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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.

For the years 2010-2015, the sales include all issues shipped by Diamond in the calendar year. 2016 is like the years of the decade of the 2000s, where the chart only includes data from the monthly Top 300 lists. Actual 2016 figures will be slightly higher in most cases than the figure that appears here.

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.
* Items with asterisks were returnable issues whose final orders may be higher or lower.

Comic-book TitleIssueShippedPricePublisherEst. sales
1Star Wars1†2015-01$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 John1†2015-05$4.99Boom503,000
6Orphan Black1†2015-02$3.99IDW502,000
7Dark Knight III Master Race12015-11$5.99DC449,100
8Big Trouble in Little China/Escape From New York1†2016-10$3.99Boom421,600
9Star Wars Vader Down12015-11$4.99Marvel410,600
10Civil War II12016-06$5.99Marvel391,500
11Walking Dead (including Chromium ed.)1002012-07$3.99Image384,800
12Harley Quinn1*2016-08$2.99DC366,100
13Civil War22006-06$2.99Marvel341,900
14Civil War32006-07$2.99Marvel337,000
15Champions12016-10$4.99Marvel334,900
16Walking Dead1152013-10$2.99Image329,300
17Civil War12006-05$3.99Marvel328,500
18 Walking Dead132†2014-10$2.99Image326,300
19Justice League of America12013-02$3.99DC326,000
20Captain America252007-03$3.99Marvel317,700
21Darth Vader12015-02$4.99Marvel315,600
22Rocket Raccoon1†2014-07$3.99Marvel311,000
23Uncanny Avengers12012-10$3.99Marvel305,900
24DC Universe Rebirth12016-05$2.99DC305,700
25Batman1*2016-06$2.99DC304,200
26Civil War42006-09$2.99Marvel291,000
27All Star Batman1*2016-08$4.99DC289,300
28Spider-Gwen12015-02$3.99Marvel288,600
29Black Panther12016-04$4.99Marvel286,800
30Civil War52006-11$2.99Marvel283,900
31Invincible Iron Man12015-10$3.99Marvel282,400
32All Star Batman & Robin The Boy Wonder12005-07$2.99DC276,000
33Civil War72007-02$2.99Marvel274,500
34Death of Wolverine12014-09$4.99Marvel274,000
35Princess Leia12015-03$3.99Marvel271,000
36Infinite Crisis12005-10$3.99DC270,000
37Avengers Vs X-Men12012-03$3.99Marvel265,100
38Civil War62007-01$2.99Marvel263,800
39Secret Invasion12008-04$3.99Marvel263,000
40Deadpool12015-11$4.99Marvel261,800
41Superman Unchained12013-06$4.99DC259,100
42Justice League (including Combo Pack)12011-08$3.99DC255,400
43Justice League of America12006-08$3.99DC250,800
44House of M 12005-06$2.99Marvel248,200
45Amazing Spider-Man12015-10$5.99Marvel247,600
46Superman2042004-04$2.5DC244,100
47Identity Crisis12004-06$3.95DC242,900
48New Avengers12004-12$2.25Marvel241,500
49Batman6192003-09$2.25DC235,100
50Secret Wars22015-05$4.99Marvel234,000
51Secret Wars32015-06$3.99Marvel230,000
52Secret Wars42015-07$3.99Marvel227,300
53Infinite Crisis22005-11$3.99DC225,600
54Justice12005-08$2.99DC223,900
55Guardians of Galaxy12013-03$3.99Marvel221,200
56Star Wars22015-02$3.99Marvel219,700
57Infinite Crisis32005-12$3.99DC218,800
58Astonishing X-Men12004-05$2.99Marvel218,300
59Batman12011-09$2.99DC218,000
60Suicide Squad1*2016-08$2.99DC217,700
61Superior Spider-Man12013-01$3.99Marvel216,700
62Star Wars42015-04$3.99Marvel216,300
63Star Wars: Shattered Empire12015-09$3.99Marvel215,200
64Dark Tower Gunslinger Born12007-02$3.99Marvel213,700
65Superman2052004-05$2.5DC213,400
66Infinite Crisis42006-01$3.99DC211,000
67Infinity12013-08$4.99Marvel210,800
68Batman Rebirth1*2016-06$2.99DC209,300
69Justice League1*2016-07$2.99DC209,200
70Infinite Crisis62006-04$3.99DC208,000
71Secret Wars52015-08$3.99Marvel207,200
72Amazing Spider-Man Renew Your Vows12015-06$3.99Marvel206,500
73Blackest Night12009-07$3.99DC205,500
74Infinite Crisis52006-03$3.99DC205,100
75World War Hulk12007-06$3.99Marvel204,700
76Action Comics12011-09$3.99DC204,000
77Justice League (including Combo Pack)22011-10$3.99DC201,900
78Amazing Spider-Man7002012-12$7.99Marvel201,000
79Star Wars Lando12015-07$3.99Marvel200,400
80Avengers Vs X-Men22012-04$3.99Marvel200,300
81Captain America Reborn12009-07$3.99Marvel199,900
82Secret Invasion22008-05$3.99Marvel198,800
83Spider-Gwen12015-10$3.99Marvel198,800
84Infinite Crisis72006-05$3.99DC198,400
85Superman/Batman102004-05$2.95DC197,600
86Avengers Vs X-Men62012-06$3.99Marvel197,000
87Thor12007-07$2.99Marvel196,800
88Secret Wars62015-10$3.99Marvel193,200
89Avengers Vs X-Men52012-06$3.99Marvel192,200
90JLA/Avengers12003-09$5.95Marvel191,900
91Batman and Robin12009-06$2.99DC190,300
92Avengers Vs X-Men32012-05$3.99Marvel190,000
93Civil War II02016-05$4.99Marvel190,000
94Fallen Son: Death of Captain America: Iron Man02007-07$2.99Marvel189,400
95Dark Knight Strikes Again12001-12$7.95DC188,700
96Ultimate Fantastic Four12003-12$2.25Marvel188,500
97Avengers Vs X-Men42012-05$3.99Marvel187,500
98Avengers12012-12$3.99Marvel187,000
99Dark Knight Strikes Again32002-02$7.95DC186,600
100Secret Invasion32008-06$3.99Marvel186,500
101X-Men12013-05$3.99Marvel186,300
102Civil War II32016-07$4.99Marvel185,900
103Identity Crisis22004-07$3.95DC185,300
104Amazing Spider-Man162016-08$3.99Marvel185,300
105All Star Batman & Robin The Boy Wonder22005-09$2.99DC185,000
106All New X-Men12012-11$3.99Marvel184,700
107Star Wars32015-03$3.99Marvel184,500
108Age of Ultron12013-03$3.99Marvel184,000
109Justice League Rebirth1*2016-07$2.99DC183,800
110Uncanny X-Men12013-02$3.99Marvel182,700
111Avengers Vs X-Men72012-07$3.99Marvel182,500
112Spider-Man Deadpool12016-01$3.99Marvel181,100
113Green Lantern12005-05$3.5DC180,500
114Batman22011-10$2.99DC179,600
115Justice League Suicide Squad 12016-12$3.99DC179,600
116Wolverine: The Origin62002-01$3.5Marvel179,300
117Avengers Vs X-Men82012-07$3.99Marvel178,700
118Green Lantern Rebirth12004-10$2.95DC178,300
119Wolverine: The Origin52001-12$3.5Marvel178,200
120Suicide Squad Rebirth1*2016-08$2.99DC177,800
121Secret Wars72015-11$3.99Marvel177,300
122Batman2*2016-07$2.99DC177,100
123All Star Superman12005-11$2.99DC176,700
124Civil War12015-07$4.99Marvel176,300
125Secret Invasion42008-07$3.99Marvel175,400
126House of M 22005-06$2.99Marvel175,300
127Star Wars Poe Dameron12016-04$4.99Marvel175,300
128Avengers12010-05$3.99Marvel175,100
129Avengers Vs X-Men92012-08$3.99Marvel174,800
130Superman/Batman122004-09$2.95DC 173,600
131Ultimate Comics Spider-Man1602011-06$3.99Marvel172,700
132New Avengers312007-06$2.99Marvel172,600
133Green Lantern12011-09$2.99DC172,300
134Batman502016-03$5.99DC172,300
135Avengers Vs X-Men102012-08$3.99Marvel172,100
136Fallen Son: Death of Captain America: Captain America02007-05$2.99Marvel171,800
137Avengers Vs X-Men122012-10$4.99Marvel171,800
138Death of Wolverine42014-10$4.99Marvel170,800
139Justice League (including Combo Pack)32011-11$3.99DC170,800
140Batman132012-10$3.99DC 170,500
141Batman6122003-02$2.25DC169,700
142Avengers Vs X-Men02012-03$3.99Marvel169,700
143Secret Wars82015-12$3.99Marvel169,700
144Secret Invasion62008-09$3.99Marvel169,400
145Justice League of America02006-07$2.99DC169,200
146Avengers Vs X-Men112012-09$3.99Marvel169,100
147Batman3*2016-07$2.99DC168,900
148Superman Unchained22013-07$3.99DC168,800
149Wolverine: The Origin42001-11$3.5Marvel168,500
150New Avengers52005-04$2.25Marvel168,500
151Dark Tower Gunslinger Born22007-03$3.99Marvel168,200
152Dark Knight Strikes Again22002-01$7.95DC168,100
153IVX12016-12$5.99Marvel167,700
154Avengers/JLA22003-10$5.95DC167,300
155All Star Batman & Robin The Boy Wonder32005-12$2.99DC166,200
156Thor12014-10$3.99Marvel166,200
157Secret Invasion52008-08$3.99Marvel165,900
158Supergirl12005-08$2.99DC165,600
159World War Hulk22007-07$3.99Marvel165,300
160Batman6142003-04$2.25DC165,200
161Star Wars72015-07$3.99Marvel165,200
162Identity Crisis32004-08$3.95DC164,800
163Justice League122012-08$3.99DC 164,800
164Fallen Son: Death of Captain America Wolverine02007-04$2.99Marvel164,600
165Wolverine Origins12006-04$2.99Marvel164,200
166Justice League of America52006-12$2.99DC162,900
167Superman2062004-06$2.5DC162,100
168New Avengers 62005-06$2.25Marvel161,500
169Blackest Night22009-08$3.99DC161,400
170Star Wars62015-06$3.99Marvel161,200
171Batman142012-11$3.99DC 161,000
172Uncanny X-Men5002008-07$3.99Marvel160,800
173Superman/Batman12003-08$2.95DC160,700
174Identity Crisis42004-09$3.95DC 160,400
175All Star Batman & Robin The Boy Wonder42006-05$2.99DC160,300
176Batman02012-09$3.99DC 160,300
177Ultimates12002-01$2.25Marvel160,200
178Wolverine12003-05$2.25Marvel160,000
179Star Wars Han Solo12016-06$3.99Marvel159,500
180Amazing Spider-Man5442007-09$3.99Marvel159,100
181New Avengers72005-07$2.25Marvel158,700
182Batman Superman12013-06$3.99DC158,600
183Batman6172003-07$2.25DC158,500
184Justice League of America22006-09$2.99DC158,500
185Dark Knight III Master Race22015-12$5.99DC158,200
186Superman/Batman132004-11$2.95DC157,900
187House of M 42005-07$2.99Marvel157,900
188Superman/Batman92004-04$2.95DC157,500
189Batman6152003-05$2.25DC157,400
190Mighty Avengers12007-03$3.99Marvel156,400
191Action Comics22011-10$3.99DC156,400
192Identity Crisis72004-12$3.95DC156,300
193Astonishing X-Men102005-05$2.99Marvel156,300
194Batman172013-02$3.99DC156,300
195Walking Dead1502016-01$2.99Image156,200
196Identity Crisis52004-10$3.95DC156,100
197New Avengers82005-08$2.5Marvel156,000
198Amazing Spider-Man5392007-03$2.99Marvel156,000
199Guardians Team-Up12015-03$3.99Marvel155,500
200New Avengers 22005-01$2.25Marvel155,400
201Civil War II22016-06$4.99Marvel155,400
202New Avengers232006-08$2.99Marvel155,300
203Star Wars52015-05$3.99Marvel155,000
204New Avengers42005-03$2.25Marvel154,900
205New Avengers212006-06$2.99Marvel154,900
206Justice League of America72007-04$3.5DC154,800
207Original Sin12014-05$4.99Marvel154,800
208Batman402015-04$4.99DC154,800
209Secret War Book One02004-02$3.99Marvel154,700
210Secret Invasion72008-10$3.99Marvel154,700
211Ultimates 312007-12$2.99Marvel154,600
212Batman6182003-08$2.25DC154,500
213Detective Comics12011-09$2.99DC154,400
214JLA/Avengers32003-11$5.95Marvel154,300
215Identity Crisis62004-11$3.95DC153,800
216Amazing Spider-Man500 (#59)2003-10$3.5Marvel153,300
217Batman32011-11$2.99DC153,300
218Batman6162003-06$2.25DC153,000
219Batman4*2016-08$2.99DC153,000
220Astonishing X-Men42004-08$2.99Marvel152,800
221House of M 32005-07$2.99Marvel152,800
222Marvel 160212003-08$3.5Marvel152,500
223Secret Invasion82008-12$3.99Marvel152,400
224Buffy The Vampire Slayer Season Eight12007-03$2.99Dark Horse152,200
225Final Crisis12008-05$3.99DC151,700
226Batman152012-12$3.99DC 151,600
227World War Hulk32007-08$3.99Marvel151,500
228Ultimate Iron Man12005-03$2.99Marvel150,700
229Dark Knight III The Master Race32016-02$5.99DC150,700
230Batman162013-01$3.99DC150,500
231Batman212013-06$3.99DC150,300
232Superman/Batman112004-07$2.95DC149,900
233Doctor Strange12015-10$4.99Marvel149,800
234Doctor Strange Sorcerers Supreme12016-10$3.99Marvel149,700
235Justice League (including Combo Pack)42011-12$3.99DC149,300
236Flash12011-09$2.99DC149,100
237New Avengers32005-02$2.25Marvel149,000
238Dark Tower Gunslinger Born32007-04$3.99Marvel149,000
239Secret Wars92016-01$4.99Marvel149,000
240Death of Wolverine22014-09$4.99Marvel148,900
241Batman52012-01$2.99DC 148,800
242Blackest Night*52009-11$3.99DC148,700
243Avengers/JLA42004-03$5.95DC148,600
244World War Hulk42007-09$3.99Marvel148,600
245Justice League of America12015-06$5.99DC148,600
246Justice League52012-01$3.99DC 148,500
247Astonishing X-Men132006-02$2.99Marvel148,200
248New Avengers92005-08$2.5Marvel147,500
249DCU Brave New World12006-06$1DC147,400
250Star Wars82015-08$3.99Marvel147,400
251Death of Wolverine32014-10$4.99Marvel147,200
252Superman/Batman82004-03$2.95DC146,900
253Forever Evil12013-09$3.99DC146,600
254Fallen Son: Death of Captain America: Avengers02007-04$2.99Marvel146,500
255Ultimates 212004-12$2.99Marvel146,300
256Batman6132003-03$2.25DC146,200
257Blackest Night32009-09$3.99DC146,200
258Fantastic Four5872011-01$3.99Marvel146,100
259Fear Itself12011-04$3.99Marvel146,000
260World War Hulk52007-11$3.99Marvel145,800
261Transformers Armada12002-07$2.95Dreamwave145,600
262Amazing Spider-Man5382007-02$2.99Marvel145,400
263Batman412015-06$3.99DC145,300
264Civil War Front Line12006-06$2.99Marvel145,200
265Justice League62012-02$3.99DC 145,200
266X-Men1002000-03$2.99Marvel144,900
267New X-Men1142001-05$2.25Marvel144,800
268X-Men12010-07$3.99Marvel144,700
269New Avengers102005-09$2.5Marvel144,400
270Superman12011-09$2.99DC144,400
271Green Lantern22011-10$2.99DC144,200
272Batman82012-04$3.99DC 144,100
273Justice22005-10$3.5DC143,700
2745212006-05$2.5DC143,600
275Spawn1002000-07$4.95Image143,500
276Darth Vader22015-02$3.99Marvel143,400
277New Avengers222006-07$2.99Marvel143,300
278Justice League of America32006-11$2.99DC143,300
279Batman182013-03$3.99DC143,200
280Dark Knight III Master Race42016-04$5.99DC143,100
281Batman6112003-01$2.25DC142,500
282House of M 52005-08$2.99Marvel142,500
283X-Men2002007-06$3.99Marvel142,400
284Deadpools Secret Secret Wars12015-05$4.99Marvel142,400
285New X-Men1152001-06$2.25Marvel142,300
286Batman5*2016-08$2.99DC142,100
287Superior Spider-Man312014-04$5.99Marvel141,800
288Darth Vader42015-04$3.99Marvel141,500
289Blackest Night82010-03$3.99DC141,400
290Batman92012-05$3.99DC 141,400
291Civil War Initiative02007-03$4.99Marvel141,300
292Transformers Generation One32002-06$2.95Dreamwave141,100
293New Avengers Illuminati Sp02006-03$3.99Marvel140,900
294Avengers and X-Men Axis12014-10$4.99Marvel140,500
295Superman2072004-07$2.5DC140,200
296Blackest Night42009-10$3.99DC140,200
297Captain America Steve Rogers12016-05$4.99Marvel140,200
298Green Lantern Rebirth22004-11$2.95DC140,000
299Wonder Woman12006-06$2.99DC139,900
300Star Wars132015-12$3.99Marvel139,900






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.