Three comic titles sold over 175,000 copies in the direct market in May, all with sales driven by variant cover promotions. Marvel's Astonishing X-Men #1 beat DC's Superman #205 by less than 1%, with an estimated 209,389 copies (vs. 208,105 for Superman) shipped from Diamond Comic Distributors to retailers. Superman/Batman #10 came in third, with a still healthy 178,865 copies shipped. With this kind of results, it's probably safe to assume that the current mini-boom in variant covers (see 'Variant Covers -- Are They Back?') will continue.
The two other books rounding out the top five are also worthy of note. Secret War Book Two outsold Book One substantially, an extremely rare occurrence in the comics biz. And Uncanny X-Men #444 jumped substantially over #443.
Marvel was slightly less dominant than usual at the top of the chart, with eight of the top ten, and 18 of the top 25 books.
Thirteen of the top 25 books were down vs. the previous issues, nine were up.
The top 25 comic titles in May, with our estimates of the numbers sold by Diamond Comic Distributors to North American comic retailers, are as follow:
209,389 Astonishing X-Men #1
208,105 Superman #205
178,865 Superman/Batman #10
116,611 Secret War Book Two
112,129 Uncanny X-Men #444
107,185 X-Men #157
99,320 Marvel Knights Spider-Man #2
96,698 Ultimate X-Men #45
96,652 Ultimate X-Men #46
90,963 Ultimate Spider-Man #58
89,863 Ultimate Spider-Man #59
81,944 Amazing Spider-Man #507
76,885 Batman #627
76,416 New X-Men Academy X #1
74,348 Batman #628
71,757 Excalibur #1
69,965 JLA #98
69,058 JLA #99
68,728 Wolverine #15
67,813 Teen Titans #11
63,292 Supreme Power #10
55,711 Avengers #82
55,280 Avengers #83
54,012 Daredevil #60
For an analysis of the dollar trends in May, see 'Comics Up 12% in May.'
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 2004.'
For our estimates of actual orders to Diamond U.S. from comic specialty stores on graphic novels scheduled to ship during May, see 'Top 100 Graphic Novels Actual--May 2004.'
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 2004.'
For our estimates of actual orders to Diamond U.S. from comic specialty stores on graphic novels scheduled to ship during April, see 'Top 100 Graphic Novels Actual--April 2004.'
For our index to our reports on the top comic and graphic novel preorders for January 2000 through May 2004, see 'ICv2's Top 300 Comics and Top 50 GNs Index.'