January 1989 Comic Book Sales to Comics Shops

Estimated Comics Preordered by North American Comics Shops
Based on Reports from Diamond Comic Distributors

#1 Most Ordered Issue
#2 Most Ordered Issue
#3 Most Ordered Issue
#4 Most Ordered Issue
#5 Most Ordered Issue

1989 would be a banner year for the comic-book Direct Market, with the Batman movie and attendant buzz — and while the year would start with Marvel taking twelve of the top 13 slots, Batman would still make his mark with the kickoff of his 50th anniversary year. The seventh-place Detective Comics #598 was a $2.95 80-page giant including work by Batman screenwriter Sam Hamm.

But while Diamond did not yet report dollar rankings, the Detective issue was surely beaten in terms of dollar sales by the $3.50 Havok and Wolverine: Meltdown #3, which placed fifth overall.

New series launches were led with John Byrne'sSensational She-Hulk #1, which placed second overall. On the cover, the title character threatened to rip up customers' X-Men comics if the series did not succeed; when it ended at #60, the cover recalled that threat.

Other launches included Marvel's Damage Control #1, in 25th place, and DC's New Gods #1, in 29th. Eclipse had the first issue of Mike Grell's James Bond 007.

The raw version of the chart below was presumably published in the November 1988 Diamond Dialogue newsletter; it was reprinted in Comics Values Monthly #33, where we found it. We've added publishers and ship dates. Diamond did not yet report market shares; Capital City this month found Marvel with a dollar share of 44.62%, DC with a dollar share of 29.64%, and Eclipse at 4.28%.

Diamond's chart included two entries for Previews itself, which was just beginning a consumer edition.

The dates shown below are the dates the comics shipped from the printer, according to Diamond's Previews #113 (November 1988). While many dates were reported as Tuesdays, which corresponded to when the printer Ronald's released its comics, World Color Press wasn't releasing its books until 12:01 a.m. on Thursdays. It's not clear which books came from that printer, however, as neither Diamond nor Capital were publishing that information yet.

Further, in this era, distributor catalog dates for all publishers did not synch up exactly with the calendar month, so Diamond's January charts include one week's worth of DC comics and some Marvel comics from February — and are missing the first week's comics, which would have appeared in Diamond's December 1988 charts. This would continue until March 1995, when DC would realign its solicitations with the Direct Market's calendar month (that chart only included three weeks of DC sales). Because Diamond did not report indexed sales, there is no way to know where those comics would have landed in this month's chart.

Diamond did not report graphic novel sales separately, but the Punisher: Return to Big Nothing hardcover did make its comics list.

—John Jackson Miller

This list includes all items on Diamond's Top 100 chart.
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 item on eBay. You can also find the books at your comics shop.

UnitsComic-book TitleIssuePriceShippedPublisher
1Uncanny X-Men244$1.0001/19/89Marvel
2Sensational She-Hulk1$1.5001/05/89Marvel
5Havok and Wolverine: Meltdown 3$3.50 1/12/89Marvel
7Detective Comics598$2.9502/07/89DC
8Amazing Spider-Man315$1.0001/12/89Marvel
9New Mutants75$1.0001/12/89Marvel
10West Coast Avengers44$0.7501/05/89Marvel
12Web of Spider-Man50$1.5001/05/89Marvel
16Spectacular Spider-Man150$1.0002/02/89Marvel
17Iron Man242$0.7502/02/89Marvel
18Silver Surfer23$1.0001/19/89Marvel
20Classic X-Men33$1.2502/02/89Marvel
21Fantastic Four326$0.7501/26/89Marvel
22Captain America353$0.7501/12/89Marvel
23Justice League International25$0.7501/17/89Marvel
24Incredible Hulk355$0.7501/19/89Marvel
25Damage Control1$1.0001/19/89Marvel
26Marvel Comics Presents20$1.2501/26/89Marvel
27Marvel Comics Presents19$1.2501/12/89Marvel
29New Gods1$1.5001/10/89DC
30Green Arrow16$1.2501/24/89DC
32Alpha Flight70$1.5001/12/89Marvel
33James Bond 0071$3.9501/10/89Eclipse
35L.E.G.I.O.N. '892$1.5001/31/89DC
36New Titans 54$1.75 01/31/89DC
39Doctor Strange Sorceror Supreme4$1.5002/02/89Marvel
40Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures2$1.00Archie
41V for Vendetta9$2.0001/17/89DC
42Solo Avengers18$0.7501/12/89Marvel
45Marvel Age74$0.5001/19/89Marvel
46Power Pack46$1.5002/02/89Marvel
47New Gods2$1.5002/07/89DC
48Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles18$1.50Mirage
49Justice Inc.1$3.9501/24/89DC
50Adventures of Superman452$0.7501/31/89DC
51Wonder Woman28$1.0001/17/89DC
52G.I. Joe A Real American Hero86$1.0001/19/89Marvel
53Doctor Fate5$1.2501/21/89DC
54Saga of the Sub-Mariner7$1.5001/19/89Marvel
55Mister Miracle3$1.0001/24/89DC
57Semper Fi6$0.7501/05/89Marvel
58Secret Origins38$1.5001/24/89DC
59Legion of Super-Heroes58$1.7501/24/89DC
60Star Brand19$1.5001/19/89Marvel
61Advanced Dungeons and Dragons4$1.5002/07/89DC
62Groo the Wanderer51$1.0001/12/89Marvel
63Tales of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles7$1.50Mirage
64Captain Atom27$1.0002/07/89DC
65Firestorm The Nuclear Man83$1.0001/17/89DC
67Suicide Squad25$1.0002/07/89DC
68Punisher: Return to Big Nothing HC$16.9501/26/89Marvel
69Swamp Thing84$1.2501/31/89DC
70Doom Patrol20$1.5001/31/89DC
71Action Comics Weekly642$1.5001/24/89DC
72G.I. Joe Special Missions21$1.0001/05/89Marvel
73Conan the Barbarian218$1.0001/19/89Marvel
74Black Kiss8$1.25Vortex
75Animal Man9$1.2501/31/89DC
76D.P. 731$1.5001/12/89Marvel
79Action Comics Weekly641$1.5001/17/89DC
81Question 26$1.75 02/07/89DC
85Power of the Atom10$1.0001/31/89DC
87Doc Savage7$1.7501/17/89DC
88Previews (100+)1$0.00Diamond
89Lone Wolf and Cub21$2.5012/30/88First
90Marvel Tales223$0.7501/19/89Marvel
91Psi Force31$1.5001/05/89Marvel
92Conan the King52$1.5001/05/89Marvel
94New Guardians9$1.2502/07/89 DC
95Previews (1-99)1$0.00Diamond
96Strikeforce Morituri29$1.5001/05/89Marvel
100Savage Sword of Conan159$2.0001/12/89Marvel

What are your comics worth?

Diamond did not report graphic novel sales separately this month, but the Punisher: Return to Big Nothing hardcover from Marvel made its overall comics list and was its bestseller.

Not all the links below are currently active, but they will be when more charts are added.

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