Sales of 16 of the top 25 comics fell in January, with only four titles demonstrating gains in the number of units sold. All four of the titles demonstrating gains were Marvels; Amazing Spider-Man #528, which provided the conclusion to The Other crossover event and hints at Spidey's new costume, had the biggest percentage gain though a couple additional The Other-related titles, Peter David's Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man and Reginald Hudlin's Marvel Knights Spider-Man, also posted solid increases. Fans in the comic book blogosphere have been merciless in their dissection of The Other, but it does appear to have spurred sales.
Marvel also managed to land the first issue of three new mini-series (Ultimate Extinction #1, X-Men 198 #1, and X-Men End Men & X-Men #1) in the top 25. DC Comics held onto the top 2 spots on the list while placing 9 books in the top 25 (the rest were all Marvels). In dollar terms January was a good month for DC, which closed the gap in overall dollar market share with Marvel from 5 points in December to just under 1.5 points in January.
Dark Horse's Serenity topped the graphic novel list with just over 8,000 sold. DC dominated the graphic novel top 10 with seven titles (including the DC Universe Stories of Alan Moore, which came in second), while Dark Horse had two and Marvel one.
Dark Horse's Samurai Executioner Vol. 8 was the top manga release finishing in the tenth spot, while Viz's Full Metal Alchemist Vol. 5 finished at #16, followed by Dark Horse's Berserk. Berserk and Samurai Executioner are prime examples of male-oriented manga titles that perform much better in the direct market than they do in the bookstores.
The top 25 comic titles in January, with our estimates of the number sold to North American comic stores by Diamond Comic Distributors, are:
182,633 Infinite Crisis #4 (of 7)
124,328 All Star Superman #2
121,758 New Avengers #15
95,415 Amazing Spider-Man #528
84,723 Green Lantern #7
82,721 Ultimate Extinction #1 (of 5)
79,808 Uncanny X-Men #468
78,672 Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man #4
74,923 Marvel Knights Spider-Man #22
74,094 X-Men #181
74,069 JLA #124
73,720 Ultimate X-Men #66
73,401 X-Men Deadly Genesis #3 (of 6)
71,935 Ultimate Spider-Man #89
70,944 Wolverine #38
68,698 X-Men 198 #1 (of 5)
67,550 Day of Vengeance Infinite Crisis Special
65,223 Teen Titans #31
62,379 Batman #649
61,768 Superman #225
60,489 Ultimate Fantastic Four X-Men Special
59,952 Green Lantern Corps Recharge #4 (of 6)
56,958 Ghost Rider #5 (of 6)
52,891 X-Men End Men & X-Men #152,704 Son of M #2 (of 6)
For our estimates of actual orders to Diamond U.S. from comic specialty stores on graphic novels scheduled to ship during January, see 'Top 100 Graphic Novels Actual--January 2006.'
For our estimates of actual orders to Diamond U.S. from comic specialty stores on comic books scheduled to ship during December, see 'Top 300 Comics Actual--December 2005.'
For our estimates of actual orders to Diamond U.S. from comic specialty stores on graphic novels scheduled to ship during December, see 'Top 100 Graphic Novels Actual--December 2005.'
For our index to our reports on the top comic and graphic novel preorders for January 2000 through January 2006, see 'ICv2's Top 300 Comics and Top 100 GNs Index.'