Robot 6

Don’t call it a comeback? Marvel’s ‘seriously inflated’ top-seller

Point One

The takeaway from November’s direct-market sales estimates seemed to be that Marvel had rebounded from its thrashing the previous month by DC Comics, whose New 52 numbers appear to be settling. With 33.3 percent of dollar shares and 37.94 percent of unit sales, the House of Ideas came within two points of its competitor.

However, in its analysis ICv2.com suggests that those numbers don’t tell the whole story, and that the sales of some of Marvel’s top titles are a bit — or, in one case, “seriously” — inflated.

The retail news and analysis site reminds us that the publisher’s top-selling comic at No. 5, the $5.99 Point One, was over-shipped, with stores receiving double their initial orders as free copies. That means retailers didn’t order an estimated 113,352 copies but rather around 56,600, placing Point One at No. 29 on the Diamond Comic Distributors chart, between The Amazing Spider-Man #673 and The Avengers #19.

Skipping past The Avenging Spider-Man #1 and Wolverine and the X-Men #2, with their variant covers — four for the former alone — brings us to Fantastic Four #600, the anniversary issue whose $7.99 price tag helped Marvel to gain ground in dollar share.

Related: John Mayo looks at November sales estimates for Comic Book Resources

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Comments

25 Comments

Talk about cooking the books!

Wow, and this is a story?

In other news, company tries to make money.

World is shocked.

I was surprised when I saw Point One so high on the chart, because I would have expected Diamond not to count issues that Marvel hands out for free.

i just want my books i don’t give a care about all this stupid stuff that takes up time and space. i miss the marvel comics of the 70’s.

Actually,
in addition to Point One Marvel over-shipped Wolverine and the X-Men #2 & Incredible Hulk #2 by VERY healthy %’s.

And lets not forget Defenders #1 next month.

I’d say DC’s numbers have definitely not settles yet. There was still somewhere between a 15-20% drop on a lot of books.

jimmy s jay of jay company comics is saying on twitter that a lot of the point one’s sold for $1.50, and not the $5.99 list: http://twitter.com/#!/JimmySJay/status/146628036501045248

I just hope that these sales comparisons continue to tip the scales towards DC so that at some point Marvel realizes that to remain competitive they have to stop overpricing their product.

DC over ships all the time. All their relaunch stuff is going to be choking bargain bins in about 2 months.

Has Steve Wacker learned of this heretical hearsay yet? Don’t worry, he’ll be here soon. (I hear Marvel pays him extra to waste his time snarking off to fans and the numerically uninformed on comic book websites!)

Wait, can someone explain how that works? When they overship, are those copies literally free for the retailer? If Marvel ships double the number of copies, then do all of those copies show up in the “units” chart? What shows up in the “dollars” chart, then…how many they sold times the cover price, or the actual dollars paid out by retailers? And what number is used to define marketshare…the number of copies bought or the number of copies shipped?

Not joking, Point One was the single worst comic book I have ever read in my entire life. No wonder Marvel had to give them damn thing away.

How do you know which books that were over-shipped?

“Not joking, Point One was the single worst comic book I have ever read in my entire life. No wonder Marvel had to give them damn thing away.”

Obviously, you’ve never read anything written by Tony Daniel, David Finch (ONE FACE!) or Dan DiDio or drawn by Rob Liefeld or Brett Booth.

Hey, I personally have been enjoying Tony Daniel’s ‘Tec just fine (it’s not as good as Scott Snyder’s Batman, of course, but it ain’t bad) and I really dug his creator-owned books The Tenth and Silke (though to be fair, I haven’t re-read them in ages). And Brett Booth USED to be good…when he was doing Wildcore, that book was downright gorgeous. He left comics for a while, and ever since he came back, it seems like he’s rushing. Since Anita Blake, his art has looked barely a half-step better than those first few issues of Backlash. I wanted to like his Teen Titans, but man is that some boring looking art.

NB Marvel announced that they would be doubling orders of Point One free of charge because it was ‘important’ for coming storylines

Point One over-shipping seems to be all over the net, but Wolverine and Hulk #2 also being over-shipped was news to me.

My LCS actually has more Fear Itself tie-ins choking the racks than New 52. DC sold out pretty much across the board for the first 3 issues.

Given that both companies have been gaming the charts by overshipping, why doesn’t Diamond just start reporting the ordered copies and not the overships? That would correct both market and dollar share discrepancies. Regardless, the next 9-12 months are going to be all over the place while DC settles into whatever their post-New 52 market share is going to be.

As for the Point One one-shot itself, it was okay. It was clear that some of the set up stories in it actually tied to the framework of the issue (the stuff with The Watcher), while others were just prologues thrown in for the sake of promotion (Age of Apocalypse, Defenders). Not a bad way to get people primed for what’s coming next year, but hardly required reading.

@DrunkJack

I would take Daniel, Finch, DiDio (OMAC rules!) and Liefeld over this dribble any day! This is nothing buy slop thrown together as a cheap money grab.

I’d be more concerned about that the fact that DC’s books are rapidly falling back to normal numbers. They cant exactly relaunch again in 8 months can they?

Sounds like Marvel is intentionally trying to skew the numbers because DC is doing so well.

What a laugh.

I currently buy 20 DC books to Marvel’s 2.

A year ago or so, it was the reverse of that.

@ NB. Marvel also announced that Hulk #2 would be overshipped (by around 50% I think), partly as a way to say sorry for the early release of the digital copy. I didn’t hear about about Wolverine & the X-Men being overshipped though.

Dollar Market share means nothing anyway. It’s only useful for showing what retailers earn IF they sell all the copies they received and IF they sold them all at the cover price. It’s not necessarily reflective of a publisher’s revenue, because they offer different levels of discounts.

Thanks.

Makes sense that Hulk #2 would be over-shipped considering how well it held up. WATX otoh seems to be a genuine success.

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