Posted by: Douglas Wolk on March 3, 2010
[This is a reconstructed post from Google Cache; originally posted by Douglas]
I love the tightly knit week-to-week continuity of the Big Two’s superhero serials, but its potential downside is that a single stumble can do strange things to the direct market. According to Diamond’s new shipping updates, the final issue of Siege has been bumped three weeks, from April 21 to May 12. (Siege: Embedded #4 has moved also moved to May 12, but from April 7.) Which means that the final issues of Dark Avengers and Avengers: The Initiative, which were supposed to come out that week, have also been bumped to 5/12. And New Avengers Finale, which was meant to follow Siege #4 by a week on 4/28. Meanwhile, Fallen, originally scheduled for 4/7, is also now due 5/12. That’s six Siege-related books, all hitting the same day. (Which is also the same day as Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne #1!)
Now we move into the realm of idle speculation, and I hope people who know better will correct me if I’m wrong.
Not yet officially rescheduled: a lot of other stuff that was supposed to come out after Siege ended, like the final issues of New Avengers and Mighty Avengers, both currently scheduled for 4/28–perhaps those will have to get bumped too. Possibly also Invincible Iron Man #25, which is scheduled for 4/28, launches a new storyline, and I’m guessing from context happens after “Siege” and potentially spoils its ending. (But, of course, if Marvel holds that one until 5/12, they miss having it out in time for Iron Man 2’s opening 5/7.) Thor #609 and Thunderbolts #143 are both Siege tie-ins that are still on the schedule for 4/28, which means they were planned to appear after Siege ended.
Then there’s the current 5/5 ship dates for Avengers #1 and various other titles billed as Heroic Age tie-ins, which I assume can’t roll out unspoilerishly until Siege is over: Astonishing X-Men: Xenogenesis #1, Captain America #606, Enter the Heroic Age #1 and Heroic Age: Prince of Power #1. (Age of Heroes #1 has already been bumped from 5/5 to 5/19.)
Titles that are currently listed for 5/12 include Amazing Spider-Man Presents: American Son #1, Atlas #1, Black Widow #2, Secret Avengers #1 and Web of Spider-Man #8, all of which are billed as Heroic Age tie-ins.
Obviously, the plan was that Siege would end April 21, the triple Avengers finale would be April 28 (right before Free Comic Book Day), and the new Avengers #1 would come out as the flagship of all the Heroic Age stuff the first week of May, just in time for Iron Man 2 to open. That really was a cool idea, and I’m sorry things apparently won’t run that way. As a reader, I’m not complaining that all those comics aren’t going to be in my hands exactly when I expected; I’ll read ‘em when they’re ready. But I do think it’s a peculiar symptom of the current state of superhero comics that one deferred issue can make so many other titles run late, and I’m curious to see Brian’s (and other retailers’) take on what it might mean for their business.