Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Sales Review: October 2015

I follow monthly sales on ICv2 and I continue to be amazed at what I am seeing unfold before me. Because I think I can safely say that the days of the Big Two is over. Because Marvel has won.

The sales numbers for October are up at ICv2 and DC got squashed. Marvel almost doubled DC in sales and dollar revenue. Doubled.

Now part of this could be because Marvel is in the midst of rebooting. Plenty of the big sellers for Marvel are new titles with rare variants. There is a lot of Marvel's edge that could be a one month deal. But what strikes me is the acceptance there has been for this Marvel reboot. The Secret Wars book which has led to the reboot is still going on. And yet here we have post-reboot books out.

I can only imagine what would happen if DC's multiverse changing event was delayed and new books were already running. The sky would be falling. I think maybe Marvel fans just go with the flow. It also can't hurt that Marvel is part of the Disney/ABC/ESPN monolith, getting nods and recommendations from everywhere in that media giant.

But even this reboot of the entire Marvel universe has just been more accepted than DC's similar attempts. On to the sales.

We are now 4 months into The Truth. This story was supposed to reenergize the Superman books.

Sales haven't budged too much.

And while the story has garnered lots of discussion. It hasn't all been good. I know I have had my issues with the arc.

Superman #45 sold 42K in October.

Squirrel Girl sold more.

Now I love Squirrel Girl. This isn't a knock against her book at all.

But how can DC at all feel happy if one of their greatest characters and oldest books is only the 48th best selling book.

Of all the Superman books, I have always trumpeted the Pak/Kuder Action Comics book.

It also has been rolled into The Truth. So I don't know if people would head there on a whim. And it is a shame. Their issues when not bogged down by crossovers (like Doomed and now The Truth) have been wonderful.

Last month saw the release of the Superman Lois and Clark book. That book was much more of a Classic Superman, bringing the pre-Flashpoint Superman into the current world.

Lois and Clark opened pretty strong with 35K in sales, just 1500 units behind Action.

It will be interesting to see if sales hold strong on this book. It is scheduled for a 12 issue run. What if sales hold on par with the other Super-books? Will there be an ongoing? A rethinking of the Superman mythos?

Lastly, I have to look at books where Supergirl stars.

DC Bombshells continues to sell well, hitting 32K in sales.

But the more classic Kara is only in Justice League 3001.

Justice League 3001 #5 slipped to 15K in sales. I really am loving this book. I just hope DC has faith and doesn't pull the plug!

I don't know what to think about DC Comics as a whole though. I have been thinking they needed to clean out the C-suite for a while now. There seems to be no vision or a poor vision.


Biggedy said...

I dunno, as I DC fan, I've actually really been enjoying the DCYou initiative. It feels much bolder and fresher of a move than the new 52 (which I also enjoyed certain titles from). But I think because the sales have plummeted, DC will take this as a sign: "Fans don't want change. They want the same old thing." As pessimistic as that sounds, it's what the sales point to.

DC listened to the criticisms, and the hate that the new 52 got, and they're now in a worse hole than they were in. It just goes to show, those that speak the loudest aren't necessarily the ones buying the books.

I'm sad that none of the DCYou's innovative approaches are being received very well. We are Robin, Martian Manhunter, The Omega Men, Prez, the new Justice League United are all great titles offering something new, but Marvel's VERY same-ol'-same-ol' line up gets all the praise and the $$$.

Sorry, for my jaded ranting, good on Marvel that they're making money, but I'm still scratching my head as to what the readers want from everybody's favorite whipping boy/comic book company.

Wayne Allen Sallee said...

I'm not reading the Marvel tie-ins to SECRET WARS, but I understand that there was more coordination to any big reveal for the reboot. Basically, it explains the Marvel characters on a sliding timescale.

With CONVERGENCE, we got stories where there were fights in almost every book. I just don't get why DC thinks that going beyond grim 'n gritty to whiny 'n angry is doing anything at all towards their books anymore. If it ever did.

They never even bothered to explain why Pandora had to combine the three universes. Of course, they can't do that since just bout everybody in the Wildstorm universe proved useless and unsellable.)

I think the biggest problem with DC is that they haven't fired Dan DiDio. I'm not sure where Jim Lee fits into everything, and I think Geoff Johns handles things well and tries to keep things consistent.

Wayne Allen Sallee said...

Another thing that separates DC from Marvel. I'm tired of reading a book that needs three artists on one issue. I'm sure it happens at Marvel, but I think it is more common to let a book be late, like with Civil War.

A good example is DC BOMBSHELLS#4, three issues with one artist. She leaves and there are three artists. I have never been a Marvel fan since the 70s, but it is very hard for me to pick up many DC titles these days. I was enjoying BATMAN/SUPERMAN before the ridiculous crossovers. That would be an example of a title that might sell better if it wasn't tied in to this year-long mess. I'm enjoying STARFIRE (it sort of reminds me of ANIMAL MAN in the late 80s, I guess because of the beach locales). I really like HARLEY QUINN & POWER GIRL, but not HARLEY QUINN the comic. That says something about the pre-new52 POWER GIRL's staying power.

Uncle Screensaver said...

I think Marvel Zombies are way too loyal but also Marvel does a way better job of coordination and marketing. They've been relaunching for a long time now, and sadly today's industry seems to need people buying first issues over and over. DC is directionless. As much as I don't like Disney/ Marvel pandering to the movies and TV, it is much more accessible to pick up a Marvel title. Not just because of similarities to what people see on the big or small screens, DC refuses to put recap pages in their comics. You can pick any Marvel comic up and get a sense of what you need to know but not with DC. DC marketed well at their relaunch but not much followed other than Batgirl. It wasn't DC or WB that marketed Supergirl on TV, it was CBS. Had DC relaunched a Supergirl title, one that was similar to the TV show, put out a Burnside Batgirl/ Supergirl mini-series or crossover, we might be reading a once-again successful book featuring the Girl of Steel. Marvel's call to diversity has it's bad and good points but the good is mostly what people are seeing. Marvel has completely redefined their universe with diversity in ethnicity, gender, and legacy characters. DC eliminated legacy characters and when books that were interfered with by editing policies created comics that were unreadable they were cancelled, such as Static Shock, but then the diversity dwindled. Their big push has been Cyborg but he's only received his own title now. The new Power Girl was criticized as an attempt to "Ms. Marvel" DC but she wasn't even that as she's barely visible except in a Teen Titans book that is still criticized as being terrible. While Starfire got her own book and some respect, Supergirl lost hers. Yes, there was Prez, but when there's not much being made about it because people are spending their money on 50 Batman and Harley titles, LCS are not necessarily going to be ordering tons of copies.
These sales figures reflect what LCS are ordering, and when Marvel has new "#1's" constantly, and popular movies coming out bringing attention to titles, with marketing everywhere, it's going to affect orders also.

Anj said...

I have to admit that DCYou has been Success for me. Black Canary, Starfire, Martian Manhunter, and JL3001 are all on my pull list. I also get Harley/PG.

But I'd love for a good Superman book and a Supergirl book.

Uncle Screensaver said...

DCYou is somewhat successful for me as I'm getting Harley/ PG (although I don't really like it anymore), Superman: Lois & Clark (one good Superman book possibly here), JL3001 (although I'd like it without her, Kara is why I buy it), DC Bombshells (again Kara), and I was getting Earth 2: Society. I dropped the latter because I find the tone too dark for my tastes, and I find the art to be terrible. I might have still bought it but when I saw the "Hourman: murderer" cover that was "it."

Of course, I was getting Supergirl and the new Adventures of Superman, and Smallville, and for a while Infinite Crisis and Sensation, so I'm not really getting any more than before. (However, I'm getting even less Marvel, only getting Spider-Woman because of Jessica Drew, but I may cancel that depending on how her pregnancy is handled.)

Even if I wanted to I wouldn't be able to get any more titles, I just can't afford to. With the Canadian dollar/ exchange rate they're now generally $6.00 for one issue! I pay $8.00 for Netflix, so despite my adoration for the medium and certain characters, it's just too expensive to buy comic books, even digitally, today.

Anonymous said...

I can see Didio running around the DC offices right now. Superman is selling poorly, obviously it isn't dark enough, make it darker, DARKER! Dark sells! Look at Batman, BOOM, point made.