Numbers Are My Life: January 2014 Comic Sales

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Welcome to a brand new monthly column! In this column, I’ll be taking a look at the monthly stats and what I think about them (trends, topics, what I expect to see next month, etc.).  All statistics mentioned are directly from Diamond Comics.

Batman_Vol_2-27_Cover-3

Batman #27 was the top selling title for DC in January

Here are the top 10 comics for January 2014:

  1. Batman #27
  2. Detective Comics #27
  3. Avengers World #1
  4. Justice League #27
  5. Superior Spider-Man #25
  6. All-New X-Men #22
  7. Superior Spider-Man #26
  8. Harley Quinn #2
  9. Avengers #25
  10. Justice League of America #11

January wasn’t anything spectacular in terms of what titles were in the list.  As wish most months, the list is dominated by Spider-Man, Batman, Avengers, and the Justice League.  The only difference is the position changes.  Harley Quinn seems to be sticking around, but it’s still early.  The biggest surprise is the jump for All-New X-Men #22.  The title has been selling well since its launch, but it seemed to have found its plateau in the mid 20s.  The crossover with Guardians of the Galaxy (#15 for the month) already looks promising sales wise.

It’s been a year since Superior Spider-Man was released and it’s been an incredibly strong seller in the past. At least one issue was in the top ten every month except April and September.  Even then, one issue was in the #11 spot.  The $3.99 price point has been a sticking point with some fans, but it doesn’t seem to be keeping fans from shilling out $8 a month on one title.

The massive #1 placement seems to have helped Marvel, as numerous Marvel titles had

Avengers World #1 was the top selling title for Marvel in January

Avengers World #1 was the top selling title for Marvel in January

some big jumps in January.  Once you get out of the top 15 spots, most of the titles are Marvel, or the occasional Image title.  Avengers World (which double shipped in January) sold very well, and looks to be another hit for Marvel (contrary to all the fans complaining that there are too many Avengers titles).  The double shipping could end up hurting this series, as having this double ship plus the normal Avengers could lead to some people dropping one or the other.  Black Widow, All-New Invaders, and All-New X-Factor had strong #1 debuts.  But a strong #1 means nothing in this market, as many pick up the title because it has a #1.  We will probably see a slight decrease in all Marvel titles after their initial All-New Marvel NOW! arc is completed.

Forever Evil has been a sales juggernaut for DC, so not having the title released in January hurt in the sales figures.  Marvel commanded a 34.09% share, while DC had a 28.06% share.  The focus on all of Marvel’s #1s probably took a little out of DC’s thunder, but February will be back to normal.  I expect to see DC only being a percentage point or two off when the February sales figures come around.  Detective Comics #27, a big anniversary issue, sold very well for DC.  Not surprising given the current state of Batman at DC (Batman + anniversary issue = $$$), but a good way to pick up the slack for not having Forever Evil released.

Serenity: Leaves on the Wind #1 (review here) was the biggest seller for Dark Horse.  I really hope that sales figures like this will convince someone in the Whedon camp to write an ongoing for this property.  Serenity #1 sold more copies than any recent Buffy related book.  It’s a property that reaches far beyond the comic fan base, so I expect to see Leaves on the Wind to continue to sell well.

Image has to be very happy, as many books cracked the top 100.  I was a little disappointed to see Black Science and Velvet so close to the bottom of the top 100.  Considering the high profile names behind them, I was expecting more people to check these titles out.  As many have come to expect, The Walking Dead continues to sell like there is no tomorrow.  Saga’s last issue for a while also sold very well.  The trade paperback sales will probably spike in the coming months.

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