As we previously reported, James Tynion IV and Werther Dell'Edera's Something Is Killing The Children #16 is the most-ordered issue of the series. The first chapter of the "Origin of Erica Slaughter" has outsold not only issue #1, but the previously record-setting issue #11 by a wide margin… and that was already the case when initial orders came in from retailers.
Ahead of final order cutoff on Monday, we reported that Something Is Killing The Children #16 would likely sell over 100,000 copies. We also predicted that Key Collector app's alert that the franchise was in development as a television series would drive orders up at FOC. But no one, not even us, could have predicted how high the orders would go.
As we understand it, orders for Something Is Killing The Children #16 rocketed from initials and more than tripled, ending up at over 155,000 copies after the final bell rang. That includes 43 retailer exclusive variants, which is the type of fervor we typically only see among retailers for red-hot first issue launches like Keanu Reeves, Matt Kindt, and Ron Garney's BRZRKR. It eclipses Donny Cates and Geoff Shaw's Crossover and blows away JT4's own Department of Truth with artist Martin Simmonds. It's hard to imagine any title from creator-owned competitor Image this month competing with those numbers. It's right at the sales level of Marvel chart-toppers that launched last year like Cates' Thor #1, Image's current high watermark from JT4's mentor Scott Snyder and artist Tony Daniel Nocterra, and even Tynion's own Batman #100.
And as we noted, eBay sales of the American Library Association variant of the first issue smashing $3,000 makes it as big as the first appearance of Miles Morales in Ultimate Fallout #4. When you factor in The Walking Dead took seven years and two seasons of an actual TV show to break the six-figure sales barrier, something Something Is Killing the Children pulled off in just two years with only a show in development, it begs the question how much bigger is this series going to get? Or maybe it will fall victim to its own gravity, collapsing into a singularity and dragging the rest of the direct market down with it into a black hole of suck.
We have not seen sales charts or market share released by Diamond Comic Distributors since October of last year, right around the time Something Is Killing The Children #11 charted in the top 30 comics of the month. Since then, Boom's sales have only become more impressive, with their relaunch of Power Rangers in November and launch of BRZRKR in March, no doubt strengthening their market share and position on the charts. Might other more established publishers in the industry prefer the last six months of sales charts were not made publicly available?
In any case, with publisher Boom Studios releasing a SIKTC-related issue, Enter The House Of Slaughter, for Free Comic Book Day in August and the cover revealing an homage to the first issue of the parent series, will retailers order enough to have the stock to cover demand in the late summer and early autumn? Enter The House Of Slaughter also FOC'd yesterday at even larger numbers – over 183,000 copies, so it certainly would have been on retailers' minds. Or are they preparing for another surge of new readers to add the single issues to their pull list when Something Is Killing The Children Volume 3 releases on June 9th, as has happened with each collection release thus far?
And while Something Is Killing The Children Volume 3 FOCs in two weeks on Monday, May 17th, retailers would do wisely to pay attention to another Boom title FOCing this coming week on Monday, May 10th. Cullen Bunn and Jonas Scharf's Basilisk #1, which is not only a similarly-themed horror comic, but featuring an iconically designed female lead not dissimilar to Erica Slaughter.
Based on the first look we saw for the series in the back of the last week's top-selling BRZRKR #2, Basilisk is almost a reverse Something Is Killing The Children with the monsters in the series being the mysterious strangers that wander into small towns in the Midwest leaving devastation and death in their wake . Given Bunn's first Boom project, The Empty Man, become a critically-acclaimed horror film during the pandemic and Boom has announced his second series, The Unsound, is already in development with first look partner Netflix, it's likely the streamer will be eyeing to pick up Basilisk as well.