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'Avengers vs. X-Men' on Top Again in April

'Batman' Tops 'Justice League'

Published: 05/07/2012, Last Updated: 05/08/2012 02:13am
For the second month in a row Marvel’s lead event title Avengers vs. X-Men topped the sales of comics in the direct market sold via Diamond Comic Distributors.  Avengers vs. X-Men #2 topped the charts with a total of 158,650, down a modest 22% from the title’s 203K debut in March (though it was actually sold to consumers in April).  Six other Marvel titles tied-in with the Avengers vs. X-Men event landed in the top 15, led by the AVX Vs. #1, the first issue in a six-issue series that focuses on one-on-one smackdowns between individual characters from the battling supergroups.  Other Marvel titles with AvX ties include Uncanny X-Men #11, Avengers #25, Wolverine and X-Men #9, New Avengers #24, and New Avengers #25.
On the DC side Scott Snyder’s "Night of the Owls" Batbooks crossover debuted in Batman #8, which leapfrogged Justice League #8 to become the bestselling DC book of the month and #2 overall. Snyder’s Batman title has been growing steadily, and with Jim Lee off of Justice League temporarily, the Geoff Johns-penned title, which had been the #1 DC title since the inception of the “New 52,” slipped to #2.
The specter of the gargantuan success of Joss Whedon’s The Avengers appears to have had little effect on periodical comic sales in April, and it should be interesting to see if the film has an effect on May sales.  Marvel’s Avengers Assemble, which is written by Brian Michael Bendis and features a cast that mirrors the movie’s (though it is set in the regular Marvel universe continuity) got off to a great start in March with sales of over 100K for issue #1, but issue #2 in April dropped down to just over 53K. It should be interesting to see if the movie can give this title’s circ a boost in May.
Overall 16 titles posted declines in circulation (mostly small save for Avengers Assemble), while eight posted gains (including Batman and all five of Marvel’s AvX tie-ins in the “Top 25”). DC had six titles in the “Top Ten” and the continued strong sales of its “New 52” books remain one of the strengths of the current market.  Add in Marvel’s successful launch of its Avengers vs. X-Men event and you have the recipe for a double digit year-over-year gain in April. Marvel took 13 spots out of the “Top 25” to DC’s 12.  The top non-Marvel or DC title was Dynamite’s The Shadow #1 written by Garth Ennis, which debuted at #31.
The graphic novel sales chart for April is the most one-sided affair since ICv2 has began keeping track of comic and graphic novel sales in 2001. There are no fewer than 15 volumes of Robert Kirkman’s The Walking Dead in the “Top 25.”   The undead juggernaut took the first three spots led by volume #1, which sold an amazing 12,323 copies.  The second season of The Walking Dead TV adaptation ended in mid-March, so The Walking Dead’s domination of graphic novel sales should abate somewhat in the coming months, but it is quite amazing that this TV-driven property has dominated both the comic and bookstore markets in April (see "'The Walking Dead' Dominates Bookstore GN Sales Again in April").
Grant Morrison’s long-delayed Flex Mentallo Man of Muscle Mystery hardcover finally shipped from Vertigo and ended up at #4, followed by John Layman’s popular image series, Chew Vol. 5: Major League Chew
The top manga title in the direct market was Viz Media’s Bleach Vol. 39, which came in at #32.
Here are ICv2’s estimates of the direct market North American sales of the “Top 25” comics sold through Diamond Comic Distributors in April:
158,650           Avengers vs. X-Men #2
130,602           Batman #8
128,991           Justice League #8
103,436           AvX Vs. #1
 88,335           Green Lantern #8
 87,980           Action Comics #8
 87,675           Detective Comics #8
 74,287           Batman The Dark Knight #8
 69,875           Uncanny X-Men #11
 65,664           Avengers #25
 64,984           Wolverine & X-Men #9
 64,533           New Avengers #24
 64,486           Superman #8
 63,702           Flash #8
 61,950           New Avengers #25
 61,657           Aquaman #8
 59,993           Batman & Robin #8
 59,153           Amazing Spider-Man #683
 57,484           Amazing Spider-Man #684
 56,906           Uncanny X-Men #10
 53,757           Wolverine and the X-Men #8
 53,024           Avengers Assemble #2
 50,814           Teen Titans #8
 50,667           Uncanny X-Force #24
 50,450           Wonder Woman #8

For an analysis of the dollar trends in April, see "Comic Sales Back on Track in April."

For our estimates of actual sales by Diamond U.S. from comic specialty stores on comic books shipped during April, see "Top 300 Comics Actual--April 2012."

For our estimates of actual sales by Diamond U.S. from comic specialty stores on graphic novels shipped during April, see "Top 300 Graphic Novels Actual--April 2012."

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 2012."

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 2012."

For an overview and analysis of the best-selling comics and graphic novels in March, see "'AvX' #1 Ends 'Justice League's' Reign."  For an analysis of the dollar trends in March, see "Streak Stopped at 7--Comics Slip in March."

For our index to our reports on the top comic and graphic novel preorders for January 2000 through April 2012, see "ICv2's Top 300 Comics and Top 300 GNs Index."
DC Cancelling 13 Titles
With March Issues
DC has revealed that it will cancel 13 titles this spring.