For the first time, Marvel is offering an exchangeability program for the upcoming March launch of a new Wolverine ongoing comic as part of All New Marvel Now, by Paul Cornell and Ryan Stegman.
Retailers are encouraged to order lots and lots – and rather than make them returnable, Marvel will allow retailers to exchange them, two-for-one for a special variant cover of a double sized Wolverine #12 in September.
So, I guess, there will be a double sized Wolverine in September. And since issue 1 is in February, there will be twelve issues in eight months.
Oh, and it's called a "Mortal" variant. So, looks like that healing factor isn't coming back any time soon.
Marvel call the issue in September "game changing" and state that it will receive national media attention. Is it time to revisit a certain rumour we ran earlier in the year?
Hmm, shouldn't the adamantium laced bones be poisoning him by now?
So how many orders will a retailer need to qualify? Well, 200% of the orders made for Infinity #6.
That's a lot. But since this is the only way retailers can get the variant in question, expect a lot of intentional over ordering and planned-for cover stripping to come.
And I understand that Marvel is not going to overprint Wolverine #1. The orders it gets are the orders it prints.
So… who is going to give Marvel a nine month long interest free loan in March, to be paid back in September?
And where will Wolverine #1 place in the charts? Because it's not a returnable promotion, Diamond won't knock any orders off for its placement on the chart, even if the intention from retailers is to not sell them, but strip them for an exchange programe later in the year?
Bleeding Cool has noted how some publishers are moving away from the returnable promotion policy. Marvel have just made it a whole new board game.