Black Panther Vol. 2 Sales Figures
Circulation as Reported in Publishers' Statements of Ownership
Filed with the United States Postal Service
The self-styled King of Wakanda, Marvel's Black Panther character first appeared in Fantastic Four #52 back in 1966. That was the first year that Marvel would report comics sales circulation in its Statements of Ownership; sales for the average issue that year were 329,379 copies.
The character's first comics series, in 1973, wasn't under his own name; T'challa took over as the lead in Jungle Action in issue #5, headlining the title until it ended with #24 in 1976. It didn't last long enough to generate a postal circulation statement. A bimonthly series running from 1977 to 1979 was the first Black Panther title fully under the character's own name; Black Panther Vol. 1 ran only 15 issues, and likewise did not last long enough for Marvel to publish a postal circulation statement.
A four-issue limited series ran in 1988; while its overall sales are unknown, Capital City Distribution shipped 23,700 copies of the first issue and slightly fewer thereafter, suggesting its overall per-issue was likely between 100,000 and 150,000 copies. Another miniseries, Black Panther: Panther's Prey released in 1991, with first-issue sales at Capital of 19,200 copies; its overall sales would have been just over 100,000 copies.
From 1998 to 2010, however, there would finally be three ongoing Black Panther series which would last long enough to see the publication of Postal Statements of Ownership, Management, and Circulation.
The first ongoing series of the three, written by Christopher Priest — Vol. 2 in my own counting, ignoring the limited series — came from the Marvel Knights brand and was the longest-running of the three, yet Marvel did not file for a postal license for it until several years in. The first issue's sales through Diamond Comic Distributors were 56,481 copies. The only Statement of Ownership that ran in this second incarnation appeared in the fifty-second issue, coincidental with the numbering of that first Fantastic Four issue many years before. The title was Direct Sales only at that point, with average monthly sales for 2002 of 23,287 copies. You can find the per-issue Direct Market sales for every issue of this series in our monthly reports.
The next series, running in 2005-08 and 2009-10, were separated enough in time from this one to require fresh postal licenses. Click to see the sales reports from Black Panther Vol. 3 and Black Panther Vol. 4.
A later Black Panther series by Ta-Nehisi Coates would launch with the bestselling comic book of April 2016; end-of-year sales through comics shops were above 287,000 copies, placing it pretty close to what that first Fantastic Four appearance sold. The series would be renumbered as part of Marvel's Legacy program in 2017 to include all the titles mentioned above. Marvel was done filing postal statements by then, so the only place to find that information here is again by searching the monthly sales reports.
—John Jackson Miller
|Issue Statement appearing in:||Not in #14-18||Not in #26 App Pending||Not in #39 App pending||#52 Feb||Series ends, no filing|
|Date of filing:||10/1/02|
|Issues published during year:||12|
|Annual subscription price:||$27.00|
|Cover price during year:||$2.25|
|Total Copies PRINTED (avg):||24,000|
|Sales through DEALERS (avg):||22,970|
|Sales by SUBSCRIPTION (avg):||317|
|Total PAID circulation (avg):||23,287|
|Samples by MAIL (avg):||600|
|Samples OUTSIDE mail (avg):||0|
|Total FREE circulation (avg):||600|
|Copies not distributed (office):||113|
|Copies not distributed (RETURNS):||0|
|Reported % Paid/Requested:||99.0%|
|% of RUN RETURNED:||0%|
|SELL-THROUGH at RETAIL:||97.0%|
By the late 1990s, Marvel was in the habit of running its Statements of Ownership both very early in a title's run, and also around the last cover-dated month of the year being reported. In Black Panther's case, however, the postal application was described as "pending" throughout issues that would have reported sales through 2001. The 2002 form was the only one published.