Outcast: 'A Darkness Surrounds Him' Review

Robert Kirkman's latest show gets off to a flawed start.

Confirmed: John Boyega to Star in 'Pacific Rim 2'

Boyega joins the sequel hot off the success of Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

Box Office: Ninja Turtles 2 Suffers in Anti-Sequel Summer

TMNT 2 is the latest sequel to bring in some disappointing numbers.

Review: Eye in the Sky

Gavin Hood's military drama is an impressive achievement.

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Comic Book Sales: February 2013

Another month has passed in the world of comics meaning we have a fresh batch of comic sales to look over, and some estimated sales figures to go with them. In this article we'll be looking at how some of the new Marvel NOW! titles are faring (including Nova and Guardians of the Galaxy), as well as some of DC's latest New 52 titles (Vibe, Katana and more). We'll also be predicting which Marvel titles could be close to cancellation.

First, here's the top 10 books of last month:

Marvel NOW!: Last Month's New Titles & Marvel's Lowest Selling Books

Last month, as you can see above, the best-selling Marvel NOW! debuts were Uncanny X-Men #1 (which came in at No. 2 with over 175,000 copies sold), and Secret Avengers #1 (which was in at No. 10 with over 85,000 copies sold).

Outside the top 10, the next best selling Marvel NOW! first issue was Nova #1 which came in at No. 14 with nearly 81,000 copies sold. Guardians of the Galaxy #0.1 followed closely behind at No. 15 with just over 80,000 copies - impressive for a team not many people knew much about just one year ago.
The Fearless Defenders #1 - Marvel's all-female super-team - was the lowest Marvel NOW! debut of last month, but still came in at a very respectable No. 30 with over 50,000 copies sold.

So, now onto some of Marvel's lower selling titles. These titles may not be on cancellation watch just yet, however if their sales don't pick up a bit soon, then they might not last much longer.
The first, and newest endangered title, is Morbius: The Living Vampire which after just two issues is failing to make an impact on the chart. Last month's second issue had almost 20,000 less readers than the first - coming in at No. 86 - and if the title keeps losing readers at that rate then it is doomed.

Next is the critically acclaimed Captain Marvel by Kelly Sue DeConnick. Despite the good reviews the series has been getting, last month's #10 had just 18,000 readers. That's a relatively low number, and with Marvel recently cancelling Age of Apocalypse - a title that sold over 17,500 copies last month - it seems Captain Marvel could be close to the chopping block. Equally close are the final two endangered titles Dark Avengers (which sold just over 18,000 copies) and Red She-Hulk (which sold under 18,000 copies).

DC Comics - The New 52! What's Selling?

Last month, DC released a bunch of new titles in their New 52 line. As you have seen by now, Justice League of America unsurprisingly was the best selling title not just of the new books but also of the entire month - it sold over 300,000 copies which is huge for a comic book.
Unfortunately, it was the only #1 from DC to make a real impact on the chart. The next best-selling debut was Justice League of America's Vibe but that only managed to chart at No. 78 which is a hugely disappointing entry for a new title, particularly one tied with the massively popular JLA.
The same story goes for the next new title Katana which manages to enter at a weaker still No. 80. Both Vibe and Katana sold just over 27,000 copies.
This doesn't fill me with hope for these two series' going forward.

For more on DCs existing low selling titles click here for our article looking at the future of Batwing, Demon Knights and more!

There are two more DC Comics - The New 52 books I want to spotlight before we finish this article - One that had a new lease of life given to it last month, and one that is doing surprisingly poorly.

First, I'd like to give a hand to Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino for making the Green Arrow series relevant again. After a lot of bad issues the series was really starting to diminish in sales - Ann Nocenti's final issue sold less than 20,000 copies ranking No. 100 - last month though it jumped up to No. 57 with over 36,000 copies sold. Once again Jeff Lemire proves that he is one of DC's hottest talents.

On the flip-side, is The Phantom Stranger. This is a series that seems to have some ties to DC's upcoming event The Trinity War, however that doesn't seem to be helping its sales - ranking No. 112 last month with just over 18,000 copies sold. I feel like DC probably won't cancel it for a while purely because of its connection with the event, however once The Trinity War wraps up I feel this will be the first series to go.

That's all the sales for this month, be sure to come back next month for more!

Saturday, 9 March 2013

Age of Ultron #1 Review

Age of Ultron is Marvel's big event for 2013 and after the stream of disappointing events that have been coming from the publisher in the past few years, I was fairly sure I would sit this one out. However, after seeing the shiny retro cover, and hearing that Taskmaster had a role to play (I LOVE Taskmaster), my will power gave way again. So, how much regret do I feel after buying this issue? Surprisingly little. Age of Ultron #1 is a flawed read, and I'm still very sceptical about the rest of the event, however it's a solid opening issue.

Age of Ultron is written by Brian Michael Bendis who has been teasing the event for quite some time in his Avengers run. In this first issue he manages to set the scene of this apocalyptic reality under Ultron's rule, but unfortunately not much else. While there is some fun action in this issue if you're looking for actual story, you're better off elsewhere. It was a slightly strange decision to give us no information on how Ultron took over, or where the other heroes are. I get that Bendis may want to keep things mysterious for now, but still he could have given us a hint because in the end keeping the reader totally in the dark does more harm than good. The issue will definitely hold your attention until the interesting final panel, but it's hard to get too involved in a story you know little about.

On the other hand Bryan Hitch's artwork is for the most part top notch, his work is well shaded and dark enough to fit the tone of this reality. As per usual with his work there does seem to be a disproportionately long arm or leg from time to time, but overall he delivers some nice panels - definitely better than John Romita Jr.'s art that we had to suffer with in the opening chapters of AvX.