I'm hearing that Image Comics' highly anticipated Crossover #1 by Donny Cates, Geoff Shaw, Dee Cunniffe, and John J. Hill, which Image is already comparing to Watchmen, has topped 150,000 orders at FOC—making it the highest ordered new series from Image Comics since Danger Girl #1 in 1998.
It's even higher than Mark Millar and Olivier Coipel's The Magic Order, which faked its numbers by getting Reed POP to buy 100,000 copies as the price of Mark Millar attending their C2E2 show. The intention was to give them away to attendees, but the inclusion of male full-frontal nudity in the comic made that a no go. But at least Millar managed to con Deadline into giving him press as a result. But anyway, back to Crossover, which didn't need such tactics.
That's yet another notch—the fifth, if we're counting—in Image's belt for titles with orders over 100K+ this year. Crossover is Image's third series launch to cross the 100K line during 2020 (the other members of Image's 100K club are Spawn #310-311), but looking at available order estimates it's worth noting that, in this century, only three other Image series have launched as strongly, with Top Cow's 2002 Battle Of The Planets revival the highest among them with orders just over 145,000.
As we recently reported, 2020 has been the best year for Image Comics since the '90s and since taking the seat as Diamond's #2 publisher, the publisher's momentum has left the rest of the industry spinning with hit after hit after hit after hit.
And Image has bottled one lightning strike launch after another for an encore victory lap in 2021 with a lineup of bullet proof offerings slated to hit. Where we saw Crossover hit 150K this year, we'll look forward to the recently teased Wereworld and Flood from Donny Cates to launch in 2021.
After the massively successful sales seen on the Pulp hardcover they've got Brubaker/Phillips back on deck for multiple graphic novel releases all year long. Little Bird will have a spin-off series titled Precious Metal. And Mirka Andolfo brings more Mercy with Merciless.
Scott Snyder will be back for more Undiscovered Country but he'll also be launching Nocterra with Tony Daniel at Image.
And Image is gaining ground with Hollywood properties, too. After we saw Image's Old Guard orders soar—tripling the lifetime sales over night—in direct response to the breakout success of the Netflix adaptation we're hit shortly thereafter with the trailer for Amazon's adaptation of Invincible. If Netflix can triple lifetime sales on Old Guard—what will Amazon's crack at Invincible do for the 25 Invincible trade paperbacks, 12 hardcovers, and three compendiums available in stock before the show drops?
And those are just the Image series we know about…
We've heard several murmurings that the publisher may have a couple announcements so big, so unexpected, so jawdropping up their sleeve to announce for 2021 that it's the sort of thing that I will have a pigturkducken of embargo dates and times to have to navigate. Given that Image has previously done things like throw impromptu conventions, stolen top tier creators across the industry, and stealth-dropped Walking Dead spin-offs… the mind reels at what they could be up to next. But if building up a year's worth of wave-making hits is just the ramp up, then we'd better buckle up.