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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 2019. The issue's sales include several hundred thousand copies purchased by the repackager Loot Crate, but its sales even without those are enough to make it the top title of the decade. Close to 100 different variant covers exist of the issue. Detective Comics #1000 moved into second place in 2019, one of two late-decade anniversary issues in the Top Ten.

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 and 2017-18, 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. In fairness, these copies did not move through comics shops and should likely be excised from competitive measures involving them, but we don't know specific numbers that went to the service.

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.

UnitsComic-book TitleIssueReleasePricePublisherEst. units
1Star Wars1†Jan-15$4.99Marvel1,073,000
2Detective Comics1000Mar-19$9.99DC574,700
3Amazing Spider-Man1Apr-14$5.99Marvel559,200
4Secret Wars1May-15$4.99Marvel550,500
5Amazing Spider-Man583Jan-09$3.99Marvel530,500
6Action Comics1000Apr-18$7.99DC504,243
7Bravest Warriors Tales Holo John1†May-15$4.99Boom503,000
8Orphan Black1†Feb-15$3.99IDW502,000
9Dark Knight III Master Race1Nov-15$5.99DC449,100
10Amazing Spider-Man800May-18$9.99Marvel439,465
11Big Trouble in Little China/Escape From New York1†Oct-16$3.99Boom421,600
12Batman50Jul-18$4.99DC412,541
13Star Wars Vader Down1Nov-15$4.99Marvel410,600
14Civil War II1Jun-16$5.99Marvel391,500
15Walking Dead (including Chromium ed.)100Jul-12$3.99Image384,800
16Fantastic Four1Aug-18$5.99Marvel381,689
17Harley Quinn1*Aug-16$2.99DC366,100
18Civil War2Jun-06$2.99Marvel341,900
19Civil War3Jul-06$2.99Marvel337,000
20Champions1Oct-16$4.99Marvel334,900
21Walking Dead115Oct-13$2.99Image329,300
22Civil War1May-06$3.99Marvel328,500
23Walking Dead132†Oct-14$2.99Image326,300
24Justice League of America1Feb-13$3.99DC326,000
25Captain America25Mar-07$3.99Marvel317,700
26Darth Vader1Feb-15$4.99Marvel315,600
27Marvel Legacy1Sep-17$5.99Marvel315,337
28Rocket Raccoon1†Jul-14$3.99Marvel311,000
29Uncanny Avengers1Oct-12$3.99Marvel305,900
30DC Universe Rebirth1May-16$2.99DC305,700
31Batman1*Jun-16$2.99DC304,200
32Amazing Spider-Man1Jul-18$5.99Marvel298,254
33Civil War4Sep-06$2.99Marvel291,000
34All Star Batman1*Aug-16$4.99DC289,300
35Spider-Gwen1Feb-15$3.99Marvel288,600
36Dark Nights Metal1Aug-17$4.99DC287,452
37Black Panther1Apr-16$4.99Marvel286,800
38Doomsday Clock (plus Lenticular Ed.)1Nov-17$4.99DC285,480
39Civil War5Nov-06$2.99Marvel283,900
40Invincible Iron Man1Oct-15$3.99Marvel282,400
41All Star Batman & Robin The Boy Wonder1Jul-05$2.99DC276,000
42Spawn300Sep-19$7.99Image275,700
43Civil War7Feb-07$2.99Marvel274,500
44Death of Wolverine1Sep-14$4.99Marvel274,000
45Princess Leia1Mar-15$3.99Marvel271,000
46Infinite Crisis1Oct-05$3.99DC270,000
47Return of Wolverine1Sep-18$4.99Marvel269,757
48X-Men1Oct-19$4.99Marvel269,200
49Avengers Vs X-Men1Mar-12$3.99Marvel265,100
50Civil War6Jan-07$2.99Marvel263,800
51Secret Invasion1Apr-08$3.99Marvel263,000
52Black Cat1Jun-19$4.99Marvel261,800
53Deadpool1Nov-15$4.99Marvel261,800
54Superman Unchained1Jun-13$4.99DC259,100
55Justice League (including Combo Pack)1Aug-11$3.99DC255,400
56DCeased1May-19$3.99DC250,800
57Justice League of America1Aug-06$3.99DC250,800
58Venom1May-18$4.99Marvel248,669
59House of M 1Jun-05$2.99Marvel248,200
60Amazing Spider-Man1Oct-15$5.99Marvel247,600
61Superman204Apr-04$2.50DC244,100
62Identity Crisis1Jun-04$3.95DC242,900
63Absolute Carnage1Aug-19$7.99Marvel242,400
64Amazing Spider-Man798Apr-18$3.99Marvel242,358
65New Avengers1Dec-04$2.25Marvel241,500
66Peter Parker Spectacular Spider-Man1Jun-17$4.99Marvel238,427
67Batman619Sep-03$2.25DC235,100
68Secret Wars2May-15$4.99Marvel234,000
69Secret Wars3Jun-15$3.99Marvel230,000
70Batman (plus Lenticular Ed.)21Apr-17$3.99DC228,658
71Secret Wars4Jul-15$3.99Marvel227,300
72Batman Who Laughs1Dec-18$4.99DC226,073
73Infinite Crisis2Nov-05$3.99DC225,600
74Justice1Aug-05$2.99DC223,900
75Guardians of Galaxy1Mar-13$3.99Marvel221,200
76Star Wars2Feb-15$3.99Marvel219,700
77Infinite Crisis3Dec-05$3.99DC218,800
78Astonishing X-Men1May-04$2.99Marvel218,300
79Batman1Sep-11$2.99DC218,000
80Suicide Squad1*Aug-16$2.99DC217,700
81Superior Spider-Man1Jan-13$3.99Marvel216,700
82Star Wars4Apr-15$3.99Marvel216,300
83Marvel Comics1000Aug-19$9.99Marvel216,000
84Star Wars: Shattered Empire1Sep-15$3.99Marvel215,200
85Dark Tower Gunslinger Born1Feb-07$3.99Marvel213,700
86Superman205May-04$2.50DC213,400
87House of X1Jul-19$5.99Marvel212,100
88Infinite Crisis4Jan-06$3.99DC211,000
89Infinity1Aug-13$4.99Marvel210,800
90Batman Rebirth1*Jun-16$2.99DC209,300
91Justice League1*Jul-16$2.99DC209,200
92Infinite Crisis6Apr-06$3.99DC208,000
93Secret Wars5Aug-15$3.99Marvel207,200
94Amazing Spider-Man Renew Your Vows1Jun-15$3.99Marvel206,500
95Amazing Spider-Man799Apr-18$3.99Marvel206,033
96Blackest Night1Jul-09$3.99DC205,500
97Infinite Crisis5Mar-06$3.99DC205,100
98World War Hulk1Jun-07$3.99Marvel204,700
99Action Comics1Sep-11$3.99DC204,000
100Justice League1Jun-18$3.99DC203,492
101Justice League (including Combo Pack)2Oct-11$3.99DC201,900
102Amazing Spider-Man700Dec-12$7.99Marvel201,000
103Star Wars Lando1Jul-15$3.99Marvel200,400
104Avengers Vs X-Men2Apr-12$3.99Marvel200,300
105Captain America Reborn1Jul-09$3.99Marvel199,900
106Secret Invasion2May-08$3.99Marvel198,800
107Spider-Gwen1Oct-15$3.99Marvel198,800
108Infinite Crisis7May-06$3.99DC198,400
109Powers of X1Jul-19$5.99Marvel198,100
110Superman/Batman10May-04$2.95DC197,600
111Avengers Vs X-Men6Jun-12$3.99Marvel197,000
112Thor1Jul-07$2.99Marvel196,800
113Flash (plus Lenticular Ed.)21Apr-17$3.99DC194,051
114War of Realms1Apr-19$5.99Marvel193,900
115Secret Wars6Oct-15$3.99Marvel193,200
116Avengers Vs X-Men5Jun-12$3.99Marvel192,200
117JLA/Avengers1Sep-03$5.95Marvel191,900
118Dark Nights Metal6Mar-18$4.99DC190,870
119Spawn301Oct-19$4.99Image190,800
120Batman and Robin1Jun-09$2.99DC190,300
121Avengers Vs X-Men3May-12$3.99Marvel190,000
122Civil War II0May-16$4.99Marvel190,000
123Fallen Son: Death of Captain America: Iron ManJul-07$2.99Marvel189,400
124Dark Knight Strikes Again1Dec-01$7.95DC188,700
125Ultimate Fantastic Four1Dec-03$2.25Marvel188,500
126Avengers Vs X-Men4May-12$3.99Marvel187,500
127Doomsday Clock2Dec-17$4.99DC187,422
128Batman (plus Lenticular Ed.)22May-17$3.99DC187,142
129Uncanny X-Men1Nov-18$7.99Marvel187,108
130Avengers1Dec-12$3.99Marvel187,000
131Dark Knight Strikes Again3Feb-02$7.95DC186,600
132Secret Invasion3Jun-08$3.99Marvel186,500
133X-Men1May-13$3.99Marvel186,300
134Civil War II3Jul-16$4.99Marvel185,900
135Identity Crisis2Jul-04$3.95DC185,300
136Amazing Spider-Man16Aug-16$3.99Marvel185,300
137All Star Batman & Robin The Boy Wonder2Sep-05$2.99DC185,000
138All New X-Men1Nov-12$3.99Marvel184,700
139Star Wars3Mar-15$3.99Marvel184,500
140Age of Ultron1Mar-13$3.99Marvel184,000
141Justice League Rebirth1*Jul-16$2.99DC183,800
142Symbiote Spider-Man1Apr-19$4.99Marvel183,100
143Uncanny X-Men1Feb-13$3.99Marvel182,700
144Avengers Vs X-Men7Jul-12$3.99Marvel182,500
145Spider-Man Deadpool1Jan-16$3.99Marvel181,100
146Green Lantern1May-05$3.50DC180,500
147Batman2Oct-11$2.99DC179,600
148Justice League Suicide Squad 1Dec-16$3.99DC179,600
149Wolverine: The Origin6Jan-02$3.50Marvel179,300
150Avengers Vs X-Men8Jul-12$3.99Marvel178,700
151Green Lantern Rebirth1Oct-04$2.95DC178,300
152Wolverine: The Origin5Dec-01$3.50Marvel178,200
153Suicide Squad Rebirth1*Aug-16$2.99DC177,800
154Secret Wars7Nov-15$3.99Marvel177,300
155Batman2*Jul-16$2.99DC177,100
156Secret Empire1May-17$4.99Marvel177,089
157All Star Superman1Nov-05$2.99DC176,700
158Civil War1Jul-15$4.99Marvel176,300
159Doomsday Clock3Jan-18$4.99DC175,932
160Dark Nights Metal2Sep-17$3.99DC175,697
161Secret Invasion4Jul-08$3.99Marvel175,400
162House of M 2Jun-05$2.99Marvel175,300
163Star Wars Poe Dameron1Apr-16$4.99Marvel175,300
164Avengers1May-10$3.99Marvel175,100
165Avengers Vs X-Men9Aug-12$3.99Marvel174,800
166Spider-Man1Sep-19$4.99Marvel174,200
167Superman/Batman12Sep-04$2.95DC 173,600
168Ultimate Comics Spider-Man160Jun-11$3.99Marvel172,700
169New Avengers31Jun-07$2.99Marvel172,600
170Secret Empire0Apr-17$4.99Marvel172,486
171Green Lantern1Sep-11$2.99DC172,300
172Batman50Mar-16$5.99DC172,300
173Captain America1Jul-18$4.99Marvel172,142
174Avengers Vs X-Men10Aug-12$3.99Marvel172,100
175Fallen Son: Death of Captain America: Captain AmericaMay-07$2.99Marvel171,800
176Avengers Vs X-Men12Oct-12$4.99Marvel171,800
177Batman Superman1Aug-19$3.99DC171,200
178Death of Wolverine4Oct-14$4.99Marvel170,800
179Justice League (including Combo Pack)3Nov-11$3.99DC170,800
180Batman13Oct-12$3.99DC 170,500
181Batman612Feb-03$2.25DC169,700
182Avengers Vs X-Men0Mar-12$3.99Marvel169,700
183Secret Wars8Dec-15$3.99Marvel169,700
184Secret Invasion6Sep-08$3.99Marvel169,400
185Justice League of America0Jul-06$2.99DC169,200
186Avengers Vs X-Men11Sep-12$3.99Marvel169,100
187Batman3*Jul-16$2.99DC168,900
188Superman Unchained2Jul-13$3.99DC168,800
189Wolverine: The Origin4Nov-01$3.50Marvel168,500
190New Avengers5Apr-05$2.25Marvel168,500
191Dark Tower Gunslinger Born2Mar-07$3.99Marvel168,200
192Dark Knight Strikes Again2Jan-02$7.95DC168,100
193IVX1Dec-16$5.99Marvel167,700
194Avengers/JLA2Oct-03$5.95DC167,300
195Dark Nights Metal5Jan-18$3.99DC166,950
196All Star Batman & Robin The Boy Wonder3Dec-05$2.99DC166,200
197Thor1Oct-14$3.99Marvel166,200
198Secret Invasion5Aug-08$3.99Marvel165,900
199Supergirl1Aug-05$2.99DC165,600
200World War Hulk2Jul-07$3.99Marvel165,300
201Batman614Apr-03$2.25DC165,200
202Star Wars7Jul-15$3.99Marvel165,200
203Identity Crisis3Aug-04$3.95DC164,800
204Justice League12Aug-12$3.99DC 164,800
205Fallen Son: Death of Captain America WolverineApr-07$2.99Marvel164,600
206Wolverine Origins1Apr-06$2.99Marvel164,200
207Flash (plus Lenticular Ed.)22May-17$3.99DC163,963
208Justice League of America5Dec-06$2.99DC162,900
209Doomsday Clock4Mar-18$4.99DC162,253
210Superman206Jun-04$2.50DC162,100
211Dark Nights Metal3Oct-17$3.99DC161,783
212New Avengers 6Jun-05$2.25Marvel161,500
213Blackest Night2Aug-09$3.99DC161,400
214Star Wars6Jun-15$3.99Marvel161,200
215Batman14Nov-12$3.99DC 161,000
216Uncanny X-Men500Jul-08$3.99Marvel160,800
217Superman/Batman1Aug-03$2.95DC160,700
218Powers of X6Oct-19$5.99Marvel160,600
219Identity Crisis4Sep-04$3.95DC 160,400
220All Star Batman & Robin The Boy Wonder4May-06$2.99DC160,300
221Batman0Sep-12$3.99DC 160,300
222Ultimates1Jan-02$2.25Marvel160,200
223House of X6Oct-19$4.99Marvel160,100
224Wolverine1May-03$2.25Marvel160,000
225Star Wars Han Solo1Jun-16$3.99Marvel159,500
226Amazing Spider-Man544Sep-07$3.99Marvel159,100
227New Avengers7Jul-05$2.25Marvel158,700
228Batman Superman1Jun-13$3.99DC158,600
229Batman617Jul-03$2.25DC158,500
230Justice League of America2Sep-06$2.99DC158,500
231Magic Order1Jun-18$3.99Image158,425
232Dark Knight III Master Race2Dec-15$5.99DC158,200
233Superman/Batman13Nov-04$2.95DC157,900
234House of M 4Jul-05$2.99Marvel157,900
235Superman/Batman9Apr-04$2.95DC157,500
236Batman615May-03$2.25DC157,400
237Mighty Avengers1Mar-07$3.99Marvel156,400
238Action Comics2Oct-11$3.99DC156,400
239Identity Crisis7Dec-04$3.95DC156,300
240Astonishing X-Men10May-05$2.99Marvel156,300
241Batman17Feb-13$3.99DC156,300
242Doomsday Clock5May-18$4.99DC156,235
243Walking Dead150Jan-16$2.99Image156,200
244Identity Crisis5Oct-04$3.95DC156,100
245New Avengers8Aug-05$2.50Marvel156,000
246Amazing Spider-Man539Mar-07$2.99Marvel156,000
247Guardians Team-Up1Mar-15$3.99Marvel155,500
248DCeased2Jun-19$3.99DC155,400
249New Avengers 2Jan-05$2.25Marvel155,400
250Civil War II2Jun-16$4.99Marvel155,400
251New Avengers23Aug-06$2.99Marvel155,300
252Star Wars5May-15$3.99Marvel155,000
253New Avengers4Mar-05$2.25Marvel154,900
254New Avengers21Jun-06$2.99Marvel154,900
255Justice League of America7Apr-07$3.50DC154,800
256Original Sin1May-14$4.99Marvel154,800
257Batman40Apr-15$4.99DC154,800
258Secret War Book OneFeb-04$3.99Marvel154,700
259Secret Invasion7Oct-08$3.99Marvel154,700
260Ultimates 31Dec-07$2.99Marvel154,600
261Batman618Aug-03$2.25DC154,500
262Detective Comics1Sep-11$2.99DC154,400
263JLA/Avengers3Nov-03$5.95Marvel154,300
264Identity Crisis6Nov-04$3.95DC153,800
265Amazing Spider-Man500 (#59)Oct-03$3.50Marvel153,300
266Batman3Nov-11$2.99DC153,300
267Batman616Jun-03$2.25DC153,000
268Batman4*Aug-16$2.99DC153,000
269Astonishing X-Men4Aug-04$2.99Marvel152,800
270House of M 3Jul-05$2.99Marvel152,800
271Dark Nights Metal4Dec-17$3.99DC152,585
272Phoenix Resurrection Return Jean Grey1Dec-17$4.99Marvel152,534
273Marvel 16021Aug-03$3.50Marvel152,500
274Secret Invasion8Dec-08$3.99Marvel152,400
275Buffy The Vampire Slayer Season Eight1Mar-07$2.99Dark Horse152,200
276Final Crisis1May-08$3.99DC151,700
277Batman15Dec-12$3.99DC 151,600
278World War Hulk3Aug-07$3.99Marvel151,500
279Ultimate Iron Man1Mar-05$2.99Marvel150,700
280Dark Knight III The Master Race3Feb-16$5.99DC150,700
281Heroes In Crisis1Sep-18$3.99DC150,609
282Amazing Spider-Man797Mar-18$3.99Marvel150,577
283Batman16Jan-13$3.99DC150,500
284Batman21Jun-13$3.99DC150,300
285Superman/Batman11Jul-04$2.95DC149,900
286Doctor Strange1Oct-15$4.99Marvel149,800
287Doctor Strange Sorcerers Supreme1Oct-16$3.99Marvel149,700
288Justice League (including Combo Pack)4Dec-11$3.99DC149,300
289Flash1Sep-11$2.99DC149,100
290New Avengers3Feb-05$2.25Marvel149,000
291Dark Tower Gunslinger Born3Apr-07$3.99Marvel149,000
292Secret Wars9Jan-16$4.99Marvel149,000
293Death of Wolverine2Sep-14$4.99Marvel148,900
294Batman5Jan-12$2.99DC 148,800
295Blackest Night*5Nov-09$3.99DC148,700
296Avengers/JLA4Mar-04$5.95DC148,600
297World War Hulk4Sep-07$3.99Marvel148,600
298Justice League of America1Jun-15$5.99DC148,600
299Justice League5Jan-12$3.99DC 148,500
300Astonishing X-Men13Feb-06$2.99Marvel148,200




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 individual decades look?
Click to see the Top Selling Comics of the Decade for the 2000s and the 2010s.