RETURN OF WOLVERINE #1 Tops September Sales with 260k Copies

"Return of Wolverine #1" preview A
Credit: Marvel Comics

Updated October 15, 2018: Comichron has released its September 2018 sales estimates, which show The Return of Wolverine #1 as the sixth best selling comic book of 2018 so far, approximately selling over 260,000 copies to retailers in the comic book Direct Market.. 

Coming in second for September 2018 is DC's Heroes In Crisis #1, which topped an approximate 140,000 copies shipped.

The Return of Wolverine #1 is the 10th single issue of 2018 to top 200,000 copies shipped.
 

Original story: The following is republished with permission by Comichron.com.

The recovery in the comics shop market gained steam in the third quarter of 2018, as September comics and graphic novel orders rose 4% over the previous year, allowing the three-month period to close up 6%. Significantly better than the second quarter's 1% win, the $137.5 million quarter was the best in dollar terms since the fourth quarter of 2016. In all, orders during the past six months were up $9 million over the same period in 2017. Click to visit our page for September 2018 comics sales estimates; the figures will be posted there on Monday.

Last winter, my reports that the rate of decline was decreasing may have seemed like an exercise in excess optimism. That wasn't the intention: rather, signs of what might be a market bottom were becoming detectable, and that seemed worth sharing. I tried not to overstate the possible case, as I did in 1998 when I had much less history to look back upon — but it does now appear that the change in trajectory starting last winter was real, and is continuing. The $45.18 million month of September was up $1.6 million, meaning that the year-to-year loss piled up this winter was cut in half for the third month in a row. Year-to-date sales now stand at $389 million, off just a little more than $2 million.

Credit: Fiona Staples/Fonografiks (Image Comics)

I had some concern in late September as a couple of weekly reorder charts came in with very few comic books charting; one week, no comic books at all charted. But comics share the reorder charts with graphic novels, and those charts are measured in dollars — so a dearth of comics entries in a month with many high-profile graphic novels on sale isn't necessarily a negative indicator. Graphic novels were indeed a big winner in the month, up 12% year-over-year thanks to the Image trifecta of new editions of Saga, Walking Dead, and Monstress, which finished 1-2-3 in the unit sales charts.

Credit: Marvel Comics

Marvel's Return of Wolverine #1 led new comics sales, with DC's Heroes in Crisis #1 placing second; the controversial Batman: Damned #1 placed fifth in units and second in dollars. Comics unit sales for the month stood at 7.19 million units, down half a million copies against the previous September, which was fueled by Marvel Legacy #1 — and the category is down 4.6 million copies year-to-date. 

As noted here all year, of course, unit sales comparisons with 2017 are distorted due to that year's inclusion of many overshipped and 25¢ titles (and the lack of inclusion of this year's million-copy DC Nation #0) — and there's something else in play. Through September, 4,206 new comic books have been released this year. In the same period last year, the figure was 4,446. That's 240 fewer comics released this year, a drop of 5.5%.

Marvel released 10 more comics this September than last September; DC, 10 fewer. Perhaps consequently, Marvel's overall dollar sales were up 9% year-over-year for the month, while DC's were unchanged. Both Marvel and DC's dollar sales are up, year-to-date. Image's graphic novels joined with a larger new comics slate to send the publisher up 10%; Image had the same number of new comics as DC, 66. It's the first time Image's slate has been as large as DC's since September 2015. Dark Horse's dollar sales were up substantially, though we can't tell why from the Top 10s.

It is worth noting that, almost no matter what, October 2018 is likely to be a growth month, as well. It has five shipping weeks, versus four in last October. We give that week back in November — but historically, it's been better to get the extra week in October rather than November due to reduced slates the week of the Thanksgiving holiday.

A likely scenario is that October will put the year-to-date slightly ahead and that November will return it slightly behind — leaving December as the deciding factor. December 2017 was a horrible month, which we beat this September by 17% — so it would take a fairly significant change in direction to keep the year below break-even. Click to see what we know about October sales so far.


The September 2018 Market Share, Comparative Sales Data, New Titles Shipped and Top 10 Comic Books Units and Dollars and Top 10 Graphic Novels Units and Dollars charts follow below.


TOP COMIC BOOK PUBLISHERS

RETAIL MARKET SHARE

PUBLISHER

SHARE

MARVEL COMICS

39.86%

DC ENTERTAINMENT

29.06%

IMAGE COMICS

10.13%

DARK HORSE COMICS

3.62%

IDW PUBLISHING

3.14%

BOOM! STUDIOS

2.12%

DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT

1.55%

VIZ MEDIA

1.11%

ONI PRESS

0.99%

TITAN COMICS

0.80%

OTHER NON-TOP 10

7.63%

 

UNIT MARKET SHARE

PUBLISHER

SHARE

MARVEL COMICS

43.24%

DC ENTERTAINMENT

32.76%

IMAGE COMICS

8.74%

DARK HORSE COMICS

2.91%

IDW PUBLISHING

2.84%

BOOM! STUDIOS

1.65%

DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT

1.38%

ONI PRESS

0.69%

ARCHIE COMICS

0.59%

TITAN COMICS

0.47%

OTHER NON-TOP 10

4.71%


COMPARATIVE SALES STATISTICS

 

DOLLARS

UNITS

SEPTEMBER 2018 VS. AUGUST 2018

COMICS

-4.51%

-0.16%

GRAPHIC NOVELS

-7.07%

-3.86%

TOTAL COMICS/GN

-5.30%

-0.48%

TOYS

-29.36%

-9.02%

SEPTEMBER 2018 VS. SEPTEMBER 2017

COMICS

0.75%

-6.58%

GRAPHIC NOVELS

11.74%

15.36%

TOTAL COMICS/GN

3.84%

-5.09%

TOYS

-1.58%

11.95%

THIRD QUARTER 2018 VS. SECOND QUARTER 2018

COMICS

0.23%

-0.05%

GRAPHIC NOVELS

0.83%

1.89%

TOTAL COMICS/GN

0.40%

0.10%

TOYS

41.66%

28.44%

THIRD QUARTER 2018 VS. THIRD QUARTER 2017

COMICS

7.44%

-0.82%

GRAPHIC NOVELS

1.95%

3.85%

TOTAL COMICS/GN

5.81%

-0.47%

TOYS

9.23%

6.96%

YEAR-TO-DATE 2018 VS. YEAR-TO-DATE 2017

COMICS

1.25%

-6.78%

GRAPHIC NOVELS

-4.80%

-6.37%

TOTAL COMICS/GN

-0.55%

-6.75%

TOYS

-4.74%

-6.11%

 

NEW TITLES SHIPPED

PUBLISHER

COMICS
SHIPPED

GRAPHIC NOVELS
SHIPPED

MAGAZINES
SHIPPED

TOTAL
SHIPPED

MARVEL COMICS

99

44

0

143

DC ENTERTAINMENT

66

35

0

101

IMAGE COMICS

66

27

0

93

DARK HORSE COMICS

25

21

0

46

IDW PUBLISHING

29

10

0

39

BOOM! STUDIOS

25

10

0

35

TITAN COMICS

11

7

3

21

VIZ MEDIA

0

21

0

21

ONI PRESS

9

7

0

16

DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT

12

3

0

15

OTHER NON-TOP 10

135

202

14

351

TOTAL

477

387

17

881

 

TOP 10 COMIC BOOKS BY UNITS SHIPPED

RANK

DESCRIPTION

PRICE

VENDOR

1

RETURN OF WOLVERINE #1

$4.99

MAR

2

HEROES IN CRISIS #1

$3.99

DC

3

DOOMSDAY CLOCK #7

$4.99

DC

4

BATMAN #55

$3.99

DC

5

BATMAN: DAMNED #1 (MR)

$6.99

DC

6

BATMAN #54

$3.99

DC

7

THANOS LEGACY #1

$4.99

MAR

8

FANTASTIC FOUR #2

$3.99

MAR

9

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #6

$3.99

MAR

10

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #5

$3.99

MAR


TOP 10 COMIC BOOKS BY DOLLARS INVOICED

RANK

DESCRIPTION

PRICE

VENDOR

1

RETURN OF WOLVERINE #1

$4.99

MAR

2

BATMAN: DAMNED #1 (MR)

$6.99

DC

3

DOOMSDAY CLOCK #7

$4.99

DC

4

HEROES IN CRISIS #1

$3.99

DC

5

THANOS LEGACY #1

$4.99

MAR

6

BATMAN #55

$3.99

DC

7

SPIDER-GEDDON #0

$4.99

MAR

8

BATMAN #54

$3.99

DC

9

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #6

$3.99

MAR

10

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN ANNUAL #1

$4.99

MAR


TOP 10 GRAPHIC NOVELS & TRADE PAPERBACKS BY UNITS SHIPPED

RANK

DESCRIPTION

PRICE

VENDOR

1

SAGA VOLUME 9 TP (MR)

$14.99

IMA

2

THE WALKING DEAD VOL. 30: NEW WORLD ORDER TP (MR)

$16.99

IMA

3

MONSTRESS VOLUME 3 TP (MR)

$16.99

IMA

4

OBLIVION SONG BY KIRKMAN & DE FELICI VOL. 1 TP (MR)

$9.99

IMA

5

BATMAN/CATWOMAN: THE WEDDING ALBUM HC

$17.99

DC

6

FRANKLIN RICHARDS: A FANTASTIC YEAR #1

$7.99

MAR

7

DC SUPER HERO GIRLS: THE SEARCH FOR ATLANTIS TP

$9.99

DC

8

DESCENDER VOLUME 6: WAR MACHINE TP

$16.99

IMA

9

STAR WARS: DARTH VADER VOLUME 3: BURNING SEAS TP

$19.99

MAR

10

ACTION COMICS #1000: THE DELUXE EDITION HC

$19.99

DC


TOP 10 GRAPHIC NOVELS & TRADE PAPERBACKS BY DOLLARS INVOICED

RANK

DESCRIPTION

PRICE

VENDOR

1

SAGA VOLUME 9 TP (MR)

$14.99

IMA

2

THE WALKING DEAD VOL. 30: NEW WORLD ORDER TP (MR)

$16.99

IMA

3

MONSTRESS VOLUME 3 TP (MR)

$16.99

IMA

4

BATMAN BY JEPH LOEB AND TIM SALE OMNIBUS HC

$125.00

DC

5

SPIDER-MAN VS. VENOM OMNIBUS HC

$125.00

MAR

6

ABSOLUTE BATMAN: THE KILLING JOKE HC

$49.99

DC

7

EARTH X TRILOGY OMNIBUS ALPHA HC

$125.00

MAR

8

BATMAN/CATWOMAN: THE WEDDING ALBUM HC

$17.99

DC

9

DARK KNIGHT III: THE MASTER RACE TP

$24.99

DC

10

MARVEL MASTERWORKS: KILLRAVEN VOLUME 1 HC

$100.00

MAR


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