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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

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Join Our Team!

Graphic Policy is always on the hunt for talented contributors. If you’re interested in becoming involved with one of the internet’s most unique, fastest-growing entertainment and pop culture websites, now’s your chance!

Please note that all of the positions offered by Graphic Policy are volunteer positions. Our staff runs this site because we love comics, politics, pop culture, games, movies, television, and geekdom.

We can not guarantee anything but your name in the writing credits (perfect for someone building a portfolio), but we will work with you to help you cover and write about the things you’re interested in.

Graphic Policy will open up its ability to obtain review copies, press passes and more for those who regularly post to the site. Your posts belong to you and you are free to post them here and other sites as well!

All applicants must be over the age of 18 years old and have excellent writing skills.

Please fill out the form below and let us know more about you, and what you’d like to write about and cover.






Underrated: X-Cutioner’s Song

This is a column that focuses on something or some things from the comic book sphere of influence that may not get the credit and recognition it deserves. Whether that’s a list of comic book movies, ongoing comics, or a set of stories featuring a certain character. The columns may take the form of a bullet pointed list, or a slightly longer thinkpiece – there’s really no formula for this other than whether the things being covered are Underrated in some way.

This week: the multi-part crossover event X-Cutioner’s Song.


The cover of the trade I don’t own.

The first chapter of X-Cutioner’s Song was published in November 1992 in Uncanny X-Men #294, with subsequent eleven parts coming in issues of X-Factor, X-Men, X-Force and Uncanny X-Men. With the series being billed as revealing the origin of Cable (it didn’t – that came in 1994), there was significant hype and buzz around the comics when they were hitting the shelves nearly thirty years ago, but because I wasn’t into comics at the time, I never heard any of it.

Instead, I noticed a cover when restocking the boxes at my LCS and decided to pick up the arc after the shop owner gave it a quick recommendation. Fortunately, we had a full set (or seven) in stock, so I grabbed the individual issues rather than hunting down a collected edition (partly because I am also building an X-Men and Uncanny X-Men collection, but also because I wanted to read it as it was originally presented in comic form. Complete with the polybags still sealed for some off the comics (I won’t lie, I was tempted to leave them sealed, but at only a couple bucks a comic it didn’t seem worth it.

Plus, I wanted the feeling of cracking those bags and getting to be the first person reading these comics.

I forget sometimes how much dialogue and text there used to be on pages in comics.

Without question, comics from this era were technically published before I started buying single issues, but that doesn’t mean that these issues didn’t kickstart a sense of nostalgia for the old UK reprint magazines that I first came across this arc in. The first issue felt oddly familiar, but beyond that…? It was pure 90’s joy.

After all, 90’s comics aren’t bad. There’s just a huge number of them in longboxes across the country because so many were printed. That just makes them worth less than the comics from the 70’s and 80’s, but it doesn’t mean they’re not worth reading.

“If mankind waited for the ‘right time’ to address the winds of change it’s unlikely we’d ever have crawled from the primordial ooze.”

Scott Lobdell, Uncanny X-Men #294

I don’t know if I had forgotten about the amount of times characters within X-Men comics in the 90’s spouted pearls of wisdom, but I was less than halfway through this first part of X-Cutioners Song and I already had enough one liners to make me sound like I a semi professional couch philosopher thanks entirely to the less than subtle messaging. Messaging that seems just as relevant today as it ever did (and I’m sure we’d all hoped that would be different).

The main plot of X-Cutioner’s Song isn’t fully revealed in the first issue, but there is more than enough information here to reel you in hook line and sinker. The crossover cost me less than $20 to put together, and it was worth every penny to do so – not only because of the nostalgia factor, but primarily because this is a damn good story that holds up today (even the funky fashion choices for the street clothes the X-Men wear don’t detract too much).

With any story crossing over four series, the creative team is, as expected, pretty hefty. There are names that at the time were relatively new faces to the X-Men, but now… well now we consider them as creators who have made significant contributions to the comicsphere, frequently drawing large crowds at conventions;

  • Writers: Scott Lobdell, Fabian Nicieza and Peter David.
  • Pencillers: Brandon Peterson, Andy Kubert, Jae Lee and Greg Capullo
  • Inkers: Terry Austin, Mark Pennington, Al Milgrom and Harry Candelario
  • Colorists: Mike Thomas, Marie Javins, Glynis Oliver, Joe Rosas and Steve Buccellato.

But despite the big names, the characters and import associated with the story, it’s an arc that can easily get overlooked when when you’re looking in the longboxes because the story came in the early 90’s, before the big bust in the comics market. Despite having heard a little about it over the years, largely through comments in UK reprints, I had never actually read the book before. Something I was more than happy to do with a story that is far more Underrated than I ever expected.


Join us next week when we look at something else that is, for whatever reason, Underrated.

Join Our Team!

Graphic Policy is always on the hunt for talented contributors. If you’re interested in becoming involved with one of the internet’s most unique, fastest-growing entertainment and pop culture websites, now’s your chance!

Please note that all of the positions offered by Graphic Policy are volunteer positions. Our staff runs this site because we love comics, politics, pop culture, games, movies, television, and geekdom.

We can not guarantee anything but your name in the writing credits (perfect for someone building a portfolio), but we will work with you to help you cover and write about the things you’re interested in.

Graphic Policy will open up its ability to obtain review copies, press passes and more for those who regularly post to the site. Your posts belong to you and you are free to post them here and other sites as well!

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Review: Broad City S5E9 Along Came Molly

Broad City’s penultimate episode “Along Came Molly” is a fantastic tribute to the show’s first season courtesy of writer Eliot Glazer and director Abbi Jacobson. Sure, the Lil Wayne concert is a little on the nose, but the Craiglist references are a clever as hell callback to when Broad City showed it was weird, hilarious, and here to stay in the pilot “What A Wonderful World” where Abbi and Ilana make money by cleaning a diaper wearing Fred Armisen’s apartment. The Easter Eggs are definitely fast and furious in this episode, and the wacky hijinks are turned to eleven as Abbi and Ilana do molly for the first time. However, the drug acts like a kind of truth serum that illuminates their relationships as well as unlocking their twerking and extended Die Hard tribute abilities.

“Along Came Molly” starts off its exploration of Broad City past and present in its cold open. Abbi and Ilana are crossing off “bucket list” items that Abbi wants to do before leaving New York that are mostly touristy things like the Staten Island Ferry and placing a rose on John Lennon’s grave in Central Park. Jacobson doesn’t go full Manhattan with her directing, but she definitely captures some stylish, if cliche vistas. However, this tender homage to touristy places in New York is undercut by Ilana rattling off bad things that have happened in these places like the wrongful conviction of the Central Park Five and New York itself being bought for $24 from its indigenous inhabitants. These quips from Ilana show that Broad City has turned into a socially conscious and self-aware show in its last two seasons while still retaining his wacky sense of humor.

“Along Came Molly” also acts as an extended farewell to Bevers, the mooching, disgusting boyfriend of Abbi’s never seen on camera roommate, Melanie. He was the worst part of the show in Season One, but John Gemberling channeled more of his adorable with hidden depths side in later seasons to make him a solid supporting character even if he’s no Jaime or Lincoln. And he’s a real comedy MVP in this episode coordinating Abbi’s furniture sale and then dropping the bombshell that he and Ilana have kissed and also have a special high five. He gets to be in the final shot of the episode as Jacobson sets up a reveal of Melanie, but it’s really a delectable character beat that shows that Bevers’ defining character trait has been being too much.

While Broad City Season 5 has been all about growing up and change with Ilana going to grad school and Abbi finally pursuing her artistic dream in Boulder, Colorado, “Along Came Molly” lets the girls regress a little bit. It also is an opportunity for Jacobson and Glazer to turn in some energetic, physical comedic performances. This is all the result of taking Molly (from Craiglist) after they are kicked out of the aforementioned Lil Wayne concert because they’re tickets are fake (And from Craigslist.) This leads to them having their own fun like crawling around in a ventilation shaft with a lighter that is both super tense and plain random and refreshingly free of any surprise Bruce Willis cameos.

The result of the drugs isn’t some big animated sequence like Season 4’s “Mushrooms”, but Ilana and Abbi realizing they’re codependent, or Li’l Codies. (Bingo Bronson does make his triumphant return down the road.) They have been helpful to each other some regards (Like Abbi realizing she has a great ass), but also have been holding each other back a little bit. Like the whole not really having any friends other than each other part. Jacobson and Glazer’s acting is both vulnerable and emphatic in this scene, and Jacobson does a fantastic job cutting a back alley dance sequence to “A Milli” and bringing us back to 2007.

Abbi and Ilana have grown a lot as characters in Broad City Season 5, but hey, they can still have a good time as evidenced in “Along Came Molly”. The penultimate episode of the series is a love letter to the more irresponsible days of 2014 and Season 1. On a more personal note, it brought me back to a dorm room five years ago when I discovered Broad City because I was too lazy to change the channel after Workaholics was over and fell in love with these funny and relatable as hell girls, Ilana Wexler and Abbi Abrams and then their actor/writers/creators Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson.

Overall Verdict: 9.7

Underrated: The Legend Of Zelda: Ocarina Of Time Part 1

This is a column that focuses on something or some things from the comic book sphere of influence that may not get the credit and recognition it deserves. Whether that’s a list of comic book movies, ongoing comics, or a set of stories featuring a certain character. The columns may take the form of a bullet pointed list, or a slightly longer thinkpiece – there’s really no formula for this other than whether the things being covered are Underrated in some way.

This week: the first part of the manga adaptation of Nintendo’s The Legend Of Zelda: Ocarina Of Time.


Released in 1998 on the Nintendo 64, The Legend Of Zelda: Ocarina Of Time was lauded for years as The Best Game Ever. In many ways the game remains highly revered and fondly thought of by those who played it upon its release. By the time I had finally bought an N64 in 2000, the game was often listed as the Must Have game for the console in the videogame magazines of the time (this was still when information was still largely spread through print rather than on the internet). Although I was exposed to considerably less hype for the game than I would be had the internet been around when I picked it up, there is no denying that the game had a reputation of being one of a handful of games worth buying the console for.

Amazingly, it lived up to the hype.

Despite the game having been surpassed in visual quality and scope over the decades that have followed (including by its own sequels), it remains very high on my Best Game Ever list. Mostly because of the impact it had on me and the influence it continues to have – there is a reason I prefer action RPGs over shooters – but also because it remains a very good game in its own right.

When I had the opportunity to pick up the manga adaptation of the game, I did so without a second thought. Split into two volumes published by Viz Media, and written and drawn by Akira Himekawa (a collaboration of two women A. Honda and S. Nagano), the edition I have reads from the right to left – meaning the manga is presented in its original form with English translation. I was oddly happy about that because it meant that Link remained a lefty in the story, rather than him being a right handed swordsman if the booked had been flipped to read left to right.

If you’ve played the game itself, then you’ll be more than familiar with the story – or at least the bones of it. Akira Himekawa have modified the things that wouldn’t work as well in print as they do in a game (the Great Deku Tree dungeon is much shorter here than when I played it, but the story doesn’t suffer at all for the modification), and they’ve also handled the tough challenge of giving the essentially blank slated Link a personality whilst still feeling familiar to those of us who were (are still?) slightly obsessed with the game remarkably well.

As a person who doesn’t read manga in its original form much, this is a fantastic way for me to get used to reading the pages starting on the right, because for the most part I know the story, so I don’t mind having to concentrate on where my eyes should be going – as an introduction to manga, this is as ideal for me; a story I already love about one of the games that epitomizes my childhood. The Legend Of Zelda: Ocarina Of Time Part 1 might not be everybody’s gateway, but as a comic book fan dipping their toes into the world of manga, this is a pretty underrated starting point. Because most comic book based videogame adaptations tend to be less than stellar.

Which isn’t the case with this. So if you want to start reading manga, but don’t know where to begin… maybe look for a volume that has some common ground with an interest you already have.


Join us next week when we look at something else that is, for whatever reason, Underrated.

Join Our Team!

Graphic Policy is always on the hunt for talented contributors. If you’re interested in becoming involved with one of the internet’s most unique, fastest-growing entertainment and pop culture websites, now’s your chance!

Please note that all of the positions offered by Graphic Policy are volunteer positions. Our staff runs this site because we love comics, politics, pop culture, games, movies, television, and geekdom.

We can not guarantee anything but your name in the writing credits (perfect for someone building a portfolio), but we will work with you to help you cover and write about the things you’re interested in.

Graphic Policy will open up its ability to obtain review copies, press passes and more for those who regularly post to the site. Your posts belong to you and you are free to post them here and other sites as well!

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Underrated: Letter 44

This is a column that focuses on something or some things from the comic book sphere of influence that may not get the credit and recognition it deserves. Whether that’s a list of comic book movies, ongoing comics, or a set of stories featuring a certain character. The columns may take the form of a bullet pointed list, or a slightly longer thinkpiece – there’s really no formula for this other than whether the things being covered are Underrated in some way. This week: Letter 44.


This week I wanted to highlight one of last week’s books that hasn’t appeared in this column before. Published by Oni Press, Letter 44, tells the story of humanity’s first contact with extraterrestrial beings, and the president who chose to keep their existence a secret (all the while perpetuating wars to give his soldiers combat experience and developing incredible technology to combat the potential threat). Equal parts political intrigue and science fiction story, I’m still not sure whether the tension is higher in space than it is on Earth, but the story is freaking amazing.

The brilliance of this book is that there are essentially two stories being told at once that occasionally intersect when the president contacts the team deep in space. While the existence of the mission in space and the military and science personnel on board the Clarke are frequently brought up in the president’s office, the president is seldom mentioned in space… because ultimately they don’t care about who is running the country when they are so far from Earth.

It’s a sobering thought, and one the highlights the isolation the team must feel so far in space. But there’s also a clear bond between the characters and their microcosmic society functions in a fairly unique way; there are rules aboard the space craft, ones that would probably not work on Earth. The way in which Charles Soule explores a small group of humanity in the loneliness of space is far different than any Star Trek story you’ve read or watched.

Letter 44 hadme hooked right from the opening as the newly elected, but not inaugurated, President Blades is reading the letter in question. The set up is slow and politically tense, and I’d have been happy if the comic followed just one of the two plot lines in the story.

The book is featured here because I’ve heard very few people talking about what is, for my money, one of the better stories I’ve read in comics.


Join us next week when we look at something else that is, for whatever reason, Underrated.

By The Numbers: January 2019

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

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

Glenn Matchett is a comic writer and editor. He’s worked in the industry for 6 years but grew up reading comics. He’s had work published with Outre Press, Alterna Comics and Nemesis Studios. If you think Glenn’s an okay dude please check out his new one shot Sparks: The Way I Was on Comixology here!

Ray Goldfield is a fan of comic books for going on 25 years, starting with the death of Superman. He is a writer and editor and has released his first novel. Ray also does a weekly roundup of DC comic reviews for website Geekdad and they’re brilliantly entertaining.  Thinking that Glenn is indeed an okay dude, Ray also wants people in the UK to know they can buy Sparks: The Way I Was here!

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

Top 300 in full available here!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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