Spider-Man Comic Sales For March 2016

Amazing Spider-Man becomes the 5th highest comic for the start of spring, as other comics on a downward trend get a bit of boost.

As we look at the Spider-Man comics sales estimates for March 2016 (courtesy of both ICv2 and Comichron via Diamond Comic Distributors Inc.), you’ll notice there are two particular aspects about this month. First, a few comics which were trending downwards, including Amazing Spider-Man, had a sudden increase compared to where they were in the previous month. One common cause could be that March was a month in which Marvel gave several titles certain types of variant covers, whether it be a “Story Thus Far,” variant which visually recapped the series since the start of their “All-New, All-Different” relaunch, or a “Women of Power” variant showing a female character or superhero associated with whatever title the variant belonged.  And when there are variants attached to a comic, the number of dealer orders for that title increases in anticipation that avid comic book collectors will want to buy multiple copies of an issue due to it having more than one cover.

The second thing to notice is that there’s now a good indication as to which comics are likely to going to continue long-term, and which ones are not. After all, when there’s no less than eleven different Spider-Man comics and tie-ins being published, it’s obvious some are going to fall by the wayside due to potential customers not wanting to pick up that many related comics every single month.  The periodical market is in a noticeable slump, with Rich Johnson of Bleeding Cool citing that, after just three months, comic sales have dropped an average of 10% compared to where they were last year. Moreover, as Brian Hibbs describes in his latest “Titling at Windmills” column at Comic Book Resources, there’s less demand for what he describes as “a ‘universe’ of comics,” much less a score of newly relaunched titles of inter-related characters being published all at once. Which means readers are being much more selective about which title they’ll want to follow.

So with that in mind, let’s look and see how the Spider-Man comics have been doing thus far. And remember, these are only sales estimates based on orders, not actual sales.

Amazing Spider-Man (2015) #9, cover

5 — 53.95 — Amazing Spider-Man Vol. 4 #9 — 88,164 (+23.13%)

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 2016: 9 — Amazing Spider-Man Vol. 4 #7 — 75,357 (-15.16%)
February 2016: 11 — Amazing Spider-Man Vol. 4 #8 — 71,599 (-4.98%)

March 2015: 6 — Amazing Spider-Man Vol. 3 #16 — 92,289

Commentary: I confess, I was very surprised by the huge increase between issues #8 and #9, in part because there wasn’t anything all that remarkable about issue #9 other than it being the start of a new story arc. That is until I found that Amazing Spider-Man #9 has no less than three different variant covers: a “Classic Variant,” a “Story Thus Far Variant,” and a “Women of Power Variant” featuring the Black Cat.  Along with Giuseppe Camuncoli’s return on penciling duties after Matteo Buffagni work on issues #6 to #8, then this could explain the reason behind Amazing Spider-Man big jump for the month.

Spider-Man/Deadpool #3

11 — 41.62 — Spider-Man/Deadpool #3 — 68,003 (-2.57%)

January 2016: 3 —Spider-Man/Deadpool #1 — 133,813
February 2016: 12 — Spider-Man/Deadpool #2 — 69,801 (-47.83%)

Commentary: Looks as though Spider-Man/Deadpool is holding steady in the high 60K range. Although, one thing to take into consideration is whether the title is actually settling around that number, or if being bolstered by having two variant covers. Then there’s the question of how much of an effect the Deadpool movie’s popularity is affecting things, as dealers may have ordered extra copies in anticipation of the Merc With the Mouth’s increased exposure. After all, Deadpool’s solo title is number 8 in the top 10, while Deadpool: Mercs For Money is at number 25.

Spider-Man #2

16 — 37.10 — Spider-Man #2 — 60,627 (-39.34%)

February 2016: 4 — Spider-Man #1 — 99,951

March 2015: 76 — Miles Morales: Ultimate Spider-Man #11 — 29,101

Commentary: It’s always a given that after the first issue of a new series, the second issue will be much less. Especially if that first issue had five different variant covers like Spider-Man #1 did. However, an almost 40 percent drop from its first issue isn’t something to sneeze at, especially when you consider Miles Morales being integrated into the mainstream Marvel Universe was a major selling point for the “All-New, All-Different” relaunch. That said, we won’t know where the comic is trending until after the sales estimates for Spider-Man #3. Also, at least it’s doing much better than Miles Morales: Ultimate Spider-Man was towards the end of its run.

Spider-Gwen #6

32 — 28.19 — Spider-Gwen #6 — 46,060 (+5.16%)

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 2016: 32 — Spider-Gwen Vol. 2 #5 — 43,796 (-11.11%)

March 2015: 4 — Spider-Gwen Vol. 1 #2 — 107,070

Commentary: So after its steady decline over the past five months, the second volume of Spider-Gwen gets a bit of a bump for this month. This could have something to do with the issue having a “Women of Power variant,” but also having Robbi Rodriguez doing the art after his brief leave-of-absence.  It will interesting to see how the title will fare after Rodriguez retirement, which he plans for later this year. After all, when there was change of artists for issue #5, the sales estimates had a decrease of over 4,800, and Rodriguez’s return only recouped half of that loss.

Amazing Spider-Man #1.4

38 — 27.02 — Amazing Spider-Man Vol. 4 #1.4 — 44,160 (-7.79%)

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%)
February 2015: 27 — Amazing Spider-Man Vol. 4 #1.3 — 47,892 (-15.49%)

Commentary: Didn’t I just review this issue? In all seriousness, “Amazing Grace” continues to slide down the charts, though not as sharply as it had been doing. If it continues to decrease at this rate, but with less and less of drop each time, then I’m guessing the “Point One” series will probably finish just above 40K, if not in the high 30K bracket. Given also how “Amazing Grace” hasn’t been well-received, it could fall even further now that it’s gotten some bad word of mouth.

Amazing Spider-Man and Silk: The (Spider)fly Effect #1

63 — 18.85 — Amazing Spider-Man and Silk: The (Spider)Fly Effect #1 — 30,806

Commentary: For those of you who have forgotten what The (Spider)Fly Effect is, it’s a digital exclusive miniseries that’s part of the Marvel Infinite line. Issue #1 is the reprinting of the first two issues from that digital comic book series. Thus, it’s not so surprising to see the sales estimate for the print edition being as low as they are, especially since the series is currently on issue #6. After all, why bother purchasing a more expensive print copy when the individual digital issues are available for $1.99 each.

Carnage #6

65 — 17.67 — Carnage #6 — 28,874 (+6.31%)

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%)
February 2016: 68 — Carnage #5 — 27,160 (-14.28%)

Commentary: With the start of new story arc, plus the added bonus of having “Classic” and “Story Thus Far” variants, Carnage gets a bit of a boost for March. Though I’m guessing that starting with issue #7, will be seeing the series slide down towards the mid 20K range, which is where it appeared to heading towards in February.  All-in-all, it looks as though Carnage as found a niche as a high-end C-list title.

Spider-Man 2099 #8

68 — 17.49 — Spider-Man 2099 Vol. 3 #8 — 28,580 (+9.23%)

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 2016: 72 — Spider-Man 2099 Vol. 3 #6 — 26,626 (-6.53%)
February 2016: 74 — Spider-Man 2099 Vol. 3 #7 — 26,163 (-1.73%)

March 2015: 57 — Spider-Man 2099 Vol. 2 #10 — 33,528

Commentary: Another title which appears to have benefited from having the “Classic” and “Story Thus Far” variants, and it couldn’t have happened at a better time. Spider-Man 2099 Vol. 3 #8 finally saw some progression with regards to the Tempest in a coma subplot as Miguel discovered she was still alive, and also had a guest appearance by Peter Parker.  Whether this will slow the title’s downward progression remains to be seen, especially once the figures for issue #9 become available next month.

Silk #6

79 — 15.21 — Silk Vol. 2 #6 — 24,847 (-4.55%)

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 2016: 71 — Silk Vol. 2 #4 — 26,786 (-19.08%)
February 2016: 75 — Silk Vol. 2 #5 — 26,032 (-2.81%)

March 2015: 12 — Silk Vol. 1 #2 — 69,369

Commentary: Looks as though Silk may be settling into around the low 20K range in the sales estimates. Again, while part of me thinks much of the reason the second volume of Silk isn’t performing as well because of the brief cancellation caused by Secret Wars, I’ve also maintained that much it also has to do with the absence of Stacey Lee as the regular artist. Now that the Spider-Women crossover has begun, starting with Spider-Women Alpha #1, I predict will see a bit of uptick in Silk, along with Spider-Gwen and Spider-Women for the month of April.

Spider-Woman #5

94 — 12.60 — Spider-Woman Vol. 6 #5 — 20,594 (-0.73%)

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 2016: 104 — Spider-Woman Vol. 6 #4 — 20,747 (-13.74%)

March 2015: 43 — Spider-Woman Vol. 5 #5 — 40,068

Commentary: Well, it appears the latest volume of Spider-Woman finally slowed down its rapid decline and is coming to a rest around the 20K mark. Even so, that’s still a very tenuous position for this title to be in. Especially when you consider that, on the basis of the Spider-Women crossover and her having a longer history than either Spider-Gwen or Silk, it appears Marvel wants Jessica Drew as the headlining Spider-Woman among the other Spider-Women. Of course, that’s likely going to happen, even with the presumed boost the title could receive from the crossover.

Venom: Space Knight #5

104 — 11.51 — Venom: Space Knight #5 — 18,807 (-12.70%)

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%)
February 2016: 96 — Venom: Space Knight #4 — 21,545 (-16.39%)

Commentary: During our look at the comic book solicitations for the month of June, I noted how it was odd that Venom: Space Knight was being shipped twice that month despite never having come out twice-a-month before. Now it looks as though we may have a reason for why this is. Because Venom: Space Knight is the first of two Spider-Man tie-in comic book series to fall under 20K (although it’s also considered a Guardians of the Galaxy tie-in, as well). And when a comic from one of the big two (DC or Marvel) falls below 20K, it isn’t long before that title ends up getting cancelled. My guess is that Marvel, having anticipated this decline, wants to publish enough issues to produce a couple of trades before cancelling the series outright. I’m probably wrong, but based on these estimates, Venom: Space Knight’s future isn’t looking so good.

Web Warriors #5

107 — 11.40 — Web Warriors #5 — 18,621 (-7.80%)

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%)
February 2016: 107 — Web Warriors #4 — 20,198 (-20.50%)

Commentary: Speaking of a comic’s future not looking so good, here’s the second Spider-Man tie-in to drop below the 20K mark. I said in the last column how I believe Web Warriors would most likely the first of the Spider-Man titles to get cancelled as soon as it hit 12 issues, and based on these figures, that’s looking more like reality. Bleeding Cool is even taking this a step further by suggesting the series will be cancelled after just 11 issues, based on how the Amazon pre-order for second trade paperback of Web Warriors only goes up to issue #11. If it continues to fall like it has been doing, then that’s a definite time to panic.

That’s all for this month. What are you’re thoughts about the performance, or lack thereof, of these Spider-Man titles? Feel free to give your opinions in the comments section below. Until next time!