The sales numbers for June are out, and DC Comics can’t be thrilled with the results. They’ve been talking up their June mini-relaunch for months, with their slew of new titles and dramatic changes to returning books. They started a hashtag, #DCYou, and had commercials and everything. The result? They got trounced. Marvel accounted for 43% of the comics sold in June, and DC only had 28%. Their share of overall dollars was even lower, coming in at 25%. The numbers were comparable to May, when Marvel was boosted by a huge push for Secret Wars #1. To top DC so handily in June without such a push is a surprising turn of events, and must be a blow for everyone at DC.
In the midst of DC’s middling month, Wonder Woman didn’t fare particularly well. Meredith and David Finch returned with two issues, and the first was Wonder Woman Annual #1, the conclusion to their first arc. It sold only 29,189 copies, down 35% from the 45,172 copies Wonder Woman #40 sold in April. The first issue of their new arc performed better than the annual, but didn’t move many more books than they did in April; Wonder Woman #41 sold 45,284 copies, a gain of just 0.25%.
Peter J. Tomasi and Doug Mahnke were back on Superman/Wonder Woman with similarly unimpressive results. After Superman/Wonder Woman #17 sold 39,868 copies in April, Superman/Wonder Woman #18 returned in June to sell 39,787 copies, a drop of 0.2%.
The changes for both series were negligible, but several of the DC books around the Wonder Woman titles on the chart showed decent improvements. The Flash rose 7.5%, Green Lantern was up 8%, and Action Comics, buoyed by the “Truth” storyline jumped 15.4%. Superman/Wonder Woman is part of “Truth” as well, but saw no gains whatsoever. Also, much like Wonder Woman and Superman/Wonder Woman, those three titles had the same creative teams return to the book, so there was no big creative shift to inspire their gains.
The first month of a big, new initiative is always tricky. Some books will be over-ordered, some under. It’s hard for shops to gauge what readers will want, and we may well see higher numbers for both Wonder Woman titles in July. But at first glance, both books had a poor showing. No real gains despite all the hullabaloo about Wonder Woman’s new costume in Wonder Woman and the “Truth” storyline in Superman/Wonder Woman makes for a weak debut. While the July numbers will really tell the tale, the June numbers are looking rough.