Friday, August 08, 2003

Mighty Marvel marketing schemes 

Alex Alonso has been promoted to Executive Editor at Marvel. I don't really care who the executive editor is because I don't really know what the executive editor does. But that's besides the point. My concerns lie elsewhere.

According to a press release, coming soon from Alonso's office are "a major relaunch of The Punisher and a bold, new creative direction for Captain America." What the hell for? Marvel just relaunched "Punisher" a couple years ago with Garth Ennis at the helm, and most people agree that it's the best the series has ever been. "Captain America," too, was just relaunched/revamped a little over a year ago, and it's been selling very well (thanks to Marvel's ultilization of the September 11 tragedies as a marketing ploy).

Relaunching "Punisher" (and "Wolverine," too, for that matter) only contradicts Marvel's new policy of returing titles to their original numbering. "Fantastic Four," "Amazing Spider-Man," and several others were cancelled a few years ago and immediately relaunched with a new issue #1. Supposedly, Marvel has now realized the folly of that move, and is altering the numbering again to set it at the point it would be at now if it hadn't been changed the first time. Of course it's all just a gimmick. They want to put a bunch of hype around an "issue #500." But they also want to put a bunch of hype around an "issue #1."

My opinion? Don't worry about what number it's on, whether the cover is shiny, or whether Wizard says it's going to be a hot issue. Just read the damn book if you like it.