Double Ships and The End of Amazing Spider-Man – Marvel's December Solicitations

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By Todd Allen

ASM1999700 MARTIN 197x300 Double Ships and The End of Amazing Spider Man   Marvel's December SolicitationsThe December solicitations for Marvel are out, and while you’ve read a lot of the Marvel Now announcements, there’s still a few things you might now know about.  Cancellations (pending relaunches), a new series of Point One issues and let us not forget a whole bunch of double-shipping titles…

This isn’t quite the level of exposure Wolverine gets, but it appears Venom is showing up in 3 different titles in December.  His own, Secret Avengers and Thunderbolts.

Cancellations:

  • Captain America and… (was Captain America and Bucky, then it turned into a series of team-ups.  The final issue is called Captain America and Black Widow)
  • Wolverine
  • Uncanny X-Force
  • Amazing Spider-Man

There will almost certainly be a relaunched #1 issue of Wolverine  and Spider-Man in January.  X-Force is apparently splitting into a couple books.  As for an extra Captain America title… that’s unclear.

Jim Starlin on parade:

  • CAPTAIN MARVEL: THE DEATH OF CAPTAIN MARVEL TPB (NEW PRINTING)
  • MARVEL UNIVERSE: THE END TPB (NEW PRINTING)
  • SPACEKNIGHTS #3 (of 3)

 It sounds like Starlin and Marvel are working things out and his old Marvel work continues to be reprinted.

From the “sounds like a movie tie-in, but it’s not” department:

  • GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY: TOMORROW’S AVENGERS VOL. 1 TPB

That would be the original (as in, from the future) Guardians of the Galaxy, starting from the one-off in Marvel Super Heroes through Marvel Presents.  That’s basically the whole Gerber run plus related bookends.  Of course, the Guardians of the Galaxy film looks like it’s about the  Annihilation *.* version of the group.  Then again, I’m not going to complain that they’re reprinting this run.  Perhaps we’ll see the Jim Valentino version he was working on before leaving for Image?

Actually is a movie tie-in:

  • MARVEL’S IRON MAN 2 ADAPTATION #2 (of 2)

(I won’t spoil the ending for you.)

Titles shipping more than once in December:

  1. THUNDERBOLTS #1 & 2
  2. AVENGERS #1 & 2
  3. CABLE AND X-FORCE #1 & 2
  4. AVENGERS ARENA #1 & 2
  5. ALL-NEW X-MEN #3 & 4
  6. IRON MAN #3 & 4
  7. HAWKEYE #5 & 6
  8. AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #699, 699.1 & 700
  9. AVENGING SPIDER-MAN #15 & 15.1
  10. SCARLET SPIDER #12 & 12.1
  11. ULTIMATE COMICS ULTIMATES #18.1 & 19
  12. X-FACTOR #248 & 249
  13. X-TREME X-MEN #7.1 & 8
 As you can see, there are 5 “.1″ issues out in December.  In theory, these are special issues geared towards giving new readers a jumping on point for a title, so it makes a certain amount of sense these should pop up during the Marvel Now relaunch.  And it’s those 5 “.1″ issues that tip the price scales for the month to the $2.99 side of the ledger.  Leaving out the Disney and kids comics, the cover price count for December stands at:
  • $2.99: 32 issues
  • $3.99: 31 issues
  • $7.99 : 1 issue (Spidey #700)

Comments

  1. Al™ says:

    Excuse me, $8 dollars for Spidey #700???

    I checked into the page count. It seems “The lead story will be 50 pages, then there will be extra material by guest stars.”

    Anyone have an exact count yet? Based on usual retail cost per page, I am hoping for at least 72 pages.

  2. ASM ships THREE times in December? O_o

    Marvel is just shameless these days.

  3. saipaman says:

    This strip mining of the reader base can lead to no long term good.

  4. Keyser says:

    Great… they cancel Amazing and want to restart it from #1 again. They did that already and went back to the old numbering in the end and they didn’t learn from it. Marvel sucks a dick.

  5. Even though DC kicked a lot of continuity to the curb and ticked off a lot of readers with the New 52 (abolishment of the Lois/Clark marriage as an example), I almost think this Marvel NOW promotion is even worse for readers.
    Not that this problem didn’t exist prior to the ‘soft’ relaunch, but the fact that a majority of these title double-ship each month and carry a $3.99 price tag is a pretty big hit on the wallet.
    If someone was enticed to pick up 10 titles out of the New 52, it would run $29.90 for the month. A reader wanting to do the same with 10 of the Marvel NOW titles would have to cough up $79.80 (yes, they would get twice as many comics, but they would also be paying more than two times as much).
    I just don’t find this to be consumer-friendly at all.
    That said, I own Disney stock, so I hope all you Marvel lovers pull out your wallets and give ’til it hurts. My stock portfolio thanks you.

  6. Siegzon says:

    Soon reading the Marvel and Dc universes will be like playing water polo or debutante balls- an activity only for the wealthy.

  7. b.t.t.c. says:

    Marvel is ridiculous these days. Point-one (“jump-on!”) issues for series that are about to be canceled.

    And I know I’m not the only one who WOULD be interested in titles like Hickman’s Avengers… but will NOT be reading it since it’s $4 twice a month (plus the ancillary New Avengers title that will probably go to twice monthly as well).

    People point to DC’s weaknesses, but Marvel is in a far worse position. They have to double-ship and/or charge $4 an issue just to keep up.

  8. John Warren says:

    @zombieundergrnd–If you look at the most recent sales charts, there are at least ten DC titles priced at $3.99. Not as many as Marvel, but they’re hardly “holding the line at $2.99″ anymore. The only Top 10 book that is still $2.99 is Green Lantern.

  9. kushiro says:

    @ Al(superscript TM):

    Solicitation says 104 pages for ASM 700. Not sure how many are story pages.

  10. John Warren says:

    @Al–According to the solicitation, AMAZING #700 will be 104 pages.

  11. Yeah, I about died when I saw that Amazing Spiderman #700 was $8?! PLUS, they want me to buy ANOTHER issue that month for $4, not even counting the “you can obviously skip this cause it’s lame crap” point one issue, etc. etc. Ridiculous.

    I believe the #700 page count is around 104 pages if memory serves, but most of that will be reprints, or quickly done short stories, which personally I could live without if it meant a lower price.

    You’re all exactly right about Marvel’s double shipping shameful tactics. I was hoping with the relaunches they would put a fix in place, this title will ALWAYS ship double a month (such as Avengers) or this title will only ship once a month, but NO, they’ve already got new titles shipping double one month, single the next. It’s a mess, plus it completely makes me have to cut out half their new comics, just so I can keep up with all the double ships. Apparently they think sooner or later people will just drop all the competitors books and buy only Marvel in order to be able to afford this, but that’s definitely not the case for me. In fact it just turns me off of Marvel more than before. But it doesn’t seem to be affecting their sales as I wish it were, because they’re not stopping with the tactic.

    Finally, they stated matter of factly that they were NOT going to relaunch Amazing Spiderman. Wow, what was that, three months ago?! How quickly decisions change (probably based on initial orders for this relaunch.)

  12. Oops! Two people beat me to the “104” punch before I hit submit! :)

  13. John, DC isn’t as bad as Marvel, though they need to watch it with the $3.99 books. Amethyst/Sword of Sorcery just launched yesterday, and honestly I’m loving it. Great art, fun writing so far, and a weirdly chosen but good backup. BUT, at the same time, someone at DC thought it was a smart idea to relaunch an Amethyst book (which has a kinda small group of followers at the moment) AND charge $3.99 for it (not a good sales idea) AND giving people a bonus push into picking it up they thought adding a backup Beowulf story (Beowulf?! That’ll bring the kiddies in! ;) would bring it all together? I’m hoping sales are good, but they aren’t giving it much of a chance.

  14. Rob J. says:

    @Al: ASM #700 is allegedly 104 pages, according to the solicitation details that have hit the usual sites. That’s consistent with the $7.99 price point for the 100-page Leviathan Strikes special from DC. Had the page count been 64-72 pages, I think the cover price would have been $5.99.

  15. Naveed says:

    I couldn’t agree more with Keyser! My Marvel pull list has been melting like a ice cream cone out in the sun at 90F! Seriously, people can bitch all they want about Dc’s reboot, sure it was not perfect but it seems Marvel is just trying to pull off a cheap tactic to make a few bucks on old on to the #1 in the industry, which they are struggling to retain even though they price books higher and double ship. Their reboot has no risk it is really meaningless. At least DC took a risk, not everyone liked it, but if you want to pull off something like this go all out not half way. People may disagree, but at least you gave it a try.

    On Spidey: I have been reading ASM for about 20 years now. Took a 4 year break as Marvel fucked it up royally a few years back with the Clone saga (possibly the worst comic event/story inthe history of Comic Books) and it took years of lobbying from my Comic Book Shop to try the title again. I went back, it was rebooted and renumbered again. Now its ending again with a supposed never before pulled stunt. So who dies now? Why not kill off Mary Jane? Everyone else in Peter’s life has died and come back…Besides, I can bet $20 it will renumber to #750….in 3-4 years time.

    This is the most annoying thing in the Market and Marvel is the King at it. Why must you relaunch and renumber everything from X-Factor to Wolverine to Spidey, Avengers, Daredevil (how long before their 3rd renumber), Hulk, Thor, FF, do I even need to go on? Almost everyone I know hates this, does Marvel not care what the fans think?

    All I can confirm (and it saddens me) is this is the end of the road; I wont be buying another spider-man comic book going forward. Actually I am not sure which if any Marvel Now titles I will buy. This means I will be left with Daredevil [I used to buy about 15 titles of Marvel back in 2007]….and about 20+ DC books + some Indie.

    Way to go Marvel! You guys went from King of the hill to desperate – rip off the customer in 5 years flat. I think this soft reboot will be worse than DC’s and in the end, you will lose alot of long term fans like myself.

  16. Joseph says:

    Wait, so you all are suggesting Marvel should stop trying to get their customers to spend more money on the products they’re enjoying? Yes, they do want you to spend another $4 that month; that way they get more of your money.
    This is like complaining there are too many good movies out, and wishing the studios would spread them out more so it fits better with your budget. Like any other entertainment choice, you need to decide how to spend your disposable income; the companies putting out the things you like aren’t going to make it easier on you. If you enjoy Amazing Spider-Man, you should be thrilled there are one or two extra issues even if it’s going to cost you another $4. If your enjoyment of the title isn’t enough to justify spending another $4, then it’s a pretty easy decision for you.

    I understand the argument that “Marvel is losing customers in the long term”, although they’ve been double shipping for a while now and keep doing it, so it’s safe to assume it’s working for them.

  17. Canceling Amazing Spider-Man? Oh Good Grief.

    Oh well, at this rate ARCHIE will soon be the highest-numbered comic book being published. It’s already in the 630s. If they keep up, they might actually make it to issue #1000.

  18. Glenn Simpson says:

    All of DC’s $3.99 books have more pages than Marvel’s $3.99 books.

  19. John.smith says:

    “I understand the argument that “Marvel is losing customers in the long term”, although they’ve been double shipping for a while now and keep doing it, so it’s safe to assume it’s working for them.”

    Barring the AvX title most of their titles seem to be in freefall going by the sales estimates.
    Presuambly the double shipping is making up for all those lost readers. Hardly a long term business strategy.

  20. Snikt Snakt says:

    Read what characters/titles you like to read, regardless of the issue number on the cover.

    These days I only stick around for creative teams I enjoy (DD being the only Marvel title I read these days). As soon as a new one I have no interest in pops its head, I’m gone…

  21. LobsterAfternoon says:

    I don’t see why double-shipping is such a sticking point with fans. Ultimate Spidey, under Bendis/Bagley, often came out more than monthly, no one seemed to mind then and sales were good.

  22. Al™ says:

    Thanks for clarifying how many pages will be in #700. $8 is not such a bad deal for 104 pages, but as usual I will check out the issue to see if it’s worth it to me.

  23. Torsten Adair says:

    $8 for 104 pages
    $4 for 52 pages?
    $2 for 26 pages..?

    Compare to:
    Muppets: Four Seasons TP
    96 pages, $14.99

    An Essential TP (B&W) runs about four cents a page.

    The average four-color TP costs about 12 cents a page, a hardcover about 16 cent.

  24. Snikt Snakt: I couldn’t agree more. I only buy the titles I like, and right now that doesn’t include any DC or Marvel books. The last series I followed regularly were Spider-Girl and Jonah Hex… and that was a few years back.

    I suspect I may pick up some new comics when I see something that appeals to me, but I may just wait for the TBs. It’s easier than following them month-to-month, and more satisfying to get the whole story all at once.

  25. James says:

    If Marvels comics had 28 pages of content for their $4 titles – like DCs do. I’d definately give them a go. But I won’t be gouged with 18-20 pages for $4.

    The funny thing is, I haven’t really missed reading X-men or Spiderman comics anymore (X-Factor the exception). I’m finding myself reading more non superheroes titles from different publishers, like Image. And I’m really enjoying them.

  26. @Lobster Afternoon. Difference was Bagley -could- produce twice-a-month books as the SOLE regular artist (no fill in artists). It was also a creative, not a sales, decision to make Ult Spidey like that.

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