May 2018 had 6,967,776 units in the top 300 comics list, an increase of 158,547 units from last month. This was the stronger month for the top 300 since the 7,028,651 units in October 2017. Marvel sold over a million more units than DC.
Part of that was the extra sized issues of Amazing Spider-Man #800, Despicable Deadpool #300 and Invincible Iron Man #600. The other main ingredient is Marvel's relaunched titles, including Venom #1, Avengers #1 and Black Panther #1.
Marvel Comics placed 3,345,737 units in the top 300 comics and was up 170,896 units in the top 300 compared to last month and accounted for 48.02% of the total units for the top 300 comics. Four Marvel items sold over 120,000 units and the rest sold under 67,000 units. Sales for Marvel seem to be more based on incentive covers and first issues or x-hundred issues numbers than on a sustainable interest in the story content.
DC Comics placed 2,269,529 units in the top 300 comics and was down 171,638 units in the top 300 compared to last month and accounted for 32.57% of the total units for the top 300 comics. Doomsday Clock continues to do well for DC when it is released. It also had reorder activity for all previously released issues. Neither Justice League: No Justice nor Man of Steel reached 100,000 units, but both first issues were in the top 10.
The premiere publishers (Marvel, DC, Image, IDW, Dark Horse, BOOM! Studios and Dynamite Entertainment) accounted for 96.98% of the units in the top 300 comics this month while all of the other publishers with items in the top 300 accounted for 3.02% of the units.
The up-swing of 2,950,845 units from new and increased sales was enough to compensate for the down-swing of -2,798,478 units from lost sales. New titles were the main factor this month almost offsetting the losses from defunct titles and suspended titles.
Comics have been in this churn based mode for a while with titles constantly starting and stopping. Relaunching a title is done in the hope of getting more readers and usually they do. But the end of a title is about a good of a jumping off point as a reader can get. There is no guarantee that reader will transition to the replacement title. Not all titles end with a clear replacement title either.
The continuing titles which gained sales category added 64,560 units compared to last month. Invincible Iron Man #600 got a bump of 24:552 units. That was the final issue of that Iron Man series and of of the work Brian Michael Bendis was doing for Marvel.
Flash got an increase with the prelude and start of the Flash War storyline. The increase will probably last for the duration of the arc with the usual attrition of the course of it.
Most titles didn't gain a significant number of units over last month. This lack of growth on ongoing titles is why publishers relaunch titles periodically.
The continuing titles which shipped more issues category added 177,545 units compared to last month. April had four shipping weeks and May had five. All of the titles in this category were from Marvel which shipped two issues in May and only one in April.
The continuing titles with reasonably stable sales category removed 2,815 units compared to last month. Most of these losses were only a percent or two of attrition. The exception was Kiss/Army of Darkness which was down 4.53% from last month.
The continuing titles which shipped fewer issues category removed 416,440 units compared to last month. Most of the titles in this group were Marvel titles.