With Some AvX Help Marvel Is Back On Top [Comic Book Sales]

March 2012 Comic Book Sales Figures

As expected, the March 2012 comic book sales figures are Avengers [Vs X-Men] top-heavy. It’s as if Marvel has a lot of Avengers stuff going on this summer. I don’t know.

At first glance it would seem that the comic industry had another good month, and in a lot of ways it did, but as ICv2 also reports the dollar shares fell by 1.2% from last March. Granted, a 1.2% drop isn’t necessarily significant, but is alarming mostly because of what a banner month this March was – the beginning of Avengers Vs X-Men, a new Avenger’s [movie] title, the start to many new arcs in DC’s New 52, and the launch of several independent titles such as Saga from Image Comics and the Vertigo books. With that much momentum in the actual books and the sales numbers from previous months you wouldn’t expect this month of all of them to break a seven month streak of year-over-year gains.

Now, they’re were only 4 ship weeks this March compared to the 5 in March 2011 (more than making up for that 1.2% loss) but still, with everything mentioned above versus a March 2011 where Green Lantern outsold Brightest Day and Batman and Marvel had to offer retailer discounts to bump FF #1 and Fantastic Four #587 it’s a red flag.

They’re is good news though (really good news), the first quarter of 2012, which includes March, lead to a near 16% increase from the first quarter of 2011. And with the rest of Avengers Vs X-Men, Before Watchemen, DC’s Bat-event Night of the Owls and many other highlights yet to come it’s fair to assume we’ve got exiting numbers to look forward to.

Some notes…

  • I was wrong, the 200,000+ estimated shipping rumors for Avengers Vs X-Men were accurate. Now, due to the early shipment of #1 the 203,181 shipped copies weren’t actually sold until April 4 (these numbers are estimated shipping numbers, not how many issues were sold). Still, the last time anyone shipped 200,000+ copies of a single comic in one month was in January 2009 with Amazing Spider-Man #583 (the Obama issue) shipping 352,000+ issues and before that Secret Invasion #1 in April 2008 shipping 250,000+ issues. Coupled with this issue being so heavily pushed digitally and it’s a pretty impressive feat.
  • Justice League‘s 3% drop from last month was also a little surprising; with Jim Lee leaving the book (albeit momentarily) and some of the negative press I’d expected a bigger drop off. Guess it’s still striking quite the cord with buyers.
  • Marvel’s gotta be pretty happy with the launch of their annual reaction-to-the-summer-movie-coming-out series, this time Avengers Assemble. While the Invincible Iron Man relaunch outsold this when the Iron Man movie hit both Mighty Thor (in April 2011) and Captain America (in July 2011) finished under 100,000, so this has gotta be considered a bit of a win. With it’s lack of involvement from the rest of the Marvel Universe and it’s more new-reader friendly feel (so basically Marvel’s Justice League book) I wonder what kind of longevity it can hold. It is an Avengers book though. We’ll just have to see.
  • Uncanny X-Men and Avengers both saw [minor, but still] drops this month, so no added growth from Avengers Vs X-Men. Somewhat expected but also worth checking.
  • While out of the top 10 now Aquaman only dropped by 2% from last month, it’s still…swimming strong. (See what I did there?)
  • While I had hoped for more from Saga than being the 40th best selling comic and shipping under 38,000 copies in the right perspective it’s actually quite the win; Brian K. Vaughan’s Y: The Last Man series shipped only 15,287 copies of it’s #1 and his Ex Machina series shipped 28,550 copies of it’s #1, so shipping 37,641 (a 35% increase from Ex Machina) and landing just under [the Eisner nominated] Daredevil aint so bad after all.

Top 300 Comics March 2012

More from ICv2 showing the estimated sales for the top 300 comics during March 2012 HERE.

More Sales Talk @ acomicbookblog.com/tag/comic-book-sales


1 Comment

  1. Geoff Arbuckle says:

    At C2E2, Marvel reported over 250k sales on #1 PLUS 1100+ stores doing launch parties the night before. I’m assuming they are counting second prints on that 250K, but still… Damn it’s good seeing all those books with over 100,000 copies in the list.


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