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Full Version: Top 10 Most Popular Superheroes
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1) Superman

2) Spider-Man

3) Batman

4) Wolverine

5) The Incredible Hulk

6) Wonder Woman

7) Green Lantern

8) Captain America

9) Spawn

10) Punisher
That page doesn't give any rhyme or reason for these selections, which is what I suspected when I saw it.

Spawn and Punisher have no place on the list, but other than those two, and the ranking in general, I'd agree.

Punisher isn't a superhero. Until recently, Marvel never knew how to use him, and his solo comic books never sold very well. They've basically taken him out of the Marvel Universe now. There's none or very limited crossover with costumed Marvel characters and Punisher in the last few years.

I'm not sure when this list was posted, but given the artwork featured for some of the characters, it's within the two or three years at most. Spawn has been irrelevant for at least five years now, probably more like ten, though.

He was the poster child for Image comics, a publishing imprint that was joint effort between creators that had left Marvel and DC to do their own thing. After a few years everyone realized that Image titles were mostly all art and no content, and the big names all gave up and went back to work for one of the bigger companies, or moved their own creations elsewhere.

Spawn creator Todd McFareland set up a toy company that's very popular with collectors of sports action figures, so I'm sure that's where he's making all his money these days. I doubt if current issues of Spawn do much more business than to break even with production costs.

In place of Punisher and Spawn on this list, one could add any number of characters. I would say Flash and Gambit would be good additions to the list.
Yeah, I really wonder what - if any - criteria were used for that. I'm not sure anyone but hardcore fans have ever even heard of last four.

Shoot, Robin would be more popular than Spawn or the Punisher....
Captain America and Green Lantern are actually very popular. But, yes, Robin is much more well known than many on the list, thanks to television and movies.
If it was recent Iron Man should be on it.

Batman should be at the top.
To give you a better idea of who's popular and who's not among actual comic book readers, here's the top selling comics of August 2008. You can view the top 100 here, along with lots of other data.
4) BATMAN #679
5) HULK #5
10) UNCANNY X-MEN #501

Now, the top two are "event" books, crossovers which feature many characters in events that impact the entire "universe." Secret Invasion is at Marvel, Final Crisis at DC.

New Avengers is a team up book, meaning Batman holds the highest spot of a solo book, followed (to my surprise) by Hulk. The Batman books currently have a common story titled "RIP." So you might consider it a crossover, but for the fact that Batman is vastly outselling the other books, such as Detective Comics and Robin. Other than it being the flagship Bat-title, I attribute it to the art of the fantastic Tony Daniel, one of my favorite artists for the past 10 years.

The team books sell well because fans can see lots more of the characters they like for the price of one issue.

Some noteworthy facts: I'm guessing the reason Hulk is selling so high is probably because they've made him red rather than green and that's generated some buzz. Extremely strong showing for Buffy, set up at publisher Dark Horse, when you consider all the big names that you'd assume would sell better than a tie-in comic book.
My guess is that a lot of occasional and first-time buyers also checked out The Hulk after having seen the movie...
august Wrote:My guess is that a lot of occasional and first-time buyers also checked out The Hulk after having seen the movie...

Very true, too. I can't count how many times I've started following a series, then lost interest around the 8th issue. So I'd expect to see Hulk drop a few spots in the next few months.

I can't believe about Buffy, though. That's huge. I knew the comic was doing well, but I had no idea it was that well. I'm going to have to give it a try.

To give you and idea on how characters appearing in movies doesn't necessarily mean increased popularity in comics--the current Hellboy mini series was last on the top 100.
Any idea what sort of numbers those ranking translate to? i.e. is Secret Invasion # 1 with a million comics sold, or 10,000?
That's a good question. I'll try to find out, because right now my understanding is a little vague. For something from Marvel or DC, I'm guessing it's somewhere in the double digit thousands.
That sounds about right. I seem to recall a few years back reading Marvel saying something about reaching a peak of selling a million or so comics each month total, i.e. tens of thousands each of several dozen titles.
How many comics does a particular issue have to sell to be considered successful?
Another good question...