2002 Comic Book Sales to Comics Shops

Estimated Comics Shipped to North American Comics Shops
Based on Reports from Diamond Comic Distributors

Dollar Preorders for Diamond's Top 300 Comics and
Top 50 Graphic Novels from each and every month of the year

around $229.29 Million

(up 10% year-over-year)


#1 Most Ordered Issue
#2 Most Ordered Issue
#3 Most Ordered Issue
#4 Most Ordered Issue
#5 Most Ordered Issue

The first real recovery year after a near-decade-long dowturn, 2002 was marked by a revival of interest in 1980s toy- and animation-related titles, such as Transformers, G.I. Joe, and Thundercats. While Ultimates #1 was never the #1 title in any month during the year (it was third in January), reorders put it in the top slot for the year overall.

The year got off to a strong start in January with Wolverine: The Origin and Dark Knight Strikes Again #2 topping the charts (not counting Batman: The Ten Cent Adventure, which had preorders of 700,000 copies and started a mini-wave of stunt pricing). The final issue of the Dark Knight sequel helped February leap past its 2001 performance. There were no major releases in March, but the quarter still finished strongly ahead.

In April, Dreamwave's Transformers: Generation One #1 kicked off the toy nostalgia wave and gave a non-Marvel/DC publisher the top slot for the first time in many years. May saw the first Free Comic Book Day, coinciding with the release of the first Spider-Man movie. June closed out the first half of the year strongly with the debut of the Kevin Smith Black Cat limited series, which would eventually be fraught with long delays.

July saw a second series for Transformers launch and another cut-price promo edition, this time for Gen 13. The 1980s revival continued in August with a launch for Thundercats— and Marvel one-upped DC's 10-cent Batman with a nine-cent Fantastic Four. No major series launches in the Top 20 led to a month up only slightly in September.

In an otherwise down October, Jim Lee's Batman story, "Hush," began, a storyline which would heat up into some of 2003's best sales. The last major chart-topper of the 1980s revival wave, Masters of the Universe led a November that was off slightly overall. A double dose of new Ultimate series launches from Marvel in December rounded out a positive year for the business.

The final rankings for all comics and trade paperbacks during the year appear below. Diamond Comic Distributors reported these issues without indexes allowing actual sales estimates to be calculated. You can find the first-month preorders for these issues in the monthly charts; click one of the months above or use the search tool at the top of the page to find the specific issue. But note that those monthly numbers do not include reorders for the entire year; the rankings below do take the entire year's sales into account.

Click to skip to the Top Graphic Novels for the month.

—John Jackson Miller

This list includes all items on Diamond's Top 300 charts, plus any post-#300 items from its Top Independent Publisher charts.
If you don't see a book, Diamond released no data for it.
Click to read the methodology for this table's estimates.
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.

UnitsDollarsComic-book TitleIssuePricePublisher
21Dark Knight Strikes Again2$7.95DC
37Transformers Generation One2$2.95Dreamwave
58Transformers Generation One1$2.95Dreamwave
92Dark Knight Strikes Again3$7.95DC
109Transformers Generation One3$2.95Dreamwave
1111Transformers Armada1$2.95Dreamwave
1212Transformers Generation One4$2.95Dreamwave
1413Spider-Man Black Cat Evil That Men Do1$2.99Marvel
1510Moment of Silence0$3.00Marvel
1632Ultimate War1$2.25Marvel
1715Transformers Generation One6$2.95Dreamwave
1817Transformers Generation One5$2.95Dreamwave
2040Ultimate War2$2.25Marvel
2142New X-Men121$2.25Marvel
2344New X-Men122$2.25Marvel
2421Battle of the Planets1$2.95Image
2522Transformers Armada2$2.95Dreamwave
2752New X-Men123$2.25Marvel
2824Thundercats Reclaiming Thundera1$2.25DC
2953New X-Men125$2.25Marvel
3054New X-Men124$2.95Marvel
3123Spider-Man Black Cat Evil That Men Do2$2.95Marvel
3218New X-Men126$3.25Marvel
3427Transformers War Within1$2.95Dreamwave
3762New X-Men129$2.25Marvel
3863Uncanny X-Men402$2.25Marvel
3964New X-Men128$2.25Marvel
4065New X-Men127$2.25Marvel
4114Captain America1$3.99Marvel
4369New X-Men132$2.25Marvel
4470Amazing Spider-Man40$2.25Marvel
4571Amazing Spider-Man42$2.25Marvel
4672New X-Men130$2.25Marvel
4774New X-Men133$2.25Marvel
4875Amazing Spider-Man46$2.25Marvel
4976Amazing Spider-Man44$2.25Marvel
5080Ultimate X-Men14$2.25Marvel
5181Amazing Spider-Man45$2.25Marvel
5282Amazing Spider-Man41$2.25Marvel
5383New X-Men131$2.25Marvel
5484Uncanny X-Men403$2.25Marvel
5585Ultimate Spider-Man25$2.25Marvel
5687Ultimate Spider-Man33$2.25Marvel
5789Amazing Spider-Man46$2.25Marvel
5891New X-Men134$2.25Marvel
5920Daredevil Target1$3.50Marvel
6094New Xmen135$2.25Marvel
6195Uncanny X-Men404$2.25Marvel
6296Ultimate X-Men17$2.25Marvel
6398Ultimate X-Men16$2.25Marvel
6499Ultimate X-Men18$2.25Marvel
65101Amazing Spider-Man47$2.25Marvel
666Masters of the Universe1$5.95Marvel
67103Uncanny X-Men405$2.25Marvel
68104Ultimate X-Men15$2.25Marvel
69105Ultimate X-Men19$2.25Marvel
71106Ultimate Spider-Man27$2.25Marvel
72107Ultimate X-Men20$2.25Marvel
73108Amazing Spider-Man39$2.25Marvel
7430Spider-Man Black Cat Evil That Men Do3$2.99Marvel
75109Ultimate X-Men21$2.25Marvel
76112Ultimate Spider-Man34$2.25Marvel
77113Ultimate Spider-Man26$2.25Marvel
78114Ultimate Spider-Man24$2.25Marvel
79115Amazing Spider-Man48$2.25Marvel
80116Ultimate X-Men22$2.25Marvel
81117Uncanny X-Men406$2.25Marvel
82118Ultimate Spider-Man29$2.25Marvel
83120Amazing Spider-Man37$2.25Marvel
8435Transformers Armada3$2.25Dreamwave
85121Ultimate Spider-Man28$2.25Marvel
86122Ultimate Spider-Man32$2.25Marvel
87123Amazing Spider-Man38$2.25Marvel
88124Ultimate X-Men23$2.25Marvel
89126Ultimate Spider-Man30$2.25Marvel
90128Uncanny X-Men407$2.25Marvel
91129Ultimate Spider-Man31$2.25Marvel
9225Ultimate X-Men25$3.50Marvel
9326Ultimate Spider-Man22$3.50Marvel
94135Uncanny X-Men408$2.25Marvel
95137Ultimate Spider-Man23$2.25Marvel
96139Uncanny X-Men409$2.25Marvel
97142Uncanny X-Men416$2.25Marvel
98143Ultimate X-Men24$2.25Marvel
99147Uncanny X-Men411$2.25Marvel
100148Ultimate X-Men26$2.25Marvel

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2002 Graphic Novel Sales to Comics Shops

Estimated Graphic Novels and Trade Paperbacks Shipped to North American Comics Shops Based on Reports from Diamond Comic Distributors

This list includes all items on Diamond's Top Graphic Novel charts. If you don't see a book, Diamond 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.

DC and Dark Horse's September 11 benefit titles were the top sellers in 2002.

UnitsDollarsTrade Paperback titlePricePublisher
13September 11 Vol. 2$9.95DC
24September 11 Vol. 1$9.95Dark Horse
311JLA Secret Origins$7.95DC
47Bluntman and Chronic$14.95Image
58Ultimate Spider-Man Vol. 1$14.95Marvel
62JLA/JSA Virtue and Vice HC$24.95DC
7114Star Wars Jango Fett$5.95Dark Horse
810League of Extraordinary Gentleman Book One$14.95DC
949Lone Wolf and Cub Vol. 17 Will of the Fang$9.95Dark Horse
10147Star Wars Zam Wesell$5.95Dark Horse
1151Lone Wolf and Cub Vol. 18 Last Kurokuwa$9.95Dark Horse
1253Lone Wolf and Cub Vol. 19 Moon in Our Hearts$9.95Dark Horse
1354Lone Wolf and Cub Vol. 20 Taste of the Poison$9.95Dark Horse
1457Lone Wolf and Cub Vol. 27 Battle's Eve$9.95Dark Horse
1558Lone Wolf and Cub Vol. 21 Fragrance of the Death$9.95Dark Horse
161Origin HC$34.95Marvel
1759Lone Wolf and Cub Vol. 22 Heaven and Earth$9.95Dark Horse
1828Ultimate Spider-Man Vol. 2$12.99Marvel
19189-11 Emergency Relief$14.95Alternative
2012Ultimate Spider-Man Vol. 3$17.95Marvel
2113Delicate Creatures HC$16.95Image
2267Lone Wolf and Cub Vol. 23 Tears of Ice$9.95Dark Horse
2369Lone Wolf and Cub Vol. 24 These Small Hands$9.95Dark Horse
2421Origin HC$14.99Marvel
2536Ultimates Vol. 1$12.99Marvel
2675Lone Wolf and Cub Vol. 25 Perhaps in Death$9.95Dark Horse
2776History of the DC Universe$9.95DC
2877Lone Wolf and Cub Vol. 26 Battle in the Dark$9.95Dark Horse
2925Ultimate X-Men Vol. 2 Weapon X$14.95Marvel
3026Ultimate X-Men Vol. 1 Tomorrow People$14.95Marvel
3191Lone Wolf and Cub Vol. 28 Falling Tree$9.95Dark Horse
3299Witchblade Obakemono$9.95Image
3397Twisted Toyfare Theater Vol. 2$9.99Wizard
3422Star Wars Episde II Attack of the Clones$17.95Dark Horse
3541Batman Dark Knight Returns$14.95DC
3616Rising Stars Vol. 2 Power$19.95Image
375Marvel Encyclopedia HC$29.99Marvel
3846Crisis on Multiple Earths$14.95DC
3947Authority Earth Inferno and Other Stories$14.95DC
409Akira Vol. 6$29.95Dark Horse
4124Captain Britain$19.95Marvel
4235Transformers Generation One Vol. 1$17.95Dreamwave
43117Harlequin Valentine HC$10.95Dark Horse
4455Essential Spider-Man Vol. 5$14.95Marvel
4514Wonder Woman Hiketeia HC$24.95DC
4629Batman Bruce Wayne Murderer$19.95DC
476Ultimate Spider-Man$34.95Marvel
48173Amazing Spider-Man Revelations$8.99Marvel
5015G.I. Joe Vol. 1$24.95Marvel
5174Ultimate Spider-Man Vol. 4$14.99Marvel
5278Transmetropolitan Vol. 6 Gouge Away$14.95DC
5317Green Lantern Legacy Last Will HC$24.95DC
5495Murder Mysteries HC$13.95Dark Horse
5588Essential Spider-Man Vol. 1$14.95Marvel
5620Green Arrow Quiver HC$24.95DC
5792Liberty Meadows Vol. 1 Eden$14.95Image
58174Astro Boy Vol. 1$9.95Dark Horse
5944Sandman Vol. 1 Preludes and Nocturnes$19.95DC
6045Johnny the Homicidal Maniac Director's Cut$19.95Slave Labor
6184Amazing Spider-Man Coming Home$15.95Marvel
6264100 Bullets Vol. 4 Foregone Tomorrow$17.95DC
63194Lone Wolf and Cub Assassin's Road$9.95Dark Horse
6481Authority Transfer of Powerr$17.95DC
65102Essential Dr. Strange$15.95Marvel
66118Kingdom Come$14.95DC
6737G.I. Joe Vol. 2$24.95Marvel
6865Batman Dark Victory$19.95DC
6990Hellboy Conqueror Worm$17.95Dark Horse
70132Road to Perdition$13.95DC
7119Dark Knight Strikes Again HC$29.95DC
72215Fables Legends in Exile$9.95DC
7340Marvel Mangaverse Vol. 1$24.95Marvel
74219Forge #1$9.95Crossgen
75345Reveal Vol. 1$6.95Dark Horse
7623Captain America Red, White and Blue HC$29.99Marvel
77223100 Bullets Vol. 1 First Shot, Last Call$9.95DC
78125Preacher Vol. 1 Gone to Texas$14.95DC
79153Incredible Hulk Vol. 1 Return of the Monster$12.99Marvel
8073Powers Vol. 3 Little Deaths$19.95Image
8180New X-Men Vol. 2 Imperial$19.99Marvel
82166Spider-Man Movie$12.95Marvel
83438Tellos Sons and Moons$5.95Image
8487Daredevil Visionaries Kevin Smith$19.95Marvel
8589King David$19.95DC
86137Essential Howard the Dck$14.95Marvel
87250Edge #1$9.95Crossgen
88119Blade of the Immortal Secrets$16.95Dark Horse
89107Ultimate X-Men Vol. 3 World Tour$17.99Marvel
90255Dark Horse Marverik Happy Endings$9.95Dark Horse
91176New X-Men E is for Extinction$12.95Marvel
92179Batman Bruce Wayne Fugitive Vol. 1$12.95DC
93161Powers Vol. 2 Roleplay$13.95Image
9494Sandman Vol. 2 Doll's House$19.95DC
9533Complete Frank Miller Spider-Man$29.95Marvel
96148Transmetropolitan Vol. 7 Spiders Thrash$14.95DC
97296Rising Stars Visitations$8.99Image
9852Catwoman Selina's Big Score HC$24.95DC
99268Mad About Super-Heroes$9.95DC
10056Universe X Vol. 2$24.95Marvel

My analyses of preorders from Diamond Comic Distributors for individual months can be found here: