Sunday, February 03, 2008

Legion v5 sales, plus the Action Comics run

Over at THE BEAT, they've got the latest sales figures, which are pretty interesting. It covers the first Shooter/Manapul issue, with a nice big sales bump. We'll see how well they can sustain the sales. At the bottom, we also look at the "Superman and the Legion" storyline in the Action Comics run.

From THE BEAT's data below, you can see that the last three Waid/Kitson issues (#28-30) were roughly constant, halting a slow downward slide that has pretty much characterized the series run as a whole (notable exceptions: adding Supergirl increased sales on the series, while the Adam Hughes cover increased sales only on that issue). In March, the title was delayed a week and came out in April, that's why there are two listings for that month.

There was no sales bump for the Bedard/Calero issues (#31-36), and the sales slip went back to normal. Due to the massive buzz on the creative team change to Shooter/Manapul, though, the sales jumped way up.
12/2006: Supergirl & LoSH #25 — 33,288 (- 2.1%)
01/2007: Supergirl & LoSH #26 — 32,342 (- 2.8%)
02/2007: Supergirl & LoSH #27 — 31,387 (- 3.0%)
03/2007: –
04/2007: Supergirl & LoSH #28 — 31,525 (+ 0.4%)
04/2007: Supergirl & LoSH #29 — 30,906 (- 2.0%)
05/2007: Supergirl & LoSH #30 — 30,767 (- 0.5%)
06/2007: Supergirl & LoSH #31 — 30,385 (- 1.2%)
07/2007: Supergirl & LoSH #32 — 29,826 (- 1.8%)
08/2007: Supergirl & LoSH #33 — 29,315 (- 1.7%)
09/2007: Supergirl & LoSH #34 — 28,294 (- 3.5%)
10/2007: Supergirl & LoSH #35 — 27,370 (- 3.3%)
11/2007: Supergirl & LoSH #36 — 26,814 (- 2.0%)
12/2007: Legion of SH #37 — 45,803 (+70.8%)

Here's what the sales author Marc-Oliver Frisch said about the jump:
With the December issue, the new regular creative team of writer Jim Shooter and artist Francis Manapul took over the series, whose title reverted back to The Legion of Super-Heroes in the process.

The fact that sales go up for the return of Shooter, who wrote a fan-favorite run on the property in the late sixties, probably doesn’t come as a great surprise. But the degree of the increase is unexpected. It’s been a while since a simple creative team change prompted this kind of reaction. And, let’s be honest, Shooter’s past merits notwithstanding, putting his name on a book in 2007 was a bit of a gamble, commercially. For now, though, it seems to be paying off for DC.

There’s a variant cover edition, but stores were able to order it separately, without the usual 1-for-10 string attached.

Shooter also wrote a fan-favorite run in the mid-70s, too.

To compare with the last big sales jump, LSH v5 #15 had 31,649 sales while issue 16 with Supergirl "1001 Years Later" was at 54,826.

The Bedard/Calero issues took sales under 30K, the lowest in the current series. The last time sales were regularly above 30k before that was sometime in the early 1990s (unfortunately, sales data between 1984 and 1995 is not reliable or available).

Meanwhile, over in Action Comics, here are sales for the last few issues:
07/2007: Action Comics #852 — 50,294 (-34.3%)
08/2007: Action Comics #853 — 49,694 (- 1.2%)
08/2007: Action Comics #854 — 48,455 (- 2.5%)
08/2007: Action Comics #855 — 55,536 (+14.6%)
09/2007: –
10/2007: Action Comics #856 — 53,815 (- 3.1%)
10/2007: Action Comics #857 — 51,401 (- 4.5%)
10/2007: Action Comics #858 — 54,596 (+ 6.2%) [59,031]
11/2007: Action Comics #859 — 54,572 (- 0.0%)
12/2007: Action Comics #860 — 56,254 (+ 3.1%)

The Legion arc started in issue 858, and the increase to that issue shows the increased orders after the fact. (I think it's a second printing.)
The “Superman and the Legion of Super-Heroes” arc resulted in another small sales increase in December, plus 4,435 additional units of issue #858 sold. Not many of DC’s books not involved in crossovers are doing well at present. Action Comics is clearly catching on now.

1 comment:

Jim Drew said...

Here's what I wrote in Frunt:

This month, Jim Shooter and Francis Manapul took over as the creative team, as the Legion comic resumed its pre-Supergirl title. The comic also featured two covers, a single image split in two, available in equal numbers (rather than a 1-in-10 variant). The result is a 70% orders spike vs. previous issues, but probably a real sales spike of 40% or less. (I know I bought both covers, of course, and was glad to not have to spend $10 or more to do so.) The orders spike, of course, moves LEGION OF SUPER HEROES into a completely different realm on the charts this month, rather than down at the butt end of the Marvels (Black Panther and Ms. Marvel and The Order; the latter is cancelled in three more issues, so the first two are probably also dead in 6 months). (Why are so many comics I enjoy lousy sellers? Although frankly, I’ve been buying those three but not enjoying them a whole lot lately.)