Monthly Archives: January 2012

Speed Reading

Weekend linkblogging. First the Flashy stuff…

More comics stuff…

Flash Sales in December

Last week we reported that Flash #4 ranked #8 for the month of December. ICV2 has released its December sales estimates, figuring that the comic sold 77,336 copies. Despite the slight climb in rank, that’s a 14.5% drop from previous issue. Not as big as the the drop from #2 to #3, but still big. And it’s a whopping 40% drop from #1. On the plus side, it’s still above any issue of vol.3 after the first, and above the 55K threshold I pulled out of thin air last year.

What does it mean?

To be honest, I have no idea. The New 52 was an unprecedented event, with all of DC’s books seeing a sales spike. The drop is big, sure, but the numbers are still high, and the ranking is phenomenal for the Flash. Is this just a reflection of the overall market re-adjusting after DC’s line-wide sales spike a few months ago? Is DC worried about The Flash dropping faster than other top-tier titles, or are they glad it’s not dropping as quickly as the lower tier? Obviously they’re not too concerned, because they haven’t changed the creative team — something DC hasn’t shied away from in the short time since the launch.

The more I report on sales figures, the less I understand the implications. And that’s assuming the numbers are consistent enough to analyze to begin with.

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%
Flash v.4 #4 8 December 2011 77,336 -14.5%

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.

Quick Thoughts: The New 52, Wave 2

DC has announced the second wave of the New 52, with more details at USA Today. They’ll be adding six new series in May, and dropping six after #8 to keep the total at 52. Update: CBR interviews Bob Harras about the focus of the new books.

First off, I don’t think keeping it at 52 is a great idea, because the first time they change their line-up to feature 51 books, or 52, or anything else, people will read way too much into it.

Anyway, the canceled books:

  • Men of War and Blackhawks. War books are a tough sell these days. No surprise.
  • Mister Terrific. A gamble from the beginning, and the only praise I’ve heard about it is from the skeptic community for portraying an atheist in a positive light.
  • Static Shock. After all the effort DC went to to get Static (the only Milestone character they seemed interested in), what went wrong?
  • Hawk & Dove. The series’ biggest selling point was Rob Liefeld. Make of that what you will.
  • O.M.A.C. This always seemed to me as a — I don’t want to call it a vanity project — but basically, a chance for Dan Didio to have fun writing something. My guess is they didn’t really expect it to sell, but positioned it as an ongoing just in case people liked it.

And the new books, after the cut. Continue reading

This Week: Dastardly Death of the Rogues TPB

Previously available in hardcover, the first (and IMO better) half of Geoff Johns’ post-Rebirth run on The Flash is now available as a trade paperback.

Flash: The Dastardly Death of the Rogues


The Fastest Man Alive must solve the murder of one of his greatest foes and protect his other foes from an elusive killer in this title collection THE FLASH #1–6 7 and THE FLASH SECRET FILES 2010!

Racing out of BLACKEST NIGHT, The Flash returns to his life in Central City – but when one of his Rogues Gallery of foes turns up murdered under mysterious circumstances, it’s up to The Fastest Man Alive to solve this bizarre crime and protect those who are targeted by the killer.

DC Universe 228pg. Color Softcover $14.99 US

An odd note: The hardcover also included The Flash #7, the Captain Boomerang one-shot. Usually DC tends to collect the same material in the hardcover and softcover releases, but it wouldn’t surprise me at all to see that the inevitable softcover of The Road to Flashpoint starts with #7 instead of #8.

It also wouldn’t surprise me if this is a copy-paste misprint, and this book does include #7, since the solicitation text for the hardcover also listed only Flash #1-6. Update: It’s a misprint, as Jason points out in the comments.

Picking Only Three Comics: New 52/New Year Edition

A while back I examined my comic book buying patterns by deciding which books I would buy if I could only buy three comics. It’s one thing to name books you’re ready to drop, or to name your favorites. Looking at it in terms of what you’d keep if that was all you could get really forces you to evaluate. It’s also helpful for ranking if, after you pick your top three, you expand it to four, then five, then six, etc.

I asked the question again last year, and found that things had changed a bit (though that was partly because two of my top three comics had been canceled). With the new year, and with the first round of New 52 stories reaching their conclusions, I thought this was a good time to pick up the question again.

So if I could only buy three comics, they would be…

  • The Unwritten – Consistently one of my favorite titles over the last few years, and I wrote about why I like this series for the “Read This Too!” event. It’s been in my top 3 every time.
  • The Flash – It’s been a bumpy road. Last year, “The Road to Flashpoint” squandered all the enthusiasm I’d built up with “The Dastardly Death of the Rogues,” and Flashpoint came close to killing what was left, but the new Francis Manapul/Brian Buccellato series feels like it’s finally getting the book back on track.
  • Lady Mechanika – This steampunk action/adventure mystery was one of my favorites to come out of 2010.

What DC books missed the cut?

Continue reading