Marvel had announced that, ostensibly to prevent spoilers, retailers could release Fantastic Four #587 as they received them on Tuesday, rather than wait till the official Wednesday on-sale date.
Of course Marvel then gave interviews to Associated Press who released the details of the story with full spoilers, on Monday night, Pacific Time. But that’s beside the point.
A number of publishers expressed disappointment to Diamond that after less than a month — and on very short notice — the new Tuesday delivery for Wednesday on-sale arrangement for comics was set aside, for Marvel’s monetary gain.
The argument from the publishers led by DC Comics went that Diamond would be seen as giving Marvel an unfair sales boost by allowing an early sale, bringing customers into the shop where other publisher’s comics for that week could not be sold.
If any publisher could change the release terms, then every publisher would be forced to, or risk losing sales. And the entire point of setting a Wednesday release date that retailers could plan for and be ready for, would be nullified.
But Diamond, caught between a Thing and a Sullivan’s Place, complied with Marvel. It was explained that this was a one-off event, widespread publicity had already gone out for a Tuesday release and it was made clear that if the comic was pushed back to Wednesday, Marvel would publically blame DC Comics for the change.
However, as a result of the objections, Marvel have been forced to scotch another planned early release for Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game Burning Earth, planned for release on Tuesday, the 15th of February to retailers who are members of the ComicsPro organisation.
David Gabriel, Marvel’s SVP of Sales told retailers “unfortunately due to distribution concerns we’ve been forced to hold the line at February 16th to launch this series,”
Hold the line at $3.99, David?