Monthly Archives: December 2007

November 2007 Sales Figures

The estimates for November’s sales figures were released last week. While New Warriors itself took the month off, there were plenty of New Warriors-related comics that came out.

Avengers: The Initiative returned with issue #7, barely dipping below the Top 25 and still bringing in well over 65,000 readers. It lost over 7,500 readers, possibly due to the absence after a fill-in artist. This was marketed as an important pre-One More Day issue for Spider-Man, and also promised the reveal of who is behind at least one of the Scarlet Spider masks. Such intrigue didn’t seem to give the title any discernible sales boost, but the book remains a strong seller.

Nova #8 is the first issue to not boast a Marvel event across the cover like Annihilation, the Initiative or Annihilation: Conquest, although the latter is certainly referenced. The good news is that the over 2,500 lost readers from last issue really isn’t a significant increase in decline from previous issues. The issue sold over 32,000 copies, a very decent place to be at this point in the series especially considering Nova’s past sales history.

Thunderbolts took another month off, and released another one-shot to keep the masses happy. Breaking Point, like Desperate Measures before it, didn’t perform as well as the regular “monthly” series. Perhaps due to some dissatisfaction with Desperate Measures, Breaking Point sold close to 10,000 copies less. Still, it’s a respectable showing, nearly exactly the same sales as Nova #8, and certainly better for Marvel than making nothing from a skip month, so I’m sure we’ll see more of these whenever Warren Ellis and Mike Deodato fall behind. There’s already another one scheduled for February.

The one-shot What If: Annihilation featuring Nova didn’t do much worse. Nearly 30,000 copies were sent to comic shops, sending a signal to Marvel that either the rejuvenated What If? brand, the Annihilation brand, or both still have life in them.

Penance: Relentless #3 only mildly dropped from last month. This seems to have leveled off pretty quickly, with about 22,000 readers this month. It will probably be around 20,000 next month. Again, this isn’t all that great. I’m sure Marvel was hoping for this to do a bit better after all the work they put into the Speedball/Penance overhaul from Civil War.

Loners finally wraps up after being delayed last month. The mini-series ended with over 13,000 readers, not really the greatest despite spinning off from the well-received Runaways. After an epilogue in this month’s Marvel Holiday Special 2007, there seems to be plans for a sequel of some kind next year. Perhaps Marvel’s sales threshold has been lowering due to Marvel’s financial success over the last handful of years. It just doesn’t seem like this mini-series did well enough to merit a sequel. Perhaps they want to give the property another chance and time to find its audience and footing.

Iron Man & Power Pack #1 brings up the bottom, as usual. The new #1 gives the Power Pack series of mini-series another mild bump, although it will probably dip below 5,000 by the second or third issue, the first time for the rejuvenated property. However, as I say every month, the digest-sized collections are where Marvel really makes their money, so it’s not a tremendous concern.

November 2007
22 Avengers: The Initiative #7 – $2.99 – 66,431
69 Nova #8 – $2.99 – 32,099
70 Thunderbolts: Breaking Point #1 – $2.99 – 32,030
79 What If: Annihilation #1 – $2.99 – 29,705
107 Penance: Relentless #3 – $2.99 – 22,453
163 Loners #6 – $2.99 – 13,352
233 Iron Man & Power Pack #1 – $2.99 – 5,525

Click here for the updated listing of Sales Estimates figures dating back to 1996 and more information on what the numbers mean.

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Nova & Cloak: Skrulls?

As a teaser image for next year’s Secret Invasion event, Marvel Comics today released an image by artist Ethan Van Sciver Leinil Francis Yu revealing a bunch of Marvel heroes as shape-shifting alien Skrulls in disguise. Among the line-up is Nova and Cloak.

As a teaser image, this should certainly be taken with a grain of salt, as it’s meant to stir conversation and not confirm or deny that a character is currently a Skrull. Such a reveal, and certainly this many high profile reveals, would be handled in an actual story and not a promotion piece.

Having said that, OH MY GOD! NOVA IS A SKRULL!

Click on the image to see a larger (although not quite large enough) version.

Page-by-Page: New Warriors #6

New Warriors Volume 4, Issue 6
A Penagain Page-by-Page Review
(C)2007, Jeremiah Lee Schwennen

How it Works:
To appreciate this review, you’ll need to have the issue in question in front of you. I’ll be commenting on the ENTIRE issue, cover to cover, including ads. The commentary will range from witty to insightful, and from inane to annoying. All-in-all, it will take you less time to enjoy and/or loathe it than it took me to write it, so consider yourself lucky! This is our third page-by-page in our new and EXCLUSIVE home at the New Warriors Continuity Conundrum! Stop in and say something!

DETAILS
New Warriors Volume 4 Issue 6, Defiant (Part Six) was released December 12th, 2007. It was written by Kevin Grevioux, with art by Paco Medina, Juan Vlasco, and Marte Gracia.

COVER
The last Klein cover that was (clearly) designed before he had a chance to see any of Medina’s pencils. I like the imagery here (and have always been happy with Klein’s covers) but I have to say, sitting on the newsstand, this cover STRONGLY implies that this is a final issue, and that’s not a good thing.

Say good bye to Blackwing’s hair and Thrash’s shoulder pads folks, because after this cover, they’ve been corrected! See, someone IS reading this column!

For those counting, if we had a shadow number in the corner box, it would be 97. Continue reading

Roundtable Review: New Warriors v4 #6

The NWCC quartet gather for another Roundtable Review. New Warriors #6 concludes the Defiant story arc. How did it fair? Read on!

JEREMY:
Here we are two months since last issue, with the final part of the first storyline in the newest New Warriors series. Where does Defiant part six leave us? Overall, I think this issue pulls it all together pretty well. For once, it feels like lots of things happen in the issue, and while it continues to misfire on certain fronts, many positive things can be said about this issue. I feel that, if nothing else, this issue is the right finale to this storyline. Continue reading

October 2007 Sales Figures

Doing a bit of catching up, the estimates for October’s sales figures were released late last month. Let’s dig in and see how the New Warriors-related comics are selling in the direct market of comic book retail stores.

New Warriors volume 4 #5 lost another 3,000 readers, which is more or less consistent with the title’s decline since issue #2. An estimated 37,000 readers are keeping the book in the top 100 of Diamond’s charts. It would be nice to slow that decline just a bit more but over all things remain fairly decent. It’s still vastly out-selling the last New Warriors mini-series, which admittedly was geared to a difference audience, and is also doing at least 10,000 copies better than New Warriors volume 2.

The monthly Thunderbolts series returned for issue #117, part two of the second story arc after a no-show in September and July (although July had a one-shot to serve as a stop-gap). Readers could be feeling a loss of momentum or dissatisfaction with the storyline, as 5,000 readers left after #116. Fortunately, the book is still in the top 50 and selling nearly 50,000 copies, certainly a great place to be in today’s market.

Nova #7 concludes the Annihilation: Conquest tie-in story arc. As I semi-predicted, the issue sold around 35,000 copies, almost exactly in line with the fourth and final Annihilation: Nova issue. As mentioned before, the estimates for issue #8, the first issue to not tie into something else, should reveal a lot about how much of the book’s readers are on-board because of the event, and how many are there because they’re enjoying the stories.

The second Penance: Relentless issue mini-series drops from just over 30,000 to about 24,000 copies. Not too bad for a second issue drop, but not really impressive numbers in general. The mini-series will probably end below the 20,000 mark, which is entering the danger zone for Marvel comics.

Finally, Fantastic Four & Power Pack #4 concludes with just over 5,000 readers. This is an all-time low for the series of All-Ages Power Pack mini-series. However, the digest-sized collections sold at book stores and other outlets typically make up for the traditionally low sales of the singles, so this may not even matter. November’s numbers should go back up for it anyway due to another new #1, as Iron Man & Power Pack begins.

No Avengers: The Initiative or Loners this month, but they returned in November.

October 2007
49 Thunderbolts #117 – $2.99 – 47,101
62 New Warriors #5 – $2.99 – 36,898
69 Nova #7 – $2.99 – 34,840
107 Penance: Relentless #2 – $2.99 – 24,321
254 Fantastic Four & Power Pack #4 – $2.99 – 5,147

Click here for the updated listing of Sales Estimates figures dating back to 1996 and more information on what the numbers mean.

New Warriors-related comics for March ’08

Marvel Comics has released information for comics shipping in March. Night Thrasher’s hidden plans are revealed in New Warriors #10. A new story begins in Nova #11, bringing the Human Rocket back to Annihilation: Conquest. The “Killed in Action” story concludes in Avengers: Initiative #11, and there may not be a lot of survivors. A prison break tears apart the Thunderbolts. And Power Pack: Day One #1 reveals the new origin of the youngest super-team. Plus, the Initiative and more is detailed in the Marvel Atlas #2.

Click through to see the full solicitations and cover images.
Continue reading

Pelletier & Maleev added to Nova team

Newsarama has posted an article revealing the new cover and interior artists for Nova. Beginning with issue #11, Paul Pelletier will begin his run as regular interior pencil artist, along with Alex Maleev, who will provide painted cover art. No word yet on the inker and colorist.

Pelletier is in the midst of a run on Fantastic Four with writer Dwayne McDuffie, and has previously worked on Exiles, She-Hulk, and G.L.A. for Marvel, Flash, Superboy and the Ravers, Green Lantern, and Outsiders for DC, and Negation for CrossGen. He has been working in the industry since the late 1980s with his run on the Ex-Mutants from Malibu.

Maleev is probably best known for his memorable run on Daredevil with writer Brian Michael Bendis. The two have reunited for the current HALO: Uprising mini-series. He has also worked on Sam & Twitch for Image and The Crow: Flesh & Blood for Kitchen Sink.

A preview of Nova #11, as well as the solicitation blurb, is included.

Read the full article.

Old vs. New

On Wednesday, Marvel.com posted an article taking a look at how the new New Warriors stack up against the old team. A preview of New Warriors #7 by Kevin Grevioux and guest artist Jon Malin is included.

Part one includes Wondra vs. Ultra Girl, Tempest vs. Firestar and Decibel vs. Justice. What do you think of the results?

Read the full article.

UPDATE: Part 2 was posted yesterday, revealing the speculated outcome of Blackwing vs. Darkhawk, Skybolt vs. Aegis, Ripcord vs. Microbe and Phaser vs. Nova. (Thanks PaxHouse!)

Read the full article.

Slott on the Initiative phone

Marvel Comics held a State of the Initiative phone conference with the Comics Continuum and other comics news sites today. This one, with Avengers: The Initiative writer Dan Slott, was the third in a series of such press conferences.

Slott confirmed that Justice will go rogue in issue #7 to investigate the mystery of MVP. He also rather ominously mentioned that Rage is on the cover of issue #10, a part of the “Killed In Action” storyline called “Confirmed Kills”.

Read the full article summarizing the conference.

Cebulski non-answers Loners questions

With the conclusion of the Loners mini-series, a lot of questions remained unanswered. Writer CB Cebulski took a moment to answer… well, none of them. But he promises that all of the various plot threads and unanswered questions will be addressed in 2008 with a possible sequel, maybe in the form of another Loners mini-series, or maybe a comic starring Power Pack or Darkhawk or Green Goblin, or maybe something else entirely different. Or maybe not at all.

Read the full interview.

Gage joins Initiative creative team

Writer Christos Gage will be joining writer Dan Slott in plotting and scripting Avengers: The Initiative starting with the first Annual. Newsarama spoke with both writers.

Read the full interview.