Author Archives: glennmatchett

By The Numbers: October 2018

Like in any industry, comic books and their companies listen most to one thing and that’s your money! What does your money tell them? What does it tell us as fans? What series do people say they adore but can’t seem to catch a break and what books to people hate that sell out? What are the trends? What looks good? What looks rough?

All these questions and more will be answered here, every month in ‘By The Numbers’ by comic writers, editors and fans, Glenn Matchett and Ray Goldfield.

Glenn Matchett is a comic writer and editor. He’s worked in the industry for 6 years but grew up reading comics. He’s had work published with Outre Press, Alterna Comics and Nemesis Studios. Submitting a comic to Comixology is slowly breaking Glenn’s spirit.  Next month he will be replaced by Garth Ennis.  There will be a lot more swearing.

Ray Goldfield is a fan of comic books for going on 25 years, starting with the death of Superman. He is a writer and editor and has released his first novel. Ray also does a weekly roundup of DC comic reviews for website Geekdad and they’re brilliantly entertaining.  When She-Ra dropped on Netflix, Ray outlasted several little girls in a sleepover to watch it first while completely forgetting how on demand worked.

We also do a podcast together with longtime buddy, Brandon James on iTunes with Rabbitt Stew or at the link here! Don’t ask, I didn’t pick the name. If you’d like to hear what me and Ray sound like, give it a listen!

Top 300 in full available here!

Glenn: We get closer to the end of the year and things are actually relatively quiet.  Both companies seemingly have events going on but the results of both are rather muted.  This means that books that sell well on their own merits rise to the top and this months sales of October 2018 exemplifies that perfectly.

Image result for batman 56

Without many big launches or high profile books in its path, the measuring stick of monthly sales Batman takes the top spot with issue 56 selling over 107.5k with issue 57 selling over 95.2k at 4.  Returning to its ever so gentle slide, everything is business as usual here but without anything really ‘big’ hitting this month that means the most consistent book on the chart wins the day.  It does mean the lowest number one selling book for a while though which might be a problem if this was the case long term but that isn’t likely, we’ve got plenty of big launches to come over the next few months.
Ray: It’s been a while since we had a sales chart with numbers this low. Only three books above 100K is pretty rare, but it’s not surprising given how few a-list titles launched. There’s a few books I would have expected to do higher, but how amazing is it that the 57th issue of a title can still command 100K in this day and age? Given the Mark Buckingham side story this issue, though, that might be 100K+ lawsuits for mental trauma…
Glenn:  Continuing to break every rule in comics, Walking Dead is the second best selling book of the month but not in the form of its regular issue, oh no that would be too easy.  A reprint of the first issue from 15 years ago gets an anniversary edition that sells a whopping 106k+.  When this issue came out way back when it sold just over 7,200 copies but now Walking Dead is a genuine phenomenon and people can’t get enough.  This issue has been reprinted more times than you can imagine but here it is, selling like hot cakes none the less.  Its insane how successful this property is and how it has literally changed the landscape of comics forever.
Ray: A reprint. A full-price reprint from fifteen years ago. This blows the performance of any True Believers one-shot out of the water – and those are a dollar! It’s insane what Walking Dead has become.
Glenn:  At 3 is a somewhat muted debut for the super hyped Spider-Geddon which is a sequel to the massively successful Spider-Verse from a few years ago.  Last time, the story was told in the pages of Amazing with numerous tie-ins but this time around gets its own mini.  It debuts with sales over 104.8k which is lower than I would have imagined.  The event is missing the architect of the previous chapter, Dan Slott true but I would have thought that the concept enough would have got people more excited.  I do think it’ll perform very well in itself and the various mini’s will do well but I doubt we’ll see a trilogy out of this concept.
Ray: This feels like an epilogue to the Slott era in some ways, and this result shows how much nostalgia there is for that run. But even with all the tie-ins, this event seems a little disconnected from the main Marvel Universe. The upcoming Spider-Verse movie will likely give it a slight boost, but this definitely isn’t a sequel topping the original.
Glenn:  With a new number 1, a new creative team, a new direction and a new event to ride the wave off of, Spider-Gwen: Ghost Spider launches at 5 in the charts with sales over 88.9k.  Miles ahead of where the book was before and a promising start. if the book can manage to do a bit better or around the same as the previous book it will live a long happy life.  This version of Gwen is about to hit the mainstream in a big way with Sony’s upcoming Spider-Verse movie so the stock in this character is only going to rise.
Ray: Gwen is definitely the most popular new character out of Marvel in recent years, even eclipsing Miles and Kamala who are huge in their own right. It’s great to see her sales getting a huge shot in the arm from the new creative team and event.
Glenn:  At 6 is the bizarre case of Heroes In Crisis and I’m not just talking about the murder mystery in the title.  The second issue sales are over 88.5k which is a lot lower than the hype machine at DC has been pushing it as.  The bizarre true nature of the event of course has got a lot of people scratching their heads and a lot of divided opinion.  If it was looked at as a offshoot character piece then yes, this is a great number but as an event as it seems to have been turned into then as Ray predicted this looks to be performing at the same trajectory as other secondary events that people couldn’t figure out long term did too such as Fear Itself.  Will this be a long run winner for DC or quickly smushed under the rug?  We’re too early to tell.
Ray: DC sort of took everyone by surprise with this miniseries, not really hyping it properly, and it shows. But the repercussions are seemingly going to be HUGE, so this is primed for reorders.
Glenn:  At 7 is the new issue of Venom, the insanely successful title from Marvel that without anyone paying attention has become their highest selling ongoing.  It sells over 87.1k which is just the result of a perfect storm for this book.  The right creative team at the right time telling the right story.  Everything just works and this is the direct result.
Ray:  I’m really, really reminded of the trajectory of Green Lantern here, with an a-list creative team turning a B-lister into a franchise. We’ll probably have multiple books by this time next year. 
Glenn:  The first issue to dive into big story, Drowned Earth is the 10th issue of Justice League which sells over 84.1k.  There seems to be genuine interest in this story and the run as a whole.  It even seems that though solicitations indicate that this is more of a Snyder/Tynion book than a Snyder book alone, it doesn’t seem to be making much of an impact.  Issue 9 also sells well at 13 getting sales over 72.6k.  Hype for a new story seems to be enough to give this some solid legs long term, another nice addition to DC’s top line of books.
Ray: This is the second mini-event like this from a Justice League title this month, and we’ll get to the other shortly. We saw great numbers from both, boosting the sales of the parent title. We’ll likely see more small-scale events like Drowned Earth, The Witching Hour, The Button, and Flash War as they seem to work well for DC.
Glenn:  Finishing out the top ten is the newest issues of Amazing Spider-Man which sell over 83k and 82.8 respectfully for issues 7 and 8 in the new direction.  Another book with a glacial slide, it seems that this one can be left pretty much unattented while there are more pressing matters elsewhere in the company line.

Ray:  It seems pretty clear that ASM is still stable, as the near-decade long halo Dan Slott gave it hasn’t worn off yet. The general response to this new run from readers seems to be “It’s okay”, so it’ll take more than that for retailers to start shedding copies of their long-time best-selling book. 

Return of Wolverine #2 sheds about 2/3rds of its sales to sell 80K at #11. Pretty predictable, given its absurd number of variants the first one, but this is a pretty healthy number overall. We’ve gotten some word today about the character’s new series going in a cosmic direction in Avengers recently, so we’re likely to have another new #1 after this to keep sales high.
Glenn: Return Of Wolverine was always a mini so I figured we’d be getting another number 1 with the character soon but I must admit, I didn’t imagine it going in that direction.  Maybe this is Wolverine’s future now, never ending mini’s instead of an Ongoing.
Ray:  #12 brings that dastardly Venom again, selling 75K for an annual at #12. This issue didn’t have Donny Cates except in a brief framing sequence, but brought back several iconic Venom creators including David Michelinie for short stories about Venom’s past. At only 12K below the main title, it’s more evidence that Venom Fever is in full swing.
Glenn: Eating brains is officially back in fashion
Ray:  The performance of Catwoman’s new solo series is quickly becoming one for the ages. It inexplicably jumps 17K this month to land at #14, selling 72K. That’s a huge boost and reflects the fact that retailers actually underordered during the initial preorder phase. Huge coup for Joelle Jones and for Tom King in raising the character’s profile.
Glenn: That’s great for any book but especially for a Catwoman one, this is a character whose title has always been middling sales at best.  Perhaps in some ways she is the DC equivalent of Venom where everything has clicked at the right time to make the book a runaway hit.
Ray:  The gap continues to narrow between Superman (#15, 67K) and Action Comics (#19, 60K), as Bendis’ Superman run builds momentum. The character definitely seems to have benefited from the new high-profile creative teams, and Action seems to be the better-received of the two.
The weirdest thing about those crazy sales for the Walking Dead reprint up above is that it outsold this month’s new issue by over 45K, as we find old reliable Walking Dead down here at #18, selling 60K.
Glenn: It’ll be back at the top in no time but Walking Dead outselling itself is the most Walking Dead thing to happen ever.
Ray:  The Batman anthology issue Batman Secret Files lands at #20 with sales of 58K. This had stories by Tom King, Tom Taylor, and several new creators. These are very impressive sales for an anthology, but this was a $4.99 one rather than the giant $10 ones that DC does.
Glenn: Very good performance but it had the Bat boost and King’s name attached at that.  I was a bit iffy on this one but it was mostly good, it doesn’t seem to have any real significance so for a throwaway one shot priced at 4.99, those are great numbers.
Ray:  This month brought us a lot of one-shots, including the five-part X-Men: Black villain-based series. Emma Frost’s issue did the best, selling 55K at #23, with Magneto not far behind at #31 and 49K. Mystique is down at #42, selling 43K, followed by Juggernaut three spots lower at 41K. It’s Mojo bringing up the rear down at #52, selling 37K for his bizarre incel cautionary tale.
Image result for x-men black emma frost
Glenn: I thought Clairemont back at Marvel and back writing X-Men might have caught a bit more interest but these are fine numbers for a mini based on some X-Men bad guys.  The best thing to to come out of this is all the Emma Frost meme’s, all of them are priceless.
Ray:  Event comic one-shots are always weird, as the launch issue for Drowned Earth is down at #25, selling 53K. That’s over 25K below where the Justice League issue tying in landed, which means there’s going to be a lot of very confused readers.
Glenn: It reminds me of the big sales gap between Clone Conspiracy and Amazing back in the day.  Its odd because Marvel and DC go to a lot of effort to put check lists of these types of things in their books but its ultimately inconsequential.  They probably would have been better just doing extra issues of Justice League.
Ray: Drowned Earth wasn’t the only event comic in the Justice League line this month. The five-week Justice League Dark/Wonder Woman: The Witching Hour crossover had all five issues this month, with the launch one-shot landing at #32 with sales of 48K. The first WW issue tying in sold 55K at #24, followed by 53K at #27 for the Justice League Dark issue and 42K at #43 for the second WW issue. Then the concluding issue is at #41 with 43K. All over the place in no particular order, but very solid sales as both titles get a boost and Wonder Woman continues to recover in advance of the G. Willow Wilson run starting next month.
Glenn: The Witching Hour sounds like it was a damn fine read and has done well for both titles.  Justice League Dark will continue chugging away most likely but it’ll be interesting to see where the new creative team takes Wonder Woman sales wise.
Ray:  A surprisingly big drop for Spider-Geddon #2 at #26, selling 53K. If that’s the actual level of the series sans variants, that’s not great for Marvel at all.
Glenn: That…is really surprising. I guess if they can get the trade out before the movie then it might all be worth it? Hopefully the tie ins bring in some respectful returns.
Ray:  This is the level where we see a lot of those long-standing and new top books that have leveled out, including Avengers, Detective Comics, Flash, Captain America, Immortal Hulk, Thor and both Star Wars books. These are the cream of the crop for the companies right now, selling 65-50K. I do notice some odd hiccups in the sales of Detective and Flash this month, with the first issue of the month getting a boost and then the second issue dropping over 10K. Strange. Might be due to special variant covers – DC had some novelty foil covers last month.
Glenn: I’d say its the foil covers for sure.  This time next year, scratch and sniff variants!
Ray:  Justice League Odyssey also seems to be leveling off nicely, selling 46K at #36 for its second issue. But we’ll see what it looks like when the preorders wear off, because unlike its sister titles its more isolated from the rest of the DCU.
The new direction for Supergirl definitely seems to be paying off, with the latest issue selling 44K at #37. That’s about double what it was consistently doing under the previous run, despite growing buzz.
Black Panther vs. Deadpool lands at #38 selling 44K. Pretty standard for a Deadpool miniseries, with Black Panther boosting numbers, but I bet it would have sold double if it was just Deadpool making bad Get Out jokes until T’Challa decked him because they don’t get American movies in Wakanda.
Glenn: I also think Deadpool referring to Wakanda as Zamunda would have had a superior sales effect also.  Dear readers, why Marvel has not called us remains a mystery
Ray:  The Old Man Logan series wraps with its fiftieth issue, selling 39K at #49. This is a small boost, but it’s relaunching next month for the year-long Dead Man Logan, which will probably result in a bigger increase.
Another title that’s benefiting from a new direction is Batgirl, which is down at #50 selling 37K. This book was hovering around 20K a few months back, so the new creative team of Mairghread Scott dealing with Barbara’s recovery from her shooting is definitely catching on.
#54 brings us the next Spider-Geddon tie-in, the one-shot Superior Octopus. It sells 36K, and the upcoming ongoing will need to do better than that for its first issue to have a chance at a long run. Otto’s profile obviously went up a lot thanks to Superior Spider-Man, but we’ll see if he’s solo series material yet.
Glenn:  I’m surprised Superior Octopus didn’t sell better given how high Otto’s profile is following Superior and such.  Rebranding the new ongoing title Superior Spider-Man seems to have been a good move.  I think there might be some reissues here as this is essentially the 0 issue for the ongoing.
Image result for superior octopus 1
Ray:  Arguably the most puzzling comic released in recent years, the poorly received one-off Frank Tieri AU that closed his Harley Quinn run is now its own miniseries, Old Lady Harley, which lands at #56 with sales of 36K. Pretty standard for a random Harley spin-off, so I don’t think we’ll be getting Harley Quinn vs. Black Lightning or Harley Tsum Tsum Adventures any time soon.
Glenn: Remember when Marvel Zombies was first done and it was on the back of a gag but was initially mega successful?  This seems to want to be like that but very much isn’t.
Ray:  The other Marvel one-shot wave of the month was a new round of What Ifs, and they didn’t do nearly as well as X-Men: Black. The top-selling one was What If: Punisher, which saw Peter Parker become a darker, more murderous Spider-hero. It’s at #58 selling 35K. Next is What If: Spider-Man featuring Flash Thompson under the webs, selling 29K at 85. What If: Thor sells 27K at #91, showing what would happen if Thor was raised by King Laufey. A complex cyber-AU they called What If: X-Men is at #95 selling 27K, and What If: Ghost Rider (which wasn’t a What If at all, but some weird meta parody about black metal and demons) rounds them out at #98 selling 25K. All in all, this wave feels like kind of a misfire.
Glenn: These one shots were all a bit odd.  Retailers probably just played a guessing game with them because not all fans would seek out material like this because ultimately, none of it matters.  We definitely won’t be seeing a return for the classic series anytime soon.
Ray:  The second issue of Stranger Things from Dark Horse is down at #63, selling 34K. Still the top-selling Dark Horse book on the charts by a wide margin, even as it loses almost 50% of its first issue sales.
Glenn: Stranger Things is a bit of a tank of a property so I’m not surprised that it seems destined to become Dark Horse’s best performer.  I have no doubt when its collected that fans of the show will seek it out too.

Ray:  Maybe the oddest crossover in recent memory, Batman/The Maxx: Arkham Dreams launches at #64, selling 34K. The Maxx is an obscure Image character from the 1990s that hasn’t had new material in well over a decade, so this likely boils down to “Well, Batman’s in it”. Definitely a big number for IDW, their only book in the top 100. The second issue ships this month as well, selling 23K at #111.

Glenn: Yeah pretty much this is probably the lowest you can go when ordering Batman and still expect a return given that who he’s teaming up with here has no sales power at all.  You know for a loner, Batman isn’t fussy about who he teams up with is he?
Ray:  Not an impressive launch for Shuri’s solo series at #65, selling 34K. Despite the main series being in a very healthy place, the spinoffs have failed to launch high. The only question here is if this well-received first issue can find a place in the new comic market and render its direct market sales irrelevant.
Glenn:  I would have thought this would have done better for sure.  While Black Panther and the characters supporting cast has never had a higher profile than the one they got this year, it doesn’t seem to be able to translate over to comics, not in the singles market anyway.

Ray:  The other Spider-Geddon tie-ins are down around this level, with the Jody Houser-penned Spider-Girls (teaming Anya, Mayday, and Annie) selling 33K at #67. A little lower at #73 brings us the black-ops Spider-Force, written by Priest and selling 32K. If these short minis hold these numbers, they’ll be fine. But these are hidden gems that I wish more people were checking out.

Glenn:  Same, Spider-Girls especially is excellent.  Decent enough for tie-ins but it seems like these ones will have major implications on the main story so they might get some reorders that way.

A bit of an increase for the 200th Anniversary issue for Moon Knight at 68 which sells over 33.3k  The number on the front will help but this also had Jeff Lemire return to the character which probably didn’t do any harm either.  For the time being, Moon Knight is going on vacation.
At 72 is the newest Sandman universe title, Books Of Magic which sells over 32.2k is the first book of this line that is eventually also a relaunch. This seems like a good number to me and I think this one might have an advantage over its peers with old fans returning but new fans checking it out too.
Ray:  Tim Hunter hasn’t had a presence in the market for well over a decade. He last appeared in the New 52 Justice League Dark title as a supporting player, so given that it seems like a decent number. Overall, I don’t think any of these books will reach the numbers of The Dreaming
Glenn:  The wacky Infinity Warps combos continue this month at 74 with Arachknight which sells over 32k.  This likely sells the best this month cause of the connection to Spider-Man who unless you couldn’t tell, is the ‘Arach’ part of the title.  Next one is Weapon Hex at 31.1k which benefits due to Wolverine being connected to this particularly pairing.
Ray: These sold very similarly to each other, and neither sold nearly as well as Soldier Supreme or Iron Hammer. Spider-Man aside, neither the characters involved or the characters involved were as high-profile as last month’
Image result for infinity warps arachknight
Glenn:  At 78 and 79 are the first of many, many Walking Dead ‘blind bag’ reprintings of key Walking Dead issues.  Keeping in mind these reprints are full price and the material has reproduced multiple times over the years that issue 1 (yes again) sells over 31k (making it the highest selling comic of the month combining it with the sales of the OTHER Walking Dead 1 that came out) and issue 19 sells over 30.8k.  It literally is like printing money.
An odd mini focusing on Typhoid Mary begins at 82 selling over 30.6k which has her taking on Spider-Man.  Given that Spidey comics always do well, its no surprise that this particular part of the Typhoid mini sold these numbers.  Not mind blowing but not too bad, especially at 4.99.
Ray:   This Typhoid Mary series is very similar in structure to the Wakanda Forever series a few months back. Only, you know, without the Billion-dollar movie driving sales.
Glenn:  The ever slightest of boosts for Nightwings 50th issue and the new direction spinning out of Batman at 86 selling over 29.4k.  This new direction DC has taken Nightwing in is controversial to say the least and the months ahead will determine if it was the right thing to do.
Ray: (It won’t be the right decision.)
Glenn:  At 90 is the relaunch of Lucifer under the Sandman universe banner which sells over 28.2k.  This one probably didn’t do as well as the other title’s because it wasn’t that long that the title had been relaunched previous to this so this isn’t as much of a novelty.  Still the sales are a good bit ahead of the previous incarnation and all these Sandman Universe books will do well in trades.
Ray: Lucifer barely played a role in the Sandman Universe one-shot and isn’t as firmly associated with Sandman as the others, so that played a role too, I’m sure.
Glenn: No that’s definitely the ‘lead’ book as it were.
At 93 is Avengers Halloween Special which sells over 27.3k as Marvel tries to get in on the anthology game that DC has been doing so well the last few years.  This is a decent result, we’ll see if the company makes this type of thing a regular occurrence.
Ray: Much like Batman Secret Files, it seems like these $4.99 anthologies do better than the bigger ones.
Glenn: Being $5 cheaper likely helps
At 102 is Batman Blank Comic which was something DC sold to retailers to sell onto people for 24 hour comic day.  This means you pay to basically make your own comic.  Given that it sells over 25.4k and is priced at 2.99 this just shows how much you can sell bu just putting ‘Batman’ on a cover and literally nothing else.
Ray: Damnit, Glenn, we should have been putting Batman stickers on blank pages long ago!
Glenn:  Right below it at 103 is the first part of the Solo comic adaption which sells over 25.2k.  This film got an unfair lukewarm response I feel and these sales reflect that.  Still not bad for a comic based on a movie that was only out a few months ago.
Ray: Despite the movie disappointing, Marvel seems to have a bit of faith in the Solo franchise – there’s also a Solo mid-quel original comic coming next month about Han’s time in the Imperial service.
Glenn:  Asguardians of the Galaxy loses less than half its first issue sales at 106 selling over 24.7k which actually isn’t too bad for a comic with a team full of b listers and below.  This one could stick around.
At 107 is Marvel Zombie, the once mega successful franchise lives again!  It sells over 24.7k which tells me that while the property is well past its prime, it might be decent enough for Marvel to trot it out now and then to eat into some fans wallets.
Ray: This was a weird one-shot that came out of nowhere, but it shows that zombies continue to sell. I wonder if there’s another comic this month that proved that…
Glenn:  Big increase for Batman Beyond for its 25th issue which sells over 24.2k at 109.  This series has never been at the top of the charts but has been a solid lower tier performer for the company for years despite it never really getting any special marketing or big stories or the usual stuff.  There are title’s that are worse off.
Ray: This is also the return of the original Joker to the title, so that’s undoubtedly driving sales to this future-set title.
Glenn:  Umbrella Academy returns at 110 for a new mini, hotel oblivion selling over 24.1k.  I’m not sure how the original series sold but this is a good number for publisher Dark Horse and the first two stories of this series have probably made quite a bit in collections which this one ultimately will as well.
Image result for the umbrella academy hotel oblivion #1
Ray: Given that the franchise has been in…oblivion for a while, those are good numbers. Thank you! We’ll be here all week! Try the veal!
Glenn: I’m allergic to Veal, why you try kill me
At 117 is Shatterstar, a new mini from Marvel about a character that is ridiculously obscure.  It sells over 23.1k and that’s a lot better than I would expect from a book about a character I couldn’t point out in a line up between him and various versions of Micky Mouse.
Ray: Tim Seeley’s writing this, which is probably why it managed to top 20K. Otherwise, this is obviously a niche book.
Glenn:  DC rising star, Sam Humbries releases a new Image title at 118 in the form of Blackbird which is some fantasy based mystery from what I understand from the description.  It sells over 23k which is pretty on par with what I would expect from a book written by someone who is gaining momentum at the big two.

Ray:  That’s a really healthy Image debut, well above what we normally see unless you’re talking about a megawatt creative team like a Millar or Snyder joint. Both Humphries and Bartel are fast-rising talents. 

It’s time for another wave of Hanna-Barbera/DC crossover one-shots. These four were actually all ordered in very similar numbers, but once again it’s the weak link that tops the sales. That would be Superman/Top Cat special, where Superman and a talking cat fight a Kale monster. It sells 22.6K at #122. Not far behind that, selling 22.2K at #125 is Deathstroke/Yogi Bear, where there is both carnage and pic-a-nic baskets. Then at 130/131, both selling 21.2K, are Green Lantern/Huckleberry Hound and Nightwing/Magilla Gorilla. Sales likely reflect the DC character involved more than anything, and it seems like retailers are just ordering them as a set now. With lots of Hanna-Barbera properties left to go, I could see this oddball mini-event continuing for some time.
Glenn: They seem to do decent for what they are and can be a lot of fun with the potential of landing another Batman/Fudd type scenario so why not?
Ray:  More Walking Dead at #133, as the one hundredth issue gets an anniversary reprint that takes in 20.9K.
The latest jumbo-sized DC anthology, Cursed Comics Cavalcade, has a healthy debut at #135, selling 20.2K. Any time a $9.99 comic breaks 20K, that’s impressive. DC continues to deliver with these anthologies.
Two more blank comics, with Wonder Woman at #136 (20.2K) and Superman at #141 (19.4K). That’s about 40K in comics with nothing inside. Talk about a money-maker. Let those sucker readers make their own comics for a change!
Glenn: I’d be surprised if more companies don’t do it next year.  Imagine what Walking Dead could do with a blank version if old issues can sell so well without any discount on their original pricing?
Ray:  Infinity Wars: Sleepwalker debuts at #139, selling 19.6K. Given that this is a Sleepwalker comic, a character who hasn’t been relevant since the 90s, well…insert the Arrested Development “I don’t know what I was expecting” meme here.
Another strong Image debut at #142, as Dead Rabbit from Gerry Duggan and John McCrae sells 19K. This noir-accented retired-criminal tale had some top creators and a good concept, but trouble may be ahead – a mandatory recall of both issues was issued today due to trademark issues, so we’ll see what this comic’s future is.
Glenn: Hopefully it can stick through it and at worst it will be a simple title change, I like both these creators and was glad so see this do well
Ray:  More Walking Dead! The second issue sells another 19K at #143.
IDW had another successful weekly Star Wars event, Tales from Vader’s Castle. This horror-accented story of a group of rebels telling scary stories as they tried to infiltrate Mustafar debuted at #144 with sales of 18.7K, and the other four issues landed at #155, #162, #165, and #167 bottoming out at 16.2K. These were the top five IDW comics this month that didn’t feature Batman.
Glenn: Having Vader in the title of your book will help.  Its like having a slightly more goth Batman with magic powers.
Ray:  The Terrifics Annual #1 is down at #146, selling 18.6K. That’s well below where the regular title sells – but then, this annual didn’t have Jeff Lemire. Lemire is leaving the title with #14 as he says goodbye to work-for-hire, and I doubt it’ll be continuing from there. This is his book.
Glenn: Then these odd new DC hero books will never be mentioned again.  Let us hope lessons were learned.
Ray:  Six more Walking Dead issues down here – #27, #7, #53, #108, #48, and #167. They’re scattered between #148 and #166, selling between 18K and 16K. These are basically True Believers one-shots at full price, so the way they’re selling is bizarre and impressive.
The relaunch of Unstoppable Wasp is waaaaaaaaay down at #151, selling 17.2K. To put this into perspective, this is between the latest issues of Damage and Sideways, two series almost a year old that are likely to be cancelled soon. I assume this series is getting its sales elsewhere, because it’s sure not getting them here.
Glenn: Got to love Marvel for try, try, trying again but this doesn’t indicate any strong presence for this character as a solo lead anytime soon.
Ray:  Another new Vertigo series, the supernatural Stepford Wives pastiche Hex-Wives, lands at #154 with sales of 17.1K. It’s another strong debut like Border Town last month, but as we’ll talk about down the list, that may be fleeting.
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Speaking of True Believers, this month’s wave of $1 Marvel reprints was classic What If issues. These are largely all clustered together, since none of them are really key issues and retailers ordered them more for the die-hards. The top-selling one is “What if Silver Surfer had wielded the Infinity Gauntlet?” at #157, selling 16.8K. From there, we see “What if the alien costume had possessed Spider-Man” at #170, “What if Spider-Man rescued Gwen Stacy” at #175, and “What if Jane Foster had found the Hammer of Thor” at #182. These are all issues featuring top characters or concepts, and they all sell between 16K and 14K.
Glenn: Given that these books are out of continuity and are from way back when, retailers probably found it hard to gage demand which is why they’re all lumped together at similar numbers.  Most retailers probably just ordered them to have inexpensive back stock for the back issue divers.
Ray:  Four more Walking Dead issues – #127, #92, #171, #132 – down here selling between 16K and 14K in the #169-#180 range. So. Much. Walking. Dead.
Glenn: Its like they’re coming through the walls man!
Ray:  Daniel Warren Johnson, the cult creator behind the brilliant Extremity, debuts his new comic at #179. It’s Murder Falcon, the story of a grieving musician who learns to live again through the power of…a giant talking bird superhero who needs heavy metal to fight? It’s a real book, I swear! It’s also brilliant and it sells 14.8K but should be selling 10x that.
Glenn: I’m calling the mental asylum, its time.  It sounds like a good book in all seriousness but very much has a niche hook so the number doesn’t surprise me.
Ray: Another offbeat Image book, the supernatural action-comedy Exorsisters, debuts at #183 selling 13.9K. This book seemed to get a good response all around and might be a sleeper hit for Image. Is “feminist supernatural satire” becoming the new “deep space murder mystery” for Image?
Glenn: Female Supernatural seems like a trend lately doesn’t it?  Lots of books with similar hooks/feels and its likely all coincidence.  This is within the Image safe zone for creators without a high profile and I think will pick up a bigger audience through trades, its also begging for a TV adaption.
Ray:  Wytches makes its long-awaited return – sort of – with the terrifying Bad Egg Halloween Special. This 80-page comic for $7.99 sold 13.7K at #188, but that’s kind of a deceptive number – this comic was serialized long ago in the Image + magazine both digitally and in print. So many people have already read this, making this a much healthier number. When Wytches does come back, it’ll be just fine.
Glenn: You nailed it, people who wanted this desperately likely read it through Image+ so this is just a few extra sales.  Given that the creative team is doing one last stop to do a mini about the Batman Who Laughs before coming back to Wytches, this could easily be Image’s number 2 book for as long as it comes out next volume.
Ray:  The rest of the What If True Believers issues are down here, with “What if Kraven the Hunter had killed Spider-Man” at #186, “What if Doctor Doom had become a hero” at #191, “What if the FF had not gained their powers” at #196, “What if the Avengers had fought evil during the 1950s” at #198, and “What if the FF had different super-powers” at #200. All of these sell 13K to 12K, a pretty decent range. The only outlier is “What if Legion had killed Magneto“, down at #212 selling 11K. This one was from a much later What If run, with VERY 90s art.
Glenn: The 90’s were dark and full of terrors.

Ray:  Tee Franklin, the creator of the very popular Bingo Love, made her monthly comic debut this month with the feminist horror comic Jook Joint, about an enchanted bar that helps victims of domestic abuse get their revenge. Her popularity doesn’t seem to have translated, as the title lands at #205 with sales of 11.8K. I think the massive tonal difference between the sweet Bingo Love and this incredibly dark title didn’t help.

Glenn:  It does seem like a very different direction to go in.  Likely most retailers didn’t make the connection with who Franklin was and ordered it like they would any other horror title.  I would say her next project will likely be closer in tone to her first.
At 214 is the second issue of Bully Wars selling over 11.2k.  I might have expected higher with something that has Scottie Young’s name on it but he’s only doing the writing.  Its at a level with a lot of newer Image books so it’ll likely stay fine if it stabelizes here.
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Another month, another KISS comic from Dynamite.  KISS Blood Stardust sells over 10.5k which seems to be the range for these odd band comics.  Stable numbers are stable numbers.
Ray: This one was by Bryan Hill, but it doesn’t seem to have made much of a difference. I guess only so many people want to see Gene Simmons fight demons.
Glenn:  Infinite Dark, a new sci-fi mystery which is the latest genre that is suddenly everywhere debuts from Dark Horse at 220 selling over 10.2k.  Pretty standard debut for a new Image book with a decent premise and no huge names attached.
Ray: It’s also Lovecraft-inspired, which is one of the public domain genres that keep cropping up. Odd book without much of a built-in audience.
Glenn:  Pretty expected second issue sales for MST3k (over 10.2k at 221), Vampirella Dejah Thoris (over 10.1k at 222) and United States Vs Murder Inc (Over 9.7k at 224) in the case of the latter, it seems the new Bendis titles are faring much better than the ones he brought back.
At 225 is Mars Attacks which sells over 9.7k which is a lot better than I might have expected for a property that hasn’t been hot in like 20 years.  It likely helps they that they have Kyle Starks on board, his name will likely bring in some attention.
Ray: Mars Attacks seems to be falling into the Nancy Drew/Lone Ranger pool of taking characters that don’t have much of a market presence and giving them shiny new creative teams from up-and-coming writers. Dynamite makes some puzzling choices, but they seem to be able to attract some top-creators lately and it’s paying dividends.
Glenn: All I know is that they came in peace *releases bird*
In the end of an era, the final issue of the Simpsons Comic (issue 245) sells over 8.8k at 230.  Slightly better than what it usually would do but this comic never made its money in the direct market, instead of being sold in every type of place you could think of worldwide.  As Bongo comics goes away, we’ll likely see the franchise farmed out to BOOM or IDW or some such who will be able to buy a new pool with all that sweet Simpson royalty money.
As Ray indicated earlier, there’s quite a fall for Border Town’s second issue as it drops down to 232 with sales over 8.8k.  This is pretty much been normal level for Vertigo for anything non Sandman and/or Snyder related for years.  There’s a lot of books from this new line of Vertigo so we’ll see if they all do the same and how DC processes that in the months to come.
Rainbrow Brite is the newest property to get a comic version, Dynamite releases the first issue this month at 235 and it sells over 8,5k. I’m not sure how much appeal this character has to a wide audience but this seems probably about as good as you can get at launch.
Ray: Rainbow Brite is one of Dynamite’s only forays into the all-ages genre, and it has Unstoppable Wasp creator Jeremy Whitley writing. I’m not sure this will be one of the direct market, but Dynamite is really trying a lot of new things lately.
Glenn:  At 237 is Marvel Super Heroes Captain Marvel Spooktacular which sells over 8.3k.  All ages kids comic to tie in with a show aimed at young girls, this is not its place to make its money.
Right below it at 238 is definitely not a comic aimed at young girls, reorders for Batman: Damned get another 8.3k+ in sales.  Fans and retailers will have to live with a version that will feature less male genitalia but the titles been a hit regardless.
Ray: Nananananananaa Bat-wang!
Glenn:  At 243 is TMNT Macroseries Donatello which sells over 7.9k, these one shots focusing on each of the turtles will very depending on the popularity of each.  I doubt many people think of Donatello as their favorite turtle but this is a number in line with how turtle comics usually do.
A new mini from Image, Errand Boys is the latest in another odd trend of ‘delivery boys with a twist’ titles that all seem to be coming out at once.  It sells over 7,8k at 244 on its first issue.  Pretty standard stuff.
Ray: Errand Boys has a pair of new creators on board, so these numbers aren’t a surprise. The play here is usually to hope for good trade sales and some nice buzz, leading to a sequel. First two issues indicate it might deserve it.
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Glenn:  New BOOM ongoing, Sparrowhawk is a fantasy selling 7.1k which is pretty normal for a BOOM comic with no big names attached.  At least this books premise sounds unique.
At 265 is the latest attempt to make Lone Ranger a thing, it sells over 6.5k which shows that he is still not a thing.  A team up with Batman may be the only thing that can help him at this point, I demand a cook off between Alfred and Tonto stat.
Ray: This Lone Ranger reboot has Mark Russell on board and is getting some very good reviews, but it’s been relaunched so often already that it probably didn’t matter. Too many false starts for the property.
Glenn:  At 268 is reorders for the uber controversial Heroes In Crisis 1 as it racks up additional sales over 6.3k.  Nothing huge reorder wise, pretty standard for a high profile story but its still something.
Season 11 of popular kids show Adventure Time launches at 270 selling over 6.2k.  I have no idea what this show is about and I’m sure the comics sell great outside the direct market to legions of die hard fans of whatever the heck this is about.  In my day, cartoons had Batman in them and we liked it!  These new things confuse and scare me.
Ray: Adventure Time is coming off a popular series finale with a major twist, so I imagine that boosted sales. This is definitely one for the bookstore market, though.
Glenn:  Two halloween one shots starring two female comic characters from Dynamite sell at 273 and 274 respectively.  First we have Red Sonja which sells 6k and Vampirella which sells over 5.9k.  Seems retailers ordered these close together which to me suggests a similar fan base for specials starring these characters.
First issue of the adaption of Ray’s favorite cartoon ‘Rise Of The TMNT‘ sells over 5.9k.  I don’t think this version will be still talked about in 10 years time, or five, or two.
Ray: But when we think of TMNT, we definitely think of…evil invading aliens and magical sci-fi weapons?
Glenn: Technically Krang is an alien…I think.  I’m actually not sure.
A new book from Steve Orlando hits from Aftershock at 285 which sells over 5.4k.  Even though Orlando has been a heavy feature of DC the last few years, it seems that still can’t get sales out of an Aftershock launch for him but not many people can.                                                                                                                                                                                       Ray: Orlando overall has struggled to find an audience for his creator-owned books, be they at Image, Boom, or Aftershock. They get good reviews, but he hasn’t gotten to the point where his name sells books on their own.
Glenn:  Spookhouse 2, a reprint of an all ages kids anthology dealing with stories likely more Muppets Christmas Carol than Heriditory sells over 5.3k at 287.  Another book that likely isn’t depending on the direct market for most of its sales.
Lodger, an interesting sounding thriller that is put out through IDW’s Black Crown line sells over 5.3k at 288.  These Black Crown books actually usually seem interesting but seem to not be capturing the markets attention.  Black Crown seems to essentially be IDW’s Vertigo and even DC Vertigo isn’t what it used to be.
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Ray: Lodger is a David Lapham book, and he’s always been a niche creator. These numbers are pretty close to what can be expected.
Glenn:  Getting in on the halloween one shot craze this month is Bettie Page who has a spooky themed one shot at 290 selling over 5.2k.  Horror and Bettie PAge aren’t things my mind would usually link together and its not as if there’s a lot of demand for the character and the market (especially this month) is overloaded with horror so I guess this is fine?
More reorders for Venom 1 at 294 selling another 5.1k+ of copies.  Reorders are slowing down but they’re still there, even with the trade out soon.
At 295 is an Army Of Darkness Halloween special which sells over 5.1k.  See?  This makes sense but somehow gets outsold by Bettie Page, I don’t know what to tell you.
New Judge Dredd book with the subtitle Toxic sells a shade over 5k at 297 which like all other Dredd stuff is pretty standard for the direct market for the character.  For die hard Dreddheads only.
Thankfully nothing to do with annoying singing people, Lollipop Kids from Aftershock seems to almost be a more family friendly version of American Gods.  It sells over 4.8k at 206 which is pretty standard for the publisher when no big names are attached.
At 312 we have another new Aftershock title Last Space Race selling over 4.7k, see above
Ray: Aftershock puts out a surprising number of books, and very few of them get anywhere near healthy numbers. I’m not sure what the company’s long-term is, but they do seem to be able to get a surprising number of top creators.
Glenn:  At 313 is Barack Panther which sells over 4.7k.  No its not a type although I really wish it was.  I miss the good old days of the top 300, I had far less tearing in my soul then.

Ray: But is he facing Trumpmonger? The world may never know, because most of us aren’t reading this book. 

Ryan Ferrier’s Death Orb debuts at #316 from Dark Horse, selling 4.6K. This post-apocalyptic sci-fi comic got a lot of advance promotion, but like many creator-owned books without a clear hook it struggled.
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Man-Eaters continues to do two covers a month, and so they sort of have to be combined. They’re at #277 and #317, selling about 10K combined. Odd plan, but the numbers are overall decent but unspectacular.
Glenn: Cain’s usual audience might be trade waiting but yeah, seeing it show up twice on the charts like this is odd.  It seems her controversial end at Marvel didn’t get many people to follow her to indieland.
Ray:  #330 brings us an oversized Planet of the Apes one-shot, selling 4K. This is based on the classic continuity, which has a smaller audience than the recent hit movie series. This is overall a niche property that Boom continues to do some occasional content for, just like they do with Kong.
At #340 is an interesting entry, the From Hell Master Edition from IDW. This reprint of Frank Miller’s classic thriller sells 3.7K, an impressive number for a $7.99 reprint of an old comic most people probably read in collections.
Glenn: This is a graphic novel that I see a lot outside comic shops so these single issue sales don’t matter ultimately.  They’re likely just for those that consider the book their favorite.
Ray:  The newest Tangled: The Series miniseries lands at #342, selling 3.7K. This one is definitely part of IDW’s fast-growing all-ages line geared towards bookstores with small, affordable trades.
Zenoscope’s Black Knight debuts at #349 with sales of 3.6K, and is…apparently a comic about a sexy black knight lady in armor with a lot of conspicuous gaps in it? Glenn, strike up the Rachel Bloom!
Glenn: I am shocked to learn this.  Shocked.
Ray:  A new Dragon Age: Deception miniseries is at #350, selling 3.6K. This is mostly notable for me given that it’s written by two of my favorite comic book creators, Nunzio DeFilippis and Christina Weir. Marvel’s loss is Dragon Age’s gain?
Glenn: Its still just a video game tie-in and those will only go so far.
Ray:  At #351 is Nancy Drew #5, wrapping up Kelly Thompson’s original miniseries. It sells 3.6K, but it needs to sell a lot more than that in collections. It ended on a cliffhanger! Me need sequel now!
Glenn: If we don;t get a sequel, I might cry.  Please don’t make me cry.
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Ray:  #362 has the Archie Halloween Spectacular, selling just under 3.4K. This is part of a series of a single-issue sized digests combining about five short stories into one volume. Definitely more of a newsstand market book.
At #366 is The Devil Within, a new Black Mask horror comic that sells 3.2K. It’s basically The Exorcist but more political. “Your mother sucks at bringing progressive policies into effect!”
Glenn: Something for everyone I guess?  Politically themed comics also can only go so far.  People read comics and other forms of fiction to forget about the political mess we’re all in.
Ray:  The adaptation of Shades of Magic, based on the classic fantasy series by V.E. Schwab, lands at #374 with sales of 3K. Titan gets a healthy amount of business based on adaptations and reprints of foreign comics.
For once, it’s another company doing the public domain comic thing! American Mythology revamps Zorro with a new series launching at #378 with sales of 3K. This is a supernatural take with Zorro fighting demons, but these are actually pretty healthy numbers for this company.
Glenn: In the immortal words of Homer Simpson ‘You go Zorro!’
Ray:  After a lot of reprints and all-ages ongoings like Lumberjanes that aren’t meant for this market anymore, we get a new #1 – Sex Death Revolution from Black Mask, selling 2.7K at #390. These numbers are both shocking and not – it’s a creator-owned comic from a company that struggles in sales and was a double-sized $6 issue, but it’s also by Mags Visaggio, the writer of arguably the company’s ongoing signature book, Kim & Kim. Although she’s rising fast, her star apparently doesn’t lift the company she got her start at yet.
Glenn:  Its also an odd book that I find hard to describe.  There’s no one sentence that describes what it is to potential readers so that will make it a hard sell.
Ray:  Ahoy Comics had a wildly successful debut with Wrong Earth last month, but it doesn’t seem to have translated to their other launches. Their horror anthology, Edgar Allen Poe’s Snifter of Terror, lands this month at #393 selling exactly 2.7. Still not a bad launch for a completely new company.
It feels like I reviewed the zero issue of Artifact One from Aspen on our podcast ages ago, but the #1 issue is finally here and selling 2.6K at #396. The long wait couldn’t have helped, but in general Aspen’s numbers tend to be low.
After more reorders and some creator-owned gems that should be selling much better, we see our next launch with Source from Scout Comics. This story of an ordinary teacher who gets caught up in a cosmic war sells 2.3K at #410. It’s from the cowriter of The Mall, one of Scout’s more buzzworthy titles, but the company as a whole is still struggling to sell comics that aren’t Stabbity Bunny.
Glenn: Maybe all their comics should star homicidal rabbits?
Ray:  And the other Ahoy Comics launch of the month is at #414. Captain Ginger, the story of a bunch of talking cats traveling a post-apocalyptic cosmos and doing cat-like things, sells 2.3K. Sometimes, Glenn, it still is wonderful down here.

Glenn:  No its not, even if they’re clearly pandering.

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Some reorders for Stranger Things at 415 with additional sales 2.2k+  This is probably Dark Horse’s best launch in a while and they’re be eager for more asap.
At 426 is Albert Einstein, Time Mason which sells over 2k.  It doesn’t seem like many people want to read about Einstein’s adventures in time and space.
Magica De Spell Halloween Hex from IDW sells over 1.9k at 429.  I have no clue what this is and apparently not many people did.  In a month full of halloween one shots with big prices, this one got lost in the shuffle.
A new comic from Vault, These Savage Shores sells over 1.8k at 438.  The premise doesn’t seem to grab me and I’m not sure of the creators so yeah, this is what you get.
I’m surprised to see an Archie comic featuring Betty & Veronica at 440 selling over 1.8k.  Usually books starring these characters do a lot better.  Archie is an odd place as a company now and maybe this is an effect of that?
Ray: This Betty and Veronica book is a mini-digest of sorts, reprinting a small collection of themed stories. It’s not really new content and sold accordingly.
Glenn:  More people wanting that True Believers reprint of the Punisher’s first appearance at 441 selling more copies of over 1.8k.  Not too bad for a very old comic that’s earned its money countless times over.
Usual performance for Dave Sim and his increasingly punny titles at 442 as League Of Extraordinary Cerebi sells over 1.8k.
At 445 we have Midnight Mystery from Alterna which sells over 1.8k which is about normal for new Alterna books that don’t get major news coverage.
Ray: We’ll see how many new Alterna books are coming, given their recent bad PR.
Glenn:  At 446 is Backstagers Halloween Intermission selling over 1.8k.  This book has never found its place in the direct market despite its writer being a major fixture at DC.  Since it still carries on, I assume that it sells in some sort of format.
Ray: Backstagers has definitely found a big audience in bookstores, along with other Boom titles like Lumberjanes. You’ll see a series of YA novels featuring the characters soon, but the comic seems to live on in these occasional specials.
Glenn:  Garfield TV or not to TV at 446 selling over 1.8k is the typical level of sales for the grumpy cat with at least 1.6k of those copies being bought by Ray.
Ray: Garfield > Grumpy Cat. I support the OG Cat.
Glenn:  I’m a big sucker for Ripleys Believe it or not museum in Florida and New York but I can’t imagine the odd tales transferring well to comics and I wouldn’t imagine Zenescope being the best choice to deliver them.  Its an odd mesh up priced at 5.99 (!!!!!!) that results in sales over 1.7k at 452
Another Dredd comic from another publisher shows up at 455 selling over 1.7k.  I’m not sure who this publisher is but they are likely a lot smaller than IDW who usually bring Dredd comics to America in single issue format so that explains the massive gap.  Again, Dredd isn’t a monthly market guy and this small press company will benefit off various reprints and collections for quite some time.
If Zenescope is too classy for you, Boundless comics has you covered!  They release Hellina Ravening Nude which sells over 1.7k at 456.  She has her boobies out and everything, what’s not to love?
Pellucidar at 458 seems to be an adaption of at the earths core which is good for sales over 1.6k apparently.  Perhaps the odd choice of title made it easy to miss for those that might be interested in the novels comic adaption?
Source Point Press releases Ogre, the first part of a 3 issue mini which sells over 1.5k.  Under the radar.
William The Last which reprints a webcomic that also had a Kickstarter comes out in monthly form from Antartic Press selling over 1.3k at 478 indicating most of the people interested already likely checked it out.
The non booby version of Hellina Ravening sells over 1.3k at 480.  Sex sells kids.
Ray: And just think, this is two of the roughly 30 covers this issue released!
Glenn:  Hachet Vengeance (from Adam Green apparently) is some sort of horror book that sells over 1.3k at 481.  Its a thing that exists.
At 492 is the Three Stooges comics that somehow continue selling over 1.2k.  How do these keep happening?!?!?!?!?
At 500 we have more reorders for Doomsday Clock 6 which sells more copies, 1.2k+ more to be precise.  At the end of these articles, I too feel like Doctor Manhattan with a greater understanding of the universe beyond what any man should know.

Ray:  Good ol’ Doctor Manhattan, ending this article on a classy note. 

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Looking ahead to December, it’s kind of a quiet month for DC. We’ll see a few specials from the company, including their latest Apocalypse-themed seasonal anthology. The Drowned Earth event concludes, and we see the kind of sales boost G. Willow Wilson brings to Wonder Woman. Plus, another Vertigo launch from Bryan Hill. But the heavyweight release of the month is undoubtedly The Green Lantern from Grant Morrison and Liam Sharp, which has a decent shot at #1.
Marvel will be putting up a fight, though, with the weekly Uncanny X-Men kicking off this month and a Carnage one-shot from Donny Cates. In smaller releases, Ironheart launches her solo series, Han Solo gets a miniseries tying into the movie, and the Black Order go their own way from Thanos.
The biggest Marvel release of the month, though, might not be from Marvel. That would be Marvel Action: Spider-Man from IDW, the launch of their new all-ages Marvel line. If it’s a hit, this could be a game-changer. Also look for Dark Horse to make a splash on the charts with a Joss Whedon Doctor Horrible spin-off.
What will rise? What will fall? Will Ray cry when he sees the numbers on his favorite books? Find out next month on By the Numbers!
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Liked what you read?  Have a comment or question?  Hit us up here or on Twitter @glenn_matcett and @raygoldfield

By The Numbers: September 2018

Like in any industry, comic books and their companies listen most to one thing and that’s your money! What does your money tell them? What does it tell us as fans? What series do people say they adore but can’t seem to catch a break and what books to people hate that sell out? What are the trends? What looks good? What looks rough?

All these questions and more will be answered here, every month in ‘By The Numbers’ by comic writers, editors and fans, Glenn Matchett and Ray Goldfield.

Glenn Matchett is a comic writer and editor. He’s worked in the industry for 6 years but grew up reading comics. He’s had work published with Outre Press, Alterna Comics and Nemesis Studios. After binge watching Haunting Of Hill House, Glenn spends the majority of his time rocking back and forward silently weeping to himself.  He’s much happier this way.

Ray Goldfield is a fan of comic books for going on 25 years, starting with the death of Superman. He is a writer and editor and has released his first novel. Ray also does a weekly roundup of DC comic reviews for website Geekdad and they’re brilliantly entertaining.  When told the news about how American Vandal was cancelled at Netflix, Ray decided to conduct his own acts of vandalism in order to justify the show coming back.

We also do a podcast together with longtime buddy, Brandon James on iTunes with Rabbitt Stew or at the link here! Don’t ask, I didn’t pick the name. If you’d like to hear what me and Ray sound like, give it a listen!

Top 300 in full available here!

Glenn:  There wasn’t much to talk about last month as there was only one big headline release.  That all changes this month of course because now there are TWO headline releases.

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One of which is the top selling comic of the month, Return Of Wolverine 1 which is the start of a new mini detailing how Wolverine comes back from the dead,  It sells over 260.4k which on the surface is incredibly impressive.  It helped of course that the issue came with 25 variants (!!!!!) and Marvel wheeled out Steve McNiven for this issue (he’ll be back for the finale) and he’s arguably still their biggest sales draw in terms of artists (Marvel certainty thinks so).  Still smoke and mirrors with variants is hardly anything new but its hard to know how this mini will perform long term.  I don’t fancy its chances to sell above 70-75k at best from here on out.  We can probably expect a lot more variant incentives like this from Marvel cause of this.

Ray:  Yeah, first-issues sales from Marvel are notoriously unreliable these days. With the incentives and number of variants, a ridiculous second-issue drop is almost guaranteed. There’s been very little buzz about this event, as well.
Glenn:  The other major release, DC’s Heroes In Crisis is an odd one.  When this was initially announced, writer Tom King indicated it was going to be a small scale book addressing mental health issues in the superhero community.  Now it seems to have turned into a murder mystery which has annoyed a lot of people.  It sells over 140.6k which is nothing to sneeze at for sure but its not really big event numbers.  I would wager that this will perform similarly to how Fear Itself did a few years ago as from what we’ve managed to gleam about the background of each story and what it was vs what it turned into are remarkably similar.
Ray:  There’s been a TON of buzz about Heroes in Crisis, but very little is good. The audience is not happy, but there’s a lot of story to be told. The rollout here is very odd, with the way it changed into a mega-event and the shocking moments in the first issue. It’s a nine-month series now, so it’ll have a lot of time to build an audience. DC can’t be too happy with how this debuted, but there’s a lot of story still to be told in this book’s sales.
Glenn:  Long term with collection sales and stuff, Heroes In Crisis will probably deliver but short term there may be some fallout from a modern day audience who want things to happen yesterday.
At 3 is the near unstoppable Doomsday Clock which sells over 130.9k.  This one featured the full return of Doctor Manhattan so we’ll likely see some decent reorders.  This is a book that’s basically out on its own, separate from everything else that is one of the most stable books in the charts, its astonishing.
Ray:  Doomsday Clock is performing like a combination of a major event comic and a Black Label book, with the sky-high sales of the former and the stability of the latter. That’s about as big a win as any company can hope for, and I imagine DC has to be thrilled to have Johns back writing full-time.
Glenn:  It’ll be interesting to see how Shazam does, I have no doubt in my mind that Three Joker’s will be a mega hit but with Johns at the helm, Mr. Batson could be in for a sales high.
At 4 is old releable Batman which seems to have escaped any great loss from the people that seemed to claim to want to abandon the title following the events of issue 50.  Issue 55 sells over 105.6k while the previous issue sells over 94.6k at 6.  Issue 55 likely sold more due to the events in it regarding Nightwing which seemed to have worked out well for Batman in terms of sales but I doubt will have the same effect on ol Ric Grayson in the months to come.
Ray:  Yeah, this sales boost was definitely the result of DC leaking the events of Batman #55 in advance, allowing retailers to up their orders. Sadly, this means we’re probably getting spoiled a lot more in the future.
Glenn:  At 5 is Batman Donged….errr Damned, the first official Black Label release which sells over 95.6k which for an adult orientated prestige line that’ priced at 6.99 is incredibly impressive.  Of course, this issue has drawn a lot of attention for one very specific thing but despite that, the reviews have been strong and this could be a line for DC that performs incredibly well for them long term in singles and collections.
Ray:  This is an extremely similar number to Batman: White Knight despite the fact that it has a much higher price tag and comes in a prestige format. That’s a testament to the power of Batman, of course, but it also bodes well for the line as a whole. There’s a Frank Miller Superman project and a few Wonder Woman projects down the line, so we’ll see if they can hold these numbers. Reorders might be coming, but they will be Batwangless.
Glenn:  I think all of the Black Label books we’ve had announced so far will perform really well with titles like Three Jokers, Last Knight, the White Knight sequel and Superman: Year One being at the top of the pack.  There are some potential dark horse contenders in there though.
At 7 is Thanos Legacy which sells over 92.1.  This is a special one shot that sees Marvel MVP, Donny Cates return to the character and the massive sales on this is a testament to how quickly Cates has shot up in terms of name power in comics.  This is a great number no matter what way you look at it and I’m sure Marvel is already looking into ways to clone Cates so he can write more books.
Ray:  This was both an epilogue to the Cates Thanos run and a tie-in to Duggan’s run on Guardians and Infinity Wars. This is an amazing number, well above what Infinity Wars is normally doing, and shows just how much pull Cates has right now. His Guardians run is going to be huge come January.
Glenn:  At 8 is the second issue of Dan Slott’s Fantastic Four which sells over 85.5k which is a brilliant hold from the first issue.  The title is still within the 3 month safety zone but most books already drop quite heavily despite that.  This looks to be a win for Marvel and it’ll be interesting to see if Fantastic Four can be Marvel’s highest selling ongoing.
Ray:  Yeah, I think it’s safe to say that Slott’s Fantastic Four is going to be one of Marvel’s top ongoings going forward. Another perfect match of creator and characters.
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Glenn:  Its main competition for that title, Amazing Spider-Man is at 9 and 10 selling over 84.3k and 82.9k respectfully.  Interestingly, issue 6 sells higher than issue 5 despite it being the first issue without Image grab Ryan Ottely on the title.  The writer of Amazing Spider-Man hasn’t exactly had a steady past few years but this seems to be working so far at least.
Ray:  The sales on Amazing Spider-Man are staying very solid through the three-month buffer zone, but that comes to an end next issue – the same month as Spider-Geddon debuts proper and this doesn’t tie in. Not a good combo. I wouldn’t be surprised if the sales bump this month is due to the tie-in with the writer’s past Superior Foes of Spider-man, one of his best-regarded works. 
Glenn:  I didn’t think of that!  I wonder if it had been a bit higher then if artist Steve Lieber’s involvement had been solicited.  Maybe he moves the needle?
Ray:  We’re starting to get a new picture of the top books on the market as we see what fills out the top twenty. Justice League, Venom, Avengers, and Brian Michael Bendis’ new run on Superman are all selling in the 75-70K range several months in, demonstrating a very solid floor. That’s expected for most of them – but it’s Venom that once again stuns with how it climbs every month. This month’s jump may be due to retailers ordering higher in advance of the movie.
Glenn:  We’ll see if the boost holds next month on Venom but the resurrection of this property has been quite a sight to behold.
Ray:  Speaking of Spider-Geddon, its #0 issue lands at #12 this month, selling 74K. A very strong debut for a comic that featured the debut of the new video game version of Spider-man but didn’t play a huge role in the event itself. If the #0 issue does this well, there’s a good chance that Spider-Geddon #1 tops the charts next month.
Glenn:  This is sort of a Spider-Geddon tie-in but is mostly something to link in to the incredibly popular video game (over 86% completion!).  By video game comic numbers, this is an excellent result.  The hype for this is event is really something, going back to revisit this concept is going to pay off in a big way for Marvel I think.
Ray:  Spider-Man, Spider-Man, sells almost as many comics as Batman… The wall-crawler shows up again at #14 with the Amazing Spider-Man Annual #1. This is a symbiote story by Saladin Ahmed, taking place during the Black Costume era, and sells within 10K of the main series. I credit this to a combination of Ahmed being a fast-rising writer and the ties to Venom. Ahmed is taking over Miles Morales’ title in December, so this performance bodes well.
Glenn:  Its a popular era in Spider-Man mythos too but yeah this is a great number.  I would say that we can’t expect to experience a slow down in Spidey related comics anytime soon but we’re about to experience an avalanche in Spider-Geddon crossovers so…
Ray:  Infinity Wars #3 is down to #18 at 63K. This is a really fun old-school event, but the buzz for it seems to have faded a lot given the extended buildup. The tie-ins start this month, so we’ll see how they do below.
Glenn:  Its not event level sales but its still in the upper tier so its not too bad but Marvel likely expected more and will probably get the performance from Spider-Geddon they wanted out of Infinity Wars.
Ray:  It was such a competitive month that Walking Dead barely scraped into the top 20 at #19, selling a standard 62K for this absurdly steady title.
#20 sees the highest appearance for Dark Horse in a long time with the debut of Stranger Things by Jody Houser. Focusing on Will’s time in the Upside Down, its sales of 60K show just how hot this series is right now. Season 3 when?
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Glenn:  This is a hot property and Dark Horse being able to bag it is what will keep them in the game.  Much like Walking Dead, Stranger Things has become a bigger entity than anyone could expect and people will take whatever they can of the property while we wait on the third season.
Ray:  The third issue of Bendis’ Action Comics is about 10K behind Superman, selling 57K at #22. That’s a similar separation to what we saw at the start of Rebirth, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see it narrow again. Action is definitely the superior series.
Justice League Odyssey, the much delayed space series by Williamson and Sejic (for the first two issues), launches at #23 with sales of 57K. That’s a very strong debut for a series featuring no a-list characters, but the art shift might hurt it in the future. I’m not expecting it to have the rock-solid hold of Justice League Dark (still at around 75% of its first issue sales, at #35 selling 44K this month)
Glenn: Being a part of the very powerful Justice League brand will help Odyssey live a respectful existence.  It’ll be the lowest selling of the three but still earn its keep for as long as this current direction lasts most likely.
Ray:  More rock-solid sales in the 55K to 45K range here filling out the top forty, as we see newer titles (or relaunched titles) like Catwoman, Thor, Captain America, and Immortal Hulk settle down here for the third month in a row alongside long-runners like Flash, Detective Comics (which is holding well despite having a fill-in arc this month) and the two Star Wars titles.
I was a bit surprised Punisher held so well with its second issue, selling 42K at #38. Punisher isn’t really a top-selling  character and not much has shifted in the creative team, but this is a decent second-issue hold. It manages to outsell the third issue of X-“event” Extermination.
Glenn:  It seemed like no time at all since the last Punisher relaunch but it seems to have done no harm.  The sales on the True Believer one shot does show interest in the character.  Nothing against the current creative team but if Marvel can get a winning formula on the book like they’ve done with Venom the market might respond appropriately.
Ray:  Speaking of Punisher, he has one of the top-selling True Believers issues that didn’t star Venom. Punisher’s first appearance for $1 charts at #40, selling 40.6K. That’s a lot of free money for Marvel for a reprint.
Asgardians of the Galaxy debuts at #41, selling just under 40K. Not a great debut, but given that Guardians of the Galaxy got cancelled for low sales and spun off into an event, maybe the time wasn’t right for a punny spin-off? This is more of a Thor spin-off, but the title may have confused retailers. Shame, it’s very good.
Glenn:  There’s no mega hitters on the team either (apart from maybe the pilot of the Destroyer) so its no big surprise.  Will probably end up being a fondly remembered 12 issue or so series by the few that read it.
Ray:  Iceman got the first-issue sales bump for its return, selling just under 39K at #43, but I don’t expect it to last. It’s a miniseries and will likely be down to its previous sales before long. But it’s geared towards trade readers now anyway.
Mister Miracle’s had a lot of delays along the way to its conclusion, but its penultimate issue lands at #45 with 38K in sales. King and Gerads‘ masterpiece has outstripped anything a New Gods title could be expected to sell.
Venom continues to be solid gold, with the remaining four issues of the weekly Venom: First Host selling between 36-37K with virtually no attrition, landing four issues between #46 and #51.
The first Sandman Universe spin-off, The Dreaming, lands at #47 with sales of 37K. As Glenn said on Rabbit Stew (dong!) these are great numbers for a Vertigo title, not so great numbers for a Sandman title. Of course, it has neither “Sandman” nor Neil Gaiman on the cover, so both might play a role in the drop from last month’s Sandman Universe. The month’s other spin-off, House of Whispers, is much lower at #77 with 28K sales. That one’s a new concept with new characters, so the gulf isn’t a big surprise.
Glenn:  Yeah, I expected more here but I think DC will call this a win.  This could be seen as bonus for the trade sales which will pay this title’s bills for decades to come if the other Sandman collections and DC’s ability to release them in new ways repeatedly and still have them sell is any indication.
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Ray:  #49 brings us the Captain America annual, which was the Marvel debut of Tini Howard. This WW2-set issue had Captain America and Bucky working to protect refugees from the Nazis, and it sells 37K. A big gulf between this and the main series, but then it’s a flashback story with no ties to the main universe right now.
Glenn:  Captain America as a franchise is still recovering from a rough past couple of years, it’ll be a while before spin off tales featuring new talent not relevant to anything in particular can hold water.
Ray:  The first two Infinity Warps miniseries launch very close together, as the Captain America/Doctor Strange hybrid Soldier Supreme lands at #53 selling two copies under 35K, and the Tony Stark/Thor hybrid Iron Hammer sells about 300 copies less at #55. Pretty decent launches for tie-ins, and we’ve got quite a few more of these ridiculous concepts coming in the next few months. Marvel’s having fun here, and while these sales aren’t spectacular, they’re a bit better than recent event comics managed.
Glenn:  I’d say for a concept as silly as this, those sales are great.  Assuming these are inspiration for mash up toys and whatnot too then it’ll be the Mouse laughing his evil squeaky laugh
Ray:  #60 and #61 have the last two issues of Edge of Spider-Geddon, selling 32K each. These were the Spider-Ben and Petey and Spider-Norman stories. Given that, I’m surprised Latour’s name on the former didn’t open a gulf between them. Marvel didn’t quite push “From the creator of Spider-Gwen” enough for that, I guess.
Glenn:  Decent enough for a throwaway mini, not surprising given how much hype there is for the big event.  Retailers were probably unsure what to do with these, any of them could have been the next Spider-Gwen but they also didn’t want to end up with unsold copies on shelves.  I don’t think any of them particularly stood out so these sales seem to make sense.
Ray:  This is the section of the charts where we see a lot of regular books selling in the 30K range, including most of the X-books, Black Panther, Doctor Strange, and Deathstroke. Both Deathstroke and Aquaman are benefiting from a crossover this month as Deathstroke finishes up Deathstroke vs. Batman, and Aquaman crosses over with Suicide Squad for “Sink Atlantis”. Aquaman is doing crossovers for a few months and then starting a new run by Kelly Sue DeConnick, so I imagine it’ll be rising on the charts for a while.
Glenn:  Rising, like water?  Huh?  Huh?  Huh?  Like Green Lantern, the sales on Aquaman are moot for a little while as the character waits for the next big creative team to sail in.  Sail, like water?  Huh?  Huh?  Huh?
Ray:  #68 brings us the Old Man Logan annual, selling 30K. This actually sells five spots above the Old Man Logan series, probably because of the presence of Punisher.
Glenn:  People love old man Frank, he’s cuddly
Ray:  Batgirl seems to have gotten a permanent bump from its new creative team, charting at #74 with sales of 28.8K. This is a big new arc bringing back her evil brother and calling her future as an able-bodied crimefighter into doubt, so retailers are responding.
Another new Bendis creator-owned title launches under DC’s Jinxworld line. This time it’s David Mack’s Cover, a twisty tale of a comic book creator who meets a femme fatale with ties to international spies. It sells 27.3K at #79, which is about 5K below the sales of Pearl last month. It’s been a long time since Mack did internal art, so I think this is a healthy start.
Glenn:  Very much so, this pair haven’t worked together for decades and the concept could go either way so this is definitly a good performance.  If this was an Image book, I’d call it a good start so it just depends what DC expects from its Jinxworld line apart from keeping its writer happy.
Ray:  Image’s top debut of the month is Bully Wars, the new Skottie Young title with art by Aaron Conley. It lands at #84 with sales of 27K. Young is quickly building his own brand as a creator-owned powerhouse, and he’s got another new comic as writer in only a few months.
Glenn:  Young being able to now sell himself as a writer is an interesting transition.  Fans of his work will be here regardless of who is drawing the interiors it seems so that’s a good sign.
At 86 is Adventures Of The Super Sons selling over 26.5k which is probably what the main series would be selling had it continued.  Nothing lost, nothing gained.
The ever slightest (like nearly non existent) bump for Chip Zdearskey’s final issue of Spectacular Spider-Man sells over 24.8k at 89.  Given that I think this is one of the greatest Spider-Man one and dones ever, I think this one will be included in collections and stuff for years to come.  I hope more people check it out and the run as a whole in the future, it didn’t last long enough.  The previous issue also charts at 96 selling over 24.2k 
Ray:  Zdarsky’s run really sailed under the radar, which is surprising given how good it was. I think going up against the conclusion of Slott’s run probably blunted the attention this run got a little, but it’ll wind up being seen as a modern classic.
Glenn:  Second tier title runs can be like that. Comic readers have been trained to pay attention to one title at any specific time if there’s one they have to choose from.  Trades and collections will remember Zdarskey fondly one hopes.
Outselling the main issue by a fair bit, the Domino Annual sells over 24.4k at 92.  This was an anthology annual with some of Domino’s former writers returning which might explain the difference, or it could be because the Deadpool DVD/Blu-Ray was out around this time, who knows?  Either way, Domino has become a solid performer for Marvel under the general guidance of Gail Simone.
Ray:  The return of Fabian Nicieza to the character was a big deal for old-school X-Force fans, so this annual got a combo of those fans and Gail’s.
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Glenn:  About a 10k drop for West Coast Avenger’s second issue which isn’t too bad.  It sells over 24.4k at 93 which is pretty good if you look at it like a Hawkeye spin off and a wacky character team book than anything necessary ‘Avenger’s’ related.  I’d say fan support and digital sales will keep this one around.
Ray:  That’s a roughly 33% drop for WCA, which is really good for a Marvel book these days. I think it’ll level out quickly, as Kelly Thompson’s fanbase is building by the day as she steps onto bigger and bigger books.
Glenn:  Not too far below the sales of its main series, the second Doctor Aphra Annual sells over 24.3k which in the usual Marvel Star Wars spin off range these days.  I still think Aphra is a more impressive performer because she’s never appeared in any other media but Marvel comics so doesn’t have a wide outside audience to help keep her around.
At 103 is the Silver Surfer Annual selling over 22.6k which is…oh there is no main series.  Okie dokes…umm, this is decent for Silver Surfer?  Probably a lot of these sales should be credited to the fan base Slott and Allred built up around the character.
New Warren Ellis comic, Cemetery Beach from Image launches at 105 with sales over 22k which is very good.  Ellis is a creator who can pull in a respectful set audience every time and this book is no exception.  It’ll run for as long as he wants it to.
High sales on the True Believers reprint on Daredevil 1 by Lee and Everett selling over 21.8k at 107.  I’m guessing retailers wanted this cause of the new season starting soon but this is great for a reprint that is decades old and is very different to the version of the character the majority of us are familiar with.
Another Bendis series, United States Of Murder Inc launches at 120 selling over 18.5k  This is with long time Bendis partner, Mike Avon Oeming and a continuation of a Marvel Icon series that kinda just…vanished?  I’m not surprised this one is selling less than the others, it’ll be harder to pull people in on this than something completely fresh but people that have been waiting on it will be glad to see it finally finishing and it’ll probably have a respectful performance.
Ray:  That’s the lowest debut of the Jinxworld books by a fair margin, and it’s also the one that’s been gone the longest. Bendis has been having great luck with the new titles so far, but the returning ones less so.
Glenn:  At 122 is another True Believers reprint of Luke Cage’s first comic which sells over 18.2k which I would say again is ridiculously good.  They might be vanishing one by one but the various Netflix shows have seemingly given retailers confidence in these cheap reprints that is just free money for their publisher.
At 129 is a Dynamite crossover, Vampirella/Dejah Thoris which sells over 17k which I’d consider very good considering that its hardly Avenger’s Vs. X-Men is it.
Ray:  I have no idea how vampires and martian princesses are going to crossover, but Dynamite gonna Dynamite.
Glenn:  The second issue of Pearl sells just over 16.8k at 130 which is better than Vertigo but not as good as you think a Bendis creator owned book would do at Image.  Being somewhere in the middle is something that will be up to DC to find acceptable.
Ray:  That’s a roughly 50% drop. A lot steeper than I would have expected for a creator-owned book, but still well above what it would have done at Vertigo. It’ll need to level out quickly, though.
Glenn:  At 132 is Journey Into Mystery: Birth Of Krakova which sells over 16.5k which is pretty great considering it literally seems to have nothing to do with anything.  I’m guessing a large portion of these sales are nostalgia over the Gillan series of yesteryear?
Ray:  Yeah, this is just a completely random Nick Fury on Monster Island comic that Marvel put out. Random, but fun and with a decent creative team. Retailers probably ordered this for Marvel completists.
Glenn:  At 134 is another True Believers Reprint which is another Punisher book, this time its the first issue of the book by Grant & Zeck.  I actually would have thought this would be higher but there are other much more famous Punisher runs out there.  Still ridiculously good of course.  At 137 is an Iron Fist one which sells over 15.5k.  Did you know that Danny Rand was in fact the Immortal Iron Fist?  That he is the sworn protector of Kun-lun (Sp?)?  Well he’ll tell you…a lot if the show is anything to go by.

Ray:  The most oddly numbered title in Marvel history, the Marvel Rising miniseries concludes with Marvel Rising: Omega at #138, selling 15.8K. This all-ages oversized comic introducing the team from the animated franchise that is totes not inspired by DC Super Hero Girls only with two guys no one likes has released five issues, and each of them was a #1. That’s one way to stop issue-by-issue attrition, I guess.

At #141 is the debut of Border Town, the first of the new Vertigo relaunch books. This controversial title that aroused the attention of some nasty people for its commentary on American racial divisions lands 15.2K in sales. Given that the title doesn’t have any name creators attached, that’s a definitely increase over what Vertigo titles were doing a while back. This is actually close to what I would expect this title to do at Image.
Glenn:  That isn’t too bad at all for Border Town and I think a higher debut than the last past of new Vertigo launches did a while back.  Maybe the return of Sandman has given the line some much needed juice again?
Ray:  Right below at #142 is the debut of Mystery Science Theater 3000, the comic. Replacing the classic B-movies with odd c-list comics, this issue sells 14.6K. That’s actually great for a Dark Horse debut, especially for such a cult property. More meta comics in Dark Horse’s future?
Glenn:  This series is the very definition of cult following so these are great numbers.  As the new series on Netflix (where else) continues building a new generation of fans, this will be a nice one for Dark Horse to have in shelves/in their archives.
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Ray:  The next True Believers comic is down at #155, selling 12.4K. It’s the first issue of Power Man and Iron Fist, kicking off the fan-favorite team. Both of these characters just lost their Netflix series, so maybe this team-up will be revived as a series?
#160 brings us the top reorder of the month, as Fantastic Four #1 pulls in another 12.3K to add to last month’s ridiculously good sales. They’re back and people are excited.
Rick and Morty Presents Sleepy Gary is a comic. It sells 12K at #163. It’s Oni’s top comic of the month besides its parent title. I don’t know what a Rick and Morty is.
Glenn:  Its like if someone watched Back To The Future while taking a lot of drugs, I think?  I don’t know, I’m not cool.  I’d rather watch that new show on Netflix about this nice family renovating an old house.
Ray:  Right below at #164 is an odd entry, Jinxworld Sampler. This $1 mini-collection has snippets of all of Bendis’ creator-owned work and is more of a promotional comic for new readers. 12K puts this in a similar range to the True Believers line, which is pretty good for free comics for DC.
Glenn:  Not too bad at all since its basically like paying to go see a teaser trailer essentially.  This is something retailers might just slip in on orders where people are picking up Bendis new DC stuff.
Ray:  In Archie’s latest strange experiment, Archie 1941 debuts at #167 with sales of 11.9K. Archie goes to war! Mr. Lodge has shady dealings with the Nazis! But Riverdale’s greatest horrors lie ahead – next month they get taken over by the writer of Secret Empire.
Glenn:  At least it’ll look pretty, Marguerite Sauvage is amazing.
Ray:  Lot more True Believers one-shots down here, selling in the 11K range between #167 and #176. They include Hellcat’s first appearance, the debut of Jessica Jones, the first issue of Punisher War Journal, the first Ennis/Dillon Punisher, and the Smith/Quesada Daredevil launch. The launch of the Bendis/Maleev daredevil is a little further down, selling 10.3K at #182.
Glenn:  I’m surprised the Daredevil ones sold so low.  Maybe cause they’ve been reprinted so plentifully in recent years?  These are the beginnings of major points in the characters history though and seems like an easy win with the new season coming on Netflix.
Ray:  There’s an odd animated crossover at #173, as IDW crosses over the animated 80s versions of two of their popular franchises in Star Trek vs. Transformers. It sells 11.5K, but I imagine a lot of readers were confused. Why do the Enterprise crew suddenly have a catgirl on the crew?
Glenn:  She was a character from the cartoon for reasons that escape me.  This is for the die hard audience of both properties really.  Even most hardcore Trekkies don’t pay much attention to the animated series.
Ray:  Jeff Parker’s James Bond: Origin #1 lands at #179 with sales of 10.8K. This is a pretty acclaimed miniseries, taking Bond back to his teen years and showing us how he went from prep school boy to super-spy. It could be a sleeper hit for Dynamite. Almost feels like he should be having a team-up with Nancy Drew.
Glenn:  is gives me memories of the super awful/cheesy James Bond JR series from yesteryear.  The Bond property seems to be a steady performer for Dynamite, I’d be curious to see if it does well in book stores.  I’d imagine that at this stage, Bond is more known as a movie property than a novel series.
Ray:  Speaking of Catgirls – the less friendly version – the much-yelled-about Image book by Chelsea Cain, Man-Eaters, lands at #181 with sales of 10.3K. But that’s not entirely accurate – there’s another “Glitter Variant” of the same issue down at #214 selling 8.2K. So all in all that’s a debut of about 18K. Healthy but not spectacular given how much this series was hyped.
Glenn:  Maybe a bit too late to benefit from the controversy that was raised around her DC firing?  Reorders might be good but given she has a big audience outside of comics this will probably do well in trades, not that this is poor mind you.  Its not too bad at all for an Image debut by someone who hasn’t/didn’t spend too long at either of the big publishers.
Ray:  The Buffy comics as we know them come to a quiet end for Dark Horse at #185, with sales of just under 10.2K. A far cry from the series’ heyday, and soon we’ll be seeing a new version launch at Boom.
Glenn:  The all ages, back to basics version BOOM is going for will no doubt appeal to an all new much wider audience than this one did.  Its crazy to think how much of a hit this series was when it first launched but I think it lost a lot of people due to some of the decisions that were taken in that initial first comic season and it never won them back.
Ray:  The Wicked + The Divine 1373 lands at #190, with sales of 9.7K. That’s only 57 copies below this month’s issue of the parent title, so these periodic one-shots are definitely doing what the creators want.
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Two more True Believers one-shots on the low-end at #194 and #196, selling in the 9.4-9.6K range. These are the Black Widow series by Grayson Jones, and the short-lived Daredevil and the Defenders series.
Dennis Culver and Geoffo’s odd stoner alien invader comedy thriller Burnouts has its debut at #197, selling 9.3K. Neither of these creators have any real mainstream profile, so this is a pretty solid debut for a comic that sold itself based on its concept.
Joe Casey’s always been a bit of a cult creator, so it’s not a surprise that his latest title debuts at #201 with sales of 8.9K. But then, it doesn’t help that the title, “MCMLXXV” is near impossible to say! Too bad, because this story of a 1970s cab driver fighting monsters and ninjas on her nightly route is a weird and clever comic.
#205 has one of IDW’s most intriguing revamps of a licensed property in some time, Dick Tracy: Dead or Alive. Written by the Allreds and drawn by indie cartoonist Rich Tommaso, it only sells 8.7K but feels like it’s going to have a long life as one of the defining Dick Tracy stories. Sadly, no spy seals in it.
Glenn:  Trying to know if this is a good level for a Dick Tracy comic is near impossible.  It seems like a good result given the property and the creative team seems so perfect that I can’t imagine anyone else doing much better.
Ray:  We’ve had a lot of indie comic startups lately, and the latest is Ahoy Comics. They’re bringing back the format of oversized comic magazines, with backups, prose pieces, and letter columns. Their signature title with a lead story by Tom Peyer and Jamal Igle is Wrong Earth, a story of two alternate versions of the same superhero who swap universes – one from a gritty 1980s universe and one from a sunny Batman ’66 inspired universe. It goes badly, but this launch didn’t. It sells 8.2K at #212, a very impressive debut given that this is the first comic this company has ever put out!

Glenn:  That’s a fantastic number for a new company, good for them!  Igle has had some work at DC which would have helped but the concept is so interesting that it may have gotten in here just because people were genuinely interested also!

Marvel Superheroes, Captain Marvel first day of school sells over 7.7k at 217.  Pretty standard for an all ages type affair that’s not really meant for the direct market.
Ray:  This one-shot was mainly notable for the one-page gags where Rocket Raccoon was Garfield and Bruce and Hulk were Calvin and Hobbes.
Glenn:  I now have to read this comic.
At 218 is GI Joe: A Real American Hero Silent Option selling over 7.6k.  This is the launch of a new Joe mini from IDW and given the issues with sales this property has had in recent years, I’d say this pretty decent.  Pretty much the most of what you might expect from a GI Joe comic these days.
At 226 is the newest Valient offering, Harbinger Wars 2 Aftermath selling over 6.9k which is slightly lower than Valients usual range but not dramatically so.  I know nothing about Valient comics but this ‘event’ book doesn’t seem to have performed how they might have liked it to.
Ray:  Yeah, this was an event Valiant had been building towards for almost two years. I’m wondering if that worked against it – Infinity Countdown syndrome?
Glenn:  Could have been…lets go with that.
Image’s Crowded loses half of its sales at 230 selling over 6.4k.  Still okay given that there’s no huge names attached.  This is where Image’s lower profile titles usually operate so it’ll just be if its manageable for the creative team to see how long it can go.
Another True Believers one shot at 238, Luke Cage Fantastic Four selling over 6k.  If this is retelling a time where Luke joined the FF, this is not a thing I knew happened so there you go.
Second issue of Frozen: Breaking Boundaries sells over 5.9k at 239 losing less than half its sales.  This is a comic that is destined for book shops, disney stores and everywhere else you can think of when its collected so these single issue sales don’t really matter.
At 248 is Doctor Who 13th Doctor 0, one of the always unpredictable 0 issues which this time is a prelude to the new ongoing starring the new female version of the Doctor.  Sales over 5.8k aren’t great but I think the actual proper first issue will do a lot better.  I think the new Doctor is doing a wonderful job for what its worth.
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Ray:  #0 issues are always so tricky, because retailers never know how to order them. You might get a mediocre clip show or recap, you might get an essential chapter.
Glenn:  At 250 is a new offering from fan favorite Faith in Dreamside which sells over 5.7k.  I think if memory serves, Faith’s book usually manage better than this so not sure what happened here but this is a tad lower than I would have expected.
Chief Wiggums Felonious Funnies is one of the last offerings from Bongo comics before it closes its doors forever.  It sells over 5.5k, at least they’re not going quietly into that good night.
Low Road Rest is a new mini from BOOM which sells over 5.3k at 261 which is pretty standard for a new BOOM creator owned series with no big names involved.  This has quite an interesting concept too but BOOM doesn’t have a strong enough place in the market for titles like this to do much better.
Ray:  Philip Kennedy Johnson has a pretty solid track record at Boom. He’s becoming a bit of a cult creator for them.
Glenn:  Right below it at 262 is Elric White Wolf selling over 5.2k from Titan Comics.  This is the first of two issues adapting a fantasy novel I’m unfamiliar with.  This will be for diehard fans of the novel or completeists.  Most times with novel adaptions,the audience got what they needed from it the first time round and don’t have much interest in it being laid out to them with pretty pictures and such.
More reorders for Infinity Wars Prime at 265 which picks up another 5.1+ additional orders which is nearly what in reorders last month.  Again, this event hasn’t broken any sales records but seems to be enjoyed enough to be a bit of a sleeper performer for Marvel.
At 268 is a genderbent update of a classic in Olivia Twist which sells over 5k.  Not much to say except that there seems not to have been much interest, the stories been adapted multiple times and this new version didn’t seem to have caught too many people’s imagination it seems.
Ray:  What’s especially odd is that another futuristic Oliver Twist reboot is coming in a few months, this time from Image with a male lead and less of a political bent.
Glenn:  At 270 is War Bears, a new Dark Horse offering from Margaret Atwood who is a hugely successful novelist who wrote a book called the Handmaid’s Tale that a bunch of people enjoy.  All these things seem like a winning formula but it only manages sales over 5k for reasons that elude me. I really thought the tv show would propel Atwood into a name that could float a comic much stronger than this but surprisingly, that doesn’t seem to be the case.
Ray:  I assume this will do gangbusters in the collected market, where Atwood’s main audience is. Plus, I imagine the oddball comic-within-a-comic concept didn’t hook casuals.
Glenn:  Joe Golem: The Drowning City is a sequel series to an old school pulp detective tale co-written by Christopher Golden and Mike Mignola.  The sales of 4.5k indicate a set audience.  Presumingly the first story did well enough in collections to warrant this sequel.
A continuation of one of Ray’s favorite cartoons at 284, Over The Garden Wall: Hallow Town sells over 4.3k.  Ray will be able to give a more accurate assessment here but this will likely do better outside of comic shops and/or is only for die hard fans of the series.
Ray:  You’re definitely right that this is a tie-in for die-hards. It’s also more of a “lost tale”, since the series ended in such a way that really put a neat bow on the whole concept.
Glenn:  From Aftershock, Moth & Whisper sells over 4.2k which again is pretty much what I would expect from this publisher and two creators I’m unfamiliar with.
Ray:  This one got some great critical responses, more so than Aftershock’s usual. Didn’t seem to make a dent in the sales, though.
Glenn:  At 286, Grimm Tales Of Terror 2018 Halloween Edition reminds me that Crazy Ex Girlfriend is back.  This makes me happy.  It sells over 4.2k
It doesn’t have a regular issue this month but Gideon Falls releases a directors cut of the 1st issue which sells over 4.1k at 288 which is very good for what is essentially a higher than full price reprint of a book that didn’t come out that long ago.  Even when its not coming out, the barn won’t let us escape…
Ray:  Gideon Falls is a bit of a sensation for Image lately. It’s gonna show that Hill House what’s what when it comes to structures that haunt our dreams.
Glenn:  The Barn going to make that big fancy Hill House cry!  Cry like a stable!
Ray:  This section of the charts has an oddball mix of licensed properties. You’ve got Uncle Scrooge: My First Millions at #294 from IDW, followed immediately by Call of Duty: Zombies, and WWE NXT Takeover Blueprint at #296. All selling just over 4K, a pretty standard range for cult properties that get comics without much fanfare.
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Nancy Drew should be selling much, much more than 3.8K at #303. Oh, well. It’s going to do gangbusters in the bookstore market.
Glenn:  It better!  I want a sequel series!
Ray:  Another Aftershock debut at #307, the excellently-named Patience! Conviction! Revenge! It’s the story of a wild-west outlaw in deep space on an elaborate revenge mission. It sells 3.7K and seems to have largely slipped under the radar.
The Disney-inspired fantasy miniseries Welcome to Wanderland debuts at #313 with 3.5K in sales. This is definitely not a book aimed at the direct market, and it doesn’t have any major creators attached. Boom is one of the first companies to find the success other companies are looking for in the bookstore market, so I doubt they’re really bothered.
A Top Cow one-shot, Aphrodite IX: Ares, lands at #325 with sales of 3.3K. This is a revival of a previous incarnation of the series, not linked to the current Bryan Hill incarnation. I doubt there’s much interest in that material anymore.
Three more WWE Takeover one-shots around this level – Into The Fire, Proving Ground, and Redemption – between #326 and #334. They all sell about 3.3 to 3.1K. Boom’s got a lot of WWE material out there lately, but returns are definitely diminishing.
Glenn:  WWE has never been a particularly hot comic property.  I suppose if you treat it like any other drama on tv getting a comic adaption most of the audience are getting the story that matters from the show rather than side stories that likely have little consequence.  We’ll see if the WWE Network sending out a free sample of the upcoming Undertaker graphic novel will help it sell more though.
Ray:  A new low-selling Dark Horse miniseries, Gamma, lands at #329 with sales of just under 3.3k. This giant-monster themed comic pairs some cult creators and didn’t seem to get much pre-release hype.
Glenn:  First I’ve heard of it, so there you go.
Ray:  Mata Hari #5 ends the run at #339 with sales of just under 3K. This was the Berger Book that got the least pre-release attention and didn’t really catch on with readers. Historical fiction is not exactly a dominant genre in comics.
After a lot of reorders and ongoing series, we get to a new #1 at #352 – Fearscape from Vault. Selling 2.6K, it’s an intriguing series about a narcissistic writer who cons his way into a “chosen one” magical quest that was meant for someone else. Vault is a company that’s rising fast and a lot of its books are getting some real buzz. This was written by Ryan O’Sullivan, the writer of Image’s Void Trip.
Stabbity Bunny remains the biggest hit Scout Comics has ever produced, still hanging in there on the charts. This month’s issue lands at #3362, selling 2.4K. That’s apparently enough to greenlight a January spinoff, Shadowplay.
#364 brings us a new Moon Maid comic from American Mythology. This is not based on the Dick Tracy villain, but on an obscure Edgar Rice Burroughs fantasy novel. That’s good enough for 2.4K.
In depressing “This book should be selling so much more” news, JM DeMatteis‘ new creator-owned all-ages adventure Impossible Inc. lands at #367, selling 2.3K. This comes down to IDW not being able to sell creator-owned books, I think. I imagine his name would have pulled double these numbers at Boom.
Glenn:  That’s a real shame, DeMatteis still has as much talent now as he ever did.  Hopefully this will find an audience in trades or digital.
Ray:  Starburns Industries Press, an up-and-coming publisher that’s been making a splash these past few months, debuts a Latin-themed horror anthology a month before Halloween. Fantasmagoria, featuring classic Mexican ghost stories with a modern framework, lands at #373 with sales of 2.1K. It’s also by the writer of Border Town, and this is a pretty decent debut for such a new publisher.
Glenn:  Maybe some layover from Coco?  Who knows?  That’s definitely worth taking note of though, good for them.
Ray:  At #374 is probably the oddest comic on the list, Junior High Horrors from Keenspot Entertainment. Featuring teen versions of Jason Voorhees, Michael Meyers, Laurie Strode, Nancy from Elm Street, and Freddy Kreuger as an evil talking tiger, it sold 2,147 copies, which means 2,147 very confused people.
Glenn:  I’d love to know how this comic company got all the rights to use these characters (they might not have done).  The bronze age of horror villains despite their unwillingness to ever go away have never translated to much of an audience or demand in comics.
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Ray:  I’m pretty sure it qualified as a parody, so Keenspot didn’t need to get the licenses.
The cult supernatural romance Kim Reaper returns from Oni with a new miniseries – Vampire Island. It sells just over 2K, which means this is probably finding its audience more in Oni’s growing OGN market.
It’s Crisis on Infinite Cerebi at #383, selling just over 2K. Dave Sim is gonna do what Dave Sim wants.
#386 brings us High Heaven, the other debut from Ahoy Comics this month. What do you mean there were two debuts, you ask? Apparently retailers were just as confused! This sold less than 25% of the sales of Wrong Earth’s debut at just under 2K. Very odd, especially since both books had the same writer in Tom Peyer. Maybe it was the Jamal Igle factor? Maybe the concept of Wrong Earth just hooked more people? Either way, what a weird disparity.
Glenn:  Igle is probably the difference maker here.  He’s got a higher profile due to his DC work and his link with Black.
Ray:  Another Vault comic, Friendo, debuts at #387, selling 1.9K. This book about a malevolent AI companion had cult creator Alex Paknadel as writer, but it seems to have slipped under the radar compared to Fearscape.

Glenn:  Sounds like a character that should be on Disenchanment!  Evil AI is a sub genre of sci-fi that’s been done to death so it probably had to have a really good hook to stand out, same like if you want to do a zombie comic these days.

At 389 we have Casper’s Capers from American Mythology selling over 1.9k and Caspers Ghostland sellind over 1.9k too at 392.  Who knew the market could support two Casper books?  As the sales indicate, these titles always sell around the same, new number 1 or not.  Nothing to see here.
Ray:  American Mythology releases a lot of Casper #1s. Relatively few Casper #2s.
Glenn:  A few new Alterna releases make the top 500 with Blood Realm at 396 with sales over 1.8k and Exilium over 1.8k too.  Pretty much their standard level, their recent hot topic controversy from a little while ago doesn’t seem to have made any great effect on their unit sales either way.
Ray:  Neither of these Alterna books got all that much buzz pre-release, either, so these numbers aren’t a shock.
Glenn:  Proving my point about zombie comics at 403 is Rags selling over 1.8k.  This is from Anatric Press and only real difference seemingly about this particular zombie book is it features a sexy lady in a bikini top on the cover.  It doesn’t work.
At 406 is Newbury & Hobbes selling over 1.7k.  I got to review this for Break The Forth (don’t fire me Brent, I got a kid to feed) and loved it.  However its a new chapter of a series of novels I’d not heard of previously so probably going to rope in too many people.  Will probably do a better job in collections with fans of the novels.
Ray:  Given what an odd duck this is – a foreign comic spinning out of a novel series that no one in the states knows about – I’d say this is a pretty healthy debut for Titan.
Glenn:  At 413 is…is…is…a…comic….that sells over 1.5k.  It sure is a comic that one at 413.
Ray:  God bless’em, there’s a comic for everyone
Glenn:  From Rebellion (?!?!?!?!) is The Vigilante One Shot selling 1.4k at 417.  Even priced at 4.99, that’s not good.  This is a reinvention of some ‘classic’ British comic heroes.  I wonder if Dennis The Mennis is on the team (no, not that one).
At 430 is The Three Stooges Matinee Madness and 431 is Pink Panther Surfside Special which both sell over 1.2k.  The franchises are dead Jim.
Another new comic from Waxworks in Poser at 433 which is about a serial killer who poses his victims like shop window dummies and the like.  It sells over 1.1k.  This company don’t seem to have caught on with their horror concepts.
Ray:  Waxwork is one of many, many small startup comic publishers in recent years trying to carve out a small slice of the market. Some are clicking with audiences. Others are Waxwork.
Glenn:  Aspen comics relaunches Dellec (?!?!?!??!?!) at 436 with sales over 1.1k.  No one was missing Dellec.
Antartic Press has what appears to be an anthology at 438, Steam-Age Wasteland which sells over 1.1k.  There is a solid audience for steam punk but this one didn’t seem to tap into that for whatever reason.
Ray:  #453 brings us the toy tie-in Vamplets Beware: Bitemares One Shot. It sells 958 copies, which seems about right for a title about tiny fuzzy monster balls.
Down at #464 and also from Lion Forge is Guncats, the action-comedy about alien bounty hunters, selling 788 copies. Another creator-owned book that didn’t find its audience.
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From Source Point Press selling 709 copies, The Family Graves #1 lands at #478. This family adventure focuses on a clan of monsters trying to travel through time while dealing with the problems of their natural monstrous abilities. It’s a fun concept, but launched with very little fanfare from a small publisher.
Another action comic I believe based on a video game, Sniper Elite Resistance from Rebellion gets the dubious honor of being the last original #1 on the charts this month at #490, selling 607 copies.
Glenn:   I don’t think I know this game?  There’s one sniper game that gets a lot of talk for showing x-ray effects of your sniper shots and I don’t think its this one…
The rest of the charts are largely reorders with some more sales for the 20th issue of Darth Vader getting some of that at 500 with 549 more copies being ordered.  That Vader guy is hot stuff!  Hot like molten lava, amiright?  Too soon?

Ray:  Looking ahead to next month, DC is bringing us two major mini-events, The Witching Hour and Drowned Earth. Two Justice Leagues, two world-wrecking threats! It’s Tynion vs. Snyder and, um, Tynion. We also get a new wave of Hanna-Barbera crossovers. 

Marvel is bringing us two weekly one-shot events, the return of What If and the villain spotlight X-Men: Black. Spider-Geddon also begins in earnest with its tie-ins, including the return of Spider-Gwen.
Image has a few major launches as well, including new debuts from Sam Humphries, Gerry Duggan, and Tee Franklin. There’s also bound to be a few surprise launches that catch the market by surprise.
What will rise? What will fall? Tune in next time on By the Numbers!
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Like what you read?  Have a question or comment?  Let us know here or hit us up on Twitter @glenn_matchett and @Raygoldfield

By The Numbers: August 2018

Like in any industry, comic books and their companies listen most to one thing and that’s your money! What does your money tell them? What does it tell us as fans? What series do people say they adore but can’t seem to catch a break and what books to people hate that sell out? What are the trends? What looks good? What looks rough?

All these questions and more will be answered here, every month in ‘By The Numbers’ by comic writers, editors and fans, Glenn Matchett and Ray Goldfield.

Glenn Matchett is a comic writer and editor. He’s worked in the industry for 6 years but grew up reading comics. He’s had work published with Outre Press, Nemesis Studios and others.  He has a story in an upcoming charity Doctor Who zine which has stories starring the 12th Doctor and Clara.  Please check it out here and support, its for a good cause!  https://thehybridzine.bigcartel.com

Ray Goldfield is a fan of comic books for going on 25 years, starting with the death of Superman. He is a writer and editor and has released his first novel. Ray also does a weekly roundup of DC comic reviews for website Geekdad and they’re brilliantly entertaining.  Ray isn’t doing a charity zine right now but gladly accepts donations towards his crippling comic addiction.  Its always the young and best of us that are that effected.

We also do a podcast together with longtime buddy, Brandon James on iTunes with Rabbitt Stew or at the link here! Don’t ask, I didn’t pick the name. If you’d like to hear what me and Ray sound like, give it a listen!

Top 300 in full available here!

Glenn:  Hello, hello, hello

It turns out that in among a lot of crazy thing happening that August was pretty slow.  There was one exception (which we’ll get to) but mostly it was business as usual and the books that tend to be the most consistent rose to the top of the charts because they always sell well.
Image result for fantastic four 1 2018
The one exception I alluded to which comes in with a clobberin debut is the new launch of Fantastic Four by Dan Slott and Sara Pichelli.  There are many rumours as to why Marvel’s first family was put on the shelf but like Thor well over a decade before it seems the rest have done them good.  The new title launches with sales over 368.9k.  A brilliant debut for a title that has struggled for like 15 years apart from the notable rise it took under the guidance of Jonathan Hickman.  Its hard to call where the book will go sales wise from here but I think it’ll end up in the higher echelon of Marvel books among the likes of Thor and Avengers, if not better.
Ray:  This is a good example of what happens when a property goes missing just long enough for audiences to really miss it and then comes back with a true all-star creative team. This is very reminiscent of how Thor exploded at the start of JMS’ run and turned the property into the long-term hit it is today. Given that Slott tends to like good long runs, I think this is going to be another mainstay top twenty hit for Marvel.
Glenn:  The real event is finally here after months and months of preludes and countdowns, Infinity War the big story of the year from Marvel launches at 2 with sales over 104.3k at launch.  This is good if you look at this as a Guardians/cosmic Marvel event but not so much if its meant to be akin to something like Civil War or Secret Invasion.  There is interest but much like how the lead up has all been it’ll likely be a bit lower from here but stable enough.  Issue 2 charts at 12 selling over 70.3k which a very good hold.  If it keeps it it’ll be respectful but unspectacular.
Ray:  This feels like the first issue boost was mostly due to variants, and the second issue sales indicate that it’s likely to resume similar sales to the prequel miniseries by the end. A decent mid-level hit for Marvel, but not the kind of big event they were clearly hoping for.
Glenn:  With it being a quiet month, the industries top title takes the third and fourth spot in sales with King’s Batman resuming its glacial slide following the wedding.  Issues 52 and 53 sell over 102.3k and over 99.1k respectfully.  Business as usual here, any negative fallout from the wedding issue is yet to be seen.
Ray:  Kind of surprising that there were only three books above 100K this month. That’s a huge change from past months, but Batman continues to be rock-solid as always. These two issues were the conclusion of “Cold Days”, where Bruce confronted his demons on jury duty.
Glenn:  At first glance, Amazing Spider-Man selling over 86.2k at 5 would put it well in the running for Marvel’s new top selling ongoing (we’ll see how FF lands in that regards over the next few months) but we’re still in the settling in period.  Artist Ryan Ottelly is taking a break following issue 5 and has yet to be solicited to return.  We also have Spider-Geddon coming which might take the shine away from Amazing being the new toy to play with.  There’s a lot of unknowns at play but these sales and its place at 7 with sales over 81.6k is encouraging on the surface.
Ray:  Decent second-month sales, showing just how steady ASM as a franchise is, but these sales are based on guesswork. Retailers haven’t had the chance to adjust based on actual sales yet. Spider-geddon will definitely hit this book hard as it becomes clearly seen as the second-tier Spider-book, being the only one not tying in.
Glenn:  At 6 is the much hyped Sandman Universe one shot that is basically a sales pitch for four new titles spun out of Neil Gaiman’s legendary Sandman run.  It sells over 83.5k and while I may have expected more, this should be by Vertigo standards (which this line kinda is and kinda isn’t) which means this number is fantastic and the best selling book the line has had since…Sandman Overture.  The four titles will also sell handsomely in trades and probably very respectable in singles, adding to DC’s considerable presence in the 35-50k range where most of the higher sellers live these days.
Ray:  Sandman is one of the properties with the biggest mainstream profile, so this is pretty impressive for a $4.99 mature readers one-shot. I’m not sure if the singles will do anywhere near as well as this with the exception of The Dreaming, but at the very least DC’s building themselves a strong foundation for a trade-driven line here. 
Glenn:  Great sales for Superman 2 which is at 8 with sales over 77.4k.  This is well above where the title was previously and although I’m sure DC would have liked more, this is still very good.  The other Bendis Superman book, Action Comics is selling over 61.9k at 17 which is not too far away and I wouldn’t be surprised if the two titles slowly start to drift closer together sales wise over the next few months.
Ray: That shows some genuine interest in the Superman line, as this is close to double what the titles were doing in the previous run by the end. Much like ASM, we have to see where things go once retailers have a chance to adjust, but the Superman line wasn’t driven by variant covers. That indicates retailers have faith in both titles.
Glenn:  Finally at the final two places of the top ten is Scott Snyder’s Justice League which is now seemingly DC’s most second dependable ongoing (we’ll see if Superman can maintain long term but I think it’ll fall behind Justice League in a bit).  Its no surprise with the creative team and the big scale Snyder is going for in the book.  Sales wise its a success with it selling over 76.5k and 75.1k respectfully.  If only I knew what was going on though…
Ray:  Justice League has leveled out in a hurry, and will likely stay around the top ten for the foreseeable future. They have all the top characters, arguably DC’s top writer, and the most popular new villain in years. There’s already virtually no attrition from issue to issue. 
Glenn:  I will be interested to see if the Batman Who Laughs will cause a sales spike when he shows up again, especially his focus in issue 8.  He popped up in Immortal Men which didn’t cause too much of a stir but this is obviously very different.
Ray:  At #11, we’ve got the latest relaunch of Punisher by Matthew Rosenberg, selling 73K. That’s a huge increase from the previous edition as the series ditches the War Machine status quo, but it’s also heavily driven by variant covers. I expect this “back to basics” series to lose at least 50% of its sales next month – there’s nothing really driving sales long-term here. 
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Glenn:  Just the typical first issue Marvel boost then back to business as usual before the next relaunch.  Going in circles is fun!
Ray:  #13 brings us the launch of Venom: The First Host, selling 68K. This is essentially a lost arc from the Mike Costa run, pitting Venom against enemies from the Kree-Skrull war. The fact that it sells so well is a testament to how hot Donny Cates has made Venom right now – the 5th issue of the main title is selling 64K at #16, one of Marvel’s biggest hits at the moment.
Glenn:  I wonder how many retailers thought this was some sort of extension to the Cates book but either way, very good performance for what will now be a throwaway Venom mini.  Marvel’s really getting it right with this one.
Ray:  There’s Walking Dead, good ol’ reliable at #14 with sales of 65K. It didn’t manage to sneak into the top ten this month, but it’ll probably climb back up again.
Glenn:  Its slowing down again but that happens, the next big character intro, story and/or slight breeze will have it back in no time
Ray:  Two titles that launched last month, Captain America and Catwoman, both move from the top ten to the top 20, with Catwoman selling 64.7K at #15 and Captain America selling 61K at #18, just above the sixth issue of Avengers. Given that Captain America actually sold 46K more than Catwoman last month, that’s a win for the lady in the catsuit. Meanwhile, Captain America is definitely starting to rebound but still has a long way to go to fully recover from the damage done by the previous extended run. Good thing that writer isn’t on any book that…oh.
Glenn:  Really promising performance from both especially Catwoman who usually sells in the 30k range at best.  Her series didn’t get quite the big rest that Fantastic Four did but DC really couldn’t have picked a better time and/or creator to make her a hit again.
Ray:  #20 brings us a new X-event that seems to have slipped under the radar. Extermination is going to be spinning out into the weekly Uncanny X-Men run and a new X-Force title by writer Ed Brisson, but its sales of 55K aren’t exactly impressive. The X-men have seen better days as a franchise. The second issue sells 44K at #33.
Glenn:  The weekly Uncanny refocus will likely be a big deal for the franchise which has had both better and worse days.  Marvel are pushing a lot of big stories at once to little effect as opposed to DC who seem to be pulling a few major things off at the same time with strong results.
Ray:  21-30 is the place for hit titles finding their level this month, it seems. Two issues of Flash, two issues of Detective, and some of Marvel’s higher-selling new relaunches including Thor, Tony Stark: Iron Man, and Immortal Hulk all hover around this level between 54K and 48K. Attrition is slowing down a lot for all of these titles, but it’s worth noting that it took the Marvel books 3-4 issues to find the level that it took Flash and Detective 50+ issues. The two main Star Wars titles also sneak in here at 27/28, selling only 28 copies apart.
Glenn:  Detective seems to be doing well in a post Tynion world, the bat strength of it probably helps a bunch.  No doubt it’ll see the same gradual climb Action did as the issue number gets closer to four digits.
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Ray:  If you want an ill omen for one of Marvel’s upcoming events, look at the sales of The Hunt for Wolverine: Dead Ends. This bridge issue before next month’s Return of Wolverine sells 49K at #25. Not exactly a great indicator of interest in this event. How long does it take this guy to come back, anyway? Next month’s Return of Wolverine #1 has 25 (!!!) variant covers, so that should help it get to near the top of the charts anyway.
Glenn:  Return of Wolverine proper has all the bells and whistles to make it a top performer.  It seems that people have had to pay out a lot so far to keep track of his coming back so I hope Marvel can deliver after all the hype.
Ray:  Cosmic Ghost Rider keeps about half its first-issue sales to land at #31 with sales of 46K. Not quite the gravity-defying performance of Spider-Gwen, for instance, but more than enough to ensure we’ll be seeing ol’ Fiery Frank for a while.
Glenn:  Given Cates is taking over Guardians I’d wager good money on that.
Ray:  I also expect that some of the surviving characters from the Inhumans might find themselves on the Guardians of the Galaxy when that launches
Glenn:  Groot can teach Blackbolt to talk, it’ll be classic!  (I know that’s not how it works)
Ray:  Speaking of defying gravity, DC has to be very happy with Justice League Dark at #32, selling 46K. That’s 75% of what its debut issue sold, and shows that the Justice League line as a whole has been revitalized by recent events. We’ll see if that holds for the upcoming Justice League Odyssey, which has had major behind the scenes issues.
Ray:  Great hold for Dark as the League line seems to be the strongest its been in years.  We’ll see in a few months if all the behind the scenes stuff has a knock on effect on Odyssey, I don’t think so though.
Glenn:  I was a little surprised to see Web of Venom: Ve’Nam down at #36, selling 41K. Given that this is a Donny Cates issue expanding on the new characters he introduced in Venom, I would have expected this and The First Host to switch places. Maybe the lack of the word “Venom” in the title affected it a bit?
Ray:  It was pretitled ‘Web Of Venom’ though but yeah, its an odd one.  I bet reorders on this will be better.  I bet the Carnage one that Cates is writing in a few months will sell wayyyyyyy better.
Glenn:  A strong debut for the new Scott Peterson/Kelly Jones Batman miniseries, Batman: Kings of Fear at #38 selling just over 40K. Jones does have a big fanbase for his distinctive Batman art, but I think we can mainly chalk this up to the power of Batman!
Ray:  Nostalgia in Kelly Jones and Batman do a powerful combination make.  Much like Lee Weeks, Jones could easily do an arc or a one off in Batman and he wouldn’t seem out of place among the more modern day stars, the guy is just as good now as he was back in the day.
Glenn:  #40 has Batgirl #25, an anniversary jam issue, selling 37K. That’s a big increase over the series’ regular level – and over #26, which shipped the same month and sold 25K at #93. That’s a slight ongoing boost for the series and its new creative team.
Spider-Geddon launches with a Spider-punk focused issue. He’s not one of the biggest characters from the event, so the initial sales of 36K at #41 are decent. The Spy/DR issue that ships the same month is at #59, selling 32K. Jason Latour is back with a new concept for this event next month, so that should be the best-selling of the lot.
Glenn:  Very good sales for this and I’m wondering if retailers were hoping for lightning in a bottle like we got with Spider-Gwen in Spider-Verse.  Like I mentioned earlier, Marvel is pushing a lot of different things at the moment to a lot of middling success but I have a feeling that Spider-Geddon will be by and far the break out.
Ray:  Adventures of the Super-Sons launches at #42 selling 36K. I think retailers likely ordered this one as a continuation of the cult hit series, rather than a true new volume. This is very close to where it was prior to this break, same as for another title that returned this month.
Glenn:  Its odd that this just wasn’t the last 12 issues of the main title but I know there is some timing stuff with Jon being off world but that usually happens with multiple characters showing up in various books.  It doesn’t seem to have made a lasting impact either way.
Ray:  Oh, look, it’s time for another entry in “Ray yells at retailers for ordering crossover one-shots based on the character involved rather than the talent”! This month saw the second wave of DC/Looney Tunes crossovers, which broke out into the mainstream with the brilliant Batman/Elmer Fudd one-shot last year. This year, the highest of the four is...Joker/Daffy Duck, by Scott Lobdell at #44, selling 35K. Come on, people. The one that I would have expected to be the top seller, Harley Quinn/Gossamer by Palmiotti and Conner, is at #56 selling 33K. The best of the four, Catwoman/Tweety & Sylvester by Gail Simone, is at #80 selling 28K, and Lex Luthor/Porky Pig by Mark Russell is at #95 selling 25K. Overall, I do think the sales are up a good deal from last year’s wave, but that order…
Glenn:  Joker sells and that’s what retailers will be going by.  The Catwoman one will probably win out on reorders but yeah, I get what you mean.  These are definitely faring better than last years, I’m hoping for another wave because while we didn’t get a masterpiece like Batman/Fudd from last year, the three of these I read were decent to excellent and somehow these bizarre mesh ups just seem to work.
Ray:  The new Kirkman/Burnham book Die! Die! Die! (not to be confused with Kieron Gillen’s Die) launched with an odd free-shipping scheme last month, so this is the first time we get to see how it actually sells now that retailers have to order it. It lands at #45 with sales of 35K, which is good enough for the second-highest Image book of the month. Who knows how attrition will work with this book, though.
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Glenn:  Again, this was an interesting experiment that was a bit mismanaged but seems to have worked okay.  Its miles ahead of Outcast is and where Invincible was but we’ll see if that lasts long term.  Given the current pattern of Image books I’m preparing pitch right now for ‘Dye, Die’ a serial killer who chooses their victims in a hair salon due to the style choices they make.  
Ray:  West Coast Avengers, a spinoff of Kelly Thompson’s Hawkeye title and featuring a bunch of oddball B-list heroes, lands at #48 with sales of 34.5K. It’s decent if you consider it more of a Hawkeye book than an Avengers book, but this should be selling ten times as much. This is a book primed for a cult breakout and a really good second-month hold.
Glenn:  Kate Bishop isn’t B-list, how dare you!  Okay she kinda is but still she shouldn’t be, she rocks.  This is good given the cast but it doesn’t seem as if the Avenger’s moniker is worth what it was anymore after Marvel’s mined it to death for like 10 years.
Ray:  David Walker takes his turn on Cable and Deadpool for an annual, and the over-the-top time travel story sells 33K at #52. Not bad, and only 8K below the sales of this month’s issue of Deadpool. Walker doesn’t seem to have more Marvel plans, though, so maybe look for him at DC soon?
Glenn:  Image could be calling too, he seemed to get a bit bummed out about how Luke Cage and then Cage/Fist went but kept things amicable enough to keep the door open but he may be happier in creator owned land.
Ray:  At #58 is the debut of Pearl from the creative team of Alias, Bendis and Gaydos. It sells 32K, which is a decent debut for a new creator-owned title. Definitely more than it would have sold for Vertigo or Icon, so the Jinxworld experiment seems to be off to a good start – on new titles at least. More on that lay-tor.
Glenn:  This is akin to a strong Image launch and more than it probably would have done through Marvel/Icon if history is anything to go by.  If it stays between here and say the 22-25k level I’d call that a win, especially since it’ll probably do well in collections too.
Ray:  #64 brings us Star Wars: Beckett, a one-shot focusing on Han Solo’s roguish mentor. It sells just under 32K, proving that Solo didn’t just underperform at the box office.
Glenn: I actually don’t think that’s too bad for a new character coming out of a movie that is seen to have under performed financially.  I just want my L3-37/K2-SO romantic comedy yesterday.
Ray:  IDW has a high showing on the charts with a crossover with Oni at #65 selling 31K – Rick and Morty/Dungeons and Dragons. I’m too old for one of those things and too young for the other.

Glenn:  Its clear that Rick and Morty is Oni’s MVP franchise right now.  I tried watching it and couldn’t sync in with it.  I used to be cool but then they changed what it was.

Managing a pretty decent hold on its second issue, the Death Of Inhumans mini series sells over 30.1k at 69.  For what will likely be the final bow for this franchise for the foreseeable future, this is as probably a decent farewell as they could expect.  All credit goes to Mr. Cates, Marvel’s current miracle man.
Big fall for Mr. and Mrs. X at 73 with sales over 29.3k.  It seems the wedding switcharoo has not paid off or had the minimal impact it seems to (so far) had for DC.  The title can probably chug along at this level for a while if sales stay in this range.
Ray:  Given that this is essentially a Rogue & Gambit title, two characters who could never carry a solo series for long, I think this is the expected level. It might level out quickly. Also worth noting these are the issues that were ordered as “X-Classified”, so who knows what the sales actually represent.
Glenn:  Selling pretty closely to the main title, the Astonishing X-Men Annual sells 28.9k at 79 and this is the range the x-books live at these days.  Marvel hopes to change that with the relaunch of Uncanny I mentioned earlier but their current track record doesn’t give me a huge hope for success.
Settling well is the new version of Grand Design series which sells over 28.3k at 83.  Given that this is essentially an art book, is 5.99 and is tailor made more for collections this is a fantastic result.  We’re going to see more of these books for sure.
Although he doesn’t have his on ongoing at the time (that’s coming at the end of the year though) Miles Morales Spider-Man gets an annual at 85 selling over 28.1k.  This is pretty much where they Spidey book starring Miles sold so its clear he doesn’t need his co-creator and will probably spend decades with an on the peddle//off the peddle trajectory like others such as Kaine, Ben Reilly, Spidey 2099, Mayday Parker and others enjoy.  Miles does star in his own (kinda/sorta) movie at the end of the year so we’ll see if that helps.
Ray:  Miles has a good chance to take back the mantle of the #2 Spider-character from Gwen with his new series, and Marvel picked a good writer. I think the long break they gave him may not have been the best idea, though.
Glenn:  At 89 is an annual for Daredevil which sells over 27.4k which actually outsells the main series.  This is a fill in issue telling a story early in Daredevil’s career co-starring Misty Knight and written by DC writer workshop graduate, Erica Schultz.  Its not much of an outsell but its an interesting one, maybe its cause Shultz is on the rise or maybe its cause of Misty Knight?  Schultz could be the next writer that either company may want to invest in.
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Ray:  She’s rising fast, and it seems like Soule’s run on Daredevil is coming to a close soon. Schultz is definitely in the mix to take over that title, but I imagine it’s Cates’ if he wants it given his role in Marvel Knights.
Glenn:  Cates can’t write everything!  Or can he…either way it would be nice to have a female writer on Daredevil given one of his best periods was due to a female writer
At 94 is MMPR: Shattered Grid which is a part of the lines big story and I think the final issue written by Kyle Higgins.  It sells over 25.9k which is pretty good for Power Rangers.  The hype about this event hasn’t given publisher BOOM a massive win but its been noticeable.  This story will do well in collections and the future of the property will depend on what happens next with BOOM who seem to be on the Mouse’s Christmas list this year.
Ray:  Boom is using this to reboot the main MMPR title into its own continuity featuring a unique cross-dimensional Ranger team never seen before, so that’s a big risk. This is quickly becoming their flagship franchise.
Glenn:  At 97 is the return of Bendis/Maleev original Icon series Scarlet but this time its with a DC flavour.  The relaunch is enough to get sales of 24.5k which I think is astonishingly good for a property that hasn’t been heard of in…I want to say 10 years?  I know Ray isn’t a big fan of the series which was birthed as a result of the occupy movement and now…well let’s just say there won’t be any lack of politically related events for this series to comment on.  Will it do okay?  I don’t think it’ll have the same long term potential the newer properties will but I’m sure fans are glad to have it back to at least have the story concluded.  DC seems high on it, they’re reprinting the original series through their prestige Absolute format in a few months.
Ray:  Of all of Bendis’ creator-owned series, this is the one that never quite worked. It’s just an odd mix of political radicalism with an unreliable narrator that never seemed to go anywhere. I expect it’ll drop pretty fast after the first-issue bounce.
Glenn:  Green Lantern continues its steady level around the 24/23k level at 99 and 100 but these sales no longer matter.  Morrison is coming.
Leviathon is the new creator owned book from CHEW creator John Layman which launches at just over 23k in sales at 106 which is pretty good.  It’ll probably be a stable hit with strong collection sales given that CHEW is one of Image’s strongest back catalog performers.
Ray:  The writer of Chew and the artist from The Manhattan Projects is a pretty potent combination creatively. This is an odd book, but I’m glad it got off to a fast start – we need more Kaiju-based books!
Glenn:  Another annual at 110 in Nightwing this time selling over 22.6k.  About 4k below the main series isn’t terrible but its a bigger gap than most of the others I’ve mentioned already.  You’ll all know by now that DC are going back to their favourite habit of messing with Dick Grayson for no reason so who knows how this title will fare on the back of that.
Another Annual outselling the main title is the second Poe Dameron one, there’s barely any difference this time though as the Annual sells over 22.5k at 111 and his main book sells 21.7k at 115.  The audience seems pretty consistent on ol Poe.
At 113 is Wakanda Forever: Avenger’s selling over 22.1 meaning all these have sold around the same level which isn’t too bad and is promising for any Wakanda supporting character stuff that Marvel is green lighting like its going out of fashion.
An anniversary/creative direction bump for Red Hood and the Outlaws at 114 causing it to see over 21.8k.  It seems like Jason is getting his Azreal on in this new creative direction so we’ll see how that fares long term, I don’t know why but Batman’s former protege’s really seem to get the bad end of some of DC’s decisions.
Ray:  That’s definitely a nice increase for Red Hood. His new direction seems to be Azrael meets Punisher meets Casey Jones, so I kind of doubt it’ll keep any of that increase long-term. 
Glenn:  At 122 its a reprint of the original Fantastic Four by Lee and Kirby, priced at 3.99 (the original one would have set you back 10 cents back in the day) sells over 19.6k which is laughably successful given that its Fantastic F****** Four 1 by Lee and Kirby and this title has earned its money and then some multiple times over the last near 60 years.
Ray:  Very good month to do any sort of Fantastic Four reprint, clearly.
Glenn:  At 124 is yet another annual, this time its Suicide Squad selling over 19.3k and there’s a massive gap here between this and the main title which sells nearly 9k more.  I think the core Suicide Squad audience probably just isn’t as interesting in collecting every off shoot and spin off like fans of other titles probably would.
Ray:  Also affecting the sales on this Suicide Squad annual is the fact that this is the B-Squad. No Harley, no Croc, no Deadshot. The headliner in this issue was Merlyn, so that probably created a bigger gap. 
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Glenn:  That makes sense.  What the point in doing it then though would leave one to wonder, its not really a strong enough brand that can sell without some of the characters you mentioned.
Ray:  The near-invincible Gideon Falls continues to hover around the 19-20K mark, where it’s held for months now at #125. Lemire has that effect on his books. And related – six spots above is Sentry, which increases a bit from last month and is likely now safe for the duration of its probably 12-issue run.
A pretty strong hold for Mirka Andlfo’s Unnatural, as the Zootopia-meets-the-Handmaid’s-Tale series loses just over 25% of its first-issue sales to sell 19K at #126. Takes all kinds (the book is actually pretty good).
Big drops for the annuals for two DC series, as Red Hood and the Outlaws sees its annual chart at #136 with sales of 16K, and two issues below is the Batgirl annual selling 15.7K. Both of these follow directly from events in their 25th issues, but the word apparently didn’t get out to retailers. I wouldn’t be surprised to see reorders on both, given that events in these annuals will play out in Heroes in Crisis and The Batman Who Laughs respectively.
Glenn:  We’ll def get some reorders on both of these in that case.  It also read to me that the Batgirl annual was setting up a major plot point that readers of the main title will want to know the genesis of.
Ray:  This is a really long stretch of lower-mid range titles that are doing just enough to stay alive thanks to their attrition slowing down. We’ve got books like Batman Beyond, New Challengers, Sideways, Exiles, and The Wild Storm holding strong in roughly the 15-13K range around 150.
A new outing from Berger Books, The Seeds by Ann Nocenti and David Aja, debuts at #154 to 13.5K. This is a complex, often confusing sci-fi narrative, but the two name creators likely helped it get a slightly higher debut than most of its fellow books in the line. Might have trouble keeping them, as the line seems to be struggling overall.
Glenn:  If its a passion project, the creators will make it work but yes, the Berger books haven’t seemed to have had the impact at Dark Horse that one would have imagined.
Ray:  Christopher Sebela is having a big few months, launching three creator-owned books in a few months. His latest Image entry, the social media assassination dramedy Crowded, lands at #158 with sales of 13.2K. Decent numbers for an Image launch with no huge name as Sebela continues to build his brand effectively.
Glenn:  It seems that Sebela is managing to craft concepts that grab people’s attentions which isn’t easy in this super busy market so good for him.
Ray:  The Damage Annual lands at #160 with sales of 12.7K, just 1K below the sales of the main title. I guess retailers know who wants off-brand Hulk at this point.
A similar effect happens to Silencer and its annual, which only sell 213 copies apart at 167/169, both in the 11K range.
Glenn:  The sales on these books are disastrous but at least they’re consistently disastrous.
Ray:  Predator: Hunters II #1 from Dark Horse has a healthy debut at #168, selling 11.6K. Of course, with Disney acquiring these franchises from Fox, we’ll see how long Dark Horse holds on to the license.
Glenn:  Good timing with the movie out as well but these franchises have had the same performance for years.  In one way, its good that Dark Horse knows what they can get out of them and plan accordingly but in another, they can never expect anything amazing from them.  Lets hope Marvel/Disney is a bit kinder than it was with the Star Wars franchise.
Ray:  The new Cullen Bunn horror miniseries, Cold Spots, launches from Image with sales of 11.5K at #170. I would have expected a bit more from this given that Bunn’s built a brand for himself in horror comics. Maybe Gideon Falls scared everyone off? I don’t want to go in the barn, Glenn.
Glenn:  There are a lot of horror books out there at the moment trying to get people’s attention, it could be the number two genre in comics right now behind Super heroes.  This will likely do well in collections as I’m sure that’s where fans of Bunn’s other horror work like Harrow County pick it up.
Ray:  The highest-selling reorder of the month, Venom #3, charts at #173 selling 11K. That Donny Cates, man.
Glenn:  Have to give credit to Stegman too, this creative team works on this character like jam works on toast.
Ray:  Coming off a 10-cent promotional issue, Dynamite’s latest relaunch of Project Superpowers sells 10K at #175. They keep on trying to make fetch happen with these golden age characters, but I don’t think fetch is happening.
Glenn:  Likely just the hardcore audience here with a few extras just in case.  This property is another one that Dynamite can set their watch by but will never get any bigger than it is..
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Ray:  Selling 9.6K at #182 is Boom’s Black Badge, the scout thriller by Matt Kindt and Tyler Jenkins. Both Kindt’s creator-owned books and Boom’s brand seem to have a cap on how high they’ll go, so this is a pretty decent debut.
How many people are interested in buying a book headlined by Inferno? The answer is 9,364. That’s how many people buy the latest installment of Marvel Super Hero Adventures at #187.
Glenn:  Inferno…the demon crossover from the late 80’s?  Or something else?  Hoping its the crossover to be fair.
Ray:  No, not the X-crossover! The Inhuman who is like Human Torch except he can’t fly and burns his own skin when he uses his powers. Hey, kids! Comics!
Glenn: Flame ONNNNNOHHHHGODTHEPAIN
Ray:  The new Frozen miniseries from Dark Horse, Breaking Boundaries, sells 9.1K at #190. That’s lower than I would have expected given Frozen’s brand, but then Dark Horse doesn’t really have much presence in the all ages market yet. This will likely do much better in collections.
Glenn:  It’ll also sell in Disney parks and stores and other places most companies would kill to get into.  If you’ve got something with the Frozen banner on it, money will soon find its way to you.
Ray:  A new weekly TMNT miniseries, Bebop and Rocksteady Hit the Road, launches at #197, selling 8.4K. This all played out over the month, and the rest of the series charted at #200, #202, #203, and #205, losing less than 1K over the entire run. That’s impressive attrition and shows that retailers knew exactly who wanted this.
Glenn:  I‘m guessing this is the animated versions of the characters?  There would have definitely been a set audience for this and that’s perfectly fine, whatever works.
Jeff Lemire’s intimate writer-artist project Royal City wraps up at #209, selling 7.4K. This one never quite took off in the direct market. Off it goes to the land of trades and hardcovers where a much larger audience can discover it.

Glenn:  I’m very excited to read it personally.  These type of Lemire books are not really targeted towards singles I feel, they come out that way because that’s just how comics work but in the future this will make a lovely hardcover that I’m sure people will dig a lot.

Minor increase on TMNT Universe for its 25th issue.  This is probably more it being at its proper level than anything to do with the issue number.  It sells over 7.3k at 213 or the record.
Ray:  This is the final issue of TMNT Universe, actually, and the first in a while to focus on one of the Turtles, so that probably helped with the boost.
Glenn:  Hey Kids Comics, a Howard Chaykin written series that relays the history of comics in more of a darker manner sells over 7.2k at 214.  This is basically a history textbook so will only have a specialized interest.
Ray:  Chaykin’s a very niche creator who retailers order cautiously on as well.
Glenn:  Right below it at 215 is a Dark Horse launch with a very long title.  Beasts Of Burden 1: Wise Dogs and Eldritch Men.  This is a long ongoing series that has been off and on for years so this is probably the core audience for it.  Dark Horse seems to mainly be made up these days of properties with very loyal set audiences.
Some reorders for Infinity Wars Prime at 223 with orders over 6.4k.  This event isn’t going to break any records but will probably regarded as a solid enough performer.
Some more reorders for Venom, issue 4 this time charts at 225 with over 6.3k additional sales and issue 1 clocks up an additional 5.8+k at 239.  This is now one of Marvel’s strongest titles and they’ll be wanting to keep Donny Cates around for as long as he can.
Speaking of reorders, Amazing Spider-Man issue 1 picks up a few more sales at 245 selling over 5.7k more copies.  We’ll see if the reorders are as strong as Venoms are in a few months.
Hillbilly Red Eyed Witchery From Beyond is the title of a new four issue mini from Albatross Press.  This is written by Goon creator Eric Powell so he’ll be bringing that audience here.  Pretty decent showing of over 5.7k at 246 here for such a small company but most of the audience that will be pulled over from the Goon are probably waiting on the trade.
Steven Universe Harmony is at 247 selling over 5.7k and this is the type of book with a mainstream appeal that goes far beyond the direct market, the single issue sales here are secondary at best.
Ray:  Steven Universe: Harmony is an interesting case as well, because it’s a squarebound comic that looks more like a kids’ picture book than anything. Either way, this definitely isn’t a comic for us Wednesday Warriors. It’ll be collected and put in kids’ graphic novel sections in bookstores in a few months.
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Glenn:  A Curse Words summer special is right below it at 248 also selling in the 5.7k range.  Fans of this series will def go out of there way to pick this up but it won’t have much scope beyond that so the sales here make sense.
Speaking of Summer specials, Street Fighter is getting in on that too at 251 with sales over 5.6k.  Pretty much the usual level for anything Street Fighter related, this is another one for the hardcore fans only.
She Could Fly has an underwhelming debut last month so didn’t have far down to go.  The second issue at 260 sells over 5.2 so it kept most of those initially low numbers which is good in a sense.  How long it can float here will depend on a gradual build and/or trade sales.
More Cates reorders at 261 with the second issue of Venom selling over 5.1k and Cosmic Ghost Rider 265 selling over 4.9k additional copies.  I hear Marvel are keeping him in a basement where he cannot escape.
A new Paul Jenkins comic, Beyonders from Aftershock launches at 287 with sales over 4.8k which is pretty standard from the company.  Jenkins hasn’t had a big two book since the new 52 and nothing majorly high profile for over 10 years so he won’t have the same drawing power that Aftershock manages to attract.
Another Aftershock launch at 270 sells over 4.7k in the form of Volition,its an interesting concept involving robot AI from two creators I’m unfamiliar with so these sales are no big shock.
Ray:  Unless you’re Donny Cates or Marguerite Bennett, Aftershock books just don’t sell that high. The fact that Paul Jenkins, Ryan Parrot, and Elliot Rahal all command the same first issue sales give or take a few hundred copies says a lot.
Glenn:  Not going quietly into that good night, Bongo releases a Bartman one shot priced at 7.99 which sells 4.6k at 273.  These Bongo books do their main business elsewhere but the company still seems to be able to deliver low but steady numbers in spite of the fact they’re closing up shop.
Another Aftershock launch at 274 sells over 4.5k and this time its Hot Lunch Special.  Same story as Volition really but this one probably didn’t have the same hook so it got a few less sales but really the difference is not a huge deal.
About half the sales in reorders from its numbers last month, Zombie Tramp’s 50th issue sells over 4.2k at 286.  Go Zombie Tramp!
Some minor reorders for the new X-23 book at 289 selling over 4.2 additional copies.  Probably more speculator demand than anything else at work.
More Marvel reorders at 297 this time in the form of the new launch of Captain America which sells just over 4k more copies.  Probably the same story as X-23, the sales are too low to indicate more demand.
In the section where hope goes to die, 311 sees the debut of new IDW title, House Amok.  IDW has some problems with creator owned books and I’m not too familiar with either creator so sales of over 3.7k is to be expected.  This is from IDW’s Black Crown label which I believe is essentially their Vertigo so these titles are probably positioned to do better in collections (they hope)
Ray:  House Amok is another Chris Sebela joint, so this is another look at how different the market for creator-owned books is if you’re at Image or somewhere else. Crowded sold about 4x the debut numbers here, despite having the same writer and two artists without much pull. IDW’s new line is definitely struggling a bit. 

3.7K in reorders for Die! Die! Die at #312. I’m surprised there were any reorders, given that retailers got 100K in copies dumped on them without warning.
Glenn:  This may have been orders from retailers who maybe never got their orders or ones that wanted them for back issues just in case
Ray:  The Indonesian martial arts film The Raid gets a comic book tie-in from Titan at #315, selling 3.6K. One of the oddest comic book spin-offs in a while, but Titan has a significant international fanbase. I’m just puzzled by translating a movie best known for wild kinetic action to still-life comics.
Glenn:  I’ve never heard of this to be honest.  Titan should change its tagline to ‘we’ll make a comic out of any licence!’
Ray:  Lot of reorders in this range selling about 3K, including books like The Life of Captain Marvel #1, Justice League Dark #1, Immortal Hulk #1 – and Doomsday Clock #1, selling another 3.4K at #327. This book is almost a year old! Reminds me of how Rebirth kept showing up on these charts for months and months.
Highest House wraps up its first volume with sales of 3.3K at #331. This was a brilliant book, but clearly the audience missed the boat. I imagine we will get a second volume, but it’ll be in OHC format.
Glenn:  Its going off to collection heaven, the rest of us can only dream of such a wonderful fate.
Ray:  Aspen launches one of their new series with a promotional #0 issue at $1.50. Artifact One, about a young alien archeologist, sells 3.2K at #338. Standard issue sales for Aspen.
A $7.99 Lumberjanes special, “A Midsummer Night’s Scheme“, comes in at #339 with sales of just under 3.2K. This book isn’t really aimed towards the direct market, but this is right above where the main series sells. That shows there’s consistent support for this long-running series.
The revenge thriller “La Muerta: Retribution” from Coffin Comics comes in at #355, selling 2.9K. It’s always fun to make fun of weird comics we’ve never heard of, but there is a market out there for comics geared towards Latino audiences from small publishers, and we’ve seen them sneak on the charts quite a few times. Lots of small comic markets out there.
Glenn:  There are comics for everyone, even if they’re for only a small amount of people that will demand them.
Ray:  Just under 2.9K reorders for Wonder Woman #51 at #358. People can’t get enough of that Wonder Woman comic about Wonder Woman!
Glenn:  What a revolutionary concept.
Ray:  This seems to be where IDW’s oversized Disney compilations live, because we see books like Walt Disney Showcase (twice) and Donald & Mickey Quarterly sell pretty consistently in the 2.8K to 2.6K range.
There’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Cerebi at #376, selling 2.5K. God bless ’em, Dave Sim is doing what makes him happy.
The oddball Dynamite all-ages title Robots vs. Princesses, which is basically about a Disney Princess befriending a Transformer (all without copyright violation) sells just under 2.5K at #379. This is an all-ages book without a brand, of course, but I think one of the biggest problems it face was that Dynamite just has no real audience in the all-ages market.
Glenn:  This sounds more like a BOOM book so yeah, this is an odd one.  You said it was good too but it doesn’t seem to be at the right publisher to find its audience in singles.  It’ll be interesting if like BOOM, Dynamite can make this work in collections which is probably the long term goal.
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Ray:  Titan Comics has a new Lisbeth Salander comic, The Girl Who Danced With Death: The Mill Saga, at #383 selling 2.4K. This property has a loyal audience, but it’s definitely shrunk a bit since the original series.
Glenn:  Given this isn’t based on any of the books to date I thought there might be a bit more hype but yeah, the original writer (not Alan Moore) has been deceased for some time so the property just coats along without him.  Will probably find a decent life in collections.  I’m a fan of these characters, am curious how the books read post Larson but I wouldn’t go out of my way to read this so that probably gives some insight into what the interest may be.
Ray:  Zenoscope’s new suburban horror series, Paradise Court, sells 2.3K at #391. I don’t know what this is about, and I’m not sure if we should be striking up the Rachel Bloom song or not. I’m not used to seeing stuff from them that isn’t sexy fairy tale ladies.
Glenn:  This reads like an attempt to get into the busy horror genre game.  You all know why people buy your comics, Zenescope and horror isn’t it.
Ray:  This is where we see some really weird stuff, and at #396 we’ve got “Rock & Roll Biographies: Spinal Tap” selling 2.2K. I guess there’s a market out there for music biography comics from a company called Acme Ink that I’ve never heard of?
Glenn:  Fans of the film still around I guess?
Ray:  #409 has Dollman Kills the Full Moon Universe from Full Moon Comics, selling 2K. I don’t want to go in the barn, Glenn.
Glenn:  We”re nearly done.  We’re nearly done.  Doesn’t DC have a Dollman?  He was probably killed at Sanctuary in Heroes In Crisis and nobody noticed.

At 413 is the oddly spelled Obli18n which sells over 2k from Scout Comics.  Pretty standard for them on a concept that lost me two sentences in when I looked it up.
Ray:  Obliv18n, odd title aside, was a teen-oriented thriller with a distinct mature readers vibe. That can’t help it find an audience.
Glenn:  Some Edgar Rice Burroughs characters get mashed together at 417 in Carson Of Venus selling over 1.9k.  Reads like trying to be Fables, I doubt is like Fables.
An Assassins Creed comics, Conspiracies launches at 430 selling over 1.7k.  You know in other genre’s, this is a million dollar franchise.
At 431 is a Monster Guide from Zenescope advising how to deal with a Wendigo which sells over 1.7k.  I know how to deal with one, I just call Wolverine (wherever he is).
A lot of low reorders here until 445 with Dinosaucers selling over 1.4k from Lionforge.  They’re just happy to be here most likely.
Our pal, Dave Sim releases another comic this month through his publishing house at 448 in the form of Nick Calm Agent Of Codpiece selling over 1.4k.  He doesn’t give two tosses about nothing and its really admirable in its way.
At 455 is Pink Panther presents The Ant & The Aardvark which sells over 1.2k.  No one really cares much about this character anymore, do they?
Ray:  We see a couple more oddball debuts in this area, including the all-ages frog knight comic Oddwell from Starburns Industries selling 1.1K at #466. This is a company that came out of nowhere to put out quite a bit of content, and it seems retailers are responding a little – we see their debuts getting a bit more attention than other indie books.
Image result for oddwell #1
Another indie book cracking the top 500 is Riptide at #484, selling 927 copies. This disaster cruise ship thriller from Red 5 Comics had a surprisingly high level of quality and might be a sleeper hit.
Glenn:  More low level reorders until we get to 496 in Long Live Pro Wrestling 0 which Ray liked a lot I know.  I guess there’s much demand for wrestling comics, not big news considering the biggest wrestling company in the world can’t sell too many copies of their book.  It sells 792 copies
Ray:  The #0 issue couldn’t have helped Long Live Pro Wrestling. Retailers don’t know how to order those.
Surprised to see a hit comic like Long Lost: Season 2 #1 chart so low at #497, selling 789 copies. Creators Matthew Erman and Lisa Sterle have promoted this a lot, but it may be appealing more to the collections market than the single-issue crowd.
Glenn:  At 499 is Beast Hunter X which sells 780, no one seemingly confused this for a 90’s X-Men title.
Last book at 500 is Cavewomen Raptorellas Revenge, the second issue which sells 770.  Talking about books like this makes me question my decisions in life.  I feel like I need help…like I’m….in Crisis
Ray:  Looking ahead to September, let’s see what we’ve got on the agenda! DC should dominate the top ten once again, with the debut of Tom King and Clay Mann’s Heroes in Crisis easily taking the top spot and Doomsday Clock not far behind. We’ll also see how the Black Label line debuts with Batman: Damned (Nananananananana BATWANG), the launch of the long-delayed Justice League Odyssey, and see the debuts of the Sandman Universe line and the new wave of Vertigo titles. 

Marvel’s taking a bit of a month off from big debuts, with the dominant event being the launch of Spider-Geddon. The #0 issue features a tie-in with the popular video game. We’ll also see the Return of Wolverine with 25 variant covers, the first two Infinity Warps character minis, the launch of Asgardians of the Galaxy, and the long-awaited return of, um, Iceman.
Indieland brings us a new launch from Skottie Young, Bully Wars, new titles from Joe Casey and Warren Ellis, Chelsea Cain’s controversial new book, and a new Margaret Atwood miniseries from Dark Horse. Lots of new titles competing for market share.
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What will rise? What will fall? Tune in next month on By the Numbers!
Like what you read?  Have a question or comment?  Let us know here or on Twitter @glenn_matchett and @raygoldfield

by The Numbers: July 2018

Like in any industry, comic books and their companies listen most to one thing and that’s your money! What does your money tell them? What does it tell us as fans? What series do people say they adore but can’t seem to catch a break and what books to people hate that sell out? What are the trends? What looks good? What looks rough?

All these questions and more will be answered here, every month in ‘By The Numbers’ by comic writers, editors and fans, Glenn Matchett and Ray Goldfield.

Glenn Matchett is a comic writer and editor. He’s worked in the industry for 6 years but grew up reading comics. He’s had work published with Outre Press, Alterna Comics and Nemesis Studios. He often wonders WHO indeed was responsible for letting the dogs out.

Ray Goldfield is a fan of comic books for going on 25 years, starting with the death of Superman. He is a writer and editor and has released his first novel. Ray also does a weekly roundup of DC comic reviews for website Geekdad and they’re brilliantly entertaining.  He’s currently deciding whether the contents of the black barn or seeing Happytime Murders was more traumatizing.

We also do a podcast together with longtime buddy, Brandon James on iTunes with Rabbitt Stew or at the link here! Don’t ask, I didn’t pick the name. If you’d like to hear what me and Ray sound like, give it a listen!

Top 300 in full available here!

Glenn:  In what may be the busiest top 10 in a while in regards to sales July has a lot for myself and my good pal Ray to go over.  Lets not waste time and get the ball rolling.

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To no one’s surprise the much hyped and talent filled Batman 50 tops the charts with a whopping number of over 440.8k.  With the amount of publicity, talent and variants involved its no big shock this issue comes as one of the biggest selling of the year along with Amazing 800 and Action Comics 1000.  The issue itself along with Catwoman (which we’ll get to in a bit) was made returnable by DC due to some outcry about what was promised vs what was delivered but overall I’m sure DC came out massively ahead.  The title charts again at 8 with issue 51 selling over 113.9k which is slightly about what the titles been selling leading to the wedding.  The long term effects of 50 will be clearer next month but I have little doubt that Batman will continue its winning ways.
Ray:  There were certainly a lot of people angry about what they saw as a bait-and-switch, but there’s no denying it worked here. Even without a wedding actually happening, this delivered a spectacular package of art from some of the best creators in the industry. Comics hyping events that don’t quite happen is nothing new – Archie’s brief experiment with event comics last year pulled much the same trick on us – but if you give the audience a good comic, they’ll forgive you. There’s no question this got people talking, and I have no doubt they’ll stick around for the fallout. This will remain the most consistent ongoing on the stands as long as King is around.
Glenn:  Taking silver is the newest launch of Amazing Spider-Man by Nick Spencer and Ryan Ottely which sells over 289.1k which is less than 800 but much more than Slott’s real final issue, 801.  If Marvel didn’t get a great number following the position Slott left the run in, the hype machine and the new creative team that includes the biggest Image grab since Greg Capullo then something would have been very rotten in Denver.  How the title continues to perform long term will remain to be seen with issue 2 landing this month at 7 selling over 113.9 meaning the second issue of this much hyped run barely outsells the 51st issue of the juggernaught that is Batman.  Things could go either way from here since as we all know, Marvel has no problem getting attention with launching books but keeping the interest is usually another matter.
Ray:  Amazing Spider-Man is still Marvel’s #1 brand, and this debut seems to be mainly due to that weight. The second-issue sales are acceptable, but also below Slott’s final issue by about 9K. With the first two issues shipping the same month, there’s no way to tell where actual demand is, but I would guess third-issue sales at about 80K. We’ll see where it goes from there, but it’s worth noting that Ottley’s first off-arc is coming up quickly. That won’t help.
Glenn:  Ottely being off soon did get a lot of confusion but he quickly clarified online that he will need regular breaks and can’t do a monthly schedule (which fans of Invincible will have known going in) but still it’ll be interesting to see in a few months what…if any effect that has on sales.
Speaking of new launches from Marvel, the new direction in Captain America gets a lot of interest too with it selling at 3 with sales over 167.4k.  A very encouraging start for a title that’s had a troubling history for a few years.  The Waid run usually managed about mid 30k and I think this one do a little ahead of that but again, next month will be the real test.
Ray:  This is definitely a healthier debut for Captain America than the Mark Waid Legacy run had, although it’s worth noting that it’s less than half the debut of Ta-Nehisi Coates’ last Marvel run, the first issue of Black Panther. I chalk that up to Marvel being in a very different place right now than it was then, but this is still a strong comeback. Worth noting that unlike Waid’s run, this follows up directly on the events of the reviled Secret Empire and focuses on Cap trying to save his reputation and figure out if there’s still a place for him. Daring, but Coates may manage to spin gold out of, well, insert your own descriptor here.
Glenn:  Despite delays, DC’s Doomsday Clock remains remarkably steady selling over 135.1k at 4.  The book is basically performing very similarly to Dark Knights III which is great all things considered.  Even in a month full of relaunches, people still want the latest piece of Doomsday Clock’s fascinating puzzle.
Ray:  This book is invincible. It’s also performing rather similarly to Dark Nights: Metal, which shows how strong DC’s event brand is right now. I think these events with limited or no tie-ins are really appealing to readers, and I expect next month’s Heroes in Crisis to land in a similar area.
Glenn:  It also bodes well for the Black Label prestige line coming up which seem to be a series of hard blows to people’s wallets.
Superman relaunches under new writer Brian Bendis at 5 selling over 133.7k which is good but I’d almost wager DC maybe wanted more since Bendis on Iron Man sold over 250k not that long ago when it launched.  As long as the run comes out ahead of previous sales its a win but DC maybe wanted another sure thing in their artillery like Batman and while this is good sales, its not overly encouraging.  What is encouraging is that the other Superman book, Action comics sells over 79.3k which will make DC happy as from memory I believe the last time Action sold along this line was when Johns came back with Romita JR.  If both titles can average in the 70k range then it’ll be a big win.  Another one to double check next month.
Ray:  This is definitely good, but also probably lower than DC wanted. Action had an interesting trajectory during the last run – starting at just over half of Superman’s run, but then leveling out much faster and actually ending above its sister title. Will that repeat here? Too early to tell, but critical reaction was much kinder to Action than Superman so far.
Glenn:  I’d say that Superman and Action will sell very similarly to each other going forward.  This has been the first time since Kurt Busiek from memory we’ve had the same writer on both so I could see retailers treating it like just one book that’s telling two stories much like Wonder Woman did at the start of Rebirth.
At 6 is the relaunch of Catwoman by Joelle Jones which sells over 121k which is brilliant..  The characters profile is very high at the moment and DC has picked the right time to take advantage.  This is another one that likely won’t be effected too harsly by reorders I’d wager.  Previous Catwoman runs usually settle around 20k at best and I can easily see this book doing well above that given the creator involved and the characters momentum.
Ray: Joelle Jones is definitely a fast-rising creator as well, so she’ll be bringing her own fanbase here. It’s impossible to know how much of this is the wedding hype and where it’ll land in coming months, but if it can level out close to Harley or Nightwing rather than Batwoman, DC will have a hit. It’s worth noting that Catwoman was one of less than ten characters to make it all the way to #52 during the New 52 era, so she can certainly carry a series.
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Glenn:  At 9 is a little bit of a surprise as the relaunch of X-23 sells over 93.8k and I’m not sure why.  I know this character recently came off a turn as Wolverine but didn’t realize there was this much interest in her.  Things make a little more sense at 44 where the second issue sells over 36.3k.  Laura had a big year last year which maybe explains the first issue bonanza but even those second issue sales I would say are very strong.  If it stays around the 30k range, the book will live a long happy life.
Ray:  Those second issue sales are pretty close to what All-New Wolverine was doing, so I’m guessing retailers hoped those fans would stick around even if she doesn’t have the title anymore. It’ll fall further, but I think the character (and especially her little sister and pet wolverine) have built a fanbase during the previous run. She’s a headliner now, although I’m not sure this darker direction will click with the fans.
Glenn:  Final spot in the top ten is another surprise in the form of Cosmic Ghost Rider, a completely new character (kinda/sorta) that is less than a year old but has picked up a lot of popularity.  This new mini launches strong with sales over 92.3k making this the hottest new character debut from Marvel since Spider-Gwen.  Hopefully in this instance, Marvel takes more care and takes advantage of something that fans have clear interest in without falling into any of their usual bad habits when it comes to these things.
Ray:  Spider-Gwen is a pretty good parallel here, in that this is a character who became a sensation out of nowhere and Marvel wasn’t quite ready. Fortunately, Donny Cates was. He’s basically Marvel’s newest star writer, so they should just let him do whatever he wants as long as the craze lasts. I’m loving this book, although it feels like it could wear thin quickly if they’re not careful. Also, the next DC/Marvel crossover needs to be Batman and Cosmic Ghost Rider taking Baby Darkseid and Baby Thanos on a ridiculously violent play date. 
Glenn:  We should copyright that idea before Cates, King and/or Snyder beat us to it.  I want that book yesterday.
Ray:  Justice League seems to have already locked down its sales, with its third and fourth issues charting at #11/#13 and selling 80K and 77K respectively. Top characters, top writer, events spinning directly out of a big event, and a hot up-and-coming artist. This is the exact same model that Marvel is using for the new Avengers series, but DC’s brand is so much stronger that it’s working better. They’ve got a big hit on their hands, probably their #2 ongoing for the foreseeable future.
Glenn:  Settled to where Johns was when he was on the book towards the latter end of his run but its a different market than it was seven or so years ago so this is very encouraging.  Like Batman, I could see this getting random spikes for specific stories and/or issues but never dropping below a certain threshold.  Certainty not bad company to be in.
Ray:  Two strong debuts for new Marvel titles at #14/15. At #14 we have The Life of Captain Marvel, the origin-centric relaunch by Margaret Stohl as the movie gets closer, and just below it we’ve got the surprise launch Mr. and Mrs. X, which spins out of the X-wedding that wasn’t and then was. Both of these titles are well above where I would expect them to be, and that’s probably Marvel incentives and the like – remember Iron Fist’s top ten debut? – but the fact that a Captain Marvel and Rogue/Gambit title are selling this high likely means retailers are seeing more female readers in stores.
Glenn:  Mr. and Mrs. X was also sold without any details so retailers had to order this without knowing what it was.  Now the word is out it’ll be interesting to see how that effects its numbers.  I was surprised by the sales of Captain Marvel’s mini since her last few ‘ongoing’ attempts haven’t gone over too well but this particularly retelling of her origin seemed to get some people talking.  I don’t expect it to hold most of its sales but the collection will be nice to have on shelves for the movie early next year.
Ray:  A surprisingly big boost in sales for Teen Titans #20 at #16, selling 67K. That’s close to double what the series was doing before this, and the effect isn’t duplicated by its sister book Titans (down at #50 with 33K). Both titles spin out of No Justice, but neither one has a huge impact on the goings-on in the DCU. Given the quality of this and the special, I doubt this will be much more than statistical noise.
Glenn:  This says to me that there is some interest in a new direction on Teen Titans but then its just up to how good it is to see how many people stick around.  It could very well be a top franchise with the right creative team, its not as if DC is hurting for talent right now.
Ray: It didn’t get into the top 10 this time, but Walking Dead is still kicking in the top 20, at #17 with 67K. Unstoppable.
The launch of Marvel’s newest event, Infinity Wars, sees a muted debut at #18 with 67K for Infinity Wars: Prime, but given that this event has been going on for months in Infinity Countdown (which charts its final issue this month at #30 with 50K), who knows how retailers saw this bridge/prequel/continuation. It turned out to be a massively significant issue with a huge spoiler, but Marvel didn’t hype that. We’ll see how the proper event does in August.
Glenn:  I feel like we’ve been talking about this event forever and it still hasn’t properly started?!  We’ll see some reorders here next month for sure but I’m completely lost in regards to how this event is structured and I’m not even reading it.
Ray:  Avengers charts the first of two issues this month at #19 with 61K, but then it sinks to 55K at #24. This is the same space as books like Flash, Detective Comics, Venom, and Thor – the market’s strongest properties at the moment. If it can level out here in the 20s, it’ll be in good shape long-term.
Glenn:  Marvel probably wanted more from it given like you said, they put on the biggest creators they had on the book but its definitely in the upper tier of what is healthy in the market.
Speaking of Thor, the third issue of the newest title starring the Thunder God sells over 55.5k at 25, pretty much the level its been at the entirety of Aaron’s whole run.  Another astonishingly stable title.
Ray:  Star Wars gets a nice boost for its #50 issue this month, landing at #20 with sales of 60K, but it drops right back down to 49K at #32 that same month. Still rock solid, and its above Darth Vader and that title’s annual, which sell almost the exact same number at 34/35.
Glenn:  This is just probably just where Star Wars lives now which isn’t bad four years later after their massive launch.  Titles on the stand would kill to be at around 40k after over four years of output.
Ray:  Man of Steel wraps up its run at #21 with 61K, and given how much stronger the debuts for the proper Superman titles were, I think this was probably a bit of a misfire in scheduling and marketing rather than a problem with Bendis’ pull. The decision to have no variant covers was certainly educational about how the numbers look without that inflation.
Glenn:  Having a pause after the momentum 1000 created was an odd decision, this mini sold well and may have been seen as necessary to pull in a new audience but given how many potential new readers and/or lapsed readers came and checked out 1000 for its historical significance it doesn’t seem as if this mini was really needed.
Ray:  A relatively strong debut at #22 for Justice League Dark, selling 60K. A world apart from what the main Justice League book did, but aside from Wonder Woman this title doesn’t have any headliners. Spinning out of both No Justice and Tynion’s own Detective Comics run, this looks to be a modest hit for DC while its sister book Justice League Odyssey may have crashed before it got off the ground.
Glenn:  This is pretty healthy for a Justice League offshoot, pretty in line with how JLA launched but I think it’ll have a far better hold than that book given that its going to be more closely tied in to Justice League’s overall narrative.
Ray:  A huge increase in sales for Wonder Woman #51. #50 sells only 38K at #41, while the next issue (the debut of Steve Orlando) jumps up to #31 and sells 50K. Given that Orlando’s run is only one arc, there’s only one way to read this – the previous run was largely hated, and people are happy to have a Wonder Woman run starring Wonder Woman again. This bodes well for G. Willow Wilson’s November debut.
Glenn:  Such an odd year for Wonder Woman, maybe one of the weirdest periods a title’s ever seen.  We’re getting a bunch of high profile fill ins to tide us over until GWW comes on but I think that run will be a big win for DC.
Ray:  Also a surprising increase for Astonishing X-Men, which gains 20K in sales for its new creative team to land at #33 with sales of 48K. Matthew Rosenberg is a rising star, but he’s not bigger than Charles Soule and the characters he’s working with aren’t bigger names. That makes this strong start a puzzle – maybe all down to variants and promotion? I would have expected a slight boost.
Glenn:  Maybe its just general interest in the X-line right now?  Shame it seems to be all rejiggled again in a few months when things seem the steadiest than its been in years.
Ray:  We start to see where last month’s big Fresh Start debuts are landing. The news is very good for The Immortal Hulk, which charts two issues at #36/38, only about 1000 copies apart in the 44K range. This is clearly a case of the audience being hungry for a traditional Hulk book again, and Marvel responding. I wouldn’t have expected them to be sandwiching Dan Slott’s Iron Man book at #37, which had a top ten debut last month and then crashed. Marvel’s still having trouble getting people invested because of frequent relaunches. I’m also shocked all these books landed above Scottie Young’s Deadpool at #40, which sold 41K. This also crashed hard from a top ten debut last month.
Glenn:  Deadpool’s a big surprise.  Its good for Hulk and Iron Man but bad news for a character Marvel has been really been able to depend on over the last few years.  Maybe people were upset how the Duggan run ended or maybe its cause of all the other Deadpool material launching at the same time that the actual real title got lost in the shuffle?  A puzzling one.
Ray:  The power of Donny Cates can’t save everything. Apparently people don’t even care about the Inhumans enough to want to watch them die. Cates’ “Death of the Inhumans” miniseries ends up at #39 with sales of 42K. Odds of a resurrection…dimming.
Glenn:  Its probably faring better than it would be without Cates to be fair but yes, can we please call time on this experiment?  We all want it to be mercifully over.
Ray:  Saga is always steady, this month landing at #43 with sales of 36K – the #2 Image book consistently. It’s worth noting this month, though, because this is the last time we’ll be seeing it on the charts for at least eighteen months. The title’s going on a lengthy hiatus as it hits its midpoint.
Glenn:  Can’t wait for Image offshoot title, Sega about a…I don’t know, I don’t read Saga…it just features Sonic the Hedgehog and some weird ass stuff, okay?!
Ray:  A strong debut for X-Men Grand Design: Second Genesis, as Ed Piskor’s retelling of the entire X-canon begins its second miniseries with sales of 35K at #46. As we talked about when this first debuted, this will do 90% of its business in collections. Given that, this is a solid singles number and shows that the series is gaining buzz.
Following a top ten debut last month, The Magic Order crashes all the way down to #53 with sales of 31K. That’s barely above what Kirkman’s Oblivion Song is doing with three more issues under its belt. This makes pretty clear that this title was massively inflated last month, and the numbers here aren’t really any better than most of the Millarworld line.
Glenn:  The interesting link with Netflix seems to have had no impact then.  It may be a different story with the collections, its not as if Netflix’s audience like getting their material in installments, unless you’re me that is.
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Ray:  One book that immediately leveled out very nicely is Hawkman, which lands at #56 with sales of 30K. That’s just down 25% from its first issue sales, and is probably a good sales trajectory if it continues to level out. The title debuted without much hype, but it is a direct spin-off from Dark Nights: Metal, so there’s likely some real interest here.
Glenn:  The creative team likely helps too, probably way more than DC could expect from a Hawkman book any other way.
Ray:  One thing that’s interesting is just how closely clustered together most of the X-line is right now. Aside from the top-selling X-Men: Red, most of the other books – X-Men Gold, X-Men Blue, Old Man Logan, and the four Hunt for Wolverine minis – are all selling between 34K and 29K in the 47-65 section of the charts. The line’s getting a big refresh come the fall, and it’s clear why – these titles aren’t selling badly, but there’s very little buzz around them.
In a strong candidate for the oddest book to make the top 100 in a while, Injustice vs. He-Man and the Masters of the Universe by Tim Seeley debuts at #68 with 27K in sales. Clearly this is more due to Injustice than He-Man given the strengths of the brands, but this is still well above where the usual Injustice 2 comic lands. Power of Seeley?
Glenn:  Power of nostalgia?  Not sure how this got ordered so heavily but I can’t wait to see Injustice vs Street Sharks hit shelves next year.
Ray:  Another victory for weird is the strong top 100 debuts of two new Image titles, debuting less than 700 copies apart in the 26K range. At #71 is the launch of Rob Guillory’s family farm/organ harvesting sci-fi drama Farmhand, which likely did so well based on the Chew fanbase. Then at #75 is Mirka Andolfo’s Zootopia-meets-The Handmaid’s Tale drama Unnatural. Both writer-artist books, both very odd, both surprising hits. Farmhand in particular is a must-read.

Glenn:  Really pleased for Farmhand and its good to see the market being accepting of more off beat material.  Superheroes are still kinds of the industry overall but there is clearly a market for people looking for something a bit more quirky to balance that all out also.

Nearly duplicating the sales of their team up with Spider-Man last month, Wakanda Forever: X-Men which sees the warriors of Wakanda team with the titular team at 73 selling over 26.1k.  These one shots seem to be doing pretty well.
Ray:  The Wakanda Forever one-shots are all #1s, which is an interesting tactic – it’s a miniseries, but it gets the #1 boost every single issue. That’s one way to prevent attrition.
Glenn:  At 76 is a True Believer One Shot which has the theme of Fantastic Four this month (remember them?  They’re back, in Slott form),  The highest selling of these is the Coming Of Galactus that reprints the iconic Lee/Kirby story that new FF writer Dan Slott once likened to the hard drugs of trying comics for the first time.  It sells over 25.3k despite being reprinted more times than any of us can imagine.  Free money for Marvel.
Ray:  None of these True Believers one-shots have done anywhere close to the Spider-Man vs. Venom one, but there seems to be consistent interest in them. I’m intrigued by the What If ones that are coming down the pipe soon – that’s a title not too many people have read.
Glenn:  I’m also curious if its a low risk measure for Marvel to bring the title back.  I’d love some modern What If?
Only a slight increase for the 50th issue of Green Lanterns at 77 which sells just over 25.3k and although the days of Green Lantern being one of DC’s top books might be done, the title now starts spinning its wheels waiting for Grant Morrison and Liam Sharpe to make the sales on this party like its 2007 or so.
Ray:  Yeah, it’s worth noting that Robert Venditti’s run on Green Lantern has been going on for over five years now. The title hasn’t had a high-profile refresh since then and has just been plugging along as a mid-level DC property. Given that, it’s still pretty stable. We’ll see some big numbers for Morrison’s run.
Glenn:  Archie Meets Batman 66 is the latest collaboration between Archie and DC selling over 24.4k at 82 making this the highest debut from Archie is quite some time.  Since this is the Batman of the campy Adam West show and retro Archie I think this is quite a strong start.  A lot of people want more wacky old school nonsense in their comics and I doubt they’d find many more comics that fit the bill more than this one.
Ray:  That is a strong debut for a crossover between two retro versions of properties that have been modernized a lot since then. But Batman sells in any incarnation. Can’t wait for Betty to meet Barbara Gordon. “So, they rushed your recovery with weird fake science too?”
Image result for archie meets batman 66 #1 cover
Glenn:  In a bizarre one, Dynamites new Elvira: Mistress Of The Dark Comic debuts at 89 with sales over 23.3 and…I’m not sure how or why?  I mean the next issue will probably be below 10k but this is one hell of a strong launch about a comic featuring a buxom vampire tv show host from yesteryear.  Can’t wait for her to team up with Nancy Drew soon.
Ray:  Yeah, I got nothing here. This had a lot of variant covers, including some by elite horror artists. Dynamite gave this an unexpectedly big rollout, so I wouldn’t be surprised by a huge crash next month. The way Dynamite rolls things out is almost Marvelesque at times.
Glenn:  Another True Believers One Shot at 92 in Fantastic Four vs Doctor Doom which sells over 21.7k.  This is another often repackaged comic that reprints the first encounter between the Fantastic Four and their greatest enemy.  I’m sure we’ll have old tin face yelling ‘Richards!‘ to the heavens again in no time.
In as much as Saga’s unscheduled break was a surprise, the ending of Scottie Young’s ‘I Hate Fairyland‘ was probably a big shocker too.  The final issue charts at 93 and picks up a big sales spike for its final issue selling over 21.6k on its way out the door.  Young’s writing schedule is filling up so I guess something had to give.
Ray:  Yeah, he’s launching two new Image books in the coming months, although he’s just drawing rather than writing. Many people felt the ending was a bit rushed, but we won’t be missing Skottie Young for long. 
Glenn:  Gail Simone’s Plastic Man’s second issue holds on fairly well at 99 selling over 20.6k.  This is just a mini that was put out because of Gail’s desire to write it so these are very good sales with that in mind.
For those keeping score at home, Spawn starts to return to more sane sales levels this month with it charting 100 with sales over 20.1k but its still a good bit ahead of what it was.  There’s life in the old demon yet.
The new Sentry book lands at 103 with sales over 19.9k so not too harsh a drop on this one either.  This will probably be one of the most stable books coming out from Marvel going forward and could see some climbs as it carries on along the likes of Mr. Miracle.
Ray:  This is basically exactly what Vision did when it came out, by a little guy named Tom King. I’m expecting a solid 12-issue run for Sentry, but few writers but Lemire could keep this book above the red line for long.
Glenn:  True Believers: Fantastic Four Hulk Vs Thing sells over 19.5k at 105 barely being outsold by the now cancelled Immortal Men which probably explains why it wasn’t so immortal.
Pretty soft fall for the Infinity Countdown (when will it eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeend?!) mini starring the Champions at 107 selling over 19.2k.  This event may be insanity to keep track off and not a sure fire hit but it seems to have a lot of consistency which is good.
Marvel Rising Ms. Marvel Squirrel Girl sells over 17.9k at 112 which is very good for this series being disguised as various one shots given these books aren’t really for the direct market.  More female fans to credit for this one?
Ray:  I think a big part of this is simply combining the Ms. Marvel and Squirrel Girl fandoms into one book. Orders sort of reflect that. The fanbase for these two in the direct market is small, but solid. 
Glenn:  No boost really for the final issue of Spider-Gwen from her creators at 114 selling over 17.2k,  She’s getting a big spotlight in her rebranding/relaunch in a few months so hopefully that brings some sames back to the book that Marvel really dropped the ball on.
Ray:  Marvel didn’t really hype this finale that much, which is a shame. This was one of their biggest new property launches in a while, and it was just allowed to fade away after its initial high. Relaunch coming.
Glenn:  At 115 is another True Believers reprinting the wedding of Reed and Sue which sells over 16.9k and I’m sure all these people who bought this were relieved they got to see the wedding they paid for.
At 116 is the start of the latest (and last?) League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen mini, Tempest from IDW which sells over 16.9k.  Like the 300 prequel I’m sure many of the League fans out there read it in some sort of collection and are waiting on that rather than the monthly installments.  Still this is very good sales from the legendary series of course.
Ray:  Much like the X-Men: Grand Design singles, this is a title that was made for trades and these are all bonus sales at this point.
Glenn:  Another Dark Crystal title from BOOM at 122 sells over 16.4k which is pretty much where the rest have been selling.  This an old property that has a very loyal audience and BOOM will probably get an influx of interest when the new Netflix show debuts.
Ray:  Boom’s done a lot of Dark Crystal titles before, but I believe this is the first one that continues the movie’s story. That likely gave it a boost over the rest of the Henson line – this is performing rather similarly to Boom’s new Labyrinth title.
Glenn:  At 123 is the second issue of the Unexpected, the last of the New Worlds Of DC series to launch and it sells over 16.4k so don’t get attached to this one folks if you remember where Immortal Men was and keep in mind its already canned.
Ray:  Rumor is this is done at six just like Immortal Men, with none of the line going beyond 12 except The Terrifics if Lemire wants it to.
Glenn:  In some sort of tie in to the movie (I’m guessing?) Teen Titans Go To The Movies a one dollar offering sells over 16.2k at 125.  Its pretty much a promotional comic that is charted anyway so its sales are almost insignificant.  Heard the movie was surprisingly good though.
Pretty okay numbers from the second issue of Multiple Man’s new mini at 128 selling over 16k considering it is indeed a mini and the character is over 10 years removed from his most popular period.  Marvel seems to be investing a lot in writer Matthew Rosenburg so this could be one that sells well in collections down the line.
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Top quality one shot, DC Beach Blanket Bad Guys sells over 15k at 135 and with this price tag that’s very good and in line with similar projects DC has been putting out.  There’s more of these coming and Marvel is getting in on the game too come October so they seem to be considered successful.
Ray:  As the anthologies go for DC, this is middle of the road – I believe it’s higher than the New Talent Showcase or the last Halloween special, but a bit below the Holiday special. As long as DC keeps arranging a murderer’s row of creative talent on these, they’ll keep selling well for $10 comics. This was excellent, too.
Glenn:  Two more True Believers One Shots at 138 with Fantastic Four What If? and 140 Galactus Hungers selling 14.6k and 14.1k respectfully.  Whether by choice or by credence, MArvel’s decision to not have any Fantastic Four comics for a few years seems to have brought about some genuine demand in their comics both old and new.  Of course we’ll see the biggest benefit in regards to that next month.

Ray:  We know from the sales spoilers for next month that there’s a big hunger for Fantastic Four comics out there, so more free money for Marvel. Another issue, from John Byrne’s run, is down at #152 selling 12.8K, followed by a Walter Simonson issue selling 12K at #157 and an issue of “New Fantastic Four” featuring the alternative team two spots below selling 11.8K.

Another one of those oddball “How did it sell that high?” entries at #146, as Lady Mechanika: Dame Sans Merci sells 13.5K. I still don’t know what this franchise is, but it seems to have a solid fanbase. Lady Mechanika/Elvira crossover coming soon?
IDW launches a new Transformers event, Transformers: Unicron at #153 selling 12.5K. This is the finale to the company’s extended Transformers continuity, with the line being relaunched somehow in the near future. Fans from the history of the property are likely turning out to see how it ends, because this is a decent boost. The second issue is down at #179 selling 9.3K.
Two more True Believers Fantastic Four comics at #162 and #166, selling in the 11K range. These are the Coming of Herbie and the Birth of Valeria. One auspicious event in FF history, and one Herbie. If even Herbie can get over 10K copies, that’s good news for where the franchise is.
Glenn:  Don’t diss Herbie!  He saved kids from setting themselves on fire back in the day!
Ray:  No real boost for the finale of Descender, which sells less than 100 copies less than last month’s issue, closing out its run at #163 with sales of 11.3K. This book is likely doing most of its numbers in trades now, so a finale doesn’t really boost sales for an Image title. Off this title goes to trade-land, where – oh, wait, we’re getting a whole big sequel with a new title, Ascender in 2019! At By The Numbers, we do the happy dance. *falls over*
Glenn:  I can’t wait for Ascender which will see a slight boost upon launch and then probably pick up around this level.  Like other Lemire properties, this book has a solid fanbase that picks it up monthly but there will be a larger fanbase to enjoy this masterpiece in collections until we are ruled by sentient robots for reals.
Ray:  Speaking of Lemire! The latest Black Hammer spinoff, the Legion of Super-Heroes inspired The Quantum Age, bows at #165 with sales of 11.1K. This seems to be where Black Hammer spin-offs land, and this is one of the top-selling Dark Horse books of the month only behind a Gaiman book, a Miller book, and an Alien title.
Glenn:  Black Hammer always deserves more sales but its clear Dark Horse loves the line, long may it continue!
Ray:  The latest Ales Kot title, The New World, lands at #167 with sales of 11K. Kot is one of those creators who have a small, locked-down audience and retailers order cautiously because they know who’s likely to buy them.
As Disney wants everyone to publish their comics besides Marvel, Dark Horse gets into the game this month with Incredibles: Crisis in Mid-Life, which lands at #172 with sales of 10.2K. This isn’t the place where Disney comics are going to do most of their audience, so these numbers are fine. Next month brings a Frozen miniseries, which should do even higher numbers. Disney takes away from Dark Horse, Disney giveth.
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Glenn:  I’m surprised we didn’t see more from Incredibles given the new movie and such but licensed properties (outside of Star Wars and that’s seen better days) never do that great nowadays anyway.  This will see most of its sales in Disney stores, book shops and theme parks long after we’re all dead and Disney is now providing your funeral too!
Ray:  An odd entry at #174 with sales just under 10K – it’s Die! Die! Die! No, this isn’t the comic about how I feel about TMNT: Urban Legends, it’s the new Robert Kirkham/Chris Burnham title that was dropped with only two days’ notice on retailers for free. Many retailers didn’t get it in time for Wednesday morning, and it became a bit of a mess. But as none of these were ordered (orders were matched to the top ten debut of Oblivion Song), those 90K didn’t show up on the charts. These are likely reorders that stores actually paid for.
Glenn:  I thought on paper the idea behind this roll out was great.  Here’s a new high demand title for free, wahay!  It was all a bit messy though and stores weren’t too pleased about the last minute drop.  The intention was good but I don’t think this market is ready for surprises like this.
Ray:  #175 brings us the new supernatural drug thriller Bone Parish from Cullen Bunn, selling 9.8K. The latest horror mystery for Bunn does decent numbers given Boom’s usual sales trajectory, but I’m expecting his Image launch in August, Cold Spots, to increase over this quite a bit.
One final True Believers one-shot at #182 selling 8.8K, Fantastic Four Two-in-One. I don’t believe this is the recent Zdarsky comic but the 1974 title teaming Thing and Man-Thing.
Oh, this one’s depressing. At #183 we’ve got the debut of one of my favorite books of the month, Outpost Zero. This sci-fi coming of age story by Sean McKeever and new artist Alexandre Tefengki sells 8.8K. McKeever’s been gone from comics for a while, and before then his best books didn’t sell like they should in singles. The more things change, the more they stay the same. Buy this book! Come on, people!
Glenn:  McKeever’s been gone from comics for like 13 years which is a looooong time.  Retailers probably ordered this more like he was an unknown so it could be worse.  It’ll probably pick up a decent hold and some solid word of mouth.
Ray:  At #188 is the Rat Queens: Neon Static one-shot. Surprisingly, it only sells 270 copies less than the main title this month, with both coming in at the 8K range. This title’s been low but steady for a while, despite many relaunches.
The latest Aftershock #1, Relay, lands at #198. Despite an FCBD preview and Donny Cates’ name on the cover (he co-developed the concept with writer Zac Thompson), Aftershock couldn’t get more than 7.8K for this complex sci-fi serial about religion and colonialism. Shame, this is probably the most inventive comic Aftershock’s done yet.
#200 brings us the third miniseries in Valiant’s Brittania series, selling 7.6K. I’m still not sure how this factors into the Valiant universe at all, but it seems to have a limited but loyal audience.

Glenn:  At 202, Image’s Steller has its second issue which sells over 7.5k.  Pretty normal non big name Image stuff, this is around the level where Shutter lived in monthly form and this is the same writer so like that book, this book will do well in collections most likely.

Slight boost of the 50th issue of Zombie Tramp at 205 with sales over 7.2k which means this title has managed a longer run than any Marvel title in recent history.  I think we should all think long and hard about that before sitting down.
Ray:  Good ol’ Zombie Tramp, official mascot of By The Numbers. Jokes aide, Action Lab seems to have created a bizarre little shared universe here that is picking up steam.
Glenn:  At 206 is a new Dark Horse launch, She Could Fly which sells over 7.2k which is pretty normal for a non big name creator Dark Horse launch these days.
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Ray:  She Could Fly is actually a Berger Book, from Dark Horse. That line has struggled with sales after a less-than-spectacular initial output, and retailers seem to be ordering cautiously. This one feels like it could pick up some steam due to the quality.
Glenn:  At 207 another Image book, Shanghai Red holds on to a good amount of sales from its first issue selling over 7.2k on its second issue.  Not too shabby at all!
Selling over 7.1k at 208 is a zero issue for Rise Of TMNT and these ‘zero’ issues are always hard to gage.  Technically they are the start but they’re also kind of not?  Pretty decent and standard numbers from a Turtles comic these days.
Ray:  To say this new Ninja Turtles cartoon has had a mixed reception would be putting it lightly. This isn’t a terrible number, but I don’t see this one having the spinoff legs that the previous cartoon did.
Glenn:  At 211 is some reorders for the Teen Titans special bringing in over another 7.1k in sales.  I know Ray wasn’t too fond of this but hey, something seems to have worked…maybe its teenage female Lobo?
Another all ages throwaway at 214 in MSH Ms. Marvel Teleporting Dog selling over 6.7k in sales which is decent enough given that this is not for the direct market.  Poor Lockjaw though…now I’m sad…
Another relatively low profile Image book gets a second issue in Last Siege at 218 which sells over 6,6k.  This didn’t debut last month so I’m guessing some shipping issues?  That won’t help the books chances sales wise.
Pretty steady hold for the second issue of Sword Daughter at 220 which sells over 6.5k but it being priced at 4.99 will help a lot.  I’m guessing there’s a reason for this being a dollar more than the majority of the books on the charts?
Ray:  Sword Daughter, the latest Brian Wood Viking adventure, is 30 pages for every issue. Not sure why, but it explains the price point.
Glenn:  Bryan Hill has a new Image book at 224 selling over 6.4k and this one is a surprise.  He’s just taken over Detective for a brief run and seems to be on the rise at DC so where’s the interest?  This is another book like we saw with Analog where the sales should be a lot higher on paper.
Ray:  Aphrodite V is the latest reinvention of an old Top Cow property, and a spinoff of the current Cyber Force series. Bryan Hill’s writing has gained some buzz, especially on Detective Comics, but even he can’t revive largely defunct properties.
Glenn:  Quirky animal adventure comic Ruinworld launches from BOOM at 237 selling over 5.9k.  This is pretty standard for creator owned at BOOM but this series looks like a lot of fun, will probably do well with younger readers in collection form.
Ray:  Yeah, with no big-name creators and funny animals, this is definitely not a book Boom was gearing for the direct market. This is only a miniseries and will do 90% of its sales in bookstores.
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Glenn:  In one of the last Bongo comics ever, Futurama annual sells over 5.9k at 238 which is pretty standard.
More reorders for the insanely popular new Venom run at 239 selling over another 5.9k and this is now one of Marvel’s top books, what a world.
More reorders at 241 and 243 for Immortal Hulk and X-Men Gold respectively selling 5.7k a piece.  One is encouraging for the new Hulk run, while the other is encouraging for the new Mr. and Mrs. X series.
Ray:  The new Hulk book in particular seems to be getting some real buzz. Keeping a character gone for a while can have an effect, like JMS‘ Thor.
Glenn:  At 245 is a one shot from IDW, the Bumblebee movie prequel comic tie in which sells over 5.6k which again is pretty standard for this sort of thing.  This will be for hardcore fans only.
Ray:  In this one, Bumblebee is a spy in the Cold War. I’m completely serious.
Glenn:  In Soviet Union, Bumblebee is good spy?
I’m surprised Joe Hill’s new Cape series The Fallen didn’t do better than 251 with sales over 5.4k but maybe people prefer his work in collection form?  Clearly the two previous Cape offerings have sold well enough to warrant this third being green lit so I doubt IDW is overly concerned.

Ray:  Yeah, with the irregular schedule of these chapters and Hill’s bookstore appeal, this is definitely not geared towards the single issue market. 

A fairly disastrous launch for the new Image title New Lieutenants of Metal, written by Joe Casey. At #252 with 5.4K, this might be the lowest-selling main-line Image #1 I can remember. It’s very much a niche property, especially as the artist is coming over from smaller companies like Oni.

Glenn:  Casey seems to have lost any of the notoriety he may have had too.  They better hope for some sales elsewhere or this book won’t last.
Ray:  Nancy Drew #2 is down at #262 with 4.8K in sales. That’s keeping a little over 60% of its first issue sales, not a hard drop. This one will keep getting buzz in a way Dynamite books rarely do.
Glenn:  Nancy Drew should outsell Batman 50!
Ray:  Titan continues to make the most out of its Doctor Who license with a series of one-shots focusing on the previous current-wave Doctors. #265 brings us one focusing on David Tennant’s 10th Doctor, who is popular enough to command 4.8K in sales.
IDW’s Black Crown line, which brings us offbeat creator-owned books, has another muted debut by Assassinistas writer Tini Howard. Euthanauts, a twisted tale of fascination with death, lands at #266 with sales of 4.8K. I’m guessing IDW is hoping for Vertigo-like trade sales here.
Glenn:  Seems likely, its interesting to see a lot of companies try these new imprints catered to different audiences lately.
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Ray:  Nothing notable for 4.7K in sales for an X-files spinoff, but I just want to spotlight the spectacularly named X-Files Case Files: Hoot Goes There? at #271.
Jody Houser’s Starcraft miniseries, Scavengers, lands at #268 with sales of 4.3K. This is obviously a niche property, and I wouldn’t be surprised by numbers of 10x this for her Stranger Things series in a few months.
Glenn:  Surely a Stranger Things mini written by one of the best new voices in comics right now can do that?  That would make Dark Horse very happy.
Ray:  It’s time to strike up the Rachel Bloom songs, Glenn! #282 brings us Revenge of Wonderland from Zenoscope, selling 4.3K. I got nothing.
Glenn:  I got nothing either except eye rolls and personal stories about a previous Wonderland writer stealing money from me and I’m all out of eye rolls.
Ray:  A very low debut from the Celtic mythology-based new Aftershock title, Clankillers, at #288. I think Aftershock continues to have major distribution and market awareness issues – it lands below the second issue of Farel Dalrymple’s niche Image title Proxima Centauri.
Glenn:  Aftershock still manages to pull in some big names so they’re working on their brand at the moment.  They could be in a worse position for sure.
Ray:  More reorders for Venom #2 and Amazing Spider-Man #800 at 290/291, selling around 4K. ASM #800 keeps on chasing that Action #1000 record.
#294 finds Lion Forge cracking the Top 300 with the launch of the new Voltron: Legendary Defenders miniseries. This is just in time to tie in with a popular but controversial seventh season. The show has a fanbase bigger than any comic book store’s market, so these 4K in sales are just the start of likely strong sales in bookstores.
Glenn:  Good for Lion Forge cracking the top 300 though!  I bet they were thrilled to land a licensed property that is now finding a new audience
Ray:  Hey, Glenn! It’s your favorite book, The Weeknd Presents Starboy, getting just under 4K in reorders at #297!
Glenn:  This title makes my eye twitch.
Ray:  The popular sci-fi podcast Thrilling Adventure Hour gets a new comic at #299, selling 3.9K. I don’t think comics based on podcasts are very common, so there’s not many comparisons here. But I think this one might appeal more to digital comics fans, given the audience of podcast fans.
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Glenn:  Time for Rabbitt Stew the comic!  Starring three geeks who battle their arch nemesis, scheduling and audio trouble!
Ray:  Another rock-bottom IDW creator-owned debut at #300 for Brian Buccellato’s Lowlifes, which sells 3.9K. Not much to say – IDW continues to struggle to get awareness for their originals.
Glenn:  IDW is putting out a heavy amount of content, much more than Image so they’re asking a lot of their audience.  This is an effect of that.
Ray:  The series Orphan Black is over, but IDW still has the new comic miniseries Crazy Science spinning out of it. It sells 3.8K at #301.
Glenn:  For hardcore fans of the series only and it was only ever just a cult hit to begin with.  One of many IDW properties that fall in the same category.
Ray:  Two more Zenoscope comics at #310/311, selling 3.6K. Grimm Fairy Tales is a pretty standard one, but then there’s the Grimm Fairy Tales 2018 Cosplay Special. Is this even a comic? Is this just photos of people dressed up as sexy comic book characters? I’m so confused, Glenn.
Glenn:  I told you going below 300 was a bad idea Ray, it just features weirdness and borderline porn but no one listens to Glenn.
Ray:  Pretty standard numbers for a Star Trek alternate universe spin-off one-shot for Star Trek: New Visions – An Unexpected Yesterday, which charts at #316 with sales of 3.5K.
Aspen has a bit of a presence in this section of the charts this month, with several new launches. The top one is the latest volume of one of their flagship properties, Soulfire. That lunches at #318 with sales of 3.4K. Aspen seems to be trying to build some momentum lately with a big relaunch, but we’ll see if it works long term.
Glenn:   won’t hold my breath for much.  Aspen is floating on pure nostalgia which will only get them so far.
Ray:  Now I’m gonna rage, because three of the best books on the market – The Highest House #5, Flavor #3, and By Night #2 – are all down here from 322-324, selling 3.4-3.3K. They were outsold by three Zenoscope books, Glenn. Highest House will likely return for volume two in OGN form, and By Night will get to finish out its run, but Flavor is probably headed for the same fate as Elsewhere and that makes me sad.
Glenn:  There’s so many comics that some high quality ones are bound to get lost in the shuffle.  Thank goodness that this era of comics is probably the best ever for the collection market so a whole batch of new fans can discover these stories later down the line.
Ray:  A lot of reorders starting to creep in around this point, with the first two issues of Justice League getting about 3.2K in reorders at 329/330. Flash #47, the start of Flash War, gets 3K in reorders at #333, and the latest Deadpool relaunch does the same at #335. Nothing like last month’s bizarre wave of inexplicable reorders, though.
Glenn:  I guess Marvel ran out of excess stock for the moment.
Ray:  #340 brings us the launch of a new Casper and Hot Stuff series for American Mythology. They launched a new Casper series last year. The second issue comes out this week. So needless to say, this isn’t the most reliable company, and that shows in the 2.9K sales.
The Image comic Elsewhere ended its run with #8, and we can unfortunately see why with sales of 2.8K at #345. This book is a minor gem and people should pick up the trade.
Glenn:  I eagerly await reading the first trade.  I loved the concept but it didn’t seem to catch many people’s attention.  Its a shame that writer Jay Faeber never seems to manage to get a solid hit as everything I’ve read of his has been good to great.
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Ray:  #350 brings us a rare original Oni comic, the post-apocalyptic satire The Long Con, which does just under 2.8K. Sending up both post-apocalyptic drama and comic convention tropes, this book has gotten some good buzz and will likely get some more awareness with the inevitable $1 reprint. Oni’s very slowly restarting their single issue line even as they focus more on OGNs, and this is a good start.

Glenn:  Not bad for the very Amusing Long Con but Oni isn’t primarily focusing on the singles market at the moment.  I could see this picking up in sales though with their $1 reprint likely getting into a lot of hands, its a great idea.

At 354 is a record high debut for It Came Out On A Wednesday from Alterna comics which sells over 2.7k.  Alterna has been working hard building a brand based around high quality but cheap comics and this is a great number for them.  I’ve tried to get a few Wednesday stories myself published and have yet to had the good fortune, maybe next year!
Ray:  This feels like the month Alterna broke out. Their low price points – ICOAW was $1.99 for over 40 pages of story – are starting to get more people interested, and sales are going up fast. I feel like they’ve lapped some of the flashier companies like Lion Forge, Vault, and Scout.
Glenn:  Issue 2 of Modern Fantasy from Dark Horse is selling just over 2.4k at 362 so don’t get attached to this one folks, at least in monthly format.  The art style and premise does indicate it’ll do well in a larger audience so it could be going straight to ogn’s after this if the creators can/want to continue
At 364 is the second (and final issue) of the bizarre story of Archies Superteens vs Crusaders which sells over 2.4k.  The back story to this book is probably more interesting than the story the poor creative team had to tell in the time they had.
Ray:  This was quite the bizarre comic, feeling like it just got cut short a little over 1/3rd of the way through with the actual event teased never happening. There was definitely some behind the scenes weirdness going on here. Maybe they found out Archie was secretly working for Hydra? Maybe he had to go to Sweden? (I’ll never stop.)
Glenn:  Mike Hammer the detective thriller noir type series from Titan has its second issue at 365 selling over 2.4k.  Not much demand for hard boiled detective stories perhaps.  Then again, Titan lives and breathes on its licensed properties, not original content like this seems to be.
At 367 is another high debut from Alterna, a reprint of a graphic novel they published some years ago in Metaphase which sells over 2.4k  The graphic novel is about a little boy with down syndrome who gets powers and got some major media attention leading to some great sales. The graphic novel is being split in two for the singles market so these are just bonus sales to a very important comic.
Ray:  This is one of Alterna’s biggest hits overall, and it’s great that it’s getting more attention in a new form. This book definitely deserves to be seen for the awareness and empowerment it’s trying to achieve.
Glenn:  Deadlife, another original property from Titan doesn’t make much of an impact either selling over 2.4k at 368.  The premise of this sounds very interesting but there’s a lot of similar content that are from higher profile names and higher profile companies so this one has to live with the scraps.
Donald & Mickey Quarterly Treasure Menace In Venice (try saying that ten times fast) sells over 2.3k at 377 which is pretty typical for a Disney comic like this.  It’ll sell better elsewhere.
Submerged, a new Vault Comics offering debuts at 387 selling over 2.1k.  This is another book that sounds like its really interesting that has failed to catch interest.  I’m guessing this time its down to Vault’s position in the market.
Ray:  I would have expected Vita Ayala to get more sales for Submerged. This is a quality book and has a rising name attached. It probably comes down to Vault’s place in the market – aside from Donny Cates’ book, they haven’t been catching on.
Glenn:  Oh Sh#t Its Kim and Kim sells over 1.9 at 396.  I would have expected more since writer Magdeline Visaggio’s star is on the rise but I think this is an existing property of hers so the audience is likely set.
Ray:  It’s also Black Mask. This is the closest they have to a real franchise, but the company as a whole is struggling to find traction. Clearly they need more post-apocalyptic couriers.
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Glenn:  At 398 is the Cape Greatest Hits which I’m assuming is some reprint of previous Cape mini’s to tie in with the newest one.  It sells over 1.9k but to be honest, its almost immaterial since the two mini’s have been in the trade market for a few years so this is just to have in case the newest mini picks up a few new single issue readers and they want to be caught up.
Another Scout debut in the Mall at 399 selling over 1,9k and I guess this is where their comics live by and large.
Ray:  The Mall is probably the best book Scout has ever put out, and given the FCBD preview issue I might have expected more. Sadly, unless you’re Stabbity Bunny, their books don’t have much sales traction.
Glenn:  Another offering from Aspen at 400 in Dissention War Eternal selling over 1.9k.  See comments regarding their audience above.
Nancy In Hell at 405 which sells over 1.7k appears to be a reprint of a comic I’ve never heard of Image put out several years ago from another company.  I guess people weren’t mourning missing this one the first time around.
Even though it sounds like we’re making up titles now, Real Science Adventures Nicodemus Job is a real comic that came out.  It sold over 1.7k at 407.  This is a comic with an apparent link to Atomic Robo and I’m guessing that’s not a huge property to have books with complex titles linked to it?
Ray:  Atomic Robo is a cult property, kind of like a more niche Hellboy. It definitely sells more in trades.
Glenn:  Some reorders for Magic Order’s first issue at 409 with another 1.7+ additional sales.  Those bumped up orders from last month don’t seem to have created much demand for more.
Jungle Fantasy Secrets (save me Jeebus) sells 1.7k at 410 even though its priced at 7.99 (!!!!) this is for the ‘nude’ cover while the ‘regular’ cover charts at 428 selling over 1.4k at the bargain price of 5.99.  I guess the extra $2 is for them nudee pictures of dem gurls.
Ray:  Given that these Jungle Fantasy comics have like 20 covers, I’m always puzzled by how the sales break down here.
Glenn:  It has no nudity (that I’m aware of) but I’m sure there’s plenty of near nudity in 411’s Danger Girl Gallery Edition which is priced at 9.99 (!!!!!) and sells over 1.7k.  This seems more like a collection so I’m not sure why its here?  I mean I’m not sure why its here in general but…
Ray:  There’s always some weird classifications about collections vs. single issues. It must be a similar thing like we saw with Batman: The Dark Prince Charming, which was an OHC and was classified as a single issue.
Glenn:  Another debut from Alterna in Eden at 413 which sells over 1.7k.  I bet the creators are thrilled in how these books are doing and that’s not counting all the markets that Alterna seem to be making outside the market.
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At 414 I was worried that Aspen Splash was a comic swimsuit issue and…it is.  It sells over 1.6k.  Here’s me trying to break into comics using fully defined female protagonists who don’t wear skimpy clothing.  Its all so clear now.
Another Aspen offering at 424 selling 1.5k in the form of comic Nu Way.  I fear I might go insane if I google to see what it is and I love you all too much to do that.
At 432 is Wyonna Earp Greatest Hits, a comic tie in to the cult hit TV show which sells over 1.3k.  Not much interest in this one outside of her core medium it seems.
A comic mini simply titled ‘Little Girl‘ from Devil’s Due debuts at 435 selling over 1.2k.  The premise sounds verly by the numbers and the title is a bit generic so that’s probably why its here.
Ray:  Devil’s Due got some brief buzz for having a new Bill Willingham comic, his first since Fables. This is not that book.
Glenn:  A One Shot featuring a hero named Gekido who has apparently been featured on such channels like E, ABC, FOX and such debuts at 437 selling over 1.2k.  I’ve never seen a comic use channels its been mentioned on as a cover selling point.  It doesn’t seem to impress many people.
At 440 is Cyko KO from Alterna which debuts which over 1.2k sales.  This seems to be their most kid friendly comic so orders will reflect that.
Ray:  This is Deadpool meets Robocop meets a 1950s beach movie and it should be selling 50X this.
Glenn:  Comic House Of Waxwork from Waxwork comics (no seriously) sells over 1.2k at 446.  I’m assuming this is somehow tied to the classic horror franchise and its an anthology book to boot.  Horror is a busy place in the market and anthologies can be a hard push so put them together and you get this.
Hellicious, an off brand ‘I Hate Fairyland’ is a new mini that sells over 1.2k at 450.  Copyright your work folks.
Image First’s The Walking Dead sells 1.1k at 457 despite the issue being reprinted a gazillion times in every language under the sun.
At 459 is Tank Girl All Stars selling over 1.1k and I could have sworn this was out last month too…
Ray:  Worth noting that the publisher of Hellicious, Starburns Industries, seems to be making a push with cartoon-style books. We’ll see how their second outing, Oddwell, does next month.
Glenn:  I’m reading Black Hops USA #1 Buns Of The Patriot is a real comic that exists (it is I swear) and I need to lie down…Ray?  Wake me when its August.

Ray:  How dare you, Glenn. Those bunny rabbits sacrificed for our country. So many twitchy noses and floppy ears, filled with fear but steeled with courage. *salutes while singing Little Bunny Foo Foo*

This area is FULL of reprints, as everything from Champions to Hawkman to Old Man Hawkeye to Man of Steel to Infinity Countdown to the OHC Dark Prince Charming gets about 1K more in sales.
#479 brings us a one-shot called Morte, which sells exactly 1,000 copies. This is a horror comic from Source Point Press, which is trying to build itself a brand as a suspense/horror company. It doesn’t seem to be working so far, but with so many startups in the industry, it’s really hard to get traction.
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Gabriel Rodriguez’ Sword of Ages, an epic fantasy comic from IDW, sees its special edition get 962 copies at #486. This is a $7 expanded edition, so only for completists – especially since much of this content will eventually be in the hardcover.
Three reprints round out the charts, with Doomsday Clock #3 selling 837 copies at #499, followed by Justice League: No Justice #4 and True Believers: Thanos the First tied at #500 with 824 copies.
There’s been a really big surge of reorders the last few months, and it pushed a lot of smaller books out of the top 500. For the second month in a row, we don’t see any of Lion Forge’s Catalyst Prime line in the top 500. Priest and Gail Simone are coming on that line in a bit, so we’ll see what happens then.
Glenn:  Its hard to tell, having huge names seems to only get Aftershock so far but hey, stranger things have happened
Ray:  Looking ahead, this month will surely be dominated by the long-awaited revival of a classic property that’s been gone a while. But which one?
DC’s headliner of the month is definitely The Sandman Universe, which debuts the new creative teams spinning out of Dark Nights: Metal in a story overseen by Neil Gaiman himself. Part DC book, part Vertigo book, I imagine this will easily make a top ten debut. Definitely a world apart from Vertigo’s usual place. DC also has the next wave of DC/Looney Tunes specials, featuring Gail Simone on Catwoman/Sylvester and Palmiotti and Conner returning to Harley Quinn to pit her against Gossamer. We also get the return of Supergirl’s title with new writer Mark Andreyko, and the return of Super-Sons in a flashback maxiseries.
Marvel’s likely going to blow away the competition in August with the long-awaited return of Fantastic Four by Dan Slott and Sara Pichelli. This is expected to easily top the charts with sales of over 300K, and will dwarf the sales of the month’s other launches. Still, Infinity Wars ships two issues and will likely land at least one in the top ten, and mini-X event Extermination debuts as well, as do the preludes to the upcoming Spider-Geddon event. Yes, three events are launching in the same month. Everything is fine. There’s also a Venom spin-off special and miniseries, and the end of The Hunt for Wolverine. In this chaos, Kelly Thompson’s West Coast Avengers and Matt Rosenberg’s Punisher will be competing for attention. I wish them both luck (but especially WCA).
From indieland, Image is bringing us the latest Cullen Bunn horror comic, Cold Spots, as well as John Layman and Nick Pittara’s kaiju comic Leviathan and the Howard Chaykin history-of-comics story Hey Kids! Comics! Dark Horse is bringing us the new Berger Book The Seeds, plus a story-driven miniseries based on a little movie called Frozen.
What will rise? What will fall? Will Ray cry over how low his favorites are selling? Tune in next time on By the Numbers!
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Liked what you read or have any questions, comments or concerns?  Let us know here or hit us up on Twitter @glenn_matchett & @raygoldfield

By The Numbers: June 2018

 

Like in any industry, comic books and their companies listen most to one thing and that’s your money! What does your money tell them? What does it tell us as fans? What series do people say they adore but can’t seem to catch a break and what books to people hate that sell out? What are the trends? What looks good? What looks rough?

All these questions and more will be answered here, every month in ‘By The Numbers’ by comic writers, editors and fans, Glenn Matchett and Ray Goldfield.

Glenn Matchett is a comic writer and editor. He’s worked in the industry for 6 years but grew up reading comics. He’s had work published with Outre Press, Alterna Comics and Nemesis Studios. Missed out on going to SDCC yet again but was there in spirit, ooooo I’m a ghost.

Ray Goldfield is a fan of comic books for going on 25 years, starting with the death of Superman. He is a writer and editor and has released his first novel. Ray also does a weekly roundup of DC comic reviews for website Geekdad and they’re brilliantly entertaining.  When he heard of the delay of Young Justice until next year, Ray went into a destructive rampage a Sharknado would be proud of.

We also do a podcast together with longtime buddy, Brandon James on iTunes with Rabbitt Stew or at the link here! Don’t ask, I didn’t pick the name. If you’d like to hear what me and Ray sound like, give it a listen!

Top 500 in full available here!

Glenn:  Its hotting up for sure this Summer with heat in my small country rising to record highs and Ray in constant threat of turning into a puddle.  Its also hotting up in the comic charts as we see the end of some long runs, the start of some new ones and Marvel’s latest relaunch (fresh start) start to really get rolling.

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To no one’s surprise, Scott Snyder’s new Justice League title hits the number 1 spot with sales over 200k.  I thought this might be higher to 250 or even 300 but still a great number.  Since Geoff Johns left the title at the end of the new 52 its been slowly bleeding sales so DC has fixed this by giving the entire property to three of their biggest writers.  Having recent pinch from Marvel, Jim Cheung on art for this first issue likely helped also.  A great start that shows a lot of sales promise for DC as it also has a second issue in the top ten at 10 which sells just a smidge over 86k.  114k is a sharp fall but that’s the market we’re in folks but this is a ridiculously strong hold when you compare it to say, Avenger’s which was around 60k last month and below that this month.  The title sold in the 75-85k range under Johns (with some boosts for various particular tie ins and stories) so I could see this equaling that and of course we’ll have the sales of Odyssey and Dark too which will make the League franchise the strongest its been in years.  In quieter months this will be a top ten staple I would say.

Ray:  Yeah, early rumors were pointing to 250K, but as a whole the numbers are a bit lower than expected this month. This definitely fell less harshly than Avengers did last month, so it feels like it’s likely to lock down as one of DC’s top ongoings, well above the level that the Hitch and Priest runs were selling. It’s not Batman (what is?) but DC’s elite writers are still able to easily launch hit books.

Glenn:  I was really shocked to see Image’s The Magic Order by Millar and Coipel at 2 and even more shocked when I saw the numbers which were over 157.7k until Ray said that the numbers might not be what they seem.  Long time fans of the article will remember that Loot Crate got the first issue of IDW’s Orphan Black the number one slot a few years ago and something similar has happened here where the sales are inflated by some sort of promotion.  How much they’re inflated by is unclear so its hard to judge this title at present.  The story will become clear next month but somewhere in the 55-70k range is probably what I would suggest which is exceptional for an Image launch and in the usual range of other Millar properties.
Ray:  Yeah, the reports were that ReedPop bought six figures of this book for promotional purposes. That would put the actual launch numbers at around 50K, which is not spectacular. Still, Millarworld books tend to launch higher than almost any other Image books, and that’ll likely continue in the new Netflix age. 
Glenn:  After ten years on Spider-Man, it seems that writer Dan Slott is bringing some people with him to Iron Man as the characters latest book launches at 3 with over 135.7k.  When Bendis first relaunched this the title sold around 250k but its a very different landscape for Marvel these days and the property hasn’t nearly been that healthy since then for various reasons.  I could see a decent hold of 55-60k which would put it at the current upper tier of Marvel’s books.
Ray:  Yeah, Slott’s one of the few writers – along with Aaron – at Marvel nowadays who seems to be a brand unto himself. He drives sales, and even on B-list properties like Silver Surfer he’s able to keep them above water. On flagships like Iron Man, he delivers a legit hit. The early rumors are that Fantastic Four will be much higher.
Glenn:  At 4 and not too far behind Iron Man is Dan Slott’s final issue of Amazing Spider-Man which sells over 122.2k.  Given how insane the sales were on 800 last month and this is the return of Marcos Martin to mainstream comics, I would have thought this would be higher but I’m sure it’ll sell very well in reorders.  Bringing Slott’s final issue of Amazing and his first issue of Iron Man was a stroke of genius on Marvel’s part and it shows, both issues sell very close together.  Amazing Spider-Man will be back with a fresh new number 1 and a great steal from Image as an artist.  The new writer and his impact on the book is the hardest to predict so for now we’ll salute you Dan Slott and we’ll miss you.
Ray:  I’m wondering how much of this is the issue slipping under retailers’ radar? 800 would have seemed like a perfect finale, and they may have assumed it was his swan song. So a lot of them underordered. I wouldn’t be surprised to see major orders on 801 in coming months.
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Glenn: For a few months, we thought the return of the Joker and his quest to be Batman’s best man for the upcoming wedding might boost the sales of the characters title.  Turns out we were right as Batman 49 and 48 sell over 121.8 and 112.1k at 5 and 6 respectively. This title seemingly can’t be stopped and I have no doubt issue 50 and its dump truck full of talent and varients will take the top spot next month, controversy or not.
Ray:  A 20% increase is nothing to sneeze at, but it’s probably only a tease of what’s to come next month. Of course, the #50 issue has turned out to be highly controversial, so who knows how this is going to affect things in months to come.
Glenn:  At 7 is another fresh start with Deadpool with superstar artist Scottie Young on writing duties.  It sells over 105.5k which I think is also less than the last number 1 but again, Marvel was over there, then some stuff happened now its over here.  Its Deadpool, its a good number cause of that.  I would say it’ll return to its standard numbering next month or month after.
Ray:  I would have definitely expected a higher debut for Deadpool, given that the movie was just out and Skottie Young has a big fanbase. This is yet another example of Marvel’s frequent relaunches taking a toll, although Deadpool’s had a consistent creative team for years and doesn’t feel as in flux as some.
Glenn:  At 8 is the next chapter in Jason Aaron’s epic Thor run which sells over 102.5k.  This book has been the second most regularly best selling thing Marvel has put out and has been for years.  People are likely using this as a new jumping on point but I doubt the sales will be any more than the standard 50-60k this run has been doing for years.  That’s fine though.
Ray:  Likewise, Thor has been Marvel’s most consistent title next to Spider-Man for years. This is a big increase, but it’s also not quite what I would have expected for the return of the original Thor. Maybe because it’s a continuing run, not a fresh start, we’ll see a smaller debut and better holds? Thor #2 charts this month at #17 with 63K, which is well above where it was before the final arc of the previous run, so this is likely to continue to be a long-term hit for Marvel.
Glenn:  At 9 is the wedding issue of X-Men Gold 30 where Marvel yells out ‘we have a wedding shaped thing going on too!’ which manages to get sales over 88.3k.  The previous non wedding shaped issue also comes out this month landing at 39 with sales over 36.3k.  The title is ending regardless despite being a steady seller for Marvel.  The happy couple who get married here are getting their own title, I’m not too optimistic on the chances of that one but hey ya never know!

Ray:  That’s a very impressive sales bump, and the sales of this and the non-wedding wedding special shows that that there was a surprising amount of interest in this storyline. They did a bait-and-switch on this one as well, but I kind of think the couple that did get married has a slightly bigger fanbase than the one that didn’t. 

Thor wasn’t the only longtime Marvel character to return to their mantle this month, as Bruce Banner took back the Hulk title in The Immortal Hulk #1. That charts at #11, selling a healthy 84K. Hulk’s been struggling in sales for a while, and the Amadeus Cho version was one of the replacement heroes to struggle the most in sales despite the presence of fan-favorite writer Greg Pak. This back-to-basics horror-influenced version seems to have gotten some interest, but we’ll see if it can hold it down the line.
Glenn:  I remember the numbers for Totally Awesome Hulk being really underwhelming but this new direction and its sales leave me optimistic.  If it can land in the 30k range, it’ll do fine so anything over that will be a huge bonus.
Ray:  One book that is having zero problem holding sales is Donny Cates’ Venom, which charts two issues this month. #2 sells 73K at #12, followed by #3 selling a healthy 57K at #21. We speculated that this was going to be one of the biggest hits of the new wave, and it seems to be confirmed. Months before Venom outsells the new ASM run?
Glenn:  Venom could possibly take its place as the second or third healthiest ongoing in Marvel’s staple.  This seems to have been just the right blend of creative team to go along with a new direction.  Marvel must be happy since we already have tie-ins by Cates linked to his main story on the way in a few months.
Ray:  Even in an insanely competitive month like this, Walking Dead is hanging in there, selling 71K at #13. Unstoppable!
DC gets an edge in the top thirty this month thanks to eight issues of strong-selling miniseries. Man of Steel charts four of its six issues from #13-18, selling between 69K and 62K. This is pretty well above what the Superman titles were selling prior, so at least on that point Bendis seems to have a win on his hands. We’ll see how it does when the actual titles launch next month.
Glenn:  I might have expected more due to the hype machine and the caliber of artists but Man Of Steel is a healthy start for Bendis at DC.  If Superman and Action can sell around this long term, DC will be thrilled.
Ray:  The Batman: Prelude to the Wedding specials also deliver a solid performance, with the remaining four issues landing from #19-26 with sales of 60K to 53K. Harley vs. Joker sells the highest to no surprise, followed by Nightwing vs. Hush, Batgirl vs. Riddler, and Red Hood vs. Anarky bringing up the rear.
Glenn:  The wedding specials absolutely sold on the characters involved.  Given recent events, how much they matter long term is dubious at best so this was a pure cash in by DC but in this case, it worked.
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Ray:  Avengers #3 levels out nicely to land at #20 with sales of 59K, a minor drop from the second issue last month. Jason Aaron does have a lot of sales pull, and he’s going to make the Avengers a healthy franchise again despite some ominous signs last month.
Glenn:  I really thought Avenger’s would be doing way better with this new team and direction.  I’m sure Marvel wanted more out of it too but apart from Slott’s Amazing, they rarely get ongoings crack over 65k any more.
Ray:  Flash continues to increase, landing its two issues this month at #24-25, with #49 increasing over the previous issue to sell 54K. This plotline has really hit a chord with audiences, and the reveals in the final issue will likely keep this book hot.
Glenn:  Issue 50 will see a big jump too and we’ll see if some people maybe stick around.  Even if it settles back to its previous level, Flash is the healthiest its been in years.
Ray:  An interesting little subplot this month is in the Star Wars titles. They land at #30 and #31, both selling at about the 50K mark, but for the first time Darth Vader outsells the parent Star Wars title. Given that Vader is a post-prequel-set story as opposed to the post-ANH main title, this is extra surprising, but I suppose it’s the power of Vader!
Glenn:  I’m really surprised at this.  I’m glad Star Wars is still a solid performer nearly 50 issues later but I’m shocked one of the other books have surpassed it. Great news for the Vader book of course.
Ray:  A title that didn’t get the relaunch bounce it was hoping for was Doctor Strange, which manages 47K at #32 for the new creative team of Mark Waid and Jesus Saiz. I don’t think the concept, featuring Doctor Strange losing his powers for the third time in three runs, helped much. The second issue also ships this month, and loses roughly a third of its sales at #46, selling 33K.
Glenn:  Its still better than the Doc would have managed to sell a few years back but the character has had three very quick creative turnovers in a short space of time which probably confuses some fans.  It’ll probably sail around its normal level before so long with maybe a bit extra due to Waid being able to maintain interest from readers.
Ray:  Hawkman’s new series by Robert Venditti and Bryan Hitch lands at #33, selling 42K. This title got swallowed up a little bit by the hype over bigger books, but this is a healthy number for a Hawkman title.
Glenn:  Very healthy for Hawkman, maybe not if you consider this is a lead on from the characters appearance in Metal and Bryan Hitch on art.  Still, the numbers might have been a lot less had those two factors not been in play.  We’ll see how this one does next month, if it levels out quickly then it’ll be fine.
Ray:  Two DC titles that just keep gaining buzz can be found at #34-35. First is Mister Miracle, which returns after a month off and sells 39K as it heads towards the finish line. Right below it is Deathstroke selling 38K as it keeps most of its bounce for the Batman vs. Deathstroke storyline. I’m just glad more people are reading these exceptional books!
I don’t know what’s going on with Spawn, but it seems to have found a new permanent place in the top part of the charts. This month it sells 38K at #37. If it’s the 90s again, I can’t wait for the new Jurassic Park movie…wait.
Glenn:  Evil clowns sell, I can’t wait for Pennywise to turn up in all Marvel books October (I jest but…)
Ray:  Black Panther does seem to have gotten a bit of a bump from the relaunch, landing at #41 with sales of 34K, but that’s not as good a hold as some of the other relaunches. I’m wondering if Marvel buried the lead a bit with this one – most people probably assumed it’s just a continuation from the previous run, but it’s actually an essential read for fans of the movie in a lot of ways.
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Glenn:  If Panther can maintain a mid 30k performance that would be solid enough and I’m sure that once word spreads about who is showing up in this new run then reorders will surely follow and people will gravitate to the book slowly.
Ray:  DC set up their relaunches (sort of) of both books in the Titans line this month with special one-shots, and to say both got a mixed reception would be putting it lightly. They were both ordered roughly around the level of the previous runs, with the Teen Titans Special selling 32K at #49, while the Titans Special is at #54 with sales of just under 32K. Given the poor response, though, I think those sales will flatline quickly.
Glenn:  The Titans franchise has been on a roller coaster for nearly two decades now.  Watching DC trying to make it work with mixed results (at best) is something to behold.
Ray:  At #50 is the launch of Deadpool: Assassin, a generic Deadpool miniseries by Cullen Bunn and Mark Bagley. This is a back-to-basics story with Deadpool taking contracts, and given how similar that is to the main Deadpool comic this month, that probably explains why it only sold 32K. Maybe the wrong month to launch alongside the big relaunch.
Glenn:  Still pretty decent I think for a throwaway Deadpool mini.  Bunn has written a lot of these hasn’t he?  The amount of Deadpool mini’s he’s had is almost like having a shadow second Deadpool book.  I wonder if this would have done better like you say if it had been relaunced month before last or month after next.  The second issue also charts at 74 selling over 27.1k.  It could be worse but the diminishing returns won’t get any less diminishing.
Ray:  Gail Simone and Adriana Melo’s Plastic Man lands at #52, selling just under 32K. Definitely not the success that her other B-list character relaunch was at Marvel two months ago, but then Plastic Man doesn’t have a movie. For an out-of-continuity miniseries that had to compete with the launch of Justice League and two weekly miniseries, this is a decent debut that will probably level out quickly.
Glenn:  I think we can call this a win.  Gail’s been talking about doing this title FOREVER so she’s likely happy to see it in the flesh (or the paper as it were).  Its amazing how much of a solid fanbase Gail has, I think she doesn’t get the praise she deserves in that regards.
Ray:  A rough debut for the Fresh Start miniseries Ant-Man and the Wasp, which lands at #56 with sales of 31K. Given the movie, Marvel had to be hoping for a lot more, but I’m wondering if part of this is just how little interest the traditional comic market has in Nadia Pym. Her series is getting relaunched with a look towards the bookstore market, but this isn’t that, and I don’t think it really had an audience.
Glenn:  I wonder if sales would have been better if it had been Hope in one shape or form?  Ant-Man has always struggled in sales, movie or no movie so this is probably the best Marvel could expect.
Ray:  The debut of Jeff Lemire’s Sentry at #63 is pretty grim. I suppose even Lemire can’t drive sales for one of the most reviled characters in recent Marvel history. However, knowing Lemire’s history with acclaimed 12-18 issue runs on smaller Marvel properties, this is likely to level out very quickly and might even finish its run higher than it launched, a la Mister Miracle.

Glenn:  Yeah, the Sentry really is the Roman Reigns of comics.  Once reviews pick up and people are like ‘Ohhhh this is a Lemire book riiiiiight’ then things might get better but yeah you’re right, I don’t see this one lasting a long time.

Right below Sentry is the Marvel Two In One Annual at 64 which sells over 28.7k.  This title is essentially being retired in the wake of Fantastic Four proper coming back so the sales here are kind of mute.  Still promising it sells 1k more than the main book.  Seems like this one got a loyal fanbase quick.
Ray:  Marvel Two-in-One has been a solid mid-level hit for Marvel, showing just how much interest there was in a Fantastic Four relaunch. The FF proper relaunch is predicted to top the charts when it launches in August, but I hope Marvel keeps giving Zdarsky bigger gigs – he’s earned it.
Glenn:  Second Wonder Woman annual sells over 28.4k at 66.  Diana’s had a rough time creatively and the sales reflect that.  We’ve just learned that G. Willow Wilson will be riding in to save the day though so we’ll see how things stand with the character next year.
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Ray:  I think Wilson will definitely bring in some of the fans who left, but she’s never been a big draw in the direct market – the primary market for Ms. Marvel is trades and digital. It’s a great pick creatively.
Glenn:  At 67 is another Infinity War Countdown tie-in, this time focusing on Black Widow and it sells over 28.2k.  Pretty standard for this event that probably isn’t getting as much love from the movie that Marvel hoped it would when it was given the green light.
Ray:  The main Infinity Countdown mini is doing decently, but the tie-ins are being ignored. Of course, when you remember that this isn’t actually the event, but the prelude to the event, it makes a lot more sense.
Glenn:  I’m losing track of where we get with events.  They all just blend together in a non stop blend of blerg.
At 69 is the latest and probably last of the new wave of DC titles, the Unexpected by writer Steve Orlando selling over 28k.  Apart from the Terrifics, these have been all been pretty much a disaster and are likely soon never to be mentioned again.
At 73 is Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man Annual selling over 27.5k which makes it 1.5 ahead of the main book.  Pretty solid and I would say that’s partly because of Mike Allred on art and partly cause of the great stuff Zdarksey is doing with Spider-Man and Jonah.  Another book with a loyal following it seems.
The second issue of Lando Double Or Nothing ends up with more than half of its first issue sales of over 26.9k at 76.  Not too bad for a Star Wars spin off that ties into a film that underperformed.  This likely benefits from having the one thing in the movie everyone had and will do well in trades, especially if rumours about Lando being back in episode 9 are true.  The Star Wars line isn’t what it used to be for Marvel but still performs decently and will bring them big money in collections for a long, long time.  Even in a galaxy far, far away.
The first of a batch of ‘Wakanda Forever‘ one shots which features some characters from the movie teaming up with various Marvel heroes starting with Spider-Man begins at 80 with over 26.1k.  Its a throwaway tie in to cash in on the success of the movie so for that type of thing, this is fine.  The other tie ins that don’t feature Marvel’s most popular character might be a bit more ‘eh’ in the coming months.
Ray:  Next up is the X-Men, so Wakanda Forever should keep a lot of these sales. The writer is a popular novelist, but none of her comic work has caught fire in the direct market yet. I imagine this is being geared towards Black Panther movie fans in the bookstores, anyway.
Glenn:  Another Infinity Countdown at 92 with the Champions taking the center stage, it sells just over 23k.  This property sure started with a lot of promise but due to various reasons has fizzled out in a big way.
Some reorders for the insanely successful Amazing 800 at 93 with over 22.8k additional sales.  This and Action 1000 are two massive recent successes for both companies, it’ll be interesting to see how Batman 50 compares next month.
Ray:  Not on the level of the insane reorders we saw for Action last month, but still incredibly impressive. Like I said above, watch for big reorders for #801.
Glenn:  Multiple Man gets a new mini at 22.3k at 94.  If Marvel had pretended this was an ongoing (as they are often wont to do) then I’d be concerned but for a mini about a character that hasn’t been in the limelight for years and was never a big sales draw in of himself this is perfectly fine.
Ray:  It’s another new project for Matt Rosenberg, who Marvel seems to have a lot of faith in. He’s more of a cult creator, though. This is decent for a long-dead second-tier X-man whose most popular run ended years ago.
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Glenn:  Not even the might of Scott Snyder can stop the new Challengers mini to drop sales in its second issue to over 22k at 95.  I wonder if Snyder maybe saw the writing on the wall before showing up at a Justice League writing meeting and totally pretending he should be there to get away from this one asap.
At 100 is a Dazzler one shot selling over 21.8.  Its Dazzler and this is apparently based off a script that’s sat in a drawer for years so I’d call this a win because even before you finish reading this article you’ll forget it existed at all in the first place.
Ray:  This is probably the base audience for an X-character title, so retailers ordered accordingly. Although Mags Visaggio is building buzz as a writer – we’ll see her again later on in the charts with a new launch.
Glenn:  At 102 is Marvel Super Hero Girls aka Marvel Rising which sells over 21.2k which is very good for something aimed at younger readers.
Ray:  This would be Marvel Super Hero Girls, if it wasn’t for the presence of the reviled Inferno and Patriot 2.0. Still puzzled by the casting decision. This is a decent number that I largely put down to the presence of Kamala Khan.
Glenn:  Kamala is pretty awesome.  Do you mean Patriot 2.0 as in the weird one from Gillon’s Young Avengers or has there been another?  So many replacement heroes!
Ray:  No, I suppose this would be Patriot 3.0, introduced in Secret Empire. He has no ties to the Bradleys and no one likes him.
Glenn:  No one likes something to do with Secret Empire?  Say it ain’t so!
I didn’t realize last month that Infinity Countdown: Darkhawk was more than one issue but here we are.  The second issue remains very stable selling over 20k at 106.  Not as many people are buying into this story as maybe Marvel hoped but they are maybe investing in it to create key stability.
The second issue of Rick Remender’s new Image offering, Death Or Glory lands at 108 with sales over 19.2k.  This is within Remender books usual range and all his titles perform very well in collections so this will see its run to the end.  Well within the usual Image safe zone.
Ray:  Remender, like BKV, Brubaker, and Lemire, has found a niche where all his creator-owned books show amazing stability. Well-deserved, and this is likely going to raise the profile of Bengal a lot as well.
And speaking of Gideon Falls, it actually gains about 1K this month to land at #105 with sales of 20K. I think we can safely say this is another long-term hit for Lemire, if retailers are upping orders. I don’t want to go in the barn, Glenn.
Glenn:  Stupid barn.  I’d burn it if I wasn’t so terrified.
I didn’t know what ‘The Weeknd presents Star Boy‘ was and how it somehow got sales over 19.2k at 109 and then I googled it.  My brain now hurts so much I just have to tag Ray in.  I need to lie down.
Ray:  Apparently it’s based on a song on the artist’s album? Okay? It didn’t translate particularly well to comic book form, but I imagine that the artist’s name was responsible for a lot of the sales. 
Glenn:  Good for the singer.  Is he classically trained at all?  *lifts plastic/empty champagne glass, takes sip*
Ray:  Rick and Morty continues to be Oni’s bread and butter, with two issues in this range. The main series sells 19K at #110, while a new special titled “Krombopulous Michael” sells 18K at #115. I don’t know what a Rick and Morty is.
Glenn:  I know!  I know!  I watched an episode where a clear parody of Doc Brown told a kid to shove something up his butt!  Its apparently hilarious but I must have missed that part.  Still, whatever keeps the lights on.
Ray:  The second issue of Ant-Man and the Wasp has another big slide the same month, landing at #119 with sales of 17.5K. Woof. I think we know why this was only a miniseries.
Glenn:  Also its a mini because of the heroes involved.  Eh?  Eh?
Ray:  As Spider-Gwen gets closer to wrapping up her run at #124 with sales of 17K, I think that’s still sort of impressive given how long this series has been going without a relaunch. It’s a long way from its heyday, but most Marvel books would kill to have a run like this. She’ll likely get a relaunch with a new creative team soon enough, probably in time for her film debut.
Glenn:  Spider-Gwen, victim of the renumbering game.  Still she’s kind of everywhere now isn’t she?  This is another reason why I don’t think we’ll ever see the end of comics.  Disney needs their idea farm alive to keep giving them new very profitable characters that no one knew they wanted.
Image result for spider-gwen 33
Ray:  There were a lot of smaller Image debuts this month, and the top-selling one was post-apocalyptic futuristic murder mystery The Weatherman, selling 16K at #130. While none of the creators had sales pull on their own, the concept of an unassuming man who may have killed half the world sold itself.
Glenn: That is a good concept.  I’ve likened Image to a TV network at times where people pick and choose on concept when they don’t know the names.  This one sounds like it would definitely be a hit show.
Ray:  Completely random, and the first of many random reorders this month, is the 16K in reorders for Secret Empire #3 at #131. Why? Did people want to remind themselves that however Marvel is struggling now, it could be much worse?
Secret Empire #1 gets just under 15K in reorders at #138, and Civil War II #5 is a few hundred copies less right below. These are old events, so I’m struggling to make sense of it. Civil War II #4 is at #147 with 13.7K as well.
Glenn:  Secret Empire might be something to do with the new Spidey direction?  Civil War II is anyone’s guess…maybe one shop got reallllly drunk one night while ordering.
Ray:  The latest Ralph Macchio one-shot, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Living Legends, charts at #145 with sales of 14K. What’s surprising here is just how close this is to the second issue of the main book. This is likely just to cover the bases in case of fans coming in after the movie.
Glenn:  Macchio is returning to Marvel is some advisory capacity so maybe these one shots were written more recently than we assumed?  In any case, these one shots sell pretty well for the throwaway material they are.
Ray:  Speaking of Ant-Man, we get a new wave of True Believers one-shots for him. To no surprise, they don’t do nearly as well. The top seller is the first appearance of Scott Lang, selling 14K at #145, followed by The Birth of Giant Man at #149 with 13.7K. There’s more down below at #155 (Trail of Spider-Man), #159 (Til Death Do Us Part), #167 (Incredible Shrinking Doom), #171 (Ant-Man and Hawkeye: Avengers Assemble), and an Iron Man book packaged with them as a Ghost spotlight (#177). They all sell between 12K and 10K, so retailers likely ordered a lot of them as a bundle. None of these are particularly well-known stories, so the comparatively lower sales aren’t a big surprise.
Another Image launch, Stellar, lands at #153 with sales of 13.3K. This is a deep-space superhero adventure from Joseph Keatinge, the creator of Shutter. He’s always been a bit of a cult creator, but he’s launched two books in the last few month, so Image clearly likes what he’s putting out.
Glenn:  A cult following is better than no following, it works for Valient so if Image knows what they’re going to get from this guys books, they’ll keep investing in him if they’re happy with that result.
Ray:  Solid numbers for the Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers anniversary special, which sells 13K at #157. Given that this is a $7.99 book, it sells pretty close to the main series. It features stories from some top creators and a follow-up to one of the series’ most popular plotlines, so Boom seems to have put a lot into making sure it felt like a necessary part of the franchise.
The final Buffy the Vampire Slayer comic from Dark Horse for now, The Reckoning, debuts at #160 with 12.2K. Clearly the series is a long way from its heyday, and even the addition of the characters from Fray didn’t boost it much.
Glenn:  The days of Whedon making a difference in sales seems to have gone too.  I’ll be curious what the franchises future is now that it’ll likely be owned by Disney after the FOX merger wraps up.  I could see Boom or IDW doing comics or graphic novels set during the high school era for book store markets or a reboot of the whole thing.  I doubt this is truely the end either way.
Ray:  An oddball entry at #163 is the miniature graphic novel Batman: The Dark Prince Charming Book 2, which sells 12K at a $12.99 price point. I’m surprised it’s here instead of on the OGN charts. This is another book that I wouldn’t be surprised to see reclassified as a Black Label title one day.
Glenn:  Seems likely, everything is a black label now.  Even this article is black label.  Lets get some nudity whooooo
Ray:  Another new Image debut, the female-led Pirate revenge thriller Shanghai Red, lands at #173 with sales just under 11K. Chris Sebela’s been working in indie comics for a while, without any real breakout hits. However, he’s consistently a solid creator, and this title is essentially just debuting in the safe zone for an Image title. I was pleasantly surprised by the first issue, so it may hold well.
Image result for shanghai red 1
At #179 is Brian Wood’s latest Viking-era adventure, Sword Daughter. Featuring a mysterious mute girl and her formerly catatonic father, it sells in the usual range for his books at Dark Horse – 9.7K.
#183 brings us the Dynamite launch of Charlie’s Angels, selling 9.4K under the pen of John Layman. This was a book that got a lot of advance hype due to Layman’s reputation from Image, so I might have expected it to do a little higher. The retro tone probably appeals more to older fans.
Glenn:  There will always be a ceiling for things like Charlie’s Angels, a creator like Layman can only do so much.  Fans of the original show aren’t likely to show up for the comic, the movie fans won’t care and Disney has made us all forget the reboot so sales could be worse.  This will be one of those Dynamite franchises that is just lucky to be here.
Ray:  A new Vampirella miniseries, Roses for the Dead at #186, selling 9.2K. Dynamite gonna Dynamite.
Astro City heads off to collection and OGN heaven with its final appearance on By the Numbers, with its final issue selling 8.9K at #188. We’re definitely a while away from the title’s heyday in sales, but it’s held incredibly well over the years, especially compared to its mostly departed fellow Vertigo books.

Glenn:  We salute you Astro City.  This is one that has a small but very dedicated audience that will follow it no matter where it goes.  I expect new audiences will come to appreciate it in collected form for decades to come.

A new Tank Girl book from Titan sells over 8.6k at 191.  Pretty standard stuff for a franchise that was a thing once.

Red Sonja/Tarzan loses about half its sales this month pulling in over 8.6k at 194 putting it just about 300 units above the main Sonja book at 195.  I think given its a mini and co-stars a character with no sales pull, that’s not too bad.  Most mini’s would love to sell this close to the parent title.
I think TMNT: Urban Legend stabilizes pretty well in its second issue selling over 8.3k at 195.  Given the bizarre nature of the book and how my own pal Ray says its quality is dubious at best, I think this is a great number.  I can literally hear IDW digging through the discard pile now for more Turtles stuff to publish.
Ray:  I hope they get to continuing TMNT Adventures from Archie soon, then!
Glenn:  At 200 is poor Cyborg selling over 8.1k, sheesh no wonder this book got recancelled.
Huuuuuuuge drop in sales for Valients Harbinger Wars 2 which loses about 14k in sales pulling in only over 7.8k at 204.  This is within the usual Valient range for a second issue but that is a massive drop from one issue to another at this level.
Ray:  Yeah, this is performing much more like a standard Valiant book than a big event. I guess when Valiant’s line is small and manageable like this, people tend to buy almost all the core books anyway. Plus, Valiant is working on making inroads into the bookstore market and this will likely sell more there. 
Glenn:  A new Image mini, Proxima Centauri launches at 208 with sales over 7.4k.  This one seems a bit more on the indy side of the usual Image offerings so I’d say this number is about right.
Bloodstrike 0 which I think is a redo of an old Image property by cult comic legend, Michel Fife launches at 209 with sales over 7.3k which is probably the hardcore Fife/EXTREME comics fanbase meshed together.  Maybe the 90’s aren’t back after all.
Ray:  Farel Dalrymple and Michael Fiffe are both cult indie creators, and neither of these concepts is really friendly to new readers. Books like Prophet did these numbers regularly, but tended to hold very well in coming months. 
Glenn:  At 210 is the new version of Nancy Drew selling over 7.3k and I would have thought this one would do a lot better.  It was a well known creative team with an interesting update for a classic character.  I suppose no matter what, Nancy Drew will have that same ceiling problem that we mentioned above from Charlie’s Angels.  I think it’ll stabilize fast and do well in collections, its a great book.
Image result for nancy drew 1 comic
Ray:  More so than Charlie’s Angels, Nancy Drew is a book that was made for the bookstore market. This all-ages, manga-inspired take on the property (that takes her back to her roots as a plucky girl detective) isn’t going to find its core audience in the monthly market, but if they’re smart they’ll package it in a small, affordable graphic novel format for the middle-grade reader.
Glenn:  For a throwaway kiddie book, MSH Adventures: Webs, Ants, Arrows, Oh my sells pretty decently at 211 selling over 7.3k.  This one isnt meant to sell here in this chart so its pretty moot.
At 215 is the second issue of Coda selling over 7.1k which isn’t too steep a drop from its first issue.  This is kind of in the usual pattern of BOOM comics not based on an existing property so its standard stuff.
There’s Secret Empire again at 216, the second issue sells another 7k.  I’m wondering if doing the top 500 now is messing with our sanity.
A new maxi-series, By Night from BOOM sells over 6.7k at 220 which again is just what the creator owned books from this publisher do.  Its good in one way it doesn’t deliver any surprises but that is also a bad thing in another.
Ray:  By Night is by John Allison, the popular cartoonist behind Giant Days. He doesn’t draw this one, but he’s one of Boom’s most reliable creators and this twelve-issue maxiseries will likely hold very well long-term. 
Glenn:  At 221 is Black Panther 1 which picks up reorders over 6.7k.  Word of who showed up might be getting around.  They’re not mind blowing reorders like Action 1000 or Amazing 800 got but more interest in a book to make it reappear in the top 300 is always good.
More Marvel reorders at 226, this time for Avengers 1 which sells another 6.5+ sales.  See above but it seems this title is likely to be behind Snyder’s Justice League by a good 20k surprisingly.  It’ll be curious how it fares against Dark and Odyssey when they launch.
THERE’S CIVIL WAR II AGAIN AT 236 FOR ITS THIRD ISSUE SELLING ANOTHER 6.1+ ADDITIONAL SALES?!?!?!?!?!  WHAT IS HAPPENINGGGGGGGGGGGG.
More reorders that make sense with retailers keep going back to Slott’s final arc wanting more, this time its Amazing 797 at 239 selling over 6.1k additional units.  This has to be one of the best selling stories outside of events Marvel’s had in decades.
New Dark Horse horror book Blackwood’s second issue sells over 5.6k at 248.  It’ll likely take place of Harrow County in terms of Dark Horse offerings and sellings which isn’t a bad place to be.
Yet MORE reorders for Marvel with Venom at 250 which sells over 5.5k more this month.  This is definitely going to be one of Marvel’s newest hits it seems.
Ray: Unlike so many of the others, Venom’s reorders make sense. This issue was the return of Eddie Brock to the role, so the horde of new fans jumping on board with Donny Cates may want to catch up. Costa is also doing a stand-alone mini to close out his run starting in August.
Glenn:  That DOES make sense.  I like things that make sense, they comfort me.
Image and DC also get on the reorder party with Oblivian Song’s second issue selling over 5.3k at 252 which is much higher than its reorders last month and the final part of No Justice picking up over 5k at 259.  It seems the books at the upper end of the charts are the ones people are coming back to time and time again while everything else fights for the remaining scraps.

Ray:  Aspen Comics has been doing a big wave of relaunches in recent months, and their flagship book Fathom returns at #260 with sales of 5K. This is the most famous creation of the late Michael Turner, so it’s likely got a lot of nostalgia fanbase that helps lift it above the rest of the company’s books. 

Just below 5K at #262 is the latest Aftershock title, Lost City Explorers. This adventure series dealing with a brother and sister looking for their father in the lost city of Atlantis (hey! That’s my turf!) seems to be going for the Stranger Things audience in tone, and may hold well if buzz builds. Overall, Aftershock continues to have trouble launching new titles.
Man of Steel #1 picks up a quick 4.6K in reorders at #268, proving that there may be some long-term interest in this new direction. I expect the Superman books to launch much higher than this miniseries did next month.
Just below at #269 is the second issue of Flavor, which loses about 40% of its first issue sales to sell 4.6K. Come on, people! This book is great!
Image result for flavor issue 2
Glenn:  Maybe a bit too oddball for the main comic market?  It’ll do well in collections, I’m looking forward to reading it myself.
Ray:  It’s a double-dose of Cullen Bunn in this area, as his long-running Harrow County from Dark Horse closes out its run with a slight bump at #272, selling 4.5K. Two spots below selling 4.5K as well is the launch of Shadow Roads, Bunn and Brian Hurtt’s spinoff to their epic The 6th Gun from Oni. I would have expected a bit more for this one, but The 6th Gun has been gone for a while and likely picked up most of its audience in collections.
Glenn:  Now that Harrow County is over, it can head over to collection heaven.  I would say that there’s enough interest in it in collected form for Dark Horse to grant it the Library Edition treatment.  Plus it seems prime for a TV adaption so the collections will be there when that happens.
Sixth Gun like you say is another one were people read in collected format so the single issue sales are almost redundant.
Ray:  In more random reorders, Donny Cates’ breakout comic God Country charts another 4.4K in reorders at #277. At least this one is a comic that I’m glad more people are reading!
Glenn:  I‘m going to assume this ones down to Cates rising star power.  Retailers want to have more of his stuff available to meet demand.
A disappointing debut at #280 for Archie’s Superteens vs. Crusaders, crossing over their two long-running super-teams. Selling only 4.3K can’t be what they were hoping for, and I think it shows how much buzz has faded for the new Archieverse. They’re revamping everything massively in the coming months, and it may not be for the best…
Glenn:  Archie never really recovered from that controversial story a year or so back and they’ve been trying to decide what to do next.  Its amazing these days what one bad story decision can do to a company.
Ray:  The new Garfield miniseries Garfield: Homecoming, which features indie cartoonists putting their own spin on the traditional Garfield style as the fat cat runs away from home and tries out new homes, sells just under 4.3K at #283. This book will likely sell more to kids in bookstores, so this is a case where single issues are likely irrelevant.
There’s reorders allllllllll around the charts this month. Some in this range include about 4K more in sales for Peter Parker: Spectacular Spider-Man #5, Doomsday Clock #2, last month’s Robin vs. Ra’s Al Ghul wedding prelude, the third issue of No Justice, and the second issue of Avengers. I’m not sure what’s been going on with the rush in reorders this month, but it’s one of the oddest things we’ve seen in a while on By The Numbers.
At #287 is the offbeat new Dark Horse series Modern Family, selling 4.2K. This oddball comic about the everyday lives of fantasy creatures in the big city seems to be getting good reviews, so it may hold well once word gets out.
#293 brings us the debut of Mike Hammer, a Titan comics revival of the obscure 1930s pulp detective hero, selling 4.1K. I’ve never heard of the character, so this is clearly going for a specific but small audience.
Glenn:  This will likely be for fans of pulp rather than fans of this character (whom I don’t know either).  There are other comics out there higher profile scratching this itch so this one will be living off scraps.
Ray:  Just below, selling just under 4.1K, is the new miniseries Tomb Raider: Inferno. As Dark Horse loses more properties, this has become one of their bread and butter licenses. I wonder if these might sell better in video game stores?
Glenn:  Maybe, they have a new game coming next year which will help.  I doubt the movie drove people to seek out the comic so the game stores are the better bet.
Ray:  At #296, selling 4K, is a new series titled Regular Show: 25 Years Later from Boom. I am an old man and I don’t know what a Regular Show is.
Glenn:  I can’t hear you, I’ve lost my hearing aid.  I also wish for more jello.
Image result for regular show 25 years later
Ray:  As we exit the top 300 and head into the scary territory, BSG vs. BSG from Dynamite is the last book to crack the top 300. This was a bold experiment crossing over the two versions of the property, but it was always a cult property and never quite found a bigger audience.
Glenn:  YOU LEAVE BATTLESTAR GALLACTICA ALONE!!!!!  I mean…yes, the two series have their fans but I doubt many of them overlap or had a strong desire to see this crossover.  They’d probably rather have a new high quality TV show.
Ray:  Lots of licensed properties down here, and we have new miniseries for the 7th Doctor (#302) and Halo (#303), both selling 3.9K. I think the 7th Doctor is not one of the most popular, and Halo has never translated that well outside the video game world, so missing the top 300 isn’t a big surprise.

Glenn: Seven is popular enough but the older doctor’s will have a much more old school dedicated audience.  I think most people just want their Doctor’s in the female form at the moment (that sounds wrong).

Remember when Halo was at Marvel and was by Bendis and Maleev?  Glenn remembers!
Ray:  More oddball reorders in the 310-320 range, selling around 3.7K include the first issue of the recent Captain Phasma miniseries, Invincible Iron Man #12, and the first issue of Duggan’s Guardians of the Galaxy. I confus.
Glenn:  Our fellow podcaster and pet rabbitt, Brandon James speculated the mass of unusual amount of Marvel ‘reorders’ was random distribution of excess stock.  I’d be inclined to agree.
Ray:  Keenspot Entertainment gets into the Trump parody comic market with Trump’s Titans vs.Dark Donalds Mental, which parodies Dark Knights: Metal and shows us the Trumps of the Dark Multiverse. It lands at #320 with sales of 3.6K. I don’t want to go in the barn, Glenn.
Glenn:  So many jokes.  So many.  I don’t want to get in trouble though…or do I…
Ray:  The weakest of the month’s new Dark Horse debuts is the horror comic Bedtime Games, which lands at #332 with sales of 3.1K. This It-inspired book didn’t have any name creators attached, but it did have an incredibly creepy cover that may help with casual audiences. I’m hoping it picks up some interest, because it was a good, creepy read.
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The second issues of No Justice, All-New Guardians of the Galaxy, and Domino are all hanging around here as well, all selling about 3K. The first issue of Peter Parker: Spectacular Spider-Man is just a bit lower. I have no idea what’s going on, but I would say that close to 1/5th of the charts this month is reorders.
A little lower, selling in the 2.6K range, are reorders of GOTG #146 (the launch of the short Legacy run), the recent failed Secret Warriors comic, and the prelude issue to Hunt for Wolverine. The former and latter make sense given the events going on right now, but Secret Warriors? Maybe interest in Inferno due to Marvel Rising?
Now we’re getting into some really weird reorders. Teen Jean Grey’s solo series debut charts again at #361, followed by International Iron Man #5 at #364 and the Hulk funeral comic from Civil War II, Fallen at #365. All sell about 2.4K. What is relevant about any of these comics right now? At least the first issue of Adamantium Agenda, at #367, is an ongoing miniseries.
Justice League: No Justice #1 completes the set at #371, selling 2.3K. I suppose this makes sense for people who feel like they missed something with the debut of Justice League.
Another new Aspen launch, the flight-based teen adventure Awaken Skies, had a $1.50 prelude issue this month that landed at #372 with sales of 2.3K. This one didn’t really have much to lure new fans in, and it’ll probably lose most of these sales when it debuts for real next month.

Monsters Unleashed #1 at #374 with 2.2K sales. I got nothing, Glenn. Who is ordering these? Who thought “You know what my customers want? The first issue of a cancelled book from last year.”? Gonna go lie down now. Over to you.

Glenn:  But I wanted to lie down…
A new launch from Action Labs, Aberrant sells over 2.2k at 376.  I read this description and I don’t know what this book is about but is from some Hollywood screen writer apparently.  I hate it down here…
Death Of Love ends at 383 with sales over 2.1k.  Seeing this title on the charts selling low made me sad initially, now the whole thought of it makes me sad for personal reasons.  Comics is a weird place and does weird things to people.
Ray:  Death of Love seemed to be getting a good amount of buzz, so the sales being this low is a puzzle. Sadly, it seems VERY unlikely there’ll be a sequel for a number of reasons.
Glenn:  Zinnober, a post apocolyptic comic featuring dragons from Scout Comics sells over 2k at 390.  They reasons why dragons are successful in Game Of Thrones is that they also have zombies you see.
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At 391 is some reorders for Image’s Isola selling over 2k more additional copies.  Seems to be this one will be a sleeper hit for sure.
At 392 in more random stock clearen…er reorders is Accused 1 from Marvel selling over 2k too.  This was Hawkeye standing trial for the murder of the Hulk.  He should have clearly plead the Jean Grey defense.
Ray:  This was the comic that had Matt Murdock trying to get Hawkeye the death penalty. I suppose they’re friends again now. After all, if Hawkeye got the needle he’d just be back in a month anyway. 
Glenn:  In the Marvel universe, death is easier than community service.
From Vault comics we have Vagrant Queen which sells over 2k at 393.  This actually sounds quite good and is written by Madeline Vissagio who is making a name for herself rapidly in the industry so not sure what happened here.  I guess Vault have a ceiling that’s hard to get through.
Ray:  The only Vault comic to get consistently higher than this was Reactor, by an up and coming guy by the name of Donny Cates. Mags is still growing her brand, but this is decently above Vault’s usual launches.
Glenn:  At 395 we have Dave Sim being himself with Un-Bedable Vark selling over 1.9k.  He’s having fun at least.
At 396 there’s a comic called Jungle Fantasy Secrets 0-Ivory Nude which sells over 1.9k.  You know I once met Scott Snyder at New York comic con a few years ago.  I got a picture taken with him (which I somehow lost) and in the process totally didn’t notice and thus ignored Jim Lee.  It was one of my best and most embarking moments as a fan and someone who one day wants to work in this lovely industry.  This has nothing to do with this comic, I just like telling this story and needed to go to my happy place.
Ray:  That 1.9K is less impressive when you remember that the company gives every issue 25 covers. Gotta make sure everyone has their personal choice of sexy jungle lady comics.
Glenn:  Vol. 2 of a Gene Ha vehicle Mae launches from Lion Forge at 402 selling over 1.8k.  Not sure why this is Lion Forge but this is the result despite Ha being very well known in the industry.
Ray:  This was a Dark Horse miniseries that also did pretty low numbers, and it moved to a much smaller company years later. Not a big surprise.
Glenn:  Brother Nash, a new title from Titan which apparently is a mix of American Gods, Preacher and Hellboy doesn’t seem to drum up any of the interest of those properties and sells over 1.8k at 406.  Titan is not a company placed to sell original properties.
If you haven’t guessed by now, I’m ignoring the crazy reorders to keep my sanity.  Now excuse me while I talk to my dentist who is also an elephant.
Ray:  Good old Dr. Trunkington. He fixed my teeth…for peanuts. Eh? Eh? Eh?
Glenn:  You’re fired, even though you don’t work for me.
Statix Press (?!?!?!??!) delivers a new medieval fantasy type comic selling over 1.7k at 414 that is priced at 5.99 for some reason.  To be honest, considering I don’t recognize the creators or the publisher and its priced that its a Superman anniversary or something, that’s probably really good.
Ray:  I think Statix is an imprint of Titan, printing European comics translated for a US audience. They tend to put out oversized issues.
Image result for KONUNGAR WAR OF CROWNS
Glenn:  At 415 we have Michael Turner’s Legacy from Aspen selling over 1.7k.  This is likely for his remaining hardcore fanbase only.  This reminds me of my time at Prufrock Prep School…
Its pretty much all insane reorders until 467 where we have John Carpenter’s Tales Of Sci-Fi stand off, the first in a new mini by Storm King Productions (?!?!?!?!?!).  We’re in the Barn, its the only explanation!  Get out, save yourself!
More random reorders until we mercifully end with…a  reorder at 500.  This one makes a tiny bit of sense, its the first issue of New Challengers which launched last month.  An additional 980 sales for a new Scott Snyder book.  This new age of DC is really something.
Ray:  Yeah, this line as a whole has gotten zero buzz. Shame. The creators involved will larely be onto bigger and better things soon.
Glenn:  What’s next month Ray?  If you say reorders, I will have to kill you.

Ray:  Don’t worry, Glenn. I’m sure we’ll get random reorders of Solo and Foolkiller burning up the charts next month. 

Looking ahead to July’s sales, we’ve essentially got a four-way run for the top of the charts. The overwhelming favorite, of course, is Batman #50, the Bat-wedding issue – or is it? There’s been a lot of controversy here, but that didn’t affect orders and this could easily hit 250K. Nipping on its heels is the debut of Bendis and Reis on Superman, their proper launch. After the disappointing debut of Man of Steel, this could do much higher.
Marvel is answering with a pair of major launches of top titles. Amazing Spider-Man has a new #1, which usually signifies top numbers. However, without Dan Slott and with a divisive new writer, can it equal that? I don’t think it can touch Batman. It’ll be interesting to see if it can beat Captain America #1 by Ta-Nehisi Coates, who led his first Marvel book to one of the best debuts of 2016. There’s also two new titles from Donny Cates – Death of the Inhumans and Cosmic Ghost Rider.
None of the indies can touch these big guns, of course, but there’s a few interesting Image launches. We’ll see how oddball Kirkman/Burnham launch Die!Die!Die! shows up on the charts with its unusual release. Plus, the return of Sean McKeever and the debut of Rob Guillory as a writer artist should make an impression.
What will rise? What will fall? Find out next time on By the Numbers!
Image result for batman wedding variant
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By The Numbers: May 2018

Like in any industry, comic books and their companies listen most to one thing and that’s your money! What does your money tell them? What does it tell us as fans? What series do people say they adore but can’t seem to catch a break and what books to people hate that sell out? What are the trends? What looks good? What looks rough?

All these questions and more will be answered here, every month in ‘By The Numbers’ by comic writers, editors and fans, Glenn Matchett and Ray Goldfield.

Glenn Matchett is a comic writer and editor. He’s worked in the industry for 6 years but grew up reading comics. He’s had work published with Outre Press, Alterna Comics and Nemesis Studios. The gift that Glenn is getting for the Bat/Cat wedding is a lifetime of bat anti-shark repellent.

Ray Goldfield is a fan of comic books for going on 25 years, starting with the death of Superman. He is a writer and editor and has released his first novel. Ray also does a weekly roundup of DC comic reviews for website Geekdad and they’re brilliantly entertaining.  The gift that Ray is getting for the Bat/Cat wedding is a list of other nine weddings that are the must attend functions of the year.

We also do a podcast together with longtime buddy, Brandon James on iTunes with Rabbitt Stew or at the link here! Don’t ask, I didn’t pick the name. If you’d like to hear what me and Ray sound like, give it a listen!

Top 300 in full available here!

Glenn:  Its time for May sales with another month where things went a bit crazy for several reasons!  It seems that top 500 sales are going to be a regular thing and I suppose our integrity (what’s left of it) dictates we cover it all.  Main points for 300 and highlights for the rest though…I need to sleep.

Let’s get going.

So to no surprise, with all the sales momentum in the world, a pack of great artists and a writer doing his last huge story before riding off into the sunset next month (or this Wednesday as of this typing), Amazing Spider-Man #800 slams into the sales charts with a bone crushing performance over 411.4K which in the modern market for a $9.99 book is INSANE.  This has surpassed even the high expectations we had for it and I’m sure Marvel is thrilled.  The only comic that MIGHT match this is Batman 50 with its significance, all star artist roster and insane amount of variants but this right now is the best selling issue of anything in years.  Just brilliant numbers and I bet Marvel are wondering if letting Slott go is a huge mistake.  Of course, I bet he’d rather go out on a high like this and take some momentum with him to FF and Iron Man.  I think Amazing 801 will see very well too since its Slott’s last issue for real and its the return of Marcos Martin to the big two but this is something that there should be champagne passed around about.

Ray:  That is a MASSIVE number for Amazing Spider-Man. In this month, with so many premieres, nothing even came close and that’s amazing. It’s the #2 comic of the year, behind only Action Comics #1000 about 30K higher (as of last month, more on that lay-tor). Given that the top two comics of recent memory are a $7.99 issue and a $9.99 issue, it feels like the companies aren’t going to be shy about going for these mega-issues in the future, which worries me. However, the quality and quantity on both of these justified the price. Given how easily this outpaced many of the big launches from both companies this month, Marvel is seriously going to miss Slott. I suspect #801 tops 200K as well and comes in #2 next month

Glenn:  Good point on the pricier comics selling.  If people are promised a good package, they’re willing to pay.  We’ve talked a lot about how DC has made some good sales on quality specials in recent times, the success of this will undoubtedly drive Marvel to perhaps produce more but they’re likely to see any similar success due to the ‘perfect storm’ of elements that encourage the sales.

To underscore the success of Amazing, the next best selling book sold 200k less but still pulled in fantastic numbers.  The latest relaunch of Venom by Donny Cates and Ryan Stegman surpassed expectations also by selling over 225.7k outdoing regular heavyweights and some times you wouldn’t have expected it to leap over (more on that in a bit).  Venom is having a major renew of interest but the involvement of this creative team seems to have caught a lot of interest.  I think this is going to end up doing a lot better than the previous volume and will be one of Marvel’s strongest performers.

Ray:  That’s an astounding debut for Venom, easily enough to top the charts almost every month. We’ve seen Venom #1s debut very strong out of nowhere before, but they always crashed down to earth soon enough. This might not do that, between Donny Cates and the upcoming movie. I wouldn’t be surprised if it wound up being a top-twenty fixture, and we’ve already got some spinoffs announced.

Glenn:  I have a feeling if Venom is a success it’ll be in spite of the movie.

Despite the delays, Doomsday Clock remains rock solid at 3 with sales over 146.8k.  This seems to be performing similarly to Dark Knight III which had great sales despite various delays.  Again like that book this will also do very well in collections for decades too come.

Ray:  Yeah, this is barely a drop at all from previous issues and the fact that Doomsday Clock continues to outpace major launches every month is amazing, despite the delays. I think we’ll probably see a similar performance, if a bit lower, from DC’s upcoming stand-alone event Heroes in Crisis by Tom King and Clay Mann, especially as it spins out of events in Batman.

Glenn:  At 4 is the latest Avengers relaunch by Jason Aaron and Ed McGuiness which sells over 131.4k.  Another very solid performance but I would have expected maybe more from this creative team and the book that is being pushed as the flagship of Marvel’s line.  Being outsold by Venom is a big surprise and then we have Issue 2 selling this month also, landing at 13 with sales over 66.6k.  Not terrible sales, this would put it in Marvel’s upper tier of ‘regular’ books but given what this book is and who is producing it Marvel must have been hoping for more.

Ray:  The fact that Venom so handily trounced Avengers by this megawatt creative team is a testament to just how much these few years have damaged Marvel’s core brands in the comic world. If it can hold most of those second-issue sales, it’ll be fine, but this should be Marvel’s new flagship book, and it’s not selling like it at all.

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Glenn:  At 5 is another strong debut from Marvel in their latest onslaught of new books, this time its Black Panther which sells over 122.3k.  Considering this title was getting into danger territory previous, this is a great sign and either a good thing in terms of Marvel’s ‘fresh start’ or just as and/or more likely more Black Panther fans existing after the movie. This likely won’t stay a top seller but even sales around 40-50k once things settle would put it well above where the title was before and I see that being possible.

Ray:  Obviously a lot of this is the retailer bump for the first issue, but I expect there to be a lot more interest in this run of Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Black Panther than the last run due to the multiple new-ish characters who popped up there. If they can get even a tiny fraction of the fans who loved the movie to give this a try, it’ll stay very healthy.

Glenn:  At 6 and 7 is Batman who still shows up in his usual top ten spot despite all other wackiness.  Issue 47 of the series slightly edges out issue 46 with them selling over 101.5k and 100.1k respectively.  Momentum gathering for the wedding or just damn good writing pulling people in?  I wouldn’t be surprised if it were a mix of both.

Ray:  Batman seems all but invincible. I expect a decent-sized bump for next month’s wedding prelude issues featuring Joker, followed by a massive landing for #50 in July.

Glenn:  At 8 is the first part of the Justice League weekly series No Justice which serves as a bridge between Metal and Snyder’s League run which starts proper next month.  Part 1 sells over 86.7k, issue 2 is at 12 with sales over 68.8k, issue 3 is at 14 with just under 66k and the final part is at 15 with over 64.3k.  The drop from 1 to 2 isn’t too bad and then it stabilizes fast. Given the success of Metal, I would have thought there would be more interest here.  I think this is where we’ll see Justice League Dark and Justice League Odyssey sell with Snyder’s book doing about 70-80kish.  Again as we all know, consistency in this market is key and if DC can pull off this Justice League line around these numbers or better on a regular basis then there will be much to celebrate.

Ray:  Apparently Justice League #1 has sold over 250K for June, so I think this is much more of a hiccup than any lack of interest in the post-Metal status quo. Remember how we were consistently puzzled by the event series Clone Conspiracy selling less than the main ASM title? I think this might be something similar – retailers underordered on this weekly event not knowing just how critical this would be to the core series. Still, DC got over 250K in sales for the franchise in one month, so that’s hardly a disaster.

Glenn:  I see what you mean in regards to the Clone Conspiracy comparison but I think DC did a very good job of marketing this as important.  There was a lot of hype and a lead in that was printed in the pages of the massively ordered DC Nation #0.  Who knows?  It doesn’t matter in the long of course and this isn’t a bad seller by any means and like you said, the combined sales are very good.

Another first issue of a weekly comic event from DC at 9 (although the other issues shipped next month in this case) and its the start of Brian Bendis at DC proper and his start on Superman proper.  The first part of Man Of Steel sells over 86.7k which is very good but given this is Bendis proper big full issue debut I would have expected three figures.  Still, if this mini follows a similar pattern to No Justice and Bendis can deliver two Superman titles over 60-70k then DC will be delighted.

Ray:  Yeah, if the Superman books follow this sales pattern, Bendis will have his first big win for DC on his hands. I don’t know if this will be the case, but it’s worth noting that DC did far fewer variant covers for this event than for almost any other. The rollout was almost a little muted, so that may have depressed sales but lead to a stronger hold for the weekly issues next month. We’ll see – reception has been a bit mixed so far.

Glenn:  Final part of the top ten is the Walking ‘we don’t care what the rest of you do, we sell by existing nyah nyah’ Dead which sells over 73.7k.  This book lives the dream.

Ray:Every month! Almost like it’s…unkillable.

At #11, Batman: White Knight wraps its run with sales of 73.6K. It’s kept growing and stabilizing through the run, so I think this is a massive hit for DC. They’ve just announced it’ll be collected under the new Black Label brand with some minor new content, so it’s likely going to keep selling well for years to come.

Glenn:  Yeah, White Knight is a worthy addition to the DC back catalog and Murphy seems content to just work away in this little corner he’s created for himself.  This is good news for DC if his other books sell around this level (and I don’t see why they wouldn’t)

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Ray:  Despicable Deadpool wraps its run with issue #300 at #16 on the charts, selling just under 60K. A major increase for the series, but a bit weak given that this is Deadpool’s longest run ever and this came out right around the time of the second movie. I think Deadpool’s brand in this run was hurt quite a bit by having to tie in with the reviled Secret Empire and upending its status quo. Skottie Young is up next with a run that’s essentially a hard reset.

Glenn: I would expected more for the end of Duggan’s run too.  Similar to the latter end of Brubaker’s Cap run, I think he missed an opportunity to end his run earlier.  He still did solid work but nothing like what came before.  I’m sure next month’s new Deadpool launch will be strong and it’ll return to the standard 50-65k range its been doing for years after.

Ray:  That’s right above the next issue of Infinity Countdown, the pre-event by Gerry Duggan, which sells 59K. Solid numbers for Marvel, but they’d better hope the second event increases when it launches, or it’s not the kind of numbers that really carry a summer’s worth of tie-ins.

Glenn:  Yeah, those numbers are rather muted aren’t they?  I guess people that were fans of Infinity War didn’t want to sign up for this one as opposed to people who liked Black Panther.  This event will stabilize quickly I think but won’t be anything to write home about.  Line wide events at Marvel could be a problem in the near and possibly distant future given how the last one was handled.

Ray:  Surprised both of these beat Invincible Iron Man #600, the much-hyped final Bendis comic for Marvel. This landed at #18 with sales of 58.5K. Bendis’ days as a Marvel sales powerhouse were behind him when he left – we’ll see if his DC career brings back the heat.

Glenn:  It seems that this last tenure of Bendis time at Marvel was rather muted.  He was getting strong praise for some of his work but this book, the one that was supposed to be his latest big project faltered.  Iron Man’s been a tough nut to crack since Fraction left sales wise so we’ll see if Slott can bring momentum with him.

Ray:  #19 has the X-Men Wedding Special, selling 56K. I imagine a lot of retailers were very annoyed with this when they realized there was no wedding in this issue – it’s an anthology of bachelor party related stories. And given spoilers about the actual wedding that have come out by the time this article sees print, this may take the cake for one of the most over-ordered issues of all time.

Glenn:  Given how fickle their sales are past launch, Marvel shouldn’t really be trying to mess with retailers.  Its cute that they’re trying to steal some of the Bat/Cat wedding heat though

Ray:  A decent-sized increase for Flash this month, as the two issues gain about 7K in sales for the launch of Flash War, selling 53K and 52K at #20 and #22. I wouldn’t be surprised to see major reorders, as well, as it seems this event is – like The Button – a key part in the unraveling of the post-Rebirth status quo.

Glenn:  Flash is the biggest benefactor in terms of sales and story post Rebirth even a couple of years in.  Its become one of DC’s hottest books and this upcoming ‘Flash War’ might give it a platform to reach a higher level as it carries on.

Ray:  The first of five Batman: Prelude to the Wedding one-shots lands at #21, selling 53K for an issue pitting Damian Wayne against Ra’s Al Ghul. Solid numbers for a series that everyone knew wasn’t really essential reading, and it shows the interest in this storyline overall.

Glenn:  Interest for the wedding is high so DC may as well capitalize on that.  I wonder if perhaps this would have been much higher had King been involved in some way given this while story is his idea.  Still if the rest of the mini can sell around this (the highest selling will probably be Harley vs Joker) then that’s icing on the cake (pun intended).

Ray:  Speaking of reorders! What an impressive second month of sales for Action Comics #1000, selling 52K more copies and putting the total sales just over the 500K mark. I would say this is a once-in-a-lifetime event, but it’s not – stay tuned for Detective Comics #1000 in early 2019.

Glenn:  Its always insane to me when reorders on a book do better than the majority of new books but then again, this is a special case.  Like we said, DC did this one right in every aspect and I have no doubt that the Detective one will be every bit the same accomplishment…if not more so.

Ray:  James Tynion wraps his run on Detective Comics at #24 and #25, with both issues closing out the run over 50K. It’s been incredibly steady in sales, but the next few months feature three writers between now and September (Michael Moreci, Bryan Hill, James Robinson) with no sign of a permanent creative team. That’s worrisome as the series heads towards its big anniversary.

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Glenn:  DC is trusting Detective to fend for itself while they hold off on the new long term creative direction.  Its a curious strategy but DC are no doubt just treading water for something big here to coincide with the anniversary issue coming up.

Ray:  The previous Superman creatives teams got to wrap up their runs with oversized one-shots this month, and there’s a pretty big delta between the two. Dan Jurgens’ Action Comics Special lands at #28 with sales of 47K, while Tomasi and Gleason’s Superman special is down at #34 with sales of 43K. Given how much higher Superman originally sold, it shows that Jurgens really won the crowd over with his old-school run. He’s headed off to Green Lanterns next.

Glenn:  Jurgans will go down as one of the greatest creators on Superman ever so I’m glad he gets to go out on a relative high.  He’s also been writing Batman Beyond for DC for a few years so I don’t see him going anywhere else at this stage.

Ray:  The four Hunt for Wolverine miniseries debuted this month, and to a one the numbers were sort of unimpressive. The highest selling was Jim Zub’s Mystery in Madripoor, focusing on an all-female team of mutants, which sold 47K at #29. Next was Charles Soule’s detective thriller Weapon Lost, selling 44K at #32; Tom Taylor’s spy adventure Adamantium Agenda, selling 42K at #36, and Mariko Tamaki’s horror-themed Claws of a Killer one spot below with 41K. All acceptable numbers, but certainly not the event Marvel seems to think it was and a huge drop from last month’s one-shot, which sold 138K in setting this up.

Glenn:  I think like we’ve joked that everyone realized that all these mini’s were just cash ins and no one was really going to find Wolverine during them.  Given the amount of mini’s there were, its been a success in terms of managing to get people to pay money for what is essentially an intermission.  The publishing schedule for Wolverine continues to be curious in the month ahead as writer Charles Soule and artist Steve McNiven bring him back for realsies in another mini before a real ongoing starts.  Got to get in all the number 1’s we can I suppose.

Ray:  A solid debut for the latest Star Wars miniseries, Lando: Double or Nothing. It sells just under 43K at #35. Maybe a bit lower than expected, but this was expected to tie in with the Solo movie, and we all know how that went…

Glenn:  The Star Wars line has become less of a spectacle over the years also.  These mini’s used to sell insane numbers but things have steadily calmed down now that the initial ‘Star Wars is back!’ wave has passed.  Still the franchise always performs respectfully or better for Marvel and this is no exception.  I could see good reorders on this and will likely be a good seller in collections, especially if this version of Lando gets his own movie down the line.

Ray:  The Paul Dini/Bret Blevins miniseries Harley Loves Joker took the place of the main Harley series this month, bringing back the classic animated Harley Quinn. It’s a pretty healthy increase over the usual fare, with the first issue selling 41K at #38 and the finale clocking in at #46 with sales of 37K. That’s 11K and 7K above where the series was last month.

Glenn:  Dini writing Harley always draws interest.  A solid replacement for the main book which has Sam Humpries coming on board for a bit shortly.

Ray:  The one-shot Mighty Thor: At the Gates of Valhalla sells 39K at #40, and I’m a bit surprised it was this low. The conclusion of the main Thor storyline sold 56K last month, and the #1 next month will probably top 100K. It’s probably another case like No Justice, where retailers ordered a bit light on a bridge story that they thought was a side story. Expect strong reorders on this one.

Glenn:  Yeah, there was clearly some misunderstanding here.  This one should have sold a lot more and likely will pick up 10-15k additional sales next month.  We’ll try to remember to check!

Ray:  The X-Men Red annual lands at #43 with sales of 38K (just below a Star Wars annual by Cullen Bunn selling 39K). That’s 6K below the main X-Men Red issue this month, and shows how Tom Taylor’s acclaimed, socially relevant take on the X-Men and Jean Grey is easily outpacing the rest of the X-line at this point in terms of buzz and sales.

Glenn:  X-Men Red has become a strong performer for Marvel, Tom Taylor is a creator who doesn’t seem to grab the headlines like some but always seems to pull off these successes on the down low.

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Ray:  Spawn, surprisingly, keeps 75% of the sales it had last month for the return of the Violator and lands at #44 with sales just under 38K. Maybe the hype of the movie announcements is helping, but this is currently Image’s #2 book, just ahead of Saga. Is it 1994 again?

Glenn:  With the return of popularity to Venom, it just might be!

Ray:  A typically disappointing debut for the latest member of the New Age of DC Heroes lineup,New Challengers. It lands at #47 with sales of 36.5K, which is surprising given that Scott Snyder’s name is on the cover. This comic was announced cancelled, and resolicited with a co-writer as a miniseries, so I’m guessing retailers smelled a lot of behind-the-scenes meddling. Snyder seemed to have big plans for this, but that was before he was announced as the new architect of the Justice League books, so it seems to sort of have fallen by the wayside.

Glenn:  Yeah, this seemed to be his next big project but that could have been prior to him being given the keys to the Halls Of Justice, who knows?  I wouldn’t be surprised to see the challengers feature into Justice League proper and some of the ideas Snyder may have had re-purposed there.  If that does happen then this could be one that does well in collections.

Ray:  A title that seems to be keeping last month’s sales bump is Deathstroke, which lands at #49 with sales of 35K. The addition of Batman for a self-contained crossover event dealing with Damien’s parentage is getting this book a lot of new eyes, and hopefully they’ll stick around for the long haul on this excellent book.

The top-selling Image debut of this month easily goes to Death or Glory, the futuristic crime thriller from Rick Remender and Bengal. It charts at #57 with sales of 32.8K, very strong for an Image title. Remender’s sort of building his own brand at Image now, and he’s good for healthy numbers on virtually anything he does.

Glenn:  I liked the look of this new Remender book a lot.  Given how good his work at Image usually is, he seems to have built quite the following.  I can see his stock only going up following the adaption of Deadly Class to TV.

Ray:  The experimental miniseries You Are Deadpool, which combined an Al Ewing Deadpool comic with tabletop gaming, ran weekly in May and opened at #59 with sales of 31.5K. Future issues landed at #90, 100, 101, and 105, selling between 24K and 22K. An odd comic, for sure, but it’s done decent numbers for a comic with a limited audience.

Glenn:  I remember Marvel did weird game like comics before in the late 90’s.  I guess its good they did something different and Deadpool is the type of character that is tailor made for this type of book.

Ray:  Speaking of weeklies, Brian K. Vaughan and Marcos Martin release their multi-lingual alien abduction thriller Barrier in print for the first time, and it does very strong numbers for an Image weekly. The first issue (which was also released in a different edition on Free Comic Book Day) sells just under 29.4K at #65, with the next four issues charting at 80, 86, 93, and 98, selling 26-23K. Given how many people already read this in digital, that’s a great showing.

Glenn:  Some people (like me) prefer print I guess!  This is also Martin’s first comic work in a while so that may have gotten interest.  People who have read the webcomic (as it were) may have wanted a print copy too.  I can see this doing well in collections after its completed in singles form also.

Ray:  Infinity Countdown launches three tie-ins this month. Captain Marvel and Daredevil release one-shots which chart at #66 and #70, selling 29K and 28K respectively. Decent numbers, in line with their main series for the most part. The news isn’t quite as good for Infinity Countdown: Darkhawk, the miniseries spinning out of the Darkhawk one-shot from the start of Legacy. It launches at #91, selling only 24K.

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Glenn:  There’s never going to be anything with Darkhawk’s name on it does well, sorry fans of his.

Ray:  The Terrifics remains the only one of the New Age of DC Heroes titles to actually maintain some momentum, as its fourth issue lands at #67 selling just under 29K. That’s already ahead of the second issue of The Immortal Men, which lands at #71.

Glenn:  The power of Jeff Lemire strikes!

Ray:  The Star Wars: The Last Jedi adaptation arrives at #76, selling 27K. Decent numbers for a delayed adaptation of a story everyone knows, and the second issue is down at #107 selling 22K.

Glenn:  These adaptions of the movies are just done likely because Marvel is obliged to do them.  They’re fine for what they are and I’m sure Marvel considers them an acceptable aside to getting to still print the majority of Star Wars comics.

Ray:   At #82, we have Domino #2 selling 26K. Not a bad number for a Domino series, of course, but that’s a nearly 70% crash from the first issue’s massive sales. Combination of retailer over-ordering due to the movie and the usual Marvel #1 tricks? I knew it would crash back to Earth, but not this much.

Glenn:  That is quite a Domino fall (get it, get it?  I’ll see myself out) but still good numbers considering she’s a c list character with no ongoing to herself ever.  I think this could stableize and remain around here as long as Gail is the writer which will give Marvel a reason to keep it around.

Ray:  90s nostalgia continues in full swing, as Medieval Spawn/Witchblade launches at #85. This crossover between two properties well past their prime manages to sell 25K, which probably means we’ll be getting a lot more crossovers and revivals.

Glenn:  Wasn’t there a lot of wacky copyright stuff with Medieval Spawn?  Sometimes I feel like the charts are a time machine.  I can’t wait until Sam Keith brings back Ma…oh wait…

Ray:  DC gave us another wave of oddball DC/Hanna-Barbera crossovers this month, and there’s a pretty big gap in sales based almost entirely on the DC character involved. Despite being written by Scott Lobdell and getting the worst reviews of the four, Flash/Speed Buggy sells the best of the four, landing at #89 selling 24.6K. Not far below is Super-Sons/Dynomutt, which sells 23.8K at #92. Then it’s a big drop to Aquaman/Jabberjaw, selling 21K at #115, and finally is the most acclaimed of the four – Black Lightning/Hong Kong Phooey, selling 18.5K at #128. That one might get some reorders as writer Bryan Hill takes over Detective next month.

Glenn:  These sold based on the popularity of the main DC hero it seems.  I would say the ones that were better viewed might pick up some reorders.  These bizarre little teams ups seem to perform well enough for DC to keep doing them in any case.

Next book of note is the launch Harbinger Wars II from Valiant which is at 103 selling over 22.6k.  I didn’t even know there was a Harbinger Wars I!  This is a great number for a Valiant book, they’ve had higher numbers in the past but their launches usually perform much lower.  They keep on trucking.

Ray:  I sort of expected a bit more for Harbinger Wars II, given that this is their biggest event comic in a long time. It’s sort of their Civil War and much of their line is tying in. Still, Valiant does the majority of their sales in trades, and they’ve just announced a new line expansion to follow this up, so they’re clearly very happy.

Glenn:  Its anniversary issue time with Punisher #225 selling at 112 selling over 21.7k.  No special increase here as 224 is released the same month and sells more. I guess we only get big numbers for 50 and 100’s nowadays.  Punisher is getting his new coat of paint in a few months none the less.

Ray:  Punisher, much like Deadpool, got hit very hard with the aftermath of Secret Empire where he sided with HYDRA, so that may be hurting sales as well here.

Glenn:  At 113 is the Green Lantern annual which sells over 21.4k which is only around 3k below the main title.  That’s very good and DC annuals continue a pretty decent streak of solid performances.  There’s rumours that the whole direction of Green Lantern is about to undergo a big creative change, time will tell.

Following the pattern of its fellow books, the Curse Of Brimstone title drops in sales to just over 20.2k at 118.  This line has been a misfire apart from the Terrifics all in all.

At 119 is the launch of Quicksilver: No Surrender with sales over 20.2k too.  Not bad for a title starring Quicksilver who hasn’t been able to sustain any sales draw for decades but Marvel maybe expected better given its spinning out of Avengers: No Surrender which performed quite well for them.  The pattern of Marvel readers not really interested in any follow up stories from big events has been an issue for the company for years.

Ray:  Saladin Ahmed tends to be a creator who gets good reviews but doesn’t really sell, although many of his properties display very good holds once they hit a certain level (like Exiles this month, which only loses 2K from issue #2 to #3). Still, this is very low for a comic spinning right out of a major Avengers event. More evidence of the damage Marvel’s done to their own brand.

Glenn:  Another DC Annual!  Green Arrow this time which sells over 18.5k at 129.  Again  about 2k less than the main title so quite consistent there but this was a tie in to the big Justice League: No Justice mini I think?  I think retailers probably didn’t realize, I certainty didn’t until I saw the cover in my LCS.  Those that did know didn’t seem to care all too much.  This one might be another one for the reorder pile.

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Ray:  This one slipped under the radar, yeah, and it pulled double duty as the only No Justice tie-in during the month of release, and a lead-in to the Benson Sisters’ regular Green Arrow run. This is one to watch.

Glenn:  The True Believers One Shots are here again, this time focusing on Wolverine (he’s coming back ya know).  The highest selling of the batch is Wolverine: Sword Quest which is a reprint of the first issue of a mini by Chris Clairemont and John Buschema from back in the day.  I’m surprised this is the best selling, I’ve never heard of it but there ya go.  This sells over 18.2k at 131 which is great for a reprint like this.  At 140 is the new Wolverine True Believers one shot, this one putting him up against everyone’s favorite symbiote Venom!  This one sells over 16.7k.  Given how hot Venom is I’m surprised it didn’t do better but hey its all free money to Marvel.

Ray:  I’m pretty sure this is not the first Wolverine: True Believers wave, so almost all of the true A-list issues have been released in this format already. That’s probably why we didn’t see any of them sneak up on us and do huge numbers like the Venom ones did. All in all, like you said, free money for Marvel.

Glenn:  Second issue of Image title Isola is at 135 with sales over 17.5k which I’d say is very good.  This is from two creators that are well known and well thought of but neither have had major ‘sales pull’ as it were.  Maybe people just are interested in this book, fancy that!  Its well within the Image safe zone.

Ray:  That’s a really solid number for Isola, and means it should probably wind up in the top tier of Image books overall. This might actually wind up selling better in single issues than the creative team’s last collaboration, Gotham Academy, did. That’s a testament to how Image can sell a greater diversity of material in the direct market than the big two can.

Glenn:  The sequel to 300, Xerxes: The House Of Dariussells over 16.8k at 139 losing about 8k from its first issue.  Again, the single issue sales here are basically irrelevant but its a strong enough performer for Dark Horse in any case.

A crossover between Red Sonja and Tarzan debuts at Dynamite from megastar writer Gail Simone selling over 16.3k at 142.  This is another great number considering the characters involved.  Dynamite will be thrilled and Gail Simone I think again proves she can bring interest to any property (see also: Domino)

Ray:  Yeah, this is 100% the power of Gail’s sales, as Red Sonja rarely sells this well and Tarzan has zero sales power in the market. She can make anything sell better, although usually more on a cult hit level (see the second issue sales of Domino).

Glenn:  Another Wolverine True Believers at 143 with Wolverine vs Sabretooth it sells over 16.2k.  These are a lot more consistent sales wise than the usual true believers one shots.  I’m not sure which fight between Wolverine and Sabretooth this one collects, I choose to believe each page is from a different fight in a different comic and no one can tell me different.  The next one of these at 155 in the form of Wolverine: Fatal Attractions which sells over 14.1k.  I doubt Sharon Stone is in this comic but hey, ya never know.

Ray’s favorite comic of last month, TMNT: Urban Legends sells over 12.7k at 161.  This is a continuation of the long abandoned Turtle’s series from…Image I want to say?  Ray is the Turtle’s expert, he’ll fill you in.  Pretty decent for something you would have thought no one cared about anymore.

Ray:  Ohhhhhhhh jeez. This run is generally considered the worst Ninja Turtles run of all time, and it never actually finished its initial run. Despite this, it sells higher than the main series by about 1K. I don’t expect it to keep that once readers get ahold of it and tell the retailers “WTF?”

Image result for tmnt urban legends

Glenn:  There’s Wolverine again in Dying Game at 167 selling over 12.7k.  I googled this one and saw a cover where Wolverine has large teeth so we’ll say this one is the story of Red Riding Hood starring our stabby mutant friend.

New Image book, Last Seige launches at over 11.8k in sales at 173.  Good sales for a book from two creators I’m not familiar with, will likely land at about 7k which is pretty normal for none big name Image offerings.

Ray:  That is a pretty strong number for a title by Landry Walker, who is best known for his all-ages series Supergirl: Cosmic Adventures. This medieval thriller is definitely not all-ages, but it seems there’s some real interest.

Glenn:  At 174 is the next issue of Black Hammer: Age Of Doom which sells over 11.6k. Pretty stable as always from books in this universe.  If books sold on quality then this one would be in the millions.  Dark Horse must be happy with this universe of titles, we’re getting another Black Hammer spin off that’ll run in tandem with this one this month (June).

Ray:  That number for Black Hammer is down less than 2.5K from the launch, and still well above what it was selling before the relaunch. So this book continues to build buzz. Worth noting that Gideon Falls (#121, 19.4K) lost less than 1K in sales from the second issue to the third as well. Lemire has among the most stable books on the market in quality and sales.

Glenn:  I would say a lot of Lemire’s books do well in trades too.  Again, Dark Horse is letting him do more and more Black Hammer for a reason.

Ray:  At #169 we’ve got an unusual entry, SHIELD #5 by Jonathan Hickman and Dustin Weaver. This was a comic that was released to mass critical acclaim for its complex take on the history of Marvel Universe…until it just stopped coming out years ago. The creative team finally found the time to finish it and Marvel released the first few issues as a mini-collection at a reasonable price, but there was still a lot of sales attrition. It sells 12K, showing there’s only so long audiences will wait. It’s likely to do much better in collections. The mini-compilation of the first four issues charts at #198, selling 9.4K

Glenn:  I can’t remember how well this book did but yeah, it seems that interest passed on this one.  I’m sure people maybe wanted it but didn’t get the memo it was back or completely forgot.

Ray:  The new Star Trek: The Next Generation weekly spin-off mini “Through the Mirror” lands at #176, selling 11.5K. This got previewed on FCBD and features a major new villain, I believe. It’s getting a bit more hype than most IDW Star Trek comics. The second issue holds well at #184, selling 10.2K, and the remaining issues of the month sell in the 9K range with only minor attrition.

Glenn:  Pretty good sales for a Star Wars mini for sure.  It’ll be interesting to see if IDW benifits from the rumors of a show that continues from Next Gen.

Ray:  A strong debut for Garth Ennis’ new Aftershock series A Walk Through Hell, selling 10.8K at #179. Ennis has said this is the darkest book he’s ever written, so if it turns out more like his Punisher Max run than, say, Hitman, it could be one to watch.

We almost never see Tokyopop up this high, but they’ve got a hit in The Nightmare Before Christmas: Zero’s Journey, a spinoff from the popular movie. Selling 10K at #187, it’s a nearly wordless book geared towards young readers. The power of nostalgia is strong!

Glenn:  Nightmare continues to be a popular property for Disney even after all this time, the film ages remarkably well and Disney pushes it hard in their parks every Halloween and Christmas.  The fandom for this property is still respectfully high.

Image result for the nightmare before christmas zero's journey

Ray:  Coda #1, Si Spurrier’s latest weird worldbuilding epic from Boom, has a strong debut for Boom at #193, selling 9.7K. This is a 12-issue miniseries, so I don’t know how it’ll turn out by the end, but it’s starting with more room to fall than many Boom offerings.

Harbinger Wars 2 Prelude #1 shows up on the charts at #201, selling 9.2K. This was a stand-alone issue that set up the conflict between Livewire and the government, by Oscar-nominated screenwriter Eric Heisserer. Great issue, but remember all those #0 issues that did half the numbers for Marvel that the main event did the next month? Might be a similar pattern.

Glenn:  Valiant’s audience behaves very differently than Marvel’s though so you never know.  Stay tuned for next month!

Ray:  #207 has a fairly strong new Dark Horse debut, the haunted-college thriller Blackwood from Evan Dorkin and Veronica Fish. It sells 8.6K, which makes it the fifth-highest selling Dark Horse book of the month behind Miller, Gaiman, and two from Lemire. Likely to do well in the bookstore market as well. It’s enough to beat the final issue of Falcon!

Glenn:  This book sounded really good, it seems that Dark Horse has a lot of these interesting looking horror books on the go.  They seem to be happy with another horror offering in Harrow County to let that book conclude so I don’t see why this would be any different.

Ray:  Cyborg selling badly isn’t news – the latest issue of the relaunched-but-not series sells 8.3K at #216 – but what is notable is that as we type, DC has just announced that the upcoming issues of the series have been cancelled. June’s #23 will be the last, which means that the story will go unfinished. Those upcoming sales numbers must have been absolutely horrible – that has only been done once by DC in recent years, for the Vigilante reboot that turned out to be a mature readers book in disguise.

Glenn:  The decision to bring the book back was an odd one to start with and now the re-cancellation makes it seem even weirder.  I suspect we’ll only see Cyborg in Snyder’s Justice League for the foreseeable future.

Ray:  #217 brings us My Little Pony: Ponyville Mysteries. It sells 8.3K. I hope they have to investigate the Black Barn next issue.

Glenn:  I would buy every copy if they did.

Ray:  Batman #44, the “wedding dress” issue, picks up another 8K in orders at #221. Just more evidence that the Bat-wedding in July is going to be massive.

Glenn:  Can Batman 50 outsell Amazing 800 I wonder?  I think that it might manage it, especially with the amount of variants (I’m decorating my entire house with them and still have some left over)

Ray:  And now it’s time for me to yell “Come on, people!” At #223, we’ve got the launch of Flavor by Joe Keatinge and Wook Jin Clark, selling just under 8K. This fantasy cooking gladiator adventure deserved so much better for its inventive concept and gorgeous art, and I would think the success of Shutter would boost it. Booooooooooooo.

Glenn:  I liked the sound of this but maybe too quirky for some people?  Then again, Chew (another food based comic) never did too hot in singles but delivers in collected format so maybe this will be the same?

Ray:  Bubba Ho-Tep and the Cosmic Bloodsuckers #1 lands at #227 with sales of 7.7K. I didn’t know there were this many Bubba Ho-Tep fans, but you never know!

Glenn:  The Bruce Campbell fan club are a small but passionate bunch.  I suspect that there would be similar interest in a comic based on ‘The Room’ (which I now want to read)

Ray:  Analog has a pretty harsh fall to #229, losing about half of its sales to land at 7.6K. Gerry Duggan’s name on the title helped the first issue, but this book doesn’t seem to be picking up as much buzz as expected.

Glenn:  This seems to have missed the mark, yeah.  Its healthy enough to carry on but is performing around the level of Image books from people that aren’t as well known which is odd.  I couldn’t get into the first issue myself so maybe I wasn’t the only one?

Ray:  The second Marvel Super-Heroes one-shot, The Spider-Doctor, sells 7.5K at #230. This all-ages book is likely going to repackaged into a small digest for bookstores, so these sales are almost irrelevant.

Glenn:  Spider-Doctor sounds supper terrifying though.

Ray:  Matt Kindt’s cult favorite Dark Horse book Ether returns with a new volume, subtitled “The Copper Golems” at #233 with sales of 7.4K. This is pretty typical for Kindt’s small-but-steady books, and I expect it won’t drop too much from here.

Also a pretty harsh fall for Skyward, selling 7.4K at #234. There’s been a few acclaimed Image books lately that haven’t debuted or held as well as expected. Maybe too many comics in the monthly release schedule making it a bit hard to find an audience?

Glenn:  Image are putting out more content than ever and people have limited budgets.  Books will find they have to sink or swim quickly to grab readers attention but that’s a problem for every book at the moment, especially when Marvel is releasing best selling books at $10 a pop.

Ray:  Selling just under 7.4K at #235 is a new Fraggle Rock series from Boom. Obviously, this title isn’t geared towards the direct market, but raise your hand if you already have the song running in your head!

Glenn:  *raises hand* given that Fraggle Rock never captured the level of success as the Muppets or Sesame Street, I think this is a very good number,  Either this is nostalgia at work again or people are buying this for their kids who then have no idea what a Fraggle Rock is.

Ray:  7.3K in reorders for Batman #45 as well, the launch of the Booster Gold arc at #237. I think this arc could become a very hot commodity now that it’s clear it’ll be a major prelude into Heroes in Crisis.

Glenn:  Good call, this will probably pick up more reorders which we will now see because the length of the sales chart is nearly double.

Ray:  As the four miniseries reach their halfway point, all four Young Animal books are incredibly close in sales this month, ranging from 6.9 to just under 6.4K. We’ve got Shade the Changing Woman at #242, followed by Mother Panic: Gotham AD at #244, Eternity Girl at #245, and Cave Carson at #249. This was a bold experiment, but it doesn’t seem like it was made for the direct market. Here’s hoping for a revival for some of these in a new format.

#250 brings us the new Dark Souls comic, Age of Fire, selling 6.3K from Titan. Obviously for a cult audience of gamers, but is it really Dark Souls if you’re not screaming in frustration?

Image result for dark souls: age of fire

Glenn:  I was thinking that the comic can only give you a true Dark Souls experience if it tries to give you paper cuts while you read it.  I’m totally copyrighting that idea by the way.
Small drop for the Star Trek Discovery Succession mini not even losing 1k with sales over 6.2k at 251.  This is another one to do with the mirror universe so maybe people are interested in an evil version of the federation?

Another new Aftershock book at 263 selling over 5.5k in the form of Pestilence: Story Of Satan.  This is from writer Frank Tieri who has some big work under his belt but never hit the big time and hasn’t done anything of note for a while.  Pretty standard Aftershock sales on a first issue with that taken into account.

Ray:  This is the second volume of Pestilence, a medieval zombie thriller. Given that, it probably didn’t get all that much of a first-issue bump either.

Glenn:  Reorders for Deathstroke 30 which was the first part of the Deathstroke vs Batman story which sells over 5.4k at 264.  Not often you see reorders for Deathstroke, the magic of Batman is unending.

At 268 is a new Judge Dredd comic, Under Seige which sells over 5.3k.  Like we’ve said before on these charts, Dredd never really does too well in the direct market but has a massive scope outside it.  These sales are pretty secondary to the property as a whole.

Steve Orlando’s Image book, Crude loses about half its sales selling over 5.2k at 269.  Like Analog, this is a book that has a writer attached that you think would get a lot more attention.  This is one that might not last too long.

Ray:  I think Crude is a miniseries, but it’s odd that Orlando doesn’t seem to be able to parlay his DC success into creator-owned success just yet. His Boom work recently also struggled to make the top 300.

Glenn:  Another launch of a comic based on a video game, this time from Dark Horse and Garth Ennis in the form of World Of Tanks: Citadel which sells over 5.2k at 271.  This is one for hardcore fans of the game and Ennis only it seems.  I think this is an online and/or mobile app game only which likely explains why is has even less sales than video game tie-in comics usually do anyway.

A Simpsons comic, Mighty Moe Syslak sells over 5.1k at 274.  These Bongo one shots keep showing up more and more in the top 300.  The demand for Moe is more than I would have thought.

Ray:  It is odd how more and more niche characters are getting spinoffs from Bongo, but when we’re talking close to thirty years of a fanbase, it makes sense. I wonder what will happen when Disney takes ownership of the Simpsons – they’d be smart to keep this arrangement with Bongo going.

Glenn:  Given the move DC just made with Wal-Mart, they might appreciate a company like Bongo who has a lot of reach outside the direct market.

Obligatory Hellboy comic time in the form of Witchfinder: The Gates Of Heaven, the start of a new mini which sells over 4.9k at 278.  On the lower end of the usual Hellboy sales but nothing too dramatic.

An odd sounding Vampirella one shot, Savage Tales (she fights barbarians apparently) sells over 4.8k at 279.  This is pretty good sales I’d say for something that doesn’t sound like the type of thing that usually gets attention.  Do dead barbarians move the needle?

Image result for vampirella: savage tales

A reprint from Titan in the form of Tank Girl: Full Color Classics 1988-1989 launches at over 4.8k in sales at 281.  If these comics are indeed around 30 years old than those are some good numbers that will cost Titan very little to produce.

Some reorders for last months True Believers: Infinity Gauntlet at 283 which sells additional sales over 4.8 too.  Its almost as if there was a massive blockbuster with the same name or something.

Some reorders for Donny Cates Thanos at 287 with issue 14 picking up additional sales over over 4.7k which is more than the reorders it picked last month.  It seems investing in Mr. Cates is going to pay off for Marvel.

The Robocop: Citizens Arrest book loses about half its sales at 290 selling over 4.6k.  Like we said last month, no one really cares about Robocop anymore.

A new Adventure Time comic debuts at 292 with over 4.6k sales.  This comic will be picking up most of its sales in collections and outside the direct market so these are inconsequential.

In the past, the fifth issue of Back To The Future: Time Train would have been the last comic we covered at 300.  It sells just over 4,4k in sales and this is where things start to get scary kids.

Ray:  I don’t want to go in the sub-300 barn, Glenn. Hold me.

Glenn:  This was your idea.  I wanted to be lazy but then you were all ‘but we have a duty to our readers!’  Stupid scary duty.

Ray:  Also worth noting that the 31st issue of Harrow County is at 299, selling 4.4K. It should likely get a small bump for its June finale, which will mean it stayed in the top 300 for its entire run. Well deserved!

Glenn:  Having read the first two trades, I agree.

Scout Comics releases the first issue of Cybre Spectre, a former Kickstarter project that sells over 4.3k at 303.  Not too bad for a book that presumingly the Kickstarter basically already paid for.

Ray:  Cyber Specter is drawn by Ale Garza, who’s done some major DC and Image work over the years. That probably explains why this sold a lot better than most Scout debuts that aren’t Stabbity Bunny.

Glenn:  At 308 is Delta 13, a new horror book from 30 Days Of Night creator, Steve Niles.  This one sounds quite interesting but only sells over 4.2k.  Another likely victim of IDW not having that strong a footing with creator owned.

Ray:  Steve Niles is one of those names that almost everyone knows due to his one iconic work (30 Days of Night) but few of his future works get anywhere near the same level of buzz. He’s taking over Kick-Ass in a few months, which is an interesting choice.

Glenn:  Doomsday Clock piles on the reorders with issue two (which is now 6 or 7 months old) picking up another 4.2k+ additional sales at 310.

Valient High from…Valient debuts at 316 with sales over 4k.  A lot lower than Valient debuts usually manage.  I really hope this is an alternative reality starring high school versions of their characters, those are usually fun type stories but may not have appealed to their usually dedicated audience.

Ray:  This is not only an alternative reality, it was a digital-first comic that got most of its sales online months earlier. Given the young-skewing audience and the fact that it was a reprint, I doubt Valiant was expecting much more out of this – it’s a novelty book.

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Glenn:  A new Sherlock Holmes mini, Vanishing Man debuts from Dynamite at 322 with sales over 3.8k.  I would assume Holmes stories do better in collections and there isn’t much demand for the single issues given that his type of stories don’t lean towards installments.

Some additional reorders for Domino at 324 with 3,8k additional sales.  It may have crashed hard in sales but clearly people were interested to see what the title had to say right off the bat, this really makes me thing a quick stabilization is more than likely.

Ray:  Yeah, I expect Domino might even increase from second-issue sales once the true reader interest level becomes clear.

Glenn:  Crossed Plus 100 Mimic, a revival of a series created by Alan Moore returns from Avatar press at 333 with sales over 3.6k.  I’ve never heard of this property and without Moore’s involvement there seems to only be minimal interest.  Probably not too bad in terms of how Avatar books usually sell though.

Ray:  I know this used to be a Garth Ennis property as well, but since then it’s really slipped below the radar. Essentially Walking Dead with more gore and religious iconography, I guess it has its audience.
A Kong of Skull Island special, which is becoming a yearly event for Boom, lands at #337 with sales of 3.5K. This one had Kong vs. Vikings, which is apparently a niche concept. But not in my heart!

Right below at #338 is a spinoff of Zenoscope’s Oz series, focusing on the Wizard. Rachel Bloom needs to put out more songs to make our job easier…

Glenn:  She just needs to do more things in general.  More Bloom, less Zenoscope a By The Numbers dream.

Ray:  The Highest House only sells 3.5K at #341 and I’m gonna throw a chair. This better sell six digits in trade and get a Netflix deal ASAP.

Glenn:  I bet its not that great…Ray put down the knife…

Ray:  3.3K in reorders for Sonic the Hedgehog #1 at #344, proving further that this is a new hit franchise for IDW.

Jasmine: Crown of Kings sells 3.1K at #350 from Zenoscope. Rachel Bloom, why have you forsaken us…

Glenn:  She has friends, lots and lots of friends.

Ray:  A new mini-collection of stories, Betty and Veronica Best Friends Forever, sells 3.1K at #353. This was hyped as a new series like Your Pal Archie, but it’s actually just a collection of themed stories from the digests – the first issue is themed around movies. Unlike the other major new Archie releases, this one isn’t really providing new content, just a new format, and it seems retailers realized that.

Titan Comics seems to have a lot of debuts here, with both a new Warhammer spinoff titled Deathwatch, and a series called 2021: Lost Children, both selling 3K at 354 and 356. Titan books seem to have higher price points, European creative teams (many are reprints and translations), and a small but loyal audience.

The spectacularly titled Alien Toilet Monsters lands at #368 from Omnimorphic Press, selling 2.8K. I’ve never heard of this company before, and their output seems to be…unique. I’m gonna campaign for making this book a companion for Zombie Tramp as the official mascot of By the Numbers.

Glenn:  The writer of this series, Carol Zara seems to work hard to promote this book so good for her.

Image result for alien toilet monsters #1

Ray:  It outsells the excellent Sleepless (#369, 2.7K) and Scales and Scoundrels (#371, 2.6K) from Image. Booooooooooo.

At #383 we have another new launch from Black Mask that sort of breaks the mold. We Are Danger, written and drawn by Fabian Lelay, is a teen-oriented comic about the underground music scene, and it eschews the company’s usual hard-edged political themes for a more accessible tone and diverse main characters. It only sells 2.5K, though, which makes me think Black Mask’s sales issues aren’t going anywhere.

2.4K in reorders for Isola #1 at #388 (it actually outsells the fourth issue of Justin Jordan and Donal DeLay’s Death of Love four spots below). This seems to be a genuine hit for Image, and much deserved for the creative team.

Apparently Executive Assistant Iris is a long-standing franchise for Aspen, because volume 5 arrives this month with sales of just under 2.4K at #391. Clearly this is a niche book at a niche company, and the sales show it.

The best-selling True Believers issue of all time shows up again, selling an additional 2.2K for Venom vs. Spider-Man at #396.

Glenn:  No wonder we’re only at issue 3 of the new Venom and Spidey is showing up.

Ray:  The return of Aardvark-Vanaheim to the comic book charts has been one of the oddest subplots of recent years, and Dave Sim’s indie creation shows up twice this month. Undateable Cerebus is right above Love & Aardvarks at #398 and #399, both selling 2.1K.

There’s quite a few Image reorders right about here, with the first issues of smash hit Gideon Falls (for its third month) at #415, followed by more modest hit Skyward at #416 in its second and Kirkman’s latest hit Oblivion Song in its third at #420, all picking up another 1.8K in sales. Always good to see quality books picking up steam. Gideon Falls #2 shows up again as well, with 1.5K in sales at #435.

Image result for skyward 1

The latest seasonal Boom Garfield special, Vacation Time Blues, sells 1.6K at #430. Boom’s sort of transitioned this series to mini OGNs, so the comics aren’t usually big sellers in the direct market. There’s a more hyped Garfield miniseries titled Garfield: Homecoming next month. Let’s hope he’s eating his lasagna to get strong to battle his way up the charts!

Glenn:  We can but dream.

Ray:  Based on the work of Edgar Rice Burroughs, Pellucidar: At Earth’s Core sells 1.5K at #434 for American Mythology. The cover makes it look like a vaguely more respectable Boundless Comics “sexy cave lady” book, so that still has its audience, I guess.

Speaking of American Mythology, Pink Panther 55th Anniversary Special sells just under 1.4K at #446. I think this is the cat, not Inspector Clouseau. I wonder, have they ever crossed over with each other?

Glenn:  I think the cat was in the movies in some aspect.  Now I have the Pink Panther theme in my head…

Ray:  Tis the time for really low-selling indie comics from small companies to show up. These include barbarian adventure Ruin of Thieves: Brigands (1.3K, #450) from Action Lab, and surreal musical-horror-crime book Jazz Legend (1.2K, #459) from Scout. There was just an article about what they called a glut of mid-level comics, with many startups competing for space in a shrinking market and many falling by the wayside. These two seem like they fell prey to that.

American Mythology is giving us a lot of odd books this month, including Three Stooges Slaptastic Special, selling 1.1K at #461. “Old properties that have not been relevant for decades” is an odd brand for a comic book company, but everyone’s got a theme, I guess!

There are apparently exactly 1,033 fans out there for Gingerdead Man Meets Evil Bong #2 at #474. And God bless ’em, everyone.

Glenn:  If this comic can make it, I can keep my dream of a successful comic career alive.

Ray:  Cavewoman: Lycan Run sells 964 copies for Amryl Entertainment at #481. I think that averages out to about 7 copies per cover? Another Cavewoman series, Return to Labyrinth, is 58 copies below at #489.

The mostly black and white haunted town thriller Long Lost has been getting among the most buzz of any release from Scout Comics, and creators Matthew Erman and Lisa Sterle have been raising its profile a lot on Twitter, so I’m a bit surprised to see it down here at #493 selling 841 copies. The upcoming trade will likely give it a big boost.

Rounding out the top five hundred is three reprints – the final issue of Tomasi and Gleason’s Superman run, the penultimate issue of Batman: White Knight, and at #500 is 769 more copies of one of the Thanos True Believers one-shots, Thanos the First (not related to Sofia the First). What’s most notable about the end of the charts this month for me is the complete absence of any of the seven Catalyst Prime series that make up the bulk of Lion Forge’s line right now. To have a full line of books and none of them cracking 800 copies nationwide is odd.

Glenn:  Now I want Marvel to convince Disney to let them do a comic where Sofia the First gets the Infinity Gauntlet.  YOU’D ALL READ IT, DON’T LIE!

Image result for true believers thanos the first #1

Ray:  Looking ahead to June, it’s another big month for DC. We’re getting the launch of Scott Snyder’s Justice League, which is a strong contender to win the month with over 250K in sales, per the latest reports. We’re also seeing the rest of the prelude issues for the Batman/Catwoman wedding plus the return of Joker in Batman, and debuts for Hawkman, Plastic Man, and Steve Orlando’s The Unexpected.

Dan Slott may be battling himself for the top Marvel book of the month, as he drops the final issue on Amazing Spider-Man the same day as the launch of his first new book, Tony Stark: Iron Man. There’ll also be big debuts for Doctor Strange, Ant-Man and the Wasp, and Immortal Hulk. Not to mention a little guy named Deadpool, and a certain Norse God. Plus, we’ll see if the power of Jeff Lemire carries on to one of Marvel’s most mocked characters, The Sentry.

The indie headliner of the month will undoubtedly be the debut of The Magic Order from Image/Netflix by Mark Millar and Oliver Coipel, which may jump into the top ten. There’s quite a few interesting indie debuts, including Michael Fiffe’s Bloodstrike, Kelly Thompson and Jenn St. Onge’s Nancy Drew, and Mags Visaggio’s Vagrant Queen from Vault.

What will rise? What will fall? Will Ray throw a chair when his favorite indies don’t make the top 300? Find out next month on By the Numbers!

Glenn:  Where Glenn will no doubt, get a chair to the face.  Or he might melt first.

Like what you read?  Have any questions, comments or suggestions?  Let us know here or on Twitter @glenn_matchett and @raygoldfield

By The Numbers: April 2018

Like in any industry, comic books and their companies listen most to one thing and that’s your money! What does your money tell them? What does it tell us as fans? What series do people say they adore but can’t seem to catch a break and what books to people hate that sell out? What are the trends? What looks good? What looks rough?

All these questions and more will be answered here, every month in ‘By The Numbers’ by comic writers, editors and fans, Glenn Matchett and Ray Goldfield.

Glenn Matchett is a comic writer and editor. He’s worked in the industry for 6 years but grew up reading comics. He’s had work published with Outre Press, Alterna Comics and Nemesis Studios. Trying to attend the Royal Wedding, Glenn accidentally instead showed up Wakanda several years late for the Black Panther/Storm wedding.  Awkward.

Ray Goldfield is a fan of comic books for going on 25 years, starting with the death of Superman. He is a writer and editor and has released his first novel. Ray also does a weekly roundup of DC comic reviews for website Geekdad and they’re brilliantly entertaining. For the last month, Ray has sat in front of a board with notes, little bits of ropes signifying connections and mutterings about patterns that only he can see.  Yes, its sweeps season.

We also do a podcast together with longtime buddy, Brandon James on iTunes with Rabbitt Stew or at the link here! Don’t ask, I didn’t pick the name. If you’d like to hear what me and Ray sound like, give it a listen!

Top 500 in full available here!

Glenn:  Welcome to (a delayed due to holidays) April sales 2018!  Once again I look forward to breaking down the top 300…wait…there are 500 here.

Ugh, FINE
Ray:  The sales charts are trying to break us!
Glenn:  Its a conspiracy Ray!  Despite the delays, the spirit of Rorschach is with us!
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So to absolutely no surprise, Action Comics 1000 from DC comics was at the top of the charts with sales over 449.7k which is a hell of a lot for a 7.99 comic but this had literally everything going for it.  The legacy, the talent, the variants, everything was a ‘how to’ lesson in how to celebrate a huge landmark like this so kudos to DC for pulling it off.  Both Superman titles are now going on a break to make room for the Bendis led run that starts in the Man Of Steel mini.  Of course, we’re not going to get sales like this there but the name of Bendis alone should give the books a boost from their previous numbers.  A brilliant achievement all in all.
Ray:  Absolutely no surprise that Action Comics #1000 dominates so thoroughly. People use the term “once in a lifetime event” a lot, but this is something that actually fits the bill. The first comic ever to legitimately reach a thousand issues. (Looking at you, Deadpool with the gimmick numbers) It shows that there is a lot of genuine interest still in Superman, and that might bode well for Bendis as he takes over. What will be fun to watch – does Detective Comics #1000 beat these numbers in less than a year’s time? And also, does Amazing Spider-Man #800 challenge this mark?
Glenn:  Detective could match, maybe exceed depending on who is at the helm but Amazing?  Not as sure.  It’ll be interesting to see though!
Back in the land of normality, two issues of Amazing Spider-Man (798 and 799 respectfully) take the number 2 and 3 slots with sales over 233.2k and 192.6k a piece.  Its an odd drop off between the two issues but both are great numbers as the title builds momentum towards the conclusion of the Red Goblin story and the end of Dan Slott’s run.  Slott is going out on a high and after delivering a solid run and Marvel’s most consistent superhero title for a decade, no one deserves it more.
Ray:  If the sales on 798/799 are any indication, Action #1000 might have a fight on its hands. I knew it would keep climbing, but I never imagined it would be anything on this level. This is more than triple its usual sales for this final arc. Which begs the question…just how high can #800 go? Either way, Marvel will likely very much miss this run in a few months. I’d say it’s 50-50 that ASM #798 outsells ASM #1.
 
Glenn:  The first of the many ‘Where’s Wolverine?’ books hits at 4 with Hunt For Wolverine 1 selling over 138.5k.  This is higher than I would have thought since Wolverine’s never really been gone in a sense but hey, whatever works!  If this continues onto the multiple hunt for Wolverine mini’s and leads on to a similar success that Return Of Jean Gray has had then Marvel’s cycle of killing and bringing their heroes back may have some life yet!
Ray:  Yeah, this is a strong debut number for a one-shot, but the unusual set-up for the rest of the event means the actual story is yet to be told. Next month this spins out into four four-issue miniseries written by Charles Soule, Tom Taylor, Mariko Tamaki, and Jim Zub. If they can sell half of what this one-shot did, Marvel will be very happy. But we still don’t know where Wolverine is! I bet he’s drunk and passed out in the Danger Room and no one looked there. 
Glenn:  At 5 and 7 is Batman doing what Batman does and that’s selling comics!  Issues kicking off the arc guest starring Booster Gold (fresh off his appearance in Action Comics!) sell over 125.8k and 96.4k.  This is a boost from Batman’s previous slow melt of sales and I personally completely credit Booster for this.  Time to give him a book DC!
Ray:  #44 of Batman is the near-silent wedding prelude issue where Catwoman goes to steal her wedding dress, and the fact that it got such a huge bump over the last and next issue shows that most likely, the wedding issue is going to be absolutely huge. This is another rare event that will get people talking – for now, as dark rumors are circulating. As for Booster, if DC did want to give him a solo spotlight soon, this would be the way to set it up. 
Glenn:  The meat in the Batman sandwich is Venomized 1 at 6 selling over 103.7k.  This is the last mini of Cullen Bunns various ‘Venom‘ themed mini’s and once again, this character has come back to monthly comics and to the sales chart with a bang.  Issues 2, 3 and all sell this month respectively at 30 with sales over 44.5k, at 35 with 42.4k and 36 just over 42.1k which is very good for a one month mini event.  I’m expecting big things from the new Venom series by rising star Donny Cates and fan fave artist Ryan Stegman next month.
Ray:  Venomized is the third in this series of mini-events, and the conclusion to Cullen Bunn’s long-running Venom run before Cates completely upends the status quo. Venom always seems to be a solid seller, and I fully expect to see Cates’ Venom be here in the top ten again next month.
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Glenn:  Another big surprise at 8 is the first issue of Domino which sells over 89.1k.  This could be because its Gail’s return to Marvel or the upcoming movie the character will be in or perhaps, a combination of both.  Domino is a third tier character so debut sales like these are incredible.  If it can even keep around 30k of them, that would be a brilliant achievement a big win for Marvel and the creative team.
Ray:  That’s a genuinely amazing debut for Domino, which is likely down to the two factors you mentioned. Still, I thought this would be a hit, but compared to the other major Marvel debut of the month (more on that lay-tor), it’s a world of difference. Companies would be well-advised to take notice – Gail Simone’s following is a game-changer. It’ll be interesting to see if her other upcoming projects also blow the doors off like this. 
Glenn:  Another big anniversary issue for a character from the golden age at 9, this time its Captain America!  Issue 700 sells over 77.7k which is respectable.  Releasing an anniversary issue when you’re always going to play second fiddle to Action 1000 is a big ask but Captain America is a title still very much recovering from its previous run. Creators Mark Waid and Chris Samnee have made a herculean effort to make the title credible again and I doubt many others at Marvel could have done much better given the long hill they’ve had to climb.
Ray:  Marvel and the crack creative team of Waid and Samnee did as well as they could with the horrible circumstances the character found himself in, and these are solid numbers. Overall, the book seems to have stabilized a bit – which it’ll need to, before Ta-Nehisi Coates proceeds to upend everything again with a controversial, politically driven run that will likely get people yelling again. Quality-wise, it should be an improvement over the run that got us all into this fix, though. Pray for Spider-Man
Glenn:  Finally at 10 is Walking Dead, doing what it does best (along with Batman) and that’s sell comics. It sells just under 74k.  It literally can’t be stopped.

Ray:  Almost as consistent as Walking Dead is Batman: White Knight, which is at #11 at 73K. It’s kept climbing over its entire run, and should likely get one more surge for its final issue. 

An interesting switch-up is that Marvel seems to have dominated the top twenty this time, thanks to hit titles both old (Mighty Thor, #15, 56K) and new (X-Men: Red, #16, 56K). Mighty Thor, of course, is wrapping its acclaimed Jane Foster storyarc, and X-Men Red seems to have gained a lot of buzz for its unique take on the returned Jean Grey. Look! Female characters sell!
Glenn:  Will wonders never cease?  We just talked about these sales on the Rabbitt Stew podcast (go listen!  all the cool kids do!) and it looks like X-Men: Red could hold its own as the premier X-Men title with its success.  Lets hope Marvel doesn’t rock the boat with this one with fresh start but all seems oddly quiet on that front
Ray:  The Avengers weekly experiment seems to have been a win for Marvel, as the four issues this month land at #14, #17, #23, and #26. Selling between 59K and #46K, that’s a pretty wide range but all more than double what Avengers was selling with the previous run. Of course, this run was more about dismantling the previous status quos to set up what comes next – and these numbers will likely look downright puny when it comes to Avengers next month.
Glenn:  The new Avengers title will be in its own league but as a short run (output wise if not issue wise) this one did very well.  I wonder if Marvel will be looking to repeat the experiment elsewhere.
Ray:  With its final issue, Thanos somersaults up the charts once again, selling 51K at #18. That’s an insane climb for a title that was selling about 20K at the end of Lemire’s run, and Marvel will undoubtedly be selling countless collections. Not much further down at #32, selling 43K, is the Thanos annual which features a story by Cates and bridges the gap between the Thanos series and the upcoming Cosmic Ghost Rider spin-off. Amazing run.
Glenn:  Cates has climbed up the ranks quickly in the market but the sales here will undoubtedly be also attributable to people coming in from Avengers: Infinity War hungry for more Thanos.  These sales do give Cosmic Ghost Rider a good platform to start though and indicated that mini might be a hit.
Ray:  At #22, we see the debut of Immortal Men, which sells 48K. This is the second highest debut for The New Age of DC Heroes, only lagging behind Lemire’s The Terrifics. Of course, James Tynion IV’s name and the presence of The Batman Who Laughs in a cameo likely helped, but there’s one big x-factor here – this was supposed to be drawn by Jim Lee, who didn’t manage to finish the first issue and will be replaced by Ryan Benjamin on future ones. That means this title could be in for a much harsher slide than normal for this line.
Glenn:  This title had a lot going for it on paper but now seems to be a representation of all that has gone awry with the DC new era of heroes titles.  With Tynion involved and the Batman Who Laughs as a key player this will probably still place this book ahead of the other titles that proceeded it (apart from the Terrifics) but how it could have done if it had managed to pull off what it was presented as originally is anyone’s guess.
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Ray:  #25 brings us a puzzle, as Spawn #284 sells over 46K. That’s almost a 300% jump from the previous issue in February. This appears to have been the return of his arch-nemesis, the Violator, to which I say…what? I didn’t even know people remembered Violator! I have a toy of him buried somewhere at my mom’s house, I think, but I didn’t think 30K other people did! Can Venom vs. Violator be far behind?
 
Glenn:  If IT and the popularity of the Joker has taught us nothing else its that everyone loves an evil clown.  Once upon a time, Spawn was Image’s mvp title so its kind of nice in that sense to see it back up at this level but this is definitely a rarity, back to the lower end of the chart it goes next month.
Ray:  Flash is rock-solid this month, with two issues selling 45K at #27/28, but look for it to make a major jump next month when Flash War begins to ramp up.
Holding over 50% of its first issue sales and ensconcing itself as the #3 Image book of the month – even beating Saga by 6K – is Robert Kirkman’s new series Oblivion Song at #29. 44K is rare air for creator-owned titles, and it shows exactly how powerful Kirkman’s name is now, even without a TV series. Helps that it’s excellent so far.
Glenn:  No one wants to miss the boat on Kirkman’s new book this time around and it shows, great sales for his newest offering.
Ray:  It may have been lapped by Thanos, but Mister Miracle continues to rock the sales charts, landing at #39 with sales of 39K. That’s barely down 1K from last month, and it seems to have locked down a place in DC’s top tier of books right now. Tom King’s titles tended to sell low in single issues, high in trades, but this has finally broken that pattern. He’s conquering both singles and trades now!
Taking a huge jump for the start of Batman vs. Deathstroke, Deathstroke jumps over 100% to land at #40 with sales of just under 39K. DC has promoted this “custody battle” storyline like a mini-event and it’s paid off. What’ll be interesting to see is if we see any long-term sales boost for the series once the storyline wraps. It certainly deserves it.
Glenn:  Just shows you how much benefit adding Batman can be!  The story also in of itself seems interesting and seems to have caught the attention of fans and retailers so good on Christopher Priest on continuing to keep Deathstroke one of the high points of DC’s current line.
Ray:  Weapon H loses almost 2/3rds of its sales with its second issue, landing at #45 with 36K in sales. That’s closer to what I would expect, and still healthy. Greg Pak’s fanbase probably has a lot to do with its success here, because the character has no pre-existing fanbase and it’s selling in line with Old Man Logan and well above the current Hulk series.
No performance like last month’s Venom issues, but we get another wave of True Believers specials, this one focusing on Thanos. The top entry is a reprint of Infinity Gauntlet #1, which sells 36K at #46.
Glenn:  It helps in the case here when you have a billion dollar grossing movie serving as an unoffical advertisement, I suppose.
Ray:  The debut numbers on Exiles are shockingly low, given the hype this series got pre-release. #52 with sales of just under 34K is not good for a series by the writer of the acclaimed Black Bolt and starring the movie version of Valkyrie. Marvel’s been having some big sales successes recently, but this is a disappointment.
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Glenn:  Exiles has never been a big franchise but Marvel pushed this series hard and had an interesting line up on the team but it didn’t seem that many people cared.  It shows up again at 99 meaning its going to be out of the top 100 next month already with sales over 23.7k.  These are sales I would be advising to not get attached to after a year but this is the first month so…yeah.
Ray:  Not good news at all for The Curse of Brimstone, one of the less-hyped New Age of DC Heroes titles. It sells 33K at #53, which isn’t sustainable at all long-term. Depressing, but not unexpected given what we saw from titles like Silencer and Damage.
Glenn:  I’ve honestly not even heard of this one so I don’t think it was nearly as hyped as well as the others.  The large majority of these are going to be gone soon.
Ray:  The latest Ralph Macchio one-shot, Avengers: Shards of Infinity, lands at #56 with sales of 32K. That’s better than most of these cash-ins, which I probably put down to just how much hype there was for anything Infinity-related in recent months.
 
Glenn:  I’m still curious when these one shots were all written given that Macchio hasn’t worked for Marvel for years.  Still, its probably been lying gathering dust in a drawer somewhere until someone could find a use for it so that considered, these sales are very good.
At 59 is the slightly delayed final issue to the Batman and the Signal mini series which sells just over 31k.  Not bad for a mini starring such a new character with such a unique role in the bat family, more than enough to justify an ongoing if DC sees fit.
Ray:  Batman and the Signal had some pretty significant delays along the way, but it doesn’t seem to have affected it. Snyder’s name on the cover definitely helped, but it does show that there’s some genuine interest in Duke Thomas and the mysteries about him spinning out of Metal. Duke is headed for Detective Comics next, and likely a new Outsiders title afterwards, if rumors are correct.
Supergirl wraps its run at #61 with sales of 30K, overall strong sales that would have easily kept the series going long-term if all was equal. But it’s not, and circumstances ended the series for now. Hopefully Bendis will loosen his grip soon enough and let her be the solo hero she deserves.
Glenn:  Such a shame for Supergirl’s time to be cut short but hopefully as you said, a relaunch will be here before we know it.
Note:  It has since been announced that Supergirl is being brought back with a new creative team, huzzah!
At #64 we have another True Believers special, Thanos the First, which sells 30K. All essentially free sales for Marvel.
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Ray:  Another extremely strong hold for The Terrifics, which lands at #68 with sales of 30K. That’s down less than 4K from its second-issue sales. Much like most of Lemire’s books, it seems to be extremely sustainable and will be around as long as Lemire wants to write it.
Glenn:  I’m going to be fascinated how this compared to Fantastic Four by Slott in a few months, anyone want to take bets?
Ray:  Oh, I’d be surprised if Slott’s FF wasn’t a regular top twenty book. The FF have been gone for a while, and Slott is coming off an all-timer run. People will follow him to his next books.

Glenn:  As we predicted last month, the New Mutants mini that was supposed to tie in to the movie we may never get crashes with sales at 79 with over 26,7k units sold.  If it stabilized here that will be decent enough for what will ultimately be a throwaway X-Men mini.

The second Titans annual sells close to the main title pulling in sales of over 25,5k at 87.  I’ve heard middling things about this run but the sales seem to be verly stable so that’s always a good thing in todays market.
Highest Image debut this month is Isola at 91 with sales over 24,7k.  This is the former creative team of Gotham Academy taking on a sci-fi book that sounds very bizarre.  I think this a great win for the creators involved and should land the book well in Image’s safe zone.
Ray:  This is very impressive for Isola, given that Gotham Academy didn’t light up the sales charts. Aside from a few megawatt creators like Lemire, Millar, Vaughan, and Kirkman, 20K and above is pretty elite air for an Image book. I’d expect they can now write their own ticket on this title for as long as they want, especially as the floor on Image titles seems to be pretty low (more on that lay-tor!)
Glenn:  At 95 is the sequel to 300, Xerses: Fall Of The House Of Darius with sales over 24.4k which is a lot lower than I expected.  In all truth I expected this to be a top ten hit but then I’m not sure how many people read 300 in singles (or even it was released in singles) so the majority of fans of the story will be wanting a hardcover collection that matches.  This is still the highest Dark Horse book of the month by quite a fair margin.
Ray:  I expected much more from Xerxes, thinking we could see a performance like a Dark Horse version of DKIII. Not the case, and I think a big part of this is that the majority of readers never saw 300 in single issues. There’s a huge audience here, but it’s heavily a bookstore market, and that’ll show in future collections sales. Dark Horse is still very happy with this, I imagine.
Glenn:  Mega reorders for the True Believers one shot from last month, Spider-Man vs Venom which sells over an additional 22.1k at 107 which is pretty crazy.  Issue 300 of Amazing Spider-Man and Venom in particular is still a big asset to Marvel, clearly.
Ray:  That puts this $1 reprint at close to 100K in sales. Crazy.
 
Glenn:  At 111 is the all new Sonic The Hedgehog comic from IDW with sales over 21.3k.  This title has been at Archie for decades and it seems that these are good sales post move.  This was of course only the first issue of a 4 issue weekly that IDW put out to pull fans in with 2 selling at 144 with over 14.6k, 3 at 148 with sales over 13.7k and 4 at 152 with sales over 13.2k  This is pretty good for a video game tie in comic actually.  It’ll not be a mega hit but it’ll be a decent asset to IDW it seems.
Ray:  This is a world apart from what Sonic did during its many years at Archie – although those sales were heavily bolstered by newsstand sales, of course. The weekly launch gave us the chance to see how it would perform with attrition and it seems there’s a solid audience here. These are the top four IDW books of the month by a pretty decent margin, too. 
Glenn:  More Thanos for those wanting more of that sort of thing at 117 with sales over 19.6k for Rebirth Of Thanos.  I wonder how many people are reading these Thanos stories for the first time given that apart from Infinity Gauntlet, his stories haven’t had as many reprints as say the likes of Venom until recent years.
Losing a few sales in its second issue is Jeff Lemire’s new horror comic, Gideon Falls which sells over 20.2k at 114.  Still within the upper tier of Image books and this one doesn’t have quite the same mass appeal as some of his other works but there’s no doubt that this one will have no issues during the course of its run.
Ray:  That’s the #7 Image book of the month, so yeah, Lemire and Sorrentino are likely very happy with these numbers. This is a strange, intense book, but it’s found its audience. 
Glenn:  There’s more of the Mad Titan at 117 (Avengers vs Thanos sales of over 19.6k) and 119 (Infinity War with sales over 19.3k) and 129 (Thanos Rising with sales over 17.4k) again free sales for Marvel that they’re getting due to the insane success of the newest Avenger’s which sees…
THANOS DEMANDS YOUR SILENCE
Never mind
Another True Believers simply titled ‘Carol Danvers‘ which I’m assuming also features Thanos in some way or is to take advantage of her upcoming movie (so early?) sells over 16.4k at 132.  Lets hope her upcoming Year One type series does better but when it comes to Carol its really hard to tell.
Ray:  At #139, we’ve got the new Gerry Duggan techno-crime thriller Analog, which sells 15.1K. I might have expected a little more given Duggan’s pull at Marvel, but this is still a relatively healthy level for an Image debut. The series has had a bit of a mixed reception, so we’ll see how it holds from here. 
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Glenn:  I would have thought more for Analog too, it’ll be interesting to see how it compares against Duggan’s other upcoming creator owned offerings coming up
Ray:  Black Hammer: Age of Doom lands at #145, selling 14.6K. That’s about a 3K jump from where the series left off at the end of the first year. This continues to be Dark Horse’s most successful franchise at the moment – and we see it make a second appearance with the second issue of Doctor Star and the Kingdom of Lost Tomorrows, which lands at #169, selling 10.5K. Power of Lemire!
Glenn:  It seems Dark Horse is investing more and more in this universe which I’m all for cause its brilliant.  They could be eyeing this as their next (or current) big original franchise
Ray:  Tying in to the current Shattered Grid event in Power Rangers, the annual sells just under 13K at #153. Pretty strong numbers for a $7.99 one-shot that was a pretty deep dive into Power Rangers continuity.
At #156, we’ve got the Marvel Super Hero Adventures one-shot teaming up Spider-Man and Black Panther by Jim McCann, selling 12.8K. This comic obviously wasn’t intended for the direct market, as chibi superheroes aren’t exactly a big draw, so these numbers are to be expected.
One of the top Dark Horse debuts of the month is Aliens: Dust to Dust, by Gabriel Hardman. This sells 12.6K at #160, which is well above the level that the Aliens and Predator franchises usually do for the company. Hardman seems to be coming up in the industry at the moment, as he was also involved in the hit Green Lantern: Earth One with his wife, Corrina Bechko.
Glenn:  This is much better than the average than what the two classic FOX (as of this typing) space monster franchises can pull in comics.  This creative team definitely have some juice and considering that they’re already doing work for DC, its hard to imagine the company won’t capitalize on that and get them on something else soon.
Ray:  Lucifer showrunner and former Bendis Boarder Joe Henderson has a solid debut for his new humanity-vs-gravity series Skyward, which sells 12K at #162. Although Henderson is a big wheel in Hollywood now, he doesn’t have all that much of a comics presence yet – but the series is gaining buzz and has already gone to a second printing, so look for reorders and a very strong hold.
Iron Maiden: Legacy of the Beast still holding strong! It’s at #172 with sales of 10.5K. There’s Marvel and DC books that would kill for these kind of sales and stability.
Glenn:  Maybe both companies need to have heroes set up death metal bands?  I bet Ghost Rider plays a killer guitar.
Ray:  Two new Image debuts, Kyle Higgins’ Dead Hand and Steve Orlando’s Crude sell nearly identical numbers, selling 10.4 and 10.3K at #173/175. It’s been a while since we heard from Higgins, so it’s a bit surprising that he manages to outsell Orlando, who’s a pretty big name at the moment. Orlando’s creator-owned titles have struggled a bit, but these debuts are acceptable in the Image range.
Glenn:  Orlando doesn’t seem to be able to sell himself as his own brand which as you say, is odd considering how big a voice he’s been in DC in recent history.  I would say that it might be more down to the concept here that the names on the book.
Ray:  There’s a lot of reorders in this area, including Amazing Spider-Man #796 (10.3K, 174), ASM #795 (9.5K, #183), and Thanos #16 (9.5K, 184). And even more lower down on the list. This is something we haven’t seen in a long time, with multiple storylines building so much buzz that they keep on getting reorders months later.
Glenn:  Again its nice to have Slott’s Amazing run end on a sales high and both companies managing to get some long term investment beyond what happens to be hot at that particular moment.
Ray:  One title that’s actually doing amazingly well is the oddball anthology horror title Ice Cream Man, which actually gains 21 copies from last month to land at #179 with sales of 10,090. It started low, but has built momentum from there and will likely be freaking us out for a long time to come.
Glenn:  My little boy has an aversion to ice cream, maybe this horror title is why!
Ray:  At #190, we’ve got the Star Wars Adventures Annual selling 9.2K. This had stories by both John Jackson Miller and Cavan Scott and was sold in the form of a mini-trade, and this series as a whole is geared more towards the bookstore market. IDW’s jump into the Star Wars market continues to pay dividends for them. Besides Sonic, TMNT, and an issue of Star Wars Adventures, this is their top book.
Glenn:  IDW really are living it up in the licencing department.  They and Titan seem to have replaced Dark Horse in that regards while no one was looking.
Ray:  Hey! Remember when DC decided to randomly revive Cyborg with Marv Wolfman writing, after cancelling it three months earlier? And not renumbering it or promoting it heavily? I ‘member! The result – just under 8.3K at #200 – is both shocking for a main-line DC title, and utterly predictable. Cyborg just isn’t a headliner and DC can’t make fetch happen.

Glenn:Poor Cyborg, he’s had a rough few years in his own title sales wise.  Maybe King and Gerards will give him a homicidal cyborg family next year.

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Losing roughly half its sales is Eternity Girl which has its second issue sell over 8.2k at 201.  The Young Animal line has just days ago been announced to have been killed off apart from Doom Patrol and Gerard Way says that was always the plan.  Seems like a whole lot of fuss for little back.  The Young Animal line was an interesting experiment but probably too ‘out there’ to ever really work long term.

Ray:  Yeah, Young Animal is folding except for a potential second season of Doom Patrol (likely to come along the same time as the next season of Umbrella Academy). This line tried a lot of new things, but it didn’t find a big mainstream audience.
Glenn:  Image horror mini Infidel has a slightly better drop to sales over 8k at 204.  Not too bad for a book like this from an unknown creator, I’m sure we’ll be seeing more of the writer Pornsak Pichetshoe (you’re right, it is a fun name!)  in years to come.
Ray:  Infidel is only a miniseries, so it’ll definitely go down as a modest hit for Image, and Pornsak Pichetshote will be able to write his own ticket for future books. (Hee hee)
Glenn:  Two more rebranded young animal books Mother Panic: Gotham A.D and Shade The Changing Woman land at 205 and 208 on their second issues with respective sales of over 8k and 7.8k.  See what we said for Eternity Girl.
Boom publishes a new Robocop comic from writer Brian Wood at 216 with sales over 7.5k.  Despite some past controversies, Woods name still holds some sales weight and I guess some people might have some nostalgia for Robocop despite the property being dead for over 30 years (remake?  what remake?)
Ray:  This is about as well as could be expected for a book like this, with so long since the property was relevant. (Remake? What remake? I don’t know what you’re talking about.)
Glenn:  At 217 is Cave Carson, the second issue of the new volume sells over 7.5k.  Milk Wars really didn’t have the desired effect here.
At 219 is a new mini spinning out of Star Trek Discovery which sells over 7.2k.  This show hasn’t had a lot of time to build up the massive fan base the other Trek shows have and its not really a Star Trek show so this is probably as best as could be expected.
Right below it at 220 is a new Prisoner comic from Peter Milligan who is probably largely responsible for the sales over 7.2k  The property is about as cult as you can get so it’ll be his fans likely checking out this one.
Ray:  That’s about as high as we usually see a Titan comic, save the much-hyped Robotech launch, so it seems The Prisoner still has a notable fanbase. 
Glenn:  Brothers Dracul from Aftershock sells over 6.4k which is pretty standard for their launches despite the insane talent level they can seemingly attract.
Ray:  Aftershock books tend to struggle, at least when it comes to debut sales. It’s interesting that there’s only about 1K in sales between Cullen Bunn’s book, when he has a big established fanbase already, and Her Infernal Descent with an unfamiliar creative team just making their mainstream comic debut a little while back on Cable
Glenn:  A new Dungeons and Dragons comic is at 237 selling 6.1k.  Its a hard sell to do something spinning out of a game where you largely tell or at least contribute to your own story.  This is like having a video game tie in comic but an extra level of interaction taken away.
The Black Mirror take on the Jetsons wraps up with sales over 6.1k at 238.  Still pretty good for these odd takes on classic cartoons and will probably do well in collections once people catch up to how good it was and look past the fact that its ‘just the Jetsons’.
Ray:  Jetsons was so good. Sooooooooo good. We’ll be hearing that refrain a lot as we get lower on the charts. But I hope it gets some awards buzz and picks up steam in collections.
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Glenn:  There’s Star Trek Discovery with an Annual at 242 at 5,6k.  There’s a reason why we never see Enterprise comics you know.
Second issue of Cyber Force sells about half of the first issue at 247 with sales over 5.4k.  Like we said last month, there’s no place in the market for books like this anymore, at least not from Image.
Her Infernal Descent is a new take on Dante’s Inferno from Aftershock.  This is one where I don’t recognize the creators attached and it sells appropriately at over 5.4k.at 248
It might be delayed but Doomsday Clock issue 4 picks up reorders of just under 5.4k sales at 249.  It just keeps going up and up.
A 9.99 one shot celebrating the 20th Anniversery of J. Scott Campbells Danger Girl sells over 5.3k at 251.  Campbell basically does retailer variants these days and his name has serious pull still.  Given the price and the property I’d say this is very good.
Ray:  Remember Danger Girl? She’s back, in overpriced form! I’m surprised the property still has that much sales heft, especially at that price.
Glenn:  My Little Pony Annual at 253 selling over 5.3k because it doesn’t matter how colourful (or creepy in some ways) your licenced property is if you can make money out of it then its all good.
The second issue of the Crow comic has a verly short fall to 254 with sales over 5.3k.  It wasn’t selling that great to begin with so it didn’t have much room to fall.  Decent enough for a property well past its prime.
At 255 is Jeeper Creepers 1 with sales over 5.2k.  Yup.  Moving on.

Ray:  My mama always said, if you don’t have anything nice to say, move on to #256.

From obscure publisher Coffin Comics, there’s a new Lady Death comic subtitled Unholy Ruin, selling 5.1K at #257. First Danger Girl, now Lady Death? It’s 90’s nostalgia month at By the Numbers!
Glenn:  Also dangerously sexy ladies month!  I’m sad I used up all my good Rebecca Bunch gif’s on ruddy Zenescope.
Ray:  #260 has the return of Sacred Creatures, with the ambitious Image title selling 5,075 copies for the delayed end of its first arc. This book has always shipped in oversized issues, and the higher price point and delay before the end of its first arc may have hurt its sales momentum.
As always, we find some real oddballs in this section of the chart, so let’s wave hello to Vampblade Season 3 #1 (#263, 5K), The X-Files: Florida Man (#264, 5K), and Danger Doll Squad: Galactic Gladiators #1 (#268, 4.7K). God bless ’em, every one.
Glenn:  Not Danger Doll Squad!  Take me instead!!!!!
Ray:  I did not expect to see God Country on the charts again, but that Donny Cates is going places! #5 lands at #270 with sales of 4.7K, almost a year after the series ended. He also has a $1 reprint of the first issue of Redneck at #291, selling 4.1K.
Glenn:  That’s really odd in respect to God Country, maybe some unofficial fan petition for a follow up series?  That’s blind and unfounded speculation though.  Cates has really come out of nowhere but we’re having one of those decades where every year we’re getting a Scott Snyder or Jeff Lemire or Tom King or Donny Cates or…
Ray:  And speaking of reorders, the Shattered Grid storyline in Power Rangers seems to have had a lasting impact on the title, and we see the game-changing #25 issue re-chart again with sales of just under 4.7K at #271.
Image result for power rangers 25
Tim Seeley’s Vertigo horror miniseries Imaginary Fiends wraps with sales of 4.3K at #285. Compared to the sales on other horror titles at other companies (Harrow County is nine spots above at 4.5K, and that’s issue 30), it shows why Vertigo is wrapping up business.
Glenn:Fair well Vertigo, may you go to the collected hall in the sky where your archive sales of Sandman, Y, Fables and whatnot will keep your legacy alive forever.
Ray:  They can’t all be winners, and Ron Marz’ attempt at an IDW original superhero universe falls flat at #300, as Demi-God only sells 3.8K. It barely edges out reorders of Gideon Falls #1, and as we’ll see later, this isn’t even the lowest-selling IDW original launch of the month.

Glenn:  There’s plenty of options out there for people wanting super heroes and creators with more current buzz than Marz are going to be getting the few people that look elsewhere than Marvel and DC for them, it doesn’t need much to go around.

Let’s blow this joint Ray!  Enough of these losers, lets go spend Graphic Policy’s business card and…ah crap there’s still more.
Ray:  As we exit the top 300, we can see for the first time how some of the smaller publishers are faring. It’s rare to see Scout or Vault in the top 300 (unless they have a Donny Cates book), but Scout got closer than I expected. Their cult horror title Stabbity Bunny manages to land at #302, selling 3.8K for its first issue. The power of an appealing title, I suppose? I want to see the bunny stab things.
Glenn:  We all do.
Ray:  The Dynamite relaunch Swashbucklers: The Saga Continues has a rough launch at #304, selling only 3.7K. Dynamite can usually command a lot more than that for a launch, but this is not your usual licensed property – it picks up from an obscure Bill Mantlo comic that ended on a cliffhanger over twenty years ago, and starts directly from that cliffhanger. So this is obviously going to be a niche comic, and it sold like one.
Glenn:  Come backs are all the rage on television but in comics its hard.  The market and what it wants can change so much.  This will be for those people wanting a resolution and that’s about it.
Ray:  Hey, there’s Grimm Fairy Tales from Zenoscope at #306, selling just under 3.7K. Glenn, strike up the Rachel Bloom video!
Glenn:  I suppose I have to now, not that they deserve it.
Ray:  The latest Black Mask comic about a courier in a poltically charged post-apocalypse, Survival Fetish, lands out of the top 300 at #308, selling 3.6K. The company has been doing a lot of launches lately, but few of them besides Calexit have really garnered any buzz.
Glenn:  I think we talked on the Stew (dong!) about them slowing down things.  Maybe launches like these is why.
Ray:  A $7.99 Wrestlemania special for Boom at #312. Sales of 3.6K aren’t terrible given that this is less than 1K below where the parent title usually sells. This line clearly has a small, devoted comic audience.
Glenn:  I would have expected a bit more cause Wrestlemania is the companies big ‘mainstream appeal’ show but not many wrestling fans will want to see more of their faves in comic form regardless.
Ray:  American Mythology launches a new comic featuring some of the Harvey Comics classics at #320, as Casper and Wendy sells 3.4K. Is it just me, or did they launch another Casper series not long ago that just stopped?
 
Glenn:  It became a ghost.  Oooooo.
Ray:  An alternate universe Star Trek title, “New Visions: Enemy of My Enemy”, lands at #323 with sales of 3.3K. IDW puts out a lot of Star Trek material, and this seems to have been one of the more niche offerings.
Glenn:  This is a weird comic where they take pictures from the old original show and make a new story with them.  Its an odd idea and it seems only to appeal to the most hardcore of original series fans.  The most curious thing is that its from John Byrne, at least he’s keeping busy.
 
Ray:  Now, for a portion of this column we’re going to call “Come on, people!” where I get angry at great books selling way too little.
The Highest House #3 at #322? Under 3.4K? Come on, people! This is one of the best books on the stands and you all need to buy the collection. This is by the team behind The Unwritten!
Glenn:  The way you hype Highest House, it sounds like something that should be given as compulsory reading in schools.  I guess the odd format is something that IDW can’t make work as Image did with something like A.D.
Image result for highest house 3
Ray:  It should be required reading in school!
Sleepless #5 at #324 (3.3K)? Elsewhere #6 at #327 (3.2K)? Come on, people! Two of Image’s most underrated gems.
Black Mask has another launch of sorts in “Black AF: Widows and Orphans“, which spins out of the successful “Black” Kickstarter. It sells just under 3.2K at #330. This book was criticized for not at all working as an entry point if you hadn’t read the original, so that probably led to retailers ordering cautiously, even if the original was a hit.
Glenn:  The Kickstarter roll out post funding seemed to get Black some bad press with some people still not having got their rewards.  I think there could be some ill feeling there too.
Ray:  A new Zenoscope horror series, GFT Tales of Terror, lands at #333 with sales of 3.1K. There’s a sexy grim reaper on the cover. Yep. There’s a lot of Zenoscope down here, including things like Van Helsing vs. Robyn Hood a little below at #343, and Robyn Hood: The Curse down at #350. These were the secrets the top 300 was keeping from us. How innocent we were…
Glenn:  I think I’d rather go inside the red barn from Gideon Falls.
Ray:  The most surprisingly low debut of the month has got to be Antar #1, from IDW. Retelling the story of the famous “Black Knight” and written by hit novelist Nnedi Okorafor, I would not expect it to sell only 3K at #338. A historical comic may be a bit of a hard sell, and IDW has not had much success in the creator-owned market yet, but this is still much lower than I would have expected.
Mech Cadet Yu only sells 2.9K at #344? Come on, people! It’s Grek Pak doing the Iron Giant meets Independence Day!
A solid debut for Vault Comics at #345, as Wasted Space by Michael Moreci sells 2.9K. Moreci is slowly building a brand with his indie work and his DC work, and this complex space/religion drama is one of Vault’s higher debuts that wasn’t by Donny Cates, I imagine.
Scales and Scoundrels and Fence only selling 2.8K at #353/354, respectively? Come on, people! TWICE! Give these books a try! Teen dragons! Fencing drama!
I’m actually a bit offended that Death of Love only sells 2.7K at #358. Not only is it a great book by the always reliable Justin Jordan, but artist Donal DeLay (a personal friend making his big three debut) is turning out some all-time great work. Come on, people! Give an underdog book about a jerkass killing cupids a try!
Glenn:  The chart doesn’t like Donal?  Well we say the charts is wrong!  ITS ALL WRONG!

At 366 is Deep Roots, a disaster movie type comic where roots over take the planet.  It actually looks decent but Vault has a small presence in the market and the creators names don’t ring a bell.  It sells over 2.6k.

From Dark Horse at 368 is the start of a new mini in a current series of them (???) Resident Alien: An Alien In New York which sells over 2.6k.  There must be a fan base if there’s more of these but I’ve never heard of it.  Its WEIRD down here.
At 374 and 376 are two one shots starring the Tremendous Trump which is like if the President became the Hulk from Antartic Press who make a living making comics like this. They both sell over 2.3k.  I bet there’s one bigly fan of the series who resides in the West Wing.
Ray:  “Antarctic makes bigly comics! Jared! Ivanka! Get me Gamma-flavored gummy bears!”
Glenn:  Its like he’s in the room…
Season of the snake is a new title at 377 selling over 2.2k.  Its a a weird looking sci-fi/fantasy comic from someone I’ve never heard of publishing with Titan so this is what you get.
Ray:  Season of the Snake is a translation of a classic French comic, and each issue is the size of a small OGN. It’s also VERY weird. So these sales are to be expected.
Glenn:  ROM gets a new book which debuts at 378 with sales over 2,2k.  Not much nostalgia for poor ROM.  They should just let him back at Marvel, let the Guardians have him, he can be Rockets new obsession.
Supermansion is a spin off of some sort of super hero parody by the makers of Robot Chicken selling over 2.2k at 385 on its first issue.  The laughter never ends with this one I bet.
Man I miss the top 300, at 396 is Rugrats: R is for Raptor selling over 2.1k.  I guess someone out there might want these if Rugrats ever comes back again…
Forever Free is a comic follow up to a sci-fi novel from the 80’s and sells over 2k at 404.  The book I’ve not heard of but it seems to be well thought of, I would say people interested aren’t visiting their LCS regularly for this sort of thing.  Will probably do decently in collections.
From Alterna Comics (they sometimes print my work!) is Tinseltown, a murder mystery set during Hollywoods golden age.  It sells over just under 2k.  Alterna is making great progress outside the direct market but with only the most minute presence in the market, I’d say this is very good.
Ray:  Tinsel Town was one of the best-reviewed Alterna debuts yet, so it’s not a surprise it gets these numbers. The company is still new, but it’s also getting more buzz by the month. We may be seeing them creep their way into the top three hundred soon enough. Especially if they hire that Matchett fellow to do more!
Image result for tinseltown 1
Glenn:  From the genius who brought you Spider-Man vs Kittens and Batman vs Goblins…
Portal Bound is an odd looking Fantasy Book from Aspen which sells over 1.7k at 414.  The company had a moment maybe 20 years ago but no longer.  This is probably the best they can hope for these days.
Ray:  Aspen seems to be broadening their output, trying to get away from the 90s reputation they have. It’s not working just yet, but persistence is rewarded and this is actually a pretty enjoyable book.
Glenn:  From Hero Tomorrow Comics (huh?!) is Tap Dance Killer which sells over 1.7k at 416.  This also sounds like a decent book but most likely is down here cause the company I have literally never heard of and probably couldn’t do much promotion on this or whatever else their line may consist of.
Ray:  I…I got nothing. Is it about a killer of tap dancers? Or a tap dancer who kills people? It is weird down here. I’m scared, Glenn. But seriously, I’ve never heard of this comic company, and they seem to put some very odd books out. This is actually pretty decent for this kind of material. 
Glenn:  A Dredd One Shot (The Furies) sells over 1.6k at 417.  We’ve said before on the charts that the mainstream chart is not where Dredd earns his keep, the amount of of copies he sells in the pages of 2000AD in the UK alone is insane so anything else is just window dressing.
At 420 is Pink Panther vs Inspector which sells over 1.6k.  I want to go home.

Ray:  There, there, Glenn. It’ll be over soon. 

 At #421 is another new Alterna miniseries, Zero Jumper by Patrick Mulholland. It sells 1.6K, but seems to have sold briskly and the writer/artist has already picked up bigger work at Boom. Expect to see a lot from this guy at Alterna and elsewhere.
Glenn:  I met him today!  Super nice, humble guy.
Ray:  Dodge City falls HARD, landing at #427 with sales of 1.5K. Boom no longer really gears itself for the direct market when it comes to their teen books, of course, but this is rough even by those standards. I guess competitive dodgeball doesn’t have the same appeal as fencing or scouting.
A bit surprised by how far Donny Cates’ Reactor has fallen after becoming the first Vault book to break into the top 300. It sells 1.4K at #431, and I put a lot of that drop down to the long delays between issues.
Glenn:  He’s a busy fellow!
Ray:  Another Alterna debut, this is the oversized all-ages Fear Diaries one-shot, which was 56 pages of story for only $1.99. It sells 1.3K at 439, which isn’t their best debut but a decent one for an oddball concept.
Image result for FEAR DIARIES
It sells six more copies than the book right below it, the Zenoscope original sci-fi concept Mainframe, so yay Alterna!
Glenn:  I’m building Peter Simiti a statue as we speak
Ray:  Red 5 Comics, one of the new and smaller publishers, gets onto the top 500 at #442, with their new horror series A Fractured Mind selling 1.2K. This book didn’t get good critical reviews at all, and is likely going to be one and done on these charts.
Speaking of debuts slipping under the radar, the Scout Comics post-apocalyptic cyclist book Welcome to Paradise is only able to command 1.1K at #450. No well-known creators and no real buzz means this is no Stabbity Bunny.
IDW had high hopes for Black Crown Quarterly, their prestige anthology, but it’s down here at #452, selling only 1.1K. IDW’s creator-owned books continue to struggle, as the rest of the Black Crown lineup isn’t all that much higher. The price tag is probably an issue here as well.
Hey, it’s Weed Magic Vol. 2, costing the unique sum of $4.20! It sells 1.1K at #453. What a shame it didn’t sell 1420 copies instead.
Glenn:  The charts has no respect for synergy
Ray:  At #455, it’s another oddball entry. Apama the Undiscovered Animal, apparently adapted from a classic comic, sells 1.1K from Hero Tomorrow Comics. It’s like the table of misfit kids down here. I hope no Marvel books take their lunch money.
A Trio of Alterna books in the middle of their runs – Sonitus, The XII, and Doppelganger – all stay above the 1K mark in the #456-458 range. Slow but steady wins the race, and Alterna’s limited output and solid promotion is building them a brand.
I always wondered just how low an Image book could get, and we might have our answer here – Throwaways, the military conspiracy thriller by Caitlin Kittridge and Steven Sanders, is still going despite only selling 996 copies at #463. That’s shockingly low, but neither the creative team nor Image have pulled the plug. Maybe the collected editions are carrying its weight?
Glenn:  Isn’t it largely up to the creators if it keeps going?  Image will take what they take and then its up to the creators so if they’re happy enough..
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Ray:  This is the range where we see a lot of ongoing series from small-press companies mixed in with some reorders. Things like Songs for the Dead, Cult Classic, Call of the Suicide Forest, and Long Lost all sell in the 900-copy range once the first-issue boost wears off. Long Lost, though, is on issue #5, so that might show some staying power for Matt Erman and Lisa Sterle’s black-and-white horror story at #477.
I want to meet the person who decided to combine Donald Trump with manga and stare at them. My Hero MAGAdamia lands at #478 selling 871 confounding copies. I got nothing.
Glenn:  ‘Its Donald Trump…but manga!’ is a pitch that has to be seen.
Ray:  The original Action Lab fantasy series Helm only sells 784 copies at #490, just below the fifth issue of Alterna’s only ongoing series Scrimshaw. One last plug, because I was surprised by how much I liked Helm – give this book a try!
At #494 is Catalyst Prime: Superb selling 755 copies. This has Marvel writer David Walker co-writing, which probably explains why it’s the highest-selling of the line (although flagship series Noble is on hiatus). What’s surprising is that the other five series currently running do not make the top 500. Lion Forge is committed to this diverse superhero franchise, but it hasn’t translated into sales at all.
#497 brings us the Bitcoin Comic Handbook, selling 730 comics. I don’t want to go into the barn, Glenn.
Glenn:  That creepy little red thing is smiling at us again, don’t look.
Ray:  And at lucky #500, selling 711 copies is…Archie Jumbo Comics Digest. Archie very much does not care about these 711 copies, since they remain one of the few comic companies with a legitimate newsstand presence. Digests aren’t aimed towards comic book stores at all.
Image result for ARCHIE JUMBO COMICS DIGEST #288
*exhales* Victory!
Looking ahead, if this month was crazy, next month is Thunderdome. Both Marvel and DC are bringing their biggest guns out to play. In addition to the next issue of Doomsday Clock, DC is bringing us the weekly comic event No Justice, spinning directly out of Dark Nights: Metal. In addition, the Brian Michael Bendis reinvention of Superman will be launching on the last week of the month with Man of Steel #1. Plus, there’s the latest lineup of DC/Hanna-Barbera one-shots. In a just world, Aquaman/Jabberjaw would be selling a million copies.
However, DC’s got their work cut out for them, because Marvel is coming to play this month. Undoubtedly taking the #1 slot of the month will be the blockbuster Amazing Spider-Man #800, the penultimate issue of Dan Slott’s run. That’s in addition to two issues of both Jason Aaron’s Avengers and Donny Cates’ Venom, the relaunch of Black Panther, plus four new miniseries kicking off The Hunt for Wolverine. Plus…You Are Deadpool! For those tabletop gaming fans out there.
With the Big Two playing pistols at dawn, it’s kind of a quiet month for the indies. Image has a few key launches, though, including Top-Chef-Meets-Hunger-Games adventure Flavor, and the weekly Brian K. Vaughan series Barrier.
 
What will rise? What will fall? Find out next month on…By the Numbers!
Glenn:  Back to top 300 as well next month only.  Its scary past there.
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Is Disposable Heroes Back As Island Earth? A Follow Up

Hey all!

Back in 2016, I wrote an article about my suspicions about a new online comic website Island Earth and how it caused me concern. The reason I was concerned was that Island Earth seemed very similar to an online retailer I had used that had vanished with my own money but hundreds of others also, Disposable Heroes.

You can read all about it here.  I reported Island Earth to who I could just in case and hoped my article could save some people money, just in case. I never thought anything would happen following this.

A few weeks ago, Graphic Policy chief sent me an e-mail where a user described an all too familiar story.

I would comment on this article, but comments seem to have been disabled. I guess you’ve probably noticed that Island Earth have now done a disappearing act. They emailed the following in September last year, and nothing since:

‘UPDATE ON DELAYED ORDERS

Hi Guys,

Nikki here. Just wanted to take a few minutes out to update everyone on where Island Earth is at as there are rumours floating here there and everywhere that we have vanished.

Just to put things straight that we haven’t. Though with the amount of Facebook beeps I hear from my phone on my personal account I wish my phone would vanish for a day or two :)

As many of you know James (Island Earths co-founder) was undergoing personal issues after the passing of a family member who was suffering from a long term illness. Due to this and ongoing issues following that he has made the choice to step away from Island Earth as he feels he cannot give 110% at this point in time.

This has left me in a bit of a hole both in terms of how to progress with the management of Island Earth on my own plus the loss of the equivalent of a full time staff member and the only person fully trained with certain operations within the business so….. yay!

As it stands I have decided to knuckle down and carry on so orders are and will still be going out. I have set myself a target of ALL outstanding orders including those released tomorrow to be in the hands of customers by Wednesday 4th October or sooner.

Moving forward Island Earth will not be taking any pre-orders for November or December. There are 2 reasons for this.

Firstly, and this is the saddest part, there is no profit currently gained by trading in comics online. The business has entered a strange period when retailers feel the need to sell comics at cost or less just to maintain a customer base. That means everything sold is at a loss. This is something that we can’t continue to do. At the end of the day as much as I love comics the business needs to turn a profit. Bills need paid including staff wages so for us to follow this trend would not make any sense.

We are in contact with various sources to cut costs when and where we can so that we can come back to running pre-orders from January onwards.

Secondly we are opening a bricks and mortar store in the new year. As it stands we have way too much stock spread out over 3 storage units which is costing us a fair amount in storage costs. The next 3 months will be spent consolidating this stock and also running a clearance sale with bulk lots and full boxes of comics. I believe that with the current climate online that going the traditional route in retail is the best way forward and will create an anchor for us to create our online presence around once we return to it. And as a side note we haven’t even began sorting through all the boxes of bronze and silver age books so expect to see a few key books popping up for sale over the next few months.

I would appreciate it if customers could give myself a chance to get back up to date with you all in terms of orders by the date stated above. The situation over the last few weeks has not been great and I do appreciate all the patience shown so far.

Island Earth aren’t going anywhere……..

Thanks again,
Nikki

Lets party like its 2016?  So after two years, it seems Island Earth have gone the way of Disposable Heroes. The gentleman who e-mailed us thankfully didn’t lose any money but I would highly encourage anyone waiting on refunds and/or orders to file a paypal claim asap. Its how I got my money back when this happened with Disposable while others waited and got nothing.

It could all be coincidental but the similarity of why its happened, the delayed comics, the promise of an eventual return/physical store is all the same. Once again IF Island Earth is different, they’ve chosen to do things remarkably the same.

Those who read the original article may remember a ‘Nikki’ also coming to the defense of Disposable and chastising me for my words. Again, could all be coincidental but eventually I have to maybe except that 1 and 1 does make 2.

Will they be back again? Who knows, I wouldn’t be surprised if they try to get rid of excess stock at local cons and then move forward to their lives.

I’m not here to paint anyone as the villain, I’m here because I love comics and I hate people using them to take money from others with ill intent. The industry is in a fragile place with some of the best content in decades being sold to a smaller audience. Genuinely good comic shops need support and places like Disposable and perhaps Island Earth give retailers a bad name. They drive people to trade wait or even out of comics. It might sound like an odd step to take but in today’s world, if you lost £30 or more to comics when you could have bought I don’t know…food, would you really be as quick to do so again?

Maybe its all a coincidence and if that’s the case, I hope Island Earth gets past this hard difficult time and goes back to supporting its customers.

If its not and they’re stealing scum bags who have used the same trick twice well I’ll be keeping an eye out for attempt number three.

As the man used to say, keep em peeled.

Glenn

By The Numbers: March 2018

Like in any industry, comic books and their companies listen most to one thing and that’s your money! What does your money tell them? What does it tell us as fans? What series do people say they adore but can’t seem to catch a break and what books to people hate that sell out? What are the trends? What looks good? What looks rough?

All these questions and more will be answered here, every month in ‘By The Numbers’ by comic writers, editors and fans, Glenn Matchett and Ray Goldfield.

Glenn Matchett is a comic writer and editor. He’s worked in the industry for 6 years but grew up reading comics. He’s had work published with Outre Press, Alterna Comics and Nemesis Studios. Because of Booster Gold personally messing with his time stream (its a gift!) Glenn is now imprisoned for various cases of arson and murder in America, don’t ask.

Ray Goldfield is a fan of comic books for going on 25 years, starting with the death of Superman. He is a writer and editor and has released his first novel. Ray also does a weekly roundup of DC comic reviews for website Geekdad and they’re brilliantly entertaining. Due to Booster Gold messing with the time stream (its a gift!) Ray has no longer interest in cooking shows, in fact he hates all type of food.  He lives off corn and water.  He is an unhappy fellow.

We also do a podcast together with longtime buddy, Brandon James on iTunes with Rabbitt Stew or at the link here! Don’t ask, I didn’t pick the name. If you’d like to hear what me and Ray sound like, give it a listen!  We talk about these very sales numbers in the most recent episode here…but read this first so Bret doesn’t hurt us.

Top 300 in full available here!

Glenn:  March madness is upon us for the sales charts for March 2018.  We see a lot of unexpected twists and turns including some surprising numbers, the healthiest top ten in a while and some books coming off better.  Of course, its not all cause for celebration as we’ll soon see.

Ray:  This month seems like it was a much-needed boost for the industry, as a lot of books hit major events that boosted their sales overwhelmingly. It shows there’s some real interest in what the companies are doing – albeit only on some fronts, as other areas showed real trouble spots.
Glenn:  The top book of the month was the final chapter in Metal by Snyder and Capullo which sold over 187.5k.  This event has been a major hit from start to finish and it seems to want to go out with a bang, event outselling the other big DC event book going on at the moment for its final chapter.  There’s been delays on this one but they haven’t hit the numbers that hard at all with people investing in Metal and its tie ins through out in spades.  Of course some of the new books that spawned from this event haven’t landed the best but really the main title this will lead into it seems is Snyder’s Justice League book which should end up being another top ten staple for DC.  This event was balls to the wall insane but came out on top.

Ray:  This is a jump of almost 40K from Metal’s fifth issue, which was totally unexpected. The event really seemed to capture the unpredictable feel of classic events, and audiences responded in spades. Every book that tied into this event reached surprising highs, and the main mini did numbers we haven’t consistently seen since Secret Wars. If anything, the failure of New Age of DC Heroes to really take off is due to the characters not being properly set up inside this mini, aside from a few cameos.

Glenn:  They got a better lead in here with the epilogue but I would say in most cases it’ll be too little, too late.

In second place is Doomsday Clock which barely loses any sales and pulls in over 148.5k despite the delays that have hit it.  Metal might be over but DC has this cooking too and even though it won’t have tie ins or that to sate the demand that there seemingly is for it, its another big win for DC in terms of new sales and also reorders which we’ll see later.

Ray:  Doomsday Clock only loses 8K in sales out of 150, despite the delays. You know what this is performing a lot like? The recent Dark Knight Returns sequel that dominated the charts when it slowly came out last year. With no tie-ins, this feels like it’ll be both a successful event for DC and an evergreen seller in the future.

Glenn:  Jumping up over double its previous range, Amazing Spider-Man swings in at 3 with sales over 128.1k.  This is the start of the much hyped ‘Go Down Swinging’ story which is the start of the end of Dan Slott’s decade run on the title.  Retailers have found it hard to keep copies of Amazing in stock lately due to this story featuring Norman Osborn merging with the Carnage symbiote.  That concept plus Slott’s leaving and the fact that Amazing 697 was the first of the build to 700 and was vastly under ordered so retailers may have been prepped this time.  This is being treated like the mini events Slott has pulled off to great success over the years like Spider-Island, Ends Of the Earth, etc.  Hopefully he will bring this strong momentum with him to Fantastic Four and Iron Man in the future while I think Amazing is going to miss him very much.

Ray:  This is over a 100% jump for the start of Slott’s final arc and his big Norman Osborn storyline. That’s the kind of jump you don’t see often at all, and it really shows just how much Marvel is going to miss Slott on this title when he’s gone. If he can bring this same kind of buzz to Fantastic Four and Iron Man, he could go a long way towards helping Marvel’s issues.

Glenn:  At 4 is Weapon H, a big surprise for the book that sees the government meld together the Hulk and Wolverine.  This was treated like a much bigger deal than I expected and probably took Marvel by surprise when it pulled in numbers over 98.6k.  I guess all of still have that desire to see their favorite characters mushed together for lolz.

Ray:  This title was a lot better than it had any right to be. However, I’m still betting that these numbers are largely statistical noise. It spins out of two middle-selling books, one of which has now concluded. That being said, it doesn’t have to keep most of these sales – if it can sink down to the level of parent title Weapon X and stay there, it’ll likely be a safe mid-level hit for Marvel in the long run.

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Glenn:  At 5 is Batman selling over 93.8k and its also at 8 selling over 91.6k which is a bigger gap between the two issues than usual but that’s cause this is a very strong top ten.  Despite a lot of books coming in either with higher profiles or over performance, Batman just carries on as normal.  the sales are gradually reading the high 80 mark but with the wedding just around the corner, it’ll rejuvenate things for the title but even at that, it’s still solid as a rock.

Ray:  Good ol’ Batman. With the numbers revealed for DC Nation #0 (over a million copies), I don’t see any way that the wedding issue in Batman #50 doesn’t outright win the month in July.

Glenn:  At 6 is another Marvel title getting a massive boost in the latest issue of Mighty Thor which sells over 93k.  This is the conclusion to the Death Of Thor story and retailers may have thought this would be the end of Aaron on this book (orders I think would have needed to have been in prior to the announcement he was staying) but I just think that people are enjoying the hell out of this run which seems to be one of the all time greats and is currently still going.  Much like Dan Slott, Jason Aaron has a skill to make people care about his books without needing to be involved in the bigger Marvel picture.  These two are clearly Marvel’s most valuable assets in terms of writers right now.

With Chris Hemsworth hanging up his hammer in the movies, we might see (recast) Jane Foster as Thor in an upcoming MCU movie so this might not be the end for this character, you never know.  I would say that this momentum will carry over to the new Thor title much like the Amazing relaunch (the first one with Slott) really benefited from Superior’s success.

Ray:  Again, over a 100% jump in sales for this issue, but this was hyped as a big event issue and it delivered. I think we’ll see strong numbers, but not on this level, for the next issue and the epilogue. I’m curious to see how the title will do when it returns the Odinson to the lead, as Jane seems to have brought an enormous amount of buzz to the title. It’s ironic. The one replacement hero who really took off is the one Marvel couldn’t keep.

Glenn:  In another big surprise at 7 in Infinity Countdown, the event comic by Gerry Duggan featuring the Guardians Of The Galaxy and Thanos which sells over 93k.  This was much better than I was expecting too, especially since its a direct follow on from Duggan’s Guardians which was selling around 30k at the time it was cancelled.  I guess that movie that’s coming out in a few weeks (as of this typing) motivated retailers to stock up.

Ray:  Yeah, that’s almost 40K over the prelude issue last month. Retailers seem to be treating it like a legitimate event, and the movie should keep it relatively hot. I’m glad to see Duggan’s Guardians run getting the love it deserves, at least in event form.

Glenn:  Even though Ray doubted me, Robert Kirkman’s new Image title Oblivion Song sells just over 80.2k at 9.  This is a brilliant debut no matter how you look at it.  The last new title Kirkman launched, Outcast didn’t do as nearly as well as this so I would say people were more intrigued by the concept on this one.  It won’t be anywhere close to this next month in all likelihood but still a very strong starting number.

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Ray:  That’s one of the best Image debuts in a while, easily besting what we saw from Kick-Ass last month. It shows, Kirkman’s a brand in himself right now, and it keeps on building. This one feels incredibly marketable as well, although with a higher budget for adaptation than the others, but I expect it to stay high on the charts from here.

Glenn:  Its interesting that Kirkman’s last title launch, Outcast didn’t do nearly this well.  Maybe this concept has more mass appeal?  Demon related stuff can be off putting for most.

Finally at 10 is Sean Murphy’s White Knight which sells over 73.3k   Only losing a few thousand copies between issues and we’re on the home stretch.  Amazing success for DC and Sean Murphy who no doubt has been given free reign to do what he wants next.

Ray:  Even in a highly competitive month like this, White Knight keeps rock-solid. It’s no surprise that Murphy has said to expect an announcement from him about the future of his creator-driven Batman comics in a few months. DC will want more!
Likewise, Walking Dead is locked down at #11, selling 74K, which is down only 3K this month. It’s invincible, and likely would have been safely in the top ten if it wasn’t for all the events.

Glenn:  Invincible was the other Kirkman book, silly Ray and now its gone and I remember and I’m sad and…anyway.  Yeah, Walking Dead just does its own thing as usual. The latest trade was also the top selling one this month (no surprise there).

Ray:  Daredevil #600 had a similar performance to the other Marvel events of the month, increasing over 100% from its normal issue sales for a double-sized anniversary. It charts at #12 with 67K in sales. Soule’s Daredevil has been a solid performer that’s slipped under the radar a bit, so I wouldn’t be surprised if this big spotlight allows it to climb up the charts long-term.

Glenn:  The return to original numbering really has helped the books that were near a centennial issue with the noted exception of Spectacular Spider-Man but unlike that title, Soule has been guiding Daredevil for a while now.  I don’t think we’ll see a long term benefit here because Daredevil has always been one of those titles that sells at around the same title no matter what the title is doing and who is writing it but good to see it get the opportunity here.

Ray:  Easily the oddest entry this month is True Believers: Venom vs. Spider-Man, a $1 reprint of Amazing Spider-Man #300, which sells a staggering 65K at #13. This is unheard of numbers for a True Believers reprint. It outsold the vast majority of both DC and Marvel’s first-run lines! And spoiler alert, there are a LOT more of these Venom True Believers one-shots this month, although none do anywhere near these numbers.

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Glenn:  Amazing 300 is still a hot comic all these years later.  This one has been reprinted and retold multiple times but retailers and fans can’t get enough.  Its no surprise that Marvel are continuing to invest in Eddie Brock’s Venom.

Ray:  A surprisingly good debut for New Mutants: Dead Souls at #15, selling 54K. It was supposed to be a movie tie-in, but it wasn’t the movie team, and now there’s no movie. Despite this, it seems retailers thought there was a big audience here that wanted a New Mutants title. We’ll see if it can hold any of those sales, but early buzz hasn’t been great.

Glenn:  Maybe people have a lot of nostalgia for this title even though this isn’t the traditional team?  With the film being delayed again and this perhaps not being what people expected, the sales will probably drop next issue.

Ray:  The return of the Hulk in Avengers #684 wreaks havoc on the rankings for the weekly Avengers titles, as that issue sells 54K at #16, over 8K more than the other three issues, which are clustered in the 24-28 range on the charts. But as this event series enters its final act, it’s safe to say it can be called a hit for Marvel – it’s consistently outselling the previous main Avengers book, only four times a month.

Glenn:  No Surrender has definitely been a win for sure.  Aaron’s run on the book will absolutely be a sales hit too so the future seems optimistic for the Avenger’s for the first time since Bendis left.

Ray:  As Action Comics approaches its massive anniversary issue next month, the title continues to climb, selling 51K at #19 for its 999th issue. That’s even above Detective this month (right below it at 20-21), making it the second-highest selling DC ongoing of the month. Quite the feat for a title that was struggling at the start of Rebirth. And spoiler alert, it’s going to chart a LOT higher next month.

Glenn:  Momentum towards 1000 and having a number so close to that definitely upped the interest here.  It’ll be interesting to see how Action does post 1000 since the title is taking a break for the Man Of Steel mini.  With Bendis writing, its hard to not imagine it (and Superman) doing these numbers on a more consistent basis long term.

Ray:  X-Men: Red seems to be off to a good start, keeping 50% of its first issue sales to land at #22 with 49K. That’s more than 10K above the other main X-books, and it’s getting a much better reception from fans. This could be the proper X-book revival fans and Marvel have been waiting for.

Glenn:  People really seem to be excited for this book and for (adult) Jean Gray returning.  Hopefully it’ll remain unaffected by the larger relaunch happening in the shape of ‘fresh start’.  The announcements seem to have stopped for that though and the X-titles are just going towards a line event in the form of extinction instead so we’ll see how that goes but this could be a winner for sure.

Ray:  Even though Saga did absolutely nothing unique for its 50th issue besides continuing its story, the title gets a 7K bump in sales to land at #26 with sales of 45K. Retailers like their round numbers.

A huge jump for the penultimate issue of Donny Cates’ Thanos, selling 42K at #33. That’s up a full 13K from last month. With this being a short-run series, retailers didn’t have all that much time to react to just how big this got, but I expect we’ll see a lot more reorders for this title down the line. 

Glenn:  Reorders and collection sales will be the main thing for this title, especially for those hungry for Thanos content when a certain movie comes out in a few weeks.  I’d say that retailers will be less conservative when ordering Cates work in future when it comes to his mainstream work.  We’ve seen DC have Tom King bring in numbers on name alone, Cates could very well do the same.

Ray:  Speaking of King, right below Thanos is perennial chart-climber Mister Miracle, which returns from a skip month by gaining another 2K in sales to chart 40K. It feels like we’re seeing a new era of these “boutique” comics spotlighting less-known characters by elite creators who can go nuts with the concept. If they’re as good as these two, it could be a new golden age for the industry.

Glenn:  Mister Miracle’s success is astounding and will live out a long healthy life in collections. When we’re old folks this one will be one of those collections that is given to every comics fan as a must read like Dark Knight and Watchmen.

Ray:  To put it into perspective, Thanos and Mister Miracle are outselling Wonder Woman, Captain America, and both primary X-books besides Red.

Glenn:  Wonder Woman is going through a…less than stellar run at the moment and Captain America is recovering from a lesser run than that but still that is really quite a jarring thing to see.  Coates coming on will help Cap to a certain extent but there seems to be no immediate plans to help out poor Wonder Woman, its not like DC isn’t spoiled for choice.

Note:  Since typing this, former Supergirl writer, Steve Orlando has announced he is hopping on Wonder Woman briefly and a new regular creative team will soon follow!

Ray:  A pretty solid slide for The Terrifics this month, as it keeps about 75% of those first-issue sales to land at #43 with sales of 34K. We’ve seen retailers ordering cautiously on these New Age of DC Heroes books, followed by decent slides the next month. Terrifics actually feels like a hit, with the audience responding to the odd mix of characters and Jeff Lemire has a built-in fanbase.

Glenn:  The Terrifics is sure going to be the winner out of the new age of DC heroes launches.  I wonder if this books performance or even presence is partially responsible for the new Fantastic Four title coming from Slott and Picheli.

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Ray:  Speaking of that built-in fanbase for Mr. Lemire, right below selling 33.5K is Lemire’s new Image creator-owned title Gideon Falls. I was maybe expecting a bit more for Lemire’s first foray into horror in a while, but then – this is a weird book. I’ve read the second issue the same day I write this, and I still have no clue what it’s about but I love it. It’s an odd project and retailers may have been a bit cautious. However, Lemire’s books tend to be extremely stable long-term.

Glenn:  I think this will be one that stabelizes fast, could even be a slow climber as word of mouth spreads.  The concept is odd on the surface but I think anyone that took the chance on it will spread the word quickly.  It’ll definitely end up well into Image’s safe zone I’d say.

Ray:  A good debut for Shadowman at #45, selling 33K. This is the return of Andy Diggle to mainstream comics, and the return of a Valiant character who was off on the dark side for a few years, but the first issue seems to have gone over well. I’m a bit surprised by how well it did, but I wouldn’t be surprised if retailers ordered a bit heavily to ensure that fans wanting to support the return of Valiant’s most prominent African-American hero didn’t go home empty-handed. We are in a post-Black Panther world, after all.

Glenn:  Good logic on Shadowman, it is becoming more common to see Valient being able to launch pretty strong numbers on some books which is great to see for them.  There’s been a lot of corporate changes at Valient but their strategy of slow and steady seems to be really working for them and I can’t imagine that changing anytime soon.

Ray:  Doctor Strange: Damnation started low, but seems to have had a decent second issue slide this month, selling 32.9K at #47. That’s down about 25% from the first issue. The third issue is the same month, selling 30K at #58. So it seems like this quick event has at least given Donny Cates’ Doctor Strange run a slight boost, in sales if not quality.

Glenn:  Not too bad a drop for Brave and the Bold: Batman and Wonder Woman which has its second issue sell over 31.8k at 49.  Still might have expected more considering the characters involved and the creator involved but for a throwaway mini, this is very good.

Ray:  Peter Parker: Spectacular Spider-Man comes back down to Earth after its big anniversary issue, and it keeps 3K of that anniversary boost to land at #54 with sales of 31K. Not a huge increase, but this title is a solid mid-level performer for Marvel. And it’ll soon be the only Spider-book once Slott leaves! Hooray for Zdarsky!

The penultimate issue of Supergirl lands at #55 with sales of 30K. That’s down about 1.5K from the last issue, but this was also a special issue cowritten by guest writer Vita Ayala. It’s been massively praised for its nuanced take on LGBT issues and teen alienation, and I would expect to see it get a lot of reorders in the coming months. This is not a title that should be ending based on sales and buzz, but here we are. Bendis is coming!

Glenn:  This Supergirl issue should be given to kids in school’s to help those struggling with their identity (gender or sexual orientation or otherwise) and help kids support those going through the struggles this issue deals with.  This is one of my favorite comics of the year so far so I hope it picks up some reorders.  I really hope DC has more plans for the character because it seems a shame for multiple reasons to just kill off the book at the behest of a new creator.

Ray:  At #61 we have the Damnation: Johnny Blaze Ghost Rider one-shot, selling 29K. That’s a decent number for a one-off story featuring a B-list supernatural hero spinning out of a minor event. What’s worth noting is that both this and the recent Spirits of Vengeance miniseries did a bit better than expected. It seems the supernatural characters from Marvel have a bit of an untapped fanbase.

Glenn:  People might be wanting more Ghost Rider since the cosmic version has been such a hit also.  We’re not going to see Ghost Rider (the normal version anyway) be able to hold his own title anytime soon so for a one off that is tied into an event that people seem pretty blegh about, this is a pretty great number.

At 77 is the next of those multiple Venom True Believers you mentioned, this one reprinting the first issue of the Lethal Protector mini which sells over 25.9k.  Much lower than the Amazing 300 reprint but still incredibly impressive.

The newest Kick Ass comic loses about half its sales selling over 25.1k at 81.  That’s quite a drop but still but it as a comfortable Image level.  I would say the upcoming ‘Netflix wave’ of Millar books will do a lot better for him than these revisits of his older creator owned properties.  I think this is only a mini (DC will be wanting Romita JR back) so in terms of that this book will fine.

Ray:  I think Kick-Ass is ongoing? Romita Jr. doesn’t have any formal DC deal and is co-creator on Kick-Ass (although it’s owned by Netflix now, obviously), so I imagine this will take priority for him. I find it amusing that I can refer to “That John Romita Jr. comic about a mom who has a secret life as a brutal vigilante” and I could be referring to two books.

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Glenn:  Millar hasn’t done an ongoing for quite a while so that would surprise me.  Let us know if you know, loyal Numberites!

No increase for Poe Dameron’s Star Wars title at 88 but it only loses a couple hundred sales from last issue with its 25th selling over 24.5k.  The book is now going to cover the period of time that the Force Awakens does so it’ll be interesting to see if that has any impact.

Much like the majority of its other new era brethren, Sideways has a troubling second issue sales performance of over 23.8k at 92.  It could be worse of course but this book along with the others that proceeded it are likely to be not here this time next year apart from Terrifics which will continue as long as Lemire is involved most likely.

Ray:  All the New Age of DC Heroes titles had rough debuts but moderate slides. The problem is, there just isn’t much room for them to keep falling – and when these a-list artists leave, we might see bigger drops.

Glenn:  The roll out of the books was a big mis fire, then them losing the artists (who were supposed to have the spotlight) is an even more baffling decision.  There still be the specter of stupid decision over at DC.

Last appearance of a Venom True Believer in the top 100 at 98 with a Venom/Carnage reprint selling over 22.3k.  This is a reprint of Carnage’s first story so I’m surprised it didn’t do better than Lethal Protector, especially with the Carnage symbiote being such a major part of Amazing at the moment.  Still great stuff for a comic that’s like 20 years old or so.

Not quite losing half its sales like Kick Ass, Hit Girl nearly does with sales over 21.1k at 100.  Considering how popular Hit-Girl is I might have expected more but still fine for as long as Millar wants it to be around.

At 101 its True Believers: Venom Symbiois which is a repring of Web Of Spider-Man 1 which doesn’t even have Venom in it!  The connection here is black suit Spidey on the cover I guess?  I don’t know how this one qualifies but it sold over 21k regardless.

At 102 is an odd comic, Iron Man: Hong Kong Heroes which sells just under 21k.  This is a promotional comic to tie in with a new Iron Man themed ride opening at Disneyland: Tokyo.  So this is an ad that you pay for, genius!  This being such an oddball of a book, I’d say sales around 21k is sensational.

Ray:  I suspect retailers didn’t really know what to expect out of this one, and just went “Iron Man? 20K sounds about right”. The fact that there’s only about 10K between this theme park tie-in and Bendis’ proper Iron Man title, though, is sort of crazy.

Glenn:  Wrapping up the Ivy/Harley & Betty/Veronica mini at 104 with sales over 20.7k.  Pretty strong sales from a mini that seems to have just been done for the lolz.  Again DC benefits greatly for letting others play with their characters and I don’t think that’ll be stopping anytime soon.

At 105 is the second issue of video game tie in Batman Sins Of The Father which sells over 20.4k which is very good for a video game tie in.  Batman, the people can’t get enough of him!

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Ray:  I recall that the Batman digital-first tie-ins always did better than any other book from the Digital-First line, so DC has got to be glad to have a new video game to tie in with!

Glenn:  After a very surprising debut, Mera: Queen Of Atlantis has second issue sales of over 19.7k at 108 which makes a lot more sense.  Still very good stuff for a mini focusing on one of the lesser known supporting characters in comics.

Ray:  Yeah, this is about what I would have expected from a Mera title, selling just a little below the level of Aquaman. Not bad, but certainly nothing that is going to make DC order an ongoing like the first issues made look like a possibility.

Glenn:  At 109 is a competitor for the oddest comic debut this month, Vampironica which is Veronica from Archie becoming a vampire.  Its typical old school wacky Archie stuff and sells over 19.7k which I’d say is very good.  These Archie horror books seem to have a lot of interest in them.

Ray:  These Archie horror books sell in a different league from anything else from the company, and this one has Greg Smallwood on board. As long as they keep selling, we’ll keep getting new ones. They’ll listen to me and greenlight Moosenstein one of these days!

Glenn:  I personally am hoping for Betty and Veronica but its more like Jekyll and Hyde than two girls hanging out.  Betty and Veryde?  Why Archie hasn’t called me yet is a mystery.

Next at 110 is Rick & Morty present the Vindicators which I assume means something to someone?  It sells over 18.8k which is on the upper tier of how tie in comics usually do but Rick & Morty’s popularity explains how this one has done better than average.

The next part of the comic adaption of American Gods debuts at 114 with sales just under 18.5k.  Seems like retailers gave this a slight boost for the number 1 but will likely treat it as a continuation overall like they did for the Dark Tower adaptions back in the day.  This is a title that Dark Horse seems to be glad they have.

Ray:  Even though Gaiman isn’t writing this, his name on the cover gives it a big boost. That certainly bodes well for Sandman Universe at DC this summer.

Glenn:  At 121 is another wrap up of another inter company crossover, The Shadow/Batman which sells 17.5k.  I wouldn’t be surprised to see another part to round out a trilogy coming along.

Ray:  Dynamite has a lot of these properties that could mesh well with DC in the future. This is one of the biggest successes of the crossover wave overall, so we’ll definitely see more.

Glenn:  More Venom in the form of True Believers at 126 with this one focusing on Agent Venom aka Flash Thompson Venom.  It sells over 16.7k which is still very good for a reprint, especially one that’s not that old.

Ray:  There’s quite a few reorders on the charts this month, including Amazing Spider-Man #796, which charts again at #127 with sales of 16,6K, above first-run sales of multiple DC and Marvel books. This was the prelude to Slott’s final arc, and there’s clearly an enormous amount of interest here. 

Glenn:  Retailers can’t pry copies of this arc of Amazing from people it seems.  It could be interest in the red Goblin, Slott’s final arc, the first proper Green Goblin/Peter Parker Spider-Man story in years or a combination of all three.  This is like a perfect storm.

Ray:  The Young Animal books get their relaunches this month following Milk Wars, and the highest-charting one is the new one, as Eternity Girl – Magdalene Visaggio’s personal story of a depressed immortal superhero – lands at #129 with sales of 16.2K. Impressive that it beat the established ones, which are a bit below. Mother Panic: Gotham AD lands at #143 with sales of 14K, followed by Shade the Changing Woman at #154 (12.7K) and Cave Carson has an Interstellar Eye at #163 (11.6K). These books largely continued from the previous run, but they all got decent-sized boosts in sales from those final issues. This is clearly a niche line, but let’s hope some of those new eyes from Milk Wars stick around!

Glenn:  Decent numbers from what we’ve come to expect from Young Animal by now.  If they can land above 10k and do well in trades, DC will likely keep the books around as long as each respective writer wants to work on it.

Ray:  Venom is all over the charts this month, with five more True Believers one-shots in this range. Venom: Shiver lands at #130 with sales of 16K, and then not far below we have Flashpoint, Dark Origin, Homecoming, and Toxin all selling in the 15K range between 135-138. This feels like the biggest True Believers wave yet, and probably the most successful.

 

The magnificently-named Pornsak Pichetshote makes his debut on the charts at #142, as his modern haunted house thriller Infidel sells 14.2K. For a creator without a mainstream profile yet, that’s a really strong debut. This is a miniseries and should keep healthy numbers throughout, but I suspect we’ll be hearing a lot more of the name Pornsak Pichetshote in the future.

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Glenn:  You’re having way too much typing that name, I can tell.  Infidel has a great concept and sometimes, that’s all you need to draw the eye of the reader.

Ray:  In the latest installment of “comparisons that make Marvel look bad”, let’s look at three titles. Ms. Marvel (#145, 13.7) is Marvel’s most popular new character in years. Deadman (#146, 13.3K) is a much-mocked Neal Adams title featuring a character with little to no buzz. Runaways (#148, 13.1K) is a critically acclaimed run by a mainstream novelist featuring the stars of Marvel’s new hit TV series. Should these titles be selling in the same range? I think not.

Glenn:  It seems that this is where Ms. Marvel lives now as a sales entity which is a real shame.  I have no doubt her collections and larger outside of comics presence keep her safe but its a really good book with a fresh protagonist which is what Marvel needs more of right now but if the market tells them otherwise, they’re hardly going to give us that.  We’ll probably get Ms. Marvenom in a few months.

Ray:  More reorders for Amazing Spider-Man, as #795 charts again with sales of 13K at #150. Clearly, fans are going to miss Slott a lot on this title. I suspect Marvel will too.

Mystic U, DC’s prestige-format magical college adventure, comes to a close with sales of 11K at #166. This is a title that didn’t find the audience it deserved in singles, but DC has an opportunity here – they can repackage it as part of the DC Ink line and get that collection into bookstores. If they’re smart, it could still be one of their biggest hits in a long time.

Down at #167, we’ve got the second issue of Labyrinth: Coronation. Selling just under 11K, this is Boom’s second-highest selling comic of the month. Unlike the other Jim Henson comics from Boom, this one seems to have caught some serious buzz for its prequel revealing the origin of Jareth.

Glenn:  There’s a lot of love for Labrynth and for Bowie so these could be key factors helping this book be a healthy offering from BOOM.

Ray:  And MORE Amazing Spider-Man reorders, as #794 sells an additional 10K at #172.

Top Cow relaunches one of their oldest franchises, Cyber-Force, with Matt Hawkins and Bryan Hill at the helm. It sells 10K at #172, not a great showing. The time for these old-school Image properties with a distinct 90s vibe may just be past.

Glenn:  There will always be a little bit of an audience for them but Image has changed SO MUCH from what it was when it launched that these are not the type of books people want from the company anymore.  It might be more beneficial to them to farm them out to smaller companies that could use these sales that Image don’t.

Ray:  At #177, we’ve got the debut of the latest Black Hammer spinoff, Doctor Star and the Kingdom of Lost Tomorrows. It sells 9.8K – but that’s deceptive, because there was an odd case last month where 4.5K worth of copies shipped a week early in the previous month. That puts the title’s total orders at a very healthy 14K+, which is close to in line with the main series. This book continues to prove itself to be Dark Horse’s first original hit franchise in a long time.

Glenn:  There’s soon going to be two Black Hammer books going at the same time with a third on the horizon.  Clearly Dark Horse loves the franchise and Lemire loves doing it, I know I love reading about it.

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The second of issue of Lockjaw sells just over 8.4k at 190.  Pretty much what you would expect from a comic about the Inhumans dog.  The Death Of The Inhumans series by Cates coming soon will likely be the final word on this franchise for a long, long time.

Ray:  It’ll be interesting to see if Cates’ general hype and buzz can lift the Inhumans sales-wise, but quality-wise it’s more likely to get people talking than most of their recent projects.

Glenn:  The Crow: Momento Mori from IDW is a new installment of a franchise exploring the unique gothic super hero who has a somewhat colourful history in terms of an excellent first movie, a string of meh to terrible sequels, and middling to terrible other types of adaptions.  It sells over 8.2k which is probably the die hard fans only.  Might be good long term for IDW to have it in their library if that Mamoa remake ever gets going.

Ray:  This property’s heyday was over twenty years ago, and I don’t think it even quite worked outside of the context of its creator’s very personal story, so these numbers aren’t a big surprise. Not every nostalgia revival is going to work.

Glenn:  Odd sounding sci-fi title Prisim Stalker debuts from Image at 198 with sales over 8k.  Pretty standard stuff from creators that don’t carry sales clout and a quirky premise.

Ray:  Making the situation worse for Prism Stalker, it debuted the same day as two massive new Image launches by Kirkman and Lemire. That likely made retailers order even more cautiously on this. The title’s concept doesn’t become fully clear until the second issue, so it might pick up reorders from here.

Glenn:  Hope so!

Very small drop from the Buffy: Giles mini at 199 with sales also around the 8k mark but it didn’t have that far down to go.  This franchise, even with the return of Whedon on co-writing duties is long past its heyday.  We’re going to have one more four issue mini wrap things up here and Dark Horse gets a healthy Buffy/Angel library for future generations that will come to discover the classic show that want more.

At 202 is another Marvel Movie prelude in the form of Ant-Man and Wasp which sells over 7.7k at 202.  I’m guessing this is a retelling of the events of the Ant-Man movie so you can’t expect much.  The fact that all these cash gra…errr preludes are getting their own Omnibus in a few months is hilarious.

A new female led Green Hornet series from Amy Chu and Dynamite launches at 207 with sales over 7.5k.  This franchise has its small  set audience and is unlikely to do anything to create a great resurgence of interest in it. Dynamite might have liked to have more interest on paper but its not horrible, just standard Green Hornet performance.

Sharp drop of over 10k for Dejah Thoris on its second issue with sale over 7.4k at 209.  This is more what I imagine this book to live at after its unusually high launch last month.  Like Green Hornet, its not brilliant but its not terrible…as long as it doesn’t lose another 10k readers next month and has negative readers.

Ray:  Interesting that Green Hornet sold about the same with its first issue as Dejah Thoris did with its second. Bump from Dejah Thoris’ #0 issue getting a wider audience? Maybe, because Dejah Thoris has far less mainstream presence overall than the Green Hornet does.

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Glenn:  The creator of Spy Seal, Rick Tomasso takes a break from that series to launch Dry County which sells over 7k at 217. Retailers probably ordered this based on how well Spy Seal sold but that was a very particular type of book for a very specific audience, on the surface this book reads like it has more mass appeal.  Maybe it’ll find its audience in trades?

Ray:  Tomasso does very offbeat comics, and this slice-of-life crime comic didn’t really have a strong hook to grab retailers and make them order heavily. I expect it’ll have pretty stable but low sales for the miniseries.

 
Glenn:  For those that still care, Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur sells over 6.7 at 220.  No word on this getting a Fresh Start style paint job.  Could the mystery be finally at the end?

Ray:  I doubt it’ll be ending, especially with the recent announcement of an animated series coming. What’s happening here is that Moon Girl likely does 95% of its sales in collections and bookstores, and no one cares about the single issue sales. Once the cartoon begins, don’t be surprised if IDW shows up to take the property into custody. It’s better this way. They’ll be happier there. Devil Dinosaur will have a bigger yard to play in.

Glenn:  The book that Ray has been yelling about how awesome it is, Highest House from the creative team behind the Unwritten launches from IDW at 224 with sales over 6.5k.  Ray talks about this one like it should be selling ten times as much but IDW never as much luck with creator owned material and this one is printed in a unique fashion (much like A.D: After Death from Image which went on to do amazing in collections) so this one seems like one that will earn its keep from collection sales both inside and outside the market for many years to come if its quality is anything to go by.

Ray:  If you’re reading this column and you’re not reading Highest House, what are you doing with your life???? In all seriousness, this will be a classic in bookstore form for years to come, and you’re all going to wish you had the single issues when it’s a hit Netflix miniseries.

Glenn:  Deathbed, the latest Vertigo series from Joshua Williamson sells over 6.2k at 230.  Even one of the biggest writers at DC right now can’t get a lot of interest through Vertigo anymore.  Uncle Neil Gaiman and his seven endless children are coming to save the day next year.

Ray:  That’s a roughly 50% slide for Deathbed, a little lower. Worth noting than the conclusion of Deathbed is the only Vertigo title solicited for July – and that the upcoming Sandman books are not going to be under the Vertigo brand, but get their own line.

Glenn:  So it is!  Sorry Vertigo.

Spider King, another creator owned from IDW sells over 6.1k at 231.  I don’t know these creators so they’re probably delighted they came so close to the likes of Mike Carey up a few spots at Highest House.  Again, this isn’t about the material but about IDW’s position in terms of a creator owned publisher.

Ray:  IDW’s slowly pushing more and more into the creator-owned market, but they don’t quite have a brand yet on that front, and interested people have to sift through roughly 900 licensed books to find these books. That doesn’t make it easier to find these hidden gems.

Glenn:  Ghostbusters: Crossing Over sees multiple versions of the ghost busting team join together with sales at over 6.1k checking in at 232.  This is going to be one for die hard Ghostbuster fans only who want to see the iconic movie team interact from everyone to the extreme version to the reboot cast of the movie no one talks about anymore.

Ray:  Making things rougher for this Ghostbusters crossover, the fanbases of the two groups of movie Ghostbusters do not play well together. As for the Extreme Ghostbusters, they’re just happy to be here.

Glenn:  Pretty soft fall for Xena on her second issue as she sells over 5.8k at 237 but she couldn’t afford to fall much further with where she launched.  Another one for the die hard fans…or the Collector.

Ray:  At #235 is the second Ian Flynn-penned issue of Archie, and it only sells 5.8K. That’s close to a 50% slide for the main Archie title in less than six months, most in the last two issues. To say this isn’t good is an understatement. The book seems to have lost almost all of its buzz since the Over the Edge story petered out with few permanent consequences, and the new creative team hasn’t helped. Flynn will probably have more success on next month’s Sonic relaunch from IDW.

Glenn:  Its a shame they couldn’t get another name like Waid to come on board.  The comic industry is thriving with some very talented folks, surely at least one of them would be interested in writing Archie?  I’ll write Archie, I’ll make it about crime and time travel!

Ray:  At #242 is Secret Weapons: Owen’s Story from Valiant. 5.5K isn’t great, but Valiant’s one-shots rarely sell too well. This is more of a prequel, introducing fans to the stories of the players for the upcoming Harbinger Wars II, so look for these to maybe pick up some reorders when that event ramps up this summer.

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Not getting an animated series like Moon Girl is Monsters Unleashed, which wraps up its run at #244 with sales of 5.4K. These are shockingly low numbers for a main line Marvel book – and yet, still probably not as low as Solo or Slapstick, the latter of which actually fell out of the top 300. Just another attempt to make something happen for Marvel lately. It didn’t happen.

Glenn:  Marvel threw the kitchen sink at this one to make it happen.  Another one of their growing number of recent misfires.

Ray:Usagi Yojimbo’s been running for a very long time, and had high numbers – until now, as Stan Sakai debuts a new miniseries titled “The Hidden”. It sells 5.2K at #248, which isn’t huge but definitely an improvement from the title’s usual numbers. This is a book that has a very loyal audience of longtime readers, similar to Savage Dragon, I imagine.

The latest Boom original property, Lucy Dreaming, debuts at #252 with sales of just under 5K. Not unusual for Boom miniseries, which probably do better numbers in collections, although this one had hit musician/writer Max Bemis and the acclaimed artist of The Woods. This will be a complete story in a few months and will sell on bookstore shelves for years to come.

At #253 is an unusual entry, the promotional Image Expo 2018 Preview Book. It’s a $1 collection of opening pages from a host of upcoming books announced at the Expo, and it sells 4.9K. I’m surprised this was counted as a regular book at all, and I might have expected it to be ordered a bit more heavily.

Glenn:  Interesting idea for a promotional tool, much like DC’s been starting to do but not on a regular basis by any means.  Considering Image books need perhaps the promotion to get them in mind of readers if they don’t have a big name creator attached and retailers like making money, you would have though investing in this to get more readers to buy more books would have been a no brainer.

Ray:  More reorders for some hit comics, including Thanos #14 (4.7K at #256) and the unkillable Doomsday Clock #1 (#261, 4.5K), which will be on these charts until we’re long gone.

Glenn:  It helps to be the follow up to the most critically acclaimed comic ever but Geoff Johns and Gary Frank are doing the work of their careers and deserve the success.

Ray:  Another Boom debut, Dodge City, about a scandal-scarred competitive dodgeball team, debuted with 4.5K at #264. This one didn’t seem to have much hype behind it or any name creators, and it’s not the first Boom title about oddball competitive sports, so I think this one might have slipped under the radar.

Glenn:  We don’t really have dodge ball here as far as I’m aware.  Getting people committed to a sports book is usually not something that goes well in today’s market.

Ray:  Black Mask debuted two new comics this month, the body horror/social media thriller Come into Me and the cryptozoology/big pharma conspiracy Breathless. Both sold about 50 copies apart in the 4.4K range at #266 and #270 respectively. Black Mask is apparently going through some transition right now as many books and collections have been cancelled due to delays. Numbers like this aren’t exactly a ringing endorsement for the future, since I don’t think they really have a bookstore market presence yet.

Glenn:  Black Mask seemed to be going somewhere a year or so ago but no…its not looking good.  That may maintain a small presence, vanish entirely or rebound.  With the unpredictability of the comic market today, any of these three things could realistically happen.

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Ray:  The Berger books have absolutely crashed on the charts, with the second issue of Mata Hari and the third issue of Hungry Ghosts selling in the 4.4K range at #271 and #273 respectively, and as for Incognegro – unknown. It’s not on the charts. Depressing news, especially since the latter book is exceptional.

Glenn:  Dark Horse have to betting on these doing well in collections otherwise we may not see too many more of the Berger line.

Ray:  4.3K in reorders for the Swamp Thing Winter Special at #275, as Tom King and Jason Fabok’s acclaimed story gets some additional sales. Retailers may have ordered cautiously because of the price tag, but that King dude has built a fanbase! And an additional 4.3K sales for Avengers #276 right below, as the return of the Hulk builds buzz for this weekly run.

A rare creator-owned debut for Oni, as Ed Brisson’s violent kung-fu assassin thriller The Ballad of Sang debuts at #279, selling only 4.2K. There’s no way this wouldn’t have sold twice as much or more at Image, which is probably while Oni seems to be ramping down their production of single-issue originals.

Glenn:  Like Black Mask, Oni seemed to have a few interesting things on the horizon and have gone nearly dark in terms of monthly.  Did we ever even get the book that resulted from their much hyped open submission a few years ago?  If we did then I missed it.

Ray:  A very low debut for the all-ages fantasy Betrothed, Sean Lewis’ new Aftershock title, at #287 with sales of 4K. Despite growing their output and talent pool every month, Aftershock still has trouble getting decent-sized launches for books without boldface names on the cover.

Glenn:  Aftershock still seem to be doing something to get the attention of bigger names than a company their size and their relative newness would really warrant.  They must be doing something right somewhere.

Ray:  A Ghostbusters annual sells 4K at #290, showing once again that this franchise is struggling for IDW. The split in the fanbase will likely hurt the property for a long time to come.

3.8K in reorders for the first issue of The Terrifics at #298, showing some real buzz for this series. Combined with the healthy second-issue drop this month, this feels like it’s the one new hit for DC in this wave.

Glenn:  One out of five (or however many it was) isn’t bad?  Probably not but hey…at least Lemire is writing big two comics again!

Ray:  And at #300, it’s Matt Kindt’s creator-owned title Grass Kings. It’s ending in two issues, so we’ll see if it can rebound a tiny bit and complete its run in the top 300, the way Tom King’s Sheriff of Babylon did towards the end of its run.

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Glenn:  I’ll pretend I know what this book is and agree!

While we leave the top 300, I want to take a quick glance as the collection sales for this month.  Even though the output from the line is a rarity these days, the latest Earth One offering in the form of Green Lantern does really well.  It comes second only to the new Walking Dead collection (of course).  This line basically only consists of Batman (put on hold for Doomsday Clock) and Wonder Woman.  Superman is MIA with the writer of the first three volumes presumably not returning and the promised Flash book never materializing.  Considering all of that, this sells really well and that’s especially interesting since this creative team of Gabriel Hardman and Corrina Beckho are probably the least known creators this line has seen thus far.  That’s very encouraging for any other Earth One books DC might deem fit to put out in the future and one to keep an eye on!

Ray: Hardman and Bechko are acclaimed indie creators who are not all that well know to fans of the big two, but are bringing their own fanbase to the picture. This goes to show that DC should maybe take some chances with these titles, let lesser-known creators with big ideas take a chance on top characters. Every time an installment of the Earth One Series has come out, it’s sold very well, but the pace of the franchise is so unpredictable that it doesn’t do for DC nearly what it should. There’s a similarity to the All-Star Line in that way (only without kids being forced to eat rats).

Image result for action comics 1000Looking ahead, there’s no real question what wins the month – we know Action Comics #1000 is crash-landing and destroying the top of the charts with sales of over 500K. These are unheard-of numbers for superhero books in this market, and this is a massive event (that DC will be able to recreate in less than a year with Detective). With 500K at $7.99, could DC win the month outright? I think it’s possible. They’ll also have two new debuts from The New Age of DC Heroes – Brimstone and Immortal Men, but this month, a lot of series are ending to make way for new launches in May and June.

This isn’t Marvel’s month, but they’ll be trying to keep up with two issues of Amazing Spider-Man’s blockbuster storyline, and the launches of soon-to-be cult favorite titles Domino and Exiles. Plus, the mini-event The Hunt for Wolverine kicks off this month before splitting into four miniseries the following month. And they’ve also got the weekly Venomized, the conclusion to Cullen Bunn’s Venom storyarc before Donny Cates jumps on board.

It’s a big month for indies as well, including the return of Frank Miller to Dark Horse, with an original Xerxes miniseries spinning out of 300. They’ve also got the return of the proper Black Hammer title’s second volume. Image has a host of new launches, including Isola from the Gotham Academy creative team, Steve Orlando’s Crude, Kyle Higgins’ Dead Hand, Joe Henderson’s Skyward, and Gerry Duggan’s Analog. IDW’s got one of their biggest launches in a while with the weekly rollout of the new Sonic the Hedgehog series, following that property’s departure from Archie.

What will rise? What will fall? Find out next month on…By the Numbers?

By The Numbers: February 2018

Like in any industry, comic books and their companies listen most to one thing and that’s your money! What does your money tell them? What does it tell us as fans? What series do people say they adore but can’t seem to catch a break and what books to people hate that sell out? What are the trends? What looks good? What looks rough?

All these questions and more will be answered here, every month in ‘By The Numbers’ by comic writers, editors and fans, Glenn Matchett and Ray Goldfield.

Glenn Matchett is a comic writer and editor. He’s worked in the industry for 6 years but grew up reading comics. He’s had work published with Outre Press, Alterna Comics and Nemesis Studios. Is wondering when podcasts about Spider-Man got so fashionable and is up to the challenge of not being able to be out quizzed on Spidey by ANYONE (except maybe Dan Slott).

Ray Goldfield is a fan of comic books for going on 25 years, starting with the death of Superman. He is a writer and editor and has released his first novel. Ray also does a weekly roundup of DC comic reviews for website Geekdad and they’re brilliantly entertaining. After weeks of therapy, Ray has come to terms with the cancellation of Supergirl. To help him, we’re telling him that Scott Snyder is now writing Amazing Spider-Man, please don’t tell him any different.

We also do a podcast together with longtime buddy, Brandon James on iTunes with Rabbitt Stew or at the link here! Don’t ask, I didn’t pick the name. If you’d like to hear what me and Ray sound like, give it a listen!  We talk about these very sales numbers in the most recent episode here…but read this first so Bret doesn’t hurt us.

Top 300 in full available here!

Glenn:  Its the month of looove as we look back at February here at By The Numbers only there isn’t any feeling of looove here, only poor sales.  With the absense of DC heavy hitters Doomsday Clock and Metal (kinda/sorta) while Marvel is just coasting along the sales for February weren’t the best.  Only one book managed to get above 100k and only 16 above 50k.  Grim times.

Ray:  This was very much a down month, across the board. Still, there were a few small hits that buoyed the companies.

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Glenn:  Lets take a look and start right at the top with Dark Knights Rising: The Wild Hunt which sells just over 101.3k.  In the absence of a main Metal issue, this one shot serves as Metal 5.5 and features a lot of big name DC writers and artists including the big two return of Grant Morrison.  Like most major Metal tie-ins it sells very well and its clear why Metal scribe Scott Snyder has already announced the Dark Knights will be sticking around post event, people seem to dig them.  Very good performance for a one shot that was put together due to Metal needing an extra month to complete.  Now if anyone could explain what this issue was about, that would be swell.

Ray:  Metal, pretty clearly, is invincible. We’ve seen every single tie-in special do top ten numbers, I believe, and most of the tie-in issues of regular titles gained five-digit increases on their regular sales. It’s been a long time since we’ve seen an event have effects of this kind, and even though Doomsday Clock itself is not having any tie-ins, we’ve seen similar effects for their side tie-ins like The Button and The Oz Effect. DC’s hit on something incredible here, and I think we’ll see a similar effect for No Justice. 

Glenn:  No Justice being a direct follow on for help and if the entry for the top ten remains at this level, all of the issues that are released that month will easily make the top ten

As we predicted from the sales of Phoenix Resurrection, X-Men Red launches big for Marvel selling over 98.4k on its first issue.  Fans and retailers are buying into (adult) Jean Gray being back and even if sales drop by half, Marvel will have another solid performer.  I’m not sure what effect ‘Fresh Start’ will have on the X-Men line but hopefully Marvel will realize the lines colour coded relaunch has actually not done too badly at all and leave well enough alone.

Ray:  As always, this will take a heavy slide next issue like all Marvel books do, but there’s a decent chance this winds up being the top-selling X-book overall. It seems to be getting some major positive buzz, and as of today it’s been announced that it’ll be the place where Tom Taylor’s breakout character Gabby Kinney (and fellow breakout Jonathan the Wolverine) make their home after All-New Wolverine wraps in May. 

Glenn:  Its unclear if the not too long relaunched X-Men books will be getting the ‘Fresh Start’ treatment.  Hopefully not because it could kill this books momentum such as the relaunch prior to the previous but before the last one did to Spider-Gwen

As is customary, Batman takes two spots in the top ten at 3 and 4 with the latest issues of the character selling over 95.5k for issue 40 and over 93.8k for issue 41.  Usual amazing performance but the title will get some major boosts as we head towards the 50th issue and the upcoming Bat/Cat nuptials.  If any book on the stand doesn’t need anything else than its title to see its this one but why not go for it anyway?  Big risk and big reward and I would definitely bet on the latter.

Keeping a strong number of its anniversery sales, Walking Dead sells over 77.4k at 5.  With everything else falling, Walking Dead’s insane stability will always give it an advantage in a ,market like this.  While most books will launch big and then drop like a stone, Walking Dead shuffles along at around the same level and comes out ahead of the pack as a result.

Ray:  Batman and Walking Dead are insanely steady, continuing to rise up the charts as everything else sinks. In event-less months, they could easily be topping the charts.

Glenn:  Batman could have a number one in one of the Doomsday Clock skip months after Metal finishes but prior to Snyder’s Justice League for sure.

At 6 is the amazingly successful Batman: White Knight which sells over 77.3k.  This out of continuity mini has been revealed as a trial book for DC’s upcoming Black Label imprint so if this is any indication, that line will be another big win for DC.  Writer/artist Sean Murphy seems to want to only draw his own material from now on and if he can produce results like this, I don’t see any reason why he shouldn’t.

Ray:  That’s another 4K increase in sales for White Knight, which I would say is unheard of…but it’s not. It’s a similar pattern we’ve seen on books like Mister Miracle and Supergirl in recent months. Retailers are starting to respond more aggressively to positive buzz, taking risks on increased orders midway through. And this effect so far only seems to happen for DC.

feb2

Glenn:  Brace yourself for a big drop in sales as over 20k below the title above it, the 300th issue of Spectacular Spider-Man sells just over 56k at 7.  Quite subdued for an anniversary issue, especially on a title that launched big.  This is only like the 6th or 7th issue of the book though so that might have taken a lot of wind out of sails in regards to the enthusiasm the anniversary might have provided.

Ray:  Yeah, the number definitely helped Spectacular more than double it’s usual issue sales, but this is just an oversized issue of the main series with a funny backup, not a big event. Legacy likely confused a lot of people. “#300? But I just started reading it! How did I miss 295 issues?”

Glenn:  They’re probably going to be even more confused when the title gets a new number one soon too (this hasn’t been announced yet but wouldn’t make sense for it not to happen cause lolz)

Its not the force it once was (ha, get it?  I said Force, me be funny) but Star Wars is still a strong performer for DC because its the highest selling title from the publisher this month that didn’t have a snazzy number 1 or anniversary number to help it along.  Its at 8 with over 56k and even three years later, Marvel is still getting big returns on having this property under their umbrella.

Ray:  Star Wars climbs back up as everything else falls for Marvel. They’ve be in such dire straits if it wasn’t for Disney helping them out.

Glenn:  At 9 we have the first issue of ‘event’ comic Infinity Countdown Prime which sells over 55.2k.  Very subdued launch for a title Marvel had a lot of buzz about.  Its not terrible if you compare it to where the book it replaced (Guardians) was but the company probably expected better.  Likely its main reason for existing will be to have a collection that says ‘Infinity’ on it in time for a certain film coming out in just under 2 months.

Ray:  Given that this is essentially a spin-off of Duggan’s Guardians run which sold relatively poorly, and that it’s only a prequel event to the real event starting around the time of Infinity War, I’d say a top ten debut is pretty healthy here. 

Glenn:  Wrapping up the top ten is Amazing Spider-Man issue 796 which sells over 55.1k which curiously outsells the proceeding issue which charts at 12 with sales over 52.8k.  Its not a huge difference but a climb is a climb.  Obviously the hype train is strong for Dan Slott’s final big Amazing Spider-Man story as people are in getting these issues hoping they’ll pay for their future homes in ten years or so.  I do think in all seriousness, people are hyped for the end of Slott’s epic run and the numbers here will keep climbing until we get to 800.

Ray:  Marvel is going to really miss the steady sales on this title in a half-year’s time. Almost as if they were repeatedly warned and this was completely avoidable. Most of the top twenty-five is dominated by steady favorites, including Darth Vader, more ASM, Detective Comics, Flash, and Justice League. We do have a few new debuts in this area, though, starting with Star Wars: Thrawn which sells 52K at #13. This is the Marvel Star Wars comics’ first attempt to bring the old expanded universe villain into the new Star Wars universe, so this is probably a but more of a niche product for the line. So on that level, this is a great number and shows how anything Star Wars will sell decently for Marvel.

 Glenn:  Yeah, Thrawn does have a big presence in the larger Star Wars community but to people who are only with the film portion of the Star Wars universe, they won’t know who he is and retailers were maybe a bit conservative because of that.  Still, like you said its a solid launch considering that and will do well in book stores once collected because of the huge presence the character has among expanded Star Wars fans.  They’ll maybe hope to get Disney to include him in a film if they show there’s an audience there.  If we can make Doctor Aphra a toy we can do anything!

feb3

Ray:  At #16 (the last book selling over 50K this month) we have the revival of Kick-Ass, featuring a new female lead. Good number, maybe a bit surprising and showing that the pull of Kick-Ass wasn’t really Dave? Interestingly, Hit-Girl is all the way down at #31 selling only 39K. Given that they’re both Millar books and Hit-Girl was the breakout character, that’s odd. Maybe it’s because Hit-Girl will become an anthology with Millar only on the first arc, or maybe it’s the pull of Romita? (Although that doesn’t seem to have helped his new DC title…)

Glenn:  Kick-Ass might be seen as the ‘safer’ bet because of the films too?  I’d say that probably Hit Girl is there more popular character but the Kick-Ass brand is stronger (even if its a new person under the mask).  Still, pretty good sales for both and well within the usual range of Millarworld titles.

Ray:  At #20 is the debut of The Terrifics, which is easily the best debut for one of these “New Age of DC Heroes” books for DC, selling 45K. Not a great debut given that it spins directly out of Metal, but when you consider that it stars Mr. Terrific (last solo series lasted 8 issues), Metamorpho (hasn’t sustained a solo series in decades), Plastic Man (popular but niche character) and Phantom Girl (second-tier team member on a team that hasn’t had a title in five years), it looks a lot more impressive. I put a lot of this down to the fact that

Jeff Lemire is one of the few writers who genuinely can sell anything. The news for the line as a whole is distinctly mixed, though.

Glenn:  The sales are purely down to Lemire and Ivan Reis (although he’s leaving soon but is soon to be replaced by Doc Shaner which is nothing to be sneezed at) and given the characters, the number is amazing.  This title as well as the Immortals and Challengers (downsized to a mini but still) were always going to be at the top end of how well these books could do and will likely be the only survivors long term.  Interesting experiment by DC but it hasn’t worked overall but if they can get two more solid ongoing performers out of, it could be worse.

Ray:  One interesting thing worth noting is that Action Comics and Superman are now selling roughly the same level, with all four issues being clustered in the #24-27 range. Given that Superman started out selling almost twice as much, this is impressive for Action and the pattern should likely continue when they’re written by the same man in a few months.

feb 4

Glenn:  Both Superman titles will get a big sales boost soon.  Whether that stays will be interesting to see but given there is now one creative voice for both titles, the two will likely orbit each other for the foreseeable future.

Ray:  At #28 we have the debut of Liam Sharp’s Brave and the Bold: Batman and Wonder Woman, selling 42K. It really depends on how you look at this series – as a Wonder Woman series (which it seems to be more of), it sells 6K above the main series. Of course, when you consider that it has Batman on the cover and only sold 42K, it’s definitely not a series with the buzz of White Knight or Batman and the Signal (which stabilizes at #40 this month, selling 37K).

Glenn:  Yeah, Brave and the Bold is an interesting one.  Wonder Woman had a big year last year, Batman is the biggest commodity in the charts today and it has an a-list artist.  Maybe people are just waiting for a super lovely collection on this one?  If it can stabilize around this level or maybe even 10k later, its not going to be a complete waste but this is like a number we saw on Batman teaming with another companies character like Shadow or the Turtles rather than DC (and arguably comics) most iconic female hero.

Ray:  Not looking much like an event is Doctor Strange: Damnation, which charts at #29 selling 41.5K. Donny Cates’ Doctor Strange run is great, but not a best-seller, and tying it in with Secret Empire and bringing that writer on board likely didn’t win many new fans. The much-hyped debut, combined with variant covers, only just barely edged out the latest issue of Mighty Thor (one of Marvel’s steadiest books) by 31 copies.

Glenn:  Was this supposed to be a thing?  I definitely missed the memo on that if that’s the case.  Yeah, its an underwhelming performance for sure if it was supposed to be a big deal.  Follow on mini’s from big events have never done particularly well for Marvel in recent years.  Maybe they should have a think about that one.

feb 5

Ray:  Avengers has leveled out quickly, selling four issues in the 38-39K range, with sales actually jumping a bit at the end of the month for the return of Hulk. Landing in the thirties isn’t great for Avengers, but given that it’s selling four issues roughly on the level of Waid’s former Avengers title, that’s definitely an improvement overall.

Glenn:  Yeah so doing the ‘Brand New Day’ strategy for Avenger’s has worked a treat for the overall sales of the Avenger’s line but the title itself isn’t really a heavy hitter.  Still, constancy on a weekly is great to see and Jason Aaron will be riding in to help with that pesky sales issue soon enough.

Ray:  At #39 is the Infinity Countdown: Adam Warlock special, which sells 38K. This was more of an offbeat side story, complete with Mike Allred art. Selling roughly 60% compared to the much more mainstream Infinity Countdown: Prime is probably a pretty good sign for overall interest in the event.

Glenn:  Back in the day, the ‘outer space’ stuff from Abbett and Lanning had a really respectful dedicated audience that made everything they did in the cosmic Marvel universe a success so there seems to still be some hunger for that.  

Ray:  We’ve got two titles, Captain America and Marvel Two-in-One at #43/44, which have leveled off extremely quickly from Marvel’s new wave. Captain America sheds less than 1K from last month (although the run is ending soon), and Marvel Two-in-One actually increases 3K from last month. Roughly 36K isn’t great, but for Marvel these days, it’s a good sign for these books overall. No wonder Marvel showed enough faith in Zdarsky to give him an exclusive.

A surprisingly strong debut for Mera: Queen of Atlantis at #45 with 35.7K. This is more than 10K above the sales of Aquaman this month, and roughly in the same range as this month’s issues of Wonder Woman. Some hidden interest in the character? Either way, I bet we’ll be seeing her used more prominently in the DCU if these sales don’t collapse after the first issue.

Glenn:  That’s a surprising number for a Mera mini.  Maybe its a show that people DO want female led books in some cases?  We’ll see how the rest of the mini performs but definitely first issue sales that are worth not ignoring.

Ray:  The other new launch for New Age of DC Heroes, Sideways, lands at #48 with sales of 35K. This is marginally lower than Damage last month, but a good deal higher than Silencer. Not terrible for a title that’s basically best described as “What if Blue Beetle, but with the powers of The Spot“, but this line has to be a bit of a disappointment for DC. We’ll see how the month two books stabilized a little further down, but there isn’t all that much breathing room with launches like this.

Glenn:  This is the character that explores the DC multi-verse yes?  Maybe some DC fans are hoping to see some of the work Morrison has laid down in that regard be explored here?  Hard to say but yeah, halfway decent for a first issue but I doubt this one will be anything to write home about sales wise long term.

Ray:  One DC book that definitely exceeded expectations was Batman: Sins of the Father at #52. Selling 32.4K, this is a spinoff of the Telltale series with Batman dealing with the fallout from revelations about how the Wayne fortune was built. This is a lot higher than we usually see digital-first books sell. There’s often harsh falls with the second issue, but I think we can chalk this up to the power of Batman.

Glenn:  Maybe ordered as a normal Batman mini than a telltale tie in?  Then again all those Arkham game mini’s haven’t done too badly in the past.  There’s no stopping the Batman in any media.

Ray:  Supergirl has another unexpected jump of over 5K this month to land at #56 with sales of 31.6K. This title continues to have one of the most unexpected resurgences in recent memory, and the issue that came out as we’re writing this column (with a different guest cowriter, Vita Ayala) is getting an enormous amount of buzz. So given all that…it’s kind of puzzling that it’s getting cancelled because Bendis. I understand that he wants the entire Super-family under his hand, but Supergirl is a hit character in her own right with a strong series and a TV show. She deserves her own book. She’s outselling Harley Quinn now!

Glenn:  Yeah, I really hope that DC have the sense to course correct here.  Can they (or any company) afford to ditch a book that is gaining momentum like this?  I mean unless you’re Batman or Walking Dead or a Tom King rein-visioning of a c list character, your sales don’t tend to rise just for no reason but here it is.  I doubt Bendis came in and went ‘You cancel Supergirl now, grrrr’ I mean if the Batfamily can show up in Detective and some of them have their own books too, can’t Supergirl have her own title as well as show up in a Superman book?

feb6

Ray:  One interesting subplot of this month is just how many strong-selling titles are getting cancelled by DC for story reasons. They include Titans, Super-Sons, Teen Titans, and Justice League of America, all selling above 25K (with Supergirl being the highest), not counting the Justice League title which is getting relaunched with Snyder. That’s six mid-level hit titles that DC is ready to say goodbye to simply to advance the universe’s plot. Marvel would kill for books as stable as these!

Glenn:  I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that DC is cooking plans with the Super Sons and Teen Titans but yeah, its a puzzling move.  Hopefully it’ll be for the greater good.

Ray:  I don’t think anything sums up the poor state of Marvel Comics proper right now than the two comics at 60/61. Star Wars: Doctor Aphra, an original Star Wars title featuring a spinoff character, outsells Iron Man only a few issues into the relaunch bringing back Tony Stark, with neither getting much above 30K.

Glenn:  Yeah, that comparison sells volumes.  I mean Aphra is literally a character that only exists in comics form (and a toy the majority of ‘casual’ Star Wars fans won’t have a clue about) and Iron Man is now celebrating ten years as a media icon thanks to the first MCU movie onwards.  The direction Marvel has been in for the same amount of time has put them in a position that has left them very weak.  They survive on pure power of volume, going back to the relaunch wall repeatedly and a handful of great runs.  Will Fresh Start be the thing that magically fixes all things and make life sunny and happy again?  In the case of the last few reboots, for a select few books that are lucky then sure but across the board?  No, no it will not.

Selling incredibly well for a 7.99 one shot is the Swamp Thing: Winter Special which charts at 64 with sales over 29.7k.  The power of Tom King getting people interested in third tier characters continues but also have to give a lot of credit to top DC artist Jason Fabok also.  This was also contained the last work of Swamp Thing’s creator, Len Wein and I’m sure people that have been fans of his over his historic career wanted to have his last work in their collection.  Its always sad to lose any creator but Wein contributed so many great characters and concepts to comics, the industry is a less special place without him.  I hope these sales also mean that DC will give King/Fabok a Swamp Thing season special for the upcoming year, it would make me so very happy.

Ray:  Despite the high price tag, that’s really impressive. This is a testament to the strength of all the creators involved, and I imagine it’ll get some pretty decent reorders given the critical buzz.

Glenn:  At 67 is the end of the Deadpool vs Old Man Logan mini which sells over 29.3k and only around 300 units less than the main Deadpool title, very impressive.  We’re not going to see a slow down of Deadpool mini’s anytime soon.

The second issue of Damage sells over 27k which is not too far below the previous issues sales.  Its at 75 so still in the top 100 (Remember when 27k wouldn’t get you in the top 200?  Rabbitt Stew farm remembers) and this relatively calm drop could be the book and this entire line of DC books saving grace but we’ll see how we do next month and how it does after losing its a-list artist in a few issues.

Ray:  That’s actually a pretty decent slide for Damage, losing less than 25% from its first month sales. I think this shows that the main problem with this line was in advance hype. Retailers didn’t feel this line was anything to really commit to in big numbers, since it’s almost entirely based around original characters. If it can continue leveling out, though, this title could survive for a while.

Glenn:  Part of the uber weird Milk Wars which is going to relaunch the Young Animal line, Batman/Mother Panic sells over 26.1k at 80 as the power of Batman makes this the best selling tie-in this month.  As stated last month, these books are not really performing any bigger than the previous Young Animal books would have so this renewing of focus on the line and bringing in main DC characters maybe hasn’t gotten the result that may have been wanted.  Although it shows stability in the line and in this market as its been proven time and again, a stable seller is worth its weight in gold.

Ray:  Overall, all of the Milk Wars tie-ins this month got much more significant bounces than the launch issue did last month. That’s mainly because the other titles sell much less regularly than Doom Patrol (thanks to the built-in fanbase of Gerard Way). It’s no surprise that Batman outsold Wonder Woman who outsold Swamp Thing, but I’m hoping that all three of these books keep some of those new eyes on the title when they come back with relaunched #1s next month.

feb7

Glenn:  The 25th issue of Justice League Of America received no special sales bump cause of the number on the front.  It sells just over 25.3k at 82 with the previous issue selling over 26.5k at 78.  It matters little as Snyder is coming in to revitalize the Justice League line.  I wonder who he’ll have to help him on that one *googles and spits out coffee he’s not drinking* erm yeah, I think DC has this one covered…

Another Milk Wars special at 96 with sales over 23.3k with JLA/Doom Patrol.  See comments above for Batman/Mother Panic pretty much.

Second issue of the Rogue/Gambit mini sells 22.2k at 100 on the charts.  Quite a drop from the launch last month but nothing too disastrous for a mini that is essentially built for old school X-Men fans it seems.

Ray:  Yeah, that seems to be another one of those puzzling first-issue bounces like Iron Fist had, but for a miniseries Rogue and Gambit should be fine. The rumor is that this may be a test run of sorts for Kelly Thompson to take over an X-book.

Glenn:  At 101 go back for more Milk with Shade The Changing Girl/Wonder Woman tie in which sells over 21.6k,  See above.

An odd batch of reorders for the first issue of *deep breath* Phoenix Resurrection Return Of (Adult) Jean Gray which picks up another additional 21.6+ sales at 102.  Its a few months since this issue was originally out so reorders at this level is brilliant.  In likelihood retailers had a lot of interest in X-Men: Red and likely wanted to give customers who wanted that book who maybe missed out on this mini a chance to catch up.  Good stuff.

Ray:  That is a really impressive reorder number, given that the title didn’t seem to have all that much buzz. Credit to Marvel – they somehow managed to make this one-month miniseries bringing back a confusing character into a bigger event than their last line-wide event!

Glenn:  Another not too terrible drop for another new age of heroes title in Silencer at 104 with sales over 21k,  Again considering the talent here DC probably expected better and superstar artist John Romita JR is leaving very soon so the title could see another big dip in its future.  There are exceptions of course but I just don’t think the market wants to see original characters from the big two at the moment.  They’ll take existing c or d listers in a new light like with Terrifics sure but new characters must stay over there because of stranger danger and such.

 Ray:  Silencer lost almost 1/3rd of its sales from its first month, so that’s steeper. I’m not sure what went wrong with this title, given that it has an a-list artist and got teased in Metal, but this is one I wouldn’t get too attached to – I have a feeling it’ll finish out its planned storyarc and head off to supporting-character-land.

Glenn:  Supporting character land is pretty sweet though.  That’s where Solo hangs out and where he is, terror dies.

At 105 is the Black Panther annual selling just under 21k.  This one had three legendary Black Panther writers returning for new stories and you’d think the hype and massive success of the new film would have helped this one a little more.  One of the writers that returned was Reggie Hudlin who despite writing Black Panther for years had a run that had middling success at best so maybe retailers had memories of many copies of unsold Black Panther comics from way back when?  Even the power of career phoenix Christopher Priest couldn’t counter that.  Its only around 8k behind the current book so it could be worse but if any month were to have a success for a Black Panther comic that people didn’t have to worry too much about the larger goings ons of issues past it was this one.

Ray:  Interesting that the annual sold just about as much as the second issue of the Panther’s latest origin miniseries, and the requisite Ralph Macchio one-shot for the casuals. Did Marvel not hype it up enough? I’d think that the return of two of Panther’s most legendary writers, Priest and McGregor, would have brought in more eyes. I expected this to at least sell on the level of the main series.

Glenn:  At 115 is the conclusion of Wonder Woman/Conan which wraps with a respectful sales over just under 19k.  Now that Conan is heading back to Marvel, we’ll likely never see these characters team again in the near future so there will no be sequel series here.  Another solid performer from the somewhat regular DC character/other company character here crossovers we’ve been treated to the last few years.  Why we haven’t had Flash on the Planet Of The Apes and think its just gorilla city is anyone’s guess (copyright Glenn Matchett, I’m watching you DC…)

feb8

Ray:  DC’s had a lot of success overall with their crossovers recently. I think they’ll keep going. I’m kind of surprised we haven’t seen a Buffy crossover unless Whedon won’t have it. I highly endorse Flash on the Planet of the Apes.

Glenn:  From recent solicits, it reads like the Buffy comics are wrapping up but a throwaway mini series starring Spike and Constantine battling over who gets the last cig from the packet is just money waiting to be printed.

At 118 is the launch of new Dynamite book, Dejah Thoris which sells over 18.5k which is astonishingly high for a new Dynamite number 1, especially starring a character I’ve literally never heard of.  I’m sure Ray will fill you in here *pushes all responsibility on Ray and runs away*

Ray:  Well, it’s not quite a mop and it’s not quite a puppet. It’s something about a princess of Mars? It’s by Amy Chu and had a 25-cent preview issue, which undoubtedly drove up initial sales. This might be Dynamite’s cheap-zero-issue experiment paying off. 

At #119 selling 18.4K, we’ve got Si Spurrier’s reinvention of Jim Henson’s Labyrinth, with a 19th-century story fetus for Boom, so they have to be really happy with this. I wonder if David Bowie’s passing has helped drum up a bit more business and interest here.

Glenn:  It could have done.  These might do well in trade form once nostalgia really kicks in for Hensen properties once Netlfix releases their Dark Crystal series.

Ray:  #120 brings us the top non-Millar Image debut of the month in Ivan Brandon and Esad Ribic’s VS. Otherwise known as the book that took Ribic off Avengers, it sells just a hair under 18K, a respectable debut for this future-set combat/sports drama. But roughly 1/10 of what that Avengers book would have sold! I kid, I kid…

At #125 we find Invincible #144, the conclusion to the decade-plus-long creative run by Robert Kirkman and Ryan Ottley. It sells 16.8, an almost 50% increase from the last issue two months ago. So there was some pretty healthy interest in the end of this series, even as the majority of readers migrated to collections long ago.

Glenn:  *weeps for Invincible* this book never sold as well as it deserved but will have a long life in collection form.  I am still very much in the denial phase where I hope that Kirkman brings it back in the future.  I am very excited that Ottely is drawing Amazing now, that could possibly be Marvel’s biggest talent grab in years.  That book will look pretty if nothing else.

Ray:  Speaking of impressive reorders, we’ve got an additional 16.7K of last month’s issue of Dark Knights: Metal charting at #127. This book is unstoppable.

Gwenpool also gains about 3K in sales for its final issue, landing at #130 with sales of 16.3K. Gwenpool…will not be remembered like Invincible.

Glenn:  I’m wondering if this is due to sales or the fact that editor (and possibly real life Gwenpool) Heather Antos left the company.  I don’t ever recall an editor being so personally invested in a book before and even if Gwenpool is never referenced again, that is something that I’d lose to see more of from all editorial staff so kudos and best luck.

Ray:  Down at #139 we have the debut of Lockjaw by Daniel Kibblesmith, selling 14.4K. I don’t think anyone was expecting the adventures of the Inhumans’ dog and D-Man to be a big direct market hit, but this oddball, hilarious book seems to have received strong reviews and will likely find a big audience in collections as a new all-ages book. Kibblesmith has a huge audience outside comics, as well.

feb9

The fact that Ms. Marvel (#140, 14.2K) is barely outselling Deadman (#142, 14K) is yet another testament to how badly Marvel’s hurt their position in the direct market. This is one of their longstanding hits with a ton of audience goodwill. And they both outsell Legion (#143), 13.7K) and Runaways (#144, 13.6K), which are coming off hit TV series!

Glenn:  Poor Kamala deserves better than this.  I doubt she’ll be going anywhere but her existence in comics is now playing second fiddle to the larger world she has been introduced to through merchandise, cartoons and the like.

Ray:  Down at #146 we’ve got the $9.99 anthology Young Monsters in Love, which combined some top creators (including Paul Dini, Tim Seeley, and Steve Orlando) with a selection of oddball DC horror characters. Given the price and the obscure characters involved, it selling 13.2K has to be considered a big win for DC, as they continue to have a strong streak with their anthologies.

Glenn:  This anthology definitely had some obscure characters compared to past offerings.  I wasn’t sure who some of them where but all the stories included were very good and this is a decent number for this type of thing at this price tag.  This could very well become a yearly thing like the DC holiday special.

Ray:  I would have hoped for more for the rebranding of New Super-Man and the Justice League of China, which only gains about 1.5K in sales to land at #152 with sales of 11.9K. This is a cult book that’s still one of the lowest-selling DC titles, but DC’s showed some faith in it. It might be finding the Ms. Marvel effect where it’s getting a big audience in unconventional ways. It’s a book they’d be wise to invest in and expand to other forms of media.

Glenn:   I wouldn’t be surprised to see these characters show up on the new Young Justice season.  The characters seem to be well thought of and could appeal to a wider audience for sure.

Ray:  In the latest edition of “comparisons that make Marvel look horrible”, the 22nd issue of edgelord Scooby Doo remake Scooby Apocalypse (#155, 11.6K) outsells the fifth issue of the latest issue of Marvel-declared flagship title Captain Marvel (#156, 11.4K). You know, the Captain Marvel that has a movie coming in a few months. It might be time for Marvel to admit that the character just isn’t happening – and they should hope that only applies to the comics.

Glenn:  Don’t fear Ray, Captain Marvel is getting another relaunch in ‘fresh start’ by…the same writer.  Okay, maybe fear a little.

Ray:  I didn’t see it coming, but Iron Maiden: Legacy of the Beast is sticking around the charts, selling another 11.4K at #157. That’s actually up about 500 copies from its last issue. An 80s metal band only missed outselling Captain Marvel by 89 copies.

Glenn:  Iron Maiden merch will still be selling long after we’re dead for they likely have some sort of deal where immortality and souls are involved.  I’m sure our children Jack and Wednesday (yup I named your future child) will still be talking about it in their version of By The Numbers, coming exclusively to Graphic Policy 2033ish.

Ray:  I’m hoping Wednesday wasn’t named Wednesday because they were born on Wednesday! That might derail me getting my comics! Eh, I’m sure my wife will understand.

Glenn:  She’s named in honour of New Comic Day of course!

Ray:  The Mignolaverse continues to be Dark Horse’s bread-and-butter at the moment, as a new one-shot teaming Hellboy and the BPRD sells 10.5K at #164. And it outsells the fifth issue of Falcon right below it. Another popular MCU character with zero presence in the comic market. This guy was Captain America a half-year ago!

Glenn:I hope Mignola enjoys those muffin baskets that Dark Horse should totally be sending him.

feb10

Ray:  At #167 is the debut of Deathbed, Josh Williamson and Riley Rossmo’s latest Vertigo series. This high-adventure mystery sells 10.2K, and for Vertigo that’s a decent number. Really, that imprint has massive problems and the vast majority of the sales will come from collections, so we’re just seeing a fragment of the whole picture here. Over six issues, it should hold a decent portion of these sales.

Glenn:  It’ll sell well in collections.  If this had been Image, you thought it would do over 25k.  It seems that daddy has to come home in the form of Neil Gaiman to save Vertigo and to be honest…that’s not a bad idea.

Ray:  #173 brings us the debut of Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Giles, a new miniseries where the de-aged Giles goes undercover in school. Despite the return of Joss Whedon as co-writer, it only sells 9.7K, which makes me think you’re right in your suspicions that the Buffy comics may be wrapping up after the next season.

Glenn:  Yeah, I think the property has had its day in the comics world.  Whedon writing comics has lost its special feeling (see also: Kevin Smith) and the property is slowly fading away to a point that the Angel series just can’t hold its own weight anymore.  

Ray:  A book I would have expected a little more for is the Mister Miracle Director’s Cut, which contained an original eight-page story from King and Mike Norton reinventing the title character’s origin. The series took a month off due to personal (and happy) events for Mitch Gerads, and this filled the gap to the tune of 9K at #182. Given that it’s mostly a reprint, that’s fine, but given the white-hot reception of the series, I assumed it would have landed a bit higher. Maybe DC didn’t publicize the original content quite well enough.

Glenn:  The reprint is for a comic not that old so yes, not too bad at all.  I would say some fans who bought it the first time round would be miffed to learn they have to spend another $6 plus tax for something they already own for a little short story so that could have been a factor too.

More reorders from the Batman Who Laughs at 191 who chuckles up additional sales of over 8.1k.  Yeah, there’s no question that this guy isn’t going anywhere and will be around to haunt our dreams for decades to come (sob).

The second issue of Snagglepuss just under 8k at 198 which is really stable after its debut last month.  This is one of the more obscure Hanna Barbera characters and a very odd take on him so retailers likely had a rough idea who the audience was here.  These types of projects from DC will likely continue now and then.

Ray:  Mark Russell seems to have carved out his odd little niche in the Market right now with things like Prez, Flintstones, and Snagglepuss. Despite none of them selling too much more than this level, DC seems to be ready for more from him. I’m glad – variety is a good thing for a company, and DC’s current dominance allows them room to experiment.

Glenn:  At 202, Xena the 90’s TV icon is back, in comic form and sells over 7.9k.  The TV show has been off the air for like close to two decades so this is probably one for the hardcore Xena fans still out there.  The only time I’ve really seen anything of Xena was the brilliant Treehouse Of Horror episode where we learned she can’t fly but Lucy Lawless can.

Despite being missing a new issue, Doomsday Clock appears on the charts anyway with the third issue picking up reorders of over 7.8k at 204.  The book has its detractors for sure but it doesn’t seem to have an effect on the interest it continues to drum up.

KISS is back on the charts again and this time they’re teaming up with…Ash from the Army Of Darkness…k.  As we’ve seen above with Iron Maiden there seems to be a bizarre spot in the market for these types of things.  It sells at 209 with sales under 7.7k

Where’s the Beef I hear you ask?  The new Image book is at 214 on the charts selling just over 7.1k!  This is a mini with an odd premise where the only name I know is letterer, Richard Starking.  The result could be worse considering all the words I just typed.

Ray:  The Beef mainly seemed to appeal to fans of Starkings’ last work, Elephantmen. That makes this a pretty clear cult property, and for a miniseries Image has to be fine for these numbers.

feb11

Glenn:  Heavy Metal’s iconic (or so the description reads) female warrior Taarna debuts on the charts at 215 with sales over 7k.  Alex De Campi is involved here but I have a feeling that this book is for an audience that is not your conventional comic book reader.  It could have stable sales if retailers are pretty certain who they can sell it to.

IDW debut’s a comic called Punks Not Dead which has a fun premise but only sells a bit above 7k at 220.  We’ve said here a few times that IDW have a hard time with creator owned stuff but I think this comic has an interesting enough premise that it could gain a cult following fast.

Right below it at 221 selling 7k on the button is Death Of Love from Image.  This is another mini from writer Justin Jordan and personally friend of myself and Ray, Donal Delay.  Its premise is offbeat but I think it’ll do well in collections.  I’m really pleased for Donal who has always been a nice guy and super talented, I’m sure his name will come up on these charts in the future for years to come.

Ray:  Donal’s new to the big leagues, but he has a great career in front of him. Justin Jordan, despite being a mainstay of the big two for years, doesn’t seem to have really found a big audience for his creator-owned work yet, but he’s a cult creator with a loyal audience, so this might level off quickly and get some reorders, hopefully.

Glenn:  A comic based on real life spy, Mata Hari comes from Dark Horse at 223 with sales over 6.9k.  This is another Berger books offering that doesn’t seem to have caught much interest.  The link to a real person is certainty interesting but these type of things can really be 50/50 in terms of success and I think this title has landed on the wrong side of that.

Ray:  Thus far, none of the Berger books have really caught on. They have some big names like Anthony Bourdain attached, but they’re all concepts that don’t lend themselves to the direct market at all. If quality turns out to be strong, they might do well in collections, especially one of them (more on that in a bit).

Glenn:  A new Red Sonja book from Dynamite launches at 224 with sales over 6.8k.  This is Red Sonja and the people buying this book will be the same that have bought her book for the last 10-15 years so retailers ordered appropriately.  Unless someone like Jason Aaron or Scott Snyder wanted to write her, Red Sonja is the type of character who has a set dependible audience that is unlikely to shift much these days.  This isn’t necessarily a bad thing in this market though.

Ray:  Not just Red Sonja – Steampunk alternate universe Red Sonja! Given that, I don’t think they were expecting all that much out of this.

Glenn:  Verly soft drop for Kochchei the Deathless on its second issue selling over 6.8k at 226.  Typical performance for a Dark Horse title these days that isn’t based on a property or has Mignola or Lemire involved.

Notoriously hard as nails video game, Bloodborne gets a comic spin off selling over 6.7k at 227.  These things always tend to sell low numbers as again, the audience that will be interested are likely to get the issue another way.  

More Metal reorders, this time its the nearly 8 month old (or so) Dark Knights Metal 2 which sells another 6.6k at 231 all this time later.  DC won’t know why, DC won’t care why.  No wonder they threw Justice League at Snyder after him giving them this.

feb12

At 232 is the second issue of Ninjak vs Vu which sells 6.6k and pretty much within that set Valient range that the majority of the companies books seem to live at.

Sales this month being down across the board means By The Numbers and Rabbitt Stew unofficial sponsor Zombie Tramp is all the way up at 233 with sales over 6.5k.  You go tramp!

Ray:  Zombie Tramp keeps on rising…but maybe not for long! Apparently The Death of Zombie Tramp is just around the corner, per Danger Zone. I’m excited for the polybagged bleeding g-string collectible issue.

Glenn:  I expect it to have people lining up at their LCS to buy a copy ala Death Of Superman

At 240 is a Krusty The Clown one shot (no seriously) it sells 6,3k.  I tried to get my brain to think about analyzing what this could mean sales wise but instead, I’m going to clown college.

Ray:  It really is impressive how Bongo has managed to carve a twenty-year-plus existence as a comic company out of one property. Now, where’s my Cletus the Slack Jawed Yokel megaseries?

Glenn:  They said no to my pitch on that but are coming back to me on ‘Choo-choose me train: Mass murderer’

Ray:  You never know what property is going to get a revival in comics these days. Now Cullen Bunn, or one of his twenty comic-writing clones are doing a Pumpkinhead comic for Dynamite. Pumpkinhead’s last movie was in 2007, with the last theatrical release in 1994. Still, it’s a cult favorite with a unique monster, so that’s good enough for 6.4K at #242. Bunn will write all the things!

feb13

Glenn:  He had like one hour allocated to sleep and decided to do this instead.  Also the news of newish Pumpkinhead movies has blown me away.

Ray:  IDW is going to cross over all your childhood faves! Next up, GI Joe vs Six Million Dollar Man selling 6K at #244. I’m sure all those 80s kids are thrilled. IDW continues to win their game of quantity, as it’s worth noting that they’re pretty firmly ensconced as the #4 comic company on the market.

Speaking of IDW, right below at #245 is the first issue of their new miniseries based on Tangled: the Series selling 6K. This is not likely geared towards the direct market, as it’ll make a very nice trade with ten individual stories for kids. Still, this is more evidence of IDW’s cozy relationship with Disney, maybe the most interesting subplot in the market right now.

Glenn:  Marvel can’t come to the IDW/Disney picnics.

Ray:  After a long break, Calexit returns with its second issue at #248, selling 5.8K. This controversial title does seem to have gotten people talking about Black Mask, but it’ll need to find some sort of regular shipping schedule to maintain any momentum. This isn’t DKIII.

Glenn:  Or Doomsday Clock or Metal or…

Ray:  There’s Zombie Tramp again at #249. It’s the earlier of the two issues this month, which shows this title keeps on growing. It’ll get to the top ten sooner or later! Just in time for the ZTCU to destroy the box office.

A modest 5.7K in reorders for the kickoff of Avengers: No Surrender at #250…but that outsells a first-run issue of Monsters Unleashed right below it. Woof. That experiment is over with next month.

Glenn:  Monsters Unleashed is really the Mercs With The Mouth spin off for the modern By The Numbers Reader

Ray:  Christopher Sebela and Hayden Sherman’s new Aftershock series Cold War debuts at #255 with sales of 5.5K. Clearly on the low end of Aftershock debuts, but this is one of their most experimental titles so far. If it’s going to find a bigger audience, it’ll likely be in collections.

The James Bond: M One-Shot from Dynamite sells 5.4K at #258. This is one of Dynamite’s most popular franchises, and doing these one-shots seems to be working out for the company – instead of attrition over a miniseries, they just spotlight different characters and get #1 numbers for each installment.

Glenn:  Cool note that this was set in Belfast by two Irish creators!  Apparently it did some good business here so there you go.

Ray:  Speaking of Zombie Tramp, the latest addition to the Zombie Tramp Universe, Black Betty, debuts at #259 with sales of 5.4K. God bless ’em, someone’s buying these books and they’re buying a lot of them, because it keeps on growing! Next up, Baby Badass, who is way too close to Boss Baby for my tastes.

Glenn:  I can’t honestly tell if you’re joking or not.

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Ray:  At #261 is another Black Mask title, The Wilds #1 written by Vita Ayala – who just had a career breakout moment as cowriter on DC’s Supergirl. 5.4K isn’t the best Black Mask’s titles have done, but this one seemed to get a bit more mainstream attention than their usual edgy fare.

Glenn:  Maybe the title might get a good stabilization or an increase over the buzz on her Supergirl issue?  We’ll see next month.

Ray:  At #264 is the debut of the third Berger Book, Incognegro: Renaissance. This is the lowest debut by a wide margin, but it also may be the book in the best shape. This is a sequel/prequel to a very well-regarded series from ten years ago, and 90% of people familiar with it read it in collected form. These 5.2K are not at all representative of its audience – it’s going to finish its run, get collected, and go right next to the first volume on the bookshelf.

Glenn:  Ten years is a long time for a fellow up in indie land so the fact that it made the top 300 is something but yeah…fans of the original series will want that super nice collection

Ray:  Armstrong and the Vault of Spirits, the latest Archer and Armstrong one-shot from Fred Van Lente, doesn’t find a big audience at #271, selling only 5K. Still, this is a long-post-cancellation sequel to a cult series, without much hype. I get the feeling these one-shots are really just the company letting a creator they have a good relationship with keep telling these stories when he gets an idea, and I fully support that.

The Optimus Prime Annual, one of a cavalcade of comics based on 80s toys from IDW, lands at #276 with sales of 4.8K. IDW knows who’s buying these by now, I think.

One of the biggest disappointments of the month has got to be Twisted Romance, the weekly anthology from Image written by Alex De Campi with art and backup stories from a group of indie artists and cartoonists. More of an experimental comic, Image probably wasn’t expecting big numbers – but I was still shocked to see the first issue down at #280 selling 4.7K, with all the other issues out of the top 300. The latter two issues had some great stories, but it seems not too many people saw them. $20 for a month of unknown stories may have been too high an ask for retailers and readers.

Glenn:  Good for Image for trying something different but this isn’t the market to roll the dice in.

Ray:  It’s rare you see us really stumped here at By the Numbers, but #285 has done it. That’s Doctor Star and the Kingdom of Lost Tomorrows, which sells a shockingly low 4.5K for a Black Hammer spin-off. This would be horrible news – except that Doctor Star didn’t come out in February. It shipped in the first week of March, alongside Lemire’s other creator-owned launch, Gideon Falls. So then what’s this? Ghost comic, wooooooooo. My guess is it was an odd advance ship that snuck in, and to see the real level for this comic we probably have to add these sales to next month’s additional orders. But that’s math…

Glenn:  Pft, math.  Numbers are dumb…wait, what are we called?  Yeah this reads like some shops maybe got some Black Hammer material early, lucky sods.

feb15Ray:  At #289 we’ve got Walt Disney Showcase, a collection of old Disney comics from IDW. The numbers of 4.4K are small, but IDW’s very quickly becoming Disney’s go-to publisher, and that’s more valuable than any sales.

Batman: White Knight sneaks into the top 300 again with an additional 4.2K in orders for the third issue at #294. It’s just going to keep building momentum, and you know Murphy can write his own ticket at DC now – along with his own comics.

#295 has the launch of Lucas Stand: Inner Demons from Boom. This is a sequel miniseries to the horror comic by the creator of Sons of Anarchy. The original series was more of a cult book, and the sales here of just under 4.4K indicate that’s not changing.

Taking the #300 position this month is the latest issue of Multiple Warheads, Brandon Graham’s offbeat Image anthology comic. Given its erratic schedule and the fact that it’s spinning out of oversized Image anthology Island, I imagine it’s just happy to be here.

Glenn:  Its a low entry point to the charts these days so we’re bound to see some randomers.

Ray:  Looking ahead to next month, it’s sort of a quiet launch month for the big two, although DC will have both their big events – Metal concludes, and Doomsday Clock wraps up act one, so those should pretty easily take the top two slots. DC will also be dropping the relaunches of three Young Animal titles, as well as new #1 Eternity Girl. There is an issue of Supergirl getting some massive buzz that could boost the title even more, as well.

feb16Marvel is still playing out the string on Legacy before Fresh Start, which will be followed in six months by “C’mon, give ol’ Gil a chance!”. But they do have a few launches this month, including the proper launch of Infinity Countdown, the New Mutants mini that was supposed to be a movie tie-in but isn’t, and the Weapon H spinoff comic featuring Hulkverine. ‘Kay.

It’s actually the indies who shine this month, as Jeff Lemire and Robert Kirkman launch a-list new independent comics from Image, Cyber-Force gets a new relaunch, and one of the most acclaimed creative teams of all time, Mike Carey and Peter Gross, return with a new original property from IDW, The Highest House. We could see some big breakout hits from these independents as the big two give them a bit of a break.

What will rise? What will fall? How high will Zombie Tramp go? Find out next month on By the Numbers!

Glenn:  I’m going to bet on a top ten number for Gideon Falls, if I’m wrong, I will Jeff Lemire a massage…no don’t warn him he’ll be fine with it I’m sure.

Liked what you read or have any questions, comments or concerns then let us know here or on Twitter via @glenn_matchett and @raygoldfield!

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