Search for titles on Comichron!

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.

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.

Comic-book TitleIssueShippedPricePublisherEst. sales
1Star Wars†12015-01$4.99Marvel1,073,000
2Amazing Spider-Man12014-04$5.99Marvel559,200
3Secret Wars12015-05$4.99Marvel550,500
4Amazing Spider-Man5832009-01$3.99Marvel530,500
5Bravest Warriors Tales Holo John†12015-05$4.99Boom503,000
6Orphan Black†12015-02$3.99IDW502,000
7Dark Knight III Master Race12015-11$5.99DC449,100
8Star Wars Vader Down12015-11$4.99Marvel410,600
9Walking Dead (including Chromium ed.)1002012-07$3.99Image384,800
10Civil War22006-06$2.99Marvel341,900
11Civil War32006-07$2.99Marvel337,000
12Walking Dead1152013-10$2.99Image329,300
13Civil War12006-05$3.99Marvel328,500
14Walking Dead†1322014-10$2.99Image326,300
15Justice League of America12013-02$3.99DC326,000
16Captain America252007-03$3.99Marvel317,700
17Darth Vader12015-02$4.99Marvel315,600
18Rocket Raccoon†12014-07$3.99Marvel311,000
19Uncanny Avengers12012-10$3.99Marvel305,900
20Civil War42006-09$2.99Marvel291,000
21Spider-Gwen12015-02$3.99Marvel288,600
22Civil War52006-11$2.99Marvel283,900
23Invincible Iron Man12015-10$3.99Marvel282,400
24All Star Batman & Robin The Boy Wonder12005-07$2.99DC276,000
25Civil War72007-02$2.99Marvel274,500
26Death of Wolverine12014-09$4.99Marvel274,000
27Princess Leia12015-03$3.99Marvel271,000
28Infinite Crisis12005-10$3.99DC270,000
29Avengers Vs X-Men12012-03$3.99Marvel265,100
30Civil War62007-01$2.99Marvel263,800
31Secret Invasion12008-04$3.99Marvel263,000
32Deadpool12015-11$4.99Marvel261,800
33Superman Unchained12013-06$4.99DC259,100
34Justice League (including Combo Pack)12011-08$3.99DC255,400
35Justice League of America12006-08$3.99DC250,800
36House of M 12005-06$2.99Marvel248,200
37Amazing Spider-Man12015-10$5.99Marvel247,600
38Superman2042004-04$2.5DC244,100
39Identity Crisis12004-06$3.95DC242,900
40New Avengers12004-12$2.25Marvel241,500
41Batman6192003-09$2.25DC235,100
42Secret Wars22015-05$4.99Marvel234,000
43Secret Wars32015-06$3.99Marvel230,000
44Secret Wars42015-07$3.99Marvel227,300
45Infinite Crisis22005-11$3.99DC225,600
46Justice12005-08$2.99DC223,900
47Guardians of Galaxy12013-03$3.99Marvel221,200
48Star Wars22015-02$3.99Marvel219,700
49Infinite Crisis32005-12$3.99DC218,800
50Astonishing X-Men12004-05$2.99Marvel218,300
51Batman12011-09$2.99DC218,000
52Superior Spider-Man12013-01$3.99Marvel216,700
53Star Wars42015-04$3.99Marvel216,300
54Star Wars: Shattered Empire12015-09$3.99Marvel215,200
55Dark Tower Gunslinger Born12007-02$3.99Marvel213,700
56Superman2052004-05$2.5DC213,400
57Infinite Crisis42006-01$3.99DC211,000
58Infinity12013-08$4.99Marvel210,800
59Infinite Crisis62006-04$3.99DC208,000
60Secret Wars52015-08$3.99Marvel207,200
61Amazing Spider-Man Renew Your Vows12015-06$3.99Marvel206,500
62Blackest Night12009-07$3.99DC205,500
63Infinite Crisis52006-03$3.99DC205,100
64World War Hulk12007-06$3.99Marvel204,700
65Action Comics12011-09$3.99DC204,000
66Justice League (including Combo Pack)22011-10$3.99DC201,900
67Amazing Spider-Man7002012-12$7.99Marvel201,000
68Star Wars Lando12015-07$3.99Marvel200,400
69Avengers Vs X-Men22012-04$3.99Marvel200,300
70Captain America Reborn12009-07$3.99Marvel199,900
71Secret Invasion22008-05$3.99Marvel198,800
72Spider-Gwen12015-10$3.99Marvel198,800
73Infinite Crisis72006-05$3.99DC198,400
74Superman/Batman102004-05$2.95DC197,600
75Avengers Vs X-Men62012-06$3.99Marvel197,000
76Thor12007-07$2.99Marvel196,800
77Secret Wars62015-10$3.99Marvel193,200
78Avengers Vs X-Men52012-06$3.99Marvel192,200
79JLA/Avengers12003-09$5.95Marvel191,900
80Batman and Robin12009-06$2.99DC190,300
81Avengers Vs X-Men32012-05$3.99Marvel190,000
82Fallen Son: Death of Captain America: Iron Man02007-07$2.99Marvel189,400
83Dark Knight Strikes Again12001-12$7.95DC188,700
84Ultimate Fantastic Four12003-12$2.25Marvel188,500
85Avengers Vs X-Men42012-05$3.99Marvel187,500
86Avengers12012-12$3.99Marvel187,000
87Dark Knight Strikes Again32002-02$7.95DC186,600
88Secret Invasion32008-06$3.99Marvel186,500
89X-Men12013-05$3.99Marvel186,300
90Identity Crisis22004-07$3.95DC185,300
91All Star Batman & Robin The Boy Wonder22005-09$2.99DC185,000
92All New X-Men12012-11$3.99Marvel184,700
93Star Wars32015-03$3.99Marvel184,500
94Age of Ultron12013-03$3.99Marvel184,000
95Uncanny X-Men12013-02$3.99Marvel182,700
96Avengers Vs X-Men72012-07$3.99Marvel182,500
97Green Lantern12005-05$3.5DC180,500
98Batman22011-10$2.99DC179,600
99Wolverine: The Origin62002-01$3.5Marvel179,300
100Avengers Vs X-Men82012-07$3.99Marvel178,700
101Green Lantern Rebirth12004-10$2.95DC178,300
102Wolverine: The Origin52001-12$3.5Marvel178,200
103Secret Wars72015-11$3.99Marvel177,300
104All Star Superman12005-11$2.99DC176,700
105Civil War12015-07$4.99Marvel176,300
106Secret Invasion42008-07$3.99Marvel175,400
107House of M 22005-06$2.99Marvel175,300
108Avengers12010-05$3.99Marvel175,100
109Avengers Vs X-Men92012-08$3.99Marvel174,800
110Superman/Batman122004-09$2.95DC 173,600
111Ultimate Comics Spider-Man1602011-06$3.99Marvel172,700
112New Avengers312007-06$2.99Marvel172,600
113Green Lantern12011-09$2.99DC172,300
114Avengers Vs X-Men102012-08$3.99Marvel172,100
115Fallen Son: Death of Captain America: Captain America02007-05$2.99Marvel171,800
116Avengers Vs X-Men122012-10$4.99Marvel171,800
117Death of Wolverine42014-10$4.99Marvel170,800
118Justice League (including Combo Pack)32011-11$3.99DC170,800
119Batman132012-10$3.99DC 170,500
120Batman6122003-02$2.25DC169,700
121Avengers Vs X-Men02012-03$3.99Marvel169,700
122Secret Wars82015-12$3.99Marvel169,700
123Secret Invasion62008-09$3.99Marvel169,400
124Justice League of America02006-07$2.99DC169,200
125Avengers Vs X-Men112012-09$3.99Marvel169,100
126Superman Unchained22013-07$3.99DC168,800
127Wolverine: The Origin42001-11$3.5Marvel168,500
128New Avengers52005-04$2.25Marvel168,500
129Dark Tower Gunslinger Born22007-03$3.99Marvel168,200
130Dark Knight Strikes Again22002-01$7.95DC168,100
131Avengers/JLA22003-10$5.95DC167,300
132All Star Batman & Robin The Boy Wonder32005-12$2.99DC166,200
133Thor12014-10$3.99Marvel166,200
134Secret Invasion52008-08$3.99Marvel165,900
135Supergirl12005-08$2.99DC165,600
136World War Hulk22007-07$3.99Marvel165,300
137Batman6142003-04$2.25DC165,200
138Star Wars72015-07$3.99Marvel165,200
139Identity Crisis32004-08$3.95DC164,800
140Justice League122012-08$3.99DC 164,800
141Fallen Son: Death of Captain America Wolverine02007-04$2.99Marvel164,600
142Wolverine Origins12006-04$2.99Marvel164,200
143Justice League of America52006-12$2.99DC162,900
144Superman2062004-06$2.5DC162,100
145New Avengers 62005-06$2.25Marvel161,500
146Blackest Night22009-08$3.99DC161,400
147Star Wars62015-06$3.99Marvel161,200
148Batman142012-11$3.99DC 161,000
149Uncanny X-Men5002008-07$3.99Marvel160,800
150Superman/Batman12003-08$2.95DC160,700
151Identity Crisis42004-09$3.95DC 160,400
152All Star Batman & Robin The Boy Wonder42006-05$2.99DC160,300
153Batman02012-09$3.99DC 160,300
154Ultimates12002-01$2.25Marvel160,200
155Wolverine12003-05$2.25Marvel160,000
156Amazing Spider-Man5442007-09$3.99Marvel159,100
157New Avengers72005-07$2.25Marvel158,700
158Batman Superman12013-06$3.99DC158,600
159Batman6172003-07$2.25DC158,500
160Justice League of America22006-09$2.99DC158,500
161Dark Knight III Master Race22015-12$5.99DC158,200
162Superman/Batman132004-11$2.95DC157,900
163House of M 42005-07$2.99Marvel157,900
164Superman/Batman92004-04$2.95DC157,500
165Batman6152003-05$2.25DC157,400
166Mighty Avengers12007-03$3.99Marvel156,400
167Action Comics22011-10$3.99DC156,400
168Identity Crisis72004-12$3.95DC156,300
169Astonishing X-Men102005-05$2.99Marvel156,300
170Batman172013-02$3.99DC156,300
171Identity Crisis52004-10$3.95DC156,100
172New Avengers82005-08$2.5Marvel156,000
173Amazing Spider-Man5392007-03$2.99Marvel156,000
174Guardians Team-Up12015-03$3.99Marvel155,500
175New Avengers 22005-01$2.25Marvel155,400
176New Avengers232006-08$2.99Marvel155,300
177Star Wars52015-05$3.99Marvel155,000
178New Avengers42005-03$2.25Marvel154,900
179New Avengers212006-06$2.99Marvel154,900
180Justice League of America72007-04$3.5DC154,800
181Original Sin12014-05$4.99Marvel154,800
182Batman402015-04$4.99DC154,800
183Secret War Book One02004-02$3.99Marvel154,700
184Secret Invasion72008-10$3.99Marvel154,700
185Ultimates 312007-12$2.99Marvel154,600
186Batman6182003-08$2.25DC154,500
187Detective Comics12011-09$2.99DC154,400
188JLA/Avengers32003-11$5.95Marvel154,300
189Identity Crisis62004-11$3.95DC153,800
190Amazing Spider-Man500 (#59)2003-10$3.5Marvel153,300
191Batman32011-11$2.99DC153,300
192Batman6162003-06$2.25DC153,000
193Astonishing X-Men42004-08$2.99Marvel152,800
194House of M 32005-07$2.99Marvel152,800
195Marvel 160212003-08$3.5Marvel152,500
196Secret Invasion82008-12$3.99Marvel152,400
197Buffy The Vampire Slayer Season Eight12007-03$2.99Dark Horse152,200
198Final Crisis12008-05$3.99DC151,700
199Batman152012-12$3.99DC 151,600
200World War Hulk32007-08$3.99Marvel151,500
201Ultimate Iron Man12005-03$2.99Marvel150,700
202Batman162013-01$3.99DC150,500
203Batman212013-06$3.99DC150,300
204Superman/Batman112004-07$2.95DC149,900
205Doctor Strange12015-10$4.99Marvel149,800
206Justice League (including Combo Pack)42011-12$3.99DC149,300
207Flash12011-09$2.99DC149,100
208New Avengers32005-02$2.25Marvel149,000
209Dark Tower Gunslinger Born32007-04$3.99Marvel149,000
210Death of Wolverine22014-09$4.99Marvel148,900
211Batman52012-01$2.99DC 148,800
212Blackest Night*52009-11$3.99DC148,700
213Avengers/JLA42004-03$5.95DC148,600
214World War Hulk42007-09$3.99Marvel148,600
215Justice League of America12015-06$5.99DC148,600
216Justice League52012-01$3.99DC 148,500
217Astonishing X-Men132006-02$2.99Marvel148,200
218New Avengers92005-08$2.5Marvel147,500
219DCU Brave New World12006-06$1DC147,400
220Star Wars82015-08$3.99Marvel147,400
221Death of Wolverine32014-10$4.99Marvel147,200
222Superman/Batman82004-03$2.95DC146,900
223Forever Evil12013-09$3.99DC146,600
224Fallen Son: Death of Captain America: Avengers02007-04$2.99Marvel146,500
225Ultimates 212004-12$2.99Marvel146,300
226Batman6132003-03$2.25DC146,200
227Blackest Night32009-09$3.99DC146,200
228Fantastic Four5872011-01$3.99Marvel146,100
229Fear Itself12011-04$3.99Marvel146,000
230World War Hulk52007-11$3.99Marvel145,800
231Transformers Armada12002-07$2.95Dreamwave145,600
232Amazing Spider-Man5382007-02$2.99Marvel145,400
233Batman412015-06$3.99DC145,300
234Civil War Front Line12006-06$2.99Marvel145,200
235Justice League62012-02$3.99DC 145,200
236X-Men1002000-03$2.99Marvel144,900
237New X-Men1142001-05$2.25Marvel144,800
238X-Men12010-07$3.99Marvel144,700
239New Avengers102005-09$2.5Marvel144,400
240Superman12011-09$2.99DC144,400
241Green Lantern22011-10$2.99DC144,200
242Batman82012-04$3.99DC 144,100
243Justice22005-10$3.5DC143,700
2445212006-05$2.5DC143,600
245Spawn1002000-07$4.95Image143,500
246Darth Vader22015-02$3.99Marvel143,400
247New Avengers222006-07$2.99Marvel143,300
248Justice League of America32006-11$2.99DC143,300
249Batman182013-03$3.99DC143,200
250Batman6112003-01$2.25DC142,500
251House of M 52005-08$2.99Marvel142,500
252X-Men2002007-06$3.99Marvel142,400
253Deadpools Secret Secret Wars12015-05$4.99Marvel142,400
254New X-Men1152001-06$2.25Marvel142,300
255Superior Spider-Man312014-04$5.99Marvel141,800
256Darth Vader42015-04$3.99Marvel141,500
257Blackest Night82010-03$3.99DC141,400
258Batman92012-05$3.99DC 141,400
259Civil War Initiative02007-03$4.99Marvel141,300
260Transformers Generation One32002-06$2.95Dreamwave141,100
261New Avengers Illuminati Sp02006-03$3.99Marvel140,900
262Avengers and X-Men Axis12014-10$4.99Marvel140,500
263Superman2072004-07$2.5DC140,200
264Blackest Night42009-10$3.99DC140,200
265Green Lantern Rebirth22004-11$2.95DC140,000
266Wonder Woman12006-06$2.99DC139,900
267Star Wars132015-12$3.99Marvel139,900
268Hulk12008-01$2.99Marvel139,800
269Dark Tower Gunslinger Born42007-05$3.99Marvel139,500
270Amazing Spider-Man6662011-07$3.99Marvel139,500
271Superman Unchained32013-08$3.99DC139,500
272Uncanny X-Men3952001-06$2.25Marvel139,400
273Captain America342008-01$2.99Marvel139,200
274Justice League of America42006-12$2.99DC139,100
275Justice League72012-03$3.99DC 139,000
276Batman62012-02$2.99DC 138,300
277Star Wars92015-09$3.99Marvel138,200
278House of M 62005-09$2.99Marvel138,100
279Amazing Spider-Man22014-05$3.99Marvel137,700
280Siege12010-01$3.99Marvel137,700
281Marvel Knights Spider-Man12004-04$2.99Marvel137,300
282Amazing Spider-Man5332006-06$2.99Marvel137,300
283Fallen Son Death of Captain America: Spider-Man02007-06$2.99Marvel137,200
284Justice League of America122007-08$3.5DC137,200
285New X-Men1172001-08$2.25Marvel136,900
286Batman102012-06$3.99DC 136,900
287Captain America6002009-06$4.99Marvel136,800
288New Avengers242006-10$2.99Marvel136,700
289Batman72012-03$2.99DC 136,700
290New Avengers252006-11$2.99Marvel136,500
291Dark Avengers12009-01$3.99Marvel136,500
292Ultimate Origins12008-06$2.99Marvel136,400
293Blackest Night72010-02$3.99DC136,400
294New X-Men1162001-07$2.25Marvel136,200
295Astonishing X-Men22004-06$2.99Marvel136,200
296Darth Vader32015-03$3.99Marvel136,200
297Uncanny X-Men3942001-05$2.25Marvel136,100
298Star Wars102015-10$3.99Marvel135,900
299Origin12001-09$3.5Marvel135,700
300Amazing Spider-Man92014-11$4.99Marvel135,700


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 earlier issues fit into the list?
Click to see the Top Selling Comics of the 21st Century.



Order my new novel trilogy!