Warning: SPOILERS for DCeased & Batman: Last Knight on Earth
The latest battle in the competition of Marvel vs. DC Comics has seen a victory for the side of Justice League... and all it took was the end of the world. More than one, technically.
After DC topped Marvel in March's comic sales, outnumbering their biggest competitor in the ten best-selling issues of the month, the publisher has repeated the feat in May. That's thanks to the launch of DCeased, a miniseries following DC's version of a zombie apocalypse that spread across Earth claiming heroes in just the first few seconds. With DCeased #1 selling nearly a quarter of a million issues to retailers, one thing is clear: when the Justice League tears itself apart, DC wins. BIG.
The honors also extend to Doomsday Clock #10, as well as Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo's Batman: Last Knight on Earth #1, the acclaimed duo's "final story" that has revealed how the Justice League dies at the end of DC's Universe in just the first issue. We can't say whether it's coincidence or fate that not one, but two books chronicling the end of DC's Earth (three, if you think Dr. Manhattan really does kill the universe) should help propel the publisher into first place. But with six of the top ten issues of May 2019, there's no question that DC is on a roll.
Credit for the staggering sales numbers of DCeased #1 is due to Tom Taylor (Injustice) with Trevor Hairsine and Stefano Gaudiano, along with a special nod to artist Francesco Mattina's zombie-rific variant covers. Although as fans of the series already know, it isn't a "zombie" outbreak that has claimed millions, but a version of the Anti-Life Equation tainted with death. An infection that, once spread to someone, compels them to tear themselves--and anyone else around them--into pieces. It remains to be seen if Cyborg succumbs after bringing the infection to Earth, but Aquaman, Nightwing, Batman, Tim Drake, Green Lantern, and more have fallen already.
Tragic as these scenes may be (with plenty more incoming) they're the kind of moments that DC fans need to see to believe. Which is likely the reason that demand surged so high for what was introduced as an odd, horror themed What If?' six-issue series. Check out the full Top 10 selling books of May 2019, according to Diamond Comics' estimates:
- DCeased #1 (243,326)
- Doomsday Clock #10 (117,841)
- Batman: Last Knight on Earth #1 (113,694)
- Savage Avengers #1 (112,137)
- Batman Who Laughs #5 (109,067)
- Amazing Spider-Man #21 (92,870)
- Immortal Hulk #17 (87,758)
- Batman #70 (83,818)
- Batman #71 (83,001)
- Amazing Spider-Man #22 (78,383)
With Savage Avengers uniting Marvel's deadliest heroes, its place on the list is a no-brainer (pardon the zombie pun). But the other entries confirm that dark horror is most definitely on the rise for both Marvel and DC. Scott Snyder promised to bring Batman's ultimate villain without pulling punches, and the legacy of Batman Who Laughs won't be stopping with his own series. His villainous plan will extend into DC's new Batman/Superman series, when a mysterious selection of heroes will be infected with evil. Considering how well that premise has worked out for DCeased, the publishers are likely all too happy to keep this momentum rolling. No matter how many versions of the DC Universe have to die as a result.
Batman: Last Knight on Earth #1 and DCeased #2 are available now at your local comic book shop.