Comic “events” continued to drive sales in March as the final issue of DC’s Blackest Night posted a solid gain in circulation and Marvel’s Siege continued to show strength, while smaller mini-events like DC’s Green Arrow-based Rise and Fall and Marvel’s Fall of the Hulks also made an impact on the charts.  Three of the top five titles in March were Blackest Night-related.  Marvel’s Siege also posted a gain from issue #2 to issue #3, and four Siege tie-ins, New Avengers #63, Dark Avengers #15, Thor #608, and Mighty Avengers #35, all made the top 25. 


Publishers show no signs of being able to shake their addiction to the use of variant covers as their primary sales incentive.  DC used 1 in 25 variants to boost sales of its Blackest Night and Rise and Fall tie-ins, while Marvel had 1 in 15 Deadpool variants helping to drive sales of its Siege titles, and Dynamite had multiple covers for its Kevin Smith’s Green Hornet, which came in at #20, the lone non-Marvel/DC top 25 title.


Eight titles posted gains in circulation, and twelve declined, while five number-one issues made the top 25 and added their sales to what was an impressive gain by periodical comics.  DC grabbed four out of the top five spots, but Marvel dominated the top 25 with 17 titles versus seven for DC and one for Dynamite.


On the graphic novel side Marvel’s Kick-Ass Premium HC, which finished second in February (when it actually sold more copies), topped the charts thanks largely to the upcoming release of the Kick-Ass movie adaptation directed by Matthew Vaughn.  Look for Kick-Ass to have an impact on the BookScan chart of graphic novels sold in bookstores when the March numbers are released.  If the movie, which opens on April 16th, does well, Kick-Ass could dominate the charts in both the direct and bookstore markets for several more months. 


The sixth Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 8 collection from Dark Horse took second place followed closely by the sixth volume of Dynamite’s collection of Garth Ennis’ The Boys and the latest collection of Mike Mignola’s Hellboy from Dark Horse.  Mention should also be made of Image’s Haunt by Robert Kirkman and Todd McFarlane.  The first collection of this innovative series about a priest haunted by the spirit of his estranged brother came in at #5, while another series that is building up steam, Brian Wood’s Viking-era saga Northlanders Vol. 3 finished in the sixth position.


The first volume of Yen Press’ Twilight, which came in at number 10, was the top manga followed by Viz Media’s Bleach Vol. 30 at number 14.


Here are ICv2's estimates of the sales by Diamond Comic Distributors to comic stores on the top 25 comic titles in March:

135,061                       Blackest Night #8

113,071                       Siege #3

  97,369                       Green Lantern #52

  85,292                       Batman and Robin #10

  76,720                       Green Lantern Corps #46

  76,145                       New Avengers #63

  72,254                       Dark Avengers #15

  71,279                       Ultimate Comics New Ultimates #1

  67,996                       Uncanny X-Men #522

  66,064                       Amazing Spider-Man #623

  66,013                       X-Men Second Coming #1

  62,012                       Thor #608 SIEGE

  61,157                       Batman #697

  60,213                       Amazing Spider-Man #624

  58,098                       Ultimate Comics Avengers #5

  56,962                       Captain America #604

  56,461                       Justice League of America #43

  54,206                       Amazing Spider-Man #627

  54,179                       Amazing Spider-Man #625

  54,122                       Kevin Smith’s Green Hornet #1

  53,868                       Amazing Spider-Man #626

  53,732                       Nemesis #1

  51,085                       Mighty Avengers #34

  50,785                       Hulk #21

  50,360                       Justice League Rise & Fall Special #1

For an analysis of the dollar trends in March, see "Comic Sales Bounce Back in March."

For our estimates of actual sales by Diamond U.S. from comic specialty stores on comic books shipped during March, see "Top 300 Comics Actual--March 2010."

For our estimates of actual orders to Diamond U.S. from comic specialty stores on graphic novels shipped during March, see "Top 300 Graphic Novels Actual--March 2010."

For our estimates of actual orders to Diamond U.S. from comic specialty stores on comic books shipped during February, see
"Top 300 Comics Actual--February 2010."

For our estimates of actual orders to Diamond U.S. from comic specialty stores on graphic novels shipped during February, see "Top 300 Graphic Novels Actual--February 2010."

For our index to our reports on the top comic and graphic novel preorders for January 2000 through March 2010, see "ICv2's Top 300 Comics and Top 300 GNs Index."