May 2020 DC Comic Book Sales to Retailers
Projections for DC Comics Ordered by North American Comics Shops
This data refers to sales of DC comics by all its distributors. For all titles, see the Diamond and Overall charts.
May 2020 was the first full month in which DC comics were available from its new distributors: Lunar Distribution, a sister company to mail-order firm DCBS (Digital Comic Book Service) —and UCS Comic Distributors, sister company to retailer Midtown Comics.
On May 20, Diamond Comic Distributors returned to comics distribution, shipping both DC comics that Lunar and UCS had already released, and also new issues from the publisher. Comichron projects that when orders across all three distributors are combined, DCeased Unkillables #3 was likely the top comic book in units and dollars for DC.
By May 18, UCS had added a Best Sellers section to its website, including sections for comic books, graphic novels, magazines, books, and promotional items. They were simple top ten lists, without any indexed sales figures, and appeared to co-mingle both preordered items and those that had shipped. (The May 18, 2020 snapshot, seen below, included items that had not shipped yet.)
UCS also did not include information about what specific timeframe was being measured in the rankings, and the titles listed updated dynamically through the month. As such, while Comichron archived several instances of the reports, the UCS data on comic books was too limited in detail to be of much use to retailers. (One of its graphic novel reports, meanwhile, appears further below.)
With UCS and Diamond releasing little official information about their DC sales and Lunar releasing none at all, Comichron has drawn upon a subset of known retail orders both to determine approximate rankings and to project the relative order volumes of comic-book releases. The subset represents a sizable number of copies, but it is not possible at present to know what portion of the overall population of store orders it represents, particularly as many stores were closed, had their accounts on hold, or had not established accounts with DC's distributors. Only periodicals were examined, and order totals are believed to be as of Final Order Cutoff. No statistical adjustments have been made for returnability and no later returns have been subtracted out.
The chart below features every new comic book released by DC in May 2020. Variant editions have been merged into single entries, following longtime industry practice. The release dates are from UCS. We make no attempt here to distinguish between the distributors DC sold through; the intent is to describe DC's business in the Direct Market.
The order volumes are expressed in relation to Justice League #45, which has been chosen as the order index issue for DC's distributors this month, as well as Diamond. (There are Justice League issues without cardstock variants in the May and June lists for both Diamond and DC's distributors, so it's a good choice if you're trying to refer between charts.) For every 100 copies of Justice League #45 ordered in the subset, for example, there were 85 copies ordered of Joker/Harley: Criminal Sanity #4.
DC offered one comic book with a two cardstock variants at a different price, the chart-leading DCeased Unkillables #3; its sales have been fused by default below. You can find the component versions at the bottom of the chart, or by sorting by "Units" to see where its variants would have placed. The dollar rankings are based on the totals of the fused entries. The card stock variant for Flash #754 didn't ship until June 2, but it is counted in the issue's ranking below.
Things to remember: The retail order subset represents a sizable number of copies, but it is not possible at present to know what portion of the overall population of store orders it represents, particularly as many stores were closed, had their accounts on hold, or had not established accounts with DC's distributors. For example, Justice League had been seeing Diamond orders of more than 40,000 copies per issue in North America the first quarter of 2020, but we do not advise using that number to extrapolate overall sales for other titles — not until we have a better idea how the market size has changed.
We're sticking with whole numbers until we have a better handle on the margin of error. As such, note that a difference of a single point on the chart may not be meaningful, due to rounding. Projections for issues at the lower extremes are thus subject to more error due to the small quantities involved. Projected relative sales levels here are likely most reliable for regular series issues in the middle of the chart: orders for the highest sellers and first issues may tend to show more variation.
Rankings in these charts should also be expected to differ — often significantly — from the sales-to-consumers charts available at other outlets. Those report sell-through and not sell-in, and different retailers are sampled in each, with no known overlap in reporting stores as of the generation of the below charts.
As is the case with all data on Comichron, it is subject to revision without notice in the event more authoritative and complete information about orders becomes available.
—John Jackson Miller
Updated March 17, 2021
This list includes all DC items released by its distributors in the month.
The Order Index Number by each comic book indicates how many copies were ordered within the sample for every 100 Justice League #55s that were ordered.
Differently priced variants appear fused together by default near where they'd have ranked if together.
The component variants are sorted to the bottom of the chart by default.
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.
|Unit||Dollar||Comic-book Title||Issue||Price||On sale||Publisher||Order Index|
|1||1||DCeased Unkillables||3 (All)||$4.99||05/19/20||DC||128|
|4||2||Joker Harley Criminal Sanity||4||$5.99||05/05/20||DC||85|
|7||7||Green Lantern Season 2||3||$3.99||05/05/20||DC||68|
|9||9||Basketful of Heads||7||$3.99||05/26/20||DC||56|
|13||10||DC Super Stars Facsimile Edition||17||$4.99||05/05/20||DC||44|
|17||17||Justice League Odyssey||20||$3.99||05/12/20||DC||27|
|19||19||Batman and the Outsiders||12||$3.99||05/05/20||DC||25|
|20||20||He-Man and the Masters of the Multiverse||6||$3.99||05/26/20||DC||25|
|21||21||Low Low Woods||5||$3.99||05/26/20||DC||25|
|24||24||Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen||10||$3.99||05/19/20||DC||21|
|27||28||Books of Magic||19||$3.99||05/26/20||DC||15|
|28||29||Red Hood Outlaw||45||$3.99||05/19/20||DC||14|
|29||27||Wonder Woman Giant||4||$4.99||05/26/20||DC||14|
|30||32||House of Whispers||20||$3.99||05/05/20||DC||12|
|32||31||Our Fighting Forces Giant||1||$4.99||05/26/20||DC||10|
|n.a.||n.a.||DCeased Unkillables||3 Card Stock||$5.99||05/19/20||DC||71|
May 2020 DC Graphic Novel Sales
Graphic Novels and Trade Paperbacks Ordered and Preordered by North American Comics Shops Based on Reports from UCS Comic Distributors
DC's Direct Market distributors did not release monthly totals of their graphic novel sales, but it is known that the publisher released 20 new graphic novels to the Direct Market in May.
Comichron did not sample retailer sales data for DC's Direct Market graphic novel sales, but UCS did break out graphic novels in its bestsellers page on its website. As mentioned above, the UCS charts appear to include both items which had shipped and had not yet shipped.
So while Doomsday Clock Part 2 was the top preordered graphic novel, its June shipping date means that Lost Carnival was really UCS's top May-shipping graphic novel as of the May 18 snapshot. Diamond's top seller would have likely been the Batman: Last Knight on Earth, which released there on May 20; it appears to have already been available in April from UCS.
|Units||Trade Paperback title||Price||On sale|
|1||Doomsday Clock HC Part 2 with Slipcase||$24.99||06/16/20|
|2||Lost Carnival: A Dick Grayson Graphic Novel||$16.99||05/05/20|
|3||Superman Smashes the Klan||$16.99||05/12/20|
|4||Joker: 80 Years of the Clown Prince of Crime HC||$29.99||06/02/20|
|5||Year of the Villain: Hell Arisen||$16.99||06/09/20|
|6||Young Justice Vol. 1: Gemworld||$17.99||05/05/20|
|7||Year of the Villain: The Infected||$17.99||06/23/20|
|8||Crisis on Infinite Earths: Paragons Rising Dlx Ed. HC||$17.99||07/07/20|
|9||Justice League Dark Vol. 3: The Witching War||$16.99||05/12/20|
|10||Harley Quinn & Poison Ivy HC||$24.99||05/19/20|