August 2020 DC Comic Book Sales
Projections for DC Comics Ordered by North American Comics Shops
This data refers only to sales by DC's distributors. Click to see the Overall charts and those from Diamond.
August 2020 was the second full month in which DC retailers had to order comics from Lunar Distribution or UCS Comic Distributors or one of those firms' subdistributors, such as Universal Distribution in Canada. The month also brought deep staff reductions on August 10 for the publisher, whose parent, AT&T, came away from its 2018 Time Warner buyout burdened with debt around 4,000 times greater than DC's entire revenue from the Direct Market in 2019. (Indeed, it appears to be larger than the dollar value of every comic book ever published, even when adjusted for inflation.)
Against that unhappy news, DC on August 25 released what was likely the bestseller of the year to that point. Comichron projects that the $6.99 Black Label title Batman: Three Jokers #1 was its top seller to retailers in dollars and units in August, once all versions were merged.
DC's Jim Lee said in an interview that in August the issue had sales over 300,000 copies (presumably including UK sales), and Comichron's projections, published below, would appear to support that if it's assumed that the retail base is not substantially smaller than it was this past winter. Our retail order subset suggests the issue had at least seven times as many copies ordered of the month's non-anniversary issue of Justice League, and that series was selling in the 40,000-copy range just in North America before the Coronavirus pandemic and its associated shutdowns.
During August, UCS had a Best Sellers section on 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. (For example, the August 13 snapshot, seen at right, included items that had not shipped yet.)
UCS 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.
With UCS releasing little official information about its 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 August 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 #51, which has been chosen as the order index issue for DC's distributors this month, as well as for 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 example, for every 100 copies of Justice League #51 in the order set, there were 121 copies of Nightwing #73.
DC offered 11 comic books with cardstock variants at a different price; their 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.
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. (That said, the reported Batman: Three Jokers #1 number, as mentioned above, seems consistent with that pre-pandemic sales level.)
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
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 #51s that were ordered.
"Fused" combines differently priced-variants; click the "Unit" arrow to do a sort separating them.
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.
|Fused||Dollar||Unit||Comic-book Title||Issue||Price||On sale||Publisher||Order Index|
|1||1||1||Batman Three Jokers||1||$6.99||08/25/20||DC||735|
|4||3||2||Dark Nights Death Metal||3||$4.99||08/11/20||DC||303|
|5||6||n.a.||Detective Comics||1025 (All)||$3.99||08/11/20||DC||250|
|6||7||n.a.||Detective Comics||1026 (All)||$3.99||08/25/20||DC||221|
|8||8||7||Dark Nights Death Metal Guidebook||1||$5.99||08/18/20||DC||157|
|9||9||9||Dark Nights Death Metal Legends Of The Dark Knights||1||$5.99||08/04/20||DC||147|
|12||15||14||Batman The Adventures Continue||3||$3.99||08/04/20||DC||114|
|15||17||n.a.||Batman's Grave||9 (All)||$3.99||08/11/20||DC||101|
|19||18||n.a.||Batman Superman||11 (All)||$3.99||08/25/20||DC||98|
|20||16||n.a.||Wonder Woman||761 (All)||$3.99||08/25/20||DC||98|
|22||26||21||Legion of Super-Heroes||8||$3.99||08/25/20||DC||95|
|23||27||22||Green Lantern Season 2||6||$3.99||08/11/20||DC||93|
|24||19||n.a.||Wonder Woman||760 (All)||$3.99||08/11/20||DC||90|
|26||22||n.a.||DCeased Dead Planet||2 (All)||$3.99||08/04/20||DC||87|
|27||29||25||Justice League Dark||25||$3.99||08/25/20||DC||78|
|29||12||27||Wonder Woman Dead Earth||4||$6.99||08/18/20||DC||78|
|30||31||31||Red Hood Outlaw||48||$3.99||08/25/20||DC||65|
|33||24||34||Question The Deaths Of Vic Sage||4||$6.99||08/25/20||DC||56|
|35||38||37||Justice League Odyssey||23||$3.99||08/11/20||DC||52|
|36||32||39||Teen Titans Annual||2||$4.99||08/25/20||DC||50|
|37||33||40||Wonder Woman Annual||4||$4.99||08/18/20||DC||50|
|38||39||41||Batman And The Outsiders||15||$3.99||08/11/20||DC||50|
|39||41||43||John Constantine Hellblazer||9||$3.99||08/25/20||DC||48|
|40||37||n.a.||Dreaming Waking Hours||1 (All)||$3.99||08/04/20||DC||48|
|47||47||n.a.||Metal Men||9 (All)||$3.99||08/18/20||DC||33|
|49||49||58||Books of Magic||22||$3.99||08/25/20||DC||20|
|50||50||59||DC Classics The Batman Adventures||3||$1.99||08/04/20||DC||16|
|51||51||62||Scooby Doo Where Are You||105||$2.99||08/18/20||DC||11|
|n.a.||n.a.||11||Batman||96 Card Stock||$4.99||08/04/20||DC||131|
|n.a.||n.a.||12||Batman||97 Card Stock||$4.99||08/18/20||DC||125|
|n.a.||n.a.||24||Detective Comics||1025 Card Stock||$4.99||08/11/20||DC||85|
|n.a.||n.a.||30||Detective Comics||1026 Card Stock||$4.99||08/25/20||DC||66|
|n.a.||n.a.||36||Wonder Woman||761 Card Stock||$4.99||08/25/20||DC||55|
|n.a.||n.a.||38||Wonder Woman||760 Card Stock||$4.99||08/11/20||DC||51|
|n.a.||n.a.||42||DCeased Dead Planet||2 Card Stock||$4.99||08/04/20||DC||49|
|n.a.||n.a.||51||DCeased Dead Planet||2||$3.99||08/04/20||DC||38|
|n.a.||n.a.||53||Dreaming Waking Hours||1||$3.99||08/04/20||DC||32|
|n.a.||n.a.||54||Batman's Grave||9 Card Stock||$4.99||08/11/20||DC||28|
|n.a.||n.a.||55||Batman Superman||11 Card Stock||$4.99||08/25/20||DC||24|
|n.a.||n.a.||60||Dreaming Waking Hours||1 Card Stock||$4.99||08/04/20||DC||16|
|n.a.||n.a.||61||Metal Men||9 Card Stock||$4.99||08/18/20||DC||13|
August 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
Comichron did not sample retailer sales data for DC's Direct Market graphic novel sales, but UCS Comic Distributors 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.
But Green Lantern Earth One HC Vol. 2 was the top-ordered graphic novel on UCS's charts from June 21, as seen below, and also in charts from July 7 and August 13. So it's very likely the distributor's top seller among new August releases.
This list includes all items on UCS's Top 10 chart as of a snapshot taken June 21, 2020.
If you don't see a book, UCS released no data for it.
The links lead to title details on Amazon (paid links). You can also find the books at your comics shop.
|Units||Trade Paperback title||Price||On sale||Publisher|
|1||Green Lantern Earth One HC Vol. 2||$24.99||08/11/20||DC|
|2||DCeased Unkillables HC||$22.99||08/25/20||DC|
|4||Doomsday Clock HC Part 2 with Slipcase||$24.99||06/16/20||DC|
|5||Robin 80 Years of The Boy Wonder HC||$29.99||09/15/20||DC|
|7||Aquaman Vol. 2 Amnesty||$17.99||08/04/20||DC|
|8||Batman and the Outsiders Vol. 2 A League of Their Own||$16.99||08/11/20||DC|
|9||Wonder Woman The Last True Hero Vol. 1||$39.99||08/04/20||DC|
|10||Wonder Twins Vol. 2 Fall and Rise of the Wonder Twins||$16.99||08/11/20||DC|