Strong sales of the New 52, its heavily promoted line-wide relaunch, made DC Comics the leading direct-market publisher in September, edging out Marvel in market share and dominating the Top 20 titles for the month.
DC carved out a 35.74 percent of the market in dollars and 43.04 percent in units sold, versus Marvel's 35.7 percent and 37.88 percent, according to figures released this morning by Diamond Comic Distributors. The $2.99 cover price for the vast majority of DC's line -- the 40-page Action Comics, All-Star Western and Men of War were $3.99 -- prevented the dollar share from being larger.
The publisher claimed 17 of the Top 20 spots, led by Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo's Batman #1 at No. 1. It was followed by Action Comics #1, by Grant Morrison and Rags Morales, which, because of its cover price, was actually the top-selling comic in terms of dollars.
Marvel entered the list at No. 8 with Fear Itself #6, followed by Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #1 at No. 9, and The Amazing Spider-Man #699 at No. 18.
While many will undoubtedly see this as further evidence that DC's relaunch gamble has paid off, Warren Ellis was quick to throw cold water on those market-share numbers, writing, "So DC Comic’s media-blitzed massive relaunch of its entire line in September got them this: A half-point lead in dollar share over Marvel Comics (who had one high-profile launch in the September frame). A five-point lead in units sold over Marvel Comics. But all those units DC sold are returnable.
"Thank god all those DC execs told everyone they weren’t interested in market share. Otherwise someone might have come away with the notion that DC really intended to give Marvel a fight in the marketplace and make Marvel sort their own shit out. What a stroke of luck for everybody."
Here's a rundown of the Top 20 comics for September, with Diamond providing the first half and Bleeding Cool filling out the rest:
- Batman #1
- Action Comics #1
- Green Lantern #1
- The Flash #1
- Superman #1
- Detective Comics #1
- Batman: The Dark Knight #1
- Fear Itself #6
- Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #1
- Batman and Robin #1
- Green Lantern: New Guardians #1
- Batgirl #1
- Wonder Woman #1
- Green Lantern Corps #1
- Teen Titans #1
- Aquaman #1
- Batwoman #1
- The Amazing Spider-Man #669
- Red Lanterns #1
- Justice League Dark #1
I'll leave it to someone else to figure out when the last time was some of the titles -- Aquaman, Batgirl, Teen Titans, Wonder Woman -- cracked the Top 20.