“Marvel’s Greatest Comics” For Just $1

Last week DC Comics laid bare many of their big plans for 2010. Today, Marvel Comics has an announcement of their own.

In March 2010, Marvel will launch their newest imprint: Marvel's Greatest Comics. This new initiative is designed to give readers a chance to sample the first issues of some of Marvel's more buzzworthy titles from the past few years, and at a low price. The first release — Invincible Iron Man #1 — will be free, and each subsequent release will cost you just one American dollar!

Here's the schedule as announced today:

March 3, 2010 – Invincible Iron Man #1 – FREE

Invincible Iron Man #1

March 10, 2010 – Captain America #1 – $1.00

Captain America #1

March 17, 2010 – The Wonderful Wizard of Oz #1 – $1.00

Wonderful Wizard of OZ #1

March 24, 2010 – Thor #1 – $1.00

Thor #1

March 31, 2010 – Punisher MAX #1 – $1.00

Punisher MAX #1


This could be a smart move on Marvel's part. We've seen first hand how successful DC's Vertigo $1 pricing has been in getting new readers to check out their books. I can see something like this driving a lot of trade paperback sales.


  1. I like the idea of $1 first issues, but I’m not sure I like Marvel’s implementation.  Suppose I grab a copy of Cap #1 for a buck, love it, and want to keep reading.  I am now stuck either buying the trade (for $10+) or digging through bins for #2.  I guess it’s also possible some readers will just jump to the most recent issue, but we know comic fans are generally pretty hesitant to jump in like that.

    I’d rather see them copy Vertigo’s methodology completely and start pricing new #1’s at $1.  That way they hook new readers from the get go.  [Unfortunately, $1 first issues probably isn’t the most profitable approach for Marvel since Superhero comics seem to make a lot of their money on first issues and demand is likely to be rather inelastic.]

    Do we know how successful this has been for Vertigo?  Anecdotal evidence suggests it has worked well. 

  2. Smart move. Although it is very similar to DC’s recent "after Watchmen" line that came out not too long ago, and they were giving those to everyone at comic con regardless of whether you were already given one

  3. Awesome.  Although, I thought they had some sort of digital thing going for Iron Man…..

  4. I never liked Garth Enis’ Punisher Max but that cover is worth way more than a buck.

  5. @muddi – Wow, I seem to have the complete opposite of your opinion regarding Ennis’ Punisher.

  6. i see this as a great way to introduce people to these characters. i can only see this getting better as they release more number 1’s for $1. then you can hope on over to amazon (through the iFanboy store) and pick up the trade for $10 or so.

  7. Not a bad idea. The choices they have for the $1 comics are great one’s.

    But I agree with stuclach in that it’s a little weird that now people have to find the trades (god forbid the back issues, especially for Cap/Punisher) and pay a lot of money to continue. I mean if they love what they read and they want to find more of it, then good on them. But I don’t see many people going out to buy $15-20 trades just after reading a cheap, $1 book.

    I hope all companies in the future does what Vertigo is doing with #1 debuts. Cause that has worked wonders for them so far.

  8. I really liked what DC did with the ‘after watchmen’ thing, since i never read 75% of them. I havent read any of the comics shown above either

  9. I love that they are putting out Punisher MAX #1 in this format. It’ll be a good way to get newer readers to go back and read the amazing things that Ennis did with the character and series in those far too few sixty issues.

  10. SOOWWEEET. I get to buy Skottie Young’s book again.

  11. Good idea. I bought a few of the After Watchmen books, and they helped make important trade buying decisions (pretty much always in DC’s favor).

  12. I am getting Captain America #1 and Punsher MAX #1. I already have Invincible Iron Man #1, but it’s free, so I’ll get that as well.

  13. those that are picking up Captain American and Thor that have no idea what is going are gonna freak out when they find out they have to collect 600 issues.

  14. So…Marvel is reprinting recent back-issues for $1?

    Well, that’s a thought.


  15. ….


    Thats Marvel’s big idea?
    I can’t see someone picking up Captain America #1 and then going "that was sweet, now Im going to get Captain America Reborn #5/Captain America #603+"

    Sorry Marvel, try again.


    (Anyone else think its odd that DC has seemily become ‘the house of ideas’?)

  16. Invincible Iron Man #1 – FREE

     I will pick it up on FCBD.



  17. As long as they’re "copying" marketing ideas, I’d much rather see a give away style approach a la blackest night rings. That was awesome and I’m buying 3 books that I wasn’t before because of it.

  18. If people were to pick up the ongoing series after the $1 comic that would be pure gravy to this marketing idea. Clearly these are all the starts of relatively recent runs of good books that are all now collected in trade. Hook em with issue 1, put big glossy ads in the back of each issue describing the wondrous array of trades one can get to follow up the story they just read. Even better if they can get some kind of co-sponsor (Amazon, say), so they can say available at Amazon.com/marvel and book stores everywhere! This should do a very good job of moving trades. The real genius is if they can get these out to places other than comic book stores: Barnes and Noble display racks or some such. I think it is a good idea that would be great if they could figure out how to put racks of these in Wall Mart.