The Top 300 Selling Comic Books For March 2004

This list comes from digging through sales figures, asking too many questions and using Diamond Comics information. The snotty comments in white are from deep in Cory's sick twisted little brain.

1 SUPERMAN/BATMAN #8 $2.95 DC 146,908

Michael Turner is another artist who can make a comic sell amazingly well, and I am afraid I just don't get it. His stuff looks even lazier than Jim Lee's, since he only has ONE FACE for every female character (the little upturned nose, the lips that make Julia Roberts look thin-lipped, the impossibly long hips that don't seem to connect properly to the rest of their bodies) and his male figures are nearly interchangeable as well. But it's selling well. The story is pretty much unnecessary, as they are bringing in the Fourth Supergirl since Crisis.

2 AVENGERS/JLA #4 (Of 4) $5.95 DC 143,565

The biggest fanboy project in history, and for all the bellyaching, it was only a little over a month late. I'm buying the huge $75 book of it, since it will have all the extras of a DVD release, and I know that I'll get at least that much pleasure over looking through George Perez's art.

3 NEW X-MEN #154 $2.25 MAR 117,253

And here it ends. The best run by a single writer on this book since back during the Claremont/Byrne run, and probably much better written than that run, with some of the more creative ideas super-hero comics have seen. Highly recommended, as has been the entire run, but having read the issue after this one, it's pretty clear that the people at Marvel just didn't get the ending of this story. And again, Grant Morrison gives an ending that is both heart-breakingly emotional and yet filled with hope that feels like it was there all along. A masterful run, and one that any super-hero fan should have on their shelf.

4 SUPERMAN/BATMAN #7 $2.95 DC 108,791

A continuing of the origin of the Fantastic Four, and since the creative team who started the book is only doing the first story arc, we'll be getting Warren Ellis for the next one. I'm buying it as a trade, as that is how it is written.

6 ULTIMATES #13 (Note Price) $3.50 MAR 101,329

The Big Fight issue. This one is VERY late, and I think that is why it didn't sell quite as well as other issues of the series have. Add to that that they have now said the relaunch won't be showing up until the end of the year, and it's becoming a situation much like The Authority where sales are going to stall due to poor scheduling, and people will wait for the trade in droves.

7 ULTIMATE X-MEN #43 $2.25 MAR 97,002

Bendis doing some very good scripting, but the plot is moving too slow for me on this book (as they tend to do on the Ultimate books).

8 ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #54 $2.25 MAR 93,025
9 ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #55 $2.25 MAR 91,525

Case in point.

I love this comic, don't get me wrong, but this story is the first one that has felt VERY stretched out to me, and feels like 3 issues padded to six, without any of the rich character work Bendis does so well. Still, it's better than most super-hero books, and will work very well as a trade paperback.

10 UNCANNY X-MEN #441 $2.25 MAR 86,431

New X-Men by Morrison was a re-interpretation of old themes with new ideas, and rich character changes that moved the cast forward more in 3 years than they had in the last 20. Uncanny is a mess that feels like it is plotted on the fly, and has reduced most of the characters to one-note stereotypes. Which is probably why it is selling at a lower rate than it has in decades.

11 AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #505 (#64) $2.25 MAR 83,613

Loki? In Spider-Man? I know I have been hammering on this, but Spider-Man is best when fighting street level crime, not as a pawn in a game between Gods, and for a bit too long in the comic, that has been the focus. Hopefully it will turn around soon, because it's just not working for me at all.

12 BATMAN #625 $2.25 DC 83,371

Continuing the story arc by the creators of "100 Bullets", and one of the better Batman stories in a while, with a rich enough plot to be worth 6 issues. Highly recommended.

13 SUPERMAN #203 $2.25 DC 83,096

The issue before Jim Lee takes over, and pretty much a filler issue (with very Jim Lee-like art by a person from Michael Turner's studio) that features a "sketchbook" of Jim Lee's upcoming character designs.

14 JLA #94 $2.25 DC 76,134
15 JLA #95 $2.25 DC 69,898

This is it! The big re-uniting of Chris Claremont and John Byrne! OK, so maybe it wasn't as good as we wanted it, since any big re-union tends to inflate expectations. After reading it, I will say that it's Byrne's best art in a while, but that probably has to do with Jerry Ordway inking it rather than what Byrne has been doing (inking himself) and putting the in the detail that has been sorely lacking from Byrne's work over the past ten years. The story itself is nothing special, vampires trying to get super-powers, but there are some things that just are too silly for words.

1) The Vampire Lord is a painfully boring and overdone stereotype, and visually unimaginative
2) The "Oh My God He's Dead! Cliffhangers are not only very close to the edge of camp, but the way "our heroes" get out of them seem more like a cheat than an old Republic serial.
3) Claremont's dialogue is flat, and doesn't give any sort of difference to the characters talking
4) No one in the JLA knows the original Doom Patrol? Even after all of the times they have met them?

I know you can't go home again, but this story is just barely worth visiting and is for hard-core fans of Claremont and Byrne only.

16 WOLVERINE #12 $2.25 MAR 69,815

The start of a new story arc, and shows just how good a writer Greg Rucka is. I have always hated the "The government made a bajillion different things like Wolverine" story that infected the character in the 90's, but Rucka is actually using that background to tell a very good story. Combine that with excellently moody art and you get a Wolverine comic that is highly recommended.

17 TEEN TITANS #9 $2.50 DC 69,056

Still a solid, if unremarkable, super-hero team book and mildly recommended to those who like such things.

18 ADVS O/SUPERMAN #626 $2.25 DC 66,438
19 ACTION COMICS #813 $2.25 DC 66,038

DC has got to be happy about this. After spending YEARS mired in the mid 50's on the chart and getting as low as only selling 20,000 copies of some issues, the Superman books are selling well again. This is the end of the Michael Turner-clones drawn Kandor story, which wasn't horrible, but seemed like a bit of a cheat.

20 SUPREME POWER #8 (MR) $2.99 MAR 64,429
21 WOLVERINE/PUNISHER #1 (Of 5) $2.99 MAR 59,685

I don't know quite how to take this. First, it's a book written by Milligan, who does my favorite X-Book (X-Statics), so I'm tempted to get it. However, 10 years ago, this would be a #1 selling comic, even if it was done by the worst possible talent because it's Wolverine and Punisher. If it is good, I'll pick it up as a trade paperback, but the fact that a crossover between these two characters doesn't even make the top 20 should remind us that there ARE no "sure things" in comics anymore. OK, maybe Manga in bookstores, but only the stuff aimed at teenage girls.

22 AVENGERS #80 $2.25 MAR 55,533

Chuck Austin can do good comics, but this isn't one of them. Avoid until the revamp.

23 DAREDEVIL #58 $2.99 MAR 54,400

Amazingly well done. Bendis has taken Daredevil to a higher level with this story arc, delving into not just all the things he has set up, but the inner workings of the character. The art aids in the darkness of the storyline without making it depressing or gloomy. One of the best comics being published and highly recommended.

24 SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN #11 $2.25 MAR 54,066
25 SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN #12 $2.25 MAR 53,549

Paul Jenkins is an author who can tell great stories around the supporting cast of Spider-Man and delving into the character of Peter Parker. Where he stumbles is in the super-hero aspect of the character, and since the relaunch of this book, that's what he has been focusing on. And it isn't working.

26 X-TREME X-MEN #43 $2.99 MAR 53,207
27 X-TREME X-MEN #44 $2.99 MAR 52,515

I don't know if the book is over yet, but it's a bit telling that Claremont has moved from this book to the main X-Men book, and rather then get a new creative team, they just outright canceled this one. It never really grabbed me, and I was a huge Claremont fan in the 80's, but I think his work has stagnated and is very dependent upon the artist he is working with, so I hope his work with Alan Davis is up to the standards they had in Excalibur.

28 CONAN #2 $2.99 DAR 52,157
29 FANTASTIC FOUR #511 (#82) $2.25 MAR 50,089

I would think that this comic should be selling better, as it is the best Fantastic Four run since the early part of Byrne's in the early 80's. This issue, showing a version of heaven in the Marvel Universe, is one of the most touching and well-done comics in ages. It hits all of the right notes and is a fitting tribute to the creators of the characters. Highly recommended.

30 AVENGERS/THUNDERBOLTS #1 (Of 6) $2.99 MAR 47,255
31 CABLE/DEADPOOL #1 (RES) $2.99 MAR 47,130

Two new "crossover" books, one a mini-series and one an ongoing series. I can't see the "Cable/Deadpool" book lasting much longer than the rebirth of the Thunderbolts in their mini-series, and a Marvel first issue with a Liefeld cover only selling 47,000 is not a good sign. Cable is a dead end character with the most convoluted backstory in comics, and the sooner he is written out of continuity, the better. As for treating Deadpool as a serious mercenary to "get back to his roots" is another STUPID idea, since there are a bajillion other similar characters from the 90's. The Deadpool says it will be cancelled by #18.

32 THE PUNISHER #4 (MR) $2.99 MAR 47,096

The new series is much darker than the pervious one, and is without any of the dark humor that Ennis used to revive the character. Ennis is skilled enough to write very good action comics, but they all tend to blend together after a while. Mildly recommended with reservations.

33 INCREDIBLE HULK #68 $2.25 MAR 46,138
34 INCREDIBLE HULK #69 $2.25 MAR 45,754

They at least waited 5 years before bringing back Brett Brant (who was killed in the pervious Hulk series), but the story that brought her back is the weakest that has been in this comic since Bruce Jones took over. Rumors are that he is also gearing up to tie off most of the "shadowy conspiracy" plotlines in the next few months, which is a good thing. His work on Hulk was a new approach that I liked, but it's time to move the story forward. For fanboys only.

35 MARVEL KNIGHTS 4 #3 $2.99 MAR 45,604

By the 3rd issue, this version of the FF isn't selling as well as they one they wanted to cancel for it. I read the first arc on this series, and while it was decent enough, there wasn't anything NEW to it. The FF have gone broke before, but the creators don't seem to want to put in the fun that made the Lee/Kirby issues such hits and are instead going for a downbeat version of the book.

36 PULSE #2 $2.99 MAR 45,479

Love This Comic. A stand-alone issue of a reporter in the Marvel Universe finding out some information she should not have had. To say anymore is to spoil one of the best-written comics of the year, and this comic is highly recommended.

37 OUTSIDERS #10 $2.50 DC 43,511

The first 4 issues sold insanely well, and now the comic has settled down to selling like the average super-hero book that it is. For super-hero team fans only.

38 TRANSFORMERS/GI JOE #6 (Of 6) $2.95 DRE 43,119

I just noticed that none of the different Transformer or GI Joe comics are in the top 20 anymore. I wonder if the nostalgia buzz has worn off. Checking in comic shops, it's pretty easy to tell that sales dropped a lot faster than shops were able to cut their orders, since unsold copies of the books are everywhere. Nostalgia may be fun once in a while, but you can't build a company or an industry on it.

39 ALPHA FLIGHT #1 $2.99 MAR 42,586

No one has ever cared about Alpha Flight. I have no clue why they keep getting green-lighted for new series, since no one gives a damn. This one is by Scott Lobdell, who killed the first Alpha Flight series.

40 JSA #59 $2.50 DC 42,553

Still a great super-hero team comic that anyone who likes super-hero books should be reading. Highly recommended.

41 FLASH #208 $2.25 DC 42,386

This is an odd book for me to read. I know I should like it, and the stories are interesting, but for some reason, they aren't engaging. I can't really explain it, but they feel a bit mechanical as you read them, almost as if everyone involved is just going through the motions.

42 HULK GRAY #6 (Of 6) $3.50 MAR 42,061

Already out as a hardcover, and that's how I bought it.

43 CAPTAIN AMERICA & FALCON #1 $2.99 MAR 41,519

Another Marvel first issue that didn't seem to do a whole lot in the sales department. I REALLY hate Bart Sears' art, and have never much cared for Priest's writing, so this was an easy pass for me.

45 CAPTAIN AMERICA #24 $2.99 MAR 39,168

Robert Kirkman's other writing is very good, and Chris Bachalo's art never fails to engage me, but this story just doesn't work for me. I don't know if the creators aren't suited to the character or to each other, but it's not very good.

46 WANTED #3 (Of 6) (MR) $2.99 IMA 38,868
47 BATMAN GOTHAM KNIGHTS #51 $2.75 DC 37,742

The new creative team has brought in the "Hush" character from the Jim Lee Batman issues. Doesn't seem to have helped. This comic, which started as a focus on the other members of the "Batman Family", has no focus at this point and is just another Batman comic. With all of the focus on the main Batman book, the other Batman comics seem to have fallen apart.

48 EXILES #44 $2.99 MAR 37,575

A "farewell" issue to the current creative team, which is odd, since they were pretty much just a fill-in team after Judd Winnik signed an exclusive contract with DC. This is a series that I like, but it is hard to recommend, since it is so continuity dependent, featuring different alternate universe versions of X-Men characters going to alternative universes to fix them ala "Quantum Leap". For hard-core fanboys only.

49 SPIDER-MAN UNLIMITED #2 $2.99 MAR 37,550

Another Spider-Man anthology, this one with two short stories per issue by new talent. Passable entertainment and it shows that most new creators are VERY manga influenced.

50 MARVEL AGE SPIDER-MAN #1 $2.25 MAR 36,700

This is one of the dumber ideas I have heard of in a LONG time. This series takes the only Lee/Ditko Spider-man stories and has new creators "re-do" them. I KNOW it is for the market outside of comic shops, and will be placed in a lot of kid-friendly venues, but it still strikes me as a waste of paper. If they need a kid-friendly comic, can't they do it without doing remakes of old stories?

51 SPAWN #133 $2.50 IMA 35,774

Only a year late! And no one has EVER took me up on my offer to tell me what the plot of an issue of Spawn after #100 for $20. I now say that no one is reading this comic, even if they ARE buying it.

52 SUPERMAN BIRTHRIGHT #8 (Of 12) $2.95 DC 35,524

Mark Waid, revamping Superman's origin, putting back some of the Silver Age stuff. I'll read it when it is a trade paperback.

53 DETECTIVE COMICS #792 $2.75 DC 34,899

At one point about three years ago, this was the best Batman comic. Now, it is unreadable. I like Bob Shreck as an editor, but he doesn't seem to be able to maintain series very well, going instead for the Big Events.

54 NEW MUTANTS #10 (Note Price) $2.99 MAR 34,841

Note also that it was canceled and renamed New X-Men. Note also that it didn't get anyone excited about it.

55 GREEN ARROW #36 $2.50 DC 34,707
56 SHE HULK #1 $2.99 MAR 34,499
57 IRON FIST #1 $2.99 MAR 34,207

Two more Marvel #1s, both about minor characters, and both had less than impressive debuts. Iron Fist is written by the former writer of the Destroyer novels, and he is doing a good job on the book, melding it with some trendy manga style art. She-Hulk is not a character I have ever given a damn about, so I didn't get the book and prolly won't unless I hear that it's VERY good. Iron Fist is mildly recommended, however.

58 EMMA FROST #9 $2.99 MAR 33,890
59 SWAMP THING #1 (MR) $2.95 DC 33,382

Now THAT's a big first issue for Vertigo. Andy Diggle is the latest Hot British Creator, and Swamp Thing is the character that pretty much brought Vertigo into being, so DC has to be happy with a debut this high on the charts for their horror line.

61 GI JOE RELOADED #1 $2.95 DEV 31,531
62 THOR #75 $2.99 MAR 31,531

Still telling a story in a possible future, and while I can understand why the creators want to do that sort of thing, I am pretty much sick of the possible futures stories. Soon to be revamped by one of the creators of "Powers" who also writes a comic based on Norse myth, so this could become a book worth reading again soon.

63 PLANETARY #19 $2.95 DC 31,506

Read it in the collected version, even thought most of the issues are self-contained. Why? I dislike having to wait months between issues. I have to think that the book would sell about twice as many copies it would have if it would have come out in a timely fashion.

64 GI JOE REBORN* $4.95 DEV 31,014
65 THOR #76 $2.99 MAR 30,806
66 BIRDS O/PREY #65 $2.50 DC 30,505
67 MYSTIQUE #12 $2.99 MAR 30,489
68 DEVIL MAY CRY #1 $3.95 DRE 30,389

Wow. That's pretty good sales for a video game based comic, especially when it's not a video game that has much mainstream identification (and had a horrible sequel). From the publishers of GI Joe and Transformers, so it has art that is covered up by flashy coloring and computer effects.

69 THANOS #8 $2.99 MAR 30,189
70 THANOS #7 $2.99 MAR 30,180

Keith Giffen as writer and Ron Lim as artist has really helped this comic. I know that Starlin created Thanos, but Starlin doesn't really have a good idea on how to end stories anymore, so his final issue didn't really go anywhere. Giffen is delving into Thanos in a way that Starlin never did and is telling an interesting story. Ron Lim is an artist whose work I have always liked, very clear in his storytelling, and his figure work is very visually pleasing. I don't know why he doesn't get more work, but he's about the only comics artist who can do SF and make it look interesting. I'm recommending it, but wonder where they are going this time.

71 GI JOE #28 $2.95 DEV 29,997
72 BATGIRL #50 (Note Price) $3.25 DC 29,897
73 GREEN LANTERN #175 $3.50 DC 29,780

Winding up the plot threads of the latest "Green Lantern Goes Into Space And His Life Turns To Crap" story. Aside from a few of the Winnick issues, Green Lantern has been deathly boring for a LONG time and is in need of a creative jumpstart.

74 IRON MAN #78 $2.99 MAR 29,680

I was mildly interested when it was announced that Iron Man would be becoming the Secretary of Defense, thinking it could be a way to give the book some personality after it has been drifting creatively for a couple of years. No such luck. Still horridly dull and pedestrian.

75 THOR SON O/ASGARD #1 (Of 6) $2.99 MAR 29,588
76 NIGHTWING #91 $2.25 DC 29,330

This is another in the "take everything away from the hero to see what he is made of" story. I don't know why they do these and drag them out so long, since the ONLY one of them that has EVER been any good was Frank Miller's "Born Again" story on Daredevil. It killed the Legion of Super Heroes book in the late 80's, the New Teen Titans under Marv Wolfman, and was pretty much the worst X-Men story ever. This one is pretty bad as well.

77 ROBIN #124 $2.25 DC 29,096

This book is MUCH better than it was under the previous writer, but there is still the problem of Robin fighting Mystical based enemies, which I don't think works. All of the stuff going on around that is well done, but the actual super-hero part is off-putting. So, it's a mixed bag. I find it VERY interesting that since losing the previous writer, the book has shot up about 50 slots in the best-seller's list. That sure can't be good for a career, can it?

78 WONDER WOMAN #202 $2.25 DC 28,646
79 HAWKMAN #26 $2.50 DC 28,363

A fill-in issue by John Byrne and, what a surprise, it is about a vampire who wants the powers of a super-hero. Byrne has now done this story 5 times in his career, and TWICE THIS MONTH. I used to like Byrne a lot, but he has descended into the hell of hackdom, and it is VERY easy to tell he just doesn't give a damn anymore. And if he doesn't, why should I?

80 VENOM #12 $2.99 MAR 28,246

Still plummeting down the charts at an amazing rate. Hard to believe this was a top ten book just 10 months ago, isn't it? And Venom is a character I have never warmed to, and any comic with him as the focus has been pretty damn bad.

81 STREET FIGHTER #6* $2.95 IMA 27,938
82 DC NEW FRONTIER #3 (Of 6) $6.95 DC 27,671

DC retelling its Silver Age yet again. The art is amazing and the story is very good, but how many times are they going to live in the past? Nostalgia kills, people.

83 THOR SON O/ASGARD #2 (Of 6) $2.99 MAR 27,254
84 SILVER SURFER #7 (Note Price) $2.99 MAR 26,962

The trade paperback of the first 6 issues is out, the comic is horribly late, and people aren't reading it any more. Marvel needs to learn that big delays can kill a comic. You'd think Image would have taught them that.

85 Y THE LAST MAN #20 (MR) $2.95 DC 26,454

Vertigo's best seller (at least until Swamp Thing came out) and it couldn't be less like a typical Vertigo comic. A solid SF story set in a world after a plague has killed all the men but one, and instead of going for the normal clichés, the creative team is telling a "quest" story, which was solely lacking in comics. I buy it as trade paperbacks, and it reads better that way. Highly recommended.

86 TRANSFORMERS ENERGON #21 $2.95 DRE 26,237
87 WEAPON X #19 $2.99 MAR 25,795
88 FABLES #23 (MR) $2.50 DC 25,211

Vertigo's other hit, which always strikes me as odd that a book barely in the top 100 can be considered a hit. A well done book using fairy tale characters in a modern fantasy setting, mildly recommended, but I would also recommend that people pick it up as trade paperbacks instead of trying to catch up by buying back issues.

89 POWERS #37 (MR) $2.95 IMA 25,028

The last issue through Image, and while the comic stumbled in its final story arc, it is still a very good crime comic with super-hero elements. The final story arc didn't work because it tried to be a lot more than that, but it is going to be the first comic from Marvel's "Icon" line. Highly recommended.

90 WEAPON X #20 $2.99 MAR 24,970
91 LEGION #31 $2.50 DC 24,870

About to be canceled and restarted, and I hate to say it, but the book needs it. It has been floundering about for the past 5 years or so, and with Mark Waid coming on as writer, it has the best chance of being a good comic that it has had since the last time Mark Waid worked on the comic...funny, that.

92 BATMAN LEGENDS O/T DARK KNIGHT #177 $2.50 DC 24,494

A "What If?" type story, this time using the Star Wars mythos. With all of the Star Wars mini-series, I don't understand why anyone would buy the Star Wars comics as comics, when Dark Horse ALWAYS puts them in trade paperbacks because they sell so well in bookstores.

94 CATWOMAN #29 $2.50 DC 23,811

Paul Gulacy's art is always good, and he seems to be moving away from photo references and making his art more fluid, but I miss the cleaner style of Cameron Stewart and Darwyn Cooke. The stories are still solidly entertaining crime drama, and highly recommended for crime comics fans.

95 X-STATIX #20 $2.99 MAR 23,677

Love this comic, and actually pretty darn sad that it is ending after the big "Avengers" crossover, but I'm more amazed that it was even tried at all. A wonderful satire of media hype, celebrity and Marvel's own way of looking at Super-heroes as a mutant title. Highly recommended.

96 SUPERMAN SECRET IDENTITY #3 (Of 4) $5.95 DC 23,352
97 AQUAMAN #16 $2.50 DC 22,810
99 CAPTAIN MARVEL #21 $2.99 MAR 22,235

Four issues to go. The reason this book failed is not anything other than the fact that stories and subplots just tend to be endless in the damn thing. The "Captain Marvel Is Crazy" story went for two years and then didn't have much of an ending, which is very indicative in the problems I have had with this comic.

100 DARKNESS VOL 2 #7 $2.99 IMA 21,993
101 AUTHORITY VOL 2 #10 (MR) $2.95 DC 21,943

How much do you want to bet that this comic will be no longer in the top 200 by the end of the year unless they do a radical creative team shift? A bad comic that shows that the approach used on the first series is not as easy as it looks.

102 SOJOURN #33 $2.95 CRO 21,743
103 SPIDER-MAN/DOC OCTOPUS OUT O/REACH #5 (Of 5) $2.99 MAR 21,235
104 PUNISHER MOVIE #1 (Of 3) $2.99 MAR 20,993

And did almost as well as the movie itself.

105 SPIDER-GIRL #71 $2.99 MAR 20,709

I mildly recommend this comic every month, and this month is no different. A comic that reads like one of Marvel's better efforts in the 80's, high on the soap opera and super villain action, but just as light as cotton candy. An acquired taste to be sure, and not for everyone, but a fun comic that is pretty indicative of Marvel's older house style.

106 CONAN #1* $2.99 DAR 20,326

Re-orders. Dark Horse sold more in just re-orders of their Conan comic than Marvel sold of their last Conan mini-series.

107 ELEKTRA #34 $2.99 MAR 20,293
108 COUP DETAT AFTERWORD (MR) $2.95 DC 20,126

Looks like the crossover didn't work out well, with two of the books involved being canceled soon after. That is pretty much the opposite of success.

109 DARKNESS VOL 2 #8 $2.99 IMA 20,067
110 STAR WARS REPUBLIC #62 $2.99 DAR 19,834
111 STAR WARS EMPIRE #17 $2.99 DAR 19,817
112 PUNISHER MOVIE #2 (Of 3) $2.99 MAR 19,525
113 RUNAWAYS #13 $2.99 MAR 19,459

Canceled with #18, and a damn shame. A book about teenagers getting super-powers after find out their parents are super-villains that relied on humor, character interaction and solid storytelling instead of the typical formula, which is prolly why it failed. Still, pick up the trade of the first six issues (it's only $8) and you'll be hooked. Highly recommended.

114 BPRD PLAGUE O/FROGS #1 $2.99 DAR 19,409
115 ACTION COMICS #812* $2.25 DC 18,992

Yep, these are re-orders as well. Looks like DC has finally figured out how to get people to buy Superman. And, if they keep the stories interesting, it will also be how to keep them reading Superman.

116 PUNISHER MOVIE #3 (Of 3) $2.99 MAR 18,950
118 ADVS O/SUPERMAN #625* $2.25 DC 18,859
119 HAWKEYE #5 $2.99 MAR 18,817

Canceled already. I don't know if the story was any good because the art was so horrid, I just couldn't make it through the issues. It was REALLY bad stuff.

120 SMAX #5 (Of 5) $2.95 DC 18,700
121 TOMB RAIDER #38 $2.99 IMA 18,492
122 ARROWSMITH #6 (Of 6) $2.95 DC 18,417

Kurt Busiek's mini-series that seems to have tanked. Too bad, since I really like his work, but he seems to be on a cold streak.

123 TOMB RAIDER #39 $2.99 IMA 17,825

Does anyone read this comic anymore? The movie wasn't good, the last two games have REALLY sucked, and the comic seems to have died. The bad thing is that the concept would be SO easy to do good stories and games with that it's shocking that no one seems to be able to do anything decent with the idea.

124 HAWKEYE #6 $2.99 MAR 17,750
125 GOTHAM CENTRAL #17 $2.50 DC 17,233

Another damn shame as this police procedural comic set in Gotham City just can't seem to find readers. Highly recommended.

126 PLASTIC MAN #4 $2.95 DC 17,191

I knew this comic would drop in sales damn fast, but it's one of my favorite books. Kyle Baker's loose, cartoony style is perfect for the character, and he uses the character's concept in a way that hasn't been done in years. A funny, highly recommended comic that probably won't be around much longer.

127 EL CAZADOR BLACKJACK TOM #1 $2.95 CRO 17,174

A one shot for a comic that is now canceled. I think all of CrossGen might be done by the time I get done with April's reviews. This one wasn't bad, but it was as bland as most of the CrossGen stuff.

128 BATMAN CITY OF LIGHT #6 (Of 8) $2.95 DC 16,916

I give props to DC for giving the Pander Brothers a Batman mini-series, and it has been really good, but their angular art has always been off-putting for people. I like it, but I like more abstract art in my comics than most people. Mildly recommended.

129 PROMETHEA #29 $2.95 DC 16,858

Alan Moore is using this comic to wrap up his ABC Universe, and is doing it in thought provoking and very interesting fashion. This comic is hard to get in to, and deals with a LOT of issues that don't seem to have a place in super-hero comics, but to my mind, Alan Moore makes it all work and this comic is highly recommended.

130 100 BULLETS #49 (MR) $2.50 DC 16,616

Buying it as collected trades, and as it read it in that format, I have no idea how anyone can read it as single issues.

132 INHUMANS #11 $2.99 MAR 16,366

Another Marvel book that just never caught on. The Inhumans have never been interesting enough on their own to sustain a series.


Ann Nocenti comes back to comics, and shows she still writes very well but also has trouble with clarity in writing. A tighter editorial hand could have helped with this one, but it's still mildly recommended.

134 NAMOR #12 $2.99 MAR 16,282

Last issue. A lot of these from Marvel lately. Even if this book had sold well, I think it would have been a lost cause, though, since it was co-written by the former (fired) Company President. Old rule in corporations, if you predecessor was working on something and it is still in place when you take over, you stop it as quick as you can, because there is no way it can be good for the current leadership, success or not.

135 SUPERMAN #202 $2.25 DC 16,191

More re-orders for a comic that Wizard says is worth $10. If you can still get them from DC, are they really a collectable?

136 HULK NIGHTMERICA #6 (Of 6) (RES) $2.99 MAR 15,649
137 TEEN TITANS GO #5 $2.25 DC 15,274
138 NEGATION WAR #1 $2.95 CRO 15,090

That's not good. This is supposed to be the Big Ending Crossover for the CrossGen universe, and they can't even get sales in the top 100? I think they were right to cut their losses and go.

139 BRIAN PULIDO LADY DEATH #12 $2.95 CRO 15,032

And how long until this book shows up at Avatar, and her breasts are back to their old size? By the end of the year?

140 HELLBLAZER #194 (MR) $2.75 DC 14,957
141 ALTERNATION #1* $2.95 IMA 14,798
142 SMALLVILLE #7 $3.95 DC 14,673

Hopefully, the pitifully low sales of this mini-series will make people quit doing mini-series based on minor characters from the Sandman series. It's done, more on and create new stuff, OK?

144 HERO #14 $2.50 DC 14,281

A great, great comic that will probably never sell all that well, because it doesn't have continuing characters. This series takes the old "Dial H For Hero" concept and updates it without ruining the concept...the Hero Dial still exists, and this series tells the stories of people who happen upon it. A very well-done series that should be getting more attention and is Highly Recommended.

145 ABADAZAD #2 $2.95 CRO 14,065
146 HUMAN TORCH #11 $2.99 MAR 13,856

The next to last issue, and another of the Marvel books that were introduced, dropped into a market so that they could have ready made, manga style work to put into trade paperbacks, but never found an audience. The first 6 issues were great, the ones after that, not so much.

147 ROSE & THORN #4 (Of 6) $2.95 DC 13,798
148 KINETIC #1 $2.50 DC 13,756

Another of the "DC Focus" books that will be lucky if they make it 12 issues.

149 TALES O/T VAMPIRES #4 $2.99 DAR 13,748
150 MONOLITH #2 $2.95 DC 13,706

For some reason, DC just can't seem to get people excited about their new series. This is another example of a mediocre super-hero book that was dropped into the market with a write-up in Previews, and...that's it. Look for it to go away soon.

151 WILDCATS VERSION 3.0 #19 (MR) $2.95 DC 13,539

Canceled. I gave up on this book back when they re-launched it and couldn't keep a consistent creative team, and it was a group of characters that weren't all that interesting in the first place. There have been some decent stories and great art, but in the end, it is another example of how the explosion of Image characters in the 90's never really had any staying power.

152 KISS KISS BANG BANG #3 $2.95 CRO 13,473
153 RED STAR VOL 2 #4 $2.99 ARC 13,023
154 LUCIFER #48 (MR) $2.50 DC 12,923
155 ROBOTECH INVASION #3 (Of 5) $2.95 DC 12,756
156 SIMPSONS COMICS #92 $2.99 BON 12,714

Blah blah, as good as the show, blah blah blah. I say it every month and I'll say it again, if you like the show, you'll love this comic. Every TV adaptation should be this good. Highly recommended.

158 HARD TIME #2 $2.50 DC 12,406

I REALLY like this comic. It's written by Steve Gerber (who created Howard the Duck, Nevada, and other great surreal classics) and is telling the story of a teenager put in jail after being tried as an adult...and his powers start to manifest. Highly recommended.

159 FREAKS O/T HEARTLAND #2 $2.99 DAR 12,389
160 BATMAN ADVS #12 $2.25 DC 12,189
161 JUSTICE LEAGUE ADVS #29 $2.25 DC 12,164
162 SCION #43 $2.95 CRO 11,814
163 MICRONAUTS #1* $2.95 DEV 11,789

Canceled unofficially with #3, and with sales on the first issue of the re-launch lower than the sales of the last issue of the previous series, it's easy to see why.

164 WAY O/T RAT #22 $2.95 CRO 11,455
165 VOLTRON VOL 2 #3 $2.95 DEV 11,439
166 CEREBUS #300 $2.25 AAR 11,205

The last issue. After over 20 years, Dave Sim's story that started as a Conan parody is done. Some of the work Sim has done is some of the best comics that have been done, including Church and State and Jaka's Story, but over the past decade or so, Sim has turned the book into his own personal screeds, prints page after page of text about literature and Woody Allen, and has shown some very odd views about women. Still, it is the most successful self-published comic ever, is a remarkable achievement, and has enough good work to overshadow the bad.

167 FALLEN ANGEL #9 (MR) $2.50 DC 11,163

Peter David's new DC series that is probably his best work in about a decade. A morally ambiguous setting, a mysterious main character and excellently plotted and written stories. It's been a while since I have said this about a Peter David comic, but this one is Highly Recommended.

168 LOSERS #10 (MR) $2.95 DC 11,038
170 TAROT WITCH O/T BLACK ROSE #25 (MR) $2.95 BRO 10,638
171 STORMWATCH TEAM ACHILLES #20 (MR) $2.95 DC 10,488

Soon to be canceled as well. It is starting to look like DC is going to have to do something about the lack of interest in Wildstorm's books.

172 PATH #23 $2.95 CRO 10,480
173 WANTED #2 (Of 6) (MR)* $2.99 IMA 10,355
174 LIGHT BRIGADE #2 (Of 4) (MR) $5.95 DC 9,954
175 MERIDIAN #44 $2.95 CRO 9,721
176 HUMAN TARGET #8 (MR) $2.95 DC 9,629
177 SAVAGE DRAGON #114 $2.95 IMA 9,588

A mixed bag for me. Great art by Steve Rude, who is one of the best artists to work in comics in the past 20 years, but a REALLY goofy story, with bad dialogue. It's rare for me to buy a comic just for the art, but this is one of them. Mildly recommended.

179 MARK MILLARS UNFUNNIES #2 (Of 4)* $3.50 AVA 9,338
180 ROUTE 666 #21 $2.95 CRO 9,263
181 ASPEN EXTENDED ED $5.99 ASP 9,246

A Simpsons tie-in that isn't quite and sharp and witty as you would expect. It's got some good jokes and is a good read, but I was hoping for more of the bite that the TV show and the main comic deliver when they parody something.

183 ALTERNATION #2* $2.95 IMA 9,104
184 COMMON GROUNDS #3 (Of 6) $2.99 IMA 9,071

A GREAT comic that gives a different look at super-heroes. Short stories set in and around a chain of donut shops frequented by super-heroes and super-villains, telling deftly plotted tales that come from the same sort of style as "Astro City." Highly recommended.

185 WALKING DEAD #5 (MR) $2.95 IMA 8,829

I picked up the graphic novel that reprinted the first 6 issues and was amazed at how good it was. Not so much a horror story about zombies, but a survival story in a world overrun by zombies. I think my zombie novel is better (and mine will have a sequel this winter and will be in print some time next year), but this one is good as well.

186 CAPER #6 (Of 12) (MR) $2.95 DC 8,654
187 SUPERMAN/BATMAN #6 $2.95 DC 8,562
189 CSI DEMON HOUSE #1 (Of 5) (MR) $3.99 IDW 8,387

The first of the CSI mini-series not by Max Allen Collins, and I'll buy it as a trade paperback when it is available. But then, I'm a huge CSI geek.

190 CASEFILES SAM & TWITCH #7 (MR) $2.50 IMA 8,279
192 MY FAITH I/FRANKIE #3 (Of 4) (MR) $2.95 DC 7,770

Any Marvel or DC comic down this far on the sales chart has GOT to be considered a failure. I see that DC is going to finish the mini-series so that they can print it in the "manga" format for bookstores, and I really think it has a chance to do well there. I hope it does, because DC and Marvel should be able to crack that market with their non-super-hero work.

193 DUEL MASTERS #3 $2.95 DRE 7,670
194 STARGATE SG1 POW #2* $3.50 AVA 7,612
195 SONIC THE HEDGEHOG #134 $2.19 ARC 7,362
196 SHONEN JUMP VOL 2 #4 APR 2004 (C: 3) $4.99 VIZ 7,345

Again, half a million to the mainstream, less than 8,000 to comic shops. The shining example of how out of touch comic shops are with what people want in the mainstream.

197 HEDGE KNIGHT MILLER CVR #4 (Of 6) (RES) $2.95 DEV 7,245
198 USAGI YOJIMBO #74 $2.99 DAR 7,178
199 PHANTOM JACK #1 $2.95 IMA 7,020

Marvel was going to publish this as part of their Epic line, but when that line died, the creators took it to Image. Where it seems to have failed. Pretty miserably by the looks of it. I read through the first issue, and there wasn't anything there to recommend. It wasn't BAD, but it really wasn't any good, either.

200 WILDGUARD CASTING CALL #6 (Of 6)* $2.95 IMA 6,886
201 HEDGE KNIGHT MILLER CVR #5 (Of 6) $2.95 DEV 6,845
202 UNDERWORLD RED I/TOOTH & CLAW #1 (MR) $3.99 IDW 6,786
203 SUPERMAN BATMAN #5 $2.95 DC 6,653
204 UNCLE SCROOGE #328 $6.95 GEM 6,411

$7 for 48 pages. Let that sink in. Now you see why it doesn't sell real well, and it will probably never sell to a mainstream audience. If they want the Disney stuff to sell, they need to explore the manga format, which is already selling to teenagers and see if it would work for children that this is aimed at as well.

205 POWERPUFF GIRLS #48 $2.25 DC 6,244
206 KNIGHTS O/T DINNER TABLE #89 $3.99 KZR 6,178

Again, highly recommended. A 100 page magazine with about 50 pages of comics, and telling the story of a group of gamers, but is fun to read, even if you don't game anymore. A witty, funny comic that is highly recommended.

207 TRAKK MONSTER HUNTER #2* $2.95 IMA 6,111
208 WAKE DEAD #5 (Of 5) (MR) $3.99 IDW 6,103
209 INVINCIBLE #9 $2.95 IMA 6,086
210 DONALD DUCK & FRIENDS #314 $2.95 GEM 5,994
211 SUPERMAN/BATMAN #4 $2.95 DC 5,819
212 MICKEY MOUSE & FRIENDS #263 $2.95 GEM 5,653
213 REIGN O/T ZODIAC #8 $2.75 DC 5,653

Last issue. And probably one of the bigger sales failure from DC. Less than 6,000 copies, and that means most comic shops didn't even order it. It wasn't THAT bad, but the story just wasn't interesting enough to keep me reading. Lots of last issues coming out this month, I noticed.

214 OH MY GODDESS #106 $3.50 DAR 5,644
216 ALAN MOORES NIGHTJAR #1 (Of 4)* $3.50 AVA 5,469

A graphic adaptation of an Alan Moore short story, soon to be continued by a different creative team. I have a lot of trouble to Avatar books, since they get great writers, but the art is SO unpleasant, I can't make it through their work. Another black and white comic drawn by someone who doesn't know anything about shading, perspective and seems to be depending on coloring to make the art more legible.

217 SCOOBY DOO #82 $2.25 DC 5,377
218 WALT DISNEYS COMICS & STORIES #643 $6.95 GEM 5,336
219 LEGACY #4* $2.95 IMA 5,311
220 PHANTOM #2 $3.50 MNS 5,219
221 FUSED #4 $2.99 DAR 5,044
222 LORE #2 (MR) $3.99 IDW 4,827
223 LONE #5 $2.99 DAR 4,694

Another of Dark Horse's attempts at something new that no one cared about. I hope Dark Horse can get their act together soon, since they used to be a company you could count on quality from, and now they seem to be just tossing whatever crap they can think of at the wall.

224 FLASH #207 $2.25 DC 4,644
226 SWORD O/DRACULA #3 $2.95 IMA 4,419
227 POISON ELVES #76 (MR) $2.95 SIR 4,269
228 POISON ELVES #77 (MR) $2.95 SIR 4,219
229 SHIELD SPOTLIGHT #3 (MR) $3.99 IDW 4,177

Based on the cable cop show that I can't see working very well as a comic book. But then IDW seems to be trying a LOT of media properties to see what works. This one doesn't.

230 BLOODSTREAM #2 (Of 4) (MR) $2.95 IMA 4,135
231 HELL #4 $2.99 DAR 4,127
232 KAMIKAZE #6 (Of 6) $2.95 DC 3,993
233 SUPER MANGA BLAST #41 (MR) $5.99 DAR 3,960

It's just depressing to me to see this manga anthology doing so poorly. I LOVE this book, it has 4 - 5 great Japanese comics as serials in the book, including my favorite manga series ever "What's Michael". This is really the cream of the crop of manga and is highly recommended.

234 ULTRAMAN TIGA #6 (Of 10) $3.99 DAR 3,952
235 BATMAN GOTHAM KNIGHTS #50 $2.75 DC 3,927
236 PATIENT ZERO #1 (Of 4) $2.95 IMA 3,868
237 SOMETHING WICKED #3 (Of 4) (MR) $2.95 IMA 3,843
238 STREET FIGHTER FOIL CVR C #6 (Net) $5.00 IMA 3,752
239 SUPER MANGA BLAST #40 (MR) $5.99 DAR 3,743
240 GOLD DIGGER #51 $2.99 ANT 3,710
241 ABADAZAD #1* $2.95 CRO 3,710

CrossGen has to be happy that this series is getting decent re-order activity. Too bad their financial problems are so big that it is hard to tell if the series will be finished, so I am waiting...I hate buying comics that don't come to a conclusion, and will almost avoid comics that have a chance of not being finished.

242 BEAR #4 $2.95 SLG 3,560
244 SCOOTER GIRL #6 (Of 6) (MR) $2.99 ONI 3,318
245 DEMO #5 (Of 12) (MR) $2.95 AIT 3,301

Already republished in a trade with the second issue. This is the character from the prize winning novel "The Amazing Adventures Of Kavalier and Clay", and some great little short stories set in different "periods" of comics, using a lot of very talented people. The graphic novel is highly recommended.

247 SUPERMAN/BATMAN #3 $2.95 DC 3,218
248 LOONEY TUNES #112 $2.25 DC 3,218
249 WYNONNA EARP HOME O/T STRANGE #3 (Of 3) (MR) $3.99 IDW 3,201
250 GI JOE POSTER BOOK $4.95 DEV 3,118
251 SYN #5 $2.99 DAR 3,010
252 CRUSH #4 $2.99 DAR 2,985
253 NIGHTMARES & FAIRY TALES #8 $2.95 SLG 2,968

By the writer of Gloomcookie, and a odd little comic that returns the old fairy tales back to their dark, horror inspired roots. Highly recommended and able to be picked up with any single issue without knowing anything about previous issues, so check it out!

254 GO BOY 7 HUMAN ACTION MACHINE #5 $2.99 DAR 2,960

I don't think that Dark Horse's "Rocket" line is succeeding. Most of the comics down here are black and white or re-orders, so I don't see a way that Dark Horse can make a profit and a fully colored original comic selling less than 3000 copies.

255 WANTED #1 (Of 6) (MR)* $2.99 IMA 2,960
256 GLOOMCOOKIE #19 (MR) $2.95 SLG 2,935

Love This Comic! The current story is very shocking, and for the first time in quite a while, I have no idea where it is going. A gothic soap opera with influences from horror novels, fairy tales and other odd fiction thrown together in a wonderfully rich world. Highly recommended!

257 ARCHIE #546 $2.19 ARC 2,826
258 MANIC ONE-SHOT $3.50 IMA 2,785

Only 2700! You have to buy it! And drink more Jolt cola! And run around the house again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again until you fall down and can't get any more.

260 ARTESIA AFIRE #6 (Of 6) (MR) $3.95 ARC 2,743

Another of Alan Moore's tossed off ideas that Avatar is going to have other people put together. Other, vastly inferior people.

262 HEDGE KNIGHT YEATES CVR #4 (Of 6) $5.95 DEV 2,685
264 DC NEW FRONTIER #2 (Of 6) $6.95 DC 2,635

I didn't pick this book up until the third issue when I was told that it was a lot better than I was making it out to be. And it is. Darwyn Cooke's art is magnificent and has a fluid animation feel to it that makes the comic a joy to read. However, I still feel that DC is spending way too much time reliving their Silver Age with projects like this instead of doing stories that don't feel like a wallow in nostalgia.

265 NODWICK #24 $2.99 DOR 2,618
266 TALES O/T REALM #4 (Of 5) $3.95 MVC 2,593
267 VERONICA #150 $2.19 ARC 2,543
268 NEW X-MEN #153 $2.25 MAR 2,543

More re-orders. I didn't think Marvel did reorders. HAS THE WORLD GONE MAD?!?!?!

270 DOGWITCH #10 (MR) $2.95 SIR 2,509
271 HULK UNCHAINED #3 (Of 3) $2.99 MAR 2,493
272 SABRINA VOL 2 #56 $2.19 ARC 2,484
273 ARCHIE DOUBLE DIGEST #150 $3.59 ARC 2,451
274 MISPLACED #3 VOL 2 (RES) $2.95 DEV 2,434

Why was it resolicitied? Because it was Misplaced! Bwa-ha-ha!

Oh please, like you could make better jokes. Besides, how much did you pay for this? Nothing, that's right.

275 KODT ILLUSTRATED #32 $2.99 KZR 2,426
277 HEDGE KNIGHT NASMITH CVR #5 (Of 6) $5.95 DEV 2,418
278 BETTY & VERONICA #199 $2.19 ARC 2,418
279 JOE LANSDALES DRIVE IN #4 (Of 4) (MR) $3.50 AVA 2,384

Not as bad a price as most Avatar comics, but it still has the Avatar art style, which always looks to me like the artists drew for the detail to come out in the coloring, but there isn't any coloring, making the art VERY hard to follow.

280 POPBOT #5 (MR) $9.99 IDW 2,384
281 LOVE FIGHTS #8 (MR) $2.99 ONI 2,376
282 HEAVENS DEVILS #3 (Of 4) $3.50 IMA 2,351

To be followed up by Hell's Angels (which will get the sued), Democrat Republicans, Serious Clowns and Intelligent AM Radio Talk Show Hosts.

283 CARTOON CARTOONS #28 $2.25 DC 2,334
285 SUPERMAN SECRET IDENTITY #2 (Of 4) $5.95 DC 2,309

I read someone else doing a study of comics sales number who pointed at this saying it showed that people weren't interested in the comic. He went on for about a paragraph on the idea that the series was overpriced, or too mundane or whatever. I would just like to point out that these are re-orders of a comic that came out two months ago, and when you take that into account, these are great sales.

286 BETTY #136 $2.19 ARC 2,234
287 RUULE GANGLORDS O/CHINATOWN #5 (Of 5) (MR) (Note Price) $2.99 BEC 2,234
288 CHOSEN #1 NEW PRTG (Of 3) (MR) $2.99 DAR 2,218
289 BETTY & VERONICA DIGEST #146 $2.39 ARC 2,143

Should I be concerned that the Archie books sell about as well as the porn comics that Fantagrphics puts out? Do they sell to the same people?

290 ARCHIE & FRIENDS #81 $2.19 ARC 2,084
292 ALICE I/SEXLAND EXTREME #6 (A) $3.95 ERO 2,051

Every time this comic shows up, I make a joke about the overuse of "extreme". I'm sick of it, and so are you. Besides, the fact that this comic still sells is probably more pathetic than any joke I can tell about it.

293 TEENS A/PLAY #1 (A) $4.95 ERO 2,034
294 PALS N GALS DOUBLE DIGEST #83 $3.59 ARC 2,018
295 GUN FU LOST CITY #2 $3.50 AXI 2,009
296 ARCHIE DIGEST #206 $2.39 ARC 2,001
297 PARA #1 $2.95 PEN 1,959
298 OPTIC NERVE #9 (MR) $3.95 DRA 1,926

Adiran Tomine's excellent series of short stories, comes out irregularly, but every issue is worth the wait. Highly recommended.

299 JUGHEADS DOUBLE DIGEST #102 $3.59 ARC 1,918
300 NINJA HIGH SCHOOL #114 $3.50 ANT 1,901

A couple of months ago, the 300th best selling comic was selling at around 800 copies, and now it's just a little under 2000. That shows that overall sales are up, which is good. Let's see if this is an upward trend or if it is just a sign of a very strong month for comics.

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