Marc-Oliver Frisch writes June was a relatively quiet month for DC Comics: There was the Green Lantern: Sinestro Corps Special #1 and, at the publisher’s WildStorm imprint, The Highwaymen #1, and that’s it, in terms of new launches. Other notable developments at DC included the final issues of Justice, Green Arrow and – somewhat surprisingly – Flash: The Fastest Man Alive, as well as the debut of new creative teams in Superman/Batman and Supergirl and the Legion of Super-Heroes. There also were the first couple of official Countdown tie-in books, with less than flattering results. And “Amazons Attack,” the other current big event going on in the DC Universe, introduced a whole new concept into the direct market: It’s a crossover that makes sales go down, instead of up. No, seriously.
While we’re at it, much has been made of the fact that DC’s market share was dwarfed by Marvel’s in June, shrinking to a mere 27.02% in dollars and 28.57% in units. This looks dire at first glance, but there are a few factors that should be considered. One, a number of DC titles failed to come out in June, among them major performers like All Star Superman, Batman and Action Comics. Two, no DC titles failed to come out in May, meaning that the usual bunch of stragglers was missing in June. And three, as a logical result, DC only shipped 61 periodicals in June (not counting reprints, magazines and the Johnny DC cartoon adaptations), instead of the usual 70 to 80. Obviously, those factors won’t apply in July, so, while I agree DC aren’t having a banner year, the sky isn’t falling just yet. It’s just tottering menacingly.
The state of DC’s sublabels remains depressing, meanwhile. At Vertigo, nothing noteworthy happened, where periodicals are concerned. WildStorm average sales hit their lowest level yet since Diamond started providing data on actual sales back in March 2003, with nothing on the schedule which might reverse or even stop that trend.
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