Looking over Marc Olivier Frisch’s comments on the second month sales of DC’s New 52, I noticed that sales increased on Wonder Woman, Batwoman, Catwoman and Supergirl, all of which are in the top 40 (Wonder Woman and Batwoman are both in the top 20, in fact), and it made me think about the fact that Marvel’s only two female-led solo books have just been canceled for low sales. The success of these DC female-led books stands in sharp contrast to the fates of their Marvel equivalent, which made me wonder: Why?
Is it that DC has more familiar female characters and the overall sales promotion of the New 52 worked on a wide enough audience that reacts to the characters they remember? Is it the approach of the books (An odd comment, perhaps, but it struck me that neither Wonder Woman nor Batwoman really reference gender at all, and neither does Supergirl, either, if that makes sense)? Is it the “status” of the creative teams within the industry at large (I doubt it; I can’t imagine that Michael Green and Mike Johnson are really that better known that Marjorie Liu or Rob Williams at this point)? I’m genuinely curious as to why DC can seemingly make female solo books work when Marvel can’t – Having four books within the top 40 raise sales in the second month is definitely working. But… what’s the X (or XX, perhaps) factor?
(Also worth reading: Paul O’Brien’s Marvel sales analysis for October.)