Nostalgically revisiting the comics of the 1980s since 2008.
These lists are really fun for the little surprises they offer. In this case, I'm struck by how low Batman is (#60) and the difference between two of the most acclaimed DC runs of the time: Teen Titans (in midst of "Judas Contract") is raking it in at #4, while Alan Moore's Swamp Thing #25 is down around 66 (I guess at that early point in the run, it was still a 'hidden gem'). Meanwhile Vigilante is way up there, suggesting Marv Wolfman as the hot DC writer of the day.Also struck by Alpha Flight being way up at #3 (these days it doesn't seem that well-regarded, although it was my favourite along with X-Men and Daredevil back then). I guess that's a testament to Byrne's popularity back then (esp. with FF at #6).Thanks for posting these lists, hope you'll show more in the future.david p.
Hey David, thanks for dropping by. I was also surprised by Alpha Flight's popularity. I wish I had more of these to post. I've been scouring my magazine back issues, but haven't discovered many of these.
These were tough times for DC in many ways. I think at time time I was buying Titans, Blue Devil, Firestorm and the Legion but not much else (though I've gone back and bought lots of 80s DC - at much higher prices - in recent years). One can see how Crisis almost had to happen to revitalize the line. It worked with me; I put a lot of DC books on my pull-list during and after Crisis and stayed with some of them for decades to come!
I really am shocked at the amount of top tier DC books that were selling so poorly. I am also surprised GI Joe is not higher on this list. 1984 was in Joe's prime.I didn't buy any DC books at this time but I did buy a lot of the post Crisis relaunch books for about a year. That being said I'm not a fan of the new 52.
Didn't Marvel always say that G.I. JOE (and the other toy tie-in titles of the day) always shifted far more copies on newsstands and through other "mainstream" outlets than they did through the Direct Sales market. Thanks to the Hasbro bankrolled TV spots, they probably enjoyed massive sales spikes on those promoted issues (and shifted a lot of toys too).
Indeed, DC was having a pretty rough time and like you said, Crisis was something they really needed to get back into the game.
I would argue that it wasn't "Crisis" that they needed but an influx of new talent and better writing.
Jason, again thanks for the site and this great post. I'm surprised that one of my favorite comic book titles of all time, Alien Legion, checked in so high at number 9. Never knew it was that popular. Maybe because issues were so hard to find, back issues new, were so hard to find. That being said, given the rush to make tv shows and movies out of comic book properties I think Alien Legion would be perfect for a tv show.
Hey JG, many thanks for the kind words. I would love to see an Alien Legion tv show!
What is a shame is that Amazing Heroes doesn't cite the source, because back in the time, there were various distributors and this list might be from just one of them. Furthermore, these sales might be representative of direct sales, but not from newsstand sales. A good move would be to compare the list with the top 10 published in Marvel Age so we'd see if they match. I suppose the Top 10 from MAge is taken from total sales, as shown in the Statements.