Live Blogging the November Previews

November 2010 Previews Order

I decided to start with the Marvel section this month and the very first line baffled me, so I decided to live blog it for you.  I have seen some other retailers do this.  I always thought about doing it, but time usually got away from me.  I am starting the order early this month because it is due the Tuesday after Thanksgiving and I am having a crazy weekend next week.

So, hopefully this will give you a little insight into what I go through every month ordering product.  I know lots of you flip through the Previews to see what’s coming.  For me, it’s actually the order catalog.  So here goes:


Age of X Alpha #1 – Hmm.  Written  by Mike Carey.  OK, not too exciting.  Pencils by TBD.  Great, I have to order it and they don’t even know who is drawing it.  Here is the deciphering of the cover by Bleeding Cool OK?  Don’t know what that all means.  Here is the solicitation:  “Mutantkind’s final war starts here.  If you don’t know what side you’re on, check your DNA.  32 pgs, Rated A…$3.99.”  But wait, there’s more.  There is a 1-in-30 variant.  And they are offering us an additional discount if we order more than we did of X-Men #2.  You know the one with the vampires and the big relaunch and lots of promotion?  I have zero idea how to order this.  Is this even in continuity?  Is it a follow up to Age of Apocalypse?  I am probably going to have to search some online articles just to figure what this book is even about. Not a good start Marvel.

X-Men #7 Fantastic Four Anniversary Variant – “Order more copies of X-Men #7 than you did of X-Men #2 and you can order all you want”  As anyone who has ever read the sales charts on ICV2 or The Beat knows,  sales typically drop after the first issue of a relaunch as retailers try to adjust their orders between what they expected the books to sell VS how is actually did.  We get caught up in the hype too, guys.  There was a 50% drop in orders between the 1st 2 issues of this launch of  X-Men.  And this is the storyline following the hyped X-Men vs. Vampires story.  There is no way that #7 is going to sell more than #2 did. Then you start thinking, “Hmm, that means this variant is going to be hard to find…”  Nope, not falling for that.  Pass.

(OK, this is going to take a lot longer than I thought)

Astonishing Thor #2 – No real clue here either.  I ordered pretty strong on #1 (Same as I did and sold through on Ultimate Thor).  But there is also the fear that the Thor market is overloaded.  The Astonishing line has not done well lately.  X-Men has vanished, even the mini.  Spider-Man Wolverine started strong, but irregular shipping has harmed its interest.  Reading the solicit, it’s about the Stranger and Collector and Ego the living planet.  No idea what to make of that.  80% of #1 and adjust based on sales of #1.

Ozma of Oz #3 – Even the Oz people are losing interest in the monthlies and waiting for the trades on this.  The first volume did great, but interest is slowing overall. Same as #2

Orson Scott Card’s Speaker For the Dead #1 – Another one where people are passing, waiting for the trade and then not buying the trade.  Subs plus 1 for the shelf.

Anita Blake Circus of the Damned Ingenue #1 – Yet another one that keeps going.  Core fans enjoy it, but no one has added it for a long time.  Another subs + 1.

Stand No Man’s Land #1 – This one does OK off the shelf.  Nothing earth shattering though.  Worried that a drop will start.  Subs +4

Dark Tower Gunslinger Little Sister Elluria #2 – This one has stopped selling off the shelf for the last few issues and 2 subs dropped it.  Subs +1

OK, done with the book adaptations.  I guess Marvel puts them up front so they don’t get ignored.  I’m sure there are stores that don’t order any.

Ultimate Comics Captain America #1 (of 4) – Jason Aaron & Ron Garney.  This one could be good.  The first Ultimate Avengers mini was mostly about Cap and it did well.  1-in-20 variant.  That should be doable.  Check what Ult Comics Avengers sold and order based on that.

Ultimate Comics Avengers 3 #6 (of 6) – Same as #5

Ultimate Comics Doom #2 (of 4) – Same as #1.  The people who started with this back in Ultimate Mystery probably won’t give up now, will they?

Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #152 – Will the announcement that they are killing him going hurt sales?  Probably.  Order same as actual sales of last issue in preparation for decline.

Ultimate Comics Thor #4 (of 4) – Same as #3

Avengers #9 – Not Actual Cover.  Why not?  Why use a Land pin-up?  “The Avengers team-up with the incredible RED HULK …”  Wait? Team-Up?  Didn’t I just have a party because he was JOINING the Avengers?  Keep a close eye on the sales of #7 & 8.  This one may be dropping.  People are expressing their dissatisfaction of the Hood as the big bad yet again.  And lots of negative comments on Romita’s art.

Avengers Children’s Crusade #4 (of 9) – Selling very well for a book that won’t finish for another year (if its not late).  Glad they made a 3rd print of #1.  They are going to have to keep doing this as I normally don’t order with the expectation of trying to keep issues on the shelf for 18 months.  Same as #3.

Avengers Academy #8 – Still doing better than I expected.  Same as #7.  Oh, more Hood?  Hope for the best, I guess.

I Am An Avenger #5 (of 5) – Same as #4.  This is the kind of thing I wish they’d stop.  Was there really any demand for this?  A 5 issue series of a bunch of short stories?  For $4 each?  I’d love to see editors working on a big picture story or a big event rather than these kinds of things.  And by big event, I mean a solid told in the event and regular title books, not a multitude of spin-off minis that don’t do much but take up shelf space. (Shadowland, I’m looking at you!)

Ant-Man & Wasp #3 – At least I hit my initial number on this one about right.  Same as #2.

Avengers vs Pet Avengers #4 – Same as #3.

Avengers Earth’s Mightiest #3 – Kids book that I’ll want to keep on the shelf for a while with the cartoon getting good buzz.  It would be nice if they put all of the kids books in their own section, though.  I really hate not realizing it’s a kids book until it shows up.

Avengers Prime #5 – Still not really sure what the point of this book was.  Launched with all of the Avengers hubbub, a bi-monthly not in continuity story seemed to just confuse everyone.  Sales dropped throughout its run.  Cut 5 copies from #4’s number.

New Avengers #8 – Hmm.  #6 killed a member and #7 is supposed to shake up the team.  The solicit says Luke Cage and Jessica Jones go on a date.  That’s it.  Really?  And Brevoort wonders why we don’t really pay attention to the solicits.  If I ordered based on that, I’d cut my order by 50%.  This early in the run and you are already taking a break.  These are the frikkin’ Avengers!  Do that crap in Heroes for Hire.  Order same as actual sales of #6 and hope things don’t drop too much below that.  Be ready to adjust down based on sales of #7.

Secret Avengers #9 – I loves me some Shang Chi.  I will keep pushing this book on you as long as it stays good.  Same as #8.

Captain America #614 – I’m glad that this has a solid core audience.  “The Red Skull plots a terror attack.”  Hasn’t that been the bulk of this title’s entire run?  Same as #613.

Captain America Hail Hydra #1 (of 5) – Just what we need, another Captain America mini-series.  You’d think there was a movie coming out in 6 months or something.  Order the same as the sales of the previous Cap minis.  Will probably sell to the same people.  Maybe bump a couple copies because of Maberry.  Doomwar did better than expected, as did Marvel U vs Punisher.  And he seemed ot be a nice guy when I met him.  Yes, I know, sound business decision there.

Captain America Man Out of Time #3 (of 5) – Same as #2 and hope it stays steady.

Captain America Korvac Saga #2 (of 4) – All ages retelling.  I like Ben McCool and all, but, 70% of #1 and watch sales of #1 closely.

Thor #619 – I have enjoyed Fractions run so far (although, could have lived without Loki for a bit).  Not up to JMS levels, but doing better than it had been post-Siege.  Drop a couple as the last issue didn’t do as well.

Thor Mighty Avenger #8 – Last issue.  Lots of people love this, but they sure aren’t buying it here.  Only sold 2 copies of the last issue.  Same as #7.  Sorry.

Thunderstrike #3 – Really?  And $3.99?  #1 comes out tomorrow.  Hope your order of 5 wasn’t too many.

Thor First Thunder #5 (of 5) – OK.  This one is almost over.  Retelling of his origin in time to have the trade in the book stores for the movie.  I feel used.  Apparently no one was really interested, even my staunch Thor guys.  Or maybe they were the ones who bought all 4 copies I sold of the last issue.

Loki #4 (of 4) – Selling better than the other Thor mini’s.  People like a villain.  Same as #3.

Iron Man/Thor #3 (of 4) – I actually enjoyed this one.  Seems to have an interesting plot.  Only one copy left on the shelf.  Yeah.  I got one right.  Same as #2.

Warriors Three #4 (of 4) – No interest in this one other than subs.  Subs +1.

Invincible Iron Man #500 – Yea, more numbering fun!  I really hate this stuff.  I finally had my Iron Man numbers down pat.  Steady as a rock.  Now I have to guess with this one.  And a slew of variants.  And then I have this 500.1 thing coming down the pike that Marvel has made no effort to explain yet.  These are the ones that bug me.  Made up anniversary issue, 50/50 covers (always adds extra sales, but how many is a guess) and 4 more variants (of which we only get to see two). And there is a line for the main cover and a line for the wraparound variant that further says it has a 50/50 cover split.  Is my order just based on the main line or a combination of that and the wraparound.  I am very confused.  And, I have 2 people asking for the 1-in-50 variant and there is a 1-in-100 variant.  Sadly, 100 is double what I was going to order.  And at $5 a pop, there is no way I can afford to over order by 50 copies.  It is 104 pages, but it does not say how many of those pages are actual story and how many are going to be a reprint.  Sorry Marvel, but I don’t really trust you on stuff like this any longer.  50 it is.

(Edit: Just checked the Marvel Mailer to try to figure out the chaos of the variants and I see that it will now only be 80 pages, not the 104 in the catalog.  You gotta keep a close eye on these guys at all times)

OK, going to take a break and play some Lego Star Wars with the boy.  I will finish Marvel.  Throw me a comment or 2 if you are at all interested in this and I will continue for the rest of Previews.  It is a lot more time consuming that I anticipated.  (Took me longer to type all of this out than it would have taken me to do the entire Previews order)  But I thought you might be interested in what goes through my mind as I do this.

Posted in Opinion.


  1. Very interesting. It doesn’t seem like Marvel wants to make things very easy for you. Does DC make things just as complicated? With all of these reboots, mini series and made-up anniversary issues I am find it difficult to take much interest in anything Marvel is putting out right now, especially at a $3.99 price point. I gave Avengers a shot and found the first story arc to be kind of a mess and dropped. Also picked up Secret Avengers which has been pretty solid and enjoyable.

  2. I’m enjoying it. But I hear most of these thoughts anyways. So who else wants the Iron Man 1-50 variant?

Comments are closed.