Saturday, February 18, 2017

Weekly Roundup | Venom #150, Scarlet Spider #1, Secret Empire, Generations

After last year’s DC Rebirth, Marvel Comics may also be bringing legacy back to their characters in 2017. In April Eddie Brock will return as Venom as the series celebrates its #150 issue in May. The first issue came in 1993 with Venom: Lethal Protector.

Following Spider-Man: The Clone Conspiracy, Peter David and Mark Bagley take on Ben Reilly as the Scarlet Spider and return the clone back to his original costume by the end of the first arc.

In May Marvel brings Secret Empire #1 which kicked off with a zero issue in April. The series promises to be the final political social commentary for the foreseeable future as Marvel plans on bringing legacy and heroism back to the forefront in September following the conclusion of the series. Last year Marvel released Civil War II which dealt with profiling in the Marvel Universe using an Inhuman to predict crimes.

While Marvel plans to bring legacy and heroism back, they are also teaming up with Archie to bring comic digest collections. The digest will ship six times a year with four in 2017. Marvel is planning on reaching and exposing themselves to a new audience with more digestible collections instead of the monthly series or trades which could be harder to collect and follow.

Marvel Comics also released a teaser by Alex Ross showcasing the classic Marvel heroes and their inspired counterparts titled Generations. Marvel has announced by the Fall of 2017, the classic Marvel Universe will be back in full swing with Steve Rogers, Tony Stark, and Odinson back as Captain America, Iron Man, and Thor, respectively.

Whether bringing legacy back to the Marvel Universe will help sales depends on the story associated with it. DC Rebirth brought the Watchmen into the DC Universe which propelled the story forward until 2018 when everything will come together. Marvel seems to building a stronger foundation as the Avengers movies in 2018 and 2019 concludes the Marvel Cinematic Universe. 

Last year comic book stores ordered 0.3% more in comics and graphic novels than in 2015. Overall there was a 1% increase in comics or a million more comics (99 million in total according to Diamond) and 2.1% increase in graphic novels.