Boasting reader numbers far greater than those achieved by the publisher’s best-selling Western books in recent years, a Japan-exclusive Deadpool manga has officially solidified itself as Marvel’s current most popular series.
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Written by Sanshirou Kasama (Goshujinsama to H na Koto shitai Dorei no Ohanashi) with art by Hikaru Uesugi (Nisekioku Soushitsu no Hachiyo-san), Deadpool: Samurai follows the Merc With A Mouth as he traverses Japan, meeting both established and original Marvel characters along the way.
The series is currently exclusive to Shonen Jump+, a Japan-only digital manga magazine spun off from Shueisha’s Jump line, where it has been serialized since December 10th, 2020.
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However, despite being both region- and app-locked, Deadpool: Samurai has been putting up massive readership numbers throughout its run.
Both the series’ first and second chapters amassed over one million reads each, and though a standard dropoff in readers has occurred since its debut, Deadpool: Samurai’s most recent chapter, has still been viewed by over 650,000 fans.
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While these readership numbers are impressive on their own, they’re staggeringly more so when compared to the sales numbers for Marvel’s best-selling books in recent years.
According to estimated sales numbers provided by Comichron, Marvel has only produced one book beside Deadpool: Samurai that has managed to reach the one million sales mark since 2009, the year the comic book industry statistics website began listing said data.
This book was 2015’s Star Wars #1, which officially launched Disney and Marvel’s latest Star Wars series of comics in the wake of original IP owner Lucasfilm’s acquisition by the entertainment conglomerate.
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Only two other books came even close to touching the significantly lower bar of 573,000 readers, as registered on Deadpool: Samurai’s least-read chapter. Notably, these two books were both ‘special issues’ featuring Spider-Man, arguably Marvel’s most popular character.
The first was 2009’s Amazing Spider-Man #583, an issue dedicated entirely to the inauguration of then-President-elect Barack Obama, and 2014’s Amazing Spider-Man #1, which featured the return of Peter Parker following his years-long possession by the mind of Dr. Otto Ocatvius.
Alongside Jujutsu Kaisen’s recently achieved 36 million cumulative sales numbers, the 9.3 million volumes-sold-success of Chainsaw Man despite not having an anime, and Bounding Into Comics’ own regular coverage of manga’s rise over a falling western comic book industry, it’s clear that Eastern-produced collections of sequential images are resonating more and more with the average audience member.
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