How and WHY is it Possible?

Looking at the monthly sales it seems TIH is continuing to lose readers – it’s down to about 40,000 – and the better book, The Red Hulk, is staying at a measly 21,000.  What is it with comic readers not buying the well written series?  When the Red Hulk was a sales juggernaut it was one of the worst written series that had come out in a long time – now that the book actually makes sense and is a decent read – more than 70% of the readers disappeared.  What does that say about comic readers?

I’ve heard people complain that they want genuine, better stories and stop with the big events – yet, looking at the monthly sales, that’s all that people keep buying.  It’s somewhat disappointing.  Not to mention – why is TIH still at $3.99?  The FF book – that only had 200 less readers in February – was $2.99!  The following month – the FF was back at $3.99!  Is Marvel just going month by month here?

I told you I saw in NJ this past weekend – and I saw plenty of Hulk #50 – and I mean PLENTY – still sitting on the shelves of the comic shop I was in.  When I asked about it – they said that Hulk does not sell anymore.  It’s too bad.

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32 responses to “How and WHY is it Possible?

  1. Very sad to read that the Jeff Parker Hulk comic is doing so poorly. I think that it could benefit from tying in to another series, maybe Avenging Spider-Man, to raise awareness.

    I dropped Incredible Hulk after issue one, it’s just terrible.

  2. On another note Ratch, did you see the “AWSOME ” Thor vs Ironman clip on comicbookmovie.com. It looks like Ironman can hold his own for a while.

  3. HULK 50 sold out in my shop, but there were plenty of AvX #0 & 1 left on the shelves. Does that mean AvX is struggling? No. Tons of copies left means the owner over estimated demand of his regional customer base and ordered too many. Selling out in less than a week means the owner under estimated and should have ordered more. It’s all about predicting demand. With that said Red does sell, but he’s on Marvel’s lower end between 20-24k the last 6 months. There should be a spike upwards with issue 50 but who knows how much. But reaching its 100th issue is definitely a long shot.

    With that said TIH (reaching its 7th issue this week) will likely be at the same sales number as Red by time it reaches it’s 50th issue. The truth of it is, Hulk titles (of any color) struggles with longevity. They just don’t attract consistent fans like Spider-Man and Wolverine. And sadly good writing seems to push the masses away even further.
    -AJ

    • Good post though Ratchet. It would be fascinating if someone tried exploring why the Hulk just doesn’t connect as well with the psyche of the comic reading audience..

      Maybe we are all just too smart for them. ;)

      -AJ

    • Your example is majorly flawed – as AvX has the numbers to support it’s success – so no one would say it’s struggling – anyone who did would be ignorant of facts. What I stated was based on facts from the past. Glad it sold out at your LCS – that just means that the owner did not buy as many copies as the shop I was in – still doesn’t change the fact that sales overall on the book are dwindling. The only difference this past issue has is that it was supposed to be bigger – with variants to pad it’s sales – and the readers just aren’t there anymore.

      And I strongly disagree that TIH sales would be the same at #50 – the green Hulk held his title for 50 years with numbers that rival Wolverine and Spiderman’s – and while I get what you are saying – you are way off base here. I said the Red Hulk sells about 20,000 – but that’s nothing to what it once did – the Red Hulk fans seemed to be fairweathered and drop the title once the Red Hulk’s identity was revealed.

      The Green Hulk just need a writer who knows the character and writes somewhat decent stories again to get it back on track.

      • If you read my post i said it would be a long shot for the Red Hulk to reach 100 issues. I agree it’s on the low end now. I was just indicating a pile of a comic still sitting on a shelf has no direct correlation with sales. That’s all.

        And Hulk has always struggled with sales compared to other Marvel staples, even when Peter David first took it over. It doesn’t make the character any less awesome or us any worse of a fan to admit that. That has even been repeated by Marvel brass. Just you saying that Hulk has been held his title for 50 years is kind of misleading, because the Hulk has met many readership circulation challenges, stoppages, and relaunches along the way. Hulk’s first cancelation occured after only six issues 50 years ago due to poor reception, so let’s be intellectually honest here. It doesn’t make him less great of a character.
        -AJ

      • I’m not going to get insulted on my own blog – so I edited your post – but let’s put it this way – EVERY character in the MU has had relaunches due to readership circulation challenges. Even Spidey, Cap and Wolvie…

      • Come on Ratchet. There has generally been at least two ongoing Spider-Man monthly series at any time, with even four monthly Spider-Man titles running at the same time during the heyday of the nineties. That doesn’t count all the other appearances, limited and one-shots.

      • Right…and? That has ne bearing on the fact that the Hulk has had Spidey numbers in the past.

      • Spidey has set sales records. Hulk hasn’t. I didn’t even think this was possibly debatable. Well I’ll give up and give you this Ratchet, you’re the most passionate, dedicated Hulk fan I know. Cheers to ya

      • Right – but Spidey’s also had stagnent sales – and those “other titles” you talked about have been cancelled due to lack of sales. Spidey is now currently is back on top – and good for him – but the Hulk has certainly been just as popular, sales wise, as Spidey.

  4. BTW – When the owner said “Hulk does not sell anymore” he meant at his shop – which I thought was clear in the post. If you thought I meant overall – obviously it still sells some books – but nothing compared to what it did even a year ago.

  5. I’m still reading.. in fact AFTER the reveal was the book I have been waiting for.

      • Listen, I knew it was gonna be Ross, before I even started reading again… I thought it could be interesting, and while it was (in Fact I enjoyed the first issue) in theory, the execution, (as well as most of the issues) was a debacle. Parker took a character and did what I always wanted it to be once I figured it was Ross. 30.1 really cinched it for me.

      • Exactly – in fact, sales don’t mean a whole lot considering what actually sells…

    • Good Grey – then you are not one of the fairweather readers – I am reading too – and am enjoying it more than TIH right now.

      BTW – I got your package yesterday – Thank you so much!

  6. Do you guys think McG’s absence ahs anything to do with the lackluster Hulk numbers? Keep in mind that the art is about half of the book.

    • I absolutely think McG’s departure has something to do with the dwindling sales… and Loeb too. He sells books. I don’t know why – but he does.

  7. I do love McG. I would love Parker and McG together.

  8. Pak’s departure is still upsetting to me. I haven’t read a single Hulk book since the very first Red Hulk story. I just quit after that, because I hate Loeb so much. I haven’t read all the newer stuff Greg Pak wrote, but I look forward to it. I’m a bit behind on my Hulk reading, so it will take me a while to catch up. I’m skipping all the Red Hulk nonsense though, and I’ll just go into the Greg Pak stuff. I loved his work on Planet and WW Hulk.

  9. Hmmm….could be because lot of people are out of jobs now..in Candan where I live Victoria BC lot of people just lost their jobs or lay off….lot of busniess are down now…due to HST I believe HST harm lot of busniess with high cost…etc..or maybe some people just lost interest in Hulk and want to move on with their lives just like me…I am no longer Hulk fan I had move on but I still come and check your site Ratchet because I am alway curious about your collection..etc and I am alway awe by your collections!

  10. I want to clarify something to redhulkblog, the hulk’s first run wasn’t cancelled because of low reception stan lee explained why in his introduction in vol 2 masterworks and i quote ” Lots of you wondered why the original six-issue Hulk series, in which our jolly green giant had the whole mag to himself, was dropped, especially when it was so POPULAR. The truth is, Jack Kirby, who started the strip with me, was also drawing the Fantastic Four, The Mighty Thor and countless other features and didn’t have the time for all of them. So, we figured the Hulk could afford to be dropped for a while because he was the strongest, and strong men don’t cry!” Now he did confess his memory may not be 100 percent accurate but would really say write something that isn’t true?

    • Stan Lee has been notorious for revisionist history. According to many Hulk historians, it was cancelled due to poor sales. But let’s quote just hulkdatabase.com for now.. “Hulk #6 – Final issue of the original Hulk title. Sales were sluggish, and Marvel publisher Martin Goodman canceled the series.”. Or… we can go under the premise that Hulk was so dang popular… ultimately as popular Spider-Man.. but after the first 6 issues.. they suddenly realized they just didn’t have time for it. Riiight.

      • I love the Hulk. This is no way an insult to the character. Just a fact of its rich history. It’s frustrating when this comes up for debate. Blade Runner… one of my favorite movies.. took a while too for it to earn its appeal Again, part of its rich history.

        Ok, new topic! :)

      • No one can argue the fact that the Hulk was cancelled after issue #6 – but after he was granted his own title again – due to his GROWING POPULARITY – his sales were at peaks and valleys – like every other character in the MU. The Hulk has been at the top of the pack a few times – as well as Spidey and FF – then again – Spidey, Hulk and FF have had sluggish sales as well. It’s just how it works in this industry. To think the Hulk has never beat Spidey is sales – even though both have been around for fifty years – is just plain ignorant. The Hulk has had many collaborations that the fans clamored for – PD and Keown, PD and Kubert – even Loeb and McGuinness beat Spidey in sales with the Red Hulk for a while. It’s really not that hard to figure out.

      • Overall Ratchet… overall. Im not talking when a new Hulk #1 debuted it beat a 180th issue of Spider-Man at that given moment. I’m talking amount of titles and the success if those titles, overall Spidey was been waaaay more successful than Hulk. Spidey has been record breaking. It’s not even debatable. Everyone knows it. It’s no big deal. Let’s just agree to disagree and smile. :)

      • I’m not talking about a #1 either – I’m talking about let’s say… issue #454 through issue #464 where Hulk regularly outsold EVERY Spiderman title on the stands.
        I don’t know why you seem to not understand or more like refuse to think that Hulk could be a better seller than Spiderman – and has been multiple times in the past – but it’s getting really annoying.

        You’re right – it’s not debatable – you are wrong. Plain and simple. But if you really want to argue this – go somewhere else to do it. At this point I’ll just start deleting your posts because this is not what my site is for. Have these arguments on your own site if you’re so inclined.

      • Okay… I will go somewhere else. Sorry about that – I guess I was wrong.

  11. hulkandthor#1!

    I don’t run a store, I don’t do research, all I go by is the top 100 sales on the monthly previews magazine, but I have the impression that as far as single issues go marvel’s sales in general are dropping. After this new 52 dc is kicking marvel’s @$$. I could be wrong but I think marvel get’s it’s money from the trade paperbacks.As far as stories go marvel sucks right now, and dc. My interest in dc comics is all but completely gone ( no offense to fans). I’m enjoying parker’s red hulk title and some what liking aaron’s TIH, but obviously the fans feel differently. I’m almost at the point where I’m at “screw marvel, screw dc I just don’t care anymore!” But I’ll never stop collecting Hulk, I have been since I was nine years old and I don’t intend to stop even if it’s the only book i collect.

  12. Pingback: Quick review- The Incredible Hulk #7.1 « The Daily P.O.P.

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