The sales numbers for February have been released and, as a Supergirl fan, I am very intrigued by the story they tell. I know that sometimes I have blinders on, looking closely at Supergirl as a book and maybe not DC's mission or the marketplace as a whole.
As usual, ICv2 does a great job breaking things down. Here is the link:
But one thing that is clear, Marvel dominated the month in market share. DC is doing a soft relaunch in June trying to lure in new readers. So you would think ... as a business ... that DC might want to promote books/characters that sell well and think carefully about the products that don't seem to work.
Supergirl #39 came out in February, the penultimate chapter of the Crucible arc. Like many DC books last month, Supergirl had a Harley Quinn variant cover.
So how did it sell?
Supergirl is a pretty consistent book for sales and since Red Daughter has been above 22K, and has actually hovered around 26K for the last 6 months. That has to be success right? Except we know that DC has cancelled the Supergirl book.
So let's take a closer look at other books sales.
First off, just above Supergirl, also selling just above 26,000, is Catwoman and Secret Six. Both survived the axe. And there, selling around 24K, is Justice League Dark which has been reimagined in the 'new' DC in June so, in concept, it also survived.
I also have to point out that Squirrel Girl has been lauded as a fun, all-ages, success story at Marvel. It is also selling less. But it lauded ... as a success.
Even if I ignore JL Dark, here is the parade of DC titles that sell less than Supergirl that will continue.
Gotham Academy - 20K
Green Arrow - 19K
Gotham by Midnight - 18K
I can only imagine the outcry ... the anguish ... the social media explosion of pain ... if Gotham Academy was canceled.
Red Hood (repurposed in the 'new' DC) - 17K
Justice League 3000 (repurposed in the 'new' DC) - 16K
Lobo - 14K
Constantine - 14K
Okay. I am not commenting on the quality of these books. I am not saying these books are of poor quality. I love Gotham Academy as does one of the supergirl's at home. I am not saying that books that sell more than Supergirl are 'better' than Supergirl.
But I wonder why Lobo, selling 14K, got a vote of confidence by DC when Supergirl, which sells 12K more, and clearly has more fans and readers, gets shelved.
And there are all these murmurs about how DC is going to bring her back in the fall in a Supergirl book to the market which is more aligned to the show. And yet there is Arrow and even Constantine ... both surviving and certainly not canceled to realign to their shows.
More importantly, why have a show rewrite a character's history? What if I want to continue reading this Supergirl's adventures?
I don't know if I will get a satisfactory explanation for the cancellation of this book. From a quality and a quantity viewpoint, this was a successful book.