October Numbers – Any Candidates for Cancellation DC or Marvel?

by Chris Braly
The October sales direct market sales numbers are here! Check out the top ten comics for the month. Dark Nights: Metal is still kicking-ass, but a few fancy lenticular Marvel Legacy titles managed to crack the top ten in spite of the Dark Knight dominance:

1 Dark Nights Metal #3 sold 158,698 copies
2 Mighty Thor #700 sold 115,662 copies
3 Amazing Spider-Man #789 sold 110,349 copies
4 Batman #32 sold 108,945 copies
5 Batman #33 sold 97,839 copies
6 Despicable Deadpool #287 sold 93,981 copies
7 Batman The Drowned #1 sold 89,861 copies
8 Batman The Dawnbreaker #1 sold 89,427 copies
9 Batman The Merciless #1 sold 87,920 copies
10 Batman White Knight #1 sold 86,791 copies

October brought the restoration of many Marvel titles’ legacy numberings as part of its Legacy event. The promotion required retailers to meet certain thresholds to order special lenticular covers and helped Marvel and the Direct Market’s orders increase 5% over September 2017, but these numbers paled in comparison to sales from October 2016, which was the DC’s Rebirth-driven second-strongest month of 2016.

The Dark Multiverse event at DC — including the market-leading Dark Nights: Metal #3 (with North American shipments of 158,700 copies) and various Batman specials — dominated the top 10; orders continued to come in for Dark Nights: Metal #1, bringing it above 271,000 copies. Notably, Marvel Legacy’s lenticular covers were priced identically with their non-lenticular counterparts and were combined in rankings by Diamond.

A brief explanation of the following data: the first number in parenthesis is the actual ranking on the month’s Top 300 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 October:

1 Ruff & Reddy Show #1 – 8,777 (200), (n/a), (n/a)
2 Dastardly and Muttley #2 – 8,539 (204), (-37%), (n/a)
3 Teen Titans Go #24 – 8,403 (206), (-3%), (-12%)
4 Mother Panic #12 – 7,801 (218), (-3%), (-30%)
5 Scooby Doo Team Up #31 – 5,757 (257), (-0.001%), (-17%)
6 Scooby Doo Where Are You? #86 – 4,237 (299), (+.07%), (-4%)

All of these books are below the presumed DC cancellation point (10,000 copies). Scooby-Doo Team-Up’s performance is directly tied to the members of the team-up. It goes up and down. The other Hanna-Barbera books are mini-series and DC probably doesn’t expect much. As for DC superhero fare, Cyborg only sold 9,945 issues in October.

Meanwhile, over at Marvel, well, see for yourself:

1 Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #25 – 10,605 (176), (+.07%), (-4.2%)
2 Secret Warriors #7 – 9,947 (183), (-15%), (-52.4 %)
3 Black Panther Prelude #1 – 8,475 (205), (n/a), (n/a)
4 Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #24 – 7,701 (223), (+.07%), (-46%)
5 Guardians of the Galaxy Telltale Series #4 – 6,967 (226), (-13.2%), (n/a)
6 Zombies Assemble 2 #3 – 5,352 (266), (-14.4%), (n/a)

The under 15,000 cancellation point at Marvel no longer seems to apply. None of these titles are currently in the Top 100 sales list at Comixology, so they clearly aren’t heating up the digital sales charts either. And according to the latest at our inspiration website, BleedingCool, some local comic shops are reporting that sales for October 2017 were some of the worst in years and November is on its way to beating that. These poor sales has to be a wake up call for Marvel. Hopefully their new editor-in-chief can help shepherd things for the better.

For Image, Walking Dead, Saga, and Spawn continue to perform well, making Image the number one independent publisher. Top indie title best sellers by publisher:

+ Image’s Walking Dead slipped to #22 in August with issue #172 selling 64,231 copies.
+ Dynamite Entertainment hit the #58 spot with Shadow/Batman #1 selling 38,949 copies. Big numbers for Dynamite!
+ IDW Publishing reached a height of #104 with Star Wars Adventures #3 selling 23,739 copies.
+ Dark Horse reached #122 with Neil Gaiman American Gods Shadows #8 selling 19,657 copies.
+ Archie Comics made it to the #143 spot with Jughead the Hunger #1 which sold 14,594 copies
+ BOOM! Studios reached the #155 slot with their Rugrats #1 selling 13,323 copies.
+ Valiant Entertainment reached #158 with Eternity #1 by selling 13,086 copies.
+ Benitez hit the #163 spot with Lady Mechanika Clockwork Assassin #3 which sold 12,508
+ ONI Press clung to the #170 spot with Rick & Morty #31 which sold 11,393

Thoughts? Sound off in the comments section below.

Reference numbers provided by Comichron.com.

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