Diamond Comics, the largest comic distributor in North America, recently released their October sales figures, and Marvel led the way with a commanding lead over their competitors. The combination of the Star Wars line, and the launch of All New All Different Marvel proved to be an unstoppable force. Marvel was so dominant that eighteen of the top twenty, and thirty-six of the top fifty comics were published by “The House of Ideas.” Overall Marvel ended up with %43.65 of the dollar share, and that was more than double the number of the closest competitor.
The debut issue of Brian Michael Bendis and David Marquez’ Invincible Iron Man took the top spot with estimated sales reaching over 200,000 copies. The Spider-Man franchise took up three more spots in the top ten, with the first two issues of the Amazing Spider-Man relaunch, and Spider-Gwen coming in at the number two, ten, and three spots respectively. The Star Wars juggernaut continued, as the best selling franchise combined for six of the top fifteen titles of the month.
One of the biggest surprises of the month was the first issue of Doctor Strange coming in at number five. The combination of excitement for the upcoming movie, and the Jason Aaron/Chris Bachalo creative team helped the Sorcerer Supreme’s first ongoing series in years shoot to the top of the charts. Rounding out the top ten was Guardians of The Galaxy #1. The continued success of the Guardians comic is another example of how a strong creative team, and movie excitement can help create a best selling franchise.
Since this is our first article on Marvel’s comic book sales, it should be noted that in today’s ever changing comic book landscape the Diamond Comics sales charts don’t tell the whole story. The numbers represent sales from Diamond to the “Direct Market.” comic book stores in North America. The sales are only the number of copies ordered by retailers, and not the total issues that end up in the hands of consumers. They also don’t take into account international, and digital sales. With digital sales numbers being treated by publishers like state secrets, and no way to measure actual sales to consumers, the Diamond charts are still the best way for the public to gauge the success. With all of this said, Marvel still looks to have had a wildly successful October, and is sitting pretty with new titles launching well into 2016.