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TBU by the Numbers Spotlight: Batman and Detective Comics

From time to time in my “TBU By the Numbers” analysis, I want to take a moment and analyze some long-term trends of certain books as a way of looking at the relative success of certain things that happen in individual books or events that might happen over several titles at a time.  This month, I want to look back after almost half a year of the “All-New Batman” with Jim Gordon under the robotic cowl and see what effect that change had on sales over the last year.  I’ll look at this change in both of the main books in which Batman stars and which have reflected these changes, Batman and Detective Comics (as neither Justice League book has yet to do so).

Looking at this chart, we see the six months before the end of the “Endgame” arc in the pages of Batman where Batman/Bruce Wayne died, the two month gap for the DC “Convergence” event and then the reemergence of the title with Jim Gordon as Batman in June.  As you might expect given that the stakes of “Endgame” were rising as the story progressed, sales rose from January to March in the Batman title but were even higher when the new Batman debuted in June after the end of “Convergence.”  However, in both Batman and Detective Comics in the months since the change, we’ve seen a slow decline, but (more importantly) not a dramatic decline.  This decline mirrors other declines after new issues start or after big changes/events.  What we don’t see is either a huge upswing or downswing in sales as a result of Jim Gordon continuing to be Batman.  This suggests that, at least for now, most of the people who read Batman or Detective month-to-month are still along for the ride.  This may change as Jim Gordon remains in the cowl for longer periods of time (especially if we go over a year).  But, for now, the Jim Gordon Batman doesn’t seem to be dramatically less popular in either title in terms of sales than was Bruce Wayne Batman before things changed.  We’ll keep you posted on whether this trend continues in a few months.

So, those are the numbers and my analysis for the month of October 2015.  Be sure to tell me what you think, what I missed, and what you’d like to see from this article series in the comments below and stay tuned for the release of the next month of comic solicitations to see if my thoughts are proven or disproven.

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  • Really enjoyed this Terry. I’m sure when Bruce returns the numbers will bounce up.

    • Terry Hughston

      Glad you enjoyed it! And yeah, I’m sure they’ll go back up after the first of the year given what we know from solicitations is coming. However, I don’t necessarily think that either book is doing poorly at the moment either. They’ve come down from the big bump they got from the post-Convergence promotions, but I see it more as normalizing to what had been the sales numbers from before the Robo-Bat rather than being a downward trend before of the Robo-Bat.

  • Oh yeah. Batman sales over a long period of time has been over 100k. No other book can touch that. The Marvel numbers are inflated due to their relaunch. I suspect a massive drop off for their #2 comics.