1. It should be no surprise that Marvel continues to pull in the market and stay with the bigger market share and be back in the top 10.
    DC will continue as I have always stated back to its original numbers as each month went by. The novelty of the ndcu is wearing off. Speculators are gone, the readers who gave it a try are are leaving and more of the old DC readers who tried to stay are dropping off. I would say in a few more months DC will be back to the old sales numbers and then by Fall be further back in sales.

  2. Do you really need to say the same thing as soon as any new sales-related post appears, Arrowshaft?

    Actually, I thought Marvel would win March by a bigger margin, but I suppose April is the month when all the tie-ins really appear.

    The only great surprise is that Green Lantern has moved back ahead of Detective Comics – otherwise, this is a very boring month, with everything apparently being ordered as February-but-a-little-bit-less.

  3. Zoomy it funny how all the ndcu fans never want to hear that the ndcu will not stay ahead of Marvel. When I said the ndcu was strong only because of speculators and some new readers it would not last. All I ever heard was for each sale drop was it means nothing.
    Then in Feb. all I heard was Marvel had an extra week of sales it means nothing. Face reality the ndcu is not that great and the sales are showing it more and more.

  4. @Arrowshaft

    Sure DC has lost some steam I would doubt it would go back to the pre NDCU or lower levels. I mean Marvel is only up 2-4% on market share and yes they own the dollar shares as their books sell for $1/unit. However, if you think the nDCU is crumbling I think your wrong. We all knew it would not stay as strong as in the first months, but aside the wave of cancellations several titles are stabalizing quite well. Marvel may be in the lead at the moment and in the future, but have you been reading any of their books? Please, alot of them suck major ass right now and having been a fan of both companies for 20 years now I see Marvel at an all-time low in creativity with tons of garbage published monthly. Just look how terrible the NEW HULK is? How they are tanking all the X-titles (isnt there a crossover every 3 months now to save sales?) Need I say anything about Thor, Moonknight (relaunched 12 times), Punisher, their fantastic crossgen revival, etc? Let’s face it, aside AVX, daredevil and Spidey (even then is it so-so) the rest is weak.

    At lest DC gave it a try and if you read their books past the first 3 months, several are good.

  5. If I can step in and offer what I think is a pretty accurate assessment of the DCnU sales: There are books that are doing very well, better, in fact, than they did before. Those are the books with big characters (the Big JLA members) and/or big creators. Then you have everything else, which has dropped much more rapidly, to the point where the first wave of cancellations has been announced. So DCnU succeeded at boosting the sales of their flagship characters, but did not do much for their lower-tier properties, nor did they tap into the outside audience that they were hoping to.

  6. “did not do much for their lower-tier properties”

    In February, ANIMAL MAN outsold the following Marvel books.


    That’s pretty damn good for a lower-tier DC property.


  7. @ Naveed

    If you think Marvel is at an all-time low, you must have not read many ’90’s comics.

    And I agree – the new Incredible Hulk book is terrible. I’m tempted to drop it, and I have an unbroken run from the ’60’s.

  8. My DC sales started climbing again in February, after the December/January evening out. They’ve (on average) continued to increase month-to month since.

    Marvel sales here have also started climbing again, partly due to their double-shipping many of their more popular books, and partly due to some unexpectedly exciting titles.

    My store’s #3 most-subscribed-to title is Saga, and it’s creeping up on Justice League and Batman which are tied at the #1 spot. I’ve sold almost all of the Manhattan Projects #1s I ordered expecting them to last 6-8 months.

    Previously marginal titles here like Ghostbusters and *gasp* Green Hornet are seeing rack sales again.

    Star Wars: Agent of the Empire and Dawn of the Jedi are moving better than Star Wars titles have done in years.

    Basically, every single publisher is doing better in my store.

    People are really excited about comics these days!

  9. Yeah where are the damn Month-to-month colums, I need monthly dose of baseless pessimism (DC) and baseless optimism (marvel). (Beware the posibility of slight sarcasm).

    On to the number-speculation. YAY SPECULATION. I’m In my pessimistic corner:

    DC is still slipping. Uh ohh.
    But the interesting development can be found at marvel, in the sense that I think their sales will start dropping a bit too in the coming months.

    Final issues in march for marvel:
    X23, Daken, Generation Hope, Ghost Rider,
    Thor: Deviants saga, Villains for hire, Deadpool Max (and X-sanction for good measure, with the twice-monthly Fearless’ final issue only coming out once in April)

    Now I know they’re not the biggest books, but 9 titles that’ll be gone in April is bound to leave a mark. Marvel isn’t starting up as much as they used to, and with all the flailing about doubleshipping, they’re not being “that” aggressive about it.

    What is starting in april at marvel?
    AvX Versus
    Mark Millars Secret Service.
    (and some movie-stuff and all ages books)

    It should also be noted that with AvX 1 charting this month, it means it wont in April, and so the otherwise twice-monthly AvX series will only chart once in April.

    (And there’s another bunch of stuff ending in april too (Moon Knight, X-club and other assorted minis with nothing renewed in the latest solicitations), budgetary mandates aren’t to be messed with apparantly.)

    So hurray for marvel, but it’ll be less fun to see who will be eating the most stick in April.

  10. Arrowshaft,
    Can you explain why Marvel will eventually take over and DC will go back to it’s original sales. Is there a method to your predicition beyond that fact that you like Marvel better?

  11. I’d love to buy more Marvel comics than DC because that’s where my loyalty is but the truth is DC is more interesting right now IMO. I buy 3 Marvel titles and for me, that’s sad.

  12. MBunge, I stand corrected on Swamp Thing and Animal, neither of which are historically popular properties. Arguably I covered Swamp Thing under the banner of popular creators, with Snyder as a rising star, but you are quite right, the DCnU has been good to Animal Man.

  13. The reason is as I have stated many times is Speculators last for only so long. They are there to buy the first few books and then depart.
    Then you have had the new fan who will try and buy for a while but they too will depart some might stay but a lot will depart. A example of this is with Image, they had a strong start then the drop off and then they leveled off.
    DC is now in the level off stage, as the story lines end and the new ones begin we are seeing books drop. Plus in this case you have many of the old DCU fans who tried not continuing.
    If DC was smart they could have done most of this without rebooting the DCU and not let its true fan base feel like DC did not care about years of loyalty.
    I have a lot of complete DC runs and Marvel, Its just as I watch the trend I see where its going. Some of the ndcu fans just enjoy jumping on anyone who does not think like they do. For the most part I see sales siding with those that do not think the ndcu is that great.

  14. My LCS (Four Color Fantasies in Winchester, VA) has benefitted from the new 52 not unlike Brian’s store. Alot of new customers, alot of their back issues are being sold, and companies beyond Marvel and DC are sellig more there. I honestly would love to see Marvel and DC battle it out on the charts because that means both companies are doing exciting things not re-booting universes or having (yet another) huge crossover. I don’t like seeing them battle it out over a diminishing market while leaving companies like Image and Dark Horse are being left behind.

  15. I’d love to see a Top 1000 books ordered every month, because I guarantee you that almost every New 52 title would be below the 300 threshold. I’m reordering 3-5 copies of probably half the line on a monthly basis. I just reordered double-digit copies of every issue of Batman. The reorders on the New 52 titles will show a very different number than the the first months sales.

    As for Avengers vs X-Men #1 being on this sales chart, that’s some shady moves by Marvel. They shipped the book a week early, but are forcing retailers to pay for the book a week early, as well. When DC shipped Blackest Night #6 a week early for the Christmas week, they didn’t bill retailers until the week after. AvX #1 shouldn’t be on this sales chart, as it was not scheduled to be released in March (despite some stores putting it out early).

    Also, I’m continually disappointed at the randomness that massive incentives continue to affect the sales charts. Sometimes it’s taken into account, sometimes it’s not. Please see my math that Rich ran over at Bleeding Cool: http://www.bleedingcool.com/2012/03/02/will-avengers-vs-x-men-1-be-a-free-comic-book-day-for-retailers/

    I wonder what DC did to arrowshaft to make him this angry at DC. Maybe he’s a big Donna Troy fan…

  16. Ryan, historically, Diamond’s charts have been driven entirely by when the books shipped, so I guess the system does what the system does. I did find that while it of course makes March look better, even dropping it gives us the first $100 million-plus winter quarter in the 2000s:


    I would agree that a Top 1000 would include many New 52 releases to date, though probably not all — there’d only be about 500 slots in play for repeats, and they’d have to snag them all.

    As to deep discounting, this is something I’ve contended with several times over the last few years in dealing with the charts. The market shares are based on wholesale dollars, so publishers don’t get extra credit there — and I work to winnow that out when it comes to figuring out the overall sales for the month/year.

    But there’s no simple answer when it comes to the unit charts. Promotionally-COVER-PRICED comics do get chopped off the lists at the Diamond level — nothing below $1 usually appears any more. But I don’t know what you could do about regularly priced books retailers didn’t pay the usual rate for.

    My historical interest is how many comics are in circulation, period, so I wouldn’t want to see the numbers trimmed just for ranking purposes, as in the DC returnable situation. (Those unreturned books do end up on the charts eventually, though we may only see them in the aggregate totals.) My feeling is that the horserace in 2012 isn’t going to matter as much to people looking at the site in 2022 — they’re just going to want to know how many copies of a given book existed. Others’ needs may vary, of course.

  17. I don’t think Arrowshaft understands how comic book companies work. Low selling titles are cancelled and replaced with new stuff. DC will have a resurgence in May and June with Night of Owls. The Culling, new52 Volume 1s, and Before Watchmen. That’s not even counting Batman Inc which will do 100k, Earth 2 and World’s Finest. Batman Inc by itself will sell better than the 6 cancelled books issue #6s combined. DC is not complacent.

  18. caged I do not think you should count your chickens before they are hatched. Look at sales and see how every month it is in decline. So even your top 10 keeps dwindling and you think Earth 2 will be a hit?
    I don’t think you understand the true DC fan.

  19. @Tim – why are you reading a book you think is terrible? It makes no sense to me at all – and I hear ALOT of people on boards say things like this.

    Is it so that on your death bed your can tell everyone that you collected every issue of the Hulk? Its not an achievement. At all.

    Spend your time and money on things you enjoy!! :)

  20. Can’t say I’m surprised. I expected Marvel would overtake DC again once the hype died down.

    I’m curious to see what DC’s response will be. I suspect there’ll be a few more months of declines and then some time late in the year they do something to try to generate a big buzz.

  21. DC is getting exactly what they deserve! They alienated their old time fans with all the stupid changes and for what? Nothing! Sales are dropping below pre-reboot levels so soon! How long before Didio gets fired?

  22. “Is it so that on your death bed your can tell everyone that you collected every issue of the Hulk?”

    That’s like telling someone they should only root for their favorite sports team when it’s winning and just ignore it when it’s losing.