Spider-Man Comic Sales For February 2016

The first issue of the new Miles Morales series becomes the best-selling Spider-Man comic of the month. But the sales estimates on the other Spider-Man titles see a decline.

With the sales estimates for comics and trade paperbacks for February released, it’s time to look at how the Spider-Man comics have done the month. Suffice to say, not only did various Spider-Man titles have a hard time, but so did all comics across the board. The month of February is historically a low month for sales in both comics and graphic novels, but based on the data released by Diamond Comic Distributors, and according to a report from ICV2, “the overall market for comics and graphic novels still declined vs. the same month a year ago, by 1.69%.” So yes, comics are in a slump, Spider-Man titles included. But at least a couple of titles are doing okay, as we will see in a moment. Once again as a disclaimer, these are only sales estimates used to reflect dealer orders not actual sales, and are only limited to potential newsstand copies within the US market, not digital or international markets. The titles listed will also be compared to where they were the previous months and, when applicable, where they were a year ago. The complete list of the top 300 comics for the month of February, including Spider-Man titles, are at ICV2, Comichron, and Comic Book Resources.

Spider-Man #1, cover by Sara Pichelli

4 — 97.33 — Spider-Man #1 — 99,951

February 2015: 74 — Miles Morales: Ultimate Spider-Man #10 — 29,321

Commentary: A very strong debut for Brian Michael Bendis and Sara Pichelli’s new Miles Morales series. Sure, Spider-Man #1 definitely has some advantages–a fresh new #1 title with plenty of variants, heavily promoted by Marvel as part of their “All-New, All-Different” branding, and having a top-notch creative team at the helm.  But let’s not forget the book was repeatedly delayed because Secret Wars itself was behind schedule. Also, considering what numbers Miles Morales: Ultimate Spider-Man was pulling before it’s cancellation, the new series appears to have actually benefited from the Secret Wars inspired relaunch. We’ll likely have a better picture about what the state of Spider-Man will be when the numbers for issue #2 come in, but so far, not too shabby.

Amazing Spider-Man (2015) #8 Amazing Spider-Man (2015) #7

9 — 73.38 — Amazing Spider-Man Vol. 4 #7 — 75,357 (-15.16%)
11 — 69.72 — Amazing Spider-Man Vol. 4 #8 — 71,599 (-4.98%)

October 2015: 2 — Amazing Spider-Man Vol. 4 #1 — 245,873
October 2015: 10 — Amazing Spider-Man Vol. 4 #2 — 111,322 (-54.7%)
November 2015: 14–Amazing Spider-Man Vol. 4 #3 — 93,848 (-15.7%)
December 2015: 13 — Amazing Spider-Man Vol. 4 #4 — 82,066 (-12.6%)
December 2015: 17 — Amazing Spider-Man Vol. 4 #5 — 79,122 (-4.0%)
January 2016: 11 — Amazing Spider-Man Vol. 4 #6 — 76,517 (-3.29%)

February 2015: 6 — Amazing Spider-Man Vol. 3 #14 — 106,778
February 2015: 8 — Amazing Spider-Man Vol. 3 #15 — 99,660

Commentary: Well the good news for Amazing Spider-Man is not only is it still in the top 20 comics for the month, but one of it’s issues is back in the top ten. The not-so-good news, however, is that for the first time in years, it’s sales estimates are now averaging in the low 70K range. Granted, these are not the lowest sales estimates Amazing Spider-Man has seen (back in 2012, the title was averaging in the mid-50K range prior to the start of Superior Spider-Man) and, for a title which is not part of miniseries or event, it’s still doing okay. What’s troubling, however, is the speed in which Amazing Spider-Man dropped to the low 70K mark.  It’s only been eight issues and already the title already down by 70% compared to where it started with issue #1 just four months ago. Even taking into account the lack of variant covers and a new #1 issue, or the state of the current market, it would usually take a year or more for a title such as Amazing Spider-Man to get where it is now.  It’s still one of Marvel’s best-selling superhero titles, but at this point, it looks like it could fall into the 60K range next month. That is until “Power Play” or whatever “Dead No More” is to potentially boost the numbers.

Spider-Man/Deadpool #2

12 — 67.97 — Spider-Man/Deadpool #2 — 69,801 (-47.83%)

January 2016: 3 —Spider-Man/Deadpool #1 — 133,813

Commentary: So remember how I said last month that, based on the sales estimates for Spider-Man/Deadpool #1 that the title’s future looks promising? Well, maybe I have to slightly revise that statement based on the estimates for Spider-Man/Deadpool #2. The lack of variant covers to boost the numbers aside, to go from the third best-selling title of the month to number 12th spot is a significant drop. Fortunately, Spider-Man/Deadpool is still in the top 20. Not to mention it has a great creative team behind it in Joe Kelly and Ed McGuinnis, with two of Marvel’s more popular superheroes at the moment. Also, I didn’t have any expectations that Spider-Man/Deadpool was going do better that Amazing Spider-Man after it’s debut, though from the looks of things, it being just one spot below Amazing Spider-Man #8 is all right. So long as it doesn’t drop so sharply next month, I’ll stay cautiously optimistic.

Amazing Spider-Man #1.3

27 — 46.64 — Amazing Spider-Man #1.3 — 47,892 (-15.49%)

December 2015: 24 — Amazing Spider-Man Vol. 4 #1.1 — 66,092
January 2015: 20  — Amazing Spider-Man Vol. 4 #1.2 — 56,674 (-14.2%)

Commentary: At some point, Marvel will have to seriously reconsider their “point one” strategy when it comes to comics like Amazing Spider-Man, because it’s definitely no longer working. Even though putting such issues under the title of Amazing Spider-Man may increase the likelihood of more potential customers purchasing the title, it’s not going to take long for those same readers to figure out exactly what the book really is: a Spider-Man miniseries of varying quality which has little to no bearing on the ongoing Amazing Spider-Man series. Also, Jose Molina and Simone Bianchi’s “Amazing Grace” is a much weaker story compared to Gerry Conway and Carlo Barberi’s “Spiral” from last year.

Spider-Gwen (2015) #5, cover by Robbi Rodriguez

32 — 42.65 — Spider-Gwen Vol. 2 #5 — 43,796 (-11.11%)

October 2015: 3 — Spider-Gwen Vol. 2 #1 — 197,103
November 2015: 25 — Spider-Gwen Vol. 2 #2 — 62,209 (-68.4%)
December 2015: 36 — Spider-Gwen Vol. 2 #3 — 54,844 (-11.83%)
January 2016: 29 — Spider-Gwen Vol. 2 #4 — 48,664 (-11.27%)

February 2015: 3 — Spider-Gwen Vol. 1 #1 — 254,074

Commentary: And so Spider-Gwen continues to be the best-selling female Spider title for the month, even though it has now fallen into the low 40K range. As I said before, Spider-Gwen, like the other female Spider books, was clearly hurt by the Secret Wars/All-New, All-Different Marvel relaunch, and what seemed hot and fresh at the time has had at least a year to cool down.  Also, it will be curious to see the differences between issue #5 and #6, given how issue #5 had Chris Vision fill in for Robbi Rodriguez, who will return for issue #6.  Be that as it may, the spider-powered Gwen Stacy from another world still has her followers, and the comic itself continues to be an interesting, offbeat and entertaining re-imagining of the Marvel Universe.   

Spidey #3

65 — 27.42 — Spidey #3 — 28,161 (-16.15%)

December 2015: 25 — Spidey #1 — 65,503
January 2015: 55 — Spidey #2 — 33,585 (–48.73%)

Commentary: For another month, Spidey, not counting the Marvel Universe Ultimate Spider-Man cartoon tie-in comic, is the lowest selling of the Peter Parker-centric Spider-Man titles. And I believe a good reason for why is because not only is the comic a flashback series, it’s also out-of-continuity. And if it’s comic which doesn’t take place in the same continuity as the rest of the Marvel Universe, then it may not make much difference with how decent the writing is or how terrific the art.  Because as far as casual and long-time readers are concerned, they may not think it “counts.” Which is a shame because this is a Spider-Man comic that’s ideal for any age bracket. 

Carnage #5

68 — 26.45 — Carnage #5 — 27,160 (-14.28%)

November 2015: 19 — Carnage #1 — 69,773
November 2015: 57 — Carnage #2 — 41,576 (-40.41%)
December 2015: 73 — Carnage #3 — 34,852 (-16.17%)
January 2016: 61 — Carnage #4 — 31,687 (-9.08%)

Commentary: Having completed its first story arc, the new Carnage series continues its steady decline, this time with an even bigger drop between issues #4 and #5 than there was between issues #3 and #4.  And contrary to what I assumed last time, the series isn’t settling at 30K in potential readers; instead, it’s heading for the high 20K or perhaps lower. This just reiterates my point from last month that centering an ongoing series around a super-powered serial killer was always going to be a difficult sell, and it appears the numbers are bearing that out.

Silk #5 Silk #4

71 — 26.08 — Silk Vol. 2 #4 — 26,786 (-19.08%)
75 — 25.35 — Silk Vol. 2 #5 — 26,032 (-2.81%)

November 2015: 33 — Silk Vol. 2 #1 — 57,140
December 2015: 36 — Silk Vol. 2 #2 — 38,356 (-32.90%)
January 2016: 56 — Silk Vol. 2 #3 — 33,102 (-13.70%)

February 2015: 9 — Silk Vol. 1 #1 — 74,501

Commentary: Another title I didn’t expect falling below 30K so soon; nor did I expect to be performing lower than Carnage for that matter. And I believe the lesson here is this is what happens when the regular artist–one who helped define the look of the character in the series’ first volume–has a series of fill-in artists replace her after the first issue (even though Veronica Fish does a better job in evoking Stacey Lee’s style than Tana Ford). It also could be indicative of just how over-saturated the market is with Spider-Man related titles at the moment, even though Silk remains a surprisingly enjoyable series.

Spider-Man 2099 (2015) #7 Spider-Man 2099 (2015) #6

72 — 25.93 — Spider-Man 2099 Vol. 3 #6 — 26,626 (-6.53%)
74 — 25.48 — Spider-Man 2099 Vol. 3 #7 — 26,163 (-1.73%)

October 2015: 34 — Spider-Man 2099 Vol. 3 #1 — 57,719
October 2015: 51 — Spider-Man 2099 Vol. 3 #2 — 40,701 (-29.48%)
November 2015: 72 — Spider-Man 2099 Vol. 3 #3 — 34,969 (-14.08%)
December 2015: 77 — Spider-Man 2099 Vol. 3 #4 — 32,464 (-7.16%)
January 2016: 71 — Spider-Man 2099 Vol. 3 #5 — 28,489 (-12.24%)

February 2015: 51 — Spider-Man 2099 Vol. 2 #9 — 34,374

Commentary: Despite being written by veteran comic book writer, Peter David, with a cult favorite character among Spider-Man fans, this appears to be yet another Spider-Man related series which, based on the estimates, isn’t gaining a lot of traction among comic book readers. Though it does appear to have stabilized around the mid 20K range given the minor percentage difference between issue #6 and #7. We’ll just have to see whether Spider-Man 2099 stays within that range for next month.

Venom: Space Knight #4

96 — 20.98 — Venom: Space Knight #4 — 21,545 (-16.39%)

November 2015: 29 — Venom: Space Knight #1 — 59,151
December 2015: 79 — Venom: Space Knight #2 — 32,210 (-45.55%)
January 2016: 79 — Venom: Space Knight #3 — 25,770 (-19.99%)

Commentary: Looks as if the latest Venom ongoing is getting dangerously close to 20K mark. It has nothing to do with the comic lacking in quality; if anything, it boasts some fun, quirky outer-space adventures with fantastic art month after month.  Unfortunately, as I mentioned last month, the low performance on Venom: Space Knight may have a lot do with the fact it just seems so far removed from the Venom Spider-Man fans are used to that they’re too hesitant in picking it up. Perhaps it too early to tell, but I suspect the way things appear to be trending, Venom: Space Knight may surpass twelve issues but no more than twenty.

Spider-Woman (2015) #4

104 — 20.20 — Spider-Woman Vol. 6 #4 — 20,747 (-13.74%)

November 2015: 37 — Spider-Woman Vol. 6 #1 — 53,885
December 2015: 97 — Spider-Woman Vol. 6 #2 — 27,801 (-48.40%)
January 2016: 89 — Spider-Woman Vol. 6 #3 — 24,054 (-13.48%)

February 2015: 49 — Spider-Woman Vol. 5 #4 — 36,058

Commentary: Still not looking good numbers-wise for Jessica Drew as far as the new volume of her solo series goes. What will be curious to see is that since Jessica has given birth to a son in issue #4 whether issue #5 will see a slight sales bump because of it. The same goes for the upcoming Spider-Women crossover next month in which Spider-Women Vol. 6 is a part of. It definitely needs something after dropping yet another 13% (almost 14%) in the sales estimates. But at least she’s not in last place. That dubious honor goes to…

Web-Warriors #4

107 — 19.67 — Web Warriors #4 — 20,198 (-20.50%)

November 2015: 26 — Web Warriors #1 — 62,096
December 2015: 80 — Web Warriors #2 — 31,614 (-49.08%)
January 2016: 84 — Web Warriors #3 — 25,407 (-19.63%)

Commentary: With yet another significant percentage drop between issues for the month and no clear sign of the title stabilizing even after four issues, it looks like big trouble for Web Warriors.  Which also makes me worried Marvel and the Spider-Man office will do something desperate and rash to get fans to pay attention to this title. Because right now, it’s still trying to capitalize off “Spider-Verse” when that ship has long since left the harbor. At the rate in which Web Warriors declining, I suspect this will be the first of the Spider-Man titles to get canceled just after twelve issues, if not sooner.

That’s all the Spider-Man sales estimates for the month of February. If you feel there’s a title which should be covered, let us know in the comments section below. Until next time.