X-Force Day Eve 2010

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It’s like 1991 all over again. In July, Marvel launched a new X-Men #1 by Victor Gischler and Paco Medina featuring a mutants versus vampires story that’s still raging on. Tomorrow, Marvel follows up that launch with Uncanny X-Force #1 by Rick Remender and Jerome Opena. It’s hard to say that this merits its own “day” in celebration of its release, but its launch certainly makes more sense than X-Men #1‘s.

Back in 1991, Marvel released Chris Claremont and Jim Lee’s X-Men #1 in the same summer as Fabian Nicieza and Rob Liefeld’s X-Force #1. Both were huge sellers with X-Men #1 at 8 million copies and X-Force #1 somewhere around 5 million in the heyday of speculative investment (X-Force also did it with only one cover compared to X-Men‘s five). While X-Force didn’t endure the way X-Men (now X-Men: Legacy) did, it was still a successful concept that was reborn coming out of 2007’s Messiah Complex storyline.

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X-Men Day Eve 2010

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No comics shipped this Wednesday due to the 4th of July holiday, so new books will be in stores tomorrow, July 8th. Tomorrow will be particularly special as Marvel has declared it “X-Men Day” since we’ll be seeing the launch of a new X-Men series with a number one issue. This is the first “X-Men #1” in 20 years, so it’s fairly momentous, but I find it more confusing than anything.

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Happy Analog Tuesday

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Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited subscriptions were 30% off yesterday in celebration of “Cyber Monday.”  I just signed up.  I’m not buying into whatever “Cyber Monday” is supposed to be, but it provided a discount so I’m going to try it.

As an experiment, there are some titles I’m going to stop buying in print and see if I ever get to them online.  There’s current’y at least a six month delay between the print release of Marvel’s comics and their availability through DCU (this acronym  confused Angie initially, but I think she sees the humor in it now).  If past experience is any indication, I may never read a single book that I’m “waiting” on (I just can’t help but think about the three years worth of Generation X, X-Force, X-Man and Cable issues I purchased years ago and never read after falling behind).

That being said, I do have an interest in reading the Rogue and Nightcrawler titles that came out in 2004 and they’re both available. Anyone else out there subscribing to this service?


Marvel 70th Anniversary Frames Revisited

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The last of Marvel’s 70th Anniversary Frame variants shipped this week.  I’ve made my feelings about these books pretty clear, but as a true Marvel Zombie I couldn’t just let them pass by.  So, consider this my digital revenge as I add them to my “virtual collection.”  Take that, Marvel!




See if you can spot some sneakiness on Marvel’s part with a few of these covers…

The following issues feature Marvel 70th Anniversary frame variant covers:

  • Amazing Spider-Man #601
  • Amazing Spider-Man #602
  • Amazing Spider-Man #603
  • Avengers: The Initiative #27
  • Black Panther #7
  • Cable #17
  • Captain America: Reborn #2
  • Daredevil #500
  • Dark Avengers #8
  • Dark Wolverine #77
  • Deadpool #13
  • Deadpool: Merc with a Mouth #2
  • Exiles #5
  • Fantastic Four #570
  • Guardians of the Galaxy #17
  • Hulk #13
  • Incredible Hulk #601
  • Incredible Hercules #133
  • The Invincible Iron Man #16
  • The Might Avengers #28
  • Ms. Marvel #43
  • New Avengers #56
  • New Mutants #4
  • Nova #28
  • Punisher #8
  • Secret Warriors #7
  • Son of Hulk #14
  • Uncanny X-Men #514
  • War Machine #7
  • Wolverine: First Class #18
  • Wolverine: Origins #39
  • Wolverine: Weapon X #4
  • X-Factor #47
  • X-Force #18
  • X-Men: Legacy #227
  • X-Men Forever #5

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!