Cheap Rip-off


Does anyone mind if I go on a mini-rant?

Last year, DC’s Action Comics, home to and originator of Superman, published its 1,000th issue. It was a oversized issue and was accompanied by a Deluxe Edition hardback including stories from every decade of the comic’s history, plus essays. They sold like crazy.

Earlier this year, DC’s Detective Comics, home to and originator of Batman, published its 1,000th issue. It was a oversized issue and was accompanied by a Deluxe Edition hardback including stories from every decade of the comic’s history, plus essays. They sold like crazy. And yes, Detective Comics pre-dated Action Comics, but the latter spent a year as a weekly, leap-frogging the numbers in the process.

Later this year, Marvel Comics celebrate their 80th Anniversary. They reach this figure by adding in the periods the group of comics that became known as Marvel in 1961 (some issues after Fantastic Four 1 appeared) as Atlas Comics in the Fifties and Timely Comics in the Forties. Fair enough, we’ll give them that. After all, Timely’s first isssue was Marvel Comics 1.

Marvel have announced plans to celebrate their occasion with a special edition, an 80 page comic consisting of eighty one-page stories by eighty different creative teams. Again, all well and good. It is what they’re calling this special that irks me. They’re calling it Marvel Comics 1,000. And it’s not.

This title is a cheap rip-off, a fake, a fraud, a lie. It’s a con on a market that will assume it stands foursquare with Action Comics 1,000 and Detective Comics 1,000, but it’s not. DC’s two titles are actual achievements, the first two (American) comic books to have published 1,000 issues, continuously. Crucially, these issues came out after issues 999 and were followed by issues 1,001. There was no Marvel Comics 999. There will be no issue 1,001. Had Marvel Comics continued in publication on a monthly basis since issue 1, it could not have reached issue 1,000. No possible numbering, however contrived or artificial, can come up with 1,000 issues.

What it is is an attempt to carve out some of DC’s audience for their 1,000th issues by misleading that audience into thinking that Marvel’s effort is on a par. It shouldn’t bother me: after all, it’s nearly thirty years since I last bought any Marvel Comics, and it’s not like I read all that much DC. But cheating rubs me up the wrong way, and pathetic cheating fills me with comtempt.

I just wanted to say that.

 

 

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