by Eli Cross
Back in June, when Marvel first issued its hyperbolic press release boldly claiming that Marvel Legacy would “change the comic book industry,” THR was one of the few major outlets to openly and legitimately question how Marvel would accomplish such a lofty feat. This nostalgia driven publishing initiative arrives in full force this week with a plethora of variants including the controversial lenticular variants that feature classic Marvel cover images shifting into new homage covers.
The debate over the ordering process of the Marvel Legacy lenticular covers is a saga unto itself. A number of retailers such as Big Bang Comics have revolted against Marvel, refusing to order any of the lenticular covers citing the “meet or exceed” ordering requirement and the resulting overstock of the regular covesr. The Beat’s own Brian Hibbs did the math for his own store and detailed how the numbers just didn’t add up in a previous article.
The Marvel lenticular covers are cool, but don’t quite…lenticulate?…correctly? Hard to fully see either image. pic.twitter.com/0V84vBmdmM
— Ryan Higgins (@RyanHigginsRyan) October 3, 2017
— The Deluxe Edition (@thedeluxedition) October 1, 2017
So after all the hullabaloo, was this an actual worthwhile investment on Marvel’s part? Well, judging by the complaints of many regarding the inferior quality of Marvel’s lenticular covers compared to those published by DC Comics, one wonders what kind of investment there was at all in them.
As noted by Bleeding Cool, Marvel’s lenticular covers are noticeably thinner than DC’s, making it difficult to see each image without one bleeding into the other. You’d think a technology that’s been around since the 90’s would be mastered by now. For comparison, see the lenticular cover for DC’s Batman #21 below-
One has to wonder who exactly Marvel is trying to reach with these long gone gimmicks. I’m sure baby boomers and philatelists will get a kick out of the return of the Marvel Value Stamps, but I seriously question how it will convert new readers.
At the end of the day though, Marvel like any publisher is a business, so regardless of inferior quality, if people actually end up buying these lenticular covers, it will chalk it up as a much needed win. Sure it’s a quick buck, but at the end of the day lenticular covers are just crass commercialism that cheapen the comic product when overindulged.