It’s pretty obvious that Marvel’s latest summer blockbuster was a huge success. If you can’t tell from the numerous “Hey Marvel NOW is wonderful!” press releases, you could easily learn everything from analyzing the numbers. That’s not what I did though. Instead of taking on sales numbers, I asked thirty of my closest friends to let me know what they thought of the event. The good news is that I now have a buttload of great data and can tell you how much the Outhouse loved Marvel NOW. The bad news is that I have to quit buying comics and save money to buy my thirty friends beer and burgers.
To boot, I asked people to let me know a couple things: What they were buying before and after the event launch and also what they were dropping before and after the event launch. While collecting the data, it was interesting to see how members reacted to the creative changes that were happening in the Marvel titles. It was surprising to see how many people were (and still are) buying some of the titles that many thought were predicting to flop.
Okay, now let’s get into the numbers:
The 10 most popular Marvel NOW titles (based on event launch pick-ups) were:
1. Uncanny Avengers (Rick Remender & John Cassaday) – 21 pick-ups
1. New Avengers (Jonathan Hickman & Steve Epting) – 21 pick-ups
3. Avengers (Jonathan Hickman & Jerome Opena) – 20 pick-ups
4. Indestructible Hulk (Mark Waid & Lienel Yu) – 19 pick-ups
5. All-New X-Men (Brian Michael Bendis & Stuart Immonen) – 16 pick-ups
6. Thor: God of Thunder (Jason Aaron & Esad Ribic) – 14 pick-ups
6. Captain America (Rick Remender & John Romita Jr.) – 14 pick-ups
6. Fantastic Four (Matt Fraction & Mark Bagley) – 14 pick-ups
6. FF (Matt Fraction & Mike Allred) – 14 pick-ups
10. Uncanny X-Men (Brian Michael Bendis & Chris Bachalo) – 13 pick-ups
So what do the numbers mean? Well from the look of things, Uncanny Avengers, a direct follow-up to the events of Avengers vs. X-Men (AvX) and New Avengers, the Illuminati-based Avengers book, were the two most sought-out titles in the NOW event. Both books had 21 people pick up the first issues. The top ten pick-ups suggest that the Avengers titles as well as the Avenger solo books are strongly popular among Outhouse Marvel readers. It also suggests that people are also interested in what’s happening with the X-Men’s two core titles and the Fantastic Four/FF titles after the AvX event.
What’s more interesting to put up against these numbers are the number of books people are dropping. It’s easy to say a book is popular because a bunch of people are buying it, but to truly understand how people are reacting to a title, we have to see where the numbers are dropping.
So what are Outhousers not enjoying from Marvel NOW? Iron Man (by Kieron Gillen & Greg Land), Deadpool (by Brian Posehn, Gerry Duggan & Tony Moore) and Thunderbolts (by Daniel Way & Steve Dillon) all saw three (3) readers dropping out of the fun as did Fantastic Four and FF. The drops in readership were less drastic with Fantastic Four and FF, as each book only lost 21% of its readership. Iron Man lost 38% of its readership while Deadpool lost only 25%. Thunderbolts lost a giant chuck of its readership, with 75% of readers dropping the title. Ouch! While most books had only 2 or 1 people dropping, Uncanny Avengers had a whopping seven (7) people unwilling to continue with the series. That’s 33% or a third of its readership jump off. It hurts the most when there aren’t many people reading in the first place.
There were a number of titles re-launching with new number 1s and there were also a number of OHers who weren’t willing to continue reading those new number ones. Interestingly enough, the series that had the most “jump-offs” was Uncanny X-Force. It appears that many people were satisfied with Remender’s take on the team and weren’t interested in the new launch by Sam Humphries and Ron Garney. Of the 8 people reading the title, four of them dropped out before the re-launch. Both the Iron Man and Secret Avengers re-launches and new creative teams also didn’t spark much interest either, with three of their four readers dropping the book.
That’s a rundown on the numbers at a glance. It’s safe to say the launch was a great success. It even got me reading monthly comics again. That is partly to blame on GiveWarAChance, but it says something when someone who was adamantly indie starts buying books (yeah call me a sellout). I’m not the only one jumping ship, as long-time Outhouser nietoperz states: “Basically, the last few months have seen me go from being a DC guy to being a Marvel one. And I don't regret it one bit: the books are just better.” That’s a pretty bold statement.
Now, I need to take some time to thank all the people that took the time to fill out the survey. So a big thank you goes out to: nieto, Zero, Glacier, GWAC, misac, Amoebas, Sakie, Ntikrst, Sunless, Chappy, Yoni, MikeInLA, guitargod, Melon, Arion, RU, King Impulse, Jude, MajorTool, SecondLex, Prozac, Chesscubby, Old Man Scoot, bdaniels34, covalesky, Erik, TDDW, oogy and Punchy. I owe y’all beers and burgers.
Stay tuned for a more in-depth look at how each series performed among the Outhousers’ reading tastes throughout the week.