Comic book fans were very happy to see the Fantastic Four back on the stands at their local comic book stores.
The sales estimates for comics in August from Diamond Comics Distributors started making the rounds this week, and while it's always important to remember that the numbers are only estimates, it's pretty clear that Dan Slott and Sara Pichelli's Fantastic Four #1 was the month's clear winner.
The first issue of the new series — the first Fantastic Four comic to be released since Fantastic Four #645 arrived in April of 2015 — was dropped on Aug. 8 with a number of variant covers from celebrated FF artists, and handily topped the Diamond Sales charts. According to the data (via CBR), the issue sold nearly 370,000 units as the top-selling single issue of the month, placing it far ahead of the #2 seller, the first issue of Marvel's Infinity Wars event, and the #3 seller, Batman #52, both of which moved a little more than 100,000 units each.
This tells us that fans were really interested to see how Marvel relaunched the title, particularly after a three-year absence that was preceded by relatively low sales and rumored corporate animosity between Marvel parent company Disney and Fox, which owns the film rights to the characters (something we don't have to worry about anymore).
Though that long absence of the team (The Human Torch and The Thing were still around having adventures, but Mr. Fantastic and Invisible Woman were very emphatically not) was a bummer for a lot of longtime FF devotees, it also provided Marvel with a handy marketing boost for the moment they finally did decide to bring the team back, along with superstar creators to add extra intrigue. Throw in a long buildup, a bunch of variant covers, and you've got a bestselling first issue that managed to outpace even an event book launch.
Now, does this mean Fantastic Four will keep hitting sales milestones like this going forward? Definitely not. First issues like this get a lot of look-ins, there are always people who buy multiples so they can get the variant covers, and of course some still buy extra copies in the hope that they can sell them at a markup somewhere down the line.
Still, it's a good sign of interest in the FF, a team that's long taken a backseat to the Avengers and the X-Men in the minds of fans. If Slott and Pichelli's story can keep readers coming back through the next few issues, the title could be in good shape for quite some time. We'll just have to see how long the Fantastic Four can ride this wave.
Fantastic Four #2 is out now. Fantastic Four #3 hits stores Oct.17.