Before the New 52 launched in September 2011, Green Lantern was one of DC Comics' biggest success stories. After many years as a second-string title, it had been revitalised by writer Geoff Johns into one of the publisher's tentpole franchises - so successful that a Green Lantern motion picture got produced by Warner Bros ahead of The Flash, Wonder Woman and numerous other potential movie properties. While Johns remained to spearhead the Green Lantern Corps into the New 52, he has since departed the lead title - and the entire franchise seems to be in trouble without him.
If you want to know how much trouble Green Lantern is in, consider this: total sales across all five books in March 2014 was 136,797. Jump back one year, and that total was 191,248 - and that was across only four books. In the past 12 months the range has declined by 28%. Jump back to March 2012, and those four books sold 219,942 copies. Let's jump back even further to March 2010, when there were only two books in the line and between them they shifted 174,089 copies. That splits up to an average of about 87,000 copies per Green Lantern title. That average in 2014 is down to just over 27,000. In the past four years Green Lantern sales have effectively declined by almost 70 per cent. It was a tentpole for DC. Now it's just another second-string title.
Since September 2011 DC has published five ongoing Green Lantern titles. Of these, all five are currently ongoing - Larfleeze is selling so badly it has to end soon. The average number of issues per title currently sits at 26.
All sales data is taken from Comichron, and is the estimated sales of comics via Diamond Distribution to retailers - that is, what went into the stores, not what was actually sold to customers.I will be removing sales from September 2013, however, when DC ran its villain month. Some titles had as many as four issues in that months, and others had none, and sales regularly bore no resemblance to the titles they were ostensibly a part of. It's clearer without them.
Charts are colour-coded: anything in green is safely selling about 40,000. Sales below 40,000 move to blue, those below 30,000 to orange, and those below 20,000 to red. Anything selling less than 10,000 copies is listed in black: dead book walking.