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The number of times Wolverine was mentioned in the Marvel solicits is only 50 this month, down one from last month's high of 51.
Source: Marvel Full Monthly Solicitations
Wolverine mentions, which normally total around 30 on an average month in Marvel's monthly solicitations, hit an all time high (for the year we've been tracking them) last month with 51 total mentions. While the surly mutant's Mary Sue qualities and position as the moral center of the Marvel Universe put him in a unique position to grow and maintain such a large solicit share, the drop of one mention is worrying. This month there are only 50 mentions of Wolverine, which, while not indicating a significant downward trend, is worrisome in that it could mean that Wolverine growth has leveled off.
Of the various mentions Wolverine receives in the solicits, forty-three of them are in relation to books where Wolverine is the title character, with thirteen of those mentions belonging to Wolverine-centric comics (and a Wolverine young readers prose novel), and thirty belonging to trade paperbacks and hardcovers, like the Wolverine Index to the Wolverine Universe. Four of the mentions are for Wolverine guest appearances in non-Wolverine-centric books, though of course Wolverine can always pop up unannounced in a title. The remaining three mentions are credits for writers working on other books in order to entice readers to buy non-Wolverine books based on the idea that a creator once wrote or drew Wolverine.
Some might suggest that the failure to show growth in the April solicits is the fault of Marvel's creative talent for not coming up with enough ways to shoehorn Wolverine into unrelated Marvel titles, but The Outhouse believes that blame for this alarming downward shift lies solely at the feet of the readers. After all, if you weren't buying so many comics with Wolverine in them in the first place, Marvel would never have been led to believe that the market could sustain fifteen Wolverine-centric titles while the character made guest appearances in multiple other books. Now that Marvel has given the readers what they asked for, it's our responsibility to purchase those books and drive Wolverine appearances to new heights.
Things aren't all bad. In one year of Wolverine mentions (May 2012 to April 2013), there are 342 Wolverine mentions, nearly one Wolverine mention per day of the year, or .93 Wolverine mentions per day, which is close enough for government work. The average number of Wolverine mentions from April 2012 to April 2013 is 28, with a standard deviation of just over 11. Wolverine mentions in Marvel solicitations remain within 3 Sigma compliance. The Wolverine mentions market is clearly still quite strong, but we think we can do better if we pull together as a fandom and recognize that Wolverine is the greatest character ever created, and he deserves to be the focal point of every comic Marvel puts out.
The Outhouse hopes to see at least 70 mentions of Wolverine in the May solicitations from Marvel, so be sure to get out there this month and buy two copies of every book with Wolverine in it.
Written or Contributed by Jude Terror
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