Comic Fodder

DC Sales for January 2007

As the fancy strikes us, we'll take a look at sales for DC Comics after they've been posted to Comic News site, ICv2. Taking a look at numbers, ranking and all of that can be fun. Or horribly, horribly depressing.

Marvel is probably celebrating with an obligatory chicken dance as they take the first five slots with extremely good sales on 5 separate titles (take that, 52!). As happy as DC has to be that 52 is doing well, Marvel has three comics from their regular titles in the top 5, one of which isn't even tied into Civil War. Well, maybe Wolverine isn't either, but I assume it is. No, I don't read Wolverine.

DC finally clocks in at positions 6, 8 and 10, with 52, All-Star Superman, and 52. Wow. All three of these are kinda/sorta limited series. And 52 week 35 at #6 sold only 105,095 copies, compared to Civil War 6 at #1, which sold 259,264 copies. Joe Quesada must be cackling like Dr. Doom on amphetamines.

What I don't get is that there's a drop to 96,815 copies for week 36 of 52. Why the 8,280 drop? In a week? Who gave up on 52 just as it's entering the 3rd Act? That's a full 7.8 or 9 % drop. perhaps retailers are just catching up on correcting their ordering.

Also, what should it tell DC that All-Sar Superman brought in 98,802 votes, while continuity-Superman brought in 60,682 (at position #26)? I have no idea. But there appears to be a market for Superman stories when dealt with in a certain fashion. Perhaps if more readers knew that since OYL, DC has been pushing Superman back toward his Silver Age roots which Morrison is mining for fresh ideas... My God, we're like six months away from a re-launch of Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen! (this is a lie I have concocted and hope to spread through the tubes of the inter-highway. Oh, wait. This just in from NYCC). Readers can hope that DC will keep Morrison happy on All-Star Superman for a long, long time. He's stayed on series before. It could happen, despite the intention of the All-Star line.

52 took up spots 10-13 with readers disappearing between 500-1000 each week. I do not understand. Where are you going? It's like giving up at mile 19 of a marathon.

Johns' Justice Society of America continues with an impressive 86,180 copies sold at #15. However, issue #1 sold 102,990 copies, which is a serious loss of sold issues, but probably indicates the speculators who bought more than one copy of issue #1 as much as anything else. I had to buy a second copy of issue #2 as I accidentally crushed my first copy before reading it. So you may remove one copy from the January sales.

Probably of most concern to DC is that of the top 25, they only claimed 8 spots, 5 of which were owned by 52. JSA and Green Lantern are the only continuity books. That said, January did not see an issue of Action Comics, Justice League of America or Morrison-scripted Batman. However, Busiek's Superman fell right below Eternals on the chart at 26, so it can't be all bad news.

Superman Confidential #3 pulled in a respectable 41,346 issues sold. This is a surprisingly good comic, and with Sale on art, I'm surprised it didn't sell a few thousand more copies. That said, Cooke is writing, and despite critical raves, readers seem to still not pick up his stuff.

The wholly unnecessary Superman/Batman/Aliens/Predator face-off sold a shocking 40,889 copies. I admit, I have one... but the fact that I almost DIDN'T want to admit it should tell you something about the book. Sure, Olivetti's on art, but...

Darwyn Cooke's The Spirit #2 sold only 27,245 copies. Another good comic completely overlooked, and pulling in only 10% of the numbers of Civil War.

And a comic featuring a sleauthing chimp on the cover can only pull in 25,338 copies sold. Poor Helmet of Fate: Detective Chimp. Readers seem unwilling to give you or the Helmet of Fate much of a chance.

At the NYCC, Didio apparently promised more Uncle Sam and the Freedom Fighters, which i find surprising, considering that issue #7 of 8 came in at 97th place with 22,460 votes.

And bespeaking not much of a future for my favorite Super-canine (and, in fact, one of my favorite DC characters), Poor Krypto The Super-Dog of the Johnny DC line-up sold only 4,966 copies. Apparently comics AREN'T for kids anymore at all. Hopefully DC will package this series and sell it at Target and Wal-Mart in their book section.

To be honest, not everything was wine and roses with DC in January as far as the books went, anyway. It's fairly obvious what sort of a hole a non-monthly release schedule puts into DC's sales when titles like JLA go AWOL for the month, losing 130K+ sales. Add in the missing Action and Wonder Woman, plus lackluster start to the Flash... and DC's numbers are nowhere near as rosy as they were in December.

With as major event as Civil War has been (issue 6 sold an estimated 259,264 copies) what can DC dream up to match that sort of excitement? Another Crisis will have to wait 18 or 19 years. And 52 still looks good, but if you apply that trend over the next weekly in Countdown.... you're down to around 50 - 60,000 issues sold by the end of the event.

Questions? Comments? Come on, I can take it.