Sales for Wonder Woman dropped again in January, though the drop for the third issue post-Finch was far less steep than the second. After Wonder Woman #36 debuted at 58,956 copies sold in November, Wonder Woman #37 fell to 43,006 copies sold in December, a drop of 27%. In January, Wonder Woman #38 slipped down to 39,669, a drop of 8%.
On the one hand, this isn’t too bad as far as third issue drops go. It usually takes a little while for retailers to find the right level when a new creative team takes over, and initial enthusiasm quickly wanes for most series. Nothing’s at all settled in only three issues into a new run.
On the other hand, after debuting far higher than the numbers for Azzarello and Chiang’s final issue of Wonder Woman, the Finches are almost back down to that level, less than 4,000 issues away. Currently, Wonder Woman is selling only about 10% better than it was before Meredith and David Finch took over. Azzarello and Chiang’s tenure was one big three year storyline with little in the way of jumping on points for new readers; by the end, only the diehards were left buying the book. I can’t imagine that anyone at DC is pleased to see that their revamped, accessible take on Wonder Woman, headlined by a superstar artist, is already nearing the previous run’s sales.
Wonder Woman #38 is going back to print, so the sales might tick up somewhat, and that perhaps bodes well for Wonder Woman #39. It’s still early days. But it’s very unlikely that things will improve. The best DC is looking at right now, if things level out quickly, is that Wonder Woman will sell in the mid-30,000 range, which isn’t much of an improvement on what they had before and a bit of waste of an artist who’s been regularly selling other titles at a much higher rate.
Furthermore, Superman/Wonder Woman is starting to fall at a troubling rate. The second issue of Tomasi and Mahnke’s run fell only 6% in December, which was quite good in terms of an inevitable second issue drop, but Superman/Wonder Woman #15 sold only 36,887 copies in January, a drop of nearly 11%. It’s never good when a third issue drop is higher than a second issue drop, especially this much higher. It seems that neither mainline Wonder Woman book is on solid ground right now.
New issues for both series are on sale next week, and how they fare in February will be a good indicator of whether things are leveling out or continuing to tumble. Both creative teams are scheduled to return to both books in June after the “Convergence” event, presumably to launch new arcs, but if sales don’t level out soon that may not be the best idea.