Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Sales Data for Superman & LSH: Millennium

Thanks to Comichron, we have some sales numbers to look at - but only up through LSH: Millennium, we'll have to wait til next month to see what the regular series shapes up like. There's no sales data yet on the new series, but expect it to be high because (a) multiple covers and (b) flight rings. I'll go out on a limb and be optimistic and say LSH #1 will hit 65k sales. No predictions for the future after that just yet.

  • Superman #14 - 47,777
  • Superman #15 - 47,857
  • LSH: Millennium #1 - 48,389
  • LSH: Millennium #2 - 39,489
For historical context, in the last 20 years, here are the issues that have sold at least 39k copies (note that the top seller, Adventure #4, came with a Lantern ring):

Jan-1085,145Adventure Comics v34
Oct-0873,914Legion of Three Worlds1
Dec-0864,412Legion of Three Worlds2
Apr-0961,358Legion of Three Worlds3
Oct-0461,047Teen Titans/The Legion Special1
Feb-0559,944LSH v51
Feb-1059,876Adventure Comics v35
Jun-0956,888Legion of Three Worlds4
Oct-0956,706Adventure Comics v31
Sep-0955,970Legion of Three Worlds5
May-0654,826Supergirl & the LSH16
Mar-1053,721Adventure Comics v37
Nov-1153,285LSH v71
Jul-1050,106LSH v61
Nov-1149,952Legion Lost v21
Mar-0548,584LSH v52
Sep-1948,389LSH: Millennium1
Jun-0647,697Supergirl & the LSH17
Nov-0947,296Adventure Comics v32
Feb-0845,803Supergirl & the LSH37
Jul-0645,520Supergirl & the LSH18
Apr-0544,824LSH v53
Dec-0944,431Adventure Comics v33
Aug-0643,918Supergirl & the LSH19
May-0543,408LSH v54
Mar-1042,514Adventure Comics v36
Dec-1142,504LSH v72
Sep-0641,679Supergirl & the LSH20
Jun-0541,664LSH v55
Dec-0641,554Supergirl & the LSH23
Jul-0540,970LSH v56
Oct-0639,852Supergirl & the LSH21
Oct-1939,489LSH: Millennium2

For the September issues, looking at Comichron data:
  • The #1 book was Spawn #300 at 262K
  • The next ten DC books on the list are Doomsday Clock, DCeased, Batman, Harley Quinn, and Justice League.
  • LSH: Millennium #1 was the #26 overall book and the #11 DC book.
Getting back to the October issues, here's what Comichron says regarding Diamond sales:
  • The #1 book was X-Men #1, at 255K
  • The next ten DC books on the list are Joker, Harley Quinn, and/or Batman
  • The next eight DC books after that are Superman, Batman, and/or DCeased
  • After that comes Event Leviathan, Superman, Action (all Bendis), Green Lantern, and LSH: Millennium #2 at 53rd; LSH Millennium #2 outsold everything DC has that's not Batman & Co, Superman, or Green Lantern.
Looking back at the current Superman series, Superman #13 sold 52,000 copies, that's the closest comparison I can make on a Bendis book - it's the highest non-Batman, non-JLA, non-DCeased book for the month, and is the #15 book for DC in July. (This issue got a bump because of the cardstock cover for some reason, it's normally selling around 49k). Sales are flattening from the Bendis relaunch, which is to be expected - issue 1 sold 133k, issue 2 sold 77k, issue 3 sold 67k, that's normal for a new title.

In comparison, going backward in time:
  • Nov. 2011: the New 52 Legion started at 53K sales, sank below 20k with issue 9, and ended with about 15k
  • Oct. 2008: Legion of 3 Worlds started out with 74k and ended with 56k, and it had George Perez
  • May 2006: Supergirl & The LSH #16 (her first issue) hit 54K and that dropped to the low 20s by the end of that series. 
  • Dec. 2001: Abnett/Lanning's The Legion started at 30k and dropped to 23k
That brings us back to 2001 almost 20 years ago when the market was different. You have to go back to the earliest days of the Reboot in 1995 to find a time when the Legion was regularly selling over 30k.

In the past, the Legion series have all bottomed out around 15-20K, suggesting that's the core base that will always buy a Legion title: v7 (New 52) at 15K, v6 (Retroboot) at 22K, Adventure at 19K, v5 (Threeboot) at 22K, The Legion (Reboot) at 23K, and LSH v4 and Legionnaires (Reboot) at 17K.
    So this is a long-winded way of saying that any any significant sales increase over what we've seen before will probably be due to people who have NOT been Legion fans. And given the choice between bringing in new fans vs appeasing old fans, I think DC would rather grow for the future. The 5YL stories started 30 years ago in 1989, the Reboot 25 years ago in 1994. People get older and you have to bring in new readers.

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