The effects of the DC Rebirth launch continues as some of the lower selling Marvel titles that were previously unaffected by the sudden surge of DC titles in the top 50 suddenly find themselves much further down the charts than usual. Outside of that, it was an atypical month with Boom’s Big Trouble In Little China/Escape from New York #1 taking the #1 spot for most units sold, thanks to its inclusion in monthly gift program Loot Crate’s October basket. Next in line at #2 is Marvel’s Champions #1, which sold 328,165 units for its debut issue. Pretty good numbers for a book that was originally the Avenger’s second-string. Looking back to October of last year, Amazing Spider-Man (vol. 4) #1 debuted with 245,783 units sold, so it looks like Champions got a bigger push out of the gate.
According to Tom Breevort in an interview with Comicbook.com, Champions is supposed to serve as the flagship title for Marvel NOW!. That places my expectations for this title around Avengers-level, as far as sales go. After all, Avengers is the title that carried the “All New, All Different” banner right in its title for the era of Marvel we are closing the book on currently. All-New All-Different Avengers debuted in November of 2015 with about a third of the units sold as Champions #1, selling 128,570 units. ANAD Avengers ended this October with a pretty sharp 18% drop from last issue, something surprising for a title that has been selling consistently at around the 45k mark since February. My guess is that Champions will eventually settle in to numbers below the Avengers relaunch due in large part to it not having Avengers anywhere in the title. I understand the diegetic reason for the team to not go by an Avengers-related moniker, but Marvel has not really done much to promote this book as the “main” series for Marvel outside of placing Avengers writer Mark Waid on the title.
Don’t think I’ve forgotten about Spider-Man though. We finally got the numbers released for Clone Conspiracy #1 and as Dan Slott suggested on his Twitter, the numbers are nowhere near the previous Spider-event titles. That being said, it has been confirmed that The Clone Conspiracy sold out not only its first printing, but its second and is on a third printing according to PreviewsWorld, a branch of Diamond Publishing, Inc. So the numbers here are not really reflective of how hot the title is selling. That being said, I think a lot of people are going to be disappointed with The Clone Conspiracy because they are clearly not picking up Amazing Spider-Man alongside it. While advertised as a tie-in, Amazing Spider-Man serves as required reading for the title, filing in vital information for the flow of the story. While The Clone Conspiracy sold 90,285 units, Amazing #19, which lead up to the The Clone Conspiracy sold 73,215, and Amazing #20, which was an actual tie-in issue, only sold 67,530. I’m not sure if I really understand the wisdom in breaking up the event and Amazing instead of triple-shipping and getting Clone Conspiracy numbers rather than two-thirds of that with Amazing Spider-Man #20, but In Marvel We Trust, I guess.
Miles Morales’s Spider-Man continues its Civil War II tie in with #8, dropping another 3,000 units sold. Civil War II itself lost half that, totaling only a 1% loss from its previous issue. It seems that maybe those who have jumped ship from the SS Civil War II have already done so, and everyone else who is still onboard is riding the title (and its tie-ins) to the end. Spider-Man 2099 #16, the other tie-in on our list, only lost 655 units from last month.
Spider-Man/Deadpool took its largest hit since #2, losing nearly 20% of its sales from last month. This doesn’t bode well for the title as it jumps back to its off-season with two guest writers (and the latest issue isn’t going to do anything good for sales, I can say that much). Spider-Gwen and Silk also had some pretty rough months, losing 13.7% and 10.5% respectively. With Silk having found her family, a tie-in to an event might feel like slamming on the brakes for what has been a story two volumes in the making, but hopefully readers hang on just a bit longer and the title gets the shakeup it needs going into Marvel NOW!. Spider-Gwen does not get the same luxury being a creator-driven series with a unique voice. The only chance it has is Latour and Rodriguez doing something to reinvigorate interest and create buzz within the title itself, or for readership to hit a point of equilibrium.
Speaking of doing something to create interest, Prowler #1 came in at 37,177 units sold. That’s a paltry amount for a tie-in to an event that sold nearly three times that much with its first issue. I hate to be this negative, but this is not a title that has the numbers in its favor if it wants to be an ongoing rather than a limited series. For comparison’s sake, Spider-Woman #1 sold 93,723 when it debuted alongside “Spider-Verse” (which sold 135,298). Meanwhile, Spider-Woman now is selling 16,176 units, something Prowler #2 will probably be selling around if we look at our titles historically and see that typically #2s sell at about half of what their #1s sell. Much like Prowler himself, it looks like this book came dead-on-arrival.
Another dead-title walking is Spidey #11, which had its penultimate issue drop in October, bringing in 16,207 units sold. That puts it at a handful more issue than Spider-Woman which is still trucking along putting the “20k cut-off” in question. Certainly the uniqueness of Spider-Woman’s subject matter and the diversity it adds to the Marvel roster helps keep it afloat, but I can’t help but wonder how far Marvel will allow this title to slip before they intervene.
Odd-man-out this month is Carnage #13, which dropped another 5% from last month as the title inches toward a conclusion. This comic has dragged out its conclusion for a few issues now and it seems that readers are dropping the title at the midnight hour rather than hanging tight for just a few more issues. It’s not a perspective I completely understand; if you’ve invested enough time and money into twelve issues of a title, might as well see it to its end. But not all of us have a problem like I do.
That does it for this month. We’ll see next month if the second printing of The Clone Conspiracy charts, where Prowler ends up, and how a Spider-Man-less Amazing Spider-Man affects the sale of a title that’s starting another sales nosedive. As always, all figures are straight from the comichron.com, a website I highly recommend if you want a bigger picture of comic sales at large.