Thursday, March 19, 2015

Sales Review: February 2015

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?

There it is, ranked #84, having sold 26,034 units. (I understand this was orders not sales.)

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.

And even more!

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.


Anonymous said...

The ending of SG #40 says "the end ... For now". Why write that? Any thoughts?

Bartiemus said...

No logic at all and Justice League United hasn't got a new creative team yet which has me worried.

Anonymous said...

I think that DC simply has no idea what to do with her, so they're waiting to see what happens with the TV series first. In the meantime, she'll most likely be a supporting character in the other Super-titles, which I currently have no interest in getting.

Anonymous said...

It's still par for the course, Supergirl gets popular, but something happens to derail the book (in this case, the pending Supergirl TV show). It happens time and again (sigh).

Craig said...

DC hasn't known what to do with Supergirl for years, decades even. David, Gates, Johnson and Perkins are exceptions to that sad rule. Maybe it isn't that they don't know what to do with her it's that they don't care.

It's obviously not about money because if they did, they wouldn't have cancelled the book - not only does it sell more than other titles of their own, but Kara hasn't been in media spotlight since 1984 and 1985, save for the Red Lantern saga.

Geoff Johns has tweeted that he was at the filming of the most iconic moment of the pilot, so if he's there and excited then why not show that excitement by keeping her book, if not relaunching it as a new number one? There's NO good reason as to why they might reboot her later with a series tied to the TV series and not do that to "Arrow" and The Flash.

Of course, this is a company that takes the iconic Superman, who is an ideal person for child and adults to look to, for inspiration and hope - generally the first super hero - and remake him into a (Conner Kent-looking) thug with blood splattered on himself.

This is a company so out of touch they think marriage is something that is aging - when plenty of young people get married.

To further illustrate that TPTB at DC don't know or don't care about the icon that is Supergirl, they seem to be completely isolated from the Supergirl Pro sports championships - the ones featured on Kara's official website,

Right now Mattel has ripped off Silver Age Supergirl (and She-Ra, and maybe a dash of Wonder Woman with Barbie in the "Princess Power line. If you haven't checked it out, it's Barbie as Princess Kara who gets Kryptonian-like super powers after being bit by a magical butterfly and becomes Super Sparkle, who has a super dog and super cat by her side. Ken in it is essentially Lois Lane. Anyway, not going into all the wrongs about forcing pink and princesses on girls and thinking that only girls can partake in this, from the examples of excited girls I've seen in the toy section yelling out "SUPER HERO BARBIE!" and wanting the doll be bought for them - Kara/ Super Sparkle is also featured in colouring books, activity books, Golden books, a movie, a soundtrack to the movie, and more, btw - in this new super hero everything world, it only makes sense to push Supergirl NOT take her away.

If it wasn't for all the big Batman events, they could have had a Batgirl/ Supergirl crossover or mini-series. That Batman/ Superman annual was the first time Kara and Babs were together in comic book canon since Crisis, but they didn't even interact. What I mean is that if sales were a concern, why not have Batgirl in it, or Batman for that matter. But I don't think it had to do with sales, I think it's just because it's Super GIRL.

In any case, as upset as I am to Kara's treatment, I'm going to count my blessings and enjoy that I'm seeing so much of her in the news, and that even if it doesn't last 10 seasons that I'll have a Supegirl TV series that features THE Helen Slater, and that just maybe we'll get a TV Supergirl action figure and other merchandise on top of it all.

Craig said...

Oh, and I'm happy that we have Kara Zor-El as Power Girl in a mini-series and in Earth-2, wearing the S-Symbol and looking very Supergirl-ish. :)