There have been several relaunches of Wonder Woman over the past few years, along with significant creative revamps that didn’t change the numbering, and each came with a sales bump. However, few of these sales bumps lasted for long. Generally speaking, every comic book series drifts down the chart each month without big events or creative changes to bump up sales, but Wonder Woman in particular has quickly slid back down do a midlist level after every bump. Until now. The numbers for the “Rebirth” relaunch are doing quite well, and mark Wonder Woman‘s best sales run over the course of the last 20 years (the timeframe for which we have sales data).
Here are the new Wonder Woman‘s numbers thus far, along with the book’s place on the charts:
- Wonder Woman Rebirth #1 – 15) 94,458
- Wonder Woman #1 – 9) 107,737
- Wonder Woman #2 – 12) 103,759
- Wonder Woman #3 – 21) 94,465
- Wonder Woman #4 – 19) 85,329
- Wonder Woman #5 – 29) 77,860
This is an extremely impressive run. The numbers are starting to decline, but that’s normal. What’s not normal is the slow rate of decline. Usually, the second issue drop off is massive; shops order lots of the first issue because a) they have a bunch of variant covers and whatnot, b) folks will be keen to check out a new series, and c) some collectors pick up every first issue in hopes they’ll be worth something some day. Then the second issue drops off huge, and things taper down until the book finds its level.
Wonder Woman #2 barely dropped at all, partly because retailers underestimated the appeal of Wonder Woman #1 (they ended up ordering another 11,870 copies of the book the next month) and perhaps also because of the series dual storyline. Wonder Woman #2 was essentially a #1 issue for the new “Year One” arc. Whatever the reason, the book saw a remarkably small second issue drop.
And while things have continued to drop from there, it’s still doing extremely well relative to past performance. With the New 52 relaunch, Wonder Woman #5 was down to 57,675 copies sold, so “Rebirth” is ahead by 20,000 copies. The 2006 relaunch from Allan Heinberg, Terry Dodson, and Rachel Dodson was a bit higher, with 64,410 copies sold for their Wonder Woman #5, but “Rebirth” is still well ahead AND that run’s #1 issue sold considerably higher, coming in at 132,586 issues sold. So by five issues in, it was down more than half. Now, the “Rebirth” Wonder Woman is down only about a quarter with five issues out.
On top of this stellar sustained print run, digital sales are higher than they’ve ever been. DC doesn’t release their digital numbers, but the print numbers are only part of the story. However well the book is doing in comic shops, there are even more sales elsewhere.
“Rebirth” is general has been great for DC, and it’ll be interesting to see how long it holds. Focusing on core characters and double shipping is a bold gambit that’s been paying off so far, and the gradual roll out has helped things. But there’s a new Marvel NOW! line coming this fall that’s aiming to bite into DC’s increased market share. The numbers may shift in the months to come.
But for now, Wonder Woman is doing spectacularly well. Greg Rucka, Nicola Scott, and Liam Sharp are crafting a book with a broad appeal, and the adventures of the Amazing Amazon are in more hands than they’ve been in over the last two decades. It’s nice to see Wonder Woman finally getting the attention she deserves.