rePrint on Demand

So Marvel has announced another sellout (this one happened even before the title hit shelves) and another reprint. But wait, what have we here? No new cover? Couple that with the decision to reprint Incredible Hulk #92 (despite indicating in the initial press release that no such reprint was planned) and I may have to eat my words a bit. While Marvel will not be collecting Planet Hulk until the end (not necessarily my preference, but if it turns out to be the proper format for the finished work, I won't argue) the fact that they are willing to keep a title with some potential legs in print is encouraging and I therefore rescind my earlier criticism that Marvel was following in DC's footsteps by putting a greater emphasis on retailers (and to a lesser extent readers) to order up front.

I understand that it is better for everyone involved if the industry knows exactly how much demand there will be for a title before it is printed so that publishers could then print exactly that number and send each store exactly what each store would need. Unfortunately we live in the real world. So it's nice to see that Marvel has, to a large degree, realized that Jemas' insanity of printing to order is self defeating when it comes to growing the sales of midlist titles (and lets be honest, anything without Spider, X or Ultimate in the title is pretty much midlist at Marvel right now).

I like the direction Marvel seems to be shifting, even if it's only because they see more money in that direction (and with a big ole event coming up, they have to plan accordingly). Since Marvel seems to be structuring Civil War as an ongoing conflict rather than a single House of M type story, it will be important to keep early parts of the story in print if they are going to effectively springboard coverage like they got in the NY Times into line wide growth. What's even nicer to see is that Marvel is reacting to the concerns of retailers, even going so far as to "experiment" with a reprint sans a new cover image.


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