Hey everyone, Cain here with a new segment here from the fine folks of Superior Spider-Talk. You’re looking right now at the first segment of our Superior $ales-Talk, a monthly installment where I take you on an adventure through the fascinating world of spreadsheets and sales figures in order to see exactly who’s selling, how hot they’re selling and some analysis of those figures. Without further ado, let’s dive right in.
The star Spider-Book for October is clearly Amazing Spider-Man (vol. 4) # 1, which was only outsold by Invincible Iron Man #1. Iron Man got a considerable boost from both aggressive marketing, Bendis’s name on the front cover, and being the first title released under the post-Secret Wars status quo – likely the largest boon to its sales figures.
Amazing #1 brought in about half the numbers of last year’s vol. 3 #1, but also retained 56% for Amazing #2, while the Amazing #2 of 2014 lost a staggering 77% of sales compared to its previous issue. While #1s typically sell more than their follow-up issues, this particular first issue was likely boosted in sales by the large number of variant covers that encouraged double-dips from collectors.
Interestingly, Amazing #2 of both vol. 3 and vol. 4 sold similar amounts despite the difference in retention: vol. 3 at 123,945 copies and vol. 4 at 111,322. As we can see, vol. 3 ended at 88,338, placing it as the 14th highest selling book for that month. This year’s Amazing #2 has already tumbled down to spot number 10, but with Marvel putting out so many #1 issues, everything is going to be pushed down a few ranks; ranking will not be a very useful tool until these relaunches slow down.
Radioactive Spider-Gwen #1 came in hot taking third place for October, selling an impressive 110,517 units. Gwen finished its volume 1 run rather abruptly #5. It’s difficult to gauge the health of the title, as by #5, the sales appeared to be in a free fall. #1 sold for 254,074, while #2 and #3 posted at 107,070 and 102,234, respectively, which is a great retention. However, #4 dropped to 86,586 and #5 shed another 20,000, bringing the total to 67,697. It will be interesting to see if Radioactive Spider-Gwen #2 looks more like vol #1‘s #2 and #3 in terms of numbers, or if it will fall back to #5’s numbers.
Spider-Man 2099 #1 opened at a very modest (for a #1) 57,719 and finished October with #2 selling at 40,701, only about 10,000 away from what it closed out volume two with. While a closing figure like 29,916 is not a terribly strong number, the title should be safe if it stays consistent at that number. As long as it stays away from the 20,000 mark, we should be seeing plenty of stories about our pal Miguel O’Hara.
Secret Wars remains consistent in its numbers, which tells us that a lot of people are still reading it, even if we’re starting to move past its setting. As its tie-ins start wrapping up, we can see that Civil War is still a hot brand to use, no doubt helped by the hype building behind “Captain America: Civil War.”
Spider-Island closed out at the respectable 36,404 which is phenomenal for a story that features Cap-Wolf in 2015. Uncanny Avengers #1 posted up 105,234 units sold, getting a good boost from the 50,000 (+- a few thousand) it had been selling the months prior to Secret Wars.
In last place is the non-contender Ultimate Spider-Man: Web Warriors #12 at just a hair over 5,000 units, placing it between two Dark Horse titles, Dead Vengeance #1 and Rook #1. It is not the lowest selling title Marvel put out in October, however. That honor goes to Marvel Universe Avengers Assemble Season Two #12 at 4,639. These titles are part of Marvel’s All Ages division and are adaptations of the television counterparts. Sales in the 5,000s are typical of this particular subset, with IDW’s Transformers Robots In Disguise Animated #3 bringing in 5,248 and DC’s Scooby Doo Where Are You #62 bringing in 5,143 for comparison.
That’s all folks! The coming months will be an interesting time for numbers since we’re getting a slew of #1s, which always sell strong due to variant issue order requirements, new readers hopping on (and then hopping off), and of course, the few speculators who never got the memo from the ’90s. Marvel is attempting a bold marketing strategy summarized best by “Hey readers, did you know that after the first issue, there is a second?” While it’s easy to mock a marketing campaign that informs the reader that 2 comes after 1, looking at the steep drop off between a #1 and a #2 you can see that the concern is real. Unfortunately, it looks like the campaign did nothing, as Iron Man lost 77% of sales from #1 to #2, the exact same figure as last year’s Amazing Spider-Man #1 to #2 (which did not have a please-buy-isssue-2 campaign). See you in December for the next installment of Superior $ales-Talk!