Thursday, January 14, 2010

Speaking of Marvel...

This is kind of lame of Marvel. Yesterday Johanna Draper Carlson drew attention to another of the publisher's less-than-noble marketing efforts, pointing out that Marvel was claiming that they wouldn't be publishing a second printing of Siege #1, when they have a Siege #1: Director's Cut scheduled for release in March. The "director's cut" adds eight-pages of content described as "choice extras," for an extra $1. So they are having a second printing of the comic, they're just adding a subtitle and some extra material and calling it something different, so it just depends on how technical you want to be about what constitutes a second printing, I guess.

This is very cool of Marvel. Yesterday retailer, critic and pundit Brian Hibbs complained publicly about a problem at his store, in which a plumbing problem above his shop lead to a swathe of his Marvel comics being ruined. David Gabriel, one of the folks in Marvel marketing, offered to replace Hibbs' stock. I just thought I'd list that here given all the invective I poured their way yesterday. As perplexing and damaging to the medium/industry as some of their moves are, it's not like they're a bunch of devils actively seeking new and creative ways to work evil in the world all day. (Well, there are probably some devils on staff doing that...Mephisto, for instance, whom I believe is a VP in the company).

This is very weird of Marvel. I had expressed curiosity and concern over the apparent end of their Marvel Adventures line in the past, most recently when talking about the latest collection of Marvel Adventures Spider-Man, which I really enjoyed, in large part because of how writer Paul Tobin managed to make a new Spidey story that was at once classic and unique.

Well, Marvel is relaunching their MA books with two titles, Spider-Man and Super Heroes. The former will have the exact same creative team as before, which means the relaunch must be direction-oriented (the cover does have a redheaded classmate looking out the window at Spidey, and Mary Jane wasn't in any of the MA Spider-Man comics I had read).

The latter is still being written by Paul Tobin, but it's apparently going back to its rotating star format, which it had just been shifted away from to become a new all-ages Avengers series.

So new #1, but same writer (and, in one case, same artist). I guess I'll have to wait for the comic to see if something about the contents necessitated the re-boot, or if Marvel just decided to spruce up the line with new #1's a few months after giving the books new directions.

At any rate, as a reader, I'm glad to hear that Spidey team is going to be staying on Spidey, and I'll be looking forward to future collections of it.


Eric Rupe said...

I'm pretty sure the MA relaunch is an attempt to sell more copies of the title in the Direct Market. #1's do sell and the MA line has got nothing but constant buzz and a little marketing push might actually attract more long term readers. It is a perfectly sensible move, unless it turns off their subscribers.

Anonymous said...

I think Marvel is just messing with us. What worries me is that, much like DC no longer putting Johnny DC on the cover of the Johnny DC line, the smaller "Marvel Adventures" header is going to make it harder to find these kid-friendly titles at a glance, so it will be harder for parents to know which one is good for little Timmy and which one is full of sex and violence.