It’s looking like a Happy New Year for Marvel, and for comic books in general. Dan Slott’s remake of Spider-Man, in which Doc Ock occupies Peter Parker’s body, seems to resonate with fans. Superior Spider-Man handily crushed all competition, with the first issue coming in at #1 for the month and the double-shipped second issue coming in fifth. The entire top 10 for loose comic issues (i.e., non-trade paperbacks), was:
1. Superior Spider-Man #1 (proving that a risky-but-high-quality comic can pay off)
2. Batman #16
3. Justice League #16 (proving that fans don’t always buy quality books)
4. New Avengers #1
5. Superior Spidey #2
6. Savage Wolverine #1
7. Uncanny Avengers #3
8. Detective Comics #16
9. Avengers #3
10. Uncanny X-Force #1
Interestingly, the double-shipped issues of All-New X-Men, Brian Michael Bendis’ X-title, were #13 and 15. Before Marvel Now, Bendis regularly had two Avengers titles in the top 10. Plus, All-New X-Men is probably the best work he’s done in years (other than Powers), so I’m kind of surprised it’s not in the top 10. Top 20 is still good—especially with so many #1 issues coming out every month—but I’m just surprised that Uncanny X-Men is outselling it. UXM is a far inferior product.
The bestselling indie comic continues to be Walking Dead, which cracked the top 20—an amazing feat for any indie comic. You have to go all the way down to #52 to find another indie book in the top 100 and that one, too, is written by Kirkman (Invincible).
On the graphic novel front, we see lots of Walking Dead (no surprise) and DC. Marvel never does real well on the graphic novel front—I don’t know why—although the reissue of Stan Lee and Moebius’ magnificent Silver Surfer comic did come in fourth.
Perhaps the most remarkable piece of datatrivia is that overall comic book sales through Diamond Comic Distributors increased 25% over January 2012. (Graphic Novel sales increased a whopping 38%, which must make Robert Kirkman very, very happy.) In fact, the overall trend for the past 10 years has been upwards—despite the recent hullaballoo about digital piracy hurting comic sales.