We get a metric ton of daily press releases each day at iFanboy HQ and most are easily dimissed. But every so often we get one that makes us all stop and say, "What the fudge?"
Only we don't say "fudge."
Take this one from Marvel Comics, for example:
Marvel Announces No Overprint For Polybagged FANTASTIC FOUR #587
This January Fantastic Four #587 marks the end of the Fantastic Four and the penultimate issue of Marvel’s longest running series. Concluding the red hot “Three” storyline by superstars Jonathan Hickman and Steve Epting, this issue arrives polybagged in comic shops to avoid spoiling the cataclysmic ending of the Fantastic Four. The incomparable John Cassaday provides a shocking “spoiler” variant cover to the issue which ships a week after the release of Fantastic Four #587 to further preserve the surprise events that lead to the dissolution of Marvel’s first super hero team.
In addition, Marvel has officially announced that there will be no overprint on Fantastic Four #587, in addition to the issue not appearing on newsstands.
“The surprises in this issues–and what comes next–constitute one of the biggest events in Marvel history,” said David Gabriel, SVP Sales & Circulation. “When you see the plans that Tom Brevoort, Jonathan Hickman and Steve Epting come to fruition, you’ll know why we say this is the story everyone will be talking about. We urge retailers to look for a major incentive announcement in Diamond Daily and stock up not just for January, but for the coming months as the aftermath of this issue is revealed.”
This is it–the end of the Fantastic Four. But what could bring about such a stunning change to the fabric of the Marvel Universe? There’s only one answer–Fantastic Four #587.
What is this, 1993?
Things that should never be seen in comic books again:
- Foil covers
- Hologram covers
- Trading card inserts
The 1990s boom made a lot of people a lot of money. And once people found out that the boom was caused by the artificial inflation of the value of what they were buying (sound familiar?) the resulting bust lost a lot of people a lot of money, wiped out a good portion of the comic book stores in the United States and came closer to causing the collapse of the American comic book industry than anything before or since.
Look, I appreciate that in this day and age of everything getting spoiled on the internet that creators want to protect the integrity of their stories and that companies want to sell books but returning to one of the most prominent symbols of the near collapse of the industry is pretty ridiculous. It smacks of trying to artificially create demand (I'm sure they hoping that the more obsessive of comic fans will buy at least two! That's what happened in the 1990s.), not only with the polybagging but with announcing that there will be no overprinting of the issue, which means you better BUY IT NOW because your store probably won't be able to re-order more copies if they sell out.
I really thought we'd learned our lesson and moved beyond these tricks.
Luckily it's Friday, which means I'm going to go get a drink. A strong one.