My Latest Distraction on Marvel.com

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As reported previously, we were in New York for the Avengers Signing at Midtown Comics earlier this week. It turns out Marvel.com‘s “Agent M” was covering us!

Look for Angie and I at around the two and half minute mark:


In Brightest Day…

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DC Comics officially announced yesterday that a new series called Brightest Day will follow up their best-selling Blackest Night series in April. While Blackest Night is a more conventional 8-issue miniseries, Brightest Day will be a bi-weekly 26-issue maxi-series beginning with an issue zero. This is similar to DC’s weekly series 52, which launched out of Infinite Crisis, and its follow up Countdown, which led into Final Crisis.  I remember hearing a lot of mixed reactions to 52 and Countdown, so hopefully nothing will spoil or needlessly complicate this series.

Twenty-six issues is a big commitment for me, especially considering I don’t normally read DC’s books. However, given how great Blackest Night has been, I’ll certainly give this a try since Green Lantern/Blackest Night writer Geoff Johns will be writing this as well.

It was also announced that David Finch will be providing covers for the series. Kevin and I were just discussing him over the weekend regarding his new exclusive contract with DC. This is a high profile job and he deserves it as he’s incredibly talented. He’s done some of my favorite covers in recent years, particularly for the X-Men: Messiah Complex crossover and Moon Knight. I’m even planning to purchase a print of his cover art from X-Men #200.

More on Brightest Day can be found at our Brightest Day hub.


Marvel 70th Anniversary Frame variants

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ASM601_70thFRAMEWhat a disappointment.  When Marvel first started promoting their 70th Anniversary (despite more dubious math) I was very excited.  I knew some cool things (like The Marvels Project) were planned, but what immediately came to mind was the prospect of another set of Anniversary covers in the same style as the 25th Anniversary books I have such fond memories of.  A few months back, these “frame” style covers were confirmed and the artwork was revealed.  The frame is honestly a great image by Jim Cheung and works as a fitting homage to the original.

asm282A few weeks later, we started to see some of the specific cover artwork that was to be used.  While they were pretty hit or miss for me, there are definitely some that I would like to own.  At the same time we started seeing these, Marvel also revealed a set of regular covers for the same books, meaning these would be variants of some nature.  Disappointing, but I assumed the best and these would be what are called 50/50 variants, meaning an equal number of each cover would ship to stores.

Marvel_70th_FrameAs August is the pinnacle of the 70th Anniversary celebration, this is the month we’ll finally be seeing these books on the shelves.  Next Wednesday is the first comic book day of the month and the first of these issues will ship Amazing Spider-Man 601 (which should be a lot of fun, 600 was great), Black Panther 7, Exiles 5, Hulk 13, and Invincible Iron Man 16.  Well, I just learned that the “frame” cover is an incentive variant, so it well ship in some < 50/50 ratio.  This means the books will carry a higher price tag at most stores (Midtown Comics has them listed at $7 before their typical 15% discount) and will be more difficult to find.

asm282So I think I’m out for these.  I’m assuming stores are going to have issues getting them, keeping them in stock and pricing them.  Couple that with the fact that I’m not even that crazy about the artwork (I think I just really preferred the portrait style of the originals) and it’s just not worth it at all.  Part of what was so great and memorable about the 25th Anniversary books was that they were on every title in the publishing line, every single one.  It was a complete set that looked great on the shelves at the time.  I realize 1986 was a time before cover variants and incentives and collector speculation ravaged the hobby I love, but I can’t help but be a little disappointed.  The custom MLD variants help though!