) states that in the year before “One More Day” (which includes both “Civil War” and “Back in Black”), the sales per issue averaged out across all 3 Spider-titles was 63,463. By my quick count, only 15 of the last 38 issues sold less than that. That’s not too bad an average. Looks like the story arcs dragging it down were the chunks of brief arcs around the Obama issue: the Molten Man arc, Menace Revealed, the FF arc, 24/7. It’s a shame 24/7 was on the low end of that because I think it’s actually one of the better arcs of late.

  23. And just for the heck of it, the average sales of the last year’s worth of issues (not counting the Obama issue) is 65,302. (Counting the Obama issue, it’s 79,118.) Keeping average sales per issue about 3% higher than a year that featured two mega-storylines? I doubt anyone at Marvel is worried with those kinds of numbers.

  24. The counter-argument, of course, is that while they may be selling as many comics, they’re selling them to a smaller audience base. And that’s a legitimate point, but at present Marvel seem to be generally more concerned about maximising the revenue from their hardcore fans than expanding the total audience. (Arguably understandable, in the context of taking the safe route during a time of economic turbulence.)

  25. Paul O’Brien Says: The counter-argument, of course, is that while they may be selling as many comics, they’re selling them to a smaller audience base.

    IMO, that’s not really a counter-argument, but rather a statement of fact.

    On the other hand, there’s a part of your analysis that I would argue against. You say “…the basic Spider-Man sales seem to have stabilised at around 62-63K – up slightly from the high 50Ks earlier in the year”. But throughout this new run of Spider-Man haven’t the high 50Ks been anomalous figures? For any of the rare times that the book has sold in the high 50Ks, hasn’t it sold in the high 70Ks and 80ks far more times?

    When looking at the book for the entire past year (outside of high outliers like the Obama issue and the 600th issue, and the rare low times) isn’t it more accurate to say that the book has consistently sold in the 60K range, instead of “seem(ing) to have stabilised” there?

  26. I still read HULK because I’m a Hulk nut, but I can see why it is sinking so badly… The whole Red Hulk storyline is wearing out its welcome fast – especially since the price went up a dollar. Plus the past 3 arcs have had a lot of wheel-spinning and not a lot of forward movement. People are frustrated at 2 years worth of non-clues and half-baked “mysteries”… and this is coming from someone who still sorta likes the series…

    I think INCREDIBLE is really good right now, and it has that extra story… but I think a lot of people don’t want to read about Banner and son, along with a She-Hulk many immediately don’t like because she isn’t Jen Walters. It’s funny that, a few years ago, the main selling point of INCREDIBLE HULK was the lack of any actual Hulk. How times change…

  27. Thing about that 63k number for the pre-OMD titles is that it was “seasonally adjusted” because ASM, as part of the CW knock-on delays*, only came out nine times that year. If you drop the skip months, it was more like 70k.

    *And those CW delays, causing skip months for a lot of Marvel’s top-sellers, must have ultimately cost them more than they made from HC sales, surely…

  28. Collected editions are cheaper to print because all the creators have been paid from the income from the monthly comics. Many hardcover editions are printed in China at unbelievably low prices, making the profit margin huge for Marvel (and other companies, too). So the amount of profit on the collected editions is probably pretty big.

  29. Re: Ender Sales – one is about Ender Wiggins, who is a pretty popular character and for years was pretty much the biggest character in that whole series. The other, lesser selling, is about Bean, who was a character in Ender’s Game and went on to get a series of sort of companion novels – stuff that happened at the same time, and filled in gaps between stories. Understandably, he sells less than Ender (hell his name isn’t even in the title of *his* books).

  30. Someone once pointed out that these analysis don’t take relative cover prices into account. With that in mind, here’s how things play out if you multiply in the cover price. Please forgive the icky formatting:

    Old Rank Title Total$ New Rank

    5 WOLVERINE GIANT-SIZE #1 $468,176.77 2
    2 CAPTAIN AMERICA REBORN #3 (OF 5) $432,240.69 3
    7 NEW AVENGERS #57 $341,536.02 4
    9 DARK AVENGERS #9 $318,118.71 6
    12 DARK AVENGERS UNCANNY X-MEN EXODUS DAX $301,891.38 8
    15 ULTIMATE COMICS AVENGERS #2 $273,702.03 9
    16 THOR #603 $260,407.35 11
    19 AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #605 $250,695.69 12
    22 DARK REIGN LIST AVENGERS ONE SHOT $240,744.63 14
    23 HULK #15 $234,081.33 16
    24 ULTIMATE COMICS SPIDER-MAN #2 $229,333.23 18
    13 UNCANNY X-MEN #515 $220,019.15 20
    30 DARK REIGN LIST X-MEN ONE SHOT $214,937.31 23
    14 AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #606 $209,829.23 24
    32 INCREDIBLE HULK #602 $205,816.17 25
    33 ULTIMATE COMICS ARMOR WARS #1 (OF 4) $203,629.65 26
    35 DARK X-MEN CONFESSION ONE-SHOT DAX $199,256.61 27
    40 MARVELS PROJECT #2 (OF 8) $190,498.56 30
    41 THOR ANNUAL #1 $190,394.82 31
    18 AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #604 $189,670.65 32
    45 SPIDER-WOMAN #1 $188,335.98 34
    20 AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #607 $187,084.30 35
    47 X-MEN LEGACY ANNUAL #1 $186,819.78 36
    21 DARK WOLVERINE #78 $181,498.98 37
    51 DARK REIGN LIST DAREDEVIL ONE SHOT $166,518.66 38
    52 WOLVERINE WEAPON X #5 $163,490.25 40
    29 MIGHTY AVENGERS #29 $162,883.24 41
    34 DEADPOOL #15 $150,932.21 44
    36 KICK ASS #7 (MR) $149,311.63 45
    37 X-FORCE #19 $148,952.83 46
    38 INVINCIBLE IRON MAN #18 $143,636.61 48
    42 FANTASTIC FOUR #571 $141,929.32 51
    46 INVINCIBLE IRON MAN #17 $141,074.18 53
    62 MARVEL ZOMBIES RETURN #1 $140,827.05 54
    64 DARK TOWER THE FALL OF GILEAD #5 (OF 6) $137,742.78 57
    49 DEADPOOL MERC WITH A MOUTH #3 $131,126.45 60
    73 VENGEANCE OF MOON KNIGHT #1 $129,264.03 62
    76 AMAZING SPIDER-MAN PRESENTS ANTI VENOM #1 (OF 3) $128,190.72 63
    50 WOLVERINE ORIGINS #40 $127,744.76 64
    78 MARVEL ZOMBIES RETURN #3 $122,205.72 65
    81 WAR OF KINGS WHO WILL RULE ONE-SHOT $120,645.63 67
    82 MARVEL ZOMBIES RETURN #2 $120,490.02 68
    54 THUNDERBOLTS #135 DKR $119,483.39 69
    86 MARVEL ZOMBIES RETURN #4 $117,290.04 70
    88 MARVEL ZOMBIES RETURN #5 $114,792.30 71
    91 SPIDER-MAN CLONE SAGA #1 (OF 6) $110,511.03 75
    92 TORCH #1 (OF 8) $107,414.79 77
    97 PUNISHER ANNUAL #1 $101,944.50 79
    67 THUNDERBOLTS #136 $101,752.69 80
    68 CABLE #18 $101,534.42 81
    70 SECRET WARRIORS #8 $101,340.07 82
    71 AVENGERS INITIATIVE #28 $101,226.45 83
    121 PUNISHER FRANK CASTLE MAX #74 (MR) $101,092.41 84
    99 DARK REIGN SINISTER SPIDER-MAN #4 (OF 4) $100,376.43 85
    103 X-MEN FOREVER #7 $96,218.85 87
    77 NEW MUTANTS #5 $94,190.98 90
    108 X-MEN FOREVER #8 $92,464.26 91
    79 MS MARVEL #45 $91,278.72 92
    110 DARK REIGN YOUNG AVENGERS #4 (OF 5) DKR $91,271.25 93
    80 X-FACTOR #48 $90,611.95 94
    114 INCOGNITO #6 (MR) $89,870.76 96
    84 X-FACTOR #49 $89,502.66 97
    89 PUNISHER #9 $84,987.76 102
    144 STRANGE TALES #1 (OF 3) (MR) $81,167.34 103
    95 INCREDIBLE HERCULES #135 $78,768.56 106
    98 INCREDIBLE HERCULES #134 $75,886.20 108
    124 DARK REIGN MADE MEN $75,853.89 109
    125 EXILES #6 $75,574.59 110
    100 GUARDIANS OF GALAXY #18 $74,439.04 112
    129 DARK REIGN HOOD #5 (OF 5) $73,523.73 114
    130 GHOST RIDERS HEAVENS ON FIRE #2 (OF 6) $72,865.38 116
    132 NOMAD GIRL WITHOUT A WORLD #1 (OF 4) $72,095.31 117
    104 NOVA #29 $71,532.76 118
    134 MODELS INC #1 (OF 4) $71,492.82 120
    107 WAR MACHINE #9 $70,531.11 121
    137 IMMORTAL WEAPONS #2 (OF 5) $69,797.07 122
    109 BLACK PANTHER 2 #8 $68,829.80 124
    139 IMMORTAL WEAPONS #3 (OF 5) $67,945.71 126
    112 SON OF HULK #15 $67,938.78 127
    141 HULK TEAM-UP ONE SHOT $66,812.55 130
    142 SHANG-CHI MASTER OF KUNG-FU BLACK & WHITE ONE-SHOT $66,625.02 131
    150 PUNISHER NOIR #2 (OF 4) $61,709.34 136
    156 DARK REIGN LETHAL LEGION #3 (OF 3) DKR $57,240.54 142
    161 HOUSE OF M MASTERS OF EVIL #2 (OF 4) $55,038.06 146
    135 AGENTS OF ATLAS #10 $53,452.23 148
    136 AGENTS OF ATLAS #11 $52,411.71 149
    170 MARVEL DIVAS #3 (OF 4) $48,829.62 152
    173 LUKE CAGE NOIR #2 (OF 4) $48,582.24 154
    174 MYSTIC COMICS #1 70TH ANNIV SPECIAL $48,478.50 155
    178 HALO HELLJUMPER #3 (OF 5) (MR) $47,189.73 159
    148 RUNAWAYS 3 #14 $46,485.53 162
    188 DARING MYSTERY COMICS #1 70TH ANNIV SPECIAL $44,468.55 166
    189 ANITA BLAKE LC NECROMANCER #5 (OF 5) (MR) $44,456.58 167
    153 IRON MAN ARMOR WARS #2 (OF 4) $44,195.19 169
    203 ENDERS GAME COMMAND SCHOOL #1 (OF 5) $39,261.60 177
    205 STARR THE SLAYER #1 (OF 4) (MR) $38,878.56 178
    206 MODOK REIGN DELAY $38,842.65 179
    209 THOR TALES OF ASGARD BY LEE & KIRBY #5 (OF 6) $37,665.60 181
    166 FANTASTIC FORCE #4 (OF 4) $37,605.23 182
    212 ENDERS SHADOW COMMAND SCHOOL #1 (OF 5) $35,798.28 191
    177 UNCANNY X-MEN FIRST CLASS #3 (OF 8) $35,742.46 193
    181 WOLVERINE FIRST CLASS #19 $35,051.77 197
    248 MARVEL MYSTERY HANDBOOK 70TH ANNIV SPECIAL $32,759.35 211
    243 DOMINIC FORTUNE #2 (OF 4) (MR) $27,834.24 228
    246 MARVEL SUPER HERO SQUAD #1 (OF 4) $20,212.40 253
    285 ULTIMATE COMICS AVENGERS #1 $18,816.84 263
    289 CAPTAIN AMERICA REBORN #1 (OF 5) $17,647.77 272
    269 MARVEL ADVENTURES SPIDER-MAN #55 $16,947.32 277
    272 MARVEL SPOTLIGHT MARVEL ZOMBIES RETURN $16,582.54 281
    297 OFFICIAL INDEX TO MARVEL UNIVERSE #9 $16,534.56 282
    294 MARVEL ADVENTURES SUPER HEROES #15 $12,761.32 297

  31. It’s such a shame New Mutants is doing so badly, as I’d hoped their involvement in Utopia would have interested some people (although it was barely touched on in the NM series itself).

    Hopefully Necrosha will hep drive sales (and if they sort out the coloring issues on title it may survive a few more months).

    So sad the cosmic titles don’t sell better (although I wonder how TPB sales factor into things, as I don’t buy Nova monthly but do as trades, but buy pretty much else that Marvel puts out).