Tweeting out a statement on Monday, Big Bang Comics of Dublin let its fans know that they Marvel Legacy event lenticular variants will not be available to customers at their store, citing the problems of Marvel’s requirements to order.

Instead of having an open order on their lenticular variants, like DC, Marvel is putting them under a “meet or exceed” requirement- in BBC’s words, making local comic stores jump through hoops to be able to order. For Big Bang Comics, this would mean having to order up to 170% more on a regular title than needed in order to be able to order the lenticular variants. Another concern for the retailer is that lenticular covers will sell out, leaving regular covers on the shelves. These concerns are stated as having been repeatedly discussed with – but not addressed by – Marvel.

The writer signs off by noting that they have been in contact with around 70 retailers who share their concerns, and that they are no longer going to be ordering anything with a “meet or exceed” requirement, stating:

“We’re not going to do it anymore, it’s not good for us, it’s not good for you and it’s not good for Comics. We’re over jumping through hoops, and the term “meet or exceed” needs to be put to death in that order form and never seen again.”

You can read the full tweet storm below.

Lenticular covers have been a great sales boost in these times, and you would expect that the Legacy lenticulars would do the same for Marvel…but if Big Bang’s stance is a common one, we may see a smaller boost than expected.

…or, as Marvel is betting, its all complaining and the DM will fall in line again.

which will it be? Time will tell.

19 COMMENTS

  1. If the minimum order is bad for business, there’s not much Big Bang can do besides not take part, and it’s Marvel’s fault. They need to stop treating retailers like someone to take advantage of, rather than partners who sell their comics for them.

  2. Good! It’s good to see retailers taking their power back. Everyone learned the lesson in the 90s; variant covers are a short term boost.

  3. I’m buying my books with an online store, Lenticulars are not offered because of Marvel’s policy. It is too bad because I would have paid an extra buck to get certain books…

  4. Add Alter Ego Comics in Ohio to the list of stores not carrying the Marvel lenticulars. First and foremost, the math doesn’t work for us. But more importantly…and I’m glad this is coming to light…Marvel’s one-two punch of “meet or exceed” along with their insane number of variants each month will be pointed to by comics historians as what almost killed the industry in 2016-2017.

  5. Good for Big Bang Comics and hope others follow. I’m not ordering any of the special covers and to be honest, there’s very little about Marvel legacy that has me excited. I’m buying the same comics that I always buy, am not adding any new ones, and am still very pissed that there isn’t a Fantastic Four comic. Maybe something relating to the group will be teased in Marvel Legacy #1 but to have a celebration of Marvel’s history and legacy without that team is insulting.

    Variant covers are cool in the way that DC is doing them, where a person can select the one they like and buy it. But this nonsense about releasing rare variants based on sales of normal issues needs to stop. I hate the entire investment mindset behind it and think it’s crappy that Marvel is purposefully holding out better cover art for these more rare variant covers.

  6. It’s almost like Marvel is hell-bent on sabotaging their own rebirth.

    I would love to know what the heck is actually going on at Marvel, because it has all the hallmarks of corporate infighting. It’s got the feel of a some sort of corporate shuffle that hasn’t quite solidified. Like the new CEO or EIC is not quite installed, but still he’s reaching out from wherever he is now to push back on things he doesn’t want to support later.

  7. I believe that if enough retailers balk at the 170% pre-orders to get the lenticular covers that Marvel will reconsider and reduce or eliminate the pre-order requirements.
    If retailers can’t resist and go along with the Marvel requirements, then I foresee the cover price to the customer’s at least doubling. (To get the lenticular covers) and that’s a problem that no one wants to deal with in the end.

    Marvel should use the Legacy book as a sales promotion for the whole Legacy experiment, by charging a much lower cover price (maybe $1.99) and then give it to the retailers for free as a sign of good faith. This would in my opinion entice the customers to try out what’s coming with the rest of their titles.

    Instead, in my opinion, they want to grab every penny they can squeeze out of the market. It appears that they obviously do not have any interest in keeping it alive and healthy. The reason they do this…is because they can, after all they are MARVEL, and they own the market.

  8. I’m pleased to hear the retailers pushing back on this nonsense. From everything I read and hear, Marvel is pretending to listen but not doing anything to address legitimate concerns. Time to hit their bottom line, they might listen to that!

  9. I can’t afford regular comics, let alone lenticular ones. But does marvel really care? They are marvel after all, who can really say no to them and survive? All they have to do is cut any comic deliveries at all to those stores and customers will go to other stores, dooming the ones who are rebelling.

  10. > the other thing is they’re not required to buy these…Marvel is not forcing them to buy them.

    While that’s true, I’m sure there will be plenty of customers who will be disappointed and might shop elsewhere if their LCS doesn’t carry these or if the shop charges higher than cover price to pay for the cost of the excess regular cover copies. It’s kind of a case of damned if they do, damned if they don’t.

    Sad reality is I reckon most comic shops are too dependent on DC and Marvel. Unless *all* shops band together and take a stand, Marvel will just keep doing things like this.

  11. > @Mark: But does marvel really care? They are marvel after all, who can really say no to them and survive? All they have to do is cut any comic deliveries at all to those stores and customers will go to other stores, dooming the ones who are rebelling.

    That’s a lawsuit waiting to happen.

  12. I’m impressed by the thoughtful tone of Big Bang’s arguments. They are not saying “Marvel is all bad” or “we’re not going support this big publisher”; they are just saying we’re not going to play the game with this particular effort. And part of the reason is that they don’t want this to be repeated. Good for them! I think , as a fan, I’m not going to buy regular issues and skip any lenticular covers.

  13. The “meet or exceed” percentage can range from 100% to 200% for the qualifier titles. And the lenticular cover versions have a different discount code to retailers (50%).

  14. So the horrible thing Marvel is doing is making rare collector variant covers… actually difficult to get ?

    Good thing some store don’t follow, so the ones who do can increase the price a bit more and making the investment a bit less risky.

  15. Yeah, my store didn’t qualify for but a handful for these so our orders on them are practically zero. Get 100% of America #8 (which for us is 4 copies) isn’t a big deal, but the only people who would buy the lenticulars for that issue are just completionist or speculators.

    Now, on a much more popular we could have sold some extra copies if the lenticulars were freely orderable. Unfortunately the better a title does, the more copies you are stuck with. Does Marvel honestly not think we are selling as many copies of every title each month as we can? Anything over what we normally order is books that BY DEFINITION, that we think we can’t sell.

    The worst offender was Totally Awesome Hulk.. Because the number for that title was based off a Weapon X cross over, we ordered way more than we normally would because most Weapon X readers will pick it up to complete the story. Unfortunately, we are unable to get the awesome Planet Hulk themed Lenticular for Incredible Hulk because we would have to order almost five times as many copies of Totally Awesome Hulk that we normally do. No thanks.

    We will just stick to what we can sell. These lenticular comics can only hurt us, the small business retailer.

  16. > So the horrible thing Marvel is doing is making rare collector variant covers… actually difficult to get?

    Midtown Comics carries *all* the lenticular variants for $3.39. Given they’re probably Marvel’s largest or second largest account, if the variants do get allocated, Midtown will probably still get majority of their orders.

    Also, unlike ratio variants, these are open to order once you meet the requirements so very easy for shops who order only a few Marvel books to flood ebay with these variants.

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