Movies & TV / Columns

What’s Marvel’s Plan For a Million Copy-Selling Comic Book?

May 8, 2019 | Posted by Steve Gustafson
Marvel Absolute Carnage

I’m Steve Gustafson and thanks for stopping by. Don’t forget to check out 411mania’s Comic Book Review Roundtable, every Thursday! Read up on the best reviews and let us know what you’re reading as well. Click to read the latest Comic Book Review Roundtable! DCeased #1, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge #1, and more!

Now, on with the show!

Last week we discussed Things We Don’t Miss About Comic Books in the 90s!. Here’s what some of you had to say:

Chip McFetters: “I don’t miss three panel pages, and one panel pages with 30 speech balloons, and guns that weigh more than grown men, and tits that weigh more than grown men, and scratchy lines, and pony tails on blokes, and eyes with no pupils, and missing feet, and missed deadlines, and…”

WChilders49: “I don’t miss foil-enhanced, holographic covers and other stupid gimmicks that served no purpose other than give the comic publishers an excuse to significantly jack up the price of their books.

I also don’t miss multi-book crossovers for the sake of having a crossover. Seems like Marvel, especially, was guilty of doing stuff like this seemingly every few months in the ‘90’s.

And I don’t miss the “bad girl” phase where women had to have big boobs and even bigger guns. Look, I’m a 100% red-blooded American male who fully appreciates the female form in all its beauty. But the women constantly being drawn to show as much cleavage as possible or given completely unrealistic proportions (looking at you, Rob Liefeld!) just made comics feel sleazy.”

D2Kvirus: “I don’t miss how the vast majority of comics coming out at the time looked at the stuff Alan Moore, Frank Miller and Neil Gaiman were publishing and the only takeaways they had were the words “darker” and “edgier””

Earl Chatterton: “I grew up on Marvel comics in the 80s. I still love so much from that era from Peter David’s Spectacular Spider-Man to Simonson’s Thor to Claremont and Davis’ Excalibur. But I just interest pretty early in the 90s. It was a mix of leaving school and starting to get out into the workplace. If I was still gripped enough by Marvel I probably would have kept on reading now that I had money of my own coming in. But stuff like the endless, muddled Clone Saga just were too much and impossible to follow. All Marvel books started to look the same with their ugly, “extreme” yet lazy art work and layouts. Occasionally I’d come back in the latter years of the 90s and check out an issue…and I’d end up with something as terrible as Rob Liefeld’s rebooted Avengers. Liefeld is absolutely the most important figure in comics that decade, but it didn’t make him good. I basically stayed away from comics (apart from non-Marvel books like Strangers In Paradise and for some reason Gen13) for something like 20 years.”

Al Lobama: “I do not miss the knockoff artists that were trying (and failing) to draw in the “Image” style. Whether it was editorial mandate in an effort to replace the golden egg laying geese who flew the coop or, in the case of Herb Trimpe, an artist trying to keep his job by changing his style to reflect the newest trends, it produced some of the most God awful comic books in the history of the printed medium. Some of those books Marvel put out in the early to mid-nineties are virtually unreadable thanks to that awful art.

I’ll even extend that to knockoff characters. I mean, how many bootleg versions of Lobo and Cable does one industry need?

Back in the day, I’d have thrown in characters/teams that all wore matching bomber jackets over their costumes, but I have to admit that I now file that under “so bad it’s good” nostalgia. Just like the pouch craze, whereas seeing them used to make me groan, now they make me chuckle fondly.”

El Atomico: “I stopped buying comics at the end of the 80’s, but this article and the comments are informative and fun.”

Pat_Battle: “I know it’s lazy to make fun of that Liefield Cap pic shown above, but man that Liefield Cap pic… what’s up with that thing? It appears he has a shelf to hold his drink on top of those pecs.”

D-Unit: “Pretty much everything you said, plus the “major crossovers” that took place every week. Characters being “killed” and replaced with new ones that lasted a year at most, the “Bad Girl” fad.”

Guest: “If comics even exist in 20 years, I honest believe we’ll call the last 5 years the dark days of comics. How some of the comics even get out of the editorial phase is beyond me. Today has nothing like the Age of Apocalypse or the original X Force.”

To read last week’s column go HERE! As always, thanks for the input!

This week we discuss our…

Which Marvel Comic Book Will Sell One Million Copies?

Marvel is aiming for big numbers. Their Editor-in-Chief, C.B. Cebulski, has said he has an “idea” for a comic book that could sell over a million copies, but he has clarified that it’s not a Star Wars relaunch.

The last time a comic book from Marvel sold over a million copies was 2015’s Star Wars #1. You might remember its many variant covers

For those keeping score, it was 2018’s 25-cent DC Nation #0 that sold over a million copies for DC. I’m sure the price had a lot to do with that.

Back to Marvel…

“The last comic to sell a million copies was Star Wars #1. Which was almost five years ago. I feel it’s about time we publish another title that sells over seven figures. And I think I have an idea…” Cebulski said Twitter.

Fans blasted him with guesses and theories, as expected. Many pointing to a Star Wars relaunch.

“Good guesses, folks, but it is not a Star Wars relaunch,” Cebulski tweeted. “For a story firmly set in the Marvel Universe. More hints next week…”

Maybe a Star Wars vs Marvel book? It’s just a matter of time before they start working that well.

Elsewhere on Twitter, creative team Donny Coates and Ryan Stegman have been using social media to hint that Absolute Carnage #1 will beat Jim Lee’s X-Men #1’s 8,104,611 number,

That would be something.

What book do you think could sell one million? Will anyone reach those X-Men numbers again?

That’s all the time I have. Check out our Comic Book Reviews tomorrow and see you next week!