Is "Once & Future" #3 Is Bigger Than "Die" #3? The Kieron Gillen Wars of 2019 Continue

Boom Studios CEO and founder Ross Richie continues to plunge his metaphorical sword into the hopes of Image Comics' publisher Eric Stephenson to win The Kieron Gillen Wars of 2019, the Marvel vs DC-esque rivalry for the affections of writer Doctor Kieron Gillen between the two companies. Boom is publishing Once & Future while Image is publishing Die, both written by Gillen (with artists Dan Mora and Stephanie Hans respectively) and they're both two of the biggest creator owned hits of late.

Well, except for the Big Tynion Energy behind Boom's Something is Killing The Children.

When we last joined you, Once & Future #2 was going to a third printing even after a massive overship, with first printing numbers surpassing Image Comics publisher Eric Stephenson's official tally for Die #2.

Well (stop me if you've heard it before), but Boom Studios has done it again with Once & Future #3 orders (with just ONE cover, versus the TWO for Die) surpassing the orders for Die #3 – 21,228 vs 19,399.

  • Die #3:  19,399
  • Die #4:  20,420
  • Die #5:  21,997
  • Die #6:  24,000+

In fact, those paid orders for Once & Future #3 surpass Die #4 and nearly equal Die #5, which saw sales increases from issue to issue. Boom has seen the same on Once & Future, which actually had more copies in circulation with issue #2 than issue #1 (when accounting for the first two printings) as we told you before.

And that trend may be continued with Once & Future #3 when you tell the entire story – total orders for Once & Future #3 were actually 26,045 with BOOM! once again offering a massive overship opportunity for retailers: for every four copies ordered, Boom would send then one copy for free. That means when the issue sells out – and the series status as a perennial bestseller on our charts indicates that's not an if – it will be with even more copies in the channel that Die #6, which Image touted as a high point for sales on the series after launch.

Let's hope that Boom's Filip Sablik is willing to jump in front of some retailer swords once more if the issue sells out and additional printings are allocated, even with the company making efforts to improve their prognostication.

But while Image Comics has been quiet on the Die front, I've got a feeling that November's Undiscovered Country might've gotten a nice sales bump thanks to that million-dollar film deal that will allow them to reassert a bit of market dominance. That means it's up to Boom to show retailers just what their next big creator-owned launches – November's Folklords by Matt Kindt and Matt Smith and December's The Red Mother by Jeremy Haun and Danny Luckert – can do when faced with some real competition.

I may be seeing Kieron tonight. See what I can get him to admit to over a glass of white wine.

Is "Once & Future" #3 Is Bigger Than "Die" #3? The Kieron Gillen Wars of 2019 Continue

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About Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.
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