Monthly Comics Sales > 1993 > April (Diamond)

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April 1993 Comic Book Sales to Comics Shops

Estimated Comics Preorded by North American Comics Shops
from Diamond Comic Distributors

Check out our video discussion of this month's sales!

In dollar terms, April 1993 was and remains the biggest month in the history of the comics industry. It was also the peak of the 1990s boom market, a fact that would be realized by most by the end of the year. A devastating seven-year decline would follow.

After the "Death of Superman" in November 1992 produced the strongest single day in the history of the comics industry — $30 million is believed to have been spent in comic shops on Superman #75 and everything else that wasn't nailed down — DC quadrupled down on the inevitable revival of its flagship character in April 1993. Starting with Adventures of Superman #500 (sold in a white bag, as opposed to the previous blockbuster's black bag), the four monthly Superman titles launched "The Reign of the Supermen," each featuring a different character touted as a possible successor (or as the true Man of Steel himself), permitting, as Editor Mike Carlin intended, the creators of each of those titles to have an important role in the return storyline.

The comic shop base — grown to record-large and ultimately unsupportable proportions by competition from a dozen Direct Market distributors to open ordering accounts anywhere and everywhere — responded to the event by ordering far more copies of the Return of Superman issues than they had of November's death issue. One Chicago retailer ordered, and received, 2,000 copies, five times as many as he'd ordered of Superman #75. Retailers ordered nearly twice as many Adventures #500s as they ordered of the other issues of the line.

The result was that Adventures had orders topping 3 million copies, with the other books all topping 1 million. (Capital City Distribution had preorders of 717,800 copies of Adventures, with another 161,250 copies of the newsstand edition.) And as had happened in November, a halo effect surrounded other titles, with launches like Turok: Dinosaur Hunter #1 improbably topping a million copies. (It had never topped 500,000 during its entire run in the 1960s.) Diamond further reported that DC — which had recently suffered the blow of coming in third behind Marvel and the upstart Image in market share one month — topped Marvel in market share for the first time since 1989.

As is the case before 1996, the range of distributors makes it hard to reconstruct what comics sold industry-wide. Diamond's order index numbers below, keyed to its orders for Amazing Spider-Man, apply only to its own sales; rankings at Capital City, Heroes World, Styx International and other distributors differed. Some data is known, however: Comichron has most of Capital City's sales on file, as well as a lot of data about what publishers said they sold to the Direct Market. From that, we are fairly confident that 48 million comics were bought in the Direct Market, with the Top 300 seen below accounting for about 45 million of them; the estimates seen in the rightmost column would be consistent with these levels, plus other known data. Those comics would equate to more than $100 million at full retail; the most extreme extimates for monthly sales in the 1950s would only have equated to a little more than half that, even when adjusted for inflation. April 1993 is the industry's biggest dollar month in nominal and inflation adjusted terms.


The "overall" estimates below are not going to be accurate for all titles — we can't even be certain of the numbers on the Superman books! — because Diamond was one of many distributors, and publishers' titles sold better at some distributors than at others, often due to differences in discount or other factors. Diamond and Capital didn't even always agree on the bestseller of the month. Looking more closely, the Russ Cochran titles, for example, have estimates lower than what their Statements of Ownership for the year would suggest — but applying a higher order index number would move the other estimates higher than their known sales. All the figures here will be revised as more research is completed; eventually this page will have only what Diamond sold, and we'll have a Capital City page as well, along with an overarching aggregate page for the month.

Finally, remember that these are preorders: some of these comic books did not release on time, or at all. On the other hand, reorders were not reported (when they were available at all), so the overall tally likewise undershoots by some amount.

Click to skip to the Top Graphic Novels for the month.

—John Jackson Miller

This list includes all items on Diamond's Top 300 chart, plus comics whose positions could be estimated based on published monthly-change data from the following month's chart.
Overall DM Units (projected) is a rough estimation not of Diamond's sales, but of all Direct Market sales.
Direct and News refer to Direct Market and Newsstand editions respectively.
Distributor charts are regional commodity reports, not measures of a work's total reach. Read our FAQ.
The links lead to current listings for each issue on eBay. You can also find the books at your comics shop.

UnitsDollarsComic-book TitleIssuePricePublisherOrder Index Overall DM Units (est.)
12Adventures of Superman 500 Coll. Ed.$2.95DC857.93,454,000
23Action Comics687 Direct$1.95DC440.81,775,000
34Superman78 Direct$1.95DC439.91,771,000
45Adventures of Superman501 Direct$1.95DC439.81,771,000
56Superman Man of Steel22 Direct$1.95DC439.61,770,000
67Turok Dinosaur Hunter1$3.50Valiant389.81,569,000
101Adventures of Superman500 News$2.50DC178.6719,000
1213Phantom Force1$2.50Image167.7675,000
1310Youngblood Strike File2$2.50Image155.7627,000
1719Darker Image4$1.95Image141.1568,000
1821X-Men Unlimited1$3.95Marvel124.3500,000
2142Infinity Crusade1$3.50Marvel107.6433,000
2243Adventures of Superman501 News$1.50DC106.4428,000
2344Action Comics687 News$1.50DC106.2428,000
2445Superman78 News$1.50DC105.8426,000
2546Superman Man of Steel22 News$1.50DC105.5425,000
2618Wildstar Sky Zero4$1.95Image104.9422,000
2747Amazing Spider-Man378$1.25Marvel100.0403,000
3033Uncanny X-Men301$1.25Marvel95.0382,000
3363Web of Spider-Man101$1.25Marvel87.7353,000
3466Spectacular Spider-Man201$1.25Marvel82.0330,000
3524Uncanny X-Men Annual17$2.95Marvel80.7325,000
3625Image Plus1$2.25Image77.6312,000
3726Rai and the Future Force11$2.25Valiant77.1310,000
4152Solar Man of the Atom23$2.25Valiant70.5284,000
4332Magnus Robot Fighter26$2.25Valiant67.6272,000
4475Spider-Man 20998$1.25Marvel67.2271,000
4554Eternal Warrior12$2.25Valiant66.7269,000
4680X-O Manowar12$2.25Valiant65.7265,000
4723H.A.R.D. Corps8$2.25Valiant63.9257,000
4962Archer and Armstrong12$2.50Valiant58.8237,000
5467Punisher 20995$1.25Marvel46.0185,000
5589Satans's Six1$2.95Topps45.0181,000
5669Night Glider1$2.95Topps44.7180,000
5748Ren and Stimpy7$1.75Marvel44.6180,000
5834Doom 20996$1.25Marvel44.6180,000
5935Captain Glory1$2.95Topps43.5175,000
6251Secret City Saga0$.00Topps40.7164,000
6353Web of Spider-Man Annual9$2.95Marvel40.4163,000
6474What If50$2.95Marvel39.2158,000
6539Justice League Task Force1$1.25DC39.0157,000
6615Lobo Unamerican Gladiator1$1.75DC38.4155,000
6779Detective Comics661$1.25DC34.5139,000
6855Detective Comics662$1.25DC34.3138,000
6956Shadow Riders (resolicited)1$2.50Marvel33.8136,000
70108Ghost Rider38$1.75Marvel33.7136,000
7158Silver Surfer/Warlock (resolicited)3$2.50Marvel33.0133,000
7260Incredible Hulk406$1.25Marvel32.6131,000
7588Secret Defenders4$1.75Marvel30.6123,000
76121Fantastic Four Annual26$2.95Marvel30.6123,000
77124Batman Legends of the Dark Knight46$1.75DC30.6123,000
7871Ravage 20997$1.25Marvel30.0121,000
79126Silver Surfer81$1.25Marvel29.9120,000
8057Aliens: Rogue1$2.50Dark Horse29.8120,000
82128Midnight Men1$2.50Marvel27.7112,000
8437Batman Shadow of the Bat13$1.75DC26.3106,000
85129Blaze Spirits of Vengeance11$1.75Marvel26.2105,000
8677U.S. Agent1$1.75Marvel26.2105,000
87132Predator: Race War0$2.50Dark Horse25.3102,000
8881X-Men Adventures8$1.25Marvel24.8100,000
9083Death's Head II7$1.95Marvel24.599,000
9268Earth 41$2.50Continuity24.498,000
94140Ms. Mystic1$2.50Continuity24.398,000
9685Punisher War Zone16$1.75Marvel24.398,000
9729Aliens: Colonial Marines4$2.50Dark Horse24.097,000
101156Fantastic Four387$1.25Marvel23.193,000
104157Justice League America75$1.25DC22.691,000
10594Fantastic Four Unlimited2$3.95Marvel22.390,000
106122Warlock and the Infinity Watch17$1.75Marvel22.189,000
10796New Warriors36$1.25Marvel21.988,000
10897Doctor Strange Annual3$2.95Marvel21.185,000
109160Iron Man293$1.25Marvel21.185,000
11082Sandman Mystery Theatre3$1.95DC19.980,000
113167Next Men14$2.50Dark Horse19.076,000
114100Punisher War Journal55$1.75Marvel18.876,000
117172Marvel Masterpieces Collection2$2.95Marvel17.771,000
118130Batman Adventures9$1.25DC17.370,000
119131Doctor Strange54$1.75Marvel17.370,000
120133Captain America416$1.25Marvel17.169,000
121150Guardians of the Galaxy37$1.25Marvel17.068,000
122176Grendel: War Child9$2.50Dark Horse16.767,000
123104Marvel Comics Presents131$1.50Marvel16.767,000
124177Dracula: Vlad the Impaler3$2.95Topps16.667,000
125106Wild Thing3$1.75Marvel16.566,000
126107Marvel Comics Presents130$1.50Marvel16.466,000
12786Kid Eternity2$1.95DC16.466,000
129187Blood Syndicate3$1.50DC16.165,000
13176New Titans98$1.75DC15.864,000
133109Star Trek: The Next Generation47$1.75DC15.763,000
134110Raver1 Direct$2.95Malibu15.663,000
135142Avengers West Coast95$1.25Marvel15.161,000
136111Silver Sable13$1.25Marvel15.060,000
137144Kamandi: At Earth's End1$1.75DC15.060,000
139194Alpha Flight121$1.75Marvel14.659,000
140195Vertigo Visions1$3.95DC14.558,000
141145Sebastian O2$1.95DC14.458,000
142146Mys-Tech Wars4$1.75Marvel14.458,000
143147Star Trek49$1.75DC14.458,000
144148Star Trek48$1.75DC14.458,000
146151Dragon Lines2$1.95Marvel13.956,000
147118Justice League International51$1.25DC13.956,000
148119Classic Star Wars8$2.50Dark Horse13.956,000
149199Dark Horse Comics9$2.50Dark Horse13.655,000
150153Deathstroke the Terminator25$1.75DC13.354,000
15170Deathstroke the Terminator24$1.75DC13.354,000
152154Team Titans9$1.75DC13.253,000
155203Green Lantern41$1.25DC12.952,000
156159Green Lantern42$1.25DC12.952,000
157162Mad Dog2$1.25Marvel12.852,000
161112Showcase '936$1.95DC12.651,000
162137Black Axe3$1.75Marvel12.550,000
164116Spider-Man Classics3$1.25Marvel12.048,000
165138Trouble With Girls1$2.50Marvel11.848,000
166178Legion of Super-Heroes44$1.75DC11.647,000
167179Incomplete Death's Head6$1.75Marvel11.446,000
168180L.E.G.I.O.N. '9354$1.75DC11.345,000
169181Super Soldiers3$1.75Marvel11.245,000
172123Shade the Changing Man36$1.95DC11.145,000
173161Doom Patrol67$1.95DC11.044,000
175125Wonder Man22$1.25Marvel10.944,000
176196L.E.G.I.O.N. '9353$1.75DC10.944,000
177238Animal Man60$1.95DC10.843,000
178127Sensational She-Hulk52$1.75Marvel10.743,000
180175Green Arrow75$2.50DC10.442,000
182207Moon Knight51$1.75Marvel10.341,000
183136Swamp Thing132$1.95DC10.241,000
185210William Shatner's Tekworld10$1.75Marvel10.040,000
187211Ray Bradbury's Comics2$2.95Topps9.839,000
188139G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero137$1.75Marvel9.739,000
189213Guy Gardner9$1.25DC9.639,000
190251Redblade1$2.50Dark Horse9.639,000
192215X-Men Classic84$1.25Marvel9.438,000
194219Justice League International Quarterly11$3.50DC9.337,000
197258Green Lantern Corps Quarterly5$2.50DC8.233,000
198223Sex Warrior1$2.50Dark Horse8.233,000
199260Dinosaurs for Hire3$1.95Malibu8.032,000
200197Green Lantern: Mosaic13$1.25DC8.032,000
201261Man of War1$2.50Malibu7.731,000
202228Wonder Woman75$1.25DC7.631,000
203182Jason Goes to Hell2$2.95Topps7.530,000
204184Dark Angel12$1.75Marvel7.530,000
20592Virus3$2.50Dark Horse7.530,000
207231Marvel Age125$1.00Marvel7.430,000
209269Concrete: Eclectica1$2.50Dark Horse7.229,000
210233Elfquest: New Blood5$2.00Warp6.928,000
212235Groo the Wanderer102$2.25Marvel6.928,000
213239What The-- Summer Special$2.50Marvel6.727,000
214168Original Ghost Rider12$1.75Marvel6.727,000
215171Terror Inc.12$1.75Marvel6.727,000
216169Conan the Barbarian269$1.25Marvel6.627,000
217224Black Canary6$1.75DC6.526,000
218225Mighty Magnor2$1.95Malibu6.426,000
220227Meteor Man2$1.25Marvel6.125,000
225249Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles58$2.25Mirage5.823,000
226212Knights of Pendragon II12$1.75Marvel5.522,000
227280Sam & Max Show2$2.95Marvel5.422,000
228216Fight Man (One-shot)$2.00Marvel5.422,000
229282Marvel Tales274$1.25Marvel5.221,000
232257Dark Horse Presents73$2.25Dark Horse5.121,000
233191Danger Trail3$1.50DC5.020,000
234237Shaquille O'Neal1$2.50Friendly4.920,000
23578Ebony Warrior1$1.95Ania4.619,000
236209Dark Shadows Book Two2$2.50Innovation4.418,000
238273Heru Son of Ausar1$1.95Ania4.317,000
240149Original Man1$1.95Ania4.217,000
241263Terminal Point3$2.50Dark Horse4.217,000
242201Beauty and the Beast3$2.50Innovation4.217,000
243202Cerebus the Aardvark169$2.25Aardvark-Vanaheim4.217,000
244244Witching Hour4$2.50Millennium4.217,000
246204Zwanna Son of Zulu1$1.95Ania4.016,000
247205Tales from the Crypt4$1.50Russ Cochran3.815,000
249246Green Hornet19$2.95Now3.715,000
250266Macross II8$2.75Viz3.715,000
252234Quantum Leap Annual1$2.95Innovation3.614,000
253220Hacker Files11$1.95DC3.514,000
254268Uncle Scrooge280$1.50Disney3.514,000
255254Dredd by Bisley$5.95Fleetway3.514,000
256303Hellraiser: Book of the Damned4$4.95Marvel3.414,000
257221Raver1 News$1.95Malibu3.414,000
259307Peter Cannon: Thunderbolt10$1.50DC3.313,000
260248Donald Duck Adventures38$1.50Disney3.313,000
261278Lance Barnes: Post Nuke Dick3$2.50Marvel3.313,000
262279Lost in Space: Project Robinson2$2.50Innovation3.213,000
263310Weird Science4$1.50Russ Cochran3.213,000
264311Walt Disney's Comics and Stories585$1.50Disney3.213,000
266252Elementals Sex Special7$2.95Comico3.112,000
267253New Two-Fisted Tales Book One$4.95Dark Horse3.012,000
268283Shock Suspenstories4$1.50Russ Cochran3.012,000
269316Tarzan: The Beckoning6$2.50Malibu3.012,000
270320Green Hornet: Dark Tomorrow1$2.50Now3.012,000
271272Battle Angel Alita Book 21$2.75Viz2.912,000
272186Married… With Children: 20991$2.95Now2.811,000
273236Ranma 1/2 Part 24$2.95Viz2.811,000
274324Robotech: Return to Macross2$2.50Malibu2.811,000
275302Love & Rockets41$2.95Fantagraphics2.811,000
276288Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Animated46$1.25Archie2.711,000
277289Blue Lily2$3.95Dark Horse2.711,000
278327Married… With Children 3-D Special$2.95Now2.711,000
280331Caravan Kidd10$2.50Dark Horse2.610,000
281267Man of War1 News$1.95Malibu2.510,000
282158Omaha the Cat Dancer19$2.95Kitchen Sink2.410,000
283270Sonic the Hedgehog$1.25Archie2.39,000
284271U.N. Force Files1$2.95Caliber2.39,000
285250Barbie Fashion30$1.25Marvel2.39,000
286312Zen Intergalactic Ninja: Earth Day0$2.95Zen2.39,000
287208Venus Wars II11$2.95Dark Horse2.39,000
288274Robotech II: The Sentinels Book 2$2.50Malibu2.29,000
289275U.N. Force5$2.95Caliber2.29,000
290301U.N. Force4$2.95Caliber2.29,000
291256Ninja High School38$2.50Malibu2.29,000
292335Death: High Cost of Living (signed/numbered)1$12.50DC2.29,000
294325U.N. Force Files0$2.95Caliber2.29,000
295340Robotech: Invid War12$2.50Malibu2.29,000
296262Lux and Alby1$2.50Dark Horse2.18,000
297281Crying Freeman Part Five6$2.75Viz2.18,000
298329Grateful Dead Comix Vol. 21$3.95Kitchen Sink2.18,000
299314Version1.5$2.50Dark Horse2.08,000
300264Man from U.N.C.L.E. End of the World$2.95Millennium2.08,000
304 9999Twilight Zone Vol. 33$2.50Nown/an/a
314 9999Ninja High School in Color6$1.95Malibun/an/a
319 9999Archie413$1.25Archien/an/a
372 9999Nightvision2$2.25Rebellionn/an/a


April 1993 Graphic Novel Sales to Comics Shops

Graphic Novels and Trade Paperbacks Preordered by North American Comics Shops from Diamond Comic Distributors

This list includes all items on Diamond's charts. If you don't see a book, Diamond released no data for it.

The links lead to details about each title on Amazon. You can also find the books at your comics shop.

#1 #2 #4 #6

Diamond did not publish order index numbers for graphic novels in this era, so units cannot be estimated.

UnitsDollarsTrade Paperback titlePricePublisherEst. units
11 WildC.A.T.s $9.95Imagen.a.
23Spider-Man/Punisher: Designer Genes$8.95Marveln.a.
32Shadowhawk: Out of the Shadows$19.95Imagen.a.
45Star Wars: Dark Empire SC$16.95Dark Horsen.a.
513Marvel Universe Master Edition Vol. 31$4.95Marveln.a.
64Sandman: A Game of You HC$29.95DCn.a.
78X-Men Vs. The Avengers$12.95Marveln.a.
87Hard Boiled SC$14.95Dark Horsen.a.
99Silver Surfer: Rebirth of Thanos$12.95Marveln.a.
1011The Civil War Vol. 2$12.95Marveln.a.
1112The Civil War Vol. 1$12.95Marveln.a.
1217Carl Barks Library Album #16$8.95Gladstonen.a.
1315Dominion SC$13.95Dark Horsen.a.
1410Cerebus: Mothers and Daughters I$25.00Aardvark-Vanaheimn.a.
1518Nexus Book One SC Collection$14.95Dark Horsen.a.
1614X-Men: X-Tinction Agenda TPB$24.95Marveln.a.
1719Mindbenders Book 1$12.95MBSn.a.
1816Infinity Gauntlet TPB (New Ptg)$24.95Marveln.a.
196Star Wars: Dark Empire Limited Ed. HC$100.00Dark Horsen.a.
2021Bodyssey Collection$12.95Fantagraphicsn.a.
2123Hey Buddy! SC$12.95Fantagraphicsn.a.
2220Spider-Man: Assassin Nation Plot$16.95Marveln.a.
2322Cerebus: Mothers and Daughters I - 2nd$17.00Aardvark-Vanaheimn.a.
2426Robotech II: Sentinels Book 1 Vol. 4$9.95Malibun.a.
2525Ironwood Book 1$14.95Fantagraphicsn.a.