Category Archives: By the Numbers

August By The Numbers 2021

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

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

Glenn Matchett is a comic writer and editor. He’s worked in the industry for many years but grew up reading comics. He’s had work published with various small press publishers and has is own comic now available on Comixology in Sparks: The Way I Was from Yellow Bear Comics! In a few days Glenn is free from the worst run of Spider-Man ever, he cries tears of joy daily.

Ray Goldfield is a fan of comic books for going on 25 years, starting with the death of Superman. He is a writer and editor and has released his first novel. Ray also does a weekly roundup of DC comic reviews for website Geekdad and they’re brilliantly entertaining. Is hoping that all those that sent refusals/legal warnings and such have all left and now will finally get Batspoiler this year.

No more cover images until WordPress stops being useless in its new format outside the top book. Sorry for the wall of text! We promise laughs in place of images!

Glenn: Its been a few weeks wait but the sales for August 2021 are finally here and things are hotting up to say the least so let’s not waste time and get going!

Back on top of the sales chart is not just Todd McFarlane’s long running creator owned comic Spawn but King Spawn! A new direction starring the iconic character manages to generate sales over 479.9k to make it the top selling comic of the month. For a long time it seemed that Spawn had been relegated to background noise in Image’s catalogue as the publisher moved on but the past few years has seen an astonishing resurgence of popularity for this hell bound hero. This is of course a long way away from the sales of Spawn 1 back in the day but comics are in a much different place. These are excellent sales for any comic debut, spin off or not and especially priced at 5.99. We’ve got an onslaught of Spawn stuff coming soon so we’ll see how far this property can stretch but if these sales are any indication, its at a healthier point its been in quite some time and McFarlane knows to strike the iron while its hot.

Ray: I still don’t know what’s going on here! The franchise was at a low point, and then suddenly it starts turning around to become one of the biggest things in comics. I know less than nothing about this whole shared universe, so I can’t say I get it, but everything 90s is hot again. 

Glenn: At 2 is Batman…but with a twist! This is the first issue of Batman 89, the continuation of the Tim Burton directed movies with screenwriter Sam Hamm returning to tell us what the future of Gotham could have been had things gone a different way. It seems like these movies and these versions of the characters still hold a lot of appeal as the first issue gets sales of around 134k and I believe that’s even with this being digital first. It’s a long way from the number 1 slot sales but still a great performance of what I would have thought would have been a pretty niche project. By comparison Superman ’78 1 which sees a return to the Christopher Reeves movies has its first issue sell 33k at 78, Still very good for an even older property but the clear difference hear is the Batman factor. I know people get annoyed when DC gives us all Batman all the time but that right there is kinda why…

Ray: I don’t think this is digital-first anymore, but these are phenomenal numbers. Sure, Batman gonna Batman, but this is also a beloved classic movie and having the original screenwriter back is huge. This is one of the biggest surprise hits for DC in a long time and I expect we’ll see it extended after the original series just like the B:TAS series was. 

Glenn: Speaking of which at 3 is the latest issue of the main Batman book selling 118k at its usual level as we head into this years big Bat crossover, ‘Fear State’. The Fear State Alpha one shot also charts in the top ten selling 98k at 5. I’m expected the one shot didn’t crack six figures but the oddball one shot leading into or tying into a big event starring a specific character has always been a mixed bag sales wise. Still nothing to be concerned about here, it all keeps Batman’s status as the top selling regular ongoing now that pesky symbiote is gone. We’ll see next month how he does against the second issue of King Spawn.

Ray: Tynion has done an amazing job, but this title is just bulletproof and I suspect it’ll see Williamson’s run stay this high or close.

Glenn: The influx of new characters has caught people’s interest and that seems to be continuing with Williamson so we’ll soon see.

Another mini event launches for Marvel this time with X-Men: Trial Of Magneto selling over 117.3k at 4. This is the ongoing death of Scarlet Witch story that ties into the Krakoa era of X-Men which as we’ve said has done very well for Marvel. I think if Marvel had let Ray be Magneto’s lawyer it would have sold 4 billion copies, a missed opportunity says I.

Ray: My man did nothing wrong. Have you ever spent any time around humans? Can’t stand them! Either way, this is a new X-event and those always do pretty well, but I expect Inferno will blow those numbers out of the water next month. 

Glenn: The second issue of the regular X-Men book under the new direction of Gerry Duggan sells over 95.2k at 6. Even with Hickman moving on to Inferno and other things, the line as a whole has gained substantially from his involvement. If this holds here it’ll easily make it Marvel’s top selling book.

Nipping at its heels however at 7 surprisingly is Moon Knight which has its second issue selling over 93.5k. This is an astounding number for any ongoing but for Moon Knight its particularly making me want to go out and buy a monocle so it can fall off in shock. Much like last month however I do have to be a little suspicious that we’re seeing some Black Cat and Amazing MJ style number tampering. If Marvel was say…tripling its sales for market share it would mean this is selling at 31k which makes a lot more sense. Is this genuine? If it is then good for Moon Knight exploding in popularity but I can’t help but be suspicious. We’ll know by next year what the real number is and if the series gets cancelled if Marvel’s gamble of possibly flooding retailers with extra copies of Moon Knight doesn’t work out.

Ray: Yeah, this is really odd. The first issue was a typical Marvel “adjustment”, but I’m not sure why they would do it for a second month in a row. I do expect it’ll find its level eventually at between 30-40K in a few months, but this is a very good start for a surprisingly strong series. 

Glenn: At 8 is the first part of a Kang The Conqueror series selling over 82.2 which at any other time I would have also perhaps questioned but this one makes a lot of sense. This character recently debuted in the MCU and people will be curious. Marvel can be sneaky but they’re not stupid, this is the perfect time to launch a Kang mini and a well renowned creative team attached doesn’t hurt either. This will; probably drop to around 60k or so but still very good for a villain who hasn’t seen a spotlight like this since Avenger’s Forever and that didn’t have his name on it.

Ray: Yeah, these numbers aren’t ridiculous and I think the TV series tie-in helped a lot. I’m just happy to see Lanzing and Kelly get a hit! They’re having a great few months. 

Glenn: At 72 is Amazing Spider-Man selling over 81.2k which is what you get when Marvel bludgeons retailers over the head with THIS IS IMPORTANT, NOTHING WILL EVER BE THE SAME AGAIN over and over. The sales of tie-in mini, Sinister War at 18 with 65k is what you get when the story isn’t very good. It could be and should be worse but I’m in a time when I don’t have to read this run anymore so that deserves celebrating, cheers.

Ray: Just limping to the close. This run should be getting a lot higher numbers given how much the run has been building towards this finale, but…no one was actually excited to see this run’s finale except to see it be gone. There’s another issue of Sinister War down at #28, which…woof. 

Glenn: Hopefully the start of the next run won’t be impeded.

Final spot in the top ten is the third issue of Star Wars: Bounty Hunters which sells over 80.5k. We’ll see how the rest of the line fares under this mega sized Star Wars comic event but people do seem genuinely interested in the main story of playing ‘pass the parcel’ with carbonite Han Solo. This line still continues to be a big win for Marvel and one of the biggest benefits of them getting bought out by Disney all those years ago.

Ray: This has been a pretty solid mini-event, and apparently it’s only part one of a three-part event by Soule over the next year, so there should be a lot of hit Star Wars books coming. 

In between mainstays Joker and Thor, we have a surprisingly strong debut for Skottie Young and Jorge Corona’s The Me You Love in the Dark at #12. Selling 76K, this dark horror-romance is an odd story but the numbers really show just how much Young’s star has risen over the last few years. 

Glenn: Absolutely plus horror is hot and people that were fans of Middlewest in trades or whatever might have wanted to get on the ground on this one. We talk a lot about how Chip Zdarskey has built a brand as a writer but Young is up there for sure.

Ray: Nice House on the Lake seems to have leveled off a lot already and is still going strong at 71K at #14. As it heads towards its hiatus, this is easily the biggest creator-owned hit DC has had in years and I’m sure they’ll be happy to have it back when it returns in 2022 no matter where Tynion’s making his home. 

Glenn: I’m sure DC will be calling him on the regular to make sure its back asap. Hopefully absence in this case does make the heart grow fonder.

Ray: Al Ewing’s new Defenders miniseries lands at #16 with sales of 66K. These are good numbers, especially since this is a bizarre, continuity-heavy adventure that doesn’t feature too many a-list heroes. It’s another piece of evidence that Ewing is one of Marvel’s top writers at the moment. 

Glenn: Yeah Ewing has really made a name after Immortal Hulk and has earned a lot of loyalty from readers and retailers from that. This is the highest a Defenders book has debuted in some time but I’d say it’;ll level out to high 30’s which isn’t too terrible considering its 5 issues.

Ray: The Extreme Carnage event continues this month, with Lasher charting at #19 with sales of 62K. Surprisingly, the Riot issue is well below it #33 with sales of 50K. They’re part of the same storyline and both are obscure symbiotes – Riot has more public awareness, in fact. Maybe just standard attrition as the event goes on, but solid numbers. 

Glenn: I have no clue who these people are. At this point I wonder if Marvel would pick a name out of the Symbiote generator and it wouldn’t make too much a difference because of the strength of the symbiote brand still seemingly strong. This whole thing is proving to be a solid hit while the Venom book takes a breather.

Ray: Right under the ongoing hit Department of Truth, we have a new horror hit in Eat the Rich from Boom. This plutocrat cannibalism thriller sells 61K at #21 – similar to what Cullen Bunn’s Basilisk did a few months back, and nothing short of amazing given that this is a title without a well-known creator. Boom continues to rise super-fast. 

Glenn: Astounding, retailers are trusting the publishers track record which is something invaluable.

Ray: Immortal Hulk lands its penultimate issue before a several-months hiatus, selling 57K at #24. The final act has been somewhat overshadowed by controversy over the artist’s toxic politics, but I still expect the jumbo-sized finale to do much higher numbers, maybe top ten. 

Glenn: Agreed and I think the next run with Cates and Ottley will do very well too. Marvel has set this title up to continue its success long after the Immortal is gone from the title.

Ray: Deadpool joins the Black, White, and Blood crazy, selling 59K at #26. It’s odd how the franchise has fallen so far since its hottest days, to the point where he doesn’t even have a title right now, but these numbers aren’t terrible for an anthology. 

Glenn: Its decent enough for sure but it seems while he obviously still has a presence in the charts, Marvel is letting Deadpool cool off in terms of a main title. Given how much Deadpool we were getting I do think its time he took a well earned rest while we prep the next big run.

Ray: Joker, meanwhile, is as hot as ever. Matt Rosenberg’s digital-first series The Joker Presents: A Puzzlebox launches its first print issue and lands at #27, selling 56K. That’s nuts for a digital-first book, and shows that we should probably be looking out for a lot more Joker books. 

Glenn: The ongoing I thought might be mostly due to Tynion but apparently not! I hope we don’t get overkill on Joker but we’re already seeing him a lot in the main line and over at Black Label but the stuff still sells so its hard to tell. DC usually doesn’t push its luck as much as Marvel beyond Batman titles but I wouldn’t be surprised we see a consistent run of Joker related mini’s for the foreseeable future.

Ray: The Aquaman 80th Anniversary 100-Page Super-Spectacular lands at #29, selling 54K. That doesn’t look great at first glance, especially compared to the bigger characters, but it’s actually 21K more than the Green Arrow one last month. It probably helps that Aquaman is coming off an acclaimed Kelly Sue DeConnick run – although oddly, she wasn’t included in this book. 

Glenn: Aquaman despite having a billion dollar movie under his name does not have the same notoriety as some other DC heroes and still has a reputation as being a bit of a joke unfortunately. Still, it’s a decent number given the price of it and that the character doesn’t have an ongoing at the moment.

Ray: A very nice jump for the 25th issue of Ice Cream Man, an oversized special for the bizarre horror anthology, as it lands at #31 with sales of 52K. This is one of those that has been plugging along successfully for a while, but we rarely see a jump of this size unless it’s Spawn. 

Glenn: This is one of Image’s hot collection sellers and has a very loyal audience. It doesn’t grab the headlines but it chugs along with a jaunty tune and a sinister tone along the way.

Ray: I Am Batman, the new Jace Fox series by John Ridley, launches with a zero issue at #34, selling 49K. We’ll see if this ticks up for the actual #1 next month, but this is similar to what happens to legacies for other heroes – retailers know if you’re not THE Batman, and they don’t order as if you are. 

Glenn: This probably what a Batman title would sell if Bruce wasn’t running around regardless of who it is. This is a gage of how much Batman’s worth is while Bruce is still under the title and its not bad but its interesting to wonder what could have been if the rumours are true and Jace was planned to be THE Batman.

Ray: Remember 4-Lom and Zuckuss? Marvel does! Their one-shot tying into the War of the Bounty Hunters event manages to sell 48K at #36, certainly not a bad number for two of the most obscure bounty hunters in the roster. 

Glenn: Shows how well the event seems to be doing despite its astounding size.

Ray: A whole lot of DC books around this level including the penultimate issue of Rorschach, and they’re joined by the launch of Darkhawk by Kyle Higgins at #41. Higgins is certainly riding a hot streak of writing about ordinary people who get alien artifacts that give him superpowers, but this is probably about as high as a Darkhawk book could reasonably get. I assume his resume from Radiant Black helped to boost these sales a bit. 

The Harley Quinn annual, revealing Harley’s new arch-enemy Keepsake, charts at #42 with 46K – 14K above the sales of this month’s issue of Harley Quinn. That’s nearly unheard of. Good marketing all around!

Glenn: This run seems to be connecting with fans and I love the new direction for Harley’s character. We’re not at the level the Palmiotti and Connor brought the character to sales wise but this is a very solid performance for a secondary tier hero.

Ray: Something that’s probably going to get a lot more orders down the line is Batman: Urban Legends #6. The conclusion of the first major stories, this book sells 43K at #47 but features both Tim Drake coming out of the closet AND Jason Todd reuniting with the Bat-family, so expect this to be a collector’s item. 

Glenn: Yeah, the speculators and the LGBTQ+ community will likely drive up reorders here. Let them fight!

Ray: A pretty good number for Spirits of Vengeance: Spirit Rider over at Marvel. This one-shot featuring an obscure Native Ghost Rider sells 41K at #51, and the character will be getting an Infinite Comic spinoff soon. 

Glenn: Ghost Rider has never been a sales driver and given this is not the more famous version this is a very good number. Avenger’s isn’t the force it once was but perhaps the inclusion of Ghost Rider there helped a little?

Ray: After the conclusion of the anthology Skybound X, Marvel’s latest Marvel’s Voices anthology lands at #53. Identity, celebrating Marvel’s Asian heroes, sells just under 41K but didn’t seem to get the hype or critical buzz of the previous Festival of Heroes anthology from DC. 

JH Williams and Haden Blackmun’s return to monthly comics is a big deal, and the launch of Echolands from Image sells 40K at #55. A decent start for the book, but the unusual binding and the higher price tag might have driven it down a bit – and I imagine some retailers are a bit hesitant about it staying on schedule. 

Glenn: This will probably do better in collections and outside the direct market for all the reasons you mentioned. Williams work is always something special to behold and a lot of people might be waiting for a pristine hardcover to get it on the best scale they can. Still given this does have a lot of unconventional stuff against it, its still a solid debut and will likely keep most of its initial audience.

Ray: Speaking of closets and collector’s items, Superman: Son of Kal-El sells 40K for its second issue at #56, but I think everything related to this character is about to become a hot item on the back market. 

Glenn: Oh yeah, no doubt. The issue with the kiss/coming out is going to be big I think and really elevate the title to a higher number. Good for DC and Tom Taylor for all the great press they’ve gotten over this. For those that didn’t like it or gave it bad press a hoity screw you to you!

Ray: Spider-Man: Life Story was a pretty big hit for Marvel when it launched, and people were thrilled to see it come back for a J. Jonah Jameson-focused annual. That lands at #62 with 38K, which is pretty impressive for a Marvel anthology and I believe more than any of the recent Infinite Destinies issues. 

Glenn: Zdarskey writes a fantastic Jonah and given the positive reaction the main mini had, this is no surprise. This is one of those ones that people will look back on as one of the greatest Spider-Man stories ever told.

Ray: Speaking of which, the Avengers annual that closes out that story lands at #66 with sales of 36K! This was fine, but it didn’t even really end the story, spinning out into the final issue of Black Cat. Weird choice of an event that didn’t really come together into a cohesive story, and it shows in the sales. 

Glenn: Perhaps ‘look infinity stones! Like from the movies!’ Wasn’t the best strategy for a mini crossover.

Ray: The Miles Morales Annual, also tying into the event but only loosely, sells 34K at #71. 

IDW’s Marvel Action line has fallen apart, but the Star Wars Adventures line is still going strong. A new High Republic spin-off, The Monster of Temple Peak, manages 33K in sales at #76, impressive given that the book doesn’t even gear itself towards the singles market. 

A massive difference between the two revival books, as Superman ’78 lands at….#78, which is ironic but also very disappointing. While 33K in sales isn’t terrible for a revival of a decades-old movie, it’s also not anywhere near the same ballpark as the Batman book and the creative team of Venditti and Torres deserved better. Buy this book!

Glenn: I think it just once again demonstrates the gap in popularity of the title character. I would say that Superman 78 is much more well regarded that Batman 89 and people still say Chris Reeves Superman was the greatest ever but still here we are. I think it won’t fall too much and good word of mouth will give it a decent life in sales heaven. Can’t wait for Superman ’13 when he rips of Metallo’s head and turns it into his toaster.

Ray: Speaking of books that deserve better, the brilliant flip-book annual for Batman/Superman only sells 32K at #85. This run by Gene Luen Yang has been a gem and everyone needs to read it. 


Ray: Al Ewing’s Cable: Reloaded one-shot bringing back Old Man Cable sells 31.7K for a team-up with Rocket Raccoon at #86. One-shots are a hard sell, and I don’t think anyone quite knew where this would lead next. 

Glenn: Al Ewing writing Rocket should always sell regardless.

Ray: I am surprised the Clownhunter issue of Batman Secret Files didn’t do better than 31K at #88. This is a little lower than the Huntress one but higher than the Signal one, but given how big the character’s profile is, I expected we’d see higher numbers. The next two, focusing on Miracle Molly and Peacekeeper 0-1, are written or co-written by Tynion, so we’ll see if those do better. 

Glenn: I think the Tynion factor is the missing element here. There are also a LOT of Batkids, I think people are more interested in the likes of Punchline and Molly cause they’re off doing their own thing.

Ray: And it’s all regular books as we head out of the top 100, with the next book of note (besides the Infinite Destinies Guardians of the Galaxy annual at #102), is the launch of the final Milestone revival title. Hardware by Thomas and Cowan sells 27K at #103, 5K below last month’s Icon launch. Of the three, this is the character who had the least mainstream profile, but none of these numbers have been bad given how long the characters have been gone. 

Glenn: For sure, I think DC kind of likely had a rough idea of how these would do. Hopefully the sales are enough to keep the character from fading into obscurity again.

Avenger Tech-On is a title where the Avenger’s get some mech suits. I’m not sure if its canon or not but as said above, The Avenger’s property is not one to hold much interest with random throwaway mini’s so the sales here of over 26.7k at 106 seems about right. This will likely end up in the mid 10k range for the remainder. Not sure who this is really for.

Ray: Apparently the previous Avenger robots comic sold well enough to get a sequel, and Marvel never saw a minor trend they didn’t want to run into the ground. 

Glenn: The second issue of Symbiote Spider-Man: Crossroads sells over 25.5k at 110 so retailers are basically treating this like a regular book it seems. This is decent enough for a Spidey story set in the past where writer Peter David uses it to do any crazy thing he wants. It’ll be interesting how the Ben Reilly flashback book sells come January.

Glenn: I would have thought Superman Vs Lobo would have done a little better than 112 selling 25, especially with red hot artist Mirka Andolfo drawing. We did figure out last month that people seem to be more interested in her art when she’s writing too though. The price tag of 6.99 likely kept people away too. This isn’t Batman vs Lobo.

Ray: This is also a very odd book by the writing team behind the sci-fi sex comedy Money Shot. Non-Batman Black Label books tend to struggle, so this will likely have to find an audience in trade. 

Glenn: Movie tie-in time with Winter Guard at 115 which features a bunch of the secondary characters from the recent Black Widow movie in the team. I wonder if having Natasha in the book and labelling it Black Widow: Winter Guard would have gotten it better sales than 24.3. The number isn’t too bad however considering most of these characters are b list at best and have only come to prominence following the movie.

Ray: Honestly a case of bad branding, as Yelena Belova plays a pretty big role in it – and she’s a Black Widow! They definitely could have gotten more sales out of this. 

Glenn: The second issue of the new Shazam book sells 23k at 119 and without Geoff Johns around this seems to be the best the character can manage on his own. This book primarily exists to remind people the character is around.

Right under it at 120 selling over 22.6k is the second Warhammer 40k mini from Marvel selling 22.6k. No Kieron Gillen this time but it doesn’t seem to have mattered too much, retailers likely know who their 40k fans are and of course this will sell a lot more outside the direct market for the massive fanbase that has never set foot outside an LCS.

I’ve honestly never heard of ‘Trover Saves The Universe‘ but uit has a very good launch from Image as the first of the five issue mini sells over 21.9k at 123. This describes itself as a read for fans of Rick and Morty and the art style definitely lends itself to that so that may explain its very decent debut.

Ray: Apparently Trover Saves the Universe is also based on a popular video game series, so this might be designed to be evergreen and sold in game stores down the line. 

Glenn: An offering from AWA from Mark Russell in Not All Robots which launches at 21.3k at 124. This seems to be how their launches perform no matter who the creative team is. 

Ray: Russell’s books tend to have a healthier trade life and staying power, so this might wind up being one of AWA’s stealth hits.

Glenn: Another decent Image launch at 128 with Second Chances which sells over 20.8k. Not familiar with the creatives but the premise is very good. It’ll likely settle to about the 9-11k mark where a lot of the non superstar Image books live.

Pennyworth, the comic based on the TV show that I’m told is still airing sells 20k at 130. This is basically what you get at the bottom end of something that is tentively connected to Batman but not really. This is digital first I believe but this doesn’t seem to be the hit some of the other DC comics based off TV/movies past and present have been.

Ray: This series has really slipped under the radar, being on a little-known cable channel. But it’s moving to HBO Max soon, so Alfred may have more solo adventures in his future. 

Glenn: Ablaze’s new offering Porcelain sells over 19.6k which is about where this publisher manages to launch most of their books which is impressive given what a relatively new company they are. The company also does a lot of translation stuff which has sold well elsewhere so I assume this is the same in which case its a very good number.

Ray: Maria Llovet is basically becoming a brand in and of herself, similar to Mirka Andolfo, so this is likely heavily due to her name being attached. 

Glenn: Justice League Infinity, the JLU cartoon continuations second issue sells 19k at 139. Its not the hit that the Batman Adventures comic is but this cartoon doesn’t have the rep that one does. I would say that this is a decent enough performance for what is essentially an all ages Justice League book and will likely do well in bookstores and whatnot.

Ray: Yeah, DC seems to have realized how much of a great back catalog of animation they have here, and I suspect future spinoffs will land around this level. 

Glenn: Miles Morales: Marvel Tales is a collection of key Miles stories repackaged in one comic for 7.99 so its just bonus money for Marvel on stuff they’ve sold multiple times in multiple formats. Its good enough for over 18.2k at 142 which again…free money.

Some reorders for the new Moon Knight title at 144 selling over 17.6k more copies. These reorders are likely genuine as this is about what a first issue reorder would do on a book that features a b/c character that has gotten some critical buzz would do.

KISS Phantom Obsession from Dynamite reminds me that KISS band comics are a think. They sell over 15.3k at 150 which I would say is an astounding number given what this is. 

Ray: This is a book about the band Kiss – who appear to be in their 20s despite it taking place today – being kidnapped by an evil Japanese mad scientist who wants to steal their rock energy. This is a real comic that exists. 

Glenn: The second issue of Icon & Rocket sells 15k at 152, this seems the best that the Icon heroes outside Static can likely manage given they’ve never been quite as prominent. There’s an animated movie starring this universe of characters coming out so we’ll see if that brings a new generation of fans to the collections.

Two horror icons meet at 155 in Elvira meets Vincent Price which sells 14.5k. This is much better than I would have imagined something like that as I doubt the kids are frothing at the mouth for new Vincent Price content.

Ray: Dynamite has really made a brand of weird horror and music revivals lately. Takes all kinds. 

Glenn: The second issue of Boom’s Dark Blood sells over 14.2k at 157 which is in line for what I would say a book like this would be doing at Imager (maybe even a touch better). The mid section of Boom’s catalgoue and Image’s catalogue seems to be about even sales wise which is very, very interesting.

Ray: This is also by the writer of Canto, so it might get some solid reorders. If I had to pick creators to watch, David Booher would be atop that list. 

Glenn: The second issue of the Red Sonja colour anthology sells over 14.1k at 159 which is about normal for the characters secondary titles. Red Sonja has a set audience and sells about the same by and large regardless of who is working on the book outside of a big superstar.

Grimlock am King! King Grimlock is this month’s IDW Transformers title which sells over 14.1k which is around the level they always sell. Grimlock want more sales!

New property from an all LGBTQ+ creative team, Killer Queens from Dark Horse sells over 13.5k. This is pretty much where new properties from new name creators sells from Dark Horse but its nice to see more LGBTQ+ creators getting their content out there.

Video game tie-in Horizon Zero Dawn: Liberation sells about what video game tie-in’s from Titan usually sell with over 13.4k at 165.

Lucky Devil, a new book from the Cullen Bunn clone farm sells over 12.7k at 172 and given that Bunn does have a name, I thought it would have done better, Dark Horse just isn’t the place for creator owned these days but seems to have a decent trade distribution thing going.

Ray: With Bunn’s Basilisk selling a stunning 61K a few months back to start, this is another testament to how Boom is just lapping the creator-owned field at the moment. 

Glenn: St. Mercy sells on the low side for an Image launch but its a mini with a very specific concept so that probably explains it. Still good for over 12.6k at 173 but the creative team are likely hoping for good sales in trades.

Ray: This is a Top Cow launch, and those always sell much lower than the rest of their books. Complicated concept, too. 

Glenn: The internet tells me that 179’s Elric-The Dreaming City is an adaption of a cult classic novel. Unless your name starts Neil and ends in Gaiman, book adaptions into comics don’t tell to be of much interest. It sells over 12.1k but publisher Titan likely has their eyes on the bookstore market for the trade to make their money here.

Terrible numbers for Midnight 2021 annual at 180 selling just 12k. THIS IS NOT A REPRINT. This is tying into the current backups but no one seems to have had much interest.

Ray: This is an annual without a book to tie into, so yeah – that’s not a great way to promote it. An odd one for DC, and one that will likely do a lot better when the whole backup story is collected in trades. 

Glenn: TMNT Berst Of Casey Jones is I guess a reprint of existing material starring the hockey mask wearing vigilante that most people likley remember from the 90;s cartoon/movie. It sells over 11.6k at 184 which I’d say is very good given it is existing matereal that the small but fiercely loyal Turtle comic fanbase likely already own.

Black Hammer mini launch does Black Hammer mini launch numbers at 185 selling over 11.5, I would say most of Black Hammer’s money comes from trades but they’re always some of the best comics coming out. Expect this to be an evergreen title like Hellboy for Dark Horse long after its all said and done and 90% of the other creator owned books on this list are forgotten.

Ray: This one is a take-off on the Teen Titans and Doom Patrol, and is a bit lower than the average Black Hammer minis. Like you said, with the minis being short and collected in trade soon, I think a lot of fans are getting their Black Hammer fix that way. 

Glenn: Campisi is another new creator owned launch from Aftershock which sells over 10.8k which is what the publisher manages to do when they don’t have known names at the helm. I do remember James Patrick from my Bendis Board days so I hope this does well for him and launches him onto bigger things.

Ray: I’m a little surprised Campisi didn’t do better, because the writer just did the well-regarded Kaiju Score, which has already been optioned for a movie. But then, Aftershock books are all minis and collected in trade shortly.

Glenn: Despite us already covering our obligatory Transformer’s 1 this month, there’s another one at 193 with Shattered Glass selling over 10.5k. Again, no big surprises here.

Next book of interest is 208’s God Of Tremors which sells over 9.2k and pretty much see comments above for Campisi which likely only sold margianlly better cause more retailers like the concept.

Ray: This is a one-shot by Peter Milligan, part of Aftershock’s new line of horror one-shots. So it has a bigger name attached, but one-shots are a notoriously hard sell.

At #212, we’ve got Runaways #38, which is also the legacy #100 issue and the final issue of Rainbow Rowell’s run. It sells 8.9K, and it’s really a testament to just what a disaster Marvel’s management of this property was. You have a wildly popular YA author and these are the sales you get? Marvel has zero infrastructure to sell books to the audience that actually wants them, they don’t seem to care, and now I don’t get anymore Runaways! I’M GONNA EAT A BRICK!

Glenn: Let’s hope Rowell’s upcoming She-Hulk run gets a little more love from Marvel. I suspect it will since it has a Disney+ show coming. Hopefully this run will find the love it deserves in trades.

Ray: It’s so weird to see Wynd down here at #216, selling 8.4K when every other Tynion book sells like wildfire. I guess it never recovered from being originally solicited as an OGN, and will probably do incredibly well there. Everyone should be reading it. 

Glenn: I think the switch to sales really effected in retailers minds but I have no doubt the collections will do big business considering the you know…everything.

Ray: Another new Mignola-verse book, The Golem Walks Among Us, launches at #225 with sales of 7.8K. Pretty standard for the book, but it’s always good to see more Golem material!

A big scroll down until we reach a new book of note – Cinnamon, from Behemoth Comics at #238 with sales of 6.7K. This is a comic about a crazy little cat who dreams about being a big-city gangster while tormenting her owner. I love that this is the comic book industry we live in right now, Glenn. 

Glenn: They’re targeting that key Ray demographic right here.

Ray: A new Invader Zim comic, subtitled “Dookie Loop Horror” lands at #245 with sales of 6.1K. This is a pretty old cult cartoon, so Rick and Morty it is not. 

Glenn: Still maybe better than expected from a cartoon that aired *google* 2001?!?!?!?!?!?!? Ray…are…are we old?

Ray: It’s mostly reorders and some low-selling books down here, until we get to Van Helsing vs. Invisible Woman from Vault down at #261, selling 5K. But how can we sing the Rachel Bloom song if we can’t see her cup size?

At #264 we’ve got the launch of The Heroes Union from Binge. This is a retro superhero comic from a trio of comic legends, and is notable for being the first book in years submitted through the Comics Code Authority. It sells 4.7K, and it’s an odd niche project that I don’t exactly know who it’s aimed at.

Glenn: People that miss the comics code? I have no idea.

Ray: Albatross Funny Books is known for its oddball comics, and they have a new entry called Lester of the Lesser Gods at #266. It slls 4.6K, and aside from the more popular The Goon franchise, that’s about as high as they go. 

Scout has the new Viking horror comic We Don’t Kill Spiders down at #274, selling 4.1K. This is a company that puts out a lot of interesting books, although their quality record is often hit and miss, but I think they’re a bit hamstrung by distribution issues. 

Glenn: It makes me realize that the smaller companies are going to really suffer from these paper shortages. We’ll see how if I’m right in the next months if any company below the top 5 start to see a sharper drop than usual or an absence entirely

Ray: Another odd Scout book, Count Draco: Knuckleduster, lands at #282 with sales of 3.6K. This one is part of an odd space-opera shared universe that resembles 1980s cartoons, so more of a niche product. 

Source Point, another small-press publisher, has the debut of the sci-fi adventure Suicide Jockeys at #292, selling just under 3K. This one has a complex concept and didn’t get much hype in advance. 

Oh, boy. At #295 we have the cancel-culture comedy Snelson from Ahoy, selling 2.8K. I don’t know who the audience is for a comic where a horrible man talks about how horrible he is, but apparently it’s not in the single-issue market. This is one of Ahoy’s lowest launches ever. 

Glenn: Why can’t I get publishers to look at my concepts again?

Ray: Clover Press has the superhero noir Cassidy’s Secret launching at #296 with sales of 2.7K. This is actually a book with some major creators attached, but there are so many small publishers right now that a lot are struggling to find their footing. 

Glenn: Superhero books very rarely do well outside of the big two, its hard to get a hit with the genre outside of Marvel or DC. Even ones that have acclaim like Invincible and Black Hammer have only ever been moderate sellers at best in monthlies.

Ray: Zenoscope closes out the top 300 with two books, Grimm Red Agent: Beast of Belgium at #299 and Belle: Dragon Clan at #300, selling about 2.7K each. Glenn, strike up the Rachel Bloom!

Glenn: She should really join us for one of these. Brett, can we afford Rachel Bloom?

Brett: Who are you? Get out of my house!

Ray: Heading out of the top 300, we find a lot of reorders and low-sellers, but there are a few new launches mixed in there. Djinn Hunter from Black BoxZodiac vs. Deathforce from Zenoscope, World War 3 from AntarcticBox from Red 5, and Technofreak from American Mythology all stay just above the 2K mark. I have never heard of any of them. 

Glenn: Am I out of touch? No, it is the children who are wrong.

Ray: Things are staying classy down here, with Crisis on Infinite Quarantine from Aardvark-Vanaheim at #325 with sales of 1.8K.

Glenn: Its not comics are dying, just the ones that are catering to complete tools, go figure.

Ray: The all-ages sci-fi horror Lifeformed sells 1.4K at #339, which is a shame – this is one of Scout’s better and more clever concepts recently.

Glenn: I read that as Lieformed at first and imagined a Rob Liefeld based horror which you know…I’d be there for.

Ray: Oh, hey, there’s Fartnite vs. Minecrapt at #340. Just under 1,400 copies of this were ordered. 

Glenn: Cool

Ray: It’s mostly reorders all the way down until we get to #460 where we find…277 additional copies of Spawn Universe. It’s Spawn’s world, we’re just living in it. 

Let’s look ahead to September! Fear State is in full swing this month with several tie-ins, including the proper launch of I Am Batman and Miracle Molly’s Secret Files issue. We’ve also got the launch of the first Batman/Fables crossover, new titles featuring Deathstroke, Black Manta, Jackson Hyde, the Titans, King Shark, and a pair of anthologies including Wonder Woman’s anniversary mega-book. 

Over at Marvel, we’ve got the launch of Tom Taylor’s Dark Ages, Jonathan Hickman’s Inferno – which is probably the favourite to top the month – the end of one event in Extreme Carnage and the start of a new one in The Darkhold, and the end of our long national nightmare as the current Spider-man run ends. We’re in the future. It’s beautiful here. 

Over at Image, we’ve got new terror from Jeff Lemire as Primordial launches, plus the debut of Frontiersman in an otherwise quiet month. Boom brings us the new horror book Maw, and Jeff Lemire writes and draws Mazebook over at Dark Horse. 

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

By The Numbers June 2021


Glenn: So Donny Cates Venom run has been a sales monster, more often than not being Marvel’s top seller and definitely its top ongoing outside of number ones and various tricks. Issue 35 of the run is double branded as issue 200 of Venom overall and is massively oversized (with a price to match) and is the end of this current defining run (if I may say so) and set up the next era of Venom stories to boot. So despite its $10 price, this issue selling over 282k is no surprise and would have likely been higher if the price had been a bit lower but no one can argue that you didn’t get what you paid for here. This is a run that will be a valuable edition to the Marvel library long term and may go down as the definitive take on Venom and one that influences the characters history for the next 30 years or more. There is no doubt that Cates is Marvel’s biggest asset in terms of writers and this is the run that really took him to the next level. An astonishing success for this issue and the run overall. 

Ray: Now this is what I call a mic-drop. Donny Cates pulled off something that I think only Geoff Johns has before – taking a series that was a regular B/C-list seller and elevating it into an A-list top-ten mainstay in only one generation. Venom’s got a great new creative team coming up with some very hot talent, so I don’t expect the heat to head off Venom yet – but it’ll probably lose its top ten slot to Hulk soon!

Glenn: Before our untimely absence it seemed like nostalgia for the 90’s was happening in a big way (see Venom above). Part of that was seeing Spawn rise back up to Image’s top seller after years of steady but unspectacular sales. Its no secret that writer/artist/creator Todd McFarlane is a smart man and knows when to strike when the iron is hot so he is starting to launch a bunch of Spawn related spin off’s with the start being at 2 with Spawn Universe. This sells over 204k indicating further a renewal of interest in the franchise or perhaps retailers being over excited. We’ll see if the market can sustain multiple Spawn books in the long run but this is a very promising sign, especially priced at 5.99. 

Ray: Spawn has been doing wild sales fluctuations for a while, and this Jam book got hyped through the roof. I’m not sure of the staying power of these spin-offs once they launch – remember Scream’s solo series, for another Venom comparison? – but Image got what they needed out of this. A little good news for them for a change!

Glenn: The Star Wars franchise was a big success for Marvel when they got the property back but hype has cooled off over the years somewhat. Now we’ve moved to a post Empire Strikes Back era the excitement seems to be ramping up again and that’s more than evident in number 3 selling one shot ‘War Of The Bounty Hunter’s which covers Boba Fett trying to keep his hands on Han Solo. This ois going to be a massive event spanning the main titles and multiple one shots. Boba Fett has always been a fan fave but his reappearance in the Mandolorian and the upcoming Disney+ series has no doubt helped here. It also helps when you’re coming off the most favoured of the 9 main Star Wars films (generally speaking) and have a one shot drawn by the always sellable Steve McNiven. All credit of course due too to Charles Soule who has crafted a story that has gotten Marvel to push it hard and has gotten enough interest for over 179k worth of sales for the opening shot. 

Ray: The Star Wars line has been doing some crossovers for a while, but this is the first attempt at a major Marvel-style event. Between the hot artist and Boba Fett being hotter than ever, I expect the main series will maintain its buzz for the run, but I’m a little skeptical about how all the tie-ins will do. Is anyone ordering heavy on a 4-Lom and Zuckuss one-shot?

Glenn: Zuckuss is my fave, how very dare you.

Whenever Boom announced they were getting a comic co-written by a list actor and all around awesome dude Keanu Reeves, we all knew it was a big deal. I knew the initial launch would be huge but thought that it would go down to an impressive seller for Boom but not a big player and yeah, I was ridiculously wrong on that part. 3 issues in this book is selling just under 146k which is insane for any comic right now outside of the heavy hitters and a huge and well deserved win for Boom. Its no wonder it seems that more people from Hollywood want to put their names to comics and publishers seem to be more than open to the idea. 

Ray: Well, I’ve been wondering when Boom was going to get that one genuine out-of-the-box megahit. I guess that answers that! And all it took was Keanu. This is almost definitely the top creator-owned book for the foreseeable future, and that’s a huge coup for the company. 

Glenn: At 5 is top ten regular, Batman as James Tynion’s unplanned but successful long term run on the book continues to bring it back to its standard 6 figure level from the Snyder/early King Days. Issue 109 has sales of around 130k and given that Tynion seems to be capable of created stories and characters that drive sales I’m not expecting this to change anytime soon. 

Ray: This is almost definitely underreported heavily, since DC reorders can’t be accounted for, and that means Batman and Tynion has lost zero momentum since we last left off. And this is before the next event starts!

Glenn: A surprise in the form of Demon Days Mariko at 6, a one shot about a Wolverine supporting character which sells over 111k. I’d be puzzled but this is written and drawn by Peach Momoko who has been delivering stunning art on covers and this has clearly built her a following much like Mirka Andolfo is enjoying as a creator. Its no wonder with these sales that Marvel are keen to have her on more projects. 

Ray: Yeah, Momoko is one of those creators who has been building for a while and this is her breakout. If I was Image, Boom, and Dark Horse, I’d be very excited to try to land whatever her first creator-owned project is. Wild that this outsold all the regular X-books!

Glenn: The Black Label creator owned Nice House On The Lake terrifies its way to a 90k debut which a brilliant success for any book but there’s a lot to factor in here. Creator owned and DC have not gone well the last few years but Black Label has seen a measure of success its predecessor Vertigo hadn’t for decades so I think that helped but I do think a bigger factor here is James Tynion. His success with Something Is Killing The Children and Batman among others has made him one of the hottest creators working right now and this is just another demonstration of that. Usually I’d expect a book like this to drop to around 40k but I’d wager this might do a lot better. 

Ray: This almost definitely broke 100K when all was said and done thanks to reorders – and that’s another massive win for both Black Label AND Tynion. Reception has been phenomenal as well, so this should hold strong in the coming months. 

Glenn: For the next two spots, the reinvention of the X-Men courtesy of the demented genius mind of Jonathan Hickman continues to reap big rewards. The main title’s 21st issue sells just under 90k while the one shot Planet-Sized X-Men sells over 89.2k. this direction for the X-Men continues to pay off in terms of the main book and of course this was during the very promoted ‘Hellfire Gala’ and given the controversial events of the one shot I will say there will be a lot of pre-orders well. We’ll see further on how the spin of books are faring and it’ll be interesting how the ‘main’ X-Men book will fare when it relaunches under Gerry Duggan but the franchise as of here is in a healthy place. 

Ray: Good to see the X-line is still plugging along. All these books are pretty solid hits. The one-shot doing so well bodes well for a top-ten launch for Duggan’s new X-book next month as well. 

Glenn: Final place in the top ten is another Star Wars title, The High Republic which sells over 85.2k. This is set hundreds (thousands?) of years before the Skywalker saga and takes place during the Jedi’s ‘golden era’. There’s been a big push of this by Disney with them delivering material during this era across multiple media platforms. This is another great number and perhaps the franchise is having a bit of a re-emergence in comics form? Great to see regardless.  

Ray: Given that this is a Star Wars book set hundreds of years before the main narrative, and it’s still doing this well after six issues…well, I think the hardcore Star Wars fans have found this line, and they like it. 

Glenn: This top ten is a LOT healthier than when we left it. If memory serves we had top ten entries at about the 50-60k range. I’m not sure if its because of the different distribution options that companies are exploring or perhaps people are seeking comics out to escape the well…everything but I’m very pleased to see it whatever the reason may be! 

Ray: Next up we’ve got an unexpected hit – or maybe it shouldn’t be. The fourth issue of Batman/Fortnite: Zero Point sells 85K at #11, with the fifth selling 80K just two spots lower. This is a random tie-in of a Bat-book – but it’s also a tie-in with the hottest video game in the world. Bring on Teen Titans/Splatoon?

Glenn: Fortnite is insanely popular so the appeal here beyond comics is staggering in both the direct market (whatever that is anymore) and beyond. We do see Marvel characters in the game but we do see DC ones too and the publisher getting to print comics in this mega hit franchise is a big get for them.

Ray: Shocking absolutely no one, the fourth issue of Joker has become a juggernaut. Selling 80K at #12, it’s just short of a top ten mainstay – and the third Tynion book in the top twelve!

Glenn: This is kind of a James Gordon book but putting the best known/hottest selling villain they have on the title is going to sell a lot better. It seems that for the moment James Tynion has the golden touch and DC is seeing some of that benefit but there’s plenty of him to go around as we’ll soon see.

Ray: The Milestone relaunch has been VERY delayed, but it seems fans are still interested – the relaunch of Static lands at #14, selling 79K. This is easily the biggest launch of Vita Ayala’s career, and it’ll be interesting to see how Icon and Rocket/Hardware do in the coming months. 

Glenn: This line has a lot of love and there seems to be a lot of interest in seeing these characters back at the forefront. How sustainable it’ll be remains to be seen but DC seems committed which is encouraging.

Ray: After regular mainstays Wolverine and Spawn, selling in the upper 70s, we’ve got another surprise – the fourth Tynion book in the top twenty! It’s the latest issue of Something is Killing the Children, selling a whopping 71K, which is well above where we last saw it. With a Mike Flanagan TV series in development, this might not be its peak either.

Glenn: There’s that golden touch again. The book is a monster (in more ways than one) and seems to perform very well in collections too. Boom is coming up fast.

Ray: And after some more mainstays like Batman/Catwoman, Star Wars, and Amazing Spider-Man (which is limping to its finish at #20, #24, and #27) we’ve got more Tynion! Department of Truth, probably his most challenging book, sells 67K at #21 and stakes its claim as the top-selling non-Spawn Image book of the month. 

Glenn: Department Of Truth is dense stuff but it isn’t stopping the current power of the Tynion!

When we last left the charts, the sales on Amazing were a bit erratic but seem so have settled to the high 50’s-high 60’s for the weekly Chameleon Conspiracy. A far cry from the sales the title enjoyed during the Slott era but 3 years of bad auto piloting has got us here. The concluding one shot Amazing Spider-Man: Chameleon Conspiracy sells over 47.7k at 54. Not a disaster if it was any other book but a true indication of where the interest is in the actual story being told. Amazing as a brand seems to be floating the other 10-20k the ongoing enjoys so Marvel have found out where the bottom line is for the title starring one of their most iconic and popular characters. I hope the experiment was worth it.

Ray: At #23, we’ve got the 9.99 Marvel Voices: Pride one-shot – easily the top sales we’ve ever seen for one of these massive anthologies that didn’t have a Bat-character or a #1000 on it. It’s great to see fans turning out to support diversity – I wish we had gotten to see the numbers on DC’s Festival of Heroes one-shot a few months ago as well.

Boom seems to be lifting all boats! Cullen Bunn has had some brilliant creator-owned titles before, but most have struggled slightly in sales, Not anymore – his latest, Basilisk, lands at #25 with sales of 60K. Why would any creator not go to Boom right now?

Glenn: An excellent question and great news for Bunn who deserves the success. Those clone farms don’t fund themselves you know.

Ray: Marvel got a lot of attention for their new series The United States of Captain America, which introduced new diverse Cap legacies. While they also got some backlash for various reasons, it paid off in sales – the first issue, which is the only Cap book running right now, sells 59K at #26. 

Glenn: With Marvel its always hard to tell how much of this is genuine but I hope this one is. I think fans after the success of Sam Wilson’s debut as Cap in the mainstream of the MCU that more minorities want to see themselves in not only this role but others. While there will be always those who wish that comics scope remains limited, it seems that broadening it is worth doing and well…duh.

Ray: You know how anything will sell if it has Batman in it? The same goes for Spider-man, apparently. The delayed tie-in miniseries WEB of Spider-man, which was intended to promote the new Spidey ride in Disneyland, comes out a year late and still manages 57K. But hey, it’s the place to go for Harley Keener fans. 

Glenn: I don’t know who that is.

Ray: At #29 we’ve got the launch of the latest Black Label book, Batman: Reptilian by Garth Ennis and Liam Sharp. This one was originally supposed to be drawn by the late Steve Dillon and has been on the shelf for a while, but it still manages a strong 57K – even though it’s gotten some mixed reviews once it landed. 

Glenn: *Bat Label. Well Ennis has his established fan base and this is Batman so it was always going to do okay. This is obviously more mature which curbed it sales potential a good bit. We’ll see if the reaction to it helps or hinders the sales or doesn’t matter either way. I’m betting on the latter.

Ray: I’m a little surprised Infinite Frontier #1 couldn’t do better than 56K at #31, since it’s essentially the spine book of DC’s new era. Maybe retailers just didn’t get how important it was, but I’m expecting some hefty reorders here. The name doesn’t really get across what it is. 

Glenn: Maybe they should have called it Justice League: Infinite Frontier? The title also deals with some fringe DC stuff but either way, I would say there will be reorders.

Ray: The switch to Marvel has definitely done some good for the Alien franchise. We don’t know how big it debuted, but the fourth issue of Johnson and Larocca’s series lands at #33 with sales of 54K. 

Glenn: Definitely a lot better than the standard Alien mini at Dark Horse so these long time bread and butter franchises for them continue to sell better with the mouse personal publisher on hand.

Ray: The DC Pride anthology is not far below its Marvel cousin, selling 54K at #34. With reorders, it may have essentially done the same as the other one, which is another fantastic showing. Make sure to check this one out for the brilliant Batwoman story by Tynion and Nguyen. 

Glenn: I would have thought this one would have done better. The Marvel one wasn’t nearly as good but they have slightly better reach than DC but I think in the long run this one will win out.

Ray: Amid usual strong sellers like Detective comicsNightwing, X-Force, and Immortal Hulk in the mid-50s range, I’m surprised to see this Silk miniseries selling so well at #37. 53K is great and far above what her last series did. Looks like female Spiders have a lot of fans. (looks pointedly at Marvel letting Gwen get cancelled)

Glenn: Its high but not suspiciously high like we used to see for Black Cat or Amazing Mary Jane. People might just be starved for good Spider books.

Ray: After a very long holdover, Jupiter’s Legacy finally returns with a new artist for Image – just in time for its TV adaptation to get cancelled. It still manages 52K at #41, but the buzz for this series has definitely dropped off a lot since its last run, and this is supposedly the final act. 

Glenn:  Losing Quitely will definitely have an effect on sales and interest in the property will have cooled off while Millar has been working on other tv pi…I mean comic properties. Still a very strong performer as Millar titles usually are.

Ray:  Marvel was clearly hoping for Heroes Reborn to be a huge event for them, but the way it rolled out caught many readers by surprise. The last issues of it, including the Heroes Return one-shot, all sell in quick succession from #42-46 with sales of between 49-52K. Not great, but also not a disaster. 

Glenn:  Woof, yeah. It seems that this might have sold better as an arc in Avenger’s. Retalers didn’t buy the title bait. I can only imagine what some of the one shots sold.

Ray: A bunch of new titles since we left off are hanging around here, including the religious-themed X-title Way of XTom Taylor’s new take on Old Man Batman in Batman: The Detective, and Damian’s second solo series. As we close out the top fifty, we’re still at a very healthy 49K, so the industry actually seems to be in good shape!

There’s very little interest in the latest Spider-event, as the Giant-Size conclusion to Chameleon Conspiracy (which barely featured Chameleon) lands at #54 with sales of 47K. I’m guessing Sinister War will limp to a close as well. 

Glenn: Jeff is coming.

Ray: Tom King’s Rorschach definitely isn’t Doomsday Clock, coming at #55 with sales of 47K, but this is much more of a prestige/slow burn book, not an event. It’s selling around the same level as Justice League and Harley Quinn, and will likely be evergreen when it finishes in September. 

Glenn: Definitely not the same broad appeal but its amazing and will go down as an instant classic and DC continues to let him do these type of books with whatever character he pleases.

Ray: Speaking of Geoff Johns, his first creator-owned book Geiger has pretty healthy numbers for Image, with the third issue landing at #59 selling 46K. That’s rare air for Image – but he’s still chasing Tynion!

Glenn: Given his and Frank’s pedigree I would have expected more but despite their star power, retailers are probably unsure how John’s does in terms of creator owned. Also its just another superhero book and so may get lost in the shuffle if it were any other creative team. As usual these things are all relative.

Ray: The top Heroes Reborn spin-off this month is down at #62, with Night-Gwen by Vita Ayala selling 44K. Seems there’s still some interest in this character. Gee, might be smart for Marvel to put out a new title for her – or, you know, finish one. 

Glenn: Stop talking silly talk Ray.

Ray: Another Immortal Hulk spin-off, Gamma Flight, lands at #63 with sales of 44K. That’s not too far off from the main series, and this has gotten a bit of buzz for centering the original trans character Dr. McGowan, with Crystal Frasier co-writing. It’ll be interesting to see what happens with these characters after the new creative team takes over. 

Mariko Tamaki is one of the fastest-rising stars in comics at the moment, and apparently she can take almost anything to high numbers. Crush and Lobo, a Teen Titans spin-off featuring Lobo’s gay daughter, lands at #66 selling 43K. So another win for DC’s diversity push in Pride month, and certain to be the best thing to come out of the previous Teen Titans run. 

Scott Snyder’s also joined the creator-owned boom, with his endless-night thriller Nocterra selling 40K for its fourth issue at #68. These Image numbers are high and seem to be staying high. 

Glenn: They seem to be experiencing another renascence but they best make sure to keep an eye on their rear view. The Boom truck is coming.

Ray: Nostalgia is big right now, as we’ve got the second volume of Batman: The Adventures Continue selling at #69, right ahead of X-Men Legends, with both selling around the 40K mark. This bodes well for the upcoming Batman ’89 and Superman ’78 comics. 

Glenn: Also explains why we have a similar book for the JLU comic. It is nostalgia yes but good quality will always sell.

Ray: It’s a hefty price tag, but Batman: Urban Legends is doing well for a 70-page anthology every month. The fourth issue sells 39K at #71, headlined by a Zdarsky-written Jason Todd story. There are some pretty buzz-worthy stories coming up as well. 

Glenn: No wonder DC keeps putting out Batman related material. It may seem like an overabundance of it but it sells no matter how fringe it is or what price they sell it at.

Ray: Not as healthy for a spin-off – the Kelly/Bachalo Non-Stop Spider-Man. It’s been plagued by delays and the franchise as a whole is in rough waters, so it only sells 38K at #72.

Glenn: These are two comic legends but yeah, the franchise has seen better days. The series is also a bit of an odd duck and the delays won’t help. Seems to be done with 5 as Marvel goes back to publishing Amazing 3 times a month.

Ray: Donny Cates continues to make waves in the creator-owned world as well, with Crossover’s 7th issue selling 38K at #73. 

Glenn: This was the somewhat odd ‘Chip Zdfarskey’ issue so was super inside baseball so it might not be an accurate portrayal of the series usual level. We’ll see next month!

Ray: Supergirl has always struggled a bit in sales, and that continues with the launch of her new series by Tom King and Bilquis Evely. Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow #1 sells 38K at #74. Maybe the sales were muted a little due to it likely not being in continuity?

Glenn: Its not?! I’m also amazed it didn’t do better, I would expect a quick settle and then a gradual uptick.

Ray: Amid a lot of Marvel books, DC’s latest “Color” anthology lands at #76. Wonder Woman: Black and Gold was likely to be the hardest sell of these, but it still manages to pull 37K for a $6 anthology. Not bad, and we’re likely to see second volumes of these. 

The long delayed Infinite Destinies crossover kicks off in Marvel annuals with the Iron Man annual at #79, selling 36K. But oddly, most of these don’t even feel like crossovers aside from a short Nick Fury backup. Decent sales for annuals.  Captain America and Black Cat’s issues are lower down at 89-90 selling 32K.

DC made another attempt at relaunching Teen Titans with a new status quo, and while Teen Titans Academy has been received marginally better than the previous run, it’s still struggling in sales. It’s down at #84 with sales of 35K, around the same level as the non-renumbered Superman and Wonder WomanRed X hasn’t gotten people buzzing, it seems. 

Glenn: I think that’s still a little better than the series has done in the past? If there was only a sales article I could reference…

Ray: Slightly exceeding expectations is Ram V and Mike Perkins’ The Swamp Thing, which turns the big green guy into a legacy hero. It sells 34K at #85, but has gotten excellent reviews and will likely be a best-seller in trades. 

Glenn: You might say it’ll be…ever green? Eh? Eh? It seems that DC has protected the Swamp Thing property very well so when they do a series, retailers have faith in it.

Ray: DC has done massive anthologies celebrating the 80th anniversary for all their most prominent characters, and now it’s Green Arrow‘s turn. He hasn’t actually had a solo series for a while, so it’s not a surprise that it’s one of the lower-selling ones – 33K at #87 – but it’s still a decent number for a $10 book. 

After a very long hold-over, Bendis and Maleev’s Checkmate returns for another miniseries, selling 33K at #88. Year, the buzz has definitely faded off this one if there was ever much of one, and Leviathan has faded off most people’s radar as a DC big bad. 

Glenn: Who? This is fine for a throwaway mini which this is basically all this is now.

Ray: Walking Dead hasn’t slowed down yet, with the Deluxe colored edition selling an additional 31K this month at #92. 

Glenn: Free money!

Ray: Shang-Chi by Gene Luen Yang also relaunched last month off the successful mini, and it’s likely picked up right where it left off, selling 31K at #93. 

Glenn: Not great but its Shang-Chi so there will always be a ceiling. I’m surprised they didn’t hold off until the film to launch this but it might benefit the trade more which will hopefully cycle back to the singles.

Ray: DC introduced a new Batman in Jace Fox during Future State, and his first present-day series seems to be doing decently. The Next Batman: Second Son was a digital-first book, so the print version selling 31K at #94 isn’t bad at all. Bodes well for his official solo in August. 

Speaking of Future State, the first spinoff, Future State Gotham, is down at #96 selling 31K. This is a black-and-white anthology, so sales were always going to be a bit muted, but hey – power of Batman!

Glenn: Again Batman (even when its not Bruce) = $$$$$

Aftershock sneaks into the top 100 with the launch of Paul Tobin’s surreal horror comic Bunny Mask at #97, selling just over 30K. This is another company trending up – and the third creator-owned company to make it into the top 100 this month. 

And then immediately after, Vault makes it #4! Barbaric, Michael Moreci’s ultraviolent supernatural barbarian satire, lands at #98 with sales of 30K. This is apparently their top launch ever, and another win for the fast-rising company. 

Glenn: Great for both companies and it shows that horror right now is definitely the second biggest genre in comics right now.

Ray: Daniel Warren Johnson’s Beta Ray Bill rounds up the top 100 with sales of just under 30K, and that’s a lot healthier than the top 100 looked when we left it, I think. 

Glenn: Agreed and for a Thor spin off about a c list character, this is very good but obviously this is more sold on the name of the creator. Johnson is well thought of and this will go on to do well in the heavenly land of collections no doubt.

The Eternals book is just out of the top 100 at 101 selling over 29.8k. This is quite possibly the most fringe of Marvel’s properties and the series hit before the film so the one shots coming out around that time might get more interest. This is a top creative team here and I doubt there any many more people who could do much better with this property given that even with me and Ray being verly big comic fans barely knows what an Eternals is. 

Ray: The massive creative team on Eternals likely helps get it this high, honestly. No matter how good the upcoming movie is, this was never going to be an a-list franchise. 

Glenn: It worked so well on Inhuma…never mind.

The creators of the very crazy Plastic are back with a new mini series in Vinyl. Plastic picked up a good amount of attention and critical acclaim so this launching at 102 with sales over 29.8k is most likely people curious to see what this pair do next. Very good launch sales for an Image mini from creators who aren’t a list. 

IDW’s kid friendly Star Wars line version of the High Republic (adventures) sells over 29.3k at 104 which is really good for that company and an all ages book. Further evidence that this era is getting a lot of interest. 

Behemoth comics (?!) launches MFKZ 1 at 105 with sales over 29 which is ridiculously good for a company that if I’ve heard of them I don’t remember. Now this property is seemingly based on a Netflix movie but also a manga so I’m not sure if this is an English translation or not. The fact that this is a Netflix property suggests that there is a pre-existing audience which explains the impressive launch, especially priced at 5.99. We’ll see if this is a flash in the pan or not over the next few months. Very impressive anyway. 

Ray: Behemoth as a whole is an interesting publisher that has become semi-prominent since we left off. This is clearly the highest they’ve ever sold, and the book seems to have a pre-existing fandom of sorts. But it’s always good to see another publisher break out somewhat. 

Glenn: The next 3 books at all DC guesstimates at the same level but are all interesting in their own way. First up in the 29k club is Green Lantern which is on issue 3 now at 106. Gone are the dynamite creative team of Morrison and Sharpe with the blockbuster sales of the franchise’s peak under Johns a distant memory. Without a big creative team, Green Lantern has settled into a middle-lower middle tier DC seller. At 107 is The Conjuring: The Lover, a comic prequel to the latest installment in WB’s massive Conjuring horror franchise. I think given this is a film tie in that don’t generally sell well this is a good launch. The conjuring is very popular and has been WB’s few movie bright spots over the last decade or so. There is no doubt the back up written by Scott Snyder here helped a tonne too. This will probably settle to about 15-20k and then have a decent life in collections. Finally at 108 is Justice League: Last Ride, the elseworld Chip Zdarskey vehicle that got promoted from being digital first. It’s a little low given all the factors involved but being an elseworld might be the cause of that. Clearly DC are happy given they could have went the easier route with digital first on this one and promoted the book based on sales. Again given with DC that these are all estimates, we’re likely not getting the full story here. 

Ray: All of these are decent performances, but it’ll be interesting to see how the DC Horror line does as we get into less-known properties. This is obviously something that would have been a Vertigo book a few years back, but these are good numbers. I also imagine Zdarsky’s JL book will do better in collections – most miniseries do. 

Glenn: Two feline’s next to each other in the charts. At 110 is Black Cat selling over 28.2k on issue 7 of her second volume. Well below her initial 6 figure launch but that was nonsense. This is a lot more reasonable and I would actually say very good given that she’s still very new to the ongoing life but this one seems to be a cult darling. Right underneath Black Cat is Catwoman (get your mind out of the gutters people) at 111 selling 28k which is probably about right for her, especially given that there is a storyline distance between her and the main Batman book.  

Small press publisher Fantagraphics seems to have a hit on their hands with Red Room with the second issue selling over 27.8k at 113. This is a quirky property from the writer/creator of the very positively received X-Men: Grand Design so I would say the attention that book got is the main reason this one is doing so well. Good for the publisher. 

 Ray: This is fairly amazing numbers for a hard-R horror book from a publisher that rarely sells well in singles. Piskor, like Lemire, might be becoming his own brand to the point where he can basically sell anything to a certain level.

Glenn: One of the Heroes Reborn one shot a bit late to the party is Weapon X and Final Flight at 117 selling just over 27k. Not a complete disaster but an indication of the true interest in this story overall. This was a heavily pushed event for Marvel but once again it seems to have fallen short overall which has been the case for these massive line wide events of theirs for a number of years. 

Given she’s DC’s third biggest character, Wonder Woman has always never enjoyed the sales success of Batman or Superman apart from a few rare periods. Her current title on issue 774 sells 27k at 118. Her new direction doesn’t seem to be gaining much interest but we’ll probably see a brief bump for 775. 

Ray: WW was one of the few titles that didn’t renumber with Infinite Frontier and so it only ticked up briefly and then resumed its trajectory. Also, it’s distant from the main status quo at the moment, with Diana being dead to most of the DCU, so I expect it to stay a bit on the fringes for now. 

Glenn: The very odd Fantastic Four: Life Story isn’t exactly following the same format or premise that the brilliant Spider-Man life story did. It seems to be more of a creator owned take on the property if there can be such a thing with the decade theme just kinda…there. Fantastic Four isn’t exactly a top property and this weird spin off of sorts at 120 selling over 25k makes a lot of sense. 

Another Heroes Reborn: One Shot at 121 in Squadron Savage selling over 24.9k. If it doesn’t have Gwen Stacy wearing another characters costume, no one seems to be bothered much. 

Given its deceptively dark nature and that it’s a mini, I would say over 24.8k is very good for the final issue of Stray Dogs. None of the creators involved are big names yet and we’re getting a follow up it seems so all must be well here. 

Ray: This was one of the odder books coming out of Image lately, but a well-deserved hit. 

Glenn: Infinite Frontier: Secret Files is kind of one of the standard DC anthologies that they put out now and then at 9.99 but this one seemed to have a bit more significance to it. Despite that it sells only a little better than the normal DC antholigies do at 123 with sales of 24k which given the price could be worse. 

Ray: I believe this anthology had six stories that were released through DC’s digital service first, so that definitely depressed the sales as well. The price tag was hefty too. 

Glenn: The Palmiotti and Connor Red Sonja title Invincible Red Sonja sells over 23.5k on its second issue at 125. This is a good bit higher that the characters standard level and that’s no surprise given the pedigree these two have established in the last 10 years or so on titles like Harley Quinn. 

On its 8th issue the critically acclaimed and Eisner award winning Black Widow sells over 23.5k too at 126. It seems to deserve a lot better but Natasha’s books always seem to have a ceiling no matter how good they are. Hopefully the collections are happy to keep this one trucking along. 

Another 2 Heroes Reborn one shots in American Knights at 129 selling over 22.5k and Marvel Double Action selling over 22.4k at 131. The fact that the latter featured the first Marvel work from legendary artist Dan Jurgans in like 15 years or so seems to have made no difference. 

Sandwiched in-between those at 130 is Space Pirate Capt Harlock from Ablaze, another company seemingly on the rise and managing to sell 22.5k. This is an established property in the form of a manga that dates back to the late 70’s. I’ve never heard of it but it seems to have been a good grab for Ablaze. The figurative battle between these small press publishers is actually very interesting at the moment. 

5 issues in, Kyle Higgins Radiant Black seems to be another win for Image selling over 22.3k at 132. There already seems t be hints at an adaption and he’s already rolling the success of this into more work. Much like James Tynion, he seems to be another long time collaborator of Scott Snyder who is starting to enjoy success on his own merit. 

22k at 133 for the Teen Titans Academy 2021 Yearbook for a 5.99 one shot which I assume is pretty much like a character guide. Only the really invested people in this new take on the franchise checked this one out I’d say but sales could have been worse. 

 Ray: The Teen Titans Academy Yearbook was actually sort of an anthology with original stories, but the title didn’t really get that across. Couldn’t have helped the sales!

Glenn: A new book and a relatively new book both from Boom at 135 and 136 for Save Yourself and Eve respectfully. The former of the two sells over 21.8k which given its an odd sounding concept with an unknown creative team makes the over 21.8k a very impressive debut. The other book, Eve is just below that with over 21.5k on its second issue. Another great performance from another new creative team. Boom seems to be a brand retailers are starting to trust in itself. 

Ray: If this is the new lower end for Boom, that’s yet another great sign for the company. I remember when they would regularly have titles debut below 10K. 

Glenn: Kyle Starks launches a new Image mini, Six Sidekicks of Trigger Keaton which debuts with a respectful over 20.3k at 138. Its now at this point that I’m wondering if this would have had a better launch with Boom… 

Ray: Starks has always been a bit of an oddball creator without a mainstream profile, so this is a decent launch for him. The franchise will also get a spotlight with a short in Skybound X next month, so that might help it long-term. 

Glenn: Speaking of Boom another relatively fresh faced batch of creators launch Good Luck at 142 selling over 19.6k. Little lower than the others but still very good given Boom’s history up until just like 3 or 4 years ago. 

Ray: Writer Matt Erman is more known for his work on licensed properties and at Scout and Mad Cave, so this is a big step up for him. Decent debut for an untested creator at Boom. 

Glenn: Declan Shelvey’s Time Before Time from Image sells over 19.4k at 145 which about the standard number for a Image’s middle tier these days. I’m sure he’s very pleased though. 

Another small press company scrambling for visibility continues with Aftershock who launches Out Of Body at 146 with sales over 19.3k. This is the highest launch for the publisher in a while that I can recall. This is a new property from Peter Milligan who is one of those creator’s that doesn’t draw in huge numbers but has a solid dependable following no matter what work he does. 

Ray: Milligan’s always a bit of a hard sell, but it seems like Aftershock is trending up right now just like Boom and Vault.

Glenn: The Catwoman annual sells about 9k below the main title at 147 with sales of 19k. Not sure if this was a main part of the story or not but this seems about right for how annuals perform these days. 

Although they have become more of a player in creator owned, Boom still has a lot of dependable licenced properties too like Power Rangers and the latest one shot Unlimited Edge Darkness sells over 18.3k at 150. This property has been selling around this level for a while so Boom must be happy with it, its well within normal levels for a licenced property from one of the bigger indie publishers. 

The anthology horror series Silver Coin sells over 18.2 at 151. Middle tier for Image but I’m wondering in the coming months if some creators manage to sell better than others given it’s a different writer and story every issue? It must be doing well enough for the primary creative force artist Michael Walsh to already have another batch of writers for more issues ready to go. 

I’m not sure what the difference between Batman & Scooby-Doo Mysteries and the Extravaganza issue at 152 are but despite being $2 more it only sells 1k less. Not bad for an all ages title but again, probably the power of Batman. 

Ray: I believe the Extravaganza is a collection of the first three digital-first issues! Either way, decent numbers for a book not aimed at the retail comic market. And it’s great to see a revival of the fantastic Scooby Doo Team-Up series!

DC launching a new Mister Miracle series so relatively close to the Eisner-winning King series was always going to be a hard sell, so I’m not surprised to see the second issue of Mister Miracle: The Source of Freedom down here at #153. It sells 18K, around the same as a Super-Sons reprint. 

Glenn: Without the creative force and critical acclaim, this is probably as good a Mister Miracle book can do these days. I don’t believe it even stars Scott Free so with that factored in I would say this is very good.

Ray: The creative team of Skyward launched a new thriller, Shadecraft, and the fourth issue sells 17.8K at #155. That’s middle of the road for Image, and the series wrapped for now with #5, but I expect this creepy family drama will get a second life in collections and is already in development at Netflix. 

This seems to be roughly Dynamite’s level, as we get two launches from them at #158 and #159. Bettie Page and the Curse of the Banshee is first, with Stephen Mooney taking the model/secret agent into an Irish-themed mystery, and it sells just over 17K – only fifteen copies more than Die!Namite Lives, which brings Ash into the DCeased-like zombie crossover. What does that guy know about the undead?

Neil Gaiman’s Norse Mythology relaunches down at #161 with sales of 17K as well at #160. A decent number, but this anthology isn’t quite performing like the American Gods saga did for Dark Horse. 

Glenn: Norse Gods doesn’t have the street cred that American Gods does and is a bit more of a niche novel. It’ll likely perform very well in book stores when its all collected however.

Ray: The penultimate issue of American Vampire 1976, which will bring the Snyder/Albuquerque saga to a close, lands down at #163, selling 17K. This is a couple leagues better than the title did at Vertigo, and probably a very good sign for any other Black Label revivals. Wish we had gotten to see how the Sweet Tooth revival did on these charts. 

Glenn: Still surprised this series never did better given its creative team but likely the long delays have a lot of people waiting for the collection. This was kind of one of Vertigo’s last great franchises so I would say that while it may not be the evergreen performer that Sandman or Fables is, I think it’ll be a steady cult hit for decades to come.

Ray: A pretty low-selling Image launch at #166, the adventure-themed Compass. This medieval tomb-raider pastiche with a Muslim lead got good reviews, but the creators aren’t well-known yet. It could be a sleeper hit, but it barely outsells the 13th issue of Undiscovered Country. 

Glenn: Needs to find its level fast in that case but again it depends what is feasible for the creators long term. If it has a better life in collections it could be fine.

Ray: To illustrate just how much of an impact Boom has had, Cullen Bunn’s other creator-owned book of the month (When does he sleep?) Parasomnia launches from Dark Horse at #168. It sells about 16.5K, just over a quarter of what Basilisk did. Dark Horse has some hit books, but Boom is really in a whole different tier now.

Glenn: For the most part, Dark Horse isn’t the preferred destination for creator owned anymore. They’ve been overlapped by Boom by quite a fair bit but having the Hellboy books and Lemire’s loyalty along with the comixology exclusives will mean that they will remain competitive in collections.

Ray: The awesome creative team of Pornsak Pichetshote and Alexandre Tefengki launched The Good Asian last month, and the Asian-American turn-of-the-century noir has gotten amazing reviews. The sales for the second issue of 15.7K are decent enough to get it to the end of its ten-issue run, but I hope it becomes a much bigger hit in trades.

Glenn: Noir isn’t a common genre in comics with even the kings of the genre, Ed Brubaker and Greg Rucka unlikely to do much better than this but find a great deal of success in collections and acclaim. I’m sure this series will do much better in other formats.

Ray: Now we’ve got a fun story at #172. This is the launch of Mighty Crusaders: The Shield, which was going to be written and drawn by Rob Liefeld – only for Liefeld to be fired before the first issue was released. The story was rewritten with his art, and it lands with a thud with 15.5K. Remember when Archie had Mark Waid writing critically acclaimed reboots?

Glenn: Apart from their various Sabrina books (a third from Thompson and Fish, the brief return of Chilling Adventures and a continuation of the TV show of the same name), Archie seems to have bowed out of the monthly battle. I would normally speculate they have something cooking but it must be getting a little burnt at this point.

Ray: I’m a little surprised that Proctor Valley Road isn’t doing a little bit better as it heads into its last issue, but the Morrison-cowritten period piece horror lands at #173 selling 15.5K. It’s middle of the road for Boom, but should get a second life as Morrison’s fans come out for collections. 

Glenn: Bit of an oddity this one. I do remember Morrison saying they were down with big two books but their Image series didn’t exactly set the world on fire and they then went and did Green Lantern and now Superman and the Authority. Morrison is a unique creator and their work likely is better digested and sold in collections.

Ray: AWA has been struggling since the start – it launched on the last week before the stay-at-home orders hit! – but a lot of their problems are their own doing. Case in point, the new series Moths at #174. This JMS/Mike Choi book is a tie-in to The Resistance, but it wasn’t really promoted like that. Retailers likely didn’t know how to order, so it just settled down at 14.6K. 

Lemire’s most durable franchise is back in action! Black Hammer: Reborn launches with 14K in sales at #175. I would have expected it to tick up a little more, but maybe most people are sticking with trades for this as it moves from miniseries to miniseries so rapidly. 

Glenn: This is where Black Hammer books usually launch with the exception of the League crossover. Obviously Lemire and Dark Horse are happy as we’re seen going to have like four of these on the go at once.

Ray: Amid a lot of licensed books and creator-owned mainstays, we’ve got the Sonic the Hedgehog 30th Anniversary Special selling 13.7K at #177, pretty close to the regular level for the series. That’s impressive for a $9 special, and shows IDW has built a nice brand for the character at their company. 

Glenn: A lot of loyalty for the blue hedgehog which at this stage of the charts is worth its weight in gold.

Ray: Ram V’s massively acclaimed comic The Many Deaths of Laila Starr is down at #183 for its third issue, with sales of just over 13K. That’s lower than I would have expected, but this is an odd book with a hard-sell concept. I think retailers may have missed the boat here and we’ll be seeing it become evergreen when it’s complete. 

I think we all knew Reptil would be one of Marvel’s lowest-selling titles, right? Terry Blas’ revival of the semi-popular cartoon character has gotten some nice reviews for its accurate portrayal of a latino family, but…it’s Reptil. It only sells 12.9K at #186, but it will hopefully raise the profile of the very talented Blas. 

Glenn: This was obviously green lit cause the pitch was strong cause the Avenger’s Academy characters are very, very niche and this shows that. If Blas career blossoms this might do better down the road and could be worth Marvel’s investment.

Ray: The Old Guard: Tales Through Time is an anthology spinoff from the Greg Rucka series that spawned a popular Netflix movie. The creative teams are impressive, but it only manages 12.6K at #187. Image has been making an odd turn towards anthologies lately, with more and more creators switching on and off each others’ books. 

Glenn: This is another franchise that has been on ice for a while so most of any audience has likely switched to trades with the most loyal remaining. It doesn’t seem its platform being raised on Netflix has done it any favours in the singles market.

Ray: A lot more licensed books down here, including some more Star Wars Adventures titles, until we get to the next book of note – Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Tea Time. A Mirka Andolfo one-shot focusing on Giles, it sells 11.3K at #195. Oddly, this took place in the TV continuity, which might have confused some readers of the rebooted version. 

The French adventure thriller Seven Swords launches from Aftershock at #196, spinning out of the Three Musketeers. It sells 11.3K without any big name creators attached. That’s a lot closer to what we used to see from Aftershock. 

Glenn: If this is just an English translation of existing comic the economics are very different anyway.

Ray: Remember when Marvel reprints used to turn up all the time? We finally found the first one! Down at 197, it’s Trials of Loki: Marvel Tales #1, selling 11.3K. An oversized one-shot designed to promote Marvel’s favorite scoundrel around the time of the TV series, I’m sure it did its job. 

We’ve got the penultimate issue of Avengers Mech Strike at #200, selling 11.1K. I would have thought there’d be a bigger audience for Avengers in giant robots, but this glorified toy commercial apparently did enough – it’s getting a spin-off soon. 

At #204, we’ve got a rather odd one-shot from Dynamite – Vampirella 1992, which focused on Vampirella cosplayers during the heyday of the “Bad girl” craze. It sells 10.9K, so hey – it takes all kinds. Dynamite obviously still has an audience for this stuff. 

Glenn: Saucy vampires will always have an audience.

At 207 is Deep Beyond, the Mirka Andolfo written series. It sells over 10.5k and I’m surprised it isn’t doing better considering how popular Andolfo is at the moment but they key difference here is that she’s only on writing duries. This is 5 issues in so its nearly halfway done regardless. 

The Worst Dude’s is a mature comic from Dark Horse from a writer with a somewhat controversial history to say the least. It manages sales over 10.2k at 210 which is a result of a combination of all I just mentioned. 

Ray:  Andolfo is also only co-writing, I believe, so this is essentially the first book testing her as a “brand” rather than a creator. It hasn’t performed like her own books, but it’s still a win for her. 

Glenn:  For IDW the Godzilla property is hardly one that has set the comic world on fire but it always delivers consistent and similar sales. The latest one shot, Godzilla Rivals Vs. Hedorah sells over 10.1k at 211 even priced at $7.99. 

Ray: Hedorah’s not exactly one of Godzilla’s best-known foes. Between that and the price tag, not surprising numbers. 

Glenn:  A Witcher comic, Witchs Lament sells over 10.1k at 212 so pretty standard from an other media tie-in and will likely do better elsewhere. 

The now long running Buffy series from Boom sells just over 10k at 213 which is about where it used to live prior to the company swap. The big Buffyverse crossover might shake things up a little but it is possible that a relaunch is needed to shake the interest tree once more. 

AWA charts again with Marjorie Finnegan: Temporal Criminal’s second issue at 216 selling over 9.6k. This is a Garth Ennis property so that is usually good for a little bit better than this but retailers seem a bit puzzled by this company. 

Some reorders for Image mini Stray Dogs first issue at 217 with over 9.5k additional sales. Very impressive a few months after release. 

A lot of Image books are ending soon but Monstess is still trucking along at 35 at 220 selling over 9.3k. Obviously the creative team are very happy with how its doing and it’s a very niche book that does very well in collections. It doesn’t hurt that it has awards and critical acclaim up the wazoo. 

The all ages James Tynion comic Wynd returns at 224 with sales over 8.7k. This is miles beneath his other books but this one should come with an asterix since it was never meant to be a singles book. I could see this becoming a classic that Boom will be glad to have in their library once its all done. 

Ray: Yeah, I’m assuming Wynd will do gangbusters when collected and might even wind up a mainstay in school libraries – well, in some places that aren’t prudes, at least. 

Glenn: Not sure what the reason for Red Sonja one shot 1982 is but it sells over 8.5k at 226 which is about the standard level for random offerings for the character like this one. 

Ray: Dynamite decided to do a few weird retro one-shots like this this month. I think this one is themed to the year of Red Sonja’s movie?

Glenn: That makes sense! As much as these things normally do anyway.

Vault continues to deliver tiny chips in the sales mountain with the second issue of Blue Flame at 227 with sales over 8.5k. This company is pretty much were Boom was like 5 or 6 years ago which is not a bad position to be in considering where that company is now. 

More Image reorders for Geiger this time which sells over 8.5k additional copies at 228, another encouraging sign. 

Despite the absence of its creator, Black Hammer Visions which has a different creative team every issue sells over 8.3k at 230. This one is written by Kelly Thompson but I’d wager they all sell about the same. This is how much the property itself is worth without the main narrative or Lemire’s direct involvement. Again this series seems to be a strong performer outside of singles. 

Ray: I wouldn’t be surprised if some of the biggest names attached, like Patton Oswalt or Geoff Johns, went a bit higher. This was also focusing on a side character, Skulldigger, but it’s still healthy numbers for an anthology. 

Glenn: A comic dedicated to Rick’s new hat (that’s of Rick and Morty fame) is enough to get sales over 7.7k at 241 but as always this property is worth considerably more outside the direct market. 

My co-author will likely be able to educate me about the different between Usagi Yojimbo and the mini at 243 titled Dragon Bellow Conspiracy which sells 7.6k because I have no clue. This is a cult property and does very well in collections. 

Ray: This one is a colorized reprint of one of the most iconic Usagi storylines! So it’s essentially free sales for the company, and a good sign for how many new people are discovering this excellent franchise. 

Glenn: One of IDW’s bread and butter franchises Transformers has an annual at 244 selling over 7.5k. We pretty much know the audience for the franchise after IDW’s had the licence for years and there will be little surprises either way in that regards. 

Some reorders for the Alpha part of Star Wars War Of The Bounty Hunters at 249 with sales over 7.2k There is some interest in this story at the moment but Marvel’s really squeezing it hard so we’ll see how long that maintains. 

Mignolaverse entry Imogen of Wyrding Way sells over 7.2k at 250. This seems to be the level for these books that don’t involve Hellboy or the B.P.R.D in some way so again, few surprises. 

The second issue of Jenny Zero, a superhero comic from Dark Horse from unknown creators sells over 7.1k at 252. Pretty standard for this type of book from Dark Horse this weather. 

Ray: Yeah, this is a strange giant robot/kaiju hybrid comic starring a drunk trainwreck of a lead. It’s a very odd book and Dark Horse put it out there with very little promotion. 

Udon continues to put out some of the oddest books in the industry, and at #254 we’ve got the Street Fighter 2021 Sci-Fi Fantasy Special. Most of Udon’s books are essentially pinup books, and I doubt this is much different, but it’s good enough for over 7K copies. 

Valiant’s output is down to only a few books, but they have a new Cullen Bunn series! That dude’s clones work hard. Shadowman, a revival of the popular horror series, sells 7K at #255 for its third issue. It’s standard for the company, but it’s hard to see this business model being sustainable. 

Glenn: Its a shame cause Bunn deserves better and they pushed this one very hard.

Ray: The new Image series Made in Korea, about a childless couple trying to protect their robot child, sells 7K at #256. This is pretty reminiscent of Alex + Ada and doesn’t have any big names attached, so I’m not surprised it’s a little lower. 

BRZRKR continues to tear up the charges, with just under 7K in reorders for its second issue down at #257.

Glenn: Never underestimate Keanu…or mess with his dog.

Ray: Behemoth, one of those companies that is trying to carve out a place in the market, has another entry here with the horror series Freak Snow debuting at #258. It sells 6.9K, which is like what companies like Aftershock and Vault used to debut at a while back. 

We’ve got some more reorders here, including 6.7K of the second issue of Geiger at #262, and 6.6K of the first issue of the Aftershock series We Live just below it. This might be because the second volume was just solicited. 

I do not even know what Ascencia from Wake Entertainment is, but it’s apparently popular enough for its fifth issue to sell 6.3K at #269. Odd entry from what seems to be…a book about a woman in a bikini being tortured with a power drill, from the cover. ANYWAY.

Glenn: Ah so this is where the Zenescope fans are going.

Ray: Black Mask is still at it as well, debuting the new series Everfrost at #271. It sells 6.3K, and appears to be about a warrior woman who retreated to the frozen north when society collapsed. Not bad for a company everyone assumed was about to collapse. 

Glenn: I could have sworn they were done. Their best known series Black continues to be somewhat of a regular staple here and there. That might be keeping them afloat single handed along with them having the brilliant Four Kids Walk Into A Bank in their library.

Ray: North Force #0 is at #272, and this is an odd entry. It’s essentially the month’s issue of Savage Dragon, but with some slight narration changes to focus on the Canadian super-team which debuts. It sells 6.3K – just 100 copies or so less than its parent book. This means that Image likely got retailers to double their order using this gimmick. 

Glenn: Hey, whatever works.

Ray: Novelist VE Schwab entered comics with Titan, doing a spinoff series for one of her novels titled Extraordinary. While she has a big name, this is another gritty superhero universe, and as such response was muted. The first official issue, after a #0 issue, sells 6.2K at #275. 

Glenn: Might do better in the bookstore market given it has a name behind it but yeah, indie superhero books always have an uphill climb.

Ray: There does seem to be some momentum for The Good Asian, as the first issue picks up 6.1K in reorders at #276. 

The video game Apex Legends gets a comic book subtitled Overtime, and sells 6K at #278 from Dark Horse. Well, it’s definitely not Fortnite – but then it doesn’t have Batman in it either. This was likely only for the hardcore fans. 

Glenn: Video game adaptions (apart from Fortnite related ones) aren’t really meant for these charts anyway.

Ray: Dynamite continues to struggle with franchises that aren’t sexy ladies, as their latest James Bond book, subtitled Agent of SPECTRE, lands at #281 for its fourth issue with sales of 5.8K. This had Christos Gage and a unique status quo, but Bond comics have never really caught on. 

Glenn: Credit to Dynamite as they have thrown a lot at the Bond franchise to try and make it work. Outside of the film franchise, the novels and the much beloved Goldeneye 64 though, Bond has never been able to stretch the success much further.

Ray: There are a LOT of Walking Dead Deluxe entries down here, with reorders for six different issues making up much of the 280s, with sales of 5.6K or so. People love their zombies. 

Glenn: Now in fabulous and bloody zombocolour!

Ray: Dark Horse seems to be struggling still with a lot of their creator-owned books if they’re not part of a larger franchise. The post-WW2 supernatural nazi thriller The Secret Land is only able to muster 5.3K at #291 – around the same as Mad Cave’s Robin Hood reinvention Nottingham, from a much smaller publisher. 

Glenn: With them getting comixology exclusives (including Snyder’s new books) and with talents like Bendis on the way, Dark Horse might have some fight in them yet. They seem to really struggle to push books from new creators though.

Ray: It’s mostly reprints down here, but we’ve got the launch of the new supernatural rock thriller Cherry Blackbird at #297 from Scout. This is an odd publisher with no real brand, but they put out some offbeat books and this one is good for 5.1K in sales. 

After an Archie digest and a Venom reprint, we close out the top 300 with the fourth issue of Lady Baltimore: Witch Queens, another Mignolaverse book which sells just under 5K. That’s a very healthy point to end the top 300, I think. 

Glenn: Much better than it was before. Now Ray, come over here and just glance down below here. It’s fine we won’t actually go down. That’ll be silly.

*pushes Ray*

Ray: Hey, is that a penny? *falls* Not agaaaaaaaaaaaain.

Anyway, down here it’s mostly low-selling ongoings, reprints, and weird books. A lot of Vault books settle down here, like the conclusion of horror title The Autumnal, which sells 4.4K at #311.

Tarot: Witch of the Black Rose is still going at 128, selling 4.3K. And it’s not even Zenoscope!

Glenn, strike up the Rachel Bloom! We’re back! At #332 we’ve got “Oz Annual: Patchwork Girl“, which I assume is Scarecrow from Oz as a sexy girl? It sells 3.5 and causes many questions. 

Glenn: Ain’t nothing more saucy than sexy straw girls.

Ray: Chris Samnee’s new creator-owned project, Jonna and the Unpossible Monsters, doesn’t seem to have gotten much attention. The fourth issue sells only 3K at #343, but some delays in the early going probably didn’t help. 

Glenn: Don’t look for him to leave Fire Power for this one then. Surprising given he’s a name creator.

Ray: Black Mask’s sequel to their controversial hit “Black” debuts at #361, selling 2.4K. It’s called “White”, and the discourse around it will be 100% productive, I’m sure. 

What happens when one creator-owned sensation decides to parody another? You get Strangers in Cerebus at #395, selling 1.5K. Poor Terry Moore. 

Not much more of note besides some low-selling creator-owned books and a lot of reprints, and closing us out at #446 is the second issue of Chess, from Second Sight publishing, selling 831 copies. This appears to be a spy comic from a new publisher, so they’re probably just happy to be here. 

Let’s look ahead (back?) to July sales to see if we get them!

DC will be launching their new Superman book by Tom Taylor, putting Jon Kent in the lead role. The original Superman will also be teaming up with the Authority in a new Grant Morrison comic, There’ll be another new Milestone title focusing on Icon and Rocket, new series for Blue and Gold and Shazam, and a new Suicide Squad Black Label book by Azzarello and Maleev guest-starring Joker. 

Over at Marvel, we’ve got the final arc of THAT run as Sinister War kicks off, plus a new Moon Knight series, a new Kaare Andrews elseworlds of sorts, and a whole lot more Extreme Carnage. Plus, the launch of a new X-Men #1 that should likely top the charts as Marvel gets ready for a post-Hickman X-verse. 

Glenn: Its nearly over *sobs* its nearly over

Glenn: In the creator-owned world, July will bring us new books from Image by Emilia Clarke, Kyle Higgins, and Mirka Andolfo, but the biggest debut of the month is probably the anthology Skybound X, featuring the return of the world of the Walking Dead to comics. And over at Boom, it’s the return of Mouse Guard and the launch of the acclaimed Mamo. 

What will rise? What will fall? We hope you’ll find out here next month on…By the Numbers!

Liked what you read? Any questions or comments then let us know here or on Twitter @glenn_matchett and @raygoldfield!

By The Numbers: August 2020

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

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

Glenn Matchett is a comic writer and editor. He’s worked in the industry for many years but grew up reading comics. He’s had work published with various small press publishers and has is own comic now available on Comixology in Sparks: The Way I Was from Yellow Bear Comics! In a few days Glenn will be visiting Bly Manor, please send help.

Ray Goldfield is a fan of comic books for going on 25 years, starting with the death of Superman. He is a writer and editor and has released his first novel. Ray also does a weekly roundup of DC comic reviews for website Geekdad and they’re brilliantly entertaining.  When he votes in a few weeks, Ray is writing himself in. It’s 2020, you never know!

No more cover images until WordPress stops being useless in its new format outside the top book. Sorry for the wall of text! We promise laughs in place of images!

Glenn: Three so close together? It can only happen in 2020! We’re nearly caught up folks, have no fear!

Ray: This is the first month that we have more than 500 books on the stands again, so it seems like most of the industry is returning to normal. We also have confirmation that for the second month in a row, Avengers is the new “index book” replacing Batman due to Batman’s sky-high sales.

DC: Batman: Three Jokers #1 from Batman: Three Jokers by Geoff Johns  published by DC Comics @ - UK and Worldwide Cult  Entertainment Megastore

Glenn: Once again with Joker War in full swing now, Batman rules the top of the charts with the much anticipated Three Jokers Black Label mini. We know this sold in the 300k mark and its no surprise. This is Johns first work on a mainstream Batman book, Jason Fabok is a hot artist, years of hype, a pseudo sequel to Killing Joke and three times DC’s hottest villain. It was a recipe for success and is no surprise it took the top of the charts.

Ray: Much like last month, we have a comic that just completely outpaced the field. Three Jokers sells exactly double what the next book on the list does, which is a staggering number. This is probably going to be another Evergreen smash for DC, much like Doomsday Clock. It’s only three issues for us, but the total content is closer to a nine-issue miniseries, which should make for a nice collection. 

Glenn: Batman the regular book also continues to dominate, surprisingly still outselling the huge event Dark Knights: Death Metal as James Tynion has restored the title to its former sales prestige. Issue 100 is a sure fire finner for October.

Ray: The index indicates that Batman is coming down to Earth just a bit from last month, as retailers probably over-ordered on the first month back due to Punchline-mania. But these numbers are still spectacular overall and Tynion’s run will likely see long-term benefits. 

Glenn: Speaking of Death Metal it charts at 4, its not slouching by any means it just underlines how much Tynion’s Batman has surpassed expectations. A lot of good news for DC at the moment.

Ray: The index has it pretty close to Batman this month, so more evidence of its staying power. This mini had the proper hype and buildup that other recent events didn’t.

Glenn: Aforementioned good news continues at 5 with the newest issue of Detective Comics which is now in full Joker War tie-in.with the other issue this month charting at 7. Lets see how this story benefits other bat books as we go.

Ray: Yeah, this is what I expected – Detective probably almost doubled its sales from previous months, and next month’s mega-issue should dominate the charts and be an easy #1. Are we eventually headed for a month where only Batman books make the top ten?

Glenn: Splitting up the Detective issues is Venom at 6 as it continues its own stride of momentum towards the King In Black event. 

At 8 is Thor as it seems only the power of Donny Cates is powerful enough to stop Batman this month. It seems Cates has restored Thor to a top seller which it hasn’t been since the JMS years and at various points during the Aaron run. Excpent Cates upcoming Image comic to do big numbers.

Ray: I think it’s pretty clear at this point that Cates is Marvel’s #1 writer. I’d be surprised if King in Black didn’t bring some Thor elements in – it’s too big a plot for Venom alone – so the odds are good that’s going to be a sales monster

Glenn: At 9 is Harley Quinn which benefits from a combination of final issue/anniversary number and Joker War bump. The character has now gone full chaotic good and seems to be a satellite member of the bat family. No word on what her next book will look like but Harley has become a strong franchise in herself so its only a matter of time.

Ray: I’m honestly shocked there hasn’t been any announcement on Harley’s new series yet. Maybe we’ll get a printed version of the digital-first Harley Quinn: Black + White + Red first, but the character’s journey from henchwoman to headliner has been amazing. 

Glenn: Final spot in the top ten belongs to Maestro, the Peter David written Hulk series that finally tells the background story of quite possibly his most famous Hulk story. Thanks to the success of Immortal Hulk, the character is hot at the moment and while I don’t expect the rest of the series to sell this well this seems to be a pleasant surprise.

Ray: David’s Hulk always had a big fanbase and the character is red hot right now, but this is a little bigger than I expected. Worth noting – this beat every issue of Marvel’s big event comic this month. 

As the X-line heads towards its first big event, the latest Hickman issue charts at #11, selling probably somewhere in the 50K range. Still solid, but that’s fallen a lot and it’s dropped out of being the #1 ongoing pretty quickly. If I was the X-editor, I would not be optimistic about a twenty-part hard crossover. 

Glenn: Its almost like forcing everyone that just wants to or can afford to read Hickman’s X-Men to read every X-book under the sun was a bad idea!

Ray: Amazing Spider-Man also continues dropping, with the first issue of the month at #12 and the second at #15, both selling about 45K. We got word today that Ryan Ottley is leaving the title, so it feels like the wheels are coming off between this and the sales drop. 

Glenn: They’re cheating a bit (no big surprise from Marvel) by having 850 and 50 one after the other so that’ll help. I don’t expect the Kindred story to draw in the big sales like Metal, Joker War and King In Black do/will.

Ray: At #13, we’ve got Dark Nights Death Metal Guidebook, which featured both a new Darkest Night story and the DC debut of Chip Zdarsky. Despite the title making it sound like a sourcebook, it still delivered strong numbers. 

The story is basically the same at #16 for Dark Nights Death Metal: Legends of the Dark Knights. This anthology featuring new evil Batmen featured an eclectic group of creators plus a Darkest Knight framing story. Interest for the limited tie-ins to this storyline is very high – indicating that flooding the market may not be the way to go.

Two Bat-books get a huge boost from their Joker War tie-ins, with Batgirl landing at #17 and Nightwing #19. All together, this makes 11 of the top 20 books Batman or Bat-family related. 

Glenn: Batgirl probably won because of one of Joker’s most iconic stories being so heavily associated with her. This event is red hot.

Ray: Sandwiched in between them is the fourth issue of Empyre at #18, selling about 35K. This was the issue with the biggest reveal, and #5 is down at #21. Needless to say, this was not what Marvel was hoping for out of this event, and I’m sure the news won’t be much better from the tie-ins. 

Glenn: Never to be mentioned again. Let’s just try not to get overwhelmed but the twenty billion King In Black tie-ins Marvel is doing to make up for this.

Ray: We observed last month that the numbers on Venom #25 weren’t great, and here’s why – an underorder is reflected here, with the issue charting  again at #20, selling close to 35K copies. That puts the book well over 70K overall, a monster showing. 

Glenn: Its insane that Venom is Marvel’s biggest book right now and the second steadiest ongoing right now.

Ray: We’ve got an odd entry at #22, as the video game tie-in Horizon Zero Dawn charts the highest we’ve ever seen from a Titan book. To put this in perspective, it outsells all the Star Wars books this month, which are clustered in the 20s for the most part. Video game store orders, maybe? Or maybe a very passionate fanbase.

Glenn: Passionate fanbase for sure, this was a very popular game with a very easy concept to transfer over to comics. 

Ray: Spawn holds solid at #26, remaining the top creator-owned book – for now, but some big names are coming down the pipe. Keanu crush puny Spawn. 

Glenn: We’ll see but Spawn is still doing the best it has done in years. There seems to be some momentum from the anniversary issue which is nothing to sneeze at.

Ray: I continue to be impressed by how well Batman: The Adventures Continue does, landing at #28 and selling roughly the same as Immortal Hulk. This far outpaces what similar books like Injustice did. 

Glenn: People love their BTAS. They even got Kevin Conroy giving people directions in their cars now.

Ray: The oddball FF mini, Fantastic Four Antithesis by Mark Waid and Neal Adams, lands at #29. It’s a high-profile creative team, but largely an unconnected side story in an earlier era and Adams’ pull isn’t what it used to be. 

Glenn: Some loyalty for Waid and a little curiosity for Adams but yeah, not quite what he used to be able to pull in after a few years of odd works.

Ray: Giant-Size X-Men: Fantomex lands at #32. This series is benefiting a lot from the fact that it’s a new #1 every month, but this is the lowest we’ve seen it. General attrition, or lack of interest in Fantomex compared to the other leads?

Glenn: I don’t know what a Fantomex is so I’m going to go with that.

Ray: #33 has the Spider-Man #1 facsimile edition, selling likely under 30K. That’s wild for a reprint. Is this the 90s #1 that sold an insane number of copies with McFarlane art?

Glenn: It is which explains why its still hot after all this time. McFarlane Spidey will never not be an easy sell.

Ray: Justice League #50 lands at #34 with no real bounce for its anniversary issue, but then this was just the final chapter of a Simon Spurrier fill-in arc. Very good story, but the $5.99 price tag likely hurt a bit rather than helped. 

Lots of regular books down here, with Strange Adventures holding strong at #38. 

The next book of note is Seven Secrets #1, Tom Taylor’s new creator-owned Boom title, which lands at #47 between issues of Legion of Super-Heroes and The Green Lantern. A strong debut, but a little lower than I expected given the hype that this broke sales records for Boom. Unless the index is much higher than we think, we might be in for some heavy reorders here. Boom continues to pick up momentum ahead of upcoming debuts from Al Ewing and Matt Kindt (with Keanu Reeves). 

Glenn:  Great start here for sure. Boom is having a great year despite you know…all the things. It seems to be making at least Image up their game too as they have a few heavy hitters set up to make things interesting.

Ray: Empyre: X-Men #2 lands at #52, much lower than the first issue. Hickman was involved in the first and last issues, but despite that we didn’t see any sales jump for the last issue. They land at #57 and #59. 

A couple of strange reorders this month, with the first issue of Strange Academy #1 landing again at #54, selling about 25K. 

The same goes for the first issue of Fire Power, landing at #56 with impressive reorders. 

Something very odd, with the second issue of DCeased: Dead Planet landing at #58 and selling about 25K. That’s clearly VERY off, and I’d expect there to be many reorders. Maybe it was something with the classification of the variant covers? There are still a lot of kinks to be worked out here. 

Glenn: DC’s new distribution people may be figuring out how this stuff works. ‘Wait, it has the same content but…costs more…and is rarer?!’

Ray: Venom #26 charts again as well at #60, selling a little over 20K in reorders. 

Glenn: Crazy stuff.

Ray: Daredevil Annual #64, a wild story featuring Mike Murdock, lands at #64. It’s a similar number to what the title usually did, in between Justice League Dark and Catwoman. 

Fire Power #2 lands at #67, showing the title’s likely final standing at near 20K.. It’s likely to be one of the few creator-owned books to establish a regular beachhead in the top 100.

Glenn: Beyond Walking Dead this seems to be where Kirkman’s Image books seem to live.

Ray: Right under that at #68 is reorders of Negan Lives #1, which might show up on this chart pretty consistently in the coming months. 

Glenn: As we mentioned last month, retailers didn’t know this was coming so more than likely Image underestimated the demand.

Ray: After a few routine Marvel books, including the Empyre issues of Captain Marvel, we see the next new #1 – Mega Man: Fully Charged from Boom at #72. This video game tie-in didn’t really get the hype of other Boom launches, but the character has a big fanbase and the last time he had a regular comic was at Archie, I believe. 

Glenn: That’s a really solid debut for a video game tie-in, especially one that will doubtlessly do better outside the direct market.

Ray: After a bunch of Marvel books including the final issue of Black Cat, we get the launch of a new Power Rangers miniseries at #77 – Drakkon: New Dawn. This post-apocalyptic adventure is going to lead into the upcoming relaunch, which should do well. Boom’s proven this line can sustain a number of spin-offs. 

At #80 we have the ninth issue of Ghost-Spider, which was printed after being released digitally months earlier. Decent numbers for a second-run book, but what an inauspicious end to the solo title of one of Marvel’s biggest new characters for years. 

Glenn: Marvel have handled this character so poorly its outright depressing. This is just bonus sales on top of what it did for re-orders. It’s only here because fans that prefer print were so pissed off.

Ray: At #82, we have the third issue of Spider-Woman. This series bottomed out much more quickly than other Marvel series that started unusually high, likely due to the time off between issues. 

More than 15K in reorders for the second issue of Thor at #83, as retailers catch up on their Donny Cates in the rush before King in Black. Similar numbers for Thor #4 at #87. 

It’s a quiet end to the Slott era on Iron Man at #84, with the final issue of Iron Man 2020 selling just over 15K. 

Glenn: We’ll see what the new run brings, but Marvel still seems to have a problem benefitting off the characters newfound statue as a cultural icon because of the movies.

Ray: Dynamite’s streak of odd crossovers continues with Mars Attacks Red Sonja at #86, by John Layman. It’s not a crossover I ever would have expected, but it’s surprisingly good and it sells about 15K. 

The Empyre tie-ins slide down the charts, with Lords of Empyre: Celestial Messiah at #90, spotlighting the big bad of the event. No one really knew who he was except old-school Avengers fans, so these numbers aren’t a surprise – and it won’t be the lowest-selling tie-in on the list. 

Glenn: It gets worse from here? Oooph.

Ray: #91 has the final issue of The Question: The Deaths of Vic Sage, as this Black Label series heads off to collections to sell there forever like so many of Lemire’s books. 

Glenn: This was essentially an epilogue to the brilliant 80’s series and the Question doesn’t have quite the fan base that some of the more iconic heroes do so it performed as expected. Like you say, it’ll perform fine as an evergreen.

Ray: A strong showing from Vault at #94, as their new spinoff of the tabletop game Vampire: The Masquerade sells about 15K. This is probably a combination of the established fanbase and the name of Tim Seeley

Undiscovered Country #7 lands at #97 – lower than I would have expected, but still one of the top five creator-owned books of the month. Marvel and DC really dominated this month. 

At #102 we’ve got the debut of Locke & Key: In Pale Battalions Go, a two-issue spinoff of Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez’s popular fantasy thriller. While these are solid numbers, we all know this book makes most of its money in collections.

Glenn: We may see an exception for the upcoming Sandman team up but time will tell!

Two annuals down here with Teen Titans selling at 103 Wonder Woman’s selling at 105. Interesting that Wonder Woman wouldn’t sell better because this is the end of the run Steve Orlando had not too long ago. It seems that ending a story much later in an annual is an old trick that still doesn’t work as far as DC is concerned.

Ray: Teen Titans was also one of the most significant issues of the run, but didn’t really get much attention. 

Glenn: The Dreaming gets a new subtitle (Waking Hours) and a new creative team including writer G. Willow Wilson at 108. These books seemed to launch with a little momentum and quickly became second tier with some life in the collections market most likely. This will be much the same, especially with Wilson’s name attached.

Ray: The entire line has sort of collapsed, down to just one book in a few months. But this will eventually make a very good Sandman-related graphic novel, even if it mostly focuses on satellite characters. 

Glenn: New Mighty Morphin Power Rangers title from BOOM is at 110 which is another solid performer in terms of a licensed property that BOOM is reaping benefits from on the down low.

Lords Of Empyre: Swordsman sells at 112, no one knows and no one really cares.

Same thing for Empyre Handbook at 120. These could have done worse of course but they could have done a hell of a lot better too.

Ray: The sales on these tie-ins are disastrous. I think the King in Black ones will do better, but as a whole there seems to be very little interest in anything but the main books on Marvel events. 

Glenn: New Image book from writer/artist Jason Howard Big Girls launches at 123. Nothing spectacular but a decent enough number from a premise that sounds like a lot of fun on paper.

Wynd finally seems to be picking up (ha, get it?) as the third issue lands 1t 125. It seems retailers and fans are probably figuring out what this is.

Ray: This is good to see. Even as the main market is collections, Tynion’s name should be enough for solid single-issue sales. And I think this is destined to be a modern classic, so all eyes on reorders next month. 

Glenn: In what will be the last Alien comic they publish, the first issue of Dark Horse’s adaption of the original screenplay of the first movie lands at 126. While Alien 3 had a lot of notoriety for its various screenplays, Alien is less so and as a result this is probably one just for the hardcore audience the idly curious.

Ray will have to help me out here but Canto II: The Hallow Men seems to be a new property from the original creator of the Turtles. That alone is seemingly enough to get it to 128 on the charts which is very good by IDW standards.

Ray: This is actually the sequel to the acclaimed Wizard of Oz pastiche from IDW! Canto’s first series had some of the most consistent reorders prior to the apocalypse, so this one should be a pretty solid performer as well. 

Glenn: In an example that proves that you can crossover anything, My Little Pony/Transformers is at 132. I’m not sure how these fandoms intersect but I’m mildly curious and I only partially care about one of these (its My Little Pony)

Ray: The Transformers try to learn about the ponies by downloading all information on them from the internet and spontaneously combust. 

Glenn: Reprint special as Marvel Tales: Maestro sells 1t 146. These stories have been heavily reprinted and most that haven’t read it are likely just to check it out when its collected in the Hulk Omnibus that Marvel are putting out containing Peter David’s run.

We’ve spoken about how Vault comics seems to be getting some momentum as a publisher and while one of their newest books, Shadow Service lands lower than some of their other recent hits at149 that’s still not too bad from a relatively small publisher with a writer whose name I don’t recognize.

Despite having hotshot artist Mike Deotado on board AWA’s Bad Mother only manages 162 on the charts. Considering AWA is newly minted its hard to gage how well they’re doing, we’ll find out if the stick around or not in due course.

Ray: This seems to be where all non-JMS AWA books land, for the most part. 

Glenn: Oni continues to release Rick and Morty comics to keep the lights on with the latest being ‘Birdperson’ which is at 165. These of course are madly successful outside the main comic market.

Jimmie Robinsons Bomb Queen returns with a political commentary book entitled Trump Card at 172. The buxom villainess has always been a cult hit at best and political commentary doesn’t fare well in comics generally.

The Star Wars Action Figure Variant comic which is literally just a 9.99 comic that reprints all the action figure variants that Marvel has put out for Star Wars comics since requiring the licence is at 175. This is literally the easiest money Marvel will make this month.

Ray: I can’t believe over 10K people bought a $9.99 collection of variant covers. 

Glenn: Strange Academy falls hard to 178 on its second issue. It’ll have to earn a little more of its keep if it wants to stay around. No doubt a King In Black tie-in will be along soon to help.

Voyage to the stars, a space adventure featuring anamaraphorphic (sp?) animals from IDW sells at 193, no big surprise considering it seems to be from a group of names that aren’t familiar to the market.

The Street Fighter Swimsuit special somehow makes it to the top 200 at 197. People need their sexy drawings of M. Bison.

At 200 is Sex Criminals which has been an oddball schedule for the last few years as most of its fans have likely transitioned to trades in the meantime. It might get a boost for the final time jumping 69th issue, we’ll see.

Ray: Heh. 69. Heh

Glenn: Among a bunch of reorders and lower indie books is our beloved Zombie Tramp at 221, You never call, you never write, you never try to eat my brains. Where’s the love gone Zombie Tramp?

Ray: Zombie Tramp should be selling 69K every month!

There’s a random reorder for Champions #13 at #205, and it’s worth noting that we’re in the area of the charts that only has rankings, no estimates. It was a weird month, with only 169 books being properly indexed. And you’ll also note that there are countless Marvel reorders this month, many from months or even years ago. Yep, it’s stock-dumping time – which is why there were about 200 more books this month than the last on the charts. 

Glenn: Marvel be like ‘no one talks about sales anymore, no one is that stupid.’ In fact Marvel, we are that stupid.

Ray: At #210 are reorders for Empyre: X-Men #1, which might get a boost due to being one of the ones Hickman wrote in full. Look for #4 to get the same boost in the coming months. 

More Zombie Tramp at #221, for the second time this month! At least she’s keeping busy. And again at #228! 

A GI Joe one-shot, A Real American Hero: Snake Eyes Origin #0, charts at #233. This has been one of IDW’s longest-running licensed properties, and it has a small but very loyal audience. 

At #242 we have the debut of Patriotika, an Antarctic comic that seems to be about…a sexy Captain America-type superheroine who is also the Goddess Athena. Kay. That lack of chest protection doesn’t seem feasible. 

Glenn: Just as the profit Liefield predicted. Perhaps her ludicrously giant breasts double as shields?

Ray: Talking about strange Marvel reorders, there’s Monsters Unleashed #7 at #247. That’s a 2017 comic. Back in the olden days, in the before times…

Glenn: Bloody hell I’d forgotten about this book. Now watch as I forget again.

Ray: It’s a long jump with a lot of reorders until we get to the next original #1 at #267, which is…Ninjas vs. Robots from Keenspot. I like both those things, but it’s getting scary down here early, Glenn. 

At #276, we’ve got the debut of a new Scout Comics launch, Atlantis Wasn’t Built for Tourists. This supernatural small town thriller does not have any fish-men or undersea cities in it, shockingly. 

Glenn: No dreamy Jason Mamoa? I demand a refund!

Ray: #283 brings us the first issue of Amalgama Space Zombie: Most Wanted. One of Zombie Tramp’s pals gets her own spinoff! But she’s no Zombie Tramp. No one really is. 

#286 has Conspiracy: Men in Black one-shot from Zenoscope. I wonder if the Men in Black are sexy ladies here. 

#293 brings us the latest instalment in Scout’s most bizarre series, Gutt Ghost: Trouble with the Sawbuck Skeleton Society. This is definitely a niche book, but this issue had a Mike Mignola cover, which undoubtedly boosted sales a bit. 

#299 brings us the latest Archie mini-collection, Archie & Friends Endless Summer. It’s been a rough year for Archie, and they’ve basically stopped putting out their new line of rebooted books, but they’re still putting out the all-ages material. 

#300 brings us the fourth issue of Dryad, and with that into the breach we go. 

It’s mostly reorders down here, including a reprint of the 25th issue of Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur at #308 – from 2017 again!

At #313 it’s the one-shot “Amicable Spider-Vark One-Shot“. I guess that’s a thing the creator enjoys putting out.

Glenn: Must be nice to be able to be able to yell out your own nonsense while people are literally dying around the world.

Some reorders for Chu at 321, nothing groundbreaking but it does show some interest.

Raven Hex from *checks notes* Broadsword comics sells at 327. This seems to be a property from well known Catwoman artist Jim Balent who will have a fanbase that like the way he draws breasts with people attached to them.

Ray: Good for Balent getting his own company, I guess! Sexy lady books are very much underrepresented in comics these days. *nods*

Glenn: Despite being reprinted more times than I’ve had hot dinners, Image First’s Walking Dead still does a decent amount at 332. Look for the new coloured issues to sell surprisingly well starting in a few months.

Another Joe comic in Snake Eyes: Deadgame at 334. Retailers will know this is for completeists only by this stage.

More Heavy Booby Captain America at 340 with some sort of variant which means the issue sold a respectful amount considering its material combined. Lockdown has been lonely for some people I guess.

Shanna the Firehair who I assume is some not so subtle Shanna the She Devil rip off sells at 342 from Antartic. Sexy ladies in fur bikini’s is about what I’d expect from them.

Among many low reorders and low selling indie books is Amalgama Space Zombie who from the cover is some sort of associate to our beloved Zombie Tramp. YOU CAN’T BE HER SO DON’T EVEN TRY SPACE ZOMBIE.

Proving that any politician can have their own comic, Yang Gang from Keenspot is at 372. I’ve either taken too many pills or not enough.

Ray: Every politician with a wacky fanbase is going to get a comic from them, I guess. At least they’re equal-opportunity?

Glenn: Remember Hunt For Wolverine? I sure as heck don’t but some reorders/stock dumping of the first part shows up at 374.

Gutt Ghost something something Glow In The Dark edition is at 376. Again an indie book that sells better than would first appear based off split sales. I have vague memories of a Ghost Rider glow in the dark cover from like 25 years ago so I’m glad that Scout has their fingers on the pulse.

I just can’t type the name of the comic at 385. I just can’t. I assume this is the hell Dante wrote about.

Ray: Keenspot, keeping it classy at 385!

Glenn: In a case of just happy to be here, Behemoth Comics (?!?!?!?!) brings us Cardinal Dragon at 390. We’re not making these up.

Ray: I have still never encountered a Behemoth Comics book. 

Glenn: If a comic is published and Ray doesn’t know about it, does it happen?

So many reorders/stock dumps down here until we get to Metalshark Bro 2 issue 1 at 405. How did I miss Metalshark Bro 1, HOW?!?!?!!??!

Junior High Horrors is on first glance a kid friendly spooky anthology from Keenspot at 408. I refuse to trust anything from this company after 385.

At 417 is Rock & Roll biographies: Sublime. Is this one of those popular bands you yanks like on your newfangled ‘cassette players’ Raymond? Pip, pip.

Ray: You just don’t get today’s music, Glenn! *stomps up to his room*

Glenn: So much random stuff here. The Domino mini from a while back shows up at 476 for the THIRD issue. What? Why?

Ray: This is almost entirely reorders down here. I’ve never seen anything like this. I would estimate close to a third of the comics this month are all reorders, mostly Marvel with a scattering of DC and Image. I think this was the Gail Simone run, but that’s still something people would logically be picking up in trade, not singles. 

Jeff Lemire’s Sentry #1 charts again at #479. This is more a reminder that this miniseries was awesome and you should buy the trade!

Glenn: It was great, the only good use of the character since the original mini.

Ray: Silver Sprocket puts out the most interesting titled books on the market, of course. And that includes #486, aka “Yes I’m Flagging: Queer Hanky Code 101 One Shot“. This is a very niche company that mostly specializes in indie zines. 

Glenn: I don’t know what this title means. I could google it but I’m already on enough watchlists…

Ray: Scout’s oddball Funny Monsters comic Adventures of Byron: Comic Capers one-shot charts at #496, a rare original comic at this level. Scout’s one-shots usually don’t pick up much of an audience. 

At #500 is a reprint of the 101st issue of TMNT from IDW, which normally would meant the end of this strange journey – but this month there are new depths to plumb. 

Glenn: Look I won’t go further than 500, you can’t make me. Its not human. Noooooooo.

Ray: Aside from the Image First reprints, maybe the earliest reorder on this list is Gwenpool #3, which appeared in June 2016 originally. Down at #521. It’s so weird to see cancelled series getting reorders four years later. 

Remember “Tales of a Well Hung Man” from Gumby last month? Well, it’s still hanging! Down here at #530. So many jokes.

Glenn: Inhuman says I!

Ray: #534 brings us the Litho edition of Tarot: Witch of the Black Rose #122. Glenn Matchett! You have to get out of here! Your comic list is haunted!

Glenn: It turns out the knocking was coming from my Scott Snyder box all along.

Ray: And just before we head out, there’s the earliest reorder yet – All-New Hawkeye #1 by Jeff Lemire at #539, which originally debuted in March 2015! 

Glenn: This was a great series. The artist is now drawing Stillwater which we’ll likely see in at least the top 30 next month.

Ray: And down at #547 is Image First Rat Queens #1, the very last book on the list. What a long, strange journey it’s been…

And in a month we get to do it all again! So looking ahead, at DC we have the likely clear #1 of the month in Detective Comics #1027, a massive $10 Batman anthology featuring just about every major Bat-creator of the last few decades. Add that to the ongoing Joker War storyline and the Metal tie-ins, and DC should once again dominate the top of the charts. 

Over at Marvel, it’s the last of Empyre and the launch of the next event, Sword of X. We’ll also get to see how Kelly Thompson’s Black Widow does as it launches months late. 

Glenn: Without the movie to support it, I’m not predicting big things unless Marvel flubs the numbers. It’ll be interesting if they don’t considering they have on a number of female Spider titles which they don’t have nearly outside interest in as much as Black Widow.

Ray: And over at Image, we’ll likely see a rare top ten debut for them as James Tynion IV’s Department of Truth lands. And not to be undone, Boom has the record-breaking launch of We Only Find Them When They’re Dead from Al Ewing. 

What will rise? What will fall? Will we go insane after covering six months in a little over a month? Find out next month on…By the Numbers!

Like what you read? Have any comments, questions or concerns then let us know here or on Twitter @glenn_matchett or @raygoldfield

By The Numbers July 2020

Batman #95

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

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

Glenn Matchett is a comic writer and editor. He’s worked in the industry for many years but grew up reading comics. He’s had work published with various small press publishers and has is own comic now available on Comixology in Sparks: The Way I Was from Yellow Bear Comics! In a few days Glenn will be visiting Bly Manor, please send help.

Ray Goldfield is a fan of comic books for going on 25 years, starting with the death of Superman. He is a writer and editor and has released his first novel. Ray also does a weekly roundup of DC comic reviews for website Geekdad and they’re brilliantly entertaining.  When he votes in a few weeks, Ray is writing himself in. It’s 2020, you never know!

Glenn: What’s the old saying? You wait months for a By The Numbers article and then two show up around the same time?

Things continue to return to normality in July but we’re still not quite there yet but we’ll see how we go.

Ray: This month’s index book is a tie between Avengers #34 and Hellions #2, so we can estimate those probably sold in the 30K range and we can base everything off tha

Glenn: To no one’s surprise the Joker War story is turning out to be a big hit for DC as issues 95 and 94 of Batman take the top two spots in the charts respectfully. We still don’t have numbers but I have little doubt that this story, the hype around new character Punchline and the lead up to 100 has brought the back up to the six figure range. This run by James Tynion which was supposed to just be a holding pattern has taken everyone by surprise and now he doesn’t seem to be going anywhere and why would he?

Ray: The most impressive thing about Batman this month isn’t that it topped the charts – it’s that it demolished the charts! Its indexes approach 500, aka 5x the index book, and nothing else even approaches that. Whatever Tynion’s doing, he can probably write his own ticket at DC from here on out. 

Glenn: These two issues actually outsell the second Dark Knights: Death Metal which doubtlessly did gangbusters too. This event seems to have big implications on the way but people are seemingly just enjoying the ride for the time being.

Ray: The student has become the master as Tynion defeats Snyder! This is probably more a result of Batman being so red-hot, but Death Metal only selling an index of 288 is kind of surprising. Could this be a bit of the War of the Realms factor, in that this is a conclusion to a story that’s been going on so long that it’s kind of inside baseball? Either way, this is still a very big hit for DC even as Joker War laps it. We’ll see how the tie-ins do – DC keeps them relatively moderate, with there never being more than one Death Metal book a week. 

Negan Lives #1

Glenn: The fourth book is a bit of an oddity, it’s a new Walking Dead book from Robert Kirkman and Charlie Adlard in Negan Lives! This book wasn’t solicitated to retailers but instead was essentially a gift from Image to help retailers get people back through their doors. I assume that Image matched orders on the last batch of Walking Dead books so this is probably anywhere between 75-100k. It seems retailers really appreciated the gesture too.

Ray: A great move to get retailers back on their feet. This book wasn’t offered digitally, so I imagine it’s going to be a big collector’s item in coming months. It also makes me wonder if the universe is gone for good. 

Glenn: Next at 5 is Marvel’s highest selling ongoing, X-Men. While Marvel basically waits around for everyone to forget about Empyre and bring along King In Black at the end of the year, I don’t see any of their titles topping it apart from maybe…MAYBE Amazing Spider-Man 850.

Ray: Still the class of the Marvel line – for now. Anniversary issues and launches may top it, but nothing else. But with a twenty-part hard crossover coming for this book soon, we’ll see if that drives some people to drop it and wait for trade. While the Hickman book is a big hit, the same can’t be said for the rest of the line. 

Glenn: Next up is the new launch of the latest DCeased series Dead Planet, the proper sequel to the mega successful zombie focused story. This surprise hit keeps surprising and its setting up Tom Taylor as a big name to be watched as he has several big out of continuity stories coming from the big two and a big BOOM launch coming soon.

Ray: Closer to what I was expecting than what Unkillables did, but it doesn’t seem like any of the DCeased sequels are quite hitting the massive numbers of the first series. But these numbers are more than good enough to keep it going as long as Taylor wants. 

Glenn: Plus it likely does very well in collections.

Ties into Joker War lifts up Detective Comics into the top ten once more as issues 1023 and 1024 chart 7 and 8 respectfully. This story seems to be beniffitting the main bat books a great deal, let’s see how it does down the line otherwise. Of course Detective 1027 is going to be a monster come September charts.

Ray: 1025/1026 are full Joker War tie-ins, not preludes like this, so those should soar even higher in August. 

Glenn: It may be due to Swords Of X or it might be because people missed their violent Canadian mutant but Wolverine seems to have settled into a comfortable spot towards the top of the charts. Issue 3 is at 9 likely selling between 50-60kish. Nothing amazing but still very good these days. Look for it to get a little boost for issue 350 *cough* towards the end of the year.

Ray: This title had a lot of bad luck with its launch time, but I think there was genuine hunger for a proper Wolverine ongoing again. It’s getting a bit of the same effect as the JMS Thor relaunch. 

Glenn: Final spot in the top ten is for the launch of the big new event…Empyre which likely sells in the low to mid 50k range. Fine for an off shoot Young Avenger’s arc perhaps but not what Marvel wanted from this line wide event that turned into a game of ‘Empyre? What’s an Empyre? For reasons that are now self evident.

Ray: Yeah, this is honestly an unmitigated disaster. Let’s look a little down the list to find #2 at #16, selling likely in the 45K range, followed by #3 at #20 a little lower. This is not remotely what a high-level Marvel event should be selling, and it’s not a surprise they cut back the tie ins quite a bit before launch. I don’t think this is all on the pandemic, but King in Black should be a rebound for the company in December. 

Nightwing gets a significant boost from Joker War as well, charting at #11 with sales in the upper-50 range most likely. We’ll see if it keeps any of these sales post-Ric Grayson era. 

Glenn: This reminds me when Snyder’s stories crept into the other Bat books like Court and Death In The Family and everything got lifted as a result. Let’s party like its 2010 again!

Giant Size X-Men Magneto

Ray: Mutantkind’s greatest hero is back to bail Marvel out again. Giant-Size X-Men: Magneto is at #12. This side Hickman series has been very stable – likely due to the fact that every issue is a #1, but I think Hickman’s name has more to do with it. 

Amazing Spider-Man is one of those books that’s bulletproof, with two issues at #13/14 selling in the 50K range. But as we’ll talk about later, there are warning signs on the horizon for this title’s audience. 

Glenn: Much lower than the Slott run but yes the title itself will only go so low before it just sells by default.

Ray: Spider-Woman’s second issue, after that absurd first-issue launch before the pandemic that came out of nowhere, charts at #17. This is roughly similar to the trajectory Black Cat took, launching sky high and then taking a few issues to find a reasonable level. I predict in 12 issues or so, they’ll be in the same place. 

Glenn: Cancelled?

Ray: Batgirl also likely doubles its sales and lands at #18, selling in the 45K range thanks to a Joker War tie-in. Lots of indications that this might be a major storyline for Barbara with lasting repercussions. 

Glenn: A good build for the 50th and so far final issue. No word on where the character is going after this but there’s a lot of questions to be answered with regards to DC’s line.

Ray: Despite being a digital-first book that’s been reprinted, Batman: The Adventures Continue sticks around in the top twenty for its second issue, charting at #19. That’s above 40K sales, most likely, and it’s all due to the powerful nostalgia for the classic animated series. DC would be stupid not to do more in this world. 

Glenn: People love this version and it’ll do well in collections too. The initial release just makes this an easy win.

Ray: Strange Adventures still sticking around, landing at #22 with sales in the 40K range. King has come a long way since obscure characters like Vision and Omega Men were barely staying alive for their whole run – he can make any character a hit now. 

A new X-launch, X-Factor by Leah Williams, has a muted launch at #23, selling around 40K. This is a mystery title about the nature of death for mutants in the Krakoa era and features a team of cult-favorite B-listers, so these numbers are fine and well above where it would have launched pre-Hickman, I think. 

Good numbers for the latest Kirkman book at #24, as his fantasy epic Fire Power with Chris Samnee sells close to 40K. Not on the level of Oblivion Song, but keep in mind this one had an FCBD preview and a graphic novel prequel. Odd launch plan, which might have put some people on the trade path immediately. 

Glenn: Kirkman’s last superhero title, the exceptional Invincible could barely crack 15k monthly so this will likely do a lot better. Nothing Kirkman writes will be a dud, it’ll find its audience somewhere.

Ray: Now we’re in the area with lots of mainstays, including Immortal Hulk, Batman/Superman, Venom, Justice League, selling in the 30K-40K range. 

The next book of note is Empyre: X-Men #1 at #30, selling around 35K. This one had Hickman attached to the first and last issues, which likely lifted it well above your standard Empyre tie-ins. 

Spawn remains the top ongoing creator-owned title not launching this month at #31, selling about 35K, but other big names are coming for it soon. 

Glenn: Poor Spawn is ready for the power of Truth.

Ray: After a bunch of ongoings including the fast-rising Daredevil climbing up to sit among favorites like Superman, Fantastic Four, The Green Lantern, and Guardians of the Galaxy, we come to Catwoman #23 at #43, which wasn’t your standard fill-in issue. Written by the controversial duo of Blake Northcott and Sean Murphy, it got some mainstream attention and a lot of debate – but it didn’t seem to matter, as the title sells pretty close to its standard numbers, just above the index books. 

Glenn: Given how successful the White Knight line is, I thought Catwoman might have gotten more of a boost. Perhaps the controversy you alluded to cancelled out any boost it might have seen? It’s likely to remain on its current level as the next writer is not anyone huge but will maintain the title’s current trajectory just fine.

Ray: Remember when I said there was bad news for Amazing Spider-Man? The oversized Sins Rising Prelude, a key part to the current major storyline, lands down at #44, selling just over the index books. That’s a good 15-20K below the main series, which indicates that a lot of people are just continuing to buy the main book because it’s Amazing Spider-Man. After the upcoming Kindred story, it’ll be interesting to see if Marvel changes course. 

Glenn: Why this wasn’t just a regular issue or an annual baffles me, it would have doubtlessly sold better. I’ll be interested to see how the additional issues of Amazing sell once this ‘big’ story gets going.

Ray: More mainstays here including the long-runners of Flash and Wonder Woman and Kelly Thompson’s well-regarded Captain Marvel run, we come to Joker/Harley: Criminal Sanity Secret Files at #52. This sells just under 30K, which is pretty decent given that it was just a collection of backmatter for this Black Label title while it struggles to keep a schedule. Those two names on the cover, man. 

Empyre: Fantastic Four and Empyre: Avengers, the two prelude issues to the main event, are down here at #53/#54, selling about 27K. They were ordered nearly identically and are written by the writers of the main event, so this is probably where we’re going to see the main series bottom out next month or close. 

A nice jump for the oversized anniversary issue of Oblivion Song at #57, as the 25th issue sells in the 25K range and is the fourth highest-selling Image book of the month. 

X-Men: God Loves, Man Kills Extended Cut lands at #59, selling in the 25K range. This is pretty strong for a reprint of a book that’s been released many times, but it’s an all-time classic and very relevant today. 

Glenn: This is why Marvel (and DC to be fair) keep chugging these out, its easy money.

Glenn: The last of the Iron Man 2020 tie-ins, iWolverine 2020, launches at #60 selling in the low 20K range. This stars Albert and Elsie-Dee from the 1990s, so…not exactly a real sales pull here. 

Empyre: Savage Avengers, a one-shot starring Conan and Venom battling plant monsters, is down at #62. I think this might have done better if it was just an issue of the main series. 

At #64, we have the launch of Chu, the continuation of John Layman’s bizarre detective thriller Chew. It sells in the low 20K range, which is definitely a world better than the last series was when it ended up. Layman and Guillory’s classic got a lot more fans in trade, so they might have jumped on early this time, plus this was a spinoff, not a continuation. 

Glenn: This is one of Image’s bread and butter titles in terms of collections and more people have come to it since it ended. If Layman wants to do another 70 odd issue run, there won’t be any reason why he can’t, just continue the Smorgasbord editions!

Ray: Amid a lot of lower-selling Marvel and DC books, we get some more Empyre tie-ins. The Captain America miniseries launches at #70, selling around 21K. Not impressive at all. 

Glenn:  No one cares. Its a shame since Johnson is a good writer and would be a solid choice to be the next writer on Captain America after Coates leaves.

Ray: Just below that is Lords of Empyre: Hulkling – maybe the most important tie-in of the event, as it gives the supposed big bad’s motivation. The audience doesn’t really seem interested, despite a crack writing team of Chip Zdarsky and Anthony Olivera. Lots of good books got lost in this event, I think. 

Glenn: Like you said, this seems as important to the story as one of the main issues much like The Illuminati and Confession book ends to Civil War by Bendis and Maleev back in the day. The mighty Marvel hype machine has managed to get some people to check out the main book but otherwise its a passing interest at best.

Snake Eyes Deadgame #1

Ray: The sales on The Cimmerian from Ablaze, the mature-readers European Conan comic, continue to be impressive. The second issue of Red Nails is down at #75, selling about 20K. Marvel hasn’t fully resumed the Conan books yet, so this may be filling the void. 

Rob Liefeld’s Snake Eyes: Deadgame launches at #78 from IDW, selling just under 20K or so. Liefeld books are…acquired tastes, but he still has a very loyal audience and it shows in the sales – this is the only IDW book in the top 100. 

Glenn: Despite having a polarizing online persona, Liefield has 90’s X-Men/Image cred which means he’ll always be a sellable commodity. I think the reason he is how he is because he doesn’t have to care cause apart from some horrifying scandal, he’s bulletproof.

Ray: A lot of DC books down here and some of those top Boom books selling in the 16K range, until we get to our next notable book at #91 – Hedra, an Image one-shot by sci-fi cartoonist Jesse Lonergan. A bizarre and challenging book that many people loved even as they didn’t fully understand it, this issue sells in the 16K range – pretty amazing for a $5.99 book like this. No wonder Image is giving Lonergan a longer-form project late this year. 

Priest launches his first spin-off for Vampirella, the southern Gothic mystery Sacred Six, at #97. It sells in the 15K range, and I suspect the sales might have been blunted by the lack of a familiar character in the title – it sold less than the issue of Vampirella that came out this month from the same writer. 

Glenn: Makes sense, this will be for the hardcore fans/Priest loyalists only.

Ray: Similar numbers for the launch of Bliss #1 at #98 from Sean Lewis and Caitlin Yarsky, pretty common territory for Image books without a lot of hype. This isn’t a bad launch, but I believe it’s an eight-issue series and it’ll need to level out quickly. 

Glenn: A lot of the non high profile Image books are often left to fend for themselves. The creative team is fortunate that the series will likely be over before sales would make that decision for them.

Ray: #104 brings us a $4.99 reprint of Witchblade #1, which sells around 14K. Unto the breach we go, Glenn – right now, outside of the top 100 is scary territory.

Glenn: A lot of nostalgia for this one and it does have a little bit of name recognition outside of comics. This is likely one for the nostalgia generation.

I don’t want to go outside the top 100 Ray.

I’m surprised that yet another Bettie Page number 1 charts so high at 114. Not sure if this is just rising to a higher spot because of the chaos or this somehow got some unusual interest. I really don’t think it was that long since the last one and not long since I commented that very same thing on that one.

Ray: Tons of covers and featuring Spider-Woman writer Karla Pacheco, so that definitely helped get this a bigger launch. 

Glenn: The Boys: Dear Becky’s second issue drops to 124. Likely not selling much more than the series was when it was around back in the day so high teen’s/low 20’s. This is fine for this property and will join an evergreen collection for Dynamite once t finishes.

Goddamned: The Virgin Brides seem unusually low for an Image book by Jason Aaron at 126 but this is basically a continuation of the series. It may have got a slight first issue bump but otherwise retailers likely are ordering this like it never reset number wise.

Ray: We’re talking years between the last arc of The Goddamned and this one, and that one didn’t catch on like Aaron’s other massively delayed Image book, so I’m not surprised it’s so low. This will likely do better in collections. 

Buffy the Vampire Slayer WIllow #1

Glenn: Spin off mini, Buffy The Vampire Slayer: Willow launches at 130, again lower than I expected given BOOM’s done well with this property and its by hot writer Meriko Tamaki. Of course this was planned to go before a pandemic hit and people are tightening their wallets lately so stuff like this might be a trade wait for most.

Ray: Yeah, this is definitely a trade-wait book. The franchise is doing well, but Mariko Tamaki’s biggest appeal is in the graphic novels and collection markets.

Glenn: 134 sees the latest AWA launch in Devil’s Highway by writer on the rise, Ben Percy. This might have done better at Image or BOOM but for a new company this is fine for a launch. The rest of the series will sell lower of course so it just depends what AWA’s expectations are.

Ray: Percy seems to be keeping very busy at AWA. This one doesn’t have the hook of Year Zero, but it’s in line with the other launches. The company isn’t breaking down any doors, but at the least it’s starting in a comparable position to many other mid-level publishers. 

Glenn: Turtles annual charts 15 comics lower than the main title at 135. I’m not sure how closely this was tied to the main story but unless its Batman or some such, annuals continue to be treaded as secondary concerns to the main audience in the current market. This was also priced at 5.99 though so swings and roundabouts.

Pretty decent standard Image launch in the form of Lost Soldiers at 136. We’ll see how much of the audience sticks around next month which is the true test for Image books these days.

Ray:  Ales Kot is one of those niche creators who retailers know how to order by now. This Vietnam-set thriller is in line with his other books. 

Glenn: The final issue of Middlewest hits this month and charts at 137. This has stayed pretty consistent through its run and now heads off to collection heaven where I now doubt it’ll become a valuable asset to Image’s impressive library.

Pretty good launch for a Scout book at 140 for It Eats What Feeds it, they’re not giving any of the big companies any sleepless nights yet but they seem to be establishing a decent audience.

Ray: This Bayou-set horror story didn’t get much hype, but it blew the rest of this month’s many Scout launches out of the water. People love horror. 

Glenn: Selling lower than the usual anthologies they put out, DC’s Cybernetic Summer comes in at 141. This one was kind of sprung on retailers and wasn’t in the original solicitations so that’s probably why its a little lower than usual. DC keeps putting them out though so they must be happy enough.

Ray: Yeah, the combination of the late announcement, the odd theme, and the lack of many a-list creators made it pretty guaranteed this would be the lowest-selling anthology. The Halloween one should be back to business. 

Glenn: Another decent launch from Scout in the form of Vlad Dracul at 144. Month in and month out we’re seeing a trend of vampires being a popular subsection of the horror genre which has quickly become comics second most popular.

Another Edgar Write Burrows property, The Monster Men comes from American Mythology at 145 which again is far better than they usually manage. Could be the horror hook or could be just everything is upside down right now, who knows?!

At 149 is a GI Joe One Shot: Complete Silence focusing on Snake Eyes. I know nothing about GI Joe apart from I’ve learned from memes. This seems again, better than the regular offerings from the franchise, Go Joe!

Power Rangers spinoff, Ranger Slayer is at 154 and while the main series is doing quite well, this is lagging behind. I think it has the same misfortune Willow have in terms of when it was released and comic buyers having to make choices with what spin offs to what books they can invest money in right now.

Ray: This was also a $7.99 comic, which is a hard sell for a Power Rangers book. Maybe Boom’s one weak spot is that their oversized comics tend to be highly-priced. Only two dollars less than the 144-page Detective Comics #1027. 

Glenn: Another decent start from a Scout Comic in Grit at 156. They’re doing something right.

Engineward #1

I’m surprised Engineward didn’t do better than 162 considering its by two verly well known creators in George Mann and Joe Eisma. The concept is very high science fiction which is something that usually only Hickman can sell to the masses so perhaps that’s why.

Ray: Engineward is a tough genre to sell, and didn’t seem to get the advance hype of other Vault books recently. The company is still rising fast. 

Glenn: Transformers: Secrets and Lies is your obligatory Transformers one shot for the month at 163. Even in a time of crisis, the Autobots have not abandoned us.

Canto and the Clockwork Fairies is a one shot from IDW that charts at 164, I have no clue what this is so I guess this is a success?

Ray: This is a bridge one-shot between the two arcs of IDW’s popular fantasy epic that was getting lots of reorders before the shut-down. Expect this one to chart again in the future. 

Glenn: A 7.99 Sonic annual sells at 170, given the price and the book this is probably about right.

A new Green Hornet from *checks notes* no one worth mentioning charts at 171. This person does have their own set audience so if that’s what Dynamite wants for Green Hornet (spoilers: it is) then this is fine probably.

Ray: Everything else aside, Green Hornet is the one property Dynamite has never really been able to get any buzz going for. Too old-fashioned? Either way, this looks like yet another false start. 

Glenn: Oddly Nailbiter Returns 3 sells at 175 while the second issue sells at 182, I am not sure if that’s an anomaly or a very good sign but since I love the series I choose to believe the latter.

A new DS9 offering comes at 183 which would roughly make it roughly the same as most spin off Trek offerings.

Everglade Angels is more along the lines of what I might expect from Scout at 186. Its by the same writer as Green Hornet but their fans don’t seem as interested here.

Ray: Hoooooooo boy, this comic. The three people on the creative team are an accused sexual harasser, a CG-adjacent creator, and a domestic abuser. This was ordered before the controversy hit, but no second issue has been solicited and Scout actually put out an apology for releasing the book. 

Glenn: Faithless II, the naughty Azzarello comic from Boom launches at 198 so it seems retailers just ordered this like the next issue. This whole thing screams like its really meant for collections anyway.

Ray: This is the most niche of Boom’s books, featuring a strange mature-readers story in a company known for its all-ages books. Low sales make sense, especially in singles. 

Savage Dragon #250

Glenn: At 200 is the 250th issue of Savage Dragon. Its never been the success of its Image cousin Spawn but it has held a solid cult following for 25 years or so, retailers likely just ordered a few extras for speculators but I would say there would be very few people checking out the very story heavy book at this stage. They’re more likely just to check out the many, many, many, many (this time tomorrow), many collections.

Ray: Savage Dragon has never sold well in singles in decades, but the fact that it’s gotten this far is stunning. Long may it reign!

There’s a collection of Marvel Action Classic stories featuring Iron Man at #201, as IDW continues to get into the Marvel game of selling us old comics in new packages. 

Hey, look, it’s the launch of Robyn Hood: Justice from Zenoscope at #202! I assume the Sheriff of Nottingham has confiscated all the bras in Sherwood Forest. Glenn, strike up the band!

Glenn: I wish I could come up as good a joke as this. I can’t. I am ashamed.

Ray: At #205, we have Archie #713, which is the delayed conclusion to the Katy Keene arc. This is notable for being the last issue of the classic Archie series solicited. No further plans have been announced for the reboot-verse. The series has fallen a long way since the hype of the Waid relaunch. 

Glenn: Latest Archie solicits have been pretty bare bones overall. They seem to be using the pandemic as a chance to figure out things. Them putting out archive material and releasing day and date on Comixology might be an indication that they’re moving towards a largely reprint model.

Ray: The new dark superhero comic Dose from experimental publisher It’s Alive lands at #210, a good showing for a publisher that’s mostly known for autobiographical indie books. They’re one to watch, and this one was written by Bliss creator Sean Lewis.

A lot of business as usual down here until we get to #226, where we find a Belle vs. Black Knight one-shot from Zenoscope. I assume the Black Knight wants to steal the magical rose that will make Belle’s clothes fall off or something. Glenn, keep playing. 

Glenn: If the Black Knight doesn’t have big metal bazoomba’s, we riot.

Ray: Source Point released a lot of new comics this month, starting with No Heroine at #228. This vampire noir thriller featuring a hard-boiled female lead featured a lot of bits and pieces of more popular books, and that was enough to win the month for them for their lineup. 

Glenn: Here’s vampires again. Remember when they sparkled? Nope I don’t either.

Ray: The ape-mother thriller Xira from Red 5 Comics launches at #234, another odd entry from a company that hasn’t quite found its niche in the market. 

A company that definitely has its niche is Amigo Comics, which aims horror comics at latino fans and fans of color. Their latest entry, Ezequiel Himes, Zombie Hunter, lands at #240, above a few ongoing Image books like Pretty Violent.

I continue to be puzzled by the low sales for Wynd, with the second issue down at #243. Maybe the retailers just assume everyone will stick with the original plan for a trade? This is the furthest thing from what I’d expect a book by the hottest writer in comics to be doing.

Glenn: It will do better in collections either in direct or without. YA fiction is where its at and an LGBTQ+ comic by a creator from that community? It’ll be a licence to print money when its out there in collections.

Yasmeen #1

Ray: Not all Scout horror books are doing well, as the giant turtle-monster Loggerhead: Bloody Bayou one-shot lands at #244. One-shots are in an odd market all their own and retailers probably don’t know how to order them. 

Scout’s most acclaimed book of the month, the real-life thriller Yasmeen about a young refugee, lands at #246. Disappointing, but I think this one could find some second life once word spreads. 

At #249, it’s a book called “Attractive Cousins One-Shot” from the company behind Cerebus. I don’t know what this is and I’m not googling to find out. Next. 

Glenn: Well the last time I googled Attractive Cousins, the police had to have a word with me. So yes.  Moving on.

Ray: The latest installment of the Monstrous series, subtitled “Witch Hunt” and featuring Baba Yaga, lands at #251 for Source Point. 

Glenn: Surprised it didn’t get more sales after Baba Yaga’s appearance in Ant-Man and Wasp.

Ray: More Amigo at #256 as their longest-running series, Nancy in Hell, gets a one-shot titled “Hell’s Door”. Odd books, but this company has been going strong for a while. 

The Hollywood/comic book satire Backfired lands at #260 for Source Point. Most of Source Point’s books fit neatly into a classic comic book genre, and this one didn’t, so it makes sense that it’s more of a niche book. 

Zombie Tramp down at #265! 264 spots to go before she conquers the world. 

Glenn: Oh no, she dropped a fair bit.Don’t worry Zombie Tramp, we still love you.

Ray: Another Scout one-shot at #266. It’s the…creatively named “Murder Hobo: Beaten, Broken, and Buggered“, which is an ultra-violent medieval fantasy comedy. They can’t all be winners, folks. 

Source Point’s black-and-white mature-readers reinvention of Sleepy Hollow, “The Hollow”, lands at #274 for its debut issue. This company’s roll-out of so many books in one month likely cannibalized some of the audience. 

Glenn: Yeah no kidding.

Ray: Fan-favorite movie The Nightmare Before Christmas got a manga sequel a few years back, and there’s a zero issue released this month at #278. It’s interesting that the story has continued in multiple mediums, including video games and comics, but never a whiff of a sequel.

Glenn: Some of the voice cast has sadly passed on but hey, you never know. I’d love to see Jack and Sally’s kids/abominations bringing Halloween to another holiday. 

Ray: After a bunch of ongoing low-selling books, we get a new launch – Offworld Sci-Fi Double Feature from Antarctic, which lands at #291 followed immediately by the second issue. 

At #295 we exit the world of comics with sales estimates, and head into the brave unknown – everything down here is selling so low there’s no estimate available. That includes things like “Storm Kids: Hyperbreed” at #300. 

Glenn: I wish I could say we’re now playing a game to see what titles Ray is making up but they’re all real folks. This is the true horror.

Ray: American Mythology continues to put out comics based on a lot of public domain books, including the new launch Zorro: Timeless Tales at #307. Not likely to be Bruce Wayne’s favorite comic, but the old Spanish hero still has a fanbase. 

Glenn: Joker set up a subscription for him cause lolz.

Ray: Image is getting into the game of reselling us old comics, with the Image Giant-Sized Artist Proof of Oblivion Song #1. It’s down at #318 – for a whopping $20 a copy!

Glenn: *spits water on Ray*

Ray: While Archie is done with new comics for the title character for now, their digests are still going strong. They launch a new series called Archie Showcase Digest at #322. As always, these are not geared towards the direct market. 

Bigs and Tiny, an oddball superhero comic from new publisher Blackbox, charts at #325. As usual down here, it’s a scrum of small-press companies battling for a tiny share of the market. 

At #328, it’s “Warcorns: Combat Unicorns for Hire“, a one-shot from Source Point. I’m done, Glenn. Tell my friends I loved them. 

Glenn: Don’t you die on me!

Ray: A very odd entry at #330, the Batman #50 Michael Turner cover. So this is a variant cover of Batman #50, drawn by an artist who died a decade before Batman #50 was released, and released by a company other than DC (Aspen) for $99.99. It’s strange down here, Glenn. 

Glenn: I think it might be haunted.

Ray: Silver Sprocket, one of the most indie-geared companies on the stands, releases a $10 one-shot called One Million Tiny Fires at #334. It’s described as a “Queer cosmic horror tale” from cartoonist Ashley Franklin

Likely far less artistic is the Gold Digger 35th Anniversary Special from Antarctic right below it at #335. 

More Source Point books at #336, with the debut of the high-fantasy all-ages adventure Skylin, which really deserved better. Check this one out on Comixology if you get the chance. 

Source Point also debuts the second edition of their sci-fi thriller Norah at #339. 

Absolute Flipbook #1 is at #340 from Red Giant. But a flipbook of WHAT????

Glenn: At this stage? I’d guess demon penguins.

Ray: A trio of Red Giant books down here, as Darchon, Duel Identity, and First Defense take over the 344-346 slots. I have not heard of any of these books. 

Broken up by the $9.99 monster epic Kona from It’s Alive at #349, we also get the debuts of Katrina and Magika from Red Giant. They dropped a lot of books this week, which I have also never heard of. 

Remember Sublime? I ‘member! Their Rock & Roll Biography is at #351. 


Ray: It’s a bunch of new debuts including Shadow Children, “Starring Sonya Deveraux Spidershark Snakebear”, “Tales of a Well-Hung Man”, Wayward Legends, and Wayward Sons down in the 350s. 

Glenn: I’m calling the police.

Ray: Closing us out this month is a $5 one-shot titled You Will Be Okay Anti-Anxiety One-Shot from Silver Sprocket. After seeing some of these entries, I don’t know that I am. 

Glenn: Agreed. We will never speak of this again.

Ray: Looking ahead to August, the big two continue to get back to normal. While Marvel cranks out Empyre tie-ins aplenty, DC drops some of the biggest books of the year – including the likely monster-level Batman: Three Jokers, which will duel with Batman and Batman’s event comic for the #1 book of the month. 

Over in indie-land, we’ve got some big debuts like Jason Howard’s Big Girls, and a new Mega Man series from Boom. 

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

Liked what you read? Let us know here or on Twitter @glenn_matchett or @raygoldfield sementI7����

By The Numbers: August 2019

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

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

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

Ray Goldfield is a fan of comic books for going on 25 years, starting with the death of Superman. He is a writer and editor and has released his first novel. Ray also does a weekly roundup of DC comic reviews for website Geekdad and they’re brilliantly entertaining. He did buy Marvel Comics 1000, it sure was pretty.

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

Top 300 in full available here!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Glenn: Top 25 worst case

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Glenn: This is true.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By The Numbers: July 2019

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

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

Glenn Matchett is a comic writer and editor. He’s worked in the industry for 6 years but grew up reading comics. He’s had work published with various small press publishers and has is own comic now available on Comixology in Sparks: The Way I Was from Yellow Bear Comics! He is dreading returning to work after paternity leave and wonders how many escape plans he can come up with

Ray Goldfield is a fan of comic books for going on 25 years, starting with the death of Superman. He is a writer and editor and has released his first novel. Ray also does a weekly roundup of DC comic reviews for website Geekdad and they’re brilliantly entertaining.  Upon viewing the trailer for the live action adaption of Cats, Ray wishes he hadn’t wondered if there will be a more terrifying looking film than IT this year.

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

Top 300 in full available here!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By The Numbers: March 2019

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

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

Glenn Matchett is a comic writer and editor. He’s worked in the industry for 6 years but grew up reading comics. He’s had work published with various small press publishers and has is own comic now available on Comixology in Sparks: The Way I Was from Yellow Bear Comics! After watching Avengers: Endgame and The Battle Of Winterfell in the span of two days, he is not emotionally okay.

Ray Goldfield is a fan of comic books for going on 25 years, starting with the death of Superman. He is a writer and editor and has released his first novel. Ray also does a weekly roundup of DC comic reviews for website Geekdad and they’re brilliantly entertaining.  After watching all of She-Ra: Princesses Of Power in one day and having to wait for more, he is not emotionally okay.

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

Top 300 in full available here!

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

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

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

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

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

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

By The Numbers: February 2019

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

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

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

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

Ray Goldfield is a fan of comic books for going on 25 years, starting with the death of Superman. He is a writer and editor and has released his first novel. Ray also does a weekly roundup of DC comic reviews for website Geekdad and they’re brilliantly entertaining.  If given the chance to run a red panda sanctuary, Ray denies he would train them to be his army to do not only battle but amusing tricks on demand.

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

Top 300 in full available here!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Image result for batman 56

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

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

Return of Wolverine #2 sheds about 2/3rds of its sales to sell 80K at #11. Pretty predictable, given its absurd number of variants the first one, but this is a pretty healthy number overall. We’ve gotten some word today about the character’s new series going in a cosmic direction in Avengers recently, so we’re likely to have another new #1 after this to keep sales high.
Glenn: Return Of Wolverine was always a mini so I figured we’d be getting another number 1 with the character soon but I must admit, I didn’t imagine it going in that direction.  Maybe this is Wolverine’s future now, never ending mini’s instead of an Ongoing.
Ray:  #12 brings that dastardly Venom again, selling 75K for an annual at #12. This issue didn’t have Donny Cates except in a brief framing sequence, but brought back several iconic Venom creators including David Michelinie for short stories about Venom’s past. At only 12K below the main title, it’s more evidence that Venom Fever is in full swing.
Glenn: Eating brains is officially back in fashion
Ray:  The performance of Catwoman’s new solo series is quickly becoming one for the ages. It inexplicably jumps 17K this month to land at #14, selling 72K. That’s a huge boost and reflects the fact that retailers actually underordered during the initial preorder phase. Huge coup for Joelle Jones and for Tom King in raising the character’s profile.
Glenn: That’s great for any book but especially for a Catwoman one, this is a character whose title has always been middling sales at best.  Perhaps in some ways she is the DC equivalent of Venom where everything has clicked at the right time to make the book a runaway hit.
Ray:  The gap continues to narrow between Superman (#15, 67K) and Action Comics (#19, 60K), as Bendis’ Superman run builds momentum. The character definitely seems to have benefited from the new high-profile creative teams, and Action seems to be the better-received of the two.
The weirdest thing about those crazy sales for the Walking Dead reprint up above is that it outsold this month’s new issue by over 45K, as we find old reliable Walking Dead down here at #18, selling 60K.
Glenn: It’ll be back at the top in no time but Walking Dead outselling itself is the most Walking Dead thing to happen ever.
Ray:  The Batman anthology issue Batman Secret Files lands at #20 with sales of 58K. This had stories by Tom King, Tom Taylor, and several new creators. These are very impressive sales for an anthology, but this was a $4.99 one rather than the giant $10 ones that DC does.
Glenn: Very good performance but it had the Bat boost and King’s name attached at that.  I was a bit iffy on this one but it was mostly good, it doesn’t seem to have any real significance so for a throwaway one shot priced at 4.99, those are great numbers.
Ray:  This month brought us a lot of one-shots, including the five-part X-Men: Black villain-based series. Emma Frost’s issue did the best, selling 55K at #23, with Magneto not far behind at #31 and 49K. Mystique is down at #42, selling 43K, followed by Juggernaut three spots lower at 41K. It’s Mojo bringing up the rear down at #52, selling 37K for his bizarre incel cautionary tale.
Image result for x-men black emma frost
Glenn: I thought Clairemont back at Marvel and back writing X-Men might have caught a bit more interest but these are fine numbers for a mini based on some X-Men bad guys.  The best thing to to come out of this is all the Emma Frost meme’s, all of them are priceless.
Ray:  Event comic one-shots are always weird, as the launch issue for Drowned Earth is down at #25, selling 53K. That’s over 25K below where the Justice League issue tying in landed, which means there’s going to be a lot of very confused readers.
Glenn: It reminds me of the big sales gap between Clone Conspiracy and Amazing back in the day.  Its odd because Marvel and DC go to a lot of effort to put check lists of these types of things in their books but its ultimately inconsequential.  They probably would have been better just doing extra issues of Justice League.
Ray: Drowned Earth wasn’t the only event comic in the Justice League line this month. The five-week Justice League Dark/Wonder Woman: The Witching Hour crossover had all five issues this month, with the launch one-shot landing at #32 with sales of 48K. The first WW issue tying in sold 55K at #24, followed by 53K at #27 for the Justice League Dark issue and 42K at #43 for the second WW issue. Then the concluding issue is at #41 with 43K. All over the place in no particular order, but very solid sales as both titles get a boost and Wonder Woman continues to recover in advance of the G. Willow Wilson run starting next month.
Glenn: The Witching Hour sounds like it was a damn fine read and has done well for both titles.  Justice League Dark will continue chugging away most likely but it’ll be interesting to see where the new creative team takes Wonder Woman sales wise.
Ray:  A surprisingly big drop for Spider-Geddon #2 at #26, selling 53K. If that’s the actual level of the series sans variants, that’s not great for Marvel at all.
Glenn: That…is really surprising. I guess if they can get the trade out before the movie then it might all be worth it? Hopefully the tie ins bring in some respectful returns.
Ray:  This is the level where we see a lot of those long-standing and new top books that have leveled out, including Avengers, Detective Comics, Flash, Captain America, Immortal Hulk, Thor and both Star Wars books. These are the cream of the crop for the companies right now, selling 65-50K. I do notice some odd hiccups in the sales of Detective and Flash this month, with the first issue of the month getting a boost and then the second issue dropping over 10K. Strange. Might be due to special variant covers – DC had some novelty foil covers last month.
Glenn: I’d say its the foil covers for sure.  This time next year, scratch and sniff variants!
Ray:  Justice League Odyssey also seems to be leveling off nicely, selling 46K at #36 for its second issue. But we’ll see what it looks like when the preorders wear off, because unlike its sister titles its more isolated from the rest of the DCU.
The new direction for Supergirl definitely seems to be paying off, with the latest issue selling 44K at #37. That’s about double what it was consistently doing under the previous run, despite growing buzz.
Black Panther vs. Deadpool lands at #38 selling 44K. Pretty standard for a Deadpool miniseries, with Black Panther boosting numbers, but I bet it would have sold double if it was just Deadpool making bad Get Out jokes until T’Challa decked him because they don’t get American movies in Wakanda.
Glenn: I also think Deadpool referring to Wakanda as Zamunda would have had a superior sales effect also.  Dear readers, why Marvel has not called us remains a mystery
Ray:  The Old Man Logan series wraps with its fiftieth issue, selling 39K at #49. This is a small boost, but it’s relaunching next month for the year-long Dead Man Logan, which will probably result in a bigger increase.
Another title that’s benefiting from a new direction is Batgirl, which is down at #50 selling 37K. This book was hovering around 20K a few months back, so the new creative team of Mairghread Scott dealing with Barbara’s recovery from her shooting is definitely catching on.
#54 brings us the next Spider-Geddon tie-in, the one-shot Superior Octopus. It sells 36K, and the upcoming ongoing will need to do better than that for its first issue to have a chance at a long run. Otto’s profile obviously went up a lot thanks to Superior Spider-Man, but we’ll see if he’s solo series material yet.
Glenn:  I’m surprised Superior Octopus didn’t sell better given how high Otto’s profile is following Superior and such.  Rebranding the new ongoing title Superior Spider-Man seems to have been a good move.  I think there might be some reissues here as this is essentially the 0 issue for the ongoing.
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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’
Image result for infinity warps arachknight
Glenn:  At 78 and 79 are the first of many, many Walking Dead ‘blind bag’ reprintings of key Walking Dead issues.  Keeping in mind these reprints are full price and the material has reproduced multiple times over the years that issue 1 (yes again) sells over 31k (making it the highest selling comic of the month combining it with the sales of the OTHER Walking Dead 1 that came out) and issue 19 sells over 30.8k.  It literally is like printing money.
An odd mini focusing on Typhoid Mary begins at 82 selling over 30.6k which has her taking on Spider-Man.  Given that Spidey comics always do well, its no surprise that this particular part of the Typhoid mini sold these numbers.  Not mind blowing but not too bad, especially at 4.99.
Ray:   This Typhoid Mary series is very similar in structure to the Wakanda Forever series a few months back. Only, you know, without the Billion-dollar movie driving sales.
Glenn:  The ever slightest of boosts for Nightwings 50th issue and the new direction spinning out of Batman at 86 selling over 29.4k.  This new direction DC has taken Nightwing in is controversial to say the least and the months ahead will determine if it was the right thing to do.
Ray: (It won’t be the right decision.)
Glenn:  At 90 is the relaunch of Lucifer under the Sandman universe banner which sells over 28.2k.  This one probably didn’t do as well as the other title’s because it wasn’t that long that the title had been relaunched previous to this so this isn’t as much of a novelty.  Still the sales are a good bit ahead of the previous incarnation and all these Sandman Universe books will do well in trades.
Ray: Lucifer barely played a role in the Sandman Universe one-shot and isn’t as firmly associated with Sandman as the others, so that played a role too, I’m sure.
Glenn: No that’s definitely the ‘lead’ book as it were.
At 93 is Avengers Halloween Special which sells over 27.3k as Marvel tries to get in on the anthology game that DC has been doing so well the last few years.  This is a decent result, we’ll see if the company makes this type of thing a regular occurrence.
Ray: Much like Batman Secret Files, it seems like these $4.99 anthologies do better than the bigger ones.
Glenn: Being $5 cheaper likely helps
At 102 is Batman Blank Comic which was something DC sold to retailers to sell onto people for 24 hour comic day.  This means you pay to basically make your own comic.  Given that it sells over 25.4k and is priced at 2.99 this just shows how much you can sell bu just putting ‘Batman’ on a cover and literally nothing else.
Ray: Damnit, Glenn, we should have been putting Batman stickers on blank pages long ago!
Glenn:  Right below it at 103 is the first part of the Solo comic adaption which sells over 25.2k.  This film got an unfair lukewarm response I feel and these sales reflect that.  Still not bad for a comic based on a movie that was only out a few months ago.
Ray: Despite the movie disappointing, Marvel seems to have a bit of faith in the Solo franchise – there’s also a Solo mid-quel original comic coming next month about Han’s time in the Imperial service.
Glenn:  Asguardians of the Galaxy loses less than half its first issue sales at 106 selling over 24.7k which actually isn’t too bad for a comic with a team full of b listers and below.  This one could stick around.
At 107 is Marvel Zombie, the once mega successful franchise lives again!  It sells over 24.7k which tells me that while the property is well past its prime, it might be decent enough for Marvel to trot it out now and then to eat into some fans wallets.
Ray: This was a weird one-shot that came out of nowhere, but it shows that zombies continue to sell. I wonder if there’s another comic this month that proved that…
Glenn:  Big increase for Batman Beyond for its 25th issue which sells over 24.2k at 109.  This series has never been at the top of the charts but has been a solid lower tier performer for the company for years despite it never really getting any special marketing or big stories or the usual stuff.  There are title’s that are worse off.
Ray: This is also the return of the original Joker to the title, so that’s undoubtedly driving sales to this future-set title.
Glenn:  Umbrella Academy returns at 110 for a new mini, hotel oblivion selling over 24.1k.  I’m not sure how the original series sold but this is a good number for publisher Dark Horse and the first two stories of this series have probably made quite a bit in collections which this one ultimately will as well.
Image result for the umbrella academy hotel oblivion #1
Ray: Given that the franchise has been in…oblivion for a while, those are good numbers. Thank you! We’ll be here all week! Try the veal!
Glenn: I’m allergic to Veal, why you try kill me
At 117 is Shatterstar, a new mini from Marvel about a character that is ridiculously obscure.  It sells over 23.1k and that’s a lot better than I would expect from a book about a character I couldn’t point out in a line up between him and various versions of Micky Mouse.
Ray: Tim Seeley’s writing this, which is probably why it managed to top 20K. Otherwise, this is obviously a niche book.
Glenn:  DC rising star, Sam Humbries releases a new Image title at 118 in the form of Blackbird which is some fantasy based mystery from what I understand from the description.  It sells over 23k which is pretty on par with what I would expect from a book written by someone who is gaining momentum at the big two.

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

It’s time for another wave of Hanna-Barbera/DC crossover one-shots. These four were actually all ordered in very similar numbers, but once again it’s the weak link that tops the sales. That would be Superman/Top Cat special, where Superman and a talking cat fight a Kale monster. It sells 22.6K at #122. Not far behind that, selling 22.2K at #125 is Deathstroke/Yogi Bear, where there is both carnage and pic-a-nic baskets. Then at 130/131, both selling 21.2K, are Green Lantern/Huckleberry Hound and Nightwing/Magilla Gorilla. Sales likely reflect the DC character involved more than anything, and it seems like retailers are just ordering them as a set now. With lots of Hanna-Barbera properties left to go, I could see this oddball mini-event continuing for some time.
Glenn: They seem to do decent for what they are and can be a lot of fun with the potential of landing another Batman/Fudd type scenario so why not?
Ray:  More Walking Dead at #133, as the one hundredth issue gets an anniversary reprint that takes in 20.9K.
The latest jumbo-sized DC anthology, Cursed Comics Cavalcade, has a healthy debut at #135, selling 20.2K. Any time a $9.99 comic breaks 20K, that’s impressive. DC continues to deliver with these anthologies.
Two more blank comics, with Wonder Woman at #136 (20.2K) and Superman at #141 (19.4K). That’s about 40K in comics with nothing inside. Talk about a money-maker. Let those sucker readers make their own comics for a change!
Glenn: I’d be surprised if more companies don’t do it next year.  Imagine what Walking Dead could do with a blank version if old issues can sell so well without any discount on their original pricing?
Ray:  Infinity Wars: Sleepwalker debuts at #139, selling 19.6K. Given that this is a Sleepwalker comic, a character who hasn’t been relevant since the 90s, well…insert the Arrested Development “I don’t know what I was expecting” meme here.
Another strong Image debut at #142, as Dead Rabbit from Gerry Duggan and John McCrae sells 19K. This noir-accented retired-criminal tale had some top creators and a good concept, but trouble may be ahead – a mandatory recall of both issues was issued today due to trademark issues, so we’ll see what this comic’s future is.
Glenn: Hopefully it can stick through it and at worst it will be a simple title change, I like both these creators and was glad so see this do well
Ray:  More Walking Dead! The second issue sells another 19K at #143.
IDW had another successful weekly Star Wars event, Tales from Vader’s Castle. This horror-accented story of a group of rebels telling scary stories as they tried to infiltrate Mustafar debuted at #144 with sales of 18.7K, and the other four issues landed at #155, #162, #165, and #167 bottoming out at 16.2K. These were the top five IDW comics this month that didn’t feature Batman.
Glenn: Having Vader in the title of your book will help.  Its like having a slightly more goth Batman with magic powers.
Ray:  The Terrifics Annual #1 is down at #146, selling 18.6K. That’s well below where the regular title sells – but then, this annual didn’t have Jeff Lemire. Lemire is leaving the title with #14 as he says goodbye to work-for-hire, and I doubt it’ll be continuing from there. This is his book.
Glenn: Then these odd new DC hero books will never be mentioned again.  Let us hope lessons were learned.
Ray:  Six more Walking Dead issues down here – #27, #7, #53, #108, #48, and #167. They’re scattered between #148 and #166, selling between 18K and 16K. These are basically True Believers one-shots at full price, so the way they’re selling is bizarre and impressive.
The relaunch of Unstoppable Wasp is waaaaaaaaay down at #151, selling 17.2K. To put this into perspective, this is between the latest issues of Damage and Sideways, two series almost a year old that are likely to be cancelled soon. I assume this series is getting its sales elsewhere, because it’s sure not getting them here.
Glenn: Got to love Marvel for try, try, trying again but this doesn’t indicate any strong presence for this character as a solo lead anytime soon.
Ray:  Another new Vertigo series, the supernatural Stepford Wives pastiche Hex-Wives, lands at #154 with sales of 17.1K. It’s another strong debut like Border Town last month, but as we’ll talk about down the list, that may be fleeting.
Image result for hex wives 1
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?
Image result for stranger things 1 comic
Glenn:  This is a hot property and Dark Horse being able to bag it is what will keep them in the game.  Much like Walking Dead, Stranger Things has become a bigger entity than anyone could expect and people will take whatever they can of the property while we wait on the third season.
Ray:  The third issue of Bendis’ Action Comics is about 10K behind Superman, selling 57K at #22. That’s a similar separation to what we saw at the start of Rebirth, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see it narrow again. Action is definitely the superior series.
Justice League Odyssey, the much delayed space series by Williamson and Sejic (for the first two issues), launches at #23 with sales of 57K. That’s a very strong debut for a series featuring no a-list characters, but the art shift might hurt it in the future. I’m not expecting it to have the rock-solid hold of Justice League Dark (still at around 75% of its first issue sales, at #35 selling 44K this month)
Glenn: Being a part of the very powerful Justice League brand will help Odyssey live a respectful existence.  It’ll be the lowest selling of the three but still earn its keep for as long as this current direction lasts most likely.
Ray:  More rock-solid sales in the 55K to 45K range here filling out the top forty, as we see newer titles (or relaunched titles) like Catwoman, Thor, Captain America, and Immortal Hulk settle down here for the third month in a row alongside long-runners like Flash, Detective Comics (which is holding well despite having a fill-in arc this month) and the two Star Wars titles.
I was a bit surprised Punisher held so well with its second issue, selling 42K at #38. Punisher isn’t really a top-selling  character and not much has shifted in the creative team, but this is a decent second-issue hold. It manages to outsell the third issue of X-“event” Extermination.
Glenn:  It seemed like no time at all since the last Punisher relaunch but it seems to have done no harm.  The sales on the True Believer one shot does show interest in the character.  Nothing against the current creative team but if Marvel can get a winning formula on the book like they’ve done with Venom the market might respond appropriately.
Ray:  Speaking of Punisher, he has one of the top-selling True Believers issues that didn’t star Venom. Punisher’s first appearance for $1 charts at #40, selling 40.6K. That’s a lot of free money for Marvel for a reprint.
Asgardians of the Galaxy debuts at #41, selling just under 40K. Not a great debut, but given that Guardians of the Galaxy got cancelled for low sales and spun off into an event, maybe the time wasn’t right for a punny spin-off? This is more of a Thor spin-off, but the title may have confused retailers. Shame, it’s very good.
Glenn:  There’s no mega hitters on the team either (apart from maybe the pilot of the Destroyer) so its no big surprise.  Will probably end up being a fondly remembered 12 issue or so series by the few that read it.
Ray:  Iceman got the first-issue sales bump for its return, selling just under 39K at #43, but I don’t expect it to last. It’s a miniseries and will likely be down to its previous sales before long. But it’s geared towards trade readers now anyway.
Mister Miracle’s had a lot of delays along the way to its conclusion, but its penultimate issue lands at #45 with 38K in sales. King and Gerads‘ masterpiece has outstripped anything a New Gods title could be expected to sell.
Venom continues to be solid gold, with the remaining four issues of the weekly Venom: First Host selling between 36-37K with virtually no attrition, landing four issues between #46 and #51.
The first Sandman Universe spin-off, The Dreaming, lands at #47 with sales of 37K. As Glenn said on Rabbit Stew (dong!) these are great numbers for a Vertigo title, not so great numbers for a Sandman title. Of course, it has neither “Sandman” nor Neil Gaiman on the cover, so both might play a role in the drop from last month’s Sandman Universe. The month’s other spin-off, House of Whispers, is much lower at #77 with 28K sales. That one’s a new concept with new characters, so the gulf isn’t a big surprise.
Glenn:  Yeah, I expected more here but I think DC will call this a win.  This could be seen as bonus for the trade sales which will pay this title’s bills for decades to come if the other Sandman collections and DC’s ability to release them in new ways repeatedly and still have them sell is any indication.
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Ray:  #49 brings us the Captain America annual, which was the Marvel debut of Tini Howard. This WW2-set issue had Captain America and Bucky working to protect refugees from the Nazis, and it sells 37K. A big gulf between this and the main series, but then it’s a flashback story with no ties to the main universe right now.
Glenn:  Captain America as a franchise is still recovering from a rough past couple of years, it’ll be a while before spin off tales featuring new talent not relevant to anything in particular can hold water.
Ray:  The first two Infinity Warps miniseries launch very close together, as the Captain America/Doctor Strange hybrid Soldier Supreme lands at #53 selling two copies under 35K, and the Tony Stark/Thor hybrid Iron Hammer sells about 300 copies less at #55. Pretty decent launches for tie-ins, and we’ve got quite a few more of these ridiculous concepts coming in the next few months. Marvel’s having fun here, and while these sales aren’t spectacular, they’re a bit better than recent event comics managed.
Glenn:  I’d say for a concept as silly as this, those sales are great.  Assuming these are inspiration for mash up toys and whatnot too then it’ll be the Mouse laughing his evil squeaky laugh
Ray:  #60 and #61 have the last two issues of Edge of Spider-Geddon, selling 32K each. These were the Spider-Ben and Petey and Spider-Norman stories. Given that, I’m surprised Latour’s name on the former didn’t open a gulf between them. Marvel didn’t quite push “From the creator of Spider-Gwen” enough for that, I guess.
Glenn:  Decent enough for a throwaway mini, not surprising given how much hype there is for the big event.  Retailers were probably unsure what to do with these, any of them could have been the next Spider-Gwen but they also didn’t want to end up with unsold copies on shelves.  I don’t think any of them particularly stood out so these sales seem to make sense.
Ray:  This is the section of the charts where we see a lot of regular books selling in the 30K range, including most of the X-books, Black Panther, Doctor Strange, and Deathstroke. Both Deathstroke and Aquaman are benefiting from a crossover this month as Deathstroke finishes up Deathstroke vs. Batman, and Aquaman crosses over with Suicide Squad for “Sink Atlantis”. Aquaman is doing crossovers for a few months and then starting a new run by Kelly Sue DeConnick, so I imagine it’ll be rising on the charts for a while.
Glenn:  Rising, like water?  Huh?  Huh?  Huh?  Like Green Lantern, the sales on Aquaman are moot for a little while as the character waits for the next big creative team to sail in.  Sail, like water?  Huh?  Huh?  Huh?
Ray:  #68 brings us the Old Man Logan annual, selling 30K. This actually sells five spots above the Old Man Logan series, probably because of the presence of Punisher.
Glenn:  People love old man Frank, he’s cuddly
Ray:  Batgirl seems to have gotten a permanent bump from its new creative team, charting at #74 with sales of 28.8K. This is a big new arc bringing back her evil brother and calling her future as an able-bodied crimefighter into doubt, so retailers are responding.
Another new Bendis creator-owned title launches under DC’s Jinxworld line. This time it’s David Mack’s Cover, a twisty tale of a comic book creator who meets a femme fatale with ties to international spies. It sells 27.3K at #79, which is about 5K below the sales of Pearl last month. It’s been a long time since Mack did internal art, so I think this is a healthy start.
Glenn:  Very much so, this pair haven’t worked together for decades and the concept could go either way so this is definitly a good performance.  If this was an Image book, I’d call it a good start so it just depends what DC expects from its Jinxworld line apart from keeping its writer happy.
Ray:  Image’s top debut of the month is Bully Wars, the new Skottie Young title with art by Aaron Conley. It lands at #84 with sales of 27K. Young is quickly building his own brand as a creator-owned powerhouse, and he’s got another new comic as writer in only a few months.
Glenn:  Young being able to now sell himself as a writer is an interesting transition.  Fans of his work will be here regardless of who is drawing the interiors it seems so that’s a good sign.
At 86 is Adventures Of The Super Sons selling over 26.5k which is probably what the main series would be selling had it continued.  Nothing lost, nothing gained.
The ever slightest (like nearly non existent) bump for Chip Zdearskey’s final issue of Spectacular Spider-Man sells over 24.8k at 89.  Given that I think this is one of the greatest Spider-Man one and dones ever, I think this one will be included in collections and stuff for years to come.  I hope more people check it out and the run as a whole in the future, it didn’t last long enough.  The previous issue also charts at 96 selling over 24.2k 
Ray:  Zdarsky’s run really sailed under the radar, which is surprising given how good it was. I think going up against the conclusion of Slott’s run probably blunted the attention this run got a little, but it’ll wind up being seen as a modern classic.
Glenn:  Second tier title runs can be like that. Comic readers have been trained to pay attention to one title at any specific time if there’s one they have to choose from.  Trades and collections will remember Zdarskey fondly one hopes.
Outselling the main issue by a fair bit, the Domino Annual sells over 24.4k at 92.  This was an anthology annual with some of Domino’s former writers returning which might explain the difference, or it could be because the Deadpool DVD/Blu-Ray was out around this time, who knows?  Either way, Domino has become a solid performer for Marvel under the general guidance of Gail Simone.
Ray:  The return of Fabian Nicieza to the character was a big deal for old-school X-Force fans, so this annual got a combo of those fans and Gail’s.
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Glenn:  About a 10k drop for West Coast Avenger’s second issue which isn’t too bad.  It sells over 24.4k at 93 which is pretty good if you look at it like a Hawkeye spin off and a wacky character team book than anything necessary ‘Avenger’s’ related.  I’d say fan support and digital sales will keep this one around.
Ray:  That’s a roughly 33% drop for WCA, which is really good for a Marvel book these days. I think it’ll level out quickly, as Kelly Thompson’s fanbase is building by the day as she steps onto bigger and bigger books.
Glenn:  Not too far below the sales of its main series, the second Doctor Aphra Annual sells over 24.3k which in the usual Marvel Star Wars spin off range these days.  I still think Aphra is a more impressive performer because she’s never appeared in any other media but Marvel comics so doesn’t have a wide outside audience to help keep her around.
At 103 is the Silver Surfer Annual selling over 22.6k which is…oh there is no main series.  Okie dokes…umm, this is decent for Silver Surfer?  Probably a lot of these sales should be credited to the fan base Slott and Allred built up around the character.
New Warren Ellis comic, Cemetery Beach from Image launches at 105 with sales over 22k which is very good.  Ellis is a creator who can pull in a respectful set audience every time and this book is no exception.  It’ll run for as long as he wants it to.
High sales on the True Believers reprint on Daredevil 1 by Lee and Everett selling over 21.8k at 107.  I’m guessing retailers wanted this cause of the new season starting soon but this is great for a reprint that is decades old and is very different to the version of the character the majority of us are familiar with.
Another Bendis series, United States Of Murder Inc launches at 120 selling over 18.5k  This is with long time Bendis partner, Mike Avon Oeming and a continuation of a Marvel Icon series that kinda just…vanished?  I’m not surprised this one is selling less than the others, it’ll be harder to pull people in on this than something completely fresh but people that have been waiting on it will be glad to see it finally finishing and it’ll probably have a respectful performance.
Ray:  That’s the lowest debut of the Jinxworld books by a fair margin, and it’s also the one that’s been gone the longest. Bendis has been having great luck with the new titles so far, but the returning ones less so.
Glenn:  At 122 is another True Believers reprint of Luke Cage’s first comic which sells over 18.2k which I would say again is ridiculously good.  They might be vanishing one by one but the various Netflix shows have seemingly given retailers confidence in these cheap reprints that is just free money for their publisher.
At 129 is a Dynamite crossover, Vampirella/Dejah Thoris which sells over 17k which I’d consider very good considering that its hardly Avenger’s Vs. X-Men is it.
Ray:  I have no idea how vampires and martian princesses are going to crossover, but Dynamite gonna Dynamite.
Glenn:  The second issue of Pearl sells just over 16.8k at 130 which is better than Vertigo but not as good as you think a Bendis creator owned book would do at Image.  Being somewhere in the middle is something that will be up to DC to find acceptable.
Ray:  That’s a roughly 50% drop. A lot steeper than I would have expected for a creator-owned book, but still well above what it would have done at Vertigo. It’ll need to level out quickly, though.
Glenn:  At 132 is Journey Into Mystery: Birth Of Krakova which sells over 16.5k which is pretty great considering it literally seems to have nothing to do with anything.  I’m guessing a large portion of these sales are nostalgia over the Gillan series of yesteryear?
Ray:  Yeah, this is just a completely random Nick Fury on Monster Island comic that Marvel put out. Random, but fun and with a decent creative team. Retailers probably ordered this for Marvel completists.
Glenn:  At 134 is another True Believers Reprint which is another Punisher book, this time its the first issue of the book by Grant & Zeck.  I actually would have thought this would be higher but there are other much more famous Punisher runs out there.  Still ridiculously good of course.  At 137 is an Iron Fist one which sells over 15.5k.  Did you know that Danny Rand was in fact the Immortal Iron Fist?  That he is the sworn protector of Kun-lun (Sp?)?  Well he’ll tell you…a lot if the show is anything to go by.

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

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

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

Marvel Superheroes, Captain Marvel first day of school sells over 7.7k at 217.  Pretty standard for an all ages type affair that’s not really meant for the direct market.
Ray:  This one-shot was mainly notable for the one-page gags where Rocket Raccoon was Garfield and Bruce and Hulk were Calvin and Hobbes.
Glenn:  I now have to read this comic.
At 218 is GI Joe: A Real American Hero Silent Option selling over 7.6k.  This is the launch of a new Joe mini from IDW and given the issues with sales this property has had in recent years, I’d say this pretty decent.  Pretty much the most of what you might expect from a GI Joe comic these days.
At 226 is the newest Valient offering, Harbinger Wars 2 Aftermath selling over 6.9k which is slightly lower than Valients usual range but not dramatically so.  I know nothing about Valient comics but this ‘event’ book doesn’t seem to have performed how they might have liked it to.
Ray:  Yeah, this was an event Valiant had been building towards for almost two years. I’m wondering if that worked against it – Infinity Countdown syndrome?
Glenn:  Could have been…lets go with that.
Image’s Crowded loses half of its sales at 230 selling over 6.4k.  Still okay given that there’s no huge names attached.  This is where Image’s lower profile titles usually operate so it’ll just be if its manageable for the creative team to see how long it can go.
Another True Believers one shot at 238, Luke Cage Fantastic Four selling over 6k.  If this is retelling a time where Luke joined the FF, this is not a thing I knew happened so there you go.
Second issue of Frozen: Breaking Boundaries sells over 5.9k at 239 losing less than half its sales.  This is a comic that is destined for book shops, disney stores and everywhere else you can think of when its collected so these single issue sales don’t really matter.
At 248 is Doctor Who 13th Doctor 0, one of the always unpredictable 0 issues which this time is a prelude to the new ongoing starring the new female version of the Doctor.  Sales over 5.8k aren’t great but I think the actual proper first issue will do a lot better.  I think the new Doctor is doing a wonderful job for what its worth.
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.
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Nancy Drew should be selling much, much more than 3.8K at #303. Oh, well. It’s going to do gangbusters in the bookstore market.
Glenn:  It better!  I want a sequel series!
Ray:  Another Aftershock debut at #307, the excellently-named Patience! Conviction! Revenge! It’s the story of a wild-west outlaw in deep space on an elaborate revenge mission. It sells 3.7K and seems to have largely slipped under the radar.
The Disney-inspired fantasy miniseries Welcome to Wanderland debuts at #313 with 3.5K in sales. This is definitely not a book aimed at the direct market, and it doesn’t have any major creators attached. Boom is one of the first companies to find the success other companies are looking for in the bookstore market, so I doubt they’re really bothered.
A Top Cow one-shot, Aphrodite IX: Ares, lands at #325 with sales of 3.3K. This is a revival of a previous incarnation of the series, not linked to the current Bryan Hill incarnation. I doubt there’s much interest in that material anymore.
Three more WWE Takeover one-shots around this level – Into The Fire, Proving Ground, and Redemption – between #326 and #334. They all sell about 3.3 to 3.1K. Boom’s got a lot of WWE material out there lately, but returns are definitely diminishing.
Glenn:  WWE has never been a particularly hot comic property.  I suppose if you treat it like any other drama on tv getting a comic adaption most of the audience are getting the story that matters from the show rather than side stories that likely have little consequence.  We’ll see if the WWE Network sending out a free sample of the upcoming Undertaker graphic novel will help it sell more though.
Ray:  A new low-selling Dark Horse miniseries, Gamma, lands at #329 with sales of just under 3.3k. This giant-monster themed comic pairs some cult creators and didn’t seem to get much pre-release hype.
Glenn:  First I’ve heard of it, so there you go.
Ray:  Mata Hari #5 ends the run at #339 with sales of just under 3K. This was the Berger Book that got the least pre-release attention and didn’t really catch on with readers. Historical fiction is not exactly a dominant genre in comics.
After a lot of reorders and ongoing series, we get to a new #1 at #352 – Fearscape from Vault. Selling 2.6K, it’s an intriguing series about a narcissistic writer who cons his way into a “chosen one” magical quest that was meant for someone else. Vault is a company that’s rising fast and a lot of its books are getting some real buzz. This was written by Ryan O’Sullivan, the writer of Image’s Void Trip.
Stabbity Bunny remains the biggest hit Scout Comics has ever produced, still hanging in there on the charts. This month’s issue lands at #3362, selling 2.4K. That’s apparently enough to greenlight a January spinoff, Shadowplay.
#364 brings us a new Moon Maid comic from American Mythology. This is not based on the Dick Tracy villain, but on an obscure Edgar Rice Burroughs fantasy novel. That’s good enough for 2.4K.
In depressing “This book should be selling so much more” news, JM DeMatteis‘ new creator-owned all-ages adventure Impossible Inc. lands at #367, selling 2.3K. This comes down to IDW not being able to sell creator-owned books, I think. I imagine his name would have pulled double these numbers at Boom.
Glenn:  That’s a real shame, DeMatteis still has as much talent now as he ever did.  Hopefully this will find an audience in trades or digital.
Ray:  Starburns Industries Press, an up-and-coming publisher that’s been making a splash these past few months, debuts a Latin-themed horror anthology a month before Halloween. Fantasmagoria, featuring classic Mexican ghost stories with a modern framework, lands at #373 with sales of 2.1K. It’s also by the writer of Border Town, and this is a pretty decent debut for such a new publisher.
Glenn:  Maybe some layover from Coco?  Who knows?  That’s definitely worth taking note of though, good for them.
Ray:  At #374 is probably the oddest comic on the list, Junior High Horrors from Keenspot Entertainment. Featuring teen versions of Jason Voorhees, Michael Meyers, Laurie Strode, Nancy from Elm Street, and Freddy Kreuger as an evil talking tiger, it sold 2,147 copies, which means 2,147 very confused people.
Glenn:  I’d love to know how this comic company got all the rights to use these characters (they might not have done).  The bronze age of horror villains despite their unwillingness to ever go away have never translated to much of an audience or demand in comics.
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Ray:  I’m pretty sure it qualified as a parody, so Keenspot didn’t need to get the licenses.
The cult supernatural romance Kim Reaper returns from Oni with a new miniseries – Vampire Island. It sells just over 2K, which means this is probably finding its audience more in Oni’s growing OGN market.
It’s Crisis on Infinite Cerebi at #383, selling just over 2K. Dave Sim is gonna do what Dave Sim wants.
#386 brings us High Heaven, the other debut from Ahoy Comics this month. What do you mean there were two debuts, you ask? Apparently retailers were just as confused! This sold less than 25% of the sales of Wrong Earth’s debut at just under 2K. Very odd, especially since both books had the same writer in Tom Peyer. Maybe it was the Jamal Igle factor? Maybe the concept of Wrong Earth just hooked more people? Either way, what a weird disparity.
Glenn:  Igle is probably the difference maker here.  He’s got a higher profile due to his DC work and his link with Black.
Ray:  Another Vault comic, Friendo, debuts at #387, selling 1.9K. This book about a malevolent AI companion had cult creator Alex Paknadel as writer, but it seems to have slipped under the radar compared to Fearscape.

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

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

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

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