"Mighty Morphin Power Rangers" holds a very special place in the hearts of many children of the 1990s, as the original installment of the Power Rangers world that sparked a massive franchise. When BOOM! Studios announced last year that it would be publishing licensed "Mighty Morphin Power Rangers" comic books, fans of the property were excited -- and based on initial numbers for the series, that's translated to unprecedented sales success for BOOM.
BOOM! Studios has confirmed to CBR News that "Mighty Morphin Power Rangers" #0, released last month and from creators including writers Kyle Higgins, Steve Orlando and Mairghread Scott and artists Hendry Prasetya, Corin Howell and Daniel Bayliss, has sold 47,000 copies of its first print, leading to second and third printings (on sale Feb. 17 and March 2, respectively). That makes it the highest-selling single issue in direct market sales in BOOM! Studios' 10-year history, other than "Bravest Warriors: Tales from the Holo John," which was included in a Loot Crate release last year. But it'll be quickly topped -- BOOM! reports that "Mighty Morphin Power Rangers" #1, also scheduled for release on March 2 and by Higgins and Prasetya, has reached more than 75,000 in initial orders.
CBR News spoke with BOOM! Studios President of Publishing & Marketing Filip Sablik about what this sales success means for the company, why he thinks the book has connected more than any of the publisher's other popular licensed comics and what the future might hold for Power Rangers comic books.
CBR News: Filip, based on the Diamond charts, 44,000 in initial orders puts "Mighty Morphin Power Rangers" #0 as the highest-charting BOOM! Studios debut other than "Bravest Warriors: Tales from the Holo John," which was part of a Loot Crate release. Can you put into context what that number for "Mighty Morphin Power Rangers" #0 means for BOOM?
Filip Sablik: It made for quite a happy New Year! The latest sales information is we've sold 3,000 more, which brings the total to 47,000 copies.
That cleans out the 1st print. Our retail partners are reporting sell outs in their stores all over the nation. Response from longtime and lapsed Power Rangers fans has been incredible.
We told everyone last year we were scaling back our output by 15 percent in 2016. Publishers are putting out too much stuff. Everyone is flooding the market.
Our retail partners embraced this decision and backed it up with strong orders.
It was clear from the first announcement that there was a lot of excitement around a "Mighty Morphin Power Rangers" comic, which must have adjusted expectations accordingly. Are the numbers so far in line with internal expectations? Higher?
This book is through the roof. We had high expectations but the series has exceeded them. We're thrilled. Saban (who owns the Power Rangers) is thrilled.
It's so cool to see all the fans excited!
We're driving new fans into stores, something we do over and over again with our line. There's a lot of Power Rangers customers who have never been to a comic shop or haven't visited in a long time. And they're buying comics. It's why we get up in the morning!
There are a lot of second printing announcements from comic publishers, and it can sometimes be tricky for an average consumer to understand how much it actually means. How significant for BOOM! is a second printing for "Mighty Morphin Power Rangers" #0?
Initial orders were close to 37,000 copies, which was great. But before we set the print run, we were seeing this book take off so we decided to print an extra 10,000 copies.
Ross (Richie, CEO & Founder of BOOM!) thought we were crazy. It's an extra 25 percent overrun. It's just not done. Then we saw we were going to blow through those the week the book came out.
So we pulled the trigger on the 2nd print with 5,000 copies which is a big order. Now it's clear we're going to obliterate those books the second they hit the market. So we've announced a third printing of issue #0.
The irony is the 2nd print is going to be the rarest version of this book. For every 10 copies of the first printing #0 that are out there, there will be only 1 second print.
The sales have been incredible. They're not going to last long.
Of course, it's an ongoing series, so momentum is important -- any indication at this point how the preliminary numbers for #1 look?
Initial orders are over 75,000 and I think this book will only get bigger.
With numbers on #1 so high, and #0 orders almost half that, I expect the new fans who are getting into the series at #1 will be chasing the #0 they missed on the aftermarket.
Honestly, we've never seen anything like this at BOOM! Retail partners have told us "Mighty Morphin Power Rangers" is their best-selling launch of the last year. It continues to amaze.
BOOM! Studios has published many popular licensed comics -- from "Adventure Time" to "Regular Show" to "Sons of Anarchy" -- and "Power Rangers" debuted higher than all of them. What do you think it is about this property in particular that connects so strongly with BOOM's audience?
Power Rangers just celebrated its 20th anniversary a few years ago. It's got generations and generations of fans.
These fans clearly connected with BOOM!'s version despite the previous publishing history, which included great publishers like Marvel Comics doing their take on it.
In 2015 we celebrated 10 years in comics and capped the year winning "Best Publisher" from the Gem Awards for the 6th time in the last 7 years.
I think we've built a brand that our retail partners are counting on.
"Power Rangers" is a franchise with decades of history and many different incarnations -- many of which, presumably, would also make sense as a comic. Given the early success of the "Mighty Morphin Power Rangers," is there already talk about more "Power Rangers" series at BOOM?
Fans are clamoring for it. Our retail partners are demanding it.
We're going to be very careful to guard the brand and keep it hot. You'll have to wait to see what we do next!
"Mighty Morphin Power Rangers" #1 is on sale March 2 from BOOM! Studios.