Batman continued its rise for the fourth consecutive issue, with the Jeph Loeb/Jim Lee creative team powering sell-outs in comic shops. Seven of the other top ten titles were also up for February, including six Marvels and Dreamwave's Transformers: The War Within. Titles ranked from 11 to 25 were not as lucky, with 14 of 15 dropping in orders between January and February.
Marvel's Ultimate line held strong, with three out of the top five titles and four out of the top seven titles. Marvel's Ultimate line dominated graphic novel sales as well as comics, with three of the top five titles in piece orders drawn from their ranks.
Retro titles were generally weaker (with the exception of Transformers: The War Within mentioned above), although they still held five of the top thirty slots. Transformers: Armada was down 31%, GI Joe down 6%, and just out of the top 25, the new Thundercats #1 was ordered in at 26% below the last issue of the previous mini-series and Masters of the Universe was down 16%.
No major changes on the publisher front -- Marvel had eight of the top ten and 19 of the top 25, DC had one of the top ten and three of the top 25, Dreamwave had one of the top ten and two of the top 25, and Image had one of the top 25 titles.
Here are the initial raw orders to Diamond U.S. from pop culture stores on the top 25 comic titles for February 2003:
125,095 Batman #612
108,295 Ultimate War #4
101,490 Ultimates #9
100,439 Amazing Spider-Man #50
98,475 Ultimate Spider-Man #36
92,470 New X-Men #137
84,789 Ultimate X-Men #29
83,714 Uncanny X-Men #419
63,911 Wolverine #186
61,847 Transfomers War Withing #5
60,233 X-Treme X-Men #21
60,183 JLA #78
58,782 Daredevil #43
58,682 Incredible Hulk #50
58,494 Daredevil #44
56,430 Spider-Man Blue #6
52,753 Avengers #64
52,627 Captain America #9
51,739 Green Arrow #21
48,512 Fantastic Four #6
48,312 Spider-Man Peter Parker #53
46,961 Transformers Armada #8
46,485 Truth Red White and Black #4
45,760 GI Joe #1543,496 Hulk Wolverine 6 Hours #3
Notes on this chart:
Some titles have been truncated or abbreviated for space reasons.
Publisher abbreviations have also been used.
Mar = Marvel
Dar = Dark Horse
Dre = Dreamwave
Ima = Image
Bla = Black Bull
Car = Cartoon Books
Har = Harris
Cro = Crossgen
Bon = Bongo
Tok = Tokyo Pop
Cha = Chaos
The quantities in this chart are ICv2 estimates of initial raw orders to Diamond North America on titles scheduled for shipment in February 2003. They do not include orders placed with Diamond UK, late orders, advance reorders, distributor over-orders, or reorders.
Marvel, DC, Dark Horse and Image distribute 100% of their comic store orders through Diamond. Some other publishers distribute directly to stores or through other distributors and as a result this analysis may underestimate their sales.
Marvel, DC, Dark Horse, and Image distribute some of their titles through channels other than comic specialty stores, e.g., newsstands and bookstores. These quantity estimates do not reflect distribution through those channels.
The quantities above do not include advance reorders, late orders, or reorders.
Most of the titles on this chart are also distributed to Europe by Diamond UK, which can account for significant sales for the publisher, ranging from 3-20% of the US numbers. Sales by Diamond UK are not included in the numbers above.
Even given the above, however, it is probably safe to say that these quantities reflect 80% or more of the total North American sales by the publisher on most periodical comics.
One other factor to consider is that sales through Diamond and other comic distributors are non-returnable to retailers. That means that there is a considerable unknown percentage of books unsold at the retailer level. If that percentage is 10-20% of sales (a reasonable assumption), the estimates above may be quite close to actual sales to consumers.
For an analysis of the dollar trends in February, see 'Comic Dollar Declines Slow in February.'
For the top 300 comics in February, see 'Top 300 Comics--February 2003.'
For the top 50 graphics novels in February, see 'Top 50 Graphic Novels--February 2003.'
For the top 300 comics in January, see 'Top 300 Comics--January 2003.'
For the top 50 graphics novels in January, see 'Top 50 Graphic Novels--January 2003.'
For an overview and analysis of the dollar orders for January, see 'Batman Tops January Comics.'
see 'Batman Tops January Comics.'
For an analysis of the dollar trends in January, see 'Comic Dollars Down for January.'
For links to all of the Top 300 Comic and Top 300 Graphic Novel orders, see our 'ICv2's Top 300 Comics & Top 50 GN's Index.'