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DC’s ‘New 52′ Initiative Sells 5 Million Comic Books In Six Weeks

DC Comics announced this week that its aggressive New 52 initiative had yielded sales of 5 million comic books in the span of just six weeks. The publisher released 52 brand new or relaunched superhero comics series from issue #1 throughout the month of September as part of a bold and controversial plan to revitalize the brand, attract new readers and bring lapsed comics fans back to the heroes of the DC Universe. In a press release, DC claimed the figure represents the company’s biggest sales in more than 20 years.In addition to the 5 million units figure, DC confirmed sales numbers for some of the line’s top tier titles, as well as some surprise hits:

JUSTICE LEAGUE #1 has sold more than 250,000 copies.
ACTION COMICS #1 and BATMAN #1 have both sold more than 200,000 copies.
DETECTIVE COMICS #1, THE FLASH #1, GREEN LANTERN #1 and
SUPERMAN #1 have all sold more than 150,000 copies.
AQUAMAN #1, BATGIRL #1, BATMAN AND ROBIN #1, BATMAN: THE DARK
KNIGHT #1, GREEN LANTERN CORPS #1, GREEN LANTERN: NEW GUARDIANS #1 and
WONDER WOMAN #1 have all sold more than 100,000 copies.

Usually, the bestselling American comic book periodicals move around 100,000 copies. As such, DC’s numbers are indeed cause for celebration at the publisher, who’d been losing comic store market share to rival Marvel Comics.

“We are thrilled by the overwhelmingly positive response from retailers, fans and the creative community to DC Comics — The New 52,” said DC Entertainment President Diane Nelson in a statement. “This was a bold publishing initiative that is reinvigorating and growing the industry and medium we love.”

Nelson added, “When DC Entertainment was created almost two years ago, we committed
to an environment of ‘no fear’ when it came to creative and business risks,” said Nelson. “I couldn’t be more proud of our Publishing team for embracing this mantra and delivering in a way that is growing the genre, our partners’ businesses and our fan base, while helping to fuel the creative engine that drives so many Warner Bros.’ content businesses.”

All the titles in DC’s New 52 initiative are also available digitally on the same day the print versions go on sale in comics shops. Digital sales numbers remain unreleased by the publisher or its digital partner comiXology, but DC’s Executive Vice President of Sales, Marketing John Rood had this to say about the company’s digital comics operation:

“Our digital sales have been better than we could have imagined and we are pleased that these sales are additive to traditional publishing sales in the comic book stores. We’re not migrating readers from print to digital. We’re adding more new readers into the mix.”

In related news, Bleeding Cool reports that DC will begin offering digital combo packs of Batman and Action Comics beginning with issue #5 of both series. Already in place for Justice League, the digital combo pack is a scheme by which a print comic book is priced at a premium $4.99 (one dollar more than the standard print copy) and comes with a download code that the customer can use to read that comic on their iPad or other device. The move was likely prompted by the sales successes of Batman and Action Comics. However, Marvel Comics have already announced plans to offer its forthcoming Avenging Spider-Man #1 with a download code for no extra cost, a move that many comics fans and digital comics pundits believe should be the standard for every comic book published by either company.

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