The DC Comics relaunch has barely just begun, and already it has the looks of being a huge success. While some will point out it’s still early, the relaunch appears to be succeeding on every front. I don’t know if there is any way that it could possible be going better for DC Comics.
The most obvious measure of success for the DC Comics relaunch is in print sales, and print sales are going very well. The Justice League #1 became the best selling comic book of the year so far with over 200,000 copies sold. DC Comics has also gone back to press on it with second and third printings. Several other relaunch titles have passed over 100,000 copies sold, and Action #1 and Batgirl #1 are also getting second printings.
A secondary measure of success for DC Comics is digital sales, and while there is less exact data on digital sales, indications are that digital is exceeding expectations. According to an interview on Salon.com, the digital version of the Justice League #1 set a digital sales record for DC Comics on its first day of release. According to MediaBistro.com, three of the top five grossing iPad book apps this week are comic book related. Comixology is #2 and DC Comics is #4 with Marvel Comics sandwiched in the middle. What’s more telling is that if you look at the top ten in-app purchases for Comixology, they are all DC Comics. One has to wonder if you combined the DC Comics sales going through Comixology with the ones going through their direct app if they would be the highest grossing iPad book app for the week.
Of course, sales are nice, but what do the fans think about the quality of the comics? It’s important what the fans thinks, because many a blockbuster movie can have a great opening weekend, only to crash in the second weekend if the word of mouth is bad. Again, DC Comics appears to be firing on all cylinders, because the overall feedback among fans has been overwhelmingly positive. Many reviewers have expressed surprise over just how good several of the new books are. From the artwork to the stories, it’s become evident that DC Comics made sure to put out a quality product.
So the comics are selling and the fans love them, but another shareholder in this whole relaunch is the comic book stores. While comic book stores were rightly concerned in the beginning how all these changes would affect them, the answer seems to be that it is affecting them by sending them more sales. All across the world, there are reports from comic book stores seeing increased sales from both existing customers and brand new customers. In fact, many stores are reporting customers who are picking up all fifty-two issues, which has got to be like Christmas in September.
Of course the good news doesn’t stop there for DC Comics, the media is also going wild over the relaunch. Everyone from USA Today to the New York Times to Mashable is talking about the New 52. Not only are the obvious titles like Justice League and Action Comics getting coverage, but even the lesser known titles like Men of War and Blackhawk are making it into mainstream media. DC Comics is getting the equivalent of millions of dollars in advertising for free.