www.cbr.com

How Marvel's Black Cat #1 Became the Best-Selling Comic in June 2019

Black Cat #1

June 2019 had 6,271,535 units in the top 300 comics list, a decrease of 315,293 units from last month. The average for the top 300 comics is 6,612,772 units and the month isn't too far below that average.

This is the eighth month in a row of below average sales for the top 300 comics. This is the longest range of sales for the top 300 comics below the running average since the 23 month range from October 2009 to August 2011. This period included the all time low for the top final order sales for the top 300 of 4,402,736 units in January 2011. That 23 month range averaged around 89% of the running monthly average sales of the top 300 comics, while this 8 month period is around 91.37% of the running average. While sales could be better, they could also be much worse.

MISSING IMAGE: 2019-06-_Publishers_Horizontal.svg

Marvel Comics placed 3,251,118 units in the top 300 comics, a decrease of 43,259 units and accounted for 51.84% of the total units.

DC Comics placed 1,796,741 units in the top 300 comics, a decrease of 394,357 units and accounted for 28.65% of the total units.

Image Comics placed 483,494 units in the top 300 comics, an increase of 132,319 units and accounted for 7.71% of the total units.

RELATED: Black Cat Movie Is Still in Sony's Plans

The premiere publishers accounted for 96.56% of the total units for the top 300 comics this month while all of the other publishers with items in the top 300 accounted for 3.44% of the total units for the top 300 comics.

MISSING IMAGE: 2019-06-_TitleStatus_Horizontal.svg

The up-swing of 1,468,722 units from new and increased sales was not enough to compensate for the down-swing of 1,784,015 units from lost sales for the net decrease of 315,293 units.

MISSING IMAGE: 2019-06-_TitleStatus-A-Titles-Delta-ContinuingTitlesGainedSales.svg

The 16 titles across the 7 publishers in the continuing titles which gained sales category accounted for 525,467 units in the top 300 comics with an upswing of 77,367 units. Image Comics accounted for 73.80% of the change in this category.

Walking Dead and Spawn both had strong gains. Walking Dead #192 featured a major story point and Spawn #298 starts the build up to Spawn #300.

MISSING IMAGE: 2019-06-_TitleStatus-B-Titles-Delta-ContinuingTitlesMoreIssues.svg

The 6 titles across the 2 publishers in the continuing titles which shipped more issues category accounted for 331,083 units in the top 300 comics with an upswing of 184,279 units. Marvel Comics accounted for 91.75% of the change in this category. There were five shipping weeks in May and four in June.

As is often the case, Marvel dominated this category because of the release cadence of a number of titles is slightly faster than monthly.

MISSING IMAGE: 2019-06-_TitleStatus-C-Titles-Delta-ContinuingTitlesStableSales.svg

The 17 titles across the 11 publishers in the continuing titles with reasonably stable sales category accounted for 134,398 units in the top 300 comics with a downswing of 2,348 units. This category continues to highlight the slow attrition which impacts titles for all of the publishers.

MISSING IMAGE: 2019-06-_TitleStatus-D-Titles-Delta-ContinuingTitlesFewerIssues.svg

The 11 titles across the 3 publishers in the continuing titles which shipped fewer issues category accounted for 401,572 units in the top 300 comics with a downswing of 311,149 units. Marvel Comics accounted for 85.00% of the change in this category.

As is often the case, Marvel dominated this category because of the release cadence of a number of titles is slightly faster than monthly. The better the title tends to sell, the larger the drop in monthly sales when fewer issues are released.

MISSING IMAGE: 2019-06-_TitleStatus-E-Titles-Delta-ContinuingTitlesLostSales.svg

The 133 titles across the 14 publishers in the continuing titles which lost sales category accounted for 3,095,936 units in the top 300 comics with a downswing of 530,366 units. Marvel Comics accounted for 45.85% of the change in this category. DC Comics accounted for 33.50% of the change in this category.

DCeased lost 37.34% of the first issue sales with the second issue but still managed to take second place with 152,407 units. Savage Avengers, on the other hand, had a 44.41% second issue drop and fell to rank 16 with 65,428 units.

RELATED: DCeased #6 Cover Reveals Catwoman Leashed By Harley Quinn, Poison Ivy

MISSING IMAGE: 2019-06-_TitleStatus-F-Titles-Delta-NewTitles.svg

The 32 titles across the 16 publishers in the new titles category accounted for 821,826 units in the top 300 comics with an upswing of 821,826 units. Marvel Comics accounted for 49.48% of the change in this category. Black Cat) accounted for 31.11% of the change in this category. DC Comics accounted for 18.75% of the change in this category.

Black Cat #1 took its place at the top of the list, thanks mainly to its variant covers. The first issue had a regular cover, four open-to-order variants, one of which was an Artgerm cover, a 1-in-10 cover, a 1-in-25 cover, a 1-in-50 cover, a 1-in-100 cover and a 1-in-200 cover. The second issue has a regular cover, a single open-to-order cover with a Carnage-ized theme, a 1-in-25 cover, a 1-in-50 cover and a 1-in-100 cover. With only half the variant covers, sales will drop but since there is still a 1-in-100 cover, sales should plummet. Black Cat #3 has a regular cover, a single open-to-order cover, a 1-in-25 cover, a 1-in-50 cover and a 1-in-100 cover.

The drop from the second to third issues won't reflect a change in the promotional push from the variant covers, since they have equivalent cover gimmicks with the only real difference being the art itself. Sometimes that can make a big difference, such as we see with Stanley "Artgerm" Lau's covers. Other times, the art itself matters far less than the ratios and other aspects which make the cover rarer. Black Cat #4, however, only has a regular cover, so this is when we'll likely see a drop caused by the lack of variant covers.

Silver Surfer: Black #1 launched with 129,490 units with a regular cover, an open-to-order cover, a 1-in-50 cover and a 1-in-100 cover. The second, third and fourth issues each have a regular cover, an open-to-order cover and a 1-in-25 cover. We'll probably see a bit of a drop on the second issue and then the standard attrition on the third of fourth issues.

MISSING IMAGE: 2019-06-_TitleStatus-G-Titles-Delta-ReturningTitles.svg

The 32 titles across the 10 publishers in the returning titles category accounted for 332,449 units in the top 300 comics with an upswing of 332,449 units. Batman Damned accounted for 34.72% of the change in this category.

Batman Damned came back for the final issue with 115,414 units. Expect to see it in the defunct titles category with that same unit count next month.

MISSING IMAGE: 2019-06-_TitleStatus-H-Titles-Delta-SuspendedTitles.svg

The 29 titles across the 14 publishers in the suspended titles category accounted for 0 units in the top 300 comics with a downswing of 551,038 units. DC Comics accounted for 60.30% of the change in this category.

Doomsday Clock and Batman: Last Knight on Earth both had no issues released in June resulting in a 231,535 unit deficit for DC in June from just those two titles. This puts the month-to-month drop of 394,357 for DC into a bit of perspective.

RELATED: Doomsday Clock's Story Is Connected to Bendis' Legion of Super-Heroes

MISSING IMAGE: 2019-06-_TitleStatus-I-Titles-Delta-DefunctTitles.svg

The 14 titles across the 8 publishers in the defunct titles category accounted for 0 units in the top 300 comics with a downswing of 222,311 units. DC Comics accounted for 39.73% of the change in this category. Heroes In Crisis (2018) accounted for 35.02% of the change in this category. Marvel Comics accounted for 35.39% of the change in this category.

Heroes in Crisis ended and added another 77,861 units to the deficit for DC going into June. Flash Forward and the Harley and Ivy titles which continue aspects of the Heroes in Crisis story. It will be interesting to see how those titles do. Personally, I didn't care for many aspects of Heroes in Crisis but I'm starting to come to the conclusion that perhaps I'm not the kind of reader that DC is targeting these days.

MISSING IMAGE: 2019-06-_TitleStatus-J-Titles-Delta-AnnualsSpecials.svg

The 5 titles across the 4 publishers in the annuals/specials category accounted for zero units in the top 300 comics with a downswing of 85,094 units. DC Comics accounted for 78.80% of the change in this category. Some months there simply aren't any annuals or specials in the top 300. This was one of those months. Marvel has a couple of annuals coming out in July. So this this category can only go up in sales next month.

MISSING IMAGE: 2019-06-_TitleStatus-K-Titles-Delta-Non-Series.svg

The 49 titles across the 6 publishers in the non-series category accounted for 438,164 units in the top 300 comics with an upswing of 438,164 units, a downswing of 519,873 units for a net a decrease of 81,709 units.

Marvel dominates this category between the True Believers line and things like the various Star Wars: Age of the Republic one-shots. DC is finally starting up some reprint titles so we should start to see more items from other publishers in the category. While DC has a rich history to pull from, most of those stories aren't as clearly relevant to the current continuity because of the way DC has mismanaged their shared universe continuity over the decades.

MISSING IMAGE: 2019-06-_TitleStatus-L-Titles-Delta-Reorders.svg

The 18 titles across the 3 publishers in the reorders category accounted for 190,640 units in the top 300 comics with an upswing of 177,797 units, a downswing of 124,996 units for a net an increase of 52,801 units.

Most of the activity in this category is from Marvel titles. One one issue of Immortal Hulk had reorder activity and it was at rank 216 so it fell below the top 300 and wasn't included in this breakdown of the top 300 comics sales.

I'll be at Comic-Con International: San Diego this year. If you'd are going to the convention and would like talk, email me at John.Mayo@ComicBookResources.com and we can find a time and place to meet during the convention. I always enjoy talking with fellow comic book fans at conventions.

For a more in-depth discussion of the sales data, check out the Mayo Report episodes of the Comic Book Page podcast at http://www.comicbookpage.com. The episode archived cover the past decade of comic book sales on a monthly basis with yearly recap episodes. In addition to those episodes on the sales data, every Monday is a Weekly Comics Spotlight episode featuring a comic by DC, a comic by Marvel and a comic by some other publisher. I read around 200 new comics a month so the podcast covers a wide variety of the comics currently published. If you are looking for more or different comics to read, check out the latest Previews Spotlight episode featuring clips from various comic book fans talking about the comics they love. With thousands of comics in Previews every month, Previews Spotlight episodes are a great way to find out about new comic book titles that may have flown under your comic book radar.

As always, if you have any questions or comments, please feel free to email me at John.Mayo@ComicBookResources.com.

Superior Hawkman: DC Just Stole Marvel's Most Infamous Spider-Man Plot

More in CBR Exclusives