Paul O'Brien writes For the second month running, things are fairly quiet at Marvel. The biggest item on their schedule is the continuing WORLD WAR HULK event, and the X-books are also seeing gains from their “Endangered Species” crossover. The solitary new ongoing title is a revived MARVEL COMICS PRESENTS, and there’s a clutch of new miniseries, including CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE CHOSEN and X-MEN: EMPEROR VULCAN.

But Marvel also had a bad month in terms of getting books on the shelves. Nine ongoing titles failed to show, including books like MIGHTY AVENGERS, FANTASTIC FOUR, THUNDERBOLTS and two of the Spider-Man books. And that’s before you get onto the high-profile minis - the much-promoted HALO: UPRISING also failed to get its second issue onto the shelves. Throw in the fact that DARK TOWER finished its run in August and, well, the company has had better months.

The result is that Marvel still took first place in the North American direct market, but they beat DC by only 43% to 37% in unit share, and 38% to 35% in dollars. That’s the smallest margin all year.

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