Bleeding Cool has shown some of the hoops that comic book retailers have to jump through in order to order any of the Marvel Legacy lenticular covers launching Marvel's latest not-a-relaunch. It's an initiative intended to a) up Marvel's numbers but also b) ensure that comic retailers have enough copies on the shelves of all the Marvel Legacy issues to coincide with whatever Marvel Comics publicity push is arranged at the time of publication. Or so they hope.
But All New Comics of Ontario, with an online business that reaches across Canada as well, has told Bleeding Cool that they won't be ordering a single one. Look, they've put it in bold and everything…
Due to the ordering restrictions on Marvel's Lenticular Covers, All New Comics will not be able to order any copies of the Lenticular covers, and will therefore not be able to offer them to our customers.
In the past, when DC has made lenticular covers available for products, we have done special orders around those covers. DC did this with the Villains September 2013 event, with the Future's End 2014 event, and most recently with "The Button" storyline.
The rules were simple, we had to order the covers a little bit earlier, and there would be no way to increase our orders, but we could order as many "regular" covers as we wanted, and as many lenticular covers as we wanted. We would get our full discount, and we'd have to pay a tidge more for shipping on the Lenticular covers, but it was offset by an increase in cover price, and some pretty steep discounts on DC's part. If we normally ordered 60 copies of Batman, we could order 40 regular covers and an additional 20 lenticular ones (we ordered more lenticular ones because they are very eye catching and people often buy them at conventions on a whim).
In a lot of cases DC will offer partial returnability in order to get us to order more. We feel like this is a good way to do business, it allows us to take chances on some items, and also lets us order exactly what our customers want.
For the Marvel Legacy event, the rules are not nearly as clear cut (and is constantly changing). At this point we need to order 100%-200% of our previous issue's #'s in order to qualify to order any lenticular covers. There are also additional tiers which will qualify us for other variant covers. There is so much math involved that it is insane.
Brian Hibbs from Comix Experience in San Francisco has a great article on this at The Beat – Tilting at Windmills #261: Marvel Comics and The Deck Chairs of the Titanic
To simplify things, we order 15 copies of Invincible Iron Man, in order to qualify for the lenticular covers, we need to order an additional 15 copies, then we can order as many copies of the lenticular cover as we want (although at a lower discount).
Let's say 5 people want the lenticular cover instead of the regular cover, we would have 20 copies sitting in a long box somewhere which based on previous experience we might be able to sell 2 of, leaving us holding the bag on 18 copies.
Even in cases where we need to order 100% of the qualifying title (Cable where we need to order 10 copies to qualify), we would be left with unsold copies of the non-lenticular cover.
Marvel is doing this with 29 titles. Potentially leaving us with 100's of unsold comics with 0 returnability, a lower discount, and a ton of money laid out for no extra return.
Here's the list of titles, and what we would need to order to qualify for the lenticular covers.
- All New Wolverine #25 – 125% – All New Wolverine #22
- The Amazing Spider-Man #789 – 125% – The Amazing Spider-Man #27America #4
- America #8 – 125% – America #4
- Avengers #672 – 175% – Avengers #7
- Black Panther #166 – 150% – Black Panther #15
- Cable #150 – 100% – Cable #2
- Champions #13 – 150% – Champions #9
- The Defenders #6 – 100% – Defenders #3
- The Despicable Deadpool #287 – 175% – Deadpool #34
- The Falcon #1 – 125% – Captain America: Steve Rogers #19
- Gwenpool #21 – 175% – Gwenpool #18
- Iceman #6 – 150% – Iceman #3
- The Incredible Hulk #709 – 200% – The Totally Awesome Hulk #20
- The Invincible Iron Man #593 – 200% – The Invincible Iron Man #7
- Iron Fist #73 – 125% – Iron Fist #4
- Jean Grey #8 – 125% – Jean Grey #3
- Jessica Jones #13 – 125% – Jessica Jones #9
- Luke Cage #166 – 150% – Luke Cage #2
- The Mighty Captain Marvel #125 – 125% – The Mighty Captain Marvel #6
- The Mighty Thor #700 – 175% – The Mighty Thor #19
- Monsters Unleashed #7 – 150% – Monsters Unleashed #3
- Royals #9 – 150% – Royals #4
- Spider-Gwen #25 – 125% – Spider-Gwen #20
- Spirits of Vengeance #1 – 125% – Ben Reilly: Scarlet Spider #4
- Uncanny Avengers #28 – 100% – Uncanny Avengers #24
- U.S.Avengers #11 – 125% – U.S. Avengers #7
- Venom #155 – 150% – Venom #152
- X-Men Blue #13 – 125% – X-Men Blue #8
- X-Men Gold #13 – 125% – X-Men Gold #6
We are sorry that we are not able to offer these comics for sale, and we hope that you understand while we would like to offer them, doing so would put us in considerable financial hardship.
If only money could be lenticular, and could flick from one dollar to a hundred??? Are there any other stores out there saying no to covers that move?