November Sales: Flash #3 Ranked #9

Diamond has released its November sales rankings, placing The Flash #3 in the #9 spot for units sold. ICv2’s November 2011 sales estimates have it selling roughly* 90,417 comics during the month.

Three issues in, it’s still well ahead of all but the first issues of The Flash vol.3 and Flash: Rebirth. It’s the sixth-highest selling Flash comic book in over a decade, or eighth if you include Flashpoint. And it’s still a Top 10 book.

On the other hand, it’s also a 20% drop from the previous issue. That’s awfully steep for anything but the second issue of a series.

Then again, the normal patterns may not apply here. By releasing 52 first issues in one month, DC managed to get a lot of people to try out more comics than they would have otherwise. The sales boost on the early issues was probably higher than it would have been for a more traditional relaunch, so the sharper drop may be less of a concern than it would be otherwise. And it’s still way above the 55K mark that I suggested might be the ultimate test of the relaunch.

Lastly, there’s been a lot of discussion in the comics blog scene the last few weeks over whether these sales estimates are even accurate enough to be worth analyzing. If they have as little to do with reality as Ivan Brandon and Steve Wacker suggest, then neither the drop nor the comparisons to other issues mean much of anything.

Issue Rank Month Units Sold % Change
Flash vol.4
Flash v.4 #1 4 September 2011 129,260
Flash v.4 #2 5 October 2011 114,137 -11.7%
Flash v.4 #3 9 November 2011 90,417 -20.8%
Top-Selling Flash Issues
Flash v.4 #1 4 September 2011 129,260
Flash:TFMA #1 7 June 2006 126,741
Flash v.4 #2 5 October 2011 114,137
Flash: Rebirth #1 2 April 2009 102,429
Flash v.3 #1 2 April 2010 100,903
Flashpoint #1 2 May 2011 95,845
Flashpoint #5 2 August 2011 94,547
Flash v.4 #3 9 November 2011 90,417

A few key articles covering past sales (with lots of numbers):

*What these numbers measure: US-only sales, wholesale from Diamond to comics retailers. They don’t count sales through bookstores, they don’t count international sales, and they don’t count how many copies were actually bought and read…but they do measure the same thing every month, which means they can be used to spot trends.


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