Author Archives: glennmatchett

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

By The Numbers: January 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 Outre Press, Alterna Comics and Nemesis Studios. If you think Glenn’s an okay dude please check out his new one shot Sparks: The Way I Was on Comixology here!

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.  Thinking that Glenn is indeed an okay dude, Ray also wants people in the UK to know they can buy Sparks: The Way I Was here!

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 to the first sales chart for January 2019 fellow comic fans!  Its very late this month and I’m sure you’re all bursting with curiosity to find out what exactly is going on in the first month of the year sales wise so lets get groovin’.

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The top selling book of the month is the same book that was top last month in the hugely successful Batman Who Laughs mini which sells over 116.8k which is insanely great.  Its no surprise that DC is doubling down and giving the character his own book in the coming months given how much of a life he’s taken on after Metal. I could see the title continue to deliver 6 figures or close to that for the rest of the run.  Normally that would guarantee a top 5 spot or top ten at least but War Of The Realms is coming with its gazillion tie-ins so its unclear how that will mess up the charts during its duration.  Of course, good sales (or great sales) are still the same regardless of chart placement.

Ray: I think a good amount of this is the creative team. This being Snyder’s final main-line Batman story for the time being, aside from the future-set Last Knight on Earth, it’s driving a lot of sales. But the character obviously has an enormous fanbase as well and there’s a good chance it’ll stay above 100K for the entire run. The character is probably the biggest hit new character since Spider-Gwen, and I think DC will be a lot more careful with managing their rollout.
Glenn: Agreed, its unlikely we’ll see much of the character outside of the use of Snyder and Tynion and they seem to be hinting at an end game plan for him.
I’m hugely surprised by the numbers behind the newest Captain Marvel launch at 2 with sales over 111.3k.  First instinct is that I shouldn’t be given the movie is coming and Kelly Thompson is writing but Marvel hasn’t been treating poor Carol particularly well while they’ve been killing time waiting for the movie to hit.  Multiple relaunches, iffy creative and whatever Civil War II was has not been kind but despite all of that, we get a great launch for the book.  I think this is huge testiment to Kelly Thompson and the faith that retailers have in the potential crossover market from the Marvel movies.  Where it goes from here is unclear it could really go anywhere between the 40-20k range and the closer to the former number would be preferable and is definitely possible with this creative team.  We’ll see.
Ray:  This is far and away the best we’ve ever seen a Captain Marvel book do. That’s a sort of black swan combining the movie, the character’s extended push from Marvel, and a writer whose stock is rising VERY fast and people have wanted to see take the character on for a long time. Given how Marvel books usually do, I’m expecting a steep drop for issue #2, but I think it’ll level out quickly. Marvel should hope for a similar trajectory to Coates’ Black Panther here. 
Glenn:  Another megawatt creative team on a property that has been languishing, Donny Cates and Geoff Shaw come to the Guardians to reinvent the team which is good for sales over 104.9k at 3.  Its astonishing to continually see how essential Cates continues to be to Marvel in very quick fashion.  Given the stand out character he co-created in Cosmic Ghost Rider is here and how his Venom run has gained huge momentum this could settle in the 50-60k range which would make it one of Marvel’s top ongoings and miles ahead from where the title was previously.
Ray: The previous run struggled in sales and ended with the interminable (still technically not over!) Infinity Wars event, so this feels like a return to form for the property. The addition of Cates and Cosmic Ghost Rider probably makes up for the loss of 3/5th of the movie team (especially Rocket!). I think it’ll drop hard with the second issue, but stay well above the 20K range of the last run’s final regular issues. They’re hoping for a performance like Venom, no doubt, and I think it’ll be a little short of that.
Glenn:  Another Marvel launch, another megawhat team but this time its a new property…or at least new to Marvel for the first time in a while in Conan The Barbarian.  They’ve placed (arguably) their top writer on it in Jason Aaron and been hyping it to death which  is enough to get it the 4th spot in the charts with sales over 100.9k which is phenomenal for the title given how it performed at Dark Horse.  However the second issue also charts this month at 46 with sales over 37.9k.  Quite a drop in the same month but of course still much better than what it was doing previously.  This isn’t like Star Wars that took 5 years to settle down at the 40kish range, Conan is a much more niche title so it’ll have different expectations.  If can stay around this level, it’ll be great but we’re getting a flood of Conan in the months to come from Marvel including a second ongoing, a mini and him on an Avengers team (?!?!??!?!).  That’s a lot of Conan to thrust on the market, whether it’ll have an impact on the main book or not is hard to tell.  Marvel is being Marvel and doing the most they can with a property in their roster, whether it will benefit them long term or not is hard to tell.
Ray: Amazing debut, but pretty standard second issue for Conan. For a Conan title this is just fine and should level out quickly based on Aaron’s name. But I would say this should worry Marvel a lot about all those spinoffs. I could see several of them crashing hard, especially the secondary book (which might be an anthology given the quick creative team change) and the Belit miniseries. But Savage Avengers will do fine – it’s as much a Venom and Wolverine title as a Conan one.
Glenn: I forgot about Venom being a part of the Savage Avengers.  It’ll be interesting to see how he fares as a sales factor without Cates and I’m sure Marvel are curious too.
Amazing Spider-Man continues to be an oddity in the charts, it places 5 this month and is the highest selling existing ongoing with sales over 91.6k for issue 14 which is phenomenal but then issue 13 is lower at…well 13 with sales over 66.3k and a 30k difference in sales is…weird.  I’d maybe be more understanding if 14 is the start of the much hyped ‘Hunted’ story line but it isn’t.  I don’t know what to make of the book at the moment…in more ways than one.
Ray: There’s been a lot of weird fluctuations with this title, jumping a lot for no apparent reason. I’m guessing it’s incentive covers. But the title’s regular issues keep dropping, now down to the mid-60K range. Hunted could be a mixed bag – while it’s an event of sorts, it also turns the title into a weekly for all practical purposes and could speed up the shedding of sales.
Image result for amazing spider-man 14 2019
Glenn: Its also odd to see a return of the oddly numbered ‘point’ issues which are a thing that never took off for Marvel despite them really, really wanting them too.  The tie ins run the risk of performing poorly and further diluting Amazing’s brand.
What does make sense is Batman which continues its slow decrease and comes ever closer to the rest of the charts in terms of numbers.  At 6 and 7 it sells over 90.6k and 83.6k respectfully.  Crossover with the Flash title in ‘The Price’ might see a boost back up but we’ll probably not see a continual increase in sales until the ‘Knightmare’ story is ever.  The following story which seems to feature the Batman version of Thomas Wayne in it will be enough to spice things up again sales wise.  It could be though with War Of The Realms that Batman might lose its long steady top ten position.
Ray: Bigger than usual mid-month drop for Batman, with no obvious reason except that #62 is a Mitch Gerads guest issue. The artist behind Mister Miracle may have given it a bounce. But next month’s crossover should be big and the return of Thomas Wayne Batman to the series in May will give it a boost.
Glenn:  Two issues of Heroes In Crisis this month at 8 and 9 meaning we get four Tom King titles in a row.  The issues sell over 82.1k and 79k so the difference in sales in minimal.  If this was a story about mental health in the super hero community I’d say it would be a big hit but as a big crossover which is meant to have major ramifications for the DC universe, its sub par.  We’ll not be seeing a Batman Who Laughs success story out of this one.
Ray:  It’s interesting – Heroes in Crisis started a lot lower than anyone expected, but attrition has been very good, almost on the level of Doomsday Clock. I think DC’s recent decision to keep events mostly centered in the main miniseries with minimal tie-ins has kept those books high – the core mini feels essential and there’s not a big buy-in.
Glenn: As opposed for $120 worth of War Of The Realms in May, oy.
At 10 is the launch of new Spider-Man title, Friendly Neighbourhood by Tom Taylor which sells over 78k.  The first volume of this title sold over 100k when it debuted and that was when there were already two other Spider-Man titles but Amazing wasn’t bi-weekly in those days and it was tying into the much hyped ‘The Other’ story.  Given how todays market book and ‘b’ titles will always have a ceiling, this is probably a bit better than expected.  The second issue is on the charts too selling over 32.4k at 63 2 which again seems about right.  Given how good the title is I’m hoping it can climb up some numbers over the coming months.  There’s a lot of Spider-Man out there at the moment with Amazing twice a month (plus all the Hunted tie ins), Spider-Gwen, Miles book and Otto’s book so it has to really fight to keep its place.  I hope it can manage it.

Ray:  I expected a bigger debut for Friendly, and I definitely think retailers missed the boat on that second issue. The Slott-esque tone has scratched the itch a lot of people had since #801 and reviews have been fantastic. This feels like it’ll be Tom Taylor’s breakout book and keep stable and growing if they don’t undercut it like they did with X-Men Red

A healthy debut for Wonder Comics at #11, as Young Justice #1 sells just under 74K. This is obviously a comparably great debut to what Teen Titans has been doing for the longest time, and the creative team of Bendis and Gleason is heavy-duty. But three of these characters have been gone for years – seven years is an eternity in comic time – and the DCU teen zone has been a disaster for a while. Still, it’s starting in a very good place to essentially take over for TT as the flagship young-heroes book. The line as a whole? Much less certain, and more on that lay-tor.
Glenn: I would have thought Young Justice has a top ten spot locked down but its not far off and as you indicate there’s a lot of baggage here to try to overcome.  If it can settle around the 50k mark (not that difficult I think) it’ll be grand.  Clearly Bendis has a lot of passion for the book so DC will get it to work regardless.
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Ray:  As usual, this is the part of the charts where we see long-running hit titles that have settled into their sales groove. There’s no new titles between #12 and #26, selling in the 67K to 50K range. The books up here are Fantastic Four, Amazing Spider-Man, Justice League, Venom, Return of Wolverine, The Green Lantern (firmly locking down here for the third month), Uncanny X-Men, Detective Comics, Superman, and Avengers. An odd mix, but this is the new comics A-list under Batman.
Glenn: These are the big two’s heavy hitters for sure.  Most of them will likely remain around this level in the months to come in, Venom may go up or down with War Of The Realms which loses Cates/Stegman but gets a nice shiny event crossover.  Its all a bit unpredictable.
Ray:  Uncanny X-Men in particular seems to have stabilized impressively, landing three issues in the top thirty and its annual selling #41K at #36. This new direction may be working, but we’ll see how it does when Rosenberg takes over as solo writer and the book goes biweekly.
At #27 is Web of Venom Unleashed, a one-shot written by series artist Ryan Stegman selling 47K. About 10K lower than the main series without Cates, but given that this was an issue about dog-Venom fighting giant spiders, I think we can safely say Venom is a franchise now.
Glenn: For sure and Marvel is now confident enough to give us one of these one shots without either of the main title’s creators.  As I alluded to above, with Venom’s placement on the Savage Avenger’s, its all gentle testing of the market by the company to see how much they can get out of the hit handed to them by Cates and Stegman.  This one shot didn’t read as an essential piece of Venom’s gooey puzzle so these numbers are great.
Ray:  The Justice League annual comes in at #28, selling 47K. That’s a good 13K lower than the main series, so retailers might have missed the boat given that this was the conclusion of the main story of the first arc. Expect some reorders here.
Glenn: I’m surprised given it was the writer(s) of the main series.  Perhaps there was some misunderstanding over who was producing this and what it was?  Reorders aplenty for sure.
Ray:  It’s almost unheard of to see Walking Dead this far down, but it clocks in at #30 selling 46K. It’s been a while since a big event to goose the sales, so we’ve seen some real attrition here. But as #200 approaches, we’ll see those sales climb again.
Glenn: With everything else in the market up in the air, Walking Dead can afford to bide its time.  A new character or story is enough to have it back on top.  No concerns here even though this is the lowest placement its done in years.
Ray:  Shazam holds pretty well for its second issue, selling 43K at #34. I’m not sure if it’s settled down fully yet, but if it holds around here that’s a definite win for a character who hasn’t had an ongoing series in what, twenty years? The power of Johns!
Glenn: I don’t see many other creators being able to do much better with the franchise.  We’ll see if the film helps any…likely not but hey you never know.
Ray:  #35 brings us the Age of X-Man: Alpha one-shot, which is leading into an alternate reality mini-event featuring the X-Men trapped in an odd mutant utopia. It sells 42K, which probably indicates middling sales for the upcoming six miniseries set in this world.
Image result for Age of X-Man: Alpha
Glenn: There seems to be a lot of odd mutant utopias.  Middling indifference has been the tale of the tape for X-Men for years so no big surprise.
Ray:  This is where we see the second wave of successful long-running books settle down, selling in the 45K-35K range. They include Thor, Action Comics, Flash, Star Wars (and most of the Age of Republic specials), Captain America, Immortal Hulk, Wonder Woman, Justice League Dark, and Catwoman. All of these books have secured themselves around the top fifty despite some tough competition.
Superior Spider-Man looks like it’s a hit for Marvel, with its second issue coming in at #47 and selling 37K. Otto is another character that’s become a real sleeper hit for Marvel in recent years, mainly thanks to Slott’s work. He also keeps his lead over Miles, who has the second issue of his new series at #57 selling just under 34K.
Glenn:  I guess we’ll see Otto break out in the next Spider-Verse movie perhaps?
Ray:  #48 brings the debut of Chip Zdarsky’s Invaders, selling 36K. That’s a pretty rough start for a book featuring Captain America and Winter Soldier, but the brand name doesn’t have much pull. Given the good reviews, this is one with potential to grow.
Glenn: Its the Invaders so it can only do so well but this has a lot of potential for a steady hold on where it is.  Despite being a great writer, Zdarskey doesn’t pull in big sales but delivers on consistency in his audience.
Ray:  The epilogue to Infinity Wars, simply titled “Infinity“, lands at #53 selling 35K. I thought this series already had an epilogue! This one leads into Wolverine: Infinity Watch, launching next month. They truly are the Infinity Stones!
Glenn: I have a feeling we’ll never stop talking about this.  I get wanting to have something to do with Infinity out there for Endgame coming but I feel burnt out by this event and I’m not even reading it
Ray:  In terms of a series having a rough debut this month, few were rougher than Black Widow, landing at #59 and selling 33K. Even Waid and Samnee couldn’t make the character a solo hit, but they at least launched at a healthy level. This new book by the Soska Sisters is likely to be eight and done.
Glenn: Kudos to Marvel for keep trying despite continually failing to make a thing work.  Maybe like Captain Marvel, Natasha will get her time to shine when Kelly Thompson writes her for a new relaunch in time for her own movie.
Ray:  Marvel had to kill time in the gap month for Chip Zdarsky’s Daredevil launch. The Jed McKay-penned “Man Without Fear” miniseries focusing on a broken Matt Murdock pushing away all his friends and allies didn’t connect with retailers, as the weekly makes its debut at #62, selling 33K. The other four issues sink further, landing at #75, 79, 80, 81. They’re selling about 26K by the end, and Zdarsky’s first issue of Daredevil should easily triple that next month.
Glenn: Oh man, what a waste of time this was.  Couldn’t they…just have not had a Daredevil book?  It reminds me of after Diggle’s run, they had a mini ‘Daredevil: Reborn‘ that was promptly pushed off a cliff when Waid came on the book.  Seems like history repeating itself except at least back then it served as somewhat of a wrap to Diggle’s run.  This was just putting it out there for the sake of it and the market responded appropriately.
Ray:  The Star Wars: Age of Republic Special sells well below the other issues of this mini-event, landing at #67 with sales of 31K. This is an anthology issue (that featured a Jar-Jar story for some reason), so the lower sales are probably to be expected.
Glenn: Unless it featured the death of Jar-Jar, I’m not surprised.
Ray:  A puzzling debut for Buffy the Vampire Slayer #1 from Boom, landing at #70 with sales of 31K. I would have expected a lot more for Boom’s biggest license ever – this is less than half of what their Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers title launched at – especially given the top creative team. Maybe it’s because the Dark Horse Buffy comic has only been gone for a few months and really lost most of its momentum by the end? Watch for this one to pick up steam.
Glenn:  I’m really surprised by this one.  I really expected more but there has been a lot of baggage coming in with the Dark Horse tenure plus people might be put off by the reboot.  I hope people give this a chance.
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Ray:  Another rough relaunch at #71, as the first issue of the relaunched Champions only sells 30K. An expanded roster didn’t do much to revitalize this title, which never took off under Waid. I expect we’ll be seeing it replaced by a Young Avengers relaunch within a year.
Glenn: Another book that seems to have had high hopes placed in it and it lands with a hard thud on its latest relaunch.  A disturbing trend for Marvel.
Ray:  Marvel Comics Presents, an anthology title including a new Wolverine story by Charles Soule, lands at #72 with sales of 30K. I don’t think there’s much of a market for regular anthologies anymore, so this isn’t a big surprise.
Glenn: Maybe they thought they could get some regular income based on the fact that the DC ones do well?  Its fine for what it is but I don’t think it’ll last past 12 issues given the trend behind falls in Marvel books with a singular narrative people can latch onto.  Creators like Soule can only do so much with limited space for their stories.
Ray:  Supergirl seems to have stabilized and increased this month, landing at #73 with sales of 29K. That’s up 8K from last month’s anniversary issue, which is similar to what the title did under Orlando and Houser for a while.
Glenn: Well it got some extra sales for a few months so…yay?  Nothing ventured and all that, at least DC didn’t bombard us with a pointless relaunch of the books number
Ray:  Martian Manhunter keeps about 2/3rds of its first issue sales and lands at #82 this month, selling 26K. That’s okay for a Martian Manhunter title, but lightning doesn’t seem to have struck twice like it did with Mister Miracle. If this can stay above 20K for most of its run, it’ll be considered a modest hit.
Glenn: It might climb up like Miracle did but I don’t think this one has the same awe behind it.  Around this level will probably be about right and it might catch fire (no pun intended) in sales as a decent offering to DC’s all powerful library
Ray:  A bizarre, shockingly low debut for the second Wonder Comics title, Naomi, written by Bendis and David Walker and drawn by Jamal Campbell. The story of an original young character with ties to a big DC mystery, this was never going to be the big hit Young Justice was – but I think everyone expected it to sell more than a Jinxworld title normally would. This is puzzling, and indicates that Bendis’ name definitely isn’t what it used to be. I do think this could pick up steam as the mystery reveals itself, but it’s now been downgraded to a six-issue “first season” and we’ll see what happens from there.

Glenn: The trouble is that new characters without a connection to another established character are a hard sell.  New characters who we’re told little to nothing about is a harder sell.  I get why the need for secrecy but retailers can tell their customers what they’re buying if they don’t know themselves.  I think Wonder Twins and Dial H might launch a bit better than this because they’re known properties, Naomi is a completely unknown factor and in today’s market that’s not something retailers will want to gamble on.  Stales might have stabilized or improved but if DC is cutting it short, it’ll be left to squander most likely.

Firefly is holding its own at 90 with sales over 25k so this is going to definitely be one of Boom’s biggest successes.

Ray: Based on typical second-issue attrition, Firefly might wind up a higher seller overall than Buffy. No one saw that coming.
Glenn:  At 96 I think is a first, a launch of a comic adaption of a podcast in the case of Wolverine: Long Night which sells over 23.5k.  I’m not sure how big the podcast was (must have done well since they’re doing another) so this will be for people that aren’t into that kind of thing or people looking to double dip.  On the surface it might be a bit low for a Wolverine book but since its place in continuity is unclear and its been readily available through another medium, if you compare this to say…the MCU preludes it favours quite well.
Ray: Yeah, this is a very odd duck. I didn’t even know a Wolverine podcast was a thing, so I image that most retailers just treated it like a throwaway Wolverine mini and his sales star has fallen a lot. Given the audience for podcasts might be a bit more geared towards bookstores, this feels like it’ll make a nice OGN and sell a lot there.
Glenn:  101 brings us Fight Club 3 which sells over 21.7 which is a strong launch for Dark Horse these days.  The last chapter in this was a big hit for Dark Horse so another one was a no brainer, from what I hear though, Fight Club 2 was a bit of an odd one so there is some diminishing returns likely thanks to that but this is still a strong performance for Dark Horse since its only beaten by the juggernaut franchise of Stranger Things.
Ray:  It’s a decent first-issue number, but well below what the previous installment did. This dropped with very little fanfare, and there’s rumors that Chuck Palahniuk had to write this to make money after he was swindled out of a lot of money. I think this one is likely to fly under the radar.
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Glenn:  Much lauded title Criminal returns after several years away to launch at over 20.3k at 105 which is pretty in line with how Brubaker books tend to do.  The audience here seems to be as loyal as ever and Brubaker is one of those creators that you can set your clock by in terms in what his properties deliver sales wise.  No big surprises but still a strong and consistent output which is likely more important long term.
Ray: Retailers clearly didn’t treat this like a new #1, instead ordering it on the level of whatever they order for Brubaker/Phillips’ regular projects. That means it’ll almost definitely settle down very close to this level.
Glenn:  At 106 is the Teen Titans annual which sells over 20.3k also which is about 4k below the main title.  Pretty much in line with where Teen Titans has been as a franchise for well over ten years and how close DC annuals tend to sell to their main title.  No surprises again.
I am surprised at the sales of Crypt Of Shadows which is one of Marvel’s odd renewals of very old comics to celebrate an anniversary of some sort.  This horror title sells over 20.2 at 107 which is pretty good considering this is a franchise I’ve never heard of before.  Apart from superheroes, horror seems to be the safest bet in terms of getting readers attention so it makes sense that this is the best performing of these odd books.
Ray: This is the first of these oddball one-issue relaunches, which is a similar stunt to what DC did during their Blackest Night event. I think Ewing’s name was probably the main draw here, as well as the fact that this was a single full-issue story rather than an anthology.
Glenn:  Latest Image juggernaut Die‘s second issue settles at over 18.5k at 115 which is a great performance that puts it among on of Image’s upper tier performers.  Given that the first issue has gone into multiple performers and reviews have been very generous, I would say this is where the sales number will stay…or mabe go up over time.
Ray: Die, like Gideon Falls, has fantastic creative reception and a top creative team. That’ll likely lock it down as one of Image’s top books long-term.
Glenn:  Also in its second issue at 116 is Winter Soldier which sells over 18.5k which is pretty good for a Marvel mini.  The character did of course used to have a much higher profile but that was many years ago, this number makes sense after how he’s been handled for a decade or so even if the character in theory should be able to pull in much higher sales.
Sharp drop for Mark Millar’s Prodigy which loses nearly 20k this month landing it at 121 selling over 17.7k.  Perhaps these Netflix comics are getting more initial hype than demand warrants and that’s the reason for the big drop.  Of course, 17kish is grand for an Image mini but it’ll be interesting to see if Millar’s other Netflix comic projects follow a similar pattern.
At 122 is yet another second issue in the form of Spawn Kills Everyone Too which lands at over 17.5 which is very good for a wtf title that’s done for the lolz.  TTFN.
Second issue of Ironheart is less encouraging in terms of an ongoing for a character Marvel seems invested in.  If it can settle at sales over 17.5k which places it at 123 in this months charts it can probably have a decent shelf life but no doubt we’ll have another relaunch before so long to shake up what it can actually be capable of.
Ray: That’s not a bad second-issue slide for Ironheart, but it’ll need to hold close to this level or find a secondary audience in digital and trade if it wants to survive.
Glenn:  This months True Believers theme is Conan with the highest selling of them at 125 with sales over 17.2k which again is free money for Marvel, especially since this is reprinting stuff they likely never thought they’d bother putting out there again.
Ray: Old Conan comics were never going to have the pull of classic Marvel books. For $1 promotional issues, this is pretty good, but the sales of the new Conan series is due to the creators rather than the character. Most of them are much further down, around the #190-210 range selling close to 9K. Still, largely free money.
Glenn:  A new reprint anthology, Marvel Tales launches at 131 with sales over 16.5k which is essentially like Marvel putting out an oversized True Believers issue and charging 7.99 for it.  I’m not sure if sales will remain up here but this is a ridiculously good number for reprinted material at this price.  Kudos to Slott for making the Fantastic Four a thing again.
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Ray: I never fail to be amazed by how many ways Marvel can sell people old comics.
Glenn:  TMNT: Shredder In Hell launches at 132 with sales over 16.5k which is better than the average Turtles comic that IDW puts out. I’m not sure what the difference is here so the resident turtles expert in Ray will likely be able to fill in the blanks here.
Ray: Yeah, this is close to double what this month’s issue of the main series did. This is also Shredder’s first major appearance in almost four years in this continuity, so we’re talking about a real event here for the fans. Great number. Alas, the second issue is rather delayed due to the writer/artist’s very detailed process.
Glenn:  Next random Marvel one shot for their anniversary is Journey Into Unknown Worlds which sells over 16.5k at 133 which again is pretty good for something that is not to do with anything particular and based off a long defunct franchise.  Not too far behind is War Is Hell which sells over 15.3k at 139 which is still pretty good.  I thought maybe a war book might have had the advantage given Marvel’s history with the genre in Howling Commandos and such but these are so close together its not really too much to take a glance at.  Retailers likely didn’t know what to do so ordered the majority of these in close numbers and called it a day.
Ray:  Journey into Unknown Worlds is a sci-fi/horror issue with two stories by Cullen Bunn and Clay McLeod Chapman, while War is Hell had stories by Howard Chaykin and Philip Kennedy Johnson, and both lacked the buzz of Crypt of Shadows. I think this will be the level that most of these one-shots find next month too. 
Glenn:  More Marvel Tales with Venom this time which sells over 15.2k at 140.  I’m surprised this didn’t do better given how hot Venom is at the moment and only a few months ago, a $1 reprint of Amazing 300 did ridiculous numbers.
The second issue of Freedom Fighters is at 147 with with sales over 14k so a fall of about 9k from launch.  Not too bad given its for a third tier property and a book that is isolated from everything else.  Should be good for a respectful performance for its 12 issue run.
Massive reorder for the first issue of Batman Who Laughs at over 14k more sales at 148.  The laughter here is DC finance.
Ray: That’s a pretty spectacular reorder number, closer to what we saw for Rebirth and Action #1000 than anything recently. This is a genuine megahit.
Glenn:  In recent months there’s been an odd trend of new takes on Oliver Twist and there’s another one in Oliver from Image at 152 which sells over 13.6k.  This one is from a Hollywood screen writer and popular artist Derick Robinson so its no surprise it likely did better than the others.  There should be enough residual support next issue to get this to where the creative team need it to go long term.
Ray: Yeah, this is an upper-middle debut for Image and definitely a bigger hit than the recent Olivia Twist from Dark Horse/Berger Books.
Glenn:  At 154 is Uncanny X-Men 3D which is Marvel getting in on that hot 3D streak Avatar (the crap one) made hot like 10 years ago.  Charging 7.99 to give people a headache while they read a comic from the past is a gamble but its good enough for sales over 13.4k.  Now it seems like Marvel is trying to figure out new ways to earn more from comics they already made money off, I guess it is the house of ideas.
Ray: 3D comics. Yep. Man, it sure is great here in 1993. I can’t wait to see Jurassic Park.
Glenn:  At 166 is Alien: Resistance, the latest Dark Horse Alien mini which come along as regular as your local public transport.  It sells over 11.7k which is pretty much the norm.  This is one of Dark Horse’s bread and butter franchises that they’re hoping Marvel doesn’t take a liking to.

Ray:  This is also a new comic by Brian Wood, who’s…controversial right now and only seems to work for Dark Horse. 

The latest DC Anthology, Mysteries of Love in Space, debuts at #168 with sales of 11.7K. This didn’t have the megawatt names of previous installments, but it did have James Tynion doing love on Apokalips and Saladin Ahmed making his DC debut on a Bizarro story. Given that it was sort of an oddball one, I think these numbers are pretty good for a $10 comic.
Glenn: Agreed, the anthologies are continuing and getting weirder as they go so clearly DC is happy.
Ray:  Now it’s time for some oddballs! At #174 selling 10.5K is “The Shape of Elvira“, a Dynamite spin-off mini about Elvira falling in love with the Creature from the Black Lagoon. If this franchise is sending up Oscar winners now, should we expect a miniseries about Elvira driving Blackula down south next year?
Glenn: We can only dream of such a book.  This is a pretty good number for a joke title.
Ray:  Archie’s latest entry into the horror world comes in at #175, with Blossoms 666. Cullen Bunn and Laura Braga’s miniseries sells 10.5K, probably on the strength of the creative team rather than a concept of C-list Archie supporting cast as the antichrists.
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Glenn: Its a Bunn horror book so I thought it would have done better but like you said, maybe its his name that got it to 10k in the first place.  Archie is in a very weird place as a company at the moment but clearly these random alt universe books are working.
Ray:  At #193 is a lower-selling Image book, Gunning for Hits by British music veteran Jeff Rougvie and veteran DC artist Moritat. It sells 9.7K and wasn’t helped by its bizarre concept (a music agent turned assassin) and some controversy over antisemitic imagery in one segment.
Glenn: Very odd concept but also perhaps too close to the much more high profile book that Bendis is doing for DC in Cover.  With the controversy, the sales will likely take a big hit next month.
Ray:  Hey, remember when James Cameron’s Avatar was the top-grossing movie of all time for over five years, a record it still holds worldwide? Surely that franchise has left such a huge cultural footprint that the first official comic book spin-off launching would create a huge – oh. #198, 9.6K. Womp womp.
Glenn: I forgot about Avatar 5 seconds after seeing it, it seems most people did the same.  Needs more Prince Zuko clearly.
Ray:  The latest IDW Star Trek miniseries, The Q Conflict, lands at #210 with sales of 9K. This is largely a product for completists, as the Next Generation fans tend to be more hardcore Trekkies.
Glenn: Q’s a well known character for Trek fans but wouldn’t have much appeal to people who are fans through the Abrams verse or some such.
Ray:  Speaking of Marvel being really good at selling old comics, they manage to sell just under 8.4K of Silver Surfer #14 in “facsimile edition” at #215. Seems to be a lot of these this month.
Glenn: Given how they like us to pay for things we’ve already paid for, I think that’s a safe bet.
Ray:  Marvel Super-Hero Adventures has essentially become a monthly with a different brand each month, and this month’s installment, Across the Spider-Verse, sells 8.1K at #220. Pretty standard for a new all-ages comic, but these are mainly worth getting for Ty Templeton’s brilliant funny pages. Marvel should collect those as a one-shot.
IDW had a special 20th anniversary event this month, releasing a set of 20/20 specials flashing forward 20 years into the future of their most popular characters. TMNT tops the list, with this special issue coming in at #227 and selling 7.7K. That’s about 80% of the main series sales, which is pretty good.
Glenn: Odd experiments like these are often something that appeals to the completest so the individual issues will be only as successful as each individual property.
Ray:  Predictably, Archie loses most of its anniversary issue bump, plunging down to #228 and losing 12K in sales to drop to a standard 7.6K. Maybe hiring the writer of Secret Empire to revamp Archie wasn’t the best idea?
Glenn: Clearly not no.  The title is back to the level it was at prior to the Waid relaunch a few years ago.  They’ll need to cook up something to stay with the rest of the pack
Ray:  In what surprisingly isn’t a Marvel book, the Red Giant comic White Widow sells 7.4K at #230. That’s surprisingly good for a comic whose cover looks like it should be released by Boundless or Zenoscope. That pose is not natural.
Glenn: *googles* she must have went to the Linda Blair school of poses.  I wonder how many retailers ordered this thinking it was something to do with Spider-Man or Black Widow or some such?  I don’t see sales lasting.
Ray:  The first and only Curse of Brimstone Annual (the series is ending in March) lands at #231 selling 7.4K. That’s only 600 copies below the main series, which is pretty impressive but the series as a whole sells shockingly low.
Glenn: ‘Sales are shockingly low’ is going to be on the tombstone of the New Age Of DC offerings.
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Ray:  7.2K in reorders for Batman: Damned #2 at #236. No Bat-wang in this one, but still very strong sales all around.
Glenn: The hype is real and of all companies, BOOM seem to be the company that has picked up on that as they’ve given the creative team an open ticket on a mini together through them sometime soon.
Ray:  The third relaunch of Turok from Dynamite in the last few years lands at #240, selling just under 6.9K. Ron Marz isn’t the name he used to be and this isn’t one of the properties Dynamite put a lot of promotional heat behind, so these are standard weak numbers.
Some reorders for Venom #8, selling an additional 6.8K at #243. Cates’ run continues to pick up steam.
The Facsimile Edition of Marvel Presents #3, featuring the first appearance of the Guardians of the Galaxy, picks up 6.7K sales at #244. Essentially a $4 True Believers issue, so good for Marvel getting those dollars.
The latest crossover no one knew they wanted, Barbarella/Dejah Thoris, launches at #257 from Dynamite with 6.4K sales. Bless Dynamite, someone is buying these old public domain sexy lady crossovers.
Glenn: To be fair to Dynamite they are trying very hard recently with a lot of their properties but they still are understandably catering to the audience that has stuck by them this long.
Ray:  The next 2020 special, Star Trek, charts for IDW at #258, selling 6.4K. These generally do pretty close to the main series, down a bit.
Glenn: This one was 20 years prior to Next Gen I believe and explored Picard’s first command.  Definitely one for the hardcore fanbase.
Ray:  A low debut for Peter Cannon Thunderbolt from Dynamite, as the Kieron Gillen-penned Watchmen-inspired revamp of the classic character sells 6.2K at #261. I would have expected a lot more given the creative team and the Watchmen connection, but this is a character who hasn’t had a title in over a decade, I think.
Glenn:  Its possible that some people don’t know the connection between this character (and other Charleton creations) and the ones featured in Watchmen.  It’ll likely level out quickly, maybe pick up some momentum through word of mouth and do well in Dynamite’s collection library.  Lets see if it can finish before the DC Watchmen follow up, Doomsday Clock wraps up.

The next 20/20 one shot is My Little Pony at 270 with sales over 5.9k.  Is it even possible to do something like this with (I assume) immortal cutsey horse characters?  I mean we’re not going to get an issue where characters mourn Sparkle Princess or whatever getting sent to the glue factory.  Retailers likely ordered this as a standard MLP one shot.  I’m having a daughter soon and will forever be unable to make jokes about this property, the sacrifices a father makes.
Ray: I hope it’s a bizarre post-apocalyptic special where the ponies have been forced to become cyborgs to fight, I don’t know, Fairy Aardvarks.
Glenn:  Wyrd is a new comic by Dark Horse with an interesting premise that debuts 274 with sales over 5.8k which is pretty much to be expected from the company when no big creators are involved.  I think this would have sold better at Image but the creators got it out which is probably more important for them.
Ray: Wyrd is one of those Dark Horse books with no real hook and a talented but not a-list creative team. This is still their level, as the company tries to rebuild their brand after losing so many licenses. Lemire will help.
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Glenn: Bloodshot: Rising Spirit at 379 with sales of 5.4k sees the character trying to find its place in a post Jeff Lemire world.  Its defaulting to standard Valient numbers at the moment but its going to be very hard for them to get anything close to the acclaim and buzz Lemire brought.
I’m not sure what audience there still is for Lady Death in 2019 but there must be one, her new book sells over 5.3k at 283.  I didn’t say it was a big audience.
Ray: Strike up the Rachel Bloom, Glenn!
Glenn:  Getting a bump of about 2k for their 25th issue, Zenescopes Grimm Fairy Tales sells over 5.2k at 286 priced at 5.99 to boot.  Just shows what those anniversary numbers can do, most series tend to launch way before 25 so its like the new 100 this weather.
Losing about half its sales, Image’s Freeze is at 290 with sales over 5.1k.  This is pretty standard for Image books left to fend for themselves without the big creative juice behind them.
Reorders in the 5k range for Fantastic Four, Middlewest and Uncanny X-Men, all either top or decent hits for their respective publishers at spots 292, 294 and 296.
Before things start to get scary, the second issue of Betty & Veronica sells over 4.7k at 300.  It seems as odd as the books like Blossom 666 and such are, they do a lot better than the pseudo Archie spin offs.
At 301 is the first issue of Adventure Time: Marcy and Simon which sells over 4.7k.  I’m sure these words in this order mean something to some and those people are the ones this book is aimed at.  I assume given Adventure Time is a thing (I think?) it sells more elsewhere.
Ray: Yeah, this is one of the most popular cartoon series of recent years and these are two of the more popular characters, so the core audience of the show is showing up. But like all cartoon spinoffs, it’s geared more towards kids at bookstores.
Glenn:  Miles Morales: Spider-Man selling another 4.5k or so copies at 307 for its debut issue indicate retailers got it right when they ordered it initially and have adjusted realistically.  We’ll see if any Oscar buzz comes Miles way in terms of sales but I wouldn’t count on it, not in the direct market anyway.
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311 is Barack Panther vs Tremendous Trump which sells over 4.4k.  Makes me sad.
Ray: Sigh. I never know if these are pro-Trump, Anti-Trump, or a collective fever dream
Glenn:  At least you see it too.
A new BOOM series at 315 in the form of Avant-Guards sells over 4.2k which on the surface is not great but the company does the majority of their business elsewhere and really only use the direct market as a formality more than anything.
Ray: Boom seems to have faith in this one, a diverse new comic about a girls’ drama school starting a basketball team. It’s got a twelve-issue order as opposed to the usual four or five. They’re doing something very right, we just can’t see it here.
Glenn:  This months Transformers thingeymabob is Transformers: Historia which sells over 4.1k at 317 which is a good bit lower than the usual Transformer offerings.  This seems to be basically a 5.99 manual going over the history of the properties time at IDW so the low sales are no surprise then.
The first comic spin off in the Stabbity Bunny universe, Stabbity Ever After debuts at 328 with sales over 3.7k.  Once again this is more Ray’s area than mine but what a world we live in when such a comic by that name can exist eh?
Ray: This is one of two Stabbity Bunny spin-offs in coming months, so they’re obviously happy with this weird little property.
Glenn:  At 330 is Halo: Lone Wolf a comic spin off of the incredibly successful Halo game series.  The sales of over 3.6k indicate this one is purely for huge Halo fans who want to absorb everything about the mythos rather than people who just want to go in and kick some butt as Master Chief.
Ray: Looooooooong way from when this was a top Marvel property by Bendis and Maleev.
Glenn:  WWE Forever is the wrestling offering this month at 336 selling over 3.5k which I think indicates 7.99 is probably too much to ask for the wrestling fans who are even half interested in reading comics about their favorite wrestlers.
Going 20 years into the future really didn’t work well for the Ghostbusters with their one shot selling all the way down at 340 selling over 3.4k.  Retailers are probably worries about crowds with pitchforks and torches turning up if they learn they’re stocking any variation of the classic team.
Ray: Ghostbusters is a firmly divided franchise and it’s hurt its already limited group of old-school fans
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Glenn:  The 2019 annual for Grimm Fairy Tales is at 346 with sales over 3.3k which is where the main title usually hovers.  Hard to deny that what Zenecope delivers to its set fandom, they like to buy.
Underneath that is Tom Clancy’s Division Extremis Malis and this type of thing isn’t going to have much appeal to comic fans and it shows in sales over 3,3k
At 357 is Jem and The Holograms 20/20 which sells over 2.9k.  I’m guessing not many people would be interested in what would be the bands nostalgia reunion tour.
Ray: Unlike the other books in this mini-event, Jem has already ended its comic run at IDW, so this is sort of a series finale/epilogue. That might not have helped with sales.
Glenn:  At 364 is yet more Zenescope in the form of Grimm Universe Presents 2019 which sells over 2.7k.  The Zenescope fanbase don’t care to pay 7.99 for their output it seems.  This issue sees writers like Howard Machie and Terry Kavanagh take part so that really tells you everything you need to know.
Ray:  At #364 is the Spider-King: Frostbite one-shot from IDW. Selling 2.7K, it’s an epilogue to a low-selling Vikings vs. Aliens comic that had the misfortune of coming out the same week as Highest House #1. This will likely go in the trade with the original miniseries and sell more there.
Another 2.7K in reorders for Black Hammer #1 in the form of a director’s cut at #369. This is clearly Dark Horse’s alpha franchise at the moment, and you’re going to see anything it touches do better than expected.
Glenn:  Especially when the DC crossover hits.  Its odd to be reading a comic that may be looked at the Watchmen of indie books.
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Ray:  Some decent reorders here, as Shazam #1, Heroes in Crisis #2, Batman #61, and Die #1 all pick up between 2.7 and 2.4K in additional sales. Bodes especially well for Die, which should perform like Gideon Falls.
The Brian Clevinger/Scott Wegener cult series Atomic Robo launches a new miniseries, Atomic Robo and the Dawn of a New Era, lands at #385 with sales of 2.3K. This is one of those books, like the Mignolaverse, where retailers know very well who’s interested.
Much like Halo, the Starcraft series doesn’t seem to sell well in comic book form. Starcraft: Soldiers, a new mini written by Jody Houser, sells 2.2K at #388. I imagine these sell more in video game stores.
Glenn:  This is an older game franchise so yeah, only a few set fans out there.  Kudos for Houser seemingly having her foot in the door everywhere.
Ray:  Our lucky #400 comic is Carson of Venus: Flames Beyond #1, selling 1.9K. American Mythology is a weird company, putting out pulp hero comics, random comedy books like Pink Panther, and the occasional adults-only creator-owned book. Whatever works for them.
Remember Tool? I member! Their Rock and Roll Biography from “Gumby Comics” sells 1.9K at #401.
Glenn:  I don’t remember, must be an American thing.
Ray:  It’s a pretty big gap of reorders and low-selling comics until we find the next notable comic – Appalachian Apocalypse from “Cave Pictures” Comics at #412. This story of hillbillies fighting zombies sells 1.7K, a decent launch for a new start-ups’s first notable comic. It’s just above reorders of Venom #8.
Glenn:  Like we said last month or the month before (maybe both!) having a zombie book is going to be a hard push without any big name talent.  There’s a clear front runner in the genre and everyone picking up the juicy meaty scraps.  Mmmmm scraps.
Ray:  The other book in the Stabbity-verse, Shadowplay, launches this month at #416 with sales of 1.6K. This one doesn’t have a murderous stuffed bunny, so that explains the lower sales.
The Alterna launch The Actual Roger, about a kid superhero sidekick with the lamest powers ever and the hero forced to mentor him, launches at #419 with sales of 1.6K. This was by the head writer of The Tick TV series, which probably explains the higher than average sales for Alterna.
Glenn:  Big grab for them in term of a name writer.  Will def get them a bit more attention, the good kind this time.
Ray:  1.6K in reorders for Doomsday Clock #8 at #427, as this event continues to pick up steam. The poor schedule hasn’t kept it from success at all.
Alterna shows up again at #428, as Wes Locher’s alien comedy Unit 44 sells 1.5K. Locher’s a talented up-and-coming creator (and a friend of the columnists), so I’m glad to see it do so well.
Glenn:  Wes is great so happy for him to be here.  He’s a name to watch.
Ray:  Art Baltazar and Franco continue their tour of all the major comic companies with an outing from Action Lab, as their superhero satire Powers in Action sells 1.5K at #431. They’re cult creators, but their brand of all-ages comics have a solid audience everywhere.
Speaking of Action Lab, one of their oddball suspense books lands at #434. The fairie murder mystery Null Fairies sells 1.5K as the company can’t really get much footing for their creator-owned books.
Glenn:  Image is the place to be for creator owned.  Everyone else just fights for the leftover market %.
Ray:  Archie’s been releasing a series of themed single-issue anthologies lately focusing on Betty and Veronica. The latest, Betty and Veronica Go To Work, sells 1.5K at #437. Every issue of these is a number one, so that helps them stay above the level of the digests.
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The first two issues of Firefly both get 1.5K in reorders at #438 and #440, further confirming that this franchise is Boom’s biggest hit yet.
Giant Sized Jingles, the latest absurdist comic parody from Dave Sim, lands at #441 and sells 1.5K. That Dave Sim, making sure we have something to talk about every month.
Amid a bunch of reorders and low-selling ongoings, we get the launch of John Carpenter’s Tales of Sci-Fi: Twitch. The original horror concept from the king of horror sells 1.4K from Storm King Productions, another start-up.
Glenn:  Another Carpenter comic didn;t do too hot that long ago.  Unless its Halloween or the Thing, it doesn’t seem as if his name will add much to sales.
Ray:  After a lot of reorders and obscure titles, we come to the next original comic on the list – of sorts. That would be ICYMI, a reprint title from Alterna repackaging their all-ages titles in a 99-cent package. The first issue, featuring talking-skeleton comedy Mr. Crypt, sells 1.3K.
At #480 is Savants, a dark new superhero concept from Source Point Press. It sells 1.2K, likely boosted a bit by the untimely death of creator Gary Reed. Reed had a pretty big cult audience as the founder of Caliber Comics, so his final project picked up some interest.
The Pink Panther Pink Winter Special is down at #485, selling 1.1K. I really don’t understand how you can cobble a company out of properties that haven’t been relevant in decades, but here we are!
Glenn:  They’re also a month late for Christmas specials, for shame!
Ray:  #494 brings us the relaunch of Scrimshaw from Alterna. This futuristic pirate thriller is the company’s only ongoing, and relaunches with just over 1K. That’s a decent boost from the previous volume.
#499 is the launch of Amigo Comics’ Blackening, selling 955 copies. This is a futuristic comic about cyborgs and a plague wiping out humanity. It is not a spin-off of Black.
And at #500, selling 942 copies, is…Threshold: Allure #0 nude variant. *flees*
Glenn:  You and your nudity Ray.
Ray:  One thing I notice is that the bottom of this list has a much higher floor than usual. 496 comics sold over 1000 copies this month.
Looking ahead to February (and by ahead, I mean back, because we’re in March), it looks like a pretty quite month for DC. They’ve got a few new miniseries including the third Wonder Comics title, Wonder Twins; a Female Furies spin-off (that is definitely not a sequel to Mister Miracle); a Vertigo sci-fi series titled High Level, and a 100-page Superman giant from Marv Wolfman.
Over at Marvel, it is less quiet. Chip Zdarsky relaunches Daredevil, the weekly Avengers event No Way Home kicks off, Conan gets his second title in Savage Sword of Conan, Old Man Quill is out for revenge, the Hulkverines go to war, and we get the rest of the Age of X-Man miniseries and the revival one-shots.
In Indieland, Mark Millar drops his latest Image book with Sharkey the Bounty Hunter, Hit-Girl returns with Kevin Smith writing, and the independent cop thriller Vindication competes for a place in the market. Outside of the big three, JM DeMatteis has a new creator-owned book from Dark Horse, GI Joe and Red Sonja relaunch with top creative teams, and the latest Valiant mini-event launches with Incursion.
What will rise? What will fall? Which indie comics will make Glenn cry? Find out next month on By the Numbers!

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Liked what you read?  Have any questions or comments?  Let us know here or on Twitter @glenn_matchett and @raygoldfield.  Please go check out Sparks: The Way I Was!  

By The Numbers: December 2018

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

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

Glenn Matchett is a comic writer and editor. He’s worked in the industry for 6 years but grew up reading comics. He’s had work published with Outre Press, Alterna Comics and Nemesis Studios. For his new year, Glenn is hoping to welcome a lovely little girl to his family and to watch all of Avatar and Korra.  One of these are more important than the other.

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.  In the new year, Ray will make sure that for Glenn that there is only Avatar and Korra.

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 friends to the first By The Numbers of 2019 which is actually looking back at the last month of 2018!  How about that for wibbly, wobbly, timey, whimey?  Who had the last laugh as last year closed out and prepped themselves for a strong 2019?  Lets find out!

Ray: One of the biggest factors in this month was that only three full weeks of comics shipped, with a few special titles shipping in the last week of the month. So a lot of comics are absent, including the second issue of many popular DC titles. That drives the overall sales level down a lot.
Glenn:  Due true!  At number one, speaking of laughter is the first issue of the Batman Who Laughs mini by Scott Snyder and Jock who bring the ridiculously popular character to take center stage.  It seems in this occasion, the Batman is laughing all the way to the bank with a fantastic debut of over 220k.  This character has caught fire like no one expected and having Snyder and Jock reteam to tell a more horror orientated bat tale has people interested.  I can see this sail over six figures or very close to it for the full 6 issues (plus the Grim Knight one shot too) easily.
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Ray: There’s a lot of factors to this, including the fact that this is apparently the final Snyder Batman story in the present day (with the Capullo-drawn Last Knight to come at a later date). Considering it’s also a sequel to Metal – and is launching at roughly the same level – there’s a lot of things working in this title’s favor and it’s entirely possible it’ll be DC’s #1 title for the rest of its run. Yo, dawg, I heard you like Batman and Joker so we put Batman in your Joker.
Glenn:  At 2 is more Batman in the form of Batman Damned, the second issue of the prestige mini from Black Label sells over 138.7k.  The last issue for those that haven’t been paying attention got a lot of attention for showing some bat nudity but this goes to show that there’s no such thing as bad press.  All the attention the batwang got made Damned one of the most talked about books in 2018 and that’s clearly carried over onto the second issue.  This one will finish out with strong sales and then deliver DC yet another ridiculously strong long term performer in their immense collection catalog.
Ray: This is a pretty big increase for Batman: Damned and shows how controversy sells! The Black Label line has had two big successes now between this and White Knight, so I would expect more to come – which makes it sort of puzzling that the line is seemingly in trouble and hasn’t solicited any further books.
Glenn: I think the Black Label troubles are more to do with scheduling more than anything.  The talent they have on the books lean towards the kind that aren’t ones who deliver books on a regular schedule.  We know Last Knight will happen but I think this all could have been better planned, it makes the Black Label roll out seem a bit underwhelming.
At 3 is the always stable and strongly performing Doomsday Clock which sells over 123.7 on its 8th issue.  The multiple delays seem to be having little impact as this book continues to deliver strongly for its publisher.
Ray: It locked down on its place in the charts a while back and hasn’t budged, except likely to get some nice increases for the big event in the final issues.
Glenn:  4 and 5 is top ten staple and highest selling monthly in the charts, Batman which sells over 91.2k and 88.5k which makes this the lowest the title has sold since the sart of the New 52.  Its still a good bit ahead of the next strongest ongoing and will likely deliver something soon to reaffirm its position in the six figure club sooner than later.  All top 5 books are DC and all feature Batman either in a starring role or as a main character so the character is still miles ahead of everything else on the charts in terms of monthlies.
Ray: Basic attrition for Batman – it’s likely to get an increase in February for a big crossover with The Flash tying in with Heroes in Crisis (which didn’t ship this month due to the holiday), and then again for #75 in a few months.
Glenn:  Its a quiet month for Marvel so their top selling book of the month is their best performing monthly title, Amazing Spider-Man which has two issues in the top ten at 6 and 8 selling over 79.7k and 75.1k respectfully.  Its a slow downward trend and the title will likely be pushed down the charts in terms of ranking once War Of The Realms begins.  The title is promoting an upcoming story featuring Kraven The Hunter rather heavily but we’ll see if that has any significant impact on sales.
Ray: Yeah, it feels like we’re seeing ASM slowly find its level as retailers realize that the Slott era is over and interest is decreasing. The slide should increase next month when it gets big competition in the form of Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man.
Glenn:  At 7 is the Marvel title giving Amazing a run for its money in Fantastic Four which sells over 78.3k.  This is the big wedding issue so I’m surprised it didn’t do much better than this given its significance in having one of the longest running couple in comics finally tie the not and it also being the 650th issue of Fantastic Four with original numbering.  Still, its a great number for the title and Marvel will be pleased that its among their highest monthly performers.  A wedding special tie-in written by Slott and others sells over 64.4k at 13 which again indicates there was genuine interest in the wedding itself but perhaps fans were wary given the false starts around the Bat/Cat and Kitty/Colossus fake outs not too long ago.
Ray:  The main title sells pretty close to what the book has been doing since the start, so not much of an increase for the wedding itself – but then, I don’t know if Ben Grimm and Alicia Masters have a huge fanbase on their own. What is clear, though, is that this is one of Marvel’s biggest hits at the moment and may wind up being their #1 ongoing in a few months. 
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Glenn:  At 9 is the third Batman annual which pulls in a very respectable 68.2+ sales despite not having main title writer Tom King attached.  Just shows how popular the character is regardless.
Ray: This was Tom Taylor and Otto Schmidt doing an Alfred-focused story. It’s a good sign for Taylor as well that his star is rising fast. Look for his Spider-man title to be a big hit.
Glenn:  Finally at 10 is the much anticipated new Shazam title which Geoff Johns has been cooking for what feels like forever.  Given that the lead in to this was nearly 10 years ago, it finally launching at 66.9k is very good, especially since Shazam hasn’t had an ongoing in forever.  Given how big a name Johns in and the fact the character is about to get some mainstream exposure in his own film in a few months, there’s no better time or creator to give him his own solo title.  This one will probably land around high 50k which will be low for a Geoff Johns book perhaps but very good for a Shazam book.

Ray:  This is a direct continuation of a comic book that ended six years ago as a backup in the New 52 Justice League title. Even I, a DC superfan, had a bit of trouble remembering who a few of the characters were. So the fact that it still broke into the top ten is impressive, and likely down to the fact that Geoff Johns is back writing regular comics for DC. He’s up there with King, Aaron, Lemire, Cates, and Slott as that elite group of writers who can sell comics on their name alone. 

At #12 is a very strong debut for Superior Spider-Man #1, selling 66K. This is much improved from the Superior Octopus one-shot a few months back. Part of this might be the name change, but as a whole it’s a testament to just how much work Slott and Gage did to turn Otto into a headliner. This is NOT the Spider-man spin-off I expected to win the battle this month (more on that lay-tor).
Glenn: Very good start for Superior for sure.  This seems to be the book that’s continuing most of Slott’s sub plots and side characters carrying forward so that;s a good platform to have.  Much like the Bat line for DC, it seems most Spidey related stuff is always bound to deliver solid numbers for Marvel (which probably explains why we’re not only getting a new ongoing next month but two new mini’s in the months to come).
Ray:  This is the section of the charts where we see the headliner regular titles, including Justice League, Venom, Avengers, and Superman, all selling above 50K. And now it seems we have a new one joining them – The Green Lantern #2, which has a healthy hold for its second issue, selling 64K at #14. Great numbers that indicate this should be one of DC’s top ongoings as long as Morrison and Sharp are on board.
We were wondering how Uncanny X-Men would hold as a weekly in its second month. We get that answer quickly, as it continues to slide. #4 is as 17, selling 59K, but by the end of the month it sells 49K at #27. That’s a pretty steep drop, and indicates the general trajectory of the title as it shifts to biweekly after #10. The title’s still up somewhat from the previous runs, but that may wear off eventually.
Glenn: It seems that Marvel will still come out ahead when you compare Uncanny to the previous line of x-books but its only marginally at this rate.  Once this thing goes monthly (or bi-monthly as the case may be) it’ll be selling around the same…or less.
Ray:  Besides Batman, nothing is more stable than Walking Dead, and it makes the top 20 again this month, coming in at #18 selling 58K.
Given his big starring role in the movies this same month, I would have expected Miles Morales: Spider-Man #1 to do much better than the 19th slot. 57K isn’t a bad number, but it just goes to show that the character’s comic history – including a controversial start and a mid-stream reboot – will probably keep him from ever being as big a hit in the comics as he is in the larger world.
Glenn: Miles deserves better for sure but the characters launch was poorly handled and that will be something he never shakes.  Still, this is his first ongoing by a writer that didn’t create him so that’s a decent performance.
Ray:  Selling 57K at #21 is the debut of Ed Brisson’s X-Force, which spun out of the mostly-ignored Extermination. Decent launch, but I expect this’ll fall fast like most other X-spin-offs lately.
Detective Comics launches its new creative team as Tomasi and Mahnke take over with #994, and the title jumps about 3K to land at #26 with 51K. A very modest increase, but that’s to be expected for a title as stable as this. The two previous fill-in arcs didn’t really hurt the book much.
Glenn: Its all about the countdown to 1k for Detective at the moment anyway.  Look for the title to increase in sales as it gets closer to that number and then pay for itself for the foreseeable future in the anniversary issue coming up.
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Ray:  Catwoman continues to be the biggest surprise of the year, as the sixth issue sells 48K at #28. That’s above long-running hits like Star Wars, Thor, Captain America, Immortal Hulk, and Flash. A lot of this is down to Tom King raising her profile, of course, but it’s also worth noting the character has always had some sales pull – she was one of only eight characters to take her title all the way to #52 in the New 52 era.
Glenn: The timing is never better for Catwoman to be a hit and much like Venom, it seems DC has the right creators at the right time to make the title a success.  Great to see.
Ray:  A couple of Marvel events wrap up this month, with Infinity Wars closing things out at #22 with sales of 53K, followed not far behind by Spider-Geddon at #29, selling 47K. The news isn’t quite so good for Extermination, down at #38 selling 42K. That’s also about the same as its spin-off, X-Men: Exterminated one spot higher. This is the one where the X-men mourn Cable, who was murdered by Cable. This is not a typo.
Glenn: Stupid time travel.  I bet there were 7 versions of Kang at his funeral too.
Ray:  The time-hopping anthology Star Wars cycles begin with Age of Republic, as Jody Houser’s two one-shots to kick it off have healthy debuts. Darth Maul’s one-shot is at #33 selling 46K, while Qui-Gon Jinn’s special is down at #44 selling 37K. Right about the level I’d expect for mid-level Star Wars titles.
Martian Manhunter has a healthy debut at #41, selling 39K. I wouldn’t expect much more than this for a MM solo series, but I also think it’ll hold very well. Critical response has been great with the book even getting some comparisons to Mister Miracle, so I think Orlando and Rossmo will have a hit on their hands.
Glenn: At the end of the day, its Martian Manhunter so it’ll have a set ceiling but strong reviews will help this one a lot.  Fans are looking for the next Mister Miracle and this might be just the ticket.
Ray:  Another strong debut for Millarworld, as Millar and Albuquerque’s spy thriller Prodigy lands at #40 selling 38K. Single-issue sales are secondary now, as Netflix views the imprint as an IP farm, but Millar’s name still has a lot of pull.
The strange little Defenders mini-event this month seems to have largely been ordered as a unit, with decent sales for all five. Silver Surfer is the highest-selling of the five, selling 38K at #43, followed by the Immortal Hulk special selling 36K at #46. The finale “Best Defense” one-shot is two spots lower selling 34K, followed immediately by Doctor Strange (32K) and Namor (31K). All in all, this little experiment did well for Marvel.
Glenn: This Defenders roll out was an odd one wasn’t it?  Its a very good result given that this version of the team haven’t been seen in a while and the whole thing doesn’t have much importance outside of itself.
Ray:  The epilogue to Infinity Wars, Fallen Guardian, lands at #52 selling 31K. That’s not bad for a title that’s essentially a farewell/origin recap to one of the less popular Guardians of the Galaxy. Did I mention there’s another epilogue next month? It’s the event that never ends…
Glenn: This is a pattern we’ve seen from Marvel for several years were there is minimal (or outright very little) interest in the epilogue to a major event.  I think its because Marvel is mostly about hyping what comes next so fans are interested in the main feature but by the time the clean up comes, they’re already saving their penny’s for whatever the hype machine has lined up next.
Ray:  I was surprised by how low Aquaman #43 sold, given that this was the debut of Kelly Sue DeConnick’s run. It lands at #53, selling just under 31K. That’s a bit of a drop from last month’s Drowned Earth tie-in issue, and it’s similar to what we saw with G. Willow Wilson’s Wonder Woman run (36K at #45 this month) – critically acclaimed writers get put on major titles to lots of positive reviews, but it doesn’t translate into sales immediately. Still, DC has got to be happy to have some buzz on these titles again.
Glenn: Very underwhelming for Aquaman for sure.  The timing around this seemed to be prime for a new creative direction by a popular writer.  It’s almost like something got lost in translation here.  The good news is that a low start means that it should likely stabilize soon.
Ray:  Almost zero increase for Teen Titans for its anniversary issue, as it lands at #65 and sells 27K. That’s up about 100 copies. Expect it to take a hard hit next month when the only DC teen superhero team anyone cares about launches next month. This is the area where we see a lot of established titles, like Nightwing, Doctor Strange, Black Panther, Harley Quinn, and Suicide Squad.
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A new miniseries starring the Winter Soldier launches at #70, selling 26K. The creative team of Kyle Higgins and Rod Reis is solid, but this got very little hype. Bucky should be an A-lister, but they don’t really treat him like one.
Glenn: Ever since Brubaker went to indie land, it seems like Marvel is not exactly sure what to do with Bucky.  They’ve tried several things and nothing ever really seems to work.  Its a shame because he could be a breakout star for them.  It took Brubaker 60 years or so to tell the next great Bucky story, hopefully we don’t have to wait around that long again for another one.
Ray:  An amazing debut for Kieron Gillen and Stephanie Hans horror-RPG Image series Die this month, selling 28K at #58. That’s rare air for an Image title that isn’t by Millar, Kirkman, or Vaughn, so this is looking like one of their biggest new hits in a while.
Glenn: Brilliant debut for Die which I think has the concept and creative team to get that initial interest.  With titles like Paper Girls ending and Saga on hiatus, this could be one of Image’s strongest titles.
Ray:  I’m pleased to see Deathstroke has kept most of its boost from the Deathstroke vs. Batman storyline, coming in at #59 with sales of 28K. But then, this next arc has him in Arkham, so it’s like the event never really ended!
Glenn: People have also perhaps caught on to how good the book is.  They come for Batman, they stay for Priest.
Ray:  Boom seems like it’s going to have a permanent spot in the top 100 now thanks to Firefly, which lands its second issue at #60 with sales of 28K. Great numbers for a cult property – this probably indicates that Buffy the Vampire Slayer will do even better next month.

Glenn:  Boom had two properties with very loyal fanbases land at their feet and seem to be making the most of it, good for them.

At 74 is the X-Men holiday special which missed the memo about most of these coming out last month with sales over 25k.  Pretty much your standard sales for what an X-Men book will do when it doesn’t have any great deal of importance or significance.
Ray: Marvel tried to get into the anthology game this holiday season, but none of them quite got the attention of DC’s giant anthologies. This one got some good reviews, though – it had a very clever format of 25 individual stories with an overall narrative running through them.
Glenn:  At 77 is Spawn Kills Everyone Too which sells over 24.7 which I believe is a comedy mini series follow up starring the character that was at one time Image’s flagship.  This is pretty good given its a mini done for the lolz and is a sequel.  Perhaps we’ll even see a trilogy!
Ray: Why. Just…why.
Glenn:  At first I thought Livewire at 78 was a book about the Superman female villain but its a new Valient book that sells over 24.6k which is a LOT higher than how their books usually launch.  Writer Vita Ayala who is starting to make waves at Marvel is writing so that might help but otherwise, it just seems to be a random success!
Ray: This is spinning out of Harbinger Wars II, which turned Livewire into the Valiant Universe’s most wanted woman. That event didn’t get a lot of buzz, so I think this is more to do with the creative team than anything.
Glenn:  Villain of newly Oscar Nominated best film Black Panther, Killmonger gets his own mini at 82 selling over 24.2k which on its own isn’t that great but you have to believe without the movies popularity and the better position of the Panther franchise overall that this would have sold far less in the past. The second issue is also here at 111 selling over 17.3k which is still very good all things considered.  A decent start for what will be a mini that delivers decent numbers for the remainder of its run I’d say.
Ray: Overall, similar to Miles, Marvel doesn’t seem to have been able to translate Black Panther’s blockbuster sales in the movies to a fully successful franchise in the comics. The main book sells decently, but everything else struggles.
Glenn:  A new Freedom Fighters series launches at 84 with sales over 23.8k.  Pretty good for a book about one of DC’s more obscure superhero teams that doesn’t have any big name members.  Don’t think DC could have expected much better.
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Ray: Yeah, despite a good creative team (the long-running writer of Green Lantern and the artist on Tynion’s Detective Comics) these characters just have zero built in audience. The subject matter is somewhat controversial as well, similar to The Man in the High Castle.
Glenn:  Pretty steady drop for the second issue of Black Order which sells over 23.6k at 85 which again is much higher than one would have expected these characters to deliver without a billion dollar movie to raise their profile.  If this stays about here this will be a pretty good performance for the rest of the mini.
Marvel Action Adventures from IDW (so much…contradiction…) debuts at 86 with sales over 23.3k which is a great number for a IDW book, perhaps not for an Avengers book but this isn’t going to be held to the main standards as the main line offerings.  These books are for a different market and will aim to do better outside comic stores but this is a good start given that.  IDW will be thrilled to be able to have this licence to help keep the lights on for the time being.
Ray: This feels like the odd book out of the Marvel Action line, without the hype of either Spider-Man (featuring the three most popular Spiders together) or Black Panther (written and drawn by Kyle Baker). Given that, this is a solid debut and these really aren’t geared towards the singles market.
Glenn:  Seasons Beatings is a holiday special one shot by Jason Latour and various artists to tie in to the whole Christmas thing.  It sells over 22.3 which is pretty good all things considered.  This is maybe a shade less than what DC’s recent batch of anthologies do but those cost a lot more.  There’s enough sales for Marvel to throw one of these out now and then.
Ray: This one really slipped under the radar and the hype didn’t really get across what kind of story it was. It was sort of a Deadpool comic, sort of an anthology, and all weird. A niche project that did niche project numbers.
Glenn:  Only about 300 odd copies difference from last month for Supergirl’s 25th issue at 92.  Either there’s just normal stabilization or there will be a much bigger drop than normal next month.  The sales over 21.5k are getting ever closer to what we’ve come to expect from a Supergirl title in years past.
Ray: Supergirl is basically back to where it was pre-Bendis, so that’s likely where it’ll find its level again.
Glenn:  A new Vertigo title, Goddess Mode debuts at 110 selling over 17.4k which is really good for a Vertigo launch this weather and more in line with what I’d come to expect from a relatively strong Image launch.  The artist on this, Robbi Rodriquez is coming hot off of Spider-Gwen so that maybe helped.  Selling at this level won’t last but its got room to move.
Ray: This title also has Zoe Quinn, who has a pretty big mainstream profile as a gaming journalist. That definitely helped it get this high.
Glenn:  At 112 is the Hellboy Winter special selling over 16.9k which is pretty much the normal range for Hellboy related items.  Never anything overly surprising from this franchise which isn’t the worst thing for Dark Horse who need all the stable franchises they can keep.
A shade over 16k for Iron Fist Typhoid fever, not too bad and it maybe helps that the character showed up in the second (and final) season of the protector of Kunlun.  Nothing too special but nothing too disastrous for a throwaway mini starring one of Daredevil’s secondary foes.
Ray: This whole thing seems to have been a stealth Iron Fist series and led to the writer doing the digital-first Iron Fist series that recently released its first trade.
Glenn:  At this level, 3k is quite the gap and its about that the Champions Annual comes in under the main title selling over 15.2k at 118.  This franchise had a strong start and strong potential but most of it has eroded away.
Ray: The series is getting a relaunch with the same writer next month, so we’ll see if there’s any uptick in sales.
Image result for champions annual #1
Glenn:  Probable spoilers: no
At 127 is the first of the True Believers $1 one shots this month, centering around the Fantastic Four and in this particular case, the Skrulls..  It sells over 13.3k at 127.  Skrull’s are going to be hot in the months to come and you’ll be liable to beat up old ladies on buses to get the chance to read about them and their nefarious shape shifting ways!

Ray:  There’s relatively few truly iconic Fantastic Four single issues – nothing like the first appearance of Venom that broke the top ten – so most of these are clustered around the same spot. You have Super-Skrull six spots lower at 133, followed two spots lower by Puppet Master, and two spots lower are Ronan the Accuser and Frightful Four back to back. A little lower between 140 and 144 are Molecule Man, Mad Thinker, Klaw, and Dragon Man. All of these sell between 12K and 11K, so almost identical sales for these first appearances of lesser-known FF villains. The low entry on the totem pole, Blastaar, is down at 150 selling just under 11K. So another successful wave of these without any real breakouts. I’m curious to see how the Conan ones do next month. 

Glenn: Poor Blaastar.  All he wants is a hug.  I think Conan might do well, the launch will be pretty high profile and they’ll be an easy sell for retailer as an add on.
Ray:  Marvel can get decent sales even for things that aren’t comics! At #132 we have the Spider-Geddon handbook, giving us profiles of the most famous Spiders and villains. It sells 12.6K, pretty good for a $5 handbook. That Spider-guy has some fans.
Because apparently some people haven’t seen Avengers: Infinity War, Marvel releases it in comic form as “Avengers: Endgame Prelude“. It sells 11.9K. I wasn’t fooled, Marvel!
Glenn: The question is, does half the comic turn to dust at the end?
Ray:  The New Talent Showcase for DC in 2018 sells 11.8K at #136. This is always the lowest-selling of the major anthologies because of the lack of boldface names, but this is still a decent number for an $8 anthology showing off DC’s newest recruits. This is a funny one given how many of these names have already done extensive DC work like Mags Visaggio, though.
Glenn:  This seems to be the last one, I guess all those entries from myself put Snyder off…
Ray:  A trio of new Image titles debut around the #150 mark, starting with the virtual reality video game thriller Self/Made at #148 selling 11.1K, and the Andy Diggle bodyswap spy thriller Hardcore right below it selling 11K. Three spots lower is the apocalyptic thriller The Freeze, selling 10.8K at #152. It’s basically what I’d expect for two of these given the lack of big names, but I’m surprised Hardcore didn’t do a little higher given Diggle’s name and the fact that Kirkman is credited on the story.
Glenn: Diggle’s a name I think has found it rough since his Daredevil run, after that he never really bounced back and I don’t think he was the one at fault in that regards.  Much like Paul Jenkin’s he’s having to almost start over again.
Ray:  Magic The Gathering: Chandra, a new miniseries based on the wildly popular card game series, debuts at #157 from IDW selling 10K. I know nothing about Magic: The Gathering, but it’s worth noting that this is the highest-selling IDW book this month that doesn’t feature Batman, Captain America, or Rick & Morty.
Glenn: Magic has an insane fanbase so I’m not too surprised.  I would wonder though if it would have sold more if it came with an exclusive card or some such (call me IDW!)
Ray:  The annual Christmas special from Grant Morrison and Dan Mora, Klaus and the Crying Snowman, lands at #161 with sales of 10.4K. For an $8 special from Boom that’s pretty strong, and the title seems to have a fanbase. I wonder if they’ll ever do a full collection or if Brandon James is doomed to cry forever.
Glenn: I like to think Morrison is just doing this to mess with Brandon personally. Perfectly fine for a property Morrison is going to roll out once a year.
Ray:  Top-selling reorder of the month is Spider-Geddon #1 at #167, selling 10.1K. A last surge of sales as the event concludes. Expect a LOT more reorders to come.
The most offbeat Black Hammer project yet, the one-shot Cthu-Louise drawn by Emi Lennox, lands at #169 and sells exactly 2 copies over 10K. That’s right in line with Black Hammer’s sales and shows that the series should continue to hold well for Dark Horse as it grows in the coming year.
Glenn: Look for Black Hammer’s profile to get a good buzz with an upcoming show and a DC universe tie in coming up.  These books should be selling six figures a month.
Image result for Cthu-Louise 1
Ray:  The Venom annual also gets some healthy reorders, selling an additional 8.9K at #176. Donny Cates continues to work his magic, and he wasn’t even the main writer on this one!
The oddball Man-Eaters #4 sells 8.6K at #179. That would be 8.6K very confused readers, as this wasn’t a comic but an elaborate magazine parody that didn’t move the story forward off the previous issue’s cliffhanger.
Glenn: We’ll see if the unusual experiment from Man-eaters costs them next month, I doubt it but you never know…
Ray:  Crossing over an obscure 1990s comic book character with an obscure 1980s movie franchise, Vampirella/Reanimator debuts at #183 selling 8.3K. Dynamite’s developed an odd brand out of these obscure licensed properties, but it seems to be working for them as they keep going!
8.2K more in reorders for Marvel Legacy at #186, as Aaron’s Avengers and the upcoming War of the Realms continue to play out its major plot threads.
Jamie Rotante’s relaunch of Betty and Veronica lands at #197 with sales of 8.2K. That’s two slots below the fifth issue of Vampironica, so I guess retailers think fans want more blood and gore with their Veronica Lodge?
Glenn: Vampires sell more or have a broader fanbase perhaps?  Archie is in a bizarre place creatively right now so they’ll take what they can get.
Ray:  At #190 is the one-shot Team Sonic Racing, spinning out of the main Sonic book. It sells 7.8K copies, which shows that the franchise has been a decent hit for IDW.
At #194 is the fourth and final issue of Border Town, selling 7.6K. But it wasn’t cancelled for sales reasons. Anyway, moving on…
Glenn: Border Town?  What’s a Border Town?
Ray:  #200 brings us the launch of Tank Girl: Action Alley from Titan, which sells 7.2K copies. This is clearly a niche book, but it’s pretty impressive that this franchise has been a factor in the industry for over twenty years.
6.7K in reorders for the Ralph Macchio one-shot Spider-Man: Enter the Spider-Verse at #208. This is probably down to comic book stores wanting an evergreen title on the stands for the launch of the movie.

Glenn:  Pretty much yeah, the movie has been an insane success and is now getting a lot of reward love.  We’re going to see a lot more from this concept in years to come.

At 219 is Marvel Super Heroe Adventures Captain Marvel Frost Giants (longest title this month?) selling over 5.9k.  The same with the other Marvel books that are primarily aimed at a younger audience, they do what they do in the main market but this isn’t where they’re destined for.  Good on Marvel getting a lot of Captain Marvel material out there for March though.
Some reorders for the launch of Uncanny X-Men at 220 selling over 5.9k.  People sure do love their X-Men number 1’s.
An odd title from DC at 221 in Sasquatch Detective which is about…a Sasquatch who solves crimes…k.  It sells over 5.8k which is pretty expected for a book as odd as this, especially when its priced at 7.99.
Ray: This was the backup in the already-bizarre Snagglepuss miniseries, and they reprinted the original stories plus a new feature. It’s the most niche of niche comics, especially out of DC.
Image result for sasquatch detective 1 cover
Glenn:  Tim Seeley returns to his own property in Hack Slash vs Chaos at 224 although that doesn’t seem to have generated much new interest in the property as it sells over 5.7k.  At this point, this property will have its own sat fan base and is unlikely to get new readers checking out a new mini at this point, even if Seeley is back.
Ray: A crossover with 90s characters like Lady Death and Purgatori isn’t really going to bring in any new fans for Hack-Slash. Dynamite continues to do a lot of bizarre small crossovers like this, so I guess they’re selling to someone.
Glenn:  Witcher Of Flesh and Flame sells over 5.5k at 227.  This is a video game tie-in and sells like one.  I wonder if some retailers might be stocking up in prep for a potential new audience the upcoming Netflix show might bring, hey you never know…
A new offbeat mini from Boom, Wizard Beach sells over 5.2k at 233.  This mini seems to be outside of what Boom is generally known for and doesn’t have any big name creators attached so this number is pretty much what you would expect.
Ray: Wizard Beach is an odd one. Its concept on paper sounds like it could be an all-ages book, but the tone is distinctly more offbeat and off-color. Brandon referred to it as “Off-brand Curse Words” on Rabbitt Stew (Dong!) and that seems about right.
Glenn:  At 234 is the Red Sonja holiday special which likely had a bizillion covers selling over 5.1k which is probably what you would expect from a Red Sonja special with a bazillion covers.  I wonder considering her choice of clothing if she gets cold this time of year.
A new Berger book at 235 LaGuarda sells over 5k at launch.  The Berger books continue to not catch that much momentum but Dark Horse keeps doing them so one would assume they are finding an audience somewhere.
Ray: LaGuardia has the best creative team and got the most hype of any of these, but even Nnedi Okorafor’s name couldn’t make this sell in singles. The true success of this line will be determined later.
Glenn:  A Star Trek anthology spanning the entire history of the franchise in Star Trek: Waypoint is at 240 with sales over 4.9k.  This is just your basic ‘if you’re a fan of Trek’ comic with no real pull in regards to a specific portion of the fanbase.  Being so widespread can be a good thing but may also make retailers hesitant to order because when you appeal to everyone, you end up pleasing no one at times.
Random reorder alert at 241 for Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows 13 with sales over 4.9k  This is not the last random Marvel reorder number this month and my jettison of excess stock sense is tingling.
Planet Of The Apes Simian Age, a 7.99 one shot sells over 4.2k at 256.  Pretty much what you would expect from an expensive Apes one shot with no particular pull behind it.
At 267 we have Grimm Fairy Tales Holiday special selling over 3.7k.  I’m going to take a wild guess and say a rather buxom woman is on the cover dressed as Santa or an elf *checks* huh I was wrong…its a rather buxom woman dressed as a sexy reindeer (????) and snowman.  Shows what I know!
Ray: Rudolpha the sexy reindeer, had a very shiny – *gets yanked off stage before we get cancelled*
Glenn:  Nothing to see here folks.
Random reorder alert for Domino 1 at 274 with sales over 3.4k.  Maybe retailers want to have some on hand just in case…
Transformers Bumblebee Go For The Gold is your random Transformers one shot for the month selling over 3.3k at 279.  One for the die hard fans only it seems.  The Transformers comics are getting a big makeover soon so everything till then is just treading water.
Image result for Transformers Bumblebee go For The Gold
I’m not sure who Barberella is but she has a holiday special too this month!  It sells over 3.2k at 280 so some people must know who she is I guess.  You get a holiday special!  And you!  And you!
Breakneck, a new offering from Titan’s Hard Crime comics debuts the first of a four issue mini at 3.2k.  I would have thought it might have done better since writer Duane Swierczynski had a moment at Marvel once upon a time but these sub lines of small publishers always have a rough time of it.
Ray: Titan in general puts out so many random comics without name creators that when they do have a bigger name on board, they tend to get lost in the shuffle.
Glenn:  A one shot, Ares IX: Darkness which ties in to the once semi well known Darkness franchise is at 284 selling over 3k.  This is very much a ‘order for the last few remaining fans there are and no more’ title.
Ray: I don’t know whether this is a spin-off of The Darkness, a spin-off of Aphrodite, or both. That probably explains a lot about the sales.
Glenn:  There’s definitely something going on with Marvel reorders as the second issue of Secret Empire is at 285 selling over 3k.  No one is ordering more copies of that, like anywhere.
At 288 is the Archies Christmas Spectacular selling over 2.8k  I guess not that many people are that interested in seasonal offerings from Archie and the gang.  This title seems more like old school Archie offerings which all would have sold about this level once upon a reboot ago.
Black Mask manages to get a comic in the top 300 with Snap Flash Hustle at 299 with sales over 2.6k  This is the start of a new mini and likely got some interest cause writer Pat Shand has a fanbase of his own.  Given this is the only Black Mask title in the top 300 I’d say this is a win for them but clearly the company has seen better times.
Ray:  Black Mask is a company that hasn’t had a real hit in a very long time. Even books by name creators struggle for them. 
Glenn:  Okay here goes, don’t cry…don’t cry…
Grumble from Albetross Funnybooks launches at 304 and I thought this might have done a lot better given it has Mike Norton on art but this is probably the best the company can do at the moment.  The sales of over 2.5k aren’t great when you factor in Norton but probably fantastic for this company.

Ray:  This is a REALLY odd book, too, about a magical con man who is turned into a Pug. It’s going to have a crossover with The Goon in coming months, so it might gain a little buzz. But the company overall is very small. 

American Mythology has made a little cottage industry out of public domain adventure titles, including this month’s Carson of Venus: Pirates of Venus #1. It sells 2.3K at #310. Clearly a niche title bringing obscure properties to a modern audience.
Albatross Funnybooks shows up on the charts again with the all-ages Lovecraftian giant-robot comic (yes, that’s right) Mega-Ghost, which sells 2.2K at #312. It actually picks up another 1.2K in sales thanks to a Powell variant down at #366, so the book is definitely a hit. Sometimes the post-300 range is good, Glenn!
The obscure Paul Dini Christmas-themed character Jingle Belle shows up for her annual engagement from IDW at #321, selling just over 2K. This is a character that’s been going strong for over twenty years, so the audience here is likely small but loyal.
Glenn: Is Jingle Belle even annual?  I don’t remember the last issue that came out but yeah, this one has stuck around most likely due to Paul Dini’s force of will alone but at least he’s getting to do a book he enjoys.
Ray:  The third miniseries in the “Black AF” series from Black Mask, subtitled Devil’s Dye, launches at #322 with sales of 2K. This started out as a Kickstarter before coming to Black Mask. I believe Glenn has some feelings about this book.
Glenn: Its a great concept that I feel was handled poorly but it definitely has a loyal fan base.
Ray:  Selling just under 2K at #324 is the latest Giant Days oversized special, “Where Women Glow and Men Plunder“. It’s Australia-set, and sells 72 copies above the main series despite being twice the price. This long-running college series is one of Boom’s best cult hits.
Image result for giant days Where Women Glow and Men Plunder
Speaking of cult sci-fi anthologies, Stargate Universe has one from American Mythology, selling 1.9K at #325. This is a property that hasn’t been around in a significant form in decades, so we’re really looking at a small base of fans here.
Glenn: Wow, Stargate who knew?  Yeah there will be the fans out there buying this and clutching it while they rock back and forth praying to the Netflix gods to bring it back
Ray:  At #329 is the Fantasmagoria Holiday Special, the second issue of a horror anthology from new publisher Starburns Industries Press. It sells 1.9K copies, but those are likely to be its last, as it’s from the creator of Border Town. Moving on…
American Mythology seems to be giving Dynamite a run for its money with old pulp heroes! They launch a new Zorro series, subtitled Legendary Adventures, at #330. Its 1.8K in sales seem about right for a character who hasn’t been relevant since his last movie about a decade ago.
Glenn: I was about to say ‘you go Zorro’ but then I think I made that joke on here before.  Where are all the Zorro comics coming from?!
Ray:  1.8K in reorders for Heroes in Crisis #3 at #333. This series may have gotten a lot of controversy, but getting people talking means more sales!
#337 brings us “Canadian Vark“, selling 1.7K for the latest weird vanity project for Dave Sim. I would say God bless ‘im, but that may not be appropriate anymore given recent revelations.
Glenn: The best thing is about these stories coming out is that people are finally feeling able to do so.
Ray:  Land that Time Forgot: Fear on Four Worlds launches at #340, selling 1.6K from American Mythology. This is not to be confused with The Land Before Time. Littlefoot is not in this.
Glenn: I was wondering.  I wonder if it would have sold better or worse if he was.  Loads of kids will think the only animated talking dinosaur is Rex from Toy Story and *sighs* The Good Dinosaur.
Ray:  Alterna finally has a new launch on the charts after a few months off, with the odd Einstein/Tesla adventure team-up Feast or Famine. It launches at #341 selling 1.6K, which is a little lower than what Albert Einstein: Time Mason did a few months back. Battle of the time-traveling Einsteins goes to Action Lab!
Glenn: Who would have guessed that Einstein would almost be in as many comics as Batman?  By almost I mean like 5% of course.
Ray:  American Gothic Press, a very small publisher that usually doesn’t go into the singles market, makes the top 500 with a new horror book titled Nice #1, selling 1.4K at #351. The company has a big presence in the hardcover market, so the eventual collection will likely do much more.
Antarctic Press launches the sexy zombie-hunter comic Rags at #358, selling 1.3K. It’s like Walking Dead, except the lead lady walks around in rags! In a world full of zombies. Who turn you into a zombie if you get bitten on exposed skin. This makes sense and is not a gross T&A comic at all.
Glenn: I’ve seen the cover to this.  The part of me that has a love for female strong protagonists died a little.
Ray:  Speaking of which, right below is Jungle Fantasy Secrets: Nude Cover Edition. It’s scary down here, Glenn.
Glenn: So many scantily clad or naked busty women, its like we stumbled into *insert popular porn site here*
Ray:  Amid a lot of Marvel reorders, Boom gets a rare reorder with an additional 1.2K in sales for Firefly #1 at #363. Good news for Boom, which has their first real hit since Power Rangers on their hands.
Glenn: Will be interested to see if Buffy can deliver next month’s charts for them.  Gaining these properties from Dark Horse may be the best thing to ever happen to them.
Ray:  Amid a sea of reorders for books including Avengers, Heroes in Crisis, Die! Die! Die!, and Guardians of the Galaxy, we find a few low-selling original books. They include Rem 8 Winter Classics #1, a mature-readers title from Rothic Comics. It sells 1K at #385. I have no idea what this book is.
Glenn: I googled it.  I wouldn’t recommend the experience.
Ray:  #389 to #394 are all Marvel reorders, all selling just around the 1K mark, and they include random titles like X-Men: Blue, She-Hulk, and Jean Grey. This is definitely some sort of stock liquidation for December.
Glenn: We’re onto you Marvel!  We here at By The Numbers are crazy enough to delve this deep!
Ray:  After a bunch of more reorders and low-selling comics, we come to Love Town #1 from Devil’s Due, which sells 901 copies. This vampire detective thriller was previewed with a #0 issue, but it doesn’t seem to have gained it any new fans.
Glenn: Vampires have kind of had their moment (except when they are Veronica Lodge for some reason), there isn’t really a popular comic in amongst a pile of other similar comics like there is for Walking Dead and zombies.
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Ray:  #409 brings us “How the Trump Stole Christmas” from Antarctic Press, selling 894 copies. I don’t know if this is pro-Trump or anti-Trump. Man was not meant to go this deep, Glenn.

Glenn:  I know that your heart is generally the size of your fist so given the President’s tiny hands, he seems perfect for the Grinch whose heart was several sizes too small.  

Some reorders for Bitter Root at 421 with sales at 812, seems like this one probably launched about the right level and will level out quick.
424’s Cavewoman Rampage One Shot makes me regret the day I said to Ray ‘how do you feel about doing a lighthearted article looking at comic sales’ all those years ago.  It sells 804 copies…somehow.
Grumble which we mentioned above has more orders down here for some reason that’s listed separately, how odd. Its a variant but still those are usually all packed with the prime sales. It picks up another 763 sales at 429.
At 432 is Lady Death Gallery Crimson Turnaround which is not a comic but an image of J. Scott Campbell’s redesign of the character from 17 years ago which Coffin Comics are charging $25 with a straight face.  This is your baseline for J. Scott Campbell images one would think?
Ray: It’s always strange down here. $25 art books from the 1990s?
Glenn:  Whole bunch of standard reorders and continuing series from small press that have very small audiences until we get to 468 and Source from Scout comics which sells 572 copies.  Their website literally tells me nothing about this book apart from what its called and I can get a glow in the dark edition.  Ooooo
Nothing here but minor reorders until the ever dubious 500th spot which goes to the first issue of a comic called Ancient Dreams by Aggressive Comics (?!?!?!?!) and its about two sisters stuck between the past and present with them both on the cover not wearing…anything but they have some sort of golden light covering their naughty bits (cause they have to keep their dignity you see).  So there you go, what an apt way to end the last sales chart of 2018.
Ray: You learn something new every day. I didn’t even know Aggressive Comics was a thing.
Glenn:  Something tells me they’d be angry about that fact.
What’s up next month Ray?

Ray:  Looking ahead, the biggest launch of the month is by far the debut of Wonder Comics from DC, starting with the guaranteed top ten debut Young Justice and the new hero debut Naomi, both from Brian Michael Bendis. We’ll also see Flash and Justice League annuals that set up the next year of stories, and the latest anthology – Mysteries of Love in Space

Marvel’s got some major debuts, including Jason Aaron’s Conan the Barbarian, Tom Taylor’s Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man, Chip Zdarsky’s Invaders, Kelly Thompson’s Captain Marvel, and a new Black Widow title, plus the return of Marvel Comics Presents. Likely to find rougher waters are a series of one-shots reviving classic genre titles like Crypt of Shadows.
It’s kind of a quiet month for indieland this month, with one BIG exception – as Boom takes a shot at the top ten with the debut of Buffy the Vampire Slayer from Jordie Bellaire and Dan Mora. There’s also the return of Fight Club 3 by Chuck Palahniuk and Cameron Stewart from Dark Horse, the return of Brubaker and Phillips’ Criminal, Kieron Gillen’s Watchmen-inspired Peter Cannon Thunderbolt, and the return of the Avatar franchise with Tsu’Tey’s Path. No, not that Avatar. Prince Zuko is not in this.
What will rise? What will fall? Find out next time on…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: November 2018

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

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

Glenn Matchett is a comic writer and editor. He’s worked in the industry for 6 years but grew up reading comics. He’s had work published with Outre Press, Alterna Comics and Nemesis Studios. For Christmas, Glenn is hoping to get Sparks on Comixology (yes I finally got it submitted, no I haven’t heard anything).

Ray Goldfield is a fan of comic books for going on 25 years, starting with the death of Superman. He is a writer and editor and has released his first novel. Ray also does a weekly roundup of DC comic reviews for website Geekdad and they’re brilliantly entertaining.  For Hanukkah, Ray listened to ‘Remember That We Suffered’ from Crazy Ex Girlfriend while eating lots of Chinese food, as is tradition.

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

Top 500 in full available here!

Glenn: Where did 2018 go?  Its the last by the Numbers for the year (unless typing this up takes until 2019) and we have one of the most puzzling and interesting sales charts of the year to see us out!

Image result for uncanny x-men 1 2018

Number one this month is former Marvel heavyweight title Uncanny X-Men which is back with a new 1, a new creative team and a weekly schedule and a hefty price for 7.99.  Despite said hefty price it sells over 176.1k which is great…kind of.  There were a lot of varient covers and it seems the X-Men are having a moment again…at least where 1’s are concerned because the other issues this month tell a slightly different story.  Issue 2 is at 15 with under half the sales of over 62.3k and 3 is at 17 with sales over 58.2k.  Now if it can stay around there then it’ll be fine but its quite a sharp drop and a strange sign from retailers who apparently expect over 100k people more NOT to come back THE VERY NEXT WEEK.  Its odd.  The varients will be making a big difference but the big question the title will have to answer if it can stay around the third issue level.  As a side note, another really high priced issue being number 1 is not good for anyone.  I’m sure most of us agree that more expensive comics for not much more content =bad but sales like this will encourage companies to keep giving us them.
Ray: Marvel is a mess when it comes to their overpriced launches. They pack them with variants, set a high price bar to even get into the series (especially bad when it’s a weekly series), and then make the Surprised Pikachu face when it crashes in sales. Based on these first few issues, it looks to me like this is going to settle down roughly around the level that X-Men: Gold did for its run, but maybe a little below the hit X-Men: Red. But they’re releasing an issue every week, so just like the Avengers weekly (which is coming back), it’ll overall be a win for Marvel.
Glenn:  At 2 is the new Green Lantern comic by Grant Morrison and Liam Sharp who are a dynamite team which is more than enough to understand why it sells over 113.6k which is way over what the title has been selling since the glory days of the Johns era.  I would estimate it’ll settle anywhere between 75-80k (around the same level as Justice League) for the remaining 11 issues which will be great.  Following up from that will be the real challenge but that’s tomorrow’s problem, right now its a win.
Ray:  Unlike the book right above it, the creative team on The Green Lantern is the big draw here. That means it’ll likely hold much better than other launches. I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see it be a top ten staple for its run (currently 12 issues, but they’ve said that about other runs). Top 20 is more likely, though. 
Glenn:  First surprise of the month is one shot Web Of Venom: Carnage which sells over 104.2k at 3 which in an insane amount of sales for a comic starring a character that lost his main sales pull like 10 years ago, if not more.  Clearly the direction writer Donny Cates continues to take the Venom franchise in seems to be turning anything relating to it to gold and Ray’s prediction that a Venom line overseen by him is almost becoming a certainty at this rate.  The regular Venom book rounds out the top ten at 10 with sales over 74.5k as it continues to be one of the most dependable books not only from Marvel but from the industry as a whole which is an insane statement considering where the title was only a year ago.  The title right now is right up there with the megawatt Justice League title which is one of DC’s biggest books and that is just madness.  When asked about rumours about building a cage that Cates can’t escape from, Marvel refused to comment.
Ray: They don’t need to build a cage for Cates. He’ll be running the place next year the way he’s going. But yeah, these numbers are insane. Venom’s a property that’s always been popular and has been waiting for a creative team to deliver on that potential. These two issues are yet another example of just how much of an impact this run has had. Flash Thompson and Carnage series are probably inevitable now in some form.
Glenn:  At 4 is right into another surprise with Amazing Spider-Man 10 which sells over 103.6k for no apparent reason?  The previous issue (9 for those of us bad at math) also charts at 7 with sales over 85.5k which is great also bit the leap of roughly 17k is a real puzzler.  Was there a varient people wanted?  Was there an overship?  Is this run gaining momentum?  All possibilities and next month might see the trend continue but clearly this is one book that no matter what, Marvel has little to concern themselves over.
Ray: There’s been quite a few cases where the first issue of the month had a weird increase followed by the second issue dropping a lot, but not the reverse. Weird. I’m guessing it’s a variant, because this was the end of a fairly bland arc. Either way, this title is largely bulletproof. The run has mostly been getting no buzz for good or bad, but Amazing Spider-Man has a ridiculously strong brand, almost like…the next two books on the list!
Glenn:  At 5 and 6 is Batman which is around its usual level selling over 94.9 and 93k respectively. Nothing much to say here, business as usual.
Ray: King has now confirmed that his run is going to 105, so DC will have nothing to worry about here for a long time.
Glenn:  Heroes In Crisis seems to have settled at roughly around the 80k level as issue 3 sells over 83.7k at 8 on the charts.  Its a good number but again with how DC was hyping this and what they deemed to turn it into, its unclear how much of a success it’ll be seen as.  If it was a book dealing with mental illness in the superhero community, a more character driven story I think it would be a great or even fantastic number but as a corner stone story for the entire universe with seemingly huge repercussions…its middling.
Ray: That’s a very small drop for the third issue, about 10%, so I’m guessing this is the series’ level. Overall decent, but more like a side event than a main event. There’s only room for one stand-alone prestige event comic at DC right now, I guess!
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Glenn:  At 9 is Avengers issue 10 which is actually issue 700 which sells over 77.7k.  Considering what other books have done with their anniversary issues this is definitely an underwhelming number.  I would say that keeping the current numbering and not renumbering to 700 for one issue (Marvel have done worse, lets face it) may have been a mistake.  There will likely be reorders on this one as I think the significance in regards to numbering and story with this issue was somewhat missed.

Ray:  That’s an increase of almost 20K from last month, so I’m guessing Marvel got the word out. This turned out to be a very significant issue with long-term implications, so I wouldn’t be surprised by reorders. This is largely Marvel’s new flagship book.

Fantastic Four ships two issues this month, landing at #12 and #14 with sales of 72K and 67K respectively. That’s right around the level of Justice League, so I think we can safely say this is one of Marvel’s top books right now. Just like Thor, absence made the heart grow fonder.
Glenn: Great settlement for Fantastic Four which will get a wedding push next month because Slott definitely isn’t one to let things just simmer.  He’s really brought bis magic to a title Marvel has trying (and failing) to make work since they put Millar and Hitch on the book way back in the day.
Ray:  Good ol’ Walking Dead is down there at #18, selling 58K. As the comic market ramps up, top ten is a hard reach, but zombies will always be waiting for us in the top 20.
At #21 is the first issue of the Marvel Knights 20th Anniversary miniseries. The first issue is written by Cates before other writers take over, and it sells a strong 52K for a series that doesn’t really seem to tie into anything else. The second issue drops significantly down to #50, selling a still decent 36K.
Glenn: Some nostalgia here for sure but Cates seems to be the main selling point here.  You might not be too far wrong on him being at the helm of the ship sooner rather than later.
Ray:  One of the strongest debuts in Boom’s history is at #22, as Greg Pak’s Firefly sequel series sells 51K. This is set after the series and before the movie, so certain fan favorites are still around. That and the top creative team combined for an amazing debut for a company that rarely breaks into the top 100.
Glenn: The love for this series following a one series cancellation 15 years ago (!!!!) is unreal.  Congrats to everyone involved, the demand is clearly still there.
Ray:  The Drowned Earth crossover concludes at #26, selling just under 50K. This was another modest hit for DC just like The Witching Hour, but the event issues selling so much lower than the Justice League issues is weird.
Glenn: Like I said last month, we saw something similar with Clone Conspiracy a few years ago.  The main issues of Amazing sold great but the event mini did far less.  This seems to be a lack of understanding/miscommunication.  It leaves one to wonder what the point of these special one shots are any more when you can just do an extra issue of the main title and sell a lot more.
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Ray:  Dead Man Logan, the final arc of Old Man Logan’s story, kicks off its year-long run at #29 with sales of 49K. That’s a 10K increase for the final anniversary issue of the original series last month, so retailers were likely treating this as somewhere between a new launch and a continuation. There seems to have been a market for a more traditional stabby Wolverine while the original is dealing with hot claws and Infinity Stones.
This is the tier where we see a lot of strong ongoing titles that have locked down around the 50K-45K mark long-term. They include Detective Comics, Catwoman (which is performing like a Bat-title), Superman, Action Comics, the two main Star Wars titles, Thor, Flash, Justice League Dark, and Captain America. This is the cream of both companies’ crops at the moment.
Wonder Woman sees the debut of G. Willow Wilson’s run at #33 with sales of 44K. That’s an increase of only 2K from Steve Orlando’s first issue, interestingly, so the title probably already saw its rebound from the previous extended run. The second issue of Wilson’s run only sells 37K at #49. DC probably could have hyped this up a bit more to get buzz rolling, but I expect heavy reorders.
Glenn: It could be a climber too.  Wilson’s run has the potential to get people talking about Wonder Woman again and could get eyes on the title gradually over time.
Ray:  A decent debut for playwright Eve Ewing’s first Marvel book, Ironheart. It lands at #45 with sales of 40K, which is about as much as I could expect for a character who never really caught on under her stint in the Iron Man armor. I am surprised that this issue did better than Shuri’s debut issue last month, given the movie hype for that character. As with almost all teen-focused Marvel books, this title’s future will be whether it can capitalize on that secondary comics market.
Glenn: Decent start for Ironhart who who will likely settle at around mid 20k.  This one does seem to have been left to defend for itself promotion wise.
Ray:  We wave goodbye to Mister Miracle as he takes his final bow at #47, selling 38K. Great numbers for a Kirby spinoff, owing entirely to the incredibly talented creative team. But his final trick will be turning those 38K sales into millions of trade sales.
Glenn: This will sell forever and ever over various editions.  You can build a house with one copy of each version of Watchmen that’s ever been released and this series will be much the same.
Ray:  #48 has the debut of IDW’s new Marvel line, with Marvel Action: Spider-Man. This all-ages adventure features Peter, Miles, and Gwen, and is part of a line of new-reader friendly takes on popular Marvel characters for Disney. Its 37K in sales doesn’t look impressive, but this is not remotely a book geared towards this market. It seems like it’s going over very well, and it’ll sell countless times that in IDW’s affordable mini-trade format.
Glenn: Its a big number for IDW.  Many fans in the direct market won’t be deeming it relevant enough to check out but through other avenue’s it could be the biggest selling Spider-Man title.
Ray:  #55 has the debut of Bloodshot: Rising Spirit, selling 34K for Valiant. This is a decent debut, boosted by the character’s profile being raised a LOT by Jeff Lemire. I doubt it’ll sustain those sales long-term, though, as this flashback story doesn’t seem to be getting much buzz.
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In one of the oddest spin-off projects Marvel has done in a while, Thanos‘ henchmen the Black Order got their own miniseries. It lands at #57 and sells 32K, a pretty weak number for a solo story no one was really clamoring for.
Glenn: Most of those sales will be just due to their spotlight in Infinity War.  It might have done a bit better had it been timed closer to the movie but yeah this is really one of those ‘well what did you expect?’ cases.
Ray:  The latest and last Infinity Warp miniseries, Ghost Panther, sells 31K at #60. Black Panther has a huge audience, Ghost Rider less so. This was just around the level of Weapon Hex and ArachKnight last month.
Glenn: If only it had been Cosmic Ghost Panther!  Then sales would have went through the roof!
Ray:  The latest Ralph Macchio one-shot, Enter the Spider-Verse, lands at #63 with sales of 29K. This is a bit higher than these throw-away one-shots usually do, maybe due to retailers not being sure if this was a Spider-Geddon tie-in or not. This also may be the last of these, as Jody Houser is writing the reader-friendly Captain Marvel one-shot in February.
Glenn:  They probably wanted a female writer on the Captain Marvel one, Macchio will likely be back in time for his Endgame tie in.
Ray:  After a lot of decently-selling ongoings like Doctor Strange, Harley Quinn, and Nightwing (which seems to be surviving the mess the title’s found itself in with decent sales), we get to the next #1 on the list. That would be Han Solo: Imperial Cadet at #70, selling 27K. This is a spinoff exploring an unseen era of a prequel that many people felt was unnecessary in the first place, so I’m guessing that retailers felt this was the least necessary Star Wars comic yet – especially with how poorly the film was received.
Glenn: Yeah, there’s been so much backlash against Solo (unfairly to me) that this one was always going to struggle.  It’ll probably earn its keep in collections sold at various Star Wars related locations but I don’t think we’ll be seeing this period of Han’s life in comics form in the future again.
Ray:  #79 brings us the first issue of Infinity Warps, an anthology tying into Infinity Wars and featuring absurd little merged characters like “Moon Squirrel” and a Fantastic Four of only two people. It sells 25K, which is fine for a side book like this with no larger implications.
At #85 is a comic called “Rick and Morty presents Pickle Rick“. This is a real comic that sells just under 24K. This is a real comic that outsells Daredevil. I am not okay, Glenn.
Glenn: I hear that Chip Zdarsky is going to appear on that mountain, as the sun rises on the third day to make everything okay again!
Ray:  Although West Coast Avengers started low on the sales charts, it seems to be holding very well. The fourth issue sells 22K at #90, which is actually up just under 1K from the third issue. This is a title that found its audience and could grow from here, especially once the first trade hits.
Glenn: This seems to be destined to be a cult hit which is fine, a lot of series out there could dream to have the same distinction.
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Ray:  The second issue of the Typhoid Fever miniseries, this one starring the X-Men, sells 22K at #91. That’s almost a 33% drop from the first Spider-Man issue, which doesn’t bode well for next month’s Iron Fist installment.
Shuri gets hit pretty hard with its second issue, shedding about a third of its first issue sales to land at #96 with 21K in sales. Caveats apply about the secondary market, of course, but this is struggling early.
Glenn: Borrowing heavily from the super successful movie seems to not have benefited much, at least in the singles market.  The Black Panther title is doing very well historically speaking but its still not going to be a franchise that can sustain much outside itself.
Ray:  A bizarre, inexplicable, massive drop for Supergirl at #100, as it loses over half its sales to sell 21K. This is essentially retailers reverting to form for the series before the revamp and shedding all their extra orders for the Bendis revamp. We’ll have to see where it goes from here, but this one of the more dramatic course corrections after the initial three-month period I’ve seen.

Glenn:  That is an odd one.  Perhaps a mistake, perhaps not.  We’ll know more next month.  Its still doing at an okay level but if it drops further it might become a problem.

Also, selling about 20k gets you into the top 100 these days, yeesh.  2018 was rough.
Scottie Young’s new Image book, Middlewest sells a very good number at 104 selling over 20.8k.  He’s slowly building a brand as a writer.
Ray: Yeah, Young’s had a pair of pretty decent hits for Image as of late, even without his art on board.
Glenn:  Losing about 16k on its second issue, Old Lady Harley sells over 20.4k at 105 which isn’t too bad given its an out of continuity mini by a writer that doesn’t have much buzz about him.
At 108 is Archie 700 which is the title going back to original numbering and the start of a new creative team which sells over 19.4k which is quite a leap up from the titles previous levels.  This issue is essentially a clip show/set up.  It’ll likely be back to previous levels soon enough, the hype the title gained when it relaunched under Waid and Staples seems a long time ago.
Ray: I believe this is the start of the new creative team on Archie, actually. The company hyped it up for months and gave it a ton of variants, and these sales reflect it. But as we speak, artist Marguerite Sauvage has already left the title and the book is missing months in solicits. Not looking good. If only other companies had stories that could have warned them…
At #112 is an unusual Dark Horse book, William Gibson’s Alien 3. This is the comic book adaptation of what would have been Alien 3 before it was heavily rewritten. It sells 18.8K, a stronger than usual debut for this licensed property. Dark Horse is getting the best out of it before the property heads over to the mouse house. 
Glenn: I missed that one!  The story behind Alien 3’s production fascinates me so a lot of fans of the franchise will definitely turn out for this one.
Former DC and Marvel writer, David Walker comes back to comics after a brief break along with co-writer Chuck Brown to launch Bitter Root from Image which launches at 115 selling over 18.6k which again isn’t too bad, especially since Walker never really got the opportunity to be a heavy hitter at either of his two employers.
Ray:  Yeah, this is a very promising debut for Walker and Greene’s book, and it seems to be getting some amazing reviews. We’ll see it have very good holds from here, I bet.
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Glenn:  At 119 is Doctor Who 13th Doctor 1 which sells over 18.2k which is the highest launch for the property in…well quite some time and possibly ever.  Not sure how long it’ll last but this is likely due to the hype around the first female Doctor and the involvement of writer Jody Houser along with longtime Who artist Rachel Stott.
Books of Magic loses about half its sales with the second issue charting at 120 with sales over 18.1k.  This is still very good if we’re going by recent Vertigo standards and these various Sandman related books will do most of their business in trades regardless.
DC’s latest 80 page 9.99 anthology, Nuclear Winter sells over 17.2k at 122 which is very good for a bunch of out of continuity series but this volume had some serious talent involved which likely helped.  For what its worth, I think this one was the best one DC has put out.
Ray: That’s another healthy launch for an expensive, oversized anthology. If they keep delivering the quality, they’ll have a small hit every quarter at this rate.
Glenn:  At 123 is Suicide Squad Black Files which sells over 16.9k which is okay for a throwaway one shot while the franchise waits for the next iteration of its title to be announced.
Ray: This Suicide Squad miniseries is essentially a compilation of two separate solo series – one for Katana and one for El Diablo. Given that, I imagine these sales are much better than those solo projects would have done.
Glenn: Oh yeah for sure, we still have nightmares about the sales of Katana’s new 52 series
The second issue of Lucifer at 124 is an identical story to Books Of Magic, it sells over 16.8 which if memory serves places it quite a bit ahead of the previous series that was coming out.
Falling to sales over 16.2+k is the latest Umbrella Acedemy mini at 127.  There’s still a small dedicated audience here but this mini and its predecessors will likely greatly benefit in collections from a Netflix adaption coming in the new year.
A new DC series Electric Warriors launches from Steve Orlando and Travel Foreman at 128 selling over 16.1k.  This seems to be a revival of an old 80’s property, I don’t think there seemed to be much of a clamoring for the return of this one.
Ray: Yeah, this is a super-obscure DC property, taking place between the eras of Kamandi and the Legion. Given that, DC probably didn’t expect anything else. It’s a fun experimental miniseries that will play out its run and hopefully get a cult audience in collections.
Glenn:  The newest John Layman title, Outer Darkness debuts at 136 selling over 13,7 which seems to be about the audience his name commands.  Decent start, if it can pick up momentum in collections like Chew did there won’t be any concerns about Layman getting to tell the title’s full story.
Ray: Layman tends to do a bit better than other cult creators known for their weird concepts. Kieron Gillen said that if you’re not an A-lister and you launch above 10K, you’re probably in good shape.
Glenn:  Usually the movie prelude’s Marvel put out are a waste of paper retelling the events of a previous movie or some such.  I’m curious though what Captain Marvel Prelude included since we’ve seen nothing of her so far on the big screen.  It sells over 13.3k at 138 which is perfectly fine for this sort of thing.
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Ray: This one was actually an original story, focusing on what Maria Hill and Nick Fury were doing through the last few years of the MCU. It also had nothing to do with Captain Marvel until Fury called her, so this line continues to be weird.
Glenn: At least it was a new story though
The second issue of Shatterstar loses about 8k in sales which is much better than I would have expected.  It sells over 13k at 139 so it could be much, much worse.
At 141 is American Carnage from Brian Hill which a new Vertigo offering from DC which sells over 12.8k which is about the usual for this new iteration of the line.  I think this one might be the one to watch of all of the new Vertigo launches though.
Ray: Yeah, this one has a very strong creative team and a lot of advance buzz. More on Vertigo’s newest troubles in a bit, though…
Glenn:  At 148 the Sideways Annual sells nearly identical to the regular issue which is just one spot below it with both selling over 11.6k.  The character seems to have a small but set audience but that’s unlikely to save it from the same fate the books it launched amongst have all met.
Ray: Sideways has in fact been cancelled, so it seems like we’ll be seeing this line as a whole wrap up shortly.
Glenn:  At 157 is Dr. Horrible Best Friends Forever the long awaited sequel to the exceptional web series of yesteryear.  It sells over 11k showing that it doesn’t seem to have the same nostalgia power that Firefly had but the series hasn’t had nearly as much additions to it and doesn’t feature any new music (boo)

Ray:  That’s really low for a property written by Joss Whedon – he actually wrote the full script here, not just consulted. It’s always hard to tell how much audience a property that was solely available online for free has left, but I’m surprised this didn’t make the top 100. 

Glenn: I think after the accusations raised by his ex-wife and the performance of Justice League, Whedon’s pull may have diminished.  It’ll be interesting to see how well his new series does when it sees the light of day.
Ray:  Cult creator Tom Scioli, one of the most acclaimed indie cartoonists next to Ed Piskor, chose the obscure 1980s cartoon Go-Bots as his next project. It launches at #158 with sales of 11K for IDW, their third-highest sales of the month. That’s the most relevant Go-Bots has been in decades! But given Scioli’s fanbase, I imagine this will be doing most of its audience in collections.
Glenn: I know nothing about Go-bots apart from them being discount Transformers so this seems rather good but within expectations for when you get a creator who brings a set audience regardless of property.
Ray:  The latest Hellboy and the BPRD one-shot, set in 1956, lands at #164 with sales of 10.5K. It’s pretty amazing how stable the Mignolaverse is for Dark Horse. That and Black Hammer are their top homegrown franchises.
An odd project, The Wicked + the Divine Funnies, lands at #166 with sales of 10K. This is pretty close to the level of the regular title, so retailers just treated it like the latest one-shot even though it’s a comedy anthology with no ties to the main story.
An oversized Jim Henson’s Labyrinth one-shot lands at #170 with sales of 9.8K. The movie has gotten a bigger profile recently thanks to the sequel series, so this probably boosted the sales. Not bad for a $7.99 comic.
Greg Pak’s latest relaunch of James Bond, titled James Bond 007, launched at #172 with sales of 9.7K. This got some good buzz for his revamp of Oddjob as a rival secret agent, but it doesn’t seem to have translated to sales. Probably doesn’t help that Dynamite has a lot of different Bond books running at the same time.
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Glenn: They do seem determined to get a lot out of this licence don’t they?  Bond outside of the big screen isn’t a franchise that commands a lot of attention and even then, the status of the films seem in flux.
Ray:  Star Wars Adventures has a new spinoff miniseries, Destroyer Down, taking place right before The Force Awakens. It sells a healthy 9.7K at #173, although the majority of sales will be in collections.
Bettie Page gets a relaunch at #175, selling 9.6K. I got nothing. Dynamite really likes doing weird adventure comics about real people.
Glenn: I don’t remember the last series being that long in the tooth…who do they think they are, Marvel?
Ray:  Tom Taylor wraps up his time in the Injusticeverse with Injustice 2 Annual #2, selling 9.5K at #176. This was a digital-first release, so it did most of its sales there, but this is still a decent increase for the book. It’s also one of the best comics of the year.
Glenn: Taylor has been doing Injustice for a few years now (apart from a brief break some years back) and seems to have turned it into a well received cult hit.  Not too bad for a comic based on a video game to remain relatively stable for several years.  We’re starting to see Taylor now get bigger franchise opportunities coming up, lets see how those do in the coming months.
Ray:  One of Cullen Bunn’s earliest horror comics, The Empty Man, returns for an ongoing series at Boom. It sells 9.3K at #179, a decent number for Boom’s creator-owned books. That Bunn guy is all over the place!
Glenn: Bunn, Ennis and Lemire maybe have the most diverse portfolios in comics right now.  Doesn’t seem to be doing them any harm either.
Ray:  Top Cow’s latest release, The Warning, lands at #180 with sales of 9.2K. Edward LaRoche’s writer-artist book didn’t seem to get much advance hype and got lost in the shuffle of the month’s big releases, so it’ll have to build some buzz fast.
Glenn: Typical Top Cow performance then, the company must be able to perform somehow/somewhere to keep chugging along as it does.
Ray:  At #185, we have the third issue of Vertigo’s Border Town, selling 8.5K. A decent number, and about 8.5K more copies than it’s going to be finishing its run with after the creator was credibly accused of sexual assault, his art team quit, and DC canned the book. Womp Womp.
Glenn:  DC just announced that the first few issues are all returnable too.  Its like it never happened and that’s pretty much how it should be.  Kudos to the art team on this, I hope they get more work.
Note:  After this was typed up, it was leaked the writer was due to takeover Nightwing and was to co-write the March issue.  That did not happen.
Ray:  Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, which has spawned a hit Netflix series despite never finishing its second arc, reissued its first issue for a dollar and sold an additional 8.3K at #188. Some free money, akin to the True Believers model, but it’s funny that this is the first comic based on the property that has been released in years.
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Glenn: The collection sold well this month too.  The upcoming title by Kelly Thompson will likely do well too, it is odd that they’re making the call to have that series be more of a traditional Sabrina story than the one that is taking off on screen.
Ray:  Dark Horse had better find some new licenses to make up for all the ones they’re losing to the mouse, so they’re trying to make a go with the popular video game God of War. The first issue of a new miniseries sells 7.9K at #194.
Glenn: A very popular game series but as usual, that’ll only get you so far with a comic adaption.  Fans of these franchises like the medium they originate from.
Ray:  Speaking of cult video games, the choose-your-own-adventure romantic mystery Life is Strange gets a spinoff from Titan Comics. It sells 7.5K at #198, a decent number for Titan and its young adult audience will probably pick it up in larger numbers in trade.
Glenn: That being said, Life Is Strange which is heavily story based and has a very passionate fan base could buck the trend.  Fans could really turn out for the collection of this one.
Ray:  Coming off a 25-cent preview issue, Dynamite launches Battlestar Galactica Classic as a series, and it debuts at #203 with sales of 7.2K. The property has been overshadowed by its modern version in recent years, so this is very much a niche comic.
Crimson Lotus, a spin-off of the Lobster Johnson Mignolaverse franchise, gets her own series at #208, selling 6.7K. Well below the main series, but it’s another piece of evidence of how strong this franchise is.
Hey, Zombie Tramp is creeping towards the top 200! She’s at #218 this month, selling 6.1K. Good ol’ Zombie Tramp, unofficial mascot of By the Numbers.
Glenn: I remember puzzling what the heck it was when it started appearing at 300 (back when there only was 300…) its nice to see it grow up and do so well.  No doubt our constant mentioning of it here and on the Stew helps a great deal.
Ray:  Woof, a pretty terrible debut for Keith Giffen’s new Image miniseries, Auntie Agatha’s Home for Wayward Rabbits. It sells 5.7K at #220. That’s one of the lowest debuts for a main line Image book I can remember, especially odd since Giffen is a fairly big name in comics. This seemed like an all-ages comic based on the concept, but it actually very much wasn’t. I don’t know who this was marketed towards, and I’m not sure retailers did either.
Glenn: Giffen is a legend in comics but he’s not known for much creator owned stuff.  He may be viewed as an old school creator that can’t float a new series.  This one could turn around but so far, interest seems to be minimal.

Ray:  The latest Boom teen-oriented miniseries, Smooth Criminals, lands at #234 with sales of 5.3K. This story of a computer programmer who teams up with a time-displaced master thief. A double-period piece taking place in 1955 and 2000, it’s clearly a unique book – but like all of Boom’s books, it’s not really geared towards the direct market.

Glenn:  That seems to be a very interesting if somewhat complex premise.  One thing that the market can’t be accused of is lack of choice.
From IDW comes a prequel to the last movie George Romero directed, Road Of The Dead: Highway To Hell which sells over 5.2k at 236.  This is likely for diehard fans of the movie or Romero in particular.  I can’t expect IDW expected much more because at its core, its just another zombie book and priced at 4.99 to boot.
The Terrible Eisabeth Dumn Against The Devils In Suits is an English adaption of a foreign horror comic.  It has a very long title and is good for sales numbering over 5.1k at 239.  It seems to have been lost in the shuffle a little bit.
Ray: This was a really weird comic – oversized both in pages and dimensions, and released with little fanfare. Image just sort of tossed it out there, and this is what you get.
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Glenn:  Some reorders for last months Venom annual at 242 with over 4.6k additional sales.  There are additional sales for the third issue of the main series at 240 too.  We’re going to have so many Venom books come the Summer, we’ll not know what to do with ourselves.
Lightstep is a new five issue mini from Dark Horse which sells over 4k at 258.  Pretty standard from Dark Horse when it comes to comics that aren’t attached to major properties or by Mike Mignola or Jeff Lemire.
Ray: I believe the creator of Lightstep is a legendary European writer/artist, so this may be aimed much more at foreign markets in the collected edition.
Glenn:  Minions Viva Le Boss is a one shot containing more wacky adventures from everyone’s favorite yellow fiends.  It sells over 3.8k at 266 which is on the low side but there’s no movie to latch onto, its a kids comic and will likely sell better elsewhere.
Ray: I think it’s actually a series – just issue after issue of silent comics where the Minions accidentally kill their boss. This will likely get a lot of bookstore sales
Glenn:  A new mini from Zenescope written by Chuck Dixon (no really), Van Helsing Sword Of Heaven launches at 280 selling 3.5k.  This is a higher level than Zenescope usually does but again, its a rough month all round.  Seeing Zenescope publish work by Comicsgate creators seems about right for them.
Ray:  Zenoscope, keeping it classy even when not selling Sexy Red Riding Hood. 
Glenn:  Disney Afternoon Giant at 286 selling over 3.3k is much like the case of the Minions comic above, its a kids comic that’ll do its business elsewhere.  For those keeping track on their ‘Disney properties and who deals with them’ Bingo cards, this one is from IDW, well known publisher of Spider-Man.
Speaking of Spider-Man, at 288 we have some reorders of Spider-Geddon.  Reorders are always nice but this is only sales of over 3,2k so this doesn’t seem to have been the barn burner that the company was likely hoping it would be.  Its been very good too but it seems the idea will be more profitable as a movie franchise in the years to come.
More reorders for Venom, issue 7 this time at 295 selling over 3k.  Venom showing up multiple times in the forms of reorders is something that makes me doubt my sanity, who would have guessed?
Another new mini from a creative team I don’t recognize in the form of Sukeban Turbo which sells over 3k at 296.  I think they should be pleased they made the top 300 all things considered.  Up here is where its safe.
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Pretty much the same story at 300 for Night Movies which just squeaks in at the upper end of the charts with sales over 2.9k.  IDW are throwing out a lot of content but not much of seems to be resonating interest.
Ray: There’s been a real increase in the number of creator-owned comics on the market, to the point where it starts to feel like a glut. IDW is one of many companies that hasn’t been able to catch fire. We saw what happened to books by legendary creators like Carey and Gross with The Highest House (come on, people!). What hope do books like these have? Neither of them picked up any critical buzz either.
Glenn:  Cheryl Blossom 1 is some sort of comic shop incentive thing from Archie which sells over 2.4k 1t 313  proving that not every Archie character needs their own title.
Ray: I believe this was a reprint of Cheryl’s solo series from the 1990s. It didn’t last long then either.
Glenn:  At 315 is Trump Titans Space Force.  It sells over 2.4k.  I wonder how many of those were ordered for the lolz factor.  Those reading this will likely still hear my cries of sorrow on the wind from having to type about this comic.
Ray: *deep long sigh followed by barely muffled scream* We are professionals and judge all comics equally. This is by Canadian company Keenspot, and I believe their Trump comics are more parodies? Maybe?
Glenn:  No one said we were professional.
A lot of reorders around the 2k mark for random issues of Amazing, Shuri, Nightwing, Drowned Earth, X-Men Black: Magneto, the first issue of Heroes in Crisis and others.  Again, reorders are always encouraging but none of these exactly scream high demand.
At 341 is Cerebus In Hell, our monthly Dave Sim insanity which sells over 1.9k.  I wonder if in another reality he too had to do an article about the top 500 sales…
Conspiracy The Illuminati is a comic centering around some of the worlds craziest theories.  It promises to shape how readers perceive reality but given its from Zenescope, the only thing readers may doubt is their sanity.  It sells over 1.9k at 342.  The Da Vinchi Code this isn’t.
Ray: I’m sure this won’t at all give their new ComicsGate fanbase some bad ideas about who’s running the world…
Glenn:  The price of $1 doesn’t seem to get much interest in the Atomic Robo: Greatest Hits release at 345 selling over 1.8k.  Its a cult all ages property with a set audience and even a price incentive is unlikely to grab new readers.
Ray: This comic has had a long, healthy run already and has found a solid audience in trades. This is just a way to try to get some more eyes on it, but I imagine this is a lot like Usagi Yojimbo or Savage Dragon – another long-runner that isn’t going to pick up much of a new audience.
Image result for Atomic Robo: Greatest Hits
Glenn:  Die Kitty Die Heaven and Hell maybe wins the prize for the oddest title this month.  It sells over 1.8k at 346 and is the monthly release of a Kickstarter project so likely all those who were desperate to have it got it through there.  The property shows up again at 356 in Die Kitty Die Cathouse Horror special selling over 1.7k.  I think they missed the fact that all the horror releases were last month.
Ray: This is one of those obscure comics like Lady Mechanika that I keep on seeing around but I’m still not sure if it’s real.
Glenn:  90’s nostalgia features this month at 372 in the form of Rugrats C Is For Chanukah Special which sells over 1.5k at 372.  Better elsewhere, yadda yadda.  You all know the drill.

Ray:  One might even say…T is for Trades? And B is for Bookstore?

The oversized IDW Disney digest, Tsum Tsum Kingdom, is at #374 selling just under 1500 copies. Same story as Rugrats, but this one is about tiny little aliens that look like Disney characters! It also had stories by Time & Vine creator Thom Zahler. This is likely going to be an evergreen book at Disney World, so IDW’s Disney/Marvel bet continues to pay off.
The new sexy Superhero comic Punchline debuts from Antarctic Press with 1.4K at #375. Got to get some of that Zenoscope money, I guess.
Glenn:  She does seem to wear a little more clothes than the female characters from either companies choose to wear if that counts for anything.
Ray:  The Catalyst Prime line from Lion Forge has been ambitious, but it hasn’t paid off in sale as the line’s seven books often miss the top 500. We get a new debut this month, as Quincredible – a teen superhero adventure that doesn’t actually have the Catalyst Prime logo – lands at #381 with sales of 1.4K. Clearly, these books have to be getting their sales somewhere, but it’s not here.
Glenn:  As you said on the Stew, removing the logo seems to have helped matters which is hilarious in a way.
Ray:  A surprisingly hefty reorder for Steve Orlando’s Dead Kings, from Aftershock at #385, picking up just under 1.3K. I think retailers ordered this like every other Aftershock book but underestimated Orlando’s fanbase. There’s also 1.2K in reorders for the Wytches Bad Egg special four spots lower.
Starburns Industries Press has the oddball anthology, Comics Comics Quarterly, at #388, selling 1.25K. This collection of stories by comedians featured Patton Oswalt and might become a collector’s item if one of the lesser-known comics breaks out.
Glenn:  An odd one and may worth digging out of your lcs’s bargain bin cause you never know!
Ray:  Pink Panther Classic Christmas sells 1.2K at #391. It’s a weird world down here.
Amid a lot of reorders, the Source Point Press Frankenstein remix Monstrous lands at #401, selling 1.1K. Source Point, unlike many other new companies, seems to have a distinct POV. They do oddball horror and supernatural comics, and it seems to be helping them grow a bit faster than others.
Action Lab has Princeless: Find Yourself, a feminist fairy-tale remix from Unstoppable Wasp creator Jeremy Whitley. It sells 893 copies at #418, but this is a series that’s been out for a while and gets 99% of its sales in collections. I’m kind of surprised they;re even doing singles anymore.
Mad Cave Studios, which we rarely see on this list, has a new title in Knights of the Golden Sun at #421. Selling 843 copies, it’s a pseudo-Christian comic about the lost adventures of angelic warriors. Clearly, the definition of niche comic.
Glenn:  Wow…I wonder if this is secretly an Ed Wood comic and he’s using this to finance his latest zany movie.
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Ray:  The Long Con deserves so much better than 765 copies at #430. Clearly, Oni has faith in it, though – hopefully it’s killing it in trades.
Glenn:  It really does.  Oni released a second printing of the first issue and only charged $1 for it a while back so hopefully that helps things long term.
Ray:  Vault might have a mini-hit on its hands as they pick up 677 reorders for their India-based vampire thriller These Savage Shores at #435. Amid a sea of Marvel, DC, and licensed reorders, this one stands out. They also get 672 reorders for their supernatural writer drama Fearscape at #438.
Judge Dredd is a character who’s made the rounds at various companies. His newest home at Rebellion Developments doesn’t really pay off, as movie sequel Dredd: Final Judgement only sells 663 copies at #439.
Neither Monarchs #1 from Scout Comics nor Love Town #0 from Devil’s Due make any impact on the direct market, selling 581 and 576 copies respectively at #446/447.
We finally get to see where the Catalyst Prime titles land, as this month’s chart has a much lower floor than most months’. Noble is the highest of the lot, selling 551 copies at #454, with Summit and Accell selling 490 and 457 respectively. The others are still MIA.
Two more creator-owned bombs are Pandora: Shotgun Mary #0 from Avatar (#455, 541 copies) and Antarctic’s Star’s End (#456, 539 copies). Too many books on the market and little to set these two apart.
Glenn:  Its sink or swim in the market with too many books doing the former.
Ray:  It’s a wave of reorders down here, as the vast majority of the bottom fifty are books we’ve seen already. The last original book on the charts, at #493, is WWE Superstars Ongoing from Super Genius. This is an alternate reality comic featuring the WWE stars as superheroes, and it sells 397 copies.
Glenn:  Super Cena!  He’s reallllll
Ray:  The actual #500 book this month is a reprint of Rick and Morty vs. Dungeons and Dragons #2, selling 391 copies. Somehow, I blame Pickle Rick for this.
Glenn:  Same.
Ray:  Looking ahead, it’s a pretty big month to end the year. DC is bringing us some new launches and creative teams, including a new Freedom Fighters and Martian Manhunter series, Kelly Sue DeConnick’s debut on Aquaman and Pete Tomasi’s return to Detective Comics, and Zoe Quinn’s first published comic at Vertigo in Goddess Mode. But the heavyweight entries are undoubtedly the lightest and darkest comics DC puts out this month – the debut of Shazam, and the return of The Batman Who Laughs. Good chance those two are chasing Doomsday Clock on the charts.
Marvel this month is more about endings than beginnings, with events like Spider-Geddon, Infinity Wars, and Extermination wrapping up their runs. But they’ve got quite a lot of launches packed into three weeks this month – including two Fantastic Four wedding issues, a five-part Defenders special event, the launch of Superior Octopus, Killmonger, and a new Miles Morales series at exactly the right time.
It’ll be a busy month for indie as well. The headliner is probably the new Gillen/Hans series Die, but Mark Millar and Rafael Albuquerque’s new series Prodigy isn’t far behind. And when it comes to Dark Horse, it’s the comic everyone’s been waiting for – Black Hammer presents Cthu-Louise!
What will rise? What will fall? Will we cry when we get into the 400s? Find out next time on By the Numbers!
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Liked what you read?  Have a question or a comment?  Let us know here or hot us up on Twitter @glenn_matchett and @raygoldfield!

By The Numbers: October 2018

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

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

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

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

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

Top 300 in full available here!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By The Numbers: September 2018

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

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

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

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

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

Top 300 in full available here!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By The Numbers: August 2018

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

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

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

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

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

Top 300 in full available here!

Glenn:  Hello, hello, hello

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

by The Numbers: July 2018

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

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

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

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

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

Top 300 in full available here!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By The Numbers: June 2018

 

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

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

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

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

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

Top 500 in full available here!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By The Numbers: May 2018

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

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

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

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

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

Top 300 in full available here!

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

Let’s get going.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Image result for infinity countdown: darkhawk

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

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

Glenn:  The power of Jeff Lemire strikes!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Image result for green arrow annual 1 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Image result for tmnt urban legends

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Image result for the nightmare before christmas zero's journey

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Glenn:  I would buy every copy if they did.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Glenn:  Spider-Doctor sounds supper terrifying though.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Image result for dark souls: age of fire

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Image result for alien toilet monsters #1

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Glenn:  We can but dream.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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