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    Hello, $4.99: The Rising Price Point of Marvel’s September Solicits

    By | June 17th, 2014
    Posted in News | 13 Comments

    Marvel’s September solicits were released today, and there’s quite a bit worth talking about (which is why we have a monthly solicit analysis column, which will come out next week). However, at a surface glance of solicits, one thing becomes clear quickly: there are 15 books released at the $4.99 price point.

    To put that in some context, here’s the breakdown:

    • Marvel’s “Death of Wolverine” event will release every week that month, with the first issue coming in at 48 pages and each subsequent issue at 40 — $4.99 each
    • “Superior Spider-Man” is back for a special event with #33, 48 pages
    • “Avengers” and “New Avengers” are now 40 pages, $4.99 each, as well as “Avengers” #34.1, also 40 pages
    • A “Fantastic Four” Annual, a “Hulk” Annual, a “Deadpol” Bi-Annual are all $4.99 40-page comics
    • “Thor, God of Thunder’s” #25 is a 40-page special issue
    • “Miracleman” #10 is $4.99, though it always has been
    • “Hawkeye vs Deadpool” #0 will be $4.99 at 40 pages, and “Deadpool” #34 is now bumped up as well

    What makes this noteworthy is that this is 15 comics, bumped up from August’s 6. Most of these were Annuals or otherwise special issues (the end of “Original Sin,” “Superior Spider-Man’s” return), but it becomes further important to note the rising price point because — assumedly — the selling point is that these are 40 page comics.

    The current 32-page comics Marvel produces sell for $3.99, but on average 20 of those are actually the comic, and there’s usually no difference between a $3.99 and $2.99 comic other than that a $3.99 comic is most likely a flagship title (based on the characters or creative team). Occasionally you’ll see a book raised from $2.99 to $3.99 to combat a title’s low sales, as well.

    Unless this is just a fluke and books like “Avengers” and “New Avengers” are only temporarily jumping up to 40 pages at the $4.99 price point (lets assume that “Thor” and the two “Deadpool” books are just temporarily increased), we could be looking at more and more increases to $4.99. That’s very much a quick, kneejerk Mad Money reaction, I’ll grant you that, but the jump from 6 to 15 coupled with a few regular ongoing books getting a $4.99 price point is curious.

    At the time that this article has been posted, Marvel has not commented on the price increase. We will update if they do.

    Matthew Meylikhov

    Once upon a time, Matthew Meylikhov became the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Multiversity Comics, where he was known for his beard and fondness for cats. Then he became only one of those things. Now, if you listen really carefully at night, you may still hear from whispers on the wind a faint voice saying, "X-Men Origins: Wolverine is not as bad as everyone says it issss."


    • Ron Westphal

      Marvel Unlimited. I can wait six months.

      • Mamylon

        Seriously. It costs as much as following a single biweekly book.

    • quinn

      $5. As I predicted… elsewhere.

      Since I don’t buy marvel real issues or fake digital, is the price the same for the digital version?

      Ever since Warren Ellis bailed on Moon Knight, I haven’t bought any Marvel titles whatsoever.

      I think $5 has got to be the absolute breaking point for more that 50% of Marvel’s current buying audience. I can’t imagine anyone sane and functional paying $5 for 26 or 27 pages of actual story.

      Disney & Perlmutter seem to be OK with the comics publishing business going away.

      • Patrick Gizinski

        4.99 is certainly my breaking point. If that becomes the standard for Avengers and New Avengers, I’ll count myself out after Hickman finishes up his run and any other run/creative team once they conclude. 5 dollars for an extra 8 pages. No thank you.

        • quinn

          It will be the breaking point for many people.

          It will be interesting to see what happens, when and if Perlmutter/Disney drop the prices back to $4. Will people come back to buying the already gouging price of $4? We’ll see.

          • Guest

            I hope not. I hate to say it, but some times this industry deserves what it gets. It’s like they never ask themselves “How can we get as many comics as possible into as many hands as possible?” Instead, they squeeze the customer as if they’re a drug addict who’ll pay anything to get their fix.

            I love the funny books, but not even at $3.99.

    • Diego

      For the $3.99 vs $2.99 books theres another difference: since AvX all of the $3.99 ones include a comixology redeemable digital code for the issue. Now and then the $2.99 issues include a code as well, for promotional purposes I guess.

      Said code can be sold in various places all over the Internet, usually for one buck and sometimes two for oversized issues; making things a bit easier on the reader that likes to buy physical single issues – like me.

      • That’s hardly a one size fits all answer, though, as I for one don’t do that. Not everyone is going to eBay their digital codes. Many, I believe, actually use them! But it is an idea.

        • Jess

          if I buy a print book, I have no need for the digital code. I’m not and I shouldn’t have to, go on ebay to sell it. I understand that Marvel is a business but between merchandise, movies and being owned by Disney, there’s no way to justify this.

    • Patrick Gizinski

      So Avengers Undercover is ending too?

    • Zachary Cantrell

      Avengers and New Avengers all seem to be special cases. “Time Runs Out” is a kind of mini event for that book. Brevoort and Hickman have both gone on the record to say it’s the end of Act 2 of his run, which is set to wrap up in 2015.

      Avengers #34.1 issue sounds similar to a lot of their annuals they’ve been putting out. The 40 page count, different creative team (similar to last years Avengers Annual #1 from Kathryn Immonen) and the fact that they haven’t put a #xx.1 issue into the ongoings in some time as far as I remember (.INH and .NOW distinctions not withstanding, I’m talking about this specific piece of .1 branding within the ongoing books) makes me think this might have originally been Avengers Annual #2 but got rebranded because the last one failed to sale, but we’ll have to wait and see how that pans out.

      I feel comfortable writing off all of these as special issues right now. Death of Wolverine is a given, special miniseries as part of a BIG EVENT spinning out of the Wolverine Ongoing. Annuals always have higher page counts, so nothing out of the ordinary there and Superior #33 is a special event as you noted already. Marvel has been making the 25th issue of a lot of their runs special issues with higher page counts. They did it with All-New X-Men #25 a few months back, now Thor gets that treatment.

      Deadpool #34 is an odd ball, nothing about that solicit seems to suggest it’s special, aside from the boosted page count, but the fact that Deadpool #35 reverts to the $3.99 price tag and shorter page count tells me it is.

      I’ve always noticed every year my comics cost more in September or October though (never both, but always one of them). something about those two months seems to pull in a lot of special stuff that doesn’t quite fit into BIG SUMMER EVENT category but isn’t really a regular monthly title either. It’s such a thing that I specifically budget those two months to accommodate the extra $15-20 I end up spending on comics. I also tend to come into more cash around that time of year too, so it’s never been a huge issue though.

    • I guess double-shipping will come to an end. After Avengers Undercover wraps up I’ll stick around to see if Dennis Hopeless and Kev Walker continues with these characters, if not that’s my last Marvel book I read when Uncanny Avengers finishes.