Marvel started the year of 2016 with finishing up their successful Secret Wars event, launching into new #1 issues, a Spider-Man Deadpool series, a sequel if you will to the historical Civil War event nearly a decade ago, with the fallout leading to the new series – Champions, they finished the year with the new X-Men vs. Inhumans series and they made Captain America a Nazi! Yes, seriously.
Forgive me as we have to be up and front with this, Marvel did not have the greatest success in the year 2016. One easy way to deduce this is to just look at 2015 and compare. In 2015, Marvel had the #1 best selling comic for 10 months of out of our 12 month calendar year. In 2016 it flipped to having the #1 best selling comic for only 2 months of the year. These titles were Black Panther #1 and Civil War II #1 selling over 250k and 380k copies each respectively in the months of April and June. Marvel’s share of overall units and overall dollars both dropped respectively 5.14% and 1.24% in 2016 from 2015. In fact, Marvel did not even have the number one best selling comic of the year. Only three of the top ten spots were occupied by Marvel for best selling comics of the year. Nonetheless, Marvel was still #1 in the overall market but there is some good reason for this.
Civil War II #1 went on to be the number two best selling comic of the year, selling over 390k copies. In fact, the entire run sold over 1.5 million copies, meaning an average of 167k copies sold per issue, not bad. The new Black Panther series would go on to sell well over 800k copies for the year, with its #1 being the eighth best selling comic of the year and finally we must not forget Marvel has the Star Wars comics. With that said, Poe Dameron from The Force Awakens had the #20 best selling comic of the year with his #1 debut. In fact, Marvel sold over 2.7 million Star Wars comics, this includes series like Han Solo, Force Awakens and more.
Yes, we got the new Spider-Man Deadpool series which people seem to love as its own, as both characters are greatly beloved but the series did not have the best numbers. Total, it sold well over 800k copies, but you see that’s the thing. With these two beloved characters getting a team-up title you expect them to at least break a million. After issue #1 which took the number 16 spot overall, every other issue was outside the top 100. Furthermore, yes Civil War II had good sales but some readers are growing tired of Marvel’s constant cross-over events, especially one that is a sequel to an event that people to this day are rather divided on. In addition, new #1 issues across the board. Granted, each new #1 sold roughly 100k copies on average, readers are getting tired of this. Take the new Captain America – Steve Rogers, which after its big Hydra reveal lead to a 53% drop for its next issue. Yes, Captain America a Hydra agent? Many of fans were quite upset about this. Doctor Strange Sorcerer’s Supreme #1 was the third best selling comic of October, a whole month before the film but that too may have been a problem. In the month of November, this new series breaks in at the 99th spot for the month. When at DC the month of August was dominated by sales of Harley Quinn & Suicide Squad comics to coincide with the film.
Marvel’s run in the graphic novel department didn’t break well either. Their original Civil War did manage to sell over 34k copies, decent promotion for Civil War II and the movie you could argue. Yet, nothing new for the year enters the chart until spot 23 with Star Wars Darth Vader Vol. 2 Shadows and Secrets, which sold over 16k copies. Basically, with the exception of Civil War the best sellers were Deadpool Kills The Marvel Universe and Old Man Logan, older titles that people keep buying instead of new ones. What is Marvel not doing right here?
Now do not mistake this as all doom and gloom, for it is not. Did Marvel have a bad year to the point they have to claim bankruptcy? No, of course not! It just astonishing to see Marvel be #1 the past two years prior to finally be overtaken. It it not 100% their fault. DC finally made a comic back this year and good competition from other publishers like Image and Boom. Though at the same time you have DC coming in with new #1 issues after roughly five years, when it seems Marvel is doing it every year for some character it feels. There is a brighter future, for as we speak now Marvel is already leading in the new year of 2017.
Check back with us and we will look more into other ventures of Marvel Comics for the year of 2016. Feel free to leave any comments, and we will respond promptly. We would love to hear from you. And thank you for reading The Comic Scene of 2016 in Review (Marvel) here at The Chico Comics Page. We appreciate your viewer-ship and invite you to come back soon. We post most everyday.