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In search of the Marvel completist

Douglas Wolk

There’s a lively discussion going on in the comments to my last post here, but I wanted to carry one thing that’s been brought up there over to a new post:

How many “Marvel completists” are there right now? According to the estimates over at The Beat, November’s issue of “Marvel Adventures Super Heroes” sold 3,308 copies in the direct market (one of them was to me). The final issue of “Omega the Unknown” sold 7,591 copies in the direct market. “Dominic Fortune” #4, a mature-readers title, sold 5,657. “Amazing Spider-Man Family,” which was actually in continuity (at least in part), hit bottom at 7,289 copies with #4. If you assumed that everyone who bought a copy of each of those bought it only because they buy every Marvel comic (or Marvel non-all-ages comic, or Marvel in-continuity comic)… well, you would be wrong, but you still wouldn’t have accounted for the existence of a lot of completists.

So here’s my question: Does anyone who reads this buy a copy of every Marvel comic for yourself? (Do you read all of them? What keeps you buying them all?) Is anyone who reads this a retailer with at least one customer who buys every Marvel comic? While we’re at it, are there DC completists out there?

(And one additional question for the number-crunchers: anybody want to cite a number for the lowest-selling single issue of a non-reprint, in-continuity, 616-universe Marvel comic book?)

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