Well, that was a heck of a thing.
From the outside, Jonathan Hickman, Pepe Larraz, RB Silva and friends on House of X and Powers of X seemed like an absolute sensation. Over its 12 issues, it only seemed like the conversation surrounding them grew, creating a fever pitch of fan theories, reactions and just general excitement. At one point during the run, I was texting with a retailer to try and figure out the last time a comic series created this much heat. The DC Universe Rebirth special? Civil War? Age of Apocalypse? It was almost beyond compare in the social media era, as we couldn’t figure out anything that topped it, really, at least in terms of hype (if not orders).
That’s just feel, though. It seemed like that. But was that the vocal minority the internet can often represent or was it something more? With that in mind, as I did in August, I wanted to check and see by talking to retailers from around the world about what they saw from these titles. And with HoX/PoX ending and Dawn of X beginning, what better time than now?
Let’s see what everyone had to say, but as per usual, it’s worth reminding you, my kindly readers, that this is not representative of everyone. It’s a look at how these titles did on a micro scale, giving everyone a taste of how these titles sold in shops, the kind of excitement they generated, how that seems to be carrying over to the first wave of Dawn of X, and more.
House of X and Powers of X are now complete. Things were looking good early on. Now that they’re all through, how did they work out for your store, sales wise? Did readers stick around throughout, or did interest wane?
Steve Anderson, Third Eye Comics (Maryland, Virginia): Sales are still CRAZY strong. We’ve gone through multiple printings on nearly every issue of both series — and that’s not from under-ordering, as we hit our sell-thru #s just how we’d like.
This whole thing was handled perfectly; Marvel had the new printings coming right in time as we got low on the previous. Readers kept coming.
This was probably one of the most successful releases to grab lapsed readers since REBIRTH or NEW 52 – maybe not on such a wide scale as those were “lines” – but: damn, LOTS of people buying single issues that had either gone only trades, or had fallen out. VERY COOL TO SEE!
Bruno Batista, Big Bang Comics (Dublin): Actually, interest INCREASED as the series went on. It was the rare event comic where word of mouth kept getting bigger and bigger, To the point that after POWERS OF X #6 came out (the last comic in the HoxPox series) we were still selling full runs to people just hearing about it. It was a critical AND sales juggernaut in our store, it’s been a long time since a Marvel series has sold so well for us and without any gimmicks!
W. Dal Bush, Challengers Comics + Conversation (Chicago): Interest actually increased! We sold 142 copies of HoX #2 across all variants, and sold 168 of HoX #5 across all variants. We did sell an additional 33 copies of a HoX #2 3rd print, but that still means that we’re only 8 copies away from #5 outselling #2, and that’s with #5 only being on the stands for a couple of weeks.
Ralph DiBernardo, Jetpack Comics (Rochester, New Hampshire): This was the most unprecedented Marvel event in a long, long time. Not only did readers stick around but more and more readers came on board. We’re still restocking issues we sold out of. In the end these books did well over 4x our best selling X title at the time of launch. They brought in old readers and hooked new ones. Quality always sells and Marvel did a great job with this.
Jen King, Space Cadets Collection Collection (Oak Ridge North, Texas): In a trend busting anomaly, Hickman’s House and Powers Run actually created an increasing demand for issues week to week. My numbers show that as the series rolled out, that more and more customers added those titles to their pullboxes and we had an incredible amount of new customer traffic looking for those issues and even lapsed readers returning. There should have been even higher sales of these books, but even with my large over orders, because of the release schedule and oversold print runs, we could not add to our orders past FOC (Final Order Cutoff) which happens three weeks from release date. People adding the titles to their pullboxes sometimes took up most of our overship and so we had very few for the sales racks. Even though demand increased week to week, there was no way for stores to increase their orders to meet increased demand. Who knows how many copies this series could have sold. Perhaps twice as much as actually did.
Colin McMahon, Pittsburgh Comics: Fairly steady.
House of X: 127 – 89 – 84 – 95 – 97 – 94
Powers of X: 104 – 98 – 90 – 84 – 82 – 78
Availability of early issues early on was an issue. Surprised at the low number on the last issue. No clue on that.
Scott Tomlin, Comics Dungeon (Seattle): If anything interest grew over time. We struggled to keep up with demand on the first 4 issues.