by Chris Braly
The February direct market sales numbers are in (thanks to Comichron)! These numbers reflect copies ordered by retailers, not copies actually purchased by consumers — because those figures are not released by Diamond Comics Distributors. So there could be a lot of unsold copies of any of these titles, just gathering dust on comic book store shelves. Looks like DC maintains their dominanace with Batman still their juggernaut, but Marvel managed to get a couple of titles into the top ten this month. Overall, it was a pretty weak month with only one title breaking the 100,000 issues mark. Check out the top ten comics for February:
1 Dark Knights Rising The Wild Hunt #1 sold 101,373 copies
2 X-Men Red #1 sold 98,468 copies
3 Batman #40 sold 95,541 copies
4 Batman #41 sold 93,889 copies
5 Walking Dead #176 sold 77,407 copies
6 Batman White Knight #5 sold 77,373 copies
7 Peter Park Spectacular Spider-Man #300 sold 77,094 copies
8 Star Wars #43 sold 56,045 copies
9 Infinity Countdown Prime #1 sold 55,260 copies
10 Amazing Spider-Man #796 sold 55,138 copies
DC’s continuing Metal-event is STILL keeping DC on top as we continue 2018. But with only 101,000 copies shipped of the top-selling issue, Dark Nights Rising: The Wild Hunt #1, this ranks as the lowest figure for a bestseller since May 2011, shortly before the DC “New 52” relaunch.
Even with a Star Wars movie still in theaters, it seems Marvel can barely get that property to sell over 50k+. Can’t really say much about Black Panther sales figures, although we expect to see a bump from the movie in next month’s numbers.
The big surprise so far for 2018 is that Image Comics’ The Walking Dead outsold all of Marvel’s titles in January, including Star Wars, even though just in December the latest film in the saga, The Last Jedi was released. That’s also the case for February. Somehow, The Walking Dead managed to publish over a 100 issues straight without renumbering and continues to outsell most of Marvel’s output month after month.
A brief explanation of the following data: the first number in parenthesis is the actual ranking on the month’s Top 500 sales charts; next is the first percentage quote which is the drop (or rise) in sales from the previous issue, and the second percentage quote is the movement over six months or six issues (or, if the book has been around for less that that time, since the first issue*).
Raw data for the Top Six Losers at DC for November:
1 Scooby Doo Team Up #35 – 5,491 (234), (-11%), (-5%)
2 Motherlands #2 – 5,419 (262), (-23%), (n/a)
3 Imaginary Fiends #4 – 4,910 (274), (-10%), (-38%)
4 Dastardly and Muttley #6 – 4,674 (284), (-8%), (-61%)
5 Scooby Doo Where Are You? #89 – 3,896 (315), (-.5%), (-9%)
6 Ruff & Reddy Show #5 – 2,920 (361), (-10%), (-68%)
For DC’s superhero fare, Blue Beetle was the worst performer moving only 8,393 copies. This book is cancelled with this being the final issue. I didn’t expect Simon Spurrier’s Motherland or Tim Seeley’s Imaginary Fiends to be doing this poorly, but here we are. The rest of these are Hanna-Barbera books and some are limited series. Scooby-Doo titles aren’t going anywhere for the foreseeable future.
Over at Marvel, here are their worst six performers for January:
1 Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #29 – 9,399 (180), (-8%), (-15%)
2 Marvels Avengers Infinity War Prelude #2 – 8,886 (183), (-8%), (n/a)
3 Luke Cage #170 – 8,549 (187), (-10%), (-33%)
4 Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #28 – 6,659 (230), (-.05%), (-7%)
5 America #12 – 6,482 (235), (-9%), (-38%)
6 Monsters Unleashed #11 – 5,725 (251), (-7%), (-44%)
America has finally been put down, and we have been put out of our misery and we know Luke Cage is cancelled with this issue. Hard to say if the toxic social media behavior of the creators had any impact on sales. Maybe just writing weak or boring books was the only factor. Monsters Unleashed is is still on death watch, but I have no news on its future. Marvel tends to omit mentions of books being cancelled. We tend to get that from the creators’ social media announcements. Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur has found its audience – and it is small, but that may change with the recently announced animation project.
On the indie side of floppy sales, Image’s Walking Dead landed at the #5 slot in both January and now in February. To see it outselling Star Wars when they have a film in theaters is astonishing. What a tremendous title that continues to be!
Thanks to Chuck Melville for the inspiration for this monthly column. Reference numbers provided by Comichron.com. What are your thoughts? Sound off in the comments section below.