Now here’s something unusual – CABLE & DEADPOOL returns to its regular stories after three CIVIL WAR crossover issues, and actually holds on to a chunk of its audience gain. Okay, most of the extra readers left as soon as the crossover finished. But an improvement from 25K to 30K is worth having. The book must have done something to hook the readers – most of the crossover titles have just gone straight back to normal afterwards… Hmm. [Thunderbolts is a]nother CIVIL WAR tie-in book which returns to normal and holds on to a big chunk of the audience, jumping from 23K to 29K. The common factor with these two books is writer Fabian Nicieza – does he have a knack for holding on to crossover audiences? If so, it’s arguably somewhat ironic that Marvel are giving the book an overhaul and a relaunch with Warren Ellis at the helm. Then again, chances are Marvel will still end up with a higher selling book by taking this route, so it probably makes sense at the end of the day. Issue #104, now in its second printing, picks up 9,758 extra sales.
Meanwhile, over at DC:
The relaunch of the WildStorm Universe flagship title by the creative team of writer Grant Morrison and artist Jim Lee finally showed up on October 18, having missed its initial shipping date on September 6. It’s the highest-selling WildStorm issue by a wide margin since ICv2.com launched their current system of estimates back in March 2003, and probably then some… That the resulting boost to Wildcats sales is enormous compared to the book’s other recent incarnations doesn’t come as a great surprise. Morrison and Lee’s “superstar” status in the industry aside, the creators and the publisher made it plain that the new title was going to take its cue from the book’s colorful and commercially highly successful early-nineties roots as WildC.A.T.s rather than from the more experimental tone of Wildcats Volume 2 and Wildcats Version 3.0. The intention behind the revamp, evidently, is to pull out all the stops and restore the flagging WildStorm line to commercial health.
While sales in excess of 80K are certainly a solid foundation to that end, it should be pointed out that a limited variant edition scheme was attached to Wildcats #1, so as to motivate retailers to order the book more generously than they might have done otherwise. This practice can currently be relied upon to yield higher numbers early on, but it usually also means that the sales of subsequent issues — no matter if supported by further variant cover editions or not — decline all the more sharply. Wetworks, for instance, which debuted last month and was supported with the same gimmick, saw a rather drastic second-issue drop in October… Further, it’s emphatically unclear at present whether Wildcats will come out with any regularity. Morrison, who is one of the architects of the logistically daunting weekly title 52, recently had some trouble finishing Seven Soldiers, resulting in a six-month delay for the final issue. And Lee is already hopelessly and embarrassingly behind on his other current assignment, All-Star Batman, the most recent issue of which shipped in May 2006. Wildcats #2, initially scheduled for November 2006, was recently resolicited for a March 2007 release. Now, according to Lee, that’s merely a hypothetical date resulting from Diamond’s solicitation deadlines, which allowed for no earlier placement: The book will actually come out earlier than that, Lee says. But, really, I’m not tempted to hold my breath.
Wildcats is off to a strong start, but there’s ample reason to be skeptical about its future.
Much more in the links.