Hold on, need to ramble on insensibly about Flashpoint tie-in sales.

§ June 20th, 2011 § Filed under retailing § 7 Comments

So you may remember about a week ago, when I was talking about Flashpoint tie-in sales. In short, the debut issues of the various mini-series that were released in the first week sold well, but the first issues from the second week did not. In the time since I posted that report, those second week series still haven’t sold nearly as well as the previous week’s. In fact, I’ve had to reorder more copies of three of the four series from the first week, while still working on initial orders of the second week.

Since then, we’ve had a third wave of Flashpoint tie-in #1s, and…now, these are selling quite well. Not as well as the first week releases, but better than the second week’s.

This somewhat, but not totally, alleviates my worry that this sales trend is a precursor to the September Month of #1s from DC and the buyer’s fatigue that could set in. It appears to be more a case of “what’s being offered” than “oh man, more #1s.” The first week’s worth of books sold well, of course, being the first out of the gate and the object of reader curiosity about the event. And the best seller of the bunch, Abin Sur, which I’ve reordered multiple times, may have the additional benefit of currently-peaking Green Lantern interest (not just due to the movie, but because of the general recent popularity of the various GL comics series). And then there’s the Batman tie-in, which, well, it’s Batman, people like that dude. World of Flashpoint probably sold well because the title made it sound like it would provide more background on the series setting. The poorest seller from that first batch was Secret Seven, despite the George Perez art. Maybe it’s been too long for Shade the Changing Man to be a sales draw again?

Second week, we had Citizen Cold, which surprised me that it didn’t sell better than it did, given the Flash tie-in. Emperor Aquaman…well, Aquaman was bit of a hardsell the last time he was on the stands, so the slow movement on this series wasn’t too much of a surprise. Deathstroke: The Curse of Ravager may be suffering from the fact that the comic reading public, I think, may have a bit of Deathstroke burn-out at the moment. Frankenstein is awesome, but may appear to be a bit too much of an oddball non-traditional superhero book to sell comparatively to its spandex-clad cousins. (Which may give us a clue as to the relative sales levels of DC’s forthcoming “dark” DCU books.)

Like I said, sales are up on the third week of #1s, and, boy, it’s hard to resist this great cover:

Others: Grodd of War starring Gorilla Grodd…I forget who originally claimed that apes on covers sold comics, but by God, that person ain’t wrong. Wonder Woman and the Furies features one of DC’s Big Three characters, which probably accounts for those sales, and Legion of Doom…well, that just sounds cool. And has it been too long to attribute a Super Friends-fed nostalgic twinge to that name perhaps helping interest along? At the very least, “Legion of Doom” is a name that still holds at least a minor bit of comics culture weight.

It’s hard to say how this week’s batch of debut issues will perform. It’s easy to speculate in hindsight why certain comics sold or didn’t sell, since once you have the actual sales in hand, you can apply whatever reasons you’d like to why things went the way they did. Plus, I really thought Citizen Cold would sell great, so my precognitive abilities may not be the best. And who the hell thought Abin Sur would have a hot comic, even with other Green Lantern books selling like crazy right now?

Just as a guess, The Outsider may move the slowest, even despite the tenuous Batman connection, as it’s the most unrecognizable name of the bunch. Lois Lane and the Resistance I would like to sell well, since maybe that would encourage more Lois Lane comics, which I’m all for. (But I’d eat my hat if DC would anything as cool as the comics I linked to there.)

The other two books, Kid Flash Lost and Reverse Flash…the other Flashpoint Flash tie-in didn’t sell that quickly, but maybe these will do better since the featured characters actually have “Flash” in their names. We’ll see.

Of course, the real question about all these titles is this: how will the number 2s sell?

And those above titles will all be competing with this week’s release of the Brightest Day Swamp Thing spin-off, which will be getting all the sales, so pretty much everything else on the rack is going to suffer anyway.

7 Responses to “Hold on, need to ramble on insensibly about Flashpoint tie-in sales.”

  • TomO. says:

    I originally was going to do a wait and see on the tie-ins, but damn it if I ain’t sucked up into the whole DC zeitgeist right about now and are buying them all…and enjoying them all, as they’re surprisingly good (for the most part).

  • philip says:

    I’m picking-and-choosing the tie-ins, mostly for reasons of money. I chose right on Frankenstein, Secret Seven and, surprisingly, Deathstroke. I think it’s my favorite of the ancillary Flashpoint books so far. Jimmy Palmiotti is hugely under-rated as a writer (if you ask me… and you didn’t).

    Wanted to like the Aquaman and Wonder Woman books (two of my all-time favorite DC characters) but found them both to be a bit of a chore. Can’t stand that Aquaman design, which might be part of it, and that Wonder Woman and the Furies book could have been done in two pages. Very little happened.

  • Shinwell Johnson says:

    Citizen Cold? You describe this as a Flash tie-in, so I presume that the title refers to Captain Cold, and that he is now a civilian. So, he really was a captain all this time, in some branch of the armed forces? And only now, after decades of robbery and attempted murder, he has done something to get himself discharged?

    Well. You learn something everything.

  • kid nicky says:

    I’d be perfectly happy if I never saw Deathstroke or Ravager ever again.

  • Zachary says:

    Maybe the indifference to Citizen Cold is that the people who are, uh, passionate about him love him as a bad guy? I really only care about the ’90s Flash/Suicide Squad Captain Cold. If I just wanted another dude in a parka, I’d go get an Oasis album.
    And I’m not going to go get an Oasis album.
    Maybe kids have a different rational, but I don’t know anyone under 25 who buys comics, so I got nothing in that regard. I just assume kids today like playing virtual pool in a virtual River City. And saying “why so serious?” when I card them at the bar.

  • philip says:

    And those Cliff Chiang “Deadman” covers are pretty spectacular.

  • Snark Shark says:

    “Citizen Cold”

    that’s the only spin-off I bought so far… I liked it though!

    and aren’t the tie-in promo buttons COOL?