Since it debuted in July with seven of the top 25 titles, DC’s Green Lantern-based The Blackest Night crossover has been the dominant comic book “event” of the second half of 2009, and the November numbers (see “Blackest Night’s Reign Continues”) demonstrates its continuing strength as all the Blackest Night tie-in titles posted increases in sales due to an incentive program that harkens back to the “decoder” rings that were placed in cereal boxes back in the 1930s. DC’s innovative promotion offered retailers who met ordering incentives on the Blackest Night titles, the right to order bags of 50 Lantern Promotional Rings, which come in seven different colors (and B&W).
The Blackest Night, which was the bestselling title included in the "Lantern Rings Promotion," actually posted the smallest increase (7,766) of any of the titles involved, presumably because it was already heavily ordered, which made it easier for retailers to make the incentive buys. The sales effect was more pronounced on the other six titles in the promo, especially traditionally low sellers like Rebels #10 which nearly quintupled its sales from #9 with an increase of 39,816. All the other titles involved posted major increases led by Adventure Comics #4 (up 40,714), Booster Gold #26 (up 35,525), Doom Patrol #4 (up 33,712), Outsiders #24 (up 29,505), and Justice League of America #39 (up 28,364) The success of DC’s “Lantern Rings Promotion” will probably have all comic publishers scratching their heads and trying to figure out what sort of tangible promotional items they can come up with to engage a market surfeited with years of variant cover promos.