Finishing out 2019’s best-sellers, the top-five Modern Age comics have two common themes: Spider-Man and Todd McFarlane.
The data for today’s list comes from the top-selling CGC comics that sold online over the past year. The sales figures include the total for all grades that have sold, ranging from the universal down to the incomplete.
Carnage has finally defeated Venom, at least in terms of number of CGC-graded sales. Of course it helps that 2019 has been the year of Carnage. First there was the confirmation that he would be the featured villain in Sony’s Venom sequel. Then there’s been the massive crossover event in the comic realm, Absolute Carnage, that resurrected Cletus Kasady. All that has added up to Carnage having his biggest year since the 1990s. As we move into 2020, ASM #361 will only get more popular.
Back in 1990, when Todd McFarlane was at his most popular, Marvel tapped him to write and draw (and even ink) a mature Spider-Man series. Filled with ’90’s excess, the cover for the first issue remains one of the “Toddfather’s” most iconic covers, which is saying a lot considering the number of McFarlane homages there have been. Surprisingly, Spider-Man #1 has outsold even the behemoth of the marketplace, ASM #300, and I credit that with the amazing cover art.
Two years before McFarlane penned Spider-Man #1, he established himself among the elite with ASM #300. No matter what the rest of the market is doing, the first appearance of Venom remains a perennial best seller. Anytime it doesn’t take the top spot for the year, it’s a bit of a surprise, but selling over 1,600 graded copies online is still impressive. As with ASM #361, this issue will only get more popular next year as further details of Venom 2 come to light. Even if there wasn’t a new movie on the way, Venom will remain as Marvel’s cash cow, and his debut won’t lose sales.
Detective Comics #1000 is the only comic published since 1992 to crack the top five for the year. The landmark 1000th issue of Detective Comics had numerous variants, but the standard cover topped the list. With the sheer volume sold, DC went all out for the anniversary as they did with Action Comics. The other side of that is not many of those covers will retain their values because there are so many copies in circulation. Still, any Batman fan will want a piece of his lengthy history, and this was a fitting tribute to the Dark Knight.
Once more, Todd McFarlane has an entry in the top-five Hottest Comics. Spawn #1’s huge sales is a testament to McFarlane’s enduring popularity. Earlier this year, Spawn was the first Image Comics title to reach three hundred consecutive issues, which is a milestone in itself. It doesn’t hurt that there’s still a chance that the long-awaited Spawn movie reboot hasn’t been taken off life support just yet.
AND THE REST
Spider-Man, Batman, and Venom litter the remainder of the top-10 Hottest Comics. Interestingly, Deadpool’s first appearance did not crack the top five, though it did finish strong in eighth.