Wonder Woman #42 had a terrible July, tumbling almost 20% in the second month of DC’s mini-relaunch, while Superman/Wonder Woman #19 slipped down as well, falling 8%. But looking at the August sales numbers, things have improved for both series.
After selling 36,668 copies in July, Wonder Woman came in 39th place on the charts in August with 39,646 copies sold, an increase of 8%. Superman/Wonder Woman sold 36,666 copies in July, but came in at 41st place on the charts in August with 38,834 copies sold, an increase of 6%. Nothing substantially changed for either book; Wonder Woman had Ian Churchill on art, but the change was announced so late that I doubt the ordering was affected in any significant way. Superman/Wonder Woman had the exact same creative team, and both books continued their storylines that began with DC’s mini-relaunch in June.
Taking a look at the DC books around Wonder Woman on the chart, we see a similar trend. The Flash was up 11%, Action Comics rose 10%, and Green Lantern jumped 8%. Such consistent gains for these titles suggests something else is at play. It’s not that folks are suddenly getting interested in Wonder Woman’s current adventures, so much as there was a uniform gain for DC’s titles.
This may be a course correction as retailers try to figure out how many of each books to order, seeing as they’re just a couple of months into the mini-relaunch. Perhaps they under-ordered everything in July, and then increased all of their orders in August as they searched to find the right purchasing level. That might have had some influence on the sales numbers, but I think it was probably minimal.
Instead, I think the real source of these gains were the Bombshell variant covers, where DC heroes are drawn like World War Two era pin-ups. These covers are wildly popular, so much so that they’ve spawned their own series, DC Comics Bombshells (which premiered HUGE in August with 59,253 copies sold, an epic debut for a digital first series), as well as tons of merchandise. The second round of Bombshell variants ran in August, on all of the titles listed above, and so it seems likely that retailers upped their orders to get more of the covers for their enthusiastic customers.
Sensation Comics featuring Wonder Woman #13 went without a variant cover, and dropped 4% to 10,175 copies sold. The book’s not long for the world now, with only four print issues left, and the low sales are a significant reason why. For some reason, all of these character-based digital-first book, like Legends of the Dark Knight and Adventures of Superman have petered out around this point.
Ultimately, the variant cover boost was a big help for Wonder Woman’s two mainline titles, but I doubt that the Green Lantern 75th anniversary variants in September will be quite as impactful. It’ll be interesting to see what next month’s numbers bring, and it should give us a better picture of where Wonder Woman’s books stand with readers.
Tags: Comic Sales, David Finch, Doug Mahnke, Ian Churchill, Meredith Finch, Peter J. Tomasi, Sales Charts, Sales Figures, Sensation Comics, Sensation Comics featuring Wonder Woman, Superman/Wonder Woman, Wonder Woman, Wonder Woman Sales