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NYCC | DC’s New 52 sells 5 million comics in just six weeks

DC Comics has sold more than 5 million comics in the first six weeks of its line-wide relaunch, the publisher trumpeted this morning, saying the company “is experiencing its best comic books sales in more than 20 years.”

That figure includes more than 250,000 copies of Justice League #1, whose debut on Aug. 31 kicked off the New 52. According to DC, Action Comics #1 and Batman #1 — the top-selling comics in the direct market in September — have each moved more than 200,000 copies, while the first issues of Detective Comics, The Flash, Green Lantern and Superman have all sold more than 150,000.

In addition, the debuts of Aquaman, Batgirl, Batman and Robin, Batman: The Dark Knight, Green Lantern Corps, Green Lantern: New Guardians and Wonder Woman have all surpassed 100,000 copies.

“We are thrilled by the overwhelmingly positive response from retailers, fans and the creative community to DC Comics — The New 52,” DC Entertainment President Diane Nelson said in the press release. “This was a bold publishing initiative that is reinvigorating and growing the industry and medium we love.”

“People are buying, reading and talking about a line of comic books in a way they haven’t in years,” added Co-Publisher Dan DiDio. “We’re thrilled to see the passionate response fans have had, but this is just Step One for us. Now our plan is to keep the momentum and enthusiasm going.”

Read the full announcement below:

DC Comics Sells Over 5 Million Comic Books in Six Weeks
Historic Renumbering Drives Record-Breaking Sales!

NEW YORK, Oct. 13, 2011 — DC Comics – the home of Superman, Batman, Green Lantern and Wonder Woman – is experiencing its best comic books sales in more than 20 years, following a historic renumbering of all DC Comics titles with 52 all-new first issues. With sales of more than 5 million copies in only six weeks, the first issues of DC COMICS – THE NEW 52 are generating international headlines and bringing fans back into comic book stores across the country.

“We are thrilled by the overwhelmingly positive response from retailers, fans and the creative community to DC Comics — The New 52,” said DC Entertainment President Diane Nelson. “This was a bold publishing initiative that is reinvigorating and growing the industry and medium we love.”

“We did more than just change Superman’s costume and renumber the entire line. We took a huge risk and it’s paying off,” said Jim Lee, DC Entertainment co-publisher and artist of JUSTICE LEAGUE. “Comic book retailers are seeing returning fans as well as new readers flock to their stores.”

Earlier this year, and before DC COMICS – THE NEW 52 launched on August 31, the industry’s bestselling comic book title typically sold about 100,000 copies. In contrast:

  • JUSTICE LEAGUE #1 has sold more than 250,000 copies.
  • ACTION COMICS #1 and BATMAN #1 have both sold more than 200,000 copies.
  • DETECTIVE COMICS #1, THE FLASH #1, GREEN LANTERN #1 and SUPERMAN #1 have all sold more than 150,000 copies.
  • AQUAMAN #1, BATGIRL #1, BATMAN AND ROBIN #1, BATMAN: THE DARK KNIGHT #1, GREEN LANTERN CORPS #1, GREEN LANTERN: NEW GUARDIANS #1 and WONDER WOMAN #1 have all sold more than 100,000 copies.

So, just how many comic books are we talking about? With New York Comic Con kicking off this week, let’s look to some of New York’s famous landmarks for some visual context. It takes (approximately):

  • 2,090,880 comic books laid end to end to stretch from one end of New York State to the other. We’ve sold enough DC COMICS – THE NEW 52 first issues to span New York State in its entirety two times over.
  • 174,480 comic books stacked on top of each other to reach the top of the Empire State Building. That’s every copy of GREEN LANTERN #1—with issues to spare.
  • 36,600 comic books stacked in a pile to reach the top of the Statue of Liberty. That means copies of WONDER WOMAN #1 could reach the top of Lady Liberty almost three times.

Oh, and 5 million copies sold? That’s enough copies of DC COMICS – THE NEW 52 to lay out and span the distance from New York to Chicago – with some left over.

“People are buying, reading and talking about a line of comic books in a way they haven’t in years,” said Dan DiDio, DC Entertainment co-publisher. “We’re thrilled to see the passionate response fans have had, but this is just Step One for us. Now our plan is to keep the momentum and enthusiasm going.”

“When DC Entertainment was created almost two years ago, we committed to an environment of ‘no fear’ when it came to creative and business risks,” said Nelson. “I couldn’t be more proud of our Publishing team for embracing this mantra and delivering in a way that is growing the genre, our partners’ businesses and our fan base, while helping to fuel the creative engine that drives so many Warner Bros.’ content businesses.”

In addition to debuting all-new first issues in comic shops, DC COMICS – THE NEW 52 launched same-day digital publishing, with DC Entertainment becoming the first major comic book publisher to release their entire line of ongoing titles same-day digital.

“Our digital sales have been better than we could have imagined and we are pleased that these sales are additive to traditional publishing sales in the comic book stores,” said John Rood, executive vice president of Sales, Marketing and Business Development. “We’re not migrating readers from print to digital. We’re adding more new readers into the mix.”

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Comments

7 Comments

Congratulations, DC!

What about digital? Those are the numbers I’m really interested in.

DC Comics doesn’t really want to talk about those anemic digital numbers, so the PR spin is about the floppies.

That’s a great deal of stacking!

So that’s at the distribution level, so how is that working at the retail level? Or is next convention season headline going to be DC books top seller in all the 50c boxes?

Seriously, while I contend there has been some genuine sell outs, there are some books that got stuck on the rack and might of had retailers who took buy deals being forced into getting the reprints of them. I wouldn’t call success until the third month of this relaunch, that is when we will see the real numbers and not just collectors seeking #1 issues.

Congrats to DC!

@Nick – Would retailers really be ordering 2nd, 3rd and 4 prints if they weren’t selling?

I’ve also heard that the second issues have seen an increase in the majority of the titles due to under ordering of the first issues, instead of the standard 20-30% (or 40% in some cases).

The big question is—how long will this last?

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