San Francisco retailer Brian Hibbs considers what (little) we know about Marvel NOW! and, well, gets nervous:
The problem as a retailer is that I don’t actually have a hook for “Marvel NOW!” because I don’t actually know the full contents of it. I can’t “talk it up” except in the most generic way. Instead, I have to make each of those sales connections individually by book as they announce them, and without the benefit of the global branding to tie them together. One thing we were able to do with “The New 52″ was to create a specific one-time sell-sheet for our customers outlining the whole program. That intensely focused interest because we’re urgently needed them to sign up for these new series within the next month (so we could accurately order!) — but I can’t create 20+ different sell-sheets, and, even if I could, that won’t work because by #3, people are going to be saying, “Ugh, not this again”… Unfortunately, the feeling I get from “Marvel NOW!” is “You know all that stuff we’ve been doing that you don’t seem to be responding to? Here’s more of it.” Which is a hard message to sell.
I have to admit, I’m surprised at the way that Marvel is rolling out Marvel NOW!; we’re, what, three weeks out from the initial announcement, and the most we’re hearing from the publisher beyond “It’ll be massive!” and the initial titles are things like Tom Brevoort talking about Captain America’s costume redesign, which feels… not like filler, per se, but certainly of less importance than revealing some of the other titles to be relaunched or new creative teams on books. On the one hand, I guess it allows Marvel NOW! to have a longer shelf life in terms of ability to get headlines, but on the other, how long can that actually keep going before people get sick of Marvel NOW! as a brand…?