2017 was an interesting year for comics. With events ranging from a Captain America who allied himself with Hydra to the Watchmen universe infecting DCs mainline continuity, it’s easy to see how the stories released last year could be equal parts exciting and divisive. Which comics rose to the top in such an eventful year? Shoot the Breeze is here to break it down for you with this Top 5. (Source for full list of 2017 sales numbers at the bottom of the page)
#1 Marvel Legacy #1 – 303,574 estimated units sold
As the dust settled on Secret Empire Marvel editorial knew that their fans were aching for a return to traditional stories. The question was how will they return to form and honor the classics while still staying true to the new characters and stories that they’ve created over the last few years. Their answer, to varying degrees of success depending on who you ask, was “Marvel Legacy”. Legacy was a branding that attached itself to the majority of Marvel’s flagship titles and sought to reignite the fire that made fans love the company in the first place. This brought back heroes that had been placed in more of a supporting role to the younger heroes that had been the focus of the company for a decent amount of time and made them the stars again. Not say this eliminated those new faces from prominence but just attempted to show their readership that there was room for the old and new in the House of Ideas. This first issue kicked off this process; and based on the sales numbers the readers were eager to get onboard.
#2 Dark Knights Metal #1 – 271,108 estimated units sold
What do you get when you take the heroes of DC comics, heavy metal imagery, and the discovery of an evil multiverse? In the hands of Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo you get one bad-ass, if slightly convoluted, mini-series. The duo that brought us the fantastic Batman New 52 run team up again for an event that see’s the DCU invaded by twisted versions of Batman from the Dark Multiverse spearheaded by the deity Barbatos. The event is titled Metal not only for its tone but also because the story revolves around a number of mystical metals (including Nth metal from Hawkman lore) that allow a breach to be opened into this evil parallel existence. There’s not much more that can be said in simple terms with this story without getting into spoiler territory so I’ll stop here; but I will say that the its number two on this list for a reason and is definitely worth your time.
#3 Doomsday Clock #1 – 238,643 estimated units sold
Watchmen is one of the most iconic and beloved comic series of all time. Its mature storytelling and dedication to deep characters allowed it to be a poignant dive into what superhero comics are and/or could be. For decades now fans have speculated if DC would ever crossover Watchmen and the mainline DC titles and, after some hints throughout the New 52, DCs “Rebirth” #1 confirmed that this titanic crossover was finally happening. Readers got a taste of this event earlier in the year with the Batman/Flash crossover event “The Button” which showed Batman and Flash trying to figure out the origin of a mysterious button (you know the one) that had shown up in the Batcave. All of this culminated in the release of Doomsday Clock in November. You can read our review of the issue here.
#4 Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man #1 – estimated 231,566 units sold
Chip Zdarsky took the reins in a new on-going for everyone’s favorite neighborhood wall-crawler and managed to inject a sense of fun that has been (in my opinion) lacking in the character is his main title “Amazing Spider-Man”. Zdarsky’s writing in this series is dripping with humor and light sarcasm but isn’t light on mystery and detailed story-telling. I am particularly a fan of the exploration of the friendship between Johnny Storm and Peter Parker in these early issues of the run. I believe “Spectacular Spider-Man” is a nice breath of fresh air into the Spider-Man line of books over at Marvel and the market seems to agree.
# 5 Batman #21 (The Button) – estimated 219,472 units sold
Tom King’s Batman Rebirth series has been a mostly worth successor the Scott Snyder run during the New 52 era. The series sold fine on its own, but it’s no surprise that this crossover issue its top selling of the year. “The Button” was a four part crossover series that saw the flagship Batman and Flash titles crossover to solve the case of the mysterious button (from Watchmen) that mysteriously appeared in the Batcave at the end of Rebirth #1. “The Button” was the first big step after that revelation in exploring the idea of the Watchmen universe bleeding into the DCU and beautifully set up the events that are beginning to unfold in “Doomsday Clock.”
There you have it. For a complete list of this year’s sales numbers you can check out Comichron’s full breakdown here: http://www.comichron.com/monthlycomicssales/2017.html
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