The power of the 'first' issue was on display in Diamond Comic Distributors list of comics shipped in May. Three number one issues made the top 25, with Wolverine #1 grabbing the top spot with sales of nearly 159,000 copies. The negative effect of the 'first issue phenomenon' was also on display in the precipitous drop of the second issue of Transformers Generation One, which fell some 37,000 copies from the first issue that shipped in April. Twelve titles in the top 25 were up versus their previous issues while ten declined and three were number ones. Last month's lead title, Batman, dropped some 9,000 copies, while the #2 book in April, Transformers Generation One Vol. 2 #1 dropped all the way to the eleventh spot on the May list with its number 2 issue. In addition to Wolverine's stellar debut, Venom #1 fared extremely well in its re-launch as part of Marvel's Tsunami line.
As was the case in May, Marvel had 13 of the top 15 titles ceding only the number two spot to DC and number eleven to Dreamwave. Nineteen of the top 25 titles were Marvels, with five DCs and one from Dreamwave. The top 25 comics sold by Diamond during April with our estimates of the quantities are:
158,787 Wolverine #1
144,090 Batman #615
105,546 Ultimates #10
104,480 Ultimate Spider-Man #40
102,794 Ultimate Spider-Man #41
95,805 New X-Men #141
95,777 Amazing Spider-Man #53
94,638 Uncanny X-Men #424
93,125 Ultimate X-Men 333
92,592 Venom #1
74,322 Transformers Generation One Vol. 2 #2 (of 6)
66,339 X-Treme X-Men #25
66,166 X-Treme X-Men #26
61,426 Incredible Hulk #54
61,368 Daredevil #47
60,316 JLA #81
58,097 Avengers 367
57,016 New Mutants #1
54,106 League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen Vol. 2 #5 (of 6)
52,535 Green Arrow #25
52,103 Fantastic Four #69
51,037 Marvel Univers The End #5 (of 6)
50,475 Peter Parker Spider-Man
50,475 Green Arrow #26
49,279 Captain America #13
We are estimating actual sales by Diamond U.S. (primarily to North American comic stores) rather than pre-orders (as we did for the past several years) because Diamond recently changed its reporting and began basing its indexes on actual sales (see 'ICv2 Kicks Off New Top 300 Reporting'). We use those indexes and publisher sales data to estimate a sales number for Batman (the anchor title diamond uses in its calculations), and use that number and the indexes to estimate Diamond's sales on the remaining titles. Because of that change, we will not be able to do year over year comparisons until February of 2004, but in general, it's an improvement to have actual numbers to work with rather than preorders, which have significant differences from sales.
For our estimates of actual orders to Diamond U.S. from comic specialty stores on comic books scheduled to ship during May, see 'Top 300 Comics Actual -- May 2003.'
For our estimates of actual orders to Diamond U.S. from comic specialty stores on graphic novels scheduled to ship during May, see 'Top 50 Graphic Novels Actual -- May 2003.'
For our estimates of actual orders to Diamond U.S. from comic specialty stores on comic books scheduled to ship during April, see 'Top 300 Comics Actual -- April 2003.'
For our estimates of actual orders to Diamond U.S. from comic specialty stores on graphic novels scheduled to ship during April, see 'Top 50 Graphic Novels Actual -- April 2003.'
For our index to our reports on the top comic and graphic novel preorders for January 2000 through May 2003, see 'ICv2's Top 300 Comics and Top 50 GNs Index.'