Comic Book Market Maven: Image, IDW Look to Dominate

The final sales numbers for May should be out shortly, and I’ll write up an additional post looking at those in more detail. In the meantime, let’s take a look at what’s on sale in the second week of June.

The Big Two

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It’s a relatively quiet week for the Big Two in terms of perennial monthly top 10 titles. DC, of course, has another issue of Batman: Eternal, which will do quite well for itself. Beyond that, there’s a new issue of Detective Comics out this week, as well as new issues of a handful of second tier titles like BatgirlBirds of Prey and Green Lantern Corps.

One notable release to watch is “Infinity Man and the Forever People #1,” DC’s latest attempt to capitalize on Jack Kirby’s Fourth World characters. It’s from the same creators as the cancelled O.M.A.C, which lasted only eight issues. Will the launch of Infinity Man be strong enough to buy it more time, or will it be similarly short-lived? History suggests the later, but we shall see.

As for Marvel, their biggest book of the week will likely be “All New X-Men #28,” consistently their top-selling X-Book. After that, they’ll likely take a few top spots with new issues of Deadpool and Hulk. Beyond that, Marvel continues to display the depth of its bench, as several franchise and newer Marvel NOW titles release new issues this week: Avengers MightyNew, and Secret, “Captain Marvel #4,” “Nightcrawler #3,” “She-Hulk #5,” and “Wolverine #8.”

A title to watch for Marvel: “Figment #1,” the first issue of a limited series which intends to tell the origin story of Figment, the star of Epcot Center’s Journey into Imagination ride. It marks arguably the most direct piece of corporate synergy yet between Marvel and parent company Disney, and it’ll be interesting to see what levels of sales will result from the use of a relatively high-profile Disney theme park tie-in (even while this seems like the kind of thing that will continue to make money for years after it’s been collected, just from presumably being present in the theme park gift shops).

The Independents

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It’s a big week for Image, as is any week in which they release a new issue of overall Top 10 mainstay Walking Dead, but they also have new issues of Manifest Destiny and Shutter, both of which were two of Image’s top 10 books in April.

IDW, meanwhile, looks to make a splash with “Angry Birds #1,” the first ever comic book based on the hugely popular video game. Angry Birds has show itself to be a property capable of successfully translating into a variety of different mediums, so a comic book of the property makes sense. As for IDW, their best-selling titles of late have been their My Little Pony books, another licensed property with broad(er) appeal outside the usual comic book/sci-fi markets. Those titles combine for sales around 45K per month, enough to challenge the mid-tier books from the Big Two. If there’s enough of a demand for an Angry Birds comic (and if IDW can get the book into some non-traditional retail locations), its sales could approach 30K, at least for the first issue, enough to make it the publisher’s top book for the month and to single-handedly challenge the lower tier books from the Big Two.

Comic Book Market Predictions

With only a handful of “big” books from the Big Two this week, Image’s Walking Dead should eke out a win over the weekly Batman: Eternal for the top spot. Marvel, meanwhile, will round out the top 10 for the week with new issues of All New X-MenDeadpool, and Hulk. With a deeper bench than DC, Marvel will continue to lead in overall market share.