We've been talking about Keanu Reeves' BRZRKR comic book with co-writer Matt Kindt and artist Ron Garney for some time and predicting that it would be not only publisher Boom Studios biggest series ever, but one of the biggest series in recent years.
Now that the dust has settled from FOC not only were we correct about all the above, but BRZRKR #1 is much, much bigger than anyone might have predicted. In fact, it hasn't just outsold last year's megahit Crossover by Donnie Cates and Geoff Shaw… it did so by more than four times. Perhaps the personal message from "the One" telling fans how to pre-order BRZRKR may have sent orders into the stratosphere? Maybe the signed 1-in-1000 variant? Could it be all those retailer exclusive covers? Or maybe even the only review published by anyone so far, on Bleeding Cool?
The main cover by Rafael Grampa alone outsold not only the previous record-holding creator-owned Boom series, We Only Find Them When They're Dead by Al Ewing and Simone di Meo, but the company's best-selling title of all time Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #1, which outsold every comic book published by Marvel in March 2016. After FOC, BRZRKR #1 has outsold 2019's biggest books including Todd McFarlane's record-setting Spawn #300 and #301, the X-Men redefining House of X and Powers of X by Jonathan Hickman, and even DCeased by Boom's own Tom Taylor.
As we understand it, the final orders for BRZRKR #1 have come in at over 615,000 copies.
Which means you'd have to go back 5 years to 2015 to find any comic from any publisher that outsold BRZRKR #1. And that publisher would be Marvel Comics with their relaunch of Star Wars #1 at over a million copies, but… that sales number included a massive purchase from Loot Crate at the height of its power, which likely accounted for 400,000 to 500,000 copies outside of the direct market. By our calculations that could make BRZRKR #1 the highest ordered first issue by comic shops in the 21st Century.
On the creator-owned side of the business, you'd have to go back nearly 30 years to the halcyon days of Image when the original founders were launching their earliest titles to find a bigger creator-owned book. It's likely that the last creator-owned series to launch this high was… Jim Lee's WildCATS #1 which sold a million.
There's no doubt that BRZRKR will be the #1 book of the month and potentially the top-selling book of 2021, even before reorders and the almost inevitable second printing, are made available.
And assuming Diamond releases monthly market shares in 2021 (along with November and December 2020, while we're at it), it's possible Boom will find themselves the second or third publisher through Diamond in February behind Marvel and maybe Image Comics. But the more interesting question is what will BRZRKR, when stacked on top of Must Read hits like Once & Future, Something Is Killing The Children, Seven Secrets, and We Only Find Them When They're Dead, do for Boom's ongoing market share? For the last 6 months, based on point-of-sale data from ComicHub, Boom has maintained a solid #4 position at about half the market share of Image. Might BRZRKR be the beginning of the dawn of the Big Four now?