Author Archives: glennmatchett

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.
Image result for the infected: king shazam"
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.
Image result for something is killing the children #2
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.

Image result for Comic For Flint Hope

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.
SUPERMANS PAL JIMMY OLSEN #1 (OF 12)
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.
COLLAPSER #1 (OF 6) (MR)
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.
ADVENTURES OF THE SUPER SONS #12 (OF 12)
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.
Image result for superman: year one 1
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.
LOLA XOXO VOL 3 #1 CVR A
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.
Image result for Nasty Pills 1 2019
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.
ALL TIME COMICS ZEROSIS DEATHSCAPE #2 (OF 5) (MR)
#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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Liked what you read? Have a question or comment? Let us know here or on Twitter @glenn_matchett and @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 6 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 is dreading returning to work after paternity leave and wonders how many escape plans he can come up with

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.  Upon viewing the trailer for the live action adaption of Cats, Ray wishes he hadn’t wondered if there will be a more terrifying looking film than IT this year.

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

Top 300 in full available here!

Glenn: Welcome ladies and gentleman, boys and girls to the circus that has become the top 500 sales hosted by your favorite co-ringmasters Glenn and Ray! Well June sales seemed to take on a more interesting turn than expected…for a few reasons we’ll get to. For those keeping track of the overall action, Marvel once again dominated the market share but that isn’t hard to do when you put out more comics than your next two biggest competitors combined and work to make a farce of sales chart. Ignore the clowns, Disney sent them.

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Why is it a farce? Well look no further than the number 1 selling book of the month, Black Cat which apparently sold over 255.7k which means a title starring a Spider-Man supporting character with a mid tier creative team outsold (among everything else) the start of mega hoopla event War Of The Realms. Now of course, surprises do happen, DCeased took us by surprise last month and Felicia has been prominently featured in Amazing lately. It had a ton of variants and J. Scott Campbell’s covers are a draw and him drawing Black Cat even more so. If sales were say 150k I could believe all that…at a stretch but it selling this much reeks of something very rotten in Denmark. Overshipping is not a new thing for Marvel with them reportedly doubling orders for Mark Waid’s Invisible Woman mini that’s coming up so who knows what this actually sold on demand. If there is shenanigans at play then what do we believe from the companies numbers. Given what some of their comics are selling its alarming to think those numbers might be inflated and its a real shame for books like Immortal Hulk that logically could be doing as well as it is out of quality alone but this number here puts a question mark over everything. Taking it as face value, even a 75% drop would see the book still among Marvel’s stronger performers so we’ll see if reality hits over the next few months or not.
Ray: I have a lot to say about this one, starting with the apparent actual explanation for the sales of Black Cat #1. There was a WalMart exclusive variant cover distributed en masse to the massive chain, in an attempt to get buzz for this otherwise forgettable comic. That likely explains close to 200K of these sales, and it also makes everything about this number suspect. Here’s the thing – as long as these numbers are retailer orders and not actual sales, they’re only going to give us part of the picture. But that becomes even sketchier when one company decides to start aggressively gaming the system. Disney has more money than God. Marvel Comics is a tiny little ant of a subdivision for them, and nothing they do is going to really take a bite out of the company’s bottom line. So they essentially just decided to print 200K extra of a comic and ship it out, then claim the top spot on the charts this month. That means absolutely nothing. It’s not a real number. It’s the equivalent of those ridiculous LootCrate orders we used to get when something like Bravest Warriors would sell 500K. It doesn’t reflect demand. No one ordered 255K of Black Cat comics, Marvel just decided to send them out and the printing costs don’t matter to Disney. The winner? Marvel’s fragile ego. The loser? A whole lot of trees.
Glenn: Oh no! Not Groot!
Next up at 2 is the second of DCCeased which shows last month wasn’t a fluke. It loses about 90k in sales but still over 152.4k is some Metal level success that’s hard to ignore. Again this is likely due partly to the awesome (and now somewhat controversial) variants the title is doing but I think the concept has hooked people and Tom Taylor is gaining some momentum as a creator after working tiredlessly for a few years on high quality work. He could be our new Dan Slott, a creator who did highly thought of work but never had a big sales success until one of the big two gave him a chance at a major property. Which will be first to bite (forgive the pun)? Marvel has definitely noticed the success here as we’re getting the return of Marvel Zombies soon and its hard to make fun of them for that given this book is a take on that concept in the first place but still…
Ray: DCeased seems more like a branded take on World War Z than anything else, given that it’s more about a true Zombie plague rather than the more tongue-in-cheek approach of Marvel Zombies. But with the end of Walking Dead, it seems zombie mania is as high as ever. This is the biggest hit of Taylor’s career by a long shot, and given how much good stuff he’s done for DC lately and how poorly Marvel promoted his recent runs, it seems likely he’ll be heading over to DC town soon.
Glenn: Huge sales at 3 for Silver Surfer: Black the new mini by Marvel MVP Donny Cates which sells over 129.4k which is huge for Silver Surfer and a mini at that. Now, again how straight up do we take these sales? Its hard to say since Cates is definitely Marvel’s hottest writer right now and I’d even argue this book may turn out to be under ordered given its stealth linked to Cates mega successful Venom run. This is on the surface a big win I’m willing to take at face value.
Ray: It’s definitely odd given that Cates’ Guardians of the Galaxy hasn’t been the hit his Venom has. As we know now, this is essentially a crossover between the two books, so I expect it to be a big hit for the entire mini and Tradd Moore’s loyal fanbase won’t hurt. I think it’ll still have a steep drop for the second issue, but it should finish its run above 50K – which given how the Silver Surfer run by Slott and Allred struggled, that’s amazing.
Glenn: The final issue of the news headline gathering Batman: Damned finally hits with sales over 115.4k at 4 which I would call a win. The series had some speed bumps in scheduling and erm…content but its been a strong performer. It’ll do well in collections for forever too and in 10 years when we get the Batwang edition DC can buy that farm they’ve had their eyes on for a while.
Ray: This performed almost exactly like Dark Knight III and Doomsday Clock. Black Label is a huge winner for DC so far and they certainly seem to be going all in on it with some exceptional creative teams.
Glenn: Batman Who Laughs Mini continues to perform with sales over 98.5k at 5, this series not only has an extra issue to it but the characters influence will be a big part of the upcoming new Batman/Superman title. Not much more to say than we have been saying for a few months in that the Batman Who Laughs=$$$ apart from DC just today announcing more prestige Dark Multiverse one shots featuring evil versions of their most major characters based on major stories of years past. Over Two Years later and Metal is still paying huge dividends for DC.
Ray: This isn’t a Black Label book, but it might as well be – much darker than the usual DC fare, top creative team, and selling like a monster. The Batman Who Laughs essentially seems to be becoming the new face of DC at this point, even if he’s not the actual big bad behind Year of the Villain.
Glenn: Can’t wait for the kid friendly spin off.
At 6 is a palate cleanser issue of Amazing Spider-Man with issue 24 with Hunted finally over (huzzah) giving it sales over 89.6k but again the oddness of the sales trends on the title continue as the epilogue to Hunted sells over 74k at 12. Yo-yo sales (especially between issues) could indicate sales shenanigans or people not really knowing what to do about the book and given this current run, either option is just as likely.
Ray: The real test for this book will be after the inflated sales for #25 next month, as the title settles into a rut of Superior Foes-based spinoff arcs. That’s where we’ll likely see attrition set in for real.
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Glenn: At 7 is Immortal Hulk which continues its new streak of being a title that has become one of the strongest performers not only from Marvel but the market in general. The title sells over 88k this month and there seems to be indicating the run might be coming to a close based on recent solicitations, we’ll see if a risk filled relaunch will result.
Ray: Now this is a book where the inflated sales are clearly for real. The sales were good to start, but they’ve only gone up. Ewing says he has about fifty issues total planned, so this should eventually be Marvel’s #1 ongoing if they don’t screw it up like they did Spider-Gwen’s momentum.
Glenn: At 8 is the 1000% under ordered Walking Dead which is turns out the penultimate issue of the series. Solits made this sound like a big enough deal to get retailers to up their orders 85.7k which is huge but given the issues events and that it is indeed the second to last issue we’re going to see big reorders here. Next month, its hard to know what the final issue will sell because at time of ordering, retailers had no idea it was the last issue. Even though its the final issue next month expect very successful reorders for the last batch of issues until maybe towards the close of the year.
Ray: I think we might wind up seeing these last two issues of Walking Dead on the charts for a very long time, like we did with DC Rebirth and Doomsday Clock. It’ll also be interesting to see what becomes the #1 Image book with this and Saga both gone for now. (Spawn doesn’t count)
Glenn: My bet is on Die or Gideon Falls or the new book by Snyder/Soule
Glenn: At 9 and 10 is Batman which seems to have stabelized at around 80k, not the sales juggernaut it was but still pulling its weight for sure. Issue 75, the start of King’s final chapter on the main book will likely push it back up to the high 90’s at least and it could stay around 90k until he leaves with 85. When Batman/Catwoman launches I’m expecting it to sell around this number with the fate of the main title unclear while we await word of a creative team.
Ray: The increase from #73 to #74 is interesting, and probably shows some real momentum for City of Bane.
Glenn: Usually I bow out at this point but I have to talk a bit about Superman: Year One at 11 because while it delivered a respectable over 80.1k is sales one would have thought more from the creative team of Frank Miller and John Romita JR. Now, the line of Black Label was in an unclear place when this was due to be ordered. Titles were getting cancelled or delayed or not mentioned. The line seems to have gained renewed vigor with the announcement of Joe Hill’s line of books, some work from Lemire and a laughable amount of Batman related content. Still, I think given Miller’s last solo writing work for DC was All Star Batman, retailers may be even more wary about this book. It’ll likely settle quick and maybe pick up reorders but given the iffy reviews, I don’t think this will be the winner it could have been 20 years ago or more.
Ray: I think a big chunk of the sales drop is also that this just isn’t Batman. It’s another Superman origin only a few years after the last one, and Miller’s name is a draw but not as big of one without Batman. Either way, for an $8 comic that’s an oversized origin recap, this is still a great number and another win for Black Label. Not sure if the quality level of this and Batman: Damned really present the face they want for the line, though. 
Glenn: The vision is more Batman!
Ray: At #13 we have the launch of Event Leviathan, the Bendis/Maleev event comic, selling 74K. That’s a big increase from last month’s prelude issue, about 100%, but this also doesn’t feel like much of an event. It’s a rather talky mystery with no tie-ins and little reflection in other books. I think the strongest comparison is to DC’s last cerebral mini-event, Heroes in Crisis – but Bendis just isn’t as hot a writer at the moment as King is.
Glenn: Its fine as a side event but I don’t think that’s what was expected of it, they even put it in the name! I think Bendis is carrying over his event fatigue from Marvel and not many were interested in this one. It’ll do okay for the rest of the run but be quickly forgotten.
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Ray: War of the Realms limps to the finish line with its last two issues at #14/15 selling 68K for the finale and 66K for the penultimate issue. That’s just above the second issue of Savage Avengers, to put it into perspective. What went wrong here will be a mystery for some time to come – this was set up to be the perfect crowd-pleasing Marvel event – but ultimately it’s probably down to retailers just being very suspicious of Marvel mega-events after the last two. Smaller sub-line events seem to be what the market wants now. On to Carnage.
Glenn: A bit of an embarrassment for sure and something that Jason Aaron doesn’t deserve. Will Marvel learn their lesson here? I’d wager not.
Ray: Spawn continues to climb up the charts as it builds to a #300 issue with top creators on board, as #298 lands in the 19th spot this month with sales of 58K. Is Spawn relevant again? God help us all.
Glenn: With the big number, 90’s nostalgia at an all time high and Snyder/Capullo its likely that Spawn 300 will bring the title back to one of the strongest sellers in that month. It could ride of that momentum for a year or maybe more before going back to the level its been at for years, it may be a dated property but people still have a lot of passion for it.
Ray: Justice League has a small increase for its 25th issue, landing at #20 and selling 57K – 5K above the next issue. I would have expected a bit more, but this title is very steady so the increases tend to be smaller. It’ll increase when the Justice-Doom War kicks off. This is also where we see regular suspects like Detective Comics, Uncanny X-Men, Venom, Superman, Fantastic Four, GOTG, Green Lantern, Thor, Action Comics, Star Wars, Catwoman, Flash, and Symbiote Spider-Man between 20 and 40 on the charts and selling between 55K and 40K.
Glenn: I still think Justice League is underperforming but we’ll see if Year Of The Villain helps any. Its clear Symbiote Spider-Man is a big hit and Marvel has already announced a one shot to tie in to Absolute Carnage.
Ray: A very strong landing for Incredible Hulk: Last Call at #21, selling 55K. The success here is probably two-fold – the return of the creative team of David and Keown brought in old-school fans, and retailers wanted to cash in on the success of Immortal Hulk and Hulk’s recent high-profile role in Endgame.
Glenn: Def a hot time for a Hulk book, hopefully Marvel doesn’t poison the well with an onslought of Hulk or Hulk related titles like they did the last time the character got a sales spike with Loeb/McGuiness.
Ray: At #25 is Spider-Man Annual #1, selling just under 50K. This is notable because this is an annual for a title that doesn’t exist, and it’s actually a Spider-Ham issue. Spider-Ham just sold 50K copies thanks to Jason Latour and his movie.
Glenn: Branding also helps here but it probably would have sold around 30k if it had just been called Spider-Ham so that still would have been a win. It was a lot of fun to boot.
Ray: A much stronger than usual arrival for Star Wars: Age of Republic – Darth Vader at #26, selling 48K. That’s over 10K above the sales of the Luke Skywalker issue this same month, down at #48.
Glenn: People love their breathing impaired sith lords.
Ray: The Guardians of the Galaxy annual sells 46K at #30, which is actually about 5K above the main series for a one-shot anthology catching up on the cosmic heroes who didn’t join the new roster. That’s highly unusual, especially since Donny Cates only wrote a framing segment for the issue.
The True Believers one-shots do really well this month, a Spider-man lineup to tie-in with Far From Home. The top-seller is an Amazing Spider-Man #1 reprint at #40, which tops 40K in sales. Lots more of these to come.
Chris Claremont, Larry Hama, and Sam Keith united to do a Wolverine one-shot titled Wolverine: Exit Wounds and it had a healthy debut at #42, selling 39K. I think there’s some hunger for a traditional Wolverine comic.
Glenn: A solid performance for what is most likely a ‘found in a drawer’ comic. We’ve got a few one shots coming up in the next few months with old school creators at the helm, we’ll see how they do.
Ray: Spider-Man: Life Story is officially a hit for Marvel, with the fourth issue gaining about 1K in sales from last month to land at #45, selling 38K. The steady growth here has been excellent and this looks a lot like an evergreen book.
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This is where we see a lot of the solid mid-level performers like Daredevil, Thanos, Conan the Barbarian, Shazam, Deadpool, Wonder Woman, Justice League Dark, and Captain Marvel, selling in the 35K to 30K range. These books have all had their attrition already for the most part and are in a healthy spot.
A book we’ve never seen in the top 100 has a very strong debut as it transitions to a new company – Stan Sakai’s Usagi Yojimbo lands at #61 selling 29K, one of the best non-Marvel debuts IDW has had in a long time. Usagi has always been a book with a very loyal cult audience, so it’s great to see the title find a bigger audience.
Glenn: IDW has made the most of some newly acquired properties and have increased eyes on a few cult favorites, good for them.
Ray: Another wave of popular mid-level ongoings and miniseries here, including Young Justice, the Spider-Man spin-offs (Friendly Neighborhood, Miles Morales, Superior), Major X, Dead Man Logan, Harley Quinn, and Teen Titans all settle down here, selling in the 25K range.
The next really notable book is War of the Realms: New Agents of Atlas #1, selling 24K at #75. No, you’re not confused – that’s 24K of reorders for Greg Pak’s all-Asian superhero team. A spinoff series is coming post-War of the Realms, so this seems like one tie-in that has real legs and interest.
Glenn: Marvel are trying to hit different demographics and they’re likely willing to taking a loss on monthlies if they get something that does better elsewhere like Ms. Marvel out of it but like you say, this is a promising start.
Ray: Ralph Macchio’s latest Marvel evergreen one-shot, Spider-Man: Reptilian Rage, sells 23K at #80. Someone’s buying these, so they’ll probably keep digging them up from drawers.
Glenn: I bet it would have sold better had Mysterio been the villain but they likely had to work with what they had.
Ray: At #86 is a new Valiant series, Psi-Lords by Fred Van Lente, selling 22K. A healthy debut for a series largely starring original characters – Valiant continues to grow slowly but surely.
The next True Believers is at #87, the very timely Spider-Man vs. Mysterio selling 22K. Not the last one paralleling the movie. It’s just above the very last issue of X-Men: Grand Design, but that one’s not meant for singles. And six spots below is the True Believers for Spider-Man vs. Morbius, selling 21K. That one will not be a movie tie-in unless the weird Jared Leto movie happens.
It’s mostly low-ranking Star Wars books like Galaxy’s Edge and Doctor Aphra, War of the Realms tie-ins, and long-running books hanging in here like Supergirl, Black Panther, and Deathstroke  as we head out of the top 100, with 101 books crossing the 20K mark this month. The last book to jump over that line is Criminal #3, selling 20.2K.
As we exit the top 100, the next True Believers issue is at #104 – Marvel Tails Starring Peter Porker, selling 19.9K. That’s almost 70K in Spider-Ham copies sold this month.
Glenn: People want to know, where’s the beef…er pork.

Ray: The top Image debut of the month is Sonata #1, from Brian Haberlin and David Hine, selling 19.3K. That’s a really strong debut for an Image book without any household names, and it seems to have gotten a lot of good buzz for the first issue.

Glenn: A very strong start here, it seems Image is getting some faith for people to check out books by lesser known creators more and more.

Next True Believers is Spider-Man vs Hulk, another solid performer at 111 selling over 18.6k which could be as a result of how hot Hulk is and that its from the McFarlane era.

Brilliant reorders for Batman: Last Knight On Earth at 114 selling another just over 18k additional copies this month. Definitely no doubt this one is going to be a strong performer.

Ray: That’s another incredible number for a reorder, and brings the title close to what we saw for books like Damned. It was a fifth-week book with only a few other titles, so I wonder if there was some glitch with the orders.

Glenn: Really good debut for Transformers/Ghostbusters which gets sales over 17.5k on launch at 118. Usually these properties barely sell 10k or at the lower end. I guess people were in on this double nostalgia fest. We’re seeing a new team up with the Turtles and Power Rangers hope for similar success towards the end of the year.

Ray: IDW: We’ll cross over anything! These properties both do have some lingering fan support despite the issues with the movies, so this seems like it’s hitting its core audience.

Glenn: Another True Believers doing well at 122 with new Spider-Man which is the first appearance of the Black Costume which is good enough for sales over 16.5k. Likely some residual Venom/Symbiote Spider-Man love here.

Another new Image debut at 124 in Ride Burning Desire which sells 16.5 which is another great performance, especially since this is only a mini. This is a sequel to a comic from long ago from the team behind the bizarre but enjoyable Plastic and Adam Hughes. Image may not be delivering many six figure debuts anymore but they’re putting out a lot of surprising winners.

Ray: Yeah, I’m a bit surprised this did so well – it’s been a long time since the last issue came out. But this is also pretty accessible and has a similar vibe to Criminal, plus Hughes being even tangentially attached helps.

Glenn: We have another new Red Sonja book in the form of prequel series Birth Of The She Devil at 125 selling over 16.5k which is top notch for a Sonja book. Perhaps the critical acclaim the Russell book got is benefiting the character overall?

Ray: Yeah, Russell seems to have elevated the character a bit and other titles are reaping the benefit. Dynamite, killing a golden goose with spinoffs? Never! (GIVE US MORE NANCY DREW!)

Glenn: Over 15.2k for another Spider-Man True Believer issue, the secret of the new costume at 15.2k and this is still strong for old material. This might be the best True Believers month across the board and again it’ll be a mix of the Spidey movie and how hot Venom is. No Venom to claim responsibility for the Wedding Of Aunt May and Doc Ock True Believers at 139 which sells over 14.5k. This is from one of the most infamously silly Spider-Man stories of all time but it doesn’t seem to matter this month. I’m actually surprised it outsold the Spidey goes to London True Believer issue at 142 selling over 14.3k since this issue has a link to the movie since it partly takes place in London also. Still, they all sold well and its free money for Marvel.

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Another new Image Book in Thumbs at 145 were it looks at a world were technology obsessed youth are militarized. Given that I don’t recognize either creator the debut of over 14k is still really good indicating that again, Image seems to be developing a base line of trust with retailers.

Ray: They’ve done several other recent Image minis that all sold in this level, so retailers likely know how to order for books by them.

Glenn: The infamous Spider-Armour gets its own True Believers at 152 selling over 13.2k. Still great for old material…especially old material that isn’t that fondly remembered.

Ray: Can’t wait for True Believers: Sins Past in a few years.

Glenn: This months Hellboy related one shot places at 158 with over 12.4k which is a little better than the franchises usual range but nothing to call home about. Stable as always.

Good reorders for Symbiote Spider-Man at 160 selling another 12.2k+ for the first issue. We’ll definitely be seeing more from this concept one way or another.

Ray: It seems to be reorder month! We always see a lot of them, but rarely this high.

Glenn: Giving fans of steampunk their fix is Lady Mechanika: Sangre selling over 11.8k at 162. This is another property that seems to have a small but very loyal audience. Steampunk is still popular and this book is specifically tailored towards that genre so its filling a demand and doing well out of doing so.

Ray: This shows up every few months and we’re always puzzled by it.

Glenn: Go Go Power Rangers: Forever Rangers seems to be a one shot concluding a big story for the property which sells over 11.4k at 163. Considering this is priced at 7.99 that’s a very good number for this nostalgia filled BOOM property.

Ray: Yeah, the Power Rangers line is getting a shake-up with Marguerite Bennett leaving, Ryan Parrot jumping to the main title from GGPR, and Sina Grace taking over the spinoff. It’s still Boom’s biggest hit franchise.

Glenn: At 169 is another way Marvel makes money off old material in the form of the Howard The Duck facsimile edition which sells over 10.9k. Just all bonus money even if its at the low end but hey…its Howard The Duck, what more do you want?

I don’t know what Rick and Morty presents Mr. Meeseeks is but it sells over 10.4k at 176 and will likely do much better than that elsewhere to book. I’m not cool enough to know anything about this but I know it seems to be helping keeping the lights on at Oni.

Ray: Well, it did. Now it’ll keep the lights on at the new Lion Forge/Oni combo company!

Glenn: Okay enough drop for Angel issue 2 which loses about 6k to land at 180 selling over 10.1k. Its a good bit behind Buffy in terms of sales but its still 3k ahead of where it was at Dark Horse. I still think the property isn’t in the best place for a spin off right now in this new universe BOOM has created and sales maybe reflect that but if it stays here and does well in trades it’ll be fine.

Ray: The upcoming event will probably boost this a lot, but it feels like Boom hasn’t really articulated how this Angel is different from the last.

Glenn: Still the best selling Archie title by a fair margin in its third issue is Sabrina The Teenage Witch at 181 selling over 10k. If this doesn’t warrant a full ongoing by this creative team, I don’t know what does, its not like Archie can do without the money.

Ray: They’d probably be happy to have more, but the question is if KT would be available. She’s a very in demand author doing all the things!

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Glenn: Such as being a guest on the now classic 200th episode of Rabbit Stew! #shamelessplug

At 184 is more old Spider-Man material, this time in the form of the 7.99 Marvel Tales format which sells over 9.8k. Money, money, money, money.

Humanoid (?!?!?!?!) launches Ignited at 190 selling over 9k. It has Mark Waid’s name on it which doubtfully helped, that’s really good for what I assume is a relatively or brand new company, good for them.

Ray: That’s a solid debut for a new universe, definitely driven by Waid’s name and the FCBD preview. The model here seems to be that they pair an established creator with a newcomer co-writer for each title. Next up is Strangelands top-lined by Mags Visaggio.

Glenn: Start of a new Bettie Page mini series where she travels the multi-verse (no seriously) in Unbound starts off at 194 selling over 8.6k. I can’t wait for Crisis Of Infinite Betty’s.

Ray: That’ll come after Bettie Page vs. Zombie Tramp.

Glenn: Two cult properties collide in Crow/Hack/Slash at 199 selling over 8.1k. I would say the small but loyal Hack/Slash fanbase is provising most of the interest here. The Crow is a franchise that’s been through the ringer and its selling within Hack/Slash’s usual level.

Ray: Hack/Slash doing a bunch of crossovers lately, which shows its strength as a cult property.

Glenn: We get the final issue of Silencer at 200 selling over 8.1k. Well wasn’t it nice we all pretended these books would be a thing instead of combining DC’s most popular villain and hero into one character? Let us all move on and never speak of it again…until the Terrifics ends.

Ray: Yeah, that’s the last of the original character books. They’ll never be seen again until The Batman Who Laughs kills them all in a single panel or something.

The cult favorite Image comic The Weatherman, set in a world where Earth has been destroyed and the culprit doesn’t remember doing it, returns for its second volume with 8.1K in sales at #201. Not a bad return, given that it’s not a true #1.
More high-level reorders here, as Thanos #1 and Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge #1 both sell about 7.8-7.7K at #205 and #208 respectively.
It’s a while before we get another #1, but it’s a decently healthy debut for Canto #1 at #208, as the odd dark fantasy from IDW sells 6.3K. That’s a bit stronger than most Black Crown titles, and it follows in the footsteps of sleeper hits like Road of Bones and Ghost Tree which also just had the IDW brand.
At #220 is the debut of Jughead: Time Police from Archie, selling 6.2K for the revival of the cult series. Now, this is by fast-rising creator Sina Grace and has gotten great reviews…but it’s also a revival of a bizarre 90s series that almost no one remembers. A good series that won’t likely get a second go unlike the Sabrina reboot.
Glenn: Wacky Archie books seem to perform all around this level so the company seems to know what to expect. If nothing else it can always be used as material for a new hit TV show spin off at some point.
Ray: Bizarre crossovers are Dynamite’s bread and butter, and it doesn’t get weirder than Warlord of Mars Attacks, which crosses over the heroic fantasy of John Carter of Mars with the violent sci-fi satire of Mars Attacks. It debuts with 6.1K at #224, which makes sense given that neither of these properties have sold much in the past – even when Mars Attacks had the brilliant Kyle Starks run recently.
I’m a little surprised that Donny Cates’ Redneck is only selling 5.8K at #230 for its 21st issue. This one doesn’t seem to have caught on as much in singles as his other work, although I imagine it does very well in trades.
Glenn: That is odd. Since Cates is so integral to Marvel at the moment maybe his profile there is making everything he does elsewhere seem secondary? Def should be a trade hit.
Ray: 5.5K in reorders for Savage Avengers #1 at #237. The high sales last issue seem to be partly genuine, as these characters all have a solid audience.
Chris Sebela has a new Aftershock crime thriller, Trust Fall, debuting at #239 with sales of 5.4.K. This is in line with Aftershock titles typically, and Sebela has always been a bit of a cult creator.
5.1K in reorders for Naomi #5, as this fast-rising series continues to build momentum before it goes on break after the July issue.
Two Disney debuts from Dark Horse sell almost identically, two copies apart at 4.7K. We have the launch of the third Frozen minseries to build to the new movie at #252, followed by Cecil Ceastellucci’s reinvention of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs right below it. Castellucci is doing the same for The Little Mermaid in October, so the company is likely happy with the sales here and in the bookstore market based on that.
Glenn: Graphic novels of Disney classics will always have a solid performance outside the direct market, even if they ship them in by the crate to the theme parks.
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Ray: Skyward #14 sells 4.2K at #265, the same week the series unexpectedly ended with the next issue. It’s fallen a lot from its early days, but these sales aren’t too low and the odds are this was just a story decision to end it here.
4K in reorders for Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man #6 at #270, so the best Spider-man title may be picking up a bit of momentum.
Lots of reorders down here already, with 3.9K in reorders for Spawn #297 at #272 and Superman: Leviathan Rising Special at #274, and New Agents of Atlas #2 at #276.
A second cover of White Widow #2 sells 3.8K at #277, which puts that weird sexy-lady comic to over 12K in sales. And then a third cover at #299 puts it at over 15K combined! What the hell?
Glenn: Stupid sexy Widow.
Ray: At #285 is the debut of Trout: Hollowest Knock from Troy Nixey, which sells 3.4K. This is a cult property that returns with a new series from the creator occasionally, and it sells to a similar audience as the Mignola books but at a lower level.
Glenn: Never heard of it so I’ll take your word for it.
Ray: Cave Pictures Publishing has a decent debut at #289 as No Ones #1 from author Jim Krueger sells 3.3K. This is a dark superhero story about a team of famous heroes who accidentally erase themselves from continuity, and a nice performance for a new company.
Glenn: That’s a good premise and of course Krueger will still have sales pull from the Earth X/Justice days. This one could be a sleeper.
Ray: We talked a little earlier about how Black Crown seems to aggressively depress sales as a brand, and that’s definitely the case for the debut of Marilyn Manor. How this First Daughter dark comedy from Mags Visaggio could only muster 3.3K at #292 is puzzling.
Glenn: For a creator on the rise, for sure. Not sure why Crown and Burger books have so many problems gaining momentum in the direct market but here we are.
Ray: An odd debut from Ahoy Comics as they launch a one-shot titled Steel Cage, which sells 3.2K at #294. This had three short stories and we were supposed to vote on which got its on series – but they just announced that due to “voting irregularities”, they would be greenlighting all three as series.
Glenn: I blame Florida.
Ray: Just missing the top 300 at #301 is the dark Scout Comics race-and-religion satire Crucified, about an assassin hired to kill the returned Jesus. It sells 3K and somehow manages not to be pre-cancelled like Second Coming was.
Glenn:  Odd to have two Jesus/resurrection comics so close to each other. Likely coincidence.
Ray: #303 brings the regular Street Fighter one-shot from Udon Entertainment. This one focuses on Necro and Effie and sells 3K. I don’t even know who Necro and Effie are. Where’s Blanka?
Glenn: Them kids and their fancy new Street Fighters
Next debut is from Source Point in the form of Samurai Grandpa which sells over 2.8k at 313. This is about an old man Samurai as the title suggests who is looking to rescue his granddaughter from enemies old and new. Sounds fun but Source Point have a ceiling for anything.
Ray: This used to be an Alterna comic before things fell apart over there, so I think this is actually a bit better than it would have done there. Source Point only puts out a few comics a month, but they’re consistently rising.
Glenn: The ever so clever parody titled Dead Sonja is the latest book by Keenspot to try to riff on a somewhat popular property selling over 2.7k at 314. I wonder how many stores ordered this thinking it was a genuine Dynamite spin off.
Ray: At a cost of $6.66, no less. There’s companies with worse leanings, of course, but Keenspot may be the most bizarre comic on the market.
Glenn: At 315 we get some random reorders for Dan Slott’s Fantastic Four so this is likely just stock dumpage. Its over 2.7k for the record.
V Wars: God Of Death is a one shot which is a return of a previous series by the same writer which is to promote the comic in time for an apparent TV show adaption. Never heard of this and sales of over 2.7k at 318 leaves me to believe not many others have either. Could be a collectors item if the TV show is a hit!
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Action Lab releases new title Banjax which sells over 2.7k. It seems like a superhero book in a market drowning in them so sales here are as expected.
Next new book of the month, Category Zero from Scout debuts at 320 selling over 2.6k. This seems like another Scout comic with a decent premise but has limited market potential because of the companies size at the moment.
Ray: Banjax and Category Zero are both R-rated superhero pastiches, with one being very similar to The Boys meets The Punisher and the other being a darker take on X-men. Modest numbers for mostly forgettable concepts.
Glenn: The Valiant Handbook 2019 edition sells over 2.6k at 322. The core fans of this universe will likely know everything in here so this is a book of text for anyone wanted to do their research before diving in. This is likely only for completest who buy everything the company puts out.
Black Mask reminds us its still alive by putting out another new book in Lab Raider at 323 selling 2.6k. The once promising company seems to be in its final days and the sales of anything it releases will reflect that.
Ray: This animal-rights extremist book does not seem to have any post-apocalyptic couriers in it, sadly.
Glenn: More stock dumping from Marvel at 329 for Boba Fett: Age Of Rebellion for over 2.4k at 329.
Soulfire is an Aspen book at 334 it sells about as well as you’d expect with over 2.4k copies in June.
Carson Of Venus Warlord Of Mars sounds like a puzzling title from American Mythology which sells over 2.1k at 344. A google tells me this is a crossover between Carson Napier (Venus) and John Carter. The latter seems to be very popular for tie ins this month. I’d say any sales here are for die hard Carter fans.
Speaking of Venus, we get a Princess Of Venus title from American Mythology too which sells over 2k at 348. Its a spin off character from our Carson of Venus friend above so yeah…can’t expect miracles.
Ray: American Mythology does a lot of public domain books like this, but this is the first crossover that I know of. This might be a crossover with Dynamite as well, unless both companies can put out books with the same character. 
Glenn: Stitched Terror is a new horror comic by Pat Shand selling over 2k at 350 which is priced at 5.99. It also comes with 50 copies of 50 shades of torture varients or something…ew…just ew to all the things. A second issue sells over 1.7k at 363, it is also priced at 5.99 for…reasons?
Ray: I believe this is an Avatar book? Ultraviolence is their brand, mostly.
Glenn: I can’t believe Aang would do this to us.
At 352 is Archie and friends Beach party which sells over 2k also. This is more old school Archie stuff so the sales don’t really matter here or there.
Ray: Archie’s got this line of books which essentially packages the original stories from the digests into a smaller package without all the retro stuff. It’s a different form of reprints, so these sales are probably fine.
Glenn: At 362 is At The End Of Your Tether, a new 3 issue mini from Lion Forge with a premise that doesn’t exactly set the world of fire. As you could have expected it sells over 1.8k.
Ray: This was an oversized experimental mystery book with a near-unknown creative team for a company with serious sales issues, so I’m not surprised. Shame – it’s actually VERY good.
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Glenn: A new Casper book at 364 sells over 1.7k which is about right for material featuring the friendly ghost.
Boogily Heads which apparently POPS but non property specific and all goth get their own comic at 365 selling over 1.7k. Since I’m unfamiliar with the toy line I expect this is all that could be expected.
The no doubt super tasteful one shot from Aardvark press at 366 selling over 1.7k isn’t even worth my energy typing out the name of.
Legendary movie director John Carpenter lends his name to a comic sci-fi Nuclear Attack at 370 selling over 1.6k. I’m surprised this didn’t do better as not only does it have Carpenter’s name but both the creative team of Joe Harris and Cat Staggs are well known. Maybe the company Storm King (whom I’ve never heard of) doesn’t have a great distribution model.
Ray: It’s odd that John Carpenter would choose this tiny company to launch his books. Especially since he apparently has good ties with much bigger companies now, like his upcoming DC special.
Glenn: Another low selling Black Mask debut in Militia at 373 selling over 1.6k. See comments for Lab Raider but you know…worse.
Ray: This is actually from a small-press company titled Blackbox, not Black Mask. The source article got it wrong – and it’s especially amusing that this alt-right comic got attributed to far-left company Black Mask.
Glenn: Its fake news!
Both a 0 issue and 1 for Gargantuan which sell over 1.6k and 1.5k at 374 and 377 respectfully. Again, I’ve not heard of the company (Amigo) so they might just be happy to be here. It also comes with a price tag of yesteryear of 2.99 for the zero issue so good for them on that.
At 183 is a political ‘satire’ comic ‘starring’ Alexandria Ocasio Cortez which sells over 1.4k from Devil’s Due. Its that time in the charts where we start looking for the cyanide pills.
Ray: This is a reprint of said “Satire” comic. I think this is the “DC is suing us and we need money for legal bills” reprint.
Glenn: $10 for a Bettie Page Unbound ‘black bag’ cover at 390 selling over 1.3.k.  Jeez.
More Marvel stock with Age Of Rebellion Han Solo at 391 ‘selling’ over 1.3k
Rock and Roll biographies does an issue starring Testament which is a *checks notes* Bay Area Thrash metal band. It sells over 1.2k at 395 so take that for what you will.
Ray: I’ve never even heard of Testament.
Glenn: I doubt Testament have heard of Testament.
Scout comics continues their ‘Binge’ line where they release on issue and then do a collection of the rest (including said first issue) at 397 selling over 1.2k. This is an example of how to kill your first issue buzz, by telling people they have to wait for the rest and then pay for the same thing again. Results as expected.
Ray: “Princess Revolution” is a manga-style fantasy comic for Scout. I probably would have picked up the second issue based on the first, but I’m not sure about the trade. It’s an experiment that seems more about saving money on printing costs than anything. 
Glenn: Oh absolutely but why release any single issues at all? Why not go straight to trade? Its an odd business practice.
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Ray: Amid a sea of reorders, including for recent middling comic events Infinity Wars and Heroes in Crisis, there’s a Rocky and Bullwinkle anthology titled “As Seen on TV” from American Mythology, selling 1.2K at #401. Into the depths we go…
There’s 1.1K in reorders for something called “Rogue & Gambit #1″ from Marvel. I don’t think this is the recent Mr. and Mrs. X series from Kelly Thompson. Does anyone know what this even is?
Glenn: It is a Kelly Thompson book by that name, some sort of precursor book? I don’t remember it…
Ray: 1.1K in reorders for Ghost Tree #1, a rare IDW book amid a sea of Marvel reorders, at #410. This is the third month in a row this has appeared on the charts, making this the first real buzz-worthy hit IDW has had from their creator-owned line in a while. I think Canto might follow suit.
Glenn: Locke and Key will be returning soon too. It’ll be interesting to see how well it does with the Netflix show on the way.
Ray: It’s almost entirely Marvel reorders down here until we get to #429, where Amped #1 from Red Giant Entertainment lands. This $9.99 variant cover of this new title featuring disabled teens given superpowers sells just over 1K – but the regular $3.99 comic doesn’t land on the charts. Also, this is the White Widow variant, which means the cover doesn’t feature the main characters, but the sexy lady from the same company. Hold me, Glenn.
Glenn: Why do we do this again?! Whose bright idea was this? Oh yeah, it was mine…shut up.
Ray: At #435 is the second printing of the Amazing Spider-Man #252 facsimile edition, selling just over 1K. This is a reprint of a reprint. We’re through the looking glass.
At #439 is the launch of Lady Death Merciless Onslaught, the latest relaunch for the 90s bad girl character, selling exactly 999 copies. It’s a rare original in a sea of reorders.
It’s almost entirely random issue reorders down here, including titles like Moon Knight #189, Miles Morales: Spider-Man #6, Detective Comics #1004, and Captain America #697, all in the 900-copies range.
It’s almost entirely Marvel reorders all the way down until we get to #484, where we have 837 reorders of Ghost Tree #2, more evidence that this is a legitimate hit for IDW. The third issue, for the record, is up at #268 selling 4K. The series is already over with #4, but this should be a great seller in trade.
#485 brings the Cavewoman: Pandemonium one-shot, selling 828 copies for its assortment of covers of…creative poses.
Glenn: I’m not even going to Google
Ray: Virtually nothing but Marvel reorders all the way down, but we close out with a different reorder – 788 copies of Road of Bones #1 for IDW at #500, indicating another slow but steady hit for the Russian cannibal thriller.
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Glenn: New Rabbitt Stew superstar Grigory would approve!
Ray: Looking ahead to July, it’s a pretty big month for DC as Sean Murphy returns to DC with Batman: Curse of the White Knight, Young Animal returns with two new titles, and the Walmart stories are reprinted in new volumes – meaning new Batman and Superman titles by Bendis and King. We’ve also got the big #75 issues for Batman, Wonder Woman, and Flash and #50 for Aquaman, and the launch of the Jimmy Olsen and Lois Lane series by Fraction and Rucka.
Meanwhile, over at Marvel it’s the calm before the Carnage, as Marvel still has a bunch of launches including a Marvels Epilogue with an original story by Busiek and Ross, and and the likely top two comics of the month – the new Jonathan Hickman X-men series House of X and Powers of X. There’s also new series for Loki, a recap of the history of the Marvel Universe by Waid and Rodriguez, Valkyrie by Aaron and Ewing, an epilogue to War of the Realms, a prequel to Absolute Carnage by Cullen Bunn, and too many new miniseries and one-shots to count.
Image, meanwhile, has some big launches, including a new series by Jason Aaron and Dennis Hallum, a new Cullen Bunn horror comic, titles from Justin Jordan and Mark Millar, and the finale of Paper Girls. The biggest x-factor of the month, though, may come from Dark Horse as they launch a Black Hammer/Justice League crossover that could be their biggest hit in a long time.
Glenn: Final issue of Walking Dead too but no one knew that at the time but still, it’ll definitely make an impact.
Ray: 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 suggestions? Let us know here or on Twitter @glenn_matchett and @raygoldfield.

By The Numbers: May 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 used to remember a time when he wasn’t tired but that seems so long ago.

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 his view on the Game Of Thrones finale, Ray simply yelled ‘I like dragons!’ over and over in a similar manner to Hodor saying Hodor.

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

Top 300 in full available here!

Glenn: Hello again folks and welcome to the top 500 for May 2019! This month saw a lot of surprises with some detrimental to Marvel, benefiting DC, so-so for most and depressing for the rest! Come join us once more as we crown the new Batman Blockbuster by Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo number one with a bull…

Wait…
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In a surprising upset, the number one with a bullet this month is the Elseworld zombie story DCeased written by Tom Taylor which launches at 242.3k which is an astonishingly good number. A mix of zombies still having somewhat of a moment, Taylor having some serious momentum right now, a lot of hype and some lovely variants seems to have been a formula for success. This seems to have struck a surprising cord, the same way Marvel Zombies did over a decade previous. Already we’re getting additional content to the previously scheduled 6 issue mini presumably due to the success. Taylor is a writer who has done some great work and elevated Injustice beyond ‘just’ a video game tie in to a critical and commercial success. With Tom King leaving Batman is it time for one of the big two to give him a shot at the big time? I think these sales would indicate so. Since this mini is so short, I wouldn’t imagine it dropping too badly over its period but this is a brilliant start regardless.
Ray: This is probably one of the most surprising upsets in recent sales chart history – not just DCeased winning the month, but the margin by which it won. This is a monster (pun intended) debut, and I think the covers have a lot to do with it. This is the first time in a while I can remember the variant covers feeling like an actual event rather than just a money grab. We’ll have to see how the future issues do, but the variants are continuing and I could see this being a dominant force for the entire run.
Glenn: Next is the all powerful Doomsday Clock which still sells a bundle at 2 with sales over 117.4, there’s no surprises here. I would say that there will be reorders given the contents of the issue but at this point with regards to Doomsday Clock, that’s an inevitability here.
Ray: Nothing stops this comic, not even bigger and bigger delays. The reorders continue to rack up too. DC’s strategy of doing mini-events without much of a buy-in in the form of tie-ins is really paying dividends so far – although that may be about to end, a little further down.
Glenn: Finally claiming the bronze prize this month is Last Knight On Earth selling over 113.2k which is a great number don’t get me wrong but with the amount of hype, the creative and this being Snyder and Capullo’s last solo Batman story I expect something closer to what DCeased got this month. I think with all that in mind this is a big surprise. Now, this could be because of price point but the most likely explanation is the Black Label association. Retailers are still waiting for the conclusion of Batman: Damned and there’s been a lot of messing about with the line. Given all that, the Black Label line might be more of a detriment. I have little doubt we’ll see some serious reorders but quick stability. I mean this will be a success, no question as it’ll be a nice collection that’ll be in print that will sell till the end of time but I expected more out of the gate by two of the hottest creators in comics.
Ray: Yeah, I think the format and the controversy over Batman: Damned drove sales down a lot. I also don’t think there were any variant covers here, so that’s a big difference-maker between it and DCeased. But this is very similar in numbers to Damned and White Knight, so I think retailers ordered what they knew it could do. Expect lots of long-term reorders here. I believe this is a bimonthly three-issue series, so it should hold very well for the duration.
Glenn: A strong debut at Marvel with Savage Avenger’s which sees a debut launching at 4 with sales over 111.7k which is an impressive debut. The Avenger’s brand isn’t what it once was so I think the success here is all down to A) how hot Venom is right now and B) the inclusion of Conan. I think we’ll see this one settle to about the 45k range swiftly from here due to it not really being a Venom book but that’ll still give it some legs.
Ray: Yeah, this is a weird comic but it feels like it’s an intersection of multiple Marvel events and hot characters under one cover. This is a very good debut, but I don’t think it’s sustainable. It’ll play out similar to the second-tier Avengers books used to, but with a Venom boost.
Glenn: Venom without Cates though can be hit and miss though as we’ve seen. An interesting one to watch.
At 5 is the Batman Who Laughs which continues its selling ways. This month it racks up over 108.6 which is an increase on last issue. There is nothing but winning here and the character will be around to sell other books for a good time to come.
Ray: Laughing all the way to the bank!
Glenn: At 6 is the continually baffling Amazing Spider-Man which sees one of its random sales boosts with sales on issue 21 selling over 92.5 but issue 22 charting at 10 selling over 78.1. Why is this happening every month? Whose to say and its hard to really judge where the title is at the moment with that in mind. On paper it is still one of Marvel’s strongest sellers but the vast swing in shifts every month is an oddity.
Ray: Marvel’s scheduling games aside, this book has been in flux for a while with an event and then an anniversary coming up. But after that, it sinks into a Superior Foes sequel arc and we should see the truth of the numbers a little more. The last .HU issue is down at #22 selling 52K, so there’s definitely an interest gap here.
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Glenn: After Hulking up last month in sales, Immortal Hulk places at 7 this month with 87.4k as one of Marvel’s best regarded books sees some sales boost off that quality. At 13 the following issue sells over 75.9k which is a decline but still an amazing achievement by the title since at those numbers its barely being outsold by Marvel’s mega hyped War Of The Realms. Quality and critical acclaim does sell occasionally, who knew?
Ray: Whatever numbers are the actual interest level, I think it’s clear that Immortal Hulk has caught fire with Marvel fans in a way no book since Venom did. Like Venom, it has a horror twist on a popular character. But unlike that book, it doesn’t have a powerhouse name writer like Cates. Ewing has been a workmanlike writer for Marvel for a long time and many of his books struggled sales-wise, so I’m really happy to see this book catch fire.
Glenn: At 8 and 9 is top ten tenant Batman were Tom King’s run continues is slowwwwwww decline in sales. We see sales here of over 83.5k and 82.7k. We’re just spinning wheels until the big jump for 75 but then 10 issues later, King’s run is wrapping up to make way for a new 12 issue Batman/Catwoman mini and a new creative team. This is an interesting gamble by DC comics in an attempt to seemingly have their cake and eat it too. Will this gamble pay off? We’ll find out here early next year.
Ray: Batman is bulletproof in sales, with largely forgotten runs like David Lapham’s City of Crime or Tony Daniel’s pre-New 52 arcs staying rock-solid despite mixed reception. The core book should maintain that without King, and I’d be shocked if Batman/Catwoman ever dipped below 50K – probably 70K – especially with the reveal of the villain’s identity. 
Glenn: ANDREAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA
Ray: More bad news for Marvel mega-event War of the Realms, as it lands its third and fourth issues at #11 and #14, selling 77K and 73K respectively. Those are acceptable numbers for any comic, but not a much-hyped line-wide crossover with years of buildup. Given that this is only a three-month event, there’s no chance for leveling out or boosting sales. This is largely turning out to be a mess for Marvel, and they’ll need that sweet, sweet Carnage money soon.
Glenn: The much more out of nowhere non event DCeased has already slaughtered this and this one had a lot more hype and expectation behind it. Marvel is still recovering from a mix of too many large middling to poor events.
Ray: War of the Realms sandwiches Heroes in Crisis #9 this month, which ends its run at #12 with sales of 77K. This controversial stand-alone event leveled out quickly after a disappointing start, holding well for almost a year. This is another example of how these limited-scope events are paying off for DC.
Glenn: This one was an oddity. I’m still not sure if it was a sales success or not. If you go by what it originally was presented on then yes, it did very well. Hyped as a very important point in the DCU, then not so much. Still, it sold solidly and we’ll see if fans who read this will check out the stuff rolling out of it in a few months.
Ray: Venom #14 lands at #15 this month, selling 66K. This is the second part of the Cullen Bunn tie-in event, and is up 14K from last month. Retailers are obviously correcting because Venom will sell no matter who’s writing it.
Some good news for War of the Realms, as it has a top-selling tie-in at #17. War of the Realms: New Agents of Atlas sells just under 65K, but this is subject to Marvel math. They doubled orders for retailers to give this book – which is making a strong push into the Asian market with guest-starring superheroes from China and Japan – a chance and already greenlit a follow-up miniseries.
Glenn: Agents Of Atlas is one of those properties Marvel digs up to give another go now and then. They’re not as abrasive with it as they were with say the Inhumans but they obviously see a lot here in getting them a new market of readers potentially.
Ray: The new Star Wars miniseries tying in with the Disney theme park attraction, Galaxy’s Edge, debuts with 60K at #19. This is above average for generic tie-in minis for the franchise, so I’m guessing the Disney hook boosted sales. Marvel might have also upped orders for handing out at the park.
Glenn: People actually excited to actually have a hardcore Star Wars experience might have helped too. There may have been crates of this stuff delivered to the park for free handouts to guests too.
Ray: This is where we see top-selling regular titles including Detective Comics (which is selling about 65K now and seems to have a permanent boost from the 1K issue), Justice League, Fantastic Four, and Avengers. There’s 25 comics selling above 50K this month, which seems above average.
Symbiote Spider-Man, after its excellent debut last month, finds a normal level at #23 selling 52K. That’s well above every Spider-Man book beyond the flagship, so I think we can safely say this is a real hit.
Glenn: This is a good 20k above the rest of the secondary Spidey books. We’ll call this ‘the Venom effect’.
Ray: Batman and the Outsiders, from Bryan Hill and Dexter Soy, launches at #24 with sales of 51K. This is a pretty good debut for a comic that spins out of a Detective arc from almost a year ago. It’s definitely more of a good debut for an Outsiders book than a Batman book, though, and we’ll see how it sustains itself in the coming months.
Glenn: This one lost momentum cause of the delay I think and retailers aren’t seemingly treating it like a proper Batman book. Given who is actually in it though you are right, this is a solid start. It’ll need to land fast though.
Walking Dead #191 is down at #27, selling 48K. Without getting spoilery, retailers massively under-ordered here and expect huge reorders for it next month alongside massive orders for #192.
Glenn: Indeed, it just shows how confident and steady the franchise is though that they don’t have to make a big deal of these things. They know it’ll come around back to them.
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Ray: The next tier down, selling in the 47K to 40K range, includes hits like Superman, Thor, The Green Lantern, Guardians of the Galaxy, Uncanny X-Men, Action Comics, Flash, and Star Wars, along with the Boba Fett issue of Star Wars: Age of Rebellion. That sells about 6K higher than the Han Solo issue, interestingly – that’s down at 35K. Jabba the Hutt’s solo issue is at 32K, and Lando’s at 28K.
Glenn: This is Fett’s first comic he’s starred in since Marvel got the licence whereas Han has had a mini starring his older and younger selves. Maybe the novelty of seeing the mega popular bounty hunter in his own comic made the difference?
Ray: At #31 is the Detective Comics Annual, which brings back iconic Batman: Year Two villain The Reaper. It sells 44K, which is a pretty big gap from the main series but still a strong number. That makes me think that the numbering is playing a big role in the sales of the main book.
An odd entry is Star Wars #108 at # 40, selling 40K. This is a final oversized issue of the original Star Wars series from decades ago, written by Matt Rosenberg. For a retro curiosity at $5.99, this is a very good number and in line with the regular debuts for Star Wars titles. This confirms that you could probably sell a Star Wars: Rancor’s Day Out miniseries and it would crack 40K.
Glenn: A big win considering what this is and the pricing of it, I totally want to see that mini now too. Make it happen Marvel!
Ray: At #42 is Batman/TMNT III #1, as James Tynion IV returns to close out his trilogy and TMNT creator Kevin Eastman jumps on for a surprise art assist. The sales of 38K are much lower than I would have expected, so I put that up to the disappointing second arc that Tynion didn’t fully write.
Glenn: The novelty has worn off for sure but its still decent enough. The collections must be doing well enough to warrant a third plus the original has an animated movie adaption now.
Ray: Life Story basically stays rock-solid for its third issue, selling 37K at #46, which is less than a 1K decrease from the second issue. I think we can safely say this is a prestige comic that’s going to hold very well.
Glenn: Well deserved too.
Ray: Unexpected good news for another comic as Naomi leaps up the charts, landing at #47 this month for its penultimate issue with sales of 36K. It barely cracked the top 100 when it debuted, but it’s been picking up reorders ever since. Now it’s even outselling flagship title Young Justice, down at #65 with sales just under 30K.
Glenn: The character is catching on as promises about her past being revealed are being made. We’ll definitely see more of her without question with this renewed momentum.
Ray: The sales charts giveth to Bendis, and they taketh away. At #56 is the oversized 9.99 one-shot Superman: Leviathan Rising, which sells only 32K. For a $10 anthology, this wouldn’t be terrible – but it’s a prelude issue to next month’s big event with Bendis and Maleev. Even if it doubles the sales of this comic for that debut, that’s only 65K – not at all what we want to see out of an event comic.
Glenn: Very tepid response for sure. This could be a result of how zero issues are sometimes treated (big win or meh results) or Bendis bringing his past of recent dubious Marvel events with him. We’ll see how this thing does for real next month.
Ray: We’re finally starting to see some traction for the best Spider-Man book, Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man. It gains 4K this month to chart at #63, selling 30K. This book is quickly gaining strong critical reviews, so I expect the upward trend to continue.
Glenn: This issue got a lot of critical acclaim particularly so might get some reorders too.
Ray: Amid a sea of normal-selling Marvel and DC titles, we have a big hit for Valiant. The latest future-set mini-event, Fallen World, charts at #70 with sales of 27K. Valiant’s decision to keep their line small and only put out strong titles has paid dividends.
More proof that Immortal Hulk is the hottest book at the moment – the second issue shows up again at #73, selling a massive 27K in reorders. This kind of reorder is unprecedented unless we’re talking an event comic or a huge anniversary. Whatever’s going on with this book, Marvel’s got to be thrilled here.
Glenn: This is not even a recent issue and its doing better than most new books. This has caught some serious momentum for sure. I just hope Marvel don’t push their luck with it.
Ray: The final cycle of Ed Piskor’s experimental X-Men comic, Grand Design, lands at #74 with sales of 26.9K. This is a pretty good number for a $6 book, but this title is only a month away from being an evergreen collection that will likely sell millions as it distills fifty years of continuity into six issues.
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At #78 is another disappointing War of the Realms tie-in, as Spider-Man and the League of Realms #1 sells 26K. Just a very muted number for an underperforming event and a tie-in that didn’t get much hype.
Glenn: Very low for a book with Spider-Man’s name in the title. I guess this just shows how indifferent War Of The Realms is being treated, not even a Spider-Man tie in can get a win.
Ray: Dark Horse’s top book on the charts this month is Stranger Things: Six, the second Jody Houser miniseries expanding the world of the megahit Netflix series. This one sells 25K at #82, less than half of what the previous miniseries did. That’s probably owing to the fact that this one doesn’t feature any of the show characters.
Glenn: Still decent for a TV show tie in and a good result for Dark Horse but after some initial hype this is probably one for the hardcore audience only that want to devour every scrap of Stranger Things lore they can.
Ray: War of the Realms had a trio of “Strikeforce” one-shots, showing where the various heroes went after they split up into squads. The top-selling one is Dennis Hopeless’ War Avengers at #83, selling 25K, followed by Bryan Hill’s Dark Elf Realm at #92, selling 23K, and Tom Taylor’s Land of Giants selling 22K at #94. So many of these tie-ins were mostly ignored by retailers, despite some strong work from top creators.
Glenn :A series of one shots will always be treated like a throwaway in some sense.
Ray: A tie-in that was barely marketed as a tie-in, Giant Man #1 debuts at #97 selling 22K. This team-up showing Scott Lang and three other giant-sized heroes infiltrating the Frost Giants didn’t have the “War of the Realms” branding in front of it, but it barely differed in sales from those that did.
Glenn: I wonder if it would have been better if it was more obvious that this is the same character that starred in a multi-billion dollar movie not too long ago. A lot of ‘well it would have done better if…’ in this case it seems.

Ray: At #102 is the Catwoman Annual, selling just under 22K. That’s just over half of the sales of the parent title, which is at #43 this month. So clearly retailers didn’t get the memo on this one.

Glenn: The title has lost some momentum and Joelle Jones isn’t writing it full time, I wouldn’t expect to see it last too much longer after the surefire hit that will be Batman/Catwoman launches in January.

Some War Of The Realms tie-ins out of the top 100 already with Journey Into Mystery selling over 20.9k and Atlas dropping release month to 108 selling over 20.3k for its second issue. When Marvel did Secret Wars (the Hickman one) they replaced a lot of their line with tie-ins as opposed to asking people to buy the regular books plus the tie-ins, it seems the latter strategy they’ve employed in the last few events are really hurting them.

At 107 is Red Sonja/Vampirella/Betty and Veronica and no you’ve not entered the Twilight Zone. The sales of over 20.3k are good considering this is such a bananas concept. The publishers must be happy as we’re getting a Sonja/Vampironica ongoing coming in August so there you go…
Ray: Dynamite has the weirdest business model, largely seeming to be driven by novelty crossovers and variant covers – with a few books of shockingly high quality mixed in. Whatever keeps the doors open, but this is definitely their most bizarre entry yet. Should we be looking for Vampironica vs. Vampirella next?
Glenn: Another War Of The Realms tie-in out of the top 100 with the Punisher offering selling over 19.9k at 110. It only loses about 7k on the first issue which isn’t too shabby all things considered. Punisher has never been a character that has been able to support much in terms of multiple books/tie-ins so this is probably what we would see regardless of what the larger story was.
A prompt stabilization for Ascender which only loses about 4 for its second issue selling over 19.8k at 111. I think this is a significant increase over where the previous series Descender finished so the relaunch/new direction has worked a treat. Once again Lemire delivers a solid hit for Image .
Ray: We’ll have to see where it settles down in, say, six months but the parent book was shockingly steady over its long run. Royal City aside, Lemire’s books seem to have a very high floor above 10K.
Glenn: Another soft drop for another War Of The Realms tie-in at 115 for War Scrolls selling over 19,2. This is a pretty solid drop on the surface but as we said this month, this tie-in has series architect and Marvel superstar Jason Aaron writing a story and was pushed heavily as a ‘must read’. Nobody took notice to either of these things.
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Shipping two issues this month, Giant Man’s second issue is at 122 selling over 18.1k. I wouldn’t bet on a new book pal Scott following this.
Ray: This wasn’t technically a Scott book – it stars the new Indian-American Giant Man as the title character, but he’s part of an ensemble with Scott and two other giant dudes. Either way, this one barely marketed itself as a tie-in, not that it would have helped much.
Glenn: Ah, that makes more sense…Why did they do this one again?
Huge drop for Marvel Team Up which sells over 17.5k for its second issue landing it at 128 on the charts. It seems retailers are treating this as a secondary Ms. Marvel book which it pretty much is. Given that Kamala’s main book does uber business outside the direct market, this book might find life there also. The rotating creative teams will give this book a hard time creating an anchor though so we’ll have to see if it can stick around, all things considered if it stays around here then things could be worse.
Ray: Anthologies, especially those with rotating creative teams, are a very hard sell. I think this might be a Black Panther situation, where a hit character can’t necessarily command a spin-off.
Glenn: Right below that is Rob Liefield vehicle, Major X which is bottling up mid 90’s comics and selling it with a new character. It sells over 17.3k at 129 which isn’t great considering that Liefield used to be one ‘the’ guys in the industry. This character is not the second coming of Deadpool and will likely show up in an event in a few years to be killed off.
Ray: These are reorders! God help us all, this book is a hit. Look forward to Corporal X next year, starring Deadpool and Stryfe’s clone baby or something.
Glenn: So they are, you only get the real pro analysis here at By The Numbers you know.
Really strong launch for Excellence, a new magic focused book from Image. Writer Kharey Rhandolf has some name recognition but I still think the launch of over 17.3k in sales at 130 is really impressive. We’ll see how it settles out next month but this could be another strong addition to Image’s line.
Ray: Brandon Thomas is a creator whose star has been rising quickly, definitely more so than when he released his last Image book, Horizon. This got a lot of advance hype, too. 
Glenn: A launch for Buffy spin off Angel this month with sales of over 16.1k at 132. This is a good bit below where sales of Buffy usually are but still a strong number for Boom. The series is currently finding an identity in its pages but if it can do that and stabelize around here that would be a great number, the character at Dark Horse was doing barely 10k when his series was tailing off over there.
Ray: There’s a crossover with Buffy (which skipped a month) in September, so that should definitely help to sync that title up with this one. Either way, well above where this franchise was. 
Glenn: At 147 is a very respectable 14.7+k for a True Believers offering featuring Spider-Girl 1 which is a reprint of the What If issue debuting May ‘Mayday’ Parker. With Spider-Verse being a critical and commercial hit, this could be the perfect time for a character that has always had a cult following to really get some momentum.
Ray: I’m kind of surprised Mayday hasn’t gotten a revival yet, honestly. She’s Spider-Woman now, and there’s no title with that brand at the moment. “The Amazing Spider-Woman #1” could be a good idea.
Glenn: At 149 is another True Believers which is a part of the classic Kraven’s Last Hunt which sells over 14.1k. Not surprising since the story is so well regarded and Amazing is doing a pastiche to it at the moment. A very poor pastiche but one none the less.
Another True Believers at 155 in Silver Surfer: Rude Awakening selling over 13.1k. Pretty good considering its harder to define classic Surfer stories outside his original appearances.
Ray: I think retailers ordered heavily on this one in advance of extra interest in Silver Surfer next month. Expect a top ten debut for Silver Surfer: Black.
Glenn: Two more True Believers at 160 and 162 focusing on Darth Maul and the…Ewoks selling over 12.2k and 12k respectively. The Maul sales are impressive since his mini isn’t that old, the Ewoks is for fans of curt little furry things I guess. It should be noted that everything from here got outsold by cheap furry muppets, make of that what you will.
Ray: I still can’t believe the Ewoks cartoon was a thing.
Glenn: Lots of True Believers here, it seems retailers order these cheap comics in and around the same level unless they’re something significant. Iron Fist/Misty Knight sells over 11.9k for their offering at 164
Another new Image offering at 165 selling over 11.9k in the form of Gogor. Pretty average debut from someone who has a rep like Ken Garing but isn’t a huge superstar. I think Ray was a big fan of his previous series Planetoid so this one will likely be a critical darling that does well in collections and such.
Ray: This is a massive improvement over how Planetoid did, I believe, and the writer/artist making his return seems to have made a splash. A creator without a big name landing above 10K for a debut is pretty good, and I think the excellent critical response will keep this one building momentum.
Glenn: At 167 is another True Believers in Invaders 1 selling over 11.7k. Which Invaders 1 you ask? Who knows.
Another one of the True Believers, Origin Of Mantis sells over 11.5k at 170. I think at this point, they ran out of ideas for this odd month of Spider-Man, cosmic, Star Wars and The Invaders for some reason.
Second issue of Kelly Thompson and Veronica Fish’s Sabrina sells over 11.4k at 173 which is pretty good for Archie stuff and a mini which takes a different tone to the tv show to boot. This one might have had legs.
Ray: This is Archie’s top book by almost a 2-1 margin this month, which shows real interest in either Sabrina, KT, or both. Her sales pull is growing, and Marvel would be wise to make the most of it – before someone else does.

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Glenn: TMNT creator, Kevin Eastmen releases a full version of his comic within a comic Radically Ronin Ragdolls which places 175 with sales over 11.2k which I thinks great considering that its a gag comic that is an off shoot of another book.

Ray: A gag tying into a new comic he’s doing – which this outsold by a two-to-one margin. Are we going to get a media empire for the Ragdolls now?
Glenn: Pretty standard second issue drop for the super naughty Faithless if you’re not counting the nudy covers. It lands at 178 selling over 11.1k, pretty strong number a Boom book, especially one that is diving head first into material they don’t usually put out.
Ray: This is probably down to Azzarello’s draw as a creator. He’s one of the biggest creators they’ve had in their stable in a while.
Glenn: Standard franchise fare for this month’s Hellboy offering, the one shot Hellboy vs Lobster Johnston: Ring Of Death sells over 10.9k at 183.
A good bit lower than the rest of the True Believers, the one looking at the Wedding Of Rick Jones selling over 10.4k at 185 likely is placed here because Rick hasn’t played a massive part in comics in a while and is completely absent in the MCU…or any Hulk movie or TV show for that matter.
Dog Days Of Summer, the latest in DC’s regular anthologies sells over 10.k at 186 which is solid enough since its priced at 9.99 and has an odd ‘core hook’ to the anthology. These seem to perform well enough for DC to keep them rolling.
Ray: This is among the lower-selling of the recent anthologies, above the New Talent Showcases but below most of the seasonal ones. The animals didn’t have as much pull as the main heroes, I guess, even though the talent is top-tier.
Glenn: It does seem that retailers are ordering based on theme rather than names which is interesting. I suppose with antholigies since there’s so many teams, big names sometimes aren’t enough to make a sale where a simple ‘this is a horror book’ or whatnot would be easier to convey to a potential consumer.
I’m surprised True Believers Iron Fist/Coleen Wing didn’t do better since they’re the main characters in the Iron Fist Netflix show of yesteryear…or maybe that’s why it didn’t do well? It sells over 10.1k at 188 either way.
A facsimile edition of Defenders Marvel Edition 1 sells over 9.9k at 191. Not great but its 4.99 for old material in a new format and its a B or C list property so its all relative.
I don’t even know what Luke Cage Power Man: Pirana could be but its another True Believer offering this month. It sells over 9.5k at 197 which indicates I’m not the only one who doesn’t know what it is.
Right below it is more expensive reprints at 198, the facsimile edition of Incredible Hulk 181, I would have thought this one might have done better due to its importance (first appearance of Wolverine) but again its a comic Marvel have earned their money back on 100 times over already so the sales of over 9.4k is bonus funds.
There are more True Believers below 200 but most of them are reprints of recent comics or minor properties. Its crazy how many of these Marvel actually puts out.
Ray: Marvel is REALLY good at selling us new versions of old comics
Glenn: Selling about 2k less than the main book, the Sonic The Hedgehog annual sells over 9k at 204. Given that it’s priced at 9.99, I’d say that’s a better result than the usual annuals in comparison to what the main title sells.
Ray: IDW’s slowly building a line of Sonic books, and it seems to be going pretty well. Definitely better than their creator-owned business at the moment (More on that, Lay-tor).
Next up is another pair of True Believers issues at #205/206 – the first issue of the recent Rebel Jail issue in Star Wars, and the first issue of the classic Power Pack series. Both sell about 9K, towards the lower end.
The $7.99 reprint Marvel Tales: Avengers sells 8.7K at #212, making the third format this month by which Marvel sells us old comics.
Glenn: Not counting collections where there’s essentials, trades, classics, epics, omnis, hardcovers…
Ray: At #213 is the most bizarre entry of the month, “Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the Freshman Force” – an anthology special from Devil’s Due focusing on fictionalized versions of some controversial new politicians as superheroes. Devil’s Due promoted this heavily, and they managed an incredibly strong debut for the company with 8.6K – which they’ll likely spend in court, since they were hit with a cease-and-desist from DC over a cover using the Wonder Woman costume, and proceeded to double down by issuing a second DC-themed cover.
Glenn: There’s so much stupidity here my brain hurts.
Ray: 8.3K in reorders for Naomi #4 as Bendis, Walker, and Campbell’s original superhero continues to pick up momentum. It won’t stop here as it looks like she’s going to play a role in Bendis’ next big project.
Glenn: If that is the case then these original issues will have even more reorders as a result.
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Ray: 7.8K in additional copies of Faithless #2 for the “Erotica” variant, further emphasizing that this is definitely a major hit for Boom and Azz.
Terry Moore’s first big crossover comic, Five Years (bringing together characters from multiple creator-owned works) has a strong debut at #230, selling 7.6K. This is much higher than we normally see for his work.
Glenn: Retailers treated this like Moore’s own Avenger’s, I know his fans will be happy to see it.
Ray: The new Vault fantasy comic She Said Destroy has a strong debut for the company at #233, but this is a returnable first issue which likely inflated the numbers to an impressive 7.3K.
Glenn: DC and Marvel are doing a few returnable’s in the coming months, we’ll have to see if its a worthwhile gamble if it means retailers invest more in the books when they have that security in place.
Ray: 7.2K in sales for the facsimile edition of Alpha Flight #1 at #235, so Marvel’s reprint month keeps on going. There’s a facsimile edition of the 50th issue of the original Marvel Star Wars nine spots below.
Thew new miniseries My Little Pony: Spirit of the Forest sells just under 7K at #236, pretty consistent for a side book for one of IDW’s frequent flyer franchises.
IDW and Dynamite both release $4.99 specials for two of their ongoing series at #249/240. Elvira Mistress of Darkness Spring Special sells 6.7K, followed immediately by Star Wars Adventures: Flight of the Falcon selling 6.6K. Elvira > Star Wars? Okay then.
Glenn:I think these Star Wars Adventures make their money elsewhere, Elvira makes her money…somewhere?
Ray: At #245 is the debut of the new Kevin Eastman miniseries Drawing Blood: Spilled Ink from his self-titled comic book company. This is the book that Radically Rearranged Ronin Ragdolls spun out of, but this oddball comic noir about a character based on Eastman only manages 6.3K. Hope he wasn’t expecting this to bail him out with some loansharks, or we should look for a Ragdolls cartoon series.
Glenn: Loansharks: The latest series from Kevin Eastman, you heard it here first.
Ray: Another $7.99 reprint, Marvel Tales: Iron Man sells 6.3K at #247.
#250 brings us this month’s issue of Zombie Tramp, selling 6.2K. Zombie Tramp, official mascot of By the Numbers!
Glenn: Our little Tramp has done well for herself, when we started this, she was lucky to crack top 300.
Ray: IDW releases a pair of classic Marvel all-ages Spider-man stories under their new Marvel Action banner, with the two-shot selling 6.2K at #251. Even other companies are getting in the business of selling us old Marvel books in new formats!
A pair of new Aftershock titles – 70s set music crime thriller Killer Groove at #255, selling 6.1K, and conspiracy thriller Descendent at #259 selling 6K – are in this area, basically business as usual for a company that struggles to build momentum even as they increase their content and attract top talent.
Selling just under 6K at #261 is the new horror comic from Paul Maybury, Last Stop on the Red Line. This was an odd, surreal comic that didn’t get much advance hype, which probably led to it getting lost in the shuffle.
At #269 is a spinoff of the popular cartoon Samurai Jack from IDW. Samurai Jack: Lost World sells 5.6K, about typical for a cult cartoon spin-off.
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The Soviet Union-set horror story Road of Bones from IDW sells 5.4K at #273. That’s a big stronger than most of IDW’s creator-owned efforts, especially in the Black Crown line. This one seems to be picking up a bit of buzz for writer Rich Douek.
Another Beasts of Burden one-shot, The Presence of Others, sells 5.3K from Dark Horse at #278. This is one of those consistent properties where retailers know exactly how much to order.
Some slight good news for War of the Realms as the second issue picks up 5.2K in reorders at #280 – just under the second issue of Major X. Marvel’s decision to make this a tight three-month event may stop any serious bleeding, but it’ll also keep it from building any real momentum.
Glenn: Steady but unremarkable from here on out and doubtful to keep popping up months and years later like Metal did and Doomsday Clock does.
Ray: A new variant cover of Immortal Hulk #1 sells 4.9K for the fifth printing at #287, as this monster of a book keeps on charging forward.
Glenn: Heh, monster. I see what you did there.
Ray: As we get to the end of the top 300, we start seeing some seriously bizarre books. Tarot: Witch of the Black Rose makes an appearance with 4.6K in copies for its “Mourning After” variant at #293.
Then there’s the Street Fighter 2019 Pinup Special at #294, selling 4.5K. Stupid sexy Blanka?
Glenn: You leave my green honey alone!
Ray: A special variant cover of Rick and Morty #1 to celebrate their 50th issue sells 4.4K at #296, a this reprint-heavy month charges on – it’s two spots above a facsimile edition of Amazing Spider-Man #252.
#303 brings us a new miniseries for one of Dark Horse’s mainstay cult heroes, Joe Golem: Occult Detective – Conjurers. It sells 4K, which is about where past miniseries were doing.
#309 has a new series from Antarctic Comics, the originally titled “Horror Comics“, which sells 3.8K. It’s no doubt the first in a franchise featuring original titles like “Superhero Comic” and “Book about Things”.
Glenn: I love Book About Things, now lets get back to counting with numbers.
A new Goosebumps series, Horrors Of The Witch House sells over 3.6k at 316. Given how massive and enduring the franchise is, I doubt it needs the business in the direct market. It’ll be interesting to see how Stine’s upcoming original non weird Man Thing project delivers in the coming months.
Ray: Like all of IDW’s all-ages books, Goosebumps makes its money elsewhere.
Glenn: Another Sonic book at 318 selling over 3.5k priced at 5.99. It seems IDW are making the most of this franchise.
New Lumberjanes at 325 selling over 3.4k priced at 7.99, I would say most of the core audience have moved on to read the books another way and aren’t picking them at their LCS.
Ray: Boom seems to do these $7.99 one-shots for all their popular books at least once a year. This one had Seanan McGuire on board, but it didn’t really help – at least in the single issue market.
Glenn: Gears Of War: Hivebusters is a typical video game tie in performer selling over 3.4k at 327
New Zenescope book, Dragonsblood sells over 3.4k at 330. Probably about what you would expect from the company when they offer books outside of their ‘Grimm’ line. I wonder if its about a sexy dragon lady and/or a lame Game Of Thrones? *google* looks to be both!
Odd sounding but seemingly well reviewed Black Crown offering, Eve Stranger sells over 3.3k at 333, that’s a lot of 3’s! Black Crown is a very specific brand and there’s no big names here with the book having a very quirky feel so…yeah this is what you get.
Ray: Black Crown actually seems to do worse than other IDW creator-owned books for some reason. I think we’ll see the line folded soon.
Glenn: Vampblade Season 4 (????) gets an issue 1 at 334 selling over 3.3k. No clue what this is but if its 4 seasons in, then it must have a loyal fanbase and retailers probably know what to expect from it.
Low sales for Clue: Candlestick which might suffer from the poor quality of the last mini IDW offered using the franchise even though this is a new take. It sells over 3.3k at 337
This is also by the VERY niche cartoonist Dash Shaw, known for his surreal stylings. Unlike the previous Clue book, this wasn’t aimed for mainstream audiences.
Glenn: At 343 is the beginning of the second volume of Spencer and Locke, a gritty crime drama from Action Labs which basically asks the question of ‘what if peak Frank Miller wrote Calvin and Hobbes?’ I read the first trade and greatly enjoyed it. It sells over 3.2k which isn’t too shabby for an unknown creative team from a small press publisher.  This is an example of a diamond out there that needs more attention. It also has a second issue at 395 selling over 2.3k which is a lot to lose down here but pretty standard for an Action Lab book most people have likely never heard of.
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Ray: The first volume seemed to get real traction in collections, so this is a franchise with room for growth.
Glenn: Right below that 344 is part of the nonsense that quality books like Spencer and Locke have to deal with, The Donald Who Laughs a parody that somehow sells over 3.2k because haha we’re laughing at how awful this whole thing is! I can’t wait for Captain Brexit (no you can’t have that idea Keenspot)
Ray: I would say to look out for War of the Donalds in several months, but I don’t know if War of the Realms even gets a Keenspot parody.
Glenn: Another new offering at 345 which is Wailing Blade from Comixtribe (?!?!?!) which sells over 3.1k. This is some sort of fantasy tale that was a Kickstarter success so much like those books, these sales are just a bonus. Its a pretty good result considering this is extra money from the direct market from a small press company with unknown creators.
Ray: This was by the writer of Road of Bones, Rich Douek, so it looks like he’s having a good month in indieland.
Glenn: A new volume of Fathom debuts at 349 selling over 3.1k to those that are die hard fans of the franchise and the rest of the Aspen universe. This will never get bigger or likely smaller, it just is.
A spin off of the Zombie Tramp universe book, Danger Dolls in Danger Dolls Presents Amalgama lives selling over 3.1k at 350 along with a second issue at 387 selling over 2.5k  If Zombie Tramp is the companies Batman then this is the Robin title only some of the main books fans will check out. A loss of 500 sales at this level could mean life or death.
The completely bananas sounding Metalshark Bro debuts at 354 selling over 3.1k. Its an odd world down here, there’s even rock star sharks here.
Ray: Metalshark Bro is one of the first of Scout’s new “Binge!” line, where they release a first issue and then a $12 trade of the whole series, so sales are mostly irrelevant to this single issue.
Glenn: The Rejected Unwilling One Shot is a comic written by my friend Stan Konpka, this is the second book about a creepy figure known only as Mr. Teeth. I don’t think the first one got a diamond release so glad he managed to pull it off here with sales over 3k at 357. As Joe Hill once told me, you got to start somewhere…unless you’re the son of JJ Abrams of course.
Ray: This is much improved from the sales of the first one, I believe, so this indie horror franchise seems to be picking up steam. The art was different this time and the controversial subject matter might get people talking.
Glenn: At 364 is Trump Space Force selling over 2.8k. This head movie makes my eyes rain.
Some reorders for the first issue of Symbiote Spider-Man at 369 which gets over 2.7 additional sales. Nothing wild but it shows some momentum. Marvel is already doing a one shot spin off tying into Absolute Carnage in September.
A new mini from Black Mask at 372 which sells over 2.7k is Nobody Is In Control which is where the company basically lives when it has no one of real note involved.
Ray: I wonder if there are any couriers in this one.
Glenn: Hellwitch Hellbourne is yes you guessed it…a sexy demon lady with gigantic bosoms. This is another Kickstarter project. It sells over 2.6k at 375 if anyone is bothered.
Ray: This was previously a backup in Ahoy’s less-popular launch comic High Heaven. It doesn’t seem to have helped the first-issue sales.

Glenn: Hashtag: Danger is a new comedy book from Ahoy Comics that seems to be partially a comic parody of the Fantastic Four. It sells 2.6k at 376 so people seem to have missed out on this clearly hilarious joke.

Jungle Comics from Antartic Press at 384 sells over 2.5k. This seems to be a clear rip of Ka-Zar and Shanna with the main characters even having a sabretooth tiger at hand. Nobody is particularly bothered about the real Ka-Zar so I doubt many will be interested in the new Coke version.

Ray: Antarctic’s whole brand seems to be sexier versions of other companies’ properties.

Glenn: At 391 is the Secret Life Of Pets getting its own comic tie in. I’m surprised this didn’t do better than over  2.4k since its a popular enough kids franchise. This is clearly meant for elsewhere.

Ray: Titan’s odd business model extends here, as this is only a two-issue miniseries for the pets and the trade is already out.

Glenn: Many a reorder or continuations of low selling books from small publishers until we get to Underdog & Pals at 416 selling over 2k. Poor Underdog, someone needs to take him to see a vet stat.

Ray:  Valiant picks up almost 2K more in sales for the first issue of Ninja-K as part of their dollar debuts line, at #418. Good sales, but odd as the comic its showing off is already over and is about to be relaunched by a new creative team.

At #422 selling 1.9K is the debut of the new Alterna series Mighty Mascots, about cereal mascots brought to life by a mad scientist. I guess this is what happens after you blow up your relationships with much of your talent.
Selling 1.8K from Source Point Press is Twiztid: Haunted High-Ons – Darkness Rises at #428. A supernatural horror comedy about ghost-fighting rappers, it’s about what you’d expect. It’s really weird down here.
Glenn: Super weird, even Scooby Doo never fought a rapping ghost…I think.
Ray: The new supernatural Zorro series Zorro: Sacrilege debuts with just under 1.8K from American Mythology at #431, which is about in line from this publisher’s eclectic output.
1.7K in reorders for Stranger Things #1 at #433, just in time for the launch of the sequel series.
An odd entry for Source Point Press at #437 as Sham! sells 1.7K. This is a comic that takes old golden-age art pages and redubs them with bizarre off-color dialogue. Clearly a niche book, and I don’t know how I feel about it using Jack Kirby art…
Glenn: #Awkward
Ray: Naomi #1 and #3 both pick up 1.7K in reorders at #438/439. This comic keeps picking up steam – just in time to end?
Glenn: She’ll be back, just a matter of where and when.
Ray: 1.7K in orders for something called Cerebus Woman at #440. I’m sure this is a totally tasteful comic with no offensive content.
Glenn: Ugh, look at my eye twitching.
Ray: It’s almost all reorders down here, but apparently that Vampblade comic sold an additional 1.5K at #454 for a sexy variant cover. Vampblade, taking over the industry.
The dark fantasy series Battlecats returns after a long hiatus from Mad Cave Studios at #474, selling a muted 1.3K. This is the definition of a niche book and the publisher is just beginning to release titles that get buzz, so this is probably fine for the creative team.
Some bizarre comics making their debut here, including the oddly titled “All-Time Comics Zerosis Deathscape“, which sells 1,280 copies from Floating World Comics at #479.
Glenn: Floating who now?
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Ray: At #480 and selling 1,276 copies is Floppy Cop from Source Point Press. It’s a cop drama about a cop without a spine. This is a real comic released in the year of our Avengers Endgame 2019.
I don’t even know what Afterburn: Crossfire is, but it sells 1,272 copies at #482.
As part of their strange brand of comics based on old comics, American Mythology releases Laurel and Hardy #1 to sales of 1,206 copies at #492.
Action Lab relaunches one of their more niche comics, Voracious: Appetite for Destruction at #495, selling 1,194 copies.
Wrapping things up at #500 is reorders of True Believers: Thanos Rising, selling 1,129 copies. It’s worth noting this is actually far higher than the bottom of most recent sales charts. Probably due to the number of reorders.
Glenn: A reason to end on a nice note for a change! Let us thank Tom Taylor and his DC zombies for no reason apart from ’cause we can’.
Ray: Looking ahead to June, DC has two heavy-duty launches as Event Leviathan from Bendis and Maleev keeps them in the event game. However, it’ll likely be dwarfed in sales by Frank Miller and John Romita Jr’s Superman: Year One, if the sales of his last work for DC is any indication. We’ll also be seeing the sales on Batman ramp up as the main storyline builds towards #75. Justice League also hits #25 and begins the Year of the Villain storyline.
Marvel hits us with the final five dozen or so War of the Realms tie-ins as that event wraps up, but the biggest launch of the month will likely be Donny Cates and Tradd Moore’s Silver Surfer: Black. We’ve also got a new Black Cat “ongoing”, a Hulk one-shot from the creative team of Peter David and Dale Keown, and a Spider-Ham annual from Jason Latour and David LaFuente.
Image brings us the return of the cult series The Ride, and the launch of David Hine and Brian Haberlin’s new fantasy series Sonata.
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 here or on Twitter @glenn_matchett & @raygoldfield

By The Numbers: April 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! After only getting a 2 day break in between By The Numbers articles, Glenn has gone mad and started attacking random doors with an axe.

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 only getting a 2 day break in between By The Numbers articles, Ray has gone mad and delayed getting his weekly comics by one hour.

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: Well Ray that’s another article in the bag. Now we can retreat to our private island where we can…what? They’re out already? What madness is this?!!?!?!

Fine! I’m about to become a father of 2, who needs sleep?

Ray: The comic companies are trying to drive us insane! Us and only us! Well, it’s not like you have anything going on right now, right? Nice, calm times.

Glenn: So its April’s turn for sales and while Marvel got a huge market share (double over the next biggest company, DC comics) they had also double the about of comics (Marvel released 106 while DC released 52). The amount of comics coming from Marvel is bridging on insanity and something may have to give though and here it might just be happening…
Ray: Yeah, the market share thing doesn’t even feel like a competition at this point with the amount of content Marvel is putting out. It just makes DC’s win last month more impressive.
Glenn: So predictably the newest Marvel big line wide event War Of The Realms took the top spot at 1 with sales over 187,8k which is the big main event of Jason Aaron’s long running and critically/commercially successful Thor run. This is of course a very impressive number, while I might have thought it would be good for over 200k its not a million miles off. Its a great start BUT the second issue also charted this month 12 (yes 12) selling over 70.7k which is well over half. I had thought that this event after a series of big mis fires on behalf of Marvel in the last few years would have legs and a lot of potential. 70k is very good in this market but not for a comic like this that has a lot of hype, a lot of focus and Marvel’s biggest name writer at the helm. It seems the company has still to fully recover from the Secret Empire debacle. I think Marvel is fortunate this event is only lasting a brief time because of the rapid fire schedule. This is a serious problem that needs addressed yesterday.
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Ray: This is about where I would have expected War of the Realms to debut, spinning out of a popular long-term run. I’ve said on Rabbitt Stew (dong!) that this event reminded me the most of Blackest Night, in that it’s one character’s status quo going global. The first issue numbers are good. The second, disastrous. Secret Empire did an enormous amount of damage, but I think it goes deeper than that. Marvel burned retailers badly on every event following Secret Wars, and the larger the event the more skeptical retailers are. This is far from the only bad news this event brings Marvel this month.
Glenn: A big surprise at 2 is Symbiote Spider-Man, the mini series that goes back to the 80’s where Peter had the alien costume. It seems that Venom popularity is even benefiting Marvel’s most iconic character so we can assume that Absolute Carnage in a few months will put War Of The Realms to shame. Sales over 165.8k are amazing for a retro series by a respectable creative team that deliver but don’t usually attract these numbers. I can definitely foresee Marvel trying to capitalize on the success of this series. Even if by issue 6 this thing is selling like 30k that’ll still be a big win.
Ray: Spider-Man + Venom = $$$$. At this point, Venom is giving Spider-Man a run for his money as Marvel’s most bankable hero, and yeah, Absolute Carnage should be a juggernaut. This mini would have been better if it had the Symbiote trying to convince Spider-Man to eat brains, though.
Glenn: At 3 is the Batman Who Laughs who continues his selling ways with over 103.6k worth of chuckles. What else can be said? 3 issues in a character not even 2 years old is beating a heavily hyped Marvel story that’s been 8 years in the making. No wonder he’s going to be showing up in Batman/Superman and everywhere DC can probably stuff him.
At 4 we have the usual highest selling ongoing in the market with Batm….wait what? *refresh* Erm…*refresh* its….its Immortal Hulk? Shooting up the charts in shocking and near unprecedented fashion, Immortal Hulk sells over 90.3k for…now real reason. The series has been a critical darling and apparently value of early issues are through the roof. Is this finally leading to a spike in sales due to *gasps* quality alone?! It may be a blip but its certainty an odd wrinkle this morning.
Ray: That’s a 37K jump from last month. I do think this comic has real buzz – it’s finally the hit Al Ewing’s deserved for some time – but this isn’t natural growth. Something went on here, and I expect we’ll see it in the 60-65K range next month. Never trust Marvel sales bumps.
Glenn: We return to the nice comforting land of familiarity with 5 and 6 with Batman with issues 69 selling higher than 68 at over 88.6k and 87.1k respectfully. The series continues to very slowly lose steam but it seems that most were wanting to see the conclusion to the Knightmare arc. I think the latest arc was an interesting experiment that wasn’t to everyone’s taste and with the interruption for the Price felt it went on longer than it did. The series will doubtfully rebound soon, especially with King hyping issue 75 like no tomorrow.
Ray: I think we’re likely to see a slow climb per issue as we get to the next big anniversary issue, especially with the way King is hyping the massive status quo change there.
Glenn: At 7 we have the first issue of a new Thanos mini series to capitalize on a certain record breaking movie you may have heard of. Capitilize it does with sales over 81.3k. Its not surprise as Thanos is red hot right now and this series will like perform very well during its duration, this is a big get for newcomer Tini Howard who Marvel seem to be putting a lot of faith in very quickly.
Ray: Obviously, sales on Marvel #1s are suspect when it comes to staying power, but I think Thanos is hot enough right now that it should hold well in the 40K range by the end of the mini. Tini Howard is rising fast and this should get her an ongoing gig sooner rather than later, especially since she just signed an exclusive.
Glenn: Amazing Spider-Man needs a writer, wait, what?
At 8 is the latest issue of Heroes In Crisis which continues to sell despite upsetting everyone and their mother. This issue sells over 79.5k which is an increase on previous issues likely to the fact that it promised answers (which it did give). I’m expecting a boost next month and then nobody to speak of this ever again.
Ray: The most impressive thing about DC’s lineup right now is how many of their books – especially event comics – lock down at a place in the charts and don’t budge. Marvel would kill for this sort of stability.
Glenn: Ninth spot in the top ten is another Web Of Venom one shot Cult Of Carnage which sells over 77.7k and this is interesting for a few reasons. Neither Donny Cates or Ryan Stegman are anywhere near this one and its actually a kinda sequel to a Carnage mini from YEARS ago. The Venom brand is so strong at the moment though that it still performed brilliantly. Further evidence that Absolute Carnage be the event Marvel may actually get a big return on.
Ray: Venom’s name on a book alone seems to guarantee massive sales right now, because this is much higher than the title it spins out of could dream of.
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Glenn: Final spot is the 20th issue of Amazing Spider-Man which sells over 76.9k which outpaces the previous issue which is just outside the top 10 at 11 with sales over 74k. The Hunted storyline has brought some stability to what is usually Marvel’s top book even though it is objectively eye bleedingly awful.
Ray: It feels like the “event” has stabilized this title’s numbers just a bit, and it’s going from this event to the 25th issue reveal. I suspect it’ll hold or increase for a bit – and then crash hard when the multiple events end. 
Glenn: Unless it just goes on like that with faux events never stopping. Tis the Marvel way.
Ray: A nice bump for Detective Comics, coming off the #1000 issue, as it lands two issues selling 66K and 61K at #13 and #14. The anniversary and the Arkham Knight mystery are enough to make it DC’s #2 ongoing, kicking it above Justice League.
Most of the top 25 is taken up by favorite standards including Justice League, Avengers, Venom, Fantastic Four, The Green Lantern, Superman, and Uncanny X-Men. We also get two issues of the Amazing Spider-Man .HU issues, which sell around 52K at #19/20. Clearly retailers don’t see these as part of the main book, just middling tie-ins.
Glenn: Not bad for Spidey spin offs, pretty standard but yeah its very much one of those ‘they’re saying its part of the story but the retailers don’t care none’ cases.
Ray: Venom #13 at #18 sells 51K, which is down 10K from the previous month. This is a War of the Realms tie-in – but it also doesn’t have Donny Cates on board. Cates > giant event comics. It is known.
At #26 comes a whopping 45K in reorders for Detective Comics #1000. The biggest hit in recent memory gets even bigger, and I wouldn’t expect it to disappear from the charts any time soon.
Glenn: No wonder the competition is putting out a 1000th unearned comic of their own. Cause its the number that sells you see, not the legacy.
Ray: Rob Liefeld’s return to Marvel Comics in Major X comes in at #28, selling 43K. This oh-so-90s comic sells a second issue sans Liefeld art at #63 with 28K, about what I’d expect for a second-tier X-spinoff.
Glenn: Liefield isn’t the draw he used to be but its steady enough. I don’t think Major X will be giving Deadpool a sleepless night anytime soon.
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Ray: In their second month, the 18K gap between Spider-Man: City at War and Spider-Man: Life Story narrows to only 5K as Life Story continues to pick up momentum. With them selling 43K and 38K at #29 and #36 respectively, I think we can say these are both hits.
Glenn: Agreed, life story could continue to pick up sales with the acclaim its getting, like a shorter Mr. Miracle.
Ray: Thor basically stays flat from last month, selling 40K at #34 despite being a Loki-centric War of the Realms tie-in. More evidence that this event just isn’t lifting any boats.
Glenn: Yeah, you’d think if any book would be lifted up it would be this one…but no. Oddness.
Ray: At #35 we have the debut of Marvel Team-Up starring Ms. Marvel and Spider-Man, selling just under 40K. This is a decent debut given how Kamala’s regular title sells, but with this comic being an anthology and switching its co-lead and creative team after three issues, I can see this one struggling.
Glenn: I don’t think this will last too long. Without a regular creative team it won’t find its footing. We’ll see if it gets past 12 issues…or even that.
Ray: Now comes a sea of ongoing hit titles, including Flash, Captain America, Wonder Woman, Conan the Barbarian, Daredevil, Deadpool, Justice League Dark, and some Star Wars titles, all settling in the 40K to 32K range. This is the solid middle of the list, but that solid middle gets higher on the list every month. We’re not even at the top 50 and we’re looking at 30K.
Glenn: I really thought War Of The Realms would mess up how the chart broke down…turns out not so much.
Ray: No real bump for the start of Greg Pak’s Age of Rebellion anthology in the Star Wars line, as Princess Leia’s one-shot sells 33K at #45, followed by an Age of Rebellion special selling 29K at #58 and the Grand Moff Tarkin one shot at #65 selling 27K. Carrie Fisher > Peter Cushing.
Glenn: Carrie Fisher>EVERYTHING
Ray: There’s two more Star Wars miniseries launching around this place, with Jody Houser’s Tie Fighter series launching at #54 with sales of 30K, and Galaxy’s Edge by Ethan Sacks selling about 800 copies fewer at #57. We might be reaching Star Wars comic glut. Too much of a good thing from Marvel? Nooooooo, never.
Glenn: The tie fighter one is an odd one. I mean, so many great iconic characters to make comics about and they give one to a nameless tie fighter. It is honestly like they’re testing how far they can push the line.
Ray: We start seeing more War of the Realms tie-ins at this level, with the highest-selling miniseries being War of the Realms: Uncanny X-Men at #51, selling just under 32K. This is by the same writer as the main Uncanny title – but sells about 16K less. That’s not good at all.
At #55 selling 30K is the War of the Realms: Journey into Mystery miniseries written by podcast superstars the McElroy brothers. This offbeat road trip comedy seems to be getting the best reviews of any tie-in, so watch for some reorders here. 
#66 brings us War of the Realms: Punisher, which sells 26K. That’s about 4K above the sales of the main Punisher title, so this new direction might have some promise. Duggan’s spin-off Punisher Kill Krew in a few months might improve the character’s fortunes – especially since he seems to be playing a big role in the event.
Glenn: Oh here they are, I wondered. Not great, not dire and certainty just more kaffufle that means Marvel puts out more comics. People are going to be in this for Aaron’s penultimate story I’d say, there’s not going to be much interest in what people only loosely associated to the main story will be getting up to.
Ray: This is where the three newest Spider-spin-offs land, with Miles Morales selling 28K at #61, followed by Superior at #71 and Friendly Neighborhood at #72 both selling 26K. Sustainable numbers, but expect those reorders to come rolling in for Friendly as the buzz continues to grow.
The Magnificent Ms. Marvel basically stays flat from last month’s launch, selling 26K at #73. That’s unheard of for a Marvel book, but I think retailers were just treating it like a continuation of the Wilson run. Whether that was smart, we’ll see in coming months.
For a third straight month, Buffy the Vampire Slayer basically stays flat, selling 24K at #78. That’s less than a 1K drop from the previous issue, so I think we can safely say this is a long-term hit.
At #79 is a very poor debut for War of the Realms: War Scrolls, the anthology miniseries. Clearly these anthologies have been tainted ever since Sally Floyd yelled at Captain America about MySpace, but this has a new Jason Aaron story. The fact that it can’t get above 24K in its first month is shocking.
Glenn: This is downright baffling since it has Aaron’s name on it. It seems that Marvel just can’t get interest in anthologies no matter what. What was that 1000 issue they’re doing going to be again? I forget.
Ray: Don’t worry about Marvel #1000 being an anthology. It’ll sell one copy each of its million covers. 
A great debut at #83 for Ascender, the top Image debut of the month. This spin-off of Jeff Lemire and Dustin Nguyen’s Descender came into its launch with great reviews and a loyal fanbase from the previous volume, so its sales of 23K are likely to be very solid long-term.
Glenn: This is a genius move, its a relaunch but a new series at the same time. This will continue to be one of Image’s top performers.
Ray: Marvel continues selling us comics we already own at #87, as a reprint of Amazing Spider-Man #252 – the debut of the black costume – sells 23K. Clearly, anything Venom is red-hot right now.
The ridiculous yo-yoing of some titles continues as Supergirl loses almost half its sales, going from 32K last month to 19K this month and landing at #94. Puzzling, but order patterns are getting weirder every month.
Glenn: That’s weird for Supergirl, I don’t get it at all. Perhaps retailers don’t like odd numbers as much?
Ray: A nice jump in sales for Naomi, as the Bendis/Walker/Campbell original superhero tale gains over 5K in sales to sell 19K at #97. Picking up steam before its hiatus, maybe?
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Glenn: I think the issue was hyped as having answers so probably additional interest due to that.
Ray: #100 brings us a new Valiant debut, as long-standing cult heroine Punk Mambo – the closest thing the universe has to a John Constantine – gets her first solo series under the pen of horror master Cullen Bunn. It sells 18.7K, a fine debut for aValiant spin-off.

Glenn: That is very good, Bunn might not be a top sales draw but he seems to be high in demand, he’s working at a lot of different places at the moment

Avengers: Edge Of Infinity is the latest movie cash in written by Ralph Macchio selling over 18.k which is slightly better for these things. Retailers were hoping to get a small piece of all that money floating through cinemas worldwide.
Ray: The fact that Marvel keeps Ralph Macchio on hand specifically to write these and only these will never fail to amuse me.
Glenn: Another example of that is the first of this months True Believers, Avengers: Thanos vs Marvel Universe which is at 105 selling over 18.2k This is a very good number for a reprint and retailers will definitely want a cheap option for anyone looking for more Thanos following Endgame.
Ray: This is a little higher than most of the True Believers specials get, so the Endgame tie-in probably did help. Overall, I think people knew these wouldn’t have any real implication for the movie so retailers ordered moderately.
Glenn: New IDW offering, Marvel Adventures Black Panther which sells over 16.3k at 115 which is really good for the company, especially since this is a comic not really aimed for direct market. However, the comic has already hit some delays and there definitely seems to be some scheduling problems with the Marvel Adventures line IDW was putting out. Not sure what’s happening here but they’ll need to get whatever it is under control because these comics are for more casual fans who aren’t willing to wait months and months for their favorite comic unlike lunatics like us.
Ray: Kyle Baker was supposed to be the writer and artist on this, and he was only the writer by the time it came out, and he’s off as writer after one arc. The creative flux on all these titles has been really bad, but I don’t think kids will care.
Glenn: The naughty nude book from BOOM, Faithless is capitalizing on all the Batman Damned controversy by giving writer Brian Azzarello a new adult orientated comic which sells over 16.3k at 117 on its first issue. This is a great number for BOOM, especially since this is not their usual market. Retailers probably ordered on the leftover hype from the watercooler talk Batwang generated, we’ll see if it lasts.
Ray: About 28K is unprecedented for a non-Whedonverse/Power Rangers book at Boom. I put a lot of this down to Brian Azzarello’s name, given how bizarre the book was and how little people knew about it coming in. It’s definitely an experiment that paid off for them. 
Glenn: 2 more True Believers at 121 and 124 selling over 15.6k and 14.6k. I’m surprised the one actually titled ‘Endgame’ didn’t sell more but the ones that actually have Thanos name in them seem to be more desirable. Its not surprising since this is the hottest the character has likely ever been.
A True Believers Star Wars which reprints the final issue of the last Marvel run at 126 sells over 14.5k. There’s an issue coming out soon which is a continuation of this original run so retailers probably wanted to have this in stock in case there was anyone that wanted to catch up. Very good sales for something that really now has no real relevancy apart from that.
More True Believers at 129 and 134, Avengers related things selling over 14k and 13.2k respectively. The second one of these is Avengers Forever which deals with time travel so I thought that might have got more attention for…spoilery reasons but then when retailers had to order these they didn’t know.
At 135 is another Star Wars True Believers reprinting the first issue of Kieran Gillans run I think which is good for sales over 13.1k which is pretty good considering this is not that old of a comic.
About a 9k fall for the second issue of Dial H For Hero which sells over 12.8k at 138, not great at all but given the property I don’t expect DC could have expected much more.
Ray: All the Wonder Comics books besides Young Justice are miniseries, so I don’t think the attrition on any of them will be too bad by the end of the run. They’ll rotate concepts in and out to see what works.
Glenn: Fairlady a new fantasy related comic from Image has a decent debut at 139 selling over 12.7k which is a strong start for an Image book with no named creators.
Ray: This is essentially a hybrid between Fables, Saga, and Sherlock Holmes, so I think the genre mashup was enough to get a lot of people interested in Fairlady.
Glenn: Another decent debut for Star Trek Year Five, which tells the tale of the original casts final year of their five year mission. Its a niche one but still an intereresting one for Trek fans which is good for sales over 12.6k at 140. I hope it explains how they got those awful uniforms in the original movie.
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Ray: That’s a pretty big jump from standard IDW Star Trek comics, probably due to the “in continuity” vibe of this series. Happy for Lanzing, Kelly, and Houser, who are all involved.
Glenn: Faithless shows up again at 142 selling over 12.5k for a nude varient cover. This is usually much better than these things usually do. All together Faithless sold about 28k which is brilliant for a new BOOM title. More nudity for all?
More True Believer at 144 and 146 selling over 12.4 and 12.2k a piece. When they’re this close at this number we’re starting to get into the territory where retailers didn’t want to pass up having cheap comics on stock but didn’t know how many to order.
A new mini for the Dark Horse American Gods adaption selling over 12k which is around where it was before so retailers are just treating this as a direct continuation. This is something built for the bookstore market.
A new Marvel Tales starring the man of the month Thanos which sells over 11.8 at 154 but unlike the True Believers this is 7.99. Even when its uber expensive old comics, people want more Thanos in their lives.
At 157 is Jughead Hunger vs Vampironica, kay. It sells over 11.6 which I’d say is good for something this ludicrous. Its certainty in line with the majority of where Archie’s random ‘out there’ books have been lately.
Ray: Apparently the first issue was a Vampironica issue that retconned everything about the original series, which…seems about right.
Glenn: Section Zero at 169 is a reprint of a successful Kickstarter project from Karl Kesel in monthly form selling over 10.2k. Given that it already had a successful funding campaign and lots of people got it that way this is a pretty good number for those that maybe missed it the first time round.
Ray: Kieron Gillen said that unless you’re a “name” author, 10K is the launch most Image books are shooting for. Given that this burned some of its demand already, that seems like a pretty damn good debut for Kesel and Grummett.
Glenn: At 172 is continuing reorders for the first issue of that Batman Who Laughs who sells over 10.1k additional copies. This book just won’t quit.
A fall to sales over 9.7k for Assassination Nation which places at 174 this month. Still pretty good for a niche creative team for a niche concept. I’d still call this a win.
I could have sworn we had a Xena number one not too long ago but apparently there’s another one at 180 selling over 9.3k. Pretty decent for a property that’s the definition of cult.
Ray: This time it’s Vita Ayala replacing Meredith Finch on the title, and I think this take on Xena has a little more buzz. The property’s been defunct a really long time, though.
Glenn: Just realized we’re below the 10k range and not even out of the top 200. Sad times.
Fancy 3D Mighty Thor sells over 8.k at 191. Yet more ways for Marvel to sell us old comics (7.99 for one issue!!!!!!). This is very much a gimmick and has been treated as a such. Marvel will try to probably do more of these because its a high mark up on old material and hey, its one more comic for them to put out.
At 198 is Bronze Age Boogie which sells over 7.8k from Ahoy Comics. Why does it feel like we’re below 300 already? What’s going on? Is that a bird?
Ray: This is a pretty strong debut for Ahoy with a weird book about time travelers vs. martians. Much like last wave, one of their premieres does much better than the other – and more on that lay-tor.
Glenn: The weird way this month is going at a rapid race continues at 200 with White Widow which sells over 7,7k. Red Giants Comics will be thrilled but I assume most retailers thought this was some sort of Black Widow related thing? The cover which has a sexy spider lady (?!?!?!??!!) doing a pose that Regan from the Exorcist would be proud of usually doesn’t sell this high so yeah…either we’re all going mad or they thought it was a Silk/Spider-Man/Black Widow hybrid or something I guess
Ray: Yeah, my guess is the latest manifestation of Sexy Lady Comics benefited a lot from the name. What will happen first, White Widow vs. Zombie Tramp or a phone call from Disney legal?

The ongoing anthology “Jim Henson’s Storyteller” launches a new volume focused on Sirens at #201, selling 7.5K. This has been one of Boom’s longest-running cult projects, each volume focusing on a different mythological creature.
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At #203 is Mary Shelley: Monster Hunter, the latest supernatural thriller from Aftershock, selling 7.2K. That’s roughly what we see from most mid-level Aftershock books – I think this one benefited from having familiar public domain characters attached.
Glenn: It has a certain League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen appeal in that case for sure.
Ray: Down at #214 is the Rat Queen Swamp Romp special, selling 6.3K. This is mostly notable for being new writer Ryan Ferrier’s debut on the troubled cult title, a rare case of a creator-owned book switching writers.
At #214 is Dick Tracy Forever, the Michael Avon Oeming relaunch of the classic private eye series selling 6.3K. I think this one might have been hurt a bit by coming so soon after the fantastic Dick Tracy: Dead or Alive.
Glenn: For sure because even though Oeming has been out of Marvel for nearly two decades, his recent spotlight at DC should have caught more attention. Will likely do fine in collections and plus…its Dick Tracy so it’ll always have a certain limit of how well it can do.
Ray: 6.1K in reorders for Naomi #1 at #220, as Bendis and Walker’s original series begins to pick up steam.
Glenn: The big reveals are hitting now so there will  be some interest from people that have been hooked as more is known about the character.
Ray: KISS: The End, the latest supernatural take on the classic rock band, sells 6K at #221, proving this will probably not be the end of bizarre KISS comics.
Glenn: It’ll nevah be ovah Ahn Ahnderson!
Ray: A pair of oddball indie books, the horror pawn-shop thriller Electric Black from Scout and the supernatural dream-police adventure Queen of Bad Dreams, sell basically identically at 227/228, selling eight copies apart at 5.7K.
Glenn: Likely just ordered on their concept alone and the similarity in sales is coincidence.
Ray: Lots more reorders, as the second issue of Immortal Hulk gets just under 5.7K at #230 and the second issue of Naomi gets 5.3K at #236.
Oh my God! They killed Rocko! You bastards! At least, I assume so, because Rocko’s Modern Afterlife sells 5.4K at #235. This is a weird cult comic, but it has its fans among 90s kids.
Glenn: This was always one of the odder Cartoon Network offerings so this is for hardcore fans only. I wouldn’t say the company could have expected better.
Ray: Even more reorders as Naomi #3, Return of Wolverine #1, and Doomsday Clock #1 (for roughly the tenth time) get about 5.1K in reorders.
Glenn: Around 2 years later and Doomsday Clock 1 is still selling. This will definitely be a worthy addition to DC’s library when it eventually finishes around the time Tom Holland plays Iron Man in a crazy stunt casting move.
Ray: Another Pixar mini, Incredibles 2: Secret Identities, sells 5K for Dark Horse at #248. Like I said with Frozen, these short three-part minis are likely designed to do swift business as mini-trades in bookstores.
Another new Aftershock comic, Orphan Age from the creator of Moth and Whisper, does just under 4.9K at #251. I continue to be puzzled by Aftershock’s business model, but this comic set in a world where all adults died suddenly seemed to get good reviews.
The beautifully drawn indie comic Ghost tree by Bobby Curnow and Simon Gane debuts at #253, selling 4.8K. IDW still has trouble selling creator-owned books, but look for this one to be a cult hit.
Glenn: IDW seem to do well in collections better than in singles. People will always find quality work eventually.
Ray: A lot more reorders around here, including Die #1 (which is coming for Doomsday Clock in sheer persistence), Shazam #1, Immortal Hulk #12 and #14, and Doomsday Clock #2 all selling around the 4.5K and 4K range, as this odd month continues.
A pair of IDW oversized one-shots sell around this level, with the Ghostbusters 35th Anniversary Special selling 4.5K at #259 and the Star Trek Waypoint special selling 4.3K at #266. These are clearly for die-hard fans.
Glenn: The new Ghostbusters movie to come doesn’t seem to be increasing interest in the comics…yet anyway. A new mini or ongoing launching around the time of the film might get some juice.
Ray: 4.2K in orders for the Monster-Sized Chilling Adventures of Sabrina one-shot at #269, making it easy for readers to catch up with a series that will never continue.
Glenn: I missed this one! To eBay!
Ray: The cult Berger Book She Could Fly returns with volume 2, The Lost Pilot, at #270 selling 4.1K. I think this is close to where the original left off, so retailers clearly ordered it as a continuation of the series.
We see Immortal Hulk again, with reorders of #15 (272), #11 (288), and the entire rest of the series getting about 4K to 3.5K in reorders as we exit the top 300. Something is clearly going on with this series, and retailers are ordering accordingly. Great to see a quality series get this push.
Glenn: Marvel haven’t missed this either, the first arc are getting new special editions in the coming months which they haven’t done except for Vision and Marvels. Not bad company to be in.
Ray: The final Curse Words special, Spring Has Sprung, sells 4K at #273 as it reveals the truth of Wizord and Ruby Stitch’s split. This cult series is wrapping up soon and I think all these issues will get a second life in collections.
The Real Ghostbusters special celebrating the property’s 35th anniversary sells 4K at #274, standard for the line. The Extreme Ghostbusters special is down at #282, selling 3.8K
It’s a new Sexy Lady Comic at #278, as good ol’ Zenoscope sells 3.9K for Oz: Heart of Magic #1. Glenn, strike up the Rachel Bloom!
Danger Girl: Dangerous Visions 3D, which is a 3D reprinting of the first issue of J. Scott Campbell’s cult series, sells 3.9K at #279. Because it’s 1995, apparently.
Glenn: They saw Marvel doing 3D comic and thought they best get in on that.
Ray: Some real buzz for an Aftershock title, as Tim Seeley’s Dark Red sells an additional 3.8K for its first issue at #281. Maybe there is room for more than one redneck vampire title?

Glenn: Always room for quality vampires.
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Ray: It’s time for Zenoscope’s second Sexy Lady Comic of the month, this time with more horror! Hellchild: Blood Money sells 3.7K at #289, and that playlist is getting kind of thin…
Ghostbusters: Answer the Call is the low comic on the totem pole for this anniversary event, which surprises not many people, I bet. Its special sells 3.5K at #295.
Glenn: This version of the franchise will never recover from the deserved or undeserved toxic hate it got.
Ray: The Butch Guice-drawn IDW noir thriller Amber Blake sells 3.5K at #296, a pretty miserable debut likely not helped by its oversized magazine-style format.
Glenn: When even After Death struggled due to its unique printing, its surprising that people are still trying it. I get wanting to do something different but I don’t think the direct market is the place for that at the moment sadly.
Ray: It’s almost all reorders as we exit the top 300, with issues of Doomsday Clock sharing space with The Life and Death of Toyo Harad and Heroes in Crisis.
At #309 is the latest Disney miniseries from IDW, Tangled: Hair and Now, selling 3.2K. This is a collection of short stories tying in with the animated series, meaning it’s mainly geared towards young kids and 30-something Jewish nerds from New Jersey. *waves flag*
Glenn: Covering the Ray demographic is important for survival in this current market.
Ray: Udon Comics is always a consistent presence on the lower half of the charts, and they show up again with Street Fighter: Wrestlepalooza at #321, selling 3K.
Glenn: I am almost tempted to Google this to see what the story is with this comic. Almost.
Ray: More reorders of the second and third issues of Die selling around the 3K/#320 mark, indicating consistent long-term interest for this title.
2.8K in reorders for the first issue of Spider-Man: Life Story #1 at #327. I might have expected a bit more, but this feels like it’ll be a slow burn that keeps showing up.
The next notable book is Planet of the Nerds #1 at #333, selling just under 2.6K. This is less than a third of Ahoy Comics’ other launch this month, and Paul Constant’s pop culture satire about time-displaced jocks doesn’t seem to be getting much buzz.
Glenn: The thing is that we’re now living in the Planet of the Nerds so the concept doesn’t seem that far-fetched.
Ray: At #339 is the second issue of Astro Hustle, selling 2.5K as we shuffle it off under the bed next to Border Town. Anyway, moving on…
Glenn: There’s less room under there every month. How is Horace, the By The Numbers Monster supposed to stretch out?!
Ray: A mix of reorders and low-selling creator-owned books for a while, including another cover of White Widow adding 2.4K in sales to that book at #347. I think we’ll be seeing poor unfortunate heroines breaking their backs on the covers for a long time…
Maybe the oddest book Action Lab has put out in a while, the R-rated talking animals thriller set in Feudal Japan, Cold Blood Samurai, debuts at #353 selling 2.3K. We may be reaching peak comics, Glenn.
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Glenn: What a time to be alive.
Ray: The semi-obscure video game comic Obey Me has its official #1 debut at #354, selling 2.3K, but this debut is likely blunted a bit by the fact that it had a full-priced #0 issue last month. That’s almost Marvel numbering!
2.2K in additional sales for the oversized Shredder in Hell #1 Director’s Cut issue at #358, showing some real interest for this mini-event as the comic builds to #100.
Amid a sea of reorders and low-selling ongoings, we get the debut of ersatz X-men ripoff Achilles Inc. from Source Point Press. It sells 2.1K at #363, not getting much buzz due to its derivative concept and unlikable lead – who is essentially a union-buster for superheroes.
American Mythology gives us Moon Maid #1, selling 2.1K. This is not a spin-off of Moon Girl, it is an Edgar Rice Burroughs property.
Glenn: It does sell about the level a Moon Girl spin-off would do to be fair.
Ray: Valiant gets about 2K in reorders for $1 reprints of X-O Manowar and Divinity’s first issues, an effective way to get the word out at #369/#370.
The Lion Forge European translation of Stiletto: Officer Down sells just over 2K at #371, but this and all other Lion Forge comics are obviously in flux due to the upcoming merger with Oni.
It’s mostly Marvel reorders around these parts, but Umbrella Academy: Hotel Oblivion picks up another 1.7K in reorders. The TV series can’t be hurting those sales.
Blood Realm, the dark fantasy series from Alterna, returns with a second volume at #390, selling 1.6K.
Not really a comic, but “Ditko Monsters” a collection of the legendary creator’s most unique and bizarre creations, gets reprinted in an IDW sketchbook this month and picks up 1.6K in sales. Not bad for a $9.99 collection of obscure art.
Glenn: Odd to see on this chart and not the collections but yes…this is fine for what it is. Similar IDW stuff like the artist editions are very much a specialty item.
Ray: Marking our way out of the top #400, it’s 1.5K in reorders for Darth Vader: Dark Visions #1.
It’s odd enough that there’s an ongoing Bettie Page comic from Dynamite, but now there’s a collection of her pinup covers at #403, selling 1.5K.
Glenn: Who wants this stuff?! I know not many people apparently but still.
Ray: The oversized one-shot Giantkillers, which was teased in a zero issue last year, sells 1.4K at #407. Bart Sears has been working on this one for a while, but it didn’t seem to really garner any buzz for its new fantasy mythology.
Remnants of a better time, it’s 1.4K in reorders for Amazing Spider-Man #800 at #408. Lassie come home…
Glenn: We can only hope for a fate akin to Old Yeller.
Ray: Aftershock’s first stand-alone softcover OGN, Replacer, lands at #411 with sales of just under 1.4K. I’ll be honest – I did not know this was coming out. It got little hype, wasn’t listed as a standard comic, and came and went with few reviews despite the strong creative team of Zac Thompson and Arjuna Susini. I think they missed the boat on this one.
Glenn: Another odd entry on the singles chart. This does seem like one that should have done better on paper. Reorders and time will perhaps be its friend?
Ray: American Mythology has a pair of debuts at #424/#426 selling 1.2K, as Zorro and Rocky and Bullwinkle both launch new books. This company mainly seems to fill its lineup with public domain and licensed properties no other company wants.
Glenn: They clearly missed an opportunity to team the three up and get even more sales!
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Ray: I think this is a reorder of a reorder! Immortal Hulk #1 shows up again at #441, picking up 1.1K. This is much less than the other issues, but this one has appeared many times before.
A very odd entry, as the Rick and Morty vs. Dungeons and Dragons box set sells just under 1.1K at #447. This is a $29.99 box set somehow classified as a single issue. That Rick and Morty, always breaking rules!
Glenn: Good lord. This seems like it should be in the collectables and/or other merchandise section. This seems to me like something to be sold in book stores/board game stores and toy stores.
Ray: Antarctic Press has Houdini: Master Detective at #451, selling just over 1K as this oddball one-shot comes and goes. Pretty standard for a company with no real identity at the moment.
Glenn: Just wait until he hears that Droopy already called the name.
Ray: As we head into the three-digit range, it’s almost all reorders and low-selling creator-owned titles, but this month’s low bar allows some surprises to sneak in. There’s Johnny the Homicidal Maniac #3 from Amaze Ink comics, an indie publisher we never see on the charts, at #472 selling 896 copies. The first issue also sells 760 copies at #491.
#476 brings us Cavewoman: Lost, selling 866 copies. The latest installment of “sexy lady comic with 10,000 covers” knows what it’s going for.
Apparently 813 copies of Ziggy Pig and Silly Seal Comics were reordered this month at #483, for those who really felt they missed out on that work of timeless comic brilliance.
It’s April, so it’s that time again – Weed Magic Vol. 3 returns to sell 741 copies at #493 with a cover price of $4.20. Bliss on Tap needs to commit and only print 420 copies next year.
It’s reorders and reprints all the way down after that, and wrapping us up at #500 is the $1 reprint of Paper Girls #1 from Image Firsts, selling 702 copies. So ends another bizarre month down in the depths.
Glenn: Well we thought War Of The Realms might make things interesting but seemingly not so much. Year Of the Villain and Absolute Carnage to the rescue!
Ray: Looking ahead, we assumed Marvel had these few months wrapped up with War of the Realms, but that may not be the case. DC may have a good shot at a great showing this month thanks to the likely #1 book – Last Knight on Earth from Snyder and Capullo. There’ll also be the conclusion of Heroes in Crisis, more Batman Who Laughs and Doomsday Clock, and the launch of Event Leviathan with an oversized one-shot, plus Tom Taylor’s horror miniseries DCeased, a new Batman/TMNT miniseries, and the much-delayed Batman and the Outsiders series.
Marvel has a cavalcade of War of the Realms tie-ins that are looking a lot less exciting to them than they did last month, but they also have the launch of Savage Avengers and the oversized Star Wars #108 continuation of the original series.
It’s like the smaller companies know there’s too much going on from the big two to compete, but look for new Image series from cult creators Brandon Thomas and Ken Garing, and the launch of Angel from Boom, expanding their new Whedonverse line.
What will rise? What will fall? How big a spanking will Last Knight give everything else? Find out next month on…By the Numbers!
Liked What You Read? Let Us Know Here Or On Twitter @Glenn_matchett and @raygoldfield.
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By The Numbers: March 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 6 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! After watching Avengers: Endgame and The Battle Of Winterfell in the span of two days, he is not emotionally okay.

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 all of She-Ra: Princesses Of Power in one day and having to wait for more, he is not emotionally okay.

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: So this year so far has been verly quiet and for the most part, March 2019 is the same but this time there’s a good reason. In March of this year, DC published the 1000th issue of their second longest going comic, Detective Comics which everyone wanted to steer clear of. That means of another month of largely the stronger standard titles managing to pull a higher number than usual but there is clearly only one game in town this month.

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So yeah, Detective Comics 1000 was the highest selling comic and its not a shock. With the historical significance, a murderers row of talent and enough variants to drown someone in if it hadn’t been then then there would have been something seriously wrong. With all of that taken into account, DC pulls in sales of over 525k and that’s pretty much what I expected. This is about the same number that Action Comics managed last year and its a big thing for DC to manage that, on a comic that cost $10 to boot. A lot of champagne will be uncorked no doubt and it’ll be some years until another comic reaches this number (without cheating like Deadpool did once upon a time) so it puts Action and Detective in rarefied air which is worth more than any unit number could convey.
Ray: We finally see some excitement atop the charts this month! Yeah, there’s no surprise that Detective Comics #1000 utterly dominates. Even though this comic was essentially an oversized Batman anthology, there’s no question that these anniversaries get a ton of interest for DC. These are numbers you just don’t see anymore. Now they only have to wait *checks* forty years to hit #2000!
Glenn: Back in the land of normal comics that don’t have 80 years of build, the spin off to the mega successful Batman Who Laughs starring a new evil Batman in the Grim Knight also does brilliant numbers selling over 133.6k at 2 this month. This is a comic that actually outsells some of the main mini which is crazy to think about because spin offs from mini’s rarely do any business at all. Of course this has top creators involved but this concept first seen in Metal just seems to keep on giving. Its no shock that DC has not only extended the Batman Who Laughs mini by another issue but is heavily involving him in a new version of the Secret Six later this year.
Ray: Yeah, this number is actually in line with the second issue of the series, which is amazing. I’d be surprised if Batisher doesn’t escape this miniseries now, because he’s a fan-favorite villain too. And DC is hopefully going to get the most they can out of the Batman who Laughs without overusing him and losing the impact.
Glenn: It took me a moment to figure out Batisher, me brain no longer work good.
At third is the much delayed Doomsday Clock which is so great that we all seem to be willing to let it come out at its own pace if the sales of over 120k is any indication. We have only 3 issues to go now and its safe to say this one will end up in the six figure mark quite safely as it concludes, despite what some detractors might say about it, it seems Doomsday Clock has been a massive success. Sure we would like it a lot quicker but hey got to keep the spirit of the original alive right?
Ray: Doomsday Clock’s delays are getting worse and worse, but it doesn’t seem to matter. These are essentially staying flat from issue to issue, even with two to three months between issues. Very similar to what we saw with Dark Knight III.
Glenn: More Batman at 4 and 5 with the newest issues of Tom King’s best selling run selling over 84.4k for issue 67 and 83.1 for issue 66. Why 67 sold marginally more could mean that this is what Batman’s base level is (which is stellar and nothing is close to it on a regular basis) or extra people checking out the sequel to the ridiculously brilliant Batman/Elmer Fudd by King and Lee Weeks. Either way, Batman may have slowed down but there’s still no concerns.
Ray: This is probably the low end of what Batman’s going to sell in the coming months, as the Knightmares arc is about to end and the war with Bane will be ramping up. Expect big sales for Batman #75 in July, well over 100K as King takes Batman’s life to the woodshed again.
Glenn: He only hurts him because he loves him.
The remarkably steady Heroes In Crisis sells over 78.5k for its 7th issue at spot 6. Despite some serious fan backlash over the contents (some of which has gone so far to threaten death on writer to Tom King which is beyond stupid and disgusting) the series has performed steadily sales wise. Its perhaps not the mega blockbuster DC wanted but its been a strong steady performer. I would say the upcoming DCeased will deliver similar numbers.
Ray: Heroes in Crisis has set the internet on fire like nothing since Hydra Cap, but unlike that offensive disaster of a miniseries, Heroes in Crisis has leveled out pretty well. It’s not the sales hit they were hoping for, but it’s a modest success. The less we say about those ignorant chodes who threatened King, the better.
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Glenn: I have no clue what a chode is, sounds tasty.
While DC sweeps the top 6, Marvel finally nudges into the top ten with the ever reliable Amazing Spider-Man at spots 7 and 8 with issues 17 and 18 selling over 78.k and 74.4k respectively. Its the start of the much hyped mini Spidey event ‘Hunted’ and the sales as usual for the book are their modern day pattern if very good but unspectacular. Weighed against the sales of Dan Slott’s major Spidey stories, Hunted falls short but Amazing continues to be Marvel’s default ongoing in lieu of any new launches or events. Next month we have the start of War Of The Realms which is going to play havoc on the charts most likely so we’ll see how Amazing settles then.
Ray: It’s definitely the calm before the storm for Marvel, as War of the Realms descends next month to likely win the next three months of sales. These are decent sales for Hunted, but not much above what ASM was slowly sinking to. This isn’t an event, and the sales of the first .HU issue (#18, 52.9K) bear that out. Retailers aren’t treating the villains one-shots like the main series even with the branding.
Glenn: The 18.HU issue could be an indicator of how Black Cat launches in the coming months, that wouldn’t be a bad launch for her ‘ongoing’ but it would have to level out swiftly.
Big surprise at 9 with Spider-Man: City At War which is tying into the very wel received video game from last year selling over 72.2k. For years we’ve been talking about how video game tie-ins don’t sell but here we are. Even the super popular Arkham games didn’t ever deliver a performance like this. I’m not expecting it to hold next month but its something that goes against trends in the right way which is always a positive thing.
Ray: This is a highly impressive number for City at War, and I suspect there might have been some targeted ordering for video game stores. This is a great debut and sets it up to be a success over the course of a run. A huge win for Dennis Hallum – no wonder he found hope.
Glenn: Last in the top ten is DC’s second highest selling regular ongoing in Justice League which starts a new story in issue 20 which warrants sales of over 64.6k while the previous issue is at 12 with sales 57.7k. Its a lot lower than when Geoff Johns is on the book and much lower than what you would expect from a Snyder book but as the run gains momentum and seems to be becoming the main fixture of how the next big chapter in DC (Year Of The Villain) gets started it’ll do fine. It could be doing a lot better and on paper it should be but it’ll likely rebound to better numbers now and again much like Batman does.
Ray: The increase for the new storyline is for Snyder’s return for the big 6th Dimension story which sets up Year of the Villain, so it seems this book does fluctuate a bit with the stories. This is going to be the centerpiece title of the next year of stories, so expect numbers to slowly go up.
Glenn: Its interesting that in the top ten with not much else happening (again War Of The Realms is coming) that basically Marvel vs DC’s battle at the top is becoming Spider-Man vs Batman with the former pulling out the win. Of the top ten, four feature Batman (the other 3 books DC has in the top ten meanwhile still has him in a prominent and/or leading role) and the other 3 spots are Spider-Man titles. Again its no surprise the onslaught of Batman titles or books featuring the character prominently are slowing down and we’re getting so damn many Spider-Man books. Its not an easy market for anyone and the big two are hedging their bets on the two character that always deliver…for the moment anyway. Batman’s held his spot as a top performer for DC for over a decade where Spider-Man pops in an out. Will things change? Time will tell…

Ray:  Batman is bulletproof like no character we’ve ever seen, and Spider-man is close but no cigar. I think the most impressive thing this month is how DC won the month in overall market share, unheard of and largely due to the success of one comic – despite Marvel releasing about 25 more books. 

At #13 is a bizarre entry, as the Incredible Hulk #181 fascimile edition sells #56K to land just outside the top ten. This is essentially a $3.99 True Believers edition with a fancier cover, so that’s a lot of free money for Marvel. Question is, why did this do so well? There weren’t any Hulk or Wolverine movies out in March.
Glenn:  I think its a case of the comics significance driving up orders. A lot of people know the value on this one and its one of Marvels most frequently reprinted so retailers likely ordered it on its pedigree alone.
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Ray:  At #14 selling 54K is Cosmic Ghost Rider Destroys Marvel History, the latest spin-off from Donny Cates’ hit new antihero. Focusing on Frank visiting his family in time and telling them weird stories that retcon him into Marvel history, it’s an odd comic – but the character’s buzz is enough to make it a big hit. I guess retailers are betting Donny Cates isn’t all CGR has going for him, but we’ll see in coming months.
Glenn: This is very fast for a character who’s caught on to be thrust out on his own (DC waited nearly a year on the Batman Who Laughs) so this is interesting. The character definitely has legs on first impression but when people realize Cates isn’t involved here I expect sales to drop swiftly. Hopefully Marvel don’t overplay it too rapidly.
Ray: A book that might have been under-ordered is Spider-Man: Life Story at #15. Selling 54K, this Zdarsky/Bagley alternate universe that ages Spider-Man in real time has gotten some of the best reviews for a Marvel Comic in years. That it was outsold by City at War surprises me, but I think this one will wind up doing a lot better as a collected edition. It feels like a Marvel classic in the making.
Glenn: I feel that this one is going to fly under the radar and like Vision is going to be one that is looked back on as a potential modern classic. I definitely think we’ll see reorders and some fast stabilization here.
Ray: Amid the regular suspects that make up the top-tier books in the 60K to 40K range – including Venom, Fantastic Four, Uncanny X-Men, Avengers, Superman, The Green Lantern, Thor, and Guardians of the Galaxy – there’s a few surprising sales jumps. Immortal Hulk ships two issues this month, with the first selling 45K at #27 and the second selling 53K at #17. This is a book that’s been building momentum for a while, but this is unexpected and doesn’t have an obvious explanation.
Glenn: A well received run picking up steam sales wise? Its a crazy idea but it happens.
Ray: A very good sign for Daredevil is its jump from #2 last month to #3 this month, increasing a full 16K in sales to sell 51K at #19. This might have been a case of retailers missing the boat on how much Zdarsky would lift this title.
Glenn:  Hope so, we’ll see how we go next month.
Ray: The latest Vader miniseries, the anthology Dark Visions, lands at #26 with sales of 46K. The mini after this has already been announced, so it seems like Marvel’s just going to keep Vader in miniseries as long as he sells. This is far from a great number, but not low enough to change that strategy.
Glenn: We are now a long way away from the height of sales that the original Marvel Vader series had. Since a rotating series of mini’s probably fits the character more, this is likely just the world Marvel will have to accept. I would wager anything Vader related does well in collections, he’s still the saga’s best known and most popular villain
Ray: A strange DC bump goes to Harley Quinn, which sold 36K last month and 43K this month at #28. Similar results for Catwoman, which gains 10K in sales to land at #29 with sales of 43K. No events in either of these books, so I’m wondering if it could be a bounce for Women’s History Month?
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Glenn:  Good spot, we’ll see next month.
Ray: Walking Dead continues to slide, selling 43K at #30, but the next big event apparently hit in #191 and went back for reorders, so look for some movement from this book in May.
Conan the Barbarian basically holds flat from last month, gaining a few hundred copies to land at #35 with sales of #39K. That puts it around the level of Flash, Shazam, and the main Star Wars book at the moment, so I think we can safely call that a hit for Marvel.
Gail Simone’s Domino relaunches with a miniseries branded “Hotshots” and gets a hefty first-issue bump in the process. It sells just under 35K at #43, more than a 100% jump from the last regular issue. Retailers ordered this like a first issue, which is unexpected. It’ll likely assume standard sales next month, but it’s given this quality book a second life.
Oddly, Wonder Woman loses all of the 10K bump it got last month, with its two issues this month selling 35K and 33K at #42 and #47. There’s a lot of odd math games this month. Again, and this time it’s not just Marvel playing!
Young Justice also stays pretty solid, losing only 2K with its third issue to sell 35K at #46. Not exactly what DC was hoping for, I’m sure, but it’s a lot more consistent than any Titans-branded books have been in years.
Another dramatic jump in sales, this time for Invaders which sold 19K last month and 33K this month at #49. A quality book that deserves more sales, but this is just weird.
Glenn: In a month with not much going on, perhaps retailers decided to mess with us. Yes I’m saying a group of hundreds of retailers across America are purposely trying to mess with me and Ray using their ordering power to do so.
Ray: #51 brings us the third Conan series, this one minus Conan! Belit, Queen of the Black Coast launches with 33K in sales, not bad for a supporting character who’s never appeared in Marvel Comics before. She was mentioned in Avengers: No Road Home, which might have helped these sales.
Glenn:  We’ll see how this one settles out but given Marvels went all in very quickly with 3 Conan/Conan related books, 33k is still very good. Dark Horse hasn’t seen Conan sales like this in years and it seems it was worth the properties time moving house.
Ray: Supergirl is the next beneficiary of this month’s strange yo-yo sales, as it goes from just under 20K sales last month to over 32K this month at #52. Again, this is mid-storyline with no real event, so it’s inexplicable – but I’m always happy to see Supergirl sell better.
Worth noting that three recently-launched side Spider-books have all settled down around the same number, with Miles Morales: Spider-Man, Superior Spider-Man, and Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man all selling between 30K and 29K of their fourth issues at #56, #61, and #62 respectively. Respectable numbers, but none are really catching fire yet. Watch FNSM for coming events to get reorders, though.
The last two Age of Republic one-shots land this month, with General Grievous selling 30K at #60 and Padme Amidala selling 26K at #71. Evil droids > Natalie Portman. Noted, comic market, noted.
Glenn:  Cool lightsaber dude>Skywalker twins mom is probably more accurate.
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Ray: We also get the final two Age of X-Man launches, as Bishop-centric Prisoner X lands at #63 with sales of 29K and free-love Apocalypse and the X-Tracts pulls just under 28K at #66. Pretty standard for a mini-event that really hasn’t caught on.
#67 brings the one-shot Uncanny X-Men: Winter’s End selling 27K. This is really a case of good branding, because this isn’t an Uncanny X-Men book at all – it’s an oversized epilogue to Sina Grace’s Iceman book, which typically sold under 10K. Clever, Marvel.
Glenn: Got to respect the ingenuity.
Ray: Some characters just don’t sell well in singles. Ms. Marvel isn’t quite Squirrel Girl or Moon Girl levels, but the debut sales of The Magnificent Marvel – 27.7K at #68 – are far from inspiring for Saladin Ahmed’s debut issue. This is just a fraction of the overall sales, but it’s still a surprise given that this is a major creative team shift.
Glenn: Maybe because G. Willow Wilson is so closely associated with the character some were wary? Kamala is a big hit outside the direct market as you indicate but now she’s going to be written by others exclusively, it’ll be interesting how she fares. Will it just be the initial Wilson stories that people keep going back to or is the character strong enough to endure?
Ray: Buffy the Vampire Slayer stays rock-solid once again, gaining another 1K in sales to land at #76 with 25K sales. This will likely keep going up with the arrival of Angel and next issue’s big twist.
Glenn: I’m thinking an upswing for issue 4 and certainty some reorders for those that couldn’t see the blunt hammer hints indicating what was coming.
Ray: Speaking of iconic girl-power heroes, a good debut for Archie with the launch of Kelly Thompson’s Sabrina the Teenage Witch. Archie books usually struggle in singles, so 25K at #78 is impressive and likely down to Thompson’s fast-rising star power. I’m just sad this is only a miniseries, and Archie probably will be too. Sabrina Meets Nancy Drew when?
Glenn: It could always get extended, its happened before.
Ray: Amid a lot of mid-level books for DC and Marvel, there’s a hit for Valiant mixed in. The Life and Death of Toyo Harada is a miniseries tying up the story of one of Valiant’s biggest characters and bringing back original Valiant relaunch creator Joshua Dysart. Sales of 23K at #84 indicates Valiant’s expecting more buzz here than the usual.
#88 brings the Marvel miniseries Meet the Skrulls, a pastiche of The Americans, Vision, and Secret Invasion designed to tie in with the release of Captain Marvel. With no real hype behind it, it only manages just under 22K in sales.
Glenn: The solicitation gave me a big King Vision vibe which I’m sure wasn’t an accident. It doesn’t seem that many took the bait, a mini featuring a villainous alien race with no connection to any main book was always going to be a hard sell.
Ray: Another disappointing debut for the last book in the first wave of Wonder Comics, as Dial H for Hero sells 21.8K at #89. This line has been of excellent quality, but with limited name recognition for the other books they’ve run into sales issues. We’ll see what Bendis and Co. has cooking for the second wave once the miniseries end.
Glenn: I didn’t expect Young Animal to get another go so anything is possible, clearly that line was selling enough somewhere for DC to give it another go and I think this line is delivering similar if not better results and has a better mass market appeal.
Ray: IDW relaunches the Transformers franchise with a new creative team at #90, selling 21.7K. Decent numbers for an IDW licensed property, but the days when this franchise was IDW’s dominant one are long gone.
A solid Image debut for the post-apocalyptic thriller Little Bird, which manages to sell 19.8K at #94. This book didn’t have any name creators attached, but Image put a lot of promotional hype on it – enough to make it the third-highest seller of the month for them.
Glenn: The creative team are probably thrilled, there’s been a lot of surprises from Image like this recently so good for them.
Ray: #100 brings us the one-shot Firefly: Bad Company, which sells 19K as it expands on the backstory of a major Firefly supporting character. Not bad for a $7.99 comic as the main series takes a month off in between arcs.
Glenn: Much like the swap for Conan seems to have done the franchise the world of good unit wise, Firefly and Buffy/Angel seem to have given the franchises a bit of a boost and delivered brilliant results from BOOM. 
Although its performing how a seemingly random mini performs and usually wouldn’t be worth of note the mere existence of the Black Order mini at 111 selling over 17.3k makes a ton more sense after Endgame. People looking for Thanos related stuff will pick this up in trade so even though its not one that will be noted in any way it may earn its keep that way.
Ray: This mini really seems to have come and gone without notice, especially considering how little a role the Black Order played in Endgame.
Glenn: The MARVELS annotated mini’s second issue delivers sales over 16.4k which is brilliant for something priced at 7.99 that has been in easy to get collections for years and years. Marvel are the masters of making money off stuff they have already made money on.
Light hearted murderfest Assassin Nation from Kyle Starks and Erica Henderson debuts from Image at 119 with sales over 15.7 which is a respectable launch that I’d expect from creators who certainty have their fanbases, This type of hyper violent comedy drama has its own niche which can pay off if done well and this one seems to have hit a cord.
Ray: Neither Kyle Starks nor Erica Henderson really has much sales pull in the direct market, so this is a pretty great debut. The second top Image debut of the month, impressive for a comic that didn’t seem to get much hype.
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Glenn: Mark Millar’s newest Image offering, Shakey Bounty Hunter has its second issue this month selling over 15.1k at 122 which is about half of the issue 1 sales. There seems to be a new odd trend with Millar’s latest Image books where on paper given the artists he can have they should sell more than they are. I’m not sure if its the market or people trade waiting for his stuff or waiting for the inevitable adaption or a mix of all 3. Don’t get me wrong, they’re good sales for an Image book but Bianchi’s name alone used to pull in like sales of 50-70k minimum. I may be overthinking it.
Ray: It’s been a while since Bianchi did interiors too, so they might not have the sales pull of many Millar creators anymore.
Glenn: Marvel Rising, the all ages comic based on the cartoon based on DC’s Super Hero Girls debuts a new comic at 125 with sales over 15k which is very good for this sort of thing. I do think comics like this should be cheaper for parents and/or younger readers but for direct market sales thats very good. This comic of course will do its main business elsewhere much like Ms. Marvels main series and other things.
Ray: Marvel Rising as a whole doesn’t seem to have quite captured the media attention of DC Super Hero Girls either. Of course, the latter just rebooted, so that fight is wide open again.
Glenn: The good news for controversial DC mini series Female Furies at 130 is that it only loses 13k in its 2nd issue but the bad news is that it didn’t have the initial numbers to take that hit and its now selling over 13.5k. DC was hoping to ride off the mega successful Mr. Miracle here but this one will likely be shuffled into the corner hoping people don’t talk about it much.
Only a slight drop for Hit-Girl season 2 2nd issue, only losing about 2k of sales at 134 with sales over 13.3k. The murderous little girl has seen better days sales wise but a fast stabilization is always a positive, maybe Smith’s involvement in Detective 1k helped?
Another one finding its level quickly is the new take on Red Sonja which lands at 135 selling over 13.2k. This is a good 5k or so better than most Red Sonja books so I think Dynamite can safely call this a win.
Greg Pak’s Ronin Island launches from BOOM this month selling over 13.1k at 138. This is another solid performance from a good book and its likely due to Pak’s name but I am getting some serious Avatar (not the one getting its ass kicked by Avenger’s Endgame) vibes so since that series has a verly decent fanbase, this one could be a sleeper hit in singles and collections.
Ray: Pak’s really been riding a hot streak recently between Firefly and his Marvel work. It seems to have translated to his creator-owned work – which it didn’t for his equally brilliant Mech Cadet Yu last year. A good sign for Boom.
Glenn: Its the return of the Goon from Albatross Press selling 147 at 12.k. This is a long running character with his own set audience so retailers likely know what to expect out of it, they know its not going to deliver them any big returns after all this time.
Ray: That’s well above the level I’ve seen Albatross Funnybooks get before, so The Goon clearly has some loyal fans left from its Dark Horse days. There’s a crossover with wizard-pug comedy Grumble coming soon.
Glenn: A new creator owned series by G. Willow Wilson at 149 selling over 12k from Dark Horse in the form of Invisible Kingdom is a bit of an under performer. Certainty Wilson could arguably be one of the most important creators of the 21st century due to her work on Ms. Marvel and she is now doing work for DC as well. However she hasn’t had a creator owned series since the long ago Vertigo series Air so like retailers may not know how to treat Ms. Marvel without Wilson they may not know how to treat Wilson without Ms. Marvel. Dark Horse these days are a mixed bad however with most of their top creators only managing to do around these numbers anyway.
Ray: This is a little above what we usually see Berger Books do, so the one-two creative punch of Wilson and Ward helped. Most of these titles seem aimed at the bookstore market, though.
Glenn: To emphasize my point, at 151 is the latest Black Hammer mini, Black Hammer 45 by mad scientist creator Jeff Lemire which sells over 11.5k which is perfectly in line with the rest of the line pretty much. Dark Horse must be thrilled with these so far due how many of these we’re getting. Watch for Justice League/Black Hammer to overperform in a few months and get a whole set of new eyes on this brilliant universe.
Ray: At this point, I think retailers are largely ordering Black Hammer books very consistently, almost never dropping their orders and giving spin-offs the same rope as the main series. Expect it to keep going up as the line gains buzz and the adaptation nears.
Glenn: At 154 is Rick and Morty Presents Jerry which sells over 11.4k. The franchise is definitely one that seems to be keeping the lights on at Oni due to its very passionate fan base. I do not for the record know who Jerry is.
Ray: It’s not quite a mop and it’s not quite a puppet.
Glenn: A multi year delay seems to have not been kind to Image creator owned series Lazarus by Greg Rucka and Michael Lark who bring the series back with a 7.99 one shot this month at 154 selling over 11.3k. The fans likely have moved on and are willing now to wait for a collection I’d say.
Ray: I don’t know that the title was selling much higher before its long hiatus – Lazarus was always critically acclaimed, but its slow pace didn’t lend itself to single-issue sales.
Glenn: At 156 is the Spider-Man: Far From Home Prelude which sells over 11.1k to those that needed reminded what happened in Spider-Man: Homecoming.
Ray: 11.1K suckers!!!!
Glenn: Reorders for Captain Marvel 1 keep happening and its nearly the same amount as last month with over 10.7k at 161 which is great for the character who’s had a rough few years comic wise.
More retro Marvel comics to celebrate an anniversary of some sort in the form of Ziggy Pig Silly Seal at 164 selling over 10.2k which I think makes this the lowest selling of the bunch but when its a comic called Ziggy Pig Silly Seal I think you can take what you can get, especially if you’re charging 4.99 for it.
Ray: Shockingly, no one wanted a continuation of a random weird subplot from an issue of the current Deadpool run about homicidal pigs.
Glenn: New Aftershock title Dark Red debuts at 177 selling over 8.6k which is pretty standard for their launches. Again this is despite the involvement in a top talent in Tim Seeley, the Aftershock mystery continues.
Ray: This is not the redneck vampire comic you are looking for. *waves hand* Bad time to debut this concept, and Aftershock’s struggles continue.
Glenn: Although it had a respectable launch last month, DC/Vertigo’s High Level has crashed in its second issue with sales over 8.1k at 183, don’t get attached to this one folks.

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Ray: A new Dungeons and Dragons miniseries, “A Darkened Wish“, launches from IDW at #191 with 7.6K. This is one of IDW’s most durable franchises, but never a top seller. 

Speaking of IDW, an odd entry at #192 as they debut their comic spin-off of the Netflix original GLOW from Tini Howard, selling 7.6K. This is a show where much of the appeal is the acting, chemistry, and fight choreography – none of which are things that will translate to the comic, so I’m not surprised it struggled.
Glenn: In terms of Netflix shows I’d consider GLOW to have a very niche cult fanbase that I don’t see extending to have interest in other media. I can see it for Stranger Things for sure (and we have) but not GLOW…you should all watch the show though, its great.
Ray: 7.4K in reorders for Guardians of the Galaxy #1 at #195. Given all the reorders this month, I can’t be sure which volume of GOTG this was.
Glenn: Lets go with the very first version for lolz.
Ray: 7.2K in sales for the latest Marvel Super Hero Adventures one-shot, “Spider-Sense of Adventure” at #199. This is essentially a monthly series of short kid-friendly storied (with brilliant newspaper comic parodies by Ty Templeton), but by renumbering it every month it never loses sales.
Glenn: Its genius!
Ray: Marvel continues selling us the same comics at higher prices with Marvel Tales: Thor, a $7.99 collection of classic Thor stories which sells 7.2K at #200.
After a lot of low-selling indie books at this level, we get a new debut with Dynamite’s The Six Million Dollar Man #1, which sells 5.9K at #216. This had Marvel creator Christopher Hastings (Gwenpool, Secret Agent Deadpool) on board, but the character isn’t particularly relevant to current readers. This is typical “Dynamite throws a license at no one in particular” numbers.
Glenn: The franchise is wellllll beyond its best years which weren’t that great to begin with. Besides people have mined this idea to death but with different names so there’s plenty of better tales with a similar premise out there.
Ray: #222 brings us the launch of Dark Horse’s second Frozen miniseries, Reunion Road. Unlike the previous Joe Books Frozen title, these are more plot-driven and are released in quick three-issue minis – making them easy to collect in small trades. #5.6K isn’t great sales for a franchise this big, but it’ll find its audience in bookstores where kids actually go.
Solicits indicate that Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur may be ending soon, and we’ll find out in the coming weeks when solicits arrive. The question is, how low will single issues go before then? This month it’s at #225 selling 5.5K.
#232 brings us the official mascot of By the Numbers, Zombie Tramp! The latest issue sells 5.7K, but there’s three other covers in the top 500 lower down selling 1.7-1.6 at 333, 334, and 339. That actually puts Zombie Tramp over 10K for the month. I like saying Zombie Tramp.
Glenn: Zombie Tramp!
Ray: A new season of Riverdale means a new season of the tie-in comic, and Riverdale Season 3 #1 sells 4.8K at #240. These are digital-first short stories and aren’t too far off from the other books in Archie’s new line, so they’re probably pretty happy. Let’s hope so, or the Gargoyle King will get us.
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Mags Visaggio’s new 80’s-set teen thriller “Morning in America” debuts with 4.8K in sales from Oni at #241. We’ve talked about how Oni has trouble selling in singles, and as we wrote this column it was announced that they’re merging with fellow troubled publisher Lion Forge. Whether it works out, we’ll see – but they’ve already gotten a lot of blowback from the number of people let go immediately.
Glenn: It makes sense for two small publishers to partner up but it really sucks that people are losing their jobs over it. Let us hope they find elsewhere, its a rough industry and a rougher economy.
Ray: #243 brings us the debut of a comic called Astro Hustle, selling 4.7K. This comic won’t finish, due to scumbag reasons, and that’s all we’ll say about it.
Scout Comics has a strong debut from master Italian writer-artist Don Aguillo titled Rise, which lands at #251 with just under 4.4K. That’s higher than Scout’s average debut, so I put this down to Aguillo having a quiet but existing fanbase over here.
Another iffy debut from Mags Visaggio at #252, as her Dark Horse monster-hunter comic Calamity Kate only sells 4.3K. Visaggio gets a lot of critical buzz for her offbeat and experimental storytelling, but it hasn’t quite resulted in sales yet.
Glenn: Mags is one of those writers that just needs the right property or book to just explode to the top. Prior to God Country/Venom there were a lot of Donny Cates stories out there no one knew about that companies are now reprinting or rescuing from years in drawers. Give her a few years.
Ray: A spin-off from the currently running Star Trek Discovery series, focusing on Captain Saru, lands at #255 from IDW with sales of 4.1K. IDW’s retooling their Star Trek line soon with higher-profile series, so we’ll see if it pays off in sales.
Glenn: Poor Saru constantly plays second fiddle on Discovery and never quite gets to be the Captain of his own ship. Hopefully in this series he’ll get some much deserved attention.
Ray: Another low-selling Dark Horse debut at #257 in Bad Luck Chuck, and this noir comic about a young woman who farms out her bad luck didn’t have the name creators of other launches. 4K in sales is about what’s to be expected.
Glenn: I wish I could farm out my bad luck, my garden be plentiful.
Ray: A $7.99 Steven Universe one-shot, Fusion Frenzy, sells 3.8K from Boom at #260. These cartoon-based comics aren’t meant for the direct market, but they have a small but loyal audience.
You remember Rick and Morty vs. Dungeons and Dragons? It apparently has a director’s cut that gets another 3.7K in sales at #263.
Glenn: Keeping the lights on at Oni but sadly not saving the jobs of many people who shouldn’t have lost them in the upcoming joint venture with Lion Forge.
Ray: Udon Entertainment makes an appearance on the charts with Street Fighter: Menat, a spin-off of the popular video game series selling 3.6K at #264. This is basically where this company lives, selling to a loyal audience of video game fans.
Much like Steven Universe but with much larger fans, Boom’s latest WWE Wrestlemania $7.99 special sells 3.5K at #269. Boom keeps putting these specials out, so they must be happy with the sales.
#270 brings us the latest sexy fairy tale from Zenoscope, Gretel, selling 3.5K. Glenn, strike up the Rachel Bloom!
#276 brings us a new comic I’ve never heard of, Neon Future #1, from a company I’ve never heard of, Impact Theory Comics. It sells 3.4K, and it seems like we get new companies on this list every time. Our source can’t keep up!
Glenn: Really they’ll just be thrilled to be here as they should.
Ray: IDW acquired the rights to the old-school Image book The Maxx to publish a crossover with Batman, and they release a lot of the surreal 90’s book’s old material in a 100-page giant this month. It sells 3.2K at #283, proving not only Marvel can sell us old comics.
The video game tie-in comic Obey Me #0 sells 3.1K at #285 from Dynamite. This isn’t a big-name game franchise like Gears of War or Starcraft, so the low numbers aren’t a surprise. I’ve never heard of it.
Glenn: Me either, the title makes it sound like its for a very specific audience who care for the works of E.L James.
Ray: Another original title from Scout Comics, Star Bastard, sells 2.9K at #290. No big creative team attached, and this title about the worst person in the galaxy and his misadventures is pretty clearly geared towards mature audiences. Adults-only books always sell a little lower.
Glenn: Deadpool meets Star Lord I guess? There’s certainty a market for these things but I think you have to present it or publicize it the right way.
Ray: Lots of reorders this month around this level, with close to 2.6-2.3K in reorders for Umbrella Academy: Hotel Oblivion, Die (which is constantly getting reorders), Middlewest, Conan the Barbarian, and Daredevil’s new series. All of these books have been getting pretty decent buzz.
The #300 book this month is the latest issue of Gunning for Hits, selling 2.6K. Would be a decent book to end on…but alas, we soldier on into the depths.
Glenn: You go first, I’m scared.
Ray: 30 Days of Night, which was a huge sensation back in the early 2000s, gets a reprint of the acclaimed original miniseries in another IDW 100-page giant. It sells 2.2K at #312. Could vampires be making a comeback against those zombies?
Glenn: Having a movie adaption maybe helps? I think 30 Days is one of those quietly consistent performers based on in it having a fantastic premise that’s easy to explain. Its one of those things people will always come back to.
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Ray: The $4.99 anthology “Femme Magnifique: 10 Women Who Changed the World” lands at #320 from IDW, selling seven copies under 2K. A biographical comic anthology is never going to be a top seller, but at only $4.99 it’s another piece of evidence of how IDW’s non-licensed books sell.
One of Scout’s earliest titles, Once Our Land, returns for a second volume at #329, selling 1.83K. I didn’t read this one when it first came out, but this is likely a book with a loyal but small audience.
Amid reorders of things like Buffy the Vampire Slayer and The Batman Who Laughs, we get this month’s winner for the most bizarre title of the month. It’s Fartnite, from often-bizarre publisher Keenspot. Flatulence-based parodies of popular video games apparently sell 1.8K at #331. I got nothing.
Glenn: Going for that Vince McMahon humour.
Ray: The latest Aspen Visions one-shot, Soulfire: Heart of Eternity, sells just under 1.8K at #332. Aspen keeps on trucking, even though I haven’t heard someone talk about it in years.
Glenn: They’ll have a loyal dedicated audience that will seemingly always come back and likely the company realizes that and is now set up to cater to that level without much drawback.
Ray: An oversized anthology from IDW, Synergy: Hasbro Creators Showcase, sells 1.5K at #343. These are characters like GI Joe and Transformers that sell much better in single issues, but the anthology seems to have slipped completely under the radar.
Glenn: Its probably because at this point, many of the main franchises are so far removed from being known as extensions of toy lines that the two don’t connect in peoples mind much.
Ray: Now here’s where we get into some strange territory, as a lot of companies – but mostly Marvel – make so many reorders that it starts to feel like inventory dumping again. Case in point – reorders of Inhumans Prime (#340, 1.6K) and X-Men Prime (#365, 1.3K). These are the follow-up one-shots from the long-forgotten event Inhumans vs. X-Men. Why would people want these comics now? This is like three relaunches ago!
Glenn: Its another slow month where normally these stock dumps escape notice but that’s why we’re here to suffer.
Ray: #345 brings us the latest oddly named Aardvark-themed comic from a guy who we don’t talk about anymore, selling 1.5K. It’s depressing how many redacted entries we have these days.
Glenn: It is. It makes me so grateful for the vast amount of lovely creators who manage to go days, weeks, years and a whole lifetime without being complete dicks.
Ray: Lots more reorders around this level, including issues of Spider-Gwen, Weapon X, Spider-Men II, Invincible Iron Man, and something called Rick and Morty presents Sleepy Gary. ‘Kay.
Glenn:  I choose to believe we know Sleepy Gary, he’s a charming Canadian fellow.
Ray: At #362 is a new creator-owned book from Cave Pictures Publishing, The Blessed Machine #1. This post-apocalyptic AI thriller from Mark Rodgers and Jesse Hamm is the first comic to get some creative buzz for this company, and its debut of 1.3K may be boosted by future reorders.
It’s hard to remember that there’s an irregularly-released Grant Morrison comic about Hindu mythology on the market, but a new issue is out! “18 Days – Karna: Legend of the 6th Son” sells 1.2K at #384.
Glenn: Clearly there’s just not much interest in this type of story because I would have certainty banked on Morrison’s name being enough to grab a 250 or above slot at least?
Ray: Selling 1.2K at #378 is Captain America #25. Is this the death of Captain America issue? Is this the setup for the end of Secret Empire? The world may never know.
Glenn: Its the original Cap run by Simon and Kirby where Steve and Bucky are trying to save us against vampire stereotypes. Curse those stereotypes!
Ray: Selling 1,195 at #379 is Rags #1 from Antarctic, which is a comic about a sexy lady zombie hunter who runs around in…you guessed it, rags! Very practical for a life-or-death situation where a bite turns you into a zombie. But at least she’ll be a sexy zombie?
Glenn: If she’s coming for Zombie Tramp’s place in our hearts then I hope she’s ready to be greatly disappointed.
Ray: Two of the odd mini-event Generations get some reorders this month, with both Iron Man and Captain America’s one-shots selling about 1.1K at #381 and #384 respectively. These might have some relevance to a certain movie that is out by now, so retailers probably wanted the stock for curious new fans.
Glenn: The Cap one I can definitely see for spoilery reasons, Iron Man I’m not too sure. Its hard to call whether the sales being this low makes it seem legit or more suspicious stock dumping.
Ray: Antarctic released a lot of new content this month, with two new mature-readers superhero comics. The Offbeats sells 1.1K at #386, and Tainted Love sells about 25 copies less at #390. I don’t quite know who this company’s output is for – oh, wait, I do, given some of their recent moves.
Source Point Press releases an oversized one-shot, Viking Queen, to sales of 1,084 at #389. This supernatural period piece didn’t really get much hype and there’s been a lot of books in this vein recently, so it sort of slipped under the radar.
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It’s four reorders of issues of Wonder Woman, Captain America, Amazing Spider-Man, and Batman that make up the last four comics selling just over 1K. These are all recent books, so not unusual as reorders go.
The Brian K. Vaughan/Marcos Martin series Barrier was re-released in an oversized slipcover form and the $9.99 package sells 978 copies at #400. This was released in limited quantities, so this isn’t quite representative of the demand.
Glenn: Given this was also ‘pay what you want’ online people likely can read it much cheaper that way. There was also a hardcover people might prefer to read.
Ray: Remember when Civil War II was the worst Marvel event? Those sweet halcyon days… For those who want the bad memories back, the #0 issue gets 937 reorders at #404.
Glenn: Those were they dayyyyyyyyyyyyys
Ray: It’s mostly reorders down here, but the Alterna post-apocalyptic series The Wicked Righteous returns for its second volume with sales of 867 copies at #415. Retailers definitely ordered this as a continuation rather than a launch.
Sexy lady comics still sell, as Cavewoman: Markham’s Mansion sells 864 copies at #416. I’m not sure if this is one cover or a total of the roughly 722 variant covers they have with every issue, because it doesn’t say a specific cover like the Zombie Tramp ones did.
Glenn: If one variant wasn’t a cave drawing they need to stop as a company and start over.
Ray: Quite a few Captain Marvel reorders down here, including several of the True Believers issues and the Braver and Mightier one-shot, all selling about 900-700 copies. This is definitely retailers stocking up after the movie.
Glenn: I would say there would be a lot of Captain Marvel collections seeing some love too, this will all ultimately help the current ongoing title.
Ray: I’m not sure if this is part of a new True Believers line for DC, but a reprint of Batman: Year One from a line called Batman Essentials sells 713 copies at #431. At a dollar price point, that’s a lot lower than Marvel usually gets for these – DC needs to get the word out a little better.
Glenn: I didn’t know this was a thing until now and yeah, no kidding. The first part of one of the best Batman stories (and comics in general) selling this low is ODD. This is the type of thing you have readily available for FCBD to give to a potential new buyer to give them a taste of what this crazy medium we all love can offer.
Ray: Amid a lot of low-selling creator-owned ongoings and some reprints, we get a comic from a company that almost never shows up on the charts at #436 – Magical Beatdown from Silver Sprocket. This oddly-priced $6.00 comic is a parody of magical-girl books about a girl who beats up catcallers, and it sells 668 copies. The low entry bar this month has opened some opportunities for real indie comics that usually slip under the radar.
Brian Shearer’s William The Last webcomic launches its second volume from Antarctic’s creator-owned imprint at #439, selling 662 copies. With only two months since the last issue, this is definitely just retailers renewing their orders for the continuation.
Showing how low the entry bar is this month, at #447, we’ve got a random Betty and Veronica Double Digest, selling 629 copies. We almost never see these oversized Archie collections chart in singles, because they’re geared towards newsstands.
Source Point Press released a series of interconnected one-shots titled Monstrous over the last few months, and now they’re crossing them over into Monstrous: European Getaway, a miniseries expanding on the Frankenstein mythology. It sells 612 copies at #449, not building much on the original series.
It’s almost entirely reorders down here, including 529 copies more for Royals #1 at #470. So for those people who watched Inhumans on ABC and couldn’t wait to learn more about Marvel’s superhuman royal family, here you go, I guess.
Glenn: There will be that one guy holding out hope the Inhumans can happen. Its never going to happen.
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Ray: As the creator-owned series Rat Queens prepares to shift creative teams, it gets reorders for a pair of its specials – Orc Dave at #492 selling 442 copies, and Neon Static at #499 selling 422 copies. Retailers are likely getting some stand-alone stories in stores for curious readers with the relaunch.
Wrapping up the list at #500 is Quincredible #5, the newest member of the Catalyst Prime line selling 419 copies. Despite a lot of hype, this line never caught on and it’s being relaunched in a Gail Simone crossover event – but then, the company itself might not exist soon due to the merger with Oni. Comics! Never a dull moment.
Glenn: My head hurts, I’m going to lie down.
Looking ahead, it’s largely a quiet month with one big exception – War of the Realms. Marvel’s latest mega-event drops a bomb on the market with a biweekly Aaron/Dauterman miniseries and new tie-ins every week. Expect Marvel to take back the lead in a big way, especially with other launches like Peter David’s Symbiote Spider-Man, Tini Howard’s Thanos (just in time for a certain movie), Eve Ewing’s Marvel Team-Up starring Ms. Marvel, another Carnage one-shot, and Rob Liefeld’s return to Marvel with Major X. There’s also several new Star Wars series launching and Greg Pak’s cycle on the franchise begins.
It’s like DC knows what’s coming because they have zero launches in April 2019. Taking the month off and keeping it status quo, in one of the strangest patterns I’ve seen in a while. They won this month, they can take a breather. They do have a crossover between Deathstroke and Teen Titans, and this is the month a lot of their lower-selling books wrap their runs.
Over at Image, the undisputed headliner for April is Ascender #1 as Jeff Lemire and Dustin Nyguen begin a new chapter in their sci-fi/fantasy epic. There’s also fantasy epic Fairlady and Karl Kesel’s Kickstarter success Section Zero.
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 Here Or On Twitter @glenn_matchett or @raygoldfield!

By The Numbers: February 2019

Hey By The Numbers fans! Sorry about the delay in getting this up, it was a slow month sales wise but busy for yours truly. In order to get this out sooner, I didn’t include the random covers I usually do. I hope that’s okay just for this month, I’m hoping next months sales will come out in a more timely manner and we’ll be back to business as usual. Enjoy!

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

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

Glenn Matchett is a comic writer and editor. He’s worked in the industry for 6 years but grew up reading comics. He’s had work published with various small press publishers and has is own comic now available on Comixology in Sparks: The Way I Was from Yellow Bear Comics! He was rooting for the ghost spirits to get Tom Taylor so he could take over Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man, maybe next time.

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.  If given the chance to run a red panda sanctuary, Ray denies he would train them to be his army to do not only battle but amusing tricks on demand.

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: It seems that we’re in the lull before the storm folks because the most we can say about February sales wise is that it sure was a month that happened.  Most of the major companies are keeping things trucking along this month with a skip month (months?) on Doomsday Clock and War Of The Realms yet to drown us in comics, things were slow.  Sure, some books had special events happen here and there on a small scale but there was no juggernaut that came along and laid waste to everything else.  Still with it being a quiet month that gives us a better idea of how things stand without any artificial boosters and…oy.

Ray: This month reminds me a lot of those doldrum months in the pre-New 52 days, before this column kicked off. We would have months where the top comic would be a random issue of The Dark Knight and it would sell about 65K. Things obviously aren’t nearly that bad yet, but it’s still depressing.

Glenn: The biggest selling comic and the only one to pass the six figure mark this month was DC’s Batman Who Laughs which sells over 101.7k.  It’s likely to drop below six figures next month but I doubt we’ll get below 85k before all said and done which is pretty stellar.  Its hard to beat Batman when things are quiet and now you got him mixed with his most famous foe.

Ray: Yeah, The Batman Who Laughs is coming down to Earth a little bit, but when you spend three months on top the charts there is nothing to complain about. It’s a perfect storm of success, the best since Spider-Gwen
Glenn: Further in that vein, the main Batman title is king (get it?  get it? of ongoing as per usual.  Issues 64 and 65 which was part of the Price crossover with Flash which we geniuses here at By The Numbers correctly predicted upped numbers.  The title sold 93.4k and over 89.1k at 2 and 3 respectfully.  Hardly the smash hit the Button was but this is tying into Heroes In Crisis, not the next part of the Rebirth story that Johns started and doesn’t have those super fancy covers.  With it being a great selling title anyway, there is minimal benefit for Batman but hey an increase is an increase.  Watch for things to kick off as we get closer to King’s endgame.
Ray: No real bump for Batman, surprisingly, but The Flash got the lion’s share of the help. I continue to be puzzled by the dramatic difference between issues when it’s a four-part crossover – are many retailers assuming people are going to drop out mid-story?
Glenn: There will be more people checking out part 1 and then they can always reorder more but yeah, the differences in these type of things always puzzle me too.
At 4 is insanity in Venom which IS THE HIGHEST SELLING ONGOING NOT NAMED BATMAN, WHAT IS HAPPENING.  So this title shoots up a lot with it landing the number  spot with sales over 89.4k.  Why a near 4k increase in sales?  Who knows but the title continues to be a massive hit which nobody could have predicted.  Its clear to see why Marvel keep throwing things at Cates but there’s no way to discount the value that Stegman brings either.  Crazy times.
Ray: We just got an announcement today (as I write this) that Cates and Stegman will be showrunning a summer event titled Absolute Carnage. Considering the staggering sales here, there’s almost no way that doesn’t dominate the charts during its run, maybe more so than War of the Realms. This is another huge increase as the title hasn’t found its level yet.
Glenn: It certainty has a fair chance of being as strong as War, probably a far better pairing than what DC has managed with Doomsday Clock and Heroes In Crisis.
At 5 is Heroes In Crisis the bizarre event comic no one knows quite what to make of.  It continues the so-so performance its now known for which is good for sales over 79k.  This one may have some impact felt but likely will be quickly forgotten shortly after it concludes.
Ray: This feels a lot more like a place-setting event than anything, setting up bigger things to spin out of it. The lack of major tie-ins has led to it being largely overshadowed, but I expect it’ll have big post-game effects like Identity Crisis.
Glenn: Continuing its odd random spikes and slides is Amazing Spider-Man which sells over 71.4k at 6 for issue 15 and over 64.1k at 11 for issue 16.  The latter is interesting because its the prelude to ‘Hunted’ the new Amazing writer’s first in title event which Marvel are trying to make like its a big deal like Spider-Verse or Ends Of The Earth or Spider-Verse or…well you get the idea.  Well its clearly not.  Why one issue is always higher than others.  Amazing has fallen into a very standard sales level which has come after years of it being built up.  If there were adverse effects creatively on sales, it likely would take a lot longer to show up in sales.  It continues to be a puzzle.
Ray: Hunted is the kind of mini-event that doesn’t really drive sales, especially since we’ve seen a lot of similar stories in better-regarded runs, but it is going to stabilize sales for the time being. We’ll see how the nonsense-numbered .Hu issues do next month.
Glenn: At 7 and 9 is Uncanny X-Men which has a 7.99 issue at 9 to celebrate Matt Rosenburg taking solo reigns and again despite everyone online saying otherwise, an expensive comic pays dividends as it sells over 66.9k.  Again we keep saying we don’t want expensive comics but Marvel is hardly going to give us something at 3.99 for what it can sell roughly the same at 7.99 for.  Those FOX purchases don’t pay for themselves you know.  The following issue sells slightly more at 68.6k so retailers likely ordered these around the same level for the ‘new’ run but again, this issue is sold at 3.99 and sold not even 2k more than one that was nearly $4 more so whats the lesson here?
Ray: It does feel like these two X-men relaunches – first the weekly and now the regular run – have revitalized the franchise after a rough few years. A back-to-basics focus on Cyclops and Wolverine helps too. Of course, now the rumors are that Jonathan Hickman’s return to Marvel will be taking over the X-Men, so nothing is ever stable around here.
Glenn: At 8 is the bigger winner of the Price crossover, Flash which probably gets that juice because a) Batman’s there and b) Heroes In Crisis has likely more implications for his own title and the first part sells over 67.7k and the second is at 16 selling over 60k.  Again we’re not at Button level bumps but 20k more than its usual numbers is nothing to sneeze at, we’ll see next month if any of those numbers stick around for the start of Williamson’s next big Flash story.
Rounding out the top ten is the start of sequel weekly series Avengers: No Road Home which sells over 64.5k then at 41 with sales over 36.3k and 34.8k at 45 for the other two issues next month.  Apart from the standard first issue bump, retailers have seemingly ordered this along the lines of the series predecessor like its one long story…which it is.  Grand numbers for an Avenger’s spin off not related to the Aaron main title and of course its likely to get a huge spike whenever well known Avenger, Conan shows up.
Ray: This sells pretty close to the main Avengers title, just a little below. Attrition will continue settling in over the run, but at only ten issues it’ll be over before it gets too low. I expect to see a lot more short-run weeklies like this and the X-men run in the future, because they work. Crom!
Glenn: So our entry point to the top ten is 64k which is the lowest in a while.  Yay?

Ray: Detective Comics continues to increase as it approaches #1000, with #999 selling about 2K more than #998. They’re at #12 and #15, selling in the 62-60K range. Impressive, very similar to what Action Comics and ASM did as they approached their anniversary. Next month’s numbers will be ridiculous, natch. 

At #13 is Daredevil #1, selling 61K from creative team Chip Zdarsky and Marco Chechetto. This is well above most of the Soule run and last month’s pointless filler event, but the second issue is down at #43, selling 35K. That’s still an increase, but rapidly approaching the level of the last run. Zdarsky’s critical acclaim aside, few of his books have been blockbusters and it’s been a while since a Daredevil run really rocked the sales charts. He’s a mid-level character for Marvel and he’ll usually perform like one.
Glenn: I remember a similar performance when both Waid and Soule’s run started, Daredevil seems to have a very set audience and there isn’t much to be done to increase it.  For the best part of 20 years, Daredevil has delivered some of the best creative runs at Marvel and the only time the company tried to shake things up is where it went awry so they know just to leave it be.
Ray: Right below at #14 is Wolverine: Infinity Watch #1 selling 61K. That’s only 2K above the finale of the previous Wolverine mini, Return of Wolverine – and it’s a sequel to both that and Infinity Wars. As the latest in a never-ending sequence of Wolverine miniseries and Infinity Stones miniseries, I think confused retailers have just stopped trying to order them as anything but the next issue.
Glenn: The luster of the return of the ‘real’ Wolverine seems to be wearing thing.  I hope Marvel doesn’t shoot themselves in the foot before they’re ready to give him his own ongoing once more.
Ray: Most of the top thirty is dominated by successful returning series this month, as Justice League, Fantastic Four, Superman, The Green Lantern, Avengers, The Walking Dead, and Action Comics all stay within the 55K to 45K range. This is the new comics A-list, such as it is, and they’re all delivering top performances for their company. One book that isn’t usually here, though, is Wonder Woman. It takes a big jump to land at #26/27 this month selling around 46K. That’s a jump of over 12K from last month’s issues, with no story-based explanation. G. Willow Wilson’s run finally got the attention and sales it deserves, it seems. It’s good to see this title return to the A-list.
Glenn: 2 years overdue but we’re finally here, great news for Wilson, DC and Wonder Woman fans!
Ray: The second Conan ongoing, Savage Sword of Conan, launches at #25 with sales of 47K. That’s about half of what Conan the Barbarian launched with last month, and this series is an anthology with a new creative team after this arc. The second issue sells 30K at #59, a decent slide but one that indicates it could face harsh waters as the months go on.
Glenn: It’ll depend how Marvel gages it, anything over the 15k mark is better than what Dark Horse could manage with the licence but they’ve hit us with a lot of Conan in very short order.  In classic Marvel fashion, they’re giving us too much at once and it’ll be hard for the books to find their feet as a result.
Ray: Guardians of the Galaxy has a moderate slide this month to #30 for its second issue, selling 43K. That’s well above what the title was doing under its last few runs, but a little below what I expected from Cates’ next big project. Maybe a lot of Venom’s insane success is the character and Stegman.
Glenn: Maybe not having the majority of the movie team too?  Could be a result of the Guardians overkill Marvel put us through some years back (see above point about Conan) this could be the best a Guardians book can manage after all that.
Ray: The Age of X-Man mini-event kicked off in earnest this month, and the sales results show it’s destined to play second fiddle to Uncanny X-Men. The flagship miniseries, Marvelous X-Men, sells 42K at #31, but the other debuts are far lower, with Amazing Nightcrawler and Nextgen both selling 32K at 50/51 and X-tremists selling 30K at #56. These are all five-issue miniseries, so the sales could get pretty hairy by the end.
Glenn: I don’t know what any of this is.  If Marvel wanted it to be a big deal, then its a disappointment especially weighed against the major Spider-Man crossovers Slott put together but if its basically a second X-Book disguised as an event, then its fine.  The colour relaunch of yesteryear seemed to be more stable overall but what do we know?
Ray: More long-running successes like Thor, Star Wars, Immortal Hulk, and Captain America are hanging around between #30 and #40, all selling 40K or a little below. It seems Shazam is destined to join them, selling 37K this month at #38. It’s displayed impressive stability since its launch.
Three top titles from last month all slide to around the same point this month, with Conan the Barbarian landing its third issue at #37, selling 38K; Captain Marvel selling 37K at #39; and Young Justice selling 37K at #40. While the results are similar, the first two have fallen from 100K+ in sales and YJ’s second-issue drop is less than 50%. While Conan is a successful new franchise and Captain Marvel finally has a mid-level hit title, Young Justice looks to have finally revitalized DC’s young heroes after years of disarray.
Glenn: That’s great for Captain Marvel especially, usually post issue 1 the sales go sour fast.  I give big props to the creative team but yes I’m sure the movie helped too
Ray: The two newest Spider-spin-offs finally switch places this month, with Miles Morales landing at #44 with sales of 35K and Superior slipping to #55 with sales of 31K. I’m not sure if this is retailer adjustments based on results or just statistical noise, but both seem like they’re going to be healthy for a while.
Glenn: Them selling closely is great for Ock but not maybe so great for Miles.  They will both justify their existence at around this level though and Marvel must be happy since we’re getting more Spidey related books coming in the middle of the year.
Ray: The two Age of Republic one-shots this month sell 32K and 30K respectively at #49 and #57, but what surprises me is Count Dooku outselling Anakin Skywalker. Maybe people REALLY don’t like Kid Vader.
Glenn: Maybe people were more interested by Dooku who didn’t get much spotlight in the films?  Its hard to tell.
Ray: Old Man Quill, the latest sequel set in the Old Man Logan universe, sells 31K at #52. That’s about 7K above where Old Man Hawkeye ended, so this franchise should remain pretty stable. The second issue lands at #82 selling 21K. Bring on old man Rocket scooting around in a tank, please.
Glenn: This little universe seems to do okay for itself, depending on trade sales and such we could continually see various other characters in this settling for a while before the novelty fades entirely.
Ray: The latest Millarworld/Netflix Comics debut from Mark Millar lands at #52, as Sharkey the Bounty Hunter with Simone Bianchi sells 31K. That’s a lot lower than recent books like Prodigy or The Magic Order, and the concept seemed pretty generic and wasn’t matched with much hype in advance. I doubt this is a future movie or TV series.
Glenn: This one kind of snuck up on people, I’m not sure if maybe the deal with Netflix means that they can’t do much advanced hype.  This is Bianci’s first interior work in a long time at a US company I think and he used to be a big deal so I’m surprised orders weren’t higher.  Maybe retailers are finding that customers aren’t interested in these Netflix comics since they know an adaption is coming?  Still Millar does command a decent audience where he won’t need to go back to work for anyone else ever again.
Ray: The obligatory Captain Marvel one-shot to tie in with the movie, subtitled Braver & Mightier, lands at #61 with sales of 28K. That’s well higher than the usual performance of these tie-ins, and I put a lot of that on Jody Houser’s pull compared to Ralph Macchio. He’ll be back in action for future tie-ins, it seems.
The third issue of Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man lands at #63, selling 27K. This really feels like a case of retailers massively missing the boat and I’m expecting major reorders and adjustments down the line.
Glenn: Hope so, the books great.  It seems to be falling a lot faster than the Zdarskey book did, maybe they should have given Taylor that book rather than force us into another pointless restart.
Ray: The third Wonder Comics title, Wonder Twins, makes its debut at #64 with sales of 27K. That’s better than expected and higher than Naomi did last month. This could be the characters having some leftover nostalgia from the 60s, but Mark Russell and Stephen Byrne might also be developing a fanbase. (More on Russell lay-tor)
#67 brings us the launch of the massively controversial Female Furies miniseries, selling 26K. I imagine a lot of these sales are due to the higher profile of Big Barda thanks to Mister Miracle, but this is a very different book and a rough read. If it even finishes its run, it’ll be pretty low by the end.
We saw Wonder Woman finally get the sales bump it deserved, but it hasn’t quite happened for Aquaman yet. It sells 26K at #68. That’s essentially flat from last month – impressive, but Kelly Sue DeConnick’s run has yet to pick up buzz in sales.
Glenn: DC has had Aquaman as somewhat of a pet project with them trying various things to gain interest and continually not getting what they would like. Its hard to think what more they could do.
Ray: We were shocked last month by Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s low performance, but it has one of the more impressive retention feats I’ve ever seen. It sold 31K last month and 24K this month at #71, which puts it just above Firefly. It seems clear that the Whedonverse books are destined to be Boom’s biggest hits.
Glenn: I felt it would have a minimal drop, we might even see a boost for issue 4 which is hyping a major death and departure from the show.
Ray: After a lot of business as usual, the next comic of note is the $9.99 100-page special “Man and Superman“, a lost story from the archives by Marv Wolfman and Claudio Castellini. From three relaunches ago, it sells 19K at #85 – an impressive performance from an out-of-continuity retelling of Superman’s earliest days in Metropolis. I hope this encourages DC to release more stand-alone stories like this.
Glenn: Like I said on the Stew (Dong!) its great to see DC still using legendary creators like Wolfman and them being able to produce comics that people are interested in reading.
Ray: This month’s True Believers wave is Captain Marvel, tying in with the movie (shocking!). The top-seller is the debut of Ms. Marvel, which sells 19K at #91. Pretty impressive for selling old comics to people in a new format.
Glenn: This is the biggest exposure the characters ever had in the mainstream.  Given how cheap the comics are, retailers likely felt it was a safe bet to have some on hand for those that saw the movie and wanting more.
Ray:  Speaking of selling old comics in a new way, the $7.99 Marvels Annotated release sells just under 19K at #94. Given how many times this has been released and the high price tag, it just goes to show the enduring power of this book. One of comics’ all-time greats.
Glenn: Sales are good enough that we’re getting a new chapter to boot.  This is one of Marvel’s strongest library performers so this being able to sell this well despite it being in print through various different formats forever is impressive.
Ray: Speaking of Mark Russell, his second launch of the month is at #98 – Red Sonja #1 from Dynamite, selling just under 18K. This is a stronger than usual debut for new Dynamite properties, especially since Red Sonja has been running consistently without any real buzz ever since Gail Simone left. Russell’s unique sensibilities and eclectic choice of comics have come a long way since Prez was completely ignored by retailers.
Glenn: Absolutely, this is the strongest Sonja launch we’ve seen in years.  Like we’ve seen over the last year or so, Dynamite have been making a real effort to get some great creators on their properties and it seems to be paying off.

Losing just a little over half its sales for its second issue is Black Widow at 101 with sales over 17.5 and I actually expected worse.  If memory serves this isn’t that much lower than what Waid/Samnee delivered on the character so there could be some room for some stability here but since the book was missing from Marvel’s June solicitations it seems like its already been jettisoned.
Ray: Black Widow came in without fanfare, and left the same way, it seems.
Glenn:  Image’s Die has settled into one of the companies top performers with sales over 17.5 at 103, well deserved for a fantastic series.
Ray: Die is following basically the exact same sales trajectory as Gideon Falls starting moderately high and then finding its level ridiculously quickly. They’re also both excellent books designed to scare the living daylights out of us. I don’t want to play D&D in the barn, Glenn…
Glenn: It’ll be fine, Ray just let me check who that is in my driveway holding the scissors and wearing a red jumpsuit…
A very promising start sales wise from Vertigo’s new High Level title which sells over 16.8k at 104 which puts it at a really good Image launch which is surprising.  Not sure what’s drawn people here but I’m sure DC won’t ask too many questions.
Ray: This is pretty similar to other Vertigo launches like American Carnage and the book we shall not name, and I’m guessing part of the success here is artist Barnaby Bagenda. He drew a little book called Omega Men, which has become a modern classic thanks to its writer, obscure indie creator Tom King.
Glenn: That’ll be it then!
No big surprise for the second issue of the new Criminal to find its level super promptly at 109 with sales over 16.1, like we said last month, retailers know by now who the buyers for this series are.
At 113 is the second issue of Naomi which has now been converted to a first season mini.  With sales of over 15.8k I’m not too surprised.  I’m going to wager she’ll probably only continue to be featured in Young Justice, unless Bendis really, really wants to bring her back in her own book.
Ray: It seems all the Wonder Comics books save Young Justice are now miniseries, so we’ll likely see a lot of concepts go in and out and see what stick
Glenn: At around here is the rest of the Captain Marvel True Believers which all sell around the 15-11k mark.  That’s a better average than some of the bigger characters have managed but these stories probably haven’t been as heavily reprinted.
I remember when Kevin Smith writing comics was a big deal, he made best sellers out of Dardevil and Green Arrow but time has trucked on and things have changed.  Sales of over 15k at 118 aren’t dreadful but given his power in the past, it was likely all involved would have liked more.
Ray: That is shockingly low for a new #1 for Kevin Smith, even if it is just a relaunch of Hit-Girl one month after the previous series ends. A weird number that shows his heyday in comics is far behind him – and so is the character’s, likely.
Glenn: Another of the kooky throwback books from Marvel this month, Love Romances (how appropriate for February!) sells over 14.5k at 121.  Romance comics are not seen a lot in the market so this doing this well is probably as better than the company could hope for.  Gunhawks which is more of your old school western sells over 13.5k at 127, nothing to write home about but given they’re just throwaway one shots these aren’t the worst sales imaginable.
Ray: All of these except Al Ewing’s horror one-shot last month have disappointed. Can’t wait to see the numbers for Ziggy Pig and Silly Seal next month.
Glenn: At 135 is the second issue of Fight Club 3 which sells over 12.6k which is quite a fair margin of distance when you look at Fight Club 2‘s sales but this is pretty standard Dark Horse numbers so its not disastrous.  It seems that people who read Fight Club 2 weren’t interested in another round.
Decent numbers for last months Captain Marvel which sells another 11.7k at 143, this run definitely seems to be the winner Marvel’s wanted from the character for a few years.
Ray: That’s really impressive for Captain Marvel reorders, really showing some buzz for the property. And far from the last reorder we’ll see this month…
Glenn: Another set of reorders for a major launch from last month in Cates Guardians at 156 with sells 10.6k+ more copies.  It might not be the runaway freight train that Venom is but it certainty seems to have a solid amount of interest and is likely to be a fixture of Marvel’s upper tier of books for the run.
Even MORE reorders, this time for Marvel Comics Presents which sells another 9.8+k at 163 and I’m genuinely surprised by this one.  I’m not sure what but it seems to be working so there you go.
Ray: Yeah, this book got ZERO buzz at launch, so I’m really struggling to see what was driving the reorders here. Maybe because it’s Soule writing more Wolverine?
Glenn: Could be, we’ll see if future issues pick up steam as a result
DC has those sweet reorders too with Batman Who Laughs showing up again at 177 which is good for sales over 8.1k.  Usually reorders of this amount 2 months later is unheard of and the last things DC managed that with were Rebirth and Doomsday Clock so yeah, this guy isn’t going anywhere.
Ray: This is the biggest runaway character hit in years, hands down. It feels like he’s out of DC’s control now. It’s the Batman who Laughs’ world now, we just live in it.
Glenn: At 184 is a new Valient launch in Incursion with sales over 7.6k which is within the normal level of the companies launches for the most part.
Ray: Given that Incursion is a mini-event continuing the Geo-Mancer storyline, and Forgotten Queen is a period-piece side story focusing on one of the villains from Unity, I would have expected a bigger delta between the two.
Glenn: I understand what all these things are *nods*
Given that it cost 7.99 and is all reprinted material I would say Marvel Presents Black Widow is a bigger success than the characters new series at 186 with sales over 7.5k.  Marvel’s skill at us making us pay for the same thing over and over is something to behold.
Another Valient launch at 189 with sales over 7.4k for Forgotten Queen.  See comments for Incursion above.
An all ages book with too long a title, Marvel Super-Heroes Adventures Spider-Man Web Of Intrigue has sales over 7.2k at 192 which is fine for a throwaway all ages one shot that is going to be aimed at other markets.
Getting double the Bruce Campbell for your money Bubba Ho Tep vs Army Of Darkness sells over 7.1k at 193 and its comics like this that make me want to stand up and salute how crazy Dynamite can still be sometimes.
Ray: When they’re not giving us brilliant creator-owned runs, their bread and butter is bizarre crossovers and rock stars fighting demons. 

At #196 is the only Image debut of the month besides Hit-Girl: Season 2, Vindication. This crime-and-punishment serial from Top Cow only sells 6.7K, which is very low but not a surprise given the lack of any recognizable creators and the poor reviews.
Glenn: Top Cow also sells a lot less than mainline Image stuff too, the last big hit they had was Wanted and even that took years and a movie adaption to get buzz
Ray: Another bizarre example of Marvel selling us the same books over and over again is at #200, as Dazzler #1 Facsimile Edition sells 6.6K. I didn’t even know there was a Dazzler series originally.
Glenn: There was back in the day aye when every character could hold their own. Spider-Pig Facsimile when?!
Ray: #201 brings us the latest Berger Book, Girl in the Bay #1 by JM DeMatteis. It sells 6,5K, which seems in line with recent Berger Books, but it makes me sad that DeMatteis’ books don’t sell better. I think the G. Willow Wilson/Christian Ward book will be the big test for this line next month.
Glenn: I’m hoping it picks up some steam in trades. Given the single sales of the Berger books have been iffy at best but they still get put out, one would presume they are selling well in that format.
Ray: GI Joe: Sierra Muerte launches at #202 from IDW, selling 6.5K. This is in line with past GI Joe comics from the company, but this miniseries stands out due to art and story from Michel Fiffe. The creator of COPRA has a big cult audience, but I think it’s more likely to find it in trade.
Worth noting that the two James Bond books, 007 by Greg Pak and Origin by Jeff Parker, have leveled out to the exact same level. They’re at 210/211 selling 6.2K each. This is a good, restrained attempt at a franchise form Dynamite, so they might be learning – no more four alternate takes at the same time like they used to do with Shadow or Green Hornet.
Glenn: It also shows a pretty set fanbase for the property regardless of creators or direction so yeah, they’ll adjust accordingly.
Ray: At #214 selling 6.1K is Stronghold, the latest launch from Aftershock. This religious conspiracy thriller about an amnesiac God is by top creators Phil Hester and Ryan Kelly, but unless you’re an A-lister, good luck getting your Aftershock book to sell much. This company continues to puzzle me with their struggles, given the top names they get on board every month.
The two long-running all-ages books from Marvel continue to truck along despite rock-bottom sales, with Impossible Wasp #5 (in the middle of a critically acclaimed storyline about mental illness) selling 5.8K at #217 and Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur selling 5.6K at #224. These are clearly selling elsewhere if they keep going, which makes me wonder – how long before Marvel outsources them whole to IDW?
Glenn: That seems to be the way it will go, IDW will likely be a more economical option who will be able to provide to the audience that are keeping these titles arou
Ray: It’s apparently 1995 again, as Lady Death: Apocalyptic Abyss sells 5.3K from Coffin Comics at #229. That’s two spots above Vampirella Valentine’s Day Special selling 5.1K from Dynamite. It’s not Zenoscope, but I think we should strike up the Rachel Bloom anyway.
Glenn: I think she’d be okay with it
Ray: Another Aftershock launch at #233, as Ryan Parrot’s fantasy comic Oberon sells 5.1K. This seems to be the range between established creators and less-known names at Aftershock. Shame, because both this month’s launches were strong.
We cover this every month and I have no intention of stopping. Avatar: Tsu-Tey’s Path, the spin-off from the most successful movie of all time, is now below 5K in sales, selling 4.9K at #236. *Nelson Muntz gif*
#239 randomly brings us 4.8K in reorders from Amazing Spider-Man #789. I’m not sure what this issue was, but maybe it’s just nostalgia for when this title was good?
Glenn: Its that or more excess stock shenanigans but that is rather high for that. Random.
Ray: The video game spin-off Anthem from Dark Horse sells 4.3K at #245. I believe this launched to tie in with the game’s launch, so maybe it doesn’t have the established audience yet to be a hit tie-in.
Glenn: I don’t think the game has been that well received either, these things are always a roll of the dice when companies like Dark Horse get into the licencing game.
Ray: Spider-Gwen #25 gets another 4.2K in reorders at #248. Another case of nostalgia for a bygone run, although Ghost Spider does seem to be getting a good reception.
I’m really puzzled by how low Hardcore is selling, landing at #249 selling 4.1K. That’s thrill spots below the final issue of the mediocre fantasy series Rose. Diggle’s a popular creator and it has Kirkman’s name on the cover, so I’m not sure what went wrong with this body-swapping action thriller.
Glenn: I think not having Kirkman’s direct involvement hurts it and Diggle has been struggling to recover since his Daredevil days which is a shame since he is a very good writer. These days he seems to be just getting gigs writing other people’s properties.
Ray: No real momentum for Peter Cannon Thunderbolt, as Kieron Gillen’s Watchmen pastiche sells 4.1K at #255 for its second issue. The writer alone should have been enough to get this to sell higher, but I guess the name didn’t ring enough bells for retailers to make the Watchmen connection. Watch for this one to be a sleeper in trade.
Glenn: Especially when you would think retailers could sub it in for those patiently waiting on Doomsday Clock. It clearly just didn’t get the press it needed and will def earn its way in trade.
Ray: A lot of regular low-selling books from Image, Dark Horse, and Dynamite here until we get to #266 where Naomi #1 sells an additional 3.6K copies. That shows some extra interest in Bendis and Walker’s original concept, but probably not enough to shift things dramatically for retailers. New concepts in the Big Two are a hard sell – ask Damage and Brimstone, if you can find them.
#268 brings us the launch of Battlestar Galactica: Twilight Command from Dynamite, selling 3.6K. This is one of their niche properties, appealing to a limited audience of die-hard fans.
It’s a double-dose of boobie comics! Robyn Hood: Outlaw launches at #271 with 3.5K, followed three spots later by the Grimm Fairy Tales Annual with 3.4K. You know what to do, Glenn!
Glenn: Most other months, these Zenescope books would have maybe scraped through, just shows how slow a month it is
Ray:  Lot of reorders down here, starting with 3.4K in reorders for the first issue of Conan the Barbarian at #275. The second also has 2.8K in reorders at #294. After that, there’s quite a few random reorders for issues of Detective Comics, Peter Parker: Spectacular Spider-Man, and Immortal Hulk.
Exciting Comics #1 from Antarctic Press launches with 3.3K in sales at #283. This seems to be a new shared universe starting with Sexy Lady Zorro in Red. ‘Kay.
Glenn: It didn’t seem to gather much excitement, how ironic
Ray: Speaking of sexy ladies, Zodiac #1 launches from Zenoscope at #285 with 3.2K in sales. This appears to be a high-fantasy set in the Arthurian age. Zenoscope always manages to surprise.
Glenn: How odd, retailers probably didn’t know what to make of it either
Ray: Barbie’s been a top toy franchise for over half a century, but I don’t know if she’s ever had a comic before. That changes this month as Barbie #1 launches from Papercutz by writer Sarah Kuhn. Kuhn is an acclaimed young adult author who is also writing the Cass Cain OGN for DC next year, but this only manages 2.9K at #293. This clearly isn’t one for the direct market.
Glenn: This one will definitely be making a boat load of money elsewhere cause its Barbie and there’s a reason she’s stuck around for this long and gets to have Margot Robbie play her.
Ray: 2.7K in reorders for Young Justice #1 at #299 as we exit the top 300. Lucky #300 book this month is Vampblade, from the world that brought us Zombie Tramp. Into the breach, Glenn…
Glenn: Vampblade sounds like a made up name for someone fan fiction character to feature in Buffy or somesuch. Given its in the same universe as Zombie Tramp, that could be on purpose.

Some reorders for the new Champions run which sells another 2.6+k at 302, doesn’t seem like retailers missed their estimate with first months orders but its better than nothing. I wouldn’t imagine this franchise to be surviving much longer and Young Avengers returning will probably be where it ends.
IDW’s Punks Not Dead: London Calling launches at 307 with sales over 2.3k despite a pretty decent premise. The names aren’t anything to write home about and its under IDW’s Black Crown label which always deliver subpar sales. I would assume since we continually get Black Crown books despite their single issue status, they’re performing well for the company elsewhere.
Ray: This is the second volume of Punk’s Not Dead, which essentially means the second arc. Retailers probably didn’t order this like a real premiere, so the super-low numbers make sense. IDW’s creator-owned market is rough as a whole, though.
Glenn: The first issue of BOOM’s new take on Buffy The Vampire Slayer gets reorders over 2.2k at 312. This again indicates retailers predicted this one pretty well but it seems to have stabelized a lot faster than Champions and will do good business once collection outside the direct market.
Likening itself to DC’s Elseworlds or Marvel What If’s, Aspen Visions Fathom: Spinning Our Fate are alternate takes on some of the companies better known characters. The sales over 2.1k at 315 indicate this is one for the most die hard of the already minimal audience the company has left.
Another video game tie-in at 317 in Crackdown which sells over 2k. The latest installment in this franchise has been much delayed and seems to have underwhelmed fans so this is no surprise.
Some reorders from Superior Spider-Man’s first issue at 322 with over 1.9k additional sales. Its not much but its nice to see still to have it get some attention even a few months after its debut.
The new BOOM series Avant-Guards seems to fall into Ray’s  ‘come on people’ category with the second issue delivering sales over 1.9k, it’ll do well once collected but it seems that all ages sports type stories don’t appeal.
RayAvant-Guards seems to be aimed as the same audience as their low-selling Giant Days, which sells a similar 1.8K this month but is past its fiftieth issue. It doesn’t even feel like Boom is playing in this market anymore aside from the Whedonverse – they make their money elsewhere. 
Glenn: Wrath Eternal Warrior from Valient seems to be something in the vein of Marvels True Believers where its an old comic charged for $1, it doesn’t entice people despite this only selling over 1.9k at 324. I would say more people will be willing to check out a new creative direction than a random throwback issue where Valient is concerned.
A fantasy comic from Scout, Wulfborne catches little interest at 326 with sales over 1.9k, pretty standard for the company really.
Ray: This was described by the solicitations as Adventure Time meets Hellboy with elements of Greek Myth, which is certainly a unique combo. Scout tends to struggle unless it has murderous bunnies.
Glenn:  A collection of old Archie Comics titled Archie & Friends Music Jam sells over 1.9k at 327, this type of stuff from Archie doesn’t depend on the direct market at all so its moot really.
Some reorders for White Widow from Red Giant which picks up over 1.8k additional sales at 332, whether its genuine interest or retailers thinking they missed out on the Black Widow/White Rabbit series the market desperately needs it is good news for such a small company to get any reorders.
WW2 era comics Devils from Antartic Press sells over 1.8k at 336, pretty much what you can expect from a small publisher with two unknown creators.
There’s a comic at 338 but given the creator involved and a recent soliciation they’ve made, I’m choosing to ignore it cause its our article and if I want to ignore someone, I can.
Ray: Yeah, that dude’s random gags are a lot less funny all of a sudden.
Glenn: Lots of reorders and small selling indie books until we get to 352 which is Trump Titans Vs. The End which sells over 1.6k. I have a comic I wrote called Sparks: The Way I Was, please go buy it so it sells more that this.
Ray: I will endorse the call to buy more Sparks.
Glenn: Sweetie which sells over 1.5k from Action Lab at 361 and Honor and Cave from Mad Lab (?!??!?!) at 365 selling over 1.4k are two more small press creator owned books struggling to find an audience in an overstuffed market.
Ray: I think Sweetie at least deserves more attention – it’s an oddball martial arts comedy about a kid obsessed with fighting who becomes a vigilante. Like Hit-Girl if it was fun.
Glenn: Theshold Allure from Avatar is a first issue ‘nude’ which means I’m not going to google it, it sells over 1.3k at 368. Its priced at 7.99 and I’m pretty sure there’s certain magazines out there that are a lot cheaper that have you know…real woman in them that would be better sellers.
Randomly at 369 is Generations Spider-Man with Marvel throwing out over 1.3k copies of the book to random retailers to get rid of leftovers. Anyone remember Generations? Nope, me either. There’s a lot of Marvel stock shifting around here that they think no one is crazy to look for down this low. WE’RE ONTO YOU MARVEL!
Ray: Generations: Spider-Man was the most important of the Generations one-shots, with a Peter/Miles team-up that has shades of Spider-Verse. So there might be a little real interest there unlike so many of the reorders.
Glenn: The Amazing World Of Gumball from Kaboom which is based on a cartoon that is apparently something that exists sells over 1.3 at 370. This has some notable creators involved but again, this one isn’t for your local LCS but since its 7.99 I don’t see many parents being eager to buy it for their kid that watches whatever this is instead of watching She-Ra or Gravity Falls or Avatar (the good one) or…
Weird sounding God Of Bad Men from Amigo Comics (?!?!?!??!?!) sells over 1.1k at 386, they’re probably just happy to be here.
The non nude version of Theshold Allure shows up at 391 selling over 1.1k. Its priced at 5.99 making it 2 dollars cheaper than the nudey one. By Grabthar’s hammer, what a savings.
The excess stock shifting gets weird at 401 with Cage from Marvel, I’m not sure if this is the MAX series from back in the day or the mini from Samurai Jack creator Genndy Tartakovsky but either way…wha? It had over 1k Marvel leaded to unload to some poor confused comic retailers. Yes we’re at 1k at just over 400 on the chart, no YOU need help/
Ray: I believe this is the recent Tartakovsky miniseries, which was out of continuity. This is very clearly a dumping-grounds month.
Glenn: Silver Sprocket (?!?!?!?!!?) releases Magical Beatdown which seems to be Sailor Moon meets Sin City which sells 996. Reads very much like for a specialist audience who likely got it through other means.
Ray: I believe Silver Sprocket puts out oversized comics done in an indie/zine style. I’ve never read one of them, but they’re trying something new and I’m glad they’re building a bit of an audience. That’s the rare bright spot of digging down here – seeing some small companies crawl their way up.
Glenn: Cave Pictures (?!?!?!?) releases George MacDonalds Light Princess at 429 which sells 921 copies. This is apparently some old Scottish Fairy Tale written/adapted by Meredith Finch. With her name attached I thought it might have managed to crack four figures but there you go…
I swear I’m not making these up, Cavewoman, A Wizard, A Sorceress and Meriem from Amryl (?!?!?!?!?!?!?!) sells 909 copies. The company also releases Cavewoman Razor’s Run at 447 selling 861 copies so I guess this is some sort of shared universe? I’m tired.
Ray: The SexyCaveLadyVerse. Not to be confused with the SexyFairyTaleLadyVerse.
Glenn:  So much stock dumping down here. SO MUCH!
Ray:  The stock dumping is REALLY bizarre this month. Random issues of Weapon X or Hydra Cap, crossovers from two years ago like Venomverse, low-selling comics like America. All getting about 800 to 900 additional orders out of nowhere. Some other books get reorders like Flash, but they’re current and make a bit of sense. Marvel is a puzzle. 

There’s even 752 reorders for Uncanny X-Men 3D at #472. That’s a reorder of a reprint from almost thirty years ago!
A rare new comic – of sorts – at #475, with American Mythology Archives: Three Stooges #1 selling 738 copies. I believe this is a reprint of their first Three Stooges comic, which apparently has an audience. Are they going to crossover with Bettie Page at Dynamite next?
We get a few indie reorders down here too, including Ogre #1 selling an additional 705 copies at #482.
It’s almost entirely Marvel reorders here with a few oddball comics like Belladonna: Fire and Fury, but the #500 comic amuses me – it’s a reorder of a True Believers reprint as Conan: Secret of Skull River clocks in at 629 extra copies. So ends the oddest month we’ve had on this column since we moved to a top 500.
Glenn: I think it nearly broke us but we made it!
Ray:  After an uneventful month, next month is likely to blow the doors off with a huge #1 comic – both in size and numbers. We saw the ridiculous performance of Action Comics #1000. Can Detective Comics #1000 beat it? We’ll see. DC also has the final new Wonder Comics launch in Dial H for Hero, the likely six-figure selling The Grim Knight one-shot, and a new issue of Doomsday Clock. Good chance DC takes the top three next month with ease.
Marvel is holding its powder for a month with War of the Realms slated to bow in April and dominate the field. They do have quite a few launches, including the return of their newest hit character in Cosmic Ghost Rider Destroys Marvel History, the alien infiltration comic Meet the Skrulls, the return of Gail Simone with Domino: Hotshots, and a new Star Wars miniseries in Darth Vader: Dark Visions. Ms. Marvel also relaunches with a new #1 and writer, Conan’s partner Belit gets her own miniseries, and two promising new Spider-Man miniseries launch – including Chip Zdarsky’s Spider-Man: Life Story.
Over in indieland, Mags Visaggio and G. Willow Wilson both launch new comics from Dark Horse. New Image launches like Assassination Nation and Little Bird debut, and we get the return of Lazarus from Greg Rucka and Michael Lark.
What will rise? What will fall? Just how much will Detective Comics crush the competition? Find out next time on By the Numbers!
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