Numbers Are My Life: February 2014

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Welcome to the February 2014 edition of Numbers are My Life!  February sees a big jump

Batman #28 was the top selling issue for DC

Batman #28 was the top selling issue for DC

with The Walking Dead, plus is Marvel relying too heavily on #1s? The answer could not amaze you!

Top 10 Issues for February 2014

  1. Batman #28
  2. Forever Evil #5
  3. Wolverine #1
  4. Superior Spider-Man #27
  5. Justice League #28
  6. Superior Spider-Man #28
  7. Fantastic Four #1
  8. The Walking Dead #121
  9. The Walking Dead #122
  10. All-New X-Men #23

What does this month’s top 10 tell us? Pretty much what it has been telling us every month for last year or so.  Marvel does great with #1s and Spider-Man while DC does great with Justice League and Batman. And if either has an event going on, that does well.  I got a hardy chuckle out of Wolverine being in the top 3, and then having another book in the top 20. Both are $3.99 too.  IT’S A COMMENT SECTION’S WORST NIGHTMARE!

Marvel dominated the sales figures, capturing a 34.10% of the market while DC had 28.73%.  DC also shipped 20 more books than Marvel as well, which shows you where the readership is gravitating towards these days.  The rest of the list is the normal fair: Image in 3rd and Dark Horse in 4th. I wouldn’t be surprised if we started seeing an uptick in those percentages as those two publishers continue to get books form A-list writers and artists.  Image will likely trend higher as they have multiple properties being worked into TV shows and movies.

Harley Quinn continues to sell strong for DC, even as the review scores for the title are starting to slip a little.  Green Lantern/Red Lantern #28 is the highest selling non Batman or Justice League book at DC in February.  Even Joker’s Daughter (somehow) sold very well, even with the $4.99 price point (which seems excessive for a one-shot).  Between Harley Quinn and Joker’s Daughter, DC has to have high hopes for Cullen Bunn and Dale Eaglesham’s Sinestro.  DC’s cast of villains are, objectively, more interesting than Marvel’s.  If Sinestro does well critically and financially, we may see a Lex Luthor ongoing sooner than later.  The Movement and Green Team didn’t crack the top 100 for February, which is no surprise to people who have been reading those books.  I want to see DC take more chances with titles, but having a book like The Movement not sell well doesn’t give them much incentive to try new things.

Wolverine #1 was the top selling issue for Marvel

Wolverine #1 was the top selling issue for Marvel

Marvel’s dominance in the sales this month is no doubt due to their All-New Marvel NOW! #1 initiative. I mentioned this last month regarding many titles that were getting boosts because they had the #1 on the front, and that seems to be at play again here.  Many new titles, The Punisher and Ms. Marvel for example, sold relatively well for new books.  Once this has all settled down, we’ll see how these books really sell.  Overall though, Marvel’s #1s aren’t selling as well as they were when Marvel NOW! started up at the end of 2012.  The shorter volume is nearing its bubble and confusing readers into thinking the #1 (true #1) is the ONLY jump on point for a title. I like the initiative, but only with established series.  Books like All-New X-Men have used the #1 on the cover effectively.  It keeps the original numbering (thus pleasing long time fans), but shows readers that now would be a good time to pick this book up.  Books like Wolverine are only getting temporary boosts in sales before they plateau back where they were before.  The season format, often lauded by comic executives as a great idea, is proving not to be a great option.

I’m happy to see The Walking Dead selling so well.  I like to think that the more Image books get exposure, that books like Ghosted will be noticed more.  But The Walking Dead is in a world of its own when it comes to sales, so my hopes may be dashed.  The double shipping method doesn’t seem to be pushing anyone away from the title either, but Kirkman and co. have the title at $2.99. The sting of double shipment isn’t as harsh as Marvel.  After The Walking Dead, the highest selling Image title was Black Science down at 84.  It did sell over 2,000 more this month though, so that’s a plus.  Image overall is taking bigger chunks out of the Top Two’s sales.  This will create push the focus more on quality comics over other things.  Image and Dark Horse’s success just means better things for comic fans.

The Walking Dead #121 was the top selling issue for Image

The Walking Dead #121 was the top selling issue for Image

Serenity: Leaves on the Wind #2 sold well again for Dark Horse.  It went down 18% in sales, but that’s a decent number. Marvel and DC’s #1s lose a bigger percentage between #1 and #2.  I’m still waiting on that Legend of Zelda ongoing Dark Horse…..

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