Welcome to our December sales breakdown. Before we dive into the numbers, a quick disclaimer. The figures here are provided by Comichron and they cover sales by Diamond Comics Distributor to the direct market, meaning they do not include digital sales.
It was a very good year for DC Comics, as they being awarded seven of Diamond’s Gem Awards proves. December was dominated by DC’s events, with Doomsday Clock #2 and Dark Nights: Metal #4 taking the top positions in the overall market. Six DC titles made it to the Top 10, with Batman #36 and #37, Batman: White Knight #3 and Hawkman: Found joining the top two. As mentioned in the November analysis, White Knight might still climb some positions, since the first issues were underordered by retailers and ended up going to fourth (#1) and third (#2) printings.
Despite the release of Batman/TMNT II and the Holiday Special, December had four less TBU issues coming out than November. This is mainly due to Metal starting to slow down on its one-shots and crossovers, and Harley Quinn #34 being postponed to January. Super Sons of Tomorrow, another crossover event that took place in December, pulled Super Sons and Teen Titans up a number of positions in the ranking.
There were only two titles under the Metal event for December, so they are back to being analyzed together with the other Greater DC titles.
It is almost a given fact that sales for the second issue of any series will drop compared to the first issue. Batman/TMNT II and Creature of the Night were no exceptions. TMNT II did debut with good numbers though, and its first volume just received the Gem Award for Licensed TPB/HC of the Year.
For the ongoing series, Detective Comics continues being one of the more stable titles out of all analyzed. As for Batman, #36 and #37 were widely well received by readers, both having 8.9 ratings on Comic Book Roundup. Apparently, though, having a World’s Finest reunion was not enough for retailers to raise their orders for the title.
Outside of Batgirl, all of the Gotham titles are having not-so-bright results. After several months of very small variations, orders for Batgirl and the Birds of Prey fell 1,280 copies. This figure is intriguing, since issue #17 was the finale for the “Manslaughter” arc, which had been doing fine in the direct market.
Another title with an unusual drop was Red Hood and the Outlaws. For the past months, the highest drop for the title had been of around 700 copies. In November, the drop for issue #16 was of only 70 copies, virtually no drop at all. For issue #17 to have shown a 1,772 drop comes as a surprise, since it is part of the same arc as #16 and it featured the Suicide Squad.
Despite not looking like it, Harley continued its usual monthly trend. With the delay of issue #34, issue #33 took the brunt of all the monthly drop for the title. Other titles in the same situation are Batwoman and Bane: Conquest, which never did overcome that steep downward curve in sales.
Nightwing #35 brought the new creative team of Sam Humphries and Bernard Chang to the title. Retailers seem not to have put a lot of faith in the change and did not move their orders up. Depending on reader reception, we will see the results of the change in the upcoming months.
Another creative team change that came in December was Christopher Priest and Pete Woods taking over Justice League. The huge drop in sales is due to Justice League #33 having been part of the Bats out of Hell crossover, but also due to it having come out in the month of the movie. Issue #31, the one before the crossover, sold 47,541 copies, so Priest and Woods` first two issues sold a little less than the what the title was selling before the event. Just like with Nightwing, the results of the change are still to be seen.
As for the big guns, the drop for the second issue of Doomsday Clock was a big one, but it still sold slightly more than the first printing of Dark Nights: Metal #2, which stood at 149,487 copies. Reaching its fourth issue, Metal continues doing well. Hawkman: Found was the least selling one-shot of the event, but it still surpassed all of the crossover titles with the exception of Justice League.
Out of all Greater DC titles, the one in worst situation is Trinity, with a drop of over 2,500 copies. March solicitations show that the series is double shipping in that month, so it’s fate remains to be seen.