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'FF' #1 Top Comic in March

One of Only 2 Comics in Past 6 Months Over 100K

Published: 04/12/2011 12:00am
Marvel’s FF (Future Foundation) #1 topped the comic charts in March with a total estimated by ICv2 at 114,472.  FF #1 joins the Fantastic Four #587, the issue in which Marvel extinguished the Human Torch, which sold 115,448, as the only two titles in the past six months that have sold more than one hundred thousand copies.  The FF #1, in which Spider-Man joins forces with the remaining members of the Fantastic Four was written by Jonathan Hickman and illustrated by Steve Epting.  Sales of FF#1, which has sold out (Marvel has solicited a 2nd printing), were aided by several variant covers.
 
There is a huge gap in sales between the #1 and #2 titles for March.  DC took seven of the top ten titles, but failed to gain much marketshare from Marvel.  Still DC has firmly established Green Lantern as a top tier title, and its 24-issue Brightest Day event appears to be holding on to its circulation to the very end. DC’s top ten dominance was aided by the appearance of Batman: The Dark Knight #2, which was down just 19K from the first issue (not a bad drop) that came out in December, and by two issues the Grant Morrison-penned Batman Incorporated.
 
Marvel’s cause was aided by the kick-off of its Fear Itself event with Fear Itself: Book of the Skull #1 by Ed Brubaker, which came in at #10.  Sales over the next few months should rebound if events like Marvel’s Fear Itself and DC’s Flashpoint take off.  Marvel’s decision to go to one writer for its Amazing Spider-Man title also appears to be paying off as the circulation on ASM rose slightly.
 
Mention should be made of IDW’s Godzilla Kingdom of Monsters, which is written by Eric Powell (The Goon) and Tracy Marsh.  The big Toho kaiju monster gave IDW a rare spot in the Top 25, and retailers interviewed by ICv2 for the next ICv2 Guide uniformly reported strong sales on the title, and wished they had ordered more.
 
Eleven of the Top 25 titles post gains, most of them small, though DC’s Green Lantern titles including Green Lantern Emerald Warriors #8 and Green Lantern Corps #58 all posted nice increases. 
 
The picture was a lot bleaker on the graphic novel side where only two titles managed to make it over the 4,000 copy mark. Led by Mike Carey’s Harry Potter-influenced fantasy The Unwritten Vol. 3, DC/Vertigo had five of the top ten graphic novel releases, while Marvel and Image had two each.  Neither of Image’s two top ten titles debuted in March.  Robert Kirkman’s The Walking Dead remains the hottest graphic novel property in the direct market, but that’s because the TV-driven property has 13 steady-selling volumes (and 20 skus).  The fact that Vol. 1 in the series made #8 in March testifies as much to the weakness of the March new releases as to the strength of The Walking Dead property.  Image’s other top ten book, Nick Spencer’s Morning Glories was the #2 book in February, and has to qualify as one of the true GN hits of 2011.  Retailers reported to ICv2 that if they had been able to get more copies in March, Morning Glories might have finished even higher than #8.
 
The top manga title in the direct market in March was Tite Kubo’s Bleach Vol. 34 from Viz Media, which came in at #7.
 
Here are ICv2’s estimates for the sales by Diamond Comic Distributors to comic stores on the Top 25 comic titles in March, 2011:
 
114,472          FF #1
 76,898           Green Lantern #64
 75,632           Green Lantern #63
 71,108           Batman: The Dark Knight #2
 70,204           Brightest Day #21
 69,824           Brightest Day #22
 66,872           Batman Incorporated #3
 66,618           Avengers #11
 65,315           Batman Incorporated #4
 62,714           Fear Itself: Book of the Skull #1
 62,235           Kick-Ass 2 #2
 60,100           Green Lantern Corps #58
 59,929           New Avengers #10
 59,818           Batman & Robin #21
 59,626           Amazing Spider-Man #656
 58,879           Godzilla: Kingdom of Monsters #1
 58,704           Amazing Spider-Man #657
 58,594           Batman #708
 55,731           Uncanny X-Men #534
 53,981           Venom #1
 51,353           Secret Avengers #11
 51,322           Green Lantern Emerald Warriors #8
 51,248           Uncanny X-Force #6
 51,179           X-Men #9
 50,732           Uncanny X-Force #5.1

For an analysis of the dollar trends in March, see "Top 300 Comics & GNs Down 9.65% in Q1."

For our estimates of actual sales by Diamond U.S. from comic specialty stores on comic books shipped during March, see "Top 300 Comics Actual--March 2011."

For our estimates of actual sales by Diamond U.S. from comic specialty stores on graphic novels shipped during March, see "Top 300 Graphic Novels Actual--March 2011."

For our estimates of actual sales by Diamond U.S. from comic specialty stores on comic books shipped during February, see "Top 300 Comics Actual--February 2011."

For our estimates of actual sales by Diamond U.S. from comic specialty stores on graphic novels shipped during February, see "Top 300 Graphic Novels Actual--February 2011."

For an overview and analysis of the best-selling comics and graphic novels in February, see "Top Tier Titles Weak in February."  For an analysis of the dollar trends in February, see "The Long Tail Wags the Comics Dog in Feb."

For our index to our reports on the top comic and graphic novel preorders for January 2000 through March 2011, see "ICv2's Top 300 Comics and Top 300 GNs Index."
 
 
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