Thursday, December 18, 2008

Product Updates

This may seem like the most schizophrenic blog ever at times. Please bear with me...

Diamond releases a list of product updates for comic books every week, detailing the most recent changes from the comic books' original solicitations. I give them a look every week, there's usually a few useful pieces of information, but this week's contains the most updates I've ever seen, all from Marvel.

Among the highlights:

• Models Inc. (#1: DEC08 2383, #2: JAN09 2521, $3.99 ea.) is cancelled and will be resolicited in 2009.

I wonder what happened here. Were orders beneath Marvel's expectations? ($3.99 an issue for a totally unknown quantity was a bit much to ask, I think. And they should probably have been a little more upfront about Mary Jane's involvement in the book, or its continuity status, which for some readers is apparently the most important thing in the world...)

• Amazing Spider-Man Extra #2 (NOV08 2359, $3.99) will no longer contain the Phil Jimenez Kraven story. Instead, the page count of the previously solicited Anti-Venom story will increase.

That means more of Dan Slott, which isn't something I can complain about. (The Kraven story shifts into ASME #3 in March.) I wonder why they're putting so many of these out; #3 has been scheduled in place of a regular issue in March, but these specials aren't as successful as the ongoing series has been...

• The Eternals TP Vol. 1: To Slay a God (DEC08 2461, $19.99) will no longer contain Eternals Annual #1, and will run 144 pages, not 184 pages.

And the Marvel TPB ripoff continues.

• The Captain Britain and MI 13 TP Vol. 01: Secret Invasion (Reg./Direct Mkt. Eds.: DEC08 2447-8D) will be $15.99 and 136 pages, not $16.99 with 96 pages, and will now also contain Marvel Team-Up #65-#66.

Thus resolving probably the most controversial solicitation in recent memory, although I don't know if sticking extra reprint material in there is necessarily a good thing (I don't like the mix-and-matching), although this is a good one. Wish they'd just go ahead and reprint the entire Claremont/Byrne MTU run actually, it's truly wonderful stuff that most people don't know about.

• Secret Invasion: Fantastic Four (NOV08 2461D) – solicited as running 144 pages and containing Secret Invasion: Fantastic Four #1-#3; Fantastic Four #300 and #357 at a price of $14.99 – will now run 192 pages and contain Fantastic Four #358, in addition to the aforementioned contents, at a price of $16.99.

Now this just takes the biscuit. The original three-issue series would have cost a consumer $9 in total. Stick in two vaguely-related Skrull stories and it's worth about double that? Er, right. In fact with that there is more reprint material in that book than there is the main series itself. What a joke!

• The Secret Invasion TP: Home Invasion (NOV08 2462, $14.99) will be 120 pages, not 104 pages.

Nothing interesting to note here except that this is the future of comic book distribution - online first (in this case, for free!), then collected as though an original graphic novel. Fingers crossed that Marvel will try more of this distribution format in the near future (although to be honest, what little I saw of it wasn't very good, but that's an editorial problem rather than a format one).

• The Wolverine TP First Class Vol. 2: To Russia with Love (NOV08 2473, $15.99) will be 160 pages, not 168 pages, and will also contain Wolverine and Power Pack #1.

Quite the bizarre addition. The Weapon X First Class solicitation is a bit weird too. I don't like this mixing-and-matching business, just do straightforward sequential collections so people can buy the ones they want and not wind up being forced to buy the same material twice!

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