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TBU By the Numbers – August 2017


After a month where all titles ranked higher on the overall market positions, August saw them all falling again, with the exception of Batman. Nonetheless, DC ruled the top 3 positions according to the sales estimates by Comichron. Not only that, but Dark Nights: Metal #1 outsold DC Universe: Rebirth #1 by around 30,000 copies. My gut feeling told me this book would sell amazingly well, but the final sales figure is far beyond my expectations, reaching the quarter-million mark in the first month.

Also, Batman/Elmer Fudd got a second printing which outsold both Mother Panic and Gotham Academy. For being the last issue of the series, it would be expected for Gotham Academy to sell a little more. I wouldn’t discard the possibility of the issue doing well on the digital market, but the numbers here are coming from Diamond Comic Distributors and represent only direct sales.

 

BATMAN

Batman’s sales still seem to be aboard a roller coaster, going up and down every month. It is not going through major shifts, but it is interesting to note that issue #28 was the one with the fight between Deadshot and Deathstroke, the with the lowest rating in War of Jokes and Riddles. This might have prompted the slight decrease in sales for the issue following.

 

All-Star Batman continues being the Batman book with the highest drop rate, both relatively and in absolute numbers. Issue #14 will be the last one of the title. On the other end of the spectrum, Detective Comics continues with solid sales numbers. #962 was, in fact, the last issue of “Intelligence”, with #963 opening the two-part story focused on Steph and Anarky, “Utopia”.

 

GREATER GOTHAM

 

There are some surprises over in Gotham for the month of August. Firstly, Nightwing: New Order, for being the first Nightwing “Elseworlds”, had unimpressive sales. To understand how those numbers could be much higher we need only look at the sales numbers from the beginning of Rebirth. Nightwing: Rebirth sold nothing less than 127,846 copies, with Nightwing #1 selling 114,787. It outsold all of the DC Rebirth issues except for Batman, including Superman and Wonder Woman. Nightwing is a highly popular character that DC doesn’t seem to know what to do with. Controversial, New Order was met with reluctance even before it launched, probably the reason the sales were not as high as DC hoped.

 

Another title that surprised me was Red Hood and the Outlaws #12, Bizarro’s death. It is a 9.1 issue on Comic Book Roundup, reported as sold out, but the sales numbers are telling an interesting story. Those numbers come from Diamond Comic Distributors sales, and what they tell me is that it was probably under-ordered by comic shops.

 

Beyond those statistics, the other titles are going as expected. The Harley Quinn #25 oversize issue brought the sales a little up, but they went back to its previous pattern with issue #26. Batgirl and the Birds of Prey and Nightwing continue their slow bleed in sales, even with the return of Spyral in Nightwing #26. His appearance on Batgirl “Summer of Lies” gave the title a tiny little boost, not very significant.

 

The worrisome titles continue to be worrisome, Bane: Conquest now dropping below the 20,000 line and Mother Panic consistently selling 1,000 copies less every month. Albeit not being objectively the worst, the situation is the direst for Batwoman, it being an ongoing regular-line DC title. As of now, it is selling less than Batwoman #23, J. H. Williams’ last issue on the New 52 series, which sold 26,223 copies.

 

GREATER DC

Dark Nights: Metal #1 not only outsold DC Universe Rebirth #1, it doubled the numbers from Dark Days: The Casting. This shows how the Snyder/Capullo team has grown popular, pulling more people in than even Jim Lee’s name stamped on Dark Days. The issue sold out extremely fast and went to a second printing.

 

Over in Titans Tower seems did not go so well in August. Both Titans and Teen Titans had drop rates higher than usual, and both had arcs focusing on their respective Aqualads, which might or might not be a coincidence. The teenaged team also appeared on Super Sons, but that was not enough to make sales higher.

 

Suicide Squad pulled the old trick of having Batman on the cover, but that was not enough to raise sales, as the third part of “Kill your Darlings” continued to drop at the same rate as before, an average 2,000 a month.

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