Recently we reported on the Top 25 Advance Reorders activity and saw Image Comics holding its own in the top 10 of those titles, taking Marvel on 6 to 4 with six-figure releases like The Department Of Truth #1 and Spawn #310 alongside the Ice-Cream Man resurgence phenomenon.
As we've also reported – DC's departure from Diamond and content cancellation has left a dearth in new releases on retailers' shelves (did Stephenson's prophecy come to pass?). With Vertigo long dead, the unspoken reality here may be that the only book worth the trouble from DC is Batman, Batman's Three Jokers and Batman's Death Metal. Possibly Rorschach, we will see.
And it looks like Image Comics has noticed this opening marketplace left by an ailing DC and, between a Sales department reorg, order increases line wide with impressively high jumps in numbers on their top tier of titles – Undiscovered Country, Fire Power, The Department Of Truth, Killadelphia, Mercy, Old Guard, Pulp, Spawn, Ice Cream Man, and Little Bird—it looks to us like Image's going to close out 2020 by knocking DC off their throne. But can they do it?
For October Image's got Remender's ambitious The Scumbag ramping up already with rare incentive covers revealed at IGN, Syfywire and Forbes, with Remender stepping into the limelight recently for a lengthy Reddit AMA to share intel with fans about The Scumbag and his other popular Image series. Remender's got a deep backlist of sales beasts that retailers have long depended on – Deadly Class, Black Science, Seven To Eternity – and after a relatively quiet year, seeing Remender resurface with another dependable launch should be an easy win for these folks.
The year's not over in October though, we still have Image's upcoming Crossover launch by Direct Market darling Donny Cates, bringing that Venom fandom over and promising a Marvel-level launch. Rumour has it that retailers have similarly caught on to the early heat culminating on this one and are working feverishly with the Image Sales team to secure their retailer exclusive variant covers so they can get cut in on the action. Where The Department Of Truth had around 30 covers… A little bird has told me that Crossover may outdo the number with closer to 50 covers… We're still quite a way away from FOC, so time will tell.