Which company is better, Marvel or DC? Which superhero is the best? Who would beat whom in a one-on-one fight? These are the kinds of questions comic aficionados (and regular folk too) have asked for decades, questions which have no discernable answer, and could be debated endlessly for years.
However, eBay and Terapeak (a provider of eBay sales data for sellers), recently compiled a list of Marvel and DC’s most beloved superheroes to see who sells the best, and therefore, potentially discover who is the most popular. It’s not exactly a canon answer for the fans, but it is telling to see who fares the best in popularity and sales, which often are the two points that can decide a character’s fate in the comic world. (check below for examples of the type of merchandise on sale at eBay for the heroes).
In the past 100 days, the hero with the most sales is the Dark Knight himself, amassing close to $4.7 million in eBay transactions. Batman is followed at a distance by the Avengers related merchandize, claiming close to $2.9 million. Behind Earth’s Mightiest Heroes is the Incredible Hulk, with an impressive $2.8 million Trailing the Hulk with around $2 million each, are Superman and Wolverine. (Also important to note is that this is total merchandise sales for each hero, as individual sales tell a different story, with a Superman #3 comic being the highest selling item of the last 100 days, going for a whopping $75,000.)
What does this data suggest? As for DC vs. Marvel, it seems about even in terms of gross sales for the top five heroes, each one’s total coming out to about $5.7 million. Clearly Batman has the best merchandise, having an impressive lead on second place Avengers, which is not surprising, as Batman has always proven to be a popular character. And based on these numbers, it’s clear why fans have held up the idea that Batman could beat almost any other hero, as he just might be the most popular comic-book character in general, and the creatives behind DC are aware that his fans always want to see him win. Surprising is how high the Incredible Hulk is on the list, though I’m sure he has had quite the cult following (and lots of old merchandize) based on his TV show from back in the seventies.
What are your thoughts? Does total sales equal character popularity? Is there a chance that quality of merchandise has something to do with how much it sells for? Share your thoughts in the comments below!