Monday, November 7, 2011

Numbers to Marvel at

During 2011, Marvel published a lot of comic books. The comics blogsophere has been reacting to a lot of recent cancellations and firings; these are obvious changes to the publishing regime, the "hard" side of the business which is presumably a reaction to the burden of too much merchandise at the market. The "soft" side - and something I'll be interested to follow in 2012 - is the number of titles which have been double-shipping lately.

There are only two comics which have been promoted as twice-a-month: Amazing Spider-Man and Incredible Hulks. 2011 was also the introduction of the "Point One" initiative, which meant virtually every title shipped one extra issue in 2011. And yet, the number of books running extra issues in 2011 was really quite high and I wonder A) how it effects buying habits, perhaps causing readers to spend less on other titles to afford the extra issues and B) if monthly titles which have been double-shipping will quietly revert to single-shipping in 2012.

I put together some numbers based on the average number of issues the premiere monthly super hero titles shipped in 2011. Bear in mind the caveats I mentioned about Amazing Spider-Man & Incredible Hulks (anything up to 2 per month is expected) and the Point One initiative (1.083 is acceptable). 0.666 Average Per Month: Astonishing X-Men
0.833 Average Per Month: Daredevil
1 Average per Month: Captain America, Heroes for Hire
1.083 Average Per Month: Avengers, Invincible Iron Man, New Avengers, Secret Avengers, Thor, X-23
1.111 Average Per Month: Iron Man 2.0
1.166 Average Per Month: New Mutants, Ultimate Spider-Man
1.181 Average Per Month: Black Panther
1.25 Average Per Month: Daken
1.333 Average Per Month: Avengers Academy, Fantastic Four, Thunderbolts, Uncanny X-Force, Uncanny X-Men, Wolverine, X-Men, X-Men: Legacy
1.416 Average Per Month: X-Factor
1.428 Average Per Month: Herc, Journey into Mystery
1.5 Average Per Month: Deadpool, Hulk
1.75 Average Per Month: Incredible Hulks
2.166 Average Per Month: Amazing Spider-Man

As I said, the "soft" side; I never heard announcements about Deadpool and Hulk going 18 issues per year, but if they go back to 12 per year in 2012, I don't expect there to be announcements then either.

Just for fun, here's the 2011 numbers on how many comics are published each month per character/franchise (not counting handbooks, saga, indexes, spotlights, reprints, promotional material or digital comics): Ghost Rider: 0.416 per month
Alpha Flight: 0.5 per month
Anita Blake: 0.5 per month
Moon Knight: 0.5 per month
SHIELD: 0.5 per month
Venom: 0.666 per month
Daredevil: 0.75 per month
The Stand: 0.75 per month
Sub-Mariner: 0.75 per month
Dark Tower: 0.833 per month
Oz: 0.833 per month
Spider-Girl: 0.916 per month
Heroes for Hire: 1.083 per month
Loki: 1.083 per month
Ultimates: 1.083 per month
X-23: 1.083 per month
Hercules: 1.166 per month
Black Panther: 1.25 per month
Daken: 1.25 per month
Fantastic Four: 1.333 per month
New Mutants: 1.333 per month
Thunderbolts: 1.416 per month
X-Factor: 1.416 per month
Punisher: 1.5 per month
X-Force: 1.583 per month
Iron Man: 3.083 per month
Thor: 3.666 per month
Hulk: 3.75 per month
Deadpool: 4.083 per month
Wolverine: 4.25 per month
Captain America: 4.5 per month or 1.038 per week
Spider-Man: 6.416 per month or 1.48 per week
Avengers: 7.666 per month or 1.769 per week
X-Men: 8.833 per month or 2.038 per week

At this point, why not simply launch Captain America Weekly, Amazing Spider-Man Weekly, Avengers Weekly, New Avengers Weekly, Wolverine Weekly, X-Men Weekly and Uncanny X-Men Weekly? The content's already there.

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