Where’s the Daredevil love? (thoughts on sales numbers)

As I mentioned earlier, one of the reasons I wanted to ask some non-Daredevil readers why they aren’t reading the book (see posts HERE and HERE) was to try to figure out why the sales aren’t better. I know that the statistics published don’t tell the whole story, but a downward trend is a downward trend, no matter how you look at it.

Now that the sales numbers for #107 are out, I’m more confused than ever. Many readers left the book after #105, and I kind of have to respect that. I really liked the story, as I’ve also mentioned before, but I do in some way also like most people’s reason for leaving (though I’d rather they’d stay on as readers) since it at least signals that Daredevil doesn’t automatically mean devastation and depression for many, or even most, fans. I think that particular fan reaction may have been somewhat unexpected for Marvel, and it has probably given the powers that be the signal that people want to see a Matt Murdock who has reason to smile on occasion.

However, in the light of the excellent reviews of the most recent arc, and all the Rucka fans you’d expect would come onboard for it, I was astonished to see that #107 sold fewer copies than #106. Really people, what the *beep* is going on here? Are you waiting for the trades (which I suspect many readers do anyway since Bru’s stories fit that format well) or do you have an allergy to excellence? Why is it that people claim to not like hyped-up events and prefer good solid storytelling when it seems like it’s the other way around? Not only are Daredevil stories good even when they’re bad, the book has been consistently on time for years now.

Well, I don’t really know where I’m going with this post, I just wanted to get this off my chest because it worries me a little. I’m worried that good solid stories and rave reviews don’t seem to be enough. If that’s not enough, then what is? If they decided to out Matt Murdock as the Skrull queen’s second cousin would that change things? I fear the answer to that is yes.

Anyway, the “good news” for us continuity whores is that Amazing Spider-Man is dropping fast. While the three times a month publishing schedule helps in making sure that the new direction is still making financial sense for Marvel, it is obvious that there are not as many Spider-Man readers as there used to be, and they are becoming fewer and fewer every month. While it has little to do with Daredevil, I’d like to see OMD reversed. If things don’t turn around for ASM, that might happen soon enough.

For a very good overview of all the Marvel book that came out in May, check out The Beat’s monthly analysis. It’s always interesting reading even when it’s not uplifting.

Christine Hanefalk

Christine Hanefalk

Based in Stockholm, Sweden, Christine is a die-hard Daredevil fan who launched The Other Murdock Papers in 2007 to share her passion for Matt Murdock and his friends with other fans.

2 comments

  1. Hi Christine, I looked at that analysis a little better, and I think that the situation is maybe not as dramatic as it may seem.
    Basically, the increase in sales with DD#99 and #100 has been followed by the gradual loss of just those “temporarily acquired” readers.
    Still, a small percentage of readers have decided to keep reading the book (~1% maybe not so significant).
    Another reason why the sales dropped after 106 it’s probably the fact that it was like, as you described it “a party hangover”. It just dealt melancholically with the aftermath of the previous storyarc, and there was nothing in it that could’ve intrigued readers to buy the following issue.
    To put it simply, those readers who left the book might have said to themselves. “Oh, well. This storyarc has ended. It was nice, but I think I’ll stop now”.
    This certainly has been a little mistake on Bru’s part, in my opinion (assuming that his concern is to increase sales of this book, of course).

  2. Is the problem that sales of the book are down, or is it just a reflection of the fact that comic books’ popularity is a minute fraction of what it once was, even 20 years ago, and continuing to drop? There are many reasons for this – and I say that as someone who exited the comic book scene about eight years ago (yeah, I know I said 10 in another post, thinking about it, it was eight) after collecting them for, literally, 30 years and thinking I’d never stop. But I did. I recently tried to get back into it, and found the reasons I had left were still there, only even more pronounced.

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