Penguin Random House, the exclusive distributor of Marvel Comics to the direct market of comic book stores, issued the following note to comic book retailers the other day, saying "please be aware that Marvel is making measurable schedule changes to many comics and collections. We will update you as these changes come in."
Because, yes, Marvel Comics schedules are late. Really late. Things haven't been this bad since Steve McNiven was late on Civil War and it delayed the entire Marvel publishing line. Lots of comic book publishers have suffered scheduling issues of late, but Marvel Comics' dominant presence in the direct market means their delays have a greater impact. And it is no more visible than in the X-Men schedules printed at the back of each of the Krakoan comics, which show how many changes have come in since the comic was published. Basically, it's the latest work of Krakoan fiction.
A scarcity of paper in the market, and printing presses available was followed by a Canadian train strike that followed the trucker protests, which all had an impact. However, with the demand for cardboard boxes, which caused a lot of this scarcity, declining again, paper may be a little more available in months to come. But here are some of the bigger delays hitting Marvel titles right now, as detailed by distributor Penguin Random House. These are not final dates of course, but they give you scale of the issue right now.
This week should have seen Venom: Lethal Protector #2, Wolverine Patch #2, Immortal X-Men #2 and X-Men: Red #2 but they have all been delayed until the 18th of May. With subsequent issues knocked on further into subsequent months. While Spider-Gwen: Gwenverse #3, also meant to be out, has been delayed even later until the 15th of June
The already-a-year delayed Predator #1, now clear of legal issues, is delayed from the 6th of July to 3rd of August
Deadpool: Bad Blood #4 – which is s reprint comic – is delayed from the 18th of May to the 31st of August, with previous issues slipping down the schedule. Same with Hulk #9 was delayed from the 13th of July to the 17th of August, Star Wars #26 is delayed from the 6th of July to the 17th of August. Also the date for Star Wars; Halcyon Legacy #5, which is delayed from the 8th of June, as well as Tales Of Suspense #57 Facsimile Edition.
The Amazing Spider-Man relaunch is sliding down the schedules. The first issue was one week late, the second issue should have been out today and is now delayed until the 25th of May. And right now, Amazing Spider-Man #7 is delayed from the 6th of July to the 3rd of August, and Amazing Spider-Man #8 from the 27th of July to the 17th of August.
As we mentioned yesterday A.X.E. Judgement Day #1 is delayed from the 6th of July to the 20th of July and #3 from the 20th of July to the 10th of August. Though those who have seen a replacement artist in Guiu Villanova needn't worry, it's still Valerio Schiti, that was just a glitch. Schiti is currently drawing issue 4…
Odds are there will be more delays to hit the schedule, as according to PRH, Ghost Rider #5 has been delayed from 22nd of June to 3rd of August while Ghost Rider #6 has been delayed from 26th of July to 3rd of August. Two issues shipping on the same day? Something similar is happening to X-Men Legends with #1 delayed from 18th of May, #2 delayed from the 29th of June and #3 delayed from the 27th of July, all delayed to the 3rd of August. Also Thunderbolts #1 is delayed from the 25th of May, Thunderbolts #2 delayed from 29th of June, and Thunderbolts #3 delayed from the 27th of July to the 3rd of August. Right now it is going to be a very busy 3rd of August.
Avengers Forever #8 is delayed from 6th of July and Avengers 1,000,000 BC from the 13th of July, both to the 3rd of August. The X-Terminators #1 launch, Wolverine: Patch #2 and House Of XCII #4 are all delayed from 6th of July to 3rd of August. X-Men Unlimited: X-Men Green #1 is delayed from 18th of May to 3rd of August, while #2 is delayed from 22nd of June to 31st of August Spider-Man 2099: Exodus #5 is delayed from June 29th and Spider-Man 2099: Exodus Omega #1 from the 6th of Julym both to 3rd of August
There are plenty more, but this will give you a sense of the scale that is hitting. As books are delayed, that also means fewer titles each week until Marvel catches up. Marvel had five and four new FOC titles in the last two weeks respectively, and nine this coming weekend. That doesn't mean that Marvel will just publish those few titles in coming weeks, it's just a chance to spread things out a bit further…