NUMBERS GAME: Marvel Comics — August 2013

infinitycoverThe Marvel Top 10

  1. (1) Infinity #1 (205,819)
  2. (7) Superior Spider-Man #15 (78,636)
  3. (8) Superior Spider-Man #16 (78,087)
  4. (9) Avengers #18 (74,697)
  5. (10) All New X-Men #15 (73,035)
  6. (11) Uncanny X-Men #10 (70,903)
  7. (13) Avengers #17 (68,962)
  8. (14) Uncanny X-Men #11 (65,700)
  9. (15) Uncanny Avengers #11 (65,447)
  10. (17) X-Men #4 (64,010)

It’s a fresh month, and Infinity has allowed Marvel to reclaim top spot, as well as gain a 3% edge on DC in overall sales. People can complain about it all they want, but crossovers sell comics, and Infinity seems no exception. Oddly enough, however, Avengers hasn’t received a significant boost in sales month over month thanks to being a major part of the crossover. One thing I have noticed is that for the core Marvel titles, the sales order rarely changes in their top 10. Besides having great sales in the top 25, the hierarchy of titles at the top of Marvel are very well defined.

XFACT2005261-DC11-LR-91a10Marvel NOW! Or Marvel then…

Venom #39 – 20,212
Astonishing X-Men # 66 – 21,757
X-Factor #261 – 19,781

X-Factor: cancelled at #262; Astonishing X-Men: cancelled at #68; Venom: cancelled at #42! These were amongst the last holdouts as Marvel’s highest numbered titles, but alas, despite quality talent, the sales weren’t there and the end was nigh. It’s obvious that Marvel wants to make the majority of titles they produce a NOW! title, and it’s equally obvious that it only makes sense for sales. Despite a few duds, like Fearless Defenders, or Avengers Arena (which has been cancelled, but is being used to launch a new series), Marvel NOW! has been a great success. The top 40 overall titles are littered with NOW! comics and when you add a crossover on top, then you hit sales nirvana.

Fearless_Defenders_Vol_1_8_TextlessIn defense of…

Fearless Defenders #8 – 16,653
Fearless Defenders #2– 28,244
Fearless Defenders #1 – 53,688

About eight months ago, Fearless Defenders debuted in the Marvel Universe. With solid sales on the first issue, great covers, and an up-and-coming writer in Cullen Bunn, it garnered strong reviews and seemed like Marvel had an unlikely hit. Fast forward to today, and with the release of issue #8, Fearless Defenders has shed almost 70% of its sales base and is continuing to drop. Cullen Bunn enjoys some success with his Deadpool mini-series, but perhaps he is too much for the typical Marvel reader? Perhaps the fact that many of the characters on the team have never enjoyed lasting success has something to do with it, or perhaps it’s as simple as it being a case of wrong place, wrong time. The Marvel NOW! launch hasn’t had to deal with too many problems, but it will be interesting to see how much longer the Fearless Defenders are allowed to continue fighting.

Hunger-2Ultimate Questions.

Hunger #2 – 44,929
Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #26 – 32,932
Ultimate Comics Ultimates #29 – 19,657
Ultimate Comics X-Men #30 – 18,634

Hunger, the mini-series that will potentially spell the end of Marvel’s Ultimate Universe, doubles the sales of two of the Ultimate series, and easily beats the top seller Spider-Man. By themselves, the numbers on the Ultimate Comics titles suggest a relative lack of interest, but a core audience that will continue to read the universe. When you add the demand for Hunger on top of it, what you get is that more people are interested in the potential demise of Ultimate Comics than are actually interested in reading the Ultimate Universe themselves. The Ultimate universe had its day, and perhaps someday Marvel NOW! will follow in its footsteps, but at this point it seems they would be best served to eliminate or fold-in the Ultimate characters into Marvel NOW!

What do you think should happen to Marvel’s Ultimate Comics line? Sound off below!


Special thanks to Comichron for having more stats than any comic fan can imagine!




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