DC’s NEW 52 Sales Figures Some Historical Perspective from Newsarama

DC Comics Everything Depends on winning back the readers they have lostDC Comics future depends on winning back readers they have lost and fans they have alienated in years of mishandling the marquee characters like Batman and Catwoman in time to capitalize on mainstream interest generated by The Dark Knight Rises and related offerings.  The sales figures from the first weeks are largely curiosity buys and collectors buys, and reveal little about how serious the new Warner Bros.-driven DC Entertainment is about righting past wrongs of the old DC Comics.  But Newsarama provides an interesting analysis of the first wave of sales numbers from the limited perspective of those who never left the comics bubble.

To give some perspective to DC’s sales achievement of print comics so far during the months of August and September, Newsarama gathered some historical sales figures for comparison.

– DC has reported that two New 52 titles sold more than 200,000 copies on their first printing: Justice League #1 and Action Comics #1.

– The last time one comic sold more than 200,000 copies was the Amazing Spider-Man issue with U.S. President Obama on the cover in January 2009.

– The last time DC hit the 200,000 was the Brad Meltzer/Ed Benes issue of Justice League of America #1 in August 2006, with 212,178 copies that month.

– According to Bob Wayne, DC’s senior vice president of sales, the total number of the Meltzer JLA issues sold is DC’s prior 21st Century “high water mark” for Justice League. It was achieved with multiple printings. According to Diamond’s publicly released sales figures, the total sales over several month was 238,353.

– “The historical sales number for that 2006 issue of JLA accumulated over three months,” Wayne told Newsarama. “I expect we’ll exceed it within three weeks.”

– DC reported that eight additional titles have surpassed sales of 100,000 copies. It’s been rare for the last few years that any comic sells more than 100,000 copies during a sales month. To give context to the achievement, the last time a DC comic sold more than 100,000 copies was in June 2010 with Batman #700, which sold 104,755 copies.

– To give further perspective to the number, DC’s top-selling comic this year, Flashpoint #1, did not top 100,000 sold in a month, instead topping out in May at 86,981. DC’s second level comic during the event, Green Lantern, which is also its recent top-selling regular title, has been selling in the 70,000-75,000 range for the last year.

– Nine comics with sales above 100,000 copies from one publisher in a month is also rare. According to Newsarama’s research the last time there were nine comic titles selling more than 100,000 copies from one publisher was in May 2007, when Marvel had 11. According to Comichron, 2007 was the high-water mark in yearly sales since 1997, with over 85 million units sold.


See related:
Alan Grant and Norm Breyfogle Retro-active: a vintage interview with the star Batman creative team DC Comics has brought back for Batman Retroactive
DC Comics relaunch… enough to repair the damage?
Retroactive: Can DC Comics Win Back Lost Readers?
DC Retroactive: Batman – The ’80s

%d bloggers like this: