Numbers Are My Life: April 2014

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Welcome everyone to the April edition of Numbers Are My Life. This month, we have Marvel looking down at the rest of the completion, laughing, and then everyone wondering why they put themselves on a chair when they were already slightly taller than everyone else. Also we have Batman keeping his uncontested title of “Sells the most stuff for DC” for the billionth month in a row.

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Batman #30 was the top selling book for DC in April

Before we go any further, let’s take a look at the top 10 comics of April 2014

  1. Amazing Spider-Man #1
  2. Superior Spider-Man #31
  3. Batman #30
  4. Batman: Eternal #1
  5. Justice League #29
  6. Batman: Eternal #2
  7. Hulk #1
  8. Original Sin #0
  9. Batman: Eternal #3
  10. Batman: Eternal #4

A few things strike me right away when looking through April’s top 10.  1) I understand that the Hulk is more ingrained in pop culture than ever thanks to The Avengers, but how the hell did Hulk #1 make it into the top 10?!  It was a decent book, and one that I gave a 3.5/5, but I’m surprised it sold so well that it made the top 10.  It didn’t have a lot of variants to bloat the numbers up either.  Apparently the name Mark Waid is finally starting to push books like it should.  2) How every issue of Batman: Eternal is on that list…in descending order of release date.  I don’t expect to see any issues of it there next month, as many fans won’t want to commit to buying a series every week.  From a sales stand point, it’s good for DC as their highly profitable Forever Evil didn’t ship in April.  It does add coal to the fire of “DC can’t sell anything other than Batman,” but those people can just shut up.

The main story of this month’s sales is Amazing Spider-Man #1, which is the highest selling comic for Marvel in years. Amazing Spider-Man #1 sold over 500,000 copies. Holy sales Spider-Mobile!  Many are going to cry foul on those numbers because of the endless variants that Marvel made. It’s a new #1 for their most popular character, so it comes as no surprise that they are going to make variants.  But my question to Marvel is this: why make so MANY variants?  Why not make one or two and leave it at that?  My local shop had three or four variants available for the title.  It’s not like the title wouldn’t have sold as well if it didn’t have them.  Between Amazing Spider-Man 2 opening up in theaters around its release and Free Comic Book Day right around the corner, it would have sold like crazy with just the normal cover.  My local shop was out of the normal book but had plenty of the more expensive variants left.  I like to see the bright side of life, so I’m hoping that having a title sell that many issues will help subsidize the dwindling sales for books like Superior Foes of Spider-Man.

Amazing Spider-Man #1 sold over 500,000 copies in April

Amazing Spider-Man #1 sold over 500,000 copies in April

The rest of the top 100 tells us things we have known for months. The #1 boost that Marvel has been using so liberally is starting to dwindle with the market. It isn’t guaranteeing big boosts in sales like it originally did, which will hopefully lead to Marvel keeping volumes around longer.  Wolverine’s two relaunches inside a year is going to confuse fans in the long run.  Recent All-New Marvel NOW! books are selling decent enough though, even if not as high as some fans would like (She-Hulk for example).

DC’s percentage of sales continued to drop at a steady pace. It dropped 3% from February to March, and 2% to April.  It’s a little unnerving for DC, but they have a few big name books getting ready for launch which should help. The weeklies might help with this in the short term or they could burn people out with how much money they have to shell out to enjoy the story.  Having another low numbered Justice League title is going to help as well.  I expect Justice League United #1 to make the top 10 next month as it won’t be as crowded with Bat titles.

Image books are slowly creeping up the top 100. Southern Bastards had a good showing for its first issue, selling almost 35,000 issues.  Black Science had both #5 and #6 in the top 100.  The Walking Dead continues to be the top selling Image book, and no other in sight of dethroning it.  East of West surprised me with #11 selling over 25,000 issues.  I expect this trend to continue as more big name writers/artists gravitate towards Image to express their creativity.  But their percentage of sales in April was down 2% from March.  Its one step forward and one step backwards.  But Sinestro had a good start, premiering at #33.

Serenity: Leaves on the Wind continues to sell well for Dark Horse. Sadly the Whedon camp has said that they won’t be making more Firefly comics.  Considering that three of their bigger writers are involved with Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., I’m not 100% surprised by this revelation. Dark Horse needs to find another IP to make comics of soon *cough* LEGEND OF ZELDA*cough*.

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