What the %^&# is up with Marvel covers this month?!

30 04 2009

I don’t know if you noticed, but it seems that most of Marvel’s books this month have a second alternate cover. I’ve been noticing more alternate covers on books in the last year or so and it unnerves me to no end. I hear the publishers’ age-old rationale that they are just offering a choice to the consumer, but I don’t trust it and I’m incredibly nervous of the speculation cycle returning. (But seriously, in this world, NOW, they’re trying this shit?! What kind of morons are they?) Marvel’s covers are very eye-catching, mostly because they don’t look like traditional comic book covers. They exhibit a wide variety of artistic styles and are even billed as something like “alternative art appreciation covers.” Which on the surface seems like a cool idea. Comics are dying to get recognized as a valid art form in this country; what better way than they themselves recognizing other art styles and drawing in new readers. Except it’s all a crock of shit.

The alternate cover of Spider-Man has an image of Wolverine. Not with Spider-Man, just Wolverine by himself.

OK, so maybe Wolvie appears in this issue, and the art appreciation rules are very loose. On the alternate cover of Daredevil is also Wolverine. Wow, Logan’s busy this month. Same with Hulk. And Hercules. And X-Men. In fact, ALL the alternate so-called “art appreciation” covers exhibit Wolverine. Why ever would they do such a thing? CAUSE THEIR DAMN WOLVERINE MOVIE IS OPENING THIS WEEKEND!!! What the hell!?? They’re co-opting art appreciation as a mere marketting gimmick? That is low, man, even for Marvel. It’s bad enough that they’re saturating the stands with tons of new one shot and mini-series Wolverine comics this month. I flipped through several and they’re as lousy as you might expect. Just out to make a quick buck off the poor saps who, inspired by the big Hollywood movie, decide to buy a comic book for the first time in 15 years. And boy, will they be disappointed. Potential new comics readers probably won’t have been this disappointed since they picked up the copy of Spider-Man with Barack Obama on the cover. Ugh. Boy, there’s a surefire way to hang on to new readers. Give them crap. And just to add an extra layer of vile ooze across the whole debacle, the alternate cover versions, (at least at my comic shop,) are $10 a pop. For that price, who can afford to appreciate art!!!? Ah, it’s like 1993 all over again!

OK, I just did some checking, and it seems the covers in question are actually part of a “Wolverine Art Appreciation Month.” And in fact, the images are pretty cool looking. But whatever, it still stinks of cynical marketing tactics rather than just putting out good product. I should also point out that I’m quite anxious to see the Wolverine movie, (I know, I know, it’s real title is X-Men: Origins: Wolverine, or something, but that’s just dumb.) I’ll let you know what I thought of it next time. Till then.. Peace!