Author Archives: glennmatchett

By the numbers: the missing months

There is a cave in a mountain in Northern Ireland where no one has dared go to for months. Only one man, one brave, handsome man who should as their policy give every occupant of such a cave a pay rise, Brett Schenker dares go near it. Inside this cave he finds a figure dressed in rags over a fire, in the flames burns hopes and ambitions and hopes that the poor figure had for the year ahead.

Brett: I come looking for the writer of By The Numbers…

Glenn: Heh…no one…no one’s called me that for a long time…

There is a cave in New Jersey. Buried deep inside it, a crystalline matrix has been sitting since time immemorial. Finally, after eons, it cracks. Into the light steps a mysterious being. A man who they say can read limitless comics. At long last, he is unleashed upon the world once more. 

Ray: Finally. Good thing I had digital comics in stasis. 

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 many years but grew up reading comics. He’s had work published with various small press publishers and has is own comic now available on Comixology in Sparks: The Way I Was from Yellow Bear Comics! During the whole Covid mess, Glenn lost his sanity 2020 times!

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 was largely uneffected by quarentine as he is in fact a sentiant escaped computer from DC Comics.

Sorry about the lack of images folks. I’m out of practive and it took me ages to get it into this state. Next article should be back to normal. I also hate new WordPress. HATES IT.

Glenn: Well its been a hot minute folks but we’re back and since *looks outside to see fire is raining down* that’s going on, its time for the long awaited return of By The Numbers. Since it has been a while we’re going to treat you to not one but TWO articles that will go verly close together (statement not legally binding). In this first one, we’re going to look at the missing months, the ones where the comic industry started to fire up again after Covid ruined everything for everyone. We sadly don’t have actual numbers but we have rankings so we’ll have to surmise for now. Even though they are no longer distributing through Diamond, DC comics are included. How much their new distribution model makes? Who knows?! It’s like the wild west but instead of cowboys we have confusion and instead of indians we have indigestion…

Ray: So, needless to say, we’re back but comics are definitely not what they were. For the first time, we have one of the major comic companies not distributing through Diamond. Will others follow? Maybe, especially with some making big shifts towards the bookstore market. Some companies resumed a full schedule relatively quickly, like DC and Boom. Others, like Marvel and Valiant, have yet to rebound fully even in September. This has been a wild and uncertain year, but it does feel like comics have overall rebounded and may come out of this a healthier, more diversified industry. 


Glenn: Only 5 books this month as DC gets out of the gate before anyone else with resuming business. These books are issue 4 of Daphne Byrne, issue 20 of Dreaming, Batman Giant 4 and reprints of Batman 89 and Nightwing 70. Not much to say here except its a good sign that one of the Hill House books not written by Joe Hill himself outselling the much more historical and prestigious Sandman book is something to take note of. We’ll likely not see any new Hill House material for a while but DC will be eager for more considering how they were doing prior to the end of the world and that#s without the juicy, juicy collection sales to come.

Ray: This lineup of books was just DC testing the waters with their new distributors through Midtown Comics and DCBS, putting out a few low-stakes books without any of their heavy hitters. It seemed to go over well, although all these books have since concluded. The Hill House books were solid sellers, even the ones that didn’t have a-list creators attached. The Sandman Universe books struggled a bit more sales-wise and the line’s now been cut back to just G. Willow Wilson’s flagship title. As for the Batman Giant, these books have since been repurposed into digital-exclusive daily stories as DC continues to shake up its product line. The crazy thing is? This rollout happened only a month after the shutdown, when most comic book stores were still closed. The other companies didn’t start up again till late May, and so the only other books released this month were some digital-first Action Lab titles. 


Glenn: Things start to get somewhat back to normal as we have nearly 100 comics chart this month as Marvel, Image and others start production themselves. Top book of this month is the 25th issue of Venom. Anniversary issues always do well and this is Marvel’s best selling ongoing but as we’re often reminded…Knull is coming. After this turned into a sequel to Absolute Carnage and continuing the build to The King In Black which will undoubtedly do tremendous business. The hype train very much starts here.

Ray: The first thing to remember about May is that while DC was the first company out of the gate, they didn’t unleash any of their top comics because this month was essentially still them testing the waters. They wanted to make sure as many stores as possible were open before they unleashed Punchline-mania on us again. So it’s not a surprise Marvel dominated up top, but I kind of suspect Venom might have won the day either way. This book is huge and as The King in Black ramps up, it’s only going to get bigger. 

We don’t know the numbers, but Comichron is using Justice League #45 as the baseline and gives us an index for how many books each comic sold compared to it. Venom sold 2.83 Justice Leagues. 

Glenn: Since everything is so slow to get going again, Amazing Spider-Man gets second place by name alone. Its been selling anywhere between 50-80k randomly so these overall sales for this chart are probably quite low but…its odd times. This is almost a month that won’t count but retailers will be taking what they can get and no matter how bad it is (and its bad) Amazing will sell steadily.

Ray: Amazing has one mini-event followed immediately by another in the coming months, so that should stop any attrition for now. But this run is really trudging along on name recognition alone.

Glenn: Highest selling DC book at 3 is the third issue of DC Unkillables. This has killed into a killer (get it? Get it?) franchise for DC to such an effect that Marvel wants Taylor to work his magic with them too for a similar post apocalyptic themed event. These mini’s aren’t going anywhere and Taylor might have the easiest/best gig in comics where he gets to write all the big icons at once but gets to do what he wants in little pocket side universes.

Ray: I think this is the combined sum of all their covers, which is pretty impressive. Unkillables didn’t sell the numbers of past DCeased comics, because it just featured some supporting players instead of the big guns, but this performance is more than enough to indicate we’ll be seeing future spin-offs as long as Taylor wants to write them. 

Glenn: Next at 4 is the newest issue of Jason Aaron’s Avenger’s, another steady stellar which will give Marvel and retailers some consistency while everything tries to regain some semblance of normalcy.

Same with Marauders at 5, this was the highest selling X book outside of Hickman’s own so again no surprise to see it high while everything is on autopilot.

At 6 is the relaunch of Doctor Aphra, a fan favourite who continues to do well despite the fact she is entirely a creation of Marvel and has yet to appear in any outside media. By being able to add to the franchise in such a manner Marvel will be keeping the big wigs at Disney happy in times where every win counts.

Ray: Doctor Aphra had an odd roll-out, being released unexpectedly three weeks before its print release in digital for “May the Fourth”, so that may have blunted the sales a bit. Still, an original character doing this well is significant. How long before she makes her way into live action or animation?

Glenn: The Black Label Harley/Joker Criminal Sanity charts at 7. With Harleen over with and Birds Of Pray pushed back a bit, this is the default prestige Harley book this month. The character always performs well and Black Label has carved itself out a nice place for reliability for DC in these strange times.

Ray: This title has been besieged by delays for a while and was followed by a Secret Files issue in the coming months. We’ll see if the long waits between issues holds back the sales in coming months, but the names on the title are probably enough to guarantee good sales. 

Glenn: Issues 44 and 45 of Justice League chart at 8 and 9 respectfully and although Snyder’s run is done the title has enough juice to keep it trucking along until the next big direction. There’s a metal crossover headed its way written by DC trusted hand Joshua Williamson on its way which will give it a new lease of life. For now its just another steady performer in a month with very little happening.

Ray: Yeah, this title has been in limbo for a while with decent but underhyped runs from Robert Venditti, Simon Spurrier, and Jeff Loveness. It’ll be interesting to see who gets the call-up to write the title long-term for the next run – there are probably a lot of relaunches coming soon. 

Glenn: Final spot in the top ten is for Image’s Ludocrats which likely got here due to the fact it is co-written by Kieran Gillan who has had quite the success rate in small press recently. I’m not sure how well this sells compared to his other work but given where Justice League was prior to the pandemic I’d estimate 20-25k. This isn’t bad for a quirky book that’s also a miniseries.

Ray: This title was delayed a looooooooooong time and picked up a co-writer along the way. It’s definitely not a mainstream title, but Gillen’s name is likely enough to give it a sales boost. We’ll see how it holds up once people actually try to puzzle it out. 

A trio of DC titles return at 11, 12, and 14 as Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, and Flash all sell pretty close to each other. But they’re interrupted at #13 by the second issue of Mirka Andolfo’s Mercy, which indicates that title is probably going to sell in the 30K range for the run of its miniseries. That’s a well-deserved hit for her. 

Glenn: Mirka is also drawing the upcoming Punchline one shot in a few months which will sell big and make her an even bigger name. She’s one of the best artists working today and I’m really happy to see her explode in popularity to this degree.

Ray: At #15, we randomly have a facsimile edition of DC Super Stars #17, which was the first appearance of Huntress. A significant issue, for sure, but not one you’d usually see in the top twenty. This makes me wonder just how low the overall orders were this month, and that’s not the only odd stuff. 

Glenn: I’m guessing this is due to the movie since this comic would have been ordered when it came out. That’s a very different version of the character though so just seems to be a bit of an oddity.

Ray: After an issue of Vengeance of Vampirella and more orders of Daphne Byrne #4, we’ve got the launch of Rogue Planet #1 from Cullen Bunn. That’s an Oni book in the top 20. We’re certainly in crazy town now. 

Glenn: Bunn;s name will definitely help this sell better than likely anything Oni has put out monthly for a while but yeah…its not a normal month for obvious reasons.

Ray: Maybe it’s the Diamond difference vs. a new distributor? After an issue of Red Sonja, we have a lot more DC books, including Harley Quinn, Basketful of Heads, Plunge, and another issue of Flash. I’m sure we’ll see the sales charts recenter themselves in the coming month, but right now the numbers are very odd. 

Glenn: Stupid 2020, they’ve messed everything up!

Ray: Artists, Writers, and Artisans had the misfortune to start publication the week before the shutdown, and they’re also one of the first books to resume with a new #1. Year Zero, Ben Percy and Ramon Rosanos‘ zombie apocalypse thriller, debuts at #24 with sales that are probably in the 20K range. Aside from the JMS/Deodato book, this feels like the AWA title that’s the most set up for success. 

Glenn: Percy has been building some solid name draw for himself and zombies always have a place in the market, especially for those missing Walking Dead so yeah this was likely an easy win for sure.

Ray: At #25, we have the next issue of Mirka Andolfo’s Unsacred, an amazing showing for an indie book from Ablaze and well above the levels of other DC Books like The Dollhouse Family, Suicide Squad, Lois Lane, Justice League Odyssey, Teen Titans, and Batman and the Outsiders – all of whom are likely hovering around the 20K range. It also beats one of Boom’s flagship books, Buffy the Vampire Slayer

At this point, we’re seeing a lot of ongoing titles that were selling lower than the average – none of these would normally be in the top 100. DC titles like Batman Beyond, Hawkman, Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen, and He Man and the Masters of the Multiverse, Boom books like King of Nowhere and Go Go Power Rangers, and lower-selling Image titles like Outer Darkness/Chew, Farmhand, and OutCast. Many of these had the misfortune of just starting before the shutdown, and they sell about 40% of Justice League. Surprisingly, at #37 we have the latest issue of The Goon from Albatross Comics, far higher than it normally would be. This is a title that’s always had a strong cult audience. 

At #43 we have another new launch, the Aftershock Joe Harris thriller Disaster Inc. Aftershock has been struggling for a while, and this title sells about 1/3rd of Justice League. Pretty standard, and barely outselling the latest issue of Terry Moore’s creator-owned crossover Five Years from Abstract. 

After a bunch of creator-owned titles like Deadly Class and Alienated, we have a new licensed launch from IDW – the cumbersomely-named Star Wars Adventures: Clone Wars Battle Tales. This sells about 25% of Justice League, which is about right for a title that’s geared towards collections. It’s five issues, which is on the long side for one of IDW’s trades. 

Glenn: That might hold the record for title with the longest title right now so that counts for…something?

Ray: Aside from House of Whispers (cancelled) and some giants, the lowest-selling DC book this month is Red Hood: Outlaw at #55. The longevity of this title is somewhat impressive, and I’m most amazed that they’re keeping it going after Lobdell leaves in a few months. 

Glenn: They’re rebranding it to just Red Hood so we’ll see how that affects the book…if at all. DC might be just keeping it rolling until we get whatever the heck is coming as we’re getting a lot of titles cancelled or in the middle of a bunch of short runs. Obviously the cancellation of 5G threw everything for a loop but something is coming and Red Hood will either be a victim of that or will get a relaunch with more of a strong link to the always popular Batman line.

Ray: At #59, just after the latest issue of the long-running Savage Dragon, we have the launch of the intriguing new Aftershock title Dead Day, about a world where a zombie apocalypse happens one day a year and lets people reunite with the dead. It sells 22% of Justice League, a low debut even from Aftershock. Shame – writer Ryan Parrot actually created something original here. 

Glenn: Is it as sad as Coco? Remember meeeee….

Ray: At #66 is Our Fighting Forces Giant, which featured an Unknown Soldier story from Priest. This was later repurposed into a digital comic, where it probably found a much bigger audience. 

Glenn…it’s official. Comics are healing. At #68, it’s Zombie Tramp #69! Only sells 17% of Justice League, but it sells 145% percent of our hearts. 

Glenn: Why couldn’t it have been 69?! That would have been so perfect for Zombie Tramp and its unlikely to ever get this close again! Damn it! Damn it all to helllllll.

Ray: Vault was one of the only companies to keep publishing, releasing a few digital comics during April. They resumed print publication in May, with Sera and the Royal Stars #7 landing at #69. They seem to be a company that’s growing aggressively, so keep an eye on them. 

Glenn: They’re low key putting out some high quality work too. Boom took a while before it exploded (pun very much intended) look for Vault to do the same in the next 5 years or so.

Ray: At #72, it’s time to get Rachel Bloom out of quarantine and strike up the band! It’s Grimm Fairy Tales #37!

Glenn: Oh Rachel Bloom joke no one either gets or finds funny except us, how I missed you.

Ray: #73 brings the latest low-selling Marvel Action title, Marvel Action Captain Marvel guest-starring Nadia Van Dyne. This was a really fun run by Sam Maggs and Sweeney Boo, but it didn’t make an impact in the direct market. Let’s hope IDW can get the word out there for the trades. 

Glenn: I don’t think these books are really meant for the direct market and are bound to do better elsewhere. The book has just received some award buzz so it could be a dark horse.

Ray: After some low-selling Mignolaverse books and licensed properties, we get the 6th issue of the Image title Exorsisters at #76. This title has been on hiatus for a while, and the sales were so low that the creative team has apparently moved it to digital-exclusive. One of the biggest challenges for Image titles is production delays, as great titles can just get lost in the shuffle. 

Ray: After some more low-selling creator-owned titles wrapping up their run soon at Dark Horse and Boom, we get to some odd entries. Titles like “Green Dante/Green Virgil One-Shot” from Aardvark-Vanaheim and “Cat-Sh*t #1” from Antarctic all sell less than 10% of Justice League, but sneak into the top 100 due to the odd times.

Glenn: I think as well unless a title has a big name attached, books like Exosisters depend on momentum and of course, the pandemic affected everyone’s wallet. People are more likely to keep Batman around than an original property if they’re cutting down…

Ray: I don’t even know what some of these books are towards the end! Exciting Comics! 21st Centurions! Storm Kids: Monica Bleue Werewolf Story! These are probably the titles we never saw because they didn’t make the top 500 in the Before Times. They all sell just over 5% of Justice League this month. 

Glenn: Proof we’re indeed in the darkest timeline.

Ray: And at #91 this month, we have V-Card #4, a vampire thriller from Antarctic. No estimate on its relation to Justice League #45, but it’s the lowest-selling book on the charts on this very odd month. 

Glenn: These companies can boast forever they made it into the top 100 one time. Who cares about the details.

Ray: On to June, when things might start looking a bit more normal.

Glenn: Wazzit June?


Things do seem a lot more normal because what’s more normal than a lot of Batman in the top ten? DC swept 9 of the top ten spots with 7 of those being Batman centric or related and one being Metal which is a event focused around…Batman. I sometimes wonder if DC just decided to set up a seperate publisher that just did Batman how much of the market share they would get…

Ray: Yeah, DC played it safe for April and May, but in June they showed just how powerful their lineup is and they absolutely dominated this month with some huge events. Look at the indexes here – Death Metal #1 sold more than 5x the index title of Justice League. Batman #92 sold 4x. Even in this market, we’re talking two titles that undoubtedly sold six figures, maybe more. So Snyder and Tynion can reach a sales level no one else can at the moment, clearly. 

Glenn: So yeah, to no surprise the new event from superstars Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo, Dark Nights: Dark Metal the follow up to the other mega event from the same pair, Dark Nights: Metal is the best seller. We don’t have numbers but I wouldn’t be surprised if this did over 200k with ease. While Marvel has been limping along with Empyre, this event is here to show them how its done. 

Second highest seller is Batman 92 which I believe has the first full appearance of new sensationally popular character Punchline. I think James Tynion is having one hell of a year (with more to come) and I think it’s benefiting this title hugely. The other issue released this month charts at 5 this month. I’m not sure if Batman is back over 100k on the regular but the Tynion run/new character hype and build to 100 are all bringing the title back to its previous dominance.

Ray: I believe Batman is definitely over 100K at the moment, and the odds are Batman #100 will do numbers that are almost never seen outside of megawatt event comics. 

Glenn: At 3 is the Joker 80th anniversary which saw a multitude of top creators, variants and arguably their most popular villain. Its a winning formula and we’ll soon see that these anniversary issues are big winners for the company.

Ray: We knew Joker would be the top-selling of these, with both Snyder and Tynion contributing stories. Punchline’s origin also basically guaranteed this would be a huge hit, even at $10.

Glenn: Did I say soon? I meant right now! At 4 is the 80th anniversary for Catwoman, an iconic character, one of the most important female leads in comics and another issue jam packed with talent. Expect to see more of these…on these very charts even!

Ray: The stunning thing here is that Catwoman sold almost as many copies as Joker, probably right around the 100K mark based on the index. Without the same creative team pull or hit movie, what could explain this? Maybe ongoing hype from the wedding, or maybe the inclusion of iconic Catwoman writer Ed Brubaker, whose story with (REDACTED) was likely the most anticipated vault story of all time. 

Glenn: King continuing his Batman/Catwoman saga kinda/sorta likely helped too.

Third 80th anniversary in a row for Green Lantern this time at 7. The characters heyday is gone but this is another packed issue that had the defining writer for the property Geoff Johns return which helped a great deal on its own no doubt. This issue also has the unfortunate distinction of having Denny O’Neil’s last new story in it. 

Ray: This one clearly sold lower due to not having any Batman ties, but it also had almost every iconic GL writer save Grant Morrison, and a tribute to the late great Dwayne McDuffie. All of these one-shots have put together an amazing creative roster, and that goes a long way to get people to invest in an oversized special like this. 

Glenn: At 7 is Batman: The Smile Killer, essentially the fourth issue of Batman: Killer Smile by the nightmare inducing team of Lemire and Sorrentino. I have a feeling this duo will be back for more of the same, especially with the pant wetting Gideon Falls coming to an end later this year.

Ray: At this point, the sales are getting a little low in the top ten – Smile Killer likely sold about 60K – but that’s still pretty good for a prestige one-shot. I don’t want to go in the clown barn, Glenn. 

Glenn: That rascally Mr. Smiles just wants to be our friend.

Batman + nostalgia wins big at 8 with the first issue of Batman: The Adventures Continue which carries weight on the fact that its a continuation of one of the best animated series ever. This performance is especially impressive since this was digital first so the printed sales are essentially a bonus. I don’t think future issues will chart as high but it shows that people still adore this version of the character and for good reason.

Ray: This is undoubtedly the highest ranking ever for a digital first series. I believe this was supposed to be a six-issue miniseries (Twelve chapters digitally), but with the sales and critical response, there’ll be a lot of temptation to expand it. Bring on the animated Court of Owls, Punchline, and Mr. Bloom!

Glenn: I think we’ll get a lot more. There’s plenty of room pre-Return Of The Joker flashback to cram more stories in.

Batman finally takes a breather at 9 to let Thor carry the load for the launch of his new title written by current Marvel MVP, Donny Cates.  Cates is Marvel’s biggest sales and quality asset combined right now so this is no surprise. If we had numbers, I’d guess this sold anywhere between 70-80kish. It’ll likely settle to just above where it was before under Aaron at high 30k-40k which is great in todays world.

Ray: Damn it, Donny Cates! Always ruining DC’s party. 

Glenn: Last spot goes to Detective Comics which doesn’t usually chart this high but this issue was vaguely attached to the lead in to Joker War which launched properly next month. If a prelude to a tie in to an event can do this well, Joker War is going to be one to watch.

Ray: It’s a good sign for the upcoming Detective Comics #1027 mega-issue as well, as that should probably be one of the top books of the month. 

Ray: Out of the top ten, the list is starting to look normal again, with mainstays like Immortal Hulk, Star Wars: Bounty Hunters, Justice League, Superman, The Green Lantern, and New Mutants. The standout, though, is Strange Adventures, which had the misfortune to launch right before the shutdown. But it’s held very well, landing at #12 and showing those classic King/Gerads legs. 

Glenn: I don’t see why DC won’t just keep throwing King on projects like these. They sell well, they receive acclaim and get ton of awards before becoming evergreens in collections. Its a winning formula. No doubt Rorschach in a few months will be a top ten mainstay.

Ray: #19 brings us our first creator-owned title, as Spawn #307 keeps up the book’s streak. But I think its time on top will be coming to an end as Snyder and Tynion prep new creator-owned books like Department of Truth and Nocterra

Glenn: We know Department Of Truth sold over 100k for issue one which would be the biggest Image launch in…quite some time. The fight is still in the giant I.

Ray: Empyre: Avengers lands at #21, selling less than a standard issue of Justice League, which has to bode poorly for the cosmic event that was rushed out the door by Marvel. 

Glenn: Rushed out the exit just as fast too. ‘Don’t look at that…look at Sword Of X oooooo Sword Of X’

Ray: Lots of mainstays at this level, including The Batman’s Grave by Hitch and (REDACTED), Legion of Super-Heroes, Excalibur, Daredevil, two issues of Flash, Deadpool, and Action Comics. At #28 we have the final issue of Power Rangers/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, as the stars of the two most successful DC crossovers in recent years have their own team-up. Dex-Starr Vs. Garfield when, DC and Boom?

Glenn: Yeah both of these weren’t that critical to the overall picture so its just a good sign of both books off shoot brands at the moment.

Ray: A pair of specials for popular DC titles at #31 and #32. First up is Batman Secret Files #2, which was a spotlight for the squad of assassins Joker hired in Tynion’s opening arc. This did have a Punchline cameo, but it wasn’t hyped up. Right below it is Flash Annual #3, which was a Captain Boomerang spotlight and a tie-in with Suicide Squad. Decent sales for oversized side stories. 

Sandwiched by two issues of Wonder Woman, we have the Detective Comics #475 facsimile edition at #34. This was the iconic Joker story The Laughing Fish, so DC is getting some good mileage out of old comics here. 

Glenn: One that is still referred to today and was adapted into one of the best B:TAS episodes so yeah…easy money.

Ray: Amid a bunch of mid-level DC books, we have the hit creator-owned book Undiscovered Country, returning from hiatus at #38. It’s probably still selling in the 20K/30K range, so that’s an unqualified hit for Image and the creative team. 

Glenn: Absolutely and the trades and inevitable adaption will only help.

Ray: At #40 we have the debut of a new Image series, That Texas Blood. This hard-boiled western sells about 2/3rds of Justice League, putting it at around 20K or so. That’s a hit for Image, which is a bit of a surprise since the series got very little advance hype. 

Glenn: Jason Phillips, long time colourist is the writer here so maybe his mere association with some well regarded Image classics (like Criminal) helped here?

Ray: Black Cat still hanging around at #42. Remember when it sold 300K back in the before times? In the long long ago? It’ll be relaunching in December with a King in Black tie-in. 

Glenn: We knew it smelled like kitty litter. We’ll see how long it lasts beyond said tie-in.

Ray: Decorum returns from its long hiatus with a second issue selling .6 Justice Leagues at #48. The unexpected hiatus right after the first issue couldn’t have helped, but I think no Hickman creator-owned book will ever sell too well in singles. 

Glenn: He has his own steady audience and his success with X-Men will help too.

Ray: The Marvel Snapshots launched right before the shutdown and are finally resuming now, starting with the Captain America one. It sells just over half of Justice League at #54, so likely under 20K. These flashback stories are still very much niche books, but they’ll make a good collection for evergreen Marvel stories spanning the eras. 

Ablaze continues to rise pretty quickly as a new company, with their off-brand Conan title launching its second arc, “Red Nails” at #56. This is one of the ten highest-selling non-DC/Marvel books on the charts, so that’s pretty impressive for a company less than one year old. 

Glenn: Abalaze seems to have stumbled on a formula that works and are doing better than companies that have been trying to get to this level for years and/or decades so fair play to them.

Ray: Amid a sea of mid-selling DC books at this level, we see some creator-owned mainstays like Die and The Once and Future – a double-dose of Gillen! They chart at #60 and #66 respectively, both selling in the 15K range most likely. Something is Killing the Children isn’t much lower, at #72. 

#69 brings us the second installment of the Brian Azzarello demonic sex thriller Faithless. Heh. 69. Glenn, it did what Zombie Tramp couldn’t last month!

Glenn: I feel better about the synergy of the universe now.

Ray: At #71 is the second issue of Harley Quinn and the Birds of Prey, selling .45 of Justice League. I’m a little puzzled by the low sales here, given that this is by the iconic creative team of Palmiotti and Conner. I would have expected this to be one of the biggest Black Label titles. 

Glenn: Something isn’t adding up here. Maybe sharing the title with a polarizing movie hurt it? I have no doubt it’ll do well in collections.

Ray: The highest-selling ongoing AWA book, Resistance by JMS and Deodato, returns with its second issue at #74. 

#73 brings us the launch of Adventureman by the crack creative team of Fraction and the Dodsons. I’m really confused by how this pulp adventure-themed superhero story from Image only did 2/3rds of That Texas Blood. 

Glenn: Fraction has been MIA from the industry for a while. Maybe a lot of his drawing power is still too hard to determine for retailers to make a more solid commitment?

Ray: The Boys, one of Garth Ennis‘ longest-running titles, returns with a sequel/prequel, Dear Becky, from Dynamite at #75. I don’t think this franchise is likely to pick up too many new fans since it’s so continuity-deep, despite the ongoing TV series, but this is going to be another hit volume of the series in collections for Dynamite. 

Glenn: Yeah this will be just the dedicated fan base coming back for more but it was always a decent seller for what it was. The Amazon Prime adaption is bringing a new audience in the collections so this one will more than earn its keep eventually.

Ray: As absurd crossovers go, Transformers vs. Terminator is holding up pretty well. After three months off, it returns at #79 and is the highest Dark Horse book and the highest IDW book on the charts. 

Stephanie Phillips has been making her way around the comic book world over the last few months pre-shutdown, and now she makes her way over to Image. The historical pirate adventure A Man Among Ye lands at #83, with sales probably in the 12K range or so. 

DC’s DC Classics line of affordable all-ages comics has an entry in the top 100, with the first issue of The Batman Adventures landing at #86. Similar to what the best-selling True Believers books did. 

Glenn: Its almost like selling comics cheap to kids to get them addic…interested is a good idea or something.

Ray: Remember when DC announced a Brian Azzarello Birds of Prey series? And then it became a three issue Black Label series? And then it became a one-shot? And then it was delayed repeatedly? Well, it’s finally here as DC released it as a $9.99 comic and it charted with a thud at #87. Between this and the box office of the movie, I don’t think dark-and-edgy Birds of Prey is the future for the franchise. 

Glenn: SO much weirdness here. Maybe this also damaged the momentum of the other Harley and the Birds mini because retailers thought THAT was THIS?

Ray: Remember Rick and Morty? They can go to hell! No, literally, Rick and Morty Go to Hell is at #90 from Oni. 

Glenn: I do remember Rick and Morty. This is about the cat and mouse killing each other, right?

Ray: Sabrina: Something Wicked, the sequel to Kelly Thompson’s acclaimed mini, launched in March but almost no one got their hands on it in stores. So it charts again this month at #92, selling in the 10-12K range. Let’s hope it gets more eyes on it. 

Glenn: Better than anything else Archie could manage I’d wager. This one had a weird roll out with the pandemic too so a lot of people may have opted to wait for trade.

Ray: A surprisingly low debut for Nailbiter Returns #1 at #95. Josh Williamson’s star has risen a lot since he sunset this comic in the last run, but it’s also a very firm continuation of the original with no real jumping on point. Maybe retailers just ordered like it was the next issue?

Glenn: Maybe a slight bump, hard to tell without numbers but this seemed like a cult hit and retailers likely weren’t expecting any surprises.

Superman Giant #3 charts at #97, as one of the last of this line to be released before DC changed them to digital stories. 

#100 brings us the second issue of Year Zero, as AWA continues to try to find a foothold in this fast-changing market. The sales were likely roughly in the 8K range for this global zombie thriller.

Glenn: While everyone took a breather, AWA chugged along. Right now, top 100 is not too tricky to land but once the full machine gets really going…well…

A 7.99 Buffy one shot, To Every Generation charts at 101 from BOOM. This franchise seems to still be in far better shape than the Dark Horse days of old.

Ray: This one-shot was hyped as major for the Buffyverse, but the price tag probably offset any boost it would get. 

Glenn: A novel adaption from 103 from IDW in Stephen and Owen King’s Sleeping Beauties. This is charting relatively high for IDW based on King’s name alone no doubt. This will do very handsomely in collections also.

Ray: This is a pretty dense, complex story getting a ten-part adaptation, so I imagine it’ll sell a lot more in a full collection down the line. 

Glenn: It seems that we’re getting vampire comics the same as we used to get zombie comics with another one at 104 in the form of Bleed Them Dry, a ninja based vampiric tale from Vault. This seems to be more targeted to a more specific fandom than some of Vault’s most popular books but is still delivering good numbers.

Ray: This one has kind of a hilarious hodgepodge concept – cyborg ninja vampires in the year 4000! – but Vault is rising fast as a company. I think they’re sort of becoming what Aftershock was trying to be. 

Glenn: Next new book is the Last God sourcebook at 116 and I don’t think that’s too bad considering this isn’t a big hit for Black Label and is essentially just a bonus issue with some handbook type info.

Ray: This one is definitely geared towards completists and tabletop gaming nerds, but the main book is getting some buzz. This will probably be included in the collection as well.

Glenn: Right below it is the third Nightwing Annual at 117, perfectly standard for a Batman offshoot book written by a reliable creator.

Ray: Much lower than the main book, but this was a flashback story focusing on a one-off supporting character. 

Glenn: Justin Jordon launches a new Image mini at 122 with Dead Body Road Bad Blood. His books always kind of sell around 11-15k and I would guess this is the same. Image seems to know what they’re getting when they green light Jordon’s books so no big surprised.

Ray: This is a sequel/anthology follow-up to a Jordan book from years ago, so that probably depressed the opening sales as well. As we saw with Nailbiter Returns, retailers tend to order cautiously for creator-owned revivals. 

Glenn: There’s a new Locke & Key mini at 123 and given how well thought of the main series is plus the Netflix show I thought this would have done a little better. Still since the start, Locke & Key is a collection driver with multiple versions having been released by IDW so that’s where the sales here are no doubt with these single issue sales being a bonus.

Ray: Yeah, Locke and Key is a monster in collections, and this one will likely be no different, especially with the period-piece theme. 

Glenn: Next new book is way down at 144 with Invader Zim Quaterly launching from Oni. I remember this cartoon from when I was in university which was no yesterday. I’m guessing it got the nostalgia relaunch? This will be only for the hardcore fans with Oni hoping to get some magic out of it like they do with Ralph and Murphy.

I think there must be some mistake with Wynd at 145. I mean this book has James Tynion, is all ages, is BOOM and has been universally praised prior and since release. Why is it so low?! There seems to be talk that the book was repurposed from an ogn so maybe retailers are holding out from that but still…this is puzzingly low.

Ray: This is really puzzling, but yeah – this was resolicted as a mini in a hurry. I imagine there will be reorders, and the eventual graphic novel will be huge. But remember – Tynion’s other all-ages property, The Backstagers, also struggled in singles.  

The top ten debut last month for Ludocrats was definitely a fluke driven by Gillen’s name and the VERY low bar, as the second issue is down here at #149 selling .13 Justice Leagues. That’s VERY low. 

#150 brings us a new #1, Grievling, from a small-press publisher named Clover. This is a new horror comic from Steve Niles, and that it’s doing in the same range as Image and Dynamite books is kind of impressive. 

Glenn: Niles name carries some weight to it and this is an odd month.

Ray: #153 has the debut of Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys: The Death of Nancy Drew, selling around the same as Grievling. Given the hype and controversy for this book, I would have expected much more. Not Kelly Thompson’s Nancy, me no care. 

The latest AWA book, Old Haunts, launches at #154 with similar sales. This Mafia ghost story by Ollie Masters, Rob Williams and Lee Loughridge got the least hype of any launch book so far, so it’s not surprising it’s way down here. 

Glenn: Williams name I thought might have been good for a few more units but he’s not at the rockstar level of sales as some of his peers are.

Ray: The new Ahoy comic, Ash & Thorn, is down at #157. This fantasy adventure about an elderly woman who finds out that she’s a magical chosen one was a change of pace for the company, but didn’t get much advance buzz despite good reviews. 

The new publisher Behemoth, which launched in the middle of the pandemic without much hype, has their first launch titled Osiris Path at #165, selling .11 Justice Leagues. 

Glenn: Same old, same old in some cases sadly. Some of these smaller publishers are going to find this to be an especially rough year.

Ray: Similar numbers for Storm Kids: Hyperbreed, the latest spinoff from niche publisher Storm King. These are selling alongside the levels of ongoing titles from bigger publishers like Sonata, Tartarus, and Doctor Tomorrow, so that’s not bad. 

Source Point was one of the first indie publishers to resume publication, and their offbeat superhero comic Danger Devil launches at #176. They launched a lot of new #1s during this month. 

Glenn: Maybe they were hoping to get some people picking up a new jumping on point while things were quiet?

Ray: More Rick and Morty at #185, with a one-shot based on the Council of Ricks. I still don’t know what a Rick or Morty is. 

Glenn: I asked some cool kids the other day but they gave me a wedgie and took my lunch money.

Ray: Lady Zorro from American Mythology launches at #187. I wonder if it’s time to break out the Rachel Bloom here as well. 

Glenn: You go Zorro.

Ray: A new Archie anthology, Geeks and Games, arrives at #188. These comics are an alternative to the digests for the direct market, printing only the original modern stories, but they don’t make much of an impact. 

A new title, Deep Blue from Mythos, lands at #189. Seems to be a sci-fi comic about the last survivors of an AI apocalypse, and it sells. .07 Justice Leagues.

Glenn: We don’t need a prediction of our future Mythos.

Ray: A pair of Source Point one-shots, Classic Pulp Ellery Queen and Monstrous: See No Evil, are down at #192 and #193. Pretty standard for this company. 

The numbers on After Realm Quarterly at #194 are pretty shocking. No wonder the brilliant Michael Avon Oeming norse fantasy is going to Kickstarter instead. 

Another entry from Storm King, with John Carpenter’s Tales: Sci-Fi Vortex 2 at #196. 

It’s a jump down to the next comic of note at #208, as the sci-fi thriller Zero Day Threat from Red 5 sells…well, we don’t know. At this point, the sales are below .05 Justice Leagues, but there’s no estimate from here on out. 

Down at #214 we have Casper Spotlight: Ghostly Trio from American Mythology, as they continue to have the oddest library of books on the market. 

The Grimm Fairy Tales 2020 Annual is down at #226. Strike up the band, Glenn!

Ray: They’ve been out of work since March, poor people.

Glenn: You never used to see Fantagraphics on this chart, but they’re at #231 with something called Psychodrama Illustrated. We’re seeing books on the chart that never used to make the top 500, so this is interesting and surreal. 

#234 and #235 are the first two issues of Gutter Magic: Smoke and Mirrors, the sequel to Rich Douek’s urban fantasy adventure from Source Point, late of Kickstarter. Douek has gone on to much bigger properties at IDW. 

The sci-fi one-shot Remnant from Source Point charts at #239. This one’s actually a hidden gem, so pick it up for $1.99 on Comixology. The same goes for the fantasy adventure Skylin. 

The musical one-shot Holler from It’s Alive is at #240, as this small-press company continues to build its reputation as the home for offbeat books from cartoonists. 

Another entry from It’s Alive at #242, Air War Stories. This $9.99 one-shot is illustrated by actual WW2 veteran and Golden Age comic artist Stan Glanzman

Speaking of war, Black Hops: Hare Trigger One-Shot is at #245. Because war bunnies. It’s scary down here, Glenn. 

Glenn: It says very specifically in our contact that the crazy shouldn’t start until 300!

Ray: The Catalyst Prime universe concludes for now with Catalyst Prime: Seven Days down at #246, undoubtedly the lowest-selling book Gail Simone has ever written. This won’t stop dozens of other publishers from trying to prove they can do with Kurt Busiek and Jeff Lemire did with analog superhero universes, though.

The Doctor Sleepless Manual from Avatar is at #247, another odd entry. This appears to be a spinoff from a Warren Ellis book. 

#249, the last regular book on the charts this month, goes to…White Widow #4! Good for Red Giant, getting back in print. I wonder what spine-twisting pose White Widow got up to this month. 

Glenn: It seems retailers have finally realized this isn’t a Marvel book.

Ray: And that’s the three missing months! Next up, we’ll look at July in a coming article, as the big publishers get back to publishing their top books. We’ll see who wins between the big events of Dark Nights: Death Metal and Empyre, and see how the return of Punchline fares as Joker War launches. 

Who will rise? Who will fall? Find out next time, because we’re back from the dead at By the Numbers!

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

By The Numbers March 2020

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 many years but grew up reading comics. He’s had work published with various small press publishers and has is own comic now available on Comixology in Sparks: The Way I Was from Yellow Bear Comics! He can’t recall the taste of food.

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 sees the great eye bearing down on him.

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 fellow isolaters to By The Numbers: Social distancing edition. A lot has happened since our last update and because of various changes to the industry because of Covid-19, this might be the last traditional By The Numbers ever. Changes are a-coming and we don’t know what that’ll look like but we will figure it out. That is a problem for future Ray and Glenn (suckers) whereas today we try to make sense of sales of March 2020. Now, obviously this was before we were in lock down territory and its unclear how much the virus impacted the sales here but we’ll be taking most of this at face value. Of course, if we spot shenanigans, we’ll call it out and don’t worry…we won’t be waiting long. Before we get started, I hope everyone reading this is staying safe and sensible. We will all get through this and I hope we can provide you some light entertainment in this difficult time for us all.

Ray: The biggest question going forward, I think, will be how sales are reported. Diamond’s sales monopoly has let them report for the entire industry, but DC has broken from them now. We won’t get a sales chart for April for obvious reasons – unless we get ten books or so reporting – and it’s unlikely we’ll get one for the forty or so books released in May, but come June it’ll be very interesting to see what happens.
Glenn: So the world might grind to a halt but Marvel still plays its odd sales games as is clear evidenced by the fact that the new Spider-Woman title is the number 1 book this month and apparently sells over 142k. I’m sorry but…no. Jessica’s peak in popularity was during Bendis New Avengers when she was a Skrull and the spin off series from that by him and Maleev didn’t nearly sell this well. This is in the same pattern as Amazing MJ, Black Cat and the new Gwen mini. Being very generous I’d say half these sales are more realistic and even that is a push. No disrespect to Jessica or the creators involved but these sales for this character at this time just doesn’t make sense. Normally we’d see how things really shake out in short order but…well you know. If the series settles around mid 20k that’s likely going to be the best it can hope for.
Ray: Of those four, only Gwen’s first-issue sales feel remotely relevant, as something like doubling-up sales as an incentive would reach those numbers. But over 100K for a random debut of Spider-Woman, by a creative team with little to no sales pull, and no real advance hype? This smacks of Marvel just adding about 80K to the sales for the hell of it and claiming that #1 spot for the month. That’s been one of the biggest issues with this column over the last few years – how are you supposed to analyze the charts when one company just makes things up?
Glenn: The second highest selling book this month (most likely actually the highest selling book) is the special Flash 750 which sells over 82.4k which would make it the lowest highest selling book I can remember since the launch of David Finch’s Dark Knight many a moon ago. These anniversary specials continue to perform very well despite their price due to the variants and talent involved. This does the least well because sadly, Flash isn’t on the same sales level as Batman and isn’t as iconic as Superman or Wonder Woman.  Issues 751 and 752 also chart this month selling over 30.7k at 50 and 29.9k at 52 respectfully. This continues the long slow sliding pattern its had since Rebirth started and continues to be one of DC’s upper level performers (especially when you add on the bonus sales for the split).
Ray: This is a healthy number, but well below all the other anniversary jumbo issues. I think this one felt like much less of an event than the other ones – it wasn’t a big event in the comic, and it had fewer stories than the others with only a few creative teams. There was Williamson (twice), Johns, Manapul/Buccellato, and Marv Wolfman. It was a good Flash issue, but it didn’t feel like a super-sized special issue in the same way as the ones for Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman.
Glenn: As we leave giant special number issues we’ll start to see 80th anniversery ones coming. It’ll be interesting to see how some perform in the near (?) future but we’re going to talk about one of those in short order.
Great numbers 4 issues in for Donny Cates Thor  at 3 which sells over 75.9k which makes it the most successful the title has been in quite some time. Once again it seems Cates has brought a fresh perspective to a property and with it, quite a bit of sales success. Can it maintain this and become one of Marvel’s top performers? We’ll see.
Ray: This is a huge jump for the series, very similar to the way Cates’ Venom exploded. It seems pretty clear that whatever comes next for Marvel, Cates is destined to be their new #1 writer once Aaron mic-drops.
Glenn: Hickman’s X-Men continues to deliver strongly despite having lost a little uber number momentum. Issue 8 sells over 75k at 4 and issue 9 at 8 with sales over 70.2k. Time will tell if Thor can lap it but right now, X-Men is Marvel’s best selling ongoing,
Ray: This X-men line is pretty golden so far, and it should remain so as long as Hickman is on the main book. I think Wolverine is also benefiting from the Thor effect a bit, where it’s been a while since the original had a series. 
Glenn: Speaking of which, holding very well is Wolverine at 5 with sales over 74.2k. No one expected this to stay in the six figure club for long but sales like these are what is considered strong these days. It seems that the traditional Wolverine’s time away and the top creative team has done the book a world of good.
Another decent debut for Strange Academy at 6 with sales over 71k for basically the Marvel Universe does Hogwarts. Retailers probably ordered this on the strength of the creative team and the hope of another big hit for a younger audience. Its a very good concept but once things resume normality this will likely deliver the same numbers as Dr. Strange’s title if not a tad lower. If it can manage that, Marvel will probably be happy enough for the time being.
Ray: It’s definitely a good debut for a title mostly dealing with original characters. Marvel hasn’t had a well-received title starring its younger characters in a while (more on that lay-tor), so this could be a sleeper hit.
Glenn: Split sales again for Batman 90 and 91 which on the service sell over 70.5 and 66.6k at spots 7 and 10 respectfully. However once you add its other sales down at 104 for 90 and 80 for 91 (Punchline varient/debut) we have sales of  over 86k for 90 and 88k for 91 which actually means both issues outsell Flash 750 (and whatever numbers Spider-Woman actually sold. On the surface, Batman isn’t doing too hot but once math is had, its still doing great and is likely to build up speed as we move closer towards Joker War and get more Punchline.
Ray: Batman is waiting for June for Punchline-mania to resume, but apparently the next issue has over 200,000 orders. So this is about to explode. Just how big is #100 going to be? Tynion can probably write his own ticket for DC from here on out.
Glenn: Last title to speak about is Immortal Hulk which sells over 68.7k which if you consider its priced at 5.99 this month is great and enough to give it the 8th spot on the charts. After years of trying multiple things to get the title moving, once again its plain to see Al Ewing has made this one of Marvel’s hottest properties by sheer quality and word of mouth,
Ewing is another one like Cates who seems to be Marvel’s future. Hopefully Empyre won’t hurt his momentum.
Glenn: Everyone is allowed one blemish on their record
Ray: At #11 you have the debut of the latest Star Wars spin-off, Bounty Hunters, which sells just under 62K for a title featuring Boba Fett (Boba Fett? Where?!) and cyborg bounty hunter Valance. It’s a decent launch, but definitely a long way from the heyday of the line. The second issue sells just under 40K at #34 the same month.
Glenn: That’s pretty good for a Star Wars spin off. The bounty hunters have always been a popular part of the fringe part of the mythos and I’m sure the popularity of the Mandeloreon didn’t hurt.
Ray: #12 has the first of the 100-page 80th anniversary specials that are duplicating the format of the #1000/#750 giants for characters who don’t have an ongoing for an anniversary issue. First up is Robin, selling 60K with ten stories ranging from Wolfman to Tynion and covering the four main Robins plus Stephanie Brown. It’s a strong number for a random Robin anthology, and should probably be the general area that the Catwoman and Green Lantern issues do – although I expect the Joker issue to be one of the top books that month due to the presence of Punchline.
DC Comics Celebrates Robin 80th Anniversary with Super Spectacular #1
Glenn: Its been a while since Robin had a strong ongoing so this is pretty good indeed, especially at its cover price. Anything Batman related continues to do well for DC.
Ray: Lot of debuts around this level, with Strange Adventures #1 landing at #13 with sales of 58K from the team of King, Gerads, and Shaner. That’s well above where Mister Miracle or Vision debuted, so King’s growing fame has brought some nice dividends. I expect it’ll stay above 40K for the entire run, whenever that resumes.
Glenn: After the success of the books you mentioned no one wants to miss the boat here. This sells better than any Adam Strange book has any right to so this is great and I would say King’s future at DC is in these more obscure properties rather at the big guns.
Ray: #14 has the launch of Hellions, the oddball villain-focused team from Zeb Wells spinning out of the Hickmanverse. It sells 55K, which is in line where the lower-tier books in the line do.
Amazing Spider-Man is still finding its level, as the two issues this month sell 53K and 52K, easily the lowest the title’s been in a very long time. We’ll see where it goes as it approaches #50, but the signs aren’t good for this run.
Glenn: Things will pick up with the next big story (or it better or they’re really boned) but its putting a plaster on a gushing wound. Change is needed.
Ray: Cable #1, the second X-debut this month, sells 52K for Kid Cable’s debut as a solo hero. Definitely a better number than Cable’s past titles did, even if the book completely rewrites the lead character’s personality.
The Alex Ross-curated anthology Marvel #1 lands at #19, selling 50K mostly off the nostalgia for the classic Marvels and the shiny Alex Ross covers. It’s an incredibly strong number for an anthology, but we’ll see if it holds up and how the quality of stories by various creative teams is received. Worth noting that this is the last book to sell over 50K this month, and we’re still in the top twenty.
Glenn: Insert gif of Superman boozing it up from Superman III here.
Ray: It’s rare to see an Image book this high, but Jonathan Hickman has the power! His oddball space assassin thriller rounds up the top twenty with sales of 47K. This oversized issue was the most Hickman-y Hickman book in years, and it’s clear interest is high for a new concept from him.
Glenn: Hickman has always had a strong pull but I’d say the recent success he’s had revitalizing the X-Men line has helped him as much as its helped Marvel.
Ray: #22 has the next issue of Giant-Size X-Men, featuring Nightcrawler. It sells 46K, so this is probably the level for a Hickman X-book that isn’t the main series.
Another fantastic Image debut for Mirka Andolfo’s Mercy, landing at #24 selling 46K. Hot off the success of Unnatural, this sold out before release and is probably in for a lot of reorders. Andolfo is probably the hottest female creator in the industry at the moment.
Glenn:  She’s become a sellable commodity in herself which is rare air in this industry. Its easy to forget but this is an English reprint of a comic already doing well in Europe so this successful Image debut is BONUS sales. Insane. It won’t be long until she’s given a project at the big two to go to town on unhampered I’d say.
Ray: The bar is pretty low this month, and so Spider-Man Noir #1 is able to round out the top 25. The character’s hot at the moment thanks to Nicolas Cage’s excellent rendition of him in the Spider-verse movie, and that’s good for 44K in sales.
Glenn: If he doesn’t put matches on himself just to feel something it was all for nothing.
Ray: That’s followed by a lot of old favorites from Marvel including Venom, Captain Marvel, and the rest of the X-line. The next new book is Road to Empyre: The Kree/Skrull War, which sells 42K at #31. This was essentially a stealth sequel to the low-selling Meet the Skrulls one-shot from last year, and gives a little more background on the main plot but isn’t really an event.
Glenn: Prequels to big events can be hit or miss and like you say, this a sequel to a low selling mini series with branding to make it sell better. Its fine but Marvel best hope its not inductive of Empyre’s success because its going to get real ugly if that’s the case.
Ray: It’s a big gap, with a lot of Marvel and DC favorites (and Spawn #306 at #40, selling 35K), until we get to the next debut. One that surprises me is Doctor Doom, at #46 selling 32K. That’s above Fantastic Four and Guardians of the Galaxy, which shows the power of DOOM!
Glenn: That is surprising, maybe the exposure he’s gotten from Secret Wars onwards has helped. People want to see what he’s up to next. Of course we’ll likely be down to around 20k next issue but that’s fine for a character focused maxi series.
Ray: The next debut is Marvels Snapshot: Sub-Mariner at #53, selling just under 30K. This was an acclaimed issue focusing on Namor’s PTSD post-WW2 through the eyes of his civilian girlfriend, and the Marvels branding undoubtedly helped the sales a good deal.
Glenn: This is a very niche range of books and given that Namor hasn’t had a regular ongoing in forever this is very good indeed.
Ray: We mentioned Gwen Stacy early in the article, which had a top ten debut last month. This month it sells 29K at #56, which is probably in line with what I’d expect a Gwen title to do without Spider-powers. I do think there’s some genuine interest in the character, but not top ten levels.
The split sales wreak havoc on the charts again, as DCeased: Unkillables #2 charts at #58 and #61, selling about 28K for each covers for a total of 56K. That actually puts it in the top 14, just under Strange Adventures. So the sequel with A-list heroes returning will likely be much bigger.
The news is much less good for Marvel’s latest mini-event, as the teen-hero focused Outlawed has its debut issue land at #60, with sales of just under 28K. This is basically Civil War III crossed with the Adults vs. Kids song from the Simpsons . With more grimdark nonsense about heroes fighting heroes, and bad turns for a pair of Marvel’s most well-liked young heroines, it’s clearly not what the public is looking for right now.
Glenn: Not pretty. After the sales indifference and critical poo pooing of Civil War II no one wanted a third part, even if its under a different name. As myself and Ray have discussed, I loved in a recent issue of Ghost-Spider how Gwen and Peter openly talked about how stupid the whole thing was.
Ray: The new studio Artists, Writers, and Artisans debuted in the shops this month only two weeks before everything totally shut down, but their flagship book The Resistance made a splash. Landing at #65 with sales of 26K, J. Michael Straczynski and Mike Deodato’s pandemic-superhero-fascism thriller had a good debut for a new company, but didn’t pick up much buzz. The first issue is available for free on their website, so judge for yourself! We’ll see where the other three land.
Glenn: They would have had to work hard not to sell this given the talent involved and its a good debut from a new company with that in mind. They have taken some steps to piss off retailers by deciding to continue producing material digitally during the lockdown so we’ll see if that decision costs them dearly down the road.
Ray: #69 brings us the anthology Superman: Villains, following up on the dark side of Superman’s identity reveal. It featured some Luthor, some Bizarro, and a lot of conspiracy courtesy of Bendis and the rest of the Super-team. It sells 24K, which is about 9K below the current level of Action Comics.
Glenn:  Not bad for a bonus one shot that is material that is likely unessential given the main points will be covered in Action and Superman.
Ray: Valiant gets in the top 100 this month with X-O Manowar, as Dennis Hallum’s take on Valiant’s flagship hero sells 23K at #73. He’s one of the line’s headliners and it shows compared to other Valiant launches recently.
Glenn:  The last launch did about double this if memory serves but this is still very high for Valiant.
Ray: Undiscovered Country continues to be the top ongoing non-Spawn creator-owned book at the moment, selling 22K at #78 for its fifth issue. That’s above some elite Marvel and DC books like Star and Justice League Dark, even if it’s a far cry from its top ten debut.
Undiscovered Country #5 | Image Comics
Glenn: It’ll do killer in collections and likely stay at this level through its run with some boosts here and there.
Ray: We’ve got an oddball entry at #85, as IDW and Dark Horse’s latest crossover event Transformers vs. Terminator lands just under 21K in sales. The variant covers help a lot, but the bonkers continuity-bending plot seems like it’ll appeal to fans of both heavy-metal properties. Let them fight Robocop in the sequel!
Glenn: There’s always some appeal of getting action figures from different properties and bashing them together. Both franchises are well past their prime but there seems to be some interest here. Dark Horse and IDW both continue to benefit with cross property partnerships.
Ray: Another surprising entry in the top 100, as #91 brings us Cimmerian: Queen of the Black Coast from Ablaze. Selling 18.4K, this is the English-language reprint of the classic European Conan comics for mature readers, with a faithful retelling of the original Belit story. It’s a far cry from the Marvel comics, and Ablaze had to fight a legal battle against the Mouse for the right to publish it (hence why Conan’s name isn’t in the title), but it’s another win for the rookie publisher.
Glenn: People must have got the Conan link regardless as obviously Marvel has made that property a talking point again and ablaze is benefiting from that. Good for them, they’re come out of the gate very strong.
Ray: A lot of mid-level titles (including Dynamite mainstays Vampirella and Red Sonja: Age of Chaos) around this level, but the level to exit the top 100 this month is only 17K. That’s easily the lowest we’ve seen in ages. Related to the pandemic, or just ill omens for the industry?
Glenn: As we discussed on the podcast we do, Rabbitt Stew (dong!) orders for this month would have been early Jan at latest. Well before things went to pot. I think its just a piss poor month. Maybe the industry needed a break.
Ray: The next book of note is the Fantastic Four Marvels Snapshot, selling 16K at #107. That’s much lower than the Namor issue, which makes me wonder if retailers are ordering these as a series rather than one-shots. One would think the FF would have a bit more sales pull than Namor.
Glenn: Indeed, it might also depend on the creators too. I’d say that these are going to very quite a bit.
Ray: More good news for DC as Punchline-mania continues, with Batman #89 picking up 16.1K in reorders at #111. Good thing nothing’s interrupting the momentum of this – oh. Well, I’m sure Punchline will be fine in June. We’re just making her angrier. There’s no stopping her now.
Glenn: I’ll run, you hide.
Ray: The Iron Man 2020 one-shots continue to underperform, with Rescue’s one-shot landing at #119 with sales of 14.8K. Not what you’d want to see from an event tie-in, for sure, but the main mini is doing okay. I expect this pattern to continue for Empyre.
Glenn: Not what Marvel were hoping for I’m sure. I think these mini events are starting to become a strain for fans and retailers and its reflecting on sales.

Drop of around 20k for the Falcon and Winter Soldier’s second issue which sells over 14.8k at 120. Pretty standard for a mini starring two heroes that don’t have a big name attached. The goal here was to have a trade out to coincide with the Disney+ show and sadly now both are delayed.

At 124 is the Facsimile edition of Detective Comics 38, the first appearance of Robin to coincide with the anniversary special. This is an issue that like most of these things has been reprinted more times than you’ve had hot meals so at standard price the over 14.1k in sales is essentially free money.
The True Believers theme this month centre’s around Empyre and the highest selling of the bunch is the She-Hulk one at 127 selling over 13.7k. Another easy win for a comic that has been printed over and over many times.
At 130 we have King Of Nowhere a new BOOM series which sells over 13.3k so while its not the runaway freight train some of their books are, this is by a much less known creative team. As BOOM continues to build its brand this might be the new lower end of the publishers pull which is miles better than they’ve been able to perform in the past.
Ray: This one is by the creative team of Ice Cream Man, one of Image’s oddest books. So it’s likely this strange Twin Peaks dreamland thriller isn’t going to be very mainstream either. Based on that, I think it’s likely this will be considered another hit for Boom.
Glenn: Right below it at 131 is X-Ray Robot the new comic from the legendary Mike and Laura Allred which sells over 13.2 which is at the higher end of publisher Dark Horse’s pull for creator owned these days. The Allred’s have a strong pull in of themselves but they’ve had several very well regarded runs on various Marvel characters over the last few years which always helps.
Ray: Like Matt Kindt, the Allreds are creators who have been building their brand for a long time and I think it’s finally paying off. This is going to be a future classic, I bet.
Glenn: Next Iron Man 2020 tie in is 2020 Iron Age which sells over 12.7k at 137. It could be worse but interest here beyond the main story is on the cold side of lukewarm. Main Iron Man writer Dan Slott is moving on after this story so Marvel goes back to the drawing board once more to try to figure out how to make the property sell better, a puzzle they’ve been working on for well over a decade.
Ray: This is an anthology, which is usually the lowest-selling type of tie-in. They’ve never recovered from that one where the reporter told Cap to get a MySpace account. This didn’t get the attention it deserved for its delightful Dr. Shapiro: Science Cat solo story, though.
Glenn: Hey kids, remember MySpace? Captain America does but then again he is very, very old.
About a 9k drop in sales of TMNT Jennika which isn’t too bad for a spin off starring a new character to the franchise. It sells over 12.3k at 139.
Pretty standard far for Killing Red Sonja at 153 selling over 10.7k. The franchise has had a little bit of a shot in the arm following runs by Gail Simon and Mark Russell but she’ll only have so much sales reach.
Ray: This is the first spin-off from the Russell run, co-written by him and focusing on a major antagonist, so it might have some decent legs.
Glenn: It seems Russell has put the franchise in a good place that it can support a spin off with similar sales to the main series.
More standard stuff from Image this time in the form of Stealth which sells over 10.3k at 160 which is about the average level for a new mini from the publisher by two creators with no real pull but a concept that’s caught some eyes.
Ray: Superhero comics from Image are a rough sell, because there’s so much content out there for them from other publishers. I think over 10K is a win given the lack of A-list creators.
Glenn: Second issue of the Nebula series sells over 10.2k at 161, no one wants these Guardians spin offs any more.
164 is game tie-in Marvels Adventures Black Widow which sells a little over 10k and this is the last book to do even that and we’re some ways away from out of the top 200. Not great Bob.
At 174 is the second issue of Amethyst which has a small drop to over 9.5k so its done what it needed to do and drop small and settle fast (fingers crossed) I doubt DC expected much more from a very obscure character.
A combo of two John Layman books at 180 in the form of Outer Darkness/Chew selling over 9.2k which is the range that these two properties would have sold in. No real benefit sales wise from the crossover but it shows that Layman has a decent and loyal following which is not the worst thing in the current market.
Ray: Both Outer Darkness and Chew are cult hits, never breaking out in singles. So this crossover is likely only for the die-hard fans while one book takes a brief break and the other prepares for a spin-off.
Glenn:Several spin offs apparently. Bring on the chicken aliens!
Another Marvel’s Avengers game tie in for Captain America this time at 184 selling over 9k. I’m surprised Widow did better but there’s only 1k in it and she was supposed to have a movie coming out soon *sob*
Small drop for Bang, Dark Horse’s new book on its second issue selling over 8.6k at 192. Pretty standard for Dark Horse these days.
More standard Dark Horse fare at 199 from Starship down, a new title by creators that have no sales presence and it sells over 8.2k due to that. Not many surprises from the charts this month,
Ray: This one was dropped the same week as X-Ray Robot with little fanfare, and Dark Horse barely promoted it. Given that, these numbers are actually decent.
Glenn: A new Aftershock book, Join The Future sells over 8k at 203. Unlike most Aftershock books there’s no star power here so it sells on the power of the brand once again…standard.
Ray: Aftershock gonna Aftershock. This one got some good buzz, but the company can’t sell outside this range yet aside from a few creators.
Glenn: Anthology of reprints Marvel Tales Silver Surfer sells over 7.5k at 214, something something 7.99 something something free money.
Not too bad a debut from Oni on a rare monthly from them in the form of Dryad which sells over 7.4k. The sales here are nearly moot here as the Oni basically exists in monthly form to publish Mick and Rorty (that’s it right?) and the occasional creator owned.
Ray: That’s actually pretty solid numbers for a new Oni launch with little hype. Some people pointed out the similarities in tone to Saga, and given the long absence there, that may have helped.
Glenn: People may be looking for a replacement, you’re right. It’ll most likely fare better in collections in that case.
The comments for Join The Future above could also apply to Artemis and Assasins at 224 which sells a little lower with over 7.1k because it just didn’t grab as many people with the concept. Say it with me, standard, standard, standard.
Ray: Stephanie Philips is a writer who’s rising fast, with stories at four companies in the recent and coming months. But Aftershock isn’t likely to be where she finds her biggest audience.
Glenn: Hotell from new company Artists, Writers and Artisans sells over 7.1k at 224 which means that apart from one book after a LOT of hype and bluster they’ve managed to be on par with…Aftershock. Not a bad place for a new company to be but with the people at the top, I’m sure more was expected.
Ray: Aside from the JMS/Deodato book, few of these books had big-name creative teams, but with all the hype and rollout I would have expected more. Some bigger-name creators are going to be launching titles with them in coming months, so we’ll see if they can build momentum, but this definitely isn’t the rollout AWA was hoping for.
Glenn: We’ll see how things go, there’s a lot of fighting for scraps where they’ve ended up and they’ve come out of the gate with some serious weapons at their disposal. Not sure what else they can do in the short term to grow and the current situations throws everything in doubt.
Wicked Things at 229 selling over 7k is much more how BOOM used to perform but the overall turnaround across the publishing line is not going to happen overnight.
Ray: This is well above where its parent book, Giant Days, was selling, so I’d say the creative team has to be happy with the numbers on this spin-off miniseries. It’ll sell even better in collections. 
Glenn: Giant Days has gotten a cult following and people may have been eager to get on the ground level on this one. Definitely one that will sell oodles in collections.
Vault delivers new title No One’s Rose from a creative team that again doesn’t seem to have any sales pull but given their size I’d say over 7k at 242 isn’t too bad. Like BOOM but on a smaller scale, Vault has made some big advancements but it’ll take more time to get everything up to the next level by default.

Ray: Vault continues to be one of the fastest-rising companies, and this is another feather in their cap along with books like Money Shot and The Plot in recent months. 

Glenn: Absolutely, destined for bigger things when sanity resumes and people can you know…go places
ADVANCED REVIEW: No One's Rose #1 — Comics Bookcase
Ray: The remaining AWA titles do similarly mediocre numbers, with angelic assassin thriller Archangel 8 from Michael Moreci selling 6.5K at #240, and Mexico-set gang thriller Red Border from Jason Starr selling 6.1K at #251. You can’t brute-force a new power player into the industry, and the company’s new moves since then – going digital in the middle of the shutdown – aren’t likely to endear them to retailers.
Amid some reorders and low-selling creator-owned books, we have the relaunch of Marvel Action Avengers, with a new arc by all-ages creator Katie Cook. Unfortunately, it debuted the week the industry shut down. It sells 5.5K at #262, but will likely do much more in the direct market if it finishes.
A new Crow miniseries by Tim Seeley, subtitled Lethe, debuts at #265 with sales of 5.3K. It’s just above reorders of TMNT: Jennika #1, which kind of shows the difference between the two franchises.
Glenn: The Crow has been cooking on fumes for decades. Even a creator like Seeley is going to struggle to bring attention to it. All IDW can do is hope the new movie does come and is a hit and gets them some collection revenue.
Ray: At #269 is the one-shot Man-Eaters: Tomorrow Belongs to You, which is a magazine-style bonus to the irregularly paced series. The thing is, no one knows if the series is even continuing, given the way the last arc ended and the controversy over the book and creator. So 5.2K is probably about as good as could be expected, especially at $4.99.
Glenn: What an odd story this book has had. Perhaps it will end up on a certain handsome Northern Irishman’s autopsy table one day.
Ray: Judge Dredd, not exactly a hot character at the moment, launches a new IDW series titled “False Witness” with sales of 4.9K at #273.
Glenn: Like we’ve said many times now in this article, Dredd’s money is earned through 2000AD and not the direct market. This is only for hardcore fans that want everything related to the character and few else and it sells appropriately.
Ray: Mark Russell returns to Ahoy following the success of Second Coming with a new satirical thriller titled Billionaire Island, selling 4.9K at #276. That’s well below his usual numbers, probably down both to Ahoy’s sales trouble and the fact that this is one of Russell’s darkest comics yet – not his usually wacky fare.
Glenn: He’s one of those creators like Bunn and Houser that has a very diverse portfolio. They can’t all be winners.
Ray: It’s a big drop down to the next book of note, and it’s quite the book of note. At #288 we have Tarot: Witch of the Black Rose #121, the 20th Anniversary special, selling 4.6K. For the record, this is the “Your Vagina is Haunted!”  comic.
Glenn: The what now? That’s…quite a premise.
Ray: A very odd debut at #291, Super Duck from Archie, sells 4.5K. This is a mature readers book from Frank Tieri about a depressed, drug-addicted talking duck who worked as a superhero and things go very south from there. Not exactly your normal cheery Archie material.
Glenn: So discount Howard The Duck it seems. Its an odd choice for Archie to go outside their wheelhouse with a parody of a parody but the company is likely trying to find a footing again.
Ray: Zombie Tramp at #295, selling 4.3K. Zombie Tramp, Zombie Tramp, does whatever a…you know.
Glenn: We love you Zombie Tramp, don’t ever change.
Ray: Sending us out of the top 300 this month is the Image political thriller On the Stump, which sells 3.9K with its second issue. This one seems unlikely to be a long run.
Glenn: Sadly not. Time to buckle up I guess.
Ray: At #307, we have a unique new thriller from Action Lab, Sweet Heart. Set in a world where monsters stalk chosen people throughout their lives, it sells just under 3.7K. That’s a surprisingly good number for this company, but with the world in upheaval, the rest of the issues were released digitally. The entire series is up for only $5.99 on Comixology and it’s well worth the buy.
Sweet Heart #1 Launches From Action Lab in March 2020 Solicitations
Glenn: That’s a great deal. You have to wonder how the company makes money at that but they’re probably hoping to get more eyes on it that way. Works for me!
Ray: Lots of reorders down here, but one that’s a little puzzling is 3.4K in reorders for Aggretsuko #1 at #314. The second issue came out this month, but it’s not exactly a book that many people are talking about. Maybe bulk orders for Sanrio stores?
Glenn: I guess? Maybe it did quite well somewhere?
Ray: Cates Thor continues to pick up steam, as we have the second and first issues getting 3.6K and 3.2K in reorders respectively just out of the top 300. Not surprising given the huge jump we saw this month.
At #317 we have a book titled “My Little Pony Canterlot High: March Radness” selling 3.4K. I got nothing, Glenn. NOTHING!!!
Glenn: There’s a comic for everyone.
Ray: Amid a lot of reorders and low-selling books, I continue to be surprised by how well Love and Rockets Magazine does. This cult sensation by the Hernandez brothers charts at #330 selling 2.9K, right between Looney Tunes and Predator.
I don’t know what “Jasco Games” is, but there’s a Grimm Fairy Tales one-shot about it at #339, selling 2.8K. Glenn, strike up the Rachel Bloom!
Glenn: *googles* Its some sort of…card game? I think? It seems young and cool therefore it confuses and terrifies me.
Ray: More Judge Dredd with a 100-page giant selling 2.7K at #340. I think these are mostly reprints, selling for $5.99 as a jumbo-sized primer for the characters.
Glenn: Aye see comments on Dredd comics in the mainstream above.
Ray: I didn’t even know what Upshot Now from AWA was, but apparently it’s an anthology magazine that contains clips of their new series. Being sold for $5 (not $4.99), it sells 2.3K at #247, a very odd project that seems overpriced for a preview comic.
Glenn: That’s crazy I mean DC has done books like this and either offered them for free or for very cheap. This is more like a Marvel move and you are not Marvel, AWA.
Ray: The next original is the martial arts adventure Shang from Zenoscope, selling 2.3K at #353. Do you think the hero fights sexy ninjas?
Glenn: I mean, they’re all sexy. (Joke shamelessly stolen from OutsideXBox)
Ray: At #355 we have the launch of the new Scout series North Bend, selling 2.2K. A very dense conspiracy thriller, it was dropped without much promotion and doesn’t seem to be picking up any real buzz for the rookie company.
Glenn: Dense comics can be a hard sell. You need to have a rep to be able to float these and much more market presence. Good for the company trying to offer something different I guess but it doesn’t seem to have got them very far.
JAN201960 - NORTH BEND #1 CVR B TULA LOTAY - Previews World
Ray: And another small-press original from Red 5 Comics, we have the steampunk fantasy coming of age story Dragon Whisperer, selling 2.2K at #357. With so many books struggling to establish themselves every month, a lot just slip under the radar. As I recall, this was one of close to 10 small-press #1s that same week!

Glenn: We’re getting into stock dumping territory at 359 with over 2.1k additional sales for Black Cat 1. Last year it was Marvel’s highest selling comic *coughs* and now its one of many books to be shifted over for digital only for at least one issue. WHAT A COINCIDENCE.

Impact Theory Comics *shrugs to audience* gives us Hexagon at 370 selling over 1.8k. They’re probably just happy to be here.
Ray: Surprisingly, Hexagon is a Michael Moreci book at a super-obscure company. He’s probably responsible for most of these sales.
Glenn: More typical stuff from Action Lab this time with new series, Twin Worlds selling over 1.8k at 374. Small published + no big names=low sales.
Ray: Action Lab and other companies like them released a lot of first issues right before the shutdown. Most of these series have concluded in digital and will never be heard from again.
Glenn: Right below that at 375 is this months Sim comic which sells over 1.8k. ‘Parody’ is where its at folks.
Below that is the latest Archie reprint package, Betty & Veronica: Friends Forever All Relative which sells over 1.7k at 376 but again, when it comes to these it doesn’t matter.
Sexy aliens abound in Zenescopes Conspiracy Alien Abductions which sells over 1.6k at 383. Insert your own joke of anal probing here!
Some reorders for last months Giant Size X-Men featuring Jean Gray and Emma Frost at 388 with over 1.6 additional sales. Not quite the same overwhelming demand that the Power and House of X mini;’s but still a little interest in Hickman written fringe X titles.
Another low selling Action Lab title at 390 with Argus selling over 1.6k. See comments above for Twin Worlds.
FantaCo (like the drink?) releases Screaming Horror at 392 selling over 1.5k. Horror at the moment is second only to super heroes in terms of busyness in today’s market so this likely got lost in the shuffle, especially since it came from a company I presume is better known for fizzy orange.
Charlie Chaplin’s two most iconic roles combine in Fuhrer and the Tramp at 399 selling over 1.4k, very much a niche book. I hope in years to come we’ll get the adventures of Korg and imaginary friend Adolf.
Alterna releases a one shot, Legend Of Log at 400 selling over 1.4k. I remember when it seemed like they had momentum.
Planet Comics does better than first appears since its two covers are listed separately for some reason (Cover A sells over 1.4k at 402 while Cover B sells 752 and 490) which means ir sells a little over 2k which priced at 9.99 and from an unknown publisher is not too shabby.
Grumble Memphis & Beyond The Infinite seems to be the continuation of long going small press property, Battle Pug so retailers likely just treated it the same as what that property delivers which is over 1.3k at 408.
Ray: It’s not related to Battlepug by Mike Norton, it’s just another series with a superpowered pug in it! Like you do.
Glenn: Pft, you and your ‘correct information’
Mostly reorders down here and low selling ongoings but at 414 we have a number 1 for the third volume of a book called Blood Realm from Alterna which I’ve never heard of which sells over 1.2k. The creators must be happy enough if this is the third volume.
Cat Sh!t takes the prize for worst name for a comic ever and the 414 spot on the charts with sales over 1.2k. The marketing/branding part of me just died a little inside.
Ray: This is apparently an acclaimed war manga from Japan with an unfortunate translation of its name. I guarantee you the latter is what drew Antarctic to it.

Glenn: Another stray Edgar Rice Burrows character from American Mythology selling over 1k at 422. Its clear they’re trying to get some residuals from the success Marvel has made of Conan and the like but it doesn’t seem to have carried over as we’ve seen over the last few months.

Scout Comics releases a follow on from a comic mini from last year at 435 in the form of Kyrra Alien Jungle girl which sells 999 copies. This seems like a slightly younger take on the Shanna/Red Sonja character type. There must have been interest somewhere for them to do more but I’m not sure from where.

More from Scout at 443 with Hank Steiner Monster Detective selling 922. The company has chosen to separate from Diamond so its clear they have other avenues of revenue that aren’t obvious in these sales charts, if that’s the case then good for them.
Ray: Given that it’s a Nonstop book and a reprint, I don’t think they were expecting much from this, but it’s easily the lowest Scout debut in a while.
Shriek Special is a 5.99 British horror anthology with four stories by a writer whose name I don’t recognize. Again there are horror books out there from bigger publishers and more well known creators that anyone else is going to be left fighting for scraps which in this case is good for 898 sales at 446.
Ray: This has apparently been a massive year-long crossover between obscure horror movies, with Puppet Master being the headline. Takes all kinds.
DEC191711 - SHRIEK SPECIAL #1 (MR) - Previews World
Glenn: The Fantastic Four villain?! Don’t tell Disney…
Some serious boobie comics that would put Zenescope to shame sells 822 copies at 453 in the form of Cavewoman Spellbinder. Got to cater to the creepy side of the market.
All stock dumping, low selling indies and some small reorders here until we get to 491 and Deadly Ten Presents Shadowheart Curse which sells 550 copies. Some sort of horror film tie in seems to be the case from the description. What’s scariest is how low the sales are getting this month.
At the bottom of the list is a Laurel and Hardy comic selling 513 comics. Will things be better or worse after comics have had an unplanned break for a while? Its hard to tell but this is pretty grim.

Ray: Now this is the kind of absurdity I’m looking for in the #500 slot!

So what’s up next month? Well… *tumbleweeds blow by*
Obviously, we’re in uncharted territory and it’s not clear what the sales charts will even look like when they resume. DC has split from Diamond, so I don’t know how we’ll get their sales in the future. Only three print comics were released in April, all from DC through their new publishers, so we’re unlikely to get a chart for April as the only other releases were some small-press digital books. May is a little more complicated, as major companies like Image and Marvel are releasing partial schedules in the last few months with bigger slates starting in June. Stay tuned, loyal readers. By the Numbers…will return.
Glenn: You make it sound like a threat…its totally a threat.
Artblog | Stay safe and healthy and help each other
Like what you read? Have any questions or comments? Let us know here or on Twitter @glenn_matchett and @raygoldfield
Also, stay safe.

By The Numbers: February 2020

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 many years but grew up reading comics. He’s had work published with various small press publishers and has is own comic now available on Comixology in Sparks: The Way I Was from Yellow Bear Comics! During the current pandemic, Glenn is spending priceless time with his two very young children. Please send help.

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.  During the current pandemic, Ray is being forced to eat his comic collection. Please send help.

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 back to another By The Numbers where we hope to distract and entertain during these very odd times. While the world may be slowly shutting down, we don’t stop no matter what!

No surprise here is that the top book of the month is Wolverine which sells over 190.5k! This is the first proper Wolverine book in some time and while we’ve had Old Man Wolverine and young female Wolverine along with various mini’s this is the first ongoing in quite some time. Pushing it to the moon with all the variants a decent creative team, this almost had to be the number one book of Marvel would have had to start to become very worried. Of course, this month as we’ll go onto see is very poor sales wise and the fact that a new Wolverine with all the bells and whistles in the world couldn’t top 200k is an indication of the type of month we’re in for. Historically Wolverine generally sells around the 50k mark, we’ll see if that is the case next month when the initial launch boom dies off.

Wolverine #1 Dominates Advance Reorders

Ray: Yeah, this had everything going for it – a ton of variant covers, a lot of hype, and a long absence for the main character that boosted titles like Thor in the past. But while these numbers aren’t close to what this title would have gotten in years past, it still blew past the rest of the field by a more than two to one margin and was the only title topping 100K this month. A harsh drop is likely, but I think this should be able to secure itself a place as the #2 X-book for the future.
Glenn: If nothing else it’ll be a solid performer in the middle of the mass X-Men pack.
Taking second place this month is more Hickman X-Men with the next issue also getting the third spot with these selling over 92.2k and 76.6k respectfully. That’s quite a sharp drop for the 7th issue but still a good bit ahead of everything else Marvel is putting out. Oh yes, we’re not even out of top 5 and we’re already circling 75k *takes drink*
Ray: #7 was an oversized issue, which might have dulled sales a bit. But this is still the #1 ongoing on the market – for now. However, the omens aren’t great overall.
Glenn: At 4 is the first issue of the Nancy Drewish Gwen Stacy mini which sells over 68.3k which seems on the high side. I mean, people may be wanting a return for classic Gwen but something about these numbers gives me the sense they’re inflated. Still on face value, its very good for what it is. I expect the rest of it to sell about low to mid 20’s.
Ray: Very similar to the bizarre sales boost we saw for the first issue of Amazing Mary Jane, but this title seems to be getting a bit more good buzz. I suspect it’s a stealth ASM tie-in to the Kindred storyline, so it might get a boost down the – wait, no one cares about that storyline.
Glenn: No one. It could pick up a decent life in collections cause it’s a very good creative team and reviews seem to be good.
More Hickman related X-Men stuff at 5 in the first of the Giant Size One Shots that feature around a different character drawn by a variety of top artists with this first installment focusing on Emma Frost and Jean Gray. It sells over 63k and I’m surprised it didn’t do better because its by Hickman but we’re flooded with X-Men books and if you treat this as just a one shot that’s fine. I would say these will range in sales depending on the character being featured.
Ray: Essentially just being treated as a third Hickman X-book per month, I think. All the characters featured are similar to these two – popular but not headliner X-men – so I think this should find a decent place on the charts, probably in the top ten.
Glenn: Amazing Spider-Man bumps a bit up in sales at 6 selling over 60.3k with the second issue this month at 12 in the charts selling over 54.2 which is quite a big difference. The number at 12 seems more in line with the titles current trend. The odd bump is seemingly for no reason but that’s the odd pattern we’ve seen with Amazing during this run.
RayWhen I saw the placement on the charts, I thought it might be doing those weird sales jumps again. But nope, this is just how low the entry point into the top ten is this month. So this title continues to slide, likely under 50K in a few months. How low can it go before we start seeing chatter about a new creative team and new #1?
Glenn: Sooner rather than later one would hope
We’re really getting concerning stuff at 7 when we’re already hitting sales over 59k for Darth Vader. Again, the bloom is off the rose for Star Wars titles but that seems especially low for the franchises ‘b title’. It’ll probably settle around the 35k mark which will be in line with what Marvel gets out of the line these days.
Ray: Yeah, this is really low for arguably the franchise’s #1 character. I’m wondering how much the lukewarm reaction to the end of the franchise had to do with the buzz for these titles dropping. We need a Baby Yoda series, stat!
Glenn: We all know Jar Jar is the #1 character.
DC finally shows up to the party at 8 with the newest issue of Batman which sells over 56.9k and then another issue is at 10 selling over 56.4k so while its very consistent it is very low for Batman. Of course, this being DC the sales are split and there’s another 17 odd k down 102 for issue 88 and 16.9k for issue 89 at 108. All together this means that both issues sold about 74k which makes them the third and fourth highest selling books overall so that makes more sense. Of course, Punchline mania shortly followed by Joker War is coming and then all bets are off.
Ray: The addition of those extra sales makes a big difference. I’m guessing we’re going to be seeing this take over as the #1 ongoing in the coming months, given the trajectory of this and X-men.
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Glenn: On the lead up to 100 I would say that is definitely the case. Initially Tynion seemed to be here for a fill in but given the insane buzz he’s getting and things up in the air editorially at DC it might be the companies best move.
Final book left in the top 10 is at 9 with X-Men/Fantastic Four, the first issue of yet another X-Men related mini by Chip Zdarskey which sells over 56.4k. Not bad for an X-Men mini in a sea of them, it should do pretty well for the duration of its short run.
Ray: It’s a solid debut, if not great – maybe too many X-books on the market? But this one seems to have major implications for both the X-men and FF, so I think the retailers might have missed the boat here. Expect low drops, reorders, and another win for Zdarsky.
The entry point for the top ten this month is ridiculously low, with only 13 books selling above 50K. That might be the lowest we’ve seen in ages. The top twenty is full of mainstream hits like Curse of the White Knight, Ewing books Guardians and Immortal Hulk, Cates books Thor and Venom, Avengers, X-Men, and Star Wars. All strong, well-regarded titles that should be doing better as the market continues to contract. Good thing there’s nothing that could cause further losses in the months ah – *looks out window* crap.
Glenn: I’m glad there seems to be some faith in Guardians. It seems the title has settled in to an upper tier performer (such as that is these days) following Cates run and now under Ewing there should be stabilization.
Ray: #21 brings us an Immortal Hulk spin-off, the Spider-man focused Great Power. Written by Tom Taylor, it sells 42K and is a good example of how Hulk is slowly becoming a franchise again. I’m guessing the Jeff Lemire-penned issue in coming months will do similar numbers of not better.
Glenn: Taylor’s also building a solid brand for himself too which will have helped.
Ray: At #24 we have the debut of Falcon & Winter Soldier, selling 42K. A decent debut for a miniseries starring two popular Marvel supporting heroes with a Disney Plus series in the works. Well, if it ever finishes filming. Unspectacular numbers, but about in line with what miniseries do from Marvel lately.
Glenn: Pretty much. The trade will pick up some interest after the show lands…eventually.
Ray: A small boost for the launch of season two of The Green Lantern, from Morrison and Sharp. It sells 41K at #25, up a few thousand copies from where it ended the last run. This is clearly being treated as the next issue – it didn’t miss a month thanks to a bridge miniseries penned by Morrison – but confusion over the length of the series due to the recent editorial shakeups might have thrown retailers for a loop.
Glenn: It did seemed to be cut off at the legs initially but no longer. The uncertainty at DC (and the world in general) will hopefully not affect the book too much. This run has been a big hit for the property and DC will have to go some to match it once Morrison leaves.
Ray: At #28 we have the debut of the sequel to DCeased, Unkillables. The sales of 40K look distinctly unimpressive, but when you add in the additional 31K for the cardstock variant at #45, you get total sales of 71K. That places it as only under Wolverine and two issues of X-Men and Batman – more in line with the previous series. I think the lack of A-list characters in this one (Cass Cain is A-list in my heart) may have blunted it a bit, which means Dead Earth should be a monster in June. If OUR Earth survives till then.
Glenn: This property is still a pretty heavy hitter, I think the proper sequel will see a bump but we’ll see. This still must be more than DC ever dared dream for it and I’m really happy for Taylor.
Ray: Next book of note after a bunch of X-books is the one-shot Batman: Pennyworth RIP, which has some recent Bat-writers teaming up to tell stories of how Alfred influenced the Batfamily. It sells 38K, very low for a major death like this. The problem is, the weird pacing and editorial shakeups make many people think Alfred will be back soon, at the end of Batman/Catwoman at the latest. So this monumental death didn’t feel like one at all.
Glenn: That and this one shot is a good bit after the death, likely put together when the editorial at the time decided the death was going to stick. Any momentum has waned but it sold well enough given the circumstances
Ray: #37 brings the debut of Harley Quinn & the Birds of Prey from the iconic Harley team of Palmiotti and Conner, selling 35K as an oversized Black Label launch. That’s lower than I would have expected, given how popular the creative team’s run was. Maybe the mature readers brand and lack of Joker, plus the price tag, led more people to wait for the trade on this one? It’s faring better than the Azzarello run, though – that one’s looking as cursed as New Mutants.
Glenn: I’m really surprised here. I would have thought this would have been a top ten delivery for sure, especially with this month’s low entry mark. Perhaps some retailers viewed it as a movie tie in rather than a continuation of a best selling run? Its selling around the same as the regular book but at a higher price so its nothing overly concerning but I just expected more. I have no doubt it’ll be an evergreen performer long term.
Ray: Spawn #305 maintains its title as the top creator-owned book of the month, clocking in at 35K at #38, just above the second issue of Star.
At #44 we’ve got the debut of Conan: Battle for the Serpent Crown, selling 32K. This is about 1K below the launch of the new Conan the Barbarian creative team at #41, so this seems like it’s basically the level for mid-range Conan things. Marvel’s got to be happy with how the franchise is doing overall.
Glenn: Absolutely, a world away from how it was performing at Dark Horse.
Ray: Can someone explain to me how Ravencroft #2 (29.7K, #52) is outselling Iron Man 2020 #2 (29.1K, #54)? Please? Is it just the faint Carnage connection in the former? What an odd success story this is, and I can’t say too many great things about the performance of this mini-event for Iron Man.
Glenn: Either there’s sales shenanigans or Absolute Carnage bumped up anything vaguely relating to Carnage but I expect a big drop either way next month.
Ray: But speaking of mini-events, at least they have to be feeling better than the creative team of Leviathan Dawn, which sells 28.1K at #59. This is a bridge one-shot between the previous mini and the upcoming Checkmate storyline, but it seems to have mostly slipped under the radar.
Glenn: This one didn’t land at all. On paper it seemed like a winner originally but event saying literally in the title it was an ‘event’ did nothing to benefit it.
Ray: #62 brings us the anthology Superman: Heroes, which focuses on the reaction of people in Superman’s life to his big identity reveal. It ties into the main story, but is also a jam issue with several writers and artists. It sells 27K, about 5K below the main series – maybe partially due to the $5.99 price tag.
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Glenn: Some may have seen this as disposable as well with them expecting most of the significant reactions in the characters main titles.
Ray: The last of the “Marvel: The End” one-shots lands at #66, as Erik Larsen’s Captain America one-shots sells 26K. I think Larsen’s days as a sales power are mostly behind him, but this is a number in line with most of these.
Glenn: Yeah, these all sold around the same with Venom being the leader of the pack. Its always kind of cool to see Larsen back as Marvel but it doesn’t have as much weight as it would have done around 20 years ago or more.
Ray: Undiscovered Country #4 clocks in at #71, selling 24K. That’s a big drop from the first three issues, but it’s still well ahead of every other creator-owned book besides Spawn.
Glenn: Walking Dead was the exception to this but this does seem to be around the upper tier for indie books out the gate regardless of creator or publisher or whatnot
Ray: Selling 23K at #73 is the launch of Dark Agnes, the second book from the Conanverse. I guess it’s a decent debut for a solo title for a character that hasn’t really had any relevance in decades, but I don’t think Marvel should stretch this franchise too far.
Glenn: When we see ‘Conan’s good friend Bill’ we’ll know a line has been crossed.
Ray: #75 brings us Savage Avengers #0, a $4.99 one-shot that had about five pages of new story and two issues of Kulan Gath’s last appearance as a villain in Marvel Comics for decades ago. The fact that it managed 23K in sales is a testament to how well the parent book is liked right now.
After a bunch of mid-selling normal comics in the 20K range, we have the latest DC jumbo-sized anthology – DC’s Crimes of Passionat #83. It sells 21.9K, a little more than most of the seasonal anthologies. This one had a lot of top creators and was very heavily focused on Gotham characters – including a reunion between Kate Kane and Maggie Sawyer – so interest was a little higher.
Glenn: Plus February is the month of looooooove.
Ray: #85 has the debut of TMNT: Jennika, a spotlight miniseries for the new fifth Turtle from the IDW franchise. This sells 21K, about 6K above what the main series sells this month. So clearly the franchise as a whole is doing much better than it used to.
Glenn: Still, the creative team must be pleased and the title can only grow from here. There will be some interest in the new character too, it opens the franchise to a new potential demographic which is always good.
Ray: It’s also doing better than Guardians of the Galaxy spin-offs, as the Nebula solo series has a pretty dreadful debut at #89, selling 20K. Didn’t we try this before? The Guardians don’t need individual titles. Nebula isn’t fairing any better than Drax or Yondu.
Glenn: No big surprise here. The characters have become pop culture icons due to the movies but not many people are floating over to the comics to read their solo exploits outside of maybe Rocket and Groot and even then it’s a push.
Ray: #92 has the final issue of Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy, selling 20K, but there’s another cover selling 14K at #127. That puts it at 34K and roughly the #40 mark, definitely an overall win for the franchise – even if the ending caused no small amount of controversy.
Glenn: Very good for a mini, I’d say we’ll get a follow on
Ray: #96 has the one-shot Spirits of Ghost Rider: Mother of Demons, an oversized issue introducing the new villain Lilith. It sells about 4K below the main Ghost Rider series, but it’s also essentially just the next issue. So we can basically just consider that standard attrition, but I don’t think the special branding is giving them the results they want.
The bar for the top 100 is spectacularly low this month, with Ghost Spider #7 sneaking in at #100 with sales of only 17.6K. Rough month for comics all around.
Glenn: With the dreaded virus putting the world on hold, this may get worse as we go through the rest of the year.
Ray: #104 has a Facsimile Edition of Wolverine #1 by Claremont and Miller, selling 17.2K. That’s a pretty seminal issue, so not surprised it did well even at full price.
A surprisingly horrible debut at #109 for a new Ant-Man series penned by Zeb Wells. Focusing on Scott and his daughter Cassie and clearly designed to tie in with the character’s popular presence in the movies, I would have expected much more than 16.9K for the first issue.
Glenn: Its still Ant Man though so it will only do so well. I would say that this is about the best they could have hoped for and it’ll settle quickly.
Ant-Man (2020) #1 | Comic Issues | Marvel
Ray: #112 has the final Hill House book, Plunge by Joe Hill and Stuart Immonen. While the main cover only sells 16.5K, it picks up another 6.8K in a variant cover which puts it around #72 on the overall charts.
Glenn: Not that far behind where Undiscovered Country has landed so that’s extremely good. All these books are going to sell gangbusters in collections of course so there will be more of these for sure.
Fantastic Four: Grimm Noir is at 114 selling over 16.1k which I would consider good enough considering Fantastic Four isn’t known for its success in terms of spin offs and this was likely repurposed from the FF quarterly anthology that has vanished without a trace where it likely would have sold a lot less.
An odd one at 119 in Marvel Voices which is a comic written by a group of podcasters I believe and has nothing to do with anything. I find sales over 15.6k very good considering that these aren’t known creators in the industry and it has nothing to do with anything. This is taking the numbers at face value of course.
Ray: Marvel’s Voices is apparently a very popular podcast, but it didn’t really translate to a one-shot that was mostly one-page stories with no apparent through-line.
Glenn: News to me! I can’t wait for the Rabbitt Stew edition
First Iron Man 2020 spin off, Force Works lands at 121 selling over 14.8k. This is Slott’s first big crossover story since he left Amazing Spider-Man and the success of those doesn’t seem to have followed him over.
Ray: It seems pretty clearly that we are NOT going to see the modest success of the main series translate to the way too many tie-ins here.
Glenn: About a 6k drop to over 14.3k for Hill House’s Daphne Byrne’s second issue at 125. These have all settled rather nicely. Again, more of these will be coming at some point when the scary story we’re all living through is over.
Si Spurrier comes aboard the BOOM bandwagon with Alienated at 126 selling over 14.2k which is a great result, I doubt he could have expected much more at Image had the comic been released there. BOOM continues to become a force to take note of.
Ray: Both DC and Marvel have had him take over some runs that are usually associated with certain creators so they must think highly of him and he’s transitioned that over to smaller press.
Another hit for Boom. This seems to be the new level for most of their mid-level books. Like Matt Kindt, Spurrier is one of those creators whose output has gotten just a little bit more mainstream and he’s been rewarded with better sales that he’s deserved for some time.
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Glenn: The second issue of Amazing Spider-Man: Daily Bugle sells over 13.4k at 133 which is about right for a generic Spider-Man related mini at a time where the Amazing brand and the market itself has seen better days.
2020 Machine Man at 136 sells over 13.2k, I believe this character is involved quite a bit in the main story so I would have thought maybe a bit more but it doesn’t seem like that’s the case. These mini’s better have a low fall or the numbers will be very low by the time this is over.
Ray: They’re all two-part minis, so any falls should be minor and new ones will be rotated in soon enough.
Glenn: A Young Justice spin off starring a new character, Amethyst sells over 13.1k at 137. I doubt that DC could have expected much better than this.
Ray: Amethyst gets another 5.7K in orders for a variant cover at #267, so that puts it at close to 20K and a modest hit for the line.
Glenn: Good enough for a relatively obscure character
Second issue of Ant Man this month too at 138 selling over 12.8k. If it hadn’t been a mini it would have likely become one swiftly.
Some free money for DC for a fascimilie edition of the Flash 123 selling over 11.7k.
The tie ins for the upcoming Avengers game continues at 147 with the Hulk selling over 11.6k. Its a video game tie in for a game that will come out who knows when now so it is what it is.
Just below it is Death To Army Of Darkness at 148 selling over 11.6k which is on the high end for what this property usually delivers. This one franchise is the definition of cult so it’ll have its set, small and loyal audience.
Ray: Dynamite books always have dozens of covers for the first issue, so this is about in line with that. But it does have fast-rising Boom writer Ryan Parrot on board, so it might pick up a bit more momentum based on that.
Glenn: Only about 3k drop resulting in sales over 11.4k for the second issue of Stranger Things: Into the Fire, after a few of these mini’s retailers seem to know what to expect from the franchise in terms of sales.
Pretty standard Hellboy numbers for Hellboy & BPRD Return Of Effie Kolb which sells over 11k at 156. A franchise which as we’ve said before I’m sure, you can set your watch to.
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Decent launch for an Image book without any known names for Tartarus at 157 selling over 11k, especially since its 5.99. If the virus hits the industry hard, it’ll be hardest on series like these that need momentum to get successful and that requires output and well…you know.
Ray: That’s a fairly strong debut for Tartarus, especially with the price tag. Gillen once said that if an Image book debuts over 10K, the writer has to buy the other writers the drinks that night. Decent for On the Stump too.
Glenn: Matt Kindt seems to be able to do only what only recently Jeff Lemire and Mike Mignola have managed at Dark Horse, having a good debut. His new book Bang! debuts at 161 selling over 10.7k. Very good for Dark Horse these days, I would say it’ll stabilize fast.
Ray: This is a really inventive book, essentially a meta take on the constant recasting of James Bond, but it’s also the most action-heavy book Kindt has done. It’s a well-deserved success and a shot in the arm for Dark Horse. Well, it will be if it ever finishes due to the pandemic…
Glenn: It’ll be fine, it’ll all be fine. I can’t believe how fine everything will be *cries*
Election process turns MMA fight in Image’s On The Stump which sells over 10.5k at 166, again this is pretty standard for a new Image book without a big named creator attached.
Marvel Action Spider-Man from IDW relaunches at 178 selling over 9.9k. Far lower than your standard Spider-Man far but its IDW and this is intended for other markets they have access to that Marvel mysteriously don’t seem to.
Its out favorite modern day trick in the market, old material being resold as new! This time its Marvel Tales: Wolverine which sells over 9.1k which is grand for a 7.99 comic full of old material that has undoubtedly been already created and reprinted and reformatted many times before.
Finger Guns is a new wacky and fun sounding book from Vault selling over 8.4k at 201. They’re not at the levels BOOM is getting too but Vault is holding its own all things considered. Today the company announced a break in publishing due to the virus so hopefully that doesn’t kill the momentum they’re starting to get.
Ray: That’s another great debut for Vault, closer to an all-ages concept than anything they’ve done so far and a well-deserved hit. The company is really picking up momentum and could be the next Boom.
Glenn: A high seller for Aftershock in The Man Who Effed Up Time which sells over 7.9k at 208. This is a shade higher than their usual launches have been doing but this is likely due to John Layman who has had a few hits with Image, most notably CHEW.

Ray: The fact that a Vault title by an unknown creative team beat the sales of a new John Layman title from Aftershock really says it all about how the company struggles to drive sales, doesn’t it?

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Glenn: No kidding.
Ray: Amid a sea of Dollar Comics and True Believers one-shots, we get another new Aftershock title – Godkillers, a religious horror story by Mark Sable. It sells 7.7K at #216, and the closeness between this and Layman’s book really drives home how much of the issue here is Aftershock’s lack of traction.
Glenn: It seems that retailers must treat their books all at a similar level at this point too. They know who will be curious enough to try them out or as we call them here ‘The Ray’s’.
Ray: A new Dark Horse title with a decent debut at #223, Hidden Society. Selling 7.2K, this is a magical adventure title by the creative team of Scavone and Albuquerque. Rafael Albuquerque was a really big name at DC for a while, so I might have expected a bit more, but this is in line with Dark Horse’s usual.
Glenn: I would have expected more off his name too. Maybe it’ll pick up traction in collections when the uber successful American Vampire returns…at some point.
Ray: The Valiant time-travel teen comedy Doctor Tomorrow debuts with 7.2K at #224, a standard debut for a Valiant book without a big name. This was a 1997 series being revived now, so it’s not a new property, but it’s one of their least-known characters.
At #235 we have the Dollar Comics version of Amethyst #1 from 1985. I don’t think this is the character’s debut, but it is the first issue of her most famous run by Dan Mishkin. It sells 6.8K, decent numbers for a low-cost reprint of a cult character.
A surprisingly low debut for the latest Berger Book, Tomorrow #1 by Peter Milligan. A techno-pandemic thriller focusing on siblings stranded across the country from each other, it sells 6.7K at #239. Milligan is an acclaimed creator, but it’s never translated to sales.
Glenn: Yeah and Berger books sales are always a bit muted. Likely one for the collection market eventually.
Ray: There’s a Star Trek Valentine’s Day special at #241, selling 6.7K. There were a few of these specials, but Star Trek is having a bit of moment thanks to Picard and that probably boosted sales a bit.
Glenn: I wonder how many Kirk/Spock shippers went out to buy this in the hopes that their shipping dreams may come true.
Ray: Another new Aftershock launch, the modern western revenge thriller Undone by Blood, launches at #245 with sales of 6.6K. Aftershock has its level, and it’s very hard for anyone to break out of it.
Glenn: Western’s aren’t usually a thing either in comics but expect Brubaker and Philips to buck (heh, get that) that trend but again that’ll be an OGN so it’ll be different economics there.
Ray: Archie gonna Archie, with another bizarre crossover – Archie Meets the B-52s, a rock comedy co-written by hit novelist Alex Segura. It sells 6.4K at #249 as the company struggles in the direct market, but I’m sure it’ll be reprinted in an Archie musical crossover collection and sell gangbusters.
Glenn: I don’t know who the B-52’s are. I’m not cool.
Archie Meets the B-52s #1 (One-Shot) – Archie Comics
Ray: It’s a jump to the next new #1, as we find an absolutely disastrous debut for another new Image title – the Michael Avon Oeming epic After Realm Quarterly. This original take on Norse mythology is a passion project of Oeming’s, possibly spinning out of his brief run on Thor and giving us an absolutely terrifying take on Loki, but it seems to have slipped completely under the radar – only selling 6K at #259.
Glenn: Oeming never quite got the success that his POWERS partner found for some reason (see also his Dick Tracy book from a while back) and Simonson is already delivering his own Norse epic so it might just be a case of timing too.
Ray: The Transformers Valentine’s Day special sells just under 5.9K at #262. Robots in loooooooooooove.
Glenn: Time for Starscream to profess his love for Megatron.
Ray: 5.8K in reorders for the first issue of the Power Rangers/TMNT crossover at #264, showing those franchises have some real staying power at #264.
A standard-issue debut for a new Predator miniseries at #266, selling 5.7K. The Mouse doesn’t seem to want those licenses back, so we’ll probably keep getting new stories featuring these two popular monsters. Except it sells another 4K below at #294 for a Glow in the Dark cover, so the characters clearly still have some buzz.
Glenn: Glow in the dark is such a 90’s style gimmick but with Predator it kinda fits.
Ray: The cult hit Sanrio/Netflix series Aggretsuko, featuring a red panda with rage issues and a taste for death metal, debuts a comic spinoff from Oni at #268, selling 5.7K. Obviously this is an odd book, but I think it’s a good number for a company that had largely dropped off the map recently. They seem to be becoming a home for strange cartoon spin-offs.
Glenn: Due to their success with Rick & Morty, I’m not surprised. Much like that property, this will probably sell very well in collections to a larger audience who are into this cartoon I had never before heard of.
Ray: Remember Lady Death? The only Chaos Comics character who Dynamite couldn’t get? She has a new comic, subtitled “Scorched Earth” that sells 5.3K at #275. But there were about twenty covers for it, so grain of salt.
Glenn: Seems about right for busty death in this market. Is she even death actually? I don’t know.
Ray: Titan gets into the top 300 with a new book titled Adler, but it might as well be subtitled “The League of Extraordinary Gentlewomen”. Featuring Irene Adler, Jane Eyre, and Carmilla among others, it sells 4.7K at #284. An interesting concept that seems to have picked up some buzz.
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Glenn: That’s a great idea with some interesting characters but Titan aren’t known for original stories so it may get lost in the water a bit more than it deserves. but its their standard non licensed level here.
Ray: I don’t even remember what happened in Astonishing X-Men #7. Was this the issue where Xavier got some strange new look? Either way, this title from three X-status quos ago manages to sell an extra 4.5K in reorders this month.
Glenn: Is this the Whedon book? It was the start of the second arc is all I know.
Ray: Zombie Tramp gets into the top 300! There she is at #293, selling 4.1K and doing her job as the unofficial mascot of By the Numbers.
Glenn: Yay, you go Zombie Tramp!
Ray: At #301 we have Grimm Universe Presents 2020, an anthology selling 3.9K. I don’t know what it’s presenting, but I’m guessing sexy fairy tale ladies have something to do with it.
Glenn: Sexy lady everything I’d counter. Including sexy female orc’s.
Ray: Evan Dorkin and Veronica Fish’s supernatural college thriller Blackwood returns for a second volume, selling 3.9K at #302 for the first issue of The Mourning After. Very low debut, but I’m guessing retailers ordered it like #6 rather than #1.
Glenn: Yeah, this seems to have lost in the usual shuffle as it was well received. Again unless you’re Lemire or Mignola or Kindt it seems that Dark Horse can’t do good numbers outside some of their licensed stuff.
Ray: #308 has the debut of Van Helsing vs. the League of Monsters from Zenoscope, selling 3.6K. So, are the monsters sexy ladies, is Van Helsing a sexy lady, or is the answer both?
Glenn: Both of course.
Ray: #313 has a giant-sized Transformers one-shot, subtitled “Power of Predacons“. It sells 3.5K, not a bad launch for a reprint of multiple old comics for $5.99.
The third Incredibles miniseries, Slow Burn, debuts at #315 from Dark Horse, selling 3.4K. Clearly this isn’t the market for these comics, because Dark Horse is greenlighting a lot more Disney content.
Glenn: They’re selling somewhere which is great for them as a company.
Ray: The next book of note is the supernatural time-travel racing drama Backtrack from Oni, selling 3.1K at #324. Did you ever think The Fast and the Furious needed more T-Rexes and Satan? This book has you covered! It’s not a great debut, but given that this is the first major creator-owned release from Oni since The Long Con, it makes sense.
IDW’s been putting out a selection of classic all-ages Marvel stories under the banner Marvel Action Classics, and this month it’s Dr. Strange’s turn with a $4.99 one-shot selling 2.6K at #337. No creators to pay here, except maybe some royalties, so this is all profit for IDW and Marvel.
Glenn: They’ll likely be bundled into a digest sized trade too where the real money will come in.
Ray: A new Zenoscope book at #343, continuing their “Conspiracy” subline. This one focuses on Area 51 and sells 2.4K. But are they hiding sexy aliens in there?
Glenn: The sexiest.
Ray: Scout’s newest title, the deep-space psychological mystery Canopus, sells just under 2.4K at #344. It’s an intriguing series, but with no name creators or real hook to drive sales immediately.
At #353 is the lowest-selling of the IDW Valentine’s Day specials – Napoleon Dynamite, which sells 2.1K. Not far off from what I’d expect from a cult movie from well over a decade ago. Odd choice to spin a comic book franchise out of it, but IDW knows what they’re doing.
Glenn: I guess if they paid for the license they want to get the most out of it.
Some reorders for Venom: The End at 359 getting over 2k in new sales. This was clearly the standout of the punch, mainly thanks to how hot the main series is I’d wager.
Tart, one of Scout’s comics number one’s they release as a preview before a trade including said number 1 sells over 1.9k at 364 which is okay for them considering they’re going to resell it again in a trade in a few months.
Mostly reorders and continuations of low sellers until 377 and a one shot from Gutt Ghost, an odd property from Scout selling over 1.7k. It likely has its own set audience.
More Archie at 384 with Archie & Friends Winter Wonderland, one of their repackages of classic material selling over 1.5 here but as usual will sell better elsewhere.
Customary bad taste one shot from a certain creator at 389 which sells over 1.5k. They sure are making the rest of the industry shake in their boots.

Reorder and low ongoing city down here until a new number 1 at 414 in the form of

Carson Of Venus Eye Of Amtor at 414 selling over 1.2k. This is another Edgar Rice Burrows property which is doing gangbusters at Marvel but making very little impact elsewhere.

Another barbarian type thing at 459 with Barbara The Barbarian selling over 1k. Its slightly better than the image you’ve already got for it in your head but only slightly.
For those that are fans of golden age cinema comedy we’ve got Laurel & Hardy Meet The Three Stooges selling over 1k at 465, there be niche comics in these waters.
Captain Ginger Season 2 (there was a season 1?) launches at 470 with sales over 1k. Its not an Archie book as you might first suspect but actually a book about an anthropomorphic cat starship Captain. I wonder if Fox McCloud knows he’s got competition.
Ray: Ahoy Comics, the company behind Captain Ginger, has a really odd library of books, but this might be the oddest.
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Glenn: The first of an anthology series exploring the apparent ‘rich’ history of Battlecats comes from Mad Cave studios at 480 selling 943 copies. I too was never a fan of history.
Ray: I don’t even know what a Battlecats is.
Glenn: Oh good,not just me then.
Vault’s very successful horror mini, Plot delivers a deluxe black and white edition at 492 selling 843. This is likely for anyone who missed the boat first time round and big fans only. Even though they’re doing better than they possibly ever have, Vault aren’t in a real position to move these specialist editions of their own books quite yet.
I’m sad that the 785 copy selling Cavewoman Habroks Witch is at 499 because it would have made a perfect 500 for this month. Alas these truly are trying times.
Ray: Cavewoman had like thirty covers, so that’s about twenty copies a cover!
Glenn: What is at 500 this month is 777 reorders for Family Tree’s third issue, how nice.
Now you figure out what the heck is going to happen next month Ray, I’m going to….oh I’m going nowhere.  Never mind.

Ray: Looking ahead…it’s the last normal month we’re going to have for some time, apparently. DC had a lot of new content, including the launch of Strange Adventures by King, Gerads, and Shaner. It’s also the month Punchline-mania seems to hit its apex, as retailers adjust their orders for the hit new character. We’ve got two more giant-sized specials – Flash #750, and the Robin 100-page Anniversary Giant

Over at Marvel, we get some more of the ramp-up to Empyre, with a special following up on Robbie Thompson’s Skrull characters. A new Star Wars spin-off focusing on the Bounty Hunters debuts, as do some of the Marvel Snapshots one-shots. The next mini-event, Outlawed, has its launch issue, and we get a few new titles like Strange Academy and Spider-Woman making their debuts. Plus, two new entries in the X-men line with Hellions and Cable.
In indieland, we get a brand new Hickman joint, Decorum, from Image, along with the dark superhero thriller Stealth, a new Allred and Allred joint from Dark Horse, and the return of X-O Manowar from Valiant. Along with the launch of the first four books from Axel Alonso’s AWA Comics, featuring the return of JMS.
What will rise? What will fall? Will comics survive? Find out next month on By the Numbers!
Punchline Variant Cover By Stanley "Artgerm" Lau Moves To Batman ...
Liked what you read or have a question or comment? Give us a shout here or on Twitter @glenn_matchett and @raygoldfield!
Stay inside, stay safe and wash your hands.

By The Numbers: January 2020

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 several years but grew up reading comics. He’s had work published with various small press publishers and has is own comic now available on Comixology in Sparks: The Way I Was from Yellow Bear Comics! He wonders if he too might be the Doctor.

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. Suffering from allergies, Ray’s only request for quarantine is that he still gets his comics.

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!

Check out the top 500 in full here!

Glenn:Happy New Year Numbers fans and welcome to 2020! Since its officially the future now let us rely on the first sales chart of the New Year to give us hope, excitement and *looks at sales numbers* oh boy….

Image result for wonder woman 750

Okay, so its not all bad news, the top selling comic this month is Wonder Woman 750 as DC pulls a Marvel and goes back to original numbering for a sales bump. It works here just like it did for Action Comics and Detective Comics 1000 respectfully but not quite to the same degree. This special anniversary issue for the Amazon Princess still pulls in sales over 167.3k which for a one shot costing 9.99 is impressive. Of course the decade variants will have helped here and in taking more inspiration from Marvel, DC is flogging this horse as long as it’ll stand. We have Flash 750 next along with special 80th anniversary character focused one shots for Robin, Joker, Catwoman, Green Lantern and more to come no doubt. The decade variants seem to have great appeal here and we’ll probably continue to see this little trick brought out for the foreseeable future.

Ray:I wasn’t sure how well these would do because of the high price tag and the lack of a massive anniversary like #1000. But it seems the decade variants and the top-tier creative teams are doing the work. I think we’ll see good results for all of these – Joker probably the highest-selling of the ones to come, Catwoman and Robin the lowest-selling – but I expect all of them to land in the top ten if not #1.

Glenn:Taking inspiration from their completion, DC seems content to milk this idea for all its worth. So far they’ve picked characters that make a lot of sense and will probably continue to carry good sales, the era variant covers will always help things of course.

At 2 is the launch of Thor under the pen of Marvel MVP Donny Cates which enough to give a thunderous debut of over 158.8k which is absolutely massive and the biggest Thor number I can remember in quite some time. I’m pretty sure we’d have to go all the way back to the JMS era to see Thor numbers this high but things return to normal with the second issue at 15 selling over 51.2k. This is pretty much the level the title has been at for years so it still puts it in Marvel’s upper mid range. We’ll see how the run plays out but Cates seems to be here for the long haul and could be one big story away from turning this into a big hit but for now, its how its always been which isn’t the worst thing in the world given how far Marvel titles usually land.

Ray:I think this is going to be a hit for Marvel, but a hit is very different than what it used to be due to the contracting market and the damage they’ve done to their reputation. This is a fantastic first issue, followed by a normal brutal fall. If it can level out to where the Aaron run was, which seems likely, it’ll be a long-term win. If it struggles, there’s always a crossover with Venom around the corner.

Glenn:There’s enough residual Star Wars hype for the new title which takes place between Empire and Jedi to get it selling over 97k at 3. Its a great number but we’re miles away from the insane launch of the last volumes title and again with the second issue we’re pretty much where we’re at before with sales over 44.6k at 28. Marvel’s holding pattern of high relaunch numbers turning into business as usual seems to continue but still Star Wars has settled into a solid middle tier performer without much movement and as we always say here, consistency is key in the market.

Ray: That’s a very disappointing launch for a new Star Wars series that shows how far the franchise has fallen. The controversy the last few months couldn’t have helped. But if it’s back where it was two months ago, could be worse. Soule and Pak (on next month’s new Darth Vader series) are creators known for steadiness but rarely for breaking out sales-wise.

Glenn:It’s a very different world from 2014 when new Star Wars was coming and the title was back at Marvel and they threw Jason Aaron and John Cassidy at it. If you look at this as a separate line ala Black Label (which it essentially is) then its doing very well still and is a reliable performer for the company even though it’s not the juggernaut it was.

At 4 and 5 is the newest issues of the hit X-Men series which is slowing down but still pulling in big numbers for the time being. Issue 4 sells over 93.3k while 5 sees sales over 80.4k which seems like a lot for one month. The title should stabilize soon as easily the top ongoing in Marvel’s arsenal unless having to tie into Empyre doesn’t kill its momentum.

Ray:So, this is the books finding their level now that retailers are adjusting their orders. It seems like the main Hickman book is destined to fall below Batman as the top ongoing on the charts, which can’t be what they were hoping for. Too many books, a confusing reading order, and crossover tie-ins, etc. I just hope Hickman’s enjoying himself and gives us another extended masterpiece.

Glenn:Another relaunch at 6 with Guardians Of The Galaxy by Al Ewing selling over 66.8k which is very good but not amazing. The franchise really suffered from over exposure when it was hot a few years ago and this is likely the best that could be expected especially since it wasn’t that long ago that we had a high profile relaunch by Cates. No issue 2 on this one this month but it’ll probably settle somewhere below Star Wars in the 28k-35k range where it was before.

Ray: I expected a lot more from the new book from Ewing after what a huge hit Immortal Hulk became, but this is another franchise Marvel seriously damaged with too many spinoffs. Yondu just ended and Nebula is coming, whee. Hopefully this one will pick up on reorders, because the first two issues were excellent.

Glenn:If Ewing sticks around (which he tends to) he could build an audience over a period of time, like he’s done for Immortal Hulk. Until then he has to hope Marvel doesn’t continue to flood the potential Guardian readership.

At 7 is at first a surprisingly small debut for the start of the new Batman run by long time DC scribe James Tynion with issue 86 selling over 61.7k which is far from the title’s usual dominance but its another month for split covers so this actually sold over 78k making it the number 6 title. Still a little on the low end for the title but things at DC seem to be moving towards a big shake up so retailers might be overlooking this one. Look for the upcoming Joker War and debut of Punchline to take this title to the top again. For the other issue this month it sells over 56k at 11 but again additional sales put it at 71k so that’s some encourage fast leveling out for the new run at any case.

Ray:It seems to have stayed pretty steady with the end of the King run to start, but I don’t think retailers were expecting Punchline-mania, for sure. People seem to think this is a bridge run, lasting only a year or so, but with recent shakeups we’ll see what happens. Tynion’s off to a good start for jumping onto an ongoing book without the benefit of a new #1.

Glenn:No magic additional numbers for the newest issues of Amazing Spider-Man at 8 and 9 which get into the top ten with sales of over 57.7k and 57.5k respectfully. It was a quiet month relatively so entry point for the top this month is lowwwwwww. This title continues to be one of Marvel’s most dependable but historically the numbers are something of a disaster. I can’t wait for classic villains like Chance and Gog to spice up interest.

Ray: This is about as low as an Amazing Spider-Man run normally gets, without any sales tricks. If it sinks much lower than this, we’ll probably see a push to change things up. But hey, Sin-Eater is coming, I suppose…

Image result for amazing spider-man 38

Glenn: The Sin Eater story will bump it back up again probably. Not by a lot but enough for Marvel to point and go ‘look! It isn’t terrible!’

Finally at the tenth spot is the debut of Star, the spin off from Captain Marvel about the mysterious new character created by writer Kelly Thompson which sells over 56.7k. Considering this is a spin off mini starring an all new character from one of the companiesmid tier performers, I’d say that’s very good. It’l not going to set the charts alight but there’s some interest here and it seems like the continued faith that Marvel shows Thompson continues to deliver respectful numbers.

Ray: This is a dreadfully low entry point for the top ten, but a very good debut for a Captain Marvel villain spin-off. Another win for Kelly Thompson, and she’ll probably get another top ten debut when she delivers on Black Widow this April.

Glenn:Oh no doubt, it’ll probably then land around the same level as what Captain Marvel is normally which would be very good historically for Black Widow.

Ray:Amid some mainstays like Curse of the White Knight and the second-tier X-books like New Mutants and X-Force, we get the launch of Iron Man 2020 at #13, selling 54K. That’s a big improvement from what the Iron Man title under Slott and Gage was doing, but it also doesn’t feel much like an event debut. This main mini should do well – but I wouldn’t be too optimistic about the tie-ins.

Glenn:The tie-in numbers are going to be pretty ugly. When Slott was doing his big stories on Amazing, it usually resulted in great sales for the titles and the spin offs. However despite having brilliant mainstream exposure and this story tying into an older story that tied in the year 2020 which we’ve now smacked into. This is pretty good but not great but this seems to be the ceiling for Iron Man at the time being.

Ray:#16 has the debut of Marvels X, spinning out of the Earth X series from years back. It’s a very good debut for an alternate-reality series spinning out of a decade-old story, so I think much of the sales come from the Alex Ross covers. This is the first of many tie-ins coming related to Marvels, at least in title, so this bodes well.

Glenn:I always think of Earth X as more of a cult favourite than Kingdom Come, the story it was a derivative of so yeah, this is as much as can be expected. Marvel seems to have a lot of stuff coming from old Ross material that’s being brought back in different ways. It’ll all do respectfully but unspectacularly before moving over to collection heaven where Ross stuff always does well.

Ray:There’s a big gap this month with lots of ongoing titles including Venom, Immortal Hulk, Joker/Harley: Criminal Sanity, and Detective Comics all selling in the 55K to 45K range. It’s not until #31 that we get a new debut, and it’sVenom: The End, selling 44K. This is a very strange Adam Warren book taking place at the end of the universe and has less than nothing to do with the main Venom book, but Venom is red hot right now, so it outpaces the competition in this mini-line.

Glenn:There was never any doubt that Venom would be the head of this. I can only imagine this would have sold a lot more had they got Donny Cates or someone not so out of left field but it’s still very good for a throwaway one shot.

Image result for venom: the end

Ray: At #33 is Ravencroft #1, selling 41K. This was the launch of a miniseries focusing on the mysteries behind the famous asylum, and it outsold the one-shots preceding it. But the series hasn’t really been praised, with most people seeing it as an attempt to force Arkham-style mythology on Ravencroft.

Glenn:It’s a stupid idea for a book but it’s a pretty good launch, likely due to the success of Absolute Carnage. The rest of the issues are likely not to sell as well, we’ll see.

Ray: Detective Comics Annual #3 is at #38, selling 35K. This was a tribute issue focusing on Alfred’s past, and I kind of expected it would do a little more. Maybe the sales are being held for Pennyworth RIP next month.

Spawn once again manages to be the top-selling creator-owned book of the month at #40, selling 34K, but sales continue to drop.

Glenn:It’s still the best the title has sold in years but yes, hype is dying down. It won’t be long until Undiscovered Country laps it if this continues.

Ray: At #42 is Avengers of the Wasteland, the latest spinoff from the Old Man Logan-verse. Picking up directly from Logan’s death, it has an audience to build on and 32K isn’t bad for a title starring Danielle Cage who is both Captain America and Thor.

Year of the Villain: Hell Arisen holds pretty well, keeping about 75% of its first issue sales to land at #43 with sales of 32K. Retailers may have missed the boat on this a bit and we’ll see some correction.

Kelly Thompson’s Deadpool falls to #45, selling 31K this month, but it’s been hit by serious delays right out of the bat. That can’t help the momentum, so hopefully it’ll find its footing in the second arc.

Glenn:It seems that series artist Chris Bachalo was stolen away to do Spider-Man instead, an odd decision to bait and switch by Marvel but not out of the realm of their usual antics. This is still higher than where Deadpool was before iirc to be fair.

Ray: #47 brings us Web of Venom: The Good Son. This one-shot focusing on Dylan Brock and Normie Osborn sells 30K, and I would have expected a little bit more. Retailers probably ordered cautiously because it wasn’t Cates, but this one might be primed for some reorders.

Image result for vweb of venom: the good son

Glenn:This ties directly into the sub plot of Venom Island involving Dylan’s pet symbiote so yes, there will definitely more call for this. These Web Of Venom one shots are dying down slowly but the Wraith one shot by Cates will no doubt pull in very good numbers in a few months time.

Ray:#48 brings us the latest issue of Chip Zdarsky’s Daredevil, selling 29K. This is interesting, because the title isn’t exactly going up in sales, but it is going up on the charts. It’s holding much more strongly than almost any other Marvel book, while a bunch of other books fall below it. Zdarsky is continuing Daredevil’s insanely good streak of not having a bad creative team in ages.

Glenn:By not doing anything apart from being really good and consistent, Daredevil rises up so this is why we say a dependable seller is better than a big hit and then a massive drop.

Ray: At #56 we get the top reprint of the month, as DC sells 28K in reorders of Dollar Comics: Batman Adventures #12, the first comic book appearance of Harley Quinn. Evil or chaotic neutral clowns are big money business for DC right now.

Some more of the “The End” one-shots are down here, with Deadpool coming in first at #57, selling 28K. Two spots lower is Miles Morales, selling 27K.

Glenn:No big surprise that Deadpool got the silver medal here given that this one shot is by two of the characters most iconic creators. I’m surprised this didn’t do a bit better but like Guardians, Deadpools spin off potential has been curtailed by serious overkill when his popularity was at a peak a few years back.

Ray:#61 brings us the launch of Hawkeye: Freefall, selling 27K. I don’t think there was much interest in a Clint Barton comic sans Kate and bringing back Ronin, and it shows in the numbers. But the second issue has a pretty solid fall of only 4K the same month, landing at #81, so this might be close to the miniseries’ level.

Glenn: Hawkeye is a character that is well liked but apart from Matt Fraction, no one has ever really been able to have a hit with Clint Barton in an ongoing. I understand Marvel want him out there because he is a well-known character and the TV show is coming but still, every character can’t hold their own. It is crazy that it seems Kate is more of a sale commodity these days but that might just be Kelly Thompson.

Image result for hawkeye: freefall 1

Ray:Taking the silver position for creator-owned books this month is Undiscovered Country, selling 26K. It’s miles ahead of any of Image’s non-Spawn books, and should level out nicely next month.

It’s mostly business as usual without too many new launches this month, as more one-shots land around the 24K mark – Captain Marvel: The End at #70, and Ruins of Ravencroft: Carnage at #72.

The Alan Davis retro Avengers miniseriesTarot lands at #79, selling 23K. A solid debut for a property largely appealing to old-school fans.

Marvel puts out SO much product that a lot of promising projects fall by the wayside. That’s the case for the first issue of Amazing Spider-Man: Daily Bugle, a journalism-themed miniseries by the incredibly talented indie creator Mat Johnson (Incognegro). It sells 23K at #84, but hopefully it’ll get a new life in collections.

Glenn:Due to the direction of the main title, Spider-Man’s sales potential for spin offs and other ongoings are being hampered by the direction of the franchise I feel.

Ray: At #84 is Red Sonja: Age of Chaos, which crosses over the she-devil with the non-Lady Death Chaos characters. It sells 22K, mostly on the strength of its many, many variant covers. But it’s not going to get an iota of the creative buzz of the main Sonja run by Mark Russell.

The lowest-selling of The End one-shots this month is Dr. Strange, selling 22K at #87. This was an odd one, mostly spinning out of the previous What If featuring Magik,

Glenn:Likely would have done better if it had been by Waid or Cates or Aaron, a sequel to a What If that not many people read sure is odd.

Ray: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles falls a lot from its peak over the last few months, but the debut of Sophie Campbell as the new writer/artist sells 20K at #89. That’s still close to double what the book was selling before it started leaping up the charts. So the fantastic last year has probably had a long-term impact.

At #90 we have the cardstock cover for Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy #5, selling 20K. But the regular cover sells 15K further down, putting the penultimate issue of this miniseries in the top 40 overall. Almost as if there’s a fanbase here and DC should stop keeping them apart…

Glenn:Stop talking crazy stuff Ray!

Ray:The third installment in the Marvel’s Spider-Man series, featuring Black Cat, debuts at #93 with sales of 19K. With no real break between the series, retailers are just treating this more like an ongoing series.

#94 has the one-shot Weapon Plus: World War IV, which focuses on a weaponized Man-Thing mutant clone. It sells 19K, which is honestly more than I would have expected for this weird niche book. The Weapon-something connection probably helped.

Glenn: Undoubtably but even then, retailers probably are wary since the Weapon X related Hulk/Wolverine hybrid didn’t seem to set the sales charts on fire.

Ray:#95 is the launch of Atlantis Attacks, spinning out of Agents of Atlas. It sold 19K, which is close to the level of the main series, so retailers didn’t buy into the event hype at all. They’re just treating it as the third arc of Agents of Atlas.

Glenn:You have to admire that Agents Of Atlas continues to have its small but loyal audience even years after their last series. Namor doesn’t seem to have a lot of sales power these days but he hasn’t had his own book for ages.

Ray:#102 has the second of the Ravencroft one-shots, selling 18K. This is Sabretooth’s spotlight, so he doesn’t have as much pull as Carnage but more than Dracula (down at #117, selling 17K).

Image result for ruins of ravencroft sabretooth #1

Glenn: I wish the Dracula one was about an insane madman who thinks he’s Dracula and gets stalked by the real deal. I doubt the Ravencroft one shot was as much fun.

At 119 Spider-Ham faces a sharp drop from its debut last month selling over 16.7k but considering its you know…Spider-Ham I would say that’s not too bad and I doubt Marvel would expect much more. No doubt it’ll be more valuable to have this trade on shelves when Spider-Verse 2 hits.

The Alan Davis vehicle Tarot has its second issue this month too selling over 16k at 124. This is pretty standard level for throwaway series projects by known creators like Davis, Adams, etc.

Low, Low Woods holds only losing about 6k in sales to make it over 15.9k without its card stock variant this month at 125. All These Hill House books continue to perform very well and much better than the last few batches of Vertigo offerings.

Jessica Jones Blind Spot which is a monthly reprint of a digital first turned collection sells very well considering this is material that is available in other formats (and cheaper too) at 128 selling over 15.5k. Not sure if the market likes Kelly Thompson or Jessica or both. The second issue also is this month selling over 12.8k at 150 which isn;t too bad considering this is the third time Marvel have sold this story and there’s still undoubtedly a lovely hardcover to come. This is by far the standout of the digital first wave from a while back.

Ray:The entire line has essentially been forgotten already, but Marvel got a twelve-issue Jessica Jones series by one of their top new creators, so that’s a win. Anyone who wants to see more of KT writing Jessica, she’s playing a supporting role in Star.

Glenn: Team up with Deadpool when?!

The penultimate Hill House book, Daphne Byrne launches with its normal cover at 133 with over 15.1k but there an additional 6k sales for a card stock variant so this sells about 22k which is what roughly what Low, Low Woods managed. It’ll likely be a while before there’s another line of similar books but the first wave has been enough of a success that DC will doubtlessly do more.

Ray:DC has absolutely gotten what they wanted out of Hill House. These are performing better than the average Image horror book lately. Given Hill’s schedule, who knows when we’ll get more, but DC will be happy to have them.

Glenn:A new Stranger Things mini launches at 134 with Into The Fire selling over 14.8k which is seeing the comic adaptions of the incredibly popular show start to face diminishing returns. Howeverits still a decent number for Dark Horse who can need any extra sales success they can get these days.

Image result for stranger things into the fire #1

Ray:These Stranger Things minis don’t feature any existing characters besides some minor ones like Kali and Brenner, so that’s probably going to drop the sales a bit.

Glenn:The True Believers theme this month is Criminal Insanity with some of the picks being a bit more odd than others. The highest selling of them is one featuring the Green Goblin which is a cheap reprint of his classic first appearance. As usual these type of books are just free money to Marvel, give them some extra shelf space and have little to no consequence otherwise. This Goblin issue sells over 13.6k at 143.

A new Firefly title, Ma Reynolds launches from BOOM at 145 selling over 13.2k. This cult property seems to be a respectful performer for the publisher and I think that is a good 5k higher than what Dark Horse used to be able to get out of it.

Ray:This was one of Boom’s $7.99 oversized specials, which always sell lower than the main series. Still, this is definitely a win for the company as they get the most out of the Whedonverse.

Glenn:Some really good reorders for the new Symbiote Spider-Man mini, Alien Reality which sells over 12.7k additional copies at 151. We’ll probably get a third one of these.

More than a 50% drop for American Jesus: New Messiah as retailers figured out what this was. The new volume of one of Millarsolder and more obscure properties sells over 12.6k at 153. How well these books do ultimately mattering to Millar who gets Netflix money regardless is hard to say.

Although it shares a name with the classic history making mini from yesteryear, 156’s Crisis On Infinite Earth’s Giant is actually a tie in to the big TV showverse crossover this year. It sells over 12.1k at 156 which is fine considering the Giants aren’t meant for the direct market and this is a multimedia tie-in which rarely do great.

Ray: I think this is the highest-selling of the giants in a while, likely due to that hot TV tie-in.

Glenn:To tie in with the upcoming video game, we get Marvel’s Avengers Thor at 161 selling over 11.8k which is pretty standard given what this is. It does show than by comparison the Spider-Man comics relating to the latest game universe perform very well.

Right below that is the Hellboy 2019 Winter Special which sells over 11.5k at 162. Well within this franchise’s normal area.

Another DC giant, this time for Superman at 172 selling over 10.9k. Again this is not the place where these giants will thrive and will at best serve as excess stock for comic shops.

More Hickman X-Men 1 reorders as it picks up another 10.8k+ additional sales at 174. Things may be slowing down a little for the book but those early issues are still in demand.

After missing a month, Image’s Killadelphia delivers a second issue selling over 10.7k at 176. Pretty standard for an Image book from known creators that aren’t superstars. There’s a lot of vampire books out there at the moment so this one has just settled in amongst the rest. The third issue also charts this month selling over 8,7k at 213 further emphasizing this point.

Top Cow’s Clock sells over 10.3k at 179. This sub Image line have delivered sales around this level for years, even the involvement of legendary artist Colleen Doran can only get it so far. It’ll likely do well in collections.

Ray:It’s also a Matt Hawkins book, and he’s one of the line’s most common creators. Retailers know what they’re getting when he launches a new sci-fi series.

Image result for the clock 1 top cow

Glenn:Sharp drop for Dejah Thoris which had a good launch last month but nothing too bad where Dynamite is considered at 182 selling over 10.2k.

Frankenstein Undone is another Hellboy universe offering selling over 9.3k at 200, a little on the lower end for the franchise but retailers may have missed the memo on this being by Mignola and related to his signature franchise. Nothing too disastrous though.

Valiant launches a new Quantum and Woody book at 207 selling over 8.9k which is well within their normal range of steady but unspectacular sales. Like most of the Valiant characters, these two are cult favorites that are unlikely to take the market by surprise but the company seems to do fine regardless.

Ray:This one had Gwenpoolwriter Christopher Hastings on board as a writer, which probably boosted it a little, but these characters aren’t quite in the thick of the Valiant universe. They’re having wacky adventures while everyone else stops the world from ending.

Glenn:A prelude to the Black Widow movie by Peter David sells over 8.8k at 209. The market seems to treat most of these movie prelude’s as disposable now, which the majority of them do seem to be in fairness but apparently this one did have some interesting material cause you know…Peter David.

Ray:This one was also an original story, which is rare for this line! It was a prequel showing how Natasha went from outlaw to being inducted into SHIELD.

Glenn:A 3D version of Wolverine vs Sabertooth sells over 8.7k at 212 which considering its old material and its 7.99 isn’t too shabby. I had thought 3D had died again for the IT like 27 years rest it takes but it seems to be lingering around.

Red Mother from Boom loses about half its sales for its second issue coming in at 214 selling over 8.4k. This is more standard BOOM fare but they seem to be getting more new talent to get them more exposure so books like Red Mother may benefit from that down the line in terms of collections.

IDW’s Dying Is Easy lands at 217 selling over 8,4k. Not too bad for an IDW creator owned. If it can stay here it’ll be fine.

Some reorders for Scream Curse Of Carnage with over 8.3k additional sales at 218. People love their symbiotes this weather.

We’re starting to get into decent reorder/lower level big company sellers and some decent level indie sellers here until we get to 264 and the launch of Year Two of the Thirteenth Doctor’s comic adventures which sells over 6.3k. I really would have expected much better considering this story sees her team up with the ever popular Tenth Doctor and features the Weeping Angels.

Ghostbusters Year One which fills the gap between the guys taking out Gozer and being overshadowed by He-Man at a kids birthday party sells over 6.3k at 266. The franchise is down to the loyalists now but if the new film is a hit these various series may do well in collections.

Ray:This one had regular IDW creator Erik Burnham on board, and got a bit more hype than the average Ghostbusters book as a jumping-on point. But the franchise isn’t what it was.

Glenn: Kidz, a zombie themed kids adventure story from new publisher Ablaze sells over 5.9k at 276. Not going to set the world on fire but this new publisher has had some solid numbers out of the gate considering its size.

Image result for kidz 1 ablaze

Ray:Ablaze continues to do well, but this one didn’t launch with the hype of Gung-Ho and also didn’t have a top creator like Charlie Adlard orMirkaAndolfo. Still, a strong start for a book from a company that came out of nowhere less than six months ago. Their mature-readers Conan reprints in March should be another interesting test for them.

Glenn: Conan?! How did they land that gig? That’s a big feather in the cap of a new company.

I’m not sure if the comic adaption of Clash Of Kings at 283 is a reprint or not since I thought these Game Of Thrones comic adaptions have been going a lot longer. Given that fans already have the books and the TV show, sales over 5.6k isn’t very surprising.

At 287 is Marvel Tales Ravencroft, a 7.99 reprint which doesn’t get much attention but doesn’t matter since its…yup you guessed it, free money for Marvel which sells over 5.3k. Look for these in your dollar bins at a LCS near you.

At 297 is Rising Sun from IDW which another low selling creator owned launch from them. It sells over 4.7k at 297 and the fact that the company is 20 years old this year and is being outperformed on a new launch by a new company like Ablaze should be more than a little concerning.

Ray:This was by Ron Marz, who has had quite a few low-selling creator-owned books from IDW in the last few years. It’s a fantasy samurai book, which didn’t get much hype before launch.

At #301 we have the launch of UsagiYojimboColor Classics, reprinting some of the most iconic arcs from Stan Sakai’s classic series. It sells 4.7K and brings a whole new audience to a book where the bulk is only really available in collections.

Glenn:Its also easy money for IDW, something that is welcome at any company.

Ray:#302 has the launch of the Ryan Ferrier supernatural crime thriller I Can Sell You a Body, selling 4.7K. This one got a lot of advance buzz and some great reviews, and Ferrier was involved in hyping it only, but it still doesn’t crack the top 300. IDW’s struggle in the creator-owned market. The second issue sells 2.1K down at #389.

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Glenn: This one sounded like a great premise and would undoubtably sell better elsewhere. It might gather some life in trades.

Ray: IDW does most of their business off franchises, and one of their lower-selling ones is ROM, which launches a new series subtitled “Dire Wraiths” at #305, selling 4.5K. Standard for the franchise

Glenn: Poor ROM, at least Aaron Meyer loves you.

Ray:This isn’t very significant number-wise, but I am VERY amused that Sex Criminals XXX Latour Variant is sandwiched by a Lady Death comic and an issue of Tarot: Witch of the Black Rose between 307-309. Staying on brand, Fraction and Zdarsky. You madmen.

A newDucktales miniseries, subtitled “Faires and Scares” lands at #315 selling 4.3K. Pretty standard for a cartoon tie-in that’s probably doing more of its business in collections.

Hey, there’s Zombie Tramp at #322, selling 4.1K. Good ol’ Zombie Tramp.

After a bunch of reorders and mid-level creator-owned books, we’ve got Red Agent: The Island of Dr. Moreau from Zenoscope, selling 3.6K. I somehow think Gabriel Rodriguez is feeling safe and secure in his take.

At #344 is a new thriller from Scout Comics, White Ash. A suspense mystery set in a mining town, it sells 3.2K right out of the gate. This is a monthly book, so probably a bit better than the Binge issues, but it doesn’t really have any name creators attached.

A new Dragon Age miniseries, “Blue Wraith” launches at #351, selling 3.1K. Dark Horse has been quietly publishing these for years, usually from the writing team ofDeFillipis and Weir, formerly of my beloved Academy X.

Glenn: These likely have a decent audience outside the direct market. Another quiet performer for Dark Horse, something that takes up the majority of their catalogue these days.

Ray:A surprisingly low return for Vagrant Queen: A Planet Called Doom at #365, selling 2.6K. Retailers may have followed up on Mags Visaggio’s sci-fi mini by treating it as the next arc, but it puzzles me that the coming TV series didn’t get more interest for the comic. Maybe reorders are coming?

Glenn: It’ll probably do well in that regards and is going to do well in trades with the new audience coming in.

Ray:Titan reprints the classic Dark Horse titleTank Girl in color, and a reprint of the 1993-1994 era sells 2.5K at #369, as Titan continues to get healthy business out of reprints and licenses.

Glenn: It works for Marvel!

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Ray:An odd entry at #370, as Airboy #51 sells 2.5K from It’s Alive. This is a 9.99 book continuing a series that is resuming after thirty years off, and is written by now-alt-right creator Chuck Dixon. Certainly one of the strangest books on this list. The series is going to continue every six months or so, it seems.

Glenn: What an odd combination. I’m sure it has…a certain audience.

Ray: At #383 we have the launch of Apocalypse Girl, a sexy-lady western warrior comic from Source Point Press, selling 2.3K. This is the highest-selling Source Point debut on the charts this month, even if it’s pretty off-brand for them. Strike up the…Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist song? I dunno.

Glenn: Katy Keene, its similar but just not the same.

Ray:The latest single-issue collection from Archie, Betty and Veronica Friends Forever: What If?, sells 2.1K at #388. This features such fascinating concepts as “What if Archie had a twin?” and is a re-collection of special stories from the digests.

Glenn: Bless Archie, the business they do in these outside the direct market is their bread and butter.

Ray: Stabbity Bunny returns! A one-shot titled Emmet’s Story sells 2.1K at #394. Stabbity is not really in this comic.

Glenn: No Stabbity means no sales!

Ray:Just over 2K in reorders for Far Sector #1 at #399, as NK Jesimin’s Green Lantern concept continues to pick up buzz. The Young Animal line has all but faded away, but his one seems to be headed for something bigger.

It’s all reorders and small-press titles down here, until we hit Classic Pulp Horror, a one-shot from Source Point selling 1.8K at #412. The company’s been doing a few of these one-shots lately, and this one is reprints of classic horror with some edits, I believe.

Star Trek: Picard keeps on racking up reorders, even after the series is over, as the first issue sells another 1.6K at #426. This definitely bodes well for the future of the TV series if there’s this much interest.

Glenn: I hope it features Patrick Stewart’s quality acting. IT WAS NO LONGER STARFLEEEEEET.

Ray: House of Cerebus lands at #432, selling 1.6K. Oh, that wacky Dave Sim. What will he think of next? I think it’ll be another parody title.

It’s almost all reorders and low-selling books, but it’s worth noting that Catalyst Prime: Seven Days is still selling about 1.4K in its fourth issue at #443. That’s close to three times what the books it spins out of was selling regularly, so Gail Simone jumping onto the franchise seems to have worked wonders.

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Another Source Point debut, The Seance Room, lands at #454, selling 1.3K. This is a haunted house take on Fantasy Island that was available on their website and at cons previously before going through Diamond, so these are essentially bonus sales. The fourth issue of the series, I believe, will be exclusive to Diamond (because I haven’t read it yet.

Glenn: This sounds really interesting but the disjointed nature of release (cons then diamond then just diamond) might mean more pick up the trade.

Ray:You have to go down to #474 to find the next book of notes. Sort of. American Mythology is still holding onto the Casper license, and the baby devil Hot Stuff gets his turn in the limelight with a one-shot titled “Sizzlers“, selling just over 1K. I guess there’s that many Casper fans still alive? Or undead and friendly.

Source Point has another horror one-shot at #479, this one titled Horror Double Feature and selling 1K. This one is all original modern content, which makes it interesting that it sells less than the reprint issue.

Glenn: If its an anthology those are always a hard sell at indie level.

Ray:It’s almost all reorders all the way down, as things like Powers of X, New Mutants, Last Knight on Earth, and Avengers sell another 800-900 copies. At #500 this month is more orders of TMNT #100, selling 839 copies – but selling one more copy at #499 is a book titled “Deadly Ten Presents Femalien: Cosmic Crush“. I feel robbed, because that would really be the perfect #500 comic, no?

Glenn: I believe perfect and that comic don’t belong together, no.

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Ray: Looking ahead to February, it’s a pretty quiet month for DC. With Flash #750 pushed back to March, the headliners include a new Amethyst series from Amy Reeder, one-shots dealing with the follow-up to the death of Alfred and the Superman identity reveal, and the final Hill House book bringing us the return of Stuart Immonen to comics. And Punchline-mania begins, so we’ll probably see some effect on the sales of Batman and Year of the Villain: Hell Arisen. There’s also a new Valentine’s Day themed anthology – and maybe the top-selling new book of the month, the return of DCeased with “Unkillables“. And over at Black Label, Palmiotti and Conner reunite for a new Harley Quinn miniseries.

Over at Marvel, the top book of the month will definitely be Wolverine #1, complete with a raft of variant covers. X-Men/Fantastic Four and Giant-Sized X-Men should continue the X-aissance, and characters like Ant-Man, Falcon & Winter Soldier, and Nebula hope to get some of that MCU cash with new minis. The Iron Man 2020 spinoffs start, we learn if Gwen Stacy can carry her own title (Note: spoilers, she can’t), and a little character named Darth Vader returns in a new series.

Over at Image, some smaller titles like The After Realm, On the Stump, and Tartarus try to stand out from the crowd. Jennika gets her own series over at IDW, and the next buzz-worthy Boom title launches in the sci-fi teen angst thriller Alienated.

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

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Liked What You Read? Have any questions, comments or concerns? Let us know here or on Twitter @glenn_matchett and @raygoldfield!

By the Numbers: December 2019

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 many years but grew up reading comics. He’s had work published with various small press publishers and has is own comic now available on Comixology in Sparks: The Way I Was from Yellow Bear Comics! He didn’t nearly cry at the first episode of Picard, you did!

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 watching Picard, Ray wants to know why baby Yoda can’t be on this show too. Why can’t he be on all the shows?!

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 new decade of comic sales madness as we look to the year and the decade that was. In the era of replicants and so on, sales in comics are just as wacky as ever with DC books still being split in most cases so some books appear to sell a lot lower than they actually did but DC still killing it in the top ten at the end of the year. That’s the first impression we get at the top of the chart but let us dive deeper and see how various books fared as we closed out the year that was 2019.

Ray: This was a packed month with a lot of debuts and special issues, but it seems like the sales to end the year overall were pretty weak. Lots of unanswered questions as the companies ramp up their 2020 slates.
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Glenn: Finishing out the year with the top spot was the final issue of Doomsday Clock which despite its delays sold remarkably consistently throughout and exceptionally well. The final issue sells over 117.9k and now will go off to collection heaven. Opinions may very but I thought of this as a worthy sequel to Watchmen that deserves its predecessors acclaim and accomplishments. Its safe to say that Johns next prestige project, Three Jokers will be a big hit when it finally hits sometime this year (maybe).
Ray: It just got in under the wire! Doomsday Clock has been amazingly rock-solid since the start, and as one of only two comics to top the 100K mark this month, it’s another big win. Off it goes to evergreen collections-land, and I seriously doubt DC will be able to resist doing more stories in this verse if a top creative team wants to. Paging King and Gerads or Snyder and Jock
Glenn: Taking second place this month is Marvel’s new top book, X-Men which sells over 105.7k for its third issue. This is an unbelievable success and Marvel will be hoping to keep Hickman chained to this franchise as long as they can. Naturally, not to let a good thing just be that, Marvel has announced tons of new X books to come, we’ll see how the first wave did on their second month in short order but the main book seems to be bulletproof.
Ray: It’s been a while since we had a megahit regular title like this, but the other books are dropping out of the top quickly. Let’s hope they keep letting Hickman do what he wants to with little interruption, but given that he’s already doing an Empyre tie-in in April – outlook not great. 
Glenn: The final part of the Black Label three part post apocolyptic epic, Batman: Last Knight On Earth which sees the last solo Batman work by modern Bat legends, Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo is at third with sales over 90k. This is a sharp increase over the previous two issues and likely due to the fact that this does seem to be the end of the road for the legendary Batman team. So far, Black Label has been doing wonders for DC and this title much like Doomsday Clock, heads off to collection heaven where it could become as successful as legendary tales like Year One or Dark Knight Returns.
Ray: Retailers really missed the boat on the first issue here, but they’re course-correcting now. This was a fitting finale to the Snyder era, but it’s far from done selling as it’s going to make a perfect collection.
Glenn: Keeping with a Batman theme is the newest installment of the aforementioned Dark Knight saga with Dark Knight: The Golden Child selling over 88.7k at 4 this month. That’s about 20k lower from where Dark Knight III generally sold which I was surprised about but perhaps it is because in the mainstream market,Rafeal Granpa is an unknown quantity and retailers are wary of solo proects from Miller without anyone to reign in the crazy? Its hard to tell but even though its low compared to DK III its an excellent number for an out of continuity throwaway Batman one shot but the Dark Knight brand is as strong as it was in the mid 80’s in some ways.
Ray: Rafael Grampa is a legendary indie artist, but him doing a licensed work is near-unheard of. The brand has a lot of power, as we saw with DKIII, but this installment also focused on some of the lesser-known characters in the franchise. Overall, it’s definitely a hit, but the brand isn’t quite what it used to be.
Glenn: Another top book from Marvel at 5 with Venom selling over 74k meaning this is one of the lowest selling top ten comics in a while not counting some of the combined numbers we’ll get to later. This book has obviously benefited from Absolute Carnage and is likely to be Marvel’s second highest ongoing without counting Amazing which has has sales like a schizophrenic. What Donny Cates has done with this book is nothing short of astonishing.
Ray: This was the debut of Mark Bagley’s guest arc, Venom Island. I wouldn’t be surprised if that goosed sales a bit.
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Glenn: In a bit of a surprise, the interactive comedy title Harley Quinn: Villain Of The year charts at 6 selling over 73.1k. This is a massive hit for a comedy one shot that likely benefited from Harley’s popularity and the unique interactive aspect more than being associated with Villain Of The Year. This bodes well for the Black Label Harley/Birds mini coming a little later this year.
Ray: Harley is a DC superstar, but this is big even for her recent sales levels. I wonder if part of the appeal was the likely appearance of the Batman Who Laughs? That guy sells like Watchmen.
Glenn: Batman Who Laughs vs Comedian confirmed!
At 7 is the Symbiote Spider-Man sequel mini series, Alien Reality that rather than being treated like a continuation seems to have gotten some interest as it sells over 71.3k. Symbiotes are hot at the moment and this title proves that but there might also be a hunger for a Spider-Man title from a writer who you know…knows what he’s doing.
Ray: It’s a perfect storm of factors to make this title sell right now, between Venom being a megahit and ASM being…rough. But it’s also a testament to Peter David’s ongoing sales power. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him get a secondary Spider-man ongoing soon.
Glenn: One that isn’t cancelled before its time or he isn’t fired from? Yes please.
At 8 is the much hyped Incoming, priced at 9.99 and features a bunch of teasers for the year to come. Selling 69k there’s two ways to look at it. As a prelude to the next big event, Empyre its underwhelming and further indication that retailers either have no faith in Marvel events, are sick of them or both. Looking at it as a series of teases Marvel made you pay $10 for, its an incredible success. Imagine going to the cinema, paying normal price and buying your popcorn and seeing 5 trailers and then going home. You’d feel shortchanged but the cinema would be rubbing its hands together. Marvel is rubbing its hands together but I bet they expected more rubbing than what they got *coughs*
Ray: If you’re going to do a 9.99 comic, you have to do something special. This didn’t feel like that. Sure, a lot of the stories were great, but it felt like thirty trailers, like you said. The controversy over the ending reveal and the muted response makes me think Empyre might underperform War of the Realms.
Glenn: Amazing Spider-Man is back to its base level at 9 selling over 67.1 and the next issue at 11 selling over 63.7k. This is bare minimum for the book I’d say when it doesn’t have Donny Cates or Marvel book cooking to prop it up. We’re getting a lot of Marvel Handbook inspired stories as we drag our ways towards issue 50, the conclusion of the very tired Kindred story and hopefully the book getting back to its rightful place in the charts and in readability.
Ray: The weird thing where one issue gets a huge bump over the second seems to have faded away, and I don’t think there’s anything to boost the sales coming, at least until April when he homages Sins Past. So this should keep declining.
Glenn: I’m thinking more Death Of Jean DeWolff with the name taken from the Sin Eater as opposed to the JMS story of yester year. Doing a pseudo follow on to one of the most critically acclaimed stories in Spider-Man history got the title some buzz for Hunted, even though it was terrible. We’ll see if that’s the case here.
Final spot in the top ten this month is Superman for the big identity reveal issue which sells over 66.6k. If DC hadn’t done this exact story only a few years ago, it likely would have sold much happier but right now people are just staring at the clock in the wall waiting for us to go back to status quo. Still, always good to get a bump but sales will likely be back to normal next month.

Ray: Despite the story being told in another way less than five years ago, this take by Bendis on Superman’s identity reveal has been received very well. I wouldn’t be surprised if some of the sales bump is permanent, because the title seems to be getting some real buzz for the first time. 

At #12 is the finale of Tom King’s run, selling 60K. The preceding issue sells 58K three spots below. But that’s deceptive because of the split DC covers, and when you add about 20K more sales for the variant covers, that puts both of them in the top six for the month and gives DC five of the top six books – all of which starred Batman besides Doomsday Clock.
Glenn: Which just very heavily featured Batman. I thought this would boost up to 100k for the finale but the way the end of this run was done was…odd. I think retailers were confused due to the unceremonious end and yet the run not being really over cause Batman/Catwoman is still to come. We’ll see how the run fares up under the watch of long time DC workhorse James Tynion IV the next month.
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Ray: After some more Batman in side books like Harleen and Curse of the White Knight, we get the return of Spider-Man by Abrams and Abrams at #16. It sells 54K, which is a huge drop from the first issue but pretty level with the second. Star power and the title character are powering this, but I don’t think it’s going to be remembered for long after it wraps.
Glenn: Given the names attached, I have to think Marvel was expecting more. I think the mystery kept over the direction of the title might have hurt it. I don’t think the delays are going to help too much either, Watchman sequel this ain’t.
Ray: At #17 is 53K in sales for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #100, the much-hyped anniversary issue that had been building sales for the book for a year. It didn’t quite reach the top ten ranking I was hoping for – the $7.99 price tag couldn’t have helped – but it’s a world apart from where it was last year. It’ll be interesting to see how the title holds when it gets a new creative team in January.
Glenn: Brilliant steady climb and a big win for the title, IDW should treat themselves to a coke. The price obviously gave this thing a ceiling but its still a remarkable improvement as you say. These sales won’t stick but if they can hang on to being better off than where they were, it’ll be a big win.
Ray: At #18 we have the relaunch of Dr. Strange, by Mark Waid and Kev Walker. This directly continues Waid’s run from only two months earlier, so it’s not going to get a huge debut. But 53K in sales indicates that it probably got a decent boost from variant covers and the buzz from the previous run.
Glenn: This is pretty standard fare now when Marvel pulls this trick. It’ll be back to normal next month or month after.
Ray: #19 has the 50K in sales for Revenge of the Cosmic Ghost Rider, which has Dennis Hallum continuing the adventures of crazy space Punisher. But the sales on this first issue are likely skewed because it had a backup by Cates and Shaw, picking up on the events of their miniseries. We’ll see next month if that was the source of the top twenty debut or if the character is really that hot.
Glenn: Hard to judge because of the backup but the character is the biggest debut Marvel has had for years. The market loves it when heroes go super loony and jolly it seems.
Ray: This is where the regular top books are lurking, with New Mutants, Marauders, Immortal Hulk, Excalibur, Justice League, all selling between 50K and 45K. But a surprise in this range is the launch of Conan: Serpent War at #23, selling 47K. A Conan/Moon Knight team-up introducing Howard creations Solomon Kane and Dark Agnes to the Marvel Universe, it seems like a niche product but debuted strong. Looks like the Conan franchise still has some heat even once Aaron peaces out.
Glenn: The novelty will have attracted interest I think. Marvel was also marketing it as a Conan event and retailers acted accordingly. They seem to be firing it out quickly too so there won’t be much chance for it to fall before its all said and done.
Ray: More good news for Boom to end their spectacular 2019, as their crossover event with IDW, Power Rangers/TMNT, debuts at #29 with 46K sales. Both these properties have been part of hit crossovers with DC properties recently, which raised their profile, and the Power Rangers are getting the turtles at their hottest point in years. Batman and the Justice League? Who needs them?
Glenn: Can’t wait for 30 Days Of Night/Power Rangers.
Ray: At #31 we have the launch of Tom Taylor’s Suicide Squad, selling 46K. The creative team and characters involved seem like they should have done more, but it’s been close to a decade since we had a good Suicide Squad comic and the movie didn’t help. Taylor is a fast-rising writer, so look for some reorders here. 
Glenn: Probably DC’s most abused property outside of Teen Titans so considering it got some interest is testament to Taylor who has been hyping the book hard. I’d wager this will settle quick and pick up steam once Taylor has had time to settle in and build up a little steam.
Ray: Also a surprisingly low debut at #33 is Year of the Villain: Hell Arisen, selling 45K. A comic book where Luthor fights the Batman who Laughs should be a guaranteed megahit, but DC didn’t really promote this Tynion/Epting mini like an event. It falls into the same pattern of how the spinoffs from Year of the Villain don’t seem to get treated like essential parts of the story. Everyone’s holding their powder a bit for whatever Metal 2/Crisis event we’re getting this summer.
Glenn: That is a big surprise for Hell Arisen, I didn’t expect it to explode like Batman Who Laughs did last year but considering it features that character and the next part of the Apex Lex story, I would have expected a lot more. There was a lot of noise in Year Of The Villain and most of the one shots sold around and about the same so retailers seem to have treated it as an extension of that event rather than the next chapter in the story. Could be failure on DC’s part to market it property. If it had been called Batman Who Laughs Vs. Apex Lex then things may have been very different indeed. I think this will be another one that stabilizes fast and picks up some reorder hype.
Ray: The first of the 2099 books this month land in the low 30s, with Venom 2099 being the highest at 36 and Spider-Man 2099 being a bit lower at 39, selling 41K and 39K respectively. Not much retailer interest in this mini-event, but the titles sell by which character is the hottest at the moment.
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Glenn: Yeah, no one’s really bothered about this are they? Venom wins cause he’s having his little renascence but otherwise its general apathy towards it. The 2099 universe will likely go back in the drawer for a few years again once more. Chalk another property up for the kill count of the orchestrator of this.
Ray: #37 brings us the debut of Spider-Ham by Zeb Wells, selling 41K. That’s REALLY good for a Spider-Ham book, but I think like Dr. Strange and Venom, the sales were inflated by these being among the only four Marvel books released the day after Christmas. Limited supply means more demand.
Glenn: Being such a prominent character in Spider-Verse and several other comics the last few years likely helped. It’ll probably fall a good bit but its got the room to do so, if there was any time for the character to bring home the bacon, it’s now (sorrynotsorry)
Ray: #38 has the end of King Thor, the final Jason Aaron Thor title before he hands the baton over to Donny Cates. 39K is a little low for what I would expect, but then it’s not exactly a jumping on point. Like Snyder on Batman, this run heads into immortality now.
Glenn: Usually ends of big runs get a bump but not here which is odd. I thought people would have tuned in to see how this very long saga ended. Its sold around the level that the majority of the run has sold, nothing wrong there. It’ll be something that is read for generations to come in collected format. I think Cates new take on the book could have it pick up a lot of momentum sales wise, we’ll see next month.
Ray: Weird and wacky sales games continue, as Amazing Mary Jane #3 jumps 15K in sales for its third issue to sell 38K after being down to 23K last month.That’s good enough for #41, but color me skeptical that this isn’t games.
Glenn: Methinks some extra copies may have been included. It could be possible the title is seeing some genuine interest but with Marvel its always a guessing game since they love to cook the books.
Ray: Top creator-owned book of the month once again goes to Spawn, as the #303 issue sells just under 37K at #45, but only seven spots lower we have the second issue of Undiscovered Country, selling 32K. That’s far ahead of any other Image book and probably means the new Snyder/Soule joint should lap Spawn shortly.
Glenn: It could be as soon as next month. It’ll be very interesting to see what Spawn’s new level is though, maybe it picked up a bit of steam off 300. Undiscovered Country is selling lower than I might have thought but is selling over double what most of Image’s line does which is absolutely nothing to sneeze at. It’ll be a solid hit for as long as the creators want to tell what is turning out to be an excellent story.
Ray: At #50 we have the latest Black Label title, Wonder Woman: Dead Earth from Daniel Warren Johnson. It sells 35K, which is well below the level of the Batman-related titles. But given that Wonder Woman titles sell well below Batman titles and Johnson is an acclaimed indie creator but not a big name yet, this feels like a strong debut. It’s great to see DC taking chances on indie creators in this line.
Glenn: I think that’s an excellent number all things considered. Its clear that while there’s only a few megawatt hits like this months Last Knight, the majority of Black Label are delivering in the numbers. If this had been presented simply as an out of continuity tale by an indie creator I doubt it would have done this well. The Black Label line is one of DC’s biggest successes of the last few years.
Ray: The Tales from the Dark Multiverse line comes to a close with The Judas Contract, which sells 31K at #55. Not bad for what’s essentially a line of oversized What Ifs, but they could have doubled sales with The Batman Who Laughs as the Cryptkeeper!
Glenn: This is also one of the most iconic DC stories ever and arguably the definitive Teen Titans story so it’s no surprise it sold well. Perhaps there could have been more room if certain choices were made with the narrative like you indicated but given that these (so far) seem pretty throwaway apart from their ‘cool’ factor, I am sure DC is very pleased. I wouldn’t be surprised to see some more of these later in the year.
Ray: A new Star Wars minseries, The Rise of Kylo Ren, lands at #56 with sales of 31K. This feels really low for a direct prelude to The Rise of Skywalker, but then that movie didn’t get the numbers people were expecting either. The response to the conclusion of the franchise for now seems muted.
Glenn: Apart from the main books, this is where Star Wars books seem to live around this level. You could argue that given the movie it should have done better but its not done worse than any other Star Wars related miniseries. The line’s dominance is not as strong as it once was but its still a consistently solid performer no matter what character or era they choose.
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Ray: Two spots below we have Star Wars: Empire Ascendant, the anthology wrapping up the previous wave of Star Wars titles. It sells 31K, not bad for a $5.99 epilogue.
Glenn: This is another one where we could get a big bump for a new creative direction on both Star Wars and Vader. I feel that Aphra will always be a step behind since she’s exclusive to the comics…for now.
Ray: One of the most surprising recent success stories has been the Priest run on Vampirella, which sells 30K this month at #61. That puts it above some Marvel mainstays like Captain America and Miles Morales, and gives Dynamite its first top 100 regular in a long time.
Glenn:It’s astonishing how much of a revitalization that Priest has had and how it’s benefited this property of all things. Dynamite will be thrilled obviously.
Ray: At #65 we have Thor: Worthy, which does better than the average Marvel nostalgia anthology with sales of 28K. It had stories from Tom DeFalco and Kathryn Immonen, but the headliner was definitely the return of Walt Simonson to the character he defined.
More Marvel 2099 one-shots down here, with the Ghost Rider and Doom issues selling about 28K, followed by the Omega issue selling 26K between #66 and #72.

Glenn: I’m surprised Doom didn’t do a bit better since it was one of the original 2099 mainstays, not surprised that Omega did this low.

Ray: This is also where we see the Annihilation Scourge one-shots, with Silver Surfer being the highest-selling one at #70, selling 26K. Maybe due to the lingering success of Silver Surfer: Black? The Omega issue, Beta Ray Bill, Fantastic Four, and Nova issues sell between 25 and 23K.
Glenn: Pretty acceptable stuff for Annihilation, this was never going to set the charts on fire. I think the original story sold about the same back in the day.
Ray: Absolutely, its still a better debut than they normally manage though. I doubt this will have the sticking power of Vampirella (insert own pun here) and will likely fall to whatever the standard is next month.
At #71 we have the debut of Dan Abnett’s Dejah Thoris from Dynamite, selling 26K. The character’s been around at the company for a while and recently appeared in Warlords of Mars Attacks, but these sales – as always – are heavily due to Dynamite’s aggressive variant cover program.
An odd entry at #73, with the debut of American Jesus: The New Messiah with 26K in sales. This is one of the earliest Millarworld books, coming from the Dark Horse days. But the most notable thing about the sales is that this book was ordered blind. It was part of “Project X-Mas”, a secret rollout where this was released as a Christmas present that was solicited without a title. Clever gimmick, but I think retailers probably expected a bigger-name sequel. It’s only a three-issue miniseries, so there will be no time for retailers to adjust.
Glenn: In a way, this was quite a clever tactic by Millar. Had this been a sequel to one of the Juniper titles or Kick-Ass, this would be quite low but this is one of his more obscure properties from many moons ago. By not telling what this really was, he probably made sure the sales were better than they would have been as retailers literally gambled on whatever this would be.
Ray: At #84 we have the third issue of Basketful of Heads, which sells 23K. That once again makes it one of the top-selling creator-owned books of the month, and is worlds above where it would have been at Vertigo.
Glenn: Fantastic success for Heads but I somehow thing the other Hill House book Hill himself is writing might do a little better because of the involvement of the previously retired superstar artist, Stuart Immonen.
Ray: The last two Infected miniseries, featuring characters who never carried their own titles, are down here at #90 and #94. Deathbringer, featuring Donna Troy, sells 22K, with The Commissioner starring Jim Gordon selling only 900 copies less. I thought the latter might do a bit more due to its ties to The Batman Who Laughs, one of DC’s top recent books.
Glenn: I would have thought that too but maybe retailers assumed it would be throwaway since it wasn’t Snyder writing. It seems like the Batman Who Laughs popularity doesn’t necessarily extend to characters stealing/being leant his bit. Still you have to wonder that without the extra level there that one shots starring these characters wouldn’t have done nearly as well.
Ray: #106 brings us the cardstock variant cover of Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy, but that’s just over half the sales as another cover charts at #129. Together they sell above 33K, which puts the book just around the top 50 for the month.
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Glenn: This mini has been a solid performer for DC, Harley continues to bring in the money as DC preps the shelves for the movie starring her and some other female characters I don’t recognize.
Ray: Another strong issue for The Dollhouse Family, which sells 17K for its second issue at #111. This again puts it above all but three Image titles and not far below the Joe Hill-penned flagship title.
#116 has the Ocean Master: Year of the Villain one-shot, selling 17K. None of these one-shots sold well besides the Harley and Joker ones, but this one-shot by Dan Watters (heh) seemed like it was setting up future stories.

Glenn: At 118 is the final issue of Deathstroke from Christopher Priest who made this book one of DC’s most critically acclaimed and solid performing mid tier performers. It never set the sales chart on fire but it may be the best the characters ever been written since the Wolvman/Perez days. The finale saw sales over 16.6k which is around where it sold pretty consistently for years. Off it goes to collection heaven while Priest makes Dynamite money on Vampirella.

Ray: 50 issues of Deathstroke by the same creative team and it finishes just outside the top 100. That’s pretty amazing. Worth noting that Priest’s book is one of only four DC Rebirth titles to get this far with a single writer, along with Batman, Batman Beyond, and Flash.
#120 brings us one last DC anthology to wrap the year, as the villain-focused New Year’s Evil selling 16K. This is roughly the area these 9.99 anthologies sell, but this one had some a-list creators including the return of Kurt Busiek to DC that may have driven sales up a little.
Glenn: Plus villains have been hot this year, we can’t forget that. I never would expected Busiek returning to DC so yeah, that likely got some attention. Once again as we say when one of these comes out, given how they’re priced and how good they are, there’s no reason for DC to stop them.
The newest launch from BOOM in Red Mother hits the charts at 123 selling over 16k. While its not the runaway hit of recent offerings from Tynion IV and Gillan that’s still a great debut as it outsells every Image title not Spawn or Undiscovered Country. Last year was a very big game changer for BOOM and this year they could very well make even more growth if they play their cards right.
Ray: This title didn’t have a superstar creative team, and the writer Jeremy Haun is currently dealing with some controversy over the abrupt cancellation of The Beauty. Given that, this performed not just well it probably performed above what it would have done as an Image book. That’s another win for Boom.
Glenn: A facsimile edition of Star Wars 1 is at 124 selling over 15.8k which is very good for old material. I’m not sure if this is the newer run or the classic run but either way, its free money for Marvel on older material.
At 125 is the next Hill House comic, The Low, Low Woods which sells over 15.8k here but also another 6.6kish at 263 for a card stock variant meaning it actually sold over 22.4ish which is a brilliant number for a brand new horror property. This would not have done nearly well as a Vertigo mini which it most likely was repurposed from. This line has been a big hit under the Black Label umbrella.
Ray: This didn’t have an A-list talent like Joe Hill or a superstar comic team like Carey/Gross, but writer Carmen Maria Machado has a pretty big following herself. The line as a whole seems to be solid gold sales-wise, and next month brings a fourth title with art by horror maestro Kelley Jones.
Glenn: Star Wars Saga is a retelling of the story that has been told in the main title since it relaunched a few years back. This isn’t even old material, its telling what it is in old material so sales of over 15.3k at 127 is pretty damn good considering that.
Dying Is Easy, a new creator owned comic by Joe Hill not from DC but IDW sells over 14.7k at 131. IDW has less of a reach obviously than DC so its no surprise it sells lower than the Hill House stuff but this is a very good number from IDW who have likely benefited by Joe Hill’s increased presence in comics at DC and some of his work getting adapted. They’re obviously waiting for the Locke and Key money to come pouring in early February.
Ray: That’s one of the best creator-owned IDW debuts in a while. Power of Hill!
Glenn: At 132 is a video game tie in with Marvels Avengers Iron Man which sells over 14.3 which is pretty good for a throwaway other media tie in. The game itself seems to have some genuine hype behind it given how hot the Avenger’s property is in larger media so anything like this will get a small piece of that.
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Ray: The game got delayed and doesn’t have a built-in fanbase yet, so that probably blunted sales a bit. Spider-Man gameverse this is not.
Glenn: A new Black Hammer universe comic launches in the form of Skulldigger and Skeleton Boy which sells over 13.7k at 137 which makes me giggle slightly. This is slightly higher than the last few Black Hammer spin offs have done so there might be some float over from the Justice League crossover but nothing unusually out there. The entire universe of comics is remarkably solid and Dark Horse’s crown jewel at the moment.
Ray: Like Doctor Star, this is one of those that takes place outside the main Black Hammer narrative. It’s a gritty non-powered vigilante story, essentially “Punisher and Robin“. It’s the least marketable concept from the franchise yet on the face, so that it did so well is a testament to how strong the franchise has become.
Glenn: Right below it at 138 is another Lemire property in Family Tree which sells over 13.5k on its second issue losing roughtly about 8k in sales. That’s not too bad I don’t think and it isn’t that far away from Image hits like Oblivion Song and Die so another win from the Rabbitt Stew 2019 creator of the year.
Ray: This one sort of seems to have slipped under the radar compared to Lemire’s normal hype, but this is still a strong number.
Glenn: New Image launch at 146 in 20xx, the new Luna property which sells over 12.7k. The Luna’s have their own set loyal fanbase, its clear that Image must be happy with how their books perform because they keep green lighting them. It’ll probably settle around 8-9k which is where their books usually land but they usually do very well in collections thereafter.
Ray: This is a black-and-white mature readers thriller from a writer making her comic book debut, so I’d say everyone involved is very happy with this number.
Glenn: Around 15-20 years ago Annihilation the first hit and it got a lot of cult love, now Marvel is revisiting the event but also doing some True Believers starting with Nova at 147 selling over 12.6k which again is just more free money. This is especially impressive considering this material has got a lot of reprinting love over the last decade or so.
A return of one of Greg Rucka’s rotating cast of properties at 156 in the form of Old Guard Force Multiplied with sales over 11.8k. It seems retailers will know who will be coming in to buy this so that’s why its not higher given it’ll have a set fanbase.
Ray: This is one of Rucka’s least-known properties and it’s been years since the first volume, but a Netflix adaptation is coming. I think all of Rucka’s series do better in collections. 
Glenn: Some more reorders for Hickman’s 1st X-Men issue at 157 selling over 11.8k in additional copies. Insane stuff.
Superman Smashes The Klan sells over 11.4k at 161 for its second issue which is pretty good for a Golden Age set Superman story that is a passion project from its writer. This will sell oodles in collections outside the direct market for years to come so its largely moot anyway.
Ray: It was apparently designed as an OGN for the Zoom line originally, but was too big for a single volume. This wasn’t meant for the single issues market in more ways than one.
Glenn: At 162 is a comic that Image should be ashamed to have its logo on. It sells over 11.2k likely cause of the controversy surrounding it and morbid curiosity. If I was a retailer who had ordered this I would have returned it with specific instructions on what Image can do with it.
Ray: The less said about this, the better, but these are pretty mediocre sales. Even for those who don’t know it’s a self-justifying treatise from a domestic abuser, it looks like a thoroughly generic werewolf comic.
Glenn: Cheap reprints of old comics from DC this time in Birds Of Prey selling over 10.8k cause there’s a movie coming out. Its old material so its no big deal how it sells but it likely didn’t do better cause it has no Harley Quinn and features characters I know are named in the trailers but I have to see any true sign of yet in the footage or posters.
More True Believers Annihilation stuff at 166 for Super Skrull which sells over 10.7k, Annihilius at 172 which sells over 10.4k, Super Adaptoid (seriously?) at 176 selling over 10.3k and Moondragon (seriously?!?) at 178 selling over 10.2k . Shelf space takers which make money for very little production cost. There are more of them this month, I just feel lazy.
A facsimile edition of Jack Kirby’s original Eternals 1 at 168 selling over 10.6k I thought might have caught a bit more interest from people who you know have no clue who these characters are and wanted to prep prior to the upcoming films.
Ray: Almost as if there’s a movie coming or something!
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Glenn: The second issue of Mirka Andolfo’s horny devil comic, Unsacred sells over 10.2k at 177 which is remarkably good considering the content, the size of the publisher and that its just a translation off existing material. The upcoming Mercy which has much more of a general material could be a big hit for Image in the new year.
Ray: Yeah, Andolfo’s star is rising like a shooting star based on these numbers. Image has got to be really glad they have a working relationship with her.
Glenn: A DC giant focusing on the duo of Batwoman and Supergirl with the title ‘world’s finest’ sells over 9.8k at 185. Might have expected a shade more but this isn’t for the direct market so it doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things.
Ray: This is a one-shot, which means DC is mostly trying to raise awareness of the two ladies’ comics for fans of the shows, I think.
Glenn: Publisher Ablaze reprints European comic, Gung Ho which charts at 200 with sales over 9k which is remarkably good from a company I’ve never heard of. The marketing really pushes similarities to Walking Dead which people seem to have bought into so good for them.
Ray: I didn’t know this was a European comic, but it’s been a lot of fun so far – essentially a radical teen rebel version of The Walking Dead. Between this, Unsacred, and Vampire State Building, Ablaze is having a really good time right out of the gate.
Glenn: I forgot about Ablaze doing Vampire State building, they are out of the gate pretty solidly then. To have a new company show up on the top 200 or so this early is a very impressive achievement.
Vampironica returns in a new series at 204 which sells over 8.9k which is pretty standard for Archie stuff now, especially the more weird and wacky takes on the property.
Ray: As much as they’ve watered down the horror line with spinoffs, it’s still their most consistent seller.
Glenn: One of Dark Horse’s bread and butter properties, Alien Vs Predator returns at 211 with Thicker Than Blood, a new mini pairing off the iconic space horrors. The concept is long past its glory days, selling over 8.7k but its likely to have a continued cult fanbase that Dark Horse can rely on to make it worth their while carrying it on for the time being.
Ray: Dark Horse and Disney still have good working relations, so I imagine the license for these two will stay with them for now.
Glenn: Absolutely, this isn’t Star Wars, Predator hasn’t had a peak since the 80’s and has been coasting ever since. If they wanted to do Guardians vs Predator though…
Some reorders for the new X-Men line books in New Mutants at 223 selling over 8.1k additional, X-Force selling over 8k additional at 224 and Excalibur at 227 selling over 7.9k. This is one that’ll be fine for a while to say the least.
Eternals: Secrets From Marvel Universe seems to be more material going into background on the obscure Marvel property in prep for the movie. It sells over 8k at 226. This is essentially a handbook so sales this low, especially on a more obscure property (movie or no movie) are to be expected.

Ray: Almost as if there’s a movie coming, etc etc. 

At #228 is Boom’s annual event from Grant Morrison and Dan Mora, Klaus: The Life and Times of Joe Christmas. It sells 7.9K, very low for a Morrison book, but given that this is a 7.99 silent Christmas book based on a series that ended its regular run five years ago, it’s a good number. It seems like this is going to be a yearly tradition as long as they want to do it.

Glenn: Since it has become an annual thing and presumingly the main narrative is over, this is probably just the diehard fanbase for the property. I also like to think Morrison keeps doing these just to deprive our Rabbitt Stew friend Brandon James of the complete collection he so covets.

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Ray: Almost 8K in reorders for the second issue of Scream: Curse of Carnage at #231. Seems this odd franchise fusing two B-list Venom characters does have some real heat behind it.
Glenn: I would say B list is generous which makes it even more impressive.
Ray: At #236 is a new Valiant launch, The Visitor. This sells 7.5K, but it’s an odd one. It’s the debut of DC legend Paul Levitz at the company, but doesn’t feature any existing Valiant characters. The main character is a masked antihero whose identity will be revealed later. That sort of makes this series a guessing game for retailers.
Glenn: What an odd one. Levitz hasn’t contributed to a comic in quite some time so his name won’t be pulling in many new fans to this universe I’d say. This seems like pretty set level Valient which is fine in itself. No nasty surprises.
Ray: Proving you never know when a reprint will crop up again, at #243 we find 7,3K in reorders for Secret Wars #1. Yes, the Hickman event from over five years ago. Is this just due to interest in anything Hickman right now? Or are we in for a mass of stock dumping below? Stay strong, true believers…
Glenn: It might be because of X-Men? Its hard to tell with Marvel what’s genuine and what isn’t sadly.
Ray: At #246 we have 7.2K in sales for a facsimile edition of Giant Size Defenders #3, which as I can tell is the first appearance of Korvac. What won’t Marvel do a facsimile of?
Glenn: The Sins Remembered story.
Ray: Dynamite reboots James Bond again, this time by Vita Ayala and Danny Lore, and it debuts at #247 with sales of 7.1K. This run didn’t seem to get the hype of the just-concluded Greg Pak one that rebooted Oddjob, and the lack of time between them probably didn’t help.
Glenn: Retailers likely just ordered it as a continuation, diminishing returns and all that. You would have thought they would have waited until the new film is out because we’re bound to get yet another number 1 then to try and get some heat off that.
Ray: At #249 we have the return of one of the best creator-owned books in recent years, Harrow County. Cullen Bunn’s rural horror masterpiece is back for a new miniseries, Tales from Harrow County: Death’s Choir, set a decade after the original series. It sells 7.1K, well above where the series concluded and proving there’s some interest in a revival.
Glenn: Harrow County was a solidly performing series and this spin off/sequel is the same. The books seems to do well in collections with Dark Horse. We often mention that Lemire and Magnola are keeping the lights on at Dark Horse but Bunn isn’t far behind.
Ray: One of Image’s longest-running series, Hack/Slash, has a 15th-anniversary celebration one-shot that sells 7.1K at #250. Tim Seeley came back to his original creation, which probably helped boost the sales here.
#257 has one of the lowest-selling DC books in recent memory, Inferior Five by Jeff Lemire and Keith Giffen. It sells 6.8K with the bump from the launch worn off, which led DC to end the series after six. Disappointing. Lemire will probably stick to Black Label for his offbeat DC books from now on.
Glenn: Even with a creator like Lemire, a book like this can only go so far under the main line. Like you said, Lemire’s future at DC is likely bound for the different lines like Black Label or maybe even Zoom or something like that.
Ray: Another IDW creator-owned book at #261, as the period piece horror series Wellington launches with sales of 6.6K. This one is co-written by the creator of the hit podcast Lore, but IDW still has trouble with creator-owned launches (more on that…lay-tor)
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Glenn: Unless your Joe Hill that seems to be the case. IDW has become known largely as a property farm rather than a creator owned haven like Image or what BOOM is becoming.
Ray: A new Dungeons and Dragons miniseries, Infernal Tides, launches from IDW with sales of 6.5K. Standard sales from a cult property.
Dark Horse launches a new WW2-set horror series, The Butcher of Paris, at #269. This was loosely based on real events and has gotten strong reviews, but the 6.2K sales show Dark Horse still has trouble launching new series unless they’re by Lemire.
More Annihilation at #272, as the oversized Marvel Tales collection sells 6.1K. More essentially free sales for Marvel.
The prequel issue to the mostly reviled Civil War II charts again at #275, selling 5.9K, It’s beginning to smell a lot like stock-dumping…

Glenn: Its the end of the fourth quarter, got to get those dust gatherers out the door to make your market share larger than it is!

Ray: Another new IDW creator-owned book, The Kill Lock, launches at #276 with sales of 5.8K. This is essentially The Dirty Dozen with droids, about a dangerous escape from a robot penal colony, but it slipped under the radar despite being released on the last week of the month when only a selection of books were dropped.

Glenn: This sounds like a great concept and may have done better elsewhere bit it’s hard to tell. By the end of 2020 I would wager we’ll see less creator owned from IDW but more licensed stuff from big daddy Marvel.
Ray: IDW has been doing comics from all areas of Star Trek, but the middle series are the ones that definitely get less attention. At #282 we have a Voyager one-shot, selling Mirrors and Smoke, selling 5.6K. I don’t know the last time I heard someone talk about Voyager.
Glenn: I’m assuming this a mirror universe version of the crew, they did one of Next Gen so decided to do this property too. Apart from the upcoming return of Seven Of Nine on Picard, Voyager is not really at the forefront of the Trek fandom. It doesn’t get the deep love that Next Gen does or the outright hatred that Enterprise did. It was very good, even excellent at times but mostly its treated as…kind of there.
Ray: 5.5K in reorders for Undiscovered Country #1 at #285, as this monster hit of a comic keeps on chugging.
Just before we exit the top 300, we have the debut of Kill Whitey Donovan from Dark Horse, selling 4.6K. Essentially a feminist hybrid of Kill Bill and Django Unchained, this comic had a promising concept but no name creators and got lost in the shuffle.
An incredibly low debut for Hardcore: Reloaded from Image, selling just under 4.5K at #301. This book got a new writer in Brandon Thomas, but the body-swapping thriller didn’t get too much buzz in the first volume and it seems to have shed most of it when it switched talent.
At #304 we have a comic adaptation of the hit Netflix series Narcos, selling 4.3K. I’m not sure a fact-based drug war drama is the best fit for translating to comics.
Glenn:  What an odd show to do a comic about. Spin off’s of TV shows rarely do well in comic form unless they have a strong built in geek audience that lean that way anyway (Buffy or Stranger Things for example) but I would say most people who would be interest in this will just watch the show. Financially it makes more sense to pay 5.99 for a month or two to binge the whole thing rather than pay 3.99 a month for who knows how long until its all retold.
Ray: Stock dumping continues apace, as books like Iceman #6, Avengers #672, X-Men Gold #13, and random issues of Secret Wars get about 4K in reorders around this point.
Glenn: Why Iceman 6 I wonder. What if someone has been waiting for Iceman 4 and not been able to find it? Are they out of luck? Poor Iceman 4 person, we feel your pain.
Ray: IDW repackages some of their Star Wars Adventures comics in a dollar comic called Greatest Hits, just in time for the last movie. It sells 3.7K at #323 as IDW gets into the Marvel game of selling their comics more than once. I hope none of the kids who picked up this book visited any Star Wars message forums after the movie came out…
Glenn: Or Twitter or Facebook or general street conversation. We won’t get into toxic fandom here, By The Numbers is a place of peace!
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Ray: The cult Dark Horse property Criminal Macabre launches a new series at #326, with sales of 3.6. “The Big Bleed Out” is probably going to stay pretty stable for the series overall, as retailers know who wants it.
#327 has a new installment of AOC and the Freshman Force Squad, selling 3.6K. No word of any copyright infringement lawsuits for this one yet.
Glenn: I was about to say this is at least better than another Trump comic but I think its probably about the same. Can’t wait for the adventures of Captain Brexit.
Ray:  #330 brings us the launch of Sina Grace’s new cyberpunk detective thriller, Read Only Memories, another creator-owned launch from IDW that didn’t click with a bigger audience. Grace is a fast-rising writer with DC and Marvel work and a hit book at Boom, so I’m surprised it didn’t do more than 3.4K.
Glenn: It’s likely just because of where IDW is in the creator owned game. Had this launched elsewhere it likely would have done a lot better.
Ray: #331 has the space horror thriller Angela Della Morte, selling 3.4K from Red 5 Comics. This is a weird book, but I’m pretty sure the startup company is just happy to be here.
Glenn: Ahoy Red 5! Welcome to the north wing of the madhouse section of the top 500. There is cake around the corner and to the left.
Titan continues to put out English translations of the manga adaptions of BBC’s mega popular Sherlock in the first issue of Sherlock In Belgravia which sells over 3.3k at 333. That’s a lot of 3’s! It’ll be die hard Sherlock fans that want this I guess but like most manga, it likely does a lot better in collected formats.
There’s a zero issue for IDW’s version of Marvel Team Up which chose to take the much more convoluted name of Marvel Action Classics Spider-Man Two-In-One. A bit odd since Marvel Two-In-One was the Thing’s team up book but you know, whatever. It sells over 3.2k at 336. As usual these are comics aimed outside the direct market that daddy Disney IDW can reach better than Marvel…which is right of course.
Remember last years Marvel Knights 20th overseen by Donny Cates? Of course you don’t! The one shot that kicked it off shows up randomly at 342 selling over 2.9k. I guess they were gathering up space in a closet at Marvel HQ.
IDW is getting into the facimilie game with Star Trek: The Motion Picture adaption at 345 selling over 2.8k. Since this is one of the weaker films and its a reprint of existing material, its a little less free money than what Marvel or DC enjoys on such things but it is free money none the less.
Spawn 300 is still getting some reorders a few months later 349 selling over 2.7k in additional copies. Image really made this one seemingly near unmissable.
Also selling around 2.7k is Archie’s Christmas spectacular which is our standard point in the charts where this is classic Archie reprinted and the sales here don’t ultimately matter very much. Tune in next month for the same.
Among some stock dumping and low selling small press is Stabbity Ever After at 361 selling over 2.2k. This is the follow up to Stabbity Bunny which didn’t do too badly too long ago. I guess the joke wore thin.
Speaking of stock dumping, I forgot that Marvel tried to make the comic Mosaic a thing. They brushed that under the rug faster than whatshisface from Civil War II. The excess stock was over 2.1k that Marvel enforced upon retailers who likely wondered what the hell it was.
Now I’m confused, there’s another Stabbity Bunny comic? Stabbity Bunny: Emmets story sells over 2k at 372. Ray! Explain! I shouldn’t have this much of a headache over a bunny which stabs people!
Ray: There is never enough Stabbity Bunny, Glenn! But yes, these are two separate one-shots expanding the universe before the main series returns. The bunny murder universe.
Glenn: Mickey and Donald Christmas Parade is more young reader stuff from IDW that will sell elsewhere. Here it does over 2k at 373.
Steve Niles delivers a new horror comic that has an association from John Carpenter in the form of Storm Kids Monica Belue Welwolf Story at 1.7k at 392 from Storm King press. I would have thought Niles name would have been good for a few more sales but this seems like a brand new company so again, they’re probably thrilled to be here.
Ray: That name is certainly a mouthful. The publisher is so small even two huge names couldn’t really help.
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Glenn: Source Point comic homages Eerie Comics in the form of Classic Pulp Horror at 393. Given how horror is likely the number 2 genre in comics right now I would have thought this might have done a little better than 393 but Source Point only has so much reach at the moment.
Ray: I’m sure the outdated name really didn’t help when making retailers want to order this.
Glenn: Christopher Sabela delivers a one shot from Scout Comics in the form of Eskimo Kisses which is another horror book, this time from Scout which sells over 1.6k at 395. Again I might have expected a little more given the name involved and the genre but its likely just the reach of the publisher at this point.
MAD (not sure if from ‘the magazine’ fame) come in at 400 with Over The Ropes, the pro wrestling crime story that actually seems really interesting. If they’re just new or even MAD magazine stretching out then the sales over 1.5k aren’t too big a surprise. Happy to be here again and I can see this one getting some traction in collections.
Ray: It’s from Mad Cave Studios, and it did an additional 1K or so for a special preview edition last month. So I think this is a hit for the small company. This feels like one of those that could be a sleeper hit.
Glenn: Breathers, another comic with promise debuts from ‘It’s Alive!‘(??!??!?!?!?) selling over 1.4k at 406. Initially I thought this was another one lost in the shuffle but a variant cover drawn by Jeff Lemire and Matt Kindt also shows up at 443 selling over 1.1k meaning combined sales of around 2.5k which isn’t two shabby at all, especially when its priced at 2.99.
Ray: Breathers is It’s Alive’s first ongoing series and it’s endorsed by Kindt and Lemire, so I think this is a great outing for the small company. It’s kind of a prestige company, but they’ve got some amazing names working for them out of the gate like Craig Thompson and Madson.
Glenn: Vark Thing One Shot at 408 selling over 1.4k. Stay classy Dave.
Ray: I’m sure it’s a tasteful comic about the anthropology of primitive humans and the role of women in primordial society.
Glenn: Reorders for Deaths Of Vic Sage at 410 meaning it sells an additional 1.4k copies. Not quite the barnstormer than some of the other ones in terms of reorders but obviously there’s interest here.
Among other small reorders, much stock dumping (mostly the Amazing Spider-Man Hunted one shots, shock and horror) is Seance Room from Source Point which sells over 1.2k at 422. This was originally a Kickstarter book so most of the interested readers likely have this and again, Source Point outreach. This one also looks very interesting.

Getting into the true meaning of the festive season we have Scary Christmas at 423 selling over 1.2k from American Mythology. This is a mature themed horror anthology with a Christmas theme. Bit of an unusual one for American Anthology to go for such a specialist part of the small audience they usually have access to.

A lot of stock dumping around this level from Marvel, you can’t fool us Marvel!

Some reorders for BOOM’s Folklords at 426 selling over 1.2k. Not the runaway success of Once and Future or Something Is Killing The Children but there is some interest here.

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Next spot that isn’t a low selling ongoing or stock dumping is the one shot Seeress Reckless from Source Point selling over 1k at 451. This is another former kickstarter that likely had most of its primary audience get the book there.

Mostly reorders down here and stock dumping until we get to 487 and Cavewoman: Terror in the Skies from Basement that sells 758 copies. I see they named their company after where their output likely belongs, that’s nice.

At 495 is Deadly Ten Presents….Sorority Babes. It sells 722 copies. I want to go home.

Ray: Sounds sexy. I’m sure they have a lovely pillow fight and no one gets murdered.

Glenn: This months last book at spot 500 is some reorders for Countdown: Picard which picks up additional 696 orders. The TV show is amazing so I think people will want to go back and check this out, I know I do.

Ray: A testament to the hype for the TV series! IDW is getting the most out of the Trek license these days.

Looking ahead to 2020, it’s kind of a quiet month to start the year. DC is wrapping up a couple of runs, with the headliners this month probably being the giant-sized Wonder Woman #750 (can it come close to the success of the #1000 issues?) and the debut of James Tynion on Batman. We’ve also got the launch of the fourth Hill House book, the gothic mystery Daphne Byrne.
Over at Marvel, we’ve got a lot more material. Surprise surprise. New Thor and Guardians of the Galaxy runs kick off with what are sure to be big numbers, and the Iron Man 2020 event kicks off by Slott and Gage. The Ravencroft mini-event launches, and we get most of the “The End” one-shots from top creators. A sequel to Earth X, Marvels X, debuts, and a bunch of new minis featuring characters from Hawkeye to Namor jockey for space. Oh, and a little book called Star Wars relaunches.
Over at Image, there are some small launches like Protector and The Clock, the return of Sex Criminals from a long hiatus, and a few books ramping up for the finish. Otherwise, it should be a quiet month as companies hold their powder for a big 2020.

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

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Liked what you read? Have any questions or concerns? Let us know here or on Twitter @glenn_matchett and @raygoldfield!

By The Numbers: November 2019

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 several years but grew up reading comics. He’s had work published with various small press publishers and has is own comic now available on Comixology in Sparks: The Way I Was from Yellow Bear Comics! He’s hoping we can pretend 2019 wasn’t a thing, we can totally do that right?

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. Tis the season for a Chinese food filled Ray to be rolled down the street making a ‘whooooo’ noise.

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!

Check out the top 500 in full here!

Glenn: Its the final article for By The Numbers in the year 2019 (assuming we get this out in a timely manner. Stupid needs to eat and sleep) as we turn to November to see how things are going in the industry this weather for a very interesting month.

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Top seller of the month with over 138.4k in sales is the launch of New Mutants under the Hickman era which is the largest of the spin off books in terms of sales. Its no surprise since this is the one that has Hickman’s name on it (for the moment at least) and its solid right out of the gate. The second issue sells over 60.5k at 14 which again due to Hickman’s involvement likely gives us an indication of where the ceiling is on these spin off books which is very impressive given the X franchises up and down history for the last decade or so. This new era has caught on it seems and if the 70 or so X-Men titles we have coming can all deliver around 50-60k then Marvel will be sitting very pretty indeed.
Ray: This is a pretty strong debut, as I think this one is considered the book most closely linked to the main Hickman book. The second issue sales are great, but there’s a wrinkle here. The third issue is out now, and it’s a completely different story focusing on the next generation of mutant kids. It seems like Hickman will be writing the original class in space and Brisson will be writing the Morrison/Academy X kids on Earth. That could affect sales going forward.
Glenn: Number 2 this month is the main X-Men book which sells over 117.5k so this book solely written by Hickman is being treated as the MVP line…which it is. If this is where it has settles after a monster debut last month, that is Marvel’s biggest success story in quite some time. This could very well be a top ten staple for as long as Hickman is around and be the equivalent for Marvel that Batman was for DC for close to ten years.
Ray: Yeah, that is a fantastic hold and it seems likely this will be the #1 ongoing going forward for a while. The hype here is real and well-deserved.
Glenn: Breaking up the avalanche of X-Men success is the final issue of Absolute Carnage selling over 106.8k at number 3 this month which means a slight uptick in sales for the send off. This mini event has been a monster, outperforming many of Marvel’s bigger events in recent years and puts more stock in Donny Cates and Ryan Stegman than ever.
Ray: Both the main event and the tie-ins for this one did a lot better than War of the Realms and other recent Marvel events. This reminds me of how DC had a lot of success with smaller, line-centric events recently. Marvel would be smart to copy that – as well as giving Donny Cates anything he wants to keep writing symbiotes as long as he wants.
Glenn: Back to X-Madness now with number 4 in the charts being the launch of X-Force which sells over 105.1k. Historically this has been one of the franchises most successful spin off titles so its no surprise it to take the silver medal in the spin off races this month. The second issue this month sells over 53.6k at 18 which is still very good for what has been a once successful franchise long thought past its heyday.
Ray: This one didn’t get a lot of hype in advance, but it seems to be very key to the overall Krakoa status quo. Percy’s one of those few writers Marvel has managed to poach from DC recently, and it seems like they have a lot of faith in him as he’s launching a Wolverine book shortly.
Glenn: More X-Men at 5 with Bryan Hill bringing back the Fallen Angels spin off which launches at over 86.6k in sales with the second issue at 27 selling over 46.8k. Still decent to put it at a mid tier hit if it was sticking around but the book is going on ‘hiatus’ as Hill is off to look into other opportunities. This then can be looked at a very good selling spin off X-Men mini which we’ll be seeing a lot of in the coming months.
Ray: If there’s any proof that the Hickman X-line is bulletproof right now, it’s this. This is a book starring New Psylocke, Kid Cable, and X-23 minus her Tom Taylor character development, by a well-liked writer who hasn’t launched a major hit yet, and it still does great numbers for its content. It’s being replaced by a strange-looking Hellions book in March, so we’ll see if the aura holds till then.
Glenn: Writer Kelly Thompson gets a crack at possibly her biggest property to date in Deadpool with a new relaunch selling over 83k at number 6 in the charts. This is a very good launch but low compared to other recent Deadpool relaunches but since there has been 4 of them in the last few years (including this one) as well as an infinite number of mini’s and spin offs, fatigue is going to set in eventually. I do think its a lot to be said for Thompson and legendary artist Chris Bachalo that they got as much interest for their launch considering how frequently Marvel has gone to the Deadpool well. Lets hope it settles to a level the creative team deserve.
Ray: The addition of Jeff the Land Shark will surely make this a megahit! The character’s a long way from the days he was a franchise headliner for Marvel, partially due to overuse, but this is a good debut and not the only good news for Kelly Thompson on this month’s charts.
Glenn: Crawling (heh, get it?) back into the top ten is Amazing Spider-Man in one of its odd bumps for no reason at spot 7 in the top ten for issue 33 which sells over 77.8k which has been the upper tier of its level not counting crossovers. Its back to normalish levels for this run at the tenth and final top ten spot selling over 67.9k. With the weird fluctuation the book has it indicates that Marvel is playing games with the numbers or retailers don’t know what to do with this run and either is equally possible. Its hard to know where Amazing’s actual level is at the moment and that could be very well be the point.
Ray: *shrug* I got nothing. This is the middle of a 2099 tie-in that has only barely played into the main title, and the larger story involves Chameleon and Doctor Doom. There’s no real reason things should be ticking up now. Wacky Marvel numbers. More on those…laytor.
Glenn: In what we knew was going to be a hit for Image Comics due to the creative team, concept and hype is Undiscovered Country at 8 selling over 73k. I actually expected higher but this is still very impressive for Image and I doubt there will be much decline next month and this could turn into a Walking Dead type monster very quickly. Big kudos to the creative team because this is the biggest Image launch I can recall for several months at least.
Ray: Yeah, this is a monster debut from a pair of top writers and an artist who has been steadily building a very impressive brand for years. It had a good number of covers, but nothing like the wave of Millar or Spawn covers that drove those sales. It’s just a combination of a great creative team and a concept that immediately got people talking. I was sold from minute one, and I think a lot of people were too. We almost definitely have our regular new top Image title.
Glenn: We’re getting to the end of the epic Tom King run on Batman with issue 82 selling over 71.3k for the acetate cover but there was also a stock card cover (cause DC hates us and likes to make us use…ugh….math) at 116 selling over 18.2k which means the book actually sold around 90k which would mean its the number 4 selling book of the month and the subsequent issue charts at 15 selling over 60.3k which is abysmal for this title but then we have another fancy variant version at 92 selling over 21.6k which means it actually sold about 81k which makes it the number 7 selling book of the month so after a lot of redirection its business as usual for the title as it reaches its finale next month. I need to lie down now after all that punching numbers into a calculator.
Ray: This is definitely an impressive uptick as City of Bane winds down, and shows that there’s still some interest in King’s run. I’m not sure what went on behind the scenes there, but it bodes well for Batman/Catwoman when it debuts. 
Glenn: Don’t care how, I want it now!
Ray: Immediately after the latest issue of Venom, we get the debut of Scream: Curse of Carnage at #12. This is an odd one since retailers didn’t even know who would be under the symbiote when they ordered this – but does it really matter? The 64K in sales are more because people love the character design and she saw a surge in interest with her high-selling tie-in mini. The odd thing is that this isn’t written by Bunn, who wrote the mini and created the character Scream is now bonded with. Still a very strong debut that proves anything Symbiote is super-hot right now.
Glenn: Scream is the distant third most famous symbiote but that still counts for something. This will likely settle as a solid middle tier performer which for a book starring a character (kinda/sorta) that hasn’t been referenced that much since the mid 90’s, that’s very good.
Ray: There’s a huge increase for Captain Marvel, as the twelfth issue lands at #13 with sales of 62K. That’s almost a 100% increase from the previous issue for the start of “The Last Avenger”. A mystery “dark future” story, or so it seems, that has a Kree-controlled Carol killing the Avengers, it’s the biggest hit the character’s had in comics and a massive feather in Kelly Thompson’s cap. Marvel fans love their darker takes.
Glenn: Bring on the dark Marvelverse! Seriously this is all it takes to get people interested, good stories and Thompson can deliver that in spades.
Ray: This seems to be where the X-books are going to settle down for now, as we see the second issues of Excalibur and Marauders stay above 50K. Excalibur sells 55K at #16 while Marauders does 51K at #22, which is the opposite of what I would expect based on relevance. Maybe just because one has more history as a title?
Glenn: With that little difference its hard to know but it could easily flip around. Retailers seem to be treating the large majority of the spin off titles the same so this is probably our ‘core’ X-Men fanbase with a few thousand extras while more newer and older fans are coming back in droves to support the main title. This overall puts the franchise in the best situation its been since the Whedon/Morrison era.
Ray: The Murphyverse stays strong for its first spinoff, as Batman: White Knight Presents Von Freeze sells just under 52K at #19. Given that this is a WW2-set dark tale featuring the origins of an alternate version of Mr. Freeze, I’d say that qualifies as a major success. Murphy wrote this but had Klaus Janson do the art, so that’s a big win for him as well.
Glenn: This universe continues to deliver solid numbers and DC are clearly very happy since they’ve already green lit a third chapter. No doubt the first collection did magnificent numbers which doesn’t hurt.
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Ray: Spawn stays strong but starts dropping, as #302 sells just under 52K at #20. This is still a world from where it was a year ago, but we might see Undiscovered Country lap it as the months go on.
Glenn: Falling faster than I would have guessed but it was inevitable. Still double where it usually is, we’ll see if it continues to fall or can hold on to some new fans in the new year.
Ray: #22 brings us the debut of Legion of Super-Heroes with sales of 51K. Not a great debut for Bendis and Sook, but better than the tie-in mini (which barely featured the Legion) and well above the characters’ usual level. There’s a reason they haven’t had a regular title since around 2013, and tying them in with a top book is sure to help long-term.
Glenn: Its a hard one because a launch by Bendis no matter what the property was used to be a guaranteed top ten delivery but those days are gone. DC tried to get renewed interest in the Legion many times about 15 years ago before giving up entirely. This is about the same as most of those launches did so we’ll see next month where it goes. It just might be one of those properties that can’t survive the modern day market.
Ray: #25 has the first issue of Morbius from Marvel, selling 50K. There’s normal Marvel sales mischief (multiple variant covers and incentives) and special mischief (doubling sales, etc). This feels like the former, as almost any Marvel title can debut with 50K the way they promote them. The problem is, with standard drops easily hitting 50% or higher, it feels like this could hit choppy waters soon.
Glenn: We’ll see if they can keep it chugging along until the movie. I’m going to wager…no. This is not a character that should have his own book, we learned that back when the last ‘ongoing’ launched around Amazing 700 but Marvel clearly didn’t.
Ray: Batman/Superman is at 45K at #29 for its Acetate cover, but there’s another 13K in sales below, putting it over 59K and into the #16 spot overall. That’s a great result, largely due to the book being one of two core titles for the upcoming Hell Arisen event, alongside Justice League. DC’s done an excellent job of making their regular titles feel like events lately.
The main Star Wars title wraps up its run at #32, selling 42K. There’s a special issue tying the various series together, following a relaunch in January, but the title seems to have lost a lot of its momentum from when it was the biggest thing in comics.
Glenn: Its been five years and still…this is at the very upper end of what the property would deliver with Dark Horse back in the day. Will the relaunch that spins out of the much ballyhooed Empire Strikes Back give it a new lease of life is the question or will it just end up frozen in carbinite sales wise?
Ray: The bridge miniseries between seasons of Grant Morrison’s The Green Lantern, titled Blackstars, is basically being treated like the main series despite the art shift. It sells 42K at #33, keeping pace with previous issues. A new season of the main series launches in January.
At #36/37 we’ve got the launch of two new Marvel mini-events no one really asked for, 2099 and Annihilation: Scourge. The former sells 41K and the latter 40K for their “Alpha” issues. The low sales emphasize that it it definitely not this event driving the increased sales on Amazing Spider-Man. 2099 has some tie-ins this month, while Annihilation Scourge begins its main story next month.
Glenn: Side events at a smaller scale that Marvel seems to think will have juice. The only thing they do is bump up the number of comics they can sell us to retain their ever important market share and little else.
Ray: One of the strongest debuts for a Young Animal title as the sci-fi conspiracy Green Lantern title Far Sector debuts at #40 with sales of 39K. This is by sci-fi novelist NK Jemisin, who brings a big audience from outside comics, and Naomi artist Jamal Campbell. This also feels like one that will have great legs in collections.
Glenn: Absolutely but it is a good debut for a new character by a writer that’s unknown to the industry in terms of comic work. Could this be DC’s Ms. Marvel?
Ray: #43 has the debut of one of the oddest Marvel books in recent memory, the Mariko Tamaki/Gurihiru comedy book Spider-Mam & Venom: Double Trouble. This is a body-swapping story where Spider-man and Venom are roommates, and Venom steals Spider-Man’s body so he can go on reality TV. I am not joking. It sells 37K, which makes me think either symbiotes are super-hot right now, or body swap comedies have a hidden audience comics need to tap in on more.
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Glenn: Why not both?! Yeah so Venom + Spider-Man = money and this will have a YA readers appeal that Donny Cates current run definitely does not have. It’ll do well for its tenure and probably better in collections land.
Ray:More Tales from the Dark Multiverse one-shots this month, both based on 2000s events, as Tim Seeley’s Blackest Night reinvention sells 36K at #46 followed by 35K for the Infinite Crisis tale where Ted Kord goes evil two spots below. Good results for $5.99 What Ifs.
Glenn: I might have expected a tad more for Blackest Night since it was the hottest thing going back in the day but while Grant Morrison has turned Green Lantern into a property worth taking note of once more, its not the powerhouse it used to be.
Ray: The last two Absolute Carnage tie-ins, Weapon Plus and Captain Marvel, sell 34K and 32K respectively at #53 and #55. These were dropped in at the last minute with no real ties to the main event, but the Captain Marvel one does have a Carnagized Flerken. The fact that even the low-rung late tie-ins did this well is a vote of confidence in the main series.
Garth Ennis’ return to Punisher with Punisher: Soviet lands at #60, selling 31K. The Marvel MAX line has hit some rough waters, unlike its Black Label counterpart at DC, but this is easily the most iconic run and Ennis has a strong fanbase.
Glenn: Ennis Punisher will always have its smallish but rock solid fanbase and then sell loads in collections. Marvel is still earning bundles off new versions of collections from his previous Punisher runs from like 15 years ago.
Ray: One of Vertigo’s most popular characters returns to the world of mature readers, selling 30K at #62 for the debut of John Constantine: Hellblazer. His fame as a character definitely made this one of the top Sandman Universe titles, especially with line architect Simon Spurrier on board.
Glenn: My memory isn’t what it used to be but this is around double what the last Hellblazer title was doing before DC moved him over to the ‘proper’ universe so there’s seemingly new interest to see the character go back to his roots. The Sandman universe line is obviously delivering what the company wants if they’re adding new books to it and Hellblazer always sells oodles of collections. By having this and John still pop up in main continuity is the very definition of having your cake and eating it too.
Ray: Tim Seeley’s oddball Hanna-Barbera spin-off He-Man and the Masters of the Multiverse, coming off the Injustice crossover, lands at #64 selling 29K. Apparently there’s quite the audience for Chibi He-Man!
Glenn: Alt realities are hot at the minute I guess? I also wonder if retailers are expecting some back issue hunters when the new Kevin Smith He-Man cartoon gets off the ground.
Ray:  At #65 is Jeff Lemire’s second Black Label book, The Question: The Deaths of Vic Sage. It sells 29K, well below what Killer Smile did – but given that it’s been ages since The Question had a series and this will likely do most of its sales in trade, it’s another victory for Black Label. This is one of the few non-Batman properties they’ve done.
Glenn: This is also almost a direct continuation from the brilliant Denny O’Neil series from over 30 years ago. Still, its very good for what it is and will do well in the inevitable collection.
Ray: The Black Cat annual lands at #66 selling 29K, which is about 500 copies above what the main series did three spots below. This is probably the book’s new level, and the slight increase for the annual probably has to do with Spider-man guest-starring for a fake wedding.
Glenn: The bat wedding this was not.
Ray: The next phase of Year of the Villain launches with The Infected – a series of one-shots following the corrupted heroes who are serving The Batman Who Laughs. The highest-selling of them this month is The Infected: King Shazam, which sells 28K at #71. Few of these heroes are A-listers, so I’m not expecting great numbers, but these prequels to the upcoming Hell Arisen may get some reorders. Worth noting this sells within 200 copies of the main Shazam series.
Glenn: I would have expected more since The Batman Who Laughs is so popular but retailers may be seeing the concept being stretched too much too soon. We’ll see how Hell Arisen does in a couple of months.
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Ray: The first 2099 one-shot, Fantastic Four 2099 by Karla Pacheco, sells 26K at #73. The more popular characters and creators seem to be next month, and this one didn’t actually have any Fantastic Four characters in it.
Punisher 2099 is up next at #78, selling 25K. Most of these should fall in this area, so not a very inspiring performance.
Glenn: Also most of the original versions of these 2099 characters only had a cult audiance to begin with and according to our 2099 Rabbitt Stew Expert Brandon, these one shots are not about those characters.
Ray: At #79 we have the debut of a Yondu miniseries selling 25K. I guess there’s a limited audience for the character despite the scene stealing in GOTG2. He’s Mary Poppins, y’all, but she doesn’t need a solo comic either.
Glenn: Comic fans know any retrofitting to align with the films is often an eyebrow raising moment (see also Nick Fury jr). Marvel fails to realize that we will quite happily love two different versions in two different mediums. Don’t cross the streams!
Ray:  The third 2099 one-shot of the month is Conan 2099 at #82, selling 24K. This is close to what the secondary Conan title sells every month and it had next to nothing to do with the 2099 event, so I think retailers just ordered it like that.
Hey, Glenn! Remember when Amazing Mary Jane sold over 100K last month! That was surely a completely organic debut and not at all Marvel playing numbers games! I mean, just look at its robust second issue sales of *checks* 23K at #86. Never mind. This has apparently been cut back to six issues already. Womp womp.
Glenn: I am shocked, this is my shocked face. At least with the upcoming classic Gwen comic coming up, Marvel are treating it like a mini up front.
Ray:  An additional 23K in sales for Legion of Super-Heroes #1, which changes the picture a LOT thanks to the split covers. Its total sales are 74K, which puts it in the top ten. (You can edit that one together with the Legion entry up top if you want, Glenn)
Glenn: I could…but I’m lazy. So yes, ignore what we said above. Still lower than what I would expect from Bendis back in his heyday but brilliant for the Legion. If it can settle around 40-50k that would be brilliant for the franchise historically speaking.
Ray: We have a few creator-owned titles sneaking into the top 100, starting with Killadelphia, Rodney Barnes and Jason Shawn Alexander’s black Philadelphia vampire noir. It sells 22K at #90, which is an impressive debut for a book that didn’t seem to get a lot of hype.
Glenn: Vampires are having a moment again it seems, I wonder if any of them sparkle?
Ray: Another big win for Boom, as Matt Kindt’s fantasy conspiracy adventure Folklords sells 21K at #94. This isn’t on the level of Boom’s other recent hits, but Kindt’s been plugging away in creator-owned comics for a long time and this is one of his bigger single-issue hits. Well deserved.
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I was a little surprised to see both of those beat out Jeff Lemire and Phil Hester’s Family Tree, which sells 21K at #95. Lemire is usually gold, but this book has a very creepy concept and was delayed a lot from its announcement. Retailers may be ordering cautiously.
Glenn: Like most Lemire books I think this will find its audience fast and pick up good sales in trades. It is a little more unusual than his usual (which for Lemire is saying something) but no doubt will find its readers, quality always does.
Ray: At #99 we have the debut of The Dollhouse Family, the second Hill House book. This is by the legendary creative team of Lucifer, The Unwritten, and The Highest House, Mike Carey and Peter Gross. It sells 21K, which is roughly in line with what I’d expect this cult creative team to sell if they launched a new Image book. These minis will do most of their sales as evergreen horror trades, but the comparison between this and Basketful of Heads probably doesn’t bode too well for the ones without “name” creative teams.
Glenn:This actually has a card stock variant selling over 9.6k at 193 so this sells around 30k which is brilliant. Especially compared to any of the Vertigo launches we saw before that lines death and this mini may have been retrofitted from that so DC will be very happy.
Ray: There was a promotion called Local Comic Shop Day this month, featuring special reprints of comics. The top-selling outing is a book called Walking Dead: Alien, which appears to be a 2016 crossover comic of sorts written by Brian K. Vaughan and Marcos Martin. This was its first time in print, so it’s not a surprise it picks up a lot of sales at #101, selling just under 21K. 
#103 brings us the second The Infected one-shot, Scarab. This features Jaime Reyes, the second Blue Beetle, and sells 20K. The character has had trouble sustaining a solo series, so these sales are pretty in-line with what I’d expect.
At #110 we’ve got an Umbrella Academy one-shot, Hazel and Cha Cha Save Christmas. It sells 19K, showing the cult property will always have an audience. Maybe the Netflix series boosted it?
Glenn: I would say so. They are very entertaining side characters too who maybe have their own fanbase.
Ray: Mike Carey shows up again at #111, but I don’t think his Fantastic Four: Negative Zone one-shot will be remembered in the same terms as his work with Peter Gross. It sells 19K, pretty standard for a random one-off comic.
Glenn: This might be a repurposed story from the Yancy Street anthology that debuted a while back and has mysteriously vanished. This does better than that so if this is the case then Marvel came out ahead.
Ray: #123 brings us this year’s Supergirl Annual, which sells 17K. I think retailers missed the boat on this one, because it’s essentially her Infected one-shot. I wonder if having this written by a third writer as the creative team changes over made retailers think it didn’t matter? It definitely did and Robert Venditti’s one-shot could be in for some reorders.
It’s a pretty big jump until we see our next comic of note, and it’s the top-selling Big Two reprint of the month. DC gets 16.5K in sales at #128 for a Dollar Comics reprint of Batman #497, which was the famous issue where Bane broke Batman’s back.
Speaking of Bats, at #131 we have the looooooooong delayed final issue of Batman: Creature of the Night from Kurt Busiek and John Paul Leon. It sells 16K, not too far off where the series was selling years back. John Paul Leon battled back from cancer to finish this series, so I hope the creative team gets a lot of royalties in trade as it gets the audience it deserves.
Glenn: Absolutely, I think a lot of people missed the boat on this one so I hope much like Secret Identity it goes on to be read and reprinted for years to come.
Ray: The last Future Fights one-shot, Crescent and Io, sells 15K at #132. Pretty standard for this line of video game tie-ins. The core audience is elsewhere.
A shockingly strong debut for a company few have heard of, Ablaze Comics, as Mirka Andolfo’s Unsacred lands at #133 with sales of 15K. This profane, sex-joke filled comic about a horny demon in love with a chaste angel is reprinted from some of Andolfo’s old webcomics, and this kind of debut from a new company shows just how fast her star has risen. She’s going to be one of the hottest names in comics after this.
Glenn: I love Andolfo’s work and although this comic isn’t my taste, I’m thrilled with her success here. I hope she starts getting the work her talent deserves but she seems to be happy doing European comics which are then translated into well selling Image maxi’s which is not a bad position to be in.

The next to points of interest are two second issues from DC comics in the form of Batman Giant at 136 selling over 15.1k and Metal Men selling over 14.8k at 138. I think the former of the two is a good result considering this is material aimed at Walmart so anything they get here in the direct market is a bonus while Metal Men is kind of to be expected. The franchise has never been a hot seller in the modern day and while Shane Davis is certainly an artist with weight to his name, Dan Didio’s books have all a certain identity to them so readers here knew what they were getting and interest was appointed appropriately. It probably won’t last too long.

Decent leveling out for Last God at 143 with sales over 14.5k especially when you consider that this is 4.99. This would have been great for a Vertigo book towards the end of the lines life so clearly Black Label is working, even for new properties that have nothing to do with DC heroes. Another encouraging sign for the book is that it packs in some healthy reorders at 183 selling over 10.5k more copies.
Ray: This is the first original Black Label book, followed quickly by the Hill House books, and I think they’re essentially performing like strong mid-level Image books at the moment. This is definitely one of the more modest hits for the line, but still something to build on.
Glenn: Two fascimilie editions sell very close together with Marvel putting out issue 10 of Tomb Of Dracula in that format resulting in sales over 14.3k at 144 while DC goes with Green Lantern 85 which sells over 14.1k at 145. The former has the first appearance of Blade which likely gives it the edge over the infamous Roy Harper junkie issue. Still, great sales for old titles that include one that’s relatively obscure and one that’s been reprinted to death.
About 7-8k in sales droppage for new Image book Marked on its second issue at 147 resulting in sales over 13.9k,which I think is very good as this makes it the 10th best selling Image book of the month and the rest are released by creators of much bigger renown.
Ray: Hine and Haberlin are creators who hadn’t been heard from in a while, but their hit series Sonata (currently on hiatus until the second arc) has driven up interest in this too.
Glenn: On the cheap reprint side of things, Flashpoint 1 gets a dollar comic rerelease which gets sales over 13.5k which isn’t too bad considering its not too old and was a whole relaunch ago. Another major DC crossover from years past, Blackest Night also gets a cheap reprint at 153 selling over 13.4k. Again a decent result for something that’s not that old and was a major hit back in the day.
Another decent landing for BOOM’s big Buffy crossover Hellmouth which sells over 13.5k at 150 for the second issue. This mini is essentially the main story featuring both Buffy and Angel while their normal books deal with the side characters left behind. Curiously Buffy is still selling 3k more at 130 but the franchise as a whole is doing great compared to the latter Dark Horse Days.
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Ray: This doesn’t seem to have gotten the big buzz for the franchise they were hoping for. It reminds me a little of the reception of Dead No More, where the event miniseries itself got lost in the shuffle.
Glenn: Another real solid result for a new BOOM book in the form of Heartbeat at 153 selling over 12.9k which while it isn’t the runaway successes of Once and Future or Something Is Killing The Children it is worlds and above where the publisher was only a year ago. This book doesn’t have the names that the other two books have so this is even more impressive. Although they’re not scaring off Marvel or DC yet, BOOM has probably made the most headway of any company this year.
Ray: Maria Llovet is very much a cult creator and this is a breakout for her coming from indie comics, so I’d say it’s still a pretty impressive hit for them.
Glenn: Valiant comics delivers Rai at 160 selling over 12.3k which at the upper end of their standard range probably due to the fact that it has known workman Dan Abbott’s name on the cover. Apart from a surprise hit here and there, Valiant are the very definition of established and steady.
Ray: This launched directly out of their event miniseries Fallen World and has the same creative team, so I think retailers ordered more cautiously since they knew the general level.
Glenn: At 162 is a dollar comics for Infinite Crisis which is so many relaunches ago, I lost count. This one isn’t looked too favorably on with hindside so its probably ordered for anyone picking up the Dark Tales one shot who might be curious who didn’t read it back in the day. It sells over 12.2k which is all still bonus numbers for DC.
At 167 is a Giant edition of Super Hero Girls, the cartoon series featuring a large array of female teen versions of DC heroes in high school. Its a fixed audiance that is definitely not primarily in the main market and will do wonders other places but all things considered, sales over 11.8k aren’t too shabby.
Ray: This property rebooted itself for the new cartoon and the current version is sort of controversial, so I think that might have kept this issue from breaking out as well.
Glenn: Your random metal band comic of the month is KISS zombies selling over 11.4k at 172. Its zombies and KISS so…I guess this is what these two things sell when you smoosh them together?
Ray: The Rocking Dead?
Glenn: Boooooo! Don’t make me replace you with Donny Cates mister!
Another DC giant for kids show Teen Titans Go at 176 selling over 10.7k. Everything I said about Super Hero Girls applies here except Teen Titans Go seems to be aimed at a younger audience.
Iffy sales for the debut of Olympia at 185 selling over 10.3k but this is a very personal story for the creator which may not resonate. Its also a super hero comic by and large and people don’t go to Image for that type of thing. I hear its very good so it might sell well in collections.
Ray: Curt Pires isn’t a big name yet, and Kieron Gillen said a while back that anything over 10K for a non-name creator is considered a hit at Image. This is a five-issue miniseries and a passion project, so hopefully it’ll find a bigger audience in trade.
Glenn: We get to the end of one of Marvel’s longest ongoings in recent memory with Unbeatable Squirrel Girl which caps off at issue 50 selling over 10.2k. These aren’t great sales obviously but this book clearly had success somewhere to stay around this long so kudos to the creative team in the regards.
Ray: Much like Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur, it must have done 95% of its sales elsewhere to last this long. It’s just a shame Marvel isn’t as aggressive at seeking out this alternate audience like Boom and DC are.
Glenn: Dollar comic edition of Luthor 1, the start of the prestige mini by Azzarello and Bermejo from like 12 or 13 years ago. Its good for another 9.9k at 188 in sales which isn’t too bad considering DC recently reprinted this and their pseudo follow up, Joker under the Black Label line as trades not too long ago.
At 190 is the newest one shot in the brilliant Locke and Key universe, Dog Days which sells over 9.8k at 190. This series never sells what it deserves but look for money to come its way like a tidal wave when the Netflix series hits in Feb 2020.
About standard far for Star Trek comics in terms of the prequel to upcoming CBS On Demand original series Picard at 192 selling over 9.6k. I think the show will be a huge hit but Trek comics have always been a bit of a miss in terms of success.
Ray: This one seems to have direct plot lead-in for the CBS All Access show, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see heavy reorders once it launches.
Glenn: Not to be confused with BOOM’s Heartbeat, Image’s Heart Attack debuts at 196 selling over 9.6k. It sells a little less than most Image’s debuts have been doing as standard recently most likely cause its a super hero book and once again that is most likely the weakest part in Image’s line apart from Spawn.
Ray: No name creator here and a concept that seems oddly similar to a lot of books recently, so I’m not thinking this had much to drive first issue sales. If it gets buzz as the series goes on, we could see some reorders.
Glenn: At 199 we have the second issue of Dead Eyes selling over 9.4k. Look for sales to boost up on this one once the new content starts up but in the meantime this is just full priced reprints of a very recent book so its grand.
At 200 is a new comic for the Magicians tying into the cult TV series selling over 9.4k which along the lines of the BOOM of old. This is something for hardcore fans of the show most likely.
Ray: This series has a lot of fans and a major creator on board in Lilah Sturges, but Boom has been putting out OGNs with these characters for a while and the audience is likely more in that market.
Glenn: We go to 218 for the next book of note, another BOOM offering reminiscent of their old days in B B Free selling over 8.1k. Not sure how this missed the wave of success BOOM is experiencing right now, All I can think of is that it got lost in the shuffle.
Ray: The only previous comic work of the writer, Gabby Rivera, was the short-lived America series at Marvel. This is a clever book with an inventive world, but it’s not the type to have good sales in the direct market.
Glenn: A new Rick and Morty at 221 with Unity selling over 8k. These books apparently do gangbusters in collections and are the main bread and butter for Oni in the direct market. Something is working somewhere.
Gen Lock is an animated series of some sort that randomly DC are putting out a comic in relation to. It sells over 7.9k at 223, its odd to see DC putting out a book like this but I would presume hey’re continuing to try and diversify their options as a publisher. I’m not sure how popular the show is but I assume this will do better in collections for fans of said show.
Ray: This one isn’t as popular as its sister series RWBY, but it still has a loyal audience for its webseries. I think most of these are going to be sold in other markets. It does sell another 5.6K at #265 for its cardstock cover.
Glenn: At 230 is Black Hammer 3 for $1 which reprints three first issues from various Black Hammer mini’s for a dollar. A great way to get new fans hooked on the brilliant universe that sells over 7.5k
At 234 we have Black Stars Above, a new Vault comic which sells over 7,3k. Much like BOOM, Vault has had some break out hits recently but this is more along the lines of their standard level. They’re getting there though.

Ray: This is a Lonnie Nadler period piece supernatural drama set in the Canadian north, so I don’t think it’s exactly a concept that will get immediate sales attention. But it got great reviews and feels like another feather in Vault’s cap as they assemble an impressive lineup.

We make fun of it, but Red Giant Entertainment actually seems to have a legit hit on their hands in White Widow, which sells just under 7K at #244. Sure, it’s a sexy lady boobie comic, but this is impressive for a new publisher I’ve never heard of before this book.
A new Crow series launches from IDW at #248, as Crow: Hark the Herald sells 6.8K. This was penned by Tim Seeley and seems to be a reboot of sorts, which probably boosted its sales.
#250 has the second issue of Money Shot from Vault, selling 6.7K. That’s well above the sales of a usual second issue from the company and the second-highest Vault book of the month. This is every bit the breakout it looked like last month.
Glenn: They just announced more Money Shot (errrr) so Vault must be very pleased, as they should be!
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Ray: #253 has the latest oversized reprint from Marvel, Marvel Tales: Doctor Strange, selling 6.3K. Free sales, but this isn’t the character who would get the most sales.
Some holiday specials in these parts, with the Doctor Who 13th Holiday Special from Titan selling 6.1K at #254, followed two spots later by the My Little Pony Holiday Special selling just under 6K.
Glenn: Titan marketed the Who book as them doing the Christmas Special that BBC doesn’t any more. I wonder if we might get a relaunch to coincide with the new series that starts in a few days.
Ray: The hit IDW all-ages miniseries Canto wraps up its run at #258 with sales of 5.9K, an impressive showing for the company. A second round has already been greenlit by the same creative team, one of the few IDW creator-owned books to get a return engagement.
#263 brings a new Dark Horse creator-owned series, Crone, better described as “Old Woman Sonja”. It sells 5.6K, showing that this company still has trouble launching new creator-owned comics not by Lemire.
Glenn: Image, BOOM and even Vault are showing off as better prospects these days for creators. It’s weird times for Dark Horse.
Ray: At #266 is the launch of Big Hero 6: The Series, selling 5.5K. This book had a lot going against it – long wait between the movie and the comic, lack of buzz for the animated series it spins out of (unlike Tangled: The Series), and a very public spat between the company and creator Hannah Blumenreich. The second issue did not ship in December, so I’m guessing this series’ future isn’t bright.
Glenn: I would say they’re looking for a new writer for starters. I’m sure most people don’t even consider this a comic based property to start with and treat it like every other Disney spin off that is long past the corresponding movie’s release date.
Ray: 5.2K in reorders for the finale of DCeased at #273, proving there’s still life in this undead horror book. The spin-off, The Unkillables, should be huge when it launches early next year.
The latest Frozen miniseries from Dark Horse, True Treasure, launches with 5.1K in sales. This one’s a direct prequel to the new movie, but these comics always don’t do too much in single issues.
Another new Vault launch, Heist: How to Steal a Planet, debuts with 5.1K in sales at #278. This one didn’t catch on despite a major creator in Paul Tobin, and I wonder if it’s because the concept is so similar to other recent launches like Space Bandits.
A spinoff series to the Hellboy franchise, Witchfinder, subtitled Reign of Darkness, launches a new mini from Dark Horse at #279, selling 5K. This is one of the things that keeps the company afloat.
We’ve got some reorders here, with Spawn #300 and the first issues of Marauders and Excalibur each selling about 5K more this month.
The recent Addams Family animated film gets a spin-off comic, The Bodies Issue, from IDW and writer Zoe Quinn at #286. It sells 4.8K, in line with their animated spinoffs.
Glenn: It might do okay elsewhere but the movie seems to have come and gone with little fanfare.
Ray: Red 5 Comics launches a new sexy lady book, but this one’s a sexy cyborg lady book titled Machine Girl! It sells 4.8K at #287.
Glenn: ‘She’s definitely upgraded her enhancements’. I feel dirty now.
Ray: Speaking of sexy ladies, it’s that time of year – Grimm Fairy Tales 2019 Holiday Special sells 4.7K at #289. Tis the season for Rachel Bloom songs, Glenn!
Glenn: Just started Crazy Ex Girlfriend Series 4, thinking of that makes me happier than anything Zenescope related.
Ray: We’ve had a lot of new company launches lately, and next up is a publisher titled Stranger Comics. They launch with a comic titled Niobe: She is Death at #293, selling 4.6K. This is cowritten by teen star Amandla Stenberg, so that probably helped, but a lot of new publishers get lost in the shuffle.
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Glenn: Not bad for a new publisher at all, the name of the lass I’ve never heard of helped I would say quite a bit. I’m sure the company will be thrilled.
Ray: At #296 is the latest Archie mini-digest – Archie & Friends: Travel, selling 4.5K. These are just repurposed original stories from the digest with a specific theme, so any sales are a win for the company.
Hey, there’s Zombie Tramp at #299! She barely outsells the third issue of The Plot at #300. The 300 line is about 4.4K in sales as we exit the normal range and enter the zone of terror…
Glenn: Not the zone of terror! Save me Zombie Tramp!
Ray: Black Mask seems to be winding down production and is one of the easy favorites among the smaller publishers to close up shop in 2020, with the number of series they’ve cancelled and folded into trades to no small amount of anger. Despite that, they manage to launch one new series at #304, the sci-fi punk rock action series Space Riders: Vortex of Darkness, which sells just under 4.3K.
Glenn: They’ve been on life support a good bit now, its a shame they showed promise when they started out but I think invested in some poor properties.
Ray: House of X is still going strong, getting an additional 4K in reorders long after the series has ended down at #308. There are also 3.6K in reorders for Powers of X #1 at #321
At #313 is Robyn Hood: Vigilante, the sexy lady take on the classic Sherwood Forest hero for Zenoscope. 3.7K readers apparently want this.
Glenn: This version has been going for some time, she’s probably one of the companies core characters. I think a modern day take on Robin Hood (especially a female) would be great but not from this company.
Ray: Mad Cave Studios, which hasn’t quite broken out with a signature book yet, launches the assassin comic RV9 at #314. Selling 3.7K, it’s less of a cheesecake comic than the title indicates but hasn’t really caught much buzz.
Selling 3.6K at #318 is the LCSD variant for Super Dinosaur #1. This is one of Kirkman’s less-known books, but I think the Amazon TV series is giving it some new life.
Glenn: First I’ve heard of this Amazon series. Give me Invincible already!
Ray: At #325, we have the conclusion of Curse Words, which sells 3.4K. That’s a lot lower than I would have expected for a creator-owned book by a prominent writer like Soule with a lot of positive buzz, and it makes me wonder if Image as a whole is struggling. But this will be successful in trade, no doubt.
Glenn: Image has had a nightmare of a year, we’ll talk more on Rabbitt Stew about it but Undiscovered Country really saved their bacon from 2019 being a near complete disaster.
Ray: #326 brings us the Grimm Fairy Tales 2019 Armed Forces Appreciation comic. I’m sure our troops are honored by 3.4K in sales for a comic with a sexy lady bursting out of her non-regulation Army uniform on the cover.
Glenn: Non-regulation?! This required a very strongly worded letter. ‘Dear Charles Soule…’
Ray: It’s a big gap to the next #1, which is GLOW vs. the Babyface. The next short miniseries based on the Netflix hit sells 3K at #334.
Glenn: This is one of Netflix’s more cult hits so I doubt many fans are that interested in stories outside the core show. Interestingly enough, this is co-written by former WWE wrestler AJ Brooks (AJ Lee) and actress Aimee Garcia.
Ray: #338 brings us a hundred-page giant for Dungeons & Dragons: Baldur’s Gate, selling just under 3K. This is only $5.99, so I assume much of it is reprinted content. This is definitely one of IDW’s more niche properties.
Glenn: D and D is facing something of a rejuvenation lately so this might do well in gaming stores.
Ray: At #344 is the launch of Dragonfly and Dragonflyman, a spin-off from Wrong Earth from Ahoy Comics. It sells 2.5K, way down from the book’s launch but still the easy class of the line.
Souce Point Press launched a lot of new horror minis and one-shots this month, starting with Touching Evil at #345. This thriller about a woman who gains a death touch from a mysterious prisoner sells 2.5K.
The new Scout Comics future thriller Wretches debuts at #349 with sales of 2.4K. This one kind of got lost in the shuffle.
Archie relaunches one of their more obscure properties with Cosmo the Mighty Martian, selling 2.4K at #350. It has Sonic writer Ian Flynn writing, but the property just has no profile today,
Glenn: First I’ve heard of it to be honest. Isn’t there a Cosmo in the Marvel universe whose a dog? I know there’s an inept super hero who’s overdue for a return.
Ray: Another Source Point book, the afterlife-set thriller Misplaced, sells 2.4K at #351. This is a strange, artistic book that feels like it could get some buzz, but retailers didn’t really invest big early.
Glenn: Source point is getting some traction but not enough to still be largely overlooked. Perhaps their back catalog will find an audience as they continue their slow but steady growth.
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Ray: Remember Alterna? I ‘member! They have a new book out, Void Walker, which sells 2.3K at #355 for a concept that can best be described as “White Spawn”.
Glenn: Well if its something we definitely need as an audience, its more white variants of minority heroes.
Ray: Reorders for some hot titles, as both Basketful of Heads #1 and Something is Killing the Children #1 get 2.2 – 2.3K in reorders down here.
The popular Shades of Magic series gets another comic book adaptation, selling 2.1K from Titan down at #362.
It’s mostly reorders down here, including New Mutants: War Children, House of X #4, and others until we get to #366. There we see the debut of Ogres, the sequel series to Bob Salley’s fantasy adventure from Source Point. It sells 2.1K, likely treated more like the next issue than a new series by retailers.
IDW sells 2K of a Marvel Action: Ant-Man digest at #368. Low sales, but then it is Ant-Man and is likely just there to promote the movies.
Glenn: It’ll also sell better elsewhere. If our thinking is right, Ray and Cassie gets suited up in Ant-Man 3 I could see her comics being popular with young girls outside the direct market which would be awesome.
Ray: The latest of Scout’s new Nonstop! line, the superhero satire Last Stop, sells just over 2K at #372. It doesn’t feel like any of these books in the new format have caught on.
An odd case, as one of Mad Cave Studios’ December books, the wrestling crime drama Over the Ropes, gets a preview for LCSD and sells 1.8K for that edition at #382. That should boost the overall sales of the series when we see how it does next month.
Glenn: This one sounds great, I hope it catches on.
Ray: Hey, it’s almost 1.7K in reorders at #386 for the black bag variant cover of Money Shot #1! Tim Seeley is rolling in the dough for this one. Let’s hope he doesn’t use it to purchase Slug Monster Porn.
Glenn: Please, a writer of Seeley’s notoriety has standards. He’s all for Snail Monster Porn all the way.
Ray: At #387 is the launch of a new Minions series by Titan, selling 1.6K. This book is not meant for the direct market, but it is meant for BANANA!
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Glenn: Don’t let them near any super expensive (also: stupid) art exhibits.
Ray: At #388 we have the launch of a new comic from Antarctic called Dog Eaters, followed immediately by “Vark Wars” from Dave Sim’s company. Both sell 1.6K and are completely non-problematic in every way, I’m sure.
After a bunch of reorders, we get the second issue of Craig Thompson’s Ginseng Roots at #397, selling 1.6K. This is a new company focusing on stand-alone or quarterly titles by cartoonists, and while it hasn’t exploded in sales yet, it feels like it could grow fast as these books get buzz.
Glenn: Thompson’s name should be good for the collection market if nothing else.
Ray: Some niche titles launch around the 400 mark, with the next installment of the Rivers of London series from Titan at #400 followed immediately by the latest Carpenter Tales one-shot, Redhead. Both sell 1.5K in this packed marketplace.

Glenn: At this level its mostly reorder city until we get to 413 and Casper’s Classic Christmas which sells over 1,2k at 413. At this point I’m betting its nostalgic parents buying their kids Casper comics and explaining about how, once upon a time, a friendly ghost was cool and them thinking their parent has lost it.

A very small press company, Uncivilized releases a Jack Kirby bio comic in ‘For Real‘ at 414 which is priced at $6 but sells over 1.2k. Kirby is of course one of the most legendary comic creators ever and his life story in as fascinating as any of his character origins but this seems very much like a specialist item. It’s a labor of love by the creator and may pick up steam once its collected and becomes very well thought of critically.

Ray: This is from the same company as Ginseng Roots, and they launched their first fiction series Breathers in December. They put out oversized books aimed at the indie comics market, so this one should be interesting.

Glenn: At 421 we have the first issue of Badass from Antartic Press which sells over 1.1k. Unknown creator and a small publisher is exactly what delivers a sales results like this.

I’m more surprised by the sales of the second issue of Vampire State building at 422 which drops hugely to selling over 1.1k at 422. This is the Charlie Adlard that took me and Ray by surprise with its strong debut last month. This publisher is so new and so small that this is likely the best they can do despite having Adlard on board. We’ll have to see if they can weather the rough waters of starting fresh and end up on the other side.

Ray: That’s a gigantic drop of over 95% from its first issue sales. The first issue sales were incredible, but I guess it was almost all down to the covers and hype. That’s got to be a massive disappointment for the people involved and the company. Wow.

Glenn: From Cave Pictures Publishing *shrugs* is Shapes an all ages type deal by Jason Brubaker (no relation I’m assuming to Ed) and Rekedel with art by the former of the two. This sells over 1.1k at 423. I’ve never heard of this publisher or these creators so they’re probably thrilled to make it into the top 500 at all.

Ray: This month saw a lot of creator-owned books from small press with no real hype or names behind them. This is what I mean when I talk about “peak comics” and the way many books never get a second look because of the cavalcade of material.

Glenn: The remains of the Edgar Rice Burrows properties that Marvel didn’t scoop up are alive and…not well? Is that a thing? At 429 for Monster Men: Soul Of Bast which sells over 1k from American Mythology. Unless its Marvel or maybe Dark Horse, I doubt many people are interested in what Burrows properties crop up in comic form.

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Ray: My favorite part of this fantastically titled book is that it teases a modern-day sequel to its Visgoth-themed thriller.

Glenn: Keenspot pop up at 432 for Ruwans which sells over 1k. Small publisher, unknown creators, you guys know the story by now.

Ray: This title had some weird, massive delays and apparently just reprinted the first issues to catch people up on this comic about a little girl who gets eaten by a demon and then becomes a demon. The delays were so long, when it first came out Antarctica wasn’t associated with any bad elements yet!

Glenn: Source Point usually averages a little higher than around this are but a one shot which is the first of a series of one shot (why not bundle it as a Crypt Keeper mini some idiot writing an article asked) called Goth: Young Lovers At War sells 971 copies at 437. This is horror too so on paper this should have at least done four digits so not sure what went wrong.

A local comic shop day treasury edition of Invader Zim sells 891 copies at 440 but its priced at 14.99 so I assume its more like a graphic novel? Zim is a cartoon with a very sparce cult following so with this price I’m not sure what else could have been expected.

In a similar vein, Lion Force offers a 9.99 one shot at 443 for Catalyst Prime which sells 854 copies. Its odd since this seems like a format aimed outside the direct market but literally is an edition aimed at comic shops.

Full Moon Comix *shrugs* offers a one shot horror comic in Deadly Ten Presents Necropolis Legion. I tried saying the title ten times fast and lost consciousness, this has been your By The Numbers safety warning. This is an adaption of a script written by the Puppetmaster scribe (good lord) Shawn Gabborin selling 811 copies at 449. Kids ask your parents about Puppetmaster and when they don’t know, just get them to Google it.

At 454 is Apex Predator Cavewoman, more booby comics selling poorly because we’re not all 12 years old. It sells 811 copies.

Antartic Press is back again with a decent horror comic Teether at 459 selling 706 copies but this seems like a republish of an old series so this is small press selling us old comics too I guess? The second issue is here too at 491 selling 498 copies which maybe the closest we’ve ever gotten to the comic selling the same number of units as its sales number so…yay?

This is the land of tiny reorders and small selling indies until we finish at last with 500 selling 472 which is the fourth issue of Boston Metaphysical Society. Considering the entry unit level is so low this may be their first and last time on the charts so grant them a hearty wave. This sales here at the bottom are really low compared to the last few months, really poor month overall.

Ray: This is one of Source Point’s few ongoings, and it’s struggled to maintain momentum. They do better with one-shots and short minis. 

Looking ahead, the last month of the year saved the biggest for last! DC in particular is hitting us with a wave of Black Label books, including the conclusion of Doomsday Clock and Last Knight on Earth, the launch of Daniel Warren Johnson’s Wonder Woman: Dead Earth, and the latest installment in the Dark Knight Returns continuity. There’s also a new main line event in Hell Arisen, as Luthor and the Batman Who Laughs go to war, a new Suicide Squad relaunch by Tom Taylor, the third Hill House book, more Infected and Year of the Villain one-shots, the last Tales from the Dark Multiverse, and the mic-drop of Tom King on Batman.
Marvel won’t be upstaged, starting with the giant-sized one-shot Incoming, which sets up the company’s next event. Also look for more Annihilation and 2099, new titles for Dr. Strange, Spider-Ham, and Cosmic Ghost Rider, more Symbiote Spider-Man, and the conclusion of the first cycle of Marvel Star Wars books. Plus, Jason Aaron mic-drops on his Thor run.
Over at Image, we’ll see how a Mark Millar book does when no one knows what it is – Project X-Mas, now revealed as American Jesus 2. We’re also getting the dark superhero plague thriller 20xx from Jonathan Luna and Lauren Keely, new Hardcore and Old Guard minis, and the PR nightmare that is Lucy Claire: Redemption. Boom launches Jeremy Haun’s Red Mother and a big-stakes TMNT/Power Rangers crossover, plus we get more Klaus. And IDW delivers a new original Joe Hill comic in “Dying is Easy“.
What will rise? What will fall? Find out next month on By the Numbers!
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Liked What You Read Or Have Any Questions Or Comments Then Let Us Know Here Or On Twitter @glenn_matchett and @raygoldfield







By The Numbers: October 2019

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 several years but grew up reading comics. He’s had work published with various small press publishers and has is own comic now available on Comixology in Sparks: The Way I Was from Yellow Bear Comics! When asked what he thinks about Disney+, Glenn politely reminded those that ask that it doesn’t hit the UK till the end of March. He then sobbed and played with a ball in a cop.

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 asked what he thinks about Disney+, Ray was unreachable for comment. For with the streaming service he has achieved a new level of consciousness.

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!

Check out the top 500 in full here!

Glenn: Its time for the spooky month where the scariest thing is how little time between sales numbers there were since last time. Once again there’s a lot of confusion with DC but we’ll just address it when and if it comes out. Take note early in that case that the numbers aren’t quite what they seem and therefore some things may have sold better than it appears.

I’m starting to think DC does this to make us cry.
Ray: They won’t scare us off, Glenn!
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Glenn: As anyone with any sense could have predicted, the top selling comic of the month is X-Men 1 the start of the proper Hickman run with art by Lenil Yu which sells over a huge 255.7k! This is a massive immediate hit and Hickman has brought the X-Men back to prominance in a huge way…at least where his name is on it in any case. Nothing but celebrations abound here I’d say. This could be a solid top ten performer that Marvel’s been lacking in an ongoing since Slott left Amazing Spider-Man. I’d say it’ll settle to around 85-120k. Hard to predict exactly more than that given how distrustful retailers are of Marvel in recent times but it may be that Hickman’s name overwrites that.
Ray: This feels like one of those rare runs where the hype is genuine. Sure, the numbers are inflated by the sheer number of covers, but given how the miniseries performed issue to issue it feels like this is the most buzz around a Marvel run since Donny Cates’ Venom first broke the doors down. I expect it to lock down its place as the top ongoing for a while, but we’ll see if it can consistently head above 100K. This could be the line that breaks Marvel’s bad luck streak.
Glenn: Next is issue 301 of Spawn which sells over 186k at 2 this month after the monster number for the big anniversary issue last month. There’s a few things at work here because since Walking Dead has ended, Image is missing a top franchise and the one before that one was Spawn so it could be that. It could be residual hype over 300 or the astonishing Marvel level of variants or the return of the titles most iconic villain in the Violator who may be a sales driver like Venom, Joker or the Batman Who Laughs is. It seems like for whatever the reason, Spawn has risen back to prominence and will likely spend the next year getting back to its previous level.

Ray: Violator does have a big fanbase, but it’s still odd – I haven’t heard anyone talking about Spawn in years. Image did an amazing job of hyping this up as an event rather than a simple anniversary, so they’re reaping the rewards. I think it’ll continue to drop, but if it can eventually settle down around the top fifty, that’s a big win. 

Glenn: The final issues of the X-Men mini’s leading into the new number 1 this month finish off with really great numbers with the final issue of Powers Of X charting at 3 with sales over 160.8k and House Of X selling over 158.3k at 4. This is insane numbers and shows a lot of interest in this new shot in the arm the X-Men have been needing for some time. Since the Fox purchase, Marvel has now prepared the X-Men franchise as their big money earner once more which is a prospect that seemed crazy only 2 or 3 years ago.
Ray: They kept going up through the run, which is unheard of. This is a monster and well-deserved. Hickman used these books to build hype for his regular run, and it paid off.
Glenn: Speaking of Joker, his year of the villain one shot brings big numbers at 5 selling over 128.6k. This could very much be attributed to the much publicized involvement of legendary director John Carpenter or it could be just because its the Joker. Either way this is the biggest year of the villain one shot by quite a fair margin which is funny since the link between this and the main story that Snyder/Tynion are telling is loose at best. Still, DC has made the Joker an event to be seen all in on himself through clever seldom use. Could an attempt at a Joker ongoing of some sort be far behind?
Ray: It’s not even in the same category, selling almost four times as much as the average one of these one-shots. It’s a perfect storm of factors to create a hit book, but as for a Joker ongoing, I think they’re trying to have their cake and eat it too. If there’s always a Joker miniseries of some kind with a top creative team, don’t we essentially have a Joker ongoing?
Glenn: Excellent point, ongoings can go down in sales but a new high profile mini through Black Label or the like can keep hype alive and not have to worry about the characters sketchy characterization on a consistent basis. He can be whatever the creative team needs him to be.
So in a new record in recent times, it takes us a whole 6 spots to get to the nonsense that is Amazing Mary Jane that sells over 116.1k. Uh-huh. Right. This is a spin off of the middling Amazing Spider-Man run by two creators who are very talented but not bankable on a mini series starring a character who’s never had her own title outside of the exceptionally underrated all ages Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane which had Spidey still in the title too. I’d say figures were doubled here as sales of 58k makes a lot more sense. Its all noise, just like Black Cat was.
Ray:...Look. I’m all in favor of more books for popular female characters in comics. The Lois Lane book by Rucka and Perkins, her first solo title in decades, is fantastic. But there is not this much demand for a title starring 616 Mary Jane. Especially not spinning out of a run that ranges from mediocre to terrible. This is one of the biggest non-X-men debuts in recent months, so to believe this number is genuine, you’re asking me to believe that Mary Jane and Black Cat are a-list sales powerhouses alongside Batman and the X-Men. Nope. Marvel probably doubled sales alongside a host of variants.
Glenn: What isn’t noise is the continued success of Absolute Carnage at 7 which sells over 99.7k for its penultimate issue. This main mini has been rock solid and will no doubt benefit the main title hugely whenever Stegman returns in a few months. Marvel continues to be betting high on Cates and so far, its working.
Ray: It’s locked down at this place in the charts and will be wrapping shortly, so I think we can safely say this was a hit. Far from the level of hit it could have been if it wasn’t for years of Marvel driving down faith in their events, but I think they’ll be calling Cates again for crossovers in the future. 
Glenn: I’m sure they have him on speed dial now.
What might be nonsense is the sales of 95.2k for the relaunch of Ghost Rider by Ed Brisson at 8. The character has never been a sales hit but he’s been gone for a long time, has had an Absolute Carnage lead in and the character is getting a Marvel movie and has been used pretty prominently in Jason Aaron’s Avengers. All these factors go some way towards explaining the number but I’d still say its a little high. Could be genuine interest, could be some fluffing on Marvel’s part, its hard to say. Expect it to drop to around 30-40k shortly.
Ray: This reminds me a lot of the Iron Fist ongoing that mysteriously jumped into the top ten and then promptly lost 75% the next month. It’s due to a combination of event tie-ins, a long time since a traditional Ghost Rider series, and a ton of covers. I don’t think is sustainable, but this might do well enough to be a mid-level title for a while.
Glenn: The runaway hit that is Immortal Hulk gets a bump for that all important sales friendly 25th issue at 9 delivering over 87.5k. One of Marvel’s best reviewed titles at the moment this is a great case of word of mouth and critical success actually leading to sales. It’ll be back to normal or maybe a bit higher next month but Al Ewing is clearly building a success story all future Hulk runs will be measured by.
Ray: Much like Venom, this is a completely new take on a Marvel favorite by a breakout creator, and they’re being rewarded. The previous issue, also this month, is down at #34 with sales of 53K, so this anniversary issue actually showed some juice.
Glenn: Final spot on the top ten with these face value numbers is Marauders 1, the first Hickman X-Menverse spin off which sells over 86.8k. Even without Hickman on board, this is a great launch that shows there’s some buzz here for these era even without Hickman’s name on the cover. We’ll see how things go in a few months but right now, it all seems very promising.
Ray: This one has Gerry Duggan on board and a popular lead heroine in Kitty Pryde, so I’d say this is a good number. We’ll see how the spin-offs do long term, but I think we’re seeing that anything Dawn of X-related is going to have a strong debut. 
Glenn: I think anything non Hickman will score about 50-60k rather solidly. A vast improvement on the line overall, especially since there’s a huge amount of X books coming and some of the titles have been defunct for decades.
Ray: And we get more proof of this right after an Absolute Carnage-tie-in issue of Venom, as we get the debut of Excalibur at #12, selling 83K. This is a Tini Howard series focusing on Betsy Braddock as she inherits the mantle of Captain Britain – so not exactly a huge sales draw, and yet it falls just short of the top ten. Power of Hickman! This bodes well for the other three launching next month.
At #13 is Joker/Harley: Criminal Sanity, the noir-inspired alternate reality that pits criminal profiler Harley against a serial killer Joker. It sells 81K, another strong landing and the second of three excellent Joker comic debuts this month. The addition of Harley probably made the difference here.
Glenn: I’m surprised this outsold Harleen since the writer isn’t well known in comics but since this is a 9 part series at a normal price as opposed to a 3 part pricey pestige format. They may have ordered with room to drop over 9 months.
Ray: After two issues of Amazing Spider-Man that were likely buoyed a bit by the 2099 guest stars, we get the return of Marvel Zombies with the “Resurrection” one-shot at #16, written by Philip Kennedy Johnson. It sells 70K, likely off the strength of DCeased – which it completely ripped off in tone, style, and story. However, these sales are likely enough to get it a sequel miniseries.
Glenn: DCeased has made super hero zombies cool again and there’s a hunger (heh, hunger) for zombies now Walking Dead is gone. I doubt any inevitable follow up will perform as well as the recently announced 4 part DCeased follow up.
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Ray: At #17 is the debut of Joker: Killer Smile by Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino, selling 70K. I wonder if the slightly lower sales are because this is only a three-issue miniseries compared to nine issues for Criminal Sanity. Retailers might have thought customers would be more interested in the eventual collection.
Glenn: That’s what I’d wager plus this is a proven creative team that retailers have more familiarity with. Given how good (terrifying) this was, I’d say this is more likely for reorders than Criminal Sanity.
Ray: A VERY strong debut for Spider-Verse, a new miniseries featuring Miles and adding some new realities from the multiverse, as it lands at #18 selling 66K. The creative team isn’t the driving force here (it’s even switching mid-way through) and this isn’t an event, so it’s got to be that there’s just so much heat for this because of the movie.
Glenn: Given the movie was last year I think it shows how good it was that the brand is strong enough to still get a debut like this. It won’t stick but we’ll doubtlessly see more ideas akin to this in the future. People love their alt Spideys.
Ray: This is where we once again get wonky sales due to the special covers, as the two issues of Batman sell about 60K – but get about 25K extra sales from their cardstock covers. Business as usual as they’d be just outside of the top ten instead of out of the top twenty.
Glenn: Things have settled out about 80-85k for Batman. Likely to stay here until the relaunch after 100.
Ray: Harsh fall for the Abrams and Abrams Spider-Man as it loses the majority of its sales and lands at #22 with sales of 61K. This might also be the final issue, as the third issue has been heavily delayed – let’s hope it doesn’t go the same way as Daredevil: Target.
Glenn: Or Iron Man: When In Vegas or many others. This is decent for what is bare bones, an alt Spidey throwaway story but I would imagine that Marvel were expecting an X-Men level hit out of this given the hype it got.
Ray: #23 brings us the debut of Doctor Doom, selling 59K. This is Doom’s first solo series in a very long time and the character is one of Marvel’s most consistently popular villains, so I think it might find its footing. The first two issues feel more like a single long-form story, so they might be aiming for twelve issues anyway.
Glenn: Villain titles are a hard sell and this is roughly where Doom was selling when he was the star of Iron Man not too long ago. I think Marvel is hoping to produce more character focused critical darlings ala Vision with things like this. It’ll settle to a number that will earn its keep for 12 issues.
Ray: The Batman Annual sells 59K at #25, which is a pretty big drop from the main series. This issue is massively acclaimed, so look for some reorders on this one, especially given the POV character.
Glenn: I wonder if retailers missed that King wrote this or considered it irrelevant since it didn’t tie into the larger story. It’ll definitely see some reorders, one of the best single issues of the year.
Ray: Also a bit of a surprising drop is Absolute Carnage: Immortal Hulk, selling 58K at #26. Given that this is by the regular creative team and was a tie-in to a hit event, I would expect it to do more than the regular series. Instead, it’s just above the non-anniversary issue a little bit below.
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Glenn: Not sure what happened here, it seemed a recipe for a much better outcome. This was one of the more last minute tie-ins so maybe retailers didn’t catch it as standout.
Ray: At #27 is a new weekly Star Wars tie-in, Allegiance, serving as a prequel to The Rise of Skywalker. The first issue sells 57K – but surprisingly, the next three are down at 90, 105, and 108 selling in the 20K range. So this is clearly a case of the first issue being hyped heavily, but the overall mini not being promoted enough. If this actually does wind up a tie-in to the movie, it could get some reorders.
#28 brings us the first of the Tales from the Dark Multiverse one-shots, a series of mini-graphic novels retelling dark endings to the most famous DC events of all time. First up is Knightfall, in an issue co-written by Scott Snyder where Azrael became a mad Bat-dictator. It sells 57K, a very impressive showing for what’s essentially a gothic What If.
Glenn: I definitely think this will pick up more orders as all of these seem to be playing into a larger story, likely whatever Snyder is cooking with Capullo for their Metal sequel.
Ray: At #30 is Red Goblin: Red Death, a one-shot selling 55K and tying into the brief period where Norman Osborn controlled the Carnage symbiote. I’m guessing retailers thought this would tie in with Absolute Carnage, but instead it’s a mini-anthology from a year-old storyline. Not going to have great legs, this one.
Glenn: A recently popular reinvention of a iconic villain and symbiote hype being at a peak since the early 90’s sold this to all us Spidey-suckers out there. Pity the output didn’t match the potential.
Ray: The third issue of Batman/Superman doesn’t have a special cover, so we can see it’s settled down at #31 with sales of 55K. Very healthy for now, in DC’s top tier.
And here’s where we see the most dramatic shift because of the covers, as DCeased has two issues this month. #5 charts at both #32 and #36 with a combined 107K in sales, and #6 is at #42 and #45 for a combined 93K. Clearly this is a monster, and both of these issues would have been in the top ten. No surprise a sequel’s already been announced.
At #33 is the follow-up to the massively hyped Marvel Comics #1000, titled Marvel Comics #1001 – selling 54K. I don’t think we should be expecting Marvel Comics #1002 any time soon.
Glenn: Well this is awkward. Clearly Marvel tried a ‘fool me once’ situation and it didn’t work. Pity since this is the one shot that realized that female talent worked at Marvel too.
Ray: As we head into the area containing established hits like Fantastic Four, Detective, Avengers, and Silver Surfer: Black, we get the Amazing Spider-Man Facsimile Edition at #38, selling 52K. Amazing for a full-priced reprint. The power of original ads, I guess?
Glenn: People love Marvel’s old content and anything with Stan’s name will have an extra nostalgia factor following his passing.
Ray: The crack creative team of Warren Ellis and Bryan Hitch has a new year-long miniseries launching, The Batman’s Grave, and it sells 46K at #43. I feel like the sales pull of both isn’t quite what it used to be, but this is a healthy debut for a side comic.
Glenn: This sold better than it appears because there’s a card stock variant at 141 which brings in another 16.8+ meaning this sold over 64k in total which makes a lot more sense. Probably still a little low considering Hitch used to draw in six figures as standard but that was a whole ten market shapes ago. This is pretty standard for a standard Batman maxi series and will likely level out quickly.
Ray: The second Tales from the Dark Multiverse book, remixing The Death of Superman so Lois becomes the big bad, sells 46K at #44. This didn’t have either the character or creative wattage of the Knightfall one, so I think the sales here are mostly due to just how much people want anything associated with the realm of the Batman who Laughs right now. Imagine what these would be selling if it was him as the Cryptkeeper rather than Tempus Fuginaut as the Watcher.
The weirdness with Black Cat continues, as the fifth issue jumps back up and sells 43K at #49, a major jump from the fourth issue. Who knows what’s going on with this book anymore.
Glenn: At this point with Black Cat, I’d suspect orders are being doubled so the title’s sudden ‘mysterious’ crash doesn’t look as out of place as it should. Sales of 20k make a lot more sense.
Ray: Dynamite is the top publisher not from the big three this month, with the debut of Vengeance of Vampirella at #50, selling 43K. This didn’t have the creative team of the main title, nor did it get much buzz for its story, but it did have dozens of variant covers and a very aggressive promotional campaign.
Glenn: Who would have thought Vimperella would be such a dominant sales figure in 2019? Of course as you said, for now its all smoke and mirrors but still miles ahead of where the character used to live.
Ray: After a lot of strong ongoings and tie-ins, including some books that normally sell higher but have split covers (like Justice League), we get one of the final Absolute Carnage tie-ins, Absolute Carnage: Avengers, which sells 38K at #57. Despite the top properties, this was really treated like a throwaway comic that took place during the early days of the event and had the Avengers fighting Carnage zombies.
Glenn: The tie-in was announced very late in the game after the main hype for the event had been done and they had began hyping the next big thing. Avenger’s can’t sell itself anymore.
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Ray: After more ongoings, we get the oddball project Amazing Spider-Man: Full Circle at #65. This was an experimental $9.99 one-shot bringing in almost every top creator at Marvel plus the writer of Amazing Spider-Man, with each doing a chapter of a Kamandi-like story featuring Spider-Man. If you consider it a Spider-Man book, the sales of 35K aren’t very impressive, but if you consider it an oversized anthology it blows most of its competition out of the water.
Glenn: Given the price and the content I’d say this is very good. Considering the names attached it could have maybe done better but I don’t know if many people really knew what this was. Retailers might be holding out for the hardcover version which was solicited not soon after also.
Ray: More sales for old comics as the Facsimile edition of The Incredible Hulk #1 charts at #69 with 34K. Marvel is the master of selling us old comics.
A surprisingly low performance for Savage Avengers Annual #1, which is at #72 selling 33K. This is a full 20K lower than the parent title, but this is essentially just an oversized issue of that book with the same writer. The $1 additional cost for an additional 18 pages of story doesn’t seem like it should be such a deterrent.
Glenn: Annuals seem to be being treated as unimportant again no matter what (see also: Batman). I think the issue is a lot of throwaway stories by the non regular creative teams have devalued them, they had a moment again for a time.
Ray: The numbers for the second issue of Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy are deceptive as well, as the special cover charts at #74 with sales of 30K, but the standard cover is down at #133 selling just under 20K. That takes it to about 50K, a very respectable performance that would put it in the top forty.
After a few more existing books, we get to one of a few original properties out of DC this month, starting with Philip Kennedy Johnson and Ricardo Federici’s The Last God. This ultra-violent fantasy epic from Black Label lands at #80 with sales of 27K. As this is essentially the top-selling creator-owned book on the stands this month, I think that’s a good performance.
Glenn: Considering its an original property and outsells all of Image’s catalogue bar Spawn, this is a good win for the Black Label brand. This would have sold a lot lower under Vertigo so the brand change seems to have paid off for now.
Ray: #82 brings us the weekly series Contagion, a fungal-plague thriller starring the Marvel heroes that was obviously styled as another bite of the DCeased apple. This didn’t catch on, as the first issue sells 27K and the others crash out of the top 100, ending at around 19K the same month.
Glenn: This was a whole lot of nothing and was treated as such. Marvel keeps trying to make everything seem like the next big thing that people are getting wise.
Ray: At #91 is the second DC creator-owned debut, Basketful of Heads from Joe Hill and Leomacs, selling 25K. Given Hill’s name, I might have expected a little more, but this is a world apart from what Vertigo was doing and above every non-Spawn Image book this month. These are all short-form series, so DC should keep steady sales on them.
Glenn: Again this is better than we give it credit for as there’s another just south of 14k sales down at 179 for the card stock variant. This means sales around 38k which is like a higher tier Image launch these days which is exceptional.
Ray: And in the same rang just below, selling 25K at #93, is the Sandman Universe: Hellblazer special. Constantine’s return to the Vertigo-esque line where he began is getting some buzz, so that puts this well above the rest of the Sandman Universe line.
Glenn: I’d have expected more but after a year or so, retailers likely know what the Sandman universe books pull in and who would be interested in a Hellblazer relaunch back to its more gritty roots. Back in the day, Hellblazer was a solid lower middle performer that sold all the collections in the world so I would say this’ll be more of the same.
Ray: The only non-Spawn, non-DC creator-owned book in the top 100 this month is Something is Killing the Children #2, selling 24K at #96.
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Glenn: A fantastic success for BOOM, good for them.
Ray: #99 brings us Fantastic Four: Grand Design, Tom Scioli’s passion project retelling the first few years of Lee/Kirby FF. It sells 24K, well below what Ed Piskor’s X-Men version did. This is only two issues, so I think more retailers might be assuming people will wait for collections.
Glenn: Also Fantastic Four isn’t as popular as X-Men, it could be as simple as that.
Ray: At #100 is Gene Luen Yang and Gurihiu’s Superman Smashes the Klan, the first in three mini-graphic novels set in the 1940s. It sells 24K, but this was originally intended as a DC Zoom OGN and I think it’ll be doing most of its business in the bookstore market.
Glenn: This is a golden age set creator passion project so this is very good for this type of thing.
Ray: The Once and Future continues to hold its own, selling 24K at #101 as another massive creator-owned success for Boom.
Now it’s DC’s turn for reorders, as the Batman #251 facsimile edition (the first appearance of Poison Ivy) sells 24K at #103, followed immediately by 23K in orders for a $1 reprint of Azzarello and Risso’s Joker #1.
After a few months where it held incredibly steady, Valkyrie: Jane Foster drops hard for its fourth issue to land at #106 with sales of 23K. It’s a great book, but it doesn’t feel like it got the promotion it needs. I wonder if Aaron will stick on this after leaving Thor for good.
Glenn: If it can stay here it should be okay. If you consider this strictly a Valkyrie book rather than the character that used to be Thor, its still a very good number.
Ray:The first Batman Giant released in stores sells 22K at #110, a great debut for a line that will do most of its sales in Walmart and other casual outlets. This is a $4.99 comic with about 25 pages of original comics and 60+ pages of reprints, so it’s a great deal.
Glenn: These things aren’t made to succeed in the direct market so this is all bonus money (for DC for a change) I’m sure they’ll be very pleased. No surprise that the Batman one of these is the best performing.
Ray: Dan Didio and Shane Davis debut a year-long Metal Men maxiseries at #112, selling 22K. It’s been ages since they had their own series, so I think these numbers are to be expected.
Glenn: Pretty much, Didio tends to stick to older more niche characters to so retailers and long time fans probably know what type of book this will be and ordered appropriately. It’ll be interested to see if a Nth metal member of the team will make any long term difference.

Highest selling Image launch this month is Nomen Omen at 113 which sells over 22.5k, a horror orientated title from a creative team I don’t really know but this is a great start from them. More proof that horror is the way to go outside of superheroes these days.

Ray: Given that neither of these books have creators who command sales on their own (although Sonata is getting some buzz), this is pretty impressive. Image as a whole still has a decent brand to sell its books with.

Glenn: An exceptional launch from Charlie Adlard’s new publishing company with Vampire State building selling over 22.3k at 114. It loses about half the same month with the second issue also coming out at 207 with sales over 11.7k which is still very impressive for a new publisher out of the gate. Obviously after decades drawing the Walking Dead, Adlard is able to command a respectful audience in of itself. Look for this to be a dark horse (the concept not the company) hit.

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Ray: That’s an incredible debut for a new company’s new book, and it shows that Kirkman and Adlard can probably write their own tickets from here on out. When you create a monster of a hit like they did with Walking Dead, the audience is going to be there for anything you do.

Glenn: One of the many things it impressively outsells is Black Adam: Year Of The Villain which sells over 22.3k at 115. Adam has been a prominent background character for a few years now (if that makes sense) but look for his stock to rise with the Rock led film coming out year after next.

Another huge boon for BOOM in the launch of their first Buffy event since getting their hands on the franchise with the first issue of Hellmouth launching at 117 selling over 21.9k. This makeover has done both the franchise and the new publisher that puts it out wonders.

Ray: Boom’s done well with Buffy books since the start, and even though this is pretty early for a crossover, this is a good sign. It is interesting, though, that the sales here are dwarfed by two recent creator-owned hits for the company.

Glenn: In the past few months, we’ve talked about the rise of sales on TNMT on the lead up to the 100th issue but this month sees a downtrend with issue 99 selling over 21.8k at 118. It’s a bit odd until you take note of the price tag of 7.99. Retailers likely ordered a bit more warily on that alone but its still a great number for that price on this property. We’ll see how issue 100 goes, I think top 20 is a real possibility.

Next new Image launch at 123 is Marked which debuts with sales of over 21.1k. This comic is co-written by David Hine who had some big two work a few years ago and is double the size at 3.99 which likely encouraged retailers to invest in it. It seems most decent Image concepts by non big creators seem to manage around the 20k mark by default which is nothing to sneeze at.

At 124 is the third Wonder Woman annual, this one written by Steve Orlando who will be taking over the book in a few months. Once again, its treated as an afterthought with sales over 21k.

Enforcing why these annuals are doing so-so is Doctor Strange Annual 1 at 129 which isn’t by the regular writer or any significance to anything. It sells over 20.6k and it’s to be expected.


Ray: Retailers don’t seem to trust annuals. The Wonder Woman one might get reorders, since it launches the new run and introduces a major new villain.

Glenn: A dollar comics reprint of Watchmen’s first issue pulls in ales over 19.1k at 137 which is likely to tie in with the new HBO show. Considering this has been reprinted in every variation you could think of (coming next year, Watchmen the upside down edition) this is excellent but its Watchmen what else is it going to do but sell?

Future Fights Firsts Luna Snow and Future Fights First White Fox may jointly win the prize for oddest title name this month. They are new Marvel books tying into a mobile game I’ve just learned about so a debut of over 18.7k at 140 for Snow and over 18.1k at 147 for Fox  eems to be exceptional in my book. It almost seems a little too high so I’m wondering if the sales are genuine. All seems well at first glance.

Ray: I think this is just basically the basement for what a Marvel book will do with a first issue now. I imagine a lot of these will get sold in video game stores.

Glenn: Another classic gets a good result for a dollar priced reprint for Swamp Thing 1 which I assume is for the original number 1 written by the late, great Len Wein. It sells over 17.8k at 150, DC has learned from Marvel that old material can be profitable as heck.

The quarterly anthology DC puts out continues to deliver solid numbers for its price tag at 153 for Secrets Of Sinister House which sells over 17.3k. These are always great reads and they offer a chance to see a lot of different creators tackling a similar subject, DC has no reason to end these anytime soon.

Ray: This is a little above the average anthology, probably because horror always has an audience. DC does a really good job of getting great talent for these, so they sell even though the price is so high.

Glenn: Right below it at 154 is very impressive reorders for Abrams and Abrams Spider-Man which brings in another 17.2k+. That would be encouraging if the book hadn’t gone walkies schedule wise.

This months True Believers theme (the cheap Marvel comics) is X-Men starting with Pyro at 155 selling over 17.7k. If you’re to do anything X-Men related, this is the month to do it but most of the major X-Men stories from years past have already had this treatment so these are the leftovers, still good results for old material regardless.

Ray: Free sales of old comics are free sales of old comics, so Marvel’s got to be happy with these either way. Some of the single issues are really odd choices for this treatment, though.

Glenn: Speaking of old material doing well is two dollar comics, Batman issue 497 (the back breaking issue) and Superman 75 (the Death Of Superman issue) which sell over 17.1k for Supes at 157 and 16.5k for Bats at 158. These were released to coincide with the Dark Multiverse tie-ins and both have been reprinted to death so these are easy money.

In what is an interesting experiment but seems to have not been a worthwhile one is Mark Millar’s second Chrononaughts mini which launches all four issues in the same month. I’d say issue 1 is on the low side at 159 selling over 16.5k but then it gets worse with issue 2 at 231 with sales over 10.2k, 3 at 240 with sales over 9.8k and 4 at 245 with over 9.7k in sales (the last issue to be noted is priced at 5.99 as it is slightly longer). I admire the ingenuity but clearly retailers didn’t want to invest in four issues of one mini all in the same day and likely expected their customers instead wanting to wait for the trade which will work out cheaper. Millar’s sales oomph has seemingly waned since his Netflix deal and it’ll be interesting if his next gamble, a mystery comic with no details apart from the fact he’s writing it and its a return of one of his most popular properties in December will pay off or crash and burn like this did.

Ray: Honestly, this is a disaster and one we’re never going to see repeated. Millar has a brand of his own and thought he could do something clever, but asking people to pay $18 on a single day for four comics is a bit much, and retailers were likely worried about the buy-in. The next Millarworld experiment in December will be a secret comic that won’t be revealed until release date.

Glenn: At 160 is Dead Eyes, on the surface its a low start from two well known creators on an Image book selling over 16.5k but this is simply a brand change and republication from the very recent Dead Rabbit. There were some legalities to clear up and now the comic is back so these are essentially reorders which are great, we’ll see how the book fares once it actually catches up with itself in a few months.

Ray: The whole story here is so bizarre. Whatever the copyright issue was, it was so serious they had to scrub the comic of any reference to his old name. I worry it’s really blunted the book’s momentum.

Glenn: More annuals getting lost in the shuffle with Nightwing selling over 16.3k at 162, Batman and the Outsiders selling over 15.9k at 165 and Aquaman selling over 15.7k at 168 but again this is a result of  slew of unimportant annuals hurting everyone.

Ray: Ironically, the Nightwing annual was the most important issue of this run and made the last year of stories fall into place. No one really noticed.

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Glenn: Gotham City monsters drops quite a bit with the second issue selling over 15.3k at 169. This is a quirky book so is likely selling this on the fact that Gotham is on the cover alone. An acceptable number for Orlando to do whatever he wants with it.

Speaking of odd titles, Bizarre Adventures launches from Marvel at 15.4k at 170 which is really a ‘what else could it have been expected to do?’ case.

Ray: Lots of oddball anthologies this month, with most being $4.99 instead of the larger DC ones. I don’t think you can expect these to sell unless you have a really strong concept or a fantastic list of creators.

Glenn: Right below it is another DC Giant, this time focusing on Villains who if you haven’t been paying attention are having a moment at the company. It sells over 15.3k at 171 which again is very good for a mix of reprint and new material that is meant to tell in truckloads in other markets.

Crazy, Marvel’s answer to MAD sells over 15.1k at 173. Seems a bit high for such an oddball title but here we are.

Another giant at 175 for the Flash this time selling over 14.6k. Again this is just bonus money for DC.

RWBY from DC comics is some sort of tie in to an anime which sells over 13.6k at 186 which I think is quite good given how odd a concept this is for the company. This is likely targeted at a non direct market audience and if it can a slice of the manga market it could do insane numbers.

Ray: RWBY actually gets another 10K in orders for a special cover down at #239, so I’d say this is a pretty big hit for DC’s expansion into licensed properties.

Glenn: Another BOOM launch at 187 for Strange Skies Over East Berlin which sells over 13.6k which is more in line with the companies previous levels. Its not the freight train success of Once and Future or Killing The Children but its still a very good launch, I would say that BOOM has done considerable work in the last year to raise their profile as a publisher.

Ray: Jeff Loveness is a cult creator who’s slowly been building his reputation, so I’d say this is pretty good for him. His previous work was mostly at Aftershock.

Glenn: Two more giants this time for Wonder Woman at 188 with sales over 13,2k and Swamp Thing at 195 with sales over 12.9k. Same deal here with all the others.

Another impressive launch for Vault who have seemingly worked their ass off like BOOM to try to gain some traction. This month its Money Shot at 210 which sells over 11.6k. This has Tim Seeley co-writing and has such an over the top concept it has to be seen to be believed. This is another win for them along with the Plot and the Mall recently.

Ray: Money Shot has an additional 5K in sales from a Black Bag cover down at #342, and that officially makes it the top-selling Vault debut ever. Tim Seeley has been promoting this book non-stop, and the hilarious concept has gotten it a lot of press. It feels like Vault is stepping up and will probably be the next company to jump into the B-tier of publishers from the scrum of small ones.

There’s another weekly Star Wars miniseries for Halloween, Return to Vader’s Castle, from IDW. It starts at #209 with sales of 11K, and the other four issues are selling between 10K and 9K as they slip down to #252 to round out the month. A little lower than I’d expect, but this is the Star Wars Adventures line and mostly sells in trades.
Both selling 11K, we have a pair of cult properties returning from limbo to land at #211 and #212. First is Matt Wagner’s Dark Horse thriller Grendel, followed by Michel Fiffe’s bizarre action thriller Copra moving from independent publishing to Image. Both of these are likely impenetrable to new readers who aren’t up on the backmatter, so retailers ordered carefully.
Glenn: Both of these have been going for years and have their own set audiences. It’ll be interesting if Copra sees an uptick in sales once Image starts rereleasing the early trades, the older content will be more available than ever and could attract some new readers.
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Ray: Two of the lower-selling DC Giants, Aquaman and Ghosts (a Halloween one-shot) are at #219 and #221 selling 10.8K. DC really rolled out a lot of these in the first month, but apparently they’re pulling back to four a month in November.
Two of the lower-selling True Believers one-shots are down here, selling 10.3K at #227 and #228. They focus on Kwannon and Rictor, not exactly boldfaces of the franchise. An issue focusing on Omega Sentinel is six spots lower.
Just under 10K in reorders for House of X #4 at #238, further proving that this franchise is an absolute monster.
A new Hellboy/BPRD one-shot, Long Night at Goloski Station, sells 9.8K at #243. This is where the franchise lives, and it continues to be one of Dark Horse’s most consistent sellers.
After a very long time off – the only recent content was an all-ages mini by Baltazar and FrancoThe Mask returns with a new political miniseries titled “I Pledge Allegiance to the Mask”, selling 9.6K at #248. It’s a decent debut for an obscure cult property that’s been out of focus for a while, but the days of the Jim Carrey movie are well behind us.
Glenn: I can’t remember when the last proper Mask comic came out and the franchise never recovered from the dreadful ‘Son Of The Mask’ sequel. This will be the remaining hardcore fans and those looking for their nostalgia fix.
Ray: 9.3K in reorders for the new Marvel series Strikeforce at #250, proving there is an audience for teams that contain Winter Soldier, Angela, and Blade.
Glenn: Not much but its there! I wonder if there was some renewed interest due to the upcoming Disney+ show starring Bucky and the forthcoming MCU Blade movie.
Ray: More reorders for Powers of X, with the fourth issue selling 8.7K extra at #258.
A comic book spin-off of a TV-spin-off of a movie, Cobra Kai: The Karate Kid Saga Continues sells 8.6K at #265. This is essentially a retelling of the first movie through Johnny’s eyes, so it may be a few decades past its peak audience.
Glenn: Very much a niche audience for this one. I wonder if all these copies were bought by Barney Stinson.
Ray: The Millarworld brand has really suffered over the last few months, with the final issue of Sharkey the Bounty Hunter and the penultimate issue of Space Bandits both selling 8.4K at #272/273. Not great, but a crossover between them has been revealed so I’d expect a sequel.
Titan attempts to reboot one of their oldest licensed properties with Robotech: Remix at #275. This reinvention by Brendan Fletcher of Gotham Academy and Isola sells 8.1K, which is above the standard level for this franchise. But the first issue was really dense and hard to follow for people clueless about the franchise.
Obscure and strange Dark Horse titles live around this level, and that’s where we find Count Crowley: Reluctant Midnight Monster Hunter, selling 7.6K at #283. This odd fusion of monster thriller and media satire isn’t a natural fit for any market, but it’s gotten some decent reviews and may become a cult hit.
The Once and Future continues selling, as the first issue picks up 7.5K in reorders at #284.
Right under more House of X reorders, we get the oversized reprint Marvel Tales: Ghost Rider selling 7.3K to coincide with the new series at #290. Not bad for a $7.99 collection of silver age titles.
It’s mostly reorders and low-selling ongoings at this point, but we get a new Valiant launch at #299. Roku, a spin-off featuring a Ninjak villain with prehensile hair, sells 6.7K despite the best efforts of Cullen Bunn. I don’t know that anyone was really clamoring for a spin-off for this character, given that she feels more like a holdover from the 1990s version of the universe.
Glenn: Most of these sales may have been on Bunn’s name alone. It just shows that he will give anything a go!
Ray: The director’s cut of Immortal Hulk #5 sells just under 6.7K at #300, proving that this franchise will sell in any form.
A new Berger Book from Ann Nocenti, the small-town noir Ruby Falls, lands just outside the top 300 at #303, selling 6.5K. This brand has put out some strong books, but it doesn’t seem to have translated to single-issue sales yet. It might not have helped that Nocenti’s previous book for the line has gone AWOL after two issues, but that’s on artist David Aja.
Glenn: Berger books have never found their way in the direct market but may do better in trades but inside and outside the trilogy. Hopefully it won’t go the same way as other Vertigoesque publishing line Black Crown did.
Ray: Cullen Bunn’s Aftershock Biblical horror series returns with a new miniseries titled Dark Ark: After the Flood at #304, selling 6.5K. Low for a Bunn debut, but I don’t think retailers ordered this as a new series given that it continues from the last series with the same creative team.
Glenn: Even more reorders for the first issues of Powers Of X at 306 picking up additional sales of over 6.4k. ITS A MONSTERRRRRR.
The second issue of the long awaited continuation of Pretty Deadly suffers quite a fall to 307 selling over 6.4k. Its likely only the most dedicated picking up the singles after the title going awol for so long and the rest of the audience moving to trades. 

Dymanite rejuvenates yet another long dormant franchise in Black Terror from noted writer Max Bemis which debuts at 313 selling over 6.1k. Nothing to write home about but this is a very obscure property and Bemis name value will only do so much.

Ray: Dynamite has made many attempts to make these characters happen, but even Gail Simone and Max Bemis can only do so much.

Glenn: At 315 we have a Bettie Page Halloween One Shot selling over 6k. The original pin up goes all spooky and stuff! Not much else can be said here, it is what it is.

Reorders for first issues of uber successful titles House Of X selling over another 5.8k at 320 and Something Is Killing The Children selling over another 5.7k at 322. Both are like printing money for their respective publishers it seems.

A new Lady Death title sells over 5.7k at 324 so there’s likely only the dedicated audience left for one of comics more cheesecake orientated characters.

Ray: Lady Death’s status as the only Chaos Comics character still at an independent publisher is puzzling.

Glenn: It seemed to have an amusing premise but Aftershock still struggles to gain momentum as their latest title Shoplifters Will Be Liquidated sells over 5.5k at 326. This is just where the publisher lives at the moment.

Ray: They tend to do a little better when they have a name creator attached, but I believe this was by a first-time Aftershock creator.

Glenn: There’s reorders for last month’s top book Spawn 300 at 334 as it picks up an additional 5.3+ sales. It seems that retailers got this one pretty much on the money and probably went a little overboard.

Disney=money in most cases but Dark Horse’s adaption of the Little Mermaid does little in the first issue debuting with over 5.3k in sales at 336 but this is not really the place for it. Once it is collected and released to Disney stores and other book retailers around the world, it won’t be a problem, especially when the live action remake swims along.

Ray: Unlike the recent Snow White remake by the same creative team, I don’t think this story needed to be retold with a remake already coming. But these three-issue miniseries are aimed at the bookstore market anyway.

Glenn: At 339 is a zero issue of an…anthlogy? Okay then. This is Savage Tales Halloween Special from Dynamite that has Red Sonja on the cover but likely stars a variety of the characters they licence. It sells over 5.2k, I don’t think fans of each of the Dynamite characters would be fans of the other ones necessarily so mixing them together likely kept only the die hards around.

Ray: This is actually a Mark Russell-penned oversized Red Sonja issue, flashing back to before his run began. The title may have confused retailers a bit.

Glenn: It certainty confused me.

Vault comics releases another new title in Cult Classic Creature Feature which sells over 5k at 344 so while the company has had some promising hits recently, they can’t all be winners. This is a generic sounding horror concept by names I don’t recognize so this will be likely the bottom line for Vault while they continue to build their current reach.

Ray: This is oddly the second installment in a series of genre tales by writer Eliot Rahal – same creator, different genres and characters. The previous installment, Return to Whisper, had massive delays and was eventually released in oversized issues combining the last four issues over a month

Glenn: Another horror book from Zenescope at 349 selling over 4.7k as they seem to move away from their more bawdy work to horror but it doesn’t seem many people are buying in. Of course this still has a variant with a sexy…dragon lady? I think? They have a similar offering at 355 with their Halloween special selling over 4.4k which features many sexy lady covers!

This months first ‘why, oh lord why’ is at 358 with Superior AOC which sells over 4.3k. Its no Trump That Laughs, that’s for sure.

Ray: But did this issue commit copyright infringement and then dare a multi-billion dollar company to sue them for lols?

Glenn: I’m not reading this tripe to find out.

Action Lab brings together its various supernatural female characters including By The Numbers sponsor, Zombie Tramp for Amalgama Space Zombie at 363 selling over 4.2k. I don’t think the Avenger’s have to worry about their jobs at this rate but next year, you never know.

Ray: But when are we getting our Amalgama Space Zombie/Zombie Tramp crossover?

Glenn: Not soon enough!

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IDW’s adaption for Island Of Dr. Moreau seems to have been a bit of a dud with sales over 4.2k at 363 despite having Locke and Key artist, Gabriel Rodriquez delivering some damn fine art. This will likely sell better when collected but you have to imagine IDW wanted more.

Ray: I think all short-run miniseries, especially those by prestige creators, have retailers already looking towards the trade.

Glenn: Albatross Comics has their own Halloween special with Spook House at 370 with sale over 3.9k. This seems more aimed at younger readers so might sell better elsewhere but it did have the involvement of Eric Powell which I thought might have gotten a bit more direct market attention.

Gail Simone’s captainship of Lion Forge continues with a new mini in Catalyst Prime: Seven Days which sells over 3.6k at 379. If memory serves me, this universe is on its way out and when even Gail Simone can only get you sales like this, its not surprising.

Ray: This is close to four times what an average issue of a Catalyst Prime issue sold before the event, so I think this is actually a win for the struggling shared universe. The question is whether Gail will stick around after this miniseries.

Glenn: Despite several months later, the first issue of Absolute Carnage continues to pick up reorders with over 3.5k at 384. That sound you hear is Disney wrapping its arms around Donny Cates leg begging him to never leave.

Many reorders and low selling small press around here until we get to the first issue of Unbound from Zenescope selling over 3.2k at 394. This one sounds pretty dull and likely sold accordingly, oh Zenescope, don’t try to be more than you are.

Wolvenhart, a time travel supernatural thingey from Mad Cave studios debuts at 399 selling over 3.1k. Probably happy they scraped into the top 400.

A relaunch from Avatar for Warrior Nun Dora which apparently is getting a Netflix series soon (??!!??!?!) sells over 3k at 401. If a relaunch happens when no one notices, does it happen?

Ray: I still can’t believe Warrior Nun Dora is a real comic, but hey, there are like 20 variant covers while I’m trying to order comics.

Glenn: Right under it is a Archie Comic reprint anthology focusing on Halloween which sells over 3k at 402. As we say every month, these are not the place these books are meant for.

Ray: These single-issue sized digests are Archie’s latest line, and they seem to be making a minimal impact in the direct market. Business as usual for their older comics.

Glenn: I’m surprised WWE Smackdown didn’t do better than 405 and sales over 2.8k. The brands mega money deal move to FOX was heavily publicised and I thought might get some buzz. I guess they only have a certain ceiling no matter what.

Another horror orientated book in Edgar Allen Poe’s Snifter Of Terror at 406 selling over 2.8k. Too many horror books so this one got lost in the shuffle. I doubt many comic fans are visiting their LCS for namesakes of classic literature.

Low sales for this years Thought Bubble Anthology at 415 selling over 2.7k but I would assume people at the namesake con got given these as handouts and or had the opportunity to buy them en mass there so the sales here are largely irrelevant.

Ray: Yeah, a lot of people – myself included – didn’t know what to make of Thought Bubble. A jam issue from established and indie creators, it didn’t have any real through-line. But it did have Kimjoy!

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Glenn: All hail Kimjoy!

An odd sounding semi biographical comic from writer/artist Craig Thompson at 419 selling over 2.6k is Gasling Roots. I think this is a very personal story from a small press publisher so likely just got lost in the shuffle.

Ray: Craig Thompson is a legendary name, but he’s never worked in single issues before and Ginseng Roots is definitely a niche project from a tiny start-up company. I think his name alone got it into the top five hundreds.

Glenn: Another writer/artist offering at 420 is Pink Lemonade by Nick Cagetti selling over 2.6k. Everything I said about Gasling Roots applies here…apart from the semi biographical content…I mean maybe.

Ray: This was definitely a month with a lot of odd projects reminiscent of underground comics. This has to be a hit for the creator’s unusual output.

Glenn: Scout Comics releases a 5.99 Snow White zombie one shot at 421 selling over 2.6k. She’s undead and eating more than apples kids!

Ray: This was like reading Fables as published by Joel Schumacher. What an odd comic.

Glenn: Schumacher gave us Lost Boys, he could do better.

Among many low selling small press and reorders is…is…*looks at 430 at what sells over 2.3k* is….*gets up, packs bag, leaves house, leaves planet*

Ray: Oh, Glenn, I’m sure it can’t be that…Tremendous Trump: She-Trump. Okay then. Anyway, a comic publisher that has repeatedly pandered to comicgate is putting this comic featuring sexy lady Trump out, and that’s all we’ll say about that,
At #433 is Giant Days: As Time Goes By, the conclusion to the long-running Boom series by John Alison. It sells 2.3K, not what you’d expect for a grand finale. But the series has always done better in collections and the $7.99 price tag wasn’t likely to lure in new readers. This will be one of Boom’s many evergreen hits in collections.
Glenn: I look forward to checking it out in the new year!
Ray: Another Archie mini-digest for Betty and Veronica Friends Forever: Supernatural, as the company puts out a small Halloween-themed collection of recent stories at #439, selling 2.1K. It’s mostly reorders around here, but a few originals like this sneak in.
Remember GWAR? The rock band that dressed up as monsters and had weird special effects on stage? Well, 2K do, as their Rock & Roll Biography charts at #445.
Glenn: Whahuh?
Ray: 2K in reorders for Dead End Kids #1 at #446, as that short Source Point Press miniseries picks up some more buzz.
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As we wait for the final issue of the acclaimed series, the first issue of Batman: Last Knight on Earth gets 1.9K in reorders at #453.
There’s a lot of reorders for Absolute Carnage tie-ins down here, as Absolute Carnage vs. Deadpool, Symbiote of Vengeance, the ASM tie-ins, and Symbiote Spider-Man all get close to 2K in additional sales.
A pair of small-press action titles, the future-set conspiracy thriller Killswitch and the insane-asylum horror comic D Ward, both sell 1.7K for their first issues from Action Lab and Keenspot, taking up spots #465/466.
From A Wave Blue World, one of the newest publishers, their debut comic Mezo sells 1.6K at #469. This is a Mesoamerican-set fantasy adventure that hasn’t really attracted much buzz yet. With so many publishers trying to get a small slice of the market, some are going to get lost in the shuffle.
Another entry from Source Point, as the third installment of the Rejected series, Dead Girl, sells 1.6K. This is the first installment not written by the creator, so they continue to build some momentum for the series.
1.6K in reorders for The Plot #1 at #474, so this continues to be one of the biggest hits Vault has had yet.
Gutter Magic #1 sells 1.6K at #476 for Source Point, but this is apparently the reprint of a Kickstarter project getting a much bigger release. This is another project by Rich Douek, who has had some recent hits with Road of Bones and Wailing Blade.
Secret Life of Pets, which has been publishing anthology comics through Titan, launches a new edition at #481 with sales of 1.5K. This is definitely not a book aimed at the direct market, so those pets will find their kibble money elsewhere. Or not, after the second movie tanked.
Beyond the Demon the Sea, a nautical horror one-shot from Source Point, finally gets distributed through Diamond after being sold on their website and at cons for a while. It lands at #482 with sales of 1.5K.
Glenn: You gotta guess that most people that wanted to read this already have.
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Ray: A new Casper one-shot, Casper’s Haunted Halloween, sells 1.3K at #488 from American Mythology, pretty typical for a property that last had a moment in 1994.
I don’t know what Squarriors is, but it’s from Devil’s Due and sells 1.3K at #490. I hope it’s about Squirrel Warriors and is Doreen Green’s favorite comic.
Glenn: Make it so Marvel!
Ray: After two different covers of the Grimm Fairy Tales Horror Pinup Special at #497 and #499 (strike up the Rachel Bloom!), we wrap up this month with Zorro: Rise of the Old Gods #2 at #500, selling 1,208 copies. That’s one of the highest bottom marks we’ve seen in a while.
Glenn: This year seems to be ending in a decent way for the industry overall, may it continue.
Ray: Looking ahead, November for DC brings a lot of interesting books including a Von Freeze-focused spin-off of Batman: White Knight, the second Hill House launch in Carey and Gross’ The Dollhouse Family, NK Jesimin’s DC debut with the Green Lantern thriller Far Sector, a new Grant Morrison Green Lantern mini, the fifth Sandman Universe title in John Constantine: Hellblazer, and the first two Infected one-shots focusing on Shazam and Blue Beetle. Plus two more Dark Multiverse one-shots – and a little book called Legion of Superheroes #1 from Bendis and Sook.
Marvel is bringing us the rest of the new X-line, headlined by the Hickman-cowritten New Mutants, along with X-Force and Fallen Angels. As one event, Absolute Carnage, comes to an end, aother one launches in Annihilation: Scourge. This is also where a wave of 2099 one-shots launches, and we get new #1s for Deadpool, Scream. Morbius, and Yondu. One of these will sell much better than the others. And if that’s not enough, this is where Garth Ennis makes his return to Punisher.
Normally DC and Marvel dominate the top ten, but Image has a shot at breaking in there again this month with the launch of Undiscovered Country by Snyder, Soule, and Camuncoli. We’re also getting a new Jeff Lemire book in Family Tree, a very personal fantasy adventure from Curt Pires in Olympia, and a pair of books from new Image creators in Killadelphia and Heart Attack.
What will rise? What will fall? Find out next month on By the Numbers!
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Liked What You Read Or Have Any Questions? Let Us Know Here Or On Twitter @glenn_matchett and @raygoldfield







By The Numbers: September 2019

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 several years but grew up reading comics. He’s had work published with various small press publishers and has is own comic now available on Comixology in Sparks: The Way I Was from Yellow Bear Comics! This Halloween Glenn is dressing up as tax returns, spooky.

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. This Halloween, Ray is dressing up as Glenn. Terrifying.

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!

Glenn: Hello once again friends as we have our eye on the end of the year that is, we look back at the September that was in terms of comic sales,

Its another month where all is not what it seems as once more, DC had an issue of two types of covers for two different prices which means that sales are once again wonky. We’re going to do our commentary on actual combined sales rather than split hairs. It makes our lives harder but we feel it gives things a more accurate projection overall.
For the full top 500 uncombined numbers click here.
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It turns out my time travel machine works because Image’s longest running ongoing Spawn is at the top of the charts! The long running Todd Mcfarland creation speeds to the top of the charts with a result of over 262.5k in sales making it one of the highest selling comics of the year. This book has a lot going for it including having a big anniversary number, nostalgia, big creators doing stories like Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo while also having a bunch of variants. Of course all this creates some smoke and mirrors but I think this is a very definitive accomplishment. Will it last? Not likely but reports on sales for issue 301 are strong so we could get a long time before Spawn returns to its previous level. Its great to see Image at the top of the charts but this overall was a poor, poor month for them. More on that as we go along.
Ray: Image successfully turned this into an event, which is rare for them. The combination of big-name covers and top guest creators, plus a celebration of the history of the property, delivered exactly what they were hoping for. I’m skeptical that this will work long-term, because I don’t know the last time anyone actually talked about the events in a Spawn issue, but at the very least they got back to 90s numbers for one issue.
Glenn: At number 2 is Marvel’s much hyped Spider-Man comic written by JJ Abrams, his son Henry and drawn by Sara Pichelli which sells over 156.3k. This is a great number but considering how big a media mogul JJ is I would have expected closer to the number that Spawn got. On our podcast, Rabbit Stew (dong!) Ray made some good points on how this is still a good result but it seems lacking to me. I know a lot of people were hoping the earliest tease for this comic meant a comic version of Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 4 and this is obviously not that and details about what it was were very sparse. Did playing their cards close to their chest hurt Marvel or do big names outside the industry not pack the punch they used to? This will deliver very solid numbers for a (spoilers) out of continuity Spidey tale throughout but I still think compared to other things like Doomsday Clock and DCCeased the results from this will be sub par, time will tell.
Ray: I think Marvel has to be happy about this, actually. They very rarely see numbers this high unless it’s for first issues that they have dozens of variant covers for. They didn’t even reveal the concept of this series until release, so people were buying this almost entirely based on the name of JJ Abrams. I have some friends who insist Abrams is overrated and has no real sales pull, but the man showran the #1 domestic movie of all time and one of the top TV series. People want to see what he’ll do, even if he’s only co-writing. We’ll have to see how it holds up, but it’s another in a streak of stand-alone hit Spider-man miniseries lately.
Glenn: Abrams is one of the biggest name directors and media successes out there. I can think of maybe 4 or 5 directors/producers who can pull in as much attention on name alone. Your friend is mad, mad I tell you.
From 3-6 its all Hickman X-Men as his monster two prelude mini’s continue to rack up the sales with issues 5 of House Of X and Powers Of X outselling issue 4. Issues 5 and 4 of House sell over 139.3k and 119.3k at 3 and 6 respectfully while Powers sells over 137.5k and 127k respectfully at 4 and 5. Obviously Hickman getting free reign on the X line has done wonders and his newly coming X-Men book will be a top ten staple. How this will benefit the other X titles not written by him remain to be seen but the numbers here are very encouraging.
Ray: Insanely dominant, with the sales going up as it goes along. There’s no other way to describe it. This is another megahit that just keeps growing much like DCeased, but unlike that stand-alone thriller, Marvel should have no problem spinning this success off into the next month’s new titles. I think it’s likely X-Men #1 is the top book in October.
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Glenn: At 7 is the always dependable Doomsday Clock which clocks (hah,see what I did there?) in sales of over 115.8k despite the infamous and numerous delays. The series is hopefully ending in December where even if it sells a small fraction of what Watchman has over the last 30 or so years all the waiting will have been worth it.
Ray: A bunch of other books have lapped it, but Doomsday Clock has not lost a step. The final issue is coming out in December, and then it’s likely to be an evergreen hit for years to come. We don’t know how much this series will play into coming stories, but it’s definitely been the hit DC was hoping for.
Glenn: The first victim of the split numbers is the new Harley and Ivy mini by Jody Houser which sells over 110.3k in total placing it at 8. This is a Heroes In Crisis sequel of sorts but I doubt given that events so-so performance that has anything to do with this. This is due to Harley being a star character, people liking her relationship with Ivy and Houser being a rising star for years. Its a great and unexpected hit for DC and is encouraging for the multitude of Harley related books we have coming over the next few months. More on Harley in a short while.
Ray: It’s a massive hit, and I wonder if this might light a fire under DC’s butt to finally give Ivy a solo series. Harley’s always been a hit, but the combination of her with her on-again-off-again-occasionally-dead girlfriend took the sales to a new level.
Glenn: At 9 is the amazingly successful Absolute Carnage which sells over 95.5k on its third issue this month. Obviously this is outperforming a lot of recent Marvel events that were seen to have much bigger impacts and had much more hype. This is what happens when a dynamite creative team is left to do their own thing, see also: Metal.
Ray: I don’t think this is the level of hit Marvel was hoping for, and that’s mostly down to Marvel’s ongoing problems in the industry. I do think it’s held up well from month to month, and the short-run event will close out as a hit. Definitely a step up from War of the Realms.
Glenn: Final spot in the top ten is DCeased: A Good Way To Die, a bonus one shot printed alongside the insanely well performing mini series no saw coming. It sells over 90k which is amazing considering how this was a late addition to the overall story. We’re definitely getting more of this universe in one form or another sooner rather than later.

Ray: As of this typing the final issue drops next week, but everything it touches is gold. I expect a season two as soon as the creative team is ready – unless everyone’s dead. 

84K in orders for Harleen #1, Stepan Sejic’s writer-artist retelling of Harley Quinn’s origin at #10 (or #11 on the true charts). That’s a solid number for a Black Label book, above the recent Superman: Year One but not quite on the level of the Batman books. I think we can largely say that this line is one of the biggest hits out of DC in a while, and it’s not a surprise they’re ramping up production with more Harley and Joker in coming months.
Glenn: Great number for a comic in an unusual format (not a winner historically) and given the cover price. The Harley hype train is for real.
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Ray: There’s an apparent discrepancy in sales on Batman this month, with Batman #78 selling 80K at #11 and #79 selling 61K at #18, but that’s explained by the 20K additional sales for the lower-selling issue for the special variant cover.
Glenn: Sticking steadily to that 80k at this point. Weird to think King is gone before so long.
Ray: No such explanation for Amazing Spider-Man, which sells 80K at #12 for the second Absolute Carnage issue, but then drops to #16 with 65K for the previous issue, which had no such tie-in. This is probably the normal level for the title, and it’s not likely to increase too much for the 2099 event.
Glenn: I don’t think that will spike the interest Marvel is hoping it will. Willing to be surprised of course.
Ray: At #15 is the debut of Strikeforce, selling 65K for a new team book pairing an oddball group of heroes including Winter Soldier, Spider-Woman, Angela, and Blade. It’s a decent debut number, but those tend to crash after the first issue and this seems like an odd concept for a book without long-term planning.
Glenn: A great debut on the surface for sure but yeah, this won’t last. None of these characters have any real staying power sales wise. This will be a 12 issue or less job.
Ray: Amid a regular sea of high-selling books including Fantastic Four, Immortal Hulk, Justice League, Detective Comics, and Silver Surfer: Black in the 50K range, we have the debut of King Thor from Aaron and Ribic at #21, selling 55K. I would have expected more for a new series by this creative team, but I think retailers might have treated it like the regular series. This run has been going on for so long that it’s unlikely new readers will jump on for this epilogue.
Glenn: At first I was really shocked by the sales of King Thor, I would have expected that to be a top ten debut. However, thinking it over it is a case of this is merely the final arc of a very long run. People aren’t going to jump on out of nowhere now no matter if it is a top team or a major story. I’d say we’ll get strong numbers for Cates start of course and Aaron’s run will sell in multiple collective forms for the company until the stars turn cold.
Ray: #26 brings the debut of Legion of Super-Heroes: Millennium, the prequel series to Bendis and Sook’s upcoming Legion revival. Selling 48K, it’s not the biggest vote of confidence in the series – but then, this isn’t actually a Legion comic and starred Rose and Thorn, of all characters.
Glenn: This is like one of those zero issues retailers never know how to deal with. Still since the Legion hasn’t been a thing outside of some teases in Rebirth and Doomsday Clock for ages, it could be worse.
Ray: I’m really surprised by how strong Absolute Carnage: Scream is doing, with the second issue selling 48K at #27. This is a character who hasn’t had a spotlight in a long time, but it seems Marvel knew what they were doing when they greenlit an ongoing spinoff for December.
At #29 is the launch of Flash Forward, the Wally West spinoff from Heroes in Crisis by Scott Lobdell and Brett Booth. It sells 46K, which a little above the level of the regular Flash title. Despite the controversy and the divisive creative team, I think this is a testament to how strong fan interest is in the character.
Glenn: Given its a mini it’ll do okay and hopefully set up some interesting stuff for Wally to come. It could be DC is testing the waters for a Flash title starring him and if this settles around the low to mid 30’s there could be something here. It does show that not many people are interested in following potential fallout from Heroes In Crisis (although Harley and Ivy does that too but I doubt anyone is picking up the book looking for that specifically)
Ray: The second issue of Batman/Superman is down at #34, selling 43K, but there’s another 19K in sales at #119, pushing it up to 63K and making it a solid top twenty book. We’ll have to see how it holds up once sales gimmicks and event tie-ins fade, but this is a promising start.
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Glenn: Very much so, I think it’ll settle to be a solid upper tier DC book while Williamson is on board.
Ray: At #36 is the Absolute Carnage: Symbiote Spider-Man one-shot, selling 42K. This wasn’t a Spider-man comic, instead featuring one of the most obscure symbiote-users ever, which shows the pull of this brand name. Not a surprise we’re getting a second miniseries from the period soon.
#38 brings us a Valiant debut, as Bloodshot #1 from Tim Seeley and Brett Booth sells 41K, one of the best Valiant debuts in a while. I would not want to be the guy following Jeff Lemire on this franchise, but this is a strong debut for the creative team – and Booth’s second top forty debut of the month.
Glenn: Impressive and it shows that Lemire has built up the franchise significantly and of course there being a film next year doesn’t hurt. This is a Valiant title that outsells everything from Image bare Spawn 300 which is astonishing.
Ray: #40 has 40K in sales for Absolute Carnage: Symbiote of Vengeance. This is Ed Brisson’s prelude to the upcoming Ghost Rider series, which doesn’t bode all that well for the series’ longevity – I’d be surprised if the first regular issue got higher sales.
Similarly, 39K in sales for Black Panther and the Agents of Wakanda at #41 feels like a misfire from the start. We saw before that Black Panther can’t really carry a franchise of books, as most spin-offs have lasted under a year. Given that this mostly focuses on Fat Cobra and Ka-Zar so far, the odds aren’t good for a turnaround here.
Glenn: Same story as before when we got a number of Panther books when the relaunch was a hit a few years ago. It didn’t quite work then and it had a hugely successful film and the Coates momentum to work of which this one very much does not. It could be worse again but it’ll be one that falls hard next month most likely.
Ray: On the other hand, Valkyrie: Jane Foster has leveled off amazingly well with third-issue sales of 39K at #42, Thus is a book where demand was obviously underestimated. Maybe the initial orders were before Jane Foster’s big MCU promotion was announced?
#43 brings 39K in sales for Batman vs. Ra’s Al Ghul, the latest strange miniseries from Neal Adams. He has his own fanbase, but I think the big names in the title probably helped this one drive sales a bit higher.
Glenn: This is the base level for an Adams level Batman title and considering its off to the side of everything else and is mostly an artist specific project this is still solid.
Ray: #44 has the launch of Web of Black Widow, written by Jody Houser, selling 38K. Houser’s other miniseries this month was a huge hit, but this is pretty standard for a Black Widow series. No matter how much they try, she just doesn’t seem to be able to carry a solo title long-term.
Glenn: It’ll be interesting to see what bells and whistles they pull out come next March when the film hits.
Ray: This is the solid middle tier of comics, with books like Flash, Action Comics, Daredevil, and Star Wars all selling in the mid-to-high 30K range. But a new entry into that area is Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, selling 34K at #54 for its 98th issue as the huge countdown to 100 continues. This feels like a mini-version of what Spawn successfully did – reigniting interest in a long-running franchise for a big anniversary. Again, I think #100 hits the top ten.
At #57 is a huge debut for Something is Killing the Children, James Tynion IV’s new horror series from Boom, selling 33K. Not only is this one of Boom’s top debuts ever, it’s actually the top creator-owned book on the charts this month besides Spawn. This feels like Tynion’s breakout moment in the creator-owned market, and yet another example of how Boom has improved their fortunes in the market. More on them…laytor.
Glenn: Again, a good bit higher than 99% of Image output, an astounding number from BOOM who have had a quiet renaissance. Good for them, its clear why this was made an ongoing.
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Ray: After four months off, Shazam returns with a new issue at #59, selling 31K. The delays are a mess, of course, but it’s impressive how DC comics tend to weather them with little affect on sales.
#60 brings us a nostalgia one-shot, New Mutants: War Children from Chris Claremont and Bill Sienkiewicz. It sells 31K, which is impressive given how long ago this run was. I suspect Marvel may have commissioned this to tie-in with the movie that supposedly drew heavily on the run, but…you know.
Glenn: Really good all things considered. Better than the majority of these off nostalgia one shots have been doing which we’ll see later on.
Ray: #65 brings us another nostalgia one-shot, Spider-Man: Going Big, where the main draw was a new Erik Larsen story. Larsen is back with a bigger project soon, but this sells 29K – which is basically the baseline for any mid-level Spider-project these days. Expect a lot more of these on the charts this month.
The Wolverine Annual is the top-selling Acts of Evil annual this month, selling 29K at #66 for a story by Jody Houser.
Glenn: This event that wasn’t didn’t seem stir any great excitement but it gave us the Punisher/JJJ team we never knew we needed so whose to say it was all for naught?
Ray: #68 brings us 28K in sales for an oddball project for Steve Orlando, Gotham City Monsters. I don’t think any higher could be expected for a book that’s essentially a Killer Croc/Frankenstein team-up,  so the fact that it got this high is probably a testament to Orlando’s growing profile – good news for him as he takes over Wonder Woman in November.
I was surprised all of the Year of the Villain one-shots sold so closely in sales – and relatively low. Lex Luthor’s one-shot by Jason Latour is down at #72 selling 27K, followed by Mark Russell’s Riddler one-shot selling 27K at #75. These are big-name villains, but I don’t think retailers were treating them as essential tie-ins. Expect some re-orders on the Luthor one.
Glenn: Retailers don’t seem to think these one shots are essential which by and large, they probably aren’t. It shows how much the modern audience has been trained to treat spin offs for big stories after being batted over the head with them for like 15 years.
Ray: At #74 is another huge win for Boom, as the second issue of The Once and Future sells 27K, a modest decline from last month. That puts the top two non-Spawn creator-owned books on the market as Boom titles, and continues to establish a firm elite tier of creator-owned names that can drive sales for original concepts anywhere – I’d say it’s Snyder, Lemire, Gillen, and Tynion at this point.
Glenn: We better say or they’ll beat us up and take our money. They’re so cool!!!! Again, not a surprise that its got the ongoing treatment.
Ray: Not great second issue sales for Ghost Spider at #79, selling 25K. The character’s decline with the frequent reboots doesn’t seem to have slowed, but I have a feeling she’ll still be outselling Mary Jane once that title settles down.
This is where we see the last wave of Age of Resistance one-shots for Star Wars, with Kylo Ren selling the highest at #80, followed by Rey at #86, Snoke at #96, and Rose Tico at #109. They sell between 25K and 20K, the standard tier for lower-level Star Wars books.
Things finally settle down for Black Cat, as the fourth issue drops heavily to sell 25K at #83. This is where I’d expect the title to sell after an arc, maybe a little higher, so ultimately all those sales games were for nothing.
Glenn: Sanity! Now the game becomes how long this lasts, this has been one that has been interesting to watch.
Ray: The Moon Knight Annual is at #87, selling 24K. All of these Acts of Evil one-shots seemed to get ordered based on the character, not the creative team or plot, because this Cullen Bunn-penned Kang story seemed to have a bit more buzz.
Glenn: Hoping for some reorders based on it actually being one of the better ones and Moon Knight’s stock will soon be on the rise.
Ray: At #94 we’ve got the lowest-selling Star Wars tie-in yet with the video game tie-in Jedi Fallen Order: Dark Temple, which sells 23K. This one doesn’t feature any famous Star Wars characters, so the sales aren’t a surprise, but it does have a very good decline the same month to only 20K for the second issue, so that’s probably just the floor for the franchise.
Glenn: No matter what franchise its ancored to, video game tie ins never do too hot. This is either low tier for Star Wars or high for video games depending what way you look at it.
Ray: The Peter David mini-event Prodigal Sun concludes with a Guardians of the Galaxy issue at #98, selling 22K. Pretty standard for a stand-alone Marvel project with no real ties to bigger stories.
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Glenn: Probably the lowest a Peter David Marvel title will do, I’m glad he’s still getting regular gigs as one of the most underrated long time talent in comics.
Ray: At #101 we have the launch of Vampirella/Red Sonja, spinning out of the popular crossover with Betty and Veronica and selling just under 22K. Dynamite always inflates first-issue sales with a host of covers, but given what we saw with Priest’s title (only four spots below at 21K), there seems to be some momentum for Vampirella at the moment. Can a Vampirella/Zombie Tramp crossover be far behind?
Glenn: We can only dream.
Ray: You’ve got to get down to #107 to find the first non-Spawn Image title, as Die continues to chug along and sells just under 21K this month. This is clearly a hit, but it seems obvious that Image is struggling to find its next killer app. Or is it just around the corner with Snyder and Soule’s Undiscovered Country?
Glenn: I really think so, that and the other Snyder project to be uncovered will be the injection they need to get some fight in the top 100.
Ray: 20K in sales for the Batman #181 facsimile edition at #110, which reprints the first appearance of Poison Ivy. DC keeps getting more and more evidence of how much people want a series with this character.
I would say surprisingly low sales for the new Lemire/Giffen maxiseries Inferior Five, which sells just under 20K at #111, but this is a tie-in to a thirty-year-old event comic featuring almost no established DC characters. It sells almost the exact same as this month’s issue of Black Hammer/Justice League, which indicates this is almost all interest in Lemire driving the sales. I could see it leveling out very quickly.
Glenn: This is one of those ‘critical darling’ projects that tend to start out low, settle fast before climbing gradually as the reviews/hype come in. Given how obscure the property is I don’t know how it could have been much better off the bat. It’ll be one that will do well in collections as DC continues to add to their unreal library. 
We next turn our attention to 117 where we have a dollar comics edition of the first issue of Crisis Of Infinite Earth’s. This DC equivalent of the True Believers line will be a mixed bag like that line is and will perform or not perform based on the property. This performing over 19.2k is a good solid number for one of DC’s most iconic stories and one the company is still trying to get meat off to this day.
Ray: This was probably been the most influential event comic of all time, setting the stage for the next few decades of DC, so I’m not surprised it still has some sales pull.
Glenn: At 121 we have another of the nostalgia one shots, Avengers: Loki Unleashed which sells over 18.8k which I think is very good for what was basically a missing issue of a run that doesn’t get much regular callback or notoriety.
Ray: Yeah, this run doesn’t get talked about all that much nowadays. I think a lot of the sales are down to the MCU boosting Loki’s popularity so much.
Glenn: In the same vein at 125 is Alpha Flight: True North that sells over by 18.2k which sees the Canadian super hero team get a creative team from their native country. Alpha Flight haven’t really had much hype in a long time so this is probably driven by nostalgia for the team and end up can be seen as a pretty decent result for a one off.
Ray: An anthology starring Alpha Flight is basically the opposite of sales bait, so I’m honestly surprised it sold this high. Having all Canadian creators was one of the big selling points here in publicity. It was one of many little experiments for Marvel this month.
Glenn: Right below it at 126 is the first issue of Rick & Morty vs D & D II Painscape (such a long title) which sells over 18.1k, this property continues to do incredibly well for Oni, their most valuable asset outside of possibly Scott Pilgrum by far.
Ray: Oni’s reportedly going to be going through some major upheaval soon, so we’ll see where this franchise winds up.
Glenn: Two dollar comics relatively close together in Detective Comics 854 (starting off the Rucka/Williams III Batwoman run) at 131 selling over 17k and Harley Quinn 1 (I presume the start of the Pilmiotti and Connor run) selling over 15.6k at 136. Solid enough for two runs which do well on a regular basis in various collective forms and are now both getting adaptions in other media.
At 133 is the highest selling Image debut the month in SFSX which sells over 16.6k which is a decent start, its made more impressive when you consider this is a mature readers title so its looking to get a specific part of an already limited audience in general. Should settle to a decent level.
Ray: This was a former Vertigo title that was shuttled over here when the line was closed down, actually. Given that, these sales are likely a slight increase, but this is overall good for a title with no real name creators on board. Very few Image launches this month.
Glenn: A relaunch of a Chaos Comics *shrugs* character from Dynamite in Chasity at 140 selling over 15.1k which I’d say is very good considering I’ve never heard of this. I’m assuming there’s some nostalgia at play here because although Marc Andreyko is involved and he has some big two power, I don’t think that’s the main driver here.
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Ray: There’s a Red Sonja/Chaos crossover coming soon, so they’re trying to make this happen again. Oddly, Dynamite doesn’t own the rights to Chaos’ most popular character, Lady Death.
Glenn: Right’s issues make Glenn’s head hurt.
Fantastic reorders for the unstoppable House Of X’s debut issues at 142 selling over over 15.1k which after 2 months is making it one of the most succesful comics of the year (priced at 5.99 to boot). The third issue also pops up at 146 selling over 14.8k, insane stuff.
This months True Believer theme is the Hulk, likely trying to get some love classic takes on the character given the success of Immortal Hulk all sell around the same level starting at 147 with Head Of Banner selling over 14.6k with Professor Hulk at 150 selling over 14.5, Gray Hulk Returns at 154 selling over 13.8k, Intelligent Hulk at 13.2k at 158 and Other Hulks selling over  13.2k at 161, Red Hulk at 168 selling over 12.8k and Joe Fixit selling over 12.4k at 172. Given they’re pretty closely packed together would indicate that retailers didn’t feel overly fussed about one particular issue over the other and all were ordered as cheap stock filler more than anything.
Ray: True Believers one-shots tend to do best when there’s a movie to tie into, and without that these numbers are pretty good.
Glenn: Some reorders for the marketing hype as a comic one shot in Marvel Comics 1000 which picks up over 13k in additional orders at 166, Good for you Marvel *slow clap*
Ray: Surprised retailers needed more. More to add in the dollar bin in a few months, no doubt.
Glenn: Astonishingly brilliant debut for the horror title Plot from Vault comics at 167 selling over 12.5k at 167 which is the highest debut from the company I can recall. This got (justifiably) great reviews for the horror tale reminiscent of Locke & Key and Hill House and its paid off in spades for the company, great to see quality shine through like this.
Ray: Yeah, this is a real breakout for Vault and hopefully this title will stay on schedule and release the whole thing in single issues – unlike many of their more promising debuts in recent years.
Glenn: GI Joe gets a relaunch from IDW at 12.5k at 170 which I would say is very good for property well past its prime. If it settles to sales around 8-9k it wouldn’t be a bad middle tier performer for the company.
Ray: This is sort of a reboot, in the vein of their very successful TMNT reboot that used elements from many versions of the property. It’s also more socially relevant than past GI Joe comics. Feels like this should be a success for IDW.
Glenn: A long absent Image title returns at 173 in Pretty Deadly: Rat which sells over 12.4k which is roughly were it was when it vanished some years back. It does seem these Image titles to seem to maintain their audiences even after years away.
Ray: Yeah, this has been gone a LONG time, so these are impressive numbers. If DeConnick’s other title in a similar fix, Bitch Planet, ever comes back it’ll probably do similarly. 
Glenn: More Hickman X-Men reorders with the third issue of Powers Of X getting over 12.3 additional sales at 174. Whatever Marvel did to get Hickman back was a great move.
A facsimile edition of Daredevil 181 which sees the classic Bullseye vs Elektra fight from Frank Miller’s iconic run sells over 11.8k at 179, I’m surprised this didn’t do a little better but then like all of these its been reprinted to death and likely had a true believers equivalent not too long ago.
The return of Battlepug from Image at 191 selling over 10.9k which isn’t bad for one of the companies sillier recent original properties, again this is likely what the audience was before.
Ray: I think this was a webcomic originally, too, so it translated to the main line pretty well. A well deserved success for Mike Norton.
Glenn: Pandemica is a new mini series from IDW which is an adaption from a novel selling over 10.5k at 195, I wonder how many orders were made based on this sharing a title with the very popular board game.
Ray: IDW usually struggles with creator-owned titles, but this is above their usual number and it’s probably down to Jonathan Maberry’s built-in fanbase.
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Glenn: The mature White Trees sees its second and final issue sell over 10.3k at 197, I’m thinking retailers missed the boat here especially if writer Chip Zdarsky’s claim about this not going to be made available as a collection are true. Of course given its VERY mature material it limits the potential audience but I’m hoping to see more from this world.
Ray: I wouldn’t be surprised by reorders coming in pretty heavily for this title if there’s no collection. Lots of people may have missed the boat here.
Glenn: Another facimilie edition at 205 selling over 9.9k for the launch of the original Jessica Drew Spider-Woman ongoing. This one having a so-so performance is less of a surprise.
Yet more Hickman X-Men reorders with issue one of Powers Of X picking up over 9,8k at 206 and the second issue at 209 with 9.6. Very much playing second fiddle to House Of X but no slouch in itself.
Ray: The whole X line seems like it’s going to be a monster, both in reorders and in upcoming series launches.
Black Hammer: Age of Doom wraps up its run at #211, selling 9.5K. That’s been a very consistent performer for Dark Horse since it started, but we’ll see how the franchise does as it transitions to new properties like the upcoming Skulldigger.
Glenn: We also know that Lemire is cooking another one so Dark Horse must be pleased with how they do and the Justice League mini will hopefully grow the audience or benefit the collections,
Ray: At #220 is the nightmarishly named Rick and Morty Present Flesh Curtains, selling 9.2K from Oni. This franchise continues to carry Oni, but at what cost? AT WHAT COST????
Glenn: The franchise had a tie in to new wrestling promotion AEW were I just stared in confusion. I remember when the stuff I liked was cool, it’ll happen to you!
Ray: #225 brings us a new Dark Horse series from Christopher Cantwell, the retail horror series Everything. It sells 8.7K for an existential tale of suburban ennui and cosmic nightmares. This is pretty middle of the road for Dark Horse creator-owned titles.
It’s mostly ongoing series around here, but at #233 is the Immortal Hulk Directors Cut for the third issue, selling 8.3K. This series continues to deliver impressive numbers for anything it touches. Can’t sleep, Hulk’ll eat me.
Glenn: Literally! This is definitely something Marvel will get great benifit from in its collection library in regards to recent output.
Ray: #235 brings us the first of the DC 100-page giants for the direct market, as we get a one-shot Scooby Doo 50th Anniversary giant selling 8.2K. This isn’t a property that usually does too well in the direct market unless it features zombies, so I expect the next wave in October to do much better.
Glenn: Agreed, this whole line is built for outside the direct market so can’t expect much for those meddling kids and their dogs. It’ll be interesting to see how the others do next month, I would expect solid but unspectacular, these are new reader friendly stuff that has no greater consequence to anything and likely will see minimal interest outside the direct market except perhaps for Batman.
Ray: At #241 is one of IDW’s oddest books in a while – Napoleon Dynamite #1, which sells just under 8K. This is a nearly twenty-year-old cult movie that was briefly a cartoon and is now a comic. Hey, I guess it still has some fans.
Glenn: Isn’t it odd what licences that are lying around suddenly become a thing again? This was a cult hit a long time ago so the sales here can’t be too surprising.
Ray: #242 brings an unusual facsimile edition – Son of Satan Marvel Spotlight #12, which sells 7.9K. This is the first appearance of Damian Hellstrom, who has been making the rounds in the comics for a few months, but it’s still a pretty random choice to recreate with original ads.
Glenn: The sales on all these comics are not too important, they’re exta money for old material and in this case, something that has little other value in todays market. You are right though, it is an odd choice.
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Ray: There’s a surprisingly low-selling True Believers issue at #250, Hulk Returns, selling 7.6K. This is the VERY recent return of Hulk in the No Surrender miniseries, so there’s no real momentum for a revival here. But this is technically the first appearance of the Immortal Hulk version, so it’s probably just that most people already have their copies.
The final issue of Scooby Doo Team-Up lands at #258, selling 7.1K. This obviously isn’t a book for the single issue market, which makes it kind of impressive that it’s still stayed this high after fifty issues. The final issue featured every Scooby team from around the multiverse, including the live-action versions and A Pup Called Scooby Doo.
Glenn: Wow that’s a lot of Doo.
Ray: #260 brings the debut of Archie 1955, the historical reboot of The Archies that puts the characters in the middle of the birth of Rock. It sells just under 7K, so clearly the momentum for the Waid run has dropped a lot. Kelly Thompson’s last issue of Sabrina – for now! – sold about 2K more this month.
Glenn: Very obvious why we’re getting more Sabrina. Again, Archie has lost a lot of momentum from the relaunch a number of years ago. They need to bring in a new voice to regain interest and not you know…hire the writer of Secret Empire.
Ray: Just under 6.8K in reorders for the second issue of Absolute Carnage at #261, so there’s still some buzz for this event as it heads towards the final act.
A new Aftershock title, You Are Obsolete, lands at #263 selling 6.6K. That’s pretty standard for an Aftershock title with no big names attached, but this creepy-child high-tech horror story does seem to be picking up some momentum and good reviews.
Glenn: Horror is definitely the number 2 genre in comics right now and quality ones seem to be gaining momentum at a decent pace.
Ray: A $7.99 reprint, Marvel Tales Black Panther, lands at #265 selling 6.6K. Given that it’s all free comics for Marvel, any sales at this price is a win. It doesn’t seem like they’ve been able to translate the world breaking success of the movie to comics, though.
Glenn: That’s been a problem Marvel and DC have had for years. It seems more people are more drawn to the creator owned stuff based on adaptions, Umbrella Academy seems to have gotten a new lease of life in comics due to the Netflix show for example.
Ray: Two Dark Horse launches are down here, with Steeple from John Allison launching at #267 with sales of just under 6.6K and sci-fi multiverse adventure Triage one spot below at 6.3K. This is basically where most creator-owned Dark Horse books live. I’m kind of surprised Allison didn’t do this one at Boom too, since he has a long-lasting relationship with them.
Glenn: Black Hammer and Hellboy as well as the odd Bunn series seem to be the main highlights of Dark Horse’s creator owned stuff. Another trend the last few years is them at a bit of a loss at what to do since they lost Star Wars and haven’t found really anything else to replace it. They’re likely benefiting hugely from the collections of the Disney properties they have outside the direct market.
Ray: At #270 is a Star Trek Discovery Aftermath miniseries from IDW, selling 6.3K. This is much lower than the original series spinoff they’re doing, so maybe the new version isn’t really catching on with the old school superfans. The second issue is also out this month, only selling 600 copies less.
Glenn: At least its stable? I’d wager the Picard stuff we have coming up will do a little better.
Ray: Another low-selling Aftershock series, Midnight Vista, lands at #271 with sales of 6.2K. I’m still not exactly sure what this company’s business model is.
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Glenn: Good question, considering the talent they’ve been able to attract there’s clearly some magic going on that we’re not seeing.
Ray: A much lower Vault debut at #275 for Relics of Youth, selling 5.9K. This comic is essentially Lost meets The Breakfast Club, about a group of teens lured to a mysterious island by matching tattoos. It’s really a clever series, but I don’t think it got the hype needed to make a splash.
Glenn: Vault seems to be putting out some high quality work as of late but yeah, marketing is the key factor here. There’s no reason why this couldn’t have done close to the numbers of the Plot.
Ray: At #282 is the final issue of High Level, selling 5.4K. This is mostly significant for being the last Vertigo book put out, now that the brand has folded. *salutes*
Glenn: Let us hope that Death herself was there to put the chair’s on the tables and put the lights out before closing the door. While its gone its spirit very much lives on in Black Label and a lot of indie work inspired by the work the line produced.
Ray: And at #286, there she is! Miss By the Numbers! Zombie Tramp, selling 5.3K. Action Lab is getting those sales.
#289 brings us the final issue of Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur, selling 5.2K. Watching just how low this book could get was fascinating, but it obviously had its audience somewhere. We should have gotten 47 issues of Unstoppable Wasp
Glenn: Poor Ray, these charts make him way too sad.
Ray: Matt Kindt and Dave Rubin’s cult series Ether returns for a third volume at #293, with “The Disappearance of Violet Bell” selling 5.1K. I think retailers just ordered it as a continuation, not a new #1.
The Scout Comics alien thriller Midnight Sky launches at #297 with sales of 4.8K. This is not to be confused with Midnight Vista, which came out the same week.
Tim Seeley’s redneck vampire thriller Dark Red returns for a rare second arc at Aftershock, but doesn’t crack the top 300 with sales of 4.5K at #303. I’ve got to believe this strong title would be doing better at another publisher, but I guess Image only had room for one redneck vampire comic.
Glenn: That’s the trouble when one larger company is doing something similar. Your take (which is likely good in of itself) gets lost in itself. I call it the Walking Dead problem.
Ray: Randomly, at #312, we have 4K in reorders for Civil War II #0, the issue where War Machine got killed. Because I suppose there are people who want to revisit one of the less-liked events from recent years that has already been all but forgotten? Remember when Inhumans were a thing, Glenn? I ‘member!
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Glenn: The In…who? I can’t hear you above all those X-Men sales. Here we go with the stock dumping portion of the month. Yay.
Down at 315 we have a new Zenescope launch in Mystere about a female voodoo priestess or something. She looks sexy and has bountiful bosoms, that’s what the audience will care about. It sells over 3.9k which is pretty standard for the company outside of the odd blip from Grim Fairy Tales here and there.
Ray: I’m sure this is a totally respectful tribute to the Voodoo religion.
Glenn: Reorders or stock dumping on Fantastic Four 1 at 318 ‘selling’ over 3.7k which I’m guessing is that latest Slott run? Random.
We got Street Fighter Akuma vs Hell at 321 selling over 3.5k. I mean the sales aren’t great but considering this franchise is making any dent at all any more is something. Likely only the few dedicated left.
Ray: Udon Entertainment has locked down this franchise for a long time and they seem to be kept afloat by die-hards.
Glenn: The 8th issue of Captain Marvel which had the debut of new character Star continues to get some more reorders at 332 selling over 3.1k. Maybe there will be some juice for that upcoming mini after all.
More Zenescope at 333 with a horror themed book in Tales Of Terror Bridgewater Triangle selling over 3.1k. The main cover is a callback to old school horror titles like House Of Mystery but is there  sexy variant of a chesty woman dressed as the grim reaper? Of course!
Ray: Zenoscope has really tried to rebrand themselves as a horror publisher lately. But it’s good to know they’re staying on brand.
Glenn: A decent debut from Scout Comics in Forever Maps at 335 selling over 3.1k, this is especially impressive since if you want the rest of the story you’ll have to buy it again plus the rest all at once in a trade at some point in the future. Its an odd business model but nobody seems to realize that quite yet.
Ray: At least Scout is up-front with this plan, unlike other companies where series just mysteriously stop and then show up completed in the trade.
Glenn: Lots of Marvel reorders for new launches such as Spider-Gwen, Captain Marvel 9 and Absolute Carnage tie-ins around this level all at around 2.9k. Nothing too heavy duty here but the Absolute Carnage ones are a few months old so that event has serious traction.
Another Kickstarter project hits the direct market in Starcadia Quest from IDW which launches at 356 selling over 2.7k. Even for IDW creator owned, that’s not great but most of the interest would have been picked up by those who backed the project initially. Anyone wanting more are more likely to go back for a sequel project through the same method which was the case for Gail Simone’s Leaving Metropolis which saw substandard number for the sequel of its uber successful Kickstarter predecessor.
Ray: This is apparently a comic book spin-off of a Kickstarter game campaign, which is one of the oddest paths to the comic book world I’ve seen in a while. I imagine a lot of people got the comic that way instead. 
Glenn: Not often we comment on long running ongoings but Image’s Beauty at 357 selling over 2.6k is an interesting story. Its just been announced that for no apparent reason the series is being cancelled with the final two issues not to be published at this time. Sales aren’t great here of course but there’s over 2000 people who have stuck around for (as of this sales chart) 29 issues. Its a bit odd and I doubt its up to Image, the company doesn’t cancel a series unless there’s something shady or a legal dispute. They don’t really take active interest on how their books sell since they are the middle man only. As long as its a good read that doesn’t damage their brand and they get their share as the publisher they won’t strong arm a creative team into stopping, especially this far into a run. I genuinely hope the fans of the series get answers.
Ray: This definitely isn’t the lowest an Image series has slipped, so it seems likely there’s something going on behind the scenes. The writer still has the title listed in his bio and has been very tight-lipped about this affair, so hopefully it’ll be resolved eventually.
Glenn: Reorders on the first issue of Jason Aaron’s Conan at 364 could be reorders on what is becoming a very well thought of ans successful run or stock dumping. Its hard to tell with something relatively recent. There’s over 2.5k more copies in this months chart either way.
Action Comics new title, Going To The Chapel sells over 2.5k at 366. Pretty standard for such a small press title with no known creators. The concept actually sounds like a lot of fun.
Ray: I’ve really enjoyed this one. Action Lab seems to have trouble gaining traction as a whole, though – I think they have a reputation for some dodgy books and the good ones like this and The Harcourt Legacy get lost in the shuffle
Glenn: First of a two part mini from Alterna comics at 370 in the form of Red Koi which sells over 2.4k. The company still continues to try to regain the momentum they had before things got fishy a number of years ago.
Ray: Heh. Red Koi. Fishy. I see what you did there.
Glenn: Totally on purpose!
Archie and Friends Go Back To School is this month’s Archie reprint thingey that sells over 2.3k at 371. Doesn’t really matter what these do, they’re for elsewhere.
Mythos comics (?!?!?!) launches a new title in Vamp about Vampires running Vegas which sells over 2.3k at 376. I would say this publisher is thrilled to be even here.
Butcher Queen, a new sci-fi mini from Red 5 comics (??!?!?!?!?!?!) sells over 1.9k at 390, again considering they’re likely not well known they’re probably thrilled to be here.
Ray: These are both definitely startup publishers that haven’t done much in the market yet. All it takes is one book to gain a company buzz, though, as we saw with Source Point Press not long ago.
Glenn: Lots of suspect Marvel dumping here like with Meet The Skrull’s, the 6th issue of Captain America, Domino Hotshots and a random issue of Moon Knight all suspiciously close together selling around the 1.8k mark. We see you Marvel!
Ray: Meet the Skrulls? Seriously? You mean The Americans but also Vision? This is definitely stock-dumping month.
Glenn: A random Zorro comic where he apparently takes on the old gods sells over 1.8k at 396. This is not a market that will be kind to poor Zorro.
Ray: I’m still surprised that a company other than Dynamite has Zorro, honestly.
Glenn: A one shot of *checks notes* Chainsaw Reindeer sells over 1.8k at 398. Perhaps they should have waited until closer to Christmas.
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Ray: Speaking of dodgy books! Yeah, it was a one-joke concept and the joke was ultraviolence. And somehow it wasn’t released either for Christmas or Halloween.
Glenn: Among a little more stock dumps, small reorders and the small press usuals is the launch of an Edgar Rice Burrough’s property in Pellucidar Wings Of Death which sells over 1.6k at 409. When Marvel scooped up a lot of the author’s properties, this one likely flew under the radar for good reason.
Another Alterna launch, this time a new 4 issue mini in Gods and Gears which sells over 1.5k at 413. I wonder often what could have been.
Ray: This one was previewed in their anthology, It Came Out on a Wednesday. Standard sales for the company, unfortunately.
Glenn: A lot of very telling stock dumping from Marvel (Man-Thing 1, COMEON) here but amongst that is Beware Witch’s Shadow from American Mythology. It seems to be a horror title with a buxom host. I guess Elvira was busy? It sells over 1.4k at 419.
Ray: With this and Elvira getting books, can a Simpsons spin-off for Boobarella be far behind?
Glenn: When’s Vampira getting in on this? She came first damn it!
Ray: Because Marvel will never get tired of selling us old comics again, there’s just under 1.5K in sales for Amazing Spider-Man/Venom 3D polybagged edition at #422, because it’s the 90s again. I’m not sure if this is a reorder or a new printing. 
Glenn: I’d wager on a reorder, even with the gimmickyness of it I’d say this would normally have done better because people love them some Spidey/Venom.
Ray: Remember the “Typhoid Fever” mini-event where Spider-Man, the Avengers, and Iron Fist fought Typhoid Mary? Me neither, but apparently 1,475 people did because they reordered it at #425.
Glenn: No one remembers it, its just excess that Marvel themselves forgot about that they found in a bin in the office.
Ray: Amid a sea of Marvel and DC  reorders, there’s 1.4K in reorders for Red 5 Comics’ The Dark Age, about a world where metal doesn’t work, at #435. That’s an indication of some buzz for this comic and the publisher.
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Glenn: Really interesting concept, hopefully it picks up steam.
Ray: 1.3K in sales for the Antarctic Press horror comic Scratcher at #437. So, pandering to that element of the fanbase has sure resulted in boffo sales for the publisher.
Glenn: Let’s make comics great again, something, something I call them dogs.
Ray: From another small publisher, Fantaco Enterprises, comes the colorfully-named Infinite Punishment: Escape from Hell #1, selling 1.3K at #441. It seems to be about a sexy demon lady.
Glenn: Is there any other kind?
Ray: And from another small publisher, Verotik, comes another sexy demon lady comic at #442! This is Satanika vs. Morellas Demon, which sells 1.3K. Is this unofficial sexy demon lady month?
Amid a lot of reorders is the Iron Manticore one-shot from Aardvark-Vanheim publishing, which sells 1.3K at #445. Dave Sim gonna do what he does – this is for his die-hards.
A book that definitely deserves its reorders at #446 is X-Men Grand Design #1, which sells 1.3K in addition to all the collection sales it’s getting now that it’s completed.
I didn’t even remember there was a Multiple Man comic out recently, but here it is at #454, getting 1.2K in reorders.
Glenn: Still think this is stock dumping. Can’t wait for all the Black Cat ones in 6 months or so.
Ray: Marvel Legacy, the universe-shattering one-shot that set up Aaron’s Avengers, charts again at #461 selling 1.2K. This was a good comic, but we’re about to get our second universe-shattering one-shot since then next month.
At #465 is a comic from Keith Lansdale, son of legendary author Joe R. Lansdale, Red Range: Pirates of Fireworld. This is based on his father’s creations and comes from a tiny publisher called It’s Alive. It sells 1.2K for what’s pretty clearly a niche product at the moment. Looks to feature dinosaurs, native warriors, and steampunk pirates. Gotta love it down here.
Glenn: The fans of the novels will likely not be too bothered until there’s a trade and even then, maybe not.
Ray: Alterna’s all-ages comic Mr. Crypt returns with sales of 1.2K at #466 with a new miniseries. This slapstick book about a friendly skeleton and his mischievous rat isn’t geared towards the singles market, but the question is does Alterna have the reach to do alternative marketing?
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Glenn: Before things went crazy, they were trying to do that but I’m not so sure. I think Mr. Crypt could fare well elsewhere.
Ray: Amid a lot of reorders for Marvel books, there’s 1.1K in reorders for the ultraviolent superhero comedy Pretty Violent from Image. Someone’s buying it, I guess.
From small publisher Full Moon Features comes the first installment of a crossover/shared universe called Deadly Ten, which will cross over various horror characters including the villain from Puppet Master. It sells 1.1L at #476, so it seems to be struggling like many attempts at shared universes lately.
Glenn: How did they afford to pay Disney for use of the classic Fantastic Four villain is what I want to know.
Ray: It’s almost entirely Marvel reorders here as everything from Defenders to Moon Girl gets about 1.1K in reorders, until we get down to #499, where IDW gets another 1K in reorders for their popular all-ages fantasy Canto’s first issue. This has been on the charts since the first issue, so I think we have a genuine hit on our hands. I would be surprised if this book didn’t get optioned soon.
And wrapping us up at #500 is exactly 1K in reorders for Avengers: No Road Home #6. I think this was the first Conan issue.
Glenn: Could be genuine interest, could be stock dumping. Quite a high end market for the top 500 for a change in any case.
Ray: Looking ahead, it’s been a busy month for both main publishers. At DC, we’ve got the launch of Hill House with Joe Hill’s horror original Basketful of Heads, and a new original horror fantasy from Black Label in Philip Kennedy Johnson’s The Last God. Then there’s TWO Joker-related Black Label projects in Lemire and Sorrentino’s Killer Smile and Kami Garcia’s Joker/Harley: Criminal Sanity. Year of the Villain one-shots for Joker (by John Carpenter) and Black Adam are on the way, and Warren Ellis and Bryan Hitch debut their stand-alone Batman miniseries The Batman’s Grave. There’s also a Didio-penned Metal Men mini, the return of John Constantine to Sandman Universe, Gene Luen Yang’s passion project Superman Smashes the Klan, a new horror anthology in Secrets of Sinister House, the first two Tales From the Dark Multiverse one-shots remixing Knightfall and The Death of Superman, the first wave of DC superhero giants, and a comic based on the popular cartoon RWBY. *collapses*
Not to be outdone, Marvel has a host of new launches including the last of the Absolute Carnage tie-ins, the first wave of X-Men solo books including the headline Hickman/Yu book, Marauders, and Excalibur; a bunch of Spider-Man projects including a Mary Jane solo series, an oversized “Jam issue” one-shot, and a new Spider-verse miniseries, new Ghost Rider and Doctor Doom series, the launch of Tom Scioli’s Fantastic Four: Grand Design; and one-shots for Marvel Zombies and Red Goblin among a BUNCH of other one-shots and minis.
From Image, the most interesting part of the month is the four issues of Chrononauts released on the same day in a Millarworld experiment. Also look for new projects like The Marked, Nomen Omen, the relaunches of Copra and Dead Eyes, and the latest Thought Bubble Anthology. And over at IDW, the sales should keep climbing for the jumbo-sized penultimate issue of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles before their big anniversary.
What will rise? What will fall? Find out next month on…By the Numbers!
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Liked what you read here? Let us know below or by hitting up with anything you might like to say on Twitter @glenn_matchett and @raygoldfield

By The Numbers: August 2019

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 several years but grew up reading comics. He’s had work published with various small press publishers and has is own comic now available on Comixology in Sparks: The Way I Was from Yellow Bear Comics! He would have read Marvel Comics 1000 but he was washing his hair that day.

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 did buy Marvel Comics 1000, it sure was pretty.

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: More crazy sales this month as yes again the decision for DC to have two separate covers as two separate covers does create some confusion with the numbers. Our Rabbitt Stew co-host Brandon James kindly did the math for us on a spreadsheet which myself and Ray will be using as a basis for our analysis the top 500 at the link above will say slightly different. We do this to try to give a more accurate view of where things stand and hope it doesn’t cause too much confusion, enjoy!

This month was a big one for Marvel with them nearly doubling in market share over their biggest competitor in DC comics. This is due to some legit hits and smart moves by the company with only one apparent use of their fancy tricks on show for a change. Is it sustainable? Absolutely not but hey, its something to be commended if not a bit worried about.
Ray: Let’s be real – when you put out nearly double the content, it stands to reason that you’ll have nearly double the market share. But Marvel hasn’t done that for a while, and the fact that they pull it off this month is testament to the fact that they have a pair of creators that have fans genuinely excited and are putting out exciting and unpredictable stories from them. They’re still suffering from the lack of faith they’ve caused retailers to have, but talent could turn the corner for them.
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Glenn: At number one this month is the mini event spinning out of Venom in the form of Absolute Carnage selling over 233,1k is a massive debut. We’ve talked a lot over the last few months how hot Venom is and Cates and Stegman have made the character even hotter. This is the creative teams first chance at the big stage and they’ve certainty made their presence known with this performing stronger than any Marvel main event since Civil War II. The second issue also hits this month and sees a vast drop but still manages to pull in sales over 94k at 9 (using our adjusted numbers). For a mini event,that’s great and this is even better than the much more hyped and seemingly ‘important’ War Of The Realms. However, this second issue is still being outsold by the fourth issue of DC’s silly out of continuity zombie book DCeased and the Batman Who Laughs only got around this level after 5 issues and a Grim Knight one shot. This is still very good but they fact that’s below 100k already indicates retailers are still majorly wary of Marvel events. Still, Cates and Stegman should be more than pleased on this one.
Ray: The numbers for that first issue aren’t far off from what Dark Nights: Metal did last year for DC, so that shows there’s some genuine interest here. But below 100K for the second issue? Oof. That’s what I said above – retailers don’t trust Marvel events at the moment. But I think the demand might surprise and we could see an uptick for the third issue. Like War of the Realms, this one is over in a short time – only four months – which means there isn’t as much time for course correction
Glenn: No need for that pesky buyers remorse but with Absolute Carnage, I doubt that’ll be something retailers will have…for the main mini anyway.
At 2 is the shenanigans that is Marvel Comics 1000, the fake anniversary issue Marvel hopes will catch some of the success Detective Comics and Action Comics have had in recent times. This issue had a ton of variants and a large assembling of top talent and a lot of hype which is good enough to get it over 206.9k which is roughly 1 third of what Detective and Action did. Considering that Marvel cheated and charged us 9.99 for the pleasure of it, you can’t argue with the results. Of course there’s no way to judge how well this will do cause literally nothing is coming of this apart from issue 1001 next month. This is a big blip, no doubt but that’s all it is for now, smoke and mirrors.
Ray: The events of this comic will apparently be spinning off into the upcoming “Incoming” event, but this was a weird comic. Part prelude to an upcoming event, part anthology, part art-jam issue with random cameos from Miracleman and Darth Vader, it was an event comic without an event and I imagine much of the sales are down to the hype and the number of covers, plus the talent involved (for one page each). I think this was overordered and will likely be found in the dollar bin soon enough. 
Glenn: At 3 is the debut of the new Batman/Superman team up book by Josh Williamson selling over 156.6k which is an excellent number and although there would be a lot of interest here anyway is largely due to the presence of the ever popular Batman Who Laughs. How well the title will hold is hard to call but during this ‘infected’ story line where the Batman Who Laughs corrupts other DC characters, it could easily be a top ten staple. On the surface, another long term hit for DC.
Ray: That darn ol’ laughing Bat, man. He’s a powerhouse character like we haven’t seen in a long time – I compared him to Spider-Gwen initially for the way he took off like fire, but I think he might actually be DC’s Venom. Think about it – dark, violent mirror to their most popular hero. So popular he starts getting spinoffs and duplicates himself into other versions. This is the biggest hit of Williamson’s career, and well deserved, but I think TBWL is the main draw here. The long-term success of this title will depend on how long both writer and villain stick around. The past team-up series lost their momentum when the creators left.
Glenn: At 4 as mentioned above is the combined sales of DCCeased which continues to do amazingly well with sales over 119.7k. This continues to be a big hit and seems to be leading to Tom Taylor jumping to DC full time sooner rather than later.
Ray: The sales are basically split down the middle for the two covers on this one, because these horror-themed variants are so popular and people pay the extra dollar. This continues to be an insane out-of-nowhere event and likely sealed the deal for Taylor to jump to DC. How long till Batman who Laughs vs. DCeased Zombies?
Glenn: You should copyright that before its too late!
At 5-8 are the four issues of Jonathan Hickman’s 2 X-Men mini’s leading to his overhaul of the mutant line. The House Of X third issue actually outsells the second issue at spots 5 and 7 with sales over 109.1k and 101.9k while the other mini Powers Of X sells at 6 and 8 with sales over 107.5k and 100.2k respectfully. This is some great stuff with some slowing down but nothing to panic over as this thing will be over soon. The X line will definitely have one big hit out of this with the title Hickman is writing, the others will be a bigger question mark but right now it seems that for the first time in many years, this is the line at Marvel everyone is talking about.
Ray: Very little attrition for these four issues, as the whole wave stays above 100K. Hickman’s return, after so long, and bringing the X-men back to the A-list reminds me a lot of the megahit debut of JMS’ Thor way back when. I think it’s a safe bet that the Hickman/Yu X-Men book will be Marvel’s top ongoing if not the top ongoing overall.
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Glenn: Depends on how well Batman does post King but it has a fair shot to be sure.
Finally at 10 is Batman, DC’s MVP title that keeps some of the sales boost from 75 with sales over 84.8k and 81.2k with the following issue at the spot below it. ITs not the power it once was but Batman has reclaimed its place as the most stable ongoing in the market. These sales will likely be where the title lives until writer Tom King’s exit in 85 which will see an increase before he jumps over to do his Batman/Catwoman spin off. The titles future beyond that is unclear but I doubt DC will let their most stable title slip into the wrong hands.
Ray: The sales for Batman #76 are combined from the two covers, and they put it right above the sales for #77 in the next spot. Batman’s definitely picked up some momentum for the City of Bane storyline, and I suspect #77 was heavily under-ordered due to the massive events within. Look for a top 100 placement for this comic again next month, maybe.
Glenn: Of course! How silly of me. Especially since it seems to something thats sticking…for now.
Ray: Batman: Curse of the White Knight continues to do numbers that would normally be good enough for top ten, landing at #12 with sales of 74K. Picking up right where the previous one left off, although a bit down maybe because Azrael is the focus instead of Joker
Glenn: Still a very stable performer in the upper tier. Sean Murphy has built himself a powerful brand that he can extend to other licenced characters or creator owned down the line should he so choose.
Ray: I would have expected a slightly bigger boost for Venom, which sells just under 67K for its first Absolute Carnage tie-in issue at #13. I think retailers might not have figured out that this one is essentially the second part of Donny Cates’ main story, but obviously normal Venom sales are very healthy.
Glenn: Kind of the opposite effect we saw when Dead No More came out and sales on the companion title were way ahead of the main mini. This is still impressive, no doubt but I feel we’ll see good reorders on this book. Still one of Marvel’s strongest anyway.
Ray: For the first time we see the two Amazing Spider-Man issues settle into a similar range, as the second of the month sells 66K at #14 and the first sells 63K at #17. This is probably about as low as Amazing Spider-Man will regularly go, but it does seem like we’re seeing some real attrition on this ill-regarded book. Not looking good for the 2099 spin-offs.
Glenn: If memory serves this is around as low as sales got on the Brand New Day and dipped briefly towards the first part of Slott’s solo run. This is probably bare bones Amazing, what the title will do on autopilot. Absolute Carnage is on its way to boost things again soon.
Ray: The first three Absolute Carnage tie-in minis have a good start, with all landing in the top twenty. Leading the pack predictably is Absolute Carnage vs. Deadpool, which sells 66K at #15. In the next spot is Absolute Carnage: Scream, which surprises me with sales of 64K. I’m not sure how this one did so much better than the others, but Marvel obviously has faith in the character since they’ve greenlit a spin-off. Plus Cullen Bunn’s name helped, I’m sure. And at #20 is Absolute Carnage: Miles Morales, selling 53K, which is a huge boost from his ongoing series. Definitely better results than we saw for the War of the Realms spin-offs.
Glenn: I’m not sure if it makes sense but I think Scream has a slightly more prominent presence in the mainstream than any of her other symbiote bretherin so that likely helped. This is pretty much where I would have expected the order to go and like you say, the story is paying off in terms of overall performance in the first month.
Ray: Immortal Hulk seems to have settled into a groove, selling 62K this month at #18. Way down from its bizarre highs that started months back, but still one of Marvel’s biggest hits at the moment.
Unlike the Bat-books in Black Label, Superman: Year One isn’t showing the same staying power. The second issue this month sells 59K at #19, down about 1/3rd from its debut. Maybe there just isn’t that much market for a Frank Miller Superman book.
Glenn: I think retailers a bit wary of Miller because of his odd output in the last decade. I think the exception was Dark Knight III cause of the branding, we’ll see how the one shot tying into that universe does in December. I don’t think this will be as well remembered as Miller’s other Year One offering.
Ray: Amid the top books hovering around the 50K range are Detective Comics, Justice League, Avengers, and Savage Avengers – which is quickly turning into a surprise hit for Marvel at #27 with sales of 48K. Conan, Venom, and Wolverine walk into a bar…
This is also where we find the third issue of Event Leviathan, selling just under 50K at #26. Given how disconnected this is from every other title – I think Supergirl and Action are the only titles tying in – I think the fact that it’s leveled out this quickly is actually impressive. Bendis’ fanbase isn’t what it used to be, but I think he still has a loyal audience.
At #28 is the third issue of Black Cat, selling 48K. That’s…slightly closer to reality, I guess? But we’re still in the blind-ordering phase, and next month we see sales adjust to actual demand. I wouldn’t be surprised by a 50% drop.
Glenn: We’re getting there, we’ll see. This is more along where I would have imagined the series to launch. Maybe there’s still smoke and mirrors or people really like those J. Scott Campbell covers.
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Ray: At #29 is the first issue of Ghost Spider, selling 47K – but then, this isn’t really a new series at all. This is the same writer, same artist, essentially picking up with a new #1 and a new storyarc. It’s a healthy boost in sales, more than a 100% jump, so they got what they wanted out of it – but clearly the character’s top-selling days are well behind us.
Similarly, Spider-Man: Velocity #1 sells 47K at #30, and that’s essentially just the next arc of Dennis Hallum’s new series set in the Spider-Man game universe. People really love the game, and these numbers are incredibly healthy for a licensed spin-off.
46K people bought Gwenpool Strikes Back at #31. Whether we like it or not, this character seems to have a genuine fanbase and I’m hopeful she winds up in Kelly Thompson’s hands again soon when she launches Deadpool soon.
Glenn: That seems to be a safe bet. Marvel seems to have had a lot of success with this joke character who took the internet by storm.
Ray: This is where we see a bunch of ongoing hit comics in the 40K range, including both Superman books, The Green Lantern, Fantastic Four, Guardians of the Galaxy and its spin-off Silver Surfer: Black, and the final regular issue of Jason Aaron’s Thor. Consistency in comics? *gasp*
Glenn: Shocked Pikachu face!
Ray: Two titles showing some real staying power are Valkyrie: Jane Foster at #35 and History of the Marvel Universe right below it, both selling 43K. The latter only loses 3K from its first issue, while the former GAINS about 1K in sales. That one must have been really under-ordered, but I think we have two hits here.
Glenn: The latter is only a mini so it’ll do well for its short life. Great result for Valkyrie, we’ll see if Aaron sticks around and if he leave what effect it’ll have.
Ray: At #39 is the next Absolute Carnage Spin-Off – Lethal Protectors, which stars Misty Knight and reunites the characters from the 1990s Maximum Carnage event. It sells 43K, which is pretty healthy for a glorified Heroes for Hire spin-off.
Glenn: That’s a really good result based on what this is. I guess retailers linked the subtitle with what I think was the first Venom spin off back in the day and ordered accordingly.
Ray: At #41 we find Future Foundation #1, the quirky FF spin-off written by Unstoppable Wasp’s Jeremy Whitley. It sells 41K, which seems decent enough…but Marvel doesn’t think so, since the series has been cancelled with #5. Depressing. When will Marvel either give Whitley some all-ages OGN work geared towards the bookstore market, or DC clue in and nab this talent for their own fast-rising OGN line?
Glenn: Grim times here. It seems Whitley was as surprised as anyone. Titles below this might wan to watch out. Since Dan Slott has worked his magic on FF, Marvel maybe expected more but they also need to learn how much demand a certain franchise might have without its name creator.
Ray: At #43 we find Age of Conan: Valeria #1, which sells just under 40K. This is a spin-off for a rather obscure female Conan character who Howard created but – unlike Belit – hasn’t been used much in the comics since. The fact that this series by Meredith Finch did so well is a testament to how hot Conan is right now. No wonder Marvel picked up Solomon Kane and the rest too!
At #45 is the lowest-selling Absolute Carnage spin-off, the horror one-shot Separation Anxiety, which sells 39K. For a book not featuring any famous characters and playing on one of the less-well received Venom series from the 90s, that’s still a pretty strong debut.
Glenn: I think this’ll get some good reorders cause of out of all the spin offs, its the best thus far and seems to have some relevance to the overall plot. The rest so far apart from Venom don’t seem to be overly important to the overall story.
Ray: A book that’s been massively increasing in sales recently is IDW’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, which sells just under 39K at #46 as it counts down to 100 and a creative team change. The title’s introduced a game-changing new character (no spoilers here!) and that’s turned it from a sleeper hit to a genuine smash.
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Amid solid sellers in the 30K range like Flash, Captain Marvel, Star Wars, Captain America, Spider-Man: Life Story (ending its run and heading off to collections where it’ll sell forever), and Daredevil, we’ve got the return of Agents of Atlas for a new miniseries spinning out of War of the Realms. It sells just under 38K at #50, which is pretty much where this series always lived. As it’s only a miniseries, it’ll be fine and should get periodic revivals.
Glenn: Agents Of Atlas has always been a cult favorite and doesn’t seem to be able to move beyond that. The fact that Marvel still rolls it out now and then is a testament to how dedicated the small fan base out there is.
Ray: Vampirella proves it’s not just a one-off fluke after its top ten debut last month, as it sells 35K for its second issue at #54 – easily blowing away anything else Dynamite does and being a pretty big feather in the cap for underappreciated long-time writer Priest. His other title, Deathstroke, is wrapping soon, so either big two company would be smart to offer him a big project if he can make frickin’ Vampirella a hit.
Glenn: Yeah no kidding. Priest came back to comics in a big way only a few years ago and has made himself more relevant than ever. We’ll see who else is quick to click on in the new year.
Ray: At #59 is Major X #0. This is a reprint of a 1990s X-Force issue with about ten pages of new Major X content by Rob Liefeld. It sells 31K. I’m scared, Glenn. The top 100 aren’t supposed to make me feel uneasy.
Glenn: Not sure if this is better than Marvel making money on old content…or worse. I can see more of these types of one shots happening sadly.
Ray: At #61 is the Esad Ribic one-shot Conan the Barbarian: Exodus. It got a lot of hype as an original Conan story, but turned out to be more of a Ribic art book with no dialogue. I’m still surprised it only sold 30K, 10K under what Valeria did. I would have thought Ribic’s name alone would have boosted it.
Glenn: Not sure why this didn’t sell more. Too much Conan? Ribic untested as a writer? Its unclear but at least it looked all purty.
Ray: #66 has the debut of The Once and Future, a new creator-owned book from Boom by Kieron Gillen and Dan Mora. It sells 29K, which blows away pretty much any creator-owned Boom title in recent memory. This clever take on modern Arthurian legend has already been upgraded to an ongoing, and well deserved.
Glenn: This is also considering that BOOM were offering this outside the direct market too in a new sales initiative. This outsells all of Image’s titles which is astonishing in itself, Gillen has suddenly become a force to be reckoned with in creator owned land.
Ray: This month’s Age of Resistance one-shots from the Star Wars line have a pretty big disparity in sales, with the Poe Dameron one landing at #71 with sales of 27K, and the General Hux one down at #86 with sales of 24K. Not surprising, given that one is a beloved fan favorite hero and the other is Hux.
Glenn: Poor Hux. We should prank call him and cheer him up.
Ray: The two Year of the Villain one-shots this month do similar numbers, as Tom Taylor’s Black Mask special is at #74 and Mark Russell’s Sinestro is at #78, both selling 26K about 400 copies apart. We should see bigger numbers next month for villains like Riddler and Lex Luthor.
Glenn: Joker too of course. Still that’s great for Black Mask who hasn’t been relevant in years. I would have expected more from Sinestro but it just shows how long ago the golden age of Johns Green Lantern really was.
Ray: The Deadpool Annual, pitting him against Nightmare as part of the Acts of Evil branding, sells 26K at #75. Pretty standard numbers for a Deadpool side comic.
The second chapter of the Prodigal Sun storyline from Peter David, this one starring Silver Surfer, sells 26K at #77. These are pretty decent numbers for a random cosmic side story.
#79 brings us 25K in sales for Amazing Spider-Man/Venom 3D, which is a reprint of the first Spider-Man vs. Venom fight. In 3D. It’s that time again for Marvel to sell us comics we already own!
Glenn: This sold very well not too long ago in a True Believers one shot! Crazy times! I thought 3D was dead again, makes me sad.
Ray: The second issue of Black Hammer/Justice League: Hammer of Justice sells 23K at #89, blowing all other Dark Horse books out of the water this month. That’s a huge new audience picking up this universe, which bodes well for the future.
Glenn: Double what Hammer books usually do, this is brilliant. I really hope it floats over to the main books. Very cleverly, Lemire is debuting a new maxi series set in this universe the month after this mini ends.
Ray: #90 brings us the debut of Punisher Kill Krew, a War of the Realms spin-off where Frank murders the monsters left behind after the war. It sells 23K, lower than I would have expected. This mini really left behind very little in the way of waves.
Glenn: Punisher seems to flounder with these off beat takes. We’ll see how well Ennis return is received towards the end of the year.
Ray: It’s a relatively gentle slide for Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen, as it debuted with 30K this month and sells 21K this month at #95. A Jimmy series was never going to be a hit, but it could gain momentum thanks to good reviews and the crack creative team.
Glenn: It’ll do well in collections and probably be an award darling which will lead to a long healthy collection life. I doubt DC expected much more than this.
Ray: With Walking Dead gone, Saga on break, and Spawn doing a skip month before the big 300, the top Image book of the month is all the way down at #96. It’s the return of Kieron Gillen and Stephanie Hans’ Die, selling 21K and making a good case that it’ll be the new top Image ongoing.
Glenn: That’s fantastic and the book deserves it. We’ll see how life for Spawn is after 300, it’ll probably keep some holdover sales for a few months. I think Undiscovered Country has the best shot of being Image’s new top heavy hitter.
Ray: #100 is the DC Facsimile Edition of Batman #232, the first appearance of Ra’s Al Ghul. It sells 21K, so DC gets into that business of selling us old comics again too!
Glenn: Ra’s himself would approve of the recycling.
Ray: #101 brings us the debut of the very odd Coffin Bound from Image, as this backroads horror story from Dan Watters and Dani sells just under 21K. That’s 21K very confused people.
Glenn: Still, its the highest selling new Image title which is nothing to be sneezed at. I don’t think either of these creators are heavy hitters so we’re seeing another month of Image themselves being able to get faith in new books by default.
Ray: #102 has the debut of Fantastic Four: 4 Yancy Street, as the FF’s quarterly anthology sells 20K. Not a great number, and the second piece of evidence that the FF isn’t really ready for too many spin-offs yet despite the huge success of the parent series. Shame – it was a fun Thing story.
Glenn: Don’t get too attached to this one folks.
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Ray: Next up at #103 is the Sensational Spider-Man: Self-Improvement one-shot, which sells 20K for a pair of anthology tales including an alternate Black Costume story from the vault before the symbiote existed. There’s a lot of these random “from the vault” anthology books coming from Marvel in the coming months, and I might have expected a bit more from this one.
Glenn: Especially given how hot Venom is at the moment even though this isn’t ‘really’ a Venom book. It seems from the sales, retailers were more confused than anything about what to make of this.
Ray: Jeff Lemire goes two-for-two as the author of the top Dark Horse books this month, as the debut of Berserker Unbound sells just under 20K at #112. It’s definitely a healthy number for a creator-owned Dark Horse book, but I wonder if the numbers were blunted a bit by how prominent Conan has been lately. Trying to sell an original inspired by the character is harder when the OG is everywhere.
Glenn:  Yeah I think this is a victim of Conan overkill at the moment. Lemire usually cooks his stories in development for a long time so this could have been stirring longer than Marvel has had the property but these are how things go sometimes. This is a great creative team though so I’m expecting it to stabilize fast and get good collection sales. At the end of the day this is still better than what Dark Horse averages these days.
Behind Batman universe which is at 85 with sales over 24.4k is the second issue of Superman universe at 111 with sales over 19.9k. Given the talent involved these should be selling more on paper but they’re both reprints of existing material and both tales that will perform handsomely in collections. The monthly sales of these two for one monthly offerings are secondary.
At 114 is the second issue of Fearless which sells 18.7k which is very good for a mini which is highlighting female talent and female heroes. Those that say these kind of
things don’t have a place in the market might want to rethink that.
Pretty Violent is a new Image book that seems to blend the concept of popular Image runs likes Hit Girl and I Hate Fairyland and mush them together.  Perhaps the riding of the coattails is why it did well at 115 selling over 18.6k despite it being superheroes (which people aren’t interested in from Image unless its Spawn atm) and two creators I’m not too familiar with. Perhaps having a variant by Scottie Young helped. We’ll see where it drops to next month.
Ray: I’m wondering if many retailers thought this WAS a Skottie Young book based on that cover. We’re almost in Hellicious territory here with this.
Glenn: Despite not having an ongoing at the moment, She-Hulk still gets an annual at 122 selling over 17.1k. This is another installment in the non event, Acts Of Evil. This is decent enough for what is essentially a throwaway one shot with nothing to do with anything.
Ray: Annuals not actually spinning out of an ongoing are so odd. We’re getting another with Moon Knight next month that will probably do a bit better.
Glenn: Second issue of Aero sells over 16.6k at 124 which I think is great considering this is merely translated material. If Marvel makes movement with these titles in other markets like they have done with Moon Girl and Ms. Marvel it’ll be a sleeper hit.
Ray: This is a decent number, but looks worse due to the sales being doubled on the first issue. This is mostly free money for Marvel as a reprint, though.
Glenn: The second issue of the new Doom Patrol sells over 16.2k at 126 which is a good bit ahead of what the previous series was before it ended. The relaunch seems to have benefited here, hopefully this one doesn’t lose its schedule which may kill any renewed momentum.
After 12 issues, Mirka Andolfo’s odd sexy pig comic Unnatural ends with sales over 15.1k at 128 which is great. This has been very consistent despite the apparently odd premise and Andolfo is already working on her next creator owned project which will debut in Europe first. I can’t wait for the undoubtedly lovely hardcover collection.
A Marvel Monsters one shot released to tie in with the 80th anniversary of the company sells over 15k which I think is really good. I think this is largely due to the impressive talent on offer here and some nostalgia for these old school monster stories that kept the lights on at Marvel for two decades or so.
Ray: This was mostly an art book with a wrap-around story by Cullen Bunn. Another odd one-shot in a month full of them.

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Glenn: At 130 is Titans Burning Rage, the latest Walmart repackaging with a new original Teen Titans story by Dan Jurgans which sells over 14.9k. That’s very good considering again this is existing material and the Titans brand has been less than stellar for the last two decades. Perhaps the Wonder Comics line has brought new eyes to stories starring this team.

Ray: This is by far the lowest-selling debut of the Walmart books, but that’s to be expected given the franchise. This is an attempt to create an evergreen version with four of the five core TV Titans for kids, so I think it’s doing what they want.

Glenn: Boom continues to kill it with the Buffy licence at the Chosen Ones one shot lands at 131 selling over 14.8k which is only 4k or so behind the main title. Considering this is priced at 7.99 and really only features one ‘big name’ this is brilliant. We’re going to see more of these every so often if this is any indication.

Ray: That’s easily the best performance for one of these $8 one-shots from Boom. If this can do this well, I think a top twenty debut for Hellmouth might be possible.

Glenn: Top 25 worst case

Another great result at 135 for Power Pack: Growing pains another random one shot tying into Marvel’s 80th. Considering this is a property that hasn’t been popular for like…ever and writer Louise Simonsons output as a writer has been minimal in the modern day I’d call the sales of over 14.1k a big win.

Ray: Especially given this is a direct follow-up, essentially the next issue of a comic that ended decades ago. It was a fun read, but I would like to see more of what the two younger kids are up to now.

Glenn: Oddly low but not disastrous number for Chip Zdarskey’s White Trees at 137 selling over 14k. Fantasy doesn’t have a huge presence in the market so retailers may have been wary here. The mature content label (which this earns in a big way) may have put some off. It’s nothing terrible but considering how good it was and how talented Zdarskey is I thought it would have done a little better.

Ray: I don’t think retailers knew what to make of White Trees. A two-issue miniseries is almost unheard of these days. I suspect we’ll get a lot of reorders in coming months.

Glenn: Especially if what Zdarskey says is true and these two issues will not be collected. You either buy these or miss out, an interesting strategy in the collection age.

I would have thought an Image Comic with Jason Aaron and Dennis Hallum’s names on it would manage more than 13.9k at 139 but there Sea Of Stars is anyway. Perhaps the duel narrative of the story put some off? Again its fine where it is but deserves more based on the names involved on paper. Remember the lesson people, don’t dare be different.

Ray: Only a very select group of Image books manage to get above this level now, so I don’t think they have anything to be worried about.

Glenn: This is true.

Way behind its Batman and Superman brethren is the Walmart repurpose of Wonder Woman: Come Back To Me which sells over 13.3k at 141. This is the team of the mega successful New 52 Harley Quinn run but still…existing material…collection sales…money for nothing…yada yada but the large gap for the third member of DC’s trinity is…odd.

Ray: Honestly, the three Walmart books starring the Trinity are performing pretty much in proportion to where their regular books sell.

Glenn: A good bit behind similar title Aero is Sword Master at 145 selling over 12.9k. Another noticeable difference but this is merely translated material that Marvel is likely willing to take a hit on monthly due to the economics of that and hoping to use these titles to reach groups outside of the direct market.

Two second issue Image books in a row next with Reaver at 146 selling over 12.8k and Space Bandits doing around the same at 147. I’m surprised Space Bandits isn’t doing better since its Mark Millar but we’ve been saying for a while now that since his Netflix deal his star isn’t quite as bright but likely much more profitable. Reaver on the other hand I think is a big win for Jordan and Isaacs.

At 148 is your favorite regular offering from Marvel, old material for more money! This time its Immortal Hulk directors Cut which reprints the start of the now very popular series which sells over 12.7k. Great numbers for material that isn’t that old with only a few bells and whistles added. The second issue in the same month sells over 10.3k at 169 but its just icing on top of the green rage cake.

At 149 is the second issue of Blade Runner 2019 selling over 12.6k. This is a great result for Titan, much higher than their usual licensed properties tend to perform. It just shows how popular Ridley Scott’s 1982 continues to be. Oh and the genius of the 2017 sequel of course…*puts up umbrella for incoming fruit and veg)

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The move from Dark Horse to IDW seems to have done wonders for Usagi Yojimbo which sells over 11.6k at 155 which is miles ahead of where it used to be. With Buffy and now this finding better options as well along with the question mark of some of their former FOX properties now belonging to the mouse, the company has to be worried.

Ray: Great news for Usagi – as a first-time reader, it’s been a great read from IDW. Don’t worry about Dark Horse, Disney will give them more Frozen.

Glenn: I suppose they can’t afford to…let it go *boooooooo*

Good launch under Mags Vissagio for Doctor Mirage for Valiant which sells over 11.3k at 159. A little higher than Valiants default range it’ll likely settle to around 8k where most of their titles live.

Ray: This is a B-list character for Valiant, too, so the strength of the debut is probably down to Mags’ growing profile.

Glenn: This months Hellboy one shot is at 162 selling over 10.9k. This is where Hellboy lives. Its fine. Its all fine.

Surprised Marvel Action Captain Marvel didn’t do better than sales over 10.1k at 171 considering how big the character is now and this issue features a plot invoving a Flerkin. Still, these comics are intended for other markets really and given the delays on the other Marvel action books, retailers may be wary.

Ray: Yeah, these will make their money elsewhere. This is also a three-issue miniseries, so retailers are likely looking ahead to the trade in November. Still, Flerkens!

Glenn: Over 9.9k reorders for Powers Of X 1 at 173, whatever Marvel did to get Hickman back has paid off.

Second issue of former Black Label title Second Coming sells 9.8k at 174. This would be troubling if it was still at DC but this is brilliant for Ahoy so good for them for scooping this up.

Ray: Honestly, this second-issue number is still probably above where it would be at Vertigo! Good for Russell and former Bendis Boarder Richard Pace.

Glenn: Big drop for the second issue of Collapser at 178 with sales over 9.6k. Not great but around where the previous level the Young Animal books largely did. It’ll again depend on what DC expects but I don’t think this will last.

The relaunch of the classic hero the Death Defying Devil from Dynamite sells over 9.1k at 184 which is pretty good for such an obscure character. This is pretty much mostly due to the fact that its written by Gail Simone who always brings her own audience. Should be good for about 5k and decent collection sales to run for as long as she wants to write it.

Ray: Yeah, a good debut for a character few people care about. We’ll see if Max Bemis can do the same for Black Terror in October. 

Glenn: Given it has the involvement of Cullen Bunn I’m surprised Unearth isn’t doing better. It manages to sell over 9k at 185 on the second issue. Not a disaster but again, a title that on paper should be doing better which is becoming the theme of the month.

Ray: This is where Dark Horse creator-owned books live. Both have at least one top name attached, so they’ll probably hold well. Dark Horse has a decent trade program

Glenn: Second issue of Aliens Rescue is at 186, the sales don’t matter because the title is now cancelled because Brian Wood is a horrible person and Dark Horse jettisoned him out an airlock faster than the titular Xenomorph’s.

Strayed, an oddball new mini from Dark Horse debuts at 188 with sales over 8.9k. Pretty good for such an odd concept and really unless its Hellboy or Jeff Lemire, this is the best Dark Horse can seemingly do for new launches with names not well known.

Former Black Bolt writer, Christian Ward comes to Dark Horse with a magic based gangster story in the form of Tommy Gun Wizards which sells over 8.8k. I would have thought it would have done better than this with a known creator but this month is all sorts of odd with that sort of thing so I don’t think its really the fault of Dark Horse.

At 196 is Archie: Married Life 10 years later, the continuation of one of the more popular Archie alternate takes which sells over 8.5k. This is where Archie related material seems to live by and large, like we’ve said the glory days of the initial sales of the Waid relaunch are far behind us.

Ray: This was the very first older-skewing Archie book way back when, even before Afterlife, but it’s sort of been eclipsed since. This is really more for Archie loyalists than anything.

Glenn: Only over 7.5k in sales at 210 for the second issue of Manor Black, the new horror movie from the creative team behind the excellent Harrow County. I think this month needs to go home, its drunk.

Ray: That’s not a bad number for the second issue of a Dark Horse book! Bunn is doing good work with Lemire to keep them afloat.

A very strong debut for The Dark Age from Red 5 Comics at #211. This post-apocalyptic thriller in a world where the bonds of metal stop working sells 7.5K from a company we rarely see in the top 300.
Glenn: Good for them, they should have a little bit of the bubbly.
Ray: More reprints from Marvel with X-Men: Marvel Tales at #212, selling 7.1K.
The new creator-owned thriller Mountainhead from IDW charts at #216, selling 6.8K. This kidnapping thriller got great reviews, but IDW continues to struggle in the creator-owned field – they just canned the Black Crown line.
Glenn: A big change for IDW, one has to wonder what may be happening there behind closed doors.
Ray: An impressive 6.6K in reorders for TMNT #96 at #217, as the debut of a major new character continues to build buzz for the series. I could see #100 breaking into the top 20.
A new Aftershock thriller, Bad Reception written and drawn by Juan Doe, lands at #218 with sales of 6.5K. This is a little lower than they usually live, so a disappointment for the off-the-grid wedding murder mystery despite Doe being a go-to artist on a lot of the company’s titles.
The facsimile edition of X-Factor #87 charges at #221, right after a My Little Pony one-shot, as the acclaimed issue featuring Doc Samson pulls another 6.3K in sales.
Glenn: Just imagine what they would have sold if Doc Samson gave therapy to one of the Pony’s.
Ray: The Gabriel Rodriguez adaptation of The Island of Dr. Moreau sells 6.2K at #222, a not-surprising number for a niche literary adaptation by one of IDW’s brightest stars.
Glenn: This has book store market written all over it. Even Marvel tried that about a decade or so ago. It does look rather lovely.
The Vault post-apocalyptic thriller The Mall lands at #224, selling 6K. This is not to be confused with the Scout comic of the same title, which is essentially Scarface meets The Breakfast Club.
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There’s another 6K in reorders for Canto #2 at #225, as this is one IDW creator-owned series that seems to be taking off. That’s about 2/3rds of what the first printing of the third issue did this month, and another 2K in orders for the first issue are below. A well-deserved hit!
Humanoids Inc continues to stumble out of the gate, as their third ongoing series, Omni, launches with sales of 6K at #226. Much like Catalyst Prime, these original superhero shared universes seem to struggle to gain momentum.
The Star Wars Adventures Annual for the year sells 5.8K at #231. As usual, this is not where the sales are coming from – but I do think the price point on these annuals is deterring people a bit.
Hey, there’s Zombie Tramp at #235, selling 5.7K. Zombie Tramp, official mascot of By the Numbers.
At #241 is the return of Lenore, the undead chibi cartoon from Titan, selling just under 5.5K. This is a cult favorite with a large cross-audience with Invader Zim (right above it), and it’s been gone for a while, so these numbers seem pretty good.
Amid a lot of Image Firsts $1 issues, which sell in the 5K range, we also get 5K in reorders for Aero #1 at #250. There seems to be some genuine interest in this title.
At #254 is the return of Ducktales from IDW, with a new one-shot titled “Science and Silence”. It sells 4.8K, which is pretty typical for a cartoon spinoff that will do most of its sales in IDW’s mini-trades.
At #258 is the latest spin-off of one of my favorite cartoons, Over the Garden Wall. The theater-based thriller “Soulful Symphonies” sells 4.6K at #258. a typical number for Boom cartoon spinoffs that are geared towards the bookstore market.
Glenn: I thought if you liked it so much, you would talk about it more…*puts umbrella back up*
Ray:Formerly known as Songs of the Dead, Necromancer’s Map debuts with 4.3K in sales from Vault at #262. Given that this is more of a second arc than a debut, I’m guessing retailers didn’t order as heavily as they do for launches.
Fairlady wraps up its first arc – and run – at #265, selling 4.2K for its final issue. This is one that got great reviews but never really took off sales-wise. Happens to a lot of good books, and two of my favorites – Gogor and Outpost Zero – are joining it soon.
Glenn: The market is more crowded than ever, its going to mean sadly some great books will get lost in the shuffle.
Ray: 3.9K in reorders for Reaver #1 at #273, so this is a title with some real buzz. Justin Jordan often struggles a bit in single-issue sales, so this is good to see.
Copra is soon to relaunch at Image, so Michael Fiffe’s creator-owned thriller has an Image First issue at #275, selling 3.8K. Odd since the first volume wasn’t Image, but this should raise the series’ profile a lot.
Glenn: Just to raise its profile and get people on board most likely, a good marketing move.
Ray: 3.7K in reorders for Batman: Last Knight on Earth – which increased for its second issue already – at #280, so this is clearly a monster hit.
Glenn: The biggest winner of the Black Label line so far but there’s lots more to come.
Ray: At #281 with sales of 3.7K is Van Helsing vs. Dracula’s Daughter from Zenoscope. I’m sure Dracula’s Daughter has a very practical and not at all exploitative costume.
Glenn: She’s not too bad after a google search but like all Zenescope women she is rather…chesty. I don’t know why Van Helsing is dressed like a hooker cosplaying steampunk Zatanna though.
Ray: It’s a bunch of reorders and low-selling indie books in this section, until we get to #293 where Donny Cates’ Babyteeth returns from an extended hiatus. This book sells 3.4K on its return to Aftershock’s line, which shows the huge difference between their reach and what Cates usually does at bigger companies.
#295 brings us “Grimm Universe Presents Fall 2019“, their latest swimsuit edition selling 3.3K. I’m cold, Glenn.
Glenn: Those girls will be too. They don’t have much to wear.
Ray: At #303 is 3.2K more in reorders for the first issue of Batman: Last Knight on Earth, so we’ll be seeing that for a while on these charts.
#305 brings us 3.1K in reorders for Amazing Spider-Man #25. HEY GLENN, DID YOU KNOW CARLIE COOPER IS BACK IN TOWN?
Glenn: I have wondered about the big neon arrow pointing to her saying ‘I iz Kindred
Ray: #310 brings us 3K in sales for the latest Scout Comics launch, Headless – a book that fuses the sensibilities of concepts like It and Stranger Things with the legend of Sleepy Hollow. This got good reviews, so it could be a sleeper (pun intended) hit.
Glenn: He’s a horseman…headless!

Some reorders for Jane Foster: Valkyrie at 328, Venom 329 and Silver Surfer: Black at 330 all selling around 2.7k. Good signs for all these books.

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Bunch more reorders, mostly for Marvel until we get to 346 and Barack Panther: Barack In Black which sells over 2.4k at 346. Send help.

Ray: I wonder if Barack Panther fights a version of Klaw with yellow hair who wants to make Wakanda great again. This is cutting satire here, folks.

Glenn: They’re going to leave Wakanda by hook or by crook on October 31st.

Three new launches from various small press companies with Dead End Kids at 347 selling over 2.4k, Planet Caravan at 348 doing exactly the same so we get two 347’s but no 348 and Show’s End from Mad Cave Studios selling over 2.3k at 351. This just illustrates how close small press books by unknown talent are all grouped together as they all try to get noticed among the massive amount of noise created by the bigger companies.

Ray: Dead End Kids had the best reception of all of these, selling out quickly and going back to print. Source Point seems to be trending up. Show’s End is a pretty good result for a company that rarely gets into the top 400, as well.

Glenn: Its reorder city combined with small press ongoings until we get to 372 and a Tangled one shot titled Hair It Is (ha, puns) selling over 1.7k. Dark Horse seems to be doing better with their Disney output than IDW but Tangled sadly has been overlooked in favour of the likes of Frozen. This will sell oodles to fans of the animated series outside the direct market. The Disney Princess line makes a lot of coin for the mouse.

Ray: IDW’s Disney things generally do dreadful numbers in single issues and then head to trades, so they’re going for more one-shots and short minis.

Glenn: Source Point Press released an anthology based around Hope in Comic For Flint Hope at 383 selling over 1.5k which was to benefit a charity which supports adults with development issues. The only name attached is a musician named Jonathon Diener but I can’t find any other talent involved which may have made creators wary despite the good cause. Hopefully Diener has a large fanbase outside the industry to support the book the charity can get some additional support.

Ray: This was an odd one – it was to raise money for Flint, but unlike many great projects like Love is Love or Where We Live, it didn’t connect directly to the Flint crisis. The comics were just a collection of random indie stories, and I don’t think it had anything to drive sales despite it being for a worthy cause.

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Glenn: Not much excitement for Exciting Comics Extravaganza from Antartic press and I think the cover pretty much sums them up quite well. It sells over 1.4k at 385.

Small press company T Pub sees some headway in the top 500 for the first time that I remember with a new title in Traveller 1 at 386 which sells over  1.4k.

Ray: Traveler was a Kickstarter comic, so it got a lot of its sales already before this. The company hasn’t really gained much buzz yet, but this book seems to be getting good reviews.

Glenn: We’re usually a lot further down before we get to numbers like this so we’re going to see a lower entry point than usual and probably a lot of tears before we’re done.

Another publisher that doesn’t ring a bell is Blackbox Comics who have a new offering in Psycho List at 395 which sells over 1.3k among a bunch of major company reorders and noise from small press ongoings.

Ray: Blackbox is another company that doesn’t really seem to have a strong identity yet – it’s had books by Chuck Dixon and Kevin Grevioux, two writers who one would not expect to go together.

Glenn: At 399 is this months Dave Sim one shot selling over 1.3k, I’m sure he’s just pleased as punch.

*sighs* Pussycats…Eat Death or…*sighs again* Get Naked at 408 from E-Comix selling over 1.1k. No seriously people, send help.

In what reads as the indie horror comic event of 2018 returning… *looks silently at Gideon Falls* no not that, the first issue of Eternal Thirst Of Dracula sells over 1.1k at 411. This is not the time to be making such sweeping statements about your horror game.

Adventure Finders launches its second volume so there must be a fanbase to warrant such a thing. It sells over 1k at 416. It reads like a generic fantasy adventure by unknowns from Action Lab so…yeah.

Ray: Adventure Finders was originally at Antarctic and the creator left over the Comicgate affair, so he’s got a built-in audience. It’s a small core audience, but Rod Espinosa has a big following from his webcomics.

Glenn: More reorders and small press stuff until we get to Superbabes Starring Femforce which sells 901 copies at 433. This is apparently comics premier female superhero team by a creative team offff *checks* guys I’ve never heard of. Yup that fits.

Some sort of giant monster offering from Antartic Press at 437 in Konnichiwa Kaiju Kun sells 856 copies. Godzilla is not losing sleep here.

Red Range Pirates Of Fireworld from Its Alive (?!??!) sells 825 copies at 437. This is a single issue publication of a Kickstarter book that is written by the original creators son. I’ve never heard of this property so most of the diehard fans probably scooped it up during the campaign.

Ray: Lots of odd Kickstarter launches this month – this is probably a lot of the stuff that slips out of the top 500 in normal months.

Glenn: The market demanded (?) more sexy Cavewoman and by jove, it got it in the form of the Cavewoman Riptide One Shot that sells 824 at 442. USA! USA! USA!

Another offering from Antartic Press in Cookie Kid which sells 819 copies at 443. This one reads as if it might be good for young readers but the company that’s pushing it out will never get the support that the likes of Boom will cause you know…things and stuff.

Then its just reorder city with the exception of one small press launch with Roman Ritual (Vol. 2 again) at 478 selling 593. Its really depressing how low the numbers are this month.

Ray: Roman Ritual is a horror book from cult publisher Amigo Comics. They’re one of those that really has yet to break through at all, but they publish a lot of books.

Glenn: We finish at 500 appropriately enough, a reorder of the first issue of Blade Runner 2019 which sells 488 additional copies. What a month…

Ray: Been a while since we had a book below 500 on these charts.

Looking ahead to next month, I’m sure it’ll be dominated by the regulars as – *gets bowled over as Spawn rampages through the charts* It’s already been confirmed that Spawn #300 will be the top comic of the month, as it came in as the #2 comic of the year so far, only behind Detective #1000. That’s an insane number, and is likely to set an all-time record for Image comics in the modern day. Image also has the former Vertigo title Safe Sex, and the return of cult series Pretty Deadly and Trees.
Over at DC, we’ve got a new pair of Year of the Villain specials featuring Luthor and Riddler, the launch of a Harley Quinn/Poison Ivy team-up mini, a Bendis prelude mini for the Legion, and a Stepan Sejic Harley Quinn Black Label series. There’s also a Wally West miniseries, and an unlikely Jeff Lemire project in Inferior 5.
Over at Marvel, there’s JJ Abrams and Son’s Spider-Man series, plus the launch of War of the Realms spin-off Strikeforce and a looooooot more Absolute Carnage. Add in Jim Zub’s Black Panther and the Agents of Wakanda, Jody Houser’s Black Widow series, and the debut of Aaron and Ribic’s King Thor, and there should be a big fight for the remaining nine spots in the top ten.
What will rise? What will fall? Find out next month on…By the Numbers!
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Liked What You Read? Let us know or throw us any questions or comments here or @glenn_matchett or @raygoldfield

By The Numbers: July 2019

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 several years but grew up reading comics. He’s had work published with various small press publishers and has is own comic now available on Comixology in Sparks: The Way I Was from Yellow Bear Comics! Burned through the third season of She-Ra and The Princesses Of Power faster than he expected and found that even a show based off a cheesy 80’s cartoon created to sell toys can give all the feels.

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. Is off on Summer vacation and is spending it mostly indoors, thank you very much. He also burned through She-Ra and wants Entraptra and Hordak to have their own cafe with fully robotic staff.

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’re over the halfway point in 2019 and the sales chart has gotten super wacky in the month of July. There’s a lot of curiosity this month, particularly in the top ten with books ranking lower than they should and others ranking higher than they should. There’s a lot of confusion that we’re going to do our best to wade through because we love you. Yes, especially you.

Ray: This is just…wacky this month. Marvel’s sales are suspect in the best of times, as they frequently do incentives and overships that completely change the numbers, but now DC is doing a special month of enhanced covers to tie in with their Year of the Villain event. Because these covers are an extra dollar, they’re counted separately for the purpose of the charts and that essentially cuts the sales on DC books in half. So many titles that are normally top fifty mainstays miss or barely crack the top 100.

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Glenn: This month’s top seller on the surface in the two first issues of the two Jonathan Hickman X-Men mini’s with House Of X selling over 185.6k and Powers Of X selling over 167.8k at 1 and 2 respectfully. After Secret Wars some years back, no one expected Hickman back at Marvel and while we all expected him to maybe do something at DC no one could have foreseen him helming a major property again but here we are. The last few years have told us that there is a decent amount of interest in X-Men but all it needed was a supercharge to launch it back to the top which Hickman more than covers. These two mini’s will likely sell over 100k or close enough to it during the duration and Hickman’s solo X-Men book will undoubtedly become one of Marvel’s heavy hitters. Its a big grab by the company to get him back and its already playing dividends.
Ray: These books definitely had a lot of covers, but I do think the interest here is genuine. This is the first true a-list X-men launch in a while, as neither the Blue/Gold/Red era nor the recent weekly garnered too much buzz. The return of Hickman to the Marvel Universe is a huge development and he’s returning from a high point. I think the flagship book will likely perform similarly to Venom as one of Marvel’s top guns.
Glenn: At 3 is the anniversary issue of Amazing Spider-Man which is oversized and overpriced at 7.99 cover price but once again expensive comics don’t seem to deter retailers with sales over 113.2k for the title. Now that hunted is over though and without a fancy multiple of 25 to support it the next issue is down at 18 selling over 59.6 which still puts it at the top of Marvel’s upper tier but the lowest the title has sold in years. The reaction to writer Nick Spencer’s run has been so-so and without a much hyped event or anything of interest to support it, interest is decreasing. Luckily Venom is coming in the form of Absolute Carnage and some tie-ins so we can all continue pretending that all is fine.
Ray: Overhyped Marvel anniversary issues always get big numbers, even if this one was a little silly coming just a year or so into the run. I think the second number is more significant, as we’re seeing some real attrition for the first time and the upcoming Superior Foes themed arc likely won’t help.
Glenn: At 4 is the final issue of the long running and ridiculously successful Walking Dead which sells over 111.1k which is Image taking some pity on retailers who didn’t know this was the last issue and upping orders a bit. Rumours are legit orders are around 80k but while there are some over shipping shenanigans again this month, in Walking Dead’s case its justified. Had this been made known what it was, this could have cracked anywhere between 200-300k easy and Image will see healthy reorders from this book until the end of the year and maybe even beyond. Will we ever see a runaway success from an indie book like this again? Time will tell but Walking Dead sales will continue to reap rewards for Image long after the corpse is cold but somehow still stirring.
Ray: I think this is going to be like DC Rebirth, Marvel Legacy, and Doomsday Clock in that we’re going to see these last few issues of Walking Dead show up on the charts for months on end as reorders come in. And more on that…lay-tor.
Glenn: At 5 is the second issue of Batman: Last Knight on earth which sees an uptick in sales to deliver over 105k units for DC. It seems the confusion about the future of Black Label has been partly settled in retailers minds and given last months strong reorders, demand for this title is high. Its a great number, still less for what I might have expected from the last Batman tale by Snyder and Capullo but this one will continue to do strong in reorders and well in collection form. Perhaps Black Label’s odd print format is seen as a bit of a potential risk to retailers, its hard to call. Still at 5.99 a pop, its still yet another Batman line hit for DC.
Ray: That’s a pretty significant increase and shows some real momentum for this title, as Snyder and Capullo are probably the closest thing DC has to an absolute gold standard creative team now. The last issue is unfortunately delayed – landing in November rather than October as planned – but I doubt it’ll hurt the sales at all.
Glenn: Delays can be a Black Label tradition!
Following up the mega hit he delivered two years ago, Sean Murphy is back with the follow up in the form of Batman Curse Of The White Knight at 6 which sells over 91.2k which is a strong debut and very close to where the previous mini ended. It seems most retailers have treated this as a straight up continuation but this is another Batman related mini that will deliver great numbers for DC during its run.
Ray: This is really exactly where Batman: White Knight left off, so I’m expecting there’ll be very little attrition here. This is a bona fide alternate universe hit for DC, and they just announced a spin-off focusing on Von Freeze with art by Klaus Janson in November.
Glenn: This one may not be drawn by Murphy but obviously Janson has all the Batman cred it the world and his name will still be there along with the all important branding so this universe looks to be branching out.
Finishing up the run of Batman mini’s is the final issue of Batman Who Laughs at 7 with sales over 88k. The hype died down a little but this was the issue we didn’t know would exist until very recently so retailers may have been caught by surprise but the entire mini was a runaway hit and its clear DC are not letting the character rest any time soon.
Ray:  Yeah, this is a not-insignificant drop for the final issue and I think it’s partially due to the hurried addition of the last issue. But this is a monster hit.
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Glenn: At 8 we either get the indication me and Ray are wrong or Marvel is still messing us all around as the second issue of Black Cat which sells over 82.2k and while I don’t want to say we’re never wrong…we’re not wrong on this one. Its already known some mini debuts which we’ll get to have had their sales bolstered this month and its clear Marvel is wanting this title to be a hit and is just pushing out thousands of unordered copies. How much more? Its unclear but I would be willing to maybe accept this at 50-60k but no…this number for this character and creative team makes no sense. In this case Marvel can’t be trusted but its unclear how much that is the case across the line.
Ray: Yeah, we’ll have to see how this goes in coming months, but something weird is going on here. There is NO reason for this title to be doing so well. The character doesn’t have a mainstream media presence. The event this title spins out of was not well-relieved. The creative team isn’t likely to have strong feelings either way, as they were last on the digital-first Daughters of the Dragon series. This is likely spill-over from the WalMart release and the crash will be coming.
Glenn: At 9 is Immortal Hulk which seems to be selling not due to shenanigans but due to the creative team delivering a high quality book (the horror!). It continues to be a surprise hit with sales over 83k although the following issue drops sharply down to 23 with sales over 54.3k. That still puts it among the upper tier of Marvel’s books and above where it was but its odd the book dropped so suddenly. Is news of the supposed relaunch killing the titles momentum or there something else at play? So many questions this month.
Ray: It doesn’t seem like a relaunch is coming, so it seems like this is just whatever the weird Marvel sales pattern is – the first issue of the month gets a huge jump over the second. I’m assuming the second number is the “Real” one, so that’s still a strong hit for the company as Hulk gets some real buzz for the first time since Loeb/McGuinness.
Glenn: Final part of the top ten is Batman issue 74 trailing behind a lot of shenanigans and successful launches and books also starring Batman. It sells over 78.5k as it continues its slow decend down the charts. Now as always, two Batman issues shipped this month and this might be the first time in 10 years an issue isn’t in the top ten but that seems weird when its the much hyped 75th issue which starts King’s final arc on the title. On first glance the issue is bizarringly at 13 selling over 70.2k which for most ongoings would be pretty solid if not great but for Batman and the start of a major arc and an anniversary issue, its a disaster. However to make this month even more confusing, DC released two covers for a lot of their books and a special variant specifically had a different price point so is charted separately. This issue shows up again on the charts at 74 selling over 29.9k meaning that actually the issue sold over 100.1k which is probably still a little on the low side but makes a hell of a lot more sense. This means that it would be the fifth highest selling book of the month sandwiched between Last Knight and White Knight. King’s run has lost some steam likely due to the news he was leaving being broken early and the incorrect label that he’d been fired off the book being attached to that fact. Momentum on the book has been stalted but I don’t see why the book can’t perform around the 80k mark for this last 10 issue arc with his final issue delivering about the same numbers as 75 did total. Given that this has messed up the entire charts for DC, they have tried to get diamond to make sure this doesn’t happen again because at first glance, it makes them look that they did much worse than they did while their main competitor effortlessly gets away with making themselves look better than they are.

Ray: Yeah…this is where the insanity begins. I think this is a decent number for the anniversary issue of Batman – 100K is always impressive, but I do wonder if the false reports about King being abruptly fired from Batman and his run being unfinished drove down sales a bit. But the decision to do these extra-priced covers has essentially kneecapped DC on the charts this month, making the sales on all their titles look worse than they are. DC kneecaps themselves, Marvel artificially boosts themselves, and here we are. 

#11 is the most unexpected triumph of the month, as Dynamite Comics comes just shy of cracking the top 10 with Vampirella #1, the relaunch by Christopher Priest. It sells just under 77K, an amazing number for Dynamite – but this is largely on the strength of a Boundless-level number of variant covers from top artists. There’ll be a sharp drop next month, but I imagine it’ll still be Dynamite’s top comic long-term.
Glenn: An unexpected hit for sure and I think while the variant’s will have played a part, that’s nothing knew for Dynamite or Vampirella. I think Priest’s name may have garnored some interest as his involvement kind of makes you go ‘this is kind of wtf, I want to check it out.’ It’ll wane when people remember for all the bells and whistles in the world, its still Vampirella but this will definitely be the best selling the title has ever been for a bit.
Ray: #12 brings us the debut of Aero #1, selling 71K for Marvel. Except…it didn’t. This reprint of a Chinese comic featuring a young heroine with air powers (with a Greg Pak-penned backup) had its orders doubled as a promotional technique to spread word of this spinoff from Agents of ATLAS. So it actually sold just under 36K, which seems more realistic.
Glenn: It may be inflated but 36k ain’t bad especially when you consider this is a comic largely already bought and paid for. Much like many of Marvel’s reprint comics that are free money this is probably much the same here so this line of books could work to rules all their own.
Ray: At #14 – and #16 – is the latest example of DC’s cover gimmick backfiring, as we get the regular and specialty covers of DCeased #3 selling 68K and 63K respectively. That’s over 130K, putting this monster hit series at #3 for the month – but DC doesn’t get credit for that because the sales are split.
Glenn: The series at least continues to perform well. Like Morgan Freeman once said, we’re going to see more of these.
Ray: More Marvel games at #15, as Invisible Woman sells 64K – but it also had its sales doubled, which means it sold 32K. I don’t think Reed and Sue really have solo potential yet, since they’re too tied to the Fantastic Four while Johnny and Ben have more ties outside of it.
Glenn: Decent for the real sales as you can expect from a character who like you said has never had much solo success. Most of these sales will be Waid pulling it along but by the end, it will probably remind Marvel that even though Sue is a fantastic character (pun intended) you can’t change a mindset the company has laid into us for 80 years in regards to her sales potential.
Ray: Spawn keeps climbing the charts, as its 299th issue sells 60K at #17. I think the #300 issue, which has a Snyder/Capullo story in it, will easily break into the top ten or even top five.
Glenn: It depends what shenanigans go on next month but until the anniversary issue hype dies down, this will be Image’s new top ongoing all over again. Party like the early 90’s!
Ray: Amid ongoing hit series like Detective Comics (the second issue of the month, which was not split), Savage Avengers, Venom, Justice League, Avengers, and the finale of Uncanny X-Men, we get the second issue of Event Leviathan, selling 53K at #24. That’s definitely not event comic numbers, but given that it’s a mostly self-contained spy comic that’s getting completely overshadowed by Year of the Villain, I think these are fine numbers. Not too far off from Heroes in Crisis.
Glenn: A slightly less successful one, sure. Its going to be interesting how DC do their Events in the future after both this and Heroes underperformed. We know Snyder/Capullo are cooking something Crisis related which is a solid way to rebound.
Ray: Loki gets the best of this month’s War of the Realm tie-ins, with the new series by Daniel Kibblesmith debuting at #25 with sales of 51K. I think this is a sustainable debut number for one of Marvel’s most popular antiheroes.
Glenn: Loki is now one of movies greatest kinda/sorta villains even outside of comic book movies. His profile is higher than ever and he’s had a good run of critically acclaimed books starring him in the last decade or so, people don’t want to miss the boat here. This will likely settle to high 20’s to mid 30’s which should be okay for a decent run.
Ray: Silver Surfer: Black settles down after its blockbuster debut, selling 47K at #30. That’s less than 1K above where the 8th issue of Guardians of the Galaxy by the same writer sells, so I think we can safely say that Cates’ name is going to drive this book’s sales. The Venom tie-in might be good for some reorders down the line.
Glenn:  For sure, this is before people realized what this was. This is still a great number historically for Silver Surfer and a mini especially.
Ray: A strong debut for History of the Marvel Universe by Mark Waid and Javier Rodriguez, selling 46K at #33. This is essentially a sourcebook narrated by Marvel characters and with original art, so that’s a testament to the strength of the creators, I think.
The anthology War of the Realms: Omega sells 45K at #34, so I think retailers got the word that this wasn’t a final issue of the main series but an epilogue teasing spin-offs.
Glenn: That does explain it. Among one of the better tie-ins for that reason.
Ray: Web of Venom: Funeral Pyre sells 45K at #35, a great number for a Cullen Bunn book following up on a supporting character from his Flash Thompson Venom run. It’s a lead-in to Absolute Carnage, so more evidence that’s going to be a monster.
Glenn: I’m scared.
Ray: More Venom at #37, as the annual sells 44K. This has no ties to anything Donny Cates is doing – it’s part of the Acts of Evil mini-events and has a Ryan Cady-penned tale where Venom fights Lady Hellbender. More evidence that anything Venom touches is gold right now.
Amid more strong regulars like Captain America, Thor, The Green Lantern, Fantastic Four, and Symbiote Spider-Man, we get the debut of Valkyrie: Jane Foster, selling 42K at #39. That’s a decent debut given that I don’t think anyone imagined a Jane Foster ongoing would be a thing years ago, but I also think an Aaron/Ewing book and one starring the former Thor should be debuting a little higher.
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Glenn: Especially with the recent movie news. Why this didn’t get the inflation treatment Black Cat is getting when Jane is about to be the star of a big budget movie is another mystery only Marvel can answer. I think this one will settle fast or be a climber which will give it a healthy life.
Ray: At #41 is Marvels Epilogue, featuring an original 16-page story from Kurt Busiek and Alex Ross plus some backmatter. It sells 42K, not bad for a likely evergreen comic, but given how iconic this book is I would have expected more. I wonder if the price put some people off.
Glenn: I think the same or maybe people were put off by how much comic vs. price there was. Of course this will now be packaged in with all future Marvels collections so it ultimately didn’t matter. I really believed a top ten number for the first Alex Ross interiors in what feels like forever wasn’t out of line but there you go.
Ray: The other Agents of ATLAS spinoff, Sword Master, is at #44 selling 41K. I don’t think this one had its orders doubled, so it actually outsold Aero handily. Both of these are mostly free money for Marvel since the bulk of the comic is translated pre-existing comics, though.
Issues of Detective Comics and Justice League are at #45 and #47 selling about 40K, but there’s 15K in additional copies out of the top 100 for their second covers, so the numbers are deceptive here.
Lois Lane’s first solo series in decades has its debut at #46, selling 40K. I would have expected more from a Rucka/Perkins book, but this twelve-issue series is a slow burn mystery and Rucka’ tends to do very well in trades. This’ll level off quickly, but its sibling book has me worried. (More on that…lay-tor).
Glenn: Rucka books do tend to get a steady audience fast and DC likely have many collection types in mind for this. I don’t think this is a bad number at all for something a bit outside the normal Super family wheelhouse.
Ray: The first of many reorders for The Walking Dead is at #48, as #192 (where THAT happens) gets an additional 38K in sales. The total numbers for these last few issues are going to be massive in a few months.
Glenn: Robert Kirkman, how do you sleep at night?
Kirkman: On a bed of money with many beautiful corpses.
Ray: 37K in sales for Wolverine vs. Blade Special at #51, an oversized one-shot that feels like it could have been a miniseries. This was a rare mature-readers book from Marvel, but the launch of a new Black Label this is not.
Glenn: I think this is really good, Blade hasn’t had a major spotlight in forever (this will sure change soon) and its 5.99, can’t argue with much here.
Ray: Star Wars: Target Vader from Robbie Thompson launches at #52 with sales of 37K. These random Vader miniseries always do dependably but not spectacularly now that the Soule series is over.
#53 brings 37K in orders for New Mutants #98 Facsimile Edition, reprinting the first appearance of Deadpool. This actually outsold Deadpool’s solo series!
Glenn: Another key issue that people go gaga over. More free money.
Ray: 36K in orders for Batman Secret Files #2 at #54. Unlike last year’s edition, this one didn’t really have a clear hook and there was nothing to drive sales higher.
Glenn: I thought maybe the solicited and cover boasting ‘City Of Bane tie-in!’ might have been good for a few more but it ultimately was nothing of the sort. This sold along the lines of what it actually was. If King had been among the writers that could have maybe got it 10-20k more.
Ray: The first of the Walmart originals to get a regular comic release, Batman Universe from Bendis and Nick Derington sells 35K at #58. Given that many people have read these already, this seems to indicate some real interest for this series and it’s the highest-selling of this mini-line so far.
Glenn: Free money for DC this time. This will have made a ton from the Wall Mart thing and will do great in collections land. This is a great number, especially priced at 4.99
Ray: Naomi finishes out its short run for now with sales of 35K at #59, back down a little lower from the last issue but way up from its debut. The implied Legion ties really kicked the sales here up a notch.
X-Men #1 Facsimile Edition sells 35K at #61, as Marvel masters the art of selling us old comics – now at full price!
Glenn: Original ads though Ray. ORIGINAL ADS.
Ray: The Green Lantern Annual is at #62, selling 34K. That’s about 10K down from the regular series, maybe due to the absence of artist Liam Sharp.
Both DC and Dark Horse have to be pretty happy with the sales for their latest crossover, as Black Hammer/Justice League: Hammer of Justice #1 sells 34K at #64. That’s more than a 300% increase from regular sales of Black Hammer, which means DC’s clout just potentially tripled the audience of comics’ best series at the moment.
Glenn: This is brilliant and well deserved for Black Hammer which is probably the best comic out there at the moment. It seemed that this was Lemire’s Coda at DC but he’s sticking around to write some smaller tier characters.
Ray: Lots more of these split issues, which puts titles like Superman, Action, and Wonder Woman down here in the 60s instead of where they should be – but the actual numbers are close or normal to what they should be.
#67 has the Wolverine and Captain America: Weapon Plus special, selling 31K. That’s decent for an oversized one-shot picking up on plotlines from the Morrison X-Men run, but this is definitely one of the lower-selling of Marvel’s many one-shots this month.
Glenn:  Maybe a little on the low side, maybe people just weren’t bothered about the much mined ‘Weapon X project’ connection?
Ray: Even more reprints, as Giant Sized X-Men #1’s Facsimile Edition sells 31K at #70.
30K in sales for Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen #1 at #71. That’s way below what I would expect from the return of Matt Fraction to mainstream comics, but then, it is Jimmy Olsen. He hasn’t had a solo series for decades. So if this series will pick up momentum, it’ll have to build it off critical acclaim.
Glenn: This could very much be a Vision job where sales are so-so but it delivers an instant classic that picks up all sorts of awards, builds momentum and does tonnes of collection sales. Fraction hasn’t been at either of the big two for some time and was never one of the tip top sellers so that could be impacting things too. Time will tell.
Ray: A very good Image debut at #76, with Sea of Stars from Aaron and Hallum selling 29K. This is well above most recent Image debuts, but I think Aaron’s name on anything will drive sales.
Glenn: The unique format could have pulled people in too.
Ray: The oddball Marvel book, Death’s Head from Tini Howard, sells 29K at #77. I wonder if marketing it as the Wiccan and Hulkling series it seems to be would have boosted sales a bit?
Glenn: Still very good for a pretty obscure character taking the title but yeah, some sort of more obvious Young Avenger’s connection would have helped.
Ray: The first of the Age of Resistance one-shots from Star Wars, starring Finn, sells 29K at #78. The other that was released, starring Captain Phasma, is down at #85 selling 27K and the anthology special is down at #94 selling 23K.
Glenn: These have lost a bit of momentum it seems. Will do well on reorders closer to the movie perhaps.
Ray: The first of the Carnage-themed True Believers one-shots this month, Absolute Carnage – Carnage, sells 28K at #81, as anything Carnage-related flies off the shelf.
Tom King and Andy Kubert’s Superman story, Up in the Sky, sells 28K at #82 as DC gets more bonus sales from their Walmart books.
Glenn: Lower than expected with the creative team but Superman has the unfortunate disadvantage of not being Batman.
Ray: A surprisingly low debut for a Mark Millar book, as Space Bandits #1 lands at #83 with sales of 27K. Black Science artist Matteo Scalera is wildly talented, but he’s not as much of a “name” as Millar’s other recent artists.
Glenn: Not sure what happened here, I thought Millar’s name would have been enough even if you don’t consider Scalera a superstar (which his talent warrants). These Millar books haven’t been doing so hot since the Netflix deal, perhaps people are content to wait for the inevitable adaption as other comics which could use their money take priority.
Ray: Two more of Marvel’s niche projects that rolled out this month land around here, as Peter David’s sci-fi adventure begins in Fantastic Four: Prodigal Son with sales of 27K at #86 (the story will continue in Silver Surfer and Guardians one-shots), and the anthology Fearless, which spotlights female characters and creators, lands just below it selling 26K. This one may pick up a bit of steam due to a short Kelly Thompson story with an insane last page that went viral.
After a long hiatus, Gerard Way’s Doom Patrol returns with a new series and a new artist, and sells 23K upon its return at #95, which is a boost from the previous run.
The Justice League Dark Annual sells 23K at #97 in the biggest spotlight yet for rising creator Ram V. This would normally be about 10K below the sales of the parent title, but the sales are split this month which puts both of those issues out of the top 100.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is picking up steam in a hurry as the title heads for #100 and a creative team change, plus a major status quo change. #96 sells 22K this month at #99, a huge increase – and look for reorders to be big.
#102 brings Punisher Annual #1, which was an Acts of Evil tie-in featuring Punisher and JJJ vs. The Brood. 22K people loved this idea just as much as we did.
Glenn: I think this one could see some reorders, it was a lot of fun and a really good surprise of a great read.
Ray: After what seems like forever, Age of X-Man concludes with the Omega issue, which finishes out of the top 100 at #103 with sales of 21K. Not much of an event. It’s okay, Hickman’s here…
Glenn: Everyone like ‘don’t care, Hickman here, bye now’ and you can’t blame them since Marvel is doing that themselves.

At 111 is the next re purpose of Wal-Mart material with Wonder Woman: Come Back to me by the former creative team of Harley Quinn. I would have thought since this is the team that helped propel Quinn into a sales success against all odds this would have been capable of more than the over 20.3k it does. While the main Wonder Woman title is gaining some momentum thanks to G. Willow Wilson, the character has never performed well in spin offs or that. Again the sales here aren’t really a big deal because this material is all bought and paid for.

Ray: The level of talent DC managed to assemble for these books is genuinely impressive, but I think King and Bendis have more name pull than Palmiotti/Conner. And Wonder Woman never sells as well as the Big Two. I think overall these are just bonus sales and DC is obviously very happy with these stories.
Glenn: Right below it at 112 is the debut of a new Young Animal book, Collapser which launches with sales over 20.1k which is pretty good for an original property out of this niche line. We’ll see how we go but sales of around 10k is probably where it’ll end up which DC may be happy enough with, they knew what they were getting with bringing this line back.
Ray: This is co-written by a former member of My Chemical Romance, so it’s got a built-in audience, but the concept (essentially a darker version of books like Blue Beetle and Nova) doesn’t have much sales pull. I think this one might struggle.
Glenn: A strong debut from Titan at 114 with the first issue of Blade Runner 2019 which sells over 19,9k. The original movie still has a large and passionate audiance eager for more stories from this world so this has done better than most of these retro classic movie comic follow ends tend to do, This could easily become Titan’s biggest hit in their roster of never ending licensed properties.
Ray: That’s one of the top Titan debuts ever, impressive. The recent movie sequel disappointed at the box office, but the franchise has very loyal fans.
Glenn: That movie was genius and you’re all mad, ALL OF YOU MAD!
A new debut from Image at 115 in Unearth which sells over 19.8k follows the pattern of name debuts from Image for the last few months. This one has Cullen Bunn as a co-writer which helps but like we’ve been saying, retailers have been willing to order pretty sodily on Image debuts for a good time now showing that the company itself is creating excitement over anything it puts out which is a good thing.
Ray: Bunn on a horror concept will virtually always sell itself. He’s become the go-to guy for disturbing original horror minis from every company under the sun.
Glenn: The final issue of one of Image’s most steady sellers, Paper Girls gets a slight sales boost at 118 selling over 19.3. Its not even an increase over 2k but the series has been a solid performer throughout, is well thought of an is constantly present in high selling collections lists. With an adaption from Amazon on the way, there’s no doubt this will become another major asset to Image’s ever growing library.
Ray: I think Saga is more the case of that but I think Paper Girls is a more traditional tale and that’s saying something considering what wacky stuff this comic had to offer.
This title stayed pretty consistent throughout, and seems to be the Vaughn book that has the most universal fan love with little controversy.
Glenn: I didn’t remember ever seeing Captain America & The Invaders solicited but here it is at 119 selling over 19.2k. Some research tells me this another in a bizarre series of one shots of stories from legendary creators (in this case Roy Thomas and Jerry Ordway) that Marvel fell over one day and decided to release. This is a great number for old school type comics, especially at 4.99.
Ray: Not sure if new content or something they dug up from the vault, but this one-shot made me want more Jerry Ordway comics. 
Glenn: I think we can all agree on that one.
This month’s True Believers theme is Carnage in prep for Absolute Carnage next month with the first two offerings at 120 and 121 both selling over 19.1k. This is a clear indication that this is the event of the year for Marvel when objectively most of the Carnage material from yesteryear has been subpar at best so when retailers can offer the stuff that Cates has masterminded, all bets are off.
Controversy has reaped big benifits for company Ahoy Comics who picked up Second Coming after DC dropped it like a hot potato a while back. The company sees what is most likely its biggest sales ever at 122 with over 18.6k in units. Much like when DC fobbed off the Boys in years gone by and Dynamite scooped it up to big benefit, Ahoy Comics should likely send the editorial over their a fruit basket.
Ray: Yeah, this is well above the debut of Wrong Earth, Ahoy’s previous hit. This also shows Mark Russell’s star keeps on rising. This would have been a good debut for an Image book!
Glenn: The cult hit series, X-Statix returns with a one shot this month with Giant Sized X-Statix at 124 selling over 18.1k. I think that’s pretty good given the series is near 20 years old and a lot has changed in the industry since then. Marvel seem to be happy enough to use this as a launch pad for a new series which may pick up some of the momentum the x-line is getting overall.
Ray: This is another generation of comic readers, so I’ll be interested to see how the sequel series does. Do comic revivals do as well as TV revivals? We shall see!
Glenn: Justin Jordan is a writer of note and artist Rebekka Isaacs did some great work for Dark Horse on their Buffy line and now together they launch Reaver from Image selling over 17.9k at 126 which is another very solid debut from the company. While Marvel and DC have the majority of the top 100 on lockdown, Image seems to be living it up here under the surface.
Ray: Jordan is a name that consistently produces quality work but tends to struggle sales-wise. This is one of his best recent debuts and I hope it keeps that momentum.
Glenn: A bizarre sequal to a bizarre premise at 130 with Archie vs Predator II selling over 17.6k which is much higher than Archie comics tend to do. I can’t wait for Archie and the gang to stumble beneath Riverdale high and for Reggie to get his face way too close to a weird egg looking thing.
Ray: This one is a full-on ultraviolent mature readers comic, so I think it’s picking up a lot of the actual Predator fans from Dark Horse. This is roughly where the franchise’s new series’ land. 
Glenn: The maxi series Adventures Of The Super Sons finishes up its run at 131 selling over 17.6k and I think this one performed really well given the status quo has moved on past its premise. Seeing these two together in a more recognizable state seems to resonate with people and maybe the last chance to see them again like this was enough to keep people sticking around.
Ray: This series had a good concept with a top creative team, but it never really caught on in either run. Both characters grew up too fast, I think.
Glenn: Agreed, this was a duo that could have been rolling for years even before they added a mysterious young girl that could fly and carried a lasso that made people tell the truth to the mix.
The start of the Dark Phoenix Saga way back in X-Men 137 gets a Facsimilie edition meaning more free money from Marvel with sales over 16k. The interesting thing to me is most of these have been reprinted to death in collections all over but people still want them, goes to show what I know.
Some Secret Warps this month with Soldier Supreme, Ghost Panther, Weapon Hex, ArachKnight and Iron Hammer all getting annuals selling over 15.9k at 147, 15.4k at 149, 15.4k at 150, 15.1k at 153 and 13.9k at 165 respectfully. These are odd concepts that retailers almost ordered like for like because they and most likely fans aren’t sure what to make of them. They all perform solidly enough given their weirdness and if Marvel doesn’t overdo the concept they can probably trot it out now and then to get a decent result back. The only one that doesn’t do too hot is Iron Hammer and while its not a big difference it is notable enough when the rest are so packed together, not sure what was different here.
Ray: The drop on Iron Hammer is odd because that had the two most popular combined characters, but it was also the last installment. Either way, this is a spin-off of an event that people forgot five minutes after it ended, so not a big surprise.
Glenn: Among these is the Ms. Marvel annual selling over 15.3k at 152 where Kamala fights the super Skrull as part of the soft non event Acts of Vengeance or whatever its called. Its a good number, nearly outselling Kamala’s main title by about 2k.
Ray: This “Acts of Evil” branding seems like it’s going to be selling based on the direct market popularity of the lead character, aside from anything else.
Glenn: Another Cullen Bunn book, a horror mini series with his Harrow County artist Tyler Crook in the form of Manor Black at 182 selling over 12k which is decent enough from Dark Horse these days. This is about the number Harrow County sold and is a short mini so little to worry about here.
Ray: Bunn is everywhere! (More on him…laytor) This is a pretty solid number for Dark Horse.
Glenn: Speaking of Dark Horse, they launch a new Alien mini titled Alien Rescue which sells over 10.9k at 197 which is around where the franchise has been with the odd exception for years. The company are either still waiting to hear if they’re getting one of their bread and butter franchises taken off them or hoping that Disney has forgotten about it, I won’t tell if you don’t.
Ray: Given that Disney now outsources most of their Disney books to Dark Horse, they might be okay here.
Glenn: The card stock editions of major DC comics really make the charts wonky this month with a lot of their books seemingly at this level with the other sales much higher. We might see the same thing come November when another batch of varients on certain books at different prices is available. Hopefully DC will have sorted things out with diamond by then.

Ray: *runs around with his shirt off* NOTHING MAKES SENSE!!!

Glenn: My eyes! The goggles! They do nothing!
Ray: For those who like the offbeat fantasy web series Critical Role, there’s a new miniseries from Dark Horse, titled Vox Machina Origins Series II, and it sells a little over 10K at #204. Dark Horse has had some success with cult properties like this lately.
Glenn: Given how the Kickstarter for the show made all the money, I’m sure there’s a large fanbase out there for this in other places/forms.
Ray: Speaking of spinoffs, IDW tests the water with their first Sonic the Hedgehog spinoff as they debut Tangle and Whisper, which teams a hyperactive lemur with a quiet spy fox. It sells 10.3K at #206, which is only about 1K below where the main series is selling.
Glenn: Considering that I’ve just learned about these characters and they’re not as well known as Tails or even Knuckles, I’d call that a big win
Ray: After a lot of stray cardstock covers from DC, at #216 we get the debut of The Orville: New Beginnings, a miniseries that covers the time jump between seasons one and two of Seth McFarlane’s sci-fi dramedy. It sells 9.7K, which is about right for a Dark Horse spin-off of a cult TV series. This is also a new Disney property thanks to the Fox purchase.
Glenn: Disney now owns Star Trek kinda/sorta? Orville/Space Balls crossover confirmed?
Ray: Cullen Bunn shows up for the third time with a new creator-owned series with Knights Temporal, a time-travel thriller from Aftershock that sells 9.7K at #217. Compare this to Manor Black and you see how much Aftershock continues to struggle.
The second month of IDW’s Usagi Yojimbo drops a lot but settles at #220, selling 9.6K. Still a world above where it was slowly selling at Dark Horse.
After a lot of variant covers and mid-level licensed titles, we come to #230 where we find Ragnarok: The Breaking of Helheim from Walt Simonson. It sells 8.8K. What the hell is this? Where’s Jane Foster?
Glenn: This seems to be solely directed at Simonson fans to see what he would do with the Norse legends without all that pesky Marvel stuff in the way? Its an interesting idea that I don’t think I’ve ever seen done before but without a top property, Simonson will be one of those legendary creators that can only do so well with their own stuff in the direct market.
Ray: At #238 is the World of Black Hammer Encyclopedia, a one-shot giving us the backstory of the cast of Jeff Lemire’s creator-owned hit. It sells 8.4K, which only puts it less than 2K behind this month’s issue of the main series. There’s some serious interest in this shared universe, maybe more than any since Astro City.
Image result for World of Black Hammer Encyclopedia
Glenn: This is an information booklet to grab new fans and for crazy people like you and me, Ray so this is pretty good. I’d say a lot of Black Hammer back material like this might be sought out given the launch of Black Hammer/Justice League
Ray: At #242 is the debut of Killers from Valiant, a B. Clay Moore thriller teaming several past members of the Ninja unit to track down an assassin hunting them. It sells 7.9K, not coming from a writer who is really associated with Valiant, but it got great first-issue reviews.
#250 brings us 7.6K in reorders for Silver Surfer: Black #1, so those mammoth first-issue sales didn’t even burn off all the interest!
Glenn: More reorders will filter in as the Venom connection come clear and we’re hit with some insane Absolute Carnage numbers
Ray: A pair of Vault Comics debuts are ordered almost exactly the same at #256/257, as the post-apocalyptic horror thriller Resonant and the fantasy epic Sera and the Royal Stars sell 11 copies apart, around the 7.5K range.
7K more sales for Vampirella at #259, as the “1969 replica edition” sells more copies for $6.99.
Glenn: Its not just DC splits causing confusion this month! I’m guessing this is a pricier cover? This concept always baffles me but I absolutely understand there’s a market for it.
Ray: The latest Boom young adult book, Ghosted in LA by Iceman writer Sina Grace, sells 6.7K at #264. This charming supernatural comedy about a college student who moves in with a mansion full of offbeat ghosts deserves better and will likely do most of its sales in trades.
Glenn: This makes me miss Image’s series of the same name but does sound like a lot of fun!
Ray: Another Vault debut, Test from Chris Sebela, lands at #267, about 1K lower than the books above it at 6.5K. This one has the bigger name attached, but it also has the more difficult concept to describe.
Glenn: *googles Vault’s Test* Erm yes…I see. Given the advance previews I’ve been lucky enough to read of The Mall and The Plot, Vault does seem to have a lot of strong stuff under the radar so this might be one of those.
Ray: More of Marvel reselling us comics we already read, as the oversized Marvel Tales line gets two installments at #268 and #270, with 6.4K for the Captain America and Hulk digests.
The oddball fighting anime adventure No One Left to Fight lands at #273 from Dark Horse, selling just under 6.4K. A pretty typical Dark Horse creator-owned debut, but Aubry Sitterson seems to have jumped companies after his dramatic exit from IDW pretty smoothly.
Glenn: Anime adaptions will obviously sell bananas in the regular market once collected and could be big, big money if they’re translated and sold overseas.
Ray: Speaking of odd next career steps and IDW, Matthew Erman of the twisted time-travel horror series Long Lost picks his next book – and it’s a Care Bears reboot, selling 5.9K at #276. ‘kay.
Glenn: Maybe he wanted a change of pace?
Ray: The acclaimed but low-selling Image title Bitter Root returns from hiatus with an anthology special titles Red Summer, selling just under 6K at #277. Lots of artists, but the same writing team writes all the stories, so this is a must-get for fans.
Hey, there’s Zombie Tramp at #281 Good ol’ Zombie Tramp, good for 5.8K in sales in her role as official mascot of By the Numbers.
5.7K in reorders for DCeased #1 at #285, proving there’s no limit to the audience’s hunger for zombies. Heh. Hunger.
Glenn: Puns, we got em
Ray: At #289 is the oversized one-shot Red Sonja: Lord of Fools, selling 5.5K. That’s less than half of the main series’ sales this month, despite this also being a Mark Russell issue tying into the main story, so I think retailers missed the boat here.
Glenn: They probably thought it was a throwaway I guess? We’ll see some reorders maybe or just some out of step oddity like we saw with Dead No More and such
Image result for Red Sonja: Lord of Fools
Ray: At #298 is Strangelands #1, a new Humanoids comic co-written by Mags Visaggio selling 5.3K. Way lower than Ignited last month, which indicates it might have been Waid’s name driving those sales.
Glenn: Its hard to shelve out just another super hero universe, even if it is good or slightly different since there’s so much more to the market now. It really underlines how well Black Hammer does in a way.

Ray: Glenn, have you ever wondered what a comic about a girl who is the sole survivor of a massive space disaster and is rescued by a giant space tardigrade would sell? Now you have your answer, as the incredibly surreal Star Pig #1 sells 5.1K from IDW at #304.

Glenn: Well now I know and knowing…its half the battle. I’m just glad we’re halfway through this battle but the despair is about to kick in, sob.
Some reorders for Galaxy’s Edge this month at 312 selling over 4.7k. Again given this is just done to promote a new theme park, the sales aren’t important but always nice to get reorders.
At 314 we have Bionic Woman vs Charlies Angels selling over 4.6k and I’m not too surprised. Despite Angels getting another big reboot soon, these versions of the properties are long past their heyday and both have connections to failed TV shows. There might be some nostalgic interest but that’ll be it.
Ray: Both of these properties have had low-selling comics from Dynamite for a while, but there’s really also nothing to make this crossover stand out above them.
Glenn: Some reprint money for Disney via Marvel via IDW at 315 with Marvel Action Classics Hulk selling over 4.6k. It must be weird to see a title that literally has the world Marvel on it with an IDW logo on it too. These aren’t meant for the direct market which is why IDW is publishing it and not Marvel.
A continuation of a previous series in Postal: Deliverance from Image at 318 selling over 4.5k which is shockingly low for an Image new start. Perhaps this is a property many people didn’t clamor for too much? I don’t know much about it so I’ll let Ray fill in the blanks here.
Ray: This is essentially the new chapter of a series that wrapped a year ago and was selling pretty low by the end. Aside from a time-jump, there’s little new here, so I’m guessing retailers treated this like the next issue in a cult series and not a new Image series.
Glenn: Some reorders for Black Cat issue 1 at 323 selling another 4.4 plus copies. This is probably a real demand for whatever the real number was. I’m sure all extra copies were shipped last month and it’ll be a year or two before we see the stock dumps of any more.
Some reorders for Superman: Year One on its month off selling over 4.2k additional copies. Doesn’t seem to be the extra heavy demand here like there is for Last Knight on Earth. I still think this is a title that on paper that should be more powerful but having Frank Miller’s name on your cover has become a kind of poisoned chalice.
Ray: I still have no clue what’s going on with this series.
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Glenn: Two new offerings from Zenescope in a row at 336 and 337 with Belle Oath Of Thorns selling over 3.8k which seems to be a typical heroine in the companies typical style and the *sighs* Swimsuit special which sells around the same. *does the heavy boobs dance while wheeping the end of Crazy Ex Girlfriend and the fact that CW is giving us Katie Keene instead*
Ray: How long before Disney buys this company just to keep Princess-loving kids from accidentally picking these books up?
Glenn: Not soon enough.
Another Marvel Actions Classic in the form of Captain America at 347 selling over 3.4k, same story as I mentioned for the Hulk version above. Little to see here.
I’m surprised that Image Firsts: Spawn 1 didn’t do better than sales over 3.4k at 349 given its significance and with the 300th issue coming up. I guess unlike Marvel, most people are happy to check out older Image works via collections even if its cheap.
Ray: I don’t think anyone is all that interested in going back to the beginning with Spawn, given how many weird twists and turns this series has taken.
Glenn: Leave On The Light at Antartic is another Kickstarter book that met funding so the sales here of over 3.3k at 351 can be deceptive given a successful Kickstarter campaign could have your books in a lot of people’s hands already so it lessens the potential when you get to direct market if its out there and moneys been made.
More sales for Batman: Last Knight On Earth at 354 selling over 3,3k more. Its slowed down a lot obviously but it made it onto top 500 for three months which is nothing to be sneezed at.
Ray: The increase for the second issue clearly indicates there’s some real interest in this book and I expect it to be a perennial seller for DC. 
Glenn: The 5.99 Talk Bernie To Me one shot from Devil’s Due is at 362 selling over 3.1k. Usually we get to 400 before having to deal with nonsense like this.
Ray: Like I said on Rabbitt Stew, they need to stop trying to make this happen. How’s that lawsuit from DC over their cover games going?
Glenn: X Liefields, a parody comic of the work of Rob Liefield sells over 3k at 366. I’m sure Liefield is very upset by this as he blows his nose on a $100 and thinks nothing of it.
Ray: He actually issued a statement that he wouldn’t sign these comics and he wasn’t affiliated with them!
Glenn:Good for him.
The Quiet Kind sells bizarringly low for a Dark Horse comic with a decent concept and some creators who in theory should be able to do better at 370 with sales over 2.9k. Something doesn’t fit here.
Ray: A one-shot is always going to be a super-hard sell. No future issues, no incentive to order up. This might become a collector’s item as the creators take off.
Glenn:A new volume of Lola XOXO from Aspen launches at 371 with sales over 2.9k. I’ve never heard of this but I’m guessing this is a set fan base and the company was just relaunching for story reasons rather than the Marvel reasons.
At 375 is an adaption of Watch Dogs the video game, the GTA clone that got a lot of people mad about how it didn’t look as good as the trailers implied. The franchise never fully recovered and it reflects here in sales over 2.7k.
Fellow Northern Irish writer Michael Gordon gets his creator owned title Red Winter on the charts at 378 selling over 2.7k. This was another Kickstarter book that’s also sold well locally so this is likely just a nice bonus to even feature on the charts for Michael.
Ray: This was released through Scout, so that’s a pretty decent number given that a lot of the sales were elsewhere.
Glenn: A lot of reprints and low selling offerings without anything of note until we get to  399 and the GLOW summer one shot which sells over 2,3k just below the main title at 398, This implies that there is a small market for GLOW fans outside of the show and retailers just treated this like another issue. This is one of Netflix’s hidden gems and is a wrestling comic that has advantages other wrestling comics won’t have in that it can predict what talent it can feature without worrying about drama or injuries or whatever.
Ray: It seems like GLOW is going to be a series of one-shots and minis with new #1s occasionally, instead of a regular series.
Glenn: Next up is Gears Of War Pop One Shot at over 2.1k at 413 which I’m guessing is the popular video game but…Pops? Gaming tie-ins never do too hot but this especially low because its not a video game tie in, its a comic about Pops. POPS!
Ray: Porg Pops Adventures comic when????
Glenn:  If this happens, I might have to kill you.
Gutt Ghost Till We Meet Again is a new offering from Scout Comics debuting at 414 selling over 2.1k With the rare exception, this is where Scout kinda lives as a company and they make the majority of money with trade shows and such.
Ray: Another really low-selling one-shot. This one was a bizarrely gory comic about a disemboweled ghost, so I don’t think these numbers are unexpectedly low.
Glenn: At 421 is one of the patented Archie Comics reprint material books selling over 1.9k but again…it doesn’t matter. This is Betty and Veronica doing something something, those pesky boys, etc.
Another puzzling low seller from Dark Horse at 429 selling over 1.8k in the form of Starcraft survivors. Its another video game tie in but they’re usually good for more than this, this title also has Jody Houser to boot. I think a box or two was lost…or possibly opened and replaced with copies of Black Cat.
Ray: I think this also sells most of its copies outside of the direct market.
Glenn: At 434 is the insanity I have grown accustomed to at this level. We can stop panicking, normalcy has returned as this one shot which I can’t even be bothered naming sells over 1.7k

Ray: *long, deep sigh*

At #439 is the horror comic Vampire PA: A Bite out of Crime #1 from American Mythology, selling 1.7K. This company usually does public domain material, so they’re not really known for their creator-owned comics and low sales are to be expected.
At #441 is a hidden gem that deserved to do much better, from American Gothic Press. Monster World: Golden Age is a creator-owned title focusing on a PA trying to unravel a mystery involving an ancient race of beings. It only sells 1.7K, but I expect this one to pick up a lot of buzz and reorders.
1.5K in orders for the drug-based horror comic Nasty Pills from Amigo Comics at #450. This company usually specializes in pretty extreme horror comics and is more of a niche product.
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Lots of recent Marvel reorders recently until we get to #457, where Midnight Mystery launches its second arc from Alterna with sales of 1.4K. About where it was selling before it took a break, so this is one of Alterna’s steadier books.
The no-doubt tasteful Fornicators Inc. one-shot is at #458, selling 1.4K. Anyway, NEXT.
A weird entry at #462 as the Vault comic Cult Classic: Return to Whisper sells 1.4K for its debut issue. I’m pretty sure this is a reprint, as the first issue came out two years ago and then nothing, but the second and third issues are coming out next month. More odd Vault scheduling tactics.
Mostly reorders down here, almost all Marvel but including 1.2K in reorders for Stranger Things #1 at #473, no doubt to tie in with the third season.
American Mythology has been doing a series of creator-spotlights for famous artists on Zorro, and they have one for Alex Toth at #476, selling 1.2K. Art books are always a niche product.
Keenspot Entertainment did a $1.99 spotlight issue featuring short segments of their most popular books, and it lands at #478 with sales of 1.2K.
Selling just under 1.2K are a pair of Source Point Press comics, with the Victorian supernatural adventure Boston Metaphysical Society at #479 followed immediately by the family tragedy noir The Love She Offered at #480. Both of these could become sleepers.
At #485 is the colorfully titled Unholy Agent vs. Onyx Nude Variant, selling 1.1K. That’s what I expect down here in the depths.
Glenn: Okay I’m back from that monstrosity at 434 so lets…well I’ll just leave again then.
Ray: Speaking of creative titles, All Time Comics Zerosis Deathscape is at #490, selling 1K. It’s strange and scary down here, Glenn.
#493 brings 1K in sales for Lady Death: Sworn, the latest revival for the old Chaos Comics character. It’s odd that they’ve wound up at separate companies, with many like Chastity winding up at Dynamite.
The final comic on the list is 960 reorders for Angel #1, and it’s worth noting that 495 comics this month sold over 1K.
Glenn: Not too shabby compared to the last few months.
Ray: Looking ahead to next month, we’ve got quite a few big launches including Batman/Superman from Josh Williamson and David Marquez and Year of the Villain specials for Black Mask and Sinestro. There’s also a Titans series from the Walmart line, but this month is the calm before the storm for DC.
At Marvel, though the story is very different. Absolute Carnage drops like a bomb on the line, and it should be a tight battle for the #1 spot this month between Absolute Carnage #1 and Marvel Comics #1000, which has dozens of covers. Expect some very successful tie-ins for Absolute Carnage, and a whole bunch of one-shots and miniseries launching as they ramp up content in one of their biggest months in a while.
Image has a few big new launches as well, including White Trees from Chip Zdarsky and Kris Anka, Coffin Bound from Dan Watters and Dani, and the ultra-violent superhero comedy Pretty Violent. Also look for a big new Jeff Lemire launch in Berserker Unbound from Dark Horse.
What will rise? What will fall? Tune in next month at…By the Numbers!
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