Sales for MICKEY MOUSE AND FRIENDS/WIZARDS OF MICKEY aren't included because there was only one additional data point available. WOM #2 sold 3704 copies -- a 27% decline from the first issue -- and the remaining issues covered during this period, WOM #3 and WOM #4, didn't make Diamond's list of the Top 300 sellers. At least WOM fared better than HERO SQUAD, which fell out of the Top 300 after issue #1. The DONALD DUCK AND FRIENDS graph is missing a data point for month 6 (issue #352) for the same reason. What would worry me if I were Boom! is that DD&F #352 was the final issue of the first Double Duck story arc, the one which Red Primerose's identity was revealed. By contrast, the final chapter of Casty's Mickey Mouse and the World to Come (WDC&S #706) produced a modest, but welcome, uptick in sales. With the declines of UNCLE $CROOGE and DD&F having flattened out at the same time, perhaps we have reached the proverbial "bottom of the ski slope."
The most recent PREVIEWS solicited orders for books slated to be released in September... and HERO SQUAD and WIZARDS OF MICKEY are conspicuous by their absence. Instead, MICKEY MOUSE AND FRIENDS will return for a gala issue #300. There's lots of WIZARDS OF MICKEY material still out there; ULTRAHEROES, not so much. What will Boom! do when/if it decides to revisit these concepts? I wouldn't mind HERO SQUAD being a "filler" in some other book at some point, but there doesn't appear to be enough remaining material to justify restarting the title. Also, wouldn't a return to "classic" practice in MM&F be stepping on the over-sized Mouse shoes of the Casty material currently running in WDC&S?
With the apparent shelving of the "New Direction" titles for the nonce and the concurrent commitment to DuckTales material in UNCLE $CROOGE and an ongoing DARKWING DUCK title, Boom! might be said to have redefined its target audience. With HERO SQUAD and WIZARDS OF MICKEY, Boom! aimed for the "kid" audience brought up on a diet of superhero movies and HARRY POTTER novels. The current Disney Afternoon gambit seems to be attempting to reach those young adults (and, of course, a couple of us young-at-heart older ones) whose first sustained, consistent exposure to "Disney product" came through watching the "Golden Age" TV series. Judging by the early reports on the brisk sales of DARKWING DUCK #1, this may not have been a bad strategy. Aside from the "goosing effect" that nostalgia has had on sales, the older readers of the TV-based comics might encourage their own children to become interested in the old series. Were the various divisions of Disney not so rigidly segregated, I might even dare to hope that this might lead Disney DVD to rethink its decision to abort its releases of the "Golden Age" DVD collections.