Here’s how much Marvel wants the final issue of Ultimate Spider-Man‘s “Death of Spider-Man” storyline – and maybe the series itself? – to be a hit: The publisher announced this morning that the book will ship with two polybag options (Yes, we’re at the point where there will be a variant polybag for the variant cover to the comic; it’s taking ’90s nostalgia to a whole new level), not be overprinted, and not be available on newsstands.
Those last two seem interesting, counter-intuitive choices, limiting the potential readership of the issue, right? But then you realize, cynically, that they put pressure on retailers to up their orders on the book while they still can, now that this news kills the chance for re-orders after the fact if they underestimate demand – and with no newsstand distribution, anyone hooked by potential mainstream media coverage will have to pick up the book at a comic book store if they want to pick it up at all (Well, they could buy it online, if Marvel ever works out the kinks in their day-and-date digital distribution). So is this news just a way of pushing retailers to inflate their orders for the issue and make the book more of a success in the Diamond charts, even if it the customer demand may not be there? Way to go with that power and responsibility thing, Marvel.
Still, at least we get a couple of polybag choices out of the deal. USM #160 is due in June.