We’ve learned two things about sales over the past few months: First, gimmicks sell like hotcakes, and second, once the gimmick is over things snap back to normal RIGHT away. Gimmicks have worked great for DC, what with their relaunch, their crossovers, and last month’s #0 issue stunt, and the books that did the best this month are the books that maintained some sort of gimmick. Wonder Woman was not one of those books. In October 2012, Wonder Woman #13 was in 44th place and sold 43,371 copies, a drop of 12.1%. Here are the numbers for the issue, and the five issues previous:
NOTE: The average sales total is based on all of the available sales data, which currently comprises every issue of the series since September 1996, for 186 issues in total. The average rank isn’t given because rank is dependent on what other books came out that month, and that’s such a variable that an average really wouldn’t mean anything.
Falling more than 12% is a pretty big drop, but if you remember that the month before the book was up 11% then it’s not so bad. If you take out Wonder Woman #0 altogether, the series is just floating down very slowly, as most series tend to do.
Dropping 14 spots on the chart isn’t so great either, but there are again extenuating circumstances. Marvel NOW! is starting up, premiering a bunch of books that are going to chart high initially and then gradually find their level further down. That’s going to be going on for a while, so expect Wonder Woman to not have the greatest chart position. Marvel also quadruple shipped AvX Consequences, and some of the Marvel books that ended this month to prepare the way for Marvel NOW! saw considerable sales jumps for their last issues. A series of Marvel gimmicks really pushed them to the top of the charts.
Speaking of which, gimmicks worked out for a lot of DC books as well. The only four titles in DC’s Top 25 that had sales increases in October were the Green Lantern books, which just started a big crossover event. Everything else was down with the Bat-family titles bearing the least of the brunt, likely due to their upcoming Joker crossover. Unfortunately, Wonder Woman #13 was near the bottom of the pack relative to other DC titles, but the Green Lantern and Bat-family books make up the bulk of the Top 25. Again, the series is about where it would be without the #0 issue jump, so there’s nothing to worry about. Wonder Woman’s not doing poorly, it’s just that several other titles are benefitting from crossovers.
Plus, Wonder Woman outperformed Action Comics and Superman, which continue to drop quickly. The Before Watchmen books are falling precipitously as well, showing us that gimmicks can only work for so long. With Bat-family and Superman crossovers set to begin in November, Wonder Woman might continue to not look so great comparatively, but it seems very likely that it will continue it’s fairly stable pattern.
Prediction For Next Month: I vastly underestimated the drop this month. I thought the series would retain some of the new audience, but not so much. For next month, I predict sales of about 43,000 even, for a drop of 1.7%. It’s a little optimistic, but I’m figuring that most of the people who were still there in October will continue to be there in November. Check back in a month to see how I did!!