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by Xavier Lancel

Welcome to a new analysis of the Marvel sales. Reminder: I’m French, that’s why I’m talking funny. Please adress your complaints to my all-over-the-news country.

Reminder: these sales numbers are estimates of sales to comics shops situated in North America. American comics do get sold somewhere else in their original floppy edition. Keep also in mind that it’s not because a copy is sold to a shop that it’s sold to a customer. This would be way too easy. Digital sales are not taken into account.

Now is the start of it all! Quite a bunch of big titles made their comeback this month, often double-shipping. Meanwhile, half of the Secret Wars minis headed towards their conclusion, and some of them had a slippery last issue fall. In addition, yet another month where no Marvel title had noticeable reorders in the top 300! Marvel has announced a number of original new ongoing series that are not the 354th relaunch of Iron Man, Avengers-this, X-Men-that or Spider-Dude, nor the relaunch of new titles that started their first runs less than 6 months ago. However, these innovative titles were not released in October. The only big events are the return of Dr Strange after almost 20 years without an ongoing title — a shame for one of the best series ever published by Marvel — and the return of Karnak, the not-so-dead Inhuman, with a prestigious creative team.

all-new-all-different-marvel-promotional-image

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Ultimately, we are left with the big flagship relaunches and we can already see that the trends are not pretty. Yes, people are still buying way more of a title when it’s numbered #1, even if it asks of them a monetary effort (at $6 or 5$ the first issue for some + the double shipping, that makes quite an amount of money to spend this month for Marvel fans). However, with the exception of Iron Man, which was heavily pushed by Marvel, the resulting sales were either disappointing or so weak that they put titles on a track to instantly end up back at their pre-relaunch sales levels. In this game, the Avengers brand seems the one most hurt by « désamour » from buyers [editor’s note: the cessation of love].

Sorry, but color me unimpressed by the tons of $ Marvel made this month! Their publishing line is in a very interesting transition phase, one which will be sustained not by selling hundreds of thousands of flagship series #1s, but rather by keeping afloat their more innovative new series over an extended period of time.  See you after the funny numbers parade!


 STAR WARS TPB VOL.1: 21,826
160p, $20, cents per page: 12.5

The first collection of Star Wars is out, containing issues 1-6 and it’s crushing everything with record sales, rarely seen on a first month release. You can bet that this will be the 4th Marvel series that’s gonna sell huge amount of paperbacks every month for years to come.

 

 DARTH VADER TPB VOL.1 :10,143
152p, $20, cents per page: 13.2

Same goes for the first volume of the Darth Vader series. Of course the main title will always sell more, but, seeing those numbers, we can bet that reorder activity will be as successful for those secondary series.

 

 DOCTOR STRANGE DON'T PAY FERRYMAN : 1,469 
176p, $25, cents per page: 14.2

This release of Doctor Strange episodes in collected editions is a bit messy. Luckily, we already have some collections, but in this one we seem to jump from one period to another, missing some really great portions of this volume of Doctor Strange adventures. This is …strange, seeing as absolutely every issue is a masterpiece, with incredibly talented writers matched with some of best pencilers in the business (where are all the Gene Colan episodes?). This collection starts with the arrival of Mike Badger and Peter Gillis on the title. Badger quickly abandons his place to Chris Warner (another gem!), and Gillis will stay quite a long time on the series (3 and a half years), giving to us a really creepy and unforgettable run that sees the poor Doctor on a never ending fall toward darkness. Marvel will probably follow this collection with episodes from Strange Tales vol.2 , a direct continuation of the issues presented here (Doctor Strange 75-81), which end on a cliffhanger. Those numbers are not stellar, but perfectly ok, so it’s likely that we’ll see the end of Gillis run in another volume soon. Highly recommanded!

 

 DAMAGE CONTROL TP COMPLETE COLLECTION
392p, $35, cents per page: 8,9

You guys probably didn’t notice it if you never clicked on my name in the comment section, but I’m the creator of Ernie Colon Unlimited, an online resource that collects every comic Colon ever worked on.  We have almost 90% of them — only most of his Harvey comics are still missing because of their non-credit policy at that time. It’s all in English, so feel free to take a look and comment. A deeper 50 page interview and critical piece of coverage on his whole career is available in French in issue 77 of Scarce, the comics magazine I’m the editor of. Feel free to send me a message if you are interested in a copy, our prices are the same worldwide, it will only arrive to you more slowly if you are overseas. You can bet that I’m quite happy that this collection is seeing the light of the day, not necessarily because that’s the best work done by Ernie (it’s not) or because the single issues of this run are hard to find (they’re not), but Marvel’s printing during the original run’s era was really awful. This collection will make Ernie’s pencils shine at last. In addition, the price tag on this collection is quite nice, no?


1- 28- INVINCIBLE IRON MAN

10/15 Invincible Iron Man #1 -  279,514  
10/15 Invincible Iron Man #2 -    66,664 (-76.2%)             

Of course, numerous variant covers were present for the party, but otherwise Invincible Iron Man is a standard $4 Marvel comic. Great #1 numbers, but they are completely out of touch with the series’ actual readership size, which as you can see with issue#2, is way way lower than 300k. If a company can sell 4 times more (and thus make at least 4 times more money) in one issue by numbering it #1 and selling it to non-readers than it can expect to sell across the proceeding 4 issues to real readers, that company could be tempted to deviate from producing good ongoing comics to producing as much appealing #1 issues as they can.

Nobody would be foolish enough to do that, right?

2- 10-AMAZING SPIDER-MAN ($6)

10/15 Amazing Spider-Man #1 -  245,873 
10/15 Amazing Spider-Man #2 -  111,322   (-54.7%)           

Well, look who’s there? Point to Marvel: only a year and a half after their previous relaunch of the Amazing Spider-Man, there are still swaths of people ready to pay $6 for a new #1 featuring the most famous Marvel superhero. However, for the #1 to be just under Iron-Man #1 numbers and less than 20% over the debut numbers of the last Spider-Man Secret Wars mini is disappointing. You’ll tell me that the reason fewer people bought this book is because it cost $6 (only for its #1 issue)! Well, the previous relaunch also was $6 and it sold 532,586 copies (well, at least to shops).
So, to recapitulate: less than half the sales of the recent previous relaunch, barely more than the last Spider-Man mini, less than Iron Man? We’re talking Amazing Spider-Man here. Call me a turd, but that’s disapointing with a big D. In the long term, the only way Marvel could call this relaunch a success is if the series sales consistently stay over 100K, which would be a slight improvement over an already successful ongoing title.

3- SPIDER-GWEN

02/15 Spider-Gwen #1 -  278,575 
03/15 Spider-Gwen #2 -  107,070 (-61.6%)
04/15 spider-Gwen #3 -  102,234 (- 4.5%)
05/15 Spider-Gwen #4 -    86,586 (-15.3%)
06/15 Spider-Gwen #5 -    67,697 (-21.8%)
07/15 ---
08/15 ---
09/15 ---
10/15 Spider-Gwen #1 -  197,103      

A standard $4 price tag. Spider-Gwen is still popular for sure. However, it looks like people needed to be reminded of her, given the series’ worrying sales trajectory, which has not yet stabilized! We’ll see once the investors and the variant buyers have had their fill if relaunching the title really helped it catch late-starting readers.

4- SECRET WARS LTD 

05/15 Secret Wars Ltd #1 -  544,342                  
05/15 Secret Wars Ltd #2 -  231,560   (-57.5%)         
06/15 Secret Wars Ltd #3 -  224,067   (-  3.2%)
07/15 Secret Wars Ltd #4 -  221,041   (-  1.4%)
08/15 Secret Wars Ltd #5 – 204,416   (-  7.5%)
09/15 ---
10/15 Secret Wars Ltd #6 -  192,244

Falling under the 200K barreer in total sales for the first time, Still selling like hotcakes! American friends on a trip to UK explained to me that pancakes don’t sell, at least not using this expression- but were quite embarrassed when I asked them to explain to me what a hotcake really is! :p

5- DOCTOR STRANGE ($5)

10/15 Doctor Strange #1 – 145,456                

At last! We have been waiting 19 years for the good old Doctor to have his title back! Marvel didn’t even try during the intervening years, feeding us an atrocious leather-fetish origin story for the character and god-in-the-machine appearances in other series every time a writer was cornered. Thank god we also had some really good mini-series by Mark Waid and Brian K. Vaughan. Marvel claims to have been « waiting for the right aproach », so this better be good, given how long we’ve waited! Great numbers — especially since it’s a $5 book. For once, the shock factor of seeing a new #1 for an old character worked out. Let’s cross fingers for the rest of the road, as we do not know yet how many people are ready to actually READ the new adventures of the Doctor.

 

6- STAR WARS

01/15 Star Wars  #1 -  1,055,494         
02/15 Star Wars  #2 -	   212,089  (-79.9%)
03/15 Star Wars  #3 -	   175,579  (-17.2%)
04/15 Star Wars  #4 -	   203,817  (+16.1%)
05/15 Star Wars  #5 -	   146,850  (-27.9%)
06/15 Star Wars  #6 -	   152,652  (+ 4.0%)
07/15 Star Wars  #7 -	   160,000  (+ 1.0%)
08/15 Star Wars #8  -	   145,066  (-  9.3%)
09/15 Star Wars #9  -	   135,817  (-  6.4%)
10/15 Star Wars#10 -     134,613 (-   0.9%)

Since issue #2: -36.5%

Well, the search for its sales level didn’t take much time. Awesome sales level, obviously.

7- 24-CHEWBACCA LTD

10/15 Chewbacca #1 -  122,952
10/15 Chewbacca #2 -    74,311  (-39.5%)                 

Well, you know what? That’s almost a little weak for a new Star Wars mini. It’s not really worrying, as Chewbacca is assured to still sell more than 50K at the end of its run. It will be interesting to see if Star Wars: the Force Awakens will affect this title, despite Chewbacca being in the middle of its run when the movie releases.

8- 12- 13-JOURNEY STAR WARS FORCE AWAKENS SHATTERED EMPIRE LTD

09/15 J SW Force Awakens... Ltd #1 -  208,884      
10/15 J SW Force Awakens... Ltd #2 -  119,508  (-42.8%) 
10/15 J SW Force Awakens... Ltd #3 -  105,496  (-11.7%)
10/15 J SW Force Awakens... Ltd #4 -  105,284  (-  0.2%)        

Turn out that Marvel advertised the wrong total number of issues in their September Preview catalog. 3 issues are out this month and it leveled at a very satisfying level, over the 100K barreer.

 

9- GUARDIANS OF GALAXY

03/13 Guardians of Galaxy #1-   211,312
…
04/15  Guardians v3 #26 -  54,124  (-12.4%)
05/15  Guardians v3 #27 -  49,308  (- 8.9%)

07/15 Guardians of Knowhere Ltd #1  -  81,902
08/15 Guardians of Knowhere Ltd #2  -  50,913  (-37.8%)
08/15 Guardians of Knowhere Ltd #3  -  47,414  (-  6.9%)
09/15 Guardians of Knowhere Ltd #4  -  39,523  (-22.4%)

10/15 Guardians of Galaxy #1-      118,342

Average +% TPB SALES #18-23: +3.6% 
GUARDIANS OTG VOL.4 HC: 2,241

It will have to severely cushion its issue#2 fall to have a chance to sell better than before.

 

14- UNCANNY AVENGERS ($5)

03/14  U Avengers #18.NOW   -  63,516  ( 19.4%)
...
10/14  Uncanny Avengers #25 –  53,263  (  7.7%)
10/14  Aven & X-Men Axis #1 – 138,966  (180.9%)
...
12/14  Aven & X-Men Axis #9 –  69,518  (  0.1%)
01/15  Uncanny Avengers v2 #1 – 74,849 
02/15  Uncanny Avengers v2 #2 – 51,339 (-31.4%)
---
04/15  Uncanny Avengers v2 #3 – 50,595 (-1.4%)
05/15  Uncanny Avengers v2 #4 – 46,682 (-7.7%)
06/15  Uncanny Avengers v2 #5 – 43,417 (-7.0%)

10/15 Uncanny Avengers #1-      105,234

It’s rather weak, but still way better than the last relaunch. If it deviates a little from the usual decline sales pattern with issues #2 at Marvel, this one has a chance to actually do better than its previous incarnation.

 

15- 16- DARTH VADER

02/15 Darth Vader #1 -  296,929                
02/15 Darth Vader #2 -  125,466  (-57.7%)
03/15 Darth Vader #3 -  126,278  (+ 0.6%)    
04/15 Darth Vader #4 -  136,451  (+ 8.1%)    
05/15 Darth Vader #5 -  113,025  (-17.2%)
06/15 Darth Vader #6 -  107,739  (- 4.7%)
07/15 Darth Vader #7 -  114,349  (+ 6.1%)
08/15 Darth Vader #8 -    98,994  (-13.4%)
09/15 Darth Vader #9 -  100,235  (+ 1.3%)
10/15 Darth Vader#10-    94,372  (-  5.8%)
10/15 Darth Vader#11-    92,866  (-  1.6%)

Since issue #2: -26.0%

Some of the craziness over the title is fading out, but it will probably be back as soon as the movie will be out.

 

17- UNCANNY INHUMANS ($5)

10/15 Uncanny Inhumans #1 -  90,528

Who is not uncanny yet in the Marvel Universe? It’s sad to see that a word which used to solely evoke X-Men is now completely diluted. Another small stone in the process of molding the Inhumans into a larger successful brand.

 

18- AVENGERS ($6)

10/15 Avengers #0 -  80,722

This one serves as a kind of sampler of things to come in the numerous Avengers titles relaunches with original short stories instead of issue previews. Will the actual #1 do better? It should, especially since this #0 has a $6 price tag.

 

19- CONTEST OF CHAMPIONS ($5)

10/15 Contest of champions #1 -  79,873

This is a new ongoing inspired by the mobile phone game of the same name and one of the first ever Marvel events. That’s a very satisfying sales debut, which, if everything goes fine, should place the title confortably in the 30-40K zone.

 

22- ASTONISHING ANT-MAN

01/15 Ant-Man #1 – 	73,370
02/15 Ant-Man #2 – 	40,192  (-45.2%)
03/15 Ant-Man #3 – 	37,139  (- 7.6%)
04/15 Ant-Man #4 – 	31,637  (-14.8%)
05/15 Ant-Man #5 – 	83,095 (+162.7%)
06/15 Ant-Man Larger than Life #1- 28,797 
07/15 Ant-Man Annual #1 – 		24,223
08/15 Ant-Man Last Days -  		35,594  (-57.2%)
09/15 ---
10/15 Astonishing Ant-Man #1 -  75,598

Average +% TPB sales #1-5 : +9.6%
ANT-MAN TPB VOL.1: 3,870 

starting at the same level than before, which is actually good, given the unenthusiastic road the title was taking. See you in 8 months to analyze the positioning of the next relaunch! :p

 

25-  41- NEW AVENGERS 

01/13  New Avengers v3 # 1 -  116,280 
...
03/14  N Avengers #16.NOW  -  48,731  (  0.0%)
...
12/14  New Avengers v3 #28 -  39,855  ( -1.4%)
01/15  New Avengers v3 #29 -  41,116  (+3.1%) (SW prelude)
02/15  New Avengers v3 #30 -  42,827  (+4.2%) (SW prelude)
03/15  New Avengers v3 #31 -  44,444  (+3.8%) (SW prelude)
03/15  New Avengers v3 #32 -  40,583  (-8.7%) (SW prelude)
04/15  New Avengers v3 #33 -  55.437 (+36.6%) (Sw prelude) END

10/15 New Avengers #1 -  71,243
10/15 New Avengers #2 -  50,455  (-29.8%)

This whole renumbering pattern does seem to slowly but surely tire people. Those Avengers #0 numbers were actually quite good compared to this one. Next month, we should be where we were one year before.

 

29- KARNAK 

10/15 Karnak #1 -  63,672

This could be the new Hawkeye. Will thunder strike twice for David Aja, teamed up this time with Warren Ellis?

 

30- OLD MAN LOGAN LTD 

05/15 Old Man Logan Ltd #1 -	122,702          
06/15 Old Man Logan Ltd #2 -	 78,426  (-36.1%)
07/15 Old Man Logan Ltd #3 -	 67,482  (-14.0%)
08/15 Old Man Logan Ltd #4 -	 69,122  (+ 2.4%)
09/15 ---
10/15 Old Man Logan Ltd #5 -	 62,716  (-  9.3%)

Since issue #2: -20.0%

This could look like an ugly fall but it’s not, taking into account that issue#4 numbers were boosted.

 

31- CAPTAIN AMERICA SAM WILSON 

02/14  Capt AmericaV7 #16.Now – 36,534  (   9.3%)
...
09/14  Captain America v7 #24 – 33,517  (   8.4%)
10/14  Captain America v7 #25 – 74,183  ( 121.3%)
11/14  Captain America v8 #1  –120,500  (  62.4%)
12/14  Captain America v8 #2  – 50,077  ( -58.4%)
01/15  Captain America v8 #3  - 50,045  ( -0.1%)
02/15  Captain America v8 #4  - 41,222  (-17.6%)
03/15  Captain America v8 #5  - 38,871  (- 5.7%)
04/15  Captain America v8 #6  - 38,199  (- 1.7%)
...
10/15 Cap America S. Wilson #1 -  62,535
10/15 Cap America S. Wilson #2 -  40,224  (-35.7%)

Moderate fall, but the fact is that we are already back to where the title was before it was put on hiatus during Secret Wars.

 

32- STAR WARS LANDO LTD 

07/15 Lando Ltd #1 of 5  -   192,949
08/15 Lando Ltd #2 of 5  -	71,043  (-63.2%)
08/15 Lando Ltd #3 of 5 -	68,787  (-  3.2%)
09/15 Lando Ltd #4 of 5 -      61,542  (-10.7%)
10/15 Lando Ltd #5 of 5 -      59,760  (-  2.9%)

This should encourage Marvel to turn other original trilogy characters into mini-series.

 

33- CIVIL WAR LTD 

07/15 Civil War Ltd #1  -     170,546
08/15 Civil War Ltd #2  -	77,219  (-54.7%)
08/15 Civil War Ltd #3  -	68,035  (-11.9%)
09/15 Civil War Ltd #4  -       59,101  (-13.1%)
10/15 Civil War Ltd #5  -       58,224  (-  1.5%)

This book’s precipitous fall has finally stopped, and its overall numbers look pretty good…

 

34- 51-SPIDER-MAN 2099 

07/14 Spider-Man 2099  #1  -  90,690  ( --- )
08/14 Spider-Man 2099  #2  -  47,512  (-47.6%)
09/14 Spider-Man 2099  #3  -  43,418  ( -8.6%)
10/14 Spider-Man 2099  #4  -  40,755  ( -6.1%)
10/14 Spider-Man 2099  #5  -  40,880  (  0.3%)
11/14 Spider-Man 2099  #6  -  38,634  ( -5.5%)
---
01/15 Spider-Man 2099  #7 -  38,455 (-0.5%)
01/15 Spider-Man 2099  #8 -  37,484 (-2.5%)
02/15 Spider-Man 2099  #9 -  34,374 (-8.3%)
03/15 Spider-Man 2099 #10 -  33,528 (-2.5%)
04/15 Spider-Man 2099 #11 -  31,665 (-5.6%)
05/15 Spider-Man 2099 #12 -  28,916 (-8.7%)
...
10/15 Spider-Man 2099  #1 -  57,719
10/15 Spider-Man 2099  #2 -  40,701

Since issue #2: -39.1%
Average +% TPB Sales #1-5: +5.4%
SPIDER-MAN 2099 VOL.1 TPB: 2,556

That’s a moderate fall, no doubt helped by the double shipping policy. Its all-new, all-different first issue sold way less than the last #1, but the series has retained some new readers with its issue#2. This title has a chance to try to make the history not repeat itself and to hang on to its readers better than before.

 

38- 40- DEADPOOL VS THANOS LTD

09/15 Deadpool VS Thanos Ltd #1 of 4-   108,610
09/15 Deadpool VS Thanos Ltd #2 of 4-      67,901  (-37.5%)
10/15 Deadpool VS Thanos Ltd #3 of 4-      53,626  (-21.0%)
10/15 Deadpool VS Thanos Ltd #4 of 4-      51,324  (-  4.3%)

Nice results. Another Deadpool TPB that’s gonna sell like crazy every month.

 

45- ALL NEW DIFFERENT POINT ONE ($6)

10/15 All New different Point One #1 -  45,759

A $6 sampler if you want to have a taste of All New All Different Marvel Universe. Taking that into account, these sales aren’t bad at all, especially since there was a lot of expensive major main titles to buy this month at Marvel.

 

46- HOWLING COMMANDOS OF SHIELD 

10/15 Howling Commandos of SHIELD #1 -  44,532

It would be quite a nice start if all these debuting Marvel titles weren’t demonstrating a growing tendency to suffer enormous loses with their second issues. If this one manage to not fall below 25K next month, it has a chance to stabilize in the safe 25-20K area.

 

47-KANAN THE LAST PADAWAN

04/15 Kanan TLP #1 -  113,158                 
05/15 Kanan TLP #2 -   64,960  (-42.6%)
06/15 Kanan TLP #3 -   56,370  (-13.2%)
07/15 Kanan TLP #4 -   52,260  (-  7.3%)
08/15 Kanan TLP #5 -   46,351  (-11.3%)
09/15 Kanan TLP #6 -   45,402  (- 2.0%)
10/15 Kanan TLP #7 -   44,127  (- 2.8%)

Since issue #2:  -32.1%

Seems to have found its level, and it’s a quite nice one.

 

46- UNBEATTABLE SQUIRREL GIRL 

01/15 Unbeatteable Squirrel Girl #1 - 41,693
02/15 Unbeatteable Squirrel Girl #2 – 24,621  (-40.9%)
03/15 Unbeatteable Squirrel Girl #3 – 26,586  ( +8.0%)
04/15 unbeatteable Squirrel Girl #4 –  20,987  (-21.1%)
05/15 Unbeatteable Squirrel Girl #5 – 20,088  (- 4.3%)
06/15 Unbeatteable Squirrel Girl #6 – 19,341  (- 3.7%)
07/15 Unbeatteable Squirrel Girl #7 – 19,801  (+ 2.4%)
08/15 Unbeatteable Squirrel Girl #8 -  19,134  (- 3.4%)
09/15 ---
10/15 Unbeattable Squirrel Girl #1 -  43,155

 TPB VOL.1: 4,382

That’s slightly better than when it first launched. This one as also a good chance to stabilize as quickly as before, but perhaps at a higher level, seeing that it does wonders in sales.

 

50- A-FORCE

05/15 A-Force #1  -	114,528
---
07/15 A-Force #2  -	 60,330  (-47.3%)
08/15 A-Force #3  -     49,074  (-18.7%)
09/15 A-Force #4  -     46,636  (- 5.0%)
10/15 A-Force #5  -	 41,337  (-11.4%)

Since issue #2:  -31.5%

The title still has a lot of rope (and a relaunch under its wing) but that’s a worrying falling trend.

 

54- 117- ANGELA QUEEN OF HELL 

12/14  Angela #1 -  61,398  
01/15  Angela #2 -  36,992  (-39.8%)
02/15  Angela #3 -  31,096  (-15.9%)
03/15  Angela #4 -  25,529  (-17.9%)
04/15  Angela #5 -  23,551  (- 7.7%)
05/15  Angela #6 -  22,272  (- 5.4%)

06/15 1602 Witch Hunter Angela Ltd #1 – 37,996
07/15 1602 Witch Hunter Angela Ltd #2 – 26,481  (-30.3%)
08/15 ---
09/15 1602 Witch Hunter Angela Ltd #3 – 23,058  (-12.9%)
10/15 1602 Witch Hunter Angela Ltd #4 - 19,545

10/15 Angela Queen of Hell -	39,271

Last issue of her mini, with an atrocious final fall. The relaunch is following the same pattern than the mini. It should be right where her monthly was before switching to its SW variation with its issue #2. The exit door will then not be very far…

 

56-CAPTAIN AMERICA WHITE LTD

09/15 Captain America White Ltd#1 of 5 – 59,510
09/15 Captain America White Ltd#2 of 5 -  40,422  (-32.1%)
09/15 Captain America White Ltd#3 of 5 -  38,867  (-  3.8%)

It’s nice to see there is still an audience for this style of project.

 

57- AGE OF APOCALYPSE LTD  

07/15 Age of Apocalypse Ltd #1  -  88,346
08/15 Age of Apocalypse Ltd #2  -  52,058  (-41.1%)
09/15 Age of Apocalypse Ltd #3  -  44,390  (-14.7%)
09/15 Age of Apocalypse Ltd #4  -  40,016  (-  9.9%)
09/15 Age of Apocalypse Ltd #5  -  37,858  (-  5.4%)

This title’s sales are not a very typical pattern for a standard mini, but this and other similar titles were pushed in sales by the Secret Wars brand, so it’s not surprising to see them behave differently than usual.

 

65-SPIDER-ISLAND LTD  

07/15 Spider-Island Ltd #1 of 5 -  64,481
08/15 Spider-Island Ltd #2 of 5 -  47,960  (-25.6%)
09/15 Spider-Island Ltd #3 of 5 -  41,989  (-12.4%)
09/15 Spider-Island Ltd #4 of 5 -  36,404  (-13.3%)
10/15 Spider-Island Ltd #5 of 5 -  34,275  (-  5.8%)

This one managed to have more than 50% of its first buyers as final readers, and that’s not bad.

 

73- MS. MARVEL ($3)

02/14  Ms. Marvel #1 -  50,286  (  --- ) 
03/14  Ms. Marvel #2 -  38,357  (-23.7%)
...
02/15  Ms. Marvel #12 – 29,054  ( -2.7%)
03/15  Ms. Marvel #13 – 32,425  (+11.6%)
04/15  Ms. Marvel #14 – 32,058  (- 1.1%)
05/15  Ms. Marvel #15 – 32,185  (+ 0.4%)
06/15  Ms. Marvel #16 – 32,855  (+ 2.1%)
07/15 ---
08/15  Ms. Marvel #17 – 31,567  (- 3.9%)
09/15  Ms. Marvel #18 -  33,761  (+7.0%)

Since issue #2: -12.0%

Here is the star of the show, impervious to the usual monthly sales decline plaguing floppy comics. Expect a sales analysis of its TPBs soon.

 

77- HOUSE OF M  LTD  

08/15  House of M  Ltd #1  -  61,512
09/15  House of M  Ltd #2  -  40,635  (-33.9%)
09/15  House of M  Ltd #3  -  34,209  (-15.8%)
10/15  House of M  Ltd #4  -  30,161  (-11.8%)

This could be the House of Miscooked Muffins, seeing how people flee it by the thousands.

 

81- MARVEL ZOMBIES 

06/15 Marvel Zombies #1  -  51,917
07/15 Marvel Zombies #2  -  39,148  (-24.6%)
08/15 Marvel Zombies #3  -  34,629  (-11.5%)
09/15 ---
10/15 Marvel Zombies #4  -  28,933  (-16.4%)

Did people forget they had to buy this one because of its absence during one month?

 

85- GROOT LTD

06/15 Groot Ltd #1  -  97,193          
07/15 Groot Ltd #2  -  39,198  (-59.7%)
08/15 Groot Ltd #3  -  34,663  (-11.6%)
09/15 Groot Ltd #4  -  28,170  (-18.7%)
10/15 Groot Ltd #5  -  27,389  (-  2.8%)

Seemed to have found its level, at last. Too late, as it’s already relaunched with some help from Rocket Raccoon.

 

87- 91- 94- 101- 105- WHAT IF... 

10/15 What If Infinity Thanos - 	26,293
10/15 What If Infinity Guardians -	23,706
10/15 What If Infinity X-Men -	23,440
10/15 What If Infinity Inhumans -	22,694
10/15 What If Infinity Dark Reign -	22,079

Just in case you still had some money left this month. As you can see, there is indeed a small Thanos effect going on.

 

100- SECRET WARS GUIDE OF MULTIVERSE ($5) 

10/15 SW Guide of Multiverse - 	22,724

In the All New All Different Marvel Universe, nothing is free, neither the menu nor the helping notice. Great sales.

 

 103- 1872 LTD 

07/15 1872 Ltd#1  -  42,805
08/15 1872 Ltd#2  -  27,791  (-35.1%)
09/15 1872 Ltd #3  - 24,493  (-11.9%)
10/15 1872 Ltd #4 -  22,467  (-  8.3%)

I bet this one would never have reach better than half of this nice sales level without the help of the Secret Wars brand.

 

106- SIEGE LTD 

07/15 Siege Ltd #1  -  49,195
08/15 Siege Ltd #2  -  34,002  (-30.8%)
09/15 Siege Ltd #3  -  26,379  (-22.4%)
10/15 Siege Ltd #4  -	 21,867 (-17.1%)

That’s not very nice, but still in the usual fall range for the SW minis.

 

109- SECRET WARS AGENTS OF ATLAS ($5) 

10/15 SW Agents of Atlas -	21,187

If Marvel needed a proof that nobody is crying out loud for a new Agents of Atlas, that’s it.

 

116- SHIELD 50TH ANNIVERSARY

12/14  SHIELD #1 -  94,503  
01/15  SHIELD #2 -  33,965  (- 64.1%)
02/15  SHIELD #3 –  29,790  (- 12.3%)
03/15  ---
04/15  SHIELD #4 -  26,930  (-  9.6%)
04/15  SHIELD #5 -  26,614  (-  1.2%)
05/15  SHIELD #6 -  23,152  (- 13.0%)
06/15  SHIELD #7 -  25,786  (+11.4%)
07/15  SHIELD #8 -  19,469  (- 24.5%)
08/15  SHIELD #9 -  22,613  (+16.1%)
09/15  SHIELD#10-  18,693  (- 17.3%)

09/15 Agent Carter SHIELD -  26,438
09/15 Fury SHIELD – 26,313
09/15 Mockingbird SHIELD ($5) – 25,593
09/15 Quake SHIELD – 25,193
09/15 Cavalry SHIELD – 23,831

10/15  SHIELD#11 -	20,121  (+7.6%)

Since issue #2: -40.8%
SHIELD TPB Vol.1 -  2,460
Average +% TPB sales #1-6: +7.2%

Retailers seem confident that at least some people who bought the specials last month will give the monthly a try.

 

69- 98- MIRACLEMAN ($5) 

09/15 Miracleman #1 -  27,269
09/15 Miracleman #2 -  22,143  (-18.8%)
10/15 Miracleman #3 -  19,375  (-12.5%)

People are so volatile. Despite being a reprint of well-known material, they managed to lose interest very quickly.

 

120- WEIRDWORLD  

06/15 Weirdworld #1  -  48,688
07/15 Weirdworld #2  -  26,307  (-46.0%)
08/15 Weirdworld #3  -  23,784  (-  9.6%)
09/15 Weirdworld #4  -  22,206  (-  6.6%)
10/15 Weirdworld #5  -  18,996  (-14.5%)

Boo, what an ugly last issue fall. Don’t worry, it’s back with a relaunch post-Secret Wars.

 

133- WHERE MONSTERS DWELL LTD 

05/15 Where Monsters Dwell Ltd #1 of 5 – 26,574
06/15 Where Monsters Dwell Ltd #2 of 5 – 20,078  (-24.4%)
07/15 Where Monsters Dwell Ltd #3 of 5 – 19,223  (- 4.3%)
08/15 Where Monsters Dwell Ltd #4 of 5 -  17,555  (- 8.7%)
09/15 ---
10/15 Where Monsters Dwell Ltd #5 of 5 -  16,301  (- 7.1%)

That’s a shy result, but one of the best Secret Wars minis in terms of reader retention.

 

150- FIGMENT 2 LTD 

09/15 Figment Ltd #1   - 20,551
10/15 Figment Ltd #2	  - 13,517

There is no figment left in my brain to comment on this one.

 

157- GUIDEBOOK CINEMATIC UNIVERSE 

10/15 Guidebook Cinematic U Iron Man – 12,593

Just save your money and go see a nice GOOD movie.

 

165- MARVEL SUPER HERO SPECTACULAR 

10/15 Super-Hero Spectacular  - 11,908

This all-age anthology of adventures of « cinematically popular » Marvel characters seems like a lot of fun, scripted by the talented Karl Kesel.

 

166- MARVEL UNIVERSE GUARDIANS OF GALAXY 

02/15 MU guardians of Galaxy #1       – 12,047 
03/15 MU guardians of Galaxy #2       –  9,108 (-24.4%)
04/15 MU guardians of galaxy #3 of  4 -  8,406 (- 7.7%)
05/15 MU guardians of Galaxy #4 of  4 -  7,468 (-18.0%)

10/15 MU Guardians of Galaxy  - 11,751

Cutting the last volume into a mini-series seemed like a mystery…until this day. Relaunching the title has done little for the book, but must at least make someone happy somewhere. I see only one reason behind this relaunch, and it’s not a pretty one. I’ll let you try to guess, and I’ll come back to it at the end of the column.

 

198- DARK TOWER DRAWING LADY OF SHADOWS LTD

03/15 Dark Tower D3HC Ltd #1 of 5 – 11,107
...
07/15 Dark Tower D3HC Ltd #5 of 5 –  9,027  (- 2.4%)
08/15 ---
09/15 Dark Tower Lady of Shadows Ltd #1 of 5 –  9,918
09/15 Dark Tower Lady of Shadows Ltd #2 of 5 -   8,946  (-  9.8%)

I’m speechless.

272- MU ULT SPIDER-MAN WEB WARRIORS ($3)

06/14  MUU Spider-Man #27 – 4,713  ( -1.0%)

10/14  ---
11/14  MUU Spider-Man WW #1  – 6,343  (  -1.0%)
12/14  MUU Spider-Man WW #2  – 5,063  ( -20.2%)
01/15  MUU spider-Man WW #3  -  4,873  (-3,8%)
?
?
?
05/15  MUU spider-man WW #7  - 4,843
06/15  MUU spider-man WW #8  - 7,383 (+52.4%)
?
08/15  MUU spider-man WW #10 – 5,160
09/15  MUU spider-man WW #11 -  5,149  (- 0.2%)
10/15  MUU spider-man WW #12 -  5,081  (- 1.3%)

Eh, I was wrong, Ms Marvel is not the only $3 title at Marvel, the MUU titles are still tagged at that price. That’s a clue.

286- MU AVENGERS ASSEMBLE SEASON TWO ($3)

01/15 MU Avengers Assemble Season Two #3 - 4,503
?
?
?
05/15 MU Avengers Assemble Season Two #7 – 4,665
?
?
08/15 MU Avengers Assemble Season Two #10- 4,806
?
10/15 MU Avengers Assemble Season Two #12-  4,639

One of the other $3 surviving titles. So, did you figure out the answer to why MU Guardians of the Galaxy relaunched? It was a victim of what can now only be called the « Daredevil effect »: it relaunched to make a covert price switch from $3 to $4. Such a beautiful world we live in!


Thanks for reading until the end! I hope to see you next time. Meanwhile, feel free to comment, express your rage or your love for french sarcasm! I’ll hug everyone, no matter what.

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37 COMMENTS

  1. The Marvel animated line is a bit of a weird beastie. The majority of the contents (usually 100% of it) are screen cap adaptations of the cartoons, presumably to keep costs down. In my experience, I’m usually only selling single issues of the title to parents with kids who can’t yet read – and other than spreading the budget out to convert these into digital on a monthly basis, I’m not exactly sure why Marvel insists on putting these out – especially since they no longer provide comics to the news stand anymore. The collections of these issues, however? That I completely understand. Good in the direct market, good in the book market.

  2. Yes. I am sure that Marvel is very “disappointed” that one of its books launched with two spots in the Top 10.

    I’m positive their “disappointment” knows no bounds that it performed this way with less variants and incentives than the #1 book, and less variants and incentives than its own #1 from the previous year.

    Yes, it’s astounding that the ASM #1 from this year didn’t perform as well as the ASM #1 from last year (which was the first “ASM #1 in 25 years, launched at the release of a new Spider-Man movie, got major mainstream news coverage, and was the only relaunched #1 in the market at the time.) Color me shocked.

    I know that I am horribly disappointed that the drop between ASM #1 to ASM #2 of the current volume was far less than the drop from ASM: RYV #1 and #2– and, yes, way less than last year’s ASM #1 to ASM #2. I’m sure Marvel shares Xavier’s “Big D Disappointment” in the retailer confidence to order a number that high for the 2nd issue of the series– and having that #2 outperforming everything outside of 8 other issues in the entire industry– during a month of multiple shipping Star Wars and a zillion launches. Personally? I’m crushed and gutted. Going off now to hang my head in shame.

  3. “So, to recapitulate: less than half the sales of the recent previous relaunch, barely more than the last Spider-Man mini, less than Iron Man? We’re talking Amazing Spider-Man here. Call me a turd, but that’s disapointing with a big D. In the long term, the only way Marvel could call this relaunch a success is if the series sales consistently stay over 100K, which would be a slight improvement over an already successful ongoing title.”

    To be fair here, the major reason for the boost in sales on the previous relaunch had to do with the first issue being offered through Nerd Block, a Loot Crate-like service.

  4. Dan, I don’t think Xavier is calling the new ASM a failure. He calls the title itself “successful.” I think he’s speaking to the diminishing returns of the constant relaunches the industry seems to be experiencing. Now that’s not a new argument, but it is an argument that the industry seems to be ignoring right now.

  5. An Amazing Spider-Man #1 that sells fewer copies to stores than a Spider-Gwen #1 from just a few months earlier is a disappointment. Trying to pretend otherwise is kind of silly.

    Mike

  6. “the ASM #1 from last year (which was the first “ASM #1 in 25 years”

    Dan Slott needs to check his dates, or his math. The Howard Mackie/John Byrne relaunch was in late 1998. But then, it is hard to keep track with all of Marvel’s renumbering…

  7. Sorry, Carl. You’re right. Was typing too fast. I used “25 years” in an earlier post elsewhere and that was still on my mind.

    *17 years.*

    Still a good stretch of time though.

    MBunge, I am nothing but impressed with Jason & Robbie’s success on Spider-Gwen, whether it’s their success out of the gate with Edge of Spider-Verse #2, the launch of Spider-Gwen #1 earlier in the year, or the relaunch of Spider-Gwen here. It’s a phenomenal team with a phenomenal take on the character. They deserve all the kudos and high sales they’re getting.

    People can come up with whatever metrics they want to try to slam the current ASM book. Doesn’t faze me. We started out roughly in the low 50K zone. Over the course of 6 years we bucked industry trends and got our sales to go up. By the start of 2013 we regularly had both issues in the Top 10. And we’ve pretty much stayed there to this day. What’s silly is to try to paint that as a disappointment in any way.

  8. There’s a good chunk of carry-over data missing (For example: ASM should have RYV and the previous series attached to the data), as well as several of the percentage calculations.

    But I think the better comparison vis a vis ASM might be #2 — in May ’14 ASM #2 sold ~124k, compared to ~111k here, or about 10% down. That, I think, clearly shows the diminishing return of the constant industry-wide relaunches.

    -B

  9. Yes, I’ll put back those Spider-man numbers back. with all those relaunches and SW mini interruptions, the back numbers can look a little messy. i’ll try to clean that up a little.
    Opps, catch a mistake: that’s Mark badger in the Dr strange collection comment, not Mike, sorry about that..

    And Dan, I don’t remember ever saying that ASM was in disarray or that I slammed the book. As Alex pointed out, I even said several times that the normal sales on ASM is quite high and very good and that the Spider-Man franchise is at higher level in years. But calling the #1 relaunch an amazing success, I’ll not say that. It can’t be all praise.
    And who cares about the TOP 10 positions? Sales numbers are what’s important. A title with less tahn 100K can be number #1 on month and would have been # 12 once month before. that’s not important.

  10. I’d say the same carryover data also for Iron Man, and probably Inhumans. You’re missing % changes on Spidey ’99 #2, 1602 Angela #4, and Figment #2. Since that is Figment *2*, ‘d also probably add historical carryover from series 1, were it me.

    But that’s nit-picking )

    -B

  11. Dan Slott thinks the last ASM #1 was boosted by the movie ASM2? If you want to talk about poor sales, that thing bombed domestically and led to the entire film series to be rebooted again. Not sure he really wants to associate that thing with his book.

    Not sure why he doesn’t want to be satisfied with the fact he produces a generally good and high-selling monthly title. Whining over diminishing returns is quite petty.

  12. Skottie, I’m not saying ASM2 boosted sales. We came out right before anyone had seen it. I’m saying that the millions and millions of advertising dollars that plastered Spider-Man’s face around the world– JUST when we releasing a new AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #1 played an ENORMOUS amount into the sales of that first issue. That climate got my dumb face on TV for interviews– and on Page 3 of the Daily News. It got the “triumphant return of Peter Parker” in the comics ONTO the news, in magazines, and all over. And a LOT of that was due to the HYPE of a big screen movie that was coming out. That’s not rocket science. :)

  13. Dan,

    The criticism clearly does bother you.
    Despite having a high selling book that you clearly enjoy writing, you come on here to be petty and indignant.

    It doesn’t endear you to anyone, and it certainly doesn’t make anyone want to try the book.

  14. Dan Slott is not a stupid man. He also knows more about the comics business than most of us. He certainly understands that this renumber/relaunch nonsense ultimately leads the industry to a bad place.

    But he can’t say any of that or his bosses at Marvel will get mad at him. It’s not surprising for that frustration to bubble up to the surface in this over sensitive response.

    Mike

  15. Can’t say I care at all about the Spider-man debate above, but can I say, for Heidi or whoever’s benefit, that this redesign with a light grey open-face font on a bright white background makes this site pretty much unreadable now? It may be ideal for people reading on phones, but for those of us in middle age attempting to read this on an old-fashioned computer, it just doesn’t work at all. Sorry, but this may well make me stop reading The Beat for the first time in years.

  16. Just want to say that regardless of the debate over sales, Slott Spider-Man is fantastic. Really just perfect comic bookery.

  17. Sorry, i’m fench to, so I will talk funny :)

    @Dan Slott : What Xavier want to say is:
    The more we see relaunches, the more sales increases don’t stay long.
    And the More, sales for the #1 usually aren’t quite as high.

    ASM sales are good and Spidey is the only Marvel Title (except Star Wars) to compete with Batman for real strng Sales… But relaunches are not as good as the past one.

    DC & Marvel go on using marketting tools like relaunches, variant covers that are not really increasing sales in the long term. There is a bump and the company tales the money of this bump… but the real question is still to catch new readers.
    And it s a question of being where new customers can find you…
    Comics shops are great but you go there to actually buy a comics… You can’t have a new customer passing by searching for others things, seeins the cover and buying it by chance.
    And Internet is also a place where you find what you are searching for ..

    Relaunches, variant covers, Death, Events, Crossovers.. makes money but don’t find new readers.
    To find new readers, you have to sell your products where they go.. not hoping they’ll be seeking your books.

    Still, you re right when you say, Spidey’s sales aren not in the shape you found it. And that sometime not changing the artist and the writer every 6 issue or every 20 issue can pay (look at batman.. it s not the ten past years best serie.. but it s the most popular.. with the same creative team)….

  18. Dan Slott:

    Has the bestselling ongoing title at Marvel in years.

    Has three #1s in three years that all exceed 200k.

    Writes event books that actually get good reviews.

    Has the second bestselling title this month.

    Comes on the internet to whine about the slightest negative criticism.

    Stay classy, Slott.

  19. Guys, I can see what Dan Slott is talking about.

    See, when Brand New Day started I was one of the few that got the book and saw the MASSIVE improvement the new creative team (Dan Slott being at the forefront even then) had on the book compared to the Reign of Terror that came before. Yet it sold less. And no matter what Dan and co. (and later Dan alone) did, it refused to sell better. It had The Gauntlet, Big Time, Spider-Island, Ends of the Earth, you name it. No storyline alone could make ASM sell what it should have been selling.

    Then it came Superior Spider-Man, a sort of relaunch that DID improve sales a lot. And later the ASM relaunch, that made ASM consistently the best-selling book in the market.

    So, yeah, he is right in defending relaunches. Without them, the book wouldn’t have the (deserved) recognition it has now. Marvel publicized the hell out of it since BND, but only relaunches made it sell better!

    The problem isn’t just the relaunches themselves. It’s the fact that most books need to relaunch just for people to notice they exist! The Direct Market is seriously ill if that’s the only way to make people buy books thay don’t usually buy. And Xavier, coming from a civilized country where comics sales can grow instead of being in a permanent state of attrition, should know that as well.

  20. It would help to have the previous sales (either Oct year over year or the first 5 issues from each re-launch) to compare this volume’s ASM sales to. I’m not sure how Superior doesn’t count as a re-launch seeing as how it replaced ASM on the schedule and still held the same creative hand on the wheel. With that book you have three volumes to compare to in the past couple of years. Add in the *new* standard drops from what we see here between 1-to-2 and 2-to-3 in the new wave of books and that would give enough of a metric to compare ASM to previous volumes AND the current market.

    As far as Dan’s statement above, “I’m saying that the millions and millions of advertising dollars that plastered Spider-Man’s face around the world– JUST when we releasing a new AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #1 played an ENORMOUS amount into the sales of that first issue.”

    Wouldn’t you say that final order cut-offs occurred long before any of that saw the mainstream news? If so, then the numbers found in articles like this wouldn’t reflect any of the buzz you mention. Only re-orders, which would show up next month, assuming they breach the top 300. Digital or sell-through might get the bump, but numbers in this article are set in stone before the comic ever sees a rack unless the re-order occurs in the same month, which is unusual.

  21. Googles: comparing sales from a title from more than 10 years often doesn’t really have much sense. the range of sales can be compared but often, the market change so much in 10 years, that it’s difficult to really find somethign smart to see when comparing sales numbers from very different areas in time. I did gave the numbe rof copies the previous relaunch did, I’ll dig up some of the numbers to give more meat to some of the relaunch. It’s really painfull to write this column with title being constantly rebranded or relaunch because it really diminsh the value of the previous data. I can’t wait for the whole new line to install itself so that long term comparaisons can be done whithout too much interferencies.

    Pedro: I agree with you that Superior SM shoudl be count as a relaunch of ASM. It’s just that the name changed to feature the new direction of the title during the big arc seeing Peter Parker only be here as a spirit. I completly disagree with your assesment that relaunch are the only way people will notice a book. It can indeed offer a huge leap in sales when the relaunch occur whith a daring new approach but, as it is often the case, relaunching with no noticeable reason doesn’t change the fate of a book.
    Oh, and please, don’t idealize our comics market in France. It’s not pretty. Sales are not growing, the situation is really not pretty: a lot of talented artists recently just gave up on comics and are heading toward fields who offer at least what to make a living.
    Personnal note: one of my last BF was a talented penciller. He had written many comics as a writer, and drawn also quite a bunch. his last comic even won an international award.Well, guess what, everything he would propose as his next book would be refused and he had to leave France to go oversea to finda job where he could make a living: back to video games!
    And I am touched, really, that you think of my country as civilized. We’ll see if you will always share this point of vue when the results of the next regional election will come up. :(

  22. I know the ups and downs of the french market quite well. It works like the book market. A LOT of people can’t live by book writing everywhere in the world, sorry to say. In the US market creators get page rates, yeah, but they relinquish their rights to their creations to do so. If it’s a hit, tough luck, you get page rate and, depending on the publisher, a small amount of royalties. In France, you would be a millionaire.

    You can’t have your cake and eat it too! The choice is either to make money on a low-selling book and give up the chance to get rich on a hit or lose money on a low-selling book but have the chance to hit it big in a best-seller.

    On the other hand, the current number two comic in France right now is “Les Vieux Fourneaux”. A previously-unknown property by a (then) fairly obscure creative team that took three, count’em, THREE books to become a best-seller with a 210k print run. In the latest sales chart it was outsold only by the mighty Asterix. That just wouldn’t happen in the US.

  23. As for regional elections, just remember that every presidential election in the last 20 years or so the americans had the choice to vote for a party that would get the economy down, start wars and give more power to the religious fundamentalists or for a party that would improve the economy, avoid wars and wouldn’t give power to the religious fundamentalists. Yet somehow the second party not just doesn’t win by a landslide every time, but it actually has lost many times.

    In France the choice rarely is that clear cut…

  24. You know how disappointed Marvel is with the Amazing Spider-Man numbers? They are so disappointed that I predict they are *not* going to fire Dan Slott from that title anytime soon..

    And while we’re waiting to see if I’m right, a lot of us will just keep on enjoying the Amazing Spider-Man.

  25. Gee, did I say anything wrong about the book amazing Spider-Man, the way it’s written or pencilled, no? Did I say that Marvel that Marvel was generally disapointed by AMS numbers or its numbers of readers, no? I just said that they probably expect it to sell way more with it’s relaunch #1 than the #1 last mini featuring him, closer or higher to iron Man’s or more than half what it’s last #1 sell last year.

    No matter how many copies a comic is selling, it won’t change how people will enjoy it. Most of those people buying only #1 issues probably don’t even read them, so it’s quite disconnected from readers numbers.

    Enjoy your comics, share them. I wouldn’t work for free for the last 16 years doing a demanding magazine on comics focused on subjects or artist most of the comics medias don’t care about, if it wasn’t because I love comics. Do enjoy your Spider-man!.

  26. Some thoughts…

    – Is that the real Dan Slott commenting in here? That’s hilarious. Dan, you’re writing a great book. Keep it up. Why are you letting this get to you?
    – Having said that, I didn’t like the shoe-horning of all the other spider-titles into the first issue. They’re collectively uninteresting and it boosted the price. I think that’s a disservice to this title.
    – Doctor Strange is, it’s a relief to say, great. Once I got over the jarring page layout I loved it.
    – A lot of these relaunches are lackluster, and more still are just retooling the characters to try and grab a new audience. Hulk is unreadable. Iron-Man is uninspired.
    – Spider-Gwen and Uncanny Avengers relaunching for the second time i the same year? Youch. At least let them settle in a bit.
    – I love X-Men, but all of the titles so far are pretty awful. I hate the poison/leaving the dimension thing. The fact that it’s positioning them as the anti-Inhumans is a terrible idea. Trying to position The Inhumans as the new X-Men, just because you own the license to them, is not working.
    – Why are The Avengers now all mostly teenagers?
    – Pull list: Amazing Spider-Man, Doctor Strange, Daredevil, The Mighty Thor. Looking forward to a few others.

  27. I’m late to the party, but I wanted to point out an error regarding Karnak:

    David Aja is providing “only” the amazing cover art. Interiors are by Gerardo Zaffino.

    With that said, Karnak really could be “the new Hawkeye”, for two reasons:

    1) The first issue of this series-about-an-underused-character was really promising.

    2) The second issue isn’t scheduled for release until mid-January: two months late!

  28. PS: I’m surprised that the Thanos “What If…?” outsold each of the four other titles. I wonder why…

    I would’ve thought that the Guardians issue would’ve done best. (It was certainly the best-done!)

    Anyway, thanks as always for your analysis, Xavier.

  29. LobsterAfternoon:

    No…it isn’t.

    When characters are out of character and don’t act the way rational human beings would even by 1980s comic book standards, you are far from perfect.

    No amount of nice art and flash bang whiz gadgets or whacky ideas can paste over the innate problems with the run dating back to 2010.

    Skottie: When good reviews come from websites who’s business rises and falls upon how much comic book news they can cover which requires a certain amount of good faith between them and people in the industry, those reviews are less than entirely reliable.

    It’s like looking to the reviews of a website which makes money by reporting on movies chiefly by interviewing the stars and directors and producers. They aren’t going to deeply criticise them even if they wanted too.

    Pedro Bouça : Then you were duped.

    By any reasonable standard of writing, even something as basic as handing those scripts into an English class for grading, the work produced under BND was deplorable by and large.

    Histories and established characterizations were a best thrown back to bygone eras they’de evolved beyond long ago and at worst rewritten from scratch. And there was a really gross over emphasis upon sex to be honest.

    Was it more upbeat and positive than what came before? Yes…that stuff having been done SPECIFICALLY to write the series into a corner and make you want something light and fun again. It wasn’t as if the powers that be believed the darker direction would be awesome then fixed their ‘mistake’. Thier planw as to take it to a dark place to then justify extreme measures in ‘fixing’ the book As evidenced by Brfevoort’s infamous manifesto and it’s ‘problems’ with Spider-Man ALL being things which stemmed under the same editorial regime.

    But even apart from all that…did you READ the 2006-2007 era before then. I hated the unmasking but the sheer quality and sophistication of the writing on display was incredible.

    -Back in Black gave us a story long overdue. Spider-Man, after being hassled and undermined by the smug and superior Kingpin of Crime for decades finally did what he was always too nice to do. He made a point of showing Fisk that for all his smugness, he was just a mere mortal no match for a true superhuman. And he proceeded to beat the crap out of him in one of the most satisfying fights in Spider-History.

    -To Have and To Hold is a brilliantly emotional love story that anyone could read for the first time and instantly understand all the essential things about who Peter Parker and Mary Jane are as individual people and as a couple.

    -The last issue of Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man by Peter David before OMD happened gave us the decades awaited confrontation between the unmasked Peter and Jameson.

    -The Last Temptation of Eddie Brock is possibly the single best character piece storyline about Venom ever written

    -Sacsa’s trilogy of stories focussing upon Mary Jane, Aunt May and Black Cat gave a brilliant examination of each lady and their relationship to our hero. The latter two were again probably the best character pieces about Aunt May and Felicia Hardy ever.

    The list goes on and on.

    But forget all that. In 2008 you could read Unscheduled Stop by Mark Waid where Spider-Man lifts heavy rubble for the gazillionth time. Or maybe instead Peter Parker Paparazzi where Spider-Man (the guy who’s girlfriend died because one bad guy invaded his privacy against his will and who’s girlfriend had been stalked due to her celebrity) invaded people’s privacy for pure financial gain. What a hero amirite!

    And in 2009 behold in wonder as instead of a flawed and morally grey woman trying to make her way in the world and being tugged by unrequited feelings for a superhero she knew she was no good for, Black Cat instead got to be a regular criminal cat burglar who just liked sex. All the time. In fact the story’s title, Back in Black Cat, literally translated to “Spider-Man has sex with Black Cat again for the first time in over 20 years because sex sells.”

    And as for Superior yes what wonderful proof that Marvel can make Spider-Man sell better. All they need to do is…not actually make it about, you know, Spider-Man himself.

    Long story short. No. The recognition it gets is beyond the pale of undeserved.

  30. Yes, I’ve read almost every ASM (not all the secondary titles, though, I’m not made of money!) since the Lee/Ditko run (in reprints, I’m not that old). And JMS’s Realm of Terror is still the lowest point of that title’s run.

    English classes? The characters all had one voice! Peter, MJ, even AUNT MAY all talked in the fashionable Smartass Hollywood style! And those are pretty much all the characters who were talking, because JMS simply dumped most of the series supporting cast (arguably the best supporting cast in superhero comics) during most of his run. Him great writer, me see!

    I haven’t read some of your examples of the “quality” of that run (haven’t read most spin-offs), but you praise of Back in Black was because Spider-Man beat up the Kingpin? Spider-Man had beat the Kingpin before (for example in the Stone Tablet Saga), that’s not a big deal for him, he isn’t Daredevil (who is the hero that Kingpin actually spends most of his time hassling). The point is that, being a hero, he can’t legally touch the Kingpin, who isn’t a villain who goes out robbing banks in a gaudy uniform, without becoming a criminal himself. Of course, with Back in Black that wasn’t an issue since the story wouldn’t be followed up anyway. Same for most of your list. You can’t do a confrontation between an unmasked Peter and JJJ without painting the character in a corner. But hey, everyone knew a reboot was coming, so that’s easy. Without the usual limitations, it’s much easier for a competent writer to do a brilliant Spider-Man story…

    And your comparisions are asinine when you can pick and choose examples to make your point. Two can play that game. The Spider-Totem storyline? Went against the entire Marvel Comics concept of making the heroes lass magical and more rooted in reality. Sins Past? Forced a beloved supporting character do a completely out of character act just to generate cheap shock value.

    On the other hand, let’s see, say, New Ways to Die. In it Norman Osborn finally uses his brains and instead of putting a rubber suit and going out to be beaten up by Spider-Man he uses the great power his money and position gives him to strike the hero with a team of villains without breaking the law.

    See how easy it is to emphatise the positive and negative aspects of things to distort reality according to your views? Anyone could do that. Maybe even JMS…

    Nah, he is a worst writer than that.

  31. I know I’m late to the party, but I swore off Spider Man books after One More Day. It was such a far fetched story (Mephisto, really) that absolutely shit on long time fans of the character that I haven’t been interested in a Spider-book since.

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