DC Comics’ New 52 Sells Over 5 Million Issues

Posted Thursday, October 13th, 2011 11:00 am GMT -4 by

We’ve reported before about DC Comics selling out of their New 52 #1 issues but until now DC has only released a partial list of actual numbers. Well today, DC put out a press release and it seems as if, so far, the New 52 has sold OVER five million copies of their #1 issues! That’s a ton* of comics! Check out the official press release below…

Official Press Release:

DC Comics – the home of Superman, Batman, Green Lantern and Wonder Woman – is experiencing its best comic books sales in more than 20 years, following a historic renumbering of all DC Comics titles with 52 all-new first issues. With sales of more than 5 million copies in only six weeks, the first issues of DC COMICS – THE NEW 52 are generating international headlines and bringing fans back into comic book stores across the country.

“We are thrilled by the overwhelmingly positive response from retailers, fans and the creative community to DC Comics — The New 52,” said DC Entertainment President Diane Nelson. “This was a bold publishing initiative that is reinvigorating and growing the industry and medium we love.”

“We did more than just change Superman’s costume and renumber the entire line. We took a huge risk and it’s paying off,” said Jim Lee, DC Entertainment Co-Publisher and artist of JUSTICE LEAGUE. “Comic book retailers are seeing returning fans and as well as new readers flock to their stores.”

Earlier this year, and before DC COMICS – THE NEW 52 launched on August 31st, the industry’s bestselling comic book title typically sold about 100,000 copies. In contrast:

  • JUSTICE LEAGUE #1 has sold more than 250,000 copies.
  • ACTION COMICS #1 and BATMAN #1 have both sold more than 200,000 copies.
  • DETECTIVE COMICS #1, THE FLASH #1, GREEN LANTERN #1 and SUPERMAN #1 have all sold more than 150,000 copies.
  • AQUAMAN #1, BATGIRL #1, BATMAN AND ROBIN #1, BATMAN: THE DARK KNIGHT #1, GREEN LANTERN CORPS #1, GREEN LANTERN: NEW GUARDIANS #1 and WONDER WOMAN #1 have all sold more than 100,000 copies.

So, just how many comic books are we talking about? With New York Comic Con kicking off this week, let’s look to some of New York’s famous landmarks for some visual context. It takes (approximately):

  • 2,090,880 comic books laid end to end to stretch from one end of New York State to the other. We’ve sold enough DC COMICS – THE NEW 52 first issues to span New York State in its entirety two times over.
  • 174,480 comic books stacked on top of each other to reach the top of the Empire State Building. That’s every copy of GREEN LANTERN #1—with issues to spare.
  • 36,600 comic books stacked in a pile to reach the top of the Statue of Liberty. That means copies of WONDER WOMAN #1 could reach the top of Lady Liberty almost three times.

Oh, and 5 million copies sold?  That’s enough copies of DC COMICS – THE NEW 52 to lay out and span the distance from New York to Chicago – with some left over. “People are buying, reading and talking about a line of comic books in a way they haven’t in years,” said Dan DiDio, DC Entertainment Co-Publisher. “We’re thrilled to see the passionate response fans have had, but this is just Step One for us. Now our plan is to keep the momentum and enthusiasm going.”

“When DC Entertainment was created almost two years ago, we committed to an environment of ‘no fear’ when it came to creative and business risks,” said Nelson. “I couldn’t be more proud of our Publishing team for embracing this mantra and delivering in a way that is growing the genre, our partners’ businesses and our fan base, while helping to fuel the creative engine that drives so many Warner Bros.’ content businesses.”

In addition to debuting all-new first issues in comic shops, DC COMICS – THE NEW 52 launched same-day digital publishing, with DC Entertainment becoming the first major comic book publisher to release their entire line of ongoing titles same-day digital.

“Our digital sales have been better than we could have imagined and we are pleased that these sales are additive to traditional publishing sales in the comic book stores,” said John Rood, Executive Vice President of Sales, Marketing and Business Development. “We’re not migrating readers from print to digital. We’re adding more new readers into the mix.”

While these sales figures are astounding, the real test is whether or not the New 52 sales will continue. If my last trip to my local comic shop is any indication, I’d expect them to keep selling like hotcakes. While I was in my shop (a total of about 10 minutes), I saw three different people sign up for new pull lists and the majority of the comics in their hands… DC’s New 52. Congrats, DC gang! Your epic relaunch seems to have succeeded.

*actual comic weight estimated

  • Anonymous

    I’ve noticed DC comics has had better writing than my favorited Marvel over the past few years. Marvel produced a big game-changing crossover a few years ago and it was so awful they couldn’t even put it out on time and it didn’t have an ending or a middle and not much of a begginning. I read DC and can see decent writing there. I don’t care if the a couple of top guys at Marvel got their names in the credits of some movies, Marvel cheated fans out of things they were promised. They never explained how Tony Stark was somehow this other person and was written differently in different books and had no explanation of what the hell ’50 State Initiative’ was supposed to be about in regards to the books. That’s not a story idea. 

    I read some of the Green Lantern books and always felt they had their stuff together. Even though I didn’t read every issue or tie-in. I could tell that they had an ending in mind and there it was, Blackest Night #7 (I believe). that’s another reason DC will be on top for a while.  

    • I think that has a lot to do with Geoff Johns being promoted to DC’s Chief Creative Officer last year. He loves these characters and actually seems to have a plan as to where he wants to take them.

  • I need to pick up some #1s…But you know what will be really in demand? Battle of the Cowl. Blackest Night. ALl the small under-produced stories before the relaunch, I think will do well in the future.