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Top Comic Books of the 21st Century

Estimated Sales of Comic Books to North American Comics Shops
based on reports from Diamond Comic Distributors


The first issue of Marvel's relaunched Star Wars series is the comic book ordered most by comics shops in North America so far in the decade of the 2010s, up through the end of 2015. The issue's sales include several hundred thousand copies purchased by the repackager Loot Crate, but its sales een without those are enough to make it the top title of the decade. Close to 100 different variant covers exist of the issue.

Comichron looked back at every month of comic-book orders reported by Diamond Comic Distributors, the exclusive retail agent for the largest publishers in the industry. The tables report Diamond's Top 300 comics from each month, as well as the number of copies ordered by its approximately 3,000 retail accounts; the figures represent final orders beginning in February 2003, and preorders before that. Since many comics reappear on the list several times each year due to reorders, all reorders for the same comics were combined to form a listing of the 300 comic books most ordered by retailers in the 2000s.

For the years 2010-2015 and 2017, the sales include all issues shipped by Diamond in the calendar year. 2016 is like the years of the decade of the 2000s, where the chart only includes data from the monthly Top 300 lists. Actual 2016 figures will be slightly higher in most cases than the figure that appears here.

These figures are for the comic book direct market only — the network of comic book stores that sell the lion's share of comic books in periodical form in North America. Sales of these comics on newsstands or by subscription are not included. Copies of titles repackaged by the bundling service Loot Crate are included only if Diamond distributed them to Loot Crate.
      
One reason comics from the early decade are less represented is that before January 2003, Diamond did not report reorders, so those issues are at a disadvantage. However, looking at known reorder rates from when Diamond did begin publishing the data, reorders are unlikely to shuffle the list dramatically. The industry was still coming out of the seven-year recession of the 1990s, and few titles were selling over 100,000 copies.

More after the charts:

 

† Items marked with a dagger include between 200-400,000 copies sold by the repackager Loot Crate.
* Items with asterisks were returnable issues whose final orders may be higher or lower.

UnitsComic-book TitleIssueReleasePricePublisherEst. units
1Star Wars1†Jan-15$4.99Marvel1,073,000
2Amazing Spider-Man1Apr-14$5.99Marvel559,200
3Secret Wars1May-15$4.99Marvel550,500
4Amazing Spider-Man583Jan-09$3.99Marvel530,500
5Bravest Warriors Tales Holo John1†May-15$4.99Boom503,000
6Orphan Black1†Feb-15$3.99IDW502,000
7Dark Knight III Master Race1Nov-15$5.99DC449,100
8Big Trouble in Little China/Escape From New York1†Oct-16$3.99Boom421,600
9Star Wars Vader Down1Nov-15$4.99Marvel410,600
10Civil War II1Jun-16$5.99Marvel391,500
11Walking Dead (including Chromium ed.)100Jul-12$3.99Image384,800
12Harley Quinn1*Aug-16$2.99DC366,100
13Civil War2Jun-06$2.99Marvel341,900
14Civil War3Jul-06$2.99Marvel337,000
15Champions1Oct-16$4.99Marvel334,900
16Walking Dead115Oct-13$2.99Image329,300
17Civil War1May-06$3.99Marvel328,500
18Walking Dead132†Oct-14$2.99Image326,300
19Justice League of America1Feb-13$3.99DC326,000
20Captain America25Mar-07$3.99Marvel317,700
21Darth Vader1Feb-15$4.99Marvel315,600
22Rocket Raccoon1†Jul-14$3.99Marvel311,000
23Uncanny Avengers1Oct-12$3.99Marvel305,900
24DC Universe Rebirth1May-16$2.99DC305,700
25Marvel Legacy1Sep-17$5.99Marvel305,427
26Batman1*Jun-16$2.99DC304,200
27Civil War4Sep-06$2.99Marvel291,000
28All Star Batman1*Aug-16$4.99DC289,300
29Spider-Gwen1Feb-15$3.99Marvel288,600
30Black Panther1Apr-16$4.99Marvel286,800
31Civil War5Nov-06$2.99Marvel283,900
32Invincible Iron Man1Oct-15$3.99Marvel282,400
33Dark Nights Metal1Aug-17$4.99DC278,276
34All Star Batman & Robin The Boy Wonder1Jul-05$2.99DC276,000
35Civil War7Feb-07$2.99Marvel274,500
36Death of Wolverine1Sep-14$4.99Marvel274,000
37Princess Leia1Mar-15$3.99Marvel271,000
38Infinite Crisis1Oct-05$3.99DC270,000
39Avengers Vs X-Men1Mar-12$3.99Marvel265,100
40Civil War6Jan-07$2.99Marvel263,800
41Secret Invasion1Apr-08$3.99Marvel263,000
42Deadpool1Nov-15$4.99Marvel261,800
43Doomsday Clock (plus Lenticular Ed.)1Nov-17$4.99DC261,246
44Superman Unchained1Jun-13$4.99DC259,100
45Justice League (including Combo Pack)1Aug-11$3.99DC255,400
46Justice League of America1Aug-06$3.99DC250,800
47House of M 1Jun-05$2.99Marvel248,200
48Amazing Spider-Man1Oct-15$5.99Marvel247,600
49Superman204Apr-04$2.50DC244,100
50Identity Crisis1Jun-04$3.95DC242,900
51New Avengers1Dec-04$2.25Marvel241,500
52Batman619Sep-03$2.25DC235,100
53Secret Wars2May-15$4.99Marvel234,000
54Peter Parker Spectacular Spider-Man1Jun-17$4.99Marvel233,636
55Secret Wars3Jun-15$3.99Marvel230,000
56Batman (plus Lenticular Ed.)21Apr-17$3.99DC228,658
57Secret Wars4Jul-15$3.99Marvel227,300
58Infinite Crisis2Nov-05$3.99DC225,600
59Justice1Aug-05$2.99DC223,900
60Guardians of Galaxy1Mar-13$3.99Marvel221,200
61Star Wars2Feb-15$3.99Marvel219,700
62Infinite Crisis3Dec-05$3.99DC218,800
63Astonishing X-Men1May-04$2.99Marvel218,300
64Batman1Sep-11$2.99DC218,000
65Suicide Squad1*Aug-16$2.99DC217,700
66Superior Spider-Man1Jan-13$3.99Marvel216,700
67Star Wars4Apr-15$3.99Marvel216,300
68Star Wars: Shattered Empire1Sep-15$3.99Marvel215,200
69Dark Tower Gunslinger Born1Feb-07$3.99Marvel213,700
70Superman205May-04$2.50DC213,400
71Infinite Crisis4Jan-06$3.99DC211,000
72Infinity1Aug-13$4.99Marvel210,800
73Batman Rebirth1*Jun-16$2.99DC209,300
74Justice League1*Jul-16$2.99DC209,200
75Infinite Crisis6Apr-06$3.99DC208,000
76Secret Wars5Aug-15$3.99Marvel207,200
77Amazing Spider-Man Renew Your Vows1Jun-15$3.99Marvel206,500
78Blackest Night1Jul-09$3.99DC205,500
79Infinite Crisis5Mar-06$3.99DC205,100
80World War Hulk1Jun-07$3.99Marvel204,700
81Action Comics1Sep-11$3.99DC204,000
82Justice League (including Combo Pack)2Oct-11$3.99DC201,900
83Amazing Spider-Man700Dec-12$7.99Marvel201,000
84Star Wars Lando1Jul-15$3.99Marvel200,400
85Avengers Vs X-Men2Apr-12$3.99Marvel200,300
86Captain America Reborn1Jul-09$3.99Marvel199,900
87Secret Invasion2May-08$3.99Marvel198,800
88Spider-Gwen1Oct-15$3.99Marvel198,800
89Infinite Crisis7May-06$3.99DC198,400
90Superman/Batman10May-04$2.95DC197,600
91Avengers Vs X-Men6Jun-12$3.99Marvel197,000
92Thor1Jul-07$2.99Marvel196,800
93Flash (plus Lenticular Ed.)Apr-17$3.99DC194,051
94Secret Wars6Oct-15$3.99Marvel193,200
95Avengers Vs X-Men5Jun-12$3.99Marvel192,200
96JLA/Avengers1Sep-03$5.95Marvel191,900
97Batman and Robin1Jun-09$2.99DC190,300
98Avengers Vs X-Men3May-12$3.99Marvel190,000
99Civil War II0May-16$4.99Marvel190,000
100Fallen Son: Death of Captain America: Iron ManJul-07$2.99Marvel189,400
101Dark Knight Strikes Again1Dec-01$7.95DC188,700
102Ultimate Fantastic Four1Dec-03$2.25Marvel188,500
103Avengers Vs X-Men4May-12$3.99Marvel187,500
104Batman (plus Lenticular Ed.)22May-17$3.99DC187,142
105Avengers1Dec-12$3.99Marvel187,000
106Dark Knight Strikes Again3Feb-02$7.95DC186,600
107Secret Invasion3Jun-08$3.99Marvel186,500
108X-Men1May-13$3.99Marvel186,300
109Civil War II3Jul-16$4.99Marvel185,900
110Identity Crisis2Jul-04$3.95DC185,300
111Amazing Spider-Man16Aug-16$3.99Marvel185,300
112All Star Batman & Robin The Boy Wonder2Sep-05$2.99DC185,000
113All New X-Men1Nov-12$3.99Marvel184,700
114Star Wars3Mar-15$3.99Marvel184,500
115Age of Ultron1Mar-13$3.99Marvel184,000
116Justice League Rebirth1*Jul-16$2.99DC183,800
117Uncanny X-Men1Feb-13$3.99Marvel182,700
118Avengers Vs X-Men7Jul-12$3.99Marvel182,500
119Spider-Man Deadpool1Jan-16$3.99Marvel181,100
120Green Lantern1May-05$3.50DC180,500
121Batman2Oct-11$2.99DC179,600
122Justice League Suicide Squad 1Dec-16$3.99DC179,600
123Wolverine: The Origin6Jan-02$3.50Marvel179,300
124Avengers Vs X-Men8Jul-12$3.99Marvel178,700
125Green Lantern Rebirth1Oct-04$2.95DC178,300
126Wolverine: The Origin5Dec-01$3.50Marvel178,200
127Suicide Squad Rebirth1*Aug-16$2.99DC177,800
128Secret Wars7Nov-15$3.99Marvel177,300
129Batman2*Jul-16$2.99DC177,100
130All Star Superman1Nov-05$2.99DC176,700
131Civil War1Jul-15$4.99Marvel176,300
132Secret Invasion4Jul-08$3.99Marvel175,400
133House of M 2Jun-05$2.99Marvel175,300
134Star Wars Poe Dameron1Apr-16$4.99Marvel175,300
135Avengers1May-10$3.99Marvel175,100
136Avengers Vs X-Men9Aug-12$3.99Marvel174,800
137Superman/Batman12Sep-04$2.95DC 173,600
138Ultimate Comics Spider-Man160Jun-11$3.99Marvel172,700
139New Avengers31Jun-07$2.99Marvel172,600
140Secret Empire0Apr-17$4.99Marvel172,486
141Green Lantern1Sep-11$2.99DC172,300
142Batman50Mar-16$5.99DC172,300
143Avengers Vs X-Men10Aug-12$3.99Marvel172,100
144Fallen Son: Death of Captain America: Captain AmericaMay-07$2.99Marvel171,800
145Avengers Vs X-Men12Oct-12$4.99Marvel171,800
146Death of Wolverine4Oct-14$4.99Marvel170,800
147Justice League (including Combo Pack)3Nov-11$3.99DC170,800
148Batman13Oct-12$3.99DC 170,500
149Batman612Feb-03$2.25DC169,700
150Avengers Vs X-Men0Mar-12$3.99Marvel169,700
151Secret Wars8Dec-15$3.99Marvel169,700
152Secret Invasion6Sep-08$3.99Marvel169,400
153Justice League of America0Jul-06$2.99DC169,200
154Avengers Vs X-Men11Sep-12$3.99Marvel169,100
155Batman3*Jul-16$2.99DC168,900
156Superman Unchained2Jul-13$3.99DC168,800
157Wolverine: The Origin4Nov-01$3.50Marvel168,500
158New Avengers5Apr-05$2.25Marvel168,500
159Dark Tower Gunslinger Born2Mar-07$3.99Marvel168,200
160Dark Knight Strikes Again2Jan-02$7.95DC168,100
161IVX1Dec-16$5.99Marvel167,700
162Avengers/JLA2Oct-03$5.95DC167,300
163All Star Batman & Robin The Boy Wonder3Dec-05$2.99DC166,200
164Thor1Oct-14$3.99Marvel166,200
165Secret Invasion5Aug-08$3.99Marvel165,900
166Supergirl1Aug-05$2.99DC165,600
167World War Hulk2Jul-07$3.99Marvel165,300
168Batman614Apr-03$2.25DC165,200
169Star Wars7Jul-15$3.99Marvel165,200
170Identity Crisis3Aug-04$3.95DC164,800
171Justice League12Aug-12$3.99DC 164,800
172Fallen Son: Death of Captain America WolverineApr-07$2.99Marvel164,600
173Wolverine Origins1Apr-06$2.99Marvel164,200
174Flash (plus Lenticular Ed.)22May-17$3.99DC163,963
175Justice League of America5Dec-06$2.99DC162,900
176Superman206Jun-04$2.50DC162,100
177Secret Empire1May-17$4.99Marvel161,905
178Dark Nights Metal3Oct-17$3.99DC161,635
179New Avengers 6Jun-05$2.25Marvel161,500
180Blackest Night2Aug-09$3.99DC161,400
181Star Wars6Jun-15$3.99Marvel161,200
182Batman14Nov-12$3.99DC 161,000
183Uncanny X-Men500Jul-08$3.99Marvel160,800
184Superman/Batman1Aug-03$2.95DC160,700
185Dark Nights Metal2Sep-17$3.99DC160,541
186Identity Crisis4Sep-04$3.95DC 160,400
187All Star Batman & Robin The Boy Wonder4May-06$2.99DC160,300
188Batman0Sep-12$3.99DC 160,300
189Ultimates1Jan-02$2.25Marvel160,200
190Wolverine1May-03$2.25Marvel160,000
191Star Wars Han Solo1Jun-16$3.99Marvel159,500
192Amazing Spider-Man544Sep-07$3.99Marvel159,100
193New Avengers7Jul-05$2.25Marvel158,700
194Doomsday Clock2Dec-17$4.99DC158,603
195Batman Superman1Jun-13$3.99DC158,600
196Batman617Jul-03$2.25DC158,500
197Justice League of America2Sep-06$2.99DC158,500
198Dark Knight III Master Race2Dec-15$5.99DC158,200
199Superman/Batman13Nov-04$2.95DC157,900
200House of M 4Jul-05$2.99Marvel157,900
201Superman/Batman9Apr-04$2.95DC157,500
202Batman615May-03$2.25DC157,400
203Mighty Avengers1Mar-07$3.99Marvel156,400
204Action Comics2Oct-11$3.99DC156,400
205Identity Crisis7Dec-04$3.95DC156,300
206Astonishing X-Men10May-05$2.99Marvel156,300
207Batman17Feb-13$3.99DC156,300
208Walking Dead150Jan-16$2.99Image156,200
209Identity Crisis5Oct-04$3.95DC156,100
210New Avengers8Aug-05$2.50Marvel156,000
211Amazing Spider-Man539Mar-07$2.99Marvel156,000
212Guardians Team-Up1Mar-15$3.99Marvel155,500
213New Avengers 2Jan-05$2.25Marvel155,400
214Civil War II2Jun-16$4.99Marvel155,400
215New Avengers23Aug-06$2.99Marvel155,300
216Star Wars5May-15$3.99Marvel155,000
217New Avengers4Mar-05$2.25Marvel154,900
218New Avengers21Jun-06$2.99Marvel154,900
219Justice League of America7Apr-07$3.50DC154,800
220Original Sin1May-14$4.99Marvel154,800
221Batman40Apr-15$4.99DC154,800
222Secret War Book OneFeb-04$3.99Marvel154,700
223Secret Invasion7Oct-08$3.99Marvel154,700
224Ultimates 31Dec-07$2.99Marvel154,600
225Batman618Aug-03$2.25DC154,500
226Detective Comics1Sep-11$2.99DC154,400
227JLA/Avengers3Nov-03$5.95Marvel154,300
228Identity Crisis6Nov-04$3.95DC153,800
229Amazing Spider-Man500 (#59)Oct-03$3.50Marvel153,300
230Batman3Nov-11$2.99DC153,300
231Batman616Jun-03$2.25DC153,000
232Batman4*Aug-16$2.99DC153,000
233Astonishing X-Men4Aug-04$2.99Marvel152,800
234House of M 3Jul-05$2.99Marvel152,800
235Dark Nights Metal4Dec-17$3.99DC152,585
236Marvel 16021Aug-03$3.50Marvel152,500
237Secret Invasion8Dec-08$3.99Marvel152,400
238Buffy The Vampire Slayer Season Eight1Mar-07$2.99Dark Horse152,200
239Final Crisis1May-08$3.99DC151,700
240Batman15Dec-12$3.99DC 151,600
241World War Hulk3Aug-07$3.99Marvel151,500
242Ultimate Iron Man1Mar-05$2.99Marvel150,700
243Dark Knight III The Master Race3Feb-16$5.99DC150,700
244Batman16Jan-13$3.99DC150,500
245Batman21Jun-13$3.99DC150,300
246Superman/Batman11Jul-04$2.95DC149,900
247Doctor Strange1Oct-15$4.99Marvel149,800
248Doctor Strange Sorcerers Supreme1Oct-16$3.99Marvel149,700
249Justice League (including Combo Pack)4Dec-11$3.99DC149,300
250Flash1Sep-11$2.99DC149,100
251New Avengers3Feb-05$2.25Marvel149,000
252Dark Tower Gunslinger Born3Apr-07$3.99Marvel149,000
253Secret Wars9Jan-16$4.99Marvel149,000
254Death of Wolverine2Sep-14$4.99Marvel148,900
255Batman5Jan-12$2.99DC 148,800
256Blackest Night*5Nov-09$3.99DC148,700
257Avengers/JLA4Mar-04$5.95DC148,600
258World War Hulk4Sep-07$3.99Marvel148,600
259Justice League of America1Jun-15$5.99DC148,600
260Justice League5Jan-12$3.99DC 148,500
261Astonishing X-Men13Feb-06$2.99Marvel148,200
262New Avengers9Aug-05$2.50Marvel147,500
263DCU Brave New World1Jun-06$1.00DC147,400
264Star Wars8Aug-15$3.99Marvel147,400
265Death of Wolverine3Oct-14$4.99Marvel147,200
266Superman/Batman8Mar-04$2.95DC146,900
267Forever Evil1Sep-13$3.99DC146,600
268Fallen Son: Death of Captain America: AvengersApr-07$2.99Marvel146,500
269Ultimates 21Dec-04$2.99Marvel146,300
270Batman613Mar-03$2.25DC146,200
271Blackest Night3Sep-09$3.99DC146,200
272Fantastic Four587Jan-11$3.99Marvel146,100
273Fear Itself1Apr-11$3.99Marvel146,000
274World War Hulk5Nov-07$3.99Marvel145,800
275Transformers Armada1Jul-02$2.95Dreamwave145,600
276Amazing Spider-Man538Feb-07$2.99Marvel145,400
277Batman41Jun-15$3.99DC145,300
278Civil War Front Line1Jun-06$2.99Marvel145,200
279Justice League6Feb-12$3.99DC 145,200
280Phoenix Resurrection Return Jean Grey1Dec-17$4.99Marvel145,057
281X-Men100Mar-00$2.99Marvel144,900
282New X-Men114May-01$2.25Marvel144,800
283X-Men1Jul-10$3.99Marvel144,700
284New Avengers10Sep-05$2.50Marvel144,400
285Superman1Sep-11$2.99DC144,400
286Green Lantern2Oct-11$2.99DC144,200
287Batman8Apr-12$3.99DC 144,100
288Justice2Oct-05$3.50DC143,700
289521May-06$2.50DC143,600
290Spawn100Jul-00$4.95Image143,500
291Darth Vader2Feb-15$3.99Marvel143,400
292New Avengers22Jul-06$2.99Marvel143,300
293Justice League of America3Nov-06$2.99DC143,300
294Batman18Mar-13$3.99DC143,200
295Dark Knight III Master Race4Apr-16$5.99DC143,100
296Batman611Jan-03$2.25DC142,500
297House of M 5Aug-05$2.99Marvel142,500
298X-Men200Jun-07$3.99Marvel142,400
299Deadpools Secret Secret Wars1May-15$4.99Marvel142,400
300New X-Men115Jun-01$2.25Marvel142,300





A few more words about what's on the list — and what isn't. Orders for variant editions and reprintings of comic books were combined if those versions were essentially the same product — that is, same physical configuration, same interior, and same cover price. This rolls up most of the snap-reprintings into the same entry, but disallows items like "Director's Cuts" or the Marvel Must-Have editions, which are in many respects distinct products. Also, the Combo Pack edition of Justice League #1 was combined with the regular edition.

And, importantly, the list at right focuses on comic books sold at full, and not promotional, prices. The Diamond lists have, in the past, included a number of comic books offered below publisher cost: Fantastic Four Vol. 3 #60, priced at 9¢, had preorders of 752,700 copies in August 2002. There are many such examples of free or promotionally priced comics; Diamond made the decision a few years ago to no longer list low-priced comics, and that move has been followed with this list to guarantee comparisons of like items.

Since comics shops are the focus of this list, it also does not include some other highly circulated comics. For example, Gears of War #1 garnered attention for its strong circulation through game stores in 2008. Unfortunately, few specific numbers are available from the video game trade, and as much circulation in this channel is promotional, rather than sold, it's unclear how to integrate this sector's information for purposes of comparison, were it to become available.

Because not all reorders make the list every month, any decade ranking released by Diamond would differ somewhat. Diamond only began releasing its full-year totals in 2009. From 2003-2008, the numbers at right only include reorders from months in which those reorders made Diamond's monthly Top 300 chart. (And before 2003, it includes no reorders at all.)

And as this is a periodical ranking, it doesn't get into the sector that brought the most new money into the business in the 21st Century, bound collected editions and graphic novels. But it's an interesting snapshot. How does the century thus far compare with other periods for comics? Probably not spectacularly — only a handful of the charting issues would make a similar chart for the speculator-mad 1990s. But, as just noted, comics are not just about periodical sales any more, with stories reaching readers in more ways than ever.

—John Jackson Miller


Want to see how individual decades look?
Click to see the Top Selling Comics of the Decade for the 2000s and the 2010s.