Thursday, March 24, 2005

Marvel Hinders Chance for 7-11 Success

The ink is barely dry on the announcement that Marvel will be putting comics back into 7-11 stores, and already it looks like they're going to shoot themselves in the foot and blow their chance at success.

As reported in a Knight Ridder/Tribune Information Services article (link via Thought Balloons), the Marvel comics that will be available in 7-11s across the country are their Marvel Flip Books.

What are the Marvel Flip Books? They're 64-page comics reprinting relatively recent issues of Marvel comics, for $3.99. They're in the latest Marvel Previews (or see the Marvel June solicitations on Newsarama):

Ultimate Marvel #1 reprints Ultimate Fantastic Four #1 & Ultimate X-Men #1.
Marvel Heroes #1 reprints New Avengers #1 & Captain America #1
Ultimate Tales reprints Ultimate Spider-Man #1
Marvel Tales #1 reprints Amazing Spider-Man #34 & Amazing Fantasy #1
Marvel Adventures #1 reprints Marvel Adventures Spider-Man #1 & Marvel Adventures Fantastic Four #1
Marvel Select #1 reprints Astonishing X-Men #1 & New X-Men: Academy X #1

The problem? Except for Marvel Adventures, these are all comics that reprint the first chapter of story arcs that were constructed for the trade edition. So when Marvel Heroes #3 shows up at the 7-11, it'll presumably contain reprints of the third issues of New Avengers & Captain America, middle chapters of six-part stories. While dedicated comic shop customers may be willing to put up with following long decompressed story arcs, I can't see them appealing to kids wandering into the 7-11. Why are they not focusing exclusively on the Marvel Adventures titles, which are inteneded for kids & newsstand audiences?


Alex Scott said...

I don't know about that. Keep in mind, kids and newsstand audiences also buy Shonen Jump, which is nothing but decompression. I think One Piece has been on the Don Krieg storyline for almost a year now, and they just finished up the Cell Saga in DBZ, which began when the magazine got started. Marvel's "written for the trade" stories are nothing compared to this.

Dave said...

True. But Shonen Jump is HUGE, while the Marvel Flip Books are still relatively skinny. Also, the readership for these Marvel titles skews older than the Shonen Jump crowd.

Alex Scott said...

There's that, too. Also, there's often more gore in a Jump title, which is the way any kind-hearted tween boy is going to like it.