Following up on yesterday’s graph showing Flash Sales from 2001-2008, I did some more searching and found a site with figures going back to 1996. More importantly, this one also has relative rankings.
Sales — but not ranking — dropped heavily in 1996 and early 1997. Of course, this was in the middle of the speculator crash, so the entire comics industry was doing pretty badly at the time. (Also, the first issue in these stats might have been higher, since #119 was a Final Night tie-in.)
They stayed in the low-to-mid 40,000s for the next few years, during the Grant Morrison/Mark Millar run and the return of Mark Waid and Brian Augustyn. Highlights during this period include:
- #130, the first Morrison/Millar issue.
- #135, part of the “Three of a Kind” crossover with Green Lantern and Green Arrow.
- #1,000,000, part of the DC One Million crossover. Oddly, it didn’t jump much the previous month, when Waid and Augustyn returned with #142.
- Small spike for #150, conclusion of Chain Lightning and a milestone issue.
- Larger spike for #152, start of the Dark Flash saga.
- I’m not sure what made #157 catch on, unless it was the striking cover showing Linda’s grave.
Sales started dropping as soon as Waid and Augustyn wrapped up the main part of their run (#159), and the book went into a series of done-in-ones.
Geoff Johns took over for a 6-part arc, “Wonderland,” with #164. I was surprised to find that sales dropped through the whole arc, but DC decided to give him the regular gig anyway. They kept dropping through “Blood Will Run,” bottoming out with the conclusion in #174. Oddly enough, that was also the highest rated issue since he’d taken over. The next year and a half held steady around 30,000. And the post-2002 climb is shown in yesterday’s post.
This shows an interesting contrast to DC’s current tactic of changing the creative team every time sales come in lower than the month before.
These years also cover most of Impulse‘s 90-issue run. At the start of this period it was selling in the mid-to-low-30K range, dropped to around 20K in 1998, and down to 15K from 2000-2002.
This also includes the overlap period between regular Annuals and Secret Files.
For three months in 1999, there were four Flash-related books each month: Flash, Impulse, and the miniseries Flashpoint and Flash/Green Lantern: The Brave and the Bold. The latter miniseries outsold Flash for the first two months, then dropped below it for the next four issues.
The actual figures from CBGXtra appear after the cut.
Both these and the Beat figures are estimates, so you’ll notice in the overlap period of 2001-2002 they’re generally off by a couple thousand.
|Sep 1996||58||Flash #119||53,700|
|Oct 1996||60||Flash #120||49,100|
|Nov 1996||73||Flash #121||47,600|
|Dec 1996||75||Flash #122||46,000|
|Jan 1997||62||Flash #123||43,900|
|Feb 1997||59||Flash #124||41,200|
|Mar 1997||62||Flash #125||40,500|
|Apr 1997||68||Flash #126||41,200|
|May 1997||63||Flash #127||40,000|
|Jun 1997||62||Flash #128||41,000|
|Jul 1997||65||Flash #129||38,900|
|Sep 1997||48||Flash #130||46,200||(yes, listed for September)|
|Sep 1997||50||Flash #131||43,900|
|Oct 1997||69||Flash #132||42,100|
|Nov 1997||53||Flash #133||42,600|
|Dec 1997||55||Flash #134||42,700|
|Jan 1998||39||Flash #135||46,800|
|Feb 1998||46||Flash #136||41,100|
|Mar 1998||52||Flash #137||41,300|
|Apr 1998||49||Flash #138||42,700|
|May 1998||53||Flash #139||40,400|
|Jun 1998||57||Flash #140||40,700|
|Jul 1998||59||Flash #141||39,400|
|Aug 1998||59||Flash #142||40,900|
|Sep 1998||56||Flash #1000000||47,000|
|Oct 1998||61||Flash #143||40,000|
|Nov 1998||58||Flash #144||40,100|
|Dec 1998||64||Flash #145||41,600|
|Jan 1999||59||Flash #146||39,400|
|Feb 1999||53||Flash #147||37,800|
|Mar 1999||63||Flash #148||38,600|
|Apr 1999||59||Flash #149||39,800|
|May 1999||56||Flash #150||41,900|
|Jun 1999||61||Flash #151||38,400|
|Jul 1999||51||Flash #152||44,100|
|Aug 1999||58||Flash #153||40,600|
|Sep 1999||62||Flash #154||39,400|
|Oct 1999||46||Flash #155||42,200|
|Nov 1999||44||Flash #156||41,400|
|Dec 1999||31||Flash #157||44,300|
|Jan 2000||35||Flash #158||40,900|
|Feb 2000||37||Flash #159||39,000|
|Mar 2000||42||Flash #160||39,000|
|Apr 2000||45||Flash #161||38,700|
|May 2000||44||Flash #162||38,100|
|Jun 2000||54||Flash #163||36,900|
|Jul 2000||52||Flash #164||36,300|
|Aug 2000||52||Flash #165||34,100|
|Sep 2000||60||Flash #166||33,800|
|Oct 2000||63||Flash #167||32,400|
|Nov 2000||69||Flash #168||32,100|
|Dec 2000||69||Flash #169||31,500|
|Jan 2001||72||Flash #170||30,300|
|Feb 2001||62||Flash #171||29,700|
|Mar 2001||61||Flash #172||28,900|
|Apr 2001||57||Flash #173||29,100|
|May 2001||53||Flash #174||28,700|
|Jun 2001||64||Flash #175||28,900|
|Jul 2001||75||Flash #176||30,200|
|Aug 2001||72||Flash #177||30,400|
|Sep 2001||74||Flash #178||28,700|
|Oct 2001||78||Flash #179||31,400|
|Nov 2001||86||Flash #180||28,700|
|Dec 2001||67||Flash #181||28,900|
|Jan 2002||70||Flash #182||28,500|
|Feb 2002||63||Flash #183||28,000|
|Mar 2002||62||Flash #184||28,900|
|Apr 2002||71||Flash #185||29,400|
|May 2002||67||Flash #186||30,000|
|Jun 2002||64||Flash #187||30,800|
|Jul 2002||62||Flash #188||31,800|
|Aug 2002||72||Flash #189||31,600|
|Sep 2002||58||Flash #190||31,400|
|Oct 2002||57||Flash #191||31,300|
|Nov 2002||70||Flash #192||30,800|
|Dec 2002||62||Flash #193||30,200|
I can’t read what I write in the form Kelson.
Anyway. Sales seems to have stayed fairly regular for the past 10 years on this title…. I believe that DC is feeling that the book isn’t doing well because of the High expectations that Bilson and DeMeo generated.
When they arrived to the book issue #1 sold 120K copies, which dropped to 78k for the second and kept falling month after month. I guess that after seeing what Marvel did with JMS’s Thor and Fraction’s Iron Man, or themselves with Johns’s Green Lantern they think that Flash can do better, they just aren’t sure about how to do it.
I believe that while Peyer was doing a good job, his name isn’t one that is going to bring Big Sales to the character, of course one could argue that Johns wasn’t that big of a name back when he started in the Flash, he became who he is now working there.
I’m curious because of the fact that Peyer wasn’t going to stay on the Flash only became public after the book’s change of editors in the middle of “Fast Money”. Seems to me that Hilty was “grounded”, and Berganza had another ideas for the character.
Yeah, if Peyer had continued, he’d basically be in the same position Johns was when he started. I guess DC isn’t willing to give it time to rebuild, they just want that *ahem* quick fix.
P.S. Thanks for letting me know about the readability problem. When I’m logged in, it doesn’t show me the name/email/website fields, so I never noticed the color problem, and no one else had mentioned it — even though it’s probably been like that since I installed the comment preview plugin 2-3 weeks ago.
It should be fixed now if you hit refresh.
Another reason why I love this site.
I thought Peyer was doing a good job getting Flash readable again. I would have preferred seeing him being given a decent shot.
It’s a shame that DC felt the need to pull the plug on the book to make way for Rebirth.
Although on one level I can certainly understand their reasoning, it doesn’t change the fact that I can no longer get my monthly Wally flash hit.