We've already unpacked the Diamond Comic Distributors statistics for May 2017 to show that, unlike their report, that once again Secret Empire wasn't actually the best-selling comic in the direct market in North America for that month.
But there are some other odd things going on as well.
Such as the $4.99 Guardians Of The Galaxy: Mission Breakout $4.99 oneshot by Christopher Hastings, Edgar Salazar and Allen Martinez not only getting into the top ten, but beating out the much heavier promoted All-New Guardians Of The Galaxy #1 by the more high profile Gerry Duggan and Aaron Kuder.
After all, Mission Breakout didn't make it into any retailer's top ten who reported for the Bleeding Bool bestseller list, but All-New Guardians Of The Galaxy #1 did. And All-New had massive retailer discounts, tons of variant covers and all the bells and whistles that Marvel use to launch a comic book now. Mission Breakout had a couple of tiered variant covers, but that's it. All-New even had retailer exclusive variants which can add thousands onto an order and
Mission Breakout had a couple of tiered variant covers, but that's it. All-New even had retailer exclusive variants which can add thousands onto an order and
All-New even had retailer exclusive variants which can add thousands onto an order and may have been enough to push it into the top ten. Just not far enough to beat Mission Breakout – which was also a whole dollar more.
So what's going on?
Well, there are clues. The Diamond chart gives us these two items to compare.
|5||9||91.28||MAR171072-M||GUARDIANS OF GALAXY MISSION BREAKOUT #1||$4.99||MAR|
|6||4||88.45||MAR170910-M||SECRET EMPIRE #2||$4.99||MAR|
The first number is the sales chart position, but the second number is the dollar chart position – how much the comic actually brought in. And despite both being $4.99, and Guardians Of The Galaxy: Mission Breakout reportedly selling more copies through Diamond, Secret Empire made a lot more money. How come?
Especially considering that retailers who matched their orders of Secret Empire #2 to 125%, 150% or 175% of their orders on Civil War II #8 got some massive discounts, which negatively affects the comic's dollar rank.
The answer, it seems, lies on eBay. Because Guardians Of The Galaxy: Mission Breakout is a tie-in to the new theme park ride of the same name at Disneyland.
And it appears they are selling the comic at the Disney reports as well, with an exclusive variant cover.
And, because Disney is Marvel and Marvel is Disney, it looks like not only did that order from Disneyland make up the majority of the order through Diamond – who have the exclusive Marvel distribution deal, even when it comes to Disney – they got a massive, massive discount for doing so. Then sell them at full price. And then get flipped on eBay for $12 a piece.
Also helping Marvel Comics get another comic in the top ten – six instead of the five they would have had otherwise.