In case you’re wondering if I feel stupid every time I type “#15.1,” the answer is “yes.”

§ December 31st, 2012 § Filed under retailing § 9 Comments

So that “Death of Spider-Man” comic came out last week, and I don’t really have anything much to add to all the hoohar beyond what I wrote the last time something like this happened, so there you go. Also, I’ll link to this again because it’s never not true.

But, me being me, of course I’m still going to make another comment or two about this anyway. Alas, I was out of the media loop for a few days, so I had, and still have, no idea about what tone any of the real-world news outlets took with this latest space-filling fluff piece. I was told our local paper ran a story, the day after New Comics Day, so we did get a number of folks coming in looking for Amazing Spider-Man #700 following that …and, surprisingly, didn’t hear a whole lot of objection to the $7.99 cover price. At least, from the people actually buying the comic…a few folks who weren’t buying the comic did express a bit of sticker shock.

And there was some noise being made online, and pretty much nowhere else, about Avenging Spider-Man #15.1, out the same day and bridging the gap between #700 and the forthcoming Superior Spider-Man #1, regarding how nobody ordered enough and surely this was going to be a hot sellout. …Well, I ordered a very slight smidgen more than I normally do on this series (which started strong, but is fading fast), and I didn’t see a whole lot more interest in the comic than normal. Sold a couple extra copies, but I haven’t had anyone specifically asking for it. I even tried to point it out to people who were buying #700, and was generally met with “…eh.”

Perhaps we’ll see demand for #15.1 increase once Superior Spider-Man #1 is released, and it’s realized there’s a missing part of the story, there, but I don’t know. One, I suspect the majority of people buying #700 are primarily interested in the “death” event, and not that interested in following the ongoing Spider-Universe saga. Two, in the “making an ass out of U and ME…mostly ME” department, I was hoping interest, and sales, would be generated on Superior Spider-Man #1 by the mystery element…”WHO IS THE SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN?” and we’d have several months of clues and adventure and whatnot and then finally get the reveal in issue #12 where we find out it’s, I don’t know, Jack O’Lantern or Walter West or hey, maybe another clone or something. But anyway, I figured at least for the first issue there would be a lot of curiosity about this new Spider-Man, even if sales dropped off right away with #2. Since we know what the set-up is right off the bat, that mystery factor is gone. There is still that curiosity factor about how the story is going to play out, but that probably isn’t as strong a sales hook as the “WHO IS THIS GUY?” tack. I mean, c’mon, it worked for this comic!

I realize the argument can be made that basing a series around the mystery of the identity of the main character is too gimmicky, but seeing as how the whole thing is gimmicky, well…. Not that there’s anything wrong with a good gimmick, and it seems to have the people who are actually interested in reading the story talking about it, so I guess we’ll see what happens. Also, I’m wondering what they’re going to do a year or so from now when they bring back the original Spider-Man, and how they’ll retool Superior Spider-Man to keep that series around, too.

So that’s me not really having anything much to add to all the hoohar. Thank goodness I didn’t have a lot to say.

• • •

In other news…our best wishes go out to Peter David, who has had a stroke. I hope, as I’m sure all of you do as well, for Mr. David’s quick and full recovery.

9 Responses to “In case you’re wondering if I feel stupid every time I type “#15.1,” the answer is “yes.””

  • Snark Shark says:

    …sems like a good time to stop buying spider-man!

  • Suckmaster Burstingfoam says:

    WALTER WEST!!! YASS!! HAHAHA!

  • Dave-El says:

    I wish I was buying Spider-Man so I could make a protest by NOT buying Spider-Man but I’m already NOT buying Spider-Man to protest “One More Day”. OK, I wasn’t actually buying Spider-Man then either but IF I was, I would’ve stopped in protest to that.

    On another note, to appeal to Mike’s idea about a long term identity mystery, Marvel will introduce The Secretive Spider-Girl who, after a long drawn out story arc, will be revealed to really be….Stephanie Brown?!

  • swamp mark says:

    I see on your twitter thingie that you mention Swampy’s cameo in JL Dark # 14.You might also want to check the cover of #18.I think that’s Black Orchid with a very familiar style of face.You’ll know what I mean when you see it.Best wishes in the new year and for Peter David,still my fave Hulk scriptor.

  • swamp mark says:

    I just realized you’ve got JLD #15 in the shop already.Does it have a cameo too?

  • Joe Gualtieri says:

    Thank you! I’ve been arguing with people since #700 leaked that it made no sense to me for Marvel to reveal the identity of the Superior Spider-Man at the end of ASM #698. ASM #700 or SSM #1 would be the place to do it. In hindsight, #698 should have been published as-is as SSM#1 and gotten a Thunderbolts style-reaction instead of setting up #700′s anti-climax.

  • Robert in New Orleans says:

    Apparently just exactly “who” Superior Spider-Man is, is still up in the air. According to Dan Slott, a big reveal concerning SS-M’s identity happens in Superior #1. He’s hinted that what reader’s think they know may not be the complete picture.

    Maybe I’m one of the only ones coming here that is reading Spidey and caring about it or maybe I’m the only one commenting, but I’m enjoying this ‘death.’ It doesn’t feel like an artificial marketing ploy even if it is one. So if it is, I’m saying it’s been done well.

    I think it’s a clever way to sidestep the fact that we all know that superhero “body deaths” don’t last. It’s Doc Ock’s body that dies with ‘apparently’ Peter Parker’s mind, too. But, if you read #700, it’s pretty obvious that Peter may have already cheated the ‘body death’ and escaped Otto’s body before the end of the issue. Exactly how he did and where he went isn’t clear yet, but that is what’s got me excited about coming back to see how it turns out. That’s also why I don’t feel too cynical about this ‘death.’

  • Mikester says:

    Robert in New Orleans – I probably should have been a bit more clear in separating the marketing from the storytelling, even though that line is often fairly blurred. People who have read the comic seem to be enjoying it just fine, so I certainly won’t complain about that.

    That there’s “more to the story,” as it were, regarding what Superior Spider-Man is all about, is good, of course…they gotta fill that comic with something, after all! But I think my point still stands that the additional “WHO IS THIS GUY?” marketing tool would have attracted more readers over having the new status quo seemingly established, rightly or wrongly, at the end of the new series.

    But, anyway, who knows for sure. I’ll find out in a week or so once the comic is actually for sale in our shop.

    Thanks for commenting, Robert.

  • David Z. says:

    After reading Avenging Spider-Man 15.1, I’m hoping for an old-school Firestorm type storyline where Otto is in control of the body but Peter is actively in his head, constantly nagging at him to make better choices.