Tuesday, 24 June 2014

'Two issues a month? Are Marvel trying to bankrupt me?'

So, now that I've gone through the September 2014 Solicits, I have received yet more proof with which to write about what I'm write about. In truth, it's more of a question:

Why does Marvel keep releasing two issues a month?

Now, this isn't entirely accurate during the recent solicits as Septebmer 2014 will see the release of Fantastic Four #11 along with Fantastic Four Annual #1 which isn't, technically speaking, 'two issues a month'. However, because the annual is a continuation of the story being told in the ongoing series, I'm inclined to think that yeah, it kinda is (though I'm more than happy if someone can confirm otherwise).

The thing is, this isn't the first time this has happened. Just this month I had to pick up two more FF issues while, between now and September, there will presumably be two issues in a month of Daredevil (this isn't confirmed but the title jumps from issue 5 to issue 7 for some reason right?). In fact Daredevil is a prime suspect in the whole 'two issues a month' thing as hhe previous volume had, for several consecutive months, two issues being released every month. I have also seen this occur in the past with Thunderbolts (Parker's run), Uncanny X-Force (Remender's run), a few Hulk runs and more besides.

So, why does it keep happening? Well, I know why it keeps happening, Marvel wants the extra cash which comes from hammering out 24 issues a year instead of 12 (bit of an exaggeration) and, from a business standpoint, that's a totally understandable reason. However, can Marvel really, ethical and/or morally, justify the decision to bleed dry their fanbase with this business plan.

From my point of view, this is devil incarnate-type behaviour. I am a normal guy with a hobby I love and a job which gives me the means to buy my hobby. However, I also have bills and a mortgage and, therefore, have to budget what comic books I can buy and find ways to get the most books, many of which are REALLY good, for the least money (See this post by Robert Gaul if you want pointers).

However, when Marvel pulls this crap and puts out two issues a month then, for someone with limited means to spend on comics, something has got to give. Now that decision, for an indecisive guy like me, is probably a fate worse than death. Though the last bit is probably exclusive to me, I'm sure the trouble caused by having the extra issue isn't something I suffer with alone.

Here's the thing though, aren't Marvel at all worried that this may end up biting them in the arse? Aren't they concerned that, one day, all the fans who pick up their books despite having to buy two of each series a month are simply going to say 'you know what? I can't keep buying twice as many books a month. I'm done."?? It probably won't happen today or tomorrow, but that ticking time bomb has got to be edging it's way closer to reality.

It certainly is for me some days.

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