Marvel & DC Comics Sales Both Up in February As Growth Months Begin to Pile Up

"Wolverine #1" cover 2020
Credit: Marvel Comics
Credit: Marvel Comics

Only Batman prevented Marvel Comics from dominating the entire Top 10 in February 2020, while both major publishers grew last month to continue the positive sales momentum that began last year.

According to figures released by Diamond Comic Distributors Friday morning, Marvel's "Dawn of X" continued to dominate the top of the comic book sales charts by units sold, with Ben Percy, Adam Kubert, and Viktor Bogdanovic's Wolverine #1 becoming the latest X-relaunch to top sales. 

Wolverine #1 was followed by the sixth and seventh issues of the core X-Men series, and then four other Marvel titles before Batman #88 marks DC's first appearance at #8. X-Men/Fantastic Four #1 and Batman #89 split the remaining two spots. 

Credit: Stjepan Sejic (DC/Black Label)

The dollars chart looks similar except with DC landing an additional title in the Top 10. 

Todd McFarlane and Jason Shawn Alexander's Spawn #305 from Image was February's best-selling non-Marvel or DC title at #38 in terms of units.

Stjepan Sejic's Harleen, collecting the DC Black Label limited series, was February's best-selling graphic novel in both units and dollars. The remainder of the graphic novel charts look very different according to whether you're looking at unit or dollar sales (but more on that in a moment.)

Marvel was February's top publisher as usual with a 41.85% dollar market share and a 47.30% unit share. DC was second with 29.00% and 30.16% shares respectively. Image Comics was third for the month with 6.02% and 5.41%.

Comic books sales were up 8.78% in dollars and 2.90% in units versus February 2019, with graphic novel sales up 3.56% and 15.46% (stay tuned for an explanation of that last figure. 

Overall sales for February were up 7.32% in dollars and 3.77% in units over 2019, and a quick check of the early year-to-date sales puts 2020 up 1.35% in dollars and down 2.72% in units versus 2019. 

What's John Jackson Miller of Comichron's take on the month?

"Marvel and DC's dollar sales were both up for the month, year-over-year, and both by more than the market was overall, 12% and 8% respectively. February 2020 marks the seventh growth month in nine, and is the best February performance in three years. With these results, the Direct Market's first two months are up 1.35% in dollars over the same period in 2019.

Miller dives a little deeper into the particulars: "The greatest jump, however, was in the number of graphic novel units sold: that's because Marvel had a major sale on Star Wars collected editions in February, resulting in the unusual situation that no less than six titles from 2015 and 2016 made the Top 10 Graphic Novels list. There have been many other months over the years where discounted titles impacted the charts, but never have so many made the Top 10. The dollar rankings chart is thus probably worth more attention this time around."

Diamond's February 2020 Market Share, Comparative Sales Data, New Titles Shipped, Top 10 Comic Books (Units and Dollars), and Top 10 Graphic Novels (Units and Dollars) can be seen below.

TOP COMIC BOOK PUBLISHERS

RETAIL MARKET SHARE

PUBLISHER

SHARE

MARVEL COMICS

41.85%

DC COMICS

29.00%

IMAGE COMICS

6.02%

IDW PUBLISHING

3.47%

DARK HORSE COMICS

2.93%

BOOM! STUDIOS

2.58%

VIZ MEDIA

2.24%

DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT

2.11%

RANDOM HOUSE

0.62%

TITAN COMICS

0.56%

OTHER NON-TOP 10

8.61%

 

UNIT MARKET SHARE

PUBLISHER

SHARE

MARVEL COMICS

47.30%

DC COMICS

30.16%

IMAGE COMICS

5.41%

IDW PUBLISHING

3.14%

BOOM! STUDIOS

2.64%

DARK HORSE COMICS

2.06%

DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT

2.04%

VIZ MEDIA

0.87%

ZENESCOPE ENTERTAINMENT

0.63%

TITAN COMICS

0.45%

OTHER NON-TOP 10

5.29%

COMPARATIVE SALES STATISTICS

 

DOLLARS

UNITS

FEBRUARY 2020 VS. JANUARY 2020

COMICS

-8.25%

-7.75%

GRAPHIC NOVELS

-27.16%

-13.89%

TOTAL COMICS/GN

-14.25%

-8.26%

TOYS

-22.37%

-34.10%

FEBRUARY 2020 VS. FEBRUARY 2019

COMICS

8.78%

2.90%

GRAPHIC NOVELS

3.56%

15.46%

TOTAL COMICS/GN

7.32%

3.77%

TOYS

0.83%

-14.97%

YEAR-TO-DATE 2020 VS. YEAR-TO-DATE 2019

COMICS

0.12%

-3.45%

GRAPHIC NOVELS

4.44%

6.60%

TOTAL COMICS/GN

1.35%

-2.72%

TOYS

2.59%

-15.75%

 

NEW TITLES SHIPPED

PUBLISHER

COMICS
SHIPPED

GRAPHIC NOVELS
SHIPPED

MAGAZINES
SHIPPED

TOTAL
SHIPPED

MARVEL COMICS

92

47

0

139

DC COMICS

102

27

1

130

IMAGE COMICS

39

8

0

47

VIZ MEDIA LLC

0

40

0

40

IDW PUBLISHING

28

10

0

38

DARK HORSE COMICS

20

17

0

37

DYNAMITE

29

4

0

33

BOOM! STUDIOS

17

8

0

25

YEN PRESS

0

18

0

18

TITAN COMICS

7

4

2

13

OTHER NON-TOP 10

141

134

24

299

TOTAL

475

317

27

819

 

TOP 10 COMIC BOOKS BY UNITS SHIPPED

RANK

DESCRIPTION

PRICE

VENDOR

1

WOLVERINE #1

$7.99

MAR

2

X-MEN #6

$3.99

MAR

3

X-MEN #7

$4.99

MAR

4

GWEN STACY #1

$4.99

MAR

5

GIANT SIZE X-MEN: JEAN GREY & EMMA FROST #1

$4.99

MAR

6

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #39

$3.99

MAR

7

STAR WARS: DARTH VADER #1

$4.99

MAR

8

BATMAN #88

$3.99

DC

9

X-MEN/FANTASTIC FOUR #1

$4.99

MAR

10

BATMAN #89

$3.99

DC

TOP 10 COMIC BOOKS BY DOLLARS INVOICED

RANK

DESCRIPTION

PRICE

VENDOR

1

WOLVERINE #1

$7.99

MAR

2

X-MEN #7

$4.99

MAR

3

X-MEN #6

$3.99

MAR

4

GWEN STACY #1

$4.99

MAR

5

GIANT SIZE X-MEN: JEAN GREY & EMMA FROST #1

$4.99

MAR

6

STAR WARS: DARTH VADER #1

$4.99

MAR

7

X-MEN/FANTASTIC FOUR #1

$4.99

MAR

8

BATMAN: CURSE OF THE WHITE KNIGHT #7

$4.99

DC

9

THE JOKER: KILLER SMILE #3 (MR)

$5.99

DC

10

DC CRIMES OF PASSION #1

$9.99

DC

TOP 10 GRAPHIC NOVELS & TRADE PAPERBACKS BY UNITS SHIPPED

RANK

DESCRIPTION

PRICE

VENDOR

1

HARLEEN HC (MR)

$29.99

DC

2

DIE VOL. 2: SPLIT THE PARTY TP (MR)

$16.99

IMA

3

BATMAN TALES: ONCE UPON A CRIME TP

$9.99

DC

4

STAR WARS: DARTH VADER VOL. 4: END OF GAMES TP

$19.99

MAR

5

STAR WARS: JOURNEY TO STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS: SHATTERED EMPIRE HC

$24.99

MAR

6

STAR WARS: VADER DOWN TP

$19.99

MAR

7

STAR WARS: CHEWBACCA TP

$16.99

MAR

8

STAR WARS VOLUME 2: SHOWDOWN ON THE
SMUGGLER'S MOON TP

$19.99

MAR

9

STAR WARS VOLUME 3: REBEL JAIL TP

$19.99

MAR

10

MY HERO ACADEMIA VOLUME 23 GN

$9.99

VIZ

TOP 10 GRAPHIC NOVELS & TRADE PAPERBACKS BY DOLLARS INVOICED

RANK

DESCRIPTION

PRICE

VENDOR

1

HARLEEN HC (MR)

$29.99

DC

2

X-MEN VS. APOCALYPSE: THE TWELVE OMNIBUS HC

$125.00

MAR

3

SPIDER-MAN: MILES MORALES OMNIBUS HC

$100.00

MAR

4

MARVEL MASTERWORKS: UNCANNY X-MEN VOL. 12 HC

$100.00

MAR

5

DAREDEVIL BY BENDIS & MALEEV OMNIBUS VOL. 2 HC

$100.00

MAR

6

DIE VOL. 2: SPLIT THE PARTY TP (MR)

$16.99

IMA

7

MARVEL MASTERS OF SUSPENSE: STAN LEE & STEVE DITKO OMNIBUS VOL. 2 HC

$100.00

MAR

8

ULTIMATES BY MARK MILLAR & BRYAN HITCH OMNIBUS HC

$100.00

MAR

9

BERSERK DELUXE EDITION VOLUME 4 HC (MR)

$49.99

DAR

10

METABARONS BOX SET HC

$149.95

HUM


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