As you have noticed, the format for the Superior $ales-Talk has changed somewhat. The old format was disorganized, requiring readers who were only interested in keeping up with a few titles hunting through paragraphs to find where those titles were mentioned. The updated format will start with a brief paragraph giving an over all look at the month, followed by the core Amazing Spider-Man and Spider-Man titles, then the B-titles in alphabetical order. Each title will get a small write-up breaking down the figures like usual, though some of the titles that stay consistent over the months might not get the same attention as others which bounce around the charts. Hopefully this makes the $ales-Talk a bit more readable.
2016 has come to an end with some good news; after “icy” December, comic book orders squeaked past their total in 2015, marking 2016 as a “growth” year. This is the fifth consecutive year that comics orders have grown, showing a healthy market overall despite the $ales Talk not always reflecting that. According to Comichron, Direct Market (that is, your local comic shop) orders were up 0.3%, reflecting a growth of a relatively paltry $1.7 million. However, graphic novels (which are not reliant on the Direct Market) were up 12% over last year. So while your monthly floppies sold more or less the same they did last year, graphic novel sales more than made up for it.
Another month, another head scratcher for the “big” Spider-Man event of the year. Amazing continues to out pace The Clone Conspiracy, despite The Clone Conspiracy acting, for the time being, as the main Spider-Man book, with Amazing serving as an appendix. Once the January numbers come in, we’ll see clear as day the differences between both the titles; Clone Conspiracy #4 and ASM #23 shipped on the same day so we’ll have about as variable-free a look at the two titles’ sales as we’ll be able to see. We’ll also be able to see if Clone Conspiracy #3’s big stunt reveal will translate to reprints charting in January, but looking at how this title has been selling, I have my doubts there’s going to be enough demand for the 5.5k or so sales needed to get in the top 300.
We might have had hopes set a little too high when we thought Renew Your Vows might eclipse Amazing. The second issue fell the expected 50%, so now we just need to see where it slows down to see if we have a hit (Spider-Man/Deadpool), a success (Spider-Gwen), or a critical darling that couldn’t find its footing with the mainstream audience (Spider-Woman).
Spider-Man double shipped in December, and we saw the typical double-ship pattern where the first issue moves a bit more than usual, and the second issue moves a little less. While 35k might not be Amazing Spider-Man numbers, it’s still an impressive number for a title at its 11th issue in modern Marvel.
Avengers #2 and Avengers #2.1:
Avengers #2 retained a lot more of its sales from #1 then we usually see. All-New All-Different Avengers spent most of its life fluttering between 40k and 50k estimated monthly sales, so we’ll be seeing if its more compactly named Avengers follow up does the same. The Point One series sold at about half of the main title, which is a bit of a bigger gap than we saw with Amazing Spider-Man’s. However, the title only lost 8.5% of its estimates sales between #1.1 and #2.1. It if continues to keep a slow and steady level of attrition then expect to maybe see more Point Ones in the future for Avengers.
The penultimate issue does not give us too many surprises on the charts. Losing 828 estimates sales is pretty good for a title, but when you’re selling like Carnage that represents a not-so-insignificant chunk of who is still buying the book.
Champions #3 levels out from the crazy numbers we saw from #1 and #2. Like Renew Your Vows, the next few issues will be key things to watch to see if this is a title that will slowly trickle sales or nose dive down the charts.
Marvel’s summer blockbuster comes to an end (just in time for the next one to get going, Secret Empire #0 hits the shelves in April) with a 10% drop in estimated sales. Still in the triple digits, it did manage to get out shined by a few of DC’s Rebirth titles. It’s hard to gauge exactly how well these event titles do because we have no idea how well Marvel projects them to do internally. From reports we know that Civil War II was a bit of a slapdash job that was extended halfway through when Bendis thought of a better way to end it. It certainly does not paint a flattering picture of Marvel. All the more reason to wonder exactly how it did versus projections. We know that compared to past events (save Secret Wars) it outperformed every event in recent memory, but as we saw across the line tie-ins did not give the same boost in sales as we usually see, and in some cases, the tie-in actually hurt sales. Hopefully if there was a lesson to learn, Marvel learned it.
It should not be a surprise to hear that Prowler was not on the list of solicits for April. As it is looking now, the title will not be finishing out its run above the 10k mark.
Still chugging along, Silk #15 continues its slow sub-20k March. The tie-in with Clone Conspiracy muddies the waters over whether or not the title is wrapping up its plot threads or if Marvel has a relaunch up their sleeve. But in a world with Gwen, Miles, Peter, and now Ben as well, where exactly does Cindy Moon fit in? What niche does she fill?
Spider-Gwen #15 sees the last issue before the big crossover with Spider-Man. We’ll see if Miles can pull up Gwen’s sagging sales, though the title is still in a decent place at 27k estimated sales. With all the hype around Gwen I doubt the title is going anywhere soon.
Another title with a curious future, Spider-Man 2099 follows Silk on the charts. While the numbers don’t support it, talking with Peter David gave the impression that the series, as well as the 2099 franchise, still had a lot of steam with some buzz in editorial about expanding the line. However, David’s upcoming Scarlet Spider has me casting doubt on the idea of this book lasting too much longer.
Hey, a Christmas special! Making up for lost time, Spider-Man/Deadpool has been gushing the sales it held on in its early issues. We have a two-issue crossover event to look forward to in March and April, something I suspect will not do wonders on the longterm sales for this title.
Unofficially canceled, Spider-Woman #14 represents the start of the victory lap that will end in March with the final issue of the series. With estimated sales in the sub 15ks, it’s not a surprise that it was canceled, but as I mentioned earlier, it was a critical darling and a favorite of ours.
Venom #2 sheds a little more than usual for its second issue, but with an Eddie Brock reunion on the horizon, there is nothing this title needs to worry about.