Something new I'm trying... based off something I've read elsewhere, but with my own particular flair, of cousre ;-)
Basically, I'm gonna look at the 'Big 2' in comics (Marvel & DC for the still un-initiated) from a statisticians perspective (cuz that's what I do!) ... there won't be title reviews here, per se (but anything is always possible) ... more my thoughts on how good/bad things have done, are doing, will do... maybe my thoughts on why... and maybe some ideas on how they could improve... who knows... to be honest, I just start typing and go with da flow...
New Avengers #2 is the top selling comic of the month. As it was last month. Thusly, I believe this to be proof to all the nay-sayers that 'Disassembled' worked. When you consider that during the pre-Disassembled time frame, 'Avengers' typically pulled down 50,000~60,000 in sales and this past month saw 150,000+ (the #1 debut last month was well into the 200,000's), there really is no arguing the point.
X-Men: Phoenix - Endsong #1 launched at over 100,000 sales... this is very good. And seeing as how the storyline is better than most X-stuff currently being published (Astonishing still rocks), the numbers are deserving.
Uncanny X-Men #454 - the 'flag ship' of the X line, supposedly, continues to droop in sales... clocking in just over 87,000 -- the 4th consecutive month of decline. Year over year it's roughly holding it's own, which is a sad statement in and of itself. This is a title that should be doing better. It wasn't that long ago this title ranked #1 or #2 (flip-floping with adjectiveless 'X-Men') every month. I hate to say it, but Claremont has to go.
X-Men #166 -- first issue of Milligan's run and the sales continue to decline... haven't had an up-blip worth mentioning since 'Reload'. And if this issue is any sign, Milligan ain't the solution. If you've seen my comments elsewhere, you know what my thoughts are... 2 words: Garth Ennis.
Amazing Spider-Man #516 -- drops below 80,000 sales for the first time in ages. Is JMS loosing his magic touch?
Wolverine #24 -- drops below 80,000 as well, but still up by 10,000~15,000 over Rucka's run.
Wolverine: The End #6 -- finishes at just under 75,000... finally. But this is a pretty good run for an X-mini, especially considering the delays.
X-23 #2 -- drops below 60,000. But that is still great for this MarvelNext launch.
Marvel Knights Spider-Man #10 -- just over 60,000 ... falling every month, but still respectable.
X-Men / Fantastic Four #2 -- just over 60,000 compared to near 75,000 for #1. Not entirely unexpected. If it can level out, it'll be fine.
Captain America #2 -- just over 50,000 sales. Down a lot from the re-launched #1. Title was mired in the 35,000~40,000 range for quite some time.
Spectacular Spider-Man #24 -- Steady just under 50,000. Plan is to re-launch soon for a sales boost.
Daredevil #69 -- drops below 50,000 for the first time in a while. Bendis' run is coming to an end, and it's probably the right time. Hopefully they do something high profile with him post-Bendis.
Incredible Hulk #77 -- not a huge jump, but a jump none the less for Peter David's return. Close to 50,000 sales. Title was bleeding readers before this.
Fantastic Four #522 -- Waid is almost done. As with Bendis on DD, it's time. And word is JMS is coming on board here.
New X-Men #9 -- below 40,000. Worse, the count is now less than half that of the #1 re-launch of New Mutants. Expect it to continue to plummet.
Punisher #16 -- drops below 40,000 for the first time. But still quite respectable.
Pulse #7 -- lowest #'s yet; under 35,000. I don't see this one lasting much beyond 12 issues, if that.
Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes #6 -- approx. 32,000. Nice #'s for this type of mini.
Exiles #58 -- nothing wild here, other than a continual, gradual decline. Still over 30,000 though, so no real worries yet.
New Thunderbolts #4 -- leveling out over 30,000. That's acceptable.
Stormbreaker #1 -- over 30,000 for a Thor-related launch. That's good.
Marvel Knights 4 #14. Another title that is in the range of half it's original launch at just over 30,000. It will hold on if only for the FF movie launch, but this title is in trouble.
Spider-Man/Human Torch #1 -- 30,000 plus. For this, that's fine.
Fantastic Four: Foes #1 -- same as above. And the FF rule aplies.
Arana #1 -- just under 30,000. Considering it was over 60,000 the first run, this is bad.
Marvel Team-Up #4 -- leveling out, but low #'s at just over 27,000. We'll see.
Nightcrawler #5 -- dying, and fast.
Cable/Deadpool #11 -- just over 25,000. A 'good' relaunch of X-Force(maybe not with that name) is needed for this segment of X-characters imo. But I love all things Deadpool.
Rogue #7 -- under 25,000! Somebody, just let it die.
Gambit #6 -- 23,500... ugh.
She-Hulk #11 -- pen-ultimate steady at around 23,000... not great numbers, but Shulkie isn't exactly A-list these days... and Slott is the next big thing, trust me (think Vaughn a year or two ago...)
Black Widow #5 -- pen-ultimate issue. 22,500. Meh. Acceptable, I guess.
District X #10 -- down every month. A lot. I know it's the 'MKX' book... but that's not enough.
Mystique #23 -- pen-ultimate issue. Always steady, but just not a big enough winner at under 22,000 (pretty much the cut-off line).
Captain America & The Falcon #11 -- 3 issues to go. good thing.
Madrox #5 -- final issue. 21,300. Did as expected, with great critical praise.
Bullseye: Greatest Hits #5 -- final issue. Just under 21,300. Decent considering it's Bullseye.
Spider-Girl #82 -- 20,000. As per usual. This title is apparently kryptonite to Marvel's axe department's Superman. Steady.
New Invaders #6 -- under 20,000. Dreadful. 3 issues left.
Spider-Man Unlimited #7 -- under 20,000 for the first time. Unnecessary title. Thankfully its only bi-monthly. X-Men Unlimited fills the alternate months. It's not much better.
Alpha Flight #11 -- pen-ultimate issue. Canada gets no respect.
Thor: Son of Asgard #12 -- that's all she wrote. Thankfully.
Tomb Of Dracula #4 -- final issue. Brutal.
Jubilee #5 -- penultimate issue. Sooooo disappointing. Marvel Age is a poorly thought out concept. Poor jubes.
So, that's it for January at Marvel. Amongst those titles that didn't see print were: Astonishing X-Men, Secret War, Daredevil: Father, Supreme Power, Iron Man, Excalibur, Strange, X-Force, NYX, Doctor Spectrum and X-Men Unlimited. All decent titles with varying degrees of lateness imo...
The most impressive monthly titles this month would have to be (based on the stats): Captain America, Wolverine, New Avengers and Incredible Hulk -- with New X-Men getting a minor compliment (and very minor at that... almost not worth mentioning... but watch me go on...) -- and, of course, the debut of X-Men: Phoenix - Endsong did very well, but it is a mini, so it doesn't get inclusion above.
Those monthlies hurting(but not already axed) include: Rogue, District X, New X-Men(see, it's on both lists... go figure), Marvel Knights 4 and Cable/Deadpool. Also of concern are X-men and Punisher. Spider-Man Unlimited would be on the list too if it weren't a bi-monthly.
If it were my call, I would keep the following as monthlies and ditch everything else(mini's exempted -- but reign in some o' the crap-fest there too).
-New Avengers (brand leader -- it's perfect as Bendis has envisioned it thus far)
-Uncanny X-Men (this title should never be re-numbered... please...)
-X-Men (along with Uncanny, needs, unfortunately, another relaunch of sorts... you can re-number this one if ya like, but leave Uncanny's #ing alone -- it would be an unfortunate fiasco if the did it... anyways, back to teh solution -- I recommend a cross-title 1 year(or more) run by Garth Ennis... under the MAX banner... can you imagine!)
-Amazing Spider-Man (this needs to be the premiere Spidey title... always! -- maybe JMS needs to move aside here...)
-Wolverine (keep him off the X-teams, and this title will prosper... the X-teams don't need him, that much, if they're handled properly)
-Marvel Knights Spider-Man (steady as she goes...)
-Captain America (all's good on this front -- Brubaker was/is the perfect choice for Cap)
-Daredevil (a new writer; a new direction)
-Incredible Hulk (give PAD a chance...)
-Fantastic Four (let's see what JMS can do)
-New X-Men (drop the Marvel Age rules... make this more core... letting the other 2 titles, or at least one of them, which in that case would be adjectiveless, flip over to MK or MAX ... and this title picks up some of the slack)
-Punisher (new writer after Ennis' next arc to keep the freshness alive -- and keep it MAX)
-Exiles (needs new direction; give it that, and continue to tighten the continuity as they have started of late and this title is a keeper ... maybe another that could go MK or MAX?)
-New Thunderbolts (bring back Hawkeye)
and, of course (but shipping timely, dammit!)
-Excalibur (these 4 titles are perfect as they are)
There you have it... 18 core titles... with room to add here and there as needed... 7 of which are primarly X-related, 2 pure Spideys and the other 9 core MU... likely a third Spidey will be added to the mix(though make sure the other 2 are taken care of properly first) and one or two more X-books(teams are preferable to solos)... plus Thor down the road... and maybe Defenders... but a max of 24 core monthlies should be maintained... go beyond that and the market flooding issue takes hold... 12 issue maxi series are a better approach that launching new-ongoings...
Coming Soon: DC!