Comic Vine News


5 Million DC Comics Sold In Six Weeks, Continue Returnability

The publisher makes record breaking sales numbers and plan to continue returnability of their books through April, 2012.

DC's sales figures continue to make news headlines, and the latest indicates record breaking sales numbers we have not seen since the 90's comic boom. According to the latest press release from DC Comics, the publishing company has confirmed that in the 6-week period launch of their 'new 52,' DC managed to sell over 5 million comic books.

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Previously we had seen rough estimates when issues of Justice League #1, Action Comics #1 and Batman #1 all were said to have sold over 100,000 copies respectively and go on to second and third printings. Now, DC reveals some more specific figures. According to the announcement, books like Justice League and Action Comics have gone on to sell over 200,000 copies.

== TEASER ==

JUSTICE LEAGUE #1 has sold more than 250,000 copies. ACTION COMICS #1 and BATMAN #1 have both sold more than 200,000 copies. DETECTIVE COMICS #1, THE FLASH #1, GREEN LANTERN #1 and SUPERMAN #1 have all sold more than 150,000 copies. AQUAMAN #1, BATGIRL #1, BATMAN AND ROBIN #1, BATMAN: THE DARK KNIGHT #1, GREEN LANTERN CORPS #1, GREEN LANTERN: NEW GUARDIANS #1 and WONDER WOMAN #1 have all sold more than 100,000 copies.

We have to assume that the above figures are in-store comic sales and do not take into account the digital comics that have been sold since DC instilled the same day and date releases of their books. The five million comics sold is great news for DC, but it also sets a really high bar. What this news may not be taking into consideration are the number of comics that were returned. Since the relaunch, DC promised retailers that for a small fee they would be able to stock a high volume of comics and that those that did not sell could be returned.

Well, the publisher must be very secure in their sales numbers and the content they plan on releasing in the future based on the news that was revealed during New York Comic Con's retailer's breakfast. According to a source, DC will continue the "return-ability" of their books well into the spring; extending the program for retailers from now into April, 2012 and in turn providing 1:25 variant books during those months.

The question on everyone's minds is still whether or not the publisher will successfully maintain their momentum and continue to sell hundreds of thousands of copies. Only time will tell. What do you think?

Source: DC Source and Bleeding Cool

Avatar image for adnan
Posted By Adnan

As long as Batwing and the Dark Line don't get cancelled, it's all good in my book.

Avatar image for arcadias
Posted By arcadias

My local store couldn't get hold if enough copies to fill all of their subscriptions. Some of my #1s are backordered in the reprints and coming into stock shortly. I don't mind the extra wait because of the high demand, so long as I still get a copy. =)

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Posted By ReVamp

Nice. This is good for everyone.

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Posted By NeoMantis

I am happy for them, and this is obviously good for the industry, but I won't be reading them.

Avatar image for mercy_
Posted By Mercy_

This is excellent news. Those numbers are, to put it frankly, astonishing. If they can keep this up for a somewhat extended period of time, it could be exactly the boost that the entire comics market needs.

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Posted By Kairan1979

Let's see how Issue 3 is going to be sold. Because Issue 1 doesn't count, everybody just want them in their collection.

Avatar image for galacticpunt
Posted By GalacticPunt

Sales chart for September

@Gordo789: Animal Man moved 41,000 copies of issue 1, which must be every single copy that exists. By many accounts Animal Man was the fastest sell-out of the New 52, so it was criminally under-ordered. Freaking Demon Knights is outselling Captain America! I love the DC Dark imprint, and it looks like all those books are actually going to be around for a while.

In other words...

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Avatar image for gordo789
Posted By Gordo789

Well that's all good and fine if you're Action Comics #1, but how did the less iconic books do? I'm talking about Animal Man, Swamp Thing, JLA Dark, I Vampire, you know, that sort of stuff.

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Posted By Eyz

Pretty good numbers. I just hope those new readers stay on board, try some Marvel and other publishers too and help comic book survive in the US :P

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Posted By Sky_Jokiel

Its gonna be the 5 and 6 and 7 and so on issues that matter... we all knew the first would go like wild fire its long term margins that matter

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Posted By jrock85


Avatar image for batteredarmor
Posted By BatteredArmor

Avatar image for nixonv3
Edited By NixonV3

I doubt the sales will stay this positive if DC is smart they will keep the same amount of comics and make their stories logical and sound and not try for just sales. However, people usually base the amount of comics off of sales so they think they should increase the product. They should just play it safe and keep a good base number instead of having 100 different books out there, the less books and more focused the stories equals more buyers. The other troubling factor is how will marvel screw everything up? I blame them for the mess comics are in with their constant over-saturation of the market to beat out other publishers and their stupid and lame ass storylines with major events happening every month. This breaks down readers and makes them leave altogether, this isn't the 80's or 90's anymore the stories have to make since and a major event can't come every month, and characters can't die and come back every month.

Avatar image for kagato
Posted By kagato

Im glad to see them doing so well, i hope it keeps up into the new year, i know that if it hadnt been for the new 52s i probably wouldnt be reading as many DC titles as i currently am so they took a risk that seems to be paying off.

Avatar image for 137
Posted By Om1kron

depends if the quality of some of the titles keeps up. Batgirl number 2 was not as good as batgirl number 1 as opposed to swamp thing and animal man which are like an acid trip to the eyes, then I'm reading batwoman here and it's pretty damn crazy, batwing is nuts as well. Grifter just is plain horrible and voodoo isn't too far behind it. Then the sexploitation books everyone is all bent about as well.  
Time will tell  

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Posted By The Stegman
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Posted By They Killed Cap!

I am enjoying many of the new I the only one who is not a fan of every book having what seems to be a darker twist or an extreme amount of violence...When this become Image comics...

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Posted By RedOwl_1

RIGHT IN YOUR FACE MARVEL!!!!! and through April, a half of year !!! #%$# U MARVEL :D

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Posted By Primmaster64


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Posted By Zomboid

I'm happy for DC's success. It's almost kind of weird seeing them triumph over Marvel, but it's awesome. Good job DC.

Avatar image for pikahyper
Posted By pikahyper

@jsphsmth: It isn't at all surprising to me that you've been experiencing it differently, like I said it is different state to state, I'm sure there are different reactions/situations all over the US, Canada & Europe. It was the same way in the 90's boom, lots of hoarding/sales on the two coasts and then sprinkled around in various states, it was a lot easier to track and get detailed statistics back then since online ordering was almost non-existent other then like three or four online shops and for the death of superman the various home shopping networks sent sales through the roof. I remember one of the networks was offering a complete set with the black polybagged edition all bundled together for like $30-40ish (I remember it was like way too high) and they sold ten's of thousands of them, I knew people that bought three or four packs each and customers still bring them in from time to time trying to sell.

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Posted By jsphsmth


Interesting. Completely different from what I have heard and read, but an interesting POV.

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Posted By The Poet


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Posted By goldenkey

can they keep it up tho, and since readers are in the stores more then ever is Marvel doing better then usual also?? I want to see how things will be after the first story archs are complete, will the readers keep coming??? So far from what I've read from a lot of the first issues it doesn't seem to help for a lot of people jumping on. Green Lantern titles would still be confusiing as shit, but seeing Sinestro as a GL might be somewhat of a WTF moment. For people jumping into Batman and Robin and seeeing Bruce not only have a new Robin, but a son that's Robin would be a WTF moment as well. Barry is back, but it looks like he's been the Flash for a while. The confusion is still there in many of the main characters, it's the B-listers that seemed to have been pushed back.

Avatar image for pikahyper
Posted By pikahyper

@jsphsmth said:

@pikahyper: Please define a "good chunk." 10%, 2%, 50%?

Honestly no clue, it varies store to store and state to state, some stores limit the amount of copies of each comic that they will sell to an individual, I've still been seeing customers buying 5, 10, 20 copies of issues and I've been hearing about other retailers seeing the same thing. Some people will come out and say why they are buying them but most people are smart enough not to say anything but you work in a shop long enough you can usually pick those people out, they come out of the woodwork anytime anything big happens; Death of Superman, big wedding issues, One More Day, Death of Captain America, the death of the old teacher in Archie comics, death of the Human Torch and Ultimate Spidey.

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Posted By horshbox

Wow didn't think it would do this well, fair play to DC but will it keep up.

Avatar image for deadcool
Posted By Deadcool

HOLLY $#/T!!!!

Avatar image for jsphsmth
Posted By jsphsmth

@pikahyper: Please define a "good chunk." 10%, 2%, 50%?

Avatar image for pikahyper
Posted By pikahyper

@jsphsmth: Hence the 2.0 it may not be the 90's but there are people buying issues with the same expectations, they might not have long term goals for the comics but with the economy the way it is people are buying them to flip online and just like in the 90's they will end up not making much money from it.

I've been in comic retail for almost two decades, 100% of people buying are not in it for a good read, a lot of people are reading it sure and it is increasing sales/readership a great deal but there is still a good chunk in it for money. The overall numbers are good but I'm still in the group of people that are holding off on calling it a success or revitalization for the industry until further down the line if the sales don't drop, that should all happen by the beginning of 2012 when the hype has died down and all returns are in.

Avatar image for jsphsmth
Posted By jsphsmth

@pikahyper: Hardly a speculator's market. This isn't the 90s and digital releases will ultimately kill the secondary market.

Have you not spoken to the staff at your LCS or read any articles on who are buying the new comics at the LCS?

Avatar image for jekylhyde14
Posted By Jekylhyde14

@aztek_the_lost said:

@Owie said:

@Jekylhyde14 said:

"Let's see what the sales are like in four months,"*

But, having said that, it is good for all of comics.

*I'm not a hater, I'm a cynic about the long term.

I think you have to wait a few more months or even a year or two to decide if it's "good for all comics"...these are records since the 90's but looking back on the 90's, that increase only ended up backfiring and ruining comics so in the end the years of success weren't really worth it

I suppose that's fair. However, this is a different game than what it was like in the 90's. The last few years have been really tough on comics and the industry was already in a harsh decline. I really can't see how this could backfire like it did in the booming 90's since comics are already in a make or break period. Bleeding Cool even reported that the revamp helped increase the number of Marvel Comics sold last month just by getting more readers in the stores. I suppose you could make the argument that the industry could become reliant on these numbers only to have the rug pulled from underneath them once the hype dies down. Yet, I can't see anyone being quite that bold in this economy. I feel, at this point, we should just count it as a success that DC got more people reading again.

Avatar image for shamelesslysupportinaznballers
Posted By Shamelesslysupportinaznballers

Good for DC's wallet and hopefully they can keep it up and not mess anything to alienate readers.

Avatar image for redheadedatrocitus
Posted By RedheadedAtrocitus

A strong showing so far to say the least. I of course am glad for DC's success with this whole relaunch but can only hope that sales continue to be this great even unto Spring next year. By then many of the 52 will most likely have ended up as mere miniseries while the ones that made the strongest sales will continue on as on-going titles.

Avatar image for super_psycho
Posted By super_psycho

@Jekylhyde14 said:

In this comic book market, that's a real feat. DC has succeeded in getting readers back into the stores.

*Waiting for the first hater to say something like: "Let's see what the sales are like in four months,"*

@PrincessSolaria said:

DC, DC, DC!!!!

@Or35ti said:

Go DC!! Here's to hoping they'll keep it up!

Avatar image for hector
Posted By Hector

That's amazing. Let's hope these numbers stay up!

Avatar image for pikahyper
Edited By pikahyper

Speculator Market 2.0

Avatar image for obsideondarman
Posted By ObsideonDarman

Go DC! Keep up the great Comics and you are sure to see your returns from the likes of me!

Avatar image for tensor
Posted By tensor

Well done dc keep them coming

Avatar image for knightofcydonia
Posted By Noctis
@PrincessSolaria said:

DC, DC, DC!!!!

Avatar image for owie
Posted By Owie

@Jekylhyde14 said:

"Let's see what the sales are like in four months,"*

But, having said that, it is good for all of comics.

*I'm not a hater, I'm a cynic about the long term.

Avatar image for princesssolaria
Posted By PrincessSolaria

DC, DC, DC!!!!

Avatar image for nightfang3
Posted By NightFang3

DC is going all the way!

Avatar image for jsphsmth
Posted By jsphsmth

Kudos to DC for the success of the relaunch.

I went from reading 15 DC titles a month to reading all 52 with no plans to stop. The relaunch provided me the opportunity to start fresh reading characters that I hadn't read for 10 to 20 years.

The extended returnability program means that LCS can continue discounting the titles, hopefully hooking more people like me.

Great news all around.

Avatar image for jekylhyde14
Posted By Jekylhyde14

In this comic book market, that's a real feat. DC has succeeded in getting readers back into the stores.

*Waiting for the first hater to say something like: "Let's see what the sales are like in four months,"*

Avatar image for daveyo520
Posted By Daveyo520

This is just good news for all of comics. Hopefully it keeps up, maybe spreads to other publishers too.

Avatar image for WanderingHands
Posted By Ulfghuld

What a great boost to the comics environment!

Avatar image for or35ti
Posted By Or35ti

Go DC!! Here's to hoping they'll keep it up!