As the new year kicks off, comic fans await the release of new series and the continuation of well-established series that have done record sales for the studios that produce them. Image Comics has names like Walking Dead and Tomb Raider under their umbrella of series, two of the most well-known series that have been adapted into television series and films.
Even though they are considered one of the smaller comic brands, Image has produced comic series that have topped the sale charts several times, beating out Marvel and DC for top spots. As the company expands its series and hits anniversary issues, it will likely make more record-setting sales.
Tomb Raider #1 (1999) – 189,455
Several video games have comic books that people know about, and even though not everyone knows that Tomb Raider has a comic series, it has sold well for Image. As reported by Comichron, the issue that introduced comic fans to Lara Croft was the best-selling comic of 1999 and was around the time that the video games were reaching new heights in popularity.
The comic release came before the movies showing that the series could stand on its own without a worldwide audience. With a strong female character taking the reins of the story, more readers could connect with Lara Croft, which bettered the sale of the issue.
Spawn #301 (2019) – 190,777
Coming off the heels of a milestone issue, the 301st edition of Spawn was well-received by fans, even though it took a dip in numbers from the previous issue. Comichron reported that the 301st issue sold under 200,000 copies upon its first run but still ranked highly for the company.
With less hype surrounding the follow-up issue to the milestone, fewer collectors were looking to get copies, even though the story was just as substantial. As noted in the Comichron report, Spawn #301 was the second-best-selling Image Comic of 2019.
Spawn Universe #1 (2021) – 191,575
2021 proved to be a big year for the superhero Spawn as Image released several new versions of the character, all of which rank highly in sales for the comic studio. As reported by Comichron, Spawn Universe #1 was the third best-seller for Image that year, only being beaten out by other versions of Spawn.
As noted by Image, this was the start of a long-awaited series that would expand the Spawn series and introduce a multi-verse of different characters, including a female version of the character.
Fathom #1 (1998) – 257,087
Comichron reported that Fathom was the best-selling comic of 1998, and it is easy to see why with the stunning visuals on the cover that was different from other series at the time that had more superhero-based art.
Some of the sales came from the number of variant covers available with the first issue. Some of them had holographic features that other comics didn’t have, per Comichron. Selling more than 100,000 more copies during the month it was released than Uncanny X-Men,Image showed that they were a force to be reckoned with in the comic world, as shown in the Comichron report.
Spawn #300 (2019) – 275,749
Any issue that hits an issue that pushes the series into the double digits is a big deal, but hitting 300 issues with the same character was monumental for Image, and Todd McFarlane, who has created some of the best comic book characters on the market.
Even though 2019 marked the 1000th issue for DC and Detective Batman, the 300th issue of Spawn sold almost 300,000 fewer issues but was still the second best-selling comic of the year, according to Comichron. With several variant covers to collect, fans flocked to get the milestone issue and see where their favorite hero would go next.
The Walking Dead #132 (2014) – 326,334
The Walking Dead #132 was the second best-selling comic of 2014, according to Comichron, selling over 300,000 copies, including those that were included in a Loot Crate.
This comic included the first appearance of Alpha and came at a time that the show was experiencing new levels of popularity, as it was in its fifth season and was racing new levels of drama with Rick being in danger. While the comics followed a different storyline, fans were still invested as they wanted as much TWD in their lives as they could get.
The Walking Dead #115 (2013) – 329,300
At the end of the year, The Walking Dead #115 reached the peak position in sales for Image, with more than 300,000 copies sold through its first run, according to Comichron.
The series topped a long-standing staple in the comic industry, outselling Justice League of America and Superman Unchained. Even though the competition was close TWD fans showed that they could propel Image into new territory with sales for issues that were not milestone or collector editions.
Gunslinger Spawn #1 (2021) – 339,858
Image’s Gunslinger Spawn #1 proved that any iteration of the character would be a draw for fans. Considered by Reddit to contain one of the best Spawn storylines, the first issue showed the hero with an Old West look that had not been explored before and continued to make the character more dynamic and exciting.
According to a report by Comichron, the new series was released in October, giving the new outfit Spawn a Halloween feel, even though the series extended long beyond the spooky season.
The Walking Dead #100 (2012) – 353,200
With another huge outselling released, Image Comics proved that they could outsell the two biggest brands in the comic industry with one of their most popular series, The Walking Dead. Comichron reported that the milestone issue outsold the Uncanny Avengers by more than 50,000 issues and nearly 100,000 issues more than Avengers Vs. X-Men.
With the success of the television show and several variant covers to be collected, fans of the show and comics wanted to get their hands on the 100th issue of the series.
King Spawn #1 (2021) – 480,650
Before the first issue was released, King Spawn proved to be a success for Image, with nearly half a million pre-orders. With a main character that many feel needs his TV show as a non-Marvel/DC superhero, there was a draw to the new series for long-time readers, and new readers had the opportunity to meet the hero in a new way. With a release date in August, the issue came later in the year and faced big competition as 2021 was a soaring year for comic sales.
But that didn’t stop King Spawn from taking the throne; as reported by Comichron, King Spawn was the best-selling single-issue comic, with no special covers contributing to sales.