DC set the comic retailing world on fire with their 3D covers for villains month. The demand outweighed the supply and left speculators frustrated and store owners angry that they couldn’t milk more money from the situation. Well Marvel looks like it wants to get into the game of wacky covers yet again as they will be running Acetate covers for Wolverine Origin II, written by Kieron Gillen and due out later this year.
Set a few years after the events of Origin, Origin II finds James Howlett running with the wolves…until something unexpected brings him back into the world of men! Follow the first “X-Man” as he finds his way back to civilization and falls afoul of someone Sinister, who’s just discovering mutantkind and the horrors he can visit on them. Written by comics superstar Kieron Gillen and drawn by industry legend Adam Kubert, Origin IIcontinues the proud tradition of revealing Wolverine’s shocking history in the highest quality possible!
Acetate covers, for those who don’t quite remember are a slick, shiny plastic sheet. The best example would be Marvels or going further back The Last Avengers Story. So far only Origin II is slated for an acetate cover. No word on if holograms, die-cuts, and randomized trading cards are going to make a comeback as well.
According to Marvel, Thor will be undergoing a few changes in April. Apparently the mainline title will revert to its original namesake, Journey into Mystery and current writer Matt Fraction will be launching a new ongoing Mighty Thor title with artist Oliver Coipel. This is nice news, as Coipel has done some amazing artwork for Thor in the past and I definitely want to see more of his work with the character. Journey Into Mystery will be helmed by writer Kieron Gillen who himself has done some decent work with the character in recent months.
All of this is none too surprising as a similar rearranging of Iron Man’s titles came about when the first movie was a success. Fraction was involved in that little endeavor as well if you will recall. This new move seems even more highly reminiscent of that particular marketing push due to a variant cover that is essentially the teaser poster for the film. I don’t blame Marvel for wanting to capture a bit of that audience, as I’m sure Invincible Iron Man was the jumping-on point for more than a few readers. Though I’m sure the Ultimate Thor collection will be a more appealing choice to mainstream readers as it requires no longterm commitment or familiarity with continuity.
I will make no guesses as to how long the changes to the character line will last. I’m not a psychic, I just read the stuff.
Apparently, Marvel Comics has decided that it wanted to hurt me in some way and they couldn’t decide between kicking me directly in the narbles with a steel-toed shoe or cancelling one of my favorite books. I’m pretty sure they decided on cancellation based solely on the fact that they couldn’t find a shoe in the appropriate size at a reasonable cost.
And thus, S.W.O.R.D., a title that I have wholly enjoyed for all of three issues, is slated to get the axe at issue 5. Of course, the inevitable campaign to save the book has already begun, this time spear-headed by NerderyBlog, but very seldom do such programs work out, especially for books that have just launched and represent, for Marvel anyway, a miniscule investment with only marginal returns.
That having been said, Marvel seems to be on a path to cancel-happy wonderland. This is disheartening because, working in a comic shop as well as being a long time obsessive reader, I know how people react to new series in the first place.
“It’ll probably get cancelled, I’ll just get the trade.”
Do you know how many times I hear that when Marvel launches a new series? About as often as my brother heard me call him a worthless idiot during the course of our childhood. (That’s alot.) This mindset is not good for business in any way, shape or form, because now Marvel isn’t even letting the first trade hit stands to guage whether or not they should keep the book afloat. It’s not like over at DC where, and this is one of the few things they really got right, books like Jonah Hex continue monthly publication based off of the strength of the trades. Hell, from what I understand the entire Vertigo line is based off of this principle.
So why then does Marvel seem compelled to cut their losses at the earliest sign of reader slippage? I think that following the Disney merger, Marvel is trying to maintain a tight publishing organization that shows sizeable profits for everything they publish. This would explain why Super Hero Squad was recently relaunched for almost no discernable reason whatsoever, as well as the re-launch/re-branding of the Avengers titles coming after the end of SIEGE in April.
The problem with this strategum is that as readers, we will inevitably come to believe that Marvel as a publishing house has no fresh ideas, because in the end they will stop putting them on the stands. If they can’t make a profit off of them, why would they? This is just as much a call to arms for consumers as it is for the publisher. I know it’s asking a lot in this economy, but if you can stomach an extra 3 bucks a month, put it toward a title that you normally wouldn’t try. Just to show Marvel that we DO want creative and diverse titles on the rack. Yes, we will all still buy New Avengers and whatever event book they’ve put Bendis on at the moment, but we also want the books that are cut from a different cloth. And I would think Beast joining an agency that prevents extra-terrestrial warfare to be closer to his green-haired alien girlfriend would qualify as being cut from a different cloth.
R.I.P. S.W.O.R.D., I will certainly miss you. (Until the re-launch, or last minute un-cancelation, or return as a backup, or whatever they end up doing.)