There was one comic book to rule them all in 2014, and that book was Amazing Spider-Man No. 1 from Marvel. The return of Peter Parker after a year-and-a-half hiatus which gave birth to the successful Superior Spider-Man title led all sales for the year, according to Diamond Comic Distributors, the largest comic book distributor in the world.
Marvel ended the year with a 34.38% dollar share and a 36.78% unit share for the North American market, compared to rival DC Comics 28.86% dollar share and 32.47% unit share. DC published 43 of the top 100 comics for the year, according to Diamond, while Marvel released 53 of the top 100.
The Big Two represented 63% of the total dollar share and 69% of the total unit share, while ever-rising independent publisher Image finished with 9.43% dollar share and jumped to a 10.41% unit share on the year. Image also released the #2 comic of the year in terms of sales, with Robert Kirkman’s The Walking Dead No. 132.
The disparity in both dollar and unit share has to be discouraging for the folks in Burbank, as DC shipped a staggering 1107 titles in 2014 compared to just 953 for Marvel. Image’s percentage despite shipping 953 titles is a clear indicator that, despite the growing critical reception for the publisher’s stellar line of creator-owned titles, super-hero books still own the market.