Monthly subscription service Loot Crate has slowly but surely begun to wield influence in the comic book industry, and CBR can reveal that its December shipment will include an exclusive edition of "Batman" #36, with a new variant cover by series artist Greg Capullo. The issue, originally released in November, is the second part of the Joker-centric "Endgame" storyline, written by Scott Snyder. This version will be delivered later this month to Loot Crate's more than 200,000 subscribers.
This is the third physical comic to be included in a Loot Crate shipment, and the first published by DC Comics. Comics included in Loot Crate have thus far had a noteworthy effect on the monthly Diamond sales charts, as publishers have started to look to the service -- started in 2012 with a focus on broader "geek" culture and gaming -- as a way to potentially reach a new audience beyond traditional markets. In July, an exclusive variant of Marvel's "Rocket Raccoon" #1 was included in that month's Loot Crate shipment, leading to the Skottie Young-written and illustrated comic taking the top slot that month with 293,913 in estimated retail orders -- more than 175,000 more than that month's No. 2 ("Batman" #33).
An even clearer result of the Loot Crate bump was seen in October's sales charts, where "The Walking Dead" #132, included in a Loot Crate shipment, hit 326,334 in retailer estimates, while "The Walking Dead" #133 -- released that same month, but with no Loot Crate involvement -- clocked in at 69,561, a much more typical range for the Image Comics series. That's a difference of more than 255,000 -- in July, Loot Crate had a reported 111,000 subscribers, suggesting the service's base may have more than doubled in the interim three months.
Last week, Marvel confirmed that January's "Star Wars" #1 sold more than one million copies, with a "number of new outlets" involved -- leading to speculation that Loot Crate may be a factor in that figure.
Each Loot Crate shipment has a theme, and December's is "Anniversary," with the "Batman" inclusion due to it being the final month of the character's 75th anniversary. The issue will also include a free digital copy of the initial three chapters of digital-first series "Batman: Arkham Unhinged," and the shipment is also set to contain an exclusive DC Comics Funko POP! vinyl figure. The December shipment is available to order through Loot Crate's website until Friday, Dec. 19.