$3.99 Stays Put, Hickman Is the New Bendis And Other Marvel Relaunch News

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By Todd Allen

marvelnow 197x300 $3.99 Stays Put, Hickman Is the New Bendis And Other Marvel Relaunch NewsAxel Alonso and Tom Brevoort gave a fairly wide-reaching interview to Comic Book Resources on the topic of the “Marvel Now” relaunch.  It jumps around a bit, but does get some more information out into the public and comes straight from the horses mouth.  Let’s parse it a little.

The price of Marvel’s comics will also be unaffected by the Marvel NOW! initiative “My understanding is that price points will remain what they are,” Alonso said. “There shouldn’t be any unpleasant surprises on that front.”

So it looks like the $3.99 books and $2.99 books will stay the same.  So much for the whispered hopes that Marvel would take advantage of relaunch publicity to lower everything back to $2.99.  I would guess that Uncanny Avengers will be a $3.99 title.  Other launches?  Time will tell.

There’s a great deal of time spent talking about AVX as the end of a cycle that started with Avengers Disassembled and House of M. Or, to put it another way, the Bendis Avengers Era.  And a lot of the cross-over material, particularly Secret Invasion, was Bendis-driven in that time period.  They also talk about Uncanny Avengers being a natural outgrowth of AVX and wanting to put the X-Men more firmly in the Marvel universe.

My reading on that is they’re going to make a concerted effort to move as many of the roughly 175K AVX readers into Uncanny Avengers as the first act post-cross-over.  There is probably a discussion to be had about whether the X-Men are better off in their own corner of the world or out in the open.  It seems like there have been different philosophies on this over the years.  Certainly, the X-Men have had periods where their cross-overs were within their own titles.

Not everything is getting relaunched.

A large number of titles will be part of the Marvel NOW! initiative, but that doesn’t mean that every book Marvel publishes will be restarted with a new #1 issue. “Anything that has a story hook tied into this initiative will be branded Marvel NOW!” Alonso explained. “So there will be a lot of new #1 issues including ‘Thor’ #1, an ‘Iron Man’ #1, and a ‘Captain America’ #1, but there might be some other titles, like ‘Daredevil’ for instance, which won’t go through a creative change or have a new #1. Mark Waid is doing a fantastic job on that book and his run is still very new. So we have no interest in interrupting that book. Of course, if Mark and Steve Wacker come up with a great hook that legitimizes things the book would become part of the Marvel NOW! line up.”

This also tells us that the relaunches _will_ be getting new #1 issues.  Not to say Captain America didn’t just get relaunched.  Good to hear Marvel’s best book, Daredevil, isn’t getting touched.  Still, if ever there was a quality title that would benefit from a big publicity event, Daredevil would be it at Marvel.  Such an under-appreciated series.

“‘Uncanny Avengers’ is a completely new series. Brian’s ‘All-New X-Men’ replaces or succeeds ‘Uncanny X-Men’ in the same way that ‘New Avengers’ succeeded ‘Avengers.’ And speaking of ‘Avengers,’ that book simply passed from Brian to Jonathan, and increases its frequency to twice-a-month,” Brevoort explained. “For the most part, there’ll be a one-to-one ratio with a lot of these titles, though there will be some other new entries launched as part of Marvel NOW! as well. And while one or two titles may be ending during this same period, that’s an unconnected phenomenon.”

This is interesting, in that it doesn’t say that Bendis is taking over all the X-Men titles, but that it paints All-New X-Men as the new X-flagship.  I suppose time will tell if that’s intentional or not.  On the other hand, the torch-passing from Bendis to Hickman is referenced.  Not too much later, it’s announced that Hickman is joined by Steve Epting on New Avengers #1.  Avengers is bi-weekly.  New Avengers is monthly.  So… that means we have 3 Avengers issues by Hickman each month.  Plus Avengers Assemble. Plus Secret Avengers.  Plus the Avengers/X hybrid of Uncanny Avengers.  So, 5 or 6 Avengers issues each month?  Presumably, the Hickman books are the core titles.  Brevoort even says something to that effect at Marvel’s website:

I can tell you that NEW AVENGERS will be an absolutely essential sister title to AVENGERS, intrinsically linked to what’s going on in that book. Together, the two will function as Black and White, Day and Night, Life and Death.

Hickman’s Avengers: 3 issues/month, linked.  So Avengers is functionally like Amazing Spider-Man was a couple years ago.  But with more sister titles.

Of course, Marvel is doing more teasing than anything else at this point.  As more information is released, things should be a bit more clear.  The October solicitations ought to make for interesting reading.

Comments

  1. John Warren says:

    I’m guessing AVENGERS ACADEMY will be ending. It will be interesting to see what happens to the Thunderbolts, or Dark Avengers, as I suppose we must now call them.

  2. they need to pair things down a little, especially in the x-books. they’ve gone so far away from the core of what makes the story tick that they definitely need some form of reorganizing.

  3. Roberto Briceno says:

    Sorry, but this is bullshit, horseshit, chickenshit, and any other farm animal shit!

    “Sure, lets up the price tag on our kool-aid drinkers. They are stupid. They will buy anything that has another #1 on the cover.”

    I can understand an indy publisher like Dark Horse, Image, IDW and BOOM! with $3.99 price tag on their books because of lower orders, but $3.99 from Marvel and DC.

    Ok, I’ll give DC the edge on a $3.99 price tag, at least they have a co-feature with the main story.

  4. Benjamin L Boyd says:

    But what about The All New, All Different, Uncanny, Dark, Light, Up/Down Xvengers?

  5. I think it would be in Marvel’s best interest to invent a new word to use in their titles that means “even newer than new”.

  6. Jumping on points are also good jumping off points.

  7. Zoomy says:

    Captain America was relaunched with a new #1 in November 1997, April 2002, November 2004, July 2009, July 2011 and now in late 2012. I reckon by around 2015 we’ll have reached the point where every issue is #1.

  8. Porter Flabber says:

    23 pages for 3.99 feels like an awful deal, especially for digital comics. I guess for paper editions it’s not quite a bad deal considering the free code you get with the comics, but for someone who buys exclusively digital (be it for regional reasons or otherwise), shelling out 4 bucks for 23 pages of Spidey doesn’t feel really good.
    AvX 6 was a special case because of the inclusion of the digital extra and the length of the issue, but in general it feels like paying too much for too little.
    I hope they don’t bump the 2.99 to 3.99 :/

  9. Dennis V. says:

    The $3.99 price tag is crap… and no marvel, I could care less about that “free” digital download.

  10. Kevin says:

    So…I guess relaunches consist of giving invulverable characters armor? Superman got his…and now The Hulk looks like to be wearing a bullet proof vest. Oh and arm bands…I guess to work out in.

  11. David Serchay says:

    Zoomy, you missed the “Heroes Reborn” 1996 Captian America #1. So that’s 7 Captain America #1’s in less than 20 years.

  12. Which of the remaining unannounced Marvel NOW titles are non X-Books being relaunched? Ghost Rider? New Warriors? I would be interested in those kinds of titles.

  13. Which other books are NON X-books? I want to know which ARE. So far, we’ve only heard of one actual X-book and a book called Avengers which they tell me will also stick its nose in X-business. Whence my New Mutants, my X-Gillen?

  14. Torsten Adair says:

    After Secret Wars II, I pretty much cured myself of hyperbole hypnosis. I did read the Age of Apocalypse (partly because it was self-contained, and an alternate reality), but that was the last event I read from Marvel.

    I was reading FF and F4, but now wait for the hardcovers. I should try Mark Waid’s Daredevil, but I’ve just no interest. Even the Spider-Island event, with its amazing elevator pitch, didn’t catch my eye.

    I dunno what this is meant to accomplish, aside from rearranging the deck chairs and encouraging readers to try a new creative team on each issue.

    I’ll be surprised if there’s a significant increase in sales. Marvel’s not rebooting their universe, just issuing a lot of new #1 issues. How many #1 series have been launched by Marvel in the past five years? It’s nothing special to comics readers.

  15. Rob J. says:

    The $3.99 price point is a massive disincentive, especially on the bi-weekly books. Moreover, regardless of your stand on the subject of Bendis as a writer, a team of alternate-timeline versions of the original 5 X-Men isn’t going to make ANADX an acceptable replacement for Uncanny X-Men. It ain’t ever going to be the flagship X-Title, period.

    The writer doesn’t matter, artists don’t matter, it’s not the main team. And heck, it’s the *third* **current** ***ongoing*** title dealing with *a team of X-Men from an alternate universe!*

    I mean, come on, no matter how much I may or may not like the title when it’s published, it’s the third title in which there’s no real reason to invest in the characters. Because. They. Don’t. Count.

    I mean, really,

  16. “I dunno what this is meant to accomplish, aside from rearranging the deck chairs and encouraging readers to try a new creative team on each issue.”

    It’s meant to fool people into thinking these comics “matter”, because Marvel is only capable of selling event comics and first issues these days. So if they make a blanket label across the line, and keep the relaunches rolling from week to week and month to month, the events and the number ones never end. It’s a pretty desperate hail mary, perhaps even moreso then the New 52.

  17. Oh, and every time I see that promo art, I think the same thing: Joe Quesada can’t draw a Raccoon to save his life.

  18. TonyJazz says:

    I buy only 2.99 Marvels anyway, as their other publications do not warrant an extra dollar, as far as I’m concerned.

    As a result, I’m buying more Image comics per month than Marvels. And several times more DC comics….

    If 3.99 ever does become a pricing standard, I’ll buy far fewer comics per week. That might be a good thing, as it would save me maybe $100 a month—as I’ve got plenty of backlogged reading I could enjoy instead.

  19. comiclover says:

    man, im really getting sick of relaunches!!! ive been collecting comics for over 35 years(im 44) but this might be the end for me. its too stupid. i feel like im getting jerked around and penalized for my years of loyalty. f$#k both marvel and d.c.

  20. Been buying & reading The Avengers since 4th grade. I’m 50 now. Looks like a good time to stop.

  21. Louis Lane says:

    >Been buying & reading The Avengers since 4th grade.

    Marvel will always have an “Avengers” title, or will revert the “Really New All-Uncanny X-Vengers” to the Avengers numbering at some point. They want to have their cake and eat it too by having lots of #1 issues but still reach #700, #800, #900, etc. It shows that the “Marvel Universe” is “re-boot proof.”

    I understand why you’re tempted to throw in the towel, however.

    LL

  22. @comiclover – i’ve been collecting comics longer than you and you echo my feelings exactly. on the one hand, after reading the article, i’m glad that this isn’t a total reboot. on the other hand, just like you i’m sick to death of these relaunches (that are happening with greater frequency as others here have stated) that do zilch to bring in new readers, but does plenty to annoy long time readers. with all the relaunches over the years, relaunches have become absolutely meaningless in regards of a number one issue being something special. new directions for characters, new creative teams, hey, all that is great, but do we always have to be subjected to relaunch after relaunch to usher these books into the market.if a new creative team takes over a book every six months, does that mean we’ll be getting relaunches of that book twice a year? how’s this for a radical idea, announce new directions, creative teams, etc., WITHOUT all the pomp and bulls**t of a relaunch. it used to be that way. when walt simonson took over thor, or john byrne on the f.f. they didn’t relaunch thor or the f.f. with new number one issues, they kept the numbering as is and let those guys do their thing and it all turned out great (betcha there’s someone at marvel today saying that was a wasted opportunity for relaunches. ugh!).

  23. Suzene says:

    Currently reading and enjoying all of three titles from Marvel these days, more than I have in the past five years or so. So far, all I’m seeing is a lot of hyped product I have no interest in, and the possibility that the books I am enjoying will vanish or be gutted.

    But hey, if Marvel wants to save me money, good on them, I guess.

  24. Caged Wisdom says:

    @MHF – do what makes you feel best, but I would think that HIckman joining The Avengers would be a damn good reason to keep reading.

    The work he’s done on FF & FF4 is stellar, and while I didn’t get very far into the Bendis Avengers era, I’ll be coming back for Hickman.

  25. Shortly after I swore off Marvel forever, I decided to see if I could imagine a Marvel Comics I’d want to read. I wrote up a proposal for an all-ages Marvel universe, 12 giant-size monthly comics, each with three features. It was great practice for the work I’m doing now.

    http://www.zianet.com/donaghe/popart/marvelpopart.pdf

    People who have read it tell me this is exactly what Marvel should be doing.

  26. Harry says:

    I will stick with Brubaker on Fatale, Bunn on 6th Gun, Rucka on Lady Sabre, Humphries on Higher Earth, and I will leave their necessary financial endeavors to some other people, thank you.

  27. I will never understand why you all seem to get so bent out of shape by a new #1. I mean who cares? They could go back to number after every arc and i wouldn’t care. I liked Brubaker on Cap so i bought the new series. i like the idea of Remender on Cap so I’ll buy the new number 1. Easy.
    Same with all the Avengers titles. You don;t like them, don’t buy them. Why are you getting so angry? Is it becasue you don;t want to be spending that much money but they suck you in? Sounds like you are really angry with yourselves.
    As for $3.99. Yeah it’s expensive but the way I resolved it was buy trades on pre-order that gives me a big discount. Easy solution.

  28. Isn’t $3.99 a common price for many US comics now, not just Marvel? DC’s $2.99 prices seem to be the exception rather than the rule, or am I mistaken?

    Presumably it’s all about retailer incentive, and the percentage of profit being higher on $3.99 books?

  29. filippod says:

    The price bugs me a lot, yeah, and I think it’s dumb. But it’s within my power to accept it or to refuse it.

    My true gripe with Marvel is the heavy rotation on artistic duties (even within story arcs, for the celestial’s sake!).

    Re: Fatale, Saga, Sixth Gun, etc. etc. and leaving the dumb crap to people.

    Hey guess what! It is possible to enjoy BOTH. Crazy uh?

    Also, it’s not like Brubaker, Bunn, Rucka et al become became all of a sudden crappy writers when they write superhero stuff.

    Sure, they can’t realize their full vision on characters they don’t own, and that’s a limit. On the other hand they can on offer their take of beloved characters, what’s not to like?

    Just ignore the bombastic publicity noise and pick what you like. It’s as simple as that.

  30. filippod says:

    …. it was “leaving the dumb crap to (insert your pejorative term here) people”.

    But I used the minor an major sign and the system chewed it as a tag. Sorry.

  31. James says:

    Well, with no price decrease – my interest in this ‘event’ is now at zero.

    I refuse to pay their inflated prices for minimal content. I hope it bites them in the arse, and its a flop.

  32. Naveed says:

    Maybe $3.50 a book would be a more reasonable price increase? But I agree with most people here this relaunch doesnt seem to interesting for now. While alot of people bitched the DC New52, I think in general it is pretty good, I am buy alot of DC titles, (the $3 a book helps) and since 2010, alot more Indie (Image, IDW, Dynamite for instance)…..

    Marvel’s relaunch seems to be a cheap attempt of Dc’s relaunch but differently so they dont get tagged as the copycat. While I will give a few of these books a try for 3 months, I think it will reduce my Marvel pull list. Heck, I used to buy over 20 Marvel titles prior to 2008, now I think I pull 6….and if Iron Man relaunches again, I wont buy it. Same with Daredevil, Spider-Man, Avengers (will give it a shot). Besides, EVERYONE knows that Marvel are the champions of 1-2 year relaunches and then WHOOP! renumbering back to the old series. I think it has been done what like 3 times on Wolverine? Done with FF, Avengers, DD, Thor, Hulk, the list goes on and on. This is the think that annoys me the most I must say.

    It just seems like Marvel has lost some of its Mojo the past 2-3 years….(since Disney?). Oh well, at least they make good movies!

  33. Ron Catapano says:

    Marvel is trying so hard to look like they’re not copying DC that they are making the same exact mistakes that DC made when they first announced the “restart”.

    Clarify what you are doing or you will just water down your message until nobody will listen anymore.

    Reboot, Restart, Refresh, Rename, Renumber, Reintroduce, Regurgitate, make up your mind and let us know.

  34. Todd, when you said:
    “Good to hear Marvel’s best book, Daredevil, isn’t getting touched.”

    You misspelled “Journey into Mystery”. I don’t know if it’s getting canned or not.

    I’ve been having fun reading titles set around the periphery of the Marvel universe–Journey, Avengers Academy, (adjectiveless) Hulk, Defenders, Thunderbolts, even the “at a distance from the main X-Event storylines” Astonishing X-men. My main hope is that if Marvel continues to be as Event driven as it has been over the last decade–and why wouldn’t it be?–that they continue to stay a step removed from the books I’m reading.

  35. Synsidar says:

    One thing about Marvel Now (MN): as usual, the editorial focus on the new series has at least diluted, if not eliminated, interest in the resolution of AvX. At a minimum, people reading the MN PR know that Cap feels sorry for the mutants and their situation following AvX and vows to help them out. For a reader who wants suspense, it’s rather like seeing an ad for the sequel to a miniseries air during the first miniseries.

    SRS

  36. Charles says:

    I’m still trying to find the logic in dropping a title a like because it’s being re-numbered. If it was a hard re-boot that erases continuity, I will agree that dropping the book is very sensible. However, dropping a title because of a number change seems like a massive over-reaction.

  37. Kingmob says:

    I´m looking forward to it, so far, I´m enjoying the creative teams and the titles, still, it´s just a small part of this Marvel Now, more will come.I don´t like the #1s all over again, aside that, I´m cool. I don´t understand some fans who once said what DC did, the whole retcon, like some sites was the bold move, something to the new century but this is a rip-off.At least, so far we don´t see continuity being erased like DC 52.

  38. nWoJeffDW says:

    The $3.99 price point continues to keep me from buying any Marvel comics.

  39. Well, this puts paid to the “Marvel’s answer to the DC 52”. It’s not. At all.

    It’s more like the time after Civil War, when they spun off new titles under “The Initiative” banner.

    It’s not about new readers, accessibility, righting their wrongs as a publisher. It’s just a creative team reshuffle, only with better marketing!

    Dunno why the press thought it was a reboot/New 52 thing. Bit of a cock tease.

  40. Naveed says:

    So how long until they announce the MARVEL NOW! of Amazing Spider-Man? They will call it NEW BRAND BRAND NEW NEW NOW DAY! Can they could ship twice a week at $4.00….for about 6 months and then by issue #70 reconvert to the old numbering! Copy paste this to Capitain America, Iron Man, etc. I feel Marvel should erase some of its continuity, it would help, particularly Spider-Man.

  41. “It’s more like the time after Civil War, when they spun off new titles under ‘The Initiative’ banner.”

    See also: Heroes Reborn, Heroes Return, Dark Reign, The Heroic Age, etc.

    This has become a standard Marvel trick during the past two decades, though not always with renumbering.

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