The GeeksverseLooking At The Market #4: October 2011

Looking At The Market #4: October 2011
Published on Tuesday, November 8, 2011 by

Last month DC had a big surge with their New 52 titles, dominating the charts. How did they, and the rest of the industry, do this month?

DC still dominated the charts, having 7 of the Top Ten and 17 of the Top Twenty. That’s pretty damn impressive. And those titles still did very good numbers. Here’s the thing though, they all dropped in sales. Seven titles showed numbers over 100,000. I’m not sure what the chart is showing for Justice League #2 though as it’s saying #1 sold only 62,000 copies which we know isn’t true. But Justice League #2 did sell around 180,000 copies making it the top book for October.

Rounding out the rest of the Top Ten was Batman #2 (172,428), Action Comics #2 (153,855), Green Lantern #2 (142,344), Flash #2 (114,137), Detective Comics #2 (110,789), Incredible Hulk #1 (106,472), Wolverine And The X-Men #1 (95,855), Fear Itself #7 (95,599) and Superman #2 (94,233).

Some pretty big differences in numbers. The #1 book sold almost twice as much as the #10 book. That’s a big swing. Would be better for the industry as a whole if the #1 book and #10 book were closer together.

There were some big drops from #1s to #2s, which is to be expected. Batman, for example, dropped 39,000 copies. Out of the top ten books Superman had a 31% drop (-42,742 copies), which was the largest drop with the lowest being Detective Comics at 14.5% (-18,838).

All of DC’s books took a dip in sales. They were all in the double digits in percent dropped, most appearing around 15% or 25%.

So the folks at DC were talking on some of the news sites about dominating the sales for a second straight month, but really what is there to talk about? All the books took fairly big hits. If this continues, like I believe it will, then things will eventually even out. They’ll have a couple books doing better then before, but overall what is the gain?

What surprises me is when a book like X-Men: Regenesis (55,787) sells so far below a book that spins out of it, like Wolverine And The X-Men (95,855). Do 40,000 people not care about reading Regenesis and seeing which characters choose to go where and why? Or is that 40,000 the bump that the book will have for being a #1? I’m a story guy, that’s my major draw in a comic book, so a book like Regenesis, I’d consider that to be required reading.

The first non-Marvel/DC book to appear on the charts was Buffy Season 9 #2 at 64th. The next one doesn’t appear until #78, The Walking Dead #90. The Walking Dead #89 is at 79th and it’s again Marvel/DC until Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #3 at 109.

A good sign for DC is that alot of their 2nd/3rd printings of books still appear in the Top 300. If those translate into sales in the later issues, they may not experience that big a drop.

TMNT actually had a decent bump up, 18%.

Star Trek/Legion Of Super Heroes #1 debuted at #114 with 20,950 copies. The ongoing Star Trek had only 13,198 copies sold and Legion Of Super Heroes had 42,504. Looks like the team-up book didn’t benefit that much as many LoSH fans didn’t pick it up. I wonder if the team-up book having the original cast made a difference in the sales from the ongoing (movie cast) to the team-up book or if it was all in LoSH fans?

The last issue of Uncanny X-Men saw a very small spike in sales, only going up 1.3% which translates to about 1800 more copies. That’s it for a last issue? Having the new #1 coming out so quickly after probably had alot to do with it, but being the last issue of the first Uncanny X-Men volume should have brought a bigger bump. Strange.

Interestingly enough the controversy surrounding Catwoman #1 and Red Hood And The Outlaws #1 didn’t really affect the sales that much. Catwoman dropped 17.8% and Red Hood dropped 17.3%. Batman, Action Comics, Flash and Aquaman all had bigger percentage drops in sales. I’m sure the controversy didn’t help the sales any, but overall it didn’t negatively affect them as their respective drop in sales was right in line with what the entire DC catalog felt. The controversy probably helped sell 14,000 copies of the second printing of Red Hood #1 and almost 16,000 copies of Catwoman #1 second printing. That’s not bad for those two mid-level books.

IDW did pretty good this month. Doctor Who and G.I. Joe: ARAH each saw small bumps in copies sold and most of their other books only saw 1-2% drops. That’s not bad at all.

Marvel’s John Carter: A Princess Of Mars took a huge drop in sales, 64.84%. It went from 19,173 copies to 6,742. Ouch. Marvel has canceled a couple of their upcoming mini-series before they were even released. John Carter might not even make it to the end of it’s run.

It can be disheartening looking at these figures every month because most books take a dip from month to month, but overall the market appears strong. It’s hard to tell if DC’s New 52 amounted to a major change in the market. If the numbers are still like this come issues #4 or 5, then I’d call it a success but it’s too early to tell.

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