The year has wrapped up, and Batman and Spawn helped DC and Image beat Marvel for the best-selling comics of 2019.
Based on Diamond Distributor’s preorders and units sold throughout the year, DC and Image held on to the top two spots, but Marvel had the last laugh by taking seven of the top 10. Overall, this was a better year for comic sales compared to 2018. For more on that, check out Comichron’s breakdown in the link below.
The following data is compiled from the top-500 bestsellers based on the estimated total units sold in 2019. Here I have the top 10 with the estimated sales volume beside the issue number. For the full list, take a look at Comichron’s 2019 sales to comic shops.
1. DETECTIVE COMICS #1000 (574,279)
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Batman’s 80th anniversary propelled DC #1000 to the top of the list. Last year, Superman got the royal treatment with Action Comics #1000, but it is Batman who racked up the higher sales totals. This is for the standard edition and not the numerous variant covers, which would bump this number even higher.
2. SPAWN #300 (272,985)
In a small victory, Image and DC managed to beat Marvel for the top two spots this year. Spawn’s monumental 300th issue got collectors’ attention, mirroring the success of Spawn #1 back in 1991. What made this comic so special is that it was the first Image title to reach the milestone of 300 consecutive issues, which is a feat for any publisher.
3. BLACK CAT #1 (260,190)
From the third spot down to the tenth, Marvel’s dominance over the sales charts is undeniable. The top-selling Marvel title of 2019 was Black Cat #1, which should remind Sony that fans would be interested in that long-rumored Black Cat/Silver Sable movie. Still, her collectors didn’t seem to mind settling for her latest solo title.
4. X-MEN #1 (257,343)
I expected the X-Men to rank higher than they did, but having three of the ten best-sellers of the year is nonetheless an impressive distinction. After the hype surrounding the Jonathan Hickman reboot and the incredible fan and critic reception, it makes sense that X-Men #1 would be the top-selling X-title of the year.
5. DCEASED #1 (249,146)
At least for the top-five best sellers, DC kept pace with Marvel in 2019, taking two of those places. Personally, I loved the horror movie theme for the variant covers of DCeased even if I wasn’t captured by the premise.
AND THE REST
Here’s the remainder of the top 10 for your reading pleasure. It should be noted that the five other positions all belong to Marvel.
6. ABSOLUTE CARNAGE #1 (241,844)
7. MARVEL COMICS #1000 (222,776)
8. HOUSE OF X #1 (211,730)
9. POWERS OF X #1 (197,709)
10. WAR OF THE REALMS #1 (191,118)
It’s encouraging news that 2019 was an up year for comic sales. A year ago, many in the comic community were forecasting the doom of comics as we know it, but this is confirmation that people still buy and collect new comics, which will keep the business afloat for a little while longer. Hopefully, 2020 will build on the successes of 2019, and that will be great news for fans.
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