James Tynion IV has announced that Batman #108 sold over 200,000 copies. That’s big news!
WHAT DID HE SAY?
Mr. Tynion has recently been creating his own newsletter, which you can access here. Recently, the Batman writer said the following about Batman, one of the titles he’s now scripting:
Sales on 108 were insane. We broke 200K on this one, and there are a bunch of amazing covers spotlighting Miracle Molly out in the wild.
For those of you who may not have been picking up Batman, let me share the description of that issue, #108:
Batman goes undercover to infiltrate the transhumanist gang known as the Unsanity Collective and learn more about their sudden appearance in Gotham. And what nefarious plans does Simon Saint have for Arkham Day survivor Sean Mahoney? How does it connect to the Magistrate? And in part two of the action-packed, bone-rattling Ghost-Maker backup story…can our hero stand up to the horror of Kid Kawaii? Plus, don’t miss the debut of the mysterious Miracle Molly!
That last sentence is apparently what got the attention of retailers. See, they introduced a new villain called Punchline recently, and she got a LOT of attention… not to mention sales! They weren’t going to miss out on the introduction of a new Batman-related character again!
Tynion said the following as well:
[Batman #108] is an unusual issue of a Batman comic, but my goal here is to make you love this new character as much as Jorge Jimenez and I do by the time you put the issue down. With [Miracle Molly] we wanted to create a character with a strong moral code that Batman respects but doesn’t necessarily agree with… Her story is one of the key defining threads of what we’re doing in the main Batman title this year.
You can bet that DC is asking Tynion if he has any other characters he’d like to introduce as well. Hey, he has brought in the Clownhunter, the Underbroker, and Ghost-Maker recently. I’m sure we’ll see even more new good guys and gals and bad guys and gals in the months ahead.
WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT?
As I’ve mentioned previously, I’ve been reading comics a long, long time… decades, in fact. I can remember when comics, when they cost all of ten cents an issue, sold over a million copies a month. Yes, I said a million!
Nowadays, if you can garner sales of a tenth of that—roughly 100,000 or so—that’s considered a HUGE success! When you double that number, well, the industry stands up and pays attention.
See, Tynion, if I read my Internet correctly, was only going to stick around on Batman until issue #100 after wrapping up “The Joker War” event. Then he was going to move on to other projects like the horror books and all that he’s also up to these days. I’m not exactly sure what happened, but he stayed on the book. Perhaps it was Punchline’s big success that made both Tynion and DC anxious for him to keep writing it. Whatever it was, it has worked out well for everyone involved.
Here’s a little more background. Tynion was previously a student of one of my all-time favorite Bat-scribes, Scott Snyder, who is an excellent teacher, I hear. You may remember that guy’s days of working with Greg Capullo when Batman was flying high not that long ago. Snyder saw the talent in Tynion, and they began working together.
When the time came for Snyder to move on, it wasn’t very long before Tynion was brought in to move the Dark Knight forward. And boy, has he!
In my Wayne’s Comics Podcast, I’ve had the privilege of interviewing all of them several times. One thing that stood out to me when I talked with Tynion was that he likes writing younger characters… you know, like the Teen Titans, Robin, and such. Because I knew this, I wasn’t at all surprised when he developed Punchline. And I was even less shocked when he introduced Miracle Molly as a kind of anti-Joker baddie.
Apparently, the fans have taken notice as well, if sales are any indication!
IT DOESN’T HURT THAT HE’S WRITING BATMAN
A lot has been said recently about the fact that DC has put a LOT of its focus on the Dark Knight. His sales have outpaced everyone else in the DCU, which is why we’re seeing a big number of Bat-books on the stands. You know, Batman: The Detective, Batman: Black and White, Batman: Urban Legends, Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight, Future State: The Next Batman, and so on.
Even Warner Bros. has been putting new Batman in the works. Recently, they announced that Bruce Timm is returning to animated Bat-stories with Batman: Caped Crusader on HBO Max. And there is The Batman, that live-action film with Robert Pattinson. I also loved Zack Snyder’s Justice League and hope for more along those lines.
As a lifelong Bat-fan myself, I keep thinking the current cycle of great Bat-stuff will end soon. Guess not!
And I know every Bat-writer wants to add his or her own creations to the Bat-mythos. Scott Snyder did it with the Court of Owls (which you can now find in the Batman: The Adventures Continue comic, season 2) and the Batman Who Laughs.
Tynion is keeping that tradition alive!
IF IT HELPS THE INDUSTRY, GREAT!
Someday the bubble will burst, though. I’ve read the ugly Batman stories in my day—you know, the ones featuring Nocturna and Calendar Man and the like. I held my nose and bought those books.
The excellence in Bat-storytelling very likely cannot last forever. Eventually, we’ll get the lower-tier Batman tales that will discourage me. But for now, I’m going to enjoy it all!
I keep hoping that Batman’s success will help the entire industry. After all, eventually fans might have some extra money they have to spend, so they might pick up some other comics and become fans of those books as well!
Right now, it couldn’t hurt!
I wonder if Tynion might want to try his hand at Hawkman, another favorite of mine that could use a boost about now! Hmmmm.
I’m encouraged that at least ONE comic has surpassed 200,000 numbers in sales. Maybe more will follow suit? I know Tynion has been writing a ton of comics these days, and that’s good for fans like me.
Granted, I know that there are many comics that don’t pass the 100,000 mark that I enjoy. I just hope that DC keeps Tynion as busy as he wants to be for the foreseeable future.
It would be good for him, good for us fans, good for the industry! Keep up the great work, Mr. Tynion!
What do you think? Are you buying James Tynion IV’s comics? Do you buy the Batman monthly title? If not, what would you like to see happen with the Dark Knight? Please be sure to share your thoughts below!