DATELINE: THE FUTURE – “The latest hourly issue of The Improbable Spider-Man is here!”

§ December 16th, 2013 § Filed under retailing § 5 Comments


  • The latest scheduling hoohar that really crumbled my crackers was this Amazing Spider-Man #700.x mini-series, with issues numbered #700.1 through #700.5 that I foolishly assumed would be released weekly. Well, ho ho, apparently “weekly” wasn’t fast enough, and after the solo debut of #700.1, #700.2 and #700.3 were simultaneously released last Wednesday, with #700.4 and #700.5 coming to your friendly neighborhood funnybook store this Wednesday. I’ve complained before about Marvel’s scheduling, in particular in reference to Superior Spider-Man, or Daredevil suddenly having four issues in a five-week period. Little did I know how good I had it with just “biweekly” or even “weekly,” now that “twice a week” is an option, apparently.

    All I can figure is that they wanted to get all the issues out prior to Christmas, for some reason. Oh, and each issue has two covers, too, in case any retailers felt like taking away even more rack space from any other series that month, which, well, maybe I’ve answered my own question about why this happened.

  • Also out next Wednesday is issue #1 of Harley Quinn, which I almost described as the debut issue, which strictly speaking it isn’t since we had that #0 just a few weeks ago, and also there have been Harley Quinn comics before, so it’s not a “debut” per se, I suppose. But anyway, I saw some discussion online regarding surprise at how well that #0 seemed to sell. My response in said discussion was that there’s been an uptick in interest in Harley Quinn comics over the last year or so, to the point of demand pushing up the prices on her previous comic book appearances. Her first print appearance in Batman Adventures #12 has suddenly become one of those new “hot” books, commanding crazypants prices and an increased number of inquiries at our shop over the last few months. (No, we’re out — sorry!)

    Part of this demand is driven by the fact that comic fans just plain like Harley Quinn. She’s also one of those characters popular with our lady customers, who have been the primary source of those back issue sales. It was a fairly easy decision for me to order big numbers on that new Harley Quinn #0…and apparently not big enough, since I did end up selling out. Luckily it’s available for reorder, with my restock due on Wednesday, along with that #1 on which I also ordered even more copies.

    The one thing that occurred to me to add to that discussion way after it was over was, again, that online response doesn’t always correspond to in-store sales behavior. DC’s New 52 may be the current online punching bag, maybe even deservedly so in some cases, but that doesn’t preclude the possibility that certain DC titles may be sales successes and enjoyed by fans.

    All that being said…I read that #0 (where the majority of the book is single page gags drawn by an army of artists), and it was silly and fun, and maybe a little too heavy on the self-referential gags, but I realize that’s a feature, not a bug. Solicitations for future issues seem promising, and the creative team (as long as it holds) will certainly do good work, so I’m hoping this series will slake that Harley desire our customers have.

    I expected some grumbling about the current costume design versus her classic look, but surprisingly that hasn’t been an issue. Also, in case you’re wondering, Suicide Squad, where she also appears, hasn’t been tearing up the racks, so it’s not like every Harley appearance = Big Sales. However, that recent Injustice: Gods Among Us annual featuring Harley vs. Lobo sure did well, much better than the actual Injustice title has been selling.

  • One final complaint: that Superman Vs. Mongul trade paperback coming out this week features, among other comics, Mongul’s appearances in DC Comics Presents, including his initial storyline in #27 and #28. That’s great and all, but that’s a three-part story, with #29 wrapping up the “Superman is full of himself” attitude-problem subplot that ran through the whole thing. Yes, Mongul doesn’t really play a part in that issue, but you’re still only getting 2/3rds of the story. I suppose I’m bugged by this because #27-#29 is one of my all-time favorite Superman adventures, with Jim Starlin being Starlin-y as all get-out. Maybe I’ll dig some copies of #29 out of the back room and bundle them with the trades.

    Of course, I haven’t seen the actual book yet, so maybe that was a typo in the solicitation information for Superman Vs. Mongul. If that turns out to be the case, well….

5 Responses to “DATELINE: THE FUTURE – “The latest hourly issue of The Improbable Spider-Man is here!””

  • Derooftrouser says:

    “Crazypants prices” you say?

    [Goes up to spare room, digs through box in bottom of wardrobe, find BA #12 bagged and boarded, because it’s one of two series he did that for.]

    Huh. Well this is certainly a thing that never happens.

    Thankfully, just to maintain my luck with this sort of thing, it looks like they go for less than half the current American price on Her Britannic Majesty’s eBay.

  • Tim O'Neil says:

    My question about the new Harley Quinn series is if they’re ever going to address the fact that she somewhat uncharacteristically straight-up murdered dozens of children in her Villain’s Month book.

    I’m guessing the answer is “no” to that one.

  • Pal Cully says:

    Agreed. The omission of #29 is a crime. Fun read.

  • Snark Shark says:

    “#700.1 through #700.5”

    such nonsense!

    “only getting 2/3rds of the story”

    well, that’s bloody stupid!

  • Alan says:

    I played it safe and ordered a used copy of the 1983 UK annual via should arrive in 2 weeks.

    [amazon usa also indicated issue #29 missing in the trade…that is just stupid]