Thursday, February 12, 2015

Sales Review: January 2015

The DC Universe is going to dramatically change ... again ... in 4 months. We'll get new takes on characters, story will trump, continuity, and a whole swath of new books will hit the stands. That also means many books will be canceled, including Supergirl.

And with that as a backdrop, it is very interesting to look at sales for last month, January 2015. As usual, I advise everyone to head to ICv2 for coverage. Here is the link:

Now if you are here, you know my biases towards Supergirl. But this is fascinating ...

Supergirl #38 came out last month, the third issue in the Perkins/Johnson/Lupacchino 'Crucible' run on the book. For the most part, it seems as if the new direction has been well received. DC even pumped up the book in the back pages of all issues a couple of months ago. And

Now Star Wars and it's umpteen variants ruled the roost last month, selling nearly one million issues. And Squirrel Girl sold 41K.

Supergirl #38 sold 22,677, down a shocking 14% from last issue. After 4 issues of holding greater than 26K, I wonder exactly what happened that made sales plummet. Could different titles have lured readers away?

Maybe that drop made DC think the time was right to pull the plug?

But look a bit closer. Right below her is Gotham Academy and Catwoman, selling less but spared the cancellation axe.

And then even farther down the sales chart, we see more books selling less, sometimes significantly less, which also survived DC's cuts. Gotham By Midnight, Justice League Dark (reborn as Dark Universe),  Green Arrow, Red Hood and the Outlaws (reborn as Red Hood/Arsenal), Justice League 3000 (reborn as Justice League 3001),  and Constantine (reborn as Constantine:Hellblazer).

All told that, that is eight titles which are selling less but DC thought enough of to keep around.

I am not commenting on the quality of those books. I am not condemning them. What I am trying to wrap my head around is why these books were looked at differently by DC. Does DC think that JL3001 is going to do better?

I keep hoping that some greater discussion about the decisions will come out somehow. What about Supergirl made DC decide to cancel? And, while I feel it is true, the fact that a new Supergirl TV show is coming out isn't a good reason ... at least for me.


Kim said...

The lower sales are, I think a combination of 2 things: Star Wars #1 and the fact the previous issues had attractive variants, #38:s wasn't really.

But also, look at earlier sales levels:
Supergirl #26 - 22,646
Supergirl #27 - 21,954
Supergirl #28 - 23,567
Supergirl #29 - 22,883
Supergirl #30 - 23,410
Supergirl #31 - 22,783
Supergirl #32 - 22,481
Supergirl #33 - 22,802

The sales of #38 are in line with where supergirl was a year ago. And as you rightly point out, higher than several non-cancelled titles (and still a few k over the 20k line which is usually the "uh-oh" line for DC books).

Always gotta look at the positives! (And still feel sure we'll get a Supergirl & Legion book in june or july or thereabouts. Even more so after reading JLU #9. Just lines up so perfectly.)

Bartiemus said...

Supergirl has to the hold the record for the most re launched character in comics at this point?

We will be up to what volume 7 at this point?

The pain still hurts I'm going to miss Kara she is one of the most human characters DC have and they cancelled her.

Anonymous said...

It will be interesting to see the costume they have for Kara in the television show. I wonder if the designer looked at the current costume in the books and said "Hell no". It will be interesting to see how much the congruency between the show direction and the book direction was discussed until the final decision was made to scrap the book. I have to believe the show direction was behind most of what is happening to Kara. If the show hits and people begin looking at the book, they wouldn't be able to follow it.

Anonymous said...

To quote Kara to DC:

"My name is Kara. Though I doubt that will mean anything to you."

When will DC learn its lesson?? Bring back Supergirl as she should be: heroic.

Anj said...

Should there be an upcoming Supergirl book it will be volume 7.

As for actual Supergirls...

Jimmy magic totem Supergirl
Kara 1
Matrix - Linda Danvers
Kara 2
Kara 3
Whatever is next

So I guess that does mean Supergirlv7

Still, you would think a consistent seller in the low 20s would be better than rolling the dice on a teenage Doomsday.