Wednesday, August 16, 2006


In information released to comic book retailers Tuesday {I never fucking got anything}, Marvel has {surely that should be have?} announced that issue #4 and 5 of their hugely successful Civil War series are being delayed.

Civil War #4, originally scheduled to be released tomorrow, is now scheduled for September 20th. Issue #5 and all its variants, originally scheduled for next month, is now scheduled for November 15th.

And because of the nature of the storyline, the delays in the main series will affect the related and tie-in titles, like Civil War: Front Line.

In the announcement, Marvel wrote:

“Over the next few weeks, the Civil War proper title and a few of the tie in books that are closely related to the story in the main book will be shipping later than originally planned. In an attempt to accommodate the creative team of Millar and McNiven and keep the artistic integrity and high standards of the event, we will be shifting the following titles:
“The need for these shifts came about as the September [for November shipping product] Marvel Previews #37 was going to press and we were not able to make adjustments,” reads Marvel’s explanation to retailers. “The December Marvel Previews will reflect the changes and additions. At this point we do not anticipate further changes to the schedule. We apologize for the inconvenience but feel that this is in the best interest of the quality of the event and for retailers to continue to realize the immense sales for these books. We are announcing these shifts early enough in the hopes that retailers can adjust their buying patterns for the next few months. Also, we hope the addition of a few more key Civil War titles will make up for any lost sales that result from these moves.”

Look for more information regarding these changes as it becomes available.


From a retailers point of view.

I'm just glad we got so many people into DC and Tpb's over the last two years, a few years back we were depending on Marvel solely and this kind of mess could have put us under, thankfully our customers have broadened their outlooks and we sell as many copies of Scott Pilgrim and Fables Tpbs as we do most Marvel titles.

But...we are still going to feel the sting on this big time, we had 104 copies of Civil War #3 in total, which is the most we have every ordered on a Marvel title, a lot of people have been reticent to add the newer titles like Moonknight, Ms Marvel, Martian Manhunter, Creeper etc... because all their comic money is going into Civil War.
And I don't even mind waiting for Civil War if we HAVE to, but its how this is going to affect the Fantastic Four and Amazing Spider-man titles which is going to piss me off the most, these titles are our bread and butter titles.
But what really pisses me off is that I have to find out about this through Newsarama, no e-mail sent via Diamond explaining the situation. If I was an internet retard I would have no idea about this, I'm sure many retailers are hearing about this through there younger internet going customers. How do you think that makes them feel Marvel? Like idiots maybe?

And how does it make you, the consumer feel?


Ryan said...

Was just writting an email to you about this, consisted of this

Well that's a bit beyond a slight disappointing.

Civil War 4 is put back 5 weeks to September 20th
Civil War 5 is put back 2 months from September to November
And all the tie ins are being delayed to fit in with the new schedule

By delaying the story by 2 months near everything in the marvel line suddenly loses momentum, I'm not as cynical as to think that many people will drop the event half way through, Marvel is hardly going to lose money much money from the average comic fan because of it, but all those readers that we're being attracted to it, how does a 2 month delay sound to them?

For an event book that deals with the whole of it's main universe you would think they would either have it all in the can or at least a large majority of done, but no this is half way and readers get a two month delay. And the fact that marvel announced it the day before the books US original release, it clearly seems they were trying to avoid the questions and disgruntled fans they would have to deal with at the cons.

In a period where DC is releasing 52, a weekly comic yet to ship late after over 3 months in, this really does show marvel up. (DC does have ASBARTBW though, but I think everyone is just taking those issues when they come)

I guess the comparison falls at CW being really late but artistically fluid, or IC which had slight delays and lots of fill in artists.

Why can't crossovers just be on time and drawn across the board by the same guy/s?

The big question hanging is that perhaps this isn't just a 'the guys aren’t done yet problem', but that the story is being changed.
From my reading perspective, thankfully I don't read many main Universe Marvel titles, in fact I read very few Marvel titles fullstop. I was only buying the core for civil war, i'll buy it when it does eventually come out, but I'm obviously not pleased with the news.

And while we're talking about delayed Marvel books, is Joe Q ever going to finish Daredevil Father? Seems to be a trend of thought that the fans will wait, that it doesn't matter.

Sid said...

This is the thing isn't it, if Marvels EIC can't be bothered to get Daredevil Father wrapped up, how can he have a go at people like Brian Hitch and whoever it is that draws Civil War.

Being presumptuous that it's the art slowing down the book, then why don't they just get someone else to draw it, they have enough superstar level artists who could do the work just as nicely.
Don't get me wrong, I don't want to see a hack-job like Rising Stars thrown together just to meet deadlines, but Marvel know through experience which creators are going to let them down and they should plan this in advance, there is no reason why two artists couldn't work togetehr on this book on different scenes, Alias is an example of how this can be used to great effect with the Bagley flashbacks. DC didn't solicit Green Arrow #1 until issue #9 was written, because everyone knows what Kevin Smith is like.
At least when Infinite Crisis was late it was because DC were adding pages.

It's just a matter of time before people get bored of the big crossovers again, and to be honest, I thought it was going to happen during Civil War, it's a testament to Marvel how a dissenfranchised comic-buying public have got solidly behind ANOTHER big crossover, only for it to turn out like this.
I think Civil War will get through this delay wioth only moderate number drop-off, but I think people will be reluctant to buy into the next big crossover.

Anonymous said...

You're obviously missing some facts here. It is an art problem, as Steve McNiven underestimated the amount of work that Civil War would be. The original plan was to use fill-ins, like Infinite Crisis, however they chose to keep the original creative team. Presumably Civil War has been such a financial success that they have the luxury of choosing to postpone a large part of the event.

However we are getting new tie-ins as a result, inc. (IIRC) Front Line #11 and Civil War: War Crimes and "Casualties of War" inc. (IIRC) Captain America: Winter Soldier Special and Iron Man/Captain America Special.

I don't mind as I probably wouldn't have been able to buy it if it came out this week anyway.

Ace said...

That really pisses me off. I get a LOT of Marvel titles (a large percentage of my pull list is Marvel, as Sid well knows) so delaying almost everything I get is not something likely to make me a happy bunny. I know it's not Comic Connections fault, it would be insane to suggest that, but I can imagine comic shops will lose out on custom because of this. And what do Marvel do? Add extra books on, to make more money from those who actually will stay with, and keep buying, CW.

ASM and FF, as is stated, bread and butter titles. Everyone knows about the characters, the same way people know about Batman and Superman. So delaying them is not a great move by one of The Big Two. Comic shops will suffer, which will mean orders on future events will die down, meaning that Marvel are screwing themselves. Make more money now, only to lose money in the long run.

As long as they don't cancel Cable & Deadpool though, I'll keep with them...

Ryan said...

I think when I started writing that the art reasons hadn't officially been released. But I may be wrong

I just find it a bit amazing that McNiven was only given 6 weeks lead in time, sure they originally thought they would use a fill in artist even Millar said so, but why give so little lead in time when there was an off chance you might want to keep the artist to do all 7 and that if you went with that decision, you would delay all the books on your cental line.

Why couldn't marvel just decide to do that in the beginning, then give him a fair few months lead in, have a winter event book. Then the extra time could have been used to actually explore a lot of story threads and ideas that have got ignored/forgotten in all the recent big stories.

Anonymous said...

The idea I picked up of the thing, from reading various sources, is the following (don't quote me on it though):

There was another big summer event planned, that Millar and Bendis thought was a bit crap. However, they managed to think up of a better storyline and successfully pitch it to Marvel. Therefore it had to directly replace the planned book on the schedule. Millar said that all this happened "just MONTHS before" Issue #1 came out, which leads me to believe they only had 2 to 3 months to write and produce it. Therefore, 6 weeks lead time seems to fit. Therefore, the criticism should be that the event should have been delayed. However, i imagine debuting on FCBD was too good a buisness oppourtunity to pass up.

BTW, Sid, your pic's broken.

Sid said...

I think its stupid of marvel to run with a story idea as huge as Civil War with oinly a few months lead time, I would have taken at least 6 months to sit and think of the long-term ramifications of spidey unmasking. Seems to me that maybe Marvel panicked a bit when DC's Infinite Crossover started over-running the sales chart for months on end and slapped together (an admitadly awesome - so far) crossover as a knee jerk reaction.
As far as the other idea for a crossover, when House of M finished they said it was going to have a knock on effect leading into the next big summer crossover, and that planet Hulk was the first part of that tapistry, although it was mentioned in Civil War its hardly part of the story crux is it?

Also, would anyone else but me not care if McNiven wasn't the artist?

Sounds to me like they are tweaking the story and stretching out.

I suppose, like anything, time will be the big tester for this, but I must say at this point, I;m not impressed.

One last thing, didn't Marvel get taken to court for this a few years back after Marvel only shipped 9 Amazing Spider-mans in a year, explaining that missing "bread and butter" titles was costing his shop money?
Also, if Marvel are late shipping F4 and Amazing Spidey, surely that reduces JMS's wages for the year, missing four monthly books?

Anonymous said...

I'd mind no McNiven. His art style is hard to emulate, so the bookwould suffer as a result of clashing art styles.

Sid said...

If someone else drew McNiven but the photoshop colouring and manipulating was the same, I doubt I'd notice he was gone to be honest.

Anonymous said...

That's the thing though - who can imitate McNiven? Quickly?

Sid said...

Dunno, but in the 11 years I have been working in the comic industry I can't think of anyones art which is more insipid that McNiven's.
Not to say he's bad, I just find it a little lifeless, he's not an artist whose every stood out to me.
But then again, I like Al Rio and Jim Balent so what do I know ;)

Sid said...

Okay, okay. I have lots of stuff on the subject now, and reticent as I am to admit when I am in wrong, I have to say delaying the book to wait for McNiven does make sense.
But it's by no means perfect, it seems there are two points of view to looking at this and both of them are equally valid in terms of short term and long-term benefit.

Shame that Marvel hasn't portrayed Civil War as being so equally balanced and unbiased.

Anonymous said...

At least it's generated a record number of comments on this blog. :)

Sid said...

Just realised how bad my grammar and spelling has been on these posts today, oops.

Matt Boyce! said...

you know there are plently of other good books that can fill the hole in yours lives whilst you wait for Civil War!

Matt Boyce! said...

like for instance "More Humilaition" and my next super secret comic book!

shock suspense murder intrigue

my next book will have none of this

Anonymous said...

i dount realy care who dose the bloody art for cw as long as the book is a good read but i would like to see mike choi (witchblade) do the art for cw as he one of the best new artist ive seen for years mike choi has got to be the next top artist like jim lee but hey thats just me im just pissed that cw and ams are delayed come on marvel pull your f***ing fingers out befor 52 kicks your butt