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'Ultimates 3' Tops December Comic Sales

'Ultimates 2 Hardcover' Top Dollar GN

Published: 01/21/2008 12:00am
(villains cover)

Marvel's Ultimates 3 #1, which introduced the new creative team of writer Jeph Loeb and artist Joe Madureira, was the top comic in December with a total of over 131,000 copies sold through Diamond Comic Distributors.  The first installment in the sensationalistic, ripped-from-the-headlines new five-part Ultimates 3 miniseries (featuring two gatefold covers) deals with the fallout from the release of a sex tape featuring Tony Stark and the Black Widow.


The #2 December release, with sales of 124,481 copies, was the controversial (see 'Sharpening the Sword -- The OMD Fiasco') final installment of the Spider-Man 'One More Day' saga by J. Michael Straczynski and Joe Quesada, during which Peter and MJ essentially decide to give up their marriage and future life together in order to save the life of Aunt May.


Marvel took the top five spots in December and seven out of the top ten.  DC had eleven of the top 25 titles, while Marvel had 13 and Dark Horse one.  Eighteen of the top 25 titles declined, while five gained sales.


Garth Ennis' Chronicles of Wormwood: Last Enemy was the graphic novel title that sold the most units, though its total of 6,023 is very low by the standards of recent months (see 'World War Hulk Finishes Strong').  In fact graphic novel sales were down by nearly 30% from November's sterling totals (the second highest of the year after May's, which were driven by the release of the Civil trades), though they were up from December 2006. The last month's dollar total was aided by strong backlist sales of expensive hardcover editions most likely purchased for holiday gifts.


Dark Horse's Star Wars: Clone Wars Adventures Vol. 10 sold the second highest number of units, while Marvel's Ultimates 2 Hardcover at number three in units was actually the top dollar book of the month thanks to its $34.99 cover price.  The final fusillade in Viz Media's Naruto Nation barrage took the #4, #5, and #6 spots demonstrating that manga bestsellers are doing very well in the direct market.  Ed Brubaker's Criminal Vol. 2 came in at #10, an indication that this sophisticated series is likely to do much better in graphic novel form than in the comic book format, and Chris Ware's Acme Novelty Library #18 was the bestselling alternative title in December coming in at #16 on Diamond's list with sales of 3,346 copies.


Here are ICv2's estimates of the sales by Diamond Comic Distributors to comic stores on the top 25 comic titles in December:


131,401           Ultimates 3 #1

124,481           Amazing Spider-Man #545 OMD

105,545           New Avengers #37

102,114           Uncanny X-Men #493

101,551           Thor #5

100,234           Justice League of America #15

  97,871           X-Men #206

  95,557           Justice League of America #16

  90,709           Mighty Avengers #6

  90,545           Green Lantern #25

  89,613           Justice Society of America #11

  89,556           Buffy the Vampire Slayer #9

  78,279           Captain America #33

  77,119           Incredible Hulk #112

  75,880           New X-Men #45

  74,699           X-Factor #26

  73,844           World War Hulk: Aftersmash

  71,524           Countdown #21

  71,331           Countdown #20

  71,189           Batman #672

  70,805           Countdown #19

  70,619           Countdown #18

  69,986           Green Lantern #26

  63,216           Marvel Zombies 2 #3

  62,297           Detective Comics #839

We are estimating actual sales by Diamond U.S. (primarily to North American comic stores), using Diamond's published sales indexes and publisher sales data to estimate a sales number for Batman (the anchor title Diamond uses in its calculations), and using that number and the indexes to estimate Diamond's sales on the remaining titles.  We can check the accuracy of our numbers by comparing the Batman number that we calculate using multiple data points; our numbers for Batman are within 1/10 of 1% of each other, ensuring a high degree of accuracy.

For an analysis of the dollar trends in December, see 'December Caps Off Banner Year for Comics.'

For our estimates of actual orders to Diamond U.S. from comic specialty stores on comic books scheduled to ship during December, see 'Top 300 Comics Actual--December 2007.'

For our estimates of actual orders to Diamond U.S. from comic specialty stores on graphic novels scheduled to ship during December, see 'Top 100 Graphic Novels Actual--December 2007.'
For our estimates of actual orders to Diamond U.S. from comic specialty stores on comic books scheduled to ship during November, see 'Top 300 Comics Actual--November 2007.'

For our estimates of actual orders to Diamond U.S. from comic specialty stores on graphic novels scheduled to ship during November, see 'Top 100 Graphic Novels Actual--November 2007.'

For our index to our reports on the top comic and graphic novel preorders for January 2000 through December 2007, see 'ICv2's Top 300 Comics and Top 100 GNs Index.'
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