Well, Marvel almost made it an entire decade filling up the biggest percentage of the public’s longbox. Now, for the first time since 2002, DC is the highest selling comic publisher in the world.
October sales showed DC taking 51 per cent of the market share, with Marvel in a very distant second with 30.3 per cent. Image, Dark Horse and IDW made up the remainder.
The boost is thanks to DC’s complete reboot of their entire line. The New 52 is nothing short of a stroke of genius for DC, as most of the stories they were pumping out were as stale as jokes about Batman’s voice. With writers like Grant Morrison cranking out quality titles for the characters they know so well, both DC and readers benefit.
So does the entire comic industry.
Comic sales were up almost a third from the same period last year, thanks not only to DC’s rebooted titles, but also the end of Marvel’s Fear Itself.
So what’s Marvel to do now? Reboot everything?
Unlikely. It seems like they were hoping that the death of Spider-Man and his subsequent replacement by a mixed-race young fella. It was certainly effective, but not half-of-the-market-share effective.
The “killing a major character” thing can only have a temporary effect. The death of Bucky Barnes (we’ll argue about whether he is a “major” character or not later) was met with an overwhelming “aw, shucks” by the comic community.
It seems likely that Marvel may just be hoping that The Avengers kills it at the box office, and their titles will get some sales from the renewed interest.
Or that the Roman Catholic Church will declare that all who own bibles should also take up Marvel-only files.
The point is, Marvel has to do something soon if it is hoping to compete with DC. Not that the House of Ideas is hurting for cash, since they keep putting out consistently better films. But eventually, something is going to have to draw readers back to Marvel before they fall into the same trap pre-New 52 DC was in.
Let’s just hope they don’t take a chintzy route and do a reboot of their own.