Marvel Goes To War Armed With Retailer Exclusive Covers, Through October And November

Marvel Goes To War Armed With Retailer Exclusive Covers, Through October And November

Posted by September 22, 2016 Comment

champions_1_horn_wonderific_variant-666x1024It was IDW who started it, with a Godzilla launch in 2011. The idea that retailers could commission their own exclusive cover of a regularly released comic book if they ordered a very large amount, which they could sell for a premium or use as a promotional device for the store.

And it has certainly helped sales – it put Harley Quinn #1 over All-Star Batman #1 by dint of having more retailers sign up to a Harley Quinn exclusive. And, with Suicide Squad #1 really helped DC Comics in their marketshare figures against Marvel in August.

It can be a lot more work for publisher, printer and distributor alike. But it can make a massive difference to sales – in the short term at least.

Image Comics has banned them, stating that the extra work does not justify any bump in long term sales – simply there isn’t one, and it becomes a distraction.

But as August’s stats reveal, that distraction can really juice those numbers.

We’ve seen all the retailer exclusive covers for Champions #1, which – along with the Scholastic Book Fair exclusive variant will see sales of over 400,000.

Text up for Marvel is the launch of the new Invincible Iron Man #1, featuring Iron Heart in the lead.

But it is being followed up by more retailer exclusives from Marvel than ever before.

  • Avengers #1
  • Black Panther: World of Wakanda #1
  • Venom #1
  • Ghost Rider #1
  • Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows #1
  • The Unworthy Thor #1
  • Thanos #1

Could this be part of the Marvel marketshare fightback? For the first time with Champions #1, Marvel have been using the retailer covers to promote themselves. Expect that to continue…

About Rich Johnston

Chief writer and founder of Bleeding Cool. Father of two. Comic book clairvoyant. Political cartoonist.

(Last Updated September 24, 2016 3:41 am )

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