Marvel reigns supreme in both the entertainment side and in print, especially with the added addition of Star Wars under the banner of Marvel Comics. If you're anything at all like me, you love DC and Marvel with an equal passion. Sure, my favorite hero is Spider-Man (both Peter and Miles), but just recently I realized my second favorite is Batman (then Wonder Woman).
The numbers of units sold by DC have been down for quite awhile and the only logical question - will the movies provide a boost in sales to help make up a vast difference in the market share? This for some odd reason, really intrigues me and maybe you too! Also, I will give unsolicited advice to DC on a certain Deus Ex Machina that might help an increase in sales.
What Were the Numbers Like During The Dark Knight?
The numbers that I am relaying to you, comes from comichron.com and they're from the years of 2007 and 2008.
2007 Top 10 Comics Sold in North America
1. Captain America 25 $3.99 Marvel/ 2. Civil War 7 $2.99 Marvel/ 3. Civil War 6 $2.99 Marvel 4. Thor 1 $2.99 Marvel/ 5. Dark Tower Gunslinger Born 1 $3.99 Marvel/ 6. World War Hulk 1 $3.99 Marvel/ 7. Dark Tower Gunslinger Born 2 $3.99 Marvel/ 8. World War Hulk 2 $3.99 Marvel/ 9. Fallen Son Death of Captain America Wolverine/ 10. Fallen Son Death of Captain America Iron Man
2008 Top 10 Comics Sold in North America
1. Secret Invasion 1 $3.99 Marvel/ 2. Secret Invasion 2 $3.99 Marvel
3 Secret Invasion 3 $3.99 Marvel /4. Secret Invasion 4 $3.99 Marvel
5. Secret Invasion 5 $3.99 Marvel /6. Secret Invasion 6 $3.99 Marvel
7. Uncanny X-Men 500 $3.99 Marvel/ 8. Secret Invasion 7 $3.99 Marvel
9 Final Crisis 1 $3.99 DC /10. Secret Invasion 8 $3.99 Marvel
Let's See What Happened the Year After The Dark Knight Appeared in Theaters
2009 Top 10 Comics Sold in North America
1 Amazing Spider-Man 583 $3.99 Marvel 530,500
2 Blackest Night 1 $3.99 DC 205,500
3 Captain America Reborn 1 $3.99 Marvel 199,900
4 Batman and Robin 1 $2.99 DC 190,300
5 Blackest Night 2 $3.99 DC 161,400
6 Blackest Night 5 $3.99 DC 148,700
7 Blackest Night 3 $3.99 DC 146,200
8 Blackest Night 4 $3.99 DC 140,200
9 Captain America 600 $4.99 Marvel 136,80010. Dark Avengers $4.99 Marvel
The biggest trend that anyone with eye can see is that event comics sell usually way better than ordinary issues. Yet, I want to show two more years of stats from comic books from 2013 and 2015 just so we can have all the information out there. Remember, The Avengers just tore it up at the box office and everyone was super excited for Man of Steel.
The Top 10 Comics Sold in 2013 in North America
1 Walking Dead 115 $2.99 Image 329,300
2 Justice League of America 1 $3.99 DC 326,000
3 Superman Unchained 1 $4.99 DC 259,100
4 Guardians of Galaxy 1 $3.99 Marvel 221,200
5 Superior Spider-Man 1 $3.99 Marvel 216,700
6 Infinity 1 $4.99 Marvel 210,800
7 X-Men 1 $3.99 Marvel 186,300
8 Age of Ultron 1 $3.99 Marvel 184,000
9 Uncanny X-Men 1 $3.99 Marvel 182,700
10 Superman Unchained 2 $3.99 DC 168,800
I checked the years up to this point and Superman was nowhere to be seen. Batman comics have been steadily in the top 20 since 2008 and the only reason I didn't show you all those numbers, because too many numbers (obviously)!
All right, last year of comics and remember this is not a scientific study, but just a quick think piece on if you think movies matters to the amount of comics sold. Is the reason DC fallen behind Marvel in sales because a lack thereof a shared-universe on the big screen, or really horrible event tie-ins? Remember, it has been over two years since DC put out a movie and Batman v Superman was pushed back until 2016. In 2014, Marvel took the top 9 spots, The Walking Dead was the other comic that cracked the top 10.
In 2015, the market share of overall dollars went, Marvel at 38.74% and DC at 25.75%. The share of overall units were Marvel at 41.82% and DC at 27.35%. This makes me curious to see if the moves are successful, will it lead to an increase in market share for DC?
The Top 10 Comics Sold in 2015 in North America
1 Star Wars† 1 $4.99 Marvel 1,073,027
2 Secret Wars 1 $4.99 Marvel 550,467
3 Bravest Warriors Tales Holo John† 1 $4.99 Boom 502,964
4 Orphan Black† 1 $3.99 IDW 502,023
5 Dark Knight III Master Race 1 $5.99 DC 449,099
6 Star Wars Vader Down 1 $4.99 Marvel 410,620
7 Darth Vader 1 $4.99 Marvel 315,578
8 Spider-Gwen 1 $3.99 Marvel 288,648
9 Invincible Iron Man 1 $3.99 Marvel 282,432
10 Princess Leia 1 $3.99 Marvel 271,019
Those are the numbers and I could say that this clearly illustrates that movie releases from publishers without doubt increases the amount of comic books sold in a given year. I don't know if that's necessary true, but you do have to wonder in a common sense kind of way; the numbers probably have some sort impact from high-profile movie releases. In January of 2016, Deadpool/Spider-Man is ranked number three on the most sold comics in that month. So what can DC do to help the sales of there comics, besides making two really successful movies?
Have Comics That Deal With the Collapse of DC on TV and DCEU to See How You Would Do it!
Yes, I've read Crisis on Infinite Earths, but doing a different comic would attract a lot of attention from the general public! iZombie is one of the most underrated shows on television and just imagine how awesome introducing Liv Moore to Oliver Queen will be in a comic (and then maybe on television somehow)!
I'm okay with having two different Flashes on two different size screens and you can believe these characters on TV matter to people. In reality, the DCEU is Earth-1 ,the Arrowverse is Earth-2, Zoom's place is Earth-3, and the other shows are there own Earth, like iZombie.
All you would have to do is wait until Suicide Squad is out and release a Special Event comic. You don't have to change the current continuity and I can almost guarantee you almost everyone buying the comics, have seen either the movies, or a show (probably both).
DC could make a huge deal of intertwining these universes and even give nods to Smallville, Birds of Prey, The Flash(1990), Wonder Woman(1975), and The Adventures of Lois and Clark. A lot of people do not like the thought of the multiverse and this will calm a lot the tension by addressing those issues through comics by showing them, it can be done!
I mean, what are the chances of having the Anti-Monitor be the big bad of the Justice League movies? Most of these show will probably be gone after Justice League 2, therefore no one will care if they're in the movies. Yet, if DC honors these amazing shows in comics, it could be huge! This is another way to pull ahead of Marvel, because Marvel truly hates the TV side of things ran by Ike Perlmutter.
I honestly cannot tell you with certainty that publisher's movies directly influence the sales of comics books in a given year, but people are certainly upset with DC choosing to keep things separate with the impending Batman V Superman almost in theaters. I know some people will say that Marvel Studios related comics were barely there, but look at how Star Wars tore it up with impending Star Wars Episode 7.
I go to these movies to be entertained, I don't care if it's Marvel or DC because I love them both. So, make your opinions on what I've just written and I'll be in theaters on March 25th (no Thursday show, doggonit) hopefully being in a status of awe!
Batman v Superman hit theaters in United States on March 25th
Suicide Squad hit theaters on August 6th in the United States