May 2020 Comic Book Sales to Comics Shops

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

This data combines orders from all Direct Market distributors. Click to see only Diamond and DC's distributors.

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

In response to supply chain and retail disruptions caused by the COVID-19 outbreak, Diamond Comic Distributors announced on March 23 that that no new comics and graphic novels with an on-sale date of April 1 or later would be shipped until further notice. Free Comic Book Day had already been canceled, earlier in March; Diamond's reorder charts also stopped appearing after the March 23-29 edition.

Those would resume at the beginning of May, with Diamond starting to release new comics starting beginning on May 20. In between, something momentous happened: DC announced on April 17 that a limited slate of titles would be available for late April from UCS Comics Distributors and Lunar Distribution, distribution firms that had been set up for the purpose by sister companies to the mail-order retailers Midtown Comics and DCBS (Discount Comic Book Service) respectively. Previous orders through Diamond for those comics were canceled by DC, and retailers were asked to submit new orders.

In addition to the changing volume of new offerings, many comics were made returnable or deeply discounted by their publishers during the month — all of which would have greatly complicated the chart-generation procedures Diamond has employed for decades. Traditional charting under such conditions would have been both more dificult logistically, and less likely to yield clear-cut results. As such, the distributor has yet to release monthly sales charts for May.

In their absence, Comichron has drawn upon a subset of known retail orders both to determine approximate rankings and to project the relative order volumes of comic-book releases. The subset represents a sizable number of copies, but it is not possible at present to know what portion of the overall population of store orders it represents, particularly as many stores were closed, had their accounts on hold, or had not established accounts with DC's distributors. Only periodicals were examined, and order totals are believed to be as of Final Order Cutoff. No statistical adjustments have been made for returnability and no later returns have been subtracted out.

The chart below features every new comic book released into the Direct Market in May 2020. Variant editions have been merged into single entries, following longtime industry practice. The release dates are from Diamond; note that many titles had already been released earlier by DC's distributors. (See the DC distributors' May 2020 orders in isolation here.)

The order volumes are expressed in relation to Justice League #45, which has been chosen as the order index issue this month for Diamond and DC's distributors. (There are Justice League issues without cardstock variants in the May and June lists for both Diamond and DC's distributors, so it's a good choice if you're trying to refer between charts.) For every 100 copies of Justice League #45 ordered in the subset, there were 283 copies ordered of Venom #25.

DC offered one comic book with a two cardstock variants at a different price, the chart-leading DCeased Unkillables #3; its sales have been fused by default below. You can find the component versions at the bottom of the chart, or by sorting by "Units" to see where its variants would have placed. The dollar rankings are based on the totals of the fused entries. The order index for another comic book, Flash #754, appears lower because the issue's card stock variant didn't ship until June 2.

Market shares: The market share charts, seen in the column at left, are of a variety that has long appeared on Comichron: they refer only to the top-selling comics (just the 91 new issues released in May, in this case), with no graphic novels included. Further, they resemble the charts that appeared before 2003 in that the charts look only at initial and same-month orders for new releases; reorders and reprints of previous months' comics are not included.

We project DC's unit share of the Top 91 new comics to be 45%, once orders across Diamond, UCS, and Lunar are combined; its dollar share is 46%. That nearly doubles Marvel's 24% and 25% respectively. Marvel only had five new comics releases out in the month versus DC's 34, so its performance might have been expected to be a lot worse — but three of those releases projected to be in the Top 5 overall, so it got a lot of mileage out of them. (That would not be the case in June, when DC would lead the market shares running away.)

Graphic novels are, as noted, not included in these tabulations; DC had twice the number of new GN releases in the Direct Market out in May, so its market share lead was even larger overall than it was for new comics.

To underscore, graphic novels are not included in these projected shares. Actual market shares would differ considerably.

Other things to remember: The retail order subset represents a sizable number of copies, but it is not possible at present to know what portion of the overall population of store orders it represents, particularly as many stores were closed, had their accounts on hold, or had not established accounts with DC's distributors. For example, Justice League had been seeing Diamond orders of more than 40,000 copies per issue in North America the first quarter of 2020, but we do not advise using that number to extrapolate overall sales for other titles — not until we have a better idea how the market size has changed.

We're sticking with whole numbers until we have a better handle on the margin of error. As such, note that a difference of a single point on the chart may not be meaningful, due to rounding. Projections for issues at the lower extremes are thus subject to more error due to the small quantities involved; while we rank such titles, we usually mark them with "no estimate" for that reason. Projected relative sales levels here are likely most reliable for regular series issues in the middle of the chart: orders for the highest sellers and first issues may tend to show more variation.

Rankings in these charts should also be expected to differ — often significantly — from the sales-to-consumers charts available at other outlets. Those report sell-through and not sell-in, and different retailers are sampled in each, with no known overlap in reporting stores as of the generation of the below charts.

As is the case with all data on Comichron, it is subject to revision without notice in the event more authoritative and complete information about orders becomes available.

—John Jackson Miller

This list includes all comic books released by Direct Market Distributors in the month.
The Order Index by each comic book indicates how many copies were ordered within a known subset of retailer orders for every 100 Justice League #45s that were ordered.
"Fused" combines differently priced-variants; click the "Unit" arrow to do a sort separating them.
"No est." appears beside titles where we're making no Order Index estimate, but titles are still ranked.
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.

FusedDollarUnitComic-book TitleIssuePriceOn salePublisherOrder Index
232Amazing Spider-Man43$3.9905/27/20Marvel263
32n.a.DCeased Unkillables3 (All)$4.9905/26/20DC224
675Star Wars Doctor Aphra1$3.9905/27/20Marvel136
756Joker Harley Criminal Sanity4 $5.9905/26/20DC133
888Justice League44$3.9905/26/20DC119
9910Justice League45$3.9905/26/20DC100
101111Ludocrats1 $3.9905/27/20Image94
111212Wonder Woman755$3.9905/27/20DC94
121313Green Lantern Season 23$3.9905/26/20DC92
131414Mercy2 $3.9905/27/20Image89
151016DC Super Stars17 Facs. Ed.$4.9905/19/20DC78
161617Vengeance of Vampirella7 $3.9905/27/20Dynamite76
171718Daphne Byrne4 $3.9905/19/20DC70
181819Rogue Planet1 $3.9905/27/20Oni69
191920Red Sonja15 $3.9905/27/20Dynamite68
202021Harley Quinn72$3.9905/26/20DC64
212122Basketful of Heads7 $3.9905/19/20DC61
222223Plunge3 $3.9905/26/20DC60
242425Year Zero1 $3.9905/20/20AWA58
252526Unsacred5 $3.9905/20/20Ablaze57
262627Dollhouse Family6 $3.9905/26/20DC56
272728Suicide Squad5$3.9905/26/20DC53
282829Lois Lane10$3.9905/26/20DC53
292930Buffy The Vampire Slayer14 $3.9905/20/20Boom49
303031Justice League Odyssey20$3.9905/26/20DC47
313132Teen Titans41$3.9905/26/20DC46
323233Batman and the Outsiders12$3.9905/19/20DC44
333334He Man and the Masters of the Multiverse6 $3.9905/26/20DC43
343435Low Low Woods5 $3.9905/26/20DC43
353736King of Nowhere2 $3.9905/20/20Boom41
363837Outer Darkness Chew2 $3.9905/27/20Image40
373938Goon10 $3.9905/20/20Albatross39
394140Go Go Power Rangers31 $3.9905/20/20Boom39
404241Batman Beyond43$3.9905/19/20DC38
424443Supermans Pal Jimmy Olsen10 $3.9905/26/20DC37
433544Disaster Inc1 $4.9905/20/20Aftershock34
444545Five Years9$3.9905/20/20Abstract34
464747Frankenstein Undone2 $3.9905/20/20Dark Horse33
473648Batman Giant4$4.9905/19/20DC33
484849Metal Men6$3.9905/26/20DC31
495150Farmhand15 $3.9905/27/20Image27
505251Outcast45 $3.9905/27/20Image27
515352Books of Magic19 $3.9905/19/20DC26
525453Deadly Class44 $3.9905/27/20Image26
535554Alienated3 $3.9905/20/20Boom25
545655Star Wars Adventures Clone Wars1 $3.9905/27/20IDW25
555756Red Hood Outlaw45$3.9905/26/20DC25
565957Doctor Who 13th Season Two4 $3.9905/27/20Titan24
574958Wonder Woman Giant4$4.9905/27/20DC24
586059Savage Dragon248 $3.9905/27/20Image24
595060Dead Day1 $4.9905/20/20Aftershock22
606261Butcher of Paris5 $3.9905/20/20Dark Horse22
616362House of Whispers20 $3.9905/26/20DC21
626563Jim Henson Storyteller Ghosts2 $3.9905/20/20Boom20
635864Flash Giant4$4.9905/26/20DC20
646765Marvel Action Avengers10 $3.9905/27/20IDW20
656866TMNT Urban Legends23 $3.9905/27/20IDW20
666167Our Fighting Forces Giant1$4.9905/26/20DCno est.
676968Birthright43$3.9905/27/20Imageno est.
686469Zombie Tramp69 $4.9905/20/20Action Labno est.
697070Sera & Royal Stars7$3.9905/27/20Vaultno est.
70717120XX4 $3.9905/27/20Imageno est.
717272G.I. Joe6 $3.9905/27/20IDWno est.
727373Grimm Fairy Tales37 $3.9905/27/20Zenescopeno est.
737474Marvel Action Captain Marvel5 $3.9905/27/20IDWno est.
747575Red Agent Island of Dr Moreau4 $3.9905/27/20Zenescopeno est.
756676Sherlock Scandal In Belgravia5 $4.9905/27/20Titanno est.
767677Exorsisters6 $3.9905/27/20Imageno est.
777778Dungeons & Dragons Infernal Tides3 $3.9905/27/20IDWno est.
787879Belle Oath of Thorns6 $3.9905/27/20Zenescopeno est.
797980Ghosted In L.A.10 $3.9905/20/20Boomno est.
808081Kill Whitey Donovan5 $3.9905/20/20Dark Horseno est.
818182Blackwood Mourning After3 $3.9905/20/20Dark Horseno est.
828283Green Dante Green Virgil One-Shot$4.0005/20/20Aardvark-Vanaheimno est.
838584 Cat Sh*t Vol. 12 $3.9905/20/20Antarcticno est.
848685Cosmo Mighty Martian5 $3.9905/20/20Archieno est.
858786Exciting Comics6 $3.9905/20/20Antarcticno est.
86838721st Centurions2$5.9505/20/20ACno est.
878888Storm Kids Monica Bleue Werewolf Story5 $3.9905/27/20Storm Kingno est.
888489Betty & Veronica Jumbo Comics Digest282$7.9905/20/20Archie no est.
898990Gold Digger272$3.9905/20/20Antarcticno est.
909091Killswitch4 $3.9905/20/20Action Labno est.
919192V Card4 $3.9905/20/20Antarcticno est.
n.a.n.a.7DCeased Unkillables3 Card Stock$5.9905/26/20DCno est.
n.a.n.a.9DCeased Unkillables3 $4.9905/26/20DC100

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May 2020 Graphic Novel Sales to Comics Shops

Diamond did not release monthly totals of its graphic novel sales, but it is known that the number of graphic novels released to the Direct Market grew significantly in May. At least 132 new graphic novels were released, which was well over number of new comic books released. That disjoint would grow further in June; book distributors had not paused during the initial Coronavirus outbreak, leading to a bottleneck of graphic novels shipping to the Direct Market during the spring.

The Batman: Last Knight on Earth hardcover, released May 20 at Diamond, is a good bet to have been the top ordered new graphic novel in

Some information about Diamond's graphic novel sales can be found in its reorders, below.

May 2020 Comics Reorders

Comics and Graphic Novels Reordered by North American Comics Shops
Based on Reports from Diamond Comic Distributors

After items have been released by Diamond, retailers continue to place and receive reorders — often for many years after the the publication date. This section records the weekly reorder charts Diamond released during the month. Click to see the archived advance reorders, which are for books that had not yet shipped at time of the order.

Note that the listings mix hardcovers, softcovers, and comics together, and that they also rank items by dollars rather than units. Note, too, that these are invoiced dollars, so retailers' discounts have already been applied.

Reorders placed between May 4-10, 2020

• Top reordered comic book:
Batman #90 2nd Printing (DC)
• Top reordered softcover graphic novel:
Locke & Key Vol. 1: Welcome to Lovecraft (IDW)
• Top reordered hardcover graphic novel:
House of X Powers of X (Marvel)

The first comic book to turn up in the restarted reorder charts was one we saw leading the advance reorder charts at the end of February, Batman #90's second printing.

Item and Diamond Catalog LinkPricePublisherOn saleSee more at
1House of X Powers of X HC$60.00Marvel12/11/19
2Harleen HC$29.99DC02/05/20
3Wonder Woman The Golden Age Omnibus HC Vol. 4$150.00DC03/18/20
4 Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Dlx HC Year One $75.00BoomBacklist
5Amazing Spider-Man Omnibus HC Vol. 1 New Ptg$100.00MarvelBacklist
6Spider-Man Ben Reilly Omnibus HC Vol. 1$125.00Marvel01/02/19
7Incredible Hulk by Peter David Omnibus HC Vol. 1 Dm Var$125.00Marvel01/15/20
8Amazing Spider-Man Omnibus HC Vol. 4 Cho Var$125.00Marvel05/22/19
9Locke & Key TPB Vol. 1 Welcome To Lovecraft$19.99IDWBacklist
10Spider-Man by Michelinie and Larsen Omnibus HC$100.00MarvelBacklist
11Batman #90 2nd Ptg$3.99DC03/25/20
12Prox Transmissions TPB$19.99MarvelBacklist
13Locke & Key TPB Vol. 2 Head Games$19.99IDWBacklist
14Walking Dead Compendium TPB Vol. 4$59.99Image10/02/19
15Savage Sword Conan Orig Marvel Yrs Omnibus HC Vol. 1$125.00Marvel03/20/19
16Annihilation Omnibus HC New Ptg$125.00Marvel12/04/19
17Robin 80th Anniv 100 Page Super Spect #1$9.99DC03/18/20
18Batman Who Laughs HC$29.99DC08/28/19
19Amazing Spider-Man Straczynski Omnibus HC Vol. 1$125.00Marvel05/08/19
20Dceased HC$29.99DC11/20/19
21Amazing Spider-Man Epic Collection TPB Great Power New Ptg Dm$34.99Marvel03/25/20
22Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars TPB$34.99MarvelBacklist
23Amazing Spider-Man Epic Collection Great Responsibility TPB$39.99MarvelBacklist
24Locke & Key TPB Vol. 3 Crown of Shadows$19.99IDWBacklist
25Dark Nights Metal TPB$19.99DC01/23/19

Reorders placed between May 11-17, 2020

• Top reordered softcover graphic novel:
Marvel Monograph Art of Chris Bachalo (Marvel)
• Top reordered hardcover graphic novel:
Frank Miller's Big Damn Sin City (Dark Horse)

In advance of Diamond's return to shipping new comics on May 20, graphic novels again took every slot on the reorder charts, as they had in every week since the charts returned.

Item and Diamond Catalog LinkPricePublisherOn saleSee more at
1Frank Millers Big Damn Sin City HC$100.00Dark HorseBacklist
2New X-Men Omnibus HC New Ptg$125.00MarvelBacklist
3Amazing Spider-Man Omnibus HC Vol. 4 Cho Var$125.00Marvel05/22/19
4House of X Powers of X HC$60.00Marvel12/11/19
5Annihilation Omnibus HC New Ptg$125.00Marvel12/04/19
6Venomnibus HC Vol. 1$100.00Marvel06/20/18
7Green Lantern by Geoff Johns Omnibus HC Vol. 1$125.00DCBacklist
8 Strangers In Paradise Omnibus Ltd HC Sgn Bookplate Ed $179.99Abstract12/11/19
9Black Hammer Library Ed HC Vol. 1$49.99Dark Horse11/28/18
10Daredevil by Frank Miller Omnibus Companion HC New Ptg$100.00MarvelBacklist
11Punisher Max by Garth Ennis Omnibus HC Vol. 1$100.00Marvel05/02/18
12Marvel Monograph TPB Art of Chris Bachalo$19.99Marvel03/11/20
13Venomnibus HC Vol. 2$125.00Marvel02/06/19
14Thor by Walter Simonson Omnibus HC New Ptg$125.00MarvelBacklist
15Batman Knightfall Omnibus HC Vol. 1$99.99DCBacklist
16Daredevil by Miller and Janson Omnibus HC New Ptg$125.00MarvelBacklist
17Absolute Sandman HC Vol. 3$125.00DCBacklist
18Saga Compendium TPB Vol. 1$59.99Image08/21/19
19Daredevil Shadowland Omnibus HC$125.00Marvel02/07/18
20Fantastic Four by Waid & Wieringo Omnibus HC$100.00Marvel12/05/18
21Batman Knightfall Omnibus HC Vol. 2$99.99DC11/08/17
22Kill Or Be Killed Dlx Ed HC$49.99Image11/20/19
23Spider-Man Clone Saga Omnibus HC Vol. 1$125.00MarvelBacklist
24Walking Dead Compendium TPB Vol. 4$59.99Image10/02/19
25Absolute Preacher HC Vol. 1$150.00DCBacklist

Reorders placed between May 18-24, 2020

• Top reordered May-shipping comic book:
Disaster Inc. #1 Cvr A Clarke (Aftershock)
• Top reordered softcover graphic novel:
Star Wars Legends Epic Collection Legacy Vol. 1 (Marvel)
• Top reordered hardcover graphic novel:
Daredevil by Bendis & Maleev Omnibus Vol. 2 (Marvel)

A comic book released since the pandemic shutdown led reordered comics for the first time, though Disaster Inc. #1's presence was unusual in that it hadn't gone on sale when the reorder chart, ostensibly for already-shipped product, came out. Meanwhile, the first new DC item with a Tuesday on-sale date also made the list in Joker/Harley: Criminal Sanity #4.

Item and Diamond Catalog LinkPricePublisherOn saleSee more at
1Daredevil by Bendis & Maleev Omnibus HC Vol. 2 New Ptg$100.00Marvel02/12/20
2Daredevil by Bendis & Maleev Omnibus HC Vol. 1 New Ptg$100.00Marvel01/08/20
3Star Wars Legends Epic Collection Legacy TPB Vol. 1$39.99MarvelBacklist
4Disaster Inc #1 Cvr A Clarke$4.99Aftershock05/27/20
5House of X Powers of X HC$60.00Marvel12/11/19
6New X-Men Omnibus HC New Ptg$125.00MarvelBacklist
7Harleen HC$29.99DC02/05/20
8Kill Or Be Killed Dlx Ed HC$49.99Image11/20/19
9Web of Venom Good Son #1 2nd Ptg Neves Var$4.99Marvel02/26/20
10Walking Dead Compendium TPB Vol. 4$59.99Image10/02/19
11Joker Harley Criminal Sanity #4$5.99DC05/26/20
12Berserk Deluxe Edition HC Vol. 2$49.99Dark Horse06/26/19
13Saga Compendium TPB Vol. 1$59.99Image08/21/19
14Black Hammer Justice League Hammer of Justice HC$29.99Dark Horse03/25/20
15Locke & Key TPB Slipcase Set Holiday Ed$99.99IDWBacklist
16Invisibles Omnibus HC$150.00DCBacklist
17Black Science Premiere HC Vol. 2 Transcendentalism$49.99Image12/13/17
18Black Hammer Library Ed HC Vol. 1$49.99Dark Horse11/28/18
19Green Lantern by Geoff Johns Omnibus HC Vol. 3$125.00DCBacklist
20Annihilation Omnibus HC New Ptg$125.00Marvel12/04/19
21American Vampire Omnibus HC Vol. 1$99.99DC10/31/18
22Hellboy Library HC Vol. 1 Seed Destruction Devil$49.99Dark HorseBacklist
23Dceased HC$29.99DC11/20/19
24Absolute Batman Year One HC$125.00DCBacklist
25X-Men Classic Omnibus HC$125.00Marvel12/06/17

Diamond did not release reorder charts for the last week in May.