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'Secret Invasion' on Top Again

Easily Outpaces 'Final Crisis'

Published: 06/18/2008 12:00am

Sales of Marvel’s Secret Invasion #2 dropped some 27% from its first issue, but it was still more than enough to top the debut of DC Comics’ Final Crisis.  Including Final Crisis there were four new number one issues in May that all sold over 100,000 copies and boosted the number of 100,000+ sellers from three in April to seven in May.  Overall comic sales were up 7% from April, but still down 6% from May of 2007.


In the battle of competing comic book events, Marvel’s Secret Invasion was the clear winner with three other titles in top ten, including New Avengers #41 (at #4), Mighty Avengers #13 (at #8) and Mighty Avengers #14 (at #10).  Still DC Comics fans can take heart in the success of the Grant Morrison-penned Batman RIP saga, which placed both issue #676 (#7) and issue #677 (#9) in the top 10.  Alex Ross and Jim Krueger’s Avengers/Invaders, which transports 1940s superheroes to the present, debuted strongly at #4.


As usual "fan exploitation" in the form of multiple covers played a key role in the success of some of the top titles.  Final Crisis had two covers (50/50), while the Invincible Iron Man had three including a movie photo cover.  The Giant Size Astonishing X-Men wrapped up the highly successful, but often tardy (just 25 issues in four years) Joss Whedon run on the title (Warren Ellis takes over with #25 see see “'Astonishing X-Men: Second Stage'”).


Marvel had 7 out of the top 10 titles and 17 out of the top 25, though the House of Ideas can't be happy with the performance of  the weekly Amazing Spider-Man, which continues to shed readers.  Only five of the top 25 titles posted gains, while 16 declined.


Dark Horse, which had only one of the top 25 periodical comics, managed to place three titles in the top 5 on the May graphic novel list.  The second volume of Dark Horse’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 8 took the top spot, while Dark Horse’s adaptation of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull was third and the eighth collection of Mike Mignola’s Hellboy (buoyed no doubt by proximity to the release of the second Hellboy movie) was fourth.  Dark Horse had four out of the top 10 graphic novel titles, while DC had 11 out of the top 25, followed by Dark Horse with seven, Marvel with five and Viz Media and Tokyopop with one each.


Trade paperback editions of Marvel’s World War Hulk and DC Heroes, both of which did very well in earlier hardcover editions, also did very well in May.  Viz Media’s Naruto Vol. 29 was the top manga release at #6 while Tokyopop’s Kingdom Hearts II came in at #17, followed by Dark Horse’s Berserk Vol. 23 at #18.  Mention should be made of DC's Batman: The Killing Joke Special Edition, which sold another 3,000+ copies pushing its direct market total to over 20,000 copies during the past three months.


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


182,443           Secret Invasion #2 (of 8)

144,826           Final Crisis #1 (of 7)

109,185           New Avengers #41

108,136           Avengers/Invaders #1 (of 12)

105,864           Invincible Iron Man #1

105,508           Giant Size Astonishing X-Men #1

105,039           Batman #676 RIP

  96,890           Mighty Avengers #13

  96,116           Batman #677 RIP

  95,281           Mighty Avengers #14

  90,035           Justice League of America #21

  87,631           Dark Tower: Long Road Home #3 (of 5)

  87,101           Thor #9

  82,090           Buffy Vampire Slayer #14

  80,175           X-Force #4 DWS

  79,818           X-Men Legacy #211 DWS

  79,350           Captain America #38

  78,311           Justice Society of America #15

  76,966           Amazing Spider-Man #558

  74,206           Amazing Spider-Man #559

  74.033           X-Men Legacy #212 DWS

  74,012           Amazing Spider-Man #560

  70,335           All-Star Superman #11

  65,874           Green Lantern #31

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 May, see "Comic Sales Continue Decline in May."

For our estimates of actual orders to Diamond U.S. from comic specialty stores on comic books scheduled to ship during May, see "Top 300 Comics Actual--May 2008."

For our estimates of actual orders to Diamond U.S. from comic specialty stores on graphic novels scheduled to ship during May, see "Top 100 Graphic Novels Actual--May 2008."

For our estimates of actual orders to Diamond U.S. from comic specialty stores on comic books scheduled to ship during April, see "Top 300 Comics Actual--April 2008."

For our estimates of actual orders to Diamond U.S. from comic specialty stores on graphic novels scheduled to ship during April, see "Top 100 Graphic Novels Actual--April 2008."

For our index to our reports on the top comic and graphic novel preorders for January 2000 through May 2008, see "ICv2's Top 300 Comics and Top 100 GNs Index."

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