We’ve got some good news and some bad news from the January numbers. Last month, I suggested that if Wonder Woman could put together a run of good months relative to the other books on the stands, it could settle into a pretty stable spot. Then it went and more than doubled its percentage lost this month. Nonetheless, there are still some reasons to be optimistic, as well as new reasons to be concerned. In January 2013, Wonder Woman #16 sold 40,105 copies for the 51st spot on the charts, a drop of 3.7% in sales but a slight increase in chart position. 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 189 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.
Bad news first: Dropping 3.7% is not insubstantial. That’s more than 1500 readers gone in a month. With all the new Marvel NOW! titles and DC crossovers, retailers may be cutting back on the book if interest has been diverted elsewhere over these past few months of big, new books. Anything in the 1-2% range would’ve been the usual standard attrition, but the high 3% range is more than you want to see.
But there’s good news: The book still went up a spot on the charts!! It’s a case of Wonder Woman not doing great BUT most everyone else doing worse. Wonder Woman climbed up a spot among DC titles as well, rising from 25th to 24th, even in the face of some decent-selling annuals popping up ahead of the book. Among DC’s Top 25 books, Wonder Woman had the 6th best month in terms of percentage lost. Only Justice League was up, and most of the Green Lantern titles didn’t drop much as their crossover continued. In fact, all five of the books ahead of Wonder Woman were involved in a crossover of some sort, as were several of the books below. While 3.7% is a sizeable drop, Wonder Woman still did well compared to everyone else at DC.
However, there’s some more bad news: Wonder Woman is getting very close to its average total. Right now, it’s only selling 10.2% more than its average sales since 1996, and this is bound to drop into single digits next month. At the rate the book is dropping, it could be below average by May or June. Now, the average isn’t some magical number, and I’m sure no one at DC knows it or particularly cares. Nothing terrible is going to happen if it gets below that number. It was just nice to see the book performing so well, and it’s slowly drifting ever closer to average territory is a bit of a bummer.
Nonetheless, there’s still a lot to be pleased with. Wonder Woman weathered doubling its percentage lost well, and remains in a good position relative to all of the other books. I expect we’ll say goodbye to the 40,000 range next month, but I also expect another increase on the sales charts. It’s not so bad to be falling when everyone else is falling further.
Prediction For Next Month: I yet again offered a terrible prediction, as the book dropped 700 issues more than I thought it would. Well done, me. For February, I predict a drop of 3% or so, for sales of 38,900, but I also predict the book to go up on the charts, perhaps even into the high 40s. Check back next month to see how I did!! If history tells us anything, I’ll be wildly off.