Scarlet Spider

Welcome to another impressively inappropriate installment of Ask the Bastards, the weekly feature where you, the readers, get to ask us, the heathens at, anything you want about the world of nerddom. Today we’re talking Star Trek, obscure gaming systems, Star Wars, the future of the X-Men on film and the Constantine reboot, among many other things.


Welcome back to the comic racks everyone. Yes a whole new week of pulls to run through and time well wasted at your local comic store. From the conversations around the stacks today, it looks like the big story of the week is not about this week, but rather the last 52, and how the new 52 didn’t quite do it. Diamond Distributors has released the overall sales states for 2011 (that is purchased by comics shops and not necessarily resold to customers), and it looks like another year for Marvel at the top spot. With a market share of 37.29% and unit share of 40.93% Marvel was well above DC Comics 31.41% market and 36.77 unit. The mathematicians out there can already guess that leaves the independents with the scraps, Image Comics ranked third (5.27% and 4.71%), followed by a virtually tied Dark Horse (4.71% – 3.35%) and IDW Publishing (4.73% – 3.78%).

DC’s New 52 did pay off in one area though, locking in 9 of the top selling books of the year. Justice League #1 came out as the years top seller to the surprise of no one, with Batman #1, Action #1, Justice League #2 and Batman #2 to round out the top 5. Marvels only top ten appearance came with Ultimate Comics Spider-man 160 at number 6, so Peter Parkers death counted for something. The rest of the top 10 were Green Lantern #1, Justice League #3, Action #2 and finally Detective Comics #1. The smaller companies got some love too, top selling trade? Another no brainer. Image’s The Walking Dead walked (shambled) away with the top seller, no doubt due to the hit TV show on AMC

Ok, before the this game of shouting numbers carries on to much longer, here is the really good news, comic sales are up, way up. Single issue sales were up 3 million over 2010′s, bringing total comic sales to 72.13 million units sold. What’s that mean for us the reader? If the industry is stronger we get a better product, right? If you want more coverage of the sales figures check out Newsarama and Comics Alliances coverage., they are the experts, I’m just a dude that loves reading comics, speaking of which… let’s read some, damn it.

This week in the stands, I found my wanting a little, it was a light shipping week I guess however it did come with a few high points. The easy grab for Marvel was The Scarlet Spider #1, spining out of the events of this summer’s Spider Island arc and desperately trying to make the whole clone saga matter, this I have to read…  The one that got away? Damn it, I could not find a copy of  Lobster Johnson: The Burning Hand, by Mike Mignola and John Arcudi, the main character is called Lobster Johnson, it’s by Mike Mignola, I must read this! Dark Horse kicks off Dark Matter, which is basically “Terminator” on a spaceship, alright, I’ll bite. From Image, Whispers, yes another crack at the horror comic genre. That really just leaves DC Comics, should I? Could I? Yes, I think it’s time to pick up another one of my least liked from the relaunch, it’s time to revisit The Suicide Squad, so someone tell Harly Quinn to put some pants on.

Your fast and dirty reviews start after the jump.