Last week, we reported about a Bleeding Cool report that claimed Rocket Raccoon #1's pre-orders had reached 300,000 copies, an absolutely unheard of number. Considering that even Marvel's most-hyped new series rarely break 150,000 copies without using some sort of sales gimmick, some sites even questioned the validity of the report, until Marvel EiC Axel Alonso seemingly confirmed the huge sales number with a tweet later that day.
Still, questions lingered about how Rocket Raccoon #1 became this year's second best seller. Well, CBR did a little bit of investigating and found out. According to their sources, approximately 100,000 of those Rocket Raccoon comics were ordered by a single source: Loot Crate. Loot Crate is a mail subscription service, which sends monthly boxes of "geek" genre related merchandise to subscribers. Past merchandise has included Batman and Superman themed material, so this isn't exactly new ground for the company, but this is the first time that Loot Crate has ordered comics from Diamond.
Chances are the bulk of Loot Crate's 100,000+ subscribers aren't regular comic readers, so this represents a surprisingly big opportunity for Marvel (and the rest of the industry). If Rocket Raccoon #1 is anything like creator Skottie Young's other material, the comic could be a huge gateway comic for a new source of readers that haven't actively sought out monthly comics. Of course, there's no guarantee that Rocket Raccoon #1 will be included in Loot Crate's next box of goods, or that all of its subscribers will receive their copies at once.
The other thing to take away from this story is that Rocket Raccoon still sold about 200,000 copies just from retailer orders, which is still an insane number for a solo series about a talking animal.