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Marvel Tops March’s Sales

Diamond Comic Distributors has released its sales chart for the top 100 comics for the month of March 2012, which you can see in full here. In it, we can see that Marvel Comics has not only retained its lead over DC Comics in dollar and unit share but taken the top spots of the chart itself with the first two issues of Avengers Vs. X-Men, ending the dominance DC has enjoyed there since the New 52 began.

1Avengers Vs. X-Men #1
2Avengers Vs. X-Men #0
3Justice League #7
4Batman #7
5Avengers Assemble #1
6Action Comics #7
7Green Lantern #7
8Detective Comics #7
9Batman: the Dark Knight #7
10Superman #7

As you can see, Marvel manages to take the majority of the top five while DC retains the majority of the top ten. This isn’t a huge victory for Marvel, but it is a victory. DC has lost the bragging rights of Aquaman outselling the entirety of the Marvel Universe. Oh, DC can still brag about holding onto most of the top ten, but that’s really not as impressive, is it?

Avengers Vs. X-Men has accomplished the first of its tasks for Marvel by topping the chart. That isn’t the real test, though. It doesn’t matter how well Avengers Vs. X-Men sells as much as how well its tie-ins will. If this is going to be the beginning of the end for DC’s dominance of the top of the chart, AvX needs to pull the likes of Uncanny X-Men, Avengers, New Avengers and Wolverine and the X-Men into the top ten with it. Can it make Marvel’s top ongoing titles competitive with DC’s top ongoing titles?

Seven months in, we’re getting a clearer picture of what success DC is getting out of the New 52. It was never really about taking the whole top ten and keeping that. It was about competing with Marvel at the top of the chart and, possibly more importantly, in the middle. In years past, DC has had a bit of a no man’s land in the region between its top sellers and low sellers. It was a barren and lonely land sparsely occupied by a few spin-off Batman characters and the occasional Green Lantern herd. That landscape looks to have changed now that we can see where titles are settling. It’s not by a lot, but the star titles of the Dark line, Swamp Thing, Animal Man and Justice League Dark, have breathed new life into DC’s mid-sellers. Meanwhile, DC has Superman, Wonder Woman and Aquaman still enjoying a higher level of sales than these characters typically ever see.

It’s not all about Marvel and DC in the Top 100, though. Brian K Vaughan and Fiona Staples’ Saga succeeded in debuting in the upper 50 at #40. The Walking Dead continues strong, coming in just shy of the top 50 at #54. Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 9 is doing well for Dark Horse Comics at #70. Despite all they’ve been doing with Transformers and G.I. Joe, it’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in the Top 100 at #98 for IDW Publishing.


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