Marvel Back On Top In Diamond's October Sales

DC and Marvel Comics each had four books in the top ten last month, with BOOM! Studios taking the top spot and The Walking Dead ambling in at #10.

Diamond Comics Distributors have released an overview of October 2016 sales, and the top sellers of the month were heavily driven by outside media: Big Trouble In Little China/Escape From New York #1 earned the top spot on the sales chart, bolstered by big numbers from a deal with online retailer Loot Crate, while Doctor Strange, Star Wars, and The Walking Dead also made their presence known.

All four of DC's books on the list -- which you can see below -- were Batman titles, including Dark Knight III: The Master Race, All-Star Batman, and two issues of Batman.

Marvel, which took the #2 spot with Champions #1 (a title that actually generated more revenue than any other comic last month because of its $4.99 cover price, compared to $3.99 for the #1 book), also saw Civil War II, Star Wars: Darth Vader, and Doctor Strange and the Sorcerers Supreme make the list.

Marvel, who had enjoyed about a year of commanding double-digit leads in market share prior to May, has been coming in second to DC since their second month of the Rebirth initiative in July. DC came in a close second in dollar share and a slightly-more-distant second in unit share in October, although both of those numbers were within about 5% of Marvel's tally.

The periodical market overall was up about 18% from September, meaning that it might have been higher overall sales and exceptional performance from their new #1 issues that put Marvel over the top, rather than an indication that DC's Rebirth successes have started to falter. Unfortunately, trade paperbacks and graphic novels tumbled almost 10% from last month's numbers, and about that same amount from this time last year.

October-2016-comics-sales
(Photo: Diamond Comics Distributors)

Periodical sales, though, were up about 6% in dollars and twice that amount in unit sales since last year. That disparity might seem odd, but remember that nearly DC's entire line is now $2.99 and shipping twice-monthly, which means the increase in dollars might not always sync up with the increase in units sold, since this time last year the publisher had exclusively monthly books, most of which cost $3.99.

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Published to coincide with the debut of the new Champions team, Marvel's Champions: No Time For Losers, a collection of classic 1970s Champions tales, was October's best-selling graphic novel. Marvel had a total of four books among the top ten including Ryan North and Erica Henderson's original graphic novel, The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl Beats Up the Marvel Universe at #6; Doctor Strange: Flight of Bones at #7; and the adult coloring book, Color Your Own Star Wars, at #8. Image Comics had five titles at the top ten, led by Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie's The Wicked and the Divine Volume 4: Rising Action at #2, followed by East of West Volume 6 at #3, Tokyo Ghost Volume 2 at #4, Low Volume 3: Shore of the Dying Light at #5, and Trees Volume 2 at #9. Rounding out the top ten, DC Entertainment's Batman: The Dark Knight Returns Book & Mask Set ranked #10.