Comic Store In Your Future Asks, Where Is Marvel?

Rod Lamberti of Rodman Comics of Ankeny, Iowa, writes weekly for Bleeding Cool. Find previous columns here. And it's time to talk Marvel.

What a year! Texas loses power and water; the Capital gets overrun; here in Ankeny, Iowa, we made national news because, during a school election, a pipe bomb was found at one of the voting sites for a small election. Crazy did not just end with 2020.

BZRKR #1 is now the highest-selling title in 2021. Which studio put out the title? Boom Studios. The hottest selling title for us coming out before BZRKR? Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles the Last Ronin #1 by IDW back in October. Before that, the hottest selling title for us was Batman: The Three Jokers #1 back in August by DC Comics.

Where is Marvel while other publishers release the biggest selling titles? X-Men, Venom, and Amazing Spider-Man are still solid sellers for us. However, Marvel has put out more titles that underperform for us. Meaning we sell just a few copies of Marvel titles such as Werewolf By Night and Power Pack. Marvel still has their massive crossovers and spin-offs. So many that our average customer just skips over spin-offs such as King In Black titles, Black Knight, Namor, and others. We have not seen a massive selling Marvel title in a while. Marvel has worldwide known characters yet has seemly lost their ability to have a massive selling title. The next Marvel event features the Squadron Supreme. The number of customers excited about it so far here instore? None. Of course, I hope that changes. Last super-hot title or titles from Marvel for us? House and Powers Of X starting back in 2019.

Mindless Speculation: Chris Claremont & John Romita on X-Men Legends?
Here is Marvel, courtesy of John Romita Jr.

Image is looking to have a big selling new title coming soon with Geiger by Geoff Johns and Gary Frank. I just noticed the glow-in-the-dark cover comes out weeks after the non-glow in the dark covers, which could be interesting. Meaning I ordered a ton of the glow-in-the-dark cover because it was the same price as the non-glow in the dark covers. If they do indeed come in weeks later after the non-glow in the dark covers arrive, will people still be interested or willing to wait?

2021 is an odd year for ordering. Orders on a title may now be spread out. Nocterra #1 had the glow-in-the-dark cover variant cover arrive later than the non-glow-in-the-dark covers of the same issue. With BZRKR #1, we had the foil variant arrive later than the non-foils. It makes ordering even more complicated for the retail stores selling them. Again, how many people are satisfied with the first copies to arrive, how many will wait to purchase, or will they buy the same issue again with a different cover?

Maybe Marvel will set this year's sales record with their upcoming Star Wars Boba Fett crossover, thanks to the excitement of the announced Book of Fett streaming series? As for Marvel's superhero titles, I do not see anything super exciting. More variant covers are not what anyone is demanding, though it is what Marvel will keep putting out.

Marvel brings the thunder again to comics. No movies? No problem, you still have comics of some of the world's most well-known characters. Instead of asking me  where the beef is, I should be saying, "holy smokes, Marvel is killing it."

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About Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.
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