Flash Debuts at 100K

ICv2’s April 2010 sales estimates are up. Last week’s rankings from Diamond showed that Flash #1 was ranked #2 for the month, but what does that mean in absolute numbers? How were sales in general that month? (It turns out they were down 15% compared to last year.)

As it turns out, Flash volume 3 debuted at an estimated 100,903 copies, slightly behind Flash: Rebirth #1, but solidly ahead of the numbers by the end of the miniseries…and way ahead of the Flash Secret Files book, which only sold 37,339 copies. (Even that was ahead of the last few issues of the failed 2007 relaunch of Wally West’s series.)

Meanwhile, the Flash: Rebirth hardcover sold an estimated 4,405 copies in its first month, making it the #3-ranked graphic novel.

So how does Flash vol.3 stack up to other recent relaunches?

Issue Rank Month Units Sold
Flash:TFMA #1 7 June 2006 120,404
All-Flash #1 22 July 2007 78,955
Flash v.2 #231 26 August 2007 72,898
Flash: Rebirth #1 2 April 2009 102,429
Flash v.3 #1 2 April 2010 100,903

Promotion

It’s worth remembering that 2007 was a stealth relaunch. All-Flash #1 and Flash v.2 #231 were solicited as issues #14 and #15 of Flash: The Fastest Man Alive, and DC didn’t announce the relaunch until Flash:TFMA #13 came out, killing Bart Allen, whose series had dropped sharply from that 120K high to a 46K low in only 10 issues.

By comparison, DC gave a major push for both Flash: The Fastest Man Alive and Flash: Rebirth. One spun out of Infinite Crisis, the other out of Final Crisis. (Heck, even this book spins out of Blackest Night and into Brightest Day. Wally’s relaunch was linked to Countdown. Seriously, Countdown. That’s got to have hurt!) DC shut down the then-ongoing Flash series for several months ahead of each launch.

Spike

I find it very interesting that this issue sold so much better than the last issue of Flash: Rebirth, which only pulled in 70K. Here are my thoughts on what factors might be involved:

  • Readers who like the Flash but were disappointed in Flash: Rebirth (like myself) decided to give the new direction a second chance.
  • Readers who were introduced to Barry Allen through Blackest Night decided to skip Flash: Rebirth and jump straight to the ongoing series.
  • It’s got a Brightest Day logo on it.
  • Orders were linked to a Flash Ring promotion.
  • And, of course, it’s got a big #1 on the cover.

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1 thought on “Flash Debuts at 100K

  1. Clegane, Sandor

    Comparing the sales of this Flash # 1 to 2007’s FMA #1, it’s interesting that the current book didn’t do quite as well, despite the addition of Johns and Barry Allen. Perhaps this is due to reader apathy towards the sheer number of Flash relaunches in recent years? Sort of, “Wow, DC is relaunching Flash again?!

    As for Flash #1 getting more orders than Rebirth #6, that’s all due to standard attrition on Rebirth’s orders. It launched at 102K, and over the course of the series declined to 70K.

    Which means we can reasonably predict the Flash series will follow that same pattern: By issue #6 Flash will be selling approx. 65-70K per month. I suspect it will settle in that range until Flashpoint.

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