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Marvel Comics Subscription and Newsstand Sales Q1 and Q2 2008

Marvel’s circulation audit is out for the first half of 2008, which means we have real numbers and we have the ever-elusive subscription numbers. Of particular interest is the full break-down for May 2008, which corresponds to things hitting the stand in March 2008, which is to say, a month before Secret Invasion hit.

Of course the biggest question might be what are the Amazing Spider-Man subscription numbers? 35,807 for March/May. Thing is, that’s _mostly likely_ the combined issues sent out to subscribers, so we need to divide that by 3 issues, so the subscriber count on Amazing Spider-Man is probably just a bit under 12K. Given that the previous audit (November 2007/effective date September 2007) had Amazing Spider-Man subscriptions at 13,869 it seems likely that subscriptions fell off a bit after the One More Day debacle and the highly discounted subscription drive around One More Day may not have been processed for the March shipping issues.

Top 10 Subscription Comics for Marvel in May (March) 2008

  1. Marvel Adventures Spider-Man: 31,479
  2. Amazing Spider-Man: 11,936 (average/3 issues)
  3. Ultimate Spider-Man: 7,875
  4. Marvel Adventures Fantastic Four 6,761
  5. New Avengers: 6,739
  6. X-Men: Legacy 6,561
  7. Uncanny X-Men 6,358
  8. Marvel Adventures Avengers 5,332
  9. Wolverine 5,183
  10. Hulk 4,834

Top 10 Newsstand Comics for Marvel in May (March) 2008

  • Civil War Chronicles: 7,824
  • X-Men:Legacy: 5,094
  • Franklin Richards: Spring Break 4,987
  • Marvel Adventures Two-In-One: 4,819
  • Uncanny X-Men: 4,683
  • Marvel Two-In-One: 4,630
  • Amazing Spider-Man: 4,621 (average/ 3 issues)
  • Nova: 3,937
  • Ultimate Fantastic Four: 3,922
  • Ultimate Spider-Man: 3,848

First off, it should be noted that the Stephen King Dark Tower comic was not included in the audit for unknown reasons. 

Interestingly enough, Marvel Adventures Spider-Man didn’t even register 1,000 copies sold on the newsstand. I guess parents must subscribe their children after one issue. If you take the Marvel Adventures titles out of the subscription list, it isn’t completely different from your direct market sales charts. Newsstand, on the other hand will blow a couple minds. You’ve got some double-sized reprint books of recent(ish) comics aimed for newsstand audiences in Civil War Chronicles and the Marvel Two-In-One variants. You’ve got an outright kids’ comic in Franklin Richards. Mid-list marvel Nova, an old school space opera, beats out the Ultimate line and even Wolverine (who wasn’t top 10). It’s been a long time since the newsstand was the primary driver for comics, but when you look at how different the newsstand sales chart is, you have to wonder how the balance of power would change if the newsstand could ever be expanded.  You also might look to the slight evidence of diversity (Franklin Richards, Nova) in newsstand sales when seeing Marvel experiment with genres with their digital comics – another mass audience endeavor.

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