Six months into Jason Aaron and Russel Dauterman’s relaunched Thor series, and it looks like The Goddess of Thunder is pretty easily outselling the male counterpart she took over for.
According to sales data from Comichron, last month’s Thor #5 weighed in as the 11th-bestselling comic for February with 69,513 issues sold. (You might remember that comic for the way it poked fun at the book’s critics.) Compare that to where the Bro-Thor led Thor: God of Thunder was with its issue #5, at 33rd place with an estimated 51,861 comics sold. That’s almost a 20 percent increase.
However, these numbers don’t exactly tell the whole tale.
One of the quirks of the comic book industry is that there is no way to really, truly, know how many copies of a comic was sold. Comichron tracks numbers from Diamond Distributors, and what they report are estimated copies sold based off how many comics retailers ordered from them. While inexact, it’s still a pretty good way to get a sense of how well a title is doing—comics retailers are left out in the cold if they can’t sell any leftover stock, so their survival often depends on knowing exactly how much they can sell.
Another quirk: No one says anything about how many digital comics are sold. This is par for the course for digital businesses disrupting more traditional outlets—Netflix, for example, doesn’t release figures for how many people watch its shows. This is particularly frustrating for titles like Thor which try to court new readers who may not visit a comic shop but have no qualms about buying them digitally.
Finally, the story context: While the artist has changed—with Esad Ribic’s painterly, mythic, style replaced with Russel Dauterman’s kinetic, vibrant linework—the writer of the new Thor series is the same one who wrote the entirety of Thor: God of Thunder, the excellent book that featured the original, male Thor. This new series is an excellent continuation of the already great story writer Jason Aaron started with Ribic in the Fall of 2012. And Bro Thor (now called Odinson) still plays a huge role in it! (Probably too huge a role, but the creative team has decided to keep the new Thor’s identity secret for the time being, so that kind of limits the development the character can undergo).
When you consider that the new Thor is an extension of a fan favorite series that’s also courting new readers clamoring for more female heroes, the fact that it’s selling better than ever before really isn’t that much of a surprise.