It seems like it’s impossible to be surprised by a comic these days. Shocking character deaths, shocking character returns six months after their shocking deaths, weddings, not-weddings, alternate-weddings… whatever is set to happen in your favorite comic magazine next week, you can be sure it will be spoiled on the internet before you have a chance to read the issue for yourself.
And it isn’t just on social media sites, forums, or even Bleeding Cool that comics are spoiled, against the will of publishers. More often than not, Marvel and DC willingly spoil their own comics on major media outlets like the New York Times, sometimes right in the headlines, opening the floodgates and making the spoilers nearly impossible to avoid without a total internet blackout.
Maybe Marvel and DC are just adhering to the strategy: if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em. Maybe it’s their whorish desire to receive mainstream media attention no matter what the cost. Maybe it’s a combination of the two. Whatever the case, publishers spoiling their own comics is the new normal.
The question is: to what gain? Having the New York Times talk about what’s happening in a comic book certainly gets more people talking about comics… but does it actually encourage people to read them? And is it worth it, at the expense of the enjoyment of regular readers who end up spoiled against their will on a storyline they’ve invested months in?
We have our own opinions, but we’re really more interested in yours. Vote in the poll below, and be sure to elaborate in the comments.