In the good old days of the early twenty-first century, Marvel and DC used to provide First Look books to retailers, sending them a copy of certain comic book issues the week before the book would actually see proper distribution. But printing issues, distribution problems and fears of illegal pirating put a stop to that.
But now it's back. Ish. To help orders of Wildstorm titles, The Authority #18 and WildCATS #19 will be sent to participating retailers two weeks before the book ships, with an option to increase their sales before the Final Cut Off point the following day. The comics will also feature a linked cover by George Perez.
Equally Marvel are making their first moves into the business of returnable comics for certain promotions. DC have repeatedly created promotions with inbuilt returnability for certain items to ensure increased initial orders. But this is Marvel's first, to promote The Siege, with Marvel saying that any retailer who orders twice as many copies of The Siege #1 as they have done of Captain America: Reborn #4. can return any additional copies they order.
Which is probably quite a stretch for most retailers. Still, baby steps…