Welcome to Market Maven, a new weekly feature here at Capeless Crusader!
Each week, we’ll offer up predictions on how various publishers should perform, given past success and the lineups each is putting in stores. You may disagree strongly. Honestly, we hope you do.
Now, to the big board!
Look for DC and Marvel to be locked into a tight race for market share this week. Both publishers are offering up some of their strongest titles. DC’s strength usually lies in the Bat-family, and though Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo won’t have a new issue out this week, there are still Batwing and Manupul and Buccelato’s debut on Detective to consider. In addition, shelves will be stocked with a revitalized Action Comics, Dan Jurgens attempt to build the undersea world of Aquaman and the Others, and the still-going-strong-in-the-absence-of-James-Robinson Earth 2.
The House of Ideas should show up strong with new installments of no less than six All-New Marvel Now titles in Black Widow, Magneto, Moon Knight, New Warriors, Punisher, and She-Hulk. New Warriors is easily the weakest of the pack, but Marvel’s lineup should be buoyed with the launch of Inhuman and What If: Age of Ultron. Based on the strength of the ANMN titles, the lead will probably go to Marvel, but expect it to be close.
The indie scene is going to be even harder to call than the Big 2. With a weaker week than usual from heavy-hitter Image Comics, this is a wide-open race. Image is rolling out several titles which should help them to a strong showing in Revival, Pretty Deadly, and Black Science. Given its quality, one would expect Starlight to show, but word-of-mouth is still spreading on this series, so it’s doubtful that it will contribute much.
The race is likely to come down to a standoff between Dark Horse and Dynamite, both of which are offering up a pretty even blend of new series and successful ongoings like Angel and Faith Season 10 and Red Sonja. Don’t be surprised if Avatar Press takes a sizable bit out of pull list budgets, though, with both a new issue of Hickman’s God is Dead and the first issue of Remender’s Caliban sure to pull in a large portion of the science-fiction-inclined readership.
Obviously, the Big 2 are going to dominate the overall sales picture this week. There are simply not enough widely-known titles from either of the major competitors (Image and Dark Horse) to compete with the sheer volume of titles coming out of the mainstream. To steal a phrase from basketball, Marvel and DC are volume scorers, while the smaller publishers are picking their shots with care. That said, I expect strong performances on the titles the smaller houses are releasing, due to their high-profile creative teams and the growing segment of comics readership that has become disenchanted with the monotonous mush of DC and the constant events of Marvel.