Batman, Locke & Key, and Star Lord Decorate February's Diamond Numbers | Fanboys Anonymous
It's a busy time for the comic book industry, with more content being adapted across more mediums than ever before. Publishers continue to roll out different initiatives blanketing the comic sphere with a near-constant wave of news and speculation. At the end of every month, however, we get to step away from the headlines and casting announcements to take an inside look at the brass tacks of the comic business via Diamond's publishing numbers. Although these numbers allow us to take an educated look at the sales for a month, they do come with some limitations. The numbers below represent only Diamond's sales and do not reflect changes based on returns. That said, they are still a fun way to see where your favorite heroes stand in the endless battle for market share and shelf space.

February's Diamond Numbers for Comics shipped by publisher

In terms of market share, the number of books sold compared with all books sold, Marvel continued its dominance over DC. More interesting, last month saw Dark Horse climb over IDW for fourth while Image Comics retained third place. In terms of volume, DC out-shipped Marvel, although Marvel has rolled out another round of first issues this month that will make this number one to watch as March comes to a close.

Diamond numbers for top ten single issues february 2014

While the battle of the Big Two is fun, the top 10 books of the month tend to offer a bit more insight as to industry trends. February saw Scott Snyder's Batman top the charts once again for the most sold issue. The issue jumped forward, offering a look at the events of Batman: Eternal as well as glimpses of Batman's new sidekick Blue Bird and the New 52 debut of fan favorite Stephanie Brown. The top issues also saw Robert Kirkman's creator-owned Image Comics series The Walking Dead take both the eighth and ninth slots overall. This serves as a real testament to the show's contribution to the industry and certainly indicates that it has brought new eyes to comic stands.

February 2014 top selling graphic novels and trade paperbacks from Diamond

While the Caped Crusader's back-to-back wins is certainly impressive, the graphic novel ranks offer a look at the changing creative landscape. Seven of the top 10 graphic novels were published outside the top 2 publishers. IDW continues to showcase the power of its licensed series with Adventure Time and My Little Pony both taking a spot on this list, but the real winner is Image Comics, who took four spots. It will be interesting to see how the rise of creator-owned content continues, especially with the public creative difficulties that continue to stem from the Big 2. Other noteworthy points include the final volume of Joe Hill's critically and fan-praised series, Locke & Key, which trumped all the comic worlds, seizing the top graphic number slot of the month, and Marvel's capitalization on Guardians of the Galaxy buzz, with the reissue of Annihilation: Conquest - Star Lord taking the sixth slot.

Which do you prefer, Marvel or DC? Choose who you'd like, but the numbers don't lie. What book are you surprised to see miss the cut? Let us know in the comments below and check back to in April to see how March shakes out.

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